CLEARING THE WAY Susanne Winebarger Helping the Holiday Tree Harvest
2 DECEMBER 2009
PROFILES / FEATURES 8 An Old Mountain Christmas 10 High Country Toastmasters 33 Planning The Perfect Holiday Party 34 Giving The Gift Of Yourself 35 Kwanzaa 36 Christmas Trivia 51 All I Need To Know
ALL ABOUT MEN IN OUR LIVES 28 Steve Willingham In every issue 12 Parenting Page
nter The Wi
48 Mark Mitchell
Food & Entertainment It’s A Women’s Job Fashion and Fads Women In Education All About Crafts Healthy Lady All About Authors Cover Feature: Susanne Winebarger Your Home All About Beauty Young At Heart Heartfelt Pet Page Mom’s World High Country Courtesies You Go, Girl! Bloom Where You’re Planted Cents & $ensibility December Calendar
14 16 17 18 20 21 23 24 27 32 37 42 44 46 47 48 50 52 54
DECEMBER 2009 3
Dr. Damon P. Anagnos MD, FACS formerly with UNC - CH
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
The Secret is out.
• Minimally invasive • In-office procedure • Local anesthetic • Minimal downtime Blue Ridge Plastic Surgery Group And Skin Care Center 141 DOCTORS’ DRIVE • BOONE, NC www.BlueRidgePlasticSurgery.net 4
PUBLISHER Nancy Morrison email@example.com 828-733-2448 editor Sherrie Norris firstname.lastname@example.org 828-264-3612 ext. 251 MARKETING CONSULTANTs Jennifer Walker Jon Davis, Renae Jones, Lewis McNeil, Sue Moore, Crystal Owens, Sandy Russell, Amanda Swartz
Graphic Designer Dan Johnston
Contributing Designer Amber Allen
Contributing writers Corrinne Loucks Assad, Genevieve Austin, June W. Bare, Christin Bland, Maggie Bishop, Sherry Boone, Sharon Carlton, Bonnie Church, Jenny Church, Maggi Fernandez, Koren Huskins, Heather W. Jordan, Kelly Penick, Teri Wiggans, Heather Young
PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Mitchell Copy editing Danica Goodman
For advertising CALL 828-264-3612 Ask for Your Marketing Consultant Cover page photo by Mark Mitchell
Any reproduction of news articles, photographs, or advertising artwork is strictly prohibited without permission from management. ©Copyright 2009 A Mountain Times Publication
The Year of the Wicked Angel
Ah yes, it’s that most delightful time of year again when hearts are filled with good cheer and our thoughts are filled with the needs of others. I have so many wonderful memories of past holidays when my large family would gather for meals and gifts. Actually I videotaped many of these gatherings, so I can pull out the tapes and enjoy at any time, a real treasure as most of my beloved family members are no longer with us. Yes, there were wonderful memories except for that one year . . . “the year of the wicked angel,” I always have dubbed it in my mind. Everything started out normally enough. My brother and his wife came home for Christmas from Raleigh, which was a special event since they didn’t get home often. My husband and I had made the trip to Avery County from Charlotte. It was snowing hard on Christmas Eve and driving was difficult. We always went over to Montreat to the home of my uncle and aunt (Dr. Ivan and Melba Stafford) for Christmas Day, but this year we had decided to stay home, given the weather and the short visit both my brother and I were making. So we weren’t particularly worried when the power went off not long after it got dark. For a while – at least as long as it was warm – it was fun. But finally, as I sat there in the light of candles, I realized something was missing besides the lights. The Christmas tree had no angel topping its branches. In fact, there was nothing but some lights at the top of the tree. So I set out to remedy the situation. Now I’m quite crafty and I’m an artist, so I knew I could come up with something. I found some red Christmas wrap and I fashioned the body out of that. Next I made wings from heavy paper. I think the head was paper towels stuffed into a stocking and the hair was of yarn – brown was the only color I could find. But it worked and the tree looked better. I did notice that she looked a little wicked. The lights didn’t come back on, so we finally went to bed where we would be warmer. Christmas morning came, we opened packages, ate a big meal and my brother left for Raleigh and the treetop angel presided over everything.
That evening we heard that everyone at my uncle and aunt’s (Dr. Bill and Elizabeth Sloop) house was sick. They had gone to the Staffords’ for Christmas dinner. After the fact, I learned Uncle Bill and Aunt Elizabeth had been cooking the turkey for the event in Montreat when the electricity went off. They waited for several hours and, when the power didn’t come back on, they bundled the partially-cooked turkey up and took it over to Montreat to Uncle Ivan and Aunt Melba’s where they finished cooking it. Yeah, food poisoning. Nobody connected it at that point because the Staffords weren’t sick yet. They got sick later in the day. The day after Christmas, we went by Montreat on our way back to Charlotte. Of course, the Staffords offered us turkey sandwiches for lunch. They didn’t know the Sloops had been sick so they put their own illness down to a bug of some sort. Nobody thought about the turkey. My husband was lucky. He opted for the Christmas ham. I ate the turkey. By the time I got sick, the Sloops, the Staffords, and the Stroupes had talked and figured things out. Too late for me. I was sick for a week. I was still sick on New Year’s Eve when my husband, who was a Charlotte bandleader, left with his group to play a New Year’s dance at Cedar Rock Country Club in Lenoir. I always went with the band and did the lights and sound, but I was too sick to care. The next morning, when I looked outside, there was a bumper lying in the yard. There was an ice storm and, on the way home, one of the band members driving had wrapped the 5 by 8 trailer around the van. I was glad I hadn’t been there. Anyway, I pitched the angel after that and she is only a memory except for this picture. So, to remedy any past karma, I’m giving you a wonderful “good” angel in the craft section this month. You’ll notice I used white hair. She’s guaranteed to watch over your home with benevolence! Have a wonderful holiday season,
Nancy Morrison, Publisher email@example.com www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 5
Editor’s Note A Christmas Perspective
Visit aawmag.com to find links and resources for all stories mentioned in this issue.
t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, my favorite time of year, and the only time of year I’d like to be a kid again. There seems to be such a quiet innocence about the season and especially in the hearts of children who are on their best behavior and anxiously awaiting. There is a lesson to be learned here, my friends. As I write this note (in mid-November), I am sorely reminded that usually I have most of my shopping done, packages wrapped, menus planned for those special occasions and at least a hundred Christmas cards addressed. It’s just not happening that way and for some strange reason, it’s suddenly okay. It will happen when it happens and if it doesn’t, well then, that will be okay as well, and people who love me will understand – or at least accept it. I am really trying to put things into perspective these days. So often, things we do with the right intentions seem to backfire and cause even more stress than if we’d just left it all alone. I have finally reached a point in life where I know I can’t change circumstances or other people, but I can work for positive change within myself and in the corner of the world that I occupy. I’m not waiting for January 1 to implement that plan. It begins now! Many of you who read my column last month have asked about my mission trip/vacation in Arizona. Yes, I did have that “aha” moment standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, barely able to take in the wonder of it all. For once in my life, I was practically speechless. However, I did remind my son (and myself) that if we ever get to feeling too big for our britches, just to remember what it felt like looking out over that massive chasm of creation. We are all just one little bitty blip on the big screen of life. Among other special moments – and there were many – was walking into the makeshift church where we went to serve on the dry, barren desert and seeing collection boxes for Operation Christmas Child. WOW! Despite the economic slam the community had taken, despite the fact that many of the families there have lost jobs and homes –they were still willing to share what they had with those even less fortunate. Folks, that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s not what we want, have, or can grab for ourselves. It’s what we can share with others. Keep that close to heart and remember – usually the most important things people want from us, and the best we can give, don’t even come with a price tag. Wishing you a Merry Christmas surrounded by those you love with all you need,
Sherrie Norris, Editor Sherrie@aawmag.com
6 DECEMBER 2009
Walker & DiVenere AT T O R N E Y S
With offices in Boone, North Carolina, Attorneys Jeffrey J. Walker and Tamara C. DiVenere practice in the areas of real estate, construction, contracts, personal injury/wrongful death and insurance disputes, as well as all family law matters including prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, wills and trusts. Mr. Walker is also licensed to practice in Tennessee and has an office in Mountain City. He has been licensed to practice in Florida since 1980 and is Board Certified in Civil Law there. Ms. DiVenere is a graduate of Duke University (cum laude) and University of North Carolina School of Law (high honors).
www.lawyernorthcarolina.com Fax: 828-262-3699 路 Toll free: 800-451-4299 firstname.lastname@example.org 783 W. King Street email@example.com Boone, NC 28607
The Dental Practice of Dr. James B. Graham Jr, D.D.S. announces its relocation. Visit us at our exciting new facility located at 717 Greenway Rd, Suite D.
NEW PATIENTS ARE WELCOME! www.boonedentist.com Office hours are Monday - Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
DECEMBER 2009 7
An Old Mountain Christmas S T O R I E S A N D P H O T O S B Y J U N E W. B A R E
oys, expensive jewelry, piles
those of Puritan stock had little or no
would travel the crooked, unpaved road
from Cove Creek to Bethel, where her
activities, vacations and days
Geneva Mohr of Crossnore says
paternal grandparents lived, and spend the
off from work, and Fraser firs
that her Christmas as a child in the late
night. The next morning they would wake
with elaborate decorations characterize
1920s and early 30s was little more than a
up to find that a large tree had magically
what we associate with Christmas today.
hemlock or white pine brought in from the
appeared, decorated with real candles
However, Christmas has not always been
hills with perhaps the gifts of orange, nuts,
brought from Philadelphia and clipped to
highly commercialized, especially in the
and chocolate drops. She doesn’t recall any
the tree. Santa Claus had arrived, leaving
western North Carolina mountains. During
time off from school or any programs in
stockings filled with goodies and gifts under
pioneer days, homemade gifts were given
the school or the church to celebrate the
the tree. The candles were very small and
at Christmastime, such as cornshuck dolls.
holiday. Her Christmas season memories
were lit only for a short time. Although she
Christmas trees were not common until the
go to sledding with other children from the
and her sisters got rag dolls for Christmas,
1850s, and commercial Christmas trees
top of Christmas Tree Hill, down what is
her favorite toy was a “climbing monkey”
were unknown until the 1900s.
now called Johnson Lane to the base of the
that climbed up the door. The Christmas
hill at the center of the village until their
when she was twelve, after her mother died
grandmothers were young? Our western
parents called them in.
during the birth of her twin sisters, she went
mountains were settled by a variety of
Iva Dean Winkler, growing up in
with the twins to stay with an uncle. After
What was Christmas like when our
Cove Creek in the 1920s, has entirely
that, being the oldest, she became a mother
English, and other immigrants who brought
different memories of Christmas. At home
to her sisters. Mrs. Winkler remembers
the customs from the lands of their heritage.
they would have a small tree of pine or
special children’s Christmas programs at
Some, such as the Germans, celebrated
hemlock, but lacking electricity, it had no
school and church.
Christmas with elaborate customs, but
lights. Sometimes on Christmas Eve they
8 DECEMBER 2009
Ruth Reese who has lived in Upper www.aawmag.com
Beaver Dams all her life says, “We didn’t do much for Christmas We’d have a little tree from out in the woods, we would get maybe a ball or a doll, and we might make some Christmas candy, too.” She said that an uncle had a huge holly tree in the front yard and they would decorate the house with holly. Her most memorable Christmas was when she got a beautiful sleeping doll with real hair and eyes that opened and closed. Some people in the community didn’t do anything for the holiday, but would grade tobacco on Christmas Day. Mostly, there would be a little tree with homemade decorations made from crepe paper and a big meal with extended family coming in for the day. School would be out for about a week, but there were no special programs. At church they would sing Christmas carols, but there was nothing like it is now with special programs and decorating the church.
Trees used as Christmas trees before Fraser firs did not retain their needles well, and
Easy Christmas Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts,
were not brought into the house for decorating until Christmas Eve. It is interesting to note
drained, finely chopped
that the Fraser fir was not the Christmas tree of choice until the 1950s.
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen chopped
According to NC University Cooperative Extension, in 1948 no Fraser firs were
spinach, thawed, drained
included in the 25 varieties used in the U.S. The late Mr. Tom Dellinger, agriculture teacher
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
at Crossnore High School, encouraged the use of Fraser firs as a Christmas tree in the mid-
¾ cup mayonnaise
1940s. Up until that time there were very few tree growers in the area, and those who grew
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
trees commercially did not consider the Fraser fir of value for the Christmas tree market. Mr.
½ tsp. garlic powder
Dellinger’s influence changed the picture, and now the Fraser fir is what we think of as the perfect Christmas tree.
Christmas is a very special time, and memories of Christmas follow us throughout our
lives. Making unique memories for our children is a means of connecting to generations long past.
Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon mixture into a 9” quiche dish or pie plate. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
Chocolate Snowballs 1 pkg. (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix ½ cup butter or margarine, melted 1 egg ¼ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa ½ cup finely chopped almonds 1 teaspoon almond extract 60 Hershey’s Kisses milk chocolates, unwrapped ¾ cup powdered sugar Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, flour, cocoa, almonds and extract until soft dough forms. Shape dough into sixty ¾ - inch balls; wrap each around 1 milk chocolate candy. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll cookies in powered sugar. Cool completely, Although Iva Dean Winkler and her sisters got rag dolls for Christmas, her favorite toy was a “climbing monkey” that climbed up the door. www.aawmag.com
about 15 minutes. Re-roll cookies in powdered sugar. Store tightly covered.
