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Cover Artist mandie manzano Mandie Manzano’s artwork is known throughout the world in an instant. She has developed a unique style that is all her own and is inspired by bold colors and the effect that light has on them.
Thank you Slidell! Last month, the opening reception for “A Centennial Celebration: 100 Covers of Slidell Magazine” art show was held at the City of Slidell Cultural Arts Center. Despite some pretty inclement weather, so many of our family, friends and fellow Slidellians came out to view the exhibit, mingle with the cover artists and writers of Slidell Magazine, and celebrate the success of our publication. The art reception was only the beginning - with the release of our 100th edition, we’ve received hundreds of emails, facebook posts and cards to congratulate us. It’s all very overwhelming and humbling. Words fall short in describing how grateful we are. THANK YOU! Stop in and see the exhibit while you still can! The gallery is located on the 1st floor of City Hall and is open Wednesday & Fridays, 12-4 and Thursdays, 12-6.
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Devin Reeson - Graphic Designer Graphics@slidellmag.com DISTRIBUTION Julie & Paul Wood CONTRIBUTING WRITERS EFOP, Sal Impastato, Charlotte Collins The Storyteller, John Case Pet Points, Jeff Perret, DVM This Month in History, Dawn Rivera Spirit Bears, Story & Photos by Donna Bush Crimmi-Mommly Insane, Leslie Gates Legal-Ease, Ronda M. Gabb Making Cents of Your Money, Mike Rich Christmas Truce, Rose Marie Sand
Cover: “Who You Say I Am” by Mandie Manzano
Mandie studied at SELU for Visual Arts and decided that Illustration was her passion. She is currently pursuing a concentration in Illustration and works as a professional Artist and teacher. She has licensed her work to many companies around the world and enjoys spreading the creative bug every chance she gets. You can usually find her painting her next idea or pretending to be a Jedi while standing near automatic doors...either way, you will meet an artsy goofball! “I paint my images to emulate the vibrancy and glow of a stained-glass window. I believe that sharing our light is the most important thing we can do in inspiring and loving others and, like a stained-glass window, our full brilliance is revealed only by having that light shine through.” Our cover is “Who You Say I Am” and it was painted for the 5th Annual Giving Hope Foundation Gala “Giving Hope to Future Generations” 2018. The little heart in the middle of the crown is the Giving Hope Foundation logo. Their mission is “to give glory to God and to promote human dignity. Through the tireless efforts of our staff, volunteers, and corporate partners, we feed, clothe, house, and provide fellowship to those in need in our community and around the world.” Mandie created and donated the original art to the Foundation to auction and raise money for their cause. She described her inspiration for her beautiful design, “The first lines of the lovely song that the praise band ‘Hillsong’ sings are: ‘Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?’ And that is exactly what our heavenly Father thinks of us. He has given us an amazing gift. I was inspired by that song and by Giving Hope’s mission to create a piece where it shows a child receiving her princess’ crown as the highest King reminds her who HE SAYS she is...His lovely creation....a daughter of the King. His hands have plants and flowers and butterflies, and more wrapped around Him because He represents life! And the sunrise represents a new day, a new way of thinking, of remembering she is His daughter. I hope people look at it and are reminded of the crown that is on their heads too! And no matter what anyone else says, they are a child of the King!” Mandie was recently named a finalist in the Global Art Awards, dubbed “The Oscars for Visual Arts” which are being held in Dubai. Her work, “The Serene Siren” in the Digital Art Category was singled out for praise by the judges. With this nomination, she also has the chance to be named The Best Global Artist of 2018. At the time of this print, Mandie is one day away from finding out if she is the winner! GOOD LUCK AND PRAYERS FOR YOU MANDIE! This is the third Slidell Magazine cover for Mandie and we LOVE her work! We look forward to many more! To enjoy more of Mandie’s work, visit:
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Story by Charlotte Collins
ExtraordinarilyFascinating Fascinating “Ordinary” Extraordinarily “Ordinary”People People
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
I feel fairly confident that the mere mention of a visit behind the scenes at Sal and Judy’s Restaurant has you on the hook already. My family always got Sal’s gumbo for our Christmas Eve dinner. His restaurant is where we have always gone to commemorate life’s achievements. Whether the occasion was a birth, a graduation, or simply the end of a work day, going to Sal and Judy’s always felt like a special celebration. As we piled into the cars, Dad would always ask each of us, “What are you going to order?” I am not exaggerating our enthusiasm. If you’ve been to Sal’s,
you know that your palette is capable of smelling and tasting your favorite menu items in preparation for this feast. The answer came predictably for my son, Lowry, “Crab claws!” And that creamy appetizer was truly his entire meal, plus the heaping go-box that he dreamed about until the following day. That is, unless Dad made him pass the plate for the family to try. We all wrote our name on the go-boxes, and pity the fellow that took someone else’s box. For me, it was fresh trout with delicate toppings to compliment the white fish. Now picture pure, jumbo lump crabmeat
Salvatore Impastato and pale mushrooms with a light lemon and butter sauce. Next to it is a hill of the brightest emerald green beans you’ve ever seen. All the way home Mom would invariably ask what could possibly be Sal’s secret to keeping those beans so green, looking like they were still on the vine. She tried everything he taught her, but never learned his secret. The food was not the only reason we celebrated there. It was the feeling of being part of Sal’s family that made us feel like any day was a special occasion. When we walked in the front doors, someone always greeted us by name with a big
Left: The piazza (town square) of Sal's hometown in Cinisi, Sicily. His house is to the left of the piazza, as seen in this beautiful painting (middle) by his current Mississippi neighbor, Jim Henderson. Right: Sal at 18 years old, his passport photo for his immigration to America.
smile, usually Greg. I remember Jeanne was like another sister, as she asked about each family members’ status. It felt like they had been expecting us. Then Sal would come out from the kitchen, drying his just-washed hands on his apron. The smile on Sal’s face when he walked over to greet you was like coming home. My son and newphews all looked forward to Sal’s place. I remember each of the boys as newborns in a straw basinette, tucked in the corner next to our table. It was a right of passage. As they grew, we pulled two chairs together for their after-meal nap. Now, I’m not going to say that three boy cousins together were always well behaved, but a meal at Sal and Judy’s was something they looked forward to. Manners were practiced, positive attitudes were a must, and slouching was not an option. Dining at Sal and Judy’s was where we learned the art of conversation, and how to respect each person’s viewpoints, regardless of age. As the drinks and food flowed, so did the banter.
“GREAT PEOPLE AND THEY DO GREAT WORK!
JOE IMPASTATO - OWNER, IMPASTATO FAMILY WHOLESALERS
I was looking forward to getting a glimpse behind the scenes, but had no idea how different the viewpoint would be. I had entered the swinging doors and visited the bustling, aromatic kitchen, but had never entered through the back door. Instantly, Sal was alongside me, with a big hug. I greeted Jimmy, his son, who was also an early arrival, and Zoe, who I suspected was in some form of management, because she filled me in on details as Sal shared his memories. If you know Sal’s baritone voice and thick Sicilian accent, you almost hear him as you read his words. When I asked about his home town in Italy, Sal corrected me. Apparently, the little island of Sicily has its own unique culture. He described, “I was born in Sicily, not just Italy, but SICILY, in a little village called Cinisi. It is a very pretty country, very nice. I grew up working on the farm with my dad and my brother, Joe Impastato. We had lemon groves, cows, and grapes to make wine. We always had a jug on the table at dinner. We had olive trees and harvested the olives. Then we brought them to a co-op to process, and came back with our own oil to sell. We used an olive press to make estate-produced Frantoio olive oil.” I looked the term up, and it refers to the olives from that region that produce oil that is very buttery flavored, with a rich, golden color. Now Sal was smiling as he continued, “Milking the cows and making cheese was my favorite part. We made Caciocavallo cheese from our cows' milk, which is a traditional Sicilian cheese. It is very complicated to make. We had to hang it to dry, and put in a lot of work for every batch. We sold this too.” More research explained that this cheese is a stretched, curd cheese, that is shaped like a teardrop from the hanging process. It is a sharp, air-dried cheese similar to Provolone. The process is much like an art form. “We grew everything, tomatoes, squash,” and Sal gestured as he listed each vegetable. “Giovi, my uncle, used any
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bottle or jug he could find to store them in, even a Listerine bottle,” and he chuckled to himself as he paused. “We all worked from sunup to sundown.” Looking up again he reiterated, “It was hard work, and a great way for a young man to grow up.” But there was more than food production involved in running the farm. When he described the food back home, Sal spoke almost reverently. “I loved my mama and daddy’s Bruccioloni and lasagna. We also had lots of paneed veal, grilled octopus, and lots of seafood. If it wasn’t fresh, they wouldn’t eat it.” Sal explained that, “The whole family cooked. We had to feed the seasonal workers and their families lunch, breakfast, and dinner,” and he waved his hand as if he could see the farm in his mind’s eye. With that, Sal pulled out his phone. Smiling, he pulled up the photos of his farm. Cinisi is a small village of about 6,000 people, and quite beautiful.
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Sal looked over his shoulder and motioned to one of his staff, “Bring over one of my au gratins.” Looking at me, he insisted I eat. “This is what I was doing before you arrived. It is the first dish I make each morning, my crabmeat au gratin.” If you want a bite of heaven in a hot, cheesy dish, this is as close as you'll come. He explained, “I get here at 11 with Jimmy. We slice the veal, make crabmeat au gratin, and pans of lasagna. My lasagna is Mama and Daddy’s recipe. So is my bruccioloni, spidini, and my meatballs. We even make our own pasta. We cook everything else fresh, as it is ordered. Judy made the desserts except cheesecake, I made that. Now my niece makes the cheesecake. I buy the Spumoni from Brocattos. You can’t do it better than Brocattos, so why try?” and he shrugged rhetorically. While I ate my au gratin, Sal grew animated, describing, “I was 18 in 1961, and living in New Orleans. Life was wonderful, and we were a real close family. My uncle bought the Napoleon House in 1920. When any of the Impastatos came over from Sicily, they would stay at the Napoleon House. My brother and I stayed there. You know, he just sold it to the Brennan family three years ago.” “Brother Joe started talking about coming here to live in America when he was 17 years old. He came first, and told me it was the land of opportunity. He seemed to be living a good life, so I followed two years later. Joe got a job working for Leroy Falcon, at his place at 325 Bourbon Street. I worked at the Royal Orleans down the street as a busboy. Chris Karageorgiou was one of the waiters there, and then became the maître d'. I was promoted to bartender at the Esplanade Bar inside the Royal Orleans on the second floor. Chris and I became very good friends, and he was later Jimmy’s godfather.”
