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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town

February 2013

Lilburn l Lawrenceville l Snellville l Grayson

Meet Dr. Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS

y pp Ha e’s Day n i t n e l a V

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Our Town

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A YOUNG WOMAN’S STORY ADRENAL FATIGUE SYNDROME Please join us for this One Night Only Celebration

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Hi! My name is Vanessa. I am a Veterinary Technician and am conCocktails, and Hors D’oeuvres. stantly staying active with two jobs and playing softball. But back in June 2011, I woke up one morning in terrible pain from my mid back down to both of my legs. My throat would swell up and made it difficult to swallow. Many times I could not hold food down. I became very weak and fatigued. I was even having memory loss! I was not able to walk, stand, or sit for even short periods of time. I was constantly uncomfortable – could not lie down in my bed, wear clothes, not even my shoes. I became totally disabled. I was recommended to go see Dr. Gravante after a year of seeing about 8 different doctors with no diagnosis or explanation of what was happening to me. In June, I started treatment with Dr. Gravante. Within 4-5 days of starting treatment, I was PAIN FREE!!! No more weakness and fatigue. My throat swelling and vomiting issues resolved. Soon after, my sleep issues and memory loss greatly improved. My diagnostic results were phenomenal on my 30 day followup visit. I am very thankful to have found Dr. Gravante. I am back to working two jobs and playing softball. I feel better than I ever have in my entire life. Thank you, Dr. Gravante and Staff! Sincerely, Vanessa Check to see if you have any of the following

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Difficulty getting up in the morning Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep Craving for salt/salty foods & Carbohydrates Lack of energy Increased effort to do every day tasks Decreased Libido Decreased ability to handle stress Take longer to recover from illness, injury, or trauma • Light-headed when standing up quickly Vanessa Before • Mild Depression • Increased PMS • Symptoms increase if meals are skipped • Thoughts are less focused, more fuzzy Please RSVP at 678.990.9400 by Monday, June 15. • Memory less accurate Vanessa After • Muscle painOpen & back House! pain We’re looking forward to meeting you at our Summer Evening

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678.990.9400 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.

Our Town

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February 2013 IN THIS ISSUE…

Magazine The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News

Our Town




Publisher/Editor D. Flores

Graphics Our Town






Contributing Writers:


Cover Photo

D. Flores/OurTown

About the Cover....................................................................5 Calendar of Events.................................................................7, 15

Glenton Ashby Susan Cadley Carol Chandler-Wood Julie Mills Terie Hansen

Feb Crossword...........................................................................8

Susan Smiley M.D.

Health & You: Did you know?....................................................1

Kristin McCabe Ayana Stinson

Jeanette Altieri AC

Our Town Magazine

P.O. Box 644 l Snellville, Georgia 30078 Telephone: 404-824-5396 For reader comments or questions, please E-mail us at 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 2013 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Fresh Face for the NEW YEAR

Finance: College.....................................................................9 Education Article: Credit Recovery.......................................11 Living: International life / Breathing..........................................11 2 Crossword Key...........................................................................17 Counselor’s Corner: Emotions....................................................16 Pet Page: Walk your dog?..............................................................17 Travel:


Children: Activity for children...............................................18 Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. Find links at

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Our Town Magazine

ABOUT THE COVER Gwinnett never seems to fail in terms of the diversity of its citizens that has grown in the last decade or so, and with the different kinds of ethnicities combined with different occupations make for a county endlessly vibrant with variety. Dr. Earl Stephenson, a well renowned plastic surgeon, is an example of Snellville’s variety. His job, which consists of enhancement, cosmetics and reconstruction, was not always on his mind since he was young. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dr. Stephenson knew from early in his life that he liked the concept of hands-on activities. “Originally I wanted to become a dentist,” said the doctor when asked about his early interests. He recalled a time during his high school years, when he played baseball and experienced an incident where the baseball hit his mouth which cost him a visit to his dentist. “I remember being in the dentist’s office and being fascinated by it, as well as the tools and materials used.” He decided he wanted to pursue dentistry. During his years in schooling, however, he turned his attention towards oral surgery due to its aspect of taking care of people on a more medical level. Later, Dr. Stephenson decided plastic surgery would be his practice. In all, he spent about 17 years in school, he said. Dr. Stephenson explained how much he enjoyed his job. When asked to specify his favorite parts, he

Our Town Magazine

Dr. Earl Stephenson Jr.

responded with “the diversity; I love [treating] all kinds of patients’ problems.” He described some kinds of cases with previous patients including reconstruction for cancer patients, taking in burn victims, and patients that have had severe weight loss.

expressing art. His inspiration came from his family and the many people he met along the way through schooling that kept him moving forward and motivated with his passion.

