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PALMER GROVE Staff Brian A. Palmer Editor in Chief Carri Bonner Editorial Director Rachel Flesch Artistic Director Heather Gaskins Marketing & Sales Director Aaron Blanton Administrative Assistant Bethany Schoeff Columnist Jeff Lafferty Columnist Kyle Gordon Graphic Designer Cory Baker Website Designer Kat Bonner Staff Artist

Cover Art: This month’s cover art was submitted by Kristen E. Danison. Danison lives in Newark, Ohio, with her fiancÊe, John. She is 23 years old and a radiographer at Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio, along with working at JC Penney. In her spare time, she lives to hunt deer, turkey, squirrel, and rabbit, depending on the season. The name of the drawing is "Diverging Paths". It is inspired by a tree she passes on her way to work every day, with its long twisting branches that seem to wrap into one another with no ending. 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 91286, Columbus, Ohio 43209 614-285-4314 | | 2 | Spring 2012 PALMER GROVE

Table of Contents 5

Letter from the Editor


Being a Dad


Just a Thought


Lin Z


Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


Easter at Grandma’s


Love is Grand




10 Unwritten Fashion Rules


For the Love of Lacquer


Edumacate Yourself: Food Allergies


Art, Kodjo Somana


Reuse, Refuse or Recycle?


Living Vine Community Garden






How Did Mother’s Day Get Started?

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Table of Contents 36

Freedom to Live


Art, Reagan


The Eagle, The Bear, and The Buffalo




Where My Baby Rabbits Came From


Blossoming Flower Accents


A World for You and Me


Congratulations on Graduation?


Food Allergies: My Story


Palmer Grove goes back to High School


Wedding on a Budget


Contributor Spotlight: Shelley Dennis




Grains of Sand


Rules for Living: Rules #02


Top 10 Wedding Trends of 2012

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 393. This is how many days Palmer Grove has been up and running. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by so quickly and that so much has happened. Our staff has grown from three to ten members. We have had the pleasure of working with thirty-three contributors. We have released four issues. We have published 44 articles, 15 stories, 8 recipes, 31 poems, 59 photographs, and 21 drawing, paintings, and other works of art. We have created a community. The past year has been full of so many ups and downs, both in the company, as well as in our personal lives. We have seen staff members come and go, but in the end we have been there for each other through everything. Each issue, we have striven to present you with original, thoughtprovoking information, and entertainment. This issue will hopefully live up to our reputation. We have continued our staples, but have also started a few new features. On page 63, we present the first ever Contributor Spotlight introducing one of our contributors. We discuss who they are and why they chose to submit work to Palmer Grove. In Issue Three we premiered our Nov-All feature. We have included all of the installments so far on page 64 so that you can catch up and look forward to the next installment. Thank you to all our readers, especially those that have read every issue from the first one. Here is to an amazing first year and many more to come! Congratulations to all of us! Sincerely, Brian A. Palmer Editor in Chief Palmer Grove a Generation Voices Publication

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BEING A DAD By Kyle Gordon, Graphic Designer

Anne Geddes once said, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” On November 27th, my wife gave birth to a 7 lb. 1oz. baby boy. It was this exact moment that I knew what the definition of being a father was, but little did I know that being a dad was a completely different concept. On the first day that we brought him home I felt like I already knew everything there was to know about fathering. The first week or so was pretty monotonous; crying baby, feed, sleep, crying baby, feed, sleep, diaper change and so on and so forth. No sweat. I’ll just keep this routine up and breeze right into his semi-selfsufficient stage. Wrong. Welcome to the world of being a Dad. Say hello to your supposed non-existent emotional side. You are the “butter” to your “hot knife” of a son who has perfected the art at cutting right to the heart of you. I felt things that I never dreamed would affect a calloused individual such as myself. I quickly learned that a cry was not always “just a cry”. He has multiple cries that would take me hours to explain every small detail that only a parent is able to pick up on. One moment comes to mind when I almost lost it myself. He was doing his typical whiney cry when in one quick second turned into something so heart shattering that I thought I was going to have to leave the room. The little man’s sob magnified into what can only be described as “one of my tiny little kid fingers just got ran over by steam roller” cry. It was so loud and helpless that I literally thought my heart was going to stop. Everything I had learned before about comfort and soothing was completely void. His helplessness and sadness made me feel so empty inside that I couldn’t help but take full responsibility for the way he was feeling. Tears welled up in my eyes and I did anything I could to comfort him. Finally, his cries turned into sizeable gasps for air in an attempt to catch his breath. I realized my breathing had begun to mimic his as we both started to calm down. Holding him as close as I possibly could I started to think about all the reasons he may have cried like that and how it could be avoided in the future. This is not good for a person like myself who has high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease. It wasn’t until I looked down that I saw my son sleeping peacefully in my arms. I realized for the first time that his comfort ultimately controlled my comfort. And that’s when I realized I wasn’t just a father, I am now a dad.

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JUST A THOUGHT By Cory Baker, Website Designer I know at times you hurt inside. And at times, I do too. And I wish that you could talk to me, As I have talked to you. I know I seem a child inside, But I am also very wise. What I lack in experience of years, I’ve gained in other people’s tears. I hope that you can understand, That when I’m holding out my hand, I’m just trying to help you up, With love from an overflowing cup. Take a chance on me, And you’ll find in the end. I can be more than a son to you, I can be your friend. I love you Mom.

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LIN Z By Brian Guiler Singer Lin Z Compton from Orient, OH This shot was taken for some new promo pictures to be used for Upcoming Album. Check her out at http:// Photo Taken by Brian Guiler (Guiler Photography

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CHEZ CHEF SCHOEFF: Chocolate Chip Granola Bars By Bethany Schoeff, Columnist 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.

Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Review, Ideas, and Recipe The Enjoy Life® brand is really a blessing to those with life-threatening food allergies. Everything they make is free of the eight most common food allergensǂ; their products are also certified gluten-free. Enjoy Life® makes cookies, granola, snack bars, cereals, trail mixes, chocolate bars, and chocolate chips—but, let’s face it, I’m here to talk about the CHOCOLATE!! Enjoy Life® sent me two bags of chocolate chips (two different varieties) and one package of Double Chocolate Chunk Granola to review. Unfortunately, I could not test the granola since it contains inulin/chicory (one of my food intolerances). But Enjoy Life’s baking chocolate is wonderful! There are two different varieties: mini chips and mega chunks. They are made of real simple, all natural ingredients (Evaporated Cane Juice, Natural Chocolate Liquor (Non-Alcoholic), Non-Dairy Cocoa Butter). Besides tasting great (there really is no discernible difference between them and other semi-sweet chocolate chips on the market), both chocolates are very versatile. I use them in so many different ways (not every suggestion listed below will automatically be allergen-free; obviously choose safe products and ingredients based on your dietary restrictions): As is! –unaltered, straight from the bag. Grab a handful for a quick chocolate pick-me-up snack. The mini chips make a terrific ice cream topping. They can also be enjoyed unaltered in an allergy-friendly trail mix (with safe cereals, marshmallows, and dried fruit) as I mentioned in my February column about party snacks. (If you prefer to buy an already-prepared trail mix, Enjoy Life® makes a seed and fruit mix which contains their chocolate chips.) My kids and their cousins love using the mini chips to decorate frosted sugar cookies and cupcakes. Melted!—both varieties melt exceptionally well, although the mini chips do so more quickly. I pour the desired amount of chips into a heat-proof bowl, and simply microwave the chocolate on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each time, until it is smooth and melted. Some suggest adding corn syrup or shortening to the chocolate, but I have never found it necessary. You can use this as a chocolate fondue in which to dip fresh fruit, cookies, or pretzels (or anything else you desire!). I like to make chocolate-covered strawberries or pretzels (just dip until each piece is thoroughly coated, let excess drip off, place on a wax-paper-lined plate, refrigerate until chocolate is re-solidified, and serve). When melted with milk (or any milk alternative), the chips make an easy chocolate icing for cake or cupcakes. My favorite use for melted chocolate is to make candy for my sons. Every holiday the “allergic community” scrambles to find safe chocolate in themed shapes (online or in store), and what little is available is expensive (plus shipping, if applicable)! If people knew how easy it was to make your own chocolate candy, allergyfriendly candy suppliers would go out of business. One bag of chocolate goes a long way when making candy, and, although Enjoy Life® chocolate chips are relatively expensive (about $5/10 oz. bag), I know the chocolate is “safe” and my method is much cheaper than buying already-made specialty chocolate candy. (Continued on page 11)

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I simply pour melted chocolate into candy molds (very inexpensive online or at a cake/candy supply store, and they come in any shape/design imaginable!) and freeze until solid. I can’t tell you how excited my oldest son was when he got to eat his first solid chocolate Easter bunny! If you don’t have molds, you can pour melted chocolate into a paper-cup-lined mini muffin tin for individual chocolate candy cups. I love to add rice crispy cereal or coconut flakes for some variety; you can also make mint chocolate by stirring in a little (just a drop or two of) flavoring oil (NOT extract, and use ¼ the amount). Simple chocolate raisins are another candy option. Enjoy Life® does make chocolate bars (and they do taste like real milk chocolate, so much so that my mind had difficulty being convinced I wasn’t eating dairy!), but sometimes I will make my own chocolate bars (pour melted chocolate chips into a wax-paper-lined pan). My boys love to use chocolate bar pieces to make S’mores. In recipes!—any recipe that already calls for chocolate chips, or an addition to enhance a recipe. I will admit, chocolate chip cookies are my weakness! And Enjoy Life® chocolate chips work perfectly in any cookie recipe (the mega chunks are featured in the cookies pictured on my web site), and in cookie bars, blondies, and brownies (in fact, I just used the mega chunks in my banana chocolate chip bars!). The chocolate chips make hot cocoa extra rich! You can also toss them into your favorite pancake batter. Chocolate fudge!! (Need I say more?) The mini chips are an excellent addition to homemade granola bars; check out the allergy-friendly (and NO BAKE!) recipe on the following page. Be sure to visit for more recipes and to follow the Chef Blog—there will be more GIVEAWAYS soon!! (Continued on page 12)

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Chocolate Chip Granola Bars A favorite snack item, these bars have simple ingredients, are easy to make, and require no baking! Enjoy Life® mini chips are perfect in them, but this recipe is very adaptable to individual preferences. You can add whatever spices or mix-ins you like to create your own version—try cinnamon and raisins, or coconut flakes and dried cranberries. The possibilities are endless! INGREDIENTS 2 cups oats* 1 cup crispy rice cereal 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine ¼ cup brown sugar, packed ¼ cup honey** ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup chocolate chips, divided DIRECTIONS 1. Lightly grease a 9” x 9” pan*** and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, stir together oats and cereal; set aside. 3. In a small pot, melt together butter/margarine, brown sugar, and honey over medium heat. Bring to a low boil; stir until well combined. Reduce to low and continue to cook another two minutes. 4. Remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over oats/cereal in large bowl; mix well until evenly distributed and all is moistened. 5. Let mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Then gently stir in ¼ cup of the chocolate chips (they will melt some, but this is OK). 6. Transfer mixture to greased pan; spread out to an even thickness, pressing the mixture down to pack firmly together. 7. Evenly sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips over mixture; use clean hands to press chips into the bars so they adhere. 8. Do not cover while still warm! Cool thoroughly (at least two hours) before cutting into bars. (If you can wait, these are best made one day ahead of eating; the flavors seem to have more time to meld.) Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. TIPS *The original recipe calls for quick cooking oats, but rolled oats should work fine too. Perhaps try a combination of both! **For a vegan version, you can substitute agave for the honey. However, you might want to reduce the amount so the bars are not too sweet. ***I originally tried these in a 9”x13” pan, but they came out too thin and crumbly. They work best in a smaller pan, packed in thick. If you don’t have a square pan, you can push the mixture to one side of a longer, rectangular pan (leaving part empty). ALLERGY INFO This recipe is free of wheat, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts. To make it dairy- and/or soy-free, use a safe margarine† and safe chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life® brand). To make it gluten-free, carefully choose oats that have been certified gluten-free. Always double-check ingredients, including crosscontamination 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.

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EASTER AT GRANDMA’S By Nancy (Pratt) Dennis I guess I remember Easter the most Grandma & Grandpa were our Sunday hosts We'd get all dressed up in our very best And Grandma'd take care of all the rest The table would be all pretty and grand With a lace tablecloth made by Grandma's hand This all took place when Grandma was well At the house south of town; that they later did sell There was such a big yard & a huge willow tree We took pictures there for all to see An Easter egg hunt we'd all enjoy For the winners there'd be a special toy Then some of us kids after we'd been fed Would go next door & fight with old man Ed With Blackie the dog some kids would play This always was a real special day The men talked of work, sports & sometimes a car While the women would visit with those who had come so far Although some of us live quite near Others we wouldn't see until this time next year

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LOVE IS GRAND By Shelley Dennis Love is as tragic as it is grand We all want someone to hold our hand Truth; lies do we hear bells? Who do we believe; how can we tell? Our hearts rule our minds We know the truth We tend to believe the lies Fools like us are all around We share our joys; we lie when we are down Survival is the key; although lost as it is We strive for happiness; whatever that is Happiness is ours when we rule our hearts Love is an illusion yet we wish to take part Easily we believe the lies we are told Loved ones seem sincere; we are easily fooled Oh for someone tour love to behold We deserve when we are young As well as when we are old

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BAHKA By Samuel Muller Young Isaac tugged at his mother’s shirt To say what it was he wanted, “Bahka!” Isaac’s feelings she didn’t want to hurt So asked she, “What is this Bahka?” Small Isaac in his own young mind Merely said what it truly was, “Bahka!” Mother so much wanted to be kind Picked up a toy, “Is this Bahka?” Tears welled up in the toddler’s eyes He let the truth be known, “Bahka!” Mother pointed at floor, walls, and sky “Are any of these Bahka?” Impatience flared in his small heart Why couldn’t she just find it, “Bahka!” Mother looked but couldn’t find a part Of what had been dubbed Bahka. She hadn’t heard a word he’d said He tried to tell them all, “Bahka!” Mother held him close, head to head “I really don’t know this Bahka.” His tantrum done, he wanted just, To wipe his tears away, “Nap’kin.” She knew this word, without a fuss And gladly got the Napkin. What it was, he tried to find Proclaiming it was, Bahka. Your guess is as good as mine This item known as Bahka.

