Everything Knoxville December 2023 Edition

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8 European Fine Hardwood

Susan Cafferty


Publisher + Editor

Refinish or replace: that is the question.

Brett Cafferty

10 Closets by McKenry

Marketing + Operations

Embrace your home office work style.

Kendra Menendez Editor + Administration

19 Farm Bureau Insurance

You don't have to be a farmer to be a member.

Meredith Hancock Design + Production

25 My Professional Plumber

Contact Information Post Office Box 24532 Knoxville, TN 37933 865.640.3015

Get your home's plumbing system in shape for winter.

47 Meadow View Greenhouses & Garden Center

Reach us Online info@everythingknoxville.com EverythingKnoxville.com

Learn how to care for your holiday plants.

49 Undercover Systems

The holiday gift everyone will enjoy all year long.

Hours of Business Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Insights & Highlights............................... 26 Local Eats.................................................. 39 Food and Recipes..................................... 41 Calendar of Events.................................. 42 Knox Heritage........................................... 44 Random Acts of Flowers....................... 45


Photo by Dustin Hilbelink

HAE SEEBER , owner of Shae Design Studio, and the SDS Team of design professionals are ready to make your dream interiors a reality! With more than three decades of combined experience, Shae Design Studio is committed to creating dynamic, luxurious home designs and redesigns that are tailored to your needs and lifestyle.

Everything Knoxville is distributed from Downtown Knoxville to hundreds of neighborhoods in Bearden, West Knoxville, Farragut, Hardin Valley and beyond.

From the Publisher


U R DAU G H T E R and a couple of friends came to Knox ville to meet up with some school buddies for a UT home game and to visit. I realized just how many of her friends past and current - are now in the medical profession. In high school, she was given the opportunity to participate in a Peer Tutoring class for students with disabilities. As “tutors,” they helped them to better assimilate and communicate at school and accompanied them when shopping at local stores and where they worked at nearby businesses. Through this, she and her friends gained understanding and empathy into not only the challenges that these students faced, but also the unhindered joy their accomplishments brought them. I think all that intentional caring was a big influence on her. She is now an Occupational Therapist (as are others of that class), and many more of her group are nurses. As my daughter and her friends started recounting “hospital Photo by Morgan Hayley Harper


stories,” it was easy to see that their jobs are often unappreciated and messy. Taking care of other humans definitely has its highs but often more lows. Having gone to Physical Therapy for a few months now, I am gaining an even greater appreciation for those who have chosen a profession that physically helps others. Often they have to manage us when we are fearful and in pain (i.e. much more concerned with ourselves than them). I personally am just so grateful that there are those who feel called to do that kind of work - honestly, because I really wouldn’t want to! So let’s all be more thankful and understanding of our healthcare providers and caregivers. They really are here to help and are most likely doing their best. Remember that there are employee shortages everywhere and workers are trying to “take up the slack” that the hole has left - usually with a smile on their face. Be kind, be appreciative, say thank you, and be glad that they are there, trained, and ready to take care of you.

Susan Cafferty Publisher + Editor

Cover photo by Dustin Hilbelink

Photos by Dustin Hilbelink



HEN SHARON Anderson began remodeling their Briarcliff home in Oak Ridge, she seriously considered replacing the well-worn original hardwood flooring located in her kitchen, foyer, and back hallway. She did some research and looked at several samples but couldn’t find anything she liked as well as the Bruce solid wood flooring with beveled edged boards of varying widths that the builder had chosen and installed when the house was built in 1983. The designer she was working with, Michele Hunley, suggested that Sharon contact the owners at European Fine Hardwood Floors. After Valera Tomescu and his wife, Svetlana, came out for a free estimate consultation, Sharon remembers being “very impressed with them, and I especially liked the idea of the dustless Bona System they use.” With the restoration underway, Sharon was extremely pleased with the European Fine Hardwood Floors outside vacuum system. “We did not have to cover counters and furnishings in adjoining areas to protect them from dust because there was absolutely ZERO dust!” recalls Sharon. She also felt comfortable with the Tomescu crew in her home as “their work is impeccable, and they are persons of great personal integrity, which means a lot to me.” Sharon was delighted with the outcome. “The refinishing project was an absolute success with the work being completed to our highest level of expectation. We had to have a few boards replaced because of some water damage from the dogs’ water bowls, and Valera matched the original floor exactly. The finished results were amazing! The floors are beautiful, and I am so happy I did not have them replaced.” Since her own experience working with Valera and Svetlana was “top notch,” Sharon recommended European Fine Hardwood Floors


That is the Hardwood Flooring Question

to friends who wanted to refinish existing hardwoods that had been covered by carpet for more than 50 years. They were extremely pleased with Valera’s work, too. “I could not give European Fine Hardwood Floors a higher recommendation,” said Sharon. “I would not hire or recommend any other company to anyone needing flooring services. They are the best! Our remodeling contractor, Marshall Sheldon - who also built this home - said he thought the floors looked even better than when they were new!” If you are ready to restore the beauty of your hardwood flooring, call European Fine Hardwood Floors. With their years of skilled craftsmanship, long list of delighted clients, and tried-and-true sustainable Bona products, they offer the highest quality standards in the refinishing industry.

European Fine Hardwood Floors 865.640.3680 KnoxvilleHardwoodRefinishing.com Certified Craftsman by Bona



DUSTLESS REFINISHING – NEW FLOORING INSTALLATION – STAINING - RESTORATION AND REPAIR Mention Everything Knoxville for Priority Scheduling in Time for the Holidays

Durable, water-based, and environmentally friendly low VOC finishes Dustless and safe refinishing for your home, using our Bona truck-mounted containment system Family owned and operated, celebrating 10 years serving Knoxville area clients Superior craftsmanship by licensed and insured Bona-certified craftsman

KnoxvilleHardwoodRefinishing.com | EuropeanHardwoodFloors@yahoo.com | 865-640-3680 8 EVERYTHING KNOXVILLE December 2023

How to Holiday Downtown Peppermint Trail • The Elf on the Shelf ® Adventure • Holidays on Ice


HIS FESTIVE TIME of the year transforms downtown Knoxville into a sparkly, bright, and merry place with memorymaking magic for adults and chil dre n alike. O f co ur se, there’s eating, drinking, window shopping, and gift buying, but there’s also so much more! Get lost on the Peppermint Trail, search for Santa’s Scout Elves in a magical scavenger hunt, skate under twinkling lights in Market Square, and explore holiday markets throughout the season. Enjoy lights and beautifully decorated storefronts decked out and dipped in peppermint, and sip on warm hot chocolates. Peppermint Trail thru 1/7 Follow the trail of peppermints on the sidewalks of downtown Knoxville to discover all sorts of treats featuring the favorite red-and-white

candy. From candy cane coffees at morning brunch to craft cocktails sipped by candlelight, you’ll find peppermint treats round almost every corner – along with plenty of gingerbread, cinnamon, cranberry, apple spice, and other holiday flavors. Plus, boutiques and gift shops feature peppermint-themed t-shirts, scented soaps, candles, and all kinds of holiday surprises. Explore the Sunsphere and see the Peppermint Trail from Knoxville’s Ultimate View! Elf on the Shelf Adventure thru 1/7 Santa is sending Scout Elves to downtown Knoxville for a magical scavenger hunt in more than two dozen downtown businesses! And Saint Nick has granted these special elves permission to remain in Knoxville from now until Sunday, January 7, 2024.

You can pick up a North Pole Pass at Mast General Store or Knoxville Visitors Center to guide you through the adventure. Find 20 or more Scout Elves and register to win prizes. Happy holiday hunting! Holidays on Ice thru 1/2 You’ll love ice skating in the heart of downtown Knoxville! The open-air ice rink is nestled under twinkling lights in Market Square day and night, seven days a week, for children and adults to skate the day away. Find online tickets, waivers, and more information at KnoxvilleHolidaysonIce.com. Visit DowntownKnoxville.org for more information on all these holiday events, a list of the participat in g ven dors , along with convenient business links, and a handy “where to park” guide. December 2023



Embrace Your Work Style with a Personalized Home Office BY C A R R I E M C C O N K E Y, C A R R I E M C C O N K E Y.C O M


FEBRUARY 9-11, 2024

KNOXVILLE CONVENTION CENTER From the Ground to the Gutters, the House & Garden Show has something for everyone!



AV E YO U ever s topp ed to t hink ab out your wor k style? Although your daily goals may be similar to those of your co-workers, the way you accomplish them is probably very different. Yo u m a y b e s o m e o n e whose creativity is sparked by a pen and notepad, or you might be a paperless devotee who loves to keep all your notes on one tablet. Whichever way you work best, a custom-designed home office can turn you into a career overachiever. For the Paper Lover or Cloud User If paper notes float your boat, custom-measured shelves and file drawers for binders, books, and important documents will keep your projects organized. Paper-free work styles benefit from added counter space for multiple monitors, and LED strips with USB ports keep electronic devices powered up. Seated, Standing, or Stability Ball Preferred Whether you love a balance ball chair or like to lean back in your office lounger, an office space designed around your work habits will help you stay focused. An adjustable sitting-to-standing desk gives you options, and convenient pull-out writing surfaces streamline your space when not in use. The Corner Office Re-imagined If your home office is doing double-duty as a guest room, create a stylish work corner that maximizes your square footage. Customized cabinets and drawers in high-gloss acrylic hide files and office supplies, and a cozy and convenient wall bed for overnight visitors will fold out of the way during your busiest workday. A Workspace Built for Two Create a shared home office workspace that will ward off intra-office drama. Separate desktops provide room to spread out, and storage shelves, drawers, and cabinets in more than 50 finishes can be designed to fit each remote worker’s organization needs. The storage experts at Closets by McKenry are your partners when it comes to productive workdays. Visit their West Knoxville showroom today to view their extensive collection of hardware, accessories, and locally manufactured storage systems. We guarantee they can match your home and your work style. Closets by McKenry 201 Center Park Drive, #1070 Knoxville, TN 37922 865.249.6382 ClosetsByMcKenry.com


The Gift of Family History Made Easy


LEETWOOD PHOTO + The Print Refinery has the skill and know-how to turn your old photos and home movies into a usable digital format that can be easily viewed and shared with others. The real bonus is that they are able to perform this service locally with no shipping of personal items to other destinations. Your family memorabilia stays right here in Knoxville during the entire digital transformation process. Frank and Doris Distefano, Fleetwood owners and daily operators, have assembled an amazing staff of printers, designers, framers, and archivists. The core of Fleetwood’s staff has more than 130 years of experience in their field. And as a prominent business on Bearden Hill since 1985, you have the peace of mind and security offered by more than 35 years in their professional industry. They know how best to prepare your items for archiving and offer consultations along with helpful suggestions. Whether scanning photos and documents or transferring videotapes, audiotapes, slides, 8mm and 16mm films, it will be done right, with the care and consideration your family archive deserves. With the holiday season upon us, are you interested in a unique way to keep company entertained? Would it be nice to give the personalized gift of priceless family heritage? Let Fleetwood help relieve some of your holiday stress by transforming your family legacy from a dusty solitary archive into living, viewable media. Imagine being able to share your digitized history creation with all your family members, whether they are in your home, across town, or across the world - and all with the ease of watching a Netflix movie, on all devices, wherever they are. Digitizing memorabilia is just one of the many services that Fleetwood the Print Refinery has to offer. See their website or visit their convenient Bearden Hill location for additional gift giving ideas. They want to be your resource for reprints, custom framing, holiday cards, personalized invitations, and more. Give yourself the gift of solutions from Fleetwood the Print Refinery. Fleetwood Photo/The Print Refinery 6504 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919 865.584.4554 FleetwoodPhoto.com

