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for Boomers and Beyond

December 2013

Aging Brains: What is normal? Some memory problems deserve medical attention. Others are solved by writing a to-do list. “I’m having a senior moment!”

It’s something we may blurt out when we mislay the morning paper or forget why we stopped at the supermarket. For some, it’s a laugh-it-away moment. For others, it sets off a quiet internal alarm: “Am I starting to lose my memory?” Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are fears, of course. But many momentary mental slips are common and normal.

Subtle vs. serious. Everyday forgetfulness is annoying, but not a cause for major concern. This includes occasional mental fogginess about: • Where you left your keys. • Where you parked in the mega-store lot. • The appointment time for a doctor’s visit. • The name of someone who used to be your neighbor. • The location of a coffee date you set yesterday. Many of these are examples of episodic memory, which can decline as years march on. But they’re manageable. More problematic—and worthy of professional medical attention—are memory problems that interfere with daily life. These might include: • Forgetting how to do familiar tasks, like unlocking a door, writing a check or finding the bank. • Forgetting the name of someone near and dear. • Not being able to learn new things. • Asking the same questions over and over again. • Becoming confused about time, people or places. • Getting lost in places you know well. • Not being able to follow directions. If you’re concerned about your memory, talk with your doctor. Brain diseases like dementia aren’t the only conditions that can affect how you think, learn and remember.

Memory problems can also be caused by things such as depression, medication side effects, thyroid problems, stress, lack of sleep and too few vitamins and minerals. A thorough exam might provide some insight, answers and peace of mind.

Protect what you have. Research is uncovering hints about what might help keep memory sharp or help people handle the small deficits that they do notice. You can’t go wrong by making these ideas priorities for the rest of your years: Socialize. This can help improve your mood and memory.

Move your body. Blood flow to the brain naturally decreases over time, and the size of the brain actually decreases too. Exercise can help keep your blood circulating, which nourishes your brain.

Eat well. Eating more vegetables—especially leafy greens—and less saturated fat may benefit brain health. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon, also may help. Challenge your mind. Some experts believe that intellectual pursuits—such as reading, learning a new skill, taking a class or playing games—can stimulate brain cells and the connections between cells. Organize your space. Getting rid of clutter and

giving everything—such as keys, glasses, purse and cell phone—its own place saves time and frustration.

Focus, focus, focus. Multitasking can be harder as we age, so try to focus on one important task at a time. Embrace memory aids. These include keeping a to-do list and a calendar. Review both several times a day and you’ll be more confident about your state of mind. Your primary care physician can help determine if your memory problems are a concern. If you need a primary care physician, call The Jackson Clinic referral line at (334) 293-8888.

Sources: American Psychological Association; National Institute on Aging

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013




December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


December 2013

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

Volume 4 Issue 5

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Merry Christmas!

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 6 Publisher’s Letter 8 MATCH MADE Adventures in Online Dating 9 Holiday Suggestions 12 BOOM! Cover Profile 16 Lips... Dr. Michael Bowman

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22 PSAP’s…. What’s Their REAL Value?

Features 16 Elder Cottages a trend in senior housing

Departments 10 This and That Interesting Stuff

26 The Un-Cruise

on the Columbia and Snake Rivers

44 {12} Things

Solutions for bored Boomers

24 Things that Matter: Lee Lawrence

30 Good Aging secrets to live by

28 Buyer Beware Leigh Anne Richards 32 Great Gifts for Music Fans

46 Greg Budell

The Best Christmas Ever

33 Death Cafe` 34 Tasty Recipe 35 Holiday Spending by The Numbers



36 Clever Ways to Give Cash Gifts


38 Is Your Grandchild Ready for a Tablet? 40 MANE’s “Raise the Roof” Celebration

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43 Art & Soul page 40 BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 6398 Eastwood Glen Pl., Montgomery, AL 36117. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2013 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

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December 2013



publisher’s letter

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

Publisher/Editor Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin

Jim and Jackie Watson, Newlyweds!

Lynne Blackwell Dr. Bettie Borton Dr. Michael Bowman Greg Budell Susan Fisher Karen Garloch Rebecca Nappi

Leigh Anne Richards Kathy Witt

Cover Photography Kim Bethea The Studio @ EastChase 334.239.3196

Advertising Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution Network Delivery

Printing Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Jackie and I were married two weeks ago and the theme of our marriage was based on a quote by C.S. Lewis which simply says you are never too old to dream a new dream. How fitting for a couple of sixtysomethings like us, embarking on a new dream together. We both are anxious and excited to build a new life full of faith, love and purpose. Because of our youthful but advancing ages, we labeled our feelings for each other as “Experienced Love” and we shared it with our wedding guests…

Experienced Love Our experiences have shaped and colored the love we have for each other, it is the joy of a lifetime. Our experience also tells us... ...God is so much bigger than we can imagine ...our love is best expressed while serving each other are never too old to dream a new dream ...time spent in the garden, restores your soul ...grieving our losses is better together ...communication will lead to discovery and understanding ...our time together is worth counting, 1,019 days today! ...sixtysomething love can have raging hormones too ...dreams do come true ...sometimes too much of a good thing is even better ...four dogs are better, thanks Bella, Bear, Brother & Louise ...dreaming together is the best way to travel ...time is precious, it will not pause ...the meaning of second chances and very slow dances ...time well spent with someone special is priceless I’m 4 hours away from departure...for my honeymoon! I can hardly believe it, I’m about to experience my first honeymoon. I’m a little nervous. What should I bring to the most important post wedding experience sixtysomething newlyweds can have? There’s only one thing, my love for Jackie, the rest will take care of itself....well maybe I’ll throw in a pedicure and a massage just to be safe...Merry Christmas from both of us!


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December 2013 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

They’re thinking stay in.

You’re thinking go out.

That’s why there’s The Shoppes at EastChase Gift Card. Because try as you might, you can’t read minds. So whatever the occasion, think The Shoppes at EastChase Gift Card, and you’ll have made the perfect choice. Visit Guest Services, located next to Ware Jewelers, to purchase gift cards. For extended holiday Guest Services hours, please visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013




Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas – heck, Christmas arrives at department stores nowadays before Halloween pumpkins start to rot. We are now in holiday full swing. Maybe you’ve already been invited to a party, a wine tasting, a play celebrating the season. Hopefully, my advice to tap into the online date pool paid off, and you have dates for these events. But maybe you still haven’t been able to get past the first step of registering on a site. Maybe you have tried, but have been so icked out by what you have seen that you’d rather forego the parties altogether. It’s all in how persistent you want to be at your Build-A-Date workshop.

adventures in online dating with Mia Hunter

Last Christmas, I was semi-dating a nice but way-too-clingy man I met on Match. I knew he was honing in way too fast, but how do you break up with someone at Christmas without feeling like the biggest Grinch south of Whoville???? It really wore on me until I invited him to come to Christmas Eve services with me at my very traditional, very formal church, and he showed up in jeans and tennis shoes. Yes, I absolutely told him it was a dressup service, and he either ignored it or decided he was just not going to comply. Permission granted to Grinch. Later that night I went to my favorite little Midnight Mass service alone, and ran into my ex-husband, but that is another story entirely. Suffice it say it was an interesting December 24. I made many New Year’s resolutions afterwards. One was to make better choices in shopping for a mate. Living means learning and I have learned a lot about what is important in choosing a partner – for a week, a month, or a lifetime. I’ve learned that company doesn’t always mean


December 2013

security, kisses aren’t contracts, and presents aren’t promises. People change. We need to understand that. It’s easy to lay blame on one or the other when a relationship fails. But we need to accept our disappointments with our heads held high and our eyes wide open so as not to miss any blessings we might not see if our lip is poked out and our eyes are on what we did wrong. I’ve learned to plant my garden and decorate my own soul instead of waiting for a man to send me flowers. What blooms inside each of us is far lovelier than those roses that have started making your room smell like a funeral home. I have been largely blessed with the experiences of the last year, and the whole online dating process. I have met some truly awesome men – and some truly memorable Date Fails. I would not trade a single experience. It has been more fun than I ever imagined it could be. So, a recap: here are the sites I recommend. – a paid site, which to me culls out some of the undesirables, replacing them with some other undesirables, but who at least have credit cards. What they call “matching” simply means you like dogs, they like dogs. You like to travel, they like to travel. No matter how many times I emailed to remind them I do not date Santa Claus or any of his clones, they

continues to match me with portly bearded men who, like me, were the firstborn, and like to dine out occasionally. Match gets a B+. Plenty of Fish – a free site. Lots of men “just fishin”, not looking for a relationship. Many married or separated men. Many young – under 30 – men looking for Mrs. Robinson. I think I had two good dates off PoF (my Prince of Tides was one). You will, however, be inundated with matches. PoF gets a C+. Christian Mingle – another paid site, but purported to feature people who share a common Christian faith. Many of the men I was contacted by were a bit forward about being on the hunt for Wife. I was pursued by one never-married dairy farmer who still lived with Ma and Pa, cause Ma made him breakfast and dinner and washed his clothes and he (at 54) had really never thought about leaving. As handsome as he was, I just could not take over Ma’s job. And as much as I adore animals and would which was forgettable. Mingle gets a CWhether you date or not this Christmas month, remember the big picture. The meaning of the season is wonder, presence, immediacy, being HERE. Creation. Rebirth. Stars in the sky, songs in the heart. Savor the season and spend time with whoever you love most, whoever feeds your spirit and makes it warm. A new date, an old friend, a true love. It’s all the same. It’s soul gravy. Pour it on. Merry Christmas to all. Mia Hunter is a mother, grandmother and equestrienne. Born and raised in the River Region, she stays busy writing, riding her horses and feeding her creativity. She is still looking for Mr. Right. Send all comments to

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Holiday Suggestions A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Back by popular demand, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s blockbuster production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will return November 29 through December 24th. Adapted for the stage by ASF’s producing artistic director Geoffrey Sherman, the play utilizes the character of Dickens who literally brings magic to the performance. A Christmas Carol was the biggest selling and most attended play at ASF during the 2012-13 season. When Ebenezer Scrooge receives an unwanted visit from the ghost of his former business partner, an overnight journey of epic proportions begins. Adding to the fun is Charles Dickens himself, who, as an amateur magician, utilizes sleight of hand and engaging humor to help tell one of his most enduring stories. This traditional telling of A Christmas Carol also features a cast of more than 30 actors, spectacular special effects, elaborate period costumes and a magnificent set replicating nineteenth-century London. Returning in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge is ASF favorite Rodney Clark. Wynn Harmon also returns to perform the role of Charles Dickens. Ticket prices start at $30. They may be purchased by calling 800.841.4273, visiting online at or at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Shoppes at EastChase Photos with Santa: Santa has a new home this year at the Shoppes at EastChase! Photos with Santa will be in Santa’s Workshop on Main Street. Kids can enjoy the excitement of being in Santa’s workshop while getting their picture taken with Santa. Saturdays from 11 am - 8 pm, Sundays from noon - 6 pm; Friday, December 13 from 5 - 8 pm *Pet Night; Friday, December 20 from 11 am - 8 pm; Tuesday, December 24 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Breakfast with Santa: Saturday, December 14, from 8:00-10:30 a.m. Kids can enjoy breakfast with Santa at Bonefish Grill at The Shoppes at EastChase. $10 will include visits with Santa, breakfast and photos. Participants must register by Thursday, December 12. For more information or to register, call Vickie Lawrence at 334.279.6046. Baking Cookies with Santa: Saturday, December 7 & 21, 8 - 10:30 am. Kids can enjoy yummy treats with Santa at Williams-Sonoma at The Shoppes at EastChase on Saturday, December 7, and at Panera Bread on Saturday December 21! The baking fun will be $5 and participants must register by Thursday, December 5, for WilliamsSonoma and Thursday, December 19, for Panera Bread. Carriage Rides (next to Earth Fare Organic Grocer) Shoppers can enjoy holiday carriage rides through The Shoppes at EastChase Saturday, December 7, 14 and 21, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Carriages rides will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Take a ride around EastChase and enjoy the beautiful holiday sights and sounds. Holiday Theather Performances Enjoy holiday performances from “A Christmas Carole” by Alabama Shakespeare performers! Performances will take place on Main Street during various times throughout the week and weekends at Santa’a Workshop on Main Street. Check The Shoppes at EastChase website for performance dates and times.

