Scholarship winner pursues dream

Brianna Lindon grew up with three Australian shepherds and 18 horses — so no one was surprised when she decided she wanted to be a veterinarian.

Brianna Lindon’s love of animals led her to pursue a career as a veterinarian. She is a freshman at Morehead State University.

Brianna Lindon’s love of animals led her to pursue a career as a veterinarian. She is a freshman at Morehead State University.

“I’ve just always loved animals,” she says.

Lindon is well on her way to realizing her dream. She is a freshman at Morehead State University majoring in pre-veterinary science. She is helped along the way thanks to a scholarship from Mountain Telephone.

“It really helped me out a lot,” she says. “It is a big help in paying for my tuition and books.”

Lindon, a 2013 graduate from Morgan County High School, was one of 17 students from Morgan, Menifee, Elliott, Wolfe and Bath counties that won a combined total of $48,000 in scholarships from Mountain in 2013.

Mountain has awarded scholarships since 1988 when it first partnered with Morehead State University. Through the partnership, the students must attend MSU. Mountain will pay half of the scholarship funds, and MSU will cover the remainder. Over the past 25 years, Mountain has awarded scholarships to more than 400 students.

“We are really grateful for the partnership with Morehead State that enables us to offer scholarships to these hardworking and deserving students,” says Shayne Ison, general manager at Mountain.

Each year, an independent committee typically selects four students from Wolfe, Morgan, Menifee and Elliott counties and one student from Bath County to receive the four-year scholarships.

The scholarship amount was $2,500 per year from 1988 to 2009. Beginning with the 2010 graduating class, the scholarship amount increased to $3,000 per year. The scholarships are awarded based on the students’ grade point average, teacher recommendations and written essays.

Lindon says she wrote about what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she hasn’t wavered from that. She wrote about her love of animals and her desire to study animal sciences.

While in high school, Lindon was active in the FFA program and played both basketball and volleyball for the Cougars. This past fall she worked part time at the White Oak Pumpkin Patch, and she is now focused on her studies and enjoying the college experience.

“It’s a lot different than I thought it would be, but I am really enjoying it,” she says.

Once she completes her undergraduate studies at MSU, she plans to attend veterinary school at either Auburn University or the University of Tennessee — two of the South’s premiere veterinary schools.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a vet,” she says. “The scholarship from Mountain is really helping me out.”

For more information about scholarships from Mountain, visit

Science is cool!

Elliott County couple teaching kids about wonders of science

By Brian Lazenby

Alan Kuehner stands on an insulated step and holds his hand to a motorized metal contraption. His hair and his snow-white beard begin to rise and stand on end as the electric charge builds.

Alan Kuehner and his wife, Nancy, perform a variety of experiments in area schools hoping to inspire students with a love of science.

Alan Kuehner and his wife, Nancy, perform a variety of experiments in area schools hoping to inspire students with a love of science.

The contraption, known as a Van de Graaff machine, is an electrostatic generator that uses a moving belt to accumulate electrical potential on a hollow metal globe on the top of the stand.

Touch it with a metal bowl and you can feel the electric current move through you. Touch it while holding a strand of lights and they begin to glow.

Alan and his wife, Nancy, love science, and they want kids to love it too. That is why the Kuehners travel all over the area with their Van de Graaff generator and other gadgets teaching kids about the wonders of science. They visit many area schools performing experiments and teaching kids how the world works.

“Teachers know they can call us, and we will come to their class,” Nancy says. “There are so many careers out there that involve science. We really need to get kids interested in science during elementary school.”

Alan has an undergraduate degree in education, but much of his career was spent working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a research institute in Upton, New York, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, whose tagline is “a passion for discovery.”

Kuehner hopes to inspire students to discover a love of science.

Kuehner hopes to inspire students to discover a love of science.

The Kuehners hope to instill that same passion in kids.

“What I learned there helps me be able to talk to kids about all the jobs out there that involve science,” Alan says.

Nancy doesn’t have a background in science, but she certainly has an interest and has learned a lot from her husband over the years.

The Kuehners tailor each school presentation to the particular age of the kids, and they can focus on a particular topic. The kids will usually make something during the presentation that teaches them a lesson and gives them something to take with them.

They also teach a science and math camp for two weeks every July in Pikeville, where about 100 kids each week spend time emerged in both subjects.

Alan Kuehner uses a Van de Graaff machine to perform science experiments in area schools.

Alan Kuehner uses a Van de Graaff machine to perform science experiments in area schools.

“I always loved teaching kids,” Alan says.

The couple stays extremely busy and has already performed more than 50 presentations at schools so far this year. In addition, the couple works with volunteer organizations such as the Elliott County Fire Department, the American Red Cross, the local 4H Club, the Medical Reserve Corps, the Citizens Emergency Response Team and the Science Olympiad — just to name a few.

It keeps them on the go, but Nancy says she wouldn’t have it any other way. She would like to see more people participate in volunteer activities.

“If everybody in Elliott County would volunteer just one hour a month, think how great our county could be,” she says.

For more information or to schedule a time for them to speak at your school or organization, visit their “Science is Fun” website at or scan this QR Code.

Honor and Duty

LeMaster honored for his service to his country

By Brian Lazenby

Dan LeMaster survived not one, but two wars during the 21 years he served his country.

But there was a summer day in 1950 when he almost didn’t.

Dan LeMaster saw combat in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was recently awarded for his service.

Dan LeMaster saw combat in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was recently awarded for his service.

LeMaster was part of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Smith, a group of about 540 soldiers that saw some of the first and fiercest fighting of the Korean War. Despite being inexperienced, poorly equipped and highly outnumbered, the unit was sent to hold off the advancing North Korean Army until reinforcements arrived. It was July 5, 1950, in what later became known as the Battle of Osan.

The fighting was fierce, and during the first 24 hours, half of Task Force Smith had been captured or killed.

LeMaster was hunkered down in a foxhole when he was ordered to climb out of his entrenched position to retrieve more ammunition. When he returned moments later, he found that his foxhole had taken a direct hit from an artillery round and had been blown up.

LeMaster, now 85, remembers looking at where he had just been dug-in and knew he was lucky to be alive when so many of the young men fighting beside him were not.

He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions at Osan and left the Army in 1952. But he wasn’t finished. He re-enlisted two years later and saw further combat during the Vietnam War.


LeMaster spent much of his life serving his country, and he was recently honored for his service. He and 21 other veterans from Kentucky were recognized by Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices. LeMaster traveled with the group to Washington, D.C., where he toured many of the nation’s war memorials and museums and says it is an experience he will always remember.

“It was a great trip,” says LeMaster. “It meant an awful lot that they would do this for us and honor us like that.”

The group of 22 veterans boarded a plane at the Louisville International Airport for their trip to D.C. During the flight, there was a “mail-call,” where each of the veterans received packages containing gifts and letters from friends, neighbors and area school children expressing their appreciation and gratitude for their service.

LeMaster stands in front of the World War II Memorial while on his tour of Washington, D.C.

LeMaster stands in front of the World War II Memorial while on his tour of Washington, D.C.

LeMaster became emotional when he talked about it.

“That really meant an awful lot,” he says, unable to say much more.

And it wasn’t just the local people that moved him. “One of the most memorable things was the number of people that come there every day to visit the memorials and pay their respects,” he says of the crowds gathered around the various war memorials.

Living most of his life in a small rural community, LeMaster says he was shocked at the amount of traffic in the nation’s capital. One of his most vivid memories from the trip was the police escort they received through the city and the way the sea of cars parted to let them pass.

He was also surprised by the hundreds of people waiting at the Louisville airport to welcome them back home.

“That was a great feeling,” he says. “It was really a wonderful trip.”


When LeMaster was not fighting for his country overseas, he spent much of his time stationed at Fort Knox, where he was tasked with guarding the nation’s gold reserve.

He came home to Lacy Creek to visit in 1961, and while at church, he met Joyce Lewis, who would eventually become his wife and biggest supporter.

She recalls when LeMaster was in Vietnam and says it was the most stressful thing she has ever endured.

“I nearly lost my mind,” she says. “I would get a letter from him telling me where he was. Then they would be talking about that place on the news and would say how bad it was and how many people had been killed.”

Military veterans from Kentucky stand before the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. The group was honored for their service.

Military veterans from Kentucky stand before the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. The group was honored for their service.

Weeks would often pass before she would hear from him again — weeks she spent worrying and fearing the worst.

“I was just waiting for someone to come and deliver the bad news,” she says. “That’s the way I lived for a year.”

Technology has come a long way since then. Troops serving overseas now have a number of ways to keep in touch with loved ones. There is email, social media and video messaging services — just to name a few.

“These people don’t know how lucky they are,” she says. “I sometimes waited three weeks to hear from him.”


Thousands of men and women served their country in times of war, and many of them will never get to visit the nation’s capital and the monuments honoring them for their service. That is why Earl Morse, a physician and retired Air Force captain, founded the Honor Flight Network.

He wanted to do something to honor those he served with and the veterans he cared for while working in a health clinic for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The first group was taken to Washington, D.C., in 2005, and the positive feedback drove him to seek out funding and partners to keep the project going. In May 2008, Southwest Airlines stepped up by donating thousands of free tickets, and was named the official commercial carrier of the Honor Flight Network.

“They really went all out for us,” LeMaster says. “They really treated us great and rolled out the red carpet.”

For more information about the Honor Flight Network, to get on the waiting list or to donate to the cause, visit

Witnesses to progress

Rick Pelfrey and R.D. Stacy to retire from Mountain

Rick Pelfrey

Rick Pelfrey

Rick Pelfrey has been threatened, had phones thrown at him, guns pulled on him and dogs sicced on him. He has gotten cats down from trees and people off roofs, and he has removed dogs, chickens and goats from the inside of his truck. He has been chased by turkeys, flogged by game roosters and chased up utility poles by dogs.

“It’s all in a day’s work,” he says.

Pelfrey began working at Mountain 37 years ago on the right-of-way crew when he was just 19. Now 56 and serving as the plant manager, he has decided to call it quits. He will retire next month to spend more time with his family and to focus on Bethany Enterprise Baptist Church in West Liberty, where he has been the pastor since 2000.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work for a company that makes a difference in communities and cares for its employees and the people it serves,” he says. “I’ve worked with, supervised and managed some of the best people. To say I’ve been lucky would be an understatement. I have been abundantly blessed.”

Both Pelfrey and Plant Clerk Richie “R.D.” Stacy, have announced that they will be retiring from Mountain. They have a combined 72 years with the company.

Stacy acknowledges that this isn’t the same company he began working for in 1979. At the time, most customers had rotary phones, which won’t work with the current technology.

RD Stacy

RD Stacy

“Now it is digital and you must have a touch-tone phone,” he says.

Pelfrey began at Mountain earning $2.20 an hour working on the right-of-way crew clearing the roadsides for construction crews that would come behind them running telephone cable.

Minimum wage isn’t the only thing that has changed since Pelfrey joined Mountain. The Internet did not exist, and the idea that data could be sent at the speed of light along strands of glass was something of science fiction. But Pelfrey has overseen the implementation of Mountain’s fiber-to-the-home project, a historic construction project that gives Mountain’s members access to the most state-of-the-art data network available.

“I have seen the evolution from open wire to fiber optic cable, from rotary dial phones to smartphones,” he says.

In fact, when Pelfrey began at Mountain, the company didn’t have any modern construction machinery.

“I remember when we bought our first bucket truck and our first backhoe,” he says. “Before, we had lots of shovels — and we did lots of digging with those shovels.”

Today, Mountain has some of the most technologically advanced equipment available, and Pelfrey and Stacy have been integral parts of Mountain’s transformation from a phone company with four- and six-party lines to a modern telecommunications company that provides phone, television and Internet services to all of its customers.

Stacy says he remembers when Mountain began selling other products such as caller ID, television service and Internet.

“Many people thought there was no way we were going to make any money with those things,” Stacy says. They thought, ‘Who is going to buy Internet?’ Of course they were wrong.”

Pelfrey and Stacy have seen the region transform over the years, and helped rebuild following phone outages and major storms, including the tragic March 2, 2012, tornado that ravaged the area.

Stacy began working on the construction crew. He says one of the first things he did was work with a crew that was converting party lines to a single private line.

But Stacy knows how quickly things can change. He was working in 1987 on a pole when the cable snapped. His leg became entangled in the cable and left him dangling. The accident nearly severed his leg, and there was some concern if he would ever walk again. After taking about a year off to recover and undergo physical therapy, Stacy returned to work and is now the plant clerk.

Mountain General Manager Shayne Ison says both Pelfrey and Stacy will be missed.

“Rick and R.D. are valuable components of the Mountain family,” Ison says. “Their knowledge and expertise have helped bring this company into the modern age, and we wish them both the very best in all their future endeavors.”

Pelfrey lives in West Liberty with his wife, Donna. They have two grown daughters, Amber O’Neal and Lindsay Pelfrey.

Stacy lives in West Liberty with his wife, Mary Nell.

Helping you build the life you want

By Shayne Ison
General Manager
Shayne Ison

Shayne Ison

Why do you live in rural America? Maybe it’s family connections. Maybe it’s the close sense of community and the importance of tradition. Maybe it’s because you enjoy a quality of life in this area that would be difficult to find in a metro region.

Whatever your reasons, the people who work at Mountain Telephone understand that we play an important role in helping you build the life you want here. As your local telecommunications provider, we know you depend on us to supply the technology you need to stay connected. And that is becoming more important as our world grows increasingly dependent on broadband connections and Internet-based solutions.

Some might think that living in a rural area means sacrificing access to technology. We are proud that, as a member of  Mountain Telephone, you do not have to sacrifice at all. In fact, because of our focus on building a state-of-the-art network, you have access to Internet speeds higher than those available to some people living in larger cities.

Of course, we still have many challenges. While just over 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in a rural region, almost half of Americans who are not connected to the Internet are rural. That means there are still millions of rural Americans who are missing opportunities made possible by a broadband connection. From education and jobs to health care and family connections, they have yet to discover what so many of their neighbors have already learned — that a broadband connection can help them build a better life.

That is one of our biggest challenges as your technology leader. Building a broadband network is only the first step; we must also help you understand how to use it. The magazine you are reading now plays an important role in those efforts. We choose the stories for this magazine very carefully. We include subjects that appeal to a broad range of readers with a variety of interests. We can almost guarantee that during the course of a year you will be drawn to something in these pages, no matter what your interests may be. And whether it’s a profile on a local person with a unique hobby or business, a story on how someone is using technology, or a feature on a road trip, these have the mission of helping you learn to put our services to practical use in your life.

Speaking of the magazine, please look again at the top of Page 3 and spend just a few minutes taking our reader survey. Your answers will help us understand what you love best and find most helpful about your magazine.

I also want to call your attention to the Rural Connections article on Page 2. Shirley Bloomfield leads our national trade group, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, and does an incredible job keeping us connected on issues in Washington, D.C., that impact us right here in Kentucky. It is more important than ever that independent telecommunications companies work together on matters that impact us all; we are proud to welcome Shirley as a contributor to our magazine as she shares with you some of the work we are all doing together.

When you think about family and community, living in rural America really is all about being connected. At Mountain Telephone we are proud to provide the technology that makes many of those connections possible.

Recipes on the wild side

Gator Roll-Ups

Pinwheell0807There are no exact amounts in this recipe. It all depends on how much gator tail you have.

  • Bacon
  • Alligator tail pieces cut 1 inch wide and 4 inches long
  • Cream cheese
  • Prosciutto ham
  • Pepper Jack cheese
  • Barbecue sauce

Prepare smoker. Place a slice of bacon on cutting board or other clean surface. Place one piece of gator tail on bacon, then top with cream cheese, a thin slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Roll up and secure bacon with toothpick. Repeat with remaining gator pieces. Place roll-ups in smoker and smoke for 45 minutes at 300°. Serve with barbecue sauce.


  • Uncooked strips of wild turkey breast, cut into 6- by 1- by 4-inch strips
  • Equal number strips of brown-sugar bacon
  • Pepper Jack cheese slices
  • Prosciutto ham slices

Place turkey strip on a slice of bacon. Cut a square slice of pepper jack into 3 strips; place two on top of turkey. Add 1 slice of ham and top with third cheese strip. Roll into a pinwheel and secure with toothpick. Season to taste with your favorite seasonings. Put three roll-ups on a kabob skewer. Grill on top of foil at 320° for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Remove from foil and cook over exposed fire or coals for a few minutes to caramelize.

Elk Quesadillas

  • 1 pound ground elk meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • Tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Garnishes: cilantro, salsa, sour cream, avocado, sliced jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat olive oil in pan and add onions, garlic and meat. Once meat is broken up, add spices. Saute peppers in a separate pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add beans after peppers are fork-tender. Place meat, peppers, beans and cheese onto half a tortilla. Fold in half and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place on a wire rack in the oven or the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and garnish with desired toppings.

Venison Chili

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Salt, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 10 slices cooked bacon, diced
  • 2 pounds venison (deer) stew meat, ground or finely diced
  • 2 cups kidney or black beans, cooked and drained

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes. Then stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by about half.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the bacon and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bacon is browned. Move the bacon to one side of the skillet and add the venison to the empty side of the skillet. Season the meat with salt, to taste, and saute the meat for 15 minutes or until well browned. Stir in the beans and toss all together. Transfer this mixture to the simmering pot. Mix everything together thoroughly and let simmer for another half hour. Serve in bowls with garnishes, such as sliced green onions, shredded cheese and sour cream on the side.


Game time!

By Anne P. Braly

Mike Page demonstrates his grill skills with some mouth-watering gator roll-ups.

Mike Page demonstrates his grill skills with some mouth-watering gator roll-ups.

There are more tricks to cooking wild game than pulling a rabbit from a hat, and it takes a seasoned cook and avid hunter, such as Mike Page of New Hope, Alabama, to get it right.

Page, pitmaster of Bootlegg BBQ located in New Hope, and a longtime competitor on the wild game cook-off circuit, was the 2013 grand champion of the Alabama Wildlife Federation Wild Game Cook-Off held in Tuscumbia, Alabama. His dish, Elk Tex-Mex, was the best overall of 31 entries.

So it goes without saying … he’s wild about game.

“I was around 8 years old when my dad first started taking me hunting,” he says. With that came an important lesson: “He taught me that if you kill an animal, you have to eat it.”

So by the time he was a teenager, Page began cooking meat on his own. Early on, he learned the age-old, time-honored tricks of the trade: how to lessen the flavors of meats with heavy, gamey flavors; how to marinate tougher cuts; and which meats taste best grilled, smoked or fried. But the name of the game for most of Page’s meats is low and slow: low heat and slow cooking.

“When I’m cooking wild game, most people will ask what it is,” he says. “And they always like it when they try it, especially when I’m cooking more exotic meats, such as bear and gator. They really want to try that.”

GATOR, ANYONE? — Dinner is definitely never boring when Mike Page is in charge of the menu. The pitmaster of Bootlegg BBQ is also a wild game cook-off grand champion.

GATOR, ANYONE? — Dinner is definitely never boring when Mike Page is in charge of the menu. The pitmaster of Bootlegg BBQ is also a wild game cook-off grand champion.

As for technique, Page readily admits that cooking wild game is a bit tougher than preparing farm-raised meats for the table.

“You have to pay attention to your dish,” he says with a nod toward Mother Nature. “Wild game doesn’t come in a package with instructions.”

Most wild game meats require marinating, but what marinade is used depends on the type of meat. All wild game is different and has different textures, Page explains.

“You have to marinate the meat, but be careful not to overdo it,” Page warns. “I like to taste more of the natural flavors of the meat, and I’ve found that others do, too.”

Mike Page’s suggestions for marinades:

  • Combine 3/4 cup apple juice, 1/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh sage and 1 teaspoon salt (good for bear, elk and venison).
  • Mix the amount of Worcestershire sauce you need with some Montreal steak seasoning (good for elk, venison and duck).
  • Red wine with crushed garlic (good for venison and elk).
  • Mix together 1 can beer, 2 cups Worcestershire, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic salt and black pepper (good for almost any game meat).
Anne P. Braly

Anne P. Braly



Staying connected to those New Year’s resolutions

By Matt Ledger

It’s that time of year again — New Year’s resolutions. Some face them with dread, while others resolve to try a bit harder than last year.

Statistically, most resolutions revolve around cutting out the sweets, reinstating gym memberships or trying out another aspect of fitness, but there are many other ways to enhance our lives. Maybe less Facebook and more face time with those friends? You might even include them in your next selfie. It’s easy to let technology distract you, but it can also be used as an incredible tool for time management, goal setting, fiscal planning and of course tracking exercise.

Organization — Trello
Playing games flat icons setDon’t you wish you could have that kitchen dry erase board in your pocket to remind you of that errand you just forgot or that key ingredient from the recipe? Sure, you could just write another Post-it note, but your smartphone can allow you to edit, sync, upload photos and even assign tasks to other family members. Trello is a cloud-based app that you can use to organize the tasks of a big project and/or the daily routine. Users create color-coded boards, with lists of prioritized tasks that are easily dragged to the completed column to track your weekly progress. Trello is used by tech clients at Google, PayPal and Kickstarter.

Budget and finance — Playing games flat icons set
Just about everyone could do a little better managing their money in 2015. To track those finances and budget your spending, offers free tracking software to electronically monitor investments, purchases and income. Mint, from the makers of TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks, has encrypted security equal to your bank. Just like those major credit cards, the system will alert you of unusual account purchases, spending trends and if you exceed your budgets.

Fitness — Mobile apps
FitnessSpeaking of investments, improving your overall health is an investment in your future. Being healthy helps parents stay active with their kids and pays many dividends later on during retirement. To get started, try the 7-minute workout app by Johnson and Johnson, which coaches you through dozens of simple home exercises. Once that becomes routine, you can escape to the nearest park and use the RunKeeper or MapMyFitness apps to track how many miles you run or bike.

Volunteerism — & Volunteer
While the first three areas focus on yourself, many people make resolutions to help in their communities to make the spirit of the season last well beyond New Year’s Day. The websites and allow people to search for local volunteer programs. Some current projects are seeking volunteers for everything from youth tutors to repairs at homeless shelters to mentors to helping the elderly. Having your own budget or fitness in order is great, but nothing gives you that feeling of satisfaction quite like helping others

Featured Blogger: Woman on a Journey

Health & Fitness

Photo Frame CollectionA Q&A with Shelley bowman, a blogger from Texas who has been inspiring readers with her story of weight loss and fitness since 2008

What do readers find at your blog?

Shelley Bowman: Ramblings of someone who has managed not only to lose a large amount of weight — 100 pounds — but who is also keeping it off. This is a bigger victory to me than the initial weight loss. After all, hasn’t just about everyone lost weight at one point, only to regain it?

What are some tips for those interested in losing weight and becoming fit?

SB: Stop eating fast food. Stop getting your meals handed out a drive-thru window. Track your food on a daily basis. I used Put it all in there: the good, the bad and the ugly. Go for a 15-minute walk to start. Move daily. All the things you hear, like parking farther away and taking the stairs, add up.

How can someone new to running get started? before, one year, two year

SB: Get fitted at a running store for a good pair of shoes. The right shoes can make or break you. Then go for a short walk, and at the end, try a slow run for 30 seconds. Gradually transition to running a little more each time; don’t go crazy and try to run a mile if you’ve never run before because that’s a good way to get shin splints; then you’ll end up hurting and not wanting to run. Also, finding a friend to run with 

makes a big difference for me. Knowing that you’re going to meet someone to run helps to make sure you actually do it.

How do you stay motivated?

SB: I feel so much better now that I’m not carrying 100 extra pounds. I have a different lifestyle, too. I’m much more active, and I like being able to run or walk without feeling like I’m going to die. Continuing to eat right most of the time keeps me in check; I honestly don’t like how I feel when I overindulge.

What are some of your favorite healthy foods?

SB: You should have a few go-to meals where you can eat healthy without having to think about what you are preparing. For me, it’s nonfat Greek yogurt (I love Fage), either fresh berries or Craisins, and some homemade granola. If I’m out of my granola, I like the Kind brand. For dinner, I like to make black bean tacos using corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo and a little Parmesan cheese. Snacks range from watermelon or pineapple in the summer, to raw almonds and a little bit of dried cherries. And sometimes an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter. I also drink a lot of water daily and try to have a glass right before I snack — it makes me fuller so I don’t overdo it.

Why did you become a blogger, and how has blogging changed your life?

SB: I became a blogger when I started my last diet. I wanted to remember how hard I worked to get the weight off, so this time I would actually keep it off. I had no idea how much blogging would connect me with other like-minded people who were doing the same thing. The most important thing was finding a couple of bloggers who had lost over 100 pounds and were keeping the weight off. I was very overwhelmed in the beginning, but finding others who had succeeded gave me hope. And I hope I’m able to give that to the new person who is just starting their journey to weight loss and fitness.

Check out her blog…

Other health and fitness blogs you might like:

. Besides fitness ideas, this blog is “a place to find healthy alternatives to the food you crave.”
. This fitness coach shares her “continued journey to be the best woman, wife and mother that I can be.”

Whatever your interest, there is likely an online community of people who share that interest with you. Our “Featured Blogger” series introduces you to people who write online websites about a variety of topics. In the March/April issue, we’ll focus on home/DIY projects.


Tech Savvy Traveler

Despite what Johnny Cash would have you believe, nobody has been everywhere, man. But thanks to websites and apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor, today’s travelers can learn from the experiences of people who have been there and done that. offers reviews on restaurants while ranks attractions, hotels, restaurants and more.