The Minute Magazine Sept Oct 2017 Wiggin'Out Issue

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LOCATIONS LOCATIONS ARCADIA (318) 263-8477 ARCADIA LOCATIONS (318) 263-8477 ATHENS (318) 258-3123 ARCADIA ATHENS (318) 263-8477 258-3123 BOSSIER (318) 752-2727 ATHENS BOSSIER (318) 258-3123 752-2727 GIBSLAND (318) 843-6228 BOSSIER GIBSLAND (318) 752-2727 843-6228 HOMER (318) 927-5075 GIBSLAND HOMER 843-6228 (318) 927-5075 MINDEN (318) 371-9910 HOMER MINDEN (318) 927-5075 (318) 371-9910 SHREVEPORT (318) 688-7005 MINDEN SHREVEPORT (318) 371-9910 688-7005 SIBLEY (318) 371-9465 SHREVEPORT SIBLEY (318) 688-7005 371-9465

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ask for the transaction to be processed as a credit or where you sign to authorize the transaction rather than enter your PIN. Only transactions received by GBT as a signature based debit card transaction will qualify for cash back. Transactions must post to and clear your account during the statement cycle. No cash will be earned on debit card transactions where your PIN is used or any other type of electronic transactions. Cash rewards will be credited to the account the day after the statement drops. Signature-based debit card transactions are transactions where you do not enter your pin to process the transaction. Transactions include online transactions, ‘point of sale’ transactions where you choose credit or ask for the transaction to be processed as a credit or where you sign to authorize the transaction rather than enter your PIN. Only transactions received by GBT as a signature based debit card transaction will qualify © 2016, Gibsland Bank and Trust. All rights reserved. for cash back. Transactions must post to and clear your account during the statement cycle. No cash will be earned on debit card transactions where your PIN is used or any other type of electronic transactions. Cash rewards will be credited to the account the day after the statement drops.

© 2016, Gibslanddebit Bankcard and transactions Trust. All rights Signature-based arereserved. transactions where you do not enter your pin to process the transaction. Transactions include online transactions, ‘point of sale’ transactions where you choose credit or ask for the transaction to be processed as a credit or where you sign to authorize the transaction rather than enter your PIN. Only transactions received by GBT as a signature based debit card transaction will qualify for cash back. Transactions must post to and clear your account during the statement cycle. No cash will be earned on debit card transactions where your PIN is used or any other type of electronic transactions. Cash rewards will be credited to the account the day after the statement drops. © 2016, Gibsland Bank and Trust. All rights reserved.







Donnie Bell Design, LLC


Leslie Albritton Vicki Caskey Karen McCarty Heather McHorter Bailey Chalaine Scott, Social Bites Melanie Massey Groves & Brian Russell, MOCO


Office Phone: 504.390.2585 Ad Sales: 318.548.2693 Address: P.O. Box 961, Belle Chasse, LA 70037

6 Not Your Basic Bruschetta

Heather McHorter Bailey, Social Bites

8 What is Your Goliath? MOCO 18 Wiggin' Out 2017 Vicki Caskey 20 Strong: The Journey of Kelly Bond Chalaine Scott

24 A Grandmother's Love Leslie Albritton

25 Made Better Karen McCarty 26 Superhero Interviews 30 Melanoma Deaths are Preventable

Winnie Griggs Yvette Hardy

Linzie Hebert Wesley Harris Sara McDaniel Kathy B. Nelson Rachel Pardue Darla Upton

Dr. Joshua Mandrell - Green Clinic Coaching in Pink Shoes Ministry Dr. Rixie Thompson


For a list of locations near you, or to catch up on past issues, like us on Facebook or visit Interested in writing for The Minute or have a great feature story idea? Email Tiffany Byram at

The Minute Magazine is distributed throughout Caddo, Bossier, Claiborne, Bienville, Ouachita, Webster, & Lincoln Parishes in Louisiana. They are FREE for you to enjoy. Take some to your friends, relatives or anyone else who needs a refreshing, enlightening “minute.� Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be copied or reproduced without permission. The Minute Magazine cannot be responsible for unsolicited materials. The editorial content of The Minute is prepared in accordance with the highest standards of journalistic accuracy. Readers are cautioned, however, not to use any information from the magazine as a substitute for expert opinion, technical information or advice. The Minute cannot be responsible for negligent acts, errors and omissions. The opinions expressed in The Minute are those of our writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher has the right to accept or reject any advertising and / or editorial submitted.


am in awe of the courage and determination this year's cancer survivors possess. The power of their faith and hope is such an inspiration for Vicki and I and we are so blessed to present you with our 7th Annual WIGGIN'OUT Issue. This year's theme is "Not All Heroes Wear Capes." Please consider joining us for this year's Gala to raise money to ease the financial and psychological burden and strain for individuals fighting cancer throughout North Louisiana. WIGGIN'OUT will be held on Thursday, October 5th at 6 p.m. at Louisiana Tech's Davison Athletics Complex with a cocktail hour starting at 5 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit their website at WWW.WIGGINOUT.ORG or find them on Facebook (Wiggin. Out.LA), Twitter (@WigginOut1), or Instagram (@wigginoutla).



• 1 cup tomatoes, pitted and diced (about 4 roma tomatoes) cherry tomatoes work well, throw in some color with blondie tomatoes • 1/4 cup red onion, diced (about 1/4 red onion) • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper • 1/4 cup feta cheese • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar • 1/4 cup brown sugar • 1/2 loaf of whole wheat French baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


• In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to combine and store in the refrigerator until bread and glaze are done.


• In a small sauce pan, heat the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar over medium heat until it boils. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half. • Drizzle glaze with a spoon immediately over bread and tomato mixture to avoid reheating.


• Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

• In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic powder. Brush the top side of each baguette slice with the olive oil mixture. Place slices onto a lined baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, until light golden brown. • Top each slice with a spoonful of the tomato mixture, sprinkle feta. Drizzle the balsamic glaze onto each bruschetta and serve. 106 WEST PARK AVE







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12 and 16 years old when he killed Goliath? With basically a slingshot and some stones, David courageously defeated the giant in his life for a cause bigger than himself and with humble dependence on strength from God. When the time came, David made a choice to stand up and fight. We all face problems that can seem insurmountable, but we all have a choice about how we will deal with those problems. We don't remember the problems others face as much as we remember how they overcame those problems!

Based on your faith, your talents, your experiences, and your values, what kinds of Goliath-sized problems do you feel called to solve? Through prayer and through the wisdom of your closest advisors, what guidance is God giving you to solve these problems? Where do you feel called to heal brokenness and to offer your strengths? How can you take ownership for finding and implementing the solutions? Throughout this week, remember that overcoming problems creates possibilities. The size of the problems we solve determines the size of our growth! The bigger problems result in bigger opportunities to provide more benefits for others. Look at your problems, and then let your faith rise up! Think about it like this: What are you passing on to others that will last forever? What are your actions teaching others about how to face problems?


