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Editor/Publisher Slidell Magazine
My brother, Cyle Maness, and his beautiful fiancee, Tandra Lockhart, were killed by a drunk driver on the night of their engagement party, 3 days before Christmas. They were buried side by side on Christmas Eve 1991.
Cover Artist zac mcgovern
All of this is a fact. I don’t need to dramatize it any because just the facts are heart wrenching enough.
Kendra, 6 years old, eyeing Santa skeptically The Christmas holidays are here and with them, a wealth of emotion for my family. You know, it really stinks when a holiday as special as Christmas is forever linked with the loss of a dear loved one. But, it happens. People die every day and Christmas time is no exception. No one is immune to loss, and too often that loss comes at a time when it seems as if everyone else is their happiest, and you are at your lowest. I’m a happy gal every day of my life, so I’m trying to make my way through this Christmas season with the same attitude I carry with me the rest of the year. This year is a bit different, however. It’s the 25th anniversary of my brother’s passing. (The word “anniversary” seems so awkward here, but I don’t know another term to use.)
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Since then, as you can imagine, Christmas has never been the same. I muddle through, as does my family. I remember wishing my sisters a “bearable” Christmas, and smiling through tears to try to bring some levity to a truly difficult time. One of the hardest parts about losing someone this time of year is that you become the “Debbie Downer” of the holiday season. Once the loss occurs, it seems that all the happy Christmas memories are gone and replaced by the dark cloud of your loss. When my family’s loss is known, we become the party’s buzz kill, so we almost feel obligated to keep it a secret. It makes Christmas an isolated time for us. So, here’s me revealing the big secret, so the cloud can be lifted. I am choosing to be happy this Christmas. Not the fake-smile happy that I’ve perfected for twenty-five years, but the REAL happy born of those that I DO have, rather than the ones I’ve lost. I can find that happiness with my family and friends while still honoring my brother and my memories of him. And I’ll start right now. MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Kendra Maness - Editor/Publisher Editor@SlidellMag.com
Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Graphics@SlidellMag.com Illustrations by: Zac McGovern www.HalMundane.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Charlotte Lowry Collins The Storyteller, John Case Jockularity, Corey Hogue Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich MikeRich@MyPontchartrain.com In the Shadow of Mickey & Minnie, Donna Bush Donna.Bush@yahoo.com Once Upon A Time, excerpt from Images of America: Slidell by Bonnie Vanney
COVER ART BY ZAC MCGOVERN
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Zac McGovern is the talented illustrator behind the hilarity of Slidell Magazine’s Crimi-Mommly Insane and the cartoon Lil’ Loopy (a character based upon his daughter). This is his second cover. Zac was raised in Slidell. He says, “I may never know what drew me to seek attention for expressing myself through cartoons. All I can say is my parents encouraged me to be who I was, even when they didn’t necessarily agree with where my inclinations were taking me. I never quite fit in!” “But you know something? I love people. I like to draw their big noses and weird chins. I like to capture cartoons of people in their strangest, most unguarded moments. And I like to draw cartoons that are about the innocence and purity of children. Children are one of the greatest gifts, not because they are always easy to get along with or because they always make sense, but because there’s an honesty in kids and their world view that is all an old cynic needs to chill and enjoy a flower or a sunny day.” “People throw the word “artist” around like it means something. I’m just a person. A simple person who wants to say something like anyone else. At the end of the day, I hope for the future and it’s not because it’s easier. No, I believe in hope because I want the kids right now to be better than us. For me, that’s what my art is all about.”
view more of us at: www.slidellmag.com
Extraordinarily Fascinating “Ordinary” People by Charlotte Lowry Collins
Joseph Dubuisson “The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais
Who knew that cemeteries were such lively places? Perhaps some of you, but certainly not me. When Mr. Joe suggested we interview at Dubuisson Cemetery, I pictured a pastoral scene under the ancient oaks. It was one of those crisp November afternoons. A slight, North breeze tickled the
moss, but the dappled sunlight on my back brought warmth. I’ve always marveled over the oldest markers in this cemetery near my house. They are written entirely in French, with birth dates that go back as far as the 1700’s. Included in these graves are Native Americans, Europeans, Creoles, and cousins of cousins that are buried here. Adjacent to the cemetery is also a plot granted by one of the traveling priests to the Reviere family. Francois Dubuisson donated this land for this purpose, and they came from France, some via Montreal, to settle “New France”. We placed our chairs near the entrance, facing the memorial plaque dedicated to Joe’s mother, Alice Carpenter Dubuisson. While her husband was from our community known as Bonfouca, she hailed from Pachuta, a town near Shabuta, Mississippi. Alice was appalled by the lack of policies over the interments here at the Dubuisson Cemetery. She soon initiated policies and procedures to protect the family plots. Then she generated funds to have a fence erected to deter vandalism.
Ultimately, she tended this cemetery most of her adult life.
Joe pointed at the entry way and reminisced, “She would pack a picnic, a cooler of drinks, and set up a table right there for days before All Saints Day. As the families would show up to prepare the tombs and markers, she would request money to maintain the grounds. Almost every family represented here came to whitewash their tombs and clean the gravesites, so she was quite successful.
Candles were placed, waiting to be lit at dusk on All Saints Day. On that day each year, families see relatives they may not see any other time of the year. Then the stories begin, and continue on throughout the evening, as long as there is someone left to listen.” I hope my readers will allow me to interject a moment in order to describe All Saint’s Day. As the proud families finish their work, the priest arrives. He prays in Latin over each tomb, sprinkling holy water for a blessing. The holy event culminates with a beautiful, poetic evening. The setting couldn’t be more picturesque, with moss adorning ancient oaks, Cherokee Rose, and cypress trees on the bayou’s edge, all reflecting the rose hue from a fall sunset. Then twilight falls, and the voices quiet. One by one the candles are lit. Just when your eyes begin to fail, the candles denote the aisles between the graves. The noise picks up as story telling begins. I was amazed when Joe explained that the current Cemetery Committee still operates with the funds his mother generated. She passed in 1987. “Katrina put a huge drain on the account, but we have enough to get the grass cut,” he interjected. “We still have an active board, and we hope to have every grave marked some day.” One exceptional lady on the cemetery committee is Mrs Helen Doucet. She worked with Joe’s mother is very helpful in cemetery operations still today. “Couldn’t do it without her,” Joe says. Joe begins to note the nearby markers. “This is my father, Joseph E. Dubuisson, and their little still born baby was interred with him. That one is my great aunt, there’s my cousin, and over there is another cousin. Here’s my great uncle. You know, my mother knew everybody in here. I have to refer to my paperwork for the visiting family members that I rarely see.” I heard a rustling in the fallen leaves, and Maurice Doucette appeared. Joe was quick to tell me what a great neighbor Maurice was for the cemetery. “We had a pile of debris that was over 200 years old, and Maurice allowed us to move it onto his property so we could clean up the cemetery. As it happened, an archeologist, Joseph Yarbrough, discovered it, and asked to explore the contents since it was now outside the cemetery boundary.” I suddenly remembered speaking to Joseph at the Slidell Library while he was displaying the collection. He found buttons, shoes, small statues and little artifacts. Behind us a car door closed, and a couple emerged with dried flowers. They went over to their family tomb and set to work. Almost simultaneously, a man came by and Joe’s eyes followed each visitor to identify the family. When he saw that the last man was cleaning the Broom tomb, he said, “Well, he must be another cousin.” Joe watched their activity all the while we were talking. Finally, the Broom relative approached us on his way back to the car, and I deduced that he was my friend Holly’s cousin. After he left, Joe laughed and said, “I’ll tell you something odd. There were these two Broom brothers and one Broom
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sister. The boys each married a Dubuisson sister, and that Broom girl married their Dubuisson brother. They were triple cousins,” he laughed. The two families intertwined in many instances, and Joe was able to recall names of couples who did so going back several generations. When I asked about the reason for the attraction, Joe smiled wryly and said, “Small gene pool,” and off he went. Looking back over his shoulder, Joe offered, “Let’s take a stroll. See those tombs that look like stumps? Those are for Woodsmen of the World members. I’ll have one like them, as I was President of the local chapter for a time.” I looked up the group and discovered that WoodmenLife is a fraternal organization designed to help members and their families in times of need. It began as a non-profit Life Insurance Company with a Financial Advising component. Their values include family commitments, and a patriotic pledge. Volunteering is an important aspect. They donate American flags to fire houses, schools, and other public services dedicated to our community. Another role is donating wheelchairs to those in need. After 9/11, they stepped in to help organize remembrance ceremonies at schools. A large part of their activities also focus on orphans and senior citizens. Walking past the handmade crosses and tombs still bring me wonder and joy. I have photographed this cemetery under so many magical light conditions. Most tombs are more traditional, but the creative ones always grab my attention. There are iron and plaster crosses, wood crosses, and figurines that adorn these graves. I stopped at the site of multiple tiny graves. Joe pointed out that many of them fell victim to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. This also provided a fascinating research opportunity. It is purported to have killed more people worldwide than the “The Great War”, and traveled from Spain to the Americas as victory dawned and men came home.
