A AW M A G .C O M
MARCH 2013 FREE
Step by Step with
VANESSA MINTON ANNELIESE JONES Celebrating 40 Years in the U.S.
women of deerfield ridge Ensuring a Welcoming and Fun Place to Live
JOAN UNDERWOOD High Country Brainstormers
CHRISTINE LEIST Combining Art and Science for Healing
you’re invited WO M E N
A L L
A B O U T
‘Celebrating Women of the High Country’ · Event will include numerous vendors representing area businesses · Organizations that focus on the needs of women and their families · Great Entertainment · Motivational Speakers
and much more!
FREE admission! WHEN 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, June 29 where Watauga County High School Boone, NC Among this year’s highlights, we will pay tribute to the women of World War II — those from the High Country who served in the military during that historic era, or those who volunteered back home with the Red Cross, went north to help ﬁll the industrial gaps, or kept the home ﬁres burning while their husbands were at war protecting our great nation. We will also add four more names to our growing list of High Country Women of the Year in the following categories:
· Service to the High Country (volunteer focus) · Preserving Mountain Heritage · Business and Professional Leadership · Advocacy for Women We need your help identifying and locating these selfless women who have made an indelible impact upon their hometown. For WWII women, send their names, contact information and a description of the service they provided to their country during the war to: All About Women, Re: WWII Honorees, 474 Industrial Park Dr. Boone, NC 28607 or email email@example.com. Deadline for submissions April 15, 2013. To nominate someone for Woman of the Year, send as much information as possible about her contributions to All About Women, Re: Woman of the Year nomination, 474 Industrial Park Dr. Boone, NC 28607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions April 15, 2013.
To showcase your business or organization, contact Radd Nesbit at (828) 264-6397 or email@example.com
The spirit of Easter is all about hope, love and joyful living. Happy Easter! —unknown
publisher Gene Fowler
executive editor Tom Mayer
editor Sherrie Norris firstname.lastname@example.org 828.264.3612, ext. 251
writers Genevieve Austin Heather Brandon Danielle Bussone Jesse Campbell Sharon Carlton Bonnie Church Yozette “Yogi” Collins Heather Jordan Linda Killian Kelly Penick Tom Mayer Tonya Roark Reta J. Winebarger
production & design Jennifer Canosa Meleah Bryan
advertising Radd Nesbit 828.264.6397, ext. 271
cover photo by Sherrie Norris
Any reproduction of news articles, photographs or advertising artwork is strictly prohibited without permission from management. ©Copyright 2012 A Mountain Times Publication
contents news bits from our readers anneliese jones christine leist joan underwood chris arvidson women of deerﬁeld ridge home dècor and more camille bergin hannah blevins vanessa minton mom’s world healthy lady young at heart high country courtesies ashe fashion show beauty pets by the book goodnight, boone all about friendship recipes
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The month of March is always a pivotal time of year for many of us as we anticipate the arrival of spring and all that a refreshing new season has in store. For me, it represents another milestone as I, perhaps by coincidence, celebrate another birthday as the Ides of March rolls through. It has been said that the day represents a time when the sea succumbs to chaos and the full moon brings high tides, which lends itself to “a very mysterious quality.” Most of us born in March also fall under the astrological sign of Pisces — two ﬁsh swimming in opposite directions. In the newspaper world, the day also falls within Sunshine Week, so just consider me a chaotic, mysterious ray of light that doesn’t always know where she’s going. (“Wow,” my family and friends are saying, “That’s no coincidence.”)
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March is also Women’s History Month, for which I am always delighted to honor. Where would we be without those fearless females with foresight who led us through the difficult paths of life and paved the way for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today? This year’s national theme for the month-long celebration is reﬂective of most women, in general — “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” Hats off to those who have broken through the glass ceiling and helped pave our way to success as women in today’s world. However, we each inspire innovation through our imagination and we utilize some formula of science, technology, engineering and mathematics every day of our lives to make this a better place in which to live. Our efforts might not be considered on the grand scale, but think about the woman who inspires her family just to get out of the bed every morning, (which often does require imagination to get them moving); who uses measurements and follows directions to prepare healthy meals and administers medications, drives the kids to sporting events and doctor’s offices, while in the meantime, works at her office computer, check-out counter, factory machine or measures out a cleaning solution, to make a living? We might not understand how it all works, but we’re able to “engineer” (move forward with gusto) our way through most situations, usually with just enough fuel and steam for the occasion. And mathematics? Well, how do we count the ways? From socks, lunch money and bottom-line bank statements at the end of the month, just for starters. Yep, we’re all covered here. It’s Women’s History Month — and we’re all a part of it, one way or the other. And, in case you were wondering, despite a popular bumper sticker we’ve all seen, well-behaved women do (occasionally) make history, Rolling with the tide,
newsbits&clips Pulitzer-prize nominated author Marya Hornbacher Coming to Boone The High Country of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, more commonly known as NAMI, will host a presentation by Pulitzer-prize-nominated author Marya Hornbacher during the organization’s March meeting at 7 p.m. on March 4 in the I.G. Greer Auditorium at Appalachian State University, co-sponsored by ASU Counseling Services.. Hornbacher published her ﬁrst book, “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia,” in 1998, when she was 23. It has been published in 16 languages, is taught in universities all over the world, and has been described by many of her readers as a “life-changer.” Her second book, the acclaimed novel, “The Center of Winter,” has been called “masterful,” “gorgeous writing,” “a stunning achievement of storytelling,” and “compulsive reading.” The novel tells the story of a family recovering from a father’s suicide in the spare, wintry Minnesota north, and in exploring this seemingly dark landscape, discovers light, redemption and hope. This book is taught in some of the best writing and literature programs throughout the United States and Europe. Marya’s “Madness: A Bipolar Life,” was published to immediate and enormous praise, hitting the New York Times Bestseller List. It has been called “an intense, beautifully written” book about the difficulties and promise of living with mental illness and “the most visceral, important book on mental illness to be published in years.” Marya has received numerous awards for her works, is a Pulitzer Prize and Pushcart Prize nominee and frequently lectures at universities and other institutions around the country. Currently at work on a new novel and a collection of essays, she teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Northwestern University.
Calling Wisewomen For more information, Call (828) 278-9293 or email email@example.com. Appalachian District Health Department offers free cardiovascular health screenings, education and referral services to eligible women through the N.C. WISEWOMAN Project. For more information about our r local WISEWOMAN Project, contact Faith Haywood at (828) 264-4995. To learn more about NC WISEWOMAN, visit www.bcccp.ncdhhs. gov/wisewoman.htm or call (919) 707-5300.
MARCH Medical Listings
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Bucket List for New Beginnings
Global Women’s Series begins March 5 BOONE – The inaugural Global Women’s Series focused on women and the environment begins March 5 at Appalachian State University. The series is designed to address contemporary global issues affecting women and girls, as well as increase knowledge of the world community, diversity and global interdependence. Events are free and open to the public.
Events in the series are: Members of Appalachian Women Fund and students from Appalachian State University take the “MLK Challenge” to heart through a project to help women through a difficult transition period of their lives. Photo courtesy of AWF
During January’s MLK Challenge to honor the life and works of Martin Luther King, Jr., Appalachian Women’s Fund enlisted the help of 13 students to collect donations for the Basic Buckets for New Beginnings, a project created by members of AWF to support women who are homeless or victims of domestic violence. When women are transitioning out of the Hospitality House or OASIS into an independent living situation, they have limited ﬁnancial resources. Day-to-day items like shampoo and cleaning supplies are necessary, but expensive. That’s where the Basic Buckets come in. One bucket is ﬁlled with household items like towels, light bulbs and potholders; the other is ﬁlled with personal hygiene products. As the client leaves to begin her new life free from violence, she takes two “buckets of basics” to get her started. The MLK Challenge volunteers collected donations from generous local businesses. By the end of the day, they had ﬁlled 25 buckets valued at more than $600. “Working with the MLK Challenge volunteers is always a joy. AWF is so grateful to the students who spent their holiday helping others,” said AWF member Leslie Shavell. Before that time, many of the participants were unaware of the scope and severity of domestic violence in our mountain communities. Through the Appalachian and Community Together (ACT) office on campus, 237 ASU students spent Mon., Jan. 21 doing volunteer work in the community. To help with the Basic Buckets program or any outreach sponsored by the AWF, visit www.appalachianwomensfund.org or call (828) 264-4002.
Tuesday, March 5, “Women and the Environment: Expressions of Inspiration,” 5-7 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union, Parkway Ballroom: This networking reception features local female environmental activists and is designed to help people meet campus and community organizations actively involved in increasing the environmental health of the High Country. Remarks from Sandra Lubarsky, director of the sustainable development program, begin at 5:30 p.m. Interactive art performances will also be featured throughout the reception. Wednesday, March 20, “Arise www.arisethemovie. com,” 7 p.m. in I.G. Greer Auditorium: This feature-length ﬁlm follows the stories of women around the world who come together to heal injustices against the earth and inspire community building. It is hosted by the Global Women’s Series and sponsored by the Department of Geology, Belk Library and Information Commons, Appalachian Popular Programming Society and the Office of Sustainability in conjunction with the Sustainability Film Series. Wednesday, March 27, “Eco-Feminism and Climate Change,” 7 p.m., Parkway Ballroom in Plemmons Student Union: Dr. Chris Cuomo, a professor of philosophy and chair of women’s studies at the University of Georgia, will discuss how climate change affects gender, class and global justice. The series is co-sponsored by the Office of International Education and Development, the women’s studies program and Belk Library and Information Commons. For more information, visit http://international.appstate. edu/outreach/gwsor contact Sarah Bergstedt at 828-262-8046 or firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of International Education and Development.