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strangers at my


written by Darla Upton Ever Have Your Words Come Back And Bite Ya?


bout a month ago we were in the kitchen, and my column came up. Hugh had seen the calendar reminder and asked about my topic. I explained the next issue was “Wiggin’ Out.” Atticus asked about the meaning behind “Wiggin’ Out.” I told him about cancer treatment and hair loss. I pulled out some of the old issues and showed him the covers of the models in flamboyant wigs. He looked at the pink wigs and said, “But ya’ll aren’t really raising money for these wigs, right?” I laughed, “No, baby, they raise money for real wigs, but I guess if the lady wants a pink one she can get it. It’s just hair.” I went on, “Ladies that go through first getting that news, then deciding with family and professionals what to do, then starting treatment, being so sick they maybe lose their job, maybe lose their savings, possibly their homes, scared to death of death, scared of leaving the people they love, Atticus, I’m sure by the time they get to picking out a wig they are just happy to still be here, you know? So, whether its a wig to get them back to looking like themselves or a bright pink one to celebrate what they’ve been through, it’s really just hair at that point.” He nodded, “Yeah, right, I mean it grows back or you can wear a wig. They have a lot on their plates already.” I agreed, “Exactly! They are dealing with a lot. This issue is about trying to help with one little thing, like hair.” We went on about our night with no further discussion. Of course, I did what I usually do which was forget about my column. I procrastinate. Hence, the reason I have five reminders on my


phone ranging from a friendly chime to a siren blaring. Now, fast forward to five days ago. Back to school was approaching and Jefferson, like most communities, was gearing up for the big day. School supply drives, backpack giveaways, school clothes exchanges and even free haircuts are yearly events. Usually, we participate in one thing or another by donating supplies, covering an event for the paper, or maybe attending an event that is just getting off the ground. This year we decided to take Atticus to the haircut event. At this point, I should tell you Atticus is 11 years old and has never been to a barber. Atticus has always gone to a salon. When you take your baby boy to the lady that does your hair, they know you and what you expect. There’s a verbal exchange and lots of picture looking. Usually he keeps his hair a little longer than most boys. When he was little he kept his hair so long that the following conversation was had many times: Old timer would say, “I’ll give you a dollar for that pretty, little girl ya got there.” I’d respond, “You can have the handsome boy for just a quarter.” This summer was the first year he wanted his hair short. This undercut trend with the sides shorter and a design cut in the back was new and racy for him. He only wanted it short enough to have a design. So, when the ads started popping up around

town showing kids with funky designs cut in their hair he was game. We signed him up! The day came and I decided not to go because I can be a total hover mom. I felt this was a Dad and son first trip to the barber shop moment. I sent them with photos of the style and the design he wanted. I wasn’t letting them just go off on their own! I should’ve known better! Two hours later, Hugh texts to explain there was a large turnout at the event. So, when I hear them at the door, I can’t wait to see it! I take one look and fury and tears wash over me. There’s no design anywhere on his head! Because there’s no hair on the sides or back of his head! Gone! Shaved! To his crown! The hair on top that’s supposed to hang down his face is now uneven bangs! Bangs! I lit into Hugh with both barrels, “What happened? How did you let this happen? Where’s all his hair!?” And then, “Mom, it’s just hair, remember? It’ll grow back. I like it okay enough. I’m just glad to be home. What’s for dinner?” It’s just hair. And he was glad to be home. My words. Biting my behind. Sooooo, since it is just hair and since you’ve been through so much, I suggest you go colorful! Pink maybe? Oh, and I still chewed Hugh out. --------------------------------------------------

Darla lives in Jefferson, Texas, where she raises her son, Atticus Gregory, with her significant other, Hugh Lewis II. She lived a decade in NC and a short time in Houston. Eventually she returned to her hometown of Texarkana, where she met Hugh while working at the Texarkana Gazette. When they met, Hugh was also the owner of the McKay House Bed & Breakfast. After 10 years in the B&B business they quit. Now, they live in a historic downtown building with a yorkie, a great dane puppy, two cats and a tween son. And vodka and a typewriter.

Upcoming Events September 28th - October 1st 33rd Annual Lake O’ Pines Norton Owners Association Rallye & Bike Show

October 6th - 8th City Wide Rummage Sale Texas Bigfoot Conference

October 13th - 15th Continuing the Ride Motorcycle Rally

October 22 27th Annual Taste of Jefferson

October 7th, 12th-14th, 19th-21st, 26th-28th Runaway Fright Train

October 28th Auntie Skinner’s Monster Bash

November 2nd - 5th Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards

November 3rd - 4th Medieval Wine Faire & Harvest Moon Dance

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Simply Southern Cottage written by Sara McDaniel

Reclaiming and Restoring the Cottage


’all there is nothing like seeing something old made new again! Show me an old, broken down piano turned into a desk or a coal cart turned into a coffee table, and my heart skips a beat! My mom was with me the first time I saw the inside of the cottage, and she remembers thinking to herself there was NO WAY I was going to proceed with this project due to its overall condition. Little did she know as we were tiptoeing through years of neglect and piles of memories, my heart was leaping! I fell deeper in love with the cottage and was more determined than ever to reclaim and restore every square inch, turning what was old into something restored and new! From the onset of this restoration project, I’ve been determined to reuse and repurpose as many of the original architectural details as possible. And while I have included various modern, updated features, I’ve worked hard to incorporate many details original to the cottage in 1926. What’s also interesting is I’ve been able to “doubly” reclaim certain aspects. I’ve said all along I didn’t want the cottage to be cookie cutter and reclaiming and repurposing has helped me achieve uniqueness! A prime example is my beautiful kitchen island. After pouring over Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram, I eventually set my heart on an island made from reclaimed materials. The challenge


was finding the perfect lumber and the perfect craftsman. For the last few years, I’ve followed the work of Shreveport Salvage, and after meeting with them, I became confident in their ability to bring my dream to fruition. Ironically, Denton Culpepper, who is restoring The Shadow House (the oldest plantation home in Northwest Louisiana), happened to have THE PERFECT aged lumber (from his porch ceiling) that he graciously shared for my project. It was the ideal shade of gray with a hint of patina. The next challenge was finding reclaimed lumber for the top of the island. Shreveport Salvage happened to have some reclaimed barn wood from a 100-yearold structure in Claiborne Parish. Put all of that together, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. My vision was brought to life and I now have the kitchen island of my dreams! Each end of the island houses a trash receptacle, one for recyclables and one for trash. Facing into the kitchen are four cabinet doors and drawers enclosing a plethora of storage. An amazing double reclaim for the win! In addition to the island, I was also able to repurpose the same wood from the Shadow House as a mounting frame for the half bath mirror (which was original to the master bath) and also to trim out the new mirror in the master bath. Another double reclaim! I’ve reused ALL the original interior doors and one of the exterior doors.

Some doors were placed on a barn door track which instantly allowed for extra space (usually needed to accommodate the swing of the door). And I LOVE all the 91-year-old door knobs! A few of them are tiny and measure only around an inch in diameter. Two of the former kitchen cabinets now flank each side of the office windows. The kitchen cabinet (originally over the huge farm sink) now resides in the laundry room above where my washer and dryer will rest. The original telephone station/pencil sharpener/ corkboard is now mounted in my office and will be the perfect place to pin all of my Type A-to-do lists. During the demolition phase, Bolin Construction saved and salvaged as much of the shiplap, baseboards, and crown molding as possible. They did end up having to purchase a few planks of shiplap, but filled in the new walls as much as possible with the existing. We repurposed some of the bedrail molding as trim for the back porch columns. And just wait until you see what I’ll be doing with the old windows! More coming, but be ready to swoon!!! I cannot tell you how much fun I’m having reclaiming and restoring this little cottage! It’s incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. These beautiful, older structures are rapidly disappearing, and I’m overjoyed to save a small piece of Minden, Louisiana’s history. I’m paying homage to the Fitzgerald family who put

their heart and soul into the details during the build in the 1920s. And the finish line is right around the corner! If you haven’t already, please LIKE Simply Southern Cottage on Facebook and follow the same on Instagram for frequent reclaiming and restoring updates. I’d love to have you join in on this journey!