37th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert

Friday, December 15, at 7:30 pm Saturday, December 16, at 3:00 pm & 7:30 pm Sunday, December 17, at 3:00 pm Knoxville Civic Auditorium An Olde English Christmas features the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra with special guests Webb School Madrigal Singers, Knoxville Choral Society, Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir, and GO! Contemporary Dance Works Visit KnoxvilleSymphony.com for more information

December 2023






Christmas Ballet returns to the Tennessee Theatre marking the 31st annual North American tour of this beloved family tradition. The 2023 production showcases a record number of international talent, starring principal dancers from the great opera houses of Ukraine and 40 world-class artists from Japan, Italy, Turkey, and more. This year holds exciting surprises as it introduces a fresh character and incorporates innovative new choreography that blends classical ballet with cuttingedge circus techniques. “The international scale of the production is truly unique,” said Dan Talmi, Executive Producer of Talmi Entertainment and the son of co-founders Mary Giannone and Akiva Talmi. “With artistic direction from the birthplace of classical ballet in Kyiv, Ukraine, to rising ballet capitals around the world, we have built a world-class team. We’re the only nationally touring Nutcracker production, so we strive to top ourselves each year. Our


team works year round to give audiences the best of everything - the best talent, production value, costumes, you name it.” In the 2023 production, an exciting addition to the Nutcracker story is the introduction of a new character called The Herald. Representing the spirit of the forest, The Herald plays a vital role in the narrative by announcing the arrival of our heroes and leading a joyous celebration in Clara’s honor. During this enchanting sequence, Clara encounters magnificent 10-foot-tall puppets and elegantly dancing couples who symbolize the five great heritages of the world. Each couple bestows a special gift upon Clara, embodying the unique qualities of their respective cultures. From the Persian Elephant, she receives wisdom; from the

Slavic Bear, strength; from the Spanish Bull, courage; from the French Unicorn, honesty; and from the Chinese Dragon, resilience. This delightful addition adds depth and richness to Clara’s journey and highlights the unity and diversity of the world around her. NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet is renowned for Broadway-level productions and with the best theatrical designers from around the world featuring the artistry of scenic designers, prop builders, and puppeteers from Czechoslovakia, South Africa, Chuvash, St Petersburg, and New York. The current reimagination of the animal puppets were designed and built by America’s finest craftsmen using modern, lightweight techniques. The ballet also features exquisite costumes and hand-painted drops. The final spectacle and centerpiece of the last act features a Christmas tree, hand-crafted by European artisans, that grows to 100 feet. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Nutcracker.com.


You have worked so hard for so many years to save money for retirement… but do you know what to do once you get there? If you’re recently retired, you can now officially withdraw funds from your accounts, but it’s important to have a good withdrawal plan in place. Why? Because depending on the type of retirement account you’ve invested in, you may face a substantial tax bill when you begin accessing your funds. That’s where the Bucket Strategy comes in. This strategy is based on three different timeframes: immediate or short-term, intermediate, and long-term. For instance, Bucket 1 contains all your liquid assets that you can use for your day-to-day expenses like cash, savings, and so on. Bucket 2 is the intermediate bucket, containing low-risk investments such as bonds and certain equities. Bucket 3, on the other hand, is where you’ll probably do most of your higher-risk or long-term investing. By regularly redistributing your assets, you can keep your first bucket funded.

We’d love to help you with your 2024 financial resolutions. Let’s work together to make this the year that you look at your finances with confidence. Call us at 865-686-5208 or email Erin.Phillips@SageSpring.com. Travis Cullman, CFP®, CPFA Senior Vice President, SageSpring Investment Professional, RJFS


P: 865.686.5202 F: 865.622.9579 Travis.Cullman@sagespring.com | SageSpring.com 136 Concord Rd, Knoxville, TN 37934

STEWARDSHIP. TEAMWORK. FAMILY. You Invest In Your Future. We invest in you. Investment advisory services offered through SageSpring Wealth Partners, an independent registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. SageSpring Wealth Partners and Travis Cullman are not registered broker dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Representatives may not be registered to offer securities and advisory services in all states. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (wish plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S. which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

ELEVATE YOUR GARAGE: PremierGarage’s Custom Flooring for Stylish, Durable, and Functional Spaces


OST OF US consider our homes as a sanctuary; a

place where we can relax, unwind, and enjoy the finer things in life. We invest time and effort into making our interiors stylish and functional, and rightfully so. However, one often neglected but integral part of our home is the garage. Today, many garages have evolved into an extension of our living space, and they deserve just as much attention. One way to elevate your garage’s functionality and aesthetics is through a custom garage floor. A custom garage floor can add beauty and utility to your garage, turning it into a finished space that is not only visually appealing, but also more user-friendly. Whether you use your garage for parking your vehicles, storage, sports equipment maintenance, a laundry center, a workbench, a home gym, or a hobby area, a well-designed garage floor can make a world of difference. PremierGarage, a leader in garage flooring solutions, offers a wide range of color and finish options to transform your garage’s look and feel. Say goodbye to unsightly oil stains and peeling epoxy-coated floors and hello to a showroom-quality garage floor. One of the standout features of PremierGarage’s commercial-grade hybrid polymer system, developed by Sika, a renowned name in Resinous Flooring Systems worldwide, is the superior finish it delivers. Here’s why this system is essential for keeping your custom garage floor clean and well-maintained: Durability: PremierGarage’s hybrid polymer system cures two times harder than traditional materials. This toughness means it can withstand the rigors of daily garage life, from hot tires leaving no unsightly marks to abrasions that won’t lead to peeling or blistering. A clean and well-maintained garage floor will continue to look stunning for years to come. Quick Installation: You won’t have to wait for weeks to enjoy your new garage floor. PremierGarage’s professional installation team can transform your space in just two days, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily routine. Professional Guarantee: When you invest in a custom garage floor from PremierGarage, you benefit from a professional guarantee. You can have peace of mind knowing that your garage floor is installed correctly and built to last. Easy Maintenance: Keeping your custom garage floor clean is a breeze. The hybrid polymer system is designed to be easy to clean, saving you time and effort in maintaining your garage’s pristine appearance. Enhanced Safety: PremierGarage’s custom garage floor is UV, chemical, stain, and slip-resistant. This added safety feature ensures that you and your loved ones can move about the garage without potential hazards. Your garage deserves as much attention as the rest of your home. A custom garage floor not only adds style and functionality, but also protects your investment. With PremierGarage’s hybrid polymer system, you can enjoy a stunning, durable, and low-maintenance garage floor that enhances the overall appeal of your home. Don’t let your garage fall by the wayside - invest in a clean, stylish, and functional space that complements your lifestyle!

Curated by Dogwood Arts







865.947.8686 PremierGarageKnoxville.com

710 CLINCH AVENUE, KNOXVILLE, TN 37902 December 2023




Nouveau Classics Contemporary Furniture & Interior Design “I’m excited to introduce my extended showroom - MORE Nouveau Classics.” – Paula Clancy


ESIGN, FASHION, and function are all key to Paula’s designs. A sharp awareness of new trends around the world has kept her a step ahead of the competition. She also has the unique ability to connect with her clients on a personal level. That connection and experience create energized, inspired, comfortable spaces. “Decorating is not just about function; it’s also about fashion,” stated Paula. “I am there from beginning to end. Listening to my clients, helping them achieve the look they are after, originality, and customer service are key elements to a successful end result.” Paula has 30+ years of experience in retail furniture and interior design through her business, Nouveau Classics. During this time, she has built long-term relationships with high-design companies that offer superior, quality products from Europe, Canada, and the U.S. As a result, Paula is able to offer nothing but the best for her clients.

Recently, Paula opened an extension to her showroom, MORE Nouveau Classics, located at 310 Jackson Ave, just two doors down from the corner design studio on Gay Street. MORE features more art, more furniture, more home accessories, and fashion! MORE will be fluid, often changing while also offering Pop-Ups and special events. Whether you engage Paula for designing, renovating, or staging, she will challenge you to take your spaces to a new level - one that is beautiful, sophisticated, and stands the test of time. To visit either showroom, please call to set an appointment.

Nouveau Classics Contemporary Furniture & Interior Design 101 S Gay Street & 310 W Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902 865.525.4755 NouveauClassics.com



Christmas Pa

Family Fun

Visit us to shop our curated selection of paper goods and gifts.


Gifts & More

259 N. Peters Road, Suite 102, Knoxville, TN 37923 passiononpaper.com|865-531-9886 Turn at Applebee’s on North Peters


Desk Access


Cemetery Monument



Knoxville Museum of Art Through January 7


HIS ANNUAL exhibition presented by the Knoxville Museum of Art is designed to gather the best student work grades 6-12 from a 32-county region and have their artworks displayed in a professional art museum environment. It showcases the strength and diversity of art education programs in East Tennessee, celebrates talented middle and high school students, and supports arts education. With a wide range of categories, each participating school is represented by one work of art with a Best-in-Show and Best-in-Middle School winner chosen to receive cash awards. Come see all the artistic talent the youth in our area has to offer! KnoxArt.org


H I S HOL I DAY S E AS O N , the ow n e r s of C e m e te r y M o n u m e nt Cleaning Services want to give the gift of best practices for minor cleanup of memorials as family members visit the graves of loved ones. Austin Kirkland, who owns Cemetery Monument Cleaning Services with his brother and his father, said, “Even though most cemetery monuments are built to last, the wrong type of cleaning agent can literally damage it beyond repair.” Ethan, Austin’s brother and business partner, elaborated, “Acid can dissolve stone. Bleach can be absorbed into stone and weaken it. Even pressure washing at too high of a setting can ruin marble and sandstone.” For those wanting to do a mild cleaning of their family monument themselves, the Kirklands recommend lots of water and time along with an abundance of patience. “Go slow and don’t rush,” said Austin. “Before attempting to clean anything on the monument, research the type of stone it is and what cleaners work best on it. Also, always test the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot.” Ethan expressed that knowing your limitations is key. “It’s important to know when cleaning is going to require the expertise of a professional,” he said. “We are happy to come out, look at the job, and give an estimate in a timely manner.” Austin noted that, while the holidays are an excellent time to decorate family monuments, people should be cautious using any permanent adhesive or stickers on them as they can be extremely difficult to remove. A decorative wreath on a free-standing wire tripod is a great alternative to affixing decorations directly to a family monument. “At the end of the day, we want the monument to look as good as it possibly can - decorated or undecorated,” said Austin. “Sometimes less is more, and a clean monument that looks ‘like new’ and is free of dirt and debris can be the best gift of all this holiday season.”

For more information, call 865-804-8183 or visit CemeteryMonumentCleaningServices.com.

Cemetery Monument Cleaning Services 865.804.8183 CemeteryMonumentCleaningServices.com

REMEMBER: You Don’t Have to Be a Farmer!

