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Palmer Grove Staff Brian A. Palmer Editor in Chief Carri Bonner Editorial Director Rachel Flesch Artistic Director Bethany Schoeff Columnist Jeff Lafferty Columnist Kyle Gordon Graphic Designer Cory Baker Website Designer

Cover Art: This month’s cover art was submitted by Kristen Willey. She is 27, a mother of two little girls, and currently lives in Lancaster, Ohio.

Kat Bonner Staff Artist

This piece symbolizes us as humans, growing and stabilizing into the strength of an oak tree, with changes as small and as many as the leaves to do so. No one gets anywhere with just one big step. The symbols on the tree come from around the world. The triad of circles originate from Africa and symbolize change as is the sun an Aztec symbol for change. The symbol on the right branch is an Egyptian symbol for life as the symbol near the base is a Celtic symbol also for life. Each issue Palmer Grove will feature work from local artists featuring our trademark Oak Tree. For more information on cover submissions, please contact us at

Palmer Grove a Generation Voices Publication P.O. Box 92086, Columbus, Ohio 43209 614-285-4314 | | 2 | Winter 2012 Palmer Grove

Table of Contents 05

Letter from the Editor


A 2012 Community Resolution


With or Without You


Flower of Love


Rules for Living: Rule #23


Phone Call to Heaven


Winter Storm


Diet Tips So Easy That Even I Should Be Able to Follow Them


Winter Scene


Lamb Photography


A Hand to Hold


All These Things


Chez Chef Schoeff: Northern Italian Soup


The Farmhouse


Wolf Play


Oh, the Fun of Groundhog’s Day

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Table of Contents 30

Super Bowl Fun


From the Beginning


The Palmer Grove Fashion Project




Chez Chef Schoeff: Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts


Flower Still Life




Out of Sight


I Don’t Want to be an Adult Today


Chocolates, Love and… Martyrdom?


Rules for Living: Rule # 32


Somana Art


Ramblings of Hopelessness


Alone in the Dark


St. Patrick’s Day: Why do We Celebrate?


Flesch Photography




Journey’s End-less

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Letter from the Editor Another year down. Now it is time for the annual onslaught of promises, diets, resolutions, and commitments that we inevitably make and ultimately break and abandon. Every year, I think to myself about the many reasons that most of us fail to successfully complete our New Year’s Resolutions. The answer is fairly simple; they are too big. Most resolutions sound reasonable. If they did not then we would not agree to them in the first place. However, when it comes time to actually put our shoulder to the wheel and finally make the change, it does not stick. Last year I decided to remove soda from my diet. The only problem is that I did not take into account that soda was mostly all that I drank. Removing this was removing a large staple in my diet. Needless to say, this did not last long. A few months ago I tried to remove soda again. This time I decided instead of completely removing soda I would simply remove one glass each day. Doing this lessened the effect of the change and made it much easier to give up soda altogether. That is what this issue is all about; the small changes that we can make to improve our lives in a number of different ways. Take time today to analyze which small changes you can make in your own life that will result in major differences. Let us know about your journey, and how committing to small changes have made a huge difference. Sincerely, Brian A. Palmer Editor in Chief Palmer Grove a Generation Voices Publication

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A 2012 Community Resolution By Kimberly Killian A brief comment in passing from a homeowner today made me think about her question in depth. “Why aren’t neighbors friendly anymore?” I empathized with her momentarily before I really started thinking about her question, and before I could think to find fault with anyone else, I looked inward. When I think about myself, I’m a very friendly and warm person, yet, her question made me realize that I have lived in my home for the last two years and couldn’t tell you one thing about any of my current neighbors. “Are they home owners or renters? How many children do they have, or do they even have children, what do they do, what are their names?” I couldn’t think of one thing I knew about the current people living around me day in and day out. Then my thoughts morphed into something more, “Who are my elected officials of the town I live in?” “What have they done to help our community be a better place to live or have they even tried?” It’s so sad that in today’s society we are either too selfish with our time to get to know those around us, or we lack the social skills to get to know someone in person rather than behind a computer screen, or we are just too scared because of the violence that has spread across our country that we do not let people inside, both heart or home. Maybe more of the violence in our world would cease if people started getting community back in their hearts, if real friendships were made with those around you. Maybe that neighbor, who didn’t want to get involved if they saw something happening to your home, would take it more personally if it was their “friend’s home” that was getting broken into or vandalized. Meet your neighbors and get to know them. Respect their different beliefs and learn how to understand theirs and share yours. This is a small gesture on the road to taking back our country. How can this help our country in the grand scheme of things you might ask? Think about this for a moment. Our country was a better place when people really knew one another and respected each other and boundaries that were set. I remember a day when it wasn’t uncommon for adults to chastise other people’s children when they saw them stepping out of line. But we have evolved into a society now that if someone else steps in, they risk the chance of a lawsuit and lawyers taking these frivolous suits have enabled this breed of degradation to continue. It starts within the home. If children aren’t raised knowing boundaries, they have nothing to compare it to in the adult world. If they aren’t raised learning to respect others and gain the respect of others rather expecting respect as a “right”, then this world could maybe, change. This isn’t something that would change overnight, it takes time. It has taken us, as a society, a long time to travel down this beaten path we are on, where violence on the news isn’t even shocking to hear, but expected. How often do you find yourself watching the news and instead of being mortified that this violence could be happening in your state, town, or on your street, it is accepted and some6 | Winter 2012 Palmer Grove

times scoffed at while we wait till the next program comes on to make us laugh and forget about what is going on in the world around us? We have turned into a selfish, lazy nation of sheep. Our politicians are corrupt, our taxes astronomical and our families are suffering as both parents have to work to keep the household together. Our children are being raised by the current console gaming system while they wait for the parents to come home. People can’t even be bothered to come to their Homeowner Associations Membership meetings to address concerns in their specific community, to know the board members that are running their community and spending the money they are paying into the yearly budget. How can we as a nation change the corruption on a higher level if we can’t even start at the most basic level of the home, the family and neighbors? It starts with each of us. Take the time to meet the neighbors and be friendly, take the time to meet the Board if you live in an Association, take the time to go to Town Hall meetings in your community, volunteer if you can, even if only for a couple hours a week. Find out what you can do to selflessly help in your community to make it a better place to live. If more people would take this charge, and stick with it, there would be a shift in the balance of violence and corruption in your community over time and this nation could possibly become once again a safer place to live. Make this your New Year’s Resolution for 2012. Give a little more of yourself, get to know those around you, make a community happen where there isn’t one. Become involved.

What is your favorite Rom-Com? Name: Rachel Flesch Title: Artistic Director Movie: 27 Dresses Reason: Frankly it's very hard to choose a favorite Rom Com I love so many of them! By default I want to just go to a Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon flick, but I opt for a different route. I love 27 Dresses because it combines 3 of the common Rom Com anecdotes; you have the wedding theme of course that makes all the single ladies dream about their princess day. You have the love hate relationship between the leads that naturally keeps you watching because you keep saying, "come on just give in and kiss you two! You know you're meant to be together!" Lastly there's the Jane of the movie, the girl is too relatable she's overworked, high strung, and the best friend that every girl wants. Of course naturally she has no luck in love, which the target audience relates to all to well. So yes I love this movie because it's relatable, I'm a workaholic myself, and cave at any of those squishy lovey-dovey movies that make girls melt as the leading lady gets swept off her feet with a bold public declaration of love by the man who thought he'd never love again. I'm a sap what can I say! Palmer Grove Winter 2012 | 7

With or Without You By Robin Baker Why won’t you love me? Why don’t you have me? Why can’t I make you feel anything at all? You have moved on and I have been waiting. I have encouraged you to follow your dream Not realizing that the dream was without me. Where did you go? Why am I still here? People say they grow apart But you did all the growing. I have been planted making our family roots But your growth takes you elsewhere. Although you will not understand, I do love you. I am proud of you and Wish I was a part of your growth. I am merely the support that is no longer needed. You are a good person and I am glad something or someone made you see that. Why couldn’t it have been me? I have always felt for you pride, happiness and love. I didn’t do well in showing it. I thought I was doing what you wanted. I was trying to make you happy. Why must the happiness that I support make me so sad? Your happy state seems to be a great place, I wish I were there … No one chooses to be alone in this world, but someone chooses for you.

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I feel as if you are sitting on my heart. You used to be inside. You have clawed your way out And now the weight on my heart is immense. I am trying hard to get you back in where you belong But you are trying so hard to stay out. Life is unfair Love is unfair This relationship is unfair. 14 years of trying to make you happy is not enough. Please see me Please feel me Please realize I am here. I wait for you every night Even though I know you are waiting to return after I fall asleep. Give me a chance to make you see you love me still. Let me into your happiness, I do not want to be alone With or without you.

Flower of Love By Robin Baker Our love was a flower It blossomed and was so beautiful. As the flower grew, you bloomed even more When did I become your thorn? I never realized I was causing you pain until it was too late. The flower has bloomed And is ready to be picked But no one wants its thorn.

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Rules for Living: Rule #23 Tell the People That You Love That You Love Them By Jeff Lafferty, Columnist Studies have shown that the number one reason why people are unhappy at work is that they feel unappreciated. Other studies have been done and show that the number one reason why people cheat in a relationship also feel unappreciated so they look outside their relationship for love and companionship. I know that studies are studies and anyone can do a study and push the results to be what they choose to believe. I do believe that relationship studies would want to be truthful and would want to learn something as important as the key to job and relationship happiness. So those are two examples of why it’s important to tell people that you love that you love them. I want to tell you why I think it’s important for you to tell the people you love them, but first I want to tell you some reason why I believe some people don’t tell people that they love them. Rejection, pride, and stubbornness are some of the many reasons why people don’t want to risk telling someone they care about them and love them. Some of those reasons go hand in hand. Low self-esteem and shyness can be linked and so can pride and stubbornness. Of course, I realize I am missing some other reasons, but these are the major reasons to me as to why people DON’T tell people they love them. Rejection is a feeling that nobody likes and has a hard time dealing with and for good reason. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world that you could possibly feel. There is a Neil Young song, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” that sums it up. People feel that if they expose themselves emotionally to someone, they can’t deal with heartbreak and that they can only tell someone they love them when they know that love is going to be returned 100%. The person then knows that they won’t be emotionally hurt, but that’s understandable in a loving relationship between two people. Feeling hurt or feeling unloved is one of the worst feelings you can possibly have in your heart, especially when that comes from a person that you admire so much that you put yourself out there to the point where you say “I love you”, and those are the relationships that would qualify as intimate relationships. Pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins. The problem with pride is that there are two common meanings. One is a positive connotation: meaning a satisfied sense of attachment toward one’s or another’s own choices and actions or towards a whole group of people and is a product of praise, independent selfreflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g. that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others. Some social psychologists identify it as linked to a signal of high social status. The second definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine, “the love of one’s own excellence.” A similar definition comes from Meher Baba, “Pride is the specific feeling through which egoism manifests.” In this sense, the opposite of pride is either humility or guilt; the latter in particular being a sense of one’s own failure in contrast to Augustine’s notion of excellence. Someone with high self-esteem for themselves doesn’t care about what other people think, just that the person they are with should be grateful for their attention. An overly prideful person will not say they love someone for that shows weakness in that they assume that the person doesn’t need to know. Stubborn people are the ones that you don’t understand because you know that they are smart enough to understand what they are doing is bad, but they are too stuck in their ways to want to change. Changing oneself later in life, as you get older, is tougher because you feel that what you have done so far is ok. People trying to justify it by telling themselves “I’ve gone this far in life this way, why change now?” The worst part about this is that they often pass this trait down to their children. Some people have taught or shown their children

