By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Early in the morning this past Tuesday, March 13, Paul Jean Foreman, the writer of this column said goodbye to this life, and slipped away into the next. He never had any doubt where he was going, or who was going to take him there, and while he fought harder to stay than just about anyone I have ever known, Heaven is now his new address. I have no doubt that now he has taken his first breath on the other side, he has no regrets.

I remember clearly the first time I met Paul. He and his wife Joann were promoting his book, Bloodstains In Paradise at Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning. While the book dealt with crime and was based on things he experienced as a law enforcement officer with decades of experience under his belt, I remember when Paul told me with a grin that, “It won’t make your pastor go over in a dead faint.”

I immediately liked this guy, and I liked his “Ladybug.” I came to really like the way his Ladybug stood by her man, in all that he did, down to the end. At the time we met, I had two writers who were handling the personal security column of Athens Now, as that particular subject had become a topic of great importance to me, especially after my time in Iraq. Business had become too good for the current columnists, and they had to vacate their spot in order to manage the boom in their business.

It took no time to figure out who I wanted to fill the slot. The day Paul came down to the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful office so I could take his head shot pic, he looked like a kid on Christmas morning, ready to tear into presents to see what was there. Turns out, the “presents” were all for us, and they came in the form of his articles. While Paul certainly had the creds, as far as being a NRA certified trainer, as well as someone with lots of time roaring in Florida as a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer), it was his faith and what his friend Tony Llewellen calls “plain-ol’-walkin’-around sense” that made him so endearing, and not just here in Athens.

It is the dream of every newspaper columnist to have someone “who is not from around here” follow and enjoy their column. I have a business associate and dear friend who hails from St. Louis, MO, and she and her husband, a retired Air Force intel officer are strong proponents of the 2nd Amendment. She so appreciated Paul’s measured wisdom and even approach to difficult topics, especially since they lived through the nightmare of the close-by meltdown of Ferguson a few years back. I’ll never forget one morning when she called me, having read the paper while having her morning tea, and her comment was, “I’m sitting here, drinking tea, and have read Athens Now from front to back. Bravo to you for your heart and to Paul Foreman for his common sense.”

As much as I appreciated that common sense, and the fact that he was so diligent when it came to crafting his columns, it was watching the warrior come out when he faced down the enemy we have come to call “the Big C,” better known as cancer. He would send out texts with prayer requests, or victory reports when the medical news was good, and he would always tag them with, “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”

But what got me the most was when he sent out a text that said, “Sometimes I am awake in the night and can’t sleep. Anyone on your prayer list that I can add to mine when I pray in the night?” I gave him the name of a struggling family member, and just knowing Paul Jean was praying for others, especially when he was in the fight of his life, will always inspire me. One of the very last texts he sent me, which was on the 24th of February sums it up: “Hospice got me [SIC] Hospital bed, a walker chair, a potty chair. Life is great!” Indeed, life is, dear bro, and I am so glad that your pain is gone and Life for you is now AWESOME! Just so you know, I am keeping your texts for whatever may be ahead, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the years of the Forum that shall forever be Foreman’s.
By: Ali ElizabethTurner

courtesy BrandPoint content
(BPT) – The longer you live the more likely you will develop a medical condition that requires surgery or a procedure. In fact, half of all people 65 and older will have at least one surgical procedure in their lifetime. And along with common potential side effects from anesthesia during surgery such as nausea, chills or muscle aches and itching, older patients are at risk for confusion or short-term memory loss. But, rest assured, there are steps seniors can take to minimize these side effects.

“The aging brain is more vulnerable to anesthesia and surgery, but there is research that provides guidance to decrease these risks,” said James D. Grant, M.D., M.B.A., FASA, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). “Older patients should talk with their physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery about their entire medical history and any memory problems they’ve had in the past, so an anesthesia plan can be developed that ensures their safety and reduces the chance of side effects or complications.”
Two anesthesia-related surgery risks more common in older people include:

Postoperative delirium – This is a temporary condition that causes the patient to be confused, disoriented, unaware of their surroundings and have problems with memory and paying attention. It may not start until a few days after surgery, comes and goes, and usually disappears after about a week.

Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) – This is a less well understood but more serious condition that can lead to long-term memory loss and make it difficult to learn, concentrate and think. Because some of these problems are already common in elderly people and may be the sign of an underlying long-term cognitive decline, the only way to determine if a patient actually has POCD is to conduct a mental test before surgery.

Researchers in anesthesia care continue to study and learn more about these conditions and how to prevent or reduce the effects.
During Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 11 to 17) ASA offers six tips for seniors to help limit confusion after surgery:

1. Ask your physician to conduct a pre-surgery cognitive test – an assessment of your mental function. The physician can use the results as a baseline for comparison after surgery.
2. Be sure your caregiver, a family member or friend stays or can visit with you as you recover, carefully observes your physical and mental activity after surgery and reports anything troubling to your physician.
3. Check with your physician before taking medications after surgery that can affect your nervous system, such as those for anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms or sleep aids.
4. If you wear hearing aids or glasses, ask that they be made available as soon as possible after the procedure.
5. Request a hospital room for recovery with a window if possible, so you can tell whether it’s day or night.
6. If you will be staying overnight in the hospital, pack a family photo, a clock and a calendar, or other familiar objects from home, to help you readjust.

In 2016, ASA launched the Perioperative Brain Health Initiative, which has engaged a multidisciplinary group to work with health care providers, payers and the public to create better access to care that minimizes the impact of pre-existing conditions that may impair mental thinking or intellectual abilities, and optimizes patients’ cognitive recovery and their experience before, during and after surgery for adults 65 and older.

To learn more about preparing for surgery, visit You also can download and print Preparing for Surgery: An Anesthesia Checklist to take with you to visit your physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery, as well as when you go to the hospital or outpatient clinic for the surgery. A brochure on seniors and anesthesia is also available for download. To learn more about the critical role physician anesthesiologists play before, during and after surgery, visit

The American Society Of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology.

ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
courtesy BrandPoint content

By: Lisa Philippart
As you may be able to tell from my writing style, I am not from around here! I was actually trained to become a mental health counselor in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had the unbelievable opportunity to intern and then work for a mental health center that served adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses. As part of my experience there, I learned how to effectively use dialectical behavior therapy as a treatment for many of my clients. But, what I truly liked about DBT was that the skills that were taught could be used by everyone in everyday life. The word dialectic actually means finding a balance between two things that may be quite different. So, according to the founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan, the balance in a therapy session is for the therapist to accept who you are AND to expect you to change.

The basic components of DBT are as follows:

Mindfulness is the foundation of DBT. And the core of mindfulness is to BE in the Wise Mind. As you might imagine, not many of us truly achieve Wise Mind…that perfect balance between the emotional and rational sides of our brains. However, there are 3 “what” skills and 3 “how” skills that can help us work toward that goal. These are actually some of the life skills I was talking about earlier – observe, describe, participate; non-judgmentally, one-mindfully, effectively. By remembering to focus on the what and how skills, we can find ourselves in that place called the present moment.

Distress Tolerance is the ability to use stress survival techniques that our Wise Mind has allowed us to accept. These strategies include the use of distraction, self-soothing through the senses, and improving the moment. One distress tolerance skill I use quite often with many of my clients is pros and cons. The chart goes beyond simply the positives and negatives of a behavior or situation. It includes looking at both sides of making and not making changes in your life. Another distress tolerance skill I use in my practice is called radical acceptance. Radical acceptance is the ability to acknowledge what is, to allow you to move on. The key concept emphasized is that acceptance does not mean approval.

Emotion Regulation is the effective management of our feelings. Dr. Linehan uses acronyms quite often to assist clients in remembering the strategies taught in each area. For example, one emotion regulation skill is called PLEASE, used to remind you to take care of yourself by reducing vulnerability. P and L stand for: Treat Physical Illness, E is Balanced Eating, A is Avoid Mood Altering Drugs, S is Balanced Sleep, and E is Get Exercise. Another commonly used ER skill is called Opposite to Emotion Action, which encourages you to alter your emotions by altering your actions. For example, if you are feeling depressed and just want to spend the day in bed, you can choose to challenge the emotion by going for a walk, or visiting with a friend.

Interpersonal Effectiveness brings all the previously learned skills together to improve your ability to interact with others. The acronyms for this skill set are DEARMAN, GIVE, and FAST. I often use GIVE to teach relationship effectiveness with my clients who are struggling in their marriages. GIVE stands for Gentle, Interested, Validate, and Easy Manner. I encourage you to do an internet search for the meanings of some other interpersonal effectiveness acronyms such as DEARMAN and FAST. I believe that most of us need reminders on how to communicate with our fellow human beings.

As you might imagine, DBT training required a year-long commitment to learning and using these techniques in the group settings, as well as providing a continuity of care through individual counseling support. Understanding and using DBT has proven to be an effective tool in my counseling toolbox. Until next time…
By: Lisa Philippart
Licensed Professional Counselor

By: Deb Kitchenmaster
“I can feel your heartbeat. It’s the same as mine. I am part of you. You are part of me. Neither one alone but together we can strengthen the pulse of the world.” Kate McGahan.

Hearts! Heartbeats are crucial in sustaining life on our ordinary days, our celebrating moments, times of grieving and disappointments, achieving and accomplishing, and forgiving and loving one another. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for EVERYTHING you do flows from it.” Scripture is clear that the heart is hugely important as far as one’s well-being and health are concerned.

God’s greatest command to us is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.” Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Perhaps another way of saying it, especially as it applies to horses and their humans is, “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you (some horses would say a BIG ‘thank you’ to that). Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

When we dismount from the rhythm of grace, our feet walk down various paths. Other than paths of righteousness that strengthen our hearts with joy and peace, our hearts can become troubled, afraid, greedy, hard – even wicked, e.g. an “irregular” heart beat.

Research shows a horse’s HRV (heart rate variability) rhythms, although somewhat slower than human HRV rhythms, oscillate within a similar frequency range (0.01 to 0.4 HZ) indicating that the same instrument setting can be used to accurately measure HRV in both humans and horses. Boulder Creek, California, is involved in research showing how people and animals affect each other. Research Director, Dr. Rollin McCraty says, “It appears that there is a type of communication occurring between people above and beyond body language or verbal communication. I believe we’ll see in future research studies that we are affecting each other’s moods and attitudes both positively and negatively by the electromagnetic fields we radiate. In our work with pets and their owners, we’re seeing that a pet owner can create what we call a heart-filled environment when practicing heart-focused techniques. The pets respond by becoming more affectionate, more animated, and more connected with the pet owner.”

Electro probes connected to both human and pet showed that when the human petted/groomed and emotionally bonded, the hearts of the owner and pet started to synchronize and then match each other. This research is especially exciting to me because synchronizing is what animal B.E.S.T. is all about.

By monitoring the changes in the heart rhythm patterns, emotions can readily be distinguished. When an emotion, such as sadness, fear, anger, or frustration is experienced, heart rhythms become more erratic and imbalanced. Joy, appreciation, and love produce ordered, balanced heart rhythm patterns. Regular rhythms appeared in the human’s HRV when they were sending emotions of appreciation and care toward the horse. One research study showed that it does not matter if the horse already knew the human or not. The person’s HRV was more important than whether they had a relationship with the horse. That meant that when a horse interacted with an unknown human, the horse’s stress level was entirely dependent on the stress level of the human.

This highlights the NOW that horses live and remain in. If someone had an unstressed, balanced HRV, then the horse was interested in interacting with them which was reflected in the horses’ HRV readings, indicating they were relaxed. In cases where the horse is relaxed and the human is exhibiting stress, it is possible that the horse’s calming feeling may be transferred to the human to help the person relax. Research also indicated that it may be the responsibility of the human to promote bonding. For example, when a horse is experiencing positive emotions from a person, the horse will approach and stay close to the person, which may instill a mutual trust between the two.

Consider the unforced rhythms of God’s grace (for by grace are you saved, healed, delivered, and made whole). Guard your heart simply means to remain or abide in PEACE. Keep your heart open. You may be led to a horse. Whether connected to a horse or not, the end result is to “RECEIVE” unconditional LOVE so that each time and every time becomes a defibrillator that jump starts the very core of your being (heart) into harmony, peace and well-being.
By: Deb Kitchenmaster

By: Jackie Warner
Stop and collect your thoughts so that you move smart and not just move to the next task.

1. First things first! Take the time to review all required projects and tasks, identifying the deadlines. Complete this on paper or with an electronic device, so you truly see what you have on your plate.
2. Remember the big picture – Don’t get stuck in the weeds.
3. Take each item and determine purpose, complexity, timeframe, and urgency.
4. Draft out the plan of action to execute.
5. Track your time on tasks; are you able to break the tasks down?
6. Keep your schedule in front of you. Know where you are and what percentages have been completed.
7. Evaluate what really needs to remain on the list, and delegate what you can.
8. Change and Flexibility is key.
9. Learn how to say no.
10. Take advantage of your SMART Devices!

I would venture out to say that most of us have at least one smart device we use daily, paying $40 – $80 per month. Are we really getting the best use of it? So as we tackle those competing priorities, let’s be smart about it, and let our money work a little harder for us. If you haven’t used the following features on your smart devices as time-management tools, then it is time. This is just a start…
1. Calendar – Input your appointments and set up reminders.
2. Timer – Set your timer so you don’t get sidetracked when completing tasks.
3. Audio Recording – Instead of trying to remember everything, record and then play back when needed.
4. Banking – Who has time to stand in line or go to the teller machine? Do your banking online with just 2 clicks…
5. Shopping – Amazon, Walmart…the list is endless. No more bad customer service; you are in control.
6. News – Set up news links and Google alerts for the news and weather you need to know.
7. Screen Capture – Use your device to take a picture of what you see on the screen for use later.

Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner, Community Outreach Specialist
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Guest Writer: Eric Betts, assistant director, Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at Athens State University
Why is it important to resolve conflict? There are absolutely no upsides to ignoring conflict and allowing it to go unaddressed. It is an illusion to believe that the issues will work themselves out eventually. When there is conflict, even the innocent party is sullied in some way. Even though one may feel that he or she is innocent and not the real source of the conflict, it is best to work it out with the one who feels that they have been wronged. Many avoid addressing conflict because it is so unpleasant, emotionally draining, and difficult by its very nature. What is often overlooked is that being shy about the tension that exists, only creates greater tension and explosive situations down the road.

It is said that “full-blown battles use up resources — time, energy, good reputation, motivation. By negotiating, you avoid wasting these resources, and you may actually make new allies and find new resources!”

There are five ways that parties often approach conflict, and only certain ones will solve the issues:

(1) Denial and avoidance appear to be the most peaceable way and the path of least resistance, but that approach will lose every time.
(2) Competing and fighting is another attractive way. This attitude says, “May the smartest, strongest, and the most resourceful win.” The compete and fight approach, while attractive, causes everyone lose to a degree, some more than others.
(3) The smoothing over the problem approach only delays inevitable hostility and negative emotions and actions.
(4) Compromise and negotiation will create a win for both sides, yet they also must be willing to give up or loose in some area in the agreement.
(5) Collaboration takes longer, but eventually is a win/win because it pulls back the skin of the onion and gets to the meat of where the real interests lie. The Collaboration approach continues the dialogue until the compatible interests are discovered, the relationship grows, and both are committed to preserving the interests of both.

Other important aspects of conflict resolution involve being soft on the person and hard on the problems. Attack the problem and not the person. The object is to preserve and build relationships while tackling the problem. One must have the wisdom to separate the problem from the person who one feels is causing the problem. In this approach, the parties work together to eliminate the problems that are hurting the relationship.

How soon should one seek to resolve conflict? As soon as the first signs appear, begin to deal with them. Delay is not an option. There are three main issues that create conflict: (1) Criticizing someone “behind their back.” (This is perhaps at the top of the list.) It is vitally important to go directly to the person that you want to change their behavior. (2) Not being an active listener who makes sure he or she understands exactly what is being stated. This creates the frustrating “I thought you said…No, I didn’t…Yes, you did” situations. (3) Cutting off communication with those with whom you disagree or are seemingly unfriendly. This only adds to the tension and hostility.

The best ways to begin the process is to be respectful, honest, separate the emotions, and don’t assume (things are not always what they appear). If you can preserve the relationship and eliminate the issues, you will have gained a great victory. If the issues remain, keep the communication going and don’t give up. May the wisest and the strongest person take the first step in resolving the conflict.
By: Guest Writer: Eric Betts, assistant director, Curtis Coleman Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at Athens State University

By: Janet Hunt
Physical activity reduces the risk of nearly three dozen harmful conditions and life-threatening diseases. Medical dictionaries, fitness and exercise data sources all indicate that the following medical conditions respond positively to physical activity:

1.Low cardiovascular fitness – cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues and the ability of the muscles to use oxygen to produce energy for movement.
2.Coronary heart disease – generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
3.Endothelial dysfunction – compromise of normal function of the endothelial cells (inner lining of blood vessels) leading to the inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully in response to appropriate stimulus.
4.Peripheral artery disease (PAD) – plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.

7.Congestive heart failure – a weakness of the heart that leads to a buildup of fluid in the lungs and surrounding body tissues.
8.Osteoporosis – disease of the bones. Bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or another minor accident
9.Osteoarthritis – most common form of arthritis. Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.
10.Rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet.
13.Cognitive dysfunction – mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include dementia.
14.Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little alcohol
15.Diverticulitis – inflammation of one or more diverticula (small bulging sacs pushing outward from the colon wall) characterized by abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel movements.
17.Gallbladder disease
18.Accelerated biological aging/premature death
19.Type 2 diabetes (including insulin resistance and prediabetes)
20.Metabolic syndrome – the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke
22.Colon cancer
23.Endometrial cancer
24.Breast cancer
25.Sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living.
26.Balance problems
27.Bone fracture/falls
28.Dyslipidemia–high total or high LDL cholesterol level, or lowHDL cholesterol.
29.Gestational diabetes – develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar, causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
30.Polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health problems.
31.Preeclampsia – pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys.
32.Erectile dysfunction
33.Hemostasis (blocked blood flow)–an abnormal blood flow obstruction such as plaque.
34.Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.

There is just not a simpler way to say it. “Move it, my friends, and if you need help, call me!”

For information about exercise classes in the Athens/Limestone County contact Janet Hunt, an ACE Personal Trainer and an ACE Group Fitness Instructor, at 256-614-3530 or
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

By: Rosemary Dewar
Whatever pleases the eyes, burns the ears, and itches the palms seems to be a recurring theme for popular consumption. The classic gothic literary style has not ventured too far from its usual components of over-dramatization, hyper-sexuality, and relentless tragedy. When the market says, “Sex sells,” it only means that a particular type of sex sells. The usually depicted Americana classic stereotype of the white picket fence family doesn’t fetch a reaction that compels contemporary culture to embrace it. Although we are experiencing a call to get back to classic Western cultural norms such as the nuclear family, we are also living with a pervasive entertainment high which highlights competing levels of deviance. The 90th annual Oscars proved yet again that those in Hollywood have dubbed themselves as the givers of culture. The more outlandish or imaginary the victimhood, the more the Left demands the public embrace it.

The eye is naturally drawn to what is out of order. This is not to be confused with what is referred to in mathematics as a “standard of deviation” similar to the Golden Ratio, which demands a high level of order even to manifest. Another example of the importance of order would be the reproduction of butterflies. Should a female identify a variant in the male’s wing-pattern that is only a minute fraction off, it will not be selected. Similarly, humans scientifically find symmetry more appealing. When it comes to the standards of human nature and social interaction, a person could be the most demonstrably symmetrical, attractive person, but if their moral standards deviate too far from responsible freedom, that person would be considered ugly.

Our culture seems to be embracing two insidiously ugly notions: beauty is not to be strived for, and standards for morality are subject to each individual’s personal definition. It is impossible to find a common goal and create a way of life with one’s neighbors without sharing mutually agreed-upon standards.

When standards like the nuclear family, biological gender, personal responsibility, and individual freedom are done away with, we can find ourselves in a highly constrictive environment. As depicted in the movie The Giver, children are birthed by artificially inseminated surrogates. The children are assigned to people who are assigned to be couples. Individuals are drugged every day to manage their emotional state. The protagonist, Jonas, is selected to learn from the Giver in order to become one himself. Jonas then learns of all that comes with humanity and how even the most inconvenient truths expose beautiful realities. Jonas’s female friend is assigned to be a surrogate, has twins, and then one of the twins is to be eliminated because they share too much DNA in order to fit in the environment. Jonas’s newly found knowledge finds it wrong to kill an innocent baby.

Why is it wrong to kill the baby, and why is Jonas right to preserve the baby’s life?

Humanity has endless amounts of history and science to reference in order to deduce standards that preserve a moral society. When a culture aims to tear away at the foundation it is built on, society will cease to function. One doesn’t get to pick and choose which rules they get to defy without there being consequences that have uncontrollably detrimental results.

Abandoning logic in order to satisfy any passion that sways one in the moment is a critical mistake. Eros is not solely a salacious love; it is also uninhibited passion. Romans determined that Eros was a source of unprofitable diversion. In a morally lacking society, death is the only counter-balance to passion. The saying, “You can have too much of a good thing,” holds true.

Author Malcolm Muggeridge summed this up perfectly when he stated, “It has become abundantly clear in the second half of the twentieth century that Western Man has decided to abolish himself. Having wearied of the struggle to be himself, he has created his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, his own vulnerability out of his own strength; himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down, and, in a process of auto-genocide, convincing himself that he is too numerous, and labouring accordingly with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer in order to be an easier prey for his enemies; until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over a weary, battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct.”
By: Rosemary Dewar

St. Patrick’s Day in this Saturday, March 17, so put on your green clothes and get ready to dance an Irish jig. The Irish have a rich tradition of food, drink, and folklore. Many settlers from Ireland and Scotland settled in the South after they made the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.You can see their influence in many things we hold dear here in the South. Appalachian music, Bluegrass music was greatly influenced by the music from Ireland and Scotland. “Buck” dancing and “Flat-foot” dancing got its start in the traditional dancing of Ireland. Many of our food traditions also came with the settlers. Simple dishes of roasted meat, potatoes, cabbage, and soda bread are still enjoyed today.

One of my favorite Irish dishes is Colcannon. Colcannon is an easy traditional Irish smashed potato recipe with cabbage, or kale, butter, cream, salt & pepper. This is a great dish to use up leftovers. I always seem to have half a head of cabbage in my fridge and a least a couple of potatoes laying around. Why have boring, plain ole mashed potatoes, when you can have Colcannon. It’s super easy to make and super easy to customize. Add meat if you want to, try it with sweet potatoes for a fun alternative, put it in a casserole dish and top it with cheese. Make this yummy, stick-to-your-ribs dish your own. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

I want to leave you with one of my favorite Irish Proverbs. “May the Road rise up to meet you. May the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
By: Anna Hamilton