BY D A N A P U M A R I E G A , A G E N C Y M A N A G E R


ARM BUREAU Insurance has been selling property and casualty policies in Tennessee since 1948. It began out of necessity - farming was a more dangerous occupation than it is now, and many insurance companies were unwilling to insure farm structures. Actual farmers, working through the Tennessee Farm Bureau, launched their own insurance company, and it wasn’t long before their friends and neighbors wanted to take advantage of Farm Bureau’s insurance program. After graduating from Carson Newman, I began my insurance career 24 years ago at the Farragut Farm Bureau office. I became an agency manager and opened my own office in Hardin Valley in 2012. I truly love my community and want to offer the best insurance for my friends and Knoxville neighbors. I was drawn to Farm Bureau because of their comprehensive customer service - with us, you are not just a “policy holder” but a name, a face, and a family. Every four years, we pro-actively contact each and every client for a review to make sure you and your family are completely covered, up to date, and protected. We also offer The First Mile young driver discount, where newly licensed teen drivers can earn up to a 10% discount on auto insurance. With more than 350 Farm Bureau claim professionals dedicated to prompt and caring service for those who have sustained a loss, we have you covered during the good times and the trying times. And you no longer need to be a farmer to get Farm Bureau Insurance! Becoming a member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau is inexpensive (only $30 per family) and has many advantages in addition to top quality insurance programs. Members enjoy discounts on a wide array of goods and services, have access to health and safety programs, and receive an award-winning membership magazine four times a year. With an office in every county, we now insure more homes and automobiles than any other insurer in Tennessee. And as the nation’s largest state Farm Bureau organization, we insure one in four people here in Tennessee - that’s more than 680,000 member families! We would love the opportunity to explain our membership benefits and coverage. Give us a call to find out why so many Tennesseans trust us for their insurance needs.

Want It Personalized? Custom printed and engraved pieces for everyone.

Whether you need wedding party favors, family reunion giveaways, milestone celebration gifts, or a special friendship keepsake, Make It Yours can make it happen!

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Personalized Puzzles, Caps, Jewelry, Mugs, Boards, Announcements, T-shirts, and so much more!

Hardin Valley Farm Bureau Insurance 10851 Hardin Valley Road Knoxville, TN 37932 865.247.6517 fbiTN.com


10541 Kingston Pike, Suite A, Knoxville, TN 37922 | 865.444.6253 December 2023



Bill Jones Music Celebrates 50 Years in Serving Knoxville & East Tennessee BY B I L L J O N E S


IFTY YEARS AGO, I was a 23 year old who was wondering if my new business would last for even a year. To come up with the little capital we could, my wife, Marjorie, and I sold our house and one of our cars. I rode a bicycle to our first store. From those humble beginnings as solely a piano and organ store 50 years ago, Bill Jones Music on West Kingston Pike has evolved into one of the largest music stores in East Tennessee with a thriving music school and piano delivery business. Throughout the years, our economy has had a lot of ups and downs, and while some years were good, others were pretty difficult. It seemed like every time the economy took a downturn, Marjorie was pregnant. Must have been a lot of downturns, since we ended up having eight children - who all play some type of instrument! We have always kept up with the times and our customers’ needs. Here are just a few of the changes that would have been impossible to predict 50 years ago: • Digital pianos, as the word “digital” wasn’t even in my vocabulary!


• Player pianos have gone from a pump sucking air through holes in a paper roll to digital player pianos with internet access to more than 30 channels of music types. • Our home organ business that initially comprised half of our sales is now defunct. • Music lessons for more than 350 students are available right here at the store, plus our amazing homeschool choir. • Our music teachers have advanced degrees in voice, harp, guitar, drums, violin, and cello. • How many people still love and cherish having a piano in their home! For us personally, the biggest change occurred after our children grew up and left our home, because that is when Marjorie became an active part of the business and established our music school. Now, in addition to having our eight children (and 24 grandchildren), she has precious students who take lessons here every week. From babies in the Music Together program, to kids in the homeschool choir, to senior citizens taking private lessons, and everything in-between, Marjorie has built an incredible comprehensive program. It just amazes me

every time I walk though our school. Since I am now 74, people frequently ask, “When are you going to retire?” I asked my wife that question, and now I have the answer: “NEVER!” Marjorie genuinely loves the families who come here weekly and says there’s no way she would ever want to leave them without their music, so for the foreseeable future, it’s still full speed ahead!

Bill Jones Music 10412 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37922 865.690.6465 BillJonesMusic.com



HERE’S NOW nearly 13 tons less trash on the shorelines of local water ways thanks to 107 volunteers who came out to participate in river cleanups to celebrate October’s “Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month” presented by TVA. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that hosts river cleanups by taking volunteers to clean shorelines at events held in all seven states of the Tennessee River watershed, works with communities every October to create awareness for the Tennessee River. October’s volunteers also helped Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) cruise right past its milestone of 600,000 lbs. (or 300 tons) of trash removed from the Tennessee River watershed since it became a nonprofit. A Boeing 747, one of the world’s largest planes, weighs 300 tons - to give a physical perspective of the weight of trash removed from the Tennessee River watershed. For context of the group’s momentum, KTNRB had removed 47,756 lbs. of trash before putting its first boat in the water in 2019. “We’ve come such a long way in a short window of time, and it’s all thanks to the good people who volunteer their time to protect their waterways by cleaning trash that wasn’t even theirs,” said Kathleen Gibi, KTNRB Executive Director. “This year has been full of new records broken, and the records belong to those thousands of volunteers who have made a commitment to this precious river system of ours.” In the 2023 calendar year, KTNRB is now setting a new record with every pound collected. So far this year, 218,729 lbs. of trash

“We’ve come such a long way in a short window of time, and it’s all thanks to the good people who volunteer their time to protect their waterways by cleaning trash that wasn’t even theirs.” - Kathleen Gibi, KTNRB Executive Director

have been removed from the Tennessee River watershed by 994 volunteers. The cleanup series during October’s celebrations was a perfect example of volunteers from all walks of life, with the series cleanups taking place within rural settings like the Powell River up in New Tazewell, Tennessee, to more industrial settings like Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Alabama. The October 2023 cleanup series swept through three states and nine cities with just five events: • Oct. 14: Powell River (Norris) in New Tazewell, TN - 6,700 lbs., 28 volunteers • Oct. 15: Cherokee Lake in Bean Station, TN - 4,850 lbs., 18 volunteers • Oct. 19: Chickamauga Lake in Harrison, TN - 4,847 lbs., 20 volunteers • Oct. 28: Pickwick Lake in Iuka, MS, Counce, TN & Waterloo, AL - 4,983 lbs., Our mission is to educate and inspire people to take action to create a clean, healthy, beautiful Tennessee River for generations to come by hosting river cleanups and other programs that show our volunteers the impact litter has on our waterways and what they can do to make a difference.

25 volunteers • Oct. 29: Wheeler Lake in Decatur, AL 4,017 lbs., 16 volunteers • Total: 25,397 lbs., 107 volunteers The 6th annual river cleanup series was only part of the celebration. “Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month” was officially proclaimed by governors of the four states touched by the Tennessee River: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, as well as Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Paris, Tennessee, Mayor Kathy Ray. In addition to TVA’s ongoing sponsorship of the cleanup series, the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation’s Nobody Trashes Tennessee litter prevention campaign and Keep Tennessee Beautiful have consistently funded “Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month” since it launched in 2018. This year’s series consisted of two cleanups held in collaboration with the national nonprofit Living Lands & Waters, who brought three of their 30-foot work boats, and Allegheny CleanWays, who brought their 30-foot work boat to supplement KTNRB’s two work boats plus many local partners made the series a success. Beyond the cleanup series’ impressive numbers, Kathleen said they observed a cove on Chickamauga Lake that they had cleaned four years prior that had once had chronic litter and was now virtually spotless. She attributed it to a cultural shift since the legacy litter had been removed and ongoing cleanup efforts by their Adopt a River Mile participants, as well as river cleanup efforts

Volunteers participating in “Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month” removed 4,850 lbs. of trash from Cherokee Lake on October 15. A month later, on November 14, KTNRB worked with another group of volunteers to remove 13,126 lbs. of trash from another part of Cherokee Lake.

such as the annual Tennessee River Rescue put on by Waterways. “That was so encouraging to see at our Chickamauga Lake cleanup this year, and we hope to start having that experience more often,” said Kathleen. “We’d love to see such a reduction in litter that we work ourselves out of the business of larger river cleanup efforts - and with signs like we saw on Chickamauga Lake, it seems we’re starting to head in that direction!”

In August 2023, the Tennessee Recycling Coalition named Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful the 2023 Nonprofit Recycler of the Year. Left to right: Amber Greene, Executive Director of the Tennessee Recycling Coalition; Edmond McDavis, Executive Director for the Tennessee Delta Alliance (who worked on the project when he was with Keep Tennessee Beautiful); Kathleen Gibi, Executive Director of Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful; Monica Kizer, Communications Director at Keep Tennessee Beautiful; and Lincoln Young, President of the Tennessee Recycling Coalition.

Milestones aren’t the only thing KTNRB has been achieving this year. In September, the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation (TDOT) and Keep Tennessee Beautiful awarded KTNRB with three honors: TDOT recently recognized 17 winners of the Keep Tennessee Beautiful Awards of Excellence Grant Competition in September, presenting a total of $54,000 in grants to environmental leaders across the state. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful was honored in the categories of Lakes, Rivers & Streams Litter Free Award, and Keep America Beautiful TN Affiliate (1st place), for a total of $8,000 in funding. KTNRB’s Executive Director, Kathleen Gibi, was also honored with a leadership award called the Martin L. Kennedy Award, receiving $1,500 in funding toward KTNRB efforts. In August, KTNRB was also named “2023 Nonprofit Recycler of the Year” by the Tennessee Recycling Coalition for its cigarette litter prevention partnership with Dollywood. Since the project launched at Dollywood in 2021, the program has led to

TDOT and Keep Tennessee Beautiful presented three Awards of Excellence to Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful. Left to right: Jennifer Lawson, Keep America Beautiful President and CEO; Mike McClanahan, TDOT Highway Beautification Office Transportation Manager; Kathleen Gibi, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful Executive Director; and Missy Marshall, Keep Tennessee Beautiful Executive Director.

the plastic getting recycled from approximately 450,000 cigarette butts. The project also made Dollywood the first theme park in the world to recycle the plastic from every cigarette butt collected in guest-facing receptacles on its property. It was enough to grab The Weather Channel’s attention, and Kathleen was asked to speak about the project with Dollywood in a live interview on the channel for America Recycles Day in November. “We’re so proud of this honor, more than anything because of the commitment from Dollywood and the other supporting partners who worked to ensure that this trailblazing collaboration would protect the Tennessee River watershed from the harmful effects cigarette litter,” said Kathleen. “Taking the effort to the next step of recycling the plastic from otherwise discarded cigarette waste makes it all the more impactful and is yet the latest example of Dollywood’s reputation of working toward the greater good.” KTNRB was able to provide Dollywood with 26 art-wrapped cigarette receptacles through a collaboration of grants and sponsorships from Keep America Beautiful, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the American Eagle Foundation. TerraCycle, an international recycling

company, covers the cost of shipping the collected cigarette butts to their facility so the plastic microfibers in the cigarette filters can be recycled into outdoor plastic furniture. Two park benches donated by TerraCycle and made from the recycled cigarette plastic are now installed at Dollywood near the theme park’s bald eagle exhibit. In addition to working with Dollywood on the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, KTNRB also has approximately 1,000 artwrapped cigarette receptacles installed at marinas, campgrounds, businesses, and tourism sites in all seven states of the Tennessee River watershed. If you visit a local state park, odds are that you’ve seen one, as KTNRB has worked with Tennessee State Parks to install receptacles at every state park in Tennessee. At the moment, KTNRB is in the process of identifying new partners to install 300 more receptacles donated from Keep America Beautiful. When all is said and done, KTNRB will soon have a total of 1,300 receptacles installed throughout the Tennessee River watershed. With each receptacle valued at $100, KTNRB has helped to secure $130,000 worth of litter prevention infrastructure in the region in its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program alone. For having a staff no larger than two employees so far, KTNRB has been able to achieve so much with the help of an active board, strong partners, supportive sponsors, and, of course, passionate volunteers. You’d probably be surprised to learn that KTNRB has been up to so much more than listed in this article! For information on Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful’s ongoing programs or to view their river cleanup schedule, visit KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful is in the process of expanding and is in need of new sponsorship support! Whether it’s an individual donation, a commitment to donate your change from rounding up the dollar of every purchase made with your debit card, making a business contribution, or a title sponsorship of one of KTNRB’s programs, you’ll be making a huge impact the Tennessee River watershed! Visit KeepTNRiverBeautiful.org/donate to support KNTRB today!

