All About Women June 2014

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editor Sherrie Norris 828.264.3612, ext. 251

writers Emily Apple Heather Brandon Sharon Carlton Bonnie Church Yozette “Yogi” Collins Marion Edwards Hollie Greene James Howell Heather Jordan Mary McKinney Heather Samudio Sue Spirit

production & design Meleah Bryan Marianne Koch Kristin Powers

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contents women in the news local women run lory whitehead you go girl the road not taken kim ring fashion ashe women model young at heart jenny ellerbe hunter’s heroes memorial run beauty marriage and family corner quilting for a cause by the book susan mast high country courtesies after suicide mom’s world recipes

jenny ellerbe

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lory whitehead

you go girl

kim ring

susan mast



editor’s note Where would we be — and what would we be — without fathers? Regardless of whether we grew up with great fathers, or fathers who were not so great, we women would not be here without them, plain and simple. As Mary McKinney addresses in our Marriage and Family Corner this month, the women we have become has much to do with the way our fathers related to us in our formative years. I hope your memories are happy ones. The majority of mine are not, unfortunately, but I remember good things about my father. He worked hard and was a good neighbor, always ready to help someone in the community who needed an extra hand. When he was in a good mood, he was fun to be around and he had a unique sense of humor. I will always believe that he meant well, but I feel sure that he dealt with something similar to, if not undiagnosed, bipolar disorder. When he was happy he was really happy, but when he wasn’t, nobody at my house was happy. I have waited most of my life and out of respect for his 10 siblings — eight, along with him, who are now deceased, and two unable to comprehend these words — before publicly sharing the pain in my heart that still runs very deep. Most people who knew him either loved him, or they didn’t, and it was all because of something he probably couldn’t help. He didn’t know that anything was wrong — and we weren’t about to tell him. Still, he was my father and there were things about him I admired. He grew up hard, served his country during World War II and later, his community, as a law enforcement officer. He was not lazy or greedy. He was wise and skilled in many ways and always reminded me to do as he said — not as he did. That made me know that he wanted the best for me, even if he didn’t know how to tell me. And, he loved my son beyond description in their four short years together. He didn’t conform to the expectations of others, and among other things to prove his point, he chose to wear a red tie at my wedding, full aware that my colors were spring pastels. That was a small thing, really. I have carried a heavy load through these years, as have my siblings. Why I am choosing to unload now is unclear. Perhaps, it is to encourage other women to focus on the good, to seek counsel for long buried pain — if they need to — and to remember that none of us are perfect, and most of all, to love their fathers, no matter what. Maybe, too, it’s hoping that fathers will read this note and make every possible effort to raise their daughters (and sons) with pleasant memories, so they will grow up to be happy, secure women and men who are able to love and trust others freely and without fear. He was my father, after all. I loved him the best I could. Still healing,




Photo by Allison Haver

Celebration of Living Awards Women were in the majority of the recipients of the 2014 Celebration of Living Awards during the 12th annual Adult Services Expo at Boone Mall on Friday, May 9. Pictured left-right: Sheri Church and her husband, Roger Church, named Caregivers of the Year for 30 years of service as foster parents; Marcella Henderson and Carol Teague, Volunteers of the Year, who started the Day Break program, a caregiver support group held at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living; Venita Peterson, Facility Resident of the Year, resides at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living where she participates in the Resident Ambas-

sador Program; Ann Graham, seated, Centenarian of the Year, worked for a local optometrist until she was 85 years old — and the only reason she retired was because her boss was retiring. Not pictured is Jay Erwin, Individual with Disabilities, a 15year employee of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation who was injured last August when a tree fell on him while he was working in his yard. He has since returned to work, has formed a Spinal Cord Support Group that meets monthly and he also hosts an online faith page to encourage and pray for others.

Pretty in Pink A fashion show and luncheon to benefit the Avery County Resource Center, located at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, will be held Thursday, June 19 at Camp Yonahnoka, on the grounds of Linville Golf Club in Linville. The event begins with a champagne reception at 11:30 a.m., followed by the fashion show and luncheon at 12 noon.

Special guest speaker will be Amy Michael. Fashions will be provided by Belk. Proceeds from the event will be used for the center’s patient emergency fund and will directly impact the lives of patients and families affected by cancer. For more information, call (828) 262-4391.

Women’s Fund hosting inaugural fundraising luncheon The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge will hold its inaugural luncheon on Thursday, June 26 at the Linville Ridge Clubhouse in Linville. The event includes a live and silent auction; half of the $75 ticket is tax deductible. Reservations may be made

through the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge website or by calling the WFBR office at (828) 264-4002. Seating is limited, so reserve early.




Boone Service League members Anna Oakes, left, and Kelli Haas, nail joists to a girder as part of Watauga County Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Day May 3. Photo submitted

Women Build More than 10 local women — including volunteers from the Boone Sunrise Rotary Club and the Boone Service League — participated on a Watauga County Habitat for Humanity construction site in recognition of National Women Build Week, held May 3-11. Now in its seventh year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities. The week also spotlights the homeownership challenges faced by women. Lowe’s Home Improvement sponsors Women Build Week. “It’s great that Lowe’s provides this opportunity to bring women together from communities across our country to work to help solve the problem of affordable housing,” says Alex Hooker, executive director of Watauga County Habitat for Humanity. “It’s fitting that their efforts went toward helping a single mother of four provide a safe and healthy place for her family to call home.” The volunteers worked to put the basement floor system in the fourth house built in Watauga Habitat’s GreenWood Community. The home is also part of Habitat for Humanity’s Builder’s



Blitz campaign, in which local homebuilders work to complete a house in less than one month. The High Country Home Builders Association started work on the house the same week and plan to have the home finished by the second week in June. The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 16.1 million children are living in poverty in the United States, and nearly 24 percent of children reside with women heads-of-household. In Watauga County, more than 32 percent of families are in need of affordable housing, according to Habitat. Lowe’s this year donated $1.75 million to Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Watauga Habitat. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 2,200 homes have been built in partnership with low-income families using Women Build crews. More than 52,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered at the six previous Women Build Week events. Watauga County Habitat for Humanity is a Christian ministry founded in 1987. Since then, Watauga Habitat has built 24 homes in Watauga County for families in need. For more information, call (828) 268-9545 or visit


Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture hosting annual farm tour, Volunteers needed Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture will host the 2014 High Country Farm Tour 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. June 28-29 in Ashe and Watauga counties. This annual event provides community members with opportunities to visit local farms, connect with farmers, and learn more about local family farms that grow food sustainably. Tickets are $25. A $25 weekend pass for an entire car can be purchased online or at the Watauga County Farmer’s Market and The Original Mast

General Store. Volunteer assistance is needed to help sell tickets, guide visitors and keep the tour running smoothly. In exchange for volunteer time at one training session and one four-hour shift, individuals will receive a free T-shirt and farm tour pass for a non-volunteer day. The volunteer sign-up form and more information about the tour are available at

37th Annual Blowing Rock Fashion Show and Luncheon Aug. 1 Celebrating “New Beginnings,” the 37th Annual Blowing Rock Fashion Show, this year to benefit Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock, will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 at the Blowing Rock Country Club. The event will open with a silent auction from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., followed by the fashion show and luncheon beginning at 11:45 a.m. Entertainment will be provided by the Todd Wright Duo. Tickets are $65. Always preceding the annual fashion show and luncheon, the patrons’ party, “Evening Under the Stars,” will be held on Saturday, July 26 at Shadowlawn, the historic Blowing Rock home of Ronald J. and Paula Withrow. The blacktie (preferred) event will begin with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. following by dinner and dancing at 7:30 p.m., with music by the Todd Wright Sextet. Tickets for the patron’s party are limited. Platinum level, $500 per guest, includes a private dining butler for the evening as well

as a ticket for the Fashion Show/Luncheon; Gold level, $350 per guest, includes a shared dining butler; Silver level, $175 per guest, for cocktails/dinner and dancing. The events are sponsored by Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation of Boone. Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock will offer post-acute care, including short- and long-term rehabilitative services, skilled nursing care, memory care support, and palliative care, all of which will enhance the quality of life for residents of the High Country. For more information about the events, or to purchase tickets, contact Jessica Powell at (828) 262-4391 or online at www.apprhs. org/foundation. To learn more about Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock, visit JUNE 2014 | AAWMAG.COM


LOCAL WOMEN in the Boston RUN Marathon By Heather Samudio and Sherrie Norris

‘We All Run Boston’ Three local women — Carrie Anne Richardson, Jackie Parsons and Zika Rhea — were among several local residents who recently ran the Boston Marathon For Carrie, it was her second time at Boston and her eighth marathon. Jackie is fairly new to races and marathons, having been running for about three years. Carrie says she has been encouraged by the support she has received, as well as the experience she had in Boston. “I am completely overwhelmed by the number of people, including strangers, who have contacted me to provide encouragement for being in this particular race. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to represent my community in showing the people of Boston our support,” she says. About the race slogan, ‘We All Run Boston,’ she says, “There is so much truth in this statement because this year’s Boston was about so much more than running. It was about grieving together, healing together and celebrating together, and I truly believe that’s what we did as an entire nation.” Jackie’s motivation to run initially began with her brother’s good-natured ribbing. “He told me I couldn’t run to the mailbox and back, and I couldn’t,” she 10


says. But she soon trained for one week “I would just run it to enjoy it,” she adds. and ran a small 5K, placing third in her Zika has been running competitively age group. for 25 years from the high school and When she came home, she was conficollege ranks into a professional running dent and asked her brother, ‘What is the next big thing?’” He told her it would be qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It wasn’t long until she qualified in Charleston, S.C., for the Boston event. “It was an honor to be there in Boston, especially this year,” she says. “I think everyone needs to run it at least once. It is a really good goal for everyone. It’s magical. The whole city radiates with this amazing energy.” Although the course is tough, she says, “Boston is really beautiful and the experience was great.” She describes the volunteers as amazing, the security measures intense — and she experienced no feelings of fear. Jackie says she would be up for running the marathon Jackie Parsons of Ashe County is seen here competing in a marathon again, but she probably at Myrtle Beach, S.C., in 2013, as she prepared for the 2014 Boston wouldn’t run it as a goal race. Marathon.

career and the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials; however, she says, it was participating in this year’s Boston Marathon that was undoubtedly the highlight of her running career. “A year ago my husband Pete and I were only a few hundred yards away from the finish line when the bombs went off,” she says. “I decided that day I wanted to run Boston 2014.” She did run this year’s race with ZAP Operations Director Ryan Warrenburg and says “For 26 miles, we were part of the greatest celebration of running our sport has ever seen.” It wasn’t about her time, she says, but about taking part. “This year men and women from around the country and the globe came to Boston to show the world that there is no greater unifier than sport,” she says. “It was an experience I will never forget.” Carrie Anne Richardson sports a blue and yellow scarf at the Boston Marathon, one knitted by people from across the United States and for organizers to give to the runners.

