VOLUME 7 - ISSUE 5 / JULY 2011 / HKY
Wo m a n ’ s M a g a z i n e
“Changes”~ Dealing with My Postpartum Depression | Page 7 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ The Lazy Woman’s Guide To Achievement | Page 12 A Mom’s Dream ~ How I was influenced by a teacher years after school | Page 23 shutterbuggerz pg 37
INSPIRATION ~ EDUCATION ~ MOTIVATION
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How good are you at history? That is one subject that I really did not care that much for; well, one of the subjects anyway. Honestly though, it just did not come easy for me and one reason might have been that I couldn’t figure out why I needed to know that stuff. So, I decided with this being the month that we celebrate Independence Day, I would teach you some history. I loved that MOVIE! OK….so I wasn’t talking about a movie. But since I brought it up, did you know that the invasion from the aliens in the movie started on July 2nd? That is sort of interesting because of the date of July 2nd. Even though Independence Day is more commonly associated with fireworks, barbecues, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, Independence Day is the national day of the United States of America. So why is July 2nd interesting? That is the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. According to history, during the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining the decision, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress then debated and revised the Declaration with it’s final approval on July 4th. John Adams had written to his wife Abigail saying “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. So now that I taught you that, or if you were smart and already knew that, then I have another historical question for you. What color was the uniforms of the Red Coats? They ought to do a movie and let Jeff Goldblum be the one who brings about Freedom from Great Britain. He was great in the “other” Independence Day. Randy Quaid was my favorite character in the movie though. I love underdog heroes. Don’t you? The colonies were the underdog in the American Revolution but look at what a force it became. I fear so often, we just take for granted the life we have in our country. It’s not perfect, I know, but look at what we aren’t. We don’t have a dictator who murders the citizens if they don’t agree with him. Most of us get more than enough to eat each and every day and most of us have a comfortable bed to sleep in. You and I have the right to choose what we believe, say what we believe and live what we believe. What a precious gift that has been for the last couple hundred of years but it did not come without a price…a very high price! Over the years, I have come to appreciate history; especially if I can visit the places that brings it all to life. If you have never been to Boston or Philadelphia and you get the chance, you must go. That was one trip that brought history alive for me. So, I have another question for you. We all know who Paul Revere was, right? What was the name of his horse? I see it now. Everyone is scratching their heads, saying to themselves, “I know I should know that”. So I ask you that as we celebrate July 4th, whether we are at the beach soaking in the sun or we are standing on the George Washington bridge watching the National fireworks, let’s thank God for our FREEDOM! One thing I want to finish with. I loved Will Smith in the “other” Independence Day when he was dragging the “stinkin” creature across the dessert and asking it “what is that smell”? Just a few people saved the whole world and yet millions flocked to see that movie. Thousands upon thousands have really died for our Freedom so let’s not be afraid to teach some history. By the way, Paul Revere didn’t own a horse. It was borrowed! In full disclosure, most of the “facts” you will find in Wikipedia.■
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Going through Postpartum Depression and the changes .
Remember the reasons why you get to celebrate Independence Day. by Wayne Deloriea
Girlfriends In God
Keep Watch!. by Gwen Smith
23| Dream Mom’s
How my teacher inspired me to travel long after I left school. by Marilyn Nutter
“Need Help, Please” by Granny Stef
20| Fitness Tips Health &
28| Is This It?
pg 3 | Message From The Heart pg 8 | How To Be Fabulous - by Gracie pg 9 | Truth & Beauty - by Teresa Pope
Strengthen your core by trying these Pilates exercises. by Sharon Rashidi
Try these methods to increase your compatibility. by Dr. Susan Flowers PhD
Go Wild! Break The Rules
There are some design rules that can be broken. Written by Susan Guest
Medicaid 36| Myths
Fact or fiction myths about moving into a Nursing Home. by Casey W. Pope
m o t i va t i o n
12| Full Potential
The Lazy Woman’s Guide To Achievement. by Kim Fletcher
15| FlyLady The
Getting Help Around The House by Marla Ciley
Are you leading yourself Well? by Nicole Greer
Me, Myself, &
Time Alignment Gives You Greater Independence. By Sherré Demao
pg 24 | The Wedding Planner Guide pg 33 | My First Elderly Victim of D.V.
| "fatherhood” photos from shutterbuggerz.com
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Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
s e r u t n e v d a s Mi ’s y d n a M
It has been a hectic month for us, but a good one. Life has taken some unexpected – as well as difficult – turns that left our little family wondering where, exactly, we belong. As it turns out, the answer was “home.” As in North Carolina home. It’s taken us a lot of heartache and some questioning to get to the point where we’re willing to give up everything and make the unsure journey back to where we started, but we feel like we’re doing the right thing. Probably the biggest obstacle for us in all of this was my struggle with post partum depression. I haven’t been comfortable in talking about it for a long time, mainly because it was such an earth shattering period for me that I wanted to close my eyes and hope that somehow I would wake up again and it would all be forgotten. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it’s that not only do our life experiences serve to shape us, it’s how we react to those hard times that make us who we are. What I don’t ever want to be known for is being someone who’s so paralyzed by fear that I didn’t seize every opportunity given to me to learn or somehow be an encouragement to others. If there’s one thing that I had never thought twice about or understood the gravity of, it’s post partum depression. I’ve heard people talk about it before – little whispers between friends of so and so who was having a rough time with post partum depression – and I’d seen books on the subject, but I’d never been face to face with it. The truth of it was enough to leave me reeling – like a shove off of a cliff that sent me free falling into bottomless darkness. The panic and fear and endless guilt at not being able to hold myself together as I thought I should were enough to make me question my sanity on more than one occasion. I can remember, at my lowest point, thinking that if this was the rest of my life, then I didn’t want to shame my children by leaving them a heritage of madness. Thankfully, my desire to see them grow was sharper than any blade. I think the hardest part out of all of this was the absolute flippancy with which most of my requests for help were met with. I met with doctors and therapists – I was even hospitalized after one scary incident in which I couldn’t still my racing thoughts and tried to run away from home - all of which told my husband and me that the best thing for us would be moving closer to
family, as we had no support where we were. My husband spent days looking for jobs closer to home, and eventually asked for a transfer, offering to take lower paying openings if only we could be somewhere near our families or some help. We were shocked and devastated when each request was met with the words “It’s only post partum; she’ll be over it in a year or two.” Meanwhile, I was drowning, willing to throw away anything of value if I could just breathe again. As the days marched on, and I stayed fast in the grip of this depression without help or support, I packed up my belongings and left my husband to go to Florida. I can remember the first time that I went, Chris coming to get me, to convince me to come home. I told him that I couldn’t go back to that place. In all honesty, I didn’t know if I even wanted to live anymore, I was so frightened by everything. The littlest disturbance in my day and sometimes nothing at all - could send me into a panic attack that would only be stopped by medicine and someone to talk me through it. I truly felt insane, and for the loss of my mind I couldn’t forgive myself. It would take many sessions with a marriage counselor and one more time of my leaving home for us to realize that we really couldn’t go on like that. By that time my moods had leveled somewhat, and the panic attacks were all but gone. The issue was more that I could not live in isolation anymore, and I wasn’t willing to take “no” for an answer. I think that by that time I was in survival mode, and I would do anything to ensure that I made it out alive. As it stood, I was constantly alone, with only these raging emotions and sleepless nights to fuel whatever I had left to give to mothering. I’m ashamed to say that Chris himself received even less. Still, he made the trip out to Florida to try and convince me to stay with him, and it was there that we both realized that we couldn’t fight this monster on our own. Not an easy conclusion to come to, I can assure you. Chris petitioned his boss one last time to let us transfer, and the answer was the same, only this time with an added “If you need to leave, that’s understandable.” So, we did just that. Where we’ll go from here is uncertain, but we’re hopeful. Above all, we’re together and surrounded by people who love us, which is proving to be more valuable than anything we could have ever imagined. www.sophiewomansmagazine.com
i n s p i r at i o n
by Mandy Thomas
HOW TO BE FABULOUS! Visions of bronzed bodies in floral sundresses, espadrilles and long flowing hair… the fragrance of coconut oil and pina coladas in the air… Ahh, summertime. NOT! It’s reality check time. Most of us, although normally FABULOUS, do not quite fit this “picture of perfection”. If I were to add: sweat, bugs, flip flops, and screaming children… then we’re good. Oh, and who has time to make frozen drinks?? No worries, pineapple and vodka on the rocks works too. However, where there’s a will (and a credit card), there’s a way! This month I am going to share some brilliant tips on how to look “cool”, when you feel like melting. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million fabulous ways. Dresses are the key that unlocks that inner fashion diva! The perfect maxi or mini dress is easy, comfy, and appropriate at almost every occasion. It is important to choose the right length. Ok ladies, this is the part where I make a few women cringe and run to their closets. Are you ready? Deep breath. Any item that is longer than the bottom of Photo courtesy of www.nichollancasterphotography.com
your knees and shorter than your ankles is, in my opinion glamour DON’T! Yes, brace yourself. That means Capri’s too. <Gracie “semi-scientific” experiment:> 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Have your average size American woman (size 12-14) put on a pair of Capri’s, or a dress falling at mid calf. Take photo Have some Fab woman put on a pair of shorts ending right above the knee, or a maxi dress. Take photo. Say “Wow, that Gracie chick is ALWAYS RIGHT”. (Bob, honey, are you reading this?) Have super model do the same. Repeat step 5.