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it’s ok to be set in your ways, close-minded, and that you need not allow anyone to tell you otherwise and to stick to your guns no matter what. They don’t allow anyone to get to know them as well as they could because they’re just going to disappoint you in the long run. The problem is, by the time the hard-headed person has figured out that maybe, just maybe, it’s not really a good idea to think this way and that they can’t find someone willing to trust and love them, they’re already being invited to be on Maury, Steve Wilkos or my personal favorite, the Jerry Springer Show (I have been to the Jerry Springer Show five times in the audience but that’s another article and column altogether!). Family is the only unconditional relationship that there shouldn’t be an excuse to not tell them how much you care about them. There should never be a moment where, as a family, you can’t say to your brother, sister, mother, father, grandparent or any other family member that you love them. Nothing makes a person feel better about themselves than to hear from people words like “I love you”. I don’t care who you are, how tough you are, when you hear your mother and father tell you “love you”, the only other feeling that can sound better is having one of your children tell you “love you”. Unfortunately, in the world we live, there are a lot of people who have never been able to hear those words from their parents or haven’t been blessed with children to be able to hear those words. It happens, and if you don’t think this is the case, just watch the news and you will see that if people would simply tell their family they love them, we would have less issues that we see on the news. People should never be afraid of telling their own family that they love them. I know that you are saying, “Jeff I am ___ years of age, why should I change now? I mean, what is in it for me to tell people that I love that I love them?” I know that I am not smart enough to know all the answers, but what I have found out is trust, an emotional bond, and bringing family closer together are reasons why it should be done. I mean if you want to be closer to your family, if you want to have a closer relationship to the people that you love, tell them that you appreciate them. You don’t have to tell them that you love them. You can get the same result if you just tell those people that you appreciate them in your life. Don’t be afraid of what people are going to say if you tell the people that have been with you through thick and thin that you appreciate them. The first of year people get caught up in trying to improve themselves, whether it’s wanting to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, or wanting to change something about themselves. I believe that if you find yourself being a more open person then your self-esteem will increase and you will find more people wanting to be around you and be a positive influence in your life because of it. Don’t get me wrong, if you haven’t told people that you appreciate them or love them before, when you start telling people this, some people are not going to believe you at first. Some people are going to question your motives and try to figure out what you are doing and who you are becoming. But in time they will understand and see how genuine you are as a person, a friend, or a family member, and on Dec. 31st 2012, when you look back on the year and you have this wonderful feeling of giving and being loved, wouldn’t that be better than being on the losing weight slip-n-slide? Or worse yet, finding yourself still drinking and smoking after you said for the sixth time in the year that you are going to stop? This is a resolution that is fairly easy to keep and will make you and those you value in your life feel wonderful. So make 2012 the year where people know that you care about them and let the people that you love truly know that you love and admire them. At this time next year you can tell people the amazing year that you had when all you did was tell the people that you care about or love that you care about them and have a great and wonderful 2012!

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Phone Call to Heaven By Denise Lamb "Katy why are you so gloomy?" Maw Maw asks with concern. "Don't you miss Pa Paw?" “Why sure I do baby, it was just his time to go.� "But I don't understand why he had to leave us, I miss him and I want him back where he belongs" Katy said with tear-filled eyes. Now Katy is like most nine year old girls. She is intelligent, lovable, and highly fond of her Pa Paw. He carried her around on a pillow when she was born because he thought she would break. He would pick her up and take her to his favorite hangout, where she would have a Coke and fries and listen to all the old men tell tall tales. She was always hanging around in his shop and watching him work. When he got sick, she insisted on taking care of him. There was not a thing in the world she would not do for him, or he for her. Maw Maw thought long and hard about how much Katy missed her Pap. She knew Katy would never move on and let go of the pain if she thought he had not gone on to a better place. She thought a phone call to heaven was in order. So she called Uncle Mark and asked for his help. Uncle Mark was a bit skeptical, however he agreed to help. The next day Maw Maw told Katy, "Honey I think we need to call heaven, so you can talk to your Pap. That way you know he is OK." Katy threw her arms around her and was shouting and crying all at the same time. "Can we really Maw Maw, can we really call Heaven?" "Yes honey, we can, but we can only do it once. Heaven is a very busy place and only one phone call is allowed". Maw Maw said very solemnly. "When we will we call Maw Maw?" asked Katy the excitement making her voice catch in her throat. "I think we will call Sunday after church." "I don't think I can wait that long. I am going to write a long list of things I want to know so I won't forget." Katy said as she was running down the hall to her room. Maw Maw chuckled to herself, and wondered if she was doing the right thing. Surely this could cause no harm. All she wanted to do was bring a smile back to Katy's face and hope back to her heart. When Sunday finally rolled around Katy was on pins and needles. Her heart raced so fast, she thought it was about to jump right out of her chest. Church could not be over soon enough for her. On the ride home she was full of noisy anticipation. "Can we please call as soon as we get home?" "Sure Honey, just let me check on the chicken in the oven, hang my sweater up, and put my bible away." Katy sighed long and deep as Maw Maw walked away. "Man that is going to take forever, I want to talk to Pap." "Sugar just as soon as we can, we will make that call." Maw Maw, was having second thoughts but there was

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no way she could back out now. She picked the house phone held her hand over the button and started pushing some buttons, she then released the button and dialed uncle Mark's phone. "Hello Heaven, yes this is Mrs. Tilman, I would like to speak to my husband Bob. Yes sir, I know this will be my only phone call. Yes sir, Katy does want to speak to him, thank you sir." Maw Maw handed Katy the phone there were tears in her eyes and her hand shook a little. "It's OK Maw Maw, I wont hog up all the time, I promise. I just need to hear him and ask how he is doing. Hello Pap are you there?" "Why sure I am Katy, how are you doing?" Paps voice sound strong and cheery. "This isn't Pap. Who is this and where is my Pap?" Katy hears a man take a deep breath and kinda coughs a bit. "Hello Katy, how did you know this was not your Pap?" "Because Pap never called me Katy, he always called me Little Bit. Now who are you?" "Katy, you may not remember me, but I am your uncle Chris. I am your Uncle Mark's brother who passed on three years ago." "I remember you, you used to give me piggy back rides, and a dollar." she grinned into the phone as those memories came to her. "Yes, yes I did. I am so glad you remember me." Uncle Mark was glad he was prepared with a back up plan. Katy was a smart young lady. "I saved all the dollars you gave me. I put them in my piggy bank and I am not going to touch them." Katy was very proud she saved them. "Why not sweet-pea? I gave them to you so you could enjoy them?" " I am saving them 'cause you gave them to me and that is how I remember you." "Well sweet-pea you will always have those memories, things like that will never fade from your mind or your heart. Just like the people you love will never really leave your heart." "Why are you on the phone and not Pap? Is there something wrong with Pap?" "Well Katy, see Pap went fishing with some of his buddies up here. You know how he gets when he is fishing, he don't like to be bothered. But I know he is going to be sad he missed this call. He misses you bunches." "Tell Pap not to be sad Uncle Chris, I just wanted to make sure he was OK and to ask him a question." Katy had that soft secret smile of hers, she was finally healing. "What did you want to know Katy, maybe I can help?" Uncle Mark hoped he could answer her question and make things better for her. "What did you and him do that was so bad, that y’all were taken away from us?" "Katy we did nothing wrong. We fulfilled all the things God wanted us to do. God, has a plan for all his children and when it is your time, you come home to heaven. We are free from pain, can walk and run and do all the things we were able to do when we were young. And we rejoice when we see our loved ones." Uncle Mark could feel the tears come to his eyes, he knew in his heart Katy would understand.

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"Well I want to go to heaven now. That way I can see him anytime I want." Katy thought that, that sounded like the perfect solution. "No Katy. you can not do that. You have not fulfilled God's plan. Plus you would miss all your family and friends on earth." "How will I know what that is Uncle Chris?" "Well Katy, for each of us it is different. God gives us free will and choices. We learn to make the right choices and when make the bad ones, we learn from our mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and never do that again. You will know what to do I am sure of it. Katy, I have to go now, someone else needs a call from home. Tell everyone I love them and we are OK." Uncle Mark, had to end the call he was getting very choked up from his emotions. “Bye, Uncle Chris and thank you for helping me to understand about Heaven. Oh nooo Uncle Chris come back...hello is anyone there? Maw Maw I am so sorry I forgot to give you the phone." Katy was frantic, she was so caught up in everything Uncle Chris had explained to her. "It is all right Katy, I heard everything you said. Do you feel better honey?" Maw Maw asked with concern and tears filling her eyes. "Yes Ma'am I do." Katy was grinning and looked so happy. About that time Uncle Mark comes in with red swollen eyes. "Uncle Mark, I got to talk to Uncle Chris in Heaven, and he loves you and he is OK." She slows down a moment and looks at her Maw Maw, who has tears in her eyes. She looks at Uncle Mark closer and says "And you know what Uncle Mark? You and Uncle Chris sound a lot like each other on the phone too!" She runs and scampers off to her room singing the song her Pap taught her about Jesus and the little children.

