OurTown Gwinnett November 2012

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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town

November 2012

Lilburn l Lawrenceville l Snellville l Grayson

Meet Jessie Parks

y pp Ha giving s k n a Th Check out our new site at OurTownMag.org Connect with us




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678.990.9400 www.drgravante.com These results may not be typical. Results with products may vary from individual to individual. These nutrition recommendations are provided solely to support good nutrition with the intent of supporting the physiological and biochemical process of the human body and not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Be advised that any nutritional program recommended by Dr. Gravante is not intended as a primary therapy for any disease. Prior to starting any diet, nutrition or exercise program, you should consult with your medical physician.

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November 2012 IN THIS ISSUE…

Magazine The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News

Our Town




Publisher/Editor D. Flores

Graphics Our Town



Cover Photo

Shannon Blackwell of

Southern Lights Photography





Contributing Writers:

Glenton Ashby Chef Jennifer Hill Booker Susan Cadley Kelly Ferris Carol Chandler-Wood Julie Mills Althea Lawton-Thompson Terie Hansen Theressa Waldrop

Our Town Magazine

P.O. Box 644 l Snellville, Georgia 30078 Telephone: 404-824-5396 www.OurTownMag.org For reader comments or questions, please E-mail us at life@ourtownmag.org 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 2012 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

About the Cover....................................................................5 Calendar of Events.................................................................7, 15 Sept Crossword...........................................................................8 Fitness: Free Weight Machines? ...................................................8 Finance: Arranged Marriages?.....................................................9 Education Article: Before you begin to study.........................11 Health & You: About Cancer .............................................12 Wellness:

Balancing Emotions..............................................13

Around Town: Meet Ryan Sauers........................................14 Crossword Key...........................................................................14 Counselor’s Corner: How to be a better partner..................16 Pet Page:


Recipe: ......................................................................................18

www.facebook.com/OurTownGwinnett Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. Find links at www.ourtownmag.org

Christmas is Here Pre-Lighted Trees Wreaths & Garlands Byer’s Choice Carolers Annalee Elves & Dolls Fontanini Nativities Thanksgiving Mark Roberts Fairie & Elves

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ABOUT THE COVER Meet Jessie Parks Every artist has a certain “niche” in the world of creation – some are caught up in the film industry, others are involved in architecture, and so on. Jessie Parks, a local artist born and raised in Lilburn, has found her niche in the form of photography, but more specifically what is known as journalistic photography. However, behind her work lies several strong motivations to create and “to make”, as Parks herself coined the term. Graduated from Brookwood High School in 2004, Parks attended college at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. Ever since high school, Parks had always been involved in creatives and the fine arts programs. Shortly after, she decided to further pursue her interest in the arts and attended the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Greece. During this time in Greece, Parks decided to take advantage of the beauty of the Mediterranean coast and expand her portfolio by capturing as much as she could around her. She spent a lot of her time traveling which eventually accounted for most of her personal work. “It’s just the things that are going on around me,” Parks said when asked about her influences. “My professor always called it environmental photography.” Parks goes on to explain that she would also describe it as a style of journalism and documentary work. She notes a specific influence she’s had over her work by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, “particularly their series called Architect’s Brother”. She comments that their use of colors, textures, and an unnatural compo-

Our Town Magazine

Article by Kaleb Flores

sition in their photographs in which were described by Parks as “dreamlike” and “surreal”, have inspired her in her photography. “Their work is also a strong emotional impact....some might say “deep.” I am similar in that I also want my work to be powerful in not only a visual sense, but a visceral sense as well, tugging at the viewers’ very being...their soul.” When talking about photographing people, she takes on an interesting perspective about the experience. “It’s all about the interaction between you and the person [that you are taking the picture of].” Parks said. “I want to share the person in front of my lens with other people. People are my motivation, whether they are the person of the lens or the viewer [of the final picture].” She describes it as a moment of “documenting their lives” to “share with the world; to reveal them”. “I love what I do. I love creating,” Parks gleefully says. Now, Parks is gearing up for an opening reception at Photo by Shannon Blackwell of Southern Lights Photography Framing Artistry on the 30th of this month and the 1st of December to showcase some of her work. She is lookbrain tumor and was given only six months to live. ing forward to it as a great chance for her to generate However, doctors performed brain surgery and she business and create professional opportunities for herself. was treated with intense radiation which resulted in Parks considers the show as mostly exposure, and that the her to live in a stable condition for about five years. opportunities would come from the people that would see Unfortunately in 2005, the tumor experienced reher work. growth, which called for more intense chemotherapy “A lot of the work I’ve done is freelance like weddings and radiation. Linda’s brain suffered necrosis, or and illustrations. It’s as-I’m-hired,” Parks remarked. death of brain tissue, which caused major physical One of her strongest influences comes from her mother, handicaps. Linda Parks. Continues on page 11 In 1999, Linda was diagnosed with a rare malignant

