Canine Cuisine

Once upon a time on an aisle in a grocery store,

Debby Martin searched for the healthiest dog food and treats, wanting only the best for her Dorkie (Dachshund and Yorkie mix) Kirby. Then, one Thanksgiving, after Kirby became sick from eating dressing from the table, Debby was determined to find out what dogs should and should not eat. Her discoveries surprised her – not about table food, but about commercial dog food.

“It’s been proven that some commercial products have tiny bits of the drug used to euthanize pets.” There can also be poisons and pesticides, said Debby. “I think over the years this builds up to the cancers we are seeing today.”

Thus began Debby’s seven-year journey from grocery store aisle to the kitchen. Questioning every ingredient in her canine’s diet, she researched holistic veterinarians and other websites on healthy food ingredients. In turn, she developed her own website to inform and educate others and to provide tried and trusted canine recipes.

“I started making Kirby’s treats and now he eats about 90 percent homemade. I just love creating the recipes. Kirby is very picky and won’t eat just anything.” 

Realizing, however, that one day her website might be gone, she wrote the canine chef cookbook to provide people with the same information and recipes on her website. The book includes sections on Wholesome Canine Nutrition, Recipes, and The Pantry. Within these sections, she includes pertinent information on healthy and harmful ingredients, food colors, tips and tricks, tools in the kitchen, and much more. Her ultimate goal: Pay attention to what your dog is eating. 

Take spices, for instance.

Holistic veterinarians consider garlic very healthy and safe for pets, but certain ingredients can be very dangerous, especially if your dog has health issues. 

“For example, Rosemary is beneficial for dogs, but if your dog is epileptic, it can cause seizures, whereas Nutmeg is extremely toxic for a dog,” said Debby. Always check with your vet first about the ingredients before cooking for your dog. “If you have any reservations about any ingredient, leave it out.” Table foods are fine as long as you know what’s in it.

Debby’s passion and concern for other people’s pets most likely grew when Kirby got sick. Sugar, Debby’s dog before Kirby, lived to be 15 years old. Though Debby did buy dry dog food, Sugar ate mostly table scraps from carefully prepared family meals that were low in sugar and fats. 

“So Sugar was really eating some very good food, said Debby. “He ended up living a long life and never had any illness.”

There is no moisture in kibble and a dog’s diet should be 70 percent water, explained Debby. Food that dry overworks the kidneys to reconstitute and break down that food. Over time, this can lead to kidney failure.

“Would you eat the same dry food every day?” she asked. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that. As humans, we try to avoid fast foods. It’s healthy for your pet to eat fresh foods, just like you.” Even if you don’t prepare every meal for your canine, make treats and supplement the dog food. Juicing is healthy for you and your pet, so pour a topper over your pet’s dry food. 

When Debby provides foster care to neglected and abandoned animals, she feeds them the same food Kirby eats. She admits to being an advocate for healthy pet diets, saying, “I keep a list on my refrigerator of things Kirby can and cannot eat so everyone knows.”

Kirby knows not to take treats from people because Debby doesn’t know what’s in that treat and a well-meaning bite can be dangerous.

“Your dog is a member of your family, so you want them to live longer. Think about what you are feeding them,” said Debby. “You feed your kids well so they will grow up healthy. Feed your dog with the same attitude.” 

BREAKOUT BOX:  –  All recipes in the cookbook are on the website for people who can’t afford the cookbook.  Debby responds to all emails and contact.

the canine chef cookbook is available on Amazon, the Book Store on Main street and at Animal Medical Center, Starkville, Mississippi.


This article originally published in Town & Gown Magazine.


Resolving Family Conflicts

We romanticize and glamorize families and we place great expectations and demands on them.

While we often expect families to be above the chaos that exists in the rest of society, that belief places unrealistic expectations upon them. In the real world, families are not always a haven, since they, too, can be filled with conflict.

Still at the very least, families are much more than groups of people who share the same genes or the same address. We look to our family as source of love and support. This does not mean that everyone gets all he or she wants or that it comes to us without struggle. Conflicts, then, are a part of family life and is the rule rather than the exception.

Families are under constant stress, being pushed and pulled from many directions.

Conflicts can come from many sources both internal and external. Parental conflict is commonplace. Sibling rivalry and competition and present. Parent-child conflict takes the cake. Death, illness, physical separation, financial strains, divorce are some of the events to which families have to adjust. Some families experience conflict as a result of different views about the world. Although stress and disagreements are common, they can be destructive to families, especially when conflict gets out of hand.

Parental conflict is common in many families and often leads to friction involving the entire family.

Most parental problems revolve around financial matters, infidelity, different views regarding child rearing and family decision making. Homes with high levels of parental conflict often have a tense and hostile environment is detrimental effects children. Children learn what they live.

Looking back at recorded history, it appears be common for brothers and sisters to fight. Sibling rivalry makes good literature but it’s not pleasant for anyone in the house. And a family can only tolerate a certain amount of it.

Parent-children conflicts are commonplace too.

As parents assert their authority, and children try to assert their autonomy appropriately, strife is inevitable. A parent-child power struggle can create conflict and stress for the entire family. Power struggles frequently appear when children reach certain developmental stages. Ask any parent who has parented a two year old or a teenager.

Change is a part of life. Issues such as illness, disability, addiction, job loss, school problems, and marital issues bring on additional levels of stress. Consequently, stability shouldn’t be the only measure of a family’s success. Many families function quite well, despite frequent disruptions. In fact, one important measure of a family’s success is its ability to adjust to change. Daily life is full of stresses that constantly demand accommodation.    

Another type of family conflict is lack of proper communication.

Many families communicate superficially and don’t have time to share meaningful conversations. The conflict in this arrangement is that there are no opportunities to discuss family values, and other important issues.

Yet despite these differences, parents are responsible for imparting to each child a sense of being loved and accepted, for helping each child to succeed at various developmental tasks, and for socializing each child into respecting the rules and accepting the responsibilities society imposes. These are indeed awesome tasks. Disagreements will happen as part of being in a family and living together.

In all the years I worked to help family members get-along better, I found things that stand out as true detriments to resolving these normal conflicts. I suggest the following remedies.

What’s A person To Do?

  1. Accept that conflict is normal. This the first step in dealing with it. Look for and use appropriate ways to deal with problems; the kind that promote growth and acceptance of each family member.

  2. Remember that the person in the conflict is someone you love and you want to preserve the integrity of the relationship. Winning the battle is not as important as the relationship.

  3. Refrain from unhealthy communication such as in yelling, cursing, blaming and insulting one another.

  4. Listen to each other and work to resolve conflicts. Do your best to see things from the other’s point of view. Psychologists call is empathizing.

  5. Focus on the issue at hand, not on past transgressions or the person’s character.

  6. When you speak, use a conversational tone. Loud voices increases emotionality which get in the way of resolving the conflict.

  7. Take leave (temporarily) when your emotions get the best of you. Cool down and return when you are more level headed.

  8. Life happens in ways you can’t predict. Welcome change and learn flexibility.

By Dr. Rachell Anderson 

Build A Village…and They will Come

Thomas Landrum of Laurel, Mississippi didn’t set out to build a village.  It just…happened.

The village started as a business of handcrafted pine furniture, which has now been in business for over 33 years, explained Deborah (Landrum) Upton.

“My dad said the grandchildren didn’t appreciate how the people used to live and how their ancestors lived, worked and built their homes.”

Tom Landrum took the kids into the woods where they logged the trees and had a portable sawmill come in cut the wood into boards. This family project started in 2003.

“There was no master plan,” said Deborah.  “We started the first cabin. As soon as we got the cabin built we filled it with old things.” 

Today, that one cabin is one of 70 buildings located in the beautifully landscaped Landrum’s Homestead & Village located off Highway 15 in Laurel. With exhibits, wagon rides, gem mining, nature trails, a Confederate soldier encampment, an Old West Shooting Gallery, and a Native American Village, every visitor steps back into the late 1800s. In addition, through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Mississippi Forestry Commission, the Landrums created an educational display on the Civilian Conservation Corps and South Mississippi’s reforestation history to show the importance of preservation and conservation. Biscuits are cooked on an old wood stove and there is a nature trail and a small lake with a pier where people can feed the catfish.  You can also play horseshoes and basketball.


“We do all kinds of groups and see a lot of families,” said Deborah. “Kids who come say it is their fifth time here.  We have families that come on a regular basis because they can bring a picnic lunch or tour.  They go at their own pace.  Nobody is rushing you through.”