DECEMBER 2009 9
Find Your Voice at High Country Toastmasters “Whether you are a professional student, a stayat-home parent, an employee, a business owner or retiree, Toastmasters is the best way to improve your communication skills.” When Watauga County native Glenda Teams joined Queen City Toastmasters Club four years ago because of a job requirement, she never dreamed how great a part the organization would play in her life. Nine months later, Glenda co-founded the Ballantyne Toastmasters and while there, served as vice president of education, president and immediate past president. Upon being laid off as a property manager in Charlotte, she accepted a job with United Community Bank in Blowing Rock. In March 2009, Glenda started the campaign to bring Toastmasters to the Boone/Blowing Rock area. High Country Toastmasters chartered in September. Since 2007, Glenda has served as District Sergeant-at-Arms, served the past two years as Assistant District Sergeant-at-Arms and Realignment Co-Chair. Her hope is to rise through the ranks in the district and further develop her leadership skills. On November 7, 2009 at the District 37 Fall Conference, Glenda was recognized by her peers and was awarded the Helen Yandle award for Outstanding Club President 2008-2009. “I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” she stated. Her biggest reward? “Helping others overcome their fear of public speaking. Sometimes you have to be like a turtle and stick your head out if you want to move forward in life. Think of Toastmasters as an investment in yourself!” What is Toastmasters? Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that operates for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. It was founded by Ralph C. Smedley on October 22, 1924, at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California. Toastmasters International has a policy of non-discrimination and although Toastmasters was initially formed as a male-only organization, membership was opened to women in August, 1973. Today the organization serves over 250,000 members in 106 countries, through more than 12,500 clubs. Most Toastmasters chapters meet for about one hour every week. During meetings, members present five-to-ten minute speeches, followed by positive constructive evaluations about their speeches and communication skills. Members also participate in one-to-two minute impromptu speeches called “Table Topics.” The program is self-directed and self-paced, a true learn-by-doing program that will help build your confidence and overcome your fear of speaking.
10 DECEMBER 2009
Toastmasters Testimonies I joined Toastmasters with high expectations based on the organization’s reputation, and for one obvious reason, to gain the ability to speak publicly, but also to develop a level of selfconfidence that I did not possess. After only a few months as a member of Toastmasters, I can honestly say that this organization has met and exceeded my expectations. The skills I am gaining from attending the weekly Toastmasters meetings are already moving me in new directions professionally. I still get nervous, but I can take on challenging opportunities with the confidence associated with the skills I’ve gained from Toastmasters. – Terri Lockwood I have been “putting off” public speaking since high school. In my new role with United Community Bank, I have no choice but to do presentations and go on customer calls, which means public speaking. I love this new job and I didn’t want public speaking to be my only negative, so I joined Toastmasters in May, 2009. It has been wonderful! Recently, we won a huge account in my area, which was noticed by all the upper management. The only thing that I have changed recently is that I have been going to Toastmasters. It is the best thing that I have done in my career since I have been out of college and, for the people who are putting it off, just stop and come see what is going on at the High Country Toastmasters!!! – Mindy Kleinsmith High Country Toastmasters meet every Tuesday at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church Fellowship Hall, 5:30pm – 6:45pm. For enquiries contact: Katherine Alford at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 264-9010 or visit our Web site at www.highcountrytoastmaters.org. www.aawmag.com
Simple Holiday Bread Pudding 2 cups milk 2 eggs ¼ cup sugar ½ tsp. vanilla 3 slices bread, buttered and quartered Mix milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla with a large spoon in a medium-sized bowl until well blended. Put mixture in a 9-inch pie plate. Spread slices of buttered bread on top. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and firm. For a thicker pudding, add more bread. For more of a custard, use less bread. Raisins may be added if desired. Serve with crackers, pita bread, tortilla chips or toast.
Simple Candy Cane Cakes 1 pkg. (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake, thawed. 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting. Red decorating gel Slice the pound cake into 8 equal pieces. Press lightly to make an indention on the cake with a candy cane cookie cutter (use a large one). With a sharp knife, cut out the candy cane shape, one per slice. Place cutouts on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Transfer frosting into a large microwave-safe measuring cup; microwave on high, stirring at 10-second intervals, until frosting is thin enough to pour, about one minute. Pour frosting over tops and sides of each candy cane cake to cover completely. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes. Use red decorating gel to pipe stripes onto each cake.
DECEMBER 2009 11
Parenting Page C O M P L I M E N T S O F WATA U G A C O U N T Y C H I L D R E N ’ S C O U N C I L
Making Gift Choices for Children Pets and toys are on the top of the wish list for most children during the holiday season. It is important for adults to make gift choices that are appropriate for children. Animals are not toys. Careful consideration must be applied prior to purchasing a pet for a child. Toys should be safe, educational and appropriate based on age.
There are various choices available for children’s toys. Selecting
toys for young children involves decisions about interests, motivation and skills of children. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests consideration be made to select toys that keep a child occupied for several months. Toys should be appropriate for the age of the child. The more a child can do with a toy, the more he or she is likely to remain interested.
• Art materials are great gifts for any age because they encourage
MAKE AN ENTRANCE!
creativity. • Toys that teach children how to use their imagination, such as dress up materials and puppets, are a good choice. • Toys that build large and small muscles in arms, legs and fingers, are good gift ideas. • Toys should encourage problem solving. • Toys may be for individual play or to encourage play with others. • Toys should be well made: no sharp parts, splinter free and painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint, and easily cleaned. • Electronic toys should be “UL Approved.”
Sparkling crystal and exceptional design make these fashionable jewelry pieces Christmas must-haves THE HIGH COUNTRY’S AUTHORIZED SWAROVSKI RETAILER THE LARGEST SELECTION OF JEWELRY & FIGURINES ANYWHERE FREE SHIPPING AND FREE GIFT WRAPPING PHONE ORDERS ARE WELCOME 111-B Jefferson Avenue • West Jefferson • 336-846-6795
12 DECEMBER 2009
For more information on appropriate toys for specific age levels
visit: http://www. naeyc.org/ecp/resources/good toys
People who give pets have good intentions. But children,
intentionally or not, can be cruel. A child may adore a pet but small children may harm animals. When a child loses interest in an animal, they may go without necessary care. The child’s parents or adults who gave the child the animal may try to “solve” the animal problem by turning the animal over to a shelter. Think before giving. Adding an animal to a family is an important decision. Consider the time and money involved in proper animal care. www.aawmag.com
Holiday Quick Bread Recipes
Studio K Youth Ballet Company
Quick breads are a fast, easy accompaniment to any holiday meal. For the best-tasting holiday quick breads, here are some helpful hints:
Farthing Auditorium ASU Campus Adults $11 • Students $9
See What’s Ne C
- Grease only the bottoms of the loaf pans or the sides of the bread will pull away from the sides of the baking pan. - Bake in the center of the center rack of the oven. - When adding liquids to the dry ingredients, stir only until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy. - Quick breads can be made ahead and frozen from 1 to 2 months.
December 12th, 7:00pm December 13th, 3:00pm
Santa will be here Dec 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18-24
Seasonal Kiosks are Here! Festive Cranberry Bread 2 cups flour 1 egg 2½ teaspoons baking powder 1 cup cranberries, sliced 1 cup sugar 1 cup nuts, chopped (optional) 2 Tbs. butter 1 tsp. baking soda Juice and rind of 1 orange ½ tsp. salt Preheat oven to 350. Add water to orange juice to make ¾ cup liquid. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
• Amy’s Hallmark • AT&T • Bath & Body Works • Belk • Belk Home Store • Blue Ridge Vision • Claire’s • Cookies & Cream • Dollar General • Final Touches • GNC • GameStop • JC Penney • Le’s Nails • Maurice’s • Old Navy • Panera Bread • Primo's Pizza Pasta Subs
• Radio Shack • Redline Graphic Design Kiosk • Regis Hairstyles • Rue 21 • Sagesport • Saslow’s Jewelers • Sears • Sharpcuts • South’s Clothiers • Sports Fanatic • The Shoe Depart. Encore • Tazmaraz Handbag / Jewelry Kiosk • T.J.Maxx • Tucker’s Cafe • Waldenbooks
Mall Hours: Mon - Sat 10am to 9pm Sunday 12:30pm to 5:30pm
1180 Blowing Rock Rd. 828.264.7286 www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 13
Food & Entertainment WRITTEN BY CHRISTIN BLAND
Stick Boy Bread Company A High Country Tradition “If they’re hungry, give them bread!” That is the motto at the Coatney household, where the appetites of three young boys are satisfied with a variety of all-natural, preservative free – and incredibly delicious – bread.
For Carson and Mindy Coatney,
owners of Stick Boy Bread Company, the business of baking bread has become firmly rooted in their family tradition. From lunchtime sandwiches made with wholesome whole-wheat loaves to the sticky buns that are a customary part of their road trips, the Coatney family truly has made Stick Boy a family business.
During the past eight years, this
family business has been woven into the fabric of our community. Carson and Mindy see this as the fulfillment of their
Happy Holidays from the Coatney family and Stick Boy Bread Company! vision. Their desire from the beginning
look forward to coming, and where
was for Stick Boy to be a hub of the
they are bound to run into someone
community – a place where people
And that is exactly what it has
become. The selection at Stick Boy is never stale – pardon the pun – as new artisan loaves, sweet breads, pastries, and cakes are introduced regularly. As the weather gets colder, Stick Boy bread bakers are whipping up seasonal confections such as the delicious Winter Stollen. Stick Boy’s varied selection 14 DECEMBER 2009
and warm community atmosphere keep customers coming back.
As the holidays approach, many of us begin thinking
about our own family traditions, such as gazing at twinkling Christmas lights, buying gifts for family and friends, or curling up on the couch with a favorite holiday movie. The Coatney family looks forward to a special holiday morning together, which naturally includes the delicious smell of bread wafting through the house!
Stick Boy Bread Co. is located at 345 Hardin
Street in Boone and is open M-F 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit www.stickboybread.com for more information on
weekly bread selections, how the breads are made, and Stick Boy catering and specialty cakes.
Here are a few recipes Mindy has chosen to share in hopes that they will become a part of your own family tradition.
Filled French Toast (Serves Four) 2/3 cup whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding
4 large eggs
4 large eggs
1 Tbs. sugar or maple syrup
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
1 Tbs. whipped cream cheese
½ tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
1 Tbs. lemon curd (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs. of your favorite fruit preserves
3 cups milk
8 slices of any Stick Boy bread,
1 loaf of Stick Boy Cranberry Pecan bread,
such as Brioche or Sandwich White
bottom crust removed, cut into ½ inch cubes
Butter a 2-quart baking dish and place bread cubes
Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt
in a shallow bowl.
in the bottom. Combine remaining ingredients and pour
Spread ¼ of the cream cheese, lemon curd, and
mixture over bread. Let stand 30 minutes. You may
fruit preserve on four slices of bread. Place a second
need to press the bread into the liquid as it absorbs.
slice of bread on top to make four “sandwiches.” Add
Bake at 350 degrees in a water bath until it is firm in
sandwiches to egg mixture, turning until thoroughly
the center – about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
saturated, but not falling apart. In a skillet, melt the
Make it your own: Use other kinds of Stick Boy
butter over medium heat. Place sandwiches in the skillet
breads and add nuts, dried fruit and or spices to your
and cook until the underside is golden brown, then turn
liking. Bake it up to two days in advance, refrigerate,
and cook the other side.
and re-heat at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
Dust each serving with powdered sugar and pure
maple syrup. www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 15
It’s A Woman’s Job WRITTEN BY KOREN HUSKINS
Glenda Andrews: Bringing Rays of Hope to Children & Families at Rainbow Center
Behind desk: Glenda Andrews has devoted a lifetime to helping children find their place in life. Photo on right: Glenda’s arms are always outstretched for the children she serves. Boone native Glenda Andrews began her career 30 plus years ago in accounting and interior design, but didn’t remain in that industry. In 1991, Andrews answered a higher calling to re-color, re-vamp, and restore the lives of at-risk children and families served by Rainbow Center – Children & Family Services (RCCFS). Headquartered in Wilkes County and serving the entire High Country region, RCCFS has been a big part of Andrews’ life. She has served as CEO for the 21-year-old non-profit organization for the past 18 years. Under her leadership, RCCFS has grown from one emergency shelter to provide a full array of services, which include Residential Care (the original emergency shelter plus an additional group home), Bridges Foster Care, Child & Family Counseling, and services for developmentally disabled individuals and their families. “I came to Rainbow Center after I lost someone very special. As I searched for healing, God led me to serve others here. He showed me that there were many broken hearts, and I could ease my pain by helping others cope with the pain they endured,” says Andrews. Having a clear vision has helped Glenda Andrews continue to push Rainbow Center’s mission forward, which is extremely challenging when dealing with children and families who seem 16 DECEMBER 2009
to be in hopeless situations and a state mental health system that is ever-changing. Challenges faced by RCCFS include “maintaining a standard of excellence with our many required licenses – there is so much involved in being able to operate. It’s frustrating to know that you want to help a child and the rules or lack of funding gets in the way. We have at-risk children and families in need of our services, which are in greater demand during these troubled economic times, and we have the state cutting our funding,” says Andrews. Indeed, the need to help this population of children and families in our area is great. The agency’s Residential Care and Bridges Foster Care programs serve children ages birth to 21 who have suffered from varied forms of trauma to include sexual and/or physical abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, poverty, etc. Andrews recalls one of the first children she helped through the Rainbow Center. “She was a 3-year-old girl who lived in the group home many years ago. Every night she would pitch a fit about taking a bath. We soon found out that her dad and grandmother molested her in the bathtub, but as she would say her prayers every night – she would ask God to please bless Daddy and Grandma. That was a hard situation to process.”
