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JANUARY 2018 | VOL. 9, ISSUE 1

Birding in N.C.



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features JANUARY 2018

Living Intentionally Issue


5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Busy— and Healthy! by Rachel Stewart


Body Wisdom

by Jennifer Webster


Resolve to Take Time to Relax & Meditate by Nan Leaptrott


Carolina Conversations with Leadership Coach Kathy Stoddard Torrey by Carrie Frye


SMART Goals: Turning Giant Journeys into Simple Steps by Jennifer Webster


Eating with Intention by Michelle Goetzl

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Birding in N.C. Weymouth Woods by Carrie Frye

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departments January 2018

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” —OPRAH WINFREY



advice & health



Ask the Expert by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA



Brain Health by Heather Tippens, LPC


Genealogy by Ashley Eder


Heath & Wellness by Ann Marie Richards, MD


Cooking Simple by Leslie Philip


Role Reversal by David Hibbard


The Reader’s Nook by Michelle Goetzl


Resource Marketplace Find the resources you need.



Planning Ahead by Tim Hicks, RICP, APMA

Grey Matter Games Sudoku, Word Search & Crossword Puzzles

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Regional Culture by Ray Linville

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Generations by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl


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from the editor



anuary’s winter chill is upon us, and perhaps this month is the best opportunity for snow. Oh, how I love a snow day, sitting by the fireplace with coffee in hand. This month’s issue is all about “Intentional Living,” making positive and meaningful choices, especially as we make resolutions. With intentional living ideas for your mind, body and spirit, we look at some ways to keep your brain active and healthy, how Pilates and yoga can help with core body strength and flexibility as we age and the importance of relaxation for your overall health and well-being. Instead of making the same old new year’s resolutions, we offer the concept of SMART goals as a way to make your goal setting much more methodical and measurable, and success more attainable. Since eating healthier may be on your list for 2018 life changes, we have some tips from nutritional experts on ways to eat with intention. The new year also kicks off a new series for 2018 with the N.C. Birding Trail, so we will visit 12 different locales to highlight the sights, sounds, beauty and tranquility these habitats provide for a plethora of bird species. Birdwatching is on the rise, and our great state is a destination for both the birds and the watchers. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve marks the first site, and special thanks to photographer Brady Beck for sharing his talent and some of the truly spectacular birds and snow photographs at Weymouth Woods, including the pine warbler who graces our cover. Co-editor Jeeves is a big fan of the new birding series, and is already contemplating how to outsmart them. One special interview for this editor is our Carolina Conversations with leadership coach Kathy Stoddard Torrey, who heads the Dedman Leadership Series at Sandhills Community College. She talks about making intentional choices and behavior changes that can be maintained, and her personal goal to leave a legacy. One concept she discusses that truly resonated with me is finishing strong in all aspects of life. Kathy, many thanks for your time and inspiring words that are already helping me live more intentionally. Thank you so much for turning these pages again with us! With a full and grateful heart, it has been my honor and privilege to bring you stories and information over the years. Wishing you a very successful 2018! —Carrie Frye | JANUARY 2018

Editor in Chief Carrie Frye | Contributing Graphic Designers Stephanie Budd, Nikki Lienhard Contributing Proofreaders Ashley Eder, Michelle Goetzl, Kate Pomplun, Jennifer Webster Contributing Photographers Brady Beck, Diana Matthews, Mollie Tobias Contributing Writers Ashley Eder, Michelle Goetzl, David Hibbard, Tim Hicks, Nan Leaptrott, Ray Linville, Leslie Philip, Ann Marie Richards Rachel Stewart, Heather Tippins, Jennifer Webster

Y Publisher Amy Natt | Marketing & Public Relations Director Susan McKenzie | Advertising Sales Executive Ashley Haddock | 910-690-9102 Advertising Sales Executive Butch Peiker | 904-477-8440 OutreachNC PO Box 2478 | 676 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28388 910-692-9609 Office | 910-695-0766 Fax

OutreachNC is a publication of The entire contents of OutreachNC are copyrighted by Aging Outreach Services. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial, photographic or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. OutreachNC is published monthly on the first of each month.

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8 Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of a Scam by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA


My mom got a call last week from a man claiming to be with the IRS. He told her that she owed money on her 2012 taxes, and if she did not pay immediately, she could go to jail. He insisted she provide a credit card to make payment immediately. Luckily, my mom told him that she was going to talk to her accountant first, but the experience has her afraid to answer the phone. What can we do to stop these types of calls?

Older adults are increasingly becoming the target of financial scams. Women, 60 and older living alone, are often a prime target. The FBI ( outlines several reasons that this demographic has become a common target: • Older adults are most likely to have a “nest egg,” to own their home or to have excellent credit—all of which make them attractive to con artists. • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone. • Older Americans are less likely to report a fraud, because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed or don’t know they have been scammed. Older victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.

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• When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on older adults not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks—or more likely, months—after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events. • Older adults are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given every American hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim. There are a few things you can do to try to prevent someone from becoming a victim of a scam. The National Council on Aging, ( provides these suggestions:

You have to be a smarter and wiser consumer. You have to learn to protect yourself through education. — FRANK ABAGNALE

1. Be aware that you are at risk from strangers—and from those closest to you. More than 90 percent of all reported elder abuse is committed by the older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others. 2. Always tell solicitors: “I never buy from (or give to) anyone who calls or visits me unannounced. Send me something in writing.” 3. Use caller ID. Do not answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. 4. Shred all receipts with your credit card number. 5. Sign up for the “Do Not Call” list. Also, take yourself off multiple mailing lists. Visit to stop telemarketers from contacting you. You may have to do this annually. 6. Use direct deposit for benefit checks to prevent checks from being stolen from the mailbox. 7. Never give your credit card, banking, Social Security, Medicare, or other personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call. 8. Be skeptical of all unsolicited offers and thoroughly do your research. Do not order medical equipment, supplies for medication from a post card or phone call. Check out any company prior to using them. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it is most likely a scam.

Education and awareness are key. The IRS scam has become increasingly common. The truth is, the IRS will never call to demand payment using a specific payment message. When you get this call, you should not provide any information, and report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484. You can also contact the N.C. Attorney General at 919-716-6400. Scams are much more sophisticated now. You can do a quick Internet search for “senior scams,” and you may be shocked to see how many exist. If you have an older parent or loved one you are concerned about, do the research and share the information with them. Many older adults are embarrassed that they “fell for it” and will not say or do anything. Help empower and safeguard them, so they can have a sense of peace and safety in their home. Readers may send questions to Natt, an Aging Life Care ProfessionalTM, certified senior advisor and CEO of Aging Outreach Services. She can be reached at .


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Coping With Loss Through Intentional Grieving


by Heather Tippens, LPC

oss is an inevitable part of life, and we are faced with grief and loss throughout our lives due to expected and unexpected events. There are many reasons for grief, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of our health, loss of financial freedoms or employment and changes in lifestyle or identity. The depth of grief depends on the significance of the loss and whether the loss was a long time ago or more recent. When it comes to grief, our natural instinct can be to avoid the emotional pain. Some people tend to avoid the loss by becoming all consumed in their work or other activities, while others escape through the use of drugs or alcohol. Avoidance in any form stops our ability to grieve and prolongs the emotional pain of grief. In order to heal from a loss, we need to give ourselves the permission to grieve. Intentional grief is an important process for healing our emotional and physical health and for our personal growth after a loss. Grieving is hard work, and it takes time. There is no time frame to grief, and we cannot rush through it. Some situations we are able to work through more quickly, while others take a longer time. Consider these five tips for intentional grieving: 1. Be patient with yourself. Mourning is a hard and long process. Grief work and time is what helps us heal. We need to allow that to happen. 2. Give yourself permission to feel all of your emotions (sadness, despair, anger, denial, guilt, anxiety and depression). Mourning is allowing yourself to think about your loss and to process the emotions of grief. We need to experience the pain in order to heal. 3. Don’t neglect your own health and well-being. Grief is physically and emotionally exhausting. It is vital that we make efforts to maintain our physical and emotional needs. Continue to

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practice self-care, eat healthy foods, exercise and get enough sleep. 4. Reach out to supportive people in your life and ask for help. People can often feel helpless and be unsure how to be supportive to others who are grieving. Tell them what you need and accept the help. Seek professional help through therapy or find a local grief support group. Talking is an important step to healing. 5. Adjust to living life after your loss. Allow yourself to feel positive emotions and rediscover your sense of humor. Have some fun. We tend to feel that we shouldn’t be happy or laugh after the death of a loved one. Allowing yourself to feel joy can bring you back to life. Our lives change after a major loss; however, we can again find meaning and purpose. Growth comes through healing. We can move forward from the loss, bringing the memories of our loved ones with us. These books are my recommendations for helping cope with grief: • “Living Through Personal Crisis” by Dr. Ann Kaiser Stearns; • “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold S. Kushner; and • “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by John W. James and Russell Friedman. To find information on grief and support groups, visit Compassionate Friends, Tippens, a licensed professional counselor at Pinehurst Neuropsychology, can be reached at 910-420-8041 or by visiting .

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H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

Put Important Health Screenings on Your 2018 Calendar


by Ann Marie Richards, MD

s you are making your New Year’s resolution list, make your health No. 1 on the list. The new year is a great time to focus on your health. Talking to your primary care physician about necessary screenings is a great way to kick off 2018 and can help keep you healthy for years to come. Important screenings include:


WHO: All adults aged 18 years and older HOW OFTEN: At least once every 2 years and annually for adults aged 40 years or older and those at increased risk for high blood pressure METHOD: Blood pressure cuff WHY: Risk factors for high blood pressure include being overweight or obese, having high-normal blood pressure (130-139/85-89), and being African American. Numerous studies have found that treating high blood pressure reduces the risk of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure and death.