Trust me girls, the proof is in the bread puddin’! Fabric is crucial when not wanting to look like you have been chasing rug rats around in 90˚ weather. Jude Conally is a great line that sells dresses made from moisture wicking material. Basically, while being virtually impossible to wrinkle (so essential for travel) they’re also safe to throw in the wash, and they keep you refreshed! Never let ‘em see you sweat! Another must for this sweltering season is “steamin’ hot” wedges. Sexy, sexy sexy! Find a pair that makes the statement “Was that a firecracker, or did I just walk in the room?” Kaboom! I adore the styles from “Missoni” and “Naughty Monkey “… daring, yet wearable. A well made shoe should feel luxurious on your pedicured tootsies. Do not settle for a cheap uncomfortable pair because blisters are not chic on anyone. Please be forewarned, wedges do not ‘gire’. Therefore, if you are walking on an uneven surface, be careful! There is a reason my hubby nicknamed me “Grace-ie”. Yeah, he thinks his sarcasm is funny. Lastly, is a shocking Gracie Summer “DO”… Blue Jeans! Now, I don’t mean “jeans, jeans”, I mean the blue jean dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets. Nothing says “Fabulous” like a sun dress with a vintage jean jacket! I recommend this look for casual evenings. I would hate to see any of you divas passed out from heat stroke at lunch! Another suggestion is to add some flirty fun jewelry like a hand blown, glass, flower necklace. Circa 1970 (see pic). So break out the sweet tea (also easy cocktail with vodka on rocks!! Just sayin’), and enjoy the tropical climate while exuding the confidence of a woman who knows how to keep her cool. …..Sizzle Baby! Gail Sommer Germain, aka “Gracie”, is wife to Bob, mom to Sydney (15) and Robbie (11), and a Statesville, NC resident. She starts her day at her barn… but finishes by being a boutique owner and personal fashion stylist to some incredibly fabulous women!
Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
by Teresa Pope, Esthetician
Question: Each summer I like to get as dark of a tan as I possibly can. I go to the tanning bed 4 times per week and I am in the natural sun every weekend. Everyone tries to tell me to stop tanning so much, but I’m 28 and my skin looks great and I’ve never had skin cancer. Is tanning really so bad and which is worse, tanning beds or natural sunlight?
Answer: TAN is a four letter word to skincare professionals. Constant exposure to UVB (the burning) and UVA (the aging) rays will wreak havoc on your skin. Both are found in natural sunlight and in indoor tanning units. Exposure to these rays will cause the skin to age, wrinkle, and sag, due to the fact that UVA and UVB rays cause free radicals to break down the collagen in our skin. They can cause skin cancers that can lead to death. The reason you haven’t noticed any of these effects as of now, is simple because you are only 28. The damage to your skin is down deep inside and the signs of what you are doing to your skin today, may not show up until your late 30’s and then it is to late. Once the damage is done, it can’t be undone. Sure, you can have laser treatments and cosmetic surgery, but why put yourself through the pain and expense of such corrective procedures. However, even with those procedures, you can’t put yourself back the way you would have been before the damage occurred. There is a way to see the damage that is deep inside your skin. Using a machine called Visia Skin Analysis, this device will actually take a photo of the damaged beneath the skin. Please let me warn you
in advance; it is a scary picture! Most Dermatologist and Aestheticians will have one of these machines and some will do the photo for free. My advice to you would be the same as it is to my clients. First, Always wear a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF when in natural sunlight. Second, If you must tan, then tan indoors in a controlled environment, but only to get a base tan, to keep you from burning when you are outdoors. Tanning maybe damaging, but a sunburn is extremely damaging. Just a few tanning sessions at the beginning of the season should suffice. Third, Don’t tan all year long, limit your tanning days to Spring and Summer. Finally, my best advice would be not to tan at all. Maybe all of us should take a cue from one of the most beautiful women of all time. Marilyn Monroe, never tanned. When asked, Why? She simple replied, “I like to be blonde all over!” Extra tip: Each month I am honored to write the Truth and Beauty column for Sophie. These articles contain beauty information about hair, skin, nails and all things in between. However this month I wanted to include a beauty tip from the Bible. The Bible teaches us that there isn’t anything wrong with women trying to be as pretty as we can be, but it does warn us, not to let it be the most important focus of our lives. The Bible teaches us that we should spend even more time trying to be beautiful on the inside. We should cultivate in our lives things such as: Kindness, Gentleness, Patience, and Forgiving others, while at the same time we should weed out flaws such as: Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, Lying and Slander. In fact the word “devil” means slanderer and accuser. We are taught in God’s Word, not to bring false witness against anyone, and to lie about someone is one of the things God hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19) So in our daily routines of exercise, beauty regiments, plucking, shaving, styling etc. lets make a conscience effort to work as much on our inward appearance as we do our outward appearance, so when people look on us, they see “Jesus” and not the “devil”. Good luck and God bless us in our new “true” beauty regiment.
