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editor’s note Anyone who knows me is familiar with my affinity for all things festive. I relish any opportunity to don a costume, or to deck out a space, such as my tailgate, in the colors and symbols of the occasion. It’s one of the reasons I revel in the holiday season each year: this shared experience of special pageantry and music and foods — and an excuse, because sadly we need one sometimes, to get together with our friends and family. I love that the season Anna is holding a crocheted Christmas stocking made by her Grandma. gives license to even the most demure among us to don extravagant holiday-themed outfits — or maybe just a pair of light-up dangly earrings. I have a soft spot — if you can’t sense it by now — for holiday décor and fashion that’s a little on the tacky or kitschy side, and I channel my inner Clark Griswold and Roseanne Arnold for inspiration. I’ve welcomed the advent of Tacky Sweater Parties into the yuletide tradition with great enthusiasm. Mostly, I adore the lights. Copious, over-the-top, ridiculous amounts of holiday lights. I know, the environmentally responsible practice is to hang LED lights, and I do. But the nostalgic in me yearns for those big, gaudy, multi-colored bulbs — the kind that burn so white-hot that you risk a first-degree burn if you happen to brush up against one. For me, I suppose this time is a mix of truly getting caught up in the Christmas spirit — sharing time with and taking time to reflect on my family, friends and this community that I cherish — while also acknowledging the insanity of the season, and joyfully poking a little fun at ourselves for it. These conflicted feelings are summed up best by my favorite Christmas song, the slightly-irreverent-but-truly-heartwarming “Merry Christmas from the Family” by Robert Earl Keen, about how a family, no matter how dysfunctional, can come together and welcome each other at the holidays. Perhaps fueled by one too many eggnogs, the tune predictably brings a tear to my eye each year. So, if you’ll forgive the stark simplicity of this metaphor, my wish for you is to take in all of the multi-colored lights of this season, whether it’s the Light of Bethlehem, the lights of the menorah, the light at the end of the tunnel of a challenging time in your life, or the lights of all those who are special to you. Have a festive and happy holiday season. And, as Robert Earl would croon, “Feliz Navidaaaaaaaad.”

CHANGES FOR ALL ABOUT WOMEN IN 2017 All About Women will transition from 11 issues each year to six issues in 2017, beginning with our popular wedding issue in January and followed by issues in March, May, July, September and November. The change in schedule will give our team more time to focus on bringing you the best stories, photos, ideas and advice in each and every issue of All About Women.

We need your help! In March, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’ll feature multiple women who are “making history” here in the High Country — and we want your help to find them! From artists and businesswomen to homemakers and neighborhood leaders, contact us if you know a woman who falls into one of the following categories: • CHAMPIONS: Women who have achieved remarkable success or who are survivors of incredible challenges. This category is also for women who are champions for others, both as mentors and advocates. • GIVERS: Through their service as volunteers and benefactors, these women set the example of how to give back and pay it forward. • PIONEERS: From entrepreneurs to innovators, these women are bringing new ideas, approaches and concepts to our community and to their organizations. • MOUNTAINEERS: Through various activities and efforts, these women are preserving the heritage, music or lifeways of the mountains, or they’re conquering mountains through adventure. If this describes a High Country woman you know, email us a name and why you feel she should be featured at by Monday, Jan. 2. All About

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crown d the Beyon junior with ASU

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Molly Northern A Passion for All Things Beautiful


Home edition

What stands out as your most memorable toy or gift you received as a child?

publisher Gene Fowler

My family was poor. I was 6 and wanted an extravagant gift, a Chatty Cathy doll. My expectations were low. When I discovered my longed-for doll under the tree, my heart sang. I lost my mom three years ago, but the memory of her gifts over the years still makes my heart sing. – Bonnie Church

For my sixth birthday, I got a United States puzzle map. A nerdy kid, I soon could assemble the states in 10 minutes. I dreamed about each piece, pondering its mysteries. When I was 11, we drove to California. Those cardboard pieces came alive. That was the beginning of my life as a world traveler. – Sue Spirit

The most memorable gift I received was The Sunshine Family’s Craft Store. The Sunshine Family was the back-to-the-earth counter to the materialistic Barbie and Ken dolls, and a definite product of the ‘70s. I was ecstatic at coming down Christmas morning and finding it all set up: complete with spinning wheel and potter’s wheel! – Heather Jordan

At one of the last Christmases I got to spend with her, my grandmother gave each of her grandchildren a handmade, white ceramic Christmas tree that she’d worked on for some time. The care, thought and love crafted into that gift continues to make it a standout. – Hollie Greene



I must have taken a pretty literal interpretation of the crudely drawn cartoons I watched as a kid, because I distinctly remember telling my folks to tell Santa I wanted a BALL for Christmas. Not a basketball, or a bowling ball — just a good oldfashioned spherical plastic thing. I’m sure he pulled out all the stops to find it, but Santa did indeed deliver on my wish, along with a few other items that were bound to be more interesting. – Anna Oakes

One year I received the VHS tapes of all three original Star Wars movies from my mother. I could hardly contain my excitement and immediately tortured my younger sister with a marathon. – Heather Brandon

Mutsy the stuffed dog never left my side as a kid, except for the times I left him behind somewhere and he had to be mailed home. He even got a third-grade education. Today he’s threadbare and matted, but I’ll never get rid of him — he knows all my secrets! – Kellen Short

executive editor Tom Mayer

editor Anna Oakes 828.278.3602

Contributors Heather Brandon David Brewer The Children’s Council Bonnie Church Yogi Collins Chamian Cruz Jeff Eason Marion Edwards Hollie Greene Heather Jordan Mary McKinney Megan Sheppard Kellen Short Sue Spirit

production & design Meleah Bryan Brandon Carini Kristin Obiso

advertising Rick Tobin 828.773.0406

cover photo by Megan Sheppard The cover photo and feature shots were taken at C&J Christmas Tree Farm in Boone, winner of the 2016 Farm-City Christmas Tree Farmer of the Year Award.

Any reproduction of news articles, photographs or advertising artwork is strictly prohibited without permission from management. © 2016 Mountain Times Publications



FEATURES 12 16 20 24 34 36

Huntress Jenny Jane Rogers Melissa Reaves Amber Bateman Children’s Council Advice on Toys for Kids Top of the Rock

Leisure 14


Style 19


Health 22

Relationships 28 30

Bow Making

Food & Drink 38


Mom’s World Marriage & Family Corner

Homestead 32

Living Well

Drinks to Serve at the Holiday Table



IN EVERY ISSUE 3 6 10 40 42

Editor’s Note Women in the News Young at Heart By the Book All About Town



WOMENINTHENEWS You Asked for It: Sherrie Norris’ Apple Cake Recipe A number of readers have asked for the recipe for the cake featured on the cover of the November issue of All About Women. Here it is, courtesy of Sherrie Norris. 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup pecans, chopped 1 cup vegetable oil 2 cup sugar 3 eggs 2 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups raw apples, peeled and chopped fine Sauce: 1 cup packed brown sugar (for sauce) ¼ cup milk (for sauce) Photo by Megan Sheppard

¾ cup butter or margarine(1 -1/2 sticks) (for sauce) Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, soda. Add to first mixture. Fold in pecans and apples. Bake in tube pan at 350 for 1 hour. For the sauce, mix and cook ingredients 3 minutes after it begins to gently boil, stirring constantly. Pour over hot cake while cake is still in pan. Let cake cool completely before removing. Walnuts may be used instead of pecans.

Sabo becomes director of In/Visible Theatre

Derek Davidson and Karen Sabo, the husband-and-wife team behind In/Visible Theatre, are pictured in Appalachian State’s Valborg Theatre during rehearsals for the July 2016 world premiere of their show, “Mauzy.” Photo submitted



Big things are happening for the High Country’s own In/Visible Theatre company and Artistic Producer Karen Sabo, whose role with the nonprofit arts organization has recently expanded. Over the past two and a half years, Sabo has also served as executive director of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, a philanthropic agency that aims to empower local women and girls and was created through the union of two longstanding charitable funds. Effective in early November, Sabo left her role at the women’s fund to pursue leadership with In/Visible on a full-time basis. “I love traditional theatre, and

at In/Visible, we do some projects that look traditional, where you buy a ticket, go sit in a dark theatre, and watch what’s going on on stage,” she said. “But those plays we choose or create are always going to have surprising elements that help everyone involved, audiences and artists alike, think about things in new ways, and take a fresh look at ideas that we thought we already knew all about. I think dramatic storytelling is one of the few ways to help people really open their minds to new ideas and increased understanding and empathy for others. We use theatre to make society better.”

WOMENINTHENEWS Callie Grubb named principal of the year

Callie Grubb, principal at Blue Ridge Elementary School, has been named “Principal of the Year” for 2016-17 Ashe County schools.

