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TRIAD HEATING & COOLING
we’re ready when you are Wake Forest Baptist Health looks forward to welcoming you back. As we resume surgeries and in-person care, our promise is to keep you safe, healthy and COVID-19-protected.
Following the advice of our Infectious Disease experts, we are: • Practicing social distancing in all of our clinic locations. • Minimizing wait times in common areas. • Asking our patients to join all providers and clinic staff in wearing masks and providing masks upon arrival. • Limiting visitors, with few exceptions. • Cleaning our facilities following strict sanitation protocols. • Conducting screenings for COVID-19 symptoms— for our providers and for you upon arrival. • Providing COVID-19 testing for all patients undergoing surgery. • Offering expanded access to virtual visits via phone or video. • Staffing ten designated respiratory assessment clinics for patients with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, separate from regular clinic locations.
Christopher Ohl, MD Infectious Disease Specialist
care for life For more information, visit WakeHealth.edu/GetCare. To schedule an appointment, call 888-716-WAKE. 2 | asheboromagazine.com
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Publisher’s COMMUNITY Letter NEWS
his month I thought I would do a little something different. A sweet South Carolina family wrote a letter to the me after a recent trip to the NC Zoo, and I thought I would share that with our readers. We sometimes forget what a great resource we have right in our very own backyard. I hope January is treating you well, and 2021 is a much better year than the last. I look forward to what 2021 has to offer and seeing all of you out and about again in the future - with our masks and socially distanced of course! Stay Healthy, and Happy Reading,
Dear Publisher, I have traveled with my family and friends to many places at and around the Triad area of North Carolina in my day. Seeing places with my family and friends thru the years such as the Downtown area of Winston Salem, walking around Wake Forrest University; and shopping through Hanes Mall in Winston Salem and Four Seasons Mall in Greensboro I found very interesting and intriguing through your side of North Carolina. But the place I have to visit over and over again in your area is the great North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro NC. Licence plates with cars from all around the country and even from Canada were in the parking lots at the NC Zoo during the summer of 2018 when my family visited there. And after this cold weather and coronavirus of the winter of 2021, we might get to go again this year during summertime. It is one of North Carolina's greatest tourist attractions and happenings. I really liked at the North Carolina Zoo there are two sides of the park with different kinds of animals, such as North America and Africa. It is a very big, sprawling park; it really is the biggest Zoo in all America. And that was very interesting. Seeing the Lions, giraffes, tigers, and hippopotamus animals there was a great sight indeed! It is a very popular venue in America, because when I went there in the summer of 2018 cars were jam packed at the parking spaces with people from all around the country. And I also found interesting that there is a gift shop at the front of the Africa side; and in the middle of the Africa side you could buy refreshments. I have a picture of my family in front of the gift shop on the Africa side from our visit in 2018 that I kept to this day. So everyone, when you are in the Asheboro area visit the North Carolina Zoo. It truly is a place beyond compare. Steven Hawkins is from Greenville SC. Since 2014 he has published letters to the editor in newspapers and magazines in South Carolina and North Carolina. In 2019 he published a collection of his letters and writings through AuthorHouse, a self-publishing company, entitled "Letters from South Carolina."
