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January 2016

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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January 2016

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BOOM!, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Contents

January 2016

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard

Volume 6 Issue 6

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 6 Publisher’s Letter 8 Fitness Resolutions?? Leigh Anne Richards 9 Side by Side Singers 10 New Beginnings Brandt McDonald 16 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival page 46

23 Healthy Hearing Casey Gonzalez

Features

12 Time to Break Up? 32 Children w/Disabilities As the song goes, breaking up is hard to do.

34 ‘Waterways of the Tsars’

“It’s part of my obligation as a dad” Bucket List Adventure.

Now You’re “In the Know”

24 Beauty Buzz Skin Care Questions 26 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Eating Strategy

Departments 14 This and That

18 BOOM! Cover Profile

44 {12} Things

Solutions for Bored Boomers

27 Maintain Mental Acuity

38 Greg Budell

2016- It’s Gonna Be Huuuge!

28 Holiday Burnout Ask an Elder Law Attorney 30 Teach GrandKids about Blood Donation

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COVER PROFILE

37 Art and Soul

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41 Ask Nancy: An early diagnosis may help with memory disorders page 14

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42 BOOM! Advertising 43 Supporting Families at End-of-Life 46 How to Be a Better Grandparent

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BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2015 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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Publisher’s Letter

Life Coach The mission of BOOM! is to serve the folks of the River Region age 50 plus with information and ideas to inspire new experiences, better quality of life and new beginnings.

Publisher/Editor

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com Jim Watson, Publisher

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

kelly@riverregionboom.com

How do you look at the New Year? More of the same? Oops, I won’t let that happen again? Could it get any worse? How about, it’s time for a change! Many of the writers in this month’s issue talk about change, changing how we go about living today in order to make a better tomorrow for our own lives. To become fitter and healthier, both physically and mentally. I’m drawn to the idea of change because it seems to be an important part of the aging well process. If we are changing and adapting to the world around us, we remain relevant, valuable to our community and to our family and friends. If your world is shrinking, expand your boundaries, embrace change and use it to grow a new version of yourself.

For a moment there I almost sounded like a Life Coach...well that’s exactly what we have for you in this month’s Cover Profile. Her name is Boo Archer and she is full of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to helping others overcome life’s obstacles and challenges. Boo has seen her share of both but understands changing one’s life is very doable and necessary. She’s an interesting woman and well worth taking a few minutes to get to know her in this month’s profile.

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Boo Archer Tracy Bhalla Greg Budell

Erica Curless Casey Gonzalez Brandt McDonald Kerrie McLoughlin Tamekia Reece Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Raley L. Wiggins Kathy Witt

As I mentioned already, many of our writers talk about change and will inspire you to make some changes in your life for the better. It may be ideas on fitness from Leigh Anne Richards or the financial roadmap Brandt McDonald shares with you. It may even be the feature story about breaking up...with a family member! Now that’s change most of us try to avoid. Greg Budell let’s his political side take over this month, and it’s a good way to get this political year started. As usual, we have many more good reads this month and hope you continue to find BOOM! the best reading experience for the 50+ community.

Cover Photography

If you’re not a Digital & Interactive subscriber to BOOM!, please sign up, it’s free. Go to www. RiverRegionBoom.com and fill in a few blanks and you’ll start receiving the full version to your email each month. Thanks for subscribing and thanks again for being part of our BOOM! Community. Expand your boundaries in 2016 and Have a Happier New Year!

Kim Bethea Total Image Portraits www.totalimage.com 334.261.2080

Advertising

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Jim

jim@riverregionboom.com

jim@riverregionboom.com 334.324.3472 cell/text

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution

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Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436 publicationspress.com

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Your Fitness Resolutions?? It is that time of year again- Time to make those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions. I know most of you make them and then break them. The most popular resolutions involve losing weight and “getting in shape.” I have encountered people for many years who say they want to “get in shape” to improve their health, energy, and outlook. Maybe a Dr has even told them they had to lost weight for health reasons. They have been hearing if for years and still they don’t do it. Why??? It has to be an internal change- it is essential that happens. No ranting or raving about improvements in metabolic rate or cardiovascular benefits are worth a hoot unless there is that internal change. Nobody can make you get healthy and fit. You can’t force the epiphany but you do have to sit yourself down and have a good, long think session about what really will FIRE you up to get it done. Only you know what that spark will be. It is a deep personal decision and commitment. Set SMART goals- SMART is an acronym that was originally coined in 1981. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. An example would be“I want to walk/run in a 5K in April”. This goal is much preferable than saying I am

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going to get in shape. The former is specific. You know when you have attained it; it’s realistic for you because you can break it into daily actions. You also give yourself a specific date. Saying the latter (I want to get in shape) is vague. Since you don’t really know what you’re chasing you can’t really act on it. Most goal setting stops right there

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne Richards

but another element to the equation of fitness is passion. Without it, the fitness resolution is not worth the paper it is written on. Make this year the year to achieve your fitness or weight loss goal. Make 2016 the year that you break the cycle of resolving to make the change and then not following through. Here are ten tips taken from the FIRM website on how to Help Your New Years Resolutions stick for 2016 1. Be realistic- The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make it unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your

favorite food again in setting yourself up for failure. Set a small goal such as not eating the food as much 2. Plan ahead- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set the goal. Think about it and commit to it before the big day. 3. Make a plan of action- Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that workout or to have that glass of wine. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner so you can have them to talk with if you are about to succumb to the temptation. Give yourself the talk about how your giving up will affect your goal 4. Make a Pros and Cons List- Put this on paper and keep the list with you when you need some motivation to help you keep that commitment. 5. Talk about it- Talk about it to people. Tell your friends and family members who will be there to support your new improved you or your health. The best case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s Resolution so you can motivate each other. Don’t keep it a secret!! 6. Reward yourself- Celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that would not contradict your resolution. 7. Track your progress- Keep a journal. Log even your small successes in the journal. It could be keeping a food journal and recording those five pounds that you lost. Maybe it’s an exercise journal that you

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chart your different fitness activities every day. 8. Don’t beat yourself up- Don’t let an occasional slip up destroy your goal. Take one day at a time and keep on keeping on. Take one day at a time and focus on it 9. Stick to it- Experts say that it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit or to undo a habit. They also it takes 6 months for it to become a part of your personality. Be persistent and know it wont happen overnight 10. Keep on Keeping On- By mid February most people run out of steam and the resolution has gone by the way side. In the fitness business, we term it as “Jan Febs” Start over again. Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increment will soon build on each other and before you know it you are back on track. I decided to ask people their fitness resolutions for the New Year and told them they would be listed in BOOM! magazine so people could hold them accountable if they happen to know somebody that has given me their resolutions. Here are some:

Lee Ellis- My goal for 2016 is to do spin 53, I was prescribed meds for high blood class 3-4 times a pressure and then I week and weights was told I was preWhat are your Fit Goals for 2016? diabetic. I want to get 2 times a week so Share them with me at that I will be/feel off meds and live a younger next year!! LAMetrofit@aol.com , put them healthier lifestyle so Peggy Myrick- To I can live another 50 in writing and let me know. learn yoga and years!! I know I can do Turn your goals into ACTION!! add it to my fitness that by exercising and routine regularly losing weight. to help my core, Kim Sexton- Learning balance and flexibility. how to count calories and lose weight. I Sherry Watkins- I have lost one dress size have a trip to Key West planned in June and since joining a gym In July. . My resolution is I want to be fit for my trip. to keep my exercise routine going. Michelle Bryson- To build muscle and be Mary Ann Riley- I am presently on a (start strong! over) diet- began Dec 1. I am determined to Nikki Starkey- I started attending the great lose fat and gain muscle and hire a personal classes at Metro, and found out just how trainer to help me personalize a plan for ME fun exercise can be. This year, in addition to gain muscle and increase metabolism. to my gym schedule, I want to tackle my Susan Hornsby- I want to incorporate eating habits. My plan is to pick one “bad exercises to maintain strong bones. behavior” each month and try to correct it. Deann Stone- My goal is to burn more Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal calories that I eat!! Lately that has been Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General upside down! Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions Dawn Barlalow- I want to improve my or comments, contact Leigh Anne at flexibility. LAMetrofit@aol.com Elizabeth Doucet- One year ago, at age

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SIDEbySIDE singers singers

Please contact Jack Horner at ivortickle@aol.com or Laura Selby at 834-8990 for more information.

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2416 W. Cloverdale Park Montgomery, AL 36106 334.834.8990 www.fumcmontgomery.org

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New Beginnings In my business, year over year investment returns is one of the most vital components of an annual review of any financial plan. In hindsight, its crystal clear what worked and what didn’t. A sound financial plan requires annual adjustments and tweaking in order to stay on track towards a larger lifetime goal. The longer I am in the investment business, the more I learn that lifetime planning truly is more than just making financial investment decisions. Success or failure of a plan encompasses so much more than just financial investments. Did you know that your time, your job, your health, your family, and your friends are also investments? In fact, every single move we make, every word that is spoken or unspoken is the byproduct of a decision and the beginning of an investment that will produce an outcome of some type. Looking back over 2015, my question for you is, “How well did your investments perform?” Let’s have an annual review!! Looking Back Every year, my clients come into the office to conduct an annual review. We look back at how we did with portfolio returns, savings goals, and retirement plan cash flows. 2015 was just about right on par with our expectations a year ago – flat to moderate growth with increased volatility. The fed’s QE program ended, we witnessed the first rate hike in 9 years, China’s economy slowed considerably, Europe struggled to have flat growth, and ISIS reared its ugly head to remind us that terrorism is alive and well. That’s what happened last year!! We can learn from it but not plan around it going forward. Any good annual review always looks back first. Looking back helps us learn from past mistakes. But, that should be the extent of it. Identifying our past mistakes is part of a learning process to help us avoid those same mistakes again. It’s important to understand and to know that if we keep living in the past, those mistakes will continue to do damage. Learn from them but let them go!!! My staff works incredibly hard to provide incredible service to our clients. But, try as we might, sometimes we fail in certain areas. Whether it was a bad judgment call on a certain investment or a task that wasn’t fulfilled, it’s important that we take ownership of the mistake, learn

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from it and move on. Moving on means lifting your head and focusing on what’s in front of you. This is precisely the reason that our firm is so proactive about what we see coming in the financial markets. Being proactive is a much better plan than being reactive almost every time. If the returns in your investment portfolio, your health, or your family were not what you had hoped, identify the mistakes and be proactive about making the necessary adjustments for better returns in with 2016.

of yourself as an author. Create an outline of bold themes that you would like to see unfold in the coming year. Once your outline is complete, think of ways that you can allocate your resources to increase the odds for success and positive outcomes with your work, your health, your family, and your friends. Try something new this year. Be bold! Be confident! Plan to have your best year ever!!

This time of year, everyone at our firm lays out a vision of what they would like to accomplish for our clients in the New Year. We build a thesis around global financial data and use that as a template to allocate portfolios within our client’s stated risk profile. Likewise, create your own thesis to chart a course for better “life” returns in 2016. To write your own thesis, think

Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager MBCapitalWealth.com Direct comments and questions to bailey.worrell@lpl.com or 334.387.0094

Financial Thoughts

For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where Brandt McDonald he tries again for something “Failure is the that is beyond opportunity to attainment. He begin again more should always try for something that has intelligently.” -Henry Ford never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great Looking Forward luck, he will succeed. - Ernest Hemingway Our official position for 2016 is that we will have some challenges in the financial Challenge yourself this year to aggressively markets and we could be looking at a attack your financial planning goals. At repeat of 2015. The Federal Reserve has the risk of sounding self-serving, our firm made it clear that they desperately want works diligently every day to improve to normalize rates. I suspect they may our financial planning process and would hike rates at least two times over the year. be humbled for an opportunity to work This comes at a time when the rest of the for you, serve you and hopefully earn developed world continues to print more your trust and respect. As you approach of their local currency in an attempt to retirement, “set it and forget it” just simply stimulate growth. If this continues, I would won’t work. There are way too many expect to see a stronger dollar, which challenges around the world to let hope or equates to considerable pressure on U.S. chance be your retirement plan. I sincerely multi-national corporations. Revenue hope that Christmas and the New Year’s growth will be hard to come by. Profit celebration was everything you hoped it margins will struggle. And, bottom line would be. From our firm to you, it is our earnings will be flat to slightly rising. From desire that it is indeed a “Happy” New Year 2010-2015, buying the indexes was an easy for you and your family!! trade. 2016 will be the year of investment selection in my opinion. At our firm, we As I always say, until next time, remember do see potential opportunities in the to never run with the herd, always be global markets. But, the world is fickle and thankful, and look to the future with markets can change direction in a flash for a myriad of reasons. anticipation of what’s yet to come.

Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

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Is it time to Break Up... with a Family Member? By Tamekia Reece

As the song goes, breaking up is hard to do. Especially when the person you’re kicking to the curb isn’t a love interest or pal, but a family member. Sure, we all have daydreams about finally telling off our overbearing mother-in-law or blocking an annoying aunt’s phone number, but actually working up the nerve to do so? Not easy at all. “Growing up, we all hear ‘blood is thicker than water,’ and ‘when all else fails, you’ll always have your family,’ which instills the message that family ties aren’t supposed to be broken,” says Jamye Waxman, MEd, author of “How to Break Up With Anyone: Letting Go of Friends, Family, and Everyone In-Between.” Add to that, she says, women tend to get put into roles of martyr and savior, the one who is supposed to sacrifice and make peace, which makes it even more challenging to break up with a relative. Still, sometimes saying goodbye is for the best. Stressful relationships, including those with relatives, can increase the risk of high blood pressure, weaken your immune system, cause headaches and stomachaches, lead to sleep problems, lower self-esteem, and cause depression and anxiety. So ditching that toxic family member can be good for your health (if you need another excuse). Here’s what to do when you’re thinking about unraveling the ties that bind. Generally, when a family relationship ends, it’s on the heels of a huge blow up, a heated argument, one too many critical remarks, or a tiff over an unpaid loan. Before you write off a relative, cool down. Don’t make impulsive, hasty decisions about family members you’ve had conflicts with because you may say or do something you’ll regret, says Steven J. Hanley, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Southfield, MI. A better

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choice, he says, is to take a breather, let it all sink in, and then decide how you want to proceed. Take some time and really think about why you’re considering ending it. Is whatever that has pushed you to the limit something new? Or has the behavior been ongoing for a while? In addition to the downsides, are there any positives to the relationship? If so, do they outweigh the bad? Will ending the relationship with this person affect the ones you have with other family members? Deciding if a relationship is worth keeping or not can be tough, but here are some signs that it’s time to call it quits. ▪ There’s abuse. Any physical, verbal, or emotional abuse is reason to terminate the relationship immediately. Don’t worry about any possible fallout from others in the family. Your safety and wellbeing are what’s most important. ▪ It’s affecting other areas of your life. If the situation has you so stressed or angry that it’s having a negative effect on other parts of your life, like your job performance or sleep habits, it may be time to walk away. ▪ Your interactions are mostly negative. All relationships have ups and downs, but, if your dealings are negative more

often than not, your sister criticizes you, nitpicks, or starts an argument every time you’re in each other’s presence, it’s time to check out. And the negativity doesn’t have to be directed at you necessarily. It could be your mother calling with a daily laundry list of complaints about her life, which causes your own mood to plummet. ▪ The person makes you sick. If just the mention of the relative’s name, or a text message, email, or a voicemail from the person puts a huge knot in your stomach, that’s a clue the relationship has become unhealthy, says Mark Goulston, MD, a clinical psychiatrist and author of “Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life.” ▪ The relationship is one-sided. Healthy relationships are a balance of give and take. If your cousin only calls to borrow money or vent about her problems, but never reciprocates, she may be using you (or at the very least, not being a good friend). ▪ It’s affecting your immediate family. Hanley says if maintaining the relationship is harmful to your spouse or children, for instance, your mom clearly favors one of your children while neglecting the others, you may need to take a step back for your family’s sake. ▪ There’s substance abuse or criminal behavior. Yes, family support is important The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


when someone is battling addiction; however, that doesn’t mean that you have to allow the substance abuse to have a negative impact on your own life. The same goes for any criminal behavior. Don’t let a relative’s misdeeds put you or your family at risk. Know your role. “Even though you may think the other person is the problem, it takes two to tango,” Waxman says. Step back and look at some of your own actions. For instance, do you always assume your dad is going to say something negative, which causes you to go in on the defensive (and he in turn to do the same)? Or is it possible that your younger sister goes against everything you say because she feels you treat her like a child? Once you have clarity and see things you could possibly do differently, you may realize it’s possible to salvage the relationship. Talk it out. If you think there’s a chance to repair the connection, arrange to have a conversation (in person or by phone) with your relative. Discuss the biggest issues, take ownership of any part you played in the situation, and then discuss the future. For example, if you and your younger sister always butt heads after you give her advice, you could say, “We’ve been arguing a lot lately, and I’ve realized part of that is because I often tell you what to do, like I know what’s best for you. However, I also get angry when you ask for advice and then get mad when I give it. I think if we could both be more conscious of those things; we would have a better relationship. What do you think?” Then, listen. Your sister may disagree, have her own ideas about what can help mend things, or she may not want to bother at all. If the two of you do decide to go forward, set a deadline. “You don’t necessarily have to tell the other person, ‘I’m giving this three months,’ but in your head, at least, you need to give yourself a certain amount of time to allow both of you to work on your parts,” Waxman says. Then, if there’s still no improvement, you can revisit how you’re going to deal with the relationship.

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Distance yourself. You may realize that you’re not quite at the point of being done completely, but you do want to enforce some distance. It’s perfectly fine to keep interactions short, not accept calls at times (like when you’re in a good mood and your mom is calling with another one of her energy-sapping whinefests); agree not to discuss hot-button topics, or establish boundaries, like telling your father-in-law you won’t tolerate his negative remarks about your weight. Make the cut. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a relationship is unsalvageable or we don’t want to repair it. Unless there’s abuse (or you’re ending things with a second cousin you only see once a year at the family reunion), you should have a conversation when giving someone the boot. Yes, it’s easier to fade away but that doesn’t allow closure for either of you. Also, if you try the route where you keep saying you’re busy until the person gets the hint, that can cause even more resentment to build because you may feel as though you’re being forced to lie, Goulston says. Fortunately, the “it’s over” conversation doesn’t have to be long or dramatic. It can be a 5-minute conversation in which you say, “I’ve realized our actions together have not been healthy. I don’t want to do this anymore,” says Waxman. Answer any questions but don’t get reeled back in. If the person gets overly accusatory or starts acting crazy, don’t let the situation escalate. Goulston advises saying, “Why don’t we stop the conversation here.” Then end it. Deal with the family. Unfortunately, cutting off one relative doesn’t only affect that person. “When you make the decision to sever ties, there’s oftentimes some collateral damage,” Hanley says. Some family members will try to make you feel guilty; others may accuse you of breaking up the family; and some relationships might even dissolve. Shut down any guilt tripping or accusatory conversations. Waxman suggests saying something like, “I’m sorry you feel I’m ruining the family. I love this family! I’m doing what I think is

best to take care of myself.” Setting those boundaries will be difficult at first, but stick to your guns and remind yourself that you’re doing this for your self-care. Keep it cordial. As much as you’d like to be done with the relative completely, you’re likely to run into each other at future family gatherings. To avoid sticky situations, let your family members know it’s okay to invite both of you to events. It’s not fair to make them choose. If you don’t think you can handle being in the other person’s presence, it should be you who doesn’t attend since you were the one to do the breaking up, says Waxman. When you do see each other, be cordial. You don’t have to get into a full-fledged conversation; simply greet him or her and then move on, Waxman says. Breaking the ice but keeping contact to a minimum will make the event less awkward for everyone, she explains. (It also makes it easier to reconnect with that family member later.) Another time to take the high road is when you face questions about what happened. Yes, people will be curious, but it’s better to keep the details between the person you cut off and yourself. Don’t talk about how “wrong” the other person did you; don’t gossip about her, share secrets she once told you, or try to get others to “be on your side.” Your goal is peace, not to ignite a family feud. Have a good support system. Breaking up with a family member can be freeing, but it also causes a lot of emotional upheaval. It’s normal to feel anger, guilt, resentment, and loneliness. “You’re sort of mourning the loss of someone that, presumably, you loved or felt loved by, or wanted to feel loved by, which can be very tough,” Hanley says. Look for sources of support. Talk to your spouse or a trusted friend (not family members, to keep down drama) about what you’re feeling, or join a support group. If you’re having difficulty working through the harm the relationship caused or coping with the dissolution of the relationship, Hanley recommends seeking professional help. (c)2015 Prevention magazine Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

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i

This & tHAT

Dianne Reeves Appearing at The Library Theatre “She roams and explores, growls and catches at notes and phrasings. It is this audacity that makes Reeves’ voice an awesome instrument.” -People Magazine. Dianne Reeves is THE pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world. As a result of her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Reeves received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive recordings - a Grammy first in any vocal category. Featured in George Clooney’s six-time Academy Award nominated Good Night, and Good Luck, Reeves won her fourth of five Best Jazz Vocal Grammys for the film’s soundtrack. In 2015, her latest release and first in five years, Beautiful Life, won the 2015 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Reeves is a natural wonder not to be missed. She will be performing two shows at The Library Theatre in Hoover, Sunday January 17th at 4 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25. Call 205.444.7888 or visit thelibrarytheatre.com

Scale Back Alabama 2016...10th Anniversary!

Alabama has the 6th highest rate of obesity among adults of any state in the country. In its 10th year, Scale Back Alabama is targeted to these adults. The statewide weight-loss competition has resulted in more than one million pounds lost since its beginning, and it continues to be a great way to start the New Year by motivating Alabamians to eat less and move more. What’s New? Since this year is our 10th Anniversary, Scale Back Alabama has several new and exciting things in store for participants! Our brand new Scale Back Alabama App will be available for FREE in the App Store & on Google Play starting in January. We are also attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records “Most People on One Scale” record. Register yourself – You still have to weigh-in at an official site during the weigh-in week, but you can go ahead and register yourself at scalebackalabama.com Online registration is set to open in January.

Feast of Flavours 2016 ASF’s Armchair Auction Preview party Get up close and personal with the items up for auction at the Alabama Shakespeare Festivals’ Armchair Auction Preview Party on January 25th from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. Bidding will open the night of the event. This event features local celebrity chefs & mixologists with tastes of their best concoctions and is the centerpiece of ASF’s Preview Party. Thirteen restaurants will be featured. Attendees will vote to determine the winners. You do not want to miss this inaugural event. Get your tickets now as admission is limited. Tickets are $35 per person. For questions or to purchase tickets, please call 800.841.4273.

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Callaway Gardens’ Southern Gardening Symposium Friday, January 29 to Sunday, January 31, Callaway Gardens’ Southern Gardening Symposium has been the South’s premier gardening event for a quarter of a century. Whether you’re a professional gardener or just a beginner, there’s simply no better place to immerse yourself in the world of gardening in the South than among our woodland paradise! You’ll enjoy a weekend full of gardening lectures from renowned speakers, educational workshops (optional pre-conference) and an opportunity to take home outstanding garden plants from our Gardening Marketplace. You also will have the chance to win unique plants, garden items and private garden tours in our silent and live auctions. Visit callawaygardens.com

The Millbrook Revelers Hosting Annual Mardi Gras Parade The Millbrook Revelers will be hosting the annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival January 30th at the Village Green Park in Millbrook. There will be over 60 vendors from all over the South with lots of different food and fun for everyone. The festivities begin at 9 am with the parade starting at Noon sharp. This is a family fun event so bring all of the grandchildren and catch the trinkets! Also, anyone can enter to be in the parade. To learn more visit millbrookrevelers.org

Get Your Affairs in Order, FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Wednesday, January 27: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at www.redoaklegalpc.com.

