December 2013 web

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NOTE: You can find links to all of these articles from the homepage Boom! Bits: Dining In—Tips for Celebrating a Delicious and Healthy Holiday; Book Review— The Origin of the Power of Money; AutoMode— The Audi Q7; Wines for the Holidays Lifestyle: The AARP Driver Safety Course Finance: The Dreaded Insurance Cancelation Letter


7. Greg’s Corner: Apathy, Voting Rights and the Media 8. 2013 Alternative Gift-Giving Guide 28. Cover: Anjelica Huston: Fathers, Lovers, Husbands 29. Fifty & Fabulous: Sheila Kay Adams

live smart

16. Economics 101: Return of Goldilocks? 16. Year-End Financial and Tax Planning 17. Boosting Your Retirement Income With Rental Homes 18. Plan Now for the Unexpected to Lessen Heartache Later 18. Life Insurance Benefits Taxed or Not Taxed at Your Death?

live well

20. Six Weight-Gain Rationalizations You Should Avoid This Holiday Season 22. Exercise, Good Nutrition: Key to Avoiding Diabetes 26. What is QiGong? 26. Meditation for Health

live large 30. 30. 32. 39.

Lifelong Learning: Preparing for Retirement Transitions: Inspiration in Your Own Backyard Angkor Wat: World’s Largest Religious Site Arts Spotlight

boom! bits 5. 6. 6. 14. 34. 40. 41. 42.

Chatter/Your Letters Ask Mr. Modem Social Media Made Easy to Rock Your Business AutoMode: Old Car Trivia December Calendar 12 Years a Slave Movie Review Volunteerism: Prepare for Your Pet December Puzzle

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If You Feed Them, They Will Come A MUsING MINd by BiLL Massey

Published by Prime Communications of the Triangle, Inc. 106 Huntsmoor Lane | Cary, NC 27513 919.302.3329 | Office/Fax 919.462.0141 |

In lieu of our traditional greeting, we invite you to enjoy Bill Massy’s story on Thanksgiving Dinner. We thought it was so delightful we couldn’t share holiday greetings any better than this! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and we will see you in 2014!

Publisher Barbara Petty |


’m sure the Pilgrims had a lot to be thankful for back in the day, not the least of which was that the horde of Indians surrounding them was basically friendly—kind of like my horde of in-laws. I am thankful that my family—my sister, brother, and I—is small. The three of us have never been close-knit. It’s not that we dislike each other; it’s just that we saw way too much of each other growing up in a five-room farmhouse with five adult relatives. On the other hand, my wife’s family—26 Irish-Catholic Donnellys—is large and larger-than-life. They never forego any occasion to congregate— Thanksgiving Day, Groundhog Day, Election Day, Laundry Day, or Saturday—and when the Donnelly clan concludes a get-together, it reminds me of an episode of The Waltons: “Good night Mama … good night Papa … good night Grandpa … good night Mary Ellen … good night Ben … good night John Boy.” Several years ago it was decided (in my absence) that our home would be the official site of the Donnelly family’s annual gratitude gathering, and every year since, in her typical Martha Stewart manner, my wife has gotten our house completely ready for each of the ensuing Thankful Thursdays, including having all the tables completely set—plates, silverware, glassware, linen napkins, candles, and centerpieces—by the previous Sunday night. Me: “Honey, there aren’t any plates left in the cabinet for dinner.” My wife: “That’s why I bought paper plates, silly!” Me: “What about silverwa … uh … never mind … I see the box of plastic forks!” I always expect everyone to show up about Tuesday afternoon for a dress rehearsal. The thing I miss most about our holiday meal seating arrangements these days is the absence of “kiddies tables.” I haveBoom! always volunteered to eat with Dec. 2013 Crossword the kids because, one, they don’t complain about etiquette, two, none of them talk religion or politics, and three, I can sneak desserts off their plates and convince them they already ate them. There’s still plenty of childish behavior in my wife’s family, there just aren’t any small children. For the two-week period surrounding Thanksgiving, the sequence of events at our house is always the same: clean, decorate, grocery shop, cook, clean, grocery shop, cook, clean, feast, wallow in calorie stupor, un-decorate, clean, search for stuff that was “put away” to make more room for ceramic turkeys and faux pumpkins. Me: “Honey, where’s our toaster?” My wife: “In the basement.” Me: What about our electric can-opener?” Her: “In the attic.” We still haven’t found our blender or paper towel stand. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday, but every year, more and more, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Bill Massey is a freelance writer, retired middle school teacher, and a former advertising executive. He can be reached at


Managing Editor/Director of Operations Greg Petty | Western Wake Sales Associate Preston Stogner | For other locations, please contact Greg or Barbara Health Editor Teri deMatas | Rex Healthcare Financial Editor Gerald Townsend | Calendar Editor Luan Harmeson | Art Director Katie Severa Boom! Magazine, a monthly free publication, is a lifestyle resource for the active adult market in North Carolina. 35,000 copies (60,000 readers) are distributed throughout eight counties in the Triangle/Sandhills areas. Distribution sites are listed on the website,, under the About Boom! button. Advertising inquiries should be directed to the appropriate individual listed above. Editorial questions should be directed to Barbara. Distribution questions should be directed to Greg. Calendar items should be emailed to by the 15th of the month. Opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of Boom! Magazine. Although care is taken to see that errors do not occur, Boom! Magazine disclaims all legal responsibility for errors and omissions or typographical errors. Use of articles, artwork, and photography is prohibited unless arrangements have been made with the publisher. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Copyright 2013, Prime Communications of the Triangle, Inc. All rights reserved. Solution Anjelica Huston cover photo courtesy of Sheila Kay Adams cover photo by Garius Hill,















puzzle answers from page 42









Chatter by GreG PeTTy




The General Assembly and Governor McCrory presented the state’s highest civilian honor, The North Carolina Award, to six distinguished North Carolinians last month. Established by the General Assembly in 1961, the first medals for the North Carolina Award were given in 1964. Since then, more than 250 notable men and women have been honored by the state of North Carolina. The 2013 honorees include: • Dr. Myron S. Cohen of Chapel Hill for Science • John E. Cram of Asheville for Fine Arts • John M. H. Hart, Jr. of Keswick, Va., for Literature • Phillip J. Kirk, Jr. of Raleigh for Public Service • Dr. John Harding Lucas of Durham for Public Service • Dr. Walt Wolfram of Cary for Public Service For more information, please visit The awards are administered by the NC Department of Cultural Resources.

Products We Like Skora Shoes are a perfect holiday gift suggestion for the runner in your family. They are simply the most comfortable and best running shoes I have ever owned, and I am now a true convert. They are designed for “Real Running,” which is based on a flat foot strike while your head and hips are aligned and your feet are under your body, not ahead of it. This form helps reconnect your feet to the surface. The other principle is to shorten your stride to reduce impact and maintain your aligned body position. The shoes are constructed using Pittard Armor-Tan goatskin leather. Goatskin is more durable and breathable than cow leather and Skora’s are microscopically treated with ceramic coatings to enhance the durability of the leather. They are also created with WR100X, which is a special tanning technique that promotes water resistance and faster leather drying times. I told you they were high-tech! They come in a wide variety of bright colors for a look as unique as the shoes are. Visit

Boomerang YOUR LETTERS ✍ Hi Barbara and Greg: I wanted to tell you and Greg thank you. I’ve been working on solutions for two separate issues impacting my family. Many solutions for these problems have been or are presently found in Boom! Magazine. I love this tome of information and it has been my go-to resource for solving so many Boomer issues for both family and neighbors. Thank you for such a great resource and enjoyable magazine just for the Boomer! ~ Bea Vanni Dear Bea: That is so nice of you to let us know how much you appreciate Boom! And please know that we are very grateful for all that you do for Boom! with our social media. (Bea handles our Boom! social media marketing strategies and writes a monthly column on social media for our readers.) ✍ Barbara: I picked up the November issue of Boom! today and know that I will enjoy reading the articles! I very much appreciate your inviting me to write two articles on the Gray Divorce phenomenon [the rising incidence of divorce among the over 50 population]. Again, thanks so much, and I hope to see you perhaps at a NAWBO event soon! ~ Martha J Mason, Attorney at Law Dear Martha: Thank you for being a contributor. We found your articles informative and timely. ed noTe: Martha’s two-part series appeared in the October and November issues of Boom! You can find a copy of the article in the digital edition of Boom! on our website, boomnc. com in December and January (the digital versions lag behind the print edition by two months). Martha is also a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Raleigh Chapter, of which Boom! is a media sponsor.

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Hospice of Wake County hopes to raise $6 million to increase interior living space, and this would provide the opportunity to serve an additional 300 patients and their families each year in the Hospice Home. This demonstrates the Power of 10, a campaign that aptly recognizes the power that ten extra rooms will provide to those needing caring and comfortable end-oflife services. In addition, the non-profit agency serves nearly 3,000 patients each year in their own homes, assisted living facilities, retirement communities, and nursing homes. For more information and to find out how to support the campaign, contact Major Gifts Coordinator Jeanne Lawson at or call 919.719.6716. The Orange County Animal Services Department announces the Home for the Holidays Program. The Department will deck the halls of the Main Branch of the Orange County Public Library (OCPL) with full color posters, representing the types of shelter pets in need of adoption. The photo exhibit is part of the department’s annual Home for the Holidays campaign, which aims to raise shelter awareness during the holiday season for those missing a lost pet and those choosing to add one to their family. The campaign will run through Saturday, January 11. The exhibit of previously available animals hopes to promote the Home for the Holidays campaign and educate the public about the many wonderful and various types of pets that are available for adoption year-round. Adoptable dogs will be representing Animal Services on Saturday, December 7 at the Hillsborough Holiday Parade and on Saturday, December 14 at the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Holiday Parade. The Orange County Public Library Main Branch is located at 137 W. Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough. The Animal Services Center is located at 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. For a full listing of events and to see pictures of animals that are lost or available for adoption, please visit www. animalservices or call 919.942.PeTs (7387). The Animal Services Department is also on Facebook at

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Raleigh Little Theatre (RLT)—For three decades at RLT, a princess and her glass slipper have delighted fans both young and old. This year is no different as RLT brings the magic of Cinderella back to life December 6 through 21 in its 30 anniversary production. In addition to incorporating fresh new elements, this special production of the Triangle classic will pay homage to RLT’s late artistic director, Haskell Fitz-Simmons. “This year’s Cinderella is dedicated to Haskell’s memory; we will honor the tradition and reinstate some elements of the show’s prologue from his first few productions. But we will also add new effects and a new song to ensure it remains fresh and relevant. You might say it’s the best of both old and new at the same time,” said Nancy Rich, the production’s co-director and choreographer. Other ways that the theatre is celebrating the 30 anniversary include inviting alumni up on stage at the end of each show for a holiday sing-a-long and producing a video retrospective of the first 29 years that will run pre-show in the theater and also on RLT’s You Tube channel. Another is a partnership with WRAL’s Coats for the Children in which RLT will donate 30 percent of every ticket sold for the Dec 12 performance to the Salvation Army. Tickets for all events at RLT can be purchased by calling the box office 919.821.3111, Monday through Friday, noon5pm, or by visiting the theatre’s website at Hospice of Wake County Kicks off an Expansion Campaign entitled the Power of 10. Wake County’s population is both growing and aging. According to North Carolina census, the area experienced a 37 percent population increase in the past ten years. US News and World Report predicts the Triangle region will be the fastest-growing metro area through 2025 and this includes the 75-and-over population as retirees move closer to children and grandchildren. Hospice of Wake County says the time to plan is now. “Hospice of Wake County serves people in Wake, Durham, Johnston, Franklin and Harnett Counties, and the demand for services has steadily increased in recent years,” said CEO John Thoma. Hospice of Wake County provides care to terminally ill patients and their families through a comprehensive program of medical care, emotional support and spiritual guidance.

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Mr. Modem’s DME (Don’t Miss ‘Em) Sites of the Month

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CRAYON The acronym CRAYON, stands for “CReAte Your

Own Newspaper,” the name of one of the longest running sites on the Web, having made its debut in March 1995—long before many people even heard of the Internet. To get started, I’d suggest going to the Help area, which will guide you through the process of creating your own newspaper with step-by-step instructions. If you have ever experienced the desire to only get the parts of a newspaper you enjoy reading, CRAYON can make that happen.

Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills Whether you are a college stu-

dent or single senior who has just entered the world of having to cook meals for yourself, someone who wants to learn more about cooking, or wants to teach children or grandchildren how to cook, this site (created by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver) is for you. The site was designed for people with a desire to obtain their home cooking certification (who knew?), and to help enlist schools to provide the appropriate educational courses. Use the Index to select a course from the drop-down menu. It will display the recipes, skills, fact sheets, videos and images that go with that course. You can also head directly to Recipes, Skills, Activity Sheets or Fact Sheets from the navigation menu at the top of the page. NIH Senior Health The National Institute of Health’s site for

Senior Health information. I particularly like this site because it was designed for mature eyeballs, meaning the font is easily changed to something more readable. You can even change contrast colors to make it easier to read. The menu at the top of the page contains Health Topics A-Z and Video A-Z, from which you can select subjects or videos of interest.

Upload Video from iPhone to YouTube Ask Mr. Modem by Richard Sherman, Senior Wire Q. How can I upload a video from my iPhone or iPad to YouTube? Do I have to save it to my computer first and if so, in what format? A. If you create a video using your iPhone or iPad, you do not need to save it to a computer in order to place it on YouTube. Simply tap the Send button (the square with a little arrow), then tap the YouTube option.

aby Boomers embrace social media at a faster rate than any other market segment in both business and pleasure. Projections for 2014 do not show any slowdown either. For business, it offers a unique platform to share information about your products and services, yet creates a space for you to connect personally with others. By looking back on social media in 2013, we predict new horizons in 2014 and the necessity to include it in your marketing mix. The Social Media Examiner disclosed in 2013 that 86 percent of online marketers indicated social media was important to their business, with increased exposure the number one benefit. Now considered a major cornerstone of business strategy, it requires a commitment for management

Q. When I move the cursor on my laptop over the icon that lets me know whether the laptop is plugged in, a bubble pops up that shows “94 percent available. Plugged in, not charging.” Shouldn’t the battery be charging? A. It’s possible that your particular battery won’t begin to charge until it is at a certain level, such as below 50 percent or 25 percent capacity. Plus, depending on the type of battery, you may not want small, partial charges because the battery may only have X number of charging cycles. If that’s the case, it doesn’t matter whether you charge it ten percent or 90 percent, both count as one charge cycle, so the fact that it’s not charging could be to protect you from wasting finite charge cycles. For a truly definitive answer as it relates to your specific computer/battery, I would recommend contacting the manufacturer of your laptop through its website support area. In the alternative, look at your battery, note the brand, type or model number, then go to the manufacturer’s Web site where specific charging details and recommendations will be available.

Q. Sometimes I long for the days of the floppy disc because they had labels on which I could write the disk’s contents. These days I use several USB flash drives which are too small to write anything on. How do you keep track of the contents on your flash drives, Mr. M? A. I use different flash drives for different purposes so I don’t really have any need to label the contents in any specific manner on the exterior of the drive. For example, I have one flash drive that I use for backing up documents, one that I use for Quicken backups, a drive that I use for photos and one for music backups. When I insert a drive into a USB port, I can then easily view its contents. Because I primarily work with documents, that’s the flash drive that I leave plugged into the USB port most of the time. I use Quicken on another computer, so that flash drive resides in one of that system’s USB ports. The photo and music flash drives I insert as needed. Some “experts” recommend that flash or thumb drives not be left in a computer when For more information about Mr. Modem’s award-winning, not being used, but having used flash drives since weekly computer-help newsletter featuring personal answers to they first arrived on the digital scene, I have never your questions by email, visit

Social Media Made Easy to Rock Your Business in 2014


experienced any problem leaving them inserted. And that way I know where the drive is, as well. I generally purchase different color flash drives or at least flash drives that don’t look identical, which makes it even easier to keep track of what’s what.

of both its time and resources. So, here’s a supply of quick and easy ways to navigate 2014 in the social media environment for a small business owner. Broad Goals Now, Specifics Later. Your number one focus will be consistency with quality no matter which platform(s) you choose. While certain advantages come with visibility on each one, Facebook is your best bet for a consistent presence that anchors all your online marketing and offers myriad ways to interact and add value for your audience with minimal time and cost. Broader social media goals now will help you create a following and acclimate to the rhythm of your market. Later, devote time to more specific tactics with small ad campaigns or giveaways. Don’t be surprised if your

by Bea Vanni

efforts take many months to yield results, Readers love to share, so make it easy for and as exposure expands, it gets more diffi- them. The best thing: They’re all free! cult and time-consuming to keep up. What to Share? Your content in short bites Use Tactics and Tools to Save Time. with video clips, tips, article links, tools, apps, Assess the number of posts per day and funny quips and lots of images. Use images times of the day your market interacts with many of your posts, especially on Facemost. Post too much or at the wrong times book. Social media 2013 exploded with photos. and your followers won’t notice you. FaceBonus Tip: Make it mobile-friendly— book scheduler allows you to pre-schedule smartphones, tablets, websites. Check posts six months in advance. Hootsuite friendliness at offers a stellar scheduling tool for a few What’s Your Strategy in 2014? Share your major platforms and a way to review your best social media strategy for 2014 at faceactivity on each one, all in one place. I For solucan’t live without either tool. TweetDeck tions, email and Buffer offer similar services. Bea Vanni provides social media and publishing Download social media apps to your solutions for the non-fiction author and small busimobile phone to post on the go. Add social ness owner who want to gain online visibility for their sharing widgets to your websites and blogs. work and attract more clients.

We Are Going Backward: Apathy, Voting Rights and the Media Four of the Voting Rights Act because of past voting abuses. The Justice Department agrees with the critics of the new law and has sued the state to halt some of the changes using a remaining section of the Voting Rights Act not struck down by the current Supreme Court. Those changes are: photo id, the shortening of early voting from 17 days to ten, the elimination of same-day registration during early voting and restrictions on counting some provisional ballots. In addition a NC voter can no longer vote a straight party ticket; the order a candidate appears on a ballot has changed from the party with the most registered voters in the state (Democrats) to the party with the Governor in office—pretty blatant political change. Just when we should be taking steps to increase public financing of elections, the new law removes the $3 check-off box on tax returns. The money was doled out on the basis of the most registered voters— another benefit lost to Democrats. In their wisdom they also took away the right of 16 year olds to pre-register and get ready to exercise their voting rights—now that’s a great civics lesson isn’t it? Speaking in 1965 President Lyndon Baines Johnson directly addressed the forces who had restricted voting rights and in support of the Voting Rights Act. He instructed them, “Open your polling places to all your people. Allow men and women to register and vote whatever the color of their skin. Extend the rights of citizenship to every citizen of this land… There is no constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution is plain.” I really miss the late Tim Russert from NBC’s Meet the Press. It seems to me that in this age of 24/7 TV, cable and radio news coupled with the ubiquitous Internet, we have more opportunity than ever before to educate and enlighten ourselves. So what is the problem? In the fractured and politically polarized world of today I have found very few outlets—and the journalists who work for them—who work hard to discover and discuss the facts in the effort to reveal the truth. While politicians will always seek the spotlight to spin their message, people like Tim Russert held everyone’s feet to the fire when misstatements, half-truths and outright incorrect statements were made. With few exceptions, I have not seen that questioning and search for accuracy occur on the main outlets. Just last week the junior Senator from Texas came on CNN and spoke out (a

McCarthy-like diatribe really) against The Affordable Care Act. During the statement he said, “Millions of people had lost their jobs because of Obamacare.” The journalist (can I still call them that?) did not stop him and even question that number. I was infuriated. The job loss estimates are all over the place from net effect gains in jobs to a loss of 800,000 jobs—the highest number I could find in my research. The truth, as usual, probably lies somewhere in the middle—at any rate it is a far cry from “millions.” Allowing blatantly incorrect information to pass unquestioned is a denial of journalistic integrity. We are in big trouble if we allow unwarranted statements by politicians, pundits, lobbyists or anyone else to go unchallenged. Facts matter and the search for truth is the path that should lead us to the actions we take to resolve or issues and problems. I thought that was the job of all journalists. In 1807 President Jefferson wrote, “The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” In a recent Nation of article the group Media Matters spoke out about the intense 2012 climate change events. “The Sunday shows spent less than eight minutes on climate change… Most of the politicians quoted [on ABC and NBC] were Republican presidential candidates, including Rick Santorum, who went unchallenged when he called global warming ‘junk science’… In four years, Sunday shows have not quoted a single scientist on climate change.” The corporate controlled media of today is simply not serving its intended role as a watchdog for society. But take heart—there are reliable sources available. The Internet has many corporate free sources and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS and NPR) was founded for this very reason—to provide the public with the best in-depth and thoughtful information available. We can seek out experts known for their journalistic integrity in print (newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals) as well as the Internet. We need a press that, rather than deferring to authority or pleasing corporate owners, challenges it at every turn. America and the world have tremendous obstacles to face; we need an independent press to provide the facts and push for solutions. As the old saying goes, “Information is power.”