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RULES FOR LIVING: 10 Unwritten Fashion Rules By Jeff Lafferty, Columnist If you have followed my columns, I have typically written about my Rules of Life. This being our fashion issue here at Palmer Grove, I decided to write this column about my Unwritten Rules for Fashion. I think that either people have forgotten these basic rules or the topic has never come up. So in light of that, I’m writing this column as a reminder and learning tool for the Fashion Impaired. Now I can’t stake claim to all of these rules because I have gotten some help to include some ideas and then after some thought, included the top 10 I think are important to follow. While rules are meant to be broken, consider these guidelines strongly! And for the record, my basic fashion rules I always follow before walking out the door are these: 1.Make sure you wear items that match in color but aren’t exactly the same color 2.Wear sports jerseys whenever your team is playing 3.Just about any color goes with jeans 4.Always have a black or navy blue suit in your closet because you never know when you’ll need it I know I’m not the only male with these basic fashion rules and I know some men have even few rules, however those are the basics I follow. However, the following rules should also be considered (for women and men) when dressing to leave the home. Without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Unwritten Fashion Rules: #10: Spandex and Speedos have a weight limit in order to be worn Being a male that shops at the Big & Tall stores, the one thing I have always made sure of is that I never get caught, in my home or in public, wearing a Speedo or spandex. I understand full well why these garments are made, but some people, and in our lifetime we’ve all seen these people, are wearing these items without realizing why they shouldn’t. Think about it, there are people that should, at bare minimum, be covering at least 40% of their body and instead wear a Speedo! That’s showing at least 90% of their body – now granted, the most important 10% is covered, and we are ALL appreciative of that 10% of material. And even men who are completely in shape need to look in a mirror and evaluate, “Is this Speedo *really* that complementary to me?” before leaving the house. If you are a sports fan, especially if you are a hockey fan, like myself, you have seen two guys or know about two fans in Vancouver that go to Vancouver Canucks (NHL team) games and sit next to the visitor’s penalty box and climb the glass to distract and make fun of the opposing teams players in the penalty box. These fans are dressed in full body spandex suits where you cannot see their faces but you know way too much information in that you would rather see their faces than to see them in these full body spandex outfits! So in both cases, unless you have the body of a God or Goddess, take a long hard look in the mirror before leaving in one of these items and ask yourself if you’d want to see that in public! #9: Stripes is much better as a movie than on clothing Now I know that I am aging myself, however, remember the ugly body bathing suit that Curly Howard, of the Three Stooges, would wear to the beach? It was a huge body suit that had horizontal stripes. Now, Curly had the knowledge to understand that he was a big guy, so he went with wanting to be comfortable without considering what it actually looked like. I understand comfort over fashion, but come on! Again, look in the mirror before leaving the house! Now I know you are saying “Jeff, what about those cool rugby shirts that had big stripes and maybe those polo shirts that have small stripes that some people like to wear?” Hey, I wore those shirts and I have one of those shirts. I only wear them when I know that I am going to be at a family event and the person that bought me the shirt is going to see me in it. (That’s another rule that you will see higher on the list.) (Continued on page 17)

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So in conclusion, sometimes vertical stripes are ok, however, if you have any extra weight, avoid horizontal stripes like the plague because they are! #8: A “manbag” is a purse. Any accessory that has to have “man” in front of it, isn’t manly I’m not sure how the trend started of guys carrying manbags. Maybe it started in the 80’s with fanny packs. If you’re not old enough to know what a fanny pack is, I’ll tell you. It was a pouch that strapped around a person’s waist and some people still carry them. I understand that some people carry around way more than a wallet and keys. I get that. People carry cell phones, wallets, PDA’s, and keys as well. In this busy day and age, we all have that, but come on! If you REALLY need all this stuff with you and need a special bag to carry it all in, you really need to evaluate your life. Either you are too busy and need to slow down and unplug a little or you’re just showing off all your techno-toys at every chance. Put down the cell phone, the PDA, and the purse. Yes, I said purse. I don’t care what you want to call it, it’s a purse. When I Googled manbags, I found a place that actually carries “manbags” or even worse, “Murses”. These bags are smaller than laptop bags and come in all different colors. If you are a person that doesn’t follow this rule, please re-examine your life and please organize it to where you don’t need to carry that much stuff with you. Or take a backpack. It’s called a backpack. Not a “man” backpack. Even metro-sexual men don’t need a “murse”. Trust me; no woman I’ve ever met has been disappointed that her man doesn’t have a “manbag”. I promise you. #7: Wear socks properly: that is, don’t wear socks with flip-flops, sandals or open-toed shoes I understand that on some fashion issues, we have waved a big bye-bye to some: for instance, no white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day seems to have gone by the wayside. However, socks always have to be done correctly. How many times in the summer have you seen someone walking around with black socks (or even worse, black TUBE socks?) with tennis shoes or even worse, sandals or flipflops? I don’t understand how this look can be a good thing. The only reasons I can come up with this phenomenon is a) their feet stink so badly that they feel the need to have socks on to mask the smell of their feet or b) they have major feet insecurity and think their feet are ugly. But to go with this, I’d have to guess that when they woke up and put socks on they had to imagine that seeing their bare feet were in the top 100 things that people didn’t want to see that day because socks with sandals is infinitely worse! One more rule about socks: socks need to match the slacks that you are wearing if you’re wearing anything other than jeans. This part would seem to be simple to understand, however, I put some blame on David Letterman. The last thing he seems to do is match his socks to his pants. He always wears white socks with blue or black pants and I suppose if you make the dough, you feel you don’t have to follow this basic fashion rule. If you follow this rule, people will notice and hey, you might even get compliments on your socks! #6: Don’t wear jewelry that has different metals I know this isn't one of the rules that have often followed anymore; however, it's a pet peeve of mine, so it's an unwritten rule. I just think that the look of a gold bracelet, a gold watch, and a gold ring is a classic look. Some people may think they don't have the ability to do this; however, more people don't have the ability to wear the clothes featured in magazines than to take a little time to find feasible pieces of jewelry to wear. You can find a silver watch, ring and bracelet to wear and it will match and look great. Now I know you are thinking to yourself, "Really? Isn't THAT just being a little ridiculous? Wearing matching jewelry isn't that important and who the heck IS this guy telling me HIS rules for fashion?" I would agree with you, I don't really know that much about fashion but I know that matching metals is classy; it looks good and is a very simple thing to do to bring style to any outfit.

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#5: Sports jerseys should only be worn at the stadium or at sports party At the time of this writing, it's early February and that means the "Big Game" for basketball (can't use the actual term as it's a copywrite violation!) is right around the corner. I am a huge sports fan and this rule is typically one that I broke a lot before I became a father. I am a huge sports fan, particularly hockey and I used to wear hockey jerseys to school all the time. I have tried to pass this down to my children as well because if there is one jersey that looks good is hockey jerseys. Chicago Blackhawks is my favorite NHL hockey team. Many consider it the best looking jersey in pro sports because of the color, style and front emblem of the team. Before I became a father, because I am this gigantic hockey fan, I would wear hockey jerseys to school all the time and I have tried to pass this down to my children as well because if there is one jersey that looks good is a hockey jersey. Now with that said, it’s not a good idea to wear that jersey to your in-laws house when you go over for dinner the first time or to a restaurant to meet them. Weddings and funerals are another jersey no-no. The point of this rule is there is a time and place to wear sports jerseys. Viewing parties or games, wear the jersey of your choice and show pride in your team’s colors.

#4: Trends don’t necessarily need to be followed This rule is a rule that really needs to be addressed because at some point in all of our lives we have broken down and followed the trends of fashion to be cool in the moment. In the ‘70’s it was bell bottomed pants, the 80’s gave us Members Only jackets, zumba pants (remember those ugly zebra striped pants), and parachute pants, and the ‘90’s gave us flannel shirts, rugby polo shirts, and gap stores. So with that said, I can proudly say I have never worn any of those items because it’s a trend and trends come and go. You just need the basic fashion rules, and those will never go out of style. One of the going trends that drives me crazy is a trend that has been going on for a few years. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t understand it or if it’s because I’m now 40, but I want to pull up the pants of people who show their underwear. Hopefully this is a trend that will not last much longer. I hold out hope as the definition of trend is: “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” So always remember, when you see a trend you don’t like or it doesn’t make sense. It’s all ok. It’s a trend that won’t last forever. And thank goodness, otherwise I still wouldn’t know what to do with that flannel shirt and Members Only jacket that is in a box in my shed!

#3: The Louisiana politician has it right: if you wear it to bed, don’t wear it outside of the home In Louisiana, there is a politician who is wanting to ban sleepwear and pajamas from being worn outside. It’ll be interesting if it’s passed for the simple fact that someone can actually call the “fashion” police on someone! However, I also know this is going to create some backlash from civil rights people claiming no one has the right to tell them what they can and should wear. However, this isn’t the first time that people have been told what to wear. Dating back to ancient Egyptian times, there have been laws governing how one dresses. Certain styles and colors were privileges of social position. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance eras, sumptuary laws (laws that were attempted to regulate habits of consumption) were enacted that limited types of decoration and materials as well as how much you could spend on your clothes according to your social class and annual income. Since the 19th century, clothing laws have been enacted to preserve what is perceived as public decency but many of the laws have had the purpose of keeping women out of trousers and men out of skirts. Laws that dictate clothing style are still being enacted. So while there may be “outrage” over these laws on the tables, if you take emotions out of the decisions, it’s important to honor basic decency. If you have parts of your body hanging out of your clothes that shouldn’t be, cover them up!

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#2: Size does matter in fashion I know you’re saying, wait Jeff! Didn’t you cover this in Rule #10? And I’ll be happy to respond that while this rule is similar, it’s important on its own because this rule covers all types of clothing, not just spandex and Speedos. Plus, this rule really hits home to me because for most of my adult life, I have bought most of my clothes either online or at big and tall stores because I am an overweight person. I get complemented on my clothes and this rule is important because if you look good, you will feel good. Most of these rules are rules I follow, but there are some people that can’t follow these rules or don’t know they exist. So this rule encompasses most of the ones like: a) If you wear a t-shirt, make sure it covers your stomach or b) if you are a waist size bigger than a 32 (men) or a 10 (women), you probably shouldn’t wear hip huggers. If you don’t believe me, I can give proof. Go to the website: . This site invites people to take pictures of people that shop at Wal-Mart who are dressed in bad fashion or “interesting” outfits. Typically it’s people who have never seen a fashion book and need some help! And this rule doesn’t just apply to overweight people. At some point in our lives, we’ve all walked away from someone thinking, “Did that person even look in the mirror before they left home?” and if so, did they think, “Oh yeah, this looks good! Nothing shows off my beer belly like this midriff shirt and I can’t wait to meet {insert girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s name} Mom and Dad!” This is why we should really consider a fashion police. If you fall into the category of not knowing if something looks good, enlist the help of a brother, sister or close personal friend and make sure you find a person that will be completely and totally honest with you. Then and only then will you be able to dress correctly in any situation.

#1: When in doubt dress conservatively at family functions This rule is important for really just one reason and that is respect. It’s a matter of respect for the person that you are going to see to dress as conservatively as possible. Wearing a mini-skirt and a bare midriff shirt at grandma’s 75th birthday party just may not be the best possible thing to wear at that particular time. Nice dress slacks and blouse would probably be better so that aunts, uncles, and other relatives don’t have to lecture you on appropriate dress either the day of the party in a hallway or later on when they call you and want to give you some advice. Lately, as casual as our culture is becoming, when it comes to fashion that we need to be reminded of making sure that we dress appropriately for family functions. I know that I am sounding a bit old fashioned about what I am talking about here, but when you boil it down its really simple. Think about what your parents talk about and what you remember always having to argue about when it comes to fashion. You absolutely don’t want certain body parts or too much skin showing at a cousin’s 16th birthday party. So just remember the next time you get an invite to a wedding or family gathering, please make sure that you understand the importance of dressing appropriately and you will find out that family members won’t be making a huge deal out of what you have on which is the best compliment that you will ever get. Or, at least it’ll get them to shut up! I am by no means a fashion guru. I really don’t think that these rules are and should be set in stone (unless you are over a 24 waist in women’s and 36 waist in men’s and want to break rule #10, then you and I will have a issue) but these are more like guidelines and to maybe get people to understand some of these rules and maybe they need to exist at some point. Everybody has an idea of what their 10 fashion rules should be, but what is important is that you have an idea of how to dress. So keep the Speedos, spandex, and sports jerseys, put them in box and seal it and write on the box “Break open if I plan to not care about what I wear, who I dress for, and why it’s important.” But in the meantime, just remember the important things in life and everything else will fall into place.