In October, volunteers helped to remove 25,397 lbs. of trash in a five-part cleanup series celebrating “Keep the Tennessee River Watershed Beautiful Month.” Here, volunteers collect litter along the shorelines of the Powell River adjacent to Norris Lake.

designs you can


Gathering Season is Here!

And just like that, 2024 is almost here! This time of year, there are more frequent parties and dinners where we catch up and reminisce on all of the good memories from this year and years past. I like to call it gathering season. Get-togethers with family and friends are what fuels me, and I love being able to invite loved ones to my home to celebrate. By having my home ready to go for my lifestyle needs and my design style, I’m able to focus on enjoying my time with my guests and the festivities instead of being worried about getting my home ready before they get here. Unexpected guests? Come on in! We believe that everyone deserves to live in a beautiful and comfortable home that makes them feel welcomed and happy. We also realize how an investment in your home sets the stage for family celebrations, improves your everyday life, and helps make memories that will last a lifetime. Nothing is more sacred than your personal space you share with your family, and nothing makes your day easier than a home that fits your lifestyle. This is one reason we are thankful our clients trust us and ask us again and again to help them achieve this feeling with their homes. We are grateful to be interior designers, and getting to help our clients with their homes is both rewarding and fulfilling. We’re very blessed to be able to share our talents and training to help others love their homes. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of loving where you live every day - it’s one that benefits you and all of your loved ones. We’re also, of course, grateful for you, reader. Thank you for reading our articles each month and for your unwavering support. Here’s to a prosperous New Year filled with positivity and joy from this gathering season to the next. Happy Holidays!

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Get Your Home’s Plumbing System in Shape for



LTHOUGH MOST homeowners may be unaware, winter can put additional stress on their home’s plumbing system as the demand for hot water increases dramatically and the potential for frozen pipes increases. Most homeowners overlook the importance of their home’s plumbing system until it’s too late, and then needed repairs can really begin to add up. As winter approaches, it’s a good idea to have your home’s plumbing system evaluated to identify any deficiencies that might exist. This can eliminate future potential problems such as water heater failure, excessive system pressure, and freezing pipes. The cost of this evaluation or “tune-up” by a trained and experienced, licensed master plumber is usually far less than an emergency service call, should one become necessary. It’s also a great time to evaluate the efficiency of your home’s water heater. Old-style water heaters can be very expensive to operate and can fail unexpectedly, sometimes resulting in leaking, which can damage your home’s flooring and surroundings. Should you need a new water heater or simply want an upgrade, you can select from a variety of energy efficient tankstyle heaters that can deliver larger quantities of hot water, or you can choose from today’s state-of-the-art tankless water heaters, which can deliver an endless supply of hot water and is perfect for those long, hot showers or those brisk winter mornings. Call now for a whole home plumbing system evaluation and head off any possible problems that might exist. I’d encourage you to give me a call today, and mention Everything Knoxville to receive our Winter Tune-up for $35 off.* All you have to lose are those dripping faucets and fixtures, an inefficient water heater, potential frozen pipes, and a possible costly emergency service call! My Professional Plumber 6220 Western Avenue Knoxville, TN 37921 865.609.6080 MyPlumberTN.com *Cannot be combined with other offers or coupons. December 2023






Holiday Edition



This stunning piece features a photo of the Appalachian mountains with a kiss of morning fog. At 46” x 30”, this black and white showstopper is printed on a high gloss acrylic and adds a clean, modern look to any room. Available at Decorating Den Interiors | Kozar Design Team, 521 Lovell Road, Suite 205 in Knoxville, 865.392.6222, SandyKozar.DecoratingDen.com.



Give the unexpected gift of artisanal toffee this season with the Towns Toffee Holiday Sampler. Includes six 2-oz. bags of toffee in classic and seasonal flavors. Available in-store at Hardin Valley & Dixie Lee Junction Elder’s Ace Hardware and at Towns Toffee, 1006 N. Main Street in Sweetwater, 865.684.0287, or online at TownsToffee.com.


Simpson’s Meats knows that meals are where family and friends come together and they are honored to play a part in those meals. Whether shopping for family, friends, or clients, know that you are giving quality products raised on pasture, on purpose this holiday season! Shop their local market at 10830 Murdock Drive in West Knoxville, 865.336.6036, SimpsonsMeats.com.


These custom 3” faceted crystal ornaments with gift box can be customized with names, company logos, and more. Available at Make It Yours, 10541 Kingston Pike, Suite A in Knoxville, 865.444.6253, MakeItYoursNow.com.

From drink mixes to gift tags, discover the perfect finishing touches for your holiday festivities at Passion on Paper, 259 N. Peters Road in Knoxville, 865.531.9886, PassionOnPaper.com.


Knoxville-based Joy to the World offers more than 1,000 hand-crafted ornaments perfect for your gift list. Tennessee-themed ornaments include a beautiful rendition of Smokey the Dog, the Nashville Santa, Signs of the Smokies, and TYS and BNA luggage tags. Available at Joy to the World Collectibles, 888.367.5889, JoyToTheWorldOnline.com.


This traditionally styled Snow Ashwell Gold Chandelier offers plenty of illumination and has a substantial presence without appearing cluttered. Measures 45 x 45 x 57.2 inches. Available at Shae Design Studio, 9700 Kingston Pike, Suite 11 in Knoxville, 865.313.2656, ShaeDesigns.com.


Remember that light up tree that sat on your mom’s table when you were growing up? These adorably retro mini ceramic table top decorations feature LED color changing lights. Available at Meadow View Greenhouses & Garden Center, 9885 Highway 11E in Lenoir City, 865.986.7229, MeadowViewGreenhouse.com.


Nokta’s The LEGEND multi-frequency metal detector is loaded with features: advanced depth detection, submersible, lightweight, and long battery life. Locally owned and operated, Kellyco has been a leader in metal detectors since 1955. Available at KellycoDetectors.com. Look for their new showroom opening in early 2024.


Bundle up with Smartwool socks, the ultimate stocking stuffer to keep your loved ones cozy. Pair them with a River Sports Outfitters gift card for endless outdoor possibilities, and make this holiday season truly unforgettable. Available at River Sports Outfitters, 2918 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville, 865.523.0066, RiverSportsOutfitters.com.

December 2023



Transform Your Garage into a Dream Space



HERE IS no better way to start the new year than with extra space to enjoy the activities that bring you joy. Think you’re tight on square footage? You may not be, if you consider your garage. Here are three ways you can convert your garage into your new favorite hangout. Which one will you make a reality in 2024? 1. Game Day Central Gather your friends to enjoy your favorite sports events in a garage designed for fun. Install acrylic high-gloss finish cabinets, and add durable melamine shelves to display your sports memorabilia. Countertops provide a place for tailgating snacks, and a power strip conveniently keeps crock pot cuisine warm. 2. Home Gym Whether you prefer strength training, online aerobics classes, or racking up the miles on your Peloton, your garage offers a convenient location for fitness. Install a durable epoxy polyaspartic floor that resists spills and stains, and add versatile slatwall to hang strength bands, workout gloves, and yoga accessories. 3. Craft and Hobby Refuge Sewing, scrapbooking, model building, woodworking, painting, metalworking, or tinkering with cars… our hobbies relax us, and your garage can be converted into the perfect pastime retreat. Countertops provide room to create, and cabinets and slatwall accessories in a range of finishes offer storage for tools, supplies, and materials. The final touch: LED lighting for late-night crafting. Whether you’re looking to create a new space for fun or simply a better way to store your yard tools, automobile needs, cleaning supplies, household items, and more, creating a happy place at

home is easy with an organized and functional garage. The team at Designer Garages will help spark your imagination with flooring, slatwall, overhead storage, and East Tennessee manufactured shelving and cabinets in more than 50 finishes. Call, click, or stop by their West Knoxville showroom today for a free consultation, and get the new year started with a smile.

Designer Garages 201 Center Park Drive, #1070 Knoxville, TN 37922 865.268.4868 DesignerGarages.com


Celebrate the wonder of the holiday season with Christmas joy and excitement!


F YOU ARE in search of a fun family activity for the holidays, Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge may just be your answer. The dinner show has been transformed into a holiday wonderland filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas. Known as “The Most Fun Place to Eat in the Smokies,” Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede takes guests on a lively yuletide adventure including a full-scale living Nativity, elaborate holiday decorations, Santa Claus and a “big” assortment of toys, a magical aerial performance, and a fabulous four-course feast sure to warm the hearts and appetites of all who visit. “At my Stampede dinner show, Christmas is more than just a celebration,” said Dolly. “‘Christmas at Stampede” has become a family-favorite tradition that has warmed the hearts of millions for 35 holiday seasons - that’s a lot of special Christmas memories made! I think my favorite parts are where our great performers celebrate the holiday’s true meaning with a full-scale living Nativity that will transport everyone back to that first Christmas. I love hearing from so many families that tell us this show has become a treasured part of their annual holiday traditions.”


Stampede’s 32 magnificent horses, not to be confused with Santa’s reindeer, offer thrilling performances throughout the holiday show, and guests will watch in amazement as these talented entertainers perform jaw-dropping stunts during this Christmas extravaganza. These equestrian holiday stars also race in exciting competitions as audience members cheer their respective sides of the North Pole and South Pole on to victory, and the reindeer games continue as elves from the North and South Poles compete in friendly and festive competitions. As an enchanting snowfall begins, Old Saint Nick arrives in his sleigh full of goodies to conclude the captivating Christmas festivities. The show wouldn’t be complete without a proper Christmas feast, which features Stampede’s signature four-course holiday dinner including Stampede’s signature creamy vegetable soup and homemade buttery biscuits, plus Stampede’s own specialty holiday dessert. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available upon request. Show times run through January 6, 2024. For reservations, call 865-453-4400 or visit DPStampede.com.





ERE ARE a few ways to keep your pup’s safety and comfort in mind as you celebrate the holidays: Holiday Decorations & Gifts • Fo r i t e m s t h a t plug into outlets, remember that dogs may be a little too curious. They like to sniff, investigate, and sometimes chew, so hang lights and other wiring well above a dog’s reach to avoid shock and possible fires. • Remember to keep lit candles out of reach of your dog’s nose and wagging tail. • Dogs know that Christmas trees need to be investigated through both smell and taste. Live branches contain a toxic oil that c a n b e re l e a s e d w h e n c h e w e d o r ingested. Clean up fallen needles to avoid paw irritation. Place ornaments so your dog doesn’t see them as toys, and keep breakable glass ornaments up and away from possible mouth and tail interaction. • Mistletoe and holly berries can cause vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea if ingested. Stick to fake plants if your pup is prone to snacking on them. • Dogs will be curious about the boxes under the tree - especially if the gift smells! Bows, ribbon, and wrapping paper are all choking hazards that can cause problems if swallowed. Holiday Foods & Treats • Turkey and ham (specifically the ham skin) often has too much sodium for a dog’s stomach to properly digest. Stuffing and mashed potatoes may contain seasonings and herbs like onion and garlic that are both dangerous to dogs. • Reminder: Chocolate of any kind can be poisonous to your dog. Keep all holiday sweets away and out of reach of your pup. New Year’s Eve Celebrations • Loud noises (fireworks, horns, etc.) may startle your dog, causing them stress. Ask guests to play with noisier toys outside. • As one of the top nights dogs escape due to fear of loud noises, it may be best to relocate your dog to a quieter part of the house to prevent panicking or running away. The holidays are a fun time, but they can cause a bit of stress for your pup. Need a space to allow your dog to burn off some energy before an evening of guests in your home? Dogtopia is here for you with dedicated daycare playrooms and the potential to leave them for an overnight stay. Dogtopia of Bearden-Knoxville 5213 Homberg Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 865.622.2599 Dogtopia.com/Bearden-Knoxville

Our facility comes with spacious, supervised playrooms where dogs are placed according to their size, temperament, and play style to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your beloved pet.