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Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
Lessons For Granny “Need Help Please!” Can I ever write enough words to express how blessed I am to have my precious grandson Walker in my life? Probably not. Each day, each moment I am privileged to get to spend with him brings new joys, new laughs, and new moments to be amazed by this wonderful creature that our good Lord has placed in my life. In four days, Walker will be twenty months old. He’s going to be a big brother in September. Although he hasn’t quite comprehended it all, he smiles when asked about it and told me just yesterday he wants a baby sister. Now keep in mind, he doesn’t really understand this but I like to think he and I are on the same wavelength on this one. His vocabulary is ever-increasing. I’ve been told I talk too much on more than one occasion and I’ve also been told that since I was an English teacher that this has aided in Walker’s abilities to express himself. Oh well; worse things have been said about me. Hopefully he won’t hear of them! Most of his sentences consist of between one and three words. He knows how to say “Sorry” when he has done something offensive or hurtful. He often exclaims “Good song” after we have listened to his CD that has tunes about Jesus on it. “More” is frequently said when the CD doesn’t advance quickly enough or as—believe it or not—when he and I sing together. One word he learned early was the “n” one: no. His tone of voice is comical to hear when he speaks this one, especially if asked if he’s ready to take a nap. He’ll look solemnly at me as he says it, grab my hand, and lead me to the kitchen for “lunch” (his main word for food or snack) or to another room in the house to avoid this time where he won’t be able to play. Once I get him snuggled up with me, his avoidance issues continue so we have to “talk” or “pray” or “sing” until the boy is finally sleepy. After awakening, he will ask “Nap? Good nap, Granny?” Of course he is polite. He was taught “Yes sir and yes ma’am” at an early age. However, he often catches himself as he is learning to decipher between males and females and has to switch the ending. “Please” is also a word he uses often, as is “’Scuse me.” But the word he says that catches my attention the most is when he says “Help.” He can be playing with his trucks and need some assistance with opening the sides to let out all of the vehicles. It may be that as he is learning to feed himself that
he will ask for aid with his spoon or fork. Sometimes he responds to others as they have needs, such as the time when my husband Steve was moving some lumber and Walker watched him and grabbed the other end of the wood and they moved it together. I’ll ask him to help me with the laundry (which he very willingly does!). He grabs one side of the basket and I the other as we together carry it to the laundry room. All in all, Walker is quite the helper and has a good attitude about it. Sometimes though, a little more attention is required and he will add this second word: need. “Need help” he will state. Not demand. Not whine about. He just says it matter-of-factly, such as when he can’t get his straw open on his Capri Sun juice pouch or when he is putting his shoes on. It’s a more direct declaration and my heart just leaps when he says it to me. Why? They are just two words, simply spoken. Maybe it’s the look on his face as he stares up at me, knowing his request will not only be responded to immediately but also without anger or any fear that he has asked too many times for too many things. He states what he wants to the best of his ability and expects a response, a positive response, and sure, if he doesn’t get it, he cries. He’s still a baby, you know. However, it’s a rare time when his pronouncements aren’t answered in the way in which he assumes they will be. Once his need has been met, he goes on about his business. Until the next time he wants or needs something. Then he will again, without hesitation, make his request known. He knows whom to go to. This tiny toddler has once again shown me how simple it all is. “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). It is written in Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” We adults make things too complicated. Just ask and like a child, like my sweet Walker, receive. Is it any wonder I often sing the song “You Are So Beautiful To Me” to him? Through Walker I see myself as Jesus sees me. Not as a hindrance but as a child who has a Father waiting to love her the way I love Walker—only more so. Hard to imagine but oh so true. What wonderful words to live by!
e d u c at i o n
by Granny Steff
REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: The Lazy Woman’s Guide To Achievement by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Author, Speaker
m o t i va t i o n
ecently, I came across a writing idea that I had played around with several years ago. It made me smile as the title, The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Achievement, reminded me of my days of transition out of traditional eight to five life and into the adventure of my own business. In those early days, I napped more, vacationed more, and got called “lazy” a time or two. For those of you who work from home, you may be able to relate… People don’t really believe you are working when your office is at home! And people are not always supportive when they see you creating a life that they cannot quite lay hold of. In this day of stress levels and change reaching all time highs, I think we are all in need of an innovative way to achieving maximum fulfillment with minimal effort. Perhaps it is time to take an unconventional look at achievement. I have embraced the ‘smart, not hard’ approach to life and work. I hope these three simple tips will empower you to focus on the truly important, unleash your creativity, invest in people, and be directed by clear personal vision. You will begin to feel the difference in your life immediately as you choose to Abandon Regret, live out your Renegade Ambition, and re-define Unconventional Achievement in a way that works for you and those you care most about. STEP ONE: Abandon Regret! Many would say that it is impossible to live a life of NO regrets. While that may be true, when was the last time you stopped to consider simple steps you can take to minimize the regret in your own life? What would need to happen in order to guarantee living a life of minimal regret and maximal impact? This life is… • Focused on the truly important • Full of gratitude • People centered • Lived in the present moment • Directed by clear personal vision • Unencumbered by grudges, bitterness and un-forgiveness Stop and take a few moments to ‘coach yourself’ through each bullet point. How are you doing in that area? What is one small, manageable step you can begin incorporating immediately to strengthen that area? For example, are you ‘full of gratitude’? Regardless of your current level of gratitude, what can you do today to express and increase your thankful spirit? STEP TWO: Begin living out your “Renegade Ambition” Many of us struggle because we find ourselves living life from a place of obligation. We fail to listen to our own ‘inner agenda’, making us easy targets for control and manipulation of our time, resources and focus. Living out your “Renegade Ambition” is not about being careless or selfish. It is about stewarding the life God has given you. We need to take time to re-define our deepest ambition… what drives us, what inspires us, what we are here to accomplish. In doing so, we will come in contact with the life we were meant to live!
Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
This life is… • About being a pioneer • Trading traditional methods that are not working for you with better systems • To find deep motivation by investing in your passions • Being more gentle with yourself in a harsh world • Tapping into your creativity • Structure your life to maximize FREEDOM • Increase your commitment to integrity and personal excellence regardless of what others are doing Again, stop and ‘coach yourself’ through each bullet point. How are you doing in that area? What is one small, manageable step you can begin incorporating immediately? Finally, STEP THREE: Re-define “Unconventional Achievement” We live in a society that is quick to define achievement for you … often in ways that just do not fit your desired approach to life. But we fall prey to the lure of ‘fitting in’, looking the part, and defining personal success based on material and physical achievements. But at the end of the day, are you fulfilled? Are you going about life in a way that leaves you excited to awaken and begin a new day? Perhaps it is time to take an unconventional look at achievement … it may even be time to redefine ‘achievement’ in a way that really works for you and those you care most about. This life is… • About embracing the smart, not ‘hard’, approach to living • Defining true wealth apart from your bank account • Living with an urgency that says “Today really matters!” • Schedule some time off and realize that doing so makes you more productive! • Throw away your ‘To Do’ list and focus on making the most of the next 10 minutes Finally, stop and ‘coach yourself’ through each bullet point. How are you doing in that area? What is one small, manageable step you can take today to strengthen that new perspective? Now, as you wrap up, take a few moments to journal on how you believe your life would change if you actually took the steps you have considered here. My heart is for the lazy days of summer to find you returning to a way of life that takes time to swim, barbeque with loved ones, and celebrate the blessings that lay hidden in your days. ■ Kim Fletcher is the CEO and Lead Life Coach with Kim Fletcher & Associates. Kim passionately coaches individuals to develop a style of leadership that others are compelled to follow. Contact Kim directly to learn more about crafting your own life of impact. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Web: creativelifenavigation.com (NEW site!) / 828 327 6702.
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Getting Help Around The House From the beginning of FlyLady, I have always insisted on our main rule: No Whining Allowed!! I don’t believe that I have ever told you the reasons behind this FLY-Decree! We have all caught ourselves in a whining mode! When was the last time you let those words ooze out of your mouth? This morning!!! Why do people feel the need to whine? Let’s explore this for a bit! Frustration: The house is getting on your nerves! People seem to be piling on your workload. You don’t feel like you are accomplishing anything. So you just have to let out this frustration so the world knows that you are being mistreated. Think about this for a minute. This is a cry for help, but you don’t know how to ask for it. You are feeling sorry for yourself too. You want someone to listen, but that is not happening, because let’s face it, no one hears a whiner. This is also a martyred attitude rearing its ugly head. Depression: The pressure of the house, your schedule and the things left undone are slowly digging your grave. The whine is another cry for help: Even if it is unproductive. You have never been taught any other way to seek help. I want to help you change this fruitless behavior. When you realize how this has no effect on your family, but to tune you out, then you can initiate productive behaviors. It all goes back to being a martyr. Attention Seeking Behavior: We have all done this; our cries for help fall on barren ears, because we have cried wolf too many times. Just like the little shepherd boy; his cries were ignored because he had been seeking attention. It is only when we give ourselves the attention that we need and we are not searching for outside attention that our requests for help will be answered. I know you don’t believe me, but changing this one characteristic in yourself will change your life. Why do you think I want you to FLY!! Self-Pity: This one is probably the most destructive, because you act pitiful and unloved. If the truth were known, you are unloved, but it is not by your family, but by yourself. You are not taking care of your own
needs first. If you don’t love yourself first, you are unable to love others to fullest extent of your being. This is not being selfish. Who is going to take care of you, if you don’t take care of yourself! We have all heard Rodney Daingerfield’s famous line; “I get no respect!” The reason he has no respect, is that he does not respect himself. Demand it of yourself and you will not allow disrespect from others. This does not happen overnight. As he whines to his audience, it may seem funny to us at the time, but in real life, our families just turn down the volume. Our whining becomes background noise! Would you like to see their ears perk up!!! I can teach you how to get their attention and it is so easy!!