Dr. Stephenson also elaborated how there was basic training for all plastic surgeons, but because of his background with oral surgery, he likes to focus on and around the face. Business-wise, he states that his practice, which markets mostly to individuals that would like to enhance their personal appearance and deal with medical issues that hinder daily activities, is currently growing and thriving. However, Dr. Stephenson is not a man that is all work. Married with two kids, he describes his family life as constantly “busy”, as his wife is an attorney and his two girls, 14 and 12, participate in basketball in their school. The doctor admitted there is a challenge in the balance between work life and personal life, but he enjoys spending time with his family very much. He also has hobbies of his own that he likes to partake in. He likes to remain active, loves sports, and likes to play basketball from time to time. He also collects fountain pens, and says he loves their uniqueness from pen to pen. The doctor also states that when he was younger, he had always wanted to be an artist, but in a way, he believes his current work as a plastic surgeon is his best way of

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Our Town Magazine

w w w. L a d i e s Wo r k o u t E x p r e s s S n e l l v i l l e . c o m

Real People. Real Results.

Happy Valentine’s day2013!

February Calendar Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation Aquatics Job Fair February 1, 2013 Bethesda Park Aquatic Center 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville Interactive Job Fair will give attendees the chance to learn about lifeguarding and instructor opportunities with Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation. BOB February 01 – 10, 2013 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville Play Black History Month Exhibit February 01 – 28, 2013 Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center 75 Langley Dr., Lawrenceville The theme for this year’s Black History exhibit is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.” Spring Art Show February 01 – April 12, 2013 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville View the of work of artist, Christopher Sherry, which includes self-portraits, landscapes and still-life in mixed media to include pastels, oils and water colors.

Groundhog Day February 2, 2013 Yellow River Game Ranch 4525 Highway 78, Lilburn Be there at sunrise to see General Beauregard Lee, Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator make his weather prediction for 2013. Intergalactic Bead Show February 02 – 03, 2013 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth The exhibitors present a wide range of precious and semi-precious gemstone beads, sterling silver, unique findings, fablous freshwater pearls, amazing hand blown glass beads, vintage beads, crystals, and much more. Rubber Stamp Show February 02 – 03, 2013 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville Art stamps, card making, scrapbooking and paper arts; classes, demonstrations and make and takes also offered. Greater Gwinnett Rose Society Meeting February 5, 2013 Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville Our mission is to encourage people to grow and enjoy roses.

Civil Rights Documentary Film Screening February 7, 2013 Hudgens Center for the Arts 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth Family Valentine Dance February 8, 2013 Rhodes Jordan Park 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville Bring your family and celebrate the season of love! Your family will enjoy music, dancing, games and light refreshments! Dance America February 08 – 09, 2013 Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth Dancing competition Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Medieval Times February 08 – 18, 2013 Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville

Butterfly Ballad / Balada de las Mariposas February 9, 2013 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville Childrens Playhouse

Interactive Wellness Expo February 9, 2013 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth This free event will offer a complimentary heart-healthy breakfast, free educational and fitness classes, discounted screenings, a hearthealthy cooking contest with local firefighters and GMC associates, giveaways to inspire a heart-healthy lifestyle including iPods, local gym memberships and much more!ents 3rd Annual Aurora Theatre Barbara Awards February 11, 2013 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville Aurora Theatre named their awards in honor of Barbara Howard. Our “Barbaras” are now awarded each year at a festive party that celebrates those community members who shine a bright light on the cultural arts community along with those artists who have become Aurora audience favorites.

