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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

February 2014



Join us at Frazer for a year of preaching through this life-changing book that will show you exactly who Jesus Christ is. “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” –John 20:30-31 THROUGHOUT THE YEAR 2014, Pastors Tim Thompson and Patrick Quinn will be preaching verse by verse through the gospel of John in all of Frazer’s Sunday morning worship services. Jesus made the remarkable claim that He came to give you life—real, abundant, overflowing life right now, and eternal life in the world to come. This teaching series will lead you to the heart of who this Jesus is and what it means to believe in Him.

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

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


February 2014

“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 7

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 6 Publisher’s Letter 8 CLEANUP! 12 BOOM! Love Profile 15 Non-Profit Focus 16 What’s New...? Dr. Thomas Cawthon 19 DRY EYE syndrome? 20 Things That Matter: The Power of Women page 10

24 Champagne & Propane Leigh Anne Richards 25 Junior League Rummage Sale

Features 22 Memory Tricks 30 Decisions of a Lifetime Stage actors reveal their secrets.

Departments 10 This and That Interesting Stuff

End-of-life situations can get tricky, why we need medical directives.

34 Movie Awards 2014

A month before the oscars we share the best grownup movies.

26 Bucket List: Dubrovnik’s Old Town 28 Open Your Heart & Ears 32 Boomer & Beyond HUMOR

44 {12} Things

Solutions for Bored Boomers

46 Greg Budell

34 A Soup for Cancer Patients

The St. Valentine’s Day Chocolate Massacre

35 MATCH MADE Online Dating


38 Women Go Red


40 Volunteer of the Year Awards


page 19

41 Appear Less Clueless to TEENS 43 Art & Soul

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page 7 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 2014 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

February 2014



publisher’s letter

Love Story 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 Charlotte Bent Lynne Blackwell Dr. Bettie Borton Dr. Thomas Cawthon Greg Budell Lee Lawrence Leslie R. Myers Bill Newcott Michele Ranard, M.Ed.

Leigh Anne Richards Wina Sturgeon Cathy Thomas John Webster Kathy Witt

Cover Photography Kim Bethea The Studio @ EastChase 334.239.3196


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics

Distribution Network Delivery


As the publisher of BOOM! I receive many suggestions and ideas for stories to share with my readers. Most of them are great and I will share them with you in the months to come. But one idea I will share with you in this month’s issue. The idea came from a friend, Nora Cammack and it’s a story about a man and a woman in the 50+ community who found love when they least expected. Nora knew of many couples at this age who have found that new love again and she thought these couples were great examples of the lifestage many of us find ourselves, old people with new love.

Jackie and I are the old people with a new love. We share our story this month in recognition of St. Valentine’s Day. It’s our Valentine to all of you who have a similar story. We know that young love is special; some of us can even remember a young love. But old people with new love are more rare. It’s seasoned with experience and well earned wisdom to soften the conflicts and accent the compromise. Because this is a special kind of love I would like to feature your story in future issues of BOOM! If you would like to share, please drop me a note and introduce yourself and your story,

Jim Watson, Publisher

The rest of this month’s issue lives up to its promise of being “the River Region’s best reading experience for the 50+ community,” including a feature story about Memory Tricks from veteran stage actors, who know a thing or two about the value of a good memory. We also offer our take on the best movies and actors for us grownups just to get you primed for the Oscars next month. For you grandparents we have a cheat sheet to help you understand your teenage grandkids, good luck with that! And we have a bucket list adventure to the “the pearl of the Adriatic,” anyone know where that is? On a serious note, a feature called Decisions of a Lifetime discusses the importance of having medical directives for your life.

We have more inspiration from Leigh Anne Richards’s column where one of her members describes the value of her exercise program; it’s called Champagne & Propane. Greg Budell shares a St. Valentine’s Day tip for you guys that will surely please the woman in your life. Dr Thomas Cawthon, gives us an interesting history on St. Valentine’s Day and an assortment of goodies from River Region Facial Plastics. And if there’s anyone who knows the value of women over 50, its Lee Lawrence with Signature Financial Solutions, who describes your value in terms we can all understand. There’s plenty more good reads in this month’s issue. So take a few minutes and enjoy the best reading experience in the River Region.

By the way you can read the current issue of BOOM! online at and you can now read every back issue in our archives. So if you want to catch up or explore past Cover Profiles it’s a great place to start.

Thanks for being part of the BOOM! Community and I hope you’ll take advantage of the Love Your Heart Day screenings at Baptist South on February 22nd, nothing better than a Happy Heart, see page 7 for details. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!


February 2014

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

February 2014




Clean up now for those who will clean up after you I always think of my mother around this time of year. She was a woman whose idea of cleanliness meant that my sister and I spent every Saturday polishing the candlesticks and ornaments with brass and silver polish, thoroughly dusting the furniture and polishing all of it with furniture polish, wiping the woodwork at the bottom of every wall with a damp rag, dusting the walls and more. It was like a spring cleaning every week. But strangely, this was a woman who died and left a roomy apartment made small because it was filled with a whole lifetime of THINGS. I took home the cookie jar because I’d always loved it, but what about the biscuit cutter I still remembered, the can opener, old purses with scraps of tissue in them and all those scrapbooks of photographs of people I didn’t know, and neither did my sister. My mother kept everything. We could only wonder about some of the objects she left behind. Why did she keep THAT? It took weeks to clean out her apartment. As soon as I got home, I went into a frenzy of clutter clearing. I whittled down my things, giving things away, donating things. It alarmed me to think that I might die and someone would be looking through my stuffed closets and drawers and shelves and wonder, “Why did she keep THAT?”


February 2014

We all accumulate things as time goes on. A piece of clothing has the memory of a good time, so it just stays in the closet, though it no longer gets worn. The “good” crystal stays in a glass cabinet, an ornament that takes up space, while no one even thinks any longer about enjoying a drink from those sparkling goblets. The longer we live, the more objects we accumulate. We get so used to those objects, we don’t even see them anymore. We keep a stack of magazines, because we really do intend to read that article about vacationing in Barcelona or the one explaining the mechanics of fixing the three most common car problems. But as time goes on, we forget about the articles and the stack of magazines becomes part of the furniture. We just get used to it, and we don’t question its existence in our home or garage or storage area. Of course, no one wants to think about that day that comes to us all, when everything we have is left behind. But there is a great deal of common sense in thinking about being courteous to those who have to go through our personal environment and decide what to do with all those objects. It’s a good deed to them to go through your stuff and dispose of things you’re keeping, but never use. If you have expensive stuff stored away that never sees the light of day, sell it and enjoy the money.

Get rid of all your “someday” stuff. You know that stuff, someday you’ll read it, someday you’ll wear it, someday you’ll use it. Getting rid of objects that have been with you for many years will be a wrench at first. For many people, just the fact of possession is meaningful. There’s something satisfying about having the complete works of Shakespeare in leatherbound editions. It will be hard to actually figure out what you should do with them. For some, it will require a lot of discipline. But if you haven’t opened even one of those books in half a decade, you really won’t miss them after they are gone. There’s a great feeling of, something like purity, in clearing out everything except the specific objects you really like, objects you actually use and enjoy. When it comes time for others to clear out those objects, it’s comforting to think that everything you’ve left behind is something you treasured. Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer based in Salt Lake City who offers news on the science of anti-aging and staying youthful at: (c) 2014, Adventure Sports Weekly Distributed by MCT Information Services

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

February 2014




This & tHAT

Cloverdale Playhouse 2014 Season Get your tickets for the Playhouse’s Third Season! INTO THE WOODS Feb. 13 – Feb. 23 A musical by Stephen Sondheim/ book by James Lapine. Directed by Randy Foster A RAISIN IN THE SUN April 24 – May 4 by Lorraine Hansberry. Directed by Greg Thornton CLYBOURNE PARK June 19-29 by Bruce Norris CRIMES OF THE HEART Oct 23-Nov 2 by Beth Henley, Directed by Maureen Costello IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE- The Radio Play Dec 11-Dec 21 Adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Frank Capra, Make your own KING CAKE!!!! Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Johanna Sperling. Directed by Greg Thornton All plays run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2pm. All seats are general admission. Season ticket subscribers are advised to select their performance dates before single tickets go on sale to the public (30 days prior to each show’s opening). To purcahse your tickets go to or call (334) 262-1530 or

LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMP ROULER...Millbrook Mardi Gras! Mark your calendars, Millbrook! The Mardi Gras Parade and Festival is February 22 at the Village Green! Designated as one of the must-see events in Alabama, this family-friendly festival; hosted by our very own Krewe of Millbrook Revelers, starts at 9am. There will be fun for everyone! With over 60 vendors from all over the South, including Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, there is something for everyone! How about Gator-on-a-Stick, smoked turkey legs, gumbo, or red beans and rice? A variety of traditional Mardi Gras food will be served along with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken fingers. The kids will enjoy pony rides, inflatable’s, a zip line, train rides around the park, and lots of other kid-approved activities! Make sure you get a good seat for the parade starting at noon sharp on Main Street! With over 50 floats rolling down Main Street including the official Mardi Gras King and Queen float, there will be plenty of great New Orleans music to dance to, lots of beads, moon pies, doubloon, cups, candy and other trinkets to catch! Bring your revelry and your appetite! visit for more information

Did you know?

21 percent of Americans sleep with their pets – the highest proportion among six countries surveyed by the National Sleep foundation. We also use the most pillows!

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February 2014

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

Montgomery Pinot Festival The 6th annual Montgomery Pinot Festival will be held on Wednesday, February 19th, from 6 to 8pm at the Alley Station in downtown Montgomery. In the past, it has primarily been devoted to wines from Oregon. This year, however, there will also be a showing of some Pinot Noir’s from California. Dianna Lee from Siduri will be here to pour their wines. Other producers committed to the event are Pali, Chehalem, Witness Tree, Left Coast, Domaine Serene, Penner Ash, Maysara and Four Graces. Tickets are on sale now, once again at $27.50 in advance, $33 at the door, inclusive of tax. Tickets should be purchased at Ted the Wine Guy & Co located at 3062 Zelda Rd in Montgomery. More info. 334.395.9911 or visit

Remember to Romance!

Vizzini Farms Winery, Valentine’s Dinner Join us for a romantic dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your special someone. Our Executive Chef has a special menu planned featuring Lobster Bisque, Pork Tenderloin, Grilled Salmon, or a classic Lasagna. This 4 course dinner is priced at only $59/couple and includes a sampling of Vizzini Farms wine paired specifically for the evening menu. Space is limited and reservations will fill up fast, so call today to reserve your table. For Reservations call 205-685-0655 or visit Celebrate Your Love at Callaway Gardens! This Valentine’s Day, Callaway Gardens® is inviting you to “say it with flowers” as in … an entire garden of them. Spend the day with your Valentine in floral paradise as you enjoy the world-famous Callaway Gardens and its many acres of rolling woodland terrain. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Callaway Gardens has a variety of dinners and packages from which to choose. Callaway Gardens is also offering Free Weekday Admission thru Feb 28! For additional information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (800-225-5292) or visit

Make your own KING CAKE for Mardi Gras “The King Cake is a Mardi Gras/New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake often has a small plastic baby (said to represent Baby Jesus) inside (or sometimes placed underneath), and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations. The king cake of the Louisiana tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon rollstyle bread topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold. Try this recipe for a more festive Mardi Gras The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Karen Allen Green joins the Montgomery Area Council On Aging (MACOA) as Director of Development. With over 17 years of marketing, sales and operations management experience, Mrs. Green is a welcome addition to the leadership team who brings expertise in the areas of fundraising, special events and public relations. Prior to joining MACOA, Mrs. Green worked in both the corporate and the non-profit sectors. Among her previous positions, she served as the Special Events Coordinator for a local non-profit, and the Circulation Manager and Sales and Marketing Manager in the print media industry. Mrs. Green’s training and experience allow her competencies in team leadership, strategic planning, relationship building, as well as a strong business acumen. She is a Certified Facilitator and a skilled motivational speaker.

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

February 2014



Love Story “you’re never too old to dream a new dream.”