When Chris took a job in Dallas at the Commonwealth Club as food manager, Sal decided to follow him. He remembered fondly, “We had famous customers like Nancy Sinatra, Doris Day, a whole bunch of great singers like Frankie Lane, and comedians like Phil Harrison. We worked there for three years. But I missed my brother, Joe, and came back. Chris came with me. He wanted to open a restaurant together, but I went off on my own. I took a job as bartender at the
Olde Absinthe House.” Sal laughed as he recalled, “Ronnie was in the back room playing piano, at Kole’s Korner.” He shook his head slightly and remarked, “That was over 40 years ago. Can you believe that?” Sal quickly continued, “Then Chris bought La Provence on the Northshore in Lacombe in 1972. It was a steak house before he bought it and turned it into a French cuisine restaurant. He told me about this place for sale down the road. It was a cafe with a bar.” I asked if this was the pink building we knew of as the original Sal and Judy’s, and he nodded with a big smile. “We didn’t want a bar room, so we went up on the alcohol prices. Nobody came just to drink anymore,” and he laughed heartily. “Sal N Judy’s was established in Lacombe in 1974. We did everything, the cooking, cleaning, even washing the linens. Business picked up,” he smiled. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Chris Karageorgio mentored Sal, so the business part was manageable. But as a newcomer to the Northshore, there were personalities to learn to deal with. Sal laughed again as he relayed, "I remember when me, Jimmy, Giovi, and their momma, Judy, all got arrested one night by the State Police for having one headlight out. He actually brought us all to jail. They weren’t used to Sicilians. I knew an FBI agent that worked for the Sheriff. He spoke to the Sheriff about the incident, and they came back and apologized. Before that, they used to try to cause a scene for my customers and make them all move their cars around back.” There were also unruly customers, but Sal can handle anything now. He told a tale about when Judy was behind the bar, pregnant with Nicky, and expecting any day. “Some big guy came and raised hell because we had no open tables. He knocked all the glasses off the back of the bar.” Sal rolled his shoulders as if to imply no big deal. “A lot of characters came in and out of here.” As time went by, Sal and Judy’s reputation grew, and those kinds of events went by the way side. Before long, Sal was considered one of the Northshore’s treasures, and folks came from New Orleans and the Coast for his cuisine. “We were there for 16 years. The building was in bad shape, but it never stopped the crowds. It was a very unique place, packed all the time.” Pointing at me he added, “Your mom and dad came for lunch often. Back then, he always got my veal with lemon and butter, my trout, and my calamari. He even sent Chris (my nephew) back to the kitchen with me to see how to make it for him.” Chuckling, Sal said, “Your dad told me it just was not the same if he wasn’t sitting at the restaurant with me.” Zoe was sitting with us by now, and according to her, “It just didn’t have Sal’s love.” Sal started reminiscing, “Then Ronnie Kole started coming, Ray’s Bull Pen owner Ray Macintosh came, Judge Fritchie, George Dunbar, all those people became regulars. Pete Schneider still comes. I watched all their kids grow up at the old building. Business was real good. We hired waiters and bartenders.” By the way, Jeanne Vallette and Greg Harrison, original staff, still work here today. Sal described, "It was a big family. Steve Vallette worked here and met his girlfriend, Donna Watkins, a waitress, here. They fell in
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Left: Sal and Judy's 1967 wedding in New Orleans; Uncle Joe is seated in front of Judy. Middle: Uncle Joe Impastato, here with a 33-year-old Sal. Right: The beginnings of the now-famous New Orleans bar, Napoleon House: Uncle Joe with sister Leonora are seen here in 1919 at the grocery store he began renting in 1914 for $20/month. In the side room of the grocery store, Joseph opened a tavern, admittedly serving alcohol during Prohibition. He lived with his brothers and sisters upstairs. He bought the building in 1920. It remained in the Impastato family until 2015.
love and got married,” he said proudly. “Their kids worked for me. Zoe’s daughter worked here.” “Then I had this new building built in 2001. It was packed immediately, and still is. Now I’ve quit opening for lunch except on Sunday. Happy customers come back every week. One of my customers came every Wednesday for 43 years. One lady would come by taxi when she couldn’t drive anymore. Another one of my loyal customers took her vacation when we did, so she didn’t miss a single week coming here,” he smiled. Then I learned from Zoe another side of Sal I did not know previously. Sal would have food brought to his regular customers' homes if they didn’t show up for a few weeks. Sal nodded and confirmed, “If I can help, I wanna help.” Zoe remarked that Sal had the biggest heart of anybody she knew. One by one the wait staff began coming through the back door. Sal’s watchful eye followed each one as they came up and shook his hand, or kissed him on the
cheek, depending on the gender. I realized he was mentally checking off each arrival every time the back door opened. Then I saw my friend, Lori’s, granddaughter walk in. Sal informed me that, “Lori, her daughter, and her granddaughter worked here, three generations.” Now Giovi, Sal’s older son who is named after Sal’s uncle, came in, and Sal added, “Both my boys work here with me. Jimmy, also named Sal, will take over the restaurant, as he has a real talent for cooking, and Giovi is the brains behind the company. He will take over our distribution company. We do real well selling our tomato sauce and salad dressing.” I’m here to tell you that Sal’s sauces are unlike any other. His fresh made salad dressing is another thing my Mom tried to emulate, to no avail. Now I know the fresh ingredients made the difference. I inquired about his other children, and learned that his son Nicky works in Baton Rouge, and his youngest, a daughter Annalisa, also works in Baton Rouge.
I learned that Sal now has five grandkids. Sal is very proud when he talks about his family, “Giovi has four children, and Jimmy has one. And all the kids who work here think they are my grandkids, Lance’s kids, Zoe’s kids, Lori’s kids, all of ‘em,” and he gestured across the crowded kitchen. Soon Giovi came to sit with us at “the family table.” He revealed his theory, “The best chefs usually grew up on a farm. They understand where the produce and the different cheeses come from, what conditions make it tasty. Olive oil is a good example. There is olive oil and there is pure ‘love’ oil. How it is prepared makes all the difference in how it tastes. Back in Dad’s farm experience, they would grind the olives up and put it out on layers of mats, and press the mats mechanically with no heat. Now extra virgin and virgin all goes together to get heated. Dad’s knowledge of ingredients helps him select the best. He can taste them and tell you where it was from. You can’t learn that in cooking school. A lot of restaurants use
Left: Sal and Judy in front of their original building, circa 1979. Right: A life-long friendship can be seen in the main dining room at Sal N Judy's with the portraits of Sal and Chris Karageorgiou.
prepared sauces or frozen meats. Here, we cook everything fresh ourselves. Sal is very discerning about freshness, and the quality of meats. He won’t serve it if the ingredients are not 100 percent to his satisfaction. I’ve seen that happen myself.” I asked what Sal did on his off time and he responded, “When I leave this kitchen, I have a glass of wine, but no cooking. I try to go fishing on my days off, and bring my kids, grandkids, and brother. I have a big garden with fruit trees and that keeps me busy. I use the fruit from my trees, and vegetables and herbs from my garden and bring them here,” and he wagged his finger, “no cooking at home.” He continued with his leisure reflections, “I love when we get together in Mississippi. Easter is a big deal for my family because I am off Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Giovi does a lot of the cooking, while I drink wine. He makes grilled lamb chops, quail, and fresh ammoglio sauce.” I looked that one up, too, and read that fresh ingredients are hand-ground using a mortar and pestle with fresh lemon, olive oil, garlic, maybe peeled tomato, garlic, and parsley.
As the next round of staff came in the back door, Sal jumped up, and spoke to each one personally. Sitting back down, he confided, “A lot of young kids come in as bus help while they are still in school. We don’t have a big turn over here. Those that do leave, all come back to see us.” I could see that Sal truly cared about each one like family. I also could sense that the restaurant was getting quite busy, so I asked my final question. Sal and his sister, Sara, picking olives at his family farm in Cinisi, Sicily.
We stopped briefly when Sal got an overseas call from his nephew in Sicily. "I talk to my sisters, Sara and Mimma, every day in Cinici. That is where my two sisters, nephew and niece live. They come here every year, and I go there every year, then we travel around different places, like London. They like to cook in this kitchen when they come here,” and Sal looked around.
I concluded by asking, what comes after this? What else does Sal want to do? Sal’s answer came rapid fire, “I just want to take care of my customers, and keep them happy. I want to provide enough food for the next day. I’m never gonna retire. No, what would I do? I like to work, and I love to see my customers smile.” I looked around, and there were big smiles all around as everyone paused and looked toward Sal with pride. What better ending could I have? Regretfully, I left the family table, the warmth of the kitchen, and the sense of family behind...until next time.
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D E C E M B E R
Storyteller THE GOOD AND BAD OF CHRISTMAS With all the joy of Christmas, there are some things that are just bad. There are things that, when I was a child, my parents thought were the essence of the season, but I still detest them till this day.
mince are now extinct and we are blessed to not have to eat them anymore.
I will start with a mince meat pie. I tagged along on hunts with relatives as a little kid and never did I see, nor did we kill, a single mince. I asked about them, and I was told they were very rare and that is what added to the deliciousness of their meat. Their meat was so precious, it could not be fried, barbecued or baked. The only fitting place for it was in a pie, a dessert no less. How I dreaded my piece of pie being put before me. Those were the days when you had to clean your plate before you could leave the table. With the tine of my fork, I would explore the innards of the pie beneath the crust. I would look for the vital organs. Maybe,
if I was careful, I could find a little mince heart or a little mince liver. Then I would take a bite. Oh my, is that the little mince’s gall bladder I am chewing? In moments, the sliver of mince meat had grown in my mouth until it was as big as a turkey. I suppose that
Now giblet gravy. Think about it. It is made of all the things that are nasty in a fowl - the liver, the gizzard, the neck. I am sure that the Bible must list this as an unclean food somewhere. Christmas is about Jesus, but we forgot to notice if the Bible mentions giblet gravy. Christmas dinner is not Christmas dinner without a big bowl of it on the table. Of course, in the last twenty years, no one has taken a single spoon of it; so I guess you could say it is a decoration for the table. Last year, we omitted it and no one noticed. I guess the family finally discovered it was an unclean food somewhere in Leviticus. Eggnog. I hated it then, but there has been a change in my attitude toward eggnog. That change has been brought about by whiskey. My immediate family, relatives, and neighbors were mostly fundamentalist
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Christians. No whiskey was allowed in the house except a half-pint Grandpa kept to mix with rock candy to clear the cackle in his throat. His throat cackled often. The thought of putting it in a drink to be had on the holiest day of the year was blasphemous.
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Uncooked eggs, if uncooked by whiskey, stink. We were expected to drink that stuff? Thank goodness it was not forced upon the Case kids; but not because of the whiskey, or lack thereof. It was because we could not spare the extra eggs and cream.
