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October 2015

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



4 BOOM! September 2015

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

It’s not just your joints that are suffering.

It’s your life.

Introducing the Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South. Is joint pain making you miss out on life? It’s time to stop hurting and start living. The new Joint Center of Alabama at Baptist South offers joint replacement surgery, recovery and rehab all in one convenient

Joint Center of Alabama


location. And our specialized doctors and surgeons know how to get you back to living. So call us today to schedule a visit. (334) 273.4444

Bring the pain. 5

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


October 2015

“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 3

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 8 Publisher’s Letter 10 Exercise...The Happy Drug! Leigh Anne Richards 11 Riverwalk Wine Festival WIN TICKETS! 12 “A Toast to You!” with Brandt McDonald 15 Tavern Fest page 45

16 The Walk to End Alzheimer’s


18 BOOM! Cover Profile

30 How’s SS Calculated? 32 Declutter Your Life 34 The Personalized Un-Cruise

22 Breast Cancer Awareness

Departments 14 This and That

26 Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla: Pasta

Understand the math behind Social Security...kinda.

Now You’re “In the Know”

the perfect time to shed those behaviors, habits...

Un-Cruise tells you what they aren’t.

44 {12} Things

Solutions for Bored Boomers

38 Greg Budell

24 Beauty Buzz Super at 70

27 What Does Tannin Contribute to a Wine?


28 When a Loved One Enters a Nursing Home? Ask an Elder Law Attorney



31 BOOM! Ad Rates 33 MANE’s: Raise the Roof Seafood Celebration page 38 page 22

37 Remembering Barbara Gallagher 41 Ask Nancy: Protecting your parents from phone scammers 46 Why Grandparents are VIP’s

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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.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



Publisher’s Letter

My Breast Cancer Story Many of you have one. Mine began with my late wife, Marty. Each year during October I share my Breast Cancer Story with our readers. Everyone who has experienced Breast Cancer knows the bond we all share yet everyone’s story is unique. I consider my experience a blessing.

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.

Breast Cancer’s Blessing Could life be any better? My wife and I were truly enjoying the fruits of our labor. We were business partners, she was the boss and I was her advisor. We had been publishing Montgomery Parents for eight years, and serving our community Jim Watson, Publisher with something we thought was worth doing. We were “empty nesters”, and our schedules allowed for travel and plenty of time to love on the grandkids. Through our effort we had discovered the joy of “made for each other”, because both of us brought something to our marriage and business relationship the other didn’t have. We became a complete work of love. After a 40 year relationship stemming from a 9th grade history class encounter, Marty and I had discovered the “sweet spot” of happiness and we were enjoying the blessing of God’s design. And then we weren’t.


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Tracy Bhalla Susan V. Bosak Greg Budell

In April of 2003, our lives changed. Marty and I were sitting in our living room as our family doctor told Marty she had metastatic breast cancer. We were paralyzed by the thought. It’s as if our brains were frozen. It was a Friday afternoon so we would have to spend the weekend with this intruder; we were being held hostage by breast cancer until Monday’s appointment with the oncologist. We both struggled to understand the why. I researched breast cancer and learned too much while Marty began sharing with family and friends the “news” no one wanted to hear. As an optimist I was going to get to the bottom of this problem and find a solution. Marty, who had a deep faith, knew the solution was with God. Of course, we both would press and probe our doctors for answers and hope and got some of both. But in the end, our journey with breast cancer led to God and the peace that only He can provide. Breast cancer changed our lives, but God was the director.

Patricia Corrigan Brandt McDonald Mark Miller Jo Ann Paddock Peggy Perdue Wallene Prudames Leigh Anne Richards Nancy Stein Raley L. Wiggins Kathy Witt

Cover Photography Kim Bethea Total Image Portraits 334.261.2080

I became a caregiver, and like many men, was pretty unfamiliar with the job description. But when your wife has breast cancer and every day together is truly precious, you ask a lot of dumb questions and you get smart quick. I’m not talking medical stuff, I’m talking laundry and cooking and pill organizing and, most importantly, serving. Marty lived 30 months after her diagnosis and I wouldn’t trade one moment of serving her for anything in this world. The blessing of serving is hard to realize and appreciate because we all want for ourselves. Our nature is to be selfish. But when you serve someone you forget about your needs and value someone else’s. I learned that from Marty. She was a selfless, caring person and when I took on that role in our lives it was an abundant blessing. Marty showed me where to find hope and how to never lose it. Our hope was and is in God. God’s blessings aren’t about being in the best place of your life, they’re about being in the best place with Him.


Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Our Cover Profile this month is a Breast Cancer Survivor and she also has a unique story to share. Her name is Jo Ann Paddock and she has been around the block a time or two and like most of us, her uniqueness comes from her life’s experiences, I hope you enjoy getting to know her. There’s plenty more to this month’s issue and I hope you’ll sit back grab your favorite beverage and enjoy the best reading experience for the 50+ community in the River Region. Please share BOOM! with your friends and your comments with me. I’d love to hear from you. Remember, you can read and share the Digital & Interactive BOOM! online at Thanks for being part of our BOOM! Community.

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text


October 2015

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



Exercise...The Happy Drug! Every Wednesday morning I teach a class called Muscle Mix that just makes us all feel so much better. You leave the class feeling powerful, strong, and ready to face the day. After the class we usually gather in the locker room to “chat” and we end up in some very deep conversations. We call this our locker room therapy time. Boo Archer, certified Life Coach is our fearless leader and facilitator. We tend to open up and share our thoughts in that locker room. When we leave there we always say how much better we feel. After thinking about all this, I asked Boo if she would write a column with me for our BOOM! magazine. We came up with how exercise makes us feel happy and it is truly a natural drug that helps our mood. She shares some great thoughts in the text below. Enjoy the read from her heart!

walking miles alone around my college campus then, or today, in the company of beloved friends at Metro Fitness, exercise has never let me down, or let me stay down for long. You know, getting older is NOT for sissies. The aging process, the constant adjustment to one’s own limitations and

Fitness over Fifty by Leigh Anne Richards

One thing is for sure; I never, ever leave the gym in a bad mood...this got me to thinking. Exercise really IS the best medicine, not only for a healthy heart, but a HAPPY one. By the time we have reached a certain age, I think we have all felt the pull of depression, anxiety, overwhelm, or just a general malaise in our lifetimes. For me personally, I became depressed for a season in college, and looking back that is also the same time I started walking for exercise. I really did not feel like being around people, and I could not escape the constant commotion of the dorm floor. My escape was walking. I walked miles and miles around the circumference of the Clemson campus. It healed me, during that difficult time, I am completely convinced. There were days I wanted to just build a tent in my bed and live there, but I knew, and my body instinctively told me, that I needed to “Move it to lose it”. That “IT” was my depression.

expectations can be difficult, depressing and frustrating. But, what I know is this... There is ALWAYS SOMETHING you can do to move. Movement, for as few as ten minutes at a time has been shown to lift ones spirits! After twenty minutes, the body begins to secrete delightful hormones called “endorphins”, which, in conjunction with neurotransmitters and endocannabinoids, give one a relaxed, calm, yet energized feeling. If you sweat quite a bit (I certainly do), you will be pleased to know that the increase in body temperature triggers a calming effect, as well, much like a warm bath. When one is anxious, the body, in response to the amygdala, sends that “flight or fight” message throughout the system. Under a state of consistent duress, the immune system becomes compromised.

Life can be wonderful, but it can also present many challenges. I have endured my share and I can attest to the fact that exercise has always been there for me like a faithful friend, calling me out of my hole into the light, keeping its promise of healing to me every time. Whether I was

This is where exercise, once again serving its medicinal role, reduces the chemicals that can lead a stressed out person into a state of full blown depression. A person dealing with anxiety and depression almost always experiences changes in their sleep pattern as well. An overall lack of

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October 2015

sleep, or interrupted sleep patterns leaves no one in a chipper mood, I can attest to that! Exercise, however, is natures greatest sleep aid, provided it is not done too close to bedtime. Nothing helps prepare one’s mind and body for a good night’s rest like a morning or mid-day workout. How much exercise are we talking here? Well, I’m pretty certain that ANYTHING would be a lot more than many Boomers are doing now. How about this? Do SOMETHING... Much research has shown that just thirty minutes of moderate activity 3 times a week is plenty to lift ones spirits. If that seems like too much, try ten minutes a day. Find an activity you like-One that you ENJOY. The last thing one needs when they are depressed is to engage in something they don’t even like! I know that walking is powerful. And it doesn’t even have to be power walking! I stroll in the sunshine up to the park with my dog, and some days, it is all I can do. But I still feel better!! In fact, my “goal” some days IS just to FEEL BETTER. Whatever it takes to get me there is fine by me. Some days it requires more effort than others- A longer workout, a different class at the gym, or a new routine. Listen to your heart. It IS going to be a challenge to get moving if you are struggling emotionally. I’m not going to lie. But if you can just get yourself “there”, you will always feel relief...Just the act of taking time to participate in an activity on behalf of yourself is enough to give you a sense of accomplishment. On days where I get nothing done but take the time out to work out, I STILL ALWAYS FEEL GOOD. I’m happy. It is that ONE THING that I know will keep my spirits up as the years go by. Life is hard. But exercise is GOOD!!Be happy, Boomers!!! Guest Columnist Boo Archer, Certified Life Coach 334-451-0225 Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General ManagerMetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



“A Toast to You!” Two weeks ago I lost one of my favorite clients to a rare lung disease. This person was the picture of health – tall, slender, avid golfer, world traveler. He and his wife were best friends. Towards the end of his life, his wife wrote him the most poignant, heart-felt letter. She shared it with me and I can tell you that it’s hard to read such a personal note without tearing up. You see, they were married for over forty years and never had children. It was just the two of them on life’s journey together – hand in hand as best friends. They did everything together. They played renowned golf courses in Myrtle Beach, Austin, San Antonio, San Diego, Hawaii, Scotland, and even Pebble Beach!! They travelled on multiple beach and lake trips, visited the ancient sites of Israel, and toured the famous historical and cultural sites in Venice, Florence and Rome. They took in the views of France at multiple outdoor bistros with views of the Seine in Paris, the yachts in Nice, and the harbor in northern France. Recently, they celebrated their 40th anniversary in London. Sitting at a sidewalk table in the theater district, they proudly proclaimed their ongoing love for one another saying that “getting married was the best decision” they ever made. Put simply, they loved, laughed, and lived life to its fullest – together!! What a story book marriage and an incredible testimony to all of us!

clearly defined roles and responsibilities that you each hold the other accountable for. Trust includes mutual respect for one another – knowing that you represent each other in public and in private. I have learned that trust is the most important ingredient in a partnership – financially, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. 2. Plan – they developed a plan and committed to it. Establishing a clear, written, and sustainable longwith term financial plan Brandt McDonald that is designed to achieve agreed upon goals and objectives over a lifetime. Create a “life plan” first and then create smaller plans – financial, health, and family plans that ALL support your life plan.

