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Stories of Survival February 2012

What’s Your

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John Chavanne: Mardi Gras Costume-Maker


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February 2012


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12 In This Issue

Cover Story

Home & Family 6 Be a Better Friend

47 Chocolate Is King

10 Five Steps to Stay Smitten 12 Dating After 50

17 Facebook vs. Twitter

Mardi Gras Madness!

20 Feature: John Chavanne, Costume Designer 23 Local Les Bon Temps Rouler 24 Mardi Gras Around the World

Money & Career 28 Tax-Time Tips 32 Gossip is Bad for Business

Regular Features

25 By the Numbers 35 Business Buzz 40 First Person: with Kelby Ouchley 44 Who’s News 74 Ready to Wear 80 Community Contributors 82 Best Impressions 88 Happenings 90 Solutions for Life 91 The Last Word

Places & Faces


Editors and Publishers

Kristy Armand Christine Fisher

Creative Director/Layout

Barbara VanGossen

Mind & Body

Assistant Editor

Erin Kelly

Business Manager

Katie McDaniel

American Heart Month

Assistant Designers

Shonda Manuel Kris Roy

38 Dancing the Horse Ballet at LeBocage

52 Prevention 54 Effects of Menopause 58 Stories of Survival 64 Numbers to Live By

Advertising Sales 337.310.2099 Emily Porche Britney Glaser Submissions Submitted articles and photos are welcome. Thrive assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not guarantee any submissions.

Style & Beauty


70 Get to Know Your Purse-n-ality – Take our Quiz! 72 Dos and Don’ts of Winter Boots

meet our


84 Local Celebrity Look-alikes 86 The Ticket to Good Movies



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Home & Family

Be a Better Friend

by Kristy Armand

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am I’ll come running, to see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, and I’ll be there, You’ve got a friend. Hopefully you have a friend – or several friends – you feel this way about, but if you turn the lyrics of this classic song made famous by James Taylor around, do you fit the description of what it takes to be a good friend? “We all want to have true friends, but the truth is, the quality of our friends depend on us,” says psychiatrist and success coach Vidushi Babber, MD, founder of PRNCoach. “Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: ‘The only way to have a friend is to be one.’“ The role of friendship in our lives cannot be underestimated, according to Dr. Babber. “Study after study shows that having strong connections with others provides real physical and mental health benefits. Friends provide emotional support and hands-on assistance, as well as feedback and information that help you get through the challenges you face.” Research has found that people with close friends have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, as well as lower levels of stress, depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness. Those with wider social networks are known to have higher self-esteem, and feel they have more control over their lives. Having friends may also help explain why women, on average, outlive men. Dr. Babber explains that in times of stress, men react to the fight-or-flight response. The body prepares itself to either fight or to flee quickly from a

threatening situation. Women also have this response, but they typically seek emotional support as well. “It’s this seeking of support that may be the key as to why women live longer than men. Since friendships seem to reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol, the bonds that women form in times of stress really may be lifesaving.” Dr. Babber adds that females, in general, are better at maintaining friendships than men. Women “tend and befriend” much more easily than men. Men and women relate to others differently throughout life. Studies have found that women seemed more geared to empathy, while male friendships are more geared to companionship and altruism. “This means that male friendships are more about helping each other – putting together an entertainment center, repairing a lawn mower, etc. Women’s friendships typically have a more emotional content – listening to friend’s problem, empathizing with shared challenges, and coming up with helpful solutions.” Medical experts say there is evidence that a good chat or regular girls’ night out can do even more. Feeling cared for and supported within a social network is particularly important for women in fostering self-care, according to one recent study. Researchers in New England found that high levels of social support and community involvement are directly associated with a healthier diet, regular exercise and better sleep habits, among other positive effects.

Be a Better Friend 6

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February 2012

Ironically – and unfortunately – just as we are beginning to more clearly understand the importance of friends for our health and longevity, research shows an unfortunate and growing trend toward smaller social networks and fewer close confidants. More Americans in the last 20 years say that they have fewer close friends or people in their lives with whom they can discuss important matters. One recent study in American Sociological Review found that the number of Americans who feel they have someone with whom they can discuss important matters dropped by nearly one-third. The number of people who said they had no one they could discuss such matters with tripled to nearly 25 percent. “Staying connected is huge challenge,” says Dr. Babber. “It’s all too easy to minimize the importance of friends in your life as you struggle to juggle all the other demands on your time. But don’t make the mistake of thinking of friendship as a luxury you’ll fit in when all the important stuff is done. Friends are not a luxury; they’re an essential ingredient in a well-balanced life. You should work just as hard at being a good friend as you do at being a good parent, spouse, employee, manager, committee member and all those other roles you strive to accomplish.” Dr. Babber offers some guidance for nurturing the friendships you have and for making new friends:

Plan regular get-togethers. Maybe it’s a monthly girls’ or guys’ night out, a weekly lunch, or a semi-annual getaway. The point is that you have a standing date with your good friends. And make it sacred. No blowing it off to catch up on housekeeping or work—this connection is important enough for a real commitment.

Accept their weaknesses. We all know no one is perfect, but true friends recognize and accept each other’s shortcomings as well as all their likable characteristics. Pick up the phone. Calling to say hi is a great way to stay connected with farflung friends. Put it on your to-do list and just do it.

Take advantage of new technology. The digital age and social media make it easier than ever to maintain regular contact with your friends and to reconnect with long-lost pals. Email, texting, facebook and skype are great ways to communicate quickly and personally.

Multi-task. You’ve got to walk the dog or go to the gym? Call a friend to go with you. It’s a way to spend time with a friend and get something else done that you have to do anyway. Make the first move. You may have a lot in common with the person you see every week at the grocery story, at your child’s ballgame or in the elevator. Do something new. Try something you love, so you can meet others who love it, too. Join a book club, take a leisure learning class, join a gym or volunteer, and you’re bound to find potential friends you can bond with over similar interests. Dr. Babber can be contacted for coaching services at 1-800-PRN-9906 or through

Be there in bad times too. It’s easy to hang out with friends for a fun gathering, but more difficult to spend time with someone who is depressed or dealing with a crisis. That’s the true test of friendship. You don’t have to know what to say – just be there. Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional

February 2012

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Home & Family

What Men Want in a New Home by Kristy Armand

Men and women may agree that there is no place like home, but when it comes to choosing a new home, they don’t always see eye-to-eye on what matters most. Research shows that overall, men and women look at homes in totally different ways: women tend to consider the emotional aspects of a house, while men are inclined to think of their homes as an extension of their personalities and hobbies. Home sellers should keep this and other key points in mind when they have their home on the market, and when they are staging their home for showing. “It’s also important for sellers to realize that although there are key differences in what features of a home matter most to men and women, there are also plenty of areas where priorities overlap,” Grace Robideaux, agent with Century 21 Bessette, said. “A big mistake many home sellers make is using stereotypical gender thinking when it comes to targeting potential home buyers. Men care about open floor plans and extra storage spaces too, for example. They aren’t just worried about the roof and the central air unit. It’s important for sellers to be aware of what matters to males and not leave them out of critical discussions related to these features. Doing so could mean missing out on a sale.”

Key Home-Shopping Differences Between the Sexes Women tend to make up their minds more quickly about a home than men. One recent study published in the Daily Real Estate News found that 70 percent of women surveyed said they made up their mind about a home the day they walked in, compared with 62 percent of men who said they needed two or more visits before deciding. Women are more likely to look at a home with an eye for décor changes. Men are more apt to focus on and ask questions about the functionality. It may come as a surprise, but women are more likely to read the small print in purchase negotiations. Men tend to dwell on big picture items like warranties and inspections. Women tend to look for cozier settings or rooms that facilitate intimate conversations, while males gravitate toward rooms with gadgets, televisions and electronics. Open spaces and higher ceilings are a bigger draw for men – it satisfies their psychological need for a larger sense of personal space. The yard is higher up on a male’s priority list. A well-maintained lawn, including healthy grass, minimal bushes to trim and easy-to-clean beds will help make the sale. In addition, younger men are more likely to prefer a bigger yard; older men want something smaller that requires less upkeep. Garages are more important to men. They look for multiple parking spaces, painted walls, clean floors and space for storage and projects. Robideaux says couples shopping for a home should discuss the things at the top of their individual “must-have” lists before they start looking. “This will give you the chance to recognize the differences and the similarities between the two lists, and identify areas of compromise before you start looking at homes. This will save you a lot of time – and frustration – throughout the process.” For more information about selling a home, call CENTURY 21 Bessette at 474-2185 or visit


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Top 10 Features Men Look for in a Home: • Garage or designated parking spaces • Master suite versus just a bedroom • Ample storage space • Guest/spare bedroom • Large closets • Outdoor entertainment area • Updated kitchen • Breakfast room or eat-in kitchen • Recreation room (man cave) • Large yard February 2012

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Home & Family

The Secret to Staying Smitten Any longtime couple can tell you that falling in love is much easier than staying there. Left unattended, love—as with anything—can fall by the wayside. Not surprisingly, research indicates that one of the best ways couples can keep the love alive is by spending time together. Sounds like a no-brainer, but in today’s busy world, finding QT for the significant other can be more challenging than it seems. Still, if you want to maintain the sparks, you’ve got to take a “daily temperature reading” as a way to share thoughts, concerns and dreams, according to family and child development expert Linda Robinson. The daily temperature reading consists of five specific areas that partners share with one another. Using the daily temperature reading can build intimacy and friendship between partners, which in turn, helps build trust and strengthen their commitment to one another, Robinson said.


Appreciation: Take turns expressing something that you appreciate

about your partner. If you are focusing on things you appreciate, it is harder to take one another for granted.

New Information: Share new things that are going on in your life so that you and your partner are both aware of them. This can help prevent misunderstandings or resentment.

Puzzles: Share something that you do not understand about

your partner, your relationship or life in general. This is a chance to clarify things so that you are not making assumptions that could become hurtful. It also can be a way to bring fresh ideas into your relationship.

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February 2012

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Complain with request for change: If there is a specific

thing that your partner does that bothers you, share that with your partner without blaming, accusing or judging. Try to hear what your partner is saying from his or her perspective, Robinson said. Compassion or empathy in a relationship is one of the most important ingredients for keeping a relationship strong.

Hopes: Share your hopes and dreams. They can give you both something to work toward together. Source: LSU AgCenter

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Home & Family

Finding a Mid-Life Romance Dating After Fifty

We’re taught that wisdom comes with age, but when it comes to the single dating world, that may not always be the case. For those over fifty, shifting from the comfortable land of couples to the unchartered landscape of singlehood can be intimidating. The challenges of dating after the age of fifty don’t rest simply on the practical logistics of learning the new rules in a modern dating game. The increased responsibility that comes with age can also hamper the get-up-andgo—especially for women. “These are women who were married for 25 or 30 years and even though she has lost her husband, she still has a family to look out for. There are more people in her life who rely on her than there were when she was 19, 20 or 21,” says Alice Solomon, author of Find the Love of Your Life After Fifty. Solomon’s own marriage ended after 25 years when she decided to enroll in Wellesley College in her 40s, to her husband’s protests. She graduated cum laude from the prestigious liberal arts school at the age of 50 in 1984 and soon found herself thrust back into unfamiliar territory: The dating scene. “I’d just graduated from college at 50 and people had been telling me that I was a

by Erin Kelly

smart, interesting woman. I felt like I had a lot of confidence. Then I got in the real world and felt very awkward and disappointed. I threw myself out into the single world believing that if I had a man with me, I would be more confident, more respected, more interesting. After being single for years I realized that I’d made a mistake. I threw myself out into the single world looking for a man instead of living my life as it presented itself to me.” Solomon discovered that there were many women over the age of fifty floating through a dating world that continues to favor men over women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 33 single men for every 100 single women in the senior-citizen age group. Solomon, who worked for a product design company in Boston after graduation, said she talked to younger singles around the office and discovered that they were confident, independent thinkers, while she came from a generation where women were expected to wait for suitors. “I learned a lot more as a single woman than I ever did as a married woman,” she said.

“I learned a lot more as a single woman than I ever did as a married woman.” – Alice Solomon, Dating Expert


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February 2012

Before you can re-enter the dating world, she says, you have to feel comfortable with yourself, your appearance and what you can offer in a relationship. Solomon says that once she changed her mindset from needing a man to boost her confidence to wanting a companion that had what she needed (and vice versa), she found herself in a happy relationship that has lasted more than a decade. “You have to be assertive and bold. Choose who you want to spend time with. Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting to be chosen. You’ll get passed by,” said Solomon, who now lives in Florida. Solomon, who subsequently worked as a syndicated columnist and radio-show host as an expert in the field of senior dating, offered the following tips for those who are wandering through the dating world: Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re ready to start dating, you have to socialize. For those who have spent most of their adult years as a spouse and homebody, this can come as a bit of a challenge, but “you have to develop some kind of social life,” Solomon said. Find social groups that share your interests. Start going out with friends or family. Invite your single friends for a night out. Let your friends and family set you up. Consider Internet dating. The stigma associated with online dating has been increasingly overshadowed by successful sites like, and A large chunk of the users on such sites are those who are over the age of fifty. Meanwhile, the Internet dating industry continues to be viable. Their growth at the end of this year is expected to exceed 16 percent since 2007 and according to Jupiter Research, online dating services were the third-largest attractor of users for paid content, preceded only by music and games.

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continued on p14


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Home & Family | Dating After 50

Have a clear understanding of what you need from a companion. “Be realistic. Identify the kind of person you need, not the kind of person you want. When you finally accept that a true Prince Charming doesn’t exist, you’ll find a lot more options,” Solomon said.

Work on your appearance. “You don’t need movie-star looks to be a knockout,” Solomon said. “Make sure you look great. It’s not about getting dressed for a man. It’s about getting dressed for yourself so you feel good and confident.”

Don’t waste your time on a married man. “Always good advice,” she noted.

Source: AARP 14

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February 2012

Everyday Calorie Burner You don’t have to run on a treadmill to burn calories. Many of the activities you do every day result in some calories burned. Here, Discovery Health and Harvard Medical School give us a ticker on how much of a workout can be culled from your daily tasks:

Grocery Shopping – 240 Calories. Wanna burn more? Bag the groceries yourself and then carry them out on your own. Dusting – 160 Calories

Cooking – 200 Calories. Make sure you make it a healthy one, though. You don’t want to be counterproductive.

Moving – 460 Calories. Next time one of your friends asks for your help, don’t shy away or grumble an excuse. Instead, get to work! Your waistline will thank you.

Painting – 350 Calories

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February 2012

Measuring the Muscle of Social Media


or to

Whether or not you want to spend passing minutes updating your profile on Facebook, snipping away 140 character announcements on Twitter or developing a Google+ profile depends on who you are, what you have to say and why you’re saying it, according to social media expert Ned Fasullo. Although many comparisons are made between Facebook and Twitter— leaders of the current social-media movement—Fasullo notes that putting the two mediums under the same microscope is akin to comparing apples to oranges. “Facebook and Twitter are not only different in terms of strategic use, but also in the core of what they are capable of doing,” said Fasullo, vice president of sales for Transformyx Inc., a technology consulting firm based in Baton Rouge. “Twitter is essentially a Web-based SMS system with a 140-character limit, while Facebook is a full-blown portal site with a ton of capabilities for people to have a profile up to a full Web presence.” In a sense, Twitter is to social media what text messaging is to cell phones. Tweets are ideal for short snippets of information, but aren’t able to efficiently relate the same comprehensive amount of information you’d find in, say, an email. Meanwhile Facebook, the domineering platform that overshadowed the MySpace spotlight to become to premiere outlet for online social networking, allows users to practically build a personal Web site. Facebook has become an essential part of communication for millions of individuals and businesses alike, while many still struggle with the limited functions of Twitter and unfamiliarity of Google+. “Twitter and Facebook both serve purposes as a part of a digital media strategy, but are used in very different, yet complimentary, ways. It all comes down to who you are and how you are using digital media to communicate with your target audience,” Fasullo said. “There is no right or wrong, but some tools work better than others for certain types of applications.” According to Fasullo, Twitter is ideal for individuals, politicians, celebrities, writers, authors and anyone with a personal following, as it allows them to



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Mardi Gras Madness!

In most places across the country, there are four distinct seasons. In Louisiana, there are five – summer, winter, fall, spring and Mardi Gras. If you’re ready to celebrate, you’re in the right place. Southwest Louisiana boasts one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the state.

‘Tis the season to let the good times roll!


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February 2012

The Cake that is King

Mardi Gras is packed full of historic revelry. Among the tastiest of traditions is the celebratory King Cake. When King Cakes begin to don your tables, you know what time it is—laissez les bon temps roulez! The original King Cakes were created in honor of the three kings who visited the Christ Child on Twelfth Night. This day—twelve days after Christmas, also known as “Little Christmas”—was considered a time for feasting and exchanging gifts. King Cakes, which were then a simple ring of dough, were part of the delicacies. Today, King Cakes are anything but simple or subtle. The rich Danish dough is braided, baked and topped with the most festive of frostings. Modern King Cakes are now being stuffed with delectable flavors like cream cheese, blueberry, strawberry and other fruit flavors. A longtime custom of King Cake baking includes the tiny baby, which is placed inside the dessert. Whoever receives the slice with the baby is asked to continue the feasting by bringing the next cake.

February 2012

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Make it Work There aren’t many designers who claim rhinestones, sequins and feathers as the essential elements of their craft, but for John Chavanne, they are the trinity of a hard day’s work. by Erin Kelly

photos by Shonda Manuel Costume designer John Chavanne will serve as this year’s grand marshal in the Krewe of Krewes parade.

and is best known for its annual theatrical There are rhinestones for details, sequins for extravaganza featuring elaborate costumes. splash and then the feathers. Let’s not forget O’Quinn designed costumes from original the feathers. In Chavanne’s hands, plumage is sketches and constructed mesmerizing pieces paramount. Ostrich, rooster, peacock, pheasant— with the help of other krewe members. for a Mardi Gras costume designer such as Chavanne says he is a student of the school Chavanne, these feathered friends are the true of hard knocks. He’s had no formal education kings and queens of the krewe. in fashion and has had learned something “I can do things with feathers that you’ve never new every step of the way. He’s ironed fabric seen,” jokes Chavanne, who has designed and that disintegrated under hot irons, purchased tailored Mardi Gras costumes for nearly twenty Bacardi Gras Costumes. Photo: gold and silver fabrics that were impossible to years. “Feathers and exotic trim are my signatures.” pin or manipulate, and developed a personal understanding of the powerful For Chavanne, Mardi Gras season descends throughout the year, with some of the more intricate costumes taking months to create. During the first quarter trifecta of colors, sequins and lighting. His matriculation through the “school of hard knocks” appears to have paid off nicely. He’s built a formidable reputation of every Louisiana year, he can be found behind massive glittery headdresses over the past several years; in 2011 he was commissioned by Bacardi to design with a hot glue gun, putting the finishing touches on costumes that are a series of costumes for their annual Bacardi Gras event and he has other destined for the “oooo and aaah” that Chavanne aspires to. faithful clients from krewes nationwide. “When a customer appears in the costume for the first time, I want to hear Just as revelers don’t settle for less than a rowdy party during the Mardi ‘oooo-aaah.’ That’s what I want—the ooo and the aaah. I don’t just want the Gras season, Chavanne doesn’t settle for less when designing his costumes. He ooo and I don’t just want the aaah. I gotta have both,” he says. attends exclusive shows where he’s able to purchase fabric that isn’t available Chavanne worked in menswear for years before falling under the tutelage locally and makes frequent trips to a city awash in its own glittery trifecta— of late costume designer David O’Quinn with the Krewe of Illusions in the early Vegas. 1990s. Krewe of Illusions is one of more than 50 krewes in Southwest Louisiana Continued on p22 20

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February 2012

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February 2012

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Beryl Brandt assists Chavanne.

Chavanne’s mother Billie is a regular employee.

Threads in beautiful colors, sequins, feathers and more go into each and every custom-made costume.

One of his favorite things about Mardi Gras is the way the holiday relishes its own excessiveness—there’s nothing wrong with going over-the-top when it comes to Mardi Gras wear, whether it’s blinking lights, motors or fireworks. For a designer of this legendary holiday, creativity runs rampant. “Mardi Gras costumes are all about ‘look at me,’ and I wanna help people accomplish that. When I’m at a Mardi Gras ball and someone walks out in one of my costumes, I don’t look at the costume. I look at the crowd. I want to hear their reactions, whether it’s ‘I can’t believe she wore blue,’ or ‘She looks amazing,’” Chavanne says. “I love it when a client comes in and says, ‘here are my colors, here’s my theme, have at it.’ That’s when I can really get creative.” Each costume begins with a consultation, during which Chavanne learns everything the customer wants—or doesn’t want—in their Mardi Gras revelry wear. Lighted costumes are among the most common requests. “Everybody wants lights or something automated. I’ve had people ask for motorized elements for their costume, until I ask them if they’re prepared to lug around a battery all night because unless you want to walk around with a cord or a generator, that’s what you’re gonna need,” he says. He’s designed costumes that weigh in excess of fifty pounds, but says that he has found innovative ways to decrease the weight of the massive headdresses and costumes required for krewe royalty. “I don’t use lumber anymore. I use a renewable Louisiana resource, but I’m not telling what it is.” He strives to make the costumes as comfortable as possible, but admits that when you’re part of Mardi Gras royalty, it’s all about extravagance, not comfort. “It hurts to be beautiful,” he said.


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February 2012

Throw Me Some Local Trivia, Mister!

Southwest Louisiana boasts the second-largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana, behind New Orleans. The Lake Area is also the only place in the state where the public is invited to view the ornate costumes of the royal courts from all the krewes at Twelfth Night and the Royal Gala. Wanna know more? The Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau has all the fun facts:

The average Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras costume weighs more than 50 pounds.

Most of the caps that you see on the costume-wearers began as a simple piece of aluminum foil.

The Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts a shoebox float contest every year, with the grand prize winner receiving cash and two tickets to the Royal Gala.

At the Twelfth Night presentation of courts, each person walking in the door gets a piece of King Cake.

The construction of most Southwest Louisiana costumes begins as early as the day after Mardi Gras. One of the earliest recorded Mardi Gras celebrations believed to have taken place in Southwest Louisiana was on Tuesday, February 21, 1882.

The tall, pointy hats typically seen at a Cajun Mardi Gras celebration are called capuchons and are meant to parody the headdresses of France’s noble ladies. The first Miss Mardi Gras of Imperial Calcasieu was crowned in 1983 and the title went to Miss Christine Marie Campbell.

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Mardi Gras Around the World Louisiana isn’t the only place that knows how to throw a good party. For many countries around the world, the days before Ash Wednesday are a time of revelry and celebration, some of which include fruitthrowing battles and cries of ‘Alaaf!’


The world’s most famous festive celebration centered around Lent doesn’t happen in New Orleans or Louisiana—it happens in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, where Carnival is considered to be the biggest popular party on the planet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Carnival celebration includes parades, street parties, masquerades and a variety of public celebrations similar to those in Louisiana. More than 1 million people descend on Brazil to take part in the party.


In Germany, Rose Monday—or Rosenmontag—is celebrated in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Rhineland. Although it is not celebrated on a Tuesday, the celebration shares many other of the marked characteristics of Lenten festivals. It is prevalent in Roman Catholic areas and includes costumes, dancing, parades and floats. People on the streets call out “Alaaf!” for vendors to throw sweets to them. 24


The Binche carnival in Binche, Belgium, has been celebrated since the 14th century and covers the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The centerpiece of the party are Gilles—performers who resemble clowns, wearing wax masks and wooden footwear. There are typically more than 1,000 Gilles in the Binche carnival. On the last day of the festivities, they dance through the streets to drumbeats. It is considered an honor to be a Gilles.


This country hosts a number of Lenten celebrations, one differing from the next, depending on the region. In Ivrea, the historic festival is known for the Battle of Oranges, in which foot teams pummel oranges to opponents riding through town on carts. The oranges represent ancient arrows and stones and the battle is meant to be symbolic of a civil war that occurred more than 2,000 years ago.

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February 2012

Mardi Gras by the numbers


1 of a Kind

number of cities in the U.S. that host official Mardi Gras celebrations

Lake Charles’ annual Royal Gala is the only Mardi Gras event in the country that allows the public to view all of the royal courts in their costumes

source: Wikipedia


number of days between Mardi Gras and Easter source: Mardi Gras New Orleans


year the first King Cake appeared in New Orleans when the Rex Krewe selected the Mardi Gras colors (purple, green and gold)



annual economic impact of Mardi Gras in Lake Charles source: Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau

250 number of costumes displayed at the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, making it the largest such collection in the country

number of active krewes in Lake Charles



February 24, 1857 date of the first Mardi Gras parade which took place in New Orleans

63 February 2012

number of active krewes in New Orleans Thrive Magazine for Better Living


For all your

Mardi Gras needs! Gowns C Jewelry C Evening bags C Masks C Unique court gifts C

Mastering Mardi Gras Are Carnival and Mardi Gras the same thing? Don’t confuse Carnival and Mardi Gras! Carnival refers to the period of feasting and fun which always begins on January 6th, The Feast of the Epiphany. Mardi Gras refers to Fat Tuesday, the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.

When was the first Mardi Gras? The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans on February 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. They began the tradition of presenting a parade with floats and following it with a ball for the krewe and their guests.

What is the significance of the Mardi Gras colors, and where did they come from? Rex, the King of Carnival, selected the Mardi Gras colors and assigned meaning to them in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

How long have “throws” been around? 2214 Ryan St. Lake Charles, LA 337-439-1418

The tradition of float riders throwing trinkets to the crowds began in the 1870s, and still continues today. Typical throws include beads, cups, and doubloons. Source:

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February 2012

We’re a Louisiana Krewe – Born and Raised At the Center for Orthopaedics, Southern hospitality our first specialty. That’s because all of our physicians were born and raised right in here in Louisiana, and we’re proud of it. We’re also proud to be the region’s largest, independent musculoskeletal group. This allows us to provide our patients with the type of care they expect and deserve – care that is courteous, respectful of their time, and of the highest quality. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing the latest technological advances to Southwest Louisiana so that our patients won’t have to leave home to get the orthopaedic care they need. After all, we have a vested interest in keeping our community healthy. It’s our home too.

Excellence In Motion (337) 721-7236 • Lake Charles: 1747 Imperial Blvd. Sulphur: 250 S. Beglis Pkwy., Ste. 1 DeRidder: 111 N. Royal St.

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February 2012

OUR DOCTORS: James Perry, MD John Noble Jr., MD Geoffrey Collins, MD Craig Morton, MD Tyson Green, DPM Steven Hale, MD

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Money & Career

S ’ T I TAX E M I T Prepare your papers, sharpen your pencils, get out your calculators and hit your favorite e-filing site because Tax Day is peeking around the corner. The good news: You’re getting a deadline break this year. April 15 falls on a Sunday and the following Monday is Emancipation Day—a holiday observed in the District of Columbia—so taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, to get the numerical job done. The bad news: You still have to get it done. Check out Thrive’s guide to quick tax tips to help you tackle the task. 28

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February 2012

Choosing a Preparer As a taxpayer, you are legally responsible for what’s on your tax return even if someone else prepares it. Therefore, it is important to choose your preparer carefully. Before seeking a preparer, you might consider these tips, provided by the IRS: Check the preparer’s qualifications and history. You should ask the preparer if they are associated with the professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources. As of 2011, all paid tax return preparers are required to have a preparer tax identification number. Additionally, check the preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants. You should try to avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers. Also, your tax preparer should be accessible, even after the April due date in case questions arise.

Most reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and qualifications for expenses, deductions and other items. Avoid tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank tax form. You should always review the entire return before signing it and ask any questions you may have. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it. A paid preparer must sign the return and include their identification number as required by the law. Be sure you receive a copy of the return. Before seeking a paid preparer, taxpayers might consider how much information is available directly from the IRS through the IRS Web site.

Tax Scams

Every year the IRS tracks a multitude of schemes—each of which has serious consequences, not just for the perpetrators but the victims. If convicted of tax fraud or evasion you could face a steep tax price: the tax you thought you were avoiding plus penalties and interest. Tax-orientated scams are at their highest during the January to April filing season. To help you avoid unwanted tax consequences, the IRS advises that you make yourself aware of these common and potentially costly tax scams.

Insurance and Investments Butch Ferdinandsen

• Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on excess or withheld Social Security benefits. In some cases non-existent Social Security refunds or rebates have been the bait used by the con-artists. In other situations, taxpayers deserve the tax credits they are promised but the preparer uses fictitious or inflated information on the return, which results in a fraudulent return.

Investment AdvIsor representAtIve CFP®, CRPS, CRPC

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Advisor. P.O. Box 64284 St. Paul, MN 55164 (651) 738-4000.

• Claims that Treasury Form 1080 can be used to transfer funds from the Social Security Administration to the IRS enabling a payout from the IRS, unfamiliar for-profit tax services teaming up with local churches, home-made flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility and offers of free money with no documentation required. Flyers and advertisements for free money from the IRS, suggesting that the taxpayer can file with little or no documentation, have been appearing in community churches around continued on p30 February 2012

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Money & Career


the country. Promoters are targeting church congregations, exploiting their good intentions and credibility. These schemes also often spread by word of mouth among unsuspecting and well-intentioned people telling their friends and relatives. 
Promoters of these scams often prey upon lowincome individuals and the elderly. • Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns,” claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or Recovery Rebate Credit and advice on claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit based on exaggerated reports of self-employment income. They build false hopes and charge people good money for bad advice. In the end, the victims

discover their claims are rejected or the refund barely exceeds what they paid the promoter. Meanwhile, their money and the promoters are long gone. Unsuspecting individuals are most likely to get caught up in scams and the IRS is warning all taxpayers, and those that help others prepare returns, to remain vigilant. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anyone with questions about a tax credit or program should visit, call the IRS toll-free number at 800-829-1040 or visit a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Avoid Red Flags with Auditors An audit flag is anything out of the ordinary that strays too far from statistical norms. An IRS employee will manually review a flagged return to determine if there is an actual need for an audit. Audit flags don’t guarantee you’ll be audited, but they do mean that the IRS will most likely take a closer look at your return. Here are ten of the most common ways to bring a personal return to the attention of the IRS. 1. Incomplete or Sloppy Returns Math errors and missing information prompt scrutiny. If the IRS computer can’t make sense of what you’ve filed and a human has to check to find the mistake it might raise a red flag. This is a good reason to file your taxes electronically because computers will help catch these avoidable errors. 2. Unreported Income If you file a return but fail to report income received, you’re heading for trouble. All of your interest, dividends and miscellaneous income MUST be reported. Remember everyone who sends you a 1099 is also sending one to the IRS. 3. Suspiciously Low Income If you are “making” much less than others in the same profession, this will raise a flag. 4. Having a High Income Though fewer than one percent of taxpayers are audited each year, those making more than $100,000 are five times more likely to come under scrutiny. 5. Drastic Changes in Income Unexplained fluctuations in income can indicate that something was underreported somewhere. Most people don’t have income that swings wildly up and down, and the IRS knows this. 6. Round Numbers It’s unlikely that your investment returns were exactly $500, or that your mortgage interest deduction was $10,000. Too many round numbers on a return is sign that something fishy may be going on. 7. Too many Charitable Contributions Charity is good, but too much charity can raise a red flag. If the average person in your income bracket donates about $1,000 to charity and you claim you donated $5,000, you are going to increase the odds of an audit. Make sure you save your receipts!


8. Participating in Tax Scams The IRS is trained to deal with common tax evasion attempts. So the bottom-line is DON’T DO IT! 9. High Itemized Deductions Anything too far from the averages is likely to bring your return to the attention of the IRS. There is nothing wrong with claiming all of the deductions to which you are entitled, but be aware that if you have a lot of itemizations, you’re more likely to be audited. 10. Disagreements between State and Federal Returns This is another example of how being sloppy and reluctant can hurt you. Be sure that your information matches on both your state and federal returns.

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S R I The chances of you being audited by the IRS ultimately depends upon these various factors that can be easily avoided by you. Source: Money Magazine

February 2012



As the nation’s economic roller coaster continues, most families have increased their savings in an effort to prepare for the uncertainty. People are shoring up their own economy as frustration mounts on a wide variety of issues, from Congress’ performance to the continuing increase in the national debt. Currently, personal savings is around five percent—not as high as the eight percent norm from 1970 to 2000, but not the dismal one percent of 2005. “Consumers are making money-smart choices,” said Amanda Vaughn, new accounts representative with First National Bank in DeRidder. “They’re looking closely at every dollar spent and putting more away in savings. Customers that I talk with say they realize they can’t control the national economy, but they can control their own savings accounts.” In recent years, people spent more than they made, hoping that their home value would continue to increase in order to fund their retirement. When the credit and housing bubbles burst, it was a wake up call. A peek at other countries’ savings rates show that America falls short when compared to Ireland at 19 percent, Belgium at 12 percent or Hungary at nine percent, but we save more than England at four percent and Korea at three percent. As we look into our slowly growing savings accounts, how much is enough? There’s no one answer to fit every situation, but most money experts advise having a minimum of $1,000 set aside for emergencies. After that, aim to save enough to cover six months of living expenses. “Once you reach that goal, continue until you have a year’s worth of cash set aside. It’s a challenge, but when you achieve it, you’ll rest better knowing you have that cushion,” said Vaughn. Knowing where to keep your rainy-day fund is another important decision. Since this is a nest egg that you need to rely on and have quick access to, the most logical choice is a savings account instead of the stock market. “Personal savings earmarked for emergencies shouldn’t be invested. This is money that you may need to get quickly and you need to know what you put in is what is there,” explained Vaughn. “The stock market is for long-term investments when you can withstand ups and downs.” The shift to a more conservative approach to personal finances allows Americans to build a stronger financial foundation. Loans and mortgages should fit within a sensible budget and be combined with a good-sized savings account. “This is what will build a stronger national economy,” Vaughn said. by Christine Fisher

February 2012

How Can You Keep More of Your Retirement Income?

No one enjoys paying income taxes. That’s especially true for retirees, who are carefully managing income once the paycheck stops. Understanding how different types of retirement assets are taxed is important in a sound retirement income strategy. Your financial advisor can help you create an income stream designed with your lifetime in mind. 625 West College St., Lake Charles, LA 337-474-4025

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Money & Career

Gossip in the Workplace is Bad for Business by Kristy Armand

“Pssst. You’ll never believe this.” Sound familiar? Just hearing the phrase probably whets your appetite for the latest office gossip. The rumor mill is alive and well in today’s workplace, and thanks to email, texting, and social media, the grapevine is actually growing at a faster rate than ever. In the workplace, there’s no shortage of topics to discuss around the proverbial water cooler: from office romances to who’s in line for a promotion to the loud voices overhead in the office down the hall. One survey by the American Society for Training and Development found that over 65 percent of Americans said they gossip at work “sometimes,” and more than one in five admits to being a “frequent participant” in workplace gossip. Chauntelle LeJeune, MA, LMFT, LPC, Therapist with Solutions EAP (Employee Assistance Program), says odds are that number is actually much higher since many people do not want to admit how much they participate in gossip. “We all know that gossip in the workplace is very common, but what you may not realize is the harm it can cause. Workplace gossip can have a very destructive impact on a business, negatively affecting both the people being talked about and the organization as a whole.” While some gossip may be harmless and help build camaraderie among employees, LeJeune explains that gossip, by its very nature, is a negative form of communication. “There is much more potential for harm than good resulting from any type of gossip. The definition of gossip is ‘disseminated information motivated by ego and status needs.’ This applies even if the basis for the information being spread around is factual. It’s the intent that makes gossip a problem.” LeJeune says people who engage in gossip do so for several reasons. They may have a strong need to “fit in,” and feel that gossip will help them achieve this. Some gossipers suffer from low self-esteem and think by appearing to be an information source, or by saying something negative about a coworker, they are raising their own credibility. “Unfortunately, gossiping often has the opposite effect, and chronic gossipers are often viewed with distrust by their co-workers and as trouble-makers by their superiors.” Rampant gossip can cause numerous negative consequences throughout a company, including lost productivity and wasted time, erosion of trust and morale, damaged reputations of individuals and the business, and potential liability. LeJeune says companies may even lose good employees as the result of the unhealthy work environment created by out-of-control gossip. “It’s important for individuals and companies to work on controlling gossip within the workplace,” says LeJeune. “For employees, it’s naturally very difficult to resist the lure of hearing the ‘latest scoop.’ But think about what you are doing before you become part of a vicious gossip cycle.” LeJeune says when approached by a gossiper, you can stop the process by taking these steps: • Ask: Who told you this and do they know you are telling me? • Ask if you may quote them when you look into the situation. • Tell them directly you are uncomfortable talking about a person or situation when you don’t have all the facts. • Simply remove yourself from the situation.

if someone said something similar about you? Are you going to feel better or worse later if you say this? Would you be okay with whatever you are about to say being repeated to your boss or printed in a company memo? The answers to these questions can help you make the right decision about whether you are positively communicating, or gossiping. The bottom line is, if it can’t be said in a group setting, then whatever it is is hurtful in some way to someone else.” For businesses, LeJeune stresses that management is a key factor in determining whether or not the rumor mill controls the workplace. “First and foremost, managers should lead by example and never participate in gossip. Establish a corporate attitude of mutual respect and clear communication. Be sure that you are not participating in gossip. Remember, you set the tone for how you want your employees to behave. Some degree of gossip in the workplace is inevitable. “It’s just part of the workplace culture – and human nature,” says LeJeune. “But by addressing the issue directly, and working toward open, accurate communication, companies and employees can minimize any negative consequences of gossip and enjoy a positive and more productive workplace.” Solutions EAP offers workshops about managing gossip in the workplace. For more information, call Solutions at 310-2822.

LeJeune says the steps you need to take if you are the gossiper are a little different, and will take self-discipline. “When you are tempted to gossip, you should stop and ask yourself if what you are saying is true, harmless or even necessary to communicate. How would you feel 32

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February 2012

What’s your Number?

It’s time for the Kohl’s Kids Club party!

Why your Debt-toIncome Ratio Matters by Kristy Armand

It’s time to pull out those dusty math skills you learned in high school and college, and use them to solve an important calculation about your personal finances: your debt-to-income ratio. This number provides a good reflection of your financial stability and is something that a lender will be looking at any time you apply for a loan. When consumers seek to open lines of credit, they often operate under the mistaken belief that their payment history on other credit accounts – credit cards, car loans, or mortgages, for example – is the single most important element that lenders consider. Although payment history is obviously a vital indicator of a consumer’s credit worthiness, Lyles McDaniel, Senior Vice President with Lakeside Bank, says it’s not the only factor that is calculated into credit scores. Debt-to-income ratio is another consideration that carries significant weight in lenders’ credit decisions. Debt-to-income ratio measures a consumer’s debt burden against their income. “In other words, it compares how much you owe to how much you make,” explains McDaniel. “Let’s say you earn $1,000 a month, but your debts are $500. You would have a debt-to-income ratio of 50 percent.” This ratio typically comes into play when an individual or couple is ready to apply for a mortgage loan. Although debt-to-income is rarely given a second thought, it should definitely be looked at, ideally before you apply for your loan. If you have a high ratio, you may want to get all your finances in order before going to the lender. Because there are numerous factors that lenders consider before they approve or decline a loan application, it’s difficult to give a magic ratio number that guarantees a yes or a no, explains McDaniel. But there are several things applicants can do to optimize their credit worthiness as it relates to debt-to-income. First, determine what your ratio is.