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Triad Heating & Cooling
n 1982, Danny Ward left Eveready Battery, where he worked as a mechanic, and started Triad Heating & Cooling with a partner. The original location was directly across from Zeko’s on North Fayetteville Street. They started from scratch and worked hard to build up a base of customers. The business was incorporated in 1986, and Danny took on full ownership in the early 1990’s. They moved to their current location in 2000, which was originally built as two chicken houses, but was only used for that purpose for a year before being converted to a flea market, which ran for 20 years. Danny purchased the buildings, and then poured concrete for the floors and remodeled the insides over the next two years. Triad now has 27,000 sq. ft. of space where they manufacture all of their custom ductwork. “Every house is so different, that in order to properly install a unit, if we don’t build the ductwork, it’s not going to be custom.” Eric Ward grew up in the business. At the age of 12, he was riding along with the crew, crawling around underneath houses helping install new units. He never had any intention of running the business. When he graduated high school, he
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studied Mechanical Engineering and got a job with an HVAC company doing large scale multi-family apartment complexes. He worked four days a week and came home on Fridays, usually spending that day having lunch with his Dad. One of those Friday lunches, his Dad mentioned that he was thinking of selling the business and retiring. Danny realized the business was at a crossroads, and it was time to adapt or get out. At that time, everything in the office was done by hand – handwritten tickets were given out to the technicians each morning to give them their workload, they would finish the work, write down what they did for each job, and then turn them in at the end of the day to be billed to the customer. It was a very inefficient system and needed to be upgraded and computerized. Until that time, Eric had never considered being a part of the business, yet when his dad mentioned selling, he could not picture the business not being in the family. Fortunately, he had taken his Dad’s advice when he was younger and had passed his mechanical and electrical licenses, as well as a real estate license so he suggested to his Dad that he buy him out. In 2009 Eric began to slowly work into the business, and he officially purchased the business from his father in 2011. Danny is now fully retired, and it was the best decision he ever made. Eric immediately took on the monumental task of modernizing the business. He launched their website, changed the business to a more retail driven focus, and began offering financing and credit terms. He also bit the bullet and had three of the company trucks wrapped, which was one of the smartest things they ever did, he said. “It built a lot of credibility in the community, people started thinking we had this huge fleet of trucks because they would see them driving around town with our logo.” Eric also computerized the office and replaced paper tickets with a very state of the art software that incorporates their phone system, customer management software, and the technicians in the field so that in real time they can see what is happening with a customer’s account, know the minute a technician arrives and finishes with a job, and the exact work that was done as it is completed. In addition, it contacts the customer via text message, letting them know that information as well and sends a quick satisfaction survey for asheboromagazine.com | 9
to allow Triad to service the citizens of Guilford and Alamance County. But he didn’t stop there. He sought out a business that would expand the company to the western part of the state. In 2018, Eric purchased Custom Heating & Cooling in Jonesville, NC, right next to Elkin. The company was run similar to how Triad was run when he purchased it from his Dad. When asked if he had any future expansion plans, Eric said he is definitely looking to expand to other areas, perhaps Troy, Albemarle, Southern Pines, Graham, Mebane or even Siler City if the right opportunity comes along. With offices in three locations, they are able to keep busy even in slow times. When the Elkin office had a slowdown recently, the local office was busy laying 1,000 linear feet of ductwork at the new Holiday Inn Express construction project here in Asheboro. Technicians from Elkin drove down every day to work, rather than be laid off or sitting idle waiting for calls. Despite the pandemic, 2020 volume was higher than at any time in their history. Eric attributes that to people being home during the day and using their systems more. Eric says a lot of their the work that has been done when the tech is business comes from satisfied customers spreading finished. This has allowed Eric to increase their web their satisfaction by word of mouth and their high presence because these satisfaction surveys link Google reviews. Every customer is asked how they directly to their Google rating. heard about Triad Heating & Cooling, and they hear Eric’s vision from day one was to grow the business it all day long, “I read your reviews on Google.” and expand to different regions of North Carolina. Along with expanding the business, Eric also Eric’s first step towards achieving that was focuses on giving back to the very communities opening an office in Greensboro, North Carolina that contribute to making his business so