Cutting Edge Theater
Now, years have passed, and my opinion of eggnog has changed. Slowly blend a half-fifth of Jack Daniels, and a half-fifth of good brandy, and watch those eggs cook. Better than Brennan’s Eggs Benedict, and you don’t have to chew. That brings me to the bane of the season, fruitcake. I would guess there is more fruitcake thrown in the Christmas trash than discarded wrapping paper. Who could like that stuff? Just to think, my grandmother baked and sent a fruit cake to the president of the United States every year, from 1902 until her death. There was a four-year exception. When Roosevelt declared war, she wrote him that she would not send him another cake until he brought her four sons home. You think Trump is diplomatic? You should have met Grandma Gertrude. Food items were not the only things bad about Christmas. Mistletoe was another. My folks had a friend that had a daughter my age. I think they started trying to fix us up the day we were born. I dreaded the Christmas season visit to their house. I had to kiss the daughter under the mistletoe. The problem was, she was ugly. So ugly she would scare a booger. She and the whole family are dead now; but in my dreams, I sometimes see their house with the mistletoe over the door. I wake up with cold sweats. Another bad part of Christmas was having to kiss relatives. We all avoided Aunt Vivian. She dipped snuff. By the time she got to me, I was the youngest, it had masticated into a runny blob. I would be amiss not to tell you about some things that are gone from Christmas that I enjoyed. I guess the first that comes to mind is ambrosia. If the Bible doesn't say I can’t eat giblet gravy, I think it also misses the mark by not commanding that every Christmas table have a bowl of ambrosia on it. I predict that by the time my granddaughter, Jackie, is my age, the art of making ambrosia will be passé. A couple of years ago, my daughter-in-law, Katie, made Charlotte Rouse. It was an old favorite, almost before my time. She made it before she and Alan were married. She no longer has to impress the family, so there goes the Charlotte Rouse. Merry Christmas everyone and, if you like, I hope you have a fruitcake, a mince meat pie, giblet gravy, ambrosia and Charlotte Rouse. To each his own. Christmas blessings to you and your family.
John S. Case December 2018
REGIONAL PREMIERE! FRI/SAT: 8PM SUN: 2PM
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Cutting Edge Center for the Arts
FRI/SAT: 8PM SUN: 2pm 767 Robert Blvd. Slidell
........................ A nationwide celebration of arts and culture. In 2016, Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition launched Shop Local Artists Weekend in the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, with the support of Louisiana Senator Sharon Hewitt and then-Representative (now Slidell Mayor) Greg Cromer, it grew to Louisiana’s Shop Local Artists Week with the adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution 20. The conversation has broadened in 2018 into a nationwide celebration guided by Americans for the Arts. Shop Local Artists Week is about supporting the creatives and local arts organizations that contribute to our quality of life and spark the cultural economy. It’s the visual artists, authors, musicians, performing artists, galleries, museums, filmmakers, festivals, culinary artists and more. So this holiday season and all year long, please join us in the support of our local creatives and consider the gift of arts and art experiences for everyone special on your holiday shopping list.
• And don’t miss our State of the Arts Luncheon•
with Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Research and Policy Randy Cohen
Tuesday, Dec. 4 • Northshore Harbor Center • Info and tickets: www.NorthshoreCEC.org plus St. Tammany’s Holiday Festival of Arts in Covington Winter on the Water Santa Parade in Mandeville • Christmas Under the Stars in Slidell For local and statewide events, visit www.ShopLocalArtistsWeek.com. To join the national conversation, visit Americans for the Arts at www.ShopLocalArtistsWeek.org.
These events are supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. A Northshore Cultural Economy Coalition initiative • www.NorthshoreCEC.org
“Your Estate Matters” By Ronda M. Gabb, NP, JD, RFC
POWERS OF ATTORNEY WHAT THEY DO, AND WHAT THEY DON’T! I think everyone needs a Power of Attorney (POA) IF there is another human being out there that you can totally trust to manage your assets for you. I realize the latter part of that sentence is the hardest part. Powers of Attorney are often misunderstood, so I hope this helps to clear up many of these misconceptions. The “Principal” is the person for whom the POA will beneﬁt, the person giving the power. The Principal must have capacity in order to sign the POA as it is a legal document. The Principal must understand, at least in a basic sense, what he/she is signing and how important it is. So many people call our ofﬁce wanting a POA for mom or dad, and upon further questioning, we ﬁnd that mom or dad is already incompetent. Unfortunately, it’s too late. The “Agent” (or Mandatary) is the person that the Principal chooses to transact their affairs on their behalf. Legally, you may appoint more than one Agent at a time, but these days most Banks and Brokerages are refusing to accept co-agents on POAs. For example, if the POA names both John AND Susan, the Bank/ Brokerage might accept the POA but will limit their liability by accepting instruction from either party acting individually (in essence, now it’s John OR Susan). A POA does not take any power away from the Principal. A POA is much like adding someone to your account along with you, as it allows that person to act “in addition to” not “instead of” the Principal. Many children call our ofﬁce wanting to get a POA for mom or dad thinking that it will stop mom or dad from writing frivolous checks or withdrawing money from their account. While the POA would also allow the Agent to access the account and get information, it is not going to stop the Principal from writing these checks and withdrawing funds. Under Louisiana law, a POA can be drafted as a “Procuration”. This means that only the Principal, not the Agent, needs to sign. Sometimes parents don’t
Legal-ease want their children to know yet that they have a POA. However, we always recommend that the children know where to ﬁnd the “important papers” if a parent becomes ill. A POA ends at the Principal’s death. An Agent may not continue to manage the Principal’s ﬁnancial affairs through the POA after they have died. That is usually when the deceased’s Succession (Probate) must be opened and an “Executor” (with a Will) or “Administrator” (without a Will) gets appointed by the Court. Many times, a Succession can be completed through a “Simple Succession” or an “Afﬁdavit of Succession” and a formal Administration is not needed, but nothing can be done until the ﬁnal Afﬁdavit or Judgment of Possession is rendered. If you hold an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with a brokerage ﬁrm, ask your broker to help you submit the ﬁrm’s POA form for your IRA (most will have them). While married couples may have joint accounts and either may act of behalf of the other, this is NOT the case with IRAs. The ﬁrst word in IRA – “Individual” – means only that person owns and has access to the account. If the IRA were in Bill’s name and Bill became incompetent, his wife would not be able to access the money in this account for their care and expenses without a POA in place. Unfortunately, when someone has already become incapacitated without ever executing a POA, or it becomes necessary to prohibit the Principal from handling his or her own affairs, a full-blown Court proceeding called an “Interdiction” must be initiated. This is an expensive and time-consuming process that can often be avoided by having a comprehensive POA in place.
40 Louis Prima Drive, Covington, LA (off Hwy 190, near Copeland’s) Ronda M. Gabb is a Board Certiﬁed Estate Planning and Administration Specialist certiﬁed by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Governor’s Elder Law Task Force. Ronda grew up in New Orleans East and ﬁrst moved to Slidell in 1988, and now resides in Clipper Estates.
40 Louis Prima Drive (off Hwy 190, behind Copeland’s) • Covington, Louisiana • (985) 892-0942 • www.rondamgabb.com
Christmas Truce By Rose Marie Sand
Many Christmas cards are inscribed with the words “Peace on Earth.” The hope for peace and the spirit of Christmas is, perhaps, perfectly illustrated by the story of The C h r i s t m a s Tr u c e o f 1 9 1 4 .
in singing the same hymn to the L a t i n w o rd s A d e s t e F i d e l e s . A n d I t h o u g h t , w e l l , t h i s i s re a l l y a m o s t e x t r a o rd i n a r y t h i n g – t w o n a t i o n s b o t h s i n g i n g t h e s a m e c a ro l i n t h e m i d d l e o f a w a r.
There are differing accounts of that Christmas Eve night on a battlefield, a c c o r d i n g t o Ti m e M a g a z i n e . T h e German and Allied Forces were entrenched in a stalemate.
On some of those battlefields the next morning, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held u p s i g n s r e a d i n g , “ Yo u n o s h o o t , we no shoot.” Over the course of t h e d a y, t r o o p s e x c h a n g e d g i f t s o f cigarettes, food, buttons and hats.
G r a h a m Wi l l i a m s o f t h e F i f t h London Rifle Brigade described h i s m e m o r i e s i n t h e Ti m e ' s a r t i c l e this way: First the Germans would sing one o f t h e i r c a ro l s a n d t h e n w e w o u l d sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined
The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain f o r w e e k s o n “ n o m a n ’s l a n d , ” t h e ground between opposing trenches.
Captain Robert Patrick Miles, K i n g ' s S h r o p s h i r e L i g h t I n f a n t r y, who was attached to the Royal Irish Rifles recalled in an edited letter that was published in both t h e D a i l y M a i l a n d t h e We l l i n g t o n J o u r n a l & S h re w s b u r y N e w s i n January 1915, following his death in action on December 30, 1914: F r i d a y ( C h r i s t m a s D a y ) . We a re h a v i n g t h e m o s t e x t r a o rd i n a r y Christmas Day imaginable. A sort of unarranged and quite unauthorized but perfectly understood and scrupulously observed truce exists between us and our friends in front. The funny thing is it only seems to exist in this part of the battle line – on our right and left we can all hear them firing away as cheerfully as ever. The thing started last night
– a bitter cold night, with white f ro s t – s o o n a f t e r d u s k w h e n t h e Germans started shouting 'Merry Christmas, Englishmen' to us. Of course our fellows shouted back a n d p re s e n t l y l a rg e n u m b e r s o f both sides had left their trenches, unarmed, and met in the debatable, shot-riddled, no man's land between the lines. Here the agreement – all on their own – came to be made t h a t w e s h o u l d n o t f i re a t e a c h other until after midnight tonight. T h e m e n w e re a l l f r a t e r n i z i n g i n the middle (we naturally did not allow them too close to our line) a n d s w a p p e d c i g a re t t e s a n d l i e s in the utmost good fellowship. Not a s h o t w a s f i re d a l l n i g h t . So while most of us are bustling about, buying presents and decorating trees, take a moment
to consider those men, so far away from home so long ago. The true meaning of Peace on Earth was in their hearts and their dreams. “I’ll be home for Christmas, if o n l y i n m y d re a m s . ” ~1943, Kim Gannon and Walter Kent For some of us, perhaps most, the absence of loved ones brings about a bit of melancholy at this t i m e o f y e a r, a n d t h o s e f e e l i n g s can be as sharp as a bullet. I’m moving into a new home this Christmas season, and with that move comes the requisite unpacked boxes. Somewhere in one of those boxes are tactile reminders of Christmases past, and of people no longer with me. Somewhere in this new house lies Christmas future. A nd my Chris tmas pres ent brings those thoughts in sharp focus.
I’m home for Christmas this year, a n d i t ’s m o r e t h a n a p h y s i c a l location. The story of the soldiers in the trenches, putting aside the horrors of war for the importance of the day and the season, rings m o r e t r u e d a y b y d a y. I w i s h y o u home in your heart for Christmas, wherever you are. T h e Ti m e s a r t i c l e h a s a n o t h e r important quote from a WWI survivor, written in 1930. Speaking o f t h e C h r i s t m a s Tr u c e , a B r i t i s h soldier by the name of Murdoch M . Wo o d , s a i d : I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves, there would never have b e e n a n o t h e r s h o t f i re d .