Finally we reached the back corner on the left hand side. It is the oldest section. Many of the Dubuissons and Cousins, who donated this land for the cemetery, have tombs back there. There are World War I veterans’ tombs, as well as World War II and recent veterans. I saw that a Mr. Frederick was born in Denmark. Then I spied Dr. Adolphe Dubourg’s family tomb. There is a great story about him saving one of the Cousin brothers from the soldiers by painting him with iodine, and proclaiming him to be highly contagious. Another research jaunt revealed that Dr. Dubourg is cited as the first doctor to perform a vaginal hysterectomy in America, if not in the world, according to Professor E. S. Lewis of Tulane. Reaching a tomb that was prepared for a new interment, Joe demonstrated how the wood would be flipped to allow ashes to return to the dirt underneath. Then the next body would be placed on top of the wood. Families had to wait at least seven years before a tomb could be re-entered. Sometimes they had to wait an additional period of time before disintegration to dust was complete. Joe was solemn when he explained that timing has to be informed by a funeral home before it is approved. The sealed tombs are for one person or however many vaults are in the tomb. In contrast, the open-top tomb allows the burial process to continue without disturbing the ground. In the case of dirt mounds, if a biodegradable coffin was used, then remains are moved to the side as the plot is dug the next time. A small area is dug deeper, and the remains are placed first. Then the recent burial is placed on top. Metal caskets are intended for a single burial, as they degrade very slowly. I asked how many were in each tomb. Joe shook his head, “There is no accurate count of past interments within each site. All we have is the memory of those who care-take this cemetery. We only have a few sites that have been abandoned by their families. Of course we continue to care take them. I became the Sexton, or sacristan, and now regulate the activities for this graveyard.” One thing the Sexton is responsible for is emergency management. After Katrina, Joe discovered that fourteen caskets had broken loose. Eight of the caskets had drifted out of the graveyard. Joe pointed to one that still had broken straps. I saw so many sad things after Katrina, but seeing eight caskets sitting outside the cemetery entrance was particularly disturbing. I asked what he did before retirement, and Joe explained that he was a data processor and product specialist engineer. Joe laughed and said, “My first computer was half transistors and half vacuum tubes. Those computers were big enough that I could crawl inside one. I trained at Keesler Air Force base, then was stationed for two and a half years in Guthrie, West Virginia on a mountain top radar site.” “Pay in the first couple of years in the Air Force wasn’t that great. At the time I entered service, I was supporting my mom after Dad died at 51 years old. In order to make
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Work of Christmas Begins When the song of the angels is stilled when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples, to make a little music with the heart... And to radiate the Light of Christ, every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. Then the work of Christmas begins. -Howard Thurman, adapted
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ends meet, I took on extra details. This was when I began to engage fully in death and funerals. I did Military Guard Honors, as part of the rifle party. We concluded a lot of funerals. I took this honor seriously. The saddest ones were the young soldiers with young children and wives.” Joe looked off at the horizon briefly.
Katrina, but I also look after Mom’s grave at Forest Lawn. I realize now that we need to preserve our heritage, and history itself, for that matter. Young people tend to look only at the here and now, taking the past for granted. We get too wrapped up in ourselves. There would be a lot fewer problems if we had more respect for ourselves and others.”
“My mother was so concerned that there would be no one to take over and tend her grave here, that she asked to be buried at Forest Lawn. I stepped in as Sexton after
Sweeping his eyes over the names, he pointed out more relatives, “This is Tom Faciane, the bridge tender. I was a pall bearer. I am related to the Penas, Madisons, Facianes, Galatas, Pichons and Brooms.” About this time, my friend, Belinda Pichon, walked up and we talked about her baby’s burial here. She touched the letters on her brother’s grave, and told Joe she wanted to volunteer to help make markers for the unidentified graves.
Joe remarked that he needed more volunteers and donors. “The grass
has to be cut by hand and weed eater. Mowers just can’t fit. I really wish we could get a different fence. One that is aesthetic. Not like the chain link we have now. I don’t want it to look like a concentration camp. Mr. Perrin behind the cemetery was going to weld a nice fence for us, but he fell ill and never got to do so. I really think we need a chart at the entrance that identifies where each family lies. New comers might get more involved if they knew where each member’s remains are. We are in need of cement workers also. It would be nice to be able to take part in the permanent marker trackers system the state is initiating. But my main goal is for this cemetery to gain the designation it deserves as a National Historical Site.” As the sun began to set, and the chill fell, Joe Dubuisson concluded with, “I’ll do what I can while I can.” There are so many interesting cemeteries in and around Slidell. If you aren’t a history fan yet, you will be by the time you begin asking questions. Questions lead to stories, and history is there for the seekers.
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D E C E M B E R
Storyteller THE CHRISTMAS TREE In the 1950s, our Christmas trees were always small pines that look nothing like your present day trees. They had almost no conical shape to them, but they did make the house smell good because they were fresh cut. Most all of our friends and neighbors had the same type, and they were never over three or four feet tall. A few families had a cedar tree, but only if they lived on an old home place where cedar had been planted because it was thought to be a natural insect repellant. There were no Christmas tree lots that were operated for charity by the Lions Club or the First Methodist Church.
Sometime we would take a ball from a sweet gum tree and wrap the gum foil around it. That looked something like a star. The lights were about the size of your thumb and when one went out, they all went out. There was an exception to this. It must have been in the mid or late 1950s. The exception was silver colored artificial trees. A light that rotated was placed at the base, and the rotation would cause the tree to change colors. My mother said that was tacky. Thatâ€™s a southern word that means not classy. Mother used it a lot. There was another exception. That exception was the tree that the Naughtons had. It was different. The Naughtons were different. They,
The decorations were very basic with silver bells crafted from tin foil, or even the tin foil backing of a chewing gum wrapper.
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as we would say, had money. They were also Catholic. Mother liked them as neighbors because Catholics would decorate for Christmas more than the Protestants and Mother liked Christmas decorations. There were only about sixty people that were Catholics in our area. Most of them had migrated north from New Orleans. Some, like the Naughtons, came when the lumber business was making fortunes for investors. Others were Italians who followed the banana and fruit peddling business north and established grocery stores. All good people, but different, and their Christmas decorations were a sight to see.
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Mr. Naughton and his wife had moved from town to the country some years before. They sold their home in town, which most thought was a mansion. He built a likewise beautiful place on a hill that overlooked one of the prettiest valleys in the county. As I said, he had money, and as a kid I could not understand where it came from. They said he â€œmanaged his investments.â€? When I was younger this confused me. I had never seen a store that sold investments and I had never seen a pasture where any investments were planted or raised. It did not matter even then, I knew he had money. Mr. and Mrs. Naughton did not have any kids and I heard mother say that if you did not have kids, it was easy to have money. In addition to having outdoor music and a snow making machine, every year Mr. Naughton would order a tree from somewhere up North. It was some type of fir I suppose, and he was the only one in the county that had one. It came on a railway car, packed in a wooden crate. When the tree was uncrated, he would give the crate to us. We would use the wood to make our forts, hideouts or treehouses. This was an unofficial Christmas present to the few boys who lived nearby. We all liked this family. They would give us odd jobs around their place and pay us well. About three weeks before Christmas, a few grown men would put the tree and crate on a log truck and bring it from the train depot to his yard. There, they would help him erect it and lavishly decorate it. I suppose he paid them well too.
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Just after Thanksgiving, about the time that the Christmas tree would arrive on the train, Mr. Naughton was involved in an accident. He fell down the stairs. It was gossiped that the Naughtons participated in social drinking. That was a new term in our part of the country. Prior to knowing the Naughtons, you were either a teetotaler or a drunk; there was no in between. Rumor had it that the family, and some of their friends from town and New Orleans, would have social drinks on some afternoons during this season. If the truth be known, a lot of not-so-affluent families were having drinks in the afternoon, but it was a secret, and they were called cocktails. Anyway, it was assumed he had fallen due to drinking and had broken his leg.
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My friend Tommy was not afraid of heights and he could climb. He was four years older than me, and must have
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been about sixteen at the time. Mr. Naughton asked him if, when the tree arrived, he would climb it and decorate it for him. He told Tommy that it would take about four hours, and he offered Tommy $30 for the job. Tommy had never seen that much money in one spot in his life. Neither had I, but I was not part of this arrangement. I did go to town the day the tree was to arrive. I was more interested in seeing how much wood was in the crate than anything else. The train came. There was no tree. It had failed to be shipped because the company who had been paid for it had gone out of business. It was too late to order another one. Mr. Naughton was disappointed and so were the neighbors. Tommy was disappointed in not getting the $30. I wished desperately to be a hero for both Tommy and Mr. Naughton, but since I could not climb I had to win their attention another way. I mentioned Cedar trees. It was rumored that if there was a large cedar tree on an old home place, there may be gold buried at its roots. Well, I remembered there was such a tree at the Old Martin place. It had
long been abandoned, but around the old house were a number of cedar trees. It was evident by the disturbed earth at their bases that the roots had been tested for gold. I never heard if any was found. If my memory is correct, the largest Cedar was an almost perfect Christmas tree shape and at least 20 or 25 feet tall. I told Tommy, and he knew about the tree too. We agreed to surprise Mr. Naughton. We felled the tree with a dull, rusty crosscut saw. It took a long time. Then we were faced with the dilemma of transporting it to the Naughton house. Tommy’s family had once had a mule that pulled a slide. A slide was similar to a sled, but was made to slide over dry land, not snow. The mule had died a couple of years back, but they still had the slide. We hooked the slide to the old Willis Jeepster my dad had, and drug the tree to Mr. Naughton’s. He was not home. We used the Jeep to help us raise and stabilize the tree. We were just finishing up when Mr. Naughton arrived home and hobbled out of his pickup on his crutches. I don’t think I have ever seen a happier man.
The result was, in addition to Tommy getting his $30, Mr. Naughton gave us $200 for the tree. Now honestly, not even our parents had ever seen that much money. We did not tell them either; but they knew something had happened when we gave everyone in our families nice Christmas gifts. We even kept some of the money for ourselves. As soon as the new year began, Mr. Naughton began clearing forty acres of fertile bottom land. He bought some tree stock that the Agricultural Extension Service said would grow well in the south. He planted Christmas trees. To this very day, his nephews manage his investments. These investments are Christmas trees growing in one of the first Christmas tree farms in the state. Closing note: I know a man that made millions discovering oil. His secret was to drill under the largest cedar tree. Maybe there was some truth to the gold story. Merry Christmas.
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Go Beyond by Rose Marie Sand
The next First Christmas
here are a lot of firsts to be experienced in life, and the first Christmas holiday after a major life event is perhaps the most poignant. As we pay homage to the Christ child’s birth, we also honor the past and the promise of the future.
Dear Slidell, Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours.