“About the race slogan, ‘We All Run Boston’, There is so much truth in this statement because this year’s Boston was about so much more than running. It was about grieving together, healing together and celebrating together, and I truly believe that’s what we did as an entire nation.” For Zika Rhea, the 2014 Boston Marathon was an experience she will never forget — and calls it ‘the greatest celebration of running our sport has ever seen.’ Photos submitted

- carrie anne richardson JUNE 2014 | AAWMAG.COM


Lory Whitehead

On a Mission

I’ve often wondered who my grandfather would have been had he not seen every major battle (or even one, for that matter) in the European Theater of World War II, carrying the images and experiences with him as he returned stateside to “normal” life. For generations, the longstanding effects of war on the young men and women who experience it has been underestimated. This same reality has pained Lory Whitehead of Boone since she was a child amid the nuclear attack fears of the ‘50s and as she came of age during the Vietnam War era. Witnessing how the legacy of war (and even the threat of impending battle) casts long shadows on



those who fight on our behalf, Lory was deeply moved. “There’s just been a lot of pain ever since I can remember,” she says. “There was a lot of angst during Vietnam. I was very much against that war. I wasn’t spitting on troops, but I felt strongly we should get out of there and I did what I could in terms of protesting.” Despite her anti-war stance, however, Lory, the granddaughter and daughter of career military men, felt strongly about military duty and in 1975 joined the Army as a Military Police Officer. “I believed in serving my country,” she says. “I thought I’d do it for two years and then go into the FBI, but I got married and had my son, so my goals changed and I stayed in the Army.”

Lory’s service understandably deepened her empathy for combat veterans and as she learned their stories, she found that pouring her emotions onto paper was a natural and helpful response. “I realized it was really cathartic for me to get these thoughts down on paper,” Lory says, “the stories vets told me, their tales, and how much I felt at the time.” A lot of times, she cried as she wrote. “So, with the conflict of my own feelings against war — and knowing what these young men and women had gone though — writing gave me a chance to get it out,” she says. Lory’s new book, “reluctant warriors,” is a compilation of those writings, stories of combat veterans, and letters written to her son while she was away on active duty

— a collection that spans decades during which our country’s approach to war and peace evolved and faced new challenges. In case you’re wondering, Lory purposefully didn’t capitalize words in her title or poems because, as she explains, “It was fairly typical to use lower case when corresponding informally in the military. Once I started doing that, I found it so much faster that I just never went back to capitalizing.” Her book, “reluctant warriors” creates a safe place, she says, for veterans who’ve seen combat, to find comfort and learn that their emotional struggles are universal, and that they are not alone. Though creating this safe place for veterans, it also deftly resonates with those of us lucky enough to escape the reality of war and helps us understand the sacrifices our servicemen and women make for our country. “We’re getting further away from realizing what our vets go through,” says Lory. “Many of the poems in the book are based on stories I’ve heard and many are from my own experiences, but every poem in the book came from an experience, something a vet told me that had happened to him or her.” Veterans find her words to be as therapeutic to read as they were for Lory to write. Recently, as she accompanied a group of veterans to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., a former WWII infantry officer who is 91 years old told her, ‘I still feel guilty that I survived.’ “I’ve heard this from numerous vets,”

Lory says. “No matter how much action they saw, they wonder, ‘Why me, when my buddy got killed or hurt?’ It’s quite common and I have a poem in my book entitled ‘the guilty man.’ When that veteran finished my book, he held it up on the bus and said, ‘This is a book that every vet should read.’” What better endorsement can an author get than for a member of her target audience to advocate her work with passion, like that? It is music to Lory’s ears, especially since her dream is for every veteran to have a chance to read the book and, in reading it, find some comfort. “I purposely priced the book very low,” she says, “because I am hoping that everybody can afford it and even purchase a second one to give to a veteran or to the family member of a veteran. Every vet I’ve talked to has told me that it’s helpful to know that other vets have the same feelings. I hope my book will allow people to make the association that, ‘Gee, I’m not the only one that feels this way.’” Look for “reluctant warrior” at The Dancing Moon in Boone and online at A portion of the proceeds benefits The Fisher House Foundation, which provides military families free lodging near a loved one who is hospitalized for illness or injury.

‘i hope my book will allow people to make the association that, ‘Gee, I’m not the only one that feels this way.’

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Local Girl Scouts

sending hope — one dress at a time

Girl Scouts from Troop 10807 display some of the dresses they’ve made for the organization known as Little Dresses for Africa. Left-right: Shelby Watson, Ella Carroll, Kate Tuberty, Kazia Orkizewski. Photo by Janet Moretz

Four local Girl Scouts are reaching across the world for their bronze awards — and making other youngsters feel special in the process. In trying to decide on a special project that would have a lasting and positive impact on others, Shelby Watson, Ella



Carroll, Kate Tuberty and Kazia Orkizewski chose to focus their time and talent on a nonprofit Christian organization known as Little Dresses for Africa. The group provides clothing and other resources not only to children in Africa, but also in other parts of the world, including, ironically, parts of the Appalachian Mountains.

Through the program, simple dresses are made from pillowcases and distributed through orphanages, churches and schools in Africa and beyond. While it may sound “simple,” organizers see the outreach effort as one that delivers a powerful message and allows young female recipients to feel worthy — and to know

that someone cares about their well- being. The compassionate Girl Scouts currently involved in this outreach locally are members of Troop 10807, which encompasses the Green Valley School area. The troop meets at Bethany Lutheran Church every Tuesday during the school year. Led by Janet Moretz and JoAnne Jenkins, with the help of six assistants, the troop is comprised of about 28 girls from grades three to 10. “We are very proud of our girls,” says Janet. “These four learned to make the dresses and then held a workshop recently to teach other girls how to make them, too.” In addition to the four who are working on their bronze awards, three others in the troop are in the final stages of completing their Silver Awards, JoAnne says. “Crystal Cornett has been working to ‘Spread the Bread,’ by cooking and donating bread to those in need. Brianna Meadows and Emma Liesegang are collecting toys and games to donate to Camp Care, a summer camp for children with cancer.” These are just a few examples of how this Girl Scout troop is making a difference, their leaders say. According to JoAnne, learning about the dress project in Africa, and its history, was compelling to the four in pursuit of the their bronze awards. It all started with a woman by the name of Rachel O’Neil who, knowing the difficulties faced by many young girls in Africa, decided to take some dresses to the village children. A small group of women began helping her sew simple little dresses, made out of pillowcases, to be distributed to young girls in African orphanages. The pillowcase idea caught on quickly and is a simple one in which even a novice seamstress can effectively work, program directors said. Pillowcases are available in many colors and patterns, they come with a hem and enclosed sides and are often sitting unused on shelves in closets in many homes. The idea that they could be turned into bright little sundresses, perfectly suited for the African climate, has garnered the attention of many seamstresses across the world, young and old. To date, more than 2 million “little dresses” and donations have come

through the program and have been distributed in 47 countries in Africa. They have arrived from all 50 of the United States, and other countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Because of the overwhelming response to the project, its outreach is extending to other countries in crisis such as Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, the Dominican, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico and thousands to Haiti.

These young girls are shown wearing dresses that were given to them through the Little Dresses for Africa outreach. Photo submitted

‘I cannot wait for the little girls to get these dresses. It’s so cool we can make clothes with so little. They are going to be so cute!’ - shelby watson More importantly than how many have been shipped — or where they have been distributed — are the lives that they have touched, said program coordinators. Every little dress goes out as a little ambassador in the name of Jesus, to give hope to the children that receive them. This ministry captures the hearts of

many and continues to grow as groups of all sizes spring up across America, especially. These groups cross age, gender and denominational lines, to serve little girls in need. Speaking for her Girl Scout troop in Boone, Breanna Meadows says, “It means a lot that we can do something for others who need it more.” Shelby Watson adds, “I cannot wait for the little girls to get these dresses. It’s so cool we can make clothes with so little. They are going to be so cute!” Regarding the troop’s other projects, Crystal Cornett says she loved being able to share her time, talent and recipes with other girls through her recent Spread the Bread workshop, and knowing that they could, in turn, share what they learned with their families. “Then when I prepared the biscuits for the weekly community meal at my church, it was nice to see everyone enjoying them so much and wanting the recipe, too,” she says. “It made me feel like I had helped make a difference in the community.” Shelby Barker “loves, loves, loves Girl Scouts,” she says, and had fun learning new things as she recently obtained her pottery badge. Little Dresses for Africa provides numerous ways to help, the girls have learned. Many groups, like their own, have started or hosted their own sewing group, have volunteered to size and pack little dresses, or make financial contributions toward shipping costs. To ensure that they actually get to the children, the majority of dresses are sent with mission teams here in the United States, as they travel on their missions, for personal distribution. As the project leaders have said, they are not just sending dresses, but they are also sending hope. Note: These local Girl Scouts are always on the move and looking for things to do for their community. They also like to travel and will be taking a trip to Cherokee later this year. Next year, they are planning a trip to Savannah, Ga., which is the birthplace of Girl Scouts in the US. sherrie norris Editor, All About Women



The road not taken



In the Vermont woods near Middlebury, not far from Robert Frost’s old summer cabin, there is a hiking trail with resting benches, each bearing a quote from one of Frost’s poems. After hiking for a while I came upon a fork in the path with a plaque reading, “The Road Not Taken: two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both.” At this point I had to decide whether to take the left fork or the right, perhaps a provocative metaphor for my life journey. Recently, sifting through the events of my life, I jotted down several forks in the road where I needed to decide which way to go. At each of those choosing-points I had a feeling akin to Frost’s line in the poem: “Knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” My friend, Linda, and I, both English majors at Mt. Union College in 1958, excitedly plotted our junior year abroad at Exeter University in England. When we received our acceptance letters, we danced around our dorm room. “Hooray! A year in England! Imagine!” Right after Christmas break, Linda broke the news: she was engaged and planning to be married in June. She would not be going to England, after all. I was devastated. Would I go alone? Probably not. England’s shores were already receding. For a girl who had never left Ohio, a year in a strange place with no old friend for comfort was a future beyond imagining. College graduation loomed, with its standard job opportunity for young women in 1960: teaching. But, I pondered another tempting path: being a proofreader in a New York City publishing house. The Saturday “Review of Literature,” which I read religiously, portrayed the exciting New York literary life. I wanted to be a writer. Wouldn’t this be a good step in that direction? New York might as well have been as far away as England. No one in my class was contemplating going. Reluctantly, I decided on teaching: high school English and Spanish. Two years of teaching behind me, I was chosen for a year-long San Francisco seminar for Spanish teachers. I accepted, enthusiastically. It was a heady time. President John F. Kennedy had created the Peace Corps.

