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Letter from the Editor

Table of Contents

Shana Adkisson, Editor editor@silkthemagazine.com 366-3532 Cathy Hanselman, Account Executive advertising@silkthemagazine.com 366-3563 Julianna Parker, Writer

A Woman of Substance . . . . . . . . 3 A Weigh of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Keeping in step . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Ask A Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Leaving the nest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Getting a healthy glow . . . . . . . . . .14 Covered In Silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Mary Gray, Writer Michael Kinney, Writer Kevin Ellis, Photographer

On The Cover

Cami Morris, Photographer

Jordyn Lee

Marise Boehs, Designer

Photo by Cami Morris

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

2332 N. Interstate Dr., Norman, OK 73072

Serving Norman for over 18 years.

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The season has changed once again and that means one thing — a complete shoe rotation is in order. Gone are the boots. Those snow shoes are a thing of the past, too. We have no need for those wool socks either. Now we get to free our feet from the confines of shoes and let them feel the sunlight and the warm air. Let the sandals, flip flops and peep toes rule the day. My husband, as I’m sure most husbands, doesn’t understand my love for shoes. To him shoes are utilitarian and there’s no need for fancy. I’ve tried to explain it to him why I need three pairs of pink shoes, two pairs of red shoes and an endless supply of black shoes. He only owns two pairs of shoes, tennis shoes and dress shoes, so he just doesn’t get my logic. I’ve told him that each pair is like an expression of me. And that no matter how big my waist size gets, my shoe size stays the same. No other piece of clothing can tout those facts. He really questions my shoe fetish when I’m rummaging around the cheap flip flop bin at the local discount store. Why go through all this effort, when you’ve already got 10 pairs of hot pink, sparkly flip flops at home, he asks. I think the answer to that is obvious. Usually the shoe debate comes to a screeching halt when I ask him why he likes football so much. After all, it’s just a sport. Enjoy those flip flops ladies and keep cool. Sincerely, Shana Adkisson, Editor

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A real life Wonder Woman By Juliana Parker Jones When Rita Aragon joined the Oklahoma Air National Guard in 1979, she was part of a small percentage — only 2 percent — of the military who were women. “It was a totally different world than it is today,” she said. It was difficult for military women in those days, but Aragon never let that hold her back. She volunteered for every job and worked her hardest at it until she was finally allowed to become an officer and then became the first female commander of the Air National Guard. She retired in December 2007 as a Major General. Now the director of Advanced Programs at the University of Oklahoma, Aragon often speaks to young people and civic groups. Although she isn’t tall, Aragon has a big personality and a thick Oklahoma accent. She said when she speaks to groups she always encourages women to reach for their dreams. “I tell people, ‘Have courage. Don’t be afraid to try something new,’” she said. Aragon took her own advice and as a result broke several barriers in the U.S. military, including becoming the first woman to hold the rank of Brigadier General in the Oklahoma Air National Guard. But she didn’t start out with the intention of going where no woman had gone before. She actually didn’t even start out with the intention of joining the military. Aragon began her career as a teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools. After 24 years in the schools, she was a principal in Oklahoma City, a single mother of two, when she decided to join the Air National Guard to make some extra money in 1979. It was a time when women were called “girls” and could only do specific jobs in the military, Aragon said. “It was the boys fly club at that point,” she said. But she persisted, applying for every officer position that came up until she was finally allowed to go to officer training. “You really had to have tough self esteem,” she said of women in the military at that time. Aragon decided to quit her school career and become a fulltime military officer when she was offered the first command given to a woman in the Oklahoma National Guard. Retired Air Force Reserve Col. Terry Raison said he had been looking for an open command to appoint Aragon to for quite a while when the position of commander of the services squadron opened at Will Rogers International Guard Base in Oklahoma City. He said he recognized qualities in her that would make her an excellent commander. “The list is long — it starts with intelligence and goes to guts,” he said. She was a hard worker with the knowledge to get things done. “You’d say, ‘Rita, I want the world conquered,’” Raison said. “Give her three days and she’d have the world conquered.” Aragon rose in the ranks over the years not because she was the token woman, but because she was the best at what she did, Raison said. Aragon knew she needed to excel in order to advance in the military. As an example of how she succeeded, Aragon told the story of when she was sent to a meeting between U.S. and Russian military generals in 2003. The whole weekend, the

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Russians, who did not allow women in the military, looked down on her for being a woman. The last night, the Russians hosted a dinner for all 40 of the generals in attendance. Very little food was served, Aragon said, but each place at the table was set with a large bottle of Russian vodka. As each of the generals in attendance got up to give a toast — a Russian courtesy — everyone had to throw back a shot of vodka. Aragon said by the second of the 40 toasts, she knew she couldn’t drink any more (“It was like liquid fire”). So she tucked her bottle of vodka discreetly under her jacket and excused herself to go to the restroom. There she threw up the alcohol she had already drunk and dumped the rest of the bottle into the sink. Then she said she refilled the bottle with water. She returned to dinner with the bottle and no one noticed the switch. During the next 38 toasts, Aragon said she pretended to be drunk while the male generals around her collapsed and had to be escorted to their rooms. At the end of the night, the Russian three-star general who had belittled her all weekend approached her. “He says, ‘You are real general,’ and I said ‘Yes, I am,’” Aragon recalled. “And that’s why I tell young folks you don’t have to be the biggest or the strongest or the toughest, but you do have to be the smartest.”

A Wo m a n o f S u b s t a n c e

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I have a small town friend who called me the other day, just to tell me a quick story about his son. His 15 year old offspring was long and lean…ok, he said “skinny”…just like his family lineage suggested he would be. And, despite being from a long line of ball players (self professed to be low in talent, high in try), he had never really found that thing that flipped his lid. Basketball wasn’t his deal and baseball never really did the trick. He was just a good kid kind of aimlessly wandering, not overly worried about doing anything particular with his long limbs, be in or out of the sports world. And then one day out of the wild blue yonder came…..The Swim Team. The what? The swim team. Seriously. My friend didn’t even know the school had such a thing. But, he was behind his boy, even if he could only swim well enough to save himself if he fell in the farm pond. So, several weeks go by and long lanky’s mom attends a few meets and says to my friend, “You know, the boy’s pretty good. He does okay.” A few more competitions come and go and finally dad rolls in for the state meet. And the long and lean tryer turns out to be better than good. He swims lead on one relay and anchor on another. His team wins the State Championship and the skinny aimless wanderer sets two state records in the process! So, after trophies are awarded, coach comes looking for dad. “Where did he get his training? Why did we not learn about his talent until his junior year?” And a very proud, yet very surprised dad says, “I have no idea. Learned in the bathtub I suppose. And you found out about his talent way before I did. Because I just figured it out about 15 minutes ago.” So the two men, dad and coach, approach the skinny state champion and ask him point blank, “What do you think about when you’re out there in the water? What exactly is going on in your mind?” And the very honest grandson of a Comanche pig farmer said, “I just think about getting to the other end as fast as I can.” And that was that. “You don’t think about the fans? You don’t think about the guy in lane 2? You don’t think about your form or your turn or your breathing?” “Nope. I’m just trying to get to the other end as fast as I can.” We make it way too hard, you know? There is something surreal about a guy doing just what he’s doing and nothing else, and that being enough. The old “less is more” approach to brilliance. We live in a world of personal trainers and shot doctors

and swing coaches and sports psychologists, and yet, we have more underachievement by better trained performers than ever before. (Check the national average for free throw shooting percentage over the last 20 years, if you need to be convinced). But, I’m not talking just about athletics here; sports is simply my metaphor. Inaccuracy is the norm in our world these days. Incompetence abounds. We’re so inundated by sloppiness that we aren’t even alarmed by it anymore. So we surmise that the prescription for excellence, then, must be complex. Me thinks we think too much. Or at the least, about too many things. Particularly at once. Being good at just about anything, regardless of your level of expertise, hinges on being where you are and being intent about it. For some reason a whole lot of us have a really hard time doing that. Then out of the blue along comes a long-armed tryer who “simples” his way to excellence and we are reminded that it really isn’t that complicated after all.

Me thinks we think too much!

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A We i g h o f L i f e

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Keeping in step By Juliana Parker Jones Being a slave to fashion may not be such a good idea when trendy heels tower above three inches and the phrase “arch support” only comes with matronly shoes. But neglecting your feet in the short term really isn’t worth it in the long term, according to a local podiatrist. Scott Hosler, D.P.M., a podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Clinics of Norman recommends staying away from those fashionable heels. “The flatter (the shoe), probably the better, preferably ones that you can add arch support.” Trendy heels don’t offer feet enough support, which can cause sore feet or even more serious foot conditions. They put all your weight on the balls of your feet instead of distributing it throughout your foot, he said. They are often narrower, which doesn’t allow special soles with arch support to be added, he said. The toe box often isn’t roomy enough, he said, which can rub toes abrasively and cause bunions or hammer toes. Most women who only wear heels on special occaPhotos by Cami Morris sions, however, won’t see the negative effects of heels. “It’s the people that are in them a 40-hour work week, those are the people that are going to see the issues,” Hosler said. Even flat shoes can be bad for feet when they have thin soles like most ballet flats and sandals, Hosler said. The opposite of trendy heels is probably orthopedic shoes, which sometimes carry a stigma of being unfashionable. But a new kind of shoe has recently emerged as the leader in comfort and hipness. Shoes like the FitFlop and MBT footwear boast of the fitness benefits of their shoes. Although each brand differs little in design and construction, these shoes all have a curved sole that works a little like a rocking horse. The shoe wearer has to subtly use different muscles than normal to keep from rocking forward or backward. “It’s kind of like a pilates ball: you balance yourself on the shoe,” said Stewart McCaskill, an assistant at Brown’s Shoe Fit in Norman, which sold about 600 MBT shoes last year. This balancing act works more muscles in the calves, rear thigh and buttocks — up to 19 percent more activity when walking and up to 38 percent activity when standing, according to literature from MBT footwear. MBT, which stands for Masai Barefoot Technology, is modeled after the Masai tribe in Africa that lives barefoot but doesn’t have foot problems like those in the West. That’s the other thing

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about these shoes: the companies say they are much better for your feet, evenly distributing your weight and taking the pressure off your joints. Kristi Lewis is a believer. “I do hair, so I’m on my feet all day,” the Moore stylist said. She said she was having a lot of heel pain and tried all kinds of other shoes trying to alleviate the stress on her feet. “You’re constantly moving your legs, so it helps your circulation,” Lewis said. It worked for her. She now has no heel pain, and about two years later she said she’s wearing the MBT shoes nearly every day she works. “I’m kind of a shoe freak so it’s hard, it’s hard to wear the same shoes every day,” Lewis said. She said the shoes were definitely worth the cost for her — and they do come with a hefty price tag of about $250. For some people, that cost is worth it. And the MBT shoes, and those like it, are definitely better than spindly heels. They may, however, not do all the things they promise, Hosler said. “When they first came out I must admit I was a little skeptical,” he said. He said he asked local shoe salesmen for studies that supported the shoemaker’s claims, and couldn’t find documentation. But since they came out a few years ago, he hasn’t seen any negative results from MBT shoes and those like it, he said.

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How many pairs of shoes do you have? By Juliana Parker Jones “I don’t know, 40 or 50 pairs of shoes? ’Cause I work here so I just take them home.” — Pat Cain, sales associate at Brown’s Shoe Fit in Norman

“Probably about 20 — that’s including shoes and sneakers and stuff.”

“According to my husband, I have too many, but I don’t think I have too many. I’d say I have about 15.” — Dawn Meyer, of Norman

“I probably guess around 35.” — Andrea Brumfield, of Norman

— Robin Courtney, of Chickasha

“Probably 30.” — Cathy Steincamp, of Norman

“I have no idea how many shoes I own. Let me see; I would probably say like 28 pairs of shoes. … Oh wait, I didn’t count those other ones. (counts in head using fingers) OK, 35 I think. (sighs) I love shoes.” — Heather Arnett, of Norman

“I probably have probably 30 pairs of shoes. That’s what I’m thinking, probably 30.”

“Um, I would say probably about 19. I don’t have a lot.” — Kathy McCullough, of Oklahoma City

— Jalisha Petties, of Moore

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Walking a mile By Michael Kinney Dear, Ask a Man: I have a lot of shoes. All of them are special to me, but my husband sees them as a waste of money and space in the closet. Why doesn’t he understand my love for shoes? I like Reebok Classic. Almost every pair of tennis shoes that I own are from that line. They are comfortable, stylish and look good on my feet as I walk around the office. However, as much as I adore my Classics, when you open the door to my closet, boxes and boxes of shoes are not strewn around the floor. The shoes do not have a private room that only I have a key to. That can not be said about most of the ladies I have known in my life, who seemingly have made it their life’s goal to collect as many pairs of shoes as humanly possible. The funniest commercial on television right now is directed at that oddity. It’s the Bud Light commercial where a woman is showing her friends around her new apartment and ends the tour with a walk-in closet with hundreds of shoes arranged on the walls. The other ladies start screaming for joy as if they found nirvana or heard New Kids on the Block were coming to town. Her husband’s friends have the same reaction, except its a room full of beer. In most cases, men and women see shoes in different ways. With females, you try to match the outfit with the shoe. I have seen friends put a pair of shoes on, then rummage through

their rooms for hours until an epiphany strikes on which dress looks the best with the black pumps. For the male, the shoe is the cherry on top. We try and match the shoe to whatever outfit we are wearing. And with the selections consisting of black, brown and a pair of white tennis shoe, it’s pretty easy. Men have their own passions that they go overboard for. Sports, cars, grilling and sometimes beer. I know men that have close to 100 authentic jerseys — which cost more than $150 a piece. But, even the most ardent collector can not understand why one woman needs 200 pairs of shoes stacked in a closet. Especially if she only wears most of them once. However, the problem is not that men do not understand why women must have so many shoes. The issue is that most men do not take the time to understand their significant other’s passions. So when we see lots of money going out the door for something we do not get to have for ourselves, our first reactions is to say something stupid or to get angry. If you were to sit your husband down and try to explain to him why you must have a pair of Dolce & Gabbana Lucy Tstrap pumps that you found on sale for $100, he might look at you like you’re crazy. If you compare it to one of his musthaves, he still won’t understand, but at least he can relate to what you are feeling. If you have a question for Ask a Man, e-mail editor@silkthemagazine.com.

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Leaving the nest By Mary Gray

Tammy Higginbotham We all remember the first milestones in our children’s lives — their first steps, first words, first day of school, first licensed drive — while all these memories are special, the most difficult time is when a child leaves home. For some women, this becomes the time when they experience the sense of an “empty nest.” “I just knew our lives would never be the same,” Diane Williams said of the times her children left for college. Williams said the process of letting her last child leave her home was a difficult one. “My daughter kept telling me not to cry,” she said. “I tried not to but it was impossible.” Williams said that when her daughter moved into the dorm, she and her husband helped her move and then spent the night. “I think the hardest part for my mom was knowing that I was going to be on my own in a town where I knew no one and the fact that it was the first time I’d ever really been away from home, so I was going to have to learn to be more independent and learn to do things on my own without her help,” said Alex Williams, apparel studies sophomore and the University of Arkansas. For Tammy Higginbotham, whose only child left for college this past fall, the transition also was difficult. “It’s that emptiness in the beginning [that gets to you],” said Higginbotham. “It is devastating to a mom.” Before their children left for college, Higginbotham and Williams tried to spend as much time with them as possible. Higginbotham said she tried to soak up every second she had with her daughter. People warned her it would fly by and her daughter, Kaitlin Higginbotham, freshman at Redlands Community

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Dianne Williams College, agrees the whole summer prior to her entering college went by fast. While each woman had to deal with their children leaving for college, both women agree it was a time to not only reconnect with their spouses, but also gave them a chance to learn about themselves. “One thing I realized was that I focused completely on my kids,” Williams said. “[I had] nothing for myself — no hobbies.” Williams has gotten the chance to meet new people as well as made time to exercise. Higginbotham said her daughter is still No. 1 in her life, but she has gotten the chance to figure out what she can do to make herself better. Williams said many of her friends had already been in the position she was in when her daughter left, so it gave her a chance to discuss and gain insight from what they learned. “We feel like we’re the women on The View,” Higginbotham said. “You can’t go through it alone.” Alex Williams said being away from home has been hard, but has definitely made her family’s relationships stronger. “I remain close with my family by calling home at least once a day and talking to my parents about what’s going on in my life and what’s going on at home,” Alex Williams said. Williams said it’s not the end of the world, both she and her husband — as well as her son and daughter — enjoy their lives and have a different relationship with each other than before. “It’s a natural thing to grow and move on,” Higginbotham said. “It’s God’s plan for children to go spread their wings.”

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Getting a healthy glow By Mary Gray Gray skies and cold weather are becoming a thing of the past as it begins to warm up. The season for shorts, skirts and dresses is here, but before you step out to tan those legs, remember tanning beds may be dangerous for your precious skin. “Some people think they feel the need for tanning,” said Sara Crews, registered electrologist from Derma Logic Center. “Almost like their makeup in the summer.” There are many ways to get a nice color for the summer. You can try bronzers, natural sunlight as well as spray tans. “Self tanning is a good way to go,” said Eileen Hawkins, certified esthetician from Eileen’s Face and Body. Hawkins explained that in order to get an even shade, you need to make sure you exfoliate the body as well as shave 15 minutes before application. Next, you need to blend and rub in the product. She said to use a dry cloth to buff ankles, elbows and all the bony areas. Let it dry for 30 minutes and then get dressed. You also should use a wet cotton swab to dry your eyebrows to avoid stains, she said. Although you’ll have a nice, even tan, it is important to remember that self tanners don’t contain SPF which means you can still get burned, Hawkins said. While this may seem a bit more involved then lying in a tanning bed, Hawkins said it’s better for the skin to stay away from the beds. “The beds are just the worst,” she said. “The worst thing you

can do to your skin is getting in tanning beds.” Crews explained that ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) causes aging and ultraviolet B radiation causes burning. Hawkins said tanning beds destroy your skin. It also ages your skin quicker and causes wrinkles. While many women don’t see the problem with tanning now, the results can be seen later in life. “You can reverse it, but it’s going to cost you a lot to reverse sun damage,” Hawkins said. A good indication that your skin has had too much tanning is if your skin has a leather look to it, is blotchy or hyper-pigmentated, Hawkins said. It is important to remember when you are out in the sun, whether you’re planning to get a tan or not, to wear sun protectors, Hawkins said. “Every single day keep a sun protector on yourself and children. It needs to be an everyday thing,” Hawkins said. She said zinc and titanium are a must when it comes to picking a skin protector. Also, most cosmetics have an SPF protection in them. “The makeup is a barrier from the environment to protect your skin,” she said. Crews said she encourages her customers to use antioxidant serum and antioxidants as well as sunscreens. “You can’t avoid the sun but you can protect your self from it,” Hawkins said.

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Covered In Silk Business Before Hours - Meals on Wheels

Jackie Farley, Roberta Leeper, Tricia Carleton

Linda Price, Becky Aguilar, JD Younger

Deana Knight, Summer McGuire, Terri Horton, Lyn Haynes

Photos by Cami Morris

Red Hat Convention

Gerri Hill, Betty Randol, Jeannie Webster, Jackie Nelson and Betty Williamson

Dizzy Dames with Red Hats of Norman

Aurora Agger, Billie Bowen

Photos by Kevin Ellis

Business After Hours - Chickasaw Nation

Koshia Silver, left, Crystal Slater, Sara Atkins, Janet Hailey, Lisa Johnson, Debi Hernandez Devery Youngblood, Windell Gilliam, Gregg Wadley

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Jonathan Leavey, Jana Cox-Leavey, Neva Hames

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Silk - A Magazine for Women - May/June 2009  

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