Clarification The photo of Emily Jones Powers on page five of the Jan/Feb issue of All About Women was taken by BWhitsonPhotography of Boone. For more information, visit www.bwhitsonphotography.com
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from our readers. Sherrie, I loved your Christmas story in the Dec. issue about your doll. I was so happy to see it â€” I have one just like it that I got around 1962 or 1963. I still have it, my very ďŹ rst doll. I was really shocked that anyone else had that same doll. What memories.
let us hear from you We care about what you, our readers, think about the job we are doing. We would also like to know if any particular feature or column has made a difference in your life. Feel free to share your thoughts with us at . . . email@example.com.
Anneliese Jones Celebrating 40 years in the U.S.
When she was just a child, Anneliese Jones was determined to leave her native Germany in search of her American dream — and she did. Photo by Yozette “Yogi” Collins
Anneliese Jones of Boone cannot ﬁgure out why All About Women wants to feature her. Could it be, just maybe, because at the age of 10 the young Ravensburg, Germany resident determined she would one day live in the United States and at 22 she boarded a plane to that end and recently celebrated her 40th year as a U.S. resident? Sounds like a good reason to us. Anneliese, who goes by “Lisa,” can’t explain the fascination she had, as a young German girl, with all things American. She describes the U.S. as her “childhood hobby” and spent countless hours ﬁlling scrapbooks with magazine pictures of
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
anything ‘American’ that she found. Lisa even studied and included U.S. history into her scrapbooks – uncommon fare for preteens of any nationality. “I don’t know why I was so fascinated with the U.S. as a child,” she says. “My parents couldn’t tell me — they just knew that I loved English. I even remember having ﬁghts with my siblings about it. One said, ‘You’re just crazy. Not everything in America is good’ But, to me it was all just wonderful.” Although her parents didn’t understand it, Lisa’s father gave his blessing for her move here — as long as she could support herself once she got here. That was enough fuel for her ﬁre. Lisa pursued a nursing degree with a concentration in pediatrics, worked as a nanny for Americans in Munich, and focused on her goal. “I was bilingual, so I was a babysitter for a lot of U.S. military personnel,” Lisa says. “I just asked everybody, ‘Don’t you know anyone who needs a nurse in the United States?’ One day this gentleman said, ‘My uncle is a doctor, but you wouldn’t want to go there.’ I said, ‘Well, is it in the United States?’ It ended up being in Starkville, Miss.” Transitioning from the cosmopolitan city of Munich to Mississippi in the early 1970s would prove to be quite an adjustment, but Lisa didn’t care — she was 22 and on her way to her to greater heights. On October 29, 1972, Lisa boarded her ﬁrst-ever ﬂight in Zurich, the closest airport to her hometown, and headed to the U.S. In hindsight, she got more than she bargained for on that special day, she says. Not only did she ﬁnally reach the U.S., but on the last leg of her trip, she met her future husband. It was not, however, love at ﬁrst sight. “Actually,” Lisa says, “he annoyed me, because here I’m trying to pretend I know what I’m doing and the ticket agent said, ‘May I see your ticket?’ I handed him an empty envelope. I must have turned bright red, and to have this man behind me snicker? It angered me. Then, he had the audacity to sit beside me on the plane. At ﬁrst, I wasn’t going to talk to him, but then
I realized that was stupid, because I didn’t know anybody in the United States. So, we talked and he looked me up in Starksville. He kind of grew on me.” Two years later — and despite a 19year age difference — the two married and moved to Boone where Lisa’s husband Ray taught at Appalachian State University’s College of Business. After staying at home to raise their two children, Lisa eventually accepted a job at Blue Ridge Pediatrics, where she has worked for the past 18 years. “Blue Ridge Pediatrics is my family,” she says, clearly touched. “I can call anyone, from the doctors to the nurses, and they will come help me – and they have.” At no time was that support more evident than in 2008. Ray had passed away four years earlier, and Lisa found herself facing a very serious bout with cancer that took surgery and chemotherapy to beat. Working every day and being around her work family throughout the ordeal was a source of strength to her. “My kids are very loving and close, but they do not live here,” she says. “There’s no sign of cancer now — and that’s really, really exciting.” Along with her faith, her kids, and her work family, Lisa cherishes meeting monthly with German friends who live in the area to celebrate their heritage, as well as their lives in the U.S. “I am excited and proud that I’ve been here 40 years,” she says. “I’m German and I love it and am proud of it, too. I’m a postWWII generation German and don’t have that baggage. I mean, that baggage exists — you’re German and you know the history. But, Germany is always a part of you.” So, for someone who can’t imagine why she’d warrant an article, Lisa is the picture of a determined woman who not only followed her heart, but has a full life to show for it.
‘I am excited and proud that I’ve been here 40 years.’
Yozette ‘Yogi’ Collins Mom, television producer/writer, and obsessive internet researcher. Though her name suggests otherwise, she is not (yet) an actual yogi.
Music therapist, Christine Leist, was spurred by her motherâ€™s fatal heart attack to research possible benefits of music therapy for individuals with heart disease. Photo by Sharon Carlton
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Christine Leist Combining Art and Science for Healing As a freshman at Florida State University studying to become a band director, Christine Leist’s life took a different turn when she discovered music therapy. Combining her musical gifts and passions with her love of people, Christine found her perfect career path. “Making music while helping others reach their goals is incredibly satisfying,” Christine says. “No matter a person’s medical condition, through music therapy, they wind up giving back and teaching us therapists important lessons about the unique value of every individual.” After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, the Chicago native (who moved to Miami as a child), worked clinically as a board-certiﬁed music therapist with older adults in nursing homes. She earned her master’s degree in music therapy at the University of Miami and taught at Charleston Southern University. Christine came to Appalachian State University in 2000 as a lecturer, where she continues teaching in the music therapy program. Married to artist and furniture designer Nathan Leist, and mother of one son, Christine’s career track took a turn with the unexpected death of her mother, from a heart attack, in 2001. “I was devastated,” Christine says. “I looked for research on music therapy and heart health, and discovered there was very little written about the topic.” Although Christine could no longer help her mother, she was determined to explore the possibility of helping individuals with heart disease. Christine created a study for her doctoral dissertation — “A Music Therapy Support group to Ameliorate Psychological Distress in Adults With Heart Disease in a Rural Community.” The study explored music therapy interventions that were beneﬁcial for men and women with heart disease. Christine discovered that, compared to the control group, the music therapy group showed
decreased tension and anxiety and increased vigor and activity.
Volunteers needed for new study Building on her initial study and recent medical research that focused on the unique health needs of women, Christine has developed a new study. “The purpose of the new study is to determine if a six-week music therapy group is helpful in addressing psychosocial risk factors in women with heart disease,” she says. “Additionally, information will be collected about which types of music therapy interventions are the most effective for this group — to potentially help other music therapists develop treatment plans for women with heart disease.” With 20 years experience as a boardcertiﬁed music therapist, in addition to her doctorate, Christine is working closely with Alexa Dorris, a graduate student in the combined equivalency/master of music therapy program, on further investigation. The duo is currently seeking women interested in participating in the study. “Speciﬁcally, we are seeking women between the ages of 50-80 years old, who have experienced a heart attack, and/ or been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and/or had a heart procedure of surgery to participate as volunteers,” Christine says. “No musical training is required.” During each session eight–10 participants will do both active and receptive music experiences with the investigators. Group members will never be required to participate beyond their comfort level. The music will be used to highlight and explore topics of interest to the group such as active listening, recognizing strengths, sharing feelings and emotions, resolving conﬂict, coping with change and celebrating successes. Some participants will spend approximately nine hours engaged in study-relat-
ed activities; other participants will spend approximately two hours engaged in study-related activities with the option of participating in three music therapy sessions at the end of the study. The selection process for choosing participants in the study group will be made at random, from those who register to participate, Christine says. Woman who complete all phases of the program will be eligible to win one of two Kindle Paperwhite E-readers. “While beneﬁts cannot be promised or guaranteed,” Christine says, “participants will learn about choices of music and images for music-assisted relaxation and imagery; have the possibility of decreasing perceived stress; as well as have the opportunity to express feelings and emotions through music involvement.” She says they will also have the opportunity to engage in social support of other group members and have the opportunity to provide input into music therapy interventions for people with heart disease. Care will be taken to insure conﬁdentiality and to promote social support within the group. The study will take place at the Institute for Health and Human Services, located behind Staples at University Hall in Boone. “Although there are some factors in heart disease that cannot be altered, (genetic), there are factors that can be changed,” she says. “By addressing those varying factors that can be inﬂuenced, like positive attitude, social support and coping tools, we hope to provide scientiﬁc research that will aid clinicians and their patients with health protective options.” Interested women are asked to call (828) 262-6663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Sharon Carlton Sharon Carlton, High Country Courtesies ©2013 As founder of High Country Courtesies, Sharon Carlton writes and speaks on modern etiquette and life skill topics. She is Director of High Country Cotillion, a social education program for youth and conducts High Country Courtesies customer service workshops. Contact her at email@example.com.