My new friends and I applied, and I waited and waited to hear back. No word. Finally, after I had accepted another teaching job, my Peace Corps papers came through. I was assigned as a college English instructor at a university in Urubamba, Peru. Could I break my teaching contract? I agonized, but didn’t think so. Frost’s words, “I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence . . . ” came true recently when I actually found myself in Urubamba on an adventure travel trip. I rafted the Urubamba River, had a meal with a Peruvian family, and wondered what life in Urubamba might have been like 50 years ago. What next? My San Francisco friends had inspired me to go to theological seminary, to settle “the God question” once and for all, or so I imagined. Soon, I found myself immersed in Greek verbs and prayer writing. After graduation and ordination, I came to another fork in the road, and took the path few brave young ministers in the ‘60s did: I became an inner-city street minister. In my United Methodist conference I was soon seen as a maverick and an off-the-beaten-path thinker, not someone on the proper course for a church pastor. One of the earliest United Methodist women ministers, I could have become a district superintendent, or even a bishop. For ages, I’ve been “tasting” what it might be like to be an MFA student in creative writing. I tell myself, “Boy, I’d love that! Look how much work I’d get done!” But wait. I already have three master’s degrees. I’m 75, for heaven’s sake, and not about to embark on a college teaching career in creative writing. Why would I want to

study so hard for two years? I answer, “To be more serious about my writing. To see if maybe I have a memoir or a poetry collection in me.” Nah, why not find an easier, cheaper way to work hard? But still, you never know. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I . . .” Well, I turned some paths down and took others, never really looking back until now. What about you?

At this point I had to decide whether to take the left fork or the right, perhaps a provocative metaphor for my life journey. sue spirit Writes poetry and essays about nature, spirituality, writing, and travel. She has a little cabin in the mountains.

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The High Country’s Fashion Savant Ashe County grad makes a splash in the fashion world Photos by Dimitri Williams

Fashion isn’t for everyone.

Kim Ring (right) standing with model Claire Gibson, who is wearing a dress made by Ring for “The State of Fashion” fashion show.



For some people, seeing a model walk down a runway sporting a well-made dress couldn’t be more boring. But this isn’t the case for Kim Ring, because as she’s watching a runway show, there’s always a chance she could spot something she’s designed herself. Kim is currently a sophomore at N.C. State University majoring in fashion and textile design with a concentration in fashion design. Even though she’s always been an artist, her passion for fashion was sparked when she was a junior at Ashe County High School. “From a very young age, I had always been interested in art and design — from ceramics to graphic design to drawing,” Kim says. “During my junior year of high school, I created my prom dress from my own pattern and design, and that’s how I got into fashion design in particular.” According to Kim, her interests in the field have evolved since she began college, but her aspirations to responsibly design innovative and functional clothing has remained a constant. Kim’s most recent works have focused on new technologies. As part of a competition by Cotton Incorporated, she designed a women’s ensemble utilizing the characteristics some of their newest, innovative fabrics, straight from their product development laboratories. “I chose to work with their cotton ‘satin,’ which offered the same shine/ luxury as a silk satin, but also kept its comfortable cotton characteristics,” she says. “With it, I designed a cocktail dress inspired by the Marble Arch in London.” Kim’s cocktail dress won second place in the Cotton Incorporated competition. Later on in the semester, she designed a piece for a competition in collaboration with the Nonwovens Institute, which also won second place.

This chair and dress created by Ring share an original digitally printed textile inspired by the Penrose triangle and color by monochrome reds. This combination won 1st Place Home Textiles- Cotton First Design Exhibition and Competition 2012 (chair) and 1st Place Beginners Collection- Cotton First Design Exhibition and Competition 2012 (dress).

According to Kim, nonwoven fabrics are created basically by entangling fibers into a giant web. They could be seen as more sustainable because it takes much less energy and processes to create the fabric versus our typical wovens or knits. Nonwovens are mostly utilized for disposable uses and in the medical and automotive fields, she says, but they have yet to make a real presence in the apparel area of the textile industry. However, many companies, including NWI, have been doing research to specifically engineer a type of nonwoven fabric that could be used for apparel. For the competition, several students were to create pieces that showed off the innovative properties a nonwoven garment could hold. “For my submission, I used a laser cutter to create cut-outs in the fabric to make a cool visual effect,” Kim says. “This technique worked with the nonwoven fabric well because nonwovens can’t unravel, so there was no need to individually hem or finish each of the cutouts.” Additionally, Kim has been focusing on textile design from digital printing, and special jacquard weaving and knitting techniques. Two of her designs won

second place and an honorable mention in an exhibition called Quintessential Cotton. As if winning awards wasn’t enough, Kim also dedicates her time to Cotton Incorporated as an ambassador to their university program, which is something she really enjoys. Cotton University is an online educational resource for students and industry members. “Throughout this past semester, I executed a marketing plan I had written to get students at the NCSU College of Textiles involved in fashion,” says Kim. “This included several contests for fashion design and trivia about cotton.” Although she is not a fashion marketing student, “I’ve enjoyed it a lot, and it’s helped me become a more well-rounded designer to learn the marketing details,” Kim says. Along with her obligations to Cotton University and the work she does as a fashion major, Kim also works as a fashion consultant for a retail store near campus. “It can be tiring, but it’s fun,” she says. “I mostly do it because retail experience looks great on a fashion resume, and it’s good insight to know how a product

cycles throughout the retail/buying realm.” Kim is also working multiple jobs to offset costs to further her overseas fashion studies. “As for my educational career, I’d love to travel and learn about different cultures as part of my inspiration behind my designs,” she says. In July, Kim plans to study at Donghua University in Shanghai, China to learn about traditional Chinese garment designs. Also, in 2015, she will be studying in London for the entire spring semester. “These are really enormous aspirations, but having multiple jobs helps to pay for it, and of course it will be worth each experience,” she says. After graduation, Kim has two different career paths upon which she would like to embark. “I’d love to either work for a company like Cotton Inc. to create innovative fabrics/designs with the newest technologies the industry has to offer,” she says, “or work under a great designer to learn the ropes.” With more experience under her belt, she would like to test her capacity in entrepreneurship. Of course, in a field like fashion, it’s tough to predict the future. New opportunities could open any day, some of which include travel to new areas or jobs she had never considered. For now, Kim will continue to chip away in school, win more awards, visit new places and enjoy her time as a student while she waits for the future. James Howell



Finding the perfect

swimsuit 20


Finding the best swimwear for your body can be a challenge, but there’s something out there for every age, shape and size. Whether you want to minimize your hips, hide your belly, support your chest, or fake a curvier figure, we’ve got tips for flattering your body type so you feel comfortable and look your best in a bathing suit. Many women are self-conscious about how they look in swimwear. Finding that perfect bathing suit that helps you look great on the beach can be a daunting task, but keeping a few flattering styles in mind while you shop can help you pick a suit in which you look good and feel comfortable wearing. Curve-enhancing prints and volumizing accents will most likely emphasize the bottom part of your body, while fitted straps and structure give your upper body the support it deserves. Your suit should hug your curves, not smother them. Elongating cuts keep hips from looking “pinched.” Many one-piece suits expose more back and less tummy, and others show a bit more cleavage or thigh. Show off your best assets and conceal the others. Always remember that you are aiming for a balanced silhouette. If you’re into swimming, definitely choose a one-piece that doesn’t cut into the shoulders, has comfortable, stretchy fabric and doesn’t creep up the backside. Forget bikini strings. You just don’t want anything to come undone while you’re doing laps or snorkeling off a crowded beach.

Small on Top Flirty details on top can “fill out,” but won’t make you feel like you’re stuffing your cups. If you’re small on top, you may want to try the newest, little swimsuits from Brazil. Brazilian women are generally smaller on top than American girls, and their swimsuits are cut accordingly. Look for tops with a touch of padding, or an under wire, demi-bra style that makes the most of a beautiful, dainty, bust line. Try to find a top with adjustable straps at shoulders and around back so that you can tighten and adjust things, to help fill out the top line. Consoider yourself very lucky if you

have the body to wear those cute, ruffled tops that are hot right now. As for bandeau tops, only you can wear those well. You can also show off in those tiny, tritops that the big-busted girls only dream about. Avoid tops with too much fabric or have a poor fit. Opt for separates, where you can choose your top and bottom separately.

Big on Top If you need extra support, keep in mind that underwire tops can work well and look great. Halter-top bikinis can be a good choice by offering support, while providing some suggestive cleavage at the same time. Look for styles that are banded around the midriff and can be tied in the back and around the neck. This style will give you some lift and will allow you to make adjustments for a personal fit. Look for one-piece swimsuits with some structure in the bust, such as soft foam cups or, at least, a shelf bra. Straightcut bust styles, such as a classic tank, can look clean and sporty. Wide shoulder straps will also be much more comfortable than thin spaghetti straps. Avoid strapless bandeau tops and those tiny, tritops that offer minimal coverage. Again, consider a suit that allows you to order the top and bottom sizes separately.

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Accessorize With hotter temps come even hotter accessories, so don’t be afraid to make the most of chill prints and sporty extras that keep you looking cooler than the surfside breeze. Crank up the summer weather with some new tan wedges or a floral sundress to celebrate. A cute tropical swim coverup or shades will be the perfect add-on to any summer vacation get-away. Because it’s summer and the memories are just waiting to happen.

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Emily apple Emily Apple is an Appalachian State graduate with a degree in fashion design and merchandising.

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Ashe women model

for Ming Wang Two Ashe County women were chosen for the trip of a lifetime from among 18 women selected in the United States to be models for the spring 2014 “I am Ming Wang” seasonal look book. For the spring look book, Ming Wang partnered with select specialty boutiques across the country, including Libby’s in Jefferson. Customers were invited to submit pictures of themselves wearing Ming Wang their way. Libby’s shop owner Libby Cockerham submitted photos of Bronda Elliot of Jefferson and Jean Williams of Crumpler, along with others from Ashe County, wearing the Ming Wang line. Winning an all-inclusive trip to Dallas, Texas, Bronda and Jean were selected to participate in the shoot, enjoy a spa day, explore the city and visit Ming Wang’s headquarters in Grapevine, Texas. The women took the trip last Oct. and stayed at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, which Bronda says was “unbelievable.” “I was so honored and proud of my girls,” Libby says. “Jean, who works for me, has always enjoyed wearing Ming Wang and has enjoyed selling it to some of her favorite customers. And when Bronda was also selected from the photos we submitted, I knew they would make great models. I have used their pictures on my billboards and website. What an honor for my store and Ashe County to be represented this way.” The seasonal look book is distributed all over the world and is available at Libby’s in Jefferson. Jean, a longtime sales associate at Libby’s, and Bronda, a loyal Libby’s customer and fill-in sales associate when needed, were treated to a session with professional hair and makeup artists and photographers, spa treatments and massages, and an in-depth look at the Ming Wang design process, warehouse and history of the family-owned company. “We had a fantastic time,” Jean says.



Ashe County women Jean Williams and Bronda Elliot have been chosen as models for the spring 2014 ‘I am Ming Wang’ seasonal look book.