A cross, left in Saint-Yves (Saint-Yvon – Ploegsteert; Comines-Warneton in Belgium) in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce. The text reads: 1914 The Khaki Chum's Christmas Truce 1999 85 Years Lest We Forget
children’s wish endowment
meet your favorite characters! Dec
10:00am-12:30pM Trinity’s Banquet & Reception $30/person pre-registered
Wear your favorite Princess or SuperHero outfit Please go to www.childrenswish-capesandcrowns.eventbrite.com and click on link to register! for more information, call (985) 645-WISH. tables available upon request if registered by decmeber 3rd, 2018. all proceeds raised for children’s wish endowment
elebrate the holidays during the Children’s Wish Endowment’s Capes & Crowns Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 8th at Trinity’s Banquet and Reception Hall. This event, along with many others CWE hosts throughout the year, is specifically designed to create an environment for families to share special time together and make memories! Santa and Mrs. Clause will be there for photos and to hear your child’s special Christmas Gift Wish. Many of your favorite Disney characters, princesses and superheroes will be there to greet your family and friends. Come hungry as this event promises to host a breakfast to please any palate!
Children’s Wish Endowment is a local, non-profit organization that grants wishes to children under the age of 18 who suffer with chronic, life-threatening or terminal illnesses. Your tax-deductible donation, contribution and ticket purchases are used exclusively to grant wishes to children in our local area surrounding St. Tammany Parish.
Many of the children that CWE benefits are housebound and do not have the opportunity to mingle with other families in similar situations. Throughout each year, Children’s Wish Endowment hosts parties and events that are exclusive to their wish kids and their families. Children's Wish Endowment is sensitive to the needs of their families by providing opportunities for them to meet one another, make friends with families in similar situations to learn and exchange relevant information. Contributions and support enable these children to grow and thrive in an environment acclimated to their abilities and needs. Children’s Wish Endowment is always raising awareness and is always open to new families. If you know a child that would like to become a recipient, CWE encourages you to contact them by calling 985-645-WISH, or visit their website at www.childrenswish.org or seek a referral from a family physician.
By Mike Rich, CFP® Pontchartrain Investment Management
I SEE SOMETHING IN YOUR FUTURE. Mary and I had the privilege of traveling to the Mediterranean island of Sicily in late October and early November. Our trip was amazing. We started in Palermo, and then worked our way around the island from city to city, ending up in Catania, which is on the east coast. Along the way, we saw incredible sights, ate (too much) delicious food, drank plenty of vino rosso, and met many friendly Sicilians. Having studied Italian for a year and a half, I took advantage of every opportunity I could to practice my so-called skills. The Sicilian people were gracious, patient, and helpful, and I think they genuinely appreciated my stumbling efforts to speak their language and connect with them. For me, it added a special dimension to the trip that I will always remember.
Interestingly, Nina, our wonderful tour guide (she lives in Rome and holds dual American and Italian citizenships), told us that Sicilian dialects do not have a future tense. The thinking is that many Italians – and especially Sicilians – live in the present, enjoying la dolce vita (the sweet life), and do not worry a lot about what might come tomorrow. If the state of the Italian economy is any proof of this (it’s a mess), Nina might be right. And, for those of us who were on vacation, the sweet life was, indeed, pretty sweet. Unfortunately, living for the present is usually not a good strategy for your financial wellbeing. My job is to help you prepare for the future. I can’t make any guarantees, of course, and you have to commit to doing some work. However, I’m confident that, if you work with me and do some things to get your money life in shape, you truly might be able to live the sweet life, especially during your retirement years. Consider the things you can prepare for now:
We covered a lot of ground during our 12 days in Sicily and saw a lot of sights. Here is a picture of me as a “bikini girl” at Villa Romana del Casale, the site of an ancient Roman villa that has beautiful mosaics – the bikini girls among them – covering all the floors.
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Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.
Lesson Number 1 You will likely have an emergency that will require some ready cash. Cash is king. Out there in the financial world, you can read all kinds of guidance about having two, three, or six months of living expenses on hand. If that seems overwhelming at first, then start small, say with $100. Add to it every month (via an automatic savings account is good), and let it grow for a rainy day. Call me, and I’ll help you get started.
Lesson Number 2 You must have a decent nest egg set aside for your retirement. Spending less than you earn and saving the rest is not a bad strategy when it comes to amassing retirement savings, and it’s easier than you think. I can help you determine how much you might need and how to invest it.
Lesson Number 3 It would be nice to receive a check in the mail every month while you are retired. Most working people no longer have the benefit of an employer pension. If that’s you, you should consider setting up a pension-like stream of income for yourself. If you agree, call me, and we’ll talk about a few strategies for getting this done.
Lesson Number 4 There might come a time when you can no longer take care of yourself. 7 out of 10 of us are going to need someone to take care of us when we’re old1 and, if that someone won’t do it for free, we’re going to have to pay. So, picture a time when you are old and might need care. What does it look like? How do you want to receive care? Who’s going to provide it? How will you pay for it without ruining your retirement and maybe putting your spouse in a serious financial bind? If you don’t have good answers for these questions, call me and I’ll help you figure it out.
Several weeks ago, I met with a client couple who said that their dream was to travel to Europe. I asked them why they hadn’t done it, and they replied that they couldn’t afford it. “Let’s see about that,” I said, and we did some calculating with my financial planning software. I showed them that, because they had been good savers, spending a few thousand dollars on a European vacation now would hardly move the needle on the long-term dial of their retirement years. “Go for it,” I said. They did, and are now booked on a tour for next May. That’s sweet! Whatever your dreams are, they are likely to require some money, so make sure you are prepared for the future you want. Call me today and schedule your appointment for a free consultation.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, https://longtermcare.acl.gov 1
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.
THIS TIME OF YEAR, SWEATERS GET TACKIER, AND CASH GETS TIGHTER.
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Tiny Houses bring BIG fun to Slidell! The Louisiana Tiny House Festival is a collaboration between New Orleans and Lafayette-based non-profit Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation and the United Tiny House Association; and is another of the United Tiny House Association’s for-charity events, which will raise funds to support the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation’s programs for artists and creatives.
Organizers of the largest tiny house festivals in the US are bringing their forcharity festival to Slidell to benefit the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation. Sponsored by Capital One and Cox Communications, the Louisiana Tiny House Festival will take place Friday, December 7 - Sunday, December 9 at Heritage Park in Olde Towne Slidell. Tiny houses, vintage campers, tear drops, school bus conversions, gypsy wagons and other styles of tiny structures will be available to view and tour. The Bucktown Allstars will headline the event, with other Louisiana-based music and performance art from Ray of Light. For a $15 advance admission ticket, festival-goers will tour tiny houses and hear from tiny house celebrities and nationally-recognized leaders from the tiny house community. Friday is FREE admission for school groups from 9amnoon and FREE FOR EVERYONE 5-8pm!! Saturday and Sunday will feature live music, workshops, a Children’s Village with activities sponsored by Slidell Memorial
The United Tiny House Association has funded the building of tiny houses for families in need from the proceeds of its for-charity Tiny House Festivals, endowed the annual Tiny House Scholarship Fund, and has raised funds for 60+ charitable organizations and great causes. Hospital and Ochsner Health System, a Holiday Art Market and more. Plus, retired, active and discharged military, law enforcement, and firefighters have FREE admission all weekend. Some of the confirmed tiny houses include Tiny Traveling Theatre, Gypsy Wagon, Re-Use Box Truck and Tiny Firehouse.
According to John Kernohan, Chairman and Founder of the for-charity Tiny House Festivals, “Our organization has now grown to over 30K+ members in three short years. Our board of directors is looking forward to once again having our event provide awareness of the global tiny house community, and to continue in our efforts of being a positive influence of
the economic growth in the communities where we host our Tiny House Festivals; and in being a source of fund raising for local non-profit organizations.” The Kernohans have been living for more than 6 years in their 304-square-foot DIY, off-grid home known as “Beloved Cabin” and travel the country in their towable 148-square-foot tiny house, the “Tiny Firehouse - Station No. 9,” which is a tribute to firefighters, supports fire stations, and is used to promote fire prevention awareness. The Kernohans can be seen and heard on various news outlets and programs; such as HGTV, DIY Network, MSN, AOL, TODAY. COM, CNBC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” YouTube channels, numerous magazines, podcasts, websites, online blogs, and newspapers. Also, The Kernohans and their “Tiny Firehouse - Station No. 9” wrapped up filming earlier this year for the series, “Dream Big, Live Small.” The Tiny House Festivals from the United Tiny House Association embrace all modalities of tiny living, whether they are professional-built tiny homes, private-
owned tiny houses, DIY structures, tree houses, skoolies (converted school buses), yurts, campers, gypsy wagons, or any other tiny structure someone calls home. Also, all tiny house lifestyles are encouraged and supported. These include, but are not limited to off-grid living, on-grid living, wilderness living, and urban living. Additionally, the United Tiny House Association’s Tiny House Festivals are designed to support local communities and charities. To date, the United Tiny House Association has given away and donated over $500K from the proceeds of their for-charity tiny house festivals. The United Tiny House Association speak at public events, meet with both local and national government officials, work with individuals one-on-one, and partner with other organizations in its efforts to bring both the tiny house community and those outside the tiny house community together in a common understanding of what being tiny is all about.
One week prior to the Slidell festival, on Saturday, December 1, there will be the Louisiana Tiny House Film Fest: A Celebration of the Tiny House & Minimalist Lifestyle Movement on the Big Screen, held in Duncan Plaza across from City Hall off of Gravier Street in New Orleans. The film fest will feature a screening of two films about the tiny house movement, along with the HGTV unveiling of Tiny Firehouse. Tiny Traveling Theatre will be on-hand to transition from tiny house on wheels to movie theatre to screen Tiny House Expedition’s Living Tiny Legally Part 1, Alex Eaves’s Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet, and John and Fin Kernohan’s episode of HGTV’s Tiny House Big Living where they unveil the Tiny Firehouse. The event is free and open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. The Tiny House Festival in Slidell will offer workshops to help educate the public about Tiny Houses and their mission.
Workshops to date are: Hour-of-Power: The Wonder Women of the Tiny House World You will be enlightened, motivated, and enriched, as some of the most recognized women of the tiny house movement, who have built and/or are living in their tiny homes, share their experiences, trials/ tribulations, successes, and lessons they have learned during their tiny journeys. Speakers to date are: John & Fin Kernohan - Tiny Fire House Station No. 9, Beloved Cabin tiny house, founders & chairpersons of the United Tiny House Association, founders & co-organizers of the Georgia Tiny
House Festival, owners of Tiny House Rescuers, featured on “Tiny House Big Living,” living 6+ years full-time in their off-grid 304 sq. ft Beloved Cabin, DIY experts, and public speakers.