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FOR THE LOVE OF LACQUER By Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director Nails have become more than just a cosmetic; they’ve become an accessory. Long gone are the days when one simply paints her nails red and goes. There are polishes in every color of the rainbow, and a shade that trends every season! It’s not about going to the drug store and picking up a $4 bottle of coral pink anymore. It’s about going to the cosmetic counter and getting a $24 bottle of shock wave pink from a designer label. Brushes aren’t just the same anymore either. There are special curved brushes to help paint around cuticles, long thin tips for designs, and thick heavy brushes for holding more polish than ever before. There’s even options to purchases packs of brushes like a painter would have for more detailed nail art, or if you’re a beginner, you can purchase a stamper set with plates. I’m going to briefly rundown some nail polish brands with you, and my opinion of them depending on your project, and also give you some insight into a few popular techniques. OPI – OPI is a highly known brand, they’re big for being the first company to really popularize the shatter style polish with their Black Shatter. The shatter polish is gorgeous, and the thinner you put it on the better the shatter. My one con with this is the polish does tend to clump up and dry out quickly. They have infinite colors and a variety of limited editions available with celebrity names and popular movies attached to them. Their polish goes on smoothly, and looks gorgeous! Just be leery that it does sometimes stain nails, and cause minor discoloration if left on for prolonged amounts of time especially without a basecoat. Sally Hansen Quick Dry – These are great polishes for quick application, one coat and you’re ready to go! They do chip easily though so you’ll want to use a heavy topcoat like Seche Vite. They also stain nails more than any brand I’ve ever utilized. This is due to the high pigmentation needed to allow for one coat application. Still if you want a no fuss polish, the Quick Dry line is the way to go. As beautiful as the colors are, do not use them if you are stamping. The polish dries too quickly; you can’t even use the stamp in time without it drying. Sally Hansen Xpress – Similar to the quick dry this polish dries quickly, and is also a high pigment polish. With most of the shades you can get away with a single coat, but I always recommend at least a second especially on lighter shades. It’s a great polish for stamping as it has the pigmentation that the Quick Dry does without drying quite as quick. It also doesn’t chip quite as easily as the Quick Dry. I’ve used this in a variety of shades from white to black and haven’t experienced any staining with it yet, however if it does get on your skin that’s another story. 20 | Spring 2012 PALMER GROVE

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Nails Inc – This is a UK based company that has only gotten big in the US recently. They come out with a variety of unique lines that are specific to their brand. Their most notable being their magnetic polish. They started the trend that many other companies are now following. With magnetic polish you actually paint on a coat of the polish, follow up with a second coat and then hold a special magnet over top. The effect is an interesting ripple effect that gives the nails a holographic appearance. Nails Inc makes the magnetic in 3 shades, red, black, and purple. It’s a gorgeous polish, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something different that’s a little more refined than a shatter. My one dislike about it is that it’s extremely thin, and flakes off very easily. So it’s something you’ll want to wear for one special occasion, and most likely will not have lasting through the night. Here are some quick and easy trends you can follow that anyone can pull off. If you aren’t feeling bold or steady enough to free hand it you can buy nail tape or even use a clear masking tape to tape off the lines on your own. Tips and crescents are a big trend right now. Do either the cuticle beds or the tips of your nails in a more bold and different colors than the rest of your nail. My personal favorite is to do a muted color like gray, or a pale pink then to take a bold glitter or a Sally Hansen HD polish and just dab lightly at the tip. It gives it almost a snow capped look and can be very beautiful. One bold nail, using a solid color on all your nails like lavender, but doing your ring finger or thumb nail differently is becoming a big trend. One example is to coat the chosen nail in a glitter of the same shade, or to do gradients, stripes or stars on that nail. No matter which nail you choose the goal is to make it really stand out from the rest, yet still follow the color scheme. Matte nails, Essie created a topcoat called Matte About You. This is really Essie’s answer to the question, “Can we make something more interesting than a shatter top coat?” Essie said yes. The most popular way to utilize this right now is on black, it gives the nails an almost leather look and can really be worn in a classy or an edgy setting. Another popular way to utilize this trend is to paint the nails a solid color, and paint all but the nail tips matte. This leaves a glossy coat on the tips that can add just a hint of versatility. It’s subtle, but still looks great and gives your nails just that little pop to make people say “Oooh! Lemme see your nails!” Your nails don’t have to match your makeup, they don’t have to match your outfit. They just have to be you.

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EDUMACATE YOURSELF: Food Allergies By Bethany Schoeff, Columnist Source: FAAN: Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, In 1998, FAAN created Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) to educate others about food allergies (FAs), a potentially life threatening medical condition. This year Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 13-19. To do my part in raising awareness, I’ve written about some common myths regarding food allergies, followed by ways YOU can help. Before my son’s diagnosis, I wasn’t very educated in this area; I held several misconceptions about FAs, including:

Myth #1: A food allergy is the same as a food intolerance. A food allergy involves an interaction between a food and the immune system. Although a food is harmless to most people, an allergic person’s immune system misinterprets the protein in the foods as being harmful and creates antibodies to fight off that food. Each time the allergic person eats that food, the body’s immune system launches an attack by releasing histamine and other powerful chemicals. The release of these chemicals causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction which can be fatal. A food intolerance or sensitivity is different from a food allergy. A food intolerance is an adverse food-induced reaction (such as an upset stomach or headache) that does not involve the immune system and is not lifethreatening.

Myth #2: The only serious food allergy is peanut. One can be allergic to ANY food, and the reactions can be just as severe as one commonly perceives a reaction to peanut. The eight most common foods that people react to are dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts (like walnuts, almonds, cashews), fish, and shellfish (such as shrimp, crab, lobster). Dairy/milk is the most common food allergy among children.

Myth #3: Food allergies are rare. An estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies, and doctors report that food allergies are on the rise. The odds are that if you don’t already know someone affected by food allergies, you probably will. Food allergies affect 8 percent of children (about 6 million—that’s 1 in 13!) and 4 percent of adults (9 million) in the United States.

Myth #4: Food allergies are the same as environmental allergies. The worst that can happen is hives. An allergic reaction to food can involve the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system. Symptoms vary from one person to another, and they can appear immediately, or may develop over hours. Some reactions are mild, and only result in hives or gastrointestinal problems (such as cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting). Other reactions are very serious, and can be life-threatening. (see following list) Regardless of the level of a reaction, however, it is always scary. When a person experiences symptoms that involve various areas of the body simultaneously, this is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions can be fatal. That’s why it is so important to act quickly to try to stop the reaction.

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Myth #5: A mild allergic reaction might stop on its own. We should wait before taking action. If you think someone might be having a reaction, it’s important to act quickly. Don’t wait to see if the reaction will worsen or stop. The difference between acting fast and waiting to see if the symptoms will subside can mean life or death. Failure to promptly (i.e., within minutes) administer epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis increases the risk of fatality. Mild reactions can progress quickly to become more severe and life-threatening!

Myth #6: Those with FAs know how to deal with a reaction on their own. Even though those with food allergies carry their own emergency medication which they are able to selfadminister, this does not mean that they HAVE to. One can become unconscious or frozen with fear, or, in the midst of an allergic reaction, they may not be physically able to administer their own Epi-Pen. Be aware that some kids get embarrassed when they realize they are having a reaction. They try to quietly take care of the situation, or hope that by ignoring it, their reaction will just go away. Others feel themselves getting sick and go to the bathroom alone, trying not to make a scene. This is very dangerous, because if the reaction progresses more quickly than expected, the allergic person could lose consciousness and be unable to help herself. Most allergic reactions occur when kids and teens are away from home and with their friends. Teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.

Myth #7: A severe allergic reaction can’t be reversed. I hear people die. Yes, people can and have died from an allergic reaction to food. However, an allergic reaction can be reversed if you act quickly. Epinephrine, also called adrenaline, is the medication of choice for controlling a severe reaction. It is available by prescription as a self-injectable device (EpiPen® or Twinject®). First, alert an adult to the situation (if necessary). Second, assess the severity of the reactions and act accordingly. Third, use an antihistamine (like Benadryl) and/or an epinephrine auto-injector based on symptoms (food allergic individuals should have an emergency action plan detailing what medication when). Most importantly, call 9-1-1.

Myth #8: It is OK to eat a little of one’s food allergens; it takes a large amount to cause a severe reaction. Even a trace amount of an allergen can signal a severe reaction. Since there is no known cure for food allergies, strict avoidance of the food allergens is the only way for someone with food allergies to avoid having a reaction. Food-allergic people must learn the scientific and technical names for foods, read the ingredient statements on every food they eat, and avoid products that contain the offending food. If a product doesn’t have a label, individuals with a food allergy should not eat that food. Most people who have experienced food-allergic reactions knew about their food allergy. In some cases, they unknowingly ingested their allergens in food they thought was safe. They either didn’t think to check the label because the food was an unlikely source for their allergen (allergens can “hide” in any food, like milk in sausage, eggs in candy, peanut butter in chili); or the food was mislabeled. One can mistakenly trust someone (like a restaurant chef or family member) who assures their meal is safe. (Research suggests that close to half of fatal food allergy reactions are triggered by food served by a restaurant or other food service establishment.) In other cases, the food itself does not contain the allergen, but it becomes contaminated. Crosscontamination occurs when the proteins from various foods mix. Oftentimes this happens during the cooking process (for example, when a cookie sheet used to bake nut-containing cookies is then used to bake nut-free cookies without being cleaned between uses), the serving process (for example, when the knife used to spread peanut butter is then dipped in the jelly jar), or the manufacturing process (for example, when the same equipment used to package Peanut M&Ms is used again to package Plain M&Ms). (Continued on page 24)

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Myth #9: The allergen has to be eaten in order to cause a reaction. Some reactions can also be caused just by breathing in (airborne reaction) or touching (contact reaction) an allergen. Though rare, these reactions can be just as severe as when an allergen is ingested. There is also evidence that individuals with food allergies are at high risk of having a reaction just from kissing someone who has recently eaten a food allergen.

Myth #10: I can’t have a fatal/anaphylactic reaction because the reactions I’ve experience have all been mild. Someone whose reactions have been mild in the past may suddenly start reacting more severely. Prior reactions are never an indication of future reactions! For example, a FAAN review of food allergy fatalities found that most of the people had never had a severe allergic reaction until the one that caused their death. Thus, all food allergies must be taken seriously. So, now that you are better educated about food allergies, what can you do to help? 

Know what food your friend is allergic to, learn both common and uncommon terms for those allergens, and help her avoid them. Carefully read labels, remembering that allergens can “hide” in a lot of processed food, and ingredients change without notice and vary from region to region. (Even though your friend may have to read labels every day, everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Four eyes are ALWAYS better than two!)


Be accommodating. Do not act like one’s food allergies are inconvenient for you. Do not laugh or act annoyed when they check labels on food/beverages, even ones that you think might not contain allergens. It’s not that they don’t trust you—even those who live with food allergies every day make mistakes. Support their vigilance!


If you are hosting a party that your food-allergic friend will attend, or if you’re making an item to bring to (Continued on page 25)

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION Skin symptoms hives swelling itchy, red rash eczema flare-up Gastrointestinal symptoms cramps nausea vomiting diarrhea Cardiovascular symptoms reduced blood pressure lightheadedness increased heart rate shock

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Respiratory symptoms itchy, watery eyes runny nose stuffy nose sneezing coughing itching or swelling of lips, tongue, throat change in voice difficulty swallowing tightness of chest wheezing shortness of breath repetitive throat clearing

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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. 

Wash your hands after eating, to prevent traces of an allergen from being passed along to your foodallergic friend.


Do not to share food with children, and tell your kids not to share food with anybody. That kid on the playground could have a food allergy; young kids are more trusting and may accept food even from strangers. FA kids get confused when adults offer them food—they know they’re supposed to be polite or to trust adults, but they have been told to only accept food from their parents. Food is the one thing that is OK not to share!


Avoid kissing those with food allergies! As much as you want to love on your niece, even a kiss on the cheek can cause a reaction. You might not remember what you’ve eaten or that it contains a hidden allergen. But FA kids love hugs!!


Know what medications your friend needs and where he keeps them. Make sure he has them with him at ALL TIMES! You never know when or where an emergency will occur. Become familiar with their emergency action plan (what medication to administer based on which symptoms).


Learn how to administer emergency medications. Ask your friend for a trainer or expired Epi-Pens with which you can practice (on a piece of fruit, such as a grapefruit; throw away afterwards, and discard EpiPen as instructed).


If your friend starts to show any of the signs of an allergic reaction, act quickly! Even if you aren’t sure, it’s better to get help and not need it than not to act fast enough if your friend is having a reaction.


Believe anyone who says they have a food allergy. Food allergies are not to be taken lightly! Some people may not believe your friend has a food allergy or may think that it is not as serious as they claim. Help your friend stand up for herself and avoid her allergens, no matter what! Sometimes kids with food allergies will get teased, harassed, or bullied by other students just because they are different.


Include those who have food allergies, but don’t single them out either; consider their emotional and social well-being. Having a food allergy does not mean your friend should be left out. By including her, she won’t feel different or singled out; all they want is to fit in. A food allergic person should be able to participate in the same activities as you. Don’t be afraid to invite someone with FAs to a birthday party! With safe substitute ingredients, she can also feel included during meals and snacks. When you go out of your way to care enough to include those with FAs, you will mean the world to them/their parents!


Help remove food from the school classroom. There are many non-food ways to celebrate your child’s birthday! It’s hard to be the only kid in the class not having a birthday cupcake and having to eat something different from a box of “safe treats.” Think of other prizes for fundraisers and school contests; donut and pizza parties are not the only way to reward students! A non-food celebration is also healthier (rates of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes are on the rise).


Reassure food-allergic children that everything will be OK. FA kids are very aware of their mortality; they are scared that they could die. However, don’t pity those with FAs or act terrified because that will cause them to feel even more frightened. Food allergies are just one part of that person.


Become more educated. By reading this, you’re taking the first step toward showing the world that food allergies are no laughing matter. But they don’t need to rule your life, either. All they need is a little attention. Your “can-do” attitude will help FA individuals cope with the challenges of living with allergies and ensure that food allergies don’t stop them from being everything they’re meant to be!

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The work featured on both this and the facing page were created and submitted by Kodjo Somana. This is the second time that Palmer Grove has had the privilege of featuring work from this incredibly talented young artist. 26 | Spring 2012 PALMER GROVE

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REUSE, REFUSE OR RECYCLE? By Cory Baker, Website Designer

Technology is moving so quickly. Ten years ago, a new computer cost $2000+ and crawled through the internet on a dial-up connection. We struggled to save files on floppy disks with limited space, and starting up or shutting down your system would take over 5 minutes. Now we zip across the internet with blazing speed, save thousands of images to hard drives the size of a piece of gum and the computers are so cheap, it can be more cost effective to buy a new one than to fix the old one. Our disposable society has finally reached the home electronic that used to be one of the most expensive; the computer. But what about that outdated equipment? Is it better to recycle it, donate it to be reused or just throw it away? Computers and electronics have unique attributes that make the decision to recycle or reuse an involved one. Computers contain high amounts of mercury as well as other toxic materials. CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) type monitors (the type used by most computer owners before the advent of flat panel monitors (LCDs)) contain high amounts of lead as well. Five years ago, it was estimated “that over 315 million computers will become obsolete by the year 2004. This represents more than 1 billion pounds of lead, 4 billion pounds of plastic and hundreds of millions of pounds of other toxic materials” (Smith). With hundreds of components, many with toxic particles, it is not simply a matter of whether to recycle or not, but how to do it in a manner that does not hurt the environment. Additional information from the website includes more specifics on what types of toxic materials are found within both desktop style computers, as well as laptops. Laptops contain a ”small fluorescent lamp in the screen that contains mercury” while desktops contain “batteries made of mercury, as well as mercury switches”, “along with lead and cadmium”. The states multiple times in their article, “when placed in a landfill, these materials (even in small doses) can (Continued on page 29)

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contaminate soil as well as drinking water”. This is a serious point to keep in mind when deciding what to do with one’s old computer equipment. Recycling seems to be a good option, but it is actually not a simple process of taking your old computer to a drop off point. There are many “shady” companies that take your old device and dispose of them via illegal actions such as having them “melted down over a rudimentary stove in Guiyu, China, or being tossed into a landfill in Lagos, Nigeria” (Salon). It is a donator’s beware type of market when it comes to getting rid of outdated or ineffective computer equipment. The Salon website warns that “in the absence of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the industry, you have to ask hard questions and demand real answers.” Another option for getting rid of ones old computer equipment is to donate it. Donations can be to a school, a library, a day care or many of the hundreds of companies that will take your old equipment and donate it for you. A good example of just this sort of company is the Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF). YTF is an international company that “seeks to bridge the digital canyon among disadvantaged communities in developing countries (YTF). Visitors to their website can donate many different technological equipment including computers and laptops. Again, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that will take old equipment and reuse it at other locations. Whether you are an individual donating because of an upgrade, or a company upgrading an entire business, this is a way to help keep the landfills cleared out a little longer. Why “a little longer”? Neither of these options actually fixes the problem. Eventually, the outdated technology will be beyond it reuse factor as well, and we are still left with the same problem: getting rid of toxic equipment without hurting the environment. The problem revolves around the fact that technology advances so quickly, and costs so little. That mixed with the fact that the companies that produce these little toxic time bombs are not held responsible for what they have created. “New consumer and procurement strategies need to be developed to hold the high tech industry responsible for a variety of environmental concerns, including hazardous chemical reductions, reducing waste through process efficiency, reuse, substitution and additive technologies” (Smith). The consumer is not taking care of the problem they did not create, the industries responsible need to step in and find a solution; if a viable solution is even possible. It seems we end up with the same results in all cases. If we reuse the devices, eventually we will end up putting them in the same landfill that the devices that did not get reused end up in. Recycling does not really work well for the consumer, as they have to do a lot of research to make sure they are just hurting the environment in the end as well. None of the three current options of reuse, refuse or recycle are viable, user-friendly options. Until the manufacturers step in and make efforts to make a change the consumer is left with piles of old computer equipment, and no real solution. Works Cited Smith, Ted. "Wanted: Silicon Valley." New American Dream. Fall 2000. 12 Feb. 2009 <>. "E-Waste: Harmful Materials." Earth911. Ed. Raquel Fagan. 2009. 16 Feb. 2009 <>. Youth for Technology Foundation. 2008. 16 Feb. 2009 <>. Grossman, Elizabeth. "How to recycle your computer." Salon News. 10 Apr. 2006. 23 Feb. 2009 <>.