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10th Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival The Brundidge Historical Society presents the 10th Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival January 29 and 30. The festival features four nationally acclaimed storytellers, Donald Davis, the Dean of Storytelling; Kevin Kling who has performed all across the United States and in Europe, Australia and Thailand; Josh Goforth, a Grammy nominee whose fiddling was featured in the movie “Songcatcher; and Kim Weitkamp, award-winning storyteller, humorist, singer and songwriter. All four tellers are return tellers at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival opens at 6:30 Friday night with supper and stories at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge ($25) and continues with three storytelling concerts at 10 a.m. ($10) and 2 ($15) and 6:30 p.m. ($10) at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University in Troy. All storytelling concerts open with traditional music by area band 30 minutes prior to the concerts. All four storytellers appear at each storytelling concert and all concerts feature different stories. For tickets or information, call 334.685.5524 or 334.670.6302 or visit piddle.org

January is National Blood Donor Month You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason. Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend. Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day. Some believe it is the right thing to do. Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your donation is important for maintaining a healthy and reliable blood supply. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life! To give blood visit these websites: lifesouth.org, redcrossblood.org, cslplasma.com

Life Memorial and Healing Service Christchurch Montgomery is hosting a Sanctity of Life Memorial and Healing Service, Sunday, January 24, 2016 beginning at 7:00 pm. We want to welcome you to a sacred space where you can experience the a deep and abiding mercy of God. Life is a precious gift from our Creator and we want to remember with love and dignity those whose lives have touched our own, especially our parents, spouses, siblings, children, and friends. This service is for those who are recently bereaved, those who have mourned for many years and for those whose hearts are broken by the loss of a loved one through disease, accident, violence, addiction, war, stillbirth, miscarriage or abortion. Please call Dolly McLemore at 334.301.3490 or check our website www.christchurchxp.net for more information. Christchurch is located at 8800 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, Alabama.

NOW AVAILABLE AT You can now pick up your copy of BOOM! each month in the magazine racks located in the entry area of Publix Grocery

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Volunteer Opportunity, Growing Diversity in Agriculture and Aging In addition to his work with civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr. called upon citizens to stand up for people in this country who experience social and economic disparity. By providing people with the tools to grow their own healthy food, we can continue his legacy by empowering others to make nutritious choices even when living on a fixed income. On MLK Day, January 18th, 9-12, volunteers will help prepare packets of vegetable seeds and recipes for future distribution to older adults looking to start container gardening. Container gardens can help empower seniors to take pride in their food and bodies as well as to ease some of the burden in accessing affordable and nutritious food. To volunteer call 334.264.3335 or visit handsonriverregion.org

People Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia ...Let’s Sing! The Side by Side Singers are dedicated to sharing music to keep our minds strong. Music can improve our mood and boost cognitive skills. Those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care-partners are invited to join the 8-week sessions each Tuesday, 1-2 pm at First United Methodist Church located at 2416 W. Cloverdale Park in Montgomery. The music ranges from Sinatra to Elvis. No fee. For more info call 334.834.8990 or visit fumcmontgomery.org

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BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Boo Archer, Fundamentally Fit...Life Coach This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Boo Archer. Boo recently became a member of the 50+ community but she shows no signs of aging anytime soon. As some of you know, Boo has been a personal trainer for many years here in the River Region but she also is a certified Life Coach. A Life Coach is a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with personal challenges. Boo is that rare person who has lived through and survived many challenges so she knows firsthand how to help others overcome obstacles that get in the way of positive personal development. Boo is also funny, zany, and energetic, a real “pick me up” when you get off course. We recently spent some time with Boo and her dog Fresca, who had a few words to say...of course they were dog words so we didn’t understand them...but I think Boo did :) We hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we did and if you need some encouragement on your life’s journey, give Boo a call!

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, how did you get your nickname, etc.?

year. We have two fantastic offspring, thank God, Landon, our daughter, 21, and Cole, our son, 17. Fresca is our Siberian Husky, whom is very much a family member as well, of course. My “real” name is Elisabeth, I spent most of my life being called “Eboo”. Eboo originated from the word Owl, in French. My mother was a French Teacher. She said I was a hoot. Through the years, it just became Boo. And there ya have it. A Boomer Boo. A Boo Boomer. BOOM!: You became a personal trainer in 2000 and many of your clients are BOOM! readers, how did you become a personal trainer? What were some of the rewards of your work? Challenges?

Boo: I became a personal trainer in 1998. My children were young, and I wanted a flexible job. I have always Boo: I was born in exercised, in some Hartford, Connecticut. way, shape, or When I was three, fashion, since my family moved to junior high school. Greensboro, North We traveled with Carolina. After my husband’s job, graduating high school, so it was easy my family moved to to take personal Charleston, South training “with me”. Carolina. It was then When we moved that I chose to go to to Montgomery Clemson University, in 2000, I trained where I majored in Boo’s children, Landon and Cole and taught classes Recreation. After at the YMCA. It was then that I began graduation, I met my awesome husband writing the health and fitness column Tim, in a bar in Atlanta. Who says you for Montgomery Journey Magazine, for can’t find true love in a bar? We are many years. The most rewarding thing celebrating our 25th anniversary this

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Boo and husband Tim at the Flora-Bama

about training for me was watching someone find themselves. Seeing them emerge, like a butterfly escaping a thick cocoon. Their opinion of themselves changed. They gained self-respect and self-worth. All through the discipline of exercise. Its Gods medicine, I’m tellin ya. The biggest challenge for me was me. I was always much more inclined to get into my client’s head and heart, than get them in a smaller size of jean. They were more than happy to oblige, as our conversations were incredibly productive, but alas, that was not why they hired me. I laugh about it now. BOOM!: Your work has evolved and now you are a Certified Life Coach and your business is called Fundamentally Fit. Can you explain what the purpose of a Life Coach is? What is the Boo Archer approach to life coaching? How would our readers hire you to be their Life Coach? Boo: Quite honestly, my personal training The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


clients were the ones encouraging me BOOM!: You seem to be very engaged to seek out coaching. I am a compulsive with social media, especially, Facebook… encourager. It’s ridiculous. I cannot make how valuable is it to your life…and work? it through the day without clapping email, or call her between sessions. She someone through a finish line. I get this Boo: I absolutely adore Facebook. You would hold my hand through the really from my mother. She is 84, adorable, and know why? It always asks me “What’s hard parts. The parts where I tried before still doing her high school cheers. The on my mind?” And Lord knows, that’s and failed every stinking time. Yep. That’s name, Fundamentally Fit, just bonked always a loaded question! I think my what I needed. So that’s who I became. me in the head one day. I wanted it to mission in life I work with be FUN, to get MENTALLY healthy, or is to lighten women and “Fit’! You see, far too many of us use the load. To be children. I external means to solve an internal audaciously am an uberproblem. Human beings do not like authentic. I proactive being uncomfortable, and we will go truly believe counselor. to great lengths to avoid it. Addiction. that if more When I say Workaholism. Affairs. Over “everything”, humans my dog or, just hiding, hibernating...I know. I would just let Fresca is spent many years a slave to a bottle of themselves part of the wine, or two, a day. A true wino. I would show their deal, I am have loved more than anything to have true selves, not kidding. had a “me”. What is a “me”? let’s see...a we would be a Huskies talk, me would have been someone I could much healthier you know, so Boo and her mom have met, in her home, as I needed. Who bunch. Stop when I work had her own story, one of victory over faking this stuff. Life is hard, dangit. with children, it’s amazing what they will her afflictions, to tell, and give me hope. When I get on Facebook, I can just tell me, because I translate the questions Who would not judge me. Ever. She discuss with humor my daily foibles through the dog. They will talk would be totally and other such nonsense, and bring, to the dog when they won’t honest and hopefully, a smile to one’s face, and feel as comfortable talking to transparent, perhaps greater self-acceptance to me initially. Here’s the deal; I and funny. I their own heart. To have a more can help any willing soul. I am needed funny. compassionate, forgiving spirit towards not being arrogant, because I needed the themselves. To laugh at themselves. God gets all that credit. All of healing balm To realize that no, they are not the it. He gave me a gift. I cannot of laughter only ones with a crazy, messy life. Also, explain it. There is not a to delight my because I don’t really advertise my degree in this world that could bedraggled Fundamentally Fit coaching services, my have taught me to do what soul. And I ponderings on Facebook have led many I do. I have a passion and a would know of my clients to me. I also speak around purpose that was given to me she was a town and such, to women longing to as a result of all that mess. God Fresca, the talking dog professional, hear that they are okay just the way they made beauty from my massive and knew what she was talking about are....by all means, if ya want another pile of ashes... and how to help me. And she would friend, find me, Boo Cole Archer, on hold me accountable. And I could text, Facebook. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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BOOM!: You recently turned 50, what does this “fifty” age mean to you?

people “unstuck”, from a mindset, or a situation that is robbing them of their joy, their very life. I absolutely go bonkers watching people make the same mistakes, doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result. I am beyond passionate about full recovery, healing, and freedom from what some aspects of our life take from us. We all can overcome, not a few of us, all of us!

Boo: Well, if life is a golf course, I’m on the back nine. Thrilled about it! I can see the eternal clubhouse, you know, where all the bad shots you made don’t Tim and Boo ready for Bama Football matter anymore. BOOM!: How Where you just chill out forever in a do you like to relax and never-ending sunset. Until I get there, wind down? I’m playing hard, doing my best on every hole. Some of my shots may not be so Boo: I love to lie in a pretty, but I will never regret making pool of my own filth. Ha! them. I’m moving forward. No need to Seriously, I love taking look back. Get outta my way, or I will run a bubble bath. I love to over you with my cart. How’s that for an read. Watch movies. I do answer? marathons too…on Netflix! BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams planned for the future? Boo: My favorite vacation spot is my bed or sofa! Actually, I adore hiking, and that’s how I celebrated my fiftieth birthday this past year, hiking with God in the Smokies. I also just like hanging out with my husband, Tim. We really enjoy one another’s company wherever we go, we are both relaxed and away from our normal routines. On a daily basis, I really am living any dream I have ever had. Good grief, I have survived myself, and a nice assortment of trauma in my life. If I just keep on breathing, doing what I am doing, my future is beautiful.

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BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like?

Boo: I love my friends here. I love Metro Fitness. I love Frazer church. I love Publix. I love the Bark Park. I love Hope Inspired Ministries, Elegant Styles, and my gas station, the Boo’s daughter Landon with Mamie (Boo’s mom) Kangaroo on BOOM!: You have said, “my Christian Vaughn Road. I love these places because faith is the foundation for all I do”, could of the people. Life is about relationships. you share how your faith effects your life I have deep connections to special and work? people here in the River Region.

Boo: Well, I have always had an unusual amount of faith. During the most traumatic moments of my life, I seriously always felt Gods presence. When I was passed out, lying in blood on my bathroom floor, from breaking a glass as I fell down drunk, I saw God there. He was not judging me, at all. He just wanted me to accept the grace He offered. I had to get really low before I BOOM!: What are you most surrendered to passionate about? that magnificent Boo’s son Cole with UA admission grace. Grace is my Boo: I am passionate about helping favorite ever word. Ever, ever, ever. So others, not just because I am a nice grace is the foundation of my work with person, but because I have been so my clients. If a person has fully accepted messed up I just don’t want others to God’s grace and forgiveness, they most be as messed up as I was. I want to get likely are not going to continue to try

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to take themselves down. Sure, we are all human. Do we sin so that grace may abound? No, but we do the best we can and by golly, that’s all God expects. As far as I am concerned. All that being said, I could not function without my faith. God is the ultimate Life Coach; I’m just grateful I was chosen to be one of His cheerful translators.

BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Boo: Well, in my youth, I had no priorities, so I guess everything has changed! I was laughing with a client today whom I have been working with for years. She reminded me of a huge party I threw for my husband, here at my house, years ago for his birthday. I wouldn’t any more do that now than take a spaceship to the moon. I have chilled. As much as a zany nut like me can chill. My relationship with my Creator, then my husband, children, mother and friends are my priority. What else is there? BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Boo: Transparent. Interested. Loving. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Boo: My hobbies are exercising, eating chocolate, taking baths, bossing people around, and hugging people to death, and pretending I am a comedian. . .I also enjoy the outdoors, but really enjoy the indoors, and my Costco pajamas, after seven.

she help out when you’re life coaching kids?

Boo: Fresca is my angel. She absolutely was sent to me by God. She is the most intuitive animal I have ever owned. She talks. A lot. I have no clue what BOOM!: Many she is saying, but Boomers are I am sure it is Boo’s daughter, Landon experiencing a profound. Ha! Typical renewed sense of purpose and new animal lover. She is a great comfort to my goals, any advice for those of us seeking clients. When they hurt, she surrenders renewal? herself to their embrace. She is a healer. The children I work with respond to her, Boo: I would suggest whatever brings as she “Asks them questions”. I am the you peace. Seek that. Seek peace, and translator of these questions. They think the actions that it takes to gain that they are answering the dog, when in fact, peace, and you will get where you want they are telling me exactly what I need to to go. It may not be easy. Doing the hard know to help them. Very unconventional. things, to get to where you need or want That is one of the reasons I love working to be, is one of life’s greatest challenges. out of my house. My dog is my assistant! But so rewarding, obviously. Carry on, fellow boomers! It’s not too late to have BOOM!: Many of us are caregivers for that peace you long for. Do what it takes! aging parents but recently you posted a Do not let anyone, especially yourself, video on Facebook of your mom doing tell you it’s too late for you! an old high school cheer…she seems very independent; would you describe your BOOM!: You are sharing this month’s mom for our readers? cover with Fresca, your Siberian Husky, who we learned, loves butter and The Boo: My mom’s name is Bernice Cole Bark Park. Would you tell us about your Larson and my kids call her Mamie. My special relationship with Fresca? Doesn’t mother is nothing short of wonderful.

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Don’t get me wrong, we have a very “ real” relationship, that in the past has seen its share of strife, but she is, and will always be, my hero here on earth. She is so brave. She is so unselfish. She sees the best in everyone. I have no doubt she was the most devoted wife to my father every moment of their marriage. She is 84. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is a full time caregiver to her husband. She has numerous challenges, but maintains a positive outlook. She did indeed do her high school cheer when she was here last. She will be cheering as she departs this life. I will cheer for her, as she has done so well for me. She is completing the work God has given her to do here. And He gave her a lot of work! I aspire to do the same. What an amazing example of what God can do with a life that never gives up hope. She will have many jewels on her crown in eternity. Here’s to you Mom. “ Nice job Mum”, as my dearly loved father would have said to her... We want to thank Boo for sharing her story with us this month. If you have questions or comments for Boo or would like to inquire about her Life Coaching Services send her an email at alwaysforgiven65@aol.com or call/text her at 334.451.0225. Facebook her at www.facebook. com/boo.archer As always, thanks to Kim Bethea from Total Image Portraits for her professional cover photo of Boo and Fresca, she makes taking pictures fun! If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to jim@riverregionboom.com

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A New Year’s Resolution That Helps Your Health and Your Hearing?

Every New Year, Americans across the nation resolve to lose weight, be healthier. Those goals have been proven even more important than you may think. Did you know that certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices may lead to higher instances for hearing loss? A proven link has been discovered with people suffering from obesity that also experience hearing issues.

Hearing loss is a highly prevalent condition affecting around 10 percent of the U.S. population (BHI, 2004). American estimates find that up to a third of women in their 50s and twothirds of women in their 60s suffer from some degree of hearing loss (Curhan, et al., 2013). Hearing loss can have an impact on communication and social interaction, as well as mental well-being and overall quality of life. Obesity and its comorbidities, which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes

and hypertension, may be related to the development of hearing loss. In recent

and staying physically active—which are potentially controllable lifestyle factors— may help reduce the risk of hearing loss (Curhan, et al., 2013).

Healthy Hearing

Early detection and treatment for hearing loss is critical. The ability to better manage the various situations related to untreated hearing loss is enhanced with early intervention.

By Casey Gonzalez, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA Montgomery Hearing Services

studies, higher body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of overall obesity, and larger waist circumference, which is a measure of central body fat, have been associated with poorer hearing thresholds (Curhan, et al., 2013). A 2013 study examined the relationship between BMI, physical activity and selfreported hearing loss in almost 69,000 women over a period of 20 years. The conclusion: higher BMI and larger waist circumference are associated with increased risk of hearing loss in women, while higher physical activity contributed to a reduced risk. These findings provide evidence that maintaining healthy weight

Make a

Better Hearing Resolution!

Casey Gonzalez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University, and earned her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Casey holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Call Montgomery Hearing Services today for a complimentary hearing screening for yourself or a loved one: (334) 651-0500. References: www.betterhearing.org/hearingpedia/prevalence-hearing-loss www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(13)00673-6/fulltext

Special New Year’s Offers: • COMPLIMENTARY Hearing Screening

NEW Invisible* Hearing Aids!

• COMPLIMENTARY Ear Exam to check for wax buildup • COMPLIMENTARY Pack of Batteries with hearing aid purchase! *Offers available until 1/15/16

Call for an Appointment: 334.651.0500 RIC 13

Get a Hearing Technology Demonstration! RIC 13

334.651.0500 Located in the Park Place Building 1758 Park Place, Suite 101 • Montgomery, AL 36106 MontgomeryHearingServices.com © 2015 SMPN. All Rights Reserved. 12/15 41626-15

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Beauty Buzz From our blog at RiverRegionFacialPlastics.com

Morning and Nighttime Skin Care Questions From morning routines to evening routines, the possibilities are endless when it comes to how people care for their skin. What is the right formula to achieve the glowing skin you envy? Some women simply cleanse, moisturize only once per day, or use a single all-purpose product; others have an arsenal of creams and serums that they apply at specific times of the day under specific circumstances. When fitting our clients into a new routine, we often hear that they use one set of products in the morning and then a different set for bedtime. Should you use the same skin care routine in the morning as the evening? The overwhelming advice of our RRFP beauty coaches is… NO! Obviously, department store make up counters have weighed in on the side of the arsenal builders, encouraging women to use a different product for daytime care than they do for nighttime. Department store skin care is okay to use; however, the strength is not capable of producing results as promised, often resulting in a bathroom drawer filled with empty promises and tiny gifts with purchase. Our team at RRFP shares over 40 years of experience in skin care from department store lines to physician-dispensed formulas. There is a stereotype that physician-dispensed lines are more expensive. Dare to compare and you will find your money well invested in a physician- dispensed skin care line with the results to earn your approval. Why should the morning routine stand-alone? During the day, skin is subjected to damaging UV rays, pollution, environmental stresses, and makeup, so creams designed for use during the day are primarily focused on protection and support. These products usually contain a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) to prevent burning and photo aging, antioxidants to fight environmental aggressors, and often a light daily exfoliant such as alpha-hydroxy acid. Day creams are formulated so they may be used under cosmetics; they have light, non-greasy formulas that are absorbed quickly and allow pores to breathe. They also should provide a smooth, oil-free canvas for foundation to glide on easily. Although some boast of anti-aging properties, daytime moisturizers are often light on compounds like alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoids because these compounds have a tendency to make skin more sensitive to the sun. Another reason is that the addition of too many active ingredients in one product can sometimes reduce their effectiveness. The Night Shift… Nighttime is when skin does its heavy lifting. Like the rest of the body, skin does the bulk of its repairing, restoring, and regenerating while we sleep, so night creams are focused on moisture and recovery. They contain the most powerful, slow-absorbing moisturizers that are designed to penetrate over the course of several hours, since there’s little to no concern about sun exposure, they also contain the highest concentrations of anti-aging ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid, which are able to do their work without interference from sunscreens. The result is that night creams are often richer, thicker, and/or heavier than day creams. Of course, we don’t mind much, since most of us don’t wear makeup to bed, and the cream is usually absorbed by the time we wake up. A recommended routine from our beauty coaches for the morning: • Wash face with SkinMedica® AHA/BHA Cleanser • Apply SkinMedica® TNS Essential Serum (your live protein shake for the skin) • Finish with SkinMedica® Ultimate Daily Moisturizer SPF 20 • Or you may prefer SkinMedica® Total Defense and Repair SPF 34 (also comes in tinted) Switch up your nighttime routine: • Wash face with SkinMedica® AHA/BHA Cleanser • Apply SkinMedica® TNS Essential Serum • Apply SkinMedica® Retinol (0.25%, 0.5% or 1.0%) • Moisturize with SkinMedica® Dermal Repair Cream (a level 4 moisturizer) Over the course of time, specialty products will need to be worked into your regimen, and our beauty coaching team will customize a routine that is individual to your needs.

New year, new you! Make a date with your SkinMedica® skin care line morning and evening.

Please contact us via email at Doctors@RiverRegionFacialPlastics.com with your questions or comments! 24 BOOM!

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New Year Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Eating Strategy We all want to start the New Year turning over a new leaf, so to speak. Being healthier, fitter, smarter than the year before. Don’t we? Well we should at least try and aim for one of the three and the choices you make about what to eat can have a positive effect on all three. Bonus! We have already looked at the huge impact of being educated about what we eat. (Read the label, read the label, read the label!) It is too easy to be complacent and think one choice must be better than the other, based on appearances. For example, my son and I stayed in a hotel on our way to Pennsylvania for Christmas and the breakfast cereal choice was Frosted Flakes or Raisin Bran. On first appearances, I am pretty sure most of you would have come to the same initial assumption that we did – Raisin Bran must be the healthier option – right? Thankfully I am still training Ashton to read the labels, so we studied them both and were shocked to find that actually the Frosted Flakes had half the sugar, less than half the sodium and more vitamins (C) than Raisin Bran. Of course some of the sugar in Raisin Bran is actually in the raisins, but you do not know how much is added cane sugar and how much is natural fruit sugars, plus I do not believe that there is 18g of natural sugars on a single serving, so I would opt for the Frosted Flakes. The only reason for choosing for the Raisin Bran would be for the fiber content, but for an overall healthier option, to my great surprise, the Frosted Flakes won hands down.

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So, my advice for a New Year eating strategy has to start with reading the labels, keeping an eye on the sugar and sodium levels particularly; aiming for under 10g for each to start with. Also, keeping the saturated fats and the overall calories in check is important. Have a daily calorie count to aim for, suitable for your age and weight (consult your Doctor if necessary). If it helps you, keep a food diary, even if only for a few weeks, to see exactly what you eat and where the majority of calories are coming from. Are they coming from good, healthy choices or are they “empty calories” from candy, cakes, processed foods, etc.? Get an idea of what your intake really is and then make adjustments accordingly (you are welcome to email me if you need advice on what to take out of your diet or what to put in.) It’s very easy to forget all the “small stuff” throughout the day, but if it’s written down there’s no escaping the truth.

A great source of EFAs is salmon or avocado, which actually go really well together. Poached salmon and avocado salad on a bed of mixed greens (antioxidant rich) drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum! Nuts are great too – throw a few on top of cereal, salads, bag them up for an on-the-go snack. Use different oils, like avocado oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil (anything except canola!) – all great in EFAs and other nutrients, and there are many, many more.