Financial Thoughts

3. Discipline – they didn’t fall into the trap of emotional and reckless spending. Following a plan requires extraordinary discipline. Any deviation from the plan must only be in the event of an unforeseen emergency. Plan your work and work the plan!

Interestingly, it was the wife who handled all of the finances. Being their advisor was not only easy because of their great personalities but more importantly because of their willingness to sacrifice and plan financially for the future. They both worked and saved all of their lives. In my opinion, there are some key points that led to their success. And, it’s only appropriate that I share them with you. Hopefully, we can all achieve our goals in life just like they did.

4. Celebration – Once retired, they made a decision to actually spend their money on their hopes and dreams. They didn’t sit around and waste time. Too often I see clients go through an entire lifetime of saving and planning and then never enjoy the fruits of their labor. When you hit your goals, celebrate life and start investing in memorable experiences. One of my favorite times as an advisor is during the annual client review. This is the time where we help our clients set budgets for the next year. We always have a category for travel, holidays, or just plain old silly money for fun times.

1. Trust – they learned to trust one another at an early age. A true partnership means that you can look in each other’s eyes and “know” that you have each other’s back. It means that you each know the special gifts that you bring to the relationship and you both have

At the end of her letter, she tells her husband that “loving you has been easier than anything I’ll ever do again.” WOW!! What a powerful statement. There’s no question in my mind that I believe in true love or unconditional love, but I’m convinced that her statement is the

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culmination of perfect execution of the four points I described above. So, I give a tip of the hat to this wonderful couple for the life you two lived to its fullest. And, I publicly thank you for the honor of having you as my clients, my friends, and yes my teacher! As we move into the fourth quarter, I encourage you to begin the process of thinking about 2016. By the time the holidays arrive in 6 weeks or so, it will be incredibly difficult to concentrate on financial planning. So use the month of October to start rounding up financial documents – retirement account statements, brokerage statements, insurance documents, etc… Make plans to get with a financial planner or a wealth management team before the month is out so that you can get a running start towards the end of the year. That way, you should be on solid footing by January 1, 2016, with a well thought out plan of your own. That day of retirement is fast approaching. I like to think of the word TOAST! When that day comes, you will either realize that you are toast! Or, you will be making a toast! Please consider McDonald, Barranco, and Hagen and our team of professionals to help you get started. It is our goal to help you achieve financial success and toast you for a job well done. As I always say, until next time, remember to never run with the herd, always be thankful, and look to the future with anticipation of what’s yet to come. Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald, Barranco & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager Direct comments and questions to or 334.387.0094 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.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015




This & tHAT

The Cloverdale Playhouse Presents Dial M For Murder Director Fiona Macleod brings Frederick Knott’s chilling tale of betrayal and deception to life on the Playhouse stage. Tony married Margot for her money, and now he’s ready to do anything to get the rest of her wealth from her. Performance dates: Oct 22 - 25 and Oct 29 - Nov 1. Th/Fri/Sat shows at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm. General admission $18. For more info and tickets visit or call 334.262.1530.

Wynonna & The Big Noise Christmas Coming to the Montgomery Performing Arts Center, Sunday, December 6th, at 7pm, Wynonna Judd! Wynonna ‘s career has always revolved around telling stories. Whether she’s using her rich, commanding voice to sing one of her countless hits or sitting down for a bold, sincere television appearance, Wynonna always gets her point across with unflinching honesty and wisdom gained over the course of her very public life. In short this five-time GRAMMY winner and New York Times bestselling author, is not one to shy away from speaking her mind. This has made her ventures in the world of literature and television so intriguing. For more info visit

Montgomery Lions Club Chili Cookoff

Snoopy is 65!

This years Chili Cookoff will take place on saturday, October 10th at the Riverwalk Stadium between 11am-1pm. Reserve your spot today by filing out a registration form below! Get your business in front of the public eye and win their hearts with your best chili recipe. All team sponsorship proceeds go toward Montgomery Lions Club charities. This is the event the whole River Region looks forward to every year! Attendance grows every time, and this year will be no exception. And don’t worry about competing with the restaurant pros. We have amateur and restaurant categories to level the playing field. Get your team and call 334.356.1180 or email For more information visit

Born October 4, 1950

FREE Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop October 21st Wednesday, October 21: 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

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BOOMERS, share your stuff with BOOM! We Love to Bring BOOMERS Together, send info and pics to

Tavern Fest

AUM Chancellor Announces Retirement

Friday October 9th, head to Historic North Hull Street to celebrate history with live music, brews and food at our annual Tavern Fest! A silent auction will be held featuring new work by Clark Walker and a number of local items such as event tickets and gift certificates. All proceeds benefit Landmarks Foundation, helping us educate school children with trips to Old Alabama Town, preserve local history and celebrate our state! Tickets are $15 in advance and are available at, over the phone at 240.4500, and at the Old Alabama Town Museum Store. $15 in advance, $20 at gate, for more info visit

Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor John G. Veres III announced his plans to retire near the end of the current academic year. “John has been a dedicated leader at Auburn Montgomery and a valued member of the greater Auburn family,” said Auburn University President Jay Gogue. Under Veres’ leadership, the university has undertaken the development and implementation of several major strategic initiatives to grow AUM and its recognition as a provider of quality higher education and continuing education, as well as services for local and state businesses and government.

50 Shades of Grey - Senior Version After nearly 40 years of marriage, Marty was lying in bed one evening, when his wife felt Marty begin to massage her in ways he hadn’t in quite some time. It almost tickled as his fingers started at her neck, and then began moving down past the small of her back. He then caressed her shoulders and neck, slowly worked his hand down, stopping just over her stomach. He then proceeded to place his hand on her left inner arm, working down her side, passing gently over her buttock and down her leg to her calf. Then, he proceeded up her thigh, stopping just at the uppermost portion of her leg. He continued in the same manner on her right side, then suddenly stopped, rolled over and became silent. As she had become quite aroused by this caressing, she asked in a loving voice, “Honey, that was wonderful. Why did you stop?” To which he responded, “I found the remote.”

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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October 2015



This & tHAT



The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, October 31 @ AUM The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

and staff support to help each participant reach their fundraising goal.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s unites the entire community, more than 450,000 participants that include family, friends, co-workers, social and religious groups and more -in a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against this devastating disease. While there is no fee to register, each participant is expected to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness. The Alzheimer’s Association provides free, easy-to-use tools

When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission-related initiatives of care, support and research. In addition, your actions, both through fundraising and participating in the event, help to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community. Take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s by joining this year’s Montgomery Walk on October 31st starting at 8:30. Register online at or contact Aimee Johnson at 205.340.6129 or

Free Tribute Concert set for October 30...Coolers & Chairs Welcome! In what has become a fall tradition, Spike Graham and Friends will perform a free ARMS Tribute Concert - “The Road to Chicago” on Friday, October 30. Bring your friends, your family, your coolers and your chairs for this annual crowd-pleaser at Old Alabama Town’s Kiwanis Park. As far as the evolution of Chicago Blues music, it came with the great migration in the early 20th century during a time when African American workers in the south were moving north to get jobs. The vocals are usually very soulful and talk of troubles in life from romance to the traveling lifestyle and everything in between. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion. Our tribute concert celebrates musicians that are famous for their music in the Chicago style of blues. These artists include Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and many, many more. For more info visit

2015 Nativity Participation 10th Annual Interfaith Nativity Exhibit. Be a part of this great event by loaning your nativity for the exhibit. Each year over 400 nativities are loaned and displayed in beautifully artistic ways. For more information visit Nativity Check In: 3460 Carter Hill Road, Montgomery, AL 36111, Saturday, November 21, from 10 am to 4 pm and Monday, November 23, from 10 am to 6 pm.

Angel Fest Offers Best Boston Butts & More! St. Michael and All Angels, 5941 Main Street, Millbrook, Alabama will be sponsoring their annual Angel Fest on Saturday, October 17th from 9 am - 2 pm. Angel Fest is a combination of bake sales, silent auction, concessions, childrens’ carnival, entertainment, and lots of vendors selling unique wares...and last, but not least is the sale of the Best Boston Butts in the River Region! Proceeds from Angel Fest go to outreach projects for Miillbrook and western Elmore County. For vendor information or to pre-order Boston butts call the church office at (334) 285-3905 or visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Landmarks Foundation Fall 2015 Walking Tours Saturday, October 3rd, 9 am: Oakwood Cemetery, Western Ridge Michael Panhorst, an expert on stone, iron and cemetery monuments, will join Mary Ann Neeley as we trek through Montgomery’s past with some of its very earliest occupants! Parking inside main gates of Oakwood. Saturday, October 17th, 9 am: Oakwood Cemetery, Western Ridge Montgomery’s oldest, documented burials are in the Western area with some identified and others still to wonder about. Join Mary Ann Neeley as she begins her 35th year exploring the cemetery—she is still finding “new” and intriguing sites! Parking inside main gates of Oakwood. Sunday, November 8th, 2 pm: Oakwood Cemetery, Eastern Ridge Join Jeff Benton as he launches the first tour of the Eastern Ridge. You will visit graves of Civil War heroes, a Union burial plot, the Jewish Eternal Rest area, the graves of Hank and Audrey Williams, and many more! Meet at the Hank Williams site, which is well marked from Lower Wetumpka Road (easternmost gate). Sunday, November 15th, 2 pm: A Perry Street Trek from St. John’s Episcopal to I-85 Robert Gamble and Mary Ann Neeley will lead the way from St. John’s Episcopal Church along historic Perry St. toward the I-85 bridge. Referred to in the 1850s as the “Fifth Avenue of Montgomery,” Perry Street’s houses date from the 1820s and include cottages, Greek Revival mansions and turn of the 20th Century revivals. Tour begins at St. Johns at the corner of Perry St. and Madison Ave. $10 tour admission, free to Landmarks Foundation Members. Please call 240-4517 or 240-4500 for more information and to reserve a spot! Also visit

Hospice of Montgomery to Host Grief Support Group Hospice of Montgomery (HOM) will be hosting a Grief Support Group in October from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The group will meet at Hospice of Montgomery’s office located at 1111 Holloway Park in Montgomery, Thursdays October 8th-29th. The Grief Support Group is open to the community. For more information contact Hospice of Montgomery at 334-279-6677 or visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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October 2015