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LIVING VINE COMMUNITY GARDEN By Rachel Flesh, Artistic Director Starting a community garden is about more than just turning some earth and planting some seeds. It’s about reaching out to your fellow man and making a difference in their life. A community garden does so much more than just bring people together though. It can drastically cut down the costs of food for a family. Fresh produce can be costly when purchased from big box retailers, but when one grows their own in a community garden the only cost one has to put forth is time, and effort. It also helps teach the next generation about the value of hard work. When a child sees their parent working to produce something that can benefit their whole family, that child can learn from it. A bond can be built that maybe couldn’t have been built before thanks to the availability of a garden in an area where gardening isn’t convenient (such as an apartment complex). Growing your own produce allows you the opportunity to know what’s in it. At Living Vine we don’t allow the use of harsh chemicals. We encourage and teach our gardeners to produce fresh and all natural produce. A community garden can also help reduce the crime rate; bringing people closer allows them to bond and trust each other more. That trust reduces the threat level that people feel when they don’t know their neighbors. There is an area of Columbus where a community garden was placed in an abandoned lot. The people of the neighborhood aren’t located in an area near grocery stores as the crime rate is so high retailers won’t build there. They have to find ways to get to the store, and get the products they need. By putting the garden in this neighborhood they were able to help families not only cut their costs, but also cut back on the trips to the grocery store and the amounts of packages they had to bring back. When they placed this garden they noted that the rival gangs used this lot as a place to cross through. So out of respect, the community created a pathway in the middle of the garden for the gang members to still cross through. When the rival gangs witnessed this sign of respect, as well as what the garden was doing for the people of the community they found something they could agree on. They agreed that the garden would be a no-tag zone, meaning the gangs would leave it alone and no one was to do harm to something that was helping their community. A community garden is a place for people to really connect, and get to know their neighbors. Our goal at Living Vine is to help create an environment for the community to better connect with one and other. A place for social interaction that otherwise may not have occurred. We want to help those on the north east side to be able to provide for their families and teach their children about what a wonderful thing a garden can be in a world where green space is becoming something that we see less and less of every day. Melanie Lindemuth and Kevin Welty, wanted to truly reach out and help the community, started Living Vine Community Garden. After talking to the members of a local apartment complex it became clear that providing fresh products for their families and better knowing their neighbors topped the list of needs. Thanks to a generous grant from Scotts Lawn Care, and the help of friends and family the dream of Living Vine is becoming a reality. In the future we hope to branch out and produce smaller gardens, one in particular for a resident daycare to help teach the children about the beauty of growing your own produce. Our first work day was quite the success! We had a lot of generous and helping hands come out to help unload mulch and soil, and get everything set up for tilling. Living Vine hopes to produce an amazing addition to the neighborhood within the next year. A place where people can gather and get to know their neighbors. A place where parents can teach their children about nature, and where families can grow fresh produce and beautiful flowers for their homes. A place that brings a community together, by bringing beauty and sustenance to their environment. A nurturing place to call their own. For more information, or to find out how you can participate contact Pam Mesaros at or 614-471-7139

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REGRETS By Cory Baker, Website Designer I have no excuse for the way I treated you. For not taking care the way that I needed to. The selfishness involved in the easy way. For turning to you and then turning away. For leaving you stranded with an empty heart. For not being true from the very start. For offering you a hand that I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t close. For choosing the path I blindly chose. For all the wrong things; for running from you I have millions of regrets, but I have no excuse. All I have left is my conscience beating my head to the wall, with the morals I live by and the mistake of my call. a burning remembrance an insensitive choice so many regrets, but only one voice. Please forgive me, I am so sorry.

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DON’T By Cory Baker, Website Designer Don’t think that no ones loved you, because they’ve turned away. Don’t feel they didn’t care for you, because they couldn’t stay. Don’t damn the world for not returning the love you feel you’ve given. Don’t hate the one that you were yearning, because he couldn’t make a commitment. Just think of him as experience, and think how much you’ve grown. Think of him as the sacred prince who placed you on a throne. Think of all you times together, feeling closer since you’re apart. Think of your plans of now and forever, and hold them in your heart. And don’t let yourself feel so much hate when he’s no longer your other. For when you’re both at Heaven’s gate, that man will be your brother.

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HOW DID MOTHER’S DAY GET STARTED? By Carri Bonner, Editorial Director Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May every year however, it wasn’t always that way. While many celebrate by buying their mothers flowers, serving breakfast in bed, or simply getting a card, it’s one of the biggest florist days of the year.

Ancient Mother’s Day: When looking at the history of Mother’s Day, we have to go back thousands of years when this day was originated as a spiritual holiday celebrating Goddesses and symbols of fertility and motherhood. The earliest historical record of a society celebrating a mother deity was with ancient Egyptians and their annual festival to honor Isis, the mother of all pharaohs. The Egyptians wove flowers and sang songs honoring Isis and thanking her for their leaders. Cybele, the Great Mother of Ancient Roman times, was also celebrated. Rhea, the Greek version of the Mother of the Gods was celebrated every year with a variety of celebrations. Last, the Greek also celebrated Gaia, the Mother of the Earth, as well when celebrating Rhea. Acknowledging that our Earth’s mother needed honoring as well was said to bring good weather, fortune and crops the following year. In all three celebrations, the most common form of celebrating was to eat honey cakes and give flowers in the morning. In the 1600’s, a clerical decree in England broadened the celebration to include real mothers; this celebration was known as Mothering Day. Mothering Day fell on the fourth Sunday of Lent each year and the mother was excused from Lenten fasting. Servants and trades workers were allowed to travel back to the town of their origin to visit their families and honor their mothers. Once again, mothers greeted the day with gifts of flowers, money, jewels or more practical items.

Mother’s Day in North America: When the first English settlers came to America, they discontinued the practice of Mothering Day. Some say they did not want to honor a British holiday, others claimed that there was too much work to do every single day to take time to celebrate and allow a central part of the home force to “slack off” and not do their everyday chores to keep the home running. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe conceptualized the Mother’s Day Proclamation. June 2nd was original chosen as the celebration day and in 1873, 18 North American cities joined the observation of the holiday. Unfortunately, most of these cities allowed the celebration to fall to the side when Howe stopped funding the celebrations herself. Despite the failure of passing the holiday across for approval from the government, Anna Reeves Jarvis led a group to reestablish this day. When Anna Reeves Jarvis passed away, her daughter, Anna M. Jarvis petitions the church her mother attended for 20 years for an official Mother’s Day. Anna M. Reeves wanted this day to be a day of remembrance and peace. The first official Mother’s Day (sponsored by the churches) was May 10, 1908. In 1908, U.S. Senator, Elmer Burkett, from Nebraska, proposed making Mother’s Day a national holiday. The proposal was defeated but by 1909, 46 states were celebrating Mother’s Day, as were parts of Mexico and Canada. Anna M. Jarvis continued petitioning and in 1912, West Virginia became the first state to legally recognize (Continued on page 35)

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Mother’s Day. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed it into a national observance, setting it as the second Sunday in May. As the holiday grew, so did the commercialization which Anna Jarvis detested. In 1923, she sued to stop the exploitation of the holiday and lost. She attempted to trademark the name “Mother’s Day” however was denied on the basis that the term was already being used and she had no legal right to the phrasing. In the 1930’s, Anna Jarvis was arrested for protesting the sale of flowers. After her failed suit to trademark the term “Mother’s Day”, she continued to fight with The Florist Exchange (the national organization of flower shop owners) against their continued commercialization of the holiday that she and her mother had fought to establish. Ironically, it was The Florist Exchange who anonymously donated the funds to pay for Jarvis’ living expenses and medical bills before she died in 1948. At the time of her passing, over 40 countries were celebrating Mother’s Day. Today, over 70 countries open celebrate this holiday to celebrate their mothers. Nowadays, Mother’s Day is the day in which the most phone calls are made, the busiest day of the year for restaurants, and the second busiest day of the year for over 23,000 florists across our country. So remember, call your Mother! Wish her a happy day if you can’t be with her and know that you’re not alone in celebrating your mother’s special day.

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FREEDOM TO LIVE By Kay Rice Can you hear the call from my heart? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to step away from blame and fault. Wings begin to grow and stretch out wide. Oh, how they hurt, but yet, filled with pride. Each feather, each bone, changing my life. Growing from pain yet ending my strife. Oh, can you hear the call of my heart? Tides breaking below on rocks so sharp. Standing at the edge looking down so far. No more fear, no more tears, only the scars. Following the call is never a simple chore. Yet small compared to what I faced before. The call is a song, the flight of a dove. I see my reflection in the clouds above. The breeze is fresh, no smog fills my chest. Flight gives my soul its long needed rest. These wings, though they were always there. Now replaces the scars on my back once bare. Can you feel the wind, it answers my call. Lifting me up to the sky, not afraid to fall. Oh, listen; hear my voice, now able to sing. I laugh and it sings like a sweet bellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ring. I can dance; look at my wings spread out wide. My feet in the grass, no longer needing to hide. Transformation takes time and comes slow. It takes pain and joy and all lessons to know. There is no journey which is completely planned. There is no battle that wins ever stand. But to know what you are seeking and striving for Gives the strength to fight so much more. Now give me a kiss, hold my hand so tight. Watch these wings give me their gift of flight. No, I will not fall from the edge of this cliff. These wings are string and upward they lift. Freedom to live is a gift, given only by time. And today is the day when that gift is mine.

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The artwork featured on this and the following two pages were submitted by Reagan. [This page] Koyo [Next page, Top] Anime Girl [Next page, Bottom] New Friends [Following page] Where Did You Go? PALMER GROVE Spring 2012 | 37

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THE EAGLE, THE BEAR AND THE BUFFALO By Ben Mays Every society in the history of man has told of some form of a superior being. Be it God, Buddha, Allah and the list goes on. Who is to say by whatever name that he is called that he is not the same. The Native American people called him The Great Spirit or The Great Father of us all. Our story starts on a moonlit night in the teepee of an Indian chief, somewhere in the great northwest. The chief lay on his death bed, burning with a fever. The shaman, the great medicine man of the tribes stands vigil at his side. The old shamanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart hangs heavy for he knows that he has done all he can, but it is not enough. He now awaits the young prince of his people. There is one more thing that he must do to help his old and dear friend. Like a great whirlwind he rides in on his pony at a dead run loaded down with a deer, rabbits and a quail that he was lucky enough to jump. He is only thirteen but a magnificent hunter for one of his young age. The problem is the he knows it; he is rude and arrogant as he is talented with a bow. The pony stands foaming with sweat from the heavy weight and the hard run after hearing the news of the great chief. The boy hits the door like a mad bull, only to bounce off the bone vest covered chest of the stern-faced shaman. "His time is short and his message important, so listen carefully boy." With that he steps to the side and lets him enter. The boy drops to his knees, attentive to his ailing father. "Listen to me, my son, for my time is short. There is so much for you to learn before you may take your place as leader of our people." â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Great Father has spoken to me in a dream. You must go, go far out into the (Continued on page 42)