“They treated us royally and were so kind. They took us out to wonderful meals and dinners.” Bronda agrees with Jean, saying, “They made it first class all the way. They couldn’t have treated us any better.” “It was quite an experience for this mountain girl,” she adds. Each of the women was given the outfit they modeled; an added bonus for both Bronda and Jean, who are fans of the Ming Wang line. “I love it,” Jean says of the line. “It is a great product. It washes and wears so

well. You don’t have to iron it. I’ve been wearing it for four or five years and I love it. I really do. If anyone wears it once, they will go back to it. I have customers who I call when it comes in and they come for it.” Bronda says it is one of the best lines of clothing, “It is comfortable and doesn’t wrinkle. You can mix it with jeans for a casual look, or mix and match it with other materials, as well.” The clothing line is carried at Libby’s and is one of the store’s top sellers. Libby says she carries the line’s basic black

Bronda Elliot and Jean Williams, both of Ashe County, are among a group of women chosen nationally as models for the spring 2014 ‘I am Ming Wang’ seasonal look book. Photos submitted.

year-around from extra small to a 3x in women’s. “Their blacks always match and a lady can build a wardrobe around it,” she says, adding that she will also bring in fashion season colors for spring and fall. “Ming Wang is a timeless classic,” Libby says. “It never goes out of style. It is washable, easy care and affordable for a woman who enjoys wearing comfortable, stylish looks. You can mix your Ming Wang with everything from denim to Foxcroft blouses. A lady can take Ming Wang from church to work, wedding to cocktail. It is a staple in your closet.” The “I am Ming Wang” look book was first created in 2011, when the goal of showcasing the Ming Wang product was on the women who inspire the collection rather than traditional fashion models who are not representative of the knitwear brand’s core audience. Libby partners with Ming Wang because she likes to do business with companies that care about their customers “like I do mine,” she says. “Ming Wang is a family-owned company. Their customer service is outstanding. They deliver on time and the quality and fit is superior.” For more information about Ming Wang, visit To see the line Libby’s offers, visit the store in the Shamrock Square Shopping Center

on Long Street in Jefferson. Cockerham, Williams, Nancy Brown, Christina Vogl or Imogene Goodman are available to assist customers.


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ircle of Friends

Michelle, Lauren, Heather, Kristan and Julie at Lauren’s recent baby shower. Photo submitted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” This is absolutely true of my girlfriends and me. We are different shapes, sizes and ages; we come from different places and have had different experiences. What binds us together is the knowledge that each of us can be completely honest and genuine around the others. And that is a rare and precious thing. I have been called the ringleader of our group, which brings to mind the Pink Ladies from the movie “Grease.” While it is possible that our gang might break into song and dance at any given moment, I doubt any of us would wear those questionable pink satin jackets. I prefer to think of myself as our social coordinator. We are all busy — with work and home, with husbands and children — but we make time for each other. I see some of my girlfriends weekly, 24


some monthly and others a few times each year. We support each other at major life events — weddings, birthdays and births — and at impromptu gatherings like bowling competitions, potlucks and tea parties. Sometimes it is just us ladies, but we often include the husbands. How did I come to be part of this group of gals who complement each other instead of being competitive and critical? It took time, effort and some lucky introductions. Some I met at work, and others through my guy friends — also known as their husbands. I did not always find it easy to make women friends and based on the times I have witnessed mean girls in action, this is a common problem. As a 20-something, I spent too little time getting to know other girls and too much time comparing my perceived flaws to their perfections. Over time, however, I found my

niche and connecting with other women became easier. All my girlfriends are fabulous inside and out, but what drew me to them was their ability to laugh — at the absurdities of life, at each other and at my sometimes less-than-successful jokes. Are we ever competitive? Yes, but only at the gym! And, according to our husbands, we do the whole gym-competitive-thing wrong because our “trash talk” is much too polite. Am I ever envious? I will admit to admiring Lauren’s bombshell hair, Kristan’s toned arms and Julie’s artistic talents; however, this is not jealousy, but appreciation of each other’s awesomeness. If I am the ringleader, then Julie with her knack for side-splitting storytelling is the comedienne. She is also an amazing artist and is willing to let those of us (me) who are artistically challenged, play at painting from time to time. Sharon,

‘I think they would all agree that they are fortunate to know me, I am fortunate to know them — and we are fortunate to know us.’ - Heather brandon infectiously full of life, is the cheerleader. She is upbeat, energetic and ready for adventure — except when said adventure is letting me order sushi for us both. Kristan, the athlete, is so fit that I would hate her just a wee bit if she did not motivate me to work harder. She is also food adventurous, appreciates interesting chocolates and has extensive knowledge of ‘80s music. Lauren and Michelle are the geeks — lovers of science and sci-fi, respectively. Lauren, a geology professor and advocate for women’s science education, is also a lawyer, which probably frustrates her students when they try to argue for a higher grade. Michelle, who is willing to exploit her children by making them dress as the cutest little “Star Wars” characters at Halloween, is the perfect hostess and (inside joke alert) makes a mean twinkle tart! I think they would all agree that they are fortunate to know me, I am fortunate to know them — and we are fortunate to know us. And, to the other ladies in my circle of friends – Anita, Leslie, Susan, Jill, Rebecca, Claudia and Ellen – anyone up for a bit of stupid?

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heather brandon Considers life to be one big anthropological field experience. She observes and reports. She enjoys travel, food and wine and adventures with her husband, Roger.



Finding Hope with

Photo by Sherrie Norris

Jenny Ellerbe Nearly two years have passed since Jenny Ellerbe of Boone was awakened in the early hours of July 2 by military personnel to learn that her husband, Major Ryan Scott David, had died the previous day in a plane crash while fighting wildfires in Edgemont, South Dakota. At the time of the accident, “Ry,” as he is fondly remembered by his wife of 10 years, was one of six North Carolina Air National Guard airmen aboard the MAFFS 7 C-130 Hercules that had been deployed by the N.C. Air National Guard 145th Airlift Wing; Ryan, 35, was one of four who died. Life changed forever that day for Jenny and her son, Rob, who was 6 months old at the time. It’s still painful for her to talk about, but the memories Jenny has of her husband and of the time they shared together since meeting 14 years ago, has helped ease her sorrow. Remembering Ryan, his zest for life, for flying and his compassion for others helps Jenny face each new day as she raises her son without his father, but with the help of her parents and brother, who have been with her every step of the way. “Ry found adventure in every day,” Jenny says, “and excitement in each moment.” He made it known to everyone around him that he was blessed to live his dream.” He considered Jenny, Rob and flying the three most important things in his life. It’s the life he lived — and the life they had together — that brings Jenny comfort. Faith brings her hope for the future. Among many things that Jenny has learned through her loss is to appreciate every moment. “You never know when something is going to happen,” she says.

Each time Ryan was deployed, Jenny worried. “He always told me that I worried too much,” she says. “He might have been worrying just as much, but he did not want me to worry.” Despite its hazards, fighting wildfires was not a mission that caused her the greatest concern, she said. After all, the mission was stateside. Ryan was a very experienced navigator, and after eight deployments to Southwest Asia, he was no stranger to dangerous missions, Jenny says. “I always trusted that he would be safe; it was no different with his last mission. It was a horrible tragedy, ironically caused by weather instead of combat.” Ryan had confidence in his equally experienced fellow crewmembers, she adds. “He loved flying and serving his country, and the humanitarian missions were Ry’s favorite.” From her parents’ travels, Jenny said that Ryan had learned about the beauty of the South Dakota area impacted by the wildfires. He was eager to get started on the mission and to help. Like other military couples, Jenny and Ryan had talked about the “what ifs.” “It may seem odd, but that is something required of military families — in times of peace and war,” Jenny says. “We were both acutely aware of his job’s hazards, both during Ry’s long active duty career and short time in the NC Air Guard.” Ryan never considered himself a hero and would not want his death to define who he was, Jenny says. “Instead he would have wanted to be remembered as a loving husband and father who was very proud to serve his country. I treasure Ry’s memory and will always miss him.”

Jenny Ellerbe and her son, Rob, share special times together while making new memories.

Profile picture of Ryan at work helping during Hurricane Ike in Texas, 2008. Picture taken by an Air Force Times photographer.

In the beginning Jenny grew up in Boone. After graduating from Watauga High School, she attended NC State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science. She met Ryan in 2000 while in graduate school at the University of Maryland College Park. “We were in Air Force ROTC together, but in separate classes,” Jenny says. “Ry was completing his undergraduate degree and was in his final year in the ROTC program.” Jenny did not know Ryan very well and was surprised when he contacted her one evening about some ROTC coursework. They had a good time talking, and Jenny was impressed by his sense of humor and good nature. The following weekend, Jenny had planned to go hiking with friends and invited Ryan to join her, along with anyone he wanted to invite. No one else showed up, so the two went alone. Ryan had told Jenny that he was an avid hiker, but she had her doubts when he showed up in a button down shirt, nice cargo pants, running shoes — and no water.



Her suspicions were confirmed about 30 minutes into their rigorous five-mile hike, one that Jenny did fairly often with her dog. In the end, Ryan’s infectious smile won her over. “That hike became our first date,” she says. “I later learned that Ry had not asked anyone to join us hiking; he got lucky that my friends were unable to go.” Ryan had also skipped out on attending a Redskins football game, which for him, “a football fanatic,” was a big deal, Jenny says. “I did not know, at that time, just how much Ry loved football.” A little more than a year later, Ryan proposed, after asking permission from Jenny’s parents and brother. In a beautiful ceremony, they were married in Boone, in October 2002. Ryan eventually became an avid hiker, after all, Jenny says. The self-described “best friends” husband and wife team enjoyed not only hiking together, but also traveling, snow sports, cycling, cooking and, of course, football. Ryan was a devoted Nebraska Cornhuskers’ fan — and by marriage became a NC State Wolfpack and Appalachian State fan. One of his prized football possessions was a hat (from Jenny’s dad)

signed by Coach Jerry Moore who, earlier in his coaching career, was a member of Nebraska’s acclaimed Osborne coaching team. Ryan always loved spending time with Jenny’s family in Boone and was happy to move here a short time before his death. The couple had earlier lived a nomadic lifestyle, Jenny says, as the U.S. Air Force transferred Ryan from place to place. One of Ryan’s active duty assignments was at Pope Air Force Base, now known as Pope Field. During that time the couple lived near Raleigh, where Jenny received her master’s degree in higher education at NC State. While in the Raleigh area, she worked in the university’s department of biology, coordinating the department’s advising and first year experience programs. During that time the department grew from 900 undergraduate students to over 2,500. Jenny oversaw 40 faculty advisors, 3 professional advisors, helped lead college-wide advisor training programs, led the department’s new student orientation sessions, as well as designed and taught an introductory course. She also developed, implemented, and facilitated the department’s peer advising and tutor-

ing program. Jenny’s efforts did not go unrecognized — she earned several awards at both the college and university levels. As Ryan joined the NCANG, 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte in October 2011, the couple moved to Boone to be near Jenny’s parents and await the birth of their son in December. “He loved my parents and they loved him,” Jenny says. “When we were finally blessed with Rob, Ry and I were elated to be back home and very excited to embark on our adventure as parents. I am so grateful for the time that we had together as a family.”