We carry

Want to see the Simply Southern Cottage for yourself? Please join us in Minden on December 9th for the Minden Historic Residential District’s annual Christmas Tour of Homes! The cottage along with 3 other amazing historic homes will be on display.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Hi there! I’m Sara! Home renovation is my passion. This columm documents the renovation process of my 1926 Louisiana cottage. Some would have chosen to it tear down, seeing no hope or future for a home in such terrible condition. Not me! I see resilience and charm hidden beneath the rot, decay and neglect. Much like my home, I too have been devastated and broken down. This cottage will personify beauty from the ashes…my ashes. Join me as I reclaim and restore both my life and my home. You can connect with Sara at: or

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Speak It!

written by Kathy B. Nelson



ost of us have been involved personally with someone who is fighting a cancer battle. We have either observed their journey from afar, walked alongside them through doctor appointments and treatments, or been the one fighting the battle. The faces of those whose bodies have been through surgery, chemo therapy, radiation and medications are as varied as the cancers they battle, as are the faces of those who love and care for them. My life has been profoundly impacted by the stories of some of these faces – In 1985, Ann Jillian, a beautiful actress at the height of her career, was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts. At the recommendation of her doctor, she underwent a double mastectomy. I happened to be watching when her husband was being interviewed on TV about how he processed this unchartered territory. He shared how he would encourage her and remind her that he had not fallen in love with her body, but with her. However, the statement that seared my heart came when he described her fear of him seeing her body after the surgery. She did not want him to look at her, see her scars and be shocked and disgusted at what he saw. One day her towel fell, and she tried to quickly cover herself before he could see her. He told her it was time for him to see how her body was healing. Upon that first look, she asked him if he was horrified or repulsed. He responded… “If those scars weren’t there, I might not have you. So, when I see your scars, I see life.”


To the spouses who are brave and steadfast, thank you. Carry on. My Uncle Jim’s grandson, Brad, was diagnosed with lymphoma at three years old. I remember our family praying daily for little Brad. Uncle Jim loved his grandson and was probably one of the most faithful prayer warriors throughout Brad’s battle. There was a day when Brad was at a particularly low place. His little body was weak and dehydrated. The doctors said that Brad must be able to drink and retain water to live. Uncle Jim would sit by his bed and rub ice chips along his lips to get some kind of hydration. He would continually beg Brad to take the water. Uncle Jim then shared with us this must be how our Savior feels when we refuse the good things he has for us. He begs us to drink from his living water, and we don’t. I will never forget that powerful illustration. Praise the Lord; Brad is a strong man today with a family of his own. To the parents and grandparents who are brave and unrelenting, thank you. Carry on. This past year, Mimi, a dear friend since high school, finished Proton Therapy for her cancer diagnosis. I

was able to visit her a few times while she was receiving her treatment. As I walked down the hall to find her station, I was overwhelmed at the seriousness of what was going on in each cubicle. These precious people were longing for healing and hoping their lives would be restored to normal. The nurses were so friendly, kind, and gracious. While the hall was fairly quiet, and most were resting or sleeping, Mimi’s room was full of laughter. She brought gifts and snacks for everyone and wanted to talk about fun memories, including her love for the little boy for whom she is a nanny. Her heart was set on seeing how God makes all things work together for the good for those who love him – and she so loves him. She enabled me to see light in what could have been a dark place. She welcomed, and generated, laughter when things could have been very sad. And finally, to the patients and survivors who are brave and choose joy, thank you. Carry on. “…here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b --------------------------------------------------

Kathy is founder of Speak It Ministries, a ministry of encouragement and equipping others in their walk of faith in Christ. She loves any opportunity to teach God’s word to anyone that will listen. She is all about Living life, loving people and laughing out loud. You can follow her on FaceBook, on Twitter @cckathy and on her website















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In 2011, The Minute Magazine, Northern

Louisiana Medical Center and Louisiana Tech Athletics, came together to create Wiggin’ Out. Since our first event, in the fall of 2011, Wiggin’ Out has grown into its own entity with the addition of the Ruston Daily Leader as a major partner. Originally created to help women in Lincoln Parish purchase wigs, Wiggin’ Out has expanded its focus to include other appropriate headwear, lymphatic garments and prosthetic bras for men, women and children along the I-20 corridor in North Louisiana. Our purpose is to raise money to provide a philanthropic benefit to underprivileged men, women and children in North Louisiana that are battling cancer and have little to no support. Approved applicants will be granted a gift certificate, redemption certificate or a gift card to aid in the cost of or partial cost of the purchase of those items. We are often asked how Wiggin’Out began. One of our board members lost a dear friend to breast cancer. She fought for five years during which she struggled financially. She was often not able to purchase medicine, afford co-pays, or provide housing or transportation for herself; she relied on family and friends to simply get by. Our purpose and goal with Wiggin’Out is to help ease the financial and psychological burden and strain on individuals fighting cancer. We know that cancer is no respecter of persons. The burden is felt emotionally and monetarily the moment someone is diagnosed. We are funded solely by donations from our annual fundraiser held each fall, as well as several community partner fundraising efforts. All monies raised go back into the communities along the I-20 corridor. Aside from a few minimal operating fees and the cost to host our event each year, your donations go directly to those in need. Serving on a 100% volunteer basis, Wiggin’Out is governed by a board of nine. We are proud to celebrate our 7th year in service and can hardly wait to see what the future holds. Our next annual gala will be held on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at the Davison Athletics Complex on the grounds of Louisiana Tech University. This event includes great food & music, but most importantly, it is an opportunity to learn more about our organization and hear directly from a Wiggin’Out recipient and cancer survivor. It is a great event and opportunity to see your support put to work changing lives. We encourage you or anyone you know that would benefit from our services to please visit our website, www., where you will learn more about us, find an application for assistance, our contact information as well as sponsorship and ticket information regarding our 2017 gala. A quote often heard from the board members, “together we are making a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer.” Please help us help others! Wiggin’ Out is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit.


each day. A staggering number of people are sat down every day to be told a disease is taking over their body and is trying to kill them. People like you and me, moms rushing kids to practices and granddads playing golf and even little babies just learning to speak. It's not prejudiced to a certain race or sex or age. And so, all over the country, all over the world, the diagnosis’ come. Leukemia. Lymphoma. Lymph node. Cancer of the lung and liver and brain and breast. “Breast,” I heard the devastating words on the other end of the line, “It’s Stage 1 Breast Cancer, Kelly.” I’ll never forget those words. When you hear someone’s been diagnosed with cancer, your heart sinks a little. You say a quick prayer and move on with your day. When you’re that someone getting diagnosed, your heart shatters, and you don’t know if you can move on with your life.


