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Shana Adkisson, Editor editor@silkthemagazine.com 366-3532 Cathy Hanselman, Account Executive advertising@silkthemagazine.com 366-3563 Shana Adkisson, Editor Julianna Parker-Jones, Writer Nanette Light, Writer C. Schudalla, Writer Peggy Laizure, Writer Michael Kinney, Writer

Table of Contents Editor’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 A Weigh of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Pumpkin Perks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 All I want for Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Keeping on her toes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Decking the halls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 The Football Widow’s Cure . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Images Woven In Silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Ask A Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Join the Zumba party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Social networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Covered In Silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27-30

Cami Morris, Photographer Kevin Ellis, Photographer Marise Boehs, Designer Jason Clarke, Webmaster Saundra Morris, Advertising Director David Stringer, Publisher Silk is a publication of The Norman Transcript with offices at 215 E. Comanche, Norman, OK 73069

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Join the Zumba party - page 25

A Weigh of Life - page 9

What kids want for Christmas - page 13 5


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Letter from the Editor If you’re anything like me, you looked at the calendar in October and realized Christmas was right around the corner. It seems like we hardly get the ghosts and goblins put away and it’s time to hang the tinsel and send your favorite loved one up a ladder to string thousands of Christmas lights around the outside of your house. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the holidays. It seems like my family is so busy every year that November and December are just a blur. It’s January before I have time to reflect on Thanksgiving and February before I get around to remembering anything about that year’s Christmas. I can’t tell you one thing I bought for any loved one last year. But I can certainly tell you one of my favorite stories of all time. I’ve heard it enough to remember every detail. And my only wish is that I could hear it again from my grandmother. She told it best. Every year my grandmother would tell the same story about one Christmas Day when she was a little girl. Of course it got to be a family joke after she told it so many times. But I’m older now and grateful that she repeated it annually. I think she realized if she didn’t we’d never remember it. My grandmother grew up poor. She hardly ever expected much in the way of Christmas presents. But one Christmas was different. Something told her this year was going to be an exciting one. When she woke up early that Christmas morning, before her siblings, she ran into the living room to see if Santa had paid the family a visit. This year he had. She stood in the living room, the story goes, just taking in all the beauty of the presents. She looked for her name on all of the gifts and found hers attached to a baby stroller. She was so excited by her new toy she couldn’t wait until the rest of the family joined her. She had to celebrate. The house her family lived in at the time this story took shape had a sloped floor. So she spent the wee hours that Christmas morning pushing that stroller up and down the sloped floor. She was so giddy but she never uttered a shrill of excitement — she didn’t dare tattle on herself for getting an early start on the holiday. She wanted this moment to herself. She finally decided it was almost daylight and she had better get back to bed before everyone else woke up. She parked her baby stroller exactly where she found it and slid back into bed. Sure enough, when her siblings awoke they were excited there were presents left to them in the night. Everyone but my grandmother, who had already celebrated alone. When she told the story her eyes would twinkle and the corners of her mouth curled up to the biggest smile I’d ever seen her have. She’d tell the story, hoping it would give us kids the reminder that it’s not always how much you get, it’s being appreciative that you have anything at all. I still remind myself of that story every year. It centers me now and is no longer a family joke. It reminds me that I’m blessed with many things all year long and Christmas should be about the excitement of enjoying the small things. Here’s hoping that you and your family have a great holiday season.

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hink the average homeless person is just lazy or an addict? hink again. One-third of Norman’s homeless are children. Please donate today and help us get families back to work to break the cycle of poverty.