We all need to include more essential fatty acids and antioxidants in our diets – the former for many reasons including brain power, the latter to help fight all diseases by increasing our immune system’s efficiency. Honestly I do not know anybody who eats enough of these, we can all do better.

Tracy Bhalla, email: tvbhalla@gmail.com. Trained as an architect! Worked as a teacher of product design and graphic design for 9 years in England and Bermuda. Always had a love of healthy, goodfor-you food. Always cooking for friends and family. Married a cardiologist in 2007. We have a shared passion about eating healthily (and wine) and both love to cook.

If you can add some high antioxidant berries to your morning shake, on top of your cereal or even just on their own in a bowl! Delicious and SO good for you. Most foods that are dark in color are high in antioxidants – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, broccoli, spinach, red cabbage, to name but a few. As always, try and have as many colors as possible on your plate to get the largest spread of vitamins and minerals. One of my own New Year’s Resolutions is to learn how to make my own bread, mainly because the bread that you buy in the store all has added sugar. Bread does not require ANY sugar and, personally, I do not like sweet bread, so I am going to learn from a sweet lady I recently got to know who makes all her own bread. I will let you know how it goes…

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Simple ways to maintain your mental acuity Many people know that a combination of a healthy diet and routine exercise is the best way to maintain their physical health. But what about mental well-being? Memory lapses are often assumed to be an accepted side effect of aging, but such an assumption is incorrect, as there are many steps men and women can take to maintain their mental acuity well into their golden years. · Find time for cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise can help men and women maintain healthy weights and reduce their risk for potentially deadly ailments like diabetes and heart disease. But cardiovascular exercise also can boost brain power. Cardiovascular exercise pumps oxygen-rich blood to the brain, and that blood contains glucose that can fuel brain cells. Cardiovascular exercise also strengthens blood vessels, which can help prevent potentially devastating diseases, such as stroke, that

can have a lasting and negative impact on cognitive function. ▪ Find time for friends and family. Many people need no reason to socialize, but those that do can now cite boosting brain function as a great reason to get together with family and friends. Routine socialization can keep a brain sharp by reducing its levels of cortisol, a potentially destructive hormone brought on by stress. Researchers also believe that routine interaction with other people stimulates structures in the brain’s frontal lobe that are likely responsible for planning, decision making and response control. ▪ Squeeze in a nap every so often. Naps can have a reenergizing effect on men and women, but a study from German researchers also found that naps also can improve memory. In the study, researchers divided participants into three groups: people who would stay

awake for 60 minutes; people who would sleep for six minutes; and people who would sleep for 30 to 45 minutes. After the hour was up, participants were given a word recall test, and those who slept performed better on the test than those who hadn’t. But the development that was perhaps most interesting was that those who slept for just six minutes performed just as well on the test as those who slept for far longer, leading researchers to suggest that men and women need not take long naps to improve their memories. ▪ Include fish in your diet. A study from researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found that people who eat fish once per week have a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not include fish in their weekly diets. Researchers credit this lower risk to DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in both the brain and in fish such as salmon and tuna. Source Metro Creative

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Ask an Elder Law Attorney By: Raley L. Wiggins | Attorney at Law | Red Oak Legal, PC

Holiday Burnout

I am finally sitting down to write this installment of Ask an Elder Law Attorney the day before Boom! is due to go to the printer. Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays and wrapping up 2015, it seems like there is always one thing left to do. If your family is like mine, then every Christmas gathering is a picture-perfect string of joyful reunions with family, fit for a Norman Rockwell painting. ‘Tis the season for rest and relaxation, when nothing will ever go wrong—right?

his rounds in Montgomery. That famous red velvet suit is great for the dry freezing tundra of the North Pole, but isn’t the ideal outerwear for piloting an open-top sleigh through the torrential rain and heat we enjoyed this year.

But here we are, Christmas is behind us and 2016 starts anew. Most of us march into the new year confident (or at least hopeful) that the mistakes or unexpected developments of last year are safely behind us.

Well, not exactly. This year our family was lucky to get to visit with my parents and siblings, as well as my wife’s family. But we had a few bumps along the way, too. A nice little Christmas Virus spent the last When will we ever learn? couple of weeks working its way through In my office, I typically help families in the family. A Christmas Eve trip to the pediatrician was followed by a Christmas Day scramble Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop to refill our Wednesday, January 27: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 oldest child’s pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This asthma medicine. educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins But at least it covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living culminated in wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, our own little bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care “Christmas and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Miracle” when Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at we found the one pharmacy www.redoaklegalpc.com. in town that’s open on two situations. The first is when we help Christmas Day. (If you’re curious, it’s the people plan ahead. The second group Walgreens on Ann Street!) are what we call “crises” cases. Crises cases are when a family is faced with Medicine refilled and little lungs cleared, an immediate or imminent need for our we all finally settled down to rest and assistance. A loved one has passed away enjoy the rest of Christmas day. You and their estate must be settled; a parent know, snuggled in front of the fire with a or grandparent is about to enter a nursing warm cup of hot chocolate. Except that home and needs to figure out how to pay instead of the fire, we were cranking up for it; a loved one can no longer manage the AC to fight the sticky eighty-degree their own affairs and needs a guardian or weather that made the holiday feel conservator to be appointed, just to list a more like Christmas in July. Frankly, I’m few examples. surprised old Saint Nick managed to make

Attend Free Workshop

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Even though we see crisis cases in our office every day, it’s difficult to convince people that this will ever happen to their families. That is, there will always be another day, a better time, a perfect time to get around to getting one’s affairs in order, or helping mom or dad to plan to care for themselves in their old age. Some people just aren’t in a hurry to plan ahead. Every year we think that Christmas will be just like that Norman Rockwell image in our mind—a reliving of all of our most precious childhood holiday memories. And every year we have to relearn the lessons of the year before, that despite our best planning there will never be a “perfect” holiday, a perfect Christmas party, a perfect Christmas card, a perfect photo to post on Facebook or Instagram. My wish for all of you this year is that you will be a little wiser than you were last year. I hope that the lessons learned in 2015 will not have to be relearned in 2016. I hope that you all stick to your resolutions for 2016, and finally achieve the perfect image of yourself that you see in your mind. But I also hope that you’ll learn the lesson that we see our clients learning over and over again—you can’t plan for everything, but having a plan sure beats the alternative. Raley L. Wiggins Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC 334-239-3625 | info@redoaklegalpc.com 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 www.redoaklegalpc.com

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Teach Your GrandKids the Importance of Blood Donation

There are countless stories told by people who have been helped by a blood donor they will never meet. Many of these stories include lives being saved by a one-time blood transfusion during childbirth, surgery, an accident or for so many other reasons. Other stories include people who needed regular blood transfusions, including pediatric cancer patients who would not be alive today without this amazing gift of blood. According to the American Red Cross, just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. January is National Blood Donor month and the perfect time to start thinking about giving blood and/or plasma on a regular basis. Starting when my kids were young, my husband and I would take them to our local blood donation center so they could see their dad giving blood. Since then, they have been eager to hit the required blood donor age and are excited at the idea of helping to save lives. Why not take your grandchild with you to see the blood donation process so you can get him used to the idea and take the mystery out of it?

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history and about places you may have traveled. Your pulse, blood pressure and temperature will be taken, as well as a small blood sample from your finger to check your hemoglobin levels. You are only able and allowed to donate on the following schedule: ▪ You can only donate whole blood every 56 days, and this is so your body has time to replenish its own supply. ▪ You can donate platelets every 7 days, up to 24 times per year. ▪ You are able to donate plasma every 28 days. ▪ You can only donate double red cells every 112 days. Your regular blood donation should only take about 10 minutes total and you get to relax during that time and chat, read or even sometimes watch television. When you’re done, you will be taken to a snack area so you can have cookies and juice and rest for a bit. Don’t do anything too strenuous for the rest of the day… in giving just a pint of your blood you have just helped to save one or more lives! To give blood visit these websites: lifesouth.org redcrossblood.org cslplasma.com

There are many requirements that you must meet in order to be able to donate whole

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blood, platelets, plasma or double red cells. For example, you must be in good health, be at least 17 years of age (some states allow blood donation at age16 with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. You will be asked a number of questions during an interview in a private room before being allowed to donate blood. There will be questions about your health

Kerrie McLoughlin blogs at TheKerrieShow.com and is married to a man who donates his O negative blood and platelets on a regular basis. RiverRegionBoom.com

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Caring for Adult Children with DISABILITIES By Erica Curless

Sonny Gilbreath’s face gets serious and he shakes his head like the devil himself is appearing. No, he won’t put his adult son, who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a teenager, in a care facility.

After a five-year battle with cancer, Sonny Gilbreath’s wife, Nyla, died in 1999. He needed to continue “It’s part of my obligation as a dad,” working, so his Gilbreath said in a commanding, nodaughter, Leah nonsense tone. “I want to take care of Anton, and her him. I just believe in taking care of my husband cared family.” for Blane along “He’s worse than Elaine on ‘Seinfeld,’” said Sonny Gilbreath, left, as his son Blane with their three Yet Gilbreath is aging. At 71, the retiree Gilbreath danced to Linda Ronstadt in a shop on their property in Post Falls, Idaho. children. Leah is healthy and strong and takes no was diagnosed medication. He has the look of a man with multiple sclerosis about 10 years ago, Nearly 30 years later, Gilbreath walks who’s worked hard outdoors his whole but recently the disease progressed and and talks and spends his days at life. But the reality is he can’t care for she’s at risk of falling. the Tesh Vocational Center, a Coeur 46-year-old Blane Gilbreath forever. d’Alene nonprofit that helps people Sonny Gilbreath decided to retire, turning with disabilities with employment and It’s a concern that haunts parents of adult his construction business over to Jeramey independent living. There he assembles children who have severe disabilities. and taking full-time care of Blane. When three-piece ports for injecting pesticides Those children, like everyone else, are that’s no longer possible, Jeramey and into trees. living longer. That means parents and his wife, Amanda, will take over. Neither guardians must have a plan to care for feel it’s a burden nor harbor resentment. “Screws and bolts, screws and bolts,” their children when they’re no longer able The couple, who have 5-month-old twin Gilbreath is known for saying as he walks to do so. For some, like the Gilbreaths, boys along with a 6-year-old daughter and from the lunchroom to his job in the large that means relying on extended family. For 3-year-old son, are looking for a larger warehouse at the Coeur d’Alene Industrial others, it can mean making arrangements house that could accommodate Blane and Park. for their children to be cared for in group the kids. homes or other facilities. Gilbreath is blind and has little memory Blane Gilbreath was injured in May 1986, and no sense of time, and he usually talks According to the 2010 U.S. census, about when he was 17. He was riding on the in loops, a well-worn sentence or two in 12.6 percent of the population, or 38.3 back of a motorcycle with a friend when response to a question. If you ask about million people, had a severe disability. Of a drunken driver ran a red light, hitting work, he tells you about screws and bolts those, nearly 37 percent are 65 or older. the boys in a sing-song voice. Ask about his day and and forever he usually says it’s a great day because he POPULAR changing makes it a great day. ATHLETE WAS Gilbreath’s CHANGED life. The He learns by repetition, and that’s why FOREVER AT 17 other he’s been successful assembling tree ports As the Gilbreath teenager and phone jacks as well as labeling mail family knows all had a broken or shredding papers. Sometimes he learns too well, life is leg. a task quickly, other times, it takes years, unpredictable. So like the eight years it took to learn the the tight-knit clan Gilbreath, name of Terri Johnson, Tesh’s director of has a pact that at the time rehabilitation services. Once it’s learned, ensures Blane a popular he never forgets. will be cared for Coeur by family, no “I lost one son and gained another, I love them both,” said Sonny d’Alene He also remembers music, specifically ‘80s matter what. Gilbreath as he brushed his son’s hair at their home. High School tunes from bands like Chicago. Gilbreath athlete, sustained massive head injuries often bursts into song while listening to “It’s family,” said Jeramey Gilbreath, 35, and spent three months in a coma. He the radio, riding with brother Jeramey to who is next in line to care for his brother, wasn’t expected to live through the night. get ice cream cones. Blane. “That’s just what you do. There Then he wasn’t expected to walk and talk. wasn’t much of a thought process.”

