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Resident Feature for Alpharetta: Landon Smith

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA | 0 comments

Resident Feature for Alpharetta: Landon Smith

I grew up in:  

Charlotte, NC.

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are:

  • I was a showman from the very beginning and had lots of friends.
  • Riding my motorbike and delivering newspapers.  This is how I earned money for the motor used on the bike.
  • I became a magician at the age of 12 years old and performed at city schools, churches and birthday parties.


Some of my favorite memories from adulthood are:

  • Meeting my wife Izzie in Greensboro, NC.  We dated for about 18 months and I wanted to get married soon but she didn’t so we put if off for awhile.
  • Raising my two girls.
  • Being a magician.  I learned to never, ever, give away the secret of a trick.  I was self-taught.
  • Painting pictures in acrylics.


My Profession(s):

I joined the Navy a few weeks short of 18 years old and served for three years during peace time in Pearl Harbor.

I was an electronics technician with AT&T in Greensboro, NC.  Thinking I could make it in my own business, I left after several years and grew flowers on the 45 acres we owned.  I drove a truck with the flowers from florist to florist selling these flowers at a better rate than most wholesalers.  Eventually I went back to work as an electronics technician, working for GE.  I obtained my FCC license and worked with microwave radio systems.

U.S. Historical event memories:

I witnessed personally the one and only explosion of the “H” bomb.  I was on a ship 30 miles away and we saw an unbelievable flash and saw the cloud.  This was so powerful we could feel the heat from the explosion.


The accomplishments I feel most proud of would be:

When I received my FCC license.

The lessons I have learned in life to share with someone just graduating college:


Set goals and don’t give up.

What I have learned in life and wish to share with someone just starting a family is:

To consider everything and don’t start a family too soon.


I chose Dogwood Forest of Alpharetta because:

My daughter liked the building, the location, the activities and the feeling  that I can maintain the same rights as in “independent” living.


I enjoy Dogwood Forest as my home because of:

The food, the  activities, and the residents are friendly and make me feel at home.

My favorite part of living at Dogwood is:

All of the above!


My best friends at Dogwood are:

None yet.  I have been here a week.

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Resident Spotlight for Eagles Landing: Jo Sumner

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA | 0 comments

Resident Spotlight for Eagles Landing: Jo Sumner

Where did you grow up?:  Jo states that she was given the name Emma Jo Andrews and she was born on March 26, 1940 at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. She grew up in East Point and College Park, Georgia.  She was the youngest child in a family with 2 brothers and 1 sister.  She graduated from College Park High School and attended West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia, but only went to college for one year.

What are some of your favorite memories from your childhood?:  Jo states that growing up her parents ran a flower shop in College Park that was close to a cemetery and so she had quiet neighbors. Jo loved to spend time in the flower shop and go in the cooler to get what ever flowers she wanted to have. She says to this day she prefers fresh flowers to plastic or silk flowers.  She also remembers spending a lot of time in the cemetery riding her bike but not over the graves.

What are some of your favorite memories from your adulthood?:  Jo states that after her year at West Georgia College that her dad moved the family to Tampa, Florida. While they were there she met her future husband Lee Sumner on  a blind date on New Year’s Eve in 1960. They dated for only a few months and then got married in 1961. They were married for almost 50 years before he died related to cancer.  They had 3 boys all of whom served in the military just like Jo’s husband Lee.

Did you have a profession?:  Jo states that her husband expected her to stay at home and be a housewife and mother to their three boys.  She did have a few part time jobs over the years but all were for short periods of time including being a switchboard operator.

Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud?:  Jo states that she is very proud of being married to her husband Lee for almost 50 years and they had three boys who all served in the military with 2 of them on nuclear submarines with one of them going under the North Pole.  She also is proud of the men that her sons have become and her 8 grandchildren.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone just graduating from college?:  Jo says that her best advice is for you to do your best. It takes a college education to get anywhere in life. Don’t get pregnant while you are still young.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone just starting a family?:  Jo states that her best advice is to not have children if you don’t want them and don’t have children if you cannot afford them.

What brought you to Dogwood Forest?:  Jo was living in her home until her husband died 4 years ago in October and Jo’s sons found that after that she was not taking care of herself properly and so they placed her in an assisted living community near to 2 of the sons but then the other son felt that he needed Jo to be closer to him and so Jo transferred to Dogwood Forest Eagles Landing Marc 14, 2014.  Jo and son feel that Jo has made a pretty good adjustment to placement at Dogwood Forest Eagles Landing and she is more content and satisfied now.  She does participate in activities as she wants to and eats her meals in the dining room and seems to be OK at Dogwood Forest.