Jo Ann Paddock, A Survivor This month’s BOOM! Cover Profile is Jo Ann Paddock. Jo Ann has a passion for life, a life that includes presidents, governors (politics for sure), giving away her time and money for things much bigger than herself, and a business savvy she continues to hone daily. Jo Ann is also a cancer fighter and survivor. She was diagnosed with stage 5 breast cancer in 2009. It’s a special privilege to share some of Jo Ann’s journey with our readers, we hope you enjoy getting to know Jo Ann as much as we have.

get out of their cars to close them. So, I suggested to our neighbors, would they like for me to close the garage door after they left for work and then to open them ten minutes before they arrived home? We struck a deal and it paid really well, five cents a week. I subcontracted this job to Kay, my older sister, on Saturday afternoons Jo Ann with her Little People Paddy and Collier and expanded my business by shopping for these a sentence of five words, four were BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, same customers. Picking up items profane. My parents were very good i.e. where you’re from, education, what for them from the butcher, the baker examples because they worked hard, brought you to the Montgomery area, and candlestick maker, there were no were good Catholics and were devoted did you raise your family here, schools, supermarkets in those days, just little to each other and to us. My brothers married, family, etc? mom and pop shops. Over time my and sisters have all remained very close business grew into many other areas, and we love each other very much. Jo Ann: I was born in Pittsburgh, while I attended and graduated from Pennsylvania, home of the Pittsburgh Saint Francis Academy, a private Catholic My parents Steelers and the Pirates. prep school for girls. called me Bizz, Catherine and Harry as I was always Rourke, my mother My first real career position was moving. When and father were a hard receptionist to the Manager of the I was in the working Roman Catholic William Penn Hotel, a 1600 room luxury first grade, I couple. They had eight hotel in Pittsburgh. It was great exposure answered the children, six girls and meeting many celebrities including telephone for two boys, their names Liberace and my next employer...US Steel my father’s in birth order are; Mary Corporation in Pittsburgh. This was a business, taking Lou, Harry, Kay, me, dream come true, moving up through messages and Marion, Pat, Gemma the ranks, I was promoted to the position comforting his and Leo. My father was of Administrative Assistant to one of the customers, while a plastering contractor Vice Presidents which involved traveling looking for ways and we helped him on Jo Ann’s parents Catherine and Harry Rourke and speech writing among other new to earn my own Saturday mornings. He and challenging duties. While at US money. Unlike families of today, we did would wake us up yelling, “Get up, the Steel I met a widower, named Austin J. not get an allowance and we worked at days half over, we have work to do”, Paddock, who was the Administrative home for free. when it was actually five o’clock in the Vice President of US Steel. His nickname morning. He called my mother WOMAN, was Paddy and he had three teenage I noticed one morning that our neighbors never by her name. We kids thought children. We became close friends and had to open their garage doors and then that was her name. If my father spoke

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

eventually married in 1965, and have a daughter named Jennifer.

The first thing we did was arrange for Dr. Howard C. Snider, Jr., a very skilled surgeon who focuses his practice to breast cancer patients, to perform a mastectomy and lumpectomy on me in January 2010. In my opinion, he saved my life. Dr. Patrick J. Bundy successfully performed my reconstruction. After surgery, came chemotherapy, three times a week for six months. We are so blessed to have a first class facility like the Montgomery Cancer Center in the River Region. They have a marvelous staff with caring doctors and nurses. My prognosis was to live less than a year and that was over five years ago.

her name is Annie Moss. I truly do not know what I would have done without her. Every day of these last five years has been such a blessing to me and I thank God for Annie and others who have helped me through the challenges of living with cancer.

When Paddy retired from U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, Red Blount asked him to manage Blount Brothers Construction BOOM!: As we get older, we are Company in reminded of our legacy for family and Montgomery community, how do you think of your because Red had legacy? accepted the appointment Jo Ann: Haven’t thought much about as Postmaster legacy, other than, when I see a need, General in I try to help, like the donation of two the Nixon classrooms in building Holy Spirit Administration. Catholic We moved to School in Montgomery honor of my and Red went Little People to Washington and also to D.C. We liked Holy Spirit Montgomery, it Catholic was a wonderful Church, in Daughter, Jennifer and Granddaughter, place to raise our honor of my Paddy demonstrating a yoga exercise daughter, Jennifer. parents. I One of my She graduated from Montgomery make annual goals is to share my story, Academy, Vanderbilt, MBA from Georgia contributions encouraging others to have and opened a very successful yoga studio to many their mammograms, trust in Atlanta. organization in God, don’t stress and if to help fund you are told you have this Paddy died thirteen years ago, I stayed their budgets. terrible disease, listen to here in Montgomery because my home I am an the doctors. There have and my friends are here. investor and been many challenges feel this is an over the last five years BOOM!: We know you investment winning the Jo Ann and her late husband, Paddy are a cancer survivor, in the City battle with could you share your of Montgomery, paying forward for the breast cancer; now my cancer story with our next generation. battle continues with readers? What are inoperable lung and some of the challenges BOOM!: What has your experience as a bone cancer. I asked my you’ve had to endure? grandmother been like? What do your wonderful oncologist, Dr. grandkids call you? Harry M. Barnes III, how Jo Ann: On December long he thought I would 9, 2009, after missing Jo Ann: My precious grandchildren, live because I wanted to mammograms for Paddy is twelve years old and Collier is know how fast to spend my three years, my ten, they call me Honey and I call them money? He laughed saying, radiologist informed my Little People. They are my life. Being “Don’t spend it too fast.” me of my stage five a grandmother is so exciting and special. This was good news and breast cancer and I thank God every day for the blessing encouraging. that I needed to do of my wonderful doctors, their excellent Jo Ann’s dear friend Annie Moss something about staff and the Cancer Center for giving me There’s someone else who it right now! I was shocked, because five years to watch and enjoy my Little has been by my side and taken such there was no cancer in my large family. People find their way. good care of me through all of this and

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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October 2015



BOOM!: What are you most passionate about?

to Kenya in 1984. We also traveled extensively in the United States and abroad sometimes for fun, many times for business. Now I limit myself to

Jo Ann: My faith in God, my precious daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, my extended family and friends. I enjoy and love interacting with them. I find them to be like a ray of sunshine, especially on my darkest days.

Jo Ann (right), African Safari in Kenya

cruises and The Villages in Florida. We are planning a cruise with family in the near future, which should be a lots of fun. BOOM!: You have been involved in the Montgomery Community for many years. You have served on various boards and have given much to the quality of life in the River Region. What have been some of your most meaningful experiences in serving Montgomery? How would you encourage other folks to get involved?

I also like to write and some days I write letters to the editor of the Wall Street Journal or USA Today or The Montgomery Advertiser...some have even been published! A few years ago I Jo Ann: When I was taking classes at entered an essay competition sponsored Huntingdon College, Jennifer attended by the Alabama Arts Council. The kindergarten at Montgomery Academy. subject of my essay was one of the most I was concerned they didn’t offer a painful events of my life. Even though I foreign language at the Academy. So I won second place it was a very difficult started Kinder College at Huntingdon subject to share. It College and three days was about my younger a week three teachers sister, Marion, who was taught ten kindergarten killed by a car while students French, Music, crossing the street at and Drama. Huntingdon lunchtime. My sister, College gave me the Pat, witnessed the space, the art department brutal death of our students painted murals nine year old sister, our on the walls and I funded family was devastated the program. In 1979, and my father grieved Jennifer was a member of her death for the rest of Pittsburg Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger the First Graduating Class. his life. The Montgomery Academy and his biggest fan, Jo Ann added foreign language to BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any their curriculum the following year. travel dreams planned for the future? I also suggested instituting a program where Huntingdon College would give Jo Ann: My favorite vacation spot was credit for documented work experience. when Paddy took me on an African Safari They did and today this has become a

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In 1984, I found a business opportunity and put together a group of investors to obtain the first cellular phone service in Montgomery. The phone was about the size of a brick and a very profitable investment for the group. Our group worked very well together and we have remained friends through the years. At present my focus is defeating cancer for me and others. I am now serving on the American Cancer Society Board in Montgomery, helping them raise funds for research to find the cure.

BOOM!: How do you like to relax? Jo Ann: Following the stock market, Warren Buffett says, “Buy good stocks and forget about them” and that is what I do. I try to read the Montgomery Advertiser, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine to stay current on what is happening in the world. I also like to go out for lunch or dinner and visit with friends. Getting out and about like that is fun because I don’t cook...the only reason I have a kitchen is it came with house!

common practice with most universities.

BOOM!: It has been said that “you never back down from a fight”, what makes you so tough? How would you advise others to win for their causes? Jo Ann: Stepping up isn’t always popular, however very necessary. If I believe passionately about something, I will pursue it because it often impacts, not just me, but many other people. I wrote the following a few years ago and I feel it is true today. “There is little concern about boredom. A project never closes completely, it always leads to something exciting. A silent voice calls, an invisible hand beckons and a new dawn brings new opportunities often disguised as problems, opportunities that ride on waves of unknown risks. Some will succeed, others will fail, but I would rather fail in a cause that will eventually succeed, than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail. What surprise awaits my tomorrow?” BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region that you like? Jo Ann: Everything. I like living in Montgomery because it offers many of the amenities of larger cities such as The Montgomery Symphony, The Shakespeare Festival, The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, excellent medical care and a variety of very good restaurants. Earlier this year, I and some friends attended the awards presentation given The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

by the State Arts Council of Alabama at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival As I sat there watching these amazing performances and the welcoming speech given by Al Head, the Executive Director, I recognized the importance of the arts as an influence on Montgomery’s quality of life. Just another reason I like living here. BOOM!: How would you describe your interest in politics?

to serve on the Republican Executive Committee for many years. BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Jo Ann: Enthusiastic, thoughtful and philanthropic. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Jo Ann: I’m very interested in business, politics and still write letters to editors and volunteer. Michael Respess has introduced me to the Estate Sale, this is my newest hobby.

Jo Ann: I love politics and NEVER miss an opportunity to vote. Artist, Clark Walker and Jo Ann at Sinclair’s after the If you don’t vote you opening of Clark’s show at the Museum of Fine Arts don’t have the right to complain. I work hard to help elect Republicans, most recently Mayor Todd BOOM!: Many of us lose a spouse as we Strange, in my opinion, he has done a age. You have been a widow for 13 years, great job for our city. what has this experience been like for you? When I first arrived in Montgomery, I served on the Republican Executive Jo Ann: Lonely, very lonely. Committee. During those years, I was Unfortunately, it is a couple’s world, invited by the governor to help welcome especially in the South. Often, when President George Herbert Walker Bush your spouse dies you are no longer to Montgomery. He came to thank included in the social activities. Over the troops at Maxwell for their service the last five years, I have thought about in Desert Storm. It was my pleasure my life with Paddy and how he helped

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

me during my pregnancy with Jennifer and I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. In the middle of the night, fighting this terrible disease alone, without Paddy, God is challenging me to my fullest. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives and many older folks are reluctant to embrace it…how’s your relationship with technology? Jo Ann: I love the new technology. I use email and other forms of today’s technology but I’m most fascinated, by how very Tech-savvy my Little People are. As I look back on my life, even the basic garage door opener technology of today would have made me unemployed years ago when I was in the first grade earning money for shutting my neighbor’s garage doors when they went to work and before they came home...we have come a long way!