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Happy Thanksgiving

DECEMBER Calendar Magnificent Tree Toppers November 01, 2012 M.C. Twinklin’s 2178 McDaniels Bridge Ct. www.mctwinklins.com Call for details: 770-972-7237

http://gwinnettvillage.com/alliance Showcasing the region’s best multicultural talent and highlight the rich cultural contributions of Gwinnett’s diverse communities God’s Love at Work Women’s Expo 2012 November 3, 2012 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. www.godsloveatwork.com/womensexpo2012 Are you a Christian working woman? If so, come take your seat amid God’s intimate presence and get refreshed.

Harbins Corn Maze November 1-30, 2012 Harbins Corn Maze 2750 Brooks Rd. Dacula www.facebook.com/HarbinsCornMaze Corn Maze, hay ride, petting zoo and so much more! Corn Dawgs Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch November 2-4, 2012 Corn Dawgs 995 Leone Avenue, Loganville www.corndawgs.com Corn Maze, moonwalks, pumpkin patch, slides, petting zoo and more! First Friday November 02 – Dec 07, 2012 Throughout Lawrenceville 455 S. Perry St. Lawrenceville www.visitlawrenceville.com Monthly shopping and dining celebration and feature specials and extended hours. 2nd Annual Gateway International Food and Music Festival November 3, 2012 Lillian Webb Community Park 31 College Street, Norcross

Swing Nights November 3, 2012 Aurora Theater 128 Pike Sreet. Lawrencveille www.auroratheatre.com Swing Night is led by the Metro Jazz Club, a smoking-hot 17 piece band accompanied by a sultry chanteuse. Synchronized Swimming Patriotic Show November 3, 2012 Collins Hill Park and Aquatic Center 2225 Collins Hill Rd., Lawrenceville www.gwinnettcounty.com Cotton States Cat Club November 3-4, 2012 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth www.cottonstatescatclub.org 74th Annual Championship and Household Pet Cat Show.

Hamfest 2012 November 3-4, 2012 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville www.stonemountainhamfest.com Ludwig Symphony Orchestra Gala Concert November 4, 2012 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth www.ludwigsymphony.org The 80 piece Ludwig Symphony presents “A Beethoven Fall Fiesta”. The 80 piece Ludwig Symphony presents “A Beethoven Fall Fiesta”. Mantles & Garlands November 8, 2012 M.C. Twinklin’s 2178 McDaniels Bridge Ct. www.mctwinklins.com Call for details: 770-972-7237 22nd Annual Arts & Crafts Festival November 10, 2012 1255 Dogwood Rd. Snellville www.brookwoodhoops.com Incredible display of crafts, hand made items. Novemberfest November 10, 2012 7-10pm Temple Beth David 1885 McGee Rd. Snellville Entertainment & fundraising. Admision is

$20, includes veberage tickets, ages 21+ The 13th Annual Buford ACE Classic Cruise-In and Show! November 11, 2012 – January 3, 2013 Stone Mountain Park U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain www.stonemountainpark.com Christmas comes to life during a Stone Mountain Christmas as Crossroads®, at the base of Stone Mountain, is decked out with more than two million lights The Lilburn MOM’s Club November 13th, 2012 10am www.lilburnmomsclub.org The Gwinnett Public Safety Fall Festival feaWe will be collecting gently used coats, hats, glovs and scarvs to be given to the St. Vincent DePaul Charity Funny Fridays November 16-17, 2012 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville, www.gwinnettcounty.com Bring your flashlight, eagle eyesight and enjoy a cookout dinner at the pavilion and “cat eye” hike on our beautiful one mile paved trail after dark Veterans Day Celebration November 11, 2012 Downtown Loganville 4385 Pecan St. Loganville www.loganville-ga.gov Bring the kids and family and enjoy a day Continued on pg. 15

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FITNESS Free Weight Machines? by Kelly Farris

