LKN October 2022

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OCTOBER 2022
Madison Callaghan 704.915.5271 madison.callaghan@compass.com @madisoncallaghanrealty hendersonventuresinc.com

If you are looking for a fun night out with the perfect blend of laughter and learning about the history of the city, then you’ve found it! Bring your own beer and wine as we tour cool, hip neighborhoods with a comedian as your host. Whether you are visiting or a local, you’ll enjoy exploring the city on this unique and hilarious 90-minute bus tour. Laugh and learn with us on your next date night, girl’s night out, entertaining guests or just to kick start a night on the town. We also do private tours!

COMEDY CITY TOUR funnybus.net | 704-659-3186 @ funnybus

MORE THAN A GYM

704-626-7515 | 631 Brawley School Rd. | Mooresville, North Carolina 28117
Orangetheory is a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out. BOOK A WORKOUT!

As a two-time breast cancer survivor, October has always been a special month for me - it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. The journey isn’t always easy, but I’m so grateful to have experienced something that showed me how precious each and every day is. I’ve met so many wonderful women along the way and am in awe of their strength, determination and ability to stay positive in the face of this horrible, deadly disease. If you are a survivor, or know one, plan something this month to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness. There are walks, runs, golf games, raffles, fundraisers, concerts and more so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a way! In fact, check out Celebrate the Ta Tas Tournament of Champions article on page 62, and mark your calendars for Oct 15-16th. Most importantly Breast Cancer won’t wait until October, so please don’t forget to schedule or remind a loved one to schedule their annual mammogram.

We are so excited about how well received our first edition of LKN has been and the support we’ve received from this wonderful community. They’ve been flying off the shelves and we’ve received so many calls from readers, friends, family and local businesses with positive feedback. We’ve got interviewers interviewing, writers writing, editors editing, photographers taking photographs, designers designing, and so much more! If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on social media @lknmagazine!

We’re thrilled to bring you our first-ever Home Issue! What does that mean? It means we have this issue chock full of content focused on everything home related! We have you covered… home mortgages, tiny home sales and rentals, home decor, fabrics, furniture and so much more! If you’re interested in participating in our next home issue in the spring, send me an email! Keela@lkn-magazine.com.

PUBLISHER

Keela Johnson

Keela@lkn-magazine.com

EDITOR

Brooke Eagle Brooke@ForsythMags.com

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

Kasey Jamison Thompson

Kasey@lkn-magazine.com

SALES & MARKETING

Barbara Minor

Barbara@lkn-magazine.com

ADVERTISING

Advertising@lkn-magazine.com

We are delighted to feature Dynamis Estate Wines in this issue. We had an incredible time at the cover shoot, watching their team in action. Getting there is so easy! It’s located right off highway 77! When you turn in to the Estate, it’s the most beautiful drive and scenery you can imagine - it’s like you’ve been transported to a villa of peace and serenity (and wine, of course!). When you have family and friends in town, this is a must-visit! Be sure to tell them Keela sent you!

Thank you to our amazing team Barbara Minor, Brooke Eagle, Kasey Jamison, Rocky Thompson, Robin Shupe, Martie Emory, Carrie Allen, Aron Daniels and Michelle Hyatt! Without them, LKN Magazine certainly would not be possible. The support from my family, friends and neighbors has been beyond amazing. And a special big shout out to my hubby, Tim - without his support in every part of this I know I would be lost!

Have an idea for something you’d like to see in a future issue of LKN Magazine? We’d love to hear from you!

“In a magazine, one can get from cover to cover- 15 to 20 different ideas about life and how to live it.” - Maya Angelou

Happy Reading, Keela Johnson Publisher

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Robin Shupe Keller

BACK OFFICE & VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

The Office Nerd, Denise Heidel

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER

Carrie Allen, LLC

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER

Carrie Allen, LLC

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

*credited throughout accordingly

CONTENT EDITORS

Kim Beane

Robin Shupe Keller Meghan Corbett

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Martie Emory

OTHER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Jessica Grimsland

Taryn Jerez

Jean Marie Johnson

Michael Johnson Chelsea Kowalski

Carolyn S. Peterson

Rocky Thompson

Kasey Jamison

Robin Shupe Keller

Talia Goldman

John Chandler

Lauren Sephton

*others credited throughout accordingly

GRAPHIC DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Emerson Designs

WEB DESIGN/ MAINTENANCE

McIlwraith Enterprises, LLC

CONTACT

Lkn-Magazine.com 888-892-3204

LKN Magazine Disclaimer: Please note that the inclusion of stories and articles in LKN Magazine magazine does not imply endorsement of products or people. The views of the authors are presented for information and entertainment only, and may not necessarily reflect the views of LKN Magazine. Specifically, LKN Magazine in no way endorses any claim associated with health and/or well being with respect to any particular person. We disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We will not be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage that is caused or alleged to have been caused in connection with the use of, or reliance on, any content in this magazine. LKN Magazine reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing that does not meet LKN Magazine standards. Submissions are welcome but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. LKN Magazine assumes no responsibility for information, products, services or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. ©2022 by LKN Magazine, Inc.

Keela
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FEATURES

10 Make Breast Health a Priority

Just Move!

The Power of Positivity

Strengthening Your Manifesting Muscle

Home Issue Section

Motto Mortgage: Dedicated to Lake Norman RidgeCrest Garden Center

Modern Fabrics: Reclaiming the Creative Spirit!

Lake Norman RV Resort: Introducing Tiny Homes

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5820 Cover Story OCTOBER 2022

IN EVERY ISSUE

18 LKN Foodie: A Taste of the Lake

30 Marzano Capital Group: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

50 Lake Norman Fashion: Bliss by the Lake Boutique

52 NC State Parks: Lake Norman State Park

64 Loyal to Local: The Untouchables: Where Friends & Family Gather

68 The View From the Lake

72 The Fancy Fork: Recipes

74 Small Business Spotlight: CLC Deals

76-81 Calendar of Events

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Make Breast Health a Priority

Distracted with family, her work as an assistant district attorney and the COVID-19 pandemic, Sally Kirby-Turner says she missed her regular OBGYN appointment. Sally has known for years that seeing an OB-GYN is important. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Sally was just a baby and she succumbed to the disease when Sally was only five years old.

“I had my first mammogram in my 20s before I had children so I could compare it to after I had children and then every year after I turned 40. In October 2020 I had forgotten my appointment. I was 41 years old, and the results showed I had a mass in my left breast.”

Sally was in shock and scared but felt confident in her physician and her planned treatment. Dr. Katie Borders with Atrium Health Women’s Care Shelby OB-GYN, caught Sally’s cancer early thanks to her patient being so diligent about her own healthcare.

“Too many people think ‘I’m healthy, I don’t need to go to the doctor’,” says Borders. “Really, we love those kinds of visits where we can talk to you about your history and what kinds of screenings you need.

Borders referred Sally to Dr. Amy Voci with Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute (Breast & Surgical Oncology) where she underwent a lumpectomy to remove the cancer from her breast and a sentinel lymph node biopsy to help discover if the cancer had spread from a tumor to the sentinel lymph node. Three lymph nodes were positive for cancer cells, so Voci performed a full lymph node dissection and gave Sally the good news that the cancer did not spread.

“I have to applaud Sally and Dr. Borders for being diligent with her screening mammograms, so we were able to detect and treat her at an early stage with excellent outcomes,” Voci says.

Borders adds women tend to manage everyone else’s lives so sometimes their health takes a back seat.

“One of the things that needs to be a priority is breast health,” says Borders. “We were watching Sally like a hawk.

Sally finished radiation in June 2021 and is on hormone suppression therapy, which she jokes, basically puts her in menopause.

“The worst thing,” says Sally, “are the hot flashes. But I’m not going to complain!”

Sally plans to continue scheduling well visits and making her health a priority – for her and her family.

The best cancer care focuses on the whole person. Their physical and emotional needs. That’s what makes Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute the region’s top-rated cancer program and the only program in the nation to be Planetree-certified for compassionate, patient-centered care. We’re here to provide you with the most advanced treatments, including some that aren’t available elsewhere, plus a full suite of cancer support services that ensure you receive comprehensive care for your body and mind. And with a team of 200+ leading cancer doctors, we’re ready to guide you through a personalized care plan designed to help you heal – and thrive.

Learn more at AtriumHealth.org/cancer

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126 Mooresville Commons Way, Suite C | Mooresville | 704.662.0007 blissbythelakeboutiquenc | @blissbythelake Monday - Friday 10am-6pm | Saturday 10am-4pm | Sunday by Appointment

THE EVENTS & CATERING DREAM TEAM!

If you’re a true believer that presentation is everything, you’ll be in awe of the catering skills – and fabulous fare – created by Lake Norman Catering. A full-service catering and event coordination company, this is the dream team who handles your entire event from set-up to clean up, is always a crowd-favorite among party goers, and a true lifesaver for hosts and hostesses!

“We have really taken our presentation to the next level,” says Chef Alexander, owner of Lake Norman Catering, who also notes that food is really artwork, and we couldn’t agree more!

Having lived near Lake Norman for 21 years, “Chef Alexander” is a Veteran U.S. Army Military Police Ranger, and former design consultant turned food consultant in 2011. He had begun catering for Lake Norman charter boats pre-Covid, then focused on the Queens Landing Marina charter dinner boats. Alexander has seen big changes, from a simpler suburban vibe when he first moved here, until now – where the lake is truly the center of attention and

heartbeat of the area!

While Lake Norman Catering creates all kinds of events from weddings to corporate events and boat parties, most of their business happens within a five-to-10-mile radius of the lake itself – they have catered at over 18 Lake Norman area venues.

And they truly do it all: event planning, catering, bar service, transportation, and overall hospitality coordination. Your menu is always in the very best hands, with vegetarian and vegan options also available, just make sure to preplan. Trust them with your fully plated, fine dining experience (yes, for up to 3,000 guests!), your backyard barbecue bash for an intimate group of 12, and everything in between. The staff has catered events at every major wedding venue in the Lake Norman region, including many in the metro Charlotte area. Chef Alexander has assembled a culinary team that is second-to-none, along with a large catering field staff flexible enough to accommodate thousands of meals at the same time! (Note: The company did 350 events in 2021!)

The Details: When you book a catering event with Lake Norman Catering, they offer a staffed buffet service, or a full plated service, where additional staff is added, and the team brings in their own in-house rentals. Larger events may require the assistance of local rental companies as well. Your chosen venue should provide tables and chairs, but they have local resources available to handle additional rentals if necessary, including round tables, rectangular tables, and hightop cocktail tables. The same is true for silverware and glassware. Lake Norman Catering can supply linen/ polyester tablecloths as needed from their private inventory, or help you select a color option from local rental resources. Service, by the way, is a top priority, and, as Alexander states, just as important as the food itself. The entire catering kitchen staff is also ServSafe Food Protection Manager certified.

For the last three years, Lake Norman Catering has also been the exclusive caterer at Queens Landing Marina, on the shores of the lake. They prepare memorable feasts for dinner cruises, sight-seeing boats, and private and corporate catered facilities accommodating anywhere from 100 to 300 guests.

Besides local weddings and parties, Alexander’s team is also skilled at preparing the finest meals – for the most successful fundraisers. Again, with a nod to his style and art of presentation, a well-choreographed food display seems to be a good tool for raising money! The staff has even done catering displays for TV commercials, not knowing who the client was until filming had ended.

The Lake Norman Catering wedding and event showroom is located at 119 Landings Drive, #106, in Mooresville, and coming soon is a 4,000-plus square foot catering kitchen facility in Mooresville, with Executive Chef Nate Grice at the helm. Reach Lake Norman Catering at 704-438-9777 or at www. LakeNormanCatering.com, where a quote for your event is just a click away!

Just Move!

Sit down. Have a seat. I just want to sit.

We Americans do a lot of sitting. Consider these disturbing stats:

• sedentary jobs in the US have increased 83% since 1950

• the average office worker sits 15 hours each day, including time in the car

• the regular Joe or Jane spends half of their waking hours sitting

In fact, we sit more than at any other time in recorded history, and that’s a problem. Based on 13 different studies, the Mayo Clinic concluded that “sitting time and activity levels found in those who sat for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”

Below are several practical ways to incorporate movement:

1. When you wake up – Prime your body for a day of movement by stretching for at least five minutes before you get out of bed. Move your arms overhead, wiggle around, reach your legs out as far as they will go. Circle your wrists and feet.

2. Set a 30-minute prompt – Remember that this is behavior change; you want to develop the habit of incorporating movement at 30-minute intervals, so a prompt will get you launched. It could be a post-it on the fridge and on your desk with the words MOVE! Or even a timer you set on your phone. The idea is to embed the habit, so that you eventually won’t need the prompt.

The Power of Positivity

A few days ago, I was sitting at the edge of the playground with a few of my mom friends while our kids played, and we were swapping stories about lying awake in the middle of the night with irrational anxieties racing in our minds: ‘someone at work is probably upset with me’, ‘I’m going to whiff at my next big meeting’, ‘I’m ruining my kids, because I wouldn’t let them have a playdate’, ‘everyone hates me!’. Okay, that last one may be a bit of an exaggeration, but this exchange gave me pause. There I was, standing with amazing, accomplished women, who should be waking up thinking; ‘wow, I’m crushing it at work’, ‘I’m going to nail that meeting’, or ‘I’m really doing a good job raising my kids’. But instead, we’re all focusing on the negative.

Turns out, my friends and I are not alone here. According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative, and 95% are repetitive thoughts. But, why? Well, the answer is simple. We, as human beings, have a negative bias — we put more weight on negative experiences than positive ones. Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones. Back in the day (aka thousands of years ago), it kept us safe from danger (environmental threats). But in modern days, where physical danger is minimal, negativity merely gets in our way. In fact, research suggests that negative thinking holds us back — it keeps us from taking risks, holds us back from pursuing goals, and can have a negative impact on our health. To make it simple; negative thinking is not good.

Positive thinking, on the other hand, has been linked to better health, longer life, and greater well-being. A positive attitude encourages you to take advantage of opportunities, work or personal, because you will feel more confident stepping out of your comfort zone than negative thinkers do. Take my 7-year-old, Hudson, as an example. On a family trip to Wisconsin, visiting my in-laws, we spent an afternoon at a trampoline park that had a 10-foot warped wall (for those of you who don’t know - picture a curved wall that you run up and grab the top to pull yourself up). Hudson spent a good portion of our time there trying to get to the top. I could tell he was defeated. He said things like ‘I just can’t do it’, or ‘I’m not good at this, mom’. So, I pulled him aside, told him to close his eyes, and I asked him to ‘imagine yourself running as fast as you can, getting up the wall, and grabbing the top’. He opened his eyes and with a big smile on his face, he said, “I think I can do it.” Sure enough, he did it. It was a simple negativeto-positive mindset change, coupled with a little lesson on manifestation, that got him to see what was possible.

So, let’s all be a little more like Hudson. Let’s change that mindset and turn the negative thoughts down while amping up the positive ones. Here are a few tips to help us jumpstart this journey:

1. Nix the Negative: Pay attention to your inner monologue and replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. If you’re like me and find yourself stewing on something you did (or did not do) that you deem negative, try reframing the situation. Look for the good — even as simple as ‘I did my best in that situation’. For me, this is the hardest part, but the more I do it, the more natural it feels.