Saturday, February 25, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Kohl’s entrance inside Prien Lake Mall At this FREE Carnival of Nutrition, kids will enjoy fun games and activities that will teach them about healthy habits – from proper meal portions and a well-balanced diet, to the importance of exercise and physical activity. They’ll have the opportunity to join the Kohl’s Kids Club START! Walking program if they’re not already members, plus we’ll show them the Kohl’s START! Walking Path that goes all the way around the inside of the mall.

Visit to register!


continued on p34 February 2012

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Money & Career | What’s Your Number? It’s simple: Calculate all your recurring debt – payments on your credit cards, automobiles, and child support payments, for example – divide that number by your monthly income. You don’t need to factor in the cost of groceries or entertainment in the calculation. Although there is no “magic number,” lenders typically prefer a debtto-income ratio of about 36 percent, according to McDaniel. Ideally, your mortgage would encompass no more than 28 percent of that. A debt-to-income ratio of 40 percent is usually considered on the high end. “Many Americans today live on credit, so high-end ratios won’t come as a surprise to your lender; however, if you find that your ratio is over 50 percent, you may want to seriously consider taking a good, hard look at your finances.” You may be able to qualify for a loan with a high-end ratio, but it’s better to live on the lower-end of the spectrum, McDaniel says, if you want the best interest rate and loan package. “It’s tempting to pack on debt because it seems like an easy fix at the time, but it will come back to haunt you later,” stresses McDaniel. “There’s nothing inherently wrong with debt. Everyone has it. But you have to maintain a realistic and responsible financial picture to be deemed credit worthy by lenders, especially considering current market conditions.” For more information about personal loans, call Lakeside at (337) 474-3766.

That’s Our Take on Fitness.

Everyone’s fitness journey is unique. At Dynamic Dimensions, we make it personal and DYNAMIC. Our degreed, certified trainers will help you find the determination, will and commitment it takes to move and change. From group fitness programs and personal training to aquatics and free weights, we provide you with different ways to get moving—and have fun doing it. Fitness begins wherever you are; with our encouraging staff and convenient locations, we’re here to keep you motivated and moving. Wherever you are on the road to fitness, we are the perfect fit. 34

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Scan here to read local success stories that will inspire you. February 2012

All you need to know to stay in the know! Local Delegates Complete Trade Mission to Israel Delegates from Southwest Louisiana recently completed their first international trade mission to Israel. According to the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, the mission was intended to build a partnership between Louisiana-based companies who have a vast and varied industrial history related to oil and natural gas and Israeli-based companies who remain in their infancy. Billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are believed to be available in Israeli waters of the Mediterranean. Opportunities are being explored for Louisiana companies to become involved in the emerging Israel oil and gas industry. The trade mission was certified and supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and was unique in that it combined a commercial and economic trade mission with a political and diplomatic mission. The political and diplomatic side, led by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Undersecretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez, also included the President of the Export Import Bank of the United States, Fred Hochberg and was hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro. Pictured are the Louisiana and Israeli delegations at the Tel Aviv Conference.

Market Basket Acquires Big Star Supermarkets Market Basket, a family-owned business based in Nederland, Texas, has acquired Big Star Supermarkets in West Central Louisiana. The ownership change occurred in November 2011 and added four stores to Market Basket’s family, bringing the total to 35 stores across two states. Additionally, the purchase moves Market Basket into a new region and continues the growth and expansion that began more than 50 years ago. The new stores are located in Many, Zwolle, Mansfield and Toledo Town.

Debut of Netfit.Tv, a series of high-quality workout videos you can do at home or the gym through PC, Roku application or Smart TV/Phone, has been launched by local fitness professional Carl Comeaux and longtime local producer Chris Lognion. offers a home series with a variety of workout styles, such as, yoga, boot camp, Pilates, step, gym, core, kickboxing, muscle conditioning, and more. Every workout video has three people with three levels—beginner, intermediate and advanced. includes a gym series. Participants can receive training and motivation while at the gym through demos and cues on the smart phone. Cost of the service is $7/month. For more information, contact Comeaux or Lognion at 853-2122 or email carl@

Fur & Wildlife Festival Named Top 20 Event The Southeast Tourism Society recently honored the Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival as a 2012 Top 20 Event for the month of January. The festival was held in Cameron from January 1314 and included parades, dances with authentic Cajun music, exhibits and a carnival, along with some rather unusual events such as trap setting contests, nutria and muskrat skinning, oyster shucking contests, skeet shooting and dog trials. The Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau is a member of STS, an organization that promotes travel to and within the southeastern part of the United States. Events are selected from each of the following STS member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Pictured: Convention and Visitors Bureau Chairman of the Board of Directors Michael Carrier presents the STS Top 20 Event Award to Louisiana Fur & Wildlife Festival representative, Telesha Bertrand.

What makes Lake Area Custodial Services the best commercial cleaning service in Southwest Louisiana? Our people.

W e hire mature, motivated team membe rs.

Moss Regional Earns Seal of Approval The Dr. Walter O. Moss Regional Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its advanced certification in heart failure by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in advanced heart failure care. Moss Regional is one of only two institutions in Louisiana to earn this recognition for advanced certification in heart failure and one of only 40 in the nation to do so. The Joint Commission sets the standards by which health care quality is measured nationally and internationally. Its certification award recognizes that the program at Moss Regional has met the most stringent standards of performance. To receive certification, the institution underwent a rigorous, unannounced, on-site review. February 2012

Our commitment to excellence.

M onthly inspections help us maintain our rigorous standards.

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Social Media - continued from p17


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February 2012

make brief statements that don’t necessarily require an overload of content. “Twitter is what I would call an ‘announcement engine,’ where Facebook is more of a ‘content engine.’ Facebook allows you to post, communicate and collaborate on a variety of uploaded or linked content. Twitter, on the other hand, is more of a bullhorn.” Fasullo predicts that Twitter will eventually be acquired by Microsoft, Facebook or Google, which continues to struggle with the take-off of its own social media platform known as Google+. Like many other Facebook veterans, Fasullo has created and used a Google+ account, but finds that it fails to come close to competing with the industry giant—a task that he admits is formidable, all things considered. “Facebook is so far and away ahead of the pack. It’s tough to compete,” he said. “The true value of any social network is solely based on the total number of subscribers, not necessarily the technology itself. Google+ is obviously nowhere near Facebook’s 800-plus million subscribers and honestly, its feature sets are simply not as intuitive. It will always be a distant third or fourth in my world.” Inarguably Facebook has changed the landscape of online behavior—not just relative to social networking, but relative to how users continue to utilize the ever-evolving world of the Internet. Facebook has changed the way people connect and interact with each other, but has also revolutionized the connectivity between users and advertisers. Social media has become such a force that it has found its way into virtually every platform we use. “As far as what the future holds, there is definitely a growth sector in social networking that encompasses live video and audio as opposed to the keyboard and mouse. This is mainly because as a culture, the concept of computing is becoming much more interactive and tactile with the huge influx of multi-touch devices and desktop PCs. The keyboard and mouse will have an expiration date and I believe that before 2020 we will be an almost keyboard and mouse-free environment when it comes to personal and business computing,” Fasullo said. “We will still have onscreen keyboards but gesture-based computing as well as simply speaking to your device and having it act are already becoming part of our lives. Does this make us more ‘social’? Who knows, but it is a much more efficient way of interacting with our technology in our regular environments for home and work. I look forward to a more social future.”


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February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Places & Faces



at LeBocage

by Erin Kelly

Gavin Leday

photo by Shonda Manuel


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012


hen most people in Southwest Louisiana think about horses, they think about trail rides and barrel races, not the formalized sequence of movements performed in equestrian competitions. The competitive equestrian sport known as “dressage,” descended from European aristocrats, is often considered a high-brow, elitist sport reserved for the wealthy in more sophisticated parts of the country. Lake Charles would seem an unlikely place to develop stables dedicated to classical aristocratic horse-riding, yet along the winding road of South Park Drive, Le Bocage keeps a steady flow of riders at every level—some are talented competitors, others are beginners who want to learn the skill, and some simply want to know what horse-riding is all about. The facility encompasses 100 acres and was developed with input from world-renowned Olympic designer Leopaldo Palacio. The two barns include 20 14x14 stalls each, which are equipped with automatic fly systems, automatic watering and OCEA-regulated fans providing year-round ventilation. Riding areas include a large outdoor arena, large covered and lighted arena and private riding trails. Horse trainer Michael Radich admits that Southwest Louisiana’s relationship with horses has revolved mostly around Western riding—trail rides, barrel racing, reigning, and farm work—but says that there is certainly a place here for the English discipline. “What we’re doing here is unique to the area,” said Radich, who has ridden horses all his life. “But riding is for anybody. Any age or personality. You can match a horse and rider for a perfect partnership.” The International Equestrian Federation has called dressage (pronounced dress-AH-j) the “highest expression of horse training.” The sport, sometimes called “horse ballet,” is derived from ancient military movements developed to train horses to be obedient, maneuverable and able to jump obstacles. Eventually, European aristocrats with expensive and obedient fox-hunting horses began to compete in equestrian pageants to determine whose horse was best. “As the sport progressed, the nobility had more warm-blooded and pedigreed horses because of their temperaments,” Radich said. He noted, however, that the sport is no longer limited to the upper echelon. “When you go to a competition today, you see all different kinds of horses and horse trailers.” The relationship between horse and rider gives horse-riding unique characteristics that aren’t often found in other sports, according to Chris Nelson, head trainer and consultant for Le Bocage.

“ What we’re doing here is unique to the area.” – Michael Radich

Trainer Michael Radich talks with a competitor. (Photo courtesy of M. Radich.)

“There’s a very special bond between horse and rider. Not only do you have to have strength, endurance and willpower as a rider, but you have to deal with the mood of the horse. Just like people, horses sometimes wake up and aren’t having the best day. You have to learn to work together. Once you do, it’s very rewarding,” Nelson said. continued on p43

Photo courtesy Le Bocage

photo by Shonda Manuel

February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Places & Faces

first person

First Person is a monthly Q&A that features compelling people who excel in their chosen endeavors. Ideas for future Q&As? Email

with Kelby Ouchley


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

by Erin Kelly

February 2012


Ouchley was born in a small town in southern Mississippi. He believes that some people have a genetic disposition to be attracted to the natural world and for the Ouchley children, this was certainly the case. Ouchley’s personal foundation was built along the waterways and woods of the south and the same is true of his three siblings – one teaches wildlife ecology, another is a conservation advocate and a third is director of the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana. They were raised in the rich rural atmosphere of Louisiana and were greatly influenced by all its hums and buzzes. Ouchley, now retired, has worked as a biologist and manager of National Wildlife Refuges for 30 years, mostly in Louisiana. He has spent his retirement years “writing, traveling and chasing butterflies,” as he says. He is author of Bayou-Diversity: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country, published by LSU Press, Iron Branch: A Civil War Tale of a Woman In-Between and Flora and Fauna of the Civil War: An Environmental Reference Guide. Ouchley also narrates a weekly natural history radio program for KEDM 90.3, a public radio station servicing Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. He is a past recipient of the Governor’s Conservationist of the Year Award from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation. Today, he and his wife Amy live on the edge of D’Arbonna Swamp “in a cypress house surrounded by white oaks and black hickories.” As a naturalist, Ouchley says his goal is to enhance daily awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world in which we live – a world which has served as his cornerstone for more than sixty years. Thrive contacted Ouchley to discuss his relationship with the natural world and the relationship that nature has with all of us.

February 2012

What features of Louisiana make our state unique, as far as biology, ecosystem and environment are concerned? We are a reflection of our geography, that of today and of the last several hundred thousand years. Geography dictates our topography, climate and soils, which in turn manifests our environment. For better and worse, we encompass the terminus of the largest river on the continent. Louisiana is the wetlands state, but contrary to the views of people who are not familiar with Louisiana, we are more. We harbor five major ecosystems, some of which are not defined by wetlands. On your Web site ( you describe bayous as “curious watercourses.” What do you find most curious about Louisiana bayous? Even many Louisiana citizens are not aware of the extent that bayous braid the state from north to south. More than 400 named bayous in 62 of 64 parishes seek the shortest route to the Gulf of Mexico across a landscape void of significant relief. A few creep into the flat fringes of other Gulf Coast states and Arkansas where Bayou Bartholomew, the longest bayou in the country (about 375 miles), heads up. Bayous exist in the state’s largest city of New Orleans (Bayou St. John), smallest village of Mound (Walnut Bayou), and within the corporate limits of the capitol of Baton Rouge (Elbow Bayou). Bayous are natural, relatively small waterways that flow through swamps and other lowlands in most cases. Except during flood events, currents in bayous are usually sluggish or absent. Crystalline waters are not a characteristic of bayous as they meander through heavy clay soils and capture the washed-in sediments of subtropical rains. Their shores are often dressed in live oaks and big-butted cypress trees laden with Spanish moss and parula warblers. Other riparian areas are comprised of agricultural fields of cotton, soybeans, rice, and sugar cane, or infrequently pines and upland hardwoods. Inhabitants of bayous have notable reputations and include crawfish, cottonmouths, mosquitoes, alligator gars, alligator snapping turtles, and alligators. Plenty of other species, more innocuous in their manners, are dependent on bayous and their watersheds. Glorious places if undammed, unditched, and unpolluted, they are worthy of conservation if for no other reason than Louisiana without the living gumbo of bayous would not be Louisiana, the Bayou State.

of years I have been involved in a project to survey the dragonflies and damselflies of Louisiana. Now those are some fascinating creatures! What features of flora and fauna fascinate you most? Here are some remarkable numbers. No less than 3,249 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been found growing in Louisiana. More than 450 species of wild birds have been recorded in the state. About 150 species of freshwater fishes swim our bayous, streams, lakes, ponds, sloughs, and marshes. Many other kinds of saltwater fish cruise our coast. As for reptiles and amphibians, the list includes 27 types of frog, 22 salamanders, 14 lizards, 27 turtles, 39 snakes, and the alligator. Wild mammals, from dolphins to deer, number about 80. Invertebrates, those creatures without backbones, exist in numbers that defy counting. We Louisianans are known for two in particular – mosquitos and crawfish. It is this diversity of flora and fauna that fascinates me most. On your Web site you also mention the “connectivity of all living things.” What is your philosophy on this connectivity and how it relates to mankind and the environment? If I could choose one concept to leave with readers, it would be that of “connections”—links between humans and the natural world. Connections can also be links between plants or animals and their habitats. Everyone knows that fish need water, but few realize that many prairie plants need fire to survive. Spanish moss needs clean air, spring peepers need seasonal pools, and mud daubers need mud. Connections can be broad—all animals depend on plants either directly or indirectly, or continued on p42

In Bayou-Diversity, you discuss a great number of Louisiana wildlife. What creatures of Louisiana fascinate you most? I worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a biologist and manager of National Wildlife Refuges for 30 years, mostly in Louisiana. During this period I also had chances to work with wildlife in places as exotic as Hudson Bay and the Chihuahuan Desert. None of these wildlife experiences were more alluring than those that occurred often in Louisiana. I have been blessed with hands-on opportunities to capture and tag thousands of ducks, hundreds of alligators, several bald eagles, and one Louisiana black bear. My interests though are not limited to these charismatic critters. For the last couple Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Places & Faces | First Person very specific—red-cockaded woodpeckers need old pine trees infected with the fungus that causes red heart disease in the tree. Rare indigo snakes need the burrows of endangered gopher tortoises in southeast Louisiana. In the hill country of north Louisiana beech drops grow only under the disappearing beech trees. As a species and as individuals there is little that we do that does not impact other living things by affecting connections. The consequences of our actions on other life forms can be negative or beneficial. The scale can vary from global extinction of a species to preservation of entire ecosystems. Clearing bottomland hardwood forests in the lower Mississippi Valley insured the demise of ivory-billed woodpeckers, but conservation efforts have likely preserved the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The same action can be fatal to individuals yet essential to the wellbeing of a whole population, as in the use of hunting as a tool to maintain healthy deer herds. Most detrimental impacts are the result of cumulative actions. The fact that I drive a gasoline-powered truck each day doesn’t impact caribou in northern Alaska. The fact that 50 million people drive similar vehicles may seriously affect caribou as the demand for oil and its associated activities in the fragile Arctic displace the herds. Knowing the connections is important. It is even more important to realize that we have not yet figured out most of the connections, and that many will always elude our comprehension. These in particular are no less significant to the players involved. Recognizing that unknown connections exist is as important as proven facts in making daily decisions that impact the natural world. In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges of conservation today? All those working to instill sound conservation practices today can be compared to a group of mountain climbers trying to reach the summit of a towering volcano that is rising in height every day from the ocean floor. In this case, the volcano is the human population on Earth. Almost three times as many people live and consume the natural resources of our planet as in the year I was born. The mountain is still rising. All conservation problems are linked to our growing demand for natural resources, whether it is oil from south Louisiana, or lumber from giant trees in the Amazon basin. Most involve the loss or degradation of plant and animal habitat be it freshwater marsh, tropical rainforest, or the entire atmosphere. When some ephemeral threshold of habitat loss is reached entire ecosystems are disrupted. At that point processes that provide benefits upon which we depend (e.g. clean air and water, flood and storm protection, pharmaceuticals, food, and recreation) are driven askew. The greatest conservation challenge today is to teach people about the connections between our growing demand for finite natural resources and the well-being of our own species. We’ll make the right decisions if this is accomplished.

As an increasing number of children are raised indoors – with video games, television, and the like – it could be argued that fewer are building a relationship with nature. In what ways does a relationship with nature enhance our quality of life? Studies have shown that children between the ages of 8-18 are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. The head of the National Wildlife Federation recently said, “The nature of childhood has changed, and there isn’t much nature in it.” As a result, an estimated 13 million U.S. children and adolescents are obese due to sedentary lifestyles. In this vein, House and Senate versions of a bill titled the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act have been introduced to support strategies to connect youth and families with the natural world, with a goal of improving children’s health in addition to supporting conservation efforts. For many people the aesthetic and spiritual values of a relationship with nature are vital and immeasurable. The link can occur in the form of hunting, fishing, bird watching, gardening, camping, or a simple walk in the park. In these and other related activities the connections are realized. Ouchley’s books are available through his website, www.bayou-diversity. com, as well as through Amazon and other booksellers.

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February 2012

Places & Faces | Horse Ballet continued from page 39 Radich explained that horses and riders don’t necessarily evolve together in skill—usually, one is more skilled than the other, especially when first starting out. “Horse and rider do grow and mature together. However, when you’re learning, you don’t want a green rider and a green horse together. Teamwork develops when the green horse is paired with the more experienced rider, or vice versa. One of the two needs to know more than the other,” he said. “Horses are flight animals. When they’re threatened, their instinct is to run and when they take off running, they have an internal clock that tells them when it’s time to stop. If they’re still running, they’ll wonder why and look to their trainer to explain it to them. It’s truly a bond and partnership.” He said people often compare horses to dogs or assign horses with canine characteristics; probably because the relationship between master and dog is the most familiar animal-training dynamic for most people. There are few actual characteristics shared between the animals, however. “Horses by nature aren’t very intelligent animals,” Radich said. “They each have their own distinct personalities, but despite what some people think, they aren’t very intelligent.” Horses also don’t have the instinctual need to please their masters as dogs do, nor are they as social, according to Radich. Rather than displaying obedience to appease the trainer, horses are reacting to their master’s actions. “They are very sensitive animals. They pick up very easily on their trainers. If they feel something isn’t right with the trainer, they won’t act right either.” Because trainers and riders have to be conscientious of the energy they’re putting off toward the animal, building a relationship with a horse can be therapeutic and stress-reducing, Radich said. A successful relationship between humans and horses requires compassion, patience, kindness and leadership— characteristics that make a rider exceptional. Radich said the patrons of Le Bocage range from people who simply want horse-riding lessons to those who want to compete at higher levels. Le Bocage also offers boarding, therapeutic riding, pony parties, camps and special events

throughout the year. Riding lessons are available for those of all ages and skill levels. “It’s a great place to get involved—a great place to take time to devote to something,” Nelson said. “And for those interested in competing, it’s a great time to be in the horse business. In any other sport, you hope that your opponents perform poorly so you will do well, but in the equestrian world, it’s not that way. We are all very friendly. We’re all great friends. We want other riders to do well because it betters the competition and as a result, helps us better ourselves.” Jumps are an essential part of dressage. (Photo courtesy of M. Radich.)

