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Complimentary

DECEMBER 2014, VOL. 12 ISSUE 10

Publisher / Editor Mike Strong Sales Manager Dottie Godberry Staff Photographer Jimmy Dunkley

Contributing Writers Bill Delaune Marilyn Bowman Linda Melancon Calvin Bessonett

Bully

Goosie Guice Orhan McMillan Kellie Seymour Tanya Stilley Roland Doucet Jimmy Dunkley Meredith Conger Tracy McKee

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225-622-1324

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Note: Features in this publication labeled “advertorial” are paid for editorials. All Rights Reserved. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or staff of Ascension Magazine

of the publisher, editor or staff of Ascension Magazine 18386 Little Prairie Rd. Prairieville, LA 70769

18386 Little Prairie Rd. Prairieville, LA 70769

Magazine 18386 Little Prairie Rd. Prairieville, LA 70769 Table of Contents KIDZ KOVE 4 SWEET EYES

Table of Contents

KIDZ KOVE

4

SWEET EYES W/ TANYA

10

LAYNE’S JEWELRY

22

BILL DELAUNE

26

THOUGHTS FROM BULLY

28

USELESS RANDOM FACTS

29

JAMMIN’ WITH GOOSIE

30

TREE LIGHTING

32

FOR MORE INFORMATION 225.622.3262 www.riverparishfoods.com
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29 JAMMIN’ WITH GOOSIE 30 TREE LIGHTING 32 FOR MORE INFORMATION 225.622.3262 www.riverparishfoods.com

KidzKoveMakesa

GrandOpening

Four years ago, in the spring of 2010, a few residents from Ascension Parish visited a "universally accessible" playground in Mandeville called Kidz Konnection. For some children in this group, it was the first time they were able

to swing or play alongside their friends.

This sparked the inspiration for Kidz Kove Discovery Park, a universally accessible park right here in our back yard. What was a dream then, after four years of

Discovery Park, a universally accessible park right here in our back yard. What was a dream
Discovery Park, a universally accessible park right here in our back yard. What was a dream
Discovery Park, a universally accessible park right here in our back yard. What was a dream

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fundraising and collaborating with the City of Gonzales, is now a reality. The board members
fundraising and collaborating with the City of Gonzales, is now a reality. The board members

fundraising and collaborating with the City of Gonzales, is now a reality.

The board members of Project Kidz Kove are to be commended for their steadfast commitment to raising funds and awareness for this park. They would like to thank the community, sponsors, volunteers and all of those who had a hand in making this endeavor a

They would like to thank the community, sponsors, volunteers and all of those who had a
They would like to thank the community, sponsors, volunteers and all of those who had a

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They would like to thank the community, sponsors, volunteers and all of those who had a
success. Special thanks to the City of Gonzales, BASF, the Bobby Giles Family and PCS
success. Special thanks to the City of Gonzales, BASF, the Bobby Giles Family and PCS

success. Special thanks to the City of Gonzales, BASF, the Bobby Giles Family and PCS Nitrogen.

Please come out and enjoy this park that is intended for everyone, of any age or ability level. It is located at 712 N. Francois Ave., across from the new Gonzales Police station. Park hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Play is Universal!!!

Park hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Play is Universal!!! I’m checking your titles once
Park hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Play is Universal!!! I’m checking your titles once
I’m checking your titles once and checking them twice To All Our Friends, Family &
I’m checking your titles once
and checking them twice
To All Our Friends, Family & Customers.
We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
The Tags & Titles Crew
Jamie Frederic–Braud PTA/Notary
TAGS & TITLES, LLC
644-1512
11296 HWY. 431, ST. AMANT, LA 70774 

WHAT EVER YOU NEED • WE CAN HELP

6

THE ART AT KIDZ KOVE

Many months ago when I first heard about the Kidz Kove Discovery Park I offered to donate an art mural to help the project. I had no idea the real importance of this project and the profound affect it has had on my life. I also didn’t realize the wall was 125 ft wide. Wow, what a project. It was labor intensive and there were times I thought this project was wearing me out. Then I would think of my new friend Anna and the struggles she and all the special kids that can now have a park where they can play and be proud of. My pains and struggles would immediatley subside. I invite the community to visit and enjoy the park and see the art. It has been an honor to support such a worthy cause and I am proud of our community for its efforts to achieve this magnificent landmark for humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong

humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong We Have Great Christmas Gifts Gift Card
humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong We Have Great Christmas Gifts Gift Card
humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong We Have Great Christmas Gifts Gift Card
humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong We Have Great Christmas Gifts Gift Card
humanity. May God Bless these Kids. Sincerely Mike Strong We Have Great Christmas Gifts Gift Card
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7

This Year We Raised Over $28,000
This Year We Raised Over $28,000

8

By Jimmy Dunkley
By Jimmy Dunkley

Biology: Mistletoe is a partial parasite or hemiparasite. As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree, sending out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. However, mistletoe is also capable of growing on its own. Like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis. Mistletoe, however, is more commonly found growing as a parasitic plant.

There are two types of mistletoe. The mistletoe that is commonly used as a Christmas decoration, Phoradendron flavescens, is native to North America. It grows as a parasite on trees in the west and down the east from New Jersey to Florida. The other type of mistletoe, Viscum album, is of European origin. The European mistletoe is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky

berries which are considered poisonous. So, how does mistletoe spread from tree-to-tree? Mistletoe berries are attractive to birds, which use them as a food supply. The whitish berries are covered by a sticky outer layer. After birds feed on the berries and digest the pulp which covers the berries, the living seeds which remain are excreted and stick tightly to any branch onto which they are deposited. After a short period, the mistletoe seeds germinate, and the parasite grows through the bark and into the tree's water-conducting tissues, where root-like structures develop. These roots gradually extend up and down within the branch as the mistletoe grows.

Birds might be able to eat mistletoe berries without getting sick, but people can’t do the same. There

without getting sick, but people can’t do the same. There 9 are chemicals within the berries

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are chemicals within the berries that negatively affect the body. In the Phoradendron (American) mistletoe plant, there is a toxin called phoratoxin. If ingested, it can cause blurred vision, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, changes in blood pressure, and even death.

Folklore: From the earliest time mistletoe was considered a magical, mysterious, and sacred plant of European folklore. It was thought to bestow life and fertility, to protect against poison, and to be an aphrodisiac.

The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially sacred to the ancient Celtic Druids. On the sixth night of the moon, white-robed Druid priests would cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers and the recipients of the mistletoe would prosper. Later, the ritual of cutting the mistletoe from the oak came to symbolize the emasculation of the old King by his successor.

Mistletoe was long regarded as both a sexual symbol and the soul of the oak. It was gathered at both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas has survived as Druid and other pre-Christian traditions.

Greeks also thought that mistletoe had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. In the Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. In Europe they were placed over house and stable doors to prevent the entrance of witches. It was also believed that the oak mistletoe could extinguish

fire. Traditions which began with European mistletoe were transferred to the similar American plant with immigration and settlement of the new world. Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One credits mistletoe with the power to bestow fertility, while another with having life-giving power.

In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce. Or warring spouses would kiss and make-up. Victorian English credited mistletoe as having magical appeal as a kissing ball. At Christmas time a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe, brightly trimmed with evergreens, ribbons, and ornaments, could not refuse to be kissed. Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and goodwill. However, if the girl refused the kiss while standing under mistletoe, it was said that she wouldn’t receive any marriage proposals during the following year. Worse, it seems that many people would avoid her since they believed she would probably end up an old maid.

Today, kisses can be exchanged under the mistletoe any time during the holiday season. However, some believe if a couple that is in love exchange a kiss under the mistletoe, it is a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life.

Note: Information for this article were gleaned from several sources on the internet, including, theholidayspot.com, chem.answers.com/ tdefinitions/mistletoe-berries-a-poisonous-tradition, msucares.com, and wikipedia

theholidayspot.com, chem.answers.com/ tdefinitions/mistletoe-berries-a-poisonous-tradition, msucares.com, and wikipedia
Merry Christmas Ascension In the past couple of years, I always talk about Christmas. Of

Merry

Christmas

Ascension

In the past couple of years, I always talk about Christmas. Of course, my first article was all about the reason of the Season, Jesus. The second year I wrote about how difficult this time of year is for lots of people and how to be sensitive to their needs. This year as I was thinking about the topic of Christmas, holiday shopping came to mind. I thought about gifts I’ve given and received and the ones that mean the most. I realized the best gifts are not the most expensive gifts, but they are the ones that are the most thoughtful and creative.

Here are a few ideas of creative gifts that I’ve both received and given!

ideas of creative gifts that I’ve both received and given! digital age where most people just

digital age where most people just store digital images on their smart phones. When is the last time you’ve actually had photos printed off your phone? This is especially fun, because it means you have to go through old photos to pick the best ones to share. Also, picking a perfect frame to compliment the pictures and your loved one is always good.

Framed picture collages of you with family and friends! There is nothing better, especially in this

Another idea is a framed letter or note written by a loved one. After my Paw Paw passed, my family framed some

a loved one. After my Paw Paw passed, my family framed some of his love letters

of his love

letters to my

Maw Maw and framed them. Those framed letters are jewels of sweetness in the family.

A one year

devotional. My favorite is by Larry Stockstill, “The One Year Bible, Walking Daily through

the Bible”. This devotional takes you through the entire Bible in one year and it includes wise lessons each day by the wonderful pastor Larry Stockstill. It’s great book for anyone, but certainly for someone that reads The Word daily - great and meaningful gift indeed.

Growing up, I made homemade chocolates, breads and sweet treats withAaunts and my Maw Maw. We’d make things like Martha Washingtons, (which similar to an Almond Joy but in a small round ball shape), rum balls, and even a home- made pecan bread to put in decorative Christmas boxes and give them away for gifts. Everyone always looked forward to these boxes of goodness.

Form into small balls and place on prepared cookie sheets. Chill until very firm. Melt chocolate chips in top pot of double boiler over simmering water. Using a toothpick, dip balls into melted chocolate. Let cool on wax paper. Quaker Oats Praline Snack Mix 8 cups Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal (1 whole box) , 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped, 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed, 1/2 cup light corn syrup , 4 table- spoons butter (margarine ok) , 1 teaspoon vanilla , 1/2 teaspoon baking soda , 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat oven to 250ºF. Spray

13 x 9-inch baking pan with

cooking spray. Combine cereal and pecans in pan; mix well. In large microwaveable bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup and margarine. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute 30

seconds; stir. Microwave an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute

30 seconds or until boiling. Stir

vanilla and baking soda and optional salt into sugar mixture. Pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to

evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading mixture in even
evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading mixture in even

baking sheet, spreading mixture in even layer. Cool completely; break into pieces. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

So, this year, remember first of all the Christ was born to set the sin- ner free. Keep in mind that this time of year can be quite difficult for people going through any separation or loss of a loved one, so be sensitive to that. Finally if you give a gift, make it a thoughtful one. And hey, if all else fails, bake a sweet treat. Everyone loves that!

These days, I’ve added different recipes to my Christmas sweets repertoire, and here are a couple of my favorites!

Martha Washington Candy

1 cup margarine, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups shredded coconut, 2 cups pecans chopped, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips. Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper. Set aside. Mix margarine, sugar and sweetened condensed milk in large mixing bowl. Add coconut, pecans, and vanilla; mix well, using a sturdy large spoon. Chill until firm enough to handle.

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Would Like to Announce the Opening of their Satellite Office in Gonzales 2306 S. Burnside, Suite B Gonzales, LA 70737

(Previous Dr. Geoffrey Fraiche's Office)

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Z Aesthetic Dermatology Prairieville Ribbon Cutting A ribbon-cutting was held on November 20, 2014 from

Z Aesthetic Dermatology Prairieville Ribbon Cutting

Z Aesthetic Dermatology Prairieville Ribbon Cutting A ribbon-cutting was held on November 20, 2014 from 4:00

A ribbon-cutting was held on

November 20, 2014 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., attended by Dr. Z,

staff, guests, dignitaries, and Ascension Chamber members including Bridgette Hanna, Matt Pryor, Donna Villar, Mert Smiley, and Polly Whitfield

to name a few.

Ann Zedlitz, MD, also known as “Dr. Z”, is set to make Ascension even more beautiful with a new location of Z Aesthetic Dermatology now open at 17497 Old Jefferson Highway, Prairieville. “I’m so excited to serve friends - old and new - right here in Prairieville,” said Dr. Z. “This was the right time to expand my practice, and Ascension is an excellent place

for Z Aesthetic Dermatology to help everyone look and feel their best.”

Dr. Z offers an array of services and cutting-edge treatments designed to preserve and enhance each aspect of her patients’ own attractiveness. Her new approach – called “The Z Lift” – begins with a consulta- tion to identify the patient’s aesthetic goals. A custom package featuring the most advanced procedures available for wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, ttoning and

for wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, ttoning and lifting, and spot reduction. Z Aesthetic Dermatology is a

lifting, and spot reduction.

Z Aesthetic Dermatology is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest in advanced technology and offers an array of cosmetic and laser procedures such as wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, skin tone & texture, makeup applications & lessons, scar treatments, body sculpting, and laser hair removal,

Dr. “Z” - Ann Zedlitz, M.D., a board certified dermatologist, and her “Z Team” are dedicated to helping every woman and man look and feel their very best. Contact the Z Team today to see how they can help you. Confidence is Key. Trust the Experts at Z! 225.778.7540

best. Contact the Z Team today to see how they can help you. Confidence is Key.
best. Contact the Z Team today to see how they can help you. Confidence is Key.

12

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That First Guitar Feeling By Brandt Bourque If you ask any guitarist, from the hobbyist

That First Guitar Feeling

By Brandt Bourque

If you ask any guitarist, from the hobbyist to the most famous, they are sure to be able to tell you the story of their first guitar. Some may be stories of horror and some may be stories of a true blessing, but none-the-less they are memories that will stay with the

it's nearly the top of the list. The way things look can fuel our attitude and emotions. We make decisions based on looks everyday. Think about your last car purchase. (Was it made strictly on functionality? or Did looks play a larger role?) In the same way, selecting a guitar that is ascetically pleasing is very important. We tend to want to interact more often with things that stimulate us visually. I’d bet that Steve Jobs would attribute a large amount of Apple’s success to their visually stunning and against the grain designs. A guitar that is attractive to you will make you want to practice and play it more often. Most beginners that give up early on their dream of playing an instrument do so because of how hard it can be to physically play as they are getting started. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Selecting the right instrument for your hands is extremely important because the shape and size of each guitar neck can vary. Finding a guitar the is com- fortable to hold will bring you hours of fun and enjoyment, instead of it feeling like work. Look for a guitar with low "action", the height that the strings sit off of the fingerboard or playing surface. High action will result in a very uncomfortable playing guitar and will hinder you or your child's ability to learn. Playability is something that cannot be accounted for when making an online purchase. Your local retailer should be able to fit you to the perfect instrument. Go in and see them, ask questions and "pet the animals"! (Try out a few instruments). Remember, the first instrument is a big part of your playing career. It will set you on the path to success with plenty of fun and enjoyment, or it could cause your dream to fade really quickly. As always, we invite you to stop by Music Inc and say hello! We are coming to an end to 2014, which means we will be finishing up our 45th year of helping customers find their perfect first instrument!

of helping customers find their perfect first instrument! player forever. Here is my insight and my
of helping customers find their perfect first instrument! player forever. Here is my insight and my

player forever. Here is my insight and my opinions on selecting the perfect first instrument. Although this article is directed more towards guitar, other instrument purchases can follow a similar form. There are three main areas to look at when selecting a new instrument:

sound, look, and feel. To the advanced player, sound may be the most important area. Their selection can be driven by trying to fill a specific need or situation, live or in the studio. For the beginner, this should be one of the last areas to weigh in on your decision making. As you advance as a player, you will learn what you like and

As you advance as a player, you will learn what you like and what you don’t

what you don’t like. Sound is a very subjective medium, and not everyone will agree on what a good sounding

guitar is. Some people like the sound of a Fender, while others favor a

Taylor

Looks is another area that is completely driven by our personal taste. While most people may think this is one of the least important aspects of guitar buying, I believe that

like

myself.

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15

Choosing and Caring for Your Toothbrush

By Calvin Bessonet, DDS,FAGD Ascension Premier Dental

Your toothbrush is the most important item in your oral health toolkit. But with such a wide variety of toothbrushes available, how do you choose the brush that’s best for you? And once you’ve made your selection, how do you care for and clean your toothbrush? Learn how to improve your oral health care habits by properly selecting and caring for your toothbrush.

What should I look for when choosing a toothbrush?

The best toothbrushes have a long, wide handle that facilitates a firm grip. The toothbrush head should be small enough to reach all areas of the mouth, with soft nylon

bristles that won’t hurt the gums.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes, which use an oscillating or rotary motion to clean the teeth, are beneficial because they can cover a larger area of the mouth faster than a manual toothbrush. They’re especially well-suited for those with braces, those who need extra motivation to brush, and those who have difficulty operating a manual toothbrush due to age, disability, or other factors.

If you use an electric toothbrush, avoid pressing down too hard; instead, use light force and slow move- ments, letting the brush do the work for you. Those using an electric toothbrush for the first time may experience slight bleeding from the gums, which will subside over time. Children age 10 and younger should be supervised while using an electrictoothbrush.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Old toothbrushes with worn and frayed bristles will not clean your teeth effectively, and they also may harbor harmful bacteria. You should change your toothbrush—or brush head, in the case of an electric toothbrush—every three to four months. However, if you get sick with a cold or the flu, you will need to change your toothbrush as soon as the illness begins and again once the illness has subsided. This will help to get rid of any germs and bacteria on your toothbrush.

How can I keep my toothbrush clean?

Wash your hands both before and after brushing to avoid transferring bacteria and food particles to your toothbrush. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to remove excess toothpaste and other debris, and soak the brush in antiseptic mouthrinse

to eliminate any lingering bacteria. Remember: Never share toothbrushes, as this habit can lead to the transmis- sion of colds and/or bacteria.

How should I store my toothbrush?

Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry before using it again. Microorganisms are more likely to grow in a moist environment, so don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container. Because bacteria can travel easily from brush to brush, don’t store your toothbrush in the same container as someone else’s. Finally, keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible to avoid contamination from the airborne bacteria that are released with each flush.

Talk to your dentist if you have questions about choosing or caring for your toothbrush. No matter which kind of toothbrush you have, make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and visit the dentist regularly to maintain good oral health.

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YOUR ESTATE MATTERS

YOUR ESTATE MATTERS The Benefits of Louisiana’s Long-Term Care Partnership Program Most people spend their entire

The Benefits of Louisiana’s Long-Term Care Partnership Program

Most people spend their entire working lives saving for retire- ment but give little thought to how the high costs of long-term care can devastate their retirement plan. Long-term care services may include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care or in-home care, among many other things. The potential costs of this care in Louisiana can range from hundreds of dollars a month for a few hours of in-home care to almost $10,000 per month for care in a memory unit at an

By Linda Melancon

assisted living facility. Health insurance plans and Medicare do not cover these costs. Rather, families have to pay these costs from their own income and sav- ings unless they have a long-term care insurance policy or qualify for Medicaid.

To qualify for Medicaid, a single person cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets and a married couple cannot have more $119,920 in countable assets. Those in the middle class will often have to deplete their assets to reach these maximum amounts before they qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs. Fortunately, the Louisiana Long- Term Care Partnership Program offers Louisiana citizens a way to qualify for Medicaid and protect their assets.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Aging and Adult Services, the mission of the Partnership Program is to moti- vate individuals to plan for the high costs of long-term care. The Plan does this by establishing rules for what constitutes a quali- fied long-term care policy under the plan that can be purchased

from a private insurer. The policies are only available from licensed insurance professionals and must meet the state and federal Partnership requirements. The names of companies that sell the policies can be found by contacting the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

If you purchase a Partnership qualified long-term care policy and you exhaust your policy benefits, you will be able to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs without having to deplete your resources to the Medicaid maximums. Instead, for every dollar the policy paid out in benefits, you will be allowed to keep a dollar of your assets and still qualify for Medicaid. In other words, these assets will be disregarded when you are evaluated for Medicaid eligibility.

For example, consider Frank and Louise, an elderly couple who have worked hard all of their lives and have $500,000 in retirement savings. If Frank has a stroke and needs nursing home care, they will have to deplete over $380,000 of their savings before Frank will qualify for Medicaid. However, if Frank purchased a Partnership qualified plan that paid $250,000 in benefits, the first $250,000 of nursing home costs would be paid for by the

insurance company. If Frank still needed nursing home care after those benefits were exhausted, he and Louise could keep $119,920 (the amount Medicaid allows a married couple to own and qualify for long-term care payments) plus $250,000 (the amount of the long-term care benefits paid by the private insurer) for a total of $369,920. This means that Frank and Louise would only need to deplete a little over $130,000 of their retirement savings instead of $380,000. As you can see, this can provide substantial savings to them. These savings can be used

for Louise’s needs or left to their children after they have both passed away.

h

As you can see, the Louisiana Long Term Partnership Program provides an excellent way for those in need of long-term care to

protect their assets and provide for their or their family member’s long-term care needs. To learn more about the Louisiana Partnership program, you can visit www.ldi.state.la.us or contact a professional who regularly assists families in planning for their long-term care needs.

assists families in planning for their long-term care needs. Mrs. Melancon has engaged in the practice

Mrs. Melancon has engaged in the practice of law in Louisiana for the past 17 years. The pri- mary focus of her practice is estate planning, spe- cial needs planning, elder law and probate. She is also accredited by the VA to give advice regarding veterans’ benefits. For more informa- tion, please contact her at 222-744-0027 .You may also visit her website at www.LegacyCenterLa.com.

®
®

17

Top row, left to right: Mae Stevens, Shondra James, Carla Duplechin, Rebecca Muskat, and Rebecca

Top row, left to right: Mae Stevens, Shondra James, Carla Duplechin, Rebecca Muskat, and Rebecca Stewart. Bottom row, left to right: Rae Broussard, Kadee Dupuis, Janis Ament, and Pam Gautreau. Not pictured: Alice Bourque.

EATEL Awards Ascension Teachers with $5,000 in “Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid” Grants

Ten Ascension Parish teachers have received $500 each in grant money from EATEL to support innovative teaching methods that are designed to engage students in their classrooms. EATEL’s annual “Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid” grants were judged this year by a com- mittee comprised of EATEL’s own Beryl Smith and Lyman Abadie, along with Angelle Deshautelles, Executive Director for Ascension Parish Libraries, and Sherry Denig, Executive Director for Volunteer Ascension.

For over 17 years, the EATEL Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid grant program has helped fund unique projects in local schools, impacting hundreds of primary, middle and high school students every year. To date, EATEL has awarded more than $85,000 in teacher grants.

“EATEL is proud to be able to

help one of the most valuable resources in our community: our teachers,” said Toby DuBois, EATEL Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re glad that our ‘Reach a Kid, Teach a Kid’ grants are able to fund creative thinking in local classrooms which supports Ascension Parish schools’ ability to shine.”

EATEL hosted a ceremony on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, in their lobby to honor this year’s grantees. Attending in support of these winning teachers were their school principals, friends and family members as well as Ascension Superintendent of Schools Patrice Pujol, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Steve Westbrook, Director of Secondary Schools David Alexander, Supervisor of Secondary Education Lisa Bacala, and Supervisor of Career & Technical Education Ronda Mathews.

“It’s just so exciting to have some of our very best teachers, with their creative ideas and passion for our kids, show their willingness to go that extra mile,” said Dr. Patrice Pujol, Ed.D., Superintendent of Ascension Parish Schools. “And we can’t thank EATEL enough for their commitment to continuing the funding of these teacher grants because our students are the ones who profit.”

18

2014 EATEL grant winners include (in alphabetical order):

Janis Ament, St. Theresa Middle School Project: ““Service with a Smile from the Heart”

St. John Primary first through third graders will adopt nursing and assisted living homes in Gonzales to reach out and connect with elderly members of our community. Students will write and mail letters once a month and then, in a class field trip, will present the seniors with charming pieces of art and treat them to a musical performance. Prior to the field trip to area nursing and assist- ed living homes, students will dis- cuss in class the importance of community service and how they can continue to help as they grow older. Students will also be given a list of questions so they can interview the residents. This grant will impact 240 students and approximately 290 seniors.

Alice Bourque, St. Amant High School Project: “Real World Success”

Technology is an integral part of our world and, as such, the ways of teaching Real World computer applications needs to engage today's interactive, visual learners appropriately. Ms. Bourque teaches Introduction to Business

Computer Applications and Business Computer Applications. These classes encompass lessons in formatting professional business documents, e-mails, memos, newsletters, spreadsheets, and databases that students will use in their post-secondary education and/or careers. This grant will poise these students for success by allowing them to become "in- house Microsoft Office specialists" with 5 clients to service. The format of the lessons simulates real business world work-orders and challenges students to use critical thinking and decision- making skills while applying the Microsoft Office skills they learn in class.

Rae Broussard, St. Amant High School Project: “Behind the Scenes”

Through this grant, students in G- C-E, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Pro-Start, & B-C-A will collabo- rate on one large project. Students will create & host a “Dine in Movie Night” at St. Amant High School. Each class will focus on specific tasks that enhance their courses learning objectives. Students will be excited to learn the skills needed for a hands-on business that they create. They will have chances to make their own decisions, be creative, learn from their mistakes, and find their niche whether it be server, chef, business owner, manager, accountant,

graphic designer, kitchen manager, entrepreneur, decorator, or coordinator. Students will learn how much hard work goes on "behind the scenes" to effectively run a business and put on a suc- cessful event. If successful, stu- dents will continue to host this event in the future as a learning experience and fundraiser for Gator Mania, the school-based enterprise.

Carla Duplechin, Gonzales Middle School, 6th grade Project: “Crossing Borders While Touching Hearts”

This grant will involve ten special education students. Some of these students are unable to write and listen at the same time, some have difficulty remaining focused on instruction, and some have difficulty understanding material when it is presented within the four walls of a classroom. They all learn best when they are able to see, hear, touch and become an active part of what is being taught. This grant will provide opportuni- ties for engaging ALL learners. Students will choose various landscape border bricks, select patterns or create their own patterns and decorate their pieces. The students will acquire function- al reading and mathematics skills through the use of developmental hands-on activities, and will be able to re-tell and sequence the events that occurred along the process. They will enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment upon seeing their finished products and gifting them to their families.

Kadee Dupuis, St. Amant High School Project:

“Big Fun with Big Books”

This grant is geared towards high school seniors who will to pursue a profession in the field of educa- tion. One of the major require- ments for course completion is an extended field experience where students intern in a classroom at one of our feeder schools. During their internships, they must teach a lesson, help students one-on-one, and learn classroom skills. One of the units in the STAR curriculum provides students with the oppor- tunity to read a classic children's book to a classroom of children after practicing first with their peers and STAR class. Reading aloud is an essential skill for any classroom teacher, and this activity needs to be as fun and interactive as possible. This grant will make it possible to purchase several "big books" of classic children's stories to use for this unit. These books will benefit the students by enhancing the experience of read- ing in front of their peers as they

get to know each other in class, and then again as an introductory activity in their field experience classrooms.

Pam Gautreau, The Church Academy

Project:

“Just What the Doctors Ordered”

This grant recognizes that writing is an essential life skill. Students will learn about empathy through various genres of books: poems, fiction, nonfiction, riddles/jokes, and fables. Students will then build on prior knowledge of writing skills taught last year. Students will then be instructed to write their own stories with a focus on making a difference in the life of another through compassion. They will review all components of the writing stages: brainstorming, rough copy, editing, final copy, and publishing. Once students begin to write, children will work in groups to encourage peer revi- sion and cooperation. The writing project will be published as a collaborative piece of the entire class. Once the books are published, each student will take home a copy, and several copies will be donated to local nursing homes, widow’s outreach, and to the children’s hospital. These students will become published authors with empathetic hearts.

Shondra James, Donaldsonville Primary School

Project:

“All I Want To Do Is Read”

Many of the children at Donaldsonville Primary have limit- ed exposure to quality literature. Many of the books available to the teacher are dated and do not include many of the characters that

they are familiar with in their daily lives. The classroom that I teach is

a magnet classroom, and each stu-

dent has an iPad to use within the classroom. This grant will allow each student to access hundreds of stories right at their fingertips. Students will engage with the stories for guided reading groups, independent reading, and book clubs. Students will increase their reading fluency and comprehension.

Rebecca Muscat, Dutchtown High School

Project: “Photography Can Reach

a Kid, Videography Can Teach a

Kid”

Through this grant, students will be able to utilize digital camera technology during lab activities. For example, the students will take photographs during experiments of observed reactions, record peer-narrated videos to summarize experiments, and will be able to share those photos and videos with

the class – especially any students who are absent, so they will be able to participate in subsequent class discussions. Students will be able to print the images of their work using a portable photo print- er. This way, photos will be avail- able to students not only during group discussions for reference and clarity but also as an additional source of data within a formal lab report. Visual data collection will increase the students' engagement and thus enhance the pride that students will take in their work. There may also be an opportunity to expand and connect their use of photography and videography into other classes such as, advertising, digital media, and other business and art classes. This technology can be utilized for subsequent years and shared within the biology department, thus benefit- ting thousands of students.

Mae Stevens, Prairieville Primary School Project: “Reading Closely”

Students will be reading several novels within the modules of the Expeditionary Learning Curriculum this year. If students had their own copies of a novel, they could write and annotate in their book. Students would have the opportunity take the novel home, re-read for understanding and share new learning with their

families. Students will learn how to annotate for a variety of purposes when reading. Close Reading is a lifelong learning strategy. If students are able to have their own copy of the novel, they can use it as a reference for the rest of their lives.

Rebecca Stewart, Oak Grove Primary School Project: “Number Fun with Rekenreks”

This grant will furnish a 6-year-old mathematicians with manipulatives to keep them engaged. With this grant, a classroom set of individual Rekenreks as well as a 100 count Rekenrek for demonstration purposes will be able to be purchased. Rekenreks are specially designed number racks that help children decompose and compose numbers. Using a Rekenrek, children can manipulate the counting beads to learn, for example, that 8 is really 4 and 4, 2 and 6, or 5 and 3. Children learn numerals by exploring the combinations that compose those numbers. Learning numbers this way ensures that children form a strong numeracy foundation which then directly leads to and supports computation. Using Rekenreks will help ensure that the students have the necessary foundation for their entire math career.

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Reindeer Games People Play

by Bill Delaune

“Oh the games people play now, every night and every day now, Never meaning what they say now, never saying what they mean… Joe South.

Scene- A South Louisiana living room on Christmas Eve.

Characters- The Kids-all ages from 1-92, in all shapes and sizes.

Uncle Bill- a disillusioned dreamer who recently unfriended himself on Facebook after one of his incoherent rants.

Act I

Kids (excitedly)-Uncle Bill’s here! Uncle Bill’s here! Come tell us one of your famous Christmas stories, Uncle Bill! Kid 1-But how did you get here, Uncle Bill? I didn’t see your truck pull up. Bill- No truck this year. In the spirit of the season, I decided to come by sled this year. A nice man named Sean Payton drove me. Said he had lots of experience at leading a dog team. Kid 2- Are you going to tell us about the time you and Aunt Diane and Liz took the family car to Moonlight Inn on Christmas Eve and didn’t get home until the next morning and all the younger siblings’ gifts were in the trunk? Kid 3- No, tell us about the Great Bottle Rocket War when y’all set the pasture on fire and the fire department had to come on Christmas Day. Kid 4- I want to hear the one when you fell into the Christmas tree… Bill- Now, now, boys and girls. Those are some oldies but goodies to be sure but wouldn’t you like something a bit more current? Kid 1- I don’t know Uncle Bill. The only things on TV these days are murders and war and lots of doom and gloom. Did you know Carolina Panther quarterback got in a wreck with two transvestites? Bill- Well, Will, I believe he had two transverse process fractures in his back. But he was on the main drag. Kid 2- Someone said he got hit twice. Bill- Which was twice more than the Saints hit him on the previous Sunday but I digress. So let Uncle Bill help out international relationships by combining some of this Cajun sugar cane whiskey with some Pennsylvania Dutch egg nog and let’s pile up under the mistletoe-just in case some of those cuties from Sammy’s Grill drop by-and… Kid 3- Uncle Bill, how do you remember all their names when your memory is growing weaker than the NFC South? Bill- I just use the same technique Santa used on his reindeer when I call them by name-“On Lauren

and Morgan, Christina and Shana! On Emily, Tiara, Natia and Amanda…” Then if we can get one of the taller ones like Carle to help put our littlest angel Heather on top of the tree, I’ll tell you a story of polls and bowls and Christmas trolls… Once upon a time there was an evil organization called the BCS which tried to ruin college foot- ball…

bowl games already, Uncle Bill? And all those sponsors’ names in the titles really confuse me. Bill- Truer words were never spoken, lad, but money talks. As that late, great New Orleans promoter Dave Dixon used to say, “Give me a corporate sponsor, a TV contract and a betting line and I’ll sell out the Superdome for a marble contest.” So it came to pass that some politicians decided it might be

So it came to pass that some politicians decided it might be Kid 2- Excuse me,

Kid 2- Excuse me, Uncle Bill, but we don’t have the BCS to kick around anymore. A selection committee chose the final four playoff teams this year and the experts’ consensus is that they did a pretty good job. Bill- Except in Waco, Texas, where there are more burning butts than the Great David Koresh bonfire of 1993. Even country singer Billy Joe Shaver who chronicled his shooting of a drunken Texan in the song “Wacko from Waco” has threatened to take action. And in Fort Worth, the cowboys out at the stockyards have called out committee members to a duel at the Not O.K. Corral in terms that were Texas but not very Christian. Anyway, with five so-called Power Conferences, somebody was bound to be left out of a Final Four. Perhaps the next step is an expansion to a Great Eight with five Power teams and three wild cards and listen to the number nine whine. (That would be Ole Miss this year screaming, “Hey, we beat Miss State head to head.”) But this story is about bowl games, power (not rankings) and ego trips. You see, some politicians and other celebrities decided they wanted to add some more bowl games and attach their names to them. Kid 1- But don’t we have enough

good for name recognition-not to mention fund raising-if they had a bowl named in their honor- especially one that reflected their beliefs. For example, our next governor Senator David Vitter (“The Working Girl’s Best Friend”) attempted to put together a game between Tulane-to show his support of private, elitist education and a little-known branch of Southeastern Louisiana University at Tickfaw ( known as SLUT) to show his compassion for the average man. It would be called “Common Core vs. Common Whores” and the New Orleans Madame of his choice could turn the first trick play. Kid 2- What about our current governor? Wasn’t “Piyush of the Bayous” jealous? Bill- Of course, he was. But not to be outdone, Piyush decided to revive the “Little Caesar’s Bowl” since the Pizza Company that once had it lost all the cheese it could afford. “Since I am an emperor,” Piyush proclaimed, “I have decided the preside over a battle-to-the-death between representatives of higher education and health care-sort of the “Old College Try” against “Just Let Them Die”, if you will- and give a thumbs-up or thumbs- down to the victors as to whose budget gets cut the least.”

The game will be played in Piyush’s home state of Iowa-sight of the first Presidential caucus. Kid 3- What would the real Caesar think of Piyush? Bill- Considering the head Roman’s reign was once described as “unabashed self-interest dis- guised as representation of the public interest”, I think Piyush would get a big thumbs-up from Julius. Kid 1- What about our newest senator, Uncle Bill? He wouldn’t want to be left out of the bowl parade? Bill- You mean “Double Bill” Cassidy”? He really intended to have one but he took 97% of the money and didn’t provide any services, teams or tickets so his game got vetoed. Kid 2- And what about poor Mary Landrieu? Did she get a game of any kind? Bill- Since even her own party withdrew all support, Mary had to take the cheap route this year. The best she could come up with was a basketball game between Georgetown of Washington D.C. and the University of New Orleans to determine where she will live out her civilian years. Kid 3- What about the guys on the local scene? Seems they’re always looking for publicity. Bill- You’re exactly correct, Nate, but they couldn’t afford the entire bowl package either. So they came out with their own variation. If I may… (In best Michael Buffer voice) “Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble. For the Town of Gonzales Blockbuster (or Bust the Block) Tag Team Championship, this is tonight’s main event. “In this corner-the Council Killers led by Gary “Police Car” Lecombe and Timothy “Call Me Mayor” Vessel. And in the opposite corner, the Citizen Assassins led by Chuck ‘The Mouth of South Sandra’ and Gordon C. Kernan-master of the ‘Fish-n-Pic-n-Roll’ sleeper hold. “Our referee tonight is Creole columnist Wade Petite, who usually pens things that count, but tonight will be counting things that pin. This is a no-holds-barred match, the first I can recall in a long time.” I guarantee a sellout at Lamar Dixon and then we could use the proceeds to build you kids some baseball and soccer fields without taxing anyone. Kid 2- Uncle Bill, have you been skirting the Les Miles rumors on purpose? Bill- No, I was getting to that. I’m thinking Les-with all his money- buys Notre Dame out of the Music City Bowl-those Catholics are always partial to money-and replaces them with Michigan. Then we let Les coach both

26

teams-and run the clock-and the winners get to keep him or ship him. Sort of a “Deal or No Deal” or-for my feminine readers-a “Love Les or List Les” proposition. Kid 3- What about your old gambling buddy Edwin Edwards? Bill- That’s an easy one. Guards against the cons in his old prison yard-another remake of “The Longest Yard”. Kid 1- Those are pretty funny, Uncle Bill, but are there any real bowl games you’re looking forward to? Bill- I like the Sun Bowl’s clever matchup out in El Paso where the Duke Blue Devils will take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. Should be one hell of a game. Kid 2- Have you ever been to El Paso, Uncle Bill? Bill- Yeah, one time, Cade. But I ended up across the border in Juarez and I didn’t need any devils to tell me that was close enough to hell for me. Kid 3- Uncle Bill, this is supposed to be a Christmas story. Haven’t you seen anyone in your travels that has the real holiday spirit? Bill- Of course, pards. Why just the other day, Bama and his bunch raised over $20,000 with a jambalaya fund raiser to Feed the Needy. And Pete and Gloria’s group always provides a Thanksgiving feast for the Battered Women’s Shelter. And there’s hun- dreds of others doing similar good deeds throughout the area to help out the less fortunate. Kid 1- What are you going to do

for the poor this Christmas, Uncle Bill? Bill- I’m going to donate a percentage of the money I win on bowl games to the “Coats for Kids” charity. Kid 2- Man, I hope those poor people don’t freeze to death this

winter. Bill- But I will leave you kids with

a few classical references to remember when this big, bad world seems ready to blow. Romeo and Juliet showed us that love is more powerful than hate. Harry Potter taught us that good will always overcome evil. And Luke Skywalker proved that the Light of the Force will overcome the Dark Side. And this Jesus fellow whose birthday we celebrate, he never won any political races but he had

a pretty good platform. Like maybe we should all be a little nicer to one another and a lot more forgiving and help out those who don’t have as much as we do. Cause c’mon man, it’s Christmas-and we’re going to be alright. Kid 3- Gee, Uncle Bill. I didn’t know you were a hopeless romantic. Bill- And you probably didn’t know I could quote Scripture either. But if young Reece will start our Christmas cheer (Isaiah 11:6-“And a little child shall lead

them”

faithful readers…A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

),

we will wish all our

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Top 10 things you don’t give your wife for Christmas

10. No Bargain Items

Never listen to the television and buy her something from Ronco. If you buy her something that is plastic to assist her in the kitchen, you will suffer for month as she tells everyone you meet about your thoughtfulness.

9. Is Beer a Good Gift

Don’t by her a case beer. If you do you should at least buy the brand she likes. If you buy her your favorite brand you should give her 2 cases so you’ll have something to do and drink while you are in the dog house.

8. Think About Her Hobbies

Free Golf Passes are never a good idea unless she plays. If she does play make sure the passes are good during a time when she is off work.

sure the passes are good during a time when she is off work. 7. Do These

7. Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

Never Ever in Any way Shape or Form Give her a 3 Month Membership to

a Weight Loss Company. If you do, you need to make sure you have Dental Insurance. You’re Gonna Need It!

Be a NEW You in Just 3 Months

Be a NEW You in Just 3 Months

You’re Gonna Need It! Be a NEW You in Just 3 Months 6. Does She Like

6. Does She Like Dancing

Never give her a Free Lunch at The Gold Club. Especially if you received it as a reward for frequent visits

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5. Does She Like Cooking

Unless she cooks in a 40 quart Black Iron Jambalaya Pot, it is not a good idea to give that to her. You’ll never convince her it was for her.

4. A New Vehicle Can be a Great Gift

Did you think she would really like that new truck in her favorite color that you drive now. Each month when she does the bills and pays the note it will be a constant reminder.

the bills and pays the note it will be a constant reminder. 28 3 . Are

28

3. Are Guns a Good Idea?

If by chance you guys out there have givin any of the items mentioned in the first 7 parts of this article I recommend no fire arms. You see if you have considered any of the afore mentioned items I am sure you will mess up bad one day and wished she didn’t have that gun, you gave her, in her hand. For God’s sake don’t give her one with a scope. Also don’t give her ammo. Maybe she will procrastinate and never purchase any.

2. What about a pocket knife?

Not no but HELL NO! Knives are strictly off limits. Pocket knives, skinning knives, box cutters or razors. Why you ask? Just 2 words Lorena Bobbitt. Enough said.

1. How about photographs?

I am a big fan of photographs. This is the gift that keeps on giving. All year long. Anniversary photos in a nice

frame. Family photos matted make great gifts. Date night special moments.

However sending her a photo from the view of your deer stand is not a good idea. Even if you sweeten the pot with a love letter reading: “My Dear Sweet Wife. I know me going deer hunting during Thanksgiving and now again during the Christmas Season does not set well with you. It hurts me also to be away from you but I thought if I sent you this photo of what I am seeing at this moment, you may can almost feel as if your are here with me. And we are together. Merry Christmas.”

Let me give you a tip. It ain’t working and you’re toast. I suggest you go straight to Layne’s Jewelers on your way home and pick up anything with a diamond. Especially if you are hunting on your Father-in-Law’s property.

on your way home and pick up anything with a diamond. Especially if you are hunting
on your way home and pick up anything with a diamond. Especially if you are hunting
Useless Random Facts with Kellie • Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine. •

Useless Random Facts

with Kellie

Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.

A pound of house flies contains more protein the a pound of beef.

Per the results of a three-year Christmas study performed by the Center for Lifestyle Management, an average of 10 hours are spent the last week of December arguing and bickering with family members about holiday-related activities.

St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.

The classic animal crackers box is designed with a string handle because the animal-shaped cookie treats, introduced in 1902 as a Christmas novelty, were packaged so they could be hung from Christmas tree limbs.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

Its illegal to spit on sidewalk in Norfolk, Viginia.

The average secretary's left hand does 65% of the typing.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

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Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 11am-8pm 30 Thanks Thanks feet. There were times years ago where

Thanks

Thanks feet. There were times years ago where I struggled to keep you warm and dry. Part of the reason was that I just didn't know what to do to help with the problem. After I learned what to do I just couldn't afford the necessary footware. But things have changed these days and I really appreciate your ability to give my body a solid platform to stand on. Thanks legs. You have taken me up and down hills, through thousands of miles of forests, in and out of the most productive marsh and swamps throughout our southern states. You've been unstoppable. There's no telling how many ducks, squirrels, deer, turkeys, fish etc that I've taken from the outdoors because of your sheer strength. On your gentle side you've offered me your rugged knees to kneel upon at times for a short prayer of respect for my victim of prey at that time. Thanks back. You've carried quite a load at times, the weight of decoys, deer stands, large animals, lanyards of ducks and most everything else imaginable. Because of you I can sit, bend, lay down, squat, lean, stand straight and carry heavy loads. I don't have two of you. You're a one and only. Without you I'm pretty much done. Hundreds of times you've ached with pain and soreness sometimes to the point of severe, but somehow you've managed to bend and not break. Thanks arms and hands. What can I say? You've held rifles steady, made perfect casts, cleaned every creature that I've ever harvested in my entire life. Your ability to hold, grab, push, pull, carry or throw has been phenomenal and you seem to never let me down. Thanks head. You've controlled my senses of sight, hearing, taste and smell. Your control center (my brain) for the most part, has led me in the right direction for years. There's been thousands of decisions made by you that controlled the life and safety of myself and others. You've also given me the ability to learn right from wrong, which leads me to thank another important part of my body. Thanks eyes. Through you I've observed all the sights and colors that nature has to offer. You have helped me detect my prey and protect me from harmful situations. There's been beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and some that weren't so beautiful. I've seen branches shake, ears flick, flocks of waterfowl flying overhead, turkeys strut, just to name a few of your precious gifts. Together we've viewed

nature in its most lovable moments. We've also seen its crueler sides. Thanks ears. Yeah. Like all the other parts, you aren't as effective as you once were. I've heard sounds such as squirrel cuttings hitting the forest floor, a twig breaking nearby, turkey talk from a distance, geese migrating in the fall, and a largemouth strike on a quiet bayou, to name a few. It was also a pleasure to hear my daughter saying "I got him dad!" after killing her first buck. What more can I ask for, it's been a pleasure. Thanks mouth. Although I let you ramble sometimes more than I should, it's because of you that I've been able to enjoy my bounty of fish and game. The delicious flavors and aroma of my bounty being cooked has been a gift that some folks will never know. Thanks heart. Yes you've pumped all necessary blood and oxygen to all of these parts to make them work correctly. Somewhere deep down you've given me the sense of caring. Because of you I've learned to be an ethical and responsible user of all of natures' creatures. I've also learned to give back to the sport and the outdoor world that has been so good to me. Thanks Mom and Dad. Thanks Dad, for teaching me to use all those wonderful parts in the correct manner. Thanks Mom, for cooking all my kills and catches from my younger years. Without your guidance I would not have continued to be a hunter or fisherman. Thanks God. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful body and life along with all of natures wonderful creatures to use, respect, and enjoy. I will continue to enjoy nature's bounty until she herself no longer allows me to do so.

Until Next Time, Thanks to all of you for your interest in my articles and Happy Holidays to you and your families,

James "Goosie" Guice

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L i g h t i n g

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2 0 1 4

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This month with A monthly News Report from the Jambalaya Festival Association
This month with
A monthly News Report from the Jambalaya Festival Association

JFA Hosts Annual Christmas Party; Names Nora Lee Ricca Award Recipient

Saturday, December 6th, the Jambalaya Festival Association hosted their annual Christmas Party at the St. Amant Recreational Center. The celebration saw it’s largest attendance in years including several dignitaries present. Parish President Tommy Martinez, State Representative Johnny Berthelot, and JFA Founder Steve Juneau were on hand along with many volunteers and Association Members to kick off the holiday season.

After partygoers mingled and served plates of fried fish and shrimp, potato salad, gumbo, brisket and much more, the awards ceremony began.

Two awards were given to outstanding Association members and friends of the Festival for their volunteerism and dedication to the Jambalaya Festival and its causes. JFA Vice President, Tammy Guillory, welcomed the attendees, noting the great turnout, and

Festival and its causes. JFA Vice President, Tammy Guillory, welcomed the attendees, noting the great turnout,

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thanking everyone for being apart of the JFA before handing over the microphone to JFA

thanking everyone for being apart of the JFA before handing over the microphone to JFA Secretary, Meredith Conger, who presented the awards.

Conger also welcomed attendees and thanked Parish President Martinez for attending and remaining a huge supporter the JFA.

The first award of the night was given to Mr. Jimmy Berthelot for his support of the JFA throughout the years. As the Association con- tinues with plans to build its new home, monthly meetings have been held at Berthelot’s Hall in St. Amant since the demolition of the JFA’s previous festival building. The Association is grateful for the use of Mr. Berthelot’s facilities and recognized him for his continued support of the Festival.

recognized him for his continued support of the Festival. The second award of the night is

The second award of the night is one given each year at the Christmas Party, the Nora Lee Ricca Award. Nora Lee Ricca served as the Treasurer of the JFA for many years before serving as President 1980. While serving in office as President, Mrs. Ricca sud- denly passed away. Each year since her passing an award has been given in her honor to the Association member who has most exemplified the call of volun- teerism and service to the Jambalaya Festival and who has shown a great dedication to it’s mission. The 2014 Nora Lee Ricca

Award was presented to Mrs. Brenda Taillon.

Taillon has been involved with festival for over 15 years serving on numerous committees and working nearly every booth at the festival. She serves on the Christmas Parade Committee, works alongside husband, Gilbert

Taillon, in the Daiquiri booth at the Swamp Pop Festival each year and is always willing to do any task needed to help the Festival. Taillon

is a dedicated Association member

and displays a deep commitment for service not only to the Jambalaya Festival but also to the Ascension Parish community. The Association Board of Directors would like to congratulate Mrs. Brenda on her award and thank her for her many years of dedication.

Following the presentation of awards, Mike Broussard, Steve Broussard and the All Star Band had the dance floor packed with their classic Swamp Pop tunes.

The JFA would like to especially thank the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for providing security for the event, the All Star Band, Tammy Guillory, Vanessa Blair, Todd Blair, Mike Berthelot, Rodney Savoy, Blue Forstythe and all volunteers who made the event

a great success.

Below is a list of the Nora Lee Ricca Award Recipients since it’s first year:

• Pie Lanoux

1981

• Dalton Marchand

1982

• 1983

Mary Ann Keller

• 1984

Elsie Walker

• 1985

Mac Daigle

• 1986

Cobby Walker

• 1987

Darlene Reulet

• 1988

Ernest “Beaver” Cubbage

• 1989

Frank Frederic

• 1990

Anita Young

• 1991

Pat Austin

• 1992

Carol Frederic

• Ed “Mike” Daigle

• Eladee Chauvin

1993

1994

1995

• Robert A. Pitre, Jr.

• 1996

Pearl Reed

• 1997

Wally Taillon

• Estelle Carpenter

1998

• 1999

Ruby Corrent

• 2000

Frank Corrent

• 2001

Solly Boudreaux

• 2002

Lucia Smithey

• 2003

Freddie Hurst

• 2004

Mike Daigle

• 2005

Carlos Braud

• 2006

Gilbert Taillon

• Carbett Bercegeay

2007

• 2008

Valmon & Rita Bercegeay

• 2009

Tammy Guillory

• 2010

Robert Jackson

• Mike Gonzales, Sr.

2011

• 2012

Mike Berthelot

• 2013

Shane Martinez

• 2014

Brenda Taillon

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By Tracy
By Tracy

At 50 the youthful features I once possessed have faded. Many are only a memory as their evidence is long gone. And let’s not even talk about the cruelty of gravity.

But there is a bright side to aging, one that is worth the trade-off for the appearance of youth. It is the wisdom and confidence one gains from a lifetime of experiences and boy have I experienced a lot! From it I have been granted what

I call a true gift. It is an earned

confidence that needs no pretend- ing. It doesn’t boast or brag, nor does it make apology. It is true acceptance of self- both the strengths and the weaknesses. Talk about liberating!!

that the sound of a child laughing was the most wonderful sound in the world to me.

My children grew and left our home to care for themselves. They married and had children of their own. They are successful in their lives and in their work. As I watch their love and patience with their own children I’m filled with pride. It taught me the next generation will follow the first and the lessons I insisted on mattered. It taught me my lap can hold 5-6 small children at once and that I’m willing to endure the discomfort of my legs going numb.

When I lost my youngest son to suicide by hanging I died. I left my marriage of 26 years and ran to solitude like a wounded animal. I learned a greater pain than I’d ever felt before. I learned rage and hate. I learned

I’d ever felt before. I learned rage and hate. I learned defeat and I learned my

defeat and I learned my limit. It taught me how fragile and precious is a life and that even though we create a child they are not ours. We don’t own them. We are only responsible for their upbringing and that they can leave us at any time.

I learned why it was necessary to

have endured a life like mine. I believe if I had not experienced the aforementioned I would not have been able to survive the ultimate loss of my son. And as a reward for surviving I was given another gift, the gift of true love.

I met an amazing man with whom

I will spend the rest of my life.

His love for me is ultimate. It’s respectful, patient and kind. He makes me laugh when I thought I never would. Slowly I learned there is life after death and I’m alive. It taught me resilience, appreciation and tenacity. I fear very little in this life. I celebrate it and for the first time in my life, I celebrate me. I have learned so much and I’m proud to be 50!

My youth was that in which novels are based, but rather than deem my story sad, I celebrate it. I learned so much because of it.

I was raised by a mother with

schizophrenia. She was in and out of hospitals my whole life. Despite what some would call shortcomings, my mother had more grace and class about her than any female I’d ever met and she insisted I have class, too. Seeing her struggle with the demons inside her head taught me that one’s own body can become their worst enemy and that what is

shown outwardly isn’t always the truth inwardly. I learned to observe people closely and how to pair behavior with emotion.

At age 11 my baby sister was born. She was given to me to care for as my mother was recommitted. I already cared for my two younger sisters and now I have an infant. I woke to cook breakfast, bathe my infant sister, prepare the stroller and a diaper bag and head out to skate. It taught me responsibility for a life other than my own, how

to later care for my own children, maturity and that not everyone is dealt the same cards.

A

few years later the state stepped

in

to remove my mother’s children

from her and place us into foster care. Her cries to her children remain in my head today. It taught me the best one can do is not always enough, it taught me the value of a family together. It also taught me loneliness, fear, insecurity, defense and independence.

I married and had three children

of my own. I stayed at home with

my children until they went to school to ensure they learned our family values rather than those of a stranger. I took my job very seriously; giving my family everything they needed to better themselves for their later years.

The work was hard and the hours were long, but I truly loved it. It was so much fun. It taught me how to stretch a dollar and create something from nothing. It taught me patience, how to discipline with love, routine, fairness and

a dollar and create something from nothing. It taught me patience, how to discipline with love,

38

"WELL, IT'S CHRISTMAS" We gathered together In cold rainy weather, Sharing food and grand stories
"WELL, IT'S
CHRISTMAS"
We gathered together
In cold rainy weather,
Sharing food and grand stories that
define who we are.
And it soon would be gone.
The few gift-wrapped presents would
just have to wait;
Sure, it's busy and rushed, you feel
hurried and tired;
Like the lights on the tree, you are
blinking and wired.
Nana cooked turkey.
Papa would carve.
The grandkids stood watching as if
they would starve.
For now, friends and loved ones
would all celebrate.
© Copyright Tad Hardy 2014
There are lights. There is music.
And the ringing of bells.
In the streets perfect strangers are
wishing you well.
But they didn't. They made it.
Then each bowed his head,
And peeked out at Papa when the
Some babies were naked –
We knew that was fine,
The love at that table
Covered all their behinds.
But slow down. Take a walk.
Tell your children, “Come see.”
Share a song, give a smile,
Hold them close for awhile,
And remind them of how Christmas
past used to be.
Well, it's Christmas! That explains it.
The most joyous of seasons –
When we rush to relax,
Piling presents in stacks,
Then we shop till we drop
But for all the right reasons?
blessing was said.
He wasn't exactly a jolly old elf;
He was tall, lean and lanky and just
After lunch all the cousins would
roughhouse and play,
looked like
himself.
Chasing each other, enjoying the day.
And I wonder as now I look back on
those years
His prayer? True and simple,
But it rose to the sky.
The blessings swirled ‘round
And the joy that we found
Was as sweet and as filling
As the big pecan pie.
If we've changed somehow
stripped some of our gears.
shifted,
Light up the bonfires!
We'll warm by their glow;
The warmth that is Christmas
runs deeper, we know.
Let's reflect and be thankful,
maybe turn back the clocks;
Let's keep Christmas alive, not
wrapped up in a box.
We've got Papa Noel sitting
there in the store,
Buying gifts for our kin
And for those we've befriended,
By the time Christmas gets here
We're relieved that it's ended!
And he's red
and he's jolly
but
there's got to be more.
There's got to be more than the
presents and tree
And the garland and stockings and
ads on T.V.
Yes, it's Christmas!
But why keep it one day a year?
Let's remember true Christmas,
every day, while we're here.
Then once we were blessed the
The simpler Christmases we
used to know
Seem to have vanished, like the
melting of snow.
Back when Christmas was baby
and manger and star,
whole kitchen grew merry,
And the sound at the table was just
downright scary!
Clanking silverware
laughing
and carrying on;
After all, it was Christmas!
"Buy an X-Box! An iPhone!
Buy a 'Baby Alive!'
Make this Christmas your happiest,
$99.95!"
This poem is written by Tad Hardy and is protected under
the "First North American Serial Rights" It can not be
re-printed without permission of Tad Hardy
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BONFIRES ALONG THE LEVEE

By Jimmy Dunkley

Christmas season in South Louisiana is a special time spent with family and friends around a Christmas tree, sharing a Christmas meal, or in observance of a Christmas tradition. In St. James parish the tradition begins in preparation for the construction of the many bonfires that line the top of the levee. This year I saw just over 100 permitted sites for bonfire construction.

Old World French and German settlers established colonies in the river parishes of St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles

in the 1700s. These early colonists brought with them the

knowledge of bonfire customs and traditions from their European homes. By sharing this knowledge with their descendants, they provide the inspiration for a practice which has evolved into one giant celebration known as the Christmas Eve bonfires. Once a neighborhood or family activity, the bonfires now line the east bank of the Mississippi River, between the communities of Gramercy, Lutcher, and Paulina, attracting thousands of visitors.

In the weeks that follow Thanksgiving, the levee is alive with

activity as young people work together, contributing labor and materials to create the beacons that will be simultaneously torched, weather permitting, at 7:00 PM on Christmas Eve.

A popular belief is that the bonfires are used to light the way for

Papa Noel who brings gifts to all the children along the river on Christmas Eve. The sleigh and reindeer are replaced by Papa

Noel with a pirogue, pulled by eight alligators named Gaston, TiBoy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste, and Renee. They were lead by a snow white gator by the name of Nicolette, who had glowing green eyes.

The truth is that rural families in the 1800’s lived far apart, had transportation limited to horse and buggy, and rarely left home at night. With this in mind bonfires would have probably been started by the more affluent families and plantation owners along the river to celebrate the Christmas season.

During World War II bonfire building ceased, but was resumed with increased enthusiasm in the post war years. Slowly the structures became more standardized in size, shape, and materials. Willows, growing in profusion along the river bank, became the wood of choice use to erect the bonfires. Equipped with axes, hatchets, and hand saws, boys of the “bonfire clubs” cut the willow trees, stripped them of their branches, and hauled them to the top of the levee. A center pole was selected and buried to a certain depth, then surrounded by four or more side poles. Materials were placed within the willow structure, and several days before the burning, freshly cut cane reeds were places within and around the bonfire. As the cane reeds burned they emitted a popping, firecracker like sound.

As time passed the tepee structures became more uniform in construction and in materials used for burning. Accidents occurred on occasion during bonfire construction and safety became a major concern. For safety reasons permits must now be obtained and the structures have been limited to 20 feet in height and to a maximum width and length of 12 feet by 12 feet. Tires, creosote timbers, plastics, or any other hazardous materials can no longer be used and explosive materials are prohibited around the bonfires, except for firecrackers placed on the structure. Additional fireworks must be permitted and are restricted to the Batture (area between the back of the levee and the river).

On this Christmas Eve if you are looking to find something uniquely Louisiana, join the masses for the street party and fire- works in St. James parish for the burning of the bonfires along the levee. You won’t be disappointed! Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St. James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy, LA

Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St. James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy,
Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St. James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy,
Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St. James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy,
Footnote: Information for this article was provided by the St. James Parish Tourist Information Center, Gramercy,

Cooking Gourmet at Home

with SNO’S SEAFOOD & STEAKS

A great dish for this Holiday Season
A great dish for this Holiday Season

Shrimp&MirlitonStuffing(Chayote)

Yield:

8 servings

Prep Time:

40 minutes

Cook Time:

25 minutes

Ingredients:

6 mirlitons

1 ½ lbs baby shrimp

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped bell pepper

2 tbls minced garlic

½ cup thinly sliced green onions ¼ cup creole mustard

½ cup thinly sliced green onions ¼ cup creole mustard Executive Chef Ben Jarreau 1 ½

Executive Chef

Ben Jarreau

1 ½ cups bread crumbs (more or less depending on your preference)

Salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. (2 tsp salt, 1 tsp

black pepper, ½ tsp red pepper)

Method:

Place the miriltons in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander and cool. When cool enough to handle, half the mirlitons, peel, then remove the seeds and cut into cubes.

While the militons are cooking, cook your onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic in a little olive oil until tender. Add the mirlitons and shrimp and cook until shrimp are done (about

15 minutes). Remove from heat, then add the creole mustard,

green onions, bread crumbs and seasoning. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a greased baking dish, evenly spread your stuffing and bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and serve.

** Great stuffing for chicken, turkey, or pork**

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Friday 11am - 10pm • Sat. 5pm - 10pm
now to reserve your Holiday Gathering. Tues.-Thurs. & Sunday 11am - 9pm Friday 11am - 10pm

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