You never think it’ll be you. And even after they tell you, you can’t believe it’s true. The call came on September 28, 2016, a week after my annual mammogram. I hadn’t had a single symptom or indication that I was sick at all. In fact, I had been putting off rescheduling my appointment and decided I was going to just skip the year because I didn’t have time. My best friend Brenda kept nagging me about it and saying how important it was to go, so I finally gave in and called to book with the doctor. One week later and my phone rings at work with the news. I went from calling to book a routine appointment to being scheduled to see a surgeon. So many things cross your mind when you find out you have cancer. So much confusion and fear, so much anxiety and sadness. And amidst everything you know the cancer is destroying on the inside of your body, you want to do all you can to make sure it doesn’t make it to the outside. The surgeon discussed my plan of attack. Lumpectomy first, chemo next, radiation following. I made sure to let my doctor know I would not be getting chemo. Cancer was attacking my womanhood, and if cancer was going to take my breasts, it was not going to take my hair. I knew chemo meant I’d lose the hair I’d taken so long to grow. My beautiful highlights and flowing locks could never be replaced with a fake wig. I had it set in my mind chemo wasn’t an option. But the alternative option was non-negotiable, and with chemo giving me a 99% chance, I realized I’d rather pick out a wig than have my family picking out a casket. The initial hope was that one surgery would take care of the affected tissue and we’d move into chemo. One surgery did not get good margins. The second surgery did not get good margins. After one more chance before removing the breast altogether, the third surgery was successful, and I did not have to lose my breasts. However, chemo came next, and I began to lose my hair almost immediately following the first treatment. It was like I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, right before the tunnel seemed to close for good. Chemo brought boulders that reigned down and closed out any glimpse of light I saw. I became so weak I couldn’t walk from my bed to the bathroom. I became so sick I couldn’t eat or drink. I’d sit on the toilet with diarrhea, holding a bucket to my face as I threw up. I can’t tell you the number of times I thought, “this is it. This is what it feels like to die. I’m not going to make it through the night.” Each time I got sick, every time I had chemo, I told myself I was done. There was no way I could put myself through it again. For weeks I’d battle the harsh side effects of the agonizing poison they were pumping into me, and each day I’d contemplate if I could do it again tomorrow. But every morning, every afternoon and every evening, without fail, I had someone urging me forward. My mom, my dad, my brother, my best friend Brenda or my co-workers from the bank. A random stranger or an old friend reaching out with an encouraging word or a reminder of prayer.

and beyond to make sure women feel beautiful in their skin, especially when that skin becomes the coating of a cancer-fighting body. They helped get me a wig that looked so real that no one could ever tell or believe that it wasn’t my actual hair. Most people thought I was lucky enough to never lose my hair during the treatments. Finding out you have cancer is crippling. Your body isn’t the only thing fighting inside, your mind fights you, too. You don’t think you’re strong enough or brave enough or determined enough. You need people in your lane, in your zone, fighting alongside you, cheering you on. You need organizations like Wiggin’ Out that help remind you of who you are, of who you’ve been and who you’ll be. The medicine gets you by, but the support gets you through. If it weren’t for Wiggin’ Out and the ability to get a wig that looked exactly like my real hair, I know I would not have made it. I needed to feel comfortable in my skin; I needed to feel confident to keep going. Having a wig that matched identically to my real hair helped me immensely, on the days when my taste buds were fried, and my skin was bruised, and my face was swollen, my wig helped keep me reminded of the real Kelly, a cancer-fighting warrior who wouldn’t let cancer take her down. I had my last radiation appointment last week. I drove an hour each day, Monday through Friday, for the last seven weeks. I had a lot of time on those drives and those appointments to sit with my thoughts. I heard the words over and over in my head. "You're so strong, Kelly." I reflected on them and clung to them in certain moments. But honestly, I never thought I was strong. Independent? Sure. Responsible? Yeah. But strong? You don't get to choose any differently when you're fighting for your life. You cry yourself to sleep and beg yourself not to feel sick and lay in bed wondering if you're going to wake up the next morning. You feel anything but strong. And then you realize as you hug your nurses goodbye on your last day of treatment, as you bid farewell to those green chairs you spent hours getting injections in, as you see the tiny hairs creeping in on your scalp, as you finally start to feel like yourself again, that you are strong. That you define strong. And that no one and no cancer will ever take that away from you. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everywhere around me, I had support, from the amazing nurses who gave me the meds to fight the disease, to the friends and family who reminded me I had the strength to fight for my life, cancer made me realize how blessed I am. It gave me a new perspective on life. I no longer take things for granted, and my outlook on life has changed. I don’t gripe about the little things, and I truly live life to its fullest. I value things more than I did and I am all about helping others however I can. That’s why I love Wiggin’ Out so much; I love their heart for helping. It’s an organization that goes above



October 26-November 12 Closed Mondays & Tuesdays Prices Gate Admission: $10 Pay One Price: $40 (includes gate admission & carnival ride armband) Fun Pass: $75 (includes gate admission & carnival ride armband all 14 days of the fair)

Special Rate Days

Free Fair Days Wed, Thursday & Friday - 10am-3pm (Free Parking & Admission) 2-Dollar Thursdays ($2 Parking after 3pm, $2 Gate Admission after 3pm & $2 Rides noon-close) Half Price Wednesdays ($5 Gate Admission after 3pm & $15 Carnival Ride Armbands noon-close Oct. 26 Senior Day Nov. 12 Veterans & Military Appreciation Day

Hours of Operation Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

Wed., Thurs., Sun.: 10am-10pm | Fri. & Sat.: 10am-11pm Carnival Hours: Wed., Thurs., Fri.: Noon-Close | Sat. & Sun. 10am-Close

Advance Discount Tickets Available September 20th-October 25th


& also online at


Don’t Miss....

AgMagic At The State Fair

Oct. 26 – Nov. 12, 10am-9pm. Agriculture Building-

AgMagic is an interactive environment that will link food and fiber products to the forests, fields, crops and livestock produced by Louisiana farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Featured crops will be displayed in various stages of development, and the importance of interaction between agriculture, the environment and society at large will be highlighted.

Antique Tractor Show & Pull

Fri, Oct. 27, 6pm-10pm and Sat, Oct. 28, 10am6pm. East Texas Antique Tractor and Engine Association

presents the State Fair Antique Tractor Show and Pull featuring antique tractor displays, antique tractor pull competition and demonstrations. Red River Smiths will provide black-smithing demonstrations on Saturday

Street Entertainers •The Puppetone Rockers •The Clown of Many Faces •Dallas The Fire Guy •Nick The Escape Artist •The Flaming Ginger

LRCA Finals Rodeo

Thurs, Nov. 2 / Fri, Nov. 3 / Sat, Nov. 4 @ 7pm “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” – Fri, Nov. 3 Special Thurs Price: Box Seats $15 / Upper Level $5 Fri & Sat Price: Box Seats $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show Upper Level GA $10 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Free Attractions •The State Fair Zoo •Circus Hollywood •The Tiger Encounter Show •Hollywood Racing Pigs •Ms. Stevana’s Friesian Horse Show •The Pirate’s Parrot Show •Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus Live

Free Concerts Oct. 26: The Hollow Decks Oct. 27: Pokey Bear / Veronica Ra’elle / Coldrank / Audio-Yo Oct. 28: The Bigg Robb Show / Jeter Jones & The Perfect Blend Band / Miss Portia Oct. 29: A Tribute To Music Royalty featuring Bobby Miller as Michael Jackson & Prince w/Special Guest: Timeless Tina Nov. 1: Faith at the Fair featuring Finding Favour w/Special Guest: Cypress Baptist Band Nov. 2: Kandu Nov. 3: Lenny Cooper / Cypress Spring Nov. 4: Frank Foster / Muscadine Bloodline Nov. 5: Fiesta at the Fair Nov. 8: Shallow Side / Pete Schlegel Nov. 9: Stone Senate / Cody Wayne Nov. 10: Madison Rising / Jeremy Barr-Illand Band / Cat Beach Nov. 11: Hillbilly Vegas / BJ Wilbanks / Hannah Belle / Kim Logan & Hydromatic / Johnathan East Nov. 12: Wesley Pruitt / Creed Fisher / Jake Clayton / Lauren Alexander 23

she was handed a death sentence last December when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This came as a complete shock since her yearly mammogram was performed the month before and she was given a clean bill of health. Ten days later Kristy felt a golf ball size knot in her right breast. Having issues in the past, she knew this was something different. Several tests later, her ob/gyn called and confirmed her dreaded fears. The lump came back cancerous. Life as she knew it changed forever at that moment. She tried waiting until after she spoke with her surgeon, Dr. Marx, before breaking the devastating news to her family, but it was simply impossible to conceal the emotional distress overwhelming her. She decided to face the difficult task and tell them. “Mom told my brother and I two days after her diagnoses. She randomly showed up at my house with my dad. She came in, sat on the couch and instantly started crying. That was the very first time I had ever seen my mother weak.” Miranda Chorette recalls of learning about her mother’s cancer. At the time, Miranda was seven and a half months pregnant with her second daughter, Maebry. January 3, 2017, Kristy had a double mastectomy. Infiltrating ductal breast cancer stage 2 was the official diagnosed after three of the twelve lymph nodes removed came back cancerous. After surgery, she was told that she would need both chemo and radiation. The chemo treatments were scheduled to begin around the same time as Miranda’s due date. Unselfishly and without regard for her own health, Kristy postponed chemo treatment to be there for her daughter.

