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Moving work home gave these Coweta residents more time for family.

Feeling Resolved?

Make your New Year’s Resolutions last.

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Creativity and a passion for learning led this local artist down an unplanned career path.


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FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION call 770.253.1576 or e-mail Newnan-Coweta Magazine is published bi-monthly by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc., 16 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263. Subscriptions: Newnan-Coweta Magazine is distributed in home-delivery copies of The Newnan Times-Herald and at businesses and offices throughout Coweta County. Individual subscriptions are also available for $30.00. To subscribe, call 770.304.3373. On the Web: © 2017 by The Newnan Times-Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

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24 | Artist on a Tear Local artist turns doing collages for friends into a career of sharing and inspiring creativity.

30 | The Science of Resolutions Why we’re compelled to make New Year’s Resolutions and tips for making them stick. 10 |

36 | Business Moves Home Sometimes work/life balance means moving work home.

57 | Epic or Traditional as Long as It’s a Yes Marriage proposals come in many forms. All the best end in yes.

Chair-ity Hosts

48 in this issue

Bob & Holly Adams Chris Allessio Heidi Becker Arthur & Laura Benz Matt & Maegan Brass Michael & Amy Burnett Joseph & Mimi Cawood Bill & Constance Davenport Greg & Janet Dunn Mark & Kathy Gray Sen. & Mrs. Marty Harbin Dr. & Mrs. M.A. Jaleel Mayor & Mrs. Gary Laggis Bob & Debi Lenox Rep. & Mrs. Ronnie Mabra Ant & Dee Murphy Rep. & Mrs. Matt Ramsey Tommy & Vicki Turner David Watts & Kim Melhouse Glenn Valencia Congressman & Mrs. Lynn Westmoreland Mayor & Mrs. Vince Williams

THANK YOU! for helping the kids!

Chair-ity Committee Angela Bean Ashley Bonner Charlie Cave Mimi Cawood Lucinda Costlow Janet McGregor Dunn Petra Ellington Peggy Forrest Pat Hawthorne Missy Johnson Pam Laggis LaVann Landrum Debi Lenox Julie Lincoln Yvonne Martin Annie Singh-Quern Jana Romano Wanda Shaw Rhonda Silvis Kathy Sullivan Vicki Turner Carla Waters Cherie Werginz

The Children’s Village at Christian City expresses thanks to the wonderful sponsors, patrons, hosts, artists & volunteers who made the 2016 Chair-ity Event such a success.

12 | From the Editor

13 | Roll Call 14 | Living Local 18 | Coweta Gardener


34 | Ask Coweta 42 | Coweta Hobby 46 | Coweta History 48 | Focus on Adventure 52 | Fitness & Health 62 | Faces & Places

Len & Jana Romano

Helen G. Webster Fund

64 | Blacktop 66 | Index of Advertisers 66 | What’s Next

on the cover

Mike & Carla Waters Bob & Debi Lenox

Richard Hobbs & Associates Terry Chapman


Moving work home gave these Coweta residents more time for family.

Feeling Resolved?

Rose Marie Harper

Dr. Rose Vann

Tommy & Vicki Turner

Make your New Year’s Resolutions last.

tons of



Creativity and a passion for learning led this local artist down an unplanned career path.


Sara Arnall, local artist and educator, follows her passion for creativity in her art. ➤ page 24

Photo by Beth Neely

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Betsy Box Golf Rider Kate Rogers CPA Peachtree Law Group Coweta-Fayette EMC Mark Gray State Farm Peachtree Pediatric Dentistry, LLC Alice Mallory Mayor & Mrs. Gary Laggis Wahoo Firearms Deja Vu Chuck & LaVann Landrum Mr. Transmission Cherry Bekaert LLP Resurgens Orthopaedics Pyke & Associates Blalock Heating & Air Bill & Anna Marie Hinson Edward Jones - Chris Allessio Hudson Family Foundation, Inc. Mercedes-Benz of South Atlanta Chris & Sandy VanFossan Century 21 Meridian Realty Country Fried Creative Fairburn Ready Mix BB&T Reese Insurance Mike & Joan Velsmid Paula Hyatt Kimberly Peacock Tina Chastain Greg & Janet Dunn Heidi Becker Dr. & Mrs. M. A. Jaleel State Rep. Ronnie Mabra Anonymous Brent & Tina Scarbrough Grant Hancock Chris Foster Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Lindsey


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Southern Crescent Women’s Healthcare is a dedicated


group of professionals consisting of physicians, anuary typically ushers certified in a renewed commitment

and fresh nurse-midwives to andself-improvement nurse practitioners who are trained in beginnings. I tend forego Year’s in favor of making the specialty of to obstetrics andNew gynecology and resolutions completely

little life changes when they occur to me, but I do relish the idea of new beginnings, and taking over as editor of provision of excellent care, based on an evidence-based, Newnan-Coweta Magazine is a particularly exciting one best-practice model. We seek to serve patients throughout for me. all phases Iofgrew their lives in this a warm, compassionate up in area, but workand and life took me to Atlanta for nearly 20 years. When nurturing manner, based on the teachings of Christ with amy certified city-boy husband and I decided to move to Coweta in 2007, it guiding principle found in Matthew 7:12: “So, in everything, was another new beginning that proved a major turning do to others what you would have them do to you.” point in our lifestyle. I enjoyed the opportunity to move home and run into familiar faces in town, and my husband quickly grew to love living in Coweta County — that transition was aided by obtaining a tractor. Amazing how fast a tractor can convert a city boy into a devotee of It has been ourlife. vision and commitment to provide our farm With horses dogs, amedical bit ofcare land made perfect sense, patients with competent and and compassionate but what about the conveniences in a family-centered environment. This commitment allowswe were accustomed to from living just outside the Perimeter? We found most of us to offer a wide range of services, skills and knowledge them right here. Newnan and Coweta County are a little devoted to the healthcare of women in all phases of life. jewel parked just south of the Atlanta airport but a world We realize everyinwoman places value on her and natural beauty. away terms of quality of health life and the many facets of our understandsLearning the importance of regular gynecological community excites me about serving care. The doctor/patient relationship is a privilege we as editor. Already, I’ve met many understand to be unique and somewhat “sacred”. With this talented writers and photographers understanding, we pledge to make your visit with us special whose words and images highlight and comfortable. In find return,charming we trust thatand you will have what we confidence in our judgment and feelour secure with your care. I interesting about community. had the pleasure of meeting a local artist and educator when writing my first article. I feel fortunate to have a front-row seat to the people and happenings in our community. I look forward to sharing my excitement about all things Coweta with you in upcoming issues. Please forward me your ideas and contacts about what makes your Coweta life special. I’d love to hear it, and we’d love to highlight your Coweta experience in the pages of the magazine. Happy New Year! focused on women’s health care. We are committed to the

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“You are important to us!”

SARAH CAMPBELL is a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, so talking to locals about their resolutions was a perfect assignment. She quit smoking thanks to a 2008 resolution, and after interviewing Cowetans for a similar article several years ago, made a few new resolutions. One was an overwhelming success. The other was an underwhelming failure. But hey, two out of three ain’t bad. A 17-year veteran of The Newnan Times-Herald, Campbell also writes the recurring hobby feature for the magazine. In talking to Cowetans about their hobbies, she’s picked up geocaching, made new friends, and became a little obsessed with someday learning to scuba dive. She has no desire to skydive, though. What Are Your Resolutions, Coweta Friends?, page 34 and Sewing Memories, page 42

SUSAN MAYER DAVIS (SUE) Sue’s connection to home-based businesses is personal. After “retiring” to Newnan with Larry, her husband of 43 years, Sue realized she needed something to keep her mentally and physically active, as well as earn a few extra bucks toward traveling. Her first unofficial home-based business involved freelance writing for her previous employer. The assignments were great, but too sporadic to keep her satisfied. When neighbors and relatives suggested she exploit her baking talent, Sue christened, “Mama Sue’s Herbaceous Bread,” which took off like a rocket at her unveiling at the Annual NCAA Christmas Arts and Crafts Market in November. Excited by her success, she began exploring how other people opened home-based businesses and why. Having her poem published in her church’s magazine when she was only 8 spearheaded her love of writing for the rest of her life. She has two manuscripts for novels in the works, and was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, A Cup of Comfort for Writers, A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers, “Leaders for Today” magazine, and online. Business Moves Home, page 36

MATT BISH is a resident of Newnan and a photographer at heart. In addition to photography, he works in conjunction with Electric Puzzle Productions and Oak and Willow Wedding Films to produce a wide range of media. His work includes commercials, portrait and sports photography, aerial imaging, and wedding films. “Working with the team at NewnanCoweta Magazine has been such a pleasure,” he said. “It’s my honor to present you with these visuals of the beautiful people and thriving businesses that call Coweta home.”