My 2016 Christmas marks the yin and yang of my life. It will be the first Christmas since my beloved mother, Julia DiGiovanni, passed in February. And it’s the first Christmas of my dear grandson, Zac Alexander Sand, who was born in August! What a joy this new life has brought into the world. As I put up my tree this year, I considered the joy of my earliest memories of the tradition. They are all beautiful ones.
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What’s the earliest memory you have of Christmas Day? Is it colorful ornaments on your family tree? Perhaps you remember the anticipation of ripping paper off gaily wrapped presents? And, ah, the tantalizing aromas of Mom’s cooking for days and days leading up to the best meal of the year is surely hard to forget.
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Like you, my memories of the traditions of the holiday season warm my heart. This year, I’m starting new traditions of peace and love tenderly stoking that warmth.
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My new Christmas tree is a far cry from the aluminum tree highlighted with a wheel of light casting shadows of color on the silver branches in the 60’s. My, how progressive we thought we were! Yet my tree this year is just as impossible to find in Louisiana’s nature, as it’s flocked with (artificial) snow! But the decorations nestled in its branches are the very best of the old and the new that make my Christmas bright. My family keepsake decorations were stored in the attic eleven years ago, when all of the rest of my belongings were destroyed. The fact that those decorations were spared makes them all the more treasured. Right after Thanksgiving, I bring down from storage the manger scene that my mom displayed when I was a little girl. My husband’s grandmother, Acilie Veran Fastring’s, fragile Santa and his reindeer proudly march along my mantle. A little bird from my daughter’s mobile hangs low, as it did when she was a baby and could reach up and touch the wings. Ornaments my son made in grade school, along with photos of him and his sister, are always placed near the outer branches so I can see them easily when I walk by. A handmade ornament of a couple on a motorcycle reminds me of the rides my husband and I shared once upon a time. My son, Clint, and I made macramé ornaments for the first Christmas after my daughter Gina passed away, and we fashioned a star covered with shiny foil for the tiptop.
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This year, there are new additions that are as special and meaningful to me as the comforting old favorites. There’s a Relay For Life ornament in honor of my Mom, and a little angel that used to hang on her tree. And a photograph of Zac is on an ornament on the highest branches, closest to the shiny star his father and I made so long ago. Scattered among my tree’s branches, for the first time in this latest of my “first” Christmases, are Japanese peace cranes called orizuru.
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My friends, Jeff and Stephanie Ito, visited last month and they folded several origami cranes for me. As fragile as the birds they resemble, they represent a story that speaks to every heart. You see, a little Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki, who developed leukemia after being exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II, began making origami cranes when she was hospitalized, with the goal of making one thousand of them. Sadako was inspired by the senbazuru, a Japanese legend that a thousand paper cranes brings peace, a long life, and good luck.
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Jeff and his family recently visited the Hiroshima Peace Park, and witnessed the tens of thousands peace cranes folded by people all over the world wishing for peace and nuclear disarmament. Jeff told me that his aunts folded cranes for him some 30+ years ago when he faced an illness. “They have always held important meaning to me because of this. There is a cultural meaning and sentiment behind it,” he said. Jeff left cranes tucked in several spots in my home when his family stayed with me. Finding each one was a delightful surprise. I have tenderly picked up each and placed them among the branches of my flocked tree. I’ve long had a peace crane wall-hanging in my home, gifted by my talented friend, Laverne Bourgeois. “I was going through a rough time after my momma passed and needed something spiritual to help in healing,” she told me. “The art of folding the origami was very therapeutic.” So, you see, the peace crane symbolizes hope and rebirth, and is a fitting new tradition for my holiday. There are so many frontiers to cross, so many traditions to reinvent, when the number of loved ones around the table faces the inevitable shift. The origami crane’s addition to my tree, and my future trees, have added the peace I needed to complete this Christmas’s promise of the future.
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Of Your Money By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
When it comes to money (& cleaning out the garage), small steps can lead to BIG results. Mary and I built our home in Slidell in 2004. We moved in a few days before Christmas, and things were hectic. A lot of stuff ended up in our garage, and my (good) intention was to gradually arrange things after the holidays and get rid of anything we didn’t need. It didn’t happen as planned. In August the following year, Hurricane Katrina and her flooding took care of the garage for me, or so I thought. Almost magically, it filled up again as we rebuilt our home. It’s funny how that happens. What wasn’t funny was Mary’s nagging me over the past several years about how awful the garage looked and what was I going to do about it. So, to put an end to my misery, I vowed to her that I would “take care of it.”
I dreaded that job. Where do I begin? What do I throw away? What do I keep? The task was overwhelming, so I kept putting it off. Finally, I got a grip and said to myself, “Mike, start with something small.” Believe it or not, I still had a box of MREs left over from Katrina sitting on a shelf. Thinking they couldn’t possibly be good (they weren’t good when they were new), I hauled the box out to the street for the trash guys. That small effort energized me, so I sat on a chair in my driveway and had a beer to celebrate. Then, I tackled another shelf. This time, I threw away a collection of plastic beach toys that we hadn’t used in about three years. Gone. With those two victories under my belt, I was on my way. It’s taking a few more weekends, but my garage is looking pretty good these days, and Mary is off my back. Actually, she’s on my back about other home projects, but the garage deal bought me some brownie points. By the way, if any of you boat-owners out there are in the market for a 60 HP, four-stroke, major-brand outboard motor with only a few hours on it, have I got a deal for you. Just like not knowing where to begin when tackling a messy garage, a lot of folks are intimidated when they’re faced with getting their financial lives in order. “How do I begin? Who should I call? How do I know what I need?” Money matters can be overwhelming, so my advice is to start small. Here are some of the baby steps you can take to make the job more manageable:
Step 1) Build your emergency fund. Steve Kernahan Andy Prud e
Mike Rich Robin Oddo
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Few things are more devastating to a long-term financial plan than to be forced to stop it or raid your retirement fund to pay for a short-term emergency. Rich or poor, everyone needs an emergency fund to handle unexpected expenses that seem to pop up out of nowhere. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it should be something you keep your hands off unless you have an emergency expense. One of the best ways to handle this is to make it automatic. Set up an online savings account, link it to your checking or debit account, and deposit a bit of money into this account every time you get paid. If you don’t have much money to begin, start with $50. Before you know it (and if you stick with it), you just might end up with a tidy sum that will keep you from having to use your credit card to pay the plumber when your garbage disposal stops working.
Step 2) Protect your income. Before I became a financial advisor, I worked for 19 years for a very good company that offered great benefits. During those 19 years, 15 of my co-workers suffered some type of long-term disability event. That’s almost one every year. Our group disability policy was my co-workers’ lifeline. If you are a wage-earner in your family, you’d better be protecting your income from a devastating illness or accident. If you don’t have group disability income coverage at work, talk with me about an individual policy. I’ll be honest with you: disability insurance premiums are not cheap. But, think about this: if your income stopped for six months, 12 months, or longer, what would your family do to get money? If you don’t have a good answer, call me.1
Step 3) Protect your family in case you die too soon. When I was growing up, a guy on our street died in a tragic car accident. He and his wife had four kids, the youngest of whom was two years old. The man didn’t have any life insurance, because “he didn’t believe in it,” according to what my dad heard. You can imagine the effect it had on the family. The
easiest way to deal with this situation is to buy term life insurance. For many people, especially young parents who are starting families and need a lot of life insurance, it’s usually affordable. If you don’t know how much insurance you need to protect your family, call me.1
Step 4) Start a long-term savings and investment plan. I can’t guarantee your success, but if you start early, the greatest gift you have when investing is time. As many times as I’ve gone through this calculation with clients, I never tire of it. Think about this: a 25-year old who invests $142 a month at an average 8% rate of return can amass about $500,000 in 40 years. That’s real money, and $284 a month could make her a millionaire. It doesn’t happen overnight, you have to be consistent, and it helps a lot if you ignore the short-term gyrations of the financial markets. If you don’t have $142, go with a smaller amount, say $100, or $50, or $25. I’ll help you get started. By the way, even if you are in your 50s, consider the fact that your retirement could last 25, 30, or more years. You’re going to need a lot of money to get through that. It’s never too late to start saving and investing. Call me.2
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Cleaning out my garage seemed daunting when I looked at the enormity of the job. However, it turned out to be a lot easier after I realized I didn’t have to do it all at once (sitting in my driveway and drinking beer helped, too). Getting your financial life in order isn’t difficult, either. It just takes a little time and effort. The baby steps I wrote about above can get you way beyond where the average American family is, and, once in place, you’ve already done most of the hard work. Call me, and we’ll get started.
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This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rate of return used does not reflect the deduction of fees and charges inherent to investing. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
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Keeping Slidell Beautiful
SLIDELL TREE GIVE-AWAY Mark your calendars, Christmas is coming again in January! The City of Slidell Tree Board is treating residents to gifts that can last a lifetime – free trees! The mission of the Tree Board is to work with the City of Slidell to successfully manage the planting, protection, maintenance and removal of public trees within the city limits; to make recommendations to the city regarding the general health and welfare of Slidell’s urban forest resource; to organize public educational events and programs; and to organize activities to celebrate Louisiana’s Arbor Day. Board Chairman Jonathan Dedon is a state and city licensed arborist. He says, “Slidell is known for it’s beautiful greenery. We want to encourage and sustain our natural green spaces as well as provide residents with the opportunity and education to grow their own. It’s one of the reasons why people love living in Slidell.” 26
The Tree Board is a division of Keep Slidell Beautiful, a City of Slidell program that focuses on litter prevention, beautification, community improvement, and waste reduction through partnerships, education, and activities, to improve the quality of life for citizens in Slidell. In 2007, Slidell was designated a “Tree City USA” by the LA Dept. of Agriculture. This November, the Slidell Tree Board received a Keep America Beautiful/UPS Tree Planting Grant for $5,000. These funds allowed the Tree Board to plant 43 native trees of 30 gallon size on Pontchartrain Drive, Old Spanish Trail, Gause Blvd., throughout Olde Towne and in Heritage Park. The trees were Bald Cypress, River Birch, Red Swamp Maple, and Live Oak. Crepe myrtles and camellias were also planted. The Tree Board is just one of the many active programs within Keep Slidell Beautiful. Other programs include:
Citywide Cleanups Two citywide cleanups a year draw participation from students, civic groups, churches and citizens, with 2/3 of the volunteers picking up litter and 1/3 working on beautification projects. Parade Anti-Litter Program “The success of parades should be measured by the smiles on our faces and not the amount of litter on our streets,” KSB Director Bill Mauser urges parade goers. There are 520 vinyl trash containers along the city’s four and a half mile parade route. Since using the trashcans, there has been a 70% reduction in litter on the streets. Krewes are reminded to use the extra trash containers at the beginning and end of the parades. Clean/Green Schools This year, KSB provided up to $200 in Education Grants to local Green Team
Schools for their school projects relating to litter prevention, beautification or environmental issues. Abney’s “Compost Gardening” project had students learning how to fertilize plants organically in their Teaching Garden. Brock’s project “Playing in the Dirt” taught students about reusing rainwater to water gardens, planting and caring for flowers, and recycling. Honey Island’s Project “Beautifying the Honeybee Hangout” purchased a garden bench, birdbath, flag and flagpole to enhance their outdoor classroom. Salmen High “Salmen Recycles” purchased receptacles to recycle cans and plastic. Whispering Forest “Environmental/ Beautification and Education” will teach students how waste can be converted to useful compost, which improves organic vegetable, flower and butterfly gardens. A rainwater barrel will teach the children to use rainwater instead of wasting tap water in our gardens, which saves water and money.