Blue Ridge Elementary School Principal Callie Grubb was named “Principal of the Year” for 2016-17 by Ashe County Schools. “Principals are among the hardest working, yet often lease recognized individuals in education,” said a press release from Ashe County Schools. “Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success.” A committee was developed to meet and interview all five local principals and assist in the selection. This year, Grubb, who is in her fifth year at Blue Ridge, was selected as Principal of the Year.

Gould named NWC’s Offensive Player of the Year Watauga’s Brynne Gould was named the Northwestern Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches in November. The announcement was made after Watauga fell 3-0 to Reagan in the Western Regional finals on Nov. 3. Watauga had five players — Gould, Olivia Williamson, Brooke Byrd, Rebekah Farthing and Savannah Rusher — to make the all-Northwestern Conference team. Watauga libero Grace Hagaman was named honorable mention. Watauga coach Kris Hagaman was also named the coach of the year. Hagaman led the Pioneers to a 26-2 overall record and one of the No. 1 seeds in the western regionals. Watauga won the NWC with a 14-0 league mark and lost just one set in league matches all season. In 28 matches, the Pioneers lost just eight sets. Gould, who said she has verbally committed to play volleyball at Washington and Lee University and carries a 4.7 grade point average, finished with a team high 332 kills and a hitting percentage of .392. She is a four-year starter for the Pioneers and also finished with 32 serving aces and had just 24 errors in 222 serves. Defensively, Gould finished the season with 215 digs, which was third on the team. – Steve Behr

Senior Brynne Gould was a four-year starter for the Pioneers volleyball team. AAWMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016


WOMENINTHENEWS ASU geologist’s research on ancient footprints gains worldwide attention

(Above) Liutkus-Pierce and her colleagues used brooms and brushes to sweep sand out of the footprints. Photos by Will Harcourt-Smith (Right) Dr. Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce records data on the Engare Sero footprints under the watchful eye of a Maasai local, in the shadow of Oldoinyo L’engai.

Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce’s recently published research around the age and formation of the largest assemblage of Homo sapiens footprints discovered to date, in the shadow of the Ol Doinyo L’engai volcano in Tanzania, led to an Oct. 10 article in National Geographic which prompted a feature on the front page of the Washington Post, and subsequent coverage by other leading media outlets. Liutkus-Pierce, an associate professor in the Department of Geology at Appalachian State University, said the attention is “exciting, overwhelming — but in the best way possible. So many of the people who have worked so hard on this project over the past several years are being rewarded for their efforts. And the interest in our research will be helpful as we continue.”



The data from the team’s research is now with the paleoanthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History, who will explore what the prints can say about the printmakers. “I don’t want to scoop my colleagues,” Liutkus-Pierce said, “but the footprints tell us a great deal about the roots of human behavior — gender roles, movement patterns, what the people were doing and seeing … a true snapshot in time.” The 400 or so footprints – which Liutkus-Pierce’s team of researchers have determined are between 19,000 and 10,000 years old – were discovered by a native from the nearby village of Engare Sero around 2006.

WOMENINTHENEWS Ladies enjoy elegant tea at Triple J Farm

A wide array of food items tempted the taste buds of all who attended the recent Ladies Tea, held at Triple J Farm in Roan Mountain, Tenn., on Oct. 16. Photos courtesy Pam Jameson

Triple J Farm in Roan Mountain, Tenn., was an elegant setting for a Ladies Tea on Oct. 16. More than 75 ladies attended the affair and at the low cost of $20 per person were treated to fellowship and a veritable plethora of fine food that included turkey and green apple slaw on rye, cucumber pancetta and smoked ham with shallot sherry aioli and roasted red pepper soup with chocolate brioche croissants. In true British fashion, a great tea could not be complete without authentic scones to enjoy. Chocolate served as a theme that intertwined throughout the afternoon, so it was no surprise for the ladies in attendance to also experience sweets and chocolate fondue which flowed, with dip items that included strawberries, pineapples and kiwi. The star of each Ladies Tea, held twice yearly, prior to and following wedding season, is, of course, the taste-bud-tantalizing tea. Triple J served white chocolate mocha black tea, orange vanilla herbal and, of course, Kentucky blend. Hats were not a must for attending the event, but those who donned them gave the event a certain flair. Young and old enjoyed the day, including children and those who simply were young at heart. – Sheri Cornett

Blue Ridge Energies donates $3,360 for breast cancer treatment In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Blue Ridge Energies recently presented a check for $3,360 to Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation (ARHF) in Watauga County and is making similar contributions in other counties served by the propane provider. “Breast cancer has touched many of our lives, and we wanted to support local organizations like ARHF that are making a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease,” said Glenda Christian, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Ridge Energies. The donation represents a penny for every gallon of propane delivered in Watauga County during the past year by the company’s pink “Fueling the Fight” delivery truck designed to increase breast cancer awareness. Employees of Blue Ridge Energies say they’re proud to drive the trucks in the spirit of honoring friends and family who have been touched by cancer. Since beginning its Fueling the Fight program in 2013, the company has donated nearly $50,000 to cancer support organizations across its service area.

Breast cancer survivor Amy Michael celebrates with students as the Blue Ridge Energies ‘Pink Truck’ visits a local school. Photo submitted




A Handy Guide to

QUIRK Y Gift Giving

Have you ever wondered what to gift your hypochondriac cousin? What about your geeky baker colleague? Or, your teacher friend with the wicked sense of humor? Perplexed and pressed for time, have you quickly given up and purchased a gift card? Gift cards are easy, but they lack thought or personality. I prefer gifts that are unexpected and unique — quirky, if you will. Quirky does not mean weird, useless or gross. No one wants to receive Brussels sprouts-flavored sodas, for example. The perfect quirky gift is thoughtful and surprising, such as the dragon cake pan (available at Think Geek) I gave my geeky baker colleague, Lisa, last year. A fan of all things Tolkien, I knew she would love a cake pan resembling Smaug, the villainous dragon from The Hobbit. Roger and I take the same approach when selecting gifts for our closest friends. Last year we wrapped up hot chocolate kits with handcrafted marshmallows from Wondermade, a family-



owned retailer specializing in seasonal and trendy flavors such as bourbon, pumpkin pie, honey and Sriracha. Two years ago, we selected novelty umbrellas, choosing patterns representative of each person’s interests. And, it will come as no surprise that Roger has been the recipient of many a quirky gift: a set of beer-flavored jellies from PotlickerKitchen, a curated food box subscription from Try the World, and a Dexter Morgan action figure from his favorite television show, Dexter, to name a few. If you are wondering how I come up with ideas, there are a few online shops that I rely on for inspiration: ETSY for handmade and vintage items of all types, Uncommon Goods for interesting home goods and food stuffs and Think Geek for all things nerdy. Closer to home, I enjoy visiting Neaco in Blowing Rock. This Main Street store is a quirky gift giving paradise — novelty apparel, fun home décor, a large selection of humorous books from Knock Knock

and more. A few of my favorite Neaco past gift purchases include a collapsible, travel beer glass for my stepfather; a copy of Knock Knock’s Inconsequential Dilemmas: 45 Flowcharts for Life’s Peskier Questions for a friend; and beer mugshaped shot glasses for my sister-in-law, Amy. This was an apt gift because of a remembered conversation with Amy, during which she said that she just wanted a “little” beer. Sometimes finding a quirky gift is as easy as a remembered conversation; other times it is taking a less literal approach to the recipient’s hobbies or interests. See the sidebar for specific recommendations, and happy gifting!

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.

The Quirky Gift Guide Need a little help? My handy guide to quirky gift giving is all you need to be this holiday season’s best gifter! For the hypochondriac: I recommend a copy of Knock Knock’s The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You: A Guide to Self-Diagnosis for Hypochondriacs. This is only appropriate if she has a sense of humor in addition to various rare, infectious diseases. For the fisherwoman: Does she need another fishing pole? Instead consider shark novelty socks or a fishthemed umbrella. For new parents: Give the gift of “lullaby renditions of baby’s favorite rock bands” from Rockabye Baby! Everything from Metallica to Madonna and AC/DC to Adele. I, of course, recommend the Duran Duran collection. For the teacher: Any book in the F in Exams series. The hilarious wrong answers to test questions are sure to entertain. For the foodie: Even foodies sometimes need help selecting lecting a wine to pair with dinner. A set of wine pairing kitchen towels (available at Uncommon Goods) are fun and useful. For the gardener: Resist the urge to gift her yet wer another set of garden tools. Instead surprise her with flower resin jewelry — pendants, bracelets or rings. For the bibliophile: She can proudly declare her love at of literature with a T-shirt from Litographs, a company that es are turns her favorite book into artistic apparel. Over 200 titles available. For the artist: Treat your artist friends to a trendy adult ult coloring ook Exposbook. Fun titles include Unicorns Are Jerks: A Coloring Book ing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth; Dinosaurs with Jobs: A Coloring ly more Book Celebrating Our Old-School Coworkers or the slightly eaturing irreverent, Swearing Cats: A Swear Word Coloring Book Featuring Hilarious Cats. That last one is also a great idea for your favorite crazy cat lady!

Quirky does not mean weird, useless or gross. No one wants to receive Brussels sproutsflavored sodas, for example.

Photo courtesy Litographs

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n o s a e S ’Tis the

Jenny Townsend and her sons, Cobe , left, and Jace, celebrate the harvest secured for their family. Photo submitted

Huntress Jenny Townsend Sets Her Mark Jenny Townsend makes the best use of the resources her family’s farm in Plumtree offers. From her vegetable garden, she cans and stores for the winter months. Her flower garden blooms throughout the seasons, showcasing the beauty of our region and giving Jenny a legacy of gardening to pass on to her two sons. And when the fall air grows cooler, and the calendar turns to hunting season, Jenny carries her bow into the woods and begins to hunt. Jenny, a native of Avery County, did not hunt in her childhood. 12


“As a child, I was involved in all sports. They consumed my life from fifth grade forward. I loved the competitiveness of athletics,” she says. After graduating from Avery County High School, Jenny received a full scholarship to play basketball and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2001. Earning her master’s degree as a curriculum specialist from Appalachian State University in 2002, Jenny also received an AAS in paralegal technologies from Western Piedmont Community College in 2004. It was her husband, David, who encouraged Jenny’s initial attraction to hunting when they began dating in 2000.

No two hunts ever play out the same way. I love every sense I experience when I’m in the forest.



- Jenny Townsend

She explains, “I wanted to be involved in something he enjoyed. I wanted to impress him!” Quickly, however, after learning the basics, Jenny “became addicted to the outdoors. Hunting replaced the adrenaline rush that team sports had always provided. My body had taken a beating from years of sports-related injuries. Hunting was a way I could be competitive and active, but to a degree I could physically tolerate.” It is not only the competition that Jenny loves about this sport. She explains, “Hunting is a family tradition for us, our way of life. We depend on the meat from the animals we harvest to feed our family. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought meat at the grocery store.” While she sets her sights on game such as bear and wild turkey, Jenny’s favorite animal to hunt is the deer. “I prefer to hunt them with a compound bow,” she explains. “This is my favorite because I can deer hunt alone. I like the solitude. The mornings and evenings I spend sitting in the tree stand is quite the relief to the pressures going on around me.” Further, she says, “I prefer to use a bow because of the challenge associated

with it. Bowhunters must get in close proximity to animals in order to place a solid shot. A deer’s grace and beauty at close range is simply stunning.” Jenny also loves being in the woods. “No two hunts ever play out the same way. I love every sense I experience when I’m in the forest … Each and every trip in the woods is a truly magical experience.” Jenny advises other female hunters “to always err of the side of safety. You’re handling weapons that could not only take your own life, but the life of an innocent bystander. As a hunter, you can never be too cautious.” Throughout the year, Jenny’s family photographs the animals to be hunted, prepares food plots in the spring, and rotates the location of the stands in the summer. Now, however, is the time Jenny anticipates. ‘Tis the hunting season, and Jenny is ready to take her target. Hollie Greene Hollie Greene is an English teacher who loves stories, words and the mountains of North Carolina.



VOTED 2016






Will There Be Peace On Earth? A dream of world peace? It’s a sentiment that comes first to mind as holiday time nears. We send cards proclaiming, “Peace on earth, good will to all,” picturing a tranquil snow scene with coniferous trees, fawns and a cozy cottage with a pine wreath on the door. But what does peace mean? Do we really yearn for an end to war, hatred, oppression, disease and hunger? Do we even think about nations overwhelmed by conflict and poverty? Does it ever occur to us to give gifts of money to projects that promote peace? It’s easy to find U.S. citizens who refuse to travel in any other country. They say to those who do travel, “Don’t you realize how dangerous this world is?” The truth is that people of other countries love us U.S. citizens and are eager to meet and engage with us. What an opportunity for dialogue! I’m glad I had the chance to visit Egypt in 2009, before the Arab Spring brought revolution. Under Hosni Mubarek’s repressive dictatorship visitors were welcomed, but there was always an armed guard traveling on our minibus. Mubarek was deposed 14


and free elections brought the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi to the presidency. Violence followed, and another dictator, Abdel el-Sisi, gained power, quashing the sad Egyptians’ hopes for democracy. May there be peace where there is no peace. I’ve been following the news in Zimbabwe for years, since it was known as Southern Rhodesia and under the thumb of white supremacist Ian Smith, who kept black citizens in desperate conditions. In 1980 Robert Mugabe led the march to freedom, but became increasingly despotic and cruel, leaving most Zimbabweans in miserable poverty and hopelessness to this day. We visited a small village where the people had almost no food. May there be peace where there is no peace.

With 50 years of oppressive dictatorship, Burma was, until 2012, nearly shut off from the modern world. Our group, Grand Circle Travel, was among the first to enter Burma. In recent years, its military vice-grip was eased and the party of beloved freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi prevailed. Conflicts still rage, as the downtrodden Rohinga, immigrants from Bangladesh, are nearly universally despised. Peace, peace, where there is no peace. I’ll never forget sad, war-wracked Bosnia. We visited in 2011, 15 years after the Serbian genocide. (Remember the Sarajevo Winter Olympics?) Sarajevo was 80 percent destroyed. 400,000 Bosnians were murdered. We saw parks turned into graveyards. A bleak atmosphere still prevails, but Bosnians are hopeful that peace will yet prevail. Peace, peace, where there is no peace. But I must mention two exemplary peace-loving nations we have visited: Botswana and Costa Rica. This year Botswana, in southern Africa, is celebrating 60 years of independence. National parks and wildlife sanctuaries cover 17 percent of the land. Environmental concerns and eco-tourism are Botswana’s priorities. Our travel group took part in a safari, meeting dozens of peace-loving Botswanans who are proud of their extraordinary country. Twenty-five percent of the land in

Photo by Erich Ferdinand

Costa Rica, Central America’s longest-standing democracy, is protected from development. Much of it is in national parks. Such a peaceful place in the midst of turbulent countries, Costa Rica has had no army since 1948. With our Overseas Adventure Travel leader, our small group stopped hundreds of times: to see a three-toed sloth, an army of ants carrying leaves, 40 kinds of hummingbirds, a butterfly sanctuary, a stunning quetzal, and on and on. May we learn the ways of peace from our peaceful neighbor nation. I’m proud that Grand Circle/Overseas Adventure Travel, our travel company, has given millions of dollars to projects promoting peace in the countries we visit. In this season of peace I’m thinking of St. Mary’s elementary school in Zimbabwe, Quena primary school in Egypt, a pre-secondary school in Burma and Escuela Los Llanos in Costa Rica. May we learn the ways of peace from those who share their bounty to embrace the whole world.

sue spirit Writes poetry and essays about nature, spirituality, writing, and travel. She has a little cabin in the mountains.

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Life After High School

Jane Rogers retired earlier this year after a 39-year career in education — most of it as the guidance counselor at Watauga High School. Photo by Anna Oakes

After 30 Years, Jane Rogers ‘Graduates’ from WHS For most of her 39-year education career, counselor Jane Rogers shepherded Watauga High School seniors — some assured, others tentative — on their journeys to places unknown. A pioneer in every sense, Jane’s determination, selflessness and boundless energy made her an exceptionally gifted guide not just for thousands of students but for all who crossed her path, colleagues and friends say. “To many, many Wataugans, she exemplifies and represents Watauga High School,” says Leigh Lyall, a fellow counselor and Jane’s former student. “When I think about the Pioneer spirit and what we want that to mean, I would say it equals Jane.” On July 1, Jane found herself face-to-face with the same uncertainty as so many of her graduating seniors. She arrived at retirement with a familiar question — what now? — and found a familiar answer. “I didn’t think there was life outside of the high school,” Jane says. “But there is. And it’s a good life.” ----Before she became the unofficial first lady of WHS, she was Jane Bolick, fresh-faced social studies teacher at Pageland Junior High School in upstate South Carolina. She moved to the rural



community known for its watermelon patches and high poverty the day after completing her degree at Appalachian State University. “There were no junior high school counselors, and it was the kind of place where you just couldn’t have needed it more,” she recalls. Word spread among students that the young teacher could be trusted to talk about personal issues, and Jane quickly filled her after-school schedule with one-on-one meetings. By the end of the year, she was worn out from her dual responsibilities. But a seed had been sown, and that summer, she began taking courses for a master’s degree in school counseling at ASU. She married and moved to Statesville, taking a counseling job in Iredell County Schools and giving birth to her daughter, Sarah. The first time the superintendent called Jane about a counselor opening in Watauga County Schools, she opted not to apply. The timing felt wrong, and she wasn’t interested in a move. It was a risky decision: in this esteemed school system, the first offer might have been the last. But the following summer, she got a second chance when her own high school counselor retired from WHS. Jane applied and got the job, joining the staff in fall 1986.