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(865) 238-5600 Sweet, affordable websites that work. Read many more stories at www.slamdot.com December 2023



Give the Gift of Organization T

HE HOLIDAY SEASON is a time of warmth and giving. As the Christmas bells chime and a festive spirit fills the air, consider giving a unique and practical gift this year: the gift of organization. A clutter-free, well-organized space can transform one’s daily life, bringing a sense of calm and order amid the chaos. This Christmas, consider gifting a custom-made closet from The Tailored Closet, where precision meets elegance and functionality harmonizes with style. At The Tailored Closet, each closet is meticulously crafted, using the highest quality materials. What sets these closets apart is their ability to provide up to 40% more storage space than traditional wire systems, ensuring that every inch is maximized efficiently. These custom-designed closet systems not only optimize space, but add a touch of sophistication to your living environment. Work with the Best in the Business Choosing The Tailored Closet means investing in expertise. Your dream closet journey begins with an in-home consultation where an experienced space-planner attentively listens to your desires and requirements, discussing tailored solutions that respect your needs, style preferences, and budget constraints. The Tailored Closet uses proprietary 3D CAD design software to bring your dream closet to life before your eyes, ensuring perfect alignment with your vision. Personalize Your Space Customizing your closet to your needs and lifestyle is The Tailored Closet’s mission. Their specialists assess your habits and requirements, providing a tailored closet design. They craft creative organizers for your shoes, seasonal clothing, and accessories for efficient and accessible organization. With choices including shelves, cabinets, racks,

valet rods, bins, and more, you can create a personalized organization system that perfectly suits your unique needs. The design choices are endless, with options such as jewelry organizers, safes, integrated ironing boards, and discreetly placed televisions. Your closet goes beyond practicality, reflecting your personality and style. The Tailored Closet offers decorative options and finishes to ensure your closet seamlessly complements your existing décor. Decorative Finishes and Design The Tailored Closet values the marriage of organization and aesthetics. Their custom closets offer a wide range of colors and finishes to suit your taste and style, including rich wood grains, traditional laminates, and luxurious Italia. Enhance your custom closet with stylish door or drawer styles and decorative molding for added elegance. For extra flair, choose stylish hardware for wardrobe poles, drawer handles, and accessories to create a polished and cohesive look. This Christmas, make a lasting difference in the lives of your loved ones by giving them the gift of organization. The Tailored Closet’s custom solutions not only declutter spaces, but also enhance lifestyles, making daily routines more manageable and enjoyable. Gift certificates from The Tailored Closet are available, allowing your friends and family the freedom to design their own dream closet. Embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season - a well-organized, stylish closet awaits, courtesy of The Tailored Closet.

The Tailored Closet 865.777.0306 TailoredClosetKnoxville.com

Millions of twinkling lights. Hours of activites and events. One incredible holiday experience. It’s So. Much. Christmas. at Gaylord Opryland.


HRISTMAS IN Nashville comes alive in exhilarating fashion at Gaylord Opryland & Convention Center. With classic holiday activities like photos with Santa, engaging shows like Darryl Worley & Friends “Home for the Holidays” Dinner Show and thrilling experiences like ice skating, ice tubing and horse-drawn carriage rides, Nashville sparkles with holiday cheer. And with their all-new Gaylord Hotels Original Experience ICE! featuring The Polar Express™, there is something for everyone. You can do it all with So. Much. Christmas. At Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN. ChristmasAtGaylordOpryland.com.


ICE! featuring The Polar Express™ • Christmas Lights • Darryl Worley & Friends “Home for the Holidays” Dinner Show • Merry Snoopy Christmas Scavenger Hunt • Ice Skating • Gingerbread Decorating • Ice Tubing • Ice Bumper Cars • Merry & Bright Skating Spectacular • Delta Atrium Light & Fountain Shows • Build-A-Bear Workshop • Carriage Rides • Snowball Build & Blast • Delta Riverboat Christmas Cruise • Holiday Selfie Spots • Outdoor Nativity • SoundWaves Water Experience • Santa Claus




T WAS ONCE said that the late Beatle John Lennon had three significant women in his adult life: Cynthia (his first wife and mother of Julian), Yoko Ono (his second wife and mother of Sean), and May Pang, his girlfriend for 18 months. Those 18 months have been referred to as John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend.” Much has been said and written about the famous weekend. Even May Pang herself wrote about her life and weekend with John in her book Loving John: The Untold Story, which should’ve been the final word about that period - but it wasn’t. In the 40 years since that book came out, May has been criticized, vilified, and pilloried by fans and the press. When that wasn’t happening, others were attempting to tell her story for her. After 50 years, May

has once again taken control of her story with the release of an incredibly well-made documentary titled The Lost Weekend: A Love Story. It is regarding this that May spoke with Boomerocity about the making of the documentary of her life - why now, after all this time. “I had all these memories sitting here,” she said, “God knows it is the right time. I mean 50 years... 50 years ago, I started my relationship with John. So here I get to talk about it.” May also wanted the opportunity to defend herself in a visual medium with a more succinct storyline. Is she pleased with how the documentary turned out? “I think the filmmakers did a wonderful job,” she answered. “I did not sit with them on a day-to-day basis to look at this film - to make the film. They knew my story, everybody knew. They interviewed me, they knew


May Pang, Julian Lennon, and film producer Eve Branstein.

what I was looking at. And when they put things in, they would just ask me certain questions to make sure they were going in the right direction. And looking at it, I had no idea till the end, when I was doing the narration, that’s how they put the film, and I’m glad that I didn’t, because they could tell it.” When asked what she hopes people take away after watching the film, May said, “I wanted them to also know that John was just happy to be out and about and experiencing life, seeing his friends and brothers.

You know, when I say his brothers, he used to say that, ‘my brothers,’ you know, George and Ringo and Paul. Everybody’s asking about what was it like. There was no animosity, there was just real love. Whatever the business that they didn’t like, that’s put aside. When they were together, they just talked about what they were doing at the moment: family, friends, who they saw, what they were doing, nothing intense. And, whatever it was, I was lucky enough to be there with my camera to take pictures. Like when they were dissolving The Beatles, and a lot of people that wish they didn’t dissolve. But sitting there, I realized they had to break apart

to come together again, as it were, because they were so tied to contracts. Now they were free to do whatever they want.” May added, “In January of ‘75, when Paul and Linda came by for visit, they were telling us about how they were going down to New Orleans to do the next album, which of course was subsequently Venus and Mars, and they were happy, and they can’t wait to go and all this. A couple of days later, John’s going, ‘I like New Orleans,’ and then he’s sitting there and he’s strumming (his guitar) early in the morning, and he says, ‘May, I got to ask you something.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ He goes, ‘What would you think if I wrote with Paul again?’ And I mean, it was like the exorcist! My head swung around. I said, ‘Of course! I think it would be great.’ And then he went to, ‘Well, why?’ And I said, ‘Well, solo-wise, you guys are good. But when the two of you get together, that takes you to another level. No one could beat you (both) and your writing.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, okay.’ I knew that that was where it was heading. But they weren’t in a contract to say they had to do it. They could be free to do it.” Obviously, that didn’t happen. Later in the conversation, May shared what wound up happening (and why), as well as how Julian Lennon’s involvement in the documentary came about. She also reveals who else made special appearances in the film. You can hear this interview in its entirety by visiting Boomerocity.com. The Lost Weekend: A Love Story is available on DVD, as well as on demand on Amazon Prime. Randy’s first interview was at the age of 13 with none other than Col. Tom Parker. Thirty-six years later, he founded Boomerocity. com and has since then launched its podcast and YouTube channel. He has conducted well over 400 interviews with some of the most interesting people in music. Photos courtesy of May Pang




December 2, 9, 16, & 23 Saturdays 10 am - 2 pm

RAIN OR SHINE! NourishKnoxville.org

December 2023



Is Your Home Truly Ready for the Holidays? W

ELCOMING FAMILY and friends into your home this season is a highlight for many of us. Getting your home ready to be an oasis of warmth and good cheer is probably at the top of your list of things to do this month. But before you get ahead of yourself and start retrieving those decorations from storage, your home may need some sprucing up. Decorating on a clean foundation is much more rewarding than covering up problems. As busy as this season can be, it’s a good idea to slow down and really analyze your home’s cleaning needs before adorning it with your cherished ornaments and holiday décor. It may be time to deep clean your hard surfaces, including countertops, tile, and grout in the kitchen and bathrooms and possibly sidewalks and outdoor living areas, too. If carpets haven’t been cleaned for a while, you may need a restoration cleaning instead of the traditional surface steam cleaning. Once


urface Doc also offers “Soft Washing” of siding and roofs for both businesses and homeowners, including stucco, cedar, vinyl, aluminum, stone, brick, slate, clay, asphalt, etc. We will safely clean your siding and roof without the use of high pressure. Get rid of the green and black algae on your home. CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE.

your home looks and feels altogether clean, it will not only inspire you to keep it looking that way, but it can mentally put you at ease for welcoming company. A truly deep down clean home promotes positive interaction that just makes you feel good. If you need some help getting your home in tip-top shape this season, please give us a call. We’d love to contribute to making


this season as beautiful as possible for your family and loved ones. Surface Doc would like to wish you and your family a Christmas season filled with hope and joy from our Savior Jesus Christ. We’d like to thank our customers for accepting us into your homes and, in some cases, sharing your lives with us. YOU have been such a blessing to us - this season and all year long. Please help us spread the beauty of Christmas by recognizing the real reason for the season as we count our blessings and live each moment to its fullest. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends at Surface Doc. For help with all your deep cleaning and restoration cleaning needs, give John a call today at 865-567-1986.

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What Makes a Luxurious Dining Experience?