Bayou Bonfouca Cleanup Palmetto’s Restaurant and KSB partner each year on two Bayou Bonfouca Cleanups. Volunteers are rewarded with free admission to an all-day Music Fest on the Bayou sponsored by Palmetto’s. Greenwood Cemetery Project The Greenwood Cemetery Project continues with the cleaning and painting of tombs and removal of tree stumps at Slidell’s oldest cemetery. Senior Citizen’s Center Landscaping KSB has been hard at work, constructing flower beds, planting flowers and shrubs and revitalizing existing landscape. Adopt-A-Street The Adopt-A-Street Program allows volunteer organizations, groups, scouts, schools, or businesses to become active in their community by contributing toward the effort to maintain litter-free streets, parks, or other areas in the city. KSB currently has 17 different groups who have adopted streets. Adopt groups commit to clean their adopted area four times a year.
KSB’s other ongoing projects include city-wide litter prevention programs, community service programs, household hazard waste collection days, and recycling programs. Tree Board Meetings are held at Fritchie Gym, the second Wednesday every month at 4pm. Slidell residents are encouraged to attend and GET INVOLVED! Join us at Heritage Park on January 21 to pick out your tree and do your part in Keeping Slidell Beautiful!
SLIDELL TREE GIVE-AWAY SATURDAY, JAN. 21, 2017 9AM - 2PM (or until all trees are gone) HERITAGE PARK FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE! One tree per family Tree Types: Red Maple, Red Bud, Fringe, Japanese Magnolia, Japanese Maple, Mayhaw, Sycamore, Eagleston Holly, Celeste Fig, River Birch, Loquat, Shumard Oak and 3 varieties of Crepe Myrtles (Tonto, Natchez, Muskogee) Quantity: 20 - 30 of each tree
In the Shadow of Mickey & Minnie
Story & Photos by Donna Bush
Just a 45-minute drive from Orlando and the world of Disney, I discovered Mother Nature’s bounty of wildlife. Although my best friend, Kristi, would not agree with me, there really is more to Florida than visiting Disney. Don’t get me wrong, Disney can be tons of fun. I’ve been a couple of times to Florida and once to California, but anyone who knows me, knows the further away from crowds, the happier I will be. While I was recently in Lakeland for an outdoor writer conference (and not visiting Disney), I discovered a couple of terrific attractions that would be fun for the whole family.
We hope you enjoy this installment from award-winning outdoors photographer and writer, Donna Bush. Inspired by life... Curiosity seeker...Inviting all Slidell Magazine readers to join her.
My favorite was Circle B Bar Reserve about half way between Lakeland and Winter Haven, a 1267 acre Polk County Nature Reserve. Formerly a cattle ranch, much of the property was converted to pasture by pumping off the water. After the purchase in 2000, the property was restored to its normal hydrologic function providing perfect habitat for Florida native
species in 2005 and 2006. This marsh restoration project provided an excellent environment for a regrowth of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles. Alligators are beyond plentiful! The way the marsh was restored added to the tolerance of the wildlife, as they adapted to large construction vehicles only accessing the building area on a certain path. The other benefit is the levee trails are only above water trails, so the majority of wildlife will use the same trail that you are on. Therefore, a bobcat, coyote or rabbit will be on your trail to avoid getting wet. On the other hand, most alligators will only cross the trail from one wetland area to another. They may choose to lay and sun on the trail but normally will not be traversing the trail as we would. As a veteran wildlife photographer of 20+ years, I know what it is like to get close to wildlife, and to not get close to wildlife, and to be totally skunked by wildlife. I’ve got so many butt photos in my collection that I thought about producing a wildlife
butt photo calendar. I’ve got deer butts, bear butts, duck butts, elk butts, moose butts, eagle butts, great blue heron butts, ibis butts…Well you get the picture! You can imagine my excitement when I found a place where I could shoot awesome up-close photos of great blue herons (GBH). Anyone who has ever tried to photograph a GBH, kayaked/canoed close to one, or even walked near one knows it doesn’t matter your mode of transportation or how quietly you might approach. They see you, smell you, hear you and take off squawking to the high heavens about your intrusion! This was not true at Circle B Bar! My first morning outing was in search of a stellar sunrise. It turned out to be kind of a blah sunrise, but being out there that early was worth the lack of sleep, coffee and breakfast. We had the preserve all to ourselves at 6am as we pushed our way down the trail to get to the best sunset photo spot. The view from the deck was alright this morning, but would have been better with more light and less overcast clouds. I worked my way around and got some decent shots with a great white egret in my foreground. I had the typical Florida weather with unexpected showers. Even though it was October, there were no cool fronts to give the stunning skies at sunrise and sunset. Bummer! And I thought to myself, I left cool weather in Slidell to come to Florida for this! What was I thinking? But, wait! After my non-spectacular sunrise, we walked the trail to see what wildlife we might encounter. WOW! First
there was spectacular scenery. Then there was the great egret haloed by the rising sun. Then my first limpkin! We don’t have them in Louisiana or close by, only in Florida, Central and South America. Quite a highlight! But then there was the great blue heron! I stopped well away from it so I could get a photo, but it didn’t fly away. So, I stealthily worked my way closer and it still didn’t fly away. I took way too many pictures of him/her because he/she didn’t fly away. I wanted to see all the wildlife I could get in my lens! I’d been told about a resident bobcat with kittens. I desperately wanted to see them. My husband, Eric, and I eased our way closer to the great blue and it still didn’t move. If I hadn’t seen it fly in, I would have thought it was fake. Of course, I still kept taking pictures! We walked all the way up to it and past it and it still didn’t move. I was in shock. I whispered to Eric, “I can never get this close! I love this place!” Just when I thought I had experienced the best, a pair of great blue herons flew down to the trail in front of me and began displaying. They walked around, strutting their stuff, flapping their wings and looking into the trees. I later learned that they were most likely raised in a nest on this trail. While they were displaying and I felt like I was in heaven, an alligator crossed the trail between the two great blues! WOW! These weren’t my only great blues of the trip. There were many, many more! As were there many more alligators and limpkins. Of course, in Louisiana I’m no stranger to alligators, but these were really close
and even crossed the trail right in front of us. I would never advocate approaching dangerously close to alligators or any wildlife. I want to remind everyone that these are wild animals. We are not in a zoo and wild animals can react unpredictably. I did not have a dangerous encounter with any wildlife, nor do I want to. If an alligator is laying on the trail, it is best to turn around and go in the other direction. These trails are not wide enough for you to safely walk around a gator, even though the gator will usually pass where there’s a 3-4 foot opening on each side of the trail. As you walk the trails, you can easily see the gator crossings as they are worn down on both sides of the water like a slide. All that being said, we saw several gators cross our trail and we cautiously approached each opening looking carefully to both sides. Always be aware that mama alligators are very protective of their nests and their young. They will hiss and chase you if you get too close. We saw a few juvenile gators from this summer’s hatch. They look quite cute and harmless at that age. Limpkins are small heron-like birds that feed almost entirely on apple snails, which 29
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I never did see the bobcat, but I met photographers who did. We met Rob on our last day at Circle B. He walked with us along the trails, pointing out local nesting spots for great blues, bald eagles, and barred owls. After we returned home, Rob captured shots of the bobcat hunting and catching a limpkin for dinner! Limpkins appear to be a mainstay of the bobcat diet. Good job Rob!
O S pen Dec undays e 11 mber Noo th & 18 4th, n to th 4 p.m .
unfortunately are extremely plentiful in Florida. There are at least five varieties of apple snails in Florida, but only one is native, the Florida apple snail. The one most frequently consumed is the island apple snail, a very invasive creature known for wiping out rice crops. Sadly, they are beginning to appear in Louisiana, which is bad news for our rice farmers! If you are out for a walk or paddle in our marsh or swamps, keep an eye open for what appears to be a fat pink caterpillar about an inch to inch and a half long. These are clutches of up to 1000 eggs! I’ve seen and photographed them in Jean Lafitte National Park. Luckily for Florida, the limpkins are doing their part by eating the snails! I didn’t expect to see juveniles as late as October, but I found 2 families of limpkins each with 3-4 chicks. They were difficult to photograph as Mom kept them mostly out of sight for their own protection.