Who was Ryan David? With more than 10 years active duty experience in the U.S. Air Force, Ryan was an experienced, highly decorated navigator and member of the NC Air National Guard 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte at the time of his death. A Nebraska native, Ryan declined an opportunity to attend the U.S. Naval Academy to briefly play college football at the University of Nebraska-Omaha before transferring to complete a bachelor of science and later a master’s in business

Jenny and Ryan as newlyweds, October 2002, as they exit the church during the sword ceremony. Photo by Heidi Butler

A happy memory for the Ellerbe and David families at Rob’s christening in May 2012 with his parents, grandparents, and godparents. Photo submitted

administration. In 2001, Ryan commissioned out of the University of Maryland’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 330 as a second lieutenant and became a C-130 navigator. His first assignment was to the 41st Airlift Squadron at Pope Air Force Base. Ryan completed his active duty career in 2011 with the 19th Operations Support Squadron as a deputy tactics officer and the 61st Airlift Squadron as an instructor navigator, both at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. He earned numerous decorations including both the Navy and Air Force Commendation medals, four Air Medals for meritorious aerial achievement flying over 80 combat sorties, and the Air Force Achievement Medal. Ryan was excited to be back in North Carolina and serving in the Guard’s elite aerial firefighting unit, Jenny says. “His last mission to combat wildfires in the western United States was with an outstanding crew on MAFFS 7,” Jenny says. “In his last message to me and my parents, he spoke of how ‘awesome’ it was to be flying, fighting fires, and helping others.” It was always important to Ryan that he took care of his fellow crewmembers. “He always had confidence in them and wanted to take care of them,” Jenny says. “He would have been very happy to know that they were able to get the plane

on the ground and that two were able to walk away.” Ryan was like another son to the Ellerbes, says Scotty, his mother-in-law. They did a lot of fun things together, and it was Bob, his father-in-law, who introduced him to serious hunting — another pastime that Ryan loved. “He was an excellent marksman,” Jenny says. He impressed both her dad and brother. Ryan easily adopted Boone as his hometown, Scotty says. “When he was stationed in Arkansas, he drove to Boone to have his Honda truck serviced here. He liked those guys in the shop, and they knew who Ryan was.” Ryan embraced the whole area. Jenny and her family treasure Ryan’s memory and will always miss him, she says. He is also survived by his parents, three brothers, two sisters and grandparents, who live in Maryland and Nebraska.

Moving forward The last two years since Ryan’s death have been anything but easy for Jenny. However, despite the deep pain of losing her husband and the challenges created by a clotting disorder, Jenny finds joy in each day. The recently released book, “Everybody’s Got Something” by Robin Roberts, reminds Jenny of what her mom has always said: “It is so true that everyone JUNE 2014 | AAWMAG.COM


Maj. Ryan David boards the MAFFS 7 in Charlotte on June 30, 2012. His plane crashed the following day, July 1, 2012. Photo credit: NC National Air Guard

has something. We must all remember to help each other.” Through it all, Jenny maintains a positive outlook on life. “I am so lucky to have the support of my wonderful family and friends,” she says. “Whether helping us along or cheering us from the sidelines, they have been there for Rob and me over the past two years. I cherish their love and support and am so very blessed to have them in our lives.” Jenny and Rob try to find adventure in each day and excitement in every moment. “Of course, Rob makes it easy, since to a 2-year-old, everyday is full of adventure and excitement,” she says. She loves experiencing life through his eyes, “I think that Ryan would be proud of us,” she says. Jenny also hopes that those who read this feature will remember “all the brave service members and their families.” “Our story is just one of many,” she says. “Deployments and Guard activations still happen, and families are part of that.” Jenny would like to encourage others “to be there” for those families. “It is good to just offer help, a thank you, or just show up,” she says. “We should all



remember that there is always somebody going through something; we just do not necessarily know what. It is important to be there, if possible.” She admits that she is never one to ask for help, but knows the importance of a good support network. Jenny and her family have participated in numerous memorial tributes across the country for the MAFFS 7 crew, which have included those attended by Beverly Perdue, who was NC governor at the time of the accident, and President Barack Obama. Many of those trips were made at their own expense. One of the most meaningful tributes for Jenny was the one held near the crash site in South Dakota on the anniversary of the crash, last year. “It was very healing,” she says, “and very special to meet the first responders from Edgemont Fire Department and Ellsworth Air Force Base, and to give them a hug.” Being there, Jenny says, “helped me fill in the blanks.” What was done to help the families cope with their grief was admirable, she adds. “We were comforted by knowing they treated the remains of our loved ones with respect, as if they were their

own family. They also brought comfort to us by trying to find any piece of memorabilia they could, which included Ry’s wedding ring, a special medallion I gave him, and his dog tags. The wonderful people at Dover Air Force Base ensured we received such items in the best condition possible. The care and detail that they took meant so much. It was so nice of them.” Since Ryan’s death, many people have come into Jenny’s life. “There are so many people who were there for us, who came to honor my husband, and some whose names I will never know,” she says. “I wish there was some way to properly express my gratitude for all that was done and to everyone who was there for us.” Jenny mentioned military personnel, including those from the National Guard and active duty Air Force, local fire departments, police escorts in every town from Charlotte to Boone, Austin and Barnes Funeral Home, area businesses, several local government officials and attorneys, Appalachian State University’s support in making available the Holmes Convocation Center for Ryan’s funeral service (on Saturday, July 14, 2012), and many others, including the NC Trooper’s

Association Caisson Unit (for which Ryan was eligible as a firefighter), the honor guard who stood vigil over Ryan’s body, and several close family friends in the local area, as well as from across the country. “It was remarkable how it all came together,” she says. There was never a question about a full military honors funeral. “We had talked about that,” she says. Ryan’s final resting place is at Woodlawn Cemetery, but he is also memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery with the other three MAFFS 7 crewmembers that died — Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, Maj. Joseph McCormick, and Sr. Master Sgt. Robert Cannon. It’s been hard— in more ways than one, Jenny admits. “We are very private people, a small, but very tight family. Being in the spotlight is not something with which we are comfortable.” With the exception of the upcoming Hunter’s Heroes event on June 7, a local

fundraiser that will honor Ryan’s memory, (see details elsewhere in this magazine), these days Jenny and her family have not had to attend as many public events. Jenny prefers spending time at home with her family, where she can enjoy running and pushing Rob in the jogging stroller. She’s an avid reader who enjoys modern literature — “mostly selections that are upbeat and happy” — as well as the classics. “Right now, Rob is my focus,” she says. “I love seeing the world through his eyes, as I watch him explore and learn.” Jenny says her parents remind her that life is a journey with many twists and turns, but God’s love will see you through. “My brother, Hames, like Ry,” she says, “constantly quotes certain movies.” One of the quotes Hames repeats often is from Forrest Gump — “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” Although Jenny is quick to say, “I would really love to have Ry back,” she

has found good things that have come from something so bad. She has met some wonderful people and made new friends, learned to live in the moment, kept her faith in the toughest of the times, found hope in new beginnings, and treasures the love she has had in her life. After all, she says, quoting Alan Jackson’s song, “’Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning,” —“Faith, hope, and love are some good things that God gave us, and the greatest is love.’ Jenny’s advice to us? “Find adventure in everyday and excitement in each moment, but remember to keep your faith, have hope, and cherish love.” sherrie norris Editor, All About Women

More about Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run.

Jenny, Rob and Ryan at the beach. May 2012. Photo submitted JUNE 2014 | AAWMAG.COM


Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run to Honor Ellerbe-David Continued from Finding Hope with Jenny Ellerbe

The 2014 Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run scheduled for Saturday, June 7, will honor the memory of the late Maj. Ryan Scott David with proceeds benefitting future (educational) needs of his son, Rob Ellerbe David. Start time for the run will be 8:30 a.m. at the Watauga County Sheriff ’s Office on George Wilson Road in Boone. 5K Finish Line: Boone Police Department; 10 Mile Finish Line: Blowing Rock Police Department. Registration: 5K Individual, walker or runner $25; 10 Mile Individual: $35; 10 Mile Team Member, with at least five team members registered, $25. Public safety and military personnel will receive a $5 discount. Online registration closes at 11:50 p.m. June 3. Mail-in registrations are required by June 4. Others may register from 2 p.m.- 8 p.m. on Friday June 6 at Greenway Baptist Church Family Life Center, or from 6:30 am - 8:15 a.m. on race day at the Watauga County Sheriff ’s Office. Awards presented to the top three male and female 5K finishers within each age group: 19 years and younger, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-plus. Top three overall are not eligible for age group awards. Awards will also be presented to the top three male and female 10-mile finishers. Top two male and female finishers (10-miler) in each age group will be presented an award. The top three team finishers will also receive awards. Awards presentation will be held at approximately 10 a.m. in Blowing Rock Memorial Park. All winners must be present during the ceremony to claim their awards. Community picnic and celebration, open to the public, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on race day at the Blowing Rock Memorial Park. Family–friendly activities will include face painting, balloon animals, air walks, games and more. Barbecue and subs with sides and drinks available by donation from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.



Entertainment provided by the live band, Appalachian Deep, from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. On behalf of the late Maj. David, a special guest and close family friend will address the crowd. Various items related to Hunter’s Heroes events will also be available for purchase.

Shuttle Information Due to limited parking spaces and higher-than-usual expected traffic that morning, there will be no parking spaces available at the Watauga County Sheriff ’s Office starting line or at the neighboring Oak Grove Baptist Church. Shuttles will be available as follows: Departures from the parking deck in Blowing Rock, near the finish line, to the starting line at sheriff ’s office: every 15 minutes, beginning at 6 a.m., with the last shuttle leaving promptly at 8 a.m. Shuttles will leave K-mart parking lot in Boone every 15 minutes beginning at 6 a.m., with the last one leaving five minutes earlier at 8:10 a.m. Shuttles will also run from the 5K finish line at Boone Police Dept. to Blowing Rock Park for the celebration beginning when the first batch of runners cross the finish line. There will be no shuttles at the end of the 10-mile race or from the celebration back to Boone. Plan your drive to park accordingly and allow extra time for possible traffic or road conditions. Packet pick-up, T-shirts, goodie bags, and bibs for the run will be available from 2 p.m.- 8 p.m. on Friday, June 6 at Greenway Baptist Church Family Life Center in Boone, at which time participants may also register with cash, check, or credit/ debit card. To register online, visit For more information, questions or concerns, email huntersheroes2013@ or call (828) 773-9986.

More from Hunter’s Heroes In conjunction with the memorial run, Hunter’s Heroes will also be sponsoring a community pasta dinner 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, June 6, at Greenway Baptist Church Family Life Center. Proceeds will be donated to Katie Watson and family of Deep Gap. Katie, 21, was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child and has recently undergone major surgeries to help discover the source of her seizures. Katie is the daughter or Randy and Tina Watson. Dinner includes pasta with marinara sauce (vegetarian or meat); salad; bread; drink; and dessert. Guests may dine in or take out. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children and may be purchased at the door or online at www.huntersheroes2013. com. Delivery will be available from 11 a.m. -7:30 p.m. for local EMS, police departments, fire departments, hospital, and doctor/medical offices. Orders for delivery to the aforementioned locations may be placed one day in advance, or on the day of the event, by calling (828) 773-9986. Live entertainment will be provided by local bluegrass band, High Country Boomers, with a performance by Appalachian Rhythm Clogging. Activities for children will also be available. Someone close to the Watson family will be speaking on Katie’s behalf. A live auction will begin around 6 p.m. and door prizes will be given away throughout the evening. The second annual balloon release in memory of Peyton Elizabeth Townsend will be held at 7:30 p.m.

sherrie norris Editor, All About Women


Loving the Skin You’re In Now that old man winter has made his final curtain call (fingers crossed), we are more than ready to welcome the warmth of sweet summer. But, alas, the long, cold winter has probably taken its toll, leaving our skin dry, rough, dull, and wrinkled — words which should not be spoken in the same sentence with swim suits, shorts and sandals. First, let’s give homage to the amazing skin we live in. In case you didn’t know, your wonderful skin is approximately 48 inches wide and 96 inches long, if it were stretched out. It weighs about seven pounds, works full time with approximately 15 feet of blood vessels, 12 feet of nerves, 650 sweat glands and 100 oil glands. Along with all of your body systems, the skin functions without your thinking about it. Just like breathing, it takes care of itself and normally functions on its own. It does its job and so we have to do our job, which is to take care of it as our friend by giving it attention and loving care. The basics of effective skin care are more than skin deep. It really begins on the inside because skin is an outward reflection of what is happening inside our bodies.

My advice for maintaining beautiful skin is to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins, and stay away from dehydrating elements, such as excessive alcohol and smoking. Engage in some type of exercise to get blood flowing, eat healthy foods and balance diet deficiencies with nutritional supplementation. While there are some advanced cases of skin irritation or irregularity that may require aggressive steps, there are many simple, sensible measures we can apply toward better skin without a lot of time commitment or trouble. Here is one of my favorite body treatments. It will bring you out of the winter doldrums and get your skin going and glowing: Exfoliation recipe: 2 cups brown sugar 1 cup of olive oil Small amount of ginger Mix all of above into a paste and massage over entire body, giving special attention to rough areas. Rinse and follow with body wash, then towel dry and slather on a moisturizing lotion, preferably with alpha-hydroxy acids, to prolong the exfoliating benefits. Practice a good facial skin care regimen: Cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize and protect in that order twice daily. No sunscreen at night, but always

wear sunscreen every day — sunny, cloudy, January or June. For those of you who say you don’t get sun, unless you never go out of your house, you are getting sun. It is the incidental sun (going to and from your car, driving, etc.) that is cumulative and does its insidious damage. I recommend a stand alone with SPF30 minimum. It takes about a spoonful of sunscreen to adequately cover your face décolleté and backs of hands — and nobody smears that much makeup or moisturizer on their skin. Wanting that sun-kissed look? Recommendation from the American Cancer Society and other organizations that research skin cancer: steer clear of tanning beds. There are many good self-tanners on the market today that will not make you look like a pumpkin. Facial bronzers are great and give a healthy glow to your countenance. For your body parts, try blending loose bronzing powder with your favorite lotion. Remember: A sunkissed look is hot; suffering from longterm damage is not.

Marion Edwards Marion Edwards is a Licensed Esthetician, Professional Makeup Artist and Certified Trainer for Motives Cosmetics. She can be contacted at (828) 262-5954.




Dear Daddy Father’s Day — a day for reminding our fathers and husbands how much they mean to us and our children. When a father has passed on, it may also be a day of honoring memory and dealing with grief. For some people, this day brings other feelings of loss, anger or sadness related to having an absent father or one who was physically, verbally, or sexually abusive, or was critical and distant. Since our fathers are human, we all experience some mixture of emotions by 34


seeing his best efforts — and feeling hurt from his mistakes. When the main parts of the relationship are carefully tended to by the father, the attachment will generally be strong and part of a healthy self-image, good communication, and healthy trust. A profound impact of this attachment, including in key ways with the oppositesex parent, is that children internalize and “hard-wire” messages about themselves and relationships from it, especially between the first 12-18 months and 6 years

of life. Throughout my career, girls and women have brought up struggles having to do with their relationship with their father, or lack thereof. Sometimes this discussion is initiated directly from a desire to heal from abandonment, grief, or from abuse by the father. Sometimes, the discussion starts about an issue such having an eating disorder, promiscuity (having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners), risky sexual behavior (e.g., any sexual contact without a con-

The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise. - Alden Nowlan dom, sex with unreliable or inconsistent contraception, multiple sexual partners), alcohol or other drug abuse, repeating unhealthy relationship patterns (e.g., cycles of violence, “rescuing,” feeling mistrustful), and then the girl or woman identifies poor attachment with her father as one of the contributing factors to the issue. Dealing with poor attachment — and being able to deal with any negative impact — varies for different women and girls. But, a universal component of the healing process has to do with the daughter being able to differentiate herself from her father’s actions or inactions. In last month’s article about motherchild relationships, I quoted Alden Nowlan who said, “The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” This quote highlights differentiation and how it relates to the flaws of adults who take care of us and how that impacts us. Therefore, no matter how poorly a daughter’s father may have done in being present or being unconditional and kind in his presence, her worth is separate from and unmarred by his mistakes. Her father may or may not be available and able to participate in this healing. If he is, open communication can build a healthy connection and attachment. A daughter may be wary of this effort if she has felt hurt or abandoned. Connection with a therapist can be helpful in approaching the father and the therapist can meet with the father and daughter together, if that is requested. This honest reassessment and rebuilding of relationship can be the best gift a father and daughter could ever give one another.


But, if the father is unavailable or is not able to engage, the daughter can still work on healing. Again, a therapist can be helpful, especially if the attachment has involved abuse or abandonment contributing to self-image, behavioral, or relationship problems. The good news is that these messages can be “re-wired” through choices about behavior and environment. There are types of therapy available that can support changes in this “hard-wiring.” So, if you want to take charge of your “Daddy issues,” start with an acceptance of your own worth that is independent of your father. It can take work, so build support for yourself through self-care and support systems. If your father is available and engages with you, be brave enough to do that. And seek help to negotiate if you should and how to engage with him, if you need that help. Sort through how your attachment has impacted your self-image and your behavior and relationship patterns. Seek help for that sorting process also, if that is helpful. Carrying baggage of feeling unloved, not good enough, or any other baggage related to poor attachment with your father is a heavy load. If you have a healthy and strong attachment with your father, be sure to thank him! And, if you struggle with a poor attachment and some of the consequences from it, be sure to take this Father’s Day to give yourself the gift of beginning that healing process.

MARY MCKINNEY, MA, LMFT McKinney & Associates Marriage and Family Therapy, Inc., 828-268-0155 For urgent matters and first-time callers: 828-773-5463.,,

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for a cause Quilting has been an important part of life in the High Country area for several generations and is a rich tradition being kept alive by women of all ages. This remains especially true for approximately 30 women who make up the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild, says Susan Sweet, who has been an active member of the club for about seven years and is in charge of special programs and workshops.

Joyce Cantrell and Shari Evans, who together have spent more than 10 years in the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild, enjoy coming together each month to work with their sister quilters.

Lois Stewart, guild treasurer, and Rose Guthrie, immediate past president, display one of many quilting projects recently made through the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild.




“We come together every month and bring our personal machines to work on special projects as a group and to share with each other what we are doing individually,” Susan says. Not only have strong, lasting friendships developed among the all-female guild, but many special projects have also been completed and donated throughout the community and beyond to warm the hearts and lives of others. The guild was organized in 1987 to promote the appreciation of and education about the fine art of quilting, says Susan. A central focus of the group is community outreach through its “donation quilt” projects, in which countless quilts have been made and given to individuals, nursing homes, hospitals and other locations where a little extra warmth is needed and appreciated. In 2013, more than 100 quilts were completed and distributed through the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild. Just recently, 25 baby quilts were presented to Hope Pregnancy Center in Boone. Others have been distributed recently to Blowing Rock Extended Care facility, to veterans through the Wounded Warrior project, locally, and

Renada Miller (above), works on one of the group’s quilts of valor that are distributed locally and nationally to veterans. Joanna Roberts (below), busy mother of three children, is the youngest member of the group. However, she is currently listed as the longest serving member.

the guild was organized in 1987 to promote the appreciation of and education about the fine art of quilting.

Brenda Murry, left, the newest club member, with Susan Sweet, proudly display one of their quilts of valor that will be given to a veteran from the QOV headquarters later this year. Photos by Sherrie Norris.

to homebound elderly, to name a few. Among several quilts currently near completion, Susan says, is one reminiscent of a 1930’s feed sack, a very popular replica fabric, that will be donated to the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone. “It’s our expression of gratitude for the ongoing use of the conference room, where we have met for many years.” Four quilts will soon be sent to the headquarters of the National Quilts of Valor to be distributed to veterans. The mission of the foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts designed and made especially for them. In 1998, the guild participated in making a commemorative quilt for the Watauga County sesquicentennial, which is displayed in the county courthouse. “We also provided the Watauga County quilt squares for the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary celebration quilt,” says Susan. Additionally, the guild has two special quilts hanging at the Hospitality House that were created for the new facility. Most of the quilters are retired with extra time on their hands to devote to the group, with the numbers of participants increasing in the summer months as seasonal residents return to the area. For Joanna Roberts, young mother of three children, however, it requires plan-

ning ahead to carve out a few hours of her busy schedule every month to join her mentors and friends. But, as the youngest quilter of the group and currently the longest serving member, she tries to make it work on a regular basis. “It’s me-time,” she says. “I can’t find time to quilt at home, but I love to do it here.” “We have young quilters, middle age quilters and we even have one lady who is 97, quilts from her home and donates her finished work for us to pass on to others,” Susan says. The monthly, year-round gatherings begin at 1:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in the upstairs conference room of he Human Services Building, 132 Poplar Grove Connector, in Boone. In addition to quilting, the members enjoy a lunch break together each month, as well as special programs, workshops and group outings during the year. New members are always welcome. For more information, call Susan Sweet at (828) 263-8399 or email ssweet@ Note: Due to the Independence Day holiday, the July meeting will not be held. sherrie norris Editor, All About Women



This Dark Road to Mercy Illuminating the complexity of failed dreams and broken families, Wiley Cash’s second novel, “This Dark Road to Mercy,” is a story of hope, strength and the healing power of love and forgiveness. Set in Gastonia in the mid 1990s, Wiley uses three narrators to tell the story of Easter and Ruby Quillby, sisters who have been taken into foster care after the death of their mother. It is through Easter, the older sister, that readers meet two young girls whose resilience and courage are tested when they are kidnapped by their estranged father. As Easter explains in the opening chapter, “He was a loser . . . he was much more than that. He was also a thief. If I’d known what kind of people were looking for him I never would’ve let him take me and my little sister in the first place.” With wisdom far beyond her years, Easter protects her sister, outsmarts several adults, and begins the slow process of acceptance that is at the core of unconditional love. From Brady Weller, Easter and Ruby’s guardian ad litem, readers better understand the dangers Easter and Ruby face. “I was asked to speak for two little girls who didn’t have anybody else in this world to listen to them and give them a voice. And now they’d gone missing and their voices were even harder to hear.” Torn by the mistakes of his past, Brady is a former police officer who struggles to reconcile with both himself and his teenage daughter. Through his search for Easter and Ruby, he begins to understand his vital role as a father as well as a protector of abandoned children. It is the voice and actions of Bobby



About the Author A native of North Carolina, Wiley Cash received his B.A. in Literature at UNC-Asheville, his M.A. in English at UNC-G and moved further south to pursue his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. His first novel, "A Land More Kind than Home" (William Morrow/Harper Collins 2012), was a New York Times bestseller, a NYT Editor’s choice book, and NYT Notable Book of 2012. Along with numerous other awards, Cash’s debut into the realm of fiction heralds him as one of America’s most talented new writers. "This Dark Road to Mercy" (William Morrow/Harper Collins 2014), Cash’s second novel, has been chosen as a bestseller, the Indie Next Pick, the SIBA Okra Pick, and an O. Magazine Top 10 Title. It has also been optioned for film. Currently, Cash teaches in the low residency master's program in fiction and non-fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in Wilmington. For more information, including book signings and events, visit his website at

Pruitt that will stir fear in readers’ hearts. Along with the police, he is also searching for Easter’s father — and not to shoot the breeze about their days as baseball players for the Gastonia Rangers. He has a score to settle and will not let two little girls get in his way. Bobby’s all-consuming desire for revenge makes him Easter and Ruby’s greatest danger. Using baseball — both minor and major leagues — as a way to connect the characters and scenes in the story, Wiley combines a heartbreaking thriller with a coming-of-age story of empowerment. Utilizing three varied points of view, he creates a world in which characters’ motives are not one dimensional. At times, there is no clear way to point at right or wrong, good guy or bad. He challenges his readers to travel a “dark road” filled with unexpected twists and turns that include the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Myrtle Beach’s Pavilion and a baseball game in St. Louis. This book challenges readers to reexamine what it means to forgive, and, ultimately, what it means to love. Its final pages carry a resonance (and a shout out for Easter Quillby) that will echo in readers’ hearts long after they close the book.

Rehabilitation Services Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapies Long-Term Nursing Care Respite & Hospice Care Hollie Greene Hollie Greene is an English teacher who loves stories, words and the mountains of North Carolina.

211 Milton Brown Heirs Road • Boone 828 264 6720 • JUNE 2014 | AAWMAG.COM




Making house calls

with Susan Mast Susan Mast wanted to be a veterinarian even as a child, although it was tied with another job possibility. “The only other thing I ever wanted to be as a young child was a lion tamer with the circus,” she says. Since growing up in the High Country just isn’t conducive to raising or taming lions, Susan’s family’s menagerie of cats, dogs, horses, cattle and ponies tipped the

Susan’s house calls — she was recently named best veterinarian in the 2014 Best of the Best contest, sponsored by The Watauga Democrat, sister publication of All About Women. “I was extremely surprised,” she says, “especially since I don’t see nearly as many people as I would in a hospital setting.” But beyond providing veterinary care

Being able to alleviate the stress that pets experience just by going in for a routine check-up is one of the best parts of treating animals in their own homes. It makes for a much calmer experience for animal and owner — and their vet. scales toward her other option. She is now celebrating 36 years in her veterinary career choice. Two years ago Susan was ready to focus on making house calls, her favorite aspect of the job. So, after 15 years at Appalachian New River Animal Hospital, she packed her Subaru with everything she needs to be a vet — besides the lab equipment she has at her house — and opened Mast Mobile Pet Care and Acupuncture. Being able to alleviate the stress that pets experience just by going in for a routine check-up is one of the best parts of treating animals in their own homes, she says. It makes for a much calmer experience for animal and owner — and their vet. “It just makes it easier on them to be treated in their home because they aren’t as scared,” Susan says. House calls also make veterinary care easier for those owners with mobility concerns or multiple animals needing care. It’s obvious that clients appreciate

for dogs and cats, Susan treats small mammals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats — and she offers alternative treatments of acupuncture and laser light therapy to her patients. Acupuncture, of course, involves stimulating pressure points on the body with pressure, heat, lasers, or tiny needles. Laser therapy, while used frequently and successfully in the sports world, isn’t as familiar. “Laser light therapy is a non-surgical

procedure that improves and stimulates circulation, reducing swelling and pain,” Susan explains. “It’s an amazing procedure that’s so safe and so helpful. Acute problems tend to resolve quicker with it. A lot of dogs get ACL injuries to the knee. There are surgical procedures to help that, but it’s expensive and difficult for older dogs. I’ve treated several dogs who, instead of having surgery, have done very, very well and have functional legs after a couple of months of laser treatment.” For Susan, starting her mobile pet care business has been the right move for her at this time in her life. “I’ve been in practice for 36 years and this is the happiest I’ve ever been in practice,” she says. “I like being able to spend time with my patients and am often at a patient’s home at least an hour, way more time than I would be able to spend in a hospital. Basically, I’m here to help. It’s a way to have healthcare for your pets done in your own home.” For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Susan Mast at Mast Mobile Pet Care & Acupuncture at (828) 963-2600 or

Yozette ‘Yogi’ Collins Mom, television producer/writer, and obsessive internet researcher. Though her name suggests otherwise, she is not (yet) an actual yogi.




Textiquette Grace for the Technology of Texting



The quickly evolving cell phone technology has changed the landscape of personal communication. While immediate connection via calling or texting offers tremendous benefits, the same “everywhere/ all the time” connection opportunities can be dangerously distracting and lead to outright rude behavior if not addressed with intentional forethought. As in other personal and professional areas of life, there are “familiar” and “formal” courtesies appropriate when texting that reflect kindness and consideration for all parties involved. As you utilize the terrific technological tool of texting, consider the following courteous guidelines.

WHO The person(s) with whom you are currently engaged is your No. 1 one priority. Whether a business associate, clerk at a store, friend or family member, your full attention should be focused on your present company. Never text when someone else is speaking to you or requiring your attention. If you are expecting an important message, convey that possibility early in your visit to prepare for that occurrence. Should that text arrive while in their company, excuse yourself to respond to the text. When using texting for business matters, keep your language formal and professional — avoid “textspeak,” slang or abbreviations. Before pressing the “send” button, always confirm to whom you are sending the text.

WHEN AND WHERE When dining or drinking with others, avoid texting unless a texting subject is part of your discussion with all present or concerns an emergency. In case of an emergency, excuse yourself to address the situation. Remembering that most people keep

their cell phones close-by, try to send texts in concurrence with others’ schedules to avoid disturbing them. Keep business hours with business associates, unless other arrangements have been made. If you need to text while walking, step to the side to text, out of the flow of traffic. Stepping aside protects you and others from harm. Avoid confusion and misunderstandings by not texting when you are upset, are exhausted or have been drinking. Neither text while driving nor text someone you know is driving. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 23 percent of all automobile collisions, a 1.3 million serious crashes annually, involve cell phones. The NHTSA research reflects driving while texting compares to driving after drinking four beers; driving while texting slows brake reaction speed by 18 percent. A Newsday article (May 2013) stated texting is the leading cause of death for teen drivers. Currently, 39 states plus Washington, D.C., prohibit drivers from texting while driving. Intentionally avoiding texting during meal times or family time sends the message that we do not need to be “connected” at all times.

HOW Keep texts short. When texts resemble novellas, a phone call or email is a more appropriate form of communication.

Silence or set your phone on vibrate when entering public arenas such as theaters, churches, stores, schools, hospitals or places of business as a courtesy to those around you. Likewise, silence or adjust your settings to vibrate when texting back and forth in an ongoing dialogue. An immediate “thank you for the gift” text is proper initial acknowledgement of a gift, but should always be followed by a formal thank you note, e-card or call. Avoid texting with all capital letters, which can be understood as yelling. Mass texting is a handy tool for communicating with a group of textsavvy associates for various purposes. Mass texting is appropriate for sending holiday wishes; for updating a circle of friends and family on immediate (non-life-threatening) health concerns; for sending or updating prayer requests; and as a reminder for events as a follow-up to a previous formal invitation or e-vite. Mass texting is also a fitting way to share exciting personal news. Always re-read your message before sending it to check for accuracy and spelling. Tactful texting is an important instrument for today’s personal and business communication purposes. Understanding the dangers of inappropriate use — and then harnessing the powerful potential of texting — can boost one’s communication skills with both “familiar” and “formal” acquaintances. As a general rule, whenever in doubt, err on the side of being more “formal” than “familiar” in your communications.

Serious subjects of grave illness or death are better delivered by call, through which emotion and support can be relayed and shared. Use limited shorthand, “text-speak” and emoticons only for your most familiar family and friends who you know will understand the symbolic expressions. These are not appropriate for business or more formal acquaintances’ texts.

Sharon Carlton Sharon Carlton, High Country Courtesies ©2014 Sharon Carlton writes and speaks on modern etiquette and life skill topics. She conducts High Country Courtesies Dining Etiquette and Customer Service Workshops, and she is director of High Country Cotillion, a social education program for youth. Contact her at



After Suicide

Loved ones left behind are finding hope

Suicide leaves a painful void for loved ones left behind. Many survivors of suicide victims struggle with guilt and try desperately to find answers that are often unattainable. When Kim Winebarger was forced to deal with the unexpected death of her son’s father with whom she had shared 20 years of life, she searched “everywhere



in this county for support,” she says, “and came up empty handed.” “After praying about the situation, talking about it with people close to me — and receiving a lot of encouragement — I decided to get a support group going for our county, for those of us who have been left behind,” Kim says. It’s important to note that the group

is not designed for those who may be contemplating suicide, she adds. ““We are not the experts and are not here to give advice. We are just here to support each other who have survived a great loss and to provide a much needed resource for our community. ” “Finding Hope” meets from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth

Thursdays of each month in the conference room of the Hunger and Health Coalition in Boone. From the first gathering, Kim began to experience healing. “It’s a safe, confidential place where people can meet,” she says. “Our stories are different, but we’ve all lost someone in an unnatural way.” After losing a loved one to suicide, Kim says, the grief is much more complicated. “Often times, we feel out of place at regular grief meetings in a group setting, but being with others who can relate to your specific pain is important to healing,” she says. Up to this point, Kim has been “very private” in her grieving process. “But, I am finding it easy to open up, surrounded by other survivors,” she says. Carrie Hodges, who Kim describes as one of her greatest supporters through her journey, serves as the group’s moderator. Carrie and Kim have been acquainted since childhood, growing up and attending school together at Green Valley Elementary School. Through their sons’ pre-kindergarten orientation in 2010, the two women were reunited. Carrie’s son, Mac, who she describes as “typically really shy around other kids,” became instant friends with Kim’s son, Zach. “I’ll always believe that God put us together that day for a reason,” Carrie says. Later, after calling the Winebarger residence to invite Zach to a special July gathering, Carrie says, she learned that Zach’s dad had ended his own life a short while earlier. Kim accepted the invitation for Zach, thinking it would be good for her son to be with other children. “It turned out good for me, too,” she says, “to be with someone who took time to listen and to care.” At the gathering, Zach accidentally got hit with a plastic bat, “not hard enough to hurt bad,” Carrie says, “but enough to cry, and he began screaming for his daddy.”

From the first gathering, Kim began to experience healing. ‘It’s a safe, confidential place where people can meet,’ she says. ‘Our stories are different, but we’ve all lost someone in an unnatural way.’ Carrie says she had never witnessed anything so heartbreaking. “Kim, the awesome mama she is, handled the situation so well, while hurting as badly as her little boy, from the inside.” Kim admits that she hadn’t been open with her grief, but “for some reason,” she says, she was able to talk to Carrie. “I’m so thankful that I was able to be there for her, but it wasn’t easy,” Carrie says. “Kim talked to her immediate family, but I think I was the only friend she was able to open up to. I had no idea what I was doing or if I was saying the right things, but I tried.” Carrie refers to the “many stages of grief,” that people go through. “And watching someone you love go through each one, over and over, and mostly inside, while hiding it on the outside, is so hard to explain.” Grieving over suicide, both women agree, is different. “Not worse, but different,” Carrie says. “All grief is terrible, but with suicide, stages are just different.” Carrie describes Winebarger as “one of the strongest women I know,” and applauds her for having enough compassion for others to start a support group. “I was shocked to learn Watauga County didn’t have such a resource,” Carrie says. “When she asked me to help her, we prayed about it and began taking the necessary steps together to make it happen.” The first meeting was held on Thursday March 13. “It went well,” Carrie says. “There’s something freeing in just being able to talk, and not worry about who’s hearing you — and to know that what you are sharing is held in confidence.” Carrie describes her role as “a learn-

ing process.” “We are beginning to work through the different stages of grief — and the different, though common, feelings related to suicide,” she says. “We take the last hour of our meetings to just talk. It is helpful to simply have someone else who understands your pain — and feels it, too.” According to Kim, one female participant, whose father committed suicide when she was 13, is now in her late 50s and only recently began telling her story. “She told me that after her first meeting with us, she was able to sleep the entire night for the first time in many years,” Kim says. People are coming back to the meetings, Kim says. “It’s not just a one time thing. Healing is happening.” Kim and Carrie invite anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide to join them for these meetings. “Being with others who can relate to the pain you feel after losing someone to suicide is of great help,” says Kim. “We want people in this community to know they don’t have to go through it alone.” To offer further assistance in the grieving process, the group leaders are currently seeking the expertise of a licensed therapy for counsel. Finding Hope meets at 141 Health Center Drive in Boone. For more information, call Kim at (828) 262-1628 during the day; Carrie (828) 2623580 at anytime before 9 p.m., or email

sherrie norris Editor, All About Women




Even Steven Somewhere in the unwritten laws of parental behavior, there is the expectation that is born into every child that life will be fair. Specifically, beyond just the fact that everyday living will be balanced and just, kids very quickly develop the ability to keep score of how their slice of attention or time or material possessions compares to their siblings. I remember the informal inventory of Christmas presents mentally, ensuring that my sisters and I had equal amounts of “stuff.” I also remember my parents doling out the individual time with great inventions like our rotating “Saturday breakfast out” with one of them. Recently, my middle son was stomping around the house, slamming doors, and glaring at his older brother with dis-



gust. There did not seem to be a provocation, and yet the behavior persisted for a painfully long period of time. My oldest son, sensitive to the ill-will and frequently thrown elbows, kept trying to get his brother to calm down, to no avail. As we got upstairs to get my two younger children ready for bed, I said to the pouting face that was my son’s, “I cannot know what is upsetting you, if you don’t tell me what’s going on.” Dead silence. I tried again. “Lately, you have been either angry or upset without any communication as to why. You have to be able to start expressing your emotions, otherwise the people around you are going to get equally frustrated.” Long pause. Finally, he blurts out, “Everything is about him. You went out of town for him.

You didn’t see me wrestle. Nothing is about me.” Aha! I thought. The tally marks were being tallied. The prior weekend was unbalanced. I carefully chose my words. “So, rather than go to the tournament and then spend the night at your friends’ house, you would have preferred to be with us sitting through information session after information session for nine hours?” “Yes,” he affirmed. I then proceeded to describe how painfully bored he would’ve been, since the last time we had been in a similar situation, he and my youngest had burned out the charge in their tablets and were notifying me by the minute how there was nothing left for them to do. He ignored the diatribe and said, “You never

do anything for me.” Now, if you are parents like my husband and me, and run circles around yourself trying to get your children to all the various extra-curricular activities to which they have committed themselves to, these are not popular words. In fact, in the wrong moment, I’d say that the under-appreciation would have resulted in maternal wrath and a verbal laundry list of exactly how many things we had done in even the prior seven days.

do my best, but I can’t predict if someone might be in labor.” The night before the trip, he asked me how it looked for the next day, and I had the same response, although guilt had already kicked in, as I contemplated possibly not making it. It would be one more time that I failed his expectation, a difficult thing for a mother. The next morning, Joe woke up at 6 a.m. He came into my room, anxious to start getting ready. With enthusiasm, he told me, “I feel like it’s Christmas.” We got ready, drove to the school, and I held my breath, hoping the phone wouldn’t ring and my pager would stay silent. As it turned out, we had a fantastic day. He loved the tour, the gardens were amazing, and we had some uninterrupted time together, just the two of us. We both agreed that it was one of the best field trips ever. Things had balanced out. Now, the day is past and my youngest son is inquiring about if I’m going to make it to his field trip for sure. The scorekeeping just keeps going. I say ‘I’m going to try’ and give him a hug. I smile because I know that I have at least 40 more years of this, as I reflect on my own mom saying, “well, we’re going to go to Holly’s because we came to your house at your birthday, and Jill’s for her birthday, and we haven’t seen her in a while.” I figure you just do the best you can to be “Even Steven,” recognizing that love and attention cannot be banked, but rather flow in continuous waves to our children, buoying them up when selfdoubt, insecurity, or a bad day bring them down. It’s a good thing that as parents, although time can create constraints, the love for our children is infinite and can’t run out.

It’s a good thing that as parents, although time can create constraints, the love for our children is infinite and we can’t run out.

However, trying to be sensitive to some obvious jealousy and need for validation that he was displaying, I paused myself, sucked back in the words that wanted to jump out, and listed just a few of the things that he was doing that his older brother did not get to do. I pointed out the travel soccer team, travel baseball team, sandwiched between recreational league baseball and still some remaining wrestling. I discussed which child (ahem) we had arranged the vast majority of our weekends around for the previous several months. And I told him that, of course, his feelings mattered to me. He calmed down, brushed his teeth, and climbed into bed, ready to give up the scorekeeping for the moment in order to hear a chapter out of the bedtime book. Later in the week, he had a fieldtrip to the Biltmore House to which he had begged me to come. Having several babies due, I held back from a firm commitment and stuck with my typical “I’ll

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Don’t Forget Dad

Meatloaf Cupcakes For the meatloaf: 2 lbs. ground beef 2 eggs 3 tsp. garlic powder 3 tsp. onion powder 2 tsp. paprika 1 tsp. sea salt ¼ tsp. nutmeg Optional: ½ tsp. ground mustard For the mashed potatoes: 6 medium russet potatoes ½ cup whole milk ¼ cup butter ¼ cup sour cream Optional: shredded Gouda cheese




Peas, carrots (shredded or chopped), cheese, bacon, or other toppings Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups or grease the tin liberally with butter or coconut oil. Mix all meatloaf ingredients together. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Peel, wash and chop potatoes; boil until soft and then drain. With hand mixer, mix potato ingredients together and place into a pastry bag and pipe onto the meatloaves. No pastry bag? Snip the tip off of a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Decorate with colorful veggies, cheese and bacon.

Behind any special occasion, there’s usually a woman who helps make it happen. The same will most likely be true this month as Father’s Day is celebrated and most of us women will make sure that our fathers and the fathers of our children are treated like kings on their special day. Hopefully, something you find here will help make the meal a memorable one for you and your special fellows.

John Wayne Casserole

2 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained 1 (1.25-oz.) pkt. taco seasoning 4 oz. sour cream 4 oz. mayonnaise 8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided 1 yellow onion, sliced 2 cups biscuit mix 2 tomatoes, sliced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1 (4-oz.) can sliced jalapeno peppers Heat oven to 325. Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water, according to packet instructions; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sour

cream, mayonnaise, 4 oz. cheddar cheese, and half of the onion; set aside. Stir biscuit mix and water (directions on box) to form soft dough. Pat dough on the bottom and one-half-inch up the sides of a 9 x 13-inch greased casserole dish. Saute remaining onions and bell peppers until slightly tender. On top of biscuit mix, evenly distribute ingredients in the following order: ground beef, tomato slices, green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and end with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until edges of dough are lightly browned.

No-Bake Candy Bar Pie 8 oz. cream cheese, softened ½ cup powdered sugar 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed 4 regular size candy bars of choice, crushed and divided 9-inch graham cracker crust Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping and half of the crushed candy bars; spoon mixture into crust. Sprinkle remaining crushed candy on top; refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Slice, serve and enjoy. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Easy Cheesy Breadsticks 1 (10 oz.) cans prepared pizza crust 1 Tbs. butter, melted ½ cup provolone cheese, shredded 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp. dried basil ¼ tsp. garlic salt Preheat oven to 425. Unroll pizza dough onto a greased cookie sheet and brush with butter. Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly over the dough. With a pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 12 long strips. Then cut those in half to make 24 strips. Do not separate strips. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Recut along each strip and remove from cooking sheet. Serve sticks warm with marinara sauce



‘When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.’ - Linda Poindexter

Photo by Leda Winebarger



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