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“It’s crazy,” Jeramey Gilbreath said. “He can’t remember what you told him five or 10 minutes ago, but he knows wordfor-word the songs.”

She notes that it’s hard enough for someone with developmental disabilities to transition from living with family to living in a group home or care facility. Add to that the trauma of losing a parent or guardian and “It’s brutal,” she said. “People with developmental disabilities struggle with change anyway.”

Blane Gilbreath is cheerful, usually with a big smile. His bright eyes look directly at Blane Gilbreath has you when he speaks, making Blane Gilbreath assembles tree plugs at Tesh Vocational Center already long outlived the 10 years predicted by his it difficult to neurosurgeon. remember he has no sight. His dad says his attitude is a blessing because people Although he still looks boyish, his dad with traumatic brain injuries can be said there are signs his son is aging _ joint aggressive and inappropriate. aches and the recent cancerous tumor in his colon. Then there are the seizures that The only exception is mornings, before started after the accident. Sonny Gilbreath Gilbreath has had a cup of coffee, when never leaves Blane far from sight. If he can he’s prone to whining and complaints. get a pill under his son’s tongue quickly, it Sonny Gilbreath calls it his son’s “Dr. Jekyll reduces the severity. and Mr. Hyde.” On a recent morning, the younger Gilbreath is heard muttering inside the bathroom after his shower. “I’m mad,” he complained. “You treat me like a little baby boy.” Sonny Gilbreath encouraged his son to get dressed. Soon Blane Gilbreath walked into the living room, using the walls to guide him, and sat in a comfy leather chair. His dad handed him a cup of coffee and a couple of pills. Blane smiled and asked in his charming, friendly voice, “How are you today?” MAKE A PLAN AND PUT IT IN WRITING Johnson, Tesh’s director of rehabilitation services, reiterates how important it is for families and guardians of people with disabilities to plan for their future care and put those wishes in a legal document. Tesh’s service coordinators help facilitate making those long-term care plans. Johnson said even young parents of children with disabilities need to take those steps, because young parents die sometimes, too. “Some clients’ families didn’t have a plan and something awful happened,” Johnson said. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

“I expect him to live to be an old man,” Gilbreath said. “Yet I wouldn’t be surprised if he died tomorrow.” The same scenario is true for Sonny Gilbreath. “I’m 71,” he said. “I could die of a heart attack any time.”

his footsteps but then took up drilling and explosives, priding himself on doing jobs nobody else would touch. He loves working and never expected to retire, always envisioning “dying on the job site.” But he also envisioned growing old with his wife and having three healthy children. Strict in his faith, Gilbreath spends no time on self-pity. He enjoys his time with Blane, although he’s glad to get a break Monday through Friday when Blane is at Tesh. On the weekends, Gilbreath cooks big family meals, scouring Pinterest for recipes, and hosts Bible studies. He also enjoys dancing, occasionally taking Blane to the Eagles in Spokane, which he said has a friendly, family environment. Recently, he bought a few mining claims with a friend and plans to dredge for gold. On Sundays, the guys watch televangelists and drink coffee. To keep busy, Blane Gilbreath spends the evenings folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom or sorting cans of nuts and bolts in his dad’s shop. He doesn’t like to sit still and maintains the strong work ethic he had before the accident, of which he has no memory. “Wanna make him mad?” Sonny Gilbreath said with a hearty laugh. “Tell him he can’t go to work.”

After a moment of pause, Sonny Gilbreath To ensure Blane’s safety, Sonny Gilbreath concedes with a sigh that the family texts his son Jeramey at 6 a.m. and 8 would put Blane in a nursing facility if p.m. daily to let him know all is good. The his behavior ever bus driver turns violent or he who has becomes incapacitated transported and needs constant Blane to medical care. Tesh since the start But Gilbreath chafes also knows at that realization. He to call can’t imagine living in a one of the nursing home himself, siblings if much less sending his Gilbreath son to one. isn’t at the house for Blane and Sonny Gilbreath hold hands during prayer before “I don’t think I’ve ever Blane’s dinner with friends at their house. been afraid of anything pickup or except being put in an old-folks home,” return. Gilbreath said. Sonny Gilbreath is a man’s man. His father was a tramp miner who traveled (c)2015 The Spokesman-Review Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. the country, and Gilbreath followed in

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Bucket List Adventure by Kathy Witt

Russia’s ‘Waterways of the Tsars’

“In Russia, the weather is as changeable as a woman’s mood.” With these words, Natasha, the local guide shepherding Viking River Cruise passengers into Moscow’s gleaming subway system, stepped onto the escalator and she and the group descended 240 feet beneath the snowy streets.

in 1982 and took 20 years to complete, rang in with a price tag of $12 million. As your Viking cruise ship sails along the waterways between Moscow and St. Petersburg, including the Volga River, stops are made at villages like Uglich, an ancient town that dates back to 1148. Here is the Church of St. Dmitry on the Blood, famous as the site where the body of murdered Prince Dmitry, the eightyear-old son of Ivan the Terrible, was found. Uglich is also where Viking passengers are invited into the homes of different Russian families.

Weather in the world’s largest nation is indeed unpredictable, with summer heating things up as early as March and wintry temperatures arriving in early October. Far more reliable is visitor reaction to Moscow, the sheer massiveness of its buildings; historic Red Square, home of onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral; the vast 800-year-old walled city that is the Kremlin. Wow. Fortunately for guests on Viking’s “Waterways of the Tsars” itinerary, three days of richly personal experiences are planned for Moscow. An evening concert of traditional Russian folkloric music performed solely for Viking guests offers a chance to hear balalaikas and guslies, stringed and key instruments of Russian origin. A ride on the Metro (Moscow’s subway) has you rubbing elbows with some of the 7,00,000 locals who daily ride this “palace built under the ground” and glimpsing museum-worthy bronze and marble sculptures, Byzantine-style murals, extravagant chandeliers and stained-glass panels. Bookending the capital city is St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s so-called “Window to the West”, with three days spent soaking up its cultural charms, including palaces whose mammoth scale, architectural appointments and ornately trimmed interiors can only be described as gilt-edged grandeur. Here is the 1,000-room former tsars’ residence, the Winter Palace, now the Hermitage, a treasure house of 3 million works of art, everything from masterpieces

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by Van Gogh, Renoir, Rembrandt and Michelangelo to ceremonial gowns lavishly embellished with gold and silver embroidery that belonged to empresses Maria Fedorovna and Alexandra Fedorovna. St. Petersburg is also home to the magnificent Catherine Palace, whose facade stretches over a staggering 600 feet. Built for the wife of Peter the Great (Catherine I) and extravagantly expanded by her daughter, Elizabeth, this palace represents a near-perfect replica of the original, which was burned to the ground during World War II. Inside is one of the most famous pieces of real estate in the world: the fabled Amber Room, comprising panels of amber mosaic, gemstone mosaics, gilded carvings and mirrors. The room was dismantled in 1941 when German forces took the town and the original panels were lost. The recreation of the Amber Room, which began

On Lake Onega, a stop is made at Kizhi Island, an outdoor museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only place in Russia where a set of two multi-domed wooden churches are preserved. The ensemble includes the Church of the Transfiguration, built without a single nail and topped by an astonishing 22 wooden onion domes. Mandrogy is a fairy tale island with painted pine buildings and cobblestone streets perched on the bank of the River Svir. Visitors may opt for a Matryoshka doll painting class or Russian banya (bath house) experience, or browse shops where local artists, potters and jewelers demonstrate their craft. Onboard, experiences are equally wellplanned and personal. The pianist and singer remember your name and may play your song request when you enter the Sky Bar. Servers will have your wine waiting at your table for dinner. The chef is accommodating and personable, teasing passengers during a boisterous cooking demo. The tour escorts teach Russian language lessons and, by the time you disembark, you will know The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


how to say “welcome” (ne za chto), which is exactly how you will feel when visiting Russia. ADVENTURE GUIDE TO DON’T-MISS MOMENTS S Explore the Kremlin Armory to see the legendary Faberge eggs commissioned by tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. Other treasures in Moscow’s first public museum: Ivan the Terrible’s carved ivory throne, Catherine the Great’s coronation gown, ornamental saddlery, state carriages and more. S Paint Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) in Mandrogy. Artist/guide Helena will introduce herself as both Mother Goose and Baba Yaga (wicked witch), who can turn cruise passengers into Picassos _ and she does. S Get to know the locals at their dining room tables. Uglich hosts put out quite a spread-tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and pickles, delicious cheeses, Russian Black Bread and cakes-all locally sourced from the host’s garden, the cheese factory and bread shop. Of course, there is vodka, with much toasting of both host and guests. S Tour the Hermitage with its priceless treasures, then extend your exploration to its off-site Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya. Comprising restoration workshops and open storage, this stateof-the-art venue missed by most visitors puts you behind-the-scenes to see an intricately designed field tent presented to Catherine the Great by a Turkish sultan, Romanov family furniture, a two-level Hall

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of Carriages and more. S Be awed by the palaces of St. Petersburg: The Winter Palace (housing

the Hermitage); elegant Catherine Palace; Peterhof Palace, the tsars’ summer palace, with its remarkable system of waterworks that dates to 1721 and splashes water over nearly 12 miles and into the Gulf of Finland; Shuvalov Palace, home of the Faberge Museum and its nine Imperial Easter Eggs. ADVENTURE GEAR TO TAKE ALONG From Dare2be’s Urban collection is the Spiralled Down Jacket in black ($200; www. en.dare2b.com), a longer parka reaching to several inches above the knees with duck down filling and a water-repellent finish. With a feminine silhouette, faux fur-trimmed attached hood and stylish but subtle logo, it can face down even Russia’s frigid temps and look fashionable doing so. Inner stretch cuffs and adjustable

shockcord hem block out wind to keep you warm. Two lower zip pockets are trimmed with black metallic hardware and an internal zip pocket includes an MP3 port. With a high warmth-toweight ratio, the jacket is easily compressible so it won’t take up much space in your stateroom closet. INFORMATION Viking’s “Waterways of the Tsars” itinerary is offered early May through mid-October, with three ships sailing on 13-day river cruises. This itinerary includes 11 guided

tours and visits to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Contact Viking River Cruises at 800-706-1483; www.VikingRiverCruises.com.

Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at KathyWitt24@gmail.com or KathyWitt.com. (c)2015 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Our Featured Artists

After the Rain, 16x20 acrylic on canvas Shirley Esco galleryonefineart.com/Shirley-Esco

Twisted Love, 9 x 4 Wood Sculpture, Ken Lever galleryonefineart.com/Kenneth-Lever

Bayou 12x24 oil on canvas Anne Hugghins galleryonefineart.com/Anne-Hugghins

Sassy Lady in Brown, 10x8 acrylic on canvas, Jane Segrest galleryonefineart.com/Jane-Segrest If Music is the Food of Love, 20x16 oil on canvas, Pamela Wesley Copeland galleryonefineart.com/Pamela-Wesley-Copeland

No Diamond was Big Enough, 20x16 oil on canvas John Wagnon galleryonefineart.com/John-Wagnon Twilight 10x13 charcoal on paper, Jim Sabel galleryonefineart.com/Jim-Sabel

Song of the Shore, 48x36 mixed media, Carol Barksdale galleryonefineart.com/Carol-Barksdale

Blue Moon, 4x13 Copper Sculpture Bradley Moon galleryonefineart.com/Bradley-Moon

Gallery One offers a wide selection of original art by gallery artist members. As an Alabama not-for-profit cooperative gallery, Gallery One is actively engaged in the community.