Last year, RCCFS served 160 children by giving them food, shelter, clothing, transportation to school and appointments, in addition to providing support, structure, and genuine care for their well-being. In addition to Residential Care and Bridges Foster Care, RCCFS helps developmentally disabled individuals and their families improve their quality of life through the High Country First In Families program, which served 175 families last year whose average annual income was $11,886. Andrews’ leadership and business savvy has yielded many milestones including achieving national COA accreditation, building infrastructure, running a non-profit like a business, and opening the Kulynych Family Life Center to allow the organization to better serve the community. Andrews says, “I’m always very humbled when a child who has left us comes back to visit and tells us how they’re doing. This act shows they saw us as a type of family for them, and that we really did make a difference in their lives.” One recent success story that stands out in Andrews’ mind is Deirdra, a young woman who is now in college, but came to Rainbow Center’s Residential Care program because she had nowhere else to go. During her time at Rainbow Center, she turned her academics around, became involved in track, and earned a full college scholarship “There are children, teens, and families out there who greatly need our help, and I feel it’s our moral obligation to share our blessings and talents with those less fortunate,” concludes Andrews. Glenda Andrews is the daughter of Dale and Pat Andrews. She has a sister, Debbie Warren, and a brother, Glenn Andrews, as well as two nieces and two nephews. She lives on a Christmas tree farm in Fleetwood with her husband John. Although Glenda never had her own children, she feels like God has blessed her with “everyone else’s children” – especially those she serves through the Rainbow Center. For more information about Glenda Andrews or the Rainbow Center, please call (336) 6673333. The non-profit is always in need of any form of support, especially during the holidays. To help, please visit www.RainbowCenterForChildren.org or you can send gifts to: 507 Courthouse Drive Wilkesboro, NC 28697. www.aawmag.com
Fashion and Fads With Jenny Church
The Gift of Wardrobe
In recent years the gift card has replaced the actual gift. There is no more fuss over what to buy a daughter, or stress about which tie is best for grandpa. It may seem like a good alternative to trying to figure out what clothes to buy for whom. However, this is not always the case. Of course, newlyweds may really appreciate a gift card to Wal-mart or Lowe’s Hardware, but most others know when they receive a gift card it is because the buyer has no idea what to actually get them. Aunt Susie from Connecticut, whom you’ve met only a few times, is permitted to give a gift card, because she probably doesn’t know you well enough to buy you something you’d love. Buying clothes as gifts is a dying art, which is quite sad. Opening a box with a brand new sweater your sister picked especially for you is an exciting feeling. That feeling shouldn’t die. It is rewarding to see the look on someone’s face when he or she opens a gift from you and they adore it. With clothing, there is an added bonus because you can see them wear it and brag about how you picked it out! Mothers, I’m sure you have figured out your sons and daughters do not always think what you buy them in the clothing department is “cool.” Take them shopping and notice what they gravitate to or ask their best friend. Gift cards may eliminate the opportunity to spend quality time with your children. By taking them shopping for ideas, you have an excuse to spend time with them and you can surprise them with some of the things they picked out.
Cocktail parties It is the month of December, so I am sure many of you AAW readers have at least one semi-formal get-together to attend this holiday season. Be careful with the outfits you choose. Make sure to dress for the winter season. It is okay to wear a shaw. Avoid floral patterns and open-toed heels. You want to avoid looking “too summery.” Black, while cliché, is always a safe choice. The color black (especially in dresses) has no boundaries and can be worn in any month and on most any occasion. Red is a daring color and also a good color to wear for the same reasons, but is especially good during the holiday season. It’s festive and screams confidence. Colors to stay away from are pinks, yellows, and light blues. Darker shades of blue will work. Try to stay away from light colors and pastels. Keep these fashion tips in mind when getting ready this holiday season and you can be sure you are leaving the house in style!
Holiday Attire During the holiday season there are parties, get-togethers, and events galore. It is in our nature as women to want a different outfit for each, or have one outfit we think looks super great on us and wear it to every holiday gathering we attend. Neither of these are good ideas, nor are they healthy fashion behavior. Have options Most people keep the stock of holiday/seasonal sweaters to a minimum and the same is true of cocktail dresses for holiday parties. My advice is to have two or three outfits you can alternate. Fight the urge to wear your favorite holiday sweater every day until the end of the season. Colors matter If you aren’t one to buy into the buying clothes per holiday gig, then do make sure you at least wear a color fitting the function you are attending. For example, if you are going to a Christmas party but do not own a Christmas sweater, wear a red or green one.
DECEMBER 2009 17
Women in Education
“Retired” Educator Travels State with a Unique Lesson decisions as to whether her days would be spent reading, gardening, biking, traveling, or meeting friends for lunch. Instead, her fate has been to continue to teach at an entirely different level – elementary – and in a totally different curriculum – social studies. Libby’s new trek began at her vet’s office following numerous weeks of rehabilitating Lucky’s broken back legs, sustained as a result of his accident. She learned their new family pet was a Plott hound. “What type of hound,” she
Libby and Lucky make a winning team as they travel around the state educating youngsters about an often overlooked state symbol. Seven years ago, Libby Bagby was driving home after a busy week as a media specialist at North Surry High School in Mt. Airy when she spotted an injured dog lying by the roadside. Libby, along with her husband Rick and three other good Samaritans, saved the injured creature and delivered it to their veterinarian’s office. The dog’s prognosis was grave, but after a week in the animal hospital, the fortunate dog joined the Bagby’s already large canine family, and “Lucky” became his name. Little did Libby realize helping 18 DECEMBER 2009
this injured dog was about to change her retirement dreams of sleeping late, leisurely sipping her morning coffee, and anticipating the day ahead. As a secondary educator, Libby’s 30-year career began at Charlotte’s Myers Park High School in the business education classroom and concluded in the media centers at both Myers Park High and North Surry High in Mt. Airy. She thought her destiny was to retire to her mountain paradise in Roaring Gap, where she currently lives, and to make only the “tough”
inquired? A Plott hound – North Carolina’s state dog – was her answer. Having been a dog lover her entire life, Libby was surprised to discover the state had recognized a dog for a state symbol. Using her research skills pruned by 16 years of helping high school students with research papers, Libby set out to learn more about our state breed. The Plott breed, originally developed by Henry Plott, is known for its stamina and tenacity in tracking big game, especially bear. One of the few dogs native to America, it is the only breed developed in our state. Many of the Plott family descendants still live today in Waynesville. Even though the Plott hound’s official recognition was signed into law by Governor James Martin over 20 years ago (August 12, 1989), few residents in our state are aware of this www.aawmag.com
Heels in more than 20 North Carolina counties, ranging from the mountains to the coast. Performances at places like Blowing Rock Elementary School, in addition to The North Carolina Museum of History, the Mountain Gateway Museum, children’s museums in Greensboro and WinstonSalem, public and school libraries, myriad bookstores and conferences have kept them busy traveling North Carolina. With primary-source memorabilia shared with her by Plott supporters around the United States, the presentation is a “howling” good time. When asked about retirement, Libby now answers, “When Lucky lets me know the ‘track is cold,’ we’ll stop.” To learn more about the Plott breed, purchase books, or schedule a presentation, visit the e-mail link at www. luckysplott.com.
particular state symbol. Libby and Lucky have made it their mission to teach people across our Tar Heel state, especially fourth- and eighth-grade students and their teachers, about this big game hunting hound and how it was used by pioneers in settling our state. Relying upon her business and media skills acquired by her years in education plus masters in both fields from Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Bagby has written two books, designed a presentation, and created a Web site. Her first book, Lucky’s Plott, A Plott Hound Tale, shares the heart-warming rescue of her Plott Lucky and teaches Plott hound characteristics. The audio CD that accompanies Lucky’s book, read by storyteller Mike Lowe from Mt. Airy, is filled with barking hounds and nature’s sounds. Her newest book, Tracking Plott Hound History, North Carolina’s State Dog, is a chronological compilation on the history of the Plott family and breed. Filled with historical pictures and documents, it explains how and why the Plott hound was selected over other breeds as the state dog. Her presentation, “Staying on Track with Lucky’s Plott,” has entertained and educated over 3,500 Tar www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 19
All About Crafts WRITTEN BY NANCY MORRISON
An Angel to Watch Over Your Home
Topping your tree or as a centerpiece, this benevolent holiday angel with bring you good cheer! Materials Needed: 2 cloth napkins
of white glue, so use items you can peel off after the glue has dried.)
Saturate the doily with fabric stiffener and gather it in the middle
A crocheted doily (heart-shaped or rectangular)
to shape both sides in the shape of wings. Tie a ribbon bow around the
Silver chenille pipe cleaner
gathered area so it will stay together and lay it flat to dry. See figure C.
When all is dry (probably overnight), the real fun begins. The bottom
part of the angel should stand by itself. Put some white glue around the
Tacky glue or a low temp glue gun
upper outside part and slip the napkin with the head and the sleeves
3 inch Styrofoam ball
over it. Press down securely so the glue will hold the two parts together.
Package of doll hair
The wings (the doily) can be affixed to the back of your angel with tacky glue or a low temperature glue gun. (The glue gun is a lot quicker!) Doll hair can be tricky. The best way seems to be to cover the area
Two cloth tea towels with decoration on one end from Michael’s were
used for this angel, but many other napkins can be used. Completely
for hair with white glue. Then press a handful of doll hair to the head.
saturate both napkins in fabric stiffener. Drape the one to be used for
You will just have to push and pull it until you have the amount and look
the skirt over a mason jar or any other jar that will allow the ends to
you want. (You can always add small curls to bare spots later.)
spread flat so the angel can stand. (If you use a can, cover it with plastic
wrap so it won’t rust on your fabric.) See figure A. (If you are making
eyelashes and the mouth on the face. The halo was made from a silver
your angel for a tree topper, use a tall enough jar so the ends just barely
chenille pipe cleaner.
touch and don’t spread them flat because your angel won’t need to
were used here with a lot of pearlescent glitter, but you can add anything
Center the Styrofoam ball in the center of the second napkin,
smoothing an area on one side for the face, and securing at the “neck”
With permanent markers (Sharpies were used here), draw the
Use your imagination on the decoration. A bow and a silk flower
you choose. Glue-on jewels would be beautiful or a small bouquet of silk flowers.
with a rubber band. Then drape over another jar so the ends don’t touch the surface. Shape the sides so they flare in the shape of sleeves and
May our holiday angel bring you a very happy holiday season!
stuff with wax paper. See figure B. (Remember, fabric stiffener is a form 20 DECEMBER 2009
Healthy Lady WRITTEN BY BONNIE CHURCH, CNC, WELLNESS COACH
Peace of Mind, Good Health to All This is the season of peace and joy – right? The reality is this: The stretch
Sometimes the best antidote for loneliness is volunteering to help those
between Thanksgiving and New Year is the most nerve-jangling time of
in need. It also is a great way to make new friends.
year. According to the World Health Organization, stress is America’s #1 health problem. It triggers all kinds of potentially deadly complications:
TRIGGER: Financial burdens
heart attacks, psoriasis, shingles, digestive disorders, immune
ACTION STEPS: Remember - many are scaling back on gift-giving
impairment, flare-ups of auto-immune disorders, inflammation and
this year. Suggest that the office staff or family members draw names.
pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia. This is not exactly the list you
Establish a spending limit for gift-giving.
want to give to Santa.
Be of good cheer! The tidings of gladness and joy are this: You
TRIGGER: Unhealthy diet/lifestyle
do not have to be a hapless victim of stress. Stress can be managed and
ACTION STEPS: Expect the exceptional holiday occasion where you
serenity cultivated. The first step in stress management is to identify the
will burn the candle at both ends and eat sugary, fat food. This is not a
triggers and develop an action plan that addresses each one.
problem, as long as it is the exception. For the most part, it is important for you to maintain healthy habits during the holidays.
TRIGGER: Holiday expectations ACTION STEPS: Be realistic. Don’t expect perfection through the
• Get adequate sleep: Get to bed before midnight and sleep at least
holidays. Eliminate the unnecessary “to dos” from your growing list. If
6 hours. It will restore and recalibrate your body after a long day.
your ‘’to do” must be done, consider delegating it or doing it after the
• Get adequate exercise: 30 minutes of daily walking can significantly
neutralize stress hormones. • Drink plenty of pure water. It takes 2 quarts a day just to replace
TRIGGER: Hosting events/parties
the water that you sweat and breathe.
ACTION STEPS: Plan ahead! If you can afford it – hire help. If not, spread
• Limit anti-nutrients: coffee, alcohol, tobacco, white flour, sugar and
the responsibility by hosting potluck. Instead of complicating things
with a full bar, offer one specialty drink per guest. Simplify the invitations
• Take your daily multivitamin and omega 3s. (Always check with
process by using an online invite service like - www.evite.com
your health professional for guidance on the best choices for you.) • Omega 3 from fish oils triggers the secretion of Prostaglandin, a
TRIGGER: Traffic jams and crowded stores
hormone-like substance that regulates the functioning of our immune
ACTION STEPS: Do your shopping early. Avoid long lines by shopping
system and fights stress. The EPA and DHA fats present in Omega
on the Internet or during less congested hours. Instead of wringing your
3 maintain healthy levels of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for
hands over the perfect gift, buy a gift certificate.
controlling emotional responses and creating a sense of well-being. • Vitamin B Complex is perhaps the most important of the anxiety/
TRIGGER: Challenging relationships
stress relief vitamins. Niacin (B3) facilitates the creation of Serotonin
ACTION STEPS: While most of us love our families and look forward to
- a neurotransmitter that promotes a stable and balanced mind.
seeing them, family gatherings can bring up issues that cause stress.
Pantothenic acid helps maintain the adrenal glands, which in turn are
Sometimes the best option is to avoid difficult people whenever
responsible for the creation and maintenance of stress hormones.
possible. If you can’t avoid them, refuse to engage in invalidating,
• Take serenity breaks: Listen to music, pray and meditate, walk the
ACTION STEPS: Holidays can be tough when you can’t be with your
important act of all – giving the gift of YOU to your family and loved
loved ones. Remember – you are not alone. Make an effort to attend
church events or office parties. Invite friends out for dinner or a movie.