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o date this column has covered several topics the citizens of America should discuss and perhaps support to revitalize our now moribund and dysfunctional political system. The articles have included: a review of the legislative; executive and judicial dysfunction we have experienced since 2000; America’s world-ranking in several areas; campaign finance reform and monetary corruption; ending the filibuster; revoking the Electoral College; and the harmful effects of gerrymandering. As important as all these facets are to revitalizing our democracy we still need to discuss the current status of citizen participation, recent voting rights actions and the role of the media. This fact is the 800-pound gorilla in the room—with the exception of four presidential elections (1952, 1960, 1964 and 1968) the percentage of those eligible to vote, who actually cast a vote, has not exceeded 60 percent. We simply cannot have a vibrant, active and participatory democracy when over 40 percent of our citizens are disengaged from their most important obligation to society. That astounds me! Yet we have been cruising along with this low turnout for so long that this is now the normal state of affairs. The missing 40 percent is not even discussed by the media as one of our major issues. What are we to think about this widespread apathy? Is it “My vote does not matter,” “The politicians have it all rigged already,” “Business and Wall Street own the country,” “I can’t be bothered to take time out of my day…” An endless litany of excuses. Apathy on this scale prohibits our democracy from moving forward. We need to reinstitute civics classes in the nation’s high schools to educate future voters about the power and importance of their individual votes and how our local, state and national governments work. While we have a huge number of missing voters, do you think the states have been making it easier to vote? No. At least 11 states have been busy enacting more restrictive laws that they claim “protects” the integrity of the process. Bunk! These changes are a solution in search of a problem. Voter fraud is not an issue of any statistical significance. Sadly, North Carolina was part of the movement. In my opinion, we have taken a large step backwards. Do not forget that North Carolina had 42 counties that were covered by the recently nullified Section

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reVITALIZING AMerICAN deMoCrACY PArT seVeN—GreG’s CorNer by GreG PeTTy

The Senior’s Real Estate Specialist in Chapel Hill

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE 311 W. Rosemary Street Chapel Hill, NC 27516 919.933.8500 • 800.382.0673

2013 Alternative Gift-GIving Guide

I Love the Holidays! boom 12.13

by Barbara PeTTy

gift guide



elcome to the 2013 Edition of the Boom! Alternative Gift Giving Guide. We spend months collecting information on various products from around the world as well as scouting our local environs for unique gift-giving ideas. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did compiling it! Happy Holidays. My favorite places to shop for unique gift items are museum gift stores. The Marbles Corner Store at the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh has gifts for the little—and big—kids on your list (marbleskidsmuseum. org). The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham ( has wonderful educational games and gadgets. I found this Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit where you can build a car that runs on water and sunlight. The Brain Quest set offers “questions and answers to challenge the mind.”

memberships! This is a great present for those who appreciate cultural activities. Many facilities offer exclusive annual benefits with membership. Some of my other favorite haunts are antique stores and pawn shops. Trust me, it’s worth a trip to Sanford to visit the Sanford Antique Mall on Moore Street in downtown Sanford. I have purchased furniture, dishes and vintage jewelry pieces from them. At National Pawn, I have found items ranging from computers to guitars. And for fantastic prices on high-end designer jewelry, visit the National Pawn on Glenwood Avenue. As we age, well, guess what, so do our eyes. At the magic age of around 40, many of us begin wearing reading glasses. Not such a terrible thing in itself; the problem is the level of power needed to see properly continues to change. Magnifying power of +1.50 creeps to +2.0 to +3.0… well, you get the idea. When this gift idea came across my desk, I was immediately impressed. Emergensee is a collection of continually adjustable prescription reading glasses. Developed by Adlens , a consumer technology company, Emergensee helps customers save money by having a pair of reading glasses that can continually grow with evolving prescription needs and to create a product that recognizes the vast increase of mobile phone, tablet and computer use and can transition with the user accordingly. The lenses can be adjusted individually by turning a dial to create different prescriptions in seconds, and the spherical powers go from -6.0 to +3.0 in seconds. ®

If you have not seen the Porsche By Design exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art (, I suggest you do so before December 25 so you can visit the gift shop specifically installed for the Porsche exhibit. You can find home decorations including great racing screen prints or a Porsche remote control car— how fun is that! The Ackland Museum Store announced in September that they now offer an India Bazaar, an Indian market featuring a wide array of beautifully designed and handcrafted products made in India. Most of the businesses represented in the bazaar are owned by young Indian entrepreneurs, whose work reflects the local culture ( While you are at the various museums, don’t forget to think about museum

Retailing online at $43 each, Emergensee was originally developed for Vision for a Nation—an ongoing search for one philanthropic program created by Adlens that is partnered with the Rwandan Ministry of Health to train nurses to administer the donated pairs of Emergensee glasses. In Rwanda, there are 1.1 million people in need of glasses and only four optometrists. For more information or to order a pair, visit Our son is a workout fanatic, and I know he would really like this item. The ePulse2 is the world’s first strapless, armband continuous heart rate monitor, pedometer and calorimeter. Until now, dynamic heart rate monitors required an uncomfortable chest strap and a special watch virtually restricting their use to serious athletes. ePulse2 is the first device to make this technology practical and convenient for anyone who exercises or is interested in tracking calories burned or monitoring heart rate or step counting. Additional features include target heart rate zones, exercise time, stop watch with split times, calculation of maximum and minimum heart rate, calorie countdown, day/ night OLED display. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the ePulse2 is listed at $89.99 and is available at retailers throughout North America, Does anyone write personal notes any more? If taking pen to paper is still your forté, then why not write with the best pen ever made, a PARKER Pen. This holiday season, ParKer celebrates its 125 anniversary with a new collection of elegant pens and gift sets that make the perfect luxury gift for choosy bosses, creative siblings and trendy friends alike, ranging from $20-$590. My favorite: the Premier Collection Fountain Pen with a monochrome pink gold finish and gold trim and an 18K gold nib (pictured on the left). Now that’s a fashion statement. Motorized bicycles—that’s more like th

it! We looked at two models from the www. collection. Designed to be highly portable, the Kuo (pictured) conveniently folds down and has the option of a bag for easy carrying or storage. With a maximum speed of 15.5mph and a range of up to 25 miles, the model increases both your journey options and enjoyment. MSRP: $1,399 The Alva+ features both pedal-assist and throttle power on demand. This exciting new E-bike features an electronic key fob, a removable13.2 AH magnetic plug, lithium Ion battery and hydraulic brakes. The model offers ease and style with an increased maximum speed of 24mph and an extended range of up to 37 miles. MSRP: $3,399 I’m not one to spend a fortune on accessories, but once in a while I can justify a splurge—especially if they are for products as good looking as these: a handsome leather Bond Street Dopp Kit and/or a Tablet Organizer, both from www.haydenharnett. com. The tablet organizer features a leather iPad/tablet pocket, ID window, coin and credit card pockets and a place to keep your charger. The dopp kit is made from buttery soft American cow leather and features an exterior zipper pocket and canvas lining. Both retail for $168.00. Assisted living devices are always thoughtful items for an aging parent or

2013 Alternative Gift-GIving Guide

It adjusts to lift or lower to the exact height required by the individual consumer. The control paddle and key lock are easy to use and make it a safe and reliable means of staying independent and mobile. For more information about Butler Mobility’s Vertical Platform Wheelchair Lift, visit or call toll-free 888.847.0804. Jewelry for men, women, teens and even tweens is always a big hit. Now you can give shiny baubles and feel good about it. Aili Jewelry is an eco-friendly line of sterling silver and gold jewels with natural precious stones. The designer, Monica Ruzansky, handcrafts each piece in her Brooklyn studio. All pieces are handmade in the USA. Only recycled precious metals are sourced for the creations. The line incorporates black and white diamonds, rubies and turquoise. Retails prices range from $80 to $720 and are available at Books! Yes, books. Our family loves giving—and receiving them. This book provides the reader with local flavor… Eno Publishers builds on its successful 27 Views

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This Holiday Season, Give A Lot Without Spending A Lot.


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gift guide

loved one. Butler Mobility’s new Vertical Platform Wheelchair Lifts are a safe and economical solution to make any home accessible. Indoors or outdoors, the Platform Lift is a practical alternative to installing cumbersome, slow grade ramps.

series: 27 Views of Durham (2012); 27 Views of Hillsborough (2010); 27 Views of Chapel Hill (2011); 27 Views of Asheville (2012) by showcasing the literary community of Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2 Views of Raleigh: The City of Oaks in Prose & Poetry. The book features prose and poetry by 27 writers, who in poetry, essays, short stories, and book excerpts focus on the famous capital city. Available at or Sid Avery: The Art of the Hollywood Snapshot features captivating spreads of classic Hollywood’s most beloved celebrities and icons (like Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando etc.). This book is for anyone that appreciates art, film, music, photography, and vintage Hollywood celebrities. Available at reelartpress. com or Another tabletop book that I particularly like is Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the Kennedys. Tretick began photographing Kennedy during his campaign and they became friends. He was given extensive access to the White House and today is best known for his images of President Kennedy relaxing with his children. Accompanying copy is written by Kitty Kelley. Available at barnesandnoble. com and Meet Sully, Nemo, Woody, and all of your other favorite Disney Pixar characters in DK’s Disney Pixar Character Encyclopedia! Each page gives you instant access to everything there is to know about 200 Disney Pixar characters from classic films like Finding Nemo, Cars, and Monsters Inc. to some of the lesser known like A Bug’s Life and Ratatouille. With tons of fun facts, images, and movie stills along with information on each character’s role in the movies, the Disney Pixar Character Encyclopedia will be the go-to guide for young Disney Pixar fans everywhere. Available at Sneakers with an attitude: The Simpsons Chuck Taylor All Star Collection features colorful screenprinted graphics on styles

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2013 Alternative Gift-GIving Guide

gift guide


available for fans of all ages. Available for men, the Homer sneaker includes a blue and black background, accented with Homer exclaiming “D’oh!” on one side of the shoe, and “Woo Hoo!” on the other. Available in children and adult sizes, the Bart sneaker features Bart writing, “I will not waste chalk,” on a black background resembling the notorious Springfield Elementary School chalkboard, accented with a bright yellow inside lining. The Family sneaker showcases all members of The Simpsons household depicted in their iconic likeness the world has grown to love. Available for $37–$65 at Journeys ( and Converse retail stores (

s e t a C i t idea! f i t r e C what a grea t f i G line. ased on h c r u p Can be

driving range x grill x pro shop x rentals x lessons 919.303.4653 x x 2512 ten ten rd, apex

Every year we add one ornament to our Christmas Tree decorations. This one is a conversation starter: Marilyn Monroe Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. Marilyn Monroe’s character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes loves the sparkle of a diamond. The classic beauty would be tickled pink to display her showgirl style and glittering baubles on your tree. Available for $17.95 at Hallmark. Raleigh’s own CJ Scarlett has founded another company called 1 for Humanity™, which is developing ten innovative technologies to reduce acts of violence by ten percent in the next decade. Their first product, The Tiger Eye Security Sensor™ (TESS™), is a hands-free, voice-activated, wearable sensor designed to help deter crime and violence. With this ingenious, inconspicuous sensor, help is just one word away. If you cry out, saying words like “help,” “stop,” or “no” during a situation where you feel threatened, TESS™ actually detects the stress in your voice and

activates itself. If you say “help” again when prompted, or manually activate the device, TESS™ will immediately call police to your GPS location. At the same time, the device will begin video recording events and will loudly announce to the criminal that the police are on the way and to LEAVE NOW! This alone might scare the criminal into fleeing without completing his crime. The video feed, stored in the cloud, can be used later to identify and prosecute criminals. To order visit

2013 Alternative Gift-GIving Guide

small farmer partners go to pr/holiday-gifts. Finally, a solution for women who want to carry their personal items without the hassle of a purse. Makeup, credit cards, cash, and even iPads fit conveniently and discreetly in SCOTTEVEST pockets. scoTTeVesT is one of the world’s leading travel clothing companies and specializes in TEC-Technology Enabled Clothing in the form of stylish jackets, shirts and pants with unique, hidden pockets. As the first clothing brand launched exclusively on the Internet, Internet Retailer has included TEC by scoTTeVesT in their Hot 100 list of top online companies for several years. Available online at The Sierra Club, the country’s largest grassroots advocacy environmental

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is an employee-owned co-operative that has won numerous awards for their environmental and social responsible business practices. What really sets them apart from other coffee companies is the impact that they make. In 2012, Equal Exchange sold over 3.3 million pounds of coffee, which is the equivalent to the annual harvest of 1,614 small family coffee farms. By working solely with cooperative famer networks, Equal Exchange’s impact helps small-scale farmers provide for their families, improve their communities and care for the planet through Fair Trade and democratic small farmer co-operatives. Equal Exchange offers a variety of quality gifts perfect for foodies, chocolate-lovers and coffee aficionados. For pictures, gifts ideas, and more information about Fair Trade products, as well as stories about

11 gift guide

Be a Santa to a Senior is an annual holiday gift program developed to brighten the lives of older adults that are alone or financially challenged during the holiday season. The program, hosted by Home Instead Senior Care franchises in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, partners with local non-profits, local businesses, and retail stores to help facilitate the purchasing and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments within their various locations. To help a senior in the greater Triangle, stop by any of the locations listed on the website, to select an ornament from the tree. Each ornament will have a gift suggestion, such as slippers or a clock with a large numbers. These gifts—while small—make a big impact helping area seniors combat the holiday blues. Since introducing the Be a Santa to a Senior program, Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors in need across the country. Gifts that give back. Equal Exchange


Destinaton Sanford



invites you to take the time to SHOP at our antique and specialty stores, EXPERIENCE our pottery tradition, ATTEND a theatrical performance at the historic vaudeville “Temple Theatre”, DINE at one of the many fine restaurants, STROLL an architecturally significant downtown, and



Over 70 artists featuring painting, photography, weaving, candles, barn wood art, jewelry, foods, and more. All handmade in the Carolina’s ~ 100% of each sale goes right back into the local economy!

148 S. Moore St. Sanford 919-776-3489 carolinaartiStScolony.coM

VOTED BEST COFFEE! Cappuccino Expresso Soups Salads Sandwiches Desserts

Silver • China • Vintage Clothing Mahogany • Oak • Deco • Retro • Toys Garden • Kitchen • Hardware • Crystal Oriental • Antique Jewelry • Linen Books • Magazines

120 S. Moore Street Sanford, NC 919.777.JAVA

Historic Downtown Sanford 118 South Moore Street, Sanford


2013 Alternative Gift-GIving Guide

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Give the Gift gift guide




Bloom Skin Spa offers unique services and organic products in a comfortable and secluded environment. Gift Certificates Available!

Escape. Relax. Rejuvenate. Book a Blooming Facial and receive a FREE Éminence Product, valued up to $60.00.

(Some exceptions apply.) 919.233.3992 527 Keisler Drive, Suite 204, Cary bloom_skin_spa2_qps1113.indd 1

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Give yourself the gift of beautiful legs. Step up to a healthier and happier you with a consultation at Triangle Vein Clinic. We’re dedicated to the expert diagnosis and treatment of venous disorders, and have built a reputation as the Triangle’s first and most reliable resource for eliminating painful and unsightly veins and improving leg appearance. We offer several modalities for comprehensive management of venous disease, including the highly regarded VenefitTM Targeted Endovenous Therapy, formerly known as the VNUS Closure procedure. Don’t wait to discover just how good your legs can look and feel. Phone 919-851-5055 or hit to book an appointment today.

115 Crescent Commons Drive, Ste. 200 Cary, North Carolina 27518


organization, has some cool items that make great holiday presents! Sponsoring a Wild Place not only provides a unique and special gift for someone you love, but gives you the satisfaction of knowing you are helping preserve America’s wild legacy long after the gift has been opened. Whether you want to support the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Badlands or the Grand Canyon, your symbolic sponsorship supports the Sierra Club’s efforts to protect America’s wildlands and wildlife, keep our air and water clean and promote a clean energy future. Plus you get a cute plush toy! Visit wildplaces. 21 Sierra Club Calendars: America’s best-loved nature calendars for more than forty years, the 2014 editions once again set the standard with their breathtaking images of wild places all across the country. Available from your favorite bookseller in both a weekly engagement and monthly wall format. Sierra Club Outings are gifts that fit in your pocket for the trek home after a holiday dinner, but let you see the world. These environmentally friendly outdoor adventures are for people of all ages, interests and abilities. Whether you’re looking for a volunteer vacation, a backpacking adventure deep in the Sierra or a leisurely hike with your family, Sierra Club Outings has the right trip for you. Reserve space now or give a gift certificate. Full schedule online at

Vinyl is back! If you still have your record collection but no place to play them, then check this out: The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Phono USB is the best turntable on the market. Introduced in the late ’90s when the analog record reemerged, the 2013 version introduced a carbon tube tone arm, which increases stiffness and decreases unwanted resonance. Available in black, white, gray, blue,

red, green and yellow! For this and other audio products visit is a distinctive e-commerce site that offers a fresh take on personalized gifts, curated from up-and-coming artisans and topof-the-line vendors. Founded by interior design writer Jill Kirchner Simpson who turned her editorial eye to e-commerce when she couldn’t find a one-stop online destination for unique meaningful gifts. I browsed the site and went from page to page—fascinating stuff and not terribly expensive. These Vintage Map Cufflinks are only $119.00.