For the next three decades, Jane lived and breathed Watauga High School. Most of her career she focused on the senior class, working closely with fellow counselors and teachers to ensure that each student had a plan for the next step after graduation. To generations of students, transitioning into Jane’s care was a rite of passage, a sure sign that senior year had arrived. “I loved the connection with the kids, because it’s a deeper connection than most jobs,” Jane says. “I felt like the kids knew that if they came to me, that I was going to do everything I could to help meet their need.” She fostered those connections by being deeply involved in students’ lives outside of the counseling office. Jane attended dozens of student theater productions, proms and pep rallies and coordinated the graduation ceremonies. She even sold football tickets on Friday nights.

Jane enjoys visiting her daughter, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Austin, Minn., her son-in-law and two grandsons, Noah and Daniel. Photo submitted

“It was not a ‘stop at 3:45’ kind of job for her,” says Leigh, who credited Jane’s energy and attitude for inspiring her to choose school counseling as a career. “This is not what she did; it’s who she is.” Not every day was filled with the excitement and hope of a bright future. Jane counseled many students through their darkest days and grieved for others who never revealed the difficulties they were facing. Her empathy also extended to peers and strangers, said WHS English teacher Donna Wellborn, who was Jane’s student in high school before they spent 18 years as colleagues. “She didn’t even have to know the person,” Donna says. “Really all you had to say is, this person’s going through this and we need to collect money, and she would be at your door.” -----

Jane Rogers steadies a young skier — her grandson Noah — on the powder at Appalachian Ski Mtn. in Blowing Rock. Photo submitted AAWMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016


Jane Rogers sings in the choir and plays handbells at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, which she has attended since she was a child. Photo by Anna Oakes

If Jane appeared at any door more dutifully than those of Watauga High, it was the door of Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock. But the church where she was raised is not a place where she simply rests comfortably in the presence of God. Each Sunday, Jane worships in song from the choir loft where she first began singing at age 13. During this Advent season, her brain hums with handbell melodies and anthems she’s rehearsing for the Christmas cantata. She has served on literally every church committee and spent 26 years as clerk of the Session, the local church’s governing body. She assists with Rumple’s scholarship board to provide educational funds to church youth, and she’s prepared Communion for more than 25 years. “It’s not the church that’s an important part of my life; it’s my faith that is,” Jane says. “I am just a real strong believer that you try to walk your faith rather than just profess your faith, and I think you walk your faith by being an active participant in it.” Jane’s long history in the congregation also aids her service on the Pastor Nominating Committee, tasked with calling a new pastor to lead the downtown church. Becky Steele, a longtime coworker who also worships at Rumple, said Jane’s loyalty and commitment to the church makes her as valuable in that community as she was at school. “That was sort of her strength at school and at church: having such deep roots and being there so long and just knowing every-



thing about it,” Steele says. ----In her first semester of retirement, Jane is finding that a pioneer’s journey isn’t over just because the scenery changes. An avid cyclist and hiker, Jane gets outside most days, weather permitting or not. She recently started a part-time position working event security at ASU, and she’s spent most winters since age 17 working part-time in the accounting office at Appalachian Ski Mountain. She plans to start volunteering soon at the Community Care Clinic and enjoys visiting her daughter, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Austin, Minn., her son-in-law and two grandsons. Although Jane no longer reports to Watauga High each day, close friend Evalyn Sudderth said she demonstrates in retirement the same vivacity and quiet service to others that defined her Pioneer days. “It’s like Jane is everywhere, but I don’t really see her get credit for it,” Sudderth says. “I know she’s always been there for me. She’s there when I’m celebrating. She’s there when I’m mourning. She’s a very special person.” Kellen Short Kellen Short is a former Watauga Democrat reporter who last year traded the Appalachians for the Rockies. She now writes about engineering at CU Boulder and returns to the High Country as often as possible. Reach Kellen at


Facial Rejuvenation?

It’s Your Decision. The aim of it all is to look like your best you — not some unrecognizable someone else.

There is such a preoccupation with appearances today. Part of it is the media, which seems to glorify beauty and youthfulness. While some will fully embrace aging and the facial changes it brings, some will batten down the hatches and fight it tooth and nail. In my work as an esthetician, I see more and more faces that have undergone some sort of rejuvenation. At one time, a surgical facelift (technically called a rhytidectomy) was a procedure most were not willing to undertake, and besides, the cost was prohibitive for most. It makes my face hurt to think about removing excess skin and fat and redraping the skin so that the face is smooth and free of wrinkles. However, if you can handle it, then go for it. Today, with less invasive modalities available, more and more people — men and women — are opting for some kind of tweaking. Yes, we have come a long way, baby. You may be appalled at the idea of going under the knife or sticking needles in your face, or you may keep your options open to new possibilities. A little history: the first facelift was performed around 1901 by a German

physician on an elderly aristocrat who wanted her cheeks and corners of her mouth lifted a little. And so it all began. I believe that whatever it is you want to do with your face is your decision. You really need to do your homework and seek out experts who can guide you, because believe me, a mess-up will mess you up. We have all seen and heard horror stories. The aim of it all is to look like your best you — not some unrecognizable someone else. Expectations have to realistic. If you’re 65, forget trying to look 30 again — it’s not going to happen. Some may prefer a la carte surgical procedures, e.g., blepharoplasty, for sagging eyelids. This is a pretty common procedure, and sometimes there is a medical need because the lids droop and impede vision. There is also the brow, chin or neck lift. A brand new injection for neck fat has just been released. It kills fat cells, tightens tissue and has permanent results. Non-surgical procedures offer fat injections for volume enhancement and wrinkle and fold eradication. Fat taken from your fat spots is permanent, though a percentage will dissolve out. Fillers can improve facial contour, cheek bones and

the jaw line and like Botox are temporary. Botox is one with which we are all familiar, because someone we know or know of has used it. This neurotoxin has been around a long time and was used for medical treatments like palsy, tremors, etc. Once again, it was found that injecting Botox into the muscles in the forehead can smooth and eradicate wrinkles and give a brow lift effect. Voila! Botox became a star. Laser resurfacing and light modalities improve skin texture and eradicate age spots and blemishes by using bursts of light. The three top minimally invasive procedures are Botox, chemical peels and microdermabrasion (superficial skin polishing that sands off first layer). Whether you are in the market or not, this is information you can chat about at the next Christmas party, because there will be recipients of these procedures all around you. Stay eternally beautiful! Marion Edwards Marion Edwards is a Licensed Esthetician, Professional Makeup Artist and Certified Trainer for Motives Cosmetics. She can be contacted at 828.773.1500.



A Yuletide Spectacle of Sight and Sound Melissa Reaves Marks 15 Years of Holiday Shows BY DAVID BREWER

When singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and all-around force of nature Me-

Photo by Ellen Gwin



lissa Reaves initially conceived her now legendary Holiday Show in 2002, the goal was simple: to provide fans and friends with a night where they could dine, drink and enjoy a unique musical performance in a classy setting. “The first one was at Coffey’s, when Frederick [Coffey] had beautifully transformed what is now The Local. I just wanted people to come have fun, have some food, have a show and some drinks,” Melissa said. “It was meant to be a fun, come-dress-up, upscale kind of holiday thing. It was chill — not the spectacle that it is now.” In the 14 years since, the Holiday Show has, in fact, become a spectacle of sight and sound. One of the High Country’s most anticipated and unpredictable yuletide rituals, the event is also one of the hottest tickets in town. Featuring an ever-evolving cast of stellar backing musicians, rotating musical themes, and Melissa’ one-of-a-kind costume creations, the show continues to allow the artist to be wildly creative, a little kitschy, and above all, entertaining. On Friday, December 16, Melissa and an as yet-to-be-named band of top-notch players will take the stage once again at The Local in Boone for her 15th annual Holiday Show. During the event’s amazing run, Melissa has tinkered with just about every aspect of the proceedings. Longtime followers have come to embrace the show’s unpredictable nature and over-the-top, slightly irreverent bent on otherwise traditional holiday themes. While some holiday traditions are staid, Melissa’s event is anything but, eschewing ritual for the more fertile grounds of experimentation and improvisation.

Right: From a fur jacket illuminated by Christmas lights to a dress composed of holiday bows, Melissa Reaves’ elaborate and ridiculous costumes are one of the most anticipated parts of her annual Holiday Show. Photo by Banister Pope Below: Clad in bows and Christmas lights, Melissa Reaves rocks another Holiday Show along with (left to right) Doug James on guitar, Freddie Banner on bass, Jonathan Priest on drums and Gregg Smith on keyboards. Photo by Banister Pope

High Country resident Jeanne Supin has been to nearly all of Melissa’s Holiday Shows and raves about the event’s collaborative spirit and fun vibes. Asked about her favorite show memory, Jeanne doesn’t hesitate. “The Latin-inspired year; Melissa Reaves wearing this fantastic, absurd Carmen Miranda fruit basket head piece, absolutely killing a salsa rendition of ‘Jingle Bells,’” Jeanne says. Due to a mild bout of stage fright at one particularly memorable show early in the run, Melissa’s volunteer Santa enjoyed one too many glasses of holiday cheer prior to taking the stage. Shortly thereafter, an extremely jolly St. Nick began to get a bit “fresh” with her during the performance. “All he had to do was put the suit on and go act jolly,” Melissa jokes. “It was meant to be a family kind of Santa, for goodness sakes!” The consummate performer, Melissa took the potentially show-stopping moment in stride, continuing the song while an energized audience howled their slightly naughty approval. She credits the incident with opening her up to the creative possibilities of the show. “I think that for me, that naughty Santa thing, that was completely unintentional. I saw that the crowd didn’t die over it,” Melissa recalls. “There’s some things I want to do, and they usually involve craziness and complete adrenal depletion to make them happen. But they’re just so pleasing when I go for it.”

Former O.A.S.I.S. Associate Director Rebecca Gummere also counts herself among Melissa’s hardcore fans, speaking to her generosity as a performer and her ability to galvanize audiences big and small. “I love how she creates a community out of the crowd,” Becca says. “It always feels like an intimate setting, even in larger venues. You just feel like she’s gathering you in. She’s brilliant; she’s an amazing musician.”

One of the High Country’s most anticipated and unpredictable yuletide rituals, the event is also one of the hottest tickets in town. Over the years, many attendees have expressed to Melissa the show’s importance in helping them overcome the “holiday blues.” While some embrace time with family or spiritually based traditions, others find the holiday season to be a lonely and difficult time. “I didn’t realize that was happening, but it was happening, and a lot of people would say that,” says Melissa. “I felt very

humbled by it, to be honest with you.” Throughout its decade-and-a-half run, Melissa’s Holiday Show has also served as a showcase for local and regional musical talent. Applying her same drivefast, take-chances approach to pairing disparate musical elements, Melissa has called on dozens of players and singers to lend their support, including Andy Page, Doug James, Jonathan Priest, Jon Scales, Cody Wright, Rick Kline, Hope Harvey, Liz Riddick, The Junaluska Gospel Choir, Jimmy Cannon, Brandon Miller, Beaver Robinette and so many more. Despite the Holiday Show’s occasional venue hopping, Melissa and The Local have teamed up in recent years to good effect. Restaurant co-owner and Assistant General Manager Alaina Walker and her crew work hard each year to accommodate the performer and her enthusiastic following. “[The show] is unlike any of her other events in that it is an intimate dinner show, so we have to pack the tables in and fit as many reservation holders as close to Melissa as we can,” Alaina says. “It’s a great chance for the community, who share a love for Melissa and her music, to get cozy.” Tickets to Melissa Reaves’ 15th annual Holiday Show are $13. To purchase, or for more information on the show, call The Local at 828-266-2179 or visit AAWMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016





through the


‘Tis the season of handshakes, kisses and hugs — and sniffles, coughs and sneezes. Germs spread easily. If you touch a surface contaminated by a carrier of the cold virus, that virus is transferred into your body. These hearty viruses can live for hours on door knobs, pencils, phones, skin, forks and spoons. Sadly, the only way to avoid sickness during the holiday season is to wear a hazmat suit or stay away from people who are sick. Since you probably don’t want to diss your friends, or try to handle hors d’oeuvres in that unwieldy suit, here is a list of things you can do to lessen the likelihood and severity of holiday sickness.

CLEAN UP Wash your hands: Germs are easily spread on shopping carts, door handles and money. Being close to others when they are sniffling and sneezing provides an ideal opportunity to pick up their germs and innocently touching your face offers them a free ride into your body. Wash your hands with soap and water



and keep a sanitizer in your purse for those times when you can’t wash your hands. Disinfect your environment: Wipe down appliances such as telephones and remote controls to avoid infecting others and re-infecting yourself. Change the bed linens and bath towels frequently and use disposable towels in shared bathrooms and in the kitchen.

STAY HYDRATED Use a humidifier: Viruses spread more efficiently in dry, heated air. Reduce their transport by keeping the air humidified. Drink fluids (2 quarts of water a day): This helps to improve the function of white blood cells and prevents the membranes of the respiratory tract from


EAT HEALTHY Increase vegetables: They are packed with vitamins and minerals that help support the immune system, providing antioxidants and vitamin C.

Eat citrus fruits: Citrus is a good source of vitamin C. If you consume your fruit in juice form, make sure it does not have sugar added, and use in moderation so as not to elevate sugar levels. Elevated sugar levels negatively impact the immune system. Eat your mushrooms (or take a mushroom supplement): Mushrooms contain compounds known as alpha and beta glucans. Lab studies are finding that the beta-glucans activate production of T-cells and NK (natural killer) cells. These are the cells that fight viral and bacterial infection.

ment; suck on sugar-free zinc lozenges. They might reduce the severity and duration of a cold.

LIVE A GOOD LIFE Kick the bad habits: Tobacco and alcohol negatively impact your immune system. Walk for 30 minutes a day: Exercise can provide a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria. Though this boost only lasts for a few hours after you exercise, it’s often enough to help keep you healthier than you would be if you didn’t exercise. Get your rest: The immune system requires energy to fight back against bugs and bacteria. Take naps and go to bed at a decent hour. Manage your stress: Stress inhibits the ability of immune cells to proliferate or divide in response to foreign antigens such as viruses; it also squelches the activity of natural killer cells. Take time for meditation, deep cleansing breaths and prayer throughout your day. It will help to keep you calm and hopefully sickness free. Always check with your health care professional before making diet and lifestyle changes. bonnie church Certified Life and Wellness Coach Author/columnist, motivational speaker Certified Trainer for TLS Weight Loss Solution

Full Line of Holiday and Gift Items Each Tree comes with white gift box and tissue *

Eliminate simple sugars: Sugar can inhibit the ability of phagocytes, or white blood cells, to pursue and devour foreign antigens such as viruses and bacteria. Avoid dairy and bread: They tend to worsen the congestion during a cold. Supplement sensibly: In addition to a good multivitamin and omega 3 supple-

*while supplies last

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Photo by Megan Sheppard

Quiet Giver Amber Bateman’s anonymous project created visible impacts

Until she was driving her oldest of three daughters to her first day of kindergarten in 2010, Amber Bateman hadn’t realized the scope of homeless and needy families in Boone. In fact, she didn’t realize there was a problem until she drove past the old Hospitality House and saw a little girl who had missed the bus. Her mom and little sister were standing with her, both in their pajamas, and the mom was on a cell phone trying to figure out what to do. “It popped my bubble,” Amber says. “I realized that this child, who does not have the comfort of her own home or routines and has to wonder where she will sleep at night, she may be seated right next to my child who lives a very comfortable life despite any hardship. I just realized we don’t all walk the same life.” Amber immediately asked school officials to call her if homeless children ever needed a ride or help. “A week later I got a call from [school social worker] Denise Presnell saying three little girls needed pants,” she explains. “I said yes, even though we weren’t doing well financially.

I didn’t know the last time I had bought my own kids a pair of new pants, but I knew that I wasn’t going to turn those girls down.” Money, in fact, had been tight for Amber and Charles since he had been laid off from his mortgage banking job in Pittsburgh after the housing market crashed. Floating on savings, the family relocated to Raleigh and then Boone, Amber’s hometown, so Charles could work with his father-in- law’s marketing business. Their third baby, a surprise, was due only two weeks after their move to Boone, and because financial stability remained elusive, the family enrolled in the WIC program and, eventually, the food stamp program. “I never thought I’d have to be on WIC or food stamps,” Amber shares, “but it was a tremendous help to supplement our income and help us get back on our feet. We moved to Boone in January, and the only decent house we could find to rent was expensive and, we found out later, cost between $500 and $700 a month to heat because of a broken heat-

ing unit. It drained our savings and left us financially strapped.” To top it off, Charles hurt his knee, had to have surgery, and was on bedrest for six weeks. Amber felt vulnerable, isolated and lonely. “When I was a kid, if I ever seemed depressed, my mom would encourage me to do something kind for someone else. I guess subconsciously that’s what happened here,” Amber recalls. “When buying pants for those girls, I remembered the scripture that says when you give to the poor, don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. Do it for God and not man. So, I decided not to tell anyone what I was doing. Helping those three little girls really took me out of my own struggles,” Amber acknowledges. “It changed me.” Then, when Denise asked to whom the kids should address a thank you note, Amber stuck with the theme of anonymous giving and requested they write the note to Mr. and Mrs. Quiet Giver. She even told the social worker that she didn’t want to see the note.



Photo by Megan Sheppard

need would privately message Amber, and Amber would tell the group the need had been met without saying who fulfilled Amber and Quiet Givers spearheaded an effort with multiple organizations to it. “It allowed the create the Back 2 School Festival, which this year offered school supplies and giver to have a services to more than 800 Watauga County schoolchildren. personal, powerful experience while changing the reality That experience started a conversaof the person in need,” Amber explains. tion with Denise about the everyday “I created Quiet Givers to be a politically needs for kids and families throughout and religiously neutral organization. It the area. “I just felt that if people knew drew a diverse group of members with these needs existed that they would help,” different beliefs, means, and ability, alAmber explains, “so I started a Facebook lowing us to meet a wide range of needs, group called Quiet Givers with the 40 often within minutes. Quiet Givers gave friends I had in Boone. The premise of the school social workers and other agencies group was anonymous giving and came a voice to share stories of people in our from my own experience and listening to community who struggled with needs Denise talk about the red tape and … laws ranging from needing a roof to needing a that don’t allow her to share identities of pair of shoes. It was beautiful.” the people with needs.” The school social workers noticed the The group was set up so the need change, too. Suddenly, they were able to would be posted, whoever could meet the



fill everyday needs they hadn’t been able to meet before, says Denise. “It’s very rare to have a person who tells you to just tell them what you need, and they find a way to make it happen,” she says. “There were no quantifiers or eligibility requirements. Amber trusted us, the school social workers, to decide what a priority was. Until that time we didn’t have resources for things like lice shampoo, underwear, field trips or tennis shoes.” Amber also thought ahead about recurring needs and how to prepare for them. “Social work and helping professions are very reactive,” explains Denise, “but Amber was very much about doing things differently so they were better. She wasn’t sure about how things would happen; she just had faith they would happen.” Over the next five years, as Quiet Givers grew to over 2,000 people on Facebook and helped launch the immensely successful Back to School Festival, managing the group became a volunteer

position that required full-time attention. As much time and heart as Amber had poured into Quiet Givers, she knew she needed to get a paying job in order to help support their family. “I built it, but I’ve always held it loosely, knowing it’s not mine; it’s the community’s. I knew at some point I would need to walk away,” Amber shares. “When my husband’s job changed in the summer of 2015, we knew we were out of time. I had to get a job.” A board of directors now runs Quiet Givers.   Leaving was bittersweet, but Amber started work at Western Carolina Eye Associates in the fall of 2015. “It was a precious time because it allowed me to establish boundaries between work and life. A sudden death in the family shortly after she started working, however, shifted her perspective even more. “I realized just

how much my family needed me,” she explains. “I needed to be fully present for them.” She has been working hard to bring balance back to their lives and recently transitioned to working at home for her husband’s business, Bateman Consulting, creating websites, managing social media accounts and offering multimedia packages for clients. And while her season of giving looks different than it was during the five years of her Quiet Givers service, Amber’s heart and passion to serve remain the same. “I make it my goal to find ways to bless others on a daily basis, even if just a simple gesture,” she says. “You just never know what someone might be going through. I love the people I met along the way: the amazing givers who were

Amber Bateman is pictured with husband Charles and daughters Julia, Sophia and Isabel. Photos by Charles Bateman

passionate about helping and people at the agencies and nonprofits that I had the privilege of getting to know and work alongside. It was moving to see people who dedicate their lives to serving this community that never cared to be recognized or rewarded. “I want people to know that you don’t have to be a certain age and you don’t have to have money to make a difference. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I had passion, drive and time, so that’s what I gave.” And she has made quite a difference.

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

Recently, Amber has revived her love of art and pottery. She does commission work, donates pieces to local charity auctions and is currently building an inventory to sell in a show or gallery. She occasionally has work for sale at Dan’l Boone Inn.

I want people to know that you don’t have to be a certain age and you don’t have to have money to make a difference. - Amber Bateman

Amber’s children Julia, Sophia and Isabel love to join Mom in the pottery studio to make creations of their own. AAWMAG.COM | DECEMBER 2016



k a e r B y a d i Hol In discussing the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas with my middle son, Joe, I asked him what he looked forward to the most. He pondered for a moment, and then the words trickled out: “good food, family, seeing Gramma and Poppa, and time off from school.”



Of course, the marketing folks utilize some of these associated emotional ties to family, food and giving to draw us into buying material representations of what is at the heart of the holiday season and cannot be bought: LOVE. Each year, I contemplate ways of not getting drawn into the buying of the season as much as the previous year, sometimes through setting a purchase limit, making homemade gifts, or putting conscious thought into how I will spend any time off that I have. For myself, I crave that time with my family, not just the set day on the calendar, because of the luxury of non-scheduled and unstructured time. I love the welcome laziness of a game of cards or Quirkle (one of our favorite games), reading a book or curling up and watching a good movie. Sometimes, what is a holiday break for many is the start of a major juggle for others that work in occupations that don’t stop just because it is a holiday, including police officers, EMS, hospital workers of all kinds, nurses, doctors, and, yes, midwives. The schedule comes out, and then we all start contemplating not only what day we will celebrate the given holiday, but also when we

the things that they want to do as a family for holidays or for their birthdays is affected and somewhat dictated by my schedule and availability. Particularly in years past, when I practiced as a solo midwife, they had to live life with the sometimes difficult acceptance of plans never being set in stone. The table would be set, food ready, company present, and everyone waiting to see how soon the baby would be delivered to decide if they should wait on me. Over time, if I got called by the hospital for anyone in labor on a holiday, I got to the point of encouraging my family to proceed without me, although they didn’t always do so. I’ve delivered a baby on every major holiday and can say that there is something special in welcoming that soul with that family, if I can’t be with my own. The women and families who I serve have always been quick to share their gratitude and frequently ask me to pass on to my own family how appreciative they are that I was “shared” with them that particular day. In addition, the camaraderie of being at the hospital with other people in your shoes, particularly the nurses and other providers, truly helps me to be in better spirits about being away from my family. Even on Christmas, no one seems to dwell on the fact that they are at work, since it is just how it is. Generally, everyone just tries to make the best of it, through sharing food potluck-style, enjoying the decorations on the unit and sometimes exchanging gifts. I am blessed to work with a great group of people and to have a loving family who will shift their mental focus from a specific day on the calendar to a time when we stop and enjoy each others’ company, the fun of making and eating good food together, and a pause in our busy lives to celebrate the true meaning of the season. Happy Holidays to all! heather jordan, CNM, MSN Comments or questions? 828.737.7711, ext. 253

might request additional days off to enjoy some of that relaxation time. This reality of working through days or weeks that others have off requires an adjustment in expectation from not just the person working, but also their families and extended families. Will we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? What time will we eat? When will I shop, and will I make good choices in shopping if I am post-call and have been up for 30 hours? What helps during this time is that typically families do adapt. My kids and husband have come to understand that

Merry Christmas from

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I Wish For You

More Presence It’s the time of year that many of us are finishing (or starting!) shopping for presents. We want to see happiness, and maybe surprise, when they remove the wrapping. Seeing a reaction to a perfect gift is a joy.



But, working through our shopping and other holiday to-do lists can take the joy out the season, if we are not careful. Additionally, this search for presents can lead us away from giving our presence to our loved ones and from being present to experience the meaning for the preparations. Although somewhat corny, that distinction highlights important truth, and the focus promotes greater joy and connection. After all, how many of our most important holiday memories have to do with the gifts received versus time spent with treasured people? Mindfulness during this time allows us to open space for these connections. Eckhart Tolle describes presence as “a state of inner spaciousness.” When our inner state has to do with worry about how a gift will be received, how to pay for it all, having time to get it all done, past experiences of hurt or disappointment, or the many other future or past ideas we may have, there is little inner space left. Making inner room can be a challenge during stress-filled times. But, the effort necessary to make that shift pays great dividends. Certainly, larger adjust-

ments may help with clearer space, such as committing to fewer events or less travel. But, more inner space might be opened through consistent and repeated shifts. The cognitive behavioral therapy concept of “simple, but not easy” usually applies to this sort of adjustment. Intentional mindfulness inserted into the activities is one of my favorite such simple adjustments. Focusing attention on the present, or mindfulness, is known to have great benefit for mood and stress management. Beyond that, it also opens that inner space and room to experience what is of most value in the present. One such method for this focus is a technique known as “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and involves the five senses. Variations of this technique are also helpful. Simply pause to notice what you can with your five senses. Identify five things you can see, four things you can feel (i.e., touch), three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Experiment with this technique while you make your lists, shop or otherwise prepare for the holiday. For even more benefit, add neutral times to the experiment, such as when you are having your

breakfast. Sometimes, it can be helpful to have a mint handy to smell and to taste. Following mindfulness with purpose of thought can also be valuable. One such area of thought that may be useful to examine is what sort of ideas you may have about the perfect gift, perfect season, perfect celebration or any other expectations of yourself or others. An old saying has evolved to now being “perfect is the enemy of good.” Curtis Tyrone Jones’ realization that “I stopped trying to be perfect when I realized it’s enough to be present.” I would suggest that, in fact, being present is far more than being perfect. I wish that sort of holiday season for you: one of more presence! I hope you put it at the top of your to-do list.

For more information on available services or to discuss information in this column, contact:

MARY MCKINNEY, MA, LMFT McKinney Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Fellow of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor, AAMFT Calls and texts: 828-773-5463

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Bows to Boast About Photos by Anna Oakes

Big, beautiful holiday bows look complicated, but only a few steps are required to produce impressive handmade gift-toppers. For the best three-dimensional bows, wired ribbon is your friend. Pay special attention to the length of ribbon on the spools you buy — in some cases, you may only have enough to wrap around one large gift. Faith Oakes graciously lent her gift-wrapping expertise to these instructions and illustrations.

THE BOX Both bow methods start with this process.

1. Measure out the ribbon: enough to wrap around the box and be looped several times to form the bow. Wrap ribbon around 2 or 4 sides of the box. For 4 sides, center length of ribbon on top side, cross the ends on the bottom and return to the top with 2 loose ends. 2. Secure the ribbon with an overhand knot, leaving long loose ends.

BOW METHOD 1 Simple and fast, but not as reusable.

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1. Tie the two loose ends of ribbon into shoelace knots, one on top of the other, as many times as you desire or have enough ribbon for. Ensure center knots are pulled tightly, and don’t worry

about crushing ribbon; wired ribbon can be “fluffed” back out. 2. Fluff out the bow’s loops until smooth. Twist ends and trim with an angled cut for a finished look. You’re done!

BOW METHOD 2 These bows can easily be removed and packed away for reuse. 1. Cut about 10 inches of floral wire. 2. With a new, separate length of ribbon, pinch a section about 6-10 inches away from one end. Fold the longer end of ribbon over to form a loop, twist, and then form a new loop opposite of the first loop.

3. Repeat until you have the desired size of bow. Finish with a small loop over the center and twist. Feed the floral wire through the small loop and wrap several times around the center of the loops to secure them. 4. Pull one of the box’s loose ends of ribbon through the small center loop of the bow and tie to the box’s other loose end of ribbon with an overhand knot. The bow is now secured to the box. 5. Fluff out the bow’s loops until smooth. Twist ends and trim with an angled cut for a finished look. Finished!

EMBELLISHMENTS Add a dash of flair to your holiday bows by using floral wire to attach holly, greenery, bells, candy canes, ornaments, pine cones, twigs or other embellishments.

Bow Method 2 These bows can easily be removed and packed away for reuse.

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Anna Oakes Editor, All About Women






CHOOSING HOLIDAY GIFTS for the Young People in Your Life

Cautionary Guidelines As the last of the leaves float off of the trees and pumpkin spice aromas turn to gingerbread and evergreen, most people who have young children in their lives begin to think about what holiday presents to find for the young people in their lives. Gift giving should come from the heart. That being said, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the latest gadgets and finding the “perfect” present. The art of gift giving is how to skillfully blend thought and love into a gift that speaks to the special relationship between two people. A gift is something to be appreciated. This can often be a stressful idea but it needn’t be. Keeping a few general guidelines in mind will help lead you to finding the right gift for that special child in your life.

• Steer clear of expensive items. Young children especially are hard on toys, and there is nothing more disappointing than breaking something that families are unable to replace. • Avoid batteries and noisy items. As fun as light-up and singing toys can be for children, they often have limited play value and are quickly “played out” and left behind to sing randomly in the middle of the night, waking (and sometimes even frightening) children and parents alike. If the item you are giving does need batteries, go ahead and put batteries in the item and make sure it works. It is hard to explain to a young child why they have to wait another day to play with a toy because four C batteries are nowhere to be found. • Check age appropriateness. Most toys will be marked with an age range suggesting which ages are more likely to enjoy the toy. Be mindful that toys marked for 3-year-olds and up are not given to younger children, as they may contain small parts and pose a choking risk. • 1,001 bits and pieces. Does the item you are considering have a billion little pieces and trinkets? Unless you are buying for an older child or it has been recommended by the parents, try to buy items with reasonable amounts of pieces to it. Imagine cleaning up all the pieces each and every day for six months — if it seems reasonable, you are probably in the clear.

• Bigger is not always better. If you are considering a trampoline, bounce house, five-foot-tall dollhouse, or drum set, check with the parents first. Trust us on this one. 34


Simple Gift Ideas for Young Children Are you still stumped about what WOULD be a good gift item? For younger children, play is the name of the game. Think about what items can create the most imaginative and creative play. Children learn about the world through practicing new skills. Simple items can bring about the most abundant source of entertainment for young children, as it is their own imagination that fuels the play.

• Books: Books are always a good choice whether the child is old enough to read or not. They can also be very affordable. • Blocks and building materials: Unit blocks (wooden and simple) provide hours of construction, as do interlocking blocks such as Legos. • Baby doll: Add a bottle and two outfits and you have hours of play. The doll doesn’t need to “do” anything to be enjoyed.

• Art supplies: Play dough, crayons, markers, chalk, stamps, paint and lots of paper. Bigger kids might like glue, scissors or glitter. • Board games: Take time to play the game with the child to create magical memories and loving traditions.

Ideas for 9- to 12-year-olds Are toys not your thing, or would you like to get a little more creative in your gift giving? Children in the middle years (post-early childhood and not quite a teen yet) are harder to buy for. There are lots of amazing gifts that aren’t toys at all and are perfect for the 9-12 crowd.

• Piggy bank or wallet: Put a little change in it to get the youngster started.

• Books are always a good option. • Photo album and camera: Encourage a young photographer to document their own story.

• Giant coloring posters with colored pencils: They can fill it in how they like and use it decorate their room.

• Science kits are great for learning and doing something new. • Art supplies: Many kids in this age range would be thrilled to receive a sketchbook or good quality art paper with either paints, acrylic crayons or even a pack of Sharpies. • Tickets: Know the tween in your life loves a certain band or is looking forward to a movie that is about to come out? Get the tickets (with parental permission first) and offer to take them. • Magazines: Order a year’s supply of a magazine and have it delivered to their house. It is a gift that keeps giving!

Ideas for Gift Cards for Tweens and Teens The hardest age of all to shop for is the tween and teen age group. An informal survey of several teens said they all wanted the same thing: a gift card. Well, where is the fun in that gift? We suggest you try to switch the gift card presentation up a little to keep the gift giving more jovial.

Whatever you choose to give as a gift, remember it is more about the joy of giving and taking time to share with those you care about. Happy Holidays!

• Hide the gift card in an elaborately decorated box filled with shredded paper. The large box size will throw them off. • Let the gift card be the prize at the end of a scavenger hunt. Make them work for it a little bit.


• Buy a small and inexpensive gag gift and tape the gift card to the back of the item. See how long it takes them to figure it out.



Top of the Rock Pooja Adial is first honored in App State’s new Homecoming tradition

Pooja Adial, a senior cellular/molecular biology major from Four Oaks, was named the inaugural “Top of the Rock” recipient, winning the majority of peer votes after qualifying for the Homecoming Royalty Program based on outstanding academic achievements and exceptional civic engagement to the community.


Originally from Gujarat, India, Pooja Adial moved to Four Oaks, N.C., in 2006 at the age of 12. Although at first she struggled with the new language and culture, Pooja has traveled past borders and miles away from home to pursue her goal of attending medical school and her passion for social justice. Pooja is a senior cell/molecular biology major at Appalachian State University with minors in chemistry and psychology. She hopes to apply for medical school in the spring and will then take a year off to participate in AmeriCorps. 36


On October 22, Pooja was named Homecoming “Top of the Rock” — a transition from the traditional naming of a Homecoming King and Queen. The Homecoming Committee selected nine students that were nominated by campus clubs and organizations to make up the court of Homecoming Royalty. The selection of these students was highly based on involvement on campus and in the community, as well as on academic achievement, and regardless of gender. “I was really shocked when I was called, because I don’t think I’m really popular, but somehow I received the majority of votes out of the nine people that were nominated,” Pooja says. “It was really exciting.” Over the course of Pooja’s time at Appalachian, she has served as a resident assistant for three years, vice president for Phi Chi — a pre-medical and pre-dental society — and recruitment chair for Equity in Science Tech Engineering and Math. Pooja also participates in Sustained Dialogue, a program that engages in discussions of race, gender, religion and other issues on campus. She also does research on algae and bio fuel production and will lead her third Alternative Service Experience over winter break. The first two trips Pooja led were to Knoxville, Tenn., and then to Raleigh, N.C., to participate in different programs that dealt with refugees. Her third trip will be over winter break to San Francisco to work with programs that serve individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Pooja said her passion for working with refugees stems from her own experience as an immigrant. “It was hard to navigate when I first came here, so I want to help those dealing with the same thing,” Pooja said. “And as a minority on campus, it’s hard to find resources to be successful, so I want to create dialogue about these issues.” Pooja says she supports the change from Homecoming King and Queen to Top of the Rock. “It’s a good transition, because not everyone identifies with the title of king or queen, and it is more based on qualifications,” Pooja said. “So it gives a better chance to people who are involved on campus and represent App. I think it’s awesome, and we should continue with it.” In the spring, Pooja will travel with a group to Belize to learn about sustainable agroforestry and community development. She received the Leigh Lane Edwards Scholarship for International Service-Learning earlier this fall to help offset the costs. “Representing Appalachian is about building community — it is more than just class and making good grades,” Pooja said. “It’s about finding what you’re passionate about, whether that’s social justice issues or something else. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and building connections with people that will last way past graduation.”

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Consider the ENTIRE DAY or days and what’s going on: Will you serve mimosas at a holiday brunch? What kind of punch will you serve at the office party? Will you finish a dinner with friends by serving homemade eggnog? Start a NEW TRADITION: On Christmas eve, Jeff’s family enjoys nachos and margaritas. If selecting ONE WINE for the entire meal, a pinot noir or Rhone, such as a Grenache, are great universal wines that are often recommended for pairing with ham or turkey. Old World wines also make good choices for gifts. Large wine and beer GLASSES allow the beverages to be smelled, which enhances taste.


Full-bodied wines benefit from being OPENED ABOUT A HALF-HOUR BEFORE being served. For FULL-COURSE dinners, consider combinations of wines, beers and non-alcoholic beverages with the courses.

GRAVIES can be flavored with white wine, port, brandy or cognac. CHAMPAGNE pairs well with holiday meals and serves as a palette cleanser between courses. BELGIAN BEERS are hearty and sweet — great for holiday parties. A crisp, clean beer such as a PALE ALE is good for serving with a meal. For DESSERT or after the meal, consider bourbon barrel-aged beers, dessert wines, port, ice wine or whiskey or bourbon served neat. Ultimately, it’s YOUR PARTY. Don’t stress about pairing or others’ preferences; go with your personal preferences and traditions. You DON’T HAVE TO SPEND A FORTUNE: You can buy good wine bottles ranging from $7 or $8 to however much you want to spend. Talk to a WINE MERCHANT, who can make recommendations based on which foods are being served.



The Aviatrix: Fly Like a Girl by Kimberley Jochl In the final pages of her new book “Aviatrix,” Kimberley Jochl includes a picture in which she is jumping as high as she can in the air — a victory jump — taken in front of her airplane after soloing a flight to the Tri-Cities airport. As she shares with readers, “I got out of my Skylane, threw my arms in the air and jumped up and down, hootin’ and hollerin’. I jumped up and down again because it was fun and felt really good. Then I got my camera, programmed the self-timer, set it on the trash can, and captured several pictures of me jumping in the air in front of the 511 again … I behaved like a crazed lunatic!” This hard-earned, enthusiastic celebration is the culmination of the challenges described in detail throughout the book. The excitement that can be seen in that picture stems from Kim’s ability to overcome her fear of flying — and not just flying as a passenger — actually driving the plane. The wife of an experienced pilot, Kim knew her fear of flying was something she needed to overcome.“ It [flying] scared me to death. So I earned my private pilot’s license.” Throughout the pages of “Aviatrix,” the determination and grit necessary to accomplish her goal is chronicled for readers. Kim explains, “Every simple task, each minor step, and every accomplishment was an emotional, psychological and physical milestone.” Further, Kim describes, “I was afraid, deathly afraid, of flying. No joke. I thought I was going to have a heart attack whenever I flew in a small airplane. My hands shook. I broke out in a sweat; my muscles became weak and lethargic.” As these symptoms escalated, Kim knew her only option was to face her fear head-on and to do so in an extraordinary way. Through many sleepless nights, hand-drawn charts, the careful and ongoing study of aviation terminology, countless calls about flight patterns and weather systems, Kimberley found the strength to let go of the voice that questioned her intentions and to hold on to the voice that quietly and steadily grew, the one that said, you can. With her husband’s, her flight instructor’s and family’s support and encouragement, Kim’s journey — one that required focus, commitment and courage — was thrillingly successful. From her first experiences as a passenger discovering the inner workings of an airplane, learning the jargon required to communicate while in the air, to practicing landing patterns time and again, readers will continually be inspired by Kimberley’s accomplishments. “Every flight is new,” Kim writes. “Each has its own unique challenges and rewards. The variables are never the same.”



In sharing both her accomplishments and failures, Kim invites readers to understand the depth and grip of her anxiety through each step of her quest. “Failure! I was a complete failure. I had no more thought of soloing anytime soon into Elk River … Why did I give up? I’ve NEVER given up and handed controls over to John or Gunther, ever. I need to become proficient … I knew I’d keep beating myself up for this one.” Later, in regard to landing in Elk River, she heard herself give this advice to an experienced pilot, “You need to do what I do: practice as much as you can. Do laps over and over again right here at Elk River.” When he agreed with her, Kim explains, “It hit me! I realized I experience fear and anxiety not because I’m a girl and new at this, but because I’m human. Gender and experience don’t matter. I’m a pilot now, part of the club.” Likewise, in her afterword, Kim sums up the humanity that is found up there above everything else: “Each characteristic exists up there in the sky, far from the hustle and bustle of society and all of its demands and idiosyncrasies. But in the air, we all get along and play by the same rules. The variables don’t change because of who we are or who we’re not, and they certainly don’t change with what we have or what we don’t have. If the lines are ever crossed, none of us get away with it, and rightfully so. We all take care of each other up there … And then, eventually, we land.” In Kim’s world there is much to be “up in the air” about. Her story of commitment and determination will inspire readers to stop listening to that voice that says that’s impossible and, instead, hold tightly to the one that says you can.

Kim Jochl jumps for joy after her first solo flight as a pilot. Photo:

About the Author Hollie Greene Hollie Greene is an English teacher who loves stories, words and the mountains of North Carolina.

Kim Jochl is the vice president at Sugar Mountain Resort, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, a certified pilot, and a wife and mother. She lives in the Village of Sugar Mountain. Kim’s book is a firsthand account of one woman’s journey to becoming a pilot in the challenging mountain terrain of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.

Every flight is new. Each has its own unique challenges and rewards. The variables are never the same.




Pictured from left are Hunger and Health Coalition Executive Director Elizabeth Young, Harriet Engle, coalition Grant Writer and Garden Manager Ben Loomis and Barbara Krause at the coalition’s second annual Masquerade Ball. Photo by Jeff Eason

Hunger and Health Coalition Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Lee and friends Emily Oakley and Cole Ellis enjoy a night of costumes and revelry at the second annual Masquerade Ball. Photo by Jeff Eason




Left: Susan Owen assists auctioneer Jesse Miller at Watauga County Habitat for Humanity’s Blueprints & Bow Ties fundraiser in October. “She was fabulous and definitely dressed for the occasion,” said Habitat’s Allison Jennings.

Below: Volunteer Bobbie Willard helps run a successful auction at the fifth annual Blueprints & Bow Ties event.

Photos by Melanie Lech and Alex Cobb




From left, Kayla and Molly Graham tied for second place in the youth division of the of the Hometown Harvest’s cake contest on Nov. 13. Photo by Jeff Eason

From left, Virginia Powell and her daughter, Genevieve Powell, help put out serving dishes at the Hometown Harvest potluck. Photo by Jeff Eason

From left, Janice Burns and Sharon Greene put their ďŹ ne penmanship skills to good use by making nametags for everyone at the Hometown Harvest. Photo by Jeff Eason




Above: Blowing Rock School moms Dixie Jarman, Jennifer Hale and Susan Kiker serve up hot slices of pizza at the school’s annual Fall Festival, held Nov. 4. Photo by Jeff Eason

Left: Visitors relax in the outdoor patio at Hampton Inn and Suites. Photo by Jeff Eason




Boone Downtown Coordinator Virginia Falck, John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre Keith Martin and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Director of Public Relations Wysteria White chat at the monthly Business After Hours event in October. Photo by Jeff Eason

The Boone Chamber of Commerce monthly Business After Hours event was held at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in October. Photo by Jeff Eason






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All About Women December 2016  
All About Women December 2016