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I did photograph reddish egrets, which I’ve struggled with shooting for a number of years. I even captured shots of them as they shaded the water to hunt for prey. By shading the water, they draw fish into the shadows. It also aids them in seeing through the water on a bright sunny day, just as we would shade our eyes or wear polarized sunglasses. There were common gallinules, which are plentiful in Louisiana and always sound to me like they are laughing over some really good joke or story! Previously known as common moorhens, they are prevalent from Canada to Chile. They are quite vocal with a brilliant red shield over their bill and some had juveniles with them. Another awesome find! Also, there were purple gallinules, which are spectacular! They sport a dark purple head, neck and underside, green
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back, red bill tipped with yellow, light blue forehead, and yellow legs. The colorfulness makes them the painted bunting of marsh birds. Circle B Bar Reserve has attractions for all ages. Polk’s Nature Discovery Center is located on-site and full of educational activities for children and adults. You can learn about the various habitats of Central Florida. Kids can climb into a tree to discover plants and animals of the area; learn what wildlife inhabits the wetlands and why wetlands are important; at the lake exhibit learn about the 554 lakes found in Polk County and the difference between a pristine and polluted lake; plus much more in the other exhibits. For anyone not up to the hike a tram tour is offered. Check www.polknature.com for dates and times, plus a wealth of other events. There are 38 named lakes within the city limits of Lakeland, hence the city’s name. Seventeen are natural and the remaining man-made. My favorite was Lake Morton, home of the Lakeland swans. There were four species of them – 2 black and 2 white. I’ve never seen black swans before. They are incredible! Swans began in Lakeland in the 1920’s as pets, but by 1954 they were completely wiped out from disease and alligator consumption. In 1957, a Lakeland resident who was visiting England reached out to the Queen of England for assistance with replenishing the swans. Who knew that the Queen owned the swans living on the Thames River that were part of Richard the Lion-Hearted’s flock? Queen Elizabeth graciously donated a pair to the city. The pair quickly learned to evade the resident alligators and their descendants still reside there to this day. Sadly, their wings are clipped, but they are beautiful to observe, along with the wood storks, several varieties of ducks, white ibis, and more great blue herons. Free to access with picnic areas, this is a great place for kids and adults to get a close up view of many different bird species. The various bird species are so accustomed to people that I captured a shot of Eric and a wood stork that appeared as if they were waiting at the bus stop together! It’s one of my favorites. In reality, the wood stork thought Eric would offer a handout of some kind.
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The last place that I will mention is Bok Tower Gardens, also about a 45-minute drive from Disney and a National Historic Landmark. The 50-acre garden is located at an astounding altitude (for Florida) of 298 feet, offering magnificent sunrise views and beautiful vistas of the surrounding area. It also provides a bird sanctuary to 126 different species and a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
Original owner, Edward W. Bok, commissioned famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. to design and build a beautiful garden at the highest peak to stun every visitor with its beauty. He succeeded! It provides an informal woodland setting with spectacular vistas and breathtaking views along with tranquil resting spots and reflection pools, affording all of the necessary ingredients to offer a beautiful wildlife habitat.
Additionally, there is the Singing Tower Carillon, which is a set of 60 bells in the tower, ranging in weight from 16 pounds to nearly 12 tons! WOW! That’s a lot of bells! Bok, originally from the Netherlands, remembered the music of the carillons from his youth and wanted to recreate them. He did! Every 30 minutes, recorded music drifts through the gardens, and each day a concert is provided at 1 and 3pm. I highly recommend taking a bench
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by the tower and enjoying the concert. It enhances the peace and solitude of the gardens. I know most of you are thinking, Gardens? Sounds pretty but the kids will be bored. Well, think again! Opened earlier this year is Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden next door to the visitor center. Spoiler alert – it’s not just for kids! I found myself wanting to explore the discovery gardens and play just as much as any kid! This children’s garden provides 2.7 acres of nature-inspired wonder and discovery, offering a Florida hammock forest with logs, rocks and water to explore. The educational intention of the garden is to relay the importance of plants to animals and to humans for food, shelter and happiness. A mission that is interwoven with my every wish – reach children at a young age and teach them the importance of nature, plants, wildlife and they will protect it as adults! “Reflecting the art and spirit of Bok Tower Gardens, Hammock Hollow incorporates cooling water features, vibrant plantings, a boardwalk, play areas with climbing features, a stage for little performers, and plenty of space to build, dig, create and explore.” Swirls of a pebble mosaic, such as the redheaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise, welcome you as you enter the Hollow. An indigo snake sculpture invites children to grab a bucket and feel the sand flow through their fingers as they play in the coolest of sand boxes. From here, you can venture to River Run to cool off in refreshing fountains, spray jets, misters and foggers as you make your way through the river. A sprawling shady canopy provides activities such as the Word Garden – words painted on rocks where you can make sentences or phrases; the Fence Swift Stumpery draws attention to the beauty of stumps. There’s a Fox Den log climb, a Stick Stack for building kid-sized structures and forts, and the Fairy House trail where garden fairies can be found living in houses built by children. I’ve only briefly touched on all of the children activities included in Hammock Hollow. All of the activities I’ve mentioned in this article are free except for Bok Tower and Gardens. Adult tickets are $12-18 and children aged 5-12 are $3-8. These are such reasonable prices compared to Disney prices! Next time you go to Florida to visit Disney, add a little freedom to your agenda and free (or almost free) stuff to your trip. Get a close-up wildlife adventure at Circle B and Lake Morton. Enjoy beautiful gardens and music plus an awesome new children’s playground at Bok Tower Gardens for a very nominal fee. You may just surprise yourself with how much there is to enjoy and appreciate without the Mickey ears.
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by Kelly Lutman
Strategies for a Healthful Holiday With the arrival of the holiday season, our to-do list seems to get longer and our social calendar gets even more crowded. We have decorating to do, gifts to purchase and wrap, travel to plan, parties to attend or host, and numerous family traditions to uphold. Do you view the holidays with eager anticipation, or is there a tinge of dread lurking in the back of your mind?
really need food. I have often found that I don’t. An extra tip … throughout the day of a party, make a point of drinking at least 5 glasses of water before the event. You will provide needed hydration for your body and help to reduce your inclination to indulge.
Holiday gatherings often involve food and drinks that hold emotional ties to our childhood memories or are presented to tempt your taste buds and offer a moment of decadent pleasure. Either way, it is difficult to pass up what is served, and all too quickly we have snacked and sampled our way to extra pounds, brain fog, and perhaps misery.
Our culture seems to have adopted the adage that “sleep is overrated” for the sake of having more hours to accomplish the many tasks on our list. Yet medical studies have clearly demonstrated the importance of sleep for our wellness. While you may consider sleep to be “lost time”, your body is quite busy replenishing hormones, repairing damaged tissue, processing toxins, and often solving the problems you have puzzled over through the day. Explore ways that you can make sleep more of a priority and I believe that you will be surprised at how much more productive you are during the day.
You can choose to change your path and discover a new way to approach the holidays. No matter what your experience has been in the past, you aren’t destined to repeating the same cycle. I invite you to explore some strategies that help keep you energized and in better balance through this holiday season so that you enter the new year in better shape than last year.
Stay Hydrated This is a simple strategy that has turned my life around. Did you know that dehydration can be masked as hunger? It’s not unusual for us to feel hungry, as opposed to dry-mouth thirsty, when our bodies are actually asking for water. Test it for yourself. The next time you feel hungry outside of a normal meal time, drink a full glass of water and wait 10 minutes to re-evaluate whether you 34
Get More ZZZs
Choose Realistic Exercise Let’s face it, when our list becomes longer than the hours in our day, the first items that fall from our schedule are often the ways that we take care of ourselves … what I call self-care. Exercise is a part of self-care, as is sleep. You may have been in the habit of taking classes at the gym, or going out for a run, or any number of approaches for working out, yet it’s easy to drop that from the plan when the demand for your time is high. It’s okay to skip the longer forms of exercise, but I encourage you to consider ways
that you can incorporate movement in shorter spurts. And it doesn’t have to include weights or even tennis shoes. One of my favorites is parking further out in the parking lot so that I get more walking before entering the building. This works whether I’m shopping or going to work – I often find that I can get into the building before those who are waiting for close spaces, and I’m less likely to get dings in my car! If you work in a multi-story building, skip the elevator and take the stairs. On the home front, get your kids outside for a bike ride or brisk walk around your neighborhood. The key is to keep moving! These are just a few ways to support improved wellness on an everyday basis. You may already be working on these areas in your life. But what about the parties? What can you do to foster a healthful outcome while still enjoying the festivities?
Eat Before the Party Just as it is risky to go grocery shopping when you are hungry, arriving at a party that way can set you up for overload. I know - you want to save room for that special food that your hostess is known for serving – I get it. And you still can look forward to savoring that treat without going overboard, if you eat a small snack focused on high-fiber, raw vegetables with a glass of water, or blend up a green smoothie so that you drink your fiber and liquid together. By doing so, you will curb your appetite to avoid overeating, and your body will appreciate the energy that this nutritious snack provides.
Plan Your Plate We’ve all approached a buffet table, picked up a plate at one end and begun filling it with tasty morsels. By the time you reach the other end, your plate is piled with much more food than you would normally eat, often because you found more enticing foods at the far end of the table. I have found that I avoid that overload by strolling along the food table to plan my choices before I even grab a plate. You can also think of your plate as a budget. If you have that space allowance, how do you want to spend it? As a Health Coach, I encourage my clients to fill half of the plate with vegetables or fruit, and try to keep the high-sugar treats to a quarter of the plate. The remainder of the plate would be for protein and a healthy source of fat (bring on the guacamole and nuts).
Socialize Away from the Table You go to a party to visit with your friends and meet new people. If you are anything like me, I’m guessing that you find yourself mindlessly snacking when you stand near food – whether the buffet or a snack bowl – while you are talking. True confession? I can’t have a candy dish on my desk or coffee table, because I’m the one who will empty it one morsel at a time. Knowing myself, I find it much safer to choose a position away from the food where I can focus more on the people with whom I am talking. Might this approach help you, too?