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Winter Storm By Billie Bunting As winter comes near and soon snow will fall. Most of us don't like snow because of the negative that it brings, but we must remember if there is a negative there must be a positive somewhere looking to be found... And I believe I have found the positive side of winter when snow falls to the ground... Snow makes everything Beautiful once again. Palmer Grove Winter 2012 | 15

Diet Tips so Easy That Even I Should Be Able to Follow Them By Carri Bonner, Editorial Director Every year, hundreds of thousands of people make the commitment to lose weight. In the hype of the new year, it’s easy to think “This will be the year!” By the end of January though, many have given up that promise, citing that it’s “too hard”, “too unrealistic”, “too much work”. I too, have fallen prey to the hype on many occasions. I know I have weight to lose, around 80 pounds if I’m being honest. I know that the concept is to expel more calories than intaking. I know that I should fill up on fruits and vegetables and have minimal amounts of meats, fats and sweets. However, I, like countless others, struggle with making the little changes that will allow me to lose the weight for good, not just temporarily. For one thing, food just tastes so darn good! I’m one of those eaters that doesn’t believe “less is more” but rather, “this is so good I better have a little more just to enjoy it longer!” I’m not an emotional eater, however, I’m completely and totally addicted to sweets. Not just, “Oooh that sounds good” addicted, but rather, if they’re in the house, I can’t resist them. And I know I’m not alone in these struggles. So in preparation for the new year and an honest commitment to bettering my health, I’ve compiled the following tips. These tips are repeated on nearly every diet site I’ve ever browsed, every diet book I’ve ever read and in every talk show that talks about dieting pitfalls and how to overcome them. I’m a master dieter, and I’m here to share my wisdom! Tip One: Use a salad plate, not a dinner plate. One of the most often repeated tips I see is to use a salad-size plate for your main meal or dinner. Dinner plates have become huge! In the 1960’s, dinner plates were 7.5” to 9”. Nowadays, plates are minimum 10” and can go as large as 12”. On average, it’s a 30% increase in plate size from the 1960’s. Think about it folks, if you go to an older home and look at the cabinets, our dinner plates today WOULD NOT FIT! They’re much too large to fit on the shelf. Sadly, many of us have become much too large to fit into items created in the 1960’s. Think I’m kidding? Check out chairs from that time frame. Look at airline seats, which coach seats have generally stayed about the same size. This one may seem a little silly, but it’s all about what the brain perceives. Many of us eat alone or simply with our family. While using matching dishes is nice, it’s not what most of us use on a day to day basis. It’s quite simple to swap out a smaller salad plate. So cut your current plate down about 2 inches. Don’t go much smaller than that or you’ll be tempted to go back for seconds. Cutting it down about 2” will help cut your calories while your brain perceives that your plate is full, therefore you should be as well.

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Tip Two: Know thy portion sizes. In today’s society, portion sizes have become monstrous. This has been the hardest one for me to follow as very few restaurants serve in these sizes. Even when cooking at home, we tend to overfill our plates. Who hasn’t looked at a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice meal and thought “Where’s the rest of it?” Sadly, those meals ARE the correct portion sizes. Refer to the following chart and prepare to be stunned. Seriously, until you get the hang of it, print this off and carry it with you. It’s a reminder of what you should be looking for on your plate. You won’t get served these sizes in restaurants so you’ll have to remind yourself what the proper size is. And think of the money you’ll save on your grocery bill if you stick to these sizes! Suddenly, a pound of chicken or beef CAN feed a family of 5. Tip Three: Start with a salad or soup. Limit the toppings. This may seem counter-productive to eating less, however, eating a low-cal salad or soup before dinner will help you eat less overall. Sure, it’s a pain in the butt to start serving an extra course after a long day at work, however, taking the extra few minutes to eat this first will help you feel full sooner. It takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomach to indicate to our brain that we’re full. If you start with a salad or soup, by the time your main meal has started, it’s 10 minutes or so into the meal. Because most salad or soup is water based, your stomach begins to feel full sooner and you will tend to put down the fork without finishing your dinner. How many times, at a restaurant, have you eaten the salad and then realized you were already half-full and you may have ordered too much food? Sadly, most of us force ourselves to eat it because, well, we paid for it! The pitfall to this is choosing the right salad or soup. Soups should be broth, not cream, based. Salads can have as many vegetable toppings as you’d like but extremely limited croutons, cheese, etc. that add unnecessary calories. Also, pay attention to your salad dressings and how much you’re using. A little olive oil and vinegar is best, however, simply measuring out an actual serving of salad dressing until you get used to the size should suffice. Tip Four: Get a To-Go box at the start of the meal or split a meal. This is one of those tips that makes us self-conscious, however, is one that will still allow you to eat out without blowing your diet. It’s quite simple: When eating at a restaurant, ask for a to-go box when your food arrives or even before it arrives. Once you get the to-go box, think about your portion sizes and leave one portion on your plate, box the rest. Most restaurant serving sizes are 2-4 times what an actual serving size should be. You’re eating anywhere from an extra 500 to possibly 2500 calories per restaurant meal depending on what you order. Another option to this is order with a friend. Decide on one meal you’d both enjoy and actually split the meal. A few restaurants charge a small fee for this, however, for the most part, most are happy Palmer Grove Winter 2012 | 17

to bring an extra plate with the entrée. Just remember that if you’re splitting the entrée, don’t fill up on extra bread or appetizers. Also, as a side note, if you’re splitting an entrée, remember to tip your server as if you had ordered two entrees. They still had to wait on and serve more than one person! Tip Five: Pay attention to what you’re putting on your salads. Here’s another that seems to be common sense but we still tend to goof up. Many people order the salad at a restaurant because it’s healthy. However, they don’t take into account the dressing, the toppings or any of the other added goodies that add needless calories. Don’t be ashamed to ask for your dressing on the side and ask if they have low-calorie alternatives. I have a friend who used to bring her dressing with her because she knew exactly what was in it and how many calories it had. There’s nothing stopping you from doing the same. And whether it’s at home or in a restaurant, pay attention to what you’re putting on top. Peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. – go for it! Cheese, croutons, “mixed toppings” like seeds, sesame sticks, etc. that come in one container? Take the time to portion them out accordingly. And anytime you’re adding grilled chicken, ham, or other meats, look at your portion sizes. Adding 4 2-3 ounce fried chicken fingers on top of a salad doesn’t negate the calories from those chicken fingers! Tip Six: Eat at a table, not in front of a TV or standing up in the kitchen This is the roughest tip I will try to follow honestly. My family *loves* to watch TV together. We eat in front of the TV every single night. Most families do nowadays. However, our brain is so focused on what is happening on the TV that we tend to ignore the signals that we’re full. We don’t taste the richness and flavor of the food because we’re distracted so we tend to add things like extra butter or salt or sauces to make up for the flavor we’re “missing”. While all of us can multi-task, it’s been proven repeatedly that watching TV while eating affects how the food tastes, smells and looks to us. This is especially true if we view commercials with food while we’re eating. Commercials that show food tend to “artistically enhance” the actual food, causing our brain to crave that food. So even though we’re eating or have just finished eating, it triggers a response in our brain to want *that* food and we will over-eat what’s in front of us or reach for a snack in response. Standing also causes us to overeat as we tend to eat more quickly when we’re standing. We don’t allow time for the food to be enjoyed and we tend to reach for an extra serving when we’re not even sure if the first serving did the trick. So even if alone, take a minute to sit at a table and think about what you’re eating. Try not to read or anything, just focus on the flavors, texture and fulfillment of the food. Tip Seven: Eat several times a day in small quantities Our metabolism is quietly working in the background while we go through our day. One way to keep it functioning efficiently and not become “sluggish” is to eat several small “meals” throughout the day. Set a calorie limit for your weight loss plan and split that out throughout the day by eating at least 3 small meals and 3 solid snacks or 6 small meals. Fibrous foods such as apples, berries, and bran will help meet higher fiber requirements for health as well as giving your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. Adding protein in the form of nuts or small amounts of meat or fish during 18 | Winter 2012 Palmer Grove

meal time will help you feel full longer and not cause blood sugar spikes that cause us to overeat. Also, because you’re eating throughout the day (but making better food choices!), you won’t feel deprived and reach for something as a “pick me up”. Tip Eight: Food log, food log, food log I cannot stress this enough. Male or female, seasoned dieting pro or newcomer just trying to drop a few pounds, get a notebook, a fancy journal, a spreadsheet on your computer, or a calorie counting website. Write down EVERY SINGLE FOOD ITEM that you eat. Even if you think “it’s only one bite”, write it down. Most of us have no idea just how much we eat throughout the day. Every little thing, from one pat of butter to a couple bites of the kids’ food as you’re putting their plate in the kitchen adds up. I suggest using a calorie counter site. It makes it way more real when you see in front of you exactly how many calories, fat, etc. you’ve consumed that day. Yes, it will take time to start with, however, seeing what you’re consuming in black and white form will open your eyes to why you haven’t lost weight so far. Once you get used to the program, it will also help you know off the top of your head exactly what you can reach for when snacking or what you can have for dinner according to the calories you have left. And when logging, be sure to read labels! Oftentimes, a “single-serving” container actually holds 2-3 servings. Take the time to familiarize yourself with calorie content, fat content and fiber amounts. Portion out servings if need be until you’re better able to judge how much a serving is. Use measuring cups or count out the items. It takes extra time, but it’s worth having accurate counts. This step is especially important if you’re not adding an exercise regiment to your routine. It’ll help keep you within a calorie goal. Tip Nine: Add 10 minutes of exercise to your day Whether it’s taking the stairs at work once a day or parking out in the farther spots when shopping, every little bit of exercise adds to your overall health. Studies have shown that adding even as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day to your routine can improve heart function and weight loss. If you can’t take 10 minutes at one time or can’t physically exercise for 10 minutes, add 5 minutes twice a day. Walk in place for 5 or 10 minutes, take the stairs, doing stretches, as long as your body is moving for at least 10 minutes a day, you’ll feel the benefit. If you haven’t been exercising, starting with 10 minutes doesn’t seem too over-whelming. The goal is to reach 30 minutes per day, whether at one time or split up throughout the day. Tip Ten: Don’t give up, ever. This is, by far, the most important tip I can mention. If you have a bad weekend and eat everything in site, take a deep breath, decide when to get back to healthier eating and just do it. When everything seems to be going wrong and nothing seems to be working for you, remember that your diet and food consumption is something you can control entirely. If you’re craving something sweet, find a way to indulge without ruining your diet completely. Just remember that you can do this. You can make the changes to be a healthier, more fit you. And you’re worth it! Palmer Grove Winter 2012 | 19

We’re all human and food is so much a part of our lives that we’re going to indulge when we’re happy, sad, lonely, celebrating. It’s part of the fabric that brings friends and family together. It nourishes our souls, feeds our bodies and gives us a reason to come together. Remembering and sharing these tips should get us back on track to being around for a long time and help us to remember to enjoy food as opposed to mindlessly consuming it.