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Joan Underwood of Banner Elk helped establish “High Country Brainstormers” a local support group for brain injury survivors, like herself, and their caregivers. Photo by Yozette “Yogi” Collins
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
“ Brainstorming” with
Have you ever wondered if we’re overprotecting our kids by insisting they use helmets for biking, skiing and iceskating? No one used those things when we were kids, and we all turned out OK, right? It’s tempting to rely on that magical thinking, but we’d be foolhardy to ignore the stats and current knowledge. Since March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, it’s a good time to consider the reality. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately 1.7 million new cases of traumatic brain injuries (those caused by an external force, such as a blow to the head) and almost 800,000 acquired brain injuries each year in the United States. Our brains are fragile and what we used to think of as a ‘simple’ concussion is, in reality, a brain injury, the cumulative effects of which even the smallest bumps and blows over the years can add up to serious ramiﬁcations. Some brain injuries aren’t caused by an external force, however, as in the case of Joan Underwood of Banner Elk. Born with a hole in her heart that didn’t close, a condition that occurs in one out of ﬁve people, Joan’s hole was undetected until it allowed a blood clot to travel to her brain and cause a stroke. Joan, 42, and living in California at the time, remembers the day of her stroke. “Our office in Laguna Beach had just moved six blocks away and, surprisingly, I was able to drive there, but my coworkers were looking at me strangely,” she says. “One coworker even thought I had been out drinking the night before. I couldn’t drink from a cup, I couldn’t talk, and I just couldn’t function.” When another coworker took her to the emergency room, Joan wasn’t able to communicate with the doctors, causing a delay in her diagnosis. The results of a CAT scan and MRI, however, revealed she not only had the hole in her heart and was experiencing a stroke, but that she had suf-
fered a stroke between the ages of 10 and 12 that had been previously undiagnosed. “Between the MRI and CAT scans, they can see, generally, what has happened to the brain,” Joan says. “It’s almost like seeing the rings on a tree. They can tell that something had happened.” Doctors immediately implanted a CardioSEAL device to close the hole in Joan’s heart and block further blood clots from travelling to her brain, but Joan’s seal malfunctioned; four years later, after she had moved to the High Country where two of her seven siblings live, she had a third stroke that left her frustrated and at a further loss. “I used to be able to do what I needed to do,” Joan says, “but now I’m very feardriven. My whole life just kind of ﬂipped upside down. And, I used to be very creative and could make jewelry, but after my third stroke in 2009, my creativity went out the door,” she says. And while her acquired brain injury makes it hard for Joan to make decisions easily — and causes numbers and memory recall to be a challenge — Joan believes there’s a reason she’s still alive, after three strokes. With that in mind, she, along with physical therapist Katherine Graham, started High Country Brainstormers, a local support group for brain injury survivors and caregivers, alike. As much as brain injuries affect the
survivor, the survivor’s family and friends need acknowledgement and support, as well. For Joan, the day-to-day support her sisters, Laurie and Mary, and brother-inlaw Ben, offer, makes all the difference, but she recognizes the emotional and even physical toll it can take on them. High Country Brainstormers is a way to pay homage to these vital support systems in the lives of brain injury survivors. “High Country Brainstormers is really for the community, for the survivors as well as the caregivers, because even though I look the same, I’m not,” Joan says. “It kind of breaks my heart because I’m not where I used to be. I might look normal, but I’m very challenged. Some days I think, I just can’t do this anymore, but I’m supposed to do something here. I’ve always been the person helping other people, so I guess now I just want to help others through the Brainstormers group.” High Country Brainstormers meets from 5:30 – 7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at The Wellness Center in Boone. For more information, contact Joan Underwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or Katherine Graham at (828) 964-5981. Yozette ‘Yogi’ Collins Mom, television producer/writer, and obsessive internet researcher. Though her name suggests otherwise, she is not (yet) an actual yogi.
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For Christine Arvidson, writing is among life’s greatest gifts. Photo submitted
Christine Arvidson Holding the pen –
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For West Jefferson’s Chris Arvidson, her inspiration for writing comes from deep observation and simply paying attention to the things and people around her. Her love for reading and writing culminated in her master’s degree in creative nonﬁction from Baltimore’s Goucher College in 2005; she had earlier obtained her bachelor’s in communications from Olivet College in 1978 and a master’s in liberal studies from UNC-Charlotte, in 1997. She gained “plenty of experience” in nonﬁction writing from various sources, she says. “Whenever help was needed in the office for grant writing or a press release, I was the one who ended up with it.” Nonﬁction writing has always been her niche. While living in Charlotte in the 1990s, Chris wrote a column for “Creative Loaﬁng” newspaper. Excerpts from her nonﬁction book, “No, I Do Not Want to Hold Your Baby,” — about not having children — have been published in several literary journals. She has been a feature writer and book reviewer of the national publication, “Fore Word Magazine.” She currently works part-time for the National Committee for the New River and is responsible for all media publications and fundraising. Chris says that much of the nonﬁction writing she does these days has a humorous slant. “There is humor in everything, if you look for it,” she says. Her ﬁction work is inspired by the political realm, she says, and comes easy after spending time in Washington D.C. in the early 1980s. Starting work as a political assistant to Congressman Robert A. Roe, she then became a political action committee director, political liaison, and assistant to the deputy director, while serving with the Democratic National Campaign Committee. Chris was also director of political affairs for the National Association of Home Builders. She has attended three inaugurations — President Bill Clinton’s second and both of President Barack Obama’s. She is currently working on a novel, and some of her work is featured in an anthology, “Mountain Memoirs,” published by Mainstreet Rag Publishing. She is also the regional representative on the N.C. Writers Network and is one of three behind the creation of WORDKEEPERS, along with Julie Townsend and Scot Pope. WORDKEEPERS provides an open mic forum through which area writers gather every-other-month to read their works during ﬁve-minute time periods. “We usually have about 50 observers and 10-12 readers,” she says. “We try to allow for a very relaxed atmosphere.” Chris has been a volunteer for Ashe County’s On the Same Page Literary Festival for the past three years. She is a “page turner,” a member of a committee that meets monthly to organize fundraising efforts and solicit writers for the festival. She is also a member of the Friends of the Library, secretary for the board of directors for Ashe County Arts
Council and is the current chair of the Ashe Board of Elections. The activity closest to her heart is volunteering with Sisters for El Salvador. With a group of 15 - 20 people, Chris makes an annual trip to El Salvador to do construction work, which included, on her last journey, digging a septic tank pit. “I love going there,” she says. “The people are so grateful and welcoming. It really makes you appreciate what you have.” Chris was born in Highland Park, Mich., just outside of Detroit. After attending Olivet and then working in Washington, D.C., Arvidson moved to Charlotte, in 1985. During her time there, she was assistant to the director of gifts at Furman University; director of university relations at UNC-Spartanburg; director of development for Charlotte’s Habitat for Humanity and manager of prospect research at UNC-Charlotte. While enrolled in the master’s program at UNC-Charlotte, Chris served as administrative secretary for the university’s writing programs. After graduating,
she served as faculty advisor for the honor’s program, senior portfolio projects, and taught undergraduate courses in communication studies and in the women’s studies department. She left Charlotte in 2001 and returned to Michigan to become the director of communications for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. While there, she was responsible for publications, media relations and fundraising efforts. Chris moved to Ashe County in 2006, after her husband and stepdaughters visited here, while living in Charlotte. Her husband, Henry Doss, an Adventure Capital consultant and column writer for Forbes’ online magazine, is originally from eastern Tennessee. Her “current” favorite book is “Cutting for Stone,” by Abraham Verghese. Chris’s busy life doesn’t allow much time for reading, so when driving to one of her many traveling destinations, her companions of choice are audio books. “I have been introduced to mystery/ suspense writers and have most recently heard Tony Hillerman and Margeret Coel
and ﬁnd their writing interesting.” Chris says she tries to write at least ﬁve days a week. She hopes to ﬁnish and publish a novel soon. Chris says she loves her life here, but she never knows where the road will lead her next. She, like the rest of us, holds the pen that helps dictate the balance of her life. To order the anthology, “Mountain Memoirs” go to: www.mountain-memoirs. com, or www.chrisarvidson.com.
reta J. winebarger Wife, mother, avid reader and a CNA at Ashe Memorial Hospital. Her passion is writing stories about her Appalachian heritage.
The women of Deerfield, left to right, front row: Jen Teague and Kim Smith; back row: Joyce Fournier, Elizabeth Young, Deborah Downs Photo by Yozette “Yogi” Collins
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
The Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living ‘Family’ If there’s one word that encompasses the Deerﬁeld Ridge Assisted Living atmosphere, it’s “comfort.” One of the 10 communities of Kernersville-based Ridge Care, Inc., the staff at Deerﬁeld Ridge strives to ensure that it’s a welcoming and fun place to live and that its residents feel completely at home. But, beyond comfort, there’s a noteworthy familial element at the facility. Employees and residents alike consider Deerﬁeld Ridge to be their extended family, a fact that thrills Executive Director Elizabeth Young. “We really try to foster a family feeling here,” she says. “We even have a family reunion in the summer to which the families of the staff and the residents all come, so we’re all together as a family.” And having fun together is a major part of building relationships in the Deerﬁeld Ridge community. Activities Director Deborah Downs focuses on that aspect, saying, “If it’s not fun, we don’t do it. I try to meet the physical, mental and psychosocial needs of the residents by doing a lot of cooking together, we play Bingo, we exercise, we have tea and chat, and we play games and eat and drink. I like to involve food because it does bring joy and comfort to the residents and it brings them in so they become involved.” Of course, in the process of having fun, the staff recognizes that offering the amenities expected in a quality assisted living environment is the most important part of their job. With everything from three meals and three snacks a day, daily housekeeping, and multiple in-house activities to their newly-expanded Horizon’s Memory Care Unit, they have that covered, too. “We really are able to meet a variety of needs,” says Jen Teague, director of community relations. “We’re able to serve someone who is pretty independent and maybe just needs some assistance with meals and transportation, along with someone who might need more total care. We offer a gamut of services,” she says.