We want to thank Jo Ann for sharing her story with us this month. As always, thanks to Kim Bethea from Total Image Portraits for her professional cover photo of Jo Ann, she made her look as sassy as she is! If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to

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October 2015



Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Saturday October 31st, Riverwalk Amphitheater LEAD A TEAM + VOLUNTEER + GIVE The journey to end breast cancer starts with a single step. Take that step with the Montgomery Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Just a few hours of your time will help bring a lifetime of change for people facing breast cancer and their families. Plan your teams now and get ready to make a difference in the lives of friends and family. Passion drives us to walk in and raise money for Making Strides. Passion for those we wish we could have back in our life, for those battling the disease, and for a world without breast cancer. This year’s walk is Saturday, October 31st, at Riverwalk Amphitheater, Downtown Montgomery. Registration, 7:30 am, Program and Walk begins at 9:00 am. For more info contact Lucy Sims at or 334.301.2304 or visit


A serenity park and butterfly pavilion lovingly dedicated to cancer survivors and their supporters.

Bringing hope to survivors, their family and friends, providing serenity to those searching for peace, and enriching the lives of every visitor who enters the butterfly sanctuary. The Joy To Life Foundation’s Genesis Park is dedicated to those among us fighting to eliminate breast cancer. The park’s name is inspired by the rebirth of hope and new beginnings that are part of rebuilding lives post-cancer. As the only breast cancer butterfly pavilion in the world, we are honored to provide those affected by this disease a serene setting as a quiet space for prayer, meditation, relaxation and reflection. Joy & Dickie BlondheimJ Co-Founders, Joy To Life Foundation

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Beauty Tips for Cancer Patients I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and....I believe in miracles. Audrey Hepburn What a wonderful quote from a beautiful actress many years ago and very apropos for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Attitude is everything! The right skin care and makeup can give chemotherapy patients a beauty and mood boost by giving a glow to their skin. The beauty issues facing women undergoing chemotherapy may seem trivial in the big picture, but they are still a concern. Hair loss during chemotherapy treatments is expected, as well as other effects including loss of eyebrows and lashes, a grayish pallor, and dry skin. Professional beauty tips can help correct these concerns. Beauty tip for dry skin - The perfect thirst quencher for dry skin is hyaluronic acid. This key ingredient keeps skin hydrated with its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

water. Apply it first before moisture; as a serum it will supercharge your moisturizer’s performance. Choose a moisturizer infused with vitamin C to brighten your skin and give it radiance. Beauty tip for grayish pallor - To boost the luster and color of the skin tone, apply a sheer liquid foundation or mineral powder with light reflecting properties that gives a luminous finish in a cool or neutral tone. The color palette for your cheeks and lips should be rose to coral tones (avoid muted tones). Beauty tip for loss of eyebrows Drawing on eyebrows without any hair can be tricky. This is where you may need some professional help with the placement, shape, and color. A sharp brow pencil for shaping the brow and brow powder to add volume to the pencil strokes are your best

By Peggy Perdue

tools. A finishing spray will set the brows in place and help them last. Beauty tip for loss of lashes - Define the lash line with a waterproof pencil in a dark brown or charcoal to accentuate the shape of the eye. Line the eye along the upper lash line and underneath the upper lash line in the waterline. Dot the eyeliner along the lower lash, then smudge. Use rosy brown eye shadows to accent the eye (avoid gray, grey-brown, and purple eye shadows which give a tired look). Using these simple tips, you can put on your feel-better face and keep a positive outlook throughout your treatment. Peggy Perdue, Studio owner, Merle Norman, Shoppes at EastChase

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October 2015



Beauty Buzz From our blog at

Super at 70

assure bone health, balance, coordination, and all around well-being. It is a great way to reverse the aging process! If you can be part of an exercise or walking group, join it! The fellowship alone is well worth it.

If you are in your 70s – let me state you are lucky to be here! In your lifetime some wonderful things have occurred and you took part in them, whether they were good or bad. The most important things in life are now quite obvious to you and with this direction in mind, let me share with you what some of our over-65 clients say about creating a beautiful life. Don’t sit still! Keep moving because if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. It doesn’t have to be hard core exercise – a simple walk every day is good for the body, mind, and spirit. If you can do more than that, please do. Our bodies are meant to keep moving, to exert themselves every now and again. Strength training is an excellent way to

We have great treatments and procedures to make your skin healthier, your wrinkles less noticeable, and make your face look uplifted and refreshed. And when you take advantage of all the information that we offer, you can make up your mind Don’t let your mind sit still about just how aggressive you either! Find activities that keep want to be. We actually offer your mind active. Learning FREE consultations – so call us, something new is a real ageone of our excellent doctors reverser, and what a great will have a session with you to booster answer any for your questions It’s our ego! you may There are have about Celebrate with us and check out our what we do classes around here, plus here for our medical for Halloween! most aesthetician everything will show you you wish how you can to do, so take advantage of have fresh-looking great skin! them! You’ll learn something new and meet new like-minded This is just the beginning! Please people! Perfect for staying call us at 334.270.2003 or email young. us at RiverRegionFacialPlastics@ with YOUR tips and A GREAT plastic surgeon makes tricks for being fabulous over 65. you look and feel younger! No Looking forward to hearing from kidding! There’s a lot to be said you! about the outer you reflecting Wallene Prudames, the inner you, and it is so. You Patient Care Coordinator don’t have to have surgery!

3rd Anniversary FaBOOlous Specials

Please contact us via email at with your questions or comments! 24 BOOM!

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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October 2015



Pasta Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

There are three main “staples” to any diet and primarily it depends upon where you live in the world as to which you became accustomed to, generally as a child. In America, for example, those English, Irish and German traits have been pretty strong and the potato is the main staple. In China it is rice. In Italy it is pasta. Now I will mention, with some pleasure, that the humble potato is by far the superior of the three in terms of nutritional value and number of calories (almost half the calories of both rice and pasta – 77 per 100g, compared to 130 each for rice and pasta). It also gives you: Potassium 421 m. 12%, Dietary fiber 2.2g 8%, Sugar 0.8g, Protein 2 g 4%, Vitamin C 32%, Calcium 1%, Iron 4%, Vitamin B-6 15%, Magnesium 5% (percentages based on recommended daily intake). Of course, these figures are all based on the plain potato, NOT the fried version!! What you do to the potato, or pasta or rice, can greatly affect both the calorie count and the final nutritional values. Having said that I am a huge fan of pasta and could easily have it as my staple, particularly as it usually comes side by side with delicious tear apart bread. No butter though! Just delicious bread dipped in some olive oil. Divine. As with everything, there are a huge variety of pasta options out there, from excellent fresh pasta (from home-made to the packs of Buitoni in the refrigerated section at Publix) to the pretty awful Mueller “American Classic” pasta. First of all, pasta is most definitely Italian and has been since at least the 1100’s and you will always get a far superior pasta if it says “made in Italy” on the box. It’s just like buying French bread or croissants outside of France; they just do not

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compare to the real thing. Different flour, different milk, different eggs… get the picture and if you don’t believe me, do your own taste test. Buy a box of Barilla pasta and a box of Mueller, cook according to the instructions and taste. If you cannot taste the difference, well then I guess for you it doesn’t matter, but if you can, you’ll never go back. Pasta is also one of those foods that people seem to cook incorrectly so often too. Usually overcooking it so it’s soft and squidgy, almost glutinous in some cases. It should be “al dente” that is have a little firmness to the bite, but not too much. If you follow the instructions on the box TO THE LETTER you shouldn’t go far wrong as it is actually quite simple. The most common mistakes, however, are: (a) putting the pasta in the water too soon; it must be boiling when the pasta goes in. I have seen people put the pasta in cold water and then bring it to the boil. No, no, no! It is not a potato! (b) not adding a touch of olive oil to the water; this helps the pasta not stick together, a particular problem with longer pasta. (c) not timing the cooking accurately; if you put the pasta in the water at the correct time (when the water is boiling) all you need to do then is set a timer to the minutes dictated on the box and then take it out immediately when the timer goes off. A quick rinse in cool water removes any starchy residue and halts the cooking process.

Quite simply, pasta is a quick and easy meal, when made properly and can be very nutritious when topped with a simple tomato based sauce and a handful of vegetables. It is high in carbs and low in protein though, so the surge of new “pastas” made from quinoa or lentils or black beans (to name but a few,) are becoming more popular as they do have a higher level of protein. Also, of course, these “pastas” are gluten free, which meets a different dietary need. You can also increase the nutritional value of your pasta by choosing one of the “tri-colored” varieties. Coming in red, green and orange, they are colored using powdered tomato, spinach and butternut squash and therefore can give you another whole portion of vegetables incorporated into your pasta. Both Buitoni and Barilla (two great Italian producers) have vegetable infused pastas, often marketing them towards children, getting them to sneakily eat more vegetables, but it works for everybody and it does make an extremely attractive dish. Tracy Bhalla, Owner/ Manager of Cool Beans Restaurant, 115 Montgomery Street, P: 334.416.8447, or 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, good-for-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, so when Cool Beans became available we jumped at it.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

What Does Tannin Contribute to a Wine?

Tannin: structure, flavor, texture and ageability

Tannin gets talked about a lot, but what exactly is it and what does it contribute to wine? Tannin is a compound that comes from the stems, skins and seeds of grapes. Because red wine is fermented with the grape skins, tannin is much more present in red wines than white wines. The amount of tannin in a wine depends on the type of grape (for example, cabernet sauvignon grapes have much more tannin than pinot noir), the amount of time the wine spends on the skins and seeds, and if oak barrels were used in the winemaking process (the inside of oak barrels can provide a small amount of tannin). The flavor of ripe tannin is a good kind of bitterness, like dark chocolate or espresso, while unripe tannin, which happens when the grapes are picked before they are fully ripe, is unpleasantly bitter. The feeling of tannin is dryness, the same feeling you get when you drink strong black tea or bite into an unripe banana. Tannin plays a big role in wine, not only providing flavor and texture, but also structure and ageability. Structure, a hard-to-define quality that can take a good wine to great, is the underlying “scaffolding” of a wine--it provides a “shape” to the wine and defines how the elements in the wine--alcohol, tannin, acidity and sugar--relate to one another. Tannin also contains elements that help a wine age. Think of the types of wine that famously age for 30 or 40 years--they are most often red wines that were strongly structured and very tannic when young (for example, Bordeaux red wines). Time allows tannins to soften, and tannins allow wine to survive the ravages of time. Now if someone could just bottle tannin in a night cream. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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October 2015



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

3 Things to Do When a Loved One Enters a Nursing Home Sending a loved one to a nursing home for care is never an easy decision. Families often feel guilty because they cannot provide the level of care that their loved one needs at home. During such a difficult time of transition, financial or planning issues may be the last thing on your mind.

