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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

Contents

November 2019

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Volume 10 Issue 4

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

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 7 Finding the Right Medicare Plan 10 Publisher's Column 14 November Opportunities for Members of AUM OLLI

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16 My Journey to Master Gardeners Kay Cannady 17 How to Become a Master Gardener?

Features 12 How Positive 24 More Joy, Less Language Improves Stress-10 Ways to Brain Health Simplify the Season

34 Americans Need a Hobby to captivate us between work-relaxation

46 Blairsville, Georgia Where Dreams Come TrueJeff Barganier

Departments 26 This and That Interesting Stuff

52 {12} Things For Active Boomers

18 Shall We Dance? Leigh Anne Richards 22 Dublin & Ireland's Atlantic 26 Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin

48 Greg Budell BLASTS FROM OUR PAST

27 Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade 32 When’s the Right Time to Retire? McDonald Hagen Wealth 36 THANKSGIVING Ask an Elder Law Attorney 38 BOOM! Cover Profile

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44 Soup for the Soul Eating Smart with Tracy Bhalla 45 Route 66 & Grand Canyon 50 Brew Some Beer-Central Alabama Brewer's Society

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54 Dee Wallace battling more Critters

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 2019 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

Somewhere Over the Rainbow November brings with it so many exciting ideas to fill our heads. The sports world is teeming with games you may or may not care about, championships are starting to be defined. The holidays are forcing their way into our consumer consciousness, what a shame to be distracted by “stuff” we’re supposed to buy. Rich Thomas’ Weather is the good news of the day, COOLER! I’m feeling grateful for the start of November and all that comes with it.

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

Publisher/Editor

Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com

Contributing Writers Jeff Barganier Tracy Bhalla Daniel Buck Greg Budell

Kay Cannady Kyrié Carpenter Burton Crenshaw Janeen Lewis Brandt McDonald Robert Negro Leigh Anne Richards Nick Thomas Raley L. Wiggins

Cover Photography Total Image Portraits www.totalimage.com

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Jim Watson, 334.324.3472 jim@riverregionboom.com Please Recycle This Magazine, Share with a Friend!

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I’m also grateful for this month’s cover profile, Burton Crenshaw. Burton is that special person who found what she was made for, helping those helping others. Burton is the President of Central Alabama Community Jim Watson, Publisher Foundation and has the responsibility of helping donors invest in nonprofit groups who fill specific needs in our communities. She touches many hearts along the way and is a tremendous blessing to the River Region. I enjoyed getting to know her and her new husband Clay in this month’s profile Q and A, hope you enjoy it too. We have more good reads for you to experience and they begin with a piece by our favorite travel writer, Jeff Barganier. Jeff recently spent some time in Blairsville, GA and to hear him tell it, folks are relocating there because it’s the perfect little town to go back to and settle in, especially if you’re in the 50+ category. He even has a song in mind to help tell the story, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. As you start singing in your head, turn to page 46, enjoy the journey :) Leigh Anne Richards does it again, she makes fitness fun with an old favorite, dancing! What a way to feel good and feel fit, make November your month to dance, often! Greg Budell’s gone to the closet of Greg’s Files and found some classic items all of you will relate to and some of you will still have around the attic. His take on the old is pure Greg, you won’t want to miss his column, very shareable too. How many of you have a hobby? Didn’t we all grow up with some kind of hobby? Well this month we share a story called Americans Need A Hobby, and the more I think about it, I do. We all do because it helps us separate ourselves, mindlessly from the 24/7 world of always being turned on. Get a hobby, please. (We also have an article on Home Brewing on page 50, that’s a hobby worth considering) There’s plenty more to read or scan this month, our advertisers are a valuable part of the 50+ community, they know your needs and want to help you with solutions to improve your quality of life. Reach out to them and mention the BOOM!, I appreciate it. Finally, you will see a few pages advertising upcoming group tours to Italy, Ireland and the Western US. We are partnering with Meridian Guided Travel to offer you these tours through BOOM!, 50+ Lifestage Travel Club. They are good value tours that include air travel and other amenities worth your consideration if you’re thinking about some bucket list travel trips or just want to get away to create that special experience. Either way, please consider what we have to offer for your next adventure. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving and remember to dance a lot in November!

Jim jim@riverregionboom.com 334.324.3472 cell/text

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By Kyrié Carpenter

How Positive Language Improves Brain Health

The adage “you bring about what you talk about” is not new. An example of this is that if you think you’re going to fail, you are more likely to. The power of optimism and positive thinking is well documented, particularly when it comes to pursuing goals. New research indicates positive language can make for a better mindset and outlook on life. This can keep our brains and bodies healthier and promote a more positive aging experience. How A Better Attitude Makes A Longer Life Optimism Optimism improves physical and mental health. Understanding why and when we experience optimism is crucial to cultivating it. The studies of Briley, Rudd, and Aaker show two main predictors of optimism: culture, and framing. The researchers identified two frames, or perspectives, to approach situations with. The first perspective, called the initiator, takes the frame of “how will I act, regardless of the situations I encounter?”

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Second, the responder takes the frame of “how will I react to the situations I encounter?” For individualistic cultures such as America, the initiator frame led to more optimism. The opposite was true for cultures that value the interdependent self. Action Tip: Many seniors may have a diagnosis without a ‘cure’. It is important for those seniors and their caregivers to visualize the best possible outcome. Take time to visualize what is to come by yourself or with a loved one. To gain these positive effects of optimism, imagine how you will react, no matter how things progress.

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Meaningfulness “To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?” This is the question researchers Steptoe and Fancourt asked over 7000 people age 50+. They then looked at their “positive associations with social relationships and

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broader social engagement, economic prosperity, mental and physical health, biomarkers, health-related behaviors, and time use.” The results showed a positive correlation between worthwhileness and improvements in these categories. Action Tip: Ask yourself, “To what extent do I feel the things I do in my life are worthwhile?” Answer it on a scale of 1 (not worthwhile) to 10 (very worthwhile). Then ask yourself what you could change to make the answer closer to 10. We can all take manageable steps toward increasing meaningfulness in your day-today. Start by defining what is meaningful to you. Then ask how you can incorporate more of that into your daily life. Maybe connections with friends make life feel worthwhile and you can make an effort to host a potluck once a week. Maybe creativity makes life feel worthwhile and you can add creating art into your daily routine. Happiness After studying over 4,000 Singaporeans over the age of 60, researchers Chei,

Lee, and Mahotra found that “happiness is associated with reduced likelihood of all-cause mortality among older people... with the benefit observed even for incremental increases in happiness.” They measured happiness in 4,000+ older people using a depression scale. The participants were then monitored for six years. For every unit of increased happiness, the likelihood of dying decreased by 9%. Action Tip: You can take the depression scale for yourself. Use it as a guide and work to increase your happiness and lifespan. What brings you down that you can cut out of your life? Maybe a relationship or a habit? What brings you joy that you can add more of? Can you put up photos of people you love to remind you of those relationships and memories? Can you make time to participate in a lost hobby or to call a friend? Many times when we are depressed, it comes from ruminating on the past. What can you change right now to increase happiness and connectedness?

Embrace Aging Often our culture promotes a story of aging that is all about decline and loss, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Becca Levy has dedicated her career to exploring the psychosocial influences of aging. Her research at Yale supports the correlation between positive attitudes about aging and health and life expectancy. A recent study of hers shows that having a positive view of aging throughout your lifetime increased life expectancy by 7.5 years! Action tip: Want to get a jump start on changing your attitudes about aging and fighting ageism? Check out OldSchool. info, a clearinghouse of vetted antiageism resources. This key to a long life is accessible to us all. By changing our attitudes and actions we can extend our lifespans and health-spans. Start small and start today. Make little shifts to increase optimism, find meaning, nurture happiness and embrace aging.

T This article is sponsored by Home Care Assistance, for more info visit www.homecareassistance.com

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YOU ARE INVITED TO AUM OLLI

November Opportunities for Members of AUM OLLI November is a good month to join AUM OLLI because of new opportunities: the Winter Open House with its art show and sale (available to current and potential members), registration for winter 2020 classes, and registration for the December 6th field trip to Camden. The OLLI Winter Open House is scheduled for Thursday, November 14, 2019, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Center for Lifelong Learning (75 TechnaCenter Drive). In addition to meeting OLLI members and instructors of the courses offered in the winter 2020 term, attendees will have an opportunity to see the work done by OLLI members in their hands-on classes – zentangle, watercolor painting, pine needle basket weaving, pop-up books and cards, and gourd painting. There will be works by OLLI members for sale, if people are

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interested in purchasing unique holiday gifts. Plan to attend to share a cup of coffee with new friends and buy some special gifts. Registration for the winter 2020 term of OLLI classes opens on November 1. You can go to www.aum.edu/olli to see the schedule and detailed descriptions of the classes being offered during this term. In addition to the classes in the online catalog, we have added one new one: Be Famous for Your Cookies (offered on Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.). Another change is the time for Ballroom Dancing: it will now be from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. If individuals have questions about courses, the open house is a good time and place to get answers! The winter open house is also a good place to do some holiday shopping!

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OLLI members may now register for the next OLLI field trip to Camden on December 6. The travelers will have lunch at Gaines Ridge, where they can enjoy splendid food at the preCivil War house in full holiday decoration. After the meal, the bus will take everyone to Black Belt Treasures (BBT), a center created to stimulate the economy in Alabama’s Black Belt. BBT represents hundreds of Black Belt artists in various media, including painting and pottery, carving and jewelry making, sculpture and quilting. Some of the artists will be on-hand to demonstrate and discuss their works. Become a member of AUM OLLI, and take advantage of these opportunities! Go online at www.aum.edu/OLLI or contact Brittany Thomasson at 334-244-3804.

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Master Gardener's Perspective

By Kay Cannady

My Journey to Master Gardeners It starts out innocent enough. You stop by a garden center and as you gaze at the lovely flowers, you think to yourself “I can do this.” Yet you have no idea what “this” involves and how to do “this” but the seed of gardening has been planted in your psyche. You approach the lady managing the plants to ask how “this” is done. Then it begins. She mentions the two most magical words that will change your life… Master Gardeners. She says to call their office and learn from them. You leave the nursery with the thought “I can do this with the help of Master Gardeners!” You make the call. The next thing you know you’re attending “Lunch and Learn” programs, offered monthly by the Capital City Master Gardeners. Let me just say here, a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing! After your first “Lunch and Learn,” you quickly learn you have a lot to learn! You leave with a soil sample box. Then the fun really begins. The Auburn Extension Service tells you what your soil needs and why you’ve been struggling so at gardening. Now you find a new word to describe working in your yard. That new word is ‘amending’. I have been amused at myself for saying to others I am ‘amending’ my soil. I feel that by just knowing this new gardening word I have grown in stature among the gardening community. Now I am tilling the ground with my new rechargeable tiller, mixing in potting soil and planting flowers in yet another attempt at a garden patch. Pictured is my flower garden that has a large cross in the center. It’s very much a work in progress but I have great hope it will be

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a showplace soon! All this to say that on my journey to the Master Gardeners, my eyes have been opened to the wonderful world of men and women who truly care about our environment. They grow food, flowers and maintain wonderful lawns.