Managing stress will allow you to fully participate in the most
DECEMBER 2009 21
Main Street Gallery 961 Main Street Blowing Rock, NC 295-7839
Cornett Deal Christmas Tree Farm Choose & Cut Since 1993
Shoppes at Farmers Hardware 661 West King Street Boone, NC 264-8801
turtle old man sterling & fine silver jewelry
Huge selection of unique holiday gift ideas. Life's too short for ordinary jewelry!
Perfect for out of town guests visiting for the holidays, skiers, or just a relaxing weekend away from it all.
Call for reservations
For more infomation please contact Diane Cornett Deal
Give the Creative gift of Art! Classes! Starter Kits! Gift Certificates! Art is a gift that last a lifetime!
Adult Classes Year Round Classes for Children and Teens, too Call for More Information
Life Drawing Sessions
188 Boone Heights Dr. · Boone, NC 28607
22 DECEMBER 2009
Seniors Only Financial Blowing Rock’s long standing premier retirement and financial planning consultant, is excited to announce the addition of:
Silver Oak Solutions as a venue to offer planning expertise specifically for women age 44 years and over.
Silver Oak Solutions’ Paulette Edwards, based in Asheville, NC, will be assisted by Patty Burke. Co-owner of Seniors Only Financial of Blowing Rock, in presenting the
Women, Wisdom and Wealth, Why Not? Seminar at locations throughout western North Carolina.
For information or a free personal consultation, please call 828.294.4344 or toll free 866.505.3435. www.aawmag.com
All About Authors INTERVIEWED BY MAGGIE BISHOP
Peggy Poe Stern “Home is where the heart is, and my heart has always been in the rugged, beautiful mountains of North Carolina where I was born and raised. No truer words were ever spoken than those spoken by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. There truly is no place like home.” – Peggy Stern Tell us about your latest book.
Peggy Poe Stern serves, in many ways, as a voice for mountain women, with
Running Wild, a sequel to Wild Thing, was released the middle of September, 2009. Running Wild is the story of a young girl who was born and raised in the wild.
her uncanny ability to tell those difficult
Since you have the amazing ability to work on numerous pieces at one time, tell us a little about the novels you are currently writing. I have fifteen books in print with seven novels and one non-fiction book in the making. I hope to have three finished by spring. One novel is the third book in the series Heaven High and Hell Deep, Laine’s Beech Mountain story. The second novel I am working on came about because of my fascination with the lifelong research done by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a professor at Charlottesville, VA. He wrote two volumes of research on reincarnation. Therefore my novel titled Dream Lover came about. The title sounds like a romance (to me, life is a continuous romance!), but the novel goes far deeper. It is about a young woman who was reincarnated, while her previous husband was not. Unfortunately, the dead husband’s spirit cannot let go of her. The third book is a tag-tale of my fascination about the question of ghosts or spirits. It is about true ghost stories and haunted places in Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey counties.
make it to print.
Why did you write your non-fiction books? The two small non-fiction books are information books. Mountain Talk contains words and language used by my relatives when I was a child. I’m am still drawn in by the wonderful dialect and find myself using their words with delight. Not only did “the old-folks back home” give me a treasure, they gave me my heritage. To Everything There Is A Season can also be traced back to my mountain roots. Folks always relied on the moon and zodiac signs as a guide to the best time to begin a task. Not only does it contain the signs, it has good and handy advice on many levels of everyday life. www.aawmag.com
stories that are talked about but rarely
When and how did your kin end up in the North Carolina mountains? Most of my kin go back further than documentation, although many of my relatives have researched our genealogy. There is the ever-present mixture of Scottish, Irish, German – plus. On both parent’s sides are Cherokee Indian. My great-grandmother was a full-blood Cherokee. She ran away from her people and married a German (who, I was told, came over on a boat). Her people captured her back and forced her to walk on fire-coals to damage her feet until she could not run away again. I am searching for information on how her husband got her back. My grandmother told stories of how she could get around in the house, but could not walk outside with ease. Where can we purchase your books? I have books in only a few stores. I prefer direct mail order as it allows me to know my readers personally and what they love to read. (Call 828-963-5331 to order books or a free excerpt of the first book with a catalog of all fifteen books.) Stores that have my books can be found on my Web site: http:// www.peggypoestern.tripod.com/ Maggie Bishop is one of “100 Incredible East Carolina University Women,” author of Mystery and Romance in Appalachian Adventure series. DECEMBER 2009 23
A Tree Grower’s Right-hand Woman WRITTEN BY SHERRIE NORRIS
t’s Christmas time and the perfect time to visit with Susanne Winebarger who has represented local agriculture and supported the area’s Christmas
tree industry and its growers for nearly two decades.
As executive assistant at the Watauga
County Cooperative Extension office in Boone, Susanne has a vast knowledge of agriculture and has become a reliable resource for farmers and the community as a whole.
A Watauga County native with great
pride in her family heritage, Susanne credits her parents, John and Susie Winebarger, for serving as positive role models.
“As an only child, I was fortunate
enough to have lots of cousins and friends to grow up with. When I was young, I thought I wanted a brother or sister until a school friend told me that I was very lucky not to have a brother or sister to steal my toys, wear my clothes and eat all the food!”
Growing up on a small farm in Zionville
helped pave the way for her future aspirations. “My parents always had a garden. My father grew tobacco, kept several head of cattle, and put up hay every summer.” Susanne says she always enjoyed the fun chores “like driving the truck while my dad loaded hay in the hayfield and mowing the yard with the riding mower. But I would gladly volunteer to stay in and wash the supper dishes instead of hoeing in the garden!”
She had the typical country upbringing,
she says, “making mud pies and catching lightning bugs after dark.”
Photo by Mark Mitchell. 24 DECEMBER 2009
Susanne attended Mabel Elementary
School, graduated from Watauga High
School and later from King’s College in
she attends the Board of Directors’ meetings
According to Meghan Baker, Extension
and performs various secretarial duties and
Agent (Agriculture Christmas Trees and
“I came home just before graduation
helps with the development and marketing
Commercial Horticulture) at the Extension
from King’s to interview for a secretarial
of brochures. She volunteers for extra
office in Boone, “Susanne is literally the glue
position with Cooperative Extension. The
responsibility without hesitation and goes
that keeps everything together here at the
day I graduated from King’s, Gene Brewer
above and beyond the call of duty. I do not
office. I don’t know how we would survive
called to offer me the job.” She moved back
hesitate to contact her for help, knowing
without her! She is always so professional
home and started work on July 1, 1991 and
that she will do everything possible to assist
in dealing with the public and provides the
the good news is – she’s still there!
me and always with a great attitude.”
agents with technical support that we could
Susanne started out working with
4-H and Home Economics, currently known
Sciences. She was named administrative secretary in 1997 and began working with administration, agriculture, and community and rural development.
“I have worked with several great
people through the years and currently with a really good staff. Everyone works hard and is very dedicated to the mission of Cooperative Extension.”
Susanne emphasizes her long-time
enjoyment of working with farmers – “Maybe because my family was so involved in farming when I was growing up.”
No one knows much better than she
that agriculture in Watauga County has changed a lot over the years. “Tobacco
not function without. Susanne is an
When Susanne is mentioned, I think of many nice things about her,” says Ewing Harmon, past president of the WCCTA. “She is so personable and always has a smile. Susanne is positive and energetic – a valuable asset to Watauga County tree growers.
exceptional administrative assistant, but she really shines as a caring, patient and thoughtful individual.
irreplaceable, both as a coworker and fellow human being!”
such as wine grapes and Christmas
Among the numerous awards and
accolades Susanne has received through the years are Appreciation Awards from the WCCTA and Watauga County Beekeepers’ Association, both district and state awards of Excellence for Special Leadership Skills in the Watauga County Extension Center, Customer Service Champion of the Year (Boone Chamber of Commerce), and Secretary
farmers are transitioning to other crops,
of the Year” (district secretaries).
When she’s not on the job, she
stays busy with cross-stitch, cooking, photography, bicycling, and hiking.
“I’ve had a very blessed life this far.
Family, friends, a wonderful boyfriend,
trees. The problem is that land development
Susanne has also been a valuable member
and my faith in God are what keep me going.
is much more profitable than agriculture. It’s
of the Farm-City committee, working hard
I have attended Mabel United Methodist
hard to watch as land development takes
behind the scenes to keep such an important
Church all my life. I sing in the choir and
over our beautiful mountain scenery and
have served as church treasurer for ten
“The Farm-City Banquet is usually our
Susanne works especially close with the
biggest event of the year,” she says. “This
members of the Watauga County Christmas
year was our 54th and continues to be a
she admits. “I’m fortunate that most of my
Tree Association (WCCTA) and has been an
special time for individuals and organizations
immediate and extended family live close
active and valuable member of both district
to be recognized for their service to Watauga
by. I always look forward to our Christmas
and state levels of the NC Cooperative
County. It’s also a great opportunity for
gatherings. One year, my cousin brought
Extension Secretaries’ Association. She
people from all walks of life to get together
a friend who was visiting from California.
served as president of the district association
He said it was like a scene from “The
for two years.
committee’s decision to hold this year’s event
“When Susanne is mentioned, I think
on a farm in August as a nice change.
of many nice things about her,” says Ewing
Harmon, past president of the WCCTA.
Most people who attended commented that
“She is so personable and always has a smile.
it was a nice change.”
Susanne is positive and energetic – a valuable
asset to Watauga County tree growers. She
advisory board member for the State
is involved at many different levels with the
Employees’ Credit Union, Boone-Blowing
Choose and Cut and Wholesale committees;
Rock Road location.
Family is very important to Susanne,
“It had the feel of a mini county fair.
Susanne also currently serves as an
DECEMBER 2009 25
Because all eleven of the Peace Rose Sisters believe that peace begins
at home, members of this newly-formed women’s group has chosen
Women’s Fund, Ceramic Designs—Bill Marr, Forget Me Nots
Participating sponsors are: AdLib Casual Clothing, Appalachian
OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter), Inc.
Landscaping & Stonescaping, Glenn Ellen Starr Stilling, Janet Norris,
as the recipient of its outreach and fundraising efforts.
CPA, Maggie Sparks, MD—Dermatology, Patti Turner, broker/
Some of the Peace Rose Sisters are former Cabbage Queens,
realtor with Weichert Realtors Weber-Hodges Group, The Peace
the group that for the past ten years has sponsored the December
Rose Sisters, South’s at Boone Mall, and Wellspring Chiropractic
“Wanda Ball” and other events to help raise funds and awareness for
and Acupuncture Center.
OASIS, seeking to break the cycle of violence.
Calendars are $15 each and are available for purchase online
Over the past ten years, the event has raised $30,000 that has
through the OASIS Web site (www.oasisinc.org) or at the following
gone toward providing services for survivors of domestic violence
locations: Appalachian-New River Veterinary Associates, P.A.,
and sexual assault. Now that the Cabbage Queens have officially
Bare Essentials Natural Market, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, Headliners
disbanded, the group has taken on some different projects (i.e.
Barber, Neighborhood Yoga, Outersanctum Salon, South’s Specialty
partnering to bring domestic violence survivor and artist, Michelle
Clothiers, Stick Boy Bread Company, The Sanctuary: A Day Spa,
Major, for the October Boone Art Crawl), but still remains committed
Watauga Women’s Center, and Wellspring Chiropractic Clinic.
to working to end the cycle of violence in our community.
Thanks to this group, High Country residents can soon be
reminder of just how beautiful it can be to work toward making our
“Celebrating Women” with the purchase of a 2010 calendar
community safer, more peaceful, more just, and a better place for
featuring frameable art by High Country artists. Each month has
been sponsored by a local business, organization, or individual so that
every penny of every purchase goes directly to OASIS, Inc., to help
hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday) or after hours by
provide for shelter, food, clothing, essentials for clients’ children, and
calling the Crisis Line number, 262-5035 (outside Watauga County,
many other needs for those fleeing violent relationships.