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Resident Spotlight for Dunwoody: Judith Kacar

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Dunwoody, GA | 0 comments

Resident Spotlight for Dunwoody: Judith Kacar

Judith Kacar is our resident spotlight for July. Born in Rhode Island, Judith lived communally with her sister, patents, and grandparents. She was exposed to both Slavic and English languages. Many discussions around the dinner table focused on learning English and assimilating to the ways of life in America. Judith’s father and grandfather were associated with Esso(Exxon.) Her mother quickly climbed the retail ladder to become an Assistant Store Manager.

Judith has fond memories of the snow and cold winters while living in Rhode Island, but when Judith’s grandfather experienced a series of nine heart attacks, a recommendation was made to move to a warmer climate. They choose Orlando , Florida. After high school Judith married and moved to Dallas ,TX. where her son was born. A neighbor also with a young child didn’t speak English so she and Judith taught each other their native languages.

Judith eventually began college and returned to Florida. Upon graduation, Judith began working for McMahan Agency, a member of the American Association of Adverting  Agency. Her talents were quickly noticed and she was promoted to Vice President and a Board Member. She wrote and produced her clients print ads and commercials.  Friches ‘Big Boy” became a  national account for her. Through her work there she began to migrate to the hospitality industry.

It was during this time she introduced her friend Leona  Hemeley’s son to his wife.  The Park Lane and The Plaza were two hotels Judith  frequented to visit Ms. Helmeley during their friendship. Judith also worked with Merv Griffin to promote his island properties.

Judith’s next move would be to Roswell, GA.,  where she began promoting  tourism between Florida and Georgia, creating co-ops between the states.

She always enjoys traveling for business and pleasure. Istanbul is a favored destination along with Germany and France. She’s also an life-long art collector.

Join me in welcoming Judith to Dogwood Forest of Dunwoody. There’s always a friendly smile and lively conversation when Judith is present.

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Resident Spotlight: Sylvia Howard

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA | 2 comments

Resident Spotlight: Sylvia Howard

Where did you grow up?

Roswell, GA


What are some of your favorite memories from your childhood?

I loved doing fun and exciting activities with my four cousins who lived close by.  I was the youngest of the group.  Riding bikes with my brother who was 16 years older and my sister who was nine years older.


What are some of your favorite memories from your adulthood?

Meeting my husband initially at school and dating for three years.  My husband and I and my sister and her husband would frequently visit interesting and nice places together.  We would visit my sister and her husband a lot in Florida where they lived near the beach.  Also, spending time with my two kids, a boy and a girl – we would also travel to the beach with the kids.  Attending Women’s Circle meetings at Roswell United Methodist church.


Did you have a profession? If so what industry were you in and what did you do?

I was an administrative assistant with Equifax on Peachtree Street for 18 years.  I have wonderful memories of the meaningful friendships that developed at work over that period of time.  Some of these co-workers have visited since I have been at Dogwood.


Do you remember what was happening in your life during a significant event in US history such as WWII, Vietnam, Woodstock or any other historical events?

My husband was in the Marines during the Korean War, however he did not fight in the war. He recruited those who did.  I lived at home, with two aunts living close by.  When I heard of the Kennedy assassination, I was in my bedroom ironing.  It was terrible.


Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud?

Raising my two children.  They were raised in church at RUMC.  Also, my grandson who recently graduated from the University of Alabama with honors.


Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just graduating college?

Don’t let other people influence you – be yourself.


Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just starting a family?

Don’t be too hard on the kids – don’t expect so much.  Enjoy your time with them as life is short.


What brought you to Dogwood Forest? Or why did you choose Dogwood Forest?

A friend recommended we look at Dogwood Forest.  After seeing several assisted living communities, my daughter chose this community due to the cleanliness, great smells and the layout of the building and rooms.


How do you enjoy Dogwood Forest as your new home?

I like it although I feel I am still getting adjusted since moving in just a few weeks ago.


What is your favorite part of living at Dogwood?

Activities such as BINGO and Bible study,  my room and sitting on the front porch visiting with my daughter-in-law and others.


Who is your best friend at Dogwood?

All of my table mates in the dining room.

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Resident Spotlight: Lillian McCarthy

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Dunwoody, GA | 41 comments

Resident Spotlight: Lillian McCarthy

Lillian McCarthy was raised in Syracuse, N.Y. and was the youngest of six children. She recalls the winters being so cold. Every year her family would “Winter in Florida” from January to May.

Her father ordered silk worm eggs, hatched them, and began his silk manufacturing company in Syracuse.

After high school Lil attended business school and started her career with H.L. Greens. While working in the office, a very handsome manager from another location was visiting, and she decided to ask him to the company sled ride that night. Six months later she became Mrs. Howard McCarthy.

After being transferred quite often, Mac said it was time to return to Syracuse and open their own store, named “McCarthy’s”.

Mac joined the army in 1943 and served in North Africa and Italy. Lil and her sister moved in together while both husbands served in the Army and raised the cousins Kristi and Marty together.

After retiring to Florida, both Lil and Mac were involved in various volunteer organizations in the Clearwater area. Meals on Wheels was a charity they served for  more than 20 years. Lil is an avid reader, enjoys crafts, and was quite the snow skier. Having a heritage connected to Switzerland was a great advantage for the sport.

Lil moved to Atlanta about 5 years ago and enjoyed being close to her great-grandchild.

A lover of pets, she and “Cupcake” moved to Dogwood Forest. Cupcake has had a change of heart and decided to remain with Lil’s daughter for now.

Welcome Lillian to our community; be sure to stop by for a visit any time.

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Going Green with Smoothies for Seniors

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA, Body, Dunwoody, GA, Eagles Landing, GA, Fayetteville, GA, Gainesville, GA | 5 comments

Going Green with Smoothies for Seniors

Seniors should go green… go green with their smoothie!  I know, I know– green is not the desired color of choice for a smoothie for most people. As a matter of fact, many squirm and frown at the thought of it. I went through the same process. Greens blended to a creamy consistency reminded me of baby food. And then one day, I decided that I would finally buckle down, get serious about my health and I sucked it up…both figuratively and literally.  I was actually pleasantly surprised. Now, for all of you who were munching on kale out the womb, this post isn’t for you. It’s for the newbies to smoothie living, and specifically for seniors who are trying to pack a serious punch in their nutrition.

Why Green is the Thing for Seniors?

Green smoothies are packed with micronutrients.  Micro-nutrients are small chemical compounds like  zinc, magnesium, iodine, calcium, Vitamin B6 and VitaminB12 that assist in normal functioning of the human body, as well as achieving optimal health. (click here for most common micronutrients) They are separate from macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrate, and fats found in foods. Unlike macro-nutrients that can be consumed through our daily food intake, micronutrients are found in fruits and vegetables. Considering the abundance of processed and polluted foods made accessible to most  of us, it makes it challenging to get the nutrients and vitamins we need through whole, nutrient rich foods. This is especially the case for seniors who may face dietary challenges such loss appetite. However, the smoothie is a great way to pack in those nutrients through micronutrient enriched foods like leafy greens.

Leaf Vegetables:

Leaf vegetables are flowering plants that are packed with nutrients. This vegetable group include plants like spinach, kale, cabbage, collard greens, and broccoli. Consuming these types of foods will significantly impact your health. They are packed with fiber and you guessed it, micronutrients. Not only has micronutrients been credited for slowing the progression of memory decline, but are also considered cancer fighters. Leafy greens are also rich in phytochemicals that are known to be cancer fighting agents. They are also packed with antioxidants that fight off free radicals that cause cancer. Another lessor known benefit to consuming leaf vegetables is their chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has a wealth of benefits including body purification, strengthening the immune system (which is very important to seniors), reducing bad breathe and body odors.

So there you have it… all the reasons seniors should consume green smoothies. Below I’ve provided a very simple smoothie recipe that incorporates leaf vegetables with spinach. You can also substitute kale. All you will need is a blender and a few ingredients, and you will be on your way to better health. Happy Smoothie Making!

Super Green Smoothies:

1 peeled banana

1-2  handfuls of spinach

1/3 mangos chunked

1/3 pineapple chunked

1/2  of a peach

1 tbsp. of Greek vanilla flavor yogurt

1/4  cup of 100% pineapple or orange juice


Makes a single serving.


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Resident Spotlight: Betty Gee Nunn

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA | 1 comment

Resident Spotlight: Betty Gee Nunn

Where did you grow up? 

Betty was born in Baltimore Maryland on March 17, 1937 and she grew up in the same area that she was born in.  She grew up the oldest child with 3 sisters.  Today just the youngest sister is still living in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Betty attended and graduated from Coppen State University with a degree in education and received a Masters Degree in Education from Morgan State University.

What are some of your favorite memories from your childhood? 

Betty’s stories from her childhood centered on everyday family life in a family with 4 girls and parents wanting to raise respectable young women.  Betty remembers stories of going visiting on Sunday afternoons and attending church.

What are some of your favorite memories from your adulthood? 

Betty met her future husband, Jerome Nunn, through friends of her about the time she was graduating from High School or starting college and they dated for about 4 years and then got married in 1962 or 1963 and they were married until he died in 1974.  They had 2 children: 1 girl and 1 boy.  Betty was very involved in education, raising her children, and enjoying friendships with people that she had known a lot of her life.

Did you have a profession? 

Betty’s career was in education with her teaching in an elementary school for a short time and then she taught in colleges for about 25 years in the education department.  She retired around 1998 related to being of retirement age.

Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud? 

Betty is most proud of the education that she received and the education of others both her children and her students through the years.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just graduating college? 

Betty says her advice is to be happy in life and satisfied with the life that you are living.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone just starting a family? 

Betty’s advice is that after you get married that you wait a while before starting a family to give  a couple a chance to get to know each other before they start their family.  Betty states that babies do not make a marriage work so you need a strong relationship before you start having children.

What brought you to Dogwood Forest? 

Betty was living independently in her home in Maryland until 2005 when she came to live with her daughter in the Atlanta area.  Daughter arranged for Betty to live in Senior Living Environment in Georgia and in Texas where the daughter was living until Betty unable to care for herself and then daughter had Betty living with her full time.  In 2011-2012 Betty started coming to Dogwood Forest for Adult Day Service on occasion and then on February 23rd, 2013 Betty was admitted to Dogwood Forest as a permanent Resident.  Betty seems to have adjusted well to being a Resident at Dogwood Forest and she is involved in activities in the community as she wants to and enjoys visits from her family when they visit.

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Resident Spotlight: Meet Mrs. Birdie

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Eagles Landing, GA | 23 comments

Resident Spotlight: Meet Mrs. Birdie

Where did you grow up?

Birdie was born December 18, 1936, in Henry County, Georgia, and she grew up in Henry County also. She grew up the youngest child in a family with two half-sisters and one half-brother and one sister. Her sister is still living.

What are some of your favorite memories from childhood?

Birdie’s  favorite childhood memory is going with all of her family to a river in Henry County in the summer to go swimming to escape the heat and her family would take a picnic and spend the day swimming in the river. She also remembers her dad at Halloween getting a flatbed truck and putting hay in the back and the family would go to a Halloween party together and have a good time.

What are some of your favorite memories from your adulthood?

Birdie states that her best memory from adulthood is meeting her future husband Herbert Parker from Jonesboro and they got married when Birdie was 24 years old. Three years later their son Joseph was born. She remembers that her son was involved in a lot of different sports and her boss would let her take time off from work to go see him play in games. She was married to Herbert for many years, but he died. Seven years later she met and married Virgil Upton and they were married 11 years and then he also died.

Did you have a profession?

Birdie worked for about 30 years for the Clayton County Water Authority in various positions until she retired in 1986. She loved her work and did the best job that she could.

Which accomplishments in your life do you feel most proud?

Birdie said that she is most proud of her 30 years spent with Clayton County Water Authority and she was responsible for them getting a Credit Union started. She also worked for the retired people from the Water Authority getting invited back one time a year for a luncheon so that they can get together and stay in touch with each other and the Water Authority.

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just graduating from college?

“Love everyone you meet, treat people the way that you want to be treated and be a good Christian.”

Is there anything you’ve learned in life you wish to share with someone who is just starting a family?

Birdie’s advises to “stay at home with your children and if you don’t you can miss a lot while they are growing up. And teach your children right from wrong.”

What brought you to Dogwood Forest?

Birdie states that she was living by herself and found that she was going blind related to macular degeneration. She decided that before she went completely blind that she should enter an assisted living facility and so she contacted Dogwood Forest at Eagles Landing and made arrangements for admission. She states that she sold her home and gave away her car and had her family pick out pieces of furniture that she did not want to bring with her to Dogwood Forest and made arrangements for admission in the winter of 2014. Birdie says that she really likes it here at Dogwood Forest. She enjoys socializing with others and getting involved in activities and outings whenever she want to.

“The  other residents and staff are very friendly and nice to me,”  she says,  ”and I’m glad I was able to make my own decision about moving  to this community.”

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Changing Our Mindset on Exercise…Even If We Really Don’t Want To

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA, Body, Dunwoody, GA, Eagles Landing, GA, Fayetteville, GA, Gainesville, GA, Mind | 6 comments

Changing Our Mindset on Exercise…Even If We Really Don’t Want To

Most of us have a love hate relationship with exercise. We love the way it makes us look and feel, but we hate to do it. However as humans, we were created by God to be mobile creatures with ability to use all of the 640 muscles in our bodies. Our bodies were designed to move and MUST move in order to work properly. We have to devote the time necessary to ensure our bodies are performing at its peak levels. After all, if we are good to our bodies, our bodies will be good to us.

Although, you would want to start good exercise habits earlier in life, it’s truly never too late to get moving, and still reap the benefits. Many seniors in our Dogwood Forest communities find a way to exercise each day. We have walking clubs where are seniors put on their sneakers and workout gear, and walk the walking paths on our community grounds. The Dogwood Forest life enrichment program often involves resident trips to beautiful parks and trails to walk and take in the beauty of nature. Other residents are involved in tai chi and yoga. Both of the ancient Asian rooted practices are excellent for seniors as they both help improve strength, muscle tone, balance, flexibility, and reduce aches and pains.  In addition, Yoga and Tai Chi specifically helps to improve lung capacity. While many of our residents are mobile, we do have some residents who may have issues with mobility—yet, they still participate in instructor lead chair exercise class using inflatable balls, elastic bands and light weights.

Now, we won’t pretend that changing your lifestyle is easy– quite the contrary.  It involves a sacrifice in time, proper planning and a serious mental overhaul—a switch in mindset. But, we must remember how essential our body’s function is to maintaining a high quality of life. Your body is like anything else — if you don’t do the proper maintenance, it will not work as it should and will eventually be nonfunctional. Just think of your body as a vehicle made of various mechanics. However, unlike a car, you can only get one body per lifetime!

When it comes to lifestyle changes it takes  just four things:

  1. Time
  2. Incremental steps
  3. Determination
  4. Dedication

You can start off small by dedicating just 10 minutes a day to some form of exercise such as  jumping jacks or walking. Each week you can increase that time until you get to 30 minutes a day. Simply focus on taking just one step toward better health everyday, regardless of how small the step is and gradually work your way up.  Tell yourself,  ”Self,  you are going to stay committed and stay determined.”  Eventually, your mindset will change and daily exercise will become just a part of your life. Besides, not only does exercise have its rewards physically, but also mentally!  And working out CAN be super fun!

Remember to ALWAYS consult a doctor before beginning new exercise regimens. We aren’t doctors, we are simply motivators who want to inspire you mind, body & spirit!

Check out this 94-year-old below. We all can learn a thing or two from him!


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Today Show Spotlights the Impact of Alzheimer’s on Women

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Mind, Uncategorized | 4 comments

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, historically, women have  been disproportionately affected by the debilitating disease. Last week, The Today Show broadcasted a segment based on a recent report released by the Alzheimer’s Association on how Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects women either as patients or caregivers .  Here are a few astonishing  facts presented in the report:

  1. According to Alzheimer’s Association, 3.2.million women have Alzheimer’s.
  2. At 65, 1 out 6 women will develop Alzheimer’s versus 1 out 11 men.
  3. When a woman reaches her 60′s, she is 2 times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than breast cancer.

Along with the recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association, a  another  informative Foundation,  Brightfocus,  funding for cancer is 10 times higher than funding for Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause death in the United  States that is currently on the rise, according to the Brightfocus Foundation.

The report released by the Alzheimer’s Association really enlightened those who may be unfamiliar with the disease  or  who are misinformed about Alzheimer’s and how it greatly impacts the lives of its victims and the people that love them. Televised reports such as this one brings awareness. Kudos to Today for this segment. Check out the segment below.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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