Mrs. Smith can protect up to half of their assets for herself. But, if Mrs. Smith dies first, and her will leaves everything to Mr. Smith, the result is that Mr. Smith loses

spending $5,000 on the cost of their care, or pre-paying for an expense that all of us will eventually have.

In addition to the $5,000 in prepaid services, the applicant may Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop actually spend Wednesday, October 21: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 additional funds But the fact is that nursing home for other items or care is expensive—somewhere in pm at the Archibald Senior Center (MACOA) in Montgomery. This merchandise that the range of $6,000 per month— educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins are part of those and financial concerns must be covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living prepaid services as addressed. I hope to give you some wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, well. For example idea of what to do if you are faced bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care they may purchase with this scenario. and Medicaid qualification. Registration is required. a burial plot, headstone, casket, Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register online at 1. See an Elder Law Attorney and a pay for the It is not uncommon for a nursing opening and closing home stay to devastate a family’s of the grave. While finances. Neither your private funeral shopping is probably not anyone’s his Medicaid eligibility, and will have to health insurance plan nor Medicare will idea of a fun way to spend a Sunday spend down the other half of their marital cover the cost of a long-term nursing afternoon, it is absolutely something that assets before he could qualify again. home stay, so many patients must pay should be done while there is money left out of pocket until they run out of money, to do it. If Mrs. Smith had updated her will, she then apply for Medicaid benefits. could have left Mr. Smith only the minimal amount required by law, and passed 4. Do Your Homework The Medicaid qualification rules are the rest on the their children. And, the There is a great deal of misinformation complex. This is one time in your life minimal amount left to Mr. Smith could out there about nursing homes and where a good attorney can save your have been protected in a supplemental Medicaid. You should be very careful family a great deal of money. Look for an needs trust, to be used for paying for about taking advice from your friend at attorney who practices Elder Law. Many things to improve his quality of life. Even the coffee shop or Sunday School. Every of the Elder Law Attorneys in Alabama better, their children could have inherited case is different, and just because a are members of the Elder Law Section of what was left in the trust after his death. planning strategy may have worked for the Alabama State Bar, or the National Because they did not plan, Mr. Smith died someone else, doesn’t mean it will work Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). penniless, and their children inherited in your case. nothing. 2. Update the Estate Plan Do your homework, and get some good Mr. and Mrs. Smith are in their 80’s and legal advice. The stakes are high, and it’s 3. Make Funeral Arrangements have been married for 50 years. Mr. important to get it right. Just because someone enters a nursing Smith enters a nursing home, while Mrs. home doesn’t mean you’re just waiting Smith is healthy enough to continue living on them to die. But this is the time to in their home. When Mr. Smith enters the Raley L. Wiggins consider making funeral arrangements. nursing home, Mrs. Smith should update Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC her will to disinherit Mr. Smith to the 334-239-3625 | Medicaid rules allow a nursing home greatest extent allowed by law. 445 Dexter Avenue, ste 9000, Mont, AL 36104 resident to purchase up to $5,000 in prepaid funeral services (or deposit Sound harsh? Perhaps. But consider $5,000 into a designated burial fund) this. Mr. Smith must spend down his half without penalty. The choice is a noof their assets below $2,000 before he brainer. An applicant has the option of can qualify for Medicaid to cover his stay.

Attend Free Workshop

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October 21, 2015


How Your Social Security Benefit is Calculated

If you’ve checked your annual Social Security statement lately, you probably know the size of the benefit you’re projected to receive in retirement. If not, download a copy at the Social Security website (, the government only sends statements in the mail these days once every five years.

With the statement in hand, let’s look at a few key questions dealing with how your benefit number is calculated. Q: How does the Social Security benefit formula actually work? A: It’s mainly determined by a formula called the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), a weighted formula that gives a higher benefit relative to career earnings for a lower earner than for a high earner. You must work long enough to become insured, either for retirement benefits when you are 62 or older, or if you become disabled at an earlier age, or should you die, leaving a benefit for your survivors. Q: How much time is required to qualify for benefits? A: For a retirement benefit at 62, you need to have earned one quarter of coverage for every year that has passed since age 22, and you need a total of 40 quarters of coverage to qualify (or 10 years of work). Q: How is the PIA determined? A: The Social Security Administration (SSA) starts by calculating your average indexed

monthly earnings (AIME). That involves taking any years of earnings that you had before you reached age 60 and indexing them to compare with the earnings level in the overall economy as of the year you turn 60. It’s a sort of inflation adjustment, but one that uses wages, not consumer prices. Q: How many years are used to compute the PIA? A: For a retirement at 62 or older, the highest 35 years of earnings are included in the calculation. If you only had 30 years of earnings, the SSA still takes the highest 35, and will include five zeros.

That is averaged and expressed as a monthly amount, your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). Then, the AIME is applied to the PIA formula. “It’s a bit like the income tax structure,” says Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the SSA. “Where for AGI in the first segment bracket of your earnings, you might pay a low tax rate, and for AGI in higher brackets, you pay higher tax rates. With the PIA formula, you get 90 percent of AIME for the first segment, which we call ‘bend points.’ For the next segment, you get 32 percent of AIME. After that, it’s 15 percent of AIME.” Q: How does the timing of a claim figure into my benefit amount? A: The age at which you decide to start receiving benefits matters. If you wait until

the full or normal retirement age, which currently is 66, your monthly benefit level will be exactly that PIA. If you want to start retirement benefits at the earliest possible age, 62, you receive a reduced benefit for the rest of your life. The PIA would be reduced by 25 percent. If you wait until after normal retirement age to start benefits, you get delayed retirement credits, equal to 8 percent for each 12-month period you delay. Q: Social Security applies an annual cost-ofliving adjustment (COLA) to benefits using an automatic formula tied to the Consumer Price Index. How does that adjustment figure into the decision to file early or not? A: The most important thing to know is that the COLAs are applied to your benefits starting in the year you turn 62, no matter if you have filed for benefits or not. Let’s say you wait to file until age 66, and there has been 10 percent inflation between the time you are 62 and 66; then that $1,000 PIA will, just by virtue of COLAs, have risen to $1,100 at your full retirement age. If you take your $750 benefit at age 62, you’ll get the same COLAs, and the $750 will increase by 10 percent, which is $825. So, either way, you get the COLAs applied from one year to the next, and they start immediately after you’re first eligible for benefits. Q: What happens if you claim benefits at age 62 but continue to work? A: That can affect your benefit if you’re earning over a threshold (roughly $15,000) and you are under the normal retirement age. Social Security has an earnings test for people prior to attaining age 66. Your benefit is reduced by about $1 for every $2 of earnings above that until you reach the full or normal retirement age, at which point there is no earnings test. Q: Are those withheld benefit dollars lost permanently? A: No. People sometimes mistakenly refer to the earnings test as though it is a tax or penalty. It’s really not. It is calculated back into your benefit when you reach full retirement age. Mark Miller is a journalist and author who focuses on retirement and aging. Mark also edits and publishes (c)2015 50+ Digital LLC. 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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R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



by Patricia Corrigan

Why You May Want to Declutter Your Life

given them the courage to cut ties, ending onesided friendships and relationships that bring them no joy.

No matter how long we’ve been out of school, autumn always feels like a new beginning, the perfect time to shed those behaviors, habits and attitudes we no longer need or want. This kind of decluttering takes many forms. A successful Realtor in her mid-60s remarked at a recent gathering that once the sale she has in progress wraps up, she thinks she may retire. Asked what else she was ready to give up, Diana said, “Costco.” Nothing against the store — it’s the bulk packaging she wants to live without. Maybe you are not ready to retire, and maybe you still like buying 40-ounce jars of mixed nuts, a six-month supply of toilet paper and body lotion sold by the liter. But as we get older, many of us do change our ways. ‘Ridding Myself of Self-Disdain’ “Around 50, we start to shift from externally-imposed pressure or guidelines to choices that are more internal, freer, unique to each of us,” said Leslie Davenport, a Northern California therapist in private practice for over two decades. Davenport also noted that obsessions about body image tend to fade over the years. “At a younger age, what we eat may be dictated by a clothing size or a particular weight,” she said. “Older women tend to focus more on food that is enjoyable and feels healthy, and they let the dress size or number on the scale just be whatever it is.” As we age, we often let go of the belief that circumstances or people are supposed to be a certain way. Cheryl, 65, can relate to that. She recently joined a gym in suburban St. Louis, and when asked about her goals, she said she wanted to improve her balance, strength and stamina. “Previously, the first thing out of my mouth would have been that I wanted to lose weight,” Cheryl said. “I am ridding myself of self-disdain and loathing.”

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Embracing Free Advice When It Hits Home Tuning in to our own wants and needs doesn’t mean we can’t still benefit from outside advice when it suits our larger purpose. Shannon, 54, is a freelance wardrobe worker in New York City theaters. Words from a boss just happened to be words Shannon needed to hear. “A supervisor told our crew, ‘If you are using this job as your life, I suggest you go out the door and get one,’’’ Shannon said. “That statement changed my life.” Shannon stopped thinking of work as a competition, and says she no longer cares whether she is in charge. “Now it’s much more fun to go to work, do the job well, be a helpful and productive part of a team, and then clock out at the end of the day,” she says. Rekindling Relationships or Letting Them Go Sometimes, as we consider more carefully what we want for ourselves, we find we are ready to give up long-held grudges. “Maybe we’ve kept a family member or friend at arm’s length, but as we age, we often let go of the belief that circumstances or people are supposed to be a certain way,” Davenport said. “Letting go of rigidity in our beliefs can lead to a rekindling of relationships.” Or, in some cases, the opposite occurs. Half a dozen people interviewed for this article reported that aging has

“I am more selective now about people I invest my time in,” said Kevin, 62, who lives in North Prince George, Va. “I’ve also let go of trying to change people who I know are not going to listen to me.” Barb, 56, of San Francisco, Calif., said it bluntly: “I’m not taking crap anymore. In the past, I never could say ‘no’ to friends who take advantage of me, but that doesn’t work for me anymore.” Giving Up the News? You Are Not Alone Some of us are letting go of entirely different kinds of things. Personally, I revisited my longtime rule about not joining anything that meets. Then I renewed that vow. Here are other practices getting the old heave-ho, cited by people ranging from 50 to 82: • Watching the evening news • Being reluctant to ask for help • Regrets about the handling of situations that happened long ago • Inches and pounds that accumulated while working full-time • The sense of obligation to read boring books all the way through • A long-held fear of the world that ruled out travel • Guilt about good causes that go unsupported • A need for validation from external sources “I am letting go of being so hard on myself, so judgmental,” said Amanda, 51. “My gut instincts about what path to follow are fine-tuned at this juncture of my life, and I am listening.” Raising Self-Esteem by Lowering Expectations Andrea, who lives on the Big Island in Hawaii, turned 50 in August. She

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

celebrated the big day by renouncing her role as Superwoman. “Superwoman is coming back down to earth. She is slowing down. She is becoming a new kind of super: Super Being, instead of Super Doing,” Andrea wrote on Facebook. “I set the bar so high for myself that I am always falling short of my expectations, and so rarely feeling a sense of contentment because there is always higher to climb,“ Andrea said.