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Places & Faces

Movers and Shakers in Southwest News? You tell us! Send press releases to Louisiana... Who’s with the subject line “Who’s News.”

Noble Research Results Published McDaniel Joins Lakeside Lyles McDaniel has joined the staff of Lakeside Bank as a Senior Vice President. McDaniel is from Lake Charles and is a graduate of the Louisiana School of Banking at Louisiana State University. He also Lyles McDaniel earned a general banking diploma from the American Institute of Banking and completed the Louisiana Banking School for Supervisory Training at the University of Louisiana. McDaniel has over 34 years of experience in the Southwest Louisiana banking industry, working in a variety of positions, including branch manager, personal lending officer, commercial lender, regional manager and senior vice president. He has held senior management positions for the last 18 years and was most recently with Cameron State Bank/Iberiabank.

Family & Youth Announces YAC Officers

Tiffany Fontenot

Callie Berwick

St. Louis High School senior Tiffany Fontenot was named chair of the Family & Youth Counseling Agency Youth Advisory Council, a youth-led organization that exposes youth to advocacy work and civic engagement. She is the Morgan Davis daughter of Jake and Patricia Philmon. Starks High senior Callie Berwick, daughter of Chris and Melinda Berwick, was named vice-chair, while Morgan Davis, junior at St. Louis and daughter of Brickley and Vanessa Davis, will serve as secretary. 44

John Noble Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon with Center for Orthopaedics, a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group, completed the Visionaire value pilot study in 2011 to evaluate the costJohn Noble Jr., MD benefit ratio between the use of two types of instrumentation in total knee replacement procedures. The results of this study, which took place over the course of four months, were published in the January 2012 issue of The Journal of Arthroplasty. All procedures were performed at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles. During the investigation, Dr. Noble compared standard instrumentation to Visionaire patient-matched technology.

Lloyd Named Administrator of St. Pat’s Donald H. Lloyd II, has been named Administrator of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. Lloyd most recently served as chief executive officer at Donald H. Lloyd II Marion Regional Hospital in Mullins, S.C. Previously, Lloyd served in the roles of administrator, chief operating officer, comptroller, and human resources director for various organizations throughout South Carolina. He has 28 years of combined experience in health finance, human resource recruitment and retention, medical staff development and clinical operations. During his tenure in South Carolina, Lloyd was active in both professional and community organizations.

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Announces Recent Safety Award Winners West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital recently named Susie Pearson, director of materials management, Angel Smith, RN, Diane Watkins, CNA, Russell Benoit, director of environmental services and Tina Stanley, physical therapy tech, as recipients of its new Safety Award. The award, which honors employees for their promotion of safety and safety awareness in and around the hospital, is distributed to those employees that demonstrate extraordinary awareness and action in minimizing potential safety risks. Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Fowler Joins Women & Children’s Family medicine physician Tolvert Fowler Jr., M.D. has joined the medical staff of Women & Children’s Hospital. A Louisiana native, Dr. Fowler received his bachelor’s and master’s of science Tolvert Fowler Jr, MD degrees from Louisiana State University-Shreveport and earned his medical degree from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. He completed his family medicine residency program at LSUHSC in Lake Charles. Dr. Fowler’s services range from providing physicals, treating common illnesses such as colds and the flu to managing more complex conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. He also provides urgent care services for minor injuries and ailments such as laceration repair, incision and drainage, skin biopsies, ear aches, sore throats and sprains.

Cascio Participates in Research Study Brett Cascio, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon on staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and Orthopaedic Specialists, and Medical Director of Sports Medicine at Memorial, serves as the Brett Cascio, MD lead investigator for an ongoing research study which follows young female athletes with a newly recognized cause of hip pain called psoas impingement. The study was presented to the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy in Paris, and included findings from 700 female athletes. Participating facilities involved in the study include Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, LSU School of Medicine and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Officers Elected for Black Caucus The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus elected Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith of Baton Rouge to a second term as chairperson. Other elected officers include Rep. Herbert Dixon of Alexandria, vice chairman; Rep. Katrina Jackson of Monroe, first vice-chair; Sen. J.P. Morrell of New Orleans, Senate whip; Rep. Barbara Norton of Shreveport, secretary; Rep. Ledricka Theirry of Opelouses, treasurer; Rep. Jared Brossett of New Orleans, parliamentarian; Rep. Patrick Willis of Shreveport, chaplain; and February 2012

Rep. Roy Burrell of Shreveport, sergeant at arms. Rep. Regina Barrow of Baton Rouge remains as immediate past chair.

Four Employees Join BBBS

Crisann Surrena

Courtney Estes

Tamisha Ashworth

Jackie Briscoe

Crisann Surrena, Tamisha Ashworth, Courtney Estes and Jackie Briscoe have joined the staff of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana. Surrena, a graduate of the University of Toledo with a degree in legal assisting technology, will serve as executive assistant. She was most recently office manager for six offices of Community Legal Aid Services. Ashworth, a DeRidder native, will serve as satellite director for Beauregard and Vernon parishes. Ashworth has a degree in speech communication from Louisiana Tech. Estes has joined the agency as a community-based casework. Originally from DeRidder, Estes is a graduate of McNeese with a degree in mass communications. Briscoe, a resident of Elton and member of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, will serve as the tribal partnership coordinator for Allen and Jeff Davis parishes. She has a degree in business management from McNeese.

Liles Selected for TransFusion Leadership Certified Financial Planner Professional Stephen K. Liles with Vincent & Liles Financial Group was one of 21 participants selected to participate in “TransFusion”, a Stephen K. Liles Leadership Lab offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc., a registered broker-dealer with over 1,600 registered representatives. The 12-month program for emerging leaders of TFA will consist of live meetings, as well as conference calls with top TFA producers, industry leaders, and third party experts. February 2012

Noland Receives Honorary Doctorate Lake Charles Businessman Robert Noland was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during McNeese’s most recent commencement. Noland currently serves as Robert Noland president and director of Bennett Oil Company and president, chief executive officer and director of American Sulphur & Oil Company of Louisiana. His community service includes serving as an officer and director in such organizations as the Kiwanis Club of Calcasieu Parish, the Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Camp Fire USA—Southwest Louisiana Council and the Kappa Sigma Housing Corp. At McNeese, he majored in agricultural sciences and business and is a member of the McNeese Athletics Hall of Honor, past president of the McNeese Quarterback Club and an honorary member of the McNeese Petrochem Athletic Association. The Noland Family SkyRanch is named in honor of his family.

Harris Earns ARRT Certification DeLisa Harris, CT, ARRT, Radiologic Technologist at Imperial Calcasieu Imaging, a division of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group, recently received certification in computed tomography by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The ARRT credential assures patients that the radiologic technologist conducting medical imaging, interventional procedures and radiation therapy has completed the prescribed educational preparation, passed the appropriate exam and pledged to abide by stringent ethics requirements — all of which assist them in delivering safe and effective patient care.

Memorial Honors Elementary Students

Karys Chaumont

Fuselier Joins Lakeside Nick Fuselier has been appointed Security and Compliance Officer for Lakeside Bank. Originally from Lake Charles, Fuselier has worked in the banking industry for nine years. He Nick Fuselier attended Sowela Technical Community College and McNeese State University. Fuselier has held several different management positions in his banking career and was most recently an officer/branch manager with Cameron State Bank/iberiabank.

Iles Publishes First Children’s Book Author Curt Iles has published Uncle Sam: A Horse’s Tale, a children’s book that is a companion to Iles’ recent release A Spent Bullet. Both books are set in Louisiana in 1941 during the weeks leading Curt Iles up to Pearl Harbor. Uncle Sam: A Horse’s Tale revolves around a cavalry horse traveling with a soldier and thousands of other horses and riders from Fort Bliss, Texas. Iles is a native of Dry Creek and the author of eight novels.

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Hailey Leviner

Mackensie Patch

A panel of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital volunteers recognized second-grader Hailey Leviner, third-grader Karys Chaumont and fifthgrader Mackensie Patch with $50 savings bonds for their artwork, which was presented as part of LCMH’s Young at Art program.

Felder Joins LCMH Matt Felder has joined Lake Charles Memorial Hospital as communications manager. Felder, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, has worked as a news producer, writer, reporter, Matt Felder photographer and anchor for several Texas news stations. He most recently worked in public, social and media relations with the Texas Farm Bureau. Felder has received several national awards for feature writing, photography, video and public relations campaigns. At the hospital, he will produce the Memorial Milestones Magazine and other hospital publications, serve as the Public Information Officer, enhance media relations and news story opportunities, as well as coordinate community sponsorships.


A Targeted Approach To Breast Cancer Treatment

Now Offered ocally

Learning that you have breast cancer can be overwhelming, but advances are being made to provide for a better quality of life after the diagnosis. A targeted approach to determine if the cancer has spread, known as a sentinel lymph node biopsy, is available locally and performed routinely at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. It removes 1 – 3 lymph nodes, rather than 10 – 20, to help physicians determine if cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes located under the arm. Keeping the majority of lymph nodes helps:

• D ecrease the risk of developing lymphedema, a life-long condition resulting in pain and swelling under the arm. • D ecrease the possibility of needing post-operative physical therapy to regain and maintain arm strength and flexibility.

The latest technology. The most advanced treatment options. Both are available at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. Stephen Castleberry, MD, general surgeon with Sulphur Surgical Clinic and medical staff member of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, has brought this innovative procedure to breast cancer patients in Southwest Louisiana. Dr. Castleberry received training in this specialized procedure at Scott and White Medical Center/Texas A&M Health Sciences Center in Temple, Texas.

701 Cypress Street, Sulphur


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012


Chocolate King Why


by Erin Kelly

If all the decadent sweets of the world were given titles and appointed to royal court, chocolate would be king. For more than 2,000 years, chocolate and its cacao bean have been held to a higher power. Once considered a treat for the gods, chocolate has found its way into the lives of virtually every modern American. Whether it’s a simple Hershey bar or the finest of chocolates, this delicacy has taunted palates at every level. February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

According to Candy U.S.A., the average American consumes about 12 pounds of chocolate each year. Forty-eight percent of adults say chocolate is their favorite sweet treat, with 71 percent of them preferring the milk chocolate variety. But despite having a love affair with chocolate, Americans don’t take the cake when it comes to consumption. Denmark has that title, with the average citizen eating nearly 30 pounds per year, according to the National Confectioners Association, which also notes that chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the world’s almonds and 20 percent of the world’s peanuts.


“Chocolate is a comfort food,” said Bill Foltz, pastry chef at L’Auberge Casino Resort. Foltz, who has trained with the French Pastry School and earned numerous medals and honors at the U.S. Pastry Competition, said working with chocolate is a unique art and eating it is a unique experience. “Eating chocolate has been shown to give people a feeling of euphoria and calmness.” Numerous studies have indicated that chocolate reduces anxiety levels and possibly induces feelings of well-being. This is particularly true of dark chocolate, which has been shown to have beneficial effects on metabolism and stress levels. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland indicates that eating dark chocolate daily reduces stress hormones in adults with high anxiety levels. While it’s true that chocolate may have some health benefits, most of us indulge in its creamy goodness not for the metabolic benefits, but simply because we love it. Research has indicated that chocolate is the food women say they crave most. But how and why did this delicacy become the reigning master of all that is sweet and delicious?

Dollop of History Chocolate is derived from the cacao bean. The cacao bean flourishes in equatorial regions of the world, such as Central America, where the Mayans used it not only as a prized delicacy, but as currency. During the reign of Montezuma II, who ruled in the fifteenth century, a rabbit could be purchased for four cacao beans. According to the Chocolate Council of the National Confectioners Association, chocolate was so prized that Montezuma maintained great storehouses filled with cacao beans and it is believed that he consumed 50 or more portions daily from a golden goblet—although the chocolate he enjoyed probably bore little resemblance to today’s more familiar flavors, according to Chef Foltz. Although Montezuma II was known to

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Chef Bill Foltz

photo by Shonda Manuel

Kent Brabham

Chaplain of Brighton Bridge Hospice August 23, 1953-December 22, 2011

Your greatest passion in life was sharing the love of Jesus with others. Your legacy continues through the lives that were changed forever by your willingness to share God’s love. We, the staff of Brighton Bridge Hospice were blessed to have known and worked with such a devoted Christian man. You enriched our lives as well as the lives of our patients, their families, and the community. You are missed, but each of us have special memories of you that we will cherish. Those memories will serve as a reminder for us to show the love of Jesus to others, as you demonstrated. We are blessed to have known you for you truly were a man of God. HIS LORD SAID UNTO HIM, WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT: THOU HAS BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD. Matthew 25:21


Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

flavor his chocolate with things like vanilla, his relationship with chocolate was probably more bitter than sweet. Montezuma II was certainly not the first royal to bask in choco-decadence. His Mayan ancestors were the ones who first created a drink from the cacao bean, many centuries before his reign. Columbus was the first person to introduce chocolate to the Europeans when he brought King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain a handful of beans—just one of many curious items that Columbus displayed in front of them after his foray to Central America. At the time, Ferdinand and Isabella had little use for the cacao. It wasn’t until Hernando Cortes arrived in Mexico in 1519 and encountered the Aztecs that chocolate would begin its endless journey into the lives of Europeans and, consequently, Americans. Cortes recognized the value of the cacao and after bringing about the fall of the Aztecs, he began further experimentations to see what he could do with it. He also established additional plantings in the Caribbean before returning to Spain, where chocolate had fallen into the hands of the wealthy and began its various transformations.

Diverse Delicacy One of the reasons chocolate surpasses its counterparts in sweet-treat dominance is because of its versatility, says Kimberly Taylor of Chocolate Kingdom Delights in Lake Charles. “You can do almost anything with chocolate. You can make a simple chocolate cake. You can bake cookies, cupcakes and other sweets. You can use it on fruit. You can even pair it with meat and salty things, like beef jerky,” said Taylor, whose gourmet menu includes traditional chocolate goodness as well as less familiar snacks, like chocolate-covered bacon. “You can use chocolate on just about anything and it will taste good. You can even dip flowers in chocolate and it’s good. I’m telling you—you can dip anything. And I know, because we have.” If you think beef jerky slathered in chocolate sounds strange, rest assured that it’s not as curious as you might think. Industry experts foresee a significant boom in the chocolate industry, according to the NCA’s most recent Industry Trends Report. It is expected that chocolate will pop up more frequently as a key ingredient in main courses alongside salmon, chicken and steak, with sweet and savory chocolate duos like chocolate-and-bacon or chocolate-andcheese making becoming popular among consumers. Seventy-five percent of experts in the industry expect chocolate to provide the most surprising flavor combinations over the next two years. While it’s certainly diverse in pairing opportunities, chocolate itself is also extremely diverse, according to Foltz. Chocolate, like wine, varies depending on its region of growth, the process from harvest to consumer and the type of bean from which the chocolate is derived. There are varieties even within the varieties. So much so that even the lessenthused can find the appropriate flavor for their palate. “When I started in the chocolate business, I wasn’t really crazy about chocolate. I liked it of course, but it wasn’t my favorite. Then I started tasting everything and I learned more and more about all the different kinds of chocolate and all the different ways it can be manipulated to get the textures February 2012

you want,” Taylor said. “Pretty soon I was ready to drink it right out of the bowl.” Chocolate has so many flavor tones and can be manipulated in so many ways that it can find favor with virtually anyone. “When you’re working with chocolate, all you have to do is tweak one thing and you can have something totally different,” Foltz said. “If you don’t like milk chocolate that’s too sweet, all you have to do is tweak it.” The process from bean to consumer is what largely determines the price of a piece of chocolate, he noted. The finest of chocolates go through a rigorous scientific process until they finally find their way on the tongue of consumers, where their rich, creamy texture melts easily. This is in comparison to your typical chocolate bar, which often has a dusty texture and an aftertaste that isn’t found on more expensive chocolates. “Really fine chocolate is creamy and smooth,” Foltz said. “It all depends on how much time and effort you put into it.”

Delightfully Delicious There are many aspects to chocolate that make it delightful. In addition to the health benefits discovered by the researchers at Nestle Research Center in Switzerland, the cacao bean has been found to be a rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants, according to the NCA. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder typically have the highest amount of these antioxidants because they contain the greatest number of ingredients directly from the bean. In addition the sensory properties of its flavor, aroma and texture, which trigger cravings in both men and women, there is something nostalgic about chocolate. Eating a chocolate bar can take you back to a time when you were a kid, Taylor said.

Delectable Definitions There is much more to chocolate than meets the eye. Its flavors, textures and origins are as varied as those found in wine or coffee. The Chocolate Council of the National Confectioners Association has mounds of literature just on chocolate alone. Below is a snippet of their more delicious definitions: • Baking Chocolate: Also known as unsweetened chocolate or chocolate liquor, baking chocolate is made from finely ground centers of roasted cacao beans. There is no added sugar. It is often used in dessert recipes with sugar as a separate ingredient. • Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate: The darkest of eating chocolate, bittersweet chocolate has the highest percentage of chocolate liquor and may contain extra cocoa butter. Both bittersweet and semisweet chocolate must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor, according to U.S. regulations. Generally, bittersweet chocolate, which is primarily used for baking, contains at last 50 percent cacao but can be much higher. • Chocolate Liquor: This ingredient, essential to confectionary production, is produced by grinding the center of the cacao bean to a smooth, liquid state. • Cocoa Butter: The fat naturally present in cacao beans that melts at body temperature and gives chocolate its unique mouth feel. The amount of cocoa butter in cacao beans typically ranges from 50 to 60 percent. Cocoa butter is not a dairy product and does not contain cholesterol. • Cocoa Powder: The product made by removing part of the cocoa butter from the center of the bean and grinding the remaining material to powder. • Dark Chocolate: Sweet and bittersweet chocolates containing high levels of chocolate liquor. Many dark chocolates on the market today contain more than 35 percent chocolate liquor. • Milk Chocolate: The most common kind of eating chocolate, it is made by combining chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, milk or cream and sweeteners such as sugars and flavorings. According to regulations all milk chocolate must contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor and at least 12 percent milk solids. • Unsweetened Chocolate: Chocolate liquor that has been cooled and molded into blocks used for baking.

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Delicious photo by Shonda Manuel

• White Chocolate: A blend of cocoa butter, milk, sugar and flavor. No chocolate solids other than cocoa butter are present, which explains the lack of brown color. According to regulations, white chocolate must be at least 20 percent cocoa butter, 14 percent total milk solids and less than 55 percent sweeteners.

Did You Know? There are several facts and myths surrounding the creamy chocolate world. One commonly accepted fact is that the Swiss know chocolate best. There is some truth to it, according to Foltz. “It’s because of their dairy industry. They get their beans from the same places as everyone else, but their milk is of much different quality—therefore, their milk chocolate is too,” Foltz said. In addition to having smaller herds, less production and higher milk prices, the Swiss dairy industry is highly regulated, with strong penalties for any milk that falls short of quality standards for bacteria and antibiotics. This also accounts for the high quality of Swiss cheese. Although Switzerland is most often considered the hotbed for quality chocolate, Belgium and France are viable contenders. One of the most common myths associated with chocolate is its caffeine content, according to the NCA. Milk chocolate contains very little caffeine—only about 8 mg in a 1.4-ounce serving. An eight-ounce glass of chocolate milk contains only a fraction of the amount of caffeine found in a soda of the same size. The most caffeinated chocolate is of the dark variety, with a typical bar containing about 25 mg, far less than the 85 mg found in your average cup of coffee. There is no caffeine in white chocolate.


Yummy Recipes Chocolate Scones 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) dark chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) 2 cups chilled whipping cream 2 tablespoons butter, melted Additional sugar Powdered sugar (optional) Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Stir whipping cream into flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are moistened. Turn mixture out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently until soft dough forms (about 2 minutes). Divide dough into three equal balls. One ball at a time, flatten into 7-inch circle; cut into 8 triangles. Transfer triangles to prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 24 scones. Source:

Spinach Salad with Mangos, Dried Cranberries and Chocolate Vinaigrette For vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recommended: Newman’s Own)

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February 2012

For salad: 8 cups bagged baby spinach, washed 1 1/3 cups freshly diced mango 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup chopped walnuts In a large bowl whisk together cocoa powder, sugar and vinaigrette. Add spinach and toss to coat. Add mango, cranberries and walnuts. Toss together and transfer to a serving dish. Source:

Tall, Dark and Handsome 1 packet cocoa mix, for glass rim (recommended: Nestle) 2 shots vanilla vodka (recommended: Stoli Vanilla) 1/2 shot coffee liqueur 1/2 shot chocolate liqueur Wet rim of martini glass on a damp paper towel and dip into cocoa mix; set aside. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir and strain into martini glass.

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Basic Hot Chocolate 4 cups of whole milk 8 ounces of chocolate (60% cacao, preferably) 3 teaspoons of powdered sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon of salt Finely chop the chocolate into small pieces. The pieces have to be able to dissolve easily in the liquid. Place the milk into a small, thick-bottomed pot on low heat and bring to a low simmer. Whisk once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If you plan to steep herbs or spices, add the herbs or spices to the milk, bring to a simmer then take off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid then place back into the pot and return to a simmer. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, salt, and chocolate and whisk vigorously until the chocolate has melted. If using liquors add them to the chocolate. Heat for another 4 minutes, constantly stirring. Serve. Add a dollop of whipped cream if you want. Serves 4. Source: Garrett McCord,

Chocolate Pie 1 pie crust 2 cups (12 oz.) chocolate chips or 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped 6 tablespoons butter, softened 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup finely chopped pecans 1 pint whipping cream Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot, not boiling water.* Set aside. In large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and chocolate. Mix well. Stir in pecans. Whip cream to the soft peak stage. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate cheese mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared crust. Chill 8 hours. *Or, place chocolate in glass bowl. Microwave on full power for 1 minute 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat additional 30 seconds if necessary. Stir. Makes one pie. Source: National Confectioners Association

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Mind & Body

Heart Health February is american heart month According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of disability. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary heart attack and 470,000 had a recurrent attack. Statistics indicate that someone in America suffers from a heart attack about every 25 seconds. About one every minute will be fatal. American Heart Month was designated to combat this growing epidemic. Here, Thrive shares information on early indicators, hearthealthy tips and stories of survival. 52

Create a HeartHealthy Future with Prevention and Early Detection

Coronary artery disease, or coronary heart disease, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming more than a half a million lives each year. However, as dangerous as it is, the condition’s progression can be stopped through prevention and early detection. “Coronary artery disease is not a death sentence—it can be treated,” says Thomas Mulhearn, MD, a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Specialists of Southwest Louisiana. “If you have risk factors or symptoms, you can have a heart-healthy future if you take preventive steps with early detection.” CHD is caused by a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries; this is commonly referred to as a hardening of the arteries. The coronary arteries carry oxygen and blood to heart. This type of buildup or hardening causes the arteries to narrow, reducing the blood flow to the heart, which can eventually trigger a heart attack or stroke. The blockage or plaque is caused by a buildup of fatty materials or other substances.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

“There are some risk factors you cannot change, such as your family history,” says cardiologist Miguel DePuy, MD, also with Cardiovascular Specialists of Southwest Louisiana. “Take action toward the ones you can. It’s also important to note that not everyone with coronary artery disease experiences the typical symptoms.” Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

Risk Factors

Family history of heart disease Age—your risk increases with age after 45 for men and 55 for women Diabetes High blood pressure High cholesterol Smoking Chronic kidney disease Narrowed arteries—people who have experienced poor blood circulation and stroke Substance abuse Obesity or being overweight Lack of exercise


Angina—chest pain or discomfort and/or discomfort or pain under your sternum (breast bone), neck, arms, stomach, neck and back. Shortness of breath Fatigue or weakness

“It’s crucial to speak with your doctor if you have any risk factors or symptoms,” says Michael Turner, MD, cardiologist, also with Cardiovascular Specialists of Southwest Louisiana. “Early detection is key to preventing the damaging effects of heart disease.”

Prevention and Early Detection

While it is imperative to take preventive steps, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, new innovations in medical technology are also helping to win the fight against heart disease. Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) has emerged as the new foundation of preventative cardiology by quickly evaluating patients for heart disease. “When symptoms of heart disease are present or risk is high, CCTA can allow for a visualization of the heart and coronary arteries that can accurately diagnose heart disease sometimes years before other screening tests could detect it,” says Dr. Turner. “This allows for early treatment of the disease and the reassurance of a focused prevention program.” According to the American Heart Association, 50 percent of men and 64 percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. CCTA is not only reliant on symptoms; if you have risk factors, it is able to discover a possible heart-health issue well before it starts to become a problem. CCTA is a scan that enables cardiologists to quickly pinpoint issues by viewing all angles of the heart and vascular system through threedimensional scanned images. Cardiologists can also utilize CCTA to perform routine calcium scans of the heart to determine a patient’s potential for heart disease. A simple elective test called calcium scoring measures the amount of plaque in the wall of the arteries, a known predictor of heart attacks. This simple noninvasive 10-second examination can allow a cardiologist to assess a patient’s future risk for heart disease in about 30 minutes.

February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Mind & Body | Heart Health

Menopause Can Be Tricky on Heart Health Hot flashes, cold sweats, mood swings and fatigue are just a few symptoms of menopause. Though uncomfortable, these symptoms pose no real threat to your health. However, a potentially serious symptom that usually accompanies hot flashes is heart palpitations. Also known as an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrhythmia, heart palpitations can hit anyone at any time and usually go hand-in-hand with menopause. “You should definitely see your primary care physician, sometimes even be evaluated by a cardiologist for heart monitoring and testing,” says Dr. Gisele McKinney, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women. “Incidents of heart attack and stroke in women have increased dramatically over the last 20 years.” Heart palpitations come with the sensation of your heart skipping a beat or beating too many times within a specific time period. They usually occur sporadically over a period of two to three months. In some cases, women have been known to experience heart rates of up to 200 beats per minute when experiencing heart palpitations. Heart palpitations during menopause are generally caused by fluctuating hormones. Constantly changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can wreak havoc on your body, causing your heart to pound aggressively or your body to sweat profusely. Dr. McKinney experienced her own arrhythmia with her heart beating over a normal rate during a recent pregnancy. She wore a heart monitor and took medication to get her heart rate down to a safe level. It is a condition she did not have when she was younger and one she attributes to age and genetics. If you look all the way back to the 1960s, Dr. McKinney says incidents of heart attack and stroke in women have jumped up by 40 percent. Today, more women have jobs, sometimes two, which can increase stress. The United States also has the highest obesity rate of any country in the industrialized world.


“The most common cause of heart palpitations is ingesting too many stimulants,” says Dr. Fernando Ruiz, an Interventional and Nuclear Cardiologist at the Heart & Vascular Center. “Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, decongestants, and diet pills all contain chemicals that stimulate the heart. Too many of these stimulants can cause your heart to beat out of control.” Other causes of heart palpitations, such as anemia, hypoglycemia, and certain thyroid conditions could be more serious and require medical attention. On occasion, heart palpitations can be an indicator of heart disease or valve disorders. Although many people think of heart disease as a man’s problem, women can and do get heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. It is also a leading cause of disability among women. “The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries,” Dr. Ruiz says. “This happens slowly over time and is the major reason people have heart attacks. Prevention is important: two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery.” Symptoms of heart palpitations, especially in women, can appear like heart burn but could be a sign of a much more serious condition such as a heart attack. Unlike men, women usually do not experience a more typical presentation such as tightening or pain in the arm. While those symptoms can and do happen, women tend to have more atypical symptoms and people have a tendency of ignoring them. Dr. McKinney says you cannot determine what is benign and what is not, stressing any cardiac related symptoms should be taken seriously. Women between the ages of 35 and 55 could be experiencing symptoms of pre-menopause, which is the stage just before menopause. The majority of pre-menopausal women experience some sort of menopausal symptoms, ranging from the mild to the intense. This stage can last up to seven years. Dr. McKinney strongly recommends women in this phase of life adopt a healthier lifestyle if they haven’t already done so. “Exercise and diet play a big part in how your symptoms can take over your life or make it better,” Dr. McKinney says. “If you are more sedentary your symptoms tend to be worse and less able to be tolerated than if you are more active.”

“ Incidents of heart attack and stroke in women have increased dramatically over the last 20 years.” – Dr. Gisele McKinney

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

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Mind & Body | Heart Health

Secrets to a Healthy Heart Eat right and exercise. These two tips remain the cornerstone for a healthy lifestyle, but it’s often easier said than done. This guide is designed to help you uncover the secret substitutes for building a healthy heart:

Limit unhealthy fats and choose healthy fats instead. Although all fats are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation, some fats are better for you than others. Avoid: Butter, cream sauces, nondairy creamers, margarine or shortening. Instead: Olive oil, canola oil, cholesterollowering margarine. Choose low-fat protein. Protein is good for your diet, but selecting the wrong kind of protein for your diet can cause your cholesterol to creep upward. Avoid: Full-fat milk, egg yolks, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, marbled or fatty meats. Instead: skim milk, yogurt, cheese, egg whites or substitutes, fish, skinless poultry, lean ground meats. Go with whole grains. These are good sources of fiber and other nutrients. Avoid: white flour, white bread, muffins, cornbread, biscuits, granola bars, cakes, egg noodles. Instead: whole-wheat flour, whole-grain bread, high-fiber cereal, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, oatmeal, ground flaxseed. Reduce sodium. A diet high in sodium can lead to increased blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Avoid: table salt, canned soups, frozen dinners, tomato juice, soy sauce. Instead: herbs and spices, salt substitutes, reduced-salt canned soups, reduced-salt soy sauce.


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February 2012

February 2012

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Mind & Body | Heart Health

Stories of Survival The Other Side of the Chart

by Erin Kelly

Dr. David Engleking

At two in the morning on December 1st, Dr. David Engleking woke from a sound sleep. The 60-year-old internist had never before experienced chest pains, but he immediately recognized the discomfort as the classic symptoms of a heart attack. He alerted his wife and together they loaded in the car and headed for Christus-St. Patrick Hospital, where Dr. Engleking works as vice president of medical affairs. In less than two hours, he was in the cath lab receiving two stents designed to restore circulation. As a skilled physician, Dr. Engleking was well aware of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. He’d treated patients with such symptoms consistently throughout his professional life, but never expected to become such a patient. He had no prior complications, no previous history, no genetic code that determined that he was at high risk. He received all the necessary check-ups at all the right times. Although slightly overweight, he was active and believed he was taking pretty good care of himself, all things considered. “There were certain elements of denial. I ate what I wanted, but I was pretty active, so I thought there was some degree of immunity. When you lead an active lifestyle, it can lend itself to denial,” Dr. Engleking said. “Until you’re hit over the head with a two-by-four and reality gets you.” For Dr. Engleking, that two-by-four hit on December 1st. He said it was apparent to him almost right away that he was having a heart attack—a diagnosis that was confirmed in the hospital’s emergency department. “When you experience something like this, you have to move quickly. There’s a saying in the medical profession: ‘Time is muscle.’ You have to move. That’s what I’ve told patients and that’s exactly what I did. One advantage I had as a physician was having knowledge of what was unusual or atypical, so I knew right away what was happening.” Patients without such knowledge might mistake chest pains for something else, but Dr. Engleking said if there’s a shred of doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry. He has since broken out of denial and has uncovered what he considers the three secrets to having a successful post-heart attack experience: a good team of physicians and health care staff, commitment to adopting a healthier lifestyle and a strong support system. “As you get further away from the event, you need to have a support system to help you maintain your new lifestyle, whether it’s family, friends, co-workers or church members. Things like this aren’t just a single one-


time thing. They’re the beginning of a journey,” Dr. Engleking said. Dr. Engleking’s journey has led him to a lifestyle of healthier nutrition, better eating habits and regular exercise. He has since lost 10 percent of his body weight.

Dr. David Englekin g was treated by Th omas Mulhearn, M. cardiologist with Ca D., a rdiovascular Specialis ts. photo by Shonda Ma nuel

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

‘I Lead a Normal Life’

Andrea Pelloquin by Erin Kelly

Andrea Pelloquin was four years old when she had open heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in 1972. She remembers her mother crying and telling her that she would be okay. She remembers the discomfort of breathing treatments and the painful struggle of walking the halls after surgery – a task that she was able to complete after her parents bought her a purse and umbrella as incentives. “There was an older gentleman there who had some type of surgery and didn’t want to walk either so he and I started walking the halls together,” Andrea said. Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at an early age, Andrea was limited in what she could do, but admits that she would often push herself more than she was supposed to. Other than being excluded from school sports because she couldn’t pass the stress tests, Andrea didn’t have many problems with her heart after the surgery—not until 1998, when she was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia, and had to be implanted with a pacemaker defibulator. She is now on her fourth device. In 2006, she had her pulmonary valve replaced. “I can’t go through metal detectors at airports. It’s a good thing I don’t fly,” she said. “There is some discomfort from the device, but it’s tolerable. Other than that, I lead a normal life.”

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Mind & Body | Heart Health

Driven to Survive

by Shawn Martin

David Robideaux

It can certainly be said that David Robideaux owes his life to modern medicine and to his wife, Anna Belle. Last March, David and Anna Belle began their day like most—errands and lunch. The day, which even included a trip to one of David’s doctors, was going along as normal. After eating a late lunch, David, then 80, was driving himself and his wife home along Cherryhill Street to avoid the heavy afternoon school traffic. Without warning, he slumped lifeless across the car’s steering wheel with his foot still on the gas pedal. Anna Belle attempted to steer the car and remove David’s foot from the gas. After dodging pedestrians and other vehicles, she was able to bring the car to a stop; with help from a passerby, she moved David from the driver’s seat. “He started to tremble and was white, white like a sheet when it shocked him back,” said Anna Belle, recalling her husband’s appearance. “He was completely out and did not know a thing about what was happening.” The story could have ended with David as another cardiac incident statistic, but because a defibrillator and a pacemaker had been implanted, David’s stalled heart was shocked back into normal rhythm. “We were told he was out over eight seconds,” Anna Belle said. After the incident, David was driven to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted for a week of testing and monitoring. “We are very thankful for David’s cardiologist, Dr. (Fernando) Ruiz,” she said. “He changed a couple of David’s medications and he has not had any problems since and is doing really well.” David said he has no memory of the incident. “I can’t tell you what happened, but I am thankful I had this pacemaker-defibrillator,” he said. “It worked just like it was supposed to and it saved my life.” Anne Belle said David was the picture of health leading up to his episode.

Anna Belle and Da vid Robideaux. photo by Shonda Ma


“We were talking and everything was just fine. He was saying how he needed to go to Lowe’s, and then all of a sudden, he was no longer talking and just passed out,” she said. “It seemed like it lasted forever but it was really a few seconds.” David received his first defibrillator and a pacemaker in 1994 in California. He got an updated model in 2004. Last year’s incident was not David’s first. A few years ago while David was at a dance, his defibrillator shocked his heart back into correct rhythm. “During the dance he never passed out like he did while driving last year,” Anna Belle said. Both David and Anna Belle said they feel having the device to be a blessing. “I can tell you one thing for sure, if he did not have it he would not be here with me today,” she said. “I am very thankful.”

‘I Have a Deeper Appreciation for Life’

by Shawn Martin

David Young

David Young credits his life to the quick reaction of the staff of the then newlyopened Jennings American Legion Hospital Catheterization Lab. “It was July 11, 2008, I remember smoking a cigarette just before walking into the lab for my procedure,” he said. “I was real weak and could barely walk.” David had an untreated heart attack in September 2005 at age 37. Both his parents’ family histories are plagued with heart trouble. David said the heart cath procedure at the Jennings hospital revealed massive blockages. The condition of his heart was such that doctors at Jennings American Legion Hospital ordered his immediate transfer to a Lake Charles Memorial hospital for heart bypass surgery. David said that he remembered walking into the lab, but nothing until awakening several hours later in Lake Charles. “I ended up with a quadruple bypass,” David said. “I spent nine days in the hospital.” David credits Lake Charles Memorial Hospital cardiologists Drs. Richard M. Gilmore and Steven Howe with his new lease on life, saying he “owes them everything.”


Not out of the woods yet. A few weeks after the surgery, one of David’s bypasses failed, requiring a stint. “I had to undergo some rehab to build up my strength because I was so weak,” he said. “I even quit smoking.” David’s rehab was done at Jennings Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab. In the three years since his bypass surgery, David has had two minor strokes and continues battling heart disease but his outlook on life has changed. “Since all this has happened, I have learned to be a much more patient and lenient person. I am not so quick to judge people or dismiss their situations as I used to be.” Because of the condition of his heart, David was unable to return to work. He said he has both good and bad days but overall he is doing much better. “I have a deeper appreciation for life. There is no doubt my life his different today than it was before all my trouble, but I am thankful I am still here.”

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

The Newest Evolution of Eyewear by Erin Kelly

Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate. Through the ear-buds and keyboards of laptops, smart phones and Bluetooth, sophisticated advances in modern technology now allow us to connect almost instantaneously with people around the world. It should be no surprise, then, that technology has also found a way to perch atop our noses and revolutionize the way we view the world—literally. It’s done through electronic eyewear. Functioning in a similar way to today’s consumer electronics, these electronic eyeglasses include a microchip, composite lenses with thin, transparent LCDlike layers, miniature rechargeable batteries, and a micro-accelerometer to detect tilt. According to Dr. Robert Janot, owner of Vision Source in Sulphur, the transparent liquid crystal layer in each lens is able to electronically activate the reading portion when the wearer needs it. This means that your eyeglasses respond, either automatically or manually, when you need the effect of traditional bifocals but don’t want the distorted or interrupted vision that bifocals or progressive lenses provide.

The eyeglasses adjust manually by touching the side of the frames or can be set to automatically change based on your head movements. The electronic glasses are an upgrade from progressive no-line bifocals, according to Dr. Janot, whose clinic is the first in Louisiana to offer the electronic glasses, known as emPower! When the full reading power is not activated, there is no distortion, so wearers have a much easier time playing golf, walking up and down stairs and completing other tasks that require quick adjustments between regular and bifocal correction. The lenses also have the ability to increase power with only a touch so wearers can benefit from magnified power, allowing them to read fine print, study their prescriptions, thread a needle or engage in other detailed tasks. continued on p62

February 2012

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Mind & Body Before

Dr. Janot, himself a wearer of the emPower! electronic eyeglasses, said he prefers this hi-tech option over his progressive lenses. “There is less distortion or movement of my head to locate the reading zone. The reason for this is the unique design which allows me to see mid-range clearly, for things like computers, patient charts, patient exams, and so on, without the interference of the full bifocal power obstructing my view,” Dr. Janot said. “The novel design of the ‘bifocal on’ with a simple touch of the temple is ideal to see small detail, such as inscriptions.” The revolutionary eyewear was developed by PixelOptics, a company based in Roanoke, Virginia. According to founder and CEO, the eyeglasses “represents a quontum leap in optical technology that addresses the needs of a huge segment of the consumer market affected by presbyopia.”


Presbyopia is the medical term that describes the inability to focus on things up close—hence why those with presbyopia require bifocals. “I see patients every day who have long suffered from presbyopia and continue to struggle with bifocals and progressive lenses,” said Dr. Janot, who is not only the first in the area to offer such lenses, but among the first in the nation. He described emPower! as “a fashionable, breakthrough eye care technology that will change the way patients think and feel about their eyeglasses.” For more information on empower!, contact Vision Source at 625-2020 or info@ You can also stop by the clinic at 3817 Maplewood Drive, Sulphur.

Our Local Leadership Team Continues to Grow McDaniel and Fuselier have joined the migration to Lakeside. Lakeside Bank proudly welcomes Lyles McDaniel, Senior Vice President, and Nick Fuselier, Compliance and Security Officer. Both Lyles and Nick are lifelong residents of Lake Charles. They were both recently with Cameron State Bank/iberiabank. Lyles has over 34 years of experience in the banking industry. He has held senior management positions for the last 18 years. Nick has nine years of banking experience and has held several different management positions in his career. The addition of Lyles and Nick, with their extensive backgrounds in consumer and commercial banking, demonstrates Lakeside’s commitment to providing the region’s strongest local banking services. It’s this commitment that has made us the region’s fastest growing local bank. Call Lyles or Nick to learn about our great deposit and IRA rates, and our FREE checking.

Lyles McDaniel Senior Vice President

The way banking should be. 4735 Nelson Rd., Lake Charles


Nick Fuselier Compliance and Security Officer


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February 2012

Keeping a Clear View after Cataract Surgery by Kristy Armand

Post-cataract Laser Treatment Dr. Yokubaitis says complications after cataract surgery are rare as As anyone who knows her can attest, Poddy Champeaux is focused on getting demonstrated in a recent study in which 99.5 percent of 200,000 patients had the most out of life, every day. So when cataracts started interfering with her no severe postoperative complications. “When cataract surgery complications vision, having the problem corrected was an easy decision. do occur, most are minor and can be successfully treated medically or with “I had always had regular eye exams, and Dr. Yokubaitis told me for several additional surgery.” years that I was developing About two months after cataracts – even before I her surgery, Champeaux noticed any symptoms,” said did experience the most Champeaux. “But a little over common complication after a year ago, I started noticing cataract surgery, but says problems with blurriness and since Dr. Yokubaitis had glare, and I knew it was time explained the possibility to have the surgery. I wasn’t to her ahead of time, she too worried about it. I knew knew what to expect. “It was many people who had had similar to the blurriness of it and I knew I was in good the cataract, but not as bad,” hands.” she said. “I started having Champeaux’s doctor, some problems with glare Jon Yokubaitis, MD, a board again also.” certified ophthalmologist Her problem was with The Eye Clinic explains posterior capsule opacity, that cataracts are the leading or PCO, and it develops cause of vision loss among in about 20% of cataract adults 55 and older, and 50 surgery patients. Dr. percent of the population photo by Shonda Manuel Yokubaitis says although over the age of 65 has some people call PCO a some degree of cataract “secondary cataract,” it really development. “A cataract Dr. Yokubaitis demonstrating the YAG laser with patient Poddy Champeaux. is not. “Once a cataract is is defined as a clouding of removed, it does not come the natural lens of the eye. back. PCO is a cloudy film that can develop across the capsule behind the The lens is about the size and shape of an M&M candy and sits just behind the colored part of the eye, or iris. When we are born, the lens is clear but with age it lens implant we put in place during cataract surgery. This condition causes blurriness for some cataract patients in the months or years following their becomes clouded and the vision gets blurry. This is the cataract.” surgery. Many patients mistake PCO for vision changes that require a glasses According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery prescription, which can delay the appropriate treatment. Fortunately, we have (ASCRS), 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery each year, making it the a very safe and effective laser treatment option for PCO that will quickly restore most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, with an clear vision.” overall success rate of 98 percent or higher. He explains that an outpatient procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy During the outpatient cataract surgery, the clouded natural lens is broken is used to treat PCO. This treatment takes just a few minutes and painlessly up, removed and replaced with a very soft plastic, foldable intraocular lens removes the hazy film with a cool, precisely focused laser. No sedation or implant, or IOL, that restores clear vision. “In most cases, the improvement in incision is required; just mild numbing drops. Champeaux says the simplicity the patient’s vision is profound, even more so with the latest advances in lens of this procedure amazed her. “When I walked back, they told my husband to implants that have become available in recent years,” says Dr. Yokubaitis. “With go get the car because I’d be right out – and I was. I went home and read the these newer, premium lenses, many patients are able to see clearly without paper.” glasses of any kind after surgery.” Patients who undergo YAG laser therapy can resume their daily activities Champeaux had her cataract surgery in May at Imperial Calcasieu Surgical immediately. Dr. Yokubaitis says the return of clear vision typically takes place Center and chose the Tecnis Multifocal lens to replace her cloudy natural lens. This is one of the premium multifocal lens options that corrects for near, far and within 24 hours of the procedure. inbetween distances. “The surgery was a simple experience and I experienced For more information about cataracts or cataract surgery, call The Eye Clinic at no discomfort afterward. In fact, I could see clearly without glasses for the first 1-800-826-5223 or visit time in 30 years. What freedom and convenience! It really made me wish I had had it done sooner,” she said.

February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Mind & Body

Numbers to Live By by Kristy Armand

Phone numbers. Budgets. Account numbers. Dates. Social Security numbers. Sports scores. TV channels. Security Codes. Time. Speed limit.

These are just a few of the numbers we pay attention to on a daily basis. As important as these may be, there are some critical numbers you may be ignoring that have an even bigger impact on your life. These are the numbers that relate to various aspects of your health. We asked Jose’ Gonzales, MD, and Brian Stewart, MD, family medicine physicians with the Family Practice Center of Sulphur and medical staff members of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, to explain what numbers matter the most when it comes to understanding the risk for serious illness.


Healthy numbers: Total cholesterol: under 200 mg/dL LDL cholesterol: under 100 mg/dL HDL cholesterol : 50 mg/dL or higher Triglycerides: under 150 mg/dL “The higher your cholesterol levels, the greater your risk of heart disease,” says Dr. Gonzales. “We all hear about sudden heart attacks, but in many cases, these are not sudden at all, but are caused by years of living with high cholesterol and extra fats stored in the body.” Dr. Gonzales says your total cholesterol should stay under 200 mg/dL. “However, the total is not the only number you have to pay attention to when


it comes to cholesterol. It’s actually low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that causes the damage. That is why it is usually referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol.’ Elevated LDL levels lead to the formation of plaque in the artery walls, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.” The target number for LDL is under 100 mg/dL. If you have diabetes or heart disease, your goal for LDL should be 70 mg/dL or lower. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is often called “good” cholesterol, so the higher your number, the lower your risk, according to Dr. Gonzales. HDL cholesterol is “good” because it helps remove harmful LDL cholesterol from arteries. Like cholesterol, triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. Elevated levels increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These levels are usually tested in conjunction with cholesterol Dr. Gonzales recommends having a fasting cholesterol profile done at age 20 and repeating it every five years if the results are normal.

blood pressure

Healthy number: Less than 120/80 mmHg Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries when your heart beats and during rests between beats. Systolic pressure is the top number and represents the beating pressure; diastolic pressure is the

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

bottom number and reflects the resting pressure. “A lower blood pressure is better,” says Dr. Stewart. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is 140/90 mmHg or higher, and if left untreated, can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney damage, and vision and memory problems. He says you should have your blood pressure checked every time you see a doctor.

blood sugar

Healthy number: A fasting blood-sugar level of 99 mg/dL or less Glucose is sugar stored in the blood as your body’s main source of energy. “If your glucose is too low or too high, you may have diabetes, or a condition called metabolic syndrome that is often a precursor of diabetes,” says Dr. Stewart. “Diabetes more than doubles your risk of heart disease and significantly increases your chances of kidney disease, vision loss, and other health issues.” Glucose levels are measured with a fasting blood-sugar test. A level of 126 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes. Dr. Stewart says glucose levels should be checked at age 45 and then every three years after that if your results are normal. “If there is a family history of diabetes, or if you are overweight, your doctor may test you earlier.”


Healthy number: A thyroid-stimulating hormone level under 4.0 mIU/L. The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and directs the thyroid gland to secrete the hormones that are primarily responsible for regulating metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. These hormones also affect skin, hair, muscle strength, mood, and mental functioning. According to Dr. Gonzales, if your TSH level is high, above 4.5 mIU/L, your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones to help your body function efficiently. He recommends having your thyroid levels checked at age 35, and every five years after that if the results are normal.

body mass index

Healthy number: Between 18.5 and 24.9. Body mass index (BMI) measures your weight in relation to your height. “BMI is the best way to determine if your body weight is a healthy weight,” says Dr. Stewart “This goes way beyond how you look in a bathing suit. This number indicates if your weight is a health risk.” He explains that a BMI of less than 18.5 means you’re underweight and at risk for irregular periods, fertility problems, anemia, and the bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher is clinically obese. “Obesity increases your risk for many serious diseases and in most cases, getting your BMI back to the target level will quickly lower that risk,” says Dr. Stewart. He says it’s a good idea to calculate your BMI annually because small changes in weight can add up over time.

strengthening your numbers

“There’s a definite advantage to knowing your personal health numbers – for you and your doctor,” says Dr. Gonzales. “You have to understand where you’re starting from to identify goals for your health. Just like in other areas of life, working the numbers will help you find the right solution.” Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Stewart say that for most of these risk factors, lifestyle changes can help you hit your target health numbers. These include: • Exercise regularly. Aim for at least half an hour of aerobic activity, four to five days each week. • Include strength training in your work-out two to three times a week. • Eat a low-fat, low-salt, low-cholesterol diet that includes five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. • Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day maximum. • Don’t smoke. • Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

(We’ll take care of the bugs) We all know that anytime is the right time for a party, whether it’s a cochon de lait or a fais-do-do, and that the only good bug is the one in the crawfish pot. Trust J&J Exterminating to keep your home and business protected from unwanted bugs. We’re the largest Louisianabased pest control business; we know common and native Louisiana pests and how to eliminate them. Get the Shield, cher, and pass a good time.

LAKE CHARLES 474-7377 1717 Prien Lake Rd.

DERIDDER 463-4574 514 N. Pine St. February 2012

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Mind & Body

Have a Sweet Tooth Fixed this Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day often conjures up visions of roses, chocolate and love—but rarely does it involve spending a romantic day with your dentist. For Dr. Harry Castle, however, February 14 has marked a special office celebration since 2002. That’s the year Castle decided to host a Valentine’s Free Dental Day at Oak Park Dental for those in need throughout the community. Valentine’s Day has become the day Castle looks forward to the most—and he doesn’t take a dime for treatments. “Over the years, I’ve heard so many stories that would just melt your heart,” he said. “Some patients were in pain for years, but put off their own comfort to take care of their children.” This Valentine’s Day will mark the 10th anniversary of The Oak Park Dental Valentine’s Free Dental Day. Castle credits his staff for making an event of this magnitude successful. He also applauds the other dentists who volunteer their time. “Drs. James McGee, Brody Miller, Cecilia Oubre, and Michael Hebert all participate—and love every minute of it,” said Castle, who explained that the event is so popular some patients begin lining up a day prior to assure themselves a place in line. To make the wait more enjoyable, Chick-Fil-A’s Nelson Road restaurant will donate free breakfast and coffee. Coca Cola will donate soft drinks, and local radio stations Gator 99.5 and Fun Radio 92.9 will provide musical entertainment. As many patients as possible will be seen beginning at 8 a.m., Tuesday, February 14, at the Oak Park Dental office, 1616 West McNeese Street in Lake Charles. Since the event will end at 5 p.m., participants are asked to arrive early to receive a number and secure a place in line. Patients must be present when their numbers are called. “So many in the community are struggling to make ends meet, often lacking the means to visit a dentist as often as they should,” said Dr. McGee. “Our hope is to help ease some of their burden.” For more information, call Oak Park Dental at 337-478-3232 or visit

Dr. Harry Castle works with a patient.

It's Time to Team up to Fight Lung Cancer Mark your calendar and start forming your company and group teams to help us raise money to fight lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer in the country. sponsored by Louisiana Lung Cancer Partnership

Annual Free Follow us on


to Breathe 5K Run 1 Mile Walk Saturday, March 24 For more information or to register online, visit Thrive Magazine for Better Living February 2012

February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Mind & Body Dwaine Miller, physical therapist with Rehab One, works with Liz Trahan on stretching exercises to restore range of motion in her shoulder.

photo by Shonda Manuel

Thawing The Big – and Painful – by Kristy Armand

Horrible. Excruciating. Awful.

These are the most common adjectives used to describe the pain of “frozen shoulder” by people who suffer from this mysterious condition. Liz Trahan of Lake Charles is one of those people. She experienced pain in her shoulder for about two months, especially at night, but ignored it -- as most busy, working parents are likely to do. Then she fell recently while running up a set of stairs in her home and landed on her shoulder. “It was terrible. My hand and fingers felt numb, while my upper arm and shoulder were in almost unbearable pain. I thought if I gave it a day or two, it might ease up and eventually go away. Instead it continued to hurt and throb.” Because of the previous pain, she had not been using her arm to the full extent and now with the pain from the fall she could barely even move her arm. Routine things such as reaching out the car window to get the mail or using the ATM machine were nearly impossible without experiencing intense, severe pain. “I knew then that this was more than a bruise or pulled muscle that I could ignore until it went away,” she said. Trahan sought the help of orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder specialist J. Trappey, MD, with Center for Orthopaedics. After a physical exam and x-ray, he gave her the diagnosis: frozen shoulder. Dr. Trappey explains that frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is one of those conditions that even doctors find puzzling because they can’t 68

pinpoint what triggers the problem, or why some people develop it and others don’t. “The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a smooth capsule of connective tissue,” he explains. “Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule becomes inflamed, thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement. It doesn’t strike the same shoulder twice, but at least 15 percent of patients eventually develop the problem in the opposite shoulder.” There are certain groups that are more likely to develop frozen shoulder. Seventy percent of patients with the problem are women between the ages of 40 and 60, which indicates that hormones are a factor. Diabetics have a 20 percent higher risk and having an underactive thyroid is also a risk factor. It’s more likely to occur in people who have recently experienced prolonged immobilization of their shoulder, such as after surgery or an arm fracture. And, as in Trahan’s case, trauma or injury sometimes precedes a frozen shoulder. “Beyond that, it’s difficult to predict who will get adhesive capsulitis, or how severe a case,” says Dr. Trappey. “We do know that the condition typically develops in three stages, with each phase lasting several months. Signs and

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February 2012

symptoms often begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve slowly, usually within one to two years.” During the painful stage, there is pain with any movement of the shoulder and the range of motion is restricted. In most cases the pain is worse at night. The next stage is the frozen stage, in which pain may diminish while the shoulder stiffens. Range of motion becomes severely limited. This is followed by the thawing stage when range of motion begins to return. Frozen shoulder is usually diagnosed with a physical exam and x-ray. In some cases further imaging tests may be needed to rule out other problems. Dr. Trappey says the reason the condition takes so long to resolve is that people don’t seek treatment when they first notice symptoms. “If we can treat people at the beginning of the first phase with a cortisone injection into the shoulder joint, we can often derail the course of frozen shoulder.” Studies have found if this injection is done in the earliest stages of adhesive capsulitis it can prevent collagen buildup and lead to dramatically faster recovery – a month or two compared to a year or longer. ”The key is getting patients to come in soon enough to get this early treatment,” says Dr. Trappey. In addition to cortisone injections, frozen shoulder treatment usually involves physical therapy/stretching exercises and anti-inflammatory pain medications. In a small percentage of severe cases, surgery may be needed to loosen the joint capsule to restore mobility. Trahan had a cortisone injection in mid-January and is currently undergoing physical therapy and doing at-home exercises to preserve her range of motion. “So far, so good, although I won’t say that this is pain-free regimen. But it’s worth it to avoid dealing with this problem for the next two years. I’m glad I didn’t put off going to see a doctor.” For more information about frozen shoulder or any shoulder problem, call the Center for Orthopaedics at 721-7236 or visit

Write, Rest and Get Rejuvenated

March 1-3 • Dry Creek Baptist Camp Featured Speakers: Diann Mills, Christy Award Winner Frank Ball, North Texas Christian Writers

Topics include:

Mentoring Power Self-Editing for Dynamic Writers Be a Creative Genius And more!

Join us for a retreat especially designed for inspirational writers with a Christian worldview. $250 registration, meals and lodging included $175 commuter cost, meals included To register, visit Hosted by Curt Iles and Creekbank Stories.

Your Kid. Your Choice.

Make the right one.

Your young athlete is one-of-a-kind. And you should know, you’re their biggest fan, behind them all the way. So when they have a sports injury, don’t stay on the sidelines. Take an active role in getting them back in the game and choose the region’s most experienced orthopaedic and sports medicine team: Center for Orthopaedics.

Excellence In Motion Lake Charles • Sulphur • DeRidder

Team Physicians, McNeese Athletics

Saturday morning appointments available in Lake Charles. February 2012

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Style & Beauty What is your purse saying behind your back? by Haley Armand

People always say that your clothing is a reflection of your personality, but have you ever wondered what your purse is saying about you? According to Kathy Eisman, author of How to Tell a Woman by her Handbag, it’s clear our handbags and their contents say much more about our personality than we might think. The inventory of a woman’s purse can reveal her age, the roles she plays in her life and sometimes a glimpse into her dreams. Every purse tells a story. Are you insecure, flighty, conservative, intellectual, bohemian or practical? Do you cling to your youth, value quality work, pay attention to details, need everything in its place or live a happy-go-lucky lifestyle? photos by Shonda Manuel

Here is a little Bagology 101: Oversized Hoarder Bag: If you carry a bag that could double as an overnighter, you are a busy bee who is practical and prepared. You want room to carry all of your essentials plus the extra stuff for just-in-case. But, if you are a mom on the go, this bag is perfect for you. This bag gives you plenty of room for your essentials, as well as your children’s things. Close Clutch: A woman with a clutch is confident in who she is. She doesn’t feel the need to carry her entire life with her—only what she absolutely needs. She is stylish, yet simple—the definition of sophistication and class. This wallet-sized wonder is usually a decorative accessory. Designer Diva: This woman has expensive taste and loves to be noticed. The diva is very confident in who she is. She is a leader, not a follower. She is career-oriented, and values the support of a well-known, acceptable label over the more practical qualities of handbags. This woman may be considered “snooty,” but she knows quality when she sees it and gets what she wants. People Pleaser: You are always trying to make everyone else happy all the time. Therefore, you choose a simple bag that hardly costs anything. You don’t go bold because you are a shy person and prefer not to be noticed.

Business Lady: This purse means business. It is a classic—not too big, not too small and matches the woman’s briefcase in color, style and design. It is all about the leather. Its style shows confidence and has plenty of pockets to keep all gadgets organized and in their places. Over the Shoulder: This bag is comfy. It says you are a relaxed person and want to keep your hands free. What you keep in your purse is only what you definitely need. You don’t really care what people think—you are happy being you! You are a free spirit and this bag is an expression of your inner self. The colors of your bag represent your mood, which is always happy considering you always see the glass as half full, rather than empty. 70

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February 2012

Just as the style of your purse mirrors your personality, the contents of it tell their own story: Are you organized and prepared for anything, or does the inside of your purse reflect a disorganized collection of various pieces of your life? A glimpse inside a woman’s purse provides a snapshot of her daily life as well as how she organizes it. A working mother, for example, may have a diaper, baby wipes and small toys mixed in with her wallet and business cards. An older woman may have an address book, tissues and a photo album of her grandchildren. There’s obviously a lot more power in your purse than you might have imagined. Your purse represents who you are and how you run your life. It’s an investment in good impressions. Make sure you’ve got it in the bag. Henning Cultural Center will display Shonda Manuel’s Pursenality, a photographic exhibit of local purses and their contents, through February 14. The center is located at 923 Ruth Street in Sulphur. Pursenality is part of Henning Cultural Center’s InFocus exhibit, which features work from several local professional photographers, including Manuel, photographer for Thrive.

W.hat W.omen W.ant We have the information you want at one convenient location: Practical and timely information on women’s health from physician experts you know and trust. • • • •

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 hich of these best describes the type of breath freshener you carry? W a. Peppermint. b. Cinnamon or fruit-flavored gum. c. Altoids. d. Roll of breath mints. Which of these best describes the inner contents of your purse? a. Well-organized, with everything in its appropriate compartments. b. Disorganized. Difficult to locate things. c. Small amount of easy-to-grab items. d. Large amount of items, sometimes easy to locate, but sometimes not.  hich of these items are most likely to be found in your purse on any W given day? a. Hand sanitizer. b. Old receipts. c. Mints. d. Aspirin.  hich of these best describe the patterns or designs that appeal to you W on a purse? a. Simple—usually one understated pattern. b. It varies, but usually does not include colors like pastels. c. Classic. d. Patterned.  eview the array of items below. Which is closest to describing the items R that you have in your purse right now? a. Compartmentalized make-up case, wallet, small brush, a few essentials. b. Scattered make-up, wallet (which probably needs to be cleaned out), bills, wrappers, and a few essentials that don’t make sense to anyone else. c. Credit card case, lip gloss, mints. d. Fairly organized wallet, magazines, iPod, tissues, catalogs.

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Results: Mostly As: You are detail-oriented and well-organized. You like to have a place for everything and everything in its place. You are an over-achiever and a hard worker.


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312-1000 • Lake Charles: 1890 W. Gauthier Road, Suite 110 February 2012

Which of these best describes your taste in handbags? a. A structured, self-standing straw bag with several compartments. b. Unstructured bag that falls open when placed on a flat surface. Few compartments. c. Small clutch. d. An oversized bag with lots of space.

 ostly Bs: You are creative. You are scatterbrained at times, which can be M frustrating. You are friendly and don’t take life too seriously.  ostly Cs: You are confident. You are stylish. You know exactly what you need M and don’t want to be bothered with extra baggage.  ostly Ds: You are practical. Even though you sometimes lose focus, you get M the job done. You like to be prepared for anything.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


Style & Beauty


Boot or Not to Boot With cold weather comes boot season and while there are a lot of options to choose from, figuring out how to wear them can be tricky. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts that we have found work best for boot wearers.


Mix an outfit with rubber boots. We know that rainy weather is sometimes fun for puddle jumping, but don’t make it an outfit. Instead, wear equestrian boots for a chic and waterproof look that can be worn in rain or shine. Double up. Stay away from fur-trim boots and a fur-trim jacket or plaid boots and a plaid sweater. In today’s fashion world it’s better to be simple than over the top. Bunch your jeans. Instead of stuffing your too-wide jeans into snug boots, try wearing leggings or skinny jeans that will fit in much easier.


Try the equestrian look. Put together a pair of riding boots with a tailored blazer and skinny jeans for a comfortable and trendy look. Wear neutrals. When shopping for boots, buy a pair that you can wear with just about everything. Neutral colors will last the longest when it comes to different seasons. Wear tights. Don’t be afraid to throw on some tights with a pair of boots and a dress or skirt. Wear cowboy boots. To avoid looking too cowgirl, choose a neutral color that can be worn with just about anything.

Wear boots with short shorts. If it’s hot enough to wear shorts, then it is not cold enough to wear furry boots. If you want to go for a wintery look, try pairing a pair of winter shorts with tights and a pair of boots. 72

Don’t Thrive Magazine for Better Living

Do February 2012

3 1

TrendyWays to Tie a Scarf Now that the weather is chilly, a scarf is a fun and functional way to accessorize any outfit. Here are 3 step-by-step instructions on how to wear a scarf this winter.




The Double Loop a





February 2012


The Knot

The European Loop a


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Style & Beauty

Seasoning Your Closet

Ready Wear to

If you’ve stood in front of your closet and lamented that you have nothing to wear (and what woman hasn’t?), maybe it’s because you’re overwhelmed. If out-of-season clothing is cluttering up your closet and mind, it’s time to divide and conquer. Most people tend to keep everything they own hanging year-round in their closet. Help to create space as well as make it easier to get dressed in the morning by splitting your wardrobe by seasons. Worried that you may not have enough closet space? Relax! You don’t need to have another closet in which to hang out of season clothes. Just get a few plastic storage containers and add a few cedar blocks to discourage pests and keep away odors. You can store your boxes of out-of-season clothes either at the top of your closet or under your bed. A difficult part of separating the closet into seasons is understanding what differentiates each season. Here are some tips that may help: Details that make an item Spring/Summer: Crochet, grosgrain ribbon, floral appliqués, floral prints, nautical stripes, jersey knit, white, lightweight sweaters, light nude shoes, turquoise jewelry, linen (technically for July and August only) Details that make an item Fall/Winter: Muted earthy tone colors, lined pants, darker nude shoes, velvet, suede, fur or leather trim Details that make an item year-round: Patent leather, leather (pastels in Spring and darker colors in Fall/Winter), metallics, satin Aim to have only current-season clothing in your closet so you know what’s in front of you will always be seasonally appropriate. Happy dividing!

Whitney Manns is the owner of WM Wardrobe Consulting. For more information, visit


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February 2012

The ideal

Valentine’s Gift

for someone special at

Scarborough’s Day Spa! Give your Valentine the gift of relaxation, stress relief and peace. When choosing a day spa gift certificate, make sure it is the one they are expecting from Scarborough’s Day Spa, with 5-star service and atmosphere at prices equal to others.

Look and Feel

Your Best

Lake Charles’ Premier Salon and Day Spa • 474-3030 • 3939 Ryan Street, Lake Charles February 2012

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Chennault’s Economic Track Record: Flying High, and Climbing

There’s a jut-jawed portrait of the late Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault -the tough, no-nonsense founder of the “Flying Tigers” of World War II -- displayed at the local aviation complex that now bears his name. The aviator was famous for demanding top results and if he were to inspect Chennault International Airport today, he would likely give a sharp nod of approval. Today, Chennault’s mission Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault is to continue to deliver jobs to Southwest Louisiana. Nearly 1,500 people work at the businesses based at Chennault, a sprawling facility where the payroll tops $67 million and the annual economic impact exceeds $230 million. Since it was re-imagined 25 years from the remnants of an old air base, publicly owned Chennault has had a cumulative economic impact of more than $5 billion -- by luring private companies through its world-class facilities, infrastructure, incentives and aggressive marketing, according to a study conducted by McNeese State University professors. The central source of high-paying jobs is aviation work. Northrop Grumman and Aeroframe Services perform maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Million Air is a fixed-base operator that welcomes everything from visiting charter jets to military pilots who stop in to refuel. Elsewhere on airport property, Louisiana Millwork distributes doors, windows, mouldings and other products to retailers in the region. The tower at Chennault sees about 3,200 operations each month, including 76

takeoffs, landings and “touch-and-go” operations. Everything from high-tech defense aircraft, to military jets, to private planes, as well as the occasional vintage place and, even, once, a zeppelin, have landed at Chennault in the past few months alone.

UP FOR RENEWAL Chennault’s economic development efforts are supported by a 10-year, 5.45mill parishwide property tax in Calcasieu Parish. That millage is up for renewal in the spring. Chennault International Airport Authority has placed it on the March 24 election ballot for approval by voters parishwide. “The item on the ballot is only a renewal. It’s not a new tax, and it’s not a tax increase, either,” said Randy Robb, Chennault’s executive director since 2008. “It will maintain the current level of support.” The money is used for industrial, commercial and economic development purposes -- the formula that has paved the way for thousands of jobs at Chennault over the years.

WEST CALCASIEU SUPPORT Chennault also provides more than 90 percent of the operating budget of both Southland Field outside Sulphur and the airport at DeQuincy Airpark. “We wouldn’t be what we are without the funding we receive from Chennault,” said Sam Larsh, airport manager at Southland. “Chennault supports the whole parish with its mission.” In DeQuincy, funding from Chennault “means we’re able to be more aggressive in getting FAA funds for projects like a runway extension,” said City Planner Mary Jo Bayles, whose job includes managing the airport. Robb has visited several area governmental bodies with a stake in Chennault’s success, such as the Lake Charles City Council, to gather support for a renewal he says is essential for the growth to continue. That growth includes the March 10 groundbreaking, with a public open

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

The central source of high-paying jobs at Chennault is aviation work.

house to follow, for an $18.5 million, 112,000-square-foot hangar to expand Chennault’s work capacity. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the new hangar will help bring 500 new jobs. “We must continue to do everything we can to create good paying jobs right here at home,” the governor said in announcing the project. “And that is why the facilities at Chennault also need to grow as well. “This airport has been bursting at the seams with work.” Chennault is moving swiftly to meet that need. Construction on Hangar H will be completed by the end of the year. The new facility will have four open bays that are large enough to handle larger, wide-body airplanes, such as the Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus A340. The project also includes 6,000 square feet in office space, roads and utility access. Hangar H is only the latest growth in what has been a busy time at Chennault. A new administrative building has been completed for Aeroframe, which grew to the 300-job mark this summer and plans to reach 600-plus jobs by 2013. Also, Chennault is working with the FAA to widen the taxiway so that it could be used as an alternate runway.

PARISHWIDE PARTNERSHIP Chennault generates revenue from the rent it collects from tenants, but public funds are essential to facilitate economic growth. That support comes from the federal government, the Louisiana Economic Development Department, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the City of Lake Charles. Robb called it “a powerful partnership to move Chennault forward. I’ve never seen a partnership like I’ve seen here between the state, the parish and the city.” He also credited Stephen Moret and Louisiana Economic Development for helping Chennault grow. Robb -- like the late Gen. Chennault -- was an honored fighter pilot during his military career. At the airport, Robb leads under the motto “People Serving People.” Among those people is deputy director Anthony Ware, a retired Navy SEAL with credentials in aviation management and development. continued on p79 February 2012


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Salute to Fort Polk

Knowles Takes Command of JRTC

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Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles took responsibility of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk from Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Brauer during a recent ceremony at Warrior Field. Knowles is an Airborne Ranger from the 82nd Airborne Division, where he recently served as 1st Brigade Command Sergeant Major. He served as a first sergeant, battalion command sergeant major and a brigade command sergeant major during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles, left. As JRTC and Fort Polk command sergeant major, Knowles’ duties include advising the commanding general on all matters pertaining to enlisted soldiers of the installation including training, morale and family issues; ensuring NCOs across the installation are setting and enforcing standards including military appearance, military bearing, maintenance and upkeep of unit areas, safety, and the proper training of their subordinates; assisting in the planning, coordination and execution of all post-level ceremonies, events and DV tours; recommending candidates to serve as guest speakers to the commanding general for all post-level ceremonies; developing the NCO Corps’ knowledge of problems that affect the health, welfare, and discipline of the command; conducting quarterly senior NCO empowerment sessions to inform and educate on the latest leadership issues and challenges facing the NCO Corps and Army; and helping strengthen community relations between Fort Polk and local veterans organizations. “I’m looking forward to serving each of you and continue the long traditions of training soldiers, supporting their families and preparing lethal units for our nation,” Knowles said. “Warrior seven, signing in.” Source:

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February 2012

Chennault Acedemic Track Record, continued

Thank you for Helping PPG Salute our Veterans

Northrop Grumman and Aeroframe Services perform maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

The PPG Veterans Committee held their annual Veterans Day celebration at the plant complex. Employees and friends, as well as students from Washington Marion and LaGrange High Schools participated in the event which included the recognition of PPG employee who are military veterans, along with comments from Mayor Randy Roach and key note speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Roger Perez Jr. The event also included a special POW/MIA ceremony. The posting of colors was conducted by Washington-Marion High School’s Junior Army ROTC Color Guard, and LaGrange High School’s Junior Navy ROTC performed a drill demonstration.

West Calcasieu aviation receives substantial support from Chennault, which supplies most of the operating funding for both Southland Field and the DeQuincy Industrial Airpark’s airport. Chennault Executive Director Randy Robb is flanked by Mary Jo Bayles, who manages the DeQuincy airport, and Sam Larsh, Southland Field manager.

Ware noted that Chennault positions itself at “the nation’s premier industrial airport.” The runway is rare in size -- 10,700 feet long, 200 feet wide and 17 inches thick. “It can handle every type of aircraft flying in the world today,” Ware said. “The size of the runway and surrounding acreage make Chennault attractive to potential tenants.” Economic incentives also help land tenants and jobs. Chennault is an enterprise zone, meaning businesses can get tax credits as well as certain exemptions from state and local sales taxes on building materials and equipment. It’s also a designated a foreign trade zone, which means imported parts are not subject to taxes, duties or quotas. In total, the airport is a centerpiece of service to the Southwest Louisiana economy. From Gen. Chennault, who made service a life-long commitment, that alone might earn a famous thumbs-up.

February 2012

The Committee would like to thank the following businesses for their support: SWLA Center for Health Services Happy Donuts Albertson’s Coca-Cola

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Community Contributor$ Badge of Honor to McNeese

The Badge of Honor committee recently donated $25,000 to the McNeese State University Foundation for the Zeb Johnson Scholarship. The Badge of Honor committee made the donation in honor of Johnson, chief investigator in the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office. Pictured are, from left, Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the McNeese Foundation, John DeRosier, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney and Badge of Honor committee chair, and Johnson.

KMI to McNeese The McNeese State University Banners Cultural Series is annually supported by donations from area corporate sponsors. Knight Media Printing Inc. has donated $7,000 for the Banners Series. On hand for the donation are, from left, KMI representatives Betsy Granger, account executive, and Chuck Ehlers, president and CEO, and Mary Richardson, director of the McNeese Banners Series.

Delta Downs to Local Charities TEAM Matthew won first place in the Trees of Hope Christmas tree competition hosted by Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel. The non-profit organization received $5,000 as an award. Second place and $2,500 went to Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana. Southwest Louisiana Master Gardeners placed third and received $1,000. The other 12 participating organization each collected $125. Pictured from left are Steve Kuypers, Delta Downs Vice President and General Manager; Aleata Tharp; Matthew Lucas; Nora Popillion, Delta Downs Entertainment and Public Relations Manager; and Jesse Lucas.

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital to SWLA American Heart Association

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital employees and associates recently donated over $32,000 to the SWLA American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. Bill Hankins, 2011 Heart Walk Chair, was on hand for the donation. Others participating in the check presentation to Janice Ackley, SWLA AHA Regional Director, were L to R: Event Emcees Elizabeth Temple and John Bridges with KPLC TV, Heart Survivor Gavin LeDay, Bill Hankins, CEO of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, Karen Lambert and Sumer McFarlain with WCCH, and Ackley.

L’Auberge to Toys for Tots L’Auberge Casino Resort presented the Marine Corps Detachment 1157 with 1300+ new, unwrapped toys for the SWLA Toys for Tots program. Pictured are John Lamar, Toys for Tots Coordinator; Dana Rodrigue, Toys for Tots Chairman; and L’Auberge Team Members.

Isle of Capri to Big Fun on the Bayou The Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel in Westlake donated $10,000 to sponsor and host the SWLA Alliance’s first Big Fun on the Bayou. Big Fun featured a night with comics Kent Gonsoulin and Murray Conque as part of a fun-raiser to benefit regional economic development. Picture are Jan Wilburn (Isle Office Manager), Ann Barilleaux (Alliance Foundation Development Director), Paul Hutchens (Isle VP and General Manager) and Avon Knowlton (Alliance Director, Member & Investor Relations), George Swift (SWLA Alliance & Foundation President/ CEO).

Walk a Mile to Family & Youth Children’s Advocacy Center Family &Youth’s Children’s Advocacy Center accepted more than $2,000 from the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event. Men from all walks of life walked one mile inside Prien Lake Mall in women’s high-heeled shoes to protest rape, sexual assault and domestic violence. This event was coordinated by the Sexual Assault Response Team. Pictured are Julio Galan, President & CEO of Family & Youth; Erika Simon, Senior Coordinator Children’s Advocacy Center; and Tammy Vincent, member of the Children’s Advocacy Center Multi-Disciplinary Team.


Delta Water Fowl to Calcasieu Parish Animal Services The Gulf Coast Chapter of Delta Water Fowl, in partnership with Purina, recently donated food to Calcasieu Parish Animal Services and Adoption Center. Pictured are Troy Courville, from left, Matt Nicholas, Jason Barber, Bubba Fruge, Jonathon Jimney and Dr. David Kestel. Pictured on the bottom row are Leslie Andrus, Tiffany Gardner and Sandra Trahan.

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February 2012

Pair Share to Keep Louisiana Beautiful More than 28,000 pairs of shoes were collected during “Pair Share,” a shoe recycling campaign created by Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the state’s nonprofit organization dedicated to litter prevention, waste reduction, and community improvement. “Pair Share” was created in partnership with Soles4Shoes to promote America Recycles Day throughout the state. The shoe recycling campaign lasted three weeks. With an original goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of shoes, KLB was stunned at the support its affiliate communities were able to harness and collected more than five times the original goal. Participating affiliates included Keep Calcasieu Beautiful and Junior Team Green of Southwest Louisiana

L’Auberge to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles donated $5,000 as the Gold Sponsor of the PurpleStride Lake Area walk benefitting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The funds raised will help with patient support and much needed research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. Pictured from left are: Kristi Remy, Event Coordinator; Crystal Miller Briscoe, L’Auberge Public Relations and Communications Manager; and Kristie Evans, L’Auberge Health Educator.

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February 2012

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Best Impressions

by Rose Klein

Modern Day Manners & Everyday Etiquette Q: Re-gifting is not a bad thing. I know this, but what do you do when an item you regifted comes back to you? I re-gifted to a co-worker and the next year, she gave it back to me. I don’t think she did it on purpose; she was just re-gifting. A: I have always feared doing this. I try to tag things so I don’t make that mistake, but if you truly think it was unintentional, then it is funny; if it was intentional, then, well, was that mean or simply sending a message?

Either way, I think it is a bit like the White Elephant game and after so many times (her giving it back to you means it was given three times), it needs to be retired and donated to a non-profit for resale.

Q: I invited a couple over to watch one of the big football playoff games. About two weeks in advance I asked her and she said she needed to check with her husband. I then saw him and he said he needed to check with his wife. So, now they are checking with each other and then no response and they didn’t show for the game. What am I to think? A: Aside from being impolite, I would not read too much into this. Sadly, particularly around the holidays, people get busy and don’t follow through with invitations. They probably said they’d try and you took that to mean they’d show or give you a more conclusive answer. If it really bugs you, then don’t invite them again.

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Mardi Gras, Texas Style!

Mardi Gras, a cultural phenomenon that dates back before the Europeans stepped foot onto the New World, was once called Lupercalia. The first American Mardi Gras first took place in 1699 and was celebrated as a circus-type festival, similar to present day celebrations. Southeast Texas has been carrying on the Mardi Gras tradition since 1993 and offers family-friendly events for all ages. Parades, floats, beads, food, and concerts are all a part of SETX celebrations, but a unique twist is the carnival—a weekend-long celebration of good food, music, arts & crafts, rides and more. After 20 years of hosting the carnival, locals and tourists alike now consider this weekend tradition to be a reunion for family and friends to celebrate on Procter Street.

Come out and catch all the excitement. Take part in Port Arthur, Texas’ Mardi Gras!