Jackie & Jim


e met briefly in the summer It took 30 months and a few transitional Two days later, our dinner with Jason and of 2008. It was during a family relationships along the way for us to ever DeAnne got cancelled because one of the outing with Jason and DeAnne talk with each other again. Jason and kids was sick. So we arranged our own Watson, my son DeAnne had dinner, just for the two of us. We continued and daughter-inmade up their our conversation, made plans to cook a St. law. Jason was minds that I Valentine’s Day dinner together using her renting one of should at least Green Egg and her favorite beef tenderloin Jackie’s Villas at ask Jackie out recipe. Somehow I could tell and so could Stillwaters Marina for a cup of she…that we would fall in love. A few days and Jackie was coffee or a later on my 61st birthday, she dropped staying in another glass of wine, by my house unexpectedly with a special villa she owned to get to know bottle of wine for us to share. It was a very at the time. her a little good evening. It ended with a kiss. We When we were more and see began to count the days we were together. introduced, we what develops. quickly discovered I wasn’t As our relationship grew we began talking a reason to be interested. about possibly getting married. I wanted Jackie and her son, Ian attracted to Relationships, to wait a year because it was important to each other, familiarity. You see, I was as many of us boomers know, can be hard experience the seasons together, to learn two and a half years past my wife’s death work, sometimes requiring a big learning more about each other as we experienced and Jackie was one and a half years past curve, that may not produce a good result. a full year together. The year passed her husband’s death. Jackie grew up in Jason persisted; they quickly and Cincinnati, OH, as did I. Jackie and I were decided to host a by February both transplanted Yankees in the deep dinner where Jackie 2012 we south of Alabama! She and her husband and I could join were both raised two boys, and so did my wife and I. them to just share in heat to Just like my late wife, Marty, Jackie spoke a meal together, get married, her mind, sometimes bluntly. And finally, no expectations of especially Jackie’s husband’s name was Jim. Easy to the normal date. Jackie! So I remember…as she ages! Jackie and I decided suggested it might be best if since it was As we continued connecting, it felt like we got together a a leap year we would have to spend some more few days before the and there time together, to get better acquainted. planned dinner to get were 29 days Jim with sons, Jason and James Neither one of us, at the time, were ready reacquainted, avoid in February, for a deeper relationship but the idea of any awkward moments that may come up Jackie could propose to me on the 29th day sharing more of our similarities seemed ahead of time. of February. I had read somewhere there appropriate. As the day came to a close, was an ancient custom that women could I decided to head back to Montgomery The arranged dinner was scheduled for a propose marriage in a leap year, so I told while Jackie returned Saturday night, Jackie that she could propose to me if she to her Villa. As I was so Jackie and wanted. I made a reservation at Garrett’s walking to my car, I went out to for Leap Day, February 29th at the same Jackie was also leaving Garrett’s for a table as our first date. The evening arrived her Villa, being led by light dinner on with great anticipation and some anxiety, I a team of five ShihWednesday, wasn’t sure Jackie would go through with Tzu’s! “How about we January 26th, it so just in case, I purchased the nicest $10 get together for a glass 2011. Our ring Wal-Mart had, put it in a ring box and of wine sometime?” conversation my jacket pocket. When we arrived, the Jackie yelled over was just as conversation was great as we reminisced to me. I was a little familiar as about the past 399 days since our first distracted looking at it was the date, sitting in the exact same place. The Aaron, Kate, Knox, Anna and Will Watson the team of dogs trying first time we moment came when Jackie was about to to get a count of just how many she had… met 30 months before. We talked about propose and I stopped her. I simply said “I five seemed like a few too many to me. I football, being blunt, our Christian faith want to propose to you too.” Jackie went always loved my one dog, Furbie, but five? and what we desired in a relationship. We first and I said yes. Then I asked her to “Yeah, I’ll give you a call sometime, take were brutally honest, especially Jackie, so marry me and presented the $10 Wal-Mart care,” I yelled back, knowing full well a we got to know each other quite well. It ring, she couldn’t resist, and said yes too! woman with five dogs would probably not was a very good evening. It ended with a It was a very good evening. It ended with have much time to share, making it harder kiss. a kiss and a new beginning with wedding to get further acquainted. I didn’t call… plans. right away.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2014



During the next 31 Jackie has spent countless hours in her During the trip we also days we planned garden. She heals best there. When she is got to visit with Jackie’s for a fall wedding, in her garden and working with the many best friend from high sometime early unique projects that are underway, there is school, Patty. I learned November, it would peace. Jackie has led me to her garden and many things about be great and we now I too participate and benefit from the Jackie’s early years, I was were as excited joy of working there. From this it was only getting the complete as any twentyfitting that we would have our wedding in picture now…and it was something couple the garden, our Meditation Garden. We good. would have been. planned the wedding for November 9, But then suddenly, 2013. A few months after we The “Kids,” Louise, Brother, Bella & Bear Jackie’s sister Astri, returned who lived in Montgomery, had a medical About a hundred close from the family reunion the emergency. Astri had been struggling with friends and family most unexpected tragedy liver cancer for nearly three years and had attended our wedding happened to our family. Justin, a stroke in late March. She passed away and reception held in Jackie’s youngest son died on on Good Friday, April 6th. Astri and Jackie our home and garden. July 11th. Nothing can grieve were very close, with many years of time My granddaughters, us more than the loss of your spent caring for and loving each other. She Kate and Anna, child. Jackie and I began the inspired Jackie to start a Montessori school walked me down the long process of grieving for and work with young children. Jackie and garden path; Jackie’s Justin. We had no idea what I mourned the loss of Astri and celebrated son, Ian, walked that would involve except her life. Astri would be missed, the deep her down the same many days and many months hurt of losing her would linger. path. My grandsons and probably forever. We Jackie with dear friend, Nora participated as our postponed our fall wedding The next month was my ushers, while my sons James and Jason indefinitely until we could find a family reunion and everyone stood with me at the altar. We honored happier time in both of our lives. understands this milestone in those we have lost with a moment of The struggle to cope and live a relationship. So we traveled silence as we lit four candles. Our wedding with the great loss of Justin was to Indiana so Jackie could be theme was “you’re slow but time became our ally introduced to “The Family,” never too old to dream and eventually helped us to see to get her approval of course. a new dream.” It was our future together again. Later Fortunately, she did, it was much a very good evening. It that year, on Christmas Eve, I like her own family reunions, ended with a kiss, the gave Jackie a gift, a Wedding fun and loving. We announced best we ever had! Planner. It was a very good our engagement, got the cake evening. It ended with hope and and felt the love. It was all good. a future wedding.

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February 2014

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Non-Profit Focus AGAPE of Central Alabama

MACOA, will host the 20th Annual Culinary Caper

Agape’s “Coins For Kids” Campaign kicks off in February and runs through May. The goal for the campaign is to collect change (or cash) in an Agape coin can over a three-month period and help support kids in need of loving families. Whether coins or cash, every little bit counts! So get a can, throw in your change (or cash) and know you’re impacting the life of a child forever. If your church, group or organization would like to participate, please contact us at or (334) 272-9466.

Montgomery Area Council On Aging, MACOA, will host the 20th Annual Culinary Caper at the Alabama Activity Center on Sunday, March 2, 2014 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Local chefs from the area’s finest restaurants will donate their delicious fare to the fortunate guests at the reservations-only event. The participating chefs’ signature dishes will make up a carefully planned menu giving diners a taste of all our unique locale has to offer. A dedicated a team of community volunteers will serve each course to the hundreds of patrons at the seated luncheon.

Couch to the Best 5k of your Life Class! This 10-Week Class, designed by ACE Certified Personal Trainers, begins March 1st and concludes with Agape’s Run for a Mom 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, May 10th. The $99 Couch to 5k Program fee will INCLUDE the Agape 5k fee ($25 per person). The class will include a 5K training seminar, weekly group workouts including three cross-training workouts designed to increase your running strength, and timed trial runs. Don’t just complete a 5k, conquer it! Contact Matt Abele, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, at for more details and to sign up for the program by March 1. For more information on the 5k, visit Agape’s Run for a Mom 5K and Fun Run The 4th annual Agape Run for a Mom 5K and Fun Run will be on May 10, 2014 at Vaughn Park Church in Montgomery. Honor a special woman when you run this Mother’s Day weekend, whether it’s the lady you call “mom” or a special lady you’ve always adored. Whoever it is, make sure to wear or carry something while you run to serve as a reminder of her. For more information, visit

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

New this year, the MACOA Culinary Caper guests can participate in a live Fund In Need donation opportunity. The goal of the Fund In Need is to raise enough money to pay for the expenses of an existing Meals On Wheels delivery route. In addition, a fantastic Silent Auction begins at noon and includes a wide variety of items ranging from day spa treatments to jewelry, and from gourmet dinners and original artwork to weekend getaways. MACOA will also raffle off chances to win a $1,000 VISA gift card! Attendees may enjoy the event by reservation only. Individuals can purchase a reservation for $75 per seat and space is limited. Sponsorships are available beginning at $1,000. All reservations will be held at the door on the day of the event. All proceeds from the Culinary Caper will directly benefit MACOA’s Meals On Wheels program, providing meals for senior citizens who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. MACOA has been serving seniors since 1972 as the only area non-profit devoted exclusively to the elderly. For Culinary Caper reservations and more information, please call the MACOA Development Department at (334) 263-0532 or contact Director of Development Karen Allen Green at

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February 2014



What’s New for Valentine’s Day? Presented by River Region Facial Plastics

Every year on February 14, we observe Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world in many countries and cultures, and it remains a working day in most of them. St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted during the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he reportedly healed the ailing daughter of his jailor whose name was Asterius. Legend has it that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell - the first Valentine card. The day first associated with romantic love was from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules (1382). Chaucer wrote: “For this was on seynt Volantynys day when every byrd comyth there to chese his make” Thus, the history of Valentine’s Day, and its association with romance, love, and courtship! In 1784, the English poem from Gammer Gurton’s Garland can be found: “The rose is red, the violet’s blew, the honey’s sweet and so are you. Thou art my love and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine: The lot was cast and then I drew and fortune said it should be you.” In 18th century England, Valentine’s Day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love by presenting flowers, confectionary offerings, and greeting cards known as “valentines.” Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The United States Greeting Card Association estimates 190 million valentines are

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February 2014

sent in the United States annually. When adding valentines exchanged at schools between children and teachers, perhaps the number of valentine exchanges is upwards of a billion per year. The Internet allows for creating new greeting messages for Valentine’s Day such as e-cards, love coupons, or printable greeting cards. Obviously, the tradition of Valentine’s Day flowers, cards, candies, and the like will continue to be sent and received. After preceding holidays of overeating and gaining extra pounds, the last thing your loved one may wish to see is a box of chocolates. Flowers are always acceptable but typically are losing their petals in a few days, and cards don’t always say “I Love You” like you would say it in your own words. So... what to do? Well, consider maybe coupling some of the traditional items with skincare products or a cash card for application towards facial rejuvenation. At River Region Facial Plastics (RRFP), we offer SkinMedica® products for skin care. For facial enhancement, we have many different fillers such as Perlane®, Restylane®, Juvederm®, and a brand new product called Voluma™ XC. There are also the neuromodulators such as Botox® Cosmetic or Dysport®, which may help enhance one’s appearance. Voluma™ XC is the newest product available at River Region Facial Plastics. The FDA approved it for usage in the United States in late 2013. Voluma™ XC is the only product indicated for adding volume to the cheeks. We (at RRFP) are

proud and excited to announce that we are the first in the River Region to be trained and to have used this product! Voluma™ XC is an injectable that is placed into the cheek region and offers instant enhancement with minimal downtime or discomfort. It is actually made with an ingredient from our skin - hyaluronic acid (HA), which has been modified to allow it to last for up to two years following placement. Other HA’s such as Restylane® or Juvederm® can be placed into other areas besides the cheeks to compliment your facial beauty. There are very few things that can give instant gratification, but fillers are certainly among them. Also new is the FDA’s approval to place Botox® Cosmetic into “crows feet” lines at the corners of the eyes. While traditionally used to suppress action of forehead muscles of expression (frown lines), this new indication and approval allows us to use Botox® Cosmetic to soften the squint lines around the eyes. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching on February 14, plan to do something new this year. Give the girl or guy you have fallen in love with the traditional card, flowers, or candy. Then couple them with a visit to River Region Facial Plastics. We will keep your Valentine looking beautiful. Do Something Beautiful on Valentine’s Day! “V” is for Visit us, Volume increase with Voluma™ XC, and Be My Valentine! Happy Valentine’s Day! Yours In Good Health, Dr. Thomas H. Cawthon 334-270-2003.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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February 2014

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Is your pesky eye problem DRY EYE syndrome? T

hanks to Alabama’s mild winters, dry eye syndrome can be a year-round problem. Many who suffer from it aren’t familiar with the condition, so it continues for months, undiagnosed and untreated. “Dry eye syndrome can show up in so many forms that some sufferers still don’t recognize the problem,” said Fredrick Jackson, O.D., owner of Primary Eyecare Associates in Montgomery. Studies show that as many as 25 percent of U.S. adults have dry eye syndrome or its symptoms. Jackson estimated that applies to about 40 percent of Alabama adults. Although the problem tends to increase with age, especially over age 50, it can affect adults of any age. Jackson said he has seen the most dramatic, immediate improvement for dry eyes by inserting tear duct (punctal) plugs and, secondly, from Restasis prescription eye drops. Dr. Jackson and other optometrists at Primary Eyecare Associates treat dry eye based upon the symptoms. Dry eye syndrome is not only about dry eyes, he added. Symptoms also may include eyes that are watery, stinging, itchy, blurry, burning, irritated, scratchy, inflamed, red, have mucus and/or feel as if they have debris in them. Dry eye even may cause double vision. Untreated, it may cause disease of the ocular surface and corneal scarring. Dry eye sufferers tend to try overthe-counter eye drops for relief, but professional treatment often is needed. Some over-the-counter eye drops have adverse effects. “The best eye drops are non-preserved since preservatives may irritate the eye,” Jackson said. The underlying cause of dry eye should be addressed and treated properly, added Benjamin Harris, O.D., who also practices at Primary Eyecare Associates.