26 DECEMBER 2009
Besides being lovely, the “Celebrating Women” calendar is a
Contact OASIS either by calling (828) 264-1532 during office
Your Home WRITTEN BY CORRINNE LOUCKS ASSAD
Home for the Holidays
hile it is easy to get caught amidst the hubbub of holiday trimmings, buffets and bows, it is boggling to reflect on how far we’ve come from the origin of Christmas. Christmas traditions range from very similar to ours here in America, to other strange transformations from their origins. Let’s take a look at some of the Christmas traditions and their origins from around the world; The United States and Canada share many traditions because of their proximity and historical similarities. Santa brings the presents over Christmas Eve and the children open on Christmas morning. Christmas trees decorate the home along with wreaths, mistletoe and berries. Christmas in Scotland is not all that different. Children anticipate Santa’s coming down the lum (chimney) and bringing presents and sweets. Adults spend the day with family and friends eating turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Traditions differ a little in European countries. In Belgium, St Nicholas visits twice: once on December 4 when he checks in on the behavior of the children, and again on December 6 when the children receive their due – either presents or switches left in the shoes or small baskets left inside the doorways. Rather than cookies and milk, children leave hay, water and carrots for the horse or donkey that St. Nick rides on. Julemanden arrives in Denmark via a reindeer-drawn sleigh with a sack on his back and those familiar elf helpers. The elves live in barns and children leave them saucers of milk or rice pudding. The family feast consists of fruit stuffed roasted goose, red cabbage, apple cake with whipped cream and rice pudding. Father Christmas brings the gifts to England. He wears long robes beneath his long flowing white hair. Children write him letters and throw them into the fireplace, where the ashes go up the chimney and wishes are granted. Stockings are hung on the mantle or at the foot of the bed to receive small gifts and presents are opened on Christmas morning. Many of the English traditions traveled to the United States, but some differ such as mass in old cathedrals, wassailing, Yule logs and Boxing Day. La Pere Noel, as well as the Christ Child, bring presents in France on New Year’s day – La Jour de www.aawmag.com
l’an. The Christ child also brings the presents in Germany, though he is often believed to be accompanied by one of several fairy tale-like companions. Germans also believe in Santa. On December 5th, they put their cleaned, biggest pair of boots outside the door for either presents or a switch. Cookies are cut into Christmas shapes and this is the home of the gingerbread man. Bread is left out for the white horse of Santa. The Christmas tree decorating custom is said to have originated here as was toy making of wooden characters such as the nutcrackers. In Italy, children anxiously await January 6th. Italian children receive presents brought by “Befana,” a good old witch who comes in through the chimney. Good children will receive presents while the bad will find coal in their stockings. St. Lucia Day is celebrated on December 13 in Sweden. In a carriage pulled by a white horse, Saint Lucia is followed by Santa Claus on a big white horse and boys and girls in white gowns carrying candles. To celebrate, they sing songs and eat gingerbread. In Iraq, Christian families hold lighted candles and read the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve. Afterward, everyone sings around a bonfire of thorn bushes. If the fire burns to ashes, there is believed to be good luck for the coming year. On Christmas Day, the bishop leads a service around a second bonfire. He blesses the first person with a “touch,” which is then passed from one to the next until each person has felt the “touch of peace.” And in Iran (formerly Persia), where the three wise men were said to have lived when baby Jesus was born, Christians fast from animal products from December 125, when they enjoy Christmas dinner dressed in new clothes. China, though not primarily a Christian country, lights homes with paper lanterns and a decorated tree. Chinese children hang their muslin stockings and await presents from Dun Che Lao Ren or “Christmas Old Man.” Of course, many other countries enjoy Christmas and it is interesting to learn how it is celebrated around the world. Check the following Web sites for more information on Christmas around the globe: Santas.net, TheHolidaySpot.com, The-North-Pole.com, Christmas.com. DECEMBER 2009 27
Steve Willingham WRITTEN BY VICKI RANDOLPH
Stephen Willingham’s paintings are great places to visit. His landscapes are so inviting, a person feels as if they could step inside to explore a winding road through an autumn countryside, snowshoe across a snowy forest, or canoe on the calm, blue New River. His paintings are easy to get lost in. The Willingham Studio & Gallery and surrounding farm are just as inviting, but in a more tangible way. Real visitors to a real landscape will be as thrilled as those who travel to imaginary places in his paintings. The lodge studio he designed is no less a 28 DECEMBER 2009
piece of art. Locust logs, poplar bark siding, and an amazing original chandelier made of sticks, ropes and a pulley system highlight the cathedral ceiling. His woodworking and furniture are also original. Wood sculpture lamps, barn quilt squares, porch swings and a roll-top desk all complement his artwork on the walls. And the windows of his studio, overlooking The Peak, lend a spectacular mountain view so unique to the High Country. It’s no wonder he has such inspiration! The entire 43-acre farm is a
canvas, which Stephen and his wife Lisa have been working on since the day they bought it. Stephen not only is an artist working in oil on linen or wood in the studio, he is an artist with the land. He possesses the ability to make his vision happen. The rundown farm that fell into place for them is a dream come true. And it’s a dream that Stephen and Lisa continue to cultivate. Through hard work and perseverance, they’ve earned this dream-turned-reality. Although the Willinghams are into their fourth decade of living in Ashe www.aawmag.com
County, they are new to this particular work of art. They were married about a week after they met thirty-two years ago, and made a home for themselves in the High Country just days later. They’ve been a part of the community ever since, with Lisa teaching school and loving it and Stephen doing some of everything. They live a great partnership, and this new venture is a tribute to what a great team they make. Clearing pastures for animals, building roads and walls that look as if they were born there, manipulating rocks and waterfalls, restoring the barn, renovating the cabin, and building their gallery/home have kept them busy. And they are a team through it all – Stephen credits Lisa with being right there every step of the way with him. She is full of praise for her teammate, too. “He’s always been way above average when it comes to creativity! He works hard at everything he does,” she says proudly. “Steve never ceases to amaze me. He always has a whole lot of things happening, and he never does the same thing twice.” Stephen Willingham is a true modern day Renaissance man, always discovering new talents, and bringing to fruition the things he envisions around him. His wife may be biased, but many others would agree with her when she says, “He’s the most amazing person I know.”
Stephen’s Lodge Gallery in the shadow of The Peak
He Does Not Want A Sweater This Christmas!
828-297-2117 4806 Hwy 421 N. Vilas, NC 28692 www.aawmag.com
MAKE YOUR MAN HAPPY Shop at Adam’s.
Big Enough To Serve You, Small Enough To Care DECEMBER 2009 29
Looking back at
All About Beauty by Kelly
“Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine” Nutrition and the health of our skin are inseparable. We need to take this nutritional information into consideration as we confront the holiday temptations that are sure to grab our attention. While poor nutrition can accelerate skin degeneration, the good news is that a helpful diet complete with optimal nutrition helps to forestall, prevent, and even reverse skin conditions. If you add a nutrition plan to your skin care regimen, you can literally eat your way to healthier skin. • Nutritionists do commonly advise people to eat a rainbow of colors, meaning a variety of fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better because often times, the richer the color of vegetables and fruits, the richer the antioxidant value. • Fruits and vegetables should form the base of our healthy diet. These should be eaten more than any other group – three or more servings a day of fruits and five or more servings of vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, such as polyphenol, which are the healing antioxidants that the body and skin need. • Whole grains are a source of carbohydrates and should make up the next level of our diet. Your diet should include up to 4 - 8 servings of whole grains daily. Try to avoid refined grains and carbohydrates, as these are not nearly as nutritionally complete as your whole grains.
• Proteins are an important part of our dietary needs, 4-6 servings of lean protein is recommended daily, which should include fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), white-meat chicken, eggs, soy foods, fat-free and low-fat dairy products and beans. Closely monitor and try to avoid high saturated-fat meat products and whole-fat dairy foods. Proteins should provide most of the body’s amino acids, which give the body the raw materials it needs to build collagen and elastin fibers, two key players in keeping the dermis and blood vessels firm, strong, and smooth.
• Healthy fats are very important, but should be limited to just 3 - 4 servings a day. The fats we need to consume are those that are unsaturated, such as Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, which are found in flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, natural-style nut butters, cold water fish and nuts. • Certain skin concerns such as acne, menopausal skin, and stressed skin, may require special attention to our diets. For example, for acne-prone skin, vitamin A helps normalize the production of excess skin cells that clog pores. Menopausal skin needs melatonin, which in addition to regulating sleep, is a powerful antioxidant, aiding in the protection of mitochondrial DNA. Stressed skin is assisted by B-vitamins and Glucosamine, which are essential for tissue repair and healing.
The top level of our nutritional pyramid should always be comprised of plenty of water to replenish and refresh the skin. Again, as we are confronted with these holiday temptations, we should keep in mind what we are consuming and its ultimate impact on our body and skin. In the words of Hippocrates “Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine” 32 DECEMBER 2009
Kelly Penick Lavender Fields Day Spa 820-C State Farm Road Boone, NC 28607 828-773-3587
Planning the Perfect Holiday Party
Every hostess needs to make good use of her time as she plans the perfect holiday party. Try these simple tips to make your special event one that you will enjoy as much as do your guests:
Choose menu early. Decide if you want a sit-down or buffetstyle meal. Think about every course – from hors d’oeuvres, to appetizers, salads/dressings, breads, entrees, vegetables, desserts and beverages.
2 3 4 5 6
Invite guests to take part in a community activity that keeps on giving long after the party is over. Ask them to bring canned goods to be delivered later to the local food pantry, etc.
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Keep utensils, plates, cups and napkins readily available anywhere there is food and/or drink. For a festive touch, tie silverware and napkins together with colorful ribbons or a candy cane. Decorate tables with holiday ornaments and candles. At the office, be sensitive to different religious cultures. Try to make provisions for parking in advance. If guests will be allowed to park in the yard, let them know in your invitation. Ask your neighbors about parking options or warn them that guests will be parking on the street. Consider removing chairs from the party area to create more room for people to mingle. A scented candle in the bathroom is a nice touch. Leave an extra roll of toilet tissue in easy view. Keep spot remover on hand so an accident or spill doesn’t ruin the party. You may want to remove extremely valuable items and/or furnishings from the party area, especially that rare Persian rug. Above all, allow yourself – as hostess – adequate rest time and opportunity to dress. Take a deep breath before your guests begin to arrive, put on your best smile and have a ball!
Make a list of what must be done before and after the party, (prep, clean-up, etc.). A centerpiece doesn’t have to be showy to be sensational. Keep in mind that the best centerpieces blossom above or spread out below the line of vision, enabling guests to make eye contact. For parties at home, place cloves, cinnamon and orange peels on a baking sheet in the oven. Set on a low temperature for an hour; the aroma will prove to be a warm welcome to your guests and will remain in the air for hours. Line the driveway with luminarias and decorate your front lawn and house to set a celebratory mood.
DECEMBER 2009 33
Giving the Gift of Yourself W R I T T E N B Y J U N E W. B A R E
“You are so creative; I don’t have any talents!” Have you ever said that to your craft-making friend? Have you lamented the fact that you are not artistic? There is no need to bewail your lack, because we are all gifted in different ways. Talents are given with the means to accomplish them. They are given, as well, in the measure that is suitable for each person’s specific space on the planet. To be creative is to use ingenuity, originality, and specific abilities. With the focus on the winter holiday season, it is time to get the gifts going. No, not wrapping up packages to place under the tree, but it’s time to search for and express that particular creative inner person specific to you. Answers.com defines creativity as “the ability to think up and design new inventions, produce works of art, solve problems in new ways, or develop an idea based on an original, novel, or unconventional approach.” This definition broadens the idea from the select few who can make beautiful homemade gifts, decorate on a shoestring, or write the perfect holiday greeting card, into the realm of particular giftedness. Creativity has nothing to do with intelligence, although intelligent people are more often apt to zero in on their personal creativity. Heredity is not a factor that cultivates our talents. It is a result of environment. Has a parent or a teacher encouraged you to think of things in a way that is not typical or come up with new or unusual ideas or think outside the box? Perhaps you have been discouraged from developing your creative genius because you have been told: • Forget about singing, because you sound like a cow mooing. • You will never be a good artist because the picture you drew in third grade had the house on the hill leaning at the same angle as the hill. • You’ll never be a good cook because you colored the yolks of your deviled eggs with food coloring when you were a teenager. • You won’t be a good writer because your first attempt was all dialogue – at age eight.
Following a coronary event, patients tend to lose their selfesteem. They are encouraged to name something they know they are good at doing. One gentleman was particularly depressed, because in addition to his bad heart, he was unable to read or write. He needed to find his particular niche to motivate himself to get on with his life. With a bit of probing, he revealed that he was an avid hunter and could make his own turkey box-calls. With a little encouragement he was able to capitalize on this gift, making them for other hunters until he was able to return to the field and hunt again. Everyone has a gift. To find your gift: • Consider what you like to do. • Ask yourself what you can do better than your friends/family. • Think of ways you can do this to make the holiday season enjoyable for someone else. • If there is something you would like to learn to do, find someone who knows how to show you. We are, according to motivational speaker and minister Tom 1 Brown “Equal but different.” He goes on to say, “Everyone has something to offer. No one is useless!” What gifts can you offer this coming holiday season? Shake your brain up a bit and see how you can give yourself as a gift. 1 “How to Make the Most of Your Life”; Tom Brown, www.tbm.org
Singing, painting, cooking, or writing may not be yours, but there is always something that you are good at doing. You are special with special abilities unique to you. 34 DECEMBER 2009
Celebrated annually, Kwanzaa is a popular
The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
African-American holiday, meaning â€œfirst
fruits of the harvest.â€? A festival of the
the seven principles of Kwanzaa, which are
with parties, music, singing and dancing.
African heritage, history, community and
the fundamentals that African-Americans
rituals, it was established in 1966 by Dr.
wish to live by. These seven principles are:
homemade gifts, and reaffirm their beliefs
Maulana Karenga, a black cultural leader, in
unity, self-determination, collective work
in how they should live the upcoming new
and responsibility, cooperative economics,
purpose, creativity and faith.
From December 26 to January 1,
Each of the seven days represents one of
It is traditional to celebrate this holiday and
Many families adorn their homes for
Kwanzaa is celebrated with family and
The colors that represent Kwanzaa
Kwanza with decorations symbolic of the
friends, however, it is not a ritual intended
are black, red and green. In a traditional
holiday. Decorations include African items,
to replace Christmas. It is not a religious
ceremony each day, a candle is lit to
ears of corn, straw placemats, banners, and
holiday, but a spiritual observance to rejoice
symbolize one of the seven principles. The
decorative candleholders. Centerpieces are
in the African culture and meaning. This
participants then discuss the meaning each
often made, representing the fruits of the
holiday is so widely accepted that people of
candle signifies. By the seventh day, all
many races will join in and celebrate with
candles will be burning and a large feast is
their African friends.
enjoyed by all.
DECEMBER 2009 35
Take a walk down memory lane and see how many of these Christmas trivia questions you can answer correctly. See page #53 for answers. 1. In “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” what biological shortcoming made the Grinch so mean?
6. What was the first gift my true love sent on the sixth day of Christmas?
2. What is the biggest selling Christmas single of all time? 7. In what city did “Miracle on 34th Street” take place? 3. Where was I when I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus? 4. Name the three reindeer whose names begin with a “D”?
8. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” how did Clarence cleverly save George’s life?
5. In the song “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer,” what did Grandma go to get?
9. What is the name of the little girl in most versions of “The Nutcracker?” 10. What did the traffic cop holler to Frosty? 11. What holiday drink contains sugar, milk, and eggs? 12. What were Frosty’s last words? 13. What is Charlie Brown’s complaint about Christmas? 14. On what street did a Santa Claus miracle occur? 15. Counting Rudolph, how many reindeer are there? 16. What song was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh”? 17. What song contains the line “Although, it’s been said, many times, many ways”? 18. What does the nutcracker become after killing the Mouse King? 19. What two words are normally pre-printed on gift tags? 20. On every street corner you hear what song? 21. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” how many cents does Lucy charge for her psychiatric services? 22. In “Winter Wonderland,” the lovestruck couple pretends a snowman is who? 23. In “It’s A Wonderful Life,” what did George dream of becoming? 24. What is the name of the most famous Christmas ballet? 25. Who wrote A Christmas Carol?
36 DECEMBER 2009
Young at Heart W R I T T E N B Y H E AT H E R Y O U N G
A Christmas Story: Silly Movie or Guide to Life
Earlier this week I had to make an emergency trip to the eye doctor to have what the doctor referred to as “a large foreign body” removed from my left eye. After feeling something unidentifiable moving around in my eye for several hours, I broke down and called for an appointment. The intruder turned out to be lint and no harm was done. Although the entire experience was one I hope never to repeat, it did remind me of my favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story, with its quintessential quote, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Ah, A Christmas Story is perhaps the best holiday movie of all time. This 1983 classic tells the story of the Parker family, specifically nineyear-old Ralphie, who narrates his quest to convince his parents to get him a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. If you have never seen this movie (and how could you miss it when it is shown on a continuous loop at least once every holiday season!), you must watch it with your family immediately. The tale is sure to delight young and old, male and female, with its humorous reflections on suburban life during the 1940s, dysfunctional families, and a child’s single-minded determination to attain that season’s “it” toy. I have watched this movie more times than I can recall as it is one of those cinematic gems that never gets old. Before you dismiss it as a silly little film, I suggest you watch it again taking note of many important lessons therein.
When things do not go as planned, order Chinese take-out! Ralphie’s father loves turkey, but when the neighbor’s dogs get into the Parkers’ kitchen and devour their holiday meal, he takes the family out for Chinese. This scene always makes me laugh but it also taught me to roll with the punches, be prepared for the unexpected and keep Hunan’s number on speed dial. As the holiday season approaches, I am looking forward to finding A Christmas Story as I flip through the channels. I hope you, too, will pause and watch and discover your own favorite scenes. Maybe you will relate to Mr. Parker’s epic battle with the furnace or Ralphie’s first experience having his mouth washed out with soap. Or, perhaps you also longed for a longed for a toy only to be dismissed with a resounding, “You’ll shoot your eye out! No matter what you take from the film, I guarantee that you will find reasons to watch it again and again.
Walking away from a “triple dog dare” may hurt your ego, but will not result in stitches! Ralphie’s friend Schwartz issues the dreaded “triple dog dare” to Flick, another in their circle of friends, after the boys discuss whether one’s tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole. Flick takes the dare and his tongue does stick, resulting in an embarrassing rescue by the fire department and a tongue covered in bandages. It can be difficult to stand up to friends when a challenge has been made, but if said challenge is likely to end in a visit to the emergency room, a bit of teasing is preferable to medical treatment. Every family has an Aunt Clara! On Christmas morning, Ralphie has to suffer the humiliation of opening and subsequently modeling Aunt Clara’s gift, a hand-sewn pink bunny costume. Ralphie suggests that Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that he was not only perpetually four years old, but also a girl. We have all had an “Aunt Clara” in our lives, someone whose heart is in the right place, but who has no idea what age, gender or size you are much less what your interests may be. But, because I have no desire to be an “Aunt Clara,” I will be picking up a nice selection of gift cards. www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 37
Holiday Shopping Guide 116 W. King Street • Boone, NC 828.262.3525
Global Gifts Fran Boyette
Green Gifts for Everyone! Eco-Friendly • Local • Fair-Trade
703 W. King Street, Boone NC 28607
15% OFF Total Purchase 828-355-9755
ANTIQUES ON HOWARD
199 Howard Street • Boone, NC 28607 (across from Boone Chamber of Commerce) 828/262-1957 Furniture, Primitives, Glassware, Jewelry, Pottery, Vintage Clothing
Mon - Sat: 10 - 6 • Sun: 1 - 5 email@example.com 38 DECEMBER 2009
Buy, Sell, Consignment Estates Purchased One Block down from King Street
Holiday Shopping Guide 10543-4 Hwy. 105 S. Banner Elk, NC 28604 828-963-6800 www.wolfcreektraders.com Open 7 Days A Week ALL Year Ask us about our layaway Monday - SATURDAY 10am - 5pm Sunday 1PM - 5pm
Rustic Home Furnishings & Decor 10% OFF with this ad (Not valid with other offers)
Check out our gift ideas, gift baskets and remember that wine makes a great gift!
...gifts and unique accessories for the home
ERICK’S CHEESE & WINE
Shoppes of Tynecastle 4501 Tynecastle Hwy Ste 5 Banner Elk, NC 28604
We have gift certificates!
Phone 828 898 8949 Fax 828 898 8950
Grandfather Center, Banner Elk • Hwy 105 Next to ABC Store
Blue Ridge Treasures Mention this ad for 15% off
Proudly family owned and operated The Village Shops • Banner Elk • 828-898-1003
Home & Garden Decor, Gifts, Toys, Novelty’s, Rustic Cedar Log Furniture . . . and so much more!
828-898-9424 • www.erickscheeseandwine.com
Casual Food & Atmosphere Explore New Possibilities Meet New Friends
Karaoke Friday Nights!
Prime Ribs Wednesdays $15.95 $2.00 Domestic Drafts Sundays
Children’s Menu • All ABC Permits Smoking & Non-smoking Available
4527 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk • 828-898-9613
Located in The Shoppes of Tynecastle at the corner of 105 & Tynecastle Highway
DECEMBER 2009 39
The Village Of
Holiday Shopping Guide GEMS BY GEMINI Specialist In Fine Jewelry Featuring Colored Gemstones
Loose Gemstone Show
Now Thru Dec 6
Now Thru Dec 31
Shop our Shows with over 500 new mountings in house to update your jewelry, set your loose gemstones, or select one of our many colored gems for your new jewelry! Offering You Quality, Value And Personal Service 1098 Main Street, Blowing Rock • The Martin House, Beside the Park 828.295.7700/www.gemsbygemini.com
We are more than a paper store... Newly Added: • Jewelry • Scarves • Purses
• Personalized Stationery • Gifts & Accessories • Wedding • Party • Shower Invitations
e s a e Pl
support our advertisers and let them know that you saw their ad in
828-295-7236 Village Shoppes on Main • Blowing Rock, NC Business Hours: Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm
Blue Ridge Needleart 133 Morris St, Ste 6 • 828-295-8007 • T-S 11-6 Sun 1-4 Handpainted and Preworked Needlepoint Canvases and Kits We have everything you need, including:
•Counted Thread and Fibers •Accessories •Sterling Silver blueridgeneedleart.com firstname.lastname@example.org 40 DECEMBER 2009
Holiday Shopping Guide
20 - 30%
Locally Owned and Operated Since 1935
PARKER TIE COMPANY BUILDING SUPPLY & HARDWARE
19 S. Third Ave. â€˘ W. Jefferson 336-246-2611 Fax: 336-246-9092 www.parkertie.doitbest.com www.aawmag.com
DECEMBER 2009 41
Heartfelt WRITTEN BY TERI WIGGANS
The Gifts That Keep on Giving It is the season for giving and receiving. How
the elated soldier and multiple hugs
many of us love to give gifts and have more
from many of the other passengers
difficulty receiving gifts? We have some crazy
who witnessed what he had done. The
idea that is planted way down deep inside
flight attendant told him she had never
of us that says we are not worthy to receive.
seen anything like it and she handed him
I have a newsflash. It is just as important to
a bottle of wine. Needless to say, Jim had
receive a gift graciously as it is to gift someone
graciously received many gifts.
else. The person giving the gift looks forward
to sharing a connection of love and, if it is not
by honoring yourself. Often we leave
accepted graciously, then the circle of giving
ourselves until the last and then we
and receiving is broken.
are too tired or too broke or still feeling
unworthy or undeserving, so we never gift
I have a way around this problem. You may
You may also give yourself a gift
begin to practice receiving a gift by giving one
As inspirational speaker Jim Bagnola
you can give yourself is to honor a passion that
states, “When we do good things to people,
Her health got her attention and she knew it
you may have placed on the back burner for
we do it to ourselves. Give yourself a gift
was important to spend more time healing.
years while you’ve been tending to everyone
today and honor someone.” In one of his
In lieu of that, it was highly recommended
else. You might choose to take art or music
that she return to her art, about which she is
presentation, he gives an example of asking
lessons, join a theater group, begin training
passionate. She is in the process of developing
an American soldier returning from Iraq if he
for a marathon or hike the Appalachian
a workshop where she shares with others how
would trade seats with him on the plane. Jim
Mountains. Take some time and look within
to turn what we would normally throw away
had a seat in first class and the soldier’s seat
your heart to find what passion you may have
into a beautiful art piece. Her eyes are bright
was in the back row of the plane. The soldier
buried. Choose to bring your passion to the
and her smile is big. Her vitality has returned.
agreed readily not knowing he was agreeing
surface and honor yourself by pursuing it. Your
She is honoring her passion, gifting herself
to trade for a first class seat. He was elated
renewed enthusiasm is quite contagious
and, in turn, sharing her passion with others
as he had never been
and can be inspirational
so they too may seek pleasure in creating
in first class. He asked
to others. Who knows, it
beautiful art work. She has increased energy
Jim why he made the
might even turn into a
for herself and her family. She has gifted
request to change seats
herself with a gift that keeps on giving.
and Jim said he wanted
I believe one of the most important gifts
I have a friend
art but placed that on the back burner.
Teri Wiggans, RN/MSN/FNP, is a health
to honor him and all the
who had been absorbed
practitioner who is following her passion at the
other soldiers who were
in tending to her family
Heartfelt Healing Center. She can be reached at
in the military in these
very difficult times. The
gotten herself into the
rut of working, grocery
Jim gladly took the
shopping, fixing dinner,
seat in the back. What he received in return
cleaning house and falling into bed tired. She
was joy from having made a connection with
had in the past appreciated being creative in
42 DECEMBER 2009
Gifts of Sewing Give a one-of-a kind gift this holiday.
yT rad . ition . . . . . . . .
Starting at $149
The bernette line has a wealth of features and functions that make it perfect for personalizing holiday gifts. With its sleek design and automatic needle threader, this sewing machine allows for ease of use and enjoyment.
Boone Location: 1586-C Hwy. 421 S. • Gateway Center • 828.264.1049 Visit Our Sister Store in Winston-Salem: 3443 Robinhood Rd. • 336.760.1121
k c i St
Nothing Sews Like A Bernina. Nothing.
345 Hardin Street in Boone
828.268.9900 • www.stickboybread.com
Café Portofino an inter national garlic house . eek W A ays ining D 7 y D rson, en Op ll Da pe A one
Larry Stout, LPN “Dedicated since 2005” Rehabilitation Services including: · Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapies · Long-Term Nursing Care · Respite & Hospice Care
www.glenbridge.org 211 Milton Brown Heirs Road · Boone, NC 28607 www.aawmag.com
s up, it i gro nt, her e t r i e e Wh ent partm an e d rve or ese rty! e r c i o t Pa off l us day cal r Holi you for
•Extensive Wine List •Specialty Appetizers •Specialty Pastas & Sandwiches •All ABC Per mits
970 Rivers Street • Boone, NC 828-264-7772 www.cafeportofino.net DECEMBER 2009 43
The Pet Page WRITTEN BY GENEVIEVE AUSTIN
Ode to Olive S
ue Byrne and her husband Jim are accustomed to living
epitome of sweet and loyal. In fact the bond
“lively” days. The parents of five children, their first three
between Sue and Olive evolved into the
came 17 months apart; five years later, two more came
nickname Darlin’ Darlin’ for Olive.
along, 14 months apart. As former innkeepers, their
grand presence paved the way for even
lives have been full, interesting, entertaining and colorful, just living
more members to the Byrne canine family.
moment to moment. Despite that nearly everyone in the family loves
Olive’s presence delighted them.
dogs, Sue decided they were too busy to have pets when they owned
their bed and breakfast inn at Blowing Rock.
that they need a tremendous amount of space to live. While they
Sue says there are a lot of myths about Great Danes. One is
However, their canine family began to evolve shortly after the
need and appreciate long walks, it is also a myth that they require a
restaurant section of the inn closed. It began with Maggie, an Alaskan
lot of exercise. Too much exercise for a Great Dane puppy can be
Malamute, who became a beloved family member. Soon, an auburn
hazardous, she says.
purebred border collie arrived for son John. When the two dogs
passed away, a huge black Great Dane at the vet’s office caught Sue’s
Danes, but they also love the Alaskan Malamute, Border Collies,
eye. She told her husband about it and he surprised her with a Great
an English Mastiff, Italian Greyhounds, a Saint Bernard and mixes.
Dane puppy that Christmas. The bonding was instant. The puppy,
When Sue and Jim’s children grew up and moved out of the house,
Olive, weighed less than ten pounds and later hit the scales at 185. Sue said she could almost see Olive grow before her eyes.