WHO: Women starting at age 45 and men beginning at age 35 HOW OFTEN: At least once every 5 years METHOD: A blood test WHY: High cholesterol can cause buildup of plaque in your blood vessels, which is called atherosclerosis. High cholesterol often does not have any symptoms until one of these areas of plaque ruptures and causes a heart attack or stroke. If your cholesterol is high, it can be treated with changes in your diet and lifestyle, and medication if needed to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. 14 | JANUARY 2018


WHO: Adults age 40 to 70 who are overweight or obese or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol HOW OFTEN: Every 1-3 years METHOD: A blood test WHY: Type 2 diabetes is a disease the causes high blood sugar levels and typically develops slowly and progresses over time. Having diabetes increases your risk for many other medical problems, including heart attacks, strokes, vision loss, infections and nerve pain. If diabetes is detected early, diet and lifestyle changes along with medication can help reduce the risk of developing these problems.


WHO: Everyone starting at age 50 and earlier if you have a family history HOW OFTEN: It depends on the test you choose METHOD: Several options WHY: The most important risk factor for colon cancer is age. As we get older, our chance of developing colon cancer increases. Most cases of colon cancer occur in adults older than 50 years and the median age at diagnosis is 68. There are numerous options to choose from to screen for colon cancer. The most commonly used method is a colonoscopy every 10 years.


WHO: Women age 40 and older HOW OFTEN: Every 2 years METHOD: Mammogram WHY: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women ages 50 to 74 who are at an average risk of breast cancer get a screening mammogram every 2 years. Women ages 40 to 49 should weigh the risks and benefits of screening to decide whether or not to begin getting screening mammograms. Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early on before it gets large or causes symptoms. When caught early, breast cancer is easier to treat. If you are at high risk for developing breast cancer, talk to your doctor about if a breast MRI is right for you in addition to getting regular mammograms.


WHO: Women up to age 65 who have a cervix HOW OFTEN: Every 3 to 5 years METHOD: Pap smear WHY: In 2017, there were nearly 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer and 4,210 deaths in the United States. Deaths from cervical cancer have decreased significantly since implementation of widespread cervical cancer screening through the use of pap smears. It is recommended women have a pap smear every three years until the age of 65 or every five years, if done in conjunction with HPV testing.


WHO: Everyone born between 1945 and 1965 HOW OFTEN: Once METHOD: A blood test WHY: Hepatitis C is a liver disease, which is the result of infection with the Hepatitis C virus. Baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults. If left untreated, Hepatitis C can result in liver damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Since Hepatitis C causes few symptoms, most people do not know if they are infected or not.


WHO: Men ages 65 to 75 years who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes (five packs) in their life HOW OFTEN: One time METHOD: Ultrasound WHY: The aorta is the major blood vessel in your body and has the thickness of a garden hose. Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the walls of the aorta in the abdomen become weak and begin to bulge out. An aneurysm usually does not cause any symptoms until it ruptures, which can cause life-threatening bleeding. It has been found that men who have ever smoked in their life are at higher risk for having an abdominal aortic aneurysm and therefore should be screened once in their life for it.


WHO: Women age 65 years and older and younger women who have an increased risk of fractures HOW OFTEN: At least once and no more frequently than every 2 years METHOD: DEXA (a CT scan of the bones) WHY: One half of all post-menopausal women will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at least once in their life. These fractures, especially hip fractures, are associated with chronic pain, debility, loss of independence and decreased quality of life. Screening for osteoporosis can identify if you are at an increased risk for one of these fractures and determine if you may benefit from osteoporosis treatment. Your health is important, so don’t let the new year get ahead of you. Keep up your resolution to stay on top of your health this year!

Dr. Richards is the primary care provider at FirstHealth Family Medicine-Pinehurst, and can be reached at 910-215-5210.

JANUARY 2018 | 15



The Taste of a New Year by Ray Linville


ew Year’s Day is a time of reflection for some—making resolutions, evaluating life’s choices, celebrating friendships, focusing on decisions to make. Not for me. It’s a time to eat food to bring good luck. What is it about collards and black-eyed peas with cornbread that makes us want to celebrate the New Year and feel confident that it will be the best year ever? Celebrating the start of a new year with food is a time-honored tradition that I inherited from my family, and I enjoy watching as others share the same ritual. The only resolution that I make on January 1 is to soak up all the leftover collard juice (called potlikker by those in the know) on my plate with the remaining chunks of gritty cornbread. How can anyone start a new year by leaving any moisture on a plate that has held fortuneguaranteeing food?

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The end of one year and the start of another one create a special time to spend with friends. Some of my friends ring in a new year with a noisy celebration. The partying begins well in advance of midnight and lasts until the wee hours of the morning. Not for me. I go to bed early so I won’t be tired at lunch, which is the right time to celebrate. Bring on the collards, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. If I’m lucky, they are on my plate again for supper. When the Air Force sent me to Spain in the 1970s, I was intrigued by the Spanish custom of eating “lucky grapes” at midnight—12, in fact, eaten one by one in time with the striking of the clock at midnight. I think grapes at this hour are wonderful, particularly when transformed into cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. I couldn’t help but think how much better the celebration would be with collards, black-eyed peas and cornbread (although sipping cava with them might be an innovation to consider). The best way to enjoy New Year’s Day food is with family. However, if the younger generation is still recovering from the night before, head out to a place like Blake’s Restaurant in Candor that’s always open on January 1.

Even better is to celebrate in a large venue such as the Crown Coliseum Expo Center in Fayetteville where the New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Pea Dinner is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a meal of Southern fixin’s compliments of elected officials. (With free food, you didn’t expect to avoid politicians, did you?) This community tradition celebrates its 34th year in 2018, and the dinner has the atmosphere of a large family reunion. The waiting line forms early, and the scene is enjoyable to watch because people of all ages, faiths, races, and backgrounds mingle comfortably as they gather. On the way to the serving area, up to 2,000 file by a receiving line of political leaders who greet the guests. Regardless of how you start the New Year, celebrate with some southern food and save a little cornbread to sop up the most delicious broth of the year. Linville writes about local connections to Southern food, history and culture. He can be reached at .

JANUARY 2018 | 17



Start With What You Know by Ashley Eder


hroughout the journey of uncovering my own ancestry, I realized how fortunate I am to have inherited the role as family historian, or as my family calls it “The Keeper of the Book.” With this inheritance—which was prompted by my interest and enthusiasm regarding our family history—I have been tasked with continuing the tradition of recording new births and deaths in our family’s birthday book. Along with the book that began in 1930 by my greatgreat grandmother, I received newspaper clippings, handwritten letters and old family photographs, all stuffed into a vintage gym bag. I then realized how overwhelming the sudden influx of information was, which led to the development of my personal mantra, “Start with what you know.” Perhaps you have always been interested in beginning your own ancestry journey or have set a new goal for 2018 to research your ancestry but are overwhelmed at the thought of where exactly to begin. The simplest solution is to start with what you know and begin documenting your own history and important dates and places relevant to your immediate family. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey:

Get Organized

The best way to organize the information you may already have is to begin creating a family tree, starting with yourself and your immediate family members, using a family tree template. Include full names, birthdates, birthplaces, marriages and deaths. If you

“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.” —CYRIL CUSACK

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have information regarding prior generations, enter the information, even if it’s incomplete. You can always come back and fill in the blanks. Free family tree templates are available on websites, such as, or Some family tree websites allow you to store documents and photographs, so it is also a good idea to start digitizing those records by scanning them using a quality scanner. However, if you don’t have access to a scanner, you can download an app such as the app to automatically save and store photos directly to your family tree using your smartphone. Remember to record the dates and names of those in the photos!

Start Researching

Now that you are organized, it is time to decide which branch of your family tree you would like to begin researching. Maybe you would like to prove that your great-grandfather was in the Civil War or pinpoint the exact year your ancestors arrived in America. I highly recommend narrowing your focus to one branch at a time, so you can concentrate on reaching that particular goal. Once you hit a dead end, which invariably happens, take a break and begin researching another ancestor or branch in order to avoid becoming discouraged. Document the original sources, so you can save the information to your tree with evidence. Here are some excellent resources for researching your North Carolina roots:

• The State Library of North Carolina has an entire page of their website devoted to helping you research your ancestors and provides access to vital records, such as birth and death certificates, and newspapers on microfilm. • The North Carolina State Archives houses an extensive collection of documents and an impressive digital collection that can be explored from home. Some popular collections include Confederate Pension Applications, NC Supreme Court records, and nearly 1,500 family bible records. • Check out popular ancestry websites, such as,, or to search their document databases and compare notes with relatives researching the same ancestors. • Interview family members about their memories and experiences. Oftentimes, our relatives may have pieces of information to help us complete the puzzle, and they can provide oral histories passed down through the generations that have never been documented.


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Record Your Findings

As you are compiling information from your research, be sure to document your findings. You can record oral histories and memories into audio files to be transcribed at a later date, or better yet, ask family members to write down their stories for you. It may also be helpful to set up a separate email address for your ancestry research, so you can email yourself sources as you find them and keep track of genealogy specific correspondence. Create a system for tracking and filing paper documents in a small filing cabinet or accordion folder. The most important part is finding a system that works for you. Also, it is vital to begin thinking about designating a new family historian when the time comes. Start the conversation early, and make sure to choose someone as enthusiastic in researching your family history and passing the torch. If you don’t have a family member interested in taking on that role for future generations, you can donate a copy of your family tree or family bible to the N.C. State Archives for safe keeping in their private collections. Best of luck on your genealogy journey and seeing what new leaves are turned along the way.