For ERIKA HAMBURG-BROWN, the best place in the world to be is on a beach. “I’ve loved the water my whole life. When I was a kid, the reward for finishing chores was an afternoon at the VFW swimming pool. I never saw the ocean until I was 17 years old, and I fell in love immediately. I love the smell of the beach, the salty water, the sand between my toes, hunting for the perfect sea shell, and relaxing and bobbing gently in the undulating waves. Looking out at the expanse of the ocean always seems to put life’s complex issues into perspective. “When I began my research for the article on scuba diving, I read a quote by Dave Barry that said ‘Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.’ This got me to thinking. Why hadn’t I thought about trying this? I know I had some misconceptions, namely that the time it took to get certified was lengthy and costly. In the course of my interviews, I found out that wasn’t true. As a parent, I’ve spent more on school sports and summer camps. “They reassured me that you don’t have to be athletic, just have an ability to swim and feel comfortable in the water. Then, they mentioned trips where you’d be swimming with manatees and turtles…..and that was all I needed to hear. I started daydreaming about high-fiving manatees and conversing with the turtle from ‘Finding Dory’ while the song ‘Octopus’ Garden’ plays as the soundtrack. ‘Yep,’ I think. ‘I have to find a way to make this happen.’ And I’ve promised myself that I will make it happen. Who wants to stare at the outside of the tent all the time? I’d much rather be part of the underwater circus. Dive Into Your Winter Getaway, page 48




“I came up with that name [Faith Over Fitness] because, when it comes to fitness, people are a little scared to get started. You should let your faith be stronger than your fear.” — Rodney Scott

Working out


in Coweta County


hile some enjoy fitness and working out alone, others may need the extra push or motivation. According to a study by Stanford University, the amount of exercise that group members participated in increased by 78 percent on average when receiving a phone call on progress or activity level. Another level of motivation when working out in a group is the köhler effect, which is not wanting to be the weakest link in a group or partnership. This explains why working out with someone who is in better shape will, in turn, make the other partners more fit.

There are options in Coweta for those who are looking to spice up their fitness routines or to find new friends or workout partners. Here are two that are affordable and accessible. Faith over Fear Fitness is a workout group for beginners, seasoned fitness participants or anyone who is ready to put their fitness fears to rest, according to the group organizer and creator, Rodney Scott. “I came up with that name because, when it comes to fitness, people are a little scared to get started,” said Scott, who is also a firefighter. “You should let your faith be stronger than your fear.” Scott said the group began about four years ago when he started helping couples with their workout plans. The workout group has been free of charge ever since. He picks

Written by KANDICE BELL The Faith over Fear Fitness workout group uses accountability and group support to help its members achieve their fitness goals. 14 |

january/february 2017 | 15


different locations throughout Newnan where participants work out for 45 minutes to an hour doing various exercises. “Sometimes we’ll go to Newnan High School and run the track,” Scott said. “I also provide people with a lifelong plan, such as good eating habits. I encourage them with what foods to eat, what times to eat and what to try to avoid. A lot of people don’t know what or when to eat.” The fitness instructor said the group has grown over the years. It is not uncommon for him to have as many as 30 people participating at a time, once or twice a week. “Anyone can come out to have a good time,” Scott said. “Be prepared to push yourself like never before.” Scott said attendees should bring a yoga mat, water, sweat rag, a good attitude and willpower. “Getting through day one is usually the kicker for everybody,” he said. “After making it through day one, hopefully that’ll lead to more and more sessions.” Scott said his group has an open forum group on Facebook to receive updates, tips and recipes. In addition to traditional exercise groups, cycling is an option for those who prefer to witness nature and scenery while exercising. Ladies On Spokes is a cycle group for women throughout south metro Atlanta.

Ladies on Spokes offers local group rides for cyclists of every level.

“We are a group of ladies from all ages, backgrounds, riding abilities, shapes and sizes. You will fit in – guaranteed.” “We are a group of ladies from all ages, backgrounds, riding abilities, shapes and sizes. You will fit in – guaranteed,” according to the website. “We have slow riders, fast riders, and most in between. We never leave anyone behind. We ride as often as possible, and all rides will be posted ahead of time. We promise you that you will love our ladies – could not find a more

beautiful group.” According to Rosemary McCoy, club spokesperson, Barbara Aldred started the club because she wanted some ladies to ride with. “It started with just a few ladies and now we have grown to over 100 members,” McCoy said in an email statement. Membership is $25 per year, and there are different riding events each month throughout Coweta. New riders can attend an introductory meeting to the club, which teaches the basics of cycling. As for the advice for new riders, “riding with a group is a great way to learn to ride,” McCoy said. “Our group offers beginner rides as well as all other levels. We support each other and have a great time exercising. We are a Christian based group and have support for all aspects of life. We also do other outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking.” NCM

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18 |


Many flowers that bloom in cool weather, such as this Snapdragon, come in a variety of colors and sizes to suit a variety of beds.

Preparing your



f you haven’t chosen items to put in your cold-weather garden, and you missed the fall planting season, the winter months are an excellent time to prepare existing flower beds for the spring, or create new ones. Have a soil test done before you begin to plant. According to Kim Toal, the agriculture and natural resources coordinator for the Fayette County Extension Office, most perennials prefer soil with a pH between 5.2 and 6.7. “Perennial means the opposite of what most people think it means. These are the ones that return year after year,” explains plant expert Melody Grimes, of Peachtree City. The soil should drain well, and organic matter can be added to enrich it. Perennial beds need to be revitalized about every three years. This is because as the soil compacts, especially with our Georgia clay, the ground loses nutrients over time, and

Melody Grimes

once-small plants may have grown into a dense mass. Revamping existing beds doesn’t necessarily mean replacing the existing flowers. Simply remove them, have the soil tested, and replant them. Regardless of when in the year you develop the flower beds, you must till the entire area. Georgia clay can be very hard.

Written by ASHLEY MINER | Photographed by ALAN BLACK

january/february 2017 | 19


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If you only prepare the small area where the plant sits in the ground, then not only will the plant run out of nutrients, but the roots will be unable to spread through the ground. There are several different types of plants you can use to add color and texture through the winter months. September through November is the best time to plant cold-weather vegetation. Planting garden additions in the fall allows time for roots to grow and develop. Barring the occasional sudden frost, several flowers, ferns, and herbs can be used to create beautiful landscapes all winter long. The Helleborus is a beautiful perennial whose flowers come in varying shades of white, pink, and purple. They typically bloom from November to March and stay green the rest of the year. Helleborus plants do need a mostly shady area of the garden to thrive. Snapdragons are also perennials. They come in a variety of vibrant, rich colors. When choosing this sun-loving plant, read the label carefully. They vary in size from 6 inches up to 3 feet tall. The taller ones may need to be secured with a stake to help them grow properly. Although Snapdragons bloom in the fall and spring, this pattern creates a burst of color and variety when paired with other flowers. According to Grimes, Cyclamens are a good choice for window boxes and baskets because they are sensitive to overwatering and prefer partial sun. Traditionally a flower that thrives indoors or in


warmer weather, Cyclamens have a heartier variety that allows the white, purple, or red blooms to add color outdoors all winter long. They will go dormant as the weather turns warm, and they often turn yellow and shrivel. Keeping them in pots or planters allows you to keep the moisture low and the plant cool during this time. They are perennials and should come back the next year. If you are looking for foliage to add texture as well as an accent color in your garden, shade-loving ferns do the trick. Holly Ferns can be used to make a luscious green background for your brighter items. This is not a plant you can add as an afterthought, however. They grow fairly quickly and have the

potential to reach 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. An equally large but more colorful perennial is the Autumn Fern. This plant has the same shape and texture of other ferns, but the color on its separated leaves, or fronds, varies from a golden brown to an orange or red, depending on the season. When planning your winter garden, you may be focused on color and texture, but what about scent? Many herbs are hearty enough to stand up to winter’s bite. Some, such as rosemary, can grow to be quite tall. Others, such as mint and oregano, spread across the ground. Certain herbs like thyme have several different color and texture patterns, so you have many

When most people think of ferns and ornamental cabbage and kale, they think of boring green plants. However, these items can actually bring a pop of color and texture.

january/february 2017 | 21


Pots and planters are the perfect solution to limited space and late season planting.

22 |

choices depending on the effect you wish to achieve. Pansies and their smaller faced doppelganger Violas are annuals, meaning they do not return year after year. These sun lovers thrive in cold weather, making them the perfect choice for winter color. Pansies and Violas need to be planted about a foot apart, as they do spread. Be mindful when pairing with other plants, these flowers are usually 6 to 9 inches tall. A reason these particular annuals are so popular is the variety of colors and color combinations available. There is bound to be a shade to suit your personal taste and style. Just as perennial ferns vary the color and texture of shady garden areas, annuals such as ornamental Kale, Cabbage, and Swiss Chard do the same for your sunny areas. Decorative Cabbage and Kale have lovely ruffled leaves, and the centers of these plants range from white to dark pinks and purples. Regardless of whether you are looking to revamp your existing garden, or are looking to brighten up the drearier months, you have an extensive array of colorful flora to choose from. For more information about soil tests and gardening, contact your local extension office. NCM

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COWETA ARTIST After putting art on hold for many years, Sara Arnall’s passion for creating art has taken center stage in her studio and the classroom.

Artist on a S

ara Arnall’s art layers paper mementos, color and texture into unique creations that draw the eye and capture your attention as you look ever closer. Paper collage forms the canvas for her paintings. At a minimum, the painstakingly crafted collage offers a rich texture to support the painting, and, in many cases, it’s also an integral part of the finished piece. Dr. Nicole Andrews, a veterinarian from Moreland, is a repeat customer and big fan of Arnall’s work. “She’s done a couple of paintings for me. I love the overall impression of each, and the real fun comes from seeing all the hidden words and symbols that have unique meaning for me,” said Andrews. A close look at Arnall’s portrait of Andrews’ German shorthaired pointer Jobe reveals a small unicorn, a cat playing fiddle and many other whimsical touches that are meaningful to Andrews who is an active equestrian and is engaged to a musician. What started as a portrait of a beloved pet,


became a more broadly meaningful tapestry through the collage. After just a few minutes talking with Arnall it becomes clear how excited and passionate she is about her own art journey and about teaching art at The Heritage School. It’s surprising to discover that this deep connection to art is a relatively recent development. Arnall comes from an art tradition. Her great grandmother and namesake, Sara Amis, was a student of Tom Powers and an early exhibitor at Powers Crossroads. “Mama Sara” as she was known to her family, picked up her paint brushes and learned her

Written by DEBBIE BRADY | Photographed by BETH NEELY 24 |

january/february 2017 | 25


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Sara shares her interest in learning new techniques across a variety of media with students at The Heritage School.

craft in her 70s and continued painting until she was 100. She shared her love for art with her great granddaughter. “I would spend the summer days with Mama Sara, and we would paint all day. She’d have little projects waiting for me, and that’s how we would spend our days,” recalled Arnall. When college rolled around, Arnall went to the University of Georgia and pursued a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences. “It just didn’t occur to me that studying art was an option,” she said. So art went to the back burner for many years. Around the holidays in 2012, Arnall’s sons were getting more independent and she had a friend turning 50. As she thought about a present, she decided to create something special and was drawn to the idea of a collage. Her passion for art was rekindled. Like many of us looking for information and inspiration, Arnall turned to Google and YouTube to learn how to develop and preserve her collages. “I watch a lot

Sara Amis, Arnall’s great grandmother, was featured in an August 1964 edition of The Newnan Times-Herald.

january/february 2017 | 27


The collage of paper from old books and magazines peeks through the paint to add meaning and interest to this portrait of Dr. Nicole Andrews’ dog.

“I kept painting and couldn’t just let them pile up. I was afraid I was that person whose friends and family are saying ‘oh look, another painting from Sara,’ so I started posting them on social media for sale.”

28 |

of YouTube videos on technique and take online classes. If someone whose work I admire is doing a workshop locally, I’ll go and learn new techniques,” commented Arnall. “At first I did mostly collage as I was better at it than painting, but I’ve moved into painting more. I had a dog phase early on and now I’m pretty obsessed with people and learning to do faces,” she enthused. The paper for the collage foundation of her art comes from many sources. Some of it directly from Mama Sara — “She never threw anything away, so I have old letters and papers from her. I also buy maps and papers from secondhand shops,” Arnall said. Asked about her process, Arnall says the tearing and placing of the paper is the time consuming part. “I’ll think about what I want to paint for days or weeks and then paint all day. Then I walk away for a bit,” she said. “Once I have a fresh perspective, I see what I want to fix. Often times I’ll take a picture of it, which also allows me to see what needs to be fixed. My style has gotten faster and looser than it was early on when I was caught up in every little detail,” Arnall commented. It’s clear that Arnall is excited by the process and developing her constantly evolving style. The commercial aspect of her work is fairly incidental. “I kept painting and couldn’t just let them pile up. I was afraid I was that person whose friends and family are saying ‘oh look, another painting from Sara,’ so I started posting them on social media for sale,” she said. She also started participating in the Newnan Art Walk in 2013 and

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has some of her work at Fine Lines in Newnan. She does commissions though admits they are stressful. “I get really nervous about how well (the painting) will be received,” she said. In 2015 she began teaching art at The Heritage School. “David Boyd (Jr.) asked me to be a long-term sub while Ellis McEntire was on maternity leave. I felt like I had to learn as I went, and I practiced everything before teaching it. I love it. It’s amazing to see the kids’ skills develop,” Arnall said. “Sometimes I ask ‘Did I teach you that?’ I just want them to get it and love it like I do.” When asked why he tapped Arnall to teach, Boyd replied, “Sara’s on the same path we’re all on — to learn more and be the best artist she can be. Whatever you’re curious about you wind up teaching the kids and taking them along as you pursue your passion.” Talking with Arnall about her art and teaching is infectious. Her passion and energy brim over and that energetic, animated style is reflected in her work. With rich color and layers of detail, her work is rich and vibrant. Just like her great grandmother “Mama Sara,” painting clearly has Arnall in its grip and we can only hope it has the same longevity and impact. NCM

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he tradition of making New Year’s resolutions has its roots in the reign of Julius Caesar. January was named after the Roman God Janus, who was envisioned as having two faces – one facing the past and one facing forward. With the ability to look forward and backward at the same time, Janus was considered the guardian of arches, doors, gates, beginnings and endings. For centuries January has been a traditional landmark for new beginnings, which means come January 1, people have a new list of goals they want to accomplish in the following 365 days. Conversely, it also means that a few months later most people will have actually given up on those new goals. According to, almost 50 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent of them are successful in achieving those resolutions. The main question with this yearly occurrence is why? Why do people make resolutions for the new year, and why do most of them fail in meeting them?

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january/february 2017 | 31

“You have to keep track of the specific goals ... If you can get the specifics down to where you can work them into your life, you have a better chance of meeting your resolution.” - Tony Johnson

© Shutterstock

Newnan psychologist Tony Johnson is very familiar with New Year’s resolutions and has some insights on the science of why some people don’t fulfill them and others succeed. “There’s always been a trend for self-improvement,” he said. “Go back 2,000 years and people have always tried to improve themselves. It’s convenient when a new year is starting to ask how can we improve ourselves.” “We’re all short-range hedonists; the most important first step is to make the goal as specific as possible,” he added. “If you don’t, you won’t know what you should do.” In terms of meeting your New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to keep the list short. “If you’re talking about a resolution to improve, stick to the one goal, put it into your routine, make it automatic and track your progress,” Johnson said. “There is a higher probability of failure if you do more than one,” he added. Being too vague with their resolutions is one reason why

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people give up on them. A common resolution is to lose weight, and for it Johnson suggests first determining how much weight you want to lose overall and then determine how much you need to lose each week to make that happen. “If you lose a pound a week, how will you do that?” he said. “What will you eat?” The key to building it into your routine is automaticity – making it regular. “That automatically makes it more achievable,” Johnson said. “You have to keep track of the specific goals (length of workout, etc.). If you can get the specifics down to where you can work them into your life, you have a better chance of meeting your resolution. Make it so habitual that you don’t have to think about it,” he added. “You just do it.” Another reason people give up on their New Year’s resolutions is by falling prey to the “What the Hell” effect, which is what happens when someone has a setback with a

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resolution and decides what the hell and gives up on it. Johnson gave an example of this effect with eating donuts. “If your resolution is to not eat donuts because you want to eat better or lose weight, but you decide to just eat one on Sunday or you fall prey at a party and eat several, you think you’ve failed,” he said. “You haven’t failed. You just ate three donuts. You can get back on track. But you’re more likely to say, ‘What the hell?’ and fall out. You can get back on the program.” In terms of the most common resolutions, Johnson said there are three – exercising, losing weight, and stopping smoking. “According to surveys, stopping smoking is the hardest, over meth, heroin, etc., because it’s attached to so many things, and it’s legal to get it,” he said. Length of sustainability is another tenant to New Year’s resolutions. “It’s not really durable if you can’t go past a year,” said Johnson. To better illustrate the point, Johnson referenced a study done by psychologist Richard Wiseman, who tracked more than 3,000 people throughout 2007 who were attempting different resolutions, which included – losing weight, visiting the gym, quitting smoking, and drinking less. At the start of Wiseman’s study, 52 percent of the participants were confident they would succeed, but one year later only 12 percent had achieved their goals. “If they can go for a year, that’s a real milestone,” said Johnson. “Ten to maybe 20 percent can sustain it for over a year.” Despite these statistics, there are ways to be successful. “If you set a goal, don’t keep it a secret,” said Johnson. “It elicits support from others and keeps you accountable.” A series of studies by Wharton researchers published in 2014 in the journal Management Science, document a “fresh start effect” that motivates people to distance themselves from past imperfections and use a temporal landmark to propel their behavior to a new, more positive self image. By studying Google searches and gym attendance, the researchers were able to determine clear patterns of self improvement behavior at the start of the new year, the start of the month and the start of the week. While the behavior trailed off as the year, month, week progressed the pattern of starting anew continued. So take Johnson’s tips to success and your optimism for a new year and transfer it to making improvements in your life for at least the first couple of weeks of 2017. See you at the gym for a little while. NCM

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Ruth Isham I’ve always made New Year’s resolutions. I always break them, but even a few months of living a healthier life – physically, mentally, spiritually healthier – is better than no change at all. Each year the new habits last longer. I keep a chart on my fridge to remind me. Who says gold stars are just for kids? I try to memorize a Scripture every month that encourages me or refers to a life lesson I’ve recently learned, and I’ve recently gotten an app to help me read through the Bible chronologically in 2017. Here in the South we need to stay hydrated, so drinking a glass of water before my morning cup of coffee is a tough resolution I made and kept for several months of 2016. I’m trying to pick it back up again this month. A network of friends is important to emotional health, so I’ve been keeping my 2016 resolution to send encouraging private messages on Facebook to three friends every month.

Katie McKoy I usually make a resolution to support a nonprofit each year. This year will be the Children’s Tumor Foundation and the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, as they have helped my son this year immensely. I started doing work with a nonprofit instead of making resolutions a long time ago. I’ll just break the resolutions or forget about it. Donating to a nonprofit is easy in that way, and there is no guilt – if you forget and you remember halfway through, just make a donation. 34 |


Lisa Stewart Every year I make the same resolution: to get into better shape and drop some weight. And I get more decrepit and fatter. So this year, my resolution is to do my best to destroy my health and gain 100 pounds.

Melissa Carroll We made a resolution to not eat out for the entire month of January. We actually managed to go half-way into February. We saved a ton of money and lost weight. We’ve done it twice now, and we’re going to try do it every year. In late 2014, I was looking at my bank account. November and December are busy months: you’re running around, doing lots of shopping. I thought – let’s see where our money is going. When I saw how much I was spending on restaurants I was mortified. We would still go to the grocery store every week. I thought – this is just so dumb. So, I said for the entire month of January we’re not eating out, not one single time. For the first week or two, it was OK. I planned meals. But the weekends were hard. One day we were getting ready to go run some errands and my husband asked what I was doing – I said, I’m packing a lunch! So we ended up at Sam’s around lunchtime, and we ate in the car. One other time we were out and he said let’s get something to eat. I said OK. We pulled into the Broadway Diner in Fayetteville. We got out of the car and were walking in before I remembered – we can’t eat here. It was not easy, but it was fun and it was very rewarding afterward just knowing – OK, you don’t have to eat out so much. We figured out that it’s so much healthier to eat at home, but it does require a lot of planning. It was a great resolution. It’s something that was tough to do, but we stuck with it and made it through it.

Grace Smith I never make one, never. Mine would be broken before I said it.

Laura Cristina I made a resolution last year to donate as much as I could afford to help others in our community, and I stuck to it all year. This year’s resolution is to volunteer at One Roof regularly. I’ve already started, and they need lots of help, for anyone who is interested. NCM

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The look and feel of America’s workplace is changing before our eyes. Kathryn Allen, who holds an undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State and a doctorate of chiropractic from Life University, recently gave up her successful practice, Peachtree Family Chiropractic, in Peachtree City to stay home with her 22-month-old son. “My husband and I both own businesses, so our son Smith went to childcare full-time from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. almost daily. He began bringing home coughs, colds, ear infections, and strep throat, which eventually progressed to pneumonia and landed him in the hospital,” Allen said. “I realized that my priority is not running an office, but being with my family at this time.” Since closing her office a few months ago, Allen re-opened her practice on a very limited scale from home. It has been quite a transition from adjusting and advising patients, keeping books, and managing staff, to seeing a few patients while being a full-time mom. Her office is now set up in the “She-Shed” in the backyard of their home. Often, Smith is in the office with his mommy, quietly coloring while she works. Allen limits her patients to family and close friends because she does not want to run the risk of overcommitting herself in her new location; however, she does want to continue helping people live healthier lives. How is it working out? Smith no longer gets sick as often, and his social and vocabulary skills show marked improvement. Was it worth the move financially? “Definitely,” Allen replied. “I have no commute, and when finished with an adjustment, I walk in the house to be with my family.” In the 1950s and 60s, many of us took for granted that our mothers would be home all day while Daddy “worked.” This is not always the situation today when two incomes are so often a necessity and not a choice. However, modern couples across the country are creating their own scripts regarding the location and situation of their place of work in order that one of them can be home with their children. Statistics are hard to find, but it is easy to see that home-based businesses are growing quickly. Whereas Allen moved her professional office to her home with plans to downsize her business, others moved home because they realized they could save money working from home. Take for example Philip and Candace Frank. Philip has run his private investigation firm, ISIS Investigations (Investigative

Dr. Katie Allen turned a vacant "She Shed" in her back yard into her home chiropractic office. Katie and Kevin's son, Smith, is no longer plagued by the coughs and colds he seemed to pick up at preschool. Dr. Katie's office embraces the feeling she wanted - lots of natural light, warm, inviting surroundings, and a feeling of well-being for her patients. "Health is holistic," she said, "and your surroundings are one component of feeling well.

january/february 2017 | 37

Services Information Source) from home for 16 years. His first two years in business, Philip rented a storefront in downtown Newnan but realized he could save money working out of his home while spending more time with his family. “It’s been a win-win,” Philip said. “I used to take my daughter to the Post Office so often that she told people I worked there. Everyone assumes my career is glamorous, but mostly I work with lawyers, process servers, suspicious spouses, and insurance companies. Although there can be some danger occasionally, it’s generally a pretty routine occupation,” Philip asserted. Philip’s frustrations working at home come from the inconsistent income and dealing with necessary work items such as bookkeeping, taxes, and insurance. Philip’s wife, Candace, moved her Evermore Wedding and Events business home about four years ago. “I wanted to stay in the business, but still be with our girls, ages 8 and 5,” she stated. Now Candace works about 30 hours per week unless she has a wedding going on, when it can soar beyond 40, but she doesn’t complain. “I have the best of all worlds,” she asserted, “sharing an office with my husband, being available to my girls, and yet being able to use my creativity and skillset almost daily. With Philip home also, we learned to blur the gender roles when it comes to everything.” At top, Philip and Candace Frank enjoy the company of their daughters, Sarah (8) and Julianna (5), and the family mascot, Willie (1). Above, Candace researches wedding venues for a brideto-be. Working from home allows her to be available for her family while pursuing her personal passion of helping brides experience the wedding of their dreams. At right, Philip takes notes on a client's case as he plans the next steps in his investigation. Having worked at home for 15 years, he has his routine established, while being available to cover Dad duties when called upon. 38 |

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The couple smiles as they explain the contradiction of their professions, “She helps people get married, and I help them get divorced,” Philip smiled ruefully. The negatives for Candace include the lack of defined work hours and the lack of a steady paycheck, since income fluctuates for both of them. However, both the Franks recommend the home-based business as a natural choice for those who are considering it. Lori Harris exemplifies another face of the changing work-athome trend. Harris operates not one, but two businesses from home. While the income is not the major motivating factor, she expressed her need to pursue her passions — interior design and physical fitness — in order to feel creative and fulfilled while helping people beautify their surroundings and guiding people to healthier living. She and her husband John have two boys ages 10 and 12, and a girl age 7. About five years ago, she opened Swoon Designs,

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an interior design firm that also worked with wedding venues. The bridal business took her away from home more often than she liked, however, leading her to back off wedding design. “I took a job with a local gym as a fitness trainer, but I had to take the children with me and let them wait in the daycare center at the gym. They were not happy,” she said, “and I felt I wasn’t realizing my desire to assist my neighborhood friends who needed help getting healthier.” Soon, Swoonbody gym, which she installed in her garage, joined Swoon Designs. Her brother helped her outfit it with all the equipment needed for an optimal workout. “I specialize in HIIT — High Intensity Interval Training—with modifications as necessary to meet a client’s physical needs or limitations,” Harris said. She offers personal training and nine classes each week, beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. She admits, “Sometimes, it’s exhausting, but I love it. I’d recommend a home business option to anyone,” she said. “Especially if you have children, so you can be there for them while also meeting your own creative needs.” Alex Mena has a different take on a home business. A native of El Salvador, Mena met his American wife Leslie while she was on a mission trip to his country in 2007. They married in 2013 and son Samuel joined the family in 2014. A lawyer in his native country, Mena must return to school in the US and pass the bar before practicing here, Alex Mena takes a break from his IT work to play with son Samuel. Working at home allows precious time for father/son bonding.

Alex needs only a small, quiet place to perform his work at home. A spare room is the perfect office space for this work-at-home dad.

40 |

so he took a job in IT working for Chick-fil-A Corporate, where his wife also works. After their son was born, Mena happily accepted an offer to work a split shift from home, while his wife arranged a later shift, so Samuel has the advantage of having his parents available at all times. “I work early morning and again in the evening, so I can get work done while Samuel is still asleep in the mornings, and when he takes his late nap in the late afternoon. Every day after lunch, I take our son on outings so we both have social interaction,” Mena said. It is obviously his favorite part of the day. The arrangement works well for this two-income couple. “Besides the joy of being able to raise our son ourselves, we save gas, we save money on daycare, and I have more time with Samuel,” he said. Mena advises others considering working from home to find balance between work and family, maintain division, and make alternative plans if your child should fall sick or otherwise needs your attention during work hours. “It’s all worth it,” he said, “because this way, you don’t miss precious moments with your family.” If you are considering a homebased business, first, do your homework. Examine tax laws and zoning requirements before you begin. Ask yourself some hard questions: Can you stay focused and motivated? Can you manage the taxes and paperwork? Do you have the skill to market and promote your business? Can you manage the uncertainty of flexible workflow? If so, maybe you can be one of the home-based pioneers who are finding ways to meet both your family and entrepreneurial goals. Let 2017 be the year when you write your own script in the shifting landscape of home-based businesses. NCM

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Quilting is both a practical hobby and a social event. Coweta ladies enjoy the fellowship of their sewing groups as much as the sewing and the finished product.




“To me, it’s calming. It gives me something to do with my hands that is useful, but it’s calming. It gives me a sense of peace.” — Polly Power

Polly Power shows off some of the quilts that have been made over the years by the Royal Stitchers.


here are many reasons to love quilting — the creativity, the craftsmanship, the calm, and of course the finished product.

But for the ladies of the Royal Stitchers, the biggest draw is the companionship. The group of ladies from Royal Baptist Church meets each Tuesday to quilt, lunch, and catch up. The Royal Stitchers do their quilting by hand, on quilting frames. The “piecing” of the quilt tops, however, is usually

Written by and photographed by SARAH FAY CAMPBELL 42 |


done with a machine. “To me, it’s calming,” said Polly Power. “It gives me something to do with my hands that is useful, but it’s calming. It gives me a sense of peace. I love the quilting group because of the fellowship. We’re all talking about different things, all in the same room. I just enjoy it.” Novelle Dennis – better known as Mrs. D. – is the matriarch of the group. “She sets a high standard. Her stitches are so tiny and straight,” said Power. Dennis comes from a family of quilters and has memories from her childhood of her mother having friends over for quilting. She had a quilting frame that hung from the ceiling when it wasn’t being used. But Dennis didn’t do any quilting back then. She was busy playing with the children of her mother’s quilting friends. Dennis didn’t really start Novelle Dennis quilting until her children were born. She made small quilts for them. But it has only been since her husband died that she got serious about it. In the past few years, she’s made around 40 quilts. “She has a quilt on the frame all the time,” said her daughter, Donna Acree. Dennis has a dedicated quilting room in her home, complete with a small frame. “I just sit and quilt,” she said. She’ll often watch TV while she’s quilting. Thanks to modern conveniences, quilting is easier than it

used to be. There are sewing machines, of course, but those have been in common use for well over 100 years. The biggest improvement is in the batting. Now cotton batting comes in rolls. It Judy Wilson can be cut to fit and easily smoothed, and quilts made from it can be machine washed. Historically, the batting was made of loose pieces of cotton, which had to be patted and pulled and then quilted with many close stitches to hold it in place. “The more stitches you got in a quilt, the better they stayed together. They wouldn’t lump up so much,” Dennis said. Sometimes, after years of use, they would get kind of lumpy. Dennis remembers taking the burrs out of freshly picked cotton and watching her mother lay the cotton out, smooth it and pat it. Sometimes, they didn’t get all the burs, and a few would end up inside the quilt. Dennis also remembers her mother sometimes taking old, worn quilts and using them as batting for new quilts. Other times, the old, ragged quilts would be used when calves were born on their dairy farm. “We would wrap that quilt around the calf. It was so funny. We used a lot of quilts like that,” Dennis said. “We didn’t take care of quilts.” Because of the batting, those old quilts couldn’t be washed. “They’d never dry, and the cotton would roll up,” Power said. Instead, each spring, the ladies recall, quilts were put on the clothesline and beaten. Then they would be left in the sun for a while to freshen. Many of those quilts were made out of pieces of worn out clothes. Power started quilting when her first child was young and her husband was stationed in Connecticut. It was cold, and they were sharing one vehicle. “I took old

Donna Acree, left, and her mother Novelle Dennis, center, quilt together with the Royal Stitchers and at home. At right is Polly Power.

january/february 2017 | 43

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shirts and kids’ clothes and just made a quilt top from that. But I didn’t actually quilt it until I moved here,” she said. “It was something to do inside, and I remembered my grandmother was using the material from old dresses and shirts and things.” These days, most quilts are made from fabric bought especially for quilting. Grace Smith “always said I cannot “It takes somebody special to do the quilt.” She was wrong. She’s been tops, and put the colors together,” Power sewing with the Royal Stitchers for said. “If I were to do it, it wouldn’t look years, but the quilt she’s holding will as pretty.” be the first she’s done on her own. And while some quilters prefer to hand quilt on frames, others use a long-arm sewing machine. Putting the backing, batting, and top together, smoothing them all out, and pinning them to get ready for the actual quilting takes talent, too. “That’s why we have the group. Different steps take different people,” Power said. “Shirley Oliver’s got a good sense of the colors that go together and putting the tops together. We have some that love to do just the binding. It takes a lot of different talents to put it together.” And with the group comes the fellowship. Every one of the Royal Sue Sears has been quilting Stitchers points to the fellowship as being about eight years, and comes to the Royal Stitchers every a major part of the joy of quilting. week. That’s definitely the case for Linda Burns, current president of Coweta’s Common Threads Quilters Guild. The guild, which has monthly meetings and weekly “sewcials,” recently celebrated its 10th birthday. “We really build friendships here,” Burns said. When she first moved to Newnan, the only people she knew were her son and daughter-in-law. “I sat at home all day doing nothing,” she said. Then a friend of her son’s invited her to a guild meeting. Burns had made one quilt before. She decided she might like getting back into quilting. Being a part of the guild “has opened up a whole new world of friendship for me. And other people will say the same thing,” she said. As for quilting itself, “I love doing puzzles, and a quilt is really a big puzzle,” Burns said. “You have


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Shirley Oliver figures out the patterns and colors for the Royal Stitchers’ Quilts of Valor projects, and embroiders a label on each one.


to put all the pieces together, but first you get to make the pieces.” When it’s done, “it’s a great sense of accomplishment when you look back at the quilt. it gives me a lot of joy and a sense of accomplishment.” Quilters quilt for themselves “but we also do it for other people. Donna Acree works on a It’s that love of others and that Quilts of Valor project. good feeling of contributing something to their lives that could give them comfort.” Many of Coweta’s quilters are older ladies. “We’re hoping that more young people will come along and start quilting too,” Burns said. Her granddaughter is 6, and “she can’t wait to be able to quilt. We’re handing down a wonderful tradition.” If you’d like to learn more about quilting, there are beginner’s classes offered at the Newnan Jo-Ann Store. If you know a bit about sewing and want to visit the guild, you’re welcome to come out to a monthly meeting. Visitors can attend two guild meetings before joining, Burns said. Meetings are held the fourth Monday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mills Chapel Baptist Church, 85 Country Club Road, Newnan. Or visit NCM

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Decades before there were recycling symbols on products, before schoolchildren heard lessons about littering – even before Lady Bird Johnson turned the nation’s attention to beautification, there was Mark Trail.



Mark Trail, the outdoorsy central character in the comic strip of the same name, has been teaching lessons about natural resources, outdoor safety and the facts about animals and plants since 1946. The strip was created by Edward Benton “Ed” Dodd, whose family has many connections in and around Coweta County. My world has intersected with Mark Trail over the years. I remember poring over the comic strip as a boy. A few years ago, I learned Rhett Carmichael, a cousin’s wife, worked for Dodd at Lost Forest, the studio at his home at Sandy Springs. When Lynn and I first married, my Dad gave us a print of “Band Day at Georgia” by Ed Dodd’s first cousin, painter Lamar Dodd. I left it on the wall when we moved years ago – an act for which I am just now obtaining forgiveness. Then, when I started pastoring in the late 1980s, I learned that one of my predecessors at Mt. Zion Baptist Church was Jesse Mercer Dodd, Ed Dodd’s father. Most memorably in 1999, I traveled to Gainesville where Ed Dodd’s legacy lives at the Georgia Mountains History Museum at Brenau University. I spent the morning touring the Ed Dodd exhibit with his widow, Rosemary, who had a passion for her husband’s legacy. Ed Dodd was born in LaFayette in 1902. The family, however, has deep roots in Palmetto. John Sample Dodd, Ed’s great-grandfather, was a preacher who founded two area churches, Bethsaida and Ramah. When “Mark Trail” first appeared, the strip differed from such humorous strips as “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith” and “Nancy.” “Mark Trail” was drawn in a realistic style and had a continuing storyline, like “The Phantom” and “Mary Worth.” Unlike the others, “Mark Trail” was infused from the beginning with insights about nature. The title character was a photographer and writer for a nature magazine. Accompanied by his faithful Saint Bernard, Andy, Mark often collaborated with a

veterinarian, Doc Davis. Mark’s regular love interest was the doctor’s daughter, Cherry Davis. Cherry and Mark were married in 1993, in strips put together by Jack Elrod after Dodd retired. There was a bad guy, Catfish, and, starting in 1981, an orphaned boy named Rusty, who was eventually adopted by Mark and Cherry. The educational value of the strip was seen early, and teachers often assigned students to read it. Rosemary Dodd told me “Mark Trail” was syndicated in some 400 daily newspapers at its height. By 2006, that number was down to 175. The strip inspired a radio show and a pilot for a television series. Starting in 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made Mark Trail its official mascot, using the cartoon character to promote programs of the National Weather Service, as well as NOAA’s Weather Radio. There is a Mark Trail Wilderness area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Dodd, who died in Gainesville in 1991, retired in 1978. The strip was continued by Elrod, who had worked with Dodd for years, until 2014. “Mark Trail” has been drawn by James Allen since the retirement of Elrod, who died in 2016. Conservation was a passion of Ed Dodd and was a focus in his comic strip “before it was a catchword,” Rosemary Dodd told me. Her husband often prepared a “sherry cordial” – equal parts coffee and Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry – after a morning outdoors. She said he liked nothing better than sitting around a campfire with buddies where he could “smoke his pipe, tell lies and drink liquor.” Ed Dodd’s artistic gifts and commitment to the environment continue to earn dividends as “Mark Trail” reaches a new generation of readers. NCM

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january/february 2017 | 47


Dive into Your Winter

Getaway Maybe the cold, gray winter days have you yearning for the sunny warmth of a tropical destination. Maybe you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to learn something new and have more fun this year. Or maybe you’ve just had enough of this world and want to submerge yourself into a place that’s warmer, prettier, calmer, even more tranquil. Those who scuba dive will tell you, this activity is the perfect elixir for your winter blues. So let’s take the plunge.

Photo by Wade Sweatman

Certified scuba divers are free to explore an underwater world of reefs and wrecks and see all the colorful fish and wildlife that inhabit the ocean.


e are fortunate to have scuba instructors of the highest accreditation here locally. Kim and Robert Carawan of Peachtree Dive Center in Peachtree City, and Wade Sweatman of Deep South Divers in Newnan have achieved the highest professional certification. As Course Directors they are certified to train other instructors. A PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Course Director holds the most respected professional rating in recreational scuba diving. They have decades of experience and an encyclopedic knowledge of all the best places to scuba dive. Best of all, they offer group scuba dive travel experiences every


Photo by Brian Ferguson

month of the year. Getting your certification is simpler than you might think. There are two phases to the training. First, you must complete the academic work and confined water (pool) training. Second, you complete four open water training dives. Most of the time, the first phase can be completed in one weekend and the training dives on a second weekend. Or you can complete the second part of your training and receive your certification while on a scuba travel vacation. Both Peachtree Dive Center and Deep South Divers offer training in ways that can accommodate your schedule and learning style. You can become a certified diver as young as 10 years old, and once you are certified, you are certified for life. If you were previously certified but haven’t been on a dive in a while, they offer a refresher class that can help you re-acclimate and get back into the swim of things. If you are curious about

the sport but apprehensive, there are “Discover Scuba” classes that will let you get a taste of diving just to see if it’s really for you. Most instructors will tell you there isn’t much athleticism involved, just an ability to swim and feel comfortable in the water. Scuba diving really is a sport that you can participate in for many, many years. Once you have your certification, a whole new travel opportunity opens up. Both Peachtree Dive Center and Deep South Divers take care of their divers’ travel plans by booking the hotel room, handling the diving gear needs and scheduling the dive boat trips. They meet their divers at the destination and dive with them. It depends on the destination, but some trips may be all-inclusive which means your food and drink are also included. It is up to you to schedule your own transportation to and from the destination. This January and February, Peachtree Dive Center and Deep South Divers offer trips to Crystal River and january/february 2017 | 49

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Photo by Brian Ferguson

Rainbow River in central Florida and several other springs located along the Florida panhandle. Crystal River is famous for being the winter home to as many as 400 manatees who reside in the city’s spring-fed bays and rivers. It is one of the few places where you are legally allowed to swim with the manatees. Rainbow River is also fed by natural springs so the waters are very clear and stay a comfortable 72 degrees almost year-round. If you are interested in obtaining your certification while on vacation, Deep South Divers has a trip to Cozumel in Photo by James Johnson February. On this Any competent swimmer who is trip, you would do comfortable in the water can learn to enjoy your academic portion enjoy scuba diving. of the training through an online course prior to your travel, then do the confined water training at the resort when you first arrive and your open water training dives right there in Cozumel. Wade says this trip seems to be a favorite among his travel divers because it is all inclusive. They’ve been making this trip two to three times a year for over 20 years. In March and April both dive centers have trips to the Florida Keys. Here you will be diving in the National Marine Sanctuary which is home to the world’s third largest barrier reef with over 6,000 species of marine life. Kim Carawan says that within the U.S., it is her favorite place to go diving. “The reef system is just pristine and beautiful. We’ve been going for years, and every time we go, we see something new.” Robert added “It’s one of the best dives in the world because the area is so protected.” “You never know what you’ll see. I’ve had turtles swim up to me and want to be petted. We had a goliath grouper that used to wait for us at the bottom of the dive boat’s ladder and he made it hard to train my students because they all wanted to play with him. It’s really incredible


the interaction you can have with the animals.” Robert noted that diving trips to protected areas like the Florida Keys always offer a more abundant supply of marine life to view because the areas haven’t been over-fished. It is for this reason that the Carawans make an annual group dive trip to Bonaire every Thanksgiving week. Just north of Venezuela, Bonaire is an island in the Caribbean whose coastline is also a marine sanctuary. Both Robert and Kim say that Bonaire is their favorite place to dive because you can dive in reefs right along the shore. You don’t need to take a dive boat out to see some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and marine life. Wade’s wife Selena has also been a certified diver for over 30 years. Her favorite place to dive is the British Virgin Islands, “because the colors of the reefs are so beautiful and diving among the shipwrecks

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is like being on the set of a pirate movie.” “The wrecks are one of my favorite things. Maybe it’s a guy thing,”Wade says with a laugh. And what about sharks and other large aquatic animals? Wade says, “I tell my students; if you see something large, it’s probably lived a long time. And if it’s lived a long time, it’s probably smart. And if it’s smart, it stays away from things it doesn’t know very well. Sharks typically don’t bother people under water.” This really is a great family sport. The Carawans say they have several families who’ve had three generations certified at their dive shop. All three of the Sweatman’s children are certified, and their son is now a Master Diver and instructor. Robert, Kim and Wade say that they have several former students who are now dive instructors. Each of them will tell you the most rewarding part of all is watching student’s reactions after they’ve played with their first manatee, seen their first colorful coral reef, or swam with stingrays. NCM

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get fit “Seeing that I can make my own body composition change reflects the hard work put in and keeps me motivated to get better. I’ve stopped getting on the scale and started looking in the mirror.” — Jennifer Patterson Written by KANDICE BELL | Photographed by MATT BISH 52 |





he new year welcomes new ideas, new resolutions and new goals regarding careers, wealth, personal habits and even weight and exercise. That’s why gyms and health related entities usually experience a bustle of new clients wanting to improve their health, but if you’re feeling an urge to tone up, there are other options besides a treadmill or an elliptical, such as yoga, pilates, crossfit or weightlifting.

New year, new you? Choose an exercise regimen that targets your fitness goals.

Jessica Griffith, the marketing and fitness coordinator/ instructor at the Piedmont Newnan Fitness Center in downtown Newnan, said that exercising in itself has many benefits, but each exercise regimen offers something different. “Yoga focuses on flexibility improvement and the whole mindset of relaxation,” Griffith said. “It all just depends on the level and type of yoga.” While the Piedmont Newnan Fitness Center does not offer CrossFit, the gym does offer a similar regimen called circuit express, which is a high-energy, fast-paced workout. “It’s a great workout,” Griffith said. “If you participate january/february 2017 | 53


in these types of workouts, you don’t have to be in the gym as long. You alternate stations, so that way you’re going from cardio to strength and keeping your heart rate up. The benefit of circuit training is you can choose to use heavier weight, and it’s high intensity, so it’s more effective.” Griffith said circuit training is a more advanced workout, so she doesn’t recommend it to someone new to exercise or coming into exercise after a long period of not exercising. As far as weightlifting goes, Griffith said it’s suitable for any age or fitness level. She said weightlifting can help prevent osteoporosis and helps with strength improvement. Contrary to what many think, Griffith said, weightlifting does not make someone automatically bulk up and gain weight, but it helps to burn the fat, tone muscle and prevent injuries.

Yoga Yoga was developed around 5,000 years ago in India as a comprehensive system for well being on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, according to, a nonprofit organization representing the yoga community. It is often equated with Hatha Yoga, the well-known system of postures and breathing techniques. The Blue Lotus Yoga in downtown Newnan offers different levels of instruction “for the not-even-beginner beginner and advanced yoga student,” said Shelby Davis, owner. “Yoga is good for anything, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually,” she said. “It’s not only stretching, but you stretch muscles in your body you never knew existed.” Yoga is good to relieve the stress of everyday life, according to Davis. “We hold on to lots of stuff, and it makes us tense,” she said. “Yoga helps relieve and open you up. It releases tension and stress and helps you move better. It really puts you on a different level with your emotions.” Davis said she recommends beginners concentrate on the overall sensation rather than possible embarrassing

appearances. “When you first begin, don’t worry about how you look,” she said. “Pay attention to how you feel.”

Pilates Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of movements focusing on low-impact flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, according to Pilates emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. It is named for its creator, Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercises in the 1920s. Pilates strengthens and improves muscle elasticity and joint mobility, which makes the body less susceptible to injuries.

CrossFit/Weightlifting Many may think that only those who are already physically fit and active can successfully participate in CrossFit or weightlifting, but according to CrossFit trainer Christin

Yoga can help practitioners of all ages improve their flexibility and balance. Shelby Davis helps Nala Scott, a practitioner, perfect her form.

54 |


Baxter, anyone who is willing to put in the work can do the exercise regimens. Baxter is no stranger to sports and physical fitness, having played soccer most of her life. She tried CrossFit with her parents and has loved it ever since. She has been a CrossFit trainer for two years and currently trains at the Tower Place CrossFit. “CrossFit is functional fitness, a high intensity, workout that targets muscle groups that you’d use in any real-life activity,” Baxter said. “It’s always changing and something different. You’re definitely not working the same muscle group every day, so it’s not repetitive.” Baxter said a session typically lasts for an hour, including warm-up and mobility techniques, which are movements that build up in muscles. She said the mobility techniques also loosen the body to help get it prepared for the workout. Following these steps, Baxter said, the sessions focus on a skill of some sort, like gymnastics, depending on the day. Baxter acknowledged that many people, especially women, are intimidated by CrossFit, because of the weightlifting. “Many women see the weightlifting aspect as a male dominant thing or they don’t think they’re strong enough,” she said. “The body is strong, and women are so shocked about how strong they are and they’re completely in awe. This is why I love CrossFit so much, because it makes women feel powerful and strong and confident. It made me feel really great about myself. I Christin Baxter was able to find my strengths and weaknesses.” Although CrossFit incorporates weightlifting, Baxter said it relies more on low-weight repetition than on lifting staggering mass. It helps makes the body toned and lean without bulking the body, which is what most women are concerned about when it comes to weightlifting. Beginners usually start on ramp, introductory classes, for nearly four weeks, before moving into a CrossFit class. While on ramp, students learn about basic CrossFit fundamentals and work on getting physically and mentally prepared for the class. “I encourage anybody to try a class and see if you enjoy it,” Baxter said. “We scale our classes to where your body is and what you like.”

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Jennifer Patterson at NRG Fitness Center

Do you want to



body fat?

Drop your cardio time in half and double your time in the weight room and in most cases you will begin to see a transformation that will make you smile. Without building muscle you will have a harder time burning body fat. Body fat is burned in the muscle. Think of it as a furnace. The more you stoke the furnace, the hotter it burns and the more body fat disappears.

What about light weights and high reps for a leaner look? Generally speaking, no. Light weights that most people use are usually way too light, thus they encourage no muscle stimulation, which basically means that the muscle is not being challenged, which translates into absolutely no benefit for building lean muscle.

How light is too light? I say if you can do 20 of anything you are probably not lifting heavy 56 |

enough weights. Twenty is good for warming up. Twenty is too light for much else. If you don't work the muscle at heavier levels there is very little fat metabolization going on.

A few thoughts: 1. Don’t be scared of the weights, they are your friends when it comes to leaning up. 2. Spend more time in the weight room and less time on the treadmill for a while and watch the fat start to go away. 3. And finally, when you do use weights, go ahead and go a little heavier than you have in the past and stimulate that lean muscle furnace of yours.

— Tim King Owner, NRG Fitness Center

Epic or traditional, as long as it s' a

Yes The act of proposing marriage is becoming ever more unique. Gone are the days of asking for a partner’s hand in marriage on bended knee at a local, elegant restaurant during dessert. Today, couples are more likely to choose an individual, well-planned, memorable and often even theatrical proposal.

From mountaintops to scavenger hunts, men and women in the 21st century are boasting the most exclusive and inspirational ideas for the

time-honored tradition of the marriage proposal. Locust Grove resident Matthew Still succeeded in creating what would later be dubbed “the greatest wedding proposal of all time” on YouTube. “When I proposed to my wife, I did it in a way that had never been done at the time,” Still said of his 2011 grand romantic gesture. Though his goal was simply to ask his nowwife’s hand in marriage in a creative way, Still ended up with an idea so popular it has been mimicked several times over around the world. The video begins with a woman seated in a standard motion-picture theater accompanied by

Written and Photographed by MAGGIE BOWERS

january/february 2017 | 57


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her brother, Charlie. She is being filmed unknowingly. On screen, seemingly standard opening credits appear before the film begins. In the first scene, two men are seated facing one another, and though no faces are shown, it seems the pair includes one young man and one a bit older. The men are discussing marriage and, in fact, it appears the younger is asking for the elder’s daughter’s hand. Cut to the woman seated near the front row, Ginny Joiner, who, based on some fidgeting and questioning glances around the room, seems to have caught on somewhat to the scheme in play. Fast forward a bit, and the film depicts Still, running through the theater in search of his — hopefully — bride to be. In he comes, in real time, to complete the proposal in person. We all know the ending. The couple, not surprisingly, has appeared on several talk shows since the “epic” proposal and have even considered a request from producers to create a reality television show. “We were approached by Hollywood about having our own reality TV show where we would help others pull off their own proposals,” Still said. “My good friend Michael Mueller, who produced my proposal video, has also tossed around the idea of starting a proposal-planning business as people all over the world have contacted us for help.” Though it may be less YouTube-worthy, not every engagement has to fall under the category of “epic.” There is much to be said about sentimentality. Most couples agree that, like a special gift, a marriage proposal should reflect the couple’s similarities, interests and, above all, their shared love — even if what the pair enjoys most is an evening at home watching television. Local musician Doug Kees, owner of Musicology in Newnan, has dated Dr. Nicole Andrews for a little more

14 N. COURT SQUARE NEWNAN, GA 30263 58 |


Doug Kees made a holiday tradition even sweeter by proposing to Dr. Nicole Andrews on a trip to New York City.

than two years. According to Kees, the couple discovered a love for New York in the fall after a wintry vacation there, and together the two decided to make the trip from Georgia to “The Big Apple” an annual holiday tradition. “I really wanted to surprise Niki with the proposal,” Kees said. “I planned to ask her at Wollman Rink in Central Park, one of our favorite spots and a memorable one, as my mother

Be our Guest!

often told stories of watching my father skate there in the 1950s. He was with the U.S. Army and stationed in Manhattan.” Kees decided something this big might require a bit of assistance, so he requested the help of friends Matt Boyd and Ashley Giles. He asked that the two make the trip in secret and help with a few preparations in addition

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Robin and Jerry Hicks’ 43-year-long marriage started with a proposal written on the bottom of Jerry’s shoe.

to bearing witness to the event, and celebrating after. With a little prep work, Kees and friends managed to pull off the proposal without a hitch — and with a few happy coincidences along the way. “Miraculously, just after I asked the big question, a stray clarinet player who was strolling around the park took notice of our little celebration and began playing wedding music,” Kees said. “She was crying, skaters paused to watch. She said yes, and I put the ring on her finger… it was wonderful.” Perhaps the long-term success of a marriage says as much about the proposal as does the number of Facebook “likes”

the social media announcement brings. One Moreland couple’s story began 43 years ago, and the couple’s tale, though only personally noteworthy, has stood the test of time. “My husband was always very shy,” explained Robin Hicks of Moreland. “I couldn’t imagine him having done it in any other way than how he did.” According to Hicks, the two teens were passing the warm afternoon on the front porch of the home she shared with her parents. They were seated in side-by-side rocking chairs listening to records and simply enjoying each others’ company. “He told me he loved me,” Hicks recalled. “Then, he crossed his legs so

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60 |

that he could show me the bottom of his shoe. He had written, ‘Will you marry me’ on the sole.” She recalled with a smile that it took several attempts on Jerry’s part to get her to notice the shoe. “He kept shifting his foot around until I got the message,” she said. Hicks said, “yes,” and the couple wed just a few months later in May of 1974. She has only one misgiving about the innocent marriage proposal that occurred more than four decades ago. “I was so young, and it simply didn’t occur to me at the time,” Hicks explained. “But, my biggest regret is that I didn’t keep the shoe!” NCM

For more information on advertising opportunities in Newnan-Coweta Magazine, please call




MARCH/APRIL Magazine Advertising Deadline February 3, 2017






MLK Jr. Parade

Noon | Downtown Newnan The 30th annual Newnan MLK Jr. Parade celebrates the history and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Golden Dragon Acrobats

3 p.m. $15 | The Donald W. Nixon Centre for the Arts The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time-honored tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. World renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.


Robert Burns Scottish Heritage Weekend

Friday 7 p.m.; Saturday 12:30 - 4 p.m. Historic Train Depot A two-day event saluting the life and poetry of Robert Burns, Scottish music and heritage, and the city of Newnan’s special status as “sister city” of Ayr, Scotland. Features the music of Wolf & Clover, and others. The 28th will be an afternoon of Scottish festivities and fun including a Scottish fashion show, tartan weaving, Scottish dancers, bagpipes, whiskey tasting and Scottish Dance band.

One-Man Exhibition

$5 | McRitchie-Hollis Museum Features the work of Newnan artist David Boyd, Jr.

One Slight Hitch

Thursday - Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. $10 - $17 | Black Box, Newnan Lewis Black, best known for his “colorful” rants on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show wrote this dark, romantic comedy. The setting is the upper– middle–class home of Doc and Delia Coleman on the wedding day of their daughter, Courtney, who is marrying wealthy, logical, well–groomed Harper. It is to be the lavish wedding Dr. and Mrs. Coleman never had, until the doorbell rings and one slight hitch wreaks havoc on all of their plans.


The 2017 Run for Angels & Chicken ‘Q

8 a.m. | $15-$25 First United Methodist Church The 15th annual 5K/10K road race and 1 mile fun run. The 2017 Run For Angels benefits the Angel’s House, Newnan-Coweta Children’s Shelter. The 5K and 10K courses are certified as Peachtree Road Road Race qualifiers. Chicken ‘Q plates available starting at 10 a.m. for $10 a plate.

Masters of Soul

7 p.m. | $15 Donald W. Nixon Centre for the Arts, Newnan In the early 60s some of the most iconic names in the history of popular music were discovered in the Motor City, better known simply as Motown. Masters of Soul is a celebration of these artists, their music and their style.

25 17-19




Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce Mystery Dinner Theater 69th Annual Meeting 5:30 p.m. | $75-$90 | The Newnan Centre It’s a night of intrigue as guests unlock the mystery together.

Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association Show

Friday 2 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Coweta County Fairgrounds Chattahoochee Valley Poultry Association hosts the largest poultry show in the Southeast. Spectators can see a wide variety of birds and participate in swap meets on Friday and Saturday. january/february 2017 | 61










january/february 2017 | 63

Photo by Holli


Photo by Chance Cox

submit your


Photo by Stepha nie Piercy

64 |

Email us your photos of life in and around Coweta County and we may choose yours for a future edition of Blacktop!

Photo by Ledy Esquenazi


by Tom


Photos must be original, high-resolution (300 DPI) digital photos in .jpg format, at least 3”x 5” size. Please include your name so that we can give you credit for your photo in the magazine! Email your photos with the subject “Blacktop” to the address below.


Photo by Mark Cunnin

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 92.5 The Bear.................................................63 Allspine............................................................... 9 Arnall Grocery Company..............................44 Atlanta Gastroenterology.............................. 6 Atlanta Market Furniture and Accessories............................................ 8 The Bedford School ......................................45 Brewton-Parker College...............................39 C. S. Toggery..................................................... 3 Cancer Treatment Centers of America.....68 Candy Vogue..................................................20 Carriage House..............................................20 Charlie's Towing............................................. 32 Charter Bank....................................................41 Christian City....................................................11 Cosmetic Laser & Skin Care Center..........23 Coweta-Fayette EMC.................................... 67 Cresswind Peachtree City...............................7 Digestive Healthcare of Georgia, P.C.......... 4 Ear, Nose & Throat Institute..........................41 Georgia Farm Bureau..................................... 17 Heritage of Peachtree................................... 47 Insignia of Newnan........................................23 Joe Dion State Farm......................................44 Kemp's Dalton West Flooring...................... 47 Lee-King Pharmacy.......................................26 The Loft at Due South ..................................29 Main Street Newnan....................................... 17 Massage Envy.................................................58 McGuire's Buildings.......................................50 Morgan Jewelers...........................................58 Musicology......................................................60 The Newnan Centre......................................59 Newnan Dermatology..................................... 8 Newnan Station Tire & Automotive............51 Pain Care........................................................... 5 Piedmont Healthcare...................................... 2 Piedmont South Imaging..............................55 Pontoni Hair Design & Skin Care................. 17 Renee Horton Agency / American Family Insurance......................................................20 Shepard Financial, Inc..................................35 Southern Crescent Women's HealthCare....................................................12 Stephanie Fagerstrom State Farm............. 32 StoneBridge Early Learning Center............ 17 The Trammell House Bed & Breakfast...... 33 Treasures Old & New....................................45 United Bank.....................................................58 Vein Specialists of Georgia............................ 6 Yellowstone Landscape................................20

march/april preview



Celebrate Spring Coweta’s homes and gardens take bloom in spring. We’ll give you a behind the scenes look at some of the area’s loveliest gardens.

Dine In with Style Home chefs can rival some of the finest restaurants in the land. Meet some accomplished local home chefs and pick up a few of their tips.

Day Trippin’ Spring fever creates wanderlust. We’ll explore some easy day trips around the area.


Magazine Advertising Deadline February 3, 2017

Next Publication Date: March 3, 2017

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I have cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your search for answers should start with specialists who only treat cancer. Start with our cancer experts in Newnan. 888.845.2471 | | Located in Newnan

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