m o t i va t i o n
by Marla Cilley
STOP YOUR WHINING COLD TURKEY! This is easy. Now that you can see and hear your effects on your family, you can stop yourself from doing this. Now here is the fun part. You can blow them right out of the water by setting an example and doing what needs to be done with a cheerful attitude and out of love for your family. Even if you are not feeling very cheerful at the time: Bite your lip and put a smile on your lovely face, just for the fun of it. The results will reinforce this happy attitude and you will start to feel the inner change in yourself. When you start FLYing, housework no longer is a chore; something to be dreaded. It becomes a way to bless your family, yourself and your home. I want you to have the peace that I have. This came from my change in attitude toward everyday tasks. Are you ready to FLY? For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.
I N S P I R AT I O N
by Wayne DeLoriea
Well, it’s Independence Day once again. July 4th, the day we celebrate our national freedom. As a veteran of the Vietnam era (U.S.A.F. 1971-75) I wonder if we, as a society, truly know what those words mean…”Our National Freedom”. Let me begin by saying, “Hooah” to active and inactive military brothers and sisters everywhere. For those of you who do not know that word, there are several theories for where it came from, but the U.S. Marine Corps believes it probably came from the French and German professional soldiers we had training our continental army during the revolution. Most likely, a “hurrah” was a praise from a Hessian or French training officer for a job well done or lesson learned. So.”Hooah” for a job well done. What is this freedom we all talk about but many don’t understand. I hear young people say, “It’s a free country” all the time…but is it? This freedom we celebrate and the rest of the world drools over comes at a very high cost. Freedom is soaked in the blood of valor and drips with the tears of families that have paid the ultimate price. Benjamin Franklin said, “ Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” What are our freedoms? Well, because I am so limited in space here is a link to the Bill Of Rights with its 27 amendments. We should all get to know them…after all, Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We honor the sacrifice by knowing why it is made. Freedom is NEVER given…it is WON and that means that there will always be those who want to take it from us. You may have plans to cook out, go to a baseball game, spend time on the water, set off or watch fireworks and if you plan to do it with family…then Hooah! I don’t know if there ever was a soldier that didn’t first go to fight for family. When you celebrate family, you honor the price of freedom. I have heard it said that Liberty is the right to choose and Freedom comes from making the right choices. No government can take your freedoms more quickly than your own. Do not be so watchful of other governments that you overlook the leaders we put in Washington DC. Keep our leaders accountable by knowing what they do. You cannot know what is going on in our nation’s capitol just by watching the evening news. We must all get involved. The person who said that the two topics of discussion most likely to make your friend into an enemy are religion and Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
politics, was probably one of those who would like to see your freedoms taken away. By talking and becoming passionate about religion and politics we protect and refine our national freedoms. These are the topics we MUST all discuss and come to love and be willing to die for. It’s easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. Let’s all make a personal oath to ourselves and our children to become aware, develop an interest and keep accountable the government we HIRE to keep us free. Happy Independence Day…Hooah! National Director of Activity and Exercise for Meridian Senior Living, Owner & Operator of Coach’s CORE Fitness Studio, former NASCAR Coach, Master Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist Wayne DeLoriea, one of NASCAR’s most successful coaches, certified in 80 countries around the world and author of “Coach Without A Whistle” and “$elling Your$elf…There’s Magic In the Approach”, joins nchealthylifestyles to help you realize and attain your nutrition and fitness goals. You may contact Coach at: www.deloriea.com
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Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
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Keep Watch! Today’s Truth
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith… (1 Peter 5:8-9a, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I was really excited that evening because I actually had a fun dinner plan … which is not always the case. There was some grilled chicken left over from dinner the night before, so I decided to bust out my griddle and whip up some yummy grilled chicken quesadillas – a simple, yet very popular Smith-family delicacy. I know: it’s a crazy-easy make, but for some reason my kids think I’m a genius when quesadillas are on the menu. Go figure. I grabbed a knife, a chopping board, and the leftover chicken from the fridge. Minutes later, the chicken was ready for it’s cheese and tortilla companions. While the griddle was heating up, I turned my attention to a few other family matters. I don’t even remember what those matters were. It might have been a buzzer, noising from the laundry room – alerting me of dry clothes that needed hung. I might have turned away to set the table or perhaps I had to intervene between my children who perpetually struggle to keep their hands to themselves. Whatever it was that drew my attention away from dinner prep was innocent – normal stuff – nothing out of the ordinary. When I turned back to the business of quesadilla making, confusion gripped me as an empty cutting board glared at me. With an eyebrow raised quizzically, I asked my husband if he had moved my chicken. “No Honey. I haven’t touched your chicken.” He replied, with a twinkle in his eye. Hmmmmm. A chicken mystery. How odd. I grew a bit anxious and quickly began to interview each of my children, “Did you take the chicken off the cutting board?” “No Mom. I didn’t touch the chicken.” They said one after another. I wondered, “If I didn’t move the chicken and my family didn’t move the chicken, then where is my chicken?” I looked around the room once more just to be sure that I hadn’t simply placed the chicken somewhere else. Then I saw it … a look of guilt. A look that screamed and pleaded, “Yes! I took your chicken, but please don’t be angry with me. It smelled so good and … and … I’m a big dog – I need my nourishment. Was it wrong? Okay. I know it was wrong. Please forgive me. I did it. I ate your chicken. I’m sorry. I’d like to go to my crate now…” His ears lowered as my eyes met his. My brows furrowed. “Rocky! YOU ate my chicken! Bad dog!” I lamented in frustration as I began to make a new dinner plan… Rocky’s just a dog. He’s not out to get me and he didn’t mean to mess up our dinner plans, but he did prey on our family meal that night. He came and took what wasn’t his because I had let my guard down. I wasn’t watching over my chicken. As believers in Jesus Christ, you and I must guard our hearts and watch over our homes. The Bible warns Christians to keep watch. Beyond things seen, there are spiritual battles taking place around us continually. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then you
have an enemy and his name is Satan. If you live to listen to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, then strap on your battle gear, girlfriend, because your enemy has a mission to destroy you. Beware! In the New Testament book of John, chapter 10, Jesus identified himself as the exclusive way to our salvation – as the Gate for the sheep of God – as the One who loves, leads and rescues us. In John 10:10, Jesus warns that though His plan for us is protection, love and help, the enemy … Satan … “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” The Bible has a lot to say about this. It tells us time and time again to be alert to the schemes of Satan. To keep watch. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”(1 Peter 5:8-9a, NIV). Though we have an enemy with a real plan to mess with our emotions, our health, our marriages, our children, our relationships and our thoughts, we are not without help or hope. We have both. God’s power and protection are readily available to believers, 24/7. “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV). “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18, NIV).
I N S P I R AT I O N
by Gwen Smith
I was caught off guard the night that my dog took the chicken off my counter, and there have been times when I’ve been caught off guard in the midst of spiritual battles. As Christian women, let’s remember to keep watch – over our hearts, our minds, and our homes. Let’s purpose to proactively pray for protection, power and perseverance. May we always keep watch.