Gallery Director Sandi Aplin

sandiaplin@aol.com, 334.269.1114, galleryonefineart.com

Wild Heart , 60x48 mixed media, Cecily Hulett galleryonefineart.com/Cecily-Hulett


Art & Soul

Pamela Wesley Copeland

By Sandi Aplin

Artist in Residence for 2015 Blue Gray Colonels Ball Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I took adult education classes in drawing and painting at UAB and the Birmingham Museum of Art. This past year, I’ve come full circle and enrolled at Auburn University to pursue my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I’ll be traveling to Rome and Florence, Italy in the summer of 2016 as part of an intensive study abroad program led by Pamela Copeland Auburn Art Department joined our group Copeland continues, Pam and Obie faculty. It’s the fulfillment in September of “Brad and I have had of a lifelong dream. I’m very thankful to both 2013 and hit the the pleasure of traveling extensively. Artist in Residence, BG Ball Gallery One Fine Art and our director, Sandi ground running I’m a confirmed people watcher and Aplin. Sandi encourages and motivates me or should I say feel I am blessed to have recently like no one else.” painting. We have a committee at Gallery traveled to such diverse places as England, One to vote on new members. When a new Turkey, France, the Netherlands, Belgium One of the benchmarks I look for from our artist is juried into our group, I suggest they and Costa Rica. I’m particularly drawn to new members are the comments of patrons. paint, really paint, enter competitions, fleeting moments of There is a distinct difference in an artist go to the juror’s critique and listen to people going about painting for fun or a really good, professional his vision of the show that was selected their everyday lives. artist who feels compelled to make a visual and continue taking classes, painting Capturing those unstatement, like writing a book on canvas, one with different groups, outside of our posed, unguarded is chapter at a time. area if possible. Over the last 2+ years, what I most enjoy. Pam listened and has really found her I’ve been drawing and “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” artistic voice. If you look at Copeland’s painting my whole Helen Keller Bio on her Gallery One website, she is life. My original working hard and what a compliment college major was art, given to her by Trey Granger who however practicality Sandi Aplin, recognized her talent and extend the led me to switch my Brad and Pam Director of Gallery One Fine Art invitation to create this year’s painting major to business, but A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL as the historic record of their event. the pull toward painting was always there. sandiaplin@aol.com or galleryonefineart.com Copeland says, “Ten years ago, I married Brad Copeland, a Colonel in the United States Air Force. Brad has a gift for turning hopes and dreams into reality. He recognized my talent and strong desire for painting. He pushed me to pursue my artistic goals. With his blessing, I attended a weeks long workshop at the Art in the Aspens Institute, studying under the master figurative painter, Michelle Torres. This one workshop confirmed that I was doing exactly what God intended for me. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to be mentored by one of America’s top impressionist painters, James Richards (this years Best in Show winner of the American Impressionist Society’s 16th Annual National Juried Exhibition). Jim is a gifted teacher and has taught me so much about turning what I observe into a work of art.” On Saturday, December 19th of this year, Pamela Wesley Copeland was commissioned to record her visual interpretation of the special evening for the twentythree Maids of the Court.

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Pamela paints landscapes and still life paintings, however, we sell more of her figurative subjects in street scenes or restaurants that have a Hopper or Dale Kennington feel to them. She also won the Kelly Fitzpatrick award in the last Art Guild Montgomery Museum of Fine Art competition.

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By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

2016- It’s Gonna Be Huuuge! He had to overcome a significant prejudice to win, too. He was a Catholic (OMG) and many believed he would be taking direct orders from the Vatican. Seems silly now, doesn’t it?

On January 20, 1961 our 3rd grade teacher, Miss Martin, gathered us together and led us into the gymnasium at John Hancock Elementary school on Chicago’s southwest side. The school was newly built, each classroom packed with 30-35 little BOOMERS. Orderly little Boomers. Whispering to a classmate during a lesson could draw an admonition from Miss Martin, and if repeated, a visit with our Principal, Miss Castle (a real pickle puss if there ever was one!). All the classes had been called to the gymnasium (also known as a 1960 Media Center) because the teachers thought we should watch the Inauguration of President John F, Kennedy on our big screen TV (24 inches of black and white Zenith!) with the volume turned on full tilt. So there we sat, watching, but totally oblivious to the speech’s content or significant moments, in part because 60s gym acoustics made it darn near impossible to understand what was being said in the ceremony. It was all ambient noise echoing around the gym’s tiled walls.

So, at the time, the significance of these words spoken by JFK was lost on us, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” Wow. Freedom. Love of country. Service. How quaint! JFK’s win was narrow, and frankly, assisted by voters from the same Chicago cemeteries who have carried other politicians to victory both locally and nationally.

After the speech none of us really heard, we returned to our classrooms to resume what we were urged to achieve- good grades, so we could one day get good jobs and be rich! Just like that older Boomer, Donald Trump! Two things I don’t do well- predictions. And predictions. Let me stick my neck out here and say when 2016 comes to an end we could be anticipating the inauguration of President Donald Trump. No? Eight years ago America fell in love with an outsider so full of himself he’d written 2 autobiographies before anyone knew his name. He had no experience at running so much as a lemonade stand. We put him in charge of the country because we liked him.

Greg Budell's column is proudly sponsored by McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management

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Just like JFK, the current president is a Democrat but in reality, he’s a DINO, Democrat in Name Only. JFK launched his term with a huuuge tax cut. The man currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who we will refer to as “Resident”, has raised taxes on everything.

we were told by The Media he’s “really done it this time!”. The Donald screwed up! Did you hear what he said? What he has done, repeatedly, is violate the unwritten laws of Political Correctness. He has given voice to what we’re constantly lectured not to think, but think anyway.

I never watched a single episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Reality shows hold no appeal to me because I am my own reality show. I never liked Donald Trump much as a TV celebrity but always respected his accomplishments. He REALLY did what Miss Martin and all the other teachers at Hancock Elementary urged us to do- become successful. Our teachers at Hancock also taught us that “turnabout is fair play”. Every time the Resident President has screwed upeven forgetting the number of states in the US- his water carriers looked the other way while the rest of us tore our hair out.

You see, the lesson learned in 2015 is that almost everyone “representing” us in Washington DC, is not representing us at all. They are taking their orders from the donor$ who put them there.

I must admit the Great Fun of 2015’s prepre-election run up, has been watching Donald Trump’s popularity grow when

Congress wrapped up 2015 by fully funding the failures of the last 7 years and continuing to grow our enormous debt. Resident President once called Bush 2 “unpatriotic for adding 4 trillion dollars to the deficit all by his lonesome”. Resident has DOUBLED that so what does that make him? Worse- the people elected to reverse this course- TWICEand had the Constitutional authority to reverse it- did NOTHING but rubber stamp it. One of the few who truly serves is our

own Senator Jeff Sessions. He said, after the latest spending spree, “it’s no wonder the American people are in open rebellion!” He’s right. The Open Rebellion is upon us and as we launch the year, a man who owes nothing to nobody is out in front and scaring the beejeebers out of both parties, because he is one guy who could end their party. How nice, if one year from now, media centers in schools could echo these words, “Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Those are the final words of JFK in ’61. I’ll settle for the 4 words on Trumps’ hat MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. That would be HUUUGE! Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, children and dogs. He’s a 25 year veteran of radio who hosts the Greg & Susan morning show 6-9 am and Happy Hour 3-6 pm on NEWSTALK 93.1, Greg can be reached at gregbudell@aol.com

The Business Mini Directory

A Business Mini is a little fatter than your old business card and for a limited time we are offering a Business Mini to fit your budget. Fifty dollars will get your business message in front of thousands of people over 50 who have the money to buy stuff. Every business needs one more customer, where will yours come from? Call today and get your $50 Business Mini, 324.3472 or jim@riverregionboom.com

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Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives An early diagnosis may help with memory disorders

Q: My parents live in Miami. We have begun noticing memory issues with my mother and we do have a family history of dementia. Even her friends have commented to me about changes they’ve noticed.

These assessments can include conversations with both of your parents, a physical examination, memory tests, comprehensive neuropsychological testing and/ or brain scans.

Obviously we’re all concerned, but don’t know how best to handle the early stages of a memory disorder. I am one of five children and while we visit regularly and speak frequently, none of us live in Miami. Any help is appreciated. _ William M., Pensacola, Fla.

An advantage of going to a Comprehensive Memory Disorder Center is that they also offer an interdisciplinary approach that would include guidance for you and your siblings on how to best help your mother and how to plan for what may be a progressive decline in her cognitive abilities.

A: If your parents have a long-time physician, chances are he or she has already noticed these changes in your mother’s memory, and can recommend a specialist or a Memory Disorder Center that specializes in comprehensive evaluations. Someone who is trained in memory disorders will be able to properly diagnose your mother and differentiate between age-related memory loss, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. A clinician will also be able to tell you where your mother is on the spectrum of the disease.

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Whichever approach you take for an evaluation, I recommend that you or one of your siblings accompany your parents. It can be a lengthy appointment as there is a lot of data being collected from your father as well. It’s a lot of information for one person to take in by themselves in one day. Knowing what challenges your parents can expect in the near future will also

help you and your siblings to plan your caregiver roles. With four siblings, who you say visit and talk frequently, you are in the fortunate position to be able to share the many caregiving responsibilities that may lie ahead as your parents age and your mother’s dementia advances. Nancy Stein, Ph.D., is the founder of Seniority Matters (senioritymatters.com), a caregiver advisory and referral service in South Florida for seniors and their families. You can contact her at nancy@senioritymatters.com. (c)2015, Seniority Matters, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

We Love Women Over 50! If your Target Audience are Women with Money and Desire, BOOM! readers are your customers...70% of our readers are Mature Women, 75% of US wealth is owned by Mature Women age 50+, and Mature Women spend 2.5 times what the average person spends and they spend it on things like Beauty, Grand Kids, Pets, Fitness, Gifts, Restaurants, Healthcare, Financial Services, Caregiving, Classes, Fashion, Home & Garden, Concerts, Entertaining, Travel, and much more!

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Managing Conflict: Supporting Families at End-of-Life Fundamental to good end-of-life care is the support given to the family of the person we are caring for before, during and after death. While we always need to keep the patient at the center of care, patient care includes family care. Families usually provide the primary support for the person and may also act as mutual support for each other.

to cope with anxiety and depression, especially when they are just beginning. • Remember that you and the person you are caring for do not always have to agree.

