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Tracy McCoy Publisher/Editor

Cindi Freeman Office Manager Marketing Executive

Dianne VanderHorst Art Director/ Designer

Melissa Williams-Thomas Marketing Executive Writer

Happy New Year to our readers!

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nother year is behind us and 2016 is here and we are ready! We are excited to get the ball rolling into the new year and make some positive changes, a greater impact in our communities and continue to focus on the good people, places and things that happen in the mountains!

We have recently launched a new website with more content than we’ve ever had. It is rich with all of the things that make this the best place in the south to call home. We are going to be better able to serve our advertisers and our community with this online presence. Already it is buzzing with traffic; we have partnered with Locables, a community minded company, to create a website that is functional and effective. Come grow with us! With the holidays behind us, and spring only 80 days away, let’s enjoy winter. Sit by the fire, hopefully watch it snow (not too much and no ice please, God), make a list of all of the spring projects you’d like to complete or hire a professional to do and go ahead and make that call; now is the time to schedule and sometimes do those projects. We are affiliated with some of the best and are always willing to offer a referral, just give us a call. It’s also the time of year to get you on the right path to better health. I myself have done just that recently and it feels good! Making healthy decisions is good for the body and the mind! A healthier body and mind lends itself to a happy soul and what better way to start the year! Make this one of your best and stick with us; it’s only getting better around here! Be your best! Tracy

January 2016 • Volume Thirteen • Issue One • Copyright 2016 The Georgia Mountain Laurel is a publication of Rabun’s Laurel, Inc. Mailing: PO Box 2218, Clayton, Georgia 30525 Office: 633 Highway 441 South, Clayton, Georgia

Also on board... Copy Editor/Writer - Jan Timms Photographer/Writer - Peter McIntosh Marketing Executives (Advertising) Melissa Williams - 706.982.4777 - melissa@gmlaurel.com Cindi Freeman - 706.782.1608 - cindi@gmlaurel.com Contributing Writers: Jean Hyatt, Melissa Williams, Carla Fackler Mark Holloway, Bob Justus, Jo Mitchell, Steve Jarrard, MD, Lisa Harris, Kitty Stratton, John Shivers 2

Phone: 706.782.1600 Website: GMLaurel.com • E-mail: gmlmagazine@gmail.com Copyright 2016 by Rabun’s Laurel Inc. All rights reserved. The Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine is published twelve times per year. Reproduction without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publishers and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to GML magazine’s right to edit. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, photographs and drawings. Every effort has been made to assure that all information presented in this issue is accurate, and neither Laurel magazine or any of its staff is responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. The Georgia Mountain Laurel maintains a Christian focus throughout their magazine. Rabun’s Laurel, Inc. reserves the right to refuse content or advertising for any reason without explanation.

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Julie Barnett

Leigh Barnett

Cell 404-697-3860

Cell 404-931-3636

REALTOR速

REALTOR速

141 S. Main St. Clayton, GA

706-212-0228

www.lakeburtonhome.com for VIRTUAL TOURS FEATURED HOMES

The Meeting House on Lake Burton $5,900,000

The Adirondack Camp on Lake Burton $4,350,000

Journey's End on Lake Burton $4,200,000

Treetop Retreat on Lake Burton $3,950,000

Mountain Reflections on Lake Burton $2,595,000

Tucked Away Cove on Lake Burton $1,795,000

Lake Burton Bliss $1,695,000

3+ ac. Lumbermen's Retreat on Lake Burton $1,675,000

Charming Cabin on Lake Burton $1,495,000

Serendipity on Lake Burton $1,475,000 The above information is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted.

Home Port on Lake Burton $1,395,000


Quarter Moon Place on Lake Burton $1,095,000

Sunset Skies on Lake Burton $1,275,000

Laurel Falls on Lake Burton $1,395,000

Cute Cabin on Level Lake Burton Lot $1,050,000

Private 2.5 Ac. Lot on Lake Burton $1,100,000

Belle Vue on Lake Burton $1,150,000

The Shady Nook on Lake Burton $895,000

Charlie Mountain View on Lake Burton $925,000

Fee Simple Lake Burton Cabin $995,000

Timber Frame Lodge on 13+ Ac. with Views $475,000

5+ Acres on the Soque River $699,000

29+ Acres on the Soque River $795,000

3+ Acre Lot w/ Boat Slip on Lake Burton $165,000

Mountain Home in Sylvan Lake Falls $279,000 Fee Simple Lot with Dock on Lake Burton $375,000

www.lakeburtonhome.com

for a complete listing of properties and VIRTUAL TOURS Office - 706-212-0228 • Julie - 404-697-3860 • Leigh - 404-931-3636 The above information is believed to be accurate, but is not warranted.

141 S. Main St. • Clayton, GA • 706-212-0228


IN THIS ISSUE 2 8

From the Publisher Come Grow With Us

Health & Wellness 10 12 14

Meet Robert - A Quiet Hero Optimizing Drug Therapy Live Healthy & Be Well

The Arts 18 20 22

Cover Artist - Paula Van Huss North Georgia Arts Guild Rainy Day Workshop

Yesterdays 24 26 28 30

Foxfire Echoes from the Hills Wheels Exploring Northeast Georgia

Faith in Christ 32 34 36

Bless Your Heart Faithfully Speaking River Garden

Great Outdoors 38 40

Adventure Out Mountain Nature

A Taste 44 46 50

Bon Appetit Uncorked - From Vine to Wine Top Chef Event - Prevent Child Abuse

Affairs to Remember 52 53

Event Calendar Bee Keeping Classes

Folks 54 56 58 60 62

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Lovin’ the Journey Paws4Life - Over the River... Let Me Introduce You... F.A.I.T.H Parting Shot

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Come Grow Us With Us! Dear Georgia Mountain Laurel Readers,

It’s hard for us to believe that we’ve been bringing the Georgia Mountain Laurel to your cities and towns for thirteen years! It seems like it was just yesterday that the magazine was an idea that Janet Cummings and Marjorie Christiansen were determined to turn into a reality and no time since they allowed me to take the wheel. It’s been a wonderful journey filled with extreme peaks and valleys of learning and growing, and most of all a great satisfaction that we’ve delivered a publication with thoughtful content, backed by the best “darn “advertisers in Northeast Georgia and Western North Carolina! Along the way, Community has become a part of our everyday mindset. Early on, we realized that in order to capture your attention and loyalty, we needed to provide information and content that was useful, made you laugh and want to come back each month for more. Our readers and advertisers have proven to us that they are our Community. A community where we connect, share ideas and help to spread a positive message that has become so important to all of us. We realize what a gift that we’ve been given month in and month out. With that being said, we’re excited to announce that we’ve launched a new interactive website that will extend our Community online. We will continue to publish and direct mail Georgia Mountain Laurel but our goal is to expand our Community with additional information and opportunities. Our goal is to make www.gmlaurel.com your Community website where you can simply click to find out what events are happening in our area, what’s new , what’s hot and just about everything that is going on in our corner of the world. We’ll be calling all writers with a “local voice” to share their expertise with you on subjects like shopping, education, lifestyle, local sports, arts, entertainment and more. We’ll be expanding our business listings to aid our readers in making smart consumer decisions. We will also make it easy for you to interact with Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. In other words, our goal is to make Georgia Mountain Laurel a valuable tool in navigating your busy lifestyles.

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Visit us online to add your free listing or choose an upgraded one. List your event or read our current issue. You’ll find engaging features you won’t find in print and you’ll enjoy our community! Hey, you could even make us your homepage!

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What you can look for at www.gmlaurel.com: •

• •

• •

You’ll find that we have a growing array of online content that can be viewed for free. Some of this content goes more in depth or gives you behind the scenes access to an article that appeared in print and some of it will be web-only such as contests and videos. Either way you’ll find great local-interest content by and about the people, places and things that matter most to you! Find and add your events to our calendar for free! Join the conversation taking place on line by leaving a comment or sharing to Facebook, Twitter, etc. You’ll find a directory to help you discover local gems and share them with your friends. You can also find or leave reviews of local businesses or add your business to our directory for free! Or upgrade your listing for even more benefits. There will be advertising opportunities that will drive informed, intelligent consumers to your business. You will be able to view all content for free and comment, create an event or listing or post a review by simply signing in with your favorite account (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc.)

• We invite you to come grow with Georgia Mountain Laurel and YOUR Community! Please feel free to contact us at gmlmagazine@ gmail.com, 706.782.1600 or https://www.facebook.com/gmlaurel/ with any questions or comments. We appreciate our readers and advertisers and look forward to building our Community with you! Tracy McCoy - Publisher/Editor

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Robert Webb, a quiet hero

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rama, the more exciting, the better, right? How about those medical TV shows where someone yells, “Clear!!” and then everyone exhales a sigh of relief with the steady, beep, beep, beep and you can see the EKG screen where the regular rhythm signals all is OK, another life saved. The stakes are clear and opposing, all or nothing.

right decision,” and three days later he woke up. Twelve hours later he was able to breathe on his own. That hospital stay was for a month. The defibrillator is constantly “on”, delivering its ‘shock’ only when his heart goes out of rhythm. From the beginning of 2004, for the next “two, three years, I’d be in the hospital an average of twice a month,” with the tachycardia occurring two times within twenty-four hours, “so many times,” Robert says. His defibrillator is synced to a monitoring system in the bedroom, and downloads every night to keep the cardiologist informed.

Or are they? Robert Webb, ardent ‘Dawgs’ fan, husband and dad, gym enthusiast and employee, has a disproving story; his defibrillator (the third, by the way) has fired over 300 times since it was surgically implanted in 2003. He’s still smiling and asking how your day is going. What he’s got, other than an easy-outgoing friendly manner, a year-round tan and the snazziest assortment of red (Dawg) athletic shoes you’ve ever seen (“A guilty pleasure, I love my shoes.”) is a condition called Ventricular Tachycardia*. You see a fit, healthy looking guy with a great attitude walking on the treadmill, and you would never guess that his defibrillator has ‘gone off’ eight or nine times during an attack, some “bad enough to put you on your knees”. With four different settings, sometimes it “just hurts”. And he never knows when. One time was at the Rabun County Rec Center where he was having baseball practice with his (then) eight year old son Levi. And it was his son who called 911. December 5, 2005 is a date Robert and his family will never forget. His heart went into severe tachycardia. The paramedics told him he’d been ‘shocked’ seventeen times in forty-five minutes, and then they lost count. At the hospital he was unconscious and on a ventilator for three days. His wife Nicole a medical secretary at Med Link Rabun since ’07, was asked to make that decision no one ever wants to face: keep Robert on the ventilator or not. The doctors feared he would be brain dead due to a lack of oxygen, but there was no guarantee either way. Robert says, “It was the hardest thing for her to go through, but she made the

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Before Robert became “sick”, he worked with DLS Electrical in Gwinnett for three years, acquiring the experience toward professional licensing. And that was after a bunch of years with Schering Pharmaceuticals in Gwinnett County following his 1985 graduation from North Gwinnett High School. In December 2003, Robert was with co-workers on the job. “I was having lunch, and all of a sudden I was having trouble breathing. I didn’t know what it was; I thought it would pass. Thirty minutes went by. Then I told the guys I didn’t feel so good and went and sat in the van for two and a half hours. Nothing changed.” Finally one of the guys checked on him and rushed him to Kennesaw Hospital where the ventricular tachycardia was diagnosed. His heart had been running at 200 beats per minutes. That’s over twice the high normal for a resting count. Robert recalls, “It felt like I’d just run a marathon. I didn’t want to let on I was nervous. It wasn’t macho; it was stupid.” At the trauma center, Robert was administered medication to slow his heart rate, which they repeated three and four times. That wasn’t doing it, and then an IV continuous drip was started. Robert remembers he was aware of a crash cart. Then he saw the priest and “figured this can’t be good!” He was kept in the ICU overnight and moved to a room the next day, a Wednesday. On Friday, the defibrillator pacemaker was implanted. He recovered during the next three weeks, cut way back on his cardio workouts and tried to resume a normal life. In January, a month later, he went back into V Tach.