ERFECTION IS the impossible goal, and yet there are a few r e s t a u r a nt s t h at h ave got te n remarkably close in my book. Often, “the perfect recipe” involves a cultivated aesthetic, a creative set of flavors, and a certain flamboyant je ne sais quoi. It’s hard to put a finger on what truly seals the deal for an unforgettable dining experience, especially when the places I visit tend to be so different. But with Osteria Stella in the Old City, I think the singular contribution to a wonderful time is actually quite simple, rare, and underrated. Stepping in off Jackson Avenue resembles venturing into another world. The bright and lively outside is instantly silenced upon entry through the rose and gold double doors. The darkness of the dining room is surprising but soothing, as jazz and blues melodies float softly through the intimate space. The matte black paint is softened by delicate gold accents and floral decor, providing a truly unique visual experience. As my hostess escorted me to my table, she informed me that while I was dining alone, she had set both places to accommodate where I’d like to sit. This was a verifiably luxurious element: an attitude for serving. From the very first impression, I knew Osteria Stella’s staff were there to make me feel comfortable and pampered, not just to deliver my food and drink. Their menu - including cocktail and wine list - is extensive, with four Italian courses averaging six choices each. This is where an engaged server began to play a crucial role in the dining experience. I have never had one quite as informed or as eloquent. It became clear very quickly that she had tasted every dish. She went through the menu, previewing the flavors and textures of each. Most of my selections were based on her expanded descriptions and personal recommendations. At Osteris Stella, it is recommended that diners order all of their meal courses at once, except for dessert. In a restaurant venture determined to capture authentic Italian dining, this practice replicates a more native experience where Italian hosts do not interrupt guest conversation to ask what else they’d like to order. Starting with a light cocktail to cleanse my palate, I chose the Susano Spritz, a mix of lemon and cucumber that also incorporated


the traditional ingredients of Prosecco and Elderflower liqueur. Although I found the cucumber to be not quite as delicate as I’d hoped, it was still a nice pre-dinner drink. I selected the Bruschetta as my antipasti: The soft, chewy bread, smooth ricotta, and fennel marmalade topping were fabulous, delivering such a silky sweet flavor that it could also be dessert. Be aware, these delicious vessels of flavor are also layered with Toscano salami made with peppercorns and cracked chilis that pack a level of heat more often found in an Indian restaurant. For contorni, I ordered the insulata (salad): fresh greens generously coated in an addictive honey fig vinaigrette with a smattering of silky goat cheese and sweet nuts. I could have easily gone without the sizable slices of squash that made consumption slightly more complicated, but I won’t easily forget the delectable combination of acid and cream in this tossed dish. I also ordered the Brussels sprouts from contorni but requested they be delivered with the risotto from my primi main meal. The risotto was precisely al dente, denying the creamy familiarity of Americanized versions, and the toppings of crispy prosciutto, pumpkin seeds, and - this time welcomed - squash made the dish feel much more substantial. The rich cheese sauce was filling, and the portion was perfect. Some time must be devoted to what I cannot deny were the best Brussels sprouts I have ever eaten. To preface, Brussels sprouts are my foodie love language, and I go in search of them on every menu. Osteria Stella, hands down, has the tastiest in town. Cooked to the crispness of a chip,

these vegetables were perfectly charred, giving them a nutty, smoky, heretofore unexperienced flavor profile that I simply could not stop eating - even as the rest of my meal settled and filled me to the brim. Driving back home, my dominant thought was, “When can I go back for more Brussels sprouts?” Finally, for my dolci, there was an indulgent and authentic tiramisu. Each bite had every texture; the crunch of chocolate shavings, the espresso-soaked sponge, and the velvety custard delivered yet another of the best I’ve had. Osteria Stella provides a luxurious dining experience and redeems any imperfections with their service. My water glass was never empty, and I was never served something lukewarm because it sat in the kitchen queue. There was a team of no less than five waitstaff that I interacted with at some point during my visit. They operated as a well-oiled machine but were decidedly human in countenance. Friendly and respectful but also focused and efficient, down to being mindful of not interrupting diner’s conversations. And THAT was the heart of luxury. In bringing authentic Italian cuisine to Knoxville, Osteria Stella has managed to replicate more than just the flavor. A vetted staff, intentional music, and striking decor that guarantees a comfortable space are perfection for me, and while I have to go back for Brussels sprouts and tiramisu, I will bring a companion to take full advantage of the unmatched service and fellowship opportunities Osteria Stella so artfully supplies to each customer. Riley Woody is a University of Tennessee graduate, Knoxville native, and avid foodie ready for any adventure with her pen and palate in tow. Riley will be going on hiatus while attending Disney College. We are so proud of her - only 20% of applicants get to attend! Everything Knoxville wishes her all the best, and we hope to hear from her again in the future. December 2023



A String of Pearls for Your Holiday BY D R . J I M B A I L E Y


S T H E calendar draws near to the holidays, I begin to think about what gifts I should buy or make for my family. I like giving gifts that will have personal and lasting meaning for the person who receives them, so it takes some thought for me to select or make an important gift. My shortcut in the process is to give someone a gift that’s had lasting value for me. My “gift” to you this holiday season is a group of ideas given to me by my mentors that have had a profound impact on my life and work. In bible times, when Jewish rabbis taught, they referred to powerful or wise ideas as “pearls,” and if they happened to link these ideas to each other, they were said to be “stringing pearls.” Thus, Jesus teaching that it’s unwise to “throw pearls to swine” is a caution against sharing wisdom with people who won’t understand or value it. Here are some “pearls” I was given that I want to give you: “All human behavior is purposeful. Our challenge is to understand the purpose beneath a person’s actions.” I received this pearl from my doctoral advisor, and while it helps me in my everyday work and relationships, I find it especially


“All of life is a parallel process. Our relationships, our families, and even our work will only get as healthy as we are.” helpful in family holiday gatherings. If I can keep it in mind, then I won’t react to people’s words or actions but will ask myself what purpose those things might serve for them. This pearl prevents me from becoming annoyed, angry, or hurt by someone else (then respond by saying something that makes the situation worse) by first asking, “Why did she or he say or do that?” Taken with Albert Ellis’ hypothesis that most human behavior is intended to protect ourselves from something that we fear, this pearl helps me humanize people who offend or hurt me - especially if I’m willing to acknowledge that I sometimes use selfprotecting words and actions also. People are complex, and I may not get a satisfying answer to my question, but focusing on what drives someone’s behavior may bring some empathy and compassion to my

thoughts about and actions toward them. “It takes something powerful to get out of the well-worn paths of behavior.” Again, this one is from my doctoral advisor, and it’s a pearl I apply to myself, individuals, families, and institutions. There’s a lot of myth surrounding the idea of personal change, most of it having to do with “incremental change,” but people and institutions (families, organizations, businesses, governments) rarely change a little at a time. It takes something dramatic, traumatic, and often painful to bring about real, lasting change. Addicts, domestic violence victims, those who struggle with emotional or mental health issues, and even people who desire changing unwanted life habits too often must experience an epiphany-bringing event before making a lifesaving change. As a rule, families, organizations, businesses, and governments resist change once their daily patterns are well established. Each will expend tremendous energy to maintain their patterns (however undesirable or unhealthy they are) and react harshly, even violently, against those who try to change their patterns. They can become metaphorical “Titanics” with too much momentum, and too small a rudder, to escape the dangers ahead… until the iceberg happens. Bringing real, lasting change takes something powerful, but that doesn’t mean it requires a crisis or calamity. That powerful thing might be a dramatic life change relocating, starting (and maintaining) therapy, a relationship change or overhaul, a radical change of diet and exercise, attending a new meeting or church, a different kind of work. These powerful changes are all things within our control, but each requires planting a foot and changing our direction. “All of life is a parallel process. Our relationships, our families, and even our work will only get as healthy as we are.” This pearl came from my 68-year-old boss. I was 23 when she shared it with me in the context of my personal life and of our child welfare caseworker team. Since then, I’ve tried to apply it in every facet of my life and work. Human beings can only give out of themselves what they already possess. If you desire to be a source of love, health, acceptance, peace, wisdom, knowledge, or any good thing to the people in your life, you must first take steps to ensure you are filled with these things. This is especially true in our families and workplaces, where the quality of the interactions and overall culture will largely be determined by the things people bring to them. Because you only have control over what you can bring to a person, group, or place, you must first take steps to ensure you are functioning from a place of fullness.




HAT COULD be more impressive on your holiday table than a perfectly cooked, deliciously seasoned Standing Beef Rib Roast? The folks at Simpson’s Meats know their beef! They began five generations ago as Simpson’s Farm in Athens, Tennessee, in the late 19th century. There is still an actual hand-lettered sign that reads “Bluffview Spring Farm, Simpson’s, Since 1888” signifying long-standing integrity, true work ethic, and pride in the family business. Now, more than 130 years later, company owner Jim Simpson is a fourth-generation cattle farmer who knows meal tables are the place where family and friends come together to cultivate lasting relationships. Every day, Simpson’s Meats is honored to provide their customers with quality products that play a part in special holiday meals. Whether you are purchasing for your family, looking for the perfect holiday gift, or saying “thank you” to someone special, Simpson’s Meats gives you the peace of mind knowing that all their beef is raised on-pasture and on-purpose. Check out their website, SimpsonsMeats.com, for gift boxes and bundles that can include cheeses, spices, and sweets for everyone on your list, or stop by their location at 10830 Murdock Drive, north of I-40 off Lovell Road. Mention Everything Knoxville to get a free jar of Simpson’s Sea Salt and Pepper Blend with the purchase of any sized rib roast.


Ingredients: • Simpson’s Sea Salt and Pepper Blend • Olive oil • Fresh rosemary • Standing rib roast

Directions: Remove rib roast from packaging and place in a roasting pan fat-side up. Let meat come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450º F. Cover all sides of the rib roast generously with olive oil and Simpson’s Sea Salt and Pepper Blend seasoning. Arrange rosemary sprigs in the bottom of the pan around the roast. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350º F and cook for 15 minutes per pound of meat. Remove roast from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. To serve, slice the roast crossways against the grain and serve on a platter. December 2023





THROUGHOUT THE MONTH Christmas in the Cave at Historic Cherokee Caverns. Fridays from 5 to 8 pm, Saturdays & Sundays from 3 to 8 pm through the 17th. Visit CherokeeCaverns.com for info. A Christmas Carol at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Shows run through the 21st. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at the Old City Performing Arts Center through the 23rd. Three Rivers Rambler: Christmas Lantern Express through the 23rd. ThreeRiversRambler.com for tickets. Visit with Santa at Zoo Knoxville Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the 23rd. Light the Park at Founders Park and along Campbell Station Road in Farragut. Lights are on from dusk until 10 pm nightly through January 1st. Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice in Market Square through January 2nd. 18th Annual East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition at the Knoxville Museum of Art through January 7th. See page 18. Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt and Downtown Peppermint Trail in downtown Knoxville through January 7th. See page 9.

DECEMBER 10 Old City Market on West Jackson Avenue from 11 am to 4 pm. The 55th Annual Nativity Pageant of Knoxville at the Civic Coliseum at 3 pm. Also the 11th at 7 pm. Karen Mills at the Bijou Theatre at 3 pm. Elf, Jr. The Musical by the Knoxville Children’s Theatre through the 17th. See KnoxvilleChildrensTheatre.com for showtimes and tickets.

DECEMBER 12 Holiday Pie Making Class at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum from 6 to 8 pm. Register at KnoxGarden.org.

DECEMBER 14 Circle Modern Dance: Modern Dance Primitive Light at the Historic Laurel Theater at 8 pm. Also the 15th and 16th at 7 & 9 pm. Rodney Crowell: Chicago Sessions Tour at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm.

‘Twas the Night with No Parents at the Farragut Community Center from 6 to 9 pm. Get your shopping done while your children (ages 6-12) spend the evening at the community center for a holiday movie, games, crafts, and pizza. 37th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert: Olde English Christmas featuring the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra with special guests at the Civic Auditorium at 7:30 pm. Also the 16th at 3 & 7:30 pm and 17th at 3 pm. See page 11. Ice Bears vs Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs Lord of the Rink at the Civic Coliseum at 7:30 pm. Appalachian Equality Chorus at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm. Also the 16th at 2 pm. DECEMBER 16 Ice Bears vs Quad City Storm Superhero Night / Kid Takeover at the Civic Coliseum at 6 pm. Pentatonix at Thompson-Boling Arena at 7:30 pm. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Christmas at the Tennessee Theatre at 7:30 pm.

DECEMBER 17 East Tennessee Bluegrass Association Monthly Jam at Ijams Nature Center from 2 to 5 pm. Mike McGill’s 11th Annual Christmas Spectacular at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm. A benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee’s Food for Kids program.