More things to do on pg. 15


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Our Town Magazine

FINANCE College Costs What?? The cost of a college education has been, and continues to be, very much in the news today. And following closely behind are stories about college student loan debt.  Obviously the two are related and both present major challenges to the majority of families with children currently in college or children who will in the next several years plan to go to college. Why are college costs so high? There are two principal reasons college costs are so high.  First, less money is being provided by state governments.  Tighter state budgets have resulted in a lower percentage of today’s college and university budgets being funded by states than a generation ago.  Second, many schools have higher administrative and personnel costs on top of less state funding.  So, a significant part of the shortfall is made up by raising tuition and other student-borne costs. What to do about affording college? Start by determining what you can afford. While doing that, factor in cost increases that are likely during the 4 year period. Oh, and are you going to have more than one child in college at the same time? Many kids and parents may have a “first choice” school (based on the parent’s alma mater, favorite college, specific program offering). In the current cost environment “first choice” may have to give way to comparable choices that are affordable. In many cases other schools provide as good an education and as valuable a degree. Or, maybe the first year or two of college can take place at a secondary choice school before moving to the “first choice” after core work is complete or after qualifying for needed scholarships or aid at the desired school. Maybe spending big dollars or taking on significant education debt gets reserved for graduate school. Of course, a “hard to find” degree program or attending a specialized school can make it difficult to manage college costs. But if not, consider what schools offer the best package. The costs to you, scholarships available and financial aid should be at, or near, the top of your primary considerations list. A Wall Street Journal article (Dec. 22-23, 2012) notes that students and parents should work hard at getting scholarships and grants since those will not have to be paid back. Many schools are making more merit aid, grants and need-based scholarships available. Pam Hart, mother of a current college student and a high school senior, points out that the combination of great grades and great need can result in great aid or even a free ride from top colleges with large endowments. She notes that many private schools have more aid and scholarships available than do public schools. Consider cooperative education programs. These programs are specifically set up to allow students to work at jobs in their field of study during alternate semesters. This often means an extra year to graduate (in the same number of semesters) but provides the benefit of work experience and income. While saving for college, maximize your 529 plan contributions. In Georgia contributions will, in most cases, qualify for a state tax deduction. Extended family members can also contribute to 529 accounts for your children. For someone that wants to help your child (or just needs to move money out of their estate) funding a 529 on your child’s behalf could fill two needs at once. Talk to other parents who are traveling down, or have recently traveled, the “affording college” road. They can be a great resource on the ins and outs and pitfalls of trying to fund college. So, be realistic about what you can afford and encourage your child to work hard at school on both their grades and activities. See my on-line version of this article for some web sites that may be helpful. Next month: What to do about college loan debt. Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome – email, 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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WIPE YOUR REPORT CARD WORRIES AWAY! Total Learning Concepts Provides the Educational Tools!

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EDUCATION Corner What is Credit Recovery?


Living An Intentional Life

So here we are, a full month into your New Year’s Resolutions! Have you stayed away from that decadent piece of chocolate cake? Have you done your 300 sit-ups each night? Have you turned off that ridiculous Reality TV? Three common New Year’s Resolutions, made by Americans, are to eat healthier, to exercise more, and to spend less time in front of the television. It is definitely time for us to simply resolve to live a better and more conscientious life. Rather than, mindlessly watching television, until television begins to watch us, as we fall into a slumber only to be awaken by a 30 minute infomercial that has played into our subconscious and has us now thinking that we suddenly have a burning need for some more random-state-of-the-art pot holders for only $19.99 (plus shipping and handling, of course). Or opening a family sized bag of potato chips only to discover 10 minutes into our gratuitous munching that we have nearly consumed the entire bag!! Perhaps we should be more intentional about our movements; ensuring that we make the most of our time and make the best purposed choices.