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For the next two or three years he would be in the hospital about two times a month. The doctors theorize the condition may have been brought about by the flu or some infection that had been dormant until the 2003 event. In recent years Robert has suffered a catalogue of side effects from a slew of medications—including a blue-gray skin color (hence the tan), leg cramps, cataracts, weight gain, fatigue and removal of his thyroid. A dedicated runner for whom up to 15 miles a day was routine, Robert’s current ‘work out’ routine consists more of ‘working with’ the clients at Your Time Fitness (formerly Genesis). Whether keeping the gym a pleasant place to be, or showing newcomers how the resistance machines work, Robert takes his condition and curtailed lifestyle in stride. No caffeine for this guy, and don’t even say “adrenaline”. Robert attributes his current, improved health to maintaining an appropriate cardiac diet, doing what exercise he can, always taking his meds and keeping doctors’ appointments. But first comes his faith; “I do my part, but He (Jesus) is the true physician.” Before he got sick, his life revolved around weight lifting and running; “just working for my family.” Apparently at peace with himself and his situation, rather than bitter or angry as he might have been, Robert says this, “Never say ‘why me’, say ‘why not me? You can get through anything.” Especially when he and Nicole know their vows include ‘and in sickness.’ “We made a vow to each other and to our boys when we had them; there is no other way. My relationship is with Jesus and my family, but I have

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to be healthy to give them my all.” Robert feels his family is very protective of him, and that their way of dealing is to not let him overdo it. “Plus, we are a family. It’s what we do. Be there and love each other no matter what.” After relocating to Rabun County, Robert decided to work at the gym to keep social and “be around what I love”. Nicole believes her husband “is the definition of a miracle”. She points out, “He was told he wouldn’t make it through that first year, but he did. Then was told he wouldn’t make it another year, but he did. He has been on the transplant list twice and was able to get better and was taken off the list. He is a fighter; his spirit amazes me.” Us, too, Nicole, us too. By Jo Mitchell *(From Wikipedia online: Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach or VT) is a type of tachycardia, or a rapid heartbeat that arises from improper electrical activity of the heart presenting as a rapid heart rhythm, that starts in the bottom chambers of the heart, called the ventricles.[1] The ventricles are the main pumping chambers of the heart. This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it can cause low blood pressure and may lead to ventricular fibrillation, asystole or sudden death.)

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supplements. Many people are unaware that herbal and dietary supplements may interact with prescription drugs. Interactions between medications lead to adverse effects, and in some cases death. Supplements may also lower the effectiveness of your current prescription medication. It is imperative that you inform all physicians involved in your care of any and ALL over the counter medications you take; even if you take them on an “as needed” basis such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Polypharmacy is recognized when a person is receiving 5 – 10 prescription medications or taking over the counter medications in conjunction with prescriptions. The more medication consumed by a patient the greater the potential for an interaction. Older patients are at increased risk for adverse drug events due to metabolic changes and decreased drug clearance from the body (i.e. through urination, etc.). This risk is compounded by the increase numbers of drugs used in the elderly population, and is becoming more common due to the increased population of elderly patients! Good health care and safe practice of multiple medical management are a shared responsibility among patients and physicians; as a patient you play the largest part in helping to coordinate your care.

Optimizing Drug Therapy

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hysicians have a responsibility to prescribe medications conservatively in such a way as to avoid drug interactions. This can be done by minimizing the amount of different prescriptions, effective communication with patients about all medications they are taking and quality assessments to reveal potential causes of medication side effects/ineffectiveness. Forty-six percent of the patient population take at least one over the counter medications, herbal and/or dietary

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By Georges LaFleur, MD, FRCP Internal medicine physician Georges LaFleur, MD, FRCP is on staff at North Georgia Physicians Group Clayton II office located at 773 North Main Street. For more information visit www.ngpg. org or call 706.212.0180 to schedule appointments.

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Live Healthy and Be Well! “Gastritis Primer”

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e wish all our readers a happy and blessed new year and appreciate your feedback about these articles – and thank you Tracy and the Georgia Mountain Laurel!

One of our patients recently asked about the topic of “gastritis”, as she has had problems with that off and on. As you know, the term “-itis” attached to the end of any word indicates inflammation. In medicine, “Gastro-” usually refers to the stomach, so gastritis is a condition that describes inflammation of the stomach lining, which can either be acute (sudden) or chronic (long term). There is another kind of gastritis called “erosive” gastritis, which represents a special category for discussion as it may not have as many noticeable symptoms, but can be more trouble in the long run. The stomach is lined with special cells which produce acids, to help with food digestion, and mucus, to protect the lining from the acid. These exist in a delicate balance. When the stomach lining becomes inflamed, it upsets this balance. Common symptoms of gastritis are upper abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea and sometimes vomiting. The combination of these symptoms may also be termed “dyspepsia”. Acute gastritis may come and go quickly, and may have many causes – an increase in stress can cause many people to have stomach problems and indigestion, or if you eat some irritating food. These symptoms usually resolve as the stress decreases, and after any insult resolves. If the symptoms are persistent and go on for a long time, this may represent a more chronic form of gastritis. The most common cause of chronic gastritis in our country is actually a bacterial infection. Helicobacter Pylori (also called H. pylori) is a spiral shaped bacterium that can take up residence in the lining of the stomach, usually near the distal part (pylorus) and results in chronic gastritis. The presence of this infection may also make it easier for one to develop stomach ulcers. This bacterium is most commonly transmitted from person to person, and also through contaminated food and water. It is much more prevalent in third world countries, but may infect up to 50% of the population of the United States. There are various methods used to diagnose H. pylori infection; these include blood test, breath test or testing of a stool sample. The most reliable technique, however, involves getting an actual biopsy of the stomach lining during an upper endoscopy exam called an EGD (Esophago Gastro Duodenoscopy). If you are found to have H. pylori in your stomach lining, it can be treated with a two week course of medicines, allowing the gastritis to resolve.

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The third type of gastritis is the erosive type, which can lead to bleeding, erosions or ulcers. Although it can be more destructive, it often does not have significant symptoms until a serious problem occurs. Erosive gastritis is most commonly caused by overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Goody or BC Powders or Tylenol. It can also be brought about by alcohol abuse, use of cocaine and other illicit drugs and smoking tobacco – these risk factors all predispose a person to erosive gastritis. The treatment of almost all forms of gastritis is to remove the insult to the stomach lining, and then reduce the amount of acid to allow the mucosa to heal. Common home remedies such as baking soda, Tums or Rolaids work by neutralizing the acid. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some stronger medicines such as acid blockers (Zantac or Pepcid) and proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec or Prevacid. If H. pylori is the cause of the gastritis, it must be diagnosed and treated with antibiotics in order to ensure complete recovery.

We really do enjoy hearing from you with any questions, concerns, or ideas for future columns and/or health and wellness related issues for the Georgia Mountain Laurel. Please send an email to rabundoctor@gmail.com, or call us at 706.782.3572, and we will be sure to consider your input. This and previous articles can be now be found on the web at www.rabundoctor. com in an archived format. If you use Twitter, then follow us for health tips and wellness advice @rabundoctor. Until next time, live healthy and be well!

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Make

h t l a e h r e t bet

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y t i r o i a pr

6 1 0 2 in

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On Our COver – Paula Van Huss

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eeting our cover artists and seeing their art first hand is quite possibly one of my favorite parts of this job. That is certainly the case this month. Not sure what to expect I drove my car up the steep drive to the home of Terry and Paula Van Huss. Paula is the artist and Terry is her biggest fan and husband and has been for 35 years. Quickly the ice was broken and a very nice visit ensued. We sat at Paula’s dining table to talk after looking at several of her paintings. I really appreciate her style, both on canvas and across the table. Paula is witty, quick and confident. She is also incredibly talented. Paula was born in Kansas during WWII, the daughter of a flight instructor for the military. At age 5 they had moved to Atlanta where her father flew for Eastern Airlines. Her parents divorced and she and her mother moved to Senoia, Georgia. Paula met Terry in high school and they dated. Fast forward, Terry has been living in North Carolina where he married and had a child. Paula has just purchased a sizable horse farm, has never married and is working at Hartsfield-Jackson. Terry is newly divorced and has “come home”. He asks about Paula and the next thing he knows he is walking down the concourse looking for her. One might say the rest is history but that isn’t quite how it went. It was a bouquet of flowers and an offer to help her move to the horse farm that got Paula’s attention and Terry’s foot in the door. The couple married in 1980. In the 70s Paula and her mom went to an art show at Greenbriar Mall and Paula enjoyed the art. She left the exhibit thinking that she’d like to try to paint. She bought supplies soon after and began. Like most artists the first painting was horrible (so she says) but fortunately for us she didn’t stop. She paints primarily from imagination only using imagery for accurate dimensions. She jokes that after her first portrait she immediately became a landscape artist. She bought oil paints first, and then tried her hand at watercolors, finally setting on acrylics. She says she loves them and uses them like watercolors. Paula mentions Clint Carter who was an inspiration when she was painting with watercolors. Mr. Carter is regarded as one of the South’s premier landscape and seascape artists making his home in Atlanta. One of the best decisions she made in her art career was attending a week-long workshop in California where she learned from Morten Solburg. She traveled with her mom and

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describes it as phenomenal! She studied under Morten and another trip to Sitka, Alaska, was well worth it. Paula also attended a workshop at Kanuga Episcopal Camp and this became an annual event for Paula. Different artists teach for the “art camp” and Paula always made sure to stretch her creativity by taking a class with someone whose work was very different from hers. In doing so she always learned something new that she could use when she was back home in her own studio. Art is an ongoing learning process and Paula continues to learn. She incorporates oriental papers of different textures, some with fibers in them and art tissue papers into her artwork making each unique. She has a heavy Native American influence that she can’t explain, except to say it comes from within. In 1999 Paula and Terry moved to Habersham County. She had visited the mountains with her family as a child. In 2005 they decided they wanted higher elevation finding their way to Blairsville, Georgia and their spot atop the hill. They built two homes never having the first disagreement. Paula says that their tastes are very similar and they agreed on every decision, making it easy. It is apparent they are very good friends and very much in love. Health issues have slowed Paula down. She is a go-getter, loving the outdoors, boating, riding motorcycles and of course horses, which she loves. Today she paints them instead of riding them and she and Terry are content with the slower pace. Paula thoroughly enjoyed doing art shows. She loved meeting people and talking with them about her art. She can be found each year at The Painted Fern show and a handful of others close to home. She is a member of the North Georgia Arts Guild and the Blue Ridge Mountain Artist Association. Paula has served as vice president of SAAG (Southern Appalachian Artist Guild) where she remains a membership chair. Today, Paula is looking for inside shows or long-term exhibits. She has taught workshops in Rabun, Habersham, Towns and Union Counties and hopes to do a bit more teaching. Her art is not shown in a gallery but is displayed on Paula’s blog (paulasart.blogspot.com) where you’ll find valuable information as well as musings from Paula. My hope for you is that one day you might get the opportunity to meet and talk with Paula Van Huss; you’ll leave knowing you made a new friend and met an astonishing artist. Paula’s art is currently shown by appointment apart from a show or exhibit. The artist can be reached by e-mailing pvanhuss_ art@hotmail.com. By Tracy McCoy

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NORTH GEORGIA ARTS GUILD Painter Sandy Copenhaver: Art with a Cause

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ith so much natural beauty in the world, Sandy Copenhaver has managed to capture fleeting scenes with paintbrush and palette knife, for continued joy and nourishment of the soul. She donates all sales profits to the homeless. Here is her interview: Jo: How did you get started? Sandy: In 1989 I visited a Highlands, NC gallery. I was awed and said I wished that I could paint like that. I was told anyone who’s willing to try and work hard could. After 10 years I got up the courage to take an oil painting class and that was it. I was in love. Now I am thoroughly enjoying watercolor. Jo: Where do you find your inspiration? Sandy: From places I’ve been, photographed or imagined. A place where I want to be, or a bouquet of flowers I love, Jo: How would you explain your work? Sandy: I believe it speaks, uttering emotion, desire or sound. If they hear and feel it, I hope they will love it. Jo: What response do you hope to evoke? Sandy: I want them to look at my work, comment, return to and remember it and of course, keep thinking about it. Jo: Describe your emotions as you paint, and when you’re done. Sandy: I (usually) don’t breathe, eat or speak when I paint. When it’s done, I want to share it. Jo: Do you plan, or do the pieces evolve differently from your initial vision? Sandy: I plan about half; the other half, I let the knife and brush do their thing. Jo: What is most important? Sandy: My passion the last four years has been to give all the sales profits to homeless shelters that rehabilitate or relocate people who would otherwise be on the streets. After a blessing by a NYC monk, my ART FOR THE HOME became ART FOR THE HOMELESS. I have donated to a Bronx shelter that rehabs eight men per year; to God’s Mobile Home, been bought by Wiley Presbyterian Church of Georgia, to the Battered Women’s Shelter in Inverness, Florida and so it goes.