2. Positive Affirmations: Affirmations are short, positive statements that you can repeat regularly to yourself or leave notecards around where you can see them as you do your regular routines. Keep them positive, in the present tense, and state something that you want (‘I grow and improve every day’, ‘I treat myself kindly and compassionately’ ‘My life is full of potential).

3. Express Gratitude: When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters responsible for the emotions that make us feel good. No better way to kick off that positivity train and feel better about ourselves than to recognize all that we have around us.

Sweet Grass Boutique (704) 663-5878 | 146 Mooresville Commons Way, Suite H | Mooresville @sweetgrasshome home • gifts you

Lancaster’s BBQ has been operating in Mooresville, NC since the mid 1980’s, making it a favorite local spot for decades. It provides a friendly, fun, and relaxing environment for enjoying authentic slow-smoked eastern North Carolina barbeque. The business moved to Rinehardt road off route 150 in 1992 where it continued to expand and still stands today. Walking into Lancaster’s you are immediately greeted by their original game room featuring coin machines like Ms. Pac Man and The Fast and the Furious. In the beginning this was a place for customers to be entertained while waiting for their orders, as lines got so long that they would wrap around the sidewalks. In 1998 owners Jeff and Terry Lancaster added the large restaurant dining area where they drove in the famous yellow bus and enclosed the walls around it. Today, the restaurant entry way is lined with numerous autographed race memorabilia and pictures. The whole atmosphere is a NASCAR lovers dream with authentic hoods, signs, helmets and much more to check out while dining in or grabbing takeout.

Once we sat down in one of the race themed booths, we began our meal with the delivery of a fresh basket of hush puppies. For starters, we ordered their Maui chicken salad and house salad. All their salads, with the exception of their house salad, are served in a fresh fried flour tortilla shell. The Maui salad had a plentiful amount of teriyaki glazed chicken and was topped with grilled pineapple and sesame seeds. The house salad had fresh mixed greens with veggies, cheddar cheese, and an egg cut in half topped with ample bacon crumbles.

Next up, we had what is said to be their most popular item on the menu, jumbo wings! You can order their wings in 10, 15, or 25-piece orders and choose from over ten options of house made sauces. The most popular sauces are the original and Jamaican honey. Ours were tossed in the original sauce which was a flavorful, mild buffalo taste. The wings were fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, served with your choice of ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

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For the main event we chose from their “The Meals That Made Us Famous” menu section. The baby back ribs were our favorite item of the entire meal. We were not surprised to hear it’s one of their top three most popular items! Smoked with hickory wood, these savory ribs were fall off the bone tender and melted in your mouth. They had a subtle spice that was well balanced with the sweetness and tang in the sauce. There is also the option to get them as a half or whole order and are served with a slice of garlic bread plus two sides of your choice. You can also do a build your own combo with two sides and two protein options, with one of many options being the baby back ribs!

The other two entrees we checked out from this section of the menu were the BBQ pork dinner and fried chicken tender dinner. The BBQ pork dinner was tender and tasty, complimented by the tangier, vinegar based eastern NC style sauce. We opted for collard greens and steak fries for the two sides. The chicken tenders were some of the best that we have ever had! They were juicy and fried flawlessly, not too heavy, with a perfectly crispy outside. For this dinner’s sides we had the onion rings and mac and cheese. Out of all the sides that we tried, the mac and cheese was our personal favorite! It was abundantly creamy and had plenty of that cheesy flavor.

Last but not least, we tried the BBQ pork sandwich with homemade curly chips. Similar to the BBQ pork dinner plate, but this time on a steamed bun to make it a handheld sandwich style. We also added a layer of barbeque sauce that is conveniently provided on all the tables. The chips were sliced extra thin and spiraled together in long strands like a curly fry, a very unique and fun spin on homemade chips!

We had an amazing time at this authentic barbeque spot that has been a staple in the Lake Norman area for so many years! We love when a restaurant not only has remarkably delicious food but a family atmosphere that provides you with a one-of-a-kind experience. Their menu has such a wide variety of barbeque selections and meal combinations that you could go countless times and never have the same meal twice! If you reside closer to Charlotte and want to try these tasty meals don’t worry about making the trek up to Mooresville, because they also have a location in Huntersville that was opened in 2006 and was remodeled eight years after that. Thank you, Jeff, and Terry, for creating an exceptional place for Lake Norman locals and travelers!

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L to R Joseph Geller (Vineyard and Orchard Manager), Cate McDowell (Assistant Tasting Room and Social Media Manager), Matheson Worrell (Winemaker), Jennie Hess (Director of Hospitality), Katy Kidd (Winemaker)

A NAPA EXPERIENCE IN THE CAROLINAS

The economics behind opening a winery are interesting to consider. Most businesses will open and begin selling their products within a relatively quick timeframe. With a vineyard, the work that needs to be put in before you open can take years. Growing wine grapes, cultivating them, producing the wine, aging it, and then bottling it all need to happen before you can sell your first bottle. Each of those steps can take years.

Add to that the difficulty of growing grapes, which require very specific climate conditions and meticulous attention from growers. The constant threat of storms, droughts, and heat waves that could wipe out a crop. With so many challenges, it’s almost a surprise anyone chooses to take the risk to start their own winery. Like anything difficult, the only reason to do it is because you love it.

Dynamis Estate Wines, just an hour drive north of Lake Norman, recently opened its doors to the public for wine tasting appointments and wine sales. While many wineries will import grapes from places like California and sell them on their estate when they first open, Dynamis has not. All the wine they sell has been grown, aged, and bottled on the estate. It means that their lead time and risk have been greater than many other wineries. Fortunately, the wine they’ve produced is spectacular — and has been well worth the wait.

VISITING THE ESTATE

The stone and iron gates of Dynamis Estate are just about a half-mile from Interstate 77. They open to guests via a callbox and allow entry to the grounds, but they almost feel like a portal to another world.

After driving past the guard house, you follow a narrow road through a tunnel of green tree canopy that runs straight up the side of the mountain. When the woods part, they give way to rolling vineyards that stretch in front of you as far as the ridgeline runs. It takes a full 10 minutes of driving through these picturesque hills with views that somehow get better and better until you pull up to the Tasting Lodge.

At the Tasting Lodge you may be greeted by Jennie Hess, the Director of Hospitality, or Cate McDowell, Assistant Tasting Lodge and Social Media Manager on the estate. The recently renovated tasting room, Jennie said, was originally built in 1950 as a bunkhouse for laborers picking the apples that used to grow in the orchards on the ridge.

The new renovation kept the vintage bones of the bunkhouse while blowing out massive windows and adding accordion glass that open to the view and breezes. “We’ve been able to have them open nearly every day this year,” said Jennie. It’s that consistent breeze and more temperate climate that the grapes like so much, too.

The building, with its fireplaces inside and out, shaded patio, and thoughtful furniture has inviting spaces to gather with friends or in groups. It looks as if it were plucked out of Napa Valley and set down in North Carolina, but even Napa couldn’t come close to creating an experience this intimately scaled.

Before you visit the estate, be sure to call ahead or book online as space is limited.

BORDEAUX-INSPIRED

WINES AT THE LAKE

Those cool breezes that blow into the tasting room are part of the wine at Dynamis, just as much as the soil and the grapes.

“Grapevines like a site with a view,” said Joseph Geller, Vineyard Manager. “Our vineyard is at 1,640 feet and gets a steady breeze, which grapes like. Our rocky soil and the way it drains, make it ideal for producing high-quality fruit.”

Joseph shared a little of the history of the property and its former life as an apple orchard. “If apple trees grow well in a spot, vines will too,” he said. This ridgeline has the ideal terroir and climate just right to grow grapes you’d find in Bordeaux. And that’s where Dynamis excels, at creating big, bold red wines.

The estate is currently offering tastings and selling of five wines, with more to come in future vintages.

2020 SAUVIGNON BLANC

The well-drained rocky soil below these vines along with a gentle winemaking approach offer a true concentration of the varietal expression.

2019 MERLOT

The superior finesse of this wine makes it easy to drink as layers of red and dark fruits unfold. It is full bodied with a strong granular tannin structure perfectly balanced in a gentle aging process.

2019 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

This wine comes from the nine acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and showcases the boldness of the mountain where it is grown. It is a deep, ruby red with a velvety structure and ripe flavor profile.

2019 ALPHA

This blend is an elegant expression of the land, with complex layers. The backbone of this bold yet supple blend is cabernet sauvignon providing abundant textural tannins. This wine will continue to evolve with age.

2019 MOUNTAIN

This is the powerful expression of the land, the flagship of the Dynamis Estate Wines that comprise the very best of the vintage. Dynamis is defined as limitless power, and this confident full-bodied blend exemplifies the strength to the mountain’s terroir. It is the 2022 winner in the NC Fine Wines Society competition.

The wine tasting experience is choreographed to honor the quality of the grapes and the terroir. You’ll find wherever you sit for the tasting more than comfortable, with a fireplace and blankets for chilly days or fresh air and comfy chairs on the terrace overlooking the vineyards. Even the wine chiller and spitoon for emptying wine glasses are made by local ceramics artists and reflect the quality of the experience.

For food, a local farm-to-table cafe has created grazing boxes and snacks like hummus or cheese. They include thoughtful touches like peach chutney made with peaches from the estate.

THE DYNAMIS WINEMAKING PROCESS

Dynamis wines are grown, aged, and bottled and go from vine to wine all at the estate. Owning the entire process not only makes this winery unique, but it also allows them to control every aspect of the wine and ensure it is crafted to perfection and purely of the land.

The Dynamis winemaking duo of Katy Kidd and Matheson Worrell blend the time-honored traditions of Europe’s centuries-old winemaking with the most advanced technology available. The modern equipment is the same tech used at the Opus One, an elite tier winery in Napa Valley.

During aging, reds ferment in handmade French Oak that breathes naturally before aging in French Oak barrels built new for each vintage. Whites are aged and fermented in egg-shaped concrete vessels based on early Greco-Roman designs, whose oval shape lets the wine swirl and flow naturally.

You’ll learn about that and about grapes, fermenting, and bottling when you visit the estate for a 60 or 90-minute private tasting led by one of the knowledgeable and friendly wine ambassadors. You may even choose to join their wine club, which for now releases two wine packages a year. Dymanis can ship your wine, but most of the members choose to follow that 10-minute drive up the mountain and along the picturesque ridge to the tasting house to pick it up themselves. Most will linger to open one or more of their bottles to relax on the patio or one of the other inviting spaces in the tasting house.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Dynamis Estate Wines is open 11am-5pm Wed-Sat and 12-5pm Sun for wine tastings by reservation. Call in advance or reserve a tasting online at dynamisestatewines.com. All guests must be 21 years old as they are a private estate and working vineyard. Light snacks from the local farm-to-table cafe The Barking Coyote Kitchen are available.

Dynamis Estate Wines • 1004 Highland Road • Jonesville, NC 28642 • 336-468-6702
By Reservation I Jonesville, NC I 336.468.6702 I @dynamisestatewines dynamisestatewines.com

Is

Lake Norman is more than a body of water. It unites the individual towns that surround it. It’s where we, the whole community, gather to recreate and spend time together. Whether you’re building your dream retirement home on the lake, moving to one of the new townhomes in the fast-growing developments around the lake, or moving into one of the storied towns surrounding the lake, we think you’ll find that Home is Where the Lake Is.

Welcome to LKN Magazine Home edition. Home is Where the Lake
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GrassRoots Turf of Lake Norman | Denver, North Carolina | grassrootsturf.com Areas Served: Catawba, Concord, Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Huntersville, Iron Station, Kannapolis, Lake Norman, Lincolnton, Lowesville, Maiden, Mayhew, Mooresville, Mount Holly, Mountain Island, North Charlotte, Sherrills Ford, Stanley, Troutman It’s time to schedule your fall aeration and seeding for all fescue lawns! (704) 691-5936 Excellent Lawn Care Services for Your Yard When it comes to Weed Control, Mosquito Control, Liquid Aeration and Shrub Care; the experts at GrassRoots are here to provide you with exceptional service and results.

Motto Mortgage, Dedicated to Lake Norman

Motto Mortgage knows Lake Norman, which is why Christoper Campolieta is their pro lender dedicated to the region. Real estate transactions happen quickly, and Chris is an ace at not only securing the mortgage at the best rate possible but getting it done quickly.

Five Reasons to use Christoper Campolieta to Secure Your Home Loan

1. SPEED & ACCURACY

The last thing you want holding up your homebuying is your mortgage. Chris will get you clear to close ASAP with no hassles or hiccups. Chris will ensure you have all the right paperwork in on time and ready to go with total clarity. No stress.

2. COMMUNICATION

Chris is always available and will follow up with you every day, or as much as you like. He’ll let you know exactly where you are in the process, so you’re not left wondering what’s going on with your mortgage.

3. TRUST

Realtors love Chris because not only does he get loans done quickly, but he also excels in complicated loans. Chris has a people-first mentality and values the relationships he builds with his customers.

4. SUPPORTS ALL KINDS OF HOMEBUYING

If you’re buying a second home, an investment property, need a VA loan, or an FHA — Chris is well versed in all the steps that need to be taken. No shortcuts.

5. LOCAL PRIDE

Chris knows the market and can help make your lake dreams come true. Plus, he’ll let you pet his dogs.

Customer Quotes:

“I have never had a loan officer step up to the plate and get the job done with such perfection in all my real estate career. Not only did Chris save a VA loan from going south, he did it in two weeks and save my clients thousands. He is amazing. If you want someone who cares enough to make it happen no matter what it takes, call Chris, you won’t be sorry.”

“Chris is my go-to lender. He is extremely responsive, professional, and knowledgeable. I know that I can always contact him with questions that I may have even in the evenings and on weekends. He is always quick to offer assistance and can troubleshoot even the most complicated loans. I trust him with all my clients and cannot sing his praises enough.”

“My husband and I closed today on our home! We could not have done it without the help of Chris. To say the least, he did everything he could to make it happen for us. The process was easy, communication great, and he took the time to make sure we got the best rates possible. Chris was even our first guest at our new home; he stopped by to introduce himself and shake our hands.”

“Chris was exceptional to work with. I was kept up-to-date on the progress of the loan with clear communication, had the buyer’s information completed, and was ready to get to the closing date. If you want someone that has a get it done attitude, Chris is your lender.”

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Christopher Campolieta Mortgage Loan Originator | LO NMLS #2089901 Office: 910-406-2305 | Cell: 704-619-8565 mottomortgage.com/offices/moves-southern-pines/chris Motto Mortgage Moves Office NMLS #2091000 Each office is Independently Owned, Operated and Licensed.

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

Let me start this article by thanking the wonderful ownership and staff at LKN Magazine. Keela, Brooke and the whole team of talented writers and creators have built a phenomenal brand with Forsyth Magazines here in the Winston-Salem area and we’re excited to be a part of a new chapter for them. We at Marzano Capital Group are committed partners and we welcome other businesses to advertise and collaborate with content alongside us. If you have a good business and you are doing the right things, there will always be enough to go around. Our firm firmly believes this. I expect nothing but quality in the LKN publication and personally know that the Lake Norman area is a great place to live, shop, dine and enjoy life!