after the birth of her granddaughter. Her plan of care was twelve Taxol treatments and four Doxorubicin treatments. Doxorubicin is infamously called “red devil” and deservedly so, the nickname is due to its bright red color and the extreme toxicity of the drug. On June 26th Kristy got to ring “the bell” celebrating her last chemo treatment. In honor of this victory, her family surprised her with a “no more chemo” party. Her port was removed and another skin sample was taken at her incision site, this time the pathology report came back clear of cancer! “I never knew what bravery was until I saw it in my mama!” Miranda posted on Facebook the last day of her mother’s chemo treatment. One of Kristy’s biggest fears during her battle with cancer was the thought of her grandchildren not being able to remember her. She took an early retirement as clerk of court in Bastrop, where she had worked for over twenty-one plus years to spend more time with her family. She describes all three of her granddaughters (Karolin 4, Annistyn 4, and Maebry 6 months) as precious gifts from above. Kristy’s journey is not over yet, she has one more phase of treatment to complete when she starts radiation later this month. “It took me a while to figure out I could actually live through breast cancer. I thank God and give him all of the glory.”

“I didn’t know how my body would respond to chemo. I discussed with my oncologist, Dr. Barron, about holding chemo off for a few weeks so that I could be there for the birth of my granddaughter and to help Miranda after she came home from the hospital. Miranda was against prolonging my treatment, but there was no way I would miss Maebry’s birth.” Kristy welcomed her third grandbaby on February 3rd, but unfortunately, her health took a turn for the worst. While placing the port in for chemo, the surgeon noticed lumps on the incision of her right breast. A skin sample was taken and sent to pathology. The results came back positive for residual cancer. This shocking setback sent Kristy spiraling back to being a basket case of emotions. Her stage 2 cancer was upgraded to stage 3. Kristy started chemo three weeks Kristy Tilbury, her daughter Miranda

and her two granddaughters


terrible disease that became real for me in 1986, when my mother died from breast cancer at the age of 38. In sharing my journey, I hope to encourage people to have confidence in themselves, to realize they are not alone, and to understand what an important role God can play in their quality of life. My name is Karen McCarty and I live in Chatham, LA with my husband Jack, and two sons, Taylor and Grayson. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I am also a BRCA 1 gene carrier and last year at the age of 48 was diagnosed with Stage 1, Triple Negative, Invasive Mammary Carcinoma of the left breast. I am currently cancer free but will continue six months check-ups until I reach my five-year mark, at which point they will become yearly. The BRCA 1 gene carries up to an 87% risk of breast cancer and 44% risk of ovarian cancer before the age of 65. It also has a 20% risk of a second breast cancer within five years of the first and a tenfold increase in the risk of subsequent ovarian cancer. Since I carry the gene I chose to have both breasts removed and a complete hysterectomy. I wanted to be confident that I had done everything within my control to keep the cancer from recurring. I believe knowledge is an important tool in fighting this disease and encourage people to educate themselves about their condition. There are NO unimportant questions if they help you understand what is going on. I am also a strong proponent of monthly selfchecks and yearly exams. Thanks to today’s advanced technology my cancer was detected at an extremely early stage, which greatly increases my chances for a long, full life. My cancer journey began on Sept. 26, 2016, when my mammogram indicated a suspicious area. After an ultrasound confirmed it was a tumor, I had a biopsy, and on October 3rd, I received the news no one wants; “the biopsy indicates a malignancy.” That night as my mind raced with terrible thoughts of what could happen, I felt overwhelmed and bowed my head to talk with God. I told him it was too much to bear alone and asked Him to put my feet on the path I needed to be on and to help keep me there; not my will but his. I asked him for grace,

strength, and joy when possible, whether it would be for one year or fifty, and to use me to help others. I gave my fears and worries to God that night, and it has truly given me peace past all understanding. I’m not saying I haven’t had bad moments, but He has walked with me, protected me, and sometimes carried me when needed. I had a bilateral mastectomy within fifteen days of my diagnosis, began aggressive chemo as soon as possible, and had a hysterectomy shortly after finishing chemo. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I am blessed with a wonderful husband and great family/ friend support, outstanding oncologists, Dr. Chang and Dr. Gallagher, a phenomenal Physical Therapist, Jacob Ponder, and an amazing God, who all have taken exceptional care of me. I’m always on the lookout for joy. The blessing of talking with someone diagnosed and feeling that I helped in some small way is very uplifting. Hair was another surprising bright spot once I got past the initial sadness of losing my own. Many thanks to Vicki Caskey with Wiggin' Out for helping me get a good wig and to the ladies at Houston Methodist who later gave me several that had been donated from local wig shops. Every day was a surprise to my family and friends; short, long, curly, straight, blonde, brown, or red. My response to people who asked about my choices was that since everyone in my life knew I was bald, why limit my options? I decided it was an opportunity to see what cut and color looked best on me for when I actually had hair again! I do however, respect and understand a woman’s desire to look as much like themselves as possible. It is a very emotional issue, and I am grateful for the Wiggin' Out organization who works very hard to ensure that women who lose their hair have options that allow them to feel less self-conscious. As I approach the anniversary date of my diagnosis, I look back on things that have stayed with me. Here are a few. You are never alone when you have a relationship with God; I am not strong on my own but I can do so much with God’s help; fear is your enemy; knowledge is power; listening to yourself and trusting your instincts is important; don’t be ashamed to ask for help or show emotion; there are many selfless people around you (Dad, Lori, Jill, MRC); “Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you, as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents. Working with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all your troubles. Being aware of My Presence contains Joy that can endure all eventualities”; and last but certainly not least, God didn’t “give” me cancer, but my belief is that He used it to make me a better person in every way. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------




We got married in 1990, have three wonderful children and four perfect grandchildren.

Arcadia, LA

Charlie is retired from Haynes International where he worked for 35 years. Carol has worked in parish government for many years and is the Assessor for Bienville Parish.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go Joshua 1:9

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My Battle

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Infiltrating Mammary Carcinoma on May 12, 2016. I chose to have a lumpectomy June 2016 followed by chemotherapy and radiation, which was finished February 2017. I am forever grateful for Wiggin'Out for allowing me to be myself without the insecurities that follow during and after treatments.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. Philippians 4:13


her of le mot g n i s , ughter e I am a About Miful 13-year-old deato keep t for m a beau reason g life to the e h t s livin who i my I enjoy ! g time in n i t g n i d figh n ries e memo and sp g t n s i e k l l a fu as m nds. s well nd frie faith a a y l i m y fa with m

West Monroe, LA


Melanoma Written by Leslie Albritton Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer during their lifetime. Luckily, most of these will be nonmelanoma skin cancers which are less deadly. Melanoma, however, sadly claims the life of one American every hour. It is the most common form of cancer for young people between the ages of 25-29 and the second most common in those ages 15-29. Although anyone may develop a melanoma at any time in their life, those at a higher risk include men, Caucasians, those with more ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from the sun or indoor tanning beds, those with red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, more than 50 moles, large or atypical moles, a blood relative with melanoma, a previous diagnosis of melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer, or those with a history of other cancers. Melanoma may appear suddenly without warning or be from a mole a person has had for a long time. It can occur anywhere on the body including in the eyes or inside the mouth, but it is most common on the back, thighs, legs, head, and neck. It frequently spreads to lymph nodes, internal organs, and bone, which is why early detection is so important. In fact, the five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated early before it spreads to lymph nodes is 98 percent.