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Jo: What is most gratifying about the process? Sandy: I like to paint just as much as a person likes to read or fish. I could do it all the time; it makes me happy and it feels that I am leaving a part of me behind for posterity. Jo: What do you hope to accomplish? Sandy: I ask God to help me paint the beauty of HIS creations with His guidance. Recently, At the Shore won first place in the Citrus County exhibit, while Mellow Yellow won second. Sandy is also a member of Art Center of Citrus County, Florida and the Citrus Watercolor Club. Her work is represented at: Blue Eyed Buffalo, Clayton; Florida Artists Gallery, Floral City, Florida; Art Center of Citrus County, Beverly Hills, GA. You may contact Sandy: JASC1397@AOL.COM; 352-5863774; www.sandracopenhaverart.shutterfly.com and www. sandracopenhaver.com. Facebook page: Art for the Homeless. Created & Edited by Jo Mitchell Jo is a contributing writer for the Georgia Mountain Laurel and a member of the North Georgia Arts Guild

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A Rainy Day Workshop T

he earliest candles date back to 200 BC in China. They were originally made from whale fat. In the middle ages, Europeans made candles from tallow, which is the hard fatty substance that is rendered from an animal (usually from a cow). The Europeans turned candle making into a profession. The Chandler (a person who makes candles) would go from home to home making candles from the saved kitchen fats. Tallow has a very obtrusive odor and smokey flame. Beeswax is a much cleaner solution, but at that time it was also much more expensive. The beeswax candles were reserved for the wealthy and churches. Candles were originally used for lighting and telling time. The Song Dynasty in China (around 960 AD) would mark the outside of the candle in hour increments and as the candle burned they could track the time. Personally, I keep candles around for birthdays and power outages. The shortening candle is fun, inexpensive, and easy to make.

Materials: An old pot Shortening Cotton string Crayons Nut or washer Pencil Glass jar Funnel

by Melissa Williams-Thomas

Step Two: While the mixture is melting, tie the nut to the end of a 12 inch piece of cotton string. This will weigh the string down when placed in the mixture. Step One: Put two cups of shortening and half a jumbo crayon in the pot over low heat.

Step Three: When the mixture is completely melted, place the funnel in the jar and pour.

Step Four: Place the nut down in the jar and wrap the excess string around a pencil. I put several drops of warming oil in the mix so the candle will smell good as it burns. Step Five: Place the candle in the freezer for 30-45 minutes for the shortening to harden. 22

Candles make great gifts for any occasion or for no occasion at all. Get creative and layer colors, scents and even invent new colors! Buy the big box of crayons and mix to your heart’s content! Show us your creations!

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Foxfire

Home Remedies from Days of Yore

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ver the 50 years that students have been interviewing local folks, many home remedies have been shared. Here are a few you may want to try. For Bleeding Bandage the cut real tight. Tie a cord below and above the cut and repeat Ezekiel 16:6. The blood will stop immediately. Take the cords off and cleanse the wound with warm salty water. Use just enough salt to purify the water. Then bandage. –Flora Youngblood For Burns The white of an egg and castor oil stirred up together are just as good a thing as you can put on a burn. Stops the pain and makes it heal up right quick. –Annie Mae Henry I can cure a burn in just a few minutes. Cut an Irish potato in two at the middle and lay the cut part of the potato against the burn. Bind that potato to the burned place with a handkerchief. In ten minutes, you can’t even tell you’ve been burned. That’s the truth. I’ve doctored myself; I know. The heat is gone. Let

Top: Kenny Runion - Below: Flora Youngblood

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that potato stay there until it turns black. Then the place where the burn was will be as white as cotton. If you get that potato on there fast enough, it won’t even blister. –Kenny Runion For Colds Make an onion poultice and put on your chest to break up a cold. To make the poultice, fry chopped onions in grease until well done. Put on a cloth and lay on the chest while still warm. –Mrs. C. E. Pinson When making tar, the flow of pine tar itself is preceded by some white smoke, then water. (See Foxfire 4, page 252.) A swallow of this water is good for a cold. The pine tar itself, rubbed on the chest, will loosen up a cold. –Dan Hawkes Put ginger and sugar in hot water. Drink this and go to bed. –Gladys Queen For a Cough Mix honey and soda together. Take a teaspoonful before you go to bed and a teaspoonful when you get up. –Florence Carpenter Wrap an onion in wet paper and bury it in hot ashes. Let it roast about thirty minutes and then squeeze out the juice. Add an equal amount of honey to the juice, mix well, and take by the teaspoon as you would any cough syrup. Or take the fat from a skinned ‘possum, cook the grease out of it, and keep it in a jar. As needed, take the grease and rub it on your chest to loosen the cough. –Bob Mashburn For Cuts and Sores Pound a dock root until it’s soft and juice comes out of it. Put enough sweet cream on it to cover it. Rub the mixture on a cut or sore. –Lottie Shillingburg Bathe the sores off real good in warm salty water. Then you get Vaseline or something where the cloth wouldn’t stick and wrap it. If a sore got infected, then they’d use the walnut poultice (ground walnut leaves and table salt). –Flora Youngblood For a Fever Teas made from boneset, or from the roots of butterfly weed, or from wild horsemint, or from feverweed are all good for colds, flu, and fevers. –Amy Trammell Boil half a cup of wall ink vine leaves to a quart of water. Give two teaspoons three times a day. –Laura Patton Pull up poor john (feverwood), making sure to get roots. Put roots, leaves, and all in a pan with water and boil. Strain. Add sugar to taste and drink. –Dorothy Beck Take several bulbs of garlic and wrap them in a cloth. Take a hammer and just beat them up. Tie the cloth around both wrists right where the pulse is. The fever will come down in maybe thirty-five or forty minutes. Back when the kids was all little I did things like that. –Flora Youngblood Adapted by Foxfire Magazine student, Jessica Phillips, from Foxfire 9, pgs. 41-73. Try at your own risk! Georgia Mountain Laurel assumes no responsibility for any negative effects from trying these home remedies.

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Echoes from the Hills “Hildred Jones, recalling a true friend”

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have been blessed with friends through life. One dear friend was a small, slender lady, interested in life and patriotism. Her name was Hildred Jones, who wrote me on April 26, 1972 from Kennerdell, Pennsylvania. She wrote “Reading Sunshine Magazine was like going home when I found your letter in it. Sixty years ago when I was 11 coming from Alberta and Nova Scotia to Lakemont (then called Mathis) I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the people I met.” Hildred’s dad was an engineer who built dams. He came to Rabun County, Georgia, to work on the dam that backs up Lake Rabun. In August 1971 I had retired from the Air Force and moved back to Georgia. I had written a few pieces in the Sunshine Magazine and one caught her attention. Hildred wrote, “Several years later on another construction job in Ohio my father brought a Rabun County lad home for dinner … later I married him and Rabun County became a second home. My husband died 13 years ago and I have been unable to make a visit back to the mountains because of a long illness in the

family.” Hildred’s husband was named Dave Jones, of the Rabun County Jones. From this time Hildred and I shared personal information, news, thoughts, hopes and fears. We finally met in person when Hildred came to see the Jones family. I was notified and drove up to Rabun County to find a small, vivacious lady with whom I had a heartwarming visit. We had similar likes and values. In her small body lived a bright, inquisitive spirit. I found her to be a strong and independent person. After her husband died she lived alone in the woods on the Allegany River in Pennsylvania. In her late 70s she climbed on her own roof to clean the gutters. She told of fashioning an evening gown out of a house robe and going to a dance. Hildred had a younger friend Annabelle Hovis an active and patriotic sort living in Grove City. Annabelle and I became friends and shared letters over ensuing years. One day Annabelle called and said Hildred was placed in a nursing home in Grove City. Knowing Hildred, I felt that sad state would crush her bright spirit. She had soared free like an eagle but now was losing her independence. On an impulse I drove up to Pennsylvania to see her. Hildred, Annabelle and I rode along the lovely Allegany River and saw Hildred’s old house in the woods. I thought how similar the trees, forest and the river were with scenes back in Georgia. As Hildred talked and remembered the past, Annabelle and I could see she was growing weaker and depressed at her present condition. While glad to spend a few hours with dear friends I also felt a growing sadness. Feeling moody going home I took back roads through West Virginia where I saw secluded valleys and steep forested slopes like the Blue Ridge Mountains. Once on a lookout spot above a valley I stopped and took photos. A bearded guy in an old pickup cranked up down below and came up to check me out. We might have been kinfolk so nothing bad happened. Not long after coming home Annabelle sent me word Hildred had passed on. I thought her spirit was free now to soar and explore a new world. Annabelle and I have kept in touch over the years since she held similar views. I write this article to say friends have helped me be a better person and also broadened and enriched my life. By Bob N. Justus

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WHEELS

Tommy Chastain’s 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle… …An Original Rabun County Car

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n a stunning autumn day, we visited with Tommy and Emma Chastain at their home in a lovely, tucked-away valley in Rabun Gap, Georgia. We were there to see Tommy’s 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle. Having undergone a frame-off restoration by Eric McCrackin of Mountain City, Georgia, it is beautiful in its original buttercup yellow livery, with redline tires and original-style black interior. It is a true Rabun County original, purchased new from Clayton Motor Company in 1967 by Tommy’s father and held in the family for all of its years. It is a car filled with memories for Tommy and Emma. They had their first date in this car. Tommy’s parents Jeff and Julia Chastain drove it for many years and it came into Tommy’s possession after the passing of his father. Now restored to its original beauty, with all original matching numbers, it is a cherished automobile.

Tommy’s Chevelle is powered by a 327-cubic inch, 275hp engine and 4-barrel carburetor with four-speed transmission. Tommy is the retired owner of Chastain Trucking. Emma is a representative of Woodmen Life. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. The Chevrolet Chevelle is a mid-sized muscle car, which was produced by Chevrolet in three generations for the 1964 through 1977 model years. Part of the General Motors A-body platform, the Chevelle was one of Chevrolet’s most successful nameplates. The Chevelle was intended to compete with the Ford Fairlane, and to return to the Chevrolet lineup a model similar in size and concept to the popular 1955-57 models. Enthusiasts were quick to notice that the Chevelle’s 115-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase was the same as that of the 1955-57 Chevy. By Larry and Gail Allgood

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Exploring Northeast Georgia Memories of a Mountain Shortline

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n an unseasonably warm, sunny December day I had the pleasure of sitting down with Emory Jones, author of books including, Distant Voices, the history of the Nacoochee Indian Mound and The Valley Where They Danced, an historic novel set in the background of the Nacoochee Valley, along with David Greear, photographer and author, both local residents of White County, to hear about their recently released DVD, a documentary called, “Memories of a Mountain Shortline – A History of the Tallulah Falls Railroad” which they produced in cooperation with the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center. Their enthusiasm for the project is contagious and after speaking with them both I immediately went home and sat down and watched the DVD. Having lived in Rabun County for a number of years, many of the names and faces on this DVD were familiar. I would love to mention all of the names involved in the creation of this documentary but there may be too many and I apologize for any omissions.

through and catching candy and chewing gum (a rare treat back then!) thrown to them from the train. Barbara Taylor Woodall tells a wonderful story of the “slowness” of the train and Paulette Carpenter shares a detailed memory of the train stopping to help put out the fire at the old Lakemont school building. Doug Bleckley shares memories of the role he played in the Disney movie “The Great Locomotive Chase”, which utilized the Tallulah Falls Railroad for the film in 1956. So many of the memories of the Tallulah Falls railroad are stored in the minds of the people who lived to see the trestles and stations, tracks and engines. This documentary has captured these memories at an important crossroads in time. Several of the people involved in the history provided for this DVD are no longer with us. John Kollock, (1929-2014) left many treasures for Northeast Georgia in his art and writing, but he also filmed “The Last Run” of the “Old TF” in March 1961 on 8mm film which was digitized and clips are included in the DVD. Rutherford Ellis (1928-2015), railroad historian, shared his rich knowledge of the origins of the Tallulah Falls railroad for this DVD.