A new buzz phrase in education today is “credit recovery”. And, no, it has nothing to do with finances and the recovery of money! Credit recovery courses are for students who have taken a high school course previously, however, did not successfully complete it. This incompletion caused them to not earn credit hours towards graduation. It is an option offered to students by many public and private schools as a way for them to retake a course, and upon successful completion, “recover” the hours not earned the first time through. Credit recovery courses are typically shorter in duration than the traditional course since the student has sat through the course already and needs to prove mastery of topics not previously learned. A student must take a final exam at the end of the credit recovery course, and if an End of Course Test is required by the State of Georgia Department of Education in that subject, the student must take the applicable EOCT even if he/she passed it previously. There are many options for students regarding how and where they can “recover” the course hours not yet earned. Online courses are available through various schools, school systems, and the Georgia Department of Education, however, the online environment for learning is not ideal for some students. Other options include students enrolling in an accredited private school or educational center to be re-taught the material not mastered during the regular course of study. Some of these private educational schools and centers teach students in-person with an instructor and in a structured setting, while others provide students with a packet of work to be completed by the student at home with associated deadlines for completion for each assignment. A final exam is administered at the end of all credit recovery courses. For parents who are looking at a credit recovery course for their student, they need to consider their student’s previous course grade, style of learning, level of discipline, best mode of instruction for their student, and the time frame in which the student must recover the course credit hours. If the student has earned less than 60% the first time through a course, his/her school will likely not allow the student to take a credit recovery course, rather require an entire course be taken again after school hours, during the summer, or in an evening course. If a student learns best in a traditional class setting or lacks good study habits, educational priority, or personal discipline, an in-person credit recovery course is best. If a student cannot learn at a rapid rate, it is best to select a credit recovery course that allows for more time than not for the student to master the topics presented. I do not recommend online math and math related science course for students for credit recovery or for an accredited course of study since math is a skill subject and sequentially learned. These courses are best taken in a traditional educational setting with teacher and student working together. The fees for credit recovery courses vary and are typically based on the amount of instruction time, length of the course, and fees for technology use and/or textbooks. For more information on credit recovery courses in your community, search for accredited private schools, public schools or educational centers. Be certain to check with your student’s school before registering for any credit recovery course to gain prior approval for the accredited school or center you have selected for your student. Most students’ schools have a form for you to complete and for the counselor’s signature which you will present to your choice provider of credit recovery course work.

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

Our Town Magazine

It is okay to feed our sweet tooth! What would life be without dessert? Just liver and spinach, blah! But, while we occasionally answer our cravings; it is imperative that we satisfy our needs. Our body demands certain levels of nutrients, and if we deny our bodies what our body needs; our bodies will turn on us, in sickness and disease. Enjoy dessert! Life is short and dessert is good! But in order to live your healthiest life, take care of yourself. Let’s plan to gradually meet our exercise goals. We can’t just jump off the couch and into our first full length marathon. Exercise should not be a daunting task, a grueling chore, or something to dread. It needs to be something that we incorporate into our daily activity. It is important that we understand the necessity of regular fitness. So, you don’t like jogging, or you haven’t got the time or the resources to join a gym… Grab a neighbor and go walking each morning or each evening. Use this time to gossip, share antidotes about your kids, complain about your husbands! Whatever it takes. We have to get moving! Resolve to living an intentional life! And intend to live a resolute life – while occasionally Keeping Up With… Your Favorite Reality Characters! Article by Ayana Stinson

Breathing your Way to Good Health “Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Learning is where the miracle process begins” ~ Jim Rohn I chose this quote because learning about our bodies is a great place to start learning about our health. Since February is heart health month, I thought we’d talk about the affect of stress on our bodies and focus on something that you may not know a lot about…. adrenal glands. These 2 walnut sized glands are located at the top of your kidneys and are responsible for manufacturing and releasing important hormones that help the body respond to various stresses. Common triggers include family or work problems, poor air quality, money issues, lack of sleep, illness and food allergies. The adrenal hormones’ job is to regulate our body’s resources for dealing with these stressors and keep our mind and body in check. The adrenals also play a big role in controlling your sex drive, weight, metabolism and even energy levels. However, when overloaded, low functioning adrenal glands can no longer maintain the body’s proper balance needed to handle these stresses. This can cause several health issues such as fatigue, anxiety, numbness, depression, heart disease and even headaches. Specialized testing is now available to determine the health of your adrenal glands to see if this could be causing you problems. Take charge of your own health and “learn” how to protect your amazing mind and body. Removing unnecessary stress from your daily life is a good first step. So the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation; smile and try this simple trick. It works! Breathing your Way to Good Health 1. First, exhale completely. 2. Breath in slowly through your nose, allowing your belly to fill up with air. 3. Exhale forcefully, pushing all the air out of your belly. Repeat 5 times. Dr. Jeanette Altieri, AC Spine & Wellness