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December 2013




This & tHAT

Over the River and Through the Woods... Over the river and through the woods, through Downtown we will go... Join MANE and Capitol City Carriage Company as we ring in this holiday season with delightful carriage rides to benefit Montgomery Area Non-traditional Equestrians. Saturday, December 14, Carriage rides run from 6-10 pm and the price is $25 for two adults, $5 for children 5 to 12. Carriage rides will begin and end at the corner of Commerce and Tallapoosa Street in downtown Montgomery. Please call Fred Thomas at 334.221.2336 to make your reservation. Walk ups are welcome. Proceeds benefit M.A.N.E. for more info visit

Sloss Holiday Market Nothing feels like the holidays more than an outdoor market full of light and sound. Sloss Furnaces is a National Landmark and this year will host its first Holiday Market. Local vendors and artists will be selling the best of their talents. Friday and Saturday will be filled with the smell of hot cocoa, popcorn, spiced cider and cookies. Live music will entertain you as you shop. On Saturday night as the sun sets, the furnace will be lit for a grand finale. Sloss Holiday Market will be held at Sloss Furnaces, 20 32nd St. N, Birmingham, Thursday, December 5-Saturday, December 7 (times vary), FREE admission. For information, call 205.324.1911 or visit

Jackson Hospital Volunteer Named 2013 Outstanding Auxilian Jackson Hospital volunteer Betty Roy was named Alabama Hospital Association’s 2013 Outstanding Auxilian. The award is given annually to one volunteer in the state who has proven leadership skills and exemplary volunteer service. A hospital volunteer for 26 years, Roy helps in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and has also helped with numerous other projects, including serving on committees, training volunteers and assisting with various fundraisers. “We are so lucky to have Betty Roy in our volunteer program. Her genuine compassion for patients and her loyalty to Jackson Hospital make her an inspiration to to everyone,” said Linda Dean, director of volunteer services for Jackson Hospital. Terry Andrus, chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association and president of East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, presented Roy with the award Oct. 23 at a hospital volunteers’ conference in Eufaula. “When you consider that a full-time employee works an average of 2,080 hours per year, Ms. Roy could almost be labeled as full-time,” Andrus said. “I’m told Ms. Roy serves an average of 1,500 hours annually, arriving at the hospital at 6:30 each morning, four days a week. There are not many people with that type of dedication, and we are so grateful that she has chosen to devote her retired years to the hospital and its patients.”

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December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Fantasy in Lights 8 million lights, 15 dazzling scenes, 1 magical experience!!! Callaway’s “Fantasy” is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, but has been named one of the world’s “Top 10 Places To See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler. Come over for the lights and stay in one of the villas or cabins and get a great package deal which includes VIP boarding on the Jolly Trolley, breakfast and admission to all the Gardens have to offer. For more information on the Fantasy in Lights, visit or call 1-800.225.5292

Wild Animal Safari Experience an African safari from your own vehicle, or rent one of the park’s zebra buses. The Wild Animal Safari is a hidden gem just a little over an hour from Montgomery. Admission to the park includes the drive-thru 250 acre park where you can hand feed Too Tall the giraffe, elk, zebra, wildebeest, fallow deer, bison, ostrich, kudu and more. The animals roam freely and are all ready for their photos to be taken for the price of a handful of feed! After your drive, visit the walkabout where you can meet the newest resident, Baby George the giraffe who loves to be petted and fed. You can also see hyenas (who smile), lions, tigers and a LIGER, and maybe get to meet and hold Ella the bull snake. Located at 1300 Oak Grove Road Pine Mountain, Georgia. For more information call 706.663.8744 or visit

Rocky Mountain Express for the Grandkids! This absolutely breathtaking Imax presentation propels audiences on a steam train journey through the visually thrilling vistas of the Canadian Rockies and relates the epic adventure of building the nation’s first transcontinental railway. Travel without ever leaving your seat, and feel every turn! Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $7.50 for children. If you have never experienced an Imax film, you are in for a treat. If you have, you know the higher up you sit, the more fun it is! Visit or Choo-choo!!!! McWane Science Center, 2nd Avenue North at 19th Street North, Birmingham.

Living Well Alabama Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop Central Alabama Aging Consortium is sponsoring a Living Well Alabama Chronic Disease SelfManagement Workshop in January. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) consists of a six-week course designed to teach people with illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, COPD, fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic pain and other chronic illnesses to manage their diseases, feel better, and lead more productive lives, living life to the fullest. The program is free and open to those with chronic health conditions as well as their families, friends, and caregivers. Classes are taught by two trained leaders for 2 ½ hours once a week. The workshop is interactive and participants learn skills and strategies for managing their symptoms such as pain and fatigue; they learn about healthy eating, relaxation techniques, overcoming depression, managing daily tasks, exercising safely, and attain skills in other areas. The workshop will be held at the Crump Senior Center, 1750 Congressman Dickinson Drive in Montgomery, beginning Thursday, January 30, 2014 and end on March 6th. The hours are from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm Registration is required and enrollment is limited. There may be funding available for respite care. To register or for more information regarding future classes, contact Myrtle Scott or Jane Mitchel at Central Alabama Aging Consortium, 334.240.4666. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013




Susan Fisher, Christian Leader This month’s BOOM! profile is Susan Fisher. Susan is the Director of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry Director at Frazer UMC. She has worked as an executive with Mercantile Stores (Gayfers) and has raised a family with her husband, Sam. Susan has a tremendous desire to share God with teen girls and women of all ages by being a good listener and helping them talk through their unique situations. As an empty nester, she is excited about the new season of changes it brings in relationships and becoming more spontaneous! We visited with Susan recently and she shared some of her life’s journey with us. Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.

and serving others. I have 4 brothers and sisters and we had regular family worship with singing, reading the Bible and prayer time. At 8, I realized I was a sinner and needed Jesus and asked him to be Lord of my life. At a young age I loved reading the Bible and talking to God. He has placed wise Christians as role models throughout my life.

Susan with her best friend and husband, Sam

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. where you’re from, education, what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Susan: I am from Monroeville, Alabama, graduated from Monroe County High School, attended Auburn University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fashion Merchandising. I did an internship, as part of my degree, with Gayfers Department Store in Montgomery, I loved the retail world. My father ran a rolling store while I was growing up and it was a big deal for me to work with him serving his customers. This career spanned almost 20 years and my last position was Vice President of Merchandising for Mercantile

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Stores Southeast. There was a break in the middle ,1985-1990 to start a restaurant, The Peacocks Feather, A fine dining restaurant in my husband’s home place on Woodley Road (Many would remember it as Fisher Farms). I am married to Sam Fisher and we just celebrated our 35th Anniversary. We have 4 grown children, 3 sons and a daughter. They are all married and we are so blessed by each of their spouses and our 4 grandchildren. Our sons and their families live in Montgomery and our daughter and her husband lives in Birmingham. BOOM!: You have been a Christian leader in the River Region for many years now. Would you please share your Christian journey with our readers and your calling to serve God? What are some of the blessings and challenges of being a woman in ministry? Susan: I was very fortunate to be raised in a Christian home by parents who modeled their faith through love, hospitality, giving

I have not always walked obediently and it has not been an easy journey. My struggles as an adult have been; worry, control issues, workaholic, financial and self-righteousness. God is so faithful, He has walked with me patiently as I yielded these areas piece by piece. I remember telling God often what He needed to do with everyone else and one day it was so clear, not audibly but in my heart and mind, He said, “Susan, when you surrender every thing to me and let Me have control of your life, you will change. Did you catch that…not everyone else...but I would change! My walk has been very different since then. That was in the 90’s. I have been a part of small groups and Bible studies most of my life. Through those God grew me and used me. He put a passion in my heart for teenagers, so my husband and I served in the student ministry over 10 years. I led a small group of teen girls form 7th grade until they graduated. God closed the door of my retail career for the last time in 1999. He sent me home to prepare me for the next season, ministering to women. He opened a whole new world of building close relationships

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Susan: How would I describe the sense of of Children’s, Students, Men’s, Adult with women. He took all of the pain and renewal in my life as any empty nester? Education, and Older Adults regarding trials I had walked through and put women I view it as a new season where I am free developing/coordinating ministry in my life who needed someone to walk to be more spontaneous, to build new calendars, with them. and stronger friendships-we have Friday staffing, The biggest night dinners in a local restaurant every personal challenge is week with different couples participating development, remembering I as schedules permit – so much fun! We curriculum, have no power are also working through the 100 dishes and members to change to eat in Alabama before you die with spiritual anyone. Each special friends. Can you tell food is a part growth paths. person has to of renewal? Exercise is a big part of my I serve on choose change life. I love what it does for me physically, the staff Lead for themselves! emotionally and spiritually. Sam and I enjoy Team with our I am a good long walks several times a week for our Senior Pastor, listener and I health but also because we really enjoy Teaching find helping being outdoors. Pastor and women talk other ministry through their Advice for others seeking renewal: directors concerns helps Wolfgang’s in the Highlands, we love family birthday Some things I try to practice: start your which meet them look at celebrations with 3 of our children, spouses and grandchildren. day with God, in His Word, communicating weekly to their situation with Him, focus on others and not yourself, discuss differently. I laugh at yourself and with others, let go current concerns, future plans and to am humbled by the opportunity to pray for of your expectations of others (especially encourage and pray for each other. I them and direct them to next steps. adult children, give them room to grow), believe what I do daily helps free my Sr. see interruptions as an opportunity to Pastor to focus on other ministry demands. BOOM!: What is your role as the Director bless someone. of Discipleship & Women’s Ministry It is not about Our Director at Frazer UMC? retirement, can’t priority seem to find for Frazer Susan: In 2001 I became the director of that anywhere is to help Women’s Ministry at Frazer UMC. This in the Bible. Life people get involved working with a team of lay is a journey and connected volunteers to continue developing ministry it is not over into small areas such as: retreats and conferences, until we take groups Bible Studies, pre-school moms, mission our last breath, where we circles, mentoring and a prayer team so live each day believe for women. I personally have taught or Sam, Susan, sister, Cheryl and her husband Bruce... expectantly real growth facilitated women’s studies since 1999. “traveling companions” and don’t try happens Another key part of my role is one on one to run ahead of God. He will guide you by building strong relationships through coaching/discipling. I usually have 1-3 and remember He has already given us fellowship, reading the Bible and life women that I meet with weekly. My desire everything we need for life and godliness. application, prayer and serving on mission is to minister to all women whether they together. I oversee this were churched or BOOM!: What are you most passionate process and help secure unchurched. We are about? leaders, equip them, constantly changing approve materials and what we do to meet Susan: I am most passionate about helping assist members in finding the needs of women women work through the things that hold a group if needed. today. I am a firm them captive and keep them from having believer that you fullness of life in Christ. This can be anything BOOM!: Many Boomers should not continue from anger, unforgiveness, poor self are experiencing a a ministry just esteem, unhealthy habits, marriage issues, renewed sense of because you have expectations, etc. purpose, new goals, always had it. We Family Matters new careers, especially celebrate endings BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind if they’ve experienced the empty nest knowing God is in control. down from a hard day’s work? syndrome of their kids moving on. How would you describe this sense of renewal In 2010 I was asked to assume the role Susan: My favorite way to relax and unwind in your life? Any advice for the rest of us of Director of Discipleship. This involves after a hard day is to slip my shoes off when seeking renewal? working directly with the ministry directors

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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I walk in the door, give my husband a kiss, make a cup of French vanilla creamer with a little coffee then sit in my rocking chair and recap the day with my husband. BOOM!: Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams planned for the future? Susan: I don’t think I have one favorite vacation spot. We love discovering new places especially in the United States. I would say what I really enjoy is experiencing the “natural wonders,” they remind me of our awesome Creator God, most recently Niagara Falls and Sedona. My travel dream is a trip to the Holy Land. BOOM!: Do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities? Susan: I am intentional about being involved in the community because so much of what I do in my work is about the community. I am involved in the ONEFamily ministry to Foster Children and Orphans as a support volunteer. I helped establish a care ministry for widows, Reality and Truth, Salvation Army Bell ringer and MARC Christmas party. One that has become very dear to me is the Henry Tellis Foundation. It works in the lives of fatherless young men. I have helped host annual celebrations for their mothers. BOOM!: Do you have a favorite book/ scripture of the Bible? Why?

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Susan: The Bible is the book I read daily. Sam’s famous statement is “behind every One of my life verses is from 2 Peter 1:3 “By good woman there is a good man.” He his divine power he has given us everything loves me well. He is my best friend, my we need for life and godliness through our prayer warrior, my encourager and serves knowledge of him...” I love me like Jesus. this verse because it has given me assurance that I BOOM!: What already have all I need to is it about live this life for God’s glory. living in the There are two books that Montgomery/ have profoundly affected River Region my life, Lord Change Me by area that you Evelyn Christenson (God like? used this to help me see I needed to change) and Let Susan: Prayer Change Your Life by Montgomery Becky Tirabassi ( this book/ is central to Empty Nesters: The Lyle’s, Christenberry’s, Fisher’s, many things study took me to a whole Oliphint’s, Mosley’s, Diermayer’s, and Anderson’s new place of intimacy with that are the LORD and a disciplined prayer life) important to me like family and friends. I enjoy the closeness of the beach, the BOOM!: Every spouse plays an important mountains and the lake. role in a Christian’s life; would you please describe your husband’s role in yours? BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your ambitions changed? Susan: Sam is a people magnet. He never meets a stranger and his humor makes Susan: My ambitions have changed in everyone laugh. I’m more of an introvert that as a young career woman I was very so he balances me out. We have shared driven and business like. As I have aged and ministry since we married, volunteering matured I have learned to slow down and as a couple over the years in the nursery, be aware of the opportunities God places teaching children and later teens. When I in my life throughout each day. I want to became Women’s Director he signed up to respond with grace and love so God is help in Women’s ministry doing whatever honored. was needed like cooking for our retreats among numerous other things. We host BOOM!: Give us three words that describe and lead a couple’s small group of empty you? nesters in our home and have for 7 years.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Susan: Three words that describe me: Hospitable, Bargain-shopper, Stylish (fashion will always be a part of me) BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Susan: I enjoy creating beautiful arrangements of fresh flowers and natural foliage and helping women learn how to dress based on their body type and proportions. Nothing thrills me more than seeing her gain confidence about what fashions work best and how to shop for them….. transformation!