My challenge today, is how you begin to describe a fifty six minute documentary that is so full of history and As I mentioned earlier so many people stories, in a short article. I will try to hit are involved in contributions to this rich, the highlights but watching the DVD will historical documentary. Brian Boyd, Director David Greear & Emory Jones be a gift to you and your family or friends. of Communications at Tallulah Falls School, author From the start of this collection of memories, and historian contributes his detailed knowledge with the sound of the lonesome train whistle in the background and on the “impact” the railway had on the surrounding area. Paige the touching dedication to Dess Oliver (1937 to 2015), longtime Spivey with Rabun Gap Nacoochee School discusses “The Mystique teacher at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, whose commitment to of the Tallulah Falls Railroad”. Kay Carver Collins, Rabun County the preservation of the history of the Tallulah Falls Railway made the Historical Museum, discusses the impact the railway had on bringing documentary possible, the viewer will be captivated. jobs to local people. A popular job was to cut crossties, which were constantly being replaced. Workers would be paid fifty cents each For fifty four years, the “Old TF”, as locals called it ran fifty eight for a crosstie. Also cutting firewood and leaving it by the tracks was miles from Cornelia to Franklin, North Carolina. The documentary not another popular job. Many residents remember the train catching the only includes the history of the railway but also stories of Tallulah Falls, woods on fire when a spark would fly from the firebox. Clayton and the long gone town of Burton which lies under the waters of Lake Burton. Many Rabun County lake property homeowners will A review of this delightful DVD enjoy hearing the history behind the construction of the dams and lakes in the area. As Emory Jones put it, “the hardest part was finding a would not be complete without stopping place”, and condensing more than fifty hours of information mentioning the support of Piedmont into a DVD just short of an hour. The documentary is a wonderful College, The Northeast Georgia History collection of historical photographs, including images of some of the Center at Brenau University, Burton fifty eight trestles that were built on the “Old TF”. There are images of Rabun Real Estate Company and many trestle collapses, including the 1898 Panther Creek incident and the others. To order a copy of the DVD 1927 Hazel Creek trestle accident. Dess Oliver describes construction online visit www.yonahtreasures.com of these trestles based on his deep knowledge and understanding of and look under the bookstore tab for the early engineering techniques that were utilized so many years Emory Jones. The DVD is also for sale at local area merchants. ago. By Kitty Stratton

Rabun County residents will especially enjoy the colorful interviews with local residents, such as Doris Welch, who describes being a child growing up in Mountain City when the train came

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Bless Your Heart

What I’ve Gleamed Along the Way

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’ve learned a lot from my mother-in-law Clara, and I did this by just watching her. She has kept her joy for most of her 96 years. I remember one year it was her wedding anniversary and she was a bit sad to not have Floyd there with her anymore. But, she decided she could just sit there and be depressed or have a party! She chose the party by calling her friends and neighbors to come to her house for dinner. She spent the entire day cooking (which is her passion) and then serving those she loved. No pity party for her. Try to maintain your joy this New Year of 2016. Choose JOY! Bless someone as often as you can! Just this past Christmas season, my dear friend Sheila asked me to a Christmas tea. When I arrived, I saw this darling red purse sitting on a chair at our table. I remarked at how I loved it! It was a wonderful purse, and I’ve always love red. Sheila quickly responded and said, “I’m so glad, it’s yours now!” I quickly responded, “Oh no, I can’t take your purse.” Sheila continued to say that as she was driving to the tea she felt God press upon her heart to give me that purse if I complimented it. I did compliment it and was so humbled by her blessing. Be a BLESSING. Try new things! I’ve joined the most terrifying club ever! Toastmasters Club. You learn how to speak publicly with confidence knowing you will not stammer, stutter and hopefully not lose your train of thought. It takes practice, practice, practice but it is something I have wanted to do and am gleaming so much from listening and watching others. Pick at least one thing this new year and TRY it! Listen to others; give them your full attention. I am a multitasker; most moms are because we have to be. In the past I would be writing on my computer, sending emails on my phone, answering texts, and glancing at the news on TV. My son Luke wanted to talk to me one day about something important to him. “Mom, I need to talk to you,” he said. I replied, “Honey, go ahead, I can hear every word you’re saying.” He grabbed my face with both his hands and said, “But, I want you to look at me.” I have not done that again…ever. I’m sure God feels that way, too when I’m multi-tasking and throwing in a quick prayer. I have felt Him saying, “Lisa, I want your full attention.” LISTEN with your eyes! Write a note of value. I have fabulous sister-in-laws who bless me all the time. There are approximately 50 relatives just on my husband’s side alone. Each year my sis-in-law Barbara

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writes to each one of us on our birthdays and lists the ways we are special, what she sees in us and encourages our lives. Her notes far outweigh anything I could ever receive. Take the time to write a note of VALUE. Love deeply. Always easier said than done. My parents are an example of that. Almost 60 years together and they have weathered many storms. They stand by each other, they truly like each other and they laugh a lot. Sometimes you just have to laugh to get through the season. My mom had a stroke about 9 years ago and although it has changed their lives, they have never allowed it to defeat them. Loving deeply is another choice; it’s not always a feeling. Make a choice to LOVE. Forgive. Something else I have learned from my sister in law Barbara. It’s about forgiveness. She shared with me one day that when someone has hurt her, she prays immediately to forgive them. Barbara tries not to allow ill-will or bitterness to creep in. We don’t always forget the wrong against us, but we can choose to forgive. FORGIVE everyone this year. Be Adventurous! I LOVE meeting new people and finding out their special journey in life. Adding new people in my life is exciting. My husband Tony and I try to go once a year to a bed & breakfast. We always meet new people, learn new things and experience a new way of doing things. You don’t have to go far or spend lots of money to be adventurous; an adventure is anything you want it to be. Share your life with others! Be a Mentor. Invest in others when you can. A phone call, an hour over coffee or maybe a long walk together. If I watch other women (I do and always have), then I know they watch me. I work part-time four days a week, plus I have a teenager and a husband to take care of. Time gets consumed and then the week is over. But, when I can, I try to invest in other young women. It was done for me and what a blessing that was! Mentoring is hard to squeeze in but when you can, do it! Finally, for the New Year of 2016, just be the blessing that you want to receive from others. I promise that what you give in your time, your heart, your prayers, will be given back beyond measure! Blessing your heart with Joy and Love. By Lisa Harris

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Lisa and her family live in Dallas, Georgia. She blesses hearts day in and day out

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Discover Studio e

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iger’s Studio e is not your ordinary fitness center it is a personal training experience every time. With the focus on core conditioning through calisthenics, cardio, flexibility and strength training, owner and founder Elisa Hopkins says “Studio e offers a unique approach to fitness.” Elisa has been a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for ten years. Elisa’s love for music and dance translate in her teaching style. She enjoys working one on one with her clients inspiring them and creating challenging new workouts for them. She has equipped Studio e with instructors and trainers who are as educated, eager and experienced as she is. They are: Paz Merino (group fitness and personal training), Kristi Matheson (group fitness), Samantha Thacker (group fitness and personal training) and Celeste York (Hatha yoga). For a complete list of classes offered and a calendar for the studio, as well as more about the instructors and information about joining Studio e visit their website at www.studioetiger. com or find them on facebook. They are located at 117 History St., Tiger, GA 30576. Give them a call at 706.982.5090. This is the time to make those changes you’ve been thinking about. It’s a new year and time for a new you! Studio e says, “sweat with the best!”

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Faithfully Speaking

Have you ever been around a cynic?

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in the game. A cynic can safely sit on the sidelines and critique every little step taken by those in the game. (Sadly, entire careers have been built on this.) It takes considerably more work to find and celebrate that which is beautiful, and far more still to actually step out and create that something. That takes risk and courage. That takes blood, sweat, and tears. A cynic wouldn’t dare.

’m not talking about a critical thinker or a skeptic. Those are different. I’m talking about a cynic: someone who typically assumes the worst of people and their intentions for doing what they do; a person who sees the flaws in just about everything and goes out of his or her way to point them out. You know the kind I’m talking about? Have you ever had a cynic focus his negativity your way?

Cynicism runs counter to the message and person of Jesus. If so, I am going to guess you probably just had an emotional Cynicism is far more than lazy; it is response to that question. Chances destructive. Perhaps no where is this more are that emotional response wasn’t true than in a community of faith. Cynicism a positive one. Perhaps it brings to is toxic to discipleship. The constant memory a time when you felt negativity and relentless pessimism your family, your work, or Don’t believe me? Consider these: is like an aggressive virus that plays your character were unfairly on our personal disappointments and A cynic is self-centered. Jesus is self-giving. criticized. Perhaps it brings depravity, and spreads throughout back feelings of hurt, betrayal, A cynic dwells in darkness. Jesus brings all the body. Once it takes hold, it can or insecurity. Those can stick things into the light. be hard to purge. But purged it must around for a long time, can’t be because cynicism runs counter to A cynic has a low view of humanity. Jesus died the message and person of Jesus. they? Cynicism can be powerful. Perhaps that’s why some find it so alluring.

Cynicism can be powerful. Perhaps that’s why some find it so alluring. A cynic can achieve maximum impact with minimal effort. With a few strategically chosen hurtful words delivered at a particularly low or vulnerable moment, a cynic can inflict pain on just about anyone. All of this without ever having to risk, or create, or contribute anything themselves. How lazy. It’s not hard to find the negative in just about everything. Even a child can do that. It doesn’t take any work. Being cynical doesn’t require any courage or skin

for humanity. A cynic insists on tearing people down. Jesus desires to build his people up. A cynic sees the worst in a person. Jesus sees someone who can be redeemed, transformed and used for good. A cynic uses words as a weapon to wound. Jesus and his disciples speak words to bring life to the wounded. A cynic builds himself up by mocking others. Jesus lays down his own life so others can be filled with life. A cynic looks at a person and sees darkness. Jesus looks at a person and sees the image of God waiting to be fully restored. A cynic assumes people in the end get what they deserve. Jesus does all He can to ensure as many as possible get what they do not deserve.

The truth is there are seasons when each of us feels the magnetic pull towards cynicism. It can be so tempting to give in. Cynicism requires less of us. It allows us to focus on the shortcomings of everything and everyone around us without ever having to deal with the real condition of our own heart. But the way of Jesus is not the way of the cynic. Those two roads go in two very different directions. Each represents two vastly different ways of seeing the world and being present in it. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus loves cynics. He died for cynics. But not just to save them; He died also to change them. By Aaron Loy - Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and pastor of Mosiac Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska.

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“…Be of good comfort: thy faith has made thee whole; go in peace” Luke 8:48 A place where new life springs forth out of despair, failure and death. A place where God brings physical, emotional and spiritual healing to you.

Only Believe

There are so many who are struggling with sickness and disease. We are now seeing a literal epidemic of prostate trouble and cancer in men and breast cancer and other types of cancer in women. We have talked with hundreds who have requested prayer recently, and many who have received their healing! Praise the Lord! The Lord Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and He healed EVERYONE who came to Him for healing! Many medical people have researched the health issues we are faced with today and have found that one of the major problems with our health can be traced back to what we are eating. Major studies have been done about the use of soybean and soy products that are produced by the food industry, and found they are bad for us. Because of that, we have collected many reports and gone to grocery stores to gather information on the soy ingredients in most major food products. Soy seems to be a highly used ingredient in all mayonnaise, most salad dressings, most breads, most cookies, 99% of all candies, cakes, sweet rolls, prepared/frozen foods, many ice creams, many chips to name a few. The medical reports have shown that when soy products are ingested, they are converted into female estrogen in your body. Some people were quoted after this was brought out, that it was alright because it would cause the women not to age as fast. What about the men? There are reports this was a factor in male prostate problems and that estrogen in the system of a young boy may cause him to have anger and frustration. A soy milk formula fed to babies “is the equivalent of giving the infant 5 birth control pills” to quote the report. The latest cancer studies have proven that breast cancer in women feeds on estrogen. Because of this, the cancer doctors are giving their patients drugs to eliminate estrogen from their body. If the women ingest soy products, it may be a bad mistake. Our God has instructed us to pray over our food and to speak the Word of God over the food to sanctify it and cleanse it for our protection. We are told in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 that God has given us “foods which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” To sanctify the food, we speak the Word of God over it and thank Him. Sanctify means “to purify, consecrate and make holy”. When you speak a Bible verse over your food and thank the Lord for it, you are cleansing it! Since we cannot know for sure how pure or how bad our food is for us, God has given us His purification! Our family 36

is avoiding foods that have been given a bad report, such as soy bean oil and soy products. After avoiding soy for 5 weeks, a good report has come from a man who now is not having to get up to go to the bathroom several times during the night due to an enlarged prostate. Our prayer for you: “Father God, You have told us that certain diseases do not heal naturally, and in these cases the person ministering must minister in Your gifts of healing and working of miracles. (see I Corinthians 12:1-31) “In the name of Jesus Christ, God has placed gifts of healings and workers of miracles in the body of Christ, so in accordance with Scripture, calling those things that are not as though they are (Romans 4:17-25), and in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and authority of that Name, we speak healing over you, that all disease be removed from your body: brain, lungs, lymph glands, prostate, ovaries, uterus, heart and vascular system, stomach and digestive tract, intestines, colon, liver, kidneys, pancreas, eyes, mouth and throat, teeth, ears, skin, tendons, ligaments, flesh and bones. That your entire body be perfect and disease free as you were in Christ Jesus from the foundation of the world. LORD, let it be unto_______________ (fill in your name) according to Your Word. We speak these verses over you now, and ask you to speak these verses over yourself: “He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions” Psalm 107:20. “He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” Matthew 9:17. “Behold, I will bring health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth” Jeremiah 33:6. Thank you and praise you, Lord. He took our sickness and infirmity, just as He took our sin upon Himself. Give your sin and sickness to Him now, and forgive all those who have hurt or mistreated you, giving them all to God in prayer at the throne of His grace. It is not necessary to go to those who have hurt or offended you to forgive them, often this would be like kicking a hornet’s nest, just forgive them to God and give them to Him, and praise and thank Him! Study all of Psalm 107, it’s all about Him. Stay close to Him, He is the Healer.