Dear Lord, You are all-powerful and mighty to save. I praise you and delight in your plan for me to have abundant life through Jesus. Please cover me in Your Spirit today and equip me to fend off attacks from the enemy in your power and help. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
by Sharon Rashidi B.S. Health Education
e d u c at i o n
How Can Pilates Change your Body and Why is it Necessary? Last week after teaching a zumba class I had a member come up and ask me how my stomach looks so flat and toned. Without hesitation I quickly answered Pilates. Although I have taught many different forms of aerobic classes throughout the years, I never really did see a change in my body until I started practicing Pilates. From the breathing techniques and muscle toning to the overall flexibility and core strengthening, Pilates is the one class that will make a difference. Although many people think that Pilates is a new exercise movement, it has actually been around for quite awhile. Joseph Pilates, a gymnast and boxer from Germany brought his method, his thinking, his philosophy to New York in 1926. Originally named Contrology, the Pilates method uses physical and mental exercises involving stretches and breathing that focus on strengthening the abdominal core region. The Principles of Pilates include breath, concentration, control, precision, and flow. 1. Breath: the breath in Pilates is in through the nose and out through the mouth. It is a forceful breath as if you are trying to blow out candles on a cake. 2. Concentration: involves giving full attention to the exercise, doing it with full commitment, to insure maximum value will be obtained from each movement. 3. Control: every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control and kept within the frame of the body. 4. Precision: is essential for correct form in Pilate’s exercises. It is better to do one precise and perfect Pilates exercise with good form than doing several half-heartedly. 5. Flow: Pilate’s exercises are done with a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. Pilates is necessary to: Develop a strong core or center of the body, including flat abdominals and a strong back- The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle. Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility- Most conventional or traditional workouts are weight bearing and tend to build short, bulky muscles - the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Create an evenly conditioned body and prevent muscular imbalancePilate’s conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities with greater ease. Invigorate your body by attending a Pilate’s class and discover a new you. The Pilates method is a safe non-impact body conditioning technique that will help develop a strong, flexible, centered and balanced body.
Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
Pilates Exercises The Criss Cross- This exercise challenges the abdominal muscles, especially the obliques. (Sides of the waist) In addition, it works the hip flexor muscles and the stabilizer muscles around the shoulder blades. It also aids in proper posture and improves balance. Step One- Begin this exercise by lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your knees and bring your shins up so that they are parallel to the floor. Place your hands under and behind your head, and the base of the skull, and keep your elbows wide. Exhale as you pull your abs into a deep scoop and curl the chin and shoulders off the mat up to the base of the shoulder blades. Step Two- Inhale to prepare and then exhale as your reach your left leg out long and bring your armpit up to the opposite knee, look back and hold. Keep your elbows wide as you rotate your torso toward the bent knee. Inhale as you switch legs and bring the trunk through the center. Exhale as you extend the right leg. Rotate your upper body toward the left knee. Keep your chest open and elbows wide. Front and Back Kick Side Series- This exercise is a great way to tone up your legs without building bulk. It will stretch your hamstrings and tone your legs. It also works the lateral hip rotator and hip adductor muscles which are often weak, lazy, and a common cause of hip and lower back pain. The front and back kick works the lateral hip rotator and hip adductor muscles - often weak, lazy and a common cause of lower back pain. Step One- Lie on your right side and line yourself up on the back edge of the exercise mat. Support the right side of your head with your right hand. In order to protect your lower back, angle your legs forward so that your heels are at the front of the mat. Stack your shoulder over shoulder, hip over hip, and ankle over ankle. Step Two- Bring your feet into Pilate’s stance, with your heels together and your toes apart. You will feel an outward rotation in your hips. Engage your abdominals by pulling your navel to your spine. Your left hand will be on the mat in front of your chest, but the strength in the pose comes entirely from your core muscles, or “powerhouse” Lift your left leg and bring it in the front of your mat with a flexed foot. Pulse your foot forward then point your toe and bring your leg back behind your body. Repeat the motion 10 times on your right side then switch sides and repeat.
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Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine / July 2011
Mom’s Dream by Marilyn Nutter
The shades were pulled; the room darkened. The eighth grade class had become quiet waiting for our English teacher, Mrs. Manzy, to show slides from her summer trip. As the slide carousel clicked in succession, my mind drifted in rhythm to the changing slides—alternating between daydreaming and paying attention. The assigned reading was Evangeline by Longfellow, and Mrs. Manzy tried to generate interest among her students by showing slides of her trip to Nova Scotia, the setting of the poem written years ago. My family lived on a tight budget and there was no money for summer vacations. We might go to a nearby lake for a picnic or visit a local amusement park for a few hours, but we never vacationed overnight. So, when my teacher showed us slides of such a beautiful faraway place, I dreamed: someday I’m going to travel and go to Nova Scotia. “Someday” came when I had my own family. My husband and I were determined to broaden our children’s horizons by travel. When we planned family vacations with our daughters, we generally combined an educational opportunity with fun. It could be a visit to an historical site, a museum, an aquarium, or learning how to crab or fish. “Mom,” my middle daughter protested. “Most families go to water parks! They don’t do these kinds of trips!” There was a grain of truth in her comment, but why waste an opportunity to learn while having fun? One year, my dream became reality as we planned our visit to Nova Scotia. With seven years between my oldest and youngest daughters and with another in between, finding age appropriate interests that fit all ages was a challenge. Anne of Green Gables was gaining popularity on TV and we included a visit to Prince Edward Island. As we piled into our van, all three girls groaned in chorus, “We’re going to be driving for hours.” “But think of the fun,” I answered. “Just think--lobster suppers in Canada! You’ll see a live performance of Anne of Green Gables! I really think you’ll enjoy Nova Scotia. We’ve timed it to see the tides. I still remember seeing the slides in....” They interrupted me; “Eighth grade.” Yet, I had to be realistic. We were going to be on the road for days. What do you do when you are driving for days? Conversation, typical road games, naps and listening to tapes only go so far. The logical thing to do was prepare for our visit by reading! I borrowed the juvenile version of Evangeline from the library and we read pages at various intervals, so that the girls would know the story of the place we were visiting. I was hoping too, that the suspense and the “love story” angle would get their interest. Our first stop in Nova Scotia was a drive to Grand Pre National Park. A tour guide told us the story of Evangeline. I felt as if I were in 8th grade again, but this time it was real. As we circled Evangeline’s statue, the guide pointed out that half of Evangeline’s face is young and the other old, depicting her life search for Gabriel, her fiancé. Since that was exactly what we had read, the girls’ interest was piqued. Could I have heard a whisper, “Maybe Mom is on to something here,”? I think so! Then the guide said, “There is another statue in Louisiana—where she and Gabriel were reunited.” I made a mental note that we should stop there on our cross country adventure planned for the following summer. Aha! We could take one route going, and another traveling back. We would see more of the US! It would work! The following July we pulled up to a small church with an adjacent cemetery and spotted a statue of Evangeline. We took pictures and the girls humored me (again). The
cycle was complete as we lived out the final chapter of the story. Perhaps we chased fictional characters around the United States and Canada, and maybe some children would have preferred a water park to a summer trip of literature and history, but I know that I fulfilled a dream planted in my mind years ago by an English teacher. Years later, my daughters still talk about our trip and Mom’s dream. They admit that it was a wonderful trip. When they reminisce, they thank us for the memories and all the trips we took, even the educational ones. The shades may have been pulled and the classroom dark, but a light went on and a dream created in the mind of a thirteen year old girl who had never left her state or taken a family vacation. The travel “dream” evolved in my adulthood beyond the US and included far way places, the Caribbean, Asia, Mexico, and Europe. I wish that I had written my English teacher and told her about our family trip to Nova Scotia and sent her a photo. I bet she’d be surprised at the impression she made. Actually, I think Mrs. Manzy would say that her dream for a student had been fulfilled too. ###