Susan: Technology has made communicating so much easier over the last 25 years. I use facebook to send messages to members I don’t see regularly and I also use it to keep me informed about

Family Tradition with Christmas Books

BOOM!: What future challenges do you have as a Christian leader? Susan: Future Challenges: The Word of God being watered down and changed to fit what makes people feel good or what they want to believe. To help future generations see the value of the church: not as a building but as the body of Christ knit together to grow, to love and to serve. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. How do you use technology to better perform your role at Frazer?

what people are thinking and doing. We use social media to send out reminders about upcoming events, studies, etc. It has become a great resource for registering people for classes and events. At Frazer we have plans to use it to offer in home studies (interactive), training and teaching for those who are just too busy to add another meeting to their schedules. BOOM!: Is there a special approach to sharing the Gospel with women over 50? Susan: Special approach to sharing the gospel with women over 50. I truly believe that developing relationships and sharing

life is the best way to share Jesus… over time….people need to know you care. Be Jesus……. Traditions are important in our family and because this is December I thought I would share one of ours. On Christmas Eve we attend family communion and return to our home for a special meal. After the meal we all gather in the family room for our Christmas Story. Each year I search for a new treasure to read aloud to our family and sometimes friends. Some years the stories would come from books that were read to me as a child other times it would be the new book that year or one someone recommended. I started buying 4 copies of the book to put away and give to our adult children when they married so they could carry on the tradition. At the end of story time we have time to share and then close with prayer. This will always be a place of tender memories for me. If you have any questions for Susan, you can reach her at 334.272.8622 or susan@ You can also find Susan at Frazer UMC and she invites you to visit Sunday morning worship. We want to thank Susan for participating in this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send them to

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

We Love Women Over 50!

If your Target Audience are Women with Money and Desire, then BOOM! readers are your customers; because 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 Beauty, Grand Kids, Pets, Fitness, Gifts, Restaurants, Healthcare, Financial Services, Caregiving, Classes/Lessons, Home/Garden, Concerts, Entertaining, Travel & More!


Reasonable Ad Rates, Complimentary Ad Creation, 12,500 Readers, Locally Focused Content, 300+ Locations, Complimentary Digital Editions

Let us know if we can help you find better customers, call 523.9510 or email r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m December 2013 BOOM!

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


It doesn’t have to hurt! Presented by River Region Facial Plastics

Hello, This is Dr. Michael Bowman with River Region Facial Plastics. This month I’d like to address a concern which is almost universal but rarely addressed: Pain! Many of us have had some sort of unpleasant experience at our doctor’s Restylane-Before office. At River Region Facial Plastics, we know that our clients expect and deserve an enjoyable experience from start to finish. We know you want to look your best, and we believe you shouldn’t have to walk through fire to get there. To illustrate this concept, I’d like to discuss a popular facial rejuvenation procedure: lip enhancement. When you are talking with anyone face to face, chances are that your gaze is focused on either their eyes or their mouth. This explains why both of these areas are ideal places for subtle but very noticeable treatments. Lip enhancement is one of my favorite non-surgical ways to enhance almost any woman’s appearance. Temporary lip enhancement can be done with hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane-L or Juvederm Ultra XC. These safe and dependable plumping agents typically last about 6-12 months for most patients. For patients who desire permanent enhancement , I recommend the Perma silicone lip implant. We have many patients who love these injectable treatments because it only takes about 15-20 minutes to create beautiful and natural looking results. We can rejuvenate lips that have lost volume with aging, or give your natural lips a little boost! Unfortunately, when I suggest lip

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enhancement to some patients, they are hesitant. “I tried that once...and it hurt!!” Even though all of the fillers we use have a numbing agent pre-mixed in them, the lips are a sensitive area. In my mind, performing a lip enhancement without appropriate anesthesia is cruel and unusual Restylane-After punishment!

their friends when they are asked about their new secret. This has been only one example, but I hope it illustrates the attention we pay to every detail of your experience at River Region Facial Plastics. We have a variety of techniques, tools and systems we employ to ensure all of your treatments at River Region Facial Plastics will be as pleasant as possible. So, if you are interested in lip enhancement or any of our other rejuvenation possibilities, please

With that in mind, I have developed a technique for numbing the area around the lips which usually makes lip enhancement painfree. It is similar to the procedure used by your dentist, but most Juvederm-Before Juvederm-After of our patients report that this technique is even easier than remember, “It doesn’t have to hurt” and at their dentist’s office. It only takes a contact us for your free consultation. few minutes, and most patients report they feel nothing during the actual lip Do you have a question for Dr. Bowman enhancement. The numbing medicine or Dr. Cawthon? Email us at: usually only lasts about an hour, so you can get back to normal more quickly. and put “BOOM Question” in the subject. For over a year now, I have used blunt tipped cannulas, rather than regular needles for almost all of my filler treatments. All fillers are packaged with regular needles, so these cannulas must be purchased separately. These specialized micro-cannulas require some changes in technique, but I have found they dramatically decrease the discomfort, swelling and bruising after any injectable procedure. Since we have been using these cannulas, significant bruising has almost become a thing of the past and major swelling is rarely an issue as well. All of these details, add up to a very comfortable experience with minimal downtime. Combine this with beautiful and natural looking results, and you can see why so many of our patients refer

Yours in good health, Dr. Michael Bowman 334.270.2003 NB: A consultation is necessary before all treatments. Please make sure your doctor answers all of your questions before you consider a lip enhancement or any other treatment. Juvederm is used “off label” in the lips. At the time of this publication I do not have any financial ties to any of the corporations which manufacture any of the products discussed here.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

December 2013



Christmas for when you don’t feel like Christmas.

christmas eve candlelight worship

a service of prayer and worship for those experiencing loss, loneliness, or grief during the holidays. 6 pm Dec. 21 • Frazer United Methodist Church

5 p.m. Traditional Sanctuary

7p.m. Contemporary Wesley Hall

Frazer Church: find hope, Follow Jesus • sunday worship 8, 9:30 & 11AM 6000 atlanta Hwy. Montgomery • • 334.2728622 • 18 BOOM!

December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Go Nuts for Nutcracker! This month, you can have a chance to see not one but three different ballet companies perform this beloved ballet – and one features dancers of the canine kind! The Birmingham Ballet presents “The Mutt-Cracker” on Friday December 13 at 7:30 PM at the BJCC Concert Hall. If you love dogs, you don’t want to miss this! Premiered in 2011, the canine version of this holiday classic is always met with wagging reviews. Not only is the performance filled with the beautiful traditional dancing by members of the Birmingham Ballet, but something extra special is brought to the stage with the accompaniment of these fabulous four-legged performers. The performance benefits the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. It will be a treat for adults and children as well. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and at the BJCC central ticket office, or by visiting The Atlanta Ballet brings to Samford University a real treat as it is one of only seven companies in the world granted the right to perform this holiday classic by the George Balanchine Trust. Performed to Balanchine’s specifications, dazzling choreography, opulent costumes and extravagant set, this production is one unlike any other. The Atlanta Ballet company of dancers will show you just how spectacular The Nutcracker can be. Performances are December 13-22 at various times. Visit www. for ticket information and performance times, or call 205-322-4300. The Montgomery Ballet once again treats us to their performances of the Nutcracker at the Davis Theater on December 12-15. The ballet company, students and professionals together will dazzle adults and kids alike with their beautiful talent and creativity. On Saturday and Sunday following the 2PM performances, bring the children for a Sugar Plum Fairy Party where they can meet and take photos with the gorgeous dancers. For ticket information and performance times visit or call 334-409-0522.



Elementary Open House January 16, 2014 K4 - 5th Grade | 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Alabama Christian Academy prepares students for a successful, faithful life. At ACA, they’re ready. 334.277.1985




T H R I V E I N W I S D O M . S E RV E I N S PI R I T.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



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December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Elder Cottages

Elder cottage a trend in senior housing – and for good reason Mark Wilson is in search of a Northwest family willing to place the area’s first elder cottage in the family’s backyard. The family won’t get a monetary break for being the first, but they will pioneer a trend in senior housing that is predicted to flourish in the next decade or so. “An elder cottage is a small, energyefficient, self-contained home designed to be placed adjacent to an existing home that would allow an elder to live there under the loving care of an adult child, or a friend, in the primary residence,” Wilson said. Wilson is housing developer for Community Frameworks, an affordable housing nonprofit in Spokane, Wash. He’s excited about the elder cottage initiative because “they were doing this 100 years ago. I always like when proven ideas come back.” BACK TO THE FUTURE In 1947, more than 25 percent of U.S. homes housed at least three generations of the same family, according to, a resource website for boomers and seniors. Though multigenerational living was already on the wane in the families where baby boomers grew up, grandparents were still often taken into the family home after losing mates or being hospitalized. Families sometimes added or remodeled rooms to give the elders some privacy or built separate dwellings on the same property. These became known as “granny flats.” By the 1970s, with the rise of suburban living, women working outside the home and the proliferation of retirement living communities, granny flats went out of style; in many communities, zoning laws didn’t even allow them. By 2000, only 4 percent of elderly parents were living with their families. Aging experts are betting on a pendulum swing back to more multigenerational living. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Some boomers will want their aging parents in close proximity, but not sharing the house itself, and aging parents, used to independence, won’t want to live in the same home with their grown kids and grandkids, Wilson said. “The elder gets dignity. They have their own space,” Wilson said. “They don’t have to worry about (being) up at 5:30 in the morning and wondering, ‘Am I going to wake the kids?’, or having the television up too loud.” Elder cottages could really boom when boomers hit their 70s, 80s and 90s. “Boomers are taking more responsibility and being proactive,” Wilson said. “I could see this type of concept being used to create senior villages, for lack of a better term. I can see a group of old friends or like-minded people who want to grow old together create clusters of these homes and have a wonderful lifestyle through communal sharing of meals and gardens and fellowship.” No one yet knows the creative ways older boomers will live in their old age, but when Wilson saw his first elder cottage about a year ago during a tour of a manufactured home company, he thought: “This is as exciting as anything I’ve seen yet.” COTTAGE LIFE Palm Harbor Homes builds elder cottages that range in size from 400 to 600 square feet at its factory in Millersburg, Ore. Units can be custom-built slightly larger and with added features. Though studio units are available, most of the cottages are constructed with one bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen plus a living and dining area. The cottages feature wide doorways and hallways and accessible showers. The utilities connect from the main house. The units range in price from $43,000 to $50,000.

By Rebecca Nappi

Elder cottages arrive nearly complete, but it can cost another $10,000 to $15,000 to prepare the site, laying the foundation, creating outdoor steps and walkways and clearing space behind the main family residence. Zoning shouldn’t be a huge hurdle, Wilson said, in some areas. But the units are not allowed in every zoning classification. THE FIRST FAMILY Buying an elder cottage as a model home so interested families can take a look-see is a bit beyond the budget of Community Frameworks, so the nonprofit is hoping one family will buy the first elder cottage and place it in the family’s backyard. “Ideally, we would use it as a model prior to them placing it in their backyard,” Wilson said. He is getting the word out about elder cottages by visiting senior centers and other organizations. Spokane’s Corbin Senior and Activity Center executive director, Christa Richardson, grew up in Germany where elder family members often live very near younger family members. “I think that’s the way to go,” Richardson said. “In Germany, many houses have two apartments, one upstairs, one downstairs.” The elders in her home country often help with cooking, laundry and child care which allows them to feel useful into older age. “It’s a win-win situation,” Richardson said. “Once you close your door, you are by yourself. You remain independent.” ONLINE Learn more about Elder Cottage at (c) 2013, The Spokesman-Review Distributed by MCT Information Services r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

December 2013



Healthy Hearing

By Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

PSAP’s…. What’s Their REAL Value?? Listen UP… Come on… you’ve seen the ads…many people with hearing loss believe that a low cost Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) will alleviate their hearing and communication troubles. Although the inexpensive pricing of PSAPs is appealing to many people who experience hearing difficulties, it is Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. possible these devices are doing more harm than good. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations in place designed to unmistakably differentiate between hearing aids and PSAPs. This distinction is crucial, particularly because over-amplification can negatively impact residual hearing.