Join MANE for their Raise the Roof Seafood Celebration on Thursday, October 22nd, 6 - 9 pm. Fabulous, fresh seafood will be grilled/prepared on site by Wintzell’s Oyster House to benefit their Tri-county therapeutic riding center for children and adults who have physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities. Country music will be performed by The Whiskey River Band. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 213-0909 for reservations. For more information visit

Andrea added that she has no intention of giving up on big dreams — just setting smaller, more achievable, goals while in pursuit of those dreams. Trading Anger for Peace Corey, 70, offered a litany of things he has given up, including believing that all of his physical ailments will heal or that he can still hike up to the top of Mount Lassen, the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range in Northern California. At his doctor’s insistence, Corey has given up pasta. And he has let go of the idea that “death is a concept, rather than a lurking reality.” Rosanne, 66, who lives in West Springfield, Mass., has a different take on this topic. “ It’s not so much giving up as it is replacing,” Rosanne said. “I’ve given up sleeping in for rising early to meditate; organized religion for spirituality; fast food for locally-grown organic and grassfed; mindless television for workouts at the gym; complaining for laughing and carbonated beverages for water.” She added, “Most importantly, I’ve let go of old anger for peace.” Being angry at others was giving them too much power, she said. The reality that she was doing this “became so overwhelming that I simply had to let go of that anger so that I could move forward and continue on my path to what I needed to do to make myself whole.” by Patricia Corrigan, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



Bucket List Adventure by Kathy Witt

The Personalized Un-Cruise

Lots of cruise lines tell you what they’re all about: Carnival, the Fun Ships; American Cruise Line, Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly; Holland America Line, A Signature of Excellence.

showrooms, and the salon and spa are noticeably absent. Their stock in trade is understated elegance. A salon or lounge with comfy seating sets the mood for both pre-dinner cocktail parties and onboard programming. A cabin transformed into a massage room is a calming retreat and the place where the knots in your shoulders, earned from a day’s canoeing or kayaking or swimming off the back of the ship, can be worked out.

Get an up-close view of marine life kayaking the Sea of Cortez. (Photo courtesy Un-Cruise/TNS) Un-Cruise tells you what they aren’t: They aren’t The itineraries are more flexible, the noisy, rushed, crowded or Pretentious, paths much less beaten. If, for example, and they don’t compromise in the there are more dolphins and whales to dedication department, seriously be seen further up the coast of Maui on subscribing to “Leave No Trace” the Hawaiian Seascapes adventure, that practices. Un-Cruise tells you what they is where the captain goes. Such detours aren’t, and what they aren’t is like the for the sake of spotting superb marine other guys. life are very Un-Cruise. On the Uncharted Isthmus excursion, passengers on the Frankie and Bert Daniel of Spring Hope, 64-guest Safari Voyager go in search N.C., boarded the S.S. Legacy in the of sloths and howler monkeys as they fall of 2013 for Un-Cruise’s Legends of transit the nearly 50-mile-long Panama Discovery voyage on the Columbia and Canal. Snake Rivers.

“We had never been on a ‘small ship’ cruise before,” said Frankie Daniel. “We were blown away by the attention that was given to each passenger; the attention to detail was unbelievable. We had been on several cruises before but nothing compares to Un-Cruise.” Un-Cruise vessels aren’t built to carry thousands of pleasure seekers, but just a couple to several dozen on a quest for a very personalized cruise experience, whether that’s whale watching in Alaska’s Icy Strait, navigating the arroyos of Mexico’s Sea of Cortes by burro or exploring two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Galapagos Islands and Quito’s Colonial city center, without getting lost in a throng of jostling elbows.

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The Un-Cruise fleet includes expedition vessels, yachts and one replica coastal steamer, the S.S. Legacy, which features period decor and Old World charm. Reflecting the personalized attention to detail, vessels have a variety of amenities: an EZ Dock launch platform or full-beam swim step; bow-mounted underwater camera; on-deck hot tub, sauna and fitness equipment or a fitness room; one or two massage rooms; library; fully stocked bar as well as wine taps. Most of the vessels carry adventure equipment onboard, including inflatable skiffs, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, as well as gear you’ll need for appreciating the marine life, such as snorkel gear and wetsuits. Yoga mats are also available, as are sunrise yoga and stretch classes.

“The activities and the history are awesome, See Multnomah Falls at the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. (Photo courtesy Un-Cruise/TNS) said Daniel. “And I was pleasantly surprised at the Un-Cruise ships are the boutique vessels demographics onboard, all ages.” of the cruise world. They aren’t built with casinos, arcades and massive

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

You won’t need to stake out a deck chair before sunrise. With such a small group, seating on the Sun Deck or in the Sun Lounge is plentiful, with cushioned couches and chaises offering shade and a place to lounge while watching the unfolding scenery. You won’t amass a drink tab that equals a week’s pay, either. Fine spirits, wines and microbrews are included in the fare with UnCruise on all but three vessels. You won’t find poolside hairy chest contests, pirate-themed dress-up deck parties or buffets with queues snaking into the hall. Rather, you’ll find an incredibly unassuming and relaxing ambience, with a generous bar, open seating at meal times to get acquainted with all your cruise mates and a Wine Library (or other intimate lounge) for reading, playing games, even playing the piano.

Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area for an up-close view of Multnomah Falls; and be completely enchanted by the Theatre de la Mode exhibition of post-

Snorkeling in Hawaii on an Un-Cruise. (Photo courtesy Un-Cruise/TNS)

World War II French fashion mannequins at the Maryhill Museum. I In Mexico, on Sea of Cortes sailings, snorkel with sea lion pups; see the red rock cliffs of Ensenada Grande, whose beach is among the world’s top beaches; and take a burro ride with local rancheros to explore the arroyos.

ADVENTURE ADVENTURE GUIDE TO GEAR TO TAKE DON’T-MISS MOMENTS ALONG I In Hawaii, talk story If you haven’t with Anakala Pilipo updated your Solatorio, the kapuna cosmetic kit (eldest) of the native lately, baggallini Hawaiians still living ( in Halawa Valley, and has a lightweight make poi with his son, cosmetic bag Greg Solatorio; take ($55) in wipea skiff out for sunrise clean, waterwhale watching; and resistant nylon enjoy a traditional hula that is stylish, dance and live Hawaiian structured and music at the Molokai space-saving. Museum during a pa’ina Especially well(feast). suited to tight I On the Columbia and spaces, like your Greg Solatorio demonstrates how to make poi the traditional Snake Rivers, ride a jet cruise ship cabin, way during an Un-Cruise visit to Halawa Valley. (Kathy Witt/TNS) boat right into Hells the kit can be Canyon; climb the switchbacks at the hung by its hook to keep clear premium

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

real estate on the bathroom vanity. You’ll also be able to see and locate all your cosmetics. Measuring 10.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches high by 4 inches deep, the bag neatly stores shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other toiletries in four individual clear pockets and a roomy clear zipper pocket. Tuck toiletry accessories like your toothbrush, tweezers and makeup brushes into eight elastic loops. An exterior zip pocket offers additional storage for other grooming supplies and accessories. Eight different solid and patterned colors, including lilac, aquamarine and red, are available. PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE Un-Cruise Adventures has a fleet of boutique yachts and small ships offering adventure excursions for 22 to 88 in Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Pacific Northwest, Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica and Panama. Included in the cruise fare are gourmet meals featuring local flavors; guided tours geared toward small groups; fromyacht activities and equipment; and transfers. On select vessels, premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews, port charges and taxes, and a massage are also included. Reservations and information:, 888-862-8881. 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 or (c)2015 Kathy Witt Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



October EXHIBITION: Gallery One Featured Artists

The Serenade, 18x24 oil, Pamela Wesley Copeland

Vista II 30x40 mixed media, Carol Barksdale

Freedom 30x40 oil on canvas Anita Westerberg

LeCalme Retrouve 40x30 oil on canvas John Mazaheri Excite II 20x16 acrylic on canvas, Jane Segrest

White Hydrangeas 24x18 oil on canvas Anne Hugghins

Tupelo is Best Left Unmentioned oil on paper 24x18 John Wagnon

Deja’ Vu 6”x10” wood sculpture, Ken Lever

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, 334.269.1114

Learning to Fly 12x12 mixed media, Cecily Hulett

In Beautiful Dreams 8x8 mixed oils, Just Before Dawn 30x30 acrylic on canvas Judith Ivy Hayden Shirley Esco

Art & Soul

By Sandi Aplin

Remembering Barbara Gallagher

Barbara Gallagher was one of those bigger than life personalities with a heart of pure gold. She was not only kind, but very generous with her art work and time. She opened Green

Four Women at the Beach 48x48

Garden Gallery in 1975, I started my real estate career in 1976. It was about that time, my real estate office was downtown and I enjoyed dropping by her gallery. Back then it was located in the little white house on South Lawrence Street with the large magnolia in the front yard, north of the interstate. Several art students taking classes and a few patrons were invited to have a cup of delicious vegetable soup with a piece of cornbread. For me, this became my Thursday lunch ritual. It is so special to watch work in progress on the easels. The subject during this period was usually a still life. I first met Mots Rainer, Jimmie Sabel, Kitty Pelham, Hazel Springfield, Clark Walker and several other Art Guild members in her gallery. She was so kind to me, even gave a party for me in her gallery. I cherish those memories.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Barbara Grow (Gallagher) conversations. The was born in Tuscaloosa, first thing that came her parents were Italian to mind was when and English. Barbara had her first She earned her BFA stroke and lost the from the University of use of one hand. Alabama and in 1965, moved with her family When she was to Montgomery. Her asked, will you Woman with Lilies 20x26 multicultural background continue to paint? influence can be seen in her paintings, Her answer was, I don’t paint with especially her figurative work. Her my hands, I paint with my eyes. And lounging women, men and children she did continue to paint, she taught under the colorful beach umbrellas herself to paint with her other hand.” were some of Barbara Gallagher died of cancer her favorite on Thursday, July 27, 2006 at the subjects. She age of 72. Sitting here in the gallery also studied surrounded by beautiful art work, with R. C. some created yesterday or these Gorman in painted by Barbara which are 40+ Taos, New years old, I feel, in one way artists Mexico and are historians and in other ways their exhibited her work is timeless. work in Taos and Santa Fe. Picasso was asked, why he never wrote his autobiography. He said, “My John (Jake) paintings are my autobiography.” Wagnon knew Barbara for more than Two Men at the Beach Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art 35 years. 62x21 A freelance writer living in Montgomery, AL He shared, or “Barbara and I had many interesting

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

August 2015



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN


This month’s column is brought to you by an un-named 7 year old kid I overheard asking his Grandma, “how do you know when you’re old?” Good question! Can it even be answered?