DECEMBER 19 The Best Thing About Christmas: The Musical at the Bijou Theatre at 7 pm. Also the 20th at 7 pm. Knoxville Jazz Orchestra presents A Swingin’ Christmas with Pasquale Grasso at the Tennessee Theatre at 8 pm.

DECEMBER 20 Knox County Schools Students 1/2 Day Winter holiday break through January 2nd.

DECEMBER 21 Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet at the Tennessee Theatre at 2 & 6 pm. See page 12.

DECEMBER 22 Ice Bears vs Birmingham Bulls Pucks & Princesses at the Civic Coliseum at 6 pm. Mike Farris Sings! The Soul of Christmas at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm.



Candlelight Christmas at Museum of Appalachia from 4 to 9 pm. Also the 16th.

Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas by Chip Davis at the Tennessee Theatre at 3 & 8 pm.

For Knoxv ille Farm ’s Marke ers’ t and loc dates ations, see pa ge 37.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live at the Civic Auditorium at 6 pm. Ice Bears vs Quad City Storm How Chilly Stole Christmas at the Civic Coliseum at 6 pm. The Kruger Brothers Christmas Tour at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm.

DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day

DECEMBER 26 Ice Bears vs Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs Y2SK8TE at the Civic Coliseum at 6 pm. The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays at the Civic Auditorium at 7:30 pm.

DECEMBER 29 Ice Bears vs Fayetteville Marksmen Canadian Appreciation Night at the Civic Coliseum at 6 pm.

DECEMBER 30 New Year’s at Noon at the Farragut Community Center from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Enjoy dancing, NYE snacks, and childfriendly bubbly drinks while celebrating the New Year at an easier time of day.

DECEMBER 31 New Year’s Eve Sunset Cocoa Hike at Seven Islands State Birding Park from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. New Year’s Eve at the Sunsphere at World’s Fair Park. Free activities, including DJ music at 8 pm, a silent disco at 8:30 pm, and live music by K-Town at 9:30 pm. Ball drop from the Sunsphere at midnight. MARK YOUR CALENDAR

JANUARY 5 First Friday on Market Square, Gay Street, The Old City, and Downtown North beginning at 5 pm.

JANUARY 6 Marble City Opera presents The Christmas Spider by Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos at St. John’s Cathedral (413 Cumberland Avenue) at 2:30 & 5 pm. For details visit MarbleCityOpera.com/tickets. See page 45. The Fine Colombians: A Tribute to Steely Dan, performing AJA at the Bijou Theatre at 8 pm.

JANUARY 10 Wicked at the Tennessee Theatre at 7:30 pm. Shows through the 21st. All event dates and times subject to change.

DECEMBER CALENDAR Experience the Magic of the Season at Zoo Knoxville


O I N ZOO K N OX VIL L E for a

heartwarming and festive “Visit with Santa” event! Bring the whole family for a day filled with holiday cheer and unique animal encounters against the backdrop of our beautifully decorated zoo. Santa Claus himself will be taking a break from his busy schedule Friday through Sunday, December 8-23, to meet and greet guests of all ages, spreading joy and laughter from 11 am to 2 pm. Be sure to bring your phone or camera to take your own keepsake photos (no professional photography available). December 8, 9 & 10 December 15, 16 & 17 December 22 & 23


ISTED IN THE National Register of Historic Places and honored as the Official State Theatre of Tennessee, today’s Tennessee Theatre knows how to “holiday” with something for everyone. Don’t miss their lineup of classic movies, ballet, concerts, and a special event or two for the little ones this month.

December 12 • Cookies with Santa from 6 to 7 pm December 15 • Holiday Movie Magic: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:30 pm December 16 • Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Christmas at 7:30 pm December 17 • Classic Holiday Cinema: It’s a Wonderful Life at 2 pm December 19 • Knoxville Jazz Orchestra presents A Swingin’ Christmas with Pasquale Grasso at 8 pm December 21 • Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet at 2 and 6 pm December 22 • East Tennessee PBS Christmas Cartoons & Characters from noon to 2 pm. Free event! December 23 • Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas by Chip Davis at 3 and 8 pm

For more information, visit TennesseeTheatre.com.

December 2023



KNOX HERITAGE: A Community of Preservationists BY L A C E Y M E L LOT T, D I R E C TO R O F D E V E LO P M E N T


LACES SHAPE our identities, stories, and memories. They remind us of who we are and where we come from. They help connect us with those who came before and learn from the wounds of our past. But it often isn’t until we lose these places that we remember why they matter. Next year, thanks to your past support, Knox Heritage will celebrate a special milestone: 50 years of preserving, restoring, and transforming our city’s valued historic places. Looking back on the early days of Knox Heritage (formerly Knoxville Heritage), it’s easy to see the transformative power of community. When individuals came together to save the historic Bijou Theatre from the wrecking ball, they laid the groundwork for five decades of preservation work that you help to sustain today. Throughout the years, these efforts helped to restore the 500 Block of Gay Street, reimagine South High, preserve Historic Westwood, save the Baker Peters House from demolition, and more. As we approach this anniversary, we look to the past with reverence for the places saved, as well as the many losses to our community’s cultural and architectural landscape. Losses like the Sprankle Building and the McClung Warehouses in downtown Knoxville and the soon-to-be-demolished Pryor Brown Garage. More importantly, we look to the future to evaluate how, together, we can preserve the places that tell the diverse story of Knoxville’s past while adapting these sites to meet the needs of our community today. As the availability and affordability of buildable land in our neighborhoods and downtown communities decreases, historic properties (especially those that are underutilized or in need of preservation strategies) become easy targets for demolition. Your support is urgently needed to continue advocacy efforts, foster community partnerships, and, ultimately, identify and implement solutions that support both preservation and progress.

Much of this year has been spent in conversation with like-minded people like you who care about our city’s past and are invested in its future. In response, we’re prioritizing ways to be more collaborative, more proactive, and more approachable so that all Knoxvillians can learn about the resources that help preserve our landmarks and private places which enrich our individual stories. One way we are fulfilling these values is through the establishment of our new Small Renovation Grant Fund. This October, with support from the City of Knoxville, Knox Heritage launched this new grant initiative designed to assist homeowners in the preservation of their historic homes. By supporting Knox Heritage, you back partnerships with neighborhood groups, civic leaders, and developers alike, aligning preservation projects with the hopes, dreams, and goals of the people who live in our community today. We are also continuing to identify our city’s most imperiled places through the annual Fragile & Fading List, which serves as a roadmap to convene conversations within our community. Places like Knoxville College, where Knox Heritage has been in ongoing discussion to stabilize the eight campus buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We’ve led the way in efforts to preserve the Sterchi-Audigier Residence on Magnolia Avenue and find a new location for the iconic, and recently dismantled, JFG Coffee sign. Together, we can take early action to protect these sites from demolition and neglect. To learn more about Knox Heritage and to donate, visit KnoxHeritage.org The Knox Heritage mission is to protect Knoxville’s unique character for future generations by preserving, restoring, and transforming historically significant structures and places. Established in 1974 as a nonprofit historic preservation organization, Knox Heritage is chartered by the state of Tennessee and governed by a board of directors.





N A bitterly cold Christmas Eve, a poor woodcutter and his two children have no gifts, barely enough to eat, and are in danger of losing their home to an impatient landlady. The surprise discovery of a large but gentle arachnid leads to a seemingly miraculous turn of good fortune for the family, reinforcing the importance of love and togetherness. Inspired by a Ukrainian legend (which resulted in the placing of spider ornaments on Christmas trees for a lucky New Year), The Christmas Spider is the third operatic collaboration between composer Clint Borzoni and librettist John de los Santos following When Adonis Calls and The Copper Queen. Their goal is to dramatize a new tale for all ages, complete with an original yuletide carol, that adds to the rich musical tapestry of the holiday canon. Patricia Shannon of Southern Living magazine writes: Composer Clint Borzoni admits that his inspiration in writing this opera has everything to do with traditional holiday programming such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman. “I hope that when people see the show, they get that warm, fuzzy feeling,” he says. The story of the Christmas spider has come a long way, but the touching notion of what it means to have the help that is needed during the holidays, endures. The Christmas Spider was developed by The American Opera Project in their First Chance program. The premiere is a co-production with Opéra Louisiane. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at MarbleCityOpera.com/tickets. Children can attend for free through the Penny4Arts Program (use code: PENNYARTS).

Random Acts of Flowers Thanks Veterans for Their Service


HE END of the year brings with it so many wonderful holidays and the festivities that accompany them. This time of year also allows us to reflect on the many things we are grateful for throughout the previous year. When we think of gratitude, we often think of Thanksgiving, as we surround ourselves with family and friends and share what we are most thankful for. At Random Acts of Flowers (RAF), we also think of Veterans Day and our enormous gratitude for those who served. A long standing tradition at RAF has been to celebrate veterans residing in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, veterans’ homes, and veteran clinics throughout our region each week leading up to Veterans Day by delivering each retired service member a beautiful patriotic display. Each year, RAF can deliver in the range of 500-700 arrangements to our local veterans during this incredible week. Last month, Veterans Week brought

a new tradition and amazing opportunity for extended outreach and celebration of the veterans in our state. Random Acts of Flowers delivered 175 bouquets to the Johnson City James H. Quillen VA Medical Center. Many of our regional and Tri-Cities veterans receive outstanding medical care from this facility. We have been honored to celebrate these individuals by letting them know how truly grateful we are for their sacrifices and services, especially during a difficult time in their healthcare journey. We are also excited to be able to extend our mission and our deliveries beyon d the borders of the Knoxville regional area to deliver hope and encouragement to those who reside elsewhere in this state. We continue to look for new regions and new cities where we can start an Affiliate Branch of Random Acts of Flowers so more patients can feel the love and joy that a simple random act of flowers can bring during a difficult time. For more information on ways to support Random Acts of Flowers, or to speak with someone about opening a RAF affiliate site near you, call 865-633-9082 or visit RAFKnoxville.org. December 2023



UT Gardens’ Plant of the Month

An Oak for Those with Limited Space Photo by J. Reeves, courtesy UT Gardens

Looking for an easy-to-grow tree that doesn’t require a lot of space? Kindred Spirit oak is the answer.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


BY J A S O N R E E V E S , C U R ATO R O F T H E U T G A R D E N S , J A C K S O N


N 1974, the legendary nurseryman Earl Cully planted a thousand acorns from a cross of the columnar English oak (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’) with our native swamp white oak (Q. bicolor). Only a few of the hundreds of seedlings had the desired attributes of both species that Cully was looking for and made it into his final cut. Regal Prince ® was Cully’s first introduction, and Quercus × warei ‘Nadler’ Kindred Spirit®, with an even tighter habit, was the second. The original Kindred Spirit is located in Jacksonville, Illinois, on what was once Cully’s property. It is more than 40 years old and has long since proven itself. From its American swamp white oak parentage, it inherited the ability to tolerate constantly damp (as well as dry) soil, cold hardiness, heat tolerance, powdery mildew resistance, and limbs that withstand wind and ice. The shiny, dark, leathery leaves have silvery green undersides and are particularly noticeable when dancing in the wind. In fall, the foliage turns golden brown before dropping to reveal a strong framework of upswept branches. Despite being a hybrid, it produces attractive medium size acorns that provide a food source for small mammals. Rising like an exclamation point, Kindred Spirit serves as a powerful vertical element in the landscape, and its tight upright habit gives it a formal feel. The tree makes a bold focal point and, when planted in a row, forms a handsome property-defining screen or windbreak. Due to its hybrid nature, it possesses “hybrid vigor.” When grown in average to good garden conditions, it will be fast-growing in its youth. A young Kindred Spirit can easily grow 12 to 24 inches a year. Expect it to reach 30 to 40 feet tall and 6 to 7 feet wide in 30 years. Kindred Spirit prefers a sunny site and average to good soil with regular water during periods of drought during its first couple of growing seasons. Once established, the tree is quite drought tolerant, though constantly damp soil will pose no problem. It is tolerant of urban pollution and salt. It grows best from USDA Zone 4b to 8a and can be seen in the UT Gardens, Jackson in the upright tree collection and in Knoxville growing behind the Food Science Building on the UT Institute of Agriculture campus. The UT Gardens includes plant collections located in Knoxville, Crossville, and Jackson, Tennessee. Designated as the official botanical garden for the State of Tennessee, the UT Gardens are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Gardens’ mission is to foster appreciation, education, and stewardship of plants through garden displays, educational programs, and research trials. The Gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public. For more information, visit utia.tennessee.edu/ state-botanical-garden.