Family conflict can negatively affect a patient’s care, as well as the family. However, family conflict can be prevented, diffused or resolved, improving the patient and family experience. Hospice of Montgomery offers the following “tool kit” for caregivers. Guidelines for End-of-Life Caregivers • Work and communicate effectively with the patient. • Support the patient’s efforts to live as normal a life as possible. • Encouragement and Support. One of the most important messages you can give to the person you are caring for is this: “If you want to discuss this issue, I’m willing to do it.” Leave the timing up to the patient. • Understand that men and women often communicate in different ways, and make allowances for those differences. • Be realistic and flexible about what you hope to agree on or communicate. Individuals with a life-limiting disease want to share many things, but they may not share them all with just one person. Let the patient talk about whatever he/she wants with whomever he/she wants. Sharing does not always mean talking, either. The patient may feel more comfortable writing about their feelings or expressing them through activity. Other nonverbal ways of expressing feelings are through gestures or expressions, touching, or just asking you to be present. • Help the patient to deal with anxiety and depression. Seek advice on how The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Some suggestions to reduce conflict: Explain your needs openly. Sometimes, you may need to ask the patient to do something that will make your own life easier or your caregiving responsibilities more manageable. These situations can create conflict. Conflict resolution does not always mean that everybody is happy. On some issues, you will have to give in. Tip: Suggest a trial run or time limit. If you want the person you are caring for to try something, such as a new bed or a certain medication, ask them to try it for a limited time, then evaluate the situation. This avoids making the patient feel locked into a decision. Choose your battles carefully. Let the patient make as many of his or her decisions as possible. Don’t let your fears and anxieties interfere with the patient’s feelings of control. • Support the patient’s spiritual concerns. Spirituality is a vital component of providing care at the end-of-life; but a person’s beliefs, which may differ from their family’s or those providing care, may not always positively impact the experience. Be available to listen. As a caregiver, listening is the most important thing you can do to help. If you find it

difficult to listen to the patient’s concerns, then find someone, such as a member of the clergy, family member, friend, or professional, who can. • Help to resolve the patient’s unfinished business. Individuals near the end-oflife commonly want to take certain actions or have certain experiences before they die. Arranging for these can be a substantial undertaking, but the fact that you try to do so can be very important. Before committing to such a major undertaking, ask yourself how you and the person being cared for would feel if the experience is less than you hoped. Would it still be worth the time and resources? If the answer is no, ask what you could do that would be less costly or stressful. If the answer is yes, then move ahead. • Work with family and friends. Do not try to do everything yourself. Ask for help. This will help you, the caregiver, to stay balanced and help diffuse conflicts due to fatigue. If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice is now. Hospice provides professionals such as our chaplain, social workers and bereavement specialists who have experience helping support the patient and family near the end-of-life. You, the caregiver, may be worried and dealing with difficult issues. Hospice of Montgomery’s team is here to provide guidance. Talking with our hospice staff who are well trained in end-of-life issues can be very helpful. We have experience helping those like you. We will listen and help you to think through these issues. For more information visit www. hospiceofmontgomery.org or simply call us at 334-279-6677. Hospice of Montgomery. It’s in our touch.

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January 2016

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Blount Cultural Park Through January 31st

Inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch still-life paintings—specifically the Haarlem style of traditional laid tables—Wisconsin-based artist Beth Lipman creates large-scale, three-dimensional interpretations in glittering glass.Like the paintings that she alludes to, Lipman’s compositions address themes of desire and consumption, growth and decay, religious and political symbolism, and the transience of life. Using varied processes combining blown, lamp-worked, solid sculpted, and kiln formed glass the artist creates tables overflowing with a multitude of glass objects. For more info visit mmfa.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA “The Journey Continues…Tim Tebow” MPAC Saturday, January 16

Heisman Trophy winner and former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow would be the featured speaker for “The Journey Continues…Tim Tebow,” benefiting the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama. Guests will enjoy a special evening of engagement at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center with Tim Tebow, ESPN SEC Network Analyst. Tickets are on

sale by calling the MPAC 334.481.5100 or online at mpaconline. org or ticketmaster.com . Tickets for the event will start at $60.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

BrickFair Birmingham’s BJCC Saturday/Sunday, January 16-17, 11-4 pm LEGO models, displays and winding trains sprawled out over 58,000 square feet. BrickFair brings together adult fans of LEGO from across the USA (and Canada, and a few other countries) to show off their projects, great and small, and to share their passion for LEGO - the most awesome toy - ever. LEGO fan festivals like BrickFair are great fun for the whole

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family! Join in a game or two - maybe win a LEGO set. Vendors will be offering all things LEGO, including shirts, hats, minifigures, custommolded weapons, unique models, keychains and... really... everything you never imagined. to order tickets visit bjcc.org or for more info brickfair.com

30a SEASIDE, FLORIDA

The 30A Songwriters Festival Along Highway 30a, Florida Gulf Coast Friday-Sunday, January 15-17th, various times and venues The 7th annual festival will feature headline performances from esteemed artists Jackson Browne, Grace Potter, Shovels & Rope and Wine, Women & Song featuring Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss & Gretchen Peters. Also confirmed are Ani DiFranco, Emerson Hart (Tonic), Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Shawn Mullins, Jay Farrar (from Son Volt), Peter Holsapple (the dB’s), Drew Holcomb, Jeffrey Steele, Parker Millsap, Dan Bern, Steve Poltz, Hayes Carll, Charlie Mars, Grant-Lee Phillips, Bob Schneider, David Ryan Harris (John Mayer band), David Hodges (Evanescence), Bobby Bare, Jr., Chris Stills, Jim Lauderdale, Callaghan, Kris Delmhorst, Kristy Lee, BettySoo, Randall Bramblett, Griffin House, Jennifer Knapp, Toby Lightman, Liz Longley and Heather Maloney. The 30A Songwriters Festival takes place January 15-17 along scenic highway 30a in Northwest Florida. There will be 150 artists and 25 venues. for more info visit 30asongwritersfestival. com

ENTERPRISE, ALABAMA

The Second City: Fully Loaded Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center Enterprise, Alabama Thursday, January 21st, 7 pm Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater performs at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center with The Second City: Fully Loaded. This irresistible new show features classic material made famous by Second City stars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray, as well as brand new scenes, songs and improv straight from their sold out shows in Chicago and The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Toronto. This must-see evening of comedy features some of Chicago’s best and brightest in a special one night engagement. Fresh, fast and always spectacularly funny, The Second City is celebrating 55 years of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and continues to launch the careers of comedy superstars. This show may contain mature content. For information, call 334.406.2787 or visit coffeecountyartsalliance. com

PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA Mardi Gras Parade Saturday, January 23, 11 am

The City of Prattville will kick off the Mardi Gras season on Saturday, January 23, with their Annual Mardi Gras Parade. There will be fun activities for the kids, lots of food, music and arts and crafts. The fun starts at 11 am with children’s activities and great food, then at 2 pm the parade will roll through Downtown Prattville. There will be beads and candy, floats, antique cars, horses and more. Bring out the family and laissez les bons temps rouler! For a parade application or more information, contact the Special Events Office at 334.595.0854 or visit prattvilleal.gov

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

An Evening with Art Garfunkel Samford University at Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center Tuesday, January 26th Grammy Award-winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honoree and Golden Globe-nominated singer and actor. His live set encompasses his solo hits, Simon and Garfunkel songs, cuts from his favorite songwriters-Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, A.C. Jobim--parts of his new book, and Q&A. An Evening with Art Garfunkel is a benefit concert for the Nicaragua Project. The show is produced by Ecko Media, Samford Alum Jack Landham, and Gene Cotton (in support of the United Methodist Church). for more info call 205.726.2615 or visit samford.edu/wrightcenter

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) Downtown Montgomery Wednesday, January 27, 1:30 -3:30 pm Wednesday, January 27: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. Call 334.625.6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at redoaklegalpc.com.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA Whiskeys of the World Birmingham Botanical Gardens Thursday, January 28th, 6-8 pm

Plant Adventures Program Specialist, Brooke McMinn, and all around whiskey enthusiast, Nathan McMinn, for a trip around the world of whiskey. We will begin with a discussion about the botanical aspects all whiskeys share, from the grain to the oak. Then, starting in Scotland and moving through Ireland, Canada, America, Japan and back to Scotland, we’ll learn what makes each style distinct. Member $20, non-members $25. For more info visit bbgardens.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Ain’t Misbehavin’ ASF January 28 - February 13, various times Ain’t Misbehavin’ will be on stage at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, January 28 - February 13. Join five performers on a journey through the timeless music of Thomas “Fats” Waller, as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s comes to life. For more information call 334.271.5353 or visit asf.net

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Blue Man Group MPAC Renaissance, Downtown Montgomery Tuesday, February 16th, 7-10 pm Blue Man Group will be live at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM. Come experience the Phenomenon. Blue Man group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages and cultures. This unique experience is a form of entertainment like nothing else; guaranteed to be an outing you will never forget. For more info visit mpaconline.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Jethro Tull MPAC Renaissance, Downtown Montgomery Friday, April 15th, 8:00 pm Ian Anderson, known throughout the world of rock music as the flute and voice behind the legendary Jethro Tull, celebrates his 46th year as an international recording and performing musician in 2014. After a lengthy career, Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull have released 30 studio and live albums, selling more than 60 million copies since the band first performed at London’s famous Marquee Club in February 1968. For more info visit mpaconline.org

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How to Be a Better Grandparent As grandparents we all want to make the most of the precious family time we get to spend with our grandchildren. You can create deep, loving relationships with your grandchildren by sharing the things you love and by learning about what excites them. Whether you’re a full-time grandparent, a step-grandparent, or a long distance grandparent living thousands of miles away, you can find new ways to strengthen family ties and provide your grandchildren with joyful memories and valuable life lessons. What’s so grand about being a grandparent? In no particular order, grandparenting is an opportunity to play, to love someone new, to appreciate the magic of a developing mind, and to be needed by someone again. Grandparents can: • Share the things they’re passionate about with a new audience. • See the world in a new way through younger eyes. • Experience games, music, nature, reading, and other interests in conjunction with a curious young mind. • Provide expanded support and encouragement to their grandchildren. • Use their breadth of experience to avoid the pitfalls they may have encountered as parents the first time around. • Watch children develop through all stages of growth. • Learn about their grandkids’ music and passions. • Provide input that parents cannot. Usually, grandparents have the benefit of interacting on a level that is once removed from the day-to-day responsibilities of parents. This can make it easier to develop a close bond with grandchildren. From near or far, grandparenting can provide continuity in a child’s life. Grandparents are often the family historians, and can add a rich sense of family tradition to

• Enforce any agreed upon punishment for bad behavior, whether it’s a “time out” or loss of privileges, for example. • Baby proof your home, to ensure safety for infants and toddlers. It may have been a number of years since you had young children in your home, so it’s important to check with your grandchild’s parents about ways to baby proof your home to ensure they’re comfortable leaving the child with you.

a child’s life. Additionally, contact with grandparents can teach children positive attitudes towards aging and help them develop skills to enhance their own lifelong learning. Of course, not everything about being a grandparent is great all of the time. Becoming a grandparent at a young age can make some people feel prematurely old and, just as parents do, grandparents sometimes have to deal with colicky babies and moody teenagers. For most though, the benefits of being a grandparent far outweigh the drawbacks. The role of a grandparent in a child’s life. There are as many different roles for grandparents as there are different family configurations and needs. Some grandparenting requires a full-time commitment. For others, grandparenting is a weekend together, an afternoon play date, a summer vacation, a chat on the phone, or an email exchange every now and then. A good first step to a long and successful relationship with your grandchild is to establish some ground rules with your son or daughter: • Be clear about what role you want to have in your grandchild’s life. How often you want to babysit, for example, or whether you’d like to be included in events such as school functions. • Talk with parents about their rules. Consistency is important for kids, so know the behavior limits your grandchild has to follow at home and maintain the rules when he or she is with you.

Common grandparenting pitfalls to avoid Whatever your specific circumstances, by expressing love, showing concern for your grandchild’s safety and wellbeing, and being consistent in your behavior, you are already doing a good job of grandparenting. To avoid potential conflict within your family, try to avoid these common grandparenting pitfalls: • Trying to be the parent. As much as you might want to tell your children how to raise your grandkids, it’s not your role. Respect the parenting decisions your children make for your grandkids. • Buying your grandkids’ affection. It’s tempting for grandparents to shower their grandkids with gifts, but check with the child’s parents before you buy more toys. Maybe substitute some of your gift giving with activities instead. Do something with your grandchild that you both love and will build memories. • Overindulging the first few grandchildren and then not being able to repeat it as additional grandchildren come along. This can cause resentment from your own children who have kids later in life. Remember that whatever you do for your first grandchild (college fund, beach vacations, trips to the zoo) will set a precedent that you’ll need to repeat for every other grandchild. • Ignoring boundaries. A grandparent who won’t enforce limits and gives in to their grandchild’s every whim can infuriate parents. By allowing your grandkids to misbehave, overindulge in candy and junk food, or ignore bedtimes, for example, you’re only encouraging unhealthy behavior and making their parents’ job even harder. Source helpguide.org

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# DROP10

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BOOM! January 2016  

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