Thursday, February 16 4:45 pm - Courier Parade: Rosehill down Lakeshore Drive
 5:00 pm - Gates Open
 6:00 pm - Concert, Longneck Road
 8:00 pm - Concert, Joel Martin Project
 10:00 pm - Gates Close

Friday, February 17
 6:00 pm - Gates Open
 7:00 pm - Concert, Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie
 7:00 pm - Krewe of Krewes Parade: Rosehill down Procter St, ending at Houston Ave.
 8:30 pm - Parade arrives at the Entertainment Area
 9:30 pm - Parade Ends
 10:00 pm - Concert, Kevin Fowler
 12:00 am - Gates Close

Saturday, February 18 12:00 pm - Gates Open
 1:00 pm - Parade: Royalty March
 3:00 pm - Concert, Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois and the Ken Marvel Band
 4:00 pm - Motorcycle Showcase. Registration and line up on Rosehill.
 5:30 pm - Concert, Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners

February 2012

by Emily Porche

5:30 pm - Motorcycle Run Starts. Rosehill down Procter Street, ending at Houston Ave. 6:00 pm - Krewe of Aurora: Grand Parade. Rosehill down Procter Street, ending at Houston Ave.
 7:00 pm - Parade Arrives at Gate
 8:00 pm - Parade Ends
 8:30 pm - Concert, Champagne Room
 10:00 pm - Concert, Stoney Larue
 12:00 am - Gates Close

Sunday, February 19 12:00 pm - Gates Open
 2:00 pm - Munchkin Parade. Inside the entertainment area on Procter Street.
 3:00 pm - Concert, Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition
 4:00 pm - Truck Parade: Rosehill down Procter Street, ending at Houston Ave.
 5:30 pm - Parade Arrives at Gate
 6:00 pm - Parade Ends
 6:30 pm - Concert, Wayne Toups & Zedecajun
 8:00 pm - Gates Close For more information on Southeast Texas Mardi Gras, please visit their website at

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Meet Your Local Look-alikes

Thrive recently hosted a Celebrity Look-alike Contest through its Facebook page. Readers were invited to nominate people they knew who were ringers for the rich and famous. The entries flooded in, finalists were named and three winners were decided. Meet them below:

Wayne Smith – aka Chris Daughtry (1st Place Winner) Nominated by: Matt Young

When Wayne first shaved his head two years ago, people started recognizing him as Chris. The first time he can remember was when he went to a convenience store and a few people there thought he was Chris Daughtry. He also said his mom kept telling him that he looked like Chris “Doty” but he never could figure out who she was talking about.

Stuart Cormier – aka Ty Burrell (2nd Place Winner) Nominated by: Victor Wukovits The first time Stuart was told he looked like Ty Burrell was when the actor first appeared in Dawn of the Dead. A co-worker of Stuart’s commented on how he resembled Ty because their demeanors seemed very similar. When Ty began to star in Modern Family, Stuart began to hear more comments about the uncanny resemblance.

Britney Blanchette – aka Kristen Stewart (3rd Place Winner) Nominated by: Brian Pitre, Penny Maylen and Gabby Spears As soon as the first Twilight movie was released and people starting becoming familiar with Kristen Stewart, Britney began having people tell her how similar they looked. From family and friends, to random people that she meets, she still has people telling her how much she looks like Stewart.

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The Ticket to Good Movies It’s awards season. Time to roll out the red carpet as actors, actresses, directors and crew strut away from the post-Golden Globes brouhaha and toward the mother of all bestowments: The Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the annual awards ceremony, is an organization comprised of more than 6,000 of the most talented people working in movies today. Its voting members work in front of the camera as well as behind it. They are the ones who turn the honorary tide toward what they consider the greatest of film achievements. For decades movie-goers have relied on this elusive Academy to tell them which movies to watch and which to avoid. The organization’s nominations and awards have served as a cornerstone to what makes a movie good and respectable. But you don’t have to be a member of the Academy to know a good movie when you see one, and even the most ardent of film-goers has to concede that it’s all subjective. “In my opinion, to have a good movie it all boils down to a very simple thing—you have to have a good story. If you have a good story, you’re 90 percent of the way there. You can have marginal directing and adequate actors, but if you have a good story, your movie can still be magnificent,” said local actor Gary Shannon. In addition to appearing in dozens of local theater productions, Shannon has also appeared as the lead actor in several current

by Erin Kelly

and upcoming independent films. “Take To Kill a Mockingbird, for example. The kids were adequate actors. The acting by the children was okay, nothing spectacular. But when you look at the whole movie, it’s incredible because it started with an incredible story. You didn’t even notice the acting because of the great story behind it. If you’ve got a good ripping yarn, you’ve got a good movie. You’d have to have really terrible acting and really terrible camera angles to ruin a good story.” Shannon said that when he starts working on a film, he doesn’t read the scripts for his lines—he reads it for the overall story that the film is trying to tell. “If you’ve got a story that makes sense and you can understand why the characters are behaving the way they do, then you’re okay.” For Brett Downer, longtime actor and director with the Lake Charles Little Theatre, a good movie takes viewers to new places. “A good movie redirects you, without you realizing it, from what time it is, and your cell phone and your hassles of life. A bad movie reminds you of those things. A good movie tells a good story, or draws an honest emotional reaction, or surprises you, or makes you think. Or laugh. Or see it again.”


Source: AFI 86

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February 2012

Fellow performer Julie Ann Fay, a member of the Lake Area Film Group, agrees. “For me, a good movie either has extra layers upon repeated viewings, or characters that get under your skin to the point of being visceral. A masterpiece that has both is American Beauty. The main character, Lester Burnham, reacts differently to each character. Every interaction shows us a different side. Visually, American Beauty adds the color red in scene after scene representing passion and the life force. For example, Mrs. Burnham, who we learn is quite numb in her suburban housewife role, is literally snipping off bright red roses viciously with her garden shears the very first moment we see her. Later the use of the color red changes in all of her scenes as she slowly awakens.” American Beauty and To Kill a Mockingbird were both well-recognized at the 72nd and 35th Academy Awards respectively, but a film doesn’t need an Oscar nod to be considered a classic. Shannon cited Tim Burton’s Big Fish as having what he considers all the qualities of a good movie, yet its only Academy Award was for its original score. Downer cites Cary Grant, Peter Sellers, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Glenn Close and James Mason as some of his favorite Oscar-worthy recipients, despite the fact that none of them ever received an Academy Award. “Good movies come in all flavors,” Fay said. “The movie Clue is chock-full of silly puns and over-the-top acting, but I used to beg my mother to rent it whenever I stayed home sick because it would cheer me up so much. And I really can’t explain why I keep renting The Thing Called Love, cheesy and clichéd as the storyline is, except that I’m a sucker for movies about small-town kids chasing big dreams. I guess if I had to summarize what they have in common for me, they would either make me think more deeply, make me feel a powerful emotion or hook me with unforgettable characters.” Although the movie-goers agree that good movies come in all flavors and genres, comedies are consistently overlooked by the prestigious Academy. Although some dramatic comedies such as Driving Miss Daisy are honored with Academy Awards, full-out comedies are an overwhelming minority when it comes to nominations and wins. Many consider this an anomaly, especially when most filmmakers and actors agree that comedies are generally harder to pull off than their more serious peers. “Academy voting seems to lean toward the ‘important’ and the ‘serious,’ and I guess laughter doesn’t quite fit that demo. That’s too bad, because they say that the hardest thing to create is something that makes people laugh spontaneously and honestly,” Downer said. According to Fay, movie-goers don’t need to look any further than the Awards ceremony to understand how difficult it is to make good comedy. “We’ve all cringed when a serious actor totally flubs one of the jokes when presenting an award. … There have been a few times when I thought (the Oscars) could take a cue from the Golden Globes and have a Best Picture Drama and Best Picture Comedy category. That way you’re not comparing apples to oranges.” The nuances of good acting are often less apparent in comedies, which could be one reason they’re consistently overlooked, according to Shannon. It’s easier to see good acting when Susan Sarandon portrays Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking than it is to see the superb performance of Bradley Cooper in The Hangover, for example. Needless to say, the voice of the Academy Awards never speaks for all. Fay continues to be baffled by the accolades received by The English Patient in 1996. “All of the films up for Best Picture that year were shortchanged. I was rooting for any of the other nominees to win. I just wasn’t buying the main character’s acting at all. Ralph Fiennes was supposed to be stoic, I get it. But he was such a stone I stopped believing he was human. That was the kiss of death for me.” February 2012

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“ You have to have a good story. If you have a good story, you’re 90 percent of the way there.” – Gary Shannon, local actor


and Highway 397. Participants can sign up for a wave time, the first beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing throughout the day every 30 minutes until 5 p.m. The ReALLIEty Challenge, sponsored by Nissan of Lake Charles, spearheaded by Allie Ieyoub of Project Fit and Joey Odom of Sports Productions, are working in conjunction with The Mission Continues, a not-for-profit dedicated to honoring and empowering our U.S. veterans by finding them employment once they return to civilian life. The goal of The Mission Continues is to give our veterans a renewed sense of purpose and to allow them to continue serving their country within their own communities. The entry fee is $65 in advance and $75 after March 1. For more information or to register, visit www.

Mark Your Calendar! Stark Museum Exhibits The Stark Museum of Art will have several exhibits running through February. Among them are Medieval Manuscripts: From the Stark Collections, through February 25; Exotic Beauty: Birds of John Gould, through February 25; and From Russia: Fechin and Gaspard in the Southwest, through June 2. The museum will also host a family day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, February 25. For more information, visit or call (409) 886-2787. Stark Museum is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas.

Free Computer Class at CareHelp Care Help of Sulphur’s free Computer Class has new day and times—2:30-4 p.m. and 5-6:30p.m. on Wednesdays. The facility is located at 112 E. Thomas St. in Sulphur. For more information or to register, call 528-2273 to sign up. Classes are free and open to all regardless of income.

Museum of the Gulf Coast Presents ¡Carnaval! As southeast Texas gears up for Mardi Gras celebrations, the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, Texas, will join in this centuries-old party with a touring exhibition called ¡Carnaval! The exhibition provides windows into eight communities in Europe and the Americas where carnival is a high point of the yearly cycle.¡Carnaval! features 130 items of international folk art and Carnival memorabilia to highlight varied celebrations across the globe and the individuals who have dedicated much of their lives to planning, creating, and carrying out the festivities. Images, video, costume pieces, and masks from their performances relate the history and cultural traditions, while conveying the importance and function of community building through play. ¡Carnaval! will remain on view through March 18, 2012. The Museum of the Gulf Coast is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 700 Procter St. For more information call (409) 982-7000 or visit

Annual ReALLIEty Challenge Kicks Off The ReALLIEty Challenge adventure race, a 3.5-mile military-style obstacle course, will take place on March 31 in Lake Charles. This event is the first of its kind in area and is expected to attract participants from across Louisiana and its neighboring states. The race will take place on the corner of Manchester Rd


Community Education Seminar at Beauregard Memorial Janet Lewis, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, will lead a community education seminar on “Fore Foot Disorders,” at noon Thursday, February 23, in the BMH Conference Room. The seminar will discuss the complications and treatment of plantar fasciitis, one of the most common foot problems. Other health conditions will also be discussed. Admission is free. For more information, call (337) 462-7418.

Christian Writer’s Retreat Scheduled for March “The Creek”, a writer’s retreat, will be held March 1 – 3 at Dry Creek Baptist Camp. Guest speakers include DiAnn Mills, winner of the 2011 Christy Award, and finalist for several awards including the 2011 Award of Excellence; and Frank Ball, founder of North Texas Christian Writer’s Group. Topics include Mentoring Power, Be a Creative Genius, The Dance of Character and Plot and Self-Editing for Dynamic Writers, among others. The retreat isopen to all writers and is especially designed for writers with a Christian worldview. The cost to attend is $250 which includes lodging at the historic White House on the grounds of the Dry Creek Baptist Camp, meals, seminars and discussions. Commuter price is $175 and the pre-registration fee is $50.00 for all attendees. TheCreek Writer’s Retreat is hosted by Creekbank Stories and Curt Iles. To register or for more information, visit, or call (337) 396-5372.

West Calcasieu Association of Commerce Launches Empowering Women! West Calcasieu Association of Commerce will hold its first Empowering Women! seminar on Thursday, February 23 from noon – 1pm at the Holiday Inn in Sulphur, 330 Arena Rd. The cost is $20 per person and lunch is included. The event is not limited to members of WCAC. Empowering Women! will be held quarterly and is designed to motivate women to excellence while giving them practical strategies for success. Vidushi Babber, MD, psychiatrist, is the featured speaker. She will discuss achieving success and reaching the next level in career, home and community. Dr. Babber is the founder of Network at Noon for Professional Women of SWLA and creator of PRNCoach, providing confidential coaching to women executives, CEO’s and entrepreneurs. Please RSVP to the West Calcasieu Association of Commerce at (337) 313-1121 or email

Tickets on Sale for Little Mermaid The Children’s Theatre Company will present “The Little Mermaid” from Friday, Feb. 10-Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Central School of the Arts & Humanities Center. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The production is based on the animated 1989 Disney film and the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those “barbaric fish-eaters.” She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $13 for students. To purchase tickets, contact the theatre at (337) 433-7323 or e-mail at For more information, visit www.childrenstheatrecc.

Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

Art Classes for Children and Adults Imogene Dewey Fine Arts will hold eight-week Children’s Art Classes beginning February 11, 2012. Classes will be every Saturday morning from 10-11:30 a.m. at Studio 347 in the Central School Arts Center. The classes will cover basic drawing techniques, introduction to watercolor painting and composition and design of art in a fun, active way for children ages 6-12. Cost is $80, not including materials. Dewey will also begin a six-week series of adult watercolor classes in February for beginning and intermediate students. The adult classes will cover everything from introduction to materials to the design and execution of several paintings. Two class times will be offered—6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and 1-3 p.m. Thursdays. Adult classes are $60 each six-week session. Class sizes are limited. Call 477-0124 for registration information and availability.

in the


Local artists, through their talent and vision, help us see ordinary things in a new light. First National Bank in DeRidder salutes the dreams and efforts of local artists with their new program In the Interest of Art. Curt Iles, author of nine books, recently released A Spent Bullet, a fictional story set in 1941 Louisiana telling the story of a Wisconsin soldier who hates Louisiana as he meets a Louisiana school teacher who dislikes soldiers. “When they meet and fall in love, there’s a story worth telling,” said Iles. The new children’s companion to A Spent Bullet has just been released. Uncle Sam: A Horse’s Tale is the story of a cavalry horse and a soldier who are part of the 1941 Louisiana Army Maneuvers. The horses in the story are basis of what is today’s Fort Polk Wild Horse Herd. All of Iles’ short stories and books, written under the umbrella of his ministry Creekbank Stories, showcase his affinity for the creeks, swamps and piney woods of western Louisiana. Iles and his wife of 32 years, DeDe, are parents of three sons and have five grandchildren. More information about Iles, his books and activities can be found at February 2012

Thrive Magazine for Better Living


A Bank for a New Generation!

Main l Eastside l Park Terrace l Westside DeRidder l 463-6231 Mortgage Loan Office l 1180 E. McNeese St. Lake Charles l 310-0940



Solutions for Life

from Solutions Employee Assistance Program by Keri Forbess-McCorquodale, MS, LPC, LMFT, CEAP

Time to Take Out the Trash It’s that time of year for me. I’m feeling the itch to clean out closets and cupboards. I know it’s not spring yet, but somehow I connect cleaning out with the New Year. I think Christmas is the culprit. Everything starts to feel cluttered with Christmas trappings. I do not like clutter. I can’t think when there is stuff everywhere. I’m a big believer in displaying only things you love—anything else should have a home out of sight. My office is the same way – no stapler, pens or hole-punch out for all to see. In fact, I wish I had a way to hide my adding machine, computer monitors and phone! Efficiency is the key for me. I am all about the shortest/fastest route to the goal. I do not meander. My idea of hell is a road trip with no destination. My idea of hell in the therapy setting is the same thing – I’ve got to have a destination or goal in mind. What are we working toward? When I exercise, I usually walk with a weighted vest and hand weights so I don’t have to do both a cardio and a weight workout separately. See what I mean? Efficient. Being a “clutterbug” definitely hinders one’s ability to be efficient. Everything your little eye spies as you are looking for something requires a process for your brain to go through to filter out the undesired objects. Have you ever been looking through your junk drawer for something and couldn’t find it, but when you pulled everything out of the drawer, sure enough, it was there? You couldn’t see it because your brain was busy filtering. If it’s time for you to do some uncluttering, I suggest these areas: • Unclutter Your Mind. I don’t know about you, but my brain can handle only so much. So, I have learned to ease up on the expectations I have for my memory. I document everything. All appointments, even recurring ones, go in my calendar. Same thing with errands I need to run. That way I don’t have to remember that weekly meeting, or the fact that I wanted to get the oil changed next weekend. I simply look at my calendar. Along that same vein, I encourage you to have only one calendar. Some people have one for personal, work, and family. Now you have three places to write everything and three places to look! Consider going electronic if you haven’t already done so. • Unclutter Your Time. Just as I only want things I love to look at around me, I only want to do things I love in my free time. If I don’t love it, I try really hard to get out of it or delegate it. If I am going to give up some of my precious free time, I need to be passionate about whatever I am doing. If I am volunteering, I must believe in the cause and it must be well run (back to efficiency). And I am spending time only with people who are uplifting and with whom I feel a strong connection. 90

• Unclutter Your Possessions. Seriously, take a look around you. Do you either need or love everything? As I decorate for the various holidays, I ask myself that very question. Every year I have a little stack of holiday items that I move along. If I didn’t put it out, or if I did put it out but didn’t love it, it’s time for it to go. I do that with the rest of the house too. I have a once/year motto: if I haven’t used it or worn it at least once in the last year, I don’t need it. Either I obviously no longer love it, or I forgot I had it. Either way, it’s cluttering up my closet. I hope I’ve inspired you to do some “winter cleaning” this year. You’re going to be amazed at the reduced amount of stress you feel when you declutter and save your brain a step!

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Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

The gift everyone wants to receive…

Gourmet Cupcakes

Available in 12 flavors, each with fresh filling and real homemade buttercream

Custom Cakes & gourmet layer Cakes king Cakes individual, mini and regular size in a variety of flavors. Delivery We now offer local delivery! Call for details.

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You’re getting a gift this month. We all are. You have modern astronomy and physics to thank for it, for they are the ones who discovered—many, many years ago—that it takes 365 days and six hours for the Earth to completely rotate around the sun. Those six hours eventually accumulate into an extra day, which is tacked at the end of February and becomes February 29. The consequential Leap Year ensures that the sun’s position in the galaxy corresponds with our numerical count down here on Earth. Most of us moan and groan at some point that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Well, now you’ve got some hours racked up and the galaxy is handing them back to you in the form of an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday. It’s doubtful that our supervisors will give us the day off, and being that it’s a Wednesday, it’s unlikely that anything stupendous will happen. Mondays are the popular troll of the work-week, Tuesdays are productive, Thursdays are almost-Fridays and Fridays are Fridays. That leaves Wednesdays to be hohum—nothing more than a hump to get from the dreaded front of the week to the coveted weekend. Yet the galaxy has deemed that the fifth Wednesday of this month will be so remarkable that it won’t come around again for another four years. When February twenty-ninth rolls around, you’ll probably stroll into work, settle in at your desk and start your day, business-as-usual. You’ll probably check your emails, log in to Facebook and scan Twitter. You’ll return phone calls. Make appointments. Maintain your time at the daily grind until the clock strikes your off-hour—be it five, seven, or ten—then you’ll head home and it will be business-as-usual there, too. A favorite television show, a good book, dinner and bed. Then you’ll wake up and do it all over again. Just like you did today.

February 2012

The Last Word

According to recent research by the New Economics Foundation, modern Americans are caught in a vicious cycle of work and consumption. We by Erin K live to work, work to earn and earn to elly consume. Unfortunately, much of what we find satisfying is temporary, but even more unfortunately, there’s little time to truly search for what would satisfy us in a real and tangible way. We’re too busy working, each day resembling the last. The time we spend trying to get what we need to live our lives gets in the way of our opportunity to actually live it. Every now and then something extraordinary comes along that jolts us awake. It could be a person. It could be a life event. It could be something tragic or something wonderful. It could be a belly laugh from your newborn, a first kiss, an unexpected message from someone far away, a good movie or great book, a hug from a friend. It could be February 29—exceptional even when it isn’t, if only because it is a rarity. February 29 could be unremarkable, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if you make it extraordinary.

Email Erin at

Thrive Magazine for Better Living



Thrive Magazine for Better Living

February 2012

Thrive February 2012 Issue  

February 2012 Issue of Thrive Magazine

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