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successful. In 2016, Eric put much consideration into an impactful way Triad could give back to the community. They launched the “Gift of Warmth Giveaway.” The giveaway is initiated at the beginning of every December, and the giveaway takes place later that month. Any one is able to nominate a deserving family by submitting the story of why they believe the family is a good candidate for a completely new heating unit. The first year of the giveaway, they received over 100 applications with 72 of them being for the same couple, a teacher at Teachey Elementary who had no heat in her home. With such an incredible story, it made the decision easy when it came time to select the winner. On the last workday of the year, the staff sits down and goes through the nominations that Eric has narrowed down to the top 5 or 6 and helps choose a winner. They do the announcement like a Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, with Eric showing up at the door of the unsuspecting winner. They have given away heat pumps in ‘16, ’17, ‘18 and ’19. In 2020, with the pandemic shutting down local restaurants and creating hardships for business owners and families alike, Eric decided to do something a little different- “The Golden Standard Double Down.” He turned to Facebook and challenged his followers to go out and purchase gift cards to various local non-essential businesses and eateries. Upon submitting a copy of the gift card/receipt they purchased, Eric then matched the same gift card and amount. By doing this giveaway, Eric was able to give out over 50 gift cards to local businesses. He is hoping to do something like that again in Spring, 2021. Through Triad Heating & Cooling, Eric places a lot of emphasis on providing the best possible services to their customers. By doing so, Eric partners with American Standard because of the quality of the workmanship, and the back end side of the business. Although Eric can purchase and install any brand, American Standard is the #1 top brand for quality and stands behind their work. Triad Heating & Cooling is the only Platinum Dealer in Randolph County for American Standard, and with their high Google reviews rating, they are able to offer financing terms of 0% for 60 months, 5 years no interest payments. Triad Heating & Cooling sells and installs whole house generators for a backup energy source when the power goes out, and they also install gas logs asheboromagazine.com | 11
and fireplaces. Not only does Eric offer the best possible equipment, he also instills in his employees to deliver each customer with the highest level of customer service. Eric has high praise for his team, “My install guys are the best in the business. Once a unit is fully installed and they have dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘T,’ our Service Manager goes back for a quality control audit and double checks that everything has been done. He checks every component for all details that could potentially have been overlooked, from the smallest piece of hardware to plugging an intake hole. I want to make sure that we deliver on our promise of excellence every time. My dad always said, ‘Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.’ My guys probably get sick of hearing that from me, but it’s true.” Triad Heating & Cooling offers a Maintenance Contract for $199 a year which schedules two cleanings of your system per year. He has a dedicated technician whose only job is to perform maintenance. Most companies have their install techs doing maintenance in the slow seasons. This dedicated technician washes the coils, cleans
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the ductwork, changes filters, and performs other maintenance to keep your unit running at top efficiency for years. Behind every successful businessman is a supporting woman. Eric met his wife, Jessica in school and they have actually dated since they were 12 years old. They dated for nine years through middle and high school. In March 2021; they will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. They have three children, Jaxon, age 7; Ellie, age 3; and Tate, age 1. What started out as a way to serve the people of Asheboro has now grown to serving multiple surrounding counties with nearly a 50-mile radius around Asheboro, Greensboro, and Elkin! Triad has certainly grown as a company, but the values that they were founded on have not. Today the #1 goal of Triad Heating & Cooling, Inc. is to provide the best quality heating & air conditioning service and installation, while maintaining the highest level of integrity! Visit their website to learn more about their residential and commercial heating and cooling services at www.triadheating.com, or call or text the office at 336.629.7588.