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RIVER GARDEN P.O. Box 112 Lakemont, GA 30552 706.782.5435 • 706.490.3063

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Spend More Time in God’s Word in 2016 visit

www.backtothebible.org/bible-reading-plans

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Adventure Out

Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls and the Blue Ridge Railroad Trail

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appy New Year my friends! As we move forward into this new year, we’re going to be like Janus, the Roman god who looked forward and back, and take a new and amazing site that predates the Civil War. We’re heading over to South Carolina’s Stumphouse Tunnel Park where you’ll find a remarkable abandoned railroad tunnel, a beautiful waterfall and a nice hiking trail, all in one location. The Stumphouse Tunnel was to be part of the Blue Ridge Railroad, a project that began in the mid eighteen hundreds to run from Anderson, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennessee. Construction halted with the outbreak of the Civil War and was never restarted. At this park you can walk into the tunnel a distance of 1,660 feet to where the digging stopped. It’s a granite tunnel, all dug by hand, using only picks, shovels, hand drills and black powder. Consider that the next time you think your job is difficult. Now when you come to visit the tunnel, bring a flashlight because it’s very dark inside the tunnel after the first 100 feet or so.

disturb this natural habitat.

short steep ascent but, from there on, the footpath is easy; for the first few miles anyway. There two more tunnels along this trail, the Middle Tunnel and the Saddle Tunnel. The Middle Tunnel is just 1/2 mile from the park and the Saddle Tunnel is 2.5 miles distant. The interiors of these tunnels are not accessible. There is a sign at the Middle Tunnel explaining that this tunnel is now used as a bat cave. Please don’t

The Stumphouse Tunnel Park has recently been revamped with lots of new picnic tables and a pavilion. There are two small ponds you can walk around as well. This is a great spot where you can learn some history, see a nice waterfall, take a nice hike and have a picnic. Happy Hiking!

This park also features a spectacular cascade, Issaqueena Falls, named after a legendary Creek Indian princess. (You can read more about Issaqueena when you get there.) An observation platform has been constructed that offers a terrific view of the falls. It’s just a short walk from the parking area. There is a primitive trail leading to the base of the falls if you’re so inclined. But do be careful if you take this trail. Also at the waterfall parking area is the trailhead to the Blue Ridge Railroad Trail. This trail mostly follows the old rail bed for 6.5 miles to a spot near Walhalla, South Carolina. The first part of the trail is a

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It’s 2016, let my January poem begeen: We’re going to walk forward but take a look back, Where hardworking folks were laying down track. With an amazing rock tunnel and falling water cold and clear, ‘Tis a great place to explore in the coming new year. Getting there: Take U.S. 76 East from Clayton 10 miles to Chattooga Ridge Road on left in South Carolina. Look for a sign reading “Oconee State Park.” Go 5.7 miles to Whetstone Road (there is a four way stop) and turn right. Go 5 miles to where the road ends at SC Hwy 28. Turn right on Hwy 28, going towards Walhalla and The Stumphouse Tunnel Park is .7 miles on the left. At the intersection of Whetstone Road and Hwy 28, be sure to stop at the Mountaintop Trading Post, home of the world’s largest peanut. It’s a great place that has everything, and their boiled peanuts are unsurpassed. On the web: http://www.walhallasc.com/stumphouse/index.htm. by Peter McIntosh To see more of Peter’s photos or if you have a question or comment visit www.mcintoshmountains.com.

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Mountain Nature

A Short Walk in the Woods

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don’t know about y’all, but I was quite disappointed in the movie A Walk in the Woods, based on the book of the same name by Bill Bryson. Granted, it has been some time since I read the book, but I was pretty sure it was better than the movie. Of course, I expect it’s pretty hard to make a movie about a walk. Although Matt Damon did it with his movie, Gerry, back in 2002. In his movie, they forgot to bring water, so . . . well, I won’t give the plot away; you’ll have to watch it for yourself. When we go for a walk in the woods, we usually bring water. And cameras. And jackets. And binoculars. And even snacks, if we plan to go very far. We like to go places we’ve never been to see what we can discover.

wildflowers. The showy orchis, dwarf iris, pink ladies slippers and little brown jugs are fun to look for. This trail is really a road, but it still qualifies as a walk in the woods, because there are woods all around. There are several old rock fences along the road, and at the end is a large well-build barn and an old cabin built by the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club between 1934 and 1936 (or so the sign says). One of the most interesting hikes we’ve done is the Grapeyard Ridge Trail, also near Greenbrier. We crossed a lot of streams, or maybe the same stream several times. Most of the time, it was just a matter of stepping across on rocks, but one crossing had nothing but a log, and I was not about to walk across One of our that, since there favorite walks is was no handrail. the Pickens Nose Rich did Trail. We’ve though. I went been there many downstream a times mainly few yards and because it is found some big close to home, rocks to jump and if you bring across. I got Photo by Jean Hyatt binoculars, you my shoe wet, can see our house from the first big rock that looks back to the but that was better than falling into the creek from the log. The east. It goes uphill for about 1/4 mile or so, then levels out to the destination of this hike was an old train engine that had fallen into end of the trail (about a mile all told) where Outward Bound uses the creek and had never been removed. The trail goes on through the cliffs for rock climbing school. At the end are big flat rocks to to Roaring Fork Motor Trail near Gatlinburg, but we just went to climb on, but be careful, especially with children, as there are no see the engine, then returned the way we came. railings of any kind. If you can, make it a point to go on your own walk in the Another favorite walk is the Kephart Prong Trail in the Great woods. It’s fun, enjoyable, stress-relieving, and good exercise! Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a fairly easy hike as well, And who knows what you might find. with several log bridges. The bridges have rails so they are not too scary to walk across. Along the way, you can see where an by Jean Hyatt old CCC camp was, with tall boxwoods and chimneys and rock walls. Near the top of the trail, there are old railroad rails lying Jean and her husband Richard own and operate Mountain Nature near or in the creek, and if you keep going, you eventually come in downtown Clayton. They can be reached at 706.782.0838. ** Don’t forget to turn off your outside lights at night. Use motion to a shelter. detector lighting, shields, and IDA-approved lighting so you don’t We also enjoy the Porters Creek Trail in the Greenbrier area impose your light on those who want to see the stars. I believe of the Smokies. Spring is a good time to go there because of the God made night dark for a reason. Please help keep it that way. **

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Get Motivated to Get Organized Simple tips to complete a closet makeover (Family Features) It’s that time of year when you think about getting organized for a fresh new start. But how many times have you thought about finally clearing out your closet, decided it’s just too overwhelming, and simply shut the door only to think about it later? “Let’s face it, most of us put cleaning out and organizing our closets at the top of our New Year’s resolutions’ list every single year,” said Barbara Reich, professional organizer. “But how many of us just think about it without actually doing it? To get serious and take action, you need a plan of attack.” Once you make a commitment and get on board with the project, go from there with these tips from Reich. Start by determining your overall goal. Are you simply organizing what you have or do you need to purge unused items? Get rid of things you don’t need or won’t wear. Remember that items in good condition can be donated to those in need.

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Once you’ve determined just how much stuff you’ll have to organize, it’s time to consider what systems will best fit your space and needs. A do-it-yourself closet organizer product, such as ClosetMaid ShelfTrack, is affordable, easy to install and adjustable, making it simple to create a customized design. Accessories, such as drawers and shoe shelves, help personalize the space, while fabric bins are perfect for storing handbags and other smaller items. Before you decide exactly which pieces you need, sketch out your plan on paper or use an online design tool. ClosetMaid’s DIY Design Tool even provides a parts list to help ensure you buy the right pieces for your design. You may also find it helpful to make a categorized list of all the items you need to store and mark them off as you identify the right storage products for your space. Once you install your new system, the fun really begins. Start by hanging as much as possible; this makes it easier to see what you have. Group and place like things together by category, such as pants, skirts, tops, etc., then within each category, group by season and by color. Take advantage of prime real estate by positioning the things you wear most often in the place that is most accessible and easiest to reach. Once you have everything hung and stored in its proper place, congratulate yourself on having the closet makeover checked off your list. However, to continue enjoying your newfound organization, you must be vigilant about keeping the space organized. Have a plan in mind when you purchase new things. Ask yourself if you really need the item and determine what you can discard to make room. For more tips to help you get organized this new year, visit ClosetMaid.com, StorganizationBlog.com or call 1.800.874.0008.

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Bon Appétit by Scarlett Cook

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ou survived the holidays and now it is back to your regular routine. I know that some new recipes will help you get your groove back. Breakfast for dinner is a regular meal for some families. And if it isn’t for yours maybe it will become one. Hope that your family will enjoy these recipes and remember that Christmas 2016 is just around the corner! Confetti Scrambled Eggs Serves 4

Battered Breakfast Bacon Serves 4 – 6

2 Tablespoons margarine 1/4 Cup chopped green bell pepper 1/4 Cup chopped red bell pepper 1/4 Cup frozen corn kernels 4 Green onions, sliced 8 Large eggs 1/4 Cup milk 1/4 Teaspoon thyme 1/4 Teaspoon salt Dash black pepper Sliced black olives - optional

12 Thick sliced bacon 1 Large egg 1 Tablespoon water 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 Cup bread crumbs Preheat oven to 400˚. Place bacon in a single layer on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; drain off fat.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt margarine. Add vegetables and sauté until tender – 6 to 7 minutes. Whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over vegetables and let set for 30 seconds. Cook, stirring until light and fluffy and egg mixture is almost dry – 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with black olives if desired. 44

In a large flat bowl, beat egg with water. Add mustard and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Place bread crumbs on sheet of waxed paper. Remove bacon from baking sheet and coat each piece on both sides with egg mixture and then cost with crumbs. Return to the baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes longer.

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Baked Potato Cake Serves 6

Mushroom Quiche Serves 6

4 Tablespoons melted margarine 4 Large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8” slices Salt Pepper Preheat oven to 425˚. Spread 2 tablespoons of the margarine in the bottom of a large heavy skillet (preferably a cast-iron one). Arrange a single layer of potatoes (slightly overlapping) in a circle covering the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little margarine over potatoes. Repeat with 3 more layers, ending with butter. Press down on the potatoes with the back of a spoon. Cover with aluminum foil sealing well. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake until potatoes are browned – 20 – 25 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen the potatoes. Place plate over skillet. Turn skillet upside down and invert potatoes onto plate.

2 Tablespoons margarine 2 Green onions, minced 1 Pound mushrooms – any type or a combination of mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 2 Tablespoons apple juice 3 Large eggs 1 1/2 Cups half & half or whole milk 1/2 Teaspoon salt Dash of pepper 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme 1 Tablespoon dried parsley 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese 1 – 9” pie shell thawed and baked for 5 minutes Preheat oven to 350˚. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add apple juice and cook until liquid evaporates. Whish together the eggs, half & half, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Pour mushrooms mixture in bottom of pie crust. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms.