Hearing aids are classified as wearable medical devices that are individually programmed to compensate for specific hearing deficits. Due to their classification as medical devices by the FDA, hearing aids are subject to labeling restrictions and premarket testing. It is recommended by the FDA to either obtain a medical evaluation or sign an appropriate waiver of medical evaluation prior to the purchase of hearing aids. Hearing aids are fit by an audiologist who programs and fine-tunes these sophisticated devices specifically for a patient’s hearing loss. Audiologists guide patients and their families through the process of getting adapted to their devices. Personal sound amplification devices are defined as wearable electronic merchandise that are not designed to treat hearing loss, but rather are designed for normal hearing individuals to amplify environmental sounds for leisurely activities like bird watching. Since PSAPs are not meant to diagnose, treat, or heal disease and since they do not have physical or physiologic effects on the body, they are not regulated by the FDA. When differentiating between hearing aids and PSAPs it is helpful to remember the following:

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Personal Sound Amplification Product VS Hearing Devices/Aids Distinguish Between Sounds PSAPs have no adjustments for the type of hearing loss someone might have. Hearing Aids are programmed specifically for each individual patient’s hearing loss and lifestyle needs. Programmed for Different Environments PSAPs have no adjustments to distinguish between voices and background noise. Hearing Aids are designed to have program or environment specific adjustments that the user can make manually or the hearing aid can do automatically. Amplifier PSAPs turn all sounds up or down. Hearing Aids with digital chips will bring out voice and conversation, which is generally what a patient is looking for. Custom Fit PSAPs are not a custom fit. They are universal and designed to fit any ear without regard to size or shape. Hearing Aids are “custom” fit to every patient with regard to size and shape of ear canal. Trial Period In most circumstances, people can’t try a PSAP before purchasing it. Audiologists offer patients a hearing aid trial period, during which they have a chance to acclimatize to the new hearing devices.

The introduction of hearing aid sales over the Internet has sparked numerous questions as to the safety and legality of these types of operations. A crucial concern is the possible lack of compliance with current FDA regulations as well as state policies for the sale and fitting of hearing aids. According to the Vanderbilt University Bill Wilkerson Center, “sales of hearing aids online or through the mail are legal only in and from the state of Illinois.” Several states have implemented laws that criminalize the sale of hearing devices through the mail or online. Nine states have specific restrictions for the online sale of hearing aids.

Patient safety is at risk without the participation of an audiologist in the hearing aid dispensing process. Audiologists are trained to provide patients with an opportunity to make an educated decision in regard to the medical evaluation waiver. Many websites allow the buyer to check a box to deny the medical evaluation. It is possible this action defies the FDA requirement stating that the buyer should be given the choice to forego the medical evaluation if the hearing aid dispenser:

1. Informs the prospective user that the exercise of the wavier is not in the user’s best health interest; 2. Does not in any way actively encourage the prospective user to waive such a medical evaluation; and 3. Affords the prospective user the opportunity to “sign” a detailed statement of the wavier.

It is not currently apparent how an individual dispensing hearing aids over the internet can verify compliance with the aforementioned criteria, nor if the check box is considered equal to a written signature, indicating a consumer’s understanding. The FDA has expressed intent to investigate direct-to-consumer websites to establish if the wavier is in agreement with their regulations. Individuals are encouraged to be mindful that advertising may attempt to disguise personal sound amplifiers as hearing aids. To report misleading business practices, you can contact any of the following: Federal Trade Commission, your state Attorney General, Better Business Bureau, and your local consumer protection office. To determine the best option for you, contact Doctors Hearing Clinic to schedule a complimentary hearing consultation, 334.396.1635. Content adapted from October 2013 Listen Now newsletter by Widex and Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff: Regulatory Requirements for Hearing Aid Devices and Personal Sound Amplification Products. Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology, and has recently assumed her position as President of the American Academy of Audiology. Co-authored by Dr. Brittany Spahr and Casey Gonzalez, Doctoral Extern, LSU Health.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

December 2013



Things that Matter

With Lee Lawrence

Things that Matter: When I was in High School I remember coming home after work and seeing my dad sitting at the kitchen table hovering over paper work. Dad was a coal miner at Peabody Coal Company mine #10 in central Illinois. He would work a shift at the mine, and then spend half the night renovating a house he had purchased for resale. I think they call that “flipping” in today’s market. He was a” jack of all trades”, doing the plumbing, electrical, sheetrock, and painting by himself. He would sell the house when completed and frequently hold the mortgage on the property.

with mostly white. We called it snow, remember? Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger still looked great as they galloped across that blurry screen. Now we sit for hours at Best Buy trying to identify the brand with the highest definition of color and largest flat screen. Our phone was the size of a shoe box and hung on the wall and everyone for miles could be on it at the same time without conference calling. Now we wear it on our belt and want the one that takes the best pictures or has the most games. We could burn a draft card or bra. I burned neither. We could go to Canada or Viet Nam. I chose Viet Nam. You drove a VW minibus with flowers painted in wild colors or a Harley Hog. I couldn’t afford either. I drove a 1953 Chevy. We lived bold and felt that we could conquer the world. There was nothing we couldn’t do.

Security at the earliest age, buy the investment paying the highest return etc. We know today that longevity contributes to when you should take Social Security. We know that there are multiple payout options and many strategies that when employed can affect the ability to maximize this income benefit frequently by hundreds of thousands of dollars over a life time. As we live longer in retirement, we find that most retirees are now more interested in protecting their nest egg rather than getting a greater return. Protecting the Golden Goose while living on the eggs has debunked the higher income myth. The buy and hold theory has certainly been challenged by retirees that have witnessed frequent recessions and extended recover periods. It is a disaster for long term planning.

The paper work I mentioned earlier was the Sales Contract he was drawing up for the purchaser to sign. He asked me to sit and help him through that process. Dad would quote me the sales price, the interest rate, and the resulting monthly payment but did not know how to put that formula in the contract. After we had completed the contract he would usually change the subject as if his inability to put a simple formula on paper embarrassed him. Little did he know how impressed I was that he could get the answer and not know the formula. I have often felt that if I could accomplish with a college degree what he accomplished with a 5th grade education I would be successful. Trust me when I say,” I still have a ways to go”. Those precious moments with my father have stayed with me throughout my life and have influenced many of my professional decisions and most of my motivation. I wish he were here today.

Unfortunately times have dramatically changed and we find ourselves in a time when life and its decisions are the proverbial moving target. Most, if not all, of the old concepts and rules of thumb just don’t seem to apply anymore. We experienced interest rates on home loans of 19% in 1978. Rates are now under 4%. CD’s and Money Markets were drawing 15% in the mid 1980’s. They are currently earning less than 2%. Circumstances change so rapidly it is hard to make decisions today and expect them to apply next week. My dad retired when CD’s were paying the higher rates of 13% and when he died he was getting 3%. That was a substantial reduction in his standard of living. One he had not planned for.

Today’s senior investor must be much more active in the decision making process. You need to be better informed, not just looking at what is happening today but what are the trends. You must be knowledgeable of tax changes that appear to be on the horizon and how they might affect you long term. You should explore some of the new products that are available and how they might protect your assets, compete with inflation, and still provide a life time income. In our current legal environment, it is essential that you insure that your estate is handled as you would want. You need to understand when to use a Trust instead of a Will. You should know the kinds of Powers of Attorney and which of them you might need. Have a Living or Medical Will that insures that your life is handled with the dignity or religious requirements you desire. Insure that your long term care needs are met through your current income assets or through some long term care program. These are just a few of the “Things that Matter”

Those early years were very special years. I don’t think there will ever be a time like the 60’s. Yes I am a Boomer. I sat in front of a TV for the first time when I was in 6th grade. It was black and white

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With the vacillating markets, frequent recessions, and economic instability, it is essential that you stay apprised of current issues, regulation changes, and market trends. As I mentioned earlier in this paper the old rules may not apply in the current environment and you may need to revisit the topic. Some of the rules that have been challenged are the buy-and-hold strategies, take Social

I have been assisting clients with their financial matters for over 30 years. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Often I find that my new clients have already made important decisions that cannot be reversed. They have already started Social Security; they have selected their pension option and might have annuitized their 401(k). More frequently than not, each decision has been made independent of the other instead of developing a coordinated retirement plan. Consequently, assets and incomes have not been ear marked for specific goals and the client was unsure as to their ability to fulfill their objectives. This dilemma has caused me to want to position myself out in front of the problem. I want to, through workshops, seminars and articles like this, to educate in the “Things that Matter”. My goal is to provide information, education, and mentoring that ensure understanding well before the decision is made. I want to provide the necessary tools that assist in formulating a retirement plan that will hold up to tests of time. I want to teach the principals and values of coordinating benefits and committing an asset to the accomplishment of a specific goal. I am excited about being a part of the BOOM! family and look forward each month to discussing “Things that Matter”. Have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Lee Lawrence Signature Financial Solutions LLC 8128 Old Federal Road Montgomery, AL. 36117 334-546-7597 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



Bucket List Adventure

Un-Cruise Heritage Voyage

on the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Meet road builder and visionary Sam Hill in Portland, Ore., town floozies at The Dalles, and a saloon girl in the Grand Salon as you trace the path of Lewis and Clark on the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard Un-Cruise Adventure’s new replica 1900’s coastal steamer, the S.S. Legacy.

Hike up a half dozen or more switchbacks en route to Multnomah Falls, see bald eagles and big horn sheep in Hells Canyon and learn what ultimately became of members of the Corps of Discovery at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Along the way, you’ll catch yourself imagining the marvels seen by the explorers more than 200 years ago in this land of towering Douglas firs, steep bluffs, rocky shorelines and mountain volcanoes, including Mt. Hood, white and inscrutable in the distance. William Clark recorded in his journal on Nov. 7, 1806, “Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian, this great Pacific Octean which we been So long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (As I Suppose) may be heard distinctly.” “We want to immerse our guests further into the history, natural environment and local culture,” said Jill Russell, port captain at Un-Cruise Adventure. “We want to come away with a larger appreciation of how

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special these places are and with the same wonder that we go into them with.” To that end, entertainment, onboard presentations and shore tours on Un-Cruise Heritage Adventures are designed to keep passengers steeped in the theme of the voyage. You’ll stroll the pioneer settlement at Fort Walla Walla Museum, catch a live raptor show at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and sample wines from Washington’s famed Walla Walla Valley. Onboard, there may be a slideshow on the Oregon Trail, stringing Indian beads to fashion a necklace or bracelet, a talk on the region’s geology, and lots of character re-enactments. The itinerary sounds busy, but it actually unspools at a leisurely pace. The (included) guided shore excursions are typically planned around lunch aboard the Legacy. Liquor flows freely (fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews are included), and not just at the 5:30 cocktail hour. Twin hot tubs

and yoga or stretch classes nurture the impulse to stay relaxed.

There’s no “dressing for dinner,” so casual rules in the dress code department but gourmet holds court in the Klondike Dining Room. Cuisine is inventive, and a dish from land and from By Kathy Witt sea as well as a vegetarian option are always on the menu: seared duck breast with dried fruit chutney; manchego au gratin sturgeon; creamy avocado linguine with red bell peppers and pine nuts. And for dessert? Gingerbread cake with mascarpone cream, Chocolate Decadence, Rum Ali Babas. “Three words,” said the captain. “Unrushed, uncrowded, unbelievable.” With a free massage offered to each guest, here’s another: unwind. You’ll immerse yourself in that pursuit as much as anything else. ALL THE DETAILS Seven-night Un-Cruise Heritage Adventures retrace the Lewis & Clark expedition aboard the 88-passenger S.S. Legacy, cruising roundtrip Portland, April-May and Sept.-Nov. for 20142015. Seven to 21-night Un-Cruise Heritage Adventures are also offered in Alaska, May-Sept. New for 2014 are four itineraries sailing out of San Jose del Cabo or

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Guaymas on 7- or 14-day cruises to Mexico’s Sea of Cortes aboard the 64-guest yacht, Safari Voyager, which joins the Un-Cruise Adventure fleet in December. This is an inclusive, Luxury Adventure designed to take full advantage of the abundance of marine life found at this UNESCO World Heritage site.

miniature at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Wash. Pouring your own wine from the wine tap in the Legacy’s dining room, the best feature ever!