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Professional treatment may improve vision and comfort – and prevent or minimize eye damage. Dry eye syndrome is caused by inflammation of the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane on the front of the eye and inside the eyelids) and the cornea (the transparent layer forming the front of the eye), due to inadequate tear secretion. Eyes even may become too watery from dry eye syndrome because the eyes try to relieve the problem, Harris explained. “When their dryness is caused by an oil gland disorder, we get rid of the inflammation first and treat that. If they still have problems, we might use plugs later on, but not first,” Jackson explained. “To treat the glandular disorder, we may use hot compresses and antibiotic steroid drops.” Punctal plugs also may help patients with computer eye strain, glaucoma, contact lens problems and rare post-LASIK dry eye problems. In glaucoma patients, the plugs help prescription eye drops stay in longer, Jackson said. “Punctal plugs are the only treatment for dry eye syndrome with a real ‘wow’ factor when we use them,” Jackson said. “The relief is quick and dramatic. Another reason plugs are the best option is there is no maintenance by the patient. There’s nothing to buy and nothing to replace. It’s a great option.” “For patients with tearing problems, I tell them, tomorrow morning, your eyes won’t be stuck shut,” he added. “They are always just amazed at how much better their vision is.”

Story by Leslie R. Myers

Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from dry eye, studies show. It can be exacerbated by such factors as eye strain, sustained computer use, watching lots of TV, smoking, hormonal changes, fans or windy conditions, air-conditioning or heating, and contact lenses. TV watching can be a factor because people blink less then. Diseases that may be associated with dry eye include asthma, diabetes (especially if blood sugar is high), rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease (especially if the lower eyelid does not move while blinking), and glaucoma. Follow “The 20-20-20 Rule” when using computers to avoid eye strain and other problems, according to the American Optometric Association. The rule is: Every 20 minutes, take a break and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. For an eye exam or for treatment of dry eye, contact Primary Eyecare Associates at (334) 271-3900 or visit their website at Leslie R. Myers is writing a series of medical stories for BOOM! She is a veteran journalist and owner of Myers Ink marketing. For more information, visit or email her at

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February 2014



Things that Matter

With Lee Lawrence

Things That Matter: The Power of Women In the thirty odd years (some of them were really odd) I have worked in the financial services industry I have identified two components of my career that I truly enjoy. I enjoy very much the opportunity to write and share ideas through great magazines like BOOM! But my first love, however, is speaking to groups about financial topics and even more, financial strategies. About a month ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group that consisted solely of ladies most of whom were over fifty. One of the workshops I host is called, “Financial Strategies for Women”. There were approximately forty five ladies in attendance and there was a diversity in incomes, vocations and marital status. The common denominator appeared to be interest in the focus of the club itself, a garden or cooking club for example. I was scheduled to speak for an hour and covered the published agenda items, Social Security Benefits and Strategies, Retirement Timing and Planning, Legacy Planning, and a few others. I opened the floor for questions fully expecting to elaborate on the medley of financial topics I had just touched on. Not so! Instead of the expected questions, the group as a whole seemed more interested in discussing the factors that influence women to invest differently than men. We have all heard the cliché, “Women are nesters and men are hunters”, that “Women are from Venus and men from Mars, etc. It is accepted that women usually have goals and investment behavior different than that of men. These differences surfaced as the desired topic for an extended dialogue. Fortunately, I had invested a lot of time in preparation for the several workshops I do specializing on women in investing. In preparation for classes and workshops I had researched both the demographics and philosophy causing most women to invest differently than men. As a result we enjoyed a spirited and healthy question and answer session.

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February 2014

As I began preparing for this month’s article for BOOM!, and a sequel to last month’s “The Descent”, I thought sharing some of the interaction from that Q & A might be of interest to BOOM! readers as well. The following research is meant to be informative and is general in nature. In our current environment, Boomer women face some specific challenges. Actuarially women typically outlive their spouses and as a result most live with the financial decisions he made. I find that a significant number of unmarried boomer women rate themselves as having little knowledge of investing outside the traditional fixed investment options. Additionally, I have found that women tend to be more concerned than men about having enough money to live comfortably through their life time. Both married and unmarried boomers seem to be less confident they have enough income in retirement and actually fear becoming a “Greeter”. Part of this anxiety is perpetuated by the Social Security reports showing that close to half of all unmarried women-including widows- 65 and older use Social Security to make up 50% to 90% of their income. Frequently that is not enough to maintain their lifestyle and results in the need to supplement income. In my experience, Boomer women, for the most part, often earn less than men and while they tend to invest a higher percentage of their income, they do so more conservatively preferring fixed investments or annuities with guarantees just the opposite of men . On the other hand, boomer women also enjoy unique opportunities. According to an article published by Mass Mutual, senior women control a net worth of $19 trillion and more than three-fourths of the nation’s wealth. Through successful careers, prudent investing, and the potential of inheritances from parents and husbands it can be projected that over the next decade that number may reach $40 trillion. According to the IRS half of all the individuals with at least $500,000 in investable assets are women. Again quoting from Mass Mutual, fortythree percent of Americans with more than $500,000 in assets are female. The number of wealthy women investors in the US is growing faster than that of men.

It has always been a point of humor that women like to spend money. According to Karen Vogel in “The Woman’s Congress”, Boomer women make up to 95 percent of the purchasing decisions for their households. In “Mindshare” Ogilvy and Mather indicate that American women spend $5 trillion annually or over half the U.S. GDP. I think it can be agreed upon that the ladies of BOOM! are probably the healthiest, wealthiest, and most active generation of women of all time. As I listened to the ladies in my Q & A express their frustrations with Social Security benefits, tax changes, outliving their money, health care, and legacy planning I reflected again on my article in January, “ Planning for The Descent”. In it I make the point,” So much time is spent in the living of our lives that we often do not plan for the rest of our lives!’ We spend months picking the right house, the right neighborhood before buying a home. We are relentless in selecting a school or college for our kids. We watch the return on our 401(k) monthly and lament any loss. We often spend more time and effort in planning a vacation or cruise then we do preparing for those eventualities that occur after we quit working and affect the rest of our lives. Frequently, “Little Things Matter”, like a check in the wrong box, have the potential to significantly impact the rest of the retiree’s life. The wrong choice of a pension option, the improper timing of Social Security benefits, failing to include all retirement assets and incomes into a coordinated retirement plan, being unaware of resulting tax consequences that affect retirement income assets, and legacy planning are just a few of “The Little Things” that can affect a happy and successful “Forever”!!! Lee Lawrence Signature Financial Solutions LLC. 8128 Old Federal Road Montgomery, AL. 36117 334-546-7597 Lee Lawrence is an investment advisor representative of and securities are offered through USA Financial Securities. Member FINRA/SIPC A Registered Investment Advisor. 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI. 49506. Signature Financial Solutions LLC. Is not Affiliated with USA Financial Securities.

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.

Dear Lee,

We’ve reached the

of the retirement


mountain. Please he

us with our descen



Request our COMPLIMENTARY Retirement Survival Guide by calling us at (334) 819-7001.

Helping you with “the things that matter.”

    

Retirement Income Management Retirement Tax Portfolio Management Proactive Risk Management College Planning Financial Estate Distribution Planning


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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February 2014



Memory Tricks Mind games: Veteran stage actors share their secrets for keeping memories fresh, organized.


you ask boomers to list their top 10 aging anxieties, “declining memory” often ranks high on the list.

This prompted us to think about a particular class of people whose memories are famously prodigious, not to mention vital to their jobs: stage actors. They must memorize vast quantities of dialogue and then reproduce it, word-perfect, under stress. Anyone who has tried to memorize even one Shakespearean sonnet can see how impressive it is to commit “Hamlet” to memory. So we went to two of the premier stage actors of our region, Patrick Treadway, 53, and Michael Weaver, 55, and asked them two simple questions: How do they do it? And what tips might be useful for the rest of us? Treadway leads workshops on memorization for actors, and his most valuable insight may also be the simplest: We all have better memories than we realize. We just need to get them organized. For instance, let’s take the common problem of memorizing a shopping list. Treadway suggests something called: THE BODY LIST: Your body can easily be divided into 10 parts. No. 1 is the feet, No. 2 the knees, and so on. So you assign each item to one of your body parts, and then you visualize an image that involves both the body part and the grocery item. “For my feet, I will break a dozen eggs with my feet,” Treadway said. “I will pour milk on my knees. I will chop broccoli with my thighs.” It doesn’t have to make sense, in fact, the more outrageous the image, the better. “Making the images sexual or disgusting makes it work even better,” he said. “Making it embarrassing makes it more vivid.” Meanwhile, Weaver suggested another memory strategy that would also work particularly well for a grocery list. MAKE A MENTAL MAP: Instead of trying to hold a grocery list in your mind, it’s actually easier to draw a map in your mind,

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February 2014

Patrick Treadway, as Arles Struvie, and Michael Weaver as Thurston Wheelis, chat on the air at OKKK radio station in a scene from Interplayer’s “Greater Tuna.” (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review/MCT)

containing all of the parts of the grocery store you want to visit. When you get to the store, just start walking your route. The destinations themselves will probably trigger the memory of the particular item you’re after. And if not, just start looking around. You’re probably standing right in front of it.

THE CELEBRITY VISUALIZATION: When Weaver meets somebody named, let’s say Jill Shaffer, he visualizes a friend of his named Jill standing next to Paul Shaffer, leader of David Letterman’s band. When he sees Jill Shaffer again, that odd couple pops into his head and the name is there for the taking.

Visualization is one of the recurring themes in both Weaver’s and Treadway’s memory strategies. Treadway finds that, when he teaches his workshops, some students will inevitably say that they are no good at “making pictures in their heads.”

Actors, of course, have to memorize a far larger volume than most of us, and subsequently, many of them use far more complex memory devices, such as ...

“I say, ‘Well, close your eyes. Now, tell me what color necktie I am wearing.’ They say, ‘You’re not wearing a necktie.’ They’re right, and in order to know that, they must have made a mental picture,” Treadway said. Treadway teaches his students that not only are they better at visualization than they think, but that they are far better at memorization. Even people with “bad” memories are holding thousands of things in their memories. The key to remembering any particular thing is to make it interesting and vivid enough to stand out. Thus, the vivid image of chopping broccoli with your thighs. Weaver suggested another simple and proven visualization method, which can cure a big source of embarrassment for many of us: forgetting people’s names.