Emmi and Evvi in their Secret Garden

In retrospect, I realize my motivation comes from my past and present. My grandmother grew beautiful flowers in Panama City, Florida, her specialty was Hydrangeas. I have fond memories of Granny who taught me so much. Now I am a grandmother and I want my two granddaughters to have memories of flowers when they think of me. Emmi and Evvi are my present motivators to learn. My goal is to show them firsthand how to love the land and make each home they live in more beautiful. It took me two years to make

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the commitment to become a Master Gardener Intern and I’m glad I finally joined. The picture taken on my first day in class, I was anxious, and look like a deer caught in headlights! I just knew someone would tell me that there has been a mistake and my history with gardening has finally caught up to me! However, my experience has been quite the opposite. The group has been especially welcoming and after six weeks in the classes, I have great hope for my future as a gardener. Still too soon to see myself as a Master Gardener but I am very pleased to be an intern under their tutelage. Opportunities to learn and grow are accessible through this caring group. Finally, my granddaughters and I have a Secret Garden now. Pictured are my precious little ones who continue to be my inspiration to learn and grow as a gardener. If you have a passion for nature and wish to learn more, I’m sure the Master Gardeners will welcome you on this journey as well. God bless you all and to find extraordinary support for things of beauty in your great outdoors, make the call to the Master Gardeners. There you can begin your own joyful journey to the Master Gardeners! Kay Cannady, an intern in the 2019 Master Gardener Class, lives in Wetumpka. For more information on becoming a master gardener, visit www.capcitymga.org or email capcitymga@gmail.com.

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Shall We Dance? Dancing is not just a social activity. It is commonly used by the medical community as a form of therapy. In the 1940’s, Marian Chance taught dance to traumatized veterans of World War II, helping to express their trauma and work through stress. Today dance is used to treat conditions ranging from depression to eating disorders.

learning to waltz as they would from more traditional forms of cycling of walking, says a study published in the Journal Circulation. Dancing requires no special equipment or workout setting

physically active. This could include engaging in more social activities, eating a more nutritious diet, all of which will improve quality of life as you age.

As aging occurs, , our body loses muscle mass, coordination, and balance, making you more likely to fall and injure yourself in everyday activities. Research has shown that dancing improves strength and muscle function in older adults, as well as increasing balance, flexibility, leading to better stability and fewer injuries.

Brain health and physical activity is a new area of research. The cognitive benefits of dancing for seniors are less clear than physical benefits. by Leigh Anne Richards However, some research has found that dancing increases activity in the brain, helping you form new neural connections and think with more speed making it a much more accessible option. and agility. Another study showed that After 6 weeks of a dance program, contemporary dance may improve seniors showed improved posture, concentration and the ability to control reaction times, and motor performance. shifts in attention. Contemporary dance emphasizes improvisation, rather than The health benefits of dancing for seniors memorizing a specific set of movements. don’t depend on doing one specific kind of dance. A review of many research People with diseases such as Parkinson’s studies on dancing and aging found that can benefit from dancing. It can improve any style of dance can help maintain the physical abilities of turning and or even improve muscle strength and walking backwards and the concentration endurance, balance and coordination. of the certain steps. There is still debate

Dancing has a myriad of benefits. Cardiovascular is one benefit with increasing the heart rate and getting aerobic benefit. People with stable chronic heart failure may derive the same aerobic health advantages from

One group of researchers found that people that engaged in social or group dancing experience less pain. The impact on health is not just with the dancing itself, but you are also more likely to engage in healthy behaviors if you are

Dancing is not just for the young. The health benefits of dancing for seniors range from improving physical health to also creating strong social connections that increases your happiness and sense of well- being.

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Fitness over Fifty

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if the dancing helps with cognitive abilities of people with Parkinson’s. My direct work with our Parkinson’s group indicates that the dancing movements help with cognition and focus based on what we do in our Rock Steady program.

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Research shows a direct link between dancing and improved physical health. It does not seem to affect cognitive health more than any other forms of exercise. This may indicate that exercise and socialization are what keep your brain sharp as you age, and dancing is a form of both that seniors enjoy. We are all aware of the importance of socialization. Researchers interviewed 30 women over the age of 60. About the importance that their line dancing hobby had on their life. The majority agreed that dancing helped keep them involved in the community and encouraged them to participate in charitable and group activities and provide a space for self- expression and personal development. “Life without line dancing and other activities,” one woman said, “would be too dreadful to imagine.” The social benefits of dancing have been replicated in multiple countries and cultures. Seniors with poor mental health can also benefit from dancing. Patients with dementia have also seen improvement though dancing with more positive feeling and better behavior as well as better communication. When compared with crossword puzzles, reading and cycling, dancing appears to offer the best chance of staving off dementia. According to a 21-year study led by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, aging adults who danced regularly had a 76% reduced risk of developing dementia. Experts theorize that dancing is beneficial for our brains because it combines cardiovascular activity with split second decision making that taxes our neural networks, forcing it to create new pathways. Dance like no one is watching!! Play some of your favorite tunes at home and let the music inspire your movements. Shall we dance?? Sources: “5 Health Benefits of Dancing”, AgingCare.com, Feb 4, 2019 “Health Benefits of Dancing for Seniors", Katharine Paljug, Healthy Aging, June 20, 2017

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

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More Joy, Less Stress It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, full of friends, family and festivities. But research confirms a different reality -- most Americans have elevated stress levels during the holiday season. Instead of being full of good tidings and cheer, families often feel drained of time, energy and peace. Stressors such as crowds and lines, party planning, financial concerns and trying to make the holidays perfect can make the end of the year hectic and overwhelming. These ten tips will simplify the season and make it merry and bright. 1. Focus on your reason for the season Why are you celebrating? Is it for spiritual reasons? Maybe you want to spend time with friends and family or enjoy the spirit of giving during the holidays. Keep what is most important about the holidays at the center of your celebration. Reconsider any task or commitment that takes your time, energy, enjoyment or finances away from your reason for celebrating in the first place. 2. Set firm boundaries around your time With all the holiday volunteering, office parties and family gatherings, it's easy to overcommit yourself. This year, pick one project you want to volunteer your time to, or pick a variety of simple acts of kindness you can do with your family. Spend time with your friends and loved ones, but don't feel guilty if you don't go to every party or gathering. 3. Let go of Martha One of the most stress-relieving things you can do at the holidays is set the bar a little lower. Martha Stewart is an elegant hostess, but you don't have to do everything the way Martha would to have a beautiful season. Embrace simpler decorations, meals and gift giving than you have in the past. Try quick shortcuts or holiday hacks. If you let go of expectations, you may be pleasantly surprised to find yourself content with a celebration you hadn't even envisioned. 4. Farm out your to-do list At the beginning of the season make a todo list of what you want to accomplish. If you find that it is too long for the amount of time that you have, consider delegating

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By Janeen Lewis

10 Ways to Simplify the Season

some of the items. If you contribute to a Christmas club at your bank, you might even consider setting aside some of the money specifically so you can hire others to help with your holiday tasks. Have groceries delivered, and buy gifts online to avoid the holiday rush. Grocery stores also have a plethora of pre-packaged holiday foods that make delicious sides, cutting down on your time in the kitchen. Buy desserts from your local bakery, and shop at stores that provide wrapping stations. No time to clean the house? Hire a cleaning service just for the holiday season or ask for this service as a gift.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that trigger a happier, more relaxed mood. Aerobic exercise outdoors away from screens, phones and todo lists can clear your mind and help you keep what's important in perspective.

5. Gift others with experiences Shopping at the holidays can be timeconsuming and nerve-wracking with crowds and traffic. If you don't start early, coveted items sell out, leaving you scrambling for another gift. Ask those you give gifts to if there is an experience they would like to have. Tickets to the theatre? Family passes to an amusement park or aquarium? A relaxing day at the spa? Experiences give friends and family the opportunity to make memories and pamper themselves, unique gifts that are much-appreciated.

9. Do something kind for someone else You don't have to overcommit yourself to a charity or fundraiser to be kind. Small random acts of kindness can make someone's day. Let someone in front of you at the supermarket line or let someone drive their car in front of yours in the parking lot. Send an anonymous Christmas card with cash or a gift card to a college student or elderly person that you know is struggling financially. Throw change in Salvation Army buckets when you pass them. Having a kind spirit chases away stress and keeps the season warm and hope filled.

6. Set a holiday tea time Recent research shows that drinking green and black tea has many health benefits, including promoting relaxation. Herbal teas, while not true tea, still help with anxiety and stress. In keeping with the holiday spirit, sip some calming peppermint tea, or try chamomile, lemon balm or passionflower. 7. Take a hike One way to tell your stress to take a hike might be to actually take one yourself.

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8. Reconnect with long lost friends and relatives Meet with an old friend you haven't talked to for years, and catch up. Take some time off and visit relatives you miss seeing on a regular basis. Surrounding yourself with people you enjoy is powerful when you want to combat holiday stress.

10. Celebrate memories more than material possessions Material gifts are nice, but most of us quickly forget gifts we have received in past years. The thing that we remember the most are the memories we make with friends and family. Make some happy memories this holiday season and bid stress good bye. Janeen Lewis is a freelance journalist, teacher and mom to Andrew and Gracie. She has been published in several parenting publications across the country and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


Holiday Hacks to Make the Season Bright 1. If you have an artificial tree, wrap the center pole with a strand of lights before you add the branches. This will make the tree shine brighter from the inside.