The Byrnes love dogs and are especially enthused with Great
the couple welcomed more canine companions, some of which derived from simply dogsitting for their kids. Olive became Sue’s inspiration for this
Sue is a former English teacher who loves
year’s Christmas present to her grandchildren.
literature. Most pet names she gives her animals
There is a story about how they found each of
are derivatives of literary characters. Olive is from
their dogs, Sue says. Through the years they’ve
the children’s book, Olive the Other Reindeer, about a dog. Olive was the
loved Maggie, Pebbles, Leia, Prancer, Sophie, Olive, Martini, Phoebe, Agatha, Winnie, Henry, Little, Napolean and Eloise. With so much love there comes a full life, health and social challenges, changing Alpha dog status and harmonizing habitats. Sue loves and has loved them all, but Olive has and will always have a very special place in her heart. Olive reached 185 pounds and it strained her skeletal system so she was placed on a diet.
dysplasia can be common in Great Danes. Olive, also known as Darlin’ Darlin,’ experienced medical challenges and in the final year of her life, Sue and Jim lifted her back legs to enable her to climb the stairs. Olive loved sleeping near Sue and when she became unable to climb the stairs on her own, she spent the night crying to be near Sue. So they secured the home in necessary ways to enable her to navigate through it. At night, they used a specially-fitted contraption to help her upstairs. The devotion between them was mutual. 44 DECEMBER 2009
The time came to say goodbye to Olive and to three other
beloved dogs. While saying goodbye is still painful to Sue, she has turned her sorrow into inspiration. As a way to give her grandchildren a more meaningful Christmas gift than something bought, Sue has written a book for them in honor of Olive. It is endearingly named, Darlin’ Darlin.’ The book shares photos of the whole family with their canine friends and tells the story of Olive’s life. Ode to Olive and the Great Danes!
When considering any new pet, finding the one best suited to
your lifestyle is essential for optimal care and connection. While there are some wonderful books, this is a helpful site to consider canine pet ownership. (http://www.akc.org/future_dog_owner/ find_breed.cfm)
You’ll Love the Look!
Watch for our Customer Appreciation sale in Dec!
The High Country’s Complete Source For All Your Pet Needs Shops at Shadowline • Boone, NC 28607
828.264.8977 S P E C I A LT Y C L O T H I E R S
BEREK And DESIGN OPTIONS Christmas Sweaters NOW IN! Libby’s has a Passion for Fashion, We invite you to share in our Holiday Spirit at
Open House Dec. 3rd, 4th and 5th 9:30am till 6:00pm
Selected Fall Merchandise Door Prizes and More
205B Shamrock Square, Jefferson, NC LibbysLook.com (336) 846 - 9551 www.aawmag.com
Winter Clearance Begins Selections of Christmas Gifts FREE Gift Wrapping Boone Mall • 1180 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone, NC 28607
www.southsclothiers.com Hours: Mon. - Sat. 10am - 9pm • Sunday 1 - 5pm DECEMBER 2009 45
Mom’s World W R I T T E N B Y H E AT H E R J O R D A N , C N M , M S N
The Journey to Christmas
The buildup as a child was almost
had not really crossed my mind. I tried to be
open-minded but, truthfully, initially I felt like
reassuring. I knew we would arrive at the
the “real” Christmas would not start until we
house, probably go to the candlelight service
reached Virginia. I also did not know how my
at my grandparents’ church, and then try to
mom would respond, given that our coming
settle down to go to sleep. Christmas morning
at Christmas time seemed to be, well, a “given.”
would start with one of my sisters or me
When I broached the subject with my mom, I
waking the other siblings and then one of our
was astonished at her response. She told me
parents, to see if we could go downstairs and
that she had remembered, when we were
open our stockings. Slowly the other relatives
little, wanting to see her family but also really,
would emerge, there would be a tornado of
really wanting to have Christmas at her home.
unwrapping, and then the pause of reality
She could completely relate to my husband’s
– there were no more boxes with one’s name
feelings and encouraged us to create our own
on them and it was time to decide on which
gift deserved the honor of being the first one
chosen for play. Breakfast would dawdle into
chaotic, but we manage to see as much of our
lunch and then the entourage of my family
family as possible. December is a busy month
would load up to go to my father’s
Now, Christmas can still be somewhat
for babies, so our plans necessarily are
parents house to start over
flexible. If we have to “move”
the holiday because a
When I got married
baby is being born, then
we will. We put up our
Christmas envelops children with anticipation
children, again there was
tree, decorate, hang
and expectation, but it can take time to create
this well-ingrained thought
stockings, and make
the meaning of Christmas for a family – the
in my head that Christmas
identity of one’s family within the holiday
automatically meant travel.
families. Several times
– and certainly, common origin or not, this is
not necessarily the same for everyone.
not be Christmas at my own
to Louisiana after the holiday
house when everyone else was
to see my husband’s family. But
When I was growing up, Christmas meant
we have done the pilgrimage
usually Christmas morning is at
going to my grandparents’ homes in upstate
making the trip to my parents’
New York. We made the journey every year,
house. I would start making plans to set off for
home. I’ve learned in time that the
without fail, and almost always stayed at my
Virginia, not only based on when the last baby
beauty of the holiday – in all the waiting and
Grandma Bates’ house in Buffalo, NY. For my
was due, but also when my sisters would be
anticipation for my own family – is that our
sisters and me, Christmas was supposed to
journey is to home, where we might find peace
be at my grandparents’ house. The drive was
together amidst the chaos of our everyday
long and boring until we started approaching
out if we could get ourselves organized in
within an hour or two of their house. It was
time to make it to my parents’ house before
usually dark by this point, and the lights from
Christmas morning, my husband asked if
this article, please feel free to contact Heather
other families’ Christmas trees and houses
we couldn’t just have Christmas morning at
Jordan, Certified Nurse-Midwife, at the office of
would glow alongside the roadway with
our own home, start our own traditions, and
Charles E. Baker, MD at 828-737-7711 x253 or
encouragement. We were almost there.
progress on to Virginia later. The thought
e-mail her at email@example.com.
46 DECEMBER 2009
One year, as I was busily trying to figure
If you have comments or questions about
High Country Courtesies WRITTEN BY SHARON CARLTON
The Art of Holiday Gift Giving and Receiving The tradition of exchanging gifts can be an
of a personal nature for someone outside your
enjoyable aspect of celebrating the holiday
inner circle of family and friends (i.e. lingerie,
season, but it can also be a frustrating
cologne, weight loss clinic certificates).
challenge. Finding the perfect gift for those
on our lists, negotiating workplace gift
of previous years. For your boss/supervisor,
Whenever you are given a gift, graciously thank
exchanges, dealing with unexpected gifts and
consider a simple holiday card or a group gift
the giver for his or her thoughtfulness. Should
managing the expense on a limited budget
such as a gift certificate to his or her favorite
someone surprise you with an unexpected
can tax our energies and our attitudes. As you
restaurant or tickets to an event that you are
gift, express a sincere “Thank you.” You need
focus on showing you care this holiday season,
certain would be appreciated. If you wish to
not feel self-conscious that you do not have
consider the following gifting tips.
give a gift to select coworkers, do so in private.
one for them, nor do you need to reciprocate.
For work situations, check the guidelines
“It isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.” - The Angels’ Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman
A timely handwritten thank you note
completes the gift-giving tradition. For gifts received in person where the giver was personally thanked, a thank you note is not mandatory, but is an extra response of gratitude. When the recipient is unable to thank the giver in person, a handwritten thank
Start by considering the individual’s
All gifts to coworkers should be neither too
you note is required. Although the younger
tastes, activities and personal likes. Next,
personal nor expensive.
generation is utilizing e-mail and texting
spend only what you can afford to spend. Do
Gift cards have gained more acceptance
modes for thank you notes, a handwritten
not allow yourself to think or feel that you
as an appropriate form of a gift as they have
note is preferred for more formal situations or
need to reciprocate with a gift of equal value;
grown in popularity. A gift card to a favorite
when responding to older generations.
choose the most appropriate gift you can give
local merchant, restaurant, movie theater or
within your means!
coffee shop is both thoughtful and practical.
give and receive is much more important than
When financial constraints prevent you
It is acceptable – and often appreciated
Remember, the attitude with which we
from shopping like the big spender you would
– to enclose a gift receipt with a purchased
like to be, use your ingenuity. Homemade
gift. Including the gift receipt says that the
holiday season giving of yourselves and
gifts of food or handmade gift items are
recipients should feel comfortable exchanging
appreciating all those around you!
unique reminders of your talents and of your
the gift if your selection is not right for them.
efforts for the receiving party. Add personal
touches to the gifts like special wrapping or a
jokes and stories. To avoid any embarrassment
handwritten note. When you have no budget,
when you would like to “pass along” a gift, be
Courtesies customer service workshops and
say with your words and cards what you would
sure the gift is brand new, in its original packing
is Director of High Country Cotillion, a social
like to express with a gift.
with everything intact. Go outside your inner
education program for youth. She writes and
A charitable donation to a deserving
circle. Rather than call it a gift, honestly share
speaks on modern etiquette and life skill topics.
organization or needy individual – made in
that you received it as a gift and thought that
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
the name of a friend who has everything
they may like/be able to use it. The re-gifting
– may be the perfect gift. Our gifts should
of family heirlooms or mementos of special
reflect the level of intimacy we share in our
sentimental value to other family members is
relationship with the person. Avoid anything
The topic of re-gifting provokes lots of
May you all enjoy a healthy and cheerful
Sharon Carlton, High Country Courtesies ©2009 Sharon Carlton conducts High Country
DECEMBER 2009 47
You Go, Girl! WRITTEN BY SHERRIE NORRIS
There is never a dull moment in the life of Cami Hastings. Photo by Mark Mitchell.
Innovative Eleven-Year-Old Goes APE Animals, People and the Environment Capture Her Heart
Cameron Wilson Hastings of Valle Crucis, better known as Cami, is an incredibly innovative, industrious, and intelligent eleven-year old. A sixth-grader at Valle Crucis Elementary School, Cami is compassionate way beyond her age, her smile infectious, as is her enthusiasm for life and for making the world a better place in which to live. A straight-A student throughout her school career who won the Watauga County Spelling Bee last year, she still cringes at “almost making a B in science,” recently. Cami 48 DECEMBER 2009
loves everything about school – especially math. “I like to work with numbers!” Apparently, she likes to see them add up for a good cause. Cami founded a non-profit charity that she named A.P.E. (Animals, People, and the Environment) during the summer of 2006 to raise money for the Watauga Humane Society. “There were so many things I wanted to do and many ways I wanted to help, but I finally got them narrowed down to these three.” www.aawmag.com
A.P.E. presented the Humane Society a check for $200 in 2007 and $450 in 2008. The group also sent a check to the Susan J. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, raised $1,000 for “Pennies for Peace,” and presented a check to Greg Mortenson at the Watauga County Library during his recent visit to the area. “It’s a lot of fun to volunteer and raise money,” she says with a broad smile and gleaming eyes. Her idea for A.P.E. evolved after reading A Kid’s Guide To Giving. “To begin with, I love to read and this book, especially, was such a neat thing. It was written by a kid and inspired me to come up with a way to do something that made a difference.” Apparently she’s succeeded, along with her group’s members, which include her good friends Olivia Waters, Olivia Handley, Barbara Ramsdell, Bailey Shuford, and Emma Carder. A.P.E. was recently nominated by the Watauga County Community Foundation as its group of the year and awarded $500 to share with the charities of its choice. “We haven’t decided on the recipients just yet, but we’ve got our focus on a couple of special things,” Cami states. Following the group’s gift to Mortenson, Cami, who serves as president, accepted an invitation to speak to a fundraising class at ASU. A.P.E. will have a booth at an upcoming holiday market at her school, at which members will be selling magnets and handmade bottle cap necklaces. Cami is a member of the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), which is a global leader in identifying academically gifted students and providing them with innovative programming to support their development. She was chosen to spend one week this summer in Washington, DC with the National Young Leaders Conference. She recently interviewed Congresswoman Virginia Foxx on the “Young World” radio show (WATA), which she recalls being an amazing opportunity. “There I was, just a young girl, interviewing one of our representatives! It was awesome!” She has also participated in Battle of the Books and Odyssey of the Mind. “I don’t have much time for those things these days. I stay pretty busy as it is.” Since age three, she has danced with Studio K. Her alltine favorite production is, without a doubt, The Nutcracker. “We’re working really hard right now for this year’s show. I’m so excited. I’m playing the role of reed flute and am also a boy in the party scene. Everyone will know I’m a girl at the end when, after I bow and take off my hat, my hair falls down.” Cami has also been in dance competition and teaches first-graders to dance. “They’re so little and so cute! I just love www.aawmag.com
working with them!” Loving animals, she is a frequent volunteer at the Watauga Humane Society, where she discovered her current pet, Marcella, a pug-beagle mix With a deep love for the stage, Cami aspires to become an actress one day. First, she says, “I will definitely go to college and will probably study theater. My best friend Olivia wants to go to Julliard and maybe I’ll look into that, but then again, my dad went to Clemson, so I don’t know where I’ll go. But, hey, I’m only eleven – I’ve got plenty of time to decide!” In her free time, Cami enjoys playing soccer, fast-pitch softball and loves in-line skating. She is the daughter of John and Tracy Hastings and the lucky sister to younger brother, Brooks.
DECEMBER 2009 49
Bloom Where You’re Planted WRITTEN BY SHERRY BOONE
The Last Christmas Orange Several years ago I asked my friend Wilma Miller to share her favorite Christmas memory with me. I loved it and I think you will, too. Picture a cold Christmas morning years ago in Trade, Tennessee, when lanterns and candles were the source of lighting. Life was more peaceful than today and Christmas was celebrated more quietly. This was a time when fruit, nuts and candy were real treats for children and perhaps their only surprise. Picture a little girl who sometimes got a doll or toy, but not always. However, as she told me, “It didn’t matter. We had plenty to eat and lots of love. Mama always baked a black walnut cake for us.” This little girl’s father was a farmer by choice, but a coal miner by necessity. “Daddy couldn’t make a good enough living for our family just farming so he went to work in the West Virginia coal mines. He would be gone for months at a time, but always got home for Christmas and brought goodies and whatever he could afford.” One year, Wilma’s daddy had snowsuits for her and her three brothers. Gifts weren’t that important to her because her daddy was home and that was the best gift she and her family could receive. “One thing I do remember though is that he always brought home a bag of Florida oranges. Now that was a real treat because we never got to eat oranges until Christmas and had to wait a whole year to get them again.” Now for the best part of this story. One year, a week or so after Christmas when the family had finished supper and was seated all together by the fire, her mother got up and left the room. All the oranges had been eaten, the children thought, but this wise mother had hidden some of them and when she returned to the room, she brought six oranges! An after-Christmas treat had been in a secret hiding place and the mother had waited for the right time to bring the oranges out. Maybe it was the night before her husband had to return to the coal mines in West Virginia and she needed to lift the spirits of her family. Or, maybe she was afraid the oranges would not be as good if she waited longer to surprise the children. Whatever the reason, she made the decision. “Did it seem like Christmas all over again?” I asked my friend. “Oh, yes, it did. And from that night on, each Christmas, it wasn’t over until Mama surprised us with our last Christmas orange. We never knew where they were hidden and didn’t want to know. That would have spoiled the fun.” The father brought home the oranges, but the mother saw to it that the family had the surprise “waiting in the wings,” so to speak. I’ve written several Christmas stories, but there’s something about this one I really love because it takes me back years ago to a Blue Ridge Mountain home and the company of a loving family with a hardworking father and a very wise, loving mother. Merry Christmas, everyone!