THE MEMORY PALACE: This is a memory trick used for millennia, and Treadway finds it useful as his Emergency Memory Backup Plan. The basic idea is this: You visualize a palace with 10 rooms, and each room has 10 places within it (west wall, east wall, floor, ceiling, etc), for a total of 100 spaces. Then, as you are memorizing something, you “place” parts of the task into each individual space. Treadway has mentally constructed such a palace for his next role at Interplayers Theatre, the title role of “Barrymore.” Each page of the script is “projected,” in his mind, onto a surface of a room. When the director asks him, for instance, to go to Page 9 of the script, Treadway goes, in his mind’s eye, to the correct room and the correct space, and there is the page, shimmering in the ether.

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“Page 9 is on the floor of the lobby,” he said. “I can see the whole page on my mind if I need to.” Treadway said he uses the “palace” only when he gets stuck. It’s like “having somebody in the home office” to call in an emergency. There are many variations on the Memory Palace idea. If you have, for instance, a familiar walking route, you can “store” memories at landmarks along the route and then you can take your “walk” in your imagination and pick up the memories stored along the way. Weaver said he knew one fellow actor who knew all of the U.S. presidents by number and would equate each page of a script to a president (a system that works only up to Page 44). Both Treadway and Weaver agree that the best way to learn an entire script is simply the organic way: You remember the idea of the dialogue, what the playwright is trying to say, as opposed to strictly a string of words. “I go for the through-line of the play,” said Weaver. “When somebody says something to you, there is only one logical thing to say back.” This makes it easier to remember the gist of a line or a speech and makes it easier for the actor to convey meaning to the audience. Unfortunately, “the gist” is not good enough for professional actors. They must be wordperfect. So to get every word in its proper place, Weaver advocates the most tried-andtrue, and occasionally dreaded, of all memory devices.

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REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION: “I say each line four times in a row, and if I have to look down at the script to check, or screw up one word, I have to start over and do it four more times,” said Weaver. If he gets it right all four times, he’s well on the way to getting it right for good. “I had one professor who said, ‘You learn the lines. You forget them. Then you learn them again. Once you learn them again, you have them,’” Weaver said. As in most kinds of learning, it’s also easier to divide the material into less intimidating sections. CUT IT INTO CHUNKS: If you have to memorize one full page of text, for instance, divide it into fifths. Get the first fifth under your belt before tackling the second fifth, and so on. Once you have all five pieces mastered, you merely have to string them together. Treadway’s experience in memorizing scripts has changed drastically over the decades, in a way that parallels the way many of our boomer minds work.

seems, well, less vivid, and thus harder to lodge in the brain. That explains why so many memory exercises have the simple goal of creating a more vivid image for the brain. It also explains why some playwrights’ words are easier to memorize than others. Both actors said that Shakespeare, surprisingly, is one of the easiest. That’s because his plays were written specifically to be memorized, with a poetic rhythm and a wealth of exceptionally colorful imagery. Contemporary playwrights like David Mamet and Alan Ayckbourn are harder, because their dialogue mimics the way people actually talk, with lots of umms and ahhs and a conspicuous lack of poetic imagery. There’s less for the memory to hold onto. Anxiety is one of the most serious obstacles to memory, which is why Treadway goes out of his way to show the students in his workshop that their memories are actually pretty good. The fear of memorization is worse than the reality.

“When I was 20, scripts used to go in automatically and easily, almost photographic,” said Treadway.

“Learning lines in a play is like doing the dishes,” Weaver said. “I’ll put it off as long as I can, but once I get started, it’s not so bad.”

Now, it takes more work. The reason has nothing to do with diminished brain capacity or dying brain cells or any of the other physical issues that boomers agonize over. Treadway said that for most of us, the “hardware” continues to work just fine. The difference, he said, is that when he was 20, a new script struck him as brilliant, magical, interesting and vivid. Thirty years and hundreds of scripts later, he has become a little more jaded. The average script now

We’ll leave you with a point that might make the memory-anxious among us feel better. These two men continue to memorize hundreds of pages every year, yet they describe their own memories like this: “Pretty average,” Weaver said. “Not that terrific,” Treadway said. (c) 2014, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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February 2014



Fitness over Fifty

By Leigh Anne Richards

Champagne & Propane Cruising at 1000 feet over the desert outside El Paso, it was easy to believe that I would go on forever, like the endless sandy expanse below me, slipping along the Leigh Anne Richards skyline in silence, enjoying every second of flight in the first light of dawn. The chase truck bouncing along below me, following fence lines and highways, tracking me for landing wherever that happened to be….and then there would be champagne to drink and the dusty, heavy envelope to repack in preparation for the next flight, followed by the slow trudge back to the truck, the basket, burner, and envelope on our shoulders. Heady stuff… Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those days for anything, even if I had known then that those blissful years of early morning ballooning would eventually lead to painful osteoarthritis in my knees and lower back. Life goes on, doesn’t it? And that’s how I found myself at 62 years old, happily (but chubbily) married to my real-life Prince Charming, working in the perfect job , but living with so much crippling arthritis pain, I couldn’t even get comfortable on one of those expensive foam mattresses…you know the kind. And when the doctor said that my cholesterol was too high, and prescribed a powerful statin drug, I faced the firing squad of old lady-hood: I could take the meds and sit in my recliner, or I could fight back. That was the lucky day I found Metro Fitness and Leigh Anne Richards. My orthopedic surgeon said I could try exercise, within limits, and assured me that there‘s a difference between everyday pain and injury pain. (He said I would know.) My husband, Jim, joined with me so we would be together for the ordeal, but it was daunting just to walk in the door at MF; all those super fit, tuned-up, toned-up young people….but

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wait! There were a few women my age and stage too, so I didn’t feel completely alone. Leigh Anne set a slow but steady pace, avoiding the impossible workout routines, and emphasizing strengthening my non-existent core. I was sore, but acceptably so... and Jim smiled down from the walking track, keeping an eye on me as I trained. I was actually enjoying my workouts!

The weeks passed, and Leigh Anne never stopped encouraging me, teaching me, giving me her undivided attention. Without warning one day, I realized that I hadn’t noticed any pain in my back all day….I lay in bed that night, amazed that my knees and back were quiet for the first time is many years. I had to wake my sweetheart and tell him! I’m not hurting at all! The weekend before Thanksgiving, I participated in the annual Turkey Burner 5K. I was last over the line, but I finished! If you had told me last year that I would be working out at the gym and walking in a 5K, I would have laughed and laughed. I walked in another 5K in December, this time finishing in 45 minutes, well ahead of the stragglers. I laughed and laughed. There’s no denying that it is WORK to get healthy. This trip is work, sweat, sore muscles, and stinky

t-shirts. But it is so worth the effort! No matter what age and stage you’re in, you will be fitter, stronger and happier if you get up and MOVE! I begged my doctor for a reprieve on the statin drugs, and he gave me one year to get my numbers under control. It’s too soon to know how my cholesterol will react, but I can tell you that I am delighted with my progress so far. I’m losing weight, gaining strength and confidence, and looking forward to whatever happens next. Thank you Leigh Anne and all the MF staffers who encourage me to fight off oldladyhood! Charlotte Bent is the author of this testimonial. I am fortunate enough to get to train her because she wants it...Good Health that is. Its not all about the physical appearance as we age but being healthy, strong, and having a great quality of life. My delight is on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 5:00 when Charlotte comes in raring to go. She has progressed from light machine weights to dumbbells and now even boxing by hitting a target (her favorite thing to do). Let’s take a lesson from Charlotte- no matter age or stage...MOVE!! Leigh Anne Richards, MEd, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, General Manager- MetroFitness. For any questions or comments, contact Leigh Anne at LAMetrofit@aol. com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF MONTGOMERY TO HOST THE RUMMAGE SALE Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Rummage Sale Proceeds benefit local community organizations through Junior League grants. Hosted by the Junior League of Montgomery, THE RUMMAGE SALE will return to Garrett Coliseum on Friday, February 7 and Saturday February 8 celebrating six decades of this community event. Fabulous pre-loved and gently-used items, as well as new and surprising treasures will be offered at affordable prices when the sale begins Friday February 7th, with shopping hours from 5 to 9PM. It will continue Saturday morning, February 8th from 8 to 11AM.

wedding dresses, crystal gifts and items to stock kitchens and garages have been some of the fabulous finds. The most popular

area is always the children’s department where clothing in a range of sizes, toys and infant accessories abound. “This year we will also be introducing a new section just for pets”, said Marie Wise Styles, chairwoman of The Rummage Sale. Advanced tickets are $3.00. Tickets will be $5.00 at the door. Tickets may be purchased on-line at Eastdale Mall Customer Service Counter, The Shoppes of My Kids Attic, Barb’s on Mulberry and www. jlmontgomery. org or at the Junior League of Montgomery’s office at 3570 Carter Hill Road. Proceeds will benefit local community organizations through Junior League grants. For more information contact the Junior League of Montgomery at 334.288.8816 or visit www.

Tables, racks and corridors will be filled with linens, furniture; men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes; housewares and electronics. In previous years, The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2014



Nearly 240 years ago, as the United States of America teetered on the brink of sovereignty, an ardent libertyloving city-state known as the Republic of Ragusa became one of the very first to formally recognize America’s independence from Great Britain.

Bucket List Adventure:

Dubrovnik’s Old Town By Kathy Witt

More familiarly known today as Old Town in Dubrovnik, this tiny, latemedieval walled oasis set like a jewel on the Adriatic Sea on the Dalmatian Coast, was a center of trade, arts and culture that once rivaled Venice. In fact, this Mediterranean fairy tale town is called “the pearl of the Adriatic.” The walls encircle most of the city as it juts into the sea and meanders back toward the Pile Gate on terra firma like an irregularly shaped polygon. They stretch about 6,365 feet in length and reach about 80 feet high in some places. There are more than a dozen towers, several forts, six bastions or bulwarks and two corner forts. You’ll spot several turrets, multiple moats, even a couple drawbridges. To say that Old Town’s protected perch would forestall surprise attacks and invasions is a given; however, one enemy did breach the walls, but it was by means of not honoring his word, or the republic’s freedom philosophy, when he was allowed behind the gates. That was double-crossing Napoleon Bonaparte, who subjugated the people in 1806.

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Now part of Croatia, Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is as exquisite today as it was in the seventh century when the walls first began going up. It is a living history museum whose paved streets duck and curve into a maze of narrow alleyways where visitors are as likely to happen upon a sweet little cafe as encounter a stone staircase leading up, up and up. At the top of this steep climb? A chance to walk along the battlements to drink in some of the most breathtaking views of land and sea you’ll catch anywhere. Within the walls are monuments, museums, churches and convents, the architecture showing off medieval, Renaissance and Baroque design. You can stroll the city, dipping into historic structures including Dubrovnik Cathedral, rebuilt after an earthquake in 1667; the Cultural History Museum, housed in the Rector’s Palace and filled with period furniture and costumes plus a

sophisticated gift shop; the Baroque-style St. Blaise Church (St. Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik); the wonderfully ornate St. Ignatius Church; the Bell Tower; and the Customs Palace. On the streets of Old Town, you may run into a street artist painted gold and standing still as a statue, a man offering a photo op with a parrot or even the bustling Green Market in full swing. You’ll find lots of shops crowded together, offering Croatian wines, designer clothing and fine jewelry, candles, masks, paintings by local artists, souvenirs and, this being Dubrovnik, ties. The necktie actually originated in Croatia, evolving from the kerchiefs women would tie round their husband’s or son’s neck back in the day when they went off to war. This, in turn, spawned the cravat, derived from the expression, “a la Croate,” (in the Croatian manner), which led to the French word, “cravate,” and, so many generations and design

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developments later, the modern tie. Croatian ties are known for their topquality silk fabrics and classic and contemporary design patterns. And restaurants? They’re all over the city, and the best plan-of-action is to simply follow your nose from cafe to bistro to pub to sushi bar, perusing the posted menus and keeping an eye peeled for an empty table. Eat fresh oysters at Bota, located near the cathedral, or taste-test Dalmatian cuisine prepared with heritage recipes of Dubrovnik fishermen at Proto, a fish restaurant that has been scoped out by actor Richard Gere and one of the “James Bonds” (Sir Roger Moore). Old Town is a place where flowers and greenery lend color and a sense of wildness to the symmetry of this stone fortress; where clothing is strung outside windows and across balconies to dry in the breeze blowing in from the sea; where a terracotta roof-scape colors the skyline; and where the barring of autos keeps the 21st century noise of honking horns, skidding wheels and slamming doors, thankfully, outside the walls. MORE INFORMATION > Dubrovnik Tourist Board > The City Walls