East Main Place resident, one month old

East Main Place 1100 East Main Street Norman, OK 73071

Call 405-447-4663 or email christy@eastmainplace.com

Serving the Homeless for 17 years

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I loved all of George’s adventures - the one where he kept calling the firemen, the one where he couldn’t say no to the balloons, the one where he was supposed to be delivering newspapers but just couldn’t resist making them into boats to float down the stream at the park - and I knew, always, that he was headed for trouble. Even for a five year old, the road he was about to travel down was never hard to see. His unwillingness to obey made me antsy, yet I loved to watch his wide eyes question the newness of his world. The little guy was an adorable handful, a living breathing conundrum whom you simultaneously wanted to spank and hug. (Obviously, H.A. Rey was a parent.) George drew you in with his innocence, but it was his unyielding curiosity that closed the deal for me. I so admired his refusal to be denied the wonders of his world. For all of the alive George was, it was the flatness of the man in the yellow hat that made the stories work. He was smart, that much was obvious. And he was kind - he took in a monkey for heaven’s sake. But beyond that, the man in the yellow hat didn’t have much going on. He just slipped in and out to cage the tales without ever getting too much in the way. When people ask me about my mentors, I’m always inclined to include the man in the yellow hat.

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When I was a little kid I was enamored with Curious George. Our local library had a film series that my Granny took me to every Friday. We diminutives sat, feet dangling, poised for our own form of orneriness on grown up plastic chairs in front of a painted cinder wall. And my heart skipped a beat every single time the clickety clop of the projector signaled the arrival of that funny little monkey. I can’t remember if there was music or even what the narrator’s voice sounded like, but I couldn’t wait for the man in the yellow hat to stride across the screen, smooth the ruffled edges, and save George from himself.

ing’s not that vogue anymore. To this day when I walk into the Great Reading Room at Bizzell Library, I breathe in and think of George. The smell of cold books sandwiched between tin shelves reminds me of all I used to wonder about and all I still don’t know. And it reminds me of the job I have daily, to encourage curiosity in my children and my team. I yearn for them all to ponder, and question, and dig, and search. And I get downright giddy thinking about the pickles they might find themselves in when they do. Because that’s where life is: right smack dab in the middle of the mess.

Monkey Business

George was my first crush of the curious and I’ve been a sucker for it ever since. I like people who ponder, especially out loud. I like folks who test the waters and who aren’t afraid to go to the trouble to figure things out. Grappling gives us dimension, and color and shape. That’s how the wrinkles of experience get carved. But nobody seems to have much time for wondering anymore. Why think when you could Google and skip the stretching entirely? It makes me sad to realize that thinkwww.silkthemagazine.com

Sometimes as teachers and parents we think we’re supposed to have all the answers. But I’m not sure that’s really our most important job. Maybe we’d be better served to urge curiosity and fade into the background to subtle safety patrol while those for whom we are responsible twist and squirm and learn. Like George, and the foil who made him famous, the man in the yellow hat.

A We i g h o f L i f e

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Pumpkin perks Pumpkin pie is the staple of almost every holiday table. It makes the perfect companion to a holiday meal. Top it with whipped topping and a nap is sure to follow. But did you know that pumpkin also has other benefits? Benefits that won’t lead you to the treadmill for an hour burning off the extra calories.

Pumpkin meat is very high in carotenoids. They’re what give pumpkins their orange color. Those who consume high amounts of carotenoids are found to be healthier.

Pumpkins also can help your eyesight since they are high in lutein and zeaxanthin. What does that mean for your peepers? Well, pumpkins could actually help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem that usually results in blindness. Pumpkins also have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, zinc and fiber. Iron, of course, is needed by red blood cells. Why not get to the seed of the matter? Pumpkin seeds also are great for prostate protection and improved bladder function. Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, a compound that naturally fights against depression and since pumpkin seeds have a high zinc content, they make a good protector against osteoporosis. Other powers of the pumpkin include: Natural anti-inflammatory; prevention of kidney stones; treatment of parasites; a source of magnesium; and pumpkin seeds contain physosterols, a compound that has shown to reduce cholesterol. Sources www.associatedcontent.com www.divavillage.com www.healthdiaries.com

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But why stop putting the power of pumpkin to use on the inside of your body? Put those pumpkin perks to use on your outside, too. Pumpkin works as an accelerator for other ingredients, helping the skin absorb vital nutrients and vitamins quickly. If you have sensitive skin, it’s even more important to use ingredients that can fortify and nourish. Other nutritious ingredients that combine well with pumpkin include cranberry, orange and pomegranate.

At-Home Pumpkin Facial What you need: 2 teaspoons canned pumpkin 1/2 teaspoon honey 1/2 teaspoon milk 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon spice How to make your own pumpkin masque: Mix together ingredients into a paste, and brush onto freshly cleansed skin. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with warm spring water. Use a pumpkin-infused moisturizer for an immediate glow.

Pumpkin Body Mask 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1/2 cup solids from a can of coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Mix ingredients. Apply generously to clean skin and gently work into skin. Leave on for 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Pumpkin Hand Mask 4 tablespoon pumpkin puree 2 figs 1 teaspoon green tea 4 teaspoons cornmeal 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel 1 teaspoon jojoba oil Puree figs with green tea in blender and place 2 tablespoons puree in medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix in pumpkin and aloe. Stir in jojoba oil and cornmeal. Apply small amount of pumpkin mask to face, avoiding the eyes. Gently massage in circular motions gently buffing skin. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water and pat dry with soft towel. Store remaining mask covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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All I want for Christmas Silk polled several area children from Kennedy Elementary to see what was at the top of their list for Santa this year.

Dainece'yea, 7, Norman — Brat Doll, “Real Brat Doll Movie,” makeup in a box Aaron, 6, Norman — LC helicopter Ckyeesa, 6, Norman — Teaching supplies to play with Jasmine, 6, Norman — lots of Barbies Phillip, 7, Norman — Gameboy Jancey, 6, Norman — Cheerleading outfit with pom poms, dog Zain, 7, Norman — Police car Zane, 8, Norman — Microscope and money Kaden, 7, Norman — Phone Hernandez, 7, Norman — Xbox 360 Crystalin, 6, Norman — Cheerleading outfit Lillian, 7, Norman — stuffed animals and books Elleona, 6, Norman — Camera, makeup, phone Donivan, 7, Norman — Xbox 360, bike Jacob, 6, Norman — Xbox 360 www.silkthemagazine.com

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Social networking By Julianna Parker Jones Social networking sites have taken off in the last few years. So much so, that people who five years ago never would have expected to have a Facebook account, now check it at least five times a day. So maybe you’ve joined Facebook or Twitter, but you don’t really know what else to do besides create an account. Or maybe you haven’t joined yet because you don’t see the point. Here are a few suggestions on ways to maximize the social networking sites. • One word — birthdays. What ever did we do before Facebook conveniently reminded us about all our friends’ birthdays? Pay attention to that list on the right side of the home screen, and you could save yourself some embarrassment. A quick wall post on someone’s special day can make all the difference in the world. • Want coupons, free stuff or to be the first to know something? Become a fan or follow your favorite company. With many large companies making the push to connect with new customers on social networking sites, Photo by Cami Morris following them on Twitter or becoming a fan of theirs on Facebook can lead to free stuff or discounts. Starbucks gave coupons for free ice cream this summer and Eskimo Sno posted promotions on Twitter such as “Say ‘twee’ when you’re in line and get a free snow cone today only.” www.silkthemagazine.com

By being an iTunes fan on Facebook, you can snag free sample CDs occasionally. • Become a Norman Transcript fan and find out what’s going on now, not on the 10 o’clock news or in tomorrow’s paper. True, no Facebook post or Twitter feed can cover anything as thoroughly as a newspaper article, but there’s something to be said for knowing what’s going on now, and what people are really thinking and caring about. The trending topics on the right side of Twitter’s page often link to popular topics. Friends on Facebook post links to interesting videos or articles that can keep you up to date on what people are talking about. • Buy and sell things. It’s amazing how quickly you can get a response from a post requesting something or offering to sell an item. Football tickets are a popular commodity during the fall season. • Event planning made easy. Facebook events are convenient, because they let you send to anyone on your friend list as well as anyone whose e-mail address you may have who is not on Facebook. They keep track of RSVPs and allow friends to post comments or pictures on the event page.

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Keeping on her toes By Nanette Light

Yulia Zhmutski, standing, works with student Adelyn Woods at her studio.

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Yulia Zhmutski never rests from choreographing ballet in her head. Every trip to the grocery store, walk along a sidewalk and dinner at her home is a performance for the professional ballerina. She dances almost everywhere she goes, most of the time not even realizing it until she is pulled away from the ballet in her mind to notice her husband staring at her while she’s cooking dinner. Zhmutski, a 21-year-old ballerina originally from the former Soviet Union, can’t help it. If she hears a song, she has to compose a dance to accompany it. Her latest are a slew of routines to the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack. And now, after marrying her husband Peter and moving to the United States last year, this ballerina is teaching the “royal ballet” in Oklahoma. “I’ve wanted to dance since I could remember myself,” said Yulia to Peter who translated her Russian for the interview since her English is still elementary. “It just stuck with me. It ate with me. It walked with me. It breathed with me. It’s a part of me.” Scenes of tutus and pointe shoes, weren’t always twirling in the mind of this ballerina, who made dance her life’s spotlight after she was denied acceptance into a vocal school. But entrance into an artistic dance school, like the National School of Dance and Choreography in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, came with a hefty list of prerequisites, relying on God-given talent. Out of 500 prospects, only 23 were accepted, and Yulia was one of them. Unlike the United States, Russian children cannot learn an art unless they possess an innate ability, which is why they are required to undergo rigorous pre-screening. During the audition, Peter said few performed even a single step, pointe or plie before being either accepted or rejected. So in the fourth grade, she left public school and her family to study ballet at the National School of Dance and Choreography, where life was a neverending competition. “If one person could do three pirouettes, no one should do less,” Yulia recalls. After eight years, during which she danced for six hours every day, learning ballet and folk dancing, with no weekends off, working in two theatres and touring with the school’s company, her childhood diversion grew into a professional career. Out of 250 dancers to graduate from the school in a four-year period, Yulia was one of 10 dancers hired to dance with the National Theatre. She didn’t spend her career waltzing with the chorus but dancing in principal roles like The Doll in one of her favorite ballets “Coppelia,”. She harbors love for that production because of its difficulty in mastering the doll-like movements, said Yulia, as she ran to the center of the studio and began performing a segment of the ballet. As she bent over from the waist, with her legs apart and arms hanging firmly out, her husband “wound” her up, and she rose robotically

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from the waist, slowly, as if she were a toy coming to life. Unlike the grace and fluidness of a ballet waltz, her feet were turned in and her movements were choppy, giving the illusion her arms and legs were made of wood. “There are no little things. Everything means something, whether it’s a look or wink. Nothing in ballet is easy. Everything is difficult, even to hold our leg up,” she said as she walked to the barre and demonstrated, explaining that after a practice she looks like she came from the sauna. But Yulia’s dance expertise doesn’t conclude with ballet. She also is professionally recognized as a traditional Uzbek dancer and Slavic and Russian folk dancer. “A professional ballerina should know how to dance anything,” Peter said. “That’s the way they were taught.” In fact, through the years, Yulia has devised her own form of dance, an eclectic mix of modern dance and ballet that relies on emotional expression through movement. “Dancing is always altering, and change is good,” said Yulia through Peter. “I believe in that.” Now Yulia is more concerned with passing the art form to children, like her daughter Julia, who Peter is already calling “our little ballerina,” as he downloaded pictures from the computer of the smiling baby. Yulia understands that for some there’s a financial obstacle to learning dance. So with their own money, she and Peter have created three scholarships for children with a passion for dance. Peter said scholarships provide unforeseen opportunities, keep dancers disciplined and enforce attendance, since they are being held to a standard not only by their own will but someone else’s dollar. Peter said eventually the duo would like to find sponsors for the company that would help pay for performance and competition fees and costumes. “To learn dancing, it’s pretty expensive, if you want to do it seriously,” said Peter. “We’ve seen a lot of talented students, and we want to give them an opportunity, like Yulia was given.” Yulia and Peter see opportunities of their own, too. Up next for Yulia is a creative collaboration with her husband. The couple, which shares complementing passions — his is music and film — evenutally plan to produce a rock opera together. Peter will compose and Yulia will choreograph. Shouldn’t be too hard. Besides, in keeping with her daily obsessive choreographing, if Yulia hears the music, she’ll begin impromptu dancing anyway. “It’s a dream for us, but it’s still in our heads,” Peter said.

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Hob Nob Rob’s Gifts 2201 W. Main • Norman, OK (405)364-3777

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Decking the halls By C. Schudalla

It’s not always about red and green for Christmas decor Each holiday season brings new trends and style ideas for the decorative soul, but local craft and design stores know their clients are no slaves to fashion. “To re-dress an entire tree just for one season’s trend is an expense most consumers are not interested in,” said Kathy Cop of Christmas Expressions. “Color themed trees depend much more on the customer’s personal taste and the existing décor in their home,” Cop said. According to online craft network professionalcrafter.com, this season’s trendy colors are purple with white, cream or beige. The general motif is sophisticated and feminine, with cloths like satin, silk and chiffon being dominant. For ornaments the trend is glazed, crystallike, sugared and metallic. Large flowers and pearl strand accents continue to be favored from previous seasons, with this year adding a rise in more organic textur20

al accents like wood grain. “I did see lots of purple at the market expos,” said Sally Elkin of In Your Dreams. “We did a purple tree window display a couple years ago but, after 13 years of dressing trees for display, I find that the traditional colors are still the most popular. “Spending lots of money on what I know isn’t a great seller just isn’t feasible, but we will be offering some non-traditional colors.” These “traditional colors” are any variations on red, white, green, gold and silver. But, as Elkin and Cop say, that doesn’t mean that more unconventional tastes are out of luck. “We’re doing one tree with a very anthropology feel to it. The colors are hot pink, turquoise and bright green and the accents are very stripey, bright and ornate,” Cop said. While the trends may say purple and white, local design stores are sticking to the mostly traditional looks their customers want, but will still offer some fun and funky new styles for the edgier tastes.

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The Football Widow’s cure By Julianna Parker Jones In many households, Saturday holds great excitement for one member of the family. Football can be a thrilling sport, but the fact of the matter is that men tend to like sports more than women. Often, that leaves the wife or girlfriend fairly bored on gameday Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. There’s a term for that: Football widows. But these widowsfor-a-day have an alternative to pretending to be interested in the game. The hours taken up watching the game also can be used for something else, something that appeals more to the woman. Because your husband’s doing something fun for him, it’s only right that you should do something for yourself as well. And if it includes other women, all the better. Shopping. There’s something to be said for a shopping day with girlfriends or other female family members. It’s also the perfect way to spend time with other women, said Kenna Stephens, salesperson at In Your Dreams, 2109 W. Main St. She said she likes to get away sometimes and meet up with friends to shop, even if they don’t end up buying anything. “It’s kind of like your time,” Stephens said. “You get to be with your friends and catch up.” If you wear out easily shopping, try adding a movie to the day. Pick a chick flick or other movie your significant other wouldn’t want to see with you. Spa Day. No woman in her right mind would turn down a massage, mani/pedi, facial or mud bath. It may seem decadent at first, but you’ll soon realize what a difference it makes in your quality of life. A recent day of relaxing spa treatments at Ultimate Realm of Serenity, 3750 W. Photo by Cami Morris Main St., Suite 3,

Photo by Cami Morris Park B, made all the difference to this writer and her friend. We were the only customers of the day shortly after the spa had opened, and we were treated excellently with bath robes and limes in glasses of water between treatments. The decor reminded us of a lush Middle-Eastern palace. After the massage, facial, sauna treatment and mud bath, we were amazed that four hours had flown by. Salon de Beauté owner Kerry Etter said many women come in for salon and spa treatments on game days at the salon at 2308 N. Interstate Dr. “They tend to spend a couple hours more here than they normally would, just to get away,” she said. Guests can even ask about Salon de Beauté’s Game Day Specials, Etter said. Some women come in by themselves, but others bring friends or female family members to get a cut and color, spray tan or other treatments. Etter said she has done that herself. “My mom and I, we used to do stuff like that, shopping and lunch while the boys watched football,” she said. Other places in Norman to pamper yourself are Le Visage, Elements and Chimera or Back In Touch in Moore. Day Trip. Hard-core football fans can spend an entire day watching games. On those days, it can be a fun retreat to take a day trip with a girlfriend or two. Head to the big city for a change of scenery. The most fun method would have to be the train. Tickets for the Heartland Flyer, which takes you from the train depot in Norman to Fort Worth and back, are only about $50 per person round trip. You can board the train Saturday morning and make it to Fort Worth by lunch time. A full afternoon of shopping, dining or museums awaits you, then you just get back on board at about 5:30 p.m. and you can be back in Norman before the final football game ends (about 9 p.m.).

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Do you have a picture of a glorious Oklahoma sunset? How about a flower that is in beautiful bloom in your yard? Why not share your picture with Silk? Send your 8X10 (2400 X 3000 pixel) photo to editor@silkthemagazine.com for future publication. Please include your name, location of photo and a brief story about the location. If you would like to mail the photo send it to P.O. Drawer 1058, Norman, OK 73070, Attention Silk editor. If you would like your photo mailed back please include a self address stamped envelop.e.

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Woven In Silk

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Ask A Man By Michael Kinney Question: Why are certain holiday traditions like food and football important to men?

they can retell every year at the dinner table, they will use anything.

Answer: The holidays are a time of traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Family members get serious when it comes to many of the traditions they use during the Thanksgiving and Christmas months.

• Watching sports all day. This isn’t so much a tradition as a hard fast rule. For many of us, the second best thing about Thanksgiving and Christmas is that football is on all day and every game must be watched. This means more kitchen time for the women as they prepare the main course, side dishes, drinks, deserts and clean up afterward. It’s a sacrifice men have found they are willing to live with as long as nothing interrupts their sporting events and the arguments that ensue from it.

However, depending on what gender you are, some of these traditions can look downright insane. Females tend to sway toward things that have emotional ties to the family or memories of the past. Such as having their great-grandmother’s place setting on the table for Thanksgiving or having the family sing Christmas carols before opening gifts.

Holiday traditions

For men, it’s not that complicated. Most traditions are usually something they were taught and it worked so well they called it a tradition. Here are a few examples of legacies men may have that their female counterparts just don’t understand. • Cutting food with a specific knife. In some families, they have carving knives that have been passed down from father to son, generation after generation. Men will make a big deal about how important they are and how the food must be carved with these specific utensils. But in actuality, almost any knife will do as long as it is deadly sharp and they can attach some story to it. Whether it’s a cleaver that came from the first pilgrim to kill a wild boar or how your father had to drive to the other side of town on Christmas looking for a can of corn and happened upon a carving set that was on sale. As long as it has a personal story

• Turning back the clock. This can be anything a man does that makes him feel young again. From wearing their old high school football jersey that is two sizes too snug or making the family watch the old vacation videos of the trip to the world’s largest corn maze. The greatest example of turning back the clock comes in the form of the annual Thanksgiving tackle football game. Whether it’s just family members or men from around the neighborhood, these games can be found everywhere. Men try to relive past glory and show the womenfolk that they still have the athletic ability they had as kids. It’s all fun and games until the first ACL is torn, a back is thrown out or they can’t get out of bed the next morning. Some of these traditions may sound idiotic, but are a must. Once you try to take them away, the holidays turn into just another day at home.

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Join the Zumba party By Julianna Parker Jones

The room pulses with the Latin beat and the women sway, kick and twirl to the rhythm. The dance leader changes moves and the group follows with a few cheers and whoops as the women shimmy forward. No, this isn’t a club thumping in the early hours of the morning. In fact, it’s 10 a.m. in the brightly lit room at the Cleveland County YMCA. This is the new fitness sensation, Zumba. Zumba brings international rhythms and dance moves to the fitness class, producing an hour-long cardio workout that’s meant to feel like a dance party. The Zumba tagline is “Ditch the workout, join the party!” and that’s exactly why many people have leapt on the bandwagon. Norman resident Tina Greene said she attends Zumba classes because it’s fun. “It makes you work out, but it doesn’t feel like a workout ’cause it’s fun,” she said. But while many have embraced Zumba, its popularity has still largely been limited to the regular gym-going crowd. Others who hear the name “Zumba” are confused or disinterested. Zumba was begun in 1999, but it only made its way to Norman this year. The Cleveland County YMCA was the first in town to offer Zumba classes beginning in February. They started with one class, but quickly realized the demand exceeded the single offering, said Stacy Bruce, Cleveland County YMCA senior program director. “We got into some situations where we had like 125 people coming to class,” Bruce said. This fall and winter, the Y is offering 13 Zumba classes that draw 40 or more students to each. “It has rejuvenated our group exercise participants,” Bruce said. “It’s loud, it’s fun.” The YMCA thinks Zumba is so much fun that they will offer a free class to those who mention they saw this article.

Zumba also is available at many other health clubs and dance studios in the area. Zumba instructor Dawna Hunter said one of the reasons Zumba is so popular is because it’s accessible to so many people. “It doesn’t matter how old and how fat you are or how young and how thin you are — anybody can do it,” she said. At a fall class at the YMCA, there truly were people from many walks of life and every size and shape. The crowd of about 40 even included a token male. The thing that seemed to unite everyone was their love for dancing. The hour-long class certainly would not have been fun for those opposed to the art. As the first song started blaring, it was clear this was no ordinary fitness class. Bruce, who led the class this day, did not use a microphone to speak over the music. Instead, she danced in the front of the group, using hand gestures to cue the participants as to what move went next. Bruce said this was to make the class seem more like a dance party than a workout. The music and moves were a mix of salsa, reggaeton, merengue, hip hop, cumbia, soca and quebredita. Bruce used short sequences of dance moves repeated throughout a song so that it was easy to pick up even for a first-timer. The moves could easily be traded down or up for a less or more intense workout, depending on the exerciser. The workout is great for one’s heart, but doesn’t include much in the way of other fitness. Bruce said Zumba is great cardio, which is great for getting people who don’t work out at all into better shape. However, she added that it’s best to pair Zumba with other strength and flexibility training. Bruce said she’s excited to see people catching on to Zumba. “It’s nice to see workouts be fun again,” she said.

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Covered in Mary Abbot House • Norman Chamber of Commerce • Full Circle

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George Moen, JoAnn Terrell, Jack Shilling, George Langley, Sean Crandall, Jeannine Baker, Lannie Puckett Mary Abbott House Executive Director Jeannine Baker, is presented with a teddy bear from the Norman Chamber of Commerce's Scott Christian. At center is Abbott House Board President Sean Crandall.

Mary Abbot House “Dedication to Expansion� Photos by Kevin Ellis

Venita Macgorman, Liby Walden and Marci Corey

Cindy Rosenthal Ann Way Don Sherman

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Megyn Price from Rules of Engagement, right, her daughter Grace and mother Emilie Susan Hoffman, Michelle Rosati and Tammy Vaughn

Full Circle Adult Day Center “Purse-Onality Fundraiser� Photos by Kevin Ellis

Karen Booze from Brockhaus Jewelry

Ann Carlson, Lolly Frank and Catha Block.

Patricia Grasse, chairman of fundraising committee

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Norman Chamber of Commerce “The Soiree at Embassy Suites� Photos by Kevin Ellis

Kyla McMoran, Anna-Mary Suggs, Angie and Steve Drury

Standing L to R James and Jane Roane. Seated - John Biggs, Shannan and Spencer Hinckley.

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Standing L to R - Kim Franks and Terri Oberst. Seated - Sandra Ingram, Jackie Marchbanks and Janelle Sanders

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Norman Chamber of Commerce “The Soiree at Embassy Suites� Photos by Kevin Ellis

Standing L to R - Daryle Voss, B.J. and Bill McMillan. Seated - Greg and Ann Terrell

Seated L to R - John Sparks, Beth Sparks, Kurt Nashert, Cindy Nashert and Win Moran. Standing Gail and Phil Cotten and Jan Moran

Standing L to R - Sean Crandall and Charles Hollingsworth. Seated - Steve Faler, Jim Ruhl and Cheryl Hollingsworth 30

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Silk - A magazine for women  

The November-December issue of Silk - The magazine for women.

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