Limit Your Alcohol Yes, I’ve gotta go there. Not because I want to squelch your fun, but because as a Health Coach I need you to be aware of what it does to your body. Alcohol quickly enters your blood stream and dominates the attention of your liver as it is processed. When your liver is focused on alcohol, it shifts away from digestion and is not able to support the processing of the fatty foods you are eating. Combine this with the higher levels of processed sugar you are likely eating, and you have a recipe for added fat storage and possible indigestion. Perhaps planning to drink fewer alcoholic drinks alternated with sparkling water and lime (or another simple, alcohol- and sugar-free liquid) would help to relieve the burden on your liver and improve your digestion?
Stay Positive Slidell Magazine’s motto of “Keep It Fresh, Keep It Positive” is a valuable approach for life! We have the privilege of choosing our attitudes. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, a positive attitude can be infectious and alleviate a great deal of unnecessary stress. I find it helpful to purpose to smile at people throughout the day, and to close each day by noting my gratitude for people I encountered or events that occurred that day in my journal. Do you have a gratitude journal? We can’t realistically expect to make major changes in our lives in the midst of the holiday season. Yet you may have found one or two of these strategies here that you can incorporate daily or on special occasions to help you arrive at the first week of the new year without feeling defeated. Share your plans with a family member or friend so that they can encourage you along the way. Your life – your health – is worth too much to simply fall into the holidays and hope that you come out in January without having done too much damage. Plan your approach to carry you through the demands of the season and help you enter the new year as a victor. What first step will you take to pursue wellness?
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by Corey Hogue
How’s the North Pole? Is it chilly? What’s that like? I wouldn’t know. Not that I’m complaining, who DOESN’T love 12 month summers? Oh right, I don’t. But that’s not why I wrote this letter. This year, I decided to publish my sports Christmas gift list so you have the best chance to see what Louisiana needs in sports. I assume my letters for the last 20 years have gotten lost in the mail since I’ve never gotten a response from you, but I thought this year trying a different outlet might better my chances. It seems that almost every Louisiana sport could use a miracle this year. And you are just the man to make it happen! I have been a REALLY extra super-duper good boy this year, so I’m upping my list to include some pretty incredible gifts. I hope you think I deserve them, because all of our major teams need some help.
1. PLEASE MAKE DREW BREES 15 YEARS YOUNGER, AND FREEZE HIM THERE Drew Brees has had some great years playing in New Orleans. He’s broken team records, he’s broken NFL records, and he
even helped to bring the Saints their first Lombardi Trophy. But he’s going to be 38 years old next month. No one knows how long he can keep up his stellar play; he can’t out-throw Father Time. So, for my first gift of the 2016 Christmas season, I wish that Drew Brees was PHYSCIALLY 15 years younger. And freeze him there. Let him keep his intelligence, his intensity, and his leadership; but make him stay young, healthy, and ready for the Saints forever. I’m not asking for much, just whatever you take every year to stay Santa Claus. I’m sure you’ve got that in buckets just lying around. Heck, with a workshop like yours, those buckets are probably in their own special wing where the elves aren’t allowed to go. You know the one I’m talking about (*wink*).
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2. PLEASE GIVE LSU A HEAD FOOTBALL COACH You know, LSU won’t be the same without Les Miles. You know why? Because they don’t have a HEAD football coach. It’s bad enough that LSU decided part of the way through the first few games to fire Les (I know who’s getting coal this year!), now we have to deal with this “interim” mess. This state of limbo is killing me. I am a man who needs decisions, not a 258 pound Band-Aid that some people call “Bay Bay”. Not that I mind Ed Orgeron as head coach, despite being skeptical when he first took over. I just want a coach that will keep LSU’s defense great and find an offensive rhythm. If it’s Ed, great! If it’s John Gruden, great! JUST HELP US FIND A GREAT COACH!! Please. Thank you. I will leave extra milk and cookies out for this one.
The Chicago Cubs won a World Series for the first time in over a 100 years. I’m so happy for them. But you know how long Louisiana has gone without a Major League Baseball World Championship? Forever. Because there is no MLB team in Louisiana! And we are prime for a good baseball team. LSU has proven that baseball can be a passionate Louisiana sport. And the Zephyrs (I’m sorry - to me, they will always be the Zephyrs. I can’t get behind the Babycakes movement) already have such a strong fan base. Now, I know this gift is pretty intense. There are stadium considerations, sponsorships, lots of money involved, etc. But you are Santa Claus! You have a way of making miracles happen. And this would be the gift that keeps on giving. I’ll even treat you to a pair of tickets to the first MLB game for you and Mrs. C.
4. PLEASE GIVE LOUISIANA A HOCKEY TEAM
3. PLEASE ELEVATE THE BABYCAKES TO A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM... AND CHANGE THEM BACK TO THE ZEPHYS
Louisiana has such a rich sports culture. One that can grow and evolve. And I truly believe that, as diverse as Louisiana is, we can really support and enjoy a great hockey team. I mean, think about it. The closest team to Louisiana is the Atlanta Flames. And nobody in Louisiana wants to root for Atlanta in any capacity. So don’t make us! Please! Help us to show all those ice skating punks in the north that we can shoot pucks as well as they can. You will be helping to bring more ice to Louisiana, and that’s never a bad thing. Picture it: Hardcore Louisiana sports fans banging on the plexiglass and rooting for the Crawdaddies. Surely Louisiana sports fans would be just as fierce rink-side as they are in the Super Dome.
5. PLEASE FIX THE PELICANS As of writing this article, the New Orleans Pelicans are winless. I don’t even know what to ask for to fix them. A better coach? A better system? Chris Paul? Anthony Davis can’t do it all himself. The man can only put so much of a burden on that eyebrow. The Pelicans are in such a pickle that I’m not even sure Rudolph could help them find their way. And they need SOMETHING. A shot of adrenaline, a kick in the pants, whatever. And, Santa, only you can fix them. I think that Pelicans’ fans want to WANT to be psyched for this team. But right now, they just aren’t meeting us halfway. If anyone can help them get there, it’s you. Come on Kris Kringle, with your belly so great, won’t you help change the Pelicans’ fate? Now, I know that this list is no joke and that I’m asking a lot. And I wouldn’t ask for so much if I thought that we didn’t need it. But you are SANTA! Spread your Christmas cheer! Deck the halls with trophies and accolades! We could all use something really great to be excited about in our sports teams. I understand I may need a bigger tree this year for all of this to fit under, but if you just drop it in the back yard, I promise I will make sure it all gets to where it needs to go. Just look for my “Santa Stop Here” sign. Please send Mr. Bingle with any updates on my gift list! Best wishes to you, Mrs. C, the reindeer, and the elves. I’ll be springing for beignets for you this year in place of cookies. Your #1 Fan,
P.S. Some temps below 75 degrees would also be great. Just sayin’. 37
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Most of us had something tangible in our childhood that brought us comfort, like a stuffed animal or a blanket. An object we could turn to, even talk to, when the big bad world was too much for our understanding. If you had one of these, the image probably immediately popped into your head. If not, just think a little bit longer. It will come to you. What ever happened to this item? Do you know? Do you still have it?
Maybe you are riding the crazy train like me and actually STILL sleep with it?
or mysteriously wrapped every which way into the sheet.
It’s ok. I’m comfortable in my adulthood to share that.
He’s a stuffed cat.
My item is something you probably wouldn’t recognize right away. I have literally loved it TO DEATH. Yet, it still lives on. Every night. Next to me. And in the morning, is usually found either lodged into the empty space at the head of the mattress
It’s my stuffed animal, “Puppy”. Kidding. It’s a stuffed dog. Snort! I just laughed at myself. Four years ago, I thought I had lost him. FOREVER. I had NEVER lost him “FOREVER” before that time. Just temporary stuff. It made me realize, after 30+ years, how much
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this animal REALLY meant to me. Especially after grieving his loss, then finding him again. It is what I believe the doctors would call a “total hypoemotionalpsychotelenecroticWTFitis episode”, if they had a name. In other words, I turned bat shit crazy over an inanimate object. Here, just read this. I wrote it after I lost/ found him… “My name is Leslie. And I sleep with a stuffed animal. I’ve had my ‘Puppy’ since I was 3 years old. He was a replacement for the one that I left on the back of my Mom’s car before she drove off to run her errands for the day. That was a devastating day in the life of little Leslie. I still remember it clearly. Basically, I left it on the back of my mom’s car, and, uh, she drove off. Yeah. Pretty deep story. But alas, I had my replacement puppy, and all was good. He is my velveteen rabbit. For the last 31 years he has gone everywhere with me. Sleepovers, vacations, my many moves, hurricane evacuations. I even hid him during boot camp. I CANNOT live without my Puppy. I would NOT know how. If you look at him, you can see my dependence on him written all over his poor little body. First off, it looks like he has mange. Then his pitiful eyes. A dog chewed one off when I was little, then another dog got to the other eye years later. I cut some new eyes out of felt, then used a glue gun to glue on some of those googly ones. It freaked me out because he kept staring at me. So I ripped them off and now he is left with shiny glue dots. This makes him looked possessed. His left arm is much skinnier than his right because I like to smell it.
Which means my brain is full of stuffing now. His nose is crooked because I have sewn it back on so many times. If you hold him up the light you can see straight through his abdomen to the other side of the room. That stuffing is probably also in my brain. So why the dependence on him? No clue. But any theories are appreciated. And “I have issues” is too vague. Because we already know this. The other day, I LOST PUPPY! And I thought I was going to have a mental break-down! Brian was asleep and I frantically started shaking him. “Wake up! I can’t find Puppy!” “Help me look for him! Oh my God, I think I left him at the hotel!” Brian slowly gets up, pulling back the sheets, making an effort to care.