December in the Garden ‘T

IS THE season to talk about holiday plants, but first let me talk a bit about outdoor chores: ❄ Erratic weather is here to stay, but you can still plant trees and shrubs. 80% of root growth occurs during the fall and winter, so anything planted now has a head start on plants installed in the spring. ❄ If you haven’t mulched lately, consider adding enough to give you about 3". This will keep the soil temperature and moisture levels more stable. Natural materials are best. ❄ Keep weeding! It is amazing how quickly weeds can take over your yard. ❄ Don’t forget to do a weekly (or at least every couple of weeks) walk around so you can see what is happening. This is also a good time to make plans for next year. Now let’s talk about the care of seasonal plants: Christmas Cactus The Christmas cactus and its cousins are very low maintenance, but there are a few tricks to growing them: ҋ They are tropical cactus, not desert cactus. They don’t like hot afternoon sun and do not like to get bone dry. They do like lots of light, however, and won’t bloom well if kept in too dark a spot. ҋ The bloom cycle is triggered by cool temperatures and longer periods of darkness. Keep them away from heat sources and give them 13 hours of darkness per day. ҋ Don’t overwater. Every couple of weeks is fine for most homes. Once the blooms have finished, let them rest for a bit by withholding water for 4-5 weeks. When you see new growth, it is time to resume regular watering. If the plant has been in the same pot for more than 3-4 years, or if it is very crowded, you will need to up-pot. Don’t worry if you accidentally break some pieces off. They are easy to propagate, so you can give them to a friend. Call us if you need instructions. Cut Christmas Trees and Greenery Many Christmas tree farms have gone under, so cut trees are scarce. Don’t wait too long, and please buy from a reputable dealer to ensure the best quality. Trees need to get into water within 20 minutes of being cut. We will do a fresh cut here if you don’t have a chainsaw at home. Use a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water and keep it full. Once a tree dries out, the cut seals and it will no longer “drink.” As for wreaths and garland, they will do best if they are sprayed with an antitranspirant or misted with water regularly. They are also happiest if they get some shade from the hot afternoon sun.


Poinsettia I often have folks tell me that they can’t keep a poinsettia alive. This is usually because they bought it from a box store or grocery store, and it was doomed. Always buy from a greenhouse or garden center because others simply do not have the experience to care for a poinsettia properly. Here are some other hints: ҋ Don’t purchase a plant that is already in a plastic sleeve. This camouflages damage and creates a fungal breeding ground. The plant should be placed in a sleeve for transportation but remove the sleeve when you get home by cutting it off or pulling it from the bottom. Please don’t pull it over the top like you are taking off a t-shirt! ҋ Don’t expose the poinsettia to cold temperatures. Poinsettias are tropical plants, and anything below 50 will damage it. Freezing temperatures will kill it in less than a minute. ҋ The bracts are very fragile because of their size. This means poinsettias should be put where they will not be bumped or brushed against. ҋ The poinsettia is mildly toxic. Some people (and animals) may have a reaction

to the sap, so keep plants away from pets and children. ҋ Water the plant when the soil feels dry. I find it easiest to take mine out of the wrap and put it in the sink to water it. After it drains, I put it back in the wrap. Don’t let it sit in water because they are prone to root rot. Amaryllis, cyclamen, and other plants marketed at Christmas have specific growing needs. Some of them will live year-round, some prefer to go outside, and some will go dormant after they flower. Please give us a call if you have any questions. We will be closed December 24th through January 1st and will reopen on the 2nd. Our hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 9-5. Let us know if we can help you with your plans for spring.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you! Meadow View Greenhouses & Garden Center 9885 Highway 11E Lenoir City, TN 37772 865.986.7229 MeadowViewGreenhouse.com

December 2023



Center New Exhibitions Opening Emporium December 1 “If you really want to give your mind a break and have a fun time seeing every kind of perspective in nearly every kind of media, don’t miss this exhibition. Just wandering through it will give you a lift!” - Liza Zenni, Executive Director of the Arts & Culture Alliance


HE ARTS & Culture Alliance proudly presents its 2023 Members Show, the largest annual exhibition of local artists in the Greater Knoxville area. The fresh mix of two- and three-dimensional works created within the last t wo ye a r s e n co m p ass e s a wide variety of media such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, mixed media, photography, fine craft, sculpture, ceramics, fiber, Thistle by Judy Lavoie and more from regional artists who are all individual members of the Arts & Culture Alliance, which serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. Membership is open to all, and information may be found at KnoxAlliance.com/join-renew. Individual members of the Alliance participate locally and regionally in gallery exhibitions, art festivals, sculpture trails, weekend shows, studio tours, and public murals. Some Alliance members are full-time artists, while others have day jobs and create on evenings and weekends. Some members include art professors with the University Elephant Mirage by Deborah Hall of TennesseeKnoxville, Carson-Newman University, Maryville College, Pellissippi State, Roane State, and Walters State. Others are teachers at elementary, middle, and high schools within Knox and surrounding counties. Some Alliance members teach classes privately or through community classes with the Appalachian Arts Craft Center, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Fountain City Art

Center, Knoxville Arts & Fine Crafts Center, Knoxville Museum of Art, Mighty Mud, and Oak Ridge Art Center. Many of the artists have working studios in their own homes, while some are part of studio collectives such as 17th Street Studios, Broadway Studios & Gallery, The Emporium, Mighty Mud, Relay Ridge, Sunday Studios, and Unhinged by Beverly Zimmer West Fifth Studios. The Members Show will be on display throughout the Emporium Center, located at 100 S. Gay Street in downtown Knoxville through December 15. Most of the works will be for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition by visiting in person or via the online shop at KnoxAlliance.store. The Emporium is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday, December 9, from 10 am to 1 pm. Please note, the Emporium will be closed December 18 through January 1 for maintenance and the holidays. For more information, call 865-523-7543 or visit KnoxAlliance.com. The Alliance receives financial support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the City of Knoxville. Special thanks to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Purchase Delightful, Unique Gifts and Support Local Artists Give the gift of original art to your friends and loved ones this season!

Visit KnoxAlliance.store to see the unique and diverse selection of available works of art within a wide price point for every budget. Wearable Items • Watercolor • Collage • Sculpture Photography • Pottery • Fiber Art • Turned Wood Oil Painting • Stained Glass • Acrylic • Mixed Media


On average, 80% of arts grants in Tennessee are funded by the purchase of state specialty license plates, and, last year alone, 982 grants were given across all 95 counties. By purchasing an Arts Plate, you support arts organizations, schools, and communities across our state! Visit TN4Arts.org/ buy-a-tn-specialty-license-plate for more info.

The Holiday Gift


HILE MOST events have now moved indoors for the winter, why not surprise your family this holiday season with a special gift that guarantees unlimited, funfilled, out-of-door events for spring 2024 and beyond? Winter is the optimal time to have the totally unique underdeck ceiling installed under your home’s existing raised deck, ensuring that next season’s events with family and friends will be protected from unexpected, unwanted rain and the searing summertime sun. “This is the perfect time to weatherproof all of your future out-of-door events,” said Jim Conn, owner of Undercover Systems. “Throughout the entire process, our skilled craftsmen work with you each step of the way, from planning to completion. Because your project will be finished this winter, you can begin enjoying your new outdoor living space every temperate day here in East Tennessee.” Their patented system helps extend your year-round outdoor season of enjoyment by protecting you from early spring showers, July and August’s relentless sun, and autumn rains. Undercover Systems works with you to decide which patented

Everyone Will Enjoy All Year Long

products will perfectly complement your existing architecture and landscaping plan. Their attention to detail and customer service comes from years of experience. Homeowners appreciate that Undercover Systems does not use those generic, offthe-shelf components used by the competition but instead installs their own patented system. Every ceiling system they install is customized to perfectly fit your home - crafted to create a seamless transition from your home’s interior to your new covered out-of-door living space. A complaint-free member of the Better Business Bureau, Undercover Systems offers homeowners the peace of mind that they deserve in a home improvement building contractor. Why not surprise your family this holiday season with the gift of unlimited and memorable out-of-door activities for the New Year? Call Jim Conn at 423-267-0091 today so you can start looking forward to more covered, comfortable outdoor parties!

Undercover Systems 423.267.0091 UndercoverSystems.com December 2023



Keeping Talent is Sticky Business


administrative and compliance-driven. Delivering a ACK IN 2016, “failure to attract and retain unique and culturally aligned experience for your top talent” was the number one concern in a new arrivals over the course of their first few weeks respected survey of CEOs. Today, we know (not days) will go far toward your ability to keep from author and speaker Chris Czarnik that it’s still them. a problem, except that now the math is painfully 2. Hire for attitude and fit by asking better intersimple: There are more jobs than people to fill them, view questions. LeadershipIQ identified the top five and the numbers won’t improve anytime soon. That reasons why new hires fail in a job, and the first four means that the key to success in the coming decade are related to “soft” skills and attributes. Start using requires shifting focus from talent recruitment to BY KURT GREENE interview questions designed for your culture so you talent retention, which means leaders must craft can truly differentiate the problem bringers from the what I call “sticky workplaces.” “Sticky” is the extent to which employees are enthusiastic about problem solvers - and stop using the questions that don’t. In my their jobs and likely to invest discretionary efforts at work. When experience, upwards of 60% of the interview questions most interviewers ask actually fail to confirm cultural fit and to differentiate employees are truly “adhered,” they’re much less likely to leave. Sadly, Gallup’s “State of the Global Workforce: 2023 Report” candidates to any meaningful degree. 3. Require regular one-on-one meetings for every employee, at reports that employee stress is at an all-time high and that 51% of every level. People stay when they know they’re valued and lisemployees are job hunting. Not exactly sticky. “Workplace” refers to company culture. My 30+ years in business tened to by their boss. Good one-to-ones are recurring, seldom tell me that this is one of the most overlooked and undermanaged canceled or re-scheduled, and focused on the employee’s growth aspects of most small and midsized businesses. Culture is the and success. One-to-ones are the secret weapon in every great culongoing experience that’s being delivered to the people in that ture I’ve been a part of or am aware of. We can’t control the talent pool, but we can control who we bring workplace. Here are three things you can do to start making your workplace into our companies and the experiences we provide to them so they’ll want to stick around. And that starts with culture. more sticky. Kurt Greene leads executive peer groups in Knoxville as a Master 1. Leverage new-hire on-boarding as a key retention tool. The impressions a new employee forms in their first 30 days with a Chair for Vistage Worldwide and helps leaders get a grip on their company have been correlated to how long they stay with that businesses as a Professional EOS Implementer. You can reach him at organization. Unfortunately, most companies’ programs are mostly kurt.greene@arrowGconsulting.com.

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