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Ask the COMMUNITY expert Taxes NEWS
TAX LAW CHANGES FOR 2020 TO KNOW WHEN YOU FILE YOUR TAX RETURN
hile we were expecting 2020 to be a quiet year in terms of tax law changes. But, boy, were we ever wrong! The government funding bills signed by President Trump in December 2019 included a lot of tax provisions. The economic stimulus packages enacted in March 2020 to help boost the U.S. economy dragged down by the coronavirus added more. Plus, there are several other 2020 tweaks from new rules or annual inflation adjustments. All in all, this means American taxpayers are staring at a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year. Here are a few for you to digest while contemplating your 2020 tax return: Stimulus Check Did you get it or not? If so, then great, nothing more to do on your return other than state how much you received. If you didn’t get any stimulus money, the great news is that you can ask for both the 1st and 2nd stimulus as part of your tax
return. Remember both payments were based on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns and if you didn’t get the stimulus because your income on these returns was too high, if your income went down in 2020 you could qualify when you file your return. Charitable Gift Deduction In a new move, nonitemizers can write off up to $300 of charitable cash contributions. This is a new “above-the-line” deduction for 2020 only. It also applies only for people who don’t file Schedule A. This write-off is per return, meaning married couples who file jointly can only deduct $300, not $600. Standard Deductions Many of the standard deduction amounts were increased for 2020. Married couples get $24,800 ($24,400 for 2019), plus $1,300 for each spouse age 65 or older. Singles can claim a $12,400 standard deduction ($12,200 for 2019)—$14,050 if they’re at least 65 ($13,850 for 2019). Head-
Ryan Dodson has a Masters in Accounting from North Carolina State University. He worked in public accounting with Deloitte and Arthur Andersen. He and his wife Tiffany own and operate Liberty Tax Service. 405 East Dixie Drive•Asheboro, NC 27203 (336) 629-4700 14 | asheboromagazine.com
of-household filers get $18,650 for their standard deduction ($18,350 for 2019), plus an additional $1,650 once they reach age 65. Blind people can tack on an extra $1,300 to their standard deduction ($1,650 if they’re unmarried and not a surviving spouse). Student Loan Payments by Employeres In a new move, the CARES Act allows employers to pay down up to $5,250 in workers’ college loans in 2020. The payments are excluded from the workers’ wages for federal tax purposes. The $5,250 cap applies to both student loan repayment benefits and other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books, etc.) offered by an employer under current law. Education Tax Breaks The deduction for tuition and fees was “extended” out through 2020, however, most of us take either the lifetime learning credit or the American Opportunities Tax Credit. Those phase out ranges were increased in 2020 for both of those credits. There are two significant expansions to the 529 college savings plans. First, funds can now be used to pay for fees, books, supplies and equipment for certain apprenticeship programs. In addition, up to $10,000 in total (not annually) can be withdrawn to
pay off student loans. Standard Mileage Rates The 2020 standard mileage rate for business driving fell from 58¢ to 57.5¢ a mile. The mileage allowance for medical travel and military moves also declined from 20¢ to 17¢ a mile in 2020. However, the charitable driving rate stayed put at 14¢ a mile—it’s fixed by law. Medical Expenses The 2020 threshold for deducting medical expenses on Schedule A is 7.5% of AGI. The adjusted-gross-income threshold was slated to jump from 7.5% to 10% after 2018, but the 2019 government funding law revived the 7.5% figure for 2019 and 2020. And so 2020 ends another year of numerous tax law changes. I’d like to add changes to Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “…..but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Our staff completes over 30 hours of training every year to make sure we are up to date on the latest tax law changes. Come by and see us at 405 E. Dixie Drive in Asheboro or call us at 336-6294700. We can complete returns in person (with proper safety protocols), drop off or touch free using our app.
asheboromagazine.com | 15
Ask the COMMUNITY expert Orthodontics NEWS
WHO SHOULD SEE THE ORTHODONTIST?