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wilderness on a vision quest, to learn the ways of the Great Spirit. Tonight the shaman will prepare you for your journey. You will leave in the morning.” As they sat at the fire outside his father’s tent the shaman spoke not a word. The young boy sat and waited and waited. Hours went by and still not a word was spoken. The young brave could stand no more. He jumped to his feet in anger and frustration. “My father said you would tell me what I needed to know, but you say nothing. Tell me something you foolish old man.” The old man looked up at him with a look that chilled him to the bone. “Patience,” he hesitated, then added, “and a knife. At first light head to the north. Take nothing but a knife.” “When do I return and where am I going?” The silent man rose to his feet and spoke only one thing. “You will know.” With that he disappeared into the night, leaving the young boy very confused and just a little frightened. It would not be long before the dawn. At dawn, as the first rays of sunshine reached over the mountains, the young brave knew it was time to go. As he stood there, dressed in only a loincloth, armed with just a knife, he suddenly felt very small. For here he stood about to go off into who knows what. When out of his father’s teepee walked the medicine man. The old shaman stood face to face with the boy and told him, “Your father’s wishes go with you and gives you this.” With that he hands the boy a single eagle feather. As he took it in his hands, he felt sadness for some deep centered reason; he knew he would not see his father alive upon his return. Just as quickly as the sadness rushed through him, it was then replaced with an even greater sense of pride. Suddenly there was no more fear, where moments before stood a frightened thirteen year old boy, now stood a young brave who would be chief. With a tear in his eye and a chest full of pride, he tied the feather into his hair and started off. After many hours and many miles over hills and valley, through woods and fields, he came out of the trees to a formation of cliffs. It was here he decided to rest. It was here that he started to realize how tired he was. Wiping the sweat from his brow, relaxing, restarted to really look around. For the first time in his life he saw just how beautiful this land was. From the crystal blue waterfall to the long rolling green fields edged by the trees. Even the color of the rock cliffs seemed more rich and full of life. Suddenly he was startled at the screeching sound of an eagle. He looked up to see a great bald eagle. How wonderful it looked soaring carefree, as if it didn’t have a care in the world. Then to his shock the bird landed on the branch just a few feet away from him. There were no words to describe what he was feeling, standing face to face with such a magnificent creature. As the bird ruffed her feathers and made herself comfortable, nothing could prepare the boy for what happened next. “Greetings, little one,” she said. Yes, she spoke. The boy fell back on the ground unable to believe his ears. “I am sorry if I frightened you, little one.” “I am not frightened,” he boasted when inside he was terrified. Such a brave young warrior is not afraid. With everything that is going on in his confusion, the young boy’s head was turning. “I must be losing my mind from hunger,” he muttered to himself. “Oh, you’re hungry?” the eagle asked. “Don’t worry, I will catch you something.” It was then that the boy realized the voice of the eagle was the voice of his long dead mother. The bird flew off and returned moments later clutching a rabbit for the boy. The asked the eagle, “How is it possible that you can talk?” “It is a gift from the Great Father, so that you may learn what you need to know.” (Continued on page 43)

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“Your voice,” he said. “Are you my mother?” “Don’t be silly,” she said. “Do you have feathers? “Just what is it you are supposed to teach me?” With that the great bird gave no answer. The great bird just stared at him. Suddenly their eyes met. It was like a lightning bolt went off in his head. Next the bird took flight, but this time the boy was seeing with her eyes. The view from the cliff was magnificent, but nothing compared to this. The sky was so big, the land so clear. He could now see things he could not before; fish swimming in the water, squirrels jumping through the trees, rabbits in the brush, and deer eating in a field. Then, as the eagle returned, he could see his own form standing on the cliff, unmoving as if it were a statue. Suddenly a second flash went off in his head and he was himself again. The young brave fell to the ground totally overwhelmed with what his eyes had seen. No words could truly describe the feelings running through him. Never again will he look to the forest without remembering the true majesty of the land and what it had to offer. “Did you enjoy your journey, little one?” the bird asked. A slight nod of his head was the only answer. “Perhaps now I am your mother. Take care, little one,” and with that she flew off, her great wings brushing the hair from his face. After eating and napping he could not get over what he'd seen. "Maybe I dreamed it," he thought to himself as he tied this feather into his hair alongside the one his father had given him. His chest filled with pride. For he somehow knew this was only the beginning. After filling his belly with the rabbit the eagle had given him. The young brave got a good night's rest. The next morning he awoke rested and refreshed. Looking over the edge of the cliff a waterfall caught his eye. Spotting the falls and the pool it poured into gave him an idea. “A bath, a drink of fresh water is what I need.” As he moved down the side of the mountain his head and heart full of his new awareness, he couldn't believe how much he never noticed before. As he climbed over the rocks to the water he heard splashing. So he stopped, hiding behind a huge boulder he peaked to see what it was. It was a huge female grizzly and two large cubs. Suddenly, a voice came from the other side of the rock. "Impressive, isn't she?" a voice said. "Yes," he replied without thinking. "Don't worry little brother," the voice said, "she hasn't spotted you yet." The boy's head was filled with wonder after the eagle, now he wondered who or what was speaking to him now? "Stay put," the voice said, "for she's about to run off her cubs, they are old enough to fend for themselves." "How do you know?" the boy asked. "Because she's looking for me." With that a great male grizzly stood up on his hind legs. Even on the other side of the boulder, he still stood over ten feet tall. In looking up the boy fell straight back and landed with a thud on his butt. The bear let out a slight laugh. “Did I shock you little brother?” he asked. (Continued on page 44)

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Now the boy was angry, because the bear knew full well that he had. “I’m not afraid of you!” he shouted. The bear gave him an irritated stare and the boy quickly changed his mind. “Well, not much anyway,” he added. With that the bear’s attitude lightened again. “Well, little brother, this female is in need of breeding. Enjoy the water and be careful of the cubs. I’ll return and visit you after I’ve finished.” Then he let out a great roar. The female and the cubs froze. At the next moment the large sow turned on her cubs, growling and swatting at them. In confusion and fear they ran off. Down the bank came the great male. He stopped, looked at her and wandered downstream to a patch of underbrush. The young brave knew that he had done this to allow him passage to the pool. After they had moved to the brush, the boy felt safe to slide down to the water. He drank long for the spring water tasted sweet. Then he dove in and went for a refreshing swim. Suddenly, the air grew still and the young brave knew that he was being watched. Somehow he knew that there was danger, and it was looking for him. Slowly out of the bushes came the two young bears. “Momma ran us off for the ugly brute,” said one. “Now there’s a stinking man cub fouling up our water hole,” said the other. “Let us kill it and show momma,” they agreed. To one side of the pool was sheer rock face leaving only the beach to come in and out of, and it was blocked by the two yearling bear cubs. As they circled the beach waiting for the boy to come out of the water, they growled and pawed at the ground in challenge to the boy. Fear was overcoming the young brave. He was tired from treading water. “If I stay here I will drown, but on the shore waits certain death.” Then without a second thought the boy yelled, “Big brother, help me!” With a thunderous crash came the large bear at a full charge. The yearlings were surprised at the speed of the older male. With a swoop of his forepaw, one slammed hard to the ground. Then a sickening crunch was heard as he bit hard on the shoulder of the other. In their panic the two yearling cubs ran off, as if their butts were on fire. The large male rose to his hind feet and let out one more thunderous roar. As the young brave climbed to the shore and in his glee from being saved, he ran up and hugged the huge bear. Jumping back quickly he thought to himself, “What the hell am I doing?” With this the large male plopped down in amusement and gave the boy a playful little pat. “Good to have large friends, hey little brother?” he said. A warm feeling and laughter filled the air as the two new friends relaxed after the excitement. “Are you going to teach me the way of the bear? Is that the lesson the Great Father has sent you to teach me, big brother?” the boy asked. “No,” said the bear, “the way of the bear are not for you. Ours is the way of solitude and power. You will be chief and have many others to care for. Mine is the way of the strong, little brother. That is my lesson. Stand strong and show no fear to your enemies. Do as I do. Live your life in peace, but in time of danger fight with all your might. Let the ground shake and your enemies tremble at the sight of your charge. To be a leader, I cannot teach you. For the way of the bear is neither to lead nor follow. The answer to that lesson lies over that hill to the pasture lands of the buffalo. Go now, little brother and remember what you have learned today.” With that the great male turned and started to walk away. Suddenly, he stopped. The bear looked back at the (Continued on page 45)

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boy and growled. Then he gave a bluff charge at the boy who by reflex pulled his knife and let out a roar of his own. This move even surprised himself. “You learn quickly, little brother. You will do fine.” Then he wandered off into the brush. Following the bear’s words, the young brave prepared for the next leg of his journey for once he had said buffalo the boy instinctively prepared for the hunt. From the slate rocks around the water and woods the boy had made himself both a bow and arrows. Tying his knife to a long pole and making a spear he was able to kill a deer. Thus giving himself food and leather to carry the arrows in. At daybreak he would go to meet the buffalo. Early the next morning the boy crawled through the high grass. As he grew closer, his eyes couldn’t comprehend the true size of the herd of buffalo before him. The herd was so large it looked like a giant sea of brown. Everywhere he looked they seemed to go on forever. He sized up a yearling bull calf. Then, as he drew back his bow, the calf spooked. The young brave knew it was not him that spooked the calf. Here he laid on his belly in the high grass he knew the young bull couldn’t have seen him. At that moment he felt a hot breath, breathing down upon the back of his neck. He rolled over on his back to find himself face to face with a very large, very white, very angry buffalo. “The Great Father sends you here for advice and you try to bring death instead? I should stomp you like the bug you are.” As the bull chastised the young brave the boy wasted no time getting to his feet, but out of fear forgot all of his weapons. “I hate your kind boy. Once we lived as one. Your people killed mine only out of need. You honored us, showed us respect. If you had no need for food you would pass through my herd with no threat. Now your white brothers gained power. They point loud, noisy sticks at my people and kill for no purpose. They leave us to rot in the sun, taking only our skin. Do you see boy?” the bull asked in anger. “Do you see the white of my skin? Let me show you my white power.” With that he lowered his head and charged. There was nothing that the boy could do but run. He knew that he couldn’t outrun the bull, but what else could he do? Just as he was about to be slammed by the great white bull, the yearling bull jumped in to his rescue. The large bull dug his feet deep as he stopped. The cloud of dirt and dust was so large that it knocked the young brave head over heels “Why are you doing this boy?” said the white bull to the yearling. “Because, father, as you said he is not white. He is not like them and you yourself said that the Great Father sent him.” The great white knew he was right, but he still wanted to stomp the young brave. So, instead he shook his head, let out a great bellowing and ran off. The young bull shook and the only sound was water as the young bull relieved himself. The young bull looked over at the brave and found he was standing in a puddle of his own. The boy looked at the ground and then at the bull and they both began to laugh. “My father is right, you know? The white men are a danger. We have traveled far, see many of our own slaughtered, and yours, too,” he said. “What?” exclaimed the boy. “We have passed through villages of the red man burning and filled with your dead with holes in them from the loud sticks the white men carry. That’s why my father worries. They follow us; they kill us without care or reason. They do not understand the way of the Great Father. My father wants to protect us, but he doesn’t know how. The red man and the buffalo have always shared the land. Now the whites seem to want us all (Continued on page 46)

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gone.” “Why?” asked the boy. “I do not know,” said the young bull. “My father says it’s to show power. That he does it just to prove that he can. The rest of the herd follows my father because of his white hide. The say it gives him power and makes him smarter and faster and braver. Every time they kill one of us, he feels that it is his fault; that he let them down. It’s made him a little crazy.” Just then the sound of gunfire rang out. The great white bull came running, screaming, “Run! Run my people! They’ve found us again!” A shot rang out and the young bull fell at the boy’s feet. In shock the boy hid behind the dead bull. At the sight of his son, the white bull snapped and turned to charge the rider with the gun. In his own anger, the boy grabbed his bow and arrow. As the buffalo charged the man on the horse, the boy drew back on his bow. The rider drew his gun to fire and the boy let the arrow fly. The arrow sank with a deep thud in the man’s shoulder as the bull slammed head long into the horse. Both horse and man hit the ground with a mighty crash. The man screamed as he scrambled for his gun. The mighty bull was faster as he jumped over the fallen horse and landed on the man. The bull’s attack was fast and furious as he repeatedly stomped and gored and pounded the man into the ground. Once it was over, the white buffalo looked at the young brave, blood from his victim covering his face and a tear in his eye. “They will keep coming. They will kill us all, the red man and the buffalo. We are nothing to them. They don’t care about the Great Father and his plan for all creatures to live together, to rely on each other to survive. All they want it death. Well, this one found a death he didn’t want. What about you, boy?” He turned, still angry at the boy. The young brave dropped his bow and spoke. “I wish no killing, my brother. Instead I ask for the white man’s horse so I may take your great son back to my village where my people may honor him and survive as the Great Father has planned.” With a heavy heart the bull nodded his head and ran off to return to his herd. The boy dressed and packed the buffalo onto the horse until the horse was loaded down. It was the way of the Indian to use every bit of the meat and hide. The boy buried the innards and started back for his village. As he walked he thought about all he had learned. From the eagle, the beauty of the world he lives in. From the bear, how to be strong and brave. From the buffalo, to care for his people and the pain of leadership. He knew there would be a great feast to celebrate his return and to honor the dead; both the spirit of the young bison and of his own father who has given him the great task of leading his people. He hopes that he can do them both proud.

About the author: Benton Mays is a resident of Logan, Ohio. Mays is an artist and previously submitted the work that was used on the cover of the first issue of Palmer Grove. This is his first attempt at a short story.

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LIL By Nancy (Pratt) Dennis In our neighborhood there is an old male cat His name is Butch and he likes to catch rats He's fat & he's feisty and sometimes a pest But he keeps himself clean & looking his best Then next door appeared a gal cat name Lil Her coat was all shiny; she was queen of the hill A change then in Butch one could clearly see He began to think in terms of just 'we' Now Lil had no time for plans of long range She liked to be free and wanted no change Then into her life came Homer the cat He just wanted love and purred with a pat He was homeless and helpless and had half a tail These two fell in love and soon without fail They had 3 baby cats eating out of their pail

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WHERE MY BABY RABBITS CAME FROM By Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director My childhood Easter’s all seem to blend together at this point in my life, but they all were filled with traditions that carried on from year to year. Easter Sunday was a busy and hectic day; of course as a child my mind was set on one thing: Gifts. I’d wake up as early as my parents' sanity would permit. This, of course, began with the pouncing ritual of bed jumping and squealing with delight until they woke up. Naturally, each year my little sister's and my Easter baskets were filled with the same things, just in different colors. There was always a stuffed rabbit, a box of Wilton’s sample chocolates, a small bag of Jelly Belly jellybeans, and a small toy of some sort. The older we got, the more advanced that stuffed rabbit became, becoming a cd or a dvd of our choice, usually under a $10 value. Don’t begin to think the squealing of little girls was only chaos of the day. Mom was quick to begin working on her spinach soufflé while dad made last minute runs to the grocery store to grab whatever that year's forgotten ingredient was. Ritualistically, my sister and I were stuffed into white tights, white dress shoes which we were told to not scuff, and the most lacy, fluffy, tulip embroidered, egg patterned and pastel colored dresses that grandma could find for us at JC Penny’s. Quite often the two of us were dressed up to match, which made all the sense in the world with our four-year age gap. Not to mention the fact that I was a curly blonde and she had pin straight brown hair. Still, though people confused us, maybe it was the large lacy bows that our mother would spend hours combing through our miles of hair to place perfectly on the crowns of our head. Needless to say we were dressed up like walking Easter cakes, and not all that pleased. How was a girl supposed to beat her boy cousins at egg hunting in a pair of shoes she wasn’t to scuff, tights she couldn’t move in, and a dress that had more layers than an onion? Well, we’ll get to that later. We were herded into the station wagon, and driven first to Meme and Palpals, for those not in the know, that’s grandma and grandpa. Naturally, they wanted to see their darling granddaughters in the gloriously bouffant gowns that they’d bestowed upon them. Of course we were also given baskets. You know the kind, the cheap plastic ones that were bought at the drug store, they were premade and everything was glued down with a glue that could only be described as troll snot. The animal inside was slightly deformed, and discolored, the candy was the cheap funny tasting stuff that you ate anyways because it was candy. I know I don’t sound grateful, but I truly was. I adored those crazy baskets and every crazy thing I found inside of them. Of course Meme and Palpal’s gifts weren’t done; they always snuck Mom and Dad a bag of colorful plastic eggs to take along for the hunt. Sometimes we’d even go back to their house afterwards to hunt for them. Before I get ahead of myself, as exciting as the hunt always was, dinner came first. Traditionally it was ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, spinach soufflé (it’s coated in cheese don’t knock it till you try it), and rolls. It drove us all nuts as kids having to sit there and eat. Sure, stuffed rabbits from our aunt helped tie us over, but it wasn’t