Marilyn Nutter is the author of three devotional books including Diva Delights and is a contributor to on-line sites and compilations such as Chicken Soup for the Soul. She enjoys guiding women to find extraordinary treasures in ordinary days and is available to speak to women’s church and community groups. Contact her at email@example.com and visit her website at www.marilynnutter.com
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Sophisticated Women... By definition, a sophisticated woman has followers. Individuals are drawn to you. Your attitude, the way you carry yourself, and the energy you bring to every situation is intentional. Or is it? Are you leading yourself well? Over the last two weeks, I had the privilege and honor to participate in leadership training with The Center for Creative Leadership located in Greensboro, NC as part of Rotary’s Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders, a summer leadership experience for outstanding rising juniors and seniors. The Center for Creative Leadership is an amazing ‘top ten in the world leadership training organization’ that serves CEOs of major corporations, nonprofits, and government entities. They define leadership with a ‘Seat of Leadership’ model. The seat of leadership is a simple three-legged stool. The three legs of leadership are: direction, alignment, and commitment. To be a sophisticated woman you must have a compelling vision or direction for your life. When you know what you really want and can point yourself in the right direction, it’s amazing what unfolds. Direction is the first leg in the stool. A sophisticated woman must choose a path or life will choose one for her. Consider Amy for a moment. Her life started strong. She had a loving family growing up in the suburbs of the mid-west. She attended West Point. She was a diving champion. She married. She had three beautiful children. Out of nowhere comes divorce. Thrown off her path, Amy didn’t know what to do. She cried. She prayed. For a period of time, she lost her direction. Then one day, Amy remembered who she was. She knew the right people loved her. She knew there was a champion inside who works hard. She chose a new path and took her next right step. She had direction. The second leg in the stool, alignment, is key to the success of the sophisticated woman’s future. Amy decided to take her hard won engineering degree dust it off and put it to work. With her mission in hand, Amy developed a resume, which landed her a job in a Fortune 500 company. She aligned her home schooling skills with big business. Amy is creative, resourceful and well… sophisticated. In her first year back in the work force, she won inventor of the year. The third leg in the stool is commitment. The sophisticated woman must gain commitment to her personal vision. Now with Amy’s tremendous success, she was poised to ask for what she really wanted. So, she did. Having won the support of colleagues and a reputation for being innovative, she began
sharing her strengths, her talents, and her personal vision with key people who could help her move in the direction she desired. When Amy had to give up her role as teacher home schooling her children, she was devastated. If you ask her the most painful part of the divorce proceeding, she’ll tell you it was the day the judge told her “You will put your children in public school.” You see Amy’s mission is to: Uncover the truth and make it known. It was absolute delight for her to show her children how to write, how to do math and how to experiment around how things work. She was forced off her path but she got herself back in the simple seat of leadership. Amy now travels and teaches across the United States sharing the truth. She is to be celebrated. She is a great example to follow. She is sophisticated. Take these powerful questions into consideration, sit in the seat of leadership and create a new intention to be a sophisticated woman. • Do you have a personal mission statement that guides you in the right direction? • Are you taking your skills, strengths, and past accomplishments and aligning them with your present and future roles? • Have you shared your vision through your words and actions and asked key individuals commitment to support your dreams?
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Nicole Greer, PPCC is a professional life and business coach. She works with the TILT360 Leadership Model, that Gramma Myrt embodied. You too can be a woman of character and bring the Art of FULL TILT leadership to your life and your organization. At its deepest level, working with a coach frees you to indentify your birthright gifts, discern your deepest passions, and fulfill your highest purpose. A coach can pry you off dead center. As Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group, LLC, a collaboration of individuals focused on work, life and spiritual growth, Nicole is on a mission to impact, energize, and influence people to lead a Vibrant Life by engaging the possibilities. As a life and business coach and workshop leader, Nicole views her role as a conduit to release all that you want to achieve. Join me on the PATH to move forward with authenticity, skill and confidence. www.thevibrantcoach.com/www.thelydiagroup.com
Marriage: Is This It? by Dr. Susan Flowers, PhD
Compatibility in a marriage is key but if your spouse has become more like a friend and less like the person you were attracted to, your marriage will begin to lose its energy. With 22% of married women in the U.S. earning more than their husbands and many of them still shouldering most of the household duties and childcare, feeling under appreciated in a marriage is also on the rise. Subsequently, marriage has become more family oriented and couples are spending less alone time together. So how do you avoid falling into a rut? 1. Pay attention to each other. Make having fun in your marriage a priority. Schedule date nights on the calendar at minimum twice a month with absolutely none of your children allowed. Choose fun, sexy and unusual outings and capture your memories with a camera. There is nothing more bonding than experiencing new, fun, and romantic ventures together. The possibilities are endless so be creative. Here are some easy ideas: spending a night at that quaint bed & breakfast across town that looked inviting, renting a pontoon and having a private picnic on the lake for two, packing a dinner and camping out under the stars at an outdoor concert, taking salsa lessons together once a week or even visiting your local Dave & Busters for burgers and arcade excitement like two teenagers! 2. Compliment each other regularly. We know that women love compliments but it goes a long way for a man, especially when you want him to continue doing something that pleases you. Brag about your spouse publicly or in front of friends at least once a month, soon they will return the favor. 3. “Keep in Touch.” Physical connections outside the bedroom, like handholding, can keep the fires burning. Steal a quick smooch in public and note how it makes you feel. 4. “Don’t worry...be happy.” So he chews loudly at the dinner table, it won’t kill you. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” save the arguments for stuff that matters. Also, spend time laughing together at least once a week by doing things like playing silly board games or watching a comedy. 5. Volunteer together. It bonds you in common values, even if it is helping a friend move on the weekend. 6. Never use sex as a punishment. A physical connection is critical in a marriage, it raises your Oxytocin levels, which is your “bonding hormone.” It is an essential chemical reaction for love to occur and to remain. Be generous, your marriage truly needs at least one sexual
Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
encounter a week. 7. Be spontaneous. Do at least two unexpected things per week that your spouse will appreciate. They could be as simple as packing them a lunch for work, sending them a steamy text message during the day, washing their car, running their errands on the weekend to allow for sleeping in, etc. Just remember, what is already routine, isn’t spontaneity. 8. Talk money. This step is probably the most vital. Ignoring your finances as a couple is the #1 catalyst to marital discord. It is important to keep your household finances out in the open and above board. You both should have separate accounts for life’s small indulgences, in addition to your joint household account. The key word is small. Personal spending that doesn’t exceed 50.00 per month. You work hard at your careers and deserve a little pampering on occasion that does not require a joint discussion or partner approval. Stick to a budget for household spending and discuss anything that veers off course before there is a problem or credit becomes maxed out. Pay for necessary items with cash as often as possible; otherwise walk away from the purchase if it doesn’t leave you “homeless, hypothermic, or hungry.” “Happily ever after,” is the norm in fairy tales. There is nothing automatic about marriage, including happiness. Marriage requires commitment, attention, fun, spontaneity and generous sex to flourish and remain stimulating. Remember the things that made you happy when you were dating and make them a priority again. Before you know it, those ‘butterflies’ will be paying you both a visit again and again.■
Dr Susan Flowers, PhD is a speaker, author, coach and radio host for the “Caribbean Connection” Saturdays at 4 - 6 PM on 103.3 FM WGIV Charlotte. For bookings visit www.SusanFlowers.com or www. Facebook.com/DrSusanFlowers.