All of these services add up to an equation that works for residents and staff alike. “We really care about seniors and we really care about our residents,” says Elizabeth. “I think that’s something that’s important to all of us, across the board.” In fact, the staff especially values input from the residents, certainly not the typical administration-controlled situation. One reason that food service director Joyce Fournier took a job at Deerﬁeld Ridge is that she appreciates the contact she has with residents. “I worked in a hospital and nursing home before this and I wanted to come into an assisted living (facility),” she says, “so I could have verbal interaction with residents. That’s one of the best things. The residents get a voice in what food they have here. Food is all about comfort and socialization, so we try to plan lots of things that involve food.” But food isn’t the only way staff keeps residents active and involved with each other and the community at large. There are bi-weekly planned outings, a men’s group, and the very popular weekly trips to Walmart. Being a part of the community is so important to Deerﬁeld Ridge that they even offer their gathering spaces free-of-charge to the community. “We’re always happy to have our greater community use our space,” says Elizabeth. “And, we always appreciate volunteers. We have groups that come in and sing and dance.
If people would keep our residents in their thoughts year-round and visit and spend time so we can get to know each other as a greater community — that would be the biggest help.” Meanwhile, if you’re considering an assisted living community for yourself or someone you love, Deerﬁeld Ridge offers a complementary two-night stay for any private-pay individuals considering a move into assisted living. “Anybody can come take a tour,” Jen says, “but if you want to experience what it would be like to live here, to eat here, and also have a chance to talk with some residents that have been here for a period of time, then come experience it and see if this is what home could feel like.” For more information, visit www.ridgecare.com; under the Ridge Care Communities tab, click on Deerﬁeld Ridge Assisted Living. To arrange a tour or volunteer opportunity, contact Elizabeth Young at (828)264-0336.
Yozette ‘Yogi’ Collins Mom, television producer/writer, and obsessive internet researcher. Though her name suggests otherwise, she is not (yet) an actual yogi.
Don’t just take a tour Come experience the Deerﬁeld Ridge difference for yourself with a complimentary, no obligation two-night stay.
DEERFIELD RIDGE ASSISTED LIVING
287 Bamboo Road | Boone, NC 828.264.0336 | www.RidgeCare.com
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Home and More Every chance I get, I’m looking through all types of decorating magazines or watching shows that have the newest designs, colors, and styles. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a budget or have plenty to spend; there are ways to get the biggest bang for your buck. You just need to know what to look for and where. I recently ﬁnished a “remodel” on a small master bath. My client wanted a new look, but had a tight budget. The house was a little older and the former owner had installed basic white cabinets; the tiles on the sink counters, after years of wear, were badly chipped. The light ﬁxtures were outdated, the sinks and faucets were dull and the old linoleum was discolored. We came up with a plan to replace the sinks in a “biscuit” color and the faucets and ﬁxtures in oil-rubbed bronze. But, the expense of granite and hardwood ﬂooring was not in the budget.
We welcome Linda Killlian, to our All About Women family of writers as she brings a few decorating tips and helpful ideas to us each month. Linda has a wealth of knowledge and experience as a decorator to share with us in our efforts to brighten the corners of our world. Linda is the owner of her home-based business called Cabin Design Interior Decorating in Fleetwood.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
dècor I had the entire room and ceiling painted a creamy soft gold, with the exception of the rear inset wall, which was painted a medium-chocolate brown. I then had the window frame, in that wall, painted black. This may sound “over-the-top, but the black window frame was to tie in the cabinets that I had painted black. The black in the cabinets brought out the rich golden color of the new, “hardwood-look” of the linoleum ﬂoors. It was ﬁnished off with 84-inch sheer plaid drapes, in tan, black, cream, and brown. The happy homeowner now has a relaxing master bath with soft and bold colors, but with a modern look. It’s become her warm, inviting, private spa.
My client wanted to make the most of Formica on the counters and linoleum on the ﬂoor. Formica has come a long way with grains and textures that can fool the eye; linoleum can have such a realist look of hardwoods that you literally have to put your hand to it to know the difference. These were important choices we had to make. In any project, remember — paint is your best friend when it comes to making a dramatic difference in a room. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors on accent walls and if you’re painting a bathroom or bedroom in light colors, it’s OK to paint the ceiling, too. It keeps the eye from stopping from a wall color to a white ceiling and it makes the room warm and inviting. In this particular master bath, I used an inset wall as the center, or focal, point. It had a large window overlooking mountainous pastureland. Anytime you have nature’s art at your ﬁngertips, you need to use it.
Camille Bergin Local musician in national competition this month If her audition video is any indication of her ﬁnal performance during the upcoming National Trumpet Competition near Washington DC, Camille Bergin should have no worries. The 15-year-old musician from Boone, currently a high school sophomore studying trumpet performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, has already made her hometown proud, on numerous occasions. Most recently, Camille was selected as one of 33 trumpet students from around the United States to compete in the (10-12 grade) high school solo division of the National Trumpet Competition. She entered the competition performing French composer Guillaume Balay’s Prélude et Ballade (c. 1910). Camille is in her ﬁrst year at UNCSA as well as her ﬁrst year entering the National Trumpet Competition. Prior to her acceptance into the school, she attended Parkway Elementary School and Watauga High School where she was in each school’s band program, played in the Watauga Community Band, clogged with the High Country Dance Studio and skied on Appalachian Ski Mountain’s race team. “It’s an honor and privilege to repre-
sent UNCSA and my hometown at the National Trumpet Competition,” Camille says. “While I look forward to the competition, I also look forward to the experience as a whole and meeting the other semiﬁnalists, as well as learning as much as I can in the master classes led by some of the world’s ﬁnest trumpet players.” Camille started playing trumpet in the sixth grade under the instruction of Judd Pinnix at Parkway Elementary. She also played under the direction of Tim Walker at Watauga High School as a freshman. Prior to leaving for UNCSA, Camille performed the trumpet solo on Leroy Anderson’s A Trumpeter’s Lullaby with the Watauga Community Band under the direction of Bill Winkler, and with the Watauga High School Honors Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Will Selle. She also studied for two years with James Stokes at Appalachian State University and is currently a student of Judith Saxton at UNCSA. Camille is also a member of the UNCSA Wind Ensemble under the direction of Michael Dodds, and the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra, directed by Nathaniel Beversluis. She also enjoys playing the piano
and composing music. Her ﬁrst composition, Response in D for piano, was ﬁrst performed by a UNCSA piano student in 2012. Camille is the daughter of Brian and Traci Bergin of Boone. Three other UNCSA trumpet students were also selected to compete in the semiﬁnals of the annual National Trumpet Competition, scheduled for March 14-17 at George Mason University near Washington, D.C. The four-day event will begin with an opening concert by the U.S. Navy Band and will feature various clinics and concerts with special guests and trumpet masters, such as Etienne Charles, Chuck Lazarus, Vince DiMartino, Joey Tartell, Doc Severinson and others. The ﬁnal awards ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Sun., March 17. For more information about the National Trumpet Competition, visit www. nationaltrumpetcomp.org. sherrie norris Editor, All About Women
SEE CAMILLE’S AUDITION AT www.youtu.be/lufZULp1zW4 22
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Camille Bergin, 15, of Boone, as been chosen as a semi-finalist in the upcoming National Trumpet Competition near Washington, D.C. beginning March 14. Photo submitted
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Hannah Blevins makes boys chase her
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
A Jefferson resident, 16year-old Blevins is a junior at Ashe
‘It is a male-dominate sport, but every
County High School and revs up as a rising star in male-dominated drag racing circuits throughout the southeast. Blevins has notched four drag racing championships and 100 wins since strapping in for the ﬁrst time at age 8. She developed a taste for speed while frequenting tracks with her father, Tim Blevins. “I’ve raised her since she was born and that’s where we’ve always been: the racetrack,” says Tim. While watching other kids compete in the junior dragster divisions, which is geared for aspiring racers for ages 8-18, Hannah knew she belonged behind the wheel. “I saw the other kids do it and I wanted to try it,” she says. While her time as a junior racer has presented her with ample opportunities for making lasting bonds with the other racers, Hannah is there to win. “I told her that if she wants to race, we aren’t there to socialize,” says Tim. “We are there to win.” Hannah’s record speaks for itself. With four titles to her name, she is earning at strips throughout the Carolinas where racing has long reined king. She is not easily intimidated, either. While there may be only one female racer for every ﬁve male drivers, Hannah does not let the pressure of any race or situation bog her down. “It has never intimidated me,” says Hannah. “It is a male-dominate sport, but every time I beat a guy, it shows a girl can do just as much as they can.” Racing comprises a large part of Hannah’s life. A typical season on the circuit can last from anywhere from 36-40 weeks, with the majority of races taking place on the weekend. Tim estimates they spend up to 15,000 miles a year on the road travelling to and from races that take them as far away as Maryland. But for Hannah, the reward is worth the commitment. “Each time I go (to the track), I’m inspired to win each race,” she says. “You can’t win everyone of them, so I keep going back trying to win as much as I can.” Hannah was 12 when she earned her ﬁrst win, at the strip in Wilkesboro.
time I beat a guy, it shows a girl can do just as much as they can.’ “The only thing that I remember about it is that I beat a kid named Taylor South,” says the precocious youngster. When she is not competing, Hannah also spends quite a bit of time practicing for her next big heat, as well as the next phase of her career. Now that she has reached the required age, Hannah is preparing to make the move to the hot rod circuits. In just three and a half weeks, Hannah will get behind the wheel of a 1968 Chevelle at the Rockingham speedway. “It’s going to be a big transition,” says Tim. “She will be going from a single cylinder engine to a high horse powered car with a heavy engine. In a hot rod, you go a lot faster and the car leaves quicker and a lot harder than the junior (dragster) would.” Hannah is determined to make the
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transition and she wants to turn racing into a fulltime career. Considering her winnings in recent years in the form of savings bonds, Hannah may stand a good chance to do just that. “That’s what I’m trying to get her to realize,” says Tim. “Hannah makes more on a weekly basis than these kids working at McDonald’s. She can race. She can do this without having to slave away.” Hannah’s passion has not waned either. “I love it,” she says. “I’m happy doing it and I want to continue to do that.”
