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RiverRegionBoom.com

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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

Contents

January 2020 Volume 10 Issue 5

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

Facebook.com/RiverRegionBoom C.S. Lewis

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

Carl Bard

6 Venice, Tuscany & Rome 10 BOOM! Covers from 2019 11 Ancient Rome Exhibit 12 Publisher's Column 14 AUM OLLI 2020 Winter Term 16 Retirement Reality for Family Caregivers page 28

17 Celebrating MLK Day Through Service

Features 18 Are You Ready for Daily Life With a Newly Retired Spouse?

28 The Negative Effects of Elderspeak

38 Are Boomer Parents Giving Their Kids Bad Career Advice?

48 On Wings of Eagles, Hang Gliding in Thermal Valley-Jeff Barganier

Departments 30 This and That Interesting Stuff

52 {12} Things For Active Boomers

20 Coming Up Roses Susan Carmichael 21 How to Become a Master Gardener? 22 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise Leigh Anne Richards

50 Greg Budell “PHUNNY PHARM”

26 Dublin & Ireland's Atlantic 29 The Joy of Living a Meaningful Life

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30 Dino-Light by Lightwire Theater 32 Eagle Awareness Weekends at LGSP page 40

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36 Holiday Burnout Ask an Elder Law Attorney 40 BOOM! Cover Profile 46 Herbs vs Spices Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

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54 Lil’ ole Winemaker, Donna Mills 55 Route 66 & Grand Canyon

BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, P.O. Box 6203, Montgomery, AL 36106. The phone number is 334.324.3472. Copyright 2020 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! The River Regions 50+ Lifestage Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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Publisher’s Letter

Thoughts on Ageism The Ageist conference took place recently, it is a first-of-its-kind symposium to examine the economic and social impact of the modern 50+ demographic. What a dynamic, energized, well-connected community of people who want to change the world and live with purpose. Here are some facts about this market…

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.

-Women over 55 are the fastest growing age/gender workforce category. -Participation by men over 55 in the workforce is expected to decline by 3% in the next 10 years. 74% of those over 65 plan to work, versus 14% in 1995. Jim Watson, Publisher -There are now more people over 65 than under 5 worldwide, making the jim@riverregionboom.com aging population the No. 1 biggest economic opportunity. (And women are the primary consumers in many categories.) -People 50+ will continue to grow over the next decade to the tune of 19 million, vs. a growth of only 6 million for the 18-49 population.

Publisher/Editor

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com

Contributing Writers Jeff Barganier Tracy Bhalla Kimberly Blaker Greg Budell

Susan Carmichael Nancy Collamer Mary Kay Jordan Fleming Danielle Kunkle Michele Olson Julie Pfitzinger Leigh Anne Richards Nick Thomas Raley L. Wiggins

This means companies better take notice, because their workforce will be older and because this demographic represents a huge market opportunity. Insights from The Ageist Conference per entrepreneur and business coach, Diane Johnson Flynn: Don’t just design FOR us. Design WITH us. Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Center for the Future of Aging, emphasized the importance of human-centered design, and that designing the best products and services for this older generation absolutely MUST include the end-users in the process.

Cover Photography

People with a sense of purpose live 7.5 years longer. Purpose has more impact than any other intervention, like working out, vitamins, or healthy eating. In my coaching practice, I find that most people over 50 struggle to find purpose. I believe it’s why many women start their own entrepreneurial ventures, which provide meaning, flexibility, and social impact.

Total Image Portraits www.totalimage.com

Advertising

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472

If you’re 50, you may only be halfway through your adult life. Bestselling author Chip Conley had this realization as he joined the Airbnb executive team at 52. Since then, he has adopted new sports and adventures, in addition to founding the Modern Elder Academy in Baja where all ages can celebrate life with like-minded lifelong learners. I am looking forward to co-hosting a women’s week there in January 2020 for those seeking reinvention.

jim@riverregionboom.com Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

We must move from reverence to relevance, and relevance is equal parts wisdom and curiosity. That’s Chip Conley’s guidance on how to work with those half your age. Relevance is earned by staying nimble and continually learning and growing. Facebook.com/RiverRegionBoom

Be a peer of whomever you are with. This advice from television producer Norman Lear at 95, who took up a new hobby every two years, is profound. Most people feel decades younger than they look, so connecting with multiple generations may be easier than you think. Change INvisible to IMvisible. Those over 50 often feel invisible, whether it’s being ignored by the media, advertisers or the hiring manager. We all need to change that. A fellow panelist proudly displayed her beautiful long gray hair and said her mission is to change the narrative around appearance. Chip says that when we’re curious and passionate, the wrinkles fall away. We all have a responsibility to make ourselves relevant and visible, and each of us can do our part to shape the way this growing demographic is viewed. This month's issue was designed for you, I hope you'll enjoy the reading experience. Happy New Year!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text

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AUM OLLI 2020 Winter Term New Year's Resolution-Join AUM OLLI!

January 27-March 13, 2020

The AUM OLLI 2020 Winter Term begins on Monday, January 27, 2020, so there is still time to make – and keep – that New Year’s resolution to get involved with AUM OLLI.

basket weaving, computer skills (especially PowerPoint), and gardening. Discussion classes include financial planning, sports, Pat Conroy, or Harper Lee.

Although some classes are full and closed (you can get on a wait list for priority registration the next time the course is offered), there are many classes still available.

Bonus opportunities (free and open to OLLI members) are also fun. A book discussion group meets the first and third Tuesday of each month during the term (February 04, February 18, and March 03) with a different book to discuss each session. We also have an OLLI Potluck Lunch scheduled for Monday, February 10. This is an opportunity to visit informally with OLLI members and have a chance to show off your cooking skills – or simply bring a bag of cookies to join in the social hour. Various lunch

A couple of classes provide exercise – of mind or body: OLLI Brain Bowl on Tuesday mornings or ballroom dancing on Thursday evenings. You can also learn new skills in some classes – card making, popup cards and books, pine needle

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presentations are also scheduled during the term. There is another important way to get involved in AUM OLLI: become a volunteer instructor and share your experience, knowledge, or expertise. You can submit a course proposal by going to the Instructor section on our website www.aum.edu/OLLI. This same form can be adapted if you wish to propose a lunch presentation. To see our online winter 2020 catalog, become an OLLI member, or to register for the upcoming winter term, go to our website listed above or contact Brittany at 334-244-3804. Hope to see you soon in our OLLI program!

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By Danielle Kunkle

Retirement Reality for Family Caregivers

Saving for retirement is hard when everything is going right. It feels impossible when life throws you a curveball and you’re thrust into the role of family caregiving. It’s a topic under debate on Capitol Hill. In June 2019, Representatives Jackie Walorski and Harley Rouda introduced legislation that would let family caregivers who take time away from the workforce make catch-up contributions to their IRA before age 50. It’s a small but encouraging step for families worried about retirement planning while caring for a loved one.

Retirement Challenges Caregivers Face Caring for a loved one is a major commitment, both in time and money. PNC Financial Services Group recently surveyed individuals in a family caregiving role about their retirement planning. The results were surprising to everyone except caregivers themselves. 1. Putting personal time and needs last. Nearly one in four caregivers spend more than half their time tending to a loved one’s needs. Nearly one in three are already working longer—or plan to work longer—so they can continue to give care to a loved one. 2. Sacrificing retirement. One-third of all caregivers have raided their retirement accounts to either help pay for care or cover living expenses while they care for a loved one. 3. Forgoing big purchases. A significant number of caregivers are delaying nonessential purchases and cutting back on their own retirement savings. 4. Being in the “sandwich” generation. The difficulties are even worse for caregivers in the “sandwich” generation. These adults are not only providing care for aging parents, but they’re also raising children of their own and facing a college bill in the near future. It’s a financial tangle causing endless stress. The sacrifices are worth it for many, however. Nearly half say caregiving has given them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Your 4-Point Plan for Saving for Retirement Every caregiver’s situation is different, but everyone can benefit from the following tips to help you build your retirement fund. 1. Create a budget for you and your loved one. It’s far too easy to overspend and cheat your savings when you don’t have a workable budget. Look for ways to economize across the board and commit to a monthly savings goal. Even if it’s just a little now, creating thrifty habits will help you set aside more later. 2. Weigh the pros and cons before leaving a job or cutting back your hours. The decisions you make today have a huge impact on your financial future. If you walk away from a job with an employer-match 401(k), you could forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement. Research all your options for support so you can balance work and caregiving. The Federal Administration on Aging offers an Eldercare locator to connect you with experts in your area. You may do better financially keeping your job and paying for caregiver services while you’re at work. Make sure to talk to your supervisor as well so your employer can support your needs and create ways to work around your obligations as a caregiver. 3. Maximize your loved one’s resources. In 2018, Medicare loosened the rules for home health benefits in Medicare

Advantage plans. Many plans now cover meal delivery, transportation to and from health care visits, adult daycare, and even a home aid that can lower your care costs and free up time for you to work or tend to other activities. Find out if your loved one qualifies for the Medicare Savings Program to cover Part B premiums, or Extra Help to lower the cost of prescription drugs. If your loved one owns a home, a reverse mortgage may be an option to generate income and lower the costs of care so you can save more for retirement. Reverse mortgages aren’t the right solution for everyone, however. Visit homeequityadvisor.org, part of the National Council on Aging, to find out if they might work for you. 4. Take advantage of pre-tax savings. Whether you’re working or not, you may be able to open a health savings account. These accounts let you save $3,500 a year pre-tax in an investment account. If you are 55 or over, you can save an additional $1,000 a year. You can use the money in your HSA for medical expenses, and if you don’t use it all, you can roll the balance over year after year. The money in the account grows tax-free, and you have multiple investment options. HSAs may be even more advantageous than IRAs or a 401(k) without matching because contributions aren’t subject to FICA withholding. The money you put in your 401(k) or IRA bypasses state and federal income tax, but FICA is withheld, so you come out ahead putting the max in your HSA. Caregiving can be financially challenging, but there are ways to plan for your retirement while giving your time to your loved one.

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A Day On, Not a Day Off: Celebrating MLK Day Through Service Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community”. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off”. In honor of Dr. King’s birthday, HandsOn River Region has planned an afternoon of service on Monday, January 20 to benefit several area agencies. Volunteers will meet at 12 noon at That’s My Child at 2414 Lower Wetumpka Road for a hot dog lunch and then disperse to work from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm with one of the participating organizations. "This afternoon of service provides us with the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to both the man and his ideals," said HandsOn Executive Director Tasha Cooper. "Through civic engagement and volunteerism, we embody the spirit of Dr. King and further our agency's mission to build a strong, caring community." Projects include: Community Garden - Volunteers will clear property and set up a raised garden at King Hill Community Center. Smoke Detector Installation – Volunteers will accompany the Montgomery Fire Department and InTouch, Inc. to install smoke detectors in unprotected homes. Neighborhood Cleanup – Volunteers will work with Neighborhood Services to beautify a neglected neighborhood in North Montgomery. Hygiene Kits & Coats for the Homeless - Volunteers will join Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless to pack hygiene kits to distribute to the area homeless and sort and organize blankets and coats donated for their use. For Grounds and Building Maintenance - Volunteers will beautify the grounds and assist with a building cleanup at That’s My Child. Lawn Leaf Removal - Volunteers will pick up trash, rake leaves and bag debris at the Ryan Street Mental Health Group Home. Grab a neighbor, friend or co-worker and join HandsOn at 12 noon for a hot dog lunch provided by That’s My Dog, Jr. and afterwards to work from 1 pm until 4 pm! For further information or to register, visit www.handsonriverregion.org or contact Leslie Martorana, 334.264.3335, leslie@handsonriverregion.org

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By Mary Kay Jordan Fleming

Are You Ready for Daily Life With a Newly Retired Spouse? Discovering the realities of more 'couple time'

Four years ago, I was excited about my husband’s imminent retirement. I envisioned him cleaning the basement, repainting the house and cooking dinner while I was at work. Now he’s retired, and I realize the odds are better that the whistling forest animals from Snow White will drop by to maintain our home. There was no excuse for my ridiculous optimism. A quick internet search would have returned hundreds of hits promising “constant clinging” and “unhappily ever after.” One article warned that retirees must “find reasons to be kind to one another” lest we deteriorate into fisticuffs. I get it. A Lot Less Money, a Lot More Husband I married the strong, silent type — an introvert like me who disliked small talk. For 30+ years, our marriage thrived without spending much time on the weather or the comings and goings of wildlife in the backyard. Were my husband’s colleagues taking up this slack at the water cooler or did he save up all those words for that many years? Without co-workers or children at home, I am left alone to absorb all of him. When he exhausts conversation about the vagaries of mail delivery and such, attention turns to more pressing matters like bodily functions. Yesterday, he exited the bathroom boasting that his visit was “a testament to the capacity of the human colon.” Now I have to Google How to gouge out my mind’s eye.

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“sparks joy.”

Not all conversations are quite so profound. The hubby devotes considerable time to hollering Why am I here? when aiming to retrieve something from the basement — a question that is not as metaphysical as it sounds. My brother-in-law’s wife and I regularly conspire to get the boys out of the house for breakfast or lunch dates. Without that, we’d be reduced to advertising on Craigslist to sell the recliners out from under them. Adjusting to retirement income requires careful planning, which, in my husband’s case, consisted of deciding to never leave the house. This strategy yields savings on gasoline and car maintenance, vacation travel and new clothing. As I write, he is sporting a button-down shirt that is so frayed at the top edge it is being held in place only by two tiny buttons. I would throw it away, but someone told him about Marie Kondo and now he walks around claiming that this ratty possession

In Sickness and In Health Every spouse promises fidelity in good times and robust health, but long-term marriage tests your mettle about the other marital promises. Perhaps retirees need renewal ceremonies asking whether we’re willing to be driven crazy by things other than desire and to listen to drivel without ripping our own ears off. Wedding vows should definitely expound on the “sickness” pledge. I’m not talking about the heroic grace and fortitude that long-term partners call forth during lifethreatening illnesses. I’m talking about the dramatic convalescence accompanying hangnails and man-colds. My friend’s retired mate contracted the flu recently and declared himself out of commission for two weeks. It’s been three weeks and he’s still not “out of the woods.” We think he might stay there. My beloved is plagued by dry skin despite wearing protective gloves for every activity from washing dishes to gardening. Every now and then, the skin on his thumb will appear to crack open one nanometer if viewed under high-power microscopy. This urgent situation calls for triple-antibiotic

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creams and bandages for weeks on end as a defensive measure against the harsh winters of the temperate Midwest. When asked to perform some task with the bandaged digit, the hubby holds it aloft and claims it’s still “acting up.” No one doubts the acting.

strength, including St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians read at our wedding 35 years ago:

Occasionally, we break the home front monotony by eating out with other retired friends. This experience has taught me that retirees, who theoretically have all the time in the world to wait in line, are the most impatient people on Earth. Traffic and restaurant delays are deal-breakers. To avoid this, my brother-in-law insists on eating dinner precisely at 5:15. This time may not be convenient, but, trust me, it beats the alternative: my kitchen table. Again.

Was Paul married? He must not have been retired at the time. I’d like to hear his wife’s version of love. I suspect that, at least occasionally, she sent Paul off to confront some wayward Galatians or Colossians just to get some peace and quiet.

Spiritual Support There are times in a marriage — caring for sleepless newborns and chasing rambunctious toddlers come to mind — when we yearn for “couple time” alone with our spouses. Let me assure you, retirement is not one of those times. To cope, I sometimes turn to Scripture for

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Love is patient, love is kind … Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails.

Test Your Readiness for Spousal Retirement Curious about your tolerance for having a spouse underfoot every day? Try these six simple questions to assess your preparedness: 1. Are you willing to abandon all hope for home improvement? Burn your wish list as a sign of good faith. 2. Do you like potted plants, stationary bikes and things that never go anywhere? 3. Do you secretly wish someone would surveil the neighborhood and report who parks too close to the mailbox, what

neighbors are doing in their own yards and which dogs are urinating on your grass? 4. Are you willing to celebrate your mate’s daily triumphs like finding a pull-through parking place or being the first in the neighborhood to retrieve the curbside recycle bin? 5. Have you mastered the art of floating outside your body when someone regales you with the longest possible version of a conversation with a grocery store manager about the lack of half-and-half? 6. Do you like having the newspaper read to you? Do you enjoy loud commentaries during news broadcasts? Most importantly, do you have girlfriends who will save your life by going out to lunch to commiserate, remind you of your blessings and prevent you from committing a felony? This essay was originally published on Next Tribe. By Mary Kay Jordan Fleming. Mary Kay Jordan Fleming is a developmental psychologist and award-winning humor writer.

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Master Gardener's Perspective

By Susan Carmichael

Coming Up Roses I have researched my ancestors as far back as 1644. They immigrated from Holland and were agriculturists and builders, settling near Albany, NY. My great grandfather Frank III was born in 1875 to William and Hannah Hoteling. He worked with his father-inlaw in the gardening and delivery of roses for the Albany market. In 1886 he re-located to Amsterdam, NY and erected massive greenhouses and conservatories, establishing a complete business for growing plants and flowers. He was a very successful florist whose business was as profitable as his grounds and greenhouses were beautiful. Frank thoroughly delighted in the culture of rare and beautiful flowers. In 1933 he turned over his business to his sons, devoting himself to the cultivation of many species of plants as an expert horticulturist. His daughter Elizabeth married my Grandfather Frasier, and they had one son Kenneth, who worked at the greenhouses each summer until completing his graduate studies. Each summer Dad and I worked in our backyard planting varieties of plants including roses. I fondly remember playing with my imaginary friends under the Forsythia bush at the top of the rock garden. There was a pool of water that overflowed into the back gardens and kept the flowers blooming from spring through fall. My love for the beauty of flowers brought me to the Master Gardeners class to carry on the legacy of many generations of horticulturists. I have

a great deal to learn, but also a few important tips on growing roses I learned from my father. • Always buy roses from a reliable grower. Bargain roses may be inexpensive, but “you get what you

pay for.” • Many roses are sold as grafted plants and “own root” roses. Grafted roses usually have a knob or swelling just above the roots. Own-root roses have the top and the roots from the same plant. My Father said to buy own root roses, so if the top of the plant is killed by cold, the roots can send up new growth just like the original. • A minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day is essential for the growth of roses. • Roses prefer moist soil, but not a great deal of water. Make sure you have well drained soil that contains lots of organic matter, such as garden compost, ground bark and composted manure. I always had a problem with the odor! Work your soil deeply and dig out the entire bed at least two feet deep for good root growth. • Feeding around the base of the plants every six weeks also fends off insects. • Don’t forget to cut roses back around

Valentine’s Day, and you will have flowers all year long in the South. My yard has 22 miniature pink rose bushes. They are hardy, own root roses that grow 12” to 18” tall with tiny leaves, stems and unscented flowers. This fall I plan to build a trellis by the terrace and plant climbing roses there and along our fence. I’m particularly interested in New Dawn, a large flowered climber blooming from spring through fall. It has abundant pale pink flowers that are fragrant and disease resistant. I like Seven Sisters, because its fragrant flowers change color as they age from mauve to pale pink. Semperflorens, the four seasons rose, is pink, very double and intensely fragrant. It is going to be planted along the right side of my backyard fence. I must study the descriptions of hundreds of roses and complete my Master Gardener class before I make my final decisions. Whichever variety I choose, my yard will be “Coming Up Roses.” Susan Carmichael, an intern in the 2019 Master Garden Class, lives in Montgomery. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit www. capcitymga.org or email capcitymga@ gmail.com.

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Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

I was asked to speak to a psychology class at AUM on the mental and emotional benefits of exercise. After I spoke to these young students, I thought this is a great topic for any age. As January greets us and the weather is cold and dreary, the excitement of the holidays are over, there can be a high rate of depression and just a feeling of gloominess. Exercise is just the prescription we need to deal with any anxiety, depression, stress, and lack of energy.

You don’t have to devote hours out of your day to train at the gym, or sweat buckets, or run mile after mile. You can reap the benefits of mental health with 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Two fifteen minute or 3 10-minute exercise sessions can also work just as well. A recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running 15 minutes a day or walking an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. People who exercise tend to have a greater sense of well- being. They feel more energetic through the day, sleep better, have sharper memories, and have a more positive outlook on life. Exercise can also help with mental challenges such as ADHD.

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Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels- all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, it works in much the same way as ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall

cardiovascular activity can help improve our short-term memory which in turn helps us with nonverbal reasoning and math tasks. One study of mice showed that regular treadmill exercise prevented the deterioration of brain cells in a critical part of the brain.

Are you your worst critic and you are feeling bad about yourself? It is time to try a new by Leigh Anne Richards way of thinking about our aging bodies. No matter your weight, age, fitness level, there are others exactly like you with the same goals of getting fit and being the Exercise is also known to help people best you can be. Try surrounding yourself that suffer from PTSD or some type of with people that have these same goals. trauma in their life. Exercise acts on Take a group fitness class with people the nervous system to help it become like you. Accomplishing even the smallest unstuck and begin to move out of the fitness goals will help you gain body immobilization stress response that confidence. characterizes PTSD or trauma. Feeling pain is another common aging As we age, we know our memory problem and also a great excuse not to declines and we are not as sharp in our exercise. If you have a disability, weight thinking. The same endorphins that problem, arthritis, or any other injury or make you feel better also helps you illness that limits your mobility, talk to concentrate and feel mentally sharp your health care provider about how to for tasks at hand. That is why many safely get into exercise. You should not people like to exercise first thing in the ignore the pain, but do what you can morning before going to work. Exercise when you can. Many of our aches and also stimulates the growth of new brain pains are made better through exercise cells and helps prevent age- related so that should not be the excuse. decline. It has been shown that regular

Fitness over Fifty

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Feeling strong and fit makes us feel better about ourselves. Although we are not 25 anymore, some people are going through a whole new phase of life with re-entering the dating world. People automatically respond to you better and you are more likely to receive positive attention from the opposite sex. Exercise helps increase testosterone which will increase the sex drive and performance (both male and female).