ADVENTURE GEAR TO TAKE ALONG The Un-Cruise Heritage Adventures aboard the Legacy are fairly active, with lots of Online: Un-Cruise scenic vistas and Adventures, shore visits. You’ll want to go handsfree for the continuous photo ops, but ADVENTURE GUIDE TO DON’T-MISS you’ll need your wallet for shop stops. MOMENTS (The Mapping the Pacific Coast book of Shoveling down Portland gastromaps, by Henry Wendt and based on trash: Make a beeline for the Sideshow the Quivera Collection exhibit at the food truck for poutine, a junk food Columbia River Maritime Museum, is delicacy that arrived by way of Quebec pretty irresistible). and consists of fresh-cut, fried-twice C6 has a new small shoulder bag ($110, Belgian fries and http://c6life. cheese curds com ), soft but doused sloppily sturdy in canvas, in gravy _ but it’s that can be worn vegetarian gravy cross-body and is at this booth so just big enough that makes it OK. for a digital camera, wallet, Hiking to the top water bottle of Multnomah and an iPad or Falls in the MacBook Air 11” Columbia River in a protected, “poutine” Gorge National padded pocket. Scenic Area, or at least making the Keep contents safe with a zipper attempt. The scenic uphill climb will closure on the main compartment and burn off calories from the Dijon dill organizing panel pocket, flip the flap cream Coho salmon or other entree over and clasp the straps together. In served aboard Legacy the night before. black and olive, the bag has a rugged, utile look and a comfy carry with wellArriving by jet boat to eat barbecue padded, adjustable shoulder strap. at Garden Creek Ranch, owned by the Nature Conservancy, in Hells Canyon, Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and the deepest river gorge in North travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels America, plunging more than a mile you should never get to the end of below Oregon’s west rim and 8,000 feet your bucket list; there’s just too much below the snowcapped He Devil Peak to see and do in the world. She can be of Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains. reached at or Marveling at 1940s French haute couture (isn’t that redundant?) in Distributed by MCT Information Services The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



Fitness over Fifty

By Leigh Anne Richards

Let the Buyer Beware As I was thinking what to write for this column, I was planning my lecture for my Wellness class I teach at AUM. The topic is on exercise gadgets, supplements, Leigh Anne Richards and weight loss products, specifically how we as consumers need to know what we are buying. The more I planned this lecture the more I liked it for an article for my fitness column. “Let the Buyer Beware” is a good motto for the consumer seeking advice or planning a program for developing or maintaining fitness, health, or wellness People have always searched for the fountain of youth looking for an easy quick fix for health and happiness. In our current society, this fix often focuses on fitness, nutrition, weight loss and appearance. A variety of products are available that promise weight loss, better fitness and improved health with no effort. The sale of most of these products could be classified as fraud or quackery. The following is a list of clues to identify” quacks or frauds:” • Only using testimonials rather than scientific evidence. There is no such thing as a valid testimonial. Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all • They promise quick miraculous results • Their claims cover a wide variety of conditions • They claim the treatment or product is approved by the FDA, but federal law does not permit mentioning the FDA for marketing • The ingredients in the product are not identified • They claim a new discovery or medical breakthrough • They often sell products through the mail or internet This is just a small list of red flags if you see any of these claims. Make sure for any product you read the fine print

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carefully. If in doubt, check out the company through the Better Business Bureau. Physical Activity quackery is one of the leading forms of fraud. Advertisements that claim you get totally fit in 10 minutes or that their product will get you fit with little or no effort are false. Claims for exercise that will effortlessly reduce weight or produce significant health benefits are equally false. One of the most well known claims is that of exercise machines that does the “work” for you. This is called passive exercise in which no voluntary muscle contraction occurs; an outside force moves the body part with no effort by the person. For exercise to be beneficial, the work must be done by contracting skeletal muscles. Remember the old vibrating belts and the fat rolling machines that were purported to break up and redistribute fat? These types of devices are still being marketed and sold to naïve consumers. A couple of the “new” ones today being marketed and sold are vibrating tables that claim to remove cellulite, increase circulation, and eliminate excess water retention. Body wrapping is another such form of quackery. Tight constricting bands can temporarily indent the skin and squeeze body fluids into other parts of the body, but the skin will regain its original size within minutes or hours. The solution they use is made with Epsom salts which can cause water to be drawn from tissue. The fluid is water, not fat, and is quickly replaced. Don’t be fooled. Exercise equipment is very useful but you must take care and caution when determining the type of machine to purchase. Before buying the equipment ask yourself some pertinent questions- Is this the best for me? Do I have space? Will I really use it? Have I checked Consumer Reports? Is the dealer reputable? Remember most pieces are for a single purpose. Don’t expect to get cardiovascular and muscular strength and flexibility in one piece. Do not be fooled by the calorie estimates. Studies

have shown that machines that provide caloric feedback often overestimate energy expenditure. Also be aware of other claims that machines will get you in the “fat burning zone.” Yet, another example of quackery. Other myths include issues with body composition. Getting rid of cellulite does not require a special device or cream as many ads suggest. Cellulite is ordinary fat with a fancy name. It has no special remedy to get rid of it. Decrease fat, reduce calories, and do more physical activity is the only real answer. Spot reducing or losing fat from a specific location on the body is not possible. When you exercise, calories are burned and fat is recruited from all over the body in a genetically determined pattern. You cannot selectively exercise, vibrate, or squeeze fat from a particular spot. Doing 100 crunches a day will not burn fat from your abdomen as side leg lifts do not spot reduce the fat in the outer thighs. If you are flabby to begin with, local exercise can strengthen the local muscles, causing a change in the contour and girth of that body part. General aerobic exercises are the most effective way for burning fat, but you cannot determine where that fat comes off. Weight loss quackery is the most common form of consumer fraud. A one year Federal Trade Commission study found that nearly one quarter of reported fraud cases involved weight loss products or resources. We as consumers must do our homework and research anything that we “do” in the name of fitness, wellness or health. Next issue I will write about nutrition quackery. We will discuss “diets, supplements and herbs so stay tuned for more quackery!! *Information taken from Concepts of Fitness and Wellness, 2013 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

Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park After years of discussion, volunteers recently broke ground on the Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park — a project expected to enhance education and bring people back to the park. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange donated about seven acres of the park’s land to the Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park Board of Directors so they can create the gardens. Although the city donated the land, the botanical gardens will still technically be a part of Oak Park. The garden will be on the north side of the park, adjacent to Lake Street and Forest Avenue. Heather Coleman, a volunteer and member of the botanical group, said they’re in the middle of the strategic planning process and getting ready to start fundraising. She said she didn’t know how much the botanical park will cost or how long it would take to create it, but that there are about 150 volunteers working on the project, including the Capital City Master Gardeners and the Junior Thespian Literary Club. The botanical park will feature a children’s garden, an Alabama native plants garden, a butterfly garden, a biblical garden, a serenity garden, a rock garden, a Japanese garden, a perennial and bulb garden, a rose garden and more. There also will be a lawn and a terrace in the center for events. Supporters said it will give Oak Park, which once contained the first zoo in the city, a new attraction. “It’ll be a place for people to come to have events, to have weddings, for meetings, for family reunions,” Coleman said. “It’ll be a nice event center and a destination location.” She also said the gardens will be a place for students to come learn about horticulture, botany, biology, social studies and visual arts. There also will be opportunities for adult enrichment programs in gardening, botany, nature-related art, floral design, bird watching, botanical crafts, photography and health and wellness. Strange said in the past, the city has looked at using the land at Oak Park for a hotel to accommodate Jackson Hospital and Alabama State University. But he said revitalizing the park will complement the new stadium and renovations at ASU, and make it a destination. To get involved visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



Secrets of ‘good aging’ A few years ago, I had lunch with Dr. Elizabeth Welty of Spokane, Wash.; she was then in her mid-90s. “What’s your secret?” I asked the retired physician, who was in good shape, physically and mentally. She sighed, a bit wearily, at the question she gets asked to this day, because, now in her late 90s, Welty remains in good shape. She then told me her secret: “Keep moving.” I will highlight some of the other secrets to “good aging”, at least the part of good aging under your control. For the past four years at The Spokesman-Review, my features beat has been boomers and seniors, culminating last February in the creation of the Boomer U section. Thanks for all who shared their wisdom with me. SECRET 1: EXERCISE Exercise is an essential component of good aging. It reminds your body you still need it. It pumps blood into the brain. It’s a great worry-buster. The men and women I interviewed who looked good for their ages exercised regularly. You’ll get advice which exercise you should do, but it doesn’t really matter. Just start moving. SECRET 2: SOCIALIZE When babies are born prematurely, and their lungs are underdeveloped, they are sometimes given a synthetic “surfactant” which irritates their little lungs, forcing them to open. (Sorry, neonatal docs, for this simplistic explanation.) Socialization is a touchy-feely word, but socialization often is not. The longwinded ranter in your golf group drives you crazy. The cheapskate who never takes her turn buying coffee fills you with rage.

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Socializing acts like a surfactant on the psyche. It opens things up, when it’s fun and also when it’s irritating. Find one club, one group, one activity and force yourself out of the house. SECRET 3: CREATE SOMETHING EVERY DAY Recently, Tim Christie, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, sent this email: “In 2007 I retired from teaching at North Idaho College after 35 years in the classroom. I felt empowered to pursue with even more vigor my freelance career, but something was missing. What I missed was sharing, giving of myself to others. “Somewhat by accident, but more by the need to share with good friends what I was doing, I hatched the idea I call Photo Pix. During the week, I send out a photo of mine with a quote that I’ve found that somehow relates to the image. It started going out to a dozen friends and former colleagues, now it goes out to about 1,200 people. “It’s free. I don’t try to get anything from it other than the satisfaction of perhaps bringing a smile, a moment of joy, or the chance that the recipient might pause to appreciate the image, the quote, perhaps both.” It doesn’t matter what you create. Knit a scarf. Write a poem. Cook a great meal. The act of creating taps into a deep source of energy. SECRET 4: PRACTICE MERCY Mercy is synonymous with compassion, but mercy also means forgiving someone you have the power to punish or harm. As people age, the grudges can pile up. Mostly, these grudges, and accompanying revenge fantasies, harm the person harboring them. Mercy, toward others and toward self, can release these damaging emotions. SECRET 5: DON’T DWELL ON YOUR BODY “After 45,” my sister Lucia likes to say “you go to bed and wake up every day with the enemy, your body.”

By Rebecca Nappi

The healthiest older people I met didn’t hide the fact they were in chronic pain, or fighting cancer, or in need of surgery, and they talked about their health concerns, but they didn’t let those concerns stop them from living their lives. They kept moving, as well as they could, and they found their activities a distraction from their body worries. About 25 years ago, I interviewed an older couple who played the accordion at senior gatherings. The wife was in a wheelchair, struggling with diabetes and other chronic conditions. The husband told me that every morning, they made a list of all the things that were hurting. By the next day, something new was on the list and something crossed off. Instead of dwelling on the lists, they played music for others. SECRET 6: FIND YOUR OWN SECRETS TO GOOD AGING My friend Faith Spotted Eagle successfully fought breast cancer more than a decade ago. Everyone gave her advice on treatments, conventional and alternative. One night, she dreamed of a Lakota elder. The woman had been healed of an illness, and she showed Spotted Eagle the medicine that helped her heal. Spotted Eagle asked for some of the medicine, but the Lakota elder told her that each healing is unique to the person. She would discover her own healing, and Spotted Eagle did. So I end this column with the hope that all aging boomers and seniors find their unique secrets to good aging. Meanwhile, keep moving. Rebecca Nappi, a daily newspaper journalist for 34 years is moving on to an “encore” career in health care with the Providence Health Care system. Distributed by MCT Information Services The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Retirement. Too much emphasis is put on the hike up.

Too much emphasis is put on the hike up. The climb down the mountain is where it can get interesting.

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Lee Lawrence is an investment advisor representative of and securities are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC. A Registered Investment Advisor. 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Signature Financial Solutions, LLC is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



Great Gifts for Music Fans Music remains an art form that evokes strong emotions and holds a special place in many a listener’s heart. The nearly universal appeal of music makes it a great gift come the holiday season, when shoppers may not always know what to buy a loved one. The following are a few gift ideas that are sure to have your favorite music fan singing your praises this holiday season.

* Concert tickets: Perhaps no gift makes music fans’ hearts race more than tickets to see their favorite musicians

perform. Your loved one probably has a favorite artist or someone he or she has long desired to see live. Look into that performer’s tour dates to see if they are playing your area anytime soon. If they’re playing just before the holiday season, don’t hesitate to give this gift a little early. The same approach should be taken if an artist will be in town within a day or two of Christmas or Chanukah. Giving the tickets early enables your loved one the chance to clear his or her schedule.

* Musical instrument:

It’s never too early or too late to learn how to play a new instrument. Shoppers whose loved ones love a good rock-and-roll riff might find guitars make a great holiday gift, while those who can’t stop playing air drums should enjoy finding a real drum set come the holidays. When buying guitars, shoppers should learn which hand their loved ones favor.

* Music lessons: Lessons are the next logical step once a music fan has the instruments to work with. But even those without an instrument of their own can benefit from music lessons. For example, music lovers who want to learn piano can make use of lessons even if they don’t have their own pianos at home. Lessons can be a great way for music lovers to gauge their skill levels before buying an expensive instrument. In addition, lessons can turn music lovers on to new instruments or new types of music they may never have considered previously. * Sound system: Advancements in technology have proven to be music to music lovers’ ears. Music fans can now take advantage of crisp sound systems that make music that much more enjoyable. Sound systems come in many shapes and sizes, and they can vary significantly in regard to price. When purchasing a sound system as a holiday gift, look for one that’s compatible with your loved one’s existing components, such as a television or music player. * Streaming service membership: Unlike the days when music fans had to wait for local deejays to play their favorite songs on the radio, today’s music fans can essentially create their own radio stations on their computers and even on their phones. Shoppers can buy their favorite music fans subscriptions to streaming services, such as Pandora or Spotify, and listeners can then tailor their own stations to include their favorite genres, artists or individual songs. 32 BOOM!

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Death Cafe`

By Karen Garloch

Death Café encourages talk about end of life I’d never heard of a “Death Cafe” until I got the notice about Charlotte, N.C.’s first such event. It’s just like it sounds: People sitting around, eating cake, drinking coffee and discussing death. That may sound a little creepy to some. But for me, it was intriguing. It comes at a time when talking about the end of life seems more natural than it used to. This summer, I was holding her hand when one of my best friends died at a hospice house. And I was in the hospital rooms with my parents when they died in 2001 and 2007. In each case, after hours of watchful waiting, the end seemed to come suddenly. One moment, they were breathing. Then they weren’t. It seemed like a pause, but then so final. I was struck by how peaceful the transition was from life to death. I am honored to have been a witness to these incredible moments. The hosts for Charlotte’s first Death Cafe are Jillian Tullis, a communications studies professor at UNC Charlotte, and Lyndall Hare, a gerontologist and elder care coach. About six months ago, Tullis came upon an article about the Death Cafe and its creator, Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz. His ideas were disseminated in 2011 by Jon Underwood, a British Web designer, at, and

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the movement spread quickly across the globe. The idea is to get people talking. Death “really is a taboo word,” Tullis said. “Some people are afraid to say it. They think it’s morbid to talk about death. But I am of the mind that talking about it is more freeing. It’s liberating to let people know where you stand, what you want.” Early experience with death shaped her thinking. One of her aunts died of cervical cancer in her 30s, when Tullis was about 10. And her grandfather died suddenly when Tullis was in high school. But she said family members didn’t discuss it. She didn’t really talk with her mother about death until years later, when they shared an interest in the TV drama, “Six Feet Under.” Tullis volunteers for hospice and spends a lot of time with dying people, listening to the stories of their joys and regrets. “It reminds us of our own mortality when somebody else dies,” she said. “I feel like my life is more full because I know that this life doesn’t last forever.”

Hare, the gerontologist, said some people may be put off by the name Death Cafe. “But I personally think it’s provocative, and that intrigues me. We do so much soft-peddling around all these things. So let’s just tell it like it is.” The baby boom generation is “preparing for death in a more conscious way,” Hare said, by arranging for living wills and health care powers of attorney. “But the spiritual part of it, the emotional part of it, there’s still a lot of avoidance.” Hare said she and Tullis are “not coming to this with any specific philosophy. We just want to create a space to start these conversations ... to honor all spiritual, religious and end-of-life beliefs. That’s how rich conversations will occur.” (c)2013 The Charlotte Observer Distributed by MCT Information Services

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December 2013



A Tasty Twist on the Traditional Winter Fruit-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Holiday dinners vary from household to household. Some might prefer a traditional meal of turkey with all of the trimmings, while others might want to try their hands at something new. For those among the latter group, the following recipe for “Winter-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin,” from Laurey Masterton’s “The Fresh Honey Cookbook” (Storey Publishing), is sure to make a splash at your holiday dinner table this season. Winter Fruit-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Serves 8 1/2 cup dried apricots 1/2 cup dried cherries 1/2 cup dried figs 2 pork tenderloins (about 3 pounds total) 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup crumbled blue cheese 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons butter

4. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

1/4 cup honey, preferably sourwood honey

5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tied tenderloins, turning as each side is browned. Be careful when searing the open side, as some fruit and cheese might fall out. You are just trying to seal in the meat juices, not trying to cook the pork all the way through.

1. Mince the apricots, cherries and figs by hand or in a food processor. 2. Slice the tenderloins lengthwise, almost all the way through. Open them up and lay them flat. Place each tenderloin on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and pound each piece of meat with a meat tenderizer until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Remove the top piece of plastic. 3. Season the surface of the pork with the salt and pepper. Divide the fruit mixture in half and spread evenly on the cut surface of each tenderloin. Top each with half of the cheese. Roll up each tenderloin, using the bottom piece of plastic to help you, tucking in the fruit and cheese as you go. Tie kitchen string every 2 inches around the tenderloins, continuing to push in any fruit or cheese that may fall out.

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6. Combine the butter and honey in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for about 20 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Drizzle the butter over the tenderloins. 7. Place the tenderloins on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150 F. Remove the baking sheet and allow the tenderloins to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will keep the juices in the meat rather than all over your kitchen counter. 8. Snip off and discard the strings. Slice the pork into 1-inchthick pieces and serve. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

8th Annual Interfaith Nativity Exhibit This year’s theme is “Angels speak the words of Christ. Are we listening?” Admission is FREE making multiple visits possible. The exhibit of over 400 displays is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 3460 Carter Hill Road in Montgomery. The dates are Wednesday-Sunday, December 4-8. On Dec. 4-6 and Dec. 8, the exhibit will be open 1 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 7, it will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Musical acts will perform all five days about every 30 minutes. Some of the participants for this year are: Sweet Adeline’s Quartet, BTW Choir, Saint Andrew’s Pipes &Drums, Ineka Hiningh Soloist, Choralettes Choir and Montgomery Minstrels along with several others. The choirs, groups and soloist will perform Dec 4-6, from

Holiday Spending by The Numbers The holiday season is significant for a variety of reasons. In addition to its religious significance, the holiday season is when many retailers enjoy their greatest successes. To understand just how much business Christmas and Chanukah can bring in, consider the following figures.

20 The percentage of annual sales jewelry stores indicate are made during the month of December. 150,205 The number of clothing and accessories stores open in the United States as of 2009. 27.2 The amount, in billions of dollars, spent during the December 2010 holiday retail season. 983 The amount, in millions, of Christmas tree ornaments imported from China between January and September 2011.

34.87 The average cost of real Christmas trees as of 2011, Artificial trees sell for an average of $70.55.

4.0 The percentage the National Retail Federation expects retail sales to increase this year.

2012 The year when holiday retail sales were the weakest since 2008. According MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, sales in the last two months of 2012 increased by just 0.7 percent from the previous year. Some financial analysts blamed Hurricane Sandy, an epic storm that caused billions of dollars in damage along the eastern coast of the United States, for the small increase in consumer spending. 8.4 The percentage growth of online sales from 2011 to 2012. Online sales generally make up about 10 percent of total holiday business.

5:30 to 7:30 pm. They will perform from 2:00 to 7:30 pm on Saturday, December 7 and from 2:00 to 6:30 pm on Sunday, Dec 8. Immediately following at 7:00 pm there will be a Christmas satellite broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a Christmas message from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For more information on the exhibit and further times and dates of the performances, please refer to the exhibit web page at

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70 The number, in millions, of poinsettia plants sold in the United States each year. 107,000: The projected cost, adjusted for inflation, of all of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” 74 The percentage of adults who say the female head of the household is most likely to wrap all of the family’s gifts. 3 The number of years a store-bought Christmas fruit cake can be kept fresh if it is refrigerated.

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December 2013



Whether it’s for a couple on their wedding day, a youngster just graduating high school or as a birthday gift to a beloved family member, cash has become an increasingly popular gift in recent years. Once considered impersonal, cash is now a go-to gift for shoppers whose foremost concerns are putting smiles on their loved ones’ faces. Those who still hesitate at the thought of giving an envelope full of cash, take note: There are many clever ways to give green that make cash gifts just as enjoyable to give as to receive. Steer clear of cold cash. Regardless of how thoughtful it may be, a greeting card with cash inside does not exactly elicit the warm sentiments synonymous with special occasions like weddings, graduations or the holiday season. When giving monetary gifts, gifters might want to get a little more creative. At, thoughtful gift givers can set up a cash fund for their loved ones free of charge. Contributors to this account can pledge money in the form of cash or a personal check at no cost, or make direct online payments into the account for a minimal processing fee. Once the big day arrives, recipients will receive their gifts and no doubt appreciate the less conventional but far more creative route chosen by their loved ones. Gifters who make online contributions can do so through Plumfund’s integrated WePay solution, a simple two-step system that makes it easy for recipients to withdraw their money, make an electronic transfer to a personal bank account or choose a paper check, all without incurring withdrawal fees. Recipients may also choose to have their cash gifts immediately deposited into their PayPal accounts.

recently minted grads or newlyweds about to head overseas, where swiping a credit or debit card is far easier than waiting in currency exchange lines at airports or hotels. Gifters who want to make their cash gifts even more convenient can purchase a prepaid debit or credit card that recipients can use anywhere, whether it’s buying trinkets at an overseas souvenir shop or filling up the car with fuel on a post-graduation road trip. Pool your resources. Another unique way to give cash gifts is to pool your resources with fellow loved ones. does not restrict the number of people who can contribute to a given account, making it much easier for family members to pool their resources when gifting cash to their loved ones. This is especially convenient when loved ones have expensive big-ticket items on their holiday wish lists or wedding registries. Such was the case with David, a soonto-be 60-year-old avid skiier who aimed to hit the slopes in Colorado for a few days. Recognizing his love of skiing, David’s family and friends organized a Plumfund for him, raising $860 that David used to finance his trip, including his flight to Colorado, ski rentals, accommodations, and even some money for a night out on the town. Once a Plumfund account has been established, gifters can get the word out to their loved ones via social media, email or by word of mouth.

Clever ways to give cash gifts

Put it on plastic. In many ways, carrying cash has become less convenient than swiping debit or credit cards when making purchases big and small. This is especially true when gifting

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Cash has become an increasingly popular and convenient option when gifting loved ones on special occasions. Gifters now have a host of options at their disposal to make their cash gifts more unique. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Harpsichord Ensemble Candlelight Chamber Music Concert

STITCHES: A HANDBOOK ON MEANING, LOVE AND REPAIR by ANNE LAMOTT What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?

Enter the true spirit of the Christmas season at the Harpsichord Ensemble Candlelight Chamber Music Concert in the beautiful Christchurch Sanctuary, 8800 Vaughn Road, on Wednesday evening, December 11 at 6:00 p.m. All are welcome to this free annual event. Featured artists are: Maestro Thomas Hinds, conducting; MSO Violin Fellow, Delyana Lazarova; World-renowned Cellist, Katerina Juraskova; Flautist, Dr. Robert Scott; Harpsichord, Margaret Cauthen; Vocalists Christina Burroughs and Leah Dubberly, and the Christchurch Chancel Choir. You are also welcome to stay for a Champagne & Dessert Reception to honor the musicians, and join in fellowship in this beautiful Christian setting. (Tickets on sale to benefit the Christchurch Pipe Organ Fund at $25.00 each), Obtain your tickets for the Champagne and Dessert Reception by calling the church, 334-387-0566, ext. 203. Visit for more details.

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These questions lie at the heart of Stitches, Lamott’s profound follow-up to her New York Times– bestselling books Help, Thanks, Wow, Plan B, and Traveling Mercies. In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time. It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.


This year, East Memorial Baptist Church is offering a “Christ-in Christmas Celebration” consisting of two events: A “Drive-Thru Living Nativity on Dec. 7 and Christmas musical, “Christmas Changes Everything”, on Dec. 15th. This is our third year of presenting a drive thru living nativity. Last year we had over 120 cast members, shifts for 60, as well as live animals. We displayed Bethlehem, Shepherds, the Stable, The Cross, and the Empty Tomb. “Drive-thru Living Nativity” Saturday, December 7 (Dec 8 rain day) 5:30 - 8:30 pm Free Admission Christmas Musical “Christmas Changes Everything” Sunday, December 15 6:00 PM Free Admission East Memorial Baptist Church Prattville. For more info call 334-365-7500 or visit

All of Lamott’s books share the same thread of hope and encouragement, spoken in her own unique and very real way. Treat yourself to this one and you will want to read them all.

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December 2013



Is your grandchild ready for a tablet? Tablets are poised to grow more popular in the years to come, and many children are anxious to get their very own tablet. But many parents wonder if their kids are ready for a tablet and if such devices would make good gifts for their youngsters this holiday season. According to a 2012 report from Pew Research, 22 percent of American adults now own some type of tablet, while In-Stat research estimates 65 percent of Americans, or more than 200 million people, will have a smartphone and/ or tablet by 2015. According to a Fall 2012 report by the Media Technology Monitor, an estimated 26 percent of the Canadian population has a tablet, more than twice the amount of tablet owners just a year earlier.

not to purchase a tablet for a child can consider these options. * The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is a tablet that comes with a selection of educational functions, games and e-books. The device allows parents to decide which apps can be accessed on the device and restrict use to certain periods of time. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids boasts a seven-inch screen and will run Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. The front and

* The nabi is an Android tablet that is geared entirely toward kids. The nabi comes in several different incarnations (nabi Jr., nabi 2 and nabi XD) depending on the age of the child and the desired features. In July of 2013, Fushu, Inc., creator of the nabi tablet, was received the “Best Tablet 2013: For Kids” award from Laptop magazine for its nabi 2 device. * The Amazon Kindle Fire is quickly becoming a go-to option for parents interested in acclimating their children to a tablet. Less than half of the price of its biggest competitor, the Kindle Fire still allows kids to access a bevy of features. Music, movies and Amazon’s evergrowing trove of e-books are just some of the features that make the Kindle Fire a popular choice.