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Spinach, Chickpea & Garlic Soup by Leslie Philip Photography by Mollie Tobias


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• 2 tablespoons olive oil • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped • 2 teaspoons ground cumin • 2 teaspoons ground coriander • 1⅓ quarts vegetable stock • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained • 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute low-fat milk) • 2 tablespoons tahini • 2 tablespoons corn meal or flour


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• ½ pound spinach, rinsed and chopped (can use frozen, ⅓ pound) • ground cayenne pepper to taste • salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, stir in garlic and onion. Cook until tender, add cumin and coriander. Mix vegetable stock and potatoes into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the garbanzo beans and continue to cook until potatoes are tender. In a small bowl, blend the heavy cream, tahini, and corn meal or flour. Mix into the soup. Stir spinach into the soup. Season with cayenne pepper and salt. Continue to cook until spinach is heated through.

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Expanding the Mother-Son Relationship by David Hibbard


efore I set out to write this column, I thought it would be helpful—and perhaps a bit amusing— to see what popped up by Googling the search term “Adult Children Living with Parents.” And sure enough, I got a few laughs from returns with titles such as “Adult Children Living at Home--How to Manage Without Going Crazy” and “Why Millenials Living With Parents Is Robbery.” There were just as many returns with titles that shed light on the positive aspect of grown-up kids living with their even-more-grown-up parents. The internet is full of stories such as “More Adult Children Opting to Live With Parents” and “Living With Adult Children Protects Parents from Depression.” Census data shows the phenomenon is trending upwards in modern-day America. In 2016, more young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with their parents—nearly 23 million—than in any other living arrangement. That figure represented a 5 percent increase, by total population, compared with 1975. While I don’t fit into that millenial age range— did I really just turn 50? I am one of the millions of adult children across the country who lives with one or both parents. In my case, it’s my mother, who remains busy, active and independent in her mid70s. It’s my guess that we’re like most other parents and children who wind up living together again. It wasn’t necessarily part of the plan to once again share space under the same roof, but circumstances simply made it a reality. For me, it was a job opportunity in this area nearly 10 years ago that set the wheels in motion. Single and living elsewhere in the state, it was relatively easy for me to relocate to the Sandhills, and part of the motivation was to be closer to mom and other family members. Job offer in hand, I headed this way in May 2008, and mom graciously offered to let

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me stay with her temporarily while I worked to sell the home I owned. I figured I’d be with her 6 or 8 months and then have my own place again; I even looked at several potential homes during that time. If you remember 2008, you likely recall gas prices that briefly reached $4 per gallon and the implosion of the housing market across the country. And I got caught up in that; despite the best efforts of a great real estate agent, let’s just say the phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook with prospective buyers! Gradually, it became apparent that selling my house was going to become a long-term proposition, and it would eventually take 4 years to find a buyer. So through the rest of 2008 and into 2009, the arrangement that mom and I thought would be temporary started to become—and feel—more permanent. We gradually settled into a routine, a basic understanding of what worked for us—and 10 years later, it still does. Sure, there have been a few challenges, but those are vastly outweighed by the benefits. While moving back in with mom at age 40 wasn’t how I envisioned my life’s path, I’m certainly glad it went in that direction. In some upcoming editions, I’ll share how we’ve dealt with certain situations and reached mutual understanding. What’s worked for us might not work for you; there’s no one-size-fits-all playbook for doing this. In the end, I believe having mutual respect for each other—and, as the child, realizing that certain rules will always apply, even when you’re an adult—are important for a healthy relationship.

Share your role reversal stories with contributing writer David Hibbard. Email him at .

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“Direct Fire” Book Review by Michelle Goetzl


ormer brigadier general turned best-selling author A.J. Tata opens his newest book in the bloodthirsty mind of Jackknife as a powerful banker is gunned down in cold blood. Jackknife is a killer with a message to send to a group of Special Forces members, just the kind of opponent to go up against Tata’s protagonist, Jake Mahegan. “Direct Fire” is Tata’s fourth action-packed thriller, focusing on Jake Mahegan, but the other books do not have to be read to fully enjoy the adventure. Mahegan is a former army paratrooper and ex-Delta Force operative. He has a sharp tactical mind and strong determination. Only someone like Tata, with a military history of his own, could pull off the strong details that fill this book and give it a feeling of authenticity. Mahegan has been called out to his former commander’s home in Southern Pines, but the whole thing is a trap. There have been a variety of traps sent that night, but Mahegan manages to outwit his opponent and save his friends. At the same time, Mahegan has been framed for the murder that Jackknife committed on the other side of North Carolina. While Mahegan fights for his freedom, he discovers that there is also a ring of terrorists wreaking havoc in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Everything somehow ties back to Operation Groomsman, a military operation in Iraq that Mahegan was involved with years earlier that went horribly wrong when a wedding party was killed. Tata weaves in current, real world situations, taking into account cyber crime and cyber terrorism. Scenes like all cars with GPS systems that connect to a main account being hijacked to stop working seem eerily possible. Cyberterrorists siphoning money from people’s bank accounts is another frightening possibility. Atrocities that might be commonplace in the Middle East have made their way to the United States in this fast paced novel. A true page turner with multiple stories melding together to create a realistic background make this a great book for those who enjoy military thrillers. The bad guys may want to attack America, but with heroes like Jake Mahegan, they don’t stand a chance.

Goetzl writes an online blog—“Books My Kids Read.” She loves books and sharing that love of reading with children. She can be reached at .

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he old adage “use it or lose it” is often linked to physical endurance and strength, but this concept also applies to cognitive brain function. So, how can you keep your gray and white matter in tip-top shape?

Ways to Keep Your Brain Busy —And Healthy! | JANUARY 2018

by Rachel Stewart


Take a multifaceted approach.

Playing games to keep the mind engaged should just be the first step, according to Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP, boardcertified neuropsychologist, owner of Pinehurst Neuropsychology Brain and Memory Clinic and creator of the “I CARE FOR YOUR BRAIN with Dr. Sullivan” program. “The most important thing that people need to know about protecting their brain is that you have to come at it from all angles, which includes mental stimulation but also our social health, spiritual beliefs and vital engagement with life,” Dr. Sullivan explains. “The brain is extremely complex, and therefore, one simplified approach like a supplement or doing brain teasers is not going to have a significant effect.” Dr. Sullivan recommends people boost their brain health with a three-pronged approach by trying new activities, focusing on activities that involve repetition, and increasing the complexity of activities.


Stay active— and keep your mind fit, too.

What’s good for your body is also good for your mind, so be sure to keep that workout on your calendar, whether it’s lifting weights at the gym, working out at home with a fitness video, or even chair exercises if mobility issues exist. “There are both direct and indirect benefits to exercise,” Dr. Sullivan says. “Directly, we know that physical activity increases nerve growth hormone within the body and can help to increase the number of dendrites in our brain cells, which are the small structures that help connect one brain cell to another. Indirectly, an increase in physical activity improves the quality of our sleep and mood, which are two powerful influencers of brain health.” Need to be more active? Consider signing up for an aerobics class—which relies on repetitive movements. Yoga or Pilates are also good options, because they improve blood flow throughout the body and help center the mind. CONTINUED PAGE 28 JANUARY 2018 | 27



Get to the heart of the problem.

Underlying medical conditions could be having negative effects on your brain health, and you might not even know it. This is especially true if the issues are linked to your cardiovascular health. “Medical conditions like high blood pressure, untreated sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes have a very negative impact on brain health due to a decrease in the blood that flows to the brain,” Dr. Sullivan says. “A good rule of thumb is what is good for the heart is good for the brain.” Talking to your primary care physician could be the first step towards better brain health, but if you have major concerns for yourself or a loved one, Dr. Sullivan recommends making an appointment with a neuropsychologist. “Neuropsychologists provide the gold standard evaluation for concerns about the brain with our comprehensive interviews, review of medical records and paper and pencil testing,” she says. “Our job is to identify the multiple contributions that lead to less than ideal brain health and develop a personalized care plan for each person.” If you’re dealing with chronic health issues, it can be easy to feel challenged—but rise to it and set some goals to improve your health. Find support groups or others who may be dealing with the same conditions and make it a competition to shape up.

The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, combining foods shown to have brain health benefits, like spinach and tomatoes.

28 | JANUARY 2018


Mind your diet.

The foods you eat nourish your body as well as your brain. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats, like olive oil, to enhance your cognitive function. “Changes to diet are very important for brain health,” says Dr. Sullivan. “There is one diet called the MIND diet, which has the strongest evidence base for delaying and preventing dementia. Essentially, it is a modification of the Mediterranean diet, and the goal is to reduce whole body, including the brain, inflammation.” MIND is an acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Examples of foods in the diet that fight inflammation include fatty fish, tomatoes, spinach, collard greens, strawberries and cherries. On the other hand, there are foods you should consider limiting to reduce inflammation. These include red meat, refined carbohydrates and soft drinks. Need some inspiration in the kitchen? Why not sign up for a local cooking class, or invite friends over for a dinner party where everyone tries out a new recipe? Food is also about fellowship—and socializing has been shown to help older adults maintain healthy brain function.


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Know the warning signs of serious cognitive issues.

