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Check out Mercy’s new mobile health bus!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

mobile unitWe all know people who are reluctant to go to a doctor’s office, right? And some people live so far out in the country that a trip to the doctor is a real challenge. So what if the doctors and nurses come to you?

Mercy has a new mobile health bus valued at $650,000 that will be used to reach rural communities and under-served patients throughout Northwest Arkansas and beyond. The 40-foot long bus is 8-feet wide and can provide everything from mammograms to heart screenings, giving people immediate test results. The bus may also be used for charity care services.

The bus is part of a $1 million dollar investment Mercy is making to reach more patients in need.

If you’d like to see the bus in person, you can get a tour of the new motor coach next week on Tuesday, July 29th at 10 a.m. at the General Mills office, which is located at 3605 Southern Hills Boulevard, Suite 300, in Rogers. (If your kids or teens are interested in the medical profession, this would be a cool experience for them to see this kind of mobile medical facility in person.)

Beauty Buzz: I’m too young for wrinkles!

By nwamamas - Last updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

beauty buzz,

Dear Andi,

I’m trying to be realistic about the aging process, but I feel like I’m getting wrinkles much earlier than my friends the same age. Is there something that could be causing this?

Barring basic genetics, where my understanding falls somewhere around “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” there are habits you may have picked up over the years that are causing you to get more wrinkles than your contemporaries.

Unfortunately, some of the damage may have been done years ago and can’t be undone, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late.

Smoking, for one, even “socially” is notorious for causing the fine lines around the mouth that plague many women. (This of course is a superficial side effect, but we all know the spiel on smoking. If you’re not sure, ask your 3rd grader who will be brutally honest with you.) If you’re still a smoker, it’s not too late to stop and work on reversing the damage.

tanning bed gogglesTanning is more commonly associated with skin discoloration and age spots but still attribute to the new and unwanted texture that is aging your skin. Even if you have finally started listening to the warnings and applying the SPF, those baby oil days by the lake have a delayed effect that can take you by surprise.

The way you rest your head on your pillow can cause wrinkles to form on the dominant side, no matter how soft your pillow. I’ve heard plastic surgeons say they can tell which way a person sleeps just by looking at their face…yikes. Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid the repercussions of your “beauty sleep”. Strategic placement of pillows can help you retrain your natural sleep position.

The same trouble can arise if you regularly lean on your left hand while working at a desk or rub your eyes and forehead in exasperation when you have told little humans TO PUT ON THEIR SHOES for the hundredth time.

Although it is almost unavoidable, pulling on your eyelids to put in your contacts or apply eyeliner can slowly reduce the elasticity of the delicate skin around your eyes. Try using your less dominant ring and pinkie fingers to pull the lids since they will be weaker.

So, what’s a mom to do?

Laser treatments, chemical peels and retinal treatments can help erase surface wrinkles and injections like Botox and fillers can root out some of the deeper wrinkles. But, none of these are permanent and can’t improve your overall skin quality on their own. That can be achieved by always using sunscreen on your face and hands (yup, unless you are a true southern belle and wear gloves everywhere, your hands are being constantly exposed to the UVs) and drinking plenty of water, as well as the changes I listed above.

I want to clarify before I go, there is nothing wrong with aging gracefully and loving the laugh lines you earned listening to endless knock-knock jokes, or the crows feet brought on by squinting into the sun at hundreds of baseball games.

I will never not have the freckles I earned at my many summer camps but the fact that my skin no longer bounces back after I apply eyeliner really bums me out. Embrace what makes you unique, including the steps you take to feel confident and beautiful.

One last thing: I recommend not watching videos of people getting injections online unless you are a healthcare professional or want the heebie-jeebies the rest of the day. (Shudder)

AndiAndi Douglas is the mama of three little ones and when she’s not playing house, reading them a book or trying to get them to go bed on time — adores playing with makeup. She loves to answer your beauty questions (including those about hair) so send ‘em on over! Just email them to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com.

Mealtime Mama: Italian Style Roasted Peppers

By nwamamas - Last updated: Monday, July 21, 2014


If  you love bell peppers (we do!), below is a unique recipe from the Ozark Natural Foods website to try this summer.

If you’d like to see other recipes on the ONF site, click here.

Italian Style Roasted Peppers

onf bell peppers4 large green bell peppers

1 large red pepper

2 large cloves garlic

3 Tbsp olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Directions: Wash and dry peppers. Place on greased baking sheet under broiler. Broil and turn peppers until skin gets black on all sides. Or, use tongs and hold over gas flame. Wrap in kitchen towel and allow to cool to touch (or place in paper bag and close) at least 10 minutes. Peel off charred skin, remove stem and seed. Cut into thin strips. Mix pepper strips with garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

ONF storeOzark Natural Foods is Northwest Arkansas’ natural-foods Co-op, owned by a community of more than 10,000 investors, most of whom live in Northwest Arkansas. ONF has been an essential part of the community for more than 40 years, growing with Fayetteville and the surrounding area.

Devotion in Motion: Be a peacemaker

By nwamamas - Last updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:9 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Editor’s note: The following is part of a series of posts on the “Desiderata,” (which is Latin for “the things to be desired,”) The following two lines are taken from the poem.

Editor’s note: This column follows last week’s post about the Desiderata (Latin for “the things to be desired.”) The following two lines are taken from this beautiful poem. – See more at:

“As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.”

If you’ve got a household repair you need to do quickly, it’s awfully nice to have one of those cheap screwdriver sets. You know the set I’m talking about — it comes in a plastic box and has a handle with a bunch of interchangeable fittings. I wouldn’t want to put together a jungle gym with one, but for little jobs it can’t be beat. It’s nice to have one screwdriverhandle that works in so many situations.

My teachers have given me words of advice that are just like that screwdriver handle. A high school English teacher told me something I’ve found to be fascinating because it’s almost always true: “If you look, you can always find one more of anything.” Try this one out the next time you need one more hanger, one more Band-aid, or one more dime. You can’t always find two, but you can almost always find one more of anything.

My New Testament Theology professor, Bro. Robert H. Smith, gave me a word of advice that has guided my life ever since I heard it. He said, “John, don’t ever ‘burn a bridge behind you’ on purpose. You’ll do enough of that already on accident.” Whenever I’ve left a job or a situation, I’ve tried to remember what he told me. And as a result, I’ve been able to return again to previous employers, duties, and settings. It’s wonderful to cross back over a bridge you had the foresight not to burn.

In every circumstance in life, there are bound to be misunderstandings, friction, and aggravations. On “your way out,” it’s tempting to comment on injustices, explain the moral correctness of your actions, or take a parting shot at settling the score. But when you do that you always wind up looking like a small, petty person.

When my boys were tiny, Spencer was pestering Seth at the supper table. I told him, “Stop it, Mr. Troublemaker.” Spencer’s reply to me was both humorous and illuminating: “Okay, Mr. Peacemaker.”

I know my son was just making a joke, but I hope I can always find real ways to be a peacemaker in this broken world. The Bible tell us that “peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:18) That’s the reward for building bridges — instead of burning them behind you.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 28 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, and until recently taught Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Autumn is in the air.) Their kids include Spencer (age 22), his wife Madeline (age 22), and Seth (age 19).

remix (4)Note from the mamas: The Summer Remix symbol appears on posts previously published on nwaMotherlode that were noted as a “reader favorite”. If you missed the original publication date, we hope you’ll enjoy this encore performance. Happy summer!

The Rockwood Files: Are you crazy busy?

By nwamamas - Last updated: Saturday, July 19, 2014

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

A few years ago, I got a phone call from a friend and, as soon as I said hello, she said, almost apologetically, “Hey! It’s me. I hate to even call you because I know you’re extremely busy so I’ll make this fast…”

It was a light bulb moment that woke me up. Sure, I was busy. But was I so busy that I’d begun to miss out on the things I want most? Like conversations with good friends? Non-hurried time with family? A sense of calm? Because if I was, I needed to get a lot less busy – and fast.

Since that phone call, I’m more careful about how I answer the question, “How have you been?” Before, I might have rattled off a list of projects I was working on or how many loads of laundry I had piled up or how many times a week I drive the kids from here to there. I thought being busy was a sign that you were not only a productive member of society but also important, goal-oriented – necessary.

We Americans wear “busy” as a badge of honor. We mention how few hours of sleep we’re surviving on lately. We’re bone-tired but also confident that the constant flurry of activity is proof that our lives are not only full but meaningful.

But “busy” can become a beast – one that grows bigger and hungrier before we notice how much it’s eating us up. The beast cons us into thinking we’ll have time to slow down later – when things aren’t so busy. But the beast lies.

crazy busyI just finished reading an insightful book about busyness, which I spotted during a rushed trip to the store. It jumped out at me because there on the book’s green cover were two simple words that describe so many of the people I know: “Crazy Busy.”

As a recovering busy-aholic, I knew I should read it. (If you’re often slave to a beastly “to do” list, you might want to read it, too. It’s a short book, so it won’t become one more thing you’re “busy” doing.)

The author, Kevin DeYoung, admits he might be “the worst possible person to write this book.” As a minister, husband, father of five, author, speaker and blogger, the guy is about as busy as they come and struggles to not let his own busyness become crazy.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a passage about how much our own sense of pride factors into our busyness. Maybe we don’t always have to run in a zillion different directions, but we choose to because we’re afraid of missing out on something. Maybe we sacrifice the kind of life that’s important to us so we can keep up with the hustle and bustle of a life that just seems important. The author also points out how we often use technology to ensure that we’re never truly un-busy.

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m so busy because I’ve come to believe the lie that busyness is the point,” he writes. “And nothing allows you to be busy – all the time, with anyone anywhere – like having the whole world in a little black rectangle in your pocket.”

He doesn’t recommend ditching your iPhone and sitting on a yoga mat all day, and he’s careful not to make work sound like a bad thing. We’re supposed to be busy but not at the expense of things (and people) that make life truly worthwhile.

I don’t think busy is always bad. It’s a way of life for most of us. But it’s not the meaning of our lives. It’s not the whole point. And it would be a shame to miss out on life’s blessings just to keep feeding the beast we call “busy.”

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

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