Miami’s Walter the Weatherman taught me a lesson about age when I was 27. He was THIRTY years older than me- a very popular (and brilliant) Miami TV meteorologist, who caroused with the ladies almost nightly after the 11 o’clock news. I asked for a preview of life at the ancient age of 57.

“Old” is a feeling as much as a status. Do you remember the first time you drove past your old high school a year or two after graduating? You saw those kids milling about outside and manthey looked like babies!

“It’s no big deal” he pronounced. “It just takes me all night to do what I used to do all night”. I’ve always loved that line. Is “old” defined by the things you can no longer do? Is OLD the day your “to-do list” is shorter than your “can’t-do anymore list”?

There is no age when one becomes officially old. My daughter, Janelle, recently used the “o” word at her 25th birthday party. I did not scoff at her comment. Instead I shared that 25 was the age I started to turn down the volume on my music. I still loved my rock’ n roll but I lost my appreciation of grinding heavy metal music. At 25, I began to thin out my herd of friends because as life got more serious I didn’t have time for fringy people. Age 30 is suddenly closer than 20. “Honey”, I said. “You’re not old. You’re just not a kid anymore, and that hits

me a hundred times harder than it does you!”. I got married the first time at 22. Sad to say, getting married did NOT make me feel like I was getting old. Rather, it made me realize I was still “too young” to be taking on such a serious responsibility. I knew that well before my wedding day but was too immature to face that reality and back out. Sadly, age and maturity are not always in partnership.

Back in the early 90s, my Dad was visiting me in South Florida and we decided to play golf at the Miami Shores Country Club. Pops and I were paired up with 2 guys named Hymie and Burt. They were 90-freaking-2 years old! As we traveled the course and got to chatting, Hymiewho played golf almost daily- said there was only one thing he hated about being 92. Without getting

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

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

graphic, Hymie’s single regret would be solved by the introduction of Viagra about 10 years after that round of golf. Poor Hymie. Firecracker that he was- it didn’t matter how long the night washe couldn’t do it at all and that was the ONE thing that made him feel old.

afford plenty of help. I’m a few years younger than Billy with a lot less money. Forget the cash! Just the idea of being a Dad at this age- the running around- enduring the din of Chuck E. Cheese- and the constant vigilance of responsible parenting wears me out.

Oh, and by the way, Hymie and Burt beat Dad and me by 10 strokes. They didn’t hit the ball real far but they hit it straight. In golf, straight > power. While Hymie and Burt split the fairway in two, Pops and I were foraging for lost balls that were hit loudly, magnificently and terribly inaccurately.

Then, there’s the numbers. Billy will be about 85 when she graduates high school. Reality bites. I don’t know about Billy but I’d be praying to still know who she is at 85. Hell, actor Cary Grant became a new dad at 72! It was big news at the time. His virility was celebrated. Was he too old? Only his daughter could answer that because Cary died of natural causes when she was still very young. I think you have to factor that into the equation. I don’t recall reports of Grant’s death- in Keokuk, Iowa of all places, celebrating the downside of fatherhood at 72.

So, how do you know when you’re old? Billy Joel is 66. I don’t consider that old. He can still sing his greatest hits, rock a piano and sell out Madison Square Garden. Rock stars can and do attract significantly younger women. Billy recently became a Dad again, by his 33 year old 4th wife. That’s fine! The child will never want for anything and the Joels can

So let’s turn to the dictionary for help, shall we?

Old- adjective 1. See also elder, eldest. 2. having lived for a long time; no longer young. synonyms: elderly, aged, older, senior, advanced in years, up in years; 3. belonging only or chiefly to the past; former or previous. synonyms: bygone, past, former, olden, of old, previous, early; 4. of a specified age. Well, that certainly was helpful. “Specified age”? When they determine that number, let me know, OK? Until then, I think I’ll wait until that time when I have to think all night trying to remember what I used to do all night. And then call it a day. 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

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Ask Nancy: Caring for Aging Relatives Protecting your parents from phone scammers

Q: My parents are in their mid-80s and live independently nearby. The other day I was at their home and answered their telephone. The gentleman on the other end asked for my father using his first name as if he knew him and proceeded to tell me about a fundraiser that his organization was doing and asked for a donation. He asked me to “verify” my father’s address numerous times. I told him to tell me what he had and I would verify it. He would not. After going through this several times I hung up. Afterwards I wondered what would have happened had my father picked up the phone and if he would have given him a donation. While my father does not appear to have any dementia, I’m not certain that he would have exercised good judgment or given in to the caller’s persistent questions. What can I do to prevent my father from giving money to every real or scam caller? How can I stress not to give out any personal information over the phone? _JoAnna W., Palm Beach Gardens, FL A: Sadly, your experience is not uncommon. I too intercepted several calls a day to my father from would-be scammers and telemarketers hired by organizations seeking donations over the phone. They are known to target households in zip codes where there is a large population of retirees

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

who are all too willing to talk to a “nice” stranger. “When it comes to older adults, swindlers know that they frequently have a captive audience,” Alina Becker MSW, told me recently. She’s a social worker and coordinator of Elder Abuse Prevention Initiatives at the Alliance for Aging, Inc., She recommends having a conversation with both your parents about threats to their privacy, security and finances. She offered this advice: “Try to convince your parents to not make any decisions when they get those phone calls. Suggest that they ask the caller for their phone number so that your parent can call them back; this may be enough for the scammer to hang up. Unfortunately, sometimes older adults who may be lonely will be glad to talk to them, or too polite to cut them off.” “To avoid making your parents feel like they can’t handle these calls on their own, gather several news articles about scams, identity theft, and other types of elder financial abuse to show that this is a common threat and it can happen to anyone!” To help protect my own parent, I instructed

his caregivers to answer and screen calls whenever possible and I gave them permission to interrupt or disconnect a call if they heard my father engaging in a conversation with this type of caller. I appreciate what a challenging situation this can be. Older adults will assert that they’re still in charge of their finances and have the right to spend their money in any way they wish without oversight. That’s certainly true, but if they have already demonstrated a lack of good judgment and you are seeing additional signs of dementia, it will be necessary to take further steps to protect your parents. This could include adding your name to their checking and credit card accounts so that you can monitor their expenses online, or hiring a daily money manager to provide the closer oversight that’s needed. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, I recommend reading Jeff Opdyke’s book, “Protecting Your Parents’ Money: The Essential Guide to Helping Mom and Dad Navigate the Finances of Retirement.” It includes a section on preventing elder fraud. Nancy Stein, Ph.D., is the founder of Seniority Matters (, a caregiver advisory and referral service in South Florida for seniors and their families. You can contact her at (c)2015, Seniority Matters, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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October 2015



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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Timing is Everything For so many patients, no one has ever sat down with them and talked with them about hospice care. Americans routinely say that they don’t want to spend their final days tethered to machines in a hospital, rather they would prefer to die at home, relieved of physical and mental pain, with less invasive treatments, surrounded by those they love. However, most still die in costly medical facilities, often unable to communicate, in a futile attempt to prolong their lives. End of life conversations are instrumental for improving patient and family experience and lowering costs at the inevitable end of life. Health care providers are often reluctant to initiate these difficult conversations with their patients, whether they have a long established relationship with the patient or have just met in the hospital setting. Timely conversations lead to documenting patient wishes in the form of an advance directive and reorientating medical treatment so that it is more likely aligned with the goals, values, and beliefs of the patients. This could involve more support for the patient to stay at home and an increased emphasis on symptom management and psychosocial support. Palliative care for symptom management and advance care planning and hospice care for the final months of life are a part of the spectrum in a full service line of a highly functioning health system. Many patients enter hospice care too late. Researchers found that no other factor - not age, race, gender, or where patients lived played nearly as significant a role as doctors when it came to who enrolled in hospice care. Hospice is a personal choice and should be made when you feel it’s time to focus on comfort rather than a cure. The decision to begin care is determined by you and your family, but timing is everything. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Hospice can become a choice when your loved one and the family decide it is time to focus on improving the quality of the time that remains. Though their physician and others may offer advice, it’s up to them when to choose hospice care. Hospice care becomes an option when their physician determines that the

life expectancy is 6 months or less should the disease follow its natural course. After 6 months if care is still needed and health continues to decline, hospice can continue. Medicare benefits and most private insurance pay for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet their eligibility criteria. But as many studies show, hospice care works best when started early on. In fact, our patients often tell us they wish they chose hospice sooner. There are many benefits hospice can bring that may help you and your loved ones now. “We know that many people are accessing hospice care too late to fully take advantage of the team-based, patient and family-focused model of care that we can offer them,” says Jenille Ball, RN and Executive Director for Hospice of Montgomery. “Research shows that the comprehensive approach to hospice care greatly improves the quality of life for both the patient and their family.” For example, our patients who begin hospice care sooner have the opportunity to make use of our expertise in helping with pain control

and symptom management earlier. Also, families caring for a loved one can benefit from the support our hospice caregiving team brings. We can share some of the responsibilities of providing day-to-day care. Choosing to let us help earlier can increase the quality of time left. Studies have shown that individuals on hospice have actually lived longer. Reducing pain, symptoms and easing responsibilities will let you and your family focus less on the disease and more on enjoying time together. In a nationwide Gallup survey conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization it was found that an overwhelming majority of adults said they would be interested in the comprehensive program of care at home that hospice programs provide. Yet most Americans know little or nothing about their eligibility for or availability of hospice. If you have questions, Hospice of Montgomery makes it easy to get answers or to talk to someone about your needs and concerns. We understands that your advancing illness is not only touching your life but your family’s lives as well. So we’ll be there to comfort you and your family and help through any challenging days ahead. We’re here, ready to give you more information about the benefits of hospice care, offer choices and options, or help you begin care. Anyone can ask for hospice care. Call us today to begin a conversation. 334-279-6677 Make a difference today, make it Hospice of Montgomery.

