ZOOMA Atlanta Half Marathon and 5K. #Running, Resorts and Relaxation.

I’m a goal-oriented person.

Setting goals (like New Year’s resolutions) gives me a desired target to aim for….and the feeling of accomplishment when I meet the challenge.

Everyone came into this world wired-differently, but it seems like a pretty common resolution (the voracious blog reader that I am) was to put more emphasis on good health and fitness in 2012.

And if you are within a drive of Atlanta have I got a great challenge for you.


The ZOOMA Atlanta Half Marathon & 5K  this coming April 22 at Lake Lanier Island Resort.

If you’ve always desired to train and run that first race — ZOOMA gives you everything you need.

The ZOOMA Women’s Race Series has been around since 2007. This year they will hold races in destination locations including: Austin, Texas, Annapolis, Cape Cod, the Great Lakes and ATL-GA.

They’ve got a great website and interactive Facebook page.

Brae Blackley the ZOOMA series founder, is a mom of young children. She gave up a high-powered corporate law practice to pursue her passion of inspiring women to live healthy, active lives and have FUN in the process.

As a gal that’s been around the 13.1 block a few times, so many things impress me about ZOOMA.

* The races are smaller with limits on registrations.

* They select running Ambassadors in each location who devote their time to spreading the good word about ZOOMA, encouraging registrants of all levels and leading weekly training runs.

* Access to advance copy on training for Half and 5K distances from Train Like a Mother, the upcoming book from Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell authors of Run Like a Mother. 

*  They encourage runners to come out early to the expo and spend the night at the great resort before the race. Relaxing with friends enjoying their accommodations.

*  Did I mention the After Race Party with great venue by the lake, music, your friends and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly? Can you say FUN?

There is nothing like crossing the finish line. You should feel proud!

I’d be happy to discuss more of the details about the race with you. Just leave a comment and I’ll e-mail back.

Come out to the Big Atlanta Kick Off Party, this Saturday morning, January 28 from 8:30 to 11. The event at the Big Peach Running Company on Peachtree Road in Buckhead — will have lots of info, swag and you can meet some of the Atlanta race Ambassadors. And look for some thing cute to train in.

When you sign-up for the race online be sure to use the Discount Code: ATLCON3. You’ll save $10 of the Half registration and $5 on the 5K.

So come-on girlfriends, get your running shoes on.



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Elise Faust. Dinner and Silent Auction for @INGNYCMarathon @sloan_kettering on Monday, 9/19.

I’ve run marathons.

But I’ve only run them for my own pleasure.

There’s a special woman in Madison who is running her first marathon, the NYC Marathon on November 6, with the goal of raising $5,000 for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Research Center. Elise Faust.   (She is half-way to her goal.)

She’s been featured on this blog before because she’s so darn inspirational (and has awesome pair of red cowboy boots that I  haven’t figured out how to get in my possession).

So I had to let you know about her latest adventure.

Elise with her neice after running the NYC Half Marathon this spring. Her neice is running the full with her on November 6.

This cause is very important to Elise.

 The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s charity, Fred’s Team was created in honor of Fred Lebow, the long time president of the New York Road Runners who died of brain cancer in 1994 at age 62.

Under Fred’s leadership, the race course was re-routed to run through all five boroughs. This includes a trot through Queens, where Elise grew up.

Her sister-in-law with whom she was very close, died of ovarian cancer at age 30. Her grandfather and uncle died of prostrate cancer. And her mother had pre-cancer scares as well.

“Cancer research is very important to me,” said Elise.

*     *     * 

How to help.

* Buy a ticket to the fund-raising dinner next Monday night, September 19 at Perk Avenue, 6:30 to 9:30. The tickets are $25 a piece — half going to the charity. This gets you a choice of Chicken Florentine or Beef Bourgonione, green beans, mashed potatoes, dessert and tea.  Yum.

It’s important to reserve your spot so Jolene will know how much to prepare.

Cash bar. (beer and wine)

There will be a silent auction. I think you can talk during these things… you just have to act real cool about what you want till a stealth move at the last minute.  Or bid away with reckless abandon, because the money couldn’t be going to a better cause.

Elise said she would be happy to deliver tickets anywhere or come by her office — to purchase them.

*    *     *


Here’s Elise with her sister Rochelle, who was cheering her on for the Half this spring.

 *         *         *

On Training.

“Training is going pretty well,” She laughs, “It’s certainly an interesting journey for this 46-year-old body.”

She’s done 16 miles twice and is waiting for that first cool Saturday morning.

Woo. Let me tell you, Elise. That will feel awesome.

“The hardest part has been the best part. Learning I can push myself in doing what I never imagined I could do.”

She is quick to remind everyone that this is taxductable…

I look forward to watching her progress. The marathon and its training breaks down all kinds of physical and mental barriers.

But one thing is for sure, mind and body aside…Elise’s heart has always been in the right place.


Have you ever raced for a charity before? How did that add to your experience?




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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman ~ Cindy Wiemann. An advocate and big heart for all God’s critters.

Our pets.  

We love them.  

But not everyone is as responsible with the animals they love. And even those of us who like to think ourselves responsible sometimes let our four-legged friends down.  

That’s what makes this lady so special.  

Meet my friend Cindy.  

Cindy Wiemann at the Georgia state Capital.

Cindy is the City of Madison Animal Control Officer.  

A very important, but pretty much thankless (my editorializing) job.  

She’s out on our streets everyday looking for critters. Keeping the critters and the public safe.  

Hey Cindy…Thanks for taking a moment from your busy job and life…  

Please Tell us about your job.   

Nice dogs, feral cats, dead birds, paperwork, happy people, rabid raccoons, bats, aggressive dogs, written warnings, coyotes being coyotes, meetings, road kill, court, unhappy people, more paperwork, phone ringing, Vet appt., etc. Sounds like a day around here. Goodness no. But I do hear the coyotes when I’m walking the dog in the dark of early morning. They are an excitable lot  



Cindy's family member ... Rosie.

  Did you always love animals?   

Yes, as a child I was always bringing home critters (snakes, baby raccoons, bats, kittens etc). When I moved from Minnesota to Georgia, my dog and horse came along. Bats? They are kind of cute. Until you find one inside your house sleeping in a lamp.   

How did you end up doing what you do?   

Fate & Faith, God had it all planned out. I love helping animals and was unhappy counting beans.  



Josephina -- King (I mean Queen) of the Mountain.

What are the statistics regarding the unwanted pet population in Morgan County?  

Statewide approx 250,000 animals are euthanized in GA shelters every year. At this rate almost 20 million animals will be euthanized in GA at animal control shelters in an average human lifetime. That statistic is more sobering than a cup of coffee at 4 a.m.  



The coolest dog ever (with exception of our Tebow) Noah.

What the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet?  

Besides the obvious of no puppies or kittens, sterilization eliminates certain types of cancer. In males, neutering reduces territorial marking, roaming and aggression. 70% of dog bites to humans are from un-neutered males.   

What’s a fun fact about you that no one knows?   

I have written three articles that have been published in the National Animal Control Association Magazine. I am the second longest serving member of the Georgia Animal Control Association Board of Directors.  

Joe and I refer to our house as the Funny Farm.  

And when I’m not busy with critters, I love to flower garden. Oh joy. All the garden fun starts in just month or so. 🙂  




Cindy's gardening prowess.

Your perfect day?    

Any day I wake up next to my husband and surrounded by our four-legged children. Awh… I agree completely, with the exception of it having to be at least 85 degrees with lots of sun.   



Cindy's Joe and Rosie.

 Anything else you want to add?   

Most years’ I am asked to testify at the State Capital regarding animal legislation.  

I have assisted is hoarding, dog fighting and puppy mill raids. I am a member of the National Disaster Animal Rescue Team.  

Women and cats will do as the please, men and dogs should just get used to this idea. Brilliant!  

Thanks so very much Cindy for all you do. We love our pets and thanks for looking out for the ones who have gone astray either by birth or mishap.  

Look forward to seeing you out and about.   





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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman ~ Wife, Mother, Teacher, Friend…Coach Anne Stamps.

Young girls grow up to be young women…  

And young women grow into women who have little girls… Brilliant, Jamie.  

But nothing takes a harder beating these days than women and their self-esteem. And nothing builds positive self-worth like athletics.    

I’m not talking about being a star…I’m just talking about competing, being on a team. Learning to trust the strength of body and mind —  impacting the spirit. 

 I’d like to introduce you to another wonderwoman I’ve found in town…Anne Stamps.   

Anne with husband, Crandall. Their children...Anslyn, Ethan and Campbell.

As a woman who daily touches the lives of teenage girls as teacher, coach and Assistant Athletic Director at Morgan County High School, I couldn’t think of a better source to e-chat with on this subject.  

And she seems pretty cool. Not that I’m least bit jealous or anything.    

Please share something about your personal life. Where you grew up? Your family?   

I have lived in Madison my entire life. I have two wonderful parents, Lynn & Rhett Goodman, who have raised me to stand firm in my faith and to know that there is always a bigger picture than what I can see at this moment. Love that thought…am writing it down.  

Daughter Anslyn has found her passion with soccer.

I have been happily married to Crandall Stamps for 13 years. We have 3 awesome kids: Anslyn (12), Ethan (9), & Campbell (4). Anslyn is our soccer player, Ethan is a baseball fanatic, and Campbell……well….she’s our free spirit & we have no idea what she will end up doing.  

Campbell, looking smashing. Love the yellow toenails. A girl after my own heart.

 Were you always involved in athletics? What sports did you like to play growing up?  

I have always loved sports and competition. I am the youngest of four kids, which means I always had to fight to get whatever I wanted.  

I think my brother Matt felt that it was his job to keep me humble by making sure I always knew that he was bigger, faster and stronger. My family was always involved in sports and I practically grew up on the ball field.  

I have played baseball/softball for as long as I can remember. I also played a little basketball once I got into Middle School.  

Ethan bringing the heat.

What do you teach at the High School? Coach?  

I teach Health, PE and Physical Conditioning at the Morgan County High School. I look forward to coming to work every day. MCHS is a wonderful place to work and I feel very blessed to be a part of such a special community of teachers and students.  

I have coached softball for the last 11 years and I have recently made the decision to try something different for the upcoming school year. I have also coached basketball at MCHS. I am also the assistant athletic director at the High School; I love having the opportunity to be a part of so many different aspects of our Athletic Programs in my role as Asst. AD. I love being around our students.  



What is your insight on getting young women/girls involved in athletics?   

I like to see girls involved in athletics at a young age for the benefits they will reap at a later age.  

When girls reach those pre-adolescent years, I see these girls defining their self-worth by the self-image. In athletics, these girls can find an outlet. They find other girls with common interests, which many times result in friendships.  

In preparing and practicing, these girls see improvements in their bodies and can feel good about the way they look. When girls find success, they find confidence. When they find confidence, they want to compete! That desire to compete will help them in everything they do for the rest of their lives, way after they hang up their running shoes. Sports allow girls the opportunity to know that it is okay to give it all that they have to accomplish a goal. Amen sister.  


Campbell driving the ball down the field.

How much a role do parents or peers play?  

Parents can help and hinder the process of their children being involved in athletics.  

It is so important that as a parent we don’t expect our kids to love and do what we love and do.  

I have played softball my entire life. I coach softball; I love softball. I have a daughter that couldn’t care less about the game of softball. I have parents ask me all of the time if it bothers me that my child does not play softball and I tell them not at all.  

Anslyn is a soccer player! She works hard at what she loves to do and I couldn’t be any prouder of her for that. If I tried to make her play a sport just because I love it, she would only be playing to make me happy and not for herself.  

Bend it in like Beck, Anslyn. Do they call him Beck?

I am very thankful that a few years back I had a friend who was coaching a soccer team and she invited Anslyn to come out and play. She found her love through a sport I knew very little about, but it was the perfect fit for her. 

I tell girls all of the time that it doesn’t matter what you choose to play, just try to find something that you enjoy doing and do it. Work hard at it. Be the best at it you can be.  

Crandall with Ethan. 🙂

If you’ve tried soccer (for example) and your child (male or female) doesn’t like it how much should you push them to try other sports?   

At a young age kids should be introduced to all different kinds of sports. You don’t have to be athletic to be find a life long sport to keep yourself healthy. Allow kids to fnd their niche. Encourage them to find something they love to play. Being active in a sport will hopefully instill in them a love to be active in life and to have a desire to want to exercise and be healthy as an adult. 


What are some of your other interests, hobbies? 

I have 3 young kids…..my other interests at this point are whatever they are doing. I try to invest as much time into my family as I can. They are my priority. We stay busy, but we stay busy TOGETHER.    

 What is your perfect day?   

If Crandall and I could go sit on the beach and build a sand castle with Campbell while watching Anslyn on a soccer field on one side of us and with Ethan on a baseball field playing on the other side of us, that would be a perfect day for the STAMPS. 

Thanks so much Anne for taking time out of your busy life to chat. Keep doing what you love and spreading your passion for athletics to our community. 


And I hope you get that day on the beach real soon. Hope I get one too.    

Take care of yourself along with that beautiful athletic family of yours… and see you out at the ball field. 


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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman ~ Roselyn “Lulu” Anderson. No matter how busy, she’s learned to take time for herself.


Lulu with her grandsons Karmel and Davion.

Meet my friend Roselyn.     

Though Roselyn is a lovely name, I know her as Lulu.     

I got to know Lulu working out at the Fitness Center. We’d be up there at the same time — early in the mornings. Early like when it is dark outside early. Then we started taking a cardio weights class together and we’d do spin.     

You can observe a lot about a person spending an hour or so with them every morning. (Like when it’s dark outside early.) And I’d hear about her on the job adventures.     

Then one day the group of us compared ages. Women eventually do that when we become comfortable with each other. I guessed Lulu was 35.     

I was really off.     

She exudes youth and humor. And she is one busy lady. The kind of person you want to know better…or her secret for doing so much, giving so much and looking so fabulous. I really want to know about the looking fabulous part.      

Where did you grow up?      

I was born here, raised here and plan on dying here. I went to primary school at the Pearl Street School and graduated from Morgan County High.   

Lulu and with her daughter, Robin. Davion and Karmel.

Please give me some scoop on your family life?    

My husband, Delane, and I have been married for 28 years. We have a daughter Robin who works at the Wal-mart in Putnam County. Her son Karmel Ward is three. My son, Delane, Jr., is 23 and he works for the county. Delane’s son, Davion, is my newest grandson at three months.     

Tell us about your business…     

My business is Anderson Domestic Services. We specialize in elder care and child care. If a child gets sick, I can come stay with them so mom and dad can go to work. We also clean as well. But I don’t do pets. Well, I guess asking you to take our cats on an extended holiday is out. Besides I remember you have lots of fish. The fish might not like our cats hanging around.     

Her husband, Delane.

I’ve seen your truck up at the school — often before school starts?    

I mentor two children. One child is in the sixth grade at the Middle School and the other is in first grade at the Primary School. I go once a week. I love that time and they look forward to me coming. So you wake up early, workout..then go to enjoy time with your mentees — all before your work day begins. Wow.    

Now what is your workout routine? How do you stay so youthful?    

I workout every Tuesday through Friday. I’ve tried about every class they’ve offered. This includes Zumba and yoga. I’ve do cardio/weights and spin. When I’m not doing a class — I do cardio on the bike or elliptical, then weights and resistance training.    

With workout buddy, Karen before the last Madison in May 5K.

 I notice you at the pool early in the mornings.  I enjoy going to the pool (Morgan County Aquatics Center). I started going because I was scared to death of the water. I’ve come along way. I’m still not comfortable with putting my face in water. But I’m getting there.  

I meet friends up there in the mornings once a week and we do our workout before work. It’s been harder to get up there with the cold weather, but I hope to get back there soon. I agree with you on the pool. It’s a great workout…but hard to get there on those cold mornings. Though I have to admit they keep the Aquatics Center very toasty.     

I also enjoy participating in the local races. I don’t always have a partner joining me…but I have a great time out there with everyone either way.     

Son, Delane, Jr., with his son Davion.

What would be a perfect day?    

A perfect day for me would be to come home from work to my house clean. There would be no dishes in the sink. No children or children’s noises. It would be quiet. Just a peaceful day at home by myself. Clean and quiet. Sounds like heaven. That’s part of the reason I get up so early too…it’s quiet. It’s also dark…which helps with the not so clean part (around here).    

What is your favorite age with children?    

I would have to say nine months to two years. After three years you just want to…  I’d rather deal with the little ones than the big ones. In our conversation Lulu said this with much laughter…but I had to ask if it (raising children) gets any better. She laughed, “Never.”  Oh dear.    

Do you have any advice for woman trying to do it all — and feel some days like they are coming up short?    

You always have to take time for yourself. I always did. Even before there was a gym to workout — early in  the morning I would go up to the track. My husband would fuss at  me for going up there so early but it was my time. I’d talk with God. Sing praises and no one would be there to tell me to be quiet. Everyone needs time alone to think.    

Thanks Roselyn. I couldn’t agree more with the need to take time for yourself, even if it means setting that alarm extra early.    

Your life stands as a beautiful example of positive, God-filled energy. Age can’t place boundaries on that attitude and spirit.  What more can anyone ask?    

Take care and God Bless…Be seeing you at the gym.    


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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman ~ Anne Trulock. A most gracious lady and hostess. And a heck of a fun gal.

My column this week was a bit revealing. I confess lots of things, but admitting to be terrified of giving a dinner party at my age comes about as close to pulling the dirty socks of your life out for all to see as I’ve ever come. But here’s the paradox. I am freaked out by dinner parties — but I love having people over and entertaining.  This doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me.   

I decided to go straight to the source for a little Dinner Party Primer.    

Meet my friend, Anne Trulock.    


What is your philosophy of entertaining?    

This is the rule:  a hostess must have as much fun at her own party as her guests!  Otherwise – – – why on earth would you do it?      Okay, that doesn’t sound too terribly terrifying. 

Please tell us a bit about your life. Growing up, family life. What your children are doing now?    

Lucky girl that I am, I grew up in Madison.  It wasn’t until I left to go to college/career that I realized that not everyone grew up riding their bike on sidewalks past beautiful antebellum homes. And I thought every small town had a drug store with a soda fountain and where you could say “charge it to my Daddy” and they knew who “Daddy” was.

A dinner party for family at her home. Her late father, Roy Lambert, is seated at head. Mother, Chris, is to his right.

 When we moved to Madison with our children, they used to say, “charge it to Roy…”  Then Roy got smart and helped us set up our own charge account!  After college (2 yrs at Wesleyan in Macon and 2 yrs at UGA!!!) I landed in Atlanta and began working in corporate communication for the Georgia Power Company. 

Robert and birthday boy, Sutton.

Robert and I married in 1983.  After 5 yrs of marriage, we began our family and had Christine, Mary Helen and Sutton.  Soon after Sutton was born (Feb. 15, 1995 —  -yes – – – today is his birthday!), we decided to move to Madison to raise our children and take advantage of small town life and good public education opportunities!
Christine is now almost 23 yrs old, a graduate of UGA, and is a REAL working girl!  She recently landed a position at UGA in the Terry College of Business in the alum relations department.  She has a salary and insurance and everything!  She is going to live with us for a bit and build a nest egg (she had $49.52 and that was all…..) That’s awesome about Christine’s job. Hadn’t heard that.

Mary Helen (on left), that cute little Rebel.

Mary Helen is a sophomore at the University of Mississippi and is studying Finance in the business college there.  She is active in her sorority (Chi O) and thriving and making really good grades! Good grades. Must mean she is staying home and studying. Or just really smart.
 Sutton is today’s birthday boy – – – 16 years old!  Whooo Hoooo! Watch the road – beginning next week, he may have his license.  Sutton is in the heat of tennis season and is playing doubles for varsity tennis.  He might be the cutest boy on earth! I remember he was one of the cutest 6 year olds on earth. And he is a darling, polite young man.

Christine, Sutton and Mary Helen. I'm sure they all are genetically predisposed to throwing awesome parties.

 Now for the entertaining nitty gritty….

What would your advice be to a novice (who might that be?)  Someone daunted at the thought of hosting a seated dinner.    

PREPARE IN ADVANCE – – Do as much ahead of time as possible!  If the rule is that a hostess must have as much fun as her guests, then that will take advanced preparation so that she can be relaxed and enjoy the fun!
If I am having folks in for dinner, I think about the menu and make the grocery list about three days in advance.  I think about how casual/formal the dinner might be – – this will dictate where to set up the serving dishes and how to set the table.

Making her list and checking it twice.

I set the table at least a day ahead of time and try to do as much cooking or prep work the day before. 
 The day of the dinner, I add the finishing touches – – maybe flowers for the table, water in the glasses on the table.  By thinking about each “step” in the events of the dinner, I can prepare in advance – – set the beverages out for the initial gathering, think through how/where/what time the plates will be served, prepare the coffee for brewing and make sure the cream is in the pitcher and the sugar/sweet and low is ready for the dessert course, etc.
 Now — the other thing is – – I have a great helper.  Robert is well trained.  He is part of our entertaining machine.  Robert just “knows” now that he is in charge of setting up the bar (from the purchase/quantity through the serving).  He is also the music man.  He gets the tunes going for the background or the throw down.  He is the last minute candle lighter and fire builder.  How did you train him? That’s my downfall. Inability to train husbands and children.

Her secret weapon. Good help.

 Nothing can make a place look as pretty as candle light – – and candle light means that you don’t have to really clean very much in advance either!  AND THEN, Robert is the right hand man in the kitchen at clean up.  He hauls dishes to the kitchen and sits on the stool and “rehashes” the event while I finish cleaning up.  I had an Atlanta friend who said that was his favorite party of the party. Washing dishes and talking about everyone and the evening with his wife.
The team effort makes it easier for me and makes the fun last all the way until the last dish is loaded in the dishwasher.  The only other advice I would offer is JUST DO IT!  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  People are just thrilled to be invited and appreciate that someone is willing to make an effort on their behalf.  Relax, enjoy yourself, and the fun will be contagious!    

Mary Helen, Christine and Sutton. Looks beachy. Maybe I just want it to be at the beach. I want to be at the beach.

Okay…have to ask.. What do you account for looking so fabulous? Diet, exercise.
 So fabulous?  hmmmm. really? Yes really. Fresh fresh food.  Home cooked meals that are made from the fresh fresh food.  A lot  of vegetables, salad, fruit, whole grains.   A little weight lifting each week.  Some 4 mile walks for cardio work each week.  A few sets of tennis each week.  Sleeping like a dog every night.  Everything healthy and in moderation. (Except sleep which sound like you get that amount you should). When will I ever learn?
 Place you haven’t been but would love to go

I REALLY want to go to Greece.  Maybe one day.  Or the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  Maybe one day.   


Best book recently read. Or a couple of your all time favorites?    

My favorite book is Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamont.  Love her. I also laughed right out loud at Lamb by Christopher Moore.  Right now I am reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and really enjoying it.  It’s on my list.   


A hostess in training? Confession. I'd covet your silver goblets (or your silver julip cups) but that would break one of the big 10.


Any parting words of wisdom?   

Enjoy it – – – whatever “it” is.
Thanks so much Anne…Now got to have you and Robert over soon. I think it’s all in the planning. And I have never been a good planner. But with your great advice, I’ll dig down deep and find the courage to try. 
For some odd reason this photo was including it in the ones she sent.



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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman. Mrs. Hattie Mina Reid Hicky. Portrait of a Southern Lady. And love that lasts a lifetime.

Colonel Dan McHenry Hicky and Hattie Mina on their 63rd Anniversary.

We moved to Madison about 12 years ago.    

Upon hearing of our move to a small town, some Atlanta friends gave me looks like — “You’ll be an outsider” — like I shall march about town with a scarlet “O” on bib around my neck.    

But that was far from the case. And one of the most wonderful women to me from the start was Mrs. Hicky.    

She is a woman of grace, kindness and humor. And before he passed last year, she and her husband Colonel Hicky, were a fixture in town.    

I loved to see them sitting at church together. Hattie Mina always dressed perfectly from her earrings to her shoes. Her beauty and grace made me want to know her — and her secret of always looking so fine at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings.    

Many thanks to Stratton and Mina, her son and daughter, for interviewing her for this e-chat.    

Please tell us a bit about your personal life. Where you were born, raised, education?    

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia on March 2nd, 1918 to Maud and Walker Reid, of Madison. I was an only child and grew up in Madison, where my father farmed and had a livery stable, selling mules and horses.     

1918. Is she the cutest thing or what?

 I did spend some time with my grand parents in Hephzibah, Georgia, near Richmond, when the livery stable in Madison burned.     

1941. A lovely Southern lass about age 23. (If I did the math correctly.)

We moved back to Madison after my grandfather died and I attended junior high and high school in Madison.  I attended Richmond Academy in Augusta for my first two years of college, and then transferred to Agnes Scott College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education. Hepizbah, Georgia. What a great name. Had to look that up. It’s near Augusta with zip 30815 (in case you’re wondering.)    

I taught high school 10th grade for one year in Thompson, Georgia and still receive letters from one of my students from those days.  I then moved to Brunswick, Georgia and taught 6th grade for one year, just before I married.     


With her parents. Maud and Walker Reid about 1941.

How did you meet your husband Colonel Hicky? When did you get married?   

I met Laddie (what everyone in Madison called Dan Hicky) when he and his mother had just moved back to Madison.  He was invited to attend my 3rd birthday party and was very shy.  I remember my mother telling me to hold his hand, and introducing him around, so he would feel welcome.  But, I didn’t seriously date him until we were in college.  I dated Walker Newton all four years of high school.     

 Walker and Dan were roommates at the University of Georgia, beginning their sophomore year, so when I went to Athens I got to see them both.  After college I actually dated three boys.  When the war broke out one was stationed in England, one was wounded in Normandy, and Laddie was transferred to the Panama Canal Zone.      

1935. A Bridge Dance Party. I have heard tell of the bridge dance parties..

During one of Laddie’s leaves he came to see me and my mother told me to wear my yellow sweater to meet him at the train.  Laddie always said as soon as he saw me in that yellow sweater he decided to propose, which he proceeded to do!    

 All three of the boys I’d been dating had asked me to marry them by this time but I had decided on Laddie and when he proposed I had to write the other boys with the news. I guess texting the news was not option back then. Two broken hearts. Hope they never saw you in the yellow sweater; they may have never gotten over it.     

April 1944.

 We were married on April 27th, 1944, during another of Laddie’s leaves.  My maid of honor was Mildred Owen Landry, a friend since the 3rd grade.  I had been her maid of honor the year before and she and her husband remain close friends to this day.  I remember Laddie’s leave was so short we didn’t have much of a honeymoon when he had to return.     

Hattie Mina and Captain Dan Hicky. March 1945.

I’ll never forget the look on his face as we said goodbye at the train station.  He put me on a train to head back to Madison, and as I left I saw him standing by the tracks looking at me with the saddest expression.  He was about to go to Europe to fly close air support combat missions for Patton’s army.  Obviously he survived the war and we were married 66 years at the time of Laddie’s death in 2010.    

Tell us about your family.    

Laddie and I had three children during Laddie’s 30 years in the Air Force.  Laddie retired as a full Colonel.       

The family in 1963.

Our first child was Mina Reid Hicky, now Mina Lujan.  She has two girls and one of them has three boys, so I’m a great grandmother to three.  Mina has come back to Madison, after the death of her husband, and now helps me at home (primary care giver).      

Our second child was named after Laddie.  He was Dan McHenry Hicky, Jr.   He became an Air Force pilot and absolutely loved flying and everything to do with airplanes.  He was killed in 1977 in an Air Force plane crash.  His loss was very hard on Laddie and me.     

Our baby, now 55 years old, is John Stratton Hicky.  We’ve always called him Stratton.  His is now retired from the Navy, the father of two girls, and living right next door to me.  He is a “jack of all trades” and is my fix-it man.    

 Okay, Stratton has fix-it skills. Must keep his e-mail handy in case dishwasher acts up again as prone to do.     

What are some of the special memories of your life together?     

The family on the occasion of their 50th Anniversary.

The military life was very exciting, especially living in Japan in the late 1950’s, with exposure to such a different culture.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Japan and studied Japanese flower arrangement styles, started working as a “Gray Lady” hospital nursing aid, and even held “bride school” for Japanese girls who were going to marry U.S. service men.  I enjoyed moving with Laddie to new assignments, but by the time he retired we had lived in over 20 different homes.     

Christmas. 1957.

Later, after Laddie retired and we moved back to Madison (1972) I enjoyed starting and running a tour business called Regal Tours with Laddie.  We loved showing off Madison and Laddie’s old family home together.  It seemed very natural to wind up back here.     

What were some things you loved to do for your husband?    

Laddie was easy to please.  He loved good music and good food.  Laddie always made me feel like a queen and he used to joke that my initials (HMRH) actually stood for “Her Majesty’s Royal Highness.”  He said I was a great military wife and an especially gracious host, always showing “southern hospitality” and grace.  He said he was always very proud of me.    

So that must have meant that the Colonel was in Her Majesty’s Secret Service.     

What were the things you loved that he did for you?    

Laddie wrote poetry, and often marked special occasions in our life with a special poem to or about me.  He was very sentimental and let me know it.    

Colonel Hicky was Madison’s Poet Laureate. Each week the Citizen held one of his poems.      


March 2008.

What advice do you have for making love last a lifetime?    

 To make love last, take the time to pick the right one in the beginning and make a solid commitment to love, honor, and cherish that person in all the ups and downs.    

Picking the right one is so true. You chose very wisely. With me, I just thank the Lord that I didn’t manage to mess things up..     

Any other thoughts you’d like to add…    

One of the best pieces of advice I can give regarding marriage is to make sure you have someone you love, something to do, and something to look forward to.    

I think that is so very wise….    


Make sure you have someone you love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Words to live by.    

Dear Hattie Mina, thank you for sharing a small glimpse into your beautiful live with Laddie. A love that only grew stronger amidst great joys and sorrow.    

God bless and thank you for always being so kind to me.    

P.S. I do so miss speaking to the Colonel on his walks early in the morning. He was a great man — full of humor, valor and grace.    

Hattie Mina in the 1920s. I <3 those boots.

The house on Dixie, 1920s. Stratton lives there with wife Bonnie and daughters Morgan and Dana today.



1919. She is the cutest thing...Makes me want another little girl. (Good grief. Did I really think that much less really type that?)

Many thanks again to Stratton and Mina for all your help.      




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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman ~ Elise Faust. The Healer.

I don’t seek professional help lots. I just plug away. Not that I recommend this. Two years ago, I kept popping painkillers walking around as my appendix grew to the size of a pizza pan. Thank God I got help with that before it was too late. (Like too late in a big way.)    

But I strongly believe in the mind/body connection.

 That’s why I was fascinated with Elise Faust’s, Doctor of Chiropractic, program on stress relief at a recent Chamber Women in Business meeting.  

Here she is with her hubby, Mark….   


Tell us about your personal life. Family.     

Let’s see. I’m married, have two amazing daughters, and have lived here in Madison for 15 years. I am a Chiropractor by profession, but take immense joy in teaching yoga and Pilates (both of which I have done for many years). I went to New York University in Manhattan where I studied dance as well as Anatomy and Kinesiology. It was there I became a certified Fitness Trainer and Yoga Instructor and started a business working with clients individually.   

 After marrying my husband, and having our first child, I received my calling to become a Chiropractor. I refer to it as a calling because that’s exactly what it was. I fell in love with the science and philosophy of Chiropractic and made a commitment to go back to school (for 4 more years) and I have not regretted it for one moment in the 15 years I’ve been practicing.     

 Have you seen her daughters dance?  Phenomenal. And so she dances like that too. Okay. If I were younger and not nearing self-actualization that could really, really make me jealous.     


I’m still jealous.    

What is your feeling on the mind/body connection? What can your practice offer a new patient?     

The basic premise of Chiropractic is that the body is a self-healing organism with an innate God-given intelligence that desires health and balance and will do anything and everything in its power to maintain that health and create balance. The nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of the body. If this system is working without interference then the body has the best chance possible to create that healing process. The spinal column houses that nervous system and if the bones within the spine are out of their proper alignment then imbalances get created in the adjoining soft tissue (muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons).   



Chiropractors are trained to detect where in the spine there are misalignments (subluxations)  and correct them, allowing the body to begin the self-healing process, and come into a more balanced structural and functional state of health.  

 What about stress? There’s no way to get rid of it. Saying you’re not stressed is almost unAmerican.     

Stress is chemical, emotional, and physical sensory input that the body then tries to accomodate and deal with it the best way it knows how. The problem for most people lies in the fact that:  

A. They are not aware of what their stressors are. Therefore    

B. They don’t recognize when that stressful sensory input is taking place. And finally  

C.  They really don’t know or don’t have the tools to properly address that stress and develop healthy balanced coping mechanisms.    

It is my desire at this point in my life and career to more fully address this issue in our community and to be more accessible and available to people to help them in this capacity.  

I do need help in this area. But what has already helped is your suggestion to identify my stressors and then stopping and choose how I react to them. The stressors will never go away — it’s just how we see them and react to them. No doubt, we all could use your help in this area.    

I had to ask if this was her...or a picture of her two daughters. Who do you think?


What is your diet? Exercise? Relaxation? Since I have your captive e-attention — and you always have that beautiful smile and awesome lithe dancer’s frame….  

 Well, like everyone I struggle with poor habits that have resulted over time…that may be quick and easy because they are habits. But the older I get (yes, I’m 45, perimenopausal, etc.) a mere child  the  more I realize that I am responsible for the health of my body. I am tying to make the best choices that make me feel healthy, and thusly more balanced…some days great…some days like everyone else not so great. Moderation and balance are common words in my vocabulary. Extreme …be it in diet, exercise or anything else always leads to imbalance and more stress!!! LOL.   

That’ s so very true. Hate to admit but the older I get it is all about balance. And I’m not by nature a very balanced individual. But I’m trying…there’s a book on my head right now sitting here typing this.     

Describe a perfect day.    

A perfect day for me. Wow that is a hard question!  Waking up having a cup of coffee, lighting my candle and doing some spiritual reading, going for a run or doing yoga, going to work…(Yes I love my job!) Spending time with my beautiful daughters who are my joy! Eating a supper prepared by my husband (Who is an awesome cook!) And finding some time for reading. Life to me is perfect even with its hard times and challenging moments. They have to be part of the perfection we are talking about. Struggles are healthy and can be such an impetous for growth.    

A moment in your life you felt inspired.    

Inspiration? Well I would have to say that every single day I am inspired by patients, friends, my family.  but I have to say that a moment in my life that I always come back to for inspiration is the day my sister in law, whom I was very close with, passed away from cancer (aged 30) She was ready, and I was with her, and she looked at me with tears rolling down her face and a gentle smile and said, “Elise…LIVE…”. I was 19 at the time and ever since that day any time I have been faced with struggle, I think of the strength she had and the passion and joy for life that she instilled in me, and so I LIVE….. that was beautiful. I know she is enjoying watching you and your beautiful family.    

So if any of you have any questions or need any help on your road toward a healthier more balance lifestyle, call me! I would be glad and honored to be of service!!! My office number is 706-342-7115  



Thanks so much Elise…I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better. Look forward to watching you continue your journey —  where ever the road might lead.  

Oh. It was she in the red boots.  She dances and has red boots. Not fair I tell you. Not fair.    


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Wednesday’s Inspiring Woman…Patty Richards. And the importance of giving the gift of life..

I often head up to our local fitness center to work out. 

Last Friday I did for another reason. I went to donate blood. 

Meet my new friend Patty… 


She’s sitting there ready to dig into a great-looking burger with her daughter Jessica. 

I used to see Patty lots at the Madison Fitness Center working out. But last Friday I saw Patty at the Fitness Center for another reason. There was a blood drive in honor of her daughter’s successful bone marrow transplant this fall. 

Alright, as I am always honest on this blog…I’ll admit that Patty is one of those people I looked at in the gym from afar. (Nothing uncomfortable mind you) She is just a mother in midlife like me. Who seems to be doing it rather spectacularly. So the new “Push out of the Comfort Zone” me wanted to know about this inspiring woman. 

Hi Patty…What do you do professionally? 

I’m the office manager for BRECO Realty.  Hmm. This must means she’s very organized.  

Tell us about your family life? 

I have two daughters. Jessica is my oldest and her younger sister, Tabby is 20 years old. This was Tabby’s first time donating blood and she was able to overcome her fear by putting the need of her sister and others before her own fear. Way to go, Tabby. That’s when we truly start to live — by pushing through fears that are holding us back from what we feel called to do.  

David is my husband. He is the girls’ step dad and they have a great relationship. He was recruiting men at the gym to donate the past few weeks. Robert Moon is the girls’  father and he was at the blood drive all day Friday. And as engineer at Georgia DOT, he was recruiting men at the DOT office in Madison. 



What are some of the statistics from last Friday’s donation? 

42 units were collected at the Madison Fitness Center. Out of those 42 units, there were 6 units of just red cells — a process that takes the whole blood from the donor and runs it through a machine that pulls just the red cells from the blood and then returns the white cells, platlets and plasma to the donor. Wow. Now that is cool.  

We had 47 donors to sign up to give. These ranged in ages from 17 to 83 — with 20 first time donors. Twenty first time donors. That’s awesome! 


How has the importance of blood donating impacted you personally? 

We were casual donors prior to Jessica, our oldest daughter, being diagnosed with leukemia. And then when we experienced the need for platelets (the clotting factor in blood) we became regular donors and worked at recruiting others to give. 

The need for blood is so great and the process so relatively simple and painless that you’re really only committing to give of your time; nothing more than your body will replenish in a short time. Something that is so easy for us to give is a matter of lif an death for those who are needing the gift of blood whether because of treatment needed for cancer (as was in our case) or those involved in accidents or surgery. 


Patty gave me some more interesting facts… 

* The number one reason donor say they give blood is because they “want to help others.” 

* The most common reasons people cite for not giving blood. “Never thought about it.” and “I don’t like needles.” 

* Red Cross donors are 50% male and 50% female. 

* One donation can save the lives of up to 3 people. 

* People with O – are the universal donors. Their blood can be given to people of all blood types. And is often used in emergencies before the patent’s blood type is known. 

* People with AB+ type blood are the universal donors of plasma, the liquid portion of blood. AB+ plasma is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions. 

* Donated platelets must be used within 5 days of collection — new donations are constantly needed. 

* Less that 38 percent of the U. S. population is eligible to donate blood. 

That last statistic makes me realize how important it is for those of us who can give — to give.  For more facts on blood donation check out the American Red Cross site

* If you are healthy, you can donate every 56 days. 

Thanks Patty for taking the time to educate us on this most important subject. I must admit to letting the busyness of life and my own preoccupations get in the way of donating. Now that I have a better understanding of how critical it is to keep the blood supply up — I hope to become a regular donor. 


A young woman after my own heart. I've never met an onion ring I didn't like either.

Now…because I couldn’t help but ask, (like I said she looks fab in our Pump-it-Up workouts) I asked about Patty to share her workout and diet habits…  

I work out about four times a week. I try to take evening classes at the gym but I am also self-motivated enough to workout alone. My husband and I are pretty healthy eaters. We’ve eliminated processed sugars from our diet along with eating very little fat or processed foods. We drink anywhere from a half gallon to full gallon of water a day. What if you drink a gallon of coffee?

And we eat primarily fish or chicken (very little read meat) and never fried. Not even oysters..at the beach? Lots of fruits, vegetables and salads. No wonder you look so great. 

Thanks so very much Patty for taking time out for this e-conversation. Your family will be in our prayers. Everyone is so thankful for Jessica’s good health. You and your family are an inspiration to all by staying strong in adversity and giving back to others. 


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Musing on taking pictures…my 2011 Disney Half with pal Michelle Leporati Trimble — the Giver.



I had done the Disney full the past two years and missed all my son’s away football games because it’s hard to return home at 12:15 on a Saturday morning only to arise five hours later to run an 18 mile training run.       

So the half was a given for me this year — by choice. Having to shuffle through it with a beautious black Ace bandage with flabby thigh skin pooching over its edges was not.       

But our most gracious heavenly Father had other plans.

Undeterred, (mad but undeterred) I sent an email to friend Michelle and asked, “Will you walk/run Disney with me?” She agreed. And I will love her forever for it.       

4:30 race morning meeting in the Epcot parking lot.

Here’s a lady who’s completed 8 marathons and 22 half marathons — and tons of triathons. She’s even rollarbladed a half marathon! Good grief, woman.       

Michelle’s Words of Wisdom for a newbie runner?       

“If you aren’t going to get a paycheck for running, and nobody’s chasing you with a knife, don’t take yourself seriously. Run like kids do.”

You got to love that.       

We got there and after my annual teeter tucked in the darkened scrub of Central Florida..       

(Why on earth would anyone wait in line for porta-potties while it is still dark, there’s a billion people in line to enter a dark, stinky stall and a billion people walking into the woods? I’m following the billion out into the pines.)       

We were off!

 We started and for the first time ever I took my phone and snapped away…       

Okay -- not so great to take pics while still moving. Learned that lesson.

Why do you run?       

oh my! I think that “oh my” was after looking at my emailed questions….      

I started running because when I walked my first Triathlon I knew I was too slow. Now I run for fun and to keep moving. Very soon I will be facing a different kind of marathon, between my mom, M-i-L, and sister, so I know I need to stay strong and take advantage of “me” time while I still have some. Michelle’s  younger sister, Lynette, is an amazing inspiring woman  who has spent the last five years in a wheelchair fighting MS.  Lynette, a mother and wife, is truly heroic.   



How many marathons/ halfs have you done?       

I’ve finished 8 marathons: Disney, Marine Corps, New York, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Richmond, Jacksonville Beach (Breast Cancer), and Melbourne Beach. I also have 4 DNFs, and a few that started out as full marathons but I turned off at the half.        

Halfs… 22 by my count, notable are the More half in Central Park (NYC) Want to do that one, Pittsburgh (one of the abbreviated fulls) 2 x Daytona Beach, 3 x Space Coast and 3 x Disney.      

I also ran one marathon relay,Tampa Gasparilla, that was lots of fun. Argh. A pirate’s life for me…that looks too fun. I want to do that one.      

What do you like/dislike about each distance?      

I like the 15k and half marathon distance best – can fake it without much serious mileage and without hurting afterwards. Marathon training is draining on my marriage which is why I think I may stop at 10. That’s an unconsicous amount of races —  I know you’ve done 3x as many 10ks and 5ks.       


Mile 5ish? Made it to Main Street. Can't tell but I'm still holding my Hand Warmer packets.

You listed all the Disney races you’ve done during the race — what were those again?       

Disney races: Triathlon – Danskin years 2000 – 2006, Trek in 2009.
Disney Marathon weekend 5k, Race for the Taste 10k (4 or 5 years), Tower of Terror 13k, Minnie 15k, GO Red weekend (5k,15k), half marathon, full marathon, and the infamous Rollerblade 1/2 marathon. You’re a machine. And I just laughed remembering your telling of the Rollerblade Half trauma. We just were leaving the back lot of the Magic Kingdom.      

A little bit after here...That guy is one dead-ringer for Johnny Depp. Uncomfortably so.

What was that challenge/goal — the swimming one you’ve set for yourself?      

My goal this year is to swim a 5k – “open water swim” was a new Olympic event in Bejing – will hopefully do 10 crossings at Lucky’s lake or find a real event, otherwise it’s the pool. A three mile swim. Now that’s a challenge.   



These two were within a mile of finishing. I stopped because there was no line (who would stop a 1/2 mile before ending) and I knew my 7yo would be amazed.

Thanks Michelle.. you made it a wonderful experience.      

What I love about Michelle is that she gives back to running. Looking over that spectacular list of all the events she’s completed — she’s volunteered for just as many (or more.) The day after she got up at 2:30 to drive to Disney to meet me, she got up the next morning on Sunday meeting her Orlando running friends to hand out the Mylar blankets at the finish of the full.   

She’s already signed on to hand out water for the Princess Half Marathon this Febraury. Another friend Cindy Padera Rutz is traveling down from Hershey, PA for that.   

Michelle has started the Disney race as a guide with a woman from Texas (I think) suffering from MS. This particular woman tried at Disney twice — and was unable to finish both times.   

I admit with running I’ve always been a taker.   

Michelle is a giver.

She inspires me to rethink my taking….   

Thanks Michelle. Last year we ran the Winter Park 10k and 2k together. This year, I don’t think it concides with any of our school breaks. 🙁 You need to get up here for a triathon this summer.   

Take care. I owe you one.  Our journey will rest in my heart forever. 

Tomorrow’s post will wrap up with a short muse with my thoughts on…

Why do I keep wanting to do these races? Even when I’ve done these distances. Even when I should be doing nothing but swimming and biking — or rowing. Anything but training to run 26.2 miles.


Side-by-side. We did it!

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