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2. Use a wastebasket to hold rolls of wrapping paper. 3. Use egg cartons to store small ornaments and ornament hooks. Use wine boxes to store larger, fragile ornaments. 4. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on a cookie sheet. Freeze it for several hours and remove. Cut hearts out of the whipped cream with a cookie cutter and serve in hot cocoa. 5. Put a ball of sugar cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper. Roll it out between the papers so the dough doesn't stick to the pin. While it's still in the wax paper, put the flattened cookie dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to cut cookies out. 6. Store cookies in an air tight tin with flour tortillas between layers to keep cookies from drying out. You can also use a slice of bread. 7. If you don't want to put nail holes in your fireplace mantel, fit a tension rod in the wood frame and hang your stockings with shower hooks. You can also purchase nail free stocking holder hooks. 8. Hang lightweight ornaments on long ribbons from your light fixture or chandelier to make an elegant holiday decoration. 9. Skip expensive candles and potpourri. Add water and natural ingredients like apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks or cloves to a crockpot and heat. Enjoy holiday scents that aren't overpowering. 10. To keep Christmas lights from getting tangled, wrap them around a clothes hanger or power cord holder.

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Together on Stage, Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin Appearing together Sunday, November 17th, 7pm at UAB's Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham. Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin will embark on a series of tour dates throughout the fall of 2019. Carpenter and Colvin — longtime friends for over 30 years — will appear on stage together as an intimate acoustic duo, swapping songs and sharing stories. These special shows will feature the acclaimed songwriters performing material from their vast catalogs, as well as some of their favorite songs. Carpenter’s songs speak to the most personal of life’s details and the most universal. Carpenter’s most recent release, “Sometimes Just the Sky,” a celebration of her acclaimed Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter 30-year recording career, features new versions of some of Blue Yonder the singer’s most beloved songs plus one newly penned track. Colvin won her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album with her debut album, “Steady On,” in 1989. She has been a mainstay of the contemporary folk music scene ever since, releasing 12 superlative albums and establishing herself as an enduring talent. Colvin was recently recognized for her career accomplishments when she was honored with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award by the Americana Music Association. In September 2019, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of “Steady On,” Colvin will be releasing a special, newly recorded allacoustic version of that landmark album. For tickets and more info visit www.alysstephens.org or www.marychapincarpenter.com or www.shawncolvin.com

CREATING HOLIDAY WREATHS WITH NATURAL ITEMS Presented by Maggie Stringer, MBG Board Member and Master Gardener, Saturday, November 16 at 9:00 am at Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park, 1010 Forest Avenue. Maggie is one of the founding members of the Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park, Capital City Master Gardener Association and a retired MPS Principal at Forrest Avenue Magnet. She is an excellent instructor, a creative and talented gardener and dedicated MBG board member. We will have a raffle for the wreath she will make. Be sure and bring your dollar bills. Free to MBG members, $5 donation requested of others. Meet us in the Outdoor Classroom at MBG where there are “stump seats” but you may also bring a folding chair. In the case of inclement weather, class will be rescheduled. For more info visit www.montgomerybotanicalgardens.com

2019 River Region Ethics and Public Service Awards River Region Ethics and Public Service (RREPS) announced the recipients of the 2019 River Region Ethics and Public Service Awards, Monday, October 21, at the Alabama Activity Center. The dinner and awards ceremony recognized businesses, organizations and individuals for their community leadership, service and contributions to ethical business practices in the River Region. Awards were given to the following recipients in each of the following categories: Small Business: Montgomery Multisport; Large Business: First Community Bank of Central Alabama; Medium Business: AirNow Heating and Cooling; Non-profit Organizations/Public Agencies: Hope Inspired Ministry; Maury Smith Award for Individual Community Leaders: Mayor Todd Strange. www.riverregionethics.com

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

Lights Up! at The Shoppes at EastChase Saturday, November 23, 2019, 6 - 8:00 pm. Kick off the Holiday Season with The Shoppes at EastChase 5th Annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade! The magical evening will feature live performances by Jason Givens + The Wanderers, followed by a community parade filled with more than 50 community organizations. Rejoice in the season’s first snowfall, a fireworks spectacular, and Santa’s grand arrival! This event is complimentary and open to the public! For more information, call 334.279.6046 or visit www.theshoppesateastchase.com/event/holiday-parade/

2019 Toys for Tots Volunteers

The Marine Toys for Tots Program collects new unwrapped toys and distributes those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. Lots of volunteers are needed to sort, organize and distribute the donations. Please be a part of this wonderful effort! Participants will meet at the Toys for Tots warehouse to sort toys on November 15 and December 4 from 9 am until 3 pm. Then on December 10, 12, 17 and 19 from 9 am until 4 pm, volunteers will assist with toy distribution. Sign up at www.handsonriverregion.org or email leslie@handsonriverregion.org

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Peaking in November, Alabama's Fall Color Trail Alabama is beautiful throughout the year but especially in the fall. As the greens of summer surrender to glittering yellow poplars, scarlet dogwoods, orange maples and golden hickories, Alabama unfolds its patchwork quilt of color. This blend of brilliant autumn foliage, coupled with cooler temperatures and an occasional gentle breeze, makes for an unforgettable experience. Fall colors will begin showing in the mountains of North Alabama in early October and then sweep across the region. Colors will be at their peak from late October to early November. At Oak Mountain State Park (1) in Pelham, take in the view from Peavine Overlook and Peavine Falls. Head north to Oneonta/Blount County (2) and enjoy the color from Horton Mill, Old Easley or Swann covered bridges and Palisades Park. Take the drive on I-59 up Whitney Mountain near Oneonta, and proceed up U.S. 231. In Cullman/Cullman County (3), the Ave Maria Grotto and the 277-foot-long, 90-foot-high Clarkson Covered Bridge offer excellent views, as do scenic drives U.S. 31 and 278. From Bankhead National Forest, (4) take AL 195 to Double Springs, to AL 33, then take Forest Service roads 249, 262, 245 and 255 to CO 63 and back to AL 33. For more info visit https://alabama. travel/trails and www.outdooralabama.com/activities/fall-color-trail

HCA Caregiver of the Month Tameiko brings a critical eye to her caregiving duties. She has strong judgment and the ability to act fast on the information at hand. She understands the value of attentiveness. Tameiko pays close attention to her clients’ body language, speech and movements, and adjusts her care to better assist them. She specializes in proper assessment and observation of the seniors she serves. Thank you for your detailed approach to care, Tameiko! For more information visit www.homecareassistancemontgomery.com

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Veterans Day Parade, Birmingham, Home of America’s First Veterans Day Armistice Day was set aside to honor veterans of World War I. But after World War II required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen in the nation’s history, a World War II veteran from Birmingham named Raymond Weeks had an idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans. In 1947, Weeks led a delegation to Washington, D.C., to urge then-Army Chief of Staff General Dwight Eisenhower to create a national holiday that honored all veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation establishing November 11th as Veterans Day. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan granted Weeks the Presidential Citizenship Medal, recognizing him as the driving force behind the national holiday and the “Father of Veterans Day.” Weeks led the first National Veterans Day Parade in 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama, and he continued the tradition until his passing in 1985. This years’ Veterans Day Parade will be on Monday November 11 at 1:30, downtown Birmingham. Check it out or visit www.nationalveteransday.org.

St. John's Episcopal Church Annual Women's Bazaar For 67 years St. John's Episcopal Church has hosted its annual Episcopal Church Women's Bazaar and this year will continue the tradition! The bazaar will be held on Wednesday, November 20th. Shopping begins at 10 am and continues until 2 pm with lunch served in the Parish Hall from 11 am to 1 pm. The price for lunch is $12.00. As in years past the bazaar will feature many handmade items from the arts and crafts committee, as well as works from local well-known artists. In the Fine Arts section, there will be beautiful fine art paintings by artists in our area and beyond. The Silent Auction always has many exciting items for bid- antiques, artwork, silver flatware, serving pieces and hollowware, estate jewelry and more. The Pantry is another popular room filled with homemade foods to stock your fridge and freezer. A fun place to visit is the Treasure Attic, a full menagerie of items for sale from housewares to table linens to jewelry, stuffed animals, books, and Christmas ornaments and decorations to name just a few, all at terrific prices. For lunch tickets, call 334.262.1937. St. John's Episcopal Church, 113 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama 36104. For more info visit www.stjohnsmontgomery.org, @st.johnsbazaar-facebook and instagram

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, November 6th, Pucker Up: Citrus in the Southern Garden Tom McLemore, Master Gardener and December 4th, A Natural Christmas, Jane McCarthy, Master Gardener 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, November 7th, Herbal Infusion, Tia Gonzales, Medicinal Plant Garden, AU and December 5th, Backyard Water Features, Leonard Shannon, 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 Elmore County Extension Office, 340 Queen Ann Rd., Wetumpka, AL 36092. Mark your calendars, November 12th, Orchids, Charlotte Bent, Master Gardener and December 10th, Artistic Flower Pressing, Betty Plaster, Master Gardener. For information, please contact the Montgomery County Extension Office 334.270.4133. Also visit www.capcitymga.org.

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Fantasy In Lights – The South’s Christmas Tradition Nightly, November 15, 2019 through January 4, 2020. Treat your family to a fun tradition that’s filled with holiday cheer! It’s Christmas at Callaway, featuring Fantasy In Lights, one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the world. Come make merry in the Christmas Village, meet holiday characters up close, and ride through the dazzling illuminated forest. Extend the celebration with an overnight stay, enjoy mouthwatering meals or cozy cups of cocoa in our beautiful accommodations, and explore 2,500 acres of stunning natural landscape. Create a season that’s magical with a getaway to remember – at Callaway Resort & Gardens. For info visist www.callawaygardens.com.

Someone’s Grandchild Needs Your Support

30A Songwriters Festival Coming In January January 17-20, 2020 along Highway 30A in South Walton, Florida... Recently announced, the initial round of confirmed artists for the 11th Annual 2020 30A Songwriters Festival. 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. Brian Wilson will perform with his heralded 9 piece band and recreate his most beloved and sophisticated productions (including early Beach Boys’ hits “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Fun Fun Fun,” “Warmth of the Sun,” and Pet Sounds classics “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Good Vibrations”) live at Grand Boulevard. To see the many other performers scheduled for this 3-day festival and to buy tickets go to www.30asongwritersfestival.com For more check out the 30A Songwriters Festival Spotify page to start listening to the artists playing in this year's festival.