Are you a breast cancer survivor who has to ask yourself these questions: "Why did this happen to me? Why do I feel so overwhelmed, confused, alone, afraid, and helpless? I survived breast cancer, what's next? Will my life ever be the same?" A cancer diagnosis is devastating to most women and having a Coach to encourage and support them along their journey will be a life changing experience. You don't have to go through this alone! Meet the Survivorship Coach, the Founder and CEO of Coaching in Pink Shoes Ministry who supports breast cancer survivors. Dr. Rixie Thompson is a two-time breast cancer survivor who has been divinely healed from breast cancer for thirty-three years. She is an ordained Minister and Evangelist with a Doctoral degree in Divinity. Dr. Thompson is a Certified Mentor with American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Program since the year 2000. She is an Advocate and Professional Speaker for breast cancer awareness and survivorship. When you have walked in her "Pink Shoes," seen what she has witnessed, lived what she has experienced, you will understand why "Coaching in Pink Shoes" Ministry is a necessity for survivorship. Her bi-fold mission is to put an end to breast cancer and to support and revive survivors. "Coaching in Pink Shoes" Ministry uses the Word of God to coach breast cancer survivors into


You may prevent melanoma by protecting your skin from those harmful UV rays by seeking shade, covering up, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor). You can prevent more serious melanoma by detecting new spots or changes of existing spots on the skin early. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to go to a dermatology office and get an examination if you see anything changing, growing, itching, or bleeding on your skin. I would encourage everyone to also visit www.SpotSkinCancer. org to see a video on how to perform a self skin-exam, find a free skin cancer screening location, find a dermatologist, and download a body mole map to track changing spots on your skin.

maximizing life after the diagnosis. This Coaching Ministry puts breast cancer awareness and preventive measures as a top priority. Knowledge is power and applying the right knowledge produces healthy wellbeing. She has survived and learned from her breast cancer journey how to live a victorious life beyond breast cancer and wants to share God's Game Plans with other survivors who are struggling in their journey. She has coached and helped hundreds of patients, survivors, and their loved ones to regain control of their lives. Every technique, Game Plan and Game Play used in coaching will come from the Play Book (Holy Bible). Her total therapeutic, psychosocial and spiritual approach integrates the mind, body, and spirit to facilitate balance, success, wellness, and healing. Contact Dr. Thompson for a FREE Strategy Session or to be a Speaker for your next event. Email: Website: Instagram: @survivorcoach Facebook: Coaching in Pink Shoes

Give Bes Cne the

Register today for the Race for the Cure and


September 30 CenturyLink Center Bossier City

September 16 Forysthe Park Monroe

Presented by

Join us for two fun run/walk events with something for the entire family! We’ll have fun games and activities for kids, timing chips for runners, a special area with gifts for survivors and live music! 75% of the funds we raise stay right here in North Louisiana in the form of grants to local nonprofits to provide screening, support services and education to local women. The other 25% goes to National Research to find the cures!

Register at 31

beauty in my corner written by Linzie Hebert


he word cute is usually reserved for pets, infants, and ladies like myself that never surpass the height of 5 feet. Beauty, on the other hand, is a word mostly reserved for the female elite. When you are one of two girls in your family, one sister usually ends up with either title. My sister, for example, was an unintentional beauty queen. Her three extra inches, among other things, qualified such a standard. In the 90's she was the first Teen Dixie Gem of the Ruston Peach pageant. In 2000, I was the first runner-up that tried REALLY hard not to fall in heels. At the age of 40 Tonya still looks 25 at best. Her thick hair bounces when she unrolls the curling iron while my thin strands nearly catch on fire. Her gene pool came with valuable things like clear skin AND a sense of direction. Mine came with a big dose of naivety and a knack for entertaining myself WHEN I get lost. But never the less, we are sisters united by the same sounding voice and back yards that connect (among a host of other things). It was just a week ago that she flew herself to Omaha, Nebraska to surprise me as I prepared to compete at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. My daddy attempted to video the surprise moment but hit pause on his camera phone instead of play, leaving the rest up to old fashion cognitive memory to record. I for one will never forget the gesture. Along with my amazing husband Jeremy, our four bouncing kiddos, and the best set of parents in the world, I was beyond thrilled to have my sister fighting in my corner at the biggest race of the year. While I knew there was nothing any of them could do for me physically during the duration of the event, I knew their presence, and unwavering loyalty would help propel me to the finish and gathered a sense of confidence having them all around me. Race day was all a blur with the start coming far too slowly. I danced around


the dock pumping my shoulders up and down to the music waiting my turn. The family watching from the bank of the lake waved energetically when they caught my eye. After they saw me out of the water and onto the bike course, everyone assumed their position for the remainder of the race. I had told my sister Tonya to wait for me at mile one of the 5k run. I call that spot my darkest night before the dawn. It is the place that I would need someone to speak truth and strength into my weakest moment. The place where deep down in my soul I want to quit or let up every single time. I knew if I saw her there I would not back down. Tonya and my oldest daughter Hallie were waiting right at mile one when I arrived. They let me know I had 40 seconds on the second place girl in my division who could hold 6:25 pace per mile. I knew she would be closing quickly, motivated by a chance to win the title for our division. My personal record for the year had been 6:50 pace in a triathlon 5k. By my calculations, she would catch me just before mile 3 if I did what I had always done. Right on queue, Tonya yelled exactly what I needed to hear: Facts, things to focus on I could control, and a whole host of passionate incomprehensible screaming that sounded intentional. My daughter looked on pacing anxiously and cheered "Let's goooo mommy!" I borrowed their strength and picked up my pace. At the turn around I took once last glance at the two girls closing on me quickly and ran for my life. My two-foot legs churning over the ground like a cat on a hot tin roof. My husband excitedly screaming to “hold on” as he hurried to get back to meet me at the finish himself. By the time I reached the red carpet of the finish line the second place girl was still 20 seconds back. I had held her off and ran an average of 6:38 per mile to win the national championship in my age group!!! It may not have been my day way back in 2000 at the Dixie Gem teen pageant but my goodness today was! Glory to God! I can tell you with firmness there was no looking cute at this moment.

There was sweat, snot, and a very large bulging forehead vein. I was greeted by my family who were all still out of breath! We shed tears of joy. This had been a team effort, and we were all so grateful to see it end so well. My sister blesses me. If only we all got to be loved by one so well. My husband, my children, my incredible parents, and a whole host of friends bless me. We all need some good ones in our corner. Beauty is so much more than skin deep. Beauty is life well lived surrounded by the ones who love and support you in your greatest victories and your deepest struggles. Beauty is finding you are capable of so much more than what you thought you could do. Beauty is understanding the good Lord gives us each our own gifts and our own journey to become a champion. The best news is that in Christ, in the end, we can all get the crown. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ----------------------------------------------------


blissful chaos written by Yvette Hardy



o usually when you write an article you tell a story, impart some knowledge, or inform the reader of something, hopefully brilliant, that you said! Well folks, not this time! I guess I’m hoping someone can help ME! This is an issue that has been puzzling me for quite some time. Is it ok to not be CONTENT with areas of your life? On the one hand I think no…on the other I say yes! Merriam-Webster says that contentment is the state of being contented; (satisfied) satisfaction; ease of mind. Ok. How about satisfy? Satisfy – to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc) - to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc) by sufficient or ample provision. So what does it mean to be content? Can one be content in one area of life but not another? Or is contentment a blanket action? Content one way – content all ways? I think of contentment as being satisfied so as to not want to go further, deeper, or harder. As a Christian, I have always gotten the impression that one who is a follower of God should be content. I may have come to this on my own but that is how I’ve always felt. That somehow it is wrong to “want more.” Of course, I believe in working for the more that you want. Not just simply “wanting” it. Be content. Be happy with what you have. That’s what I’ve always heard. I’m just not sure I follow this train of thinking! This, to me, conflicts with something else I’ve always believed. That if you’re not “growing” then you’re not living life to the fullest. But if you’re content then why would we continue to try and grow? This is one reason I love New Year’s resolutions. I probably would opt to change the name to GOALS, but all the same concept. If you want to grow


and challenge yourself, then grow, learn, do. Don’t just be content with your lot, your knowledge, your health, your everything! I think one should take all areas of life and look at each one and see if there are ways to grow and improve. And there are ALWAYS ways to do better! Look at your mental capacity… are you still sharp? Learning new things? Expanding your knowledge in a certain area? Physically, are you where you need to be for your age and health? I can honestly say a resounding NO to this one. It’s one area that I am definitely not content in and am trying to do something to resolve it. Emotionally how do you handle things? Is that an area that needs some work due to showing too much emotion or maybe not knowing how to show enough emotion at the appropriate times? Spiritually are you where you want to be? I tend to think that this is one area where we should never feel content or satisfied. We should always strive for more. My desires, expectations, and needs are not fulfilled in this area. I desire more of Jesus, His Word, His Truth, His love and His forgiveness. I am not content with my spiritual maturity. I want to grow more. Don’t forget about marriage, relationships, and jobs. They should all be looked at to see if you are satisfied or if there are ways you can improve upon these. I guess I feel like if I say I’m content in one of those areas than that says I don’t need to work on it

anymore, that I’m satisfied, content with what it is. I don’t ever want to quit growing, learning, expanding my world, my knowledge, my boundaries. That is why I have such a hard time with the word content! I found several references to the subject of contentment in the Bible. Psalm 23:1 was one in particular. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” I can understand this as He is ENOUGH! I need not want for anything more. But MORE of Him is ok to want! 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” This goes on to talk of the love of money being the root of evil. This I can also understand. Be content with what you have. But I also think that means if you want something, then work hard to get it. I think the key here is to not want ANYTHING more than you want GOD! Every time I hear the word contentment, I get a funny feeling. I love my life, but I want more…I want it to be the best it can in all areas. So I’ve left here with probably as many questions as when we started. But let me just leave this… Be joyful, happy, positive with what you have but don’t stop there! Go harder, further, deeper. Grow, learn, strive! Don’t just be content! And let me know if y’all get this one figured out! ----------------------------------------------------

Yvette is a mom to 3 brown-eyed beauties, a wife to a hard-working "Louisiana oil-man," a sister to two crazy gals, an aunt to many, and a child of the One True King. These are just some of the titles she holds humbly, and near & dear to her heart. She's still chasing a few dreams (even at her age), and trying to live intentionally! Yvette is a lover of all things old, southern hospitality, a gypsy at heart and happy in boots or heels! She is a nurse and the owner of Fashion on the Fly online boutique with a mobile fashion truck on the way.

October 14th

Fun Run 8:30am 5k 9am Minden Rec Complex 1001 Recreation Drive

All participants will be given a Color Run fun pack. During the 5k and fun run route the participants will run thought different color stations and be blasted with colored powder! This race will be fun for all ages. Money raised from the entry fees and donations will go to support our local law enforcement in Webster Parish. Please join the JSL and back the blue. We will have a

CONNECT Jennifer Perryman 318-393-6150 Facebookpage/ minden jsl 2017 5k color run Register before September 25 to guarantee a color run packet and t-shirt

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headlines & hemlines written by Rachel Pardue

Disconnect to Reconnect


n the first day of our Alaskan vacation, my family booked a fishing trip out of a sleepy little town whose only tunnel in or out closes at 10 PM. As we headed out to sea, I felt a moment of stillness. I was miles away from civilization surrounded by my family and the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen which also happened to be the salmon capital of the world.

requires companies with over 50 employees to establish off-hours when employees can’t be bothered via text or call. In an article from Fortune, French legislator Benoit Hamon described the law as “an answer to the travails of employees who leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash—like a dog”.

bzzz bzzz

Germany passed a similar law in 2014, and BMW went so far as to set up their employees emails so that any messages sent after work hours would be blocked.

In the middle of absolutely nowhere, my phone had full signal, and a board member of an organization I’m in charge of at my college wanted to talk immediately. I looked at my screen, then over to the back of the boat where my pole was starting to bend and replied “Hi, I’m in Alaska on a fishing trip. Service will be pretty limited, so it’ll have to wait until I get back. Please do what you can, and I’ll call you when I’m back in town.”

America shows no signs of passing a similar law, so it is up to employers to recognize what is best both fiscally and morally for the company and its employees. On a coworker to coworker scale, when I explained that I wouldn’t take a work call on my vacation regarding a detail of the event I am in charge of, I gave my incredibly busy colleague the freedom to put the work down and enjoy her Saturday.

Then I proceeded to catch my limit of silver salmon.

As I spent time in Whittier and other rural parts of Alaska, I got to know a hand full of locals along the way, and what they all had in common is that none of them were in pursuit of the traditional American Dream. They didn’t have a set career path, and they certainly weren’t making down payments on a home. Instead, after Brett graduated from college, he moved into a tent at the base of a glacier in Alaska where he taught beginners like me how to climb in the summer and then drove to the desert

With every person in our lives reachable in an instant, we have become spoiled to the idea that we are entitled to an immediate response. This has sparked a worldwide phenomenon where many professionals are expected to be attached to their emails and cellphones after work hours. In CNBS’s Memo to Work Martyrs, they reported that over half of Americans work 50+ hours a week without overtime due in part to after hours emails. Their studies also found that humans’ ability to be productive falls off a cliff after 55 hours so that someone who works 70 hours a week produces the same outcome as an employee who works only 15 hours a week. European nations have begun to confront this issue, and most recently France passed the right to disconnect law this January. This new legislation


in the winter. Another local, Sid, dropped out of college and teaches sea kayaking in the summer and takes the money he’s made to travel all winter. These guys live their lives completely in pursuit of personal growth and adventure while the people who work 50 hours a week and spend their off time answering work emails live their lives entirely for their career with little time to enjoy being human. Although Brett and Sid’s approaches are dramatic, I completely understand where they're coming from. I was lucky enough to grow up in the woods, fishing and horseback riding with plenty of time to enjoy life. Once I moved to Boston, I had to start actively seeking my time outdoors whether hiking in Vermont, weekends snow skiing, or my nearly religious Monday morning horseback rides that I schedule my entire week around. What I realized, is that after spending countless hours in classrooms and meetings, the only way I keep feeling like myself is by taking the time to do the things I love outdoors. In a time where technology has chained us to our desks, it’s more important than ever to get outside, disconnect from work, and truly connect with the people we care about. If you want to take a page out of my book, the outdoors are also the only place where come Monday morning you can answer every missed call and email with “sorry I didn’t have service.” -------------------------------------------------

Rachel Pardue is a graduate of Cedar Creek School in Ruston, Louisiana. She is an aspiring entrepreneur who is studying business at Babson College outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Babson is ranked as the #1 School for Entrepreneurship in the nation, and Rachel is attending as a Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Scholar.