Now to the content and the lessons we try to teach in our articles that have actionable items for our readers.

Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s a way to make lemonade out of lemons”? Effectively, it is turning a bad situation into a better situation by using the bad situation as the catalyst. In our world of wealth management, this will be a year where we make some lemonade out of the lemons of volatility and losses that some investments have experienced. What does that mean and how can it benefit you in 2022 and beyond from a tax perspective?

Let’s touch on a concept called tax loss harvesting. The concept is based around the principle that we always try and solve for the lowest tax consequences for our clients in any given year. No one knows what next year or the year after will hold from a tax law perspective and we always feel it is best to deal with them one year at a time. We advocate for our clients to not presume too far into the future. Based on that thought process, if some of the investments in your non-IRA accounts are down for the year, or just down in general, it may be a good idea to take the loss and reinvest the money back into something appropriate. For example, if you bought a growth stock index fund at the end of 2021 and it is still down in value as of October of this year, you may wish to consider selling it and reinvesting back into something that has a lot of the same style exposure but that is not the exact same fund – maybe a total market index or an S&P type index of all stocks. Tax loss harvesting allows you to realize the capital loss (for tax reasons) to offset against gains this year and in the future and/or to take as a $3000 offset in the year you take the loss. There are ways to get some current benefits from a tax perspective and still own materially the same investments going forward. An investor can also just

simply stay out of the investment they sold, at a loss, for 31 days and buy back into the same investment (at current price). Selling an investment for a loss and staying out of it for 31 days will keep an investor from being subject to the “wash sale rule.”

There are a multitude of strategies that we deploy for our clients throughout the year. We do this on a discretionary basis in our advisory accounts when we think the benefit to the clients far outweighs not doing something. Let our firm take a look at your situation and give you some recommendations that we think will help you

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. This information is not intended to be a substitution for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. No strategy assures a profit or protects against loss. Marzano Capital Group and LPL Financial do not provide tax advice.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Advisor Alliance, a registered investment advisor. Independent Advisor Alliance and Marzano Capital Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
Lake Norman Motor Coach & Tiny Home Resort Relax on the Shoreline of Lake Norman LakeNormanMotorCoachResort.com | 704.489.6033 6738 East NC Hwy 150, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673 | Office Hours: Daily 8am - 5pm

If you ask Brad Doane, owner of Lake Norman Patio & Game Rooms, about his business plan – the answer is a simple one, and certainly a worthy goal!

“We are in the fun and relaxation business!,” he answers.

That’s definitely a familiar life skill for anyone who lives in the Lake Norman area, where making relaxation a part of your daily lifestyle is simply second nature.

Brad has operated Lake Norman Patio & Game Rooms in Mooresville since 2011, and is currently working on a second location in Denver, which should be up and running in a few months. With the largest inventory around of absolutely everything you need for your dream patio, deck, or game room, customers come from not only the Charlotte area, but Virginia, West Virginia, and South Carolina, to bask in the choices. Those sought-after options are only the highest quality merchandise, sold along with the finest customer service and positive attitudes. Custom orders are also encouraged – and it’s as simple as dropping by to talk to one of the experts if you have a fun vision of your own in mind!

Where Relaxation Meets Reality!

“I have had many of the same customers since 2011. They keep coming back, and now they are friends!” says Brad. He’s proud to employ – and totally rely on -- the top service managers in the industry, and has been associated with many of his vendors for over a decade. Those names and relationships enforce the company’s commitment to quality: Presidential Billiards, Florida Patio, King Casual Furniture, Sunbrella, and South Sea Outdoor Living, to name a few. There are four main materials of choice at Lake Norman Patio & Game Rooms: Polymer (with a 20 year warranty!), wicker, aluminum, and teak – teak is the only wood they will carry.

An avid boater and skier himself, Brad landed in the Lake Norman area from his home in New England, by way of his parents, who always stopped to visit the lake area en route to Florida for the winters. “I wanted to move south, wasn’t quite ready for Florida, but I knew I wanted to live on a lake!” he explains.

But back to the business of fun and relaxation! “Here, outdoor living happens easily nine or 10 months out of the year. Nothing is strictly seasonal – thankfully, we sit outside all year long!” says Brad.

That’s why their all-weather wicker sectionals are so popular – they can remain outside all year, even uncovered. The store features aluminum dining sets, classic chaises and chic dining tables for the pool area, all sizes and colors of umbrellas, outdoor rugs, even propane fire-pit tables for cooler evenings. Adirondack chairs are always a favorite, indoor and outdoor bars (and a stylish selection of bar stools) and every accessory you can imagine for the ultimate pool or deck retreat. For game enthusiasts? They have both indoor and outdoor ping pong tables, pool tables of the finest craftsmanship, shuffleboard tables, and dart boards – which are still a popular pastime!

If it’s time to refresh that relaxing space you head for at the end of each day, or if you’re new to lake life and starting from scratch, the experts at Lake Norman Patio & Game Rooms are always ready for a new project. Visit them at 847 Brawley School Road in Mooresville, 704-660-0527, or online at lknpatio.com and Facebook. Open 7 days a week, Monday–Friday 9:30-6pm, Saturday 9:30–5pm, Sunday 12-4pm.

lknpatio.com Lake Norman Patio & Game Rooms 847 Brawley School Road Mooresville | 704.660.0527 Denver location at the Red Barn, 1612 NC-16 Denver | 704.966-1358

Ridgecrest Garden Center, a small familyowned business, run by April and Walter Case provide our community, as well as the surrounding Lake Norman area, with gorgeous locally grown shrubbery, trees, perennials, veggie plants, hanging baskets, cocoa baskets with combos of flowers, and of course seasonal annuals. Ridgecrest Garden Center also offers a variety of house plants, 100% soy candles, gift baskets, and other unique gifts. They take a lot of pride in the quality of their products. Walter and April like to say, “if we wouldn’t plant it or use it ourselves, we won’t sell it to use in your home!”

April and Walter have been a part of the Denver community for well over 30 years. Walter grew up in western Lincoln County, and after marrying April they raised their three daughters, Alexandria, Amber, and Kennedy, here in Denver. Many locals know them as the “Case girls.” They occasionally help their parents at the garden center, so it is truly a family-oriented business!

One of the most frequently asked questions is “when is a good time to plant?” April and Walter both say, “ideally fall and spring are the best times to plant, however you can plant anytime of the year if you’re willing to put in a little extra work. Plants are a living, breathing thing and need the special care that is required the first year for them to thrive. After that, just a little fertilizer and regular maintenance should satisfy the plants’ needs.”

April runs the daily store front and takes a lot of pride in making you feel welcome. She can help you design perennial gardens for butterflies and pollinators, jaw dropping planters, amazing flower beds; and even paints some of the art displayed inside the store. After walking through their flowers and plants outside, come in and enjoy a good conversation with April. Don’t forget to look around the gift shop where you might find a unique house plant or two.

Walter handles the larger more elaborate landscaping projects. He can design a landscape drawing for you to follow, or a turnkey project where he designs and installs your vision. Walter has been in the landscaping business for over 30 years, so he is very knowledgeable about every facet of the process. He can guide you to the right

plants for your home, whether it is a fully shaded area or a typical hot southern lawn. After all, landscaping around your home can instantly add as much as a 12.7% property value. Why second guess, when Walter at Ridgecrest Garden Center can help create your landscape designs with the proper plants right from the start.

Ridgecrest Garden Center’s mission is to make your yard the envy of the neighborhood. April and Walter opened the garden center because of their passion to offer quality plants at a reasonable price. Being greeted by someone who is friendly and knowledgeable about the plants and products they sell is honestly a refreshing experience. Also, they have some Lake Norman merchandise in the works, as well as items for folks looking for a local souvenir for family and friends.

Together, April and Walter are a dynamic duo who would love to help beautify your home and yard! “Come see us and let’s chat.”

Ridgecrest Garden Center is located at 3344 N. HWY 16-Business in the heart of Denver, NC.

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Katrina and Stan Teague
charlottevintage.com Midcentury Modern Furniture and Decor (704) 906-2544 katrina@charlottevintage.com 15435 NC-73 Huntersville, NC 28078 Wed - Sat 10am – 4pm

RECLAIMING THE CREATIVE SPIRIT!

The mission of Modern Fabrics in Huntersville is seriously very simple!

Our company saves the earth, one yard of fabric at a time!” explains Ewa Powell, who owns the truly unique – and truly green – company with her husband, James and their store manager Debra Worthy.

With every purchase of their discounted designer textiles, customers join the couple’s fabric “reclaiming” efforts, geared towards reducing waste, as well as reducing the demand for virgin materials. These reclaimed fabrics are from the finest luxury furniture companies in the United States – and are remnants that would otherwise be discarded. For you, the customer, that means the opportunity to purchase the best designer drapery and upholstery fabrics that have been quietly rescued from cutting room floors – at 50-75% off their list price. That’s a far better choice than discarded remnants ending up in trash bags at the closest landfill!

All their fabrics contribute to qualifying for LEED credits, and selection is continually updated, so always check back if don’t see what you need.

Modern Fabrics is also a prominent online resource for discounted residential decorative fabrics, many sought-after designs from MidCentury modern, to retro, vinyl, and velvet – all for sale by the yard. You might find one yard, or 100 yards, and shipping is even available to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.

Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Ewa immigrated to Chicago as a pre-teen with her parents, to escape communism.

“After University, I married my husband, James, who is from Florida, and we moved to North Carolina,” says Ewa. “We settled on a farm in Lincolnton, where we lived the original ‘van life’ in an old Airstram trailer,” she says. It was not ideal, Ewa will tell you, but she fell in love with hiking in NC. Being in nature is truly her happy place!

But Modern Fabrics is the other happy place, and the thrill of her job is definitely in the hunt for fabulous fabrics!

“While employees run the store during the week, one of my many jobs is sourcing fabrics for the online shop, and for our Huntersville store,” explains Ewa. Saying she enjoys her job is an enormous understatement, and she is quick to say she absolutely loves finding beautiful pieces of fabric, in the most obscure locations, all over North Carolina.

“I travel far and wide to source the fabrics you find at our store, and each bolt has a unique story of where I found it,” smiles Ewa. “But don’t ask me – because it’s a secret!”

“We did business in Charlotte for 13 years, but we had to change locations three times due to the city’s rapid growth,” explains Ewa. “Each building we occupied would eventually be sold!” Between the last Charlotte relocation and the move to Lake Norman, Modern Fabrics temporarily closed for five months, storing all their fabric in a shipping container, and leaving Ewa and her family fighting back some heartfelt emotions.

Moving to Huntersville required a leap of faith, as they worried former customers might not drive that far (turns out, they do!), and they weren’t sure the business climate was right for a fabric store.

“Luckily, it seems to be working out,” says Ewa. “That was the hardest time we have faced as a small business, and we feel fortunate to be on the other side! In Lake Norman, small business still feels small. Everyone is friendly, takes their time, and is willing just to sit down for a chat.” Plans are also underway for another location in the Hickory/Conover area – coming in 2023.

What can consumers do to help with textile waste? Ewa suggests buying furniture made of sustainable materials, reusing or reupholstering furniture you currently have, and always donating or re-purposing extra fabric. Ewa loves meeting new people who have turned her fabrics into something wonderful.

“We meet young men who hand make oneof-a-kind cloths like Robert Craig, or young women who work with us to grow their passion for purse making or jewelry creating with some of our remnants,” says Ewa. “Also, Michelle Trogdon, who recreates paintings with leather, and my local favorite pillow designer, Judy Brown, who utilizes our leftover trim to make amazing one-of-a-kind pillows.

“Lake Norman feels like ‘old’ North Carolina – small and friendly,” says Ewa. “I hope we never lose that.”

Located at 15435 NC-73, Huntersville, NC, 704-740-9676, Ewa and the Modern Fabrics family can’t wait to meet you! Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm You can also shop online at modern-fabrics.com.

Check out some of their favorite repurposing projects: Instagram: @theerobertcraigdesigns, @nanabysally @mdesignscrafts, @judymbrowndesigns

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans found that the most stressful event in life was moving. 45% of responders said that moving was more stressful than a break-up/divorce at 44%, followed by getting married at 33%. If you have ever moved before, whether that was around the block or across the country, moving is not just time consuming, it can also be a daunting task, especially if you have a busy schedule and are carrying on with everyday life in the process. For the past 17 years, Amy Cushman Jah, owner of American Moving and Hauling, located in Winston-Salem, NC, has gone above and beyond in helping her customers with residential and commercial moves, making the process, from beginning to end, a good one.

STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF

In 2005, Amy was managing a climate control storage facility and started helping people in need of movers as a side business. “Our business has grown from rental trucks and two guys to a staff of 35, and a fleet of 10 trucks, and a pack van! Once we got licensed, we started buying trucks. We offer car hauling, full service moving, as well as packing services- local and long-distance. We will travel anywhere within a 900-mile radius. While our bread and butter are North Carolina moves, we do a lot of out of state up-and-down the East Coast. From the beginning, it has always been important to remain true to who we are. Locally owned and operated sets us apart in the moving industry. We have no desire to partner with a nationwide van line or to subcontract our work out to anyone. With American Moving and Hauling, what you see, is what you get. We keep everything in-house, and we pride ourselves in communicating with our customers; no detail goes unnoticed,” said Amy.

American Moving and Hauling is a certified woman owned business, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for over 10 years, winning awards as a top pro on Thumbtack and Angi, online sites to hire, rate, and review local service providers.

A BUSINESS IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS EMPLOYEES

Finding a work-life balance is hard for many women, especially when you own and operate a business. “I literally have the best office staff in the world! With young children at home, I am devoting more time these days to them, knowing that my staff is hard at work and can handle any situation that arises. My staff shares my work ethic and know what I expect. It’s no issue for me to tell someone I need you to make sure something gets done and I know it will be done correctly. It’s such a relief to me to be able to have people around me that I trust and who support me,” Amy commented.

GROWTH COMES WITH KNOWING YOUR LIMITATIONS

Amy hasn’t always been good at delegating responsibilities to her staff, but she found that her business grew when she took care of herself and trusted others. “I remember when I used to do everything myself and was literally on the verge of a mental breakdown. With no balance in life, something must give. My office staff has helped me ease my workload, giving me some time to be with my family and with the right people in place, business has grown exponentially. As a company, we would not be where we are without allowing people to help me. I know it’s hard for many women, and especially a control freak like myself, but letting go of the reins has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” stated Amy.

American Moving and Hauling is located at 535 East Clemmonsville Road, Suite D, Winston-Salem, NC. For more information on services, call 336-765-3499 or visit americanmovingandhauling.com. Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 8-5pm. Packing materials available for purchase at the office.

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Chase the Feeling of Home

Motto Mortgage knows Lake Norman and takes pride in being part of this vibrant community. And Chris Campolieta is known among Lake Norman realtors and homebuyers for his hard work, speed, accuracy, and incredible communication. Contact him today to help make your lake home dream a reality.

Motto Mortgage

Motto Mortgage Moves Office

Each office is Independently Owned, Operated and Licensed.