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For the last 25 years, Vanessa Minton has brought many smiles to the High Country through her daytime job at the dental office of Dr. Lee Warren. Photo by Sherrie Norris
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
with Vanessa Minton Most people consider her the clogging queen of the High Country. Many know her as a competent, compassionate dental hygienist. But, two know her as the greatest mother on earth and one knows her as his princess who is “as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside.” For those looking from that exterior view, the life of Vanessa Minton might seem to be the proverbial fairytale — and much of it is, she says. But, some of her most challenging steps through life have required much more than kicking up her heels. When asked to share her life’s story, Vanessa was ﬁlled with emotion as she tried to put it into perspective.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Who knew that high school classmates, Daniel Minton and Vanessa Casey, would reconnect years later and discover they were made for each other? Photo submitted
“I think it is a miracle that some of us even reach adulthood,” she says. “There is no life free from hurts and struggles, ups and downs, but thankfully, we also have so much to be happy about.” Born in Charlotte as the ﬁrst of four children to school teacher/track coach, C.W. Casey, and his wife, Fern (Henderson) Casey, a bank teller and Watauga County native, Vanessa was raised in a fun, loving home, where dancing, she says, “came second nature.” Her family home was the neighborhood “welcome wagon,” she says, where friends and neighbors were always comfortable and the living room rugs were rolled up to make room for dancing. “My parents were great dancers,” she says. “It was no surprise when my mother enrolled me in ‘Miss Donna’s School of
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Dance’ when I was 5. I attended classes weekly for about 10 years.” Her parents were “always faithful to have us in church, too,” she says, “and they taught us love and respect for others.” While describing their lives as “very structured,” there was always time for fun. One evening when she was 7, Vanessa was playing freeze tag with her friend, Connie, when she darted in front of another neighbor’s car at the corner. “I didn’t see the car turning in and Connie grabbed the back of my shirt to keep me from being run over,” she says. “The collision happened so quickly.” With a large knot on her head, she was diagnosed with a mild concussion at the emergency room and sent home. “The next day,” she says, “I had signiﬁcant swelling on the right side of my skull
as my eye began protruding. I was rushed back to the hospital by ambulance and began have a seizure.” Two top surgeons were called in and took her to surgery. “The right side of my skull was fractured and I had a blood clot the size of a naval orange, which, they said, put pressure on my eye and brain,” she says. Her prognosis for survival was bleak. If she did live, there was a good chance that she might be paralyzed, blind, or at the least, unable to walk again. She was comatose for weeks; her mother kept a bedside vigil while her father took on extra work as an ambulance driver to make ends meet. Rehabilitation was slow; additional surgery included the insertion of a metal plate in the right side of her skull. Her
‘God has a purpose for everything, even though we might not know it at the time. When you’re hanging in the balance, he’s got you, we just have to remember that,’ says Vanessa Minton.
head was completely shaved for the ﬁrst procedure; only one side for the second surgery, with protective headgear and a “Beatle’s wig,” from her aunt, Faye, helping her cope, she says. “It’s no wonder, to this day, that I love my long hair and don’t want it cut,” she says. In the meantime, the power of prayer became evident, she says. Vanessa had to “relearn” basic skills, she says, “even how to pick up a pencil,” and stayed mostly indoors for about a year She had to repeat second grade, which made her the oldest student in class. “Everything, including my eyesight and motor skills, all came back,” she says. “God has a purpose for everything, even though we might not know it at the time. When you’re hanging in the balance, he’s got you, we just have to remember that.” She also returned to dance classes and continued with “Miss Donna,” for 10 years, in all.
Vanessa Minton, center, on her very special wedding day in 2005 with daughters, Wendy Lemus, left and Amber Hendley. Photo submitted
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Vanessa Minton never misses a chance to kick up her heels, whether at home in the mountains or on a western vacation. Photo submitted
During eighth grade, when Vanessa was bused to another school across town, her parents decided it was time to move to her mother’s hometown of Boone, where a large family waited to surround them with love. At 15, Vanessa ﬁnished eighth grade at Appalachian Elementary and entered Appalachian High School. “It was the best possible place to be,” she says. “I loved school, took art classes, was a cheer leader and even loved math and science. I had a steady boyfriend and stars in my eyes about a future together. I made wonderful friends who are still in my life today.” During that time, her close friend, Cindy Blackburn, invited her to “Young Life” at First Baptist Church of Boone. “Everyone was singing and sharing their prayer requests,” she says. “They also spoke about being saved. I believed in God and that he had physically saved me when I was small, but I had never asked Jesus into my heart. They were turning out the lights and locking the doors, but I couldn’t leave. I knelt at the altar and Cindy came to pray with me as I accepted Jesus as my savior. I stood up knowing that no matter what the future held, I had the peace of God in my heart. I went home and told everyone.”
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Soon thereafter, one rainy evening, Vanessa left Tweetsie, where she worked as a can-can girl. “While driving a friend’s car, I had reached up to push the window shut, crossed the centerline and collided with motorcycle that had also crossed the line,” she says. Some things are just too hard to talk about, Vanessa says, as tears fell from her eyes in recalling that day. “Life changed in an instant for that gentleman, his family — and me,” she says. “Some things, I will never understand — why the Lord took him that day, instead of taking me.” The “love of Christ” that his family demonstrated toward her and her family, she says, also changed her life. “I still think of them often and still cry, as if it happened yesterday. I continued to trust God through it all,” she says, “but it wasn’t easy. It was very difficult to live with.” After that, Vanessa didn’t want to dance, she says. “Tweetsie asked if I could do anything else. I told them I could draw, so I sat and drew charcoal portraits for a summer.” Vanessa had begun attending a local church that “wasn’t real big on dancing,” she says, so she gave it up, entirely. She taught a children’s class at the church and
helped transport youngsters by bus “from all over the county” to services. Only after taking a sign-language class under the direction of Liz Derrick, with Derrick later asking her to teach her deaf students to clog, did she resume her passion. “I sort of felt like Abraham,” she says. “In being wiling to give up something you love, maybe God’s revealing where your heart really is and he gives back ten-fold.” In the meantime, she completed high school and was married at 21. For 27 years, she lived her dream as a wife and mother to two beautiful daughters, Wendy (Lemus) and Amber (Henley). “I cannot life live without them,” she says. “They have been, and continue to be my joy and my strength.” In the meantime, Vanessa had started teaching dance at the area’s popular family-friendly nightspot called Shadrack’s, where she was also one of the regular entertainers who brought the audience to its feet, night after night. Despite years of lessons in tap, jazz and ballet in Charlotte, Vanessa didn’t clog until moving to Boone. “I took my ﬁrst clogging step from Cindy Brown and ended up dancing with the world-renown championship Grandfather Mountain Cloggers.
Vanessa began to teach dance over the next 25-plus years, during which time she established High Country Dance Studio, known everywhere for its championship dancers. Today, directed of her daughter, Amber, with Vanessa still in the wings teaching and dancing, the studio offers classes in clogging, hip-hop, creative movement, Zumba, at all levels, and features the Mini Mountaineers dance team. Whether for fun, show or competition, it’s important to Vanessa that the students enjoy a healthy way of life — both physically and spiritually, she says, in a familylike atmosphere. Vanessa has also spent 34 years working in the world of dentistry, the majority of which has been in the office of Dr. Lee Warren, who she describes as “an artist and the best dentist in the world.” “I cannot imagine being anywhere else,” she says. “The Warrens have been like family to me and have been there with me, through thick and thin.” “Vanessa has been on our staff the second longest of any employee,” said Warren. “My wife, Debbie, has been with me 32 years and Vanessa has been with me for 25. Not only is she an extremely valuable asset, professionally, but a dear friend, as well. Her heart is as big as all outdoors. I
love the girl!” After her ﬁrst marriage ended, Vanessa says, “I didn’t think that I would ever remarry, but God has way of picking up every broken piece and putting them all back together again.” It was at a Sunday church service in 2003, that Vanessa became reacquainted with former high school classmate Daniel Minton. “That was the day that God sent a healing soul to my side,” she says. “He became such a comfort to my heart, with his gentle, easy spirit — but tough-man ways — and helped me learn to live again.” Two years later, Vanessa says, “I married my best friend. We now have ﬁve children and ﬁve beautiful grandbabies that mean the world to us. We are family and we hang 15 stockings on the ﬁreplace mantle at Christmas; every Thursday night is “cousin night” at our house for the little ones.” Church membership, at Howard’s Creek Baptist for the last 25 years, has also been a very important part of her life. All the heartache from her earlier days has been replaced with joy and laughter, love and security — and little hands to hold,” Vanessa says. “God has restored it all and I wouldn’t change one single thing, if I could.”
We’ve all got our stories to tell, Vanessa says. “I want to encourage people to never give up. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel.”
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Avery County’s Will Jordan, introduces his mother to the world of wrestling.