We’ve discussed in previous articles how resistance training builds muscle, strength, power, increases your metabolic rate, decreases your risk for osteoporosis and makes you look and feel better. It can be done in a variety of ways, including the use of dumbbells, barbells or other free weights, exercise machines at fitness clubs, using tubing, bands, bells, medicine balls and your very own body weight. Using free weights has its advantages. Aside from building strength, the biggest advantage is variety. It’s hard to get bored with free weights; they allow you to move freely through your personal range of motion. More muscle is recruited simply by picking up and setting down the weights. On top of that, standing up or sitting in an unrestrained position requires more core stabilization of the muscles, meaning that more muscle is used to control the exercise. Basically, free weights just give an overall more effective workout. The fact that you can do them at home is excellent, since they take up little space and are affordable. The overall results are what you will be most happy about. The disadvantage is that you need to know what you’re doing. There is a greater risk of injury if exercises are executed without the proper form. Hire a trainer, at least in the beginning, to help you with a free weight program design. The fitness gains really are worth it. When it comes to using machines, there are some great advantages, especially for the beginner. Machines are easy to use and most have the directions written on them. They’re fast, easy to set up and most health and fitness clubs have them. The disadvantage is that fixed machines move in a predetermined path. There is no personal range of motion, which reduces muscle recruitment. Doing the same exercise repetitively can cause your muscles to acclimate to the exercise, causing a plateau in muscle growth. In my opinion, use machines and free weights. Keep it interesting! And, most of all, don’t get bored with your workouts. The less boring, the more likely you are to do it.

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FINANCE Arranged Marriage? By Glenton Ashby

Wait! What? Arranged marriage? Are you serious? Is that even practiced anymore, or legal? I know some couples whose marriages were arranged. For them this was acceptable as a cultural matter. More importantly, those marriages are working and thriving. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems or the usual ups and downs of marriage and family life. It speaks to the fact that marriage is not simply about “being in love”. What relevance can that have to financial planning? I think a big part of the success of the arranged marriages I am familiar with comes from having a proper perspective on what is necessary for a marriage to be successful and being realistic about married life.

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In terms of financial planning, success comes from starting with a proper perspective, having good objectives and goals, doing what is necessary for success and being realistic about one’s situation. So whether you are single or married the following may be helpful. Perspective: Acknowledging that some kind of planning is necessary for a successful financial life is a start. It does not have to be formal planning with a financial planner (did I really say that?). It can be as simple as making a budget and living by it. Knowing that emergencies and crises can occur means trying to prepare for the unexpected by setting aside some cash or setting up an emergency fund. Objectives: Objectives and goals enable us to maintain focus and direction. Plans have to have an objective or goal or you’re just making a list and not really planning. What are you trying to achieve or accomplish? Financial stability in the present should be one thing. Preparation for the future should be another.


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What’s necessary: Determining the necessary steps and then following through by taking the proper steps enables the attainment of objectives and success in your financial life. It may be necessary to make adjustments as you go along. Planned or unplanned life events and changing stages of life will dictate some adjustments. Some adjustments may simply result from recognizing that some part of your plan is not working the way you need it to work. Commitment is necessary for success. Just as in a relationship between two people, commitment is necessary in pursuing good financial outcomes. Realism: Being realistic is one of the things necessary for success. Not everything that is done will be successful. There will be setbacks. There will, most likely, be mistakes made. That’s OK. We don’t have perfect information and we cannot make perfect plans. We definitely cannot see or predict the future so we don’t know what emergencies, problems or setbacks are coming. But, as was said, we can plan for the unexpected and unforeseen. Even then, our planning or preparation may not be enough and hardship may be experienced. If there is a time of real hardship we should be well served by knowing what is necessary to be on good financial footing and working our way out of hardship. Finally, some things have to work differently being in a marriage than being single. Primarily, that would be that with a married couple both will have a role in the success, or failure, of their financial life. Being on the same page in terms of goals and objectives and the means of accomplishing the goals and objectives will be important. Resolving problems together will be important. For someone who is single, success or failure typically depends just on that individual. You may not be in an arranged marriage, or know anyone who is, but you can have success in your financial life with a proper perspective on what is necessary. And if you are married, or soon to be, I hope yours is a wonderful and successful marriage. Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome – email HalcyonTimes@HalcyonFP.com, or comment at www.HalcyonFP.com/halcyon-times. 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 HalcyonFP.com.

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Before you begin to study

Last month’s article was entitled “Concentration: An Important Component of Study”. As a continuation, this month’s article focuses on what to do before you begin to study each day. It is not enough to just randomly sit down to “study” each day after school; rather a plan needs to be in place to make this time most productive. Several key components are necessary in order to make the most of your study time. They are: identifying your academic goals and setting aside adequate time in your day to reach these goals, knowing yourself, and selecting a special study place. Identifying your goals and setting aside adequate time in your day to reach these goals includes first considering the various after school and extracurricular activities in which you are involved. This could include school club meetings, music or sports lessons, and commitments to family and friends. Plan to create and then space blocks of study time over several days on long range school assignments. However, for short term or daily homework assignments create a daily study plan which is coordinated with your other commitments. Doing this will help you retain new knowledge and will give you time to think about and alter written assignments if any changes are warranted. It is also important to realistically plan your time. It is ideal to set one block of time each day for study if possible. Estimate the length of time it will normally take to complete school homework assignments by factoring in any regular ongoing course assignments for each class you are taking. Ideally, you begin your study time after you have eaten a snack, feel rested, calm and focused. In regards to the second component of knowing yourself, determine when you seem to study best. Is this in the morning, right after school or in the evening? Do you inform your family and friends when you are going to be studying so that they will not interrupt or disturb you during this block of time? If you form the habit of studying during the same block of time each day, your family and friends can respect that time. Select a place of study that does not have the distractions of television, talking, technology, music, or open windows so you can see and/or hear noises from outside. For most students, they concentrate best in their own bedrooms, but it is important that you eliminate distractions and make wise decisions about eliminating those things that cause you to lose focus, such as Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. Know why you are studying particular topics to gain the knowledge or information from your homework. How is it relevant to you and what you want to do with this new knowledge? Know your learning style and whether you learn and accomplish more studying on your own or with a small group of students. Are you more of a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner?

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Continued from page 5

“She wasn’t the same woman after that,” Parks says. Linda passed away in January of 2012. “A lot of my work had dealt with the illness of my mother. [It] was in response to her life. She was certainly an influence of what I’ve done. Loads of my work over the years has centered around her as my subject matter, since her story dominated so many years of my life. I am typically making art based on the people and events unfolding around me.” You can follow Jessie Parks’ work at www.jessieparks.com or visit her blog at www.jessieparks.com/blog.

The third component of selecting a special study place includes the environment in which to study. Is it comfortable ventilated, quiet, and well lit? Creating your own study space similar to a desk you might have in your future place of professional work is ideal. Equipping this space with a table or desk of your own and with all the tools you need is important because by having everything at your fingertips makes your study time most effective and efficient! So, make a plan for your study time away from school and maximize your productivity so your knowledge base is improved along with your grades. By setting goals, creating quality time each day to reach these goals, knowing yourself, and selecting a special study place, learning and success will be realized! See Jessie’s work at Framing Artistry. See calendar of events for dates and times.

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 ccwood@bellsouth.net or fax to 770-381-1626. OTM

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Article by: Kaleb Flores

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Page 11

Health and you

Here’s the deal about Cancer the mind body connection (tuning into your body). All of these things make a difference and are very important. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, you have to understand that your body is simply broken. It’s up to you to repair it - and maintain it - for life. This cannot be done with the mind set of “just get the treatments over with and I’ll be fine.” The diagnosis of cancer is a wake-up call. A lifestyle change has to occur in order to keep the cancer from growing back. Your body has already created an environment that is hospitable to cancer. Without these changes, the tumors will continue to live and florish. The incorporation of complementary therapies doesn’t mean a person will survive forever. None of us will. However, these therapies will improve a person’s quality of life tremendously. Supporting your body with these positive changes will allow you to “live big” with the ones you love and fully participate in the things you love to do. My family and I came up against some huge obstacles and many wake-up calls while battling brain cancer. I wouldn’t wish cancer on my worst enemy; however, as I look around, I see that it’s an epidemic. What is so sad is that it is one that can be prevented in so many ways. There isn’t just one thing that “causes” cancer. It’s a cascade of many things that have gone wrong which means that there’s not just one “cure” for cancer. A cure is the incorporation of many therapies that help fight the disease and keep it at bay.

In 2007, I founded Body of Health for the purpose of helping others heal quicker, hurt less, and have a better quality of life. My work has become a passionate part of my life. The reason for this is because my family and I experienced the “wake-up call”. In 1998, my husband, Tommy, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. We were your typical young American family with three small children and very busy lives. This came as a total surprise due to the fact Tommy was a Navy fighter pilot and had physicals every quarter that he passed with, literally, “flying” colors. In an effort to try and help others who are facing these types of circumstances, I have written a book entitled, “Here’s the Deal About Cancer”. It will be available to the public next month. The material in the book is presented in an effort to let the average person see that there are workable ways to deal with cancer. With conventional treatment, there is conflicting information and virtually no support for supplemental methods. Through this book, I hope to show that it’s all doable or, in other words, workable. While making life changes in the midst of severely challenging days isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, it is doable and I’ll show you what worked - and worked well - for my family. Through our nine year journey with this disease, we learned a great deal about the human body. When I look back at the lifestyle that we led, it is no wonder Tom became ill. Tommy was under a great deal of stress. Not all of it was bad stress. He loved what he did, but what he did required him to be alert and on his game every minute he was in that plane. Tommy loved to work out with weights. He did so at least 5 days a week. If he did not get his workout in, he became a bear. Sound like anyone you know? All of this activity, however, caused oxidative stress, or free radical damage to the cells.

You also don’t have to suffer so greatly while undergoing conventional treatments. If you educate yourself about your disease and your immune function, you can incorporate changes in your lifestyle and eating habits which can greatly improve your quality of life. As I said earlier, it’s all doable if you just take it seriously. You have the rest of your life in front of you. What are you waiting for? I wrote “Here’s the Deal About Cancer” to share my experience in the hope of sparing others the learning curve we had to endure. Have you ever had a dream that you are in class taking a test and don’t know ANY of the answers? That was reality for me and my family for a very long time. Hopefully, through my journey and through what we discovered, you will • Be empowered with a plan. • Have a direction when it seems as if there is none. • Be able to make educated decisions instead of desperate choices that you later regret. With warmest regards, Julie Mills

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The big thing missing in Tom’s lifestyle was good nutrition. He absolutely hated vegetables and never thought about eating fruit. He never drank water and preferred powdered lemonade or sodas. Tommy also got very little sleep. He never found it important and could function off just a few hours. Sleep to him was a luxury. With stress on the body, malnutrition, dehydration, and exhaustion, his cells were weak. Ironic isn’t it - he could benchpress the family car and yet his cells were weak. They could not function optimally and were susceptible for illness. The immune function had been compromised. The crowning blow was the fact he was exposed to EMF (electromagnetic fields) on a regular basis. He had electronics in his helmet, there were electrical cables near his bunk on the ship, and he flew at high altitudes exposing him to radiation from the sun. The cells mutated and became malignant brain tumors. I say all of this because we, as individuals, are responsible for what happens to our bodies. We can help our bodies get back on track and maintain a good quality of life with lifestyle changes. I have written about some of these things in some of my previous articles. I have talked about our immune function (lymph) and nutrition and the connection between disease and lack of nutrition. I have shouted about the importance of water, and I have shared about

Page 12

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Balancing Emotions This time last year, I was joyfully making plans with my sister for our annual Thanksgiving family get-together in South Carolina. Every year, we would discuss and strategize with military precision who was cooking what, who was driving and when we were leaving. But last year, a return of her cancer put her in the hospital the week before Thanksgiving, and five months later, she was gone. As I packed up her house, I sat looking through old photo albums and watching videos of us from past years. Sometimes I laughed and sometimes I cried. I often did both at the same time. Many of you reading this article can relate to the mixed emotions of joy and sadness in remembering a loved one, especially around holidays like Thanksgiving. Typically, our perception of pleasant feelings like happiness and joy are considered healthy emotions, and we believe we should strive to feel that way all the time. In fact, we probably think something is wrong with us when we have so-so days or feel down. Surprisingly, a recent study published in Social, Psychological, and Personality Science reported that the more often people experience mixed emotions – positive and unpleasant at the same time - the healthier we are in the long run. Why? Co-author of the study and psychologist, Hal Hershfield explains, “When we face difficult events in our lives, we can choose to (1) ignore and suppress negative emotions (2) express them, or (3) take the good with the bad.”

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If we choose option one, we are holding back naturally occurring negative emotions, which can unknowingly build up within and cause mental stress and physical illness. With option two, it’s important to find an outlet for expressing negative emotions. Option three is the healthiest way to deal with real life experiences. The body’s ability to manage the stress of feeling both positive and negative emotions at the same time represents an important human strength. If we live long enough, the occurrence of challenging life decisions and experiences is inevitable. It’s important to come up with a healthy coping strategy to assist the body and mind in maintaining balance of our emotions on a daily basis. As we move into the holiday season, enjoy a laugh and smile with family and friends. But it won’t hurt to let nostalgic memories bring a quiet moment of reflection, too. In fact, it’s the healthy thing to do.

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 Althea@AYMFitness.com..

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Page 13

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Around Town

Meet Ryan Sauers Ryan Sauers has a question for you: Why do you do what you do? It’s the question the Lilburn man says he asks people around the country in his job as a communications and marketing consultant, a question meant to get people to focus on the real intent of what they are trying to communicate. “My drive is to make the world a better place, to be a good father and family man, to give people a kind word and encouragement,” is Sauers’ answer to the question. And although he is good at it, when it comes to his corner of Gwinnett, the 40-year-old is not just talking the talk. Ryan and his wife, Lara, both work full time: She teaches sixth grade math at Radloff Middle School and serves as a county-wide trainer for other math teachers, and Ryan owns Sauers Consulting Strategies. And even while raising three daughters, they find the time to give back to the community in a major way. A Stone Mountain native who has lived in Lilburn for the past 12 years, Ryan is helping establish Five Forks Connection, a group that aims to bring area leaders together to work on community improvement. Just a few of the volunteer hats Ryan has worn include president of his homeowner’s association, council chair for Mountain Park Elementary School, and the Parkview cluster chairman for E-SPLOST, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that benefits Gwinnett public schools. The Sauers’ three daughters – Kelsey, 13; McKenna, 10; and Brooke, 5 – are all on the Evergreen Lakes Eels swim team, and Lara manages the team while Ryan serves as announcer. “We do our little part to make the community a better place,” Ryan said. “People have to volunteer to give back to the community.”