Cut into wedges and serve. Potatoes may be garnished with sour cream and chives.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Orange – Date Muffins Makes 12 1 Whole orange washed and unpeeled 1/2 Cup orange juice 1/2 Cup chopped dates – I find that it is easier to cut them with kitchen shears 1 Large egg Cup margarine – cup into slices 1 1/2 Cups plain flour 1 Teaspoon baking soda 1 Teaspoon baking powder 3/4 Cup sugar 1/2 Teaspoon salt

Luscious Hot Chocolate Serves 4 3/4 Cup sugar 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 Cup water Dash of salt 3 Cups milk 1 1/2 Cups half & half 1 Teaspoon vanilla Whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400˚. Cut orange into chunks and remove seeds. Place chunks in food processor and process until finely ground. Add juice, dates, egg and butter and process until well blended. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pour orange mixture over dry ingredients and stir until blended.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, water and salt until smooth. Cook mixture until it starts to bubble; then whisk in milk and half & half. Add vanilla and stir until hot. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tins, filling them three fourths full. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean – 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool for 5 minutes. gmlaurel.com

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Uncorked – From Vine to Wine F

Vive La France!

ollowing the November terrorist attacks in Paris, Carl and I placed a sign outside our Winery Tasting Room--Vive La France! The message faced our vineyards, planted with some 3,000 French vines grafted onto American rootstock. France and America have shared a close relationship for over two hundred years—from revolutions a decade apart to a shared passion for wine. North Georgia vineyards grow both French Vitis vinifera and French-American hybrid grapes. A Root Louse named Phylloxera In the mid to late 1800s, a mysterious blight traveled from vineyard to vineyard in Europe leaving withered vines in its wake. Over two-thirds of all grapevines in Europe eventually died, with French vineyards hit especially hard. Church bells sounded an alarm in villages throughout Europe. Families who had farmed grapes and made wine for centuries were wiped out. In an attempt to halt the unknown malady, ancient vines were ripped up and burned. In France, desperate growers tried folk remedies like burying live toads, cow’s urine or crushed bones. The French government offered a £320,000 reward for a cure. In 1868, French biologist Jules-Emile Planchon pulled up some healthy vines and saw small aphid-like insects sucking on the roots and suggested it was the cause of the blight. Two years later, American entomologist Charles Valentine Riley confirmed his theory. Known as grape phylloxera, the root louse is native to the eastern United States and is no doubt the reason the early colonists, as well as Thomas Jefferson, failed to grow Vitis vinifera grapes. How did phylloxera travel from America to Europe? The invention of the steamship shortened the passage to Europe, allowing the root louse to survive. European growers and

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botanists were importing large numbers of American vines between the late 1850s and early 1860s. Most historians believe that phylloxera arrived in France around 1862, possibly on the roots of American vines imported by a wine merchant Monsieur Borty and planted in his southern Rhône vineyards. It then spread north and throughout Europe. ny root louse feeds on the roots of vinifera, puncturing the roots and sucking out the sap, which leaves the vine unable to obtain water and nutrients. It spends the winter as small, wingless nymphs on roots and as the weather warms, moves from plant to plant or is carried by the wind. Galls can be seen on the underside of leaves and on the roots. Phylloxera can easily be spread through the vineyards by boots, cuttings or equipment. Is there a cure for phylloxera? Unlike most other grape diseases, there is no cure. (The French reward is still unclaimed.) What has worked involves the same American vines that created the problem. Grafting onto Resistant Rootstock: During the phylloxera epidemic Leo Laliman and Gaston Bazille two French winegrowers, suggested grafting a Vitis vinifera shoot onto the rootstock of a resistant, native American vine. French growers were initially concerned that wine from grafted vines would not match the quality of wine from self-rooted vines or, worse, would share the genes of American grapes. After much debate, many French vineyards were replanted in the 1890s with French vines grafted onto Texan St. George rootstock. Not all native American rootstocks are resistant as many growers in California discovered after planting with a rootstock called AxR1 in the 1960s to 1980s. By the early 1990s, vines began to die and testing showed a rare form of phylloxera that preyed on AxR1 rootstock. continued

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Uncorked – From Vine to Wine

Vive La France! - continued

Hybridization: In the late 1800s, researchers tried crossing American vines resistant to phylloxera with Vitis vinifera vines in hopes of developing a resistant vine that did not taste like an American grape. Resulting vines are somewhat resistant but most are discouraged or banned in Europe. A few European vineyards escaped phylloxera and the vines are self-rooted, including the Assyrtiko grape on the Greek island of Santorini and the Juan Garcia grape in the medieval village of Fermoselle in Spain. On a trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2014, Carl and I visited with pioneer Pinot Noir grower and winemaker Myron Redford founder of Amity Vineyards. Redford planted his first vines in 1970 on self-rooted stock. At the time of our visit, several acres of self-rooted vines were posted with warning signs.

Judgment of Paris Celebrates 40th Anniversary Following the end of Prohibition in 1933, California grape growers replanted with European Vitis vinifera grafted onto American rootstock. California wines developed a regional

following, but European wines, primarily French Bordeaux and Burgundy, led the world. That would change in 1976 with the Judgment of Paris, a blind tasting between well-established French wines and their young American counterparts. A 40th Anniversary celebration will be held in May at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The Judgment: Well-known French wine authorities judged the blind tasting and were surprised when two California wines came out on top: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon 1973, best red (ahead of several Bordeaux first growths) and Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973, best white

Visit Towns County Hiawassee, Georgia

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(over select white Burgundies)! The competition elevated California wines from regional to international status. Bottle Shock—the Movie: The 2008 Hollywood film Bottle Shock is a dramatization of the1976 Judgment of Paris competition. The Plot: Steven Spurrier, British proprietor of a Paris wine shop, organizes a blind tasting between French and California wines and recruits French wine notables as judges. A Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena goes into bottle shock on its way from America. Will it come out of bottle shock before the competition? Bottle Shock—In Wine Bottle shock is temporary and can occur during the bottling process or as the result of travel and affects the wine’s flavor and color. (Our Malbec blend, Three Eagles, tends to go into bottle shock during bottling and requires more time to settle down.) Heard it on the grapevine . . . . Wine Highway Weekend, March 19-20 and March 26-27; Winegrowers Association of Georgia, featuring 20 North Georgia vineyards. See www. georgiawine.com . . . . Tiger Mountain Vineyards’ 2013 Petit Manseng received the Oglethorpe Cup for the best Georgia-grown wine at the inaugural Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge in Savannah. Carla Fackler Stonewall Creek Vineyards

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Evening of Fun Equals A Future of Promise Prevent Child Abuse Habersham’s “Top Chef and Wine Tasting Competition”

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f you’ve never been a youngster hurting and confused, because an adult denied you a safe, nurturing childhood, say “Thank you!” Then pledge to make a difference.

If you’ve never questioned what you did to cause an adult to hit, demean or make you uncomfortable, be extremely grateful. Show your gratitude in a tangible way. If you’ve never struggled to banish, or at least overcome emotional scars and handicaps that always accompany child abuse into adulthood, count your blessings. Then pony up for tickets to “Northeast Georgia’s Top Chef & Wine Tasting Competition”. This culinary-themed gala is hosted by Prevent Child Abuse Habersham. You’ll not find an easier, or more enjoyable way to create a win-win situation for yourself, abuse victims and those who battle uphill odds to make a difference. PCAH exists for those still-walking victims of child abuse, and for those adults who might, without intervention, become abusers. It’s called “education”. The organization’s second annual gastronomical fundraising event is upcoming on Monday, January 25th. Proceeds will make a life-saving, life altering difference for those threatened by the multi-tentacled monster called abuse. Last year’s premiere evening of fine food and wine exceeded all expectations, when a full-house of 275 concerned individuals enjoyed food tastings from a number of the area’s fine restaurants. Wine pairings from local wineries provided the perfect accent for the evening. Building on the stupendous success of last year, Yonah Mountain Vineyards, located at 1717 Highway 255 Cleveland, Georgia, is the site for this year’s gala. This venue was selected because its stunning new events center will accommodate 350 individuals. Prevent Child Abuse Habersham has been in existence for 23 years, where Jennifer Stein is the current Executive Director. Working under the staggering reality that total productivity loss per child abuse victim is a staggering $144,360.00, the board of directors, staff and volunteers work in the trenches toward a viable difference. Four basic educational programs comprise the PCAH foundation, whose mission is to educate the residents of Habersham County about the great need to take a stand to prevent child abuse. Tickets for the evening, which begins at

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6:00 pm and runs until 8:30 pm, are $55.00 per individual or $100.00 per couple. As many as a dozen restaurants and five wineries can participate. This evening of mingling and meeting, sampling area cuisine and wine selections in business casual attire, offers many opportunities. At 8:00 PM, a number of prestigious awards, including the “Hope for Habersham” advocacy recognition will occur. Both live and silent auctions and the extremely popular “Wine Pull” activity will further enhance the enjoyment quotient and the bottom line. Picture it: for only $20.00 per ticket, you get the chance to uncork a wine bottle. Numbers on each stopper correspond to a specific bottle of wine, each priced from $20.00 to about $60.00 that you win. How can you lose? How much of a difference can you make in combating child abuse? Good music and great times are a given. But behind the gaiety of the evening, even while the party proceeds, is the less than pretty truth that local children are in danger. That abuse sets the stage for those children’s tomorrows, and the future of Habersham County. But this isn’t to say the party shouldn’t happen. Instead, it MUST happen. Only through the actions of those who buy those tickets, attend and engage, will those who can’t help themselves have an opportunity for a future. If you’re a survivor of abuse, whether you talk about it or not, here’s an excellent way to make a silent but dynamic statement for good. Participate in the competition in some fashion. How rewarding could that be? Tickets can be purchased online via www.preventchildabuse habersham.org. Restaurants or wineries not already committed, who are interested in making a positive difference in child abuse prevention, should contact Jennifer Stein at 706.778.3100 or 706.968.9637. By John Shivers Editor’s Note: Writer John Shivers is himself an abuse survivor, and a publishing author. Good can emerge from bad and even triumph!

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Mountain Happenings January and February, 2016 STEPHENS COUNTY January 2nd Currahee Mountain Resolution 10K Run/Walk benefiting Relay for Life Currahee Mountain, Toccoa email: megantaylor30577@yahoo. com or cameron.lopez@cancer.org January 16th and the third Monday of the month Career Coach Stephens County Library, Toccoa Info: www.gmrc.ga.gov/Workforce Development.htm February 13th Experience Toccoa - Local Artists Mitchell Allen Memorial Hall Toccoa Info: 706.282.5055 The Schafer Center Toccoa Info: www.negaconcerts.com January 29th “A Mid Summer Night’s Dream” by the National Players February 13th Melinda Doolittle February 25th A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline HABERSHAM COUNTY February 5th - 7th, 11th - 14th “Harvey” Habersham Community Theatre Clarkesville Info: www.habershamtheater.org February 6th Clarkesville Mardi Gras Gala Clarkesville Event Center Clarkesville Info: 706.754.2220 February 20th North Georgia Winter Jam Grant Street Music Room Clarkesville Info: 706.839.7467 WHITE COUNTY January 10th and the second Sunday of the month Reserve Wine Tasting Yonah Mountain Vineyards Cleveland Info: 706.878.5522 January 29th Fasching Party Old Heidelberg Restaurant Helen Info: 706.878.0061

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January 30th Faschingsverein’s Sidewalk and River Parade Helen Festhalle, Helen Info: 706.878.1908 February 6th Fasching Helen Festhalle, Helen Info: 706.878.1908

January 30th Tune Hall North Georgia Community Players Dillard Playhouse, Dillard Info: 706.212.2500 www.ngcommunityplayers.com Tallulah Gorge State Park Tallulah Falls Info: 706.754.7981

February 6th Fun with Falconry Buck Shoals State Park Cleveland Info: 706-878-3087

January 1st First Day Hike

February 17th - 20th Helenblitz Mini Cooper Car Show Helendorf River Inn, Helen Info: 706.878.2271 February 20th - 21st 41st Annual Fireside Arts & Crafts Show Unicoi Lodge, Helen Info: 706.878.2201 February 21st White County Student Art Competition & Reception Helen Arts & Heritage Center Helen Info: 706.878.3933 North Georgia Zoo & Farm Cleveland Info: 706.348.7279 January 2nd and each Saturday through February 27th Winter Wonderland Tours January 16th Get to Know Your Zoo January 17th and the third Sunday of the Month Behind the Scenes Tour February 20th, 27th Sneak Preview Days Porcupine Quill Jewelry & Art Class Unicoi State Park Helen Info: 706.878.2201 January 1st Annual Polar Plunge January 9th 37th Annual Hogpen Hill Climb benefiting Habitat for Humanity January 15th - 16th Turkey Call Convention

RABUN COUNTY

January 23rd / February 22nd Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike North Georgia Arts Guild Program UGA Extension Rabun County Conference Room, Clayton Info: www.northgeorgiaartsguild.com January 21st Jeanie Daves Unique Techniques with Clay February 18th Ingrid Bolton “ Pysanky-Ukrainian Easter Eggs”

February 24th - 27th 9 to 5: The Musical “Pay What You Can Preview” Info: 706.379.5114 John C. Campbell Folk School Brasstown Info: 828.837.2775; 800.FOLKSCH www.folkschool.org January 8th Paul Brown and Terri McMurray Concert January 14th Karen Mueller Concert January 16th, 30th February 13th, 27th Contra and Square Dances January 22nd Barker Brothers Concert January 29th Caleb Warren & The Perfect Gentlemen Concert February 4th Hamilton County Ramblers Concert MACON COUNTY, NC

TOWNS COUNTY January 16th Ronnie Milsap Farewell Concert Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Hiawassee Info: 706.896.4191

January 22nd The Sock Hops Season Opener at the Smoky Mountain Center for Performing Arts Franklin Info: 866.273.4615; 828.524.1598 www.GreatMountainMusic.com

February 13th - 14th Sweetheart Show Brasstown Valley Resort Young Harris Info: 706.897.6179

Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center Highlands Info: 828.526.9047

Young Harris College Young Harris Info: www.yhc.edu January 20th “How Are We Today” Info: 706.379.4307 January 23rd, 29th February 19th, 26th “Stars: The Powerhouses of the Universe” Rollins Planetarium Info: 706.379.5195 February 11th Faculty Artist Recital Info: 706.379.5114 February 13th Unlucky in Love A Cabaret Fundraiser Info: 706.379.5114

January 2016

January 9th National Theatre: Skylight January 16th MET Opera: Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles January 24th Bolshoi Ballet: The Taming of the Shrew (Live) January 30th MET Opera: Puccini;s Turandot February 6th National Theatre: Coriolanus February 13th National Theatre: Les Liaisons February 27th National Theatre Live: As You Like It

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Beekeeping Classes

Blue Ridge Honey Company is pleased to announce their spring beekeeping classes, February 20th and 27th at 8:30 AM with a field day on March 26th at 12 PM. The March class will take students into the field where they will learn how to assemble the supers, frames and then put it all together. The class is a three day package which includes lunch for the first two sessions and a beekeeping book for only $55. Those interested may contact Bob or Suzette Binnie by e-mailing BobBinnie@blueridgehoneycompany.com or calling 706.782.6722. Blue Ridge Honey Company is located at 6306 Highway 441 South in Lakemont, Georgia 30552.

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Lovin’ the Journey

The blessing of no cell coverage

If I allow my life to get so crowded with input, my output becomes kaput. I don’t often do New Year’s resolutions. But I’m going to purpose to sit more, be still more, reflect more, listen more, ponder more, focus more and care more. Most likely I’ll not run less, hike less, bike less, climb less, paddle less or adventure less. But January seems like a good time to intentionally simplify. It makes no sense that the voice of the Holy Spirit should have to compete with the business and clutter in my life, stuff that has little or no long term value. Bruce Lee once said, “ It’s not the daily increase but the daily decrease. So keep hacking away at the unessential.” John the Baptist said, “I must decrease that He would increase.” I’ve noticed some older folks seem to have a comprehensive perspective on living, culture and history. Their view is from a higher elevation so they can see the landscape of time better. We are living in uncertain days of peril. Maybe older folks will agree.

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or many of us, the ability to stay connected is now so common place, we not only expect a cell signal and WiFi, it’s become as involuntary as breathing. In fact, social psychologists have studied our separation anxiety when our phones go absent. We even feel vibrations when we don’t actually have our phones. I think the Lord knew we’d occupy ourselves one way or another. That’s why we are told to “be still and know He is God.” I enjoy listening to friends accuse one another of spending too much time on social media. It’s like one alcoholic saying to another, “…at least I don’t drink as much as you”. In the mid 80s our TV news vehicles had cell phones in them. We were a well-financed operation and the envy of lower rated, across town reporters. I guess I’ve been “connected” a long time. I actually started carrying a cell phone in 1999. I resisted even back then, to joining the movement until the desire to stay in touch overpowered the fanciful notion of peace and quiet. And now that I’m a member of Search and Rescue and have an emergency alert phone app, I’m really tethered to technology. But it’s all good. I appreciate dead spots more. Sometimes isolation is good. It feels old school. I enjoy sitting in a deer stand on a cold winter morning watching frozen sage thaw at sunrise…with no cell coverage. I’m secretly envious of my wife who can go hours unattached to her mobile device, oblivious to its whereabouts.

I’m 55 and wonder if I too am becoming older and less sure of the future because of the climate of the present. Human life seems less sacred and more fragile. What will life look like in these mountains a few years from now? What will our country look like? It’s far easier to analyze the past than forecast the future. But I remind myself the concept of time isn’t our idea. Mankind didn’t create time. God created daylight and darkness and called it day one. We divide the day into hours and minutes and fill them up with life. I’m more intentional about numbering my days lately. I have far fewer than when I started. I think I can stretch them out further by cramming less into each one. That’s a tall order for high energy folks. But I’ll risk so much if I don’t. The still, small voice of the Lord is so much more healing and encouraging when I actually build my life around Him rather the other way around. So as this new year unfolds, I plan to reset. Getting to reset is a gift. There are far more ancient calendars than the one running January through December. But January is still a good time to reset, repurpose, rethink and renew. 2016 may be a year filled with uncertainty like never before. But for me it will be a year of great hope, a year to explore and discover more outdoor adventures, an opportunity to be kind and help others on their journey. I doubt there will be fewer cell phone dead spots. So it’s on me to get still and be still. If I don’t, I’ll miss way too much.

I wonder if doctors report an increase in neck pain from heads chronically hanging downward, fixated on a small glass screen. Sitting still and unplugged is now an art form for me. As a high-energy, adrenalin junkie, that’s a lofty life goal for me now. There may be a dark sinister plot against us. It’s subtle.

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See you on the trail. By Mark Holloway Mark is the owner of Fresh Start and an all-around great guy! He and wife Carol make their home in Rabun County. They stay busy and live life to the fullest. To reach Mark you may call 706.490.7060, if you by chance don’t get him... leave a message.

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Over the River and Through the Woods….for the Animals! Kitten season brings its own challenges. In the spring of each year we are bombarded with pregnant cats and litters of kittens, some found in the local recycling centers. This requires more shelter staff and volunteer hours, as well as kitten foster care. We have to accommodate them with a nursery and have had up to as many as 120 cats and kittens at this time of the year. All of this brings us to one of our biggest challenges and a part of our mission… reducing the number of unwanted pets. This is accomplished through SPAYING AND NEUTERING! We have been serving this community with free cat neutering on Fridays at the shelter with the help of our Director of Animal Health Stephen Arbitter, DVM. In addition, we offer low cost spay and neutering through the Rabun Animal Hospital which has agreed to provide these low-cost alternatives for spaying and neutering of pets.

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ver the river and through the woods….that’s what the runners did at the River Vista Half Marathon and Triple Peak Challenge in December. And NO ONE was happier that they ran than the animals at the Rabun Paws 4 Life Shelter! Rabun Paws 4 Life, Inc. is the first municipal Open Admission, No Kill Animal Control and Shelter in the State of Georgia. And we are SO PROUD to be entering our 4th year in operation. We have been very fortunate to have such support from our community and people around the country… support from those that see that we are a special place… a place for healing… a place for hope. It is only through the support from people like Cheryl and Barry Cook organizers of the River Vista Half Marathon and Triple Peak Challenge that we can fulfill our mission and vision!

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So what will we do with all of the money raised while running through the hills? Since we opened our doors, Paws has brought in 2,578 animals into its care; 1,358 of those were strays (53%). We have adopted 1,376 animals into homes from our shelter and transferred 917 animals to other no-kill shelters. Keeping up with so many animals is a very expensive venture and this event will help in so many ways! Many of the animals that enter Paws are ill or malnourished at the time they are found as strays or are surrendered to our animal control officers and shelter staff. Many times this is the reason they are surrendered. The funds from this event will help pay for much needed surgery, medications, nutritional supplementation and other medical care. The veterinary staff at Paws does an incredible job working with our animals and has just opened the wing for veterinary care of our animals.

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And of course… the animals MUST be happy while in our care! We work very hard to have ample volunteer hours for socialization and training. This is one of the biggest challenges at this time and we are exploring enrichment areas and programs for the animals with the staff and volunteers. Much of the money raised will go toward some of these special endeavors… an outdoor cattery, new play areas for dogs and training areas for all animals. The board of directors, animal control officers and the staff of Rabun Paws 4 Life would like to thank all of you for participating in the River Vista Half Marathon and Triple Peak Challenge… either running or observing. It was a GREAT time…. And the animals THANK YOU too!!!!!! by Jennifer T. Marcellino CEO, Rabun Paws 4 Life, Inc.

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River Vista Half Marathon & Triple Peak Challenge Appreciates Our Generous Sponsors Platinum Sponsor River Vista RV Resort Diamond Sponsors AdvoCare * Cheryl & Barry Cook & Emma Chastain The Dillard House & Dillard House Stables Georgia Mountain Laurel Sky 96.3 WGHC 100.3 The Rumsey Team ReMax of Rabun Gold Sponsors Beechwood Inn Dillard Tourism Fromage & Other Fine Foods Isagenix * Sonia Flores Rumor Hazit Silver Spoonsors 12 Spies Winery Crawford Art Gallery Crawford Art Gallery * Broderick Crawford - Wildlife & Nature Artist Duvall Automotive Goats on the Roof Happy Jack Graphics Highlands Ariel Park Kingwood Country Club & Resort Moonrise Distillery Nantahala Outdoor Center Rabun Animal Hospital Reeves Ace Hardware Scooter’s BBQ & Grill South State Bank Universal Joint Bronze Sponsors Cupboard Café Better Homes & Gardens * Gerald Silvious Ed Grizzle Insurance * State Farm Georgia Power Habersham Electric Membership Corporation KCC Pix – Kevin Croom Kiln Time with Leah Mishima Express Mountain Aire Cottages & Inn Rabun Event Center – Ken Rumsey Rabun Reflexology The Tree House Tiger Clinic – Dr. Stephen Jarrard United Community Bank Woodmen Life * Emma B. Chastain Linda Woods Your Time Fitness

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Contributors AAA Race Services Advanced Auto Parts Advanced Wellness Center – Sylvia Cutrone Badcock & More Beads by Amy Billingsley’s Garden Center Blossman Gas Blue-Eyed Buffalo Body Mechanics, Denise Patterson, Athens, GA Buds N Blossoms Cage Free Boutique Cindy’s Dragonfly City of Dillard Clayton Cafe Clayton Feed Store Clayton Merchants & Business Association Clayton Pharmacy Complete Cash Cowee Gift Shop – Franklin, NC CVS Pharmacy Critter Clinic - Dr. George Lent, Veterinarian English, Tunkle & Smith, LLP Harry Norm Realtors, Luxury Lake & Mountain Home Depot Indigo – The Laughing Painter Gotta Go Porta Johns – The Perteets HW Productions Kudzu Factory Mountain Physical Therapy NAPA Auto Parts Nantahala Outdoor Center – Christie Cochran Pritchett Tire Rabun County Bank Rabun County Emergency Services Rabun County Sheriff’s Department Southern Recipe Sword Tanner Companies – Doncaster The Laughing Painter The Fireplace Store Tru Vista Young Living – Ginger Johnson Your Time Fitness Wired by Mel Zaxby’s of Clayton Zeppelin’s Pasta, Pub & Grill

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Let Me Introduce You...

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Alvena Bowers: A family story

t’s a gray late fall morning. Occasional gentle rain punctuates the surface of a forest green pond. A few wild ducks, silent beyond the huge picture window, glide about their business while three women talk. Gathered around a huge plank table that has felt the weight and comfort of generations, they are abundantly comfortable in their own skins and with each other. They smile knowingly, joke about things they did when Rabun County was a matter of far flung communities, the trains rattled over the Tallulah Falls trestle and not every family had an automobile.

If you were the proverbial fly on the wall, you might chuckle at the reminiscencing of old sibling pranks—a certain tree climbing someone suspended by her bloomers on a branch sawed short by her brother, for instance. Wonder about a 1950s home economics class where the girls learned about pre-natal care from a live, pregnant doctor’s wife. Or applaud the morality of a woman, any of whose four grandkids or eight great grandkids knew she was really steamed if she uttered: “Darn!” Then you would learn that this woman—one of eight children—has recently, and happily celebrated her 95th birthday. Her lovely face and lively eyes could fool you into thinking Father Time had dozed off at the job and accidentally tallied the last 25 years to life’s score sheet. Yet if you were to visit a while with Alvena Bowers you would comprehend that the warmth, optimistic outlook and ability to laugh at herself and life’s inconvenient moments is who she is, and the gift she shares with her morning’s companions: JoElla Wilson and Regina Harden her daughters who live nearby and visit often. Listen a while to the lively banter, the recollections of who got into trouble about what back in high school; JoElla and Regina, with their mom, sound more like three girlfriends than a great grandmother and two grandmothers—of eight grandkids ranging in age from twenty months to fifteen years. Should you suspect a tear in the fabric of respect, it would be in error. These women are connected by something that encompasses, yet is more than blood. Not that there’s anything you could put your finger on and say, “Aha, that’s it!” It’s more something felt. A strength of bond that cannot be broken, alliances and allegiance and faith that are rarely seen in today’s strife ridden world of freely-tossed psychological catch phrases, labeling of commonly occurring family alienations, resentments, torments and pain. What they have may be ageless and of the ages. Just beyond the window, on a table on the screened in porch sit loaves of banana bread, waiting to be given for Christmas. But then, Alvena is always baking something, one of the several activities that keep her so busy, she has to stop and think when asked if she becomes lonely or bored, living way out here at the tag end of Warwoman Road, just a stone’s throw

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from Satolah, where she was raised, and spent a lot of years raising her ‘girls’. The phone rings. JoElla picks up, speaks a bit, and then asks, “Momma, _______ wants to know if you need some white raisins; she’s shopping…?” At first Alvena says she thinks not; then remembers all the special fruitcakes she’s planning and says, “Okay, please tell her I can use a few boxes.” This is a special fruitcake, explains Regina, “nothing like those that come in tins at the store. Everyone loves Momma’s fruitcake!” Oh, yes, the question. No, Alvena concedes. Between her baking for orders, driving the goods to bake sales and happy consumers, running errands, taking care of the house (with a teeny bit of help from her daughters), working jigsaw puzzles, planning various kids’ birthday shindigs, meeting her sisters in Highlands for a game of rummy and putting together her 50 states quarter collections for family members---“Who has time to be lonely or bored?” This is not your TV version of the frail white-haired old lady with family hovering to assist with the slightest chore. Whitehaired? Yep. The rest of that—no way! This is one independent woman and the word ‘old’ truly does not apply in any standard way. Staying young in every way that counts is not something that Alvena spends time pondering. This is someone who just does. She has always worked, and “never complains,” asserts

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Regina. She has passed along this ethic, as both JoElla and Regina still work when many of their contemporaries are retired to sun, fun or second homes. The work ethic is just part of the family identity. Again, they don’t make a big deal of it; they just do it because it’s what responsible people do. Alvena worked in Highlands for many years; one job as a restaurant server and would frequently walk there. She worked in landscaping designing English gardens—one of her clients was one of Calloways; had a little country store and gas station in Pine Mountain, taught Sunday school to adults, ladies and then youngsters at Macedonia Baptist. “I think I liked the children best. I’d take them outdoors and get them to find something that God had made. You wouldn’t believe how many rocks they picked up!” Then there was the substitute teaching of four grades in ’42. The kids were, “real smart”. She remembers a particular little fellow who wanted to buy her candy but didn’t have the cash. She told him he’d need to put it on his daddy’s credit, but the child was determined and said, “I want it on my credit!” When Alvena boarded at Tallulah Falls School way back when, there was no such thing as scholarships. “We earned our way,” she recalls, “but I didn’t mind.” She only got to go home for vacations, as Satolah to Tallulah Falls was a long way and her brother would come and collect her in the only family vehicle, a truck. She would have attended the Glade Hope School closer to home, an easy walking mile, but “it burned down when I was eight.” Alvena has her values, also just her way, nothing she would ‘pontificate’ about. She hasn’t and doesn’t drink, and absolutely frowns upon swearing. “Goodness, she won’t even call someone a liar,” Regina says. She won’t own a credit card, and has always taught her kids the value of appreciating something earned. A dime meant a lot back when. Regina laughs when she tells how “Momma was going to give JoElla a dime if she could stop talking for ten minutes---well, she didn’t make it!” What did Alvena do for fun back before TV, when radio was still an exciting thing? Well, when she wasn’t doing chores on the family farm, there was roller skating (the kind that clamped onto the shoe and was tightened with a metal key), dancing, tree climbing, sliding down dirt hills on, well, one’s backside, games like drop the handkerchief and tag. “Kids now don’t know how to have a good time; they want to be entertained; they should have a truck wagon.” (Planks of board fixed on front and rear wheels and with questionable steering.) And at the end of the day, every day, Alvena reads her Bible before bed. “I couldn’t go to sleep without it. I think it teaches you to tell the truth more than anything, don’t you think? And yes, it’s very comforting.” By Jo Mitchell

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Board, Volunteers Have F.A.I.T.H. in Their Hearts

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Herb was quick to praise the Home Improvement Ministry crews from Clayton Baptist Church who assist with much of the maintenance around the shelter. Many other local churches also contribute either financially or of themselves, he emphasized. Many board members also get their families involved. Continued service on the board tends to lead to deeper involvement, they all agree.

few days before Christmas 2015, all through the house at the F.A.I.T.H domestic violence shelter in Clayton, people were in high gear. Outside, men were raking and pruning shrubbery and laying mulch. Inside, workers were readying the facility for an imminent state inspection, planning an upcoming gala fundraiser and dealing with the mundane minutia. Nothing much unusual about any of this, except the majority of those “at work” that morning were board members and community volunteers. And in the midst of all their other efforts, Debbie Russell, Herb Entrekin, Amy Giles, Jack Bream and Carole Menge took a few minutes to explain why they believe that F.A.I.T.H. (Fight Abuse In The Home) is of life-or-death importance. These dedicated workers and volunteers are prime examples of the local citizens who have populated the shelter’s board of directors since 1994. Board members, it appears, who don’t mind getting their individual hands dirty. Executive Director Caroline Wallis notes that in her 16 years at the helm, she’s been blessed with incredible handson board support. So what motivates these individuals to donate their time and energies, their resources and expertise? Many had little, if any, prior first hand-knowledge about abuse, or of the many different ways F.A.I.T.H. serves the community. So what keeps them giving and doing more as their tenure on the board grows? In many ways, there was near universal agreement among these five on many aspects of the local domestic violence rescue and prevention program, but each person also had a unique take on the work that F.A.I.T.H. performs. Three-year board member Herb Entrekin was one of the men working on the grounds that morning, who took a break to join the conversation. He explained that when he accepted his seat on the board, it was just the beginning of his learning process. Once on the board, he says, he became more aware of what happens inside the shelter. He understands such information isn’t generally on the community’s radar.

Herb mentioned a project close to his heart, where he and other volunteers were securing bicycles for all the children in the shelter for Christmas. Those bikes will go with the kids when they and their mothers are able to leave the shelter. The group’s also working to get bikes that will stay at the shelter for the enjoyment of the resident children year-round. Amy Giles is in her second year, and joined because Caroline recruited her. “I wanted to be involved and give something back,” she explained. She confesses that she knew a little about F.A.I.T.H. at the time, but after several months on the board, she had developed a better understanding of how critical the need is. She represents a younger demographic segment of the Rabun Community, and is making good use of her connections to promote and extend the organization’s service and knowledge footprint. “It’s been a learning experience,” she admits. “Everything has been overwhelming, and it’s heartbreaking to learn how prevalent abuse is in the community. All that she has learned about abuse, particularly child abuse, has resonated with her, because of her own two children. The organization’s annual fundraising gala is approaching, and Amy is chairing the ball committee. “It’s going to be a great evening,” she promises, noting that a number of changes are happening for the 2016 event. “The Dirk Howell Band out of Athens will provide the music this year, instead of a seated meal, the buffet will consist of heavy hors d’oeuvres, and the all-live auction will feature new, bigger and better items. (See the adjacent sidebar for details on the ball.)

What? F.A.I.T.H. Sweetheart Ball When: Saturday, February 13, 2016 Where: Rabun County Community Center Time: 6:00 PM ‘til 11:00 PM Tickets: $65.00 each ….............. Upcoming: Golf Tournament and Fashion Show, Waterfall May 20, 2016 60

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When Debbie Russell was contacted almost nine years ago with an invitation to join the board, she admits to knowing little about domestic violence and less about how to combat the problem. She had been raised in a philosophy of giving back, and quickly said, “Yes, I can do this.” “This” has turned out to be a transforming few years for both Debbie and the F.A.I.T.H. organization. One of the biggest accomplishments for the entire operation was the opportunity to move to a much larger physical facility, which also allowed for expanded services and programs. Power House, a facility located in Stephens County dedicated to the diagnosis and counseling for all manner of child abuse was launched and is literally changing the lives of children and teens. The shelter is also a source for the “Darkness to Light” video that presents the topic of abuse and recovery in dynamic fashion. All board members view the presentation as part of their training, and the video is available to the community at no cost. The individual workbooks that accompany the video are $10.00 each, and are the viewer’s to keep. The movie runs about three hours. “Board members are to raise money to assist the staff, allowing them to spend their time rescuing violence victims and helping them to turn their lives around,” Debbie explained. Caroline had a slightly different take on the matter. “Board members make this place a home,” she counters.

the first time they’ve ever encountered men who won’t use or abuse them. Each board member has a unique reason for giving of themselves. They bring equally unique abilities and passions to the board. At the same time, they share a number of identical desires and dreams for F.A.I.T.H. If they could twitch their noses, they would ensure that… the organization was adequately funded for the long haul, so that staff could concentrate on serving the needs that are so plentiful. local, state and federal governments would recognize the critical need for the shelter’s services, and provide the money to deliver those services. the staff was adequately recognized and respected for the often thankless jobs they do, and were compensated for the quality of their service. shelter facilities and services were adequate to the true scope of need within the community. In the meantime, the board members continue to perform their oversight responsibilities and when they’re done, they work the jobs their hearts tell them to do. Because each of them agrees… working to break the cycle of abuse is all-critical, and if just one victim is saved and helped to build a new life, it’s worth all the leaf raking and grunge work. By John Shivers

Carole Menge isn’t a board member, but Tuesday of every week, you’ll find her indulging her love for and college degree in merchandising at the organization’s thrift store on Main Street. This is her third year at the store, which helps support the shelter. Carole believes in giving back to her community, and confesses to getting personal satisfaction from her work in the store. “I enjoy seeing people who can’t afford to shop elsewhere able to get good items at good prices,” she explains. And she takes a modicum of pride whenever someone compliments the artistic style of the window displays. “Based on the windows,” she says with a warm smile, “people often don’t realize our merchandise is used.” Jack Bream is another man who sits on the board. He’s in his second year, and has joined volunteer Dr. Bob Hatcher in hosting “Coffee Hour” every Thursday morning. The two men meet the ladies living in the shelter, and engage in conversation about whatever concerns them. “Whatever is on their minds,” he says, when asked what they talk about each week. This retired director of international sales for a medical equipment company, who seriously pursues woodworking in retirement, and Dr. Hatcher employ gentleness and are totally non-judgmental in their actions, words and demeanor. Caroline explains that for many of the women who attend the coffee sessions, the interaction with the two men may be

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Photo by Terry Barnes Photography (tbarnesphotography.photoshelter.com)


Franklin, North Carolina Franklin, NC is known for its wealth of natural beauty. You’ll discover magnificent waterfalls & breathtaking mountain vistas. Try your hand at gem mining, go for a trek on the Appalachian Trail, find a fishing hole, or explore the mountains on your bike or motorcycle. You’ll also discover great shopping including handmade arts & crafts, antiques & much more. Of course, you can always just kick your feet up and relax. Franklin, North Carolina is just over two hours from many major Southeastern metro areas including Atlanta, GA, Knoxville, TN, along with Greenville & Spartanburg, SC… the perfect home base to take in all of the attractions of Western North Carolina.

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Profile for Georgia Mountain Laurel

Georgia Mountain Laurel - January 2016  

Georgia Mountain Laurel - January 2016