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So far markcook has created 132 blog entries.

BODY BALANCE WITH V: Are your habits the reason for your shoulder pain?

By Vanessa Hampton As a trainer, one of the most common issues I see people deal with is some sort of shoulder pain. It’s frustrating, I know. You raise your arm. It hurts. You lift


With Thanksgiving behind us, the Christmas season is now fully upon us. But let’s be honest. The Christmas season was fully upon us after Halloween. And no, this will not be another rant about how

RAMON PRESSON: The city that reflects our best and worst tendencies

I’m not really sure why it took me 58 years to visit Washington D.C. I’m just glad that I did so earlier this month. As an adult, a first trip to our nation’s capitol, especially taking in

BODY BALANCE WITH V: Surviving the holidays with your body intact

By Vanessa Hampton It’s that time of year again. The Thanksgiving holiday has officially kicked off the season of indulgent food at every turn, and a lot less time to stay in our workout routine. Some

Best-selling author Donna VanLiere shares hope in 10th Christmas novel, "The Christmas Star"

By MELISSA HAMBRICK If Christian/pop music recording artist Amy Grant is our area’s resident Christmas queen, then certainly Donna VanLiere resides in her literary court. The Christmas Star is the Franklin resident’s latest novel, the tenth holiday

Mill Creek Brewery loses brewmaster Hammond as she continues to climb in beer industry

Beer making is a science, and Becky Hammond studied science in college. Her specialty was marine biology. Her minor was entrepreneurship. Her passion was, and is, beer. After an illness that left her unable to


Full disclosure: this is almost a complete re-posting of my Thanksgiving column from 2012. When I read through previous Thanksgiving installments, I realized much of what I wrote that year would be true of this year,

State Library archivists will share genealogy research techniques on Family History Day next Saturday

TENNESSEE STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES Thanksgiving is a time when many of us reconnect with family members and share stories. At the Tennessee State Library and Archives, families can also explore stories of their relatives

Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon is featured designer for 2019 Nashville Symphony Fashion Show

Cynthia Arnholt and Allison Schaufele, co-chairs of the 2019 Symphony Fashion Show, have named Wes Gordon – Creative Director of Carolina Herrera New York – as the featured designer for the 14th annual event next spring.

BODY BALANCE WITH V: There’s magic in trashing your full-length mirror

Sometimes things unexpectedly happen in life that you wouldn’t necessarily choose. When that occurs we really have two choices ... and they are our choices. We can either be ticked off about it and fight it every

Nashville Lawn and Garden Show’s 30th annual event is coming in February

The Nashville Lawn and Garden Show will celebrate 30 years with Changing Times, Changing Gardens, a show designed to reflect the changing landscapes of Middle Tennessee. The 2019 Nashville Lawn and Garden Show, scheduled for February 28 –

RAMON PRESSON: An odd thing Trump and I have in common

Shortly after the 2016 Presidential election I noted in a November 15 column that Donald Trump and I had something unusual in common. (You can read the entire column at But after almost two years

New, local group aims to help deal with the costly mental health issue of depression

By SCHATZIE BRUNNER Depression is something that many are hesitant to discuss – out of fear, out of misunderstanding, out of shame, and out of guilt – but it is a vital health issue about which

RAMON PRESSON: A letter to my new billionaire friend in South Carolina

Hello, and congratulations on winning the $1.6 billion lottery jackpot. I imagine you still haven’t gotten over the pleasant shock of being the lucky winner, and I bet you keep wondering, “How am I going to spend

OPINION: Domestic abusers often seek control through legal system, but new law can curtail the harassment

By AIMEE LUNA attorney, Legal Aid Society When we think of domestic violence, we often picture physical abuse. But the truth is, abusive behavior within a relationship can exist in many forms. At its core,

BODY BALANCE WITH V: Perfectly imperfect healthy eating tips

By Vanessa Hampton Have you achieved perfection in your life? Any part of your life? Yeah, neither have I. This, of course, is practically impossible. So then why is it that many of us still try

RAMON PRESSON: What you didn’t know about your birthday

“Birthdays are the one day of the year that everyone has to be nice to you.” --- Liza, age 7 The birth of birthdays The idea of celebrating the date of your birth is actually


After writing about the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination last week and managing to convince readers on the right that I’m way to the left, and readers on the left that I’m way to the right (when

RAMON PRESSON: Take the OREO Personality Assessment

Analysts at the R.L. Presson Labs of Highly Questionable Research Methods and Statistics have discovered that the manner in which people eat Oreo cookies provides great insight into their personalities. Take the quick assessment below by selecting

BODY BALANCE WITH V: The fun in an obstacle race

ABOVE: Organizers of the 2016 Rippavilla Mud Run in Spring Hill prepare a mud pit obstacle. The event this past August was the third at the historic site. // FILE   By Vanessa Hampton I


It is with some trepidation that I make today’s statements and observations, but I told you last week I might have something to say about the recent Supreme Court nomination. And I still strongly believe in civil

Puppy Up walk benefits research into canine and human cancers

Local dog lovers in partnership with The Puppy Up Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that funds cancer research benefiting both pets and people, will be holding the PuppyUp Nashville Walk on Saturday October 27, 2018 at the

Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee activates Hurricane Michael response

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE Hurricane Michael isn’t wasting any time showing its destructive force. The Category 4 storm slammed into the Florida Panhandle Wednesday morning as the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50

BODY BALANCE WITH V: How a simple workout can change your life

By Vanessa Hampton Some people struggle to find motivation to exercise. Others struggle to take a rest day from workouts. If you are in the first group, you probably find yourself perplexed at how the other

Craft your heart out with these easy Fall DIYs

By ALLIE MYSZKA When the weather cools off, there’s no better way to usher in fall than with some orange, red, and yellow-hued decorations, right? Sure, you could head to your nearest Hobby Lobby and find anything