What is your favorite Rom-Com? Name: Bethany Schoeff Title: Columnist Movie: The Holiday Reason: A charming yet

Good luck! And don’t forget to join our community character-driven film about page at and share your not one, but two romances, The Holiday is weight loss triumphs and tragedies. We can do not your typical boy-meets-girl-they-fall-inthis together!

Winter Scene, By Kat Bonner, Staff Artist

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love tale. There is great chemistry among the four lead actors; even Jack Black pulls off a believable performance. I especially love Kate Winslet in this; she is one of my favorite actresses. Her character's friendship with 'Arthur Abbott' (played by Eli Wallach) creates a touching subplot. Just an overall feel-good, but not too sappy, love story!

The photos on this page were submitted by Denise Lamb. Top right: Robbie with son Asher Bottom left: Chloe Bottom right: Nature’s heart from a cypress root Palmer Grove Winter 2012 | 21

A Hand to Hold By Cory Baker I hold up my fingers, to catch the sun, but it slips right through them, and I’m left with nothing, but a warmth. I hold out my hands, to capture the wind, though it’s presence is all around me, I have nothing to grasp. I feel cool. I reach out my arms, to hold you close, but you are no longer here; you have gone away. I feel secure. For though I am not able to touch you, I can feel you all around me, like the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the wind, forever in my heart.

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All These Things By Cory Baker A speck of light in the darkness all around. A beautiful melody in my world void of sound. A spark; a dream; in a time with so very few. A ray of glorious hope all these things are you. You spoke to me of a secret, that I thought was only mine. With every word you said to me my heart began to shine. I can’t believe it, that you feel the same as I do. I can’t believe it’s happening, I can’t believe it’s true. A smiling morning, a laugh within the gloom, a wish upon a star, a dream beneath the moon, the beauty of a sunrise, the surrounding sky of blue, wondering and waiting, All these things are you.

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Chez Chef Schoeff: Northern Italian Soup By Bethany Schoeff This column features delicious recipes that just happen to be allergyfriendly—free from all, or nearly all, of the top eight most common food allergensǂ, with ways to modify the recipe to meet your specific needs. Each recipe will contain an “Allergy Info” section listing which allergens are absent, in addition to recommended substitutions. After the food-laden holidays, January generally brings about the desire for healthier eating. Yet most people eventually abandon their New Year’s resolutions. Research shows that only 12% achieve their set goals. To ensure success, try establishing smaller, more attainable objectives. Instead of completely revamping your diet, make minor changes to the foods you already prepare. For example, find healthier substitutions for meats and high-fat dairy products since they are the primary sources of saturated fats. With the prevalence of food allergies, there are now a variety of vegetarian and dairy-free products available in most regular grocery stores†. (For advice and help to remove dairy from your diet, visit and try it for a mere 10 days to see if you feel different, better, healthier.) Artistic Director, Rachel Flesch and I came up with some simple changes to make introducing a better diet more manageable: 1. When baking, substitute whole-wheat flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe. 2. Use plain yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream. There are also dairy-free yogurts (soy-, rice-, or coconut-milk-based) that would work equally as well. Great for chicken salad and in tacos! 3. Substitute lean ground turkey for ground beef. This change results in no significant difference in the taste, texture, or consistency. 4. Make homemade salad dressing using olive oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs. Not only is it money-saving, but it is also healthier; some bottled salad dressings contain added preservatives and excess fat. 5. Vegan cheese is a great alternative to regular cheese. When substituted in recipes, there is almost no discernible flavor difference. 6. When baking and cooking, choose an unsweetened, plain dairy-free milk alternative, such as soy, almond, or rice milk. There is also a coconut milk beverage (lighter and thinner than canned coconut milk). These “milks” can be replaced 1:1 for cow’s milk. They can also be used to make “buttermilk,” using a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to curdle the “milk.” 7. Mix your own fruit-flavored yogurt at home. Buy a large container of vanilla yogurt (again, dairy-free versions work just as well); scoop out individual portions and add sugar-free fruit preserves or even fresh fruit. 8. For one meal each week, choose to eat meat-free or vegan. (Bonus: Doing this reduces your carbon footprint more than if you were to eat/buy local 7 days a week!) Visit for more information on this movement. Also, check out the quick, easy recipe below to get you started!

Northern Italian Soup This healthy recipe can be easily prepared with ingredients normally kept in one’s winter pantry. To make it truly vegetarian, be sure to use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. Please note that the listed herbs are dried, not fresh.

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INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped, OR 1 T. dried, minced onion 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 or 2 fresh cloves) 1 (28 oz.) can diced or stewed tomatoes, undrained (OR 3 cups fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped, with their juice*) 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth (about 2-15 oz. cans) 2 cans (about 15 oz. each) cannellini or Great Northern beans, undrained 2 tablespoons parsley 1 teaspoon ground rosemary 1 teaspoon basil ½ teaspoon oregano ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste**) ½ t. salt, optional*** 1 cup (4 oz.) small pasta, uncooked (such as ditalini or mini shells) DIRECTIONS Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add fresh onion (if using) and garlic; sauté until veggies are soft but not yet brown. Stir in tomatoes, broth, beans, and seasonings, including dried onion (if using). Bring to boil; stir in pasta. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. TIPS *To easily chop fresh tomatoes, reserving their juice, first remove stem and core. Then add them whole to a large liquid measuring cup; use kitchen shears held straight up and down to roughly chop them. Bonus: the amount needed can be seen right on the measuring cup as you chop! **Reduce the amount of pepper if you are sensitive to spicy foods. Feel free to add more pepper during cooking if you like your soup spicier. ***I omit the additional salt from this recipe when I make it. As most canned tomatoes, beans, and broth already contain salt, adding more to the soup can be too much. Adjust to your taste preference. ALLERGY INFO This recipe is free of eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. To make it dairy-, wheat-, soy-, and/or gluten-free, carefully choose a broth with safe ingredients. To make it wheat and/or gluten-free, use a glutenfree pasta (alternatively, you can omit the pasta altogether, increase the beans to 3 cans, and scale down the amount of broth). Beans are naturally gluten-free, but canned ones can sometimes contain other non-GF ingredients (look for cans that list only beans, water, and salt as ingredients). Always double-check ingredients, including cross-contamination risk based on your level of sensitivity and comfort. ǂThe eight most common food allergens (accounting for 90% of allergic reactions) in the US are: Dairy/cow’s milk, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Wheat, Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts), Fish (such as flounder, cod, bass, salmon), Shellfish (mollusks, such as clams and oysters, and crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, lobster) †Feel free to contact me at any time if you need product brand suggestions. Be sure to visit for more recipes and to follow the Chef Blog!

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The Farmhouse

By Brian A. Palmer This place holds many memories: of the past, hope for those in the future, and those we are making in the present. No matter what it is that brings me here, it provides the one thing that gives me the courage to go back into the world and try. To most people it looks just like any other farmhouse in South Eastern Ohio. Nothing fancy, only a plain, homey house with a plain, homey yard. One of those yards that just beckons to you to come and lie down, take off your shoes, and watch the white circus in the sky. Although it only looks like any other house to anybody else, it is a place where I can heal my ravaged heart and my broken wings. The caretaker of this miracle place is even more spectacular. She is the woman who brought my mother into the world. The woman who carried all of her five children through the valleys of their lives, never once expecting even a thank you and many times never receiving one. She is the woman who has pushed each of her twelve grandchildren to pursue their dreams and to never believe those who say we cannot, when she proves to us daily that we can. The woman who taught us to look adversity in the face and triumph over it. Every time that I enter into this place of weathered wood, faded paint, and home-made airs I am surrounded by all of the priceless skills that she taught each of us. My first cooking experience was in this traditional, lovefilled kitchen. The sound, which still rings in my ear, of the fork scrapping the side of the metal bowl urging me on, to stir harder even though the handle was digging into my tender palm. The feel of the eggshell in my dainty hand as it cracked open to reveal the golden treasure inside. The exhilaration of sneaking bits of batter when she was not looking. The childish impatience of waiting for the bothersome bell to chime. The joy from having the privilege of eating the very first one and the pride of watching my mother approvingly eating a few herself. True and honest love was also first found here. The care that she gave when I was sick or when my spirit was wounded gave me the strength to fight harder, to try again. When my parents' marriage was crumbling all around me and I felt the terror of my whole world, my entire existence being destroyed with it, she was there

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to mercifully pull me from the wreckage and show me the light of the future, a future that lied in store for me and me alone. Her never ending love showed my heart that life may be hard, but that it is up to us to smooth the way for those who are yet to come. In this place I truly have learned what my faith is, why I believe as I do, and the foundation that my entire family is built on. Every time that I look at her I can always see the Love of Christ radiating from her. Life dealt her a hand that would cause any ordinary person to crumble, but because her Lord was there to carry her through she has met each obstacle and has utterly obliterated it. She did not let the unbearable pain from the aftermath of a divorce in a time where it was almost unheard of and extremely looked down upon keep her from picking up the pieces of her life and moving on. In future years, through the Love of Christ, she was able to find the strength to forgive and aid her ex-husband and his new family when they were going through hard times. She spends countless hours in this place cooking, praying, and looking out for all of her family and friends. As I venture into this overwhelming world of bills, appointments, bank statements, and code numbers I find myself lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I often wonder where the world of innocence, heartfelt love, and childhood has gone and why has it forsaken me. Then I end up back at this place that I know will always console my spirit, and I know that no matter what it is that draws me here, she will always be standing at the door welcoming me back and ushering me inside.’

Wolf Play

By Reagan Reagan enjoys many aspects of art. whether drawing in pencil, sculpting with clay, or taking photographs, she is always looking to capture what's in her head and heart and sharing it with others. With several years of private lessons, including graphical design, she hopes to use her talents in a vocational manner someday.