Being empowered is part of your journey as you age—and understanding what’s not normal when it comes to your brain health could help slow the negative impact of neurological conditions. “The main difference between normal brain aging and diagnosis of dementia is the person’s ability to manage what we call instrumental activities of daily living in everyday life, which include driving a car safely, remembering his or her medications, and an intact ability to manage finances,” Dr. Sullivan notes. “Significant memory loss is not a part of normal aging, contrary to popular belief.” If you or a loved one are having problems completing routine activities, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist.

30 | JANUARY 2018

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Wisdom by Jennifer Webster Photography by Diana Matthews

Whether it’s climbing a mountain or stretching like a contented cat, your body knows what it needs...

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One simple yoga posture, ‘Cobra,’ saved my back. It is the simplest and I believe the safest way to build back core strength. — JAYNE SMITH, VILAGE YOGA

No one tells you when you want a piece of chocolate cake. You see it, and your mouth waters. The same way, as you learn to listen, your body will tell you what movements it needs to feel strong, supple, grounded and alert. Developing a regular physical practice can help you learn to listen to your body wisdom. There’s a basic practice I come back to, day after day—not religiously, sometimes with months of hiatus, but still, a practice that’s developed over years and continues to ground me in my body. I start lying down. Spine neutral. Soles spread on the floor. Arms relaxed, shoulder blades comfortable. Slowly, I let my legs drift up. They circle like seaweed in a current. Into symmetry, out of symmetry. Into symmetry, out of symmetry. Their movements may look like bicycling, or big circles in each hip joint. Maybe just my ankles rotate or flex or extend. After a while, I add my arms to the dance. Into symmetry, out of symmetry. Circles or jagged lines. Maybe my left limbs do something soft, while my right limbs make a spikey movement. For now, I keep my hips and shoulders neutral on the floor, isolating my limbs from my trunk.


JANUARY 2018 | 33

“Pilates is a system of precise exercises to maintain proper alignment and recruit the correct muscles with the right amount of effort and stability,” she says. “It’s As my limbs wake up, I start to add my shoulders and very methodical.” hips. Now, I keep only my mid-spine on the ground. One The key to Pilates, she says, is conscious governance arm may lead my shoulder and head up, following it, of the body. like I’m trying to catch a butterfly. Or I may grab behind “Joseph Pilates referred to his method as ‘Contrology,’ my knees and roll around like a bessie bug. Finally, I let a term he used to describe mind over muscle control,” my spine separate from the floor—anything’s fair game, she says. “He recognized the body as a system … the as long as I don’t put weight onto feet. I might curl into muscles should be developed to improve circulation a fetal position, then open in a reverse rainbow to the and muscle power and to build endurance.” side, sternum out, arms and legs sweeping away back This method is characterized by a “two-way stretch,” behind me. Curl up, roll over, rainbow on the other or “working the body in opposing directions out of a side. At some point, I’ll rotate through stretches and strong center,” Rice says. In fact, the concept of a core or splits. Finally, I’m ready to put all my weight into my center is at the heart of the method as she describes it. feet and, slowly, rise. “Your core or ‘powerhouse’ is the deep internal girdle From there, my pattern’s the same as it was for the of your midsection, including your abs, glutes, inner floor work. Isolations to full-body. Small gestures to and outer thighs, and low back large ones. Emphasis alternating to support the movement of your between symmetry and asymmetry, extremities,” she says. “We have structured and loose. Finally, I’ll PILATES two types of muscle stabilizers end up with jumps, falls, rolls, wild is a system of and movers, and as we age, the flailing. Then back to constrained. precise exercises stabilizers become less efficient I’m standing on one foot, maybe. and require the movers to lock (Asymmetry). A petal’s falling into to maintain down and provide stability … we my two cupped hands. (Symmetry. proper alignment. become rigid and less adaptable.” My body, always, holds both A method like Pilates allows impulses at once.) —KATHERINE RICE the practitioner to identify and Now I’m ready. PMA®CPT tone his or her deep stabilizing Ready for what? Just ready. ART OF MOTION muscles (the psoas, for instance), Dancing. Playing. Thinking. returning control back from Going to bed... the powerful but less subtle My pattern may change—if I “movers” (like the quadriceps). need to warm up faster, I’ll spend less time on the floor Pilates also addresses balance and flexibility. and start my moment with jumping jacks and prances. “Balance requires a complex coordination of your But if I have all the time I want, I’ll do something like visual, vestibular and proprioceptive systems, [which] this, centering my mind in my body, listening to myself. tell us where we are in space,” Rice says. “Pilates works Why Have a Practice? in all planes of movement, side to side, front to back, Why is it important to have a body practice— and rotation. [Rotation] is required simply to take a something conceptually prior to, something that may step, which seems so fundamental until you experience never even reach the level of, artistic or athletic skill? In any shift or loss of function in your systems. We also part, it’s because, to move safely and effectively, people add varied resistance and change of direction, which need to feel and understand how movement works. requires a mind-body connection to coordinate Katherine Rice, PMA®CPT, owner of Art of Motion movement. Flexibility is also a key component to being Pilates and Barre Studio, notes that exercises performed adaptable to changing environments, such as an ankle in isolation from a coherent discipline are insufficient. that needs to be flexible when you step and the surface Her own practice, Pilates, has taken her many years and is not where you expected to be.” hundreds of hours to master, and she’s still learning. CONTINUED PAGE 36 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33

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SMITH’S FOCUS IS “teaching yoga that is inspiring, accessible and challenging.”

JANUARY 2018 | 35


Talking with Rice, I have the feeling she’d find my intuitive, magpie-built practice unmethodical. In fact, when I ask her to share some poses and movements from her discipline for readers to try, she refuses. Pilates needs to be studied in step-by-step fashion, under the tutelage of a certified, experienced teacher, she says. In the end, though, it sounds like we mean the same thing when we describe a bodily practice: something that allows us to fully inhabit and make use of our bodies. She speaks of mind controlling muscle; I’m really aiming to quiet the mind so it can listen to the body. From either side, though, we’re talking about building a connection.

How Do You Develop a Practice?

“ 36

YOGA, DONE AT ANY AGE, AT ANY LEVEL, through any of the various styles and lineages, PROMOTES MINDFUL MOVEMENT. — JAYNE SMITH, VILAGE YOGA | JANUARY 2018

Some of my dancer friends call their daily prayers or meditation, as well as their dance time, their “practice.” And some physical activities include mental or spiritual components. In yoga, for example, there’s a wide overlap between thought and movement. Jayne Smith, owner of Village Yoga in Pinehurst, focuses on “teaching yoga that is inspiring, accessible and challenging.” She’s taught more than 1,500 hours of yoga in the past five years, she says. Students come to her for many reasons, some seeking introspection, others desiring to maintain their ability to comfortably perform activities they love.

Core strength, balance and flexibility play important roles in yoga, as they do in most physical practices. Smith suggests that people aim for “cylindrical” core power, including the back and lateral muscles as well as the abdominals. “One simple yoga posture, ‘Cobra,’ saved my back,” she says. “[It] is the simplest and I believe the safest way to build back core strength. Lie on your tummy with your legs slightly separated and your heels aimed at the ceiling. If this is not comfortable on your hips, place a blanket or towel underneath [your] hips or belly. Touch your forehead to your mat or carpet and bring your hands to mid-chest level, palms down. Exhale completely and, as you inhale, keep a neutral neck and push your hands into the carpet as you peel your head, neck and, depending on your flexibility, chest off the mat or carpet. … As your back strengthens, you may be able to lift your palms off the floor as well.” For lateral strength, Smith suggests the plank pose: From a tabletop position, “place your right hand centered under your nose. Extend your left leg straight behind you and lower the ball of your foot. ‘Kick stand’ your right foot and calf out a bit to the right side for

support. Take a breath in and, on the exhale, begin to lift the left hand up as you spin the left heel down. Rotate to the side with the left hand reaching toward the ceiling. Keep lifting through the hip.” To develop balance, Smith recommends a very simple practice, standing on one leg. It sounds basic, but try doing it for a while. Can you make it to five minutes? What if you lift your “free” leg a small distance up in front if you as if you’re taking the first step up some stairs? Feel how your core muscles adjust, working in opposition to maintain your balance. Like Rice, Smith suggests beginning a practice with professional instruction to learn basic alignment and avoid misinformation. From there, students can find the movements that resonate most with them and are encouraged to develop their own home practice. As with any movement practice, it’s the centering of the mind in the body that reaps the rewards. “Your body holds more wisdom than all the yoga teachers in the world,” she says. “If it doesn’t feel appropriate, don’t do it! Yoga, done at any age, at any level, through any of the various styles and lineages, promotes mindful movement. The gifts that go beyond the physical are innumerable and extraordinary!”

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JANUARY 2017 | VOL. 8, ISSUE 1




JANUARY 2017 |

Serving the Sandhills & Southern Piedmont 1


to You —Our Readers & Advertisers— Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy New Year! Coming Up!

FEBRUARY—A Family Affair MARCH—Rightsizing Retirement APRIL—Aging Outside the Box MAY—Age of Technology JUNE—Homegrown N.C. JULY—Booming Lifestyles AUGUST—Living Healthy SEPTEMBER—Generations OCTOBER—The Long Game NOVEMBER—The Second Act DECEMBER—Trading Traditions

Navigating Your Second 50...

Read. Advertise. Subscribe. 38

910.692.9609 | | JANUARY 2018

resolve to m a


me to i t ke

e live in a world of low-grade fear. There is an edginess; a dread. We know when it happens, because we don’t laugh as much, don’t enjoy the light from sunbeams, the whistle has gone out of our step. Our focus is not as sharp. We seek a reprieve; we by Nan Leaptrott turn on the news and hear Photography by Mollie Tobias airplanes have fallen out of the sky. We hear we are on the brink of war, and we wonder if a terrorist is lurking next door. Good people turn bad. We wonder how we can pay our bills. Anxiety sets in, apprehension. We enter into the world of stress overload. Stress! Stress holds us in a tight grip. Our muscles ache; we can’t sleep, we become distracted. We feel awful. Since we know stress kills, we see a doctor who informs us that stress accounts for more than 60 percent of doctor’s visits. So where do we turn? What do we do? How do we learn to relax? One key method of relaxation is through meditation. Mediation has been practiced for more than 1,000 years because people know that it reduces stress and increases inner peace. How do you learn to meditate? You learn by meditating. You learn to mediate through silence and stillness. This is not an easy feat. Our days are filled with stop and go, and endless activities. Much of what we do is by rote. We become unconscious about the now, about mindfulness. Where can we go for help? Who can help us stop for a few minutes and teach us how to meditate and relax? There are many places who offer meditation guidelines. Carley Sutton received her massage therapist license in 2009 and decided to immediately open her studio, Raven’s Wing Healing Center, collaborating with her gardening mother to create a land base and tranquil environment. Nestled in a century old home in downtown Southern Pines, it is a comfortable, cozy place where one can escape from the rush and pump of everyday life. The emphasis is to continue the healing tradition of the Sandhills.

Relax & Meditate


JANUARY 2018 | 39

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Surrounding Raven’s Wing Acre are guinea hens, heirloom seedlings, biodynamic farming, chickens and worm farming. The Raven has long been a symbol of healing for early civilization. It is considered one of the oldest and wisest of animals. For Native Americans, the Raven symbolized a void—the mastery of which is not yet formed. Healing cannot begin without defining the void. Sutton emphasizes many things cause stress and muscle pain, like sleeping in the same position every night or staying hunched over our computer or electronic devices. Driving, sitting or using our hands in the same position and most of all not being conscious in the moment, not being mindful and ignoring the signals about our muscle fatigue, which can be a slight limp, neck strain, shoulder ache, which happens especially for women who carry heavy shoulder bags, and a general feeling of being tense and out of sorts. Research clearly indicates meditation offers many benefits. Meditation and relaxation practices can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid strokes, and reduce stress, as well as help to prevent depression, sleeplessness, anxiety and worry. Meditation can increase productivity, learning, happiness, a sense of overall well being, develop a sense of inner peace, and most importantly, mediation can produce a state of mindfulness. Meditation cannot teach life balance or assure our worries will go away, but it can be a spring board to a different way, a healthier way to live our lives.

Living in the Now

Why do we rush and push? It’s easy to fall into the trap of going and doing and not having limits on our time and retracting ourselves from toxic people and frantic lives. We all live busy lives; however, until we take the time to take care of ourselves, we cannot effectively take care of anyone else. Add to this, we live in an unsafe environment. We inhale synthetic chemicals and live off preservatives. Many people have developed sensitivities to foods, smells and sounds. Our bodies become tense to the degree that we do not know how to relax. Some pain, digestive issues and fatigue are directly related to how we are living our lives, what we come in contact with and what we digest.

What Is Meditation? Meditation is learning how to put our minds and bodies in a relaxing effortlessness. There are many different types of meditation, and many of these require that you focus attention and concentrate on how you are sitting, your breath, a thought, a sound or an image—any of which requires that you exert some energy to do these things. It is difficult to quiet the mind and let the thoughts pass. Sutton suggests that the key is not to exert effort against the thoughts but rather to let the thoughts come as they will and then think of a word or a saying, such as peace, calm, in good time, in the same effortless way as the thoughts are pouring into your mind. Consider some of these other ways meditation therapists suggest may help when we feel tense: • Take slow deep breaths. • Soak in a warm tub. • Drink water. • Listen to soothing music. • Focus on the now, the present moment. • Write down your feelings. • Sip green tea. • Take a honey snack break. • Chew gum. • Lay your head gently on a cushion or pillow. • Count backwards. • Remember to breathe. • Close your eyes. • Give yourself a hand massage by using your thumb and forefinger to massage the soft area between thumb and index finger of the other hand. • Dab on some lavender oil for extra relaxation. • Rub your feet over a golf ball. • Squeeze a stress ball. • Drip cold water on your wrists. • Brush your hair. • Look out the window. • Cuddle a pet. • Laugh. • Take a quick walk. • Smell some flowers. • Be alone. • Embrace the silence. CONTINUED PAGE 43

JANUARY 2018 | 41

“If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.”


42 | JANUARY 2018


Foods Play a Part in the Relaxation Process

Relax your nerves with food. We often neglect to realize the effects food has on our brain and body. These are some of the primary foods to include in your diet: • Milk contains tryptophan, which helps to produce serotonin which aides in sleep. • Soups with tomatoes, green pepper, carrots, garlic, thyme and a pinch of cayenne pepper in it helps the body to rid itself of infections and foreign bodies. • Honey is rich in potassium and good for the bones. • Seafood contains magnesium and selenium, an aid to help relax tired muscles. • Dark cherries are the best fruit choice. Blueberries, blackberries, bananas, avocado and oranges are other healthful options.

When Is It Time to Relax?

There are 100 emails in your inbox to address. You’ve just spilled coffee on your new blouse, you’ve popped a button off your shirt and you have a meeting in 15 minutes. Your child needs to be picked up at school. You need to call to a friend you seemed to have neglected lately. Your family wants to know what is for dinner ... How can one relax when there is too much to do, too little time and too many challenges? Therapists suggest one of the best times to relax is when you are frazzled. Stop! Breathe deeply, listen to your inner voice. Remember, being in the moment is important to your overall health. Make sure you learn how to meditate and put this at the top of your daily to-do list. Fifteen minutes in the morning and again in the evening will work wonders in your body and for your mind. Through meditation, you can experience a greater sense of inner peace, a greater sense of calm. Relaxation and meditation offer restorative benefits. Our lives will never be without challenges, where time stands still, where all noise is silenced or distractions do not interrupt. The challenge is in the now, to take the time to meditate, take time to Open Saturdays starting aingreater February! center in the moment. When you meditate, you experience release8:30from all the stress that weaves into our daily lives. Your body will11:30 be healthier. Your mind will be clearer. Meditation is an art, an art anyone a.m. can achieve.

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Carolina Conversations with Leadership Coach

Kathy Stoddard Torrey by Carrie Frye | Photography by Diana Matthews


f you have never thought about a life coach as a way to help you achieve personal growth, spending time with leadership coach Kathy Stoddard Torrey may change your mind. Torrey has been making a difference in the lives of students in her leading role with the Dedman Leadership Series at Sandhills Community College since 2007. Her coaching and training programs have taken her around the world, working with companies, such as Deutsche Bank and GE Aviation. Earning her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin, Torrey is also an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation. She earned a specialty certification as an Organization and Relationship System Certified Coach. A military spouse for 30 years, Torrey has moved 16 times. Settling in the Sandhills for another spring semester of leadership learning, we caught up with her in the beauty of the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens in Pinehurst, where she discusses intentional living, leadership, making behavior changes that last and her own goals for her Second 50. CONTINUED PAGE 46 JANUARY 2018 | 45


ONC: Where did you grow up, and what led to you choosing leadership as a career path? KST: I grew up in Texas and I went to the University

of Texas in Austin (UT). My bachelor’s degree is in journalism, with a major in public relations. Later I decided to go back for my masters. My MBA was a family affair. My husband was in the military for 30 years, so, we were based in Texas. I started my master’s, and the Army picked up the entire unit and moved it to Germany unexpectedly. So, I was going to stay behind, and after two years of trying, got pregnant at that moment. I stayed at UT, an intentional choice. He left in December, and I stayed January through May. I arrived in Germany eight months pregnant, all wrapped up in the master’s. You only have 5 years to finish your degree, so I went back to UT with my mom and both boys by then, they were 3 and 1. My husband came in at the end and helped with everything. Then, we went to the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They had a class there for spouses called Facilitating Leadership and Group Skills. It’s the best facilitation class I have ever been through. It was fabulous. We did the Myers-Briggs, a lot of personality tests and things like that. We learned to stand up in front of a group. I had a partner, and we did the whole thing together. At the end of the year, we got up and shared some material with a group of other spouses. I really loved it. The woman who ran it said to me, “Do you know you’re good at this?” And I said, “No. Really? Am I?” I didn’t really have a concept that I was really good at it. I really enjoyed it, so that’s how I started with the facilitation. I got certified to do the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator. That was the first thing that I did, and I started doing workshops. And then I came here to Sandhills Community College. Eventually, I got a job with the North Carolina Community College system and was the regional trainer for the eastern half of the state, which meant I got to travel around to all different kinds of places, from pork processing plants to pharmaceuticals and software companies. How did the Dedman Leadership Series develop?