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ADVENTURE GUIDE TO DON’T-MISS MOMENTS > Entering the majestic gates and crossing over the drawbridge of this ancient and historic city and being instantly transported back centuries. > Ducking in and out of the tiny shops like Croata, Maria, Algebra, a wonderful bookstore, Franja Coffee and Tea House and others tucked all over Old Town. > Enjoying lunch al fresco at one of Old Town’s charming restaurants; in this case, Restaurant Amoret, located smack in the center of Old Town, among the cathedral, Rector’s Palace, the entrance of the city walls and the Bishop’s Palace. Come hungry: There are more than 60 different choices, including the fresh fish that is delivered each morning. In the evening, live music adds a romantic ambience. > Walking along the battlements of the city walls, a defense against invasionminded empires. It’s about a mile and a quarter in length and, especially on hot days, you’ll want to bring a bottle of water. > Rounding a corner in Old Town and coming upon the sparkling waters of the Adriatic Sea. Breathtaking. ADVENTURE GEAR TO TAKE ALONG Old Town in Dubrovnik is a cosmopolitan little gem where the streets are paved with stone and lined with charming outdoor eateries, irresistible shops and

beautiful old churches beckoning visitors to come inside. Pack a pair of comfy shoes for walking the walls during the day. For strolling the streets and joining the crowds at the wine bars, jazz cafes or coffee houses in the evenings, slip on a pair of Brian James’ booties ($195,, luxe in leather and accented with chic touches, including a toe-cap and high ankle strap. The bootie’s cushioned insole offers good arch support and extra padding for the balls and heels of your feet lets you relax into the shoes and keeps a bounce in your step the whole time you’re wearing them. The bootie sits on a solid three-inch heel, but this footwear is extremely comfortable, and very much at home amidst the relaxed elegance of an evening in Old Town. Your feet will look good, and feel good, for ambling from the Pile Gate, across the main square and to the furthest reaches where the sea gently laps the city. Author, travel and lifestyle writer, and travel goods expert Kathy Witt feels you should never get to the end of your bucket list; there’s just too much to see and do in the world. She can be reached at KathyWitt24@ or (c) 2014, Kathy Witt. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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February 2014



Healthy Hearing

By Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

Open Your Heart & Your Ears this Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your relationship with your significant others! One of the most important aspects of a successful relationship is communication. Good communication Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. certainly requires the ability to hear well. When you or your loved one experiences hearing difficulty, this can significantly impact your ability to effectively communicate with one another. Doctors Hearing Clinic is offering you and your significant other a special Valentine…. information regarding improving your ability to hear well and enhance your communication with your loved ones. Even though hearing loss can severely impact any romantic relationship, it can also impact other relationships with family members and friends. Ann Brenoff, Senior Writer from The Huffington Post, wrote, “Everyone who loves them (person with hearing loss) and lives with them suffers.” In the article, Hearing Loss In Middle Age May Affect Relationships And Social Life, Ann Brenoff describes her personal experience with her husband who has hearing loss. She expressed her frustration with being accused of mumbling and how her children have become their Dad’s “ears.” She added, “For the record, my husband and I aren’t old. His hearing loss has been gradual and only recently reached the point where we know it has to be dealt with. How big a deal is it? With the exception of a heart attack he suffered six years ago, I can’t think of a bigger life-altering health issue that we’ve faced than his hearing loss.” “We’ve already started the conversation of ‘what could he have done’ to prevent hearing loss, and in his case, the question is moot. His parents experienced hearing loss in their 60s and so has he. The loud ‘60s rock music of my youth doesn’t seem to have caught up with me, but experts say we should avoid prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise to protect our hearing. I worry that the music earphones that seem permanently affixed to my daughter’s ears are harming her hearing.” Data from The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) suggests only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wears them. Additionally, statistics from NIDCD indicate a marked increase in the

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occurrence of hearing loss in Americans as they age: 18 percent of 45 to 64 year olds, 30 percent of 65 to 74 year olds and 47 percent of those 75 years and older experience hearing difficulty. Hearing loss can negatively impact personal relationships and social interaction. Did you know that the divorce rate is actually higher in couples where one person has unaddressed hearing loss? It is vital for individuals with suspected hearing difficulty to make an effort to improve communication abilities as soon as problems are noted, and that process starts with a comprehensive hearing evaluation from a Board Certified Audiologist. If test results indicate that hearing sensitivity is impaired, follow your hearing healthcare professional’s recommendations for hearing devices.

If you have hearing loss, it’s also important to be an advocate for yourself! Inform others that you have trouble hearing so that they can make modifications tailored to you. For instance, if you’re scheduling a dinner with friends, go during the slower hours and if possible, choose a restaurant that isn’t particularly noisy. If you experience hearing difficulty, educate family members on communication strategies that are helpful to you. Simple modifications such as those listed below can greatly improve effective communication. • Remind your loved ones to get your attention by saying your name before starting a conversation • Avoid attempts to communicate from another room or at large distances • Keep a clear line of vision to the speaker • Avoid eating while trying to speak or covering your mouth or face with your hands. – this will interfere with visual cues that are important to understanding • Communicate with others in quiet settings with adequate lighting. Individuals with hearing impairment can benefit from aural rehabilitation classes which can help those with hearing loss and their loved ones acclimate to living with hearing impairment. These classes provide useful information on adjusting to hearing aids and help you learn to manage communication situations more effectively. Meetings are often offered online or in-person at local support groups which allow you and your family members a chance to interact with other individuals who experience hearing difficulty. These opportunities provide emotional support

and “real world” advice on making the most of your amplification devices, coping with hearing loss, and maintaining relationships and communication with family and friends.

This Valentine’s Day, give a unique and special gift to your significant other - the gift of improved communication. Try these Valentine ideas…. • Help your loved one protect their ears— Noise-induced hearing loss has become increasingly widespread, especially among people who use firearms, construction equipment, iPods or personal listening devices. Consider some custom ear plugs or a set of free noise protection plugs from Doctors Hearing Clinic as a unique and caring Valentine treat. • Make a date…. To get your hearing checked together! You and your Valentine can enjoy Cheers for Ears by scheduling some quality time…. With your audiologist! That’s right – make a commitment to better communication and get your hearing checked… together! It is beneficial to accompany your loved one to a hearing evaluation for several reasons. Although hearing evaluations are fairly brief and painless, anticipation of the findings can cause stress. Many individuals are not excited to hear the diagnosis of hearing loss, or have concerns regarding wearing hearing devices. It is beneficial to have two sets of ears to understand the results, and it’s helpful to approach a decision regarding hearing devices with your significant others. A loved one can help you ask informative questions and make informed decisions about treatment options.

Rekindle your personal relationships this Valentine’s Day by scheduling a complimentary hearing consultation for you and your loved one at Doctors Hearing Clinic. For more information please contact Doctors Hearing Clinic at (334) 396-1635. Content adapted from Healthy Hearing Website and an article, Hearing Loss in Middle Age May Affect Relationships and Social Life from Huffington Post published March 7, 2012.

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

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Susan Fisher

February 2014



By John Webster

DecisionsEnd-of-life of asituations lifetime: get tricky without medical directives The bride could blink, and that was all. The groom, her longtime boyfriend, sang her a love song, and then they married. Gathered around her in the nursing home, her loved ones cried, joy mingling with their grief. Sometime later, even the ability to blink was gone. So was the ability to breathe. Machines kept her alive. Tubes kept her fed. Within, her mind might have been alert. No one knew for sure. But her body, stilled by the cruelty of Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, no longer worked. Once again the loved ones gathered. It was time to say the goodbyes that all believed she wanted. The machines stopped. Without them, in a room filled with tenderness and tears, she drew her last breath. Dick Sayre, a Spokane, Wash., attorney, told this story to illustrate how law and medicine can help people find human warmth, even in the valley of the shadow of death. For all of its marvelous power to heal, Sayre said, modern medicine is growing more aware of its limits, more respectful of patients’ wishes, more sensitive to the management of pain, more willing to recognize the moment when medical technology is about to cross the bridge from hope to futility. But who decides when that moment has arrived? And who decides what to do about it? Some people want intensive care, with heroic interventions by surgeons and machines, right up to the last heartbeat. Others don’t. Sayre specializes in elder law, estate planning and the directives people can use to ensure that health care providers implement their values, whatever those values might be. Sayre, and other specialists consulted,

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said the worst outcomes occur when no medical directives exist and families do not agree.

the Internet, Sayre warned, do not always work; that’s because medical directive laws differ from one state to another.

In the absence of a valid health care directive or a durable health care power of attorney, a patient’s spouse may be asked to decide what medical technology should do. But an unmarried partner, regardless of the relationship’s length, will have no voice. In the absence of a spouse, children can decide but only if they unanimously agree. Next in line, parents can decide.

There are other reasons for people to figure out their wishes and write them down in a legal directive.

“The bad stuff happens when people don’t plan,” Sayre said. “When you’re dying and there’s no one around who knows what to do. Or when kids who are estranged and have guilt issues say, ‘We don’t want mom to die, we love mom.’ They fight to keep mom alive when mom’s body is trying to die. Sometimes we go to court to get a decision. The court will try to enforce the wishes of the dying person.” These scenarios, Sayre said, often motivate his clients to complete the legal documents that can designate a decision maker they trust, and can tell physicians what care they do and do not want. Do-it-yourself documents downloaded off

“It’s a huge gift for your family,” Katie Schatz said. Otherwise, loved ones already crushed by a sudden crisis may find, added to their shoulders, the agony of a fateful guess. Schatz works at bedsides where families face this burden. She is an advanced registered nurse practitioner, clinical manager for the supportive care team at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA. Sayre praises Sacred Heart for its efforts to consider the wishes of patients: “They have thorough protocols,” Sayre said. “They help families with decision making. They’ll bring in whatever faith tradition you need.” In his experience, Sayre said, the Roman Catholic reverence for life includes respect for patients’ wishes during life’s last journey. Dr. Lisa Stiller leads the hospital’s effort. A physician, board certified in palliative and hospice care, she is medical director of the supportive care team. This team

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does more than comfort people who are dying. It comforts people who will recover. It brings a multidisciplinary group to assist patients of all ages who are grappling with serious pain and the other traumas of hospitalization. Members include chaplains, social workers, physical therapists, speech therapists, a music therapist, physicians and nurses. “There is a time for technology and a time for doing everything we can to prolong life and give people a chance to get better,” Stiller said. “Also there is a time to focus on whether that technology is going to be helpful. And giving that person a life that has quality and comfort in the way they define. We help people and their families. We help the whole family. We talk through what they are facing and what’s important to them.”

“We actually deal with physicians who are in moral distress because families want everything done,” said Schatz, even when additional procedures are futile. These doctors are asking, “Is it ethical to keep doing everything medical technology can do?” “Doctors want to fix people,” Stiller said. “And we have a culture where we want to get fixed. We want to get better. It’s good to fight. It’s good to be cured. But what’s evolving in medicine is what if it’s not working as well. There comes a time when we’re not fixable. We’re just patchable.” So is it possible for people to decline some of the things technology can do?

“We assess suffering,” she said. “There’s physical suffering. Also emotional, spiritual, social suffering. They all can be mixed together. We pay attention to the whole person as we look at how they are coping.”

Today’s physicians, Stiller said, likewise welcome conversations to define a patient’s wishes.

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Dr. Bob Bray, medical director at Hospice of Spokane, said it’s not as hard for people to outline their preferences as they might think: “People actually do know what they want to do.” What’s needed, he said, is “having the opportunity to talk out their thoughts: Who do I want to make decisions for me if I can’t? And what decisions do I want them to make?” As Bray spoke, in a warmly furnished living room at the nonprofit organization’s modern facility, 273 people were using Hospice of Spokane services: counseling, support, and nursing care with a focus on comfort. Hospice does nothing to hasten death, Bray emphasized. It aims to help loved ones be close and say goodbyes, as they walk through the journey together. Most hospice clients live at home. Only a comparatively small number stay in the facility’s 12 well-furnished suites. “The culture of medicine is slowly evolving,” Stiller said, “to a culture where we are caring for the whole person. Recognizing that although technology is wonderful and can do great things, we cannot at all times prevent someone from dying. Dying is natural and happens to us all. You can define what it means to have a good end of your life. You can have a good end of your life. It doesn’t have to be terrible.”

