Archive | June, 2013

July / August 2013 issue

July / August 2013 issue

Here is your July/August 2013 issue of Lifestyles of Denton County magazine!

This issue we highlight the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, feature some of the local Fourth of July events, and showcase the Texas Historical Marker Adventure.  Hope you are all enjoying your summer!

Click here to download this month’s issue.

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North Texas Fair and Rodeo

North Texas Fair and Rodeo

Music, Carnival Rides and Rodeo are just the topping on this summer delight! The North Texas Fair and Rodeo is gearing up for a festive nine day event starting August 16th and running through August 24th. Attendees will enjoy live concerts, nightly rodeos, contests of all sorts, shopping, a kid’s zone that includes pony rides and a petting zoo, a midway crammed with exciting rides for all ages and carnival games galore.  Great food will add true flavor to the whole experience. After all, who can resist a little cotton candy or some fresh squeezed lemonade to go with your corny dog and nachos.  Ahh…the list could go on and on.

The Fair is one of Denton County’s largest events, and it brings us one of the biggest and best PRCA rodeos in the Southwest.  So if you own a pair, it is time to dust off your boots and saddle up for the rodeo that features the PRCA events as well as a 21 & Under Rodeo, Bull Blow Out and Ranch Rodeo.  Mutton Bustin for the 4-6 year old cowboys and cowgirls is fun, exciting and popular for the little wranglers as well as the grown up crowds.

This year’s music lineup is tremendous with some top national singers and groups, so keep those boots on for a little scootin’ as the nightly concerts are aimed to please music goers.

A new attraction this year, the Amazing Rain Forrest is assured to entertain and please crowds of age groups.  It will transport your senses to a pristine rainforest, and bring you eye to eye with rare and endangered creatures.  Plan to be amazed!

Summers heat should be no problem since there are more than 110,000 square feet of misted, shaded, and air conditioned areas available to get you out of the heat while you are enjoying art, crafts, photography entries and vendor booths. This Fair is a family friendly and wholesome experience, it’s why people keep coming back year after year, and generation after generation. Just “Rockin’ to Tradition.”

And one more note, the parade is like a whole town event in itself.  Line up from N. Carroll Blvd to the Downtown Square on Saturday morning, August 17th at 10:00 am to be part of some great Denton County fun and tradition.  This event has been a crowd pleaser for years and never fails to excite the lined streets, so come out and join the festivities.

The North Texas Fair and Rodeo is located at the North Texas Fairgrounds at 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. in Denton. Visit for more information.

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From the Spice Rack

From the Spice Rack

Healthy Herbs:  Lemongrass and Mustard

by Kathe Kitchens, co-owner of Bestemor Herb Farm

Welcome the summer with Lemongrass!  Mentioned in the Bible and many historical texts as “sweet grass”, man’s history with this herb is ancient.  Originating in southeast Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia, it was likely at home in the middle east many centuries before Jesus was born.  Essential oil sealed in with one family in Egyptian pharohs held its powerful scent until their tomb was opened over 2000 years later.

The oil from lemongrass contains citronella and is an excellent nontoxic insect repellant with a pleasant lemony scent that has an undertone of roses.  Taken internally through food or as a tea, this grassy herb cools the body from summer heat or fever from illness by stimlating perspiration and acts as a mild diuretic to cleanse the liver.  This ability to cool the body makes it valuable protection from malarial fever, high temperatures and heat-related illness.  A favorite in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, this herb also contains compounds that promote the digestion of fats.  All of teh world’s traditional medical practices recognize lemongrass as a pain reliever in topical form, valued for treatment of any inflammation based condition – arthritis, gout, bursitis, etc. and for soothing symptoms of menopause.

Grow some in your own garden and expect to share it with your cats & dogs – they love it!  Plant lemongrass in well drained soil where it gets plenty of sun and mulch the soil’s surface to keep temperature & moisture even.  To make refreshing, tasty tea, mix 4 oz. chopped & smashed stalks to 1 liter of boiling water, allow to steep covered for 5 minutes, and serve hot with agave nectar, honey or real sugar and sweeten to taste.  The tea is also delicious cold or without any sweetener.  If you are more adventurous, experiment with adding basil, ginger or other favorite herbs.  Lemongrass is most often taken in tea form or as a food, often in stir fry, but available in essential oil and occasionally liquid capsules form.

Originally known as senvy, the plant we know as mustard came from the Roman name for a condiment made from its crushed seeds mixed with grape juice, vinegar or wine.  A cold weather green food, the pepper leaves of the plant are high in anti-oxidants, fiver and vitamins A, B, C and K.  Originating tin the Mediterranean around 5,000 years ago, mustard is personalized by the region in which it is produced.  American style mustard is made from white seeds colored yellow by turmeric, and vinegar based.  Seeds come in white, brown and black, darker being hotter and more pungent.  Leaves of the plant are harvested as tasty, peppery greens for salads or cooked for a spicy vegetable dish.

France’s King Louis XI famously traveled with his own mustard pot, as did Louis XIV.  Thomas Jefferson first brought mustard seeds to the USA following his years as an ambassador to France and tnow the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Wisconsin reminds us that National Mustard Day falls on the first Saturday in August each year.  Grown from seed in all zones, plant in well drained soil after fear of frost is past.  In hotter climates, grow in semi-shade for longer growing periods.  Keep the soil moist but not too wet.

Mustard plasters are used for respiratory ills, and barber-surgeons used a mustard solution as a surgical scrub before the concept of antiseptics was introduced.  A sulfur compound mustard gas first used in World War I caused lethal burns, but spurred research that eventually lead to the development of nitrogen mustard compound medications for lymphoma, leukemia, lung and breast cancers that are still used effectively today.

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Teen Tattoos and Piercings: Be Smart About Body Art

By: Shaina Owens, High School Student

In the U.S. alone, over 40 million people have at least one tattoo and almost a third of them are ages 16 to 25 years. In all honesty, the tattoo you get will be with you for the rest of your life. The flip side to that truth is that there are serious health and social risks involved that need to be considered. Getting informed before getting inked or pierced is important. You need to consider the pros and cons.

The tattoo process consists of these basic steps: the design, placement on the body, the tattoo/piercing artist, choosing a hygienic facility, the social and career implications and your skin’s ability to heal properly. Common mistakes start with the design. Experts recommend that you not tattoo your face or neck, not use the name of your girlfriend or boyfriend, not use symbols that you have no idea what they represent, not use cartoon characters, not use fad style designs, like anchors or barb-wire, not use slogans from commercials or retail products, and not use faces of other people. This list could go on and on, but basically it’s about choosing a design that represents you. Be creative and original, and really put some thought into your artwork before it becomes a permanent part of your body.

Many teens never think about the health risks involved with tattoos and piercings. Some scary diseases have been linked to inking and piercing such as HIV, hepatitis, staph, and allergic skin reactions. Opt for a hygienic facility that uses sterile equipment and new needles. Research and get references. Talk to the owner and/or artist and inspect the business yourself. The artist should wash his/her hands and wear disposable gloves. The body site for your tattoo or piercing should be cleaned with a bacteria-killing solution. If you have doubts, ask if you can watch a person get tatted or pierced. This should give you first-hand insight as to their sterilization procedures. And, despite the place you pick, pain is a part of the process. Follow all after-care instructions to avoid infections.

You would never think an employer would care if you have a tattoo or body piercing, but some do. In fact, some won’t hire you because of your tattoo or piercing. Is it against the law for them to deny you employment? No, it’s not. So be wise with your body art site. It could cost you your job.

There’s also a social stigma associated with tattoos and piercings. While most teens from our generation think tattoos and piercings are cool and an awesome way to express ourselves, there are those that see it as rebellious, disrespectful, irresponsible and gang-related. Don’t be surprised if you get a dirty look because of your body art. It’s something that will either become acceptable and the norm or it will fade away like so many other fads.

Tattoos and piercings have grown in popularity among teens and young adults. It’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be losing its steam. Consider all your choices and educate yourself. You don’t want to make a decision that you’ll regret, or worse, make you ill. Start by being smart before you get any body art.

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A Card Connection

A Card Connection

By Carole Hardy

My first recollections of using cards was when my grandfather showed me how to build structures on the table with cards.  I was amazed at how he could make two story buildings that even stayed up. Since I seldom spent time with him, this memory has been treasured for many years. As a teen, I found myself with a French speaking cousin in Sherbrooke, Canada for a week.  We entertained ourselves with hikes and you quessed it, cards.  The game of War, primarily, but it kept us occupied with few words.

After a few years, cards came into my life again.  This time, my future in-laws told me that in order to join the family, I must drink coffee and play bridge.  I really didn’t know what I was getting into, but it has been an enjoyable adventure.   The coffee was, at best a rocky experience, since I discovered I am allergic to it, but they were forgiving.  Bridge was more challenging, but I was up for it and have enjoyed many hours with friends and family over the bridge table.

In the early parenting years when our children were growing up, my husband, Rich, would arrive home after a very long day at work to be met at the door by three excited children.  They were bathed, in their pajamas and waiting.  Rich would take off his coat and tie, set his briefcase in the corner and sit on the floor to play with them for an hour or so before bedtime.  Often they had a children’s game in mind, sometimes a book to read or so excited about something in their day they had to share with daddy.  At the designated time, Daddy helped put them to bed and then he would have dinner and time with me.  My three sisters are a decade younger than I am and, with their teen friends, spent a lot of time at our house.  The games and refreshments came out and good memories were built.

When our children were teens, our house was the hub for games, food and hanging out.  Then as they married and had families we began to play Go-fish and War with the grandkids, which evolved into Rummy and Rook as they got older, and now some are learning to play Bridge.

Recently, we decided to take some Rook cards when we went to the hospital to visit our son-in-law and found it helped to occupy some of the long hours recovering.  Lately, our brother-in-law has been having chemo treatments, so my husband has been going to enjoy some card playing with him while he is being treated.  Since this is only one of several recent tragedies in their family, we have found it helpful to sometimes spend time together over the card table.  It is relaxing and conversation comes easy, even when discussing the hard things.

We now have nine great-grandbabies, soon to be eleven, and the oldest is five years old.  It’s about time to get out the cards, don’t you think?

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Kitchen Delights

Kitchen Delights

by Jennifer Staggs-Manley, Interior Decorator, Decorating Den Interiors

Our kitchens have long been the center of our homes!  Many of us have happy memories of the wonderful aromas we remember when our mother’s were baking. And, since so much of our time is spent in our kitchens, it’s natural that when considering remodeling or redecorating this space, you would want your décor to be comforting and satisfying – just like a great meal! It’s also very important to be sure that your new redecorated kitchen reflects your likes and your personality!

Above all else, I suggest you consider making your decorating scheme reflect your personality.  Are you a gourmet cook?  Then, why not considering incorporating some unique utensils and gadgets in your new décor – wooden spoons, spice graters, whisks, copper molds, etc., are all great kitchen accessories.  And, because many of these accessories can be hung on the walls, your new kitchen makeover will actually provide you with a two fold purpose – redecorating your space, and making these vital items more accessible as you cook!

Picking a great color plan is also important. Often, color choices are dictated by the “given’s in your room – flooring, appliances, cabinets, countertops – so let your good judgment prevail.  If you really want a drastic change and your color choices don’t blend with your “givens” consider changing what you can now, and replace other items over time.  What’s most important is that your colors be of the same intensity and tone.

Window treatments for the kitchen are wide and varied in style. In fact, more and more homeowners are opting for uniquely designed fabric top treatments, usually placed over a privacy treatment like wood blinds, cellular shades or pleated shades. Kitchen window treatments don’t have to be 100% utilitarian. Swags and jabot treatments do have their place in the kitchen. Sometimes a simple scalloped valance in a patterned fabric, edged in a contrasting cording is just enough to add pizzazz to a ho-hum room. Stagecoach valances, mock throw swags, tabbed valances; all displayed on unique decorative rods can really fit the bill to!

And don’t forget those little special accents that give any room a total decorative look. You’ll need to consider repeating your fabric selection in other areas of your kitchen for a truly coordinated look.  How about adding some upholstered seat cushions, pillows on chairs, lining on the insides of cabinets, shelves and hutches. Tablecloths, placemats, table runners and coordinating napkins are also a must!

So have fun with your kitchen! Just remember, be sure to let your cooking personality and color preferences shine through.

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