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enough. If you haven’t noticed, I got a lot of stuffed rabbits over the years. In fact I often feel like they were multiplying at the same rate that actual rabbits do. The day wore on like a hot summer day with no air conditioning. Between the anticipation and being stuffed into an outfit that can only be described as being a pea under a stack of mattresses left for a princess to find it, it was grueling as a child. When the time came, the women would go out to hide our bounty, whilst the men kept us at bay inside. We grabbed up our baskets and took the battle stance. It was like a soundless gun rang out as we stampeded into the wilds of the backyard. Our battle cries were glass-shattering squeals of delight. All bets were off as perfectly white shoes became scuffed, white tights got grass stains, tears were shed, and ruffles were… ruffled! As children we didn’t care what was in those eggs, looking back though, I have to attribute the majority of loose change around my home to those eggs. You were lucky to find eggs with quarters in them; usually it was a plethora of pennies. Of course as a kid any kind of money was equivalent to a leprechaun’s gold. I just remember picking up those eggs and giving them a shake, my heart would give a little flutter at the sound of that loose change rattling inside. The change ones were always from my grandparents, the ones from mom and dad and my aunt and uncle always contained chocolates, jellybeans, sweets and small fun trinkets. There was also always a stuffed rabbit hidden for each child as well, because what Easter wouldn’t be complete without another ball of white fluff to add to the pile. As we all sorted our bounty and our mother’s made sure we had equal hulls, we stuffed our cheeks with more sweets before climbing into the car to head home. Blisters on our feet, headless chocolate rabbits in our baskets, sugar pains in our stomachs, and fluffy white rabbit families in our arms. Life was good, and traditions were upheld for yet another year.

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BLOSSOMING FLOWER ACCENTS By Rebekah Slotterbeck and Kayla Slotterbeck Turn scraps of fabric into elegant fabric flower accessories. You can create a hand-made hair accessory to accentuate your summer look using these 9 simple steps. Materials List:  A round object to trace for a flower pet-

al pattern, which could be a jar lid or a ribbon roll (as shown in photo.) The object size will determine the size of each petal of the flower, so keep this in mind when choosing what to trace.         

Scraps of fabric Fabric marker Needle Thread Scissors Glue gun Button or Bead Alligator clip Felt fabric

Trace the round object on the fabric of your choosing. 5 petals are needed to complete the flower shown. Tip: Double the fabric over so you can cut 2 circles at once to save some time. Cut the circular shapes out of the fabric so that you have 5 single circles to create the petals of the flower. Take one of the circles and begin by folding in half, then again in half to make a triangular shape. Start a running stitch along the bottom (long side) of the triangle. Continue the folding and running stitch for all 5 circles. Tie the threads together to form the flower. Cut a small circle of felt to fit the back of the flower and a rectangular piece to attach the alligator clip to the flower. Use the hot glue gun to connect the small felt circle to the back of the flower, then hot glue gun the alligator clip and rectangular felt piece to the circle and allow to dry. Finally, use the hot glue gun to attach the button or bead to the front center of the flower to complete the accessory. Enjoy wearing your personal creation or give them as a special gift for any occasion!

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A WORLD FOR YOU AND ME By Cory Baker, Website Designer Two bodies lay quietly underneath the midnight sky. The universe overtakes their view; they feel that they could fly. There is so much felt between them that only they can understand. Passion flowing freely between their entwined hands. They begin to talk of dreams and things that they have kept inside. Trusting in the stars, there is nothing left to hide. Then a feeling of weightlessness takes him to the sky. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s felt this way just once before, while looking in her eyes. She raises upward with him and they both soar into space. They leave this cruel and empty world, this lonely time and place. They travel ever further, leaving Earth, passing Mars. Traveling forever. Traveling to the stars. Then they build their own world, with which no other can compare. A world where people love each other and arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afraid to care. A world where this boy and girl were always meant to be. A world for all the lovers, A world for you and me.

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CONGRATULATIONS ON GRADUATION? By Kat Bonner, Staff Artist I've been thinking a lot about graduation lately, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. There is always the "Are you excited?", but just as many times as I'm asked that, I'm told to cherish my time as a high schooler. The easiest way to explain my feelings would be to explain both sides of graduation for me. On one end of the graduation spectrum I am terrified and incredibly stressed. The measly high school projects and papers that I have now stress me out; I can't even imagine what college work is going to be like. Getting a job and paying for my own schooling that will decide my career are also grown-up activities that I am not looking forward to. Bills are a whole other beast that I am mortified of. Being an adult in general is just strange to me. I feel like the moment I become an adult it will become socially unacceptable for me to blow bubbles and draw with chalk alone in my driveway, or feel stealthy for being out past midnight, or play on playgrounds with my friends. Senioritis is also a sore spot. I want to be able to do the minimum and relax and claim Senioritis with my teachers, but, unfortunately, the more I want to have Senioritis, the more stressed I become. Giving a procrastinator an excuse to procrastinate doesn't end well. Part of me wants to be seventeen for another year. I feel like I haven't done enough teenager-ing yet. Despite all the scary adult responsibilities that I don't want just yet, I still feel excited for graduation. On the happier end of the spectrum, I'm ridiculously excited to be an adult, to finally be out of high school. I'm excited to take classes that I want and not standardized requirements that have nothing to do with the realistic future. I'm excited to be the legal age to get tattoos, move out, and stay out until dawn on week nights. I'm excited not to have ask permission anymore or hear, "Don't do anything stupid!" I'm also excited for my permanent seat-check at the adult table on Thanksgiving, and even a priority over my brother for sitting on the furniture when we have family over (right now adults get first dibs, then it's a free-for-all the children). Graduation feels like the beginning of the real world, and whether I'll like the real world is another mixed-emotion question mark. *Kat Bonner graduates on June 2 and plans on attending Columbus State Community College to pursue her Dental Hygienist degree.

On facing page: The staff of Palmer Grove would like to congratulate Kat on her upcoming graduation from high school. You have been an irreplaceable presence in every issue and we cannot wait to see the various ways that you will change this world. We are only too grateful to be able to share a small part in your amazing future. Thank you for all you do and good luck in your future!

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FOOD ALLERGIES: My Story By Bethany Schoeff, Columnist Growing up, all I knew about “allergies” was that my dad had them. While they were mostly environmental, I vaguely remember that he had a few food allergies as well. His lips would swell up to the point where I didn’t recognize him; but these occurrences were very rare, and I knew the reaction was from eating something obscure, like shellfish. My next encounter with food allergies didn’t happen until 2003, when I was pregnant with my second child. Rachel, my oldest, was in preschool, and she had a classmate, Aria, who always brought her own snack. At one point, I talked to Aria’s mom who told me that her daughter was allergic to milk. “Like lactose intolerance?” I remember asking. She politely smiled, shook her head, and said “No, it’s a food allergy. Like peanut.” What most people, including me, knew about food allergies at that point had to do with peanuts— we knew that was severe, and we knew people had reactions, and we knew that a few had died, but that that was rare. When I told my husband about Aria, he admitted that he had a peanut allergy as a child. This was the first I had heard of this in our then 8-year relationship. He said that he still has some trouble eating peanuts and peanut butter, especially on an empty stomach. Why didn’t I know this?! My obstetrician, upon hearing the news, recommended that I refrain from eating peanuts and tree nuts for the remainder of my pregnancy. (Medical recommendations regarding this have since changed; the American Academy of Pediatrics now does not recommend refraining from any common allergens, even with a history of food allergies in the family.) A couple months after Ryan was born, Rachel turned 5 and we had a birthday party at our house to celebrate. Rachel wanted to invite Aria, so I did everything I could to make sure she was included. At this point, food allergies were not a part of our lives, or even something on our radar. But I somehow knew I needed to check the ingredients on everything I used to make the cake and frosting. I saved all the labels, and Aria’s dad checked them when he dropped her off. She brought her own cake and ice cream (as she was used to having to do), but for once she was able to eat what everyone else was eating: A Strawberry Shortcake-themed cupcake (she did eat the ice “cream” she brought though). She seemed happy, and her parents thanked me for being accommodating. Little did I know, this would one day become my fight and I would know exactly how Aria’s parents felt. Ryan was a wonderful baby. He was meeting all his milestones on schedule or even early. However, at about 5 months old, when we introduced solid food for the first time, Ryan had trouble eating. Almost every morning he would vomit after nursing; the amount that came back out seemed to be the same as what he took in. He also had trouble eating certain foods; he would gag and cough a lot. There was no pattern to when or how he’d react to nursing/eating though. We weren’t too concerned since he seemed overall to be a healthy, happy, and normal baby. However, other family members did worry. Since we were with Ryan every day, we couldn’t see how sickly he had become in appearance. (I can see it now when I look back at pictures.) My mother kept using the words “failure to thrive,” but I insisted that he was gaining weight, albeit slowly. At his 6-month check-up, Ryan had only gained a few ounces, and he was only in the 4th percentile for weight. He wasn’t as miserable as he apparently looked; he never lost weight, and he was meeting his milestones. So, although the pediatrician was clueless as to why, neither she nor we had any real reason to pursue a further diagnosis. That all changed when Ryan was about 8 months old. We experienced one of the scariest moments of our (Continued on page 55)

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life. We had put Ryan to bed as usual. Fifteen minutes later, over the monitor we heard him coughing and gagging. We ran to his room to find he had vomited in his crib. As we changed his clothes and diaper, we realized he was struggling to breathe. He had very shallow, wheezy breaths; it was as if he was trying to cry but couldn’t. I’ll never forget the way he sounded. I called my mom, a pediatric nurse, and she said any time their breathing is compromised, you go to the hospital! We immediately piled into the car (why we didn’t call for an ambulance, I’ll never know!), drove our daughter to a friend’s house, and rushed to the ER. I remember crying and begging Ryan to keep breathing, all the way there. Right before we arrived at the hospital, Ryan vomited once again in his car seat. This seemed to somehow improve his breathing; he was no longer wheezing. Once the ER personnel heard that our son had been having trouble breathing, they got him in immediately. The examination revealed nothing wrong; they couldn’t figure out what was or had been wrong. They asked if he had eaten anything new, and we replied “no”—before bed he ate some Ritz crackers, but he had eaten those before without trouble. One doctor theorized that Ryan seemed to have a cold, so he probably swallowed some mucus, triggering the gag reflex that caused him to vomit. He had aspirated some of his vomit, therefore causing trouble in his lungs. We did not except this explanation. We left the hospital with saline drops, a nasal syringe, no answers, and even more questions. Our pediatrician was just as clueless. She guessed that it could be a food allergy, but we argued that there was no pattern in his eating to indicate that. Her next guess was cystic fibrosis, and she would send Ryan to be tested for that. Of course I wanted to research what that disease was, and, yes, his symptoms did seem to fit. Then I remember the horror that came over me as I read that the average life expectancy for a male with CF was a mere 32 years old. I cried. The test for CF was a simple sweat test. Ryan did great, and the results came back negative. While we were relieved that it wasn’t CF, we were back to square one: clueless, helpless. The pediatrician’s next guess was that there was something wrong with Ryan’s digestive system. We scheduled to have him undergo an upper (Continued on page 56)

Ryan's first birthday, "We couldn't see how sickly he had become in appearance."

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gastrointestinal endoscopy. This was not something you want to put your baby through, but if it would get us answers, we were willing. As we waited for that appointment (it took a couple months before it could get scheduled), I tried to piece together what we knew about Ryan’s issues. I began to think maybe it was a food allergy, but to what I had no clue. I kept a mental note of what Ryan ate and his subsequent reactions. On Christmas Eve 2004, I gave Ryan a piece of cheese, which he immediately vomited. Hmmm . . . maybe he has a milk allergy? (But why would a cracker have sent him to the ER? At the time I wasn’t aware that allergens can “hide” in unsuspecting foods, so I didn’t think to check labels. It turns out that, at the time, one variety of Ritz crackers had milk, while the other didn’t!) I’ll never forget that moment when it finally was made crystal clear to me. One day, in early January of 2005, Rachel had just finished eating some yogurt, and she licked off the spoon and set it down on her kid table. Ryan crawled over, pulled himself up to the table, and licked her “clean” spoon. That’s all it took. He immediately developed hives around his mouth, and he started coughing and gagging. I ran him over to the sink where he vomited. Like Helen Keller (“She knows! She KNOWS!!”) a light bulb went off for me that day. I quickly called the pediatrician: “I think . . . no, I know Ryan has a milk allergy.” This was two weeks before he was scheduled to have the upper GI scope. She sent him for allergy testing, and sure enough, he was off the charts allergic to dairy, among other things. We found out he was also allergic to eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts (he also tested positive for a couple other foods, and we avoided them unnecessarily for a year; once we switched allergists, we realized the method of the original testing was questionable/unreliable). A week before his first birthday, we finally had a diagnosis. We canceled the appointment with the gastroenterologist. As Ryan was still nursing, I had to go on the same diet as Ryan because (as I knew for a fact) allergens do pass through breast milk and he could (and would!) react to it. This is when and how I discovered I was lactose intolerant (I had had pain and other symptoms for years, but never was able to rid dairy 100% (Continued on page 57)

PALMER GROVE is currently seeking to fulfill vacancies in our staff. If you have a unique vision and voice and would like to add it to the course of this publication, then visit and apply today!