The Underdog During the past two years, I have been introduced to the world of wrestling. Not the throw-down AFC type of wrestling where everyone has a nickname, tattoos and plenty of dramatic ﬂare exists. I’m talking about watching two kids — ranging from age four all the way up through high school — who combat their wills, skill, and mental and physical power against each other over three separate timed periods.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
It is an intensely emotional sport for the individuals competing, as well as for the spectators. I have seen the wrestler who seems destined to win a match get pinned because his opponent took advantage of a vulnerable position. I have also seen wrestlers struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds, sometimes to survive the match, other times to capitalize their skill and come out the other side of the timer with their arm raised by the ref-
eree in victory. Recently, I have been overwhelmed by the response of other parents, coaches, and teammates to my son’s involvement in the sport. Rising up to the high school level has created its own challenges for him, since he has a 15-20 pound weight disadvantage against nearly everyone he wrestles. Despite this, he does exceptionally well. He is committed to his practices,
which usually last at least two hours, and adds his own core strengthening exercises and conditioning twice a day, nearly without fail. Many people have approached me or my husband, congratulating us on his performance. I typically shake my head in response, reject the credit, and say, “It’s all him.” I truly feel his determination and subsequent performance is very much his own. He works incessantly hard at everything he takes on, with wrestling being just one of those things. Double-edged sword that perfectionism is, it has driven him to strive to compete against kids with biceps twice the circumference of his arm and thighs that look sturdy as a tree trunk. For some of these matches, he is truly the “underdog,” ﬁghting from “the bottom” (beneath the other wrestler) the entire six minutes, just to not get pinned. He’ll come off the mat frustrated at his performance, but we and other onlookers marvel at his ability to not be pinned when someone, 20 pounds heavier, is lying on top of him.
He does not give up and inspires me, and so many people watching, with his will to keep going. I often think that, should I have ever wrestled, I most certainly would have rolled over and allowed myself to be pinned after ﬁghting through even one two-minute period. I think we all love an underdog because it reminds us that our weaknesses (imagined and real) are surmountable. That there is something about the human spirit and “having heart,” that can drive people past the physical constraints of the body. Perhaps, this spirit cannot result in the “win” (or pin) every time, but the fact that someone ﬁghts passionately against the odds invokes us all to try to do the same. In my son’s most recent match, I was overwhelmed by the way he fought to win. His opponent was at least six to eight inches taller than he is. His coach had asked permission for him to “wrestle up,” despite a 30-pound disadvantage, because his coach believed he had the ability to compete against the other wrestler. My husband and I deferred the judg-
ment to his coach and to our son, if he so chose. Watching him “work moves” against this opponent, with such an obvious size difference, was unbelievable. People were on their feet cheering and the gym seemed to explode, despite the fact that my son has often said that he really can’t hear the spectators because of his focus. After several near-fall positions, in the third period he pinned the other wrestler, who left the mat looking exhausted and confused. It was not supposed to happen that way. And sometimes it doesn’t. But my heart was lifted up to watch my underdog come out on top.
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Your Brain on love The brain is continually transforming itself. One of the most powerful tools of transformation is our relationship with the person we love the most. As we spend time with our loved one, we change. Our brains rewire. It starts when we fall in love. Affection and physical intimacy trigger a blast of the hormones of attraction and attachment. We start to see the world through the eyes of another. We try new foods, embrace new rituals and consider new ideas. Their opinion matters. Their positive feedback buoys us. Their negative feedback deﬂates us. The mere sight of our beloved brings pleasure and serenity. In one study, a brain scan was performed on people in love; both long-married couples who described themselves as still “madly in love” and those newly in love. For both groups, staring at a picture of their beloved lit up the pleasure centers of their brain. But herein lies the difference — the brains of the longmarried couples
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
not only registered pleasure, but they also registered calm. Not so for the newly in love. When being touched by our beloved, we feel comforted. Studies show that merely holding our partner’s hand is enough to subdue our blood pressure, ease our response to stress and soften physical pain. In one study, an electric shock was administered to the ankles of women in a happy, committed relationship. Tests registered their stress and pain level during the shocks. Alone, their stress levels shot up and they felt the full impact of the shock. When shocked again, this time holding the hand of their be-
loved, they felt signiﬁcantly less pain and stress. Loving relationships make us feel safe and changes our lives. When we feel safe, we can let down our guard, take risks and become that person we were designed to be.
On the other hand, if rejected by our loved one, we feel pain, literally. The same areas of the brain that register physical pain are active when we sense that the ones we care about are displeased and avoiding us. There is a cautionary tale in these studies. Choose wisely. Your relationships are the most powerful predictor of
success and joy in life. Our relationships rewire our brains. As our brain is re-wired, our lives are transformed.
bonnie church Certiﬁed Life and Wellness Coach Author/ columist, motivational speaker Certiﬁed Trainer for TLS Weight Loss Solution
Sunset is lovely.
A work colleague warned me that I would not like Aruba as much the second time around. As our plane touched down in November last year, I remembered that prediction and hoped it was not a harbinger of things to come. Aruba, part of the Dutch Antilles along with Bonaire and Curaçao, is located approximately 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The people are well-educated, many speaking three or four languages, and very friendly, greeting visitors with a welcome of “Bon bini” in Papiamento.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Papiamento is the national language and a blend of several languages including Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch with even a few English words thrown in the mix. The nation, still under Dutch rule, attracts visitors from Europe, the United States and Canada as well as neighboring South America. The water is rated some of the cleanest in the world, the beaches are pristine and shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance from the hotels. Little wonder that Aruba boasts more repeat
visitors than any other Caribbean island. Roger and I ﬁrst visited Aruba with his parents in November of 2009.We played our roles of quintessential tourists well — we saw the sights, tasted the local cuisine and sampled the rum, while still managing to relax on the white, sandy beaches under a palm-thatched hut or palapa, as Arubans call them. My recollections from that primary visit are sensory – the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings are still fresh in my mind.
Photos by Heather & Roger Brandon
I can clearly see the innumerable blue and green lizards that dart here and there. I hear the wind rustling palm branches and the gentle lapping of the waves at the shoreline. I taste the garlic sauce that always accompanied the “catch of the day.” I smell the fresh baked, ﬂaky croissants from the bakery up the street from our hotel. I feel the rock walls in the blackened cavern in the national park where I photographed bats ﬂying overhead. Aruba has a lot to recommend it, but it’s not perfect. We found that maps are useless when driving around an island where none of the roads are marked with signs. We also stumbled upon some really unfortunate Thai food. Oh, and those palapas I mentioned; we had to take turns getting up at 7 a.m. to stand in line to reserve one for the day. Despite the negatives, we departed Aruba with fond memories, a few bottles of rum, suitcases ﬁlled with wet swimsuits and stray sand, as well as the feeling that we might want to return one day. In the subsequent years, Roger and I visited several other Caribbean islands. While we appreciated each locale for its own unique ﬂavor, we found ourselves making comparisons to Aruba – to the ease with which we could get around using the sidewalks and paths, to the abundance of delicious food, to the picturesque beaches with calm-as-a-swimming-pool water. Whenever friends would ask for a recommendation of where to travel, Aruba topped the list. It was time to return and see if Aruba lived up to our memories and expectations. Bags in hand, we headed to our hotel. It was already early evening, so after unpacking and changing, we headed to dinner at Tango Argentine Grille, a restaurant we liked on our previous visit. It was just as we recalled — threecourse early bird special and all. Roger selected the ﬁlet mignon, which was expertly seasoned and grilled. Having anticipated it since booking our trip, I ordered the catch of the day with the magic garlic sauce. The meal did not disappoint. The next few days were highlighted by palapa lounging, a lot of strolling along the beach path that runs the length of Palm Beach, unsuccessful lizard chasing and dining excursions. We still had to arise early and wait in
line to reserve a palapa, but it was worth it to have guaranteed shade for the entire day. The beach path was our go-to afternoon stroll, and sometimes morning and evening as well. Roger and I wore the soles of our ﬂipﬂops thin going up and down that path. As for the lizards, I cannot comprehend why one did not want to jump in my pocket and relocate to North Carolina. Dining was, well, let’s just say we made both good and bad choices. We returned to some of our favorites from our ﬁrst visit and discovered a few new gems. We savored huge Dutch pancakes, a thicker chewier version of a crepe, ﬁlled with apples, bacon and brie and topped with sugar beet syrup at Linda’s Dutch Pancakes and Pizzas. And, my apologies to New York City and Chicago, we had quite possibly the world’s best pizza at Casa Tua. It was so good that we considered ordering a second right then and there. Unfortunately, not learning our lesson about steering clear of ethnic restaurants from our bad Thai food experience, we decided to try a newly-opened Indian buffet. We choose poorly. We did more relaxing on this trip, less exploring. Having done the tourist thing the last time around, Roger and I felt free to embrace our inner beach bums. We swam, we lounged and we sat with our toes in the sand. Speaking of sand, we again had to vacuum stray grains out of our suitcases after returning home. While enjoying the last of the Aruban rum several months later and reﬂecting on our visits, I thought back on my colleague’s travel advisory. I can only conclude that the trips, while similar, were marked by different experiences – both good and less good. Roger and I will likely seek out other islands to visit, but chances are that Aruba will again beckon. But, next time, I will resist the urge to try the newly-opened Korean restaurant.
heather brandon Considers life to be one big anthropological ﬁeld experience. She observes and reports. She enjoys travel, food and wine and adventures with her husband, Roger.
Aruba and North Carolina are only 1236 miles apart.
A ray of sun breaking through the trees.
Roger and Heather stop for a picture during one of their many afternoon strolls.
Aruba is known for its pristine white sand beaches.
Plenty of shady spots to escape the sun.
Enhancing Hospital Stays When the interruption of a hospital stay disrupts the regular ﬂow of life, visits from friends and family can provide positive connection and serve as catalysts for recovery. Adherence to the following guidelines will generate beneﬁcial, supportive hospital visits
• Be intentionally cheerful in conversation. Leave details of your personal hardships for an alternate venue. • Be a good listener. Affirm their feelings without judgment. • Save personal medical advice, unless asked. Sharing unsolicited opinions may confuse, rather than beneﬁt, patients.
• If a patient’s door is closed, knock softly and wait for a response before entering. • Respectfully grant patients privacy to consult with medical staff by excusing yourself from the room, unless invited to stay. • When a patient has requested no visitors, honor their request by leaving a note or calling.
PROTECTION POLITE RESPONSES • Check with nurses before bringing food or ﬂowers. Nurses’ conﬁrmation will ensure the gift is not detrimental and can be enjoyed. • Nurses may conﬁrm best times to visit so as to avoid procedures or therapy. • Keep visits short to allow patients to rest. • If you are ill, or have been ill within the last three days, call rather than visit. • Use sanitizer and soap provided to disinfect hands. • Refrain from hugging. • Keep hands to yourself; do not touch wounds or medical equipment. • Sit on chairs provided, or stand, rather than sit on the patient’s bed. • Obey any instructions posted outside the patient’s door. If so instructed, you may be required to wear a gown, gloves and/or a mask. • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands. After using a tissue or your arm to cover same, discard the tissue and sanitize your hands. • Refrain from wearing perfume or using scented cosmetics in deference to scent sensitivities of others.
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• Use respectful volume and tones of voice for the setting • Observe visiting hours and any restrictions. • Show consideration for any roommates. Acknowledge their presence by making eye contact and nodding, or greeting them. Keep conversations and activities as quiet as possible. • Use the public restrooms rather than the patient’s facilities. • Offer your assistance as you are able. A moment of planning can ensure that your visit is experienced as a gracious expression of your concern, rather than an additional stress for the patient. By being intentionally positive, protective, polite and respectful of patients’ privacy, you can encourage and support their recovery. Sharon Carlton Sharon Carlton, High Country Courtesies ©2013 As founder of High Country Courtesies, Sharon Carlton writes and speaks on modern etiquette and life skill topics. She is Director of High Country Cotillion, a social education program for youth and conducts High Country Courtesies customer service workshops. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Ashe Fashion Show Provides
Hope By Tonya Roark, finance director and supervisor of Threads of Hope.
Threads of Hope and A Safe Home for Everyone are hosting the second annual “Season of Hope Fashion Show” to beneﬁt survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their children. The event will be held from 4 - 6 p.m, on Sat., March 16 at the Ashe County High School Auditorium — a time for celebrating the beauty in each of us. The fun starts with refreshments and shopping with more than 15 local vendors. One-of-a-kind merchandise such as handbags, clothing, handmade jewelry and candles, in addition to a variety of other gift items, will be available for purchase. You won’t want to miss the chair massages and incredible door prizes, either. Our local models — of all ages — will take the stage at 5 p.m., featuring the spring line of clothing from Threads of Hope.
A.S.H.E. Offers Help A Safe Home for Everyone (A.S.H.E.) is the domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention program for Ashe County. The program offers 24-hour crisis assistance, an emergency shelter, court advocacy, hospital accompaniment, counseling, survivor support groups, educational programs and training — and the Threads of Hope thrift shop. During the 2011-2012ﬁscal year, A.S.H.E. served 218 clients and of those, 23 women and 23 children sought safety in our emergency shelter. These numbers represent a 15 percent increase in individuals seeking services from the previous ﬁscal year.
Threads of Hope Threads of Hope opened in 2006 to create a funding source for A.S.H.E. and serves as an outreach location by disseminating brochures and business cards, and providing referrals for individuals in need of supportive services. Our staff and volunteers also share information about the program as we talk with
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
our customers, potential volunteers and donors. Threads of Hope accepts donations of new or gently used ladies clothing and accessories, men’s and children’s clothing, household items and small furniture. We sell these donations in our store or give them to clients of A.S.H.E. Many times, our clients have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they ﬂee from an abusive situation. Providing clients with a voucher to shop at our store is an empowering part of their healing process. Threads of Hope is located at 420 East Main Street in Jefferson.
Together We Help A.S.H.E. and Threads of Hope are programs of Ashe County Partnership for Children, a non-proﬁt organization providing programs and services for families and children in Ashe County. Last year’s successful fashion show hosted eight vendors, sold 100 tickets, and gave away more door prizes valued at more than $500 — ranging from restaurant gift certiﬁcates, 30-minute massages to a Stephen Shumaker print and tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium and Dollywood. More than $1,200 was received for A.S.H.E. through this fundraiser and we are very excited to be able to host the fashion show again this year. We invite everyone to help us make this year’s event a success and publicly show our support for survivors in our community. Tickets for the “Season of Hope Fashion Show” are available at Threads of Hope and Ashe County Partnership for Children and cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 5 and under are admitted free. For more information about the fashion show, call (336) 982-4588. For more information about the A.S.H.E. program, call (336) 982-8851.
Kim and Korah Miller
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When thinking of massage, people often associate its
The benefits of
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beneﬁts with receiving a full-body treatment. Massage, however, can be very beneﬁcial when performed on the face and upper body, as part of the facial treatment experience. This generally takes place in the course of a facial treatment when the skin has been steamed, cleansed and exfoliated. The beneﬁts of a facial massage are many and include stimulating the circulation of blood ﬂow throughout the skin, helping with the removal of toxins from the body and relaxing the nerves in the face and décolleté region. The skin’s tis-
sues also beneﬁt from oxygenation, as well as increasing the hydration of the skin by bringing nutrients to the surface. Today, there are several mechanical versions of massage available, but manual touch — by the hands of a skin care professional with a good understanding of the skin and the techniques best suited to its care — still provides maximum beneﬁts. Most facial massage will incorporate a massage cream appropriate for varying skin types, and will maximize hydration. When properly done, this treatment helps promote a glowing and healthy-looking complexion.
Pet poisoning What to do if it happens
In the event that you think your pet has been poisoned, don’t panic, advise the experts, but rather quickly and safely collect any material involved (and the product container, if accessible) before calling or heading out to your veterinarian’s office. Also, collect in a sealable plastic bag any material your pet may have vomited or chewed. If you see your pet consuming material that you suspect might be toxic, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance, even if you do not notice any adverse effects. Sometimes, even if poisoned, an animal may appear normal for several hours or for days after the incident. Be ready with the following information when calling your vet or another source, such as The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved the animal’s symptoms information regarding the exposure, including the product and amount involved (if known), as well as the time elapsed since the time of exposure have the product container/packaging available for reference
If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, call ahead and take your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic.
Be Prepared Keep the telephone number of your local veterinarian in an easily-accessible location. Invest in an emergency ﬁrst-aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain: a fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting) a turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide) saline eye solution artiﬁcial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after ﬂushing) mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination) forceps (to remove stingers) a muzzle (to protect against fear- or excitement-induced biting) a can of your pet’s favorite wet food a pet carrier Always consult a veterinarian or the APCC for directions on how and when to use any emergency ﬁrst-aid item. The telephone number for the APCC is (888) 426-4435, but keep in mind, there is a consultation fee for the service. Source: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.
Genevieve Austin Genevieve Austin is a mother of one and received her teaching certiﬁcate from ASU. She is a writer who is working on her ﬁrst book, ‘The Toy Box,’ and is also a radio personality, artist, singer and animal advocate.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Dead Ends By Sandra Balzo
“Dead Ends” is the second installment in Sandra Balzo’s new Main Street Mysteries series. The series takes place in a ﬁctional tourist town of Sutherton, which borders Lake Sutherton in the Appalachians near Grandfather Mountain and Banner Elk. AnnaLise Griggs takes a leave of absence from her job as a police reporter in Wisconsin and returns to her childhood home of Sutherton to rally beside her mother who is experiencing neurological symptoms. Daisy is beginning to forget things, but it has not dimmed her enthusiastic lust for life nor undermined her maternal instincts. At least, not yet. Daisy has recently retired and closed the small market on Main Street she ran after her husband’s death when AnnaLisa was only 5-years-old. AnnaLise grew up in the bustle of the market and the neighboring restaurant, “Mama’s,” run by Daisy’s oldest and dearest friend, Phyllis Balisteri. AnnaLisa views Phyllis as her second mother and calls her “Mama,” while addressing her own mother as Daisy. The two women joined forces to keep the restaurant and market aﬂoat while raising AnneLise. The “Torch,” a coffee house by day and a trendy nightspot in the evening, has supplanted Daisy’s market. Daisy still lives above the building and AnnaLisa stays there with her while in town. The Torch and Mama’s restaurant serves as the central axis around which the novel “Dead Ends” revolves. “Dead Ends” begins in AnnaLisa’s
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second week after returning home. At Mama’s, she is confronted with an unexpected visit from an ex-lover, Ben. They had been entangled in an affair which had lasted a year and which AnnaLisa had ended the month before. As awkward as this encounter is, the fact that he is accompanied by his wife and grown daughter throws AnnaLisa into a ﬂush of embarrassment and guilt, which does not go unnoticed by Daisy. The book is inhabited by an assortment of characters whose quirks we come to know and whose behaviors are at times suspicious. First, there is Fred Eames, the caustic builder who constantly berates his son, Josh, who works for him. We meet the handsome author, James Duende, who was passed over for the assignment to write a local celebrity’s memoir. Instead, AnneLise gets the job, as the womanizing celebrity happens to be her biological father whom she refuses to acknowledge. Then, there is Benjamin Rosewood, a wealthy Wisconsin district attorney, who shows up out of the blue in AnnaLise’s home town with his acerbic wife, Tanja, and spoiled daughter, Suzanne, in tow. We learn that troubled Josh Eames and Suzanne are in love, much to the obvious disapproval and disgust of her mother. Scotty, a disliked and unreliable electrician, has a monopoly on the business in the area, threatening interlopers with bodily harm should they attempt to invade his turf. When Tanja is found at the bottom of a
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10% OFF gorge, it is ﬁrst thought to be an accident caused by Tanja’s propensity for alcohol abuse and fast driving. When a bullet casing is discovered in the wheel of her Porsche, we realize Tanja has been murdered. But, by whom? Is it one of the earlier characters or could it be Earl Lawling, the owner of the local garage, who seems a little creepy and may have a crush on AnneLise? As the plot unfolds, suspicion is thrown on everyone. Even AnneLise is not immune from the critical investigation of the chief of police, Chuck Greystone, a long time friend of AnneLise’s who is now judging her affair and the secrecy surrounding it. Is she really a suspect? Litigious Ben is looking for someone to blame. Is he covering up his own involvement? Will the man AnneLise thought
she loved point an accusing ﬁnger at her? When a second murder occurs, all bets are off. Sandra Balzo takes us on a wild ride on mountainous roads with solid rock on one side and sheer drop-offs on the other. We get a sense of Balzo’s own wicked sense of humor as she interjects a part of her own personality into the narrative, almost as quippy asides. “Dead Ends” leaves the murders resolved while keeping the door open to further explore the lives of these compelling characters in this ongoing series. Danielle Bussone Danielle Bussone is a writer, an artist and a wellness coach. Visit her blog at www.vegginoutandabout.com.