And finally, for our Neiman Marcus Gift of the Year: SeaNet provides a nocompromise, financially savvy alternative solution to traditional yacht ownership that is better suited to today’s busy lifestyle. Through SeaNet’s innovative Fleet Programs, you can experience all the benefits of yacht ownership without the hassles of managing, maintaining or servicing your vessel—and for just the amount of time you have available to enjoy it. Founded in 2003, SeaNet Fractional Yachts offers a complete turnkey solution to yacht ownership. Each yacht’s fully licensed Captain, highly trained, certified crew, and professional chef are dedicated to providing you with an unparalleled experience on the water. What’s more, every time you cruise aboard your yacht, the logistics will be arranged seamlessly by their luxury concierge team. For information on membership options visit

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here is nothing like the simple pleasure of taking a warm bath. The cares of the day seem to fade away, along with the aches and pains of everyday life. Unfortunately for many aging Americans with mobility issues, slipping into a bath can result in slipping onto the floor. The fear of falling has made the simple act of bathing and its therapeutic benefits a thing of the past until now. Jacuzzi®, the company that perfected hydrotherapy, has created a walk-in tub that offers more than just safe bathing, peace-of-mind and independence, it can actually help you feel better. Unlike traditional bathtubs, this Walk-In Tub features a leak-proof door that allows you to simply step into the tub rather than stepping precariously over the side. It features a state-of-the-art acrylic surface, a raised seat, and the controls are within easy reach. No other Walk-In Tub features the patented Jacuzzi® PointPro® jet system. These high-volume, low-pressure pumps feature a perfectly balanced water to air ratio to massage thoroughly yet gently. Some swirl, some spiral, some deliver large volumes

What To Look For in a Walk-In Tub: Boom 12.13

Enjoy A Bath Again… Safely and Affordably

of water and others target specific pressure points. They are all arranged in precise locations designed to deliver a therapeutic massage, yet they are fully adjustable so that your bathing experience can be completely unique.

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- Pain Relieving Therapy - Find a tub that has both water and air jet therapy to soak away your aches and pains preferably with a perfectly balanced water to air mix. This tub is the first to offer a specialized foot massage experience. Its unique spinning motion provides optimal therapy to feet and legs. Best of all, you get it at no additional charge. - Comfort - Insist on ergonomic design, easy-to-reach controls. - Endorsements - Only consider tubs that are ETL or UL listed. Also look for a tub tested to IAPMO (International Assoc. of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials) standards and that’s USPC (Universal Spa Plumbing Code) Certified.

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Technology Breakthrough

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AUToMode by Barbara PeTTy

Q: What car used the first successful series-production hydraulic valve lifters? A: The 1930 Cadillac 452, the first production V16.

Q: True or False? The 1953 Corvette came in white, red and black. A: False. The 1953 Corvettes were available in one color, Polo White.

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Old Car Trivia

Q: Where was the first drive-in restaurant? A: Royce Hailey’s Pig Stand opened in Dallas in 1921.

Q: What car company was originally known as Swallow Sidecars (aka SS)? A: Jaguar, which was an SS model first in 1935, and ultimately the whole company by 1945.

Q: What American luxury automaker began by making cages for birds and squirrels? A: The George N. Pierce Co. of Buffalo, who made the Pierce Arrow, also made Q: What is the fastest internal-combustion iceboxes. American production car? A: The 1998 Dodge Viper GETS-R, tested by Motor Trend magazine at 192.6 mph.

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Q: What was Ford’s answer to the Chevy Corvette and other legal street racers of the 1960s? Q: What U.S. production car has the quickest A: Carroll Shelby’s Mustang GT350. 0-60 mph time? A: The 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409. Ran it in 4.0 seconds.

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Q: Who opened the first drive-in gas station? A: Gulf opened up the first station in Pittsburgh in 1913.

Q: What was the first official White House car? A: A 1909 White Steamer, ordered by President Taft.


Q: Who wrote to Henry Ford: “I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. It has got every other car skinned, and even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal, it don’t hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8”? Q: What did the Old’s designation 4-4-2 stand for? A: Clyde Barrow (of Bonnie and Clyde) in A: 4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed transmis- 1934. sion, and dual exhaust.

Q: What car was reportedly designed on the back of a Northwest Airlines airsickness bag and released on April Fool’s Day, 1970? A: 1970 Gremlin (AMC).

Q: What car was the first production V12, as well as the first production car with aluminum pistons? A: The 1915 Packard Twin-Six. Used during WWI in Italy, these motors inspired Enzo Ferrari to adopt the V12 himself in 1948.

Q: Where was the first drive-in movie theater opened and when? A: Camden, NJ in 1933

Q: What car was the first to place the horn button in the center of the steering wheel? A: The 1915 Scripps-Booth Model C. The car also was the first with electric door latches.

Q: What type of car had the distinction of being GM’s 100 millionth car built in the U.S.? A: March 16, 1966 saw an Olds Tornado roll out of Lansing, Michigan with that honor. Q: What is the Spirit of Ecstasy? Q: Where was the world’s first three-color traffic A: The official name of the mascot of Rolls lights installed? Royce, she is the lady on top of their radiators. A: Detroit, Michigan in 1919. Two years later they experimented with synchronized lights.

And now you know

Q: What’s the only car to appear simultaneously “The Rest of the Story!” on the covers of Time and Newsweek? A: The Mustang. ed noTe: This came to us in an email, original source unknown.

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Q: What car first referred to itself as a convertible? A: The 1904 Thomas Flyer, which had a removable hard top.

Economics 101: Return of Goldilocks?

Year-End Financial and Tax Planning by GeraLd ToWnsend, FinanciaL EdiTor

by GeraLd ToWnsend, FinanciaL EdiTor

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live smar t


n our year-long “Economics 101” series we’ve reviewed basic economic concepts, the Federal Reserve, monetary and fiscal policy and various economic indicators. This month we summarize the current economy and look ahead a bit. Previous articles in this series, as well as articles in our other “101” series on Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Financial Planning, and Investment Management, are available on the website. A “Goldilocks” economy is one where conditions are “just right,” not too hot or too cold. While there are always reasons to be worried about something and I don’t want to ignore the many potholes in the economic road, sometimes it is helpful to consider the positive things that are happening, not just all the negatives. Our economic recovery has legs. We’ve had 52 months of growth and 2014 will be the 4th year of record GDP and profits. Housing prices nationally are at 90 percent of their 2007 peak. Unemployment claims are at a six-year low and small business employment is at a record. Consumer spending is poised to increase. Why? We’re seeing rising home prices, rising stock prices and improving job growth. A low-inflation and low interest rate environment means consumers have greater discretionary spending. There is pent-up demand for both consumer and business spending in several different areas. Housing has been underinvested in during recent years. The 50-year average for housing formation has been about 1.3 million per year, with a peak of 3.4 million in 1979 and a low of 0.4 million in 2009. The 2013 estimate is 0.9 million and 2014 is expected to see 1.5 million formations. U.S. residential construction averaged 4.9 percent of GDP for the last 50 years but is currently only 3.1 percent. There is room for lots of growth. Vehicle sales are strong and improving. In 2002 the average age of autos was 9.0 years vs. 11.4 years currently. There were 16.8 million vehicles sold in 2002 vs. 15.4 million in 2013—again, lots of room for growth. Autos are aging and reasonable credit is available. Increased capital spending by businesses is coming. In 1981 the average age of a manufacturing plant in the U.S. was nine years vs. 16 years in 2011. Aging plants and equipment need to be replaced and businesses have been reluctant to do this for the last several years. U.S. corporations hold record cash. Ten thousand baby boomers will be turning age 65 every single day between now and the year 2030. These aging boomers want and need healthcare, personal care products, household supplies and services, travel, entertainment, etc. In addition, the “echo boomers,” who are now 15 to 34 years old, will overtake the boomer generation in numbers by 2016 and they will want their own home, furnishings, autos, wireless services, etc. Inflation is always a concern, but there are a number of inflation fighters in our current economy. Slowing growth in the emerging markets has resulted in lower commodity prices. Sequestration in Washington may be an ugly thing to watch on the nightly news, but it also results in more fiscal restraint. Modest wage increases and strength in the U.S. dollar help keep inflation in check. When the Fed finally begins tapering and moving towards the end game with its Quantitative Easing policies, this will also be inflation-fighting. An energy renaissance has come to America and is a very positive development for our economy, creating new jobs and growing our GDP. The dramatic increase in production of shale gas and oil in the U.S. is the most exciting energy innovation of the 21st century. The stock market is no longer cheap, but that doesn’t mean it is too expensive either. 2013 will be the first year in the last six years where investors have put more money into stock mutual funds than they have taken out of them. It is easy day-to-day to get numbed and not notice either the positive things or the really important things taking place in the economy—but they are there if you look. Comment online at .


ear-end tax planning for 2013 includes familiar planning techniques as well as new ones, due to the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and the Affordable Care Act. More so than any recent year, your tax and financial planning needs to include a close watch on your income, due to the impact it will have on various taxes, Medicare premiums and the subsidy for individuals buying health insurance. Tax Rates Federal tax rates remain unchanged, except for high income individuals, where a new 39.6 percent tax rate on ordinary income applies if taxable income exceeds $450,000 for joint filers ($400,000 for single). In the event you should hit the highest bracket, the tax rate for long-term capital gains also rises, from 15 percent to 20 percent. Surtax on Investment Income A new 3.8 percent surtax applies to “net investment income” (interest, dividends, capital gains, rent, etc.) if your “modified adjusted gross income” (MAGI) exceeds $250,000 for joint filers ($200,000 for single). Note that MAGI refers to gross income, not taxable income. Prior to selling a large investment holding, you’ll need to consider whether the sale may trigger the higher capital gains rate as well as the new 3.8 percent surtax. Additional Medicare Tax A new 0.9 percent tax applies to wages or self-employment income that exceeds $250,000 for joint filers ($200,000 for single). Phase-Outs 2013 planning includes the return of an old nemesis, the phase-outs of itemized deductions and your personal exemptions. Phase-outs are triggered when “adjusted gross income” (AGI) exceeds $300,000 for joint filers ($250,000 for single). Itemized deductions drop by three percent of the amount your AGI is above the threshold. Personal exemptions drop by two percent for each $2,500 above the threshold. Medical Expense Deduction Prior to 2013, you could only deduct medical expenses that exceeded 7.5 percent of your AGI. This was a high hurdle already, but now it is worse. Beginning in 2013, medical expenses must exceed ten percent of your AGI before you can deduct anything. If you were 65 or older in 2013, you get to retain the 7.5 percent threshold through 2016, but after that date, the new ten percent hurdle applies to everyone. Alternative Minimum Tax One bit of good news is that the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), after years of temporary

last minute patches by Congress, is now permanently patched and indexed for inflation. Of course, the bad news is that we still have the AMT, and this means you need to calculate this shadow tax, along with your regular tax each year. You also need to consider the things that trigger the AMT, such as large medical or tax deductions, incentive stock options, etc. and minimize these items, if possible. IRA Charitable Contributions Taxpayers who are older than 70½ and taking required minimum distributions from IRAs can continue directing distributions from their IRAs directly to charities for 2013. However, unless this particular provision is extended, it will not be available after 2013. When a distribution from your IRA goes directly to a charity, you can’t claim a charitable deduction, but you also don’t have to report the IRA distribution as being taxable income. For most people, this is a better end result than taking a taxable distribution and then making a personal charitable contribution. Gift Tax Planning The annual gift tax exclusion is now $14,000 per recipient per year. A husband and wife can double this to $28,000. The exclusion applies on a calendar year basis. Therefore, a $14,000 (or $28,000) gift could be made in December, 2013 and a similar gift could also be made in January 2014. Watch Your Income Not only is it important to monitor your gross and taxable income due to tax rates, phase-outs, new surtaxes, AMT, etc., but it is also critical to monitor income because of Medicare Part B premiums and qualification for the subsidy for those buying individual health insurance in 2013. Retirees with income above certain levels incur higher Part B premiums and individual health insurance buyers will see a reduction or elimination of their insurance subsidy (the “premium assistance tax credit”) as their income rises. In addition, you’ll want to continue traditional year-end techniques, such as: • Consider offsetting capital gain income by selling holdings where you have an unrealized loss. • Maximize 401(k) or IRA contributions • Avoid triggering any additional taxable income prior to year-end. • Consider using highly-appreciated assets for charitable contributions, instead of cash. Gerald A. Townsend, CPA/PFS/ABV, CFP , CFA , CMT is president of Townsend Asset Management Corp., a registered investment advisory firm. Email: ®


re you fed up with the a property manager to help you, at least paltry returns you get initially? This is a great way to learn on bonds, or the crazy stock with the right mentor. market or insulting interest 2. What can you qualify for and does this rates banks pay on your money? Rental make sense financially for you? Should real estate is a very viable way to suppleyou consider renting the property you own and buying a new primary resiment your retirement income, but it’s not for everyone. If you are happy with consisdence—would this be a better altertent, longer term investments, real estate native? Make sure your finances are can provide very decent, steady returns. in order and get formally approved in Different people have different ideas of person with a local lender who hopehow to make money in real estate…. Some fully owns rental real estate and can still focus on flipping properties but this help you with these decisions. Rental has become really hard to do; some people real estate lending is a specialty. Stratfocus on larger apartment buildings or egy in terms of how much to put down mobile home parks…. Many people are and the order of and types of loan is very content focusing on simple residenreally important when building a real estate portfolio. Use a lender with many tial real estate—single family homes and lending options that can shop and get townhomes in particular. This strategy is you the best deals. easier for most people to understand, less of an investment, and may be easier to limit 3. Should you buy local or buy in the mountains or at the beach? There are your risk as you can buy one property at a arguments on both sides, but buying time. These types of properties are easy to locally can give you the ability and finance and require a 15-25 percent down peace of mind to manage the property payment in this market. If you qualify, you and see your property more frequently. can buy and finance up to ten properties. This is a good step when you are first You would want to do this over time and getting involved in investment real by learning on each deal you put together. estate because of the easier manageIf you buy one or two properties a year and rent the properties for equal to or more ment of the property. Especially if you than your mortgage payment, think of the are working full time in another job. potential return you may yield when these 4. Make sure you have cash reserves and properties are paid off by your renters! that you are comfortable with the conHere are six tips to think about when cept of rental property in general. It’s investing in real estate: okay to be cautious. One thing to real1. What are your goals? Are you prepared ize is that in order to grow, we do need to do work and research the property to learn and take on some different ideas location, current market rents in the and concepts. These different ways of area, and crunch some numbers to thinking can feel risky. When you apply insure that you buying a good potenfor a loan we, the lender, will want you to have six months of cash reserves for tial property? Do your own research; that rental mortgage payment in some Craig’s list is a great tool. Are you going type of asset or retirement account. You to manage the property yourself or use

never know if you will need repairs or remodeling or rehab of some type. Oftenwhat will come up. It is always better to times these properties are on the market be a little conservative and not spend all at a discount, as they need to be fixed your cash to buy a property. Don’t leave up. These properties, foreclosures, short yourself empty handed. sales, REOs, Hud properties are poten5. Buy the property at a good price. tially really good deals but are sometimes Understand that a good price is not nec- not able to get typical bank financing. essarily one below the ask price in this The idea is to buy the property at a dismarket. Home prices are beginning to count, fix the property up and now your rise and multiple bid situations are not new appraised value is higher than the uncommon. The forecasts for the hous- combination of what you paid and the ing market over the next few years are renovation costs. Boom, you now have really very good. Our local and world equity in your property. The biggest issue populations are growing. The RTP consumers and realtors have in dealing area is a very strong rental and housing with these properties is where to start, market according to many articles pub- and how to finance them. In some cases, lished nationally. In theory, this should people feel overwhelmed with the project. limit your risk here compared to a more It is important to work with a qualified volatile market like Vegas or Florida… contractor and a lender that is familiar Real estate, if you think of it as a long with these types of remodeling or repair term investment, is a very solid invest- loans. In addition to making a nice profit, ment and one where you can get poten- you can get a great deal of satisfaction tially get huge tax benefits. You are able from remodeling/rehabbing a property. to depreciate properties and write off These types of rehab loans are available your repairs, management fees, etc… on both primary and investment property Take a look on the IRS website at a real estate. Make sure to meet with an schedule E (in your 1040). You can see experienced lender and contractor prior what you can write off when you own a to searching for homes. In addition, give rental property. If you have an accoun- yourself enough time to close these transtant, they would be a great resource. actions, as they will take a little longer to These are good things to think about get done. These projects and real estate prior to you actually purchasing and in general can be very rewarding. You are while getting preapproved. not only dealing with something you can 6. If you do decide this is a good course see, feel, touch and drive by, you are also of action for your family, I would highly dealing with people when you are renting recommend using a buyer’s agent that these properties. Not only can you make has experience in rental real estate, money doing this, you can keep yourself even currently owns rental real estate mentally stimulated in many ways as you in this market. That experience goes a approach and live in the retirement phase long way with understanding philoso- of your life. phy and vision of long-term investors. Amy Bonis is a certified mortgage planner and owner One interesting idea is to look for dis- of The Amy Bonis Mortgage team in Raleigh, www. Eagen properties ad Medicaid #3r 4/24/10 PM Page 1 tressed or properties that need

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Boosting Your Retirement Income With Rental Homes by Amy Bonis

Life Insurance Benefits Taxed or Not Taxed at Your Death?

Plan Now for the Unexpected to Lessen Heartache Later

LeGAL eAse by JonaThan J. DaVid, Senior Wire

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hether you are rich as Roosevelt or poor as a pauper, young or old, early planning can bring peace to your life, and that of your loved ones. Every day news channels and newspapers report on the heartache caused by lack of planning for unexpected health, financial or other individual matters. No two people will have the same circumstances in life, but as we age it’s a sure bet we’ll have at least one health challenge or personal situation. What comes with it? Typically, changes impact legal, medical and personal decision-making along with an increased need of income, especially if longterm care becomes necessary. According to the Society of Actuaries, people underestimate their life expectancy by five or more years. Add to that the people that never think about circumstances happening before their time—or outliving their retirement savings—and one can easily see the reason for planning now to save much heartache later. What Are We Talking About? If you are unable to make your own medical or financial decisions in a temporary or permanent situation, legal instruments and personal data should be readily available. Once prepared, should something unforeseen happen, your designees may step in to ensure your wishes are followed and appropriate actions taken. Think about it. If your life changed dramatically today, what would your family or loved ones need to know? How best could they act on your behalf ? Legal Instruments Of primary consideration, seek appropriate legal advice to prepare durable powers of attorney for medical care and finances. These instruments will give a designated person legal permission to make decisions on your behalf and dispense with important matters. Check your local state Bar Association for referrals to a licensed attorney. In North Carolina, go to Without these key legal documents, your family may incur the added time and expense of requesting the court for the authority to handle all your affairs. You and your attorney should also discuss a living will or medical directive for while you’re alive and a will for after your death. Other Essential Information Your loved ones also need to know about non-legal, critical data to manage your personal affairs. Buy a fireproof box for all your important records and inform someone of its location; then put all legal and non-legal records in it. Now prepare a comprehensive list of your personal business. Address details about all insurance policies, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, credit cards, debts, loans, investments and monthly bills. Make copies of your driver’s license, passport, social security card and any health cards as well. Family and medical staff will appreciate contacts for all your medical doctors, a list of your diseases or illnesses, and all prescribed medicines and vitamins. One more vital list most people give no consideration to: your digital footprint. Especially if you use social media and online shopping sites or cloud computing, a list of all sites with your user names and passwords will go a long ways to finalize accounts, if necessary, and prevent identity theft. Need More Help? Many local and national organizations offer resources to prepare you and your family in the event of a life-threatening situation and help eliminate painful decisions. Go to for a quality website on solutions for health-related resources. Marcia Jarrell is the executive director and owner of SarahCare Adult Day Care Center at Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh. She has an extensive work history in long-term care. Learn more at or call 919.746.7050 to claim a complimentary half-day visit. ®


ear Jonathan: Several years ago I purchased a 20-year term life insurance policy on my life with a death benefit of $3,000,000. The premiums were reasonable and since my wife and I had saved very little for retirement, I wanted to make sure that she was taken care of if I died first. Unfortunately, my wife passed away last year. Rather than let the policy lapse, I thought I would keep it in place for my children. I recently read an article, however, that said life insurance is taxable when the insured on the policy dies. What does this mean? Are my children going to get stuck with a huge tax bill because of this life insurance?