Alan Duncan and I started the Dedman Leadership Series, which is about to start its 13th year in this month. The first year, I used prepared materials, and it 46 | JANUARY 2018

did not go that well. Alan really wanted it to be like this innovative sort of leadership training. So I said, “OK, Alan, will you let me have it?” And he did. I created the classes, and it’s a lot of fun, and it changes every year. At the end of each series, I know why I like what I do. We do talk a lot about intentional living, living on purpose and making choices. We have graduation at the end, and just about every year, I have a family member walk up to me and say, “This has made such a difference in our home lives; it’s so much better. Thank you.” I really believe in the skills. They are called leadership skills, but they are really life skills. It’s all about learning how to talk to people, how to listen to people and how to have a disagreement and end up with a positive relationship. These are tools and skills that I believe can really improve the quality of your life and relationships, whether that’s at home or at work. So, that’s why I continue to do what I do with the Dedman Leadership Series and other organizations and in personal coaching. I work with people who are interested in learning these skills, about making intentional choices to improve themselves and their lives. What does the success of the program participants mean to you personally?

This series is like my playground, because I learn a new concept, and I get to try it out on them. We have our standard stuff that we do every time, like “Leadership and Self-deception,” which is by far the most popular book of every single session. I get great feedback, and I always learn stuff from the participants, as I do from all my participants. But in particular the Dedman Leadership series is people from all over the community, it’s not like I am going into an organization that has given me a purpose. In Dedman, it’s leadership, and we can talk about anything that would help improve someone’s life. Can you discuss intentional choices?

The metaphor that I use is: A lot of times we are a leaf, and we just get blown around by circumstances. Then other times, we are the rock and we may be in the middle of a river, and we are not moving, we are not doing anything, we are using all the energy we have to stay right here. What we want to be is a sailboat, because we want to use the water and the wind to get to where we are going. CONTINUED PAGE 48

Leadership Coach Kathy Stoddard Torrey recommends a few books for your new year’s reading list if you would like to focus on positive changes and intentional living in 2018: • “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” • “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” • “The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict”

JANUARY 2018 | 47


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To make an intentional choice of where we’re headed, waving around the magic wand of destiny and deciding, “I am going that way!” It’s a completely different way of living than getting caught up in the circumstances or refusing to react to any kind of circumstances. For me, it is not being in the mentality of “I have to do this, and I have to do that.” I do an exercise Leadership Coach with people where they have Kathy Stoddard to write down, “I have to do Torrey has her own this,” and then they make magic wand of a list. Then we change it to destiny and utilizes “choose to.” it as an exercise in intentional choices Most of the time, the for participants things are the same. Like in her training they still have “work” listed programs. under “choose to.” Our lives now, for the most part, are the choices that we made up until this point. Then everyone usually says, “Ewww! Oh no!” Because that means if we are willing to pick up the magic wand of destiny and make intentional choices, then we can go where we want go in the future. We are creating our future now with the choices that we make. That’s why it’s important to really decide on purpose where you want to go and what you want to do. It’s really important to know your values, who you want to be: loyalty, integrity, and those things. Then you need to know what your priorities are right now, and those change. Like when my children were young, family was the main priority. And they are not as much a priority now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love them, but they don’t live with me anymore. So, it’s really important when you are making intentional choices to know what your values are, what your priorities are and then what you want to accomplish. You have these three things I call the golden ruler, and it is your values, your priorities and your goals. So, every time I am going to make a choice on how to spend my time or do something, I want to hold up that ruler and ask, “Is this in alignment with my values, my priorities and with my goals?” If it’s not, then it’s something you should really consider not doing. Because every time we say yes to something, we are saying no to something else. Many times, we just get caught up in the day to day, and the thing that we really want to achieve, our heart’s goal, is something that just gets put on the back burner over and over again as life overwhelms us.

That’s why it’s important to make the intentional choice, to pull out the magic wand of destiny and start waving it around, and making choices that Sildenafil, the active really reflect what you want to achieve. So, for me, that’s why intentional ingredient in Viagra® is now available in a living is so important. generic 20mg tablet The other thing that I think is important about intentional living is it’s and is much cheaper important to “go.” You need to start moving somewhere. When you get than Viagra® there, and it’s not exactly what you wanted, that’s ok, but you like this and you don’t like that. What you want to do is head for the next place that has ® 10 Viagra® (Sildenafil) Tablets = $500 50 Sildenafil 20mg Tablets = $80 more of this and less of that. It’s a journey that is going toward somewhere. I We make it easy for our patients to get Diabetic Testing supplies! or paperwork from FOR you orYOU your physician. WE MAKE IT EASY Sildenafil, the active don’t want people to get discouraged because it’s not perfect. It’s ok. We are We don’t request records ingredient in Viagra® TO RECEIVE DIABETIC TESTING SUPPLIES! just incrementally figuring this out. A FREE Meter Requires a prescription a prescriber. is nowfrom available in a Our diabetic FREE boxes of Testgeneric Strips—if on insulin don’t 21request records or paperwork 20mg tablet patients We receive: FREE box of Test Strips—if not on insulin and is much cheaper Does that lead to making behavior changes that last? from you or your physician. than8:30a-6p Viagra® Mon-Fri, Yes! Because if you want to do something differently, that does require Sat, 8:30a-12p 120 MacDougall Dr behavior change for the most part: living on purpose. Part of that is pausing • A FREE Meter 10 Viagra® OUR Seven(Sildenafil) Lakes Tablets = $500 ® and asking, “Am I going to do this?” In training, the statistic is one in 10 Sildenafil 20mgStrips— Tablets = $80 boxes of Test • 2 FREE 50 910-673-7467 DIABETIC We make it easy for our patients to get Diabetic Testing supplies! WhereWe Smiles and Solutions actually goes out the door and does something different. Behavior change is if on insulin don’t requestMeet records or paperwork from you or your physician. PATIENTS • 1 Free box of Test Strips— hard. Anyone who has tried to exercise more or lose weight, or read a book A FREE Meter Requires a prescription from a prescriber. Our diabetic RECEIVE: FREEon boxes of Test Strips—if on insulin insulin a month, or whatever it is, knows that it is hard. If you have someone that patients receive: if21 not FREE box of Test Strips—if not on insulin you are accountable to, that can help you find the real reason you want to do M-F: 8:30 a.m.-68:30a-6p p.m. Mon-Fri, it. I call it your “heart reason” or your “big why.” Sat,a.m.-12 8:30a-12p Sat: 8:30 p.m. 120 MacDougall Dr 120 MacDougall Dr. So, for exercise, have an exercise buddy or a scheduled time that you’re SevenSeven Lakes Lakes going to do this, no matter what. It’s finding the logical reason, the heart 910-673-7467 910-673-7467 Where Smiles and Solutions Meet reason and setting up a structure to do it. If you really want to do a behavior change, write it down in your calendar. Whatever it is, decide on it, write it down, and don’t fight yourself about it. Just do it! Then after about a month, it becomes a habit. And once it’s a habit, you’re not fighting about it anymore at all. You have incorporated a new behavior that doesn’t take any of your emotional energy. And you’re doing it. A welcoming place Then you can move on to the next behavior that you want to incorporate. for individuals with It’s a good idea on New Year’s resolutions, instead of trying to do a whole Alzheimer’s disease, bunch of changes at once, it’s better to pick one. Which one behavior change dementia, brain disorders and is going to give me the biggest bang for my buck? And that’s the one I want mild cognitive to do first. I am going to plan it, I am going to follow it and do it until it’s a impairment habit. For me, it would be writing. I want to write more and it’s like setting a and their family time, setting an alarm and doing it until it’s a habit. And then, I can consider member or friend. what’s the next behavior that’s going to help me get there? I firmly believe that we can always improve. We go through phases in life. We’re young and we get away from our families, and we’re trying to figure out who we are. Then we may have a relationship, or maybe we get married, Jan. 24, 2018 and then we are spouses, and we’re trying to figure that out. Wherever you 2:30-4 P.M. Drop-in go, whether it’s career or you have kids or both, then it’s figuring out who am I in those circumstances and who am I going to be. Each one requires 155 Hall Ave. Southern Pines a re-evaluation. We were a parent, or we had a career, or we were that. It’s kind of a hard thing because suddenly, who do I want to be now? Where do I want to head, what’s my point on the shore, and what can I aim for? I think Upcoming Dates: Questions? in some ways for us baby boomers, there are a lot of choices. There are so 910.585.6757 FEB. 28, 2018 many that it can be staggering sometimes. MAR. 28, 2018

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What can you recommend for facing the changes retirement brings?

It really is sitting down and thinking about what your values and priorities are. I know for a lot of people who have grandchildren, that’s their priority. Then I know other people, and that’s not at all their priority. So, they are going to come up with two completely different choices on how to move forward. The first thing to do is ask, “What is really important to me in this section of my life here?” In leadership and in life, it’s important to finish strong. You don’t want to just kind of give up and peter out. And if you feel like that’s an option, then it probably is because you’re missing that internal motivation, that thing that sparks you. Sometimes, that means experimenting. I don’t think we’re any more equipped now to just make a decision about what we want to do than we were in college. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just give it a shot! And if it doesn’t work, heck, it didn’t work. It’s not that big of a deal. How have you gone about doing that personally?

Volunteering. I work with a Christian women’s job corp with women who are restarting their lives, and I find that very fulfilling, helping these women find a new direction. What are your personal goals for your Second 50?

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Part of my goal is a legacy goal. What I realized is that I have my granddaughter who is about a year old, and I am going to be long gone before she gets interested in what I talk about. My sons are 27 and 29 and are just now starting to ask me about what I do. I so believe in these skills that I teach to create positive relationships that I want her to have that. So, actually this past year, all the blogs I have written, have been a structured program of getting what’s in my head out on paper. Expanding my reach is part of my goal, to reach more people with the message. Then, of course, the thing for the Second 50 is staying healthy, staying mentally alert, which means continuing to engage with people, staying physically healthy, which, for me, means walking and doing yoga. It is about finishing strong. You have to revisit your priorities every now and then. I am 57, and creating a legacy is really what’s most important to me right now. In five years, it may be different. And that’s OK, too. It’s just leaving that door open, having a direction now where you want to head but to know it’s totally OK for that to change. It should always be a check-in with your heart.