In 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a research project in Massachusetts, which found that lung cancer patients who received palliative care lived longer, needed less chemotherapy and rated their quality of life significantly higher. This opened doors to palliative care, Stiller said, at hospitals everywhere. When the palliative care discussion turns to spiritual issues, hospital chaplains are not allowed, by their code of ethics, to proselytize. Providence has chaplains representing several faiths. The obligation all of them share, Stiller said, is to listen, respect and comfort.

possible, Providence encourages the use of the “Five Wishes” booklet, which enables people to write down their preferences on a signed and notarized statement.


Hospice of Montgomery:

The Center to Advance Palliative Care:

“Yes,” said Stiller. “You can say, ‘No thanks.’ That’s where medicine is evolving. To where you can have the conversation.” To help patients and their families have these conversations, before a crisis strikes if The “Five Wishes” pamphlet recommended by Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center can be obtained online at or by calling (888) 594-7437. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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February 2014




Laugh Out Loud Horseback Rider A blonde decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons, nor prior experience. She mounts the horse unassisted, and the horse immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slide from the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the horse’s mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse’s neck, but she slides down the horse’s side anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up her frail grip, the blonde attempts to leap away from the horse and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup, she is now at the mercy of the horse’s pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground over and over. As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness when to her great fortune Frank, the Walmart greeter, sees her dilemma and unplugs the horse. And you thought all they did was say Hello. February 2014

Husband Store A store that sells new husbands has opened in Toronto, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates: You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!


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So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs. She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love children. ‘That’s nice,’ she thinks, ‘but I want more,’ so she continues upward. The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love children, and are extremely good looking. ‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love children, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework. ‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’ Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love children, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak. She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. PLEASE NOTE: To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a New Wives store just across the street. The first floor has wives that love sex. The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and like beer. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2014



Movies for Grownups Awards 2014

By Bill Newcott

BEST MOVIE FOR GROWNUPS “12 Years a Slave” America had a century or so to make the definitive movie about slavery, but it took the British-born team of director Steve McQueen and star Chiwetel Ejiofor to finally do it. The true story of a free black man sold into slavery in the years before the Civil War manages to crystallize the diabolical combination of savage brutality and condescending paternalism that sustained America’s Original Sin. Through sheer artistry, it remains a beautifully realized film. We Also Loved: “Nebraska”; “Philomena”; “All Is Lost”; “Captain Phillips”; “Saving Mr. Banks” BEST ACTOR Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” We invested in Dern in the 1970s, when his brooding performances in such movies as “Coming Home” held Brando-class promise for his career. Now, with his turn as a cranky, determined fellow who is convinced he’s won a million dollars, Dern, 77, finally pays that 40-year-old dividend. We Also Loved: Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”; Brad Pitt, “World War Z”; Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”; Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” BEST ACTRESS Judi Dench, “Philomena” She’s never less than brilliant, but this time, as a woman seeking the son she was forced to give up, Dame Judi, 79,

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takes our breath away. Wronged by the world at every turn, her Philomena is fierce, innocent and, it turns out, a better person than we may ever hope to be. We Also Loved: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Enough Said”; Paulina Garcia, “Gloria”; Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”; Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks” BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Chris Cooper, “August: Osage County” As the good-natured but picked-upon husband of a domineering wife (Margo Martindale), Cooper, 62, brings a refreshing breeze of humanity to a cast of characters whose chief family value seems to be an enduring disdain for each other. We Also Loved: Steve Carell, “The Way Way Back”; Tony Danza, “Don Jon”; John Goodman, “Inside Llewyn Davis”; Bill Nighy, “About Time”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” Easy to forget that the talk show queen, 59, has already been an Oscar-nominated actress (“The Color Purple”), but her searing performance as the conflicted wife of a career White House butler (Forest Whitaker) is all the reminder we need. We Also Loved: Allison Janney, “The Way Way Back”; Margo Martindale, “August: Osage County”; Julianne Moore, “Don Jon”; June Squibb, “Nebraska” BEST COMEDY “The Way Way Back” We meet 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) during the summer when he learns how to fit into a world that seems to be populated solely with girls and grownups. It’s his movie but it’s the grownups we love here: an all-star cast of well-meaning (if often clueless) folks including Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Steve Carell, Maya Rudolph The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

and Sam Rockwell. We Also Loved: “Don Jon”; “Last Vegas”; “Mental”; “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” BEST DIRECTOR Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” In the exquisite opening scene, the Mexican-born director, 52, confirms every would-be astronaut’s dreams of the tranquil romance of space. One mind-bending disaster scene later, he has those potential space cowboys asking, “What, was I crazy?” Watch: ‘Gravity’ movie trailer We Also Loved: J.C. Chandor, “All Is Lost”; Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips”; Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”; Stephen Frears, “Philomena” BEST SCREENWRITER Richard Linklater (with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke), “Before Midnight” We’ve hung in there with this couple (Delpy and Hawke) for three movies spanning 20 years. Now in middle age with two daughters, they ask each other the inevitable deep questions about love, commitment, and the wax and wane of each. Their conversations are so heartfelt they seem improvised; so ingeniously constructed they should be required reading. We Also Loved: Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”; Richard Curtis, “About Time”; Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”; David O. Russell and Eric Singer, “American Hustle” BEST INTERGENERATIONAL FILM “Nebraska” David (Will Forte) is willing to suffer his insufferable dad (Bruce Dern) in the hope of having one warm moment with him. When the moment finally comes it’s far from a sentimental gusher, but you’ll find yourself choking back a tear all the same. We Also Loved: “Bless Me, Ultima”; “The Book Thief”; “Philomena”; “The Way Way Back”

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BEST GROWNUP LOVE STORY “Enough Said” Middle-age love arrives at your door with a baggage cart, and that’s what makes this rom-com starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late, great James Gandolfini so darned irresistible. Mismatched in every way, their characters yell, laugh, cry and throw emotional haymakers. It’s all part of burrowing through the strata of their lives and finding there’s gold there. We Also Loved: “Before Midnight”; Lee Daniels’” The Butler”; “Still Mine”; “Unfinished Song” BEST DOCUMENTARY “20 Feet From Stardom” They sang backup for the greatest stars of the past half-century; this triumphant musical documentary finally gives the folks in the back their due. We Also Loved: “Herb & Dorothy: 50x50”; “Muscle Shoals”; “Running from Crazy”; “Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde” BEST FOREIGN FILM “Renoir” (France) Writer/director Gilles Bourdos’ lush telling of the last years of the impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir _ and the early years of his son, the film director Jean _ is as painterly as its elder protagonist. We Also Loved: “The Act of Killing” (Denmark); “Child’s Pose” (Romania); “Gloria” (Chile); “Hannah Arendt” (Germany/ Luxembourg/France)

BEST BUDDY PICTURE “Last Vegas” At first glance, writer Dan Fogelman’s tale of four old pals meeting up in Vegas seems like superficial fun; by the end, it’s a surprisingly thoughtful look at the profound importance of lifelong friendship. BEST TIME CAPSULE “American Hustle” Maybe it’s the spot-on music choices; perhaps it’s Jeremy Renner’s Chris Isaak-style quiff hairdo. Director David O. Russell and production designer Judy Becker have infused their screen, end-to-end, with the go-go essence of late-’70s-early-’80s America. We Also Loved: Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”; “Dallas Buyers Club”; “Inside Llewyn Davis”; “The Wolf of Wall Street” BEST MOVIE FOR GROWNUPS WHO REFUSE TO GROW UP “Saving Mr. Banks” Walt Disney’s efforts to woo Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers into selling him the rights to her now so-wellknown children’s story makes for a fascinating film and conjures up memories of our own childhood movie experiences. In revealing Mary’s roots in P.L.’s own early years, it also savvily reminds us that even when we’ve grown up, the child we were in the past is never far from the surface. We Also Loved: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”; “Frozen”; “The Lone Ranger” (c) 2014, AARP. Distributed by MCT Information Services

BREAKTHROUGH ACCOMPLISHMENT Mary Steenburgen, “Last Vegas” She’s already won an Oscar and is one of TV’s most welcome faces; now, for her role as an aspiring Vegas lounge singer, Steenburgen, 60, reveals herself to be a first-rate vocalist (and she even wrote her own song).

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February 2014



A Soup for Cancer Patients At some point, cancer invades the life of someone we know and love. Like most people, I want to help friends and family who are undergoing treatment. I want to cook something irresistible, but I am often at a loss as to what would be nourishing and appealing to the patient. A couple of years ago I wrote about a book that has been a big help in this regard, “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery” by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson (Celestial Arts, $32.50). “The book contains a lot of information, it’s like a toolbox to entice people to eat,” author Rebecca Katz told me. “I think in many treatment phases, patients lose a connection to food. It is the connection to life, and when someone is vulnerable, food can be a life raft.” She said to think about their taste buds as an electric board with some of the circuits flickering on and off. Some foods can taste weird. Maybe even the patient’s favorite foods taste peculiar. “One of things that is a great tool, an old culinary trick, is FASS - fat, acid, salt and sweet,” she said, making clear that fat often means olive oil, lemons are the acid, sea salt is the salt and organic maple syrup or agave syrup is the sweet. Having these “fantastic four of seasoning” available can be a way for the cook (or the patient) to pump up the flavors to deal with taste bud changes. If a dish tastes like cardboard, the patient might add a little sea salt. A little lemon juice can also make flavors pop. If a dish tastes metallic, a little maple syrup or agave nectar can help. The Chicken Vegetable Soup with Ginger Meatballs is my favorite recipe from the book. I often substitute sugar snap peas for the English peas, cutting each sugar snap into two or three pieces before adding them to the mix.

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CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP WITH GINGER MEATBALLS Yield: 4 servings Meatballs: 1 pound ground organic dark-meat turkey or chicken 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 1 teaspoon minced garlic \ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped { teaspoon sea salt Pinch of Cayenne 1 egg, beaten 1/3 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice Soup: 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced small Sea salt 1 large carrot, peeled, diced small 1 large celery stalk, diced small 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 8 cups store-bought organic chicken broth cup fresh or frozen sweet peas cup fresh parsley, finely chopped cup fresh basil, finely chopped Garnish: 1 lime, cut into quarters Procedure: 1. For meatballs: Line rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Combine turkey, ginger, garlic, parsley, salt, cayenne, egg and rice in bowl and mix with your hands or a spatula until well combined. Don’t overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be tough. Wet palms of hands so the mixture doesn’t stick, roll into 1-inch balls and place on prepared pan.

By Cathy Thomas

2. For soup: Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat; add onion and pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, celery, garlic, ginger and \ teaspoon salt; continue cooking for about 3 minutes. 3. Pour in { cup broth to deglaze pot and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add remaining 7 { cups broth and another \ teaspoon salt; bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, then gently transfer half of the meatballs into the simmering broth (refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use later). Cover and allow the meatballs to simmer for 15 minutes. 4. Add peas and cook 3 minutes more, then stir in parsley and basil. Serve each bowl garnished with a wedge of lime. Storage: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or freeze up to 2 months. Nutritional information (per serving): 191 calories (52 percent from fat), 12 g fat, 4.7 g saturated fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 15 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 890 mg sodium, 1.4 g fiber Source: “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen” by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson (Celestial Arts, $32.50) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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MATCH MADE adventures in online dating with Mia Hunter

Tis the month for love and all things couple-y.

what I met at the restaurant was nobody I recognized. Use very current photos. You won’t be sorry! I would rather a guy know up front I am not his type in the looks department than have him meet me and be forced to use one of the exit strategies of dating in today’s world (the emergency text message is a good one if you ever need it).