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Oh, the fun Of GrOundhOG’s day! By Krista Fox 364 days of the year, it always brings joy to my heart to think about my upcoming favorite holiday, Groundhog’s Day. While it doesn’t need a lot of fanfare to be enjoyed all by itself, over the years I have worked myself into a fun furry frenzy getting ready for this blessed day each February 2nd. You may ask, what in the world is there to love about this otherwise cold and most usually bleak day in early February? Well, I’d be delighted to tell you. I’ll also try to give you a little glimpse of what Groundhog’s Day looks like in my world. I love Groundhog’s Day for the sweet surprise that it is right in the dead of winter. Most people aren’t expecting it, and yet when Punxsutawney Phil pops up out of his burrow to declare 6 more weeks of winter, or an early Spring, people start to get hopeful that the sun WILL come out again pretty soon, icicles will melt, there WILL be green grass again, flowers to plant, leaves on the trees, and it will be time to play outside again. That alone is reason enough for me to want to celebrate this obscure to most little holiday. But now that it’s gotten so much attention in my little world, it seems like the fun just keeps growing and growing with each passing celebration. I start planning out what I want to order right after Christmas is over. There’s a great website called that has a huge variety of items to delight every Groundhog’s Day fan. Last year I nearly went into convulsions when the box arrived at my door. There were little paw prints stamped on the brown paper sacks of groundhog stuff even! Oh joy! I ordered chocolate groundhog pops, groundhog coffee, soaps, napkins, bookmarks, pens, stickers & signs. Everything was packed between layers of newspaper, bubble wrap and a LOT of love. I like to get a few inexpensive things to give away to people for the holiday. =) Along with the box of stuff, I start making Groundhog sugar cookies a couple of weeks before the big day, in order to spread out the baking, so I don’t get too stressed closer to the 2nd. I have several sizes of groundhog cookie cutters and make a yummy ginger cutout recipe that uses little raisins for the eyes. I also make sugar cookie cutouts with brown chocolate frosting fur, chocolate jimmies and whatever I can find to decorate the eyes. I make dozens and dozens of cookies, and start taking them to work, church and various other excited recipients a few weeks before the actual day. About a week before the 2nd, my daughter and I begin making Groundhog cupcakes. These consist of a cupcake with an unwrapped mini Almond Joy bar sticking out of the top. We decorate it to look like a cute little groundhog coming out of his cupcake burrow. I bring these to any prediction parties I have. I always have a prediction party at work the weekend before Groundhog’s Day hits. I have a little guess box with a slit in the middle that we put slips of paper with people’s Groundhog’s Day prediction guesses. People guess if Phil will see his shadow or not and then I make a tally sheet from year to year that I post on the break room wall that has everyone’s names, and how they’ve done over the years in being amazing predictors along with Phil. Along with the guess box, I have the back counter set up with a stack of multiple choice Groundhog Facts quizzes that people take in order to win prizes, as well as a bunch of adorable Groundhog stuffed animals, the plates of cookies & cupcakes, along with the 10-12 groundhog songs

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playing on my mp3 player speaker. When people walk into the break room, it’s a super fun place to be, I have Groundhog signs hanging from the ceiling and we just have so much fun eating, guessing and yes, Love Super Bowl parties, but not really interdancing. ested in the game itself? Need a way to keep

Super Bowl Fun

On the actual day, I get up extra early, get my cup of Groundhog’s brew coffee, glue myself to the TV to watch them pull Phil out of his burrow hoping against hope that he will not see his shadow. The rest of the day feels like my birthday with all the well wishes people who know me send my way. Some years I’ve spent the actual day in one of my kids’ classrooms spreading Groundhog’s Day cheer and reading Groundhog’s stories; sometimes I simply take a plate of cookies wherever I’m headed and joyfully report the morning “news”. Hopefully, I will make the homage to Punxsutawney, PA to enjoy the February 2nd frenzy full throttle someday.

the young ones entertained so you don’t miss a single play? Try this fun activity during your next Super Bowl party. The directions are simple. Provide everyone at your party with a copy of the scavenger list below. Then, as you watch the game and the commercials check off each item as it appears on the screen. Create a prize for the person who completes there card first. Visit and let us know

While I don’t have the desire to make anyone else what your do for your Super Bowl party! into a Groundhog’s Day convert or anything, there are bunches of ideas that anyone can get and use off the internet. The beautiful thing is that it can be uniquely yours to enjoy whatever way you want. There are no expectations or “ways” of properly celebrating the day… it’s just amazingly fun. Krista is a wife and a mother of three busy children ages 14, 13 and 11. She works part time in a hospital pharmacy and she enjoys singing, being an active part of her church, and gardening. Photos from previous page: (From top left) 1. Groundhog cookie-cutter. 2. Baking groundhog cookies. 3. A picture of the counter in the break room at work. 4. I hang little groundhog sigs from the ceiling. 5. Ginger cookie cutouts. 6. Groundhog's Day goodies. 7. Me… a little excited. 8. In my front yard. 9. Groundhog’s Day tee-shirt. 10. Tags that I put on bags of cookies. 11. Prediction slips. 12. One of my friends made me a stocking. 13. Some things from 14. Groundhog’s Day cupcakes. 15. The prediction box that I use.

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From the Beginning By Cory Baker Nov-All (nä-vȯl), is a new feature being added to Palmer Grove. If you enjoy writing and reading, you’ll love being part of our Nov-All. It is a totally new and exciting concept for us that should be of tremendous interest to anyone who wants to be part of Palmer Grove and part of a mass writing project. The premise is simple: A story, a work of fiction, is begun with only a few short paragraphs, just enough to turn on the imagination. It is started by any of our staff members. To keep it simple for the first one, every two weeks, one of our staff members will update the story on our website ( so you can continue to follow along. We’ll also be starting a Nov-All, or readers are welcome to start their own, on our community forums found also on our web page, so that everyone can participate! The “rules” are simple:  Stay true to the original story as presented and work with the given circumstances (i.e. the main character cannot suddenly become the opposite sex)  Make the story expandable: writing that the main character dies without introducing another main character (or building a minor character to main) to focus on defeats the purpose of the story.  Keep it PG-13. As this will be recapped in the magazine and posted on our forums, we ask that writers keep it PG-13 or low-key R so as not to alienate our younger readers. In our quarterly magazine, we will provide a summary of what has happened since the previous issue with the latest printed update. Our long term goal is to open this up to the readers. Starting Nov-All’s on our forums or even writing the next part of the main Nov-All is the ultimate goal to include our readers fully in this experience. We look forward to see what you come up with!

In waking Thursday, I had no preconceived notion of what Thursday would mean to me by Friday. Typical last day of the work week before the last day of the work week. Up by 5:00, shower by 5:30, quick breakfast and on the road by 6:00. Up and out most times before the sun decides to show up. Normal route to work; stop, go, stop go, try to beat the train, try to get a decent parking spot (there aren't any "good" spots, just decent or crap). At my desk by 6:58, and let the real monotony begin. Checking numbers against numbers against numbers. Both numbing and boring at the same time. The pay's horrible, but the hours suck (as Gordon is fond of saying). But today, I got caught by the train. Not a big deal, I had lots of extra minutes built up (2 per day for 5 years) so it wouldn't count against me, but it was enough. I was caught right at the beginning of the train, so it was going to be a bit of a wait. I got comfy (whatever that means in a 2-door Speck) and let myself drift off with the gentle click-clack of the wheels on the rails. I must have dozed off, because I woke up to the sound of a horn. Put old Peggy-Sue into gear (old girlfriend, dumb story), and still in a bit of a daze, drove the remaining half mile to work. Not really looking, I found a spot and parked. Now let me try to explain how our parking is set up. The "employee" lot is about a 1/4 mile walk from the building I work in. Apparently, someone who drives a Beemer-Five-Billion decided that the "employee" cars shouldn't be seen from the main building, as it will diminish our "upscale" image. Whatever man, just give me my check.

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So the lot is over a rise. When you are in "the lot", you can't even see our building, which was the point of placing this annoying hill between the two points. So I parked, got out, and headed towards the hill. If I had been fully awake, I may have noticed the lack of other cars in the lot, but I was still pretty groggy from my power "train" nap. I got to the top of the Marco Electronics Burial Mound with my eyes already focused on the entrance door, and realized after a moment, that the door was gone. Widening my focus, I saw that the entire building is gone. I blinked twice, and rubbed my eyes. Still not there. I'm pretty sure I also tried to think back to how much I had to drink last night. I either had so much I forgot, or I didn't have any. I was pretty sure it was the latter. I turned around to check my other surroundings, and all I could find was my own car, in a empty dirt field. No parking lot either. So not only did I get so locked into my routine that I pulled into a nonexistent lot, but I actually made it a point to fully center PeggySue between the imaginary lines of my spot. I sat there for a few minutes, trying to get bearings that seemed to have been left somewhere else, and came up with the only logical conclusion that seemed to fit the situation. I was lost. (or someone drugged my breakfast bar).

What is your favorite Rom-Com? Name: Jeff Lafferty Title: Columnist Movie: Any John Cusack Movie Reason: It's really romantic comedy movie that star John Cusack but if I have to pick one or the other it would be either Serendipity or Say Anything... The simple reason is for each one of the movies in its own way gives you what you want out of romantic comedies funny or interesting ways of the star couple meeting, then a stupid way the couple breaks up and then find out that they can't live without one another....Each one of the movies are that way just in totally different ways but in the end the same plot and sub plot.....Man and woman meet each other...Somebody wants to break them up.....then against all odds they realize how much they can't live without each it sounds corny but that's what a romantic comedy is supposed to be corny, predictable, and to be able to relate to the characters and that is what the three movies titled above give you.

The Palmer Grove Fashion Project The staff would like to announce the first ever Palmer Grove contest. The next issue of Palmer Grove will be our fashion issue and we would like your help to make this issue truly special and original. We would like to invite designers to submit an original design. These designs should attempt to capture the designer’s unique perspective on fashion and its direction. Selected designs will be featured in the next issue of Palmer Grove. For full details as well as to obtain an official contest application, please visit

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No By Kay Rice What is this sound so foreign to me? This feeling which makes closed wounds bleed? My heart opens up and creates such a crash. Emotions once locked up now outwardly lash. Hands tremble as my lip quivers and shakes. As I feel a push and my first step I take. What is this sound that comes from my throat? Beautiful music and power I seem to gloat. My eyes wide open and as I see others stare. These were the ones who never knew I was there. This sound at first weak now open and loud. What is this beautiful and powerful sound? My back straitens up and I stand proud and tall. I step to the edge, and yet I’m not afraid to fall. The eyes in great disbelief stare at me in the room. The whispers and shock seem to look for my doom. Once in the corner silence, so meek and so frail A sound that bellows like the wind in a sail. What is this sound so foreign to me? My heart beats hard as my mouth it leaves. My voice, I have a voice and others have heard I stood and I uttered with power only one word. One word, made the whole room stop and stare. One word made a difference and showed that I care. My voice was heard and others took a stand. My voice became the one that created the band. My one little word from the back of the room. Echoed as if it came from a long silent tomb. My voice so foreign to my own deafened ear. Yet it created something that made a tight seal. My opinions have been asked before I backed down. Content to just live and never make a single sound.\ But today something moved me deep in my heart. Something today told me I had to take part. Today I stood up, stood strait head to toe. Today I uttered one word, I said ‘No’.