This is routine when I can’t find him at night, because I can’t sleep well without my puppy. I’m not usually this psycho though. What Brian didn’t understand was that I had REALLY lost him this time! We had just gotten back from vacation so I called the front desk of the hotel where we stayed. She hadn’t seen it. I had her transfer me to the lost and found, the laundry people, housekeeping… the new people staying in our room. Each person I spoke to got the full speech about him being a stuffed dog, but looking like a hairless freak show with one small arm. I just wanted to make sure they knew what they were looking for. I started convincing myself that housekeeping stole him and took him home. Brian said that no one would keep that ugly thing and that it is probably in the dumpster out back. “Yes! You’re right!” I ALMOST 39
convinced someone to “just take a little look in the dumpster for me”. They finally told me good luck, and just hung up on me. I was pulling my suitcase apart, pulling our house apart. I felt like I had left my own child at the hotel room. I had abandoned my puppy. I started to cry. Crazy, snotty, grieving tears. The next morning, we were getting rid of our old ratty suitcases because we had bought new ones. Brian was rolling my old suitcase out the front door to put it in the trash. He asked if I wanted to check it one more time. I said, “No, he’s not in there. He’s gone for good.” Later in the day, I walked past the suitcase, next to the trashcans out by the road. Ready to be picked up and never seen again. 40
I looked ONE MORE TIME. And…I found my Puppy! He was tucked away in the little back pocket of my suitcase that I barely notice and never use, looking up at me with those possessed eyes of his. One little tear coming down, because he knew I cared.” My children have special items like this too. My daughter especially. She has many. She even feels sorry for the sticks on the ground that have no family, so she saves them and names them. EVERYTHING has feelings to her. Very emotional little girl. Her MOST special item, though, is her polka dot blankie. She has been wrapped in it since she was a baby and still can’t go to sleep at night without it. Puppy and Blankie have hung out many times together too. Blankie likes to hear his exciting war stories from WAAAY back in the 1980s.
When our little Chihuahua, Zetus, died a couple months ago, it hurt her heart so bad. During his backyard burial ceremony, I read the poem “Rainbow Bridge”, where animals go when they die. My daughter walked away by herself for a moment, climbed on the trampoline, and said a prayer to herself. As the rest of us sadly walked away, she yelled, “Mommy look!” Up in the clear blue sky was one cloud. Perfectly shaped like a Z. I believe it opened a new door to faith for all of us, but especially her. Sometime after all this, she lost her blankie. I was tired, so I half ass-edly looked for it. Apparently the four years of adulting since my “episode” made me forget what that felt like. I looked a little bit longer then finally told her to go to sleep, we would find it in the morning. I’m comfortable enough in my adulthood to also admit that I can be selfish.
The next morning, after looking a little harder, I found it. She hugged it and loved it, then asked me, “Where do all of our special things go when they die?” My answer, not profound enough, caused her to write and illustrate her own little story.
this… A big square with a line down the middle. On one side of the line, it’s her, eyes closed, smiling big and clutching her praying hands together. Over her head is a thought bubble that holds her blankie, a stick, and another toy.
I think I have reached a place where I now understand the most annoying piece of advice older parents give to younger parents. Something I always rolled my eyes at because I could barely even hear the advice over the screaming and crying of my babies.
On the other side of the line is God. A big yellow man with sun rays beaming out all around him. He has a halo on his head, a bigger smile, and his eyes are looking towards her. The best part, he is answering her prayer by holding a TELEPHONE to his ear. Think about that a sec.
“Enjoy them. They grow up so fast.”
Have you ever heard of the Rainbow Bridge? Well, it’s where all the animals that have died go, but I know up in Heaven, there’s a Silver Bridge. The Silver Bridge is where all your items go, like I have feelings of items. An example of an item is my special blankie. I think items can talk when they’re at the Silver Bridge and I can play with my items and name them, like my lizard toy Lizzy. The Silver Bridge is an amazing place, so if you want to call God and Jesus on his kind of phone, AKA praying, ask him to send anything you want there. But of course, he will anyway. Her illustration at the bottom was
The gentle lessons our kids can teach us are priceless. It’s moments like these where I realize how important it is to hold on to your own childhood innocence, for them, to better communicate, AKA, talk on their level at times. They need that. We need that. When my daughter said she wants me to be a kid in heaven with her so we can play, I realized it even more.
Ugh. Hated that. But guess what, I’m there. And I just realized it. Grab your special item if you’ve got it, hold it, squeeze it, sniff it, even put it up to your ears so you can’t hear me, but I am going to OFFICIALLY say it. BE that child with them, walk in their little shoes for bit, get to know who they truly are inside. You might be surprised to find a “little you” in there. AND... (here it comes), Enjoy them. They grow up so fast.
Dr. Jason Parker 2330 E GAUSE BLVD FOR APPOINTMENTS
504-831-2120 DocParker4Kids.com DR. JACK DEVEREUX’S OFFICE 41
Your NORTHSHORE HARBOR CENTER
by Kendra Maness, Editor/Publisher, Slidell Magazine
a Slidell fan, as you all know. I love everything about our community - the people, places, and events that make us unique and exciting, while remaining comfortable and safe. I keep myself busy in Slidell, attending about 120 meetings and events a year. My favorites? The Habitat for Humanity Art Auction, the Chamber Awards Ceremony, the Louisiana Veteran’s Festival, the Krewe of Slidellians Mardi Gras Ball and the Hospice SeptemBEER Fest. These are all spectacular events, and share one thing in common - they are all held at Your Northshore Harbor Center. Did you catch that? I called it “Your” Harbor Center. Because it is indeed YOURS - and
mine, and all of Slidell’s. The mission of the Northshore Harbor Center is to generate new revenue for Slidell while serving as an economic development facility. Their goal is to improve and enhance quality of life by providing our residents and guests a premier meeting facility. They exist for us! The Northshore Harbor Center hosts corporate meetings, consumer shows, banquets, sporting events, business seminars, dance recitals, school dances, Mardi Gras balls, and hundreds of other events for the Slidell and surrounding areas. Truly, it seems like there’s an event there almost every day. On December 10, 2016, Slidell residents can ensure that our Harbor Center continues their mission of providing an
excellent venue and great economic boost to our city by voting to renew the Harbor Center’s operational millage. This is not a new tax, but a renewal of the original 10 year millage at the same 3 mills originally authorized by our community in 2007. The cost of the millage to an average homeowner is about a dime a day. Just a dime a day ensures that Your Northshore Harbor Center continues to generate an ever growing economic impact for the community and host our community’s large events that would otherwise have to leave the area. A dime a day to ensure that the many consumer shows, corporate events, dance recitals, non-profits, school events and more remain here for the community to enjoy.
“The facility cannot operate without it,” said Kathy Lowrey, Harbor Center General Manager. “We need this millage to continue to serve Slidell.” Last year, the Harbor Center generated a $4.3 million economic output for Slidell and St. Tammany Parish. That was a 27% increase over the $3.5 million generated in 2014…a 54% increase in just two short years. “And it continues to grow!” Kathy said. “Each year, we host hundreds of events and have over 50,000 people attend events at the facility. With bookings currently through 2023, the Harbor Center’s impact will continue to grow and our community will create generations of memories within its halls.” I can attest to the memories from events at the Harbor Center. The venue is almost magical. First of all, its sheer size is incredible - 45,000 square feet. In addition, our Harbor Center is unique from other facilities, particularly other convention centers and auditoriums in the New Orleans area. Our Harbor Center has GREEN SPACE. Real grass! And lots of it! The Louisiana Veteran’s Festival is my favorite example of just how diverse our
Harbor Center is. Inside, an Honor Guard will lead the ceremonial flag presentation and guest speakers will address the hundreds of veterans in attendance. Chairs are aligned facing a patriotically decorated stage. Around the perimeter of the hall, vendors and craftmen have set up their patriotic booths. Outside in the vast parking lot (which is FREE. FREE PARKING! Try to find that in New Orleans!), dozens of classic cars and their owners strut their stuff to the delight of the attendees. In front of the Center, military vehicles are on display, as well as a fire truck with its ladder fully extended and a large flag flying proudly from its apex. The music kicks up as the band takes stage outside - a HUGE stage, on the HUGE grassy lawn of the Harbor Center. There’s room for thousands in the cool grass bordering the Center’s beautiful lake.
Habitat for Humanity’s Home is Where the Art Is. They support United Way, Second Harvesters, school and church groups, veterans, breast cancer survivors and more.
But Your Northshore Harbor Center is so much more than a meeting and events venue! Each year, Your Harbor Center collects and distributes 3,600 toys to 1,000 children in need in their partnership with the Marine Corps and Toys for Tots. They help to rebuild the community through
Every dollar invested in Your Harbor Center ripples through the community to help improve our economic position.
How are they funded? Every 10 years, voters are asked to renew a 3-mill funding source. 3-mill equals: $22.50 per year on a $150,000 home and $37.50 per year on a $200,000 home. That’s less than 10 cents per day on an average Slidell home to fund a first class conference center. Why should you pay? Conference and civic centers are critical infrastructure for thriving cities. They are not designed to be profit centers. They are funded through tax revenue, just like the Alario Center, the Houma Civic Center, the Castine Center, the Pontchartrain Center, and many more other centers across the country that are publicly funded.
Please keep our community strong and growing by voting YES to renew the millage for Your Harbor Center on December 10.
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by Jeff Perret, DVM
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LYING DOWN WITH DOGS There’s an old saying: When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. However, a 2015 survey conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine found that many pet owners believe that snuggling up in their bed at night with Fido or Fluffy may actually help them sleep better. Of course, as with all issues, there’s more than one school of thought on the subject. If you ask Google, “Should I let my pet sleep in bed with me?” you’ll find no shortage of related articles and message board discussions with opinions ranging from, “I wouldn’t have it any other way!” to “Cats yes, dogs no” (or vice versa) to “Gross. Beds are for humans.” As for me, the only pet that’s ever been in my bed is a canine patient of mine whom I took home for observation and nursing care many years ago. Early one morning, he slipped out of my laundry room
where he’d spent the night, tore down the hall, and landed smack between me and my wife. I suspect he was used to sleeping with his owners, but that didn’t fly in the Perret home. Many pet owners who’ve been chiming in on recent online discussions say they consider their animals part of the family, and they love having them sleep in bed with them. For some, dozing off to a chorus of purring makes life worth living. While many acknowledged that having their pets sleep in the bed with them could be disruptive to the domestic arrangements, most had long been resigned to putting up with the minor interruptions to sleep, or intimacy. In fact, trying to kick the pets out of bed once they’d already been allowed into it was often cited as much more disruptive and aggravating than the pets’ actual presence.