hen most people think about braces, they often picture pre-teens and teenagers with colorful brackets, rubber bands, and headgear. From children in their early elementary school years to adults in their sixties, braces and clear aligners may serve a very helpful purpose. If you have difficulty biting, chewing, speaking, or feel like your teeth protrude, are crowded, or are out-of-place, orthodontics may be helpful for you. Other complications may not be so obvious, but include difficulty closing your lips, mouth breathing, clenching or grinding of your teeth, frequent shifting of your jaws, clicking/popping/ pain in your jaws, and unintentional biting of your cheek. If any of these problems pertain to you, or you have questions about your bite and the alignment of your teeth, then it may be beneficial to seek help from an orthodontist. When should your first orthodontic visit be? Many people are unaware that orthodontic monitoring should start at a much earlier age and that you don’t have to have any of the problems listed above in order to visit the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check up with an Orthodontic specialist by the age of 7. Many conditions are much easier to treat if caught early and some interventions may prevent more serious problems from developing. Also, phase I or early treatment may shorten or lessen the complexity of phase II (secondary) treatment. Excessive spacing or crowding, open bite, deep bite, crossbites of the
front or back teeth, underbites, abnormal eruption patterns, and early loss of baby teeth are a few problems to watch for in children between the ages 6 to 8. Early treatment gives the orthodontist the opportunity to help guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma to your front teeth, correct oral habits like thumb sucking, improve appearance, guide teeth into a more favorable position, and improve self-esteem. Why the orthodontist? Orthodontic treatment is a very complex biological process that affects the growth and development of facial soft tissues and bones. Orthodontists are dental specialists who complete four years of undergraduate schooling, four years of dental school, and two to three years of an orthodontic residency. Orthodontists are trained to catch subtle problems with jaw growth and
Dr. Kaysie Mills went to college at Auburn University and the University of Louisville. She continued on to dental school in Louisville and then pursued orthodontics at the University of Colorado. 513 White Oak Street | Asheboro (336) 625-2044
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erupting teeth, and they are able to decipher the difference between orthodontic problems and normal developmental variations. What does your first appointment look like? At your first appointment the orthodontist will begin by collecting your records which may include two different types of x-rays, many photographs, a thorough intraoral examination, and stone or digital models of your teeth. From these records your orthodontist will determine your treatment goals and develop a custom treatment plan to accomplish these goals. A timeline for your treatment may also be mentioned at this appointment. Your initial check-up might reveal that your child’s bite is fine, or the orthodontist may identify a problem and recommend waiting to start treatment until a more appropriate time. Orthodontic treatment is not a quick process. Once your treatment begins it is very important to keep appointments, which are typically scheduled every 4-8 weeks, so that your orthodontist can monitor and adjust your treatment as needed. Remember to visit your dentist while in braces at least every 6 months, watch what you eat, avoid
sugary drinks, and try your best to have 100% compliance with any appliances or elastics included in your treatment plan. With guidance from the orthodontist, your efforts can help you achieve a confidant smile that will last a lifetime. Check out grinzortho.com or stop by Grinz Orthodontics to receive your free consultation and learn about your treatment options.
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336.879.0848 warrencoble.com asheboromagazine.com | 17
THE GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING
is better to give than to receive.” That’s always been the saying but seeing the faces of the Randolph Senior Adults Association Meals On Wheels recipients receive their Stockings of Care this holiday season was reason to think otherwise! The senior holiday gift project began several years ago when employees at RSAA decided to start collecting donated personal care items to give to the Meals On Wheels recipients at Christmas as a way of getting necessity items to them while bringing a little extra joy. Many of these folks live alone and are unable to get out to a store or some lack the money to purchase the simple necessities such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brushes, even toilet paper. Toilet paper? Enter “2020”. The past year has obviously been one of the most challenging for our seniors. Isolation, loneliness, and the fear of contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus took its toll on most everyone, however, seniors have really struggled with these specific effects. On top of that, many necessity personal care items have
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been at times very hard to find, so it was even more important this holiday season for us at RSAA to deliver the Christmas gifts and make them extra special! Over the past couple of years, the Christmas gift program for Meals On Wheels recipients has evolved into the “Stockings of Care” project. Thanks to a talented group of sewing ladies headed by Gwen Wright, the seniors now receive their gifts in beautifully hand-made Christmas stockings. This past season the community really got behind this project. There have been more seniors in need, and we were able to deliver more stockings with useful and thoughtful gift items than ever before. Plenty of socks for all recipients were provided by Kayser-Roth Hosiery. Also, thanks to Zooland Civitan Club, we were able to include plush warm blankets for each recipient. Once the stockings were sewn and all of the items were collected and organized, a small group of employees and volunteers stuffed each stocking with the gift items (including toilet paper!) along with a
few holiday treats while “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack played in the background. It was a fun and rewarding time together stuffing the stockings because we knew these stockings were made and filled with love for our seniors. They were delivered through coordination by our 4 senior centers in December with the Meals On Wheels food boxes. For some of these recipients, this was their only gift and seeing the light on their faces when handed their stockings was a gift in itself. For those who made the stockings, donated money and gift items, collected and organized items, stuffed the stockings, and for those who personally delivered them to the recipients… we are so thankful. For information on becoming involved in this and other projects supporting senior adult living contact Jill Jackson, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at 336-625-3389.