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ation! Health and you approach the body in a gentle, noninvasive way. I let them leave on as much clothing as they feel comfortable. I don’t make them lie face down, I let them position in such a way that is comfortable for them (propping with pillows, etc). Any areas of restriction are worked out by holding certain positions with my hands until the areas release or make a shift. A constant dialog between the client and myself is conducted in order to make sure he/she is not feeling fatigued, nauseous, flush, or ill. My post-surgical clients need to disclose their health history as well. We need to know about their Physical Therapy work, the reason for their surgery, their history of scaring, their current medications, and pain level. Most of the time I find that these clients have not been massaging their scars even weeks after the surgery. It is important to teach them how to work the scar and the surrounding tissues. I also find that they are not hydrating nearly enough or doing the proper stretching.

At the Body of Health clinic, we have an intake form that asks for medical history. I have had multiple clients over the years question why we need to know that type of personal information. I always find that so puzzling. While we’re not doctors, we are working with your body. I’ve now come to understand that most people don’t realize that random massage can cause serious injury and that it is in their own best interest to keep their entire health team informed about both their current and past health status.

Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of “medicine” in the world. It has been around for thousands of years and can make a huge difference in your overall health! A good massage therapist works with the whole body, mind, and spirit and brings about a shift in the body. Tissues soften, blood flows freely, oxygen infiltrates, organs release, and full body health is restored. Informing your therapist about your health status is a very serious matter. Remember, with the right information, we can help you to heal quicker, hurt less, and have a better quality of life!

When we perform a therapeutic massage, we are manipulating tissues, altering blood flow, stimulating the immune function, impacting your breathing, releasing trapped toxins, and flexing joints. It is imperative that we know your health history beforehand in order for you to enjoy a safe session. As an example, I once had a client who just wanted a “feel good” massage. She did not put anything on her intake form except “hip pain”. After a few minutes of working on her, I knew things did not feel right with her tissues. They were fragile, the muscles were weak in some areas and guarded and tight in others, and her lymphatic system was sluggish. I then asked more questions before proceeding with the session. Come to find out - she was diabetic, a heart patient, a cancer survivor, and had undergone hip and knee surgery! I could have done some major damage, but instead, after making some alterations, she left feeling wonderful and was so grateful that I had asked about her health. Let me say again that receiving the wrong type of massage from an unqualified therapist can seriously harm you! If you come in for a full body massage and just want to relieve stress, aches, and pains, don’t think that your health history is unimportant. We work with a number of cancer survivors. Chemotherapy weakens muscles and takes months to work its way out of your body. When you get body work, know that we are moving these toxins around and that you can feel very ill after your massage if the proper steps have not been discussed with your therapist. Radiation changes the structure of your tissues and really never leaves the body. Your tissues continue to harden in the area where it was radiated. This does not mean that we, as therapists, cannot work the radiated area, it is really the opposite. By working the area as if it were a scar, the tissues become much more pliable and the client experiences a greater range of motion and less restriction. If this type information had not been shared, the therapist might have just given a basic full body massage and the client could have walked away felling fatigued, ill, stiff, and perhaps worse than before the session!

Julie Mills, CMT, LLCC of Body of Health See our ad on page 4

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For those clients who have active cancer, there are so many other things we need to know such as: port sites, pic lines, node removal, surgery sites, cancer sites, edema, fatigue, breathing difficulty, bone fragility, neuropathy, thrombosis, nausea, fever, pain, and the list goes on. Body work is a necessity to many of my clients. However, to be safe and to have the best outcome for them, I need to know their health history. For clients with these type issues, I



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Our Town Magazine

Men there are Alternatives... Just Not the One Above !!