As tablets become the device of choice, many different manufacturers have entered the tablet market, and children have begun to ask for tablets for holiday gifts, leaving parents wondering if their children are responsible enough to own a tablet that may cost several hundreds of dollars.

* Though small, the iPad mini has all of the features of a larger iPad but in a more kid-friendly size. Many parents prefer the iPad mini for their children because they have Apple products and appreciate being able to share with their kids apps and information among all of the devices.

Price-wary parents should realize that tablet prices vary greatly depending on the device. But a growing number of child-friendly tablets have entered the market, and such devices are designed to be more durable for children who have a tendency to drop and destroy things. Those on the fence about whether or

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comes packed with interactive e-books, learning games and other creative tools. It also has a modest price tag for a child’s first foray into the world of tablets. * The LeapFrog Leappad Ultra is a kid’s learning tablet designed for children between the ages of four and nine. It comes with a seven-inch screen, Wi-Fi with kid-safe Web access and the ability to connect to a library of more than 800 educator-approved apps, books and more.

rear facing cameras are considerably lower in quality than Samsung’s previous products, down to 3-megapixels and 1.3-megapixels, respectively. * The VTech InnoTab tailors apps to children in a compact device. The screen is just five inches in size, and the tablet

Determining if a child is ready for a tablet is a difficult decision for parents, who must assess how well the child handles responsibility, toys and electronics in the home. Adults may opt for a more durable, less expensive tablet as an introduction to tablets for children and then gravitate toward more “adult” options as their children prove they can be responsible with the device. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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We Love Women Over 50! If your Target Audience are Women with Money and Desire, then BOOM! readers are your customers; because 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 Beauty, Grand Kids, Pets, Fitness, Gifts, Restaurants, Healthcare, Financial Services, Caregiving, Classes/Lessons, Home/Garden, Concerts, Entertaining, Travel & More!

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December 2013



Enthusiastic Support from the 50+ Community for...

MANE’s “Raise the Roof” Celebration! At the entrance to the party, MANE’s Program Administrator Audrey Adamson and Board Members Michelle Parkinson, Lydia Beringer, Katharine Harris, Kelly Wilson, and Heather King greeted guests and collected the purchased tickets and donations to help MANE fund the construction loan on the building raised 4 years ago. Since 1994, MANE has been providing equine-assisted intervention for River Region children and adults who have physical, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. MANE moved to their lovely Pike Road location in 2004 and completed the new facility in 2008. The structure houses offices, classrooms, a break-room, a 15 stall handicapped accessible barn, The Kiwanis Korral (the resource room, where parents and caregivers can watch riders in the covered arena), The Kiwanis Care Korner (horse washing/grooming area, tack room, and feed room), and mounting paddock, as well as the expansive covered Poarch Creek Arena!

Wintzell’s draws a Fun-loving Crowd to MANE’s Poarch Creek Arena!

Wintzell’s Oyster House brought fresh seafood straight from the Gulf to MANE’s (Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians) Annual “Raise the Roof” Celebration on Tuesday, October 29th. A Susie Wilson (event chair), DG Markwell, MANE’s Executive Director fabulous array of Dr. Bettie Borton, and MANE Board President Kelly Wilson grilled and fried Integration Trail and then climbed aboard oysters, fish, Fred Thomas’ beautiful horse-drawn chicken, and shrimp, as well as baconcarriage, which transported them in wrapped shrimp, cole slaw, cheese grits, Cinderella style to the party scene. The and other Wintzell’s favorites were MANE sensory trail itself spans more elegantly served buffet style down 8 than 3 acres and long tables dressed in black linens. At has 8 carefullyan additional ice-filled food station, designed stations Wintzell’s staff shucked raw oysters featuring activities Back in the barn area as fast as over 300 MANE advocates to integrate sight, Kim Alford, one of could load their plates! All the food and smell, hearing, MANE’s certified the labor were completely donated by taste, and touch as therapeutic riding Wintzell’s Oyster House, courtesy of well as providing instructors, introduced owners Bob and Buffy Donlon from opportunities MANE’s extraordinary Mobile. to enhance equine partners, gravitational explained the benefits The Whisker River Band from Tuscaloosa security, balance, of therapeutic riding, played country hits as the enthusiastic grasp release, and and offered horse and/ crowd celebrated, mingled, feasted, proprioceptive or rider sponsorships and inspected the new Stiver’s Ford input while riders purchased by Spencer Trucks displayed in MANE’s Poarch Creek are engaged Longshore, Julie Arena. Robbie McGhee, a member of in therapeutic Beasley, Jason and the Poarch Creek Tribal Council, gave riding. The trail Krystal Benton, Jeanne the large white truck a real close look! Beverly Mullins and Beth Edwards encompasses a Drummond, Darren Several of Robbie’s friends including celebrated in bright fall colors! beautiful memorial Woodling, Woody Stephanie Crompton, Alison and Phil garden, the Rotary covered arena, Bartlett, Don and Carol Rickard, Julie Kinney, Ted Hosp, and Alison Wingate and an area filled with colorful “pool Garrett, Tina Brown, Walter Hooper, came to “Raise the Roof” to celebrate noodles” suspended in the air, which Sue Bell Cobb, Toni Flowers, Richard and in the arena recently named in honor MANE riders love to ride through. At Caroline Broughton, Elizabeth Hunter, of the tribe, whose generous donation first glance, party-goers wondered about Gabe Krause, Gregory Thorn, Jason helped to pay down the loan on MANE’s the suspended objects, but then they Thomas, and McGough Hood. therapeutic riding facility. wandered underneath them in delight! After touring the barn area, guests The festivities began at 6 pm. Guests headed for the sumptuous Wintzell’s parked along MANE’s Sensory

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December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Bear, Louis and Lang Cardinal, Kelly Other MANE buffet and and Morris Capouya, Michelle Bemis, board the troughs of Robert and Heather Enslen, Carole and members beverages in The Dick Hodges, Ruth Brewbaker, Charlene attending Poarch Creek and Lex Holtsford, Clifford Lanier, DG the party Arena. Joe Markwell, Pat and John Moorehouse, were Susie O’Hara, Wynlakes Bob and Leigh Ann Ramsey, Winston Wilson Golf and Country Reese, Gaylon and Kelly Thackston, (event Club’s Chef and Virginia and Phil Butler, Amanda Adams, chair), Cheri party-designer, Walter Overbe, Bill and Dee Coleman, Jordan, created amazing Carl and Anita Bartlett, Lewis and Cindy (event cocenterpieces Benefield, Connie James, Steve and chair), Jim for the dining Cathy Ridling, Mayor Todd Strange, and Sue Bell Cobb Jayme Kermish, Susan and Gene Crane, Edwards, tables. With a are MANE enthusiasts! Frank and Sandy Putz, and Beau Holmes. Cindy nod to Halloween Longshore, which was 2 days Some of those making their first visit to Frank McFadden, Anna Alan Jemison, later, Joe placed sophisticated and eerily MANE’s therapeutic riding facility were Nancy Ellis and Course for Hope chair charming blackbirds on stalks of cat-oJohn Ed and Lynn Mathison, Colley and Jenny Brown. Several individuals from nine tails or corn “growing” from large Mickey Griffin, Skip Parks, Robin and Baptist Health including Tommy and pumpkins nestled in colorful netting. Jeff Blitz, Britt Barley, Jon and Heather Sandy McKinnon, Brooke Glassford, Tables for ten were covered in black, Killough, Kevin and orange, or yellow cloths beneath these Beverly Katrina Belt, exquisite pieces. Around the arena, and Jason and Melody paddock and front entrance, Joe artfully Mullins, Bill and Sebastian arranged hay bales, pumpkins and and Donna Kitchen were colorful fall foliage. Knox, Harry also at “Raise Stakely, Lisa the Roof” MANE’s Volunteer Coordinator and and Andy acknowledging Equine Director Laura Kate Caldwell Weil, Paul MANE as welcomed MANE supporters in and Connie a “shining the arena. She urged attendants Winn, star” among representing media organizations to Stuart therapeutic publicize MANE’s unique role in the Triand Noble riding centers county area and showcase the need for Lisa Weil, Joan Forst, and Caroline Sease Yelverton, worldwide, more volunteers for MANE’s programs. gather in MANE’s barn area. and Cindy a model of (Most MANE riders need 3 volunteers and Clay Torbert. outstanding service provision for those to assist them with therapy.) Executive with disabilities, and a superlative Director Dr. Bettie Borton greeted many For more information about MANE, wellness distinguished please visit MANE’s website www. initiative. “Raise the Roof” guests The fun-loving including To volunteer or register for MANE’s crowd was Collin Gaston programs call 334-213-0909. Donations comprised of (WSFA) and his can be sent to MANE, 3699 Wallahatchie many loyal, wife Shannon Road, Pike Road, AL 36064. MANE long-time Gaston, Richard holds 501C corporation status and champions Granfeldt (The its instructors are certified through of MANE Montgomery PATH, Int., a regulatory agency that including Advertiser) and assures stringent standards for quality Philip and his wife Karen therapeutic horseback riding through Angie Young, Granfeldt, Dr. Bill Wallace, Pat Harris, and John Ed and Lynn Mathison instructor certification, site accreditation, Sam and Sam (Bluewater at MANE’s Raise the Roof Celebration. and program monitoring. With less Mary Adams, Broadcasting), than 6% overhead, MANE represents an Julia and Bill Wallace, Dr. Jim Benefield, Deborah Moore (The Montgomery outstanding value for donors. Stuart and Piper Vance, Kate and Advertiser), Julie Garrett (Montgomery Gibson Vance, Frank and Stacey Stakely, Independent), Montgomery Mayor Todd Mark Harris, Cathy and Jim Ridling, Strange, Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone, It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Caroline and John Sease, Susan and Montgomery County Commissioner Reed Please submit any events/pictures to Sam Wainwright, Bowman and Daisy Ingram and his wife Karen Ingram.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



Fe at u re d A r t i st T his Month, Anita Westerberg typically Scandinavian elementsWesterberg says, Westerberg light and water-are evident in her “Moving to Mobile began joined Gallery works. She also regularly utilizes with an employment One Fine Art reference photographs, prepped by ad run by International in December her husband, Lennart, so she can Paper in a Swedish of 2007. view them on a large, flat screen newspaper. Lennart (her She is an monitor, near her easel. Once she husband of fifty plus accomplished, gets started, she years) and a very prolific rarely pays much coworker, a painter; her attention to the close family subjects are photograph. friend applied figurative, and were still life and The Westerbergs offered jobs. landscapes. return to Sweden It was New She says, in June, July and Year’s Eve “Painting is “View” 14x11 oil on canvas August. It is far and we’d had an immediate enough north that lots of champagne. It and spontaneous response to the sun never sets was like LET’S MOVE TO inspiration in which one stroke AMERICA!!! We moved, “A Restful Moment” 24x20 oil on canvas in midsummer. She leads to the next; it is indeed a and Lennart also it was supposed to be for journey where the final destination travel to the Mediterranean and the one year and that was twenty-five is unknown. Wherever my artistic Caribbean. years ago.” journey takes me, I am not afraid of color. Color is the impetus that Westerberg paints whatever drives me forward. In fact, I believe “I love red,” interests her, be it color or shape. that color is music to the eye.” she explains She feels that the excitement “I didn’t generated by the creative process always like to is far more important than the Born in Obbola, Sweden, paint with it subject matter. When her painting Westerberg’s first job was as an until I saw a begins to take form, there is no way acrobat. She says with a smile, “We Renoir exhibit to stop the flow once performed in Chicago. of the brush and for the Queen of He has this the paint-knife Sweden. I was “Splendor of Spring” wonderful over the canvas also in the circus 16x12 oil on canvas warmth in as it captures that for a while.” She everything-the ladies with red hats special moment then went to and cheeks.” of creativity. Her college, earned a Scandinavian B.A. and enjoyed heritage has given an eighteen year Visit Gallery One Fine Art 423 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery, AL her a special gift teaching career. Gallery Director Sandi Aplin to transfer some This ended when 334.269.1114 Nordic Light to her she moved to paintings. Two Mobile, Alabama. “Lavender Fields” 30x30 oil on canvas

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December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

GALLERY ONE FINE ART joins THE MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Early in the month of November, I received a telephone call from Ann Sadie Osten with Sadie’s Global Travel Ltd. as a Chamber of Commerce volunteer serving on the Chairman’s Circle Committee. The Chamber was in the middle of their Total Resource Campaign to increase membership and fill sponsorships for the upcoming year. This was a welcomed call as I served as an Ambassador with the Chamber back in the early 1990’s during my other life as a Realtor. I have enjoyed very much in the past, the ribbon cuttings for new members, Eggs & Issues, Business after Hours, just to mention a few of the opportunities offered to its members. Senior Sales Associate with the Chamber, Linda Drumheller says, “Membership provides many opportunities to grow your business through the contacts and connections you can make at our events and through our website benefits and discounts we have specifically for our members. Nobody knows your business better than you and at our events you are able to speak one-on-one with potential customers and form relationships that are vital in growing any business or organization. By joining and partnering with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce you will not only be promoting your business and the services you offer, you will also be promoting the economic growth and development of Montgomery and the River Region which directly benefits us all.” The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

We gave our application and check to Ann on Friday, November 15th and Gallery One Fine Art received their Chamber package from Ambassador, Christy Cruse with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc. the following Monday. I spent a little time on the website and looking through the printed material furnished in the package. The 2013 Leadership, members serving on the Executive Committee are Randall L. George, President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, C. Lee Ellis, Immediate Past Chairman, Horace H. Horn, Jr., Power South Energy, Chairman of the Board, James Hampton, Alagasco, Vice Chairman, Leslie L. Sanders, Alabama

Power Company, Vice Chairman, W. Russell Tyner, Baptist Health, Vice Chairman, Bruce Crawford, BBVA Compass, Vice Chairman. We are pleased, as a Small Business to partner with such a wonderful group. They offer us positive exposure and many opportunities to participate with a focused professional organization. As stated by Chamber President, Randall George in the Chamber’s 20132014 Member Directory, “As a valued member of our team, we look forward to working in partnership with you, as we lead Montgomery and the River Region into the greatness tomorrow promises. With the collective strength of our members, your Chamber will set an aggressive pace in helping shape our region for future generations.”

Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art A free lance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama

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December 2013



December 2013

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Holiday Memories The Cloverdale Playhouse, 960 Cloverdale Road December 5-8 and 12-15 Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm An American treasure based on two short stories by Truman Capote, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” and “A Christmas Memory.” Set in Depression-era rural Alabama, HOLIDAY MEMORIES follows Buddy (young Truman Capote) and his elderly cousin Miss Sook as they deal with the school bully, make fruitcake for Eleanor Roosevelt, cut down the perfect Christmas tree, and share a very special friendship. Greg Thornton directs this nostalgic holiday tale laced with lyricism, wit, and gentle charm. For info call 334.262.1530 or get tickets online at


Eighth Annual Christmas Tour of Homes Saturday, December 7, 2013 Witness this enchanting tour of the South’s finest homes draped in holiday cheer! Stroll through history and experience how Southern halls are decked in the mansions of Christmastime! Ticket Information: 6 Homes: $30.00, 1 Home: $6.00. Homes available from 1:00pm - 6:00pm. Payable at door. Guests can begin the day’s special events at 11 am by enjoying traditional Southern fare in the splendor of Shorter Mansion! Lunch - $25/person (Limited seating; reservations required), for more info


Governor’s Mansion Christmas Open House 1142 S. Perry St. 5-7PM, December 2,9 and 16 The lovely Governor’s Mansion, built in 1904, will be aglow with hundreds of lights and decorated with beautifully festive trees, garland and bows. This is a wonderful opportunity to see inside this historical building which has been home to so many of Alabama’s governors. Tickets can be purchased at the Gift Shop across the street. For more information, call: 334.241.8824

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“Papa’s Angels” Red Door Theater, 101 N. Prairie St. Thursday through Sunday, December 5-8 Set in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, this gentle, tender family show is a classic for the holiday season. Papa Jenkins, known throughout the hills as “Grins,” is a man whose guitar playing and singing is known far and wide. When heartbreak devastates his family, his five irrepressible children prepare Christmas morning surprises that rescue their beloved Papa from the depths of despair. It is a magical tale of family love that is as heartwarming as it is funny. Show times: December 5-7 at 7:30, preceded by an optional seated dinner at 6:00 p.m. (reservations required); December 8 at 2:30. Play-$15; Dinner-$15. Visit for more information, or call 334.738.8687


An Intimate Evening with Yo-Yo Ma Friday, December 6, 8 pm Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center 1200 Tenth Ave. S. Yo-Yo Ma is a world renowned Juilliard trained cellist who began his career at age 4. Harvard educated, he has a discography of over 75 albums, including over 15 Grammy award winners. He is one of the best selling classical perfomers of our time, and his music defies categorization. Don’t miss an evening with this acclaimed virtuoso! Call 205-975-2787 for ticket information or visit


“Hello Dolly!”with Sally Struthers, BJCC Concert Hall Friday thru Sunday, December 5-8 Say “Hello, Dolly!” when the musical classic, starring Sally Struthers as Dolly, comes to Birmingham for one weekend only as part of the Broadway in Birmingham Season! Winner of ten Tony Awards including Best Musical, this is

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

one of the most enduring Broadway classics. “Hello, Dolly!” has been charming audiences around the world for nearly 50 years. Information can be found at or by calling 800-7453000


Montgomery Zoo Annual Light Festival 2301 Coliseum Parkway December 5-8, 12-15, 19-31. 5:30-9:30pm A River Region tradition for over 20 years, the Montgomery Zoo’s Christmas Lights Festival is part of Christmas in Central Alabama. See the Zoo transformed into a Winter Wonderland sparkling with thousands of festive lights and decorations. Stroll the many pathways or enjoy a brisk ride on the Santaland Express train ride. Or take in the view at a grand height while soaring across the skies on the Zoofari skylift ride. Santa appears nightly through Dec 23. Enjoy a visit to our Christmas petting zoo. Call 334-240-4900 or visit for more information


LET IT SNOW!!! A Winter Wonderland December 1-January 31 510 Broad Street

The Mary Hardin Center for the Cultural Arts and the Imagination Place Children’s Museum can’t wait to Let It Snow! The Chan Gallery will be transformed into a winter wonderland in conjunction with the annual Festival of the Trees. Children will find themselves inside a snow covered fantasy land where they can make and toss snowballs, ride down the snow slide, build a snowman and experience winter as if at the North Pole! The magic is in the environmentally friendly polymer “snow” which sparkles, looks and feels like the real thing. You will believe, too when you experience this winter playground! For more information, visit or call 256.543.2787


“A Bluegrass Christmas Card” Vivian Samford Theater, 1116 26th St. S December 12-22, Thursdays - Sundays A Bluegrass Christmas Carol is a totally new telling of Dickens’ classic tale. This musical version is set in the Appalachian Mountains and features the original storyline and characters we all know . . . but they’ve been “mountainized!” Accompanied by one of the South’s finest bluegrass groups, The Herb Trotman Band, this family-friendly show promises to be Dickens as you’ve never seen it before! For additional information, please visit or call 205-251-1206

Christmas with Amy Grant and Vince Gill and The Atlanta Symphony The Fox Theater, 660 Peachtree Street NE Monday, December 16, 7:30 pm Vince Gill and Amy Grant, a power couple from Nashville with a longstanding reputation for talent, cordiality and kindness. This is a once in a lifetime hisand-her concert celebrating Christmas at the Fox Theater in Atlanta! Combine Amy and Vince, some Christmas music, the atmosphere at the Fox and the Atlanta Symphony and you get one incredible experience. For ticket information visit or call 404.881.2100.




Christmas on the Coosa 7:45 – 5:00 December 14 US 21 and 231 – Downtown Wetumpka Named among the Top Ten Events in Alabama for 2013 by Alabama’s Vacation Guide & Calendar, Wetumpka’s Christmas on the Coosa continues to bring people from all over the state. Called the “City of Natural Beauty” Wetumpka is a quaint, historic town nestled along the banks of the Coosa River. The event features activities and events for the whole family. The annual street parade features over 100 entries. The evening continues with a boat parade featuring a ski-in by Santa and the ends with a grand fireworks finale. For more information, call 334.567.1384 or visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Montgomery Symphony presents Holiday Pops Concert Montgomery Performing Arts Center, 201 Tallapoosa St. Monday, December 16 7:30 pm From Silent Night to Sleigh Ride, ring in the holidays at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre when the Orchestra plays everyone’s favorite music at the Holiday Pops. The Montgomery Chorale will add to the merriment of this festive night as featured guests. Tickets will be available in early November by calling the MPAC Box Office at 334-481-5101 or visiting www.mpaconline. org. Ask about the Buy One, Get One Free seating!!! It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to

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December 2013



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

“THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER” This is a column I have wanted to write for 20 years.

Some of you have been through it. Some of you may be experiencing it this holiday. For most of the rest, it is inevitable.

Someone you love, someone who’s been a part of every holiday celebration for as long as you can remember, will be dying. It will be their last holiday with the gang and you’ll know it. It won’t be like the scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswold- referring to his uncle’s despicable behavior- opines that if “he keeps this up, it will be his last Christmas”.

to white spots in her brain. He’d assumed, incorrectly, we were aware of the situationthat her cancer had cleared the lung but metastasized to the brain.

Thanksgiving night or not, I called my friend Barry Baumel of the prestigious BaumelEisner Institute in Miami and asked what this meant- and to tell me the truth. “It means she has about 3 months to live, Greg. I’m so sorry”.

“You ready for yours Mom?” I asked. “Now what did you go and do?” she demanded. “I told you I didn’t want anythingjust all of you here was enough!”

For the sake of the person whose time has come, don’t allow the illness to become an elephant in the room that can ruin the holidays for you and your loved one who is sick.

A valued employee of the FDIC (yes, banks were in trouble in the 80s, too) Mom went back to her job around the first of November that year, excited to resume her life.

We made Christmas plans. My wife was pregnant with Janelle and we planned to travel to Chicago, hoping for a white Christmas and warm fuzzies as we celebrated the holiday and Mom’s reprieve from the Grim Reaper. Just 2 weeks after returning to work, Mom started feeling fatigued. At first we thought (and hoped) it was just her trying to do too much too quickly after her battle. Two days before Thanksgiving, the doctors admitted her to the hospital for tests.

On Thanksgiving night, while Mom took a break to freshen up, Dad and I wandered to the nurse’s station where we spotted x-rays pinned to a bulletin board. We asked the male attendant behind the counter about the one bearing the name “Budell” and he pointed

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December 2013

Matter-of-factly, Mom announced “I have always wanted to get a giant plate of those big shrimp and stuff myself senseless!” In the time it takes to say “jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron”, I was out the door and at that store. I had them weigh 30 pounds of the frozen shrimp, added a six pack of cocktail sauce, brought it home, wrapped it and stashed the box in the garage. The temperature was well below freezing so storage was not an issue.

Christmas morning, we were gathered around the tree like any other Christmas morning, eventually sitting in a debris field of wrapping paper.

No, there will be no doubt about the situation- and there is only one way to deal with it.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1989, my Dad and I delivered a homemade turkey dinner to my Mom at Chicago’s Christ hospital. Only weeks before, she had been deemed “clear” of lung cancer and we’d celebrated her incredible victory following months of suffering through chemo and radiation treatment.

a couple days before Christmas, a commercial came on that changed the holiday. It was a TV spot for a grocery store offering a special on jumbo shrimp.

I’ll tell you this. The last thing my mother would allow is the ruination of everyone’s Christmas by dying before or during the holiday. Our Christmas plans remained in place. I flew my sisters in from California before Thanksgiving weekend ended and we decorated the house to the 9s with all the touches, so when Mom came home the next week the place would be fully decked out and cheery as it was every Christmas time.

We were all gathered again in Chicago a week before Christmas. I was sitting next to Mom when she grabbed her purse and handed me a wad of 20s, instructing me to pick out a nice maternity dress for my wife so she could make it her Christmas present to Michele. I did as asked- and did it well! Mom praised my fashion choice, and thanked me because what life she had left, was devoted to making it through the holiday. She wanted business as usual but was too weak to leave the house for shopping. The biggest challenge became this questionand it is an awkward one- “what do you give to someone for their last Christmas?” We discussed it amongst ourselves and agreed that giving her something she would never use was dumb- and a lie, to boot- but what were our choices? Luckily, as we watched TV

I retrieved the box from the garage and placed it in her lap. Mom’s eyes widened as she unveiled the jumbo shrimp orgy she’d mentioned wistfully a few days before. My Mom, like most Moms (including Moms reading this column), would give up whatever she had to if one of the kids wanted something badly (and it wasn’t unreasonable).

It was her time to splurge, and did she ever!

When we gathered in Chicago the next year, we did up the house, put up the tree and piled up gifts as if Mom was there, as she would have wanted. We had a wonderful holiday albeit with numerous pangs. Our Christmas dinner began with shrimp cocktail, a gesture that “included” Mom. There is no handbook for these situations. I only know what worked for the Budells. Celebrate what you have now and throw the elephant in the room out as best you can.

Come to think of it, that’s a great way to make every Christmas the best Christmas ever. Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his dog Hershey. 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 The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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December 2013



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December 2013

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! December 2013  
BOOM! December 2013  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine