Telling Tales – I got nothin’


You read that right. After a very uneventful two weeks waiting for something funny, dangerous, or even inspiring to happen…nothing. I started and stopped about 30 different story ideas. This happens sometimes but this time…nothing.

I started one about training for a half-marathon. This race was different because it was on my birthday and completing it would be a birthday gift from me to me. When I started writing about hurting my calf during one training day, the story kind of went south. I came home from that run complaining to my husband. I went on about how this injury would ruin my chances of hitting my PB because intervals will be impossible.

Oh, and I might as well forget about hill repeats. Recovery was essential if I wanted to continue training. As I sat on the sofa icing my injured leg, my husband looked up and said, “Injured? Training? Seriously, it’s not like you’re training for the Olympics, Flo-Jo.”  When he finished his insensitive, yet very clever, statement I handled the little insult like an adult- by taking the batteries out of all the remote controls and hiding them for a week.

The next one I started out of spite which usually always works for me. Not this time. I had just finished reading Angel’s column on shoes. So I called her and said something along the lines of, “People who live in glass houses with an attic full of brand new couches, rugs and paintings, shouldn’t throw stones… Unless those stones are attached to a pair of ‘previously worn’ Jimmy Choo’s.” That turned into a, ‘you had to be there’ story.

Then the there’s the one that almost made the cut. I recently celebrated my 36th birthday. Not a big year. It’s not like turning 16, 18, 21 or 40. It was just a plain, middle of the road, “you’re too old to wear a halter top and too young to join AARP” type birthday. To help me celebrate this not so monumental day, my 3 running buddies took me out for a great birthday dinner, ran a ½ marathon with me and understood how important bladder control is for running and how delivering children destroys it. 

That’s it. I’m stuck. Stuck in a land of 1,000 stories and nothing to write about. At this very moment my children just started fighting. I’ve had to retreat to my bathroom to finish writing this. I’m even ignoring the loud crash followed by a hush, 2 sets of feet hurrying up the stairs and the gentle closing (and locking) of my oldest son’s bedroom door. I think about ignoring it completely and letting my husband deal with whatever mess has been made then I realize this could be my shot for a quirky little story about my boys. But it’s not worth it. I just don’t have time for the nervous breakdown I’ll deserve if they’ve broken another piece of my china.

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Wilson Living Magazine - Hickory Bluff Farm

Watch Out! Alpacas are on the move in Wilson County

Wilson Living Magazine - Hickory Bluff Farm



Did you know that over 50 Huacaya Alpacas live minutes away in Wilson County? Bill and Ruth Fuqua owners and operators of Hickory Bluff Farms on Lebanon Road in Mt Juliet, Tennessee, are one of six alpaca farms in Wilson County.

The bloodlines of the alpacas originate from Peru, Chile, Bolivia and New Zealand, but the Fuqua’s herd is 98% born and bred in the USA.Wilson Living Magazine - Alpacas at play

The average alpaca is about 36 inches tall at the withers and weighs about 150 pounds. They are very gentle & easy to handle.

Each and every alpaca on the Hickory Bluff Farm has a unique personality and has their own given name. Sonny, Kenobi Wan, Panache, Nicklas, Mia, Rosie, Stella, Joleen, Samari are just a few of the names you will hear if you’re passing through the farm. Personality is what you will witness as you pet and talk to the alpacas. Sonny was so nosey, he placed his nose directly onto my camera lens.

“They are very loyal and stay bonded to their family & friends throughout their lives. They even have mom & daughter spats” explains Ruth.

The average breeding age for girls is two and three for boys. Girls are socially more mature and develop a little earlier than the boys. Alpaca’s gestation is eleven months, with average of 12-16 pounds at birth and birthing is planned for April/May and November/ December. The moms and babies (crias) are weaned at six months. Several crias are born around the same time so they can have a group of friends to play with.

Alpacas hum in different tones to communicate with each other. When babies arrive, their moms teach them to hum in a special way. Then there’s a different humming and singing for dating calls. I guess you just have to be there to recognize the humming tones to know what they are asking or requesting for the different occasions. Amazingly, the Fuqua’s seem to know all the different tones.

Wilson Living Magazine - Items you can purchase at Alpaca FarmSome spitting usually occurs if one alpaca gets greedy with food or if one cuts in front of the other when relaxing on a hot day in the barn around the fans. Personalities come in to play similar to brothers and sisters fighting over space or just having a bad fleece day.

Shearing days are in late April and great care is taken to get the best “haircuts”. The fiber is entered into competitions, sold to spinners or processed into yarn. The fiber has a great return, which pays for the alpaca food bill every year. Each Alpaca produces about 6 pounds of fleece per year and their fleece is one of the world’s finest and most luxurious natural fibers. Soft as cashmere and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal Hickory Bluff has a wide selection of alpaca fiber, yarns and fine apparel either by online shopping or stopping by the farm for a visit.