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Me, Myself, & . c In By Sherré DeMao
In last month’s column, I talked about taking an inventory of what you consider to be time wasters because the first key to effectively using your time is understanding that it is a valuable resource to be used in the most rewarding and productive way. The second key to effectively using your time is to appreciate and understand that it is also a valued resource to everyone else. When we have a respect for our time as well as other people’s time, we can truly make time an asset and also get more help and support along the way. This is why the next step in your time inventory is identifying ways you can create time alignment. Alignment is a better way to approach truly leveraging your time versus time management because if you are just managing your time, you may not be making the most of your time. You may be merely plugging activities into a schedule without really considering how everything works together efficiently, productively, and respectfully. This is an important point to understand. Part of the main reason that time becomes our enemy is that we allow everyone else to dictate how and when we use it. What can make this worse is when you are dealing with people who do not value your time as much as their own. Take a look at anyone or any situation that is not respecting your time and then shift it to a more acceptable arrangement. As hard as it may be, you may also eliminate or change relationships as a result of this inventory. But what if the culprit in not valuing your time is you? Do you go out of your way to meet or accommodate others, putting additional strain on your schedule and available time? If this is the case, then you are demonstrating by your actions that you believe everyone else’s time is more important than yours. Everyone’s time is equally important, and those who understand this are willing to meet halfway and consider the other person when scheduling. Sometimes there is a give and take based on considering what is going on with each person, but if you are always making concessions to accommodate another person’s availability or time constraints, then no wonder you are frustrated. Everyone’s greatest desire is always to have more time to do what they really want to be doing. So the next thing to assess in your time usage inventory is anything that takes you away from what you would really like to be doing. Are there obligations you
no longer want to participate in? Are there things you are doing that someone else could or should be doing instead? Are there family or work activities that can be consolidated or shared with others so it is not always you handling them? Make it a practice to align yourself with those who also consider time a valuable and respected resource. Take a look at your list of things that are taking you away from what you really want to be doing. Then make a list of anyone you know who could be a resource or help you with what still needs to get done but you would prefer not to have to do it. Focus on using their time in ways that support you because it is their strength and not yours or they are willing to help because you also help them. This will assure that your and their time is being respected and valued. I intentionally seek out doctor’s offices and healthcare practices that guarantee you are in and out within a certain timeframe. My dentist, optometrist, physician and gynecologist all have made respect of patients’ time a distinguishing factor in their business. I am always in and out in no time because they respect my time. I have my hair done on Saturdays because that is what is most convenient to me in my schedule. I have identified which business contacts or clients are early morning people and which are more productive later in the day so we can align our meetings and productivity times. I have identified the perfect midway points for meetings so it is equidistance when meeting in person is necessary. Have you noticed how Panera Bread has done this in their strategic location analysis? They have become a popular meeting place because they are located in places that make meeting someone convenient.
m o t i va t i o n
Time Alignment Gives You Greater Independence
The ultimate benefit in focusing on time alignment versus time management is that you will find ways to recapture some much needed and desired free time for yourself. And this, as we all know, is the most precious and valued time of all.
Bio: Sherré DeMao inspires millions through her monthly columns, weekly Insight eZine and national contributing writing. An expert strategist and marketer focused on entrepreneurs, her unique perspective and innovative approach has earned numerous awards regionally, nationally and internationally including being named among the Top 50 Enterprising Women of North America in 2007. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. and 50 Marketing Secrets (www.50marketingsecrets. com) have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must reads.
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I Believe... That just because two people argue, It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, It doesn’t mean they do love each other. I Believe... That we don’t have to change friends if We understand that friends change. I Believe.... That no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you, every once in a while and you must forgive them for that. I Believe..... That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love. I Believe... That you can do something in an instant That will give you heartache for life. I Believe.... That it’s taking me a long time To become the person I want to be.
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I Believe... That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words. It may be the last time you see them. I Believe.... That you can keep going long after you think you can’t. I Believe.... That we are responsible for what We do, no matter how we feel. I Believe... That either you control your attitude or it controls you. I Believe.... That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences. I Believe.... That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time..
I Believe.... That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up. I Believe... That sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I Believe... That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had And what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. I Believe..... That it isn’t always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself. I Believe... That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
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Miss Jenny– My First Elderly Victim of D.V.
Older Victims of Domestic Violence?
Years ago, I met Miss Jenny, a little petite, grey haired woman. housing. I saw the helplessness in her eyes. She explained that She was 70 years old and had come to First Step for information she couldn’t leave her home. “I’d be giving up everything I’ve hard for all these 50 years and I don’t even make enough about how to stop herMiss husband from hurting “He’sgrey a monster, Years ago, I met Jenny, a littleher. petite, haired worked woman. “ she began, “he cusses me all the time, calls me all kind of ugly (from Social Security) to support myself.” That’s a harsh reality She was 70 years oldhits and had come to First Step for many elderly victims which keep them stuck in their abusive names, threatens me, and me”. Tears streamed down her for faceinformation how to stop from her.that’s “He’srelationship. a Like Miss Jenny, their home is their only security, asabout she said, “some days,her I justhusband think I can’t takehurting it any more, youthere. suspect anthey older even if they’re not Ifsafe Theyabuse don’t or feel can leave it and why I’m here. How can I make him stop”? She said she was so monster, “ she began, “he cusses me all the time, calls me all woman future. considers herself to beshe a talk with an I suggested that afraid of him that she locked her bedroom door and put a chair start over for an uncertain kind of ugly names, threatens me, and hits me”. Tears streamed of elder abuse, has a settlement. I attorney to discussvictim her rights in terms of she a property against it every night. down her said, gave days, her other options and of talked withand her you about a safety plan. I told herface that as weshe could help“some number options, can I her justobtain think I can’t take it any more, I never saw Misshelp. Jenny again, but I’ve thought of her often over a Domestic Violence years. Deciding on whether to leave your life partner, your Protective and possibly that’s why Order I’m here. How canthe I make yourinvestment concern toisthem your life’s a pretty daunting have him removed from the home and lose half�of Speak him stop”? She said she was so afraid It’s just home. “Oh no, I couldn’t do decision to make at 70.when theanother abuserexample is not of how domestic ofthat himtothat sheshe locked violence robs victims of the things important to them. Yes, him”, said, her “hebedroom around, and that’s ask questions had some options, like but “Are noneyou wereafraid whatatshe wanted. After all, wouldn’t havea chair anywhere to itshe door and put against every your she just wanted him to stop hurting her. go”. I suggested that she go to home?” “Is anyone hurting night. -Ann our Shelter where she’d be safe you?” “Do you feel safe think I and told could her that weabout couldwhat help her obtain Contributed by: where you live?” she wanted to do. I explained Family Guidance Center a that Domestic Violence Protective Order we could help her find � Be supportive and patient
828-322-1400 and possibly have him removed from the home. “Oh no, I Help them recognize that no couldn’t do that to him”, she said, “he wouldn’t have anywhere to one deserves to be abused go”. I suggested that she go to our Shelter where she’d be safe and its not a victims fault and could think about what she wanted to do. I explained that � Encourage them to call or we could help her find housing. I saw the helplessness in her go with them to First Step eyes. She explained that she couldn’t leave her home. “I’d be Domestic Violence giving up everything I’ve worked hard for all these 50 years and I Search By don’t even make enough (from Social Security) to support Services (828) 322-1400 to Find Local myself.” That’s a harsh reality for many elderly victims which receive free help, support, keep them stuck in their abusive relationship. Like Miss Jenny, counseling, or a safe shelter In Your Are their home is their only security, even if they’re not safe there. away from her abuser They don’t feel they can leave it and start over for an uncertain � Contact your local Area future. I suggested that she talk with an attorney to discuss her Agency on Aging office No Membership Required - Just Visit Theto rights in terms of a property settlement. I gave her other options Website To Begin Printing & Using Coupons identify local programs and From Local Businesses In Your Area and talked with her about a safety plan.
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Go Wild! Break The Rules! by Susan Guest, ASID
go a long way in brightening your day! We just bought a folk art piece at HMA’s “Art on the Avenue” event. Made from an old tin ceiling, the art features a strange dog with an under bite wearing blue cat-eyed glasses. We dubbed the piece “Snarky”, hung it over the porch door, and smile every time we walk through that door. • Family photos can be hung anywhere you please. I have always been told to put personal photos in an intimate area of the home, such as a back hall or bedroom. Unless you are staging your home for resale, put them anywhere that makes you happy. Many of us are far away from our families and love to see photos of them. One word of caution: make sure that the scale of the photos fit the wall where you place them. If your photos are small, make a grouping of many pieces on a larger wall. You may need to add a long shelf or an anchor piece if the wall is extremely long. • Outdoor furnishings can now be used indoors. Years ago, outdoor furniture and fabrics were not particularly attractive. Now, the products have improved and are excellent to use in family areas where children and pets spend a lot of time. Many of the solution dyed acrylic fabrics can be cleaned with bleach. Outdoor rugs are also nice to use in these areas. • An item or a room can have more than one purpose. For example, a dining room with a wall of books can also be a library. A home office can have a pull-out sofa that can house guests on occasion. An extra bedroom can also be a craft room.