It seems that once you’ve used Fido as a foot warmer every night for a while, he starts to take his job pretty seriously, and firing him may not be so easy. You could spend your whole night relocating him over and over while repeating, “No, stay down.” While re-training your dog to sleep in his own bed is certainly an option, it can be a time-consuming one that requires dedication, perseverance, and a strong immunity to the big-eyed-sad-puppy-face. Attempted eviction of Fluffy (the cat, that is) from her favorite spot on your pillow can have an equally frustrating outcome. Shutting her out of the room at night often results in the eventual need to replace the shredded carpet in front of the bedroom door. Most cat owners would agree, unless you have Jackson Galaxy on speed dial, you may be fighting a losing battle. If you have pets, you and yours are probably already settled into your sleeping habits. But if you’re bringing a new pet into your family, there are some valid reasons to consider banning them from the bedroom from day one: Hygiene: Everyone knows that cats are pretty fastidious when it comes to grooming, but your dog is more dependent on you to keep him clean. Is he allowed to go outside? Does he like to roll and play in the grass or dirt? It’s worth considering that his play and potty areas are likely the same space. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to bathe a dog every day, nor would I advise it.
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Health: While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t really offer explicit advice on this issue beyond the standard warnings for immunocompromised people, and there is very little evidence that healthy, well cared for pets are detrimental to human health, it’s true that pets do sometimes carry germs that can make people sick.
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Allergies: Pets and humans alike shed hair and skin particles all day, every day. If you’re allergic or even just a little sensitive to pet dander, sleeping next to a pile of dog or cat all night may wreak havoc on your sinuses and/or skin, as well as your ability to breathe clearly.
Bugs: There are many convenient products available to keep your pets free of fleas and ticks and other pests, but they all require you to apply them regularly for maximum effectiveness. If you tend to forget or procrastinate on that chore, you may be inviting fleas and ticks into your bed along with your pet. Ick factor aside, that can be a health hazard for both of you. And fleas often lead to tape worms. Spot one of these lovelies emerging from Fido’s rectum and inchworming across your sheets, and you’ll likely have second thoughts, and not of the warm fuzzy kind. Sleep disturbances: If you’re a light sleeper, you may find you won’t get enough truly restful sleep if you’re waking up to a snoring pooch or a frisky feline multiple times during the night. Comfort: Unless you enjoy sleeping like a mummy wrapped up tight in your blankets, having a couple of pets, or even just one large dog, pinning you down might make it hard to get comfortable. Just like other disturbances, not being able to roll over or adjust your position while you sleep can result in a less-than-restful night. Safety: If you’re talking about sharing your bed with your cat or dog, it probably seems like safety is a minor concern at the most, and that’s probably true. However, if your pet is a rabbit, rodent, reptile or some other species, or even a particularly small dog or cat, you probably want to consult with your veterinarian, and maybe even your own doctor before you snuggle up with it for the night. If you’re wondering if people really sleep with snakes or rats, Google it. It’s a thing. Your love life: Enough said. Whether you’re in the “beds are for humans” camp, like me, or you have more of a bohemian attitude about four-legged sleeping buddies, making the rules clear to them from day one can help you avoid frustration and time-consuming behavior modification attempts in the future. It’s a personal decision. I know where I stand, and where my pets lie down.
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Gina Triay 45
in “OLDE TOWNE” HEART OF THE CITY
As excerpted from the book Images of America: Slidell by Arriollia “Bonnie” Vanney
Editor’s Note: Slidell Magazine is proud to print this excerpt from the book Images of America: Slidell by Arriollia “Bonnie” Vanney.
Slidell Bargain House was one of the many small businesses independently owned, located in Olde Town. This building was on the site of the present day telephone company’s central station corner of Carey and Cousin Streets. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
Bonnie has been a constant source of historical Slidell information for all of us here at Slidell Magazine, particularly in our “Once Upon A Time...” features. In addition to this book, Bonnie has authored An Island Between the Chef and Rigolets, and its companion book, The Lost & Forgotten Communities of Chef Menteur-Rigolets & Lake St. Catherine In Orleans Parish. Both are recognized by the State of Louisiana as THE source books for the histories of the Chef Menteur, Rigolets, and Lake St. Catherine areas. The information Bonnie took years to collect and document on paper is now regarded as historical fact. Both books also are included in the Louisiana Collection, the New Orleans Historic Collection, and the Library of Congress. Bonnie is also curator for the Slidell Mardi Gras Museum, preserving the rich history of our local carnival krewes and parades. Images of America: Slidell can be purchased in Slidell at the Chamber Marketplace on Front Street. THANK YOU BONNIE for all your contributions to Slidell Magazine and our great city!! 46
The first newspaper was the “Bugle” published in 1892, followed by the “Slidell Item,” in 1897 and the “Slidell Brick” in 1899, edited by elementary school principal, E.B.Shanks. In February 1903, Marshall Thompson owned and operated the “Slidell Weekly News.” He worked out of a building owned by P. E. Sarraille, Sr. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
MAKE YOUR PRESENTS ONEOFAKIND! The icehouse on Front Street changed company names. Starting out in early 1900s as Slidell Ice and Electric, then Louisiana Public Utility Division of Associated Gas and Electric, then Gulf Public Service and finally Central Louisiana Electric Company in 1952. Ice was the company’s main source of income until the 1950s. Electricity was supplied to the towns 1,714 customers in 1947, produced by the huge generators in the plant. The average resident bought 25 to 50 pounds of ice every two days. The businesses and three dairies in town kept the company going. Ice prices ranged from half-pound blocks for a nickel, ten cents for 25 pounds, twenty cents for 50 pounds and fifty cents for 100 pounds. The biggest customer was the White Kitchen. (Both courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
SHOP OLDE TOWNE. SHOP UNIQUE.
SLIDELL HISTORICAL ANTIQUE ASSOCIATION Barbara’s Victorian Closet Mall • Slidell Museum Antiques & Art on First • Carolynn’s Wonderland Aunt Tiques Curiosities & Collectibles • Magnolia House Antiques Mall Bridge Street Ink • The Who Dat Shoppe • The Place To Be Anda’s Antiques • Jeanie’s Southern Traditions • Damsel N Distress Artists’Galleries de Juneau • Slidell Magazine • Guilty Treasures Jean’s Antiques & Collectibles • Terry Lynn’s Café
Mer�� Christmas & Happy New Year
We are proud to Ser�e your Family and our Communit� Spanish Gardens later known as the Davis Inn, was located on Front Street between Teddy and Fremaux Avenue across from the present train depot. Mrs. Jahraus originally opened a small sandwich shop on the corner of Teddy Avenue until she built a two-story framed building in the middle of the block. The building was completed on November 11, 1918. The sign in the picture reads all it had to offer. Standing in this photograph is Mrs. R.A. Jahraus, owner, and her niece. (Courtesy of GOSH.)
from the Sabadie Group
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Crescent Drug Company was owned by Doctor Joseph Feaston Polk, surgeon, and Joseph Calvin Langston, pharmacist. Their prescription department was open 24 hours a day. The store had the only soda fountain in town and a great place for the youngsters to visit. Fifth person from left is Doctor Polk with unidentified gentleman and children. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
The Polk building was built in 1911, in the heart of Olde Towne, on the corner of Cousin and Carey Streets. Doctor Polk was the first physician in town. The top floor of this building was leased to the telephone company. A 20 x 40 foot space in the rear was rented to the Post Office and another space was a barbershop run by the Pravata family. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
After Frank Cusimano graduated from Loyola’s School of Pharmacy in the 1930s, he moved to Slidell, married, and opened his own business. Cusimano’s Drug Store was first opened at 202 Fremaux Avenue in 1940. In the late 1940s, he moved the business to Front Street across from the train depot. Frank was elected Mayor in 1962, the same year that Governor Jimmy Davis declared the town a City. You could always find Frank at the drug store filling prescriptions and answering city questions. He held public office for 16 years. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
Standing in front of a 5 & 10 cents store are two unidentified gentlemen and a small child, located on Front Street between Bouscaren and Erlanger Streets. Early Slidell was a great place for small businesses to get started. As the town grew, so did the needs of the community. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
Steve Haas, walking near Haas’ 5 & 10 cents store, a variety store on Cousin Street between Carey and First Streets. The business was started by his father and later moved to the newly constructed Tammany Mall Shopping Center on Pontchartrain Drive. It was renamed Haas’ Ben Franklin 5 & 10. In the background you can see the signs for “George’s Hotel” and “Jitney Jungle.” (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
Bowden’s establishment called “The Barbecue Kitchen” was located on Front and Erlanger Streets in early 1900. Curb service was available for customers’ convenience. In the background the town’s water tower can be seen. When the White Kitchen opened, Mrs. Bowdens let them use her husband’s sauce recipe for their famous barbecue dishes. It is not known if she sold the secret recipe or not. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum.)
Farr Furniture Company, location is unknown. The Farr family is standing in front of the business. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum)
Furniture stores came into existence in the early 1920s, whether manufactured here or delivered by rail. Slidell’s population was on the rise. Homes were under construction for workers and families and so was the demand for home furnishings. E. J. Pichon’s Furniture Moving and General Hauling was located on Front Street. This location today is Levy’s Furniture Store. In the photograph to the left, the city’s water tower can be seen as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church steeple, both located on First Street. Next to Pichon’s is one of many saloons that were in town. (Courtesy of Slidell Museum)
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Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!
at what tches (is th Kendra stre before her picture ) she’s doing? the selfie-King of all h it w n ke ta is Arcemont time, Rene
Mary Dubuisson casts her spell as the Palm Reader in the Olde Towne Main Street productio n “Ghosts and Ghouls of Slidell”
AT HAIR??!!! U RESIST TH H OW CA N YO e Vance at ns over Vinc Kendra swoo concert in h as B alloween his annual H rk Heritage Pa
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