EASY HEALTHY EGG MUFFINS Ingredients 1 large Carton of Egg Beaters® or beaten egg whites from 18 eggs (Using Egg Beaters is easier!) Then get creative with the rest! Chopped ham or Canadian bacon Chopped red, yellow, orange bell peppers Sliced mushrooms Chopped green onions Sliced grape tomatoes Chopped zuchinni Chopped broccoli Fresh spinach or kale Bag of Italian shredded cheese and/or Reduced fat feta cheese
First, spray your muffin pan or pans with nonstick cooking spray. Add any veggies you want and meat (if desired) to each muffin cup, pinch of salt and pepper (if desired) and top with a sprinkle of cheeses. Pour the Egg Beaters® or egg whites over the ingredients in each cup to about ¾ full or just over the ingredients. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Let the egg muffins cool and then remove from the pans. Store in a plastic container in refrigerator. You can re-heat these nutrient-packed egg muffins in just a few seconds in the microwave during the week for breakfast or lunch. For lunch, you can always add a nice green salad! asheboromagazine.com | 19
THE GENERAL WINE & BREW OPENS IN SEAGROVE!
avid Fernandez has been making pottery for more than 45 years. He has exhibited in the most prestigious juried art shows throughout the country and continues to maintain his market outside of the area by attending 30 to 35 shows a year around the country, as well as selling his work at Seagrove Stoneware along with Alexa Modderno. When the pandemic hit in March, and shut everything down, it canceled all of the shows and festivals that he had planned to attend this year. So he and Alexa started looking around for other ideas to occupy them and in April, the concept of The General Wine & Brew was born. They relocated Seagrove Stoneware to the vacant bank building nearby and began to remodel their previous location, the old General Store, over the summer. Darian Walker of Bodhi Land and Design in Raleigh was hired as the architect. He is the son-inlaw of Mike Walker, a former Mayor of Seagrove, and also worked on the Luck’s Cannery project. They hired Richard Schoenberger of Manor House Graphics to create the logo. The building itself is over 100 years old, and they wanted to keep the character of the old general store, while offering a space that is wonderfully comfortable and fun. They built a beautiful bar, with lots of seating, as well as whiskey barrels as tables around the floor. The whiskey barrels are on wheels, so the space can be configured a number of ways, or they can be moved completely out of the way for yoga classes on Sundays when they are closed (followed by mimosas, of course!) David’s pool table is being utilized as a large
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gathering table with a custom-made cover, which can be quickly converted back to a pool table or evenused for ping pong. The space is very versatile and will offer visitors and groups many hours of entertainment. In the corner under the large screen tv, there is even an acoustic guitar hanging that they are hoping will attract local artists to “drop in” and play a few sets in the evenings. With a large outdoor deck for additional seating and plans to expand into the woods along the driveway with tables and firepits in the Spring, The General Wine & Brew will be sure to attract a great following. Local
David Fernandez & Alexa Modderno
restaurants have already agreed to deliver food to the location, so you can grab a glass of wine or beer and have the food delivered right to you. They kept the décor minimal intentionally, to enhance the beauty of the old building. A glass artist that David met and became friends with over the years, Sabra Richards, is the only artist displayed at this time with three beautiful pieces hanging on the wall next to the bar offering a vibrant pop of color. The bar is made up of 100s of buttons embedded in it for hours of entertainment. Each time you sit at the bar, you find new and funny things to read – and they made all of them themselves, except the smallest ones. There are celebrities, witty and sarcastic sayings, political slogans, local potters, family, and friends from the area. Every seat at the bar gives you a new perspective of delight and discovery.
With four taps running local favorites, and a cooler stocked full of great beers, the beer lover is sure to find something pleasing to their palette and as Alexa and David are both wine connoisseurs, they offer a great selection by the glass or you can buy the bottle to take with you. David is very active in the Seagrove community. He is currently on the Advisory Board for Luck’s Cannery and has served on the boards of the Seagrove Area Potters Association and the NC Pottery Center. He was a Town Commissioner and is the current Mayor of Seagrove. Alexa and David are splitting their time between the two shops, but as they get busier and the business grows, they will be looking to add more staff. Through the winter, their hours will be Tuesday through Thursday 4 to 8 pm, Friday 4 to 9 pm, and Saturday 12 to 9 pm and they are currently closed Sunday and Monday. It is worth the drive through the beautiful Randolph County countryside to check out this new spot in downtown Seagrove. Located at 124 W Main Street, right before the light coming from the highway, it is easy to find. Like them on Facebook to keep up with events at www. facebook.com/TheGeneralWineandBrew. Slainté! (pronounced [SLAHN-che] where the t is silent.)
asheboromagazine.com | 21
Herb 'n Garden
by Sue Baltes
Being a lover of printed media I have always enjoyed reading magazines and books about plants and gardening, plus finding ideas to share, so I was happy when I got a message from Asheboro Magazine asking if I would like to be a contributing writer to my home town publication. My first article was due for the February issue so I thought of the many articles I had written the past few years about roses – the flower of love – and other gifts for Valentines Day. And then I realized I’d never written about everlasting flowers and that would be a perfect subject since February is the month we think of generally as the month of love and everlasting romance. 22 | asheboromagazine.com
Everlastings get their name from being flowers that retain their color and form even when dried. Some of my favorites are lavender, statice, eucalyptus,
yarrow, straw flower, globe, sweet Annie Artemisia, hydrangea blooms and bay leaves are just some of my favorites for using as everlastings in different projects. But I’m sure my all-time favorite way to use them is for making wreaths. I love the romantic look of a dried wreath, and if you use herbs like lavender, eucalyptus, and even bay leaves you’ll have not only a pretty wreath but on e that is aromatic as well. I made one about three years ago and have it hanging on a mirror in my living room that looks as good as when I first made it. After my daughter’s wedding in the mountains last October, as we were leaving I looked at all the beautiful flowers and thought “What a waste to just leave them” so I had my husband load them all in the back of our SUV for the trip back to Asheboro. The next day I took all the arrangements apart and separated them into groupings of flowers for drying and ended up with enough to make several wreaths and swags. This made me think everlasting flowers would also be great for weddings as a practical alternative to fresh flowers, since they wouldn’t wilt in the heat and corsages and bouquets could be made up in advance of the big event. Just a thought. asheboromagazine.com | 23
Everlasting flowers are fascinating plants to grow. Not only are they beautiful from their first bloom but they can be enjoyed for several years. As you plan for your spring plantings think about growing some of these amazing flowers for future projects like wreaths. Or, if you are lucky enough to get a bouquet of cut flowers that happen to include statice, yarrow, or other dried flowers in that bouquet, save them and try making a wreath. I’ve even dropped by my local florist and bought everlastings to dry – they deal with fresh cuts daily and will know just what you need to make an everlasting wreath or craft. My instructions for making an everlasting wreath is as follows. Start with a wire wreath form, they come in several sizes from 6” round up to 24” round, plus heart-shapes. Layer the form in Spanish moss, which is a great dried botanical, and secure it with thin gauge fishing line. Once the form is covered you can start by attaching your dried flowers using a floral adhesive or hot glue. You can cover the entire wreath or try adding flowers down just one side and add a pretty bow. family and friends by making individual gifts or just There are so many projects for using everlastings grow them in your yard or garden. Either way, just year round, so surprise yourself and delight your ENJOY!
Sue Baltes is the owner of Herb 'n Garden shop on the corner of Academy Street and Bicentennial Park. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. 24 | asheboromagazine.com
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Tara hill-Starks Grandma, I Got This!
ara Hill graduated from Asheboro High School in 1992. She then went on to Catawba College, in Salisbury, NC where she graduated with a Business Management degree in 1996. Tara moved to Ohio to work for Energizer Battery as an Operations Supervisor for two years. When that facility closed down, she moved to Rocky Mount, NC to work for Abbott Laboratories as an Operations Supervisor. She worked for Abbott for seven years, before moving closer to home to take a position in High Point at Banner Pharma Caps. She applied for and was accepted as a business teacher at Southeastern Randolph Middle School, in Ramseur, NC. While there, she went back to school to get her teaching certificate at NC A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. She accepted a position at Kernodle Middle School in Greensboro, and while she was teaching there, she got her MBA. She met her husband through her best friend, and although they had been aware of each other throughout the years, they really connected at a housewarming party in 2015, and were married in 2016. He was working as an air traffic controller at the BWI airport in Baltimore, MD at the time, but in 2017 was relocated to Myrtle Growing up, one of the biggest influences in Tara’s
life was her Grandmother, Mary Mathilda Ray. Her grandmother taught her to be nice to others no matter who they are or what they believe. She instilled in Tara basic life skills that have helped her through the years and taught her to give back. When her grandmother passed away in 2016, she knew she wanted to remember her in some meaningful way, so that is when she started writing a book. She approached Tellwell Talent, a self-publishing company based in British Columbia who works with writers to publish their books in the US, Canada, and Europe. They secured an illustrator for the book, Cleoward Sy, who did a wonderful job. The book, Grandma, I Got This! came out in hard cover and paperback in November 2020. The main character of the book, JJ, is based on her three-year-old son. “JJ is a young and energetic boy. He learns valuable life lessons taught by his adoring and wise grandmother. JJ puts these lessons into action! He shares his toys and counts his blessings. JJ makes his grandmother proud. Will JJ remember these lessons when Grandma goes away? What can YOU learn from Grandma?” Throughout the book JJ learns valuable lessons at Grandma’s knee, how loving others, showing forgiveness asheboromagazine.com | 27
Tara Hill-Starks signing books at Our Daily Bread over the holidays
28 | asheboromagazine.com
and being thankful will lead to an abundant life. Tara wanted to honor her grandmother and the wonderful lessons learned from her by sharing that knowledge with her son, and the next generation. “It’s about having a good character, teaching children good values and habits that will stay with them in the years ahead. That was what was taught to me by my Grandmother and what I will teach my son.” Tara’s pastor when she was young was Rev. Dr. Dora L. Atlas, the founder of the Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Asheboro, NC. Over the recent holidays, Tara was invited to hold a book signing at Our Daily Bread Kitchen by Gene Woodle, the Director of the soup kitchen, and she donated a portion of the proceeds from that event to continue the mission that Dr. Atlas started so many years ago. All of the proceeds from Tara’s book sales will continue to go to worthy causes that she is passionate about including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Drawers of Hope Resource Center in High Point, NC and wherever the need is. Although Tara is not a social media person, she knew in order to promote her book she would have to learn, and it has been very gratifying to connect with past teachers and classmates who have reached out in support of her project. It took over a year to write the book, and through frustration and many tears she got through it. The book, Grandma, I Got This! is dedicated to her grandmother, Mary Mathilda Ray and you can pick up a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book retailers. Follow her on Facebook – www.facebook.com/ tara.hillstarks - to keep up with events and promotions, and other upcoming projects.
Grandma, I Got This! by Tara Hill-Starks JJ is a young and energetic boy. He learns valuable life lessons taught by his adoring and wise grandmother. JJ puts these lessons into action! He shares his toys and counts his blessings. JJ makes his grandmother proud. Will JJ remember these lessons when Grandma goes away? What can you learn from Grandma? PAPERBACK • HARDCOVER • EBOOK
About The Author Tara Hill-Starks is an education professional who has a passion for children and didactic learning. Her latest work, Grandma, I Got This!, is inspired by the teachings she received from her grandmother as a young child, as well as by the wisdom shared by her pastor as an adult. With a Master's in Business Administration, Tara has a flair for all things business. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The author enjoys living at the beach with her husband and son.
authortarahillstarks.com asheboromagazine.com | 29
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