Heart shaped boxes of candy, bouquets of flowers, candlelit dinners. Holding hands. Be Mines. It brings out warm fuzzy feelings for some, and feelings of loneliness and desperation for others. It also gives you a great opportunity to reevaluate what kind of Valentine you are looking for on your dating search. One of my favorite bands, Reckless Kelly, wrote a great song called I Never Liked St. Valentine. I suppose that sentiment is shared by lots of folks, but not me!!! St. Valentine (who ended up beheaded) makes us think about love and love only at least one day out of the year. I can’t think of a better thing to have on my mind. Love for friends, children, pets or your significant other – it’s all love! And ain’t love grand! But I digress. I thought I might be on my way to love with Mr. Tin Cup, but the road sort of turned from paved four lane to pig-trail. I love a pig- trail when riding my horse, but not when it’s my by-way to happy ever after. As my friend reminded me, no matter how gorgeous those size 9 Louboutins are (and they are on SALE!!!), I wear a 7, and a 9 will never fit. And so it is with relationships. The two people have to FIT. Remember the Mizpah heart necklaces you and your best friend wore in high school? And when you spent the night together you paired them up and the two halves made a perfect heart? That is the fit you need in your love life, ladies. Nothing less. Don’t settle. Your feet will hurt later, and you will curse your purchase. So Mia is back online. Not much has changed. While perusing the matches on POF

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and Match, I see some familiar faces. Which means they need to change their profile pics!!! VARIETY truly should be the name of a spice. Your photos get stale. And it begins to look like you are a permanent fixture on the site. Now, my dilemma is this: I look better with a tan. The most recent photos I have of myself show either a very pale creature (and accentuate the bags under my eyes) or a bundled up mass of fur and sweaters. Neither are my best looks. I was forced to choose the best of the batch though because I want to be genuine in my profile and not replay the summer photos over again. To me there is no worse online dating faux-pas than to use old photos. They get you in trouble on both ends. I met a guy for dinner last spring, a handsome fellow with a great smile, great hair, and athletic body. Or so said his photos. And I am sure he WAS all those things in 2004 when the photos were taken. But it was 2013, and

There is a new site advertised that intrigues me. It is called Our Time, and it is specifically for over-50 daters. This is a double edged sword in some ways. Although I don’t see myself having much in common with a 30 year old, my experience of late has shown me that some 60 year olds are ready to move to Assisted Living. I need a man who can keep up with my spirit, and it is hard to give that man a number. He could be 45 or 65. He just can’t be vapid, or one dimensional, or physically inert. I’m going to look into this site and will report back what I find. I’ve been asked by several women to help with their profiles and I am having a great time one on one showing them how to best access the most appropriate matches in the online dating world. Sometimes all you need is a jump-start. A leap of faith. A love letter to yourself. May I suggest to you to use this month to think about love – loving yourself, loving your talents and gifts, and sharing that love with people and causes that matter to you. Buy yourself a dozen roses, put on some Harry Connick, and get that profile updated. If you have a Valentine, raise a glass of champagne. If not, the bottle is all yours – and it is great in your bath as well as in that glass. Here’s to love! 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

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2014



Nominations Currently Being Accepted for River Region 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards Volunteers are the lifeblood of a community! HandsOn River Region and the Junior League of Montgomery are now accepting nominations for our 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards. Over the past 40 years, the Volunteer of the Year Awards Celebration has become the River Region’s largest annual event recognizing individuals and groups who have given selflessly of their time and talent to improve their community and the overall quality of life. The awards celebration is held each year during National Volunteer Week in April, and this year’s ceremony will be April 10th, at 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Nominations are accepted until 6 weeks prior to the celebration. The Volunteer of the Year program provides an excellent, free opportunity to recognize and express appreciation to community volunteers. The deadline for nominations is February 21. Applications are available via our website, or they can be faxed/emailed/mailed to you upon request. Contact Leslie Martorana, Project Coordinator, HandsOn River Region, for more info at 334.264.3335 or Award Categories: o Youth Volunteer (18 & under) -- The award recognizes a youth who incorporates volunteerism into his/her life and serves as an inspiration to others. o Youth Group (18 & under) – Groups eligible for this award may represent schools, faith-based organizations, and service clubs that volunteer for a specific cause/ issue. Consideration is given to the group’s team approach to problem-solving and improving the community. o Adult Volunteer (Ages 19 – 64) -- Individuals eligible for this award may be involved in a variety of community activities or may have a concentration of service with a particular agency. The collective effect of their work has an impact on agencies themselves and the community at large. Consideration is given to the nominee’s longevity, focus or variety of work, and overall impact. o Adult Group -- Groups eligible for this award represent colleges, civic organizations, faith-based groups or corporations that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue. Consideration is given to each group’s collective approach to problem-solving and improving the community. o Senior Volunteer (Age 65+) -- Individuals eligible for this award have participated in hands-on, direct service with one or more agencies. Their service is considered extraordinary. Consideration is given to the nominee’s longevity, focus, and impact to the agency, its constituents and/or the community. o Lifetime Achievement Award -- Recognizes exceptional service to others. It celebrates the generous spirit and critical role of volunteers by periodically selecting one volunteer for his or her lifetime contributions of time and service. This award acknowledges an individual’s outstanding, lifelong achievement in improving the quality of life in the River Region through volunteer action.

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Appear Less Clueless to TEENS

12 Slang Terms Decoded...Sort Of...for Grandparents

If you’ve ever felt like d’oh (clueless) about your adolescent grandchild’s ever-evolving slang and vocabulary (which cannot possibly be overlooked in texts from them), this irreverently fun mini-glossary may help. But it probably won’t, and you know it. You’re not a teen. You don’t belong to teen culture. As soon as adults get wind of any teenspeak, you know it’s bound to disappear.

“Saw my ex-hole Sam at Panera with a new chick.”

8. *Retox* to do the opposite of the goals you set.

5. *Sleepy Bear Syndrome* Anger occurring after someone accidentally wakes you up during, or on the precipice of a nap. “Dude, I’m gonna mess you up next time you wake me up like that. And it

“Whatev, Jody - I’ve had it with Pilates. I’m totally retoxing and driving thru T-Bell.”

by Michele Ranard, M.Ed.

BTW. Regarding the dozen definitions which follow: do not let these babies culled online and from my kids’ personal arsenal creep into your own vocabulary! Doing so automatically renders them obsolete and completely team Uncool(see below)!

9. *Geequal* someone with excessive obscure knowledge. “Think I just met my geequal. Lisa scored a wicked new photoshop app.” 10. *Smashed Like Joy* a common phrase used by young men and women when influenced by alcohol and presented with the great effects of the depressant, the irony built in. “I was smashed like joy after that party last night. Don’t remember what happened, but I woke up with a smile.”

1. Yolo* Abbreviation for you only live once. Guy 1: “Hey i heard that you broke ur leg falling off the balcony at that party” Loser: “Ya, but hey, YOLO” 2. *You must be fun at parties A sarcastic phrase used to point out someone’s pessimism or inability to enjoy positive situations. Ancient Loser: “Although I congratulate Mr. So-and-so’s success, I want everyone else to realize that this will never happen to you and you will probably die poor and alone.” Teen: “You must be fun at parties.” 3. *SigOther* Love interest or committed companion/partner. Abbreviation for “Significant Other.” “She and her sigother have been together forever.” 4. *Ex-hole* reserved for that exsignificant other who broke up with you by text or cheated on you. This is my personal favorite.

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won’t be my fault. It’s the Sleepy Bear Syndrome.” 6. *Facebookable* Content is considered appropriate enough to be viewed by the general public of the Facebook community without having to worry about explaining a sketchy situation. “You know it was a good night when only 3 out of 152 pics are facebookable.” 7. *Facebooed* To complain about a company, product, service or person on Facebook, either directly to them or by tagging them in a post. “I facebooed the cable company and they gave me a refund for my service being out.”

11. *Hate-cation* refraining from hateful words about anyone or anything. We all need an extended one! “I got nothin’ to add to that, babe. I told you I’m on a hate-cation.” 12. *Team Uncool* To try to be cool, and fail and be an embarrassment to people. Wearing crocs. “Dude, you see that guy wearing CROCS? I didn’t think it was possible for him to be any more team uncool.” Michele Ranard refrains from millenial slang in daily conversation with suburban yoga moms. She is a professional counselor, academic tutor, and freelance writer with a blog at http:// Sources: my sons

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February 2014



Fe at u re d A r t i st s T h i s M onth, Cecily Hulett and John Wagnon NEW DIRECTION On February 13th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Gallery One Fine Art will host “New Direction” an exciting exhibition of new work by Cecily Hulett and John Wagnon.

James Nelson, art critic, writes for the Huntingdon College, the Museum of Fine Arts Birmingham News and he wrote, “Hulett and this spring at the AUM Life Long Learning has a wonderful grasp of scale. From her Center. Jake also created the MABCA awards. large to small In the Montgomery Advertiser article Art of glimpses of Inspiration by Robyn Bradley Litchfield, she Cecily Orr Hulett, known landscapes, she quoted Ashley DuBose, the Executive Director to her friends as “Cissie” is retains a sense as saying, “Wagnon was selected to design an established and highly of proportion the awards based upon his use of color and respected abstract painter. and balance. outstanding creativity in his pieces.” There She describes her work She is an artist are articles about Jake in lots of publications, as a combination of color, in complete the New York Times, the Crimson White (in composition and chance. command Tuscaloosa) and many more. One of my of abstract favorites is written by James Nelson in the In an article written for the color patterns. Birmingham News. Nelson wrote a critique of Montgomery Advertiser by Skillfully Jake’s show, he said, “Wagnon does alter his Robyn Bradley Litchfield, blending compositional approach to suit the purpose Show of Patriotism, Litchfield texture, color of his subject. Some of his landscapes tend says, “Unlike works with and form, to be almost astringent wedges and slabs Recrudescence 36x36 mixed media realistic subjects, Hulett’s Hulett provides of subtle hues, creating an atmospheric abstract compositions in colorful acrylics a constant source of new discovery and effect that is subtle and commanding. But provide different images depending on the gracious satisfaction.” it is his exotically Byzantine interior studies, light, the direction and the viewer.” The populated by theatrical-looking women body of work she was describing is Soaring John Wagnon a/k/a Jake is a native of draped in fantastic robes against cascades of Spirits. In this same article, Kelton Morris, Montgomery, Alabama. I purchased my first fabulous, intricate backgrounds that provide the then Executive Director for MABCA said, Wagnon painting in 1965. I worked after the more memorable experiences.” Jake was “Cissie’s work really stood out because she school and Saturdays in honored by the members portrayed the mood of the American people, Normandale at Flack’s of the Montgomery Art especially after the events such as September Limited, a wonderful Guild with a retrospect 11.” Hulett has won numerous competitions upscale ladies dress shop. show at the Montgomery across the southeast. Cissie joined Gallery The Montgomery Art Guild Museum of Fine Arts One Fine Art in May of 2001. Over these past was having a show in the which hung from April 6th 13 years, I remember many of my personal arcade. I spent my lunch thru June 2nd of 2013. favorites. Bridesmaids was awarded Best of money for the remainder Show by Dale Kennington, the Juror for the of the month that Saturday New Direction contains Montgomery Art Guild Competition held morning. Everyone thought twenty exceptional at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, I had lost my mind except paintings. Over the years Higher Ground was selected by The Energen for my dear friend and Jake and Cissie have had Corporation in Birmingham as 1st Place in coworker Lucy Tibbets. several joint shows. In my the non-representational category which opinion, this may be the was also a purchase award and is in their I first met Jake and Judy very best. corporate collection, Saving Grace awarded Wagnon at Virginia Durr’s Beautiful Dreamer 40x30 oil on canvas Honorable Mention in the MAG, Regions 90th birthday party in Bank competition and many others. We Martha’s Vineyard many years ago. Jake was Visit Gallery One Fine Art have worked together on many commission one of the reasons I accepted the position 423 Cloverdale Road, Montgomery, AL projects, the nine pieces Cissie created as Director of Gallery One. He is always the Gallery Director Sandi Aplin for The Capstone School of Nursing at the teacher and I have learned so much from him 334.269.1114 University of Alabama were outstanding and in the last 14 years. Generous with his time we had fun during the process. and knowledge he taught for years at AUM,

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By Sandi Aplin

Art & Soul

Downton Abbey Gala and Art Show Fundraiser for Hale County Library in Greensboro, Alabama

On January 4th, members and guests of the Hale County Library gathered at the Horseshoe Farm Clubhouse in historic downtown Greensboro, Alabama. Shirley Esco and I were invited to represent Gallery One Fine Art to help celebrate a successful membership drive and to raise additional funds for the library. The event featured the Downton Abbey theme and ushered in the new season which premiered the following night on PBS. Adelaide Cherry, Chair of the Friends of the Library says, “The art show and silent auction not only generated additional funds for the library, it provided a venue to view, critique and purchase original works of Al and Adelaide Cherry art from local artist, as well as, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa artists. While the Downton Abbey theme created an entertaining atmosphere, the art show was the highlight of the event.”