by: Theresa Waldrop

cer University of Macon. “It’s a community that people don’t move in and out of, and people know their neighbors.” A pivotal moment in the family’s life was when Brooke was born 10 weeks early at Eastside Medical Center. The Sauers became active in March of Dimes, telling about their experience, Ryan said. The 5-year-old is now healthy and active, he said, but the experience “was a wake-up call to how precious things are,” he said.

Continues on pg 16

Life in Lilburn is a “throwback to suburban Atlanta, the way things used to be,” he says. And that’s just fine by Ryan and Lara, who grew up in Virginia and Florida and met Ryan at Mer-

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CALENDAR - Continued filled with music, food and fun and to honor our Veterans! Stone Mountain Christmas November 11, 2012 – January 3, 2013 Stone Mountain Park U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain Christmas comes to life during a Stone Mountain Christmas as Crossroads®, at the base of Stone Mountain, is decked out with more than two million lights. 20th Annual Magical Nights of Lights November 16 – December 31, 2012 Lake Lanier 7000 Holiday Rd., Lake Lanier www.lakelanierislands.com Marvel at thousands of shining Christmas lights displayed along a seven-mile driving tour. Annual Vineyard Run for Hope November 17, 2012 Château Élan Winery and Resort 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton www.vineyardrunforhope.com 10.2k, 5k & 1k tot trot. Proceeds will benefit the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. Planet U Dance Recital November 18, 2012 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth http://planetuperformingarts.com Dance Recital - Bollywood Style

Continued from pg. 7

“Thankful for You” Day November 21, 2012 Yellow River Game Ranch 4525 Highway 78, Lilburn www.yellowrivergameranch.com This will be a great opportunity for you and Dad to get out of the house... and out of Mom’s way while she prepares Thanksgiving dinner! 25th Annual Lighting of the Tree November 22, 2012 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville www.visitlawrenceville.com Bring your family to enjoy this wonderful Gwinnett tradition as we await Santa’s arrival. 4th Annual Benefit Gala “Le Masquerade” November 23, 2012 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville www.northeastatlantaballet.org Le Masquerade is a costume ball and casino night featuring live music, casino games. This all inclusive evening is sure to be the social event of the season. Black tie optional or dress in your most elaborate Masquerade Costume to be eligible for our Grand Prize.

City Tree Lighting November 23, 2012 Downtown Loganville 4385 Pecan St., Loganville www.loganville-ga.gov Lighting of the tree

PugFest 2012 October 27, 2012 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville www.rescuepug.com PugFest is SEPRA’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Anounces “The Nutcracker” November 30 – December 16, 2012 Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth http://northeastatlantaballet.org Public performances include 8 shows accompanied by the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Predrag Gosta conducting

Jessie Parks Gallery Opening Fri/Sat 11/30, 12/01, 2012 Framing Artistry 1001 Oak Road Lilburn www.framingartistry.net Meet the artist, refreshments at the reception from 5pm - 8pm both nights. For details call: 770-891-1074

Christmas Canteen November 23 – December 23, 2012 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville www.auroratheatre.com Our annual living Christmas card and Gwinnett’s longest running theatrical holiday tradition, Christmas Canteen returns for our 17th season.

There’s never a dull moment in Gwinnett. For more events go to our new website at www.ourtownmag.org and get updates thru our fan page and Twitter.

Fa La La La Lawrenceville November 25 – December 25, 2012 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse www.gwinnettcounty.com Santa visits, tree presentations, scavenger hunts, caroling, theatre and much more!

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Page 15

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     

Counselor’s Corner How to Be a Better Partner

“You must be the change you wish to see” Ghandi For couples that enter the counseling process, a common goal is to improve communication. That’s a very broad goal, but underneath this sweeping statement is the desire to be heard, acknowledged and loved. It’s common for couples to enter counseling with high hopes the counselor can “fix” the other person. It seems the issues in the relationship are the other person’s fault. This article won’t address how to fix someone else, because that’s impossible. In a relationship, each person is responsible for his or her own behavior. If you want to improve the quality of your relationship, let’s begin with you and your communication style:

   




Meet Ryan Sauers continued from pg 14

Ryan is working on his doctorate in Organizational leadership, and earlier this year, he published his first book, Everyone Is in Sales. Despite the title, he says it’s really all about communication, his passion. His goal, he says, is to “get people to communicate, on the same page and in the same direction.” There’s a huge demographic of people heading for retirement and a large group of young people just starting in the work force. At 40, Ryan says he’s right in the middle, and like everyone else in marketing in this high-tech age of communications, is “trying to figure out how to connect” the groups, one which grew up reading printed newspapers and using the yellow pages, and a younger one for which even emails are an outmoded way to communicate. Still, it’s not that complicated, he says. “Human needs are all pretty much the same. We all need to connect to feel appreciated and valued.” Whether people are reading a book or Our Town Magazine or a Facebook post, “There’s a human being behind every element” of communication, and “they are reading it to get a story, to feel a sense of connection, to feel that personal touch.”

• How do you address conflicts? Do you a) go silent b) get louder c) talk it out until both parties have been heard and understood? If you answered c, move on, you’re doing well. If you get quiet when there’s a conflict it can leave your partner feeling anxious if resolution does not occur. Be willing to talk an issue through and ask your partner for whatever makes you feel safe. If you get louder, you guarantee you won’t be heard. As I tell my clients, no one wants to hug a porcupine. Slow down the conversation and make sure you are hearing what your partner is expressing by asking questions. • How do you express affection? Are you generous with affirming words to your partner or do you find yourself being critical? If you are waiting until your partner says something kind and affirming to you before you are willing to extend yourself, this is a silent ultimatum. You are waiting for someone to give to you first, and it can feel like a test to your partner. This is a great opportunity to ask for and give what you want the most. • How well do you listen and let your partner know they are heard and understood? If your conversations are filled with yes but, you did this… or restating your point over and over, no one is getting heard and you will get caught in a conflict circle. You may say different words, but you’ll go round and round without resolve. A way to break the circle is to tell your partner you hear what they are saying, repeat it back to them and make sure you understand their perspective. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. Simply stating that you understand how they could feel the way they do is validating. Acknowledging that you hear your partner is one of the most effective ways to communicate. One of my favorite stories about changing behaviors was told by cookie entrepreneur and author Wally Amos in his book The Cookie Never Crumbles: Practical Recipes for Everyday Living. Wally shared that he grew up in a strict home environment and was disciplined by his mother, who rarely smiled and was unhappy. As Wally got older he didn’t relish visiting with his mother due to her negativity. He came to realize that he couldn’t change her, but he could change how he brought himself to the relationship. Wally brought his effervescent positive attitude each time he visited his mother. Eventually, the relationship shifted to be one of love and acceptance. Whether you are in a relationship or desire to be in one – be in it with a full awareness of who you are and how you communicate. Relationships take effort and being an open communicator means speaking your own needs as well as listening to and acknowledging your partner. As Ghandi’s famous quote above states; “be the change you wish to see”. You’ll feel positive about yourself and you may just open the door to an even more fulfilling relationship.

Article by: Theresa Waldrop Susan Cadley, LPC, CSC, Licensed Professional Counselor & Certified Soul Coach 678-296-1278; www.coachingforyoursoul.com

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Coping with the loss of a pet Recently within the span of a few months four of my clients each endured the loss of their dog. Having been their pet sitter I am connected to these dogs. I got to know their likes and dislikes, each individual’s nature and personality. I’ve clocked hours of time with each and loved every minute of it. I am honored to have been chosen to care for them in their owner’s absence. However, the loss I am feeling pales in comparison to what their owners must be going through. It is with this thought in mind that I hope to offer some help to others who may suffer the same experience. Anyone who owns a pet will eventually face illness, old age or the passing of their beloved animal family member. It is a natural and necessary process to grieve their loss. Non pet owning friends or family members may be unable to relate to what you are going through. Recognize that it is normal to feel angry, sad or confused after the death of a pet. It may be necessary to reach out to a support group or grief counselor. Deciding if and when it is the right time for euthanasia can be difficult. Your veterinarian can be helpful here. In-home Euthanasia is a good option as it allows you and your pet to be in familiar surroundings and can lessen the stressfulness of the situation for all involved.