Guitar Pull @ Cloverdale Playhouse

Guitar Pull @ Cloverdale Playhouse

The Alabama Dance Theatre will open its 33rd season with Montgomery’s holiday production of “MISTLETOE” which will be performed on November 16-17 at The Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. Over 90 dancers and artists will participate in this year’s elaborate production which features “Favorite Dances of Christmas” and “Messiah. The Alabama Dance Theatre along with Troy University of Montgomery will host a special “Sneak Peek” of “Mistletoe” in honor of our Military and First Responders on Thursday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Davis Theatre. For more info and tickets visit www.alabamadancetheatre.com The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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When’s the Right Time to Retire? Retirement is inevitable but knowing exactly when to do so is often unclear. No matter when you actually begin your retirement, you’ll benefit from planning your post-work life as early as possible. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who expect to retire at age 66 or older has risen dramatically, from 21% in 2002 to 41% in 2018. People expect to live and work longer than ever, so it’s never been more important to know when to stop working and how to carefully plan for the big event. The Social Security full retirement age. For persons born in 1960 or later, the Social Security= full retirement age is 67. You will receive 70% of your monthly benefit if you retire at age 62, and 86.7% at age 65. However, you’ll get the maximum monthly benefit if you wait till age 70. These milestones might be an important consideration if your Social Security benefit will be a sizable portion of your retirement income. Separate financial considerations from emotional ones. If you’ve successfully executed your long-term investment plan, you might be financially prepared to retire well before you are emotionally ready. Facing lifestyle changes at retirement might cause anxiety about how your life will evolve and how you’ll spend your time. It’s important to objectively evaluate your financial condition to support your decision-making, even as you contend with your feelings about retirement. Many folks need more money than they think. It’s virtually certain that life will offer you one or more surprises

along the way. You might find you will need more money than anticipated to fund a comfortable retirement. Creating a post-retirement budget can give you a general idea if your retirement savings alone can sustain

Financial Thoughts

with Brandt McDonald

you. As you near retirement age, it’s important to regularly review your savings plan to manage risk and help put yourself in a position to save the maximum amount possible. Retirement impacts small-business owners. It’s not time to retire until you’ve worked out what to do with your business. If you plan to keep it in the family, retirement means executing a succession plan involving relatives or partners who have the knowledge and interest to keep your business going after you retire. Alternatively, you might want to sell the business, which requires extensive planning and preparation. Once sold, your planning should spell out how you’ll deploy your sale proceeds to support your retirement in the most efficient manner. The common theme is planning. Whether you want to retire at 55, 85, or any time in between, planning is the key to a happy life in your golden years. As your financial advisor, it’s my job to help you periodically review your retirement options. Call me today for a meeting to evaluate whether the

time has arrived to wrap up your work life and start enjoying your retirement years. Brandt McDonald, Managing Partner McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management LPL Branch Manager www.mcdonaldhagen.com Direct comments and questions to Jennifer.Hunt@LPL.com or 334.387.0094 Source/Disclaimer: This material was prepared for Brandt McDonald and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal or tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific legal or tax issues with a qualified legal or tax advisor. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through McDonald & Hagen Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor, and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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Americans Need a Hobby

By Daniel Buck

Do you remember the hobbies you had as a kid growing up? Our hobbies had value we sorely need today because our lives are richer with something to captivate us between work and relaxation.

There are a few untold benefits of being a doctor’s spouse: free food, fine cocktails, and small talk with disparate characters. At one event, a reception for new psychiatric residents, I sat with two other doctors’ spouses discussing house projects and summer vacations. When I left to get seconds, I returned to a conversation about knitting.

Despite stereotypes about entitlement and apathy, millennials fit this mold as workaholics. They take less time off than older generations and are more likely to work on vacations. On the other end of the spectrum, they spend more than four

Between his state of work and relaxation, both of which he did much, there was a third mode of being.

To me, the potential tedium of knitting induces anxiety, but to them, it was exhilarating. It was an activity that required a single mind such that they could not talk while focused on their needles. They had a hobby.

It wasn’t productive enough to be considered work; it wasn’t relaxing enough to be leisure. It was a life full of hobbies.

Our Current State Unfortunately, hobbyism is in decline; more than half of American leisure time is spent watching TV. Standing as an example, my class (I’m a schoolteacher) had just finished a discussion, and with the material covered and not enough time to start anything new, I gave the students a moment of free time. About six or seven of them stood up, plopped down on bean bags, and spent the next few minutes showing their screens to each other. An English classroom is an apt metaphor for contemporary life. A proper classroom has countless elements fostering peak productivity. When class finishes, all structure subsides, and a dull repose takes its place. It is like a microcosm of our work-rest culture. Every second of the workday is geared toward productivity, bound up tight until it’s all released in pure catharsis—the internet, video games, or the entire “Game of Thrones” series.

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Did any of it help his writing? Perhaps, but only in so far as it gave him subject matter to write about. Was it mindlessly cathartic like binge-watching television? I doubt it. And yet there is a fullness of life and even peace in his essays that our 20-minute episodes cannot create.

hours a day watching TV and 11 hours engaging with media. The dichotomy of work and lethargy reigns. This lifestyle of workism paired with media catharsis has left millennials and Gen Zers caught in an upward trend of depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Gone are T.S. Eliot’s ghosts in his “Wasteland” ambling across London Bridge, discussing the bodies of World War II buried in the garden; now, blue-lit apparitions amble down the hallways between moments of engagement and activity in the workplace, car, and classroom. As we consume more and more content, our lives become ever more devoid of it. Look to E.B. White I compare this contemporary dichotomy to a lifestyle hiding contentedly in E.B. White’s essays. Between his moments of mindless observations and literary pursuits, he maintained a small farm that required herding his flocks, collecting eggs, planting, watering, and fertilizing.

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I reflected on what I considered my hobbies. Some might call exercising a hobby, but my breathless search of personal records makes it seem too productive for such a designation. Perhaps reading is a hobby, but when my choices fell into either philosophy or fantasy, my reading bordered on productivity or catharsis. I didn’t have a hobby. Hobbies fall between the productivitycatharsis divide. Woodworking, embroidery, collecting, crafting, fishing, or any other is not productive like work is. Work is done for what it accomplishes. Leisure activities bring relaxation. Both have an alternative goal. A hobby is done for itself. A Personal Experiment I decided to build a bookcase. I hadn’t worked with power tools since an elective period in middle school. Building a piece of furniture was tedious work. The project called for countless measurements, repeated cuts, sanding, screwing, gluing, more sanding, finishing, and one last round of sanding.

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Very little thought happened in my rudimentary shop of sandpaper and hand saws, but I remember seeing a solar eclipse in the shadow of the leaves and the album that played while I marked a cut. At no point did I have grand sweeping realizations; my mind was ever so slightly engaged and so could only muster flippant thoughts or passing impressions. It wasn’t relaxing, and it didn’t make me any money. It was a project I completed simply to make a bookcase. A Hobbyist Resurgence I reflect on dinner conversations with friends. Between passing dishes and after preliminary catch-ups are over, someone inadvertently asks the group if they have been watching some show. A few murmur yes and others no. Wanting to share in the experience but unwilling to spoil anything, those in the loop croon a few syllables over the quality of it, and the conversation dies back down. Then someone asks about some other series, and the process repeats. Where

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Netflix and Facebook provide superficial content and leave our lives devoid of interesting stories, knitting fostered a conversation to last the entirety of the resident reception. Perhaps that was a manifestation of a deeper meaning that both of those women had in their lives. Commentators and authors have spilled much ink discussing the death of community, family, and religion in America. The arguments run that without some cohesive community, people either turn to politics for their meaning or lose any center to their lives. This has been blamed for anger, political vitriol, populism, extremism, despair, declining birth rates, and the aforementioned rise in depression, anxiety, and suicidality. The response to this situation, though, is not clear. If I ask a colleague to go to church with me or give them a Bible, I risk ruining a relationship. It’s unlikely that a host of Americans will

miraculously return to church, since religious belief is an emotionally fraught, deeply personal, and almost necessarily divisive issue. Returning to church, the daily choice to place primacy on family, sweeping policy reforms, and personal investment in failing communities are difficult decisions to make, but picking up a hand saw or knitting needles is easy. A hobby is really just a stand-in word for a third mode of being between work and relaxation. Building a bookshelf accomplished little definitive good for me, but while I was working on it, I had something with which to define myself that was less stressful than work and more substantive than video games. While it won’t fix the mental health crisis or the state of political discourse, perhaps it’s time for us all to take the cliché advice and go find a hobby. Daniel Buck is a public school teacher in Wisconsin with a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. On the side, he writes regular commentary about education and literature. This article was originally published on www.FEE.org

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Ask an Elder Law Attorney

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

THANKSGIVING

memory loss that disrupts daily life, or November is here, which means the holiday get something from the kitchen. My confusion with time or place. season is in full swing. To me, Halloween grandmother looked at us, with a puzzled is like a warm-up for the “real” end-oflook on her face, and said, “Steve? His It was the third warning sign on their list the year holidays. Gorging myself on my name’s not Steve.” that caught my attention: “Difficulty with kids’ Halloween candy is just a preview of the upcoming battle against the We quickly figured culinary temptations of Thanksgiving, out she wasn’t Christmas, and countless holiday joking. In fact, she parties in between. Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop couldn’t name a single person in Wednesday, December 18: Hosted by Red Oak Legal, PC: Of course, the holiday season is the room. What 1:30-3:30 pm at 322 Catoma Street downtown Montgomery. ultimately about spending time with was particularly This educational workshop presented by local attorney Raley the people you care about the most, strange is that and people go to great lengths to she knew who we L. Wiggins covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance do so. Thousands of Americans will were—her daughter, directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets suffer through the monotony of a son-in-law, and her from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing long drive, the mild humiliation of an grandchildren— just homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Registration is airport TSA security screening, or even not what our names required. Call 334-625-6774 today to reserve your seat or register the unique odor emanating from a were. seat partner on a long-distance bus online at www.redoaklegalpc.com. trip, just to be home for the holidays. A trip to the hospital ultimately provided a completing familiar tasks at home, at work In my line of work, the holiday season is a diagnosis—vascular dementia, a condition or at leisure.” They provide examples as busy time. It’s the time of year when adult with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms caused by having trouble driving to a familiar location, children take time off from the distractions a series of small strokes. In the short-term managing a budget, or remembering the of their everyday lives, and everyone is back she did improve and remembered all of our rules of a favorite game. It’s the last line in town to see Mom, Dad or Grandma. names. However, over the course of the that really spoke to me. It states: “What’s next ten years, her memory slowly slipped typical? Occasionally needing help to use This is the time when many families begin away. the settings on a microwave or to record a to notice, to suspect, and even to discuss, television show.” the fact that a loved one may be showing This year, pay attention while you’re home signs of cognitive decline. for the holidays. Ask questions and talk In the mid-1990’s, no one on earth could with your family if you think a loved one operate a VCR as well as my grandmother, As a lawyer, I typically use the term may be experiencing diminishing capacity. who lived with my family during childhood. “cognitive decline” rather than “dementia” If they are, the time to plan for their future She had a true skill for deciphering VCR or “Alzheimer’s.” These are closely related is now. Talk about who they would want recording instructions clearly written by medical issues, of course, but I feel that to care for them or manage their affairs if someone with only the faintest grasp of cognitive decline more accurately addresses they are no longer able to do those things the English language. She always managed the legal consequences of these conditions. for themselves. Encourage them to have a to record all of “her shows,” as she called good power of attorney, advance directive, them, and has a vast library of reruns to It is rare for someone to suddenly become living will, and last will and testament in choose from. incompetent (to use the legal term) place. overnight. Instead, it is usually a gradual We didn’t know it then, but looking back process in which a person’s cognitive This can be a tough conversation for now it’s obvious. Gradually, she began to function slowly declines. The difficulty children to have with their parents. Just struggle to operate the VCR the television. is distinguishing between ordinary, old remember that you’ll be the one picking up In hindsight, this was a sign of things to age forgetfulness, from something more the pieces, whether your parents do any come. serious. planning or not. The best time to get their affairs in order is now, while they are still in A few years later, on Christmas morning, The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) relatively good health and spirits. we finally learned that her cognitive lists 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s on Raley L. Wiggins decline was neither minor nor attributable their website. The complete list is worth Attorney at Law, Red Oak Legal, PC to old age forgetfulness. I recall my reviewing if this is a topic that concerns 334-239-3625 | info@redoaklegalpc.com mother calling for my father, Steve, to you. The warning signs on their list include 322 Catoma Street, Montgomery, AL 36104,