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by Marcia K. JarreLL

$3,000,000 death benefit, is below $5,000,000, there will be no federal estate tax due at the time of your death. However, if the death proceeds from the life insurance policy increases the size of your estate to an amount in excess of $5,000,000, you would now have an estate that would incur a federal estate tax at your death unless you did some type of further planning. One type of planning that is indicated in this instance is to remove the value of the life insurance policy from your estate so that that policy is not taxed as part of your estate at your death. One way this is done is by setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust, known as an ILIT. This is a special type of trust that is established for the purpose of owning (and being the beneficiary of) life insurance on the life of the person who created the trust (the “grantor”). If done properly, when the grantor dies, the trust as the beneficiary will receive the death benefits. Those death benefits will not be taxed in the grantor’s estate and those proceeds will be distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust pursuant to the terms stated therein. There are a myriad of tax rules which need to be complied with when creating and administering an ILIT in order to keep the life insurance proceeds out of the grantor’s estate. One of those rules is that if you transfer a life insurance policy you already own to an ILIT, you must survive that transfer by three years in order to keep the death benefit out of your taxable estate. This is to avoid people making death bed transfers of their insurance policies to an ILIT for the purpose of avoiding or reducing federal estate taxes. This three year survivorship rule only applies, however, when transferring life insurance policies to an ILIT; if the ILIT purchases a new life insurance policy on the grantor’s life, as opposed to the grantor transferring an existing life insurance policy to the ILIT, the three year survivorship rule does not apply in that instance. If you have any further questions regarding the taxation of life insurance or if you have any interest in establishing or setting up an ILIT, you should consult with an estate planning professional in your area who is experienced in this area. Good luck.

Jonathan Says: There are many rules and regulations involved regarding the taxation of life insurance, whether it is federal estate tax or federal income tax, and this area of the law can get very complicated. Generally speaking, life insurance death proceeds are not subject to federal income tax so your children will receive the death proceeds income tax free. On the other hand, life insurance death proceeds are subject to federal estate tax and are included with the balance of your other assets when determining your taxable estate. So, if at the time of your death, you have an estate worth $500,000 without counting the death benefits from your life insurance policy, when adding those death benefits, your taxable estate would now be $3,500,000. That is the bad news; the good news is that federal law provides an exclusion from federal estate taxes for estates Jonathan J. David is a shareholder in the law firm of valued at $5,000,000 or below. Consequently, Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C., 1700 East Beltline, if the total value of your estate, including the N.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525.

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Very Merry Mind Games Six Weight-Gain Rationalizations You Should Avoid This Holiday Season by Gary Marino and Dr. HoWard RanKin

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y now, we all know that the average American gains five to seven pounds over the course of the holidays. (Most of us have experienced this phenomenon ourselves.) There are all sorts of reasons why we fight the annual battle of the waistline bulge: cold temperatures, warm leftovers, less daylight, more office parties and family get-togethers, darker weather, and—lest we forget—free food and plenty of it! If nothing else, says Gary Marino, the holiday season shows how clever we can be at coming up with so-called “good reasons” to postpone taking care of ourselves. “I used to be the master of holidaybuffet excuses,” says Marino, producer and star of the new film Million Calorie March: The Movie, which documents his Florida to Boston obesity awareness walk. “For a large chunk of my adult life, I was one Super Bowl party away from 400 pounds. For me, the holidays provided a perfect excuse to wave the white flag and roll the dice on a successful New Year’s resolution—and that’s still the case for a lot of people. “Forget the debt ceiling in Washington,” he adds. “Most of us this time of the year are raising our weight ceiling.” While most people gamble on a successful New Year’s resolution and enjoy their holiday overindulgence, the fact is that New Year’s resolutions represent the triumph of hope over experience. “We have a 95 percent failure rate on long-term weight loss in this country,”

shares Marino. “The truth is, most of our resolutions will have shaved their heads and checked into rehab Britney Spears style by the end of February.” That’s where a basic understanding of psychology comes in handy. Since willpower is not enough, it’s helpful to know what, exactly, is going on inside your head when you try (and sometimes fail) to overcome overindulgence. “We can always find a reason for procrastinating and avoiding doing what we consider difficult or unpleasant,” says retired psychologist Dr. Howard Rankin. “That’s largely because humans aren’t usually logical. Instead, we’re emotional, psychological beings…with an emphasis on the ‘psycho.’ Fortunately, when you know beforehand the pitfalls into which your pleasure-driven brain might cause you to fall, your odds of avoiding them improve.” First, Rankin says, it’s useful to understand psychologists’ five-stage motivation model. “As you navigate everything from holiday hors d’oeuvres to sit-down feasts, these are the stages you’ll pass through— or not—on your way to behavior change,” he says. 1. Pre-contemplation. Here, there is no acknowledgment of the need to change. This is sometimes called denial. 2. Contemplation. There’s a recognition that change needs to happen, but no commitment to action. 3. Preparation. In this stage, the person readies themselves for change.

Rationalization Number 1: “I can’t be rude or unsociable.” Here’s what you’re

thinking: I don’t want to seem rude or unsociable. Aunt So-and-So hates it when I don’t try her triple-decker red velvet cake. And if I don’t polish off a giant slice, she’ll hover nonstop until I tell her what was wrong with it. “Pick your spots when possible,” advises Marino. “In the example above, make the decision that you’ll enjoy your aunt’s cake since she does place such a high importance on it, but back off on other offerings. Also, remember that taking care of yourself is not being unsociable; it’s being smart.” Rationalization Number 2: “I can hide it.” Here’s what you’re thinking: I can hide

my excess weight better under winter clothes. If others can’t see it, I won’t either. This is the perfect time of year to let go and indulge a little bit. “You can wear all the urban camouflage you want, but at the end of the day, do those bulky layers really make you feel better about yourself ?” Marino asks. “Furthermore, keep in mind that hiding your weight gain won’t make it magically go away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate putting the winter coat away when you can no longer stand the heat!” Rationalization Number 3: “Winter is coming.” Here’s what you’re thinking:

Shorter daylight hours and colder weather mean I won’t be able to exercise. Might as well stop now—a week or two won’t make much difference. “This excuse is especially flimsy if you live somewhere like Miami,” Marino points out. “But even for a Boston resident like myself, there’s still a gym just around the corner—and they make some great thermal workout gear these days. Denial’s a river we all need to avoid.”

Rationalization Number 4: “I’ll wait ’til the New Year.” Here’s what you’re

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thinking: This year is almost over. I’ll wait until January 1st and start off with a clean plate, I mean clean slate. What better time to become the new me than on January 1st? “Food addiction doesn’t have a calendar,” reminds Marino. “And the problem with a diet that starts on January 1st is January 2nd. Grab inspiration anytime you can get it. Why dig yourself deeper into a hole over the holidays? You’re only making things more challenging for yourself after the big ball drops in Times Square.” Rationalization Number 5: “I’m too busy right now.” Here’s what you’re thinking:

There’s so much to do for the holidays. Shopping for gifts, getting the house in order, working out the menus, visiting family and friends…there’s simply not enough time to count calories and stay active. “It’s not about the time,” Marino states. “It’s about how you use it. The fact is, if you make health a priority, you’ll find the time to maintain a reasonable diet and to keep your body moving.”

Rationalization Number 6: “I’ll be cooking.” Here’s what you’re thinking: I’m going

to be cooking a lot. Staying healthy is just going to be too difficult with all that food around. I’m the chef—I have to eat what I prepare! And I don’t want to let the leftovers go to waste. “Yes, but your house doesn’t have to look like the Walmart food aisles, and you don’t need to stock up with enough food for a bomb shelter,” clarifies Marino. “Buy just enough food for the special occasion and donate the leftovers. Just don’t drop them by my house! “Yes, it’s a struggle to stay healthy in the best of times, much less in the midst of the holiday eating bonanza,” Marino concludes. “But you have to stay aware and stay in the fight. You know what giving up is like. Many of us have lived it, and it’s no fun there. Fortunately, with mindfulness and motivation, you don’t ever have to go back.” Gary Marino is an author, filmmaker, and health activist and has spearheaded four national campaigns on wellness and obesity. Dr. Howard Rankin, a retired psychologist and author of ten books, is now a full-time writer. Million Calorie March: The Movie documents Gary Marino’s walk from Florida to Boston to raise awareness for childhood obesity, which was followed by some 70 million people. It highlights the trials and tribulations Marino encountered along the walk, as well as the difficulties faced in making meaningful change to the country’s leading health problem. Million Calorie March: The Movie can be downloaded at million-calorie-march-the-movie.

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4. Action. Here, the person finally takes some action steps. 5. Maintenance. In this ongoing stage, action steps are continued so changes can be developed and preserved. “Standing on the threshold of the holiday season, you’re probably at Stage Three,” Rankin says. “You’ll probably make it partially through Stage Four. Stage Five is where you’re in the most danger of slipping up. If you allow excuses and rationalizations to get you off track, your new resolutions will never solidify into habits.” Since forewarned is forearmed, here are six rationalizations to watch out for as you’re fa-la-la-ing through a food-dominated season:

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iabetes is making headlines across the country. Whether news brings announcements of gains in diagnosis and treatment or statistics that show a continued rise in cases, one thing is clear: Diabetes is a serious disease. Fortunately, it can be managed—and in some cases prevented. There are 25.8 million cases of diabetes in the U.S., and 9.3 percent of North

Carolina adults have diabetes. Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, according to the ADA. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be managed but not cured. Diabetes is a group of diseases that affects how the body uses blood sugar, or glucose. When you think of sugar, you might envision the sweet treats your doctor tells you to avoid, particularly if you’re at risk for the disease. But glucose is vital to your health; it’s your body’s main source of fuel. To turn glucose into fuel, your body relies on a hormone that is produced in the pancreas called insulin. Diabetes is an interruption in this process. There are different types of diabetes, but all are characterized by too much glucose in the blood, which can lead to serious health complications. Type 1 diabetes is considered a progressive autoimmune disease. The body destroys the cells that produce insulin. As a result, excess glucose

Sam’s girlfriend called and said this: “ Sam, can you meet me in eight hours at my house? ”

is left in the blood. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant. Although insulin is still being produced, over time the body does not respond well to it, and it can become unable to produce the amount needed to process the glucose. Type 2 diabetes makes up a majority of cases in the U.S. according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). An Ounce of Prevention

A healthy lifestyle is key to prevention and management, so use these tips to stay on the right track to a healthier life. Not only will these tips reduce your risk for diabetes, but also they can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Eat healthy foods. This means foods low in fat and calories, and high in fiber. Mary Gray Hutchison, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.N., a dietician with Rex Surgical continued on page 24

Symptoms of Diabetes The American Diabetes Association (ADA) outlines the following as common symptoms of diabetes: • Urinating often • Feeling very thirsty • Feeling very hungry even though you are eating • Extreme fatigue • Blurry vision • Slow healing cuts and bruises • Weight loss even though you are eating more (type 1) • Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2) If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor.

Depression and Insomnia Study You may qualify for a clinical research study being conducted by the Duke Sleep Disorders Center if you are:

Physicians in the Sleep Center are studying whether a careful, controlled use of hypnotics will reduce suicidal thoughts in depressed participants with insomnia.

Sam heard this: “ Sam, can you meet me in an hour at my house? ”

If you qualify for the study, all study medication, exams and procedures associated with the study will be provided at no cost to you and you will be compensated for your time and travel.

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The UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology is seeking healthy volunteers, age 55-70, for a research study about cardiovascular inflammation and ozone. Adult Men and Women General health must be good, with no chronic illness. Study requires 11 visits over about 3 months, including overnight stays in a local hotel. You will be paid for your time and study procedures. Call for more information! 919-966-0759

Are you feeling depressed? Are your medications not working? Duke University Medical Center is conducting a research study investigating treatment outcomes in adults with late-life depression. Participants will receive an acute course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Those who respond to ECT will be randomly assigned to one of two groups for a six-month follow-up phase: a group that receives medication alone or a group that receives medication plus an investigational course of maintenance ECT.

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements: • Be 60 years of age or older • Have current symptoms of depression such as sadness, trouble concentrating, and low energy

Please call 919-681-0603 for more information. Duke University Medical Center Sarah H. Lisanby, M.D.


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DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE SLEEPING? If you are 45 years of age or older and have had trouble with falling asleep and/or staying asleep at night for at least three months, you may qualify for a sleep research study. Doctors at the Duke Sleep Disorders Center are studying the link between frequent nighttime urination and sleep disorders. People with insomnia, and normal sleepers without any urinary complaints, are encouraged to learn more about the study.

If you qualify for the study, you will receive a sleep evaluation at no cost to you. In addition, you will be compensated if you qualify and participate in the study. For further information, call 919-681-8797 and ask about the overnight insomnia and nocturia study.


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Peace of Mind


Diabetes continued from page 24

Try These GREEN Light Ingredients…

1 whole egg

¼ C Silken Tofu 2 egg whites ¼ C egg substitute ½ banana ¼ C applesauce

Condensed milk

Silken Tofu

Whole milk

Skim or 1 percent milk Soy Milk or Almond Milk


Butter (1 cup)

¾ C non fat plain yogurt + ¼ C canola oil Or Smart Balance Margarine

Mayonnaise or sour cream

Non-fat plain yogurt/nonfat sour cream

Cream cheese

Part skim Ricotta Cheese


Baked apples Applesauce Smashed banana ¼ of ingredient maple syrup

Canned fruit in syrup

Canned fruit in its own juice or water




Smoked Paprika Chili Powder

Chicken/beef broth

Vegetable broth/bouillon (no salt added) Vegetable stock

Excess oil

Measure 1 T per serving

Excess cheese

Grated sharp flavored cheese or nutritional yeast

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Instead of these RED Light Ingredients…

live well

For healthier eating and weight management, try these ingredient substitutions when preparing meals.

Have you noticed changes in memory or concentration?

You may be eligible for the ENLIGHTEN Study! If you are 55 years old or older, have cardiovascular disease or at least two risk factors for heart disease, and have experienced changes in memory or thinking, then you might be eligible to take part in an exercise and diet research study known as the ENLIGHTEN Study. Eligible participants are randomly assigned to: • An exercise training program • A special DASH diet • Both exercise and diet • Health education Participants receive medical assessments and a six-month treatment program at no cost and compensation for time and travel expenses.

Call 919-681-4747 for more information or to find out if you qualify.

Specialists, suggests “Focus on vegetables, fruits and whole grains for a wellrounded diet. Pay particular attention to portion sizes, especially in foods high in refined carbohydrates—such as white rice, white potatoes, white bread.” For healthier cooking, Hutchison suggests experimenting with ingredient substitutions for less healthy ingredients, like oil, sugar and creme cheese (see table). Increase physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes each day, and divide the workout into shorter sessions if you cannot devote 30 minutes at one time. Hutchison says a mix of aerobic and strength training is ideal, but an overall physically active lifestyle is key. Lose excess pounds. A reduction of five to ten percent in weight can reduce your risk for diabetes. To keep weight off, focus on eating healthier and increasing physical activity permanently by finding motivation in the critical health benefits. Hutchison suggests keeping a food journal on paper or online to track eating habits. “It gives you the opportunity to

take a true look at what you are eating. Grazing throughout the day can make up more calories than you think,” she says. “Simply increasing your awareness, can inspire you to make better choices.” Talk with your doctor. Discuss your personal risk with your physician, and get your glucose levels tested. There are several tests that can determine if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes. It is good to have a baseline of glucose levels and any other indicators of your overall health. “Talk to your doctor about concerns with elevated glucose levels, especially if you think you might be at risk for diabetes,” says Hutchison. “Make a point to track test results at least annually to make sure levels are not slowly rising over time.” You should also know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as all play a critical role in your overall health. Mary Gray Hutchison, MPH, RD, LDN is with the Rex Surgical Specialists public relations and marketing department. She specializes in providing nutrition therapy and education for weight loss surgery patients.

~ Deuteronomy 16:20

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Bianca Montes Jones is CEO and founder of justotech Corporation, a cyber security services company. In this capacity, she builds and leads her team in helping organizations secure their most valuable resources: people, data, revenue, and brand. She founded justotech based off the principle that cyber security should not be limited to firewalls and antivirus software; rather, it should combine staff awareness and education with clearly defined policies and procedures. It’s not just about the information—it’s about the ability to translate cyber security jargon into relatable content. Bianca coordinates her experience as a corporate training consultant and instructional technologist alongside a team of accomplished cyber security experts.

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“Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue”


What is QiGong?

Meditation for Health

THe FIT LIFe by MichaeL Hronas

live well



he recorded history of meditation goes back as far as the sixth and fifth centuries BC. Practiced primarily in relation to religion, mainly Hindu and Buddhism, but also, at various times, Judaism and Christianity, secular interest began in the west in the 18 century. In the 1960s, in large part as a reaction to the Beatles’ study of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, secular and religious interest exploded. Now, meditation is an accepted medical therapy used in the treatment of many emotional conditions, from stress relief to depression and insomnia. Although practiced for thousands of years, western science has studied the practice for only sixty years. Exactly how meditation, secular and spiritual, works is still unclear. But we do that know it does work. Meditation calms the mind by focusing on the present and eliminating negative emotions. There are several types of meditation. Some include physical activity and can be practiced alone or in groups. These include: QiGong, involving meditation and relaxing movements and breathing to achieve a mental balance. Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, involves a series of postures and slow movements. Yoga, which also utilizes graceful movement and postures to promote a focus on the moment. Other types involve purely mental exercises to achieve the desired results: Mantra meditation involves silently repeating a word or phrase or word, thought or phrase to displace distracting thoughts. Transcendental meditation, popularized by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, utilizes a mantra to focus the mind in an attempt to produce a state of mental stillness. Mindfulness meditation broadens conscious awareness of living in the present. During mindfulness meditation you focus on what you are experiencing in the moment, such as breathing, while observing thoughts without evaluation. Guided meditation involves a teacher who uses calming imagery to help produce thoughts of relaxing situations using all the senses, such as smells sights, and sounds. Along with producing a state of mental calm and balance, meditation can improve medical conditions such as allergies, asthma, binge eating fatigue, high blood pressure, and pain relief. However, meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, rather it can be a useful supplement to other treatments. Although there are meditation centers and groups led by instructors, meditation can be practiced alone. You can make it as structured or informal to fit th


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by Sean Graham

continued on page 38


n early 2002 I was living a normal life, busy for the most part, but normal nonetheless. I owned and operated a manufacturing company, was a black belt in a martial arts school, a deacon in an Orthodox Church, married with three kids and a swim coach for my daughter’s team. Some thing unusual happened to me; one day I woke up with a droopy face. Yes, the right side was not working nearly as well as the day before, but I didn’t think too much of it and thought it would clear quickly. After three days however, my attitude changed from “nobiggie” to wondering why I was experiencing this problem. It wasn’t long before I was diagnosed with MS or Multiple Sclerosis. My only thought was wow, from what appeared to be a normal life to that of having a disease never-before seen in my family, with a potentially horrible outcome. This event marked my journey into the land and opportunities of internal energy or Qi! I became intensely focused on learning everything I could about MS. I attended seminars from western medicine sources, read about eastern medicine understandings to no conclusions. It wasn’t until our martial arts school attended a three-day training camp in Canada that my life changed. It was there I met my instructor, Sifu George who, when I told him of my condition and asked for alternatives, he said only one thing, “Do QiGong.” So I began practicing QiGong, driving hours a week to Canada to train and study in this internal art until I was fluent. The result; simple … no more MS. Completely clear with the scans to prove it! Since then I have dedicated my life to teaching and training others about the positive effects of QiGong, pronounced Chee-Gong. I am now training in Medical QiGong, learning how energy works in the internal organ systems of the body and how energy flow can be altered for good health. The Twenty Four Postures of Therapeutic QiGong is a set designed by Grandmaster Wang Zi-Ping and brought to the States

by his daughter and granddaughters. It was designed to promote relaxation and work down through the body from head to toe. It gently moves the body in patterns that positively affect internal organs and organ systems leading to benefits like better sleep, better organ function, reversal of diseases including cancers, neurological disorders, chronic pain, headaches, arthritis and others. As Qi begins to flow, blood will follow the Qi, increasing and bringing on the benefits of an increased circulation to the extremities and throughout the body. QiGong is a positive solution to better health and well being and also a great preventative measure against all that is so common to us. Although nothing is a sure bet, I was asked recently about a QiGong for Arthritis class that I teach by someone with no arthritis, as to whether she should take it. My response was clear when I said it depends on whether or not you ever want to have it? She is now enjoying the class. I challenge all of you who are reading this to become involved, to discover and practice the ancient art of QiGong in this modern world of exercise and working out. Dedicate part of your day to focus, engaged relaxation, proper breathing, gentle movements, and working in. Knowing that every movement is designed to provide nourishment, healing and cleansing of an organ or a system of organs that will lead to great health and wellbeing. This article is only a beginning to the benefits of a simple method of movement, breath and intention that come together to make us whole. Michael Hronas is a Certified Twenty Four Posture Therapeutic QiGong Master Instructor (Shifu), a Medical QiGong Therapist, Medical Reiki Master/ Teacher and the Daoist Priest (Shirfu) of the Temple of Balance and Harmony. Michael teaches and coaches in both Raleigh and Cary and does clinical work as a Medical QiGong Therapist in both towns as well. Medical QiGong is the most ancient arm of Chinese Medicine and an important step for a serious undertaking of good internal health. Michael may be reached at or at 919.348.9911.

have you had diabeTes for less Than five years? is meTformin The only diabeTes mediCaTion you are Taking? The GRADE Study is trying to find the best combination drug treatment for type 2 diabetes. GRADE is a clinical trial designed for people living with diabetes. The study will provide diabetes treatment, medications and supplies at no cost to you. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in collaboration with 37 other medical centers including UNC Diabetes Care Center.

To learn more, please call (919) 957-5693 or visit


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There’s No Place Like

Home for the Holidays

You may qualify for a clinical research study being conducted by the Duke Sleep Disorders Center if you:

• • • •

Suffer from treated Nocturia Feel sleepy during the day Are between 18 and 90 years of age Are in good general health

Andrew Krystal, MD, of the Duke Sleep Disorders Center is studying the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug and how it may improve daytime sleepiness for people who suffer from nocturia. If you qualify for the study, all associated study medication, exams, and procedures will be provided at no cost to you, and you will be compensated for your time and travel.

For more information, call 919-681-8797 and ask about the nocturia sleep study.

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CliniC al T rials P rogram






ou hear how it all started, and you think to yourself, “How could this kid not have become a movie star?” The child was born in Los Angeles, in a hospital with a view of the Hollywood sign. The year was 1951 and it would take two days for a barefoot runner to carry a telegram to Murchison Falls—a waterfall on the Nile, deep in the Belgian Congo—where the father, the legendary film director John Huston, an eccentric adventurer of epic proportions, was filming The African Queen. He glanced at the message, and put the scrap of paper in his pocket. “For God’s sakes, John, what does it say?” asked Katharine Hepburn, his female lead. “It’s a girl. Her name is Anjelica,” he said. I’m being told the story by, well… Anjelica Huston, and I swear I have goose bumps. “I think I heard it first from Lauren Bacall, who was there,” she says. (Bacall was married to Humphrey Bogart, who was there on the Nile, too.) For Huston, it was the first in a life full of extraordinary yarns. And it’s fitting that it combined the swagger of old Hollywood with a poignancy—the distant father; the letter read, then tucked away. “It was an unusual birth story,” she says, “but not one my father or mother told.” I’m sitting in a white armchair in her home in Venice, Los Angeles—a kind of secret fortress, a block from the Pacific Ocean, built for Huston by her late husband, the sculptor Robert Graham. Outside the compound’s high, windowless walls, the neighbourhood hustles by. She lives amid tattoo parlours and medical marijuana dispensaries. Blondes on rollerblades zip past homeless army veterans. Inside, there is a courtyard with a coral tree. The space Graham used as a studio is on one side; a sort of salon is on the other, where we talk. Her voice is a surprise, softer than I’d imagined, perhaps carrying a hint of her Irish childhood. I’d expected something imperious—the “Borgia princess” or the “high-fashion Vampira” that wowed the

critics in Prizzi’s Honor. (Her role as a Mafia granddaughter in that film won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1986.) Back then magazines evoked the icons Silvana Mangano and Maria Callas to describe the cool, sculptured Huston and her aristocratic mien. In person, there’s still much of the contessa about her. Jack Nicholson, with whom she had a 17-year relationship, captured the effect from close-up. “She struck me as being stunning,” he said. “Not pretty, but very beautiful in a powerful way. Deep class.” But Huston, 62, was never quite comfortable with her appearance. “I’m still not, really,” she says. “It all depends on how you’re feeling. It comes from the inside: sometimes I feel perfectly lovely, sometimes not so great.” When she was modelling in New York in the seventies Richard Avedon, the scene’s doyen, tried to block his rivals from shooting her. She was high fashion? “Well, people say high fashion. I worked mostly for Vogue and for high-fashion magazines. But I have a nose; I have a look. I was never an all-American girl.” She spent her childhood on a sprawling estate in Galway, in the West of Ireland, called St. Clerans, to which—between movies—her father brought his extraordinary friends. Her first performance was as one of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters, as a small girl, at home—and Peter O’Toole was in the audience. (She forgot her lines and fled the room, sobbing.) John Steinbeck dressed up as Father Christmas for her one year. Marlon Brando “gave me a tortoiseshell ring from Tahiti, inlaid with silver, and asked me if I’d like to visit him there someday,” she says. Her mother, the ballerina Enrica Soma, was John Huston’s fourth wife and 23 years his junior when they married in 1949. Two years earlier, her photograph had made the cover of Life magazine. Soma was 18, and the publication likened her to the Mona Lisa. “They shared that secret smile,” says Huston. Her father cast a darker shadow. © ARMANDO GALLO / RETNA LTD. COPYRIGHT: © RETNA

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by Rhys BLaKeLy / The Times MaGaZine / The InTerVieW PeoPLe As a small girl, Anjelica thought him incredible. As well as a director of films— among them, a dozen classics, including The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Key Largo—John Huston was an actor, a screenwriter, an amateur boxer, a trophy hunter, a raconteur, an habitual philanderer, and a portrait artist in Paris. He was a cavalry rider in Mexico, and during the Second World War he witnessed combat in Europe as a documentary filmmaker. One collaborator called him “a grenade with the pin pulled,” and after his death in 1987, his daughter Anjelica joked that each time she read about him she learned of another furtive romance—that he had a better sex life dead than she did alive. You wonder whether this explains the 17 turbulent years Huston spent on Jack Nicholson’s arm. Together they were iconic; severely cool—the couple who made news just by showing up. Nicholson and her father loved each other, she says— and like her father, Jack cast a big shadow. For most of their relationship, she and Nicholson lived apart, a short distance from one another in Los Angeles—just as her mother and father had done in Ireland, where they slept in different houses. “I had ambitions of my own,” Huston says. She could not deal with Nicholson’s retinue, nor the phone numbers other women would slip into his pockets, nor the job offers he drew. They broke up in 1989—messily. (She was filming The Grifters at the time, a misanthropic pulp noir into which, she’s said, she poured her anger.) She and Jack reconciled years ago. (She married Robert Graham in 1992, and when he died in 2008, Nicholson went to the funeral.) I imagine that Huston makes a very good

Anjelica Huston’s autobiography, A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York was released in November.

friend—interested, down-to-earth, funny, forgiving. She’s dressed all in black (“corvine” perhaps, would be the word). I ask what she’s wearing and she pulls off one of her woven leather moccasins. “Somebody gave me these, and they’re really comfortable, so they deserve to be mentioned.” She hunts for a label: “Robert Zur— they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had on my feet. And I’m wearing Donna Karan stretch pants and an Oscar de la Renta shirt.” Both her father and her grandfather, the actor Walter Huston, managed to win Oscars before she did. And perhaps it’s inevitable, given how steeped in Hollywood lore she is, but she wonders if today’s movie stars have the punch of those past. “George Clooney still carries that power. He has this throwback thing,” she says. “But, for the most part, I just don’t see those kind of guys any more.” The trend, she reckons, is not limited to the screen. “We’re overpopulated and I don’t think men are as testosteroneheavy as they used to be. I honestly don’t.” She moves on to blast Hollywood for not creating more and better roles for women. She’s been saying this sort of thing for decades, and she sounds regretful at not having more parts where she could “crackle” (though in recent years she’s been a kind of matriarchal muse for the director Wes Anderson, and she made her singing debut at 60 in the Steven Spielberg-produced TV series Smash). Is she a feminist? “I’m in it for myself, and I’m a woman. So, yeah, I’m a feminist.” By contrast, she finds most of today’s blockbusters a turn-off: too much violence, too many senseless special effects, not enough substance. “I know some people have a problem with it, but I really like Downton Abbey,” she says. “I like manners, and behaviour—and to me that’s a very satisfying show. I get very involved, and it takes me to somewhere else. I get emotional. I love costume drama. I’m very, sort of, traditional when it comes to that. I love that stuff.” So if Downton came calling? “Oh, I’d be slathering to work on Downton. I love it. Or maybe not slathering, but, yes, I’d like to work on Downton. It’s great.” In 2008, her husband of 16 years, the fêted sculptor Robert Graham, passed away, after suffering from a rare blood

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Fifty &Fabulous

FiFTy & FabULoUs by GreG PeTTy


orth Carolina is blessed with many visual and performing artists who contribute greatly to our strong sense of place and community. Sheila Kay Adams, singer, storyteller, writer and musician from Madison County, is one of these treasures. The National Endowment recognized her this September for her contribution to American Folk Arts by being designated a National Fellow for the Arts. Growing up in tiny Sodom Laurel near Marshall, NC, she was exposed at an early age to the local a cappella singing traditions of the old English, Scottish and Irish ballads found in Appalachia. The famous English folk historian Cecil Sharp visited Appalachia after World War One and according to Adams, “He found pure versions of Scottish tunes in Appalachia. However, their unique embellishments could not be transcribed and were to be learned only by listening carefully to their intonations and inflections.” The major five to six families in the area shared Sodom Laurel’s singing traditions, and almost everyone was related by blood, marriage or both. These singing and storytelling families include the Wallins, Chandlers and Nortons. So strong was the oral tradition that Adams knows her kin came from Whitehall on the England/Scottish border and immigrated to America in 1731. Another reason for the survival of this unique culture—and these great songs of love, hardship and tragedy—was the fact that people from Sodom Laurel stayed in the area their entire lives. Some never traveled further than a radius of about five miles. Sheila relates the story of how Sodom came to be named. It seems that the ladies of the evening, never loyal to either side, frequented the area during the Civil War because it was between the area where folks were sympathetic to the Union and the opposing Confederate training area at Hot Springs. A travelling preacher exclaimed, “There was more sin here than Sodom and Gomorrah! Thus, the name just stuck.” By the age of five she was beginning to learn the songs heard all over

her community. Chief among her mentors was her great aunt Dellie Chandler Norton. She fondly calls Dellie “Granny.” In an interview for the NEA award Adams relates, “I was Daddy’s ‘active’ child, and I had to hold the cow’s tail while Granny milked her to keep the tail from swatting her in the face. Granny sang Young Emily every time she milked the cow, and to this day the memory is so strong that I can almost smell the warm milk.”

2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipient Sheila Kay Adams at the Vance Birthplace in Buncombe County, North Carolina. PHOTO CANTAREAMANTISEST, WIKIPEDIA.ORG.

Adams calls the method of teaching her the lyrics and melodies of all these songs knee-to-knee because she faced Granny, Inez Chandler, Cas and Berzilla Wallin and others in that position. After hearing the first verse she repeated it and the mentor called out the second verse and Sheila then had to sing both verses, continuing on until all the verses were recited. I believe her memorization technique was that she closed her eyes during these sessions to concentrate—when you see her perform she sings many of the songs with her eyes closed. Sheila estimates that she knows about 500 songs! Inez Chandler also knew the raucous, ribald songs that could make an English sailor blush, and that’s probably where some of them came from. One example of such a song is Seven Nights Drunk, of which Adams can only sing four verses in public! Sheila mentioned that Inez knew about 100 of those “inside” songs. I wonder who will save them? Singing was not the only talent common to people in Sodom Laurel.

They are also tremendous musicians. These self-sufficient, hard-working folks also provide their own entertainment and most everyone plays an instrument. Adams started playing the banjo when she was eight years old and is now celebrated for her drop-thumb claw hammer style of playing. In the same NEA interview she said that Granny told her, “In the old tradition the women played the banjo to accompany the men playing fiddles.” Right along with the singing and playing, people in Sodom Laurel can spin you a tale or two, and Sheila is right up there with the best. I viewed her segment from the Lake Eden Arts Festival on YouTube where she relates the story of the death of ‘Amos’ and the reactions of his former Baptist church congregants. They had split from each other to form two churches—swarmin’ like bees away from each other—a swarmin’ away to cut down some trees to build another church. Anyway, both “swarms” were trying to outdo themselves in providing a suit for him to wear in the casket for the set up party. I won’t spoil the story, but it is hilarious and Sheila is superb. You can view it at watch?v=8KwDk-CCROc. In keeping with the storytelling, it was a natural progression for her to become a writer. She has penned Come Go Home With Me, a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories in 1995 and My Old True Love in 2004. Per her Wikipedia page, Life Magazine called the short stories “pure mountain magic” and My Old True Love was a finalist for the South Eastern Booksellers Association Book Award. Both are compelling stories of the people forged by the beauty and hardships found in Appalachia. Sheila Kay Adams is busy making sure that all of this cultural knowledge will not be lost. She is visiting and performing at local schools and teaching her own children. We hope that they all take these tasks seriously and keep the culture of Sodom Laurel, Madison County, NC alive for many years to come. Comment online at .

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Sheila Kay Adams: A Tar Heel Treasure

29 spotlight

disease. “It’s taken me a good five years to get my legs back…” she says. Before Graham, she’d dismissed marriage as “throwing in the towel.” What was it about him? “I liked that his own art came first. I was astonished when I watched him work. His facility with the clay, his speed, his dexterity. It was like watching a great musician.” She has, she says, grown used to death. Her mother, whom she adored, was killed in a car crash when Huston was 17. She had always been a lonely child. (“Although I knew he loved me, I always felt that Tony [her elder brother, by one year] had it in for me, a bit,” she says at the outset of her book.) But her mother’s death (Soma was just 39) left Huston profoundly alone. Her father could be violent, and in her late teens they’d grown apart after he hit her for dancing provocatively at a party. She had been living with her mother in London (for a while she went to Holland Park Comprehensive, though it sounds as if she spent most of her time playing truant). She moved to New York to model, and embarked on a volatile relationship with the much older, brilliant but disturbed photographer Bob Richardson. Ever since, she’s been surrounded by a kaleidoscopic whirl of famous people. But she never quite outgrew her sense of solitude. “I’m pretty much a lonesome pine,” she says. “That’s kind of the way things are in the forest—lightning strikes, fire happens, you can be the only one standing there.” She pauses. “If you’ve been in the hospital situation with somebody who doesn’t recover, and you’ve had the opportunity to see how prayers and wishes and dreams are denied, how little influence you have on these things, even with people you adore—then yes, you must reach the conclusion that it’s a lonely process, life.” But solitude holds potential. She has found the lonesome business of writing her memoir invigorating. She had no ghost doing her legwork. “I feel like a big chapter of my life is over, and part of writing the book, of this moment for me, is to say, ‘OK—that’s that.’” Her amazing home is also up for sale. “I’m wrapping my brain around that—but that’s good, it’s going to be a big step.” Where will she go? “I have no idea,” she says with glee. “But now I’m going to control my destiny in a way I haven’t before. In a way, it’s really weird. But in another way, I’m thinking that’s OK. It’s freedom, isn’t it?”

Preparing for Retirement

Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

LIFeLoNG LeArNING by JeFF DaVidson

TrANsITIoNs by KaTie GaiLes

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etirement could be one of the biggest milestones in your life. You might have a celebration, but for many people, retirement is a rather quiet passage. To make a smooth transition from point A to point B requires more than withdrawing from the workforce. Will you retire flat out—never work another day in your life—or will be semi-retired, where you work when and where the spirit moves you? What will you do to fill in the gaps? Travel? Write? Become more active in your community? Run for office (it’s not out of the question)? You can file for Social Security payments starting 90 days before age 62, 66 (which is considered a norm of sorts) or age 70. Undoubtedly, you recognize that a long and comprehensive look at your finances, the establishment of the 12-month cash flow for at least the next three to five years, and other considerations need to be at the forefront of your thinking. Several websites can support you in preparing for retirement. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) at www. offers useful tools to help you understand the factors involved in successfully retiring, current articles, quizzes, and an online calculator to determine Social Security and other retirement benefits. The Social Security Administration maintains a comprehensive website at where you can register and keep abreast of your recorded earnings for both Social Security and Medicare benefits. You can determine what your benefits will be if you apply at certain ages given various assumptions about your future earnings. Every American approaching age 62 ought to become familiar with the basic elements of Social Security and what it will mean to them personally. U.S. News and World Report is a beacon of financial and retirement planning information. At retirement, you can find articles from reputable, personal, financial and economic advisors. The site provides a variety of links to programs, retirement opportunities, and key resources. It’s worth a visit to expose yourself to the plethora of options. The U.S. Department of Labor provides helpful information. Enter the key words “ten ways to prepare for retirement” and “U.S. Department of Labor” into a search engine to find their article on financial security in preparing for retirement. The article also provides links to a variety of resources that can benefit any potential retiree. Some of the facts provided by the Department of Labor are quite sobering, especially those indicating how ill-prepared most people happen to be as they approach retirement age. The further away you are from retirement age, the better chance you have to secure your financial future—50 to 55-year-olds, take note. In planning for retirement, here is a rough sequence of steps needed to do the job adequately: • Choose a target date, for now, for when you wish to retire, and find an online calculator that indicates what level of funds you need to accumulate by that time to be financially secure. • If you’re employed by others, become a resident expert on your employer’s retirement plan and learn how to gain optimal continued on page 38


his column introduces you to baby development expert, Stan remains active in the boomers living their dreams and LGBT community and has used his professional redefining aging. I present to you the skills to launch a consulting firm, Total Engagement Boom! Transitions Class of 2013, a source Consulting. In his spare time he built a school in of inspiration for anyone who is still sitting on the Africa. sidelines of life. Larry Stroud decided that retirement was the Jim Davis combined his love of art with his perfect time to become a long distance runner. knowledge of landscape design to form Sculpture in Larry lost over 100 pounds, emptied his medicine the Landscape in Cary, NC. Jim finds just the right cabinet of pills he used to take for a whole host piece of outdoor sculpture to enhance the client’s ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure site and just the right setting to spotlight the artist’s and regularly runs half and full marathons. Most vision. His favorite project was the days you will find him working as a Wayne County Veterans Memorial. weight loss and exercise coach at his After retiring from NC State Uni- daughter’s gym, Real Fitt, in Raleigh. Ann Cuddy taught swimming versity, Cheryl Branker became a yoga instructor, opened her studio in in her youth. After reading about Fuquay-Varina and even developed a tragedy that took the lives of five Anne Cuddy members of the same family; a tragedy her own yoga techthat could have been avoided if they had niques. Cheryl comJim Davis just known how to float and tread water, bined what she learned Ann realized that she had the power to from using exercise during her own save lives. She teaches swimming at the period of great sorrow with her love of Durham YMCA to adults who are afraid yoga to help others rediscover joy after of the water. One of her students went on tragedy. The name of her business is to win her age group in swimming in the JoYoga, of course. NC Senior Games. Joyce Adams, Owner of Adams Throughout Cecelia Redding’s corpoVineyards in Willow Springs, is a prorate career, she found herself in the minorfile of courage. She and husband John Cheryl Branker ity in the male dominated engineering Adams built a vineyard and winery on land that had been in his family for over 300 years. profession. She chose After John passed away, taking the wine recipes with farming, another male him, she decided to continue his dream. In 2012, dominated profession, with the help of son Quincy, Adams Vineyards won as her second career. Cecelia owns and seventeen awards in two competitions. After a full career in operates Down to Earth public education, Shir- Farm in Rougemont, an ley McLeod went back to organic farm that supschool to become a minis- plies food to local cititer. Shirley graduated from zens and restaurants. The last profile of the Duke Divinity School and went on to earn a 2013 will make you Doctor of Ministry degree. want to kick up your Cecilia Redding She is now an assistant heels. Melanie Dale always danced and she always will. Melanie started pastor in a local church. Shirley McLeod Shirley Minter-Smith taking ballet as a child and discovered ballroom is a health blogger, personal speaker and fitness dancing in adulthood. She loved it so much that she coach. In 2012, at the age of 60, she added “Natu- chose ballroom dance as a profession from which she will never retire. Melanie owns A Step ral Physique Association 2012 Top Pro to Gold dance studio in Raleigh. Female Athlete of the Year,” and “2012 Next month, I will start introducing NPA Iron Female Athlete of the Year” you to the Transitions Class of 2014. awards. Some baby boomers live on the leadKatie Gailes, CEO of SmartMoves International, is ing edge of social change and awareness. a marketing strategy consultant, speaker and trainer So it is with Stan Kimer, one of the from Holly Springs, NC, first champions of the LGBT commuComment online at . Stan Kimer nity inside of IBM. A human and career

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Not Just a Place to Live, but a Place to Start Living!


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Angkor Wat

World’s Largest Religious Site Draws Two Million Visitors a Year by KaThy M. NeWbern and J.S. FLeTcher


ambodia has lived with invasions since its inception. Sitting on the southwestern part of the Indochina Peninsula and bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the South China Sea, invaders over the ages have stomped its soil either passing through or claiming it for themselves. Ironically, an invasion is occurring in Cambodia today comprised of millions of tourists who want to see a way of life no longer found in the modern world and who come to view ancient remnants of a time when religion was life’s tour de force (though for many pilgrims here, it still is). It was on the Hiram Bingham Train to Peru’s Machu Picchu where we were first told, “You have to see Angkor Wat,” by Romulo, our guide for touring the Lost City of the Incas. That site is to its culture what Angkor Wat is to Cambodia’s Khmer culture dating to 800 a.d. Outside Siem Reap, peering through the windows of an air-conditioned Mercedes van, we get our first view of Cambodia’s “Temple City”—the combined meaning of the two Khmer words “Angkor” and “Wat.” Our hearts leap knowing Romulo was correct: This is a must see. As we get closer, the true magnitude of the site begins to register. Occupying a rectangular area of about 500 acres, Angkor Wat is surrounded by a wall reconstructed on one side and partially natural on the other, and is encircled by a nearly three-and-a-half-mile-long moat that in places is 656 feet wide. An 820-foot-long, 39-foot-wide causeway made of huge, hand-carved, sandstone blocks serves as the main access. Our Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) tour guide Nhean (Sam) Samban begins to tell us about the city from this vantage point, and before crossing the moat, points out the five towers of the main temple, an example of

Intricate carvings line every corner, wall and roofline at the pink sandstone Banteay Srei Temple. (PHOTO: FLETCHER/NEWBERN)

Cambodian monks are outlined in a doorway with a temple in the background. (PHOTO: ABERCROMBIE & KENT)

classical Khmer architecture. The central tower is 699 feet, compared to the Great Pyramid of Giza’s 455. Sam goes on to explain that Angkor Wat is not only the largest Hindu temple in the world, but also the planet’s largest single religious monument of any kind. It’s been depicted on his country’s national flags since 1863 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat was built during the 12th century by Suryavarman II to honor the Hindu god Vishnu and, says, “is a symbolic representation of Hindu cosmology. Consisting of an enormous temple symbolizing the mythic Mount Meru, its five internested rectangular walls and moats represent chains of mountains and the cosmic ocean.” That ocean, says Sam, is the moat we’re looking across. Angkor Wat is about three-and-a-half miles from Siem Reap, population 300,000, and a modern city flush with a hotel boom (dozens built each year) to accommodate the growing number of tourists. They visit, Sam conjectures, “because Cambodia was a war-torn country. So we went through the ‘killing fields’ for 30 years, 1970 to 1990. Tourists went to other parts of the world. Now, Cambodia is a ‘new’ destination.” Today Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s number-one tourist attraction, drawing more than two million visitors annually. Throughout the compound are expansive and intense sandstone carvings. The Gallery of BasRelief covers more than 12,000 square covering walls

and conveying historical and mythical moments. There are detailed scenes such as the Battle of Kurukshetra, which was the last battle between rival cousins; a triumphal procession of the army of Khmer King Suryavarman II returning from a battle; Yama’s judgment of mankind, showing levels of heaven and hell, depicting 37 heavens with pleasure and palaces, and 32 hells with pain and misery. Another bas-relief shows the recurring religious theme: “the churning of the ocean of milk,” which is about Vasuki, the king of serpents, who became the churning rope. The gods hold the snake’s tail, while demons called Asuras hold its head. Each side pulls, like a tug-of-war, causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churns the ocean, achieving the goal of generating the elixir of life that grants immortality. Several fierce and significant battles are carved, including what some critics have said is the best bas-relief here: the Battle of Lanka pitting Rama and his monkey warriors against the ten-headed, 20-arm, demon king Ravana. Not only is the stone art throughout the monument intricate, masterfully done, and prolific, but the stories depicted offer an in-depth primer to the history of the land, the stories of its people and an insightful look into the culture that’s existed in this harsh jungle surrounding for centuries. Other Standout Temples There’s much more to explore in the province of Siem Reap than just Angkor Wat. We agree with our guide that another must-see is the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom, meaning “large city.”

Cambodia’s Ta Prohm is being preserved, tree roots and ruins, as is. (PHOTO: FLETCHER/NEWBERN)

Here is a completely different take on construction with large, imposing faces—many with enigmatic smiles—carved into massive stone towers dominating the look and mood of the structure. Starting from the entry gates, five in all, the giant faces look out from all four sides, and again a wall surrounds the buildings; a moat surrounds the wall.

Evergreen Construction – the industry standard for quality, value, and style – introduces its newest independent living community in Pittsboro for adults 55 years or older.

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Deluxe Senior Housing! • Independent Living • Unfurnished studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments in the heart of downtown Raleigh • On-site Service Coordinator who plans special events for residents • Section 8, Income-based • Must be age 62+ to apply • UTILITIES INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF YOUR RENT!

If you want to make us your next home, please contact Property Manager Felise Knight at 919.832.1300 Sir Walter Apartments 400 Fayetteville St. Raleigh, NC 27601 Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia, is the largest religious site in the world. (PHOTO: ABERCROMBIE & KENT)

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Outside the south entry gate, which is a tower topped by If You’re Going Luxury tour company Abercrombie & the iconic heads, Sam introduces us to the first of many, many Kent offers numerous trips throughout Cambodia, Laos, “naga” figures we’ll see, the symbol of power and protection. Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The word means “serpent” in Sanskrit, and here the naga is a Visit serpent that forms a stone balustrade. luxury-travel for details. Two other Siem Reap temple sites are also popular with Hotel choices abound in Siem Reap including these tourists: One for its choking tree roots threatening to take over luxury accommodations: the ruins; the other for its ornate carvings in pink sandstone. • Amansara (, the former guesthouse If you’ve seen the Angelina Jolie film “Lara Croft: Tomb of King Sihanouk, is an exclusive, 24-suite historic propRaider” then you’ve seen Ta Prohm, where towering trees erty with private plunge pools and sports a classic ’60s, and their roots threaten to overtake it at every turn. Still, though elegant, vibe. seeing it in pictures and film is nothing like standing in • Hotel de la Paix ( offers person, sweating in the 100-plus-degree sun, mouth agape a modern take on Khmer design and is well situated in at the size and shape of the gnarly tree roots and height of the city center near travelers’ favorites like Bar Street the trees surrounding the 12th-century temple remains with and the Night Market. The contemporary hotel has an piles of fallen stones everywhere. It was arts lounge with changing exhibitions left to nature after it was abandoned, and and a bar washed in changing color. efforts are underway not to restore the site It boasts a world-class spa, romantic but to protect what remains, trees and all. courtyard suites and other rooms with Ta Prohm means “old Brahma”; its original plenty of privacy. name meant “king’s monastery.” • Raffles Grand Hotel ( Although it’s 21 miles from the city, Bansiem-reap) is the traditional pick with a teay Srei Temple is worth the drive, which working, antique elevator and plenty of also allows us glimpses of village life— extras like tennis, a formal garden, thewater buffalo, oxen, and children returning ater restaurant with costumed dance from school. Locals named this temple “citperformances, a small spa and huge, chic adel of the women” for its slender size, pink pool. The historic 1932 hotel features the sandstone and elegant, deep carvings. This original section and an added wing for well-preserved, 10th-century temple is ded120 rooms in all. icated to Shiva and, in its original meaning • La Résidence d’Angkor by Orientwas “Great Lord of the Threefold World.” Express ( Monks and other visitors head into Angkor Wat. features traditional hardwoods, bamboo Clean Water Project We soon discover and natural textiles, and 62 guest rooms in Sam is more than an A&K tour guide. He’s its jungle-like setting on the banks of the Siem Reap River. a champion for clean drinking water especially in the outlying villages. He grew up in one of them, and as he’s traveled • There’s also affordable, convenient and locally owned 202room Royal Angkor Resort ( in his guiding job, he’s met villagers whose children were getwith the largest pool in Siem Reap. ting sick from drinking unsafe water. He took action. With the help of his brothers, he started to sponsor wells in 2005 to bring clean water to local families and their commu- Raleigh husband/wife team J.S. Fletcher and Kathy M. Newbern report on nities. Sam Initially funded the project, but now A&K Phil- travel destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are awardanthropic has endorsed the effort, resulting in more than 300 winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and have visited every continent. When not traveling, they operate, their personwells being built. Each well serves about 20 villagers. alized romance novel company which lets any couple star in a romance novel. Visitors to Angkor Wat and Siem Reap wanting to leave something behind that can make a huge impact on locals’ daily lives can Comment online at . donate at

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a l l e r e d n i C ecember

December Calendar by LUan Harmeson Health Related

st 6 – 21 th





919.821.3111 •


The American Red Cross, Central North Carolina Chapter continues its need for blood donations. Take an hour of time to save a life. For Triangle locations and schedules: 1.800.448.3543 or Duke Regional Hospital offers monthly events for December that includes: Look Good Feel Better; Weight Loss Surgery Support Group; Auxiliary Leather Good Sale; and Stroke Support Group. For meeting dates, times, and information:

Dec 10 Do You Know Who I Am? Dementia Training Program, 7:30am-4pm, Guiding Lights Caregiver Support Center, 3724 National Dr, Raleigh. Info: 919.371.2062 or


Resources Triangle Singles Dance Club has weekly dances, 8:3011pm, Northbrook Country Club, 4905 North Hills Dr, Raleigh. A singles, 40+ social club. December dances feature Shag, Two Step, Annie’s Cha Cha; and New Year’s Eve Dance. Info: The Newcomers Club of Raleigh meets for coffee the first Friday of each month, 10am-12pm, JJ Crowder Masonic Lodge, 9920 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh. Learn more about the organization’s diverse interest groups and events. Info: Arts Access, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities, will be providing audio-described performances. For a listing of performances, dates, and information:


Wake County’s Libraries in the Community offers monthly events at selected Wake County Libraries. December brings Child ID Cards; Learn About the Affordable Health Care Act; Bloodmobile; and Fireside Tales. For dates, times, locations, and information: The NC Museum of Art in Raleigh presents Senior Communities Outreach Program “From Here to There: Celebrating the Art of Travel.” This free outreach program runs through January 2014. Travel conversation will be inspired by a look at the art of travel in paintings and sculpture from the museum. Share times remembered from trips to places near and far. To schedule a visit to your facility: 919.664.6779 or www. Whisk, Waverly Place Shopping Center, Cary, is offering cooking classes in December that include: Homemade Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen; Parent-Child Gingerbread Making Class; True Comfort Soups; The Perfect Holiday Roast; Carrie’s Holiday Cupcakes; Brunch for a Crowd; and more. For dates, times, registration and information: Artspace’s “Position Yourself in the Art World” Series, Artspace, 201 E. Davie St, Raleigh. A new professional development series that in December presents Roundtable & Critique, and Boosting the Perceived Value of Your Artwork through Branding. For dates, times, and information: 919.821.2787 or www.

Dec 2 Deadline for Call for Summer Artist-In-

Residence. Artspace seeks applications for its 2014 Summer Artist Residency. For complete guidelines: 919.821.2787 or

Dec 8-10 Auditions for Sorcerer with Durham Savoyards, Durham Arts Council Building, Duke Power Rehearsal Room, Durham. Appointments necessary. Info: Dec 13 LIFT December Luncheon, 11:30am, NCSU Club, 4200 Hillsborough St, Raleigh. A social support group for the widowed in Raleigh. For reservations or information: 919.218.5656. Dec 25 Night on the Town Meet Up, 12:30-1:30pm,

NUR Grocery and Deli, Mission Valley Shopping Center, Raleigh. For 50+ single friends. Info:

Travel May 10-20, 2014 Spain Classics. Travel with Boom. To reserve a spot and info:

Volunteers Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Durham County has opportunities for people 55 years of age and over who are eager to use their skills to serve the area near them. RSVP staff interviews volunteers and match them to opportunities available through one of many local agencies registered with RSVP for recruitment assistance. Volunteerism is needed in: The Boys and Girls Club; preserving history as a greeter, and giving tours; serve Healthy Futures for older adults; provide hospitality for international visitors; tutoring elementary and HS students; servicing a hospital auxiliary; and more. To learn more about these or other opportunities, contact the RSVP agency in your county

or go online to find an upcoming Volunteer Information Session. Durham Co RSVP 919.536.7247 or The Volunteer Center of Durham serves the Triangle area and works toward connecting volunteers with area non-profits. They offer a new online volunteer matching system called HandsOnTriangle. They represent over 700 non-profits and all their services are free. For a full list of their volunteer needs, and information: 919.613.5105 or Visual Art Exchange needs volunteer help. They are looking for volunteers for various tasks around the gallery, so get involved in this local art community, and sign up to volunteer. Info: 919.828.7834 or

Activities for Children The Museum of Life & Science, 433 W. Murray Ave, Durham, is pleased to announce its December special activities highlighted by Best of Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys: Launch Lab; and Santa Train. For a complete schedule, dates, times and information: 919.220.5429 or NC Museum of History, Raleigh, offers special December programs, concerts and exhibits such as: The Tsars’ Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Decorative Arts Under the Romanovs and Windows into Heaven: Russian Icons from the Lilly and Francis Robicsek Collection of Religious Art and related programs; Holiday Lights Time for Tots; Sweet Holiday History Corner; Festival Food History Hunters; Storytime in the Gallery; Capitol Tree Lighting; and First Night Raleigh 2014. For schedules and information: 919.807.7900 or The NC Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, has December activities and events for children and families such as Weekend Family-Friendly Tours; What’s

In The Box; and Family Fun Saturdays. For a complete listing of event details: Marbles Kids Museum & IMAX Theatre, 201 E. Hargett St, Raleigh, offers December events and activities for children highlighted by An Evening with Elves. Their monthly calendar events include: Move & Groove; Artrageous; Energy Innovators; Garden Sprouts; Science Solvers; and more. For a complete listing of activities, dates, times, and information: 919.834.4040 or The Town of Cary and Cary Arts Center sponsors December performances and events for adults and families highlighted by Winter’s Eve with Cary Town Band; Triangle Brass Band Holiday Concert; A Mini Very Cary Christmas with Cary Ballet; A Special Ballerina Tea; Jewish Cultural Festival; Heart of the Holidays; Santa’s Workshop; 10 Annual Ole Time Winter Festival; 3 Annual Gingerbread House Competition; and more. Also check the Town of Cary’s website for class offerings and art exhibitions. For a complete listing of events, dates, locations, and information: 919.460.4965 or th


Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St, Apex, has December events highlighted by The Brightest Star with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra; Excerpts from the Nutcracker with Infinity Ballet; and The Toys Take Over Christmas and Broadway Santa. Also check their website for classes, workshops, and lessons. For dates, times, and information: 919.249.1120 or Wake County Public Library System continues their programs for children to incorporate Every Child Ready to Succeed. Their goal is to educate parents and caregivers on the skills they can use at home to help prepare children for success in school. The library system offers nearly 150 weekly programs for children. For programs, dates, times, locations, and information: www.

JC Raulston Arboretum, NCSU, Raleigh, welcomes grandparents and their grandchildren to winter fun in December. Events include: Garden Buds; Holiday Wreath Making, Holiday Cards, and Create You Own Wrapping Paper Track Out Mornings. Advanced registration is required. For dates, times, and information: 919.513.7011 or 2 Saturdays, locations at historic sites all over NC. Part of the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources where all 37 historic sites, history museums and art museums schedule special “2nd Saturdays” events. For locations and more information: nd

Dec 1 The Brightest Light, 3pm, Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex. A holiday concert for families of all faiths featuring The Raleigh Symphony. Info:

Dec 3-8 How The Grinch Stole Christmas, DPAC,

Durham. Part of The SunTrust Broadway Season. Info: 919.680.2787 or

Dec 3 & 17 Carolina Puppet Theatre in Christmas &

Winter, 11am-12pm, Holly Springs Cultural Arts Center, Holly Springs. Info: 919.567.4000 or

Dec 5 11 Annual Gingerbread Benefit, The Umstead th

Hotel and Spa, Cary. This all-day event includes a gingerbread house display designed by local chefs, Tea with Santa for children, and an evening benefit, all to benefit Triangle Family Services. Info:

Dec 6-21 Cinderella, Raleigh Little Theatre, 301

Pogue St, Raleigh. This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Info: 919.821.3111 or

Dec 6-22 Miracle on 34 Street, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre, Greystone Village Shopping Center, 7713-51 Leadmine Rd, Raleigh. Info: 919.866.0228 or th

continued on page 36

‘Tis the Season at The Halle Join us for Festive Family Fun Toyland: 6th annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Exhibit & auction to benefit Western Wake Crisis Ministry

November 22-December 20 Opening Reception: Friday, Nov 22, 6-8 pm Christmas on Salem St. Party: Friday, Dec 6, 6-8 pm

nuTCraCkEr danCEs Infinity Ballet Theatre Saturday, O Dec UT7, SOLD 3 pm ThE Toys TakE ovEr ChrisTmas Sunday, Dec 8, By Patricia Clapp 2 & 4 pm & BroadWay sanTa By Janet Gardner and Andy Beck Friday, Dec 13, 7:30 pm Saturday, Dec 14, 2 & 7:30 pm Sunday, Dec 15, 2 pm

Halle Cultural Arts Center 237 N. Salem St., Historic Downtown Apex


Tickets available at Box Office &

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10am-4pm, University Place Shopping Center Harris Teeter,, 1817 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Durham. Collection will benefit The Boys and Girls Club of the Triangle. Info:

35 calendar

Dec 7 The Commons at University Place Toy Drive,

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Everybody knows somebody with a disability...



Arts Access is a state-wide non-profit dedicated to increasing access to the arts for children and adults with disabilities. To support our mission: • Save the date: March 20, 2014 for our party/fund-raiser. It will be at the Raleigh Contemporary Art Museum, 409 W. Martin Street, Raleigh, 5:30-8:30pm. • Sponsor our event. Multiple levels are available. • Donate an item for our silent auction. We welcome products or services. • Volunteer! For more information, contact Lyn Jackson at 919.961.1081 or Susi Michelau at 919.673.6717.

Calendar continued from page 35

Dec 7 Annual Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest Celebration, 3-10pm, City Plaza, 400 Block of Fayetteville St, Raleigh. Seasonal festivities for people of all ages that includes the official Mayor’s holiday tree lighting, ice skating, Santa’s Winterland, outdoor movies, artisan market, music, and more. Info: Dec 7-8, 15-16, & 20-29 The Nutcracker with The

Carolina Ballet, Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, DPAC in Durham, and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Info: 919.719.0900 or

Dec 8 Holiday Jubilee at the 1897 Poe House, 1-5pm, The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, Bradford and Arsenal Avenues, Fayetteville. A free event featuring a concert by Coventry Carolers; a Victorian Santa, and more. Info: 910.486.1330 or www. Dec 11-15 Disney On Ice Let’s Celebrate, PNC Arena, Raleigh. Info: Dec 12-15 The Santaland Diaries, Theatre In The

Park, 107 Pullen Rd, Raleigh. Info: 919.831.6058 or www.

Dec 12-15 & 19-22 A Christmas Carol, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh (12-15), and Durham Performing Arts Center (19-22). Ira David Wood III’s 39 annual musical comedy presented by Theatre in the Park. Info: 919.831.6058 or th

Dec 14 Logan’s Family Night, 5-7pm, Logan Trading Co, 707 Semart Dr, Raleigh. Enjoy holiday treats; visit with Santa, and other festive activities. Info: 919.828.5337 or Dec 15 Raleigh Boychoir’s Millennium Chorus, 4pm, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary. Info: 919.460.4963 or Through Dec 24 Frosty the Snowman, Fletcher

Opera Theater, Raleigh. Part of Storybook Theater benefiting Marbles Kids Museum. Info: 800.745.3000 or


Ex Ex

Experience the drama & pass ion of 2 Incredible Operas


JAN 24 & 26, 2014


RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY or call the Box Office 919.792.3853 Don’t wait for your New Year’s Resolution to save!

Dec 31 First Night Raleigh 2014, locations downtown Raleigh. Presented by Artsplosure. Event includes: Children’s Celebration, People’s Procession, Performances, Fireworks, and the Acorn Drop at midnight. Info: www.

Activities for Adults NC Museum of History, Raleigh, offers December programs, concerts, exhibits and activities; The Tsars’ Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Decorative Arts Under the Romanovs and Windows into Heaven: Russian Icons from the Lilly and Francis Robicsek Collection of Religious Art and related programs; Formed, Fired and Finished: Art Pottery from the James-Farmer Collection; Nesting Dolls Make It Take It; Music of the Carolinas with Gmish Klezmer Band; Everything Sings History a la Carte; Capitol Tree Lighting; and First Night Raleigh 2014. For schedules and information: 919.807.7900 or The NC Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, has December exhibits and events highlighted by Brian Ulrich: Copia-Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores Photography Exhibits and related programs and events; Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed; Reveal: Portraits by Carrie Levy; Close to Home: A Decade of Acquisitions; Art in the Evening; Holiday Program The Nativity in Art, Words, and Music; Holiday Concert with The Raleigh Flute Choir; Sights & Sounds on Sundays; and more. The museum also offers lectures, classes and discussion groups. For dates, times and information: 919.839.6262 or The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh, has December performances that include: Frosty the Snowman; We Will Rock You; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Yo Yo Ma & the NC Symphony; Joy of the

Season with NC Master Chorale; A Christmas Carol; Under the Streetlamp; Home for the Holidays with The Army Ground Forces Band; The Tenors; The Nutcracker; and more. For a complete listing of events, dates, times, and information: 919.831.6060 or The Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St, Durham, hosts performances in December by Michael McDonald; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Natalie Cole; The Nutcracker; KEM; and A Christmas Carol. For dates, times, tickets and information: 919.688.3722 or The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St, Durham, wants readers to attend December’s performances of Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour; 2013 Songwriters Night; Paula Poundstone; The Lamplighter Awards; The Nutcracker; Chris Isaak Holiday Tour; The Irish Tenors; and The Skaggs Family Christmas. For dates, times, tickets, and information: 919.560.3030 or The Clayton Center, 111 E. 2 St, Clayton, has holiday performances of It’s A Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre, and Tar River Swing Band Big Band Christmas. For dates, times, and information: 919.553.1737 or nd

Casbah, 1007 W. Main St, Durham, presents December performances of Bass Face Friday; The Barefoot Movement; Fiesta en Naranjal; and New Years Eve with Peter Lamb & The Wolves. For dates, times, and information: The ArtsCenter, 300G E. Main St, Carrboro, has December performances and events highlighted by The Bald Soprano; Dar Williams with Angel Snow; Holiday Musical Extravaganza with Transactors Improv; A Civil War Christmas; Fiddle X Holiday Concert; Old Time & Bluegrass Slow Jam; and more. For dates, times, and information: 919.929.2787 or The Temple Theatre & The Comedy Zone, 120 Carthage St, Sanford, presents One Night Stands, the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm. December also brings Plaid Tidings; and Tommy Edwards and the Bluegrass Experience. Info: 919.774.4155 or Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 W. Garner Rd, Garner, prepares for the holidays with December performances of: Broadway Voices with Ciaran Sheehan; Wonder: The Sounds and Stories of Christmas; and Lunch with Santa and special guest Big Bang Boom Band. For dates, times, and information: 919.661.4602 or The North Carolina Symphony performs December concerts in the Triangle area featuring: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Cirque de la Symphonie; Yo-Yo Ma; and A Special New Year’s Eve performance of Vienna With A Twist. For dates, times, locations, tickets and information: 919.733.2750 or Duke Performances continues its December event calendar featuring performances of Debo Band; and Emerson String Quartet. For dates, times, locations, tickets, and information: 919.660.3348 or Carolina Performing Arts Series, UNC-Chapel Hill has December performances that include: The Nutcracker; and Jazz for the Holidays with NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra. For dates, times, locations and information: 919.843.3333 or Meredith College’s Performing Arts, Raleigh, presents December performances that include: Directing Scenes Plays; Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree with the Raleigh Symphony; and Winterfest. For dates, times, locations, and information: 919.760.2840 or The Town of Cary and Cary Arts Center sponsors December performances and events for adults and families highlighted by Holly Daze Shoppe; Winter’s Eve with Cary Town Band; Triangle Brass Band Holiday


The Best of Sanford December’s events include Sanford’s Christmas Parade; American Holiday with Lee County Community Orchestra; One Night Stands at The Temple Theatre; Jazz At The Flame; and Plaid Tidings at Temple Theatre. For dates, times, locations and info: Johnston County has a December full of events. Attend American Music Jubilee Christmas Show in Selma; Meadow Lights in Benson; Lights on the Neuse in Clayton; and A Civil War Christmas Holiday Open House at Bentonville Battlefield. For dates, times, locations and information: Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Association wants readers to visit their town for their events of Cash for Christmas Promotion in Downtown, and Christmas Tree Lighting and Sleigh Rides. For dates, times, locations, and information: Holly Springs Cultural Center, 300 W. Ballentine St, Holly Springs, wants families to know about their December line-up of events highlighted by Joyful Noise with The Holly Springs Comminity Band; Holiday Swing with Route 55 Jazz Orchestra; and The Joy of Christmas with The Buckinghams. For dates, times, and information: 919.567.4000 or Halle Cultural Arts Center, 237 N. Salem St, Apex, has December events highlighted by The Brightest Star with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra; Excerpts from the Nutcracker with Infinity Ballet; and The Toys Take Over Christmas and Broadway Santa. Also check their website for classes, workshops, and lessons. For dates, times, and information: 919.249.1120 or Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St, Southern Pines hosts December events of The Nutcracker; Celtic Christmas Concert; and Moore Philharmonic Winter Concert. For dates, times, and information: 910.692.8501 or www. The NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, welcomes visitors to its December holiday events of Scandinavian Christmas Fair, and Christmas County Fair. For dates, times, and information: 9019.821.7400 or Dance Seen: First Friday Gallery Walks take place the first Friday of each month at Arts Together, 114 St. Mary’s St, Raleigh. Event features The Even Exchange Dance Theatre. Free and open to the public. For time and information: 919.828.2377 or

Dec 1 The Brightest Light, 3pm, Halle Cultural Arts Center, Apex. A holiday concert for families of all faiths featuring The Raleigh Symphony. Info:

Dec 3 One Night Stands with Raleigh’s Village

Idiots, 7pm, Temple Theatre, 120 Carthage St, Sanford. Info: 919.774.4155 or

Dec 3-8 We Will Rock You, Duke Energy Center for

the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Part of the NC Theatre and Broadway Series South season. Info: 919.831. 6950 or

Dec 3-8 How The Grinch Stole Christmas, DPAC,

Durham. Part of The SunTrust Broadway Season. Info: 919.680.2787 or

Dec 5 11 Annual Gingerbread Benefit, The Umstead th

Hotel and Spa, Cary. This all-day event includes a gingerbread house display designed by local chefs, Tea with Santa, and an evening benefit, all to benefit Triangle Family Services. Info:

Dec 5-7 11 Annual Holiday Shoppe, Cary Academy, Cary. Info: 919.228.4653 or holidayshoppe. Dec 5-7 Leaves, 7:30pm, Common Ground Theatre,

4815B Hillsborough Rd, Durham. Presented by One Song Productions, a local youth-run theatre organization. Info: 919.698.3870 or

Dec 5-9 A Christmas Story, Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry

Ave, Cary. Presented by Cary Players Community Theatre Company. Info: 919.469.4061 or www.caryplayers. org.

Dec 5-22 Plaid Tidings, Temple Theatre, 120 Carthage St, Sanford. Info: 919. 774.4512 or Dec 5-22 (Three Man) Tempest, Burning Coal The-

atre, Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk St, Raleigh. Info: 919.834.4001 or

lina Ballet, Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Info: 919.719.0800 or

Through Dec 1 A Christmas Carousel Holiday Festival, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. Info: 919.821.7400 or

November 3 • Atatthe Center December 30 5-9 -•December All Performances theCary Cary Arts Arts Center


INDIVIDUAL TICKETS In person: at the Cary Arts Center By Phone: 1-800-514-3849 or Onilne: SEASON TICKETS Contact the Cary Arts Center at 460-4069 to purchase


Dec 6 Holiday Pops with The Durham Symphony,

8pm, Durham Armory, 220 Foster St, Durham. With special guests Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus and the Hillandale Children’s Chorus. Info: 919.491.6576 or www.

Dec 6 Jorge Caballero/Pictures at an Exhibition, 8pm, The Church of the Good Shepherd, 3741 Garrett Rd, Durham. Presented by Triangle Guitar Society. Info: 919.358.1716 or

Dec 6-21 Cinderella, Raleigh Little Theatre, 301

Pogue St, Raleigh. This musical comedy is a holiday sugarplum for the whole family. Info: 919.821.3111 or

Dec 7 Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, 8pm,

Through Dec 1 Messiah featuring The Caro-

by Philip Grecian Based on the Beloved Holiday Film

Gallery, 22 Glenwood South, Raleigh. Info:

2 Saturdays, locations at historic sites all over NC. Part of the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources where all 37 historic sites, history museums and art museums schedule special “2nd Saturdays” events. For locations and more information: nd


Dec 5-28 7 Annual Sisters Exhibition, Local Color

Dec 6-22 Miracle on 34 Street, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre, Greystone Village Shopping Center, 7713-51 Leadmine Rd, Raleigh. Info: 919.866.0228 or




UnWined, 237 Center Grove Church Rd, Moncure, invites all to their December special events highlighted by events and musical performances by Trilogy; Art for the Gift of Giving; and New Year’s Eve with Rhonda Robichaux. Every 2 & 4 Fridays, 6:30-9pm, come enjoy grilled pizza from Bella Donna’s Restaurant. Come relax, enjoy their uniqueness, and unwind. For dates, time, and info: 919.548.9384 or nd

Cary Players presents


Dec 7 The Embers Christmas Show, 7:30pm, Seby

Get to know NewsRadio 680 WPTF and you’ll “know well”

B. Jones Performing Arts Center, Louisburg. Part of the Allen de Hart Concert Series. Info: concertseries.

Jones Auditorium, Meredith College, Raleigh. Performed by Raleigh Symphony and Scarlet. Info: 919.546.9755 or

Dec 7 St Thomas Catholic School’s 10 Annual Christmas Holiday Shoppe, 9am-4pm, St. Thomas More Church, 940 Carmichael St, Chapel Hill. Musical entertainment, raffle, bake sale, Candy Cane Coffee Bar, and 60 talented artisans. Info: th

Dec 7 6 Annual St. Nicholas European Christmas th

Market, 10am-3pm, Sts. Cyril and Methodias Catholic

continued on page 38

All the best to you and yours this holiday season.

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Concert; A Mini Very Cary Christmas with Cary Ballet; A Special Ballerina Tea; Jewish Cultural Festival; Heart of the Holidays; Santa’s Workshop; 10 Annual Ole Time Winter Festival; 3 Annual Gingerbread House Competition; and more. Also check the Town of Cary’s website for class offerings and art exhibitions. For a complete listing of events, dates, locations, and information: 919.460.4965 or

Retirement continued from page 30

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advantage. Coordinate such knowledge with information on how to optimize your forthcoming social security benefits. Seek a competent personal financial advisor. There is simply too much to know and too many ways to make errors. Often, a competent financial advisor can more than offset his or her fee as a result of the financial guidance they provide to you. With or without a financial advisor, establish some goals so that you’ll have targets to work towards. Begin to build up savings, retirement accounts, and other investments while minimizing, as best as you can, completion of such funds. Include your healthcare coverage in the equation. Whether employed by others or self-employed, you have plenty of options. Healthcare benefit advisors, usually affiliated with a local insurance agency, can be great sources of free information, steering you to one policy or another. They have familiarity with a variety of plans and benefits. Their compensation comes from the health insurance agencies, not from you. Investigate a commonly overlooked issue—long-term healthcare insurance. You or your spouse may need some type of specialized assistance in your latter years. Policies are available that will protect both you and your spouse, and will eliminate concerns as to who among the two

Meditation continued from page 26

individual needs. Meditation can be built into your daily routine, and practiced at specific times, such as right after awakening in the morning or just before bedtime, or at any convenient time during the day. The important aspect is that whether you can devote an hour or a few minutes, the time spent is relaxing and calming. Helpful practices include: • Deep breathing: a technique that is great for beginners as breathing is a natural function. Concentrate your attention of the flow and sensation of breathing to create a sensation of relaxation. • A mental body scan: focuses attention on the sensations expericed during meditation. Imagine breathing warmth or relaxation into different parts of your body. • Repeating a mantra: helps block

of you may need help first. • Consider your housing situation. Do you still live in the large family home that you’ve maintained over the years? Have your kids long since flown from the nest? If your mortgage is paid off, fine. If not, and you have dozens if not hundreds of months to go, maybe it makes sense to sell the large home and move into something more affordable and more manageable, as many retirees have done. • Speak to retirees, particularly those in your field. Ask them what retirement is really like. Ask them what they would have done differently, and how they have adapted over time. The perspective of others is invaluable. Sure, everyone has a different set of circumstances. However, you want to hear the stories of those who have preceded you. Beyond financial considerations, the key to successful retirement is staying active in something you enjoy. Retirees who have no activity plan upon retirement end up dying years sooner rather than later. It’s easy enough to fill up your days with television, the Internet, and mobile devices. It’s more important to enjoy your retirement years, and that requires some planning. Jeff Davidson ( holds the registered trademark as “The Work-Life Balance Expert .” His 56th book, Simpler Living was selected by four books clubs and is scheduled for Chinese translation. Jeff has developed 24 “Work Life Guides” apps available at www. ®

stressful thoughts, resulting in a more relaxed state of mind. • Focusing attention: for example thinking on feelings of love and gratitude is helpful to invoking a sense of well-being. Whatever form or methods you prefer, be aware that meditation skills require practice. However, don’t increase your stress by worrying about your level of skills. It takes practice, but just the effort, regardless of your ability to focus strictly on calming thoughts is beneficial. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Whatever is most convenient and what works best for you, is the “right way,” and will produce beneficial results. Reference: HQ01070

Sean Graham is a freelance writer specializing in healthcare and technology. You can reach him at

Calendar continued from page 37 Church, 2510 Piney Plains Rd, Cary. Info:

Dec 7 Annual Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest Celebration,

3-10pm, City Plaza, 400 Block of Fayetteville St, Raleigh. Seasonal festivities for people of all ages that includes the official Mayor’s holiday tree lighting, ice skating, Santa’s Winterland, outdoor movies, artisan market, music, and more. Info:

Dec 7-8 42 Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight nd

Tour, 1-7pm, Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood District. This year’s tour features 13 homes and significant structures, festively decorated for the season. Tickets are available online and select locations. Info:

Dec 13 Triangle Wind Ensemble Holiday Con-

cert, 7:30pm, NC School of Science and Mathematics, Durham. With guests Durham Children’s Choir. Info:

Dec 13-14 Holiday Pops with Concert Singers of Cary, Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave, Cary. Info: 919.678.1009 or

Dec 13-14 The Sounds of Christmas with Voices, Hill

Hall Auditorium, UNC-Chapel Hill. Sacred carol medleys and American favorites. Info:

Dec 13-14 Under the Streetlamp, Meymandi Concert Hall, DECPA, Raleigh. An electrifying evening of classic hits from the American radio songbook. Info: www.

Dec 7-8, 15-16, & 20-29 The Nutcracker with The Carolina Ballet, Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, DPAC in Durham, and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh. Info: 919.719.0900 or

Dec 13-21 Black Nativity, Thompson Theater, NCSU, Raleigh. Presented by Justice Theater Project. Info: 919.264.7089 or

Dec 7 Holiday Musical Extravaganza with Transactors Improv, 8pm, The ArtsCenter, 300G E. Main St, Carrboro. Info: 919.929.2787 or

Featuring Choral Society of Durham with holiday songs plus African-American Christmas spirituals. Info: 919.684.4444 or

Through Dec 8 Metamorphoses & The Tempest,

Dec 14 & 15 Sounds of the Season with The Triangle

Paul Green Theatre, UNC-Chapel Hill. William Shakespeare’s plays performed on a rotating repertory by PlayMakers Repertory Company. Info: 919.962.7529 or

Dec 8 Hillsborough Holiday Home Tour, Downtown, Hillsborough. Info: 919.732.8156 or

Dec 8 Holiday Jubilee at the 1897 Poe House, 1-5pm,

The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, Bradford and Arsenal Avenues, Fayetteville. A free event featuring a concert by Coventry Carolers; a Victorian Santa, and more. Info: 910.486.1330 or

Dec 14-15 A Child of Our Time, Duke Chapel, Durham.

Brass Band, Wake Forest Baptist Church (14 ) & Cary Arts Center Theatre (15 ). Info: th


Dec 15 Raleigh Boychoir’s Millennium Chorus, 4pm, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary. Info: 919.460.4963 or

Dec 15 Raleigh Flute Choir Holiday Concert, 3pm,

NC Museum of Art, Raleigh. Info: 919.715.5923 or www.

Dec 15 The Adaptable Psalm with The Triangle

Jewish Chorale, 3pm, Charlotte and Dick Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 W. Cornwallis Rd, Durham. Info:

Dec 9 Jazz for the Holidays Show, 7:30pm, Memorial

Dec 15 Paula & Amber Snyder Holiday Performance,

Dec 9 & 23 PineCone Bluegrass Jam, 7-10pm, Busy Bee Café, Raleigh. Info:

Dec 15-16 Holiday Concert with The Raleigh Ring-

Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill. Performed by NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra. Info:

Dec 10 Joy of the Season with NC Master Chorale,

7:30pm, Meymandi Concert Hall, DECPA, Raleigh. Info:

Dec 11 General Assembly Chorus & Heart of Caro-

lina Chorus Holiday Concert, 7:30pm, Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave, Cary. A light-hearted look at the beloved Christmas tradition of reading a story to a precocious daughter on Christmas Eve. Info:

Dec 11-15 Disney On Ice Let’s Celebrate, PNC Arena, Raleigh. Info:

Dec 12 Holiday Shopping Event, 4-8pm, Ten Thou-

2-4pm, Whole Food Market, 8710 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh. Tips will be donated to Feed 4 More. Info: 919.354.0350 or

ers, Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. Info:

Dec 17 NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra Concert,

8-10pm, The Sharp 9 Gallery/Durham Jazz Workshhop, 4608 L Industry Lane, Durham. Info: 919.486.5299 or

Dec 18 The Tenors, 8pm, Memorial Auditorium, DECPA, Raleigh. Part of Broadway Series South. Info:

Dec 19 Moonlighters Orchestra, 7-9:30pm, Five Points Center for Active Adults, 2000 Noble Rd, Raleigh. Part of the Cavalcade of Triangle Big Band Series. Info: www.

sand Villages, Shops of Eastgate, 1800 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill. A fundraiser for the Friends of the Seymour Center. Info: 919.619.7260.

Through Dec 28 Beverly McIver: New York Stories Exhibit, Craven Allen Gallery, 1106 Broad St, Durham. Info: 919.286.4837 or

Dec 12 2 Annual Holidays in Harmony, 6-9pm, The Durham Hilton, 3800 Hillsborough Rd, Durham. To benefit Durham Crisis Response Center, come and enjoy live entertainment, fancy feast, silent auction, and more. Info:

Raleigh. Presented by Artsplosure. Event includes: Children’s Celebration, People’s Procession, Performances, Fireworks, and the Acorn Drop at midnight. Info: www.


Dec 31 First Night Raleigh 2014, locations downtown

Dec 12 & 15 The Glory of Christmas, Long View

Dec 31 Tommy Edwards & The Bluegrass Experi-

Dec 12-22 A Trailer Park Christmas, Common

Through Jan 5, 2014 Gathering Exhibit, Pleiades Gallery, 109 E. Chapel Hill St, Durham. A collection of visual stories, told through diverse artistic media. Info: 919.707.2706 or

Center, 118 S. Person St, Raleigh. A spirited mix of traditional, classical, and world music by Unity Choir. Info: Ground Theatre, 4815B Hillsborough Rd, Durham. Crazy neighbors, ghosts, fruitcakes and a holiday tornado. Info: 919.698.3870 or

Dec 12-15 & 19-22 A Christmas Carol, Duke Energy

Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh (12-15), and Durham Performing Arts Center (19-22). Ira David Wood III’s 39 annual musical comedy presented by Theatre in the Park. Info: 919.831.6058 or www.theatreinthepark. com. th

ence, 8pm, Temple Theatre, 120 Carthage St, Sanford. Info: 919.774.4155 or

Through Jan 13, 2014 The Art of Giving Exhibit, Hill-

sborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St, Hillsborough. Info: 919.732.5001 or

Through Jan 31, 2014 Furniture and Home Décor

Show, Animation & Fine Art Galleries, University Mall, 201 S. Estes Dr, Chapel Hill. Info: 919.968.8008 or www.

lina Ballet and Boom! Magazine invite you to celebrate the seasons—the four seasons! In anticipation of the upcoming Carolina Ballet’s performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons February 13 through March 2, we offer you a chance to win tickets to the performance. Please share with us a brief composition on “What is your favorite season, and why?” by January 15, 2014 and you will be entered to win. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a theatrical and sensory treat, taking the audience on a journey through the changing of seasons—the chill of winter, the newness of spring, the languor of summer, and the melancholy of fall. Witness the power of Mother Nature brought to life through dance in this greatly anticipated world premiere. ~ Carolina Ballet website

Submit your essay electronically to The winning stories will be published in the February issue of Boom! • First Place Winner: Four (4) Zone One tickets to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with a chance to meet the dancers • Second Place Winner: Four (4) Zone Two tickets to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons • Third Place Winner: Two (2) Zone Two tickets to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Electronic submissions are requested but if you prefer pen and paper, mail your composition to: Boom! Magazine 106 Huntsmoor Lane Cary, NC 27513 Must be postmarked by January 15. And With This Shell, The Sea: The Ceramic Art of Siglinda Scarpa—Through January

31, 2014—Gregg Museum of Art & Design, 1903 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh—Open by appointment M-F, 9-5. Call 919.513.7244, or email

Siglinda Scarpa in her studio. PHOTO BY ROGER MANLEY.

farmer,” says Leslie Pepple, communications manager for the museum. “This highly entertaining exhibit offers museumgoers a unique way to interact with contemporary sculpture and explore the principles of simple mechanical motion.”

39 live large

What is Your Favorite Season? The Caro-

untold number of cats at The Goathouse Refuge Mission, a “non-profit no-kill animal sanctuary dedicated to providing cage-free care for cats regardless of age, medical issues or disposition until a permanent loving adoptive home can be found.” In fact 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her sculptures in this show will go to support The Goathouse Refuge. For more information visit the Gregg Museum’s website at or The Best of Springs, Sprockets and Pul-

I find it fascinating the number of artists leys: The Mechanical Sculptures of Steve that live in this area—I guess people just Gerberich Through February 23, 2014— gravitate to the beauty of North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, 433 West and the vibrant lifestyle of the Triangle. Murray Avenue, Durham One of the first exhibits I reviewed for And I was delighted to learn about Siglinda this column happened to be Steve GerberScarpa, an Italian born ceramic sculptor now living in Pittsboro. Her pieces range from ich’s Holiday Springs and Sprockets show many delicate coral-inspired porcelain leaves to moons ago. I was fascinated by his gadgetry sturdy cookware. But even her functional and marveled at his ability to see everyday pieces have an air of humor, using found objects and imagine their possibilities. Returning to the Museum of Life and objects as handles on a baking dish or coverScience for The Best of Springs, Sprockets and ing a pitcher with mounds of clay dots. What I most loved were what Scarpa Pulleys installation was quite simply a joy. refers to as her Cloud pieces, “like the clouds Steve was putting the finishing touches on his show and I watched him of a summer day building to a tighten a belt, align a pulley, gathering storm.” They reminded and tinker with an eye socket. In me of Georgia O’Keefe’s flower fact, tinker is the perfect word paintings with leaves so delicate for what he does… I imagine it was hard to imagine how she Steve tinkering away in his got the clay so wafer-thin. studio in Williamsburg amidst Scarpa started her apprenFunctional water pitcher. old machine parts, kitchen ticeship at the age of 13 in Rome. utensils, furniture scraps, lightShe moved to the United States in her 30s and was working as a studio ing fixtures, medical supplies, toys and manager of Greenwich House Pottery in carnival figurines until inspiration strikes Manhattan when she began experiment- and he turns discarded objects into fantasing with non-representational forms. Over tical sculptures. Gerberich describes his work as a mixthe years she began combining clay with ture of: “one cup Duchamp, three teaspoons wood, metal and blown glass. Calder, two tablespoons Kienholz, one half Scarpa moved to Pittsboro in the mid 90s. Her studio shares the land with an cup Cornell, one pound Rauschenberg, and a sprinkle of Tinguely.” He also says the reward is “seeing everyone from business executives to Iowa farmers… take a look at my work, talk about it and go away with a smile.” How can you not smile after you press a button and Gerberich’s sculptures come to life. “A flock of decoy geese flap overhead with open suitcase wings. A wooden cow with hooves clad in high-top sneakers is milked endlessly by an over-enterprising And With This Shell 8.

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Rollie the Drummer.

A sculptor with a B.F.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, Gerberich began making art that moves when he relocated to New York City from Iowa in 1985. He set up his first motorized installation in SoHo, convincing the owners of an abandoned factory to let him use their windows for display in exchange for cleaning the space. His work caught the attention of passersby, including that of international art collectors and art critics. Be sure and spend some time with the Gerberich Grand Orchestra. I can’t decide which character I love the most: the conductor with a mop for hair, the drummer who uses croquet mallets for drum sticks or the sax player with a teapot head—enjoy!

Cash Cow.

12 Years a Slave Movie Review by BriTTany BUrcheTT

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Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, is based on the true story of Solomon Northup. He was a free black man in New York. In 1841 he was kidnapped, taken south, and forced to serve as a slave for twelve years. He eventually proved his freedom and wrote his story. This movie bruises the soul with its brutality. Your reviewer got so exhausted emotionally that I counted ceiling tiles for a respite. Forgive me if this review is not as engaged as they typically are; I will try to give you the best sense of the movie that I can.

I want to start by being positive, because in a technical sense, this is a fantastic movie. Director Steven McQueen is absolutely masterful with the camera angles. From the beginning, he focuses on objects: a plate, a candle, a board. The soundtrack is subdued. We know right away this is will be a movie that focuses on specifics: one man, one time, one experience. Often the camera will blur, which helps us feel Northup’s sense of powerlessness and shock at his sudden and unjust change of circumstances. The camera crew does a magnificent job not just with close-ups of objects, but of characters. Sometimes a drop of sweat on Northup’s brow will command the focus of an entire shot, and it’s very powerful. The moment near the end where Northup stared wordlessly into the camera as if giving the audience a message is very profound. The focus and clarity of the camera feels similar to the way we view our own surroundings, and this grounds us in the world of the movie from the beginning. Somehow, McQueen’s camera crew has been able to create a perspective by which we feel like we are watching the events unfold in reality and not on-screen. This skill makes the movie much more painful to watch, so it can either be a good thing or a bad thing. In fact, that can apply to the movie in general, because it takes skill to evoke such a powerful reaction from an audience. The movie’s ability to devastate an audience certainly speaks to the skill of McQueen, his cast, and his crew in making films. McQueen knows how to tell a story, even if it may not be one viewers want to see. Chiwetel Ejiofor is very moving in the lead role of Solomon Northup, as one would expect. His defiance in the beginning is a refreshing change to the behavior of slaves we typically see in fiction, and that’s nice. However, the whole movie is an exercise in pathos, and by the end we feel more for Solomon as a victim of

slavery than as a person. Another slave, Patsy, receives some development. She is the plantation owner’s sex slave. There are no words for the character’s agony, which I guess is praise for the actress (Lupita Nyong’o). If someone had shot the poor woman through the head, it would have been a happier movie. The movie’s two most sadistic characters are Tibeats (Paul Dano), an overseer for Northup’s first owner, and Edwin Epps (Micheal Fassbender), as Northup’s second owner. Both these men are actors I love as a rule but thoroughly despised here, so they did a pretty remarkable job. Fassbender is a reliably strong actor. Still, the drunken plantation owner is little more than the caricature of cruelty we’ve all seen before. Is there some nuance in his character? I think Fassbender tries his best to put some in there, but the character of Epps is so repugnant it gets lost. Still, the limitations of the script aren’t Fassbender’s fault, and he’ll probably get an Oscar nod here. Brad Pitt shows up briefly as an abolitionist named Bass, and that’s a brief respite, but he’s not around long enough to shake the viewers out of their violenceinduced numbness. Besides, he’s not really playing a character; he just shows up as and acts like his own, good-guy self. I found the most fascinating portrayal to be that of Ford, Northup’s first owner. Benedict Cumberbatch has such a nice-guy demeanor that he’s perfect for Ford. He brings a fresh energy and quiet dignity to what is essentially another stereotype: the “good” slave owner. He is just and kind to a surprising extent, even protecting Northup after Northup attacks Tibeats. Yet he senses Northup is not legitimately enslaved, and does nothing about it; when Northup tries to tell Ford, he says, “I can’t hear that.” Ford wants to be a good man, but only within the system of which he is a part. He won’t break the mores of the society he lives in to do the right thing. He’s a coward—but surely cowardice is a lesser crime than cruelty? That could have been a great thing for the movie to explore. But Northup didn’t stay long at Ford’s, and so the movie must move along and leave this fascinating character behind. After watching 12 Years a Slave, I have a question. I have nothing but respect and admiration for people like Solomon Northup who endure such atrocities. But is there a point in telling a modern audience the details of this horrifying story? It’s been a hundred and fifty years; it’s not an injustice we can repair. How much of the gory truth do we really need? I don’t know. But it’s a question you should ask yourself before you buy tickets to this movie. Brittany Burchett is a freelance writer for Boom! She graduated in 2010 with a degree in English from NC State University and has two complete, unpublished novels. If you would like to recommend something for her to review, offer an opinion on a review, ask a question about her novels, or just say hello, her e-mail address is

How to Prepare for Your New Four-Legged Family Member This Holiday Season VoLUNTeerIsM by Amanda RaXLin, Tia HaGnas and JiLL WaLTers


he holidays are here! What better time to adopt that cat or dog your child has been begging for? Adding a pet to a home anytime during the year is great, but careful consideration should be taken before adopting a new pet at the holidays. The heartbreaking fact is that more pets are returned or dropped off at a local shelter after the holiday cheer fades away and the year comes to a close. Children lose interest in the pet and they become forgotten and unwanted; allergies are discovered among family members, and the pet must go; sometimes, families aren’t aware of the financial responsibility of a pet, and give it up because the pet becomes too expensive. These are all important factors you must consider before you commit to owning a new pet. Alley Cats and Angels (, an all-volunteer, foster home-based rescue for cats and kittens in the Triangle, has seen these situations first-hand. They happily wish a cat luck with his or her new family, only to have it returned at a later date. If you are considering adopting a pet this holiday season, take a moment to review these helpful tips. Get the family involved in the process. “There’s an emotional connection that comes with selecting a pet—it may be the look on the pet’s face, or the way he held out his paw, but it’s an emotional bond that usually begins when you first see or hold it. Choosing a pet is personal for most people and that is why it’s important to involve the whole family,” said Tia Hagnas, Alley Cats and Angels founder. Look into potential allergies. It is astonishing how many people are heartbroken that they have return cats to us because they were unaware of their allergies. Be prepared beforehand and interact with cats or dogs owned by friends and families to see if there could potentially be an allergy issue. “Alley Cats and Angels understands that even with the best intentions, not all adoptions will work out and allergies are the most common reason for a quick return. That’s why we give our adopters 14 days to make sure it’s the right fit for your family,” said Jill Walters, Alley Cats and Angels volunteer. Consider a “foster to adopt” process. Alley Cats and Angels allows you to essentially “take your cat or kitten for a test drive” before committing to a full adoption. Foster to adopt allows you to take the time an animal needs to adjust to a new situation without committing to that adoption. This particular animal may be stressed and fearful at an adoption event, or prefer a single pet home often turns out to be playful and affectionate in the right home. continued on page 41

Pets continued from page 40

Take your mind away from the holidayhype. “I think a pet is the best gift in the

world. However, while surprises are great, giving a pet for Christmas may be a little more of a surprise than someone is expecting, and may not be appreciated. If you want to give someone a pet for Christmas, the best solution is to provide them with a gift certificate to a local rescue group so they can have the fun of picking out (and being picked) by their new family member,” Hagnas said. Volunteer Sign Up Do you love cats and want to make a difference in their lives? Alley Cats and Angels would love you to join our team of volunteers. Did you know your time can be just as valuable to Alley Cats and Angels as a financial donation? We always need volunteers; the more volunteers we have, the more we can do for the cats. Together, we can save lives. If you are interested email Amanda Raxlin, Tia Hagnas and Jill Walters are with Alley Cats and Angels. To get involved, please visit or stop by the weekly adoption events held in Knightdale and Morrisville Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4p.m. For all the updates on available cats and kittens, like us on Facebook. For more info visit

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Understand the financial costs of a pet.

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If you are the type who likes to budget, consider calculating the initial cost of purchasing supplies and ongoing fees for your new pet (such as food, treats, litter for cats, boarding costs, apartment fees if applicable, yearly vet exams and vaccinations, as well as a contingency budget in case the pet becomes sick). Make sure to research what is included with the adoption. All of Alley Cats and Angels cats and kittens come fully vetted and include a 21 day ‘nose to tail’ health guarantee—meaning if your cat or kitten gets sick or needs to see a vet in the 21 days following the adoption that Alley Cats and Angels vets will treat your new family member and provide the medicine he or she needs at no charge to the adopter. That ‘free’ kitten you found online may require as much as $300 in exams, shots, deworming and spay/neuter surgery. Alley Cats and Angels provides testing for life threatening illnesses like Feline Leukemia and FIV, vaccinations against feline leukemia, a distemper vaccination and booster (two additional boosters for kittens), rabies vaccination as well as deworming, ear mite treatment, flea treatment, exam, spay or neuter and a microchip with a lifetime registration.

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