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from my diet). Fortunately, my best friend was also lactose intolerant and knew dairy-free substitutions for milk, butter (for baking), and margarine spread. Ryan was just learning how to eat, and we really had no idea what to feed the child! I’m pretty sure all he ate for a couple months was oatmeal and graham crackers. Finding allergy-safe snacks was relatively easy. We had to learn how to read every label, every time, and not take any chance. Cooking and baking were still a challenge for me. I tried to find recipes that were free of all of Ryan’s allergens. I remember being so excited upon discovering a cookbook geared exactly toward his specific allergies . . . but the recipes turned out awful!! I soon realized it was easier to alter my tried-and-true recipes, substituting safe ingredients. Slowly I found my way around this new allergen-free world. A bigger challenge was educating our family about Ryan’s food allergies. As their initial experience with food allergies was the same as mine, they did not understand how serious this was. I remember it finally dawning on my brother: “You mean, he could die? Wow. I thought it was just hives, like dad.” We still have to fight them on certain issues (like no parmesan cheese or butter out when we are over), they are for the most part accommodating. It blessed my heart that, for my niece’s first birthday this past year, my family had all safe snacks and cupcakes! And, yes, they still make mistakes (like not realizing merengue powder is egg), but we encourage them to keep trying—it’s not that hard! It just takes some learning and getting used to, that’s all. When Tyler was born in 2006, we knew there was a good possibility he could develop food allergies too. Of course, this time we knew what symptoms to look for. Tyler had terrible eczema (I remember his pediatrician remarking that he must be really itchy for him to be coordinated enough to scratch his own rash as an infant!), which was a sign that he had some sort of allergy. When he started eating solid food, we accidentally gave him rice cereal that contained milk (whey protein); he immediately vomited that back up. So, we knew he had a dairy allergy. I was already on a completely dairy-free diet while I was nursing him. A few months later, I “tested” his egg allergy by feeding him a dairy-free brownie with eggs baked in; and he immediately vomited that back up, so we knew he had an egg allergy too. His soy allergy was discovered while feeding him a “safe” cracker with soy butter (a peanut butter substitution). As I had been cooking and baking using soy-based products for substitutions, I had to relearn my way around the kitchen. Fortunately, coconut milk-based products were just finding their way onto the market. We also switched to sunflower butter (in place of peanut- and soy butter). Tyler ate that fine for months, and then all of sudden developed an allergy to that as well. His list of allergens continued to grow, and we did have him tested to confirm his allergies. Today he avoids all dairy/milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish/ shellfish, sunflower, and peas. However, since we knew what to watch for and were able to “diagnose” each food allergy immediately, Tyler never dropped in percentiles for weight like Ryan did. For the past seven years, food allergies have become our way of life. Living with them seems almost commonplace now; we don’t have to think about them—it’s just the way things are! Yes, they do require us to be conscientious at all times, but we don’t live in a bubble either. We have learned to control what we can. The fight is difficult sometimes—I hate having to educate people and be the trailblazer—but I know that I am making things easier for the next FA kid that comes along. The hardest part is knowing that my boys will never lead an ordinary life. We try to make things as normal as possible. But it still breaks my heart to know that Ryan eats lunch alone at school every day. And I know they don’t get invited to many birthday parties because people are too scared to deal with them (if they only knew that we’re used to having to bring our own food/cupcakes!). The boys can never enjoy a pizza party after their sports’ team’s big win . . . . But we don’t let them see this disappointment. We teach them that anything’s possible, even with their food allergies—that’s just one part of them, not something that has to control their life. We try to not get our hopes up that they’ll outgrow their food allergies one day (although Ryan’s numbers have decreased over the years, and he can now eat some tree nuts). Our mindset is that this is a lifelong condition. But a condition that is not limiting, that can be dealt with and managed, to the point that they can live fulfilling lives.

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Biggest Procrastinator — Brian Palmer

Cutest Couple — David & Bethany Schoeff


Biggest Heart—Carri Bonner

Best Smile—Rachel Flesch

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Class Clown—Kyle Gordon

Most Likely to Succeed — Cory Baker


Best Laugh — Jeff Lafferty

Best Eyes — Kat Bonner

Most Talented — Aaron Blanton

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WEDDING ON A BUDGET By Carri Bonner, Editorial Director Wedding season is upon us and many couples are struggling to figure out how to have the wedding of their dreams and not break the bank doing so. With financial times still precarious, many couples are investing in homes, savings, or simply making ends meet without the financial burden of an extravagant wedding that costs a fortune. So here are a few hidden costs associated with weddings and simple ways to make your wedding beautiful without being overly expensive. Also, there are several tips, ideas, and how-to’s online so don’t be afraid to look for these ideas without spending money on an unnecessary book. One of the first things couples start checking out when setting a theme for their wedding or the style of wedding they’d like is the invitations. There are multiple companies that offer invitations online and because there are so many it really pays to shop around. Don’t be afraid to contact a company that has a design you like and ask if they’d honor another company’s pricing. Also, keep in mind that heavy or large invitations will cost more postage than a normal size invitation. Sometimes the company you order from will offer to address the invites and mail them as well. This is an expensive service costing anywhere from $26 per invite. If you’re having a larger wedding or don’t have pretty handwriting, you can use printed labels or better yet, ask a family member or friend if they would address your invitations for you as your wedding gift. Most people won’t mind and will be delighted to give a gift that is so personal and appreciated. The next major hurdle couples face is choosing a venue. A venue can encompass both the ceremony and the reception or you can change venues in between. If you are a member of a church, they’re usually willing to work with you on using the church for the ceremony. Some couples keep the church as their reception venue as well if they have a nice community hall or space to do so. Keep in mind when choosing to have your reception at a church that you must honor their customs, meaning, if your church doesn’t approve of drinking, you won’t be serving alcohol at your wedding reception. Keep your eye open for venues when you are thinking of themes or styles and attempt to think outside the box. A restaurant or pub may offer a reception space for a lot less as they will be making their fees on food and drinks ordered. Many cities allow weddings at parks, and depending on the season, can be a naturally beautiful space to have the ceremony and perhaps the reception as well if city laws allow it. With thinking outside the box, check out art galleries, libraries, and even places like a zoo or aquarium. Many of these spaces charge far less than a traditional reception hall and offer a beauty of their own therefore minimizing on table dressings, decorations and lighting costs. You can also pick a beautiful garden and do a picnic wedding with pillows and blankets instead of regular tables and chairs, allowing the garden to be all the decoration you need. Make sure your guests know in advance so they can dress appropriately yet still dressy. Last, if you do choose a reception hall as your venue, try and book on a day other than a Saturday. Saturday prices tend to run nearly 50% higher in some areas. If you’re willing to go non-traditional, having a Sunday brunch wedding or a late Friday evening wine and hors d'oeuvres wedding will save you quite a bit and allow for a more casual feel. As mentioned, keeping the food simple and yet elegant will save quite a bit on reception costs. Many guests are just as happy with a brunch or cocktail hour reception as they are with a full dinner reception. If you’re keeping the wedding simple, you can do a simple backyard reception with food from friends and family. More and more couples are doing a “pot-luck” reception and asking the guests to not only bring a dish, but the recipe as well so the couple has a keepsake from each person. Another way to save on food costs is to serve (Continued on page 61)

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“family” style at each table. Each person can get their own servings, allowing them to ensure they enjoy the food they are eating and without plating each person, allows the couple to save many labor hours and extra hands from the kitchen or catering staff. Finally, if you are having the reception catered and served, keep food choices to food that’s available locally and in season. With gas prices so high, it will cost you much more if you insist on meals with ingredients that have to be shipped from overseas or even across country. If you envision your wedding with an open bar, check with the venue to see if you can stock the bar yourself. Spend a little more on wines and a few liquors to serve over ice. On the liquors to mix, you can do a lower cost bottle as they’ll be blended and the taste difference will be minimal. Also, ensure that if you bring your own liquor, the venue allows you to take any of the leftovers home as some venues will make keeping leftover liquor as part of allowing you to bring your own. In serving the food, while white glove service is exquisite, it’s considered an “over-the-top” expense by many wedding planners now. Whether you choose buffet or table service though, each table should have a centerpiece of some kind and runners or tablecloths. Instead of hiring a linen service for tablecloths and runners (which can add up quickly, especially with multiple tables), hit the fabric store and find a fabric that goes well with your wedding colors and theme. It’s a fun way to add color to the reception area without spending a fortune. Ask a few friends or a family member to throw simple hems on them and they’re ready to lay on tables. While at the craft store for fabric, take the time to really look around and find centerpiece ideas. The trends for centerpieces now are multi-dimensional so a beautiful candle holder, simple candle, colored stones and one other item make for simplistic, yet engaging centerpieces. Having a beach themed wedding? A clear votive holder with a floating candle, some blue, teal, white, and beige colored stones, a smattering of sand and a few decorative shells will liven up the table without the extraordinary costs of large floral arrangements. The (Continued on page 62)

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plus side is that you can pass out the centerpiece items to family members and friends who helped make this day special. The last thing to consider at the reception is the wedding cake. While a multi-tiered wedding cake can be beautiful, the important thing is to have a cake to cut with your new spouse. Try ordering a two-tiered cake for the look, the tradition and the cutting and serving a sheet cake or cupcakes to the guests. If serving a multitiered cake, keep in mind that many venues charge extra to cut and serve the cake. Try asking a friend or family member to cut the cake and serve it buffet style to minimize costs. Another popular trend is to have a simple cake for the bride and groom and a dessert bar for the guests. If you’re handling your reception pot-luck style, you can ask that some people bring pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, etc. Another popular idea right now that is lower cost than a big wedding cake is to have a candy bar and allow guests to fill a take home bag with a multitude of delightful treats. You can use a variety of items to serve candy: brandy snifters, apothecary jars, fishbowls, wide mouth vases. You can also use mason jars decorated with ribbon or decoupage. As to the wedding flowers, check with your local florist to see what’s exactly in season during your wedding time. Flowers in season are much less expensive than those being force-grown and shipped to a location. Long cascading bouquets are out, so keep bouquets simple yet elegant. If you are crafty (or once again have a friend or family member who is), getting your flowers from the local Farmer’s Market is a much better alternative. You can arrange them however you like, therefore giving your wedding an even more personal touch. Scouting in advance will also allow you to try different flower arrangements in your home before including them in your wedding. Many growers will be happy to give you their information if you need the flowers on a certain day to ensure they’re ready in time. If your flower budget is extremely tight, remember that the elegance of a calla lily or long stem rose never goes out of style. One flower tied with a beautiful ribbon makes a glamorous statement without feeling understated. For the actual wedding ceremony, here’s a couple more ways to save. For a wedding photographer, once again think outside the box. Ask a talented friend or family member to do the photos as a wedding gift. Use a struggling photographer who is just starting to set up their business and ask if you allow your photos to be used in their portfolio or on their website, if they’ll offer you a substantially lower rate. You can also agree to have the photographer’s card available in several different areas to help promote their business. Think creatively when it comes to photos; use non-traditional poses (walking hand in hand down a country road, ask for more “non-posed” shots such as the groom tucking the bride’s hair behind her ear when they don’t realize anyone’s watching) and use non-traditional colors (black and white or sepia as opposed to the normal color photos). If you don’t want the stress of having an expensive hair stylist or makeup artist on your wedding day, yet want the polished look, try making an appointment or setting up to allow a cosmetology student to come to your home or venue. They normally charge less than half and ask for a few of the pictures to show their work. Set it up so that they actually do your hair and makeup a few weeks in advance so that you can ask for changes or such before the big day. Look for a just graduated student who is still working on his or her client base in exchange for passing on their information to others. The key to your wedding is your enjoyment. If paying too much for some things would cause more stress than ease it, then it’s time to look for other options. The importance of the day is that you have family and friends there to share it with you and your spouse. They will not notice if you don’t have the highest grade linen for napkins and they won’t complain if you don’t serve a different wine with every course. They’re there to celebrate with you, to encourage you, and be part of your special day!

Wedding on a Budget pictures are courtesy of Alexandria and Darrell Grumman. Their wedding was put together for less than $3000 and was planned in just a few weeks! They used the family farm and put together a casual, yet beautiful wedding in a gorgeous, natural venue. Dinner was potluck contributed by the friends and family that came to celebrate.

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CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT: Shelley Dennis By Brian A. Palmer, Editor in Chief Palmer Grove is introducing a new segment to the magazine. Each issue we will select one of our wonderful contributors and take some time to get to know them a little better. This month the staff unanimously selected Shelley Dennis for our first Contributor Spotlight. I had the wonderful privilege of completing this interview. Where are you from? I was born in Logan, Ohio in 1965, Graduated in 1983. What do you do? I am currently on disability. I was diagnosed with Epstein Bar Virus in May of 1991 and later with Chronic Fatigue Immune Function Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. What are your interests? Hobbies? I play an instrumental part in the planning of my class reunions. For the past eleven years I have worked as a volunteer for the Washboard Festival, a local annual festival in Logan. Why do you choose to write poetry? In 1996 I was bedridden due to my illnesses and began to slip into depression as I watched the world pass by. My mother had also suffered from health complications, but had turned to poetry to deal with everything. When I found myself in a similar situation, I thought, “I can do that, too!” So, I tried my hand at poetry and found that I really enjoyed it. What is your writing process? I begin by plotting each poem in my head. I imagine whatever it is that I am writing about. Each poem comes from deep within. To build my vocabulary, I frequently complete word searches. It helps me to build my vocabulary. What inspires you? My inspiration comes from many places. Sometimes I hear or see something and I think, “I need to write that down.” Other times all it takes is a sound, feeling, experience or even a memory of a meaningful moment. What do you hope that readers take away from your work? I would like readers to see that when you experience love and loss that you need to dive back in. That when you lose loved ones from illness, the loss is only an illusion. Why did you first submit your work to Palmer Grove? Initially, I submitted to help make Palmer Grove a success. Brian is family and I wanted to help. Also, I thought that it would be nice to be recognized. What responses did/have you received since publication in Palmer Grove? I received a number of congratulations and comments on Facebook. What made you decide to submit work again after your first time? Well, I noticed that in the past two issues a number of the poetry were submitted by the same people. I wanted to help add a little diversity. In this issue you submitted pieces written by your late mother. What prompted you to submit her work? While my mother was alive she suffered much from her illnesses, but she still managed to compose a vast quantity of hand-written poems. I am very proud of her work and have always felt that they were worthy of being published. How does it feel to have both pieces by you and your mother published in the same publication? It feels really good. It is great to be able to share a piece of both of us. I hope that it inspires others to take a look at our mothers and share common interests with each other.