Louisiana Tiny House Festival
Alex Eaves, who lives full time in his converted box truck, is a recycling expert, tiny living advocate, walks the walk of minimalism, film director of REUSE: Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet, owner of STAY VOCAL and Reuse.
~ MANY Tiny Homes!
Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, RelaxShacks blogger, best-selling author and author of the new Microdwellings, musician, teacher, tiny house & treehouse builder, artist, and Host of HGTV’s “Tiny House Builders.”
December 7-9, 2018 Heritage Park ~ Multiple STAGES! ~ Speakers and Workshops! ~ Artisans AND Vendors! ~ LOTS of DELICIOUS Food! ~ BEER and WINE Garden! PLUS LIVE MUSIC For additional information about the Louisiana Tiny House Festival and to purchase tickets, visit
"Camp Salmen" by Phil Galatas Prints now available for purchase!
$30 (picked up) $35 (mailed) Proceeds to benefit Friends of Camp Salmen, and their efforts to preserve & promote this historic Slidell landmark & nature preserve. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT! Purchase your copy at Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien 2001 1st St, Olde Towne, Slidell or mail your check to: Friends of Camp Salmen PO Box 7182 Slidell, LA 70469
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Story & Photos by Donna Bush
s you read this story, we are into the month of December with our thoughts of Christmas wishes, smells of gingerbread baking (or gumbo simmering), with sounds of wood crackling in the fireplace (or the A/C only running 23 hours a day instead of 24) and carols in the air (or ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.’) It’s not just about Christmas wishes but our dreams coming true. As my Dove chocolate wrapper says, “Don’t wait for sleep to start dreaming.” Wishes, dreams, bucket lists – they are all things we desire, we wish to achieve or experience before we die. How many of you have your own wish, dream, or bucket list? You don’t need separate lists. They are all similar. I have my own bucket list – learn to dance, photograph the Northern Lights in Alaska, travel to Italy and France…to name just a few. I recently returned from a trip to British Columbia on a mission to photograph spirit bears. Over two years ago, several of my female photographer friends and I received an email from Julie pitching the idea of a spirit bear trip with her mom, Joyce. I had
heard of spirit bears years before and felt a definite connection with them. Ten years ago, Joyce viewed a National Geographic program about the bears and immediately put viewing them in their natural habitat on her bucket list. What is a spirit bear? It is a subspecies of the American Black Bear, also known as the Kermode bear, for Francis Kermode, one of the first to identify the subspecies. Spirit bears boast a white, cream colored fur. They are not related to polar bears. Nor are they albino. The white coat is produced by a recessive gene that must be carried by both parents. Interestingly, the mutation is caused by the M1CR gene, the same gene responsible for red hair and fair skin in humans. That’s me! We share the same gene! There’s my connection! One by one, we jumped on the bandwagon to make Joyce’s bucket list trip come true. Cathy, Julie and Joyce from Alaska, Bunny from Utah, Alissa from Colorado and myself. A shadow was cast on our trip. Our dear friend, Bunny, was diagnosed with a blood clot weeks prior to our trip. During the testing that discovered the blood clot,
doctors uncovered a suspicious spot on her lung. A biopsy will be performed after her return from the trip. Bunny, Cathy and I reminisced about our girls’ kayaking and camping trip in Prince William Sound a few years ago to celebrate Bunny’s triumph over breast cancer. We knew that this trip would be a challenge for all of us. Spirit bears exist in very small quantities in only one place in the world. Estimates are fewer than 400 exist and only in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. The rainforest is 15.8 million acres. Finding one could prove to be like looking for the proverbial "needle in a haystack." Much of the land where they exist is native tribal land of the Kitasoo and T’simshian people (First Nations). Their legend has been handed down for over ten thousand years since the world was covered by glaciers of snow and ice. As the glaciers began to melt, Raven (the creator of all things) made the spirit bear to remind him of the ice and snow. He determined one out of every four black bears would be white. Native people are very protective
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of their spirit bears, requiring special permits to enter the sacred grounds. I met Joyce, Julie’s mom, for the first time in the airport as we embarked on the opening leg of our journey. She is a spunky, independent, 83-year old widow who recently left her home in Illinois and moved to Alaska to be closer to her only child. We flew to Vancouver, spent the night. We flew to Bella Bella, spent the night. Then we boarded the 54-foot motor yacht, Great Bear II, where we would live for the next eight days. Joyce had an infectious glint in her eye, as if she were sharing a delicious secret with me. I knew instantly the trip would be special. All of us on the trip had lost our own mothers years earlier, except for Cathy and Julie. I had already shared with Julie, “I want to make this trip memorable and special for your mom. I would give anything to be able to take one more trip with my own mother and I’m sure our entire group feels the same way.” I told Joyce, “Thanks for including us on your bucket list trip. For the next eight days, you now have 5 daughters instead of one!” She laughed!
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Presented by the Slidell Antique Association, Olde Towne Slidell Association, Carey Street Coalition, Olde Towne Slidell Main Street and the City of Slidell.
Slidell Antique Association • 985.641.6316 • slidellantiques.com
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We settled into our cozy cabins, two to a room, after our welcome aboard from Captain Brad, Chef Cindy and Guide Krista, a native of the T’simshian. After a lunch of capers, smoked salmon and cream cheese on home-made sunflower bread with pecan bars for dessert, I decided that I definitely would not lose weight on this trip! We motored through intermittent rain to our first overnight stop in a beautiful calm bay. All of us called it an early night, hoping and dreaming of the cool stuff we would photograph in the morning. We awoke to pouring rain, but we didn’t let that stop us. Rain gear and boots on, we loaded into the Zodiac (inflatable boat) and motored around the area while the tide allowed us. We even photographed a great blue heron in pouring rain. The rain actually added a nice touch to the photo. Back to the boat for breakfast, we then motored to our next destination. The weather cleared en route. Krista and Cindy threw lines in the water and, within five minutes, both had "fish on!" We are having ling cod for dinner! Our first few days of photography focused on whales, eagles, grizzly bears, sea lions, harbor seals, great blue herons and numerous other wildlife species of the area. Spirit bears aren’t found in the particular location where we began our journey. Photography proved to be challenging with the movement of a 15-foot Zodiac that carried eight people in low-light, rainy conditions. There are strict regulations protecting the areas where we were photographing. This particular bay only allowed a one-night anchorage. Even though we were dealing with a lot of rain, there were some positives – more rain in the creeks allowed the salmon to come in, which brought in more bears.
In addition, beautiful waterfalls are brought forth from bountiful rain!
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As you might expect, traveling with Julie’s mom offered some logistical challenges. The only way to access our cabins and bathrooms was down a spiral staircase. In order to view wildlife, we each needed to step from the motor yacht swim platform into the Zodiac. We all pitched in to ensure everyone’s safety. Anyone who noticed Joyce heading towards the stairs leapt in to assist her up and down. Each time we boarded the Zodiac, at least two of us were on the swim platform supporting her as two others in the Zodiac helped her aboard and into her chair. It was great! We were like one big happy family helping Mom. If I were on the swim platform as Joyce stepped off, I always took the opportunity to get a hug and tell her, “I want to be just like you when I’m 83!”
The next day, we woke up anchored beside a gorgeous waterfall with no rain. As we motored around, we spied two young grizzlies fishing for salmon along the creek bed. They were three-year old subadults on their first year away from their mom. We were also treated to the largest concentration of adult and juvenile bald eagles that I’ve ever witnessed. There were easily over 100 eagles in the small estuary and even a belted kingfisher, just like we have in south Louisiana. After lunch, we were amazed to see even more eagles and a floating log covered with stellar sea lions. We got one glimpse of a black bear; but, by this time, we needed to return to the motor yacht due to those strict regulations. The next morning, we picked up anchor to begin a long motor to the most likely place for us to see the spirit bear. Our long-awaited quest was upon us. Everyone was giddy with anticipation! Krista asked if anyone would like to learn how to guide the anchor chain into its chain locker without allowing it to kink. Brad had expressed a desire to have someone else skilled in this task in case he needed Krista and Cindy’s assistance on deck. Cathy and I were sharing the forward berth adjacent to the chain locker and volunteered to be trained. We excelled and now considered ourselves part of the crew! Guess what we were treated to en route? Humpback whales! All of us had seen humpbacks before, but this one exhibited an interesting behavior that I had never witnessed. It slapped the water with its tail. This is known as "lob-tailing" or "tail slapping." Scientists think this is a form of communication with other humpbacks. Breaching is also considered a type of communication. Both of these behaviors require a lot of energy. While not the largest whale, humpbacks can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh 40 tons! Their flippers can be up to 16 feet long and their tails can grow up to 18 feet wide! Researchers think that they use tail and fin slapping to communicate with whales nearby, while breaching allows communication with whales further away. They can also make vocal sounds such as grunts, groans, grumbles, barks and snorts. Males even sing, most likely to woo a perspective mate.
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We anchored in the "secret spot" where we might see the spirit bear. We loaded into the Zodiac, Joyce sitting in her chair like a queen holding court! She had a twinkle in her eye and binoculars in her hand. We motored around for at least an hour with no sightings. After dinner, we had a group meeting led by Krista. We agreed on the next day's plan. We would fire up the generator at 6:30, chug a quick cup of tea/coffee, woof down an energy bar, and load into the Zodiac to search for the elusive bear. We crawled into our bunks like 5-year olds on Christmas Eve, with visions of spirit bears and cubs dancing in our heads! Our morning was not as fruitful as our dreams. I spotted two black bear cubs as they scurried up the rocks and quickly out of sight. Nothing else was seen except a falcon. Although beautiful, he wasn’t our main goal. After a breakfast of goat cheese quiche with a crust of sweet potatoes, it was back to the Zodiac. We motored around at least four hours, only seeing an adult black bear that quickly disappeared, a falcon, a mink and a raven carrying salmon roe (eggs). Sigh. Back to the boat for a late lunch and a new plan. Krista and Cindy decided to take the rowboat and talk with the Spirit Bear Lodge tour boat anchored near us, hoping to glean some intel. Brad took the others out in the Zodiac to motor around a
different bay. Joyce decided to stay back and rest before our later outing. I offered to stay with her. Hours of sitting on one butt cheek in the Zodiac had taken a toll on my body. Brad gave me a quick lesson on operating the radio should there be any problems. I assured him, I was fully radio-certified. After a half hour, Krista called on the radio. Answering, I told her that Brad was out with the other ladies in the Zodiac. She said, “New plan! Get suited up! Brad will be back to pick up you and Joyce.” I ran downstairs to grab another layer. Even though I told Joyce I would be back in a minute to help her get dressed, she already had on her raingear. I helped with her boots and life jacket, then got myself suited up. We were ready to go when Brad motored up. None of us knew the plan, but we were game for anything to find our quest. We took the Zodiac to the shore where Krista was waiting for us, “Okay Ladies, for those of you who want to go, I will lead you up a trail to a spot where my people have seen a spirit bear. It is a slippery, muddy, rocky trail, about a 5-minute hike.” Joyce immediately said she would stay with Brad and the Zodiac. I gave Bunny a questioning look, thinking about the blood clot in her lung. She answered, “I’m going. I’ll take it slow.” We are all a go! We grabbed dry bags for one camera
body and our long lens, extra batteries and cards. Growing up in south Mississippi and living in Louisiana, I haven’t had much opportunity to practice scrambling across slippery rocks and up steep banks. Needless to say, a five-minute hike for Krista was longer for most of us. We took a slower pace, making sure each person was safely across the river and allowing Bunny some extra time. I love this group of ladies. We all looked out for each other.
would be our last full day in the Great Bear Rainforest. Happy and excited because we saw the spirit bear, we were also a little bit sad that our trip together was coming to an end and we wouldn’t see each other for a while. Plus, we were all more than a little worried to find out the results of Bunny’s biopsy when she got home.