(psychological) benefits of regular exercise. You can’t argue with that. Sources: "Psychological Benefits of Exercise”, Adam Sinicki, www.healthguidance.org, July 2009 "The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise,” www.healthguide.org

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

Working out teaches you that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. The more you achieve, the better you feel. In real life, we see obstacles and challenges in a different way and psychologically we become unstoppable. You train your muscles to become harder by subjecting them to repeated hardships and you can do the same with your outlook on life. THIS is what stands out among the many psychological benefits of exercise. Below is my favorite chart I have ever seen that gives all the mental

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By Julie Pfitzinger

The Negative Effects of Elderspeak Talking down to older adults is not only disrespectful, but it can be detrimental

Faye Kirtley doesn’t appreciate it when store clerks talk down to her and act as if “I don’t know what I’m doing,” she said.

a message that the patient is incompetent and begins a negative downward spiral for older adults who react with decreased self-esteem, depression and withdrawal.”

“It’s embarrassing, and I don’t know why they think it’s okay to treat an older person like that,” added the 88-year old resident of Bardstown, Ky. “Maybe they have people in their family that they talk down to, too.” Barbara Tack, 76, of Exeter, N.H. cringes at diminutives such as “miss” and “little lady” and has been known to correct a supermarket cashier on the impact of those monikers. “I told him, ‘I am not young, and I think it’s an insult to call attention to my age at all,’” said Tack. “He did seem chagrined, so I tempered it with something like, ‘It makes me feel bad that all you can see is my age.’ But I hear that kind of condescending comment way too often.” Tack also shared a story about a friend, a 70-year-old man, who was offended by what he perceived to be very childlike instructions given to him by a nurse in a doctor’s office: “Sorry, you have to remove your sweater for me to take your blood pressure. I know it’s cold outside and you can put it back on right away.”

In a recent article in The Chicago Tribune, Anna I. Corwin, an anthropologist and professor at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga, noted that elderspeak “sounds like baby talk or simplified speech” and is, in fact, a symptom of how older adults are often perceived. “Americans tend to view and treat older adults as no longer productive in society. And that’s how we define personhood, as an adult who is a productive member of society,” Corwin said. Elderspeak involves talking slowly and at a louder volume, with pronounced enunciation; it also employs the frequent use of words such as “sweetie,” “dear” or the pronoun “we” when referring to the older person (as in, “Do we want to go to dinner now?”).

Elderspeak Reveals Perception

The Negative Impact of Elderspeak

What Kirtley and Tack are describing are signs of what is referred to as “elderspeak.” It occurs when an older adult is spoken to by health care workers, service personnel, neighbors or even family members as if he or she is a child with limited understanding.

Not only is this type of speech condescending and disrespectful to older adults, it can be damaging to their mental health and well-being.

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According to Becca Levy, a researcher on a study on the effects of elderspeak, by Yale University, the practice “sends

Further, those living with mild to moderate dementia can be even more negatively impacted by this type of language. These people can become aggressive or uncooperative when elderspeak is used, according to the Yale report. The Importance of Respect In an article about the dangers of ageism by LifeCare Advocates, a care management practice based in Newton, Mass., one of the tactics mentioned for reducing the use of elderspeak involves training health care workers not only to refrain from using diminutives, but to ask the older adult how he or she wants to be addressed. For some of them, the automatic use of their first names demonstrates a lack of respect. Kirtley, who tends not to correct those who speak down to her for fear of “causing an incident,” still decries the practice of elderspeak. She’d be happier to always be treated with the respect she said everyone deserves. “It’s an issue of dignity,” Kirtley said. This article first appeared at www.nextavenue.org Julie Pfitzinger is the editor for Next Avenue’s lifestyle coverage across the Living and Technology channels.

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By Kimberly Blaker

The Joy of Living a Meaningful Life "It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts."- Adlai Stevenson

for something more fulfilling, uplifting, and meaningful.

The point Stevenson illustrates is a reminder of how it's easy to lose sight of living a meaningful life.

Schedule 20 minutes a day to sit in solitude with your eyes closed envisioning your meaningful life. Allow yourself to build excitement and desire for that which would bring meaning to you and others. Also, spend some time each day reading or listening to audiobooks and watching online videos relevant to the activity that would bring meaning.

It's an interesting phenomenon the amount of time, energy, and money we invest in living healthier, longer, and happier lives. Yet, we often still feel unsatisfied and that our lives are devoid of meaning.

If you find you're still holding yourself back, talk to supportive family and friends, and ask them to hold you to it. A counselor or coach can also lend support to help you move toward your goals. Whatever path you choose, and regardless of its outcome, give yourself credit for your efforts. Remember, having a meaningful life is often as much about how you perceive what you do as it is about what you do.

When it comes to living a meaningful life, there's no one size fits all solution. What makes life meaningful is unique to each and every person. So to find meaning, you may need to do some exploration to discover what speaks to you. Meaning can come from many different avenues. Unlike happiness, which stems from receiving or doing things for yourself, meaning comes from giving or doing for others. Perhaps for you, it comes from fostering a close family relationship. For some, it's about choosing a fulfilling career path that involves helping others through teaching, nursing, counseling, or coaching. Others find meaning by giving back to their community by joining the Kiwanis or volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister. Purpose can also come from forming an organization for a national cause you're passionate about. Or perhaps taking up a hobby you enjoy, such as gardening, then donating your excess produce to a soup kitchen. But before you begin your journey to explore new avenues for meaning, evaluate what you're doing with your life right now. Maybe you're already giving in a way you don't even realize and aren't giving yourself enough credit. If so, you may just need to reframe in your mind what you're already doing and understand what you do really does matter. If it still isn't enough to satisfy your quest for a meaningful life, explore other options that are important to you. After you've determined what would bring meaning to your life is often where the challenge lies. You must now make a conscious decision and concerted effort to follow through. If you've chosen a challenging path, only you can decide if the sacrifice and risk are worth the reward of a meaningful life. The greatest sacrifice may be little more than stepping outside your comfort zone or setting aside a little happiness in exchange The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Dino-Light by Lightwire Theater at Auburn's Gogue Center GREAT WITH THE GRANDS! Friday, January 17, 7:30 pm, Lightwire Theater brings stories to life in complete darkness. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “absolutely incredible,” the electroluminescent artistry of this New Orleans-based group mesmerizes audiences with a unique show that combines dance and innovative costume design. An assortment of neon-lit creatures, from dinosaurs to 16-foot tall birds, ducks, soldiers and more, moves around a completely darkened stage choreographed to exhilarating music and featuring the occasional neon sword fight. Lightwire’s costume creations can require nearly 200 hours to build and can include anything from fishing poles to duct tape to skateboard wheels. The result is a showcase of innovative visual storytelling that will enchant the inner child of every age. For more info visit www.goguecenter.auburn.edu Blue Yonder

Experience Our Museum..MMFA Exhibit, Hans Grohs: Land’s Edge Born in the coastal region of Dithmarschen, along the North Sea in Germany, Hans Grohs (German, 1892–1981) found inspiration in the land of his ancestors. The landscape mesmerized and energized him, and he immortalized the power and beauty found in nature with vivid and Impressionistic scenes. This exhibition features works from throughout Grohs’ long career, depicting the province of Dithmarschen. Some are literal representations, while others are visionary interpretations of the sea shore. Each painting embodies a divine presence. A prolific artist, solder in both the World Wars, and professor, Grohs’ work aligns well with the graphic style of German Expressionism; yet, with his watercolor landscapes of the stormtorn coast, he created a body of work that also evokes German Romanticism. Exhibit runs January 9 through March 29. For more info visit www.mmfa.org

Leadership Montgomery Presents Arising Arts Expo The Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXVI Project Group, collaborates with the F.A.M.E. Board of BTW Arts Magnet HS, as well as local magnet school teachers and students to showcase arts from Carver, Baldwin and BTW, in a unique sneak peek to potential students and parents of elementary, middle and high school aged-children. Talent in dance, visual arts and music will be on display throughout the Museum of Fine Arts, Tuesday, January 14th, 5-7 pm. Attendees will also enjoy refreshments and door prizes, and have the opportunity to fill out their applications for enrollment at one of the several kiosks located onsite. Students who participate in the arts develop problem solving abilities, confidence, focus and commitment. Nearly every academic area is affected by arts education, including math and science. www.leadershipmontgomery.org

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BOOMERS, share your stuff with BOOM! We Love to Bring BOOMERS Together, send info and pics to jim@riverregionboom.com

Photographers exhibit at the Armory Learning Arts Center

The Golden Flower, Tim Lennox

Hank, Tim Lennox

The Red Flower, Warren Simon

The Pink Dress, Warren Simon

Media and the public are invited to a photography exhibit at the Anita Folmar Gallery, Armory Learning Arts Center, featuring eleven Montgomery-area photographers: Kay Brummal, Bob Corley, Mark Dauber, Sydney Foster, Vicki Hunt, Tim Lennox, Georgia BanksMartin, Richard Metzger, Sandra Polizos, Warren Simons, and Penny Weaver. The exhibit will run January 6-29, 2020, with an opening reception Sunday, January 12, 2-4 p.m. Admission is free. Photographs in the exhibit include color, black-and-white, and digitally altered prints on paper and canvas. Most images on display will be for sale. Photographers will attend the reception and be available to discuss their work with the media and the public. Organizers are available for interviews prior to the opening, and can provide digital examples of some of the photographs to be displayed in the exhibition. The Armory Learning Arts Center is located at 1018 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, AL, and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information, or to book an interview, contact Bob Corley, 334.202-0114, bcorley3@gmail.com.

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat @ ASF GREAT WITH THE GRANDS! The Cat in the Hat recounts the rainy-day adventures of Sally, her brother, and the most mischievous cat ever! From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears at their door, the Cat and his antics transform the kids’ afternoon. Will their house ever be the same? Can the kids clean up before their mom comes home? With some tricks (and a fish) and Thing Two and Thing One, with the Cat in The Hat, the fun’s never done! Sensory Friendly performance on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 10 am. For more info visit www.asf.net

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Eagle Awareness Weekends at LGSP Eagle Awareness turns 35 years old this year at Lake Guntersville State Park. What began as an initiative to pull the bald eagle from the brink of extinction has developed into the experience of viewing eagles in their wild habitat, education through live shows of birds of prey and critters, highlights of our local community, and accommodations to take it all in. Exclusive deals are offered each year during Eagle Awareness in the months of Jan/Feb that include lodging, VIP access to presentations, guided and self-guided field trips, eagle watching, photo opportunities with birds of prey, children activities, discounts at restaurant and gift shop, engagement with featured sponsors, a welcome packet, one-on-one access with naturalist and assistant, and educational memories that last for a life time. It's no wonder that these weekends are the perfect gift for the one that has "everything". Gift certificates are available for all state parks. For more info visit www. www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park/ eagle-awareness-weekends-lgsp

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HCA Caregiver of the Month Doris Zeigler has shined through every possible situation and shown that no matter, her clients come first. She always finds a way to elevate her client’s quality of life and put a smile on their face. Doris is flexible, a team player and most of all genuinely kind and attentive to her clients and their needs. Doris is a sweet, caring and easy going person who is incredibly patient and loving with the older adults she serves. She takes a lot of pride in the care services she provides and has great respect for this work to ensure each client’s needs are met while in the comfort of their home. She is reliable and always there to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. Home Care Assistance is grateful that Doris is a part of our family. For more information visit www.homecareassistancemontgomery.com The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Road Trip! FlixBus Expands Southern Network to include Alabama and Georgia After successfully launching its Southern US network in March, FlixBus is expanding with routes connecting Atlanta, Auburn, Montgomery and Mobile to New Orleans. “We are excited to offer a convenient, comfortable and affordable way to travel for Georgia and Alabama residents,” said Pierre Gourdain, Managing Director of FlixBus USA. FlixBus’ presence in Auburn will be especially impactful for students looking for an affordable mode of transportation, with a stop conveniently located on campus. Tickets will start as low as $4.99. Within the FlixBus business model, the company will partner with charter company Louisiana Motor Coach for the daily operation of the buses on southern routes while FlixBus manages the technology development, network planning, yield management, operations control and marketing. FlixBus partners with over 500 local SME bus partners globally and has created over 10,000 jobs for local bus drivers. FlixBus was launched in Germany in 2013 and after expanding to 28 countries across Europe, began service in the US in May 2018 with routes connecting California, Arizona, and Nevada. In March 2019, a second network started in the Southern US, with routes in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi; in April, a third launch took place in Utah. The East Coast launch took place exactly one year after the first green buses hit US highways and launched in Boston in September. In November, green buses rolled into Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, the Pacific Northwest, Oklahoma and Florida. Today, FlixBus has become the largest bus provider in the world in terms of network reach, connecting people across 30 countries with over 400,000 daily connections in Europe and the United States. With a shiny fleet averaging 1-2 years old, free WiFi, power outlets at every seat, riding in a bus has never been more enjoyable. For more information, visit www.flixbus.com.

Catalyst Speech and Debate Club in Montgomery Needs Judges The Catalyst Speech and Debate Club is hosting 200 high school students from across our region for a three-day tournament, and we need 400 community judges! You may judge one round on the day of your choice or several rounds over multiple days. A round takes about three hours and includes orientation, the round itself, and time to fill out a ballot. Light refreshments are provided. No experience in either speech or debate is necessary! Our tournament will take place at Taylor Road Baptist Church, 1685 Taylor Road, Montgomery, AL on January 9-11. To register, please visit ncfca.org/2020National Christian Forensics and montgomery-al. Questions? Contact montgomeryjudges@gmail.com. Communications Association

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6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Citywide Celebration The 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Citywide Celebration will be held at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts on January 17. There is a 10 am matinee and a 6 pm evening performance featuring the Montgomery Interfaith Choir. Presentation of the Beloved Community Awards will also be done. This is a collaboration between Friends of the Theatre, Troy University and Alabama State University. Tickets: 10am matinee $5, 6pm Evening Show, adults $10. For more information, call 334.229.6755 or visit website: www.keepersofthedream.org/News-or-Reviews.html

Friends for Faulkner to host Neil Diamond Tribute Concert Neil Diamond’s music will come alive on Faulkner’s campus as the performers from Cherry Cherry give a tribute concert to support student scholarships with classics like “Sweet Caroline,” “Cherry Cherry,” and much more. Friends for Faulkner, a volunteer auxiliary group of the university, will host the group on campus on January 25 at 7 p.m. to raise money for students. Tickets are on sale now online at www.faulkner.edu/diamondtribute. Steve Kelly and Cherry Cherry Band create the award-winning Premier Neil Diamond Tribute and has performed over 600 shows in the United States and Canada. They are considered the premier Neil Diamond show as the line- up replicates the same timeless live shows Diamond performs himself. Neil Leslie Diamond, an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor, has had 38 songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

Master Gardener Associations Presents Free Lunch & Learn Programs Capital City Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2019 the 1st Wednesday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. They meet at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Downtown Montgomery. Mark your calendars, January 8th, Succulents, Barbara Witt, Master Gardener and February 5th, Healthy Trees, Dr. Beau Brodbeck, Specialist, ACES . Autauga County Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2019 the 1st Thursday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. They meet at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville 36066. Mark your calendars, January 9th, Your Local Recycling, John P. O’Driscoll, Autauga Co. Solid Waste and February 6th, Pesky Garden Weeds, Virginia Pruitt, Master Gardener. Elmore County Master Gardener Association presents Lunch & Learn 2019 the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month from 12-1 pm. They meet at the First Presbyterian Church, 100 West Bridge Street, Wetumpka 36092. Mark your calendars, January 14th, Soils of Alabama, Dr. Charles Mitchell, Retired Professor, AU, February 11th, Houseplants, Elizabeth Leatherwood. For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit www.capcitymga.org.

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January is National Blood Donor Month

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

Someone’s Grandchild Needs Your Support

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Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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

Holiday Burnout

I am finally sitting down to write this installment of Ask an Elder Law Attorney the day before Boom! is due to go to the printer. Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays and wrapping up 2018, it seems like there is always one thing left to do. If your family is like mine, then every Christmas gathering is a picture-perfect string of joyful reunions with family, fit for a Norman Rockwell painting. ‘Tis the season for rest and relaxation, when nothing will ever go wrong—right?

more like Christmas in July. Frankly, I’m surprised old Saint Nick managed to make his rounds in Montgomery. That famous red velvet suit is great for the dry freezing tundra of the North Pole, but isn’t the ideal outerwear for piloting an open-top sleigh through the torrential rain and heat we enjoyed this year.

But here we are, Well, not exactly. This year our family was Christmas is behind us and 2019 starts lucky to get to visit with my parents and anew. Most of us march into the new siblings, as well as my wife’s family. But year confident (or at least hopeful) that we had a few bumps along the way, too. the mistakes or unexpected developments A nice little Christmas Virus spent the last of last year are safely behind us. couple of weeks working its way through the family. A Christmas Eve trip to the pediatrician was followed by a Christmas Day scramble Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop to refill our Wednesday, January 22: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: 1:30-3:30 oldest child’s asthma pm at 322 Catoma Street downtown Montgomery. This educational medicine. workshop presented by local attorney Raley L. Wiggins covers wills, But at least it trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate culminated in administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce our own little “Christmas and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid Miracle” when qualification. Registration is required. Call 334-625-6774 today to we found the reserve your seat or register online at www.redoaklegalpc.com. one pharmacy

Attend Free Workshop

in town that’s open on Christmas Day. (If you’re curious, it’s the Walgreens on Ann Street!) Medicine refilled and little lungs cleared, we all finally settled down to rest and enjoy the rest of Christmas day. You know, snuggled in front of the fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Except that instead of the fire, we were cranking up the AC to fight the sticky eighty-degree weather that made the holiday feel

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When will we ever learn? In my office, I typically help families in two situations. The first is when we help people plan ahead. The second group are what we call “crises” cases. Crises cases are when a family is faced with an immediate or imminent need for our assistance. A loved one has passed away and their estate must be settled; a parent or grandparent is about to enter a nursing home and needs to figure out how to pay

for it; a loved one can no longer manage their own affairs and needs a guardian or conservator to be appointed, just to list a few examples. Even though we see crisis cases in our office every day, it’s difficult to convince people that this will ever happen to their families. That is, there will always be another day, a better time, a perfect time to get around to getting one’s affairs in order, or helping mom or dad to plan to care for themselves in their old age. Some people just aren’t in a hurry to plan ahead. Every year we think that Christmas will be just like that Norman Rockwell image in our mind—a reliving of all of our most precious childhood holiday memories. And every year we have to relearn the lessons of the year before, that despite our best planning there will never be a “perfect” holiday, a perfect Christmas party, a perfect Christmas card, a perfect photo to post on Facebook or Instagram. My wish for all of you this year is that you will be a little wiser than you were last year. I hope that the lessons learned in 2018 will not have to be relearned in 2019. I hope that you all stick to your resolutions for 2019, and finally achieve the perfect image of yourself that you see in your mind. But I also hope that you’ll learn the lesson that we see our clients learning over and over again—you can’t plan for everything, but having a plan sure beats the alternative. Raley L. Wiggins Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC 334-239-3625 | info@redoaklegalpc.com 322 Catoma Street, Montgomery, AL 36104, www.redoaklegalpc.com The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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By Nancy Collamer

Are Boomer Parents Giving Their Kids Bad Career Advice?

your occupation and yourself,” says Kelly. But staying put also has its advantages. So, remind your kids that sometimes it’s best to tough out a job for a while. A 2017 study of millennial employees by workplace culture consultancy O.C. Tanner found a strong association between how many jobs they had and their level of discontentedness with their company. Serial job-hopping can become a destructive cycle, where you leave because you feel underappreciated, but never stay long enough to connect with management and advance. Outdated Tip No. 2: You can’t dress too nicely for an interview.

If you’re a boomer parent, you want the best for your children. So, it’s understandable if you can’t resist offering your kids advice when they’re looking for work. But if you base your tips on your own decades-old job search experiences, you risk doing more harm than good.

students, other career coaches and me) that’s much better:

Many of the historic norms surrounding the job hunt — like interview attire, the “best” places to work and the perils of job-hopping — no longer hold. A recent viral tweet suggested that it would make a comical reality show if boomers followed their own 30-year-old jobsearch advice.

Updated Advice: “Recruiters are still skeptical of job-hoppers,” advises Thea Kelly, a career coach and author of Get That Job! A Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview. “But what that term means varies according to the person’s age and occupation.” For example, it’s more acceptable to move around in certain professions like sales, than in professions like law and architecture.

To bring you up to speed, avoid the wrath of your millennial children and help you find a job yourself, I turned to two sets of experts. First, I asked my daughter Juliana and a few of her classmates at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to share the outdated job-search advice they’ve received from their parents. Then, I asked my careercoaching colleagues to weigh in on useful advice to tell your kids. Here are four dated job-search tips some boomers give their millennial kids and the updated advice (from the MBA

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Outdated Tip No. 1: Don’t be a jobhopper. You need to stay at a job at least a few years (even if you’re miserable) to be an attractive candidate for future employers.

Also, whether you’re considered a jobhopper depends partly on your reasons for making a move. “Repeatedly moving to higher levels of responsibility looks a lot better than moving around in an aimless way, as if you have trouble fitting in or don’t know what you want,” says Kelly. Indeed, recruiters recognize that making frequent moves can sometimes provide a boost to your career. “It can give you a broader perspective on your industry,

Updated Advice: That old saw simply doesn’t cut it anymore. The young MBAs I talked to said dressing up for work doesn’t apply in many industries these days. So, looking buttoned-up in an interview could be a turn-off for a casual employer, suggesting you don’t understand its culture. Job-search and resumé specialist Virginia Franco says: Dress just a bit nicer than what a prospective employer’s workers typically wear. For example, if jeans and T-shirts are the norm, men who are interviewing might opt for nice slacks and a polo shirt and women could go with a casual dress. Do your research before you show up to meet with the interviewer. Look over the employer’s website to determine the level of formality in its workplace. And consider the industry: If you’re looking for a corporate position in finance or law, it’s typically best to wear formal business attire. For men, this means a conservative looking suit and tie. For women, it means a tailored dress, pantsuit or skirt suit. Outdated Tip No. 3: Always take the safest or best-paid offer. It’s better to go with an established company than a “risky” startup. Updated Advice: My daughter said: “Lots of ‘safe’ companies can also go through The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


massive layoffs and hard times. Look at AIG and Lehman Brothers and GM.” And, she said, for younger people: “Taking a lower-paid or riskier role can mean you take on more responsibility early in your career. This can translate into better opportunities down the road, instead of taking the entry-level role at a blue-chip company.” Job-search strategist Hannah Morgan of CareerSherpa.net agrees. “Every opportunity is risky in today’s world of work,” she says. “Yes, working for a startup can be risky, but it can also result in gaining a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Startups are often high-risk and high-reward, and what they lack in salary may be made up for with stock options. It could be a career-defining opportunity, so don’t dismiss it without thorough research.” I want to add two caveats to Morgan’s advice: First, the long hours and fast-paced

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startup environment can be grueling. So, job seekers need to be honest with themselves about their lifestyle before making a commitment. Not everyone is temperamentally suited for life at a startup. Second, for young people, an established company that offers training, a 401(k), opportunities for advancement and an impressive name can provide useful boosts. Remember to point out those benefits to your child if he or she is deciding between competing offers. Outdated Tip No. 4: Be sure to “sell yourself” in the interview. Updated Advice: “Please stop telling your kids this,” says Steve Dalton, program director for daytime career services at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster. “Nobody likes doing it and nobody likes being sold to. It baffles me why that advice sticks around.

Instead, Dalton believes it’s far better to demonstrate strong listening and learning skills during the interview. In other words, do your homework about the employer and share what you know; ask smart questions and be an active listener, responding to new information you hear from the interviewer. As Dalton told my Next Avenue colleague Kerry Hannon in her “How to Job Hunt if You Haven’t in Years” post, “When you embrace the humbling process of no longer selling yourself and instead dedicate yourself to listening, you will get so far, so quickly.” That sounds like timeless job-search advice to me, no matter your age. This article first appeared at www.nextavenue.org

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BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Michele Olson, THE Exercise Doctor This month’s cover profile is an educator, researcher and internationally known as THE Exercise Doctor. Dr. Michele Olson has been involved with the study of movement and its impact on the human body. She was a professor and conducted much of her research at Auburn University Montgomery during her 21-year tenure. Dr. Olson has since gone back to her alma mater, Huntington College as the Senior Clinical Professor-Sport Science and she continues to serve on the advisory board for Shape Magazine. She has produced exercise DVD’s available on Amazon and operates her exercise studio in Cloverdale a few days a week. She’s not slowing down because she understands the simple message and value of exercise is movement. We recently met Michele for the cover photo shoot on the beautiful campus of Huntington College and this girl from Oregon shared her enthusiasm for the value of exercise and being a role model for what she believes in. She’s authentic and a joy to get to know. Hope you’ll enjoy reading her story and sharing with your friends.

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

cum laude, I entered graduate school at auburn where I received my master’s degree and PhD in physiology related to exercise science and preventive and rehabilitative cardiology - which are my clinical areas.

Michele Olson, PhD, FACSM, CSCS

Michele: I am an Oregonian from a small town in Oregon that is now part of the beautiful wine country in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. My family is in Oregon. I am the only one who “immigrated” away from my home state all the way to Alabama. Tennis was primarily reason I came to the south. It was common practice during the summers for aspirant collegiate tennis players to travel to California, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, or Florida to play in southern tennis association tournaments and teach tennis under head pros because tennis in these warm-weathered regions is much “bigger” compared to rainy states such as Oregon and Washington state. When I was in Montgomery playing junior tournaments at Lagoon Park and teaching tennis at O’Connor Tennis center, the Huntingdon College Tennis coach spotted me and offered me a scholarship. It was an unexpected

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offer, but the opportunity propelled me to prove myself academically and athletically far away from home. Since Huntingdon is such a wellknown and highly reputable liberal arts college, my family and I decided that this was truly a good thing.

BOOM!: You are known internationally as The Exercise Doctor, you have done countless research projects on physical fitness and you are currently a Senior Clinical Professor at Huntingdon College, where you began your college career in the early 1980’s. Would you please share some of your journey on becoming an expert in exercise and movement? Describe the honor in having 2 Human Performance Labs named after you, one at AUM and the other at Huntingdon College.

Michele: I entered college not knowing what it was that I really wanted to do – except play competitive tennis! At this time, when I reflected on my favorite adults and role models, my junior Michele Olson, PhD, DVD Available on Amazon high school physical education teacher (who also taught I loved Huntingdon. It suited me to a “T”, social science) I was who I realized and I excelled in a college whose purpose wanted to be. She was an excellent is to nurture students as whole human teacher and played professional tennis. beings toward wholistic purposes. After She was like a second mom to me, graduating from Huntingdon magna The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


taking time during the summers and weekends to coach me and take me to tennis tournaments.

maneuvers that rely on the engagement of the abdominal musculature. My questions were: “do these machines work?” “Of the four muscles in the abdominal wall, which ones are activated and to what degree?” "Are their unique synergies with specific movements?” “is Pilates truly a transformative form of exercise in developing abdominal fitness?” There were so, so, so, very many claims about core exercise, abdominal machines, and Pilates but there was no research on these trending areas of fitness. Where are the advertising claims coming from?, I would say time and again! I would ask what these claims were based? That’s where being a well-trained scientist with the tools to test exercise and find the “truth” eventually landed me as being first titled, “Dr. Abs” by the print media editors and then, later as “the exercise doctor.”

When I accepted Huntingdon’s offer as a transfer student (after playing number two on the Willamette university tennis team in Salem, Oregon), I found I loved every topic I studied: literature and writing, physical Tennis is still a big part of Michele's life science, music, biology, philosophy, and courses such as Dr. Hank Williford was my kinesiology and exercise physiology. My mentor and I served as his professors encouraged me to major in graduate assistant during education and because I started to show the time I was attending achievement in my sciences classes, I Auburn for my doctorate. was further encouraged to study physical Dr. Williford encouraged education. My major professors also me to do research on the “insisted” that I go straight to graduate things that interested me. school and when I finished my master’s I had so many questions degree, my graduate school professors The New York related to the validity of all “insisted” that I pursue a Ph.D. Do Times would types of exercise. This not you see a repeating process here? contact me only produced nearly 100 Teacher after teacher after professor to ask me if publications after professor claims made but to industry singled me out by Madonna work largely and pushed me or Jilian with Reebok, forward. I owe a Michaels Inc. Dr. great, great deal about some Williford and I Michele Olson, Tennis Anyone! to my professors hyped-up were called on and I think form of to present the research we about these exercise was effective? The Wall Street did on step exercise, core series of events Journal did the same with Pilates. Later, exercise, cycle exercise, often, even to the New York Times optioned me to injury patterns, and eating this day. test a series of workout shoes: “do disorders at numerous these shoes really get rid of cellulite or, international events. I have spent cause you to burn more calories during I later started the bulk of my the day simply by wearing them?” I investigating the muscle 30-year career had developed a reputation for telling activity on various at Auburn the truth; explaining whether there is forms of abdominal University evidence based on actual third-party exercise using external Montgomery. research that either I had conducted electromyography. My At Auburn or other exercise physiologists. Then, primary interests were Montgomery, I attorney groups representing venture could both teach With Huntington students taking blood pres- abdominal machines, capitalists and/or fitness companies abdominal routines, and and conduct scouting everything from “pure barre” sures furing a health fair exercise methodologies laboratory to “step reebok” sought me out to that incorporate a substantial number of research, which really agreed with me! determine what types of advertising The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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calibrate when the product/program John Mabry, an assistant professor and it worked and company could Huntingdon, cut me no slack. He told me beautifully the “lawfully” provide. You to go get the college’s catalog, gave me day before! But would not believe how a program plan, and told me to sit down it’s been its own many times I had to and figure out my pathway to a timely reward. I would say, “no. There is no graduation. It never occurred to me that not change a evidence for this claim. I might need help because he told me thing. What you can advertise I could do it all on my own. It gave me is such and such.” And confidence. And, the I felt very comfortable cliché’ that staking my name, as a In graduate school, my research methods “things come professional, on what professor, Dr. Gerald Halplin scared me full circle,” is a I told companies and to death because he thought I really cliché for good their attorneys could understood the research process and reason. While be advertised. Then, I all the statistical procedures (Me? continuing truly invested myself Statistics?). Dr. Hank Williford, who I have my path, I and energies toward mentioned already, didn’t hand-hold. Playing a Bocce Ball in the off season with the Ability Sport Network Athletes would return consumerism sharing He just said, “go.” I couldn’t imagine to Huntingdon the research not only disappointing him. So, I had to figure out where I have been teaching and playing a with my college students and, involving many things on my own and I would only role in the scholarly research process for them in the research process, but making go to him once I felt I had a handle on four years now. I have students whose sure the research reached consumers so what physiological methods and statistics parents were peers and friends of mine they could invest in fitness wisely and I believed needed to be employed to when I was student at Huntingdon. It’s properly. Thus, the name the media had tackle a research question. He made great! It’s very satisfying! for me, “the exercise doctor,” gained me see that I did have the tools within ground as a brand of sorts. myself to research anything I set my BOOM!: Looking back who were some of mind to. This would not have happened the most influential people to help you In academia, my husband and I also had he not encouraged me while at the with your achievements? invested in the institutions of higher same time leaving it pretty much “all” to education where I had taught or me to solve the problems and develop Michele: My attended school. Coupling this with the my questions and mom, Ellen high privilege of receiving various honors research agenda Scharff Twenge. as a researcher, teacher, and consultant as a junior faculty It all starts aiming to reach “real” people with the and researcher with my mom truths about exercise, the “Scharff-Olson during my initial and my father kinesiology laboratory” at AUM, which years at AUM. who insisted honors my parents, was named. Later, that I become due to the efforts of key colleagues at I was awarded the well-educated. Huntingdon College, my alma mater’s title of "Fellow" Every teacher sport science laboratory was also named of the American I had from for my family: “the Michele Scharff College of Sports kindergarten Olson Human Performance Laboratory.” Medicine for through Huntingdon College also bestowed the outstanding high school “outstanding alumni award” on me in service to graduation were 2018. To try to express the humbling research. I was influential. I gratitude for these honors is beyond placed on the had excellent, words, though “grateful” and more so, Editorial Board Dr. Olson conducting exercise research caring teachers. “joyful” come to mind. of the American Certainly, Mrs. College of Sports Diane Fisler, my junior high physical But, trust me, there were heartaches and Medicine Health and Fitness Journal. education teacher and tennis coach many failures along the way: papers that I was asked to serve as an Advisory molded me into an athlete who knew were rejected and had to be improved on Board Member for SHAPE Magazine. how to compete, how to bounce back prior to being published; data that was And, I became a credentialed collegiate from losses, how to be a gracious winner, lost on a computer that decided to have Certified Strength and Conditioning and to also know that tennis didn’t a “hiccup” and I hadn’t taken the time Coach via the National Strength and define me. to store the data elsewhere. Sometimes Conditioning Association. So, yes! I the laboratory equipment would not can legitimately train and conditional

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collegiate NCAA athletes - which is why I love working out with football players! I also had and, still have, colleagues such as Dr. Lisa Olenik Dorman at Huntingdon who inspired me to study and develop skills in her area, for which she is internationally known adapted physical education and disability sport. To this end, I became a Certified Disability Sport Specialist and conducted studies with Dr. Olenik Dorman due to her assigning me the role of research director for the state-supported grant she developed to serve adolescents and youth who desire to compete in scholastic sports. All the individuals I have noted are extremely bright and talented! I am lucky to have been in their company. I would not be “the exercise doctor” without them. And, these individuals really wanted me to grow and be that person. They are amazing!

BOOM!: Please explain the importance of Physical movement/exercise for our readers including those with disabilities? Michele: The paradigm, that still seems counter-intuitive to many because of our historical approach to disability and, often, the physical pain associated with disabilities related to disease such as arthritis or neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis has been to not move. In other words, “if it hurts, don’t move it because pain will increase which necessarily means you are actively

medicine. The key is to “take” the right type in the proper doses. BOOM!: What are you most passionate about? Michele: Learning, sharing what I’ve learned, and actualizing what I’ve learned with others in collective efforts. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work? Michele: I enjoy reading my professional journals and thinking about how to incorporate new knowledge into the college courses I teach and into movement and exercise practices. I guess this doesn’t sound too much like separating myself from a hard day’s work since these activities relate to “work.” But, as I’ve previously shared, learning is a passion and it’s a joy.

I do, though, enjoy crime mysteries and psychology. Dr. Carl Jung, who had a profound impact on psychology and was both a Michele with her husband and Dr, Olenik Dorman at laboratory naming event student and contemporary Michele: The two roles of Freud intrigues me. Jung states that are very integrated. Improving as a worsening the condition.” Not true and, “the psyche is real.” I believe he would teacher requires that you are abreast of generally, it’s the opposite case. But find the “world” of quantum physics to the most current, accurate, evidencethis is hard for all of us to get our minds be exciting and relatable in this sense. based knowledge. As a researcher, you around. Even conditions like chronic To this end, I also enjoy reading about can help to evolve the knowledge and fatigue syndrome and eating disorders Einstein’s “thought experiments” and contribute to scholarly journals and include specific exercise as part of the am inspired when I think about the textbook content. Being an effective treatment plan. Furthermore, if one years and decades, he spent evolving researcher requires many of the same has a condition such as heart disease or his theories of relativity. Just when he thought processes required of a teacher: arthritis, the proper exercise must be thought he “had it,” theories would when you reflect on your student’s undertaken to keep the heart muscle fall apart. Yet he persisted until the performance and their generational strong. Or, it will become less effective proper mathematics was applied, etc. needs, it drives you to research those and weaker. Same with our arthritic He was truly creative almost like a needs and ways to enhance your bones and the muscles that surround tormented artist (Van Gough comes to student’s learning. I have never viewed the joints. We need for our muscles to mind). Einstein was someone who had these roles of a professor as being be as strong as possible to prevent pain absolute intrinsic drive and I find that dichotomous. One feeds the other. That and help keep the bones aligned and very inspiring. Einstein was also a bit of stated, I have always been a teacher. I supported. a pain in the rear as a university student was giving gymnastics and piano lessons because of his individualistic questions in my teens. My mother giggles over I read daily about exercise protocols for and drive. This helps me to remember how I taught my best friend to tie her those with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, that students I come across who want to shoes and another friend how to ride a stroke, and cancer. For those who have a question, and challenge often make all of bike. I can find a “classroom” anywhere disability, disease, or acquired disability us better. and enjoy learners of any age and we need to remember that exercise is background. BOOM!: You are both a researcher and a professor, which role do you prefer and why?

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BOOM!: What are some of your favorite travel experiences? Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams planned?

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

Michele: I love the mountains and lakes in oregon both in the summers and the winters. You can feel the pristine, expansive environment. There’s nothing better than being at Black Butte or Sun River during the holidays with a light and steady snow and a fire burning.

Michele: Montgomery has been very, very good to me. The community has always been extremely welcoming to me and inclusive. I’ve always felt that I belong. It truly is the people that make living in Montgomery a second home. I believe I have experienced southern hospitality in multiple ways.

BOOM!: As an educational professional, do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities? Michele: I enjoyed being part of the junior league and the various community placements I was engaged in. I was drawn to educational programs for young mothers and mentoring. I also enjoy speaking to wonderful organizations such as the lion’s club or participating in community health fairs.

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BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Michele: After doctoral school, I studied art to some extent and, while I don’t paint or draw, I enjoy thinking about art in the context of the era it was produced. It stretches my brain and understanding of history. I do enjoy reading fact-based books such biographies and other books that speak to unique aspects of history and how time and events can create a sort of destiny. To that end I found the book, “Outliers” to be very enjoyable and I often read and reread, “The Elegant Universe.” BOOM!: What’s the future of fitness? What role will technology have?

BOOM!: The Huntingdon motto “Enter to grow in wisdom, go forth to apply wisdom in service” has a special meaning to you, could you share your thoughts on how it has impacted your life? Michele: This mission of Huntingdon, as a young adult, provided me with a clear definition of life’s pathway. Wisdom makes us genuine and breaks down barriers to both the seen and unseen truths of life. There is no greater service than to enact that wisdom in the true spirit of service. Thinking again about albert Einstein, when asked questions like “why are we all here? What is this world and universe all about?” Einstein stated, “we are here to help one another.” This is important. Here is a key figure of the 20th century who spent his life pushing the boundaries of a very stringent scientific discipline and, of all the things he could propose to the world about our purpose, he “got it!” It is about serving one another. It’s about our human beingness.

Michele: Driven. Insightful. Compassionate.

Michele with her Humane Shelter adoptee, Lucy Kitty

BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Michele: I’m not sure my priorities have changed. I am, perhaps, more aware of the passage of time and know, without a doubt, that I have purposes and goals as a teacher in the college setting. Though I am older, I come out of the classroom feeling positive and energized. I am still very much committed to a role outside of the classroom and laboratory. I’ve learned to appreciate involving students in my pursuits in the larger community leading exercise and working out with them. I can feel their surprise when I clean or snatch a kettlebell with them! BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you?

Michele: Fitness will continue to grow in areas where we used to think it was too late as already mentioned regarding exercise for those with disabilities, neuromuscular disease, kneereplacements, arthritis, and cardio-metabolic disease. We cannot afford for someone to complete physical therapy and not continue to engage in proper exercise. Thankfully exercise leaders and facilities are opening their arms and doors, quite literally, with leaders who enjoy working with special populations and have undertaken the education to do so. Technology is a big help because it can be set up to be motivational. Technologies such as pedometers or smart watches don’t give you value-laden feedback. They don’t say, “good job today john. You set a record in terms of the total number of exercise calories you burned today.” Nor do they say, “bad, Susan, you are short on your step count.” These devices give you information that can help you stay on track or help you to set fresh goals. I use my Garmin to examine my sleep and whether I have taken in the proper amount of fluid. I’m not going to The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


do all that well with the quality of my exercise if I have not slept properly or am not optimally hydrated. This type of feedback is as important, if not more, than specific outcomes such as total step count or distance for the day. So, they can help us to stay “in line” with many important life-style practices. BOOM!: How can readers order your DVD’s or take classes from you? Michele: I never intended to have an exercise studio but, it fell in my lap and was too fun an opportunity to not grab ahold of. I share a space with Yoga Montgomery at 1037 Woodley Road called, “Michele Olson Metabolic Training.” I’ve studied metabolism for so many decades in the laboratory with open circuit calorimetry. So, it’s been a natural step to have a space where I can deliver my knowledge via organized exercise sessions. The two exercise DVDs I did are readily found at “amazon” and some segments one can access via streaming. I also have a “Michele Olson – the exercise doctor” YouTube channel with streaming videos that you can do anywhere at any time. I have sure learned a lot about video production from producing one of the DVD’s myself in West Hollywood, California with a film crew from Ohio. Writing a script, choreographing segments, rehearsing, getting a makeup

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

artist, setting up photoshoots for cover photos, hiring a set director, sound engineer, and graphic artist to create DVD covers are just a few of the steps involved in producing an exercise DVD. Talk about getting to learn an entirely different skill set: video production in Los Angeles. One aspect that is so enjoyable for me is the fact that doing research, teaching, and producing a product, such as exercise videos, share the commonality of creativity! They are all creative processes. They require imagination and the integration of many moving pieces. It’s extremely rewarding – the “doing!” BOOM!: Many people over 50 are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, etc. How would you describe this sense of renewal in your life? Any advice for the rest of us seeking renewal? Michele: What’s the future look like for dr. Michele Olson? As we mature, our lives expand beyond growing chapters of a “life” book. We have the chance to experience many adulthoods and embark on entirely new life narratives. While we may settle on some things, such as perhaps not winning an Olympic Medal, we may find ourselves primed for sponsoring causes or mentoring those who seek meaningful experiences in pathways we have coursed.

I believe my future is not only about doing my best to develop teachers, graduate physical therapy candidates, exercise instructors, registered dieticians, and/or athletic trainers, that is a given. From here on, I plan to do whatever I can to support and prompt these talented young professionals to get in the lead: develop your own service business, chair committees, practice being a leader in your immediate sphere because I will need you soon! We want to thank Michele for sharing her story with us in this month's cover profile. We especially appreciate the opportunity to do the photo shoot in the historic Flowers Hall on the Huntington College campus where Dr. Olson is a professor. To learn more about Michele you can do a Google search and choose from many options. If you want to reach out, send an email to molson@hawks.huntingdon.edu. A special thanks to Shellee Roberts at Total Image Portraits for making this month and other cover shots the best they can be, you can check them out at www.totalimage.com. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about our cover profiles, including nominating someone, please send them to Jim Watson at jim@riverregionboom.com. Read all of the BOOM! Cover Profiles at www.riverregionboom.com/archive/

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Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla

Herbs versus Spices I was having a conversation recently with a registered dietician and it rapidly became clear to me that she did not know the difference between an herb and a spice; in fact, she seemed to think that the two terms were virtually interchangeable. This person is trained in nutrition and food, so how can she possibly not know that there is a difference between an herb and a spice? (I thought to myself.) And if she doesn’t, then it only makes sense that there must be more people out there who believe the same. So, this month’s article is going to put a stop to that – right now! It is pretty straight forward to spot which is an herb, and which is a spice as herbs always come from the leaves of a plant – think of basil, rosemary, thyme, etc. A spice can come from any number of places – the root, the stem, the seed, the fruit, the flower or the bark! But NOT the leaf. Now that is a nice, simple, definitive description, BUT it can get a little confusing as some plants can be the host to both an herb and a spice at the same time, like coriander and cilantro. Cilantro is the aromatic leaf of the plant (Coriandrum sativum), while coriander is the seed that comes from that same plant. There are also other differences worth noting. Herbs tend to come either fresh, dried or powdered and are much more delicate in flavor and constitution than spices.

This knowledge is important to know when using in cooking as you need to add herbs at the last few moments of cooking, so you do not lose all of their flavor. There are also occasions when it is important to use fresh herbs, such as in pesto, on pizza or pasta or in tabbouleh. The fresher the better in this case and as they are so easy to grow, why not just pick them straight off the plant?! Basil, rosemary, thyme and cilantro are super easy to grow in pots on windowsills, even through the colder months. I have basil and rosemary growing in my kitchen windowsill right now. Only grow the ones you use though, as if you don’t “prune” them (by eating the leaves) they will soon become “leggy” and eventually die. A well pruned plant can last for years. When you look in the (mis-named) spice aisle of a supermarket, you will see a selection of both herbs and spices, with the spices generally being in powdered form. Whole spices, however, such as cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves will keep fresh for much longer. The moment that a spice, or herb, is ground its surface area is increased and exposed to oxygen. Oxidation is the

resulting effect, with the spices losing their flavor rapidly and, indeed, going rancid. Unless you are going to use a whole jar of powdered spice quite quickly, then it is best to buy your spices whole and grind them as you use them. (You do not need to have an electric grinder either, a mortar and pestle works just fine, as does a fine grater – especially good for nutmeg ) And some spices you can actually cook with whole and remove them from the dish before serving; cinnamon sticks for example, or clove buds. Ten points for guessing an herb that you do the same with. You got it – Bay Leaves! Unlike herbs, however, spices are much more robust and can withstand much longer cooking times and higher levels of heat. In fact, they are often enhanced by dry-roasting and being added early in the cooking process. In most Indian cooking, for example, the spices are added to the oil in the pan before anything else and cooked for 2-3 minutes to bring out their flavor before adding meat or vegetables. I hope this has helped clarify the difference between an herb and a spice. Remember, using either will add a nutritional value to your food as well as giving it a flavor profile unavailable any other way. You will have your favorites among them and that is fine; I have not heard of any addiction issues. Both have been used for thousands of years in holistic medicine – ginger for digestion, chamomile to help you sleep, etc. Many of them have health benefits, but if you just like the taste, the that’s fine too. Just consider expanding your repertoire, one at a time. See what 2020 brings.

Tracy Bhalla, Independent Consultant with NYR Organics, website: us.nyrorganic.com/shop/tracybhalla email: nyrbhalla@gmail.com You can also visit Tracy’s blog

at Tracybhalla.com, Continuing obsession with all things organic, I have been working with NYR for two years now, using skincare products myself for over RiverRegionBoom.com 2020 my BOOM! January Thetheir River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine 46 25 years! Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves to be well looked after. I am here to answer any questions you may have.


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Travel Experiences with Jeff Barganier

On Wings of Eagles

Hang Gliding in the Thermal Valley I always research my subject before tackling a new writing assignment. Thus, before departing for my maiden flight— hang-gliding in the Thermal Valley of North Carolina—I watch several videos at www.thermalvalley. net. Craig Pearson determined decades ago to create a family business from the hobby he loved. Today, together with wife Laura and their two children, Liam and Lilly, he revels in showing others the thrill and wonder of propulsion-free flight. Remarkably, the morning of the same day I fly; Craig takes up an 89-year-old who is checking off his bucket list. “The hardest part was getting him into the harness, after which, the flight was easy,” Laura laughs. All of this takes place in Burke County, North Carolina, aka, Nature’s Playground. With stops, it’s an eight-hour trip by car from the River Region; so, I leave early, arriving at the Morganton Hampton Inn on I-40 in time to scout out the town and rest up. I find the hotel new, clean, well-managed and convenient to many of Burke County’s outdoor treasures like South Mountains State Park, Lake James State Park, Linville Gorge and Falls. Two of North Carolina’s most recognizable landmark mountains, Table Rock and Hawksbill, are found here. And Burke County’s also home to four wineries! In addition, I’m surprised to discover that Morganton has a city auditorium

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the hotel. My scheduled flight is still five hours away, leaving plenty of time for digestion…or so I think. The curvaceous trip to Foothills Regional Airport is merely twenty minutes. Once there, a nondescript uphill driveway leads to an expansive grassy plain surrounding a small airstrip. In the distance I behold a panoramic view of Grandfather, Table Rock and Hawk’s Bill Mountains. It’s all stunningly beautiful. The weather’s perfect—about 70 degrees, slight wind, lots of sun, creating coveted thermals that’ll provide lift for the glider once with a 1,058-seat theatre that regularly aloft. Laura and Lilly promptly meet hosts Broadway musicals and national me there, and I sign the customary recording artists. hazardous-activity disclaimers Next morning: I indulge and engage in my appetite at the some pre-flight Hampton’s exemplary training. I make a breakfast buffet. quick visit to the Figuring on skipping port-a-potty then lunch, I woof down walk out to some a generous portion folding chairs and of fruit, followed by await my turn. I yogurt, an omelet, observe as a light, large waffle drenched custom-designed in butter and syrup, plane gently pulls one banana, and a the glider and pomegranate-guava occupants skyward smoothie. It’s a like a kid running beautiful blue-sky fall with a kite. I follow day and the leaves are the white-wing changing. I attempt to in the OctoberLaura, Craig and Jeff Preparing for Flight “walk-off” breakfast blue heaven and, with a stroll up the hill minutes later, its graceful descent and past the splendid Morganton Medical flawless landing. Center behind the hotel, then back down the hill by the large Chevy dealership, the Cracker Barrell Restaurant, and back to

My turn comes and Liam assists me into The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


the sling-like harness just above Craig. As tandem hang-gliding pilots go, there is surely only one like Craig Pearson: contagiously enthusiastic, dedicated to spreading the Jeff taking off! enjoyment of the sport and treating his passenger to a raucous good time. He sings as we takeoff. We climb steadily to about 1500 feet. “Are you ready?” he shouts. I reply that I am. Craig snaps a latch, releasing the glider from the tow-plane. The plane instantly corkscrews toward the runway as we glide free of it. Craig yells, “my last passenger freaked a little bit on me. I had to take her down early. But that just gives us more time, Jeff. This is exactly what the birds experience up here. How do you like it so far?” I love it and answer accordingly. “Great! Hey, you know what a crow sounds like?” I reply that I do indeed. “Well, let’s caw like a couple of crows,” he laughs. (The watchers below hear every word as if we’re standing beside them.) “Caw-caw-caw,” we yell, flapping our arms and allowing the glider to fly itself. “Hey, how about I show you

how to turn?” We swing our bodies to the left and the wing tips over and makes a hard-left turn, drawing a tight circle in the air. Then we swing right and affect a hard-right. Craig straightens us out and hunts a thermal—warm air rising from below. He quickly finds one. “Feel that, Jeff? Up we go! Woohoo!” I recall the large bowl of clam chowder and subsequent seafood platter I consumed the evening before my marathon breakfast. My stomach churns like a stockbroker and I’m tempted to ask Craig if anyone has ever thrown up on him during a flight. But I rebuke this thought, “willing” the nausea away, and concentrate on the glorious, silent flight. And, all too soon, we’re banking to land. We make a perfect 3-point landing and roll a good distance down the grassy strip, coming to an easy stop. Craig asks me to look into the flightcamera and tell the world what it was like. I struggle to find words. “Amazing!” I manage. But it was so much more. And, after such a fabulous experience, I need to say more. I need to state in perfect context the feeling of joy and freedom one feels when soaring in the wild blue

yonder, over the valleys, hills and rivers of the land of the free and home of the brave, just like an eagle, peering far and wide at the majesty of God’s scenic, unparalleled creation. How can I be at a loss for words? Afterward, I remember Isaiah 40:31 “…they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” That’s what I should have said! But I wasn’t thinking fast and, soon, I was disengaging from the harness. My freedom-flight was over. Maybe next time I’ll be ready with the right words. Perhaps you will be prepared to say something wonderful when you go soar on eagle’s wings in the Thermal Valley. Just do it.

In flight over Thermal Valley

www.thermalvalley.net www.morgantonhamptoninn.com www.discoverburkecounty.com

Jeff S. Barganier is a freelance writer and manages Cindy Barganier Interiors LLC in Pike Road, Alabama. (www.cindybarganier.com) He travels far and wide upon the slightest excuse for something interesting to write about. Contact him at Jeffbarganier@knology.net. Follow him on Instagram #jeffbarganier.

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By Greg Budell

The Mayor of BOOMTOWN

“PHUNNY PHARM” "A true story from the Greg files"

I never considered walking hand in gland with my bladder. If it weren’t for TV commercials, I’d never know my bladder was purple, with eyes, arms and legs. The Mad Men who market medical innovations for “overactive bladder” created a cartoon organ akin to the California Raisins; They were quite a thing in the late 80s, dancing to “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.

It seems like they’re touting something new every day. There is however, sameness in the marketing of these powerful new advances. All- including the aforementioned Myrbetric- show gracefully aging

I am NOT writing a diatribe against Big Pharm’s new cures for a wide range of conditions. That’s good news! I’m just amused at how they pitch the pills to the public. I don’t have “over-active bladder”. Mine shrinks to the size of a change purse in real cold weather but otherwise seems fine. The cute little TV bladder is the “mascot” for Myrbetriq, one of many new designer meds targeted towards- BOOMers! This is obvious, because this new generation of messaging medical miracles routinely turn up in 60 year old episodes of Andy Griffith, Bewitched and almost anything else on TV Land.

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Every doctor has an I-Pad or tablet displaying an animated demonstration of the medical condition. Just before the commercial concludes, the announcer runs through a disclaimer listing the potential side effects. For example, the Myrbetriq ad warns- “The most common side effects of Myrbetriq include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis), dry mouth, flu symptoms, urinary tract infection, back pain, dizziness, joint pain, headache, constipation, sinus irritation, and inflammation of the bladder (cystitis). WOW! Would I rather have the over-active bladder?

BOOMers who look perfectly normal. They’re shown leading active, wonderful lives, attending festivals, wine and cheese parties or just enjoying a walk in the park on a beautiful day. The people portrayed appear content and confident because Myrbetric is coursing through their veins, actively preventing a bladder explosion. Every “ad-med” contains at least one shot of the patient in the doc’s office.

Let’s talk about marketing medicine with music. "Magic" is a popular 1974 song by Scottish pop rock band Pilot, and was the first hit single for the group. It was written by band members Billy Lyall and David Paton for their debut album. Those two had once been part of another BOOMer favorite, the Bay City Rollers of “Saturday Night” fame.

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Billy and David are making some serious coin these days because “OH OH OH It’s Magic” has morphed into “OH OH OH Ozempic”, a med invented to (and I hope it’s working) regulate blood sugar levels. 45 years ago when “Magic” was a hit those two performers would have hissed at the notion their #1 song would one day be used to promote a diabetes medication. They took the money in 2019- damn the “art”- and good for them. I muse at the thought processes behind the choice of that particular song. Imagine, there’s a group of ad agency types at a big mahogany table discussing this new drug, Ozempic, and how they might put it on the map. Some genius took the name of the drug, merged it into the lyrics of a long ago smash by a one-hit wonder band and voila! Oh Oh Oh Ozempic. Nice work. Pilot thanks you. I think it was during an Andy Griffith rerun, my wife was horrified to hear the great and awesome Fleetwood Mac song “Go Your Own Way” being used to hawk the benefits of Anoro, a COPD treatment. Again, actors chosen for the spot look like really healthy everyday BOOMer types. They are shown at an elegant, outdoor event- like your garden variety mountain top picnic. A giant white backdrop is set up with only the word “Anoro” in large

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red letters. The spot begins with the very good looking BOOMer defying COPD with this new inhaler- proclaiming “I’ll go my own way with Anoro”. The camera pans back to reveal the person afflicted with COPD walk back to the cool but vague event they are attending. The spot is nicely produced but I never see any people who look sick in these ads. Like Myrbetriq, Anoro has potential side effects- including these “less common” ones; chest pains, congestion, dryness of the throat, fever, headache, hoarseness, swollen neck glands, runny nose, tightness of the chest and voice changes. Voice changes? I hope I never need Anoro! One more “cultural appropriation” must be noted. “ABC”, a platinum hit for the Jackson 5, is now “1-2-3, Trelegy”, another musically marketed inhaler. We have one of our BOOMer faves actually appearing in an ad for the drug Cosentyx. Cyndi Lauper of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” fame, has been battling psoriasis, which is not fun. There are other psoriasis sufferers in the spot. In fact, you have to figure out it’s actually her. I guess the idea is that no one- not even pop star Cyndi Lauper- is immune to what used to be called the “heartbreak of psoriasis” in a different era of advertising.

These marketing approaches and their commonalities basically tell us “you’re getting older, your body is going to hell in a hand basket, but we’ll help you live a little longer, stay hip, and look good doing it”. Speaking of getting older, we’ve made it to a new decade, BOOMers! Side effects include memory loss, additional weight gain, deeper wrinkles and reflections in the mirror that no longer look like you. Ignore it. At the rate the Pharm Pholks are inventing new drugs, we’ll live to see the next one. If you have a comment on this column, email me at gregbudell@aol.com. It’s still fun to hear from new people!

Greg Budell lives in Montgomery with his wife, Roz, and dogs Hershey and Briscoe. He’s been in radio since 1970, and is marking 12 years in the River Region in 2017. He hosts the Newstalk 93.1FM Morning Show with Rich Thomas, Jay Scott & Emily Hayes, 6-9AM Monday-Friday. He returns weekday afternoons from 3-6PM for Happy Hour with sidekick Joey Clark. Greg can be reached at gregbudell@aol.com

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January 2020

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January 2020

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

AUBURN, ALABAMA

Vessels and Their Voices: The Legacy of Alabama Pottery Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, AL Through February 2nd Each year, the 1072 Society raises funds for a specific area of interest in the museum’s permanent collection, with works considered for purchase exhibited in the annual 1072 Society exhibition. "Vessels and Their Voices: The Legacy of Alabama Pottery" showcases a variety of late 19th- and early 20th-century Southern pottery crafted by artisans in nearby Randolph and Chambers counties, along with the addition of three remarkable vases originating from the Muscle Shoals area and an array of contemporary decorative pieces. For more info vist http://jcsm.auburn.edu/

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

The Civility Paintings Alabama State Capitol, Downtown Montgomery Through February 15

The Civility Paintings debut exhibition presented by the Alabama State Capitol in collaboration with the Alabama Historic Commission present an ALABAMA 200 finale event commemorating the stories of our people, places and path to statehood. This Alabama State Capitol hosted exhibition debuts the Civility Paintings by Alabama artist, Sarah West. Alabama State Capitol, The Old Supreme Court Chamber, 600 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama. https://www.facebook.com/events/701543023637582/

ENTERPRISE, ALABAMA

Masters f Soul A Musical Celebration of Motown Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center Thursday, January 16, 7 pm

MASTERS OF SOUL is a show featuring stylishly costumed fully choreographed tributes to both male and female groups backed by a live band. Hear the big hits of The Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Four Tops, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson Five, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Barry White, Stevie Wonder and the Commodores. For information, call 334.406.2787 or visit the web for tickets www.CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

Right or Privilege? Alabama Women and the Vote

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Vulcan Park and Museum, Birmingham January 17, 2020 - January 2021

Join Vulcan Park and Museum as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemoration. The exhibit and programming will examine the specific challenges faced by suffragists in Birmingham and analyze the racial issues that caused the suffrage movement to be a primarily white campaign. Also, It will explore the efforts of black men and women to achieve the right to vote. Topics covered will inspire visitors to tie the challenges of the movement to current events, bringing to light the fact that women are increasingly running for public office, and highlighting the various groups who are working to maintain and establish voting rights. Shining a light on the suffrage movement will remind us of the ones who fought hard to establish the 19th amendment and will instill a sense that we should value and use the right to vote. http://visitvulcan.com/

30a SEASIDE, FLORIDA

The 30A Songwriters Festival Along Highway 30a, Florida Gulf Coast Friday-Sunday, January 17-20th, various times and venues

The 11th annual 30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL – set for January 17-20. The festival, held in venues along scenic Highway 30A in Florida’s South Walton County, will feature main stage performances in presenting partner Headliners at Grand Boulevard on Saturday, January 18th will feature iconic artists John Prine, Indigo Girls and Tanya Tucker and on Sunday, January 19th, the legendary Brian Wilson, Don McLean and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will perform. There will be 175 artists, 225 performances at more than 25 venues. For more info visit www.30asongwritersfestival.com

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA BourbonHam The Haven, Birmingham Sunday, January 19, 2-6 pm

BourbonHam is Birmingham’s premiere Bourbon and BBQ fundraising event for the National MS Society. Whether you are a bourbon afficianado or novice, BourbonHam is definitely a must for all to experience. Bourbon accompanied with award winning BBQ, live blues The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


music & the National MS Society make for a great southern event for all to attend. With multiple ticketing options to choose from, patrons will have the opportunity of tasting a selection of over 50 different bourbons/whiskeys along with a sampling of award winning BBQ to indulge in while listening to live music. You can also catch the AFC & NFC playoff games as they are televised at the event. for more info visit www.bourbonham.com

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Casablanca Capri Theatre Thursday, January 23,7:30 pm Rick Blaine is a cynical world-weary ex-patriate running a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco just prior to the US entry into WWII. Casablanca is a mainstay in "Best Movies Ever" style lists, so much so that we don't want to list everything here. We'll just tell you that it's a classic film, with classic scenes and classic lines. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you'll just have to check out the film. www.capritheatre.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA The Agitators ASF, Octagon Stage January 30 – February 13

Recommended ages 13+ The Agitators tells of the enduring but tempestuous friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Great allies? Yes, and at times, great adversaries. The play follows the young abolitionists after they meet in Rochester in the 1840s, full of hopes and sharing a common purpose. As they grow into cultural icons, their quests for freedom and equality collide, which tests their friendship. They agitated the nation and each other and, by doing so, helped shape the course of American history. “…a compelling portrait of two flawed but inspiring agents of change.” – Pioneer Press. For more information, call ASF 334.271.5353 or visit https://asf.net/the-agitators

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

Ecology of Alabama’s Native Plants Birmingham Botanical Gardens Saturday, January 25th, 830 am-4:30 pm Join the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens for this special class and easy hike with ecologist Scot Duncan. With 64 types of terrestrial ecosystems shaped by an unusual climate and rich geological history, Alabama is home to nearly 3,000 species of native plants. They are an important part of our state’s biodiversity, which ranks fifth in the nation overall. Join the Friends for this special program led by ecologist Scot Duncan and take a deep dive into how ecosystems work, review how they are classified and mapped, and

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receive an overview of the state’s ecological diversity. A short, easy hike through the Gardens -with a focus on plants found only in Alabamawill illustrate some of the in-class concepts. Learn more and register at https://bbgardens.org/ecology-of-alabama.php

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Nitty Gritty Dirt Band MPAC, Downtown Montgomery Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm

With a refreshed lineup and newfound energy, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band remains one of the most accomplished bands in American roots music. Following an extended 50th anniversary tour, the ensemble grew to a six-piece in 2018 for the first time since their early jug band days. The group now includes Jeff Hanna (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica), Bob Carpenter (keyboards), Jim Photoglo (bass, acoustic guitar), Ross Holmes (fiddle, mandolin), and Jaime Hanna (electric and acoustic guitar). All six members also sing, and when their voices merge, the harmonies add a powerful new component for the legendary band. And with the fatherson pairing of Jeff and Jaime Hanna, the band carries on a country music tradition of blood harmony. For tickets visit www.mpaconline.org.

MOBILE, ALABAMA Mardi Gras Mobile, Alabama February 1-25

Did you know that Mobile is the birthplace of America's original Mardi Gras? That's right, Mardi Gras originated in 1703 right here in our port city. It was revived after the Civil War when citizen Joe Cain, fed up with post-war misery, led an impromptu parade down city streets. They've been doing it ever since and we mark the annual occasion with majestic parades, colorful floats and flying Moon Pies. Mardi Gras celebrations begin two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday and the Port City comes to life. Our Carnival is a family-friendly time of parties, balls, parades and revelry. Mobile Mardi Gras kicks off in Downtown Mobile on February 1 and ends on Fat Tuesday, February 25, 2020! For more info visit www.mobile.org/events/mardi-gras/

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

The Color Purple Musical MPAC Friday, May 22nd, 8 pm Based on the Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, THE COLOR PURPLE is adapted for the stage by Tony- and Pulitzer-winner Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. THE COLOR PURPLE went on to win two 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, two Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Musical, the 2017 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album and a Daytime Emmy®. THE COLOR PURPLE played 483 performances on Broadway, closing on January 8, 2017. For ticket info visit www.mpaconline.org

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Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Lil’ ole Winemaker, Donna Mills Toasting the New Year by raising a glass of wine on December 31 is a tradition with many families and friends. But unlike most year-end revelers, actress Donna Mills can welcome the New Year with a bottle of wine from her own vineyard.

where it was 116 degrees up on the hill for 2 days,” she recalled. “It happened just as the grapes ripened so the heat turned them into raisins!” Despite the career diversification as a vineyard owner, Mills still finds time for acting with three Christmas movies out last holiday season including “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses” that debuted on the Hallmark Channel and which she called “one of those feel-good movies that Hallmark is famous for.” While acting and winemaking may seem to have little in common, Mills sees a link.

Schlepping up a hillside harvesting Donna Mills in her backyard, home to Mandeville Vineyards - provided by Donna Mills grapes probably With the help of a work crew, the land wasn’t an activity soap vixen Abby Ewing “Winemaking is very creative and what was cleared, Malbec and Cabernet might have enjoyed on the old CBS TV you do with the fruit is what determines grapes were planted, and the result of series “Knots Landing.” But Mills, who how good the wine will be – like acting, the first wines was rewarding. portrayed the manipulative character on in which you have a script but what you the popular show for a decade, has no do with it determines how good the “We won a silver medal at the such reservations. movie or play will be,” she says. “The fact prestigious San Francisco “I love working in the vineyard,” said International Mills from Mandeville Vineyards in Los Wine Angeles where she lives with partner Competition and fellow winemaker Larry Gilman (see for our first www.mandevillevineyards.com). “I’m vintage,” said up there in between the harvesting, Mills. “That too, because you have to maintain the made all the plants.” work seem worthwhile.” “Up There” refers to the half-acre hillside behind Mills’ 1-acre property which has Fortunately, been home to some 430 grapevines first the planted in 2013. Before then, the area devastating was overgrown with scrub brush and California trees. fires last Donna Mills, L, and Jill Wagner in Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses - Hallmark Channel October “One day Larry thought that maybe it spared Mills’ could be converted into a vineyard. I said that we can grow fruit that makes wine property although her family was forced he was crazy, but he wouldn’t take no for that makes people happy is a true joy for to evacuate their house for several days. an answer. So he called experts to survey me.” But there have been previous hardships. the area who said the soil would be okay “We lost the entire crop (in 2018) Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, to grow grapes but it wouldn’t be easy.” Ala, and has written features, columns, and interviews for because we had a weird heat event over 750 newspapers and magazines.

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Profile for Boomer Communities

BOOM! January 2020  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine, including Montgomery, Prattville, Pike Road, Wetumpka, Millbrook, and Tallassee

BOOM! January 2020  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine, including Montgomery, Prattville, Pike Road, Wetumpka, Millbrook, and Tallassee