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FROM THE BEGINNING 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, shower by 5:30, quick breakfast and on the road by 6. 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 did wake 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 1/2 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. 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

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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 Peggy-Sue 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). I squinted thinking to myself that this wasn’t possible. Ok so maybe I was on autopilot, and ended up in the wrong place. There’s no possible way though that I drove for miles over vast spans of nothing and didn’t notice! All I could see is well nothing for miles, at least it seemed that way. I made an attempt to run down the hill back to Peggy-Sue, but in my panic lost my footing and ended up half sliding back to her. I felt a million tiny jagged rocks stab at my backside as I skid back into what was once the parking lot. Something was off, it was more than just my surroundings; it was the heat of the sun, the color of Peggy-Sue, and the smell of the air. What was that smell? Blood? I quickly checked myself over; no I was fine save a few minor scrapes from my trip. I whipped open Peggy-Sue’s door, and she let out a creak that echoed over the emptiness. My fingers fumbled through my pockets looking for her keys. I began to panic as I turn them inside out dumping the contents; a stick of old gum, a leaking ballpoint pen, and my old brown leather wallet that was now held together by some packing tape and shoestring. Where were my keys? “Of course! The hill!” Who was I talking to? I really shouldn’t do that. I might start thinking I’m crazy. I ran back to the hill, noted the marks where my heels dug into the side trying to get my bearings. I surveyed the area with a fine toothcomb, but it was no use. They were gone, probably with the rest of my life. Not that it was much of a life to begin with. “Hello?” I spun on my heels, shielding my eyes from the sun to find the face to the voice at the top of the mound. It was Stan. He worked in the mailroom and was one of those guys that you enjoyed being around because of his happy-go-lucky view on life. “What are you doing over here?” Stan said after his greeting. “I saw Peggy-Sue and then noticed you over here and I figured that you needed some help.” Stan has always been a very helping person and he has worked at the company for the last 10 years and he loved his work. I first met Stan when I first got this job fifteen years ago. We went through orientation together and now shared a tight bond that only develops over a fifteen year friendship. We would go see football, baseball, and hockey games together. I consider Stan a close friend; I mean he isn’t family, but still close. I was in Stan’s wedding as a groomsman. Stan is one of those guys that doesn’t look for drama in any situation and could help anybody out with anything that needs to be done. One time Stan and I were coming out of a movie theatre and we saw this guy in the back of a car and was yelling for help. Stan and I went over to see what was going on the guy was in the back of the car helping his wife, whose water just broke, bringing his child into the world and Stan looked at me and without hesitation told me to call an ambulance and get some water and towels from the theatre. When I came back out Stan was standing next to this stranger holding his new born son and waiting for the ambulance to get there to take his new family to the hospital. He is the one friend that you want at any given time and he won’t panic and will be able to help you out no matter what the situation? So, as I was on this hill in the parking lot and I look up and I hear his voice, it was nice knowing that it was him. "I lost my keys and I can’t find them and it’s driving me crazy!” I proclaim to Stan. (Continued on page 66)

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“Well when was the last time that you had them?” Stan answered back. “Let me think and retrace my steps.” I answered back. So as I was walking around this hill, I stumbled upon them and I picked them up. “So now that drama is behind us what do you have planned for the rest of the day?” Stan asked. "Well, Stan," I replied, "I guess we should figure out where the building is!" He looked at me puzzled and backed up a step. "What do you mean 'figure out where the building is'?" I noticed his hand slide down to his cell phone on his belt loop. "The building we work in! Did you not notice that it's missing?" I asked him confused. I began trudging back up the hill. I noticed he's not following me and turned around to see why. He was in a whispered conversation on his cell phone and my chest tightens. What the heck was going on here? I moved back down the hill and towards him. He saw me and backed up a few steps again, whispering frantically in his phone. "Stan? What is going on? Who are you on the phone with?" He gave me a smile that is not his normal smile, one that didn't quite reach his eyes. He held up a finger as if to say "One moment." I noticed his other hand was sliding slowly behind his back, and I suddenly got the feeling that he was making a move like he had a gun, which makes no sense at all to me. Why in the world would Stan have a gun? As I finally reach him, he snaps his cell phone closed with one hand and says "Just hold on. I know things are confusing but just hold on." I move toward him again and he pulls a taser out from behind him. "Don't make me use this, man! I don't want to but you're pushing me too far!" I rushed Stan, surprising him and catching him off guard. My heart pounding in my ears as I struggled to wrest the taser from him. “Why are you doing this?” I barked at him. “Tell me what the hell is going on!” He drew his left arm back and his elbow connected with my jaw causing my vision to go black. Unable to see and maintain my bearings, I could feel the earth rushing toward me. I hit the ground hard and a second later my breath is knocked away from me by Stan’s crushing weight. The seconds while I waited for the air to return to my screaming lungs passed as hours. Finally the sweet taste of oxygen ran over my tongue like a river and I could breathe again. As I lied on the grass, attempting to return my breathing to normal, I became aware of a distant humming. It was only then that I realized that Stan is lying on top of me, still. I struggled to remove myself from beneath his bulk. Once free, I rolled Stan to his back and watched as his eyes stared blankly back at me. Pressing my fingers below his jowls, I failed to find a pulse. Just an inch from my fingertips were two black, deep burn marks left by the heat of the taser. Suddenly Stan began to vibrate. I searched him over and found his cell. When I read the caller ID, I couldn’t understand what I saw. “Incoming Call: James Roland, Home” The call was coming from my house. I quickly grabbed his Nokia 3360 and answered the call. “Hello”, I answered while I swallowed the basketball-sized lump in my throat. “James?” Everything I had hoped was still stable was rapidly falling apart. It was Patty, my wife of seven years. My life(Continued on page 67)

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line. The one person I could talk to that could make me feel better about anything was calling my co-worker, not-to-mention, my confidant of fifteen years. About six months ago, I had invited Stan over to our home for wine and a movie to celebrate our seven-year anniversary with his newly found flame from a bar. The wine had been flowing that night and my wife was coaxed into trying her wedding dress on to show the inebriated barfly what it looked like. Long story short, Stan upset a glass of red on her Ivory Alexander McQueen gown and, to put it lightly, Patty absolutely despised Stan. There was absolutely no reason for her to call him. Ever. “Patty, what is going on?” I asked, already knowing there was no reasonable explanation. I could hear her fast-paced walking through our house as she collected what sounded like her keys. “Patty, answer me! What the hell is going on? Why are you calling Stan? Hello?” After ten seconds of no response from her, I could hear our rusty screen door open and close in our home. She must have set the phone down to buy herself some time. I fumbled for my keys and hopped in PeggySue, shoving the keys into the ignition and throwing it into drive. In what seemed like a millisecond, the yellow paint-chipped Speck was plucked from it’s imaginary parking spot, from which it had laid dormant, and tossed twenty yards to where it laid in a crumpled mess with my tiny frame inside. As I laid upside down, slipping in and out of consciousness, I saw two black steel-toed boots coming from what appeared to be a black pickup truck walking towards me. My vision was fading in and out as I watched the left boot draw back and then rush at my temple. I couldn't breathe and everything was a fuzzy black when I came to. There was a sharp ringing in my ears that nearly drowned out the distant, muffled conversation somewhere ahead of me. I struggled to move my legs and arms, but they wouldn't budge a bit. I felt like they were super-glued in this awkward jumbled position. "He's awake," echoed faintly in eardrums and I clung to the sound of Patty's voice. Where was I now? Why couldn't I move? Why wasn't Patty helping me? I was nauseated and terrified. "Just leave him. We're almost to headquarters now," Patty was calmly instructed by a deep, authoritative, male voice. "But don't you think we should do something?" Patty sounded anxious, concerned about my health. I hoped this was a good sign on my part. "Well, considering this is all your fault, I'd say you have no say in what happens to him now." The authoritative voice was condemning me, I knew it. Worse yet, my beautiful, caring, couldn't-hurt-a-fly wife cared didn't care enough to save me. I became painstakingly aware we were travelling in a vehicle as it lurched to a stop, brakes whining. A door opened and I was yanked out and onto the ground by my feet. My pounding skull hit the ground and once again everything went black.

Stay Tuned! Keep checking for updates and additions to the exciting adventure of James Roland. Want to be part of the next Nov-All? Visit our Discussion Community and help create your own fun and exciting adventures!

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GRAINS OF SAND By Cory Baker, Website Designer Life is a mountain. It’s rocky at times, Easy climbing at others. Most find a way to deal with the ‘rocks’. While others get too caught up in them. They exaggerate the size and weight. Or try to move boulders all alone. Those who come this far Either realize their own exaggeration, Or simply turn back; Give up. Some find that the smaller ‘rocks’ Can be moved out of the way. A path can be cleared. While still others make it harder By digging up more rocks. Those who reach the summit Are glorified. For a tremendous beauty is before them. And the rocks that caused so much worry And pain, From here, Appear as tiny grains of sand. All of your problems are behind you now. You have no reason to look back. It’s only sand.

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RULES FOR LIVING: Rule #2 Always Respect Your Parents By Jeff Lafferty, Columnist If you have been reading and following my columns that you will understand I have thought of and wrote down some rules that I think that some people need to live by. Because Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fall during this issue’s time frame, I felt it was important to share why it’s important to respect your mother and father. I use words carefully at times and I want to make sure everyone understands that there are going to be times when you don’t agree with your parents. You may not agree with the decisions they make on your behalf when you are growing up and unfortunately may not be happy with the decisions they made or are making in your life. No matter how you feel, you should still respect them because in the end, when it comes down to it, you only have them. You aren’t given the choice of deciding who they are going to be in your life. Unfortunately, it’s a hard thing to know and hear that some people don’t have biological parents in their life, but it’s also inspiring to hear when some of those same children have found people that have cared enough to be parents to those children. Whether it’s grand, foster, or step parents, each and everyone can make a huge impact on a child’s life no matter what that child’s age. Now agreeing with your parents and respecting them can be two different things. I think one of the issues is that people don’t understand that it’s okay to agree to disagree. You can have disagreements with your parents and not see eye to eye on a lot of issues but you have to put those issues aside because it’s about respect. According to a definition of respect is : “the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.” There are some people that feel that respect is earned. Some people also demand respect. There are some pros and cons to demanding respect because then everything can become conditional (i.e. I will give you respect but you have to do three things to earn my respect). Confidence, believing in yourself, and high self-esteem are some of the benefits that come from respecting others because you learn not to let people disrespect you. If you allow people to disrespect you, then people will not believe in you and you begin to questions yourself. It’s easy to allow a downward spiral to start that way. Whitney Houston’s song “The Greatest love of All” tells us how loving yourself is the greatest love of all because you need to love yourself before you can love others. It’s really easy when you are younger to be rebellious to authority and especially to parents at time. Fifteen to twenty year old people are learning about themselves and feel they need to find themselves. Sometimes, they want to test the waters and find out and experiment with drugs and alcohol because they feel it makes them feel better and feel included into a group. At some level they have a point because at some point everybody feels that way because being a part of any group feels good. So, teens tend to test limits that parents set in order to feel accepted or respected in their peer group. On a personal note, my parents have been the most giving and caring parents that I think a child could ask for. It had to be difficult for a parent to have one of their children at the age of four be operated on to find out what is wrong with his kidney and to find out that he only has one kidney. It had to be difficult to know and see me grow up and then seven years ago find out that with no family heritage of cancer that I contracted a form of leukemia. There are times to this day that I don’t agree with them on things but I don’t make it personal be(Continued on page 70)

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cause it’s about respect. It’s about having respect for my parents and the sacrifices they have made in my life. I never understood it until I became a father of a teenager and understood how difficult that it can be and with that understanding, I have a better and larger respect for them to this day and I feel bad about how I acted when I was a teenager. I have some friends struggling with their children because their children don’t respect their parents for various reasons. Hopefully, one day they can see the value of respecting your parents and hopefully they will understand the importance of being respectful. Unfortunately, most people have to hit rock bottom to understand the importance of the choices they made. The tough part is that as a parent, you do all you can do, you tell them it’s wrong, and that it is going to damage them. However, in the end they have to figure it out for themselves. As a parent we have to guide them to find the right way and hope that we’ve taught them enough to know and understand the difference between right and wrong. As everybody grows older, most people understand how their parents have felt and have a better appreciation for their parents. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand that until it’s too late and with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up soon, remember that it’s never too late. If you feel you’ve had a poor relationship with your parents or your children, it’s never too late to change that. You can change it, but you have to want to make that change. You are going to have to want to make that change in your head, you are going to want to make that change in your heart, and you are going to have to then decide to make that change with your hands by doing it. Always remember you can agree to disagree with your parents. You are totally different people and you are never going to see eye to eye with your parents on some issues. What is important is the relationship that you can have, that you do have, and to respect them for what they have done and respect them for the potential of the relationship in the future.

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TOP 10 WEDDING TRENDS FOR 2012 By Carri Bonner, Editorial Director Below are some of the top trends for weddings in 2012. Keep in mind that different regions will have mildly different trends, this list are items taken from all over the country. 1. Specialty stations at the reception (i.e. Coffee station with barista, cigar station, liquor tasting station, wine and cheese station) 2. White bouquets are boring and bland; vibrant, colorful bouquets are the hottest trend in florals. 3. Plum and violet are the two “it” colors for 2012. 4. Small, simplistic bouquets are in, large, heavy, cascading bouquets are out. 5. Feathers are some of the hottest décor pieces, fashion accessories, and fun idea pieces to jazz up a space, dress or centerpiece. 6. Non-traditional wedding photos are in, however, keep in mind that these are the photos you’ll have the rest of your life. Doing something that was popular in a movie or tv show may seem like fun now, but 25 years from now you’ll be wondering why on earth you did that. 7. Photo booths are a fun way for guests to get some keepsake photos immediately. Provide props and the guests will have a ball taking photos in the booth. Provide a small box, photo album or envelope and invite guests to leave one of their photos from the booth to be included with your memories. 8. Centerpieces should be multi-dimensional. 9. Natural is still hot. Natural colors, natural environment for the wedding. 10. Dessert tables or Candy tables at the reception instead of traditional wedding cake.

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Happy Birthday Palmer Grove! The staff of Palmer Grove would like to take a moment to thank our friends, families, contributors, readers, and everyone who has helped to make our first year truly amazing. Without every single one of you our dreams would not be possible. Here is to all of us and may the next year be even better and bigger than the first! Sincerely, The Palmer Grove Staff

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Palmer Grove, Vol. 1 Iss. 4  
Palmer Grove, Vol. 1 Iss. 4  

Palmer Grove is a reader-submitted, quarterly literary magazine.