As we approached our destination, Krista told us, “Be really quiet Ladies. There is a black bear feeding on salmon where we are going.” Stealthily, we made it to our final destination – an overlook above a raging river full of salmon jumping and a black bear feasting. WOW! The lighting was really challenging because it was so dark! It was difficult to capture a black bear against frothy white river spray with the action of fish jumping and a bear lunging. We photographed the black bear for just over an hour until he had enough to eat and disappeared into the woods. Then we waited. By this time, it was 5:30. I thought to myself, based on our previous outings, we will have to return to the yacht by 6:30 and we still have to hike back to the Zodiac. I could see Joyce sitting in the Zodiac with Brad. They looked happy. Then they disappeared. Perhaps they decided to ride around and look for a spirit bear. At 6:15, we got the dreaded words from Krista, “Let’s start making our way back to the Zodiac. We will take the long way back!” Disappointed, we gathered our gear, still hoping for a chance to see a spirit bear. We didn’t go far before we encountered very fresh bear scat! Hmmm! As the trail levelled out, Krista got a call on the radio from Brad. She told us, “Go! Go! Quickly! Back where we were!” This could only mean one thing – Spirit Bear! We hurried!
Back at The Spot, Krista shared, “Brad and Joyce just saw a spirit bear at the shore’s edge. He’s making his way up the river towards us!” We all broke into huge smiles, knowing Joyce had seen her spirit bear and before us! You rock Joyce! It started to get dark. I was at the very edge of the viewing area, looking downstream, when I saw something white. I told myself, “It’s just a white rock. No! Rocks don’t move.” I was so excited, I couldn’t speak! I just pointed! Then Alissa whispered, “Bear!” He slowly, methodically, one foot in front of the other, began to climb. He walked right above us! My heart raced. I wondered if he could hear it?” He started back down. He was in the same river where we just photographed the black bear. At least with a white bear, we picked up some reflective light and knew our shots would be better. He’s running! Chasing salmon. Score! Repeat! After about a half hour, he grabbed a fish, headed up the same path the black bear took and disappeared into the woods. Group hug! Whoops and tears of joy and happiness. The best part? Joyce got to see the spirit bear before any of us. She got her special bucket list moment! We carefully made our way down the trail to the Zodiac and back to the boat to relive our triumphant success. Tomorrow
The next morning, we made the most of our last motor in the Zodiac. Krista took us out while Brad and Cindy began preparing the motor yacht for our return trip. We motored around the area where the spirit bear was originally spotted on the shore, then meandered along the island. Krista slowed the motor, told us to secure our gear and hold on. We took off across a big open bay to a series of islands that we had never visited. Photos didn’t capture the beauty of this place. As we motored slowly around the island edges, we heard a noise. We paused with the motor off. There was the noise again. The howl of a pack of wolves! Goose bumps! Good goose bumps. I love listening to howling wolves. Although we explored every bay of each island, we never spotted them. We heard them several times. It was easy to imagine a wolf peaking at us from behind a tree trunk watching our every move while never letting us know that we were being observed. Back to the Great Bear II. Anchor up and off to our final mooring of the trip. Bittersweet, but the Great Bear Rainforest was not done presenting us with gifts of nature. A school of Dall’s porpoises dove in and out of our bow wave providing entertainment and a great way to burn through our camera memory cards. At the channel intersection, we were greeted by a pair of humpback whales who guided us down the channel. Brad shares that the pair is likely a cow and her calf. A mother humpback gives birth every 2-3 years, with the pregnancy lasting 11-12 months. The calf will stay with mom for about a year. Did you know that each humpback whales’ fluke or tail is unique? The pair swam alongside us entertaining us with breaching, lunge feeding, and followed by bubblenet feeding. WOW! Breaching is a form of surface behavior where most or all of the whale’s body leaves 35
the water. The humpback is able to launch its entire body out of the water with just a few powerful pumps of its tail. Scientists are still researching why they do this, but theories are: a way to communicate, dislodge barnacles or other parasites, attract a mate, warn off other males, or simply playing. We think the young calf was breaching as if to say, “Whee!” According to adfg.alaska.gov, “Lunge feeding is when a humpback propels itself rapidly through a concentrated group of fish or krill with its mouth wide open. During vertical lunges a whale’s head may rise almost straight up out of the water.” Bubblenet feeding is a joint effort among humpbacks. A school of fish, in our case herring, is corralled into a tight ball by one or more whales. They dove beneath the school, rising in a spiral circle. At the
same time, they were blowing bubbles. The rising bubbles through the water column disoriented and confined the herring. When the bubbles reached the surface, both the whales lunged up through the school, gulped tons of food and water in a carefully choreographed behavior. Unlike whales I’ve observed in the past, this pair treated us to multiple opportunities to photograph each behavior. Thank you mom and junior! They guided us past the turn to our anchor location. Brad told me that it wasn’t a big deal. There was another place further down where we could anchor. It was as if the humpbacks heard him say that. They guided us quite a distance before turning around and taking us back to the bay where Brad had originally intended to stop for the night.
Our last night was a celebratory dinner as we discussed our favorite parts of the trip. There were so many. Spirit bear, of course! The pair of 3-year old grizzlies! All of the eagles in one location! The humpbacks! Who gets to see tail-slapping, lunge feeding, breeching and bubble-netting all in one trip? The trip was a bucket list come true for Joyce. It was spiritual, rewarding, fantastic and so much more, especially when shared amongst friends! I left Joyce with these parting words, “Please include me in any other bucket list trips you have in mind.” Author’s note: Since our return, Bunny had her biopsy and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. We are all making plans to take turns visiting her in Utah, caring for her and cooking for her. And, of course, lots of prayers, healing love and energy headed her way each and every day.
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Christmas Under the Stars Nov. 30 & Dec. 1, 7 - 8, 2018 • 6 - 9
• Griffith Park in Olde Towne
Holiday Lights & Decorations • Santa’s Magical Mailbox • Parade of Trees • Slidell’s Nativity Life-size Christmas Cottages • Slidell Magazine exhibition at the Slidell Cultural Center Visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Gazebo, 6 - 8:30 pm • Free Admission! And be sure not to miss these other festive holiday events in Olde Towne Slidell: 4th Annual Spirit of the Season Olde Towne Light Display and Decorations Contest
Olde Towne Slidell will be decked out with festive lights and decorations, Nov. 23, 2018, through January 2, 2019.
Christmas in Olde Towne Slidell • Saturday, Dec. 8 • 6 - 9 pm • Free Admission
Art displays, live entertainment, fine and casual dining, and unique shopping experiences. Sponsored by the City of Slidell, Olde Towne Slidell Main Street, Carey Street Coalition, Olde Towne Slidell Association and the Slidell Historical Antique Association. Held in conjunction with Louisiana’s Shop Local Artists Week. For more information and to view events, please visit: ShopLocalArtistsWeek.com.
Holiday Concert with the Northshore Community Orchestra Friday, Dec. 21 • 7 pm • Free Admission Slidell Municipal Auditorium • 2056 Second Street
Slidell Movie Nights at Slidell’s Bayou Christmas Heritage Park • Saturday, Dec. 22 Holiday Movie starts at 7 pm • Free Admission
Christmas Under the Stars is brought to you by the City of Slidell, the
Commission on the Arts and the 2018-2019 Cultural Season Sponsors: Renaissance, $5,000:
Baroque, $2,500: CLECO Power • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • The Slidell Independent Neoclassical, $1,000: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Holiday Inn & Suites, Slidell Lori Gomez Art • Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again
Impressionism, $500: Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery • Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment • Old School Eats Food Truck Olde Towne Slidell Print Shop • Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Silver Slipper Casino Sabrina Eats Sweets • Slidell Historical Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café & Creative Catering
(985) 646-4375 • MySlidell.com • “City of Slidell” on Facebook & Twitter
The story of Saving Grace Boutique really begins with the story of its owner, Ashlie Lewis Piediscaldo (pronounced Pedda-skal-zo). She’s a life-long Slidell native, graduating from Slidell High in 2008. In 2011, after working towards a criminal justice degree from ULL in Lafayette, she moved back home and worked a few odd jobs. At one of these jobs, she met and started dating her future husband, Johnny Piediscaldo, a local electrician and another life-long Slidellian. Ashlie’s dream had always been to attend Law School and someday work in a prosecutor’s office. Her marriage to Johnny and the birth of her first child (Johnny IV) delayed those plans for a bit, but Johnny made her promise to not give up on that dream. He told her if they were blessed with a second pregnancy, she should enroll in law school and not wait. Two weeks into Ashlie’s second pregnancy (in Feb 2017), she came home to discover her husband had died of an undiagnosed heart condition, critical coronary artery disease. Distraught, she had to bid farewell to the life she dreamed, close her husband’s electrician’s business, and find a way to raise her, now, two sons, Johnny and Jonah. It was during this emotional period,
while raising her sons and trying to keep the memory of her husband alive for them and herself, that she remembered her promise to him. She has applied for law school and hopes to start at Tulane Law School next year. Ashlie always loved to shop and get packages delivered at home. Her husband once joked that she liked it so much, she ought to start her own shop. This memory inspired her to become a first-time business owner, opening a boutique in Olde Towne in September 2018. She noticed how few specialty boutiques with affordable prices there were in Slidell, and how quickly Olde Towne seemed to be “building up.” She remarked, “There is so much to do here, all within a few blocks, and I just had to be a part of it all.” Her best friend started calling this boutique project her “Saving Grace,” and the name for the store was born. Ashlie found that, by staying busy with her kids, school, and the boutique, she’s been able to continue moving forward. Sharing her story with her customers and on her business Facebook page has had the unintended effect of helping other women in similar situations.