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About The Author Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime ﬁction, including nine books in two different mystery series — one set in the High Country of North Carolina and one set outside of Milwaukee. Balzo’s books have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. A recent member of the National Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America, Sandy and her ﬁancé, fellow crime writer Jeremiah Healy, divide their time between South Florida and the mountains of North Carolina. You can ﬁnd Sandy online at www. SandraBalzo.com, Pinterest (pinterest. com), Facebook (Sandra Balzo Mysteries) and Twitter (@SandraBalzo).
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Yogi Collins and Ania Ziolkowski have teamed up for a winning project with their recent release of “Goodnight, Boone.” Photo by Wyeth Collins
AAW Feature Writer Brings Hometown to Life in
‘Goodnight, Boone’ Her byline has appeared in All About Women almost since the magazine’s inception. Yozette Collins, better known as “Yogi,” has brought many stories to life through the pages of this magazine and has a deep devotion not only to the women of the area, but also to the area itself. So much so, in fact, that she recently wrote a hometown version of a classic children’s book that has captured the attention of young and old alike for several generations. “Goodnight Boone” began forming in Yogi’s mind in 2007 during a visit with her aunt, Marlis Jennings, in New Orleans. “I had this creative itch I hadn’t known how to satisfy,” she says, “so when I realized Boone didn’t have a kid’s book that could serve as a souvenir of sorts for this area, the idea captured me.” Along with Marlis, who was familiar with Boone from her many visits to the “My granddaughter, Vivian Claire, age 2, lives in the big city of Charlotte. My husband and I live here in the mountains. ‘Goodnight, Boone’ has become one of Vivian’s favorite books because it reminds her of visiting us. Because Vivian was already familiar with ‘Goodnight, Moon,’ she connected with it immediately. ‘Goodnight, Boone’ beautifully depicts, in word and illustration, the
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area, Yogi began brainstorming about those special places and things that make Boone so unique. Recruiting Ania Ziolkowski for the illustrations proved to be a perfect move. “I met Ania through an afterschool program at Appalachian State University which my kids attended,” Yogi says. “My daughter brought home drawings and doodles Ania created that really appealed to me. When I asked her if she’d be interested in illustrating “Goodnight, Boone,” she was very receptive. She’s very talented and we really work well together.” Yogi simply wanted to create something “that could be a celebration of this special area some of us get to call home,” she says. And, she did just that as she aptly portrayed generalities of mountain life — incorporating our pioneering spirit with more modern-day features. From a log cabin tucked in the woods essence of simple living at the feet of Grandfather Mountain — log cabins, a hound dog, music, and beautiful vistas. Our family settled in the High Country in the 1800s, so these mountains play a big role in Vivian’s heritage — and it’s important to us to impart an appreciation for that special heritage. ‘Goodnight, Boone’ does that in a way that a young child can grasp.” — Bonnie Church
in Grandfather Mountain’s shadows, traditional music played on the front porch by a friendly bear, and a dog resting by the ﬁreplace — to a pair of skis, sweets from The Candy Barrel, Christmas trees, the Appalachian State golden “A” logo embossed on the bed quilt, and more, Yogi has captured the essence of High Country living at its best. Having grown up in Boone, Yogi left for college and worked in Boston and Washington, D.C., as a producer, associate director and stage manager for NBC news and other TV outlets before moving back to Boone with her family in 2004. “Although I’ve continued to do freelance TV work since moving here, I really missed the frequency of work and the creative outlet it gave me,” she says. “Writing for All About Women has been a blessing in that regard.” Her success with “Goodnight Boone” further proves her talent for writing and her ability to convey a strong message in just a few words. Yogi’s version of “Goodnight Boone” was published Nov. 15, 2012, by All Star Press and is available for purchase locally at Dan’l Boone Inn, Black Bear Books and Stick Boy Bread Company. It is also available on amazon.com and bn.com. sherrie norris Editor, All About Women
“How far do you go as a friend,” was the question of Lisa Verge Higgins’ 2012 novel, “One Good Friend Deserves Another.” That simmering question comes to a boil in Higgins’ newest debut, “Friendship makes the heart grow fonder” (5 Spot, $13.99). Multiply by three the number of friends in need here — three woman on the other side of 35 who each stand at a personal crossroad. Three women who will choose the right path only if they depend on the friendship of one another. That’s a lot of dependency, but it’s “mutual-,” not “co-,” and it works. Becky has a degenerative eye disease and is going blind. In her direct line of vi-
sion is a troubled marriage, and the reality that she may never get to glimpse ﬁrsthand the European castles she is so adept at recreating in confection. Judy traded her back-packing free spirit for the solid baggage of a loving marriage, ﬁve children and a soon-to-beempty nest. Monique lost her husband to cancer four years ago. Lenny left his wife their teenage daughter, a decent bank account and a bucket list the size of Europe. It’s the list upon which the novel hinges. But it’s the bucket that serves as the inspiration for trust as Monique, Judy and Becky travel from Milan to Monte Carlo,
dealing with loss and fear. Dependent upon each other, each woman is faced with moving on — although where they move to comes as a physical and emotional surprise as the author deftly avoids the cliched travel tale. In “Friendship makes the heart grow fonder,” Higgins again showcases the eye and ear to write a women’s relationship novel that isn’t measured in melancholy, but in the measure of true friendship. TOM MAYER Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, which includes All About Women. email@example.com
About the author “Friendship makes the heart grow fonder” is Higgins’ 15th novel, 12 of which were historical novels written in the 1990s while she was studying for her doctoral degree in chemistry. Higgins has been nominated for the RITA award, and her novel “The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship” won the 2011 Golden Leaf Award for Best Single Title. Higgins’ novel previously reviewed, “One Good Friend Deserves Another,” by Tom Mayer, Aug. 16, 2012, for Mountain Times, read at www.mountaintimes.com/art/articles/Book-Review-id-023186. MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Ireland’s Patron Saint Whether you have an ounce of Irish blood running through your veins or not, chances are you have a reason to acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day. You may choose to wear green, take part in local celebrations or simply plan your meal around a chunk of corned beef. Regardless of you how spend March 17, it can be a fun day for you and your family.
Irish Potato Casserole (Overnight process) 10 medium potatoes, peeled 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 8 oz. sour cream ½ cup butter or margarine, melted ¼ cup chives 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. garlic powder Paprika Cook potatoes in boiling water for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add potatoes and remaining ingredients, except paprika; beat just until combined. Spoon mixture into a lightly buttered 2 qt casserole; sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove 15 minutes before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
MARCH 2013 | AAWMAG.COM
Traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce 1 corned beef brisket, about 4 lbs. 1 onion 3 whole cloves 4 parsley sprigs 8 whole black peppercorns 2 lbs. cabbage 1 cup sour cream 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish Peel onion and stick with cloves. Put corned beef, onion, parsley and peppercorns in a large pot and cover with water. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook gently until tender, 2½ to 3 hours. Cut cabbage into wedges and core. Add to the pot, cover and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Combine sour cream with horseradish. Serve the meat and cabbage with some of the broth ladled over all, and horseradish on the side.
Irish Lace Cookies ½ cup unsalted butter 1 cup ﬁrmly packed brown sugar 1 Tbs. vanilla extract 4 Tbs. ﬂour 2 Tbs. milk 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and ﬂour 2 baking sheets. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla. Stir in ﬂour, milk and oats. Drop batter by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; allow room for cookies to spread to about 3 inches in diameter. Each baking sheet will hold about 6 cookies. Bake until cookies ﬂatten and look dry (10 minutes). Let cookies cool for 4 to 5 minutes on baking sheets. Lift from baking sheet with a metal spatula and cool completely before serving. Makes 2 doz. cookies
A Favorite Irish Blessing May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your ﬁelds. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
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Photo by Sherrie Norris
Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit.