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april 2013 FREE

Gardening with


BRITTY DANIELS Harvest House Dance Studio

vickie cooper New Life through Weight-loss

NAN JONES Christian Ministry Inspires Book

kathy dellinger Four Decades of Service to Crossnore

April Workshops

re ( new ) your ( self ) at Boone Healing Arts Center 2 Weeks Unlimited Classes

April 6th · 4-5pm "Joys of Fermenting Veggies" April 13th · 11am-1pm "Youthful Glow at Your Fingertips" April 20th · 2-4pm "Belly Dancing"



April 24th · 6-8pm "Garden of Blooms: Up-Cycled Jewelry"

*See website for details and schedule.

April 27th · 10am-5pm Grand Opening and Spring Open House

A community of Holistic Practitioners offering ... chinese medicine · applied kinesiology · psychotherapy rolfing structural integration · skin care · massage · acupuncture health coaching · alexander technique · chiropractic care SI JIN BAO® facial consultations “FOUR GOLDEN TREASURES”



838 State Farm Rd · Boone NC |

you’re invited WO ME N




‘Celebrating Women of the High Country’ · Keynote address by area wellness expert and life coach, Bonnie Church · Entertainment by local vocalists, musicians and dancers · Vendors will include businesses and organizations that focus on the needs of women and their children

FREE admission! WHEN 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, June 29 where Watauga County High School Boone, NC this year’s highlights INCLUDE RECOGNIZING: WOMEN OF WORLD WAR II — those who served, volunteered or were otherwise affiliated with the military during the war.

HIGH COUNTRY WOMEN OF THE YEAR IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: · Service to the High Country (volunteer focus) · Preserving Mountain Heritage · Business and Professional Leadership · Advocacy for Women

We need your help: WWII WOMEN, send their names, contact information and a description of the service they provided to their country during the war to: All About Women, Re: WWII Honorees, 474 Industrial Park Dr. Boone, NC 28607 or email Deadline for submissions April 15, 2013.

To nominate A Woman of the Year, send information about her to All About Women, Re: Woman of the Year nomination, 474 Industrial Park Dr. Boone, NC 28607 or email Deadline for submissions April 15, 2013.

To showcase your business or organization, contact Radd Nesbit at (828) 264-6397 or

publisher Gene Fowler

executive editor Tom Mayer

editor Sherrie Norris 828.264.3612, ext. 251

writers Genevieve Austin Heather Brandon Danielle Bussone Sharon Carlton Bonnie Church Yozette “Yogi” Collins Rebecca Gummere Linda Killian Norman Jameson Heather Jordan Kelly Pennick Heather Samudio Sue Spirit Reta J. Winebarger

production & design Jennifer Canosa Meleah Bryan

A woman should be like a single flower, not a whole bouquet. - Anna Held

advertising Radd Nesbit 828.264.6397, ext. 271

cover photo by Sherrie Norris

Any reproduction of news articles, photographs or advertising artwork is strictly prohibited without permission from management. ©Copyright 2013 A Mountain Times Publication

contents news bits children’s advocacy center OASIS britty daniels vickie cooper grace academy girl scouts nan jones kathy dellinger gwen clark madeline hays by the book mom’s world healthy lady travel young at heart home dècor and more go and tell high country courtesies pets beauty

gwen clark

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britty daniels

vickie cooper

nan jones

kathy dellinger



editor’s note

Spring is an amazing time of the year — a time when nature comes to life again. It’s no coincidence, I believe, since it’s also the same time that we celebrate Easter and start planting things in the ground. We sow the seed and have faith that it will multiply and burst forth from the darkness in a short amount of time — and it does. Where’s the mystery in that? It’s shaping up to be a busy time once again, with increased outdoor opportunities and special events filling our calendars. I am often amazed by our families with more than one child and how they do all they need to do in the spring and summer months. So many opportunities, events and obligations require our time and attention. It’s very easy to become overloaded, even before we realize it’s happening. I once thought that quantity mattered most — the more I did, the more important I felt. With age, thankfully, comes wisdom; I refuse to allow that mindset to dictate my life any longer. I am finally beginning to realize that quality is something for which we need to strive, rather than its counterpart. It’s easier said than done, I know. But, something I’m trying to work on this year is making time for those people in my life who really matter, more so than those in the world who, in the past, I felt that I needed to impress. I had already started taking baby steps to that end, but I was reminded of its importance during the recent funeral of a very unique lady. Her family spoke of how she always made time for others who needed help, and how each of them — her husband, children and grandchildren — all felt equally special. She made life with her family count. She smelled the roses. Sharon Gragg not only had good intentions, but she also “went about doing good.” She really cared for others; she lived a Godly life and never worried about impressing the world. There’s a lesson to be learned — and I’m up for the challenge. Here’s hoping you will join me,



newsbits&clips New Advisory Council for High Country Women’s Fund

Back row (left-right): Jessica Powell, communications chairwoman; Barbara Aycock, community outreach co-chairwoman; Rebecca Saunders, allocations chairwoman; Mary Hutchens, secretary; Rebecca Moore, High Country Women’s Fund coordinator; Alice Salthouse, member-at- large; Marion Edwards, donor development chairwoman; Gillian Baker, member-at- large; front row (left-right): Judy Goodwin-Rosenberg, treasurer; Mary Painter, vice-chairwoman/development; Grace Will, chairwoman; Linda Slade, executive director, United Way. Not pictured: Judy Painter, community outreach co-chairwoman; Margaret ‘Pinky’ Hayden, ex officio. Photo submitted

The High Country Women’s Fund has announced its new advisory council for 2013, pictured above. The primary function of the council is to raise funds to support the mission of the organization. Since 2006, HCWF has distributed $414,440 in funds to women and their families in Watauga and Avery counties. The theme of the organization is “Circles of women making a difference one woman at a time.” The group’s 2013 major fundraisers include Power of the Purse (POP) luncheon, June 14; Croquet for a Cause, Aug. 11; and Holiday

Shopping Spree, Nov. 9-10. The HCWF hosts a number of other projects that directly involve women and their families, which include the Mother's Day POP Shoppe in May, New Opportunity School for Women in July, Winter Coat Drive in October and Children’s Council Christmas Angel Tree in November. The HCWF is a member of the High Country United Way. For more information, visit and “like” the organization on Facebook.

NC United Way honors Mast General Store employees by Anna Oakes

The United Way of North Carolina has honored Mast General Store with the Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence. Mast General Store's Lisa Cooper Martin, Sheri Moretz and Mary Wood accepted the award at United Way of North Carolina's annual meeting in Pinehurst Feb. 15. Nominated by Linda Slade, executive director of High Country United Way, Mast General Store employees were recognized for their employee participation in United Way giving, corporate leadership and generous community spirit through time and talent. The Spirit awards provide statewide recognition for outstanding commitment and support to communities through local United Way involvement. Mast was one of 43 companies and organizations receiving the award. "Exciting," says Mary Wood, manager of the original store in Valle Crucis and Mast campaign chairwoman. "This is truly an honor."

From left, Sheri Moretz, Mary Wood and Lisa Cooper Martin accept the Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence from United Way of North Carolina. Photo submitted APRIL 2013 | AAWMAG.COM


Local Woman Wins National Photo Contest

Brenda Hoss, administrative assistant to the president of Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital, won first place for her photo of handmade hats (see above) in a national competition through the National Rural Health Association. The hats had been handmade by hospital volunteers for patients at the Avery County Cancer Resource Center. The winning photograph led the sponsoring organization to feature the center’s faithful volunteer and project coordinator, Ann Coleman, in its magazine, Rural Roads.

Photos by Sherrie Norris

Relay for Life

During the recent 2013 kickoff for Relay For Life in Watauga County, Amber Hamby, 7, was honored for the second consecutive year for raising the most money in the children’s division of the 2012 Relay For Life. She receives an award from Relay For Life co-chairwoman, Kathy Idol.



These three women — and Relay For Life team captains — Paula Ward, Kathy Idol and Jeannie Caviness led their teams to the Top 3 in fundraising during the 2012 Watauga County Relay For Life. They were recognized for their efforts during the 2013 kickoff celebration in March. Relay For Life will be held on Friday, June 14 at Watauga High School in Boone.

New Parenting Service Starts Soon Beginning in May, the Children’s Council of Watauga County will begin offering “Personal Parent Educator” services to the community. Have a concern about your child’s behavior? Need some parenting tips? Want to troubleshoot with a parenting consultant? Services will be offered on a sliding fee scale and will be provided by trained and certified parent educators. It’s geared for parents with children ages birth to 12. For more information or to sign up call Crystal Kelly, executive director, at (828) 262-5424.



Children’s Advocacy Center Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month Activities Under Way April is a busy month at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Blue Ridge, where the staff has been busy preparing for Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. “We are excited this year to be placing blue ribbons all across the area as a reminder of this special month,” says Selena Moretz, director and forensic interviewer of the CAC, located near Boone. Moretz says the ribbons will be distributed to all local law enforcement agencies, departments of social services, public schools and pediatric offices.  “We want to make people aware that child abuse does exist in our communities and there are ways they can help combat this horrible crime against our children,” Selena says. In 2012, Selena conducted 67 forensic interviews, and 43 child medical evaluations were performed at the CAC.  “Those numbers were up from 2011,” she said and calls it unfortunate that the services were needed. “But, I am glad that the valuable resource such as we have here at the advocacy center is available for the children,” she says. Selena is currently applying for a grant to obtain training materials regarding child abuse prevention for teachers in the local schools.  “It would help them be able to help children, through the program known as ‘Darkness to Light,’” she says. “I think this would be a valuable asset for the teachers in our communities to have.” While it may take a while to raise enough money for teachers in Ashe, Av-

ery and Watauga counties to be trained, “that is our goal,” she says. Not only is April the perfect time to show appreciation to the professionals who work with children of abuse, Selena says, but it is also a time to educate people in the community about the purpose and process of the CAC.  “It is imperative that the members of our communities come together to provide the best services, treatment and outcomes for abused and neglected children in our area,” she says.  From 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, the CAC will host an appreciation event for those who work with abused children in the counties the agency serves.  The CAC helps abused children in Watauga and Avery counties by providing services in a safe and caring place; reducing trauma to children; coordinating investigations; providing counseling; providing medical treatment; and by being an advocate through multidisciplinary teamwork and training. The CAC is a proud partner of Southmountain Children & Family Services. For more information, contact the CAC of the Blue Ridge, located at 105 Niley Cook Road, between Boone and Blowing Rock. Call (828) 414-9277 or visit

n my ogwme e v a h n I ssisti enedict a l that “I feeonal angelday.” - J. B pers me every ho in my

A trusted name when you need that helping hand.


sherrie norris Editor, All About Women





April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but

OASIS stays busy year-round OASIS Inc., Watauga County’s domestic violence agency and rape crisis center, is busy year-round providing shelter, support services and advocacy. During the past year, 262 adults and 263 of their children have been served, with staff and volunteers responding to more than 1,800 crisis and information calls. Spring is an especially busy time for the agency with regard to outreach and information. April is nationally recognized as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” and May brings the annual “Midnight at the OASIS” gala event held at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. During April, OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information and Shelter) will be distributing teal ribbons around the community, encouraging people to wear a ribbon to help raise awareness about the crime of sexual violence and the shocking frequency with which it occurs. Awareness ribbons are a great way to start a conversation about a topic that for far too long has been shrouded with secrecy and shame. National statistics indicate one out of every five women will be victimized by sexual violence in her lifetime, and women between the ages of 12 and 24 are at particular risk, with one in four college women reporting an experience of attempted or completed rape. A program at OASIS called “Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence” is now in

its sixth year of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has made a seismic shift in the approach to sexual violence, citing the crimes as both epidemic in the country and a serious public health threat. The agency has funded numerous such primary prevention programs nationwide. OASIS was in on the ground floor with this grant, and, along with other grantees, is providing continuous evaluation and feedback for the CDC. Preliminary results nationwide suggest that one aspect of the primary prevention approach, the “saturation” model, is showing promising results among young people with regard to attitudes about sexual violence and willingness to be an active bystander. Prevention coordinator Jessica Pittman is promoting such an effort on the campus of Appalachian State University, working with Judy Haas, director of student conduct, in the “Red Flag Campaign.” Red Flag is a social marketing campaign with a “Train the Trainer” component geared toward empowering students to be active bystanders when they see a “red flag” of harassment, abuse, or the promotion of attitudes that condone sexual violence. While the movement to end sexual violence is far from over, there is reason to celebrate the increases in the willingness to talk openly about these issues and the encouraging presence of men in the

movement — A Call to Men, Men Can Stop Rape, and The White Ribbon Campaign. Speaking of celebrating, the 10th annual “Midnight at the OASIS” is slated for Saturday, May 4, at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock, this year highlighting the agency’s 35th anniversary, founded in 1978. Tickets are $35 and the popular Asheville-based band Laditude will be featured at the event. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event will last until 11 p.m. “We are sometimes asked if a party is counterintuitive to the serious work we do,” says Jennifer Herman, OASIS executive director. “And I say, it’s great to be able to celebrate 35 years of a community providing shelter and support services, encouragement and advocacy for survivors. It’s great to get together with others who share our vision of breaking the cycles of violence and abuse. While we wish we weren’t necessary, we are proud of the work we do and grateful to the many people and organizations that support us. And, we look forward to the day when our services are no longer necessary.” More information about OASIS Inc. or to discover ways to become involved with the agency’s mission, visit www.oasisinc. org or call 828) 264-1532. For emergency assistance, call the 24-hour crisis line at (828) 262-5035. Rebecca Gummere Associate director of OASIS



Harvest House Dance Studio

I’m often surprised when I learn about hidden gems in this small community. Maybe I’m just out of the loop, but meeting Britty Daniels and learning about the treasure that is Harvest House Dance Studio literally floors me. Located next to Goodwill in Boone, Harvest House Dance Studio is part of a larger vision of Harvest House Church, which is to be ambassadors of the arts and to allow public access to their performance venue, complete with a stage and seating, as well as state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. Nondenominational Harvest House Church meets in the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue, which is managed by Harvest Equippers, a nonprofit mission organization. Harvest Equippers not only rents the venue to the public, but offers dance classes, a preschool and art classes, with all profits from the programs funding outreach projects in Nicaragua, Africa and Haiti. The projects are the reason Britty, director of the dance studio, wants to get the word out about her classes and summer workshops. With 24 current students and the ability to accommodate up to 100, Britty wants to expand, because, she says, “The more students we have, the more we can help other people (through missions).” But while growth would be nice, the main priority is to offer a healthy atmosphere for students. “The goal of the studio,” says Britty, “is to have a space where kids can learn dance and be excellent in it, but in a way through which they learn about their character and they aren’t competing with each other. We don’t use music or costumes that are inappropriate for the age of the student. Dance studios can be pretty intense when you’re in leotards, staring in a mirror. I want the kids to be able to enjoy the positives of dance without the negative body image aspects.” Each semester, Britty establishes a theme for the studio and coordinates music, choreography and discussions of each class around the theme. “This semester our theme is ‘Not Comparing Yourself,’” she says. “All the dances and songs are about that. Part of dancing is learning to put emotion behind what you’re doing and not just following moves, so every week we talk about the moves and why they go with the theme. That’s my way to have an ‘in’ to talk about the issue.” And since Britty, 23, is closer to “big sister” age than “mom” age to her students, they respond to her words of wisdom, which thrills her. “As a person, you are mind, body, and spirit,” she says. “If you can accept the way your body is and the way your body moves, then it is easier, especially as a woman, to accept the way you are. Dance is just a heightened version of that because you are moving in front of a mirror in tight clothes with a bunch of other kids around you. So, if you can figure yourself out in that situation, it’ll be easier in the rest of life to appreciate who you are and what you have to offer.” For more information about Harvest House Performing Arts Venue or about Harvest House Dance Studio and the classes offered, log on to

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



Britty Daniels says the more students she has in her studio, the more people can be helped through missions. Photo by Yogi Collins



Weight-loss surgery proved to be a new beginning for Vickie Cooper, who is now healthy, happy and enjoying life to its fullest.

New Life for Vickie Cooper In the summer of 2010, Vickie Cooper, 40, of Beaver Creek, was a borderline diabetic with severe fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. Her weight began to increase as a result of her condition. It was a “catch-22,” she says as pain limited her ability to exercise, but exercise was what she needed for improved health. Vickie became nearly immobile, when her 5-foot, 7-inch frame was forced to carry 312 pounds. She required assistance to perform simple tasks that most of us take for granted. Bathing was nearly impossible and walking through the grocery store caused her to feel as if her legs were crumbling 16


beneath her. Vickie used the wheelchair carts, but eventually gave up grocery shopping all together and relied on her husband to shop for her. Soon, however, Vickie had had enough and was ready for a change. In August 2010, Vickie had a gastric bypass operation, performed by Dr. McNatt at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Prior to surgery, Vickie wore a size 28 in clothing, which equaled a size 4x T-shirt and size 3x stretch pants. “I did not decide to do this surgery because of vanity,” she says. “I did it because I had no other choice. I was convinced that I was going to die if I did not have it. My

health was just too bad. Everything hurt — my legs, my knees, everything. I couldn’t go anyplace or do anything without tiring. You end up shielding yourself from life and the people around you.” Vickie had considered the weight-loss surgery for several years, but her insurance would not cover it. However, realizing that the procedure was her final option for an optimal life, Vickie and her husband decided to use their savings for the operation. “My entire family, including my husband and many of my friends, were so supportive of my decision,” she says. “Without their encouragement, I don’t know if I could have ever done it.”

‘It is not about vanity. This surgery is a life-saving tool.’ For four months leading up to the surgery, Vickie met with a nutritionist who advised her to start eating a high protein low-fat diet and drink a lot of water. Vickie lost 40 pounds during that time of preparation. Her surgery was a success and required only a two–day hospitalization; she lost another 10 pounds before returning home. The first few months, post-surgery, were not easy, Vickie says. “I was sick almost every day for about three months. My new stomach could only hold about one ounce, which isn’t very much at all. I had to sip on my protein shake and take my pain medication, which was liquid. It was a little difficult, to say the least,” she says. Day by day, Vickie became stronger and began to feel better.

“I had a path worn from our house to our barn, where my husband and I walked every day, back and forth,” she says. “By Thanksgiving, I could eat almost anything I wanted, but only small bites. By Christmas, I was a size 16 and began to feel like I had a glow about me. No more hiding or avoiding people in the stores. I had so much more energy and I wasn’t getting out of breath. I was getting my life back.” As Vickie started losing weight, her health started to improve. Soon, she no longer needed medication for blood pressure and cholesterol and now, she is not considered to be prediabetic. Her fibromyalgia still flares up occasionally, but it is manageable, she says. By June 2012, Vickie’s health had improved so much that she started back to work as a veterinarian tech at the Animal Hospital of Ashe.

Today, at 43, Vickie is a healthy and happy svelte size eight. “I have never been a size eight,” she says. “It is so awesome to be able to go into department stores and actually find something that not only fits, but also looks good.” In the past, Vickie says she tried every type of diet and pills, but nothing worked for her. “Trust me, this surgery is serious,” she says. “It is not about vanity. This surgery is a life-saving tool. It can offer you a quality of life you never dreamed possible. Because of it, my life is so good right now.” reta J. winebarger Wife, mother, avid reader and a CNA at Ashe Memorial Hospital. Her passion is writing stories about her Appalachian heritage.

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Beth Littlejohn and Renee Fuller are pictured with a few of their students at Grace Academy, a private Christian school in Boone.

Grace Academy

Driven By Heart

As homeschool moms,

Beth Littlejohn and Renee Fuller experienced both the pros and cons of teaching their children. While extra time with their kids and being intimately involved with their education was positive, the desire for a more traditional setting, complete with its support and structure was, at times, strong. In fact, it’s a common issue for homeschoolers, says Renee. “As a teacher myself, I had seen that there was a wide variety of needs within the homeschool community and one of them is accountability. So, having a little bit of structure that encouraged accountability and communication in an encouraging way could bring some homeschoolers together.” The thoughts of starting a Christian school that would meet these needs began percolating between Beth and Renee, but they didn’t want to take away from the al-



ready-functioning Appalachian Christian School. But, when rumors were confirmed ACS was closing in June 2008, the women sprang into action, appointing a board of directors and holding the first board meeting that very month. Grace Academy, a nondenominational private Christian school in Boone, was born, and within two months, Beth and Renee accomplished what normally takes 1½ to 2 years and opened the doors with 30 students. “In two months,” says Beth, “we advertised for and hired teachers. Renee planned all the schedules for typical school days. We selected the curriculum, found a place to meet and we went through the town of Boone permitting process. It was a miracle, in my mind, that everything came together. We really believe that God has built this school, and we have cooperated

to the best of our ability.” Of course, they’ve done more than cooperate; they’ve worked hard to determine what they believe to be the best curriculum and educational approach for their students. When Renee, an educator by training and in charge of Grace’s curriculum, was homeschooling, she discovered the classical model of education, a centuries-old, systematic model of learning, based upon the three stages of a child’s development. “It was necessary,” she says, “that I be very effective because I was busy and had (five) kids. There began to be talk of classical schooling in our country as a reaction to failing aspects of the public system, nationwide. In all my research, I felt like that was the best way to produce a lifelong learner.” The women also liked the idea of a

school based on a college model where students attend classes in a traditional classroom two or three days a week and complete assignments at home under the guidance of their parents. The idea is really a hybrid of home and private schooling, they said, something many homeschool families appreciate since determining appropriate pace of learning and having accountability in relation to the pace can be challenging. The model has proven successful for Grace, and the school has grown, albeit carefully. Due to the harried birth of Grace, the school’s infrastructure is such that growth has been systematic, says Renee, only recently reaching 72 students. “It’s not because we want to keep ourselves a secret or aren’t confident of what we’re doing,” she says, “but because we could only handle so much growth and be able to have quality about what we’re doing.” This year marks two very big steps in terms of growth for Grace Academy. First, while grateful to Harvest House Church, the original location of the school, for its

Grace Academy is a ‘hybrid’ of home and private schooling, a model that many homeschool families appreciate, leaders say. Photos by Yogi Collins

open arms while the school was there, Grace now meets at Boone United Methodist Church, a change which allows room for growth, access to green space and a large gym. Second, Grace hired its first paid administrator, Francie Hall, whose experience offers leadership in both vision and aim. All in all, Grace Academy continues to evolve in hopes of meeting the educational needs of students in the community. “I think all educational institutions are a work in progress,” says Beth, “and ours is, as well, but there are so many people committed to making this successful. This

is driven by our heart and for the effect it has on our children.” Grace Academy is located at Boone United Methodist Church, 471 New Market Boulevard. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. -3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. You may contact the school at  (828) 7737830 or email at  graceacademyboone@

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

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Blowing Rock’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 10396, their leaders and special guests, proudly display the pillows they made for local breast cancer patients. Photo by Sherrie Norris

Girl Scouts Helping Cancer Patients

‘reach’ to recovery A local Girl Scout troop is reaching greater heights in community service these days. On Monday, Feb. 25, Blowing Rock’s Junior Girl Scout Troop 10396 dedicated its afterschool meeting to making pillows for breast cancer patients — specifically those who have undergone mastectomies. Upon completion, the girls presented their gifts to a local representative of the Reach to Recovery program sponsored by the American Cancer Society, which will distribute them as part of an ongoing service. The scouts, all fourth and fifth-grade students at Blowing Rock Elementary School, gathered at the nearby Rumple



Memorial Presbyterian Church to assemble the small pillows; they were joined by their leaders, a few mothers and two special guests and breast cancer survivors, Mary Ruble and Mary Holstein. Ruble, who, with Deborah Kirksey, helps coordinate the area’s Reach to Recovery program sponsored by the American Cancer Society, spoke briefly to the girls about breast cancer and how helpful the “small gifts of love” are to those on the receiving end. When asked if any of them knew someone with cancer, more than half of the troop members raised their hands, with several sharing stories related to the diagnosis of family members and friends.

As an 18-year breast cancer survivor and neighbor to Girl Scout Molly Kirkland, Ruble said the pillows are a vital part of the recovery program she serves and that they offer an element of comfort to recent mastectomy patients. “They are especially helpful when wearing seat belts in the car, as they take the pressure off the surgical site,” she said. “Unfortunately, these little pillows disappear quickly, which means we have a lot of women in the area who need them.” She said the last woman she presented with a pillow was 91 years old. On behalf of those needing and receiving pillows, Ruble expressed her appreciation to the girls for choosing the project as

Reach To Recovery

How it works

Reach to Recovery, one of the many support programs provided by the American Cancer Society, has helped countless women — and men — deal with their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment for more than four decades.

Through face-to-face visits or by phone, Reach to Recovery volunteers offer support to:

When hearing that they have breast cancer, most people experience a wide range of emotions, said Mary Ruble, local program coordinator. At the same time, they are trying to learn and comprehend all they can about their particular type of cancer and the available treatment options.

those interested in or who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy

It can seem overwhelming as they assess the “big picture” and try to choose what’s best for them, she said. Talking with a Reach to Recovery volunteer, such as Ruble, who is a breast cancer survivor with special training, can prove comforting and provide an opportunity for informed decision-making. “We’ve been through it and are there to give the patients and their families hope through emotional and spiritual support, as well as information to help them with their decisions — plus, someone to talk to about their fears and concerns,” she said.

people recently diagnosed with breast cancer people facing a possible diagnosis of breast cancer

those considering breast reconstruction those who have lymphedema those who are undergoing or who have completed treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy people facing breast cancer recurrence or metastasis (the spread of cancer to another part of the body) Volunteers are trained to give support and up-to-date information, including literature for spouses, children, friends and other loved ones. Volunteers can also, when appropriate, provide breast cancer patients with a temporary breast “form” and information on types of permanent prostheses, as well as lists of where those items are available within a patient’s community. No particular products are endorsed. For more information, call (828) 262-4332 or visit treatment/supportprogramsservices/reach-to-recovery. Source: The American Cancer Society

one of their many community service acts. Troop leaders Kelly Coffey and Susan Kiker said the pillows represented just one of many projects the girls have recently completed. Others include providing Christmas gifts for a less-fortunate child, making Braille cards for the blind, sponsoring a clothing drive for mothers in need, hosting a diaper drive, visiting the residents at Blowing Rock Extended Care — and more. Kirkland, one of 18 girls in the Blowing Rock troop, knew of Ruble’s involvement with cancer patients and of the ongoing need for the pillows. With her mother, Jackie Kirkland, Molly helped coordinate the pillow project.

Each completed cushion was placed in a clear, plastic bag with a personalized note from the one who assembled it. “This means so much to us,” Ruble said. “We know that these pillows help many women who are going through a really rough time in their lives.” Holstein, a three-year breast cancer survivor, told the girls that she was so happy to receive her pillow, which helped her get out just three days after surgery. “This is such a nice thing that you are doing,” she said. Ruble mentioned the upcoming Relay For Life (June 14-15 at Watauga High School) and encouraged the girls to participate.

“It’s a fundraising event for cancer research,” she said. “Hopefully, if we keep working hard you young ladies won’t have to ever worry about breast cancer.” Kiker encouraged her scouts to remind the women in their lives — mothers and grandmothers, especially — of the need to have mammograms. Ruble confirmed that the test was a very important tool for all women.

sherrie norris Editor, All About Women



Ashe woman’s Christian ministry leads to book contract

A hobby turned into a ministry that led to a book contract for Nan Jones. Photo submitted

Crumpler resident Nan Jones began writing as a hobby and has been a creative writer for as long as she can remember. Today, that hobby has become a ministry and, in March, earned Jones a book contract. As a contributing author with Christian Devotions, an online ministry, Nan entered the Badge of Honor Book Contest. She won first place, earning a book contract after submitting a work-in-progress of her planned book, “If God Be For Me: The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife.” Nan’s journey began in 1992 while she was attending a women’s conference in Tulsa, Okla., during her husband’s (David) seminary training. “During a time of worship, I felt the spirit of the Lord settle upon me,” Nan says. “I opened my eyes. Women all about me stood with arms stretched toward the heavens. I saw them as never before — yearning to know their God more. I heard the Lord’s gentle whisper, ‘Nan, look about you. My spirit is on you to take my message of redemption, healing and restoration, my light into the dark crevices of their hearts that no one else sees.’”



For the next 18 years, she held this experience close to her heart as she taught Bible studies, provided counseling and ministry, led women’s groups at churches she and her husband pastored and wrote every chance she had. In 2009, when the couple resigned from their church, Nan felt it was the time to “answer God’s call.” She launched a full-time writing and speaking ministry to “carry the light of God’s word into the broken places of the hearts of Christian women struggling with their faith,” she says. She began her ministry with a website, ( and a devotional blog, Morning Glory ( “The Lord has given me the platform

of, ‘Even so, I walk in the presence of the Lord,’” Nan says. “This concept is the primary focus of Morning Glory and of my speaking events. I have learned that God’s presence is with me always — not just in rhetoric, but in actuality.” Her ministry, and desire to learn the craft and business of writing, led Nan to attend Writer’s Advance Boot Camp, a conference for Christian writers, held at Billy Graham’s The Cove in Asheville, and submit her book outline, and its introduction, in the contest. During the 2013 boot camp in February, Nan was named the winner of the book contest. “Oh, my goodness,” she says. “Surprise doesn’t begin to describe the flood

of emotions I experienced. I knew I had done my best and that my manuscript was strong, but I didn’t know who or what I was competing against.” The judges included professionals in the Christian writing industry, outside the framework of Christian Devotions, including published authors, editors and publishers. Jones received three perfect scores form the five-judge panel. “I was filled with wonder at the goodness of God and tremendous gratitude,” she says. “And, I was shocked that what I have worked so hard for is about to come about — a book publication.” Her husband was the first person Nan told about her victory. His loud whoop sounded like the Packers had just won the Super Bowl or something, she says. “I honestly think he was running around the house hollering. I love that man.” Her book can easily be described as nonfiction, written by a pastor’s wife for pastors’ wives. It confronts issues faced by a pastor’s wife during difficult times — including resignations. “It’s my desire that this book will lead the pastor’s wife to a place of healing and renewed purpose as she serves alongside her husband,” Nan says. She has a summer deadline to complete the manuscript before the publishing begins. A launch date has not yet been determined, but the book will be available from her website upon its release. Nan attends Osborne Memorial Baptist Church where David, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, currently pastors. She also leads a women’s Bible study on Monday nights at the church. She hopes to become a keynote speaker with the Southern Baptist Convention, become multi-published and write a series of Bible studies with accompanying DVDs. “My greatest prayer is that the Lord might be glorified through my life and that I would be obedient to everything he asks of me,” she says.

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Kathy Dellinger Four Decades of Service To Crossnore In November 1972, a young woman started working part time in Crossnore School’s public relations office. She also kept the books for her husband’s sawmill business and wasn’t interested in working full-time, anywhere. But, when the Crossnore position expanded, she was needed full-time, or she would have no job. Kathy Dellinger had no idea her commitment would stretch to 40 years and beyond, but she has been the constant 24


through six administrations that covered 40 percent of Crossnore School’s entire history. As executive assistant to the executive director, Kathy is committed to Crossnore School as if the children served there were her own. Kathy is not a person to make short commitments. She’s lived in the same house for 40 years, with Larry, her husband of 44 years. Although they have no children of their own, they have been in-

volved with Crossnore’s children throughout the years. Kathy enjoys attending student activities and ball games, or just walking the grounds and seeing children pulling wagons, riding bikes or shooting baskets outside their cottage. Her strong love of the children is one reason why Kathy has remained at her post through the administrations of interim director Anderson Greene, Bob Martin, Dean Bare, interim director Marie Jensen,

Joe Mitchell and Phyllis Crain. She won’t name a favorite, but says Crain was “the most dynamic and unique.” “She (Phyllis) was a visionary,” Kathy says. “She came up with ideas daily that made staff wonder why they had not thought of that earlier.” Rachel Hoilman, associate executive director, calls Kathy “the rock.” “She knows the history of The Crossnore School,” Rachel says. “She knows the DAR and the donors — and that knowledge is invaluable.” Children kept her here Kathy loves Crossnore. “All you have to do is get out and walk around the campus and mingle with the children,” she says, when asked what has kept her anchored to the school. Crossnore offers everything for children, she says. Although children often don’t understand the opportunities they

are given while at Crossnore, they later realize why their care, education, travel and programs were so important. She enjoys watching residents come back to visit or to wed in the Sloop Chapel. Spending time with the children makes us “realize the awesome responsibility we have,” she says. “No one does it better than Crossnore.” In 1972, Crossnore School housed 210 children in large dormitories, with 25 children sometimes in a dorm, supervised by a houseparent, often with several children of his or her own. Today eight to 10 children reside in each beautiful new 10-bedroom cottage, each with a team of caregivers called resident counselors. Fewer children are on campus due to dramatic changes in child welfare, but the issues they bring are often more severe. Although she grew up one of nine children and dirt poor, she says, she always had food and fun, but “never saw or expe-

rienced anything like these children.” “It’s hard to leave it here,” she says. “You see these things, then go to your home, and it’s safe. I sometimes have a hard time going to sleep.” Kathy and Larry have a small Christmas tree farm, to which they’ll eventually retire. She will continue to volunteer as a way of life. Until then, she will do what she has done for 40 years, and that’s to make sure that the executive’s office runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, for the benefit of the children Crossnore serves.

Norman Jameson Assistant dean of development at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and a faithful volunteer at the Crossnore School.

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Gwen Clark

Photo by Sherrie Norris

Raises the Bar on Local Agriculture

When Gwen Clark came to Avery County as a school teacher, she intended to stay for one year. Nearly three decades later, she’s still there and going strong. She is quick to tell you all about the accomplishments of her students, her coworkers, her friends and family, but try asking her about her contributions to the world around her, and she uncharacteristically goes silent. Not only has she been an amazing example to students and faculty at Avery County High School for 27 years, especially to those in her agriculture and horticulture classes and Future Farmers of America club – but she has also set the bar high for her peers, locally and across the state. At the start of her career, Gwen became the 10th female agriculture teacher in North Carolina. She also became the first, and to date, the only woman president of the North Carolina Agriculture Teacher Association and the first woman parliamentarian of the N.C. Association for Career Technical Education. She has received more awards and honors than space will allow us to mention, including Avery High’s Teacher of the Year, Avery County Teacher of the Year, N.C. Agriculture Outstanding Agriculture Teacher and Agriscience Teacher of the Year (NC Northwest Region). She has received both state and national FFA honorary American degrees, is a National Board Certified Teacher and is listed in Who’s Who Among High School Teachers. She has been a teacher/trainer for reinventing agriculture education, a supervisor of student teachers from N.C. State University, has developed curriculum for horticulture programs — and that’s just the beginning. Gwen is honored and humbled by the accolades, but what really matters, she says, is the difference she can make in young lives. Gwen’s professional pathway should’ve been clear, early on, she says, having grown up in the Yadkin County agriculture community of Jonesville, where dairy, poultry, tobacco farms and nurseries were plentiful. “But, I never realized I’d choose this for my own career,” she says. As long as she can remember, her family had a garden, as did her grandmother, with whom she stayed while her parents worked, until she entered first grade. Her family always kept a pig and had friends in large-scale farming. Her father’s primary job was with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Winston Salem; her family spent summers working in their friends’ tobacco fields.

Gwen’s mother also juggled a full-time job in the industry until starting her homebased business teaching piano lessons, which she continues today. Gwen also learned much about “business” while spending time in her grandmother’s music store, which also carried church supplies. “I always liked being around people and I loved learning how to run a business. I also loved to work around our house and especially, the gardening, canning and preserving the foods we grew,” she says. She also helped mow the yard and care for the grapevines. “You usually don’t appreciate life lessons you learn as a child, until you’re older,” she says.

A Natural Path to Gardening Gwen took horticulture classes as a student at Starmount High and enjoyed how the subject combined science, math and other elementary courses — “and made sense,” she says. Participating in FFA taught her valuable leadership skills and helped reinforce family values and skills. She was also involved in sports. “When I saw the connection between sports and agriculture, I was fascinated even more. Our high school classes worked in the football and baseball fields, as well as golf courses. We did landscape projects at school and were involved in many handson activities,” she says. Learning everything she could about plants made them more interesting. Working became “an adventure,” she says, and she learned to like broccoli only after growing it, in the ninth grade.

Learning After high school, Gwen obtained an associate degree from Surry Community College in Dobson before transferring to N. C. State University. “I am an advocate of community college,” she says. “I had a great experience and it helped me to make the transition from high school to college.” At NCSU, she majored in agricultural education, with a specialty in horticulture; she later graduated summa cum laude with her master’s degree in agricultural education from N.C. A&T State University. College was also a positive experience, she says, during which she worked in the greenhouse, at the arboretum and on the university farms.

“I really enjoyed the animal science classes. I also learned to weld and to use shop equipment and tools. I learned how all of the areas of agriculture work together.” She also “had the advantage of having great friends,” she says, whose home farms she visited and upon which she worked. The experiences helped prepare her for job interviews following graduation in 1986. Gwen had several interviews before coming to Avery County, she says, but accepted the offer — with intentions of leaving after one year.

Applying Life’s Lessons During her career, Gwen has enjoyed working with teenagers and their families — now with a second generation. “It’s a lot of fun to observe the growth process of young people and to see many of them take over family agriculture businesses and carry on family farms,” she says. Gwen “dearly loves” driving through the county and seeing what her students, both former and current, are doing in agriculture. “Many of my former students are in the landscaping business and I can see their work on a daily basis,” she says. “They build waterfalls, design beautiful landscapes, have thriving businesses and are also on the cutting edge.” Several of her students have set up biotech labs and are working to propagate native and specialty plants. She is also thrilled, she says, to be coteaching, now, with one of her former students, Gretchen Blackburn. A vital part of the agricultural education program, Gwen says, is the student FFA organization, “which allows them to use their skills and to enhance their leadership skills.” Gwen says that Avery County “is blessed” by many successful businesses that are owned and operated by those who are involved, or have been, with FFA. “As a lifelong FFA alumni and a former high school FFA member, I know that this organization teaches students to have confidence and leadership to pursue their goals and dreams,” she says, including her own two children, Jared and Carson. Roy Maltba of Altamont is one of Gwen’s former students who co-owns and operates his family business, Balsam Acres Nursery. APRIL 2013 | AAWMAG.COM


All A Part of Growing

Gwen Clark observes her student and daughter, Carson Clark, as she works with micro-propagated ferns in the biotech lab at Avery High. Photo by Sherrie Norris

“Gwen prepared us for the real world,” Roy says. “Ninety percent of her students had a farm job waiting on them when they got out of school.” Gwen was “more than a teacher,” he says. “She was a friend and she wasn’t just there to teach us and then forget us. She cared about us and she became a lifetime friend. She still stays in contact with us after all these years and still monitors our progress.” He calls her “the spirit of the school


who made a big difference in our morale.” Roy says that Gwen had “big shoes to fill” when she came to Avery County, replacing longtime agriculture icon, Herman Dellinger. “She had a challenge ahead of her, but she took it on and went beyond what anyone would’ve expected.” Roy says she not only taught him, but also his son and daughter. “Anybody can learn a lot from Gwen Clark,” he says.


Gwen’s Gardening Tips The High Country area offers “many wonderful opportunities for gardening,” says Gwen Clark, “and is known for having plants that do not grow in other areas.” Among those plants that “do well here,” she says, are hostas, impatiens, lupines and other perennials. “And, they make gardening easy, since they come back year-to-year and also make seed.” Gwen says there are many new varieties of plants that are propagated for our area and can be grown year ‘round — such as the dwarf citrus trees. “Having fresh lemons and a beautiful plant indoors can brighten even a cold, dreary day. The same goes with using fresh herbs for cooking.” “You do not have to be an expert to garden,” says Gwen. “There are thousands of gardening hints in books, magazines and on the Internet at your fingertips to help you get started or to improve upon what you already know.” Experimenting is also a highlight of gardening, she says. “Trying new things and keeping records of what works can be good therapy — as well as a wonderful way to pass on knowledge



Gwen tries to have an annual garden of her own, as her schedule allows. She loves the greenhouse and starting seeds for plants in the “dead of winter” and watching new life spring forth. “Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, marigolds, geraniums and perennials, such as lupine, are some of my favorites,” she says. “I also love to plant squash and pumpkins.” It’s a special thing, she says, to watch her students sow seeds that develop into plants. “I also love it when students take home the plants that they have raised in the greenhouse and continue to grow them in their gardens.” Having helped implement the biotech lab and new greenhouse at Avery High, Gwen is thrilled, she says, that students are now caring for ferns that they micropropagated in the lab, transferred to hanging baskets and helped grow in the greenhouse. “Gardening helps to reinforce many types of learning,” she says. “Math, computer skills (for record keeping) and personal skills are all a part of growing plants.”

Family Life When time allows, Gwen enjoys helping her husband, Dee, in the family business he owns with his father, Doug Clark. The Clarks grow Fraser fir Christmas trees, evergreen trees and shrubs, native

r to your children or grandchildren.” Gwen recommends planting what you like. “It is perfectly acceptable to plant as many types of plants as you like,” she says. “I like to have several varieties of any plant that I like, such as tomatoes.” Herbs are also fun to plant and easy to grow, she says. “You can keep them year ‘round in containers and enjoy them at any time of the year.” She also loves to save seeds. “Heirloom seeds are a wonderful way to preserve your family history. I have hollyhock, columbine, and bean seeds that have been passed down from several generations,” she says. “I plant these each year and save the seeds. I also pass them on to my students for them to have and learn to pass on to their family.” Another important tip that Gwen has to offer regarding gardening is to recycle. “Use your egg shells, potato peelings, coffee grounds and water from boiled vegetables, after it has cooled. And, don’t forget to reuse your fire ashes on your garden.” All of the “old” tips do work and “are natural,” she says. “Sci-

ornamental plants, shade trees and landscaping plants. During Christmas, she stays busy helping with their retail tree lot, Christmas Corner, and makes countless wreaths and bows. Gwen enjoys attending industry trade shows with Dee, and he helps her in the greenhouse. “We share a lot of resources and knowledge,” she says. “He tells me of trends that I pass on to my students and I’m able to collect information and even seeds from the trade shows that I bring back to school.” She is also helpful in recruiting students to help in the family’s seasonal business. Their children, while still involved in the business, are following their own dreams. Jared, 21, is a teaching fellow in elementary education at Lenoir-Rhyne University; Carson, a senior at Avery High, is planning a nursing career. Gwen believes they will always have a heart for their family heritage and the nursery work. Jared was one of two students from Avery High to ever obtain the coveted American FFA Degree, something that gives Gwen great pride. “It is the highest award an FFA member can earn as an individual,” she says. Carson is in FFA, too, and serves as a regional officer. When not busy with school and FFA, Gwen is active in her church at First Baptist of Crossnore, and with local community and agricultural organizations, including the Avery County Fair, Farm Bureau, Christmas Tree Growers Association and the local Cooperative Extension Service, just to name a few.

Gwen Clark, right, with her former student and current co-teacher, Gretchen Blackburn, at the most recent National FFA Convention. Photo submitted

Gwen is content, for now, to keep digging in the dirt. She looks forward to quality time with her husband when retirement comes, but she’s not ready, yet. “We will sit on the porch in our rocking chairs when we get old, but for now, we still have a few more things we want to accomplish,” she says.



ence has proven that these things work. Our ancestors did this, but they may not have known why. Today, we have learned and have proved why they work. So, keep up those gardening traditions passed down from your grandparents.” Gwen is a firm believer that “nothing” tastes better than a dinner of fresh veggies from your garden—corn, beans, potatoes, cabbage, salsa or tomatoes — “along with cornbread,” she says.

Gardening is Great Therapy Gardening is great therapy, says Gwen. “Working with your hands is one of the best feelings, and it helps promote self-confidence. Most people easily light up when they are able to actually touch plants and care for them.” “Gardening awakens a part of you that sometimes can be hidden,” she says. “Choosing and planning what to put in a garden is almost as much fun as the actual planting and working in the dirt.” For Gwen, one of her favorite parts of growing plants is the

sherrie norris Editor, All About Women


planning stage. “Deciding what will grow in your area and planning for colors, sizes and texture to make your garden beautiful, is so much fun,” she says. “Seeing my students tap into their creative side, even if they don’t know they have it, is a pleasure to observe.” She says she’s still learning and referred to the knowledge she gained about gardening while teaching an adult continuing education class. Gwen cherishes a birthday gift from a former student, which includes this quote: “Life began in a garden.” “I agree with those words, which could easily be my motto,” she says. “I really enjoy the bountiful blessing of a garden, whether it be for food to eat or food for your soul and spirit.” There is something “so relaxing about gardening,” Gwen says. “It gets you in tune with nature, the way we were intended to live. It gets us back to basics — being responsible and sustaining ourselves is very self-satisfying.”



Madeline Hays, 8, never tires of reading the book that she co-wrote with her mother, Summer Hays. Photo submitted

A MotherDaughter Project Comes to Life




Madeline Hays is 8 years old and a published author who takes her book to schools, libraries and other venues and special events around her community — and beyond — in an effort to inspire other children to write and read. “Mrs. Gambel the Quirky Quail,” coauthored with Madeline’s mother, Summer Hays, was published October 2012, but it began to take shape three years earlier during a family vacation in Arizona. A very young Madeline was in awe by “some weird little birds,” she says, while visiting her paternal grandparents. “I didn’t really start studying the birds too closely, at first,” she says, “and I didn’t even know what they were until my grandparents told me they were Gambel quails. After watching them for two days, just to start with, I thought they were kind of cool. I ended up observing them very closely during our whole vacation.” Madeline says she especially “liked their little plumes sticking up out of their heads” and the fact that they were “kind of” predictable. “They went out on their walk every morning — 10 babies always started out with their mother, but sometimes only seven of them came back at one time.” Madeline’s mother joined her daughter in observing the mother quail and her offspring. “My mother began taking notes and later, we did some research on the quails,” she says. “I was only 5 at the time. We decided to put all of our notes together and make a little paper book, something we could just have to read with each other.” Then, Madeline says, “My mom thought it would be great to put all of our writing together, and it just happened, but it really took us three years to complete it. I was just turning 8 when it was published in October.” When asked how she felt when holding the book for the first time, Madeline quickly replies. “I was just like wow – this is really cool.” “Mrs. Gambel the Quirky Quail” was published by Ivy House Publishing Group

in Raleigh and illustrated by Jeri Allison, with the art department at Appalachian State University. Soon after its publication, Madeline says she first shared it with her secondgrade class at Valle Crucis, “and then, I started taking it around to other schools. It’s funny because people are expecting an adult and then, here I come, just a kid. It’s hard for them to believe that I am an author.” For her presentations, Madeline carries a small stuffed Gambel quail in a box, and plays 20 questions with her audience. “It’s like an ice-breaker to try to get them to guess what’s in my box,” she says. “I was surprised when this one guy guessed correctly.” When responding to our questions about the book, its subjects and authors, Madeline quickly came up with the answers, and more. Attending Mountain Pathways Montessori School, she says, gave her a “jumpstart” on reading skills. If she were an animal, she would be something cute. She has read her book “about 50 times” and never gets tired of it; she has read “Charlotte’s Web” about as many times. When she grows up, she hopes to be a pro gymnast in the summer Olympics, a teacher or a pilot. “Or maybe all three,” she says. She takes gymnastics at New River Gymnastics; she’s on a track team at Valle Crucis Park and plays basketball on the Pistons Peewee basketball team; she loves reading and writing and teaching — “like doll school,” she says. “I have an American Girl and her doll school kit, with a little desk and easel and a writing journal.” She likes school, but says, “I would like more of a challenge. I should be in the third grade, but because of my birthday being in October, I missed the deadline, so that makes me one of the oldest in class.” She has taken her book to Valle Crucis, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock Elementary schools and plans to have readings in Arizona, where it all started, when she returns for a visit this spring.

“We have made space at the end of the book for children to write down their thoughts, kind of like a journal,” she says. “Each book also comes with a sticker that says, ‘If I think it, I can write it.’ Everyone has their own story and they should write it.” The book is selling well, she says. “We’ve sold 345 copies, to be exact. My grandmother has sold a bunch in Nebraska, too, so people are reading it all over the place.” It’s important to Madeline that “everyone knows” that sequels are a real possibility. “We have plans,” she says. “We are working on ‘Mrs. Gambel Goes to the Beach’.” She looks at her father as she adds, “I’ll probably have to go to the beach to get the details, but we already know that the quails will be going there on Seagull Airlines — my mom thought of that.” Another possibility? “Mrs. Gambel will probably go to the mountains, too, but we wouldn’t have to go far for that one for our research,” she says. Madeline’s parents, Dan and Summer Hays, are delighted that the family project is going so well. “The creativity of children is amazing,” says Summer. “We, as parents, must open our eyes and ears to truly understand our kids and teach them to believe in themselves. Let them know that their thoughts and ideas are just as important as those of adults. This will create confidence and self-respect in their early years which will, hopefully, last a lifetime.” “Mrs. Gambel the Quirky Quail” is available locally at Tatum Galleries, Stick Boy, Bless Your Heart and the Incredible Toy Company, as well as Malaprops in Asheville and through

sherrie norris Editor, All About Women



Bethanie Campbell is a woman with a mission. Photo submitted

‘Freddy Sinclair’s Double Dare’ and ‘A World Without Circles’ Bethanie Campbell is a woman with a mission. She has merged her love of writing and children, her degrees in elementary and reading education — and her desire to contribute to the world — to create children’s books that address social issues in a way to which children can relate. Her first book, “Freddy Sinclair’s Double Dare,” explores water shortages in the Sudan region of Africa. Freddy is a frog who, while hopping around in a forest, meets up with Barkley the Bear. Barkley challenges him to travel through two countries in 20 days, taking nothing with him. He is to depend on the kindness of strangers for his physical needs of food, 32


water and shelter. The prize for completing this task is $100 in cash. The cover of the book shows Freddy with one shoe on (stepping into a puddle of water) and one shoe off (stepping from barren, dry land.) “This goes to illustrate that not only do these people not have water, but they don’t have a lot of other things that we take for granted, even the basics,” says Campbell. Freddy accepts the challenge and discovers the differences between the prosperous United States and poor Third World people like the Sudanese, who have to walk miles for water that may not be clean. The lessons involve learning and caring about other cultures, helping peo-

ple in need, sharing, kindness and contribution. This project was truly a merging of talents, as well. Two of Campbell’s longtime friends, Amber Hendley and Jaclyn Ciurciu, were pivotal in getting this project off the ground. Amber’s husband, Doc Hendley, is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Wine To Water, which raises money to provide wells and water filters to third world countries to combat death and waterborn diseases. Doc and his father, publisher Jeff Hendley, approached Bethanie and asked her to write this book, to which she readily agreed. A portion of the book sales goes

directly to Wine To Water to support its continuing work. “Jaclyn, Amber and I grew up together and we are best friends,” Bethanie says. “I sent Jaclyn my story and asked her to illustrate it. She was so excited. We had to communicate a lot through email. She would draw me a picture and send it to me over her iPhone. She made the words really come to life.” Artist Jaclyn Ciurciu, who lives in New Jersey, is the mother of two children. While she was pregnant with her second child, she took moments, when her son was napping or visiting his grandparents, to work on this project. “I read it to my son’s classroom. The kids understood that they were luckier than others, because they have clean wa-

About the Author Bethany Campbell received both her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her masters of arts in reading education from Appalachian State University. She currently works at A.S.U. Collage of Arts and Science and also tutors on the side. She is a single mother who lives in Boone with her daughter, Olivia Grace. Her supportive fiancé is Michael Kepley. “Freddy Sinclair’s Double Dare and A World Without Circles” was published by BackDoor Books, children’s division of L’Edge Press, Boone. Bethanie Campbell’s books can be found at, www., and BackDoor Books, PO Box 1652, Boone, NC 28607 Artist, Jaclyn Ciurciu lives in Boonton, NJ with her husband, Vinny, and their two children, Roman and Maeve. Artist Zack Hix lives in Simpsonville, S.C. His work and products can be found at

ter. They also liked that the character is a frog. The book was time-consuming, but it was fun. I definitely wanted to support that cause.” Bethanie read her book to Kathryn Mathews’ first-grade class at Valle Crucis Elementary. The first-graders, wanting to help, made sticky cookies. “The concept is that we all stick together,” says Bethanie. “They raised $500 for Wine to Water. They were so excited to present Doc with a check.” Bethanie’s second book, “A World Without Circles,” explores what the world would be like if we didn’t have circles. It is geared to a younger child, with simple language, bright colors and lots of common images to recognize. It seems to me to be a book about appreciation as well.

“A World Without Circles” was illustrated by 17-year-old artist Zack Hix from Simpsonville, S.C. He has created a series of characters called Good Boy Roy characters that appear on T-shirts and other merchandise. He hopes to turn this endeavor into a cartoon series and create a brand known everywhere. Campbell says, “I’d love to be able to write, to write books where some of the proceeds go to help others. Jaclyn and I have an idea for our next book. To be able to do what I love and to help others, that would be amazing.” Danielle Bussone Danielle Bussone is a writer, an artist and a wellness coach. Visit her blog at

Can You Keep up with our Folks?

Some Spring Events

Phil Logan, Tove Holmer, Nancy Dennett and Pauline Lurie Competed and Won the Spelling Bee for Grown Ups

April 23 Appalachian Brian Estates’ Senior Prom May 10 High Country Senior Games Kick Off at Appalachian Brian Estates May 10 Adult Services Expo at the Boone Mall May 15 A trip to see the Hickory Crawdad’s Basesball game May 23 A trip to the Barter Theatre to see “Les Miserables” 163 Shadowline Drive | Boone, NC 28607 | 828-264-1006 | 800-333-3432 APRIL 2013 | AAWMAG.COM



Spring Intentions



Although a new year brings resolutions, spring follows with a momentum that is hard to deny. Perhaps, it is because we sleepily stretch out of our winter hibernation, reaching for goals, but still too cold to know exactly how to negotiate our ideas and desires. On a recent run, I started thinking about how deliberate spring is. The petite, native purple irises shove themselves up through the frozen, snowcovered ground — as if to dare winter to continue too much longer. As the bulbs start showing their sprouting leaves and the weather confuses even itself, we, too, start to plan our next step. Maybe it’s to start exercising more diligently or to register for a race. For some women, it’s time to take stock of where they are and where they wish to be. Still, others are entering the season with the growing life of a child inside of them, wondering if he or she will make his or her entrance on a raging winter “lion” day or on a “lamb” day — knowing that summer cannot be far away. I had the pleasure of going to a beautiful “blessing way” for an expecting friend and was overwhelmed by the powerful impression of this gathering of women. A “blessing way” is a wonderful ritual where many other women and mothers come together to welcome and bless the path for an expectant mother as she prepares to transition into that role. While traditional baby showers have their place in helping parents obtain material necessities, the blessing way has the goal of supporting that woman and calling on the natural world and people in it to make it a peaceful and meaningful passage. It just so happened that this event occurred on a stunningly sunny day that was sandwiched between two winter storms and multiple days of school closings. How appropriate that, like the iris, that day had declared itself for my friend, the guest of honor. She glowed, cried, laughed, embraced and absorbed the life and love in that room

and everyone shared in the awesomeness of this new life that would soon arrive. There was a conscious acknowledgement of how powerful it is to lead another being into our world — and how we, as mothers, may not always know the path for our children, but we do know the direction. Nature is, after all, intentional and unapologetic in its forces, just as are labor and birth. As creatures on this earth, we certainly have a lot to learn in this respect. I pondered this intention while pounding the ground and relishing the peace and time to think on my run. Passing through our seasons, we travel from dormancy to vibrancy, turning over new leaves when we can. Just this past week, I saw two clients who had made the decision to leave jobs that had worn them down mentally and physically and accept positions with new companies in which they were thriving. These women had a tipping point where just getting through each day was no longer a safe or desirable choice. They had been at those positions for several years and then had the proverbial wakeup call that their happiness and ability to care for themselves had to be a priority. I was impressed with their courage and delighted that both of them were doing so well. They were free and intentional simultaneously, just as the newborn baby is while waiting to make his or her entrance into this world. There is something to be said for going with the flow, but when it comes to life, at some point as women, we must make that decision to live intentionally — with hope, health and heart in mind. Lying there under the ground gets old. It might be your time to burst through. heather jordan, CNM, MSN Comments or questions? 828.737.7711, ext. 253




A Sensible Supplementation Primer It sure would be convenient if a vitamin supplement could take the place of real food, but our bodies are designed to eat real food, mostly vegetables and some fruit. You may not need to supplement if: • You eat lots of plant foods, grown in mineral rich soil. • You exercise at least 30 minutes a day. • You do not smoke. • You do not drink alcohol in excess. • You are not pregnant. • You are not over 50. • You do not have a disease that contributes to malabsorption (obesity, Crohn’s disease. etc.) • You are not taking a prescription drug that depletes important nutrients. The fact is most of us do not fit the above descriptions, so supplementation might be necessary. Where do we begin? Sifting through all of our options can be a challenge. The following guidelines, derived from the work of Dr. Walter Willet and the Council for Responsible Nutrition, are general, but might prove helpful. Before taking supplements, seek the oversight of a knowledgeable health professional regarding your specific needs. Experts say that most of us can benefit from taking a multivitamin. A daily multivitamin supports an adequate intake of several micronutrients that are not always present in the diet in optimal amounts. Most contain at least the recommended daily allowance of your most important vitamins and minerals. Willett advises that a multivitamin should contain at least 1,000 IU (interna-



tional units) of Vitamin D. For many of us in the High Country, there is insufficient ultraviolet light in our lives to synthesize Vitamin D naturally from the sun. Slathering on sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure to prevent skin damage also prevents synthesis. Vitamin D deficiencies have been associated with everything from brittle bones, mental illness and the growth and spread of cancer cells. The following are also strongly advised under certain conditions: Omega 3: The American Heart Association recommends 1,000 milligrams of Omega 3 from fish oil per day to support heart health. Why fish oil? The Omega 3 in fish oil provides both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both are necessary to support heart and brain health. Marine algae, a popularly touted source of Omega 3, only contains DHA and not EPA. Flax seed contains ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). While the body can theoretically convert ALA into EPA and DHA, the actual conversion rate is very low. In fact, many studies suggest that the conversion rate can be as low as 1 percent, or less. As such, cold water native fish or fish oil supplements are the best sources of Omega-3. Calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D for proper absorption

ments vary widely for several reasons: Quality Make sure what is on the label is actually in the bottle. Your supplement should be USP and NSF certified. These nonprofit organizations certify that the vitamins are contaminant free and made according to good manufacturing practices. Dissolvability and Absorbability Before nutrients from a supplement can be absorbed, the supplement must be dissolved in the gut. One way to avoid the dissolubility issue would be to use supplements in powder form and dissolve them in some form of liquid. The absorption of some vitamins is actually based on and improved by other nutrients. Calcium absorption, for instance, is increased by the presence of Vitamin D. Zinc and Vitamin C are known to decrease the absorption and retention of copper in the body. A high intake of calcium might decrease magnesium absorption, so both should be present. Many high quality multivitamins contain the counterbalance of nutrients that ensure proper absorption For a basic understanding of the role of nutrition in supporting your health, pick up a copy of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating - “Eat, Drink and Be Healthy” by Walter Willett, MD. Another good read is “You! The Owner’s Manual” by Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Willett suggests that rather than hazard the issues involved in a dairy-rich diet, or if you are not eating enough food based sources, such as green leafy vegetables, a calcium supplement might be advisable. Let The Buyer Beware Not all supplements are created equal. The quality and absorbability of supple-

bonnie church Certified Life and Wellness Coach author, columist, motivational speaker and certified trainer for TLS Weight Loss Solution



Everywhere There’s A

Secret Room Here I am; Gimpy, you can call me — slowed way down by a badly-broken femur and forced to stay off my feet for 12 weeks. Me, Gimpy, banished to the hermitage of my cabin, with paper, pens, watercolors, journal, a stack of books and notebooks full of essays I’ve written or am working on. What next? I am a blank sheet of paper. Perhaps, I’m just beginning to be written by the quiet predawn call of a cardinal. Maybe, I’m to be formed by just what I can see out the window — fence posts and rails dusted with snow, a red-bellied woodpecker at the suet feeder. Or, alerted by what I can hear — a fierce wind whipping around the cabin’s edges. There’s a cozy fire, a dog curled up beside me, a nice cup of chai, the requisite stuff of life. A pot of tiny basil seedlings, a warm blanket, an amaryllis plant about to bloom. These log walls have become my world, my secret room. My secret room. Phil Cousineau, who writes on the spirituality of travel, says, “Everywhere has a secret room. You must find it or you’ll never understand the hidden reason you really left home.” Well, yes, I did leave home, slipped on black ice, went down, landed in the hospital, then in rehab, and now I’m in my blessed secret room. The dictionary says “gimp” means fighting spirit, vigor. It even means to jump or hop. Well, I’m jumping, hopping and fighting. And, with most of my late winter and early spring plans down the drain, there is one place to which I plan to hobble: a five-day conference centered around Thomas Merton, my spiritual mentor and one-time monk, at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky. 38


It will include a pilgrimage to Merton’s secret room, his hermitage in the woods, where he lived his last three years secluded, the silent place where he was free to see what truth would arise, the place where the slate was wiped clean, where he would see the first point of light of dawn — new every day. I will be there, too, to see what truth will arise. Secret rooms. My imagination takes me back to cold winter days on the Athena, a tiny ship sailing from port to port in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Each morning, we disembarked to explore the worlds of those dark war days of the 1990s, when thousands of people were needlessly slaughtered. But, the afternoons; oh, the afternoons. I curled up on a love seat in the lounge with a cup of hot chocolate in my own little secret room, wrote in my journal, read Richard Holbrooke’s “To End a War,” and imagined how I could begin to lead a more caring life. Or Uchisar — what an amazing secret room. In central Turkey, I hiked among the tufas, strange, otherworldly pointed volcanic rocks and arrived at Ahbar Konagi, “Home Sweet Home,” my secret room for a few days. I passed through a line of hosts, the first one sprinkling me with rose water, the second offering a glass of cherry juice, the third holding out a hot towel and the fourth handing me a Turkish delight. My room was a tiny cave cut from tufa rock, my bed and the walls covered with antique handwoven Turkish spreads. Best of all, at the windows were creamy muslin curtains with crocheted lace and tassels, like tiny whirling dervishes. With a cup of hot apple tea, I snuggled on my bed each night, ready to write the sweetest poetry — the most sublime prose — ready to ponder the meaning of life. My secret room. Secret rooms. For a writer, her secret rooms are the furnaces in which she fires her life into words. Phil Cousineau is right. I will find one wherever I go and each will become a sweet memory of what life is all about, a precious gem to be shared in poems, essays and stories.

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sue spirit Writes poetry and essays about nature, spirituality, writing, and travel. She has a little cabin in the mountains. ©2010 Benjamin Moore & Co. Arborcoat, Benjamin Moore and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks, licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co.







“I win! I win!” exclaimed my 4-year-old niece, Elinor, while jumping up and down, doing her best imitation of a victory dance. She had just played a round in her new “Just Dance Kids” Wii game, competing against her very tolerant older brother, Alex. He had the high score, but Elinor kept insisting that she was the winner and would not hear otherwise. After trying to contradict his sister a couple of times, Alex gave up with a shrug and a look that said, “What are you gonna do — she’s 4.” Elinor was not satisfied with being declared winner of her new dance game; she wanted to win each and every game we played. After playing a memory- matching card game, where I had accumulated the larger pile of matches, she looked up at me and said, “I would like to have that pile.” Laughing, my sister, Kendle, responded that Elinor takes after her “Auntie Feather.” Kendle would say that, as a child, I was a bad loser — or perhaps a bad winner. American sportswriter Grantland Rice is credited with saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” And, because I liked winning, I became quite good at manipulating the rules of the game to maximize my victories. Kendle called it cheating. Did I cheat? Probably. Do I remember what we played or why winning was so important? Not at all. Thankfully, Kendle has not banned me from playing with my niece and nephew out of fear that I would be a bad influence. My competitive spark still flares up from time to time, but somewhere along the line, I discovered the truth of that old adage. I learned that the experience is more valuable than the outcome. The experience — the game or competition, if you will — can be very rewarding. It drives us to hone our skills, push our physical and mental limits and to value and respect our teammates and rivals. That being said, I do not seek out competition for competition’s sake. I prefer to participate in games that do not require the consumption of ridiculous quantities of food; do not require close proximity to animals with sharp teeth; and are not likely to result in spinal trauma. No hot dog eating contests, alligator wrestling or snowmobile freestyle competitions for me. Nothing sucks the fun out of a competition faster than having to sign a death liability waiver.

I may choose to participate in games at which I have a modicum of skills, but that does not mean that I always win. Sure, losing can be disappointing; however, accepting it with dignity and grace is what makes us good losers. Besides, winning all the time is boring. Why else root for the underdog? It is refreshing to see the likely champion being unexpectedly challenged. I expected to have the highest “Just Dance Kids” score of the night, but it was not to be. That honor, to the delight of all, went to my brother-in-law, Michael, who demonstrated heretofore, unknown dance skills. Michael was a good winner — surprised and excited with a smidge of humility. There was little bravado and nothing resembling chest thumping, pumping or bumping or anything else resembling gorillas competing for alpha male status in the wild. I enjoy a triumphal celebration as much as the next gal, but we have all seen victors who cross that fine line between being joyous and being smug, and smugness is not an endearing quality. Am I guilty of being smug? Oh, yes. I have never lost a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. I know a lot of useless, unnecessary things that normal people should not know and because of this, no one will play with me. Well, that and my tendency to scoff when someone doesn’t know that the starboard engine of an Imperial cruiser has two engines. I understand now that it is disheartening to go into a contest knowing that you will not only lose, but will be annihilated. Let this be a warning to all you chess masters who challenge novices and Scrabble players who use a computer to come up with wacky words that they cannot define, use up leftover letters and sound like something Chewbacca would have said in Shyriiwook (Note: I did warn you about the useless Star Wars trivia). Am I a good loser? I haven’t flipped a board game when things weren’t going my way in years. Am I a good winner? Let’s just say that I am still learning.

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.



Home Décor and More



Spring is here and if you’re like me, you are ready for it. Decorating the inside of our home is one thing, but keep in mind that the outside is really what makes the first impression on those passing by or stopping in for a visit. This is a perfect time to make sure all of the dead winter plants are cut back and fresh mulch is put down around your property. One of my favorite and very simple outside projects each year is to decorate my window boxes. I start with fresh potting soil and plant colorful pansies, ferns, ivy and impatiens. I stagger the plantings according to the months, with impatiens planted last — one never knows about the weather this time of year. Window boxes aren’t just for the spring and summer. When fall arrives, it’s easy to remove the withering plants and replace them with mini mums. My ivy is usually still alive at that point, so I just leave it in. When fall passes, simply remove the live plants from the box and run a length of faux pine garland from end-to-end; add

Ouch! artificial red berry picks for the Christmas season and it will last well through the entire winter. It’s a great way to use your window boxes year ‘round. Another way to decorate your yard is with “yard art,” which includes the popular mini flags, metal art, birdhouses and feeders. Using potted flowers on your deck, or at your front door, in colorful pots is a great way of saying, “Welcome to my home.” If it’s dark at night, along the pathway to your home’s entrance, pick up some mini solar lights that just stick down into the ground. They provide a good source of light, without a lot of expense. The main thing to remember is that you can easily turn the outside of your home into another “room” for you, your family and your guests to enjoy. Of course, as much as we try, nothing can compare with the natural beauty of the mountain laurel, rhododendrons and the flaming azaleas that surround us in the wonderful area in which we live. Spring is here and your yard is waiting. The possibilities are endless and your neighbors will love you for it.

Boone Podiatry, P.A. 610 State Farm Road, Ste. C Boone, NC 28607 (828)265-3668 (800)443-7385


Linda Killian Linda is the owner of her home-based business called Cabin Design Interior Decorating in Fleetwood.

2082 Blowing Rock Rd Boone, NC 28607

Follow us on at Chick-fil-A of Boone APRIL 2013 | AAWMAG.COM


Go and Tell

Carrie Graybeal presents a new uniform and shoes to an orphan sponsored by the Ministry.

Deep Gap Woman puts faith into action In the last year, local dental hygienist Carrie Graybeal of Deep Gap has made three mission trips outside of the United States to share the love of Jesus through Alpha International Ministries, a Texas-based nonprofit Christian evangelistic and humanitarian organization. Graybeal has recently returned from her most recent journey to Tikapur, Nepal, which came on the heels of a November trip to India. In June, she was in Tanzania. Many people ask, why does she do this? “It’s like going to see family,” Graybeal said. “But more importantly, the first word in the Great Commission is ‘go,’ so I do.” she said. “Some people think I should stay here instead of going overseas. I don’t believe Jesus meant go just to the United 44


States of America. He said, ‘Go into all the world.’ I participate in missions here, as well, but I feel called to go there, too.” Alpha International Ministries is dedicated to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Asia, Carrie said. “The ministry has been responsible for helping start — and staff — numerous churches in those areas, as well as provide for the needs of more than 1,000 of the most needy children in India and Nepal through its Giving Children Hope ministry.” Graybeal uses her professional skills as a means to minister to the needs of the pastors and children served through AIM. “I help with their dental needs, but there’s such a great opportunity to just love on them and show them Jesus,” she said.

“For the pastors there to be in good health means that more people are reached and more souls are saved. Healthy children mean healthier workers for God’s kingdom.” Carrie has gotten to know the people, their needs and their hearts, she says. “I know their stories and I am able to pray for them all year.” One of her greatest joys is being able to show the children “before and after pictures of their mouths and watch their eyes light up when they see the change,” she said. “Afterward, when I see them around the conference, they are constantly smiling and giving me the ‘thumbs up.’ That’s more than enough to fuel my desire to return.”

Graybeal’s involvement with AIM began nearly three years ago, following a visit to Laurel Springs from the ministry’s president, Finny Mathews, a native of India who had earned his master’s of divinity degree at Wake Forest’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. “It was on Father’s Day, 2010,” she said. “After hearing him speak and watching his slideshow, which included pictures of a hygienist at work in the ministry, I prayed about whether or not this was where the Lord wanted me to serve.” One month later, while working on a Bible study at home, Graybeal said, “the Lord made it very clear to me that he wanted me to work with AIM.” Her pastor, Brent Bolick, helped her contact Finny. “It just so happened that he had a need for a hygienist on a trip to Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, India — just over a month away,” she said. Graybeal quickly applied for a Visa, appealed to her dental supply representatives for supplies to take with her, received enough donations through her church family to pay for her trip — and was on her way. Returning to the same area each time is like a family reunion, she said. “They are always so appreciative when we arrive,” she said. “They are always so grateful for simple things that we so often take for granted — like having their teeth cleaned. It means so much to them.” Graybeal is in awe that the people she goes to serve remain faithful despite their living conditions — and the persecution they endure. “Most of these people live on less than $1 a day and take in multiple children when they cannot afford to feed themselves,” she said. “They are hated by their communities, but serve God faithfully de-

spite their hardships. Some pastors have the testimony of being born into wealthy Hindu families, but are banished and disowned when they accept Jesus. They lose wealth and their families, but they remain true to their calling.” Graybeal’s most recent journey required her to board five different flights en route to Nepal “and six coming back,” she said, for a seven-day stay. “AIM hosted a three-day conference and a two-day medical camp for 200 pastors with unshakable faith,” she said. “We saw around 100 children in the medical clinic, who are sponsored by the ministry. Often, this is the only medical care they receive all year.” Graybeal said, “AIM pastors often find orphaned children and take them in their homes. Some pastors, with very little money, house as many as 10 children. They struggle to provide, but cannot bear to turn the children away.” Along with meeting the physical needs of the children, she said, the pastors provide a Christian education and a loving, safe home. “The pastors are dedicated to the children, but also to reaching their communities,” she said, with many traveling many miles from their homes — by foot, bicycle, and even fewer by motorbike, she said, to reach the farthest villages with the gospel. “Most are met by hostile Hindus,” she said. “Some are beaten and even die for their faith. Yet, their faith is unshakable.” Many times, she said, she has lain down at night to the sounds of the people crying out to God and singing his praises. “Such passion inspires me.” During her last visit, a crusade was held in the town of Tikapur, for two nights. “On a street lined with shops owned by

Hindus, Finny and Cherian Matthews spoke to a crowd of about 8,000 to 10,000 people, many of whom heard the gospel for the first time,” she said. While in Tikapur, the AIM team dedicated a new church and well, both donated by supporters of the ministry. “The pastor of the new church stated that he had prayed for five years for a church building and that God provided.” AIM pays for some of the pastors to travel to conferences away from their homes, “even to India sometimes,” Graybeal said. “Last year, I cleaned the teeth of some of the same pastors in Nepal and again in India.” It marked the first time she had seen the same people twice in one year, she said, “which was important to me, to be able to establish some sort of recall with them.” They remembered her name, she said, and told her they had prayed that she would be able to return. “They all want their teeth cleaned,” she said. While the ministry team is different for every trip, Graybeal said, she is often able to travel with some of the same people that she has ministered with before. “Team members also become like family,” she said. “I have formed bonds and made friends with many of them, some of whom I drive to visit and spend weekends with when we are stateside.” From working with the people in Tanzania, where she experienced her first safari, to India’s city of Anand when she witnessed a graduation of new pastors at AIM’s only campus and Bible college, Graybeal’s zeal for mission work just grows stronger each time. With a goal to continue these trips “three or four times each year,” she said, it’s easy to see that Graybeal’s heart is definitely on the mission field. Each trip costs more than $3,000 per person, but as long as God provides a way for her to go, Graybeal said she is ready and willing to serve. (Left) With her mission partners and church members, Carrie Graybeal was involved in the dedication of this church during her most recent trip to Nepal. Photos submitted sherrie norris Editor, All About Women




The Art of Approaching Canine a Pooch Considerate Communication Spring. It’s finally spring! Beckoned by the daffodils and robins, we are drawn to the parks and greenways, mountain trails and neighborhood paths. Gardens and yards beseech us to play; athletic fields and diamonds flaunt their fresh green turf to entice us; lengthening days summon us outdoors. As we emerge from winter hibernation, we encounter others enjoying the great out-of-doors, many of the two-legged variety and occasionally, their four-legged companions. While a nod or casual greeting suffices for many pedestrians sharing the wideopen spaces, facets of our human language greetings can confuse or frighten new canine acquaintances. Speaking a dog’s language will earn you respect and a mutually enjoyable meeting. The following guidelines may aid you in understanding and adapting considerate canine communication: Before interacting with a dog, always ask its owner if you may pet the animal. Keep your distance until the owner re-

sponds affirmatively to your request. Accept that every canine will not share your eagerness to be friends. Exercise caution when approached by an unescorted canine. Children should be taught it is not safe to approach unescorted animals by themselves. Allow the dog to come to you, to enter your territory for a “sniff-get-to-know-you.” Walking or reaching into a dog’s space may be seen as a threatening gesture, invoking a defensive reaction from some canines. Invite the dog to approach you by patting the side of your leg, maintaining a calm, friendly posture. According to veteran dog trainer John Quy of Little Horse Creek Farm, “Our upright posture gives us an advantage, yet can be interpreted as an ominous posture. Being very stiff relays one is ill at ease. Keep your movements fluid and relaxed.” Quy recommended offering the palm of your hand casually at your side to be sniffed. Sharon Carlton Sharon Carlton, High Country Courtesies ©2012 As founder of High Country Courtesies, Sharon Carlton writes and speaks on modern etiquette and life skill topics. She is Director of High Country Cotillion, a social education program for youth and conducts High Country Courtesies customer service workshops. Contact her at






These innovative first-grade students, with the help of their teacher, Kate Leslie and assistant, Sharon Bolick from Blowing Rock Elementary School created a 20-month calendar in their efforts to “make change” for the Watauga Humane Society. Photo submitted

making ‘change’ “See a penny, pick it up! You can help save a pup, a dog, cat, kitten, rabbit or perhaps, a guinea pig.” A Valentine’s Day fundraising campaign sponsored by the Watauga Humane Society — “Change” a Homeless Animal’s Life — quickly became a community movement, with a lot of help from students in Watauga County schools. Not only was the event helpful in raising money, but it also brought heightened awareness to the animals at the Humane Society shelter. The goal for every animal brought to the shelter is for it to be housed and loved, say shelter staff. And, while each animal there receives medical attention and care from staff, volunteers and visitors, the ultimate goal is to find a home for every animal. Through collecting “change” and thinking “outside the box,” shelter staff members say, the efforts of local school students and their teachers have begun to make a difference. Numerous ideas evolved through the process, with one class of first-graders in Blowing Rock, in particular, focusing on the 12 animals that have been at the shelter for the longest time period. Many classes raised money through



collecting change, just as the campaign suggested. Others sold lemonade and homemade cookies. The idea of the Blowing Rock firstgraders to create a calendar proved to be the most innovative, perhaps. The calendar project allowed the students a chance not only to participate, but also to learn various skills while becoming more familiar with shelter animals, their needs and their “stories.” The students also found themselves pondering the future of the animals. Coordinating the 20-month calendar project and seeing it through production (with a lot of help from their teachers) to sales, also taught the students about marketing and promotion — with hands-on experience. The completed project, with the help of Precision Printing of Boone, spotlights the long-term shelter residents, depicted in original artwork by the students. Through this effort, shelter staff is happy to report at least one of the long-term felines has found a home. The Blowing Rock students received $300 for their classroom needs, in addition

to a pizza party and quality time with the animals of their choice at the shelter. The Valentine’s campaign was designed as a way to collect change for the Watauga Humane Society operations budget that provides food, medical attention, spay-neuter, vaccinations, socialization, but most importantly, staff say, love, to the approximate 250 animals that are admitted each month. The event ran from February 11–28 at public schools in the Watauga County system. Participating classes were encouraged to tie into their curriculum a way to collect change to save an animal’s life. Suggestions included writing an essay or story about a particular animal, a fictional story of an animal that lives in the High Country, a story describing your “dream” pet, painting a picture of a personal pet or of an animal that is seen in the High Country and more. Genevieve Austin Genevieve Austin is a mother of one and received her teaching certificate from ASU. She is a writer who is working on her first book, ‘The Toy Box,’ and is also a radio personality, artist, singer and animal advocate.


not just for breakfast, anymore With the arrival of spring, most of us are thinking of fresh flowers and everything pastel. For many of us, the recent Easter holiday brought to mind rabbits, chicks and all things bright and happy. Speaking of chicks — as a society, we do consume quite a few eggs. There just might be another use for their rich nutrients besides being a vital ingredient in a recipe or protein for your breakfast. Egg whites, in particular, have been traced back to providing rich benefits to the skin, as well as providing a temporary tightening to the skin and reducing the size of pores. The clear liquid that makes up the white is known as “albumen” and is made up of 15 percent protein. To prepare your skin to look its best for your next special occasion, try separating the whites from the yoke and apply a thin layer of the white beneath dark or puffy eyes; allow to dry for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry about removing it before

you apply your makeup. Removing it will destroy that “tight” feel. Sometimes, when the skin becomes irritated and inflamed, the application of an egg is a great way to reduce redness and inflammation. The amino acids in the egg are the components that work to relieve the stress in the skin. In addition to eggs helping the skin appear more toned and light, their nutrients and proteins also help moisturize and condition hair. Simply adding an eggwash to your shampoo can assist in giving hair a nice, glossy and inexpensive finish. Who knew that eggs could serve as such a versatile tool for our body — from the inside out?

kelly penick Licensed aesthetician 828.773.3587



Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.

Francis Bacon



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All About Women April 2013  
All About Women April 2013  

All about women of the high country.