Attend Free Workshop

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BOOM! COVER PROFILE

Burton Crenshaw, Non-Profit Champion This month’s cover profile is someone who truly loves what she does. Burton Crenshaw probably knows the needs of Central Alabama’s non-profits better than anyone. Burton is the President of the Central Alabama Community Foundation and she works with individual donors and businesses who want to give back to our communities. These donors give through CACF which then directs funds as the needs of the community change. Through her work, Burton discovered you can truly have a job that doesn’t feel like work, we should all be so lucky! Burton is also an empty nester and a newlywed. Her husband Clay Crenshaw works with Alabama’s Attorney General, Steve Marshall and we were fortunate to get the Attorney General’s permission to do our cover photo in his office using the great view of the capitol building as a backdrop. Burton has a heart for those who serve others and she nurtures this giving spirit through her work at Central Alabama Community Foundation along with the many donors who have committed resources to helping improve the communities in which we live. Burton took time from her busy schedule to share some of her story with us, she’s passionate about her work and an inspiration to have a servant’s heart. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.

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? Burton: I was born and raised in Montgomery. I am the youngest of 4 siblings (2 sisters and 1 brother), my parents and brother still live in Montgomery. I graduated from Hollins University (Roanoke, VA) in 1990 with a B.A in computational science. I knew about Hollins because my mother went there. The minute I stepped on campus as a prospective student, I knew it was for me and it would be my home for the next four years. I didn’t apply to any other schools because I was so sure that Hollins was for me. With Hollins being a Liberal Arts college, they didn’t have specific degrees when it came to the business/economics side. I knew I was good at math and I liked computers. That was when computers were fairly new, so I decided on a degree that combined math, computers and

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since 1980’s) for 1 ½ years. We have 4 children combined, Clayton (25, Dallas, TX), Ken (22, Opelika, AL), Elizabeth (21, senior University of Alabama), and Sidney (19, sophomore Auburn University). All of our children were raised here as well. I have attended First United Methodist Church my entire life.

Burton and Clay Crenshaw hiking in Big Sky Montana

statistics. After graduating, I really didn’t plan on coming back to Montgomery. I even tried hard not to! But everything kept drawing me back here. I followed my heart and came back to the city that raised me and got my first job in private banking. I fell in love with Montgomery all over again and I have been here ever since. I have been married to Clay Crenshaw (Greenville, AL native, but has lived in Montgomery

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BOOM!: You are the President of the Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF), could you please share with our readers

Burton with sons, Sidney and Ken Ward, at Auburn University Spring Graduation 2019

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how you became involved with CACF. Could you explain what the CACF does and the value of their services to Central Alabama and the River Region?

community. We help direct funds as the community needs change. BOOM!: How is the Central Alabama Community Foundation funded? How can BOOM! readers participate with CACF? What does the future look like for CACF?

Burton: The Foundation is funded Burton: I was in through individuals and businesses private banking that want to be philanthropic in their and trust community by pooling their resources department work together. When everyone pools their for two banks resources together, we are able to in Montgomery. do greater things for our community. Burton and Clay Crenshaw with her parents, Anne and Ken Upchurch, on their wedding day Then I was Donors give through CACF and trust that fortunate enough to be able to stay we know where the needs are and can we can support them with the funds home when my boys were young. better allocate the funds appropriately that they need to operate, it makes you When I decided to go back to work, I versus them doing it on their own. Boom want to work even harder and knew I wanted to be able to truly make readers can to be more philanthropic in our a difference, not just get a job. I was participate efforts. That is when I learned familiar with the Foundation through my with Central you can truly have a job that trust department work. My former boss, Alabama doesn’t feel like work. It is a Carol Butler, took a chance and hired me Community truly remarkable feeling when for a new position at the Foundation, Foundation you know that the work you Development Director. Since I was the by becoming are doing is directly benefiting first Development Director at CACF, I a Community the community around you in a had to feel my way around that new Champion. As positive way. It is hard to believe position and figure out what exactly it a Community I have been here 12 years now! looked like. At that time, the Community Champion, CACF works with individuals Foundation did several special events you will help and business to give back to the around Autauga and Elmore counties. I the Central communities we serve. Donors was in charge of managing those events Alabama give through us, not to us. We as well as programs that fell under the Community act as a community catalyst, The view from the family house Foundation like Bridge Builders Alabama. Foundation bringing diverse voices and on Lake Martin My responsibility to Bridge Builders meet diverse groups together to address local Alabama was heavy on the fundraising community needs by supporting issues, and fostering greater giving in our side and ensuring programs and projects in family that the program wellness, education, medical, food, had the resources shelter, the arts, community building, necessary to and social services. Each Community successfully carry Champion will enjoy the following out its mission. A membership benefits: lot of days were 1. Opportunity to provide input on how spent out talking funds should be used in our community. to civics groups 2. Exposure to nonprofit organizations and businesses in our community through Community about who we are Champion site visits. and what we do. 3. Exclusive invitations to special donor Compassion from events and receptions with community the nonprofits leaders. that we work with and the fact that By engaging in Community Champions, Burton with her siblings Ken Upchurch, III, Lib Roberts, and Carol Campbell

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we are Burton: The concept for surprise fostering a grants came about when the staff was future where sitting around the table discussing we can all how we should celebrate our 30th come together anniversary. In the past, we have held and be aware big events and dinners but we wanted of the needs to do something different that year. around us, A benefit dinner or big event similar while being to that in nature doesn’t have the able to give impact it used to have. My father out more in always said “I wish this group would grants and take the money that they spent on scholarships. this event and just do what they do”. Down the So, we wanted to do just that – do road, I would what we do! Which is give out money. like to double When we started talking about it, the amount we ran with the idea based off the Clayton and Elizabeth Crenshaw, Clay and Burton, Sidney and Ken Ward that we give concept of Publishers Clearinghouse on Burton and Clay's wedding day, June 16, 2018 out to the where we just show up and give away community. surprise grants. Playing off the 30th is where the democratic side comes in We also want to continue to bring anniversary, we took $90,000 for 30 but the servant leadership style comes people to the table and to be a force for nonprofits to be surprised with $3,000 into play because I try to do what needs change in Montgomery. The Foundation each throughout the year. There were to get done no matter the task and no has had a big hand to play in OUR no strings attached and nonprofits matter if it’s big or small. Simple things Montgomery and their prayer walks were able to spend the funds however from making sure all the garbage is where we bring all sides of our city they wanted, wherever their most taken out to helping fulfill grant reviews together for a common goal. immediate needs were. We were getting when needed. I find that my support recommendations for nonprofits we comes from those around me being BOOM!: The River Region has many didn’t even know about across the ten experts at what they do. Success at successful non-profit organizations, counties that we support. We showed up CACF comes when we can sit back and please share some of your insights into when they were truly least expecting it! see the change and progress that has what the best practices are in managing One nonprofit in particular was needing been made due to our dedication for a successful non-profit in the River money to buy supporting Region? How would you describe your new washing area leadership style? What does success machines for nonprofits. look like at CACF? their campsite. We will We had no continue Burton: Nonprofits should be clear in idea about to find what their mission is, what work they the struggle success as are doing and what the outcome will that they were long we are be. Nonprofits shouldn’t try to do too facing. They a resource much. Find an area that you can be an had no idea for both expert in and stick to that. Transparency how they were philanthropic is of upmost importance for nonprofits. going to get the individuals I say all of this because when you have a funds to buy wanting to clear and specific mission that is visible the equipment. give back to all, you are setting yourself up for At the exact to their success as well as the opportunity to moment community, Burton with her sons, Ken and Sidney Ward, at the opening game be eligible for more grant dollars. My they needed all the while, in the new Alabama State University stadium in 2012 leadership style is a blend between it the most, helping democratic and servant leadership. I we surprised them with a grant that nonprofits carry out their mission. have an amazing staff that is great at was enough to fulfill that need! Some what they do and I trust their work ethic nonprofits didn’t know how they BOOM!: Can you share with us the and quality. Trusting in them to take were going to continue their work and “Surprise Grants” concept? Do you still direction on their own projects and work through that $3,000 grant, we were able do surprise grants?

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to renew their purpose and hope to continue that work. This celebration turned out far greater than what we could have ever expected. In some ways, I think I got just as much out of it personally, as the nonprofits. We do have plans in the works for the future but like the surprise grants, we are keeping that under wraps. BOOM!: As an adjunct professor at Auburn, what subject do you teach? What’s the biggest challenge?

family has had a house there for over 60 years. Whenever we go to the lake, I try to take a long hike. Being in the wilderness and stopping and looking around at the scenery is so refreshing to me, it’s almost like pushing a rest button. It gives me the focus, energy and clarity that I need to be successful in my day to day professional life. I have to have that time in nature because we encounter so many needs and we are trying to provide the funds for nonprofits to meet those needs and at times it can be heartbreaking. Almost for a mental health check, I have to get away from that. I go hiking with Clay several times a month and we like to explore new places. No matter where we go, we always try to take long walks whether it’s in nature or a city. New Orleans is also a fan favorite of mine. The food, the music, the atmosphere is fascinating. We have a trip planned in December to New York City to officially celebrate our 1st Anniversary. I have not been in over 25 years.