Barbara and Steven Portch

foxhunting attire with colours. Mary Lawson wore a fine gown and tiara much like Lady Cora and her husband, Reid, dressed in a tuxedo fit for Lord Grantham.

Georgia Rhodes, Lynne Bruce, Anne Burt Drury and Martha Barton dug deep in their closets to find flapper attire while many of the men including Al Cherry and Frank Bruce were decked out in hunter tweed and Scottish Balmoral caps. Bill and Kitty Ross, guests from Birmingham, drove to the event in their 1930 Model A Ford.

appeared in the Greensboro Watchman in 1914 and reprinted on January 2, 2014, read: “The chief social event of the holiday season was the fancy dress ball given in the Opera House…the young people were able to enjoy this delightful dance, and the public library will be greatly benefited by the proceeds.” The article emboldened library members, some of whom remember stories of their parents and grandparents attending events at the Opera House, to challenge future generations to hold another fundraiser for the library in 100 years.

Overall the Gala was successful. These funds will help the library continue renovations to its historic nineteenth century building, modernize its Alabama Room to secure and digitally archive important genealogical Mary and Reid Lawson records, cemetery maps, architectural drawings, community artifacts, cultural exhibits and other historical records. The crowd was amazed and energized by an article that appeared that week in the local newspaper describing a formal Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One Fine Art holiday ball to benefit the library that A free lance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama occurred 100 years ago. The article that

Many of the guests dressed in period costumes reminiscent of post-Edwardian British history and the aristocratic Crawley family and their housekeeping staff (the subjects of the PBS series). Avid library supporter, Kitty Johnson, raided thrift stores to find her charmingly quaint outfit complete with a British lapdog. Barbara and Steven Portch dressed in their traditional British The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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February 2014



February 2014

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond


Sophie Shao with Friends Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Wilson Auditorium, 1 Museum Drive Thursday, February 6, 2014 7:30 p.m. The third in this year’s Montgomery Chamber Music Organization’s concert series, Sophie Shao, Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky award-winning cellist, performs along with Houston Symphony’s concertmaster Frank Huang, and Giles Vonsattel, pianist and member of Lincoln Center’s chamber music group. Program features Haydn, Schumann and Brahms. Reception immediately following the concert. For ticket information call 334.277.3505.


Alabama Voices Grand Opening Alabama Department of Archives and History 624 Washington Avenue February 15, 2014 Alabama Voices, the highly anticipated, new centerpiece exhibition at the Museum of Alabama will officially open to the public on Saturday, February 15, 2014! The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 9:30 am on the front terrace of the Archives. From 9 am to 5pm enjoy tours of the exhibit, presentations by contributors to the project, Alabama food, art, and music on the front lawn, children’s activities and more. This event is free. Make plans now to join us for this historic day! Tourism Department Names Museum of Alabama Attraction of the Year Alabama Voices Grand Opening Named a 2014 Top 10 Event. For more information visit: archives.


Birmingham Golf & Travel Expo Pete Hanna Center, Samford University 800 Lakeshore Drive Saturday February 15, 2014 10-5PM A world of golf and travel under one roof. Get an early start to

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the golf season by experiencing this fun event, complete with exhibitors presenting the latest in golf and providing discounts and deals at golf courses and resorts in our region. You’ll also be able to compete for great prizes in our putting and closest to the pin competitions. The Birmingham Golf & Travel Expo promises to be fun for every member of the family! Tickets are $7 Adults, $5 Seniors/Military. For additional info call 504.616.7895


Celtic Woman Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm Global music phenomenon, Celtic Woman, announces The Emerald Tour, coming to the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on February 18 at 7 pm. The all-new stage production will celebrate Ireland and the Emerald Isles’ spellbinding Celtic heritage through an extraordinary presentation of traditional Irish anthems, pop standards and original music by Emmy®-nominated music producer, David Downes. The Emerald Tour will showcase inspiring performances of timeless music with the unforgettable, angelic voices of Celtic Woman. or visit mpaconline. org for more information


Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between Presented by Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Road Saturday February 22, 2014 12:30-4 PM When did plants first invade the land and what did they look like? Where were they found, and how did they evolve into what we see today? How do researchers determine relationships between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions and offer access to fossils of the earliest known seed and leaf, fossil conifer cones and herbarium specimens . Spring is around the corner and this program can help you plan your beds and gardens! Admission is $40 for members, $45 non-members. Call 205.414.3950 for more info.

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“The Great Gatsby” Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 1 Festival Drive Through February 16, various times In the story, the handsome and mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan, a beautiful but married woman with whom he had a relationship years before. Daisy’s cousin Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to the wealth of Long Island, is drawn into their world of obsession, greed and danger. The three interact with several other characters that are also living seemingly full lives but with empty souls during America’s decadent Jazz Age of the 1920s. Tickets start at $30 and may be obtained on line at, by phone at 800.841.4273 or by visiting the ASF box office at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park.


Vince Gill and Amy Grant in Concert MPAC , 201 Tallapoosa St. Friday, February 14, 2014 7:30 pm Make plans now for Valentine’s Day 2014! Vince Gill and Amy Grant performing live at MPAC. This dynamic duo is going to make you fall in love all over again. Both Amy and Vince have extensive and successful solo careers with multiple Grammy awards, but there is nothing better than seeing and listening to these fabulous talents on stage together. For ticket information, visit


Into the Night The Cloverdale Playhouse February 13 - 23, Thurs-Sat. 7:30 pm, Sunday 2pm Combine the enchanting music of the great Stephen Sondheim with the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and you have an epic fairy tale where worlds collide. James Lapine’s book and Sondheim’s lyrics bring together everyone’s favorite storybook characters in a timeless yet relevant work and rare modern classic. A worldwide hit, INTO THE WOODS garnered three Tony Awards. An unforgettable piece of musical theatre. For tickets,


Mardis Gras Parade & Chili Cook Downtown Prattville Saturday, February 15, 11 am The city of Prattville will host the 10th annual Mardi Gras Parade at 1 pm on February 15 in downtown. The parade, themed “10 Years Rolling with the Good Times”will begin at StanleyThe River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Jensen Stadium, head down Doster Road and turn right onto Northington Street. The parade will feature floats dispensing beads, candy, Moonpies and more. The Prattville Service League Chili Cook-off will take place at 11:30 am. For more information, please call 334.595.0854.


Baptist South Love Your Heart Day Baptist Medical Center South Saturday, February 22 Wouldn’t now be a good time to learn if your heart is happy and healthy? For one day only on February 22nd, Baptist South is offering heart screenings for only $20. We’ll test your cholesterol, blood pressure and resting EKG, and assess your risk for heart trouble. It’s all part of Baptist’s Love Your Heart Day, and includes a free light breakfast after your tests. So join us February 22nd for your heart screening. And show your heart just how much you love it. Call 273.4304 to register.


Saint James United Methodist Benefit Auction For Youth and Children Saint James United Methodist Church. Saturday, February 22, 4pm On Saturday, February 22, Saint James United Methodist Church will hold an auction to benefit youth and children missions. The auction will begin on Saturday, February 22, at 4 pm and last until 6 pm. Visitors may preview items on Friday, February 21, from 4 - 7 pm. There is no cost for admission. Items featured include antique furniture and rugs from Pickwick Antiques, original artwork, jewelry, salon and boutique certificates, gift cards from local restaurants, and vacation home rentals. Visit for a preview of items.


Comedian, Impressionist, Frank Caliendo MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Sunday, February 16, 7:30 pm You probably know Frank Caliendo from his appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, and his current segments on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown…Or maybe you know him from his decade long run on FOX NFL SUNDAY as Terry Bradshaw’s nemesis, but the live comedy stage is where Frank really shows you what he’s all about. His high energy act is a blend of observations, impressions, characters and anecdotal stories that start at a frenetic pace and never let up. For ticket information, visit It ’s a Great Time to Be Booming! Please submit any events/pictures to r i ve r reg i o n b o o m . co m

February 2014



By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

The St. Valentine’s Day Chocolate Massacre When it comes to romance, I am an arsonist. I get some great fires started but they burn out of control and I go down in flames. Fire is a great thing when controlled and we reap benefits. My fires eventually end up as 4-alarm disasters. I have learned a few things along the way that might benefit some of the men reading this!

I hear people use the term “chocoholic”. It’s legit. I was told by one of my battalion of love counselors that it is one molecule away from being something the FDA would have to regulate. Can you imagine the chaos if that actually happened? “Doc, I need some. PLEASE prescribe me at least enough Snickers to get me through the rest of the month!”

The unsympathetic physician denies the request- “We have evidence that you’ve been doctor shopping for your chocolate. We checked with Walgreen’s and found out you just got filled for a 30 day supply of 3 Musketeers from Dr. Schmendrickand he’s a podiatrist! No dice!”

Personally, I recommend Chicago’s Fannie Mae (the chocolate, not the home lender). My Mom loved their dark chocolate covered vanilla butter creams and our neighborhood Rexall drug store actually had a Fannie Mae case in the store, so they were easy to buy. That’s what my Mom got for Valentine’s Day when I was in the Leave It To Beaver era of my life. For a while, they actually had brick and mortar stores here but those have closed, and you can only order them on line. There are other great brands for gift giving purposes like Ghirardelli’s and Godiva but guys- if you really want to make an impression, make her some!

Before my relationships reach the state of smoldering ruin, I have taken them to a glimpse of “the promised land” with the simple Greg Budell brand. It’s easy to make, too!

I am going to present the recipe guy style.

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Men- first you go to Food Outlet and grab a small basket. Many guys are too macho to be seen pushing a shopping cart so they grab a basket, and proceed to fill it with 40 pounds of meat, canned goods and awkwardly packaged items. When a real man overloads a basket, he does not get a wheeled cart. He gets a second basket. Once armed, go to the “Spices” aisle and looked for flat orange boxes containing Baker’s Unsweetened chocolate. In that same aisle, you’ll be able to pick up a small bag of real sugar and vanilla extract. The dairy case is where you buy a package of two sticks of REAL, lightly salted unsweetened butter. You’ll only need one but they don’t sell butter by the stick. Look up, and locate the aisle that says “Canned Milk” and find a can of Carnation Evaporated milk.

To steel your manhood, go to the Utility aisle and buy a hammer. You won’t need it but the cashier will not ask humiliating questions about the color of your throw pillows.

TIMING ALERT! Do NOT make the chocolate sauce in advance. If you want to really blow her away, take her to one of the many fine restaurants you’ll find in the River Region and treat her to a terrific dinner. THEN, you hand her a Valentine’s card (a serious one, not a Charlie Brown one that says “You may be droopy, but I’m still Snoopy for you”. Find something that says “I love you” with sincerity. Inside the card, you write “Dessert is at my place” (if married- write “Dessert is at your place”), to “close” the deal, you must go to the kitchen and make it right before her eyes. Now, make a second trip to Food Outlet and buy something to put the chocolate on. If you don’t know her well, get French vanilla. It sounds more romantic than regular old vanilla- and get the real stuff, not the low-sugar, allegedly low-fat stuffand make sure the flavor is compatible with chocolate. Good as it is, this sauce does not work over orange sherbet.

A banana is optional but for God’s sake, don’t get “sexy” and put it in a bowl between 2 scoops of ice cream. Remember, she knows more about that stuff than you realize.

Cover potential embarrassments by purchasing a can of real whipped cream.

You will need a stove and measuring cups and make sure you have all of this stuff out and ready when you begin to prepare her treat. Nothing destroys a mood more than “do you know where that cup with the lines on it is?” In fact, you should make a third trip to Food Outlet and buy doubles of everything so you can do a practice run while she is out shopping with the gift card you gave her.

Assuming you’re ready- carefully slit the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate box because the recipe is right there under “chocolate frosting”. I know, I know- trust me. When it is warm, it is incredible but you CANNOT RUSH THE PROCESS.

Patiently do what the recipe says, and you will produce a smooth silky to-die-for sauce that, buried under a snowdrift of whipped cream, will really impress herand you did it all by your big self! Yes, romantic advice from a serial marrrier like me is like investing with Bernie Madoff. Don’t consider the source. Consider the sauce!

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

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! February 2014  
BOOM! February 2014  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine