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CIRCA

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER 2021

S O U P E R S O U P S • A L L T H I N G S P U M P K I N • T I P S F O R M A NAG I N G YO U R M O O D • F R AG R A N T M E M O R i E S • A WO N D E R F U L T I M E T O G A R D E N M A R K E T U P DAT E • C H E E R S T O AU T U M N • B A K E D I N T R A D I T I O N • av o i D H O L I DAY E N T E RTA I N I N G D I S A S T E R S • c h e c k t h e h a l l s k e e p a n e y e o n e y e h e a lt h • f o rc i n g pa p e rw h i t e s f o r c h r i s t m a s • h a p p y paw l i day s • l i g h t i t u p t h i s h o l i day • A N D M O R E

c i rc a m ag a z i n e . c o m


A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER

Fall in North Carolina has a lot going for it – beautiful weather; great college football; gorgeous leaves (just like Wake Forest’s fabulous foliage that is featured on the cover). And of course, this season offers us Halloween and Thanksgiving, with Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa right around the corner. For all these reasons, and more, many – myself included – consider autumn the best season of all. I love this time of year … my only complaint? It doesn’t last nearly long enough! Just like the pumpkin spice latte, fall is only here for a limited time. All too soon, those beautiful, vibrant leaves will be gone and the temperatures will have dropped, indicating Ol’ Man Winter is on his way. But before he arrives, we need to make the most of fall. And this issue of CIRCA is here to help you do just that! On the following pages you can discover all things fall … how to fill your calendar with festive fall fun; your belly with delicious fallinspired foods and drinks; your home with beautiful fall décor; and your heart by celebrating the season with loved ones. Fill your calendar … “’Tis The Season” details the many exciting events coming up in Wake Forest – from fun and frights at the “Spirits of Wake Forest” walking tours to the many holly jolly holiday happenings around town. Pop on over to the N.C. State Fair where of course you’ll enjoy thrilling rides and tasty treats – but before you go, check out “Hidden Gems” to learn of the many other treasures waiting to be discovered there. “Driveable Destination” features the incredible National Gingerbread House Competition taking place this November in Asheville – a one-of-a-kind event that just might become a holiday tradition for you and your family. Fill your belly … “Souper Soups” provides innovative ideas for creating delicious, healthy, soul-soothing goodness to warm your insides on a cool autumn day. And “Baked In Tradition” shares several family-favorite holiday recipes of area residents – the recipes are delightful, and so are the stories behind them. You red wine lovers out there won’t want to miss “Cheers To Autumn,” which highlights several varieties and food pairing suggestions that are perfect to enjoy as you gather with loved ones this season.

Fill your home … “Fragrant Memories” shows how you can fill your home with seasonal scent-sational DIY simmering potpourri – and a bit of nostalgia at the same time, while “Décor Dilemma?” takes you from holiday decorating dread to holiday decorating delight. And “Holiday Blooms” demonstrates how to force paperwhites for Christmas so you can enjoy this lovely, delicate flower throughout the season. Fill your heart … This time of year should be spent cherishing every moment with friends and family. It shouldn’t be full of stress and mess, hustle and bustle. To ensure you enjoy a restful fall, check out “5 Tips For Managing Your Mood.” “Have A Stress-Free Holiday” will have you on the road to just that – a stress-free holiday, while “Holiday Entertaining Disasters” offers tips for avoiding chaos if you’re hosting the big holiday get-together this year. Of course, this isn’t all that you’ll find as you turn the pages. You’ll also learn about all things pumpkin; whether or not sugar is really bad for your teeth; tips and tricks for snapping the perfect holiday picture of your pup; reading recommendations for the book lovers in your life; if hormone therapy is right for you; how to safely decorate for Christmas; and much more. You’ll also discover the many advertisements of incredible businesses and organizations who make it possible to bring CIRCA to you. Please support them (#supportlocal) as they are the backbone of our wonderful community … just be sure to let them know you found them right here in CIRCA Magazine! As fall arrives, and the end of the year approaches, I’d like to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays. Please continue to stay safe, healthy, and well. See you next year!


O C TO B E R • N OV E M B E R • D EC E M B E R 2021 6

’Tis The Season For Holiday Happenings

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Souper Soups – Healthy Soul-Soothing Goodness

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Market Update – The Temps May Be Cooling, But The Real Estate Market Isn’t

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Autumn – A Wonderful Time To Garden

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All Things Pumpkin

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Hidden Gems – At The N.C. State Fair

20 Don’t Sugarcoat The Truth – Is Sugar Really That Bad For Your Teeth?

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Have A Stress-Free Holiday – How To Make The Last Months Of 2021 Your Best Yet

42 Baked In Tradition – Favorite Recipes Of Area Residents 44

Good Reads

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Holiday Blooms – Forcing Paperwhites For Christmas

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Fall Cleaning Checklist – Quick And Easy Tasks To Tackle Today

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5 Tips For Managing Your Mood – (And Your Heart Health)

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Are You Ready For A Puppy This Christmas?

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Check The Halls – 5 Tips For Safe Holiday Decorating

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Happy Healthy Holidays – 5 Tips To Help You Stay On Track This Season

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Light It Up This Holiday Season

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The Loading Dock Wake Forest – Building On Our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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Fragrant Memories – Simmering Potpourri For Seasonal Scents

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Cheers To Autumn – And Good Friends, Good Food, And Good Wine

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Keep An Eye On Your Eye Health

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Decor Dilemma? Design Tips, Tricks, And Helpful Hints

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Hormone Therapy – Is It The Right Treatment For You?

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Driveable Destination – The National Gingerbread House Competition

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Happy Pawlidays – How To Snap The Perfect Holiday Photo Of Your Pup

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Freedom From Uterine Fibroids – UFE As An Alternative Treatment Option

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Holiday Entertaining Disasters – How To Avoid Hosting Chaos As You Celebrate The Season

Talking Teeth – Do Whitening Kits Really Work?

66 Our Heritage – A Wake Forest Christmas

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kent Lower CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allison Caudle Abbott Todd Nelson Joe O’Keefe Haley Adams Nick Pione Robyn Goss Bennai Rhonda Benvie Plummer Camp Bow Wow Raleigh Radiology Sommer Donahoe Dolores Riggins Hounds Town USA Dr. Macon Singletary Suzanne Lucey Dr. Edmond Suh Debbie Ludas Thomas Walters Tina Mast Town of Wake Forest Stacey Moritz WakeMed Ed Morris Dr. Hajira Yasmin Dr. Jennifer Murphy CONTACT INFORMATION BallPointe Publishing & Design, LLC P.O. Box 1182 Wake Forest, NC 27588 919.453.2555 • info@circamagazine.com circamagazine.com ADVERTISING SALES 919.453.2555 • info@circamagazine.com MANAGERS Kent Lower & Mitch Lower

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CIRCA Magazine is published quarterly by BallPointe Publishing & Design, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within; however, BallPointe Publishing & Design assumes no liability for accuracy or omissions.


’TIS THE

SEASON FOR HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

BY TOWN OF WAKE FOREST

W

ho doesn’t love this time of year? The crisp autumn days marked by the beautiful changing of the leaves – and then … before you know it, the holidays are here! The Town of Wake Forest loves this time of year as much as you do, and we’re celebrating by offering a hearty helping of holiday happenings for you and your family to experience and enjoy. We hope you will take time out of your busy schedules to revel in all the season has to offer. We’re sure you’ll agree there is more than a little something for everyone!

SPIRITS OF WAKE FOREST Join us for the second season of “Spirits of Wake Forest” hosted by Wake Forest Downtown (WFD). This year’s walking ghost tours will take place in downtown Wake Forest on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, September 30 - October 30, at 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM. As an added bonus, WFD is partnering with actors and storytellers from Forest Moon Theater who will spin a mixture of older yarns and new ones too. Tickets for these tours are now on sale and will be available for purchase until all tours are sold out. For tickets and more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Spirits of Wake Forest.”

HALLOWEEN BOO BASH Howl about coming out and “goblin up” a ghoulish good time during the “Halloween Boo Bash” on Thursday, October 21! Scheduled from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM at E. Carroll Joyner Park (701 Harris Road), this free, family-oriented festival for children ages 12 and younger will include a variety of ghostly activities as well as free pumpkin giveaways (while supplies last). Costumes are optional, but the best ones will be featured on the Town website and social media. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Boo Bash.”

Open and free to the public, the celebration will culminate from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM with a high-energy concert featuring the ACE Party Band. Playing hits from Top 40, Rock, R&B, Beach, and Motown, this talented and versatile group of musicians is sure to have you on your feet dancing to your favorite tunes. For complete information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Wake Forest Cares.”

LIGHTING OF WAKE FOREST Experience the wonder and magic of the holiday season in Town Hall’s Centennial Plaza during the “Lighting of Wake Forest” on Friday, December 3, from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM. The evening’s festivities will begin with the lighting of the Town’s Christmas tree, followed by a visit from Santa, who will arrive aboard a shiny red fire truck. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Christmas in Wake Forest.”

DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Discover downtown Wake Forest’s unique array of shops and restaurants during the Downtown Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 4. Stroll through our wonderful downtown and take in all that it has to offer. Please show your support for our downtown businesses by shopping local this holiday season. For more information, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Christmas in Wake Forest.”

WAKE FOREST CARES HOLIDAY KICK-OFF Help us ring in the holiday season and embrace the season of giving during the “Wake Forest Cares Holiday Kick-Off ” on Saturday, November 13, in downtown Wake Forest. Join us from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM for a slew of family-friendly activities, including skating on an artificial ice skating rink. 6

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CELTIC ANGELS CHRISTMAS

ARTS Wake Forest will present the fifth annual “Wake Forest Holiday Artisans Market” on Saturday, December 4, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre (405 S. Brooks Street). Knock out some holiday gift shopping, shop the day away, and check out a wide variety of handmade items by regional artisans and craftspeople. For more information, visit wakeforestrencen.org.

“IT’S A WONDERFUL WAKE FOREST” HISTORIC HOLIDAY FESTIVAL Join us at the Wake Forest Historical Museum (414 N. Main Street) on Saturday, December 4 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM for the “It’s a Wonderful Wake Forest” Historic Holiday Festival. The Calvin Jones House will be decorated for the holidays and open for tours along with the museum and exhibit hall. The favorite holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life will be screened in the museum auditorium, while local musicians perform both inside the museum and outside on the grounds. Guided tours of the historic district will be available by pre-registration, leaving every 30 minutes between 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM. Registration for the tours will open this fall. For event updates and to pre-register, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Christmas in Wake Forest.”

“IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS” The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is partnering with North Wake Theatre to present “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” on Sunday, December 5. Showtimes are 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Come join us for a magical night filled with song and dance, performed by homegrown talent, and accompanied by a collection of your favorite modern and traditional Christmas tunes performed live. You’ll be amazed by what Wake Forest has to offer! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wakeforestrencen.org.

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open to the public, the event’s featured film will be Frozen 2.

Join us as we celebrate the heavenly joy of Christmas at the Renaissance Centre’s Christmas Jubilee Concert featuring Celtic Angels Christmas. The Celtic Angels, Celtic Knights, and Angel Dancers with Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin captivate audiences of all ages with the Magic of Christmas in an awe-inspiring show, encompassing vocal and instrumental seasonal and Irish favorites along with spectacular worldclass champion Irish dancing. This show is a true holiday celebration of Christmas in Ireland! Showtimes are Friday, December 10 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, December 11 at 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wakeforestrencen.org.

A MALPASS FAMILY CHRISTMAS The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre invites you to “A Malpass Family Christmas” on Saturday, December 18 at 7:30 PM. Brothers Christopher and Taylor will be joined by their families to share their holiday traditions in story and song. The evening will feature traditional gospels, country classics, holiday favorites, and a visit from Santa! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wakeforestrencen.org. As of press time, all information provided is current. Sign up for E-Notifier, the Town of Wake Forest’s free email notification system that provides up-to-date information on topics or events of interest at wakeforestnc.gov/communications/e-notifier. You may also visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “meetings and events” for timely details of upcoming happenings. 

CINEMA AT THE CENTER Bring the whole family and join the PRCR Department on Saturday, December 11 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM for “Family Holiday Movie Night” inside the Joyner Park Community Center gymnasium. Free and

GET IN GOOD WITH AN EXPERT Because I know the risks in the area, I’ll use my local expertise to help you choose the right amount of protection. And I’ll be there to help you as your coverage needs change. Call or stop in for a free, no-obligation Personalized Insurance Proposal today.

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WAKE FOREST HOLIDAY ARTISANS MARKET

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READY TO BUY OR SELL? CONTAC

WITH OVER A DECADE OF EXPERI THE LOCAL MARKET, WE PROV PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL SERVICES FOR BOTH BUYERS AND


C TR EAALDL Y IST OO N !B U Y O R S E L L ? C O N T A C

E N C E IW NITH OVER A DECADE OF EXPERI THE LOCAL MARKET, WE PRO VIDE PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONA LIZED ER S E L LS ER SV I C E S F O R B O T H B U Y E R S A N D


SOUPER

SOUPS

HEALTHY SOUL-SOOTHING GOODNESS

BY STACEY MORITZ

The oppressive heat and humidity of summer is finally behind us and it’s time to turn our attention to fall’s cooler weather and the comforting meals that pair so perfectly with it. And as we continue to try to move back toward “normal,” this vicious virus season remains at the forefront of our lives … so it’s more important than ever to nourish our health and protect our well-being. Time to bring out the

Thinking back to your childhood, I would be willing to bet your mama or grandmother had a go-to recipe for a family favorite soup that graced the table during the year’s cold weather months. A great way to tap into that nostalgia and embrace that culinary tradition is to recreate this family classic – but this time, toss in a few new additions for an added nutritional boost that will increase your ability to stay healthy and keep your immune system in top fighting shape. Chicken soup has been the culinary cure-all that has stood the test of time. It not only warms the mind, body, and spirit, it is also a great source of nourishment, providing balanced nutrition,

big guns! Nothing short of a simmering pot of homemade goodness can help us accomplish this goal.

I

f you know me at all, it’s no secret that soup is most definitely my favorite culinary passion. While it should be enjoyed all year round, soup’s deliciously warm and wonderful flavors should especially be savored this time of year. It’s hard to say what I love most about making homemade soups – is it the ability to experiment with taste and texture? Is it the chance to use fridge and pantry staples and leftovers to minimize waste? Is it the fact that soup almost always tastes better the second or third day, making it the perfect make-ahead meal for a busy week coming up? The answer is a resounding yes to all! I especially love that soup can nourish the soul, heal the sick, and provide comfort on a chilly and rainy day. It speaks to my passion of nurturing those around me – quite frankly, soup is my love language. The true beauty of soup is that you can create a masterpiece – no matter if you are a carnivore, vegan, or vegetarian, or live a glutenfree lifestyle. It can be enjoyed individually or feeds a crowd, gets better with age, offers tremendous versatility and, for the most part, freezes beautifully. What’s not to love? Soup also offers a great opportunity to incorporate ingredients that not only taste divine together, but also provide a multitude of healthy immune-boosting properties … who doesn’t want or need that right about now? 10

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mediating inflammation, and improving symptoms of respiratory infections. It’s no wonder chicken soup is the savory and soothing go-to, feel better food that is perfect for everyone, old and young alike. The beauty of it is that chicken soup typically requires only a few ingredients; but you can add just about anything, and it will still taste amazing. Leafy greens like collards, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach can add lovely color and texture to your soup, as well as vitamin C, K, and A and a number of antioxidants that help strengthen your immune system. To gain the most benefits, add these greens toward the end of your soup’s cooking time – doing so will retain their nutrients and also preserve their bright green color. Broth and tomato-based soups are also great backdrops for comforting goodness. Load them up with your favorite veggies and greens and toss in your favorite pasta for a heartier, thicker stew – orzo, rotini, and tortellini are great options. Toss in your favorite sausage or meatballs for a protein-packed one-dish meal. Grains like barley, quinoa, and lentils are also wonderful additions that will add bulk and texture, and key nutrients like iron, manganese, and protein. Another favorite is loaded with root veggies like onion, parsnips, leeks, butternut squash, carrots, and potatoes. This broth-based soup is light enough for an upset tummy, yet hearty enough to satisfy even the most ravenous appetite. To make it more stew-like, throw in some white beans or chickpeas and dark leafy greens. Mix

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in a handful of fresh herbs like thyme or oregano for added aroma. This delicious concoction is perfect for serving with roasted chicken thighs, or toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken for an easy meal. If you find yourself craving intense flavor packed full of healing goodness one of these crisp, cool autumn evenings, then I’ve got you covered. Think Asian-inspired broth and noodle-based soups that will warm your belly and intoxicate your palate. Sauté fresh garlic, ginger, and onion; add in your favorite vegetable or chicken broth; and then build your textures and flavors. Shredded carrots, bell peppers, and slivered snow peas are great extras. Cook your noodles directly in the broth to thicken it just a bit, then stir in your favorite greens and cooked meat, tofu, or seafood a few minutes before serving. The result is a big steaming bowl of yummy goodness! Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and cilantro for extra flavor. As the temperatures drop and we seek warmth and comfort around the dinner table with family, I hope you will look for little opportunities to nourish your body and soul. Indulge the healthy you and reap the rewards today and for years to come!  Stacey Moritz is the owner of The Lemon Tree Cafe, located at 113 S. White Street in Downtown Wake Forest (919-521-5806), offering freshly prepared salads, pastas, soups, and take-away fare. The Lemon Tree Cafe serves breakfast and lunch Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM and Saturdays 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM.

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There are statistically significant differences between the two variables of a real estate bubble and a supply versus demand situation. With so many people relocating to the area and not enough homes – or types of homes that they want or need – to keep up, the demand has tremendously increased housing prices. We continually hear factual stories of homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars over list price. This is generally not because a home isn’t priced accurately, but rather because a bidding war develops among multiple prospective buyers vying for the same house. And due to the fact that there are simply not enough listings on the market right now, buyers are willing to pay more for what they want to ensure that they get it. BY ALLISON CAUDLE ABBOTT

MARKET

UPDATE Y THE TEMPS MAY BE COOLING. BUT THE REAL ESTATE MARKET ISN'T

ou’ve likely been hearing how intense the real estate market is all over the country, and especially here in the Triangle. Well, this is very true – and while the toasty temperatures are finally giving way to chillier ones, the hot real estate market is not projected to cool off anytime soon. So what does this really mean for buyers and sellers in our neck of the woods?

With large companies – like Apple, for example – continually choosing to move into the Triangle, an unprecedented number of people are relocating to the area. The region has consistently ranked on lists of best places to live – specifically, Raleigh recently grabbed the #1 spot for “America’s Best Places to Live in 2021” according to Bankrate.com, and the Raleigh/Durham area seized the #2 spot in the U.S. News & World Report’s latest “Best Places to Live” report. Some people consider this a “bubble” that is sure to pop soon, leaving them floundering to recoup the cost that they paid for their house for years to come. However, for many of us who have watched the real estate market evolve over the past 18-24 months during COVID, witnessed many people working from home, and seen many large companies move into the Triangle, we recognize this isn’t a bubble, but rather simply a result of supply versus demand. 12

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Time and time again, home values are increasing at significant rates – many times by 15% and 20%, and in some cases, even exponentially more than that, if the buyer is willing to pay that higher price. Serious buyers are willing to purchase a home and pay whatever it takes if they come across the right one. It should be noted too, though, that more and more buyers are purchasing houses that aren’t a “perfect fit,” making accommodations to them after they have moved in, just so they can get one since there is such a lack of inventory today. As I said previously, there is no sign of this hot market slowing down right now. Historically, as the temperature cools off, so does the real estate market. But many realtors, myself included, don’t anticipate this change of season having a huge impact on current real estate trends. This creates the perfect opportunity to sell your home if you are thinking of doing so. For you prospective sellers, here are some pros and cons to listing your home in today’s real estate market.

SELLING PROS – Typically less days on market means less days you need to keep your home “show ready.” – Less homes on the market usually yields a higher sales price for the listing. – Less homes on the market typically allows negotiations to favor the seller’s conditions.

SELLING CONS – Right now, there seems to only be one ... where will you go if you sell? I hear this all the time right now. And with the inventory as it is today, I certainly understand this trepidation. But with an experienced real estate agent on your side, this can easily be worked out. Just remember, it’s all part of the process.  Allison Caudle Abbott is the owner and broker-in-charge of Southern Lux Living, serving buyers and sellers throughout the Triangle. She may be reached at 919-395-6186 or visit www.southernluxliving.com.

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it’s good to keep this in mind for next summer). This also works for asters and mums from past years that are planted in one’s garden – picture lavender and yellow asters mixed with the golden yellow of Black-eyed Susans. Another great combination is Dusty Miller mingled with fall-colored mums. Fall gardening beauty at its best. Autumn is also a time to honor the importance of seed heads and their role in habitat. With habitats disappearing, we need to be conscious of our impact on the wildlife population. Most native plants serve multi purposes in the garden – either as food sources, hosts for egg laying, or as providers of nectar. One example is our native milkweed … monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on its leaves. Thus, it is critical for the survival of monarch butterflies – what a great opportunity to educate children on their lifecycle! Additionally, parsley, fennel, and dill provide the food source for swallowtail butterflies, making them great additions to the late season garden. There are many colorful native plants that act as pollinators. Goldenrod is an important nectar plant for migrating monarchs and other pollinators. Its pollen is very large and doesn’t cause allergies, as many seem to believe, so there’s no reason to be deterred from including this valuable native plant in your garden. There are several small varieties available for the mini garden as well. BY DEBBIE LUDAS

AUTUMN WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME TO GARDEN After enduring the heat of summer, most gardeners are ready for the cooler temperatures of fall. What if on these pleasant days you could venture out to your garden and enjoy some sassy colors and wildlife benefitting from glorious fall and winter blooming plants? And as the season unfolds and the temperatures drop even more, you can have interesting

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natives to bring inside where it’s warmer as well. any gardeners get caught up in the spring flowering frenzy and only think about the magnificent colors it welcomes. But many plants boast beautiful fall blooms as well and are sure to bring joy to any space. For instance, Black-eyed Susans are some of the easiest plants to grow this time of year. If cut back to half by the Fourth of July, you can delay the blooms until fall (while it’s too late for this task this year,

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If you are in search of a tall, lavender-colored native plant for pollinators, look no further than Joe Pye Weed, an always reliable fall bloomer. It looks great up against a fence or at the back of a garden bed with graduated sizes in front of it (there is a small version called Little Joe – those of you who remember Bonanza might get a kick out of this name). For you lovers of all things red, the star hibiscus, Red Penstemon, and Red Cardinal Flower are bright spots in any late autumn garden. They also have the benefit of attracting hummingbirds and sharing their natural nectar to send them on their journey south. In addition, red salvias last until frost. Hot Lips Salvia (calling all you M*A*S*H fans) is another fiery fall favorite that will add a vibrant splash of color to your outdoor garden, or indoors on your autumn-decorated kitchen table. Garden parts often overlooked are sticks, stems, grasses, berries, and seed heads. Some of the most interesting fall and winter interest comes from combining flowering plants with these natural elements. The grasses have colorful plumes that wave in the wind, and even though annual grasses such as purple fountain die back after frost, their golden-brown color is still stunning for fall. Perennial grasses such as Red Head Pennisetum or muhly grass are gorgeous all winter long and should not be cut back until the season’s very end. Little bluestem is lovely with its mix of purple and blue greens leaves. The importance of grasses as habitat and winter interest in the garden

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cannot be overstated. Check out Holding Park for an example of a huge hillside full of mass planting impact. An added benefit of incorporating grasses into your garden is erosion prevention. Two easy-to-grow natives boasting berries are the holly and American Beauty Berry. Both drop their leaves with berry clusters still on the stems. These red and purple berries are a surprising sight in the cool weather garden. Of course, most are familiar with hollies, but there are some varieties such as Inkberry and Yaupon that thrive in low-lying or wet conditions, offering an extra benefit for tough gardening situations. Stems and bark add an interesting component to a chilly garden visit. Red Twig and Yellow Twig Dogwood feature beautiful stems on new growth. As the stems age, they are less colorful – just the opportunity you need to cut them back to their base. You can cut them successfully every other year, or any time you need colorful stems for decorating a centerpiece or a planter – think a holiday urn beautifully decorated with stems, pinecones, and greenery. Often, the Red Twig Dogwood stems will root. Yellow Twig Dogwood meshes well with Zebra Grasses or Black and Blue Salvia. People often ask when to trim back bushes in their yards. One piece of advice is to trim things when you need greenery for centerpieces or thoughtful gift vases. Remember, your yard is there for you to enjoy all year long. Needing a little fall decorating inspiration? One easy and inexpensive seasonal showpiece calls for using natural stems and flowers from your yard in a “pumpkin” vase (you can use a fake or real pumpkin for this simple DIY project). Simply insert a tin can in the top of the pumpkin and fill with a few freshly cut flowers … in minutes, you have created a fun and festive fall centerpiece, and tidied up your garden at the same time! The arrival of fall’s cooler temperatures also means it’s time to assess your trees and shrubs. This time of year is the ideal period to plant in our climate (7B), with the exception of a few marginal plants. Planting now gives time for roots to establish, before those hot temperatures hit us again. Just remember, fall is also our driest time, so be sure to use supplemental water regularly. Now that Mother Nature has graced us with wonderful fall weather, take the opportunity to get outside, get planting, and enjoy all the elements she has to offer, while also sharing them with the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.  Debbie Ludas is with the Wake Forest Garden Club, established in 1924. The Wake Forest Garden Club provides education to encourage methods of gardening that are water-wise, use native plants, are pollinator-friendly, and eschew invasive plants. The members appreciate nature year-round and realize that we all need to be good stewards of our community. For more information, visit wfgardenclub.org.

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ALL THINGS

PUMPKIN Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. They aren’t just gourds that we cut up for Halloween – although carving a spooky jacko-lantern is a family tradition that has stood the test of time. Pumpkins are also good for your health, containing one of the best-known sources of beta carotene (an antioxidant converted to vitamin A in the body). They are also loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. A diet rich in these is associated with better immunity; disease prevention; sharper eyesight; lower cancer risk; heart health; and healthy skin, bones, lungs, and kidneys, according to WebMD. So it’s no

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wonder that pumpkin pops up everywhere this time of year. his fall treasure is such an icon for the season that there is even a day dedicated to it … that’s right, October 26 is National Pumpkin Day. In honor of this special day, we are excited to share with you all things pumpkin.

When people think of pumpkins, their minds instantly turn to Halloween. The tradition of carving them into jack-o-lanterns (this term first appeared in 1837) came to America via Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s, and is now a beloved family activity. Placing frighteningly fun carved creations on your front porch is a great way to enhance your home’s outdoor Halloween décor. However, there are many other creative ways to decorate with this celebrated autumn icon. A quick Pinterest search can provide a ton of carving ideas. But for a change of pace from the traditional jack-o-lantern, why not give some no-carve designs a try? “Mummify” your pumpkin with strips of torn cloth (cheesecloth, toilet paper, gauze, etc. will also work), held in place with hot glue – finish with felt circles or large googly eyes. For a drizzled-paint pumpkin, spray-paint a clean pumpkin black or white, then once dry, dip a brush into paint and drizzle it onto the pumpkin one color at a time (turning and tipping for even coverage). After one coat dries, layer another color. Are spiders and spiderwebs your Halloween decorating scheme of choice? Caulk a spiderweb to drape atop your pumpkin, and then hot glue fake

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spiders on it. For a little whimsy, spray a pumpkin with two coats of chalkboard paint and write with chalk or a chalk marker a seasonal message such as “Boo!” or “Trick or Treat” on it. A fun version to create with the kids is a crayon dripped pumpkin. Hot glue crayons (with the paper removed) on top of your pumpkin (you may want to break the crayons in half for smaller pumpkins), then use a hair dryer or heat gun to melt them (allow the wax to cool before handling) … your kids will watch with delight as the colors drip down the sides and swirl together. Convert a large pumpkin into a planter to beautify your front porch by carving it out and filling with seasonal arrangements of flowers, succulents, vines, and so forth. Use smaller versions as vases for a stunning centerpiece on your holiday table. These are just a few of the many creative ways to transform an ordinary pumpkin into an extraordinary fall design element. Just let your imagination run wild, and get decorating! Pumpkin lovers’ minds also turn to the many delicious foods and beverages full of it this time of year. Pumpkin spice lattes are readily available at your favorite coffee shop. Pumpkin flavored sweet treats abound at your favorite bakery. While these are certainly fall favorites, there are many other unique ways to incorporate this delicious, healthy fruit (yep, that’s right – the pumpkin is a fruit!) ... you can bake it, boil it, steam it, puree it, and even fry it. It is amazingly versatile so it can be used in sweet, savory, spicy, or salty dishes. Friends coming over this weekend? Pumpkin pie dip served with a variety of fruits or pumpkin hummus with chips and veggies are perfect autumn appetizers. Amp up your fall dinner menu with new ways to enjoy pumpkin. For example, pumpkin ravioli gives your taste buds a taste of fall, while pumpkin risotto made with pumpkin puree can provide even more creaminess to an already delicious dish. Spicy pumpkin soup and pumpkin turkey chili will warm your insides on a cool autumn day while simultaneously pleasing your palate. Satisfy your sweet tooth with treats such as pumpkin bars, pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin frosting, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin apple butter, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin swirl brownies. Again, a quick online search will provide endless ideas for cooking and baking with the hottest fall ingredient around. To celebrate National Pumpkin Day, go get yourself a pumpkin; grab your favorite pumpkin-flavored coffee from your local coffee shop; pick up a sweet pumpkin treat from your local bake shop; prepare a pumpkin-y meal; and enjoy all things pumpkin. 

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IS THAT A STEER? With an average of 11,000 livestock entries, there are plenty of chances to observe people from all over the state show their cattle, sheep, lambs, and goats in the Jim Graham Building and the Exposition Center. Folks of all ages bring their animals in hopes of beating out the competition. They focus on diet, training, and grooming. What are they judging in these competitions? Livestock judging consists of carefully analyzing animals and measuring them against a standard that is commonly accepted as being ideal. It has also been defined as a study of the relationship between an animal’s form and function.

BY ROBYN GOSS BENNAI

HIDDEN

GEMS N AT THE N.C. STATE FAIR

othing could be finer than to be in Carolina! However, after the heat and humidity of summer, fall is always a welcome change. Our beautiful state offers many wonderful locales to welcome and embrace fall. Many may drive to our magnificent mountains to see the leaves change colors. Others might escape to our glorious coast in hopes of riding the waves one more time before the brisk air settles in for a while. And some will opt to stay right here in the Triangle to enjoy the N.C. State Fair – another wonderful way to kick off fall right in our own backyard! The N.C. State Fair began in 1853 and has been located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh since 1928, when the N.C. Department of Agriculture took over operations. This year, the fair will run from October 14 - October 24. You may ask, what makes a fair, well, a fair? Some believe it’s the lights, sounds, and energy coming from the midway where you will find a variety of thrilling rides like the giant ferris wheel, exciting carnival games, and sugary sweets on every corner. For the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the fair is about educating North Carolinians on our agricultural history, arts, crafts, and culture. If you haven’t ventured from the midway in the past, or if this is your first time attending the fair, buckle up and take note of these hidden gems to explore within it… 

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There are other ways to learn about livestock – for example, the Dairy Farmers’ Mobile Dairy Classroom. Ever wondered what a dairy cow eats, or if kids really do need two cups of milk a day? Located between the Graham Building and Expo Center, stop by to learn the ins and outs of the modern practices that make a dairy farm successful and how dairy farmers bring you the safest, most delicious dairy products.

HORSING AROUND? The North Carolina Equine industry is deeply rooted in the state’s agricultural history. While horses do not play a large working role on farms any longer, the industry continues to expand in both sport and entertainment. If you have never had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of horses in an arena, then you won’t want to miss the competitions that will take place at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex (located on the Trinity Road side of the fair). Draft horses, mules, and donkeys; hunter/ jumper shows; jackpot barrel racing; and miniature horses will be featured.

RICH IN HISTORY Within the Heritage Circle section of the fair, you will experience a piece of North Carolina’s rich history. There you can discover a historic working grist mill at the Old Grist Mill and receive a yummy hush puppy to boot; see a working tobacco farm; watch a double forge that state and local blacksmith guilds run; and catch live performances ranging from old-time bluegrass music to high-energy clogging to traditional square dancing. According to the fair’s website, across the way inside the Holshouser Building at The Village of Yesteryear, “fair visitors can watch crafters spin wool into yarn, weave yarn into cloth, make rugs, turn pottery, carve wooden bowls and utensils, make splitoak baskets, and more. Native American crafts such as hand-coiled pottery, beadwork, and stone carving are also featured. Kids will even have the opportunity to make their own dolls or stuffed toys to take home.”

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FOOD IS FROM WHERE? The question of which food comes from which source can be confusing for some young children. Questions such as, “Does cheese grow from plants?” or “How are tomatoes made?” can be readily answered at your next stop – the fair’s miniature farm. Children can spend time being taken through the steps of how the food they eat is grown. Afterwards, head over to the Expo Center to take in the horticulture exhibits that will allow you to explore the plethora of produce grown in our state and wow you with supersized, awardingwinning produce on display. 

OTHER NOTEWORTHY GEMS If you need a place to feel grounded among the hustle and bustle, explore the winding pathways of beautiful gardens grown by local organizations at the Flower and Garden show. Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the giant mum tree created with more than 1,500 mums and featuring a unique design every year. There are over 28,000 entries for general competitions which offer a variety of unique categories including culinary delights, handicrafts and hobbies, and fine arts. New to the competition this year are decorated Christmas trees, planted wheelbarrows, and decorated footwear.  For more information, visit the fair’s website at ncstatefair.org. There you can find visitor information including maps, discounts, schedules, and hours of operation. The lights and sounds of the midway are exciting and attention-grabbing for sure, but so are these hidden gems of the fair. You can learn about the daily ins and outs of what keeps our amazing state running while exploring our history as well. Remember, nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!  Robyn Goss Bennai is a local artist and instructor at Pint + Paint at Norse Brewing Co. in downtown Wake Forest. Do you know of a hidden gem we should feature? Email us at info@circamagazine.com!

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TRUTH DON'T SUGARCOAT THE

IS SUGAR REALLY THAT BAD FOR YOUR TEETH?

BY DR. MACON SINGLETARY

Halloween – the time when children enjoy the sweet joy of chocolate and gummies, caramel, and taffy (and us parents, too, when we sneak a few treats from their trick-or-treat bags). Thanksgiving – the time we can savor the delicious satisfaction of warm apple and pumpkin pie nibbles. Christmas – the time when cakes and cookies baked with love abound. This time of year is full of fun and festivities, but it’s also a season full of sugar. So what does all this prospective sugar

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intake mean for our oral health?

refined sugars and acids that damage tooth enamel. Added sugar also imbalances the natural proportion of sugar to food, making it harder for the body to combat bacteria-secreted acids. Maintaining your oral health consistently is crucial to combatting oral breakdown. It is imperative to brush your teeth thoroughly to remove sugar. Doing so prevents oral bacteria from acid secretion and plaque formation. Don’t forget to floss too, because brushing only removes 50% of the bacteria from your mouth. And whenever possible, replace sticky, syrupy, and acidic refreshments with foods and drinks containing naturally occurring sugars. This is especially important if you are in a situation like a work event or

t may surprise you to learn that sugar itself is not bad for your teeth. Instead, it is the body’s reaction to sugar that can wreak havoc on your oral health. Sugar feeds oral bacteria that excrete tooth-damaging acids. In fact, studies show that sugar consumption may be the most important risk factor for dental caries (tooth decay). These acids break down important minerals that are supposed to strengthen the teeth, and this demineralization process ultimately causes sensitive teeth, caries, and even tooth loss. Worse, sugar-loving bacteria encases teeth in a slimy film (AKA plaque) to surround and protect itself, allowing this bacteria to multiply unimpeded on the tooth surface. So what can you do to prevent this harmful process?  The simplest answer is to eat less sugar. By reducing sugar consumption, you minimize bacteria’s opportunity to begin dissolving tooth enamel. Not every sugar is made equally, however.  All sugars – added/refined, glucose, fructose, and lactose – feed oral bacteria to varying extents. Sugars exist in a variety of substances, but added sugars, like those that exist in cakes, candies, and sodas, are worse than natural sugars found in foods such as fruit, bread, and milk. For instance, added sugars found in sticky and slowly-dissolving foods – such as toffee, caramel, and hard candies – cling to the teeth much longer, causing more serious damage. Also, sodas and sugary juices contain massive amounts of

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social occasion where you will not be able to brush or floss right after consumption. Because sugar-loving bacteria, when not removed promptly, releases corrosive acids and produces damaging plaque, swap out sugary substances when you can. When you are in a situation where brushing right away isn’t an option, be sure to drink plenty of water. This simple step helps to gently rinse food particles and bacteria from your mouth. It also helps you to produce saliva, which is a natural defense against tartar and makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the surface of the teeth. It’s okay to satisfy your sweet tooth once in awhile – you don’t need to feel guilty when you chew a few of those Halloween candies, nibble a couple bites of Thanksgiving pie, or sample several Christmas cookies. These sweet treats are part of our holiday traditions, and shouldn’t have to be skipped just so you can tend to your teeth. What matters are the subsequent steps taken to counteract the damage prompted by them. Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that your oral health has to suffer. So go ahead and enjoy all that this joyful time of year has to offer, sweet treats included ... just be sure to properly care for your teeth afterwards.  Dr. Macon Singletary, periodontist at North Raleigh Periodontics, is a diplomate with the American Board of Periodontology, and has been improving smiles in the Raleigh area for over 25 years. For more information, visit northraleighperio.com or call 919-518-8222.

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THE LOADING DOCK

WAKE FOREST BUILDING ON OUR ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM

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t is undeniable that the way individuals and businesses work, collaborate, and connect has changed forever. There is a Raleigh-based company that is positioned to embrace the future of flexible work and help transform downtown development with their new Wake Forest campus – The Loading Dock, opening this fall.

The Loading Dock was launched in May of 2016 by US Navy Veteran Philip Freeman, the founder of Murphy’s Naturals, a natural products outdoor lifestyle brand. Understanding the high-hurdles of starting a company and out of a desire to bring impact-minded leaders and entrepreneurs together, Philip launched a functional workspace for all to collaborate and thrive together. Philip named this new organization for the game-changing element at his first real warehouse, a loading dock, which enabled Murphy’s logistics operation to move to the next level. Operated under the belief that where you work and who you work with is vitally important to the work you do, The Loading Dock designed a workspace where entrepreneurs can learn, grow, and flourish together. By sharing the same work environment, people across a multitude of different industries are given the unique opportunity to learn from one another, unencumbered by the challenges and limitations of traditional office space. Its mission is to cultivate diverse and collaborative work communities, promote entrepreneurialism, and inspire a culture of doing good. This mission helps attract a diverse community of members, including non-profits, entrepreneurs, tech-focused businesses, marketers, and consulting firms. As described on the Wake Forest Business & Industry Partnership (WFBIP) website, “Loading Dock Wake Forest is the most significant addition to Wake Forest’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to date … Built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, this community focused opportunity is set to transform the future of small business and entrepreneurial development in our booming town for years to come.” “I haven’t quite found a way to adequately express what The Loading Dock means for downtown Wake Forest, the future of work in

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Wake Forest, or the powerful message that it sends to the rest of the region about the progressive, innovative, wildly pro-business culture of our community,” says Jason Cannon, president of WFBIP. He continues, “This project is a success story for downtown growth and further downtown development. Not only is it a major win for the heart of Wake Forest, but it is a testament to the power of innovative regional partnerships.” Brian Fuhs, director of business development, is excited about the impact The Loading Dock will be making in Wake Forest. “Our family has proudly called Wake Forest home for six years now. To be given an opportunity to play a role in helping shape a bright future for downtown development and the greater Wake Forest ecosystem is pretty special. I’m excited to see all the different businesses and organizations thriving together within the social fabric of our growing community, and how this transformative campus will be a catalyst for positive change.” Located at 525 S. White Street, The Loading Dock Wake Forest will feature 23,000 square feet of activated space, large classrooms for training, conference rooms, 48 private offices, shared coworking space, dedicated desks, and bookable indoor/outdoor event space. Most importantly, it will curate a vibrant community for both people and businesses to cross-pollinate in a location that provides a dynamic work atmosphere. As people demand more flexibility in how and where they do their work, the traditional stagnant office is being reimagined as a creative space, a collaboration hub, and a hybrid workplace. While a remote working world can provide freedom and flexibility to individuals, you can’t replace the ideation, creative thinking, or networking that happens while in-person.  Wake Forest will be the fourth location for The Loading Dock, providing members with flexible month-to-month agreements and complimentary access to any of their campuses. For more information about The Loading Dock Wake Forest, and to take advantage of Wake Forest Founding Member Specials and review their membership plans, please visit theloadingdock.com/wake-forest or scan the QR code on their ad on page 25.

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mother would prepare a simmering potpourri – and it was wonderful! Several years ago, I brought the tradition back to life and my family loves it. Sometimes it just feels so good to go all natural. Yes, I still love candles and essential oils, but there is just something special about the aroma of fresh fall fruit and spices wafting throughout my home, welcoming friends and loved ones. Simmering potpourri can be made in a slow cooker, a stovetop pot, or even a stainless-steel simmering tea kettle. A small dipping slow cooker is great, because the water doesn’t have to be replenished as often. I have one that I have designated solely for simmering potpourri.

THE AROMA OF AUTUMN

BY DOLORES RIGGINS

FRAGRANT MEMORIES SIMMERING POTPOURRI FOR SEASONAL SCENTS

Ahhh, fall! Its magnificently colored leaves; vibrant orange pumpkins; freshly picked shiny, red apples; bonfires; I could go on and on about all the things that give me fabulous fall feels. The smells of the season are just as glorious. Here’s a very simple simmering potpourri recipe that is sure to provide your home with the perfect autumn ambience. Save fall fruit peels (think orange, tangerine, and apple) in a covered bowl. Puncture the orange and tangerine skin with whole cloves if you’d like. If you have apples or oranges that are past their prime, use these instead of tossing them in the trash or compost.

Who knew the holidays would roll around so quickly? It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in 2021, but a new year is just around the corner. While the holiday season may have crept up on us quickly, I must admit that I love this time of year – so personally, I’m very excited that it is here. The glorious colors of autumn, trick-or-treating, the Thanksgiving feast, football and, of course, Christmas – all of these have a multitude of wonderful memories and traditions that come to mind, taking me back to a time that

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was extra special for me. cents of the season especially remind me of days gone by and trigger sweet recollections of fall fun. Who doesn’t love the smell of a baking apple pie? The aroma of pumpkin spice? The lovely fragrance of a Frasier fir? If you’re like me, you have a wide range of candles or essential oils in these holiday scents scattered throughout your home all season long, ensuring these magical memories are always top of mind. When I was growing up, scented candles and essential oils weren’t available. So in order to fill her home with festive fragrances, my 24

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Fill a slow cooker, pot, or tea kettle with water, bringing it to a boil, then turning down to a simmer. Next, add your desired ingredients. I prefer to use the just-mentioned fruit peels with cloves, cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Get creative – toss in whatever seasonal spices that you like. The only perfect recipe is the one that you like the best! While simmering, refill with water about every 30 to 45 minutes, bringing the mixture to a boil again before cutting it down. Just be sure to check the water level regularly, because burned orange peels don’t smell very good! You will be able to use this mixture for about a week.

THE SCENTS OF CHRISTMAS The scents of Christmas are intoxicating and simmering potpourri certainly helps to set the mood for a wonderful holiday celebration. Many of the same ingredients can be used for this recipe that were used for the fall one. A favorite combo of mine includes fresh cranberries, an orange, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg. Slice the orange into rounds and add to boiling water. Mix in a half bag of fresh cranberries, broken-in-half cinnamon sticks, and your desired amount of cloves. Simmer, and welcome Christmas into your home. There are so many other ingredients that can be added: apple juice instead of water, essential oils, dried fruit peels, almond extract, coffee beans, cardamon pods, pine needles, star anise, and more – the options are only as endless as your imagination.

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As an added bonus, this makes a great gift for neighbors, coworkers, and family and friends. Simply combine the ingredients in a pretty jar, and tie a festive ribbon and handwritten instructions or a sweet note onto it. Within minutes you have created a scentsational gift full of holiday memories to share with others.

NOT JUST FOR FALL Simmering potpourri doesn’t have to be restricted to the fall or at Christmas. Why not continue the tradition throughout the year? Numerous recipes can be created using lemons and limes, lavender, rosemary, and so many other fresh and dried herbs. One of my favorite ways to fill my home with a wonderful, just-cleaned scent during the warm spring and summer months is by simmering a potpourri comprised of a sliced lemon, two sprigs of fresh rosemary, and a teaspoon of vanilla. When it comes to filling my home with wonderful aromas, I will always love my beautifully scented candles and delicious essential oil combinations. But there is something so special, nostalgic, and “homey” about simmering potpourri, especially in fall. Experiment with different spices and ingredients. Make it your own, enjoy the aroma, and make new memories.  Dolores Riggins is the co-owner of Southern Suds & Gifts, featuring over 35 craftsmen and artists, located at 213 S. White St. in Downtown Wake Forest (www.facebook.com/SouthernSudsAndGifts).

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CHEERS TO AUTUMN AND GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD FOOD, AND GOOD WINE BY JOE O’KEEFE

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hen I first opened the doors to my shop back in the fall of 2008, I remember talking about it like a newborn – “We’ve been open three days, two weeks, three months …” – you get the picture. Of course, many things have changed since those doors opened so many years ago, but one thing that has remained constant is the business model I built my business upon – the need and desire to gather. Even though gathering looks different these days, it’s still good for the soul. Gathering with a group to toast the end of a long week at work, savoring a robust holiday meal with family, or just sitting around the firepit with a few friends on a cool autumn evening – gathering with others is essential, and it’s even better when enjoyed with a lovely glass of wine. And while wine enjoyment is a year-round sport, nothing says fall like a good red, good food, and good friends.

MALBEC Sharing a delicious Malbec is always a great way to gather. Many in your wine circle have had one, but if you ask around, you’ll find many have not. Malbec is the perfect wine to pair and share with cheddar or any grilled red meat. It’s not quite as full-bodied as a Cabernet, but higher alcohol versions are close. Mostly known as the grape that Argentina saved, Malbec is one of the original five Bordeaux varietals. Argentinian Malbec is distinguished by flavors of blackberry, plum, and black cherry. Still used as a blending varietal in Bordeaux, it is also used in the Cahors region in France, creating more of a tart and leathery version. Maybe gather your friends for a blind taste test of varieties from both regions, and see which Malbec comes out as the favorite.

SYRAH Syrah is probably the most flexible red when it comes to food pairing options. The amount of oak aging a Syrah has gone through goes a long way in determining your best food choices. A heavier one pairs well with hearty options like grilled lamb or ribs. A lighter-bodied Syrah from France’s Rhone region is a better option for cheese and charcuterie platters. No longer do we need to embrace the simplistic view of pairing white wines 26

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with white meat and red wines with red meat. Instead, think about the body of the wine and whether it stands up to the food’s flavor without overwhelming or underpowering the tasting experience. This fall, whip up your favorite charcuterie platter, gather friends for a game night by the fire, and share the Syrah love – might I suggest one from Washington State, one from France, and an Australian Shiraz (Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape; it’s just called Shiraz in Australia).

DARKER ROSÉS During our carefree summer months, the most popular rosé is salmon in color and features hints of strawberries. While that is always a popular beverage choice, fall provides the perfect opportunity to branch out and show your rosé palate what it has been missing. This year, delicious darker versions from Italy and Spain are available. The French Provence options are mostly blends of Syrah and Grenache, while Italy opens a world of possibilities with their grapes Corvina (used in Valpolicella) and Sangiovese (best known as the backbone of Chianti). Additionally, Spain grows Tempranillo grapes aplenty, delivering many rosés with them as their core varietal. These pair perfectly with lighter barbecue and salad options, but of course can be part of any meal. Take advantage of the cool autumn evenings, fire up the grill, gather your friends or family around the backyard firepit, and toast the treasured time together with your newfound favorite rosé. As always, if the wine tastes good, it is. That is my rule. These are just a few wine and pairing suggestions to help kickstart a fall full of great food, great people, and great wine. Use your imagination and pair away – as long as your taste buds are happy, you can’t go wrong. But no matter which wine route you choose, be sure to gather and make memories together. After all, that’s what the season is about. Cheers!  Joe O’Keefe is the founder of Wine & Beer 101, located at 1228 Heritage Links Dr., #104 in Wake Forest. They are offering deliveries throughout Wake Forest, virtual tastings, and live music. Stop by anytime for a drink or to chat.

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KEEP AN EYE

ON YOUR EYE HEALTH

BY DR. JENNIFER MURPHY

If there is anything we have had enough of this year, it is stress. When we get run down, we are more likely to fall ill from a variety of ailments, including viral infections. Most of us are all too familiar with the typical symptoms of a viral infection, which include fatigue, congestion, fever, sore throat, and feeling pretty terrible overall. However, did you know that the immunity of your eyes may also have a hard time keeping up and that you can also develop ocular

“P

viral infections?

ink eye” is a term that is generally used to describe a red, angry looking eye that is suffering from conjunctivitis. Many people believe that pink eye is a bacterial infection that can be cleared up with topical antibiotic drops. In reality, conjunctivitis can result from many causes, including bacteria, viruses, allergens, chemicals, and certain diseases. Viral conjunctivitis manifests in many different ways, with red and excessively watery eyes being two hallmark signs of a viral infection. The yellow-green discharge that is typical for a bacterial infection is generally not seen in a viral one. The most common causes of viral conjunctivitis are adenoviruses. There are over 50 types of adenoviruses that can wreck havoc in humans. They are responsible for the common cold, but can also cause more severe issues such as pneumonia, croup, bronchitis, and even neurological issues. When adenoviruses cause conjunctivitis, it is known as EKC. Symptoms of EKC usually develop within 14 days after exposure and commonly include a gritty sensation, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and redness. It is not uncommon for it to develop initially in one eye and later in the other. You may have never heard of EKC, but if you remember watching the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, hosted by Bob Costas, you have certainly seen it. For the eye care community, the Olympic athletes almost took second stage as we watched in amazement as 28

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poor Bob’s EKC infection unfolded before our very eyes. We were visibly pained by the infection that began in one eye, worsened by the day, and eventually took hold of his other eye. He said that when his symptoms first presented, he woke up with his “left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag.” It took five days for symptoms to develop in the other eye and he was ultimately taken off of the air for six days. During that time, he hunkered down in a darkened hotel room because “the lights are obviously very bright in the studio and I was so light-sensitive that I couldn’t do it anymore.” He later reported that it took several months for his eyes to fully recover. EKC is a serious matter and requires prompt diagnosis, especially because those with it are highly contagious for up to two weeks after the onset of symptoms. Another common cause of viral conjunctivitis is the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles – varicella-zoster. Once you have had chicken pox or shingles, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue and can become reactivated due to age, illness, and a weakened immune system. Shingles causes a painful rash or blisters on the skin. Often before the rash appears, you may feel burning, irritation, or tingling in the area. You may experience other symptoms as well, such as fever/chills, headache, stomach issues, and a generally unwell feeling. As this can mimic other illnesses, see your primary care doctor for a proper diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with shingles and have blisters around your eye, it is important to see an eye doctor right away to ensure you do not have shingles in your eye. Up to 20% of those with shingles can have ocular complications, which can cause permanent damage to your vision. Eye problems can occur when the rash appears, or weeks later. Symptoms of ocular involvement of shingles include eye pain, sensitivity to light, eye redness, blurry vision, and tearing. The best way to protect yourself from shingles is prevention. The

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shingles vaccine, Shingrix, is recommended for anyone over 50, even if you have had chicken pox or shingles in the past. It is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and helps reduce the severity of it and risk for developing ocular complications from shingles. It does not treat shingles, but is highly effective as a preventive strategy. Nowadays, it seems that the only virus we can think of is the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which can cause COVID-19. Viral conjunctivitis is thought to occur in a very small number of people with COVID. Although, it is also thought to be underreported because the ocular symptoms are generally milder than the respiratory symptoms. It can be an initial sign of infection or it can develop after you have tested positive. If you have any symptoms of viral conjunctivitis – such as a red, watery eye – especially if they are in conjunction with any of the known symptoms of COVID, such as fever, loss of taste or smell, or cough, do not hesitate to get tested. During the early days of the pandemic, there was significant concern amongst eye care providers that the mucus membranes of the ocular surface could be a prime entry site into the body for the coronavirus. It was after all, an ophthalmologist named Dr. Li in Wuhan, China, who sounded the initial alarm about the patients he was seeing with viral conjunctivitis who also developed severe respiratory complications. He later succumbed to COVID and passed at the age of 33. Many eye doctors and their staff were apprehensive to return to work after the

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shutdown because of this concern. However, widespread infection of eye doctors and shutdowns of eye care clinics due to epidemic COVID infections never came to fruition. It is currently believed that the eye is a potential entry site, but much less so than the mouth and nasal passages. During the early days of the pandemic, there was also a lot of concern about wearing contact lenses and a possible increased risk of contracting COVID. There is currently no evidence that suggests that contact lens wearers are at higher risk for COVID than those who wear eyeglasses. This is only a short list of the viruses that can cause viral conjunctivitis. When your eyes develop any symptoms of “pink eye,” don’t assume that an antibiotic will be the antidote to your red, watery eyes. Make sure that you are seen by a doctor who can properly evaluate your eyes to differentiate between a conjunctivitis caused by a bacteria, virus, or other cause, and get you started on the correct road to recovery. Some eye doctors have the valuable testing ability to immediately determine if your conjunctivitis is due to an adenovirus or not, which is significant for determining the best treatment plan. Treatments to reduce inflammation and combat the viral infection can bring you quicker relief and lower your risk of long-term ocular complications.  Jennifer L.H. Murphy, OD, is with McPherson Family Eye Care, located at 3150 Rogers Road, Suite 110 in Wake Forest. For more information, call 919-263-9163 or visit mcphersonfamilyeyecare.com.

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As a designer, questions and concerns about holiday decorating are always plentiful from my clients. Here are a couple that I am asked on a regular basis along with a question from our readers that I hope will help make this wonderful time of year a season filled with decorating delight rather than decorating dread.

BY RHONDA BENVIE PLUMMER

DECOR

DILEMMA? DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HELPFUL HINTS It is that time of year again! Yes, the fabulous season of fall. Fall ushers in cooler temperatures, all things pumpkin spice, changing leaves, and of course thoughts of the upcoming holidays … which means it’s time to spruce up our spaces for fun and festive seasonal décor! For some of us, this opportunity is welcomed with exuberance and excitement. For others, decorating anticipation may be a tad overshadowed

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by a bit of trepidation as well.

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ecking your halls for the holidays does not have to be a chore if you have the right items that can easily and inexpensively transition from fall, with its spooky Halloween feel and Thanksgiving focus, to the cheer of Christmas.

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Q: My husband and I are very busy with work and children, especially during these trying times. This year, I don’t have much time or energy to decorate for Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, all within a few months of each other. I still want to achieve the festive feel and the spirit of the season, though – there must be an easy way, right? A: Decorating a home with accessories that can transition throughout the holiday season and still be relevant for each one is great – not only for busy people, but also for the budget! Think about items that can easily be transformed. For instance, as part of your everyday décor you may have a lantern with a candle inside. For Halloween, remove the candle and replace with spooky items like little skulls. For Thanksgiving, simply swap with mini pumpkins or pinecones. Then when it’s time to shift to Christmas, replace with colorful ornaments that match your Christmas décor. On top of the lantern, tie a festive ribbon that matches each holiday’s theme or color scheme. Tabletop, mantel, or bookshelf frames are also easy transition items – simply replace the photo from everyday use to a holiday-themed piece of art. Think vintage postcards or get creative with your computer and printer … typing up Halloween movie quotes and Christmas carol lyrics in fun and festive fonts can add a little whimsy to any space. Wrap those everyday hardback books on your shelves with burlap for the fall and holiday wrapping paper for Christmas. Have a rustic dough bowl, stunning serving tray, or oblong farmhouse box? Fall-inspired natural elements such as mini pumpkins, gourds, twigs, and leaves displayed in these items can carry you through the first day of October right until it’s time to bring the Christmas decorations down from the attic … and then at that time, just switch those items out with colorful ornaments or greenery, berries, and batteryoperated lights for a little twinkle. Decorating for the upcoming holidays doesn’t have to be daunting – a handful of easy and quick tasks can transform your space. Bonus – utilizing transitional items also means you have less to store! Q: I love throw pillows, but my husband thinks my obsession with them is ridiculous. I say they can completely change the look of a room. But no matter how hard I try to convince him of this, he does not agree. What is your take on pillows and decorating with them for the holidays? A: I must say I agree with you 100%! Pillows pull a room together in so many ways. On a normal day, they add texture and color to a room – and this is one decorating item that serves a purpose! So when it comes to decorating for the holidays, they are

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absolutely the perfect way to amp up the holiday spirit. Who wouldn’t experience the Halloween vibe as they sit upon your sofa pillows featuring spooky spiderwebs or wicked witches, or all the fall feels with pillows boasting fall leaves or “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes? One showcasing a vintage Santa Claus is sure to bring joy and cheer to any Christmas couch while invoking feelings of holiday nostalgia. To save on storage space, buy just the covers, and reuse the pillow forms. Q: The living space in my new home is so tight that I cannot figure out where to put my Christmas tree. I love a big tree, but I know a large one won’t fit. The skinny trees are not appealing to me, but I may have to go that route. Any ideas on how to make them look bigger? A: The skinny tree, also called a pencil tree, is gaining in popularity these days, especially with those whose homes have tight spaces. The key to a pencil tree is to fill it up. If the decorations are scant, the tree will appear sparse as well. Adding ribbon and incorporating other silk plant stems like berries, pinecones, and sparkly items, if that is your style, will add to its depth, visually making it seem larger without taking up the space. For those who have the space for a larger tree but like the look of a pencil tree, think about using three of them in different heights and adorned in complementary decorations. This arrangement is a little different than just the one big tree, and makes quite the holiday decorating statement. Just remember, with a skinny tree, more is more – do not go light on the decorations, and be sure to light it up well.  Rhonda Benvie Plummer is the owner of Help Me Rhonda Interiors and Open Door Furniture & Accents, a furniture and accessories store located at 11605 Durant Road in Raleigh. Visit helpmerhondainteriors.com or opendoorfurnitureandaccents.com or call 919-263-9054. Rhonda is also a regular guest on WPTF’s “Making Your Home Great” radio show, the second Saturday of every month, when you can call in with any design questions you may have.

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something special about Asheville, and the world is just beginning to discover it. This thriving mountain city features a funky and eclectic downtown, 30-plus art galleries downtown alone, a burgeoning culinary scene, a thriving live music scene and, of course, the awe-inspiring scenery of the Appalachian Mountains.” Just minutes from this city’s thriving downtown you will discover the one-of-a-kind escape known as The Omni Grove Park Inn. This award-winning 513-room resort that originally opened in 1913 boasts an historic 18-hole Donald Ross designed golf course (considered among the top golf experiences in the state), a world-class spa, and signature restaurants offering stunning panoramic views of the mountains and chef-driven menus focused on local ingredients.

DRIVEABLE DESTINATION

The resort is also home to one of the nation’s most celebrated and competitive holiday events. It all began back in 1992, with a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members as a way to celebrate the holiday season – with no plans to continue the following year. At that time, there was no way to know that The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition would become one of the nation’s most celebrated and competitive holiday events, and remains so almost 30 years later. As the event grew, so did the caliber of judges and competitors. Today, the panel of judges represents nationally-renowned food,

THE NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE COMPETITION

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all in the western part of our state is one of most beautiful times of the year. With the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountain’s extreme elevations and more than 100 species of deciduous trees that grace us with “one of the most dramatic displays of fall foliage in the country” (exploreasheville.com), it’s easy to see why visitors return year after year. Nestled within the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains is the inviting city of Asheville (approximately a four-hour drive from Wake Forest). As described on exploreasheville.com, “Asheville is that type of unique, special place that lingers sweetly in your mind and memories for years to come. The city’s rich architectural legacy with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts, and Neoclassical styles is the perfect retro-urban backdrop to the edgy energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and art galleries, distinctive restaurants, and exciting entertainment venues. A bastion of cutting-edge art and technology in the Blue Ridge, the city also prides itself on its fascinating Appalachian past and celebrates this culture with annual events. While many cities underwent major overhauls in past decades, Asheville’s historic and architecturally diverse downtown remains beautifully preserved. There’s 32

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arts, and media professionals, and the level of competition has attracted the highest quality of design, artistry, and pastry expertise. The competition, which features contestants from all over the country competing for more than $25,000 in prizes, has merited broadcast coverage by NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, the Travel Channel, and the Food Network. As depicted on exploreasheville.com, “From the whimsical to the elaborate, there are gingerbread houses of every size, shape, complexity, and theme. You’ll find quaint rustic cabins, gumdropadorned castles, and sugar spun landscapes that’ll likely inspire your own gingerbread traditions.” The iconic Gingerbread Display has evolved into more than just entries – it has become a true family tradition. From the very young to the very young at heart, the reaction to this magical experience is the same – one of wonder, awe, and delight. And after a virtual display in 2020, the Resort is excited to safely welcome back participants this year for an exciting hybrid event. A portion of the virtual elements will remain, but coveted in-person components that competitors and the hotel have greatly missed will return. An esteemed panel of judges, including renowned Food Network Chef, Carla Hall, will formally judge the gingerbread designs both virtually and in-person. This year, the National Gingerbread House Competition will be open for public viewing from November 28 – January 2. During this timeframe, The Omni Grove Park Inn invites guests not staying at the Resort to view it after 3:00 PM on Sundays, or anytime Monday – Thursday (based on parking availability). The display will not be open to the public on the following dates: December 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31 and January 1. Public viewing on December 26 and January 2 will reopen after 3:00 PM. For those who may not travel this season, the hotel will offer “The 12 Days of Gingerbread” by releasing one of the Top 12 finalists, per day, on the hotel’s Facebook (@omnigroveparkinn) and Instagram (@omnigrovepark) channels from December 1-12 to spark ginger-love for all during the happiest season of the year. This fall, if you’re looking for a “Driveable Destination” to help you get in the spirit of the season, look no further than the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you can embrace Mother Nature’s patchwork of vibrant hues and crisp, mountain air; Asheville, where you can explore the city’s landmarks, cultural arts, and breathtaking natural beauty; and The Omni Grove Park Inn that will welcome you with a tradition of southern hospitality, and the magic of The National Gingerbread Competition.  For more information about The Omni Grove Park Hotel and the National Gingerbread House Competition, visit omnihotels.com/ hotels/asheville-grove-park or call 800-438-5800.

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DOW N TOWN

WAKE FOREST LIVE IT UP IN DOWNTOWN!

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his fall, head on down to Downtown Wake Forest and discover all that awaits ... whether you’re looking to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee, do some shopping, listen to some music, and more, you’re sure to find it here. It’s “Where Quaint Meets Cool” _ so come explore this unique variety of businesses, restaurants, shops, and more for yourself ... you’ll be glad you did!

wakeforestdowntown.com


̶ The Artists’ Loft

#WHEREQUAINTMEETSCOOL

COME DISCOVER IT FOR YOURSELF!


FREEDOM FROM UTERINE FIBROIDS ... UFE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTION

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or many women, uterine fibroids can have a significant impact on their quality of life. They find it difficult to go to work or leave their homes on certain days of their menstrual periods for fear of excessive and uncontrollable bleeding. While there are numerous treatment options, most require major surgery, which isn’t ideal for most women.

WHAT ARE UTERINE FIBROIDS? Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors or growths that appear in a woman’s uterus during her reproductive years. They can cause heavy menstrual bleeding; severe cramping pain; periods that last longer than normal; breakthrough bleeding between periods; and even abdominal pain and pressure, bloating, constipation, frequent urination, and pain during intimacy. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 70% or more women have uterine fibroids by age 50.

“It’s a very technical and precise procedure. The interventional radiologist uses a catheter inserted through the uterine artery to inject tiny beads into the blood vessels that feed the fibroids, the blood flow to the fibroids is blocked, and they will all begin to shrink,” says Dr. Doster. UFE can be performed trans-radially, or through a tiny incision in the wrist for about 90% of patients. For the other 10%, the procedure is performed through a tiny incision at the groin. With the wrist incision, a patient can get up and walk very soon after her procedure. In total, uternine fibroid embolization takes about one to two hours. When the procedure is finished, patients either stay overnight, or in some cases, may be able to leave the hospital on the same day.

UFE AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical option for treating these growths. Board certified interventional and vascular radiologist Dr. Jamie Doster of Raleigh Radiology says, “UFE is a common alternative treatment option and is successful for about 90% of patients. It has a much shorter recovery time and helps women avoid major surgery. With this procedure, we take away the blood supply to the fibroids, which then causes them to shrink and die off. They are no longer hormonally active, which helps eliminate the heavy and breakthrough bleeding. The shrinkage of the fibroids also helps with the feeling of abdominal bloating and pressure. After this procedure, patients can go back to work much sooner than with a hysterectomy. From a financial perspective, the procedure is often more affordable than surgery as well.”

HOW DOES UFE WORK? To confirm she is a candidate for UFE, the patient will first receive an MRI to check the anatomy of the fibroids, determine where they are located, and ensure no other complications are present. After this MRI and a pre-planning consult where the MRI results and details of the procedure are discussed, the patient is scheduled for her UFE at a local hospital. 36

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WHAT IS RECOVERY LIKE? According to Dr. Doster, during the first 24 to 48 hours following the procedure, a patient will typically remain in bed for that time and may experience pain, abdominal cramping, fatigue, or vomiting. These symptoms usually resolve within a week, and patients are then able to return to work or their normal daily activities. While patients do not experience the total loss of their menstrual periods after UFE, periods are smaller and less impactful. Some patients may continue to have slight discomfort and spotting for two to three menstrual cycles before they report a complete improvement. “The complete resolution of symptoms is our ultimate goal, and most patients come back to tell us their symptoms are gone or significantly improved,” said Dr. Doster. “It’s remarkable and very rewarding when we can help these women take back their quality of life.” Each patient should receive a call from the doctor’s office one week after the procedure and should have a follow-up appointment with her interventional radiologist one to three months following. Based on age, a small subset of women may have a recurrence of symptoms within five years, possibly due to the growth of new fibroids; however, these patients are typically younger women (around age 30) who are years away from menopause. For these patients, having a second UFE will help. The symptoms of uterine fibroids typically resolve with menopause for most women. Dr. Doster concludes, “For women who suffer from uterine fibroids, UFE offers them a chance to stop living in fear of their menstrual periods and gives them more freedom to enjoy their lives again.”  Raleigh Radiology offers top-of-the-line medical imaging services throughout Wake and Johnson Counties. To learn more about Raleigh Radiology, visit raleighrad.com.

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BY TODD NELSON

HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING

DISASTERS HOW TO AVOID HOSTING CHAOS AS YOU CELEBRATE THE SEASON Your home is beautifully decorated; the dining table is stylishly set; your guests are happily chatting away, enjoying their hors d’oeuvres and aperitifs. You’re this close to getting an elaborate holiday feast you’ve been preparing for days served to the table piping hot when … wham! Disaster strikes. You can’t always avoid holiday entertaining disasters, but it pays to anticipate and prepare for how you’ll react under pressure before the big day arrives. Culled from true entertaining disaster stories from coworkers, friends, and family, here are some real risks and how to prepare, so you can ensure your holiday get-together is all set for your guests to eat, drink, and be merry. SMOKE/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR GOES OFF. With your oven and stove firing on all cylinders, there is a high risk that anything burnt-on will start to smoke, possibly setting off smoke alarms. The best way to avoid this holiday entertaining disaster is to thoroughly clean your oven, stovetop, and range hood before the big day and use vents if you have them while cooking. If your 38

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oven is self-cleaning or dirty enough to require strong chemicals for cleaning, be aware that the process can stink up your home, so leave plenty of time for unpleasant odors to dissipate before the big day. If cooking with a gas stovetop, know also that too many large pots covering burners can trap and cause unsafe buildup of carbon monoxide in your kitchen. If a CO alarm sounds, be sure everyone moves quickly to fresh air, ventilate by opening windows and doors, and contact your fire department for further instructions. BAD ODORS. Especially if you have pets, remember that your own sense of smell will have acclimated, but your guests are definitely going to notice when they walk in the door. As you prep for the big day, make sure you eliminate odors, not just mask them. Simple ways to remove bad smells include opening windows, cleaning regularly, tackling a deep clean, and using your science skills. Baking soda, which is alkaline, works well as a so-called “green” deodorizer because it bonds chemically to neutralize acidbased odor-causing agents. The reverse may be true for acidic substances such as white vinegar or used coffee grounds, which are also often recommended as green odor removers. The key takeaway here is that you need to know the basic chemistry or biology of an odor you’re attacking in order to determine what substance will be effective at eliminating it. For serious odor sources such as black mold or pet urine, you may want to call in the pros who know how to remove odors both effectively and safely. I promise you, your guests – and their noses – will appreciate it. SPILLS THAT STAIN. You can pretty much guarantee that at some point during your holiday soiree, a guest is going to knock over or spill something on your table or carpet. Different spills require different solutions; you can prepare by considering what you’ll be serving, Googling effective stain solutions, and making sure you have all the needed items and tools nearby. Keep a spare tablecloth plus one or two extra place settings on hand for spills that happen early in the feast or before you even get it served.

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SICK KIDS. Holidays are a time for sweets! Which means they are also a time for sugar-high kids running around with their cousins, becoming overheated, and, without warning, vomiting all over your carpet. You can’t stop it from happening, but you can be prepared with knowledge and a vomit-cleaning kit. GARBAGE DISPOSAL TROUBLES. Home garbage disposals are designed to handle regular daily amounts of food scraps. They are NOT designed to handle 20 pounds of potato peels and other feast quantities of food at one time. And there’s a good chance your plumber’s going to be busy when you call for help with a clog. Avoid the issue by discarding large-volume food scraps (for oneday only) with the trash or maybe start that compost you’ve been thinking about. If your disposal motor simply cuts out (versus clogging), there’s a good chance it has simply overheated. Give it a break, then look under the sink for the reset button to restart. DISHWASHER BREAKS DOWN. It’s Murphy’s Law that if your dishwasher is ever going to break down, it’s going to happen when you are hosting people for a big holiday meal. Just in case, have a large stack of clean dish towels on hand and graciously accept any offers of help with the washing up.  Todd Nelson is the owner of MaidPro of Raleigh and Wake Forest. Visit maidpro.com/raleigh-north or call 919-871-9996.

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porch, and read a book. Making time for you and whatever brings you calm will ultimately make this holiday season better for you and those you love. Feeling better? Great! Now’s let’s explore other ways you can eliminate stress during the chaos of the holiday season. But first, when trying to figure out how to eliminate holiday stress, consider the following: – What causes you the most stress during the holidays? – What can you do differently this year to remove that stress? – How awesome would your holidays be if all you had to do was focus on enjoying your family and friends?

BY NICK PIONE

HAVE A STRESS-FREE

HOLIDAY HOW TO MAKE THE LAST MONTHS OF 2021 YOUR BEST YET

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hen you think about the holidays, what song comes to mind? I think of It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year. This classic carol’s lyrics take me back to my childhood when all I had to worry about was avoiding the naughty list and making sure Santa knew exactly what I wanted in my stocking. Now as an adult, it’s different. As parents or spouses, we get to experience the joy of the holidays through the eyes of our children or partner. We also get to enjoy the stress of finding that perfect or all-too-often sold out gift, hosting family and friends for the most important feast of the year, and so forth. Thus, the most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful time of the year. So, what can you do to take the stress out of the next couple of months? It’s imperative that you set aside time for yourself, and not get lost in focusing on others. Easier said than done, I know. But it’s okay to give yourself permission to take a walk by yourself. Go ahead and grab a pumpkin spiced latte, lounge on the back

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What causes our stresses may be different, but I have a feeling that one (or all) of the following stress-inducing scenarios sounds at least somewhat familiar to you. If so, I’ve shared some simple strategies to transform a stressful situation into one of joy. – The relative who likes to discuss politics, religion, or anything else controversial: This year, avoid the arguments and instead make it fun by using the “swear jar” strategy. Every time one of those subjects is brought up, that person donates $5 to the jar – and the person with the most contributions picks the charity to which the money will be donated. – Everyone is on their devices and not appreciating all the work you have done for the big day: When this happens, collect everyone’s phones and instead occupy them with a scavenger hunt and series of clues that leads them to their last gifts. – The stress of having to shop for the perfect gift for everyone on your list: This year, let go of this stress and instead know that despite your best of intentions, they may still return your gifts ... and that’s okay. So perhaps rather than stressing day and night about what to get your teens, for instance, or settling for a gift card, make time to shop with them, either online or in the store. They will appreciate the fact that you want to see the joy on their faces when they pick out exactly what they want. What else can you do? The easy answer is sleep. Sleep is a vital, often neglected component of every person’s overall health and wellbeing. It gives your body time to repair and prepare for the next day. Ideally, your body needs between seven and eight hours every night. If you aren’t getting the recommended amount of zzzzs, start with adding just one more hour. This small change can make all the difference in how you navigate the stress of the holidays. I hope these simple stress-reducing suggestions help you finish 2021 with a smile on your face and less stress in your life.  Nick Pione is a local business owner, blog writer, and natural wellness expert. He co-founded Trek CBD and contributes to medium.com and trekcbd.com. For more information, please contact Nick at nickpione@trekvitality.com.

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BAKED IN TRADITION FAVORITE RECIPES OF AREA RESIDENTS BY KENT LOWER

It wouldn’t be the holidays without sweet treats. Part of the fun of baking delicious pies, cakes, cookies, and candies is the tradition of sharing favorite family recipes with neighbors and friends. Last fall, the Town of Wake Forest invited residents to share recipes for their favorite holiday treats, which they compiled into a digital cookbook, “Favorite Holiday Treats.” This fall, I am excited to feature a few of these wonderful desserts with you, so you and your family

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can enjoy them as much as those who shared them do. hile there were many great recipes from which to choose, these stood out to me … not only because I know how much you’ll enjoy each mouthwatering morsel, but also because of the love and tradition behind them.

little, so take them out to cool. Finally, create a thick liquid glaze while the cookies cool by mixing the powdered sugar and water. Glaze the Mailänderli and you’re done!

CHEWY SNICKERDOODLE COOKIE BARS by Serena Weisner “When the quarantine hit back in March 2020, our small family of three stayed inside and socially-distanced to protect ourselves, friends, neighbors, and family. Soon, we were lonely and needed something to look forward to each week as the days dragged on. My son, Nash, loves to video chat with his Nana and Poppy who live in Georgia, so we decided to start a ‘Nana and Nash’ baking afternoon every Wednesday. Each week they alternated selecting an easy, yummy recipe to bake – emphasis on easy – Nash in our kitchen in Wake Forest, and Nana in hers. They would call

MAILÄNDERLI SWISS COOKIES (PICTURED)

by Amélie Wanner “This recipe is from Switzerland. My grandmother bakes them every year for Christmas and I love them. I love cooking and baking, and I am curious and creative!” – ½ cup butter (soft) – 1 egg – ⅝ cup sugar – 1 pinch of salt – 2 cups flour – ¾ cups powdered sugar – 1 to 1½ tablespoons water Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F. Stir the softened butter until peaks form; add egg, sugar, and salt, and stir until you get a light mixture. Add the flour and knead the dough until it is no longer sticky. Cover the ball of dough with cling film and cool the dough for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Now you can put the dough on a floured surface; roll out the dough ¼ inch thick and cut with a cookie cutter (Amélie uses a star-shaped cookie cutter with a diameter of 1¼ inch). Bake for 10 minutes. The Mailänderli are still soft and have a light color after 10 minutes, but they will harden a 42

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each other on a video call, gather their ingredients, and make the recipe … apart, but very much together. This recipe was chosen by Nana and was given to her by her neighbor, Eve. Once they baked and cooled, we all indulged in several bars and quickly decided this would definitely be added to our holiday baking rotation.” – ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter – ½ cup Crisco shortening – 1 cup granulated sugar – 1 cup brown sugar – 2 large eggs – 2 teaspoons vanilla – 2¼ cups all-purpose flour – 2 teaspoons baking powder – ½ teaspoon cream of tartar – ½ teaspoon salt – 1/8 cup granulated sugar – 1 teaspoon cinnamon Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal. Place butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave on high for approximately 1 minute (and then 20-second intervals if necessary), until melted, making sure it doesn’t boil. Add in shortening, both cups of sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with a handheld mixer until combined. Add in flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Continue to mix until well-blended (batter will be thick). Using a spatula, transfer batter to the prepared dish and spread it out evenly. Mix together the 1/8 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30 minutes (test the center by inserting a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before separating from the parchment paper. Cut into bars and enjoy!

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RUBY APPLESAUCE CAKE by Sally Wilkinson “This was my family’s favorite Christmas cake. One year, I put my six-year-old son on a stool and showed him how to carefully cut the cherries in half. When I looked around to see how he was doing, I noticed that he was cutting each cherry carefully, of course, but he was putting one half in the measuring cup, and the other half into his mouth. ‘John,’ I said, ‘If you keep eating half of the cherries, we won’t have enough for the cake.’ He put down his knife and said, ‘Then you cut them!’” – 2 cups sugar – 1 cup butter, softened – 2 cups applesauce – 1 cup cherries (either candied or maraschino, halved) – 1 cup strawberry preserves – 1 tablespoon vanilla – 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 teaspoon baking soda – 1 teaspoon nutmeg – 1 tablespoon cloves – 2 teaspoons cinnamon – 1½ cup raisins – 1 cup chopped pecans (optional) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar together. Add applesauce, cherries, preserves, and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into applesauce mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts. Bake in greased bundt pan for approximately 2 hours.  Special thanks to Town of Wake Forest and the wonderful residents who shared their favorite holiday recipes! If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share with our readers, please email it to info@circamagazine – it may just be included in a future issue!

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GOOD

READS

BY SUE LUCEY

F

all has officially settled upon us. It’s finally the season of cooler weather, pumpkin spice aplenty, and football tailgates. It’s also time to gear up for a hectic holiday season. To help keep us sane this busy time of year, sometimes we need a little distraction. One of the best ways to break away from the chaos is by burying ourselves in a good book. Here are a few suggestions for you and the book lovers in your life to cozy up with this fall and escape for just a bit.

CHILDREN What Can You Do With a Rock? by Pat Zietlow Miller I love this book for so many reasons. It’s imaginative, inclusive, and invites your kids to get outside by demonstrating the many different things that you can do with a rock. As described on the author’s website (patzietlowmiller.com), “Rocks are magical. Rocks are useful. Rocks are inspirational. Rocks are everywhere. This book is an ode to the endless, creative fun one can have with a simple rock.”

Tristan Strong battling his way back to his hometown of Chicago. As Raleigh’s own celebrity and Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner Kwame Mbalia describes his newest novel, “Imagine you combined Anansi the Spider, John Henry, and Marvel into one book!” Junkwraith by Ellinor Richey This vibrant Swedish debut graphic novel that comes to life here in the States this fall “is an epic quest for the things left behind, with icy-cool artwork and astonishing sci-fi settings.” So says publisher Penguin Random House. When protagonist Florence throws away her ice skates, a terrifying ghost seeks revenge for the abandonment by taking away all her memories. Before she forgets everything, she must find out who she really is.

The Christmas Pig by JK Rowling “The Christmas Pig is a heartwarming, page-turning adventure about one child’s love for his most treasured toy, and how far he will go to find it,” (stories.jkrowling.com). The Christmas Pig is destined to be a treasure to pass on for generations. Invasion of the Unicorns by David Biedrzycki Full of beautiful illustrations that almost appear three-dimensional, this magical fable of friendship draws you in with its visual humor, and is perfect for any unicorn lover, young and old alike. Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan Cozy up to this charming book that knits together the tale of a bear and his seven cubs all stuffed in a rainbow of colored sweaters, including one with two cubs inside. As described on the publisher’s website (harpercollins.com), “Brimming with laughter and love from this large bear family, Sweater Weather is an irresistible choice to curl up with during storytime, no matter what the weather is.”

YOUNG ADULT Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia The gripping finale in this bestselling trilogy finds our hero 44

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The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker Kylie Lee Baker’s vivid descriptions completely involve you in this fast-paced story that is described as dark and delicious. The Keeper of Night is an action-packed, pageturning, and demon-slaying story of one girl’s epic journey to find herself in a world in which she cannot exist.

ADULT The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles The A Gentleman in Moscow author is back with a phenomenal new saga of four young men spanning our beautiful country by hopping on trains after fleeing a work farm. Filled with forgiveness, heartache, empathy, and humor, Amor Towles once again delivers a powerful novel that will impress upon you the power of friendship and resilience. Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger When Wren falls hard for a man she met on a dating site, she is left confused when he ghosts her. Was it the way she bared her soul one night? Or is it something sinister? This fast-paced, riveting thriller will have you sitting on the edge of your seat … don’t read this one alone. The Stranger in the Life Boat by Mitch Albom What would happen if we pray to God for help and he suddenly appears? This is exactly what happens in Mitch Albom’s new profound novel of hope and faith. When a group of shipwrecked passengers pull a strange man out of the water, he claims to be “the Lord.” Is the kind quiet man really God? The bestselling author’s latest work will make you ponder your beliefs and keep you in suspense right up until the end. A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris According to his website (davidsedarisbooks.com), “There’s no right way to keep a diary, but if there’s an entertaining way, David Sedaris seems to have mastered it.” The Raleigh native’s acute observations fill up pages of his journal, leaving you crying from laughing so hard. A Carnival of Snackery is perfect for you readers with

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a short attention span these days, with everything going on in the world around us. You Can’t Be Serious by Kal Penn Kal Penn rejected the advice of his aunties to become a doctor – and we are all the better for it. Working as a farmhand, acting, writing, and teaching Ivy League courses, we are lucky enough to vicariously live his American dream through his humor and awkwardness. More than just one story, You Can’t Be Serious is a great example of knowing that no matter where you are from and who you are, you have so many choices available to you if only you seek them out and believe in yourself. The Lyrics by Paul McCartney For all you Beatle lovers out there, this astounding book that celebrates the creative life of the musical genius is filled with commentaries from his days in Liverpool to present day life – and what made the legendary and most meaningful songs come to life. Did you know he was influenced by Shakespeare? The Queen? Masterful paintings, texts, and unseen photos throughout will make any music fan swoon. Described by publisher Liveright Publishing Corporation, The Lyrics is a work of “unparalleled candor and splendorous beauty.” Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noon Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi As described by publisher Penguin Random House UK, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love offers “relaxed, flexible home cooking from Yotam Ottolenghi and his superteam … this book is all about feeding ourselves and our families with less stress and less fuss, but with all the ‘wow’ of an Ottolenghi meal.” Big flavors, veggieforward appeal, and fun twists on classic favorites jump off the pages. Bonus – it comes with a section of swaps, so you can raid your pantry and not spend money on items you’ll never use again!  Suzanne Lucey and her husband Dave own Page 158 Books, located at 415 S. Brooks St. in Wake Forest. She may be reached at 919435-1843 or visit www.page158books.com.

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part of the fun is treasure-hunting at thrift shops for antique or vintage servingware, such as silver-plated casserole dishes or ceramic soup tureens, or any other watertight container that’s at least three to four inches deep, and then use them creatively as plant pots. You may even have cool bowls, jars, or crocks hiding away in a cupboard that would be perfect for growing paperwhites. Several bulbs in an antique bowl or casserole dish make an absolutely charming display and are nice for holiday hostess or teacher gifts. Using a tall vase will help hold up the stems as they grow, but there are other ways to keep plants upright which I’ve outlined for you here. If you want to have blooms in time for Christmas, start your bulbs around the second or third week of November. The basic idea is to grow the bulbs in water using pebbles, gravel, or glass pebbles into which the roots can grow. You can use aquarium gravel, small pebbles, fireplace glass, marbles, or vase-filler glass for this, and even coordinate it with your container. Start by adding four or more inches of clean gravel or pebbles to the bottom of the container. Position the bulbs so that the pointy ends face up and fill in and around the bulbs with more gravel/glass until it nearly covers the bulbs, but the “neck” and tip still protrude above. You can jam the bulbs in together tightly and not worry about spacing. Planting tightly actually helps the plants hold each other up as they grow. You may want to wear gloves when you do this, as some

BY TINA MAST

HOLIDAY

BLOOMS FORCING PAPERWHITES FOR CHRISTMAS

O

ne indoor plant project that many people enjoy for the holidays is forcing spring bulbs such as paperwhites into bloom for Christmas. While the traditional poinsettia may come to mind when you think of holiday plants, the cool, snowy, delicate beauty of the paperwhite can also add to the magical spirit of the season. Paperwhites are related to daffodils – both are in the Narcissus genus – but have smaller, pure white flowers in clusters and a strong jasmine-like fragrance. They are easy to force into bloom, especially since they don’t require chilling as other bulbs sometimes do. You can use a wide variety of containers in which to force them –

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people experience skin irritation when handling paperwhites. Next, add water to the container, filling it until the water level just reaches the base of the bulbs. This will get the roots growing, but helps prevent the bulbs from rotting in water. Your paperwhites can now be placed where you want to them to grow, preferably in a cooler spot around 65 degrees F. The bulbs don’t need a lot of light yet, nor do they need to be kept in a dark spot. Only once roots start to develop will you want to make sure they are in a cool, sunny window so they can grow well. Keep an eye on the water level, checking daily to see if more water needs to be added so roots don’t dry out. As the flower stalks and leaves grow, they may tend to become top-heavy and flop over. You can stake your paperwhites using small bamboo stakes and twine or raffia to hold them in place, or just secure them with a decorative ribbon. Another trick is to stunt their height with an alcohol solution. After roots begin to grow and growth shoots are about one to two inches tall, pour off the plain water and replace it with an alcohol solution that is 4%-6% alcohol. This can be made with rubbing alcohol or any hard liquor. How the good people at Cornell University figured this out, I would like to know, preferably with my own drink in hand! Refer to the following conversion chart for % alcohol / water solution, and do not use wine or beer for this. And if the bottle is only labeled by proof, divide the proof number in half to determine alcohol percentage.

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– 10% alcohol: 1 part water to 1 part alcohol – 15% alcohol: 2 parts water to 1 part alcohol – 20% alcohol: 3 parts water to 1 part alcohol – 25% alcohol: 4 parts water to 1 part alcohol – 30% alcohol: 5 parts water to 1 part alcohol – 35% alcohol: 6 parts water to 1 part alcohol – 40% alcohol: 7 parts water to 1 part alcohol Continue watering with the alcohol solution and you will see shorter stalks on the plants. The great thing about this is that the flowers will stay the normal size! This holiday season, enjoy your pretty paperwhites while they bloom, and, when they are finished, just toss the plants on the compost pile. Growing them in water means they won’t have enough energy to return next year in the garden. Just enjoy the fact that they brought beauty and festive blooms into the home for the holidays and think of it as a tradition you can carry on every year at Christmas.  Tina Mast is communications director for Homewood Nursery & Garden Center and can be reached at info@homewoodnursery.com or 919-847-0117. Photo courtesy of Petite Haus (petithaus.com).

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BY SOMMER DONAHOE

FALL CLEANING

CHECKLIST

A

QUICK AND EASY TASKS TO TACKLE TODAY s we start getting back to our normal activities, let’s make sure we don’t lose the great momentum from all the love we’ve given our homes. As your lives continue to get busier again, remember that cleaning your home doesn’t always need to be a full deep clean. As we clean, the process can bring up reminders of all the things we wish we would have done over the years (thinking about all of you ’80s kids like me!). Individually, all the tasks could likely be knocked out in just a day or a weekend. But we all know how things go, and how our busy lives cause us to push them back for another time. It often happens that these small-scale projects stack up until we decide to sell our homes and are faced with a large-scale list of “to-dos.” This is when I help my clients get their houses ready to hit the market. But I’m here to remind you that you can stay ahead of the chore game by tackling some smaller, simpler tasks, before they become much larger, more daunting jobs. Following are several things you can do now to kickstart the process – once you realize how good it feels to check these off your list, I think you just might be motivated to carry out a few more. – KITCHEN CABINETS: Tackle that Tupperware cabinet by matching containers to lids and tossing items that don’t match. If you have little ones, ask them to help and make it a fun game. – SILVERWARE AND UTENSILS DRAWERS: Give them a quick vacuum and wipe down the insides. – TRASH CAN: Give it a good cleaning or get a new one if yours is in bad shape. Don’t forget to vacuum and clean the trash can cabinet inside your drawer system and area. 48

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– DE-SQUEAK DOORS: How many times have you opened a door in your house, heard that awful creaking noise, and said to yourself “I really need to fix that!”? Dust off the WD40 that has been sitting on the garage shelf or run to your local hardware store and pick some up to oil any squeaky door hinges. – GIVE YOUR FURNACE SOME L-O-V-E: Extending the life of your HVAC system by changing filters and keeping up with annual maintenance is key. If you are going to be selling your home, this is a great time to get ahead of the game and have it serviced. – CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTERS REGULARLY. You can buy filters in bulk and set a calendar reminder every few months to change them (make the reminder later in the evening when you know you’ll be home). Make it even easier by ordering filters online and having them auto-shipped to your home. – SCHEDULE A FURNACE CHECK-UP. This is the perfect fall season chore. Call your local HVAC professional and ask for your furnace to be serviced. If the heat goes out this winter, you’ll be thankful you made that call!  – FALL EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE AND CLEAN UP: Winterizing the exterior of your home could save you money in the long run. An easy time to tackle this is when you’re already outside decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays. Remove hoses from outside water spigots and clear pine straw or mulch away from foundation vents. Winterize lawn equipment and irrigation systems. Jump on a ladder (safely!) and clear out those clogged gutters. Or, hire one of the many local service companies to do this if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself. – TEST THOSE SMOKE DETECTORS: Regularly replacing the batteries in all of your smoke detectors will go a long way in preventing that annoying chirping that only seems to come at night when you’re trying to sleep! And of course, they will be in proper working order should a fire start in your home. And when Daylight Savings comes back around, change out the batteries in all of your smoke detectors once again. If new batteries don’t stop the chirping, it may be time to buy new detectors. – CREATE AN EMERGENCY ESCAPE PLAN: Speaking of fires, should an emergency situation happen at your home, creating an escape plan can be crucial to your family’s safety. Who remembers this from your childhood? As a planner, this is as important to my family now as it was to my parents back in the ’80s. This is important year-round, but is a great reminder during the holiday season (think candles, Christmas trees strung with lights, frequent holiday baking, etc.). Often a simple, straightforward plan is best and will be remembered by everyone in your family. Designate a tree or location across the street and practice several times. From personal experience, having a quick, easy path out of the house helps avoid some very overwhelming emotions.  Sommer Donahoe is a realtor with Southern Lux Living, serving buyers and sellers throughout the Triangle. She may be reached at 919-426-1762 or visit southernluxliving.com.

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Give the gift of wellness this year so someone you love can enjoy less stress, pain and better sleep. Pre-wrapped items, bundles and gift cards available online and in Store. Trek CBD I 1968 South Main St I Wake Forest trekcbd.com I 919-761-5020 I Free Local Delivery & Shipping Available

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5 TIPS FOR

MANAGING

YOUR MOOD

(AND YOUR HEART HEALTH!) Remember that song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy? Turns out singer Bobby McFerrin had it right! Choosing positive emotions over negative ones not only keeps you in a pleasant state of mind, but according to a scientific statement published by the American Heart Association, positivity also protects you from a host of unwelcome physical ailments. Several include: irregular heart rate and rhythm, increased digestive problems, increased blood pressure, inflammation,

R

and reduced blood flow to the heart. egardless of life’s challenges – and this time of year, there seem to be even more than usual – there are steps you can take to improve your emotional well-being and reduce stress. Following are five tips to help you do just that.

1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE. Much like negativity, positive energy is contagious. That’s why it’s important to choose the people you spend your time with wisely. A study published in Health Psychology indicates that having a happy spouse or partner can improve your overall health, leading to more healthy behaviors such as physical activity. Evaluating your relationships and focusing on those who bring you joy and positive feelings can have an impact on your mental and

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physical health. Dr. Jessica Tomasula, PhD, a licensed pediatric psychologist and manager of behavioral health services at WakeMed Children’s, reminds us that when it comes to relationships, quality is more important than quantity. 2. DEVELOP HEALTHY COPING MECHANISMS. Everyone will experience stress at some point, but what’s important is how you handle it. Avoiding behaviors such as overeating, drinking, smoking, or being overly sedentary can help you stay healthier through difficult times. Instead, practice mindfulness, or turn to humor to lighten your mood. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, reading, or deep breathing techniques are healthy ways to help you overcome feelings of stress or anxiety. 3. PRACTICE OPTIMISM. While some people are naturally more cheerful than others, that doesn’t mean it’s a skill that can’t be learned. Dr. Tomasula suggests positive self-talk. “It’s important to recognize that feelings are not facts. I tell my patients that depression and anxiety are liars that can lead to thoughts such as ‘Nothing I ever do makes any difference on my health or heart condition,’ or ‘I’m never going to feel better or have the energy to play with my kids or grandkids.’” Recognizing that feelings are just feelings and that you can control them by grounding yourself in reality brings a sense of power back to the patient. 4. STAY ACTIVE. Cardiovascular exercise can boost your mood in as little as five minutes, due to the endorphins that are released during physical activity. Research also suggests that being active

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can prevent or treat depression. According to the American Psychological Association, cardiovascular exercise can actually help treat and alleviate long-term depression, and also prevent relapse. If that’s not enough, cardiovascular exercise can reduce blood pressure, blood fats, and bad cholesterol, while strengthening the heart – reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other traumatic cardiac events. 5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT. Just as you would seek help for a cardiac arrhythmia or high cholesterol, getting professional help for your mental health is important for your overall physical wellbeing. A great person to talk to about your mental well-being is your primary care physician, who can evaluate your stress levels and the impact stress may be having on your body, as well as help you seek additional resources for support if needed. For patients with heart disease, there are

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health psychologists who can help you manage the feelings and stress that come with a chronic health condition. These professionals have studied the relationship between physical and mental health, and can help identify strategies to keep you feeling your best. If you have negative feelings that are impacting your life, talk to your cardiologist, and/or seek help from a qualified mental health provider. Now that you know how a positive outlook can impact your overall health and well-being, what steps will you take today to improve your mood?  Visit the WakeMed Voices blog for more healthy lifestyle tips (wakemedvoices.com). The WakeMed Voices blog provides an outlet for their many experts to share information on topics important to the health of patients and the community. WakeMed has three hospitals, seven emergency departments, dedicated children’s services, 80+ physician practices, and much more. For more information, visit wakemed.org.

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socializing and playing at a dog daycare while you are away. This keeps them physically fit, happy, and social while you work. ARE YOU FULLY AWARE OF THE COSTS? At first glance, paying for dog food and a leash might seem reasonable, but there are a few hidden costs you should know about too. Crates, beds, toys, treats, vet trips, grooming appointments, and vaccinations can add up. Injuries that require extended vet treatment or hospital stays can quickly ratchet up into the thousands. Those adorable faces are worth every dime, but make sure you can really afford to take care of a puppy.

BY JEANNINE DILLON

ARE YOU READY FOR

A PUPPY THIS CHRISTMAS?

T

hinking about finally caving and getting your kids a puppy for Christmas this year? Following are some important questions to consider before you rush out to find a new furry friend.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS UNDER 12? Dogs are amazing companions for children, and if you have kids, chances are they’ve begged for a puppy at some point. Before you feel your resolve start to waver though, ask yourself this: are you willing to do everything for this new dog? Because that cute scrappy puppy needs a LOT of work. Morning walks in cold temperatures, getting up to let him out in the middle of the night, accidents that need to be cleaned, tornado baths, hair explosions, training … you get it. If you want your kids to experience life with a dog, consider adopting an older one (two and up) that is already housebroken. DO YOU WORK FULL-TIME? If you work full-time or are away from the house for long stretches, then a puppy might not be in your future. Just like their human counterparts, dogs under the age of two require a great deal of care and attention. They simply can’t be left to their own devices for a 9 to 5 day. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog, but you may want to choose a more mature dog that can handle longer absences. And even if your dog can handle it, you still might want to keep your best friend

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ARE YOU COMFORTABLE SETTING BOUNDARIES? Dogs are natural pack animals. By bringing them into our homes and separating them from other dogs, they will look for pack structure within your house. You need to be comfortable setting boundaries with your new puppy right from the start. Be ready for crate training from day one, designating spots which are off-limits for him (beds and couches), establishing walking and feeding routines, etc. Hounds Town USA founder and canine expert Mike Gould says, “Dogs need consistency and leadership. Behavior problems start when humans treat their dogs like humans. Establishing boundaries from the start helps create a safe environment for your pup and for everyone in the house.” Make sure you instruct your children to respect a dog’s space. They should never put their face near a dog’s. DO YOU LIKE NICE THINGS? Puppies like to destroy – simple as that. Your shoe might look like an ordinary loafer, but to your puppy, it’s a squirrel that must be captured and destroyed. Whether it’s your sofa, remote control, underwear, shoes, or the jelly doughnut you left unattended on the kitchen table, your puppy will probably find it. You’re going to need to be patient while he learns. You’ll also need to spend time understanding the personality of the dog before adopting or purchasing. While behaviors can be taught, personalities in dogs most often do not change. Regular, interactive socialization in a pack environment is essential to a dog’s health and well-being. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs end up in shelters every year. More than a half million of these will be euthanized. Many have been surrendered by owners who underestimated the responsibility or simply don’t understand the skills needed to manage a dog. So before you rush to get a puppy for your kids this Christmas, take a moment. Do your research, get a plan, and if you’re not sure, try fostering first. It’s a great way to get to know a dog and how he fits into your home.  Jeannine Dillon is with Hounds Town USA, “home to the happiest dogs on earth!” Hounds Town Wake Forest is opening this fall at 222 Capcom Avenue. For more information, visit houndstownusa.com, call 984-237-3757, join their private Hounds Town Wake Forest Facebook group, and follow them on Instagram @houndtownwakeforest.

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’tis the season

in WAKE FOREST

NOV

13

Wake Forest Cares Holiday Kick-Off

DEC

Lighting of Wake Forest

DEC

WF Holiday Artisans Market

DEC

Downtown Holiday Open House

DEC

It’s a Wonderful Wake Forest

3

4 4

4

DEC

5

DEC

10-11

Historic Holiday Festival

South White St. & Owen Ave.

Wake Forest Town Hall WF Renaissance Centre Downtown Business District

WF Historical Museum

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

WF Renaissance Centre

Celtic Angels Christmas WF Renaissance Centre

wakeforestnc.gov

search “Christmas in Wake Forest”

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CHECK THE

HALLS

5 TIPS FOR SAFE HOLIDAY DECORATING BY THOMAS WALTERS

One of the most enjoyable parts of the holiday season is decorating your home. No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, festive trimmings make it easy to get into the spirit of the season. From the twinkling of lights to the smell of fresh pine needles, holiday decorations can

U

create a joyful, fun, and memorable season in your home. nfortunately, these decorations may potentially cause injuries or pose as fire hazards. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), on average there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season. To avoid becoming a part of this statistic this year, and to help protect your home and family this holiday season, please remember these five safety tips when decking your halls.

Never plug in more than three light strings into one extension cord. Also, you should always unplug lights when you are not home and turn off the lights when you’re going to bed. Speaking of lights, indoors and outdoors, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Check each set for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using. Prevent tripping by placing cords in low-traffic areas where they won’t be walked on. Avoid twisting, kinking, or crushing cords.

1. CHOOSE FIRE-RESISTANT DECORATIONS. Be smart about the decorations you choose to showcase. Vintage holiday decorations made from paper, lace, or fabric may look beautiful, but often are flammable. Display your vintage decorations away from any heat source, including candles, holiday lights, and the fireplace. If you have an artificial holiday tree, confirm it is labeled as fire-resistant before decorating. 2. CONSIDER BATTERY-OPERATED LED CANDLES. Candlelight can help make the holidays feel extra special. However, openflame candles can be a fire hazard. Instead, consider using batteryoperated LED candles and never go near a tree or wreath with a lit candle, lighter, or match. If you do use lit candles in your holiday décor, always use non-flammable holders, keep them away from other decorations and wrapping paper, and place them where they cannot be knocked down or blown over. 3. DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR EXTENSION CORDS. When stringing lights, you may be tempted to overload extension cords. 54

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4. KEEP YOUR TREE FRESH. Dried-out holiday trees can be a major fire hazard in your home. When selecting your tree, make sure it passes the shake test. It should be sticky to the touch, and when shaken, minimal needles should fall. This may help ensure that your tree is fresh. Additionally, a fresh tree will have needles that don’t break when bent between your fingers. To help keep it fresh, trim about two inches off the bottom of the trunk to ensure better water absorption. Cut off branches if necessary at the base to set the trunk into a sturdy, water-holding stand with wide spread feet. When setting up your tree, place it at least three feet away from a heat source to help prevent it from drying out too fast. Frequently check the water level to ensure proper hydration. 5. DON’T BLOCK THE EXIT. In your excitement to squeeze as many decoraations as possible into your home, it’s all too easy to potentially block a doorway or exit. Remember, in the event of a fire, every second matters. Make sure your holiday decorations don’t obstruct doors or otherwise hinder your ability to quickly and safely exit your home. Adorning your home with treasured and festive decor is one of the highlights of the holiday season. And while ornamentations such as candles, Christmas trees, and lights are part of the holiday spirit, they can pose certain risks for you, your family, and your home. But if you follow these safety tips while decorating your space, you can celebrate your holiday traditions not only with cheer and merriment, but also with an extra sense of security.  Thomas Walters is the owner of Walters Insurance Agency, located at 3207 Rogers, Road, Suite 100 in Wake Forest. Call 919-554-0267 or 919-848-8015 or email ThomasWalters@allstate.com for help with all your insurance needs.

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– EXTRINSIC DISCOLORATION: This is when the outside of your teeth has discoloration due to coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco, dyed foods, etc. Sometimes you may notice a difference when you use an over-the-counter whitening teeth kit or whitening toothpaste. – INTRINSIC DISCOLORATION: This is when the discoloration comes from within the tooth itself. Common causes are medications, infection, childhood illness, trauma, and aging. Over-thecounter remedies will not work on intrinsic discoloration, due to the fact that they are missing or only have minute amounts of carbamide peroxide, the main ingredient needed to get your teeth whiter. It is entirely possible to have both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration at the same time. So, you may be a heavy coffee drinker and purchase the best teeth whitening kit only to find that your teeth didn’t get as light as you’d hoped.

BY DR. EDMOND SUH

TALKING

TEETH

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DO WHITENING KITS REALLY WORK? ave you noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they could be? It happens to many of us, and sometimes brushing isn’t enough to whiten them as much as we want. Plenty of whitening kits are available today ... but do they work?

OPTIONS FOR TEETH WHITENING There are different options for teeth whitening. The main three choices are: over-the-counter kits, kits dispensed by dentists, and whitening treatments administered by dentists. – Teeth whitening kits: These will be purchased at places like pharmacies and big box stores. – Kits dispensed by dentists: These teeth whitening kits are different from over-the-counter kits. Due to their ingredients,

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The answer is yes, and no. Confusing, I know. Whether the kits work depends on different factors, and the answer will be different for everyone because not all teeth are discolored for the same reason. First, you need to know your exact issue so that you can utilize the best teeth whitening kit for you. Spoiler alert – it may not be one purchased over the counter.

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CAUSES OF DISCOLORATION There are several different reasons why teeth can become discolored; however, for the most part, these reasons are broken down into two categories. 56

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which are much more effective, these kits cannot be purchased anywhere else other than from your dentist. – Administered by dentists: Dentists have a few options for teeth whitening in their offices. This option is the most effective, the quickest acting, and the longest lasting. This could be done by using a teeth whitening light, a teeth bleaching kit with higher amounts of carbamide peroxide, or other whitening products. In addition to knowing if your issue is intrinsic or extrinsic, there are other factors that you will need to look at before making a decision on which route to take when it comes to teeth whitening products. Some factors to think about include cost; age (more so for children); dental history, including fillings and crowns; and type and reason for discoloration. To reiterate, yes, teeth whitening kits work, but there are caveats and factors you need to know before running out to purchase the kit

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from the reviews you saw on YouTube. That reviewer may have a separate issue than you. Far too often, people are not fully aware of the reason behind their teeth discoloration and end up wasting a lot of energy and money trying different products that just won’t work. There are several options and factors to consider, so the best and safest option is to talk to your dentist about these choices – they are the experts and know how best to approach your issue, possibly saving you disappointment, frustration, and money in the long run. By speaking with your dentist, you will find out precisely what type of discoloration you have, what caused it, and the best teeth whitening products to use for your particular case.  Dr. Edmond Suh, DDS is with Supremia Dentistry, located at 1704 S. Main Street in Wake Forest. He is an international lecturer on contemporary dental techniques. At Supremia Dentistry, expect something different as they welcome you to their patient family. Call 919-556-6200 to learn more or schedule an appointment. You can also visit supremiadentistry.com.

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HAPPY HEALTHY

HOLIDAYS 5 TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY ON TRACK THIS SEASON The holidays are a time to enjoy with friends and family ... and food. On average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season. While this weight gain isn’t dramatic, research shows that it tends to stick and accumulate over the years. Following are tips to help you create a healthy balance of food, physical activity, and fun to stay on-track through the holiday season. 58

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1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Rather, focus on maintaining your current weight. 2. Don’t skip meals. Being overly hungry often leads to overeating. A small snack such as a piece of fruit or some raw veggies with hummus can help to curb the temptation to over-indulge later on. 3. Bring a healthy dish to a holiday gathering. This is a great way for you to ensure there will be something healthy to consume no matter what is offered. This is also very helpful if you have a food allergy/intolerance. 4. Scope out the food table before dishing up your plate. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and then choose small portions of your favorite foods to enjoy in moderation. 5. Sit. Savor. Satisfy. Sit down to eat, savor your food, and only eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Don’t feel obligated to clear your plate. 6. Moderate your intake of caloric beverages. Soda, alcohol, mixed coffee beverages, hot cocoa, juices, and eggnog all contain calories which can contribute to weight gain. Stay hydrated with water instead and enjoy a drink in moderation on occasion. 7. Plan time for physical activity. Exercise can help to relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. 8. Take the focus off of food. Projects such as making wreaths, sculpting dough art decorations, or playing minute-to-win-it games are great options for friends and family gatherings. Others include signing up to serve your community a holiday meal and going on a walk around the neighborhood to view all the holiday splendor. To go a little further, here are a couple of healthier holiday recipes. Give these a try and enjoy with your family and friends this holiday season.

QUICK HOLIDAY NOG – 4 bananas – 11/2 cups skim milk or vanilla almond milk – 11/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt – 1/4 teaspoon rum extract – Sprinkle of ground nutmeg Place all of the ingredients (minus the nutmeg) into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour in serving glasses and sprinkle with a touch of nutmeg.

CREAMY MASHED CAULIFLOWER Recipe by EatingWell Test Kitchen For your holiday feast, try this fabulous low carbohydrate recipe in exchange for mashed potatoes – not only will it lighten your caloric load, it will also provide a nutritional boost. Try topping it with some shredded cheese or chopped fresh herbs. Even the pickiest eater will love this dish.

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– 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head) – 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled – 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (if you do not have buttermilk, you can make sour-milk by mixing 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk) – 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided – 1 teaspoon butter – 1/2 teaspoon salt – Freshly ground pepper to taste – Snipped fresh chives for garnish Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.) Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt, and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.  For more wellness tips and delicious and healthy recipes, visit the WakeMed Voices blog (where you can also subscribe) at wakemedvoices.com. The WakeMed Voices blog provides an outlet for their many experts to share information on topics important to the health of patients and the community.

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LIGHT IT UP

THIS HOLIDAY

SEASON

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BY HALEY ADAMS

ecorating for Christmas – a time-honored tradition full of joy and cheer … and if you’re the “lucky” one in your house who gets to tackle the tradition of setting up the outdoor holiday lights, it’s probably also full of frustration. This time-consuming, often exasperating task ultimately adds magical charm to your home’s exterior. But before you climb the ladder, I suggest you heed the following helpful light-hanging hints, understand the dangers of taking them down, and weigh the pros and cons of hiring a pro to do it for you. Doing so just might make this year’s Christmas lighting installation a bit easier than ever before.

HINTS FOR HANGING LIGHTS Before you bust out the boxed-up lights you dragged down from the attic or visit the store to buy new, plan out your display. As you decide where to place lights, choose a few focal points to help anchor your design. Doors, columns, and eaves offer architectural interest that can be highlighted with lights. Next, measure out the area that will be covered with lights to ensure you have enough, or if you do need to purchase, you buy the correct amount. Don’t forget to take into account the amount of length it will take to reach your power source.

lines. You can also use a staple gun to secure strands. Just be careful not to staple the wire, and be prepared to pull out the staples when it’s time for the lights to come down after the holiday season is over. Another option is outdoor mounting tape, which comes in both permanent and temporary versions. Outdoor mounting tape provides an effective way to hang lights, but isn’t always easy to remove. You may have to use rubbing alcohol to get rid of all the adhesive. If removing from a painted surface, you may have to touch up some spots where the paint is damaged.

TAKING DOWN DANGERS By the end of the hectic holiday season, the last thing you probably feel like doing is spending hours taking down holiday lights, organizing them, carefully packing them up, and putting them in storage.

If buying new, make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. Incandescent lights offer a warmer glow, while LEDs tend to come in more styles and are more energy-efficient. Also, pay attention to the connection strand limits to make sure that you won’t be connecting too many, creating a potential fire hazard. Finally, double-check your measurements and make sure that you have enough lights so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store. If you have lights from previous years that you will be using, take a moment to test each strand before you start hanging. This will save you time and frustration. Then plug in the first strand to your power source to ensure everything will reach correctly. When it’s time to finally hang the lights, make sure that you have a sturdy ladder that will allow you to safely reach eaves and other high places. For roof lights, plastic clips and hooks provide an easy way to hang and remove lights at the end of the season, while also creating a cleaner and more professional look with straight 60

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However, it’s important to remember that this task is more than just an annoying chore – it can actually be dangerous. Following are safety concerns to keep top of mind when taking down holiday lights. – Handling heights: All too often, homeowners don’t have the right equipment to install and take down lights. Instead of investing in ladders that are tall enough to reach all parts of their roofs, they put themselves at risk. Against all advice, people often hang off roofs, using the very top step of the ladder, and stretch to reach high corners. – Working with electricity: Any time you are working with electrical components, you run the chance of receiving a shock. This is especially true if you don’t take the necessary precautions to cut off the power to the lights. – Lifting heavy boxes: It might seem like a good idea to pack as many holiday lights and decorations into storage boxes as possible. But remember that you will need to lift and transport these boxes. Lifting too much weight or improperly lifting heavy weights can result in strained muscles and joints, which isn’t a good way to start the new year.

Professional removal services will prevent any damage and neatly store your lights, so you don’t have to deal with a tangled mess of wires next holiday season.

It’s easy to see why holiday lighting services have become increasingly popular. While hanging lights is an age-old tradition, it isn’t always fun and games. For those who want to enjoy their beauty without the hassle, this may be the way to go. Regardless if you go DIY or the pro route, decking the halls – and your home’s exteriors – with twinkling, magical lights is one of the best ways to spread holiday cheer. 

There are a couple of cons, too, though: – Cost: Unlike the DIY holiday lighting approach, outsourcing this task to a professional does cost money. However, you may find that the safety and timesaving aspects offer great value. – Tradition: For some people, hanging the holiday lights is a sacred tradition and part of what brings them holiday cheer.

Haley Adams is with Brite Creations. She may be reached at 919-263-3474 or visit britelightcreations.com for more information.

PRO PROS AND CONS Some pros of outsourcing your holiday lighting project include: – Safety: You can leave scaling ladders and traversing roofs up to professionals who have the tools, training, and skills to handle heights. – Convenience: Everyone is pressed for time during the holidays. Hiring a professional lighting service means that you will have more time to spend with friends and family. – Quality: Professionals will be able to design a stunning display, use the latest products, and offer tidy installation. – Maintenance: If a bulb goes out, no worries. Holiday lighting services include maintenance so that all it takes is a phone call to restore your display. – Removal: If there is anything worse than putting up lights, it’s taking them down.

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FDA-approved indications for hormone therapy are used to prevent these issues. The 2017 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) updated the society’s 2012 statement, identifying its significance. 

WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY …

BY DR. HAJIRA YASMIN

HORMONE THERAPY

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IS IT THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR YOU?

The landmark Women’s Health Initiative Study (WHI) results from 20 years ago scared many women away from using hormone therapy altogether. Some toughed out their hot flashes and night sweats with no relief until the symptoms settled down on their own. But fortunately, we’ve learned a great deal since then about the risks and benefits of HT. For most women, experts agree that it is safe to control moderate to severe menopause symptoms within 10 years of menopause and up to age 59. It is recommended, though, that women use the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time needed to keep their symptoms under control.

HORMONE THERAPY TYPES There are two basic types of hormonal therapy. Systemic estrogen – which comes in pill, skin patch, ring, gel, cream, and spray form – typically contains a higher dose of estrogen that is absorbed throughout the body and can be used to treat any of the common symptoms of menopause. The second type is low-dose vaginal products. These come in cream, tablet, or ring form, and minimize the amount of estrogen absorbed by the body. Because of this,

ormone therapy (HT) is a medication that contains female hormones, taken to replace the estrogen your body stops making during menopause. It is most often used to treat common symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal discomfort.

Many menopausal women experience symptoms such as these, and many other physical changes as well. For some, the symptoms are mild and do not require any treatment. For others, symptoms are moderate or severe and interfere with daily activities. Hot flashes decrease over time, but some women have dealt with bothersome ones for many years. Menopause symptoms often improve with lifestyle changes and nonprescription remedies, but prescription therapies also are available, if needed. Hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for hot flashes and night sweats. If night sweats are waking you throughout the night, HT may improve sleep and fatigue, mood, the ability to concentrate, and overall quality of life. Treatment of hot flashes and night sweats is the principal reason women use HT. This therapy also treats vaginal dryness and painful intimacy (genitourinary symptoms) associated with menopause. It also keeps your bones strong by preserving bone density, decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. 

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low-dose preparations of this therapy type are usually used to only treat the vaginal and urinary symptoms of menopause. Estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestogen is based on uterus presence. If you have a uterus, you will need to take progestogen with your estrogen. Many pills and some patches contain both hormones together. Otherwise, you will need to take two separate hormones (i.e., estrogen pill in conjunction with a progestogen pill or estrogen patch along with a progestogen pill).

HORMONE THERAPY RISKS While hormone therapy can provide significant relief for women who suffer menopausal symptoms and discomfort, it can pose certain risks. These risks differ depending on the therapy type, dose, duration of use, route of administration, timing of initiation, and health risk factors. Treatment should be individualized to each patient, using the best available evidence to maximize benefits and minimize these risks, with periodic reevaluation by your specialist. For healthy women younger than 60 years old with bothersome hot flashes, and are within 10 years of menopause, the benefits of HT generally outweigh the risks. This treatment might slightly increase your chance of stroke or blood clots in the legs or lungs (especially if taken in pill form). If started in women older than 65 years of age, hormone therapy (combined estrogen and progestogen) might slightly increase your risk of breast cancer if used

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for more than five years. Using estrogen alone (for women without a uterus) does not increase breast cancer risk at seven years of usage, but may increase risk if taken for a longer time. Some studies suggest that it may be good for your heart if started before age 60 or within 10 years of menopause. However, if you start hormone therapy further from menopause or after age 60, it might not improve the risk of heart disease. Although there are risks associated with taking HT, they are not common, and most go away after you stop treatment.  If you’re looking for relief from menopause symptoms and decide on hormone therapy as a treatment, you will need to consult a specialist in this area of your health. Initiating hormone therapy and menopause symptom management is a very nuanced science that needs careful planning based on your individual health history and risk factors. You and your menopause specialist will work in partnership to decide what is the best, safest, evidenced-based option for you, so you can continue this phase of your health journey with an improved quality of life.  Hajira Yasmin, MD, FACOG, NCMP, AASECT-CSC, IF, is the founding physician of Alray Direct Gynecology & Intimate Health Center, located at 10940 Raven Ridge Road, Suite 110 in Raleigh, and is a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner and an ISSWSH Certified Sexual Medicine Fellow. For information, visit alraymd.com.

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HAPPY

PAWLIDAYS HOW TO SNAP THE PERFECT HOLIDAY PHOTO OF YOUR PUP

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he holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to take photographs of your pooch. It’s only natural to include him in the holiday spirit! But no matter which Instagram filter you use, the picture won’t be as awesome as you want if your pup can’t sit still, you don’t have the right lighting, and the background is all wrong … and did we mention if your pup won’t sit still? This guide can help you snap a paw-fect holiday picture of your pup (and be the envy of your fur-loving friends).

DON’T FORGET PROPS! A few strategically placed decorations and holiday accessories are all elements of interest that can be added to your scene. Remember to keep safety in mind – especially if your pup is a chewer, it’s best to keep toxic and fragile items away. GET ON THEIR LEVEL. Instead of standing up and looking down at your pup, get down on your knees or belly to see the world from his perspective. Also, instead of calling your dog over to you, go to

NATURAL LIGHT IS BEST. A flash can make your pup’s eyes look like they belong to a zombie, and the sudden burst of light might frighten him. Try taking the picture on a partly sunny day for the best colors and to avoid flash effects. Very bright, direct sun can cause harsh shadows. Beautiful pictures can be taken at sunrise or sunset too, so try out different times of the day. FAMILIAR SETTINGS. It may come as no surprise, but taking pictures at home may be the best option because your dog is most comfortable there. It’s difficult to predict how your dog will be in a studio setting or any new environment. If you aren’t in an enclosed area, it is safest to keep him on a leash. You don’t want to have to chase Fido down with a camera in your hand! Try safely attaching the leash to a tree or post, so that both hands can be on your camera/phone. KNOW YOUR BACKDROP. Since you’re shooting a moving subject, first scope out a couple of ideal backgrounds and try to position yourself to capture your dog in front of those backgrounds. Seamless paper can easily be cut, discarded, and replaced if your pup has an accident, while vinyl backdrops are also great because they are very durable and can easily be washed. If you’re hiring a professional photographer for your pup’s photo shoot, ask about their stock of specialty holiday backdrops for a festive mood. 64

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Glad Yule! A Midwinter Solstice celebration is simply better at Norse! Plenty of space for your Tribe to enjoy the holiday season with Beer, Food, & Family!

Contact us today to plan your next Epic Event! events@norsebrewingco.com

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him so you can snap the perfect picture. LOOK INTO THEIR EYES. Animals show a lot of emotion through their eyes, so be sure to have them in clear focus to capture the expression. FOLLOW THE RULE OF THIRDS. One photography basic is making the focal point of the picture off to one side, instead of right smack in the middle. You can always crop the photo later to achieve this if need be. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Before the photo shoot, practice your pooch’s pose with any props or accessories beforehand. If hiring a pro, make sure he is comfortable around cameras and equipment, and has some time to get comfortable before the picture taking begins. SURPRISE HIM. As we already mentioned, it’s hard to get your pup to sit in one spot for very long. Let your dog do his own thing and position yourself to take a picture, then whistle or call his name to capture his attention. And then, by golly, hit that button as fast as you can! It might take a few tries to get what you’re looking for, so be patient. If your pup is very high energy, wait to take pictures until he or she is exhausted from a long walk, or just woke up from a nap. SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD! Now that your pup is photographed in all of his glory, the picture must be shown to all of your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and random passersby. Proudly share on social media, display in a beautiful frame, or include on a fun and festive holiday card that is sure to warm the hearts of all who receive it.  Camp Bow Wow – where a dog can be a dog – offers doggy daycare and overnight boarding. Opening in October, the boarding facility is located at The Factory, 1839 S. Main Street in Wake Forest. For more information and to book your reservation,visit campbowwow.com/wake-forest.

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OUR HERITAGE A WAKE FOREST CHRISTMAS BYBY EDAMY MORRIS PIERCE

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multitude of holiday celebrations have long been traditions on North Main Street in Wake Forest. The annual Forth of July children’s parade attracts hundreds of children on bicycles, wagons, and foot. Some who participated as kids are now bringing their grandchildren. Halloween draws over a thousand trick-or-treaters to the street to visit the over-the-top spooky decorations. But it is the biennial Christmas Tour that brings both the most visitors and the most excitement. Decorating the houses along North Main Street is nothing new. The Dr. Calvin Jones House (Wake Forest College Birthplace) has been decorated for Christmas for over half a century for the Christmas Tour. In the early years of Wake Forest College, and even prior when the family of Dr. Calvin Jones lived in the home they called “Wake Forest,” Christmas was a special time. If you tour the Dr. Calvin Jones house at Christmastime these days, you will see decorations representative of those that the Jones family, and later the Wait family, may have used for their celebrations.

While Christmas is the worldwide celebration of the birth of Christ, the holiday celebrations did not come about until the 1500s. Its traditions evolved over time, mainly out of Germany and England, and incorporated many pagan traditions from those countries. In the 18th and 19th centuries, homes of wealthy people and some churches were often decorated with garlands and boughs of greenery. The Moravians who settled Salem, now part of the city of Winston-Salem, brought many of our southern Christmas traditions to North Carolina. A Moravian Christmas would have included a holiday feast, sweets, fruits, carols, music, and simple decorations of greens, dried herbs, flowers, and fruit. Calvin Jones visited Salem many times between 1803 and 1810 and may well have experienced Christmas there at least once or twice. When he and his new bride, Temperance Bodie Williams Jones, moved into their Wake Forest home, perhaps some of what Jones experienced in Salem graced their own Christmas celebrations. It is doubtful that the Joneses had a Christmas tree, but Calvin may well have seen one on his medical missions to Salem. Take your senses back to the 1820s – the house smells of pine and cedar as the parlor mantel and side tables would have been arrayed with greenery, but no bows or ribbons. The windows have sprigs of 66

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holly or boxwood in each pane, attached with a small piece of bread dough. In the fireplace lays the Yule log, ready for a Christmas Eve fire. The Yule log was a large round piece of oak or hickory adorned with cedar, pine, and holly berries. It was customary that when making the decorative log, one would soak it in the creek to ensure a long-slow burn. Presents were not a huge part of the celebration. The children would have received fruits, nuts, and sweets. Christmas Day was a time for entertaining, and the Joneses and their guests would have enjoyed a feast of goose or turkey and ham from the smokehouse with fruit, root vegetables, and special desserts. In the 1830s, when the Samuel Wait family occupied the house, celebrations would have remained simple. The table would have been set with the best china, the silver polished, and fresh fruit from the root cellar would adorn the table as part of the decorations and to be enjoyed by family and guests. In the Wait home, church services would have been a large part of the day. Wake Forest College was only closed Christmas Day, so the students were still on campus and family activities would most likely have included interaction with the college boys who also would have been expected at church services before enjoying a day away from classes. The college may have had a few decorations as well, mainly pine or cedar garlands and holly or pine on the doors – again, no twinkling lights, ribbons, or bows. No matter the customs, Christmas was and is still a magical time. Children will be excited about the prospect of gifts, music, and festivities and friends and families anticipate celebrating the season together. Once again, we look forward to the holidays in the old college town. Our spirits will not be dimmed. And just as it did long ago, the Christmas tide will come and greenery will adorn the Calvin Jones house inside and out as will other homes along North Main Street.  Visit the Town of Wake Forest (wakeforestnc.gov) and Wake Forest Historical Museum websites for details of an old-fashioned celebration on the f irst Saturday in December. Ed Morris is executive director of the Wake Forest Historical Museum & Wake Forest College Birthplace. For more information, visit wakeforestmuseum.org.

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Profile for CIRCA Magazine

October - November - December 2021 CIRCA Magazine (Fall / Holiday Edition)  

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