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October 2015



October 2015

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 15th Annual Walk ‘n Wag Blount Cultural Park Saturday, October 3rd, 8-12

Have fun with your dog at the 15th Annual Walk ‘N Wag one-mile pledge walk in Blount Cultural Park on Saturday, 8-12, October 3rd. Hundreds of pets and pet lovers will participate in this pledge walk to support the over 8,600 homeless animals in the Montgomery area. Event day registration, 8 - 8:45 am Saturday, October 3rd. All participants are $25.00 per person (which includes an official 2014 Walk ‘N Wag t-shirt). Children ages 6 and under are FREE. Pet Contests: Best Canine Singing Voice, Longest Tail, Owner/Pet Look-a-Like, Best Pet Halloween Costume, Biggest Lap Dog, “Frosty Paws” Treat Eating Contest. For more information visit


Montgomery’s Capitol Sounds Concert Band Presents “Sounds of Autumn” Concert City Hall Auditorium Downtown Montgomery Sunday, October 4th, 3 pm The Sounds of Autumn Concert will treat the audience to a wonderful program full of patriotism, opera, movies, Broadway and pop and rock favorites. The Capitol Sounds will begin the concert in the tradition of the great American marches with John William’s “Midway March”, followed by the Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett patriotic classic, “Victory at Sea”. The Capitol Sounds will also perform a selection of music from the Broadway staple My Fair Lady and pay tribute to the legendary singer, songwriter and entertainer Stevie Wonder. There is no admission but donations will be taken at the door. For more information contact John Jackson, or 334.324.8661 or visit


Driving Miss Daisy ASF-Blount Cultural Park Beginning October 8th through November 1st When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Colburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era

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Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prizewinning play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship. For more info and tickets visit

GULF SHORES, ALABAMA Annual Shrimp Festival The Beaches of Gulf Shores Thursday-Sunday, October 8-11

The festival is one of the nation’s premier outdoor festivals attracting 250,000 people, featuring over 300 vendors that offer fine art, arts & crafts, a retail marketplace, outdoor village, and of course, SHRIMP!! Two stages offer continuous musical entertainment while the little one’s attention is captured in the Children’s Activity Village where they create their own “art” and participate in other fun-filled activities. For more info visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Art In Concert Museum of Fine Art Friday, October 16th, , 7-11 pm

The Futurebirds will perform at this year’s Art in Concert. The doors will open at 6 pm and The Futurebirds will go on at 8 pm. The indie rock band with an atmospheric, psychedelic twist is from Athens, Georgia. They are best known for their songs “Virginia Slims,” “Serial Bowls,” and “Dig.”The group, known for their high energy shows and country rock infused sound has been touring extensively with the likes of Drive-By Truckers, Dead Confederate, Widespread Panic, and Alabama Shakes. They have also performed at such prestigious festivals as Austin City Limits, Outside Lands, and Hangout. The cost is $10.00 in advance or $15.00 the day of the show. The concert, which will take place on the lawn of the MMFA, will go on rain or shine. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs. Remember, no coolers are allowed. Tickets can be purchased at until October 15 or by calling 334.240.4333.

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This four-day shopping extravaganza will feature a wide variety of specialty booths and a lot of special events for the entire family. Admission charged. 334.288.8816. Please visit for the full schedule!

Take in the 1962 classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the way it was meant to be seen - on the big screen at the historic Capri Theatre in midtown Montgomery. This one-night screening on Oct. 29 will be presented by the Friends of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion and proceeds will benefit preservation efforts at the mansion. A reception featuring “Mockingbird” themed Hors D’oeuvres and a silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the film at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at the event or in advance at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop, located at 30 Finley Avenue, or at Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors, located at 1044 E. Fairview Avenue. Learn more at

Junior League 27th Holiday Market The Multiplex at Cramton Bowl October 14-17


Guy Penrod Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center Enterprise, AL Thursday, October 15, 7 pm On October 15, 2015, Grammy Award winner recording artist Guy Penrod performs at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center. Penrod, a top selling southern gospel performer, spent 14 years as the lead singer of the Gaither Vocal Band before launching a successful solo ministry. Known for his country styling, Penrod’s music has been applauded in the gospel as well as the country formats. He is one of the most in-demand touring artists in Christian music. For information, call 334.406.2787 or visit

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Riverwalk Wine Festival Riverwalk, Downtown Montgomery Saturday October 17th, 2-5 pm

Saturday, October 17th, 2-5pm, Downtown Montgomery in the Riverfront Park. Come spend an afternoon on the river sampling delicious wines from different regions. Your $25 ticket includes a commemorative etched wine glass, discounts on bottled wine, sampling of new flavors and live music. If you want to spend the night at the Renaissance Hotel and continue enjoying downtown Montgomery, call the hotel’s reservation desk at 334-481-5000 and don’t forget a ride on the Harriot II. For more information visit


Celtic Woman, 10th Anniversary World Tour Montgomery Performing Arts Center -MPAC Thursday, October 29th, 7 pm Celtic Woman is a musical ensemble and stage show which incorporates both traditional Irish music and modern songs done with a Celtic twist. Irish journalist Danny McElhinney called Celtic Woman “Riverdance for the Voice,” and indeed, the two shows have many things in common, including some musicians. For more info visit

To Kill a Mockingbird, Governor’s Mansion Preservation Capri Theatre Thursday, October 29th, 6 pm


Pike Road Arts & Crafts Fair Pike Road Saturday, November 7th, 9-4 pm The 49th Annual Arts & Crafts Fair is a wonderful holiday shopping opportunity! More than 250 artists and craftsmen will display their wares at the historic Marks House (circa 1825). Enjoy BBQ, fried chicken and other specialties. $5 admission. 890 Old Carter Hill Road, Pike Road, AL. For more information and directions visit


George Benson Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Birmingham, AL Friday, November 13th, 8 pm

“On Broadway,” “Give Me the Night,” and “This Masquerade” are three very good reasons you should see this legendary jazz performer in Birmingham this November. During his stellar career, Benson has earned himself an impeccable reputation as one of music’s most enterprising and engaging stars. Unfazed by the constrictions of predictability, he’s built a career on sniffing out what people enjoy hearing, and what he enjoys playing. “The easiest way to involve people is by getting ’em tapping their feet. When they’re tapping a bit, they’ll go your way. Once the audience knows I respect them, they let me be whatever I want to be,” Benson says. For more info visit

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Why Grandparents are VIP’s Parents and grandparents can’t take relationships across generations for granted or undervalue them. You have to believe these relationships are important to make building them a priority in your family. I’ve seen it in my workshops and in all the research: relationships between young and old, between grandparents and grandchildren, are important because they make us feel connected. They make us feel connected not only to each other, but to something bigger, to the flow of life, to the past and to the future. This connection leads to tangible benefits for all generations.

Benefits to Grandchildren The benefits to children of a close connection to their grandparents include: I Children have a better sense of who they are and where they’ve come from. They have roots, a history, and a sense of continuity and perspective. I Children develop higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills (including an ability to withstand peer pressure), and can even have better grades in school. Children need adult influences in their lives (some research says anywhere from four to six involved, caring adults) to mature. I Children feel special. They’re “spoiled” a little. Believe it or not, research shows this is a good thing. Children know that being with their grandparents is special. They don’t expect the rest of the world to treat them the way their grandparents do, so it’s really not “spoiling.” A grandparent’s love is the unconditional stuff of fairy tales. One girl explained it this way: “Grandparents are great because they don’t always tell you what you’re doing wrong. They just like what you do, any way you do it.” I Children can get undivided time and attention from grandparents that tired, busy parents often can’t give them. A sixyear-old girl told me, “I love my grandma because she’s always happy for me to show her things other people don’t bother with.” Another girl said, “Every time I go shopping with Mom she goes fast and says hurry up, hurry up. But when I visit with Grandma

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and go shopping, she always has plenty of time and lets me look at whatever I want to.” I Children have someone to talk with and confide in. While children may want to be different from their parents, they often don’t mind being like their grandparents. This gives grandparents a lot of power and ability to influence a troubled or confused child. One girl told me, “Granny fills the gap Mommy and Daddy leave out.” A teenager told me that she can tell her grandmother things she would “never, ever” tell her mother. “My grandmother understands me,” she said. I Through sharing in a grandparent’s interests, skills, and hobbies, children are introduced to new activities and ideas. Grandparents can be very patient, effective teachers. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes children pick up from grandparents tend to stick with them through life more than those picked up from other sources.

Benefits to Grandparents The benefits to grandparents of a close connection to their grandchildren include: I Grandparents say they feel a “joyful freedom” in their new role. They don’t feel the pressure they felt as a parent. There’s a saying that a mother truly becomes a grandmother the day she stops noticing all the terrible things her children do because she’s so enchanted with all the wonderful things her grandchildren do. As a grandparent, you get all the benefits and joys of parenthood without many of the drawbacks. I Many people see grandparenthood as a “second chance.” Maybe you weren’t able to spend as much time with your own children as you would have liked, or made some mistakes you’ve now learned from. Grandchildren are a fresh start. I Active, involved grandparents consistently report much less depression and higher degrees of life satisfaction. They tend to be happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future. I Grandparents and grandchildren fulfill the role of student and teacher for each

other, and it’s not always the older person who does the teaching. Children like to feel needed, and they can teach their grandparents lots of things – like how to find some pretty cool stuff on the Internet! Grandchildren also help you see the world anew again, through a child’s eyes. I Grandparents have an opportunity to leave a powerful legacy, to make a difference, to send a message into the future through their grandchildren. The relationship can fulfill our need for immortality.

Benefits to Parents The benefits to parents when the “grand generation” is a part of their lives and their children’s lives are also clear. Today’s parents are often stressed and overwhelmed. A loving, supportive grandparent can give them someone to talk with – someone who’s “been there” but now, with the benefit of hindsight, can help put issues into perspective. It’s also comforting for parents to know that there are other adults who love their children and are looking out for them (again, remember the research indicating that children need anywhere from four to six involved, caring adults in their lives to fully develop emotionally and socially). Grandparents take some of the pressure off parents. Finally, there is the tangible support of reasonable physical or financial help when it’s needed. Grandparents can be a safety net in the highwire act we call the modern family. Many people say their relationship with their parents improves when children enter the picture. For example, an overly strict parent suddenly becomes a “softie” as a grandparent. Adult children see their parents in a new light, and this can help heal relationships. Bottom line: most parents WANT grandparents to be involved – not in a judgmental, meddling way, but in a loving, supportive way. Excerpt from How to Build the Grandma Connection by Susan V. Bosak. This popular bestseller offers ideas and tips for new and experienced grandparents. © SV Bosak, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

R ive r Re gio n Bo o m . co m

October 2015



BOOM! October 2015  
BOOM! October 2015  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine