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HealthNEWS November 2011

for Boomers and Beyond

Living Well with Rheumatoid Arthritis

The immune system is best known as a built-in defense mechanism—it helps protect the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, that can cause infection and disease. But sometimes the immune system doesn’t work like it should, and it actually attacks a part of the body. Such is the case with rheumatoid arthritis, or RA.

Painful joints and more

other joints, including the shoulders, elbows, knees and feet. In addition to warmth, swelling and tenderness in joints, symptoms may include: • Morning stiffness or pain after prolonged sitting. • Fatigue, weakness or muscle pain. • Flu-like symptoms, including low-grade fever. • Loss of appetite or weight loss. • Dry eyes and mouth.

When a cut becomes red, swollen, warm and Symptoms are usually symmetrical; for example, if painful, it’s because your immune system is fighting a joint in one hand hurts, the corresponding joint in infection. But in RA, these same symptoms happen the other hand will also hurt. In some severe cases, inside your joints, without infection. According to lumps called rheumatoid nodules appear under the the Arthritis Foundation, advanced RA can damage skin, usually near the elbows. cartilage, bone, and even the muscles, ligaments and Scientists don’t know exactly what causes RA. tendons that support the joint. But they do know that it RA is a chronic disease results from an interaction that can cause symptoms “It is estimated that more than 1.3 million people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis in the of factors. According to the most of the time or remain United States,” said Jade Hoy, MD, with Jackson NIH, certain genes may mild except for periods of Clinic Family Medicine. “While this disease can make some people more worsening symptoms, called be very devastating, the advent of biologic disease likely to get RA. In these flares. Some people have modifying agents has allowed physicians to more people, a trigger, such as symptoms for a few months rapidly control the disease process than with an infection, may start the or years, while for others traditional agents. This of course, translates to more disease process. they last a lifetime, reports rapid relief of the patient’s symptoms.” Anyone of any age can the National Institutes of get RA, but it usually starts Health (NIH). If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with between ages 30 and 60 for Symptoms usually start rheumatoid arthritis or suspect that you may have women and later for men. in the smaller joints of both this condition, please make an appointment with Nearly three times as many hands, including fingers and your physician to discuss your options. women as men have it. wrists. RA may also affect

Getting Help There is no single test for RA, so doctors use a variety of tools to diagnose the disease. Your doctor may combine tests, such as x-rays and blood tests, with a physical examination. Your medical history and description of your symptoms are also important. Since RA affects people differently, treatment is tailored to your individual needs. According to the Arthritis Foundation, most people are prescribed medicines, such as disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), soon The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

after their diagnosis to help prevent joint damage. Your doctor may also suggest some of the following: • Medications for pain relief, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. Corticosteroids may be given to relieve inflammation. • Balanced rest and exercise. Moderate physical activity can help keep your joints flexible, and adequate rest may help reduce symptoms during flares. • Surgery for some people with severe joint damage. • Devices such as zipper pullers and long-handled shoehorns to help

with everyday activities. Having RA can be stressful, and that stress can make symptoms worse. Talk to your doctor about ways to cope. For some people, staying as active as possible helps relieve stress. An exercise program or support group may help you stay in control of your symptoms.

Arthritis answers

For more information and to get answers to your questions about arthritis, talk to your doctor or visit the Arthritis Foundation website. Go to

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November 2011




November 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2011




November 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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


November 2011

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

Volume 2 Issue 4

Carl Bard

Thought Relationships Taste Inspiration

Humor Advice Health Community

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

3 Jackson Hospital’s Health News 3 8 Publisher’s Letter 8 11 Lifelong Learning Institute at AUM 17 Vintage Olive Recipes 17 21 Senior Pro-Golfer Asks, Why Aren’t You Pursuing Your Dreams? 21

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Features 18 Romatic Africa

Great tips on an adventurous honeymoon.

20 Gifts for Grandbabies

From Sheep Sleep to Skip Hop Dunck .

Departments 10 This and That

28 {12} Things

Something interesting, even for you!

Plenty to do for Boomers and Beyond.

27 10 ways

Slowing the aging process, a little.

25 Sherry DeBray A Thankful Heart

22 Healthy Hearing, Wear Hearing Aids? 24 Art & Soul, Gallery Open Houses 30 Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, at the Senior Center 30



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BOOM! magazine is published monthly by River Region Publications, 8637 Harvest Ridge Dr., Montgomery, AL 36116. The phone number for voice and fax is 334.523.9510. Copyright 2011 by River Region Publications. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed in BOOM! 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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November 2011



publisher’s letter

Thanks Equals More Virtue 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.

About 2,050 years ago a Roman philosopher named Cicero said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” Some things never change. When a person is thankful, they are thinking about others and how they have affected their lives. It’s a good place to be because it helps us build those virtuous qualities, like patience, compassion, justice, generosity and humility. I’m thankful for everyone in my life, you provide much joy!


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Associate Editor Kelly Watson

Contributing Writers Sandi Aplin Robin Barca

Dr. Bettie Borton

Sherry DeBray Robyn Klugman Wina Sturgeon

Cover Photography

Maria Wiggins, Reflections of Grace


Jim Watson, 334.523.9510

Monette Mottenon, 334.523.9510

Design & Layout Lake House Graphics


Network Delivery


Publications Press, Montgomery, AL 334.244.0436

Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

Jim Watson, Publisher

In this month’s issue of BOOM! we have plenty of interesting articles, people and ideas to consider. First we have some tips on planning your next or second honeymoon in Africa! From the first rate wines, the world’s most exotic animals and first class service, Africa is a paradise for honeymooners.

Sherry DeBray, one of our newest writers, talks about developing a thankful heart for God and His blessings, no matter their value or size. Another new writer is Sandi Aplin and she wants to encourage you Boomers to explore the artworld of Montgomery during numerous open house events scheduled in November. We also have a listing of some gift ideas for all the Grand Babies in your lives which should simplify some of your shopping. We have an interesting perspective from a senior pro golfer on his efforts to make the Senior Tour and just how it impacted his view of life and getting things done off the golf course. Now we all know about aging and there’s much we can do to stop it. But one expert says we can slow it down a good bit by doing certain things like not eating fast food. There are 9 more tips that just may gice you the fountain of youth! Lifetime Learning Institute is coming to AUM. What’s that you ask? Well it’s for us older folks who want to keep learning and growing. For a small fee, you become a member and then take any course that’s offered. They have a similar program on the main campus with nearly 400 members. I’m sure we could sign up that many in no time. Check it out and tell your friends about it.

The BOOM! Cover Profile this month is one of the River Region’s healthcare leaders. Her name is Robin Barca and she’s the Chief Operating Officer of Baptist Health and the CEO of Baptist South. Robin shares her unique story with us and provides some insight into the healthcare industry. She is also involved with Women in Business as the chair of the steering committee working with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce to provide more support for women executives within the River Region business community. We hope you’ll take a few minutes getting to know Robin in the month’s profile Q & A. Thanks Robin for sharing your life with The BOOM! Readers.

There’s plenty more goodies in this month’s issue and we hope you find BOOM! to be one of the River Region’s best reading experiences. Thanks again for sharing BOOM! with your fellow Boomers. Once again, we have some new advertisers this month who would love for you to do business with them. So if you’re going to be spending some money on their services this month, let them know you saw their ad in BOOM! They will appreciate it. Don’t forget, Cicero said, being thankful gives us more virtue so give lots of thanks this holiday. Remember, it’s a great time to be Booming!

Jim 334.324.3472 cell/text 334.523.9510 office


November 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Reputation. Experience. Success. Doctors Hearing Clinic Helping People Hear!

Bettie B. Borton,

Au.D., FAAA, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology, Former National Chair of the American Board of Audiology

Celebrating more than 60 years of hearing healthcare service. Named one of America’s

Best of Hearing Healthcare

2011 by The Hearing Review

0% Financing on hearing devices purchased before 12/10/11!* *Subject to credit approval.


OPELIKA 2204-D Gateway Dr


MONTGOMERY 7025 Halcyon Park Dr, Ste A

View our educational video on hearing at The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2011




This & tHAT

Did You Hear This One? Plastic Surgery Associates of Montgomery (PSAOM) is the first and only facility in central Alabama to offer CoolSculpting®, a new, non-invasive procedure that uses a precisely controlled cooling method called Cryolipolysis™ to target unwanted fat areas around the trunk and belly. The fat cells then crystallize, break down and are eliminated through the body’s natural processes. CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared for the flank (love handles) and stomach fat. The procedure is safe and performed in the office at Plastic Surgery Associates of Montgomery, taking between one and three hours depending on the number of areas that are treated. During that time, patients can check email, read a magazine, watch TV or even take a nap. CoolSculpting is performed with no anesthesia, no needles, no incisions, and no down time. Discomfort is usually minimal, although upon completion of the procedure, some bruising may occur. Results can be seen in as little as three weeks, with the most dramatic results after two months to four months. On average, each CoolSculpting procedure results in a 20 to 25 percent reduction of fat in the treated area within three to six months. For more information on CoolSculpting visit or

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in. Jacob addresses the man behind the counter: “Are you the owner?” The pharmacist answers yes. Says Jacob: “We’re about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?” Pharmacist: “Of course we do.” Jacob: “How about medicine for circulation?” Pharmacist: “All kinds.”

The Shoppes at EastChase Welcomes Santa’s Grand Arrival Saturday, November 19th at 9:30 am

Hampstead: Farm to Fork Join the South’s best chefs, farmers, breweries and bluegrass bands for the 2nd annual Farm-toFork Food Invasion celebrating all things local, seasonal and delicious. 100% of proceeds from the regional food, drink and music festival benefit educational programs for students and children at the Hampstead Institute’s non-profit farms.

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Is do-it-yourself really less expensive?

If you own a house, there’s a good chance it needs some work. There are always little maintenance projects to do. You also might be thinking about a major makeover or renovation. You’re always tempted to save a few bucks by doing the job yourself. In some cases, it is probably a great idea. But there are times when hiring professionals is the way to go. It could even save you more in the long run. How can you tell which route is best? DIY or Not ( can give you a clue. It has a sizeable database of common household projects and how much they cost to complete on average. You can then compare that to estimates from a professional. Before you start that next project check it out at

Jacob: “Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis?” Pharmacist: “Definitely.” Jacob: “How about Viagra?” Pharmacist: “Of course.” Jacob: “Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?” Pharmacist: “Yes, a large variety. The works.” Jacob: “What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson’s disease?” Pharmacist: “Absolutely.” Jacob: “You sell wheelchairs and walkers?” Pharmacist: “All speeds and sizes.” Jacob says to the pharmacist: “We’d like to register here for our wedding gifts, please.”

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE (LLI) IS COMING TO AUBURN MONTGOMERY LLI are classes designed for lifelong learners for the sheer joy of learning. Classes have no entrance exams, no prerequisite courses, no exams or homework. LLI is a membership organization and is peer/member lead. Most LLI students are retirees that want to continue to learn and meet new friends. This is what the Lifelong Learning Institute at AUM is all about. We are excited to announce that this fall the first LLI classes will be offered through the Division of Continuing Education at AUM. As our membership grows so will our class offerings. Join today and help us develop and extend this exciting new program. Classes will meet in the newly renovated Center for Lifelong Learning building located at 75 Techna Center Drive. The new facility offers excellent parking, wonderful classroom space, large break rooms, and comfortable study or socializing areas. LLI membership dues are $29 each term, you may take one or both of the classes that are listed below. For more information or to register visit our website www.aum/coned or call Brittany at 244-3804.

Let’s join today!

LLI at AUM 2011 Winter Term, January 9- February 16, Mondays (Tentative Dates) How to Navigate Your Retirement In These Turbulent Times The financial landscape for retirees has changed dramatically in the last few years. There’s a new reality that must account for slower economic growth and increased market volatility. Longer and more expensive retirement as well as changes to traditional sources of retirement income create the need for disciplined planning and new approaches for conserving wealth and maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. The first step is for retirees to become informed about risks and opportunities. This course will outline the financial planning process, identify risks, and explore strategies for effectively dealing with the risks. 8:45 a.m. -10:15 a.m.

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Great Decisions Great Decisions is a civic-education program which participants learn about U.S. foreign policy and global issues. Class members discuss multiple viewpoints in a group setting. Topics for 2011 are: 1. Rebuilding Haiti. 2. National security since 9/11. 3. The Horn of Africa. 4. Banks, governments and debt crises. 5. Germany’s ascendancy. 6. Sanctions and non-proliferation. 7. The Caucus. 8. Making sense of multilateralism. Class starts with a DVD followed by class discussion. A briefing book provides background, policy options, maps, web sites and blogs. 10:30 a.m. - Noon

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Robin Barca, Leading the Way This month’s BOOM! profile is Robin Barca. Robin serves as the COO for Baptist Health and was recently named CEO of Baptist Medical Center South. We asked Robin to share her story with BOOM! because we saw in her one of the most important contributions any Boomer can make to their community, leadership. Obviously, Robin is a leader when it comes to healthcare services in the River Region. She has led Baptist Health to implement the Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation, which is a partnership with Auburn University. The Institute is focused on improving healthcare safety by eliminating errors. Robin is also involved with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce to help develop the women in business community. They will have their fourth annual forum November 3rd. For many Boomers, our experiences inform our leadership qualities which in turn benefit our communities. Robin is an example of this leadership. She recently shared some of her journey with us and we think you’ll enjoy getting to know Robin as much as we have.

Robin Barca, holding dummy, and Baptist Health employees at school clean-up at the Jefferson Davis High School Career Academy.

BOOM!: Please give us a brief biography, i.e. what brought you to the Montgomery area, did you raise your family here, schools, married, family, etc? Why did you choose a career in healthcare? Robin: My husband, Bob, and I moved from Memphis to Montgomery in 2002 when I joined Baptist Health. Bob was an active duty Air Force officer and I followed him around the country for 20 years, which was a wonderful experience for our family. When he retired, we decided that it was his turn to follow me as I progressed in my career. When we moved here, our three sons were all in college. Since then, all married wonderful young women, and we have three beautiful grandchildren that we don’t see nearly often enough because they all live out of state. Over our 37 years of marriage, we have lived in 12 states and never for more than 4 years until coming to Montgomery where we are nearing our 10 year mark. I started in health care as a public relations coordinator for a small rural hospital in Maine. When our twin sons were born prematurely, I spent a lot of time in the neonatal intensive care unit and decided I wanted to become a nurse. When they were toddlers, I entered nursing school and my first job after graduating was working in that same neonatal unit. Within a couple of years, I was

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offered a nurse manager role, and I continued over time advancing both my education and my career. I love working in health care, and especially in a hospital. BOOM!: We did your photo shoot at The Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation, which is a partnership between Baptist Health and Auburn University. Could you please share the mission and purpose of this facility? Why was Auburn selected to partner with you? Robin: The Institute is a particular passion of mine and one that I am so proud that our organization has made such a commitment to creating. Our mission is to improve the quality of healthcare while reducing the likelihood of medical errors. As humans, none of us are perfect – we all can and do make errors. At home, it can be a mathematical error in balancing our checkbook, or forgetting to send our child to school with lunch money. But in the health care world, lives are potentially at stake if an error is made so we have to be aggressive about finding ways to reduce the chance for errors to occur. We have found that the root of many errors point to ineffective communication between team members and a reduction in situational awareness that can increase while working in a stressful environment. Lack of standardized work processes can lead to errors as well. We have learned from the aviation industry

that we can mitigate errors through intensive training for teams that improves their ability to work together and communicate effectively, whether in critical situations or every day events. In our partnership with Auburn University’s aviation program, which has now expanded to include a third partner, Raytheon Professional Services, we have created a very unique training called SMART. We utilize high-fidelity, realistic human simulators and use real-life scenarios for maximum learning. Since we opened the Institute, we have seen significant improvement in communication and in reduction in errors. We train our staff and physicians, as well as community first responders, nursing students, military personnel, and many other community providers in our facility. We have visitors from all over the country, and a few internationally, that come to visit our Institute to learn from what we are doing. BOOM!: What is it about living in the Montgomery/River Region area that you like? Robin: Since we have lived in so many places over the years, we consider ourselves “experts” at what makes a city a great place to live. Montgomery has many of the benefits of city life – shopping, restaurants, cultural activities, excellent health care – but it still has a small town feel and we don’t have the traffic! Folks are so friendly here, and it is easy to get to know people and to become

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

involved in the community. We have a great climate and we are centrally located for traveling by car or by air. I love flying out of our airport – easy to park, no lines, easy to board and come home. And I cannot believe the progress in economic development we have made as a city since we arrived in 2002. We love it here!

back to just Bob and I in a much more quiet existence! And thank goodness for Facetime to keep us in touch with our grandkids!

BOOM!: With your busy schedule, do you get to travel much? Favorite vacation spot? Any travel dreams for the future?

BOOM!: What are you most passionate about?

Robin: Normally vacations are taken in shorter spurts – a week at a time. But I was really fortunate this year to take 2 ½ Robin: Personally weeks to visit Italy, Greece, and BOOM!: As the senior vice president and and professionally, Turkey. I really want to go back chief operating officer for Baptist Health and I have always had to Italy and spend more time CEO of Baptist Medical Center South, you a deep desire to in the future. We like so many have a unique perspective on something all serve others and parts of, and have traveled exBaby Boomers are dealing with, healthcare, to make the world tensively throughout, our own for themselves or as caregivers. What are a better place – country, but also have enjoyed Robin’s Sons some of the challenges or opportunities the whatever portion Mexico and the Caribbean. We growing Boomer community of the River of that world I can impact at any given time. I lived in Hawaii for four years and that was like Region represent to your local Baptist Medithink that is why I was drawn to nursing and a permanent vacation. It has always been a cal Centers? love working in a hospital – we can make such dream of mine to visit each continent. I’m a a difference in the lives of others each and little behind on that goal! Robin: Our region is faced with a rapidly every day. For now, my primary passion is aging population, which means a growing giving my energy and commitment to insurBOOM!: You are very involved with the need for health care services. ing that the care that we Women in Business Forum at the MontgomUnfortunately, we also have provide to those we serve ery Area Chamber of Commerce. Would you the notorious claim of beat Baptist Health is the share why you’re involved with this group and ing one of the most obese very best that it can be. As the value you get from participating? markets nationwide. In fact, a child, I was so fortunate in 2010, Montgomery was to be encouraged to strive Robin: What a pleasure and an honor it has named the most obese city to always do my best in been to serve with this group of accomin the U.S. That’s a significant whatever I choose to do plished women! We get so focused in the day health care problem, and one and that I could achieve to day realities of our careers and our families Baptist Health takes seriously. whatever I put my mind that it is pretty uncommon for women at the Robin’s Daughter-In-Laws As a healthcare leader, we realize that it is to doing. I was raised in a way that demonsenior level of leadership across industries our responsibility to develop initiatives to strated that love and compassion for others to have an opportunity to come together to better educate our community and to expand are essential parts of who we should be. At network, discuss issues and challenges in our and provide resources and services to meet my core, I see a wrong, and I want to make community, and to reach out to younger proneeds. Even in our advertising, we’re workit right. That may be idealistic, but I always fessional women to mentor and offer opporing hard to encourage a message of living a believe I can do better and help others to do tunities for networking that we didn’t have healthier lifestyle—not just for ourselves as better as well. when we began our careers. We are holding Boomers, but for the generations that follow our fourth Annual Gathering on November behind us. BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind 3rd for 300 professional business women down from a hard day’s work at Baptist across our city – it’s a wonderful event. This BOOM!: Many of us in the Boomer age look Health? year will be the second year that we will forward to the time when the kids are finally present the Athena Award to a very special out of the house, on their own, or off to colRobin: In health care, we don’t get much woman who has served as a role model both lege. What kind of experience has that been down time – we are a as a professional in her for you? 24/7 business and our career field and at the comdays are quite long in munity level. One thing is Robin: I didn’t experience “empty nest” when leadership roles. I try to certain - you get a group of the kids went off to college like so many do. I take an hour of quiet time successful women together, was so excited for them and wanted them to each night after getting and I guarantee you that enjoy that time of self-discovery and plotting home to relax and again things will happen! the course for their future. However, it really very early each morning. seemed to hit me when our last son married The weekends we get to BOOM!: If you weren’t in Robin’s Grandchildren – somehow at that point I realized that my go to the lake are the best the medical field what kind role in the family had changed in a significant time for me to really wind down. It is like a of work would you be doing? way. But the new phase of having adult sons, mini vacation to relax on the deck and watch daughters-in-law and grandkids is wonderthe sunset. It gives me time to reflect on the Robin: I often jokingly say I would be a singer/ ful as well. The one time each year we all week behind me, clear my head, and then song writer/rock star but my family knows get together is at Christmas time at our lake prepare mentally for the week ahead. I find I can’t carry a tune at all – I’m the one that house. I love the noise and excitement for a as I have gotten older that I both need and mouths the words at church, but belts out couple of weeks but then it is also nice to get value that quiet reflective time much more. the songs when I am alone in the car with the

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music cranked up. So, since that career choice would never be possible, I would have to say that I think I would be a teacher. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to teach when you are in a leadership role as well. BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention?

Virgin Health Miles incentive program recently for our employees. 68% of our staff participates and since April, they have walked 965 million steps – that’s equivalent of walking around the world 14 times!

Robin Barca and Auburn University President Jay Gogue signing the agreement between the Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation and Auburn University.

Robin: I love to read – fiction and non-fiction – and I think one of the greatest inventions in the last 20 years is the Kindle. I cannot imagine not having mine. I love sports – especially college football and basketball (we are Tennessee and Vanderbilt fans), pro baseball (we are San Francisco Giants fans). We spend time at our lake house as often as we can and enjoy boating. I occasionally like to do floral arrangements, and I have enjoyed decorating the many homes we have had over the years. But best of all is any time I get spend with our grandkids. BOOM!: The healthcare industry seems to have more negative press coverage than positive sometimes. How do you cope with this negative press? What’s the greatest benefit of working in the healthcare industry?

Robin: All of us as consumers know that our health care industry is significantly challenged at both the national and local levels. The ability to pay for the quality we expect over the long term, to recruit the number of young folks into health care professions to meet future needs, to meet the ever-increasing regulatory demands, and to manage the growing numbers of the uninsured in our country will continue to be a focus in the media as it is for us each day and in health systems like us throughout our nation. Certainly, it can be hard to personally deal with negativity when we face it – I take my role very seriously as I know our staff and physicians do. However, our organizational philosophy is that we don’t spend time wallowing in and complaining about the challenges or difficulties we face – we look for where we have opportunities to improve and we meet the challenges with energy and commitment. At the end of the day, we are here to take care of the health care needs of those we serve and that is, and always will be, our primary focus. The greatest benefit of working in health care are the people – our staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and visitors. The lives we are able to touch. We see every stage of life, from birth to death. Life is delicate, but I see such incredible strength and resilience in those around me and those we serve. It is both humbling and inspiring for me. Each day presents new challenges and new reasons to celebrate and to feel blessed.

BOOM!: The Baptist Health Mission Statement refers to the love of God through Jesus Christ… What role does faith have in your health care services?

Robin: Personally, I made a conscious decision to work in faith-based organizations throughout much of my career. I think that it is important in providing health care and encouraging the healing process that we must care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit. Along with providing “the love of God through Jesus Christ,” Baptist Health’s mission statement relates that we are called to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the people we serve. Health care is an extraordinarily difficult service to deliver—arguably the most of any industry. But it’s also a calling, and one that can’t be denied by many who choose healthcare as a career. Regardless of the individual role of our 3,600+ employee base, each is charged with reflecting the love of Christ to all we come into contact with, whether providing direct patient care at the bedside, assisting a visitor in the hallway or praying with a coworker over a personal struggle. Our calling helps us meet the needs of others, but our faith keeps us coming back every day. It’s truly a mission field within a hospital setting, and, to me, there’s nothing more rewarding than working to help others heal.

If you have any questions for Robin you can contact the Baptist Health public relations department at 334.273.4389. We want to thank Robin and Melody Kitchens for helping us put together this month’s BOOM! Cover Profile. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please send them to

BOOM!: The typical health care consumer is a woman, for herself or her family. What can the healthcare community do to encourage more men to engage in healthcare choices, wellness and prevention? Robin: You are absolutely correct – women still drive the health care choices for themselves and their family. But even women sometimes will put their family’s needs first and put off the decisions for themselves as they are challenged with increasingly busy lives. We all know that many of the health issues we face as Americans can be improved with lifestyle changes. Hard as it is, more often than not, a good part of maintaining our health, and even effectively managing chronic illnesses that we face, comes down to the choices we make as individuals. We encourage everyone to be their own healthcare advocate. Baptist Health offers a variety of educational classes that can support an individual’s quest for better health. And we are focusing on encouraging our staff to live healthier lifestyles too. We began the

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Experience the warmth, hope, laughter, and love that Christmas cards bring, brought to life through stage and song. Features over 200 voice choir, full orchestra, soloists and ensembles in musical styles ranging from traditional, to big band, to contemporary. The program is free, and childcare is available for ages infant to three.

FRAZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH • • 6000 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery 15

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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Romantic Africa Great tips on an adventurous honeymoon By Robyn Klugman You will see lots of animals on safari at Singita Boulders in the Sabi Sands private game reserve of Kruger National Park.

When Robyn Werbin and Dr. Jeffrey Klugman got married this year, they wanted an adventure for their honeymoon. Robyn gives us a peek at three fabulous hotels where the newlyweds enjoyed starting their new life together and discovered that you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for adventure. She also includes tips on planning your own honeymoon safari.

Capetown: Table Bay Hotel

In this vibrant and luxurious city there’s a magnificent hotel named Table Bay that offers lavish rooms and an ideal location coupled with outstanding water views. Shops and restaurants abound at the waterfront and as an added bonus, Table Bay connects through the lobby to an upscale shopping mall. For those inclined, there’s also a Ferris wheel located right outside the hotel. Highlights at Table Bay include a delicious high tea and a sensational spa, where one shouldn’t miss the South African ritual treatments. For honeymooners, the couples’ room is a sublime way to wind down

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after a day of touring the city. Sightseeing opportunities include a not-to-be-missed day trip to the Cape of Good Hope (the Southwest-most point on the continent of Africa), an area of unbounded beauty. And for wine lovers, there’s Stellenboch, the Napa Valley of South Africa. On your day tours expect to see animals well before you are on safari at the Cape; the African penguins along with the ostrich create some amazing photo ops. Wines from Stellenboch are delicious and a perfect way to start your stay; you’ll want to order a bottle every evening at dinner. See more at www.

days but the memories will last for years; it could not have been more exciting. As this was my first safari experience I didn’t know what to expect and was quite astonished to see all of the “Big Five” in just one drive. Our amazing driver/guide Bret, and Jabulani, our tracker par excellence, escorted us through six different game drives; each one more exciting than the previous. The area we visited is known for leopard viewing and I saw a leopard and her two cubs on two different drives. Watching these cubs play while their mom embarked on a kill really allowed us to see the circle of life, a rare and amazing opportunity in the wild.

Kruger National Park Private Game Reserve: Sabi Sands, Singita Boulders

Lavish Singita is not only about the viewing; it offers numerous other activitiesand a serene spa on site. Every room is a home that comes complete with a living room, fireplace, king-size bed, bathroom, tub, indoor and outdoor showers and a private plunge pool for you to enjoy. Extra special touches are non-stop at Singita; from heating your bed while you are at dinner to filling your room with rose petals and candles. They’re services fit for a queen. Upon arrival each

One of life’s rare experiences happens at Singita Boulders in the Sabi Sands private game reserve of Kruger National Park. I could devote the entire article to this incredibly luxurious resort and to the astounding game viewing I was privileged to enjoy. My stay at Singita was a mere three

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls

couple is assigned a butler. Ours was named Moses, who quickly became a legend as he never forgot our favorite drink or dessert, even when we forgot to order it! Time flies at Singita; no matter how long you plan to stay, it won’t be long enough. For those who love luxury and adventure, Singita is my choice as the place to return to over and over again.

Travelgirl Tip: Singita has a private airstrip with flights directly from Johannesburg. Another option, fly to Kruger Mepumalanga International Airport and take a taxi or transfer. It’s about a 2-hour drive. See more at

Zambia, Victoria Falls: The Royal Livingstone Hotel

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is set amidst some truly beautiful grounds. Located on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls and set on the Zambezi River, you’re close enough to the Falls to see their mist. Luxury abounds at the Royal Livingstone with personal butlers for every room and a concierge available to take care of your every whim. Order your favorite libation on the deck by the river and enjoy the beautiful sunset,

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

instead. For the perfect evening, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi lets you enjoy a beautiful African sunset, while catching views of hippos and other animals along the way. To book this trip or other adventurous and luxurious trips to Africa, call the African Safari experts at Great Safaris: 1-800-409-7755 or Great Safaris can make an Africa lover out of anyone. Stay tuned for my next adventure _ maybe East Africa and Tanzania?

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Planning a honeymoon safari 411 or get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a rainbow through the mist. See more at The view from afar is beautiful, but be sure to get up close by taking a walking tour of Victoria Falls. They’re a must see. After all, they’re one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Travelgirl tip: Guided tours may provide a raincoat (or you may want to bring your own)! Even with it on, you’re going to get drenched, but the experience is worth the soaking as one gazes at the priceless view of these incredibly massive Falls. If you’d rather stay dry, take a helicopter tour

1. The key to a great safari is booking with a reputable company. Great Safaris was my choice and they did not miss a detail _ everything was perfect! 2. Go to a private game reserve where they can off road, allowing you a much better chance to observe wildlife. My choice was Singita Sabi Sand private game reserve in Kruger National Park. 3. Take a good camera with you. We had a Nikon with different lenses so we could catch the animals right next to our car and the ones further away. Don’t forget extra batteries! 4. Bring lots of cash. You will want to tip your tracker, ranger, butler (if you have one), front desk staff and concierge. U.S. dollars are fine. 5. My biggest tip for what to take with you? It’s the same thing you need for every honeymoon. The right man of course!

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November 2011



The Best Gifts for Grandbabies...

Follow Me Fred ($18-25) This friendly musical puppy will get babies crawling as they try to follow him. (Don’t worry; he doesn’t go so fast!)

Gentle Giraffe ($25) A cuddly nighttime pal who plays soothing songs to help babies nod off to sleep, this giraffe is made of hypoallergenic, eco-friendly bamboo fabric.

Felix Fire Truck ($28-32) A soft truck perfect for little hands, with a retractable hose, blinking lights, and clicking wheels to keep them interested.

Sleep Sheep ($19-24) There’s a sound box tucked inside this sleepy sheep that helps it soothe little ones with ocean surf sounds, whale songs, and more.

Fill & Spill Purse ($17-20) Comes complete with a key ring teether, a plush beeping cell phone, a mirror, and more for the mini working girl.

I Can Cook ($16-20) Inside the shiny silver pot are all the ingredients to make a meal just like mom and dad do, except some of these squeak, and no one gets upset when they get spilled on the floor. Skip Hop Dunck ($10-15). A new twist on the rubber ducky, these brightly colored ducks can stack on top of each other in the tub, fill with water or just float around.

Chomp and Clack ($39-45). A sturdy wooden push toy with a trio of alligators clacking and chomping with every step. Irresistible.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Why Aren’t You Pursuing Your Dreams? Senior Pro Golfer Reveals It’s Not About the Destination – It’s About the Journey When Keith Gockenbach went on his quest to join the Champions Golf Tour, he knew it would teach him about golf. What he didn’t know is that it would teach him more about life. “Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a pro golfer,” said Gockenbach, who retired from a successful career as a chemical engineer to take his shot at joining the senior tour. “When I finally got to a point in my life when I could take my shot, I did. What I didn’t realize is that I learned a lot more about living life than I did about golf.” Gockenbach chronicled his life lessons, with a side order of war stories from competing in tournament qualifiers, Senior Majors, and Q-Schools, in his book Inside, Outside and On The Ropes ( In it, he ends each chapter with a lesson about life, a lesson about golf, or a combination of the two. His tips on how to play life “from the pro tees” include: • If you don’t enter, you can’t win – I know this sounds simple, but it’s easy to be stopped by the daunting odds that face a pro every week, trying to get on the Champions Tour. For instance, after recovering from shoulder surgery in the spring, I passed on entering three qualifiers where I could have qualified with a low round, as I later did at Sarasota. But when I didn’t enter, I eliminated that opportunity. You can apply the same logic at work. Make the extra sales call at that plant you’ve driven by a dozen times. It’s the one the previous salesman said, “Don’t bother with them; they’ve never ordered a thing.” You might just show up on the day their current supplier stumbles, or the day the purchasing agent gets a memo about a new product that uses your raw material. It can’t be your day if you don’t show up. • The greatest regrets in life are for things you didn’t do, not the things you did and did poorly – I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, but in my experience, people regret stopping after only a few piano lesThe River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

sons a lot more than spending two years on the lessons and never becoming very good. I know it’s true for me. I quit piano lessons at age 13 after only three visits to the local teacher. I quit so early I can’t even remember her name. And I’ve regretted it every time I see someone who can play the piano competently. “No one ever lies on their deathbed and wishes they’d spent more time at the office” is true for a reason. It’s the dreams we didn’t chase that we regret, not the ones we chased and never caught. I know I’ve certainly had more people come up to me and say, “I admire you for chasing your dream,” than I’ve had say or even imply, “You’re crazy to try.” • Every stroke counts – I know from playing in the qualifiers that one shot here or there can make the difference between qualifying and going home empty. A round of golf takes four-and-a-half hours on a good day. A good attitude and focus for each and every shot takes less than a minute each. Each of those (hopefully less than 70!) events is equally important. Life works the same way. When you’re driving a car, focus on your safe driving. Getting

angry at the driver who cuts you off only makes it less likely that you’ll get there safely. You won’t change his behavior. You’ll just open yourself up for a ticket or an accident. Take the extra two seconds to learn the secretary’s name and sincerely thank her when she gets you that appointment with her boss. Give her your full attention, even if your total interaction is less than a minute long. An off-handed remark from her can score a birdie with her boss. Every interaction in life deserves a positive approach and relaxed focus. It’s a good habit to develop. About Keith Gockenbach Keith Gockenbach grew up playing golf in Robinson, IL and caddying for Bob Goalby and other pros in the PGA Tour’s Robinson Open. He was the top Chemical Engineering graduate in Clemson’s class of 1977 before joining Eastman Chemical Company. After a successful career in the chemical industry, including a Sloan Fellowship to MIT, where he obtained his MBA with a focus on leadership (Thesis: “Taking Charge as a General Manager, An Action Plan for Success), he “retired” in 2004 to chase his dream.

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November 2011



Healthy Hearing

by Dr. Bettie Borton Au.D.

It Doesn’t Really Matter If I Wear My Hearing Aids, RIGHT? WRONG! According to ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2011), mild hearing loss has now been linked to brain atrophy in older adults. Anecdotally, over the course of my 30+ years in private Dr. Bettie Borton Au. D. practice as a Board Certified Audiologist, I’ve observed this to be true. But now, more and more research is indicating strong correlation between failure to obtain or use hearing devices and increased problems with understanding speech and cognition. We have all heard (or perhaps experienced) the complaint that despite the fact that speech is audible, it’s not understandable. “I hear but I can’t understand” is probably the most commonly voiced concern in my office. So, if someone has hearing loss, if your hearing aids make sounds louder, why doesn’t that solve all hearing related issues? Well, like lots of things in life, it’s just not that simple.

A person’s audiogram (or those little blue X’s and red O’s on the graph of your responses to the “beeps”) tells us a lot, but it does not yield the whole story. Hearing thresholds (or the point at which someone is just barely able to detect sound across the frequency range) are certainly important, but don’t give much information regarding how well someone will understand when speech sounds are made sufficiently loud. Word recognition testing, with and without noise, provides additional information regarding this capability, and as a by-product, an indirect measure of the distortional component inherent to sensorineural hearing loss. We now have mounting evidence that those who have hearing loss, but fail to get and/or use hearing devices run the risk of depriving their auditory system of sufficient loudness, which in turn results in

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degradation of the mechanisms responsible for understanding speech. A new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows that declines in hearing ability may accelerate gray mater atrophy in auditory areas of the brain and increase the listening effort necessary for older adults to successfully comprehend speech. When any one of our senses (smell, taste, sight, hearing, or touch) is changed in some way, the brain reorganizes and adjusts. In the case of those with hearing loss, researchers found that the gray matter density of brain in areas specific to hearing was lower in people with decreased hearing ability, suggesting a link between hearing ability and brain volume.

So, use it or lose it may be the prevailing philosophy. Take heart (and USE those instruments that you have!) According to this study, early intervention for hearing loss with the consistent use of amplification can slow the progression of speech comprehension difficulty. “As hearing ability declines with age, interventions such as hearing aids should be considered not only to improve hearing but to preserve the brain,” said lead author Jonathan Peelle, PhD, research associate in the Department of Neurology. “People hear differently, and those with even moderate hearing loss may have to work harder to understand complex sentences.” In two recent research studies, researchers measured the relationship of hearing acuity to the brain, first measuring the brain’s response to increasingly complex sentences and then measuring cortical brain volume in auditory cortex. Results indicate that older adults (60-77 years of age) with normal hearing for their age were evaluated to determine whether normal variations in hearing ability impacted the structure or function of the network of areas in the brain supporting speech comprehension.

hearing loss showed less brain activity on functional MRI scans when listening to complex sentences. Poorer hearers also had less gray matter in the auditory cortex, suggesting that areas of the brain related to auditory processing may show accelerated atrophy when hearing ability declines.

In general, research suggests that hearing sensitivity has important consequences for neural processes supporting both speech perception and cognition. Although most the research has been conducted in older adults, the findings also have implications for younger adults, including those concerned about listening to music at loud volumes. “Your hearing ability directly affects how the brain processes sounds, including speech,” says Dr. Peelle. “Preserving your hearing doesn’t only protect your ears, but also helps your brain perform at its best.”

Physicians should monitor hearing in patients as they age, and everyone should have a baseline audiogram performed by a Board Certified Audiologist, looking specifically at speech recognition abilities even in the presence of normal hearing. Patients should talk to their physician or audiologist if they are experiencing any difficulty hearing or understanding speech. If your physician has not referred you for hearing evaluation, take action! The research cited above in this article appears in the latest edition of The Journal of Neuroscience and was funded by the National Institutes of Health. To learn more, visit or call for an evaluation at (334) 396-1635. Dr. Bettie B. Borton is a licensed audiologist in Alabama, was the first board certified audiologist in Montgomery, and recently served as National Chair of the American Board of Audiology. She and her husband, Dr. Tom Borton, are the only audiologists with ABA certification in the Montgomery area.

The studies found that people with

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BC-50P-WORKOUT-HEALTHTIPS:MCT _ lifestyle, sports (700 words) 10 ways to stay young (NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR MCT NEWS SERVICE SUBSCRIPTION. To subscribe to 50-Plus, see purchase information below.) By Wina Sturgeon Adventure Sports Weekly ( (MCT) Why are some people youthful long after middle age? Why are some 50-year-olds able to hang out as equals, physically and mentally, with people who are in their 20’s and 30’s? It isn’t a matter of age denial; it’s a technique of age prevention. Learning the basics of keeping age away comes down to some simple tips, according to Jim Walker, the Sports Science Director at the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), in Murray, Utah. “You can’t stop aging, but you can slow it down,” said Walker, who has a Ph.D. in physiology. The internationally known scientist has a list of important tips that will help you stay more youthful. Here are his top 10: 1. As we age, we lose muscle mass. This also causes a loss in cardiac function, so your aerobic capacity goes down as well. A routine of physical activity, especially something that increases the heart rate and works up a sweat, will help slow down the loss of muscle mass. 2. A posture change is a common symptom of age; the torso bends forward. Because we spend so much time sitting, muscles that support the upper body weaken, so we sag forward at the hips. Instead, concentrate on walking with your pelvis out and shoulders back; that will make you look and feel younger. 3. Restore range of motion. If you have to stand on tiptoe to reach something in a cupboard that used to be easier to grab, work on stretching upward to restore your ability to reach into that cupboard. 4. Keep a sense of humor. Many boomers stop laughing as they age. Continue to see the funny side of life,

to enjoy a good joke or a comedy. Don’t let the years make you too serious. 5. Stay away from fast food. Do your own cooking and enjoy the taste of home cooked food. Sit down and eat your meals rather than gulping them down so you’re not just putting calories in your body. If you don’t have regular relaxed and nutritious meals, your hormonal system never gets to stabilize, so digestion becomes less than optimal. 6. Falls are one of the biggest causes of disability as we get older. Often, it’s because our balance has deteriorated. While physical activity helps maintain balance, you also can do regular balancespecific exercises, like standing on one leg, then the other; or closing your eyes and turning in a circle, trying to stop at the exact place you started. 7. Keep socializing. Being around people not only keeps your social skills sharp, it makes you better at communicating with others. Spending too much time alone, reading or watching TV, can become a habit that leads to isolation; which makes us grow older faster. 8. Stretch often. A lot of boomers don’t stretch, but it’s important for warding off a lot of issues, including muscle atrophy. Put together a 10-minute stretch routine and do it every evening before going to bed. 9. Learn something new every few months. Sign up for a community college course or research a new subject. This forces your brain to make new pathways, maintaining or even increasing your mental sharpness. 10. Don’t buy into the myth that getting older makes you useless. That belief leads to depression. Do things that make others see that age is not a barrier to competence. Run for local office. Volunteer to help out at cultural or sporting events. Be visible, so that everyone knows you’re a valuable member of your community. ___ Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer, based in Salt Lake City, who mountain bikes, skates on both ice blades and wheels, lifts weights and runs to stay in shape. ___ (c) 2011, Adventure Sports Weekly (ad- Distributed by MCT Information Services


Art & Soul

By Sandi Aplin



The Montgomery Art Gallery Association (MAGA) is preparing for the 1st Annual Holiday Open House. There are eleven member galleries; however, at this writing, only seven will be participating. In alphabetical order, they are as follows:

Corporate Art Source Gallery & Frames 2960-F Zelda Place 36106 (334)271-3772 Monday -Friday 10am-5pm Contact: Jean Belt and Kevin Belt CAS Gallery/Corporate Art Source will feature small unique artworks for gift giving.

Gallery East 8103 Vaughn Road 36116 (334)356-3900 We are now in our new location in the Peppertree Shopping Center and will be featuring various artists.

Gallery One Fine Art 423 Cloverdale Road 36106 (334)269-1114 Monday - Friday 10am-4pm Saturday 10am-1pm or by appt. Contact: Sandi Aplin, Director Gallery One is featuring the following three artists: “At Home & Abroad: Peak Tomato Season at the Curb Market” by Nancy Hartsfield Artist Statement: In my travels through France, Italy and Croatia, even in my visits to the Montgomery Curb Market, certain scenes catch my eye and I am gripped by the pure joy of the moment. I try to capture this through composition, light, color and brushwork. I enjoy building the images

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through layering of color and texture with special concern for surface aesthetic. “Turandot” by John Wagnon Artist Statement: Only a giclee’ printer makes my original intent visible. I use it to get a unique “look” that is unobtainable in any other way. Giclee’ is just another artist’s medium like silk screen or an etching press. “Cheap House Paint” by Bob Ekelund Artist Statement: “Cheap House Paint” is twofold: a deep love of New Orleans and a similar passion for style of the great American artist Edward Hopper. These inspirations lead to periodic trips to the French Quarter where ramshackled buildings, in this case one with a badly painted pink and teal “patch up” were the source of my initial drawing.

Featuring their New York Show Preview-A group show of self-taught astists including Jimmie Lee Sudduth, Michael Banks & Woodie Long. Introducing new artists-Theresa Disney, Spencer Herr & Bruce New. Visitors will see works of art to be presented in January at the 2012 Outsider Art Fair, our 16th show in New York. 1038 E. Fairview Avenue 36106 (334)356-4545 Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm Saturday 11am-3pm Contact: Mandy Bagwell,

“Our members greatly appreciate the efforts of all the galleries throughout the River Region, they make it possible for our artists to earn a living.” Thornton Clark, President of the Montgomery Art Guild,

M. Bagwell Gallery

Marcia Weber Art Objects 1050 Woodley Road 36106 (334)262-5349 Contact: Marcia Weber

Sac’s Gallery 529 S. Perry Street 36104 (334)265-9931 Tuesday-Friday 12 pm-5pm Contact: Kathie McLeod Featuring “Urban Renewal, Flower Power and other Photographic Adventures” by Kay Alkire Brummal, Photographer.

Stonehenge Gallery 1041 E. Fairview Avenue 36106 Monday-Friday 11am-5pm (334)262-8256 Contact: Sandra Hicks The gallery features original art work by a variety of regional artists and selected national as well as international artists.

Sandi Aplin, Director of Gallery One, A freelance writer living in Montgomery, Alabama. Share your comments at jim@

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

A Christian Perspective

Sherry DeBray

A Thankful Heart

The month of November is known for a day of thanksgiving. We know the story, taught to us by our teachers from grade school. The day was set aside, by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, as a national day of thanksgiving. The First Thanksgiving, as Americans refer to it, was the gathering of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who taught them how to survive the brutal winter to come. These families, the first to come to America, gathered their harvest, even though it was small, boarded up their homes for the winter and gave thanks. Life was hard and without the comforts they once must have known, yet, they still were thankful.