NMLS #2091000
Christopher Campolieta MOTTO MORTGAGE MOVES Mortgage Loan Originator LO NMLS #2089901 Office: 910-406-2305 | Cell: 704-619-8565 christopher.campolieta@mottomortgage.com mottomortgage.com/offices/ moves-southern-pines/chris

Always the Perfect Gift

When your recipe for the perfect small business blends one owner with a distinctly creative side, and one owner with proven business savvy, adding a shop name whose mere meaning evokes a peaceful ambiance is just the perfect finishing touch!

Since 2007, Michelle and Rich Harris have welcomed shoppers – who are now family -- to savor the Sweet Grass “experience” at their store in Mooresville, NC. While Rich is a practicing pharmacist (cue the business side), Michelle has a background in interior design, and excels more at the thoughtful pursuits of purchasing and merchandising. The retail venture has allowed both to excel using their best skills, and although Rich may be more “behind the scenes,” he does enjoy spending a good bit of time at the store!

“We greet everyone and make them feel at home right away,” says Michelle, noting that many shoppers simply stop by to say hello. “Most go the self-guided route and browse on their own, but they always know we are here to help with inspiration. For many, it’s a moment to unwind and relax.”

Here’s a perk that customers really love: Sweet Grass keeps an essential notebook with lists of customer favorites – so when a husband comes to shop for his wife, the staff has ideas of what she admired last time she visited, or maybe a special item they already have on order for her. That’s a signature small business touch! Michelle enjoys telling the story of a man who once came by with a map of the inside of the store in his hand – drawn by his wife so he would know exactly where her wished-for gift (she hoped!) could be found!

“We absolutely love our customers, and know they are the reason we’re even here,” says Michelle. Those customers are always on her mind when she’s attending markets, too, and buying for the store. She knows what the “regulars” love and want. Imagine this scenario: You’re on the way to a dinner party – without a hostess gift. Time is short, but you stop by Sweet Grass, find the perfect gift, and let their amazing staff provide gift wrap in one of their signature bags, complete with a card from you. Done!

Gift sales are definitely the store’s largest category – gifts in all shapes and sizes, for every occasion. From birthdays, new babies, and weddings to new homes,

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whimsical hostess gifts, and hard-tofind gifts for men, the store’s incredible selection, at various price points, always provides excellent choices. Sweet Grass loves focusing on locally owned businesses and enjoys showcasing local vendors whenever possible. Gifts can be personalized (often while you wait) including items such as acrylic frames and party cups, and the store offers local resources for both etching and embroidery. Picture a name or initial artfully etched on wine glasses or a beautiful wooden cutting board, and embroidery or monogramming on a new baby’s keepsake blanket. The staff loves when three-and fouryear-old children visit and still have the stuffed toy they received as an infant. Personalized, of course!

“We don’t buy in large quantities, and our inventory and displays are constantly changing,” says Michelle. “If you see something and like it, don’t wait, buy it!” The Sweet Grass team – which averages around ten employees depending on the season – is also proud to tell customers products are selected for the store because they seriously like them!

“Everything – including our gourmet food items – is a personal choice, even the cherries we sell for your trendy oldfashions,” says Michelle. “We believe in what we sell, and we encourage customers to shop local – so the money stays right here.”

Every season deserves its shopping time, and you’ll find fall accessories, including seasonal candles and home fragrances, right up until Thanksgiving. Then Sweet Grass welcomes the holidays! As you’re reading this issue, mark your calendar for the Sweet Grass Holiday Open House Thursday, November 10, from 4:00 p.m.8:30 p.m., where you’ll enjoy a food truck and other local vendors, plus “The Side Bar,” serving a festive signature cocktail. Michelle and Rich are also delighted to bring back monthly events at the store, so follow them on Facebook and Instagram for news of upcoming events.

Sweet Grass is located at 146 Mooresville Commons Way in Mooresville, NC. Reach them (the old-fashioned way!) at 704-6635878, by text at 704-450-6313, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Store hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

I am famous, well, perhaps “infamous” for my porch sitting. Oh, there’s Jean Marie again, say “Hey” y’all. I happen to be a stickler for self-awareness and selfacceptance. I mean, otherwise, you spend an enormous amount of time being someone you are not and disliking yourself in the process. There is no point in that. But I digress. Anyway, when folks wave at me with enthusiasm, or even if they give me the half-hearted, obligatory, milk toast version of acknowledgement, I am reminded that porch sitting is very much a part of who I am. Of course, this does mean spending an inordinate amount of time on my butt.

I felt a tad vindicated when I discovered there is an organization that honors one of my favorite past times. It’s the Porch Sitters Union, founded in 1999 in Louisville, Kentucky. Who knew?

I soon learned that porch sitting as a legit activity is seriously inclusive. The website says it all: “We look at Porch Sitting as a broad term. While a classic Porch can be ideal, we believe it is not entirely necessary to enjoy Porch Sitting. Whether you are on a smaller portico, a veranda, a terrace, front porch, back porch… even the garage with the door open while watching the kids at play, that counts.” You see, they get it! And just as the Porch Sitters Union proclaimed, who needs a porch when one can “porch sit” just about anywhere? Perhaps you observed more of this phenomenon emerge during the pandemic. I certainly did. I especially recall a cool (as in chilly) St. Patrick’s Day evening when neighbors were gathered in a garage with the keg in full swing, the music blaring, and the “porch sitting” well underway. Of course, it was St. Patrick’s Day, so the ante was up!

RETIREMENT

Porch Sitting

The American porch is iconic. It makes sense that its original purpose was to provide shelter from the elements. But beyond the practical, the porch soon became a decorative feature and evolved as a place for our private and public selves to intersect.

In fact, porch sitting can be intensely private. When I am seeking my own company, I head out to my “veranda” which is on the backside of my house. With a wall fountain gurgling beside me, and the sights and sounds of nature enveloping me, I am in my version of heaven.

At other times I embrace and seek out connection, because the porch is about community, about gathering in good times and in bad. It’s about heartfelt conversations, harmless gossip, and raucous fun. It’s about watching the world go by, even if that means only a few birds and a solitary butterfly.

It’s about being in the moment because the moment, with little fanfare or planning, matters. COVID reinforced that. Sharing that moment with others may matter even more because it’s a space in which we strengthen our relationships and make memories with others.

It’s autumn now, my favorite time of year. Pumpkins adorn my front porch and porch sitting requires a sweater and a few lit candles. Some evenings, my porch sitting moves to the firepit of one neighbor or another. It’s the winter season that really tests my porch sitting mettle. When a mild evening arrives unexpectedly, I am the first to text:

“Y’all sittin’ out?”

“Yep.”

“I’ll be right there.”

American Moving & Hauling 17 Years Of Experience & Quality Moving Soon? Local & Long Distance Packing, Moving & Secure Storage Contact us for a free estimate 336.765.3499 americanmovingandhauling.com WOMAN OWNED FAMILY MANAGED LOCAL NCUC 2411 | NCDOT 2007851 dbnmarie.wixsite.com/designs-by-nmarie 540-645-2166 October 2022 | 43

Using Pinterest to Plan Home Projects

There is something beautiful and innately human about cultivating one’s home and the spaces we dwell. New York interior decorator Billy Baldwin, also known as “the dean of interior decorators,’’ once said, “Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.

In a world where we’re now face to face with so many images of perfectly curated spaces fit for an interior decorator’s portfolio, I am on a never ending quest to create a home around my own tastes and not give in to “keeping up with the Joneses.”

If you’re anything like me, however, it can be difficult to take all of the things you like and pair them with the functionality your family needs in a home to create a space you love.

PINTEREST IS THE PERFECT PROJECT PLANNING TOOL YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED!

If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. It’s a great place to get home inspiration and to help you create a plan to bring all those ideas to life!

Here are five steps to use Pinterest as a planning tool for your next home project!

STEP #1 - CREATE AND TITLE YOUR BOARDS INTENTIONALLY

Once you have your Pinterest account you can create a “board” for each project with whatever that particular board’s purpose will be. When planning out your home projects, you can either create an entirely separate board for every single room in your house or, I prefer the option of creating a main board that’s specific to its overall purpose, creating sections inside it. For example, a board called “Outdoor Projects” could have sections titled “backyard,” “patio, “curb appeal ideas” and more. This is how you will organize all of the ideas and products you will be saving, referred to as “pinning” on Pinterest.

STEP #2 - FIND INSPIRATION AND START PINNING IDEAS

Sometimes inspiration finds you and other times you go on a mission to find it! If you’re on Pinterest you can use the search bar to search for different ideas by being specific. For example, you can search “boho half bathroom” and pin ideas you like to your “bathroom ideas” board or “playroom organization” to pin to your “bonus room idea” board. Make sure to download the free Pinterest Chrome extension “pin button” so you can easily pin any ideas you see on the internet. If you’re browsing a local houseware boutique online and see a beautiful bed set for yourself you can pin it to your “master bedroom” board for instance.

STEP #3 DIYS (DO IT YOURSELF), DIFMS (DO IT FOR ME), AND PURCHASES

Review your Pinterest boards when you are ready to start planning out the execution of your next home project! You can drag and drop things to reorganize the order of your pins if you wish to group certain ones together, or delete whatever you longer need.

Next, you will look things over and decide which pins to adopt to your space as a DIY project vs. DIFM and create a timeline for yourself. This is the perfect time to look at any pinned items that you’ll be wanting to purchase. If you pinned something for inspiration to purchase, open the mobile app when you’re out shopping so you’re clear on what you’re looking for.

STEP #4 SHARE YOUR VISION WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND CONTRACTORS

Pinterest is perfect for sharing your ideas with others! Collaborating with someone or want opinions on specific projects? You can share pins with them! Just make sure they have a Pinterst account of their own. You can also add them directly as a “collaborator” on a board so they can add pins to the board as well. Working with a contracted designer, painter or builder? You can share your board with them as well so they can see what you’re wanting and also get their opinions. You can even change a board to “secret” if you don’t want specific boards to be seen by other users or collaborators.

STEP #5 PRINT OUT YOUR PINTERST BOARD FOR QUICK REFERENCE

While the world may be more virtual now than ever before, there’s something special about a good old fashioned physical mood or inspiration board! You can print your Pinterest boards as a PDF or simply screenshot them and print them out so you have a handy reference tool while you’re painting a room, organizing a bookshelf, art shopping for a gallery wall, and more!

If you don’t already have a Pinterest account, sign up for a free one and begin planning your home one space at a time. Remember to be patient as your vision comes together and have fun in the process!

44 | lkn-magazine.com
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Lake Norman RV Resort… and introducing Tiny Homes of Lake Norman

Originally purchased in 2006 as three tracts of land, what is now the Lake Norman RV Resort is set to undergo yet another transformation, tagging on to the enormous popularity of Tiny Homes!

All current accommodations and RV sites are available for rent on a daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis, but as early as 2016, owner Jim Davidson was already eyeing the Tiny Homes trend, and added four “tiny” style rental units to the popular Lake Norman resort. Naturally, the new sites were an immediate hit, and in 2017, six more units were added.

“All these units were on a hill overlooking the lake, with a beautiful view,” says Jim. “In 2019, we made the decision to convert the lakefront RV lots to Tiny Homes, and seven more were added.”

By 2020, an exciting decision had been made to sell the current available Tiny Homes to clients for their personal use – as either a primary or secondary home, but with no investors involved and no sublets available.

The attraction of the Tiny Homes trend isn’t difficult to understand! These unique living spaces are upscale, fully furnished, and low maintenance. Guests have their own space with all the typical conveniences of a larger home, and Tiny Homes typically accommodate either four or six occupants.

“Today, we have a total of 40 Tiny Homes within the resort, with 17 homeowners who utilize these unique residences for a mix of primary and secondary homes,” says Jim. “The ultimate goal is to have zero rental homes or cabins on the property, but cater to only private owners, who purchase the Tiny Home, and rent the lot based on location and lake view.”

Jim adds that once more homes are sold, and the resort is 90% Tiny Homes, – likely sometime in 2024 – he plans to officially rename the resort Tiny Homes of Lake Norman. The long-term vision is a community of 70 Tiny Homes, all with incredible locations and scenery, and of course, the endless added benefits of Lake Norman living! Want a home on Lake Norman? This is your very affordable option: under $100,000 for a one-bedroom lake view, and $159,900 for a onebedroom home on the lake front!

“Lake Norman is a vacation heaven, with all type of water activities, wonderful restaurants and shopping, and professional sports nearby,” adds Jim. The resort has always offered year-round adventures, with a bonus of the most incredible panoramic lake views, no shortage of breathtaking sunsets, and the camaraderie of a close-knit community.

Privately owned, the resort is a gated community that includes a large 3,500-foot deck and pavilion overlooking the lake, perfect for gathering with friends, and open 24/7. Guests can relax in the mini-movie theater, enjoy the game room and exercise room with a beautiful lake view, and an office suite that is open from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Water enthusiasts will appreciate access to paddle boards, pontoon rentals, kayaks, paddle boats, and fishing – all free to resort guests. Add to these amenities a fire pit, barbecue grills, a Tiki Hut, 350-foot boardwalk, pet park, boat ramp and boat slips for guests, a bathhouse with private shower suites and laundry open 24/7, and a swimming pool under construction, set to open for the summer of 2023, and you’re likely already wondering why you aren’t part of this amazing community!

For more information on the exciting transformation to Tiny Homes of Lake Norman, reach Jim Davidson at 704-489-6033. Lake Norman RV Resort is located at 6738 E. NC 150 Hwy, Sherrills Ford, NC. Take a look at all the resort’s amenities and find current rental information at lakenormanmotorcoachresort.com.

October 2022 | 47

Managing Dream Projects

Growing up Nicole Marie Evans-Lane always felt the influence of her grandparents – on both sides of the family. Now, while building her career in the structural design industry (and being the busy mom of four boys!) she’s grateful for the wisdom she gained through those tender years that has carried her far!

Nicole officially began designing in 2005, focusing on kitchen and bath remodels, and her company – Designs by NMarie – offers creative, honest guidance to clients looking to design from scratch – or redo – one of the most important rooms in their home.

“My grandfather built homes, so I learned from him about structural support and what’s important to look for, and my grandmother was a pottery maker and seamstress. She taught me about colors and patterns, and what works well together,” explains Nicole.

On the other side of the family, her grandfather was retired military and taught her the immense value of self-discipline.

“My grandmother on that side was also an artist and a teacher, and I learned a strong sense of personal drive from my parents, too,” she says. “Basically, I learned I can accomplish anything I set my mind on!”

In the design world, Nicole says she is constantly inspired by so many different generations: Millennials, couples with no children, families of all sizes.

“Every project is different! That’s what keeps it interesting,” she says. “But I like to put my personal touch on every project.”

She’s also devoted to keeping things real and being fully in tune with every client’s situation.

“I like to be mindful of a client’s budget, but also be realistic. Sometimes if this is what you want, this is just how much it costs.” Keeping a network of the best resources in the area, and seeking the best prices is also a top priority, as is offering discounts to those in the medical and military professions.

While she currently works mostly with residential clients, Nicole is ready to expand into commercial businesses as well. Her current package options include the following:

WINDOW TREATMENTS

Service includes a professional, in-home consultation for up to two hours, including sample books showcasing plantation shutters, shades, curtains, cornices, and blinds; an estimate which includes installation, taxes, shipping, and products.