• Large scaled items can be used in smaller rooms in some cases. For example, a large patterned wallpaper used in a powder room can be very dramatic. A small scaled pattern in the same room might look insignificant and boring. A large piece of furniture can sometimes pull a smaller room together and be an excellent focal point. • Furniture doesn’t have to match. A more eclectic mix of furniture, styles, and textures is harder to achieve, but is much more pleasing to the eye. Buying an entire room full of matching pieces might work for someone who doesn’t care about their environment; but would never work in my world. I love to go in a room that features items collected on trips around the world complete with histories and stories about each piece. Another reason to buy pieces that don’t match, is that you can space the purchases out over time and look for deals. • Whimsical items can be used in all areas of the home. In years past, all the fun and colorful things were put in children’s rooms. Our modern society is not an easy place to live; so a little whimsy can
e d u c at i o n
o you have girl friends that are so much fun and seem to live on the edge? These lovely creatures break rules, make their own rules, and get exactly what they want out of life. Their clothing, home, office, and everything they touch seem to effortlessly be an extension of who they are. If you aspire to be more hip, read on! Life can be very adventurous! When I entered the workplace as a young designer in the furniture and interior design profession years ago, things were so different! Fabric in a room exactly coordinated. I sold entire sets of furniture, such as bedrooms and dining rooms. The internet, as we know it, was a thing of the future. Many of my clients flew to NC for a couple of days to furnish their entire home. Most design students are taught certain rules and principals that they should follow in commercial or residential projects. Over the years, these rules have been relaxed due to economical issues, changes in consumer preferences, and a more global marketplace. Some of the rules; however, should be golden and never broken. Here are some pointers for living on the edge!
There are some rules that should not be broken. A room should not have all the furniture at one height. To make a room look taller, use a stripe and paint the ceiling a lighter color. To make a room look shorter, paint a darker color on the ceiling and use a horizontal stripe to break up the wall. Form does follow function. One of my favorite rules, that I never learned in design school, is that if you are no longer using an item, donate to a person or organization that can reuse, repurpose, or recycle. ■
Susan Guest, ASID is an awardwinning interior designer in Hickory and owner of Guest Interiors, LLC. She is one of the designers featured in “Spectacular Homes of the Carolinas”, found in high-end bookstores around the country. For more information, visit www.guestinteriors.com.
Medicaid Myths: Fact or Fiction By: Casey W. Pope, Esq.
e d u c at i o n
In practicing elder law, many of my clients are concerned that the nursing home or the government is going to take their home when they die. Others want to transfer everything to an irrevocable trust or an annuity so that they can qualify for Medicaid but still save their hard-earned assets for their children. It seems that there is more bad information than good being shared around the water cooler and the internet. So in this article, I want to set the record straight about some of the more common misconceptions about Medicaid. Myth #1 – The nursing home will take my house when I die. You’ve probably heard someone say that, if they go into a nursing home, either the government or the nursing home will take their house when they die. While this statement is not entirely incorrect, this is not always true, either. If a person goes into a nursing home before death, they may lose their home if either (1) they have to sell it during their life to pay the nursing home bill or (2) the nursing home or Medicaid files a claim against their estate at death. When a person dies, his creditors will file a claim against his estate to be repaid what the deceased owed them. If a person was in a nursing home and paid privately, that person may have owed money on his nursing home bill at the time of his death. Therefore, the nursing home may file a claim against the deceased’s estate for repayment. Alternatively, if the deceased received Medicaid while alive, then Medicaid will also file a claim against the estate seeking to recover the amounts that it paid on the deceased’s behalf during his life. This is known as Medicaid estate recovery. There is a certain order in which creditors are repaid from a person’s estate. This order is set by law and is referred to as “priority.” Both the nursing home and Medicaid are just like any other creditor, and they are repaid in relation to the priority of their claim. If there are not enough liquid assets (i.e., cash) in the deceased’s estate to pay all creditor claims, then non-liquid assets must be sold to pay them. The deceased’s home is usually one of the largest assets in the estate and often must be sold in order to pay these claims. Since a typical nursing home bill is between $5,000 and $7,000 per year, it is not surprising that the home may need to be sold to pay a nursing home or Medicaid claim. Myth #2 – I can put all my money in a trust and protect it from Medicaid. If you simply Google “Medicaid planning,” you will probably get thousands of results that talk about special Medicaid trusts which will protect your millions of dollars, allowing you to pass it on to your kids while also qualifying for government long term care benefits. Again, this is a partially true statement.
Sophie Woman’s Magazine / July 2011
Use of trusts is one strategy which can help to protect assets for future generations. Assets placed in the trust are not counted as resources for Medicaid purposes, so the trust is advertised as a way to save assets, rather than having to spend them down, in order to fall within the very strict Medicaid resource limits. There are several qualifications to this, though. First, the trust must be irrevocable. That means that once you put the money into the trust, you cannot change your mind and get it back out. You have essentially given the money away. You also cannot be responsible for managing the trust money; someone else, maybe a friend, child, or financial advisor, must serve in that role. Finally, you can only receive income from the trust. If you receive principal, then all the money in the trust is considered an asset to you for Medicaid purposes. Transferring the money into the trust is also considered a transfer of assets under Medicaid rules, which could disqualify you from Medicaid for a certain period of time if the trust is funded within five years of applying for Medicaid benefits. This five year period is called the Medicaid lookback period. When a person applies for Medicaid, the Department of Social Services will look back at the previous five years to determine if the applicant has made any gifts. A transfer of money or property to an irrevocable trust is considered a gift. If a gift was made, the applicant is subject to a penalty period of benefit ineligibility, the length of which depends on the amount gifted. For each $5,500 given away, the applicant is ineligible for Medicaid for one month. The penalty period does not begin until the person is in the nursing home and has spent down enough of his assets that he would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid. Again, this transfer sanction only applies to gifts made within the five years prior to applying for Medicaid. Therefore, if the trust is set up and funded more than five years ahead of time, all the assets in the trust should be protected. Myth #3 – I can put all my money in an annuity and protect it from Medicaid. Another popular Google search result is the Medicaid-compliant annuity. As with the irrevocable trust, the money used to purchase the annuity is not considered a countable resource for the Medicaid applicant. However, the annuity must be irrevocable, meaning once it is purchased, it cannot be cashed in or terminated to get the money back. The annuity payments must also begin right away, and the annuity must be structured so that it will pay out completely over the statistical life expectancy of the annuitant. In other words, you cannot structure the annuity to make very small monthly payments in an effort to ensure there is a large death benefit for the beneficiary. As with the irrevocable trust, the purchase of the annuity can be considered a transfer of assets. However, the current Medicaid rules allow the annuity purchase not to be deemed an impermissible transfer if Medicaid is named a beneficiary of the annuity. In essence, if there is any money left in the annuity at your death, it must be used to pay back Medicaid in order to escape the transfer of assets penalty. Fact – Medicaid rules are complex and change frequently. There are many myths about Medicaid and long term care planning which are passed both by word of mouth and on the internet. You can cost yourself or your family dearly if you act hastily without getting accurate advice tailored to your specific situation. However, with the right information and smart planning in place, you can both take care of yourself and your family for years, and possibly even generations, to come.■
Casey Pope is an attorney at Patrick, Harper & Dixon, LLP in Hickory, North Carolina. She practices primarily in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and business and corporate law. Casey may be contacted at 828-322-7741 or via email at email@example.com. Patrick, Harper & Dixon is Hickory’s oldest and largest full-service law firm.
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