Ashlie put up a chalkboard wall in the store where customers could write each other messages of encouragement. She wants the boutique to be a place women of all ages and sizes can be comfortable, in a positive and supportive environment. Developing friendships with her boutique visitors helps fulfill her need for community connections and support. Ashlie and her staff invite you stop by, browse, and sip the complimentary Mimosas. They feature shoes, bags, accessories, and dynamic clothing fashions in sizes up to 3x and Maternity. During the holiday season, they will be offering extended shopping hours and special “Sip and Shop” events. To keep up with everything going on at the boutique, please follow Saving Grace Boutique on Facebook (or facebook. com/SlidellWomensBoutique) or Instagram (@ WomensSavingGrace). You can also join their email list when you visit the store.
www.savinggraceboutique.store 2259 Carey Street Olde Towne, Slidell
Crimi-Mommly INSANE Leslie Story by
“THE UNIVERSAL ANTIDOTE” If you had to pick one trait about yourself that you are absolutely terrified your child will inherit from you, what would it be? Something you have always struggled with, that may get better as you get older, but never really goes away. Perfection maybe? Worry or anger? Isolation? My daughter is 11. She asked me a few months ago what I did for fun when I was her age, the games I played. My answer came quick, “I loved to play pretend. Mainly, with GI Joes. Using the bushes in the front yard as the battle zone. Burying the bad guys WAY down deep in the dirt.” Interested, but confused, she giggled, and was like, “What are you talking about?!” I also told her about a game my Mom taught me when I was bored, using marbles and a blanket. When you drop the blanket in a pile on the floor, it creates little 40
crevices for the marbles to go in. My imagination turned the marbles and wrinkled up piles of blankets into people and cities. The marbles would team up, usually by color, to form families. The big ones were the parents and little ones, the children. There were a few that didn’t match up with anyone, so, I would gather them together, forming the “oddball group.” This group was always my favorite. I played with them the most, feeling sad that they were left to fend for themselves. They had the best adventures of all the groups, though, and were never afraid to
perform the brave tasks the others feared. They were also REAL, not pretending to be something they weren’t. The oddballs lived on the other side of Blanket City in one of the caves, way up top. When there were bad guys in the area, they were the ones called down from the secluded mountain cave to save the town, and they always did, because they were loyal and trustworthy. STRONG. The town depended on them. In doing this, they earned the love and acceptance they desperately wanted from all the “normal" families, becoming the TOWN HEROES. Then, everyone lived happily ever after. She was mesmerized by this idea, immediately grabbing a blanket and some old marbles I had given her. She wanted me to play on the floor with her. I watched and listened as she placed the marbles in their new homes, narrating the scene. Then, something hit me. HARD.
Like a GI Joe with a hand grenade. I’ll get to that in a minute, though. Have you ever done any of these? - Sat and listened to the most boring onesided conversation while forcing an interested look? Fake smiling and nodding until it became painfully unnatural? Mad at yourself for losing 30 minutes of your life because you chose to stay in that conversation? - Had an impromptu visitor and said, “Sorry the house is such a mess. It’s usually not” when it usually IS, then, started explaining WHY it’s a mess. - Woke up an emotional wreck, feeling like a homeless drug addict that was attacked by a bear before waking up in a psych ward on the second day of rehab, but, you still manage to pull yourself together, tucking your true feelings away and faking your way through the day? Telling others that nothing is wrong? - Volunteered for something that would only make your life harder, just to keep up an image? - Held back your true thoughts, out of fear that you wouldn’t be accepted? That people might laugh at you? - Dressed and acted like someone else, not quite sure of your own identity? - Agreed to like something someone else liked, so they would stick around? - Laughed at someone’s joke when it wasn’t funny? - Gave yourself a whole different name, like, “Jimmie, with an IE” and a made-up job career such as, I don’t know… a Park Ranger, then, went to a bar in a pink wig with your friend, to meet guys? - Kept up with the Joneses? If you answered yes to any of these, then guess what? You were playing the adult version of pretend. I don’t like pretending. It doesn’t go well with my pink wig. Or permanent purple hair color. But I did pretend, for a very long time, convincing myself that something inside of me was inherently flawed. That I was missing some piece that everyone else had, would never find it, and would have to walk through the world as someone else. Never knowing my authentic self. Crazy, right? True story. 41
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It’s that ONE trait I am so afraid my daughter might “catch.” The realization that hit me when she played with the marbles for the first time? I DON’T WANT MY STORY TO BE HER STORY. My issue, hers. Because, in the pretend game, I WAS the oddball. Kids work their way through understanding the feelings they struggle with however they must, which is healthy, I think. But, as a parent, how do we let that go so our kids don’t take on the same struggles? The answer comes from... One. Little. Acorn. I stumbled upon a TED talk on YouTube sometime last year. The title was, “Saying yes to your weirdness.” I liked this part: “Is there a cure for normal? Your weirdness is the cure. How much time do I spend hiding this precious life I have been given. What if your purpose in life is being yourself? Giving yourself the permission to be the miracle you are? Can you slice through the psychological scar tissue of your programming that has you acting normal so the miracle of you could actually arise? You are weirder than you think.” For my daughter and my boys… There may be issues I unknowingly pass down to you because they were unseen. But, for now, let’s focus on what is seen… We can’t hide in a cave on the other side of the mountain, waiting until we are needed or accepted. Doing everything JUST right, for everyone else, until they decide we are good enough. When we hide, it’s because we are afraid of something. Most likely, ourselves. Which, ironically, will be the most important hero in our lives. If certain people don’t accept you, don’t believe for one second it’s because something is wrong with you. They are just living on a different side of the blanket. What they don’t understand yet is that they are ALL oddballs too, not able to embrace that uncomfortable, “embarrassing” part of themselves yet, to find the true gift they possess. Who they were as kids before deciding the world’s opinions mattered somehow. Most people have some part that they have buried deep down in the dirt, or changed, out of fear of rejection. If the color of their marbles doesn’t fit with yours, then don’t change so that they do. They can change themselves, if need be. Feel sad for them, but, don’t let them take away the beautiful creation that God made you to be. Find the friends that welcome all the beautiful colors that make you,
YOU. People tell me I feel too much. Talk too much. Find the meaning in things when maybe there just simply isn’t a meaning. Ya know why? Because it’s MY weirdness, not theirs. And it scares them. Your weirdness might scare people too. So what. When someone makes you feel wrong about who you are, remind yourself that you haven’t lost your marbles, you are simply just finding them in the way that is uniquely you. If you wake up in the psych unit, then you can reevaluate.
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After Katrina hit, those GI Joe men that I buried deep in the dirt, resurfaced. It took 20 years and a major impact for it to happen, but oh the irony, from things we bury deep down. When my daughter's four GI Joe men came in the mail, she was so excited. Grabbing them, the marbles, and a blanket, she set up another Blanket City in the middle of the living room. She paired each action figure with a marble buddy and began her story. HER STORY. Not mine. Sometime after, we walked outside to find the right bush for a war zone. She wanted me to show her how my pretend game worked. Excited, I started to become that kid again, replaying the battle in my head… the burying… but, again, she had beaten me to it, already creating her own story line.
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She grabbed an acorn, and gave it a very important name, making it the item that the men were trying to retrieve from the jungle, as the marbles watched. Once they were done swinging on branches and sliding down leaves, they all sat in a circle, putting the saved acorn in the middle. It wasn’t just any acorn, it was special to her story, playing the central role. There were no oddballs or misfits. Nobody feeling left out, mad at another group, or unhappy with themselves. That’s when SOMETHING HIT ME. Again. HARD. Like a GI Joe with a hand grenade. She DIDN’T “catch my issue.” Instead, she captured the antidote very carefully from high up on a fragile branch. The antidote for ourselves, and those who have hurt us. For all the shame we hold deep below the surface from the stories we can’t let go of… waiting 20, 30, 40 years for something to set us free. As we each held two GI Joes, forming the circle that surrounded the antidote… The “Acorn of Forgiveness” made the story complete. Thank you, baby girl. Your colors are beautiful. 43
THIS MONTH DECEMBER ZODIAC SIGNS SAGITTARIUS November 22 - December 21 Strengths: Responsible, disciplined, self-control, good managers Weaknesses: Know-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worst
CAPRICORN December 22 - January 19 Strengths: Resourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, a true friend Weaknesses: Distrusting, jealous, secretive, violent
FLOWER The narcissus is the December birth ﬂower and symbolizes good wishes, faithfulness and respect.
CHRISTMAS HISTORY For Christians, Christmas is more than a glittering tree, presents and Santa Clause sneaking in to eat your cookies. So how did we come to celebrate Christmas in December and how were these other traditions incorporated into celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Since the date isn’t mentioned in the Bible, early Christians didn’t celebrate the birth of Jesus. Easter was the main Christian holiday up until the 4th century. The Church couldn’t agree when Jesus was born, but historians agree it was probably in the Spring since shepherds wouldn’t be herding sheep in the middle of winter. According to the Philocalian calendar of AD 354, the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus, is celebrated on December 25 at a festival of "Natalis Invicti." Another celebration that coincided with the December 25th date was Saturnalia (a buck wild party in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture that began in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month). In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. As pagan festivals and holidays morphed into Christmas, the early celebrations were more like Mardi Gras with wild parties since most wine and beer made during the year was ﬁnally fermented and ready for drinking.
BIRTHSTONES Turquoise is a symbol of good fortune and success. It is one of the earliest stones used in jewelry dating back as early as 5500 BC. Zircon is a mineral that is typically found as deposits in granite and metamorphic rock. Gemstone quality zircon are rare to come by.
Of course, not everyone was excited about the new holiday. Christian purists like the early Puritan settlers in America were opposed to Christmas. In 1644, the Massachusetts legislature ﬁned anyone who observed Christmas a ﬁne of 5 shillings, big bucks at the time! Finally, it was settled by Pope Julius I, who chose December 25 as Christmas. It still took a while for Christmas as we know it to catch on. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia.
Story by Dawn Rivera Graphics by Devin Reeson
DID YOU KNOW?
This popular tradition came from Prince Albert of Germany. Germany had a long tradition of decorating trees and brought it to England after his marriage to Queen Victoria. His family portrait with the 40-foot tree sitting in the background was published in American magazines in 1848.
December was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar.
Christmas Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
Some believe that Santa is based off Saint Nicolas of Myra, a Dutch Saint famous for giving gifts. As time has passed, so have the stories of gifts Saint Nicolas handed out; from gold to apples and nuts. In the Netherlands, it was traditional for someone to dress up as the saint and go from house to house giving good children a sack. It was meant to resemble a sack of gold coins while the bad children got a lump of coal. Sound familiar? In the 1930’s, a Coca-Cola ad made red and white the ofﬁcial Santa colors.
The ﬁrst eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement. Poinsettia plants are very popular in December but are poisonous to cats and dogs! The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s. Rudolph was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store. The ﬁrst artiﬁcial Christmas tree was made in Germany out of goose feathers that were dyed green!
Gift giving has been a tradition since the beginning and was a reminder to Christains for the gifts that Jesus received.