SMART Goals! ______


Turning Giant Journeys into Simple Steps... by Jennifer Webster


t’s a step in the right direction!” sang witch Eglantine Price in the musical “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” as she struggled to master a simple spell. True, a magical dream can be broken down into manageable steps and brought to reality, bit by bit. If you have trouble making that happen in your everyday life, SMART goals may be right for you.


SMART goals have been defined in the business setting since the early 1980s, and are often used to evaluate progress toward objectives. Grant-writers and proposal-makers use this mnemonic all the time to determine whether an objective is clear enough to be fulfilled.


The objective is specifically defined.


Success can be quantified.


Lines of responsibility are clear.

The object has a good chance of being achieved, given the resources.


A reasonable timeline and milestones can be defined. CONTINUED PAGE 52

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Almost each letter has variants; “A” has also been assigned to “achievable” or “agreed-upon,” “R” to “results-oriented,” and so on. The point is that the acronym forces everyone working toward the goals to clarify their objective and agree on specific metrics for how success will be determined. For example, if your family goal for 2018 is to “Get Healthy,” analyzing it through the lens of SMART will help you decide what that means and how to attain it. SPECIFICALLY, how will you describe health? Weight? Feelings of well-being? Blood test results? Pick one or two important items. What MEASURES will you use? You might go with pounds on a scale, or a journal about your outdoor adventures each day. Who will you ASSIGN to achieve the metrics? For instance, who will plan the outings if your

52 | JANUARY 2018

definition of health includes long hikes? Who will buy and prepare the food if you’re looking to eat better? Who will do the record-keeping? How REALISTIC is your goal? For example, if you and your spouse are overweight, is it reasonable to ask each person to lose the excess pounds by Dec. 31? Would it be more realistic to look at hours spent at the gym, for instance? Can you complete your objective in the given TIME? If you ask every family member to log 1,000 hours running this year, that’s 2.7 hours a day. What other tasks will have to be put on the back burner?


Sometimes, people forget to set goals. Maybe they’ve been pretty successful in life and feel it’s time to put their feet up and reap their rewards. Or they get discouraged—their health, connections or resources aren’t what they used to be. Gregg Parr, Gallupcertified Strengths Coach and owner of Parrspectives, teaches people in business and personal settings how to set and meet goals. He has noticed that people can make exceptional plans at any time of life, and fulfill them, too. After a decadeslong hiatus, he says, he began running again and even completed a half marathon. An uncle of his published a book at age 90.

“The same techniques and thoughts apply, Accountability brings needed support. “It’s whether I’m showing them to people in a business important to tell others what your goal is,” Parr environment or their personal lives,” he says. “I says. “First, it’s good socially to share. Second, it think it’s even more important to people who are provides you with somebody who will ask, ‘How in retirement to have goals. If someone doesn’t set are you doing on your goal?’ It’s going to keep goals for himself, he’s shortening his life by not you on target. You can even post it on Facebook challenging himself. This is and make it official. Any part of the message I weave way you share your goal as a strengths coach.” increases your odds of Goals can involve success.” “Going through the volunteering, health or A good goal doesn’t exercise of a SMART goal family. Techniques such as emphasize your SMART make the objective limitations, Parr says; it provides structure. I’m a more attainable, Parr says. plays up your strengths. proponent of methods “Going through the If someone resists goalpeople can look at and say, exercise of a SMART goal setting because he or provides structure,” he she is afraid of failure, ‘I can take my idea and says. “I’m a proponent of “one thing you can do is apply these five steps.’” methods people can look at point out to them that by and say, ‘I can take my idea setting the goal you are and apply these five steps.’ highlighting what you can —Gregg Parr It will be more effective do, not what you can’t do. Gallup-certified Strengths Coach than just saying, ‘I have a Maybe you can no longer resolution.’” run—but you can walk. The specific aspect is Make a goal of walking particularly important. further than you do today. “Don’t go overboard and Then with the next goal, pick a dozen goals,” Parr says. “Long-term goals increase how far you walk. It provides a sense of can be made smaller. Perhaps break your goal into accomplishment. Your reward is your motivation halves and work on the first half. What you want to for completing your next goal.” achieve is a feeling of self-worth. Completing a goal, So don’t hesitate: plan your path, one goal at a even a half a long-term goal, lets you see progress time. Then open the door to your vision and take along the way.” the first step.

JANUARY 2018 | 53

Eating with


by Michelle Goetzl


t is a new year and a time when many people are looking to give themselves a fresh start on healthy eating. December might have been a time of excess, but January brings with it a sense of renewal and a desire to get on a better path. However, if you want to make a lasting change, you have to find a diet that is realistic for you and one that you can actually maintain for an extended period of time. There are two definitions of “diet.” First, a diet means “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” Unfortunately, what most people think of when they say that they want to change their diet, is the second definition— “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.” We would all benefit by focusing more on the first definition and less on the latter. Most popular “diets” focus on some sort of restriction, eliminating all grains, processed sugar, and, sometimes, even natural sugar, animal protein or fat. These rules and restrictions often prove difficult. “The diet that tends to work best is the one you don’t have to refer to as ‘being on a diet,’” says Ashley Carpenter, a registered dietitian and Certified Health and Wellness Coach for First Health of the Carolinas. “Diets are built for short-term solutions, but a long-term, sustainable approach focuses on whole foods. “Mindful and intuitive eating are techniques to help people gain control over their eating habits. The crucial mental aspect is missing from ‘diets.’ It’s about bringing full attention to your eating behaviors and habits. What, why, when, how and how much? When unwanted eating behaviors are addressed, the chances of long-term weight loss success are increased.” It can be easy to demonize specific foods, because it allows the focus to be on one thing rather than looking at the bigger picture. The problem is, when you tell yourself that you can’t have something, your brain often reacts by craving the denied item. While some people respond well to a rule that they cannot touch specific foods, before eliminating an item, you should really consider if it is something that you can, or should, give up. CONTINUED PAGE 56

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“Before adopting a new diet, consider whether or not the diet is balanced,” says Laura Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN, Assistant Director of Nutrition Affairs at the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. “Any diet that promotes eliminating a food group may be difficult to maintain and may put your health at risk by eliminating certain nutrients.” A more positive spin on the diet process is that you should actually be adding and not subtracting. Add in whole foods that you enjoy, like juicy berries or crunchy sugar snap peas, which allow you to satisfy a craving for something sweet without any guilt. When we take foods away, we often feel like we are denying ourselves, which tends to lead to overeating. The kinds of foods we choose to eat are important. It is very important to read labels and to focus on nutrient-rich foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which are all important in maintaining good health. Some examples include whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, and lean protein.

Portion Control

Portions are vital as well. There is lots of truth to the notion of “everything in moderation.” While foods like nuts and avocados, for example, are great examples of healthy fats that should be incorporated into our diets, Carpenter reminds us that “if you started eating two avocados and 1 cup of nuts each day, you’ll increase your calorie intake by 845!” Another trick that nutritionists like to talk about is changing the size of your plate. We are a country used to super-sized portions. In order to downsize our clothing, we must downsize our portion sizes. A great way to do that at home is to simply use smaller plates. Research has shown that people eat larger portions when their plates are larger. A reasonably sized portion on a small plate can trick your mind to being satisfied while that same portion on a large plate can leave you craving more. If you are eating out, don’t feel obligated to order full portions. Split a salad and an entree with a partner and leave a slightly larger tip. This allows you to save money and calories at the same time. 56 | JANUARY 2018

Read Labels

In our rushed world, people are so accustomed to grabbing packaged foods that they not realize what is in those “foods.” Take a moment to read the label and, as Michael Pollan famously said, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” You might think that your salad is healthy, but if it is loaded with cheese and bacon and topped off with a salad dressing that is full of sugar, you’ve lost any health benefits of eating the vegetables. A great rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce any of the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

Drink More Water

Want to have a healthier outlook? Drink more water! We have heard it time and again that proper hydration is key, but what you drink matters. So, resolve to drink fewer sugary drinks and more water and low-fat milk in the new year. “Beverages contribute nearly a quarter of our total daily calories,” Buxenbaum says. Nutritionists also recommend drinking a glass of water before every meal. In addition to helping you get in your 8-10 glasses of water a day, numerous studies have shown that drinking water before meals can result in consuming less calories at those meals. “For the compulsive snacker, keeping no-calorie beverages at hand helps as a way to keep your mouth busy and less likely to snack on junk food,” says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Remember that diet soda doesn’t count, since those added chemicals wreak havoc on your body. In the cooler winter months, a great option is warm water with lemon.”

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Another key thing to add is breakfast. One of Buxenbaum’s tips is that if you’ve found yourself skipping breakfast due to the mad morning rush, resolve to eat breakfast daily. Studies show breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. Some quick and healthy breakfast choices include whole-grain cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk, a fruit and yogurt smoothie, oatmeal made with skim milk, raisins and nuts, or scrambled eggs with sauteed green vegetables.

Change Your Focus

Finally, try to get your mind off of food. We have become a nation of people obsessed with food—what we can eat, what we can’t eat, what’s good, what’s bad. We know, intrinsically, what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Focus on something other than weight loss, and you may find that you are not mindlessly eating all of the time. Whether you take up yoga or Pilates, painting or woodworking, take a class or volunteer your time, filling your days with others and activities can make for a happpier new you in 2018. If it is your goal to make healthier food choices for the new year, you are on the right track! As Buxenbaum says, “Little changes can add up to a big difference.” Serving residents of Scotland, Robeson, Richmond and Hoke counties in North Carolina, as well as Marlboro, Dillon and Chesterfield counties in South Carolina. JANUARY 2018 | 57

Birding in N.C.

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve

by Carrie Frye | Photography by Brady Beck

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 2018, we embark on a yearlong series highlighting spots on the North Carolina Birding Trail to see what we may see and celebrate some of the lush landscapes and birds of our beautiful home state.


he flora and fauna of towering longleaf pines and wiregrass spread across 930 acres in Southern Pines that make up Weymouth Woods— Sandhills Nature Preserve. Home to a myriad of our feathered friends, like the pine warbler, redcockaded and downy woodpeckers, chipping sparrow and white-breasted nuthatch to name a few, birding is on display year-round. CONTINUED PAGE 61

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Downy Woodpecker

Chipping Sparrow Pine Warbler JANUARY 2018 | 59

White-breasted Nuthatch

Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, located at 1024 Ft. Bragg Road in Southern Pines, has birding events throughout the year. For more information, call 910-692-2167 or visit .

60 | JANUARY 2018

Northern Cardinal


Whether taking a leisurely Sunday stroll or a fast-paced hike along the 4.5 miles of trails Weymouth Woods has to offer, the sounds of the birds beckon down from the pines. Eight trails cover the grounds for hikers, as well as one for equestrians. Longleaf pines densely cover Weymouth Woods, providing ample habitat for more than 160 species of birds. In fact, the oldest living longleaf pine, which dates back to 1548, resides here. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are among the preserve’s inhabitants, an endangered species since 1970. Although other species prefer softer wood of dead trees, these woodpeckers dig deep cavities into mature pines. Prescribed burning is actually beneficial to maintaining the habitat by removing the undergrowth for these endangered birds. Despite Old Man Winter, birding events are a staple at Weymouth Woods, and you might just see a woodpecker at work, or perhaps even a great horned, barred or screech owl. Jan. 5 marks National Bird Day, and Feeding our Feathered Friends (For Wee Ones!) is specifically designed for parents and grandparents and three- to five-year olds. It is an educational event to show the importance of how feeding birds helps them survive during the winter months. Jan. 6 is a Winter Bird Walk, and Jan. 7 has ornithologist Susan Campbell giving a presentation on hummingbirds, readying for the hummingbird banding events she leads in April. Jan. 14 offers Backyard Bird Feeding 101. Jan. 28 is a Staying Warm in Winter 2-mile hike, but there is always a chance to see and hear a variety of birds along the journey. Birding Tip: If you are new to birdwatching, 8x magnification binoculars are recommended for general viewing. For more information on the N.C. Birding Trail sites, visit

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

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ACROSS 1. Like some mushrooms 7. Pertaining to a particular state, not the national government


13. Fur pouch worn with a kilt 14. Bears 16. Protozoan with microscopic appendages 17. Type of archery bow | JANUARY 2018

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6. Kind of list 7. Texts of a play or movie 8. Old Chinese money 9. Parenthesis, essentially 10. “How ___!” 11. Medium for radio broadcasting 12. Device used on furniture to avoid wobble 13. Chicken 15. Calm 20. Increase, with “up” 26. Key material 27. Apprehension 28. Relating to the scar on a seed 29. Santa’s reindeer, e.g. 31. Armageddon 33. After expenses 36. Stew holders 37. Devoted 38. Having a pH greater than 7 39. The dissolved matter in a solution (pl.) 40. Dispute 41. To be unfaithful to one’s partner (2 wds) 42. In an unkind manner 43. Anxiety 46. Back muscle, familiarly 52. 1993 standoff site 53. Art subject 54. Bind 55. Palm tree with leaves used for thatching 57. Barely beat 59. On, as a lamp


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| No Sub-


Is There a Right Time to Take Social Security?


by Tim Hicks, RICP®, APMA®

ocial Security benefits are a cornerstone of retirement income for many Americans. Yet, deciding when to start collecting benefits can be a puzzle, and the solution is different for everyone. You can claim Social Security as early as age 62, or delay it until your 70th birthday. The longer you wait, the larger your monthly benefit will be. There are a variety of ways you can structure your Social Security claiming strategy, based on your income needs, personal savings and retirement goals. Use the following three scenarios to evaluate what timing is best for you:

Starting Social Security Early

A person who will retire at age 62 is counting on Social Security to help meet income needs once retirement begins. His monthly benefit will be $1,500, 25 percent below what he would have received at age 66, which is his full retirement age. Those who claim early will receive a smaller monthly benefit. If you are retired or plan to retire early, claiming Social Security before full retirement age may make sense. Social Security can help you cover living costs and prevent you from having to draw down significant sums from your personal savings. Therefore, this form of cash flow can help sustain your savings for what could be decades in retirement. However, if you keep working after you claim and your income exceeds the earnings limit, you might sacrifice some of your current Social Security benefits until you reach full retirement age.

Claiming Benefits at Full Retirement Age

A working spouse plans to claim her full retirement benefit at age 66. Claiming helps provide a cash flow cushion as she and her husband begin a slow transition into retirement. Her benefit of $2,733 per month would be 32 percent higher if she waited until age 70, but she will collect a minimum of $32,796 per year in benefits beginning at age 66. Waiting until full retirement age to claim benefits means that your monthly paycheck will be higher than if you began taking them at an earlier age. For a married couple needing an income boost, it may be wise to have the lower earning spouse (who qualifies for a lower Social Security benefit) be the one who claims benefits first. This is because if the spouse earning the higher Social Security 64 | JANUARY 2018

benefit is the first to die, the surviving spouse will begin to collect that person’s higher benefit. Therefore, it may make sense to have the higher-earning spouse delay claiming until he or she qualifies for the highest possible benefit.

Collecting Benefits as Late as Possible

Starting on his or her 70th birthday, a person can begin collecting the maximum benefit. Knowing this, a wife who is the highest-earning spouse waits until turning 70 to first collect Social Security, generating income of $3,224 per month. That is 32 percent higher than the $2,450 monthly benefit she qualified for at full retirement age. If you choose to keep working, or you rely on your savings until you claim at age 70, you will qualify to receive the maximum monthly benefit. After age 70, the maximum amount does not change, so there is no reason to delay collecting beyond your 70th birthday. Waiting to claim may make sense if you plan to continue working later in life or if you have sufficient assets to satisfy your income needs once you retire without risking your long-term financial security.

Be Mindful When Making Decisions

Determining when to claim Social Security is something that is best done in the context of your overall retirement plan. Know what other sources of income are available and how those can best be utilized in conjunction with Social Security. Discussing this matter with your financial advisor can help you make suitable choices for your circumstances. Hicks, an RICP®, APMA® and financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Southern Pines, can be reached at or 910-692-5917.


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JANUARY 2018 | 65


by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl

OutreachNC asked adults and children our January question. Share your answer on our Facebook page.

How do you exercise your brain?

Reading (mostly history) and solving puzzles, and trying to understand what my husband said. —Pat, over 50 Early morning Bible study with coffee and two of my best friends. —Dale, 67

Working part-time and interactions with others. —Mary, 69

Playing Sudoku. —Louisa, 57 Love a good word search! —Jack, 70 I play bridge, do crossword puzzles and Sudoku. Try to surround myself with people who think. Go to the grocery store without a list. Try to read my husband’s mind. Honestly, just getting out of bed some days is all the exercise my body and brain can take. —Carol 73 Playing Candy Crush and other iPhone games, and crossword puzzles. —Joy, 73 Read. —Mary Ann, 74 Play chess. —Ray, 71

66 | JANUARY 2018

Trying to keep up with the cyber world, Keeping in touch with my on-the-road daughter via text, doing puzzles on my computer and iPad, and keeping in touch with younger people in my family. —Liz, 78

You do math. —Trevor, 6

By figuring out stuff. —David, 7

You think really hard, then STOP! And you keep repeating this. —Layla Joyce, 7

Focusing on my art projects so that they can be beautiful, awesome and perfect. —Liat, 8 By working hard at school. —Evelyn, 7 By reading and studying math problems. —Ari, 8 Swimming in the pool and diving in. —Asher, 6

By wiggling it.—Yael, 5 By playing a game. —Noa, 5 I think about something confusing or something complicated and try to answer that question and then that answer will lead to a lot of other questions that I have to answer. —Ivy, 10

I read...a lot. And then there’s homework. —Max, 12 Take my vitamins and drink my green juice! —Brian, 4

Trying to outsmart the birds... —OutreachNC Co-editor Jeeves, 4

Meet Your Village Family Dentists

Anuj James, DDS General Dentist IV Sedation

Michael Knowles, DMD General Dentist

Faith McGibbon, DDS Pediatric Dentist

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Bradley Ryan, DDS General Dentist IV Sedation

Grant Wiles, DDS General Dentist

Mit Patel, DDS General Dentist

Lauren Brannon, DDS General Dentist

Lawrence Bullard, DDS General Dentist

Plummer Ray Chavis, DDS General Dentist

Annie Floor, DDS General Dentist

Molly Guy, DDS General Dentist

Gary Hall, DMD General Dentist

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January 2018 OutreachNC Magazine  
January 2018 OutreachNC Magazine  

Our Intentional Living Issue: 5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Busy—and Healthy!: Body Wisdom: Resolve to Take Time to Relax & Meditate: Carolina...