The first modern Thanksgiving was traced back to 1621, where at Plymouth Plantation, the settlers had a plentiful harvest that year. The First Thanksgivings were of a religious nature for the purpose of showing gratefulness to God. It was a time where family gathered to give praise and worship for their bounty. It didn’t matter if the harvest was large or small; Thanksgiving was still celebrated, although not always on the same day. Many days of thanksgiving were observed. In 1623 the harvest was plentiful after a fourteen-day rain. The harvest before this had been meager due to a drought. It is worth noting that on Wednesday, July 30, 1623, it was calculated that this day of thanksgiving was one day prior to the ship’s arriving, bringing more colonists, before the harvest. What does this tell us about our forefathers? What does it point out to us today during a time of economic strains?

Faithful Hearts Researching the facts for this column, I was touched by the hearts of those that came before us. These pioneers gave thanks before they harvested the fields. With more mouths to feed, arriving the next day and without certainty of how much the harvest would yield, they still celebrated. I fear that today, we would The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

not find ourselves in a celebrating mood. I fear we would be consumed with worry.

Oh, to have hearts of faith and thanksgiving. We understand, from history, that they suffered during their own economic difficulties. I’ve wondered, how did they survive the harsh circumstances? Could it be, as they were walking though a hellish winter, they sang songs of worship and praise, giving thanks for what they had and not complaining of what they didn’t have?

As I write, how thankful I am for a people of thanksgiving, for our ancestors who didn’t give up. Maybe instead of worrying about where the next meal will come from, how much of a hit in the stock market we experienced or how much our homes have lost in value, we should stop and do as the first Americas did; give thanks before the drought is over. We find ourselves in a drought, not from lack of rain, but of an economic downfall. We’re led to believe that the world sees us as weak, whining spoiled Americans. I wonder-are we? Or, are we a nation in need of a revival?…a revival of Thanksgiving? In a time when Thanksgiving is almost forgotten, replaced by our urgency to celebrate another majestic holiday, Christmas, let’s stop on this holiday and emulate the first Americans. They were noted for celebrating and giving thanks on a multitude of days. What once was a celebration of worship

to God for the bounty He gave, became a holiday set aside by our government that then, too, recognized from where our blessings came.

Lost in Translation Something has gotten lost in translation over the years. So, what’s lacking in the hearts of people today? What have we filled our hearts with instead of what forefathers possessed? They possessed so much of this quality, that one day wasn‘t enough. Not only did they have a heart of gratefulness, but they showed it by praising God.

I think it’s also worth noting here, that when President Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of the month as Thanksgiving Day, it was during the turmoil of Civil War. Thankful hearts are not present only when times are plentiful or peaceful. Having a thankful heart says I believe in the harvest yet to come. I believe in a Heavenly Father who always provides for His children. (Read Matthew 7:25-34) Sherry DeBray Author of Desperate Christian Women and owner of It’Za Gift & Interiors

Sherry DeBray, Author/Speaker Owner of It’Za Gift & Interiors in the Pepper Tree Shopping Center

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November 2011



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November 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Why are some people youthful long after middle age? Why are some 50-year-olds able to hang out as equals, physically and mentally, with people who are in their 20's and 30's? It isn't a matter of age denial; it's a technique of age prevention. Learning the basics of keeping age away comes down to some simple tips, according to Jim Walker, the Sports Science Director at the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), in Murray, Utah. "You can't stop aging, but you can slow it down," said Walker, who has a Ph.D. in physiology.

10 ways to stay young By Wina Sturgeon

Instead, concentrate on walking with your pelvis out and shoulders back; that will make you look and feel younger. 3. Restore range of motion. If you have to stand on tiptoe to reach something in a cupboard that used to be easier to grab, work on stretching upward to restore your ability to reach into that cupboard.

The internationally known scientist has a list of important tips that will help you stay more youthful. Here are his top 10:

4. Keep a sense of humor. Many boomers stop laughing as they age. Continue to see the funny side of life, to enjoy a good joke or a comedy. Don't let the years make you too serious.

1. As we age, we lose muscle mass. This also causes a loss in cardiac function, so your aerobic capacity goes down as well. A routine of physical activity, especially something that increases the heart rate and works up a sweat, will help slow down the loss of muscle mass.

5. Stay away from fast food. Do your own cooking and enjoy the taste of home cooked food. Sit down and eat your meals rather than gulping them down so you're not just putting calories in your body. If you don't have regular relaxed and nutritious meals, your hormonal system never gets to stabilize, so digestion becomes less than optimal.

2. A posture change is a common symptom of age; the torso bends forward. Because we spend so much time sitting, muscles that support the upper body weaken, so we sag forward at the hips.

6. Falls are one of the biggest causes of disability as we get older. Often, it's because our balance has deteriorated. While physical activity helps maintain

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

balance, you also can do regular balance-specific exercises, like standing on one leg, then the other; or closing your eyes and turning in a circle, trying to stop at the exact place you started. 7. Keep socializing. Being around people not only keeps your social skills sharp, it makes you better at communicating with others. Spending too much time alone, reading or watching TV, can become a habit that leads to isolation; which makes us grow older faster. 8. Stretch often. A lot of boomers don't stretch, but it's important for warding off a lot of issues, including muscle atrophy. Put together a 10-minute stretch routine and do it every evening before going to bed. 9. Learn something new every few months. Sign up for a community college course or research a new subject. This forces your brain to make new pathways, maintaining or even increasing your mental sharpness. 10. Don't buy into the myth that getting older makes you useless. That belief leads to depression. Do things that make others see that age is not a barrier to competence. Run for local office. Volunteer to help out at cultural or sporting events. Be visible, so that everyone knows you're a valuable member of your community. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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

November 2011



November 2011

{12+ Things} for active boomers and beyond



The Troy University Rosa Parks Museum will showcase the work of renowned Montgomery artist and musician, Althea Thomas. A true Renaissance woman, Thomas is an accomplished musician and composer, visual artist, playwright, lecturer and poet. The exhibit “Paintings and Words: The Art of Althea Thomas” will showcase Thomas’ combination of visual art and literary art, with many of her paintings being accompanied by her vibrant poems. Her paintings and poetry address social issues, spirituality, historical moments, and everyday observations. She has been awarded a plaque by Alabama’s Governor Bob Riley for her distinguished contributions in the arts and her years of service as an organist at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. Call 334-241-8701 or visit

Make a unique ring, pin or pendant in this one-day workshop on Saturday, November 5 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Participants will learn to design jewelry, cut and file metal shapes, add rivets and cold connections, and apply color patina. Most supplies provided. No prior experience necessary. The cost of the class is $75 members; $95 non-members. For more information please call 334.240.4365.

Paintings and Words: The Art of Althea Thomas Through November 28 Troy University Rosa Parks Museum


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Mid-Town Concert Series November 4, 7 pm Pedro Luis Mayor, jazz pianist, and Mark Lau, jazz bassist, will give a concert on Friday, November 4th, at 7:00 PM. Mayor, who lives in Birmingham, received his Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Lau has taught at the Manhattan School of Music since 2004. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Students are $5. Unitarian Universalist, 2810 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery

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Jewelry Making A Holiday Workshop, Montgomery Museum of Fine Art November 5, 10-4 pm


Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair Pike Road Saturday, November 5, 9-4 pm Shop among more than 250 vendors of beautiful and unique arts and crafts, just in time for Christmas. And don’t miss the fried chicken or delicious sandwiches of pulled pork barbecue, homemade chicken salad or pimento cheese. Special activities for kids will make for a great day. www.


Frank Brown Songwriters Festival 27th Annual, Flora-Bama Lounge, Package & Oyster Bar Orange Beach; Nov 10–20 Music enthusiasts celebrate the art of songwriting at this yearly event. Whether you’ve already got a hit song under your belt or are an aspiring songwriter, this is the forum to let your music be heard.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN The Oak Ridge Boys Friday, November 11 at 7:30 pm Tickets: $32-$43

Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.


Charis Crafters “Home for the Holidays” Friday/Saturday November 11-12 Charis Crafters invite you to their “Home for the Holidays” Craft Show & Tasting Fair. Located at 410 South Main Street, Wetumpka (Wetumpka Civic Center). Friday, November 11, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, November 12, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tickets $5.00, One Ticket good for Both Days! Door Prizes Every Hour! 500 Recipe First Edition Cookbook $12.00, 650 Recipe Second Edition NEW Cookbook $15.00 First & Second Cookbook Set $25.00 Ticket/cookbook proceeds donated to charity. Nancy Brunson 334 567- 3598 or Patricia McCullers 334-567-5785

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Jim Brinkman Concert Embassy Suites Saturday, November 12, 8 p.m.

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Jim Brickman’s “An Evening of Romance” concert performance at the Embassy Suites. Five-time platinum-selling pianist and songwriter Jim Brickman will take fans on a musical journey playing hits like Valentine, Love of My Life, If You Believe, Never Alone and more. America’s Romantic Piano Sensation offers an evening of dazzling solo piano and vibrant vocals complemented by warmth and humor. Brickman will introduce fans to his upcoming album releases, All is Calm and Romanza. Special concert offers unique guest experience with event romance packages for hotel stay, pre-concert dinner, and post-concert meet and greet with Brickman. Event tickets start at $35. Embassy Ballroom, 300 Tallapoosa Street, Downtown Montgomery, 334-269-5055. www.


Mobile Renaissance Faire Mobile Nov 12–13 This two-day festival features swashbuckling swordsmen, falconry, storytellers, renaissance and Irish dancers, medieval musicians, renaissance theatre and of course jesters, jugglers and fire breathers. Plus you’ll see the only live jousting performance on the Gulf Coast, with knights in full armor. Food, drink and lots of renaissance crafts and wares will be available. Call 1-850-572-1407. www.yesteadyhands. com/MobileRenaissanceFaire


Fantasy in Lights November 18 - December 30, 2011 This holiday season marks the 20th anniversary of Fantasy in Lights® — named one of the top 48 events in the world by the Chicago Tribune — at Callaway Gardens, a 13,000-acre destination south of Atlanta. Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights stretching more than five miles, creating 14 larger-than-life holiday scenes. As the most spectacular holiday light and sound show in the South, Fantasy in Lights The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

at Callaway Gardens sets Pine Mountain, Ga., ablaze from November 18 through December 30, 2011. Advance ticket prices range from $16 to $22 for adults and $8 to $11 for children, with children 5 and younger always admitted for free. call 1-800-CALLAWAY or visit

Recreators. The concert will take place at Vaughn Forest Church at 8660 Vaughn Road in East Montgomery. Hear the sounds of some of the most beautiful Christmas music arrangements; White Christmas, A Christmas Festival, Ava Maria, Hallelujah Chorus and much more. The Montgomery Recreators will join in with musical arrangements like Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, I’ll be home for Christmas, The Christmas Song and much more. For more information contact Vaughn Forest Church, 334-279-5433

AUBURN or ANY TELEVISION IN ALABAMA (must see TV) Iron Bowl Friday, November 25, all day & night

The Southeast’s biggest college football rivalry pits two SEC powerhouses, Auburn University and the University of Alabama, against each other for the next year’s bragging rights.

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN A Montgomery Family Christmas MPAC Thursday, December 1, 7 pm

MONTGOMERY DOWNTOWN Mistletoe, Alabama Dance Theatre Saturday/Sunday, November 19/20 Davis Theatre

The Alabama Dance Theatre returns to the Davis Theatre stage with it’s holiday production of Mistletoe. The always popular “Favorite Dances of Christmas” will be featured with some old and new favorites! The performance will round out with “A Christmas Carol.” This Charles Dicken’s classic is a moving story centered around the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he fights to open his heart and change his greedy ways before it is too late.


The Sounds of Christmas Capitol Sounds Concert Band and Vaughn Forest Choir Vaughn Forest Church Thursday, December 1, 7 pm Everyone in the River Region is invited to attend a free Christmas concert presented by the Capitol Sounds Concert Band with Vaughn Forest Church Celebration Choir on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Appearing with the Capitol Sounds Concert Band and the Vaughn Forest Choir is the Montgomery

The Montgomery Family Christmas concert will take place Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. This year’s featured artists are Point of Grace and Phillips, Craig & Dean. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $30 for Artists Circle and groups of 10 or more are $5 off the ticket price. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster. The concert event was established in 2005 to benefit Baptist Hospice. For general information and sponsorship opportunities for this event, please contact Morrisa Tuck at (334) 273-4565.

Women of Hope offers support group meetings, the 2nd Tuesday of each month, free of charge to any breast cancer patients/survivors, caregivers, family members, friends, or anyone interested in becoming a part of this compassionate journey. WOH support group meets at Frazer United Methodist Church at 5:30 PM in room 8114. Light refreshments are served. We encourage you to bring a friend and join Women of Hope…Women Of Montgomery Embracing and Nurturing Hope Of Prevention and Eradication of breast cancer… as we pledge to give hope, promote healing and advance our community for the cause! Hope is the assurance that one day we will be able to live cancer free. For more information regarding these support group meetings, please contact Women of Hope at 334-220-4599, email, or visit Also, check us out on Facebook.

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November 2011



Meet Your Mr. or Mrs. Right at the Senior Center David Turner probably knows more about human nature than most people. That’s because he is the Program Manager for Salt Lake County’s Active Aging Program in Utah, and the manager of Salt Lake County’s 18 senior centers. Senior centers all across the country have become like social clubs, with great activities for those 55 and older. Turner sees all kinds of behavior, because he said that human nature doesn’t change much with age. As boomers get older, they are more likely to live alone. Many are lonely and want to connect with someone special for companionship or marriage. That’s where senior centers come in. Turner has paid a lot of attention to seniors who are looking. He advises those who want a significant other: “Go where they are. It’s that straightforward. The mistake is going out just for the purpose of finding someone. That comes across as a little desperate.” He has a strong and blunt opinion for senior men who want to find someone: “I think old men ought to clean up. Often men who are single and older have let go of the basics of hygiene, laundry and self care. They stop getting a haircut because they don’t have anyone to remind them of it. One of the first things to take care of is appearance, the way they present themselves. Those things should never be let down.” Women who are looking for a man have to deal with their own major issue: There are 10 times as many senior women available as there are men. “Ten to one,” says Turner, who brings up another big issue: “Many older men have health problems, and women take on the caretaker role without realizing it’s happening,” he says. He also warns that one of the biggest mistakes a senior can make is “deciding that having someone is more important than their standards; sacrificing standards to overcome loneliness.” While there are constant reminders not to give out personal information online, especially after beginning to correspond with someone a boomer has only met online, it’s just too easy for many boomers and seniors to trust a person who types convincing words. There are many international predators who specialize in preying on older people. Seniors who are lonely can become vulnerable. Federal agents are unfortunately too familiar with foreign chat room thugs who operate criminal scams, like the person who comes on strong and sends an attractive photo, but then suddenly needs emergency money for the rent or a car payment. If the victim sends even a small amount of money, the predator begins to manipulate them to send more and more, until they are drained dry. Those looking for a friend or romantic attachment should meet them first in person in a neutral environment such as clubs or groups formed for a particular activity, like a book club, a biking group or a group that meets to go to movies; senior centers and volunteer organizations. Remember, whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s friendship or romance, others are looking as well. Seek and ye shall (often) find. Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer based in Salt Lake City who mountain bikes, skates on both ice blades and wheels, lifts weights and runs to stay in shape. A version of this story formerly appeared in Media One’s Young At Heart. ___ (c) 2011, Adventure Sports Weekly ( Distributed by MCT Information Services

30 BOOM!

November 2011

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

BOOM! November 2011  
BOOM! November 2011  

The River Region's 50+ Lifestage Magazine