Archive | April, 2014

The Wedding Guide – April/May 2014

The Wedding Guide – April/May 2014

Welcome to this year’s Wedding Guide. Helpful hints for planning the perfect wedding, as well as exploring some of the traditions still held to this day.  Also, come out to the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival this year and see some well known acts such as Asleep At The Wheel and Al Jarreau.

Are you ready for severe weather season? Looks like it will be a bumpy ride again this year.  And check out the article on our iconic Wright Opera House on the Square.

You can download the latest issue here.

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Wedding Traditions

Wedding Traditions

Wedding traditions have evolved over thousands of years of people joining together in some form of matrimony. Some traditions that have endured are based on blessing the couple with good luck; others are a means for the couple to convey their feelings for one another. Regardless of the tradition itself, all share the same basic symbols of unity, happiness and prosperity; messages that stand the test of time.

Seeing Each Other Before The Wedding
This superstition dates back to the time of arranged marriages, when people believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony; it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding. Today, however, many couples choose to meet up and even have portrait sessions before saying their “I dos.”

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
That old saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” is a popular rhyme that has been used since Victorian times. The “something old” represents the bond to the bride’s family and her old life; “something new” represents the couple’s new life together and their future hope for happiness, prosperity and success; “something borrowed” from a happily married woman is meant to impart similar happiness to the bride; and “something blue” represents fidelity and love.

Throwing Rice
Showering the couple with rice is an ancient tradition. As rice is considered a “life giving” seed it is thought that by throwing in on the couple they will be bestowed with fertility and have many children.
Sharing the Cake
Sharing the first piece of wedding cake is a wedding tradition with Roman roots. The Romans believed that by eating the wedding cake together a special bond was created between the couple. The wheat used to bake the cake was symbolic of fertility and a “fruitful union”, while the cake’s sweetness was thought to bring sweetness to all areas of the couple’s new life.

The Kiss
The ceremonial kiss is said to represent the couple sharing and joining their souls. In Roman times the kiss “sealed” the couple’s agreement to join in a life-long commitment.

Boutonnieres
The wedding tradition of the groom wearing a boutonniere originates in medieval times when a knight wore his lady’s colors (through flowers) as a statement of his love. Flowers and bouquets have long been used in weddings.  In addition to adorning the bride with flowers to promote good luck and good health flower meanings allow the bride to express her feelings for the groom. Orange blossoms signify purity, daisies loyalty, violets modesty and red roses represent true love.

The Rings
Placing the wedding ring on the third finger of the left hand has two possible origins; ancient Egypt or 17th century Europe. The Egyptians believed the “vein of love” ran directly from the ring finger to the heart, therefore the ring was placed there to denote eternal love. During a 17th century wedding ceremony the groom would slide the wedding ring part way up the bride’s thumb, index finger and middle finger as the priest said “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” As the ring finger was the first free finger, the ring was placed there.

Carrying the Bride Over the Threshold
This superstition began in Medieval Europe where many believed that a bride was extra vulnerable to evil spirits through the soles of her feet. To avoid bringing in any evil spirits, the groom carried the bride into their new home.

Crying on Your Wedding Day
It is supposed to be good luck for the bride to cry on her wedding day because it symbolizes that she has shed all her tears and will not have any to shed during her marriage. So go ahead and get teary-eyed. Just be sure to wear some waterproof mascara.

Throwing the Garter
This practice, as it turned out, was devised as a way to actually physically protect the bride from the wedding guests. In France, the bride would shudder with terror at the end of the wedding ceremony because guests would actually rush her at the altar to snag a piece of her dress, which was considered a piece of good luck. Apparently, these practices were so intrusive and invasive that someone, somewhere, decided to pacify the mob by tossing out the garter.

Our beautiful model bride is Kelsie McCoy Guthrie, of Denton who married Brian Geister, of Oklahoma City.  Kelsie is the daughter of Ron and Terri Guthrie of Denton. She is a graduate of Denton High School and received a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
The bride wore a candlelight crystal embroidered lace designer gown from the private collection of J.J. Kelly. Kelsie selected her gown while on the TLC television show, “Say Yes to the Dress”.
Wedding photography is courtesy of ReJana & Mike Krause with Blu Door Studios (817-488-4887, www.bludoorstudios.com)

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Why Yoga?

by Twisted Bodies

Intense and vigorous, relaxing and meditative. Regardless of what you choose, all yoga styles, of the 5,000-year-old discipline from India, can help stretch and strengthen your body, focus your mind, and relax your spirit. The different styles of yoga differ in how postures are done and whether they focus more on holding the posture, strict alignment and breathing, or the flow of movement. But no style is better than another; it’s a matter of personal preference. Here are 10 good reasons to give yoga a try:

1. Increase your flexibility and reduce risk for injury. Each posture targets specific muscles, thereby increasing flexibility and reducing the risk for injury in your activities.

2. Reduce stress. Yoga can help soothe the mind and lower stress levels by focusing the mind on the moment and the movements rather than on external distractions.

3. Increase your awareness and concentration. A primary component of yoga is rhythmic, focused breathing.

4. Understand the mind/body connection better. Yoga requires you to focus all your energies on performing each movement or posture precisely.

5. Gain strength and stamina.

6. Keep muscles in balance. Those who are new to yoga may become aware of muscle and flexibility imbalances they hadn’t noticed before.

7. Improve balance and stability. Balancing postures require you to engage your core stabilizer muscles, which can help improve overall stability.

8. Improve posture. Yoga postures strengthen and open tight areas of the body, such as the shoulders and muscles of the upper back, which is necessary for good posture.

9. Develop body awareness. Yoga requires you to contract and/or relax specific muscles as you stretch into each posture.

10. Receive cross-training benefits. Yoga combines flexibility, strength training, and balance, a perfect addition to any fitness regimen.

Even people who participate in different kinds of sports or physical activities find doing yoga on a daily basis provides a range of physical and mental benefits unavailable any place else. Once you’ve learned a few yoga moves and breathing techniques, you can easily integrate them into your regular fitness routine.

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Relay for Life

Relay for Life

At noon April 12th on the track of Guyer High School, the Relay For Life of Denton will kick off with a special Survivors Lap, a moving experience honoring those who have defeated cancer. Survivors will join together to walk the opening lap, unified in victory and hope, while the rest of the event’s participants surround the track to cheer them on. This empowering celebration is just a small piece of the special experience of Relay For Life.

Relay For Life is a unique grassroots fundraising event in which individuals and teams of participants in over 6,100 communities nationwide walk around a track to celebrate the lives of those who have faced cancer, remember loved one lost, and commit to fight back against the disease. The money raised through Relay For Life supports the efforts of the American Cancer Society to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Relay For Life brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, and faith-based groups to finish the fight against cancer. There are many ways to get involved in this year’s Relay For Life. You can start a team, participate in survivor activities, volunteer the day of the event or even become an event sponsor.

If you would like to take part in the Relay For Life of Denton, please contact event co-chairs Kimberly Beasley at 940-349-5438, kimberly.beasley@f-s-b.com or Heather Howrilka  940-594-6628, hhowrilka@nstarbank.com. You can also visit the website www.RelayForLife.org/RFLDentonTx.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit us at cancer.org.

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From the Spice Rack

From the Spice Rack

by Kathe Kitchens, Bestemor Herb Farm

Thyme

Time is very much on everyone’s mind the first few months of each new year, and thyme should be in our thoughts too.  This hardy little herb has been a favorite of gardeners for centuries for its culinary qualities, nutritional and medical value and easy cultivation.  Identified by tiny leaves and woody stems, most varieties of the low growing thyme top out at no more than 10” but will spread out two feet wide.  Thyme does well in any soil as long as it is not overwatered, but prefers light, sandy soil in full sun or partial shade.  These characteristics make it an ideal ground cover not only for the herb bed for also for ornamental gardens, where its colors and texture add depth to the designs and its small but colorful, fragrant flowers attract bees and butterflies.  Perennial in zones 5 to 9 in the US, it will freeze to the ground in northern zones and is considered an annual north of zone 5.  Foliage in the nearly 800 varieties ranges from silver to a purple hue to bright green, so plant two or three varieties from seed or seedlings in early spring.  We have thyme all over our farm, because it is so easy to grow and so useful to have.

Native to European countries along the Mediterranean, thyme is also found in Asia Minor and northern Africa, where it is believe to have been cultivated by the ancient Sumerians.  Thyme was an important part of ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman culture and remains so today.  Medieval knights were known to wear sprigs of thyme on their armor and Scottish warriors fortified themselves with thyme tea for courage before battle.  Shakespeare referred to wild thyme as the place where faeries play, and tradition holds that it lined the manger where Jesus was laid.

Its culinary value is broad; it is used in everything from breads to savory dishes to sweets and liquors, and to add depth to other herbs and spices. Thyme has wonderful therapeutic qualities when ingested for colds, flu, cough, sore throat, intestinal problems and cleansing and for headache.  Major materia medica of the ancient past and more recent centuries recommended thyme as a remedy for colds and flu due to its natural decongestant and anti-microbial properties.  Anti-fungal and antibacterial, it makes an excellent natural preservative for foods and industries like book binding to prevent mold growth.   Pregnant and nursing women should avoid thyme due to its therapy value as a uterine stimulant and to decrease breast milk supply.

The compounds found in thyme include thymol (a natural antiseptic), cymene (aromatic), and pinene (anti-bacterial).  They make thyme a great component in natural shampoos, soaps and deodorants. Thyme essential oil is found in many common hygiene products like Listerine mouthwash – which also employs eucalyptus and mint essential oils – and lends credence to its recommendation as a home remedy for toenail fungus.  In ancient Greece, it was a compliment for one to “smell of thyme”, most likely from bathing or soaking in water infused with thyme oil that kills bacteria and decreased offensive body odors.

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Teen Suicide – Look for the Signs

by Shaina Owens, Ponder High School Student

Five years ago this March, my cousin Justin committed suicide. He was eighteen years old. I remember the funeral, the tears, and the questions. Why suicide? Why Justin? At the time, I didn’t understand what he was going through, what he was feeling, or what he was thinking. Even now, I can’t fully grasp it. What I do know, like so many other teenagers who take their own lives, is that he had lost hope. He couldn’t see past his problems and the pain. He couldn’t see what a wonderful person he was to everyone who loved him.

Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined. Each day, there are an average of over 5,400 attempts to commit suicide by teens in grades 7-12. And four out of five suicide deaths gave clear warning signs of the individual’s intentions. If we know the signs, we might be able to prevent the suicide. Here are a few to look for: suicide threats, previous suicide attempts, obsession with death or suicide, depression, making final arrangements in preparation for a suicide, and other relational pressures, such as recent loss of a loved one, increase in alcohol or drug use, separated or divorced parents, feeling lonely or abandoned, feeling shame, guilt, humiliation or rejection by loved ones or friends, emotional stress or chronic physical pain, and/or in serious trouble for the first time.

If you notice unusual behaviors that don’t line up with the typical teen temperament, you should get involved. Be a source of help or at least report what you’ve seen or heard to an adult, counselor or teacher. Schools, churches, and the community can also take a more active role in educating youth about the prevention of suicide. Talking about it can stop it. Maybe not all cases, but the odds are greater that you’ll save a life if you do something about it rather than doing nothing at all. Professional help is always available. You can reach the Denton Crisis Hotline through the Denton County Mental Health Center 24/7 at 1-800-762-0157.

I miss Justin. I miss his smile, his humor, his laugh and his kind heart. He had so much to offer the world. Maybe his story will inspire you. Maybe his story will prevent a suicide. You’re more than your circumstances. The negative you may be experiencing will not last. God knows I’ve endured injustice and mistreatment at times, but tomorrow brings a fresh, new day of breakthroughs and possibilities for me, for you, for everyone. Your life is precious and you matter. You’re here for a reason. Don’t let suicide become an option. Get help now.

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