Burton: I am teaching Nonprofit Resource Development to upper classmen and Masters of Public Administration students. I am on the Burton surprising Ken Austin, Mercy House Advisory Committee with a surprise grant for the MPA program at It is ever changing Auburn University. The as time goes on. University wanted professionals to get A challenge is involved with helping give students definitely looking BOOM!: What real life skills to use in the workplace at how the future are you most immediately. The biggest challenge Burton celebrating the announcement of the surprise might unfold. I passionate has been to gauge where the students grants for the 30th anniversary of the Central Alabama have really enjoyed Community Foundation about? currently are in their learning path and teaching though. I building a curriculum to give them the never thought of myself as a teacher! Burton: I’m passionate about work tools to add value in a potential job role because it’s not really work to me – or volunteer capacity. I am trying to BOOM!: With a busy life, how do you it’s serving the city that I grew up in. show the students how we used to do it spend time with family? I want to see Montgomery as a place but also how it has evolved and how it’s that is always growing and evolving. I’m going to have to change for nonprofits Burton: With children in four different passionate about my family. But I’m also to succeed in the future. As generations locations, it can be tough sometimes. very passionate about exploring this grow and change, so do the methods Being in Auburn 1 night a week, I try to new life at 52 with my husband. This is for giving. I’m trying to teach how meet the two boys there for dinner. A a new family and a new chapter in all we as nonprofits have to evolve with free meal is quite a draw for a college of our lives. The life that we are leading humankind, not only with the givers but student and newly working adult! Clay going forward with our new blended with the needs that are out there. We and I try to attend church with my family means the most to me. We are as a nonprofit have to figure out how parents every Sunday. parents of young adults and it’s always we engage every generation coming an exciting adventure to see how our along that is wanting to give back and BOOM!: What are some of your favorite relationships with our kids grow and how they want to give back whether it travel experiences? Favorite vacation evolve and the fun that that brings. We be time, talent or money. The flip side spot? Any travel dreams planned? are able to see our parenting from the to that is we also have to learn how to past in action as our kids go off and do show those generations what we are Burton: One of my favorite places my great things in their communities. It’s a doing with their resources that they give. entire life has been Lake Martin. My brand new fun beginning! The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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BOOM!: How do you like to relax and wind down from a hard day’s work?

Montgomery which came out of the Youth Task Force that I sit on with a lot of other nonprofits. We bring church Burton: I leaders together actually to help engage enjoy cooking churches and dinner each schools in their night. Sitting immediate down as a neighborhoods. family to eat It was a natural has always fit for the been a part of Community my life. I am Foundation not a big TV to guide this Burton celebrating Halloween at the office watcher, but if initiative. I got I do, it might involved because be something that disconnects me and of my job but I do it because I want to provides humor. Big Bang Theory is one be there and I want to be hand-in-hand of my favorites! with those that are making a difference and to serve alongside them. BOOM!: Do you have time to be involved in community, civic or other activities? BOOM!: What is it about living in the Faith based organizations? Montgomery/River Region area that you like? Burton: I am fortunate because of the Foundation, I am able to “volunteer” as Burton: This is my home. I love how a job! I am able to be a part if a lot of it has grown for the better, but still initiatives that are going on. They might maintained the hometown feel. Both not be directly related to one nonprofit of my parents grew up here and it’s but it’s a lot of groups coming together. interesting to hear them talk about the The most recent initiative being OUR things that evolved in their lifetime

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through Montgomery. They were a part of that and now I am a part of that too. I hope Montgomery continues to change. Hopefully to be a place that our children want to come back to as well. It’s neat whenever someone can say, I grew up here, I decided to stay and raise my family here. BOOM!: As you’ve aged, how have your priorities changed? Burton: Family remains an important priority to me. I find myself asking the questions, What am I doing now that is going to help my children and their children in the future and Where can we make an impact now that will still have a lasting impact for years to come. I want to leave the right footprint. My parents always taught me to give back and to always be kind and compassionate but stern too. My priority is passing that lesson down and teaching everyone I come in contact with that we have an obligation to help each other and to be there for our community. I still like to be involved but I don’t feel as obligated to be everywhere. My parents are older and I want to spend as much quality time with them as I can. As my kids get older, I want to be able to get on the road and visit them and continue to be a part of their lives as well. Because we are empty nesters, we are now able to

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spend more time with friends. Being newly married, we now have the time to build and grow our relationship by traveling and spending time doing what matters the most to us. BOOM!: Give us three words that describe you? Burton: Dedicated, Innovative, hardworking BOOM!: Do you have any hobbies or other activities that grab your attention? Burton: Clay and I love to hike. Exercise is super important to me. Traveling has become a major part of my marriage with Clay. Clay and I have a commitment that no matter the trip, whether it be personal or work, we will go with each other. While on these trips, we have created a tradition where we search for a unique Christmas ornament. The ornaments are a reminder to the memories that we have made and the places that we have been as a married couple. BOOM!: Technology is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. What’s your relationship with the digital world? Does technology help you run a smarter organization?

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Burton: If you don’t keep up with technology, you will be left behind. My 87-year-old father learned to text years ago so he could keep in contact with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. I have to for both personal and professional reasons. I realize that as our world changes, so do the needs for the Community Foundation and a part of that is keeping up with digital technology and media. We have to keep up in order to understand where to meet our audience where they are. You have to keep up with the times to stay relevant! I’m lucky to have kids that are tech savvy because I find myself asking them often if a new social media platform is worth exploring and how to use it. It’s interesting because the way my kids communicate with me is different from how I communicated with my parents. So to even do something as simple as staying in touch, you have to grow your relationship with digital technology. 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? Burton: Don’t ever stop moving! Another lesson I learned from my parents. I remarried over a year ago.

It’s exciting to get to explore a new chapter and life at 52. Life feels like it’s just getting started! I’m entering a new phase of life that is just as fun and rewarding as all the other phases/ chapters have been. My advice would be to not be sad if you have an empty house but to look at new ways of doing things that you used to love and how to adapt that to modern day. There might even be new things that you can find to love! Find something new that you have never done and go do it, because you have the ability and time to as you start your new chapter. We want to thank Burton for sharing her story with us in this month's cover profile. We especially appreciate her husband Clay arranging the use of Attorney General, Steve Marshall's office for the cover photo, and a rare glimpse of the Capitol. We encourage BOOM! readers to support CACF if possible so check out their website at www.cacf.org to learn more. You can reach Burton at burton.ward@cacfinfo.org to share comments or questions. As always thanks to Shellee Roberts from Total Image for her great work on our cover photos. 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

Soup for the Soul Is eating soup good for you or not? Well it really depends on what is in the soup! If it is packed full of vegetables in a broth base and not loaded with salt then yes, it’s great! If it’s loaded with cheese and/ or cream then, no, not so great. So, let’s look at some good hearty, healthy soups for the coming colder months. There is nothing more warming to both the stomach and the soul than sitting down to a bowl of steaming soup, especially when the temperatures are getting chilly. It can be one of winter’s best, and easiest, meals. Plus, if you are trying to lose weight, soups with a water/broth base are super filling while also being low in calories. (But don’t go and overload on the bread!)

spring onion and 2 tsp soy sauce. 5. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. 6. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining shredded spring onion, mint or basil leaves and shredded chilli if using. Serve with extra soy sauce for sprinkling.

So, let’s start with a classic – Chicken Noodle Soup. No blender required, just a big pot or a slow cooker. This is a recipe from one of my favorite go-to sites, www.bbcgoodfood.com

You will notice the use of rice or wheat noodles instead of plain old white pasta. This is a much healthier and tasty option. Also, the addition of ginger is a great immune support and awesome if you are coming down with a cold. Plus, it adds an extra warmth to the flavor profile, though if you don’t like ginger you can feel free to omit it. If you want to make it a more substantial meal you can add some barley or kidney beans, for example. Experiment with it!

Ingredients: 900ml chicken or vegetable stock 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 6oz 1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 50g rice or wheat noodles 2 tbsp sweetcorn, canned or frozen 2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 spring onions, shredded 2tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving Mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional) to serve Instructions 1. Pour 900ml chicken or vegetable stock into a pan and add 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 tsp chopped root ginger and 1 finely chopped garlic clove. 2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. 3. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks. 4. Return the chicken to the stock with 50g rice or wheat noodles, 2 tbsp sweetcorn, 2-3 thinly sliced mushrooms, 1 shredded

The second type of soup you do need a blender or food processor. This type does tend to be vegetable only as you are completely pureeing the contents. I love carrot soup and I love lentil soup, so this is the perfect combination for me: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup. Ingredients: 2 tsp cumin seeds Pinch chilli flakes 2 tbsp olive oil 600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel) 140g split red lentils (though any kind will do) 1-liter hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine) 125ml non-fat milk (if you are dairy free,

you can substitute almond milk or oat milk) Plain yogurt to serve (optional) Instructions 1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry 2 tsp cumin seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. 2. Scoop out about half with a spoon and set aside. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 600g coarsely grated carrots, 140g split red lentils, 1liter hot vegetable stock and 125ml milk to the pan and bring to the boil. 3. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened. 4. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). 5. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads or similar. Delicious! Hearty, full of vegetable and protein from the lentils. Lots of fiber, which is great for both making you feel satiated (full) and for your digestion. So, two great winter soups for you to try at home. I hope you enjoy them, and you can be happy in the knowledge that they are both very good for you .