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D I A B E T ES C A R E L A .CO M 39

bringing back

the past

written by Wesley Harris



t’s odd how childhood memories can be so vivid when you cannot recall yesterday’s lunch. Perhaps as children, some events make such an impression that they stick with us for a lifetime. I attended a few high school football games as a child, but I can remember only one. The intensity of the experience has brought it to mind many times in the past fifty years. The 1968 contest pitted the hometown Ruston Bearcats against the Woodlawn High Knights. My dad said it was an important game because it featured two of the best high school quarterbacks in the country. I had to take his word since I knew little about football and nothing about the high school teams. Both my parents had attended Ruston High, and it would be my school in four years, but at eleven years old, that seemed far away. We arrived at the stadium at the end of the third quarter. Perfect timing, because that’s when ticket sales ended and admission was free. We couldn’t afford two tickets. I can’t remember ever attending an entire football game before I reached high school. We always went at the beginning of the fourth quarter so we wouldn’t have to pay. Popcorn and drinks were out of the question. I did not grasp just how poor we really were. Ruston High’s stadium is much larger now, but in 1968 the home stands only held a couple of thousand fans. The visitor bleachers were even smaller. With no empty seats available, we joined a huge crowd ringing the field. Dad and I worked our way through the mass


and stood just inches from the flag marking the end zone. I never knew who had the ball at any given time. Following the action from eye level 50 yards away presents a challenge for those who know the game well and I didn’t. The teams moved closer to our end of the field. The crowd jostled and shifted as men jockeyed for better positions. Everyone towered over me. I was afraid the throng would push me right into the field of play. I could not think of a greater sin. A spectator yelled at an official standing near the goal line. “Say, Sam, can’t you move that flag up a little closer?” pointing to the marker at the goal line. I didn’t know if the fan was on our side or pulling for the other team. Who were the quarterbacks? I had no idea. I didn’t know the next morning. Much later in life I researched the game and learned why it attracted an overflow crowd. The Woodlawn quarterback was a lanky kid named Joe Ferguson who would go on to have a stellar career with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. The hometown quarterback was the son of another hometown football hero. Bert Jones, with an unbelievably powerful arm, was nicknamed the “Ruston Rifle.” He played for the Baltimore Colts until an injury ended his career.

It was a classic matchup of two of the country’s greatest college, and eventually, professional, prospects. But it is not why I think so fondly of that game. My dad thought enough to get me there, if only for the last quarter. A game that, in our small town, was an event of historic proportions. Our culture minimizes fathers. Nearly every TV sitcom portrays the father as the comic relief of the show. He is not a leader but a clown, often living in another realm from the rest of the family. I have heard the average American father spends less than eight uninterrupted minutes per week with his children. Some, obviously, are not part of the family at all. Others are too busy with work, the sports channel, the bass boat, or the hunting lease. My dad never went fishing without his sons. He never went to a ball game without us. We spent hours exploring in the woods. Together. If we continue to have children but refuse to provide fatherly guidance, wisdom, and companionship, our only alternative is to pray to God that despite this shortcoming, somehow they will succeed in life. We must set the example for our children and future generations. ----------------------------------------------------

Wesley Harris is a native of Ruston. Among his books are GREETINGS FROM RUSTON: A Post Card History of Ruston, Louisiana and Neither Fear nor Favor: Deputy United States Marshal John Tom Sisemore, available from He can be contacted at Check out his Louisiana history blog at http://

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a novel approach written by Winnie Griggs Employing the Senses


Expecting more would be unrealistic. The least she could do was meet him half way. “How do you suggest we do that?”

’m sure you’ve all heard that one of the best ways to infuse your scenes with life and energy is through deft use of the five senses, so let’s talk about how to actually do that.

“We made vows to each other in front of God and your neighbors,” he said. “It’s important that we be true to those.”

First let’s discuss the five basic senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. The key to using them effectively is to make certain you don’t just add them in as a laundry. Instead, you should show how they color the emotions of your character, mood or setting. Honing in on one or two really key elements in this way is much more effective than providing multiple sensory elements that just lay there.

He gave a tight smile. “Then we’re agreed. It might take some effort, but in time it should become second nature for us to get along amenably.”

For instance: As she walked through the park she could smell fresh cut grass, a cigar, and the loamy scent of newly-turned earth. The sense of smell is incorporated, but you haven’t really given the reader anything to care about or latch on to. Instead, focus in on the detail(s) that will elicit an emotional response and weave it in with the appropriate emphasis: Wafting over the everyday scents of the park, the unexpected whiff of a cigar caressed her with memories of her grandfather, ensconced in his recliner, puffing away, as she played at his feet. She could definitely use his wise counsel today. Let me give you a more extended example from my book, Handpicked Husband. The story is set in 1890, and the setup for this scene is that the hero and heroine have entered into a marriage of convenience. The day before the wedding, the hero learns something about the heroine he feels is unforgivable but it’s too late to call things off. This is the evening after the wedding. “What happened in the past can’t be changed,” Adam said. “It’s the present we need to concentrate on, and how to make it livable for both of us.” She knew those words hadn’t come easily. He’d offered an olive branch, a sign of compromise from a man who thought compromise was a weakness.


“I never planned to do otherwise.”

Amenably. Now didn’t that just sound like the most romantic way to start a new marriage? Reggie, stood, needing distance. “You haven’t eaten anything tonight. Let me at least get you some cheese and bread.” Adam stood as well. “I could use a bite of something.” She unwrapped the block of cheese and reached for a knife while Adam grabbed a cup and uncorked the jug of cider.

“Don’t argue.” He took her hand, examining the cut with a concerned frown. Reggie stared at her hand in his. A tiny rivulet of blood seeped from the shallow cut, curling around her finger and onto his, like a narrow ribbon binding them together. Amazing that such large, work-callused hands could feel so warm and gentle without losing their sense of strength. “I’m sure it’s nothing serious,” she said. “It doesn’t even hurt.” Not a lie since all she could feel was his touch, his nearness. “Let’s get a better look, just in case.” Still holding her hand, he dipped a cloth in the nearby bucket of water, then slowly squeezed it over her finger. Then he gently dabbed at the remaining blood. Reggie stared at his bent head, so close she could smell the scent of soap and cigar smoke. So close her breath stirred his hair. So close she could press her lips to his temple without moving much at all.

He stood beside her, so close their shoulders nearly touched. It rattled her for some reason, made her breath uneven.

She pulled slightly back inappropriate thought.



Did he feel anything?

Not in any way I can explain.

Reggie sliced into the cheese with more vigor than care, then jerked her finger up to her lips, wincing at the metallic tang of blood.

So, did I pull you in? Did I give you an emotional connection to my heroine with those added touches of the five senses?

Adam immediately set his cup down, concern furrowing his brow. “Let me see.”

Next time I’ll discuss some additional senses we don’t normally think about and how they impact our writing.

She pulled her finger from her mouth, shaking her head. “It’s nothing.”


His gaze sought hers. “Did I hurt you?”

Winnie Griggs grew up in south Louisiana in an undeveloped area her friends thought of as the back of beyond. She and her siblings spent many an hour exploring the overgrown land around her home, cutting jungle trails, building forts and frontier camps, and looking for pirate ships on the nearby bayou. Once she ‘grew up’ she began capturing those wonderful adventures in the pages of her notebooks. Now a multi-published, award winning author, Winnie feels blessed to be able to share her stories with readers through her published books. You can learn more about Winnie at or connect with her at


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