One visit with the Fuqua’s and you may find yourself with thoughts of starting your very own alpaca farm. Little baby Gilda sure stole my heart!Wilson Living Magazine - Gilda

I was amazed at the calmness and ease of handling that I witnessed while taking pictures and walking with Ruth through the barns and pastures. Some of the Alpacas would actually stop and pose for me to take pictures and seemed to really enjoy the attention.

“Touch an Alpaca every day” is the motto at Hickory Bluff. Ruth states, “All that touching makes for better dispositions, calmer vet days and ease of handling. But we also believe the bottom line is to always let them be alpacas.”

Hickory Bluff Farms
7236 Lebanon Road • Mt Juliet, TN 37122
Farm Phone: 615-444-4765
Fax: 615-443-9099

Visits to the farm are by appointment only Farm Day event coming up on Sept 25 at the Wilson County Fairgrounds Entertainment Pavilion 9 am – 4 pm. Free admission and parking.

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Wilson Living Magazine - Rachael Jacobs with Roy and his wife Amy

Miracle In Chicago


Wilson Living Magazine - Rachael Jacobs with Roy and his wife AmyThe morning began like many for the preacher. I had shaved, showered, packed and was ready to catch a plane home to Nashville. I had just finished an enjoyable four days of ministering in Michigan. Ron, Gene and Joe had welcomed me into their church pulpits. God had blessed in each service. It was great to see and preach to many men I’d come to know and appreciate at the Michigan State Minister’s and Laymen’s Retreat.

I boarded the plane and it pushed away from the gate. The pilot announced that our plane would need de-icing before takeoff. I had a short connection time in Chicago and was periodically looking at my watch as we waited our turn. Finally after forty minutes, we raced down the runway and were airborne.

The flight was uneventful but I had a nagging concern that I might miss the connection in Chicago. I exited the plane and quickly realized my next flight was on the opposite end of the airport. I almost ran to the other side of the airport. Ah…. Relief, the Nashville flight had not boarded yet. I had made my connection. I parked my computer bag, pulled off my winter coat, reached for my cell phone……. then woke up in the Emergency Room of Holy Cross Hospital.

I didn’t know where I was or what had happened. When I opened my eyes, seated next to me was a nice blond lady whom I did not recognize. She introduced herself as Rachael Jacobs and said she was a flight attendant from Southwest Airlines. She began to recount a story that was nothing short of a miracle.

Rachael was off duty and on her way to Nashville to visit her parents. She was making small talk with the desk personnel in the gate area waiting for the flight to board. A passenger came to the desk reporting a man sick and needing assistance. Rachael found me slumped over, eyes rolled back in my head and blood leaking from one corner of my mouth. Her Southwest training kicked in. She took charge, yelled back to the desk to call the paramedics and summoned the surrounding men to help her pull my wedged arm from between the seats. They moved my unconscious body to the floor. Thinking this was a diabetic seizure, the normal protocol was to lay the person on the floor and let his or her body recover on its’ own. Rachael did something that went directly against her training. She called for a heart defibrillator.

As she recounted this part of the story, a pause and sense of awe filled in her voice, “it was as though a voice told me – he needs the defibrillator, he’s having a heart attack.”

There happened to be a doctor and ER nurse also waiting in the gate area on their way back to Nashville. It took about fifteen minutes for the paramedics to arrive and the shock to my heart to be applied. For fifteen minutes my brain was deprived of oxygen and my heart had stopped. For all practical purposes I had died. CLEAR….. The electric shock jolted my body….. no pulse. CLEAR a second time….. The electric shock jolted my body again leaving small red burn circles on my chest, but they had a pulse. I literally had come back from the dead. Rachael thought I was dead. She didn’t understand it, but felt impressed to go to the hospital and stay until my family could get there. She sat with me for several hours until my wife and children arrived.

I perked up and the ER personnel at first could not believe I’d suffered a heart attack. The blood work confirmed that indeed I’d suffered a massive heart attack. A heartcatheterization was scheduled for the next morning and the cardiologist shared his findings.

“Reverend Harris, you should not be here, you should be in the morgue” or similar words to that affect. You don’t smoke, drink, no blood pressure issues, not obese, no cholesterol problems, overall – you are in good physical condition. You have what is called the widow maker. You’re like an athlete who runs every day and is found on the side of the road dead of a heart attack. No apparent symptoms yet major heart issues are present. The main artery feeding the left side of your heart is 99% blocked. You also have another artery 90% blocked, two 70% blocked and another 30%, 5 blockages in all. You’ll have to lay perfectly still through the weekend to gain some strength and we’ll perform bypass surgery on Monday.”

The surgery was performed and was successful taking only 3 of the normal 6-8 hours. The report was great and by evening the respirator tube had been removed and I was sitting up and eating jello. By Saturday I boarded a plane back to Nashville.

I met four days later with my new Nashville cardiologist. After looking at my heart from every angle, the doctor could hardly believe what he’d found. Absolutely no damage to my heart! No heart rehabilitation therapy was needed! Nine days after surgery and I was far along on my road to recovery. He even allowed me to travel three weeks later alone to California and speak at the California Free Will Baptist State Men’s Retreat. God blessed and we saw 6 men saved and several other decisions for Christ.

I know you’ve just heard quite an unusual story. God truly performed a miracle. What makes this a miracle? First of all I normally have direct flights to and from Detroit but this trip called for a divine connection in Chicago. Second, Rachael Jacobs, a Cardiologist an ER nurse all were divinely selected and placed on my connecting flight in Chicago. Third, God timed my heart attack perfectly on the ground rather than on a plane. Fourth, a Jewish maiden obeyed the Spirit of God and deviated from standard procedure to deliver a shock that saved my life. Fifth, I suffered no permanent heart or brain damage despite being deprived of oxygen or blood flow for over fifteen to thirty minutes. Sixth, my recovery fast tracked to flying across country and preaching three sermons in two churches and four sermons at a state men’s retreat in less than five weeks from the day of the heart attack. Finally, God has used this episode to touch countless lives through a Southwest Airlines national radio interview. ( Title:When Rachael Met Roy), a USA cover story ( and countless opportunities to share with individuals and churches across America.

I didn’t see a bright light or travel down a dark tunnel. One thing I do know for sure. I experienced the protecting, guiding hand of the Lord. I never feared death and felt His divine peace that passes all understanding. Take it from one who truly has passed from death unto life, not only spiritually but in my case physically as well. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord. Life is a precious gift. Cherish each day and live it like it might be your last. One of those days will be. If you have doubts, just remember God’s Miracle in Chicago.

Roy W. Harris is a national conference, seminar and retreat speaker, minister, published author and journalist. He can be contacted by e-mail at roy@ This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his web site at

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Wilson Living Magazine - Showtyme Xtreme

Showtyme Xtreme

Shares the Love of Dance and More


Wilson Living Magazine - Showtyme XtremeTalking with Showtyme Xtreme Athletics & Dance owner, Tammy Fuller, brings back memories for many of us of scarring up Mom’s tile kitchen floor with heel taps, and poses in front of the mirror on toe shoes.

Tammy’s love of the dancing arts began when her mother put her in lessons at age 5. She has been dancing ever since.

“I love teaching dance and tumbling, and I love working with the kids,” said Tammy. “I have second generation moms who I taught, now bringing in their children,” she smiles.

Prior to teaching dance, Tammy was a cheerleader at Southside Elementary, Lebanon High School, and Cumberland University in Lebanon. At age 17, she was formally trained as a dance instructor in Chicago, through a two-year certification program with the National Association of Dance Masters. She opened her first dance studio with a partner nearly 26 years ago.

Today, Tammy puts her 30-plus years of dancing, cheerleading, and tumbling experience to good use. Showtyme Xtreme Athletics & Dance, located at 104 Oak Street in Lebanon, offers a multitude of classes for students from 3 year olds to adults.

“We want to encourage the love of dance, and we have programs for every age and skill level,” Tammy noted. Showtyme Xtreme currently offers classes in ballet, pointe, tumbling, jazz, tap, hip hop, clogging, acrobatics, and cheerleading. They have dance teams, some competitive teams, but most are performance teams. They also offer both recital and non-recital classes.

“The exciting time of year is when they get to start wearing their costumes. The students really look forward to that. It’s always fun when we have the recitals. That’s what many students dance all year in preparation for,” said Tammy.

Tammy noted that dance and cheerleading can also lead to college scholarships. Tammy herself was a recipient of a cheerleading scholarship to Cumberland University.Wilson Living Magazine - Tammy Fuller

“I have had several students receive college scholarships for dance, cheerleading, and theater arts. I have a former student who is interning right now in New York,” she said.

One of the things Tammy says she enjoys the most are the many friends she has made through her years of dance instruction, noting, she has taught thousands of students from Wilson County and surrounding counties. She laughs, “I often have people walk up to me and say, ‘Miss Tammy, do you remember me? I took lessons from you.

The fall instruction begins in mid-August and continues throughout the school year.

For more information, call (615) 453-8599, or visit the Showtyme Xtreme website at www.

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Wilson Living Magazine - Beauty



Wilson Living Magazine - BeautyI want to give you an insider scoop on beauty treatments of which many people are wary. One treatment that would fall into that category: laser hair removal.

Right NOW is the perfect time to make that appointment and save the aggravation of shaving. I’m sure razor burn is still fresh enough in your memory for you to be interested in a solution. Look no further than Skin Care Clinic to provide the remedy. The professionals at Skin Care Clinic were not only the most knowledgeable aesthetic staff I had ever encountered, but they were also extremely warm and friendly, explaining everything in detail as they treated me.

They were also very patient with my uneasiness. I had my bikini line done right before swimsuit season, which completely took the concern out of last minute pool or lake extravaganzas. Getting arm hair, facial hair, or anywhere you are self-conscious lasered is virtually pain-free, especially when applied with the numbing cream. The tiny prick that you occasionally encounter from the laser is minimal and very much worth the effort. The key reason you should make your appointment now is because the laser responds best to skin that has not been tanned. If you have naturally dark skin, you can still have this procedure done; it’s just that you do not want to purposefully increase color in your skin, as the laser responds to the dark pigment and zeros in on that to zap! I loved it and had a great experience with noticeable results. It was quick, easy, inexpensive, and enjoyable as they also let me jump on their scale each time I went to check body fat percentage, etc. (I bet you can talk them into this too). Make your appointment today and experience a worry-free summer.

Call Jaime at 449.3009.

Skin Care Clinic is located directly in front of UMC Hospital, Lebanon.


Erin Wants To Know: What is YOUR favorite skin care product you have ever used and why?

You can contact Erin at


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Wilson Living Magazine - Do you have good genes

Do You Have Good Genes (Jeans)

Wilson Living Magazine - Do you have good genes Continue reading “Do You Have Good Genes (Jeans)”

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Wilson Living Magazine - Whats Big Now

What’s Big Now

Wilson Living Magazine - Whats Big Now Continue reading “What’s Big Now”

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Wilson Living Magazine - Fall Makeover

Fall Makeover

Wilson Living Magazine - Fall Makeover Continue reading “Fall Makeover”

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Wilson Living Magazine - Neely Farm

Life is Good…. on the Neely Farm

Wilson Living Magazine - Neely Farm

Anyone up for a summer sleep-over at Gammy and Papa’s house?

Wilson Living Magazine - Two of the Neely GrandchildrenYou will be sure to hear the sweet sounds of one or more of our grandchildren, nieces and nephews ranging from twenty months to seventeen that visit our home daily. In the summer months we have sleepovers almost every week. As a matter of fact, for over thirty years our home has been the gathering spot for our children Telisha and James and their friends.

Jeff and I have two children, who both live in Gallatin. Our daughter Telisha is married to Brad Gaines, and they have four children, Taylor 12, Riley 10, Bradford Jr. 6, and Neely Grace 20 months. Our son James Neely is married to Kate and they have one son, Ian 6. Also on our farm are two horses, Java & Flicka, our dog Ceasar and plenty of wildlife.

Our sleep-over parties consist of pizza served on our plastic McDonalds and SpongeBob plates and everyone’s favorite dessert, Grammy’s homemade strawberry cake. The children enjoy picking veggies from the garden, BB gun target shooting, feeding apples to our horses and finding grubby tadpoles in the pond.

At sunset, it’s off to the candle lit back porch with our popcorn, sweet tea and Teavana hot tea. We start the night off playing “I Spy Something with my Eyes” until it gets so dark that our eyes can only spy the flames from the candles. Next on the agenda is running around the yard with flashlights and a cage on a mission to catch toads and more toads.Wilson Living Magazine - The boss (youngest grandchild) and niece.

After a long dirty sweaty afternoon, the master bathroom lights go out for the final sleep-over treat. We will highlight the night with a bubble bath, including candles surrounding the clawfoot tub.

Papa is the official bedtime book reader and the breathing encyclopedia. I take charge of cuddling and tickling backs.

Grammy & Papa’s home will always be open for all of our family and friends because we love having them as much as they love being there. “Our piece of the good life” is right here.

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Wilson Living Magazine - Delaine with mother Betty Freeman

Continuing A Family Tradition

Wilson Living Magazine - Delaine with mother Betty Freeman

By Angel Kane

From a young age, Betty Freeman had a passion for horses. A passion passed down to her from her father, Lester Bradford, who raised Tennessee Walking Horses in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Almost from the time Betty could walk, her father had her riding and, in no time, she was competing in world-class riding events.

Continue reading “Continuing A Family Tradition”

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