NEW HOME DESIGN COORDINATOR

For a process that can seem overwhelming, Nicole provides an easy process for room-by-room selections that fit your style and personality. Service includes a detailed itinerary to follow for the room-by-room process, and the benefit of her industry connections for discounts and ease of scheduling

INTERIOR/EXTERIOR COLOR SELECTIONS

Keeping an updated look for your home can increase its value and your enjoyment of your surroundings but narrowing down color choices can be tricky! Nicole offers personal color pairing assistance and can supply professional painter contacts as needed.

BATHROOM DESIGN

Using the best tile companies and contractors, Nicole guides you in designing – or remodeling – to create your ultimate bath and relaxing retreat. Besides color direction, her services can include reviewing both old and new room layouts, honest recommendations

regarding the move of plumbing, tile, and fixtures, estimates on square footage, and a 3D rendering.

CLOSET DESIGN

Closets are important for organizing and keeping you fashion-ready at a moment’s notice. The first step is a meeting with Nicole at your home, to determine your dream closet needs and what space you have available. Services can include measurements from old to new layout, a 3D design, and meeting at a local resource for product and paint selection. (Hint: she’s also available for advice on “downsizing” all that clutter in your closet!)

KITCHEN DESIGN

In Nicole’s own words, a kitchen design or remodel can have 300 moving parts, all stressful! What’s needed is a resource that offers great service and a good, quality product – all at an affordable price. She can manage the project for you, while keeping you updated every step of the way. Services can include an initial meeting to review layout, honest recommendations on moving plumbing, walls, tiles, and fixtures, a 3D rendering, and rough estimate on square footage. She is also a certified PMP (project management professional) with skills necessary to coordinate your entire project – while you relax.

Reach out to Nicole at 540-645-2166 to discuss your personal design needs, or visit her website Designer Overview | Designs by NMarie (dbnmarie.wixsite.com)

LAKE NORMAN

Bliss by the Lake Boutique is, in fact, pure bliss. From the moment you enter this upscale boutique you are in retail heaven. Located at 126 Mooresville Commons Way in Mooresville, this shop will have you coming back again and again.

UNIQUE ITEMS

Whenever I go shopping, I love to look for items that are unique and that not everyone is wearing – items that make you stand out in a crowd and make you feel amazing. Bliss by the Lake’s selection of accessories, shoes and clothes feel like one-of-a-kind items. I fell in love with a bendable gold bracelet that can be transformed into a necklace or a multi bangle bracelet! I had never seen it before, and I had to have it.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

It’s hard to find shops that cater to many ages and styles. This boutique is a place where I can easily shop with my mom, sister, friends and any women of any age group or size. They have so many distinctive styles and shapes that it makes shopping an enjoyable event.

“LIKE BUTTER”

There was not one item that I tried on that didn’t feel amazing on my skin. From the blazers to the dresses, they all felt like I was in buttery soft pajamas. For this simple fact alone, I will be a regular customer. I have never come across beautiful, structured pieces that felt as amazing as all the items did.

Jessica J. Grimsland is a fashion stylist who specializes in creating wardrobes that enable people to feel their best while making ethically responsible purchases. She has a passion for practicing “slow fashion” and focuses on curating a closet that contains quality pieces that are timeless. She believes that everyone should feel amazing in their clothes each day. Jessica teaches people how to shop their closet and become more creative with what they already have. “Shop less and create more” is her mantra. Her personal daily fashion tips and stylish dressing can be seen on her Instagram page at @Jessica_Grimsland.

A WOMAN’S TOUCH

While browsing the store, I was amazed at the thought and attention that you could tell went into selecting each item. I came across many items that I never knew were even out there that help you fix dressing issues. From invisible belts that can be used to create the perfect tuck of your shirts to bras that have decorative shoulder straps to accessorize any top that would show a bra strap, you will be amazed at what you find. The items of clothing were all stylish and versatile. You know that I am all about items of clothing being able to be worn at least 3 different ways.

DRESSING ROOM

You can tell a lot about a store by its dressing room. Bliss by the Lake’s dressing rooms was stunning. It had lots of room, great lighting, a long plush bench, lots of hooks and an elegant drape for privacy. It made trying on clothes an enjoyable event. And everything in the boutique is very high quality. Each piece was made to last, emphasized comfort and style, and played to the beautiful figure of a woman.

FALL AND WINTER TRENDS

Whatever is in vogue for Fall/Winter 2022, you will find it at Bliss by the Lake. I jotted down a list of trends that I was interested in, and I found all the pieces in this one boutique. They have an eye for curating a shop that is updated with quality clothes, timeless style and a unique understanding of knowing what women like and what looks great on women.

Bliss by the Lake is now one of my favorite boutiques in the Lake Norman area. It’s a must to check out and you won’t be disappointed.

Lake Norman State Park

Welcome back, LKN readers, as we begin our state park journey together in our own back yard. Lake Norman State Park may be a place that you have missed with the numerous opportunities on the perimeter of Lake Norman to visit. Many readers may have homes right on the lake, but Lake Norman State Park is a place everyone should visit for either quiet and welcoming solitude or active recreation with family and friends. There are many enticing trails and adventurous activities that the park offers for free or numerous activities with modest fees. The ability to support the natural and cultural resources of our great state and local community is enough incentive to visit the park.

BRIEF HISTORY

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

Lake Norman, named for the Duke Power CEO Norman Atwater Cocke, was created during the years from 1959 to1964 when Duke Power Company

built the Cowans Ford Dam across the Catawba River to have the ability to generate electrical energy. The creation of the lake led to increased industrialization of Mecklenburg County, while helping to establish Charlotte as a major trade center according to the ncpedia.org website.

Lake Norman State Park was formed in September 1962 when Duke Power Company donated 1,328 acres of land on the northeastern shore of Lake Norman for a state park. Lake Norman, also known as the “Inland Sea” is the largest manmade lake within the state, and the park covers about 17 miles of its northeastern shoreline. Originally named Duke Power State Park, Lake Norman State Park was opened in 1965 to the public.

RELAXATION

“Stay close to the serenity of a lake to meet your own peace of mind”

– Unknown

Begin your trip at the beautiful and relaxing Lake Norman State Park Visitors’ Center where the accommodating staff offers exceptional advice on the best hikes, trails and

activities for your group’s experience and ability. The visitors’ center with friendly and informative staff, has many must-see displays including interactive maps and a local arrowhead collection. While inside the center, peruse the small gift shop with naturerelated souvenir shirts, various snacks, informative maps, and a few camping necessities. The clean, climatecontrolled bathrooms are a welcome bonus, along with the huge deck out back that is lined with rocking chairs in which to relax while looking out over the northeast section of the lake.

RECREATION

“People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” - John Wanamaker

If rocking chairs are too sedate for your taste, there are many recreational activities and numerous amenities to keep you active. While most of the activities are free, some have minimal costs that will fit into most budgets. Pricing lists are available at the visitor center for everything offered on site at the park. Below is a list of some of the many amenities and activities.

“Make your heart like a lake, with a calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness.”
–Lao Tzu

Park Lake an unconnected 33 acres of Lake Norman State Park is separated from the larger Lake Norman by a dam and is a great place for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

UNIQUE FEATURES

“Skip a stone. Take a hike. Sit a spell. Listen. Daydream. Just breathe. This is lake living.”

– Unknown

If mountain biking is your passion, the Itusi Trail at Lake Norman State Park consists of 30.5 miles of exciting bike trails, comprising various loops which range in difficulty from easy to moderate. This Itusi trail system has meandering and rolling cross-country singletrack trails available for most riding levels.

*Bike trails are closed at times for construction, poor trail conditions due to weather, or other reasons. For both visitor safety and protection of the trail and natural resources be sure to check the ncparks.gov/lake-norman-statepark website for closures before your visit.”

Another unique feature of Lake Norman State Park is the swimming beach that is one of only two public swimming areas on this huge four-county lake (Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln & Mecklenburg). It has a 125-yard-long sand beach with a large parking area, a bathhouse with comfortably, warm showers, restrooms, a seasonal concession stand, spacious changing stalls, and roomy lockers. It is open to the

public April through October. A small fee is charged for swimming during the day, but only when lifeguards are actively on duty throughout the summer months.

Although most are rarely seen, the park is home to 35 plus species of mammals. What can be seen, and a unique feature of the park, is the diversity of bird species. This duo of piedmont forest and aquatic lake habitats offer visitors a cornucopia of species for every bird watcher.

Typical of the Carolina Piedmont are wild turkey, warblers, blue jays, goldfinches, wrens, and cardinals. Red-tailed and broad-winged hawks, along with various owl species, are some of the predatory birds that are common in the park.

There have even been several bald eagle releases by the Carolina Raptor Center at Lake Norman State Park, with the latest bald eagle rehab release on October 15, 2021.

Lake Norman State Park also attracts a large variety of waterfowl. Mallards, wood ducks, teal hooded mergansers and other ducks and geese can be seen during certain seasons. Wading birds, including great blue herons, greenbacked herons, and egrets are abundant in the park’s lake area.

According to their website the park has two islands that are heron rookeries which are home to over 25 nests. Heron will gather in large colonies each spring, building their nests in the safety of the treetops. In this way, they can work together to monitor predators such as eagles and owls from above and racoons and other predators from below.

AT THE END OF THE DAY

“Of all the paths you take in life make some lead to the lake.” – Unknown

I hope this article inspires you to visit Lake Norman State Park and take advantage of the beauty, amenities, and activities available at this local state park. Stop by the visitor’s center and let Jennifer and other accommodating staff offer suggestions for the trip based on your interests, especially if you have children. The Junior Ranger patch that children can earn during visits to the park is well designed and on display in the center, along with the booklets needed to complete the challenge.

Lake Norman State Park is located at 759 State Park Road in Troutman, NC. Park hours are 7am-8pm Sept & Oct, 7am-6pm Nov-Feb, 7am - 8pm Mar-Apr, and 7am - 9pm May-Aug. For more information, visit ncparks.gov/lake-norman-state-park or call 704-528-6350.

Be on the lookout for next month’s issue where we will continue our journey at William B. Umstead State Park.

Bon voyage,
• Hiking (38 miles) • Biking (30.5 miles) • Paddling • Canoeing • Pedal boats • Swimming • Fishing • Boat ramp • Boat rentals (seasonal) • Concession stand (seasonal) • Auditorium and classroom • Community building • Picnic shelters • Beach access (lake) • RV, tent, and group camping • Camper Cabins • Bathhouse
Robin

PRESERVING MOMENTS FOR LIFE

Having just celebrated her third anniversary of becoming a professional wedding videographer, Chelsea Kowalski is eternally grateful for what she calls those “beginning brides” who believed in her from the start! The chance to build her portfolio with those first magical images was one of the perfectly timed steps towards the current success of Captures by Chelsea, which she officially launched in 2019.

Originally from upstate New York, Chelsea, and her boyfriend (now husband!) Chris Kowalski, relocated to North Carolina, drawn to more sunshine and warmer temperatures. They married in September of 2021, and in 2022, Chelsea made the decision to focus solely on videography. Her marketing degree and MBA had proven beneficial in many ways, but videography had always occupied a space in her mind – and heart. Thankfully, acknowledging her true passion has come full circle!

“After filming my first wedding in 2019, I came home so giddy with happiness,” remembers Chelsea. “I realized I had truly loved every single moment of that job.”

She quickly put together a website showcasing her talents and hasn’t looked back!

While Chelsea began with a goal of only shooting 15 weddings each year, so far this year she has 17 bookings, and admits client requests are such compliments, they are hard to refuse. She still prefers scheduling only two events a month, so she can dedicate her full attention to her brides and grooms, and still remember all the special moments clearly.

“I like to start editing as soon as I’m home from the wedding,” says Chelsea. “And I like to ‘relive’ only one wedding at a time!”

Chelsea also praises the photography/ videography community in the Lake Norman and Charlotte area, as the support for fellow professionals is strong! She is lucky to have her husband as her preferred second shooter, but she knows that reaching out to others in the area is always an option. Although she

doesn’t typically include an engagement option, Chelsea does offer a mixed session – think of it as a “save-the-date” video –where she might video both the bride and groom spending time together, but well before the big day.

When it comes to wedding day coverage, Chelsea is dedicated to capturing even the tiniest details – such as a personalized welcome sign or lavish dessert table –that

she knows the couple may have spent a little extra money on – and would love to see as a captured memory!

“Having recently been a bride, I understand the budget constraints, too,” says Chelsea. “If they made the effort to add the personal touches, I want to capture them.”

She also loves documenting the especially sentimental times when a bride or groom pulls out all the stops for a wedding day surprise for the other. Prime example: One bride who surprised her lucky groom with an appearance at their reception by Sir Purr, mascot for the Carolina Panthers! With her expanded video package and more hours to work with, Chelsea also strives to add moments the couple may not have even seen, such as the parents’ reactions at the ceremony, guests’ reactions to a first glimpse of the reception setting, and any other highlights the couple may have missed seeing for themselves.

A self-proclaimed planner herself, Chelsea’s always eager for an event to run smoothly, but also like every recent bride, knows there can be glitches in even the best timeline. “Go with the plan, but also go with the flow!” is a motto she trusts – while making the finished product as personal as possible for the couple is always the ultimate goal. Sometimes, it’s all about timing.

“Photographers connect with couples over a longer time period – usually starting with the engagement,” says Chelsea. “I may only meet the couple that day or via Zoom or FaceTime, although I prefer at least a short meeting ahead of time to get a feel for how the couple interacts with each other.”

Now enjoying her craft to the fullest, Chelsea is happy to share her best advice for a nervous bride preparing to walk down the aisle: “Keep your eyes on your future husband!”

Reach Chelsea to schedule a consultation, at CapturesbyChelseaC@gmail.com. Visit her website capturesbychelsea.mypixieset.com for work samples and pricing!

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CoCo Couture FALL’S FINEST FashionWOMEN’S CLOTHIER 704.896.8044 | thecococouture.com 19818 N Cover Rd, Suite B | Cornelius, NC 28031 thecococouture @ cococoutureinfo jeffreyslkn.com | 704-799-1110 117 Trade Court Mooresville, NC 28117 Mon - Thur 11am - 9pm | Fri 11am - 10pm • Sat 4:30pm - 10pm • Sun Closed October 2022 | 55

Strengthening Your Manifesting Muscle

“Ask and it will be given to you…”

- Matthew 7:7

There is a lot of information out there about the law of attraction and manifesting your dreams. Manifesting is the process of bringing forth events, things, and experiences into your life through the energy, thoughts, and intention you put out into the world. I began in the 1980s, through my various mentors, to very effectively use this method to acquire jobs, relationships, and travel experiences that I wanted to enjoy. Over the last several years, due to health problems, the death of my mother, a major life change, and, oh, yeah, the pandemic, I have allowed thoughts of fear and doubt to slowly infest my mind and rob me of the peace, joy, and adventures life has yet to offer me.

The Neil Young lyrics “in the field of opportunity it’s plowing time again ‘’ remind me that I have the opportunity at any time to plow up these current negative thoughts, feelings, and habits and to plant the seeds that will restore my ability to once again manifest my desires. Seeds like faith over fear, peace over anxiety, and love over hate. My manifesting muscle, that had become extremely weak through lack of use, needed to be worked again to return it to its full potential. We have all heard the saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” I believe manifesting is like a muscle and can be strengthened with use. The path we need to restore and maintain that muscle will be a lifelong journey, but definitely, a journey worth taking.

To begin, I had to look back at the advice of my mentors through the years and filter through all the books, articles, and presentations to figure out the most effective way for me to quickly strengthen my manifesting muscle. Although there are many teachings, ideas, and information on the subject, the best method for me to maintain a practice and to instill a habit must be simple and succinct. So, I have outlined the four essential steps that require only minutes per day to see amazing results.

SEE IT

“When you visualize, then you materialize.”

When you wake up in the morning, leave something beside your bed to remind you not to get up immediately. It is so easy to automatically start your day the same way every day, so this will help. It can be a note, a glass of water, a crystal, anything that will remind you to start your day manifesting.

First, you need to see in your head what it is that you want in order to begin manifesting it into your life. To begin to build the manifesting muscle you can start small with something like a feather, a good parking space, or communication from a loved one. When you visualize the item, person, or experience in your head, give it as much detail as possible. Some people like to put an energy field or light around it, others just vivid pictures, but just spend a few minutes with this visualization.

BELIEVE IT

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t –you’re right.”

Another important aspect of this process is to believe that you have already acquired the item or experience and see it in your head as if it has already been given to you or that you are already experiencing it. How do you feel, where are you, and who is with you? Are you happy, excited, or proud? What are the feelings and emotions that surround you as you are looking at what you are manifesting? If you do not believe it yourself, then you will not attract the people, things, or events necessary to manifest your desires.

BE GRATEFUL

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

This is a huge component of manifesting. Be grateful, as if you have already received what you want. Be grateful for everything that you have and everything that you want to receive. Any religion or beliefs that you hold close, your concept of God and the universe, is part of this energy force that wants you to experience peace and joy. Whether you choose to believe in it or not, it is still there and exists as an energy field in this world connecting us all together. Live every day with an attitude of gratitude for everyone and each experience.

LET IT GO

“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”

Finally, surrender it to the universal field of energy and continue your day. Do not obsess about whether it will show up or how. Keep your mind and eyes open daily to the miracles that are all around you. When you open yourself up to the beauty that is already there, by putting your intentions on positive outcomes for yourself and others, by focusing on the heroes and not the villains, and choosing your thoughts based on what you want and not on what you fear, then doors will begin to open, and you will attract all that you will need to manifest your dreams.

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Captured by Chelsea

Honey made from the abundant variety of flowering plants growing around Lake Norman.

AMANDA
BeesOfLakeNorman.com
CAPTURESBYCHELSEA.MYPIXIESET.COM @captures.by.chelsea
RICHARDSON PHOTOGRAPHY October 2022 | 57

Discover Charlotte in a hilarious new way on the Funny Bus Comedy City Tour. It’s the perfect plan when you have company in town, celebrating a special occasion, or just want to explore the city.

The Funny Bus is a tour that runs for 90-minutes, seven days a week throughout the entire year with 10 or more tour times available between Saturday and Sunday. Patrons are invited to bring their own beer or wine and now offer a “Funny Bus” lager, brewed by Charlotte’s own Ass Clown Brewing. The lager is sold around Charlotte, including at the Market on 7th right across the street from the Funny Bus pickup location at First Ward Park in Uptown Charlotte.

The Funny Bus rolls through all the cool, hip neighborhoods surrounding and including Uptown, such as the NoDa Art District, historic South End, and the eclectic Plaza Midwood. The comedian/tour guide on the bus is not only filling guests in on the history of the Queen City, but also performing stand-up comedy routines and improv jokes while getting patrons involved with games, music, and fun! It’s the perfect way to show off the city to your out-of-town guests.

The Funny Bus tours are very popular with locals to kick off a night on the town, to celebrate a birthday or bachelor party, or even as a great afternoon team building experience. Many locals are repeat guests since the show is a bit different every time. Tourists love it, because it includes some of the iconic city sites including Panthers Stadium, Knights Stadium, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The tour also includes several historical statues, buildings, parks,

cemeteries, and more! With the city’s landscape changing daily, there is always something new to see. The local comics always have new and funny material with unique points-of-interests for patrons to enjoy.

The open-air concept allows guests to become part of the bustling streets of Charlotte while laughing the whole way. Every time they pass a police officer, music streams out playing “Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatcha gonna do” as the officers smile and wave. While driving by a jogger on the street, guests may hear the theme song to “Rocky!” No one on the tour’s route is safe from being included in some humorous fun!

The Funny Bus was founded in 2015, right here in Charlotte, by locals Kevin Anderson and Lisa Schnurr who love showing off the city. It expanded all the way to Cleveland, Ohio last year with plans to get a few more on the road in 2023. This duo is also responsible for The Party Pontoon, which takes guests on charters of Lake Norman with a USCG captain included in every charter. Whether you want to tour the land or the lake, Kevin and Lisa have you covered!

The Funny Bus is one of the top 5 things to do in Charlotte and is featured on American Airlines inflight magazine and video reels. It has been in several magazines including Charlotte Magazine, Raleigh Magazine and even Time’s Money Magazine, as one of the top tours in NC.

Funny Bus won several awards and has been named as a ‘Best First Date in Charlotte’, ‘Best Place to Take Visiting Friends,’ and ‘Best Tour in NC’ by several different publications. The Funny Bus is the easiest way to explore the city and hands down the funniest way in town to see it all!

EXPLORE CHARLOTTE THROUGH COMEDY funnybus.net | 704-659-3186
October 2022 | 59

A Personal Mission of Love & Caring

Visit Hinds’ Feet Farm in Huntersville, NC, and you’re sure to hear the name Puddin Foil mentioned almost immediately – and always with great love and respect!

Carolyn “Puddin” Johnson Van Every Foil’s vision for Hinds’ Feet Farm began in 1984, when her youngest son, Phil, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle crash. She founded this non-profit to serve her son and others like him, after the Foil family found services and support for young adults with brain injuries were very limited. Puddin then made it her life’s work to establish a loving, caring environment where survivors could still reach their potential, even after a serious injury.

Drawing on her deep, personal faith, Puddin found inspiration for the name Hinds’ Feet Farm from a favorite bible scripture found in Habakkuk 3:19: “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”

“Our mission is to carry on her dream” says Beth Callahan, Director of Member Services. “We offer opportunities that maximize the post-injury potential of persons living with brain injury, through integrated, unique, and holistic programs; our members pursue meaningful activities, while developing a sense of belonging at home and in their communities.”

To know Puddin was to feel her spirit for quietly charming and influencing others to do and be their very best. She has left her mark on a place that now allows members to pursue a quality of life that keeps them out of harm’s way. Puddin imagined this opportunity for others to be an influence politically and socially on broad scales, but also on a local, individual scale for the people who live here and who visit the farm.

“She ‘put her stamp’ on everything here at the Farm, a stamp that’s still visible today and will hopefully remain for many years to come,” says Beth.

Individuals with brain injuries -- and their families -- are often vulnerable to medical and rehabilitation providers, as well as public health systems that have not fully grasped what is necessary to serve the best interest of this group.

Hinds’ Feet Farm exists to serve adults, 18 years and older, with the median age being mid-40s. Their programs are designed to meet as many people across the brain injury disability spectrum as possible. Puddin’s Place – a six-bed family care home – is best suited for folks who need full-time care and assistance with the

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normal tasks of everyday living (bathing, eating, dressing, toilet use). A three-bed supported living home, Hart Cottage, is for members with fewer needs – mainly frequent reminders to stay on task and regular support for overall safety and wellness. The Day Programs serve them, along with folks who live more independently in the surrounding area. Families and volunteers are always welcome!

“Individuals with brain injuries recover at different rates and they may continue to make gains for years after their injury given the proper environment. Offering functional rehabilitative support during all activities is something we strive to do,” explains Beth. “Rehab works, and we all know that once you stop doing something you may lose what gains you’ve made.”

Both residential and day programs at Hinds’ Feet Farm offer opportunities for members to improve everyday functions, from eating or dressing, to communicating and interacting with socially with others. Brain injuries can leave individuals feeling isolated and lonely, and their physical, mental, and emotional health needs are important. Hinds’ Feet Farm offers opportunities for members through its direct care staff, recreational therapy, and a functional rehabilitation environment that brings out and supports these areas

of life. Happily, authentic farm life naturally lends itself to a “real life” experience, with constant upkeep, and members gathered to share a meal on the porch, play pool, listen to music, or master a workout. When members choose to participate in the therapeutic horse-riding experience, Hinds’ Feet Farm has a certified PATH instructor, Alison Spasoff. She, along with a small group of local trained volunteers will assist members interested in riding.

“One of the things we are most proud of is the Unmasking Brain Injury Project (unmaskingbraininjury.org),” explains Beth. “This has become the largest international grass roots program to raise awareness for people with brain injuries across the globe.”

Donations to help further the work at Hinds’ Feet Farm are always appreciated – visit the website hindsfeetfarm.org. Volunteers are always welcome, and may provide the daily care needed for horses, help with frequent landscaping and maintenance projects, and other special events throughout the year. Groups can donate community service hours, and the staff is always open to training and educating new volunteers. Hinds’ Feet Farm is located at 14625 Black Farms Road in Huntersville. For more information on their programs call 704992-1424 or visit hindsfeetfarm.org.

October 2022 | 61

Nine years ago, on the pitch of a USASA Region III U-23 Men’s National Cup Qualifier in Murfreesboro TN, a chance meeting between NCASA Executive Director, Darius Ejlali, and Celebrate the Tatas Founder, Talia Goldman, set in motion, what would become NCASA’s annual women’s charity event: Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions.

Darius Ejlali fondly recalls the lively first encounter with Goldman. “Talia’s son was playing for Charlotte United, and she wanted some answers about a match he was playing in. I responded that this was an adult tournament, and I interacted with the coaches, state reps or team managers. If she had questions, she would need to ask the coach. That didn’t sit well with Talia, and we had some spirited dialogue. Later, we ran into one another at the hotel and struck up a more casual conversation. Talia mentioned that she was the Founder of Celebrate the Tatas, a program that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for breastcancer research.”

That interaction sparked an idea. During his nine-hour drive home from the qualifier, Ejlali thought about the meeting with Goldman and how they might collaborate. “This was a time when NCASA was ramping up efforts to engage our women athletes. The idea to hold a women’s soccer tournament and tie it to a cause for women, just seemed like a great idea. I called NCASA’s Women’s Commissioner, Alexandra Vidaurri and ran the idea by her, then called Talia, and we all LOVED the concept.” Ejlali brought the idea to NCASA former President, Bob Kepner, who along with the Board of Directors, enthusiastically supported the idea, and helped secure a USASA grant to assist with operational costs for the fledgling tournament.

When asked about the origin of Celebrate the Tatas, and joining forces with NCASA, Goldman stated, “I started this program with Hadassah, one the largest women’s volunteer organizations. Women volunteered to have their “tatas” painted by women artists. They were then photographed by women photographers and the pictures printed into a gorgeous poster. I partnered with the Ritz-Carlton, honored physicians, nurses, technicians, and partnered with the community and high-end restaurants. Posters were sold, auctions brought in money. In seven years, we raised half a million dollars.” She added, “Darius suggested we team up. NCASA would have an opportunity to showcase their female players, and at the same time raise money for a cause near and dear to everyone’s heart. And that, in a nutshell, is how it all began.”

NCASA’s Charity Women’s Tournament:

Since 2014, the Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions has raised over $80,000 for breast cancer causes. Last year, the event raised over $40,000. Proceeds were equally divided between two hospitals; the Levine Cancer Institute and Novant Health Cancer Center to provide free mammograms for uninsured and under-insured women in the Charlotte metro area.

Each year, NCASA’s tournament committee works hard to raise as much money as possible for breast cancer causes, while creating a fun and festive weekend for teams. “The event has taken on a life of its own. Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions has become a celebration of play and giving, not to mention a lot of fun.” Ejlali said.

Upbeat music is piped onto the fields, and brightcolored jerseys printed with cheeky team names like, Cleats and Cleavage and Boo Bee Ballers flood the field with color and humor. From casual players to top competitors from around the state, the tournament offers playing opportunities for every woman soccer player. This year, 16 teams are expected to register to play.

Thanks to donations, players are treated to bagels, energy bars, fruit, drinks, and a catered lunch on both tournament days. Players receive a commemorative tournament t-shirt.

Personal trainers donate their time to help with minor injuries and aching muscles. Medical experts and sports leaders speak at the event. Health vendors set up booths, hand out swag, and a mobile mammogram unit is invited. Plus, NCASA hosts a celebration dinner and fundraiser raffle on Saturday night. After a long day of games, players can relax, enjoy a beverage, eat a good meal, and win great prizes!

Women’s Commissioner, Alexandra Vidaurri spoke to the success of the annual tournament and fundraiser. “Celebrate the Tatas is a special event for so many reasons, but what feels the most important to me is that we are an all-women’s event that relies heavily on the generous support from community members, donors, and players.”

Nine years after Ejlali and Goldman’s chance meeting, their inspired collaboration has evolved into a hugely popular and successful annual event. The social atmosphere: the quality of play, and the overarching spirit of sisterhood and charity are the connective tissue that make this tournament work year after year.

The star of the annual event, however, is the continued generosity of the donors, sponsors, guest speakers, volunteers, players, and their families, who give their time, money, and energy for one special weekend in October each year.

Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions teaches us that within community lies power. Women athletes come together to play the sport they love and to take action against a deadly disease. In the end, this is a special and important event honoring those lives that have been lost to breast cancer, while celebrating life and the survivors that walk among us.

Your support and contributions save lives. Celebrate the Tatas | Text to Donate: Text TATAS22 to 44-321

For the past eight years, with the exception of a COVID-19 induced hiatus in 2020, the North Carolina Adult Soccer Association (NCASA) and Celebrate the Tatas have joined forces to host the Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions. This tournament has been held in October each year in connection with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, bringing together women from the Southeast region of the United States, including NC, SC, GA, VA, TN, and FL. These women have converged on the soccer fields in North Carolina to compete on and off the pitch to raise breast cancer awareness, as well as to raise much needed funds for mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women. NCASA and the Tatas created this tournament to bridge the divide of age, race, religion, and growing disparities within communities. The weekend experience is a way of equalizing the gap between those who are lucky enough to have insurance and those who do not have access to health care. On the soccer fields, everybody is equal.

How It All Began and the Successful Signature Event It Has Become.

Celebrate the Ta Tas Tournament of Champions

October 15-16, 2022

Richard Barry Memorial Park, Huntersville NC

www.celebratethetatas.org

Contact Email: a.vidaurri@ncsoccer.org

Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions is a premier all-women’s soccer tournament that raises funds to provide access to mammograms for women in the greater Charlotte area. Join us for a weekend of fantastic soccer, raffles, entertainment, fundraising, food, and great friends.

Donation Race: Not only will teams be competing for glory on the pitch, but they will also be involved in a heated donation race. Help us reach our 2022 goal of raising $40,000. All funds raised will be used by Novant Health and Atrium Helth Levine Cancer Institute to provide mammograms for women in the greater Charlotte area who are underinsured or uninsured.

Link to donate: secure.givelively.org/donate/ the-north-carolina-adult-soccer-association

or text TATAS22 to 44-321 to donate from your phone

urger

kers&Pizza Maker s : Wherefriends&familyg a ther

Welcome to a true local favorite! You’ll say yes, of course, to their mouth-watering burgers, famous pizza, and irresistible desserts – but the deliciousness doesn’t stop there! Spend enough quality time at The Untouchables in Denver, NC, and you’ll also become a fan of their wings. Fun local trivia: They were the first restaurant to offer wings in the Lake Norman area, beginning in 1989.

After a few more visits, you won’t be able to resist the salad bar, stocked with house-made salads, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and a variety of incredible dressings to top things off. Current owner, Scott Gilleland, began his career at The Untouchables as a bus boy in 1987 (four years after the restaurant opened in 1983), and by 1997, he had purchased a portion of the restaurant. Jump ahead to 2004, when he purchased the remaining portion, and has continued to maintain – and grow – the restaurant’s winning ways of delicious food and incredible customer service.

The Untouchables is a triedand-true favorite of the Lake Norman community, and with good reason.

“Our food is prepared in-house, following our own recipes,” says Scott. “For example, our popular pizza crust (deep-dish or thin) is made right here with a bag of flour – and we make that amazing crust all day long! Our pizza sauce is mixed daily and starts off with crushed tomatoes and our own blend of spices. All the fresh vegetables are cut daily, and our cheese is also ground and blended every single day.”

It’s clear every meal you enjoy at The Untouchables is super fresh, from spaghetti sauce to hand-pattied burgers, and every tasty morsel in between. Choosing your number one favorite entree is beyond challenging, although Scott admits the Untouchables Request – a flavorful combination of Canadian bacon, beef, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and cheese – is his very favorite pizza. (The BBQ chicken pizza is a distinctly close second!)

Besides serving the best pizza in town – and everything else that fits the casual theme here -- Scott and his staff are proud to support the community around them, a task he has been devoted to since the restaurant first opened.

“I’m very proud we are able to support our local schools and churches through donations, hosting spirit nights at the restaurant, and other local sponsorships,” says Scott. “We also offer discounts to EMS, police officers, and firefighters in the community, as a way of showing our appreciation.”

If you’re new to the Lake Norman area or haven’t had the good fortune to dine at The Untouchables yet, welcome to your new favorite place to meet friends and family for a special occasion, gather after a sporting event, or relax with wings after a long day at work. There’s no tastier cuisine, no finer customer service, and no better company, to add a little comfort to your daily routine.

The Untouchables is located at 6020 NC-16 S, in Maiden, NC. Intersection of HWYS 16 & 150. Give them a call at 704-483-9737 and visit their website to check out the menu at untouchablespizza.com. Restaurant hours are Monday through Thursday, 11:00am9:00pm and Friday through Sunday 11:00am-9:30pm.

B
Loyal to Local Untouchables Pizza & Burgers untouchablespizza.com 704-483-9737 | 6020 NC-16 S, Maiden, NC 28037 Intersection of HWYS 16 & 150 Mon - Thu 11:00 am - 8:00 pm | Fri - Sun 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Novell Tap Room A unique and novel craft beer & wine experience. thenoveltaproom.com | 704-576-0603 12 N Ashe Ave. | Newton, NC | Mon-Thu 3-10pm | Fri 3-11pm | Sat 2-11pm | Sun 12-8pm 10/1 Saturday — Jonathan Birchfield Band 10/6 Thursday String Theory 10/8 Saturday The Mug Band 1014 Friday — The Piedmont Boys 10/15 Saturday — Casey Clark & The Sugabush 10/20 Thursday Rusty Barkley & Friends 10/22 Saturday — Jill Goodson Band 10/29 Saturday — Derek Woods Band LIVE MUSIC - OCTOBER blustargrill.com 704.660.5577 | 120 Marketplace Ave, Mooresville Monday - Thursday 11am-8pm | Friday - Saturday 11am-8:15pm | Sunday Closed Seven Seeds Soap Celebrating 21 years of family soapmaking Handmade soap, candles & essential oil products for body and home since 2001 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS O MY SOAP!) NOW IN DOWNTOWN NEWTON 111 N. COLLEGE AVE. | 828.466.2271 POHS L OCAL SHOP S LLAM SHOW US THIS AD FOR $3 OFF YOUR PURCHASE OF $25 OR MORE SEVENSEEDSOAP.COM October 2022 | 65

LAKE NORMAN FALL SPORTS REPORT: Carolina Panthers (NFL)

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When It Comes to Your Loved One, Everything Matters. phoenixsrliving.com/summitplaceofmooresville 128 Brawley School Road | Mooresville, NC 28117 | 704-799-2712 @summitplaceofmooresville lancastersbbq.com Huntersville 9230 Beatties Ford Rd. | Huntersville, NC 28078 | (704) 394-1464 (closed Mondays) Mooresville 515 Rinehardt Rd. | Mooresville, NC 28115 | (704) 663-5807 (closed Tuesdays) October 2022 | 67

W.E. “BILL” RUSSELL, CCE, IOM

President & CEO of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce

Last month, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce celebrated 35 years of service to the regional business community and for 27 years, Bill Russell has served as its President & CEO. Russell began his career with the Chamber in January of 1996 when he moved to Lake Norman. Since then, he has seen a tremendous amount of growth and change. “When I moved to Huntersville the town’s population was just over 3,000 people. Today, more than 60,000 people call Huntersville home.”

Russell recently celebrated 30 years in the chamber profession, first serving as President of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) before assuming his first chamber role in Charleston’s Lowcountry (SC) at the Tri-County Regional Chamber. Under his leadership the Chamber, which serves the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Mooresville, and greater Lake Norman region has grown to a business organization of more than 800+ members.

The Chamber created Visit Lake Norman, the region’s premier travel and tourism

organization in 2001 and the Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation in 2003. The EDC’s role is to create primary job creation and attract larger corporate businesses to the region.

While the chamber is known for its many networking events and professional development seminars, Russell is extremely proud of its role as a business advocate. The chamber plays a pivotal role in lobbying for more schools, roads, and

better infrastructure to support the amazing growth at Lake Norman. In 2015, the Lake Norman Chamber was recognized as the most outstanding chamber of commerce in North and South Carolina by the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. “It’s always rewarding to be singled out by your peers in the industry as the Best of the Best,” says Russell.

“The Lake Norman Chamber has been very blessed these three and a half decades with leadership from committed Chamber Boards, outstanding Board Chairs, and most importantly, our engaged members and staff,” he adds.

This month, the Chamber will hold its signature event – the Lake Norman Business Expo October 11th at the Huntersville Recreation Center. It is the largest business to business trade show in the Charlotte region. The Expo, which is open to the public, will showcase 120 businesses and organizations.

When not working at the chamber, Russell loves a little down time horseback riding, working on his family farm, and spending time with Henry - his rescued Old English Sheep Dog.

Russell at the 2022 Annual Meeting. Boat Cruise on Lake Norman with Laurie Gillmore and Past Chamber Chair Joshua Dobi Attending the Lake Norman Women’s Conference with staff members Laura Rizzetta and Sylvia Spury
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October 2022 | 69

Classif y i n g Yo u r Kids’ Friends

We parents are always on the heightened prowl to keep our kids engaged and running in supportive and worthwhile social circles. Part of our job as good parents is to keep our kids crashing around with the right crowd. Every day with our offspring, we scan the horizon endlessly for positive influences when approving or disapproving our children’s choices for friends.

Consequently, our kids meet a wide array of fellow youngsters who either become fast friends, convenient alibis, partners-in-crime, or parental favorites. It takes a village to form the pack that crosses paths with our kids daily.

I am here today to over-generalize potentially in a controversial way and categorize some archetypes of our children’s friends. Here are some notable categories:

THE GLADIATOR

This youngster is always up for a contest. The competitive spirit is strong in this one. They are always looking for the victory and hate losing. They can turn a simple game of basketball or bottle flipping into something in which there is a clear delineation between the loser and the winner. There is no in-between. They tend to inspire your child to raise their “game,” but can also be none-too-modest when they are victorious and therefore leave your own offspring pouting on occasion.

THE POLITE ONE

This kid is a parent’s dream. He always has a “Thank you” or “Yes, sir” chambered and ready to aim at you at a moment’s notice. Granted, he doesn’t offer the same thrills typically of the more edgy or boisterous friend, but frankly, that is okay. You hope that this demure and polite child rubs off on your own child in terms of being grateful for everything and a delight in the presence of other people. This childhood friend is a dream to have over for sleepovers or on a day trip, where all you want is gratitude and pleasant discourse in return for the money expended on gas and food or admission price to this or that.

THE PLEASANTLY PRIVILEGED

This friend is the kid living in the high-end neighborhood with three more bedrooms and three more bathrooms at his house than at yours. He knows what it is like to have a PlayStation and Xbox running simultaneously in his bedroom that is bigger than your first apartment. He invites your child to the coolest destinations and has the most elaborate birthday parties with virtual reality trailers parked out front of the house. Refreshingly, this friend, in fact, has parents who are always very cognizant that he leads a privileged life and wants to make sure he is grateful in your presence when he is away from home.

THE EDDIE HASKELL

If you are an old man like me and happen to remember the TV show “Leave it to Beaver,” you know the character Eddie Haskell. Eddie Haskell was a wiseguy and mischievous young man who would always turn on the charm when elders were present.

When addressing Beaver Cleaver’s mother, Eddie would say things like, “Good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver, that is a lovely dress you are wearing today.” He was a bit of a sneaky sycophant, and out of earshot of the parents, he was up to mischief. I have not always seen through this type of friend, but my son is sometimes quick to fill me in on how I have been duped unsuspectingly.

THE LOVER OF THE GREAT INDOORS

Here we have the child who, if presented with a recreational opportunity outside, will inevitably balk. He seems keener on video games than frolicking outside in the elements. He is just as happy at home perched on a cozy gaming chair than in an environment where there might be excessive heat or viruses or bugs or exertion of any sort. Some may classify him as the ultimate “homebody,” who never wants to stray too far from his mom’s fried mozzarella sticks. He is unassuming and just a little shy, but once the fun gets underway and against his better judgment, he raises his “game” and suddenly finds himself having a good time, even if it is outside.

THE SEARCH ENGINE

I have always been enamored of my son’s friends who are walking “Google search” engines. These are the kids whom you can ask, “Who had the highest batting average in the National League in Major League Baseball last season?” or who can tell you if salamanders are reptiles or amphibians.

They are whiz-kids with technology and while you try to figure out how simply to scan a QR code instead of your own retina, they can probably tell you how computer programmers wrote the algorithms for reading QR codes. These friends will sometimes get an eyeroll from your own child when you have asked this little Einstein friend if he has any idea how to make the font on your phone bigger so you can read it.

Maybe you, too, have a horribly generalized set of categories for your children’s friends. Perhaps you have your favorites and those you want to steer clear of. Either way, our kids manage to collect a vast basketful of compadres who fit themselves comfortably into stereotypes that are entertaining, enduring, and memorable. Here’s to celebrating the mixture of personalities who travel into and out of our kids’ adventurous lives!

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October 2022 | 71

Welcome to The Fancy Fork! Your hub for seasonal produce insight and farm-style recipes that are made to satisfy.

Tomato Bisque Soup

Servings: 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

• 10 Roma tomatoes, halved

• 1 garlic head

• 1 white onion, chopped into large pieces

• 5 sprigs of fresh thyme

• 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves

• 1/4 cup heavy cream

• 2 tbsp. 100% extra virgin olive oil

• 2-3 cups vegetable stock

• 3/4 tsp. black pepper

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• Fresh basil, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Chop the very top of the whole garlic head off to expose the garlic cloves.

3. In a large baking pan, add the halved Roma tomatoes, fresh thyme, chopped onion, garlic head, and fresh oregano. Season with the salt and black pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil.

4. Roast for 25 minutes.

5. Carefully transfer the mixture to a high speed blender or food processor, then add the vegetable stock and heavy cream. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

6. Pour back into a pot to heat up until ready to serve. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

7. To serve, garnish with a small drizzle of heavy cream and olive oil, along with a fresh basil leaf. Enjoy warm with grilled cheese!

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Air Fryer Churros

Servings: 6

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup water

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 2 tbsp granulated cane sugar

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 large eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Bring the water, olive oil, sugar, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.

2. Add the flour and stir with a spatula until the flour is absorbed. Remove from heat.

3. Add the eggs and whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes, until a smooth dough.

4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag with 1” star tip. Pipe 4-5” long churros on a pan lined with parchment paper.

5. Chill the dough in the freezer 10-20 minutes, until firm.

6. Bake in the air fryer at 375F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

7. Brush lightly with melted butter and toss in the baking sweetener and ground cinnamon mixture. Enjoy!

Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon Dinner

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

• 4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz. each)

• 1 lb. fingerling or baby Yukon potatoes

• 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, about 1 lb.

• 1/2 cup unsalted or salted French butter [higher butterfat], melted

• 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

• 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. black pepper

• 1 tsp. onion powder

• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the melted French butter, lemon juice, grated garlic, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and chopped parsley.

3. Slice the potatoes into bite-sized wedges, if needed. Add the potatoes to the prepared pan. Drizzle one tablespoon melted French butter mixture over the potatoes, toss until well-coated.

4. Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes.

5. Push the potatoes to the side of the pan. Add the salmon fillets and asparagus in the center. Season the salmon fillets with salt and black pepper.

6. Pour two-thirds of the butter mixture over the asparagus and salmon.

7. Bake for an additional 12-18 minutes, or until opaque throughout and potatoes are fork tender. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy immediately!

October 2022 | 73

If a friend or neighbor suggests you pay a visit to CLC Deals in Denver, NC, don’t ask too many questions, but be thankful and follow their advice. Just go!

Remarkable community support and enthusiastic word-of-mouth marketing has made this locally owned and operated spot a shopping experience, in its own unique way.

“Our business started in 2015. with something entirely different than CLC Deals, more along the lines of product development,” says one of the owners, Brian Conkey. “By 2018, we were still facing challenges getting our business going, and we were making sacrifices. We began talking about ways to add to what we were doing. From that, came the idea of offering our excess inventory for sale to the community –at great prices, of course. Customers could get the great deals they loved, and the retail sales would help with our survival as a small business.”

Gerry Bailey and the rest of the amazing team began to search for other products their customers were asking for – and the rest is shopping history.

“In a short period of time, we were buying overstock inventory from a wide variety of suppliers,” explains Max Gallagher, another owner. “The store continued to grow as more and more people heard about the values they could find right here at CLC Deals.”

Gerry also adds they are constantly trying to improve product offerings to keep customers happy and coming back.

“We appreciate every customer and have introduced a free loyalty program as one of many ways to say thank-you for shopping at CLC Deals. Customers get back a small portion of each of their purchases that they can spend on future visits to the store.”

Happy Customers, Endless Treasures!

It would be nearly impossible to describe exactly what CLC Deals carries because inventory is ever-changing, and the possibilities are endless. But the tempting list would certainly include home goods (lamps, rugs, lighting, and accessories), clothing at amazing prices, toys, bath towels, linens and bedding, pet supplies, select gourmet food items, and holiday décor!

“The holidays are always a favorite time at our store,” says John Dale. “With lots of holiday items and special events, we try to share our enjoyment of the season with our customers. Last year Santa and Mrs. Claus joined us for our Christmas event, and we are expecting Santa will be back again each year!”

He adds that along with holiday accessories and decorations for your home, they are also excited about carrying Amish made pie filling again this year!

“We will be carrying peach, apple, and cherry. Made in small batches, it is one of our holiday favorites!”

What sets CLC Deals apart – besides those incredible deals! – is how much fun the staff has actually doing their job.

“We have a lot of fun doing what we are doing,” says Nick Bailey. “And we try to share that enthusiasm with our customers, while assuring they continue to get the best values around.”

You’ll want to immediately start following CLC Deals on Facebook, to enjoy their regular Facebook Live posts – a “tour” of what’s new and noteworthy in the store, and why making a trip to browse their shelves is always a good idea!

Plan a visit soon to CLC Deals, located at 1806 Hwy 16 N, Denver, NC, 704-665-1620. Hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m.7:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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Small Business Spotlight ktrmarine.com • 828-312-1743 3840 HWY 16N • DENVER, NC 28037 Full Service Boat Dealership: Sales, Upholstery, Service, Full Restoration Whether you’re cruising, doing water sports or just having fun on the water, we have the perfect boat for you. nikiarozo.mymonat.com anti aging, vegan hair, skin & wellness products. LKN Local Lake Norman apparel & unique LKN gifts. Proudly designed and printed by LKN locals, for LKN locals! @lknlocal Local Delivery Visit us at www.lkn-local.com Merle Norman Celeste Driscoll/Studio Owner 704.896.8222 21030 Catawba Ave. Cornelius merlenorman.com Anti-Aging Complex Body Lotion For smoother, firmer-looking skin. BEST BODY PRODUCT INSTYLE 2019 READERS’ CHOICE AWARD COME IN FOR A FREE SKIN ASSESSMENT Call (770) 316-1372 or email Barbara@lkn-magzine.com to reserve this spot. clcdeals.com | 704-774-5341 @clc1denver @clcdeals1806 N NC-16 Business Hwy, Denver, NC 28037 BRIAN’S TREE SERVICE BRIAN WEBB 828.430.1528 | BRIANSTREESERVICE@YAHOO.COM Fully Insured | Call for a Free Estimate Tree Trimming, High Risk Removal, Crane Removal, Tree Installation & Fertilization. Complete Landscape Services October 2022 | 75

Calendar of Events

Dates and details subject to change, please connect with event host for the most up-to-date information.

SATURDAYS

THROUGH OCTOBER 22

HUNTERSVILLE GROWERS’ MARKET

8am-12pm, Huntersville Town Center Lawn. The Huntersville Growers’ Market was established in 1999 to provide locally grown food products, to sustain farmers in Huntersville and surrounding areas, and to strengthen a sense of community.

WEDNESDAYS THROUGH OCTOBER 26

BIRKDALE BUDS

10:30am-12pm, Birkdale Village, 8712 Lindholm Drive, Suite 202 in Huntersville. Adventure awaits your little one at our weekly Birkdale Buds featuring a variety of interactive events! Bring your pre-school aged little bud for playtime in the Grove. Weekly activities may include face painters, storytellers, magicians, arts and crafts and more! Note: Crafts and activities will be available while supplies last.

FRIDAYS THROUGH OCTOBER 28

LIVE UNDER THE OAKS

6-8pm, Birkdale Village, 8712 Lindholm Drive, Suite 202 in Huntersville. It’s time to get groovy in the Grove! Start your weekends unwinding with live musical performances in the Grove. Grab your friends and family, and get ready to dance the night away!

THURSDAYS THROUGH NOVEMBER 17

MUSIC BINGO AT ELEVEN LAKES BREWING

7-9pm, Eleven Lakes Brewing, 10228 Bailey Road, Suite 201 in Cornelius.

SEABROOKS’

MUSIC BINGO

7-9pm, BoatYard Lake Norman, 18418 Statesville Road in Cornelius. Free to play with a winner in every round. Groove the night away! Amazing prizes and great music.

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MONDAY NIGHTS

NOVEL TAPROOMTEAM TRIVIA

Starts at 7pm, 12 N Ashe Ave, Newton, NC 28658. Trivia Night at the Taproom. thenoveltaproom.com

THURSDAYS & SATURDAYS

NOVEL TAPROOM — LIVE MUSIC

Starts at 8pm | 12 N Ashe Ave, Newton, NC 28658. thenoveltaproom.com

TUESDAYS

LAKE NORMAN BREWERY

- TRIVIA NIGHT

7-9pm, 1753 Triangle Circle Denver, NC 28037

SOCIAL CORN HOLE LEAGUE

6:30-8pm, Primal Brewery, 16432 Old Statesville Road in Huntersville. No fee is required, and no weekly commitment is required. Beginners are welcome, and players of all levels may participate! Feel free to come with friends or alone! 704.947.2920

WEDNESDAYS

LAKE NORMAN BREWERY - MUSIC BINGO

7-9pm, 1753 Triangle Circle Denver, NC 28037

THURSDAYS

WELCOME HOME VETERAN LIVING

MILITARY MUSEUM @ RICHARD’S COFFEE SHOP-FREE COFFEE FOR VETS

9am-1pm, 165 N. Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115. Every Thursday morning veterans get together and enjoy each other’s company and a free coffee

TRIVIA THURSDAY

7-8pm, D9 Brewing Company, 11138C Treynorth Drive in Cornelius. Test your smarts with our weekly general trivia! Bring all of your smartest friends, some snacks and we will provide the beer! Multiple rounds that are always changing, so you’ll need to keep your wits about ya! Top three teams win gift cards plus bragging rights!

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FRIDAYS

LIVE MUSIC

6-8pm, Mac’s Speed Shop Lake Norman, 19601 Liverpool Pkwy in Cornelius. Get here early, because it’s first come, first serve, and we promise we will fill up fast! Come on out, and enjoy our drink specials all night long.

SATURDAYS

DAVIDSON FARMERS MARKET

8am-12pm, 442 South Main Street in Davidson. The Davidson Farmers Market is a producer-only, yearround Market featuring more than 35 farmers and local producers from within a 100-mile radius. The market is a lively gathering place for meeting friends and for learning about food, agriculture and nutrition. Growers and producers are on hand to answer your questions, from “How was this grown?” to questions about how to prepare and preserve all types of foods. The market offers locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses produced by sustainable or organic methods, when possible. Other agriculturally based products such as breads, eggs, honey, flowers and soaps are also offered. And prepared foods, pastas and readyto-eat foods, too!

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Calendar of Events

SATURDAYS

WELCOME HOME VETERAN LIVING MILITARY MUSEUM @ RICHARD’S COFFEE SHOP-MUSIC JAM

9am-12pm, 165 N. Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115. On Saturdays we have a Music Jam session, where anyone is welcome to come in and either play or have a cup of coffee, or just enjoy the music!

SEPTEMBER 29 & OCT 1, 7 & 8

HAMLET-THE GREEN ROOM COMMUNITY THEATRE

7:30pm, FREE at Southside Park 1775 Southwest Blvd Newton, NC. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s first masterpiece, arguably the greatest tragedy in the English language. Charged by his father’s ghost to kill his uncle, the new King Claudius, Prince Hamlet struggles with doubt and alienation in Denmark’s corrupt court. Free to the public!

OCTOBER 6

MADISON CALLAGHAN REALTY PRESENTS COCKTAILS FOR A CAUSE

7-10pm, Bazal Gallery. North Carolina Real Estate Agent Madison Callaghan decided to pursue real estate to find dream homes for deserving people and to create change for those in need. Please join us at her first event, in the spirit of those ambitions. All ticket proceeds will benefit Gracious Hands Housing, a non-profit organization serving homeless women with children in Charlotte. The rate of homeless women with children is at an alltime high and Gracious Hands endeavors to “love women and children back to life.”

We hope to see you at Bazal Gallery in your best cocktail evening attire for a night of fun and charitable change.

You can see all the good work Gracious Hand is doing at gracioushandshousing.org.

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OCTOBER 14-16

CAROLINA BALLOON FESTIVAL

12-5pm, 260 Hangar Drive in Statesville.

OCTOBER 14-23

MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS

The Green Room Community Theatre. 1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind, a film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel. The screenplay just doesn’t work. So, what’s an all-powerful movie mogul to do? While fending off the film’s stars, gossip columnists and his own father-in law, Selznick sends a car for famed screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls formidable director Victor Fleming from the set of The Wizard of Oz. Summoning both to his office, he locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and well-known films of all time.

OCTOBER 15

CHILI COOK-OFF FUNDRAISER HOSTED AT D9 BREWERY IN CORNELIUS

12-3pm, D9 Brewery Lake Norman in Cornelius. Bring the heat! Join us for a fun-filled, family friendly day. The event will feature live music and individuals competing for the best chili title! Tickets are only $20! Bring your loved ones, family, friends and fur babes! All proceeds go to the coolest kids fighting cancer and their families. See you there!

OCTOBER 15

10TH ANNUAL LAKETOBERFEST MUSIC & BREW FESTIVAL

4-9pm, Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road. This annual community event features live music, beer from local NC breweries, a variety of great food trucks, kids’ zone with crafts and games, free admission and parking, and more! Event proceeds benefit Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists.

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Calendar of Events

OCTOBER 15-16

CELEBRATE THE TATAS TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

8am-5pm, Richard Barry Memorial Park, 1307 Beatties Ford Road in Huntersville. The weekend experience is a way of equalizing the gap between those who are lucky enough to have insurance and those who do not have access to healthcare. On the soccer fields, everyone is equal. We rely on sponsorships, donations and gifts to help us reach our goal of providing a full day of free mammogram services to both Atrium’s Levine Cancer Institute and Novant Health. Join us on the field, cheer on our superhero players.

OCTOBER 28-30

LAKESIDE ARTISTS STUDIO TOUR –14TH ANNUAL ART SHOW AND SALE

10am-6pm. Art lovers, mark your calendars because the Lakeside Artist Studio Tour is returning to the Brawley School Road peninsula. Six art studios and beautiful homes will be opening their doors, so you can explore the artists’ work environment and meet visiting artists also displaying their creations. A wide array of artwork will be on display and available for purchase – just in time for the holidays. The tour provides an opportunity for collectors to get a feel for an artist’s style and consider commissioning custom pieces to suit their unique tastes. New fans are encouraged to engage with and begin to follow their own favorite artists. Visit LKNStudioTour.com for a map of locations and more information.

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OCTOBER 29

CAROLINA SPOOK TALES

3-4pm, The Green Room Community Theatre. Spooky Tales from across the Carolinas come to life on stage as a group of friends recount several haunting stories around a campfire. Discover some of our state’s best legends and revisit some of your favorites, including The Ring, Brown Mountain Lights, Face the Balcony, Swamp Girl and The Pirate Ghost of Folly Island. There will also be two new shows in this production which are Where Are You My Son and The Hanging Ghost at Helen’s Bridge. Great for NC history!

FUTURE

NOVEMBER 10

SWEET GRASS ANNUAL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

4pm – 8:30pm, Hope you SAVE THE DATE for our Annual Holiday Open House! Food, Beverages, Door Prizes, and new faster check out. Food Trucks, Bar Cart, Local Vendors, Local Artists. Join us as we celebrate the beginning of the Season.

NOVEMBER 18DECEMBER 4

RODGER’S & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA

The Green Room Community Theatre. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s timeless, magical fairy tale will enchant the hearts of adults and children alike with well-known songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Stepsisters’ Lament.” Be part of the magic as dreams come true!

DECEMBER 10

NORTHERN LIGHTS OF LAKE NORMAN LIGHTED BOAT PARADE

5-7pm, Lake Norman Reserve Homes. 2022 Northern Lights of Lake Norman Lighted Boat Parade to benefit Tunnels to Towers Organization and Hope of Mooresville. Please see Facebook page for donation links and map of route. For those interested in viewing the parade, the parade will take off from Apps & Taps around 5pm. The parade will go past Stumpy Creek Boat Ramps however it is not an organized formal viewing site by the Northern Lights of LKN group.

Garden Center and Charming Gifts Located

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Ridge Crest Garden Center

the Heart of Denver, NC

3344 N HWY 16-business Denver, NC 28037

@ridgecrestgardencenter 704.966.0087
in
October 2022 | 81

The Last Word on Life at the Lake

Please Stop Renting Me Boats

I am not, by nature, a boater. I love being on boats, especially when they’re owned and driven by people other than myself. When you move to the lake the universal question people ask you is: “Are you getting a boat?” Friends, my answer is a simple “no”. If pressed, I explain that my wife and I don’t even like driving cars and us getting behind the wheel of a boat is a recipe for divorce.

We like the idea of boats, and occasionally, we suffer enough amnesia around how much we both dislike driving boats to go ahead and rent one. If the boat rental company offered me a flag to affix to my boat that said, “Steer Clear, this is a Rental Boat and Don’t Want to Get Close to Other Boats,” I would accept it and fly it high when we got underway.

I do OK on open water. I am cautious to the extreme, giving other boat drivers wide lanes of space, steering well clear of docks, and staying far from marked hazards. I’m also cautious to the extreme when docking, but that’s still the part that gets me most anxious.

Why is it that every person on the boat stands up when you’re trying to dock? “I can’t see, sit down!” you shout to them, but instead they all run to the front of the boat. If you say, “Frank, keep your hands in the boat, I don’t want them crushed.” What will Frank do? Friends, Frank will reach over and try to catch the 3,000-pound boat with his hand.

I think it’s the anxiety of doing damage to the boat while docking it or damaging someone’s dock. The anxiety is exponentially compounded when you’re trying to pull into a slip at a restaurant and everyone sitting outside on the patio is watching you dock your boat, secretly hoping to get a bit of a show.

One such time, when our collective memory of our boat driving nightmares had faded, we rented a boat with family in town. A storm kicked up, but the rain passed, and it was mostly just wind, so we picked up the boat, got the family aboard, and drove through waves crashing over our pontoons for about an hour before driving over to Toucans for lunch.

There were no other boats at the dock, probably because the four flags at the end of the Toucans dock were pinned back in the howling wind. I left the boat in neutral, and the wind pushed us in sideways. My nephew stood up and walked over to me, because whenever you try to dock the boat, everyone must stand up no matter how many times you ask them not to. “Uncle Rocky,” he said, “just let the wind push us in all the way and then gun it and shoot right into one of the slips.” As we drifted past the $200k surfboats and Bentley-esqe Cobalts tied up at the next dock, I made an executive decision and turned the boat away from the dock and announced that we would make different plans for lunch.

In the ensuing chaos of arguing and shouted advice, I ran over a buoy. Later, when I told my friend, Nate, this story and pointed out the buoy to him, he said, “I thought it would have been a much smaller buoy.” I pointed out to him that the wind was so strong it had pushed the buoy on its side, and he said, “Still, that buoy is huge.” That is why, folks, that we avoid boats.

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