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CALENDAR - Continued Valentine’s Day Tea February 14, 2013 Bethesda Park 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville A special Valentine’s Day for tea, music, and light refreshments. Bring a picture of you and your valentine to share. Age 50+. Valentines Day Dinner and Dance February 14, 2013 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville Think outside the “chocolate box” this year. Bring your sweetheart to the historic courthouse for dinner, music and dancing in the romantic Superior Court Ballroom.

Continued from pg. 7

Valentine’s Day Ball February 16, 2013 Hilton Atlanta Northeast 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross Live entertainment, dancing, a delicious buffet - a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day. Sunburst Beauty Pageant February 16, 2013 Mall of Georgia, Nordstrom Court 3333 Buford Drive, Buford, This preliminary event leads the way to the State and International Finals to be held in August

Master Harold...and the boys February 14 – March 3, 2013 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville

Nutritional Workshop February 5, 2013 6pm (March 5th is the next one) Dr. Gravante’s Office 2176 Oak Road Suite D, Snellville Call to RSVP: 678-990-9400 See ad on page 2

North Atlanta Home Show February 15 – 17, 2013 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth The North Atlanta Home Show has exhibits and seminars covering a variety of needs and topics.

Swing Nights February 16, 2013 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville Swing Night is led by the Metro Jazz Club, a smoking-hot 17 piece band accompanied by a sultry chanteuse.

2013 Run The Reagan & Family Festival February 16, 2013 Ronald Reagan Pkwy Popular road race (Half-Marathon, 10k, 5k, Fun Run) followed by a family fun festival with inflatables, food, giant slides, games for all ages & music Masterworks II “Shine” February 17, 2013 Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.

“Capturing the moment” with photographer Marilyn Suriani February 28, 2013 About Mind & Body 1569 Janmar Rd. Suit B Snellville Whether you are a beginner or intermediate photographer, you will learn the simple techniques that the pros use to “capture the moment”. Sip-N-Paint February 07, 2013 About Mind & Body 1569 Janmar Rd. Suit B Snellville Locally known artist, Mary Pratt, will guide us through a fun time that will make all of us look like Renoir. All while enjoying your favorite snacks and beverages and plenty of laughs.

Lilburn Relay Rally Kick-Off Meeting February 18, 2013 Lilburn City Park 76 Main Street, Lilburn Come out and show your support for family and friends who have benefitted from the research and medical advances which have There’s never a dull moment in been made through efforts of the American Gwinnett. Cancer Society. All proceeds from this event For more events go to our new website will be used to try to end cancer in our life- at and get uptime. dates thru our fan page and Twitter.

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Counselor’s Corner What Are Your Emotions Trying to Tell You? Talk about emotions or expressing them can stop a conversation in its tracks. Many people don’t know what to do with their own or someone else’s emotions. Having a feeling surface and not knowing what to do with it is a very common reaction. What it’s really about is control, or loss there of.  Emotions are like that as they rise from our depths and can be overwhelming.  But the good news is, the more you listen to, learn from, and ride with your emotions, they will move, change, and shift. I think of emotions as a GPS system installed at birth.  We’ve all got ‘em, so instead of pushing them back or ignoring them, find out how they can guide you.   Emotions are a language and information. In her outstanding book The Language of Emotions, author Karla McLaren states “emotions are celebrated, and repressed, analyzed and medicated, adored and ignored – but rarely, if ever are they honored.” Karla studied and gives voice to each emotion, offering key questions to ask yourself when they arise. This is a golden guide I refer to over again. Emotions are represented as the water element in many ancient traditions. In its extremes water can be a full on tsunami, destructive in its force OR dammed up to become stagnant, scummy and stinky.  The middle ground is a free flowing stream or river. Consider the nature of water, it moves.  As the old Chinese proverb states, you cannot step into the same stream twice, the water is always moving and changing form.  If you are feeling something, feel it and allow it to move.  And it will, it’s the law of nature. This is the honoring process. When we dam up the water element, pushing away or ignoring how we are really feeling, we create inner turmoil.  Our inner world becomes stagnant like a pond without a fresh spring to feed it.  We gather scum and debris, which is not good for our mental or physical health.  The life force and physical energy can begin to fade if there is not fresh oxygen, created by movement. Depression can settle in here. Recently, I found myself getting frustrated over a business issue.   This caused me to begin writing about my own past business experiences and a passionate blog post emerged.  Additionally, as I allowed this feeling to surface and stayed open to being with it, I gathered even more information about why this issue caused such a reaction within me.  If I had ignored my feelings, I can guarantee this situation and feeling would show up at a future date.  But now I know and there’s inner personal power in that. Want more wisdom? Listen to what your emotions are sharing with you.  They may not always be the truth, as you’ll have to check out your perceptions first. However, your emotions are true for you.  Honor them, listen, and allow them to move and you’ll keep yourself in the flow of your life. Susan Cadley, LPC, CSC, Licensed Professional Counselor & Certified Soul Coach 678-296-1278;