Image Credits: and

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Chez Chef Schoeff: Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts By Bethany Schoeff This column features delicious recipes that just happen to be allergyfriendly—free from all, or nearly all, of the top eight most common food allergensǂ, with ways to modify the recipe to meet your specific needs. Each recipe will contain an “Allergy Info” section listing which allergens are absent, in addition to recommended substitutions. Have you noticed that most social gatherings in America involve food? This can make it rather daunting to plan or attend a party while having to take dietary restrictions into consideration. However, there are plenty of allergyfriendly snacks that one could simply buy or easily make. As always, be sure to double-check ingredients, including crosscontamination risk based on your level of sensitivity and comfort. (If you are hosting the party or making an item to bring to the party, it is very important to save labels for every ingredient used; only prepare foods using clean (not shared) utensils/cutting boards/ serving dishes, and all new, unopened products—even items such as sugar could already be contaminated in the kitchen.) Carefully read labels, remembering that allergens and gluten can “hide” in a lot of processed food, and ingredients change without notice and vary from region to region. Not every brand or all varieties of an item listed below will be allergy-free; obviously choose safe versions based on your dietary restrictions. Contact me† if you need recipes (for safe guacamole or bean dip or hummus, for example) or product recommendations. With that disclaimer, here are some allergy-friendly (free of the top 8 most common food allergensǂ and even gluten) party snacks: 1. Air-popped popcorn sprinkled with salt and spices, or “natural” microwaveable popcorn (where the only ingredients are popcorn, oil, and salt). 2. Corn tortilla chips and salsa, pico de gallo, and/or guacamole 3. Most plain potato chips. 4. Corn chips (like Fritos® with corn, oil, and salt as the only ingredients), served with a bean dip. 5. Nachos—melt Daiya™ “cheese” on top of corn tortilla chips. 6. Fresh or canned fruit with coconut-milk-based yogurt for dip. 7. Deli wraps—corn tortillas, turkey, lettuce, and mustard. 8. Dried fruit (such as raisins, dried apricots) or fruit snacks. 9. Fresh vegetables and hummus. 10. Homemade sweet potato chips—peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1/8”-thick rounds, toss with olive oil and salt, adding other spices, if desired; place on foil-lined pan and bake at 400° for 25 minutes, flipping once, until edges are crisp. 11. Baked/microwaved snack mixes using safe margarine and safe cereals (Chex® even comes in several gluten-free varieties)—make a salty mix using savory herbs/spices and air-popped popcorn; or a sweet version with honey, raisins, marshmallows, and apple-pie-type spices. 12. Cocktail links or cut-up hot dogs, speared with toothpicks, served with safe barbeque sauce or mustard. 13. Trail mix of safe cereals, marshmallows, dried fruit, and safe chocolate chips (e.g. ones from Enjoy Life®). 14. Cupcakes—Cherrybrook Kitchen®’s Gluten-Free Dreams Chocolate Cake Mix (using baking instructions given on box) and their ready-to-spread vanilla frosting. 15. Pepperoni with crackers from Crunchmaster® (Multi-Grain Crackers in Sea Salt, or 7 Ancient Grains Crackers in Hint of Sea Salt, or Baked Rice Crackers in Toasted Sesame). 16. Cereal bars using safe margarine or oil, marshmallows, and crispy rice cereal. 17. Chef Schoeff’s yummy bacon appetizers! (recipe below; be sure to see Allergy Info)

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Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts Always a favorite at parties, this recipe is easily doubled—which is a good idea since these tasty appetizers will be snatched up quickly! You will also need wooden toothpicks for this recipe, enough so that there is one toothpick per water chestnut (the recipe yields about 50).

INGREDIENTS 3 (5 oz.) cans water chestnuts 1 pound bacon, uncooked 2/3 cup ketchup 1 cup brown sugar 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)*

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375°. Soak toothpicks in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Drain water out of water chestnuts cans. Slice each raw bacon strip into thirds.** Place one water chestnut in center of each bacon piece; wrap bacon around water chestnut, securing ends with a toothpick. (see photo) Place bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, spacing evenly, in an ungreased 10”x15” rimmed baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until bacon is starting to crisp on edges. Remove pan from oven; drain grease or transfer bacon-wrapped water chestnuts to a clean baking pan.*** Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat just until boiling. Remove from heat; set aside. Pour sauce over the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, being careful not to get sauce onto exposed toothpicks (for cleaner handling and better appearance). Return to oven; bake 30 minutes longer, until sauce is bubbly and appetizers appear candied. Arrange neatly on serving dish.

TIPS *You can substitute the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce, prepared mustard, or even apple cider vinegar (just a little something to give the sauce some tang), choosing allergen-free versions if necessary. **To easily and quickly slice bacon, remove from package, maintaining the flat stack, and use kitchen shears to cut through stack in two places, dividing evenly into thirds. ***They fit fine in a 9”x13” glass pan for this step; they tend to “shrink” slightly while baking. ALLERGY INFO This recipe is free of dairy/milk, eggs, shellfish peanuts, and tree nuts (“water chestnuts” are actually a vegetable, not a nut). To make it fish-, wheat-, gluten -, and soy-free, carefully choose a Worcestershire sauce with safe ingredients (many brands aren’t allergen-free; contact me† if you need product suggestions as there are options out there), or use one of the listed substitutions (see TIPS above), or just omit entirely. Always double-check ingredients, including cross-contamination risk based on your level of sensitivity and comfort.

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ǂThe eight most common food allergens (accounting for 90% of allergic reactions) in the US are: Dairy/cow’s milk Eggs Soy Peanuts Wheat Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts) Fish (such as flounder, cod, bass, salmon) Shellfish (mollusks, such as clams and oysters, and crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, lobster) †Feel free to contact me at any time if you need product brand suggestions.

Be sure to visit http:// for more recipes and to follow the Chef Blog—there will be a GIVEAWAY in February!!

Flower Still Life Rachel S. is an honor roll seventh-grader. She lives with her parents and two younger brothers. In addition to art, Rachel S. enjoys horseback riding, reading, and acting; she also sings and plays the violin.

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What is your favorite Rom-Com? Name: Kyle Gordon Title: Graphic Designer Movie: Serendipity Reason: This movie is the perfect rom-com because it stars everyone's favorite hopeless romantic, John Cusack. Not to mention it takes place in New York City around Christmas.

Motherhood By Melissa Swetnam Being a parent is hard, especially when you are young. No one tells you of the struggles you will encounter. You've always been bombarded with cute babies, and not really told how expensive things are. When you think you've got everything covered when it comes down to clothes, bottles and diapers... You're hit with medical bills, sleepless nights, and being stuck at home, or only able to go to child-friendly places. I'm a young mother. I have yet to get my drivers license and a car. I've had cars, and plenty of practice driving. It's just that no one has had the time to take me down to the BMV. I just had my third daughter, and I'm planning on closing up shop. I just became of the legal drinking age and can't explore it. Not that I haven't drank, but I haven't been to a bar. It just might just be a good thing, I hear too many stories about bar fights and people getting into ruts with the cops. My children are my world, no doubt, but it would be great just to leave the house without having to lug 3 car seats, a huge diaper bag, and all the other necessities for any road trip. Then when visiting places for a while, ie: Grandparents or Parks, you have to pack their strollers and play pens. This would explain why my boyfriend does the working and shopping, to avoid these huge tasks. I sometimes wonder with this day of independent women rising to take care of themselves, hold jobs and take care of children, if they just do it all because they have to with or without a man. I'm a stay home mom, and wonder what it would be like to be the working mom. My mother stayed home and took care of me and my four other siblings. I don't recall my father ever changing diapers, fixing bottles or packing the diaper bag. My boyfriend seldom does either. Is that all men? I have to give my boyfriend credit though; he does work and do the cooking, some cleaning and helps out in the mornings when he has a day off, so I can catch an extra hour of sleep. But you won’t find him doing the dishes or wiping down the stove. He does the laundry and sweeps up the floor after fixing the kids breakfast. Sometimes I get surprised with breakfast in bed and it makes my day. I guess all the little things count. I suppose being a young mom; you want to prove to everyone you don't need their help and that you didn't screw up. I'm definitely one of those people. I want people to think my life is successful and easy going, but it isn't. I'm a mother of 3, I don't have a high school diploma, I just learned how to do the laundry this year (I mean I've done it, but I guess there's a little more then tossing clothes and soap into the washer). I'm a failure at cooking, but sometimes I make edible things. Do you ever feel selfish for buying yourself things, when you know you could have spent it on something more important? I've always felt this way. I grew up poor. I've always shopped second hand stores, and store brand foods. I have a guilty conscience and usually end up returning the 10 dollar shirt I just bought, even though I know it was a good sale, just so I can pick up some extra bottles or an outfit for one of my daughters, maybe something for my boyfriend. I just can't let myself feel good about buying things for me. I know that I can, I should, I deserve it, but maybe I rather make someone else happy, because I don't NEED it, and even if I did, I could wait a little longer. So, being a parent is tough and you have sacrifices. You learn to get by with what you have, and stop wanting more. You enjoy subtle gestures from your spouse and learn to deal without getting to sleep in all the time. You learn to do the dishes quickly so they don't pile up, and clean messes as soon as they happen so your kids aren't playing in it, then spreading it around the house, causing a bigger mess. You enjoy the quiet time the most, especially when your kids are all taking a nap. I guess that's why no one ever tells you the hardships of being a parent. You feel like you've accomplished more if you learn it on your own.

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Out of Sight By Kevin Buettner Go to the sink and turn on the tap. You probably have cool, crisp water flowing out of the faucet. Chances are though, you won't drink it. You have been told by the media that it is unsafe you should fear it. Instead, you buy bottled water or filtered pitchers. Chances are the bottled water was bottled from a municipal water source, much like the one you are taking your tap from. But how does the tap water get to you? Most people will say it come through pipes and into the house. They would be correct, but there is little thought of the water mains and other piping until one bursts and the town is put on a boil advisory. Then there is an outcry for the city to fix it and quickly. No one likes to be inconvenienced. Go outside, or in your garage, and start your vehicle. Back out of the garage or driveway and head down the street and into the city. You may gripe about the pot holes in the road, the uneven bridge joints, or the overall poor condition of the asphalt. Even with the smoother rides of today's vehicles, the road is still felt throughout the ride. Perhaps there is congestion on the roadway. So much for making it to the airport or work on time. You are stuck in the everlasting gridlock ironically called 'rush hour". You look at the fuel gauge and notice it is heading toward the dreaded letter "E". Now you have to pull over to a fueling station and pump a sum of money into your tank. With today's prices, $40 is not uncommon for a fuel-up, if not more. But it's okay, you tell yourself. I'd rather pay $40 a week or more to enjoy the freedom of the road. I don't NEED that gaming system, or the healthier food at the supermarket. I can subsist off macaroni and cheese and Ramen noodles. It's a good trade-off. You get to the airport and the lines are long. You stand there, luggage in hand, waiting to go through security. Your carry-on is stuffed until it barely zips up. You want to avoid that baggage fee that you call unjust. So you go through the lines and scanners and emerge slightly more flustered on the other side, but at least you can head toward your gate and to your plane. When you get there, you find the flight overbooked and you are bumped to the following flight as you were the last one to check in. In the name of making money, the airline sold your seat twice; hoping one of you wouldn't make it. Now you're delayed again. When you do get on board, you realize that you are in the middle seat and there are two larger adults on either side of you. You now have to deal with a three hour flight without the ability to relax and stretch out. Cramped in your seat, you are forced to play solitaire on your iPod and listen to music to drown out the crying children, the snoring adult to your left, and the all too common sounds from the flight deck changing the seat belt sign. You arrive at your destination tired, slightly upset, and ready to crash. But isn't this the world you want? You vote to cut taxes over and over again. You vote to kill rail projects that would help alleviate congestion both on the highways and in the air. In the time you took to drive to the airport, go through security, wait to board, and then fly to your destination, you could have ridden the train to the downtown terminal, hopped aboard a regional train, and been to your destination in less or equal time, and had the space to stretch out and relax. Oh, and there aren't baggage fees for your first two large bags. There’s a fee only if you check any larger ones in the baggage car. Not to mention, the train fare is far less than flight to the same city most likely, unless you are one of the lucky ones that got a reduced fare. You demand the highways be paid for from a Trust Fund. Turns out airports are too. But rail? No, it's not one of the lucky forms of transportation. It's been forgotten in most of the country. Instead, it's forced to make a profit the old-fashioned way. Airlines receive subsidies, as do roads. Is that fair, probably not, but since you elect not to pay taxes, you don't really care. You'd like to use your savings in taxes to fill up your fuel tank, pay for parking at work, or for automotive maintenance when you hit a pot hole and get a flat tire.

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All of this in the name of freedom. America HAS to have this because we are SO independent. We think mass transit is socialist. That is what the media tells us. It has to be true, right? Green energy is great, when it isn't near your house. That's what the news would have you believe. Don't mind the coal plant in the next town though, it's not like the emissions float over your house or anything. Instead, it's their problem. We are not immune to other people's problems. If we are indeed the greatest nation on Earth, shouldn't we act like it? Shouldn't we make strides to free ourselves of foreign oil? Shouldn't we make our transportation network the envy of the world again? Shouldn't we try to save the environment instead of consuming so many resources? We have the power, the knowledge, and the money to make it happen. Now we need the will and perseverance. But forget that, this is America, and my favorite TV show is on. I'll fix the problems later, lest I be inconvenienced. About the Author: Kevin Buettner is a Senior Airman in the United States Air Force. He is currently attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He is majoring in Political Science with a specialization in Transportation Policy. You can read more from Kevin at

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I dOn’t want tO be an adult tOday By Kay Rice If I concentrate, close my eyes real tight. Hold my breath, wiggle my toes just right. Hold out my arms at what is now a blank screen. Block out the next cubical noise and screams. Picture the sky in my mind like its real Then the wind I know I will start to feel. I don’t want to be here, at my desk so cold. Doing work that seems to always grow old. I want to be outside where the sky is blue. I want to be outside exploring with you. I want to find paths that have not been found. I want to hear things that are new sounds. I want to look down from dizzying heights. I want to know I’ve conquered those frights. I want to run and act like child who is free. I want to explore in wonder and be me. I want to sit on the curb and enjoy ice cream. I want to lie in the grass with you and dream. I want to go fishing and feel the sun on my back. I want to go hiking and find brand new tracks. Did I mention that I don’t want to be here? I want to go play and keep you so near. I don’t want to look at life through ones and ‘o’s I don’t want to just sit here, I just want to go! I’m being a child, kicking and stomping my feet. I want to go out and enjoy the summer’s heat. I’m being a brat; I know that it’s true But summer’s days are becoming so few. I don’t want to be here, no I don’t and I’ll say. I want to sneak out and just runaway. So if I concentrate, close my eyes really tight. Hold my breath, wiggle my toes just right. Hold my arms out to what is now a blank screen. Tell the girl who sits next to me to not scream. Picture the sky in my mind like it really is real Then the wind I know I will surely start to feel. That is until the clock chimes at the end of the day. That’s when I get to pack up and I run away. I shed off the false geek outer shell. I get to fly out of this cubical hell. I know you are waiting, ready to go. Car already packed with our Fishing poles.

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ChOCOlates, lOve and… MartyrdOM? By Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director When one mentions February 14th or Valentine’s Day the first thing that pops into your mind probably isn’t bloodshed. More likely it’s tiny winged cherubs, delectable sweets, and passionate romance. The thing is, those images didn’t come to light until the 19th century, and very well may have been what is popularly believed to be a ploy by greeting card companies. Valentine’s Day itself has been around since somewhere between 496AD and 498AD. The dates are cloudy, but we do know it was established by Pope Gelasius I to honor Saint Valentine, or rather the many Saint Valentines. There are a variety of historical documents relating to the day, and each tells a different story. The array of tales is probably due to the fact that throughout history, and specifically around the time frame that Valentines Day is believed to have been established, Valentine was a popular name. Just think of them as the Smiths of our day. This one is my personal favorite, and the one I’ve heard more often than any others. Claudius II had a revelation that single men made better soldiers, most likely because they had fewer distractions and worries of whom they would leave alone should they die. So as a result he completely outlawed marriage with the hope of building a better and stronger army. Saint Valentine wouldn’t have this though, it was unfair and we’d like to think he was probably a bit of a hopeless romantic himself. So he began performing secret marriages for lovers behind Claudius II’s back. Some say he also participated in helping Christian’s escape from Roman prisons. Needless to say he was eventually caught, and put to death for his defiance. It is believed that he was executed in February of 270AD, thus establishing it as a month of romance to honor the Saint who died for it. Another legend goes on to say that Saint Valentine was placed in prison. Whether this is the same Saint who committed the aforementioned “crimes” is a cloudy subject. They say that while in prison he fell in love with a young girl who would came to visit him everyday. Some believe she was the daughter of a prison guard, but alas their love couldn’t last forever. Before he was executed he wrote her a letter expressing his love and adoration for her, and he signed the letter “from your Valentine.” Referring to ones self or ones love, as a Valentine is still popular today, which leads many to believe this may be the true story of Saint Valentine’s Day. Why the day of February 14th was decided is somewhat of a mystery, but many believe it was decided to be the middle of the month by the Christian church so as to distract from the Pagan Lupercalia festival. Lupercalia was celebrated in the middle of February to welcome in Spring, it’s also where the term Spring Cleaning may have derived as many homes were cleansed with salt and spelt. Lupercalia also celebrated fertility and the Roman god of agriculture Faunus. Before the Christian church outlawed it, February was the month when a sort of “lovers lottery” would occur. The women of Rome would essentially put their names into an urn and the men would draw. For one year they were paired up as a couple, and many of those pairings ended in marriage. Just think of it as the original blind date with more of a commitment. The first official Valentine’s Day card came from Esther Howland in the 1840’s. She was a card maker known for ornate and beautiful handmade cards that were covered in scraps of lace and of beautiful images. Prior to this most people simply made their own cards or wrote notes throughout most of the 1700’s. Other gifts of affection that were exchanged included spoons with carvings in them such as hearts or keys, and it was believed that if a man gave a woman a gift of clothing and she chose to keep it then she would marry that man. Whether the holiday was used to honor a hopeless romantic, or distract from a Pagan holiday we know one thing for sure, February is a month of love, and Valentine’s Day is that one special day a year when we’re reminded to show others in our lives that we truly cherish them.

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Rules for Living: Rule #32 Only Love Can Break Your Heart By Jeff Lafferty, Columnist We are just around the corner from the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day. The day that men and women, who are in loving relationships, try to show affection to one another in one way or another. Whether it’s a bouquet or flowers, box of chocolates, jewelry, and even as simple as a night out alone, we tend to pull out all stops for this day. It’s really not about all those tangible items but really it’s about making sure that the person that you love knows that you love them. If you read my other article, you may realize the importance of telling that person why you love them. Here in this column, I am going to tell why only love can break your heart. I came to this realization from one of my favorite musical artists, Neil Young, and his song on his greatest hits album, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”. It’s a song about his friend that “hides in his inside a dream”. A dream that he finds somebody that he can fall in love with. I have another rule, “Love is only the real rational act.” It’s a feeling that is hard to describe, but when you know that you are in love then you are truly in love. It’s been a topic that has been covered in movies from the time movies have been made, from Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind to all of the romantic comedies that you can find on either Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, or ancient movie rental stores that you could find. As much as we don’t want to think about our parents, and even our grandparents, falling in love, it was an inevitable process that brought some kind of beauty and home to life. It’s really the sweetest thing to think about, and if there was a time to go back, would you want to see the whole process of how your parents met and then fell in love with each other? I mean think of your friends you know that are married and how they fell in love. Remember when they called you and told you after that first date they had with that person? You can probably remember the tone of their voice and how excited they were. You can remember how much fun they had on that date and you could tell by listening to the tone of their voice and how they describe the first encounter with that person that they were elated. They had an unbound energy and they may have even sounded silly gushing to you about the person they finally clicked with. The best example that I could try to describe to you would be the movie “Serendipity”. The movie stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. They meet at a Bloomingdale’s department store trying to buy a pair of black gloves and they proceed to spend a evening together that the both of them enjoyed. So Kate Beckinsale’s character, Sara, thinks that they need to let fate bring them back into each other’s lives. Sara writes her name inside a book and decides she was going to leave at a used book store. John Cusack’s character “Jonathan” writes his name on a five dollar bill and then they separate. If you want the rest of the movie plot, go spend a buck or two or put it on your queue on Netflix and you will find it a heartwarming story with a pretty decent under-rated soundtrack. The point is, this movie highlights that first meeting, and how that first meeting can stay within your heart, leading you in untold directions. Love is always going to be something that everybody wants in their life. Nobody wants to go through any part of their life without love. For those people that don’t understand the importance of love, they may have never really had that person or maybe they did and they don’t know how to handle being in love. Then again nobody really understands love but it’s really the best feeling in the world. Well, maybe not the “best” feeling, I mean remember when you made a peanut butter and jelly in your OWN place for the very first time. I mean you sat down at like a card table or some small tiny table and you made your OWN peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich that you have ever had before or since, now that’s a really good feeling to have. I mean don’t get me wrong some people may have better feelings but at least for