50 DECEMBER 2009
all i need to know WRITTEN BY MAGGIE FERNANDEZ
In most instances life is harder, scarier, and more frustrating than I can put into words. But it’s those moments in between that make it worth living – and dying – for. There’s a lot I’ve learned in my short time on earth and I’ve come to the conclusion that life is like a casino: sometimes you lose the shirt off your back, sometimes you hit the jackpot, and sometimes you get knocked off your stool by the little old lady who wanted it first. I’ve come to believe that we don’t meet anyone by chance. Each person we come across in this lifetime is someone we were meant to meet and learn something from. I’m just your ordinary woman in this “mommy does it all” generation. I am a wife, mother, teacher and believer. I laugh, cry, scream on occasion and pray often. I’ve come to find out that everything my mother told me was true and I’m okay with acknowledging that I didn’t know it all as a 17-year-old. You’ll come to find out that I tend to “say it like it is.” Living in the South, this has gotten me into trouble, but I blame it on my Jersey DNA and somehow it works for me. I love deeply, hurt immensely and have come to realize it’s okay being who I am. I’ve always thought that I couldn’t curse under my breath and still be a “Christian woman.” I thought I couldn’t sport a few extra pounds and still be sexy. I thought that forgetting to send in the snack money for the month of October put me on the black list as a class mother. All of the above are complete untruths and I hope you will come to agree with me about your own life. You can be flawed and still be wonderful. You can have stretch marks and still be the “hot mommy.” You can burn dinner and still be the best wife ever. The world will not drop out of orbit if you show up late for work because you had to pull over and kill the spider that was making your child scream. You are not an incapable mother if you forget that today was show-and-tell and at the last minute you hand your child purple fuzz from the bottom of your purse and tell them that it’s from Barney. We women are amazing creatures – we’re all beautiful, strong, gifted women and the world will be a perfect place once men accept that. Take for example, test-driving a new car. We buckle up the kids and drive around seeing if we can drink our coffee, apply lipstick and smack both misbehaving kids without spilling anything. If so, we buy it. We don’t have to look under the hood, kick the tires, and talk about last night’s game with the sales guy. We can cook dinner, hold a baby on our hip, discuss the latest and greatest sales on fall’s hottest new boots and keep the cat off the counter. Our husbands, on the other hand, can’t seem to find two matching socks and wander in looking lost. Without missing a flip in the frying pan, we solve that mystery as well. Case closed. We can shop, kids in tow, have a conversation on the cell phone, pick out Christmas gifts, grab the fish food, mentally prepare the week’s menu and direct someone to the location of the cute blouse they are admiring in our cart with a single nod and a smile. Men take 20 minutes to find the sugar aisle and, with a puffed up chest, return to us and our cartful of groceries proud that they didn’t have to ask for directions. www.aawmag.com
Please don’t think I’m knocking the male species. I admire the way a man can take a nap while the children are still awake and how they can ignore the ringing phone and the pot boiling over because the score is tied. I would gladly give up the supernatural power of smelling a dirty diaper from 20 yards away. Take, for instance, this very moment. I’m typing, giving instructions to my daughter on how to nuke French toast sticks, breaking up a tiff between my dog and cat and directing my rebellious son to the shower for church reminding him to wash behind his ears. Where is my husband, you ask? I can hear his rhythmical snores coming from the bedroom. Point noted.
Boone Drug “The Biggest Little Chain Around”
Check Out Our New Holiday Yankee Candle Products Only at our Deerfield Location Mon - Sat: 8 - 9 Sun: 12:30 - 6
Come by and see us ! ! ! 828-264-3055 www.boonedrug.com DECEMBER 2009 51
Cents & $ensibility WRITTEN BY CORRINNE LOUCKS ASSAD
In The Long Run
f you watch the news, listen to the radio or pick up a city paper these days, you will believe that we are in financial crisis in this country. Rather than play into the “talk,” there are some steps especially that retirees can take now to cushion their futures. Most retirees have savings intended to provide them with income when they have finished working; many have invested in stocks, mutual funds or other market-directed securities in the hopes of getting a high return. With dreams of a second home, a “fun” car, travel or security for the family, this is a smart technique when investing for the long run and understanding how the market works is a critical factor for this type of long term investing. We’ve all laughingly used the phrase “buy low, sell high.” A downturn in the market is only a downturn if you sell shares or stocks that you paid more to purchase than you sold them for. The ups and downs in the market are only on paper until you buy or sell and don’t really affect you otherwise. In today’s market, it will pay to wait. While most people rely on Social Security, employer benefits and personal savings to fund retirement, many may still be left with a financial gap. Today’s retirees, or soon-to-be retirees, would do well to develop other income sources in addition to their market-related dividends. That is, income outside of their investment portfolios. This income comes in whether or not the market is thriving and helps prevent having to sell for additional cash when the market is down. When the market is up – it’s an added bonus. Retirees can avoid watching the market every day and spend that saved time generating income. 52 DECEMBER 2009
A single payment annuity is one way to supplement retirement income. By giving a lump sum payment to an insurance company, the retiree will receive a monthly payment for as long as he lives. Some policies will even provide a survivor benefit to his partner or even adjust upwards with inflation. An annuity does not allow access to the lump sum of money in an emergency, however, and if that is needed, it is safer to look to bonds or US Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) to accomplish nearly the same supplemental income as with an annuity. While giving the retiree easy access to his money, it adds the risk of a fluctuating interest rate that will affect his monthly income. Not every retiree has the resources to take advantage of the above two options, so another idea for supplemental income could be a parttime job or working from
your retirement account is a great way to earn extra income. This could be a great chance to do something you love. It could also be an opportunity to stay busy without having to work fulltime. If you are interested in working fulltime, check out the Web site: www.retirementjobs.com. To find out how significant supplemental retirement income could be to you, check out their retirement calculator. While supplemental income may not be necessary, it will open up more possibilities and help one sleep better at night. By knowing that one’s living expenses are paid, the retiree doesn’t have to worry about not
home. This could include starting an Internet business. With a few hours per day you could keep your mind sharp and your bank account up by generating income on line. People are marketing everything from books, antiques and clothing, to baked goods, nutritional supplements or homemade items. Many people buy items to sell on eBay and have made profitable businesses out of it. You’ve heard of the book, Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow? Many have said that once you find something you’re passionate about, you will never have to work! Finding a post-retirement job to supplement
being able to live comfortably throughout the golden years. No matter which way a retiree decides to go about it, whether by buying an annuity, investing in bonds, taking a part-time job or simply cutting back on living expenses, it is important that every retiree live within his means. By making a realistic budget and sticking to it, the retiree will have a much better chance of having his money last as long as he does.
Toffee Blondies In A Jar 1 cup packed brown sugar ½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder ¼ tsp. salt ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts ½ cup toffee pieces or butterscotch-flavored pieces ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs, slightly beaten 1 tsp. vanilla
Layer in a 1-quart glass jar or canister the following ingredients: brown
sugar, chocolate pieces, flour, baking powder, salt, pecans and toffee pieces. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle each layer before adding the next. Cover jar. Store at room temperature up to 1 month.
Or, attach the following baking directions and gave as a gift.
Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. In a large bowl combine butter, eggs and
vanilla. Stir in jar contents. Spread into prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set and golden brown and edges just begin to pull away from pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 16 brownies.
Christmas Trivia Answers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
His heart was two sizes too small “White Christmas” On the stairs Dasher, Donder, Dancer Her medication Six geese a-laying New York He jumped into the river first Clara “Stop” Eggnog “I’ll be back again someday” It is too commercialized 34th Nine “Jingle Bells” “The Christmas Song” A handsome prince To, From “Silver Bells” Five cents Parson Brown An engineer/architect Nutcracker Charles Dickens
DECEMBER 2009 53
DECEMBER: 1- 6 Gems & Remount Event at Gems By Gemini in Blowing Rock. A colored gems show featuring thousands of karats of new loose gems! The perfect place to shop for that very special holiday gift.
6 Annual holiday concert of sacred and secular favorites presented by Ashe Choral Society, 7:30 p.m. Ashe Civic Center. Call (336) 846-9550.
1-25 Choose & Cut Festival at various farms. Hike through fields of Fraser firs for your perfect Christmas tree. Package deals with select hotels. Holiday events at local restaurants and shops. Call (828) 264-3061.
Valle Crucis Fireside Tour, 1 - 6 p.m. Historic Valle Crucis invites you to warm up by their firesides. This tour meanders along country lanes to gift shops, galleries, bed and breakfast inns, restaurants, cabins, and churches where hosts will provide you with refreshments and hospitality throughout the afternoon. Limited tickets are $10 each. Call (828) 963-6511.
1-31 Chetola Resort’s Festival of Lights, Blowing Rock. Spectacular illumination of over 50,000 holiday lights. Drive around lake amid glittering ice skaters, nativity scene, colorful train, Rudolph’s “Holiday Catch” and more. (Lights stay up through January.) Beech Mountain Sledding Hill Open, Beech Mountain Town Hall. Weather-permitting, machine-made snow always available. Reserved for younger children, please. Call (898) 387-9283 to confirm dates and conditions. 4 Wine Tasting, Christopher’s Wine and Cheese on Sunset Drive, 5:30 p.m. A fun and interactive wine seminar. (828) 414-9111 Holiday Scholarship Concert, 7:30 p.m. Farthing Auditorium, ASU. Admission charged. (828) 262-3020 Wine, Chocolate & Jewelry, 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Meadowbrook Inn. Savor 4 wines and chocolates and try on beautiful jewelry. Wines and jewelry will be available for purchase. Admission. (828)-295-4300 4,5,6 4th Annual Drive - Through Live Nativity at Poplar Grove Baptist Church near Boone. Hot apple cider, homemade cookies and live carolers. Narrated by a CD or cassette tape playing in vehicle. Fri./Sat. 6-8 p.m. Sunday, 5-6 p.m. 5 Newland Christmas Parade 1:00 p.m. Line-up on Newland Town Square at 12:00 noon. Parade route is from the Square to Newland Elementary School. For more information, contact Brian Powers at (828) 733-9301 Mountainhome Music presents An Appalachian Christmas. 8 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, King St., Boone. Free concert featuring former Mountainhome Music performers reuniting for Christmas favorites. Call (828) 964-3392. Ashe Arts Center Holiday Open House, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ashe Arts Center, downtown West Jefferson. Call (336) 846-9550. 5,6 The Christmas Concert, Lees-McRae College, Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Call (828) 898-5241. 48th Anniversary Weekend at Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock. Prices roll back to 1962 levels. Call (800) 322-2373 for details. 54 DECEMBER 2009
ASU Gospel Choir Concert, 6 p.m. Farthing Auditorium, ASU. Free admission. For information: (828) 262-3020 11-13 Adult Pre-Season Ski Clinic, Ski Sugar Resort, Banner Elk. Three days nonstop individual instruction/attention from certified ski instructors. Includes a three-day lift ticket, coaching fees, tuning clinic, video analysis, world-class instruction, and Sat. dinner. Call (828) 898-4521 for details. 12 Downtown Boone Christmas Parade, Line up at 8:00 a.m.; parade at 10 a.m. Call (828) 262-4532. 12-13 The Nutcracker Ballet, all-time Christmas classic performed by Studio K dancers. Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 3:00 p.m. Farthing Auditorium, ASU Campus in Boone. 18 Annual Crossnore Bonfire, 7 p.m. Crossnore Town Center. Caroling, hot beverages, and lots of fun. 25 Christmas Day Ice Skating at Appalachian Ski Mountain, 12 noon - 4 p.m. Outdoor skating rink, rentals available. Call (800) 322-2373.
Women Helping Women Thrive 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month, 2:00- 3:30 p.m. Cancer Resource Center, Seby B. Jones Cancer Center on Watauga Medical Center campus. Open to all women cancer survivors. Sponsored by the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center and the Cancer Resource Alliance. This wellness group allows those living with cancer to share experiences and gain knowledge about how to live with and beyond cancer. Come meet other survivors, learn about ways of healing through illness and help others in the same situation. Expressive arts will be explored as a means of communicating on another level of awareness allowing for self exploration and fun. No charge, but RSVP requested to: Heather Cameron: (828) 964-0828 • email@example.com or Melanie Childers: (828) 266-1178 • firstname.lastname@example.org
DESIGN YOUR UNFORGETABLE MOMENTS WITH PANDORA’S CHARMS, RINGS, NECKLACES, AND EARRINGS IN STERLING SILVER AND 14K GOLD.
...gifts and unique accessories for the home
Shoppes of Tynecastle 828 898 8949
Jonathan Laurer is All About Women www.aawmag.com
Photo by Mark Mitchell
U.S. Pat. No. 7,007,507 • Copyright • All rights reserved • PANDORA-JEWELRY.com
DECEMBER 2009 55