AROUND THE WORLD
December 28th is considered by some to be the unluckiest day of the year. Spiders and spider webs are good luck on Christmas. Decorations on a Christmas tree each have their speciﬁc meanings. Candles – the light of the world, the Star at the top is a reminder of the ﬁrst Christmas night and candy canes are to represent the Shepherd’s cane. “Jingle bells” was composed in 1857, and not for Christmas – it was meant to be a Thanksgiving song!
Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
Gävle Goat, Sweden
An ancient legend states that forest animals can speak in human language on Christmas Eve. 1946 - It's a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart, premiered in New York City. 1882 - The ﬁrst string of electric lights decorating a Christmas tree was created for his house by Edward H. Johnson
Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas Dinner, Japan
The Yule Lads, Iceland
Day of the Little Candles, Columbia
1941 - Bing Crosby premiered "White Christmas" on his weekly radio show.
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CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS By Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Dear Friends, The Christmas season has arrived with the twinkling lights, the pine-scented trees, the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread men, the hanging of stockings filled with treats and toys, and the anticipated promenade under the seasonal mistletoe. It certainly reminds us that the blessed season is truly here with a bag filled with dreams, hopes for tomorrow and an imagination of untold adventures. Hamilton Wright Mable put it this way: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Yes, Christmas is another word for love. Love that God has for us and all creation and love that each person carries in a tiny space in the heart of God – however one defines God. For the Christian, it is relational and can only be that way which leads to a reciprocal engagement of love from the moment of life. It is ongoing mystery. Christmas is more than the giving and receiving of presents and gifts under a tree but is a time to discover the holy season that leads to a holy person who is holy God. The omnipotence with the starry gift of God is wrapped in the flesh of a newborn baby. Let us rejoice! Let us rejoice throughout the earth like the angels announced to the shepherds in the field. Holy! Holy! Holy! So, when we gather with our families and friends on Christmas day, let us be sure to go to our churches, synagogues and temples to worship the Divine Majesty of the world. May our day be filled with spiritual gifts of faith, hope and love. May the spirit of the One from above descend to touch our hearts and capture our lives to live for Him. May our neighbor reflect the Divinity as we, too, hope to reflect – like a newborn baby – God in all His majesty. Peg Bracken captures the meaning of Christmas this way: “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas!” Merry Christmas to all!
Very Reverend W.C. Paysse, V.F. Pastor
DECEMBER EVENTS CHURCH 12/01 First Saturday Devotions, 8:30am Mass followed with Confession, Adoration and Benediction at 10am 12/07 5-6:15pm Confession, 6:30pm Vigil Mass for Feast of the Immaculate Conception 12/08 Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8:30am Mass 12/09 Northshore Choral Group, 2pm, Church 12/11 Knights of Columbus meeting, 7pm 12/12 Anointing of the Sick seminar for all parishioners and friends, 6:30pm, Church 12/15 Knights of Columbus Party: youth 9-11am; adults 6-8pm 12/16 Anointing of the Sick at all Masses this weekend; Our Lady of Lourdes Cantata, 2pm, Church 12/18 4th Degree Knights of Columbus meeting, 7pm 12/20 Men’s Club Mass, 6:30pm, Church, followed with dinner at Phil’s Marina Cafe 12/24 Christmas Masses 4pm in Church; 4pm in Gym; 6:30pm in Church (Children’s Christmas Pageant Mass); 12 midnight in Church 12/25 Christmas Day (Merry Christmas); 7am in Church; 8:30am in Church 10:30am in Church; NO 5:30pm Mass 12/31 5-6:15pm Confession, 6:30pm Vigil Mass for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God 01/01 New Year’s Day, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 8:30am & 10:30am Masses
SCHOOL 12/04 12/04 - 12/06, Santa’s Workshop 12/11 Girl Scout meeting, 6:15pm 12/18 Living Nativity in the Church, 1:30pm 12/24 12/24-01/04, School closed for Christmas break
by Jeff Perret, DVM
A September report from the Centers for Disease Control has a summary of the 2016-2018 Campylobacter outbreak linked to pet store puppies. Campylobacter is a bacteria that can be thought of in the same vein as Salmonella or E. coli. They can all make people pretty sick. Nothing in the report is particularly surprising, but it is disappointing, and depressing. The full article is a bit wordy and technical. Here’s a relatively brief summary:
It all started when Campylobacter jejuni isolates from puppies from a commercial pet store chain in Florida matched the Campylobacter in a person in Ohio who’d bought a puppy from that same chain. Over the course of the investigation, 118 illnesses in people were identified, including 29 pet store employees. This is likely only a fraction of the actual number of cases that occurred, since most infections over the course of an outbreak go undiagnosed.
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Sick people were found in 18 states over a period over more than 2 years. No one died, but 24 percent of confirmed cases were hospitalized. A particular concern was that the Campylobacter isolates were resistant to all commonly used antibiotics. This obviously complicates treatment because it means that initial therapies would likely fail, prolonging the course (and potentially severity) of disease.
The antibiotic resistance aspect is particularly frustrating. Investigators in four states visited the pet stores implicated, and collected information about their antibiotic use in puppies. They obtained records for 149 puppies, and 142 of those had received one or more courses of antibiotics before arrival or at the store. When antibiotics are over-used, it leads to the development of resistant antibiotic strains, like the one identified in this report.
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What’s even more ridiculous is the fact that almost all treated puppies had received drugs not because they were sick, but as a form of “prevention.” Only 1 percent of treated puppies were treated solely because they were actually sick. If you need that much antibiotic treatment to truly prevent disease, you’re doing something wrong to begin with. If you’re using that much antibiotic without any idea whether it’s needed or not, you’re doing something worse. In either case, you run the risk of promoting the development of super bugs, and that’s just what happened here. This approach to puppy breeding and selling is inappropriate on many levels. Reasonable antibiotic use practices for pet stores need to be developed and followed. Veterinarians who dispense large quantities of antibiotics to pet stores need to be held accountable for their use. Hopefully this outbreak has been contained, but it’s far from certain. As the report says “Although the investigation is completed, the risk for multidrugresistant Campylobacter transmission to employees and consumers continues.” The article concludes: “Finally, antibiotics should only be administered under veterinary supervision with a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship, consistent with existing stewardship principles.” That makes sense, and while the majority of antibiotic use in companion animals is reasonable and the majority of vets care about antibiotic resistance and how they use antibiotics, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
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OUT TAKES Slidell Magazine was EVERYWHERE this month! Here are just a few of our adventures!
WE CAN BUILD IT! The Rosies wer e in full force at the East St. Tam many Habitat for Humanity Fall Gala
BEST. NIGHT. EVERRR R!!! Kendra with Ronnie Ko le at the opening reception of “A Cent ennial Celebration: 10 0 Covers of Slidell Maga zine” art show
The ChamberOne Noon Networkers spent a HOT and awesome day building a home for a Habitat family. l-r (front): Kristen Livaudais, Steve Kernahan, Mike Bell (back) Kelly Lutman, Kendra Maness, Tia Friel, and Pete Amadeo
Rest In Peace, Officer Seals. We pray that God blesses and protects all of those who serve
ag Slidell M8
101 - Dec.
Patrick’s Day parade! The court of the St. , nd Marshall John Case Queen Jen Baudier, Gra and Kendra Maness. lvin with maids Carrie Ca ed Queen of the Kendra was also crown parade! Mona Lisa & MoonPie
The first “Rosie Award s” were given at Habit at’s Fall Gala. Left: Glenda Drennan is awarded the “Glenda Award” named in her honor by Habit at CEO Rene Arcemont & Ros ie founder, Kendra Ma ness. Right: Lindsay Reine is crowned the “Rock Ou t Rosie” by Construction Director, Rock Lastra pes
celebrate their Dozens of beautiful ladies from the Slidell Women’s Civic Club recipient Award Athena 2018 the sister, Ellen Lamarque, being named
Your NORTHSHORE HARBOR CENTER Where Memories are Made
is ready to Audrey Baker at the greet seniors Luncheon. on ti Senior Apprecia
Thank you Robert Southers and Arthur Brown for your service. These gentlemen enjoyed a day out at the Senior Appreciation Luncheon.
s Association and Thank you Slidell Firefighter cooking and serving for St. Tammany Fire Dist #1 ion Luncheon! iat rec App ior Sen for the
Jeremy We lls Northshore brought the Northshore Games to your Harbor Cent er.
Who is up to play Pic kleball, th sport? A e fastest local tour growing nament w Northshor ill be played e Harbor at your Center Ja nuary 19, 2019.
LOBBY LOUNGE CONCERT SERIES - “UP CLOSE & MUSICAL” PRESENTS
At Your Northshore Harbor Center LOBBY LOUNGE CONCERT SERIES
JANUARY 31st from 7-9pm • GENERAL ADMISSION - $16 ADVANCE SALES ONLY! (120 TICKET LIMIT) GET YOUR TICKETS AT EVENTBRITE.COM
Upcoming Events December 1 December 4 December 5 December 11
December 12 Northshore Food Truck Festival State of the Arts Luncheon, A Shop Local Artists Week Event December 18 December 19 USMC Reserve Band Holiday Concert Private Meeting
EST Chamber of Commerce Holiday Luncheon Private Meeting Toys for Tots Distribution
See you there!
Slidell Cultural Center at City Hall • Free Admission!
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays & Fridays, 12- 4 pm • Thursdays, 12- 6 pm
NOVEMBER 9 - DECEMBER 21, 2018 THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
Vol. 63 October 2015
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
WE KEEP IT FRESH
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Vol. 97 August 2018
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White Linen & Lagniappe • Olde Towne
Vol. 76 November 2016
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SLIDELL
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Nov. 18 - Dec. 23 CECA Gallery at Cutting Edge Theater
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STOP THE MADNESS ART EXHIBIT
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2055 2ND STREET IN OLDE TOWNE Brought to you by the City of Slidell, the Commission on the Arts and the 2018 - 2019 Cultural Season Sponsors:
Renaissance, $5,000: East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce • Edge of the Lake Magazine Northshore Plus Enjoy! • The Lake 94.7 • Slidell Magazine • Slidell Memorial Hospital, Ochsner Health Network Baroque, $2,500: CLECO Power • Jazz on the Bayou/Ronnie Kole Foundation • The Slidell Independent Neoclassical, $1,000: Councilman Bill & Laura Borchert • Holiday Inn & Suites, Slidell • Lori Gomez Art Lowry-Dunham, Case & Vivien Insurance Agency • Purple Armadillo Again Impressionism, $500: Dr. Nathan Brown, Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery • Chateau Bleu • CiCi’s Pizza Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer • Flatliners Entertainment • Old School Eats Food Truck • Olde Towne Slidell Print Shop Pontchartrain Investment Management • Roberta’s Cleaners • Silver Slipper Casino • Sabrina Eats Sweets Slidell Historical Antique Association • Terry Lynn’s Café & Creative Catering