Pet Loss Support - http://www.pet-loss.net/resources/GA.shtml In home Euthanasia -Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls/Star Gregory DVM 404-859-9246 www.zutillavet.com drgregory@zutillavet.com Recommended Reading - Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, Herbert A. Nieburg, PH.D. & Arlene Fischer: Harper Perennial; 1996 Cemeteries/Crematories - Oak Rest Pet Gardens Chapel, 2691 Harbins Road, Dacula, GA 30620, 770-995-8862,http://www.deceasedpetcare.com, info@dpc-i.net Cherished Friends-Crematory 300 Simonton Road SW Lawrenceville, GA 30045 770-962-3100 www.cherishedfriends.net , Frankie Stewart fstewart@stewartfh.com

Terie Hansen Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet CareM -ay be reached at 404-422-9832 info@gooddogcoaching.com

Allow yourself time to work through your grief. Think about holding a memorial ceremony with friends and family members who where special in your pet’s life. One of my earlier mentioned clients did just such a thing. It was a sad yet beautiful way to honor the lost pet. We spent time looking at photos, talking about happier moments, there was a burial of his cremated remains along with some of his things and we even drank a toast to his life.


Create a special place in your home to keep memorable pictures, collar and tags, toys, etc. This may be difficult at first but these things will eventually evoke happy memories. Many people wonder whether to get another pet immediately, yet others feel as if they may not want another for a long time if at all. For some a new pet is the best medicine. This is an individual decision but generally it is best to wait a month or so allowing yourself time to mourn. When you are ready, your local shelter is a great place to find pets that need you as much as you feel you need them. Below are some great resources for when the time comes. www.mansbestfriend.com

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

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5 Time Savings Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving

Become a Dental Assistant in your spare time!

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and fall is in the air. It’s also the time of year where the stresses of the holidays are looming ahead. Especially the stresses of preparing that perfect Thanksgiving meal. Your Resident Gourmet has 5 Time Saving Tips that are guaranteed to help you stress less, save money, and enjoy your Thanksgiving more! 1. Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu Early: Are you serving turkey, chicken, or goose? Will there be wine or your special holiday punch? Now is the time to plan your Thanksgiving menu; from soup to nuts. Once you’ve planned your menu you can pull out your recipes and check your cabinets to see what you have in stock and what you’ll need to buy. Write out your shopping list, listing everything you need, and you won’t have to worry about those last minute trips to the store spoiling Thanksgiving Day. 2. Shop Now: Now that you have your grocery list in hand it’s time to head to the grocery store. Buy your non-perishables now and save yourself time later, not to mention you will be able to take advantage of the pre-holiday sales, avoid the long lines and the lack of parking spots. When I shop I keep like items together in my shopping cart so that they are together during checkout and get bagged together as well. Once you get your groceries home, leave them bagged and simply set them aside until you’re ready for them. All you have left to buy are your perishable items and can purchase them as much as a week out.

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3. Cook Now, Relax Later: Decide on the dishes that can be cooked ahead of time and either stored in the refrigerator or frozen until right before Thanksgiving. For example, can you make the cornbread for your cornbread stuffing now and freeze it until you’re ready for it? What about the cranberry relish, collard greens, and sweet potato pies? Cook and store as many of the items on your menu as possible and defrost them the day before Thanksgiving. This tip will definitely save you time and make cooking your holiday meal more relaxed. 4. Get Organized: Now that you have your menu planned, your recipes pulled, have shopped for your non-perishables items, and even precooked some of your dishes; it’s time to decide on your table decor. Go ahead and pull your favorite holiday tablecloth, place mats, and napkins. Make sure that they don’t have any holes or stains and have them laundered and ironed. If you’re using your ‘special occasion’ dishes, flatware, and stemware go ahead and get them out of storage, counted, and wiped down. Doing this now will guarantee you the table of your dreams without the usual holiday stress. 5. Ask For Help: Thanksgiving Day is finally here and it’s time to enlist some help with the finishing touches. Ask someone to set the table. Since the linen is ironed and the dishes counted, this should be an easy task. Someone else can pour the drinks or plate the salads. If you’ve invited guests to share your meal, don’t be shy about asking them to bring a dish to share as well. It’s always nice to have an extra appetizer or dessert or a nice bottle of wine. You’ve done it! Planned the perfect menu, set a beautiful table, and cooked your Thanksgiving meal to perfection. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor-all without the usual stresses associated with the holidays.

Recipe provided by: Chef Jennifer Hill Booker www.yourResidentgourmet.com www.ChefJenniferBooker@gmail.com

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We would like to congratulate our student intern, Laura Anderson, on being crowned Miss Parkview 2012-2013!

The Village Vets was chosen as “Best Vet” in the “Readers Choice 2012” editions of Stone Mountain-Redan, Lilburn-Mtn Park, Decatur-Avondale Estates, East Atlanta, Virginia Highland-Druid Hills, Brookhaven, Buckhead, and Sandy Springs editions of Patch.com!

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