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me, and I would like to think some of you, love is probably the greatest feeling that one can have. My first thought when I first heard that Neil Young song was, "So can Death" (break your heart), but then I came to the same conclusion as Neil did. I have seen people lose their spouse and I discovered the greater the love, the greater the pain. They never knew they could hurt so bad and still be alive. They loved and adored their spouses so much and miss them even more, that’s when I realized that the song really means it. The worst feeling is trying to help a person when they lost their love one because of death. Trying to put into words their understanding of love, to help them understand that their spouse/partner didn’t leave because they wanted to, trying to help them grieve without diminishing the love they had for each other can be one of the largest challenges a friendship can go through. You put yourself in that person’s shoes for a brief moment, and you cannot begin to imagine how you would be able to deal with losing the person that you love. Not being able to talk, laugh, and cry with your person through the good times and the bad times, simply and suddenly being alone. Death is not the only way that love can break our hearts. Think about that same friend that was so madly in love, and for whatever reason that couple broke up and your friend was heartbroken for days, weeks, months or even years. You then had to call mutual friends to try to cheer that person up and try to tell them that “Hey, don’t worry about it! There are so many other fish in the sea.” You cheer them up and maybe it helps, but all they need is time to get over the heartache that they have had. Only time will help them move on, only time will help them figure out what they want from their next encounter with love. Some people say that love is wasted on the young. I don’t agree with that because some of us have parents that have divorced and then have found love. Some children have had a tough time accepting their parents for falling in love with somebody other than either their mother or father. Then the children, especially if they are adults, understand that all their divorced parent wants is to be loved. I have never wanted to make a political statement on my columns but when it comes to love, politics should be never be involved. One political fight, being fought all over the country, there is a statement to be made. The state of New York just recently allow same sex couple to marry one another and it started this debate in the state that I live in. Whenever the topic comes up, and the only reason I am bringing it up is because when you think about it, in the end it’s about love. I really can’t do it and say it any better than Keith Olbermann has on his show a couple of times and I want to share this. This is text from Keith’s show “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”, taken from his show dated 11/10/08. At this time, California was in a fight to approve or disapprove Prop 8 which denied people of same sex to get married: “Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives. And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it. If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world. Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage,

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and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry? I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967. The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized. You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay. And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless? What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough. It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work. And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do? With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person... Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

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This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

What is your favorite Rom-Com?

Name: Carri Bonner

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this: "I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge.

Title: Editorial Director

"It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: "So I be written in the Book of Love; "I do not care about that Book above. "Erase my name, or write it as you will, "So I be written in the Book of Love." So I say to you now, love is one of the greatest emotions in the world. It can start and stop wars. It can open eyes, open spirits and open hearts. It can make or break a family. And it is, by far, the most powerful emotion that can break our hearts, batter our souls, and make us a shell of what we used to be. Use love wisely.

Movie: 50 First Dates Reason: I love that even though she doesn't remember him every day, he stays with it and comes up with new and creative ways to woo her. I love that there's hope, love, and laughter in this.

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Kodjo Somana, 17, is a senior at Centennial High School. He has a passion for drawing. Somana has been drawing for five years. His dream is to become a famous artist and own his own gallery. To see more of Somana’s work visit his page on Facebook at or on tumblr at

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Ramblings of Hopelessness By Robin Baker I am afraid to go to sleep. When morning comes you will leave for the day but will you come back? I wonder if I will wake up I wonder if I want to There is only one reason that I would but I wish there were two.

Alone in the Dark By Robin Baker Lying alone in the dark wanting someone to be with. Longing for someone to need me. Needing for someone to love me. I think of a time where love was infinite with no possible end And wonder how did I manage to lose it? Love is a feeling that should last forever But not for only one person. I lie here now wondering what I did to deserve this? What should I have done to prevent this? Was love ever really mine? Your hand now grazes my hand and I realize I am lying alone in the dark, wanting someone to be with ‌.

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st. PatrICk’s day: Why Do We Celebrate? By Carri Bonner, Editorial Director Every year, on March 17, those with any Irish blood in them (and many who are “adopted Irish”) celebrate by hitting the parades, drinking green beer and generally have a darn good time partying. But truly, what are we celebrating when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? St. Patrick, birth name Maewyn Succat, was born around 387 AD in Roman Britain. His father was a valued soldier and the family was extremely wealthy. While out with friends at age 16, he was kidnapped with others and taken to Ireland to serve as slaves. It is believed he was kept on the west coast of Ireland. In his confession when becoming a priest, he confessed that God had told him in a dream to flee captivity and go to the coast where he would find a ship that he could board and take back to Britain. He did as directed in the dream, and upon arriving back in Britain he entered the priesthood. Once entering the priesthood, he eventually came to Ireland to serve as the second bishop there. His goal was to introduce Christianity to a mostly polytheistic Irish nation. To do this, myth says that he used the shamrock, very common in Ireland, to explain the trinity of God. It’s said that one leaf represents God, another Jesus, and the final one the Holy Spirit. The shamrock represents three parts of one whole, the basis of Catholicism. He traveled throughout Ireland establishing dioceses and assisting priests in setting up their congregations. It’s also said that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, which is why you don’t see snakes in Ireland. Many believe that this myth is the symbolization of pagans (snakes) being converted to Catholicism. He was arrested several times by Celtic Druids however, he always managed to be released or find a way to escape. After 30 years of evangelism in Ireland, he passed away on March 17, 461 AD. In the 17th century, Ireland made St. Patrick’s Day an official religious feast day. Lenten restrictions of eating no meat were lifted and everyone attended mass to celebrate. The first parade for St. Patrick’s Day was in Boston in 1737. The Irish soldiers used the parade as a chance to show their unity. After the immigration of nearly 1 million Irish from Ireland to the United States during the Great Potato Famine, parades in New York, Boston, and Savannah became huge events. In the 1798 rebellion, Irish soldiers wore green uniforms on March 17th and changed the prevalent color from blue to green. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn to honor the day. In 1903, Ireland declared the day a national holiday and in 1931, Dublin had the first St. Patrick’s Day parade there after the morning masses to commemorate their patron saint. In the mid-1990’s, the Irish government took over the day and moved it from a religious celebration to a week long secular celebration that celebrated Irish pride and country as opposed to St. Patrick. Traditions today still include wearing green and shamrocks to honor St. Patrick. Some also wear a four-leaf clover symbolizing hope, faith, love and happiness. It’s said that it’s a good day to find and capture leprechauns, little old men dressed like cobblers who are aloof and unfriendly yet have a pot of gold. Rumor has it, if you cap-

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ture a leprechaun, he will give you his pot of gold. Many people eat corned beef and cabbage and drink beer or Irish coffee. Today’s celebrations have gone much further than simply celebrating St. Patrick and his courageous journey to bring the Irish to Catholicism, it’s become a way to celebrate being of Irish descent, or those that wish they were Irish descent. In 2012, Guinness predicts that 13 million pints of Guinness beer will be consumed. Several large cities will hold parades and festivals to celebrate a lush country that still believes in fairies, leprechauns, and magic. So if you’re in Chicago, watching the river turn green or in Savannah watching the fountains run emerald, remember that this came about due to a man who had a vision from God and believed it was his duty to share his faith. So wear your green with pride and take time to remember those that have come before you, and celebrate safely!

What is your favorite Rom-Com? Name: Cory Baker Title: Website Designer Movie: Roxanne Reason: Roxanne is a modernized retelling of Cyrano De Bergerac starring Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah. It is the story of C.D. Barnes, the local fire chief with a heart of gold and a 6 inch nose. I have always enjoyed Steve Martin. This is a great showcase for his visual and vocal comedy style. Whether he is being a complete goof (The Jerk), or a wonderful dramatic actor (A Simple Twist of Fate), he keeps my attention. Roxanne (1987) is actually my favorite comedy that happens to be a Rom -Com as well. I have most of it memorized and still sit through it if I catch it on TV. "Maybe you'd like some wine with your nose..."

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Flesch Photography By Emily Flesch The photographs on this, the following, and the previous pages were submitted by Emily Flesch. Bottom of page 51: Promotional photo for Travis Higginbotham Above, this page: Family love Top of page 53: David and Katie's first dance Bottom of page 53: Jeremy's first To view more of Flesch’s work, visit her Facebook page at

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Impression By Cory Baker Took a chance and spoke to you Not sure of what you'd think Maybe it was just the drink That allowed me to brave a connection Yet is seems, somehow I've started a line Causing our lives to intertwine Our separate paths to realign Causing a new and welcome affection And though we know that we're both scared We are still blindly taking the chance Stepping to the floor for the dance Trying to ignore our fears of rejection Let's just reach out our cautious hands And see where the whirlwind of emotion lands Witness how far this trust expands And walk together in this new direction

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JOurney’s end-less By Cory Baker Walking together down a road; a road without destination. Moving forward, hand in hand; no fear and no hesitation. Many have walked this road; fools with an end in mind. Searching, hoping, for a land, where the sun forever shines. Never knowing that this journey is one without an end. Not finding that the light they seek is found inside of them. Thinking that you reach a point, you say it, then it’s done. Only striving to reach the end, from the moment they have begun. They need to stop and discover that they’ll never reach the end. They need to help each other build; heart to heart; friend to friend. So walk with me now, down this road; this road without destination. Moving forward, hand in hand; no fear, and no hesitation.

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What is your favorite Rom-Com? Mark your calendars for the

Name: Brian A. Palmer Title: Editor in Chief Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s Reason: Although not what I would consider a traditional romantic comedy, I have never been able to get enough of the crazy life of Holly Golightly. Many times I have felt like her and wanted to run away from it all and create a new life. When her past catches up to her and Paul stays, amazing!

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release of the next issue of Palmer Grove !

On April 2, 2012 Palmer Grove will release the first-ever Fashion Issue! Be sure not to miss this ground-breaking issue! For more information on Palmer Grove, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Palmer Grove: Vol. 1, Iss. 3  
Palmer Grove: Vol. 1, Iss. 3  

This is the third issue of Palmer Grove. The main focus of this issue is health and betterment in the new year.