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 my obsession with all things organic, I have been working with NYR for two years now, using skincare products myself for over RiverRegionBoom.com 2019 BOOM! November Thetheir River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine 44 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

Blairsville, Georgia Where Dreams Come True

Al’s not the only dream-come-true story one find’s here. *Chamber President Steve Rowe left an accounting practice in Atlanta and moved his family to Blairsville for better schools and a more pristine quality of life. *Interior designer P.J. Bair endured the corporate world for Downtown Blairsville Fall - Photo credit Chad Lariscy many years in Palm Beach, Florida. She escaped “the rat race” and opened the elegant gift and decorating Situated in Georgia’s shop Sunflowers scenic northon the Square and central Appalachian has never been foothills, it’s a happier. *Ricky stone’s throw from and Jody Atkins the North Carolina Blood Mountain Morning - Chad Lariscy Fall at Helton Creek - Jason Clemmons were high school line, a basecamp of During my stay, I took a long walk in friends who went separate ways then sorts for the many nearby attractions of Meeks Park with local artist Al Garnto. reconnected later in life, married, and nature like majestic waterfalls, hiking trails, Al’s a native who once suffered from a moved to Blairsville to pursue a mutual lakes, old-growth forests, trout streams, learning disability so severe that he was dream of owning and operating a bakery alpaca farms, horseback riding and fall not allowed to attend school. But his artist they call Dixie Confexions. *During the foliage. Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest mother coached and encouraged him from 2008 Great Recession, Jim and Donna natural point at 4,784 feet is only a short early childhood to draw. As a young adult, Guess were in difficult financial straits. drive away. One can’t miss Blairsville’s he sought and received help, conquered Jim worked in the devastated cabinetry beautiful Romanesque revival-style Historic his demons, went on to college and later market, while Donna worked at a local Union County Courthouse. It stands regally received a presidential scholarship to produce stand and at other odd jobs. They in the Town Square where shops and the Atlanta College of Art! Today, Al’s realized financial survival meant change. homes radiate outward and lush mountains captivating and sometimes lighthearted In May 2010, they bought a single smoker surround. But it’s Blairsville’s friendly sculptures adorn Meeks Park and the on the remaining credit on their card and people and gracious atmosphere that I City of Blairsville. He’s celebrated as a top began Jim’s Smokin’ Que in the back of a found most attractive. I enjoyed watching “kinetic artist” in Georgia. Al gives God all local gas station. A year later their church the locals go about their business on the the glory for the blessings in his life and and community pitched in and helped Square in the shadow of the bell tower, is eager to tell the amazing story of how them erect an adequate structure where pursuing their dreams and extending his dreams came true—definitely a story today they’re known as “Georgia’s Best hospitality to all. worth hearing. Every now and then I visit a place, in simple ways, so enchanting that I’m reluctant to write about it lest I fail to adequately convey its quiet charm and inner beauty. Blairsville, Georgia is one of those places. It’s a village some merely pass through, while others stop, remain, and see their dreams come true. Blairsville is a treasure trove of wonderful humaninterest stories.

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Place for Ribs” and “Best Place in Georgia for Barbeque.” I can attest to it! *Robert and Ilke Lander met in law enforcement and moved to Blairsville. They hacked the fabulous Paradise Hills Winery Resort and Spa out of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands, a boutique farm winery offering unique small-batch wines. *For imported wines from around the world, Todd and Larissa Littler live their dream at the Wine Shoppe on the Square. *And for more spirited spirits, Dillard Canup at Grandaddy Mimms Moonshine Distillery learned to make moonshine the “old-fashioned way” from his uncle. But he’s making it legally these days and is happy to share his story with flatlanders. For a small town, Blairsville has an enviable culinary scene. In my opinion, a visit to the mountains isn’t complete without a great cup of coffee and a hearty mountain breakfast; so, I highly recommend the legendary Hole in the Wall Restaurant and the Cabin Coffee Company. For lunch try the Sawmill Place where it’s farm fresh, harvest driven and locally grown; or grab a great burger at Copeland’s Burgers. For dinner, dine on the upper veranda of the Union County Community Center at The View Grill overlooking Butternut Creek Golf Course; or bring your own bottle, and enjoy fine dining at family-owned—another dream-come-true story—Michaelee’s Italian Life Caffe where the entrées are amazing and desserts delectable!

L-R: B.J. Bair at Sunflowers on the Square, Jeff with Al Garnto, Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm

Now, before you leave Blairsville—and this is mandatory—take a bench seat on the Square and wait for the courthouse tower to melodiously chime Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Think about the lyrics many have found characterize this community well: “Somewhere over the rainbow way up high, There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby, Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream…really do come true.” During our walk in Meeks Park, Al Garnto told me: “There’s good reason novels don’t have pictures. It’s because the writer paints a picture with his words as descriptive as what the artist paints with a brush.” As a novelist, I can only hope this is true. The novelist paints the picture as he sees it. But the reader may see it differently and have his or her own interpretation. I hope you’ll not be one to merely pass through

Blairsville. Go linger there for a while and paint your own story. You may be one of those who remains and makes a dream come true, too.

For more Information: www.visitblairsvillega.com www.alpacamoon.com www.trackrock.com (horse stables) www.algarnto.com www.sunflowersonthesquare.net www.dixieconfexions.com www.jimssmokinque.com www.ParadiseHillsGA.com www.mimmsmoonshine.com www.holeinthewallga.com www.cabincoffeecompany.com www.thesawmillplace.com www.unioncountyga.gov/ communitycenter/the-view-grill www.italianlifecaffe.com www.copelandsburgers.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

BLASTS FROM OUR PAST "A true story from the Greg files"

Do you remember your first email?

Email Obscura, never to be found again.

I was working near Indianapolis, far from the girl I left behind in South Florida, missing her desperately. We were talking by phone when she let it drop there was this “new thing”- a way to communicate instantly- called email.

Still, I’ve not forgotten how amazing it was to compose passionate, occasionally lust-laden thoughts to her, hit “SEND” and know she could be reading them seconds later.

I’d worked with computers for years writing copy. Radio had been using them to play music over the air, so I rolled with that like every other industry advancement. Studio walls were once used to warehouse thousands of vinyl albums. Individual tape cartridges came next, followed by CDs, which took up far less space than “carts”. Now you can fit a radio station music library on an I-Pad. She told me to find one of those AOL CDs, stick it in the computer and follow instructions. While everyone else was creating novelty email addresses, I chose gregbudell@aol.com because while I craft a nifty love letter, using my actual name seemed more professional for business purposes. Over the last 2 decades, AOL has become something of an unhip dinosaur. Personally, I despise their politics, but am fearful that if I dropped AOL, I’d vanish into a Twilight Zone of

My inbox recently contained a collage of images from our BOOMer childhoods, asking “how many of these do you remember?”. The answer is “most of them”. To commemorate 20 years of email, I picked 10 images from among dozens that touched my heart and am sharing them here. #1 CARDBOARD BOX - Kids toys have morphed into hi-tech wonders over the years, but the cardboard box remains viable- for kids who turn it into a clubhouse, fort or whatever inspires their imaginations. I used one recently to keep the dogs from doing their business in a part of the house they picked for whatever dog reason they had. I have a whole fort of cardboard boxes in the attic filled with things I should have tossed years ago. They are labeled “TO MY SURVIVORS”.

#2 Dick, Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff taught me how to read. I remember the moment when words made sense, thanks to them. Today, they’d be under assault from every aggrieved special interest group for being “too something”. You can’t forget the family that taught you to read! #3 The Formica Table - This one “got” me because the Budells had this exact table in this exact color in the kitchen for most of the 60s. Somewhat ArtDeco, no? Early American Soda-Fountain? #4 The Automatic Record Changer This amazing device allowed the user to download a stack of 45RPM records. When one finished playing, it would drop the next. It is the prehistoric ancestor to I-tunes.

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

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#5 The Hula Hoop - You know what’s sexy? A woman who can keep that thing swirling around the hips with minimal effort. That’s about all I can say in our family-friendly magazine. Reference #1 and let your imagination go to work. #6 The Label Maker - For some reason, we were amazed by this awkward device, which after dialing the letter needed for the label, would spit out a thin plastic label for all the things in the attic you probably should have tossed. I use something much more modern these days. It’s called a “Sharpie”! #7 The Swing Leap - It made me feel like Superman and taught me the

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fundamentals of gravity. That moment of release- shooting for maximum height- was sweet. #8 The Mailbox - These still exist of course but have lost their magic. You drop the letter in, double clutch the opening to make sure the envelop went in. As BOOMlets, that envelope often held cereal box tops and 25 cents in coin for some cheesy toy that would break upon receipt. #9 Drive-In Speakers - What was better than pulling into the gravel lot of a drive-in movie (you’d largely ignore), getting the audio through a crappy metal speaker, while you learned the facts of life with the parking brake between you and your companion? The last Chicago drive-in turned to adult movies to stay alive. It failed. They were too close to a major

intersection, and numerous wrecks were occurring from passersby stunned at the sight of 80-foot breasts a glance away. True story. #10 Long Distance Phone Calls - This I don’t miss. “Reach out and touch” may have been a Hallmark memory but it was a huge rip off. 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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By Robert Negro

Central Alabama Brewer's Society CABS Many mature adults are looking to start new hobbies as they retire, or the demands of work diminish. Currently one of the fastest growing hobbies in the US is the home brewing of beer. This is the ideal hobby for someone who has a taste for, or interest in the thriving US craft beer scene. If you love savoring a deliciously hoppy India Pale Ale, then imagine how much you would enjoy creating one of these masterpieces of the brewing art yourself. It has been completely legal under federal law to brew at home since 1978, and in 2013 Alabama was the last state to legalize home brewing. If you think that home brewing beer is too difficult for you to do, then you are wrong. If you are able to boil water, then you have the skills needed to make some of the best beer you have ever tasted. An average home kitchen contains almost all the equipment you need to home brew beer. All you need are certain ingredients and the knowledge of how to brew beer at home. Luckily for you there is a group of experienced brewers right here in Montgomery who are willing to give you that knowledge, and any assistance you might need to become a home beer brewer.

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That group is the Central Alabama Brewer's Society CABS, and since 2017 I have been proud to have a leadership position in the group. CABS conduct monthly meetings at different venues in Montgomery. During these monthly meetings we network, share our knowledge/ experiences, and most importantly share our deliciously crafted home brewed beer. Not only do we get to enjoy others delicious craft beer, but we also get vital feedback that aids us in improving future batches. I have been brewing beer at home for over thirteen years, but the skill level of our CABS members runs the gamut from newbie to veteran brewers. CABS has hosted a "Beer Camp" training event where in one weekend we not only trained novice brewers, but also equip them

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with the tools of the trade and assisted them with brewing that first batch of beer. For group members with more experience we have advanced projects such as brewing and barrel aging strong beers in a group owned bourbon barrel. CABS members also compete in regional and national home brewing contests. On occasion we also donate and serve our home brewed beer at festival events such as Auburn's Oktoberfest. CABS is not just limited to beer brewers either. Some CABS members make their own wine, cider, and mead at home as well. While CABS is based in Montgomery, we also network and work in conjunction with other home brewing clubs in the state through the Alabama Homebrewer's Alliance. In fact, the first meeting of the Alabama Homebrewer's Alliance will be held at 12:30 PM on Sunday 12-1-2019 at Henderson Homebrew located at 446 Coliseum Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36109. So, if all this talk has whetted your appetite to start brewing, then we invite you to join us. Membership in CABS is free and open to all adult over 21 years of age. Feel free to join our Central Alabama Brewers Society site on Facebook for all news and information relative to the club. For any specific questions, please reach out to me at the club email CABS. BREWCLUB@GMAIL.COM. Hope you can join us for a beer soon. Cheers! The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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November 2019

{12 Things} for active boomers and beyond

CLANTON, ALABAMA

North Pole Express Heart of Dixie Railroad Various Date in November/December

“All Aboard!”, calls the conductor, and your family's magical journey to the beautiful North Pole begins! Through the dark night, the North Pole Express makes its way by starlight to the top of the world. On the way, you'll listen to a whimsical Christmas story, sing your favorite holiday carols, and watch out the windows for the bright lights of the North Pole to appear. Upon arrival at the brilliantly decorated home of the Toymaker himself, the elves, Santa, and Mrs. Claus will all board the train to visit your family and to take photos with every child. Your North Pole Express adventure will make lasting Christmas memories for you and your family for years to come -- And for even more festive fun, be sure to wear your pajamas for the ride! For tickets visit www.hodrrm.org or call 205.757.8383.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents Alabama Department of Archives, Downtown Sunday, November 3rd, 12:30-4:30 pm The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening day of We the People: Alabama's Defining Documents, a Bicentennial Exhibition of Alabama's Six Constitutions that will run from November 5 - December 12. We the People: Alabama’s Defining Documents will feature all six of Alabama’s constitutions, along with the 1861 ordinance of secession, which declared Alabama’s separation from the Union on the eve of the Civil War. This exhibition will explore how these documents, some of the most important in state history, reflect their framers’ values, hopes, and fears. During the exhibition, the Museum of Alabama will offer extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from November 5 through December 12. For a complete schedule of gallery talks and more information about the exhibition, visit www.wethepeoplealabama.org or call 334.353.3312.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Blue Room Trio 1st Thursday Jazz Commerce Beerworks Thursday, November 7th, 8-10 pm Blue Room Trio featuring the world-famous Henry Pugh graces the stage of Commerce Beerworks on the 1st Thursday each month. NO COVER and free good vibes. Thursday, Nov. 7, 8–10 PM

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Commerce Beerworks 166 Commerce St, Montgomery, Alabama 36104. More at www.facebook.com/ events/392721508053358/?event_time_id=392721528053356

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Pints for Pups Common Bond Brewers, Downtown Montgomery Thursday, November 7th, 6-8 pm Raise a pint to our furry friends! Join us for a pub night benefiting the Montgomery Humane Society from 6 to 8 pm. Dogs from MHS will be in the outside patio area in front of the taproom. You can chat with Humane Society staff, ask all your questions and even fill out all the paperwork to adopt the pup you just fell in love with. So, head over to the taproom and drink for cause! Call 334.676.2287 for more information or visit www.facebook. com/events/730295580716685/

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Jim Malclom-Straight Out of Scotland The Capri Theatre Friday, November 8th, 8 pm As both singer and songwriter, Jim Malcolm is one of the most distinctive voices in Scottish music, “one of the finest singing voices in Scotland in any style”. He was lead singer of the phenomenal Scottish band Old Blind Dogs for seven years, touring extensively throughout Europe and North America and playing at many of the biggest folk festivals. In 2004, Jim was songwriter of the year in the Scots Trad Music Awards, and he has been nominated three times for Scots Singer of the Year. He has a huge repertoire of songs from the Scottish tradition and is a noted interpreter of Burns. These old songs are complemented by his own original and award-­‐winning songs, which are at once completely modern and accessible, yet an authentic addition to the cannon of Scottish music. For more info visit www.capritheatre.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Groovin in the Garden MMFA-Caddell Sculpture Garden Friday, November 8th, Gate Opens at 6, show starts at 7 pm The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts’ Junior Executive Board is hosting the first-ever Groovin’ in the Garden in the Museum’s John and Joyce Caddell Sculpture Garden. Join us for live performances The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


by the Coleman Woodson Group, Souled Out Groove, and Kirk Jay & Kuntry Funk, on Friday, November 8, 2019. The gates open at 6 PM and the show starts at 7 PM. This event promises to be an evening of soulful performances starting with smooth jazz, transitioning into rhythm and blues, and ending with country music with a funky twist! For tickets visit www.mmfa.org or call 334.625.4333

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Gaither Vocal Band MPAC Friday, November 15th, 7 pm Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band are hitting the road again this fall on their brand-new We Have This Moment Tour! Make your plans now to join them and their guests Gene McDonald, Charlotte Ritchie, and Kevin Williams for an incredible evening of praise! For ticket info visit www.mpaconline.org and www.gaither.com

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

MMFA 10th Annual Artist Market MMFA Friday, November 15th (Members 5:30-8), Saturday,16th, 10-4

Join MMFA for our 10th annual Artist Market! Shop local and support the River Region’s artist community. In addition to our outstanding Museum Store artists, we’ve invited some new regional artists to join the Market this year. Museum members are invited to join us for an exclusive preview party Friday evening. The Market opens to the public on Saturday so be sure to bring your friends and family to this once-a-year event that’s perfect for holiday shopping! For more information, call 334.625.4333 or visit www.mmfa.org/discover/annualevents/artist-market/

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

Saturdays in the Gardens: Grow Ferns that Flourish Birmingham Botanical Gardens Saturday, November 16th, 9-12

Dr. Dan Jones of the Birmingham Fern Society will provide an introduction to what makes ferns special, how to care for them, and where to grow them, including unique terminology associated with ferns, their differing growth habits, and specific attributes that influence how you plant, transplant, and site them in a garden. Participants will then tour the Fern Glade with Dr. Jones. The tour will cover a brief history of the Glade and its current role as a test garden for the Hardy Fern Foundation, select ferns that perform well in Birmingham gardens, as well as some unusual ferns. Cost $10. For more info visit www.bbgardens.org

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Murder Mystery Cruise at the Grand Gatsby Speakeasy

The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Harriott II Saturday, November 16, 6:30-9 pm

Come out aboard the Harriott II and participate in this one of a kind Murder Mystery event. Find out what's going on within the walls of the Gatsby Speakeasy, figure out who's who and help come up with clues to find the murderer. With purchase of a boarding ticket, you will receive your character descriptions and costume preferences in an email packet; Along with being a part of the evenings mysterious events, this cruise includes a full meal, signature keepsake champagne glass and cash bar. Tickets are $50 per person. Call 625.2100 for more information.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

Hampstead Fall Food Truck Takeover! Hampstead Town Center Sunday, November 17th, 12-3 pm Come join Local Food Trucks for delicious street food in Hampstead on Sunday November 17, from 12 - 3pm! Food Trucks: A variety of local trucks may include Wharf Casual Seafood Montgomery, Smokin' Wells BBQ, Taqueria El Campesino, Fire Meats Wood LLC, Frios Gourmet Pops - River Region, That's My Dog Montgomery, Alabama Sweet Tea Co., Cheesecake Empori-Yum, and Dynamite Dogs. Enjoy seasonal beer, wine, and cocktails at our Town Center businesses including The Tipping Point (open for drinks and snacks) and TASTE serving Sunday Brunch. Info: Live Music. Great for all ages. Parking located on Long Acre, Mercer Street and in 2 large Hampstead Parking Lots. No rain dates. For more information, call 334.270.6730 or more information at www.facebook. com/events/479397999288651/

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Dancing at Lughnasa Cloverdale Playhouse December 5-15, check for times

This extraordinary play is the story of five unmarried sisters eking out their lives in a small village in Ireland in 1936. We meet them at the time of the Festival of Lughnasa, which celebrates the pagan god of the harvest with drunken revelry and dancing. Their spare existence is interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio, their only link to the romance and hope of the world at large. A memory play, the story is told through the eyes of the son of one of the sisters as he remembers the five women who raised him: his mother and four maiden aunts. For tickets and more info visit www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org

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Tinseltown Talks By Nick Thomas

Dee Wallace battling more Critters

The Critters are back and meaner than ever. Fortunately, Dee Wallace has also returned to take aim at the miniature alien monsters in “Critters Attack!” Released straight to Blu-ray, DVD, and digitally over the summer, the film had its television premiere on the Syfy Channel in October.

her daughter, actress Gabrielle Stone, to release her first book “Eat, Pray, #FML” in June (www. eatprayfml.com) and is busy as an established self-help author, public speaker, and radio show host (www.iamdeewallace.com).

Wallace starred in the original 1986 comedy horror but skipped the three sequels and only agreed to do the new movie because it was a reboot of the franchise. “Too much time had gone by to go back and reprise my role in the original, so this is a great reworking of the story,” Wallace said from Los Angeles. “The writers came up with an incredibly interesting and strong character for me, plus I got to go to South Africa for filming.” Wallace says modern technology didn’t ruin the new version. “We didn’t use CGI – it's all puppets like the original. I don't think the fans would have it any other way.” Director Bobby Miller knew fans would want Wallace in the new film, too, and told the studio he needed her after reading the script. “She’s a consummate professional, warm and funny,” he said. “Her character in ‘Critters Attack!’ is a bit of a bad-ass. I think a lot of folks think of Dee as the ultimate movie mom, so

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getting to subvert that with her was a real joy.” Of course, Miller was probably thinking of Wallace’s famous role playing the mother in 1982’s blockbuster “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” But her venture into horror began 5 years earlier in “The Hills Have Eyes” which was just her third film and a real screen shocker even for 1977 audiences. She went on to appear in horror/thriller classics such as “Cujo” and “The Howling.” “I love working in all genres, but it’s the dramatic work in thrillers and horror films that really rocks my boat and allows me to step up and act at many different levels,” she explained. At 70 years old, Wallace has no plans to slow down. She encouraged

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And in addition to the Critters film, this year Wallace plays either lead or supporting roles in the horror flicks “Dolls” and “3 from Hell,” the thriller “The Wrong Mommy,” a romance “Renovation of the Heart,” and the drama “Sunrise in Heaven.” Somewhere along the way this year, she also reached a career milestone that few, if any, living actresses could claim. “My publicist called me and said ‘Wow, Dee, congratulations, you’ve passed your 200th movie.’ I had no idea!” And when asked if she’ll find time to knock out another hundred films and extend her filmography to 300, Wallace didn’t hesitate: “You bet baby!” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala, and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 650 newspapers and magazines. The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine


The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

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

November 2019

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The River Region’s 50+ Lifestage Magazine

Profile for Boomer Communities

BOOM! November 2019  

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

BOOM! November 2019  

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