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Do you walk your dog or does your dog walk you? Now many of you would say “my dog definitely walks me!” But is that a good thing? In a word, NO! Why you ask? Many reasons…You’d like to keep your shoulder in its socket, you don’t like your hands being sore, and you definitely don’t want road rash! But seriously many times when a dog is walking out in front of you pulling, excited and especially if it has tendencies to be anxious, nervous or fearful, this can be a recipe for disaster.

y pp a H s Day ’ e n i t n e l a V

When a dog is in the lead it can think it is the leader! What does a leader of a pack do? They are on guard, watching for danger at every turn and in their mind they must protect the pack. Most dogs are happiest as a follower with you being the leader. This allows them to relax, enjoy the walk and just be a dog. No worries, no barking madly at strangers or strange dogs. No pulling, charging or drooling, just walking along getting their heart rate up, releasing the feel good chemicals into their bodies which by the way causes relaxation. Ahhhhhhh, can you feel it? There are many reasons why a dog pulls its owner while on leash but mainly it is because they have never been taught not to. Dogs are not born knowing how to walk on a leash they must be taught, preferably from a young age. Don’t worry if you’ve rescued an adult dog because it is never too late, it may take longer but patience, practice and consistency are your friend. Now for the big question, standard issue leash or retractable? If you ask me? Standard issue. Preferably 4 feet long, medium width. It gives you the most control and it is not too much to hold in one hand. So you can use the other hand for say, talking on the phone, holding your honey’s hand or for walking your other dog! Sweeet! Bear with me while I rant about retractable leashes…These things are dangerous! I’ve seen people with burns on their legs, arms and hands from those things. I’ve seen people walking their dogs that couldn’t put the brakes on those things fast enough to keep their dog from charging & biting other people’s dogs. And they give all the control to the dog! The dog is going where ever it wants, zigging and zagging, in front, to the side and in back of you, making all the decisions and guess who he thinks is the leader? You guessed it, him! Your dog can be taught to walk quietly beside you on a loose leash.

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So if you have problems walking your dog, check your leash, check your leadership and teach him to walk calmly beside you. If your dog is out of control call a trained professional to help you. Don’t be embarrassed as this is a common behavior and you can be coached on how to better communicate with your dog so that he responds to you. You’ll be happier and your dog will be happier too. But hey if you are trying to build your upper body strength keep on keepin on!

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I have been to Guatemala several times before. One of the first places I traveled, even before Europe, was Guatemala. I was fascinated with the early Spanish history and the colorful fabrics worn by the Mayan descendants. I loved the archaeology of the ancient peoples and spent hours climbing the many temples in Tikal. It has been many years since those visits, so when recently invited by a friend for a quick “re-visit”, I jumped at the chance. As my plane landed in Guatemala City I remembered how green the country of Guatemala is. My friend lives in Antigua, Guatemala, and so I did not stop long in the capitol city. Years ago, to get to Antigua, the drive took you out of the capitol into the countryside and then an hour’s drive to Antigua. In today’s Guatemala, the capitol is so huge; you almost go from one city to the next without much countryside between the two. Tour companies these days don’t even bother with Guatemala City, even though some of the most interesting museums in the country are located there. Tucked between several active volcanoes’, Antigua with its cobbled streets and historic homes is a step into the past. The volcanoes erupt from time to time and cause earthquakes too. Some of the most historic spots in this city are now ruins of what once was. Cathedrals and palaces from when the Spanish invaded this country are now historic reminders of times of wealth and power in Central America. Antigua of today is filled with small charming boutique hotels carved out of the older houses that were left abandoned in earlier times. Surprisingly, little else seems to have changed in Guatemala. The Mayan descendants are for the most part farming as they used to, and the marketplaces are still as colorful as I remembered them. The people are as hospitable as they once were. Beautiful Lake Atitlan, a highlight on any trip to Guatemala, has unfortunately suffered. It has become one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country. The locals still fish here in their dugout canoes and the Mayan women still wash their clothes along the shore by beating them on rocks, but modern Guatemalans do not swim or fish in the lake. The views from the shores with the lake, the volcanoes and beautiful sunsets cannot be forgotten. Like Antigua, many of the old homesteads that lined the lake are now small boutique hotels for rest and relaxing while enjoying the spectacular surroundings. The famed market at Chichicastenango, which also is a common tourist attraction, is still there. It is however, bigger than ever. A myriad of craft stalls spreads up and down several streets. Mayan shamans still practice their craft saying prayers for the devout and assisting locals in the ancient Mayan traditions and on the steps and inside of the two churches that frame the market itself. It is truly amazing to see people in traditional dress light the pagan candles, and then strew flower petals on the floor in front of their makeshift memorials and between the pews of these very Catholic churches. Tikal too, those wonderful ruins that I climbed years ago, is now filled with wooden walkways and steps to make the climb easier for everyone. No more climbing Temple 1 or 2.... that is prohibited now. You can walk everywhere and climb the less important temples… but the special places are now “out of bounds”.

Children The Importance of Activity for Children With the New Year, as adults we often set goals for ourselves, including changes in diet and physical activity. As we work on making changes for ourselves, it is a good time to remember our children are learning from our behaviors and need positive examples. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement supporting recess in schools. They have found when recess is safely supervised, children receive emotional, social, physical, and brain boosting benefits. Recess is best used as a free, unstructured time where children choose how to spend their time, be it alone or socializing, active or sitting. This helps them learn how to balance these activities, and work on social interaction skills. A previous study released by the AAP in 2009 suggests a 15 minute break in the school day lead to better classroom behavior in 8 – 9 year olds. We cannot control which schools choose to shorten recess time. However, it may be in your child’s best interest to work out discipline plans and work completion plans where recess is not removed. Have an open dialogue with your child’s teacher, so you can help create the best plan for your child. Outside of school, we can encourage activity for our children. A study published on July of 2012 shows adolescents with regular physical activity had a higher perceived quality of life than those who were not active. The study showed further that those who were inactive who had more than 3 hours a day in “screen time” had much lower perceived Quality of Life. We should encourage activity from the time children are young, so by the time they reach adolescence and adulthood, it is a habit to choose to be active rather than grab the remote control. Remember, your children see you as their biggest role models. What you do is what they will want to do. How about this weekend trying to find a new activity you can all enjoy together? Sources: AAP Considers Recess a Necessary Break from the Demands of School. (2013). American Academy of Pediatrics. Daily School Recess Leads to Better Classroom Behavior. (2009). American Academy of Pediatrics. Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors and Health-Related Quality of Life in adolescents. (2012). American Academy of Pediatrics. By: Susan Smiley, M.D. Pediatrician, Gwinnett Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

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Guatemala is truly a wonderful country that is stuck in history. Where else in the world can you see the things that exist here? Slowly we are modernizing the world around us with TV, the Internet and so many things. But in Guatemala, there is still the mystique of history to see. There is so much more to see and explore in this wonderful and very colorful country. Thanks to my friends for the invitation, and thanks too for whetting my appetite for the next time Pam Walker is a Virtuoso travel consultant and can be reached at Walker Adventures You can follow her travels by visiting Pam’s blog at

Page 18

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The Village Vets welcomes Dr. Louise DeLong to our team!

Dr. Prather will be moving to our Decatur practice.

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OurTown Gwinnett February 2013  

February 2013 issue of Our Town Magazine Gwinnett Edition