Deborah grew up as the oldest of five children and during their travels, they always used the back roads, never the interstates.  Plus, they camped in a tent.

“Dad and Mom were always into history and preserving history,” said Deborah. “Dad always said that’s where you see things on the back roads.”

In today’s world of technology, a place like Landrum’s Homestead & Village is important to children. We don’t have conversations anymore, said Deborah. “What we’ve found is that when kids come here on a trip they can feel and see things and experience things they can’t get from a computer.”

The Landrum family always has a project going, but the one thing Deborah hopes people take home with them is a sense of family.

“This is my mom’s family land,” said Deborah. “We have a connection to the land. But when kids and other families are here, you see they are connected as well.”

At Landrum’s Homestead & Village, you hear and share stories of what was, but leave with a sense of heritage and an understanding of why heritage will always be important to future generations.



Open year round Monday – Saturday from 9 – 5

Walk-ins welcome!


Photos courtesy of Landrum’s Homestead & Village 

Originally published in Parents & Kids Magazine and Brad Smith

Finding The Good In Others And Ourselves

Most of us know people whose characteristic thoughts and reactions are so negative

and, we prefer to keep them at a distance. They are likely to notice the bad qualities in others rather than the good ones. For example, when they may see someone walking down the street laughing or wearing a big smile, they’re likely to think the person is simple-minded, drunk, or high rather than happy. Many people associate someone who is mostly happy as naive, immature or incompetent.

On the one hand,

if people are surrounded by lots of bad behaving, hostile and unsupportive people, it makes sense that they will have a negative views of humanity. On the other hand, too many can’t see far enough beyond their negative views to see that there is good in the worse of us and bad in the best of us.
To make matters worse, our own brain is conspiring against us. We have what psychologists call an intrinsic negativity bias. It’s the tendency to focus on and give more weight to negative experiences or information than we do of positive ones. It turns out that negativity bias is so ingrained in our psychology that it has already developed and become measurable by age 3, the time we become aware of ourselves as people.

Still some people are noticeably worse than others at being negative.

It starts with our early training. Our parents, teachers, and other adults tell us to act like a grown-up. We’re told to calm down, be quiet, and stop being so silly. Some of us grow up accepting these messages and the feelings of guilt that go along with them and incorporate them in our self messages. Psychologists call this inner voice self-talk, and it includes our conscious thoughts as well as our unconscious assumptions or beliefs. As we go about our daily lives we are constantly thinking about and interpreting situations in which we find ourselves. What kind of self talk is it? Is it mostly negative as in “you are too fat”, or is it positive as in; “keep at it, you can do it”?

That internal voice in our head determines how we feel.

As it turns out, if you can’t see the good traits in yourself, you’re likely to miss the best qualities in others. Seeing the good in others is thus a very powerful way to feel happier and more confident and more loving toward yourself.

Even crooks, deadbeats, sociopaths, and everyone you know must have useful virtues, such as determination, generosity, kindness, patience, energy, perseverance, honesty, fairness, or compassion. It is likely that the good you see in others is also in you. You can’t see that good if you did not have an inkling of what it was. You, too, have positive intentions, real abilities, and virtues of mind and heart. Those qualities are a fact, as much a fact as the chair you’re sitting on. Take a moment to let that fact sink in. You don’t need a halo to be a truly good person: A good enough person will do.

As you become more proficient in finding positive aspects in other people,

you get better at seeing positive aspects of yourself. Seeing the good in other people is not just necessary for having good relationships; it will also substantially improves your relationship with yourself.

What’s a Person To Do?

1. Take an inventory of your own good qualities. It’s not necessary to be flawless to be good enough person. Are you an honest person who speaks the truth with compassion, a good listener, appropriate, responsible, and on-point whenever it’s required? Do pay your bills, keep your word, forgive when things go wrong? That’s just a list. Make your own.
2. Keep an eye on the things you tell yourself, and challenge the negative self talk which produce negative feelings.
3. Your current way of thinking might be self-defeating. If it doesn’t make you feel good or help you to get what you want, it’s time for a change.
4. Disputing your negative self-talk means challenging it and rewriting the negative to a more positiveview.
5. Be willing to try and try again until you get it right.

Remember, you and only you are in charge of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. How you treat others is likely to be how you treat yourself. Good 

Dr. Rachell N. Anderson

Dr. Rachell Anderson is a native of Tunica, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Professor Emeritus and author. She taught at the University of Illinois and ran a Private Clinical Practice in Springfield, Illinois for many years. She now lives and writes in Tunica, Mississippi. Check out her website at for more articles and books.


Image courtesy of Janpen04081986 and Free Digital Photos


Smartphone Holiday Memories

More families travel during the holidays than any other time of year.

In fact, for some families, the holiday season is the only time of tyear they gather together to break bread with loved ones. However, in this day and age smartphones too often pull us away from conversations and family moments, even during the holidays.

But wait…don’t put those smartphones away yet. Use them to create Holiday memories that remain with you and your family forever.  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Memory Books! Having everybody together provides perfect opportunities for recording holiday moments through photos. Thanks to smartphones, just about everyone can and should take pictures because you never know who will catch that unforgettable moment. That said, it’s probably best to have at least one family member looking for and recording moments that tell heartwarming and humorous stories without words. Then, before everyone heads home, have each member handwrite their favorite holiday moment. The person’s actual handwriting makes the memory more personal, especially years later, when the kids have grown and some family members have passed away. Using high-quality stationery to record memories is a nice touch for handcrafted scrapbooks and smash books. (Pinterest has great ideas for smash books) Of course, you can scan handwritten notes into JPGs and use places like Shutterfly, Snapfish, Montage, and Mixbook to produce a professionally developed memory book.

  2. Memory Audios! Smartphones have built-in recorders that can be plugged into the computer and uploaded to WAV or MP3 files. Reminiscing is for everyone, especially the kids, who get to tell stories, but also hear stories about Dad and Mom and Uncle Lewis and even grandparents. Setting aside times to record the memories of individuals, couples and families means you’re also preserving family histories in the storytellers’ voices. Memory audios can be downloaded as MP3s to play whenever you like, just like audiobooks.

  3. Memory Videos! Using simple video programs, you can create private family Youtube videos from the photos and audios, allowing only a specific audience to view them. Now, how cool is that? In addition, smartphones are capable of producing some really good videos. The challenge is keeping a steady hand. There’s nothing more aggravating than a shaky video. Invest in a tripod or prop your phone on a secure place, like a counter or tabletop. If the flat surfaces are not quite high enough, stack some books on top of the surface. You can record game board moments, karaoke moments, football game moments, and even the kids playing outside. Videos can be downloaded as well, but be sure to back them up onto a flash drive, an external hard drive or Windows Cloud. You don’t want to lose precious memories.

To help assure spontaneity, the photographer/recorder/videographer should be as inconspicuous as possible. Still, family members playing to the camera with funny faces and poses and overacting won’t matter. Even the cutups and the hams will be a delight to view in years to come.  

This year, share your “thanks” for family by “giving” future generations holiday memories that last a lifetime. They don’t call them smartphones for nothing!

Shutterfly –

Snapfish –

Montage –

Mixbooks –


by Richelle Putnam

Choosing Gratitude

On the book table at Anderson’s Oncology Center,

I find Nancy DeMoss’ book, Choosing Gratitude. Paging through, I see a heart-rending story: In a New Delhi slum, a three year old boy is leaning against the cot of his dying mother. The boy’s eyes are hollow, his stomach is distended, and his face is fly-infested.

     “Standing there in that slum,” says Paul Tripp, “I felt all complaints I had ever spoken as if they were a weight on my shoulders.” Later, when Mr. Tripp returned to his home in America, he asked a church leader from India who had come to the states to study, “What do you think of Americans?” The man from India answered, “You have no idea how much you have, and yet you always complain.”

As I read, I become ashamed of my self-centered grumbling. I am nudged to give thanks for “common mercies,” such as bath soap, toothpaste, hot water, air conditioning, and so many other things that I normally take for granted.

I also give thanks for the great big things, such as excellent medical care, kind, caring people who treat me with dignity in my most vulnerable moments, smiles, encouraging words, books that elevate my thoughts, and prayers.

Nancy DeMoss also brings up the matter of giving thanks to God for those people who have touched our lives and who need our expressed gratitude.

Pastor William Stidger wrote a letter of thanks to his English teacher who had first inspired in him a love for literature and poetry, preparing him to become a writer. In return mail, he received a feebly scrawled note from his former teacher:

     “William, I can’t tell you how much your note meant to me. I am in my eighties, living alone in a small room, lonely, like the last leaf of autumn lingering behind. I taught in school for more than fifty years, and yours is the first note of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a blue, cold morning, and it cheered me as nothing has done in many years.”

Some time ago, my husband, a retired Air Traffic Controller, felt an urge to write a thank-you letter to someone who had touched his life:

“Colonel Sam, you had a great influence on me when I was a young man. Before entering air traffic control school, I would be required to pass a physical exam. I failed because I was underweight. However, they told me to gain weight and come back in a few weeks. You flew me to Keesler Air Force Base in the summer of 1954 for the second physical, and perhaps you looked at me and thought I was still too skinny to pass the test. When we were air borne, you handed me a sack of bananas and said, “Eat these and you will weigh more.” I passed the physical, and that opened the door to my future.”

Colonel Sam Forbert responded with a phone call, saying that someone had done the same favor for him when he was a young man.


Virginia Dawkins is a newspaper columnist. Her personal experience stories and devotionals have been published in a series of Cup of Comfort books. She and her husband live in Meridian, Mississippi.


Choosing the Perfect Pet


With every “bundle of joy” and the pitter-patter of little feet throughout the house

come sleepless nights, strict feeding times, and overwhelmed family members.  But with patience, consistency and devotion, your new pet…you did know I was talking about a pet didn’t you?

The first 4 to 6 weeks in a new home can be challenging for the pet, as well as the pet owners. Pets need time to adjust to the new family, environment, schedule, expectations, etc.

“When looking for a pet, you need to consider your household,”

said Debra Boswell, Executive Director of Mississippi Animal Rescue League (MARL). “Just as a baby’s diaper is changed throughout the day, a six-week-old puppy needs that same kind of attention because its bladder is not fully developed either.”

For instance, if you’re gone 10 to 12 hours a day, it will be hard to housebreak a puppy.

A cat might be a better choice since they’re more independent and content with their own company—most of the time.

Before making a final decision, potential families might visit MARL several times and even bring the family pet to meet the one being considered for adoption.

Dr. Joey Burt, Director of Animal Health at Mississippi State University’s School of Veterinary said, “Pets live long lives, so the children are going to grow up with the pets. It’s an opportunity for parents to provide children the thought process about what it takes to be a pet owner.”

Before choosing a pet, parents must be willing to accept some responsibility for the pet’s care, bearing in mind the age of the children and the household environment.

“One of our adoption guidelines is children under the age of six shouldn’t have a puppy under 4-months,” said Boswell.

She added that puppies are high-energy and need an awful lot of time, so an older pet might be more feasible. Toddlers are energetic and have very high squeals that can excite puppies.  If a toddler gets a little rough, like pulling the pet’s leg or tail or ear, the puppy may say “ouch” with their teeth and a kitty may grab hold with its claws.

“To smaller children, there’s not much difference between a stuffed animal and a live one. These are things to think about,” said Boswell.

Dr. Burt said that, as a general rule, cats are not good for children under the age of three. “Likewise, neither do big dogs and small children mix too well.”

The needs of the family right now might differ from their needs down the road.  Families must realize the long-term investment of a pet, like medical care and nutritional needs. Plus, pets need enriched environments complete with toys and puzzles. Smaller pets, like gerbils, can live up to five years; dogs and cats live ten years or more. However, birds can live up to 40 or 50 years!

Some good exotic pet choices for children are guinea pigs, rats, geckos, rabbits, and bearded dragons.

“[Exotic animals] can absolutely be family pets,” said Dr. Burt. “But most require a little bit more knowledge and a little bit more care than the traditional dogs and cats.”

Many pets end up in shelters because owners didn’t consider the long-term responsibility and dedication needed to care for their pet.  More than 4,000,000 animals die in animal shelters each year.

“That’s the main reason to adopt from shelters,” said Boswell. “You’re helping to save the life of an animal.”

Shelters across the nation are packed, with 20 to 25 percent of the adult population being purebreds. Those considering a purebred should research the breed to learn about its special needs or concerns. However, mixed breeds often make the best pets, said Boswell.

“A pet as a gift is never really a good idea. A gift certificate would be better, because choosing a pet is a personal decision,” said Boswell.

A Christmas gift under the tree for your child can be a basket from Santa complete with pet bed, toys, a book and video on pet care and a gift certificate from the animal shelter where lots of pets anxiously wait for a family and a place to call home.


Richelle Putnam



Previously published in Well Being Magazine

Is The Keyboard Mightier Than The Pen? Keep Old School in Children’s Learning

Education has gone high tech.

When I started my first teaching job, the ditto machine was my friend. The messy, purple inked contraption made it possible to spew out handouts, tests and homework assignments for my students. Technology moved from there to the mimeograph machine to the photo copier to the power point presentation. White boards have replaced black boards and technology in education has changed the way teachers prepare and teach and the way students interact and receive what is being taught. Students take notes on their laptops and tablets and in 2013, cursive writing was dropped from the Common Core Curriculum Standards that is shared by all states. Children and now required to learn to use a keyboard and print rather than the loopier cursive.

The debate has erupted about whether this is a good thing.

At first glance, the battle between keyboards and pens might seem to be a battle of resistance to change and technology is merely another tool that we’ll get used to. But researchers have studied both sides of the issue and found advantages to each.

Pens and keyboards bring into play very different cognitive processes. As a result, it helps to know what you get when you choose one or the other.

Those who support the keyboard suggest that typing is faster and students can have more information for their disposal. According to Anne Throwback, associate professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College in Ohio “What we want from writing is cognitive automaticity, the ability to think as fast as possible, with whatever technology we use to record our thoughts. This is what typing does for millions.” In addition, proponents of the keyboard argue “what really matters is not how we produce a text but its quality. When we are reading, few of us wonder whether a text was written by hand or word-processed.”

In a paper published in April in the journal Psychological Science, two US researchers, Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer, claim that note-taking with a pen, rather than a laptop, gives students a better grasp of the subject. They hypothesize that handwriting requires different types of cognitive processing than typing on a laptop, and both have different consequences for learning. You can only write so fast, so your brain is forced to do more as your hand writes the crucial data. They believed writing longhand is a workout for the brain. And, because writing is slower it’s more useful in the long run. Writing involves the whole body and results in a greater amount of conceptual learning.

Using college students as guinea pigs, Mueller and Oppenheimer put their theory to the test.

They divided groups of students into keyboarders and hand writers for taking notes in class. They gave them a week to study their notes before a test. Those who wrote their notes outperformed laptop users. This suggests longhand notes may have superior external storage as well as superior encoding functions,” Mueller and Oppenheimer write.

According to Edouard Gentaz, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Geneva, “Handwriting is a complex task which requires various skills. Children take several years to master this precise motor exercise: You need to hold the scripting tool firmly while moving it in such a way as to leave a different mark for each letter.” The body remembers-making the learning long lasting. There is an element of dancing when we write by hand, a melody in the message, which adds emotion to the text.

Another study from 2010 found that the brain areas associated with learning “lit up” much more when kids were asked to write words like “spaceship” by hand versus just studying the word closely.

But does all this really change our relationship to learning?

Studies show there are additional advantages to writing some things by hand that include:

  • Handwriting stimulates more effective memory cues because you’re forming the context and content in your own words.

  • Handwriting reveals aspects of our personalities. How do you want to be seen by your grandchildren?

  • One of the most effective ways to study and retain new information is to rewrite your types notes by hand. That helps to increase performance on material on which you’ll be tested.

For me, there are many reasons to use both.

What’s A Person To Do?

  • Use pen and paper to make your brain sharper.

  • Use the keyboard to get more written material, faster.

  • Use pen and paper to become a better writers.

  • Use pen and paper to learn a new skills.

  • Use both for acquiring and reproducing materials on which to be remembered or tested.

© Dr. Rachell N. Anderson, Psy. D. June 3, 2016


Dr. Rachell Anderson is a native of Tunica, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Professor Emeritus and author. She taught at the University of Illinois and ran a Private Clinical Practice in Springfield, Illinois for many years. She now lives and writes with the Tunica Chapter of the Mississippi Writers Guild in Tunica, Mississippi. Check out her website at for more articles and