Page 1

NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine


Weddings January / February 2018

Search. See. Love.

Find a place to hang your heart. Explore all homes on the market today and leverage the insight of our agent network. Find your agent at

Priscilla The

Patti Bass



Patti Bass REALTOR®

Priscilla Morris REALTOR®




Darin Greear REALTOR®

Wendy Swanson REALTOR®



Long & Foster. For the love of home. Anne-Collins Albimino REALTOR® 540.239.3246

Visit or download our mobile app today! 3601 Holiday Ln. Blacksburg, VA 24060 | 540.552.1010

You need a partner who knows the neighborhoods, the market and the process. Who can advise you when to think on it, sleep on it or go all in on it. Because this is about much more than bricks and sticks. This is about your future home. And you don’t want to live with it. You want to love it. Long & Foster was named “America’s Most Trusted Residential Real Estate Brokerage” by Lifestory Research.


Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift and Tummy Tuck Join Mark Feldmann, M.D., for a candid discussion about mommy makeover surgical options.

Wednesday, Feb. 21 | 5:30 p.m.

Carilion Clinic Cosmetic Center 2107 Rosalind Ave., S.W. | Roanoke, VA 24014

There will be limited seating at this free event; register at


540-853-0510 |

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8






Plan the wedding of your dreams in Virginia’s Mountain Playground ™ Visit for more information. #GilesCoVA

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8









16 10 46 36 H O RS E S A N D WE D DIN G S 10 N RV WE D D IN G S 16 CA N - A M S PYD E R 2 0




FO O D FA R E 4 4 A RO U N D T H E N R V

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8

46 7

Presented by

2018 NRV HOME EXPO MARCH 9th, 10th, & 11th | Christiansburg Rec Center

Looking to build, buy, remodel or add on—you don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet building trade professionals in one great location. Tickets $5.00 but bring this coupon for

$2.00 OFF

Friday 4pm to 8pm Saturday 9am to 7pm Sunday 12pm to 5pm

2nd weekend in March Christiansburg Rec Center

One coupon per ticket. Children 18 & under FREE

Join us for special events such as, “Ask a Pro”, Charity Cook-off, Silent Auction, Pergola Raffle & More Photo by Sean Shannon Photography




Learn more at










P. O. Box 11816 Blacksburg, VA 24062 o: 540-961-2015

PUBLISHER Country Media, Inc. Phillip Vaught MANAGING EDITOR Joanne Anderson ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sabrina Sexton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Dennis Shelor WRITERS Joanne Anderson Karl Kazaks Krisha Chachra Sheila Nelson Emily Alberts Jennifer Cooper Mike Wade Becky Helper Astleigh Hill Nancy Moseley PHOTOGRAPHERS Kristie Lea Photography Always and Forever Photography Tom Wallace Silver Pebble Photography Jamie Johnson Bunker Nathan Cooke Photography

Cover Image by: Kristie Lea Photography Š 2018 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. The publisher assumes no financial liability for copy omissions by Country Media, Inc. other than the cost of the space occupied by the error. Corrections or cancellations to be made by an advertiser shall be received no later than 5 p.m. the 20th of each publishing month. No claim shall be allowed for errors not affecting the value of the advertisement. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.


I was only 2 or 3 years old when my young parents strapped double vertical blades under my winter boots, buckled them securely over the boot tops and gleefully set me upright on a frozen Vermont pond. I don't remember what happened next, but I don't recall a time that I have not loved ice skating. The fire department made a gigantic, wood frame around the town common every winter, then rolled in a pumper or two and flooded it for a magnificent ice skating rink. It was almost as much fun as the frozen ponds with little bonfires on the shore for toasting marshmallows. When I lived in Colorado, my ski area preferences of Keystone and Breckenridge had little to do with skiing and everything to do with their outdoor ice skating rinks. I can ski. But, oh, can I skate! It is surprising then that I assigned the ice skating story to Emily Alberts, but she had plans to take her kids skating, so I let her have all the fun and call it work. If they make a rink in Christiansburg, as she writes about, I will be there on opening day with bells on my skates. Maybe don't come that day; it's been 25+ years. Nancy Moseley, a Gen X mother, and Astleigh Hill, a millennial mom, have joined our freelance writer pool. Amy Gray of Silver Pebble Photography came on board last fall and took photos for Summer Casady's wedding in this issue. At age 15, Summer came to work for me, the same year I got my first horse. With her truck and my trailer, we hauled our horses to Foster Falls, Green Hill Park, Pandapas, New River Trail, etc. That she would ride a horse into her wedding reception was a no-brainer. She would have gone Christmas caroling on horseback with us if she didn't live in Wyoming. For now. We're watching for your return ~ husband Adam, his dog, your dog,

Pasture Talk

Paloosa and Winnie in tow, eastbound this time! See page 10. There's still time to reserve an ad in the "NRV See & Do Book" to be distributed to all lodging establishments in the New River Valley in early March. A hard cover, all color, 64-page book will

be placed free of charge in every guest room. Every retail shop, restaurant, coffee shop, shopping center, gas station, hotel or B&B, etc., should be in here for one year. It's a new, exciting, adventurous project and possibly the best opportunity to let visitors know about your business and services. Even banks, urgent care places and pharmacies should let our visitors know where they can find them while away from home. Here's hoping that 2018 ushers in hope and joy and optimism ~ and maybe an ice skating rink! Happy New Year!

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Horses and Weddings and Planning from Afar Text by Joanne M. Anderson | Photos by Silver Pebble Photography


It's possible two of the most popular things that girls dream of are ... [drum roll] ... horses and weddings. Summer [Driscoll] Casady is no exception, having gotten a horse long before a husband. At age 11, the homeschooled fifth grader acquired Paloosa, 4, an Appaloosa mare which she trained, rode in parades, won blue ribbons on and galloped bareback across pastures. During and after college, Summer worked for Ron and Carol Baker at Huffman House B&B [now closed] outside Newport training their Haflingers. In 2014, she acquired Winnie, one of their horses. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Animal Science, Summer spent one year working at




Healing Strides in Boones Mill, completing her advanced therapeutic riding certification in August of 2015. Eight months later, for the first time since she was a child, she left Blacksburg for Wyoming, Paloosa and Winnie in tow. Beau, her chocolate lab, was in one of the vehicles along with her belongings in a caravan that included her parents, Duncan and Kelli Driscoll, sister Dakota and brother Dawson ~ the 21st century version of a little wagon train westward bound. Within two weeks, Summer began her job as Equine Manager/Head Instructor at the Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association and met a young man named Adam Casady. Adam had moved there a year earlier from the 2018

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Midwest after an unsatisfying stint with a Chicago firm. Having grown up in Kansas, Adam, like Summer, longed for small town life with abundant outdoor recreation, which western Wyoming delivers in spades. "One of my new friends asked what was 'my type' of guy," Summer recalls. "I had no idea. I met Adam a couple days later, and I thought: 'Now HE is my type!'" The first thing Adam remembers is Summer's apple pie. So that old saw that the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach may still ring true. Fast forward seven months and lots of horseback riding, camping, fishing, church activities, bicycling and talking about everything under the sun, including their strong Christian faith, and Adam strategically plotted his proposal. Summer was riding Paloosa bareback when Adam dismounted Winnie on a trail just south of the Grand Tetons and went to bended knee. The engagement ring sports a twisted band like Paloosa's braided rawhide reins. Their dogs frolicked nearby, and the horses seemed to stomp an approval. Her family, including her grandmother, Joan McGowan, from New York City, were back at the ranch to celebrate and begin planning an April 1st wedding, four and a half months away. Summer always wanted to get married at the Huffman House. "After six years of working and riding there, I knew every contour of the land. That prompted multiple phone calls to Ron and Carol with me saying: 'Ok, stand with your back to the creek. See the little collapsing shed on your right? Ok, walk past that. See the 12




J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


ditch on your left? The tent will fit the long way between that and the little tree on your right where the hill meets the flat area.'" "Planning across the distance consisted of a million phone calls and hours on Pinterest and the internet. Mom graciously ran errands everywhere to get the best prices for things that perfectly matched my descriptions. It was certainly stressful at times, but it all came together beautifully. My friends Julia and Megan and I made all the signs for the aisle and signs stating where to go and when. The fresh flowers from Stonecrop Farm in Newport were absolutely gorgeous, and Black Tie Entertainment [Richmond, Va.] kept the dance floor packed." Summer dreamed, of course, of riding in her wedding dress. Since it wasn't practical to haul Paloosa and Winnie to the event, Winnie's mom and niece were willing to stand in. "We cantered around the yard on horseback while waiting to ride into the reception," Summer relates. They 14


had practiced riding in a couple days earlier, but the pressure was a bit too much for the ponies on the Big Day. "Adam's horse trotted toward the crowd, all sure of herself, then at the last minute decided it was too scary and ran away with my horse trying to follow. Adam is a good rider though, and he was able to convince her it was okay to ride toward the people. Another favorite part of our wedding was doing country swing for our first dance. Everyone thought we had taken lessons and choreographed it, but really, it was all on the fly because we do it so often in Jackson." Summer and Adam are very happy that they did not have a long engagement. "Waiting 4 1/2 months was plenty long enough. We got tired of going to different houses every night, saying goodnight through text and living separate lives." The only thing that they would have changed is Summer having the flu. The night before the big event, she ran a fever and lost her voice. She may have said her vows in a whisper, but they were


shouting from her heart. "The most important aspect of our wedding," Adam adds, "is that we wanted God to be glorified and the gospel of Jesus Christ presented. God's hand has been on our relationship from the beginning, and He will guide our path across the beautiful, exciting, adventurous decades ahead of us."

We wanted pieces of our Western lives, hence riding horses, the outdoor wedding, bridal party outfits classy but casual. The guys wore ties made by a friend who owns Western Range Clothing Co. All the bowties had elk antlers embroidered into them, and the bridesmaids had necklaces of the Grand Tetons, except my sister who loves the city and not the mountains. I gave her a New York skyline necklace. The flowers were different varieties in vibrant spring colors. Two of Ron's bottle-fed lambs ran around at our cocktail hour! ~ Summer Casady


Valentine’s at The Inn Make this Valentine’s Celebration one to remember! February 14-17, 2018

Sweet Romance Package Includes guest room for two, strawberries and champagne (or sparkling cider), breakfast for two in Preston’s Restaurant, and late checkout. The Sweet Romance package is available on February 16 and 17.


Weddings at

Hahn Horticulture Garden ON THE VIRGINIA TECH CAMPUS

The Preston’s Package

Includes all the amenities of the Sweet Romance Package plus an elegant dinner for two in Preston’s Restaurant. The Preston’s Package is available on February 17.


Night of Wine and Roses

A romantic dinner for two featuring four delicious courses and live entertainment. Perfectly paired wine flight for an additional $12.95** per person. Dinner available on February 14, 15 and 17.

$99.00** per couple

Abby Grace Photography

For Reservations, Call 540.231.8000 *Prices do not include tax. **Prices do not include tax and gratuity.

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


NRV Weddings - Lilliston / Turner





Groom: Logan Lilliston Bride: Scarlett Turner Mountain Lake Lodge October 6, 2017 Photos by Kristie Lea Photography

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


NRV Weddings - Cooper / Pennington





Groom: Austin Cooper Bride: Alex Pennington Nesselrod on the New, Radford June 17, 2017 Photos by Kristie Lea Photography

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Because It's Fun!

Text by Karl H. Kazaks Photos by Tom Wallace When you become the owner of a high performance vehicle, it’s natural to show it off to your friends and family. So when Joan Mitchell, a Blacksburg Realtor (RE/MAX 8 associate broker), got her 2014 Can-Am Spyder RT, she took her mother for a ride on the three-wheeled touring machine. Like a motorcycle, the Spyder is open-air and has a single rear wheel – but it has two front wheels. The manufacturer refers to it as a “roadster,” but in technical terms, it is more of what has been traditionally called a trike, although a trike usually has two wheels in back. Like many motorcycles, it has a powerful engine – a 115-hp, three-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, four-stroke Rotax 20


1330 – and a reverse gear. “That makes it easier to maneuver in parking lots,” Mitchell says. Drivers must have a motorcycle permit to operate a Spyder, and helmets are required when riding. That wasn’t a problem for Mitchell, who got her motorcycle license several years before acquiring the barely used Spyder in 2015. Her mother enjoyed the ride and the Can-Am, but that didn’t stop her from offering her daughter a report on her driving performance. As it turns out, Mitchell’s mother had been a motorcycle safety instructor who has logged more than 100,000 road miles as a motorcyclist, mostly on Honda Goldwings. Like her mother, Mitchell took up the sport of motorcycling midway in life.


Her mother started once her children were raised. Mitchell started in 2009, a few years after she moved to Blacksburg. Her husband, an experienced rider who owns two BMWs, encouraged her to get one of her own. “I was content to be a passenger,” Mitchell recalls. But when she took a motorcycle class at New River Community College in Dublin, she fell in love with riding. She also fell a couple of times, laying the practice bike down. But that didn’t discourage her. “I was determined,” she declares. Prior to finding the Spyder, Mitchell had two two-wheeled motorcycles – a Honda Rebel and a BMW F650GS, a multi-surface bike. Giving up two wheels for three doesn’t eliminate the windswept feeling she gets when


Building Dreams from Visions Winter is here! Are you ready? Make your home the best it can be!




Building Dreams from Visions

We have the solutions to keep you warm and comfortable all season long!

Energy Check

health ͻ comfort ͻ safety ͻĞŶĞƌŐLJĞĸĐŝĞŶĐLJ

540.951.0358 540-443-9966


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


riding. “You might not lean the same way as on a two-wheeled motorcycle,” she explains, “but there is still centrifugal force, and human body mechanics have to respond to the road and the curve. There is a lot of enjoyment and challenge out of the ride.” With the Spyder, which features upright, legs-down seating, there is also a stability control system, designed to keep both front wheels on the ground when the driver takes a corner too quickly, too sharply, or both. Can-Ams are made by BRP, the recreational products division of the Canadian aircraft company Bombardier (BRP also makes snowmobiles). The RT weighs more than 1,000 pounds and is just shy of nine feet long. Though there is a semi-automatic version available, Mitchell’s Spyder comes with a manual 6-speed transmission with a hand-operated clutch lever and footoperated shifter like most motorcycles. There is plenty of storage with two side cases, a back case and a “frunk” or front 22


trunk. Mitchell has installed GPS and a power adapter into her Spyder. With the adapter she can power accessories like her heated riding jacket. “One of my friends loves to tease me about my Realtor personality, which is very business-like, and my biker personality, which is all play,” she reveals. "She always remembers when she saw me pull up on my BMW, take off my black motorcycle jacket, and there I was wearing a pearl necklace.” Mitchell goes riding most frequently with her husband, but also enjoys solo and group riding. “It’s definitely a couple’s sport. It’s wonderful to encourage each other and share a passion for riding.” The two of them belong to a local riding group which includes several three wheelers. The group is very informal, and some of them – “motorcycle breakfast buddies” – have been riding together regularly for more than 30 years. Mitchell and her husband are newcomers, since around 2010. “With three-wheelers you can continue to enjoy the sport of motorcycling as you get older,” Mitchell explains. “Not to say it’s


an old person’s ride. You can still enjoy riding twisties, but the trike is definitely easier on your hips and knees. Not having to put down a foot at a stop or worry about balance during slowspeed maneuvering makes the Spyder easy to operate. ” A Spyder is a good option for women who may not be comfortable on two wheels. “It’s a more secure way to get started," Mitchell believes. Her other vehicles include a Hyundai Genesis (or “couch on wheels,” as she affectionately calls it), but she loves motorcycle riding in the New River Valley. “We have worldclass motorcycle riding here. Wonderful roads, wonderful scenery. I even love riding at night. There’s something appealing about riding through a tunnel of darkness.” One of Mitchell’s more memorable rides was taking her identical twin sister, Jean, for a ride around Smith Mountain Lake. “We had a fabulous time! I try to ride it as much as possible – because it’s fun.”


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Any Store, One Registry a new bridal registry approach Text by Astleigh Hill

Planning a wedding isn’t always about putting together the details of the ceremony and reception. It’s also about preparing for married life and making sure you have the basics for your home as newlyweds. Each year approximately 1.5

million engaged couples create a wedding registry in the United States. Registries are a traditional way that a bride and groom are able to combine their personal styles and create a wish list of items that would not only be necessary and practical, but also fun and enjoyable to have in their first

home. In the last five years, wedding registries have made a drastic change. What used to be registering at one place has transformed into being able to register for anything from just about any store or website with one simple online registry

You’ll always receive our best, and that’s a promise.


4248_SNB_Branding_16x3.05_Color_NRV_Ad-rev.indd 1




tool. Engaged couples no longer have to find all their home essentials, from bed linens to cooking and camping gear in one store. It's possible and easy to mix and match an entire bridal registry using new online tools such as "My Registry," an online collection of all the items asked for from multiple retailers. This gives the bride and groom a great deal of freedom and flexibility to put together a registry that reflects their needs and taste without sacrificing their desired style.

An additional aspect of going with "My Registry" is creating a cash fund or honey fund (perhaps for the honeymoon) which allows the gift-giver the option to make a cash donation instead of purchasing a listed gift. This cash fund

With the creation of a registry tool that allows a couple to combine items from many different retailers, even those which do not offer registries for their business

could be used for the honeymoon, putting money toward a larger item for the home or even perhaps a down payment on a house. With this kind of array in retailers and cash fund alternatives, there is a plethora of choices when putting together a wedding registry in this manner. An online registry also features multiple, user-friendly options for those making purchases for the couple. From price comparison tools to ensure the best price and ways to mark an item “purchased” or “saved for purchasing,” a registry shopper can be sure to purchase a gift that not only fits their budget, but also fulfills a wish for the bride and groom. If someone has a question for the wedding couple about a specific item, there is a way to message them through the online registry. It’s simple and easy.

With the creation of a registry tool that allows a couple to combine items from many different retailers, even those which do not offer registries for their business, the registry becomes more specific and unique to them. Very small businesses, like those found on Etsy, to large online marketplaces, like Amazon, can be utilized for putting together registries, along with more traditional stores such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target and Pottery Barn.

creating a cash fund or honey fund (perhaps for the honeymoon) allows the gift-giver the option to make a cash donation . . .

How It Works

• Create a registry online at • Add the “My Registry” button to your bookmark bar. • Click the button to add any item from any store to your registry. • Add items on-the-go by using your smartphone. • Share the link to your registry with your family and friends.

Baby Registry

These online registries are not limited to wedding registries. There are options for creating baby registries using the same method. Find a multitude of needed and desired baby items from any store and combine it into one concise list, found in one place. "My Registry" can be used as a baby wish list or the popular "BabyList." Expectant parents can include madeto-order baby bedding from an Etsy shop to the same registry that includes white onesies from Target. It’s an easy way to organize your needs and wants for a baby (or a home) in one place. Astleigh Hill is a Christiansburg-based freelance writer, wife, mama and iced coffee drinker, who used babylist for her first child. Connect with her via her lifestyle + home blog, Darling Do (www.

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8

6/19/17 12:38 PM


A Great Gatsby Affair Text by Astleigh Hill Photos by Kristie Lea Photography the

relationship that led to a marriage

schedule. With just the right amount of

eve of the year 2017. People are prepping

to Emily on their way to a summer concert

on a New Year’s Eve wedding. “I think





mountains a crisp blue in Blacksburg, the to celebrate the ringing in of a New Year. Party hats, black dresses, drinks for

toasting and maybe even some confetti.

A festive feeling is going around, and

for Emily and Joey, there's a little extra

excitement in the air. The duo would be toasting the New Year as newlyweds.

Just before the start of their

senior years at Virginia Tech, Emily, an industrial systems engineer major, and

Joey, a biochemistry major, reconnected. What started as knowing one another

through mutual friends during their teens in high school, turned into a budding



proposal in their early 20s. Joey proposed in Richmond. Knowing that she wasn’t a

fan of big, public displays, Joey kept it simple and perfect for his bride-to-be.

Kneeling under a tree on their way into the concert, he asked Emily to marry him.

They celebrated their engagement over Trampled by Turtles and Grace Potter while eating funnel cakes. And according to Emily: “It was absolutely perfect.”

Since Blacksburg had been the

place where their relationship really grew, the location for their nuptials was an easy and fitting decision. Picking the dates revolved around Joey’s medical school


time off around the holidays, they landed

it worked out really well and everyone enjoyed having a reason to dress up and get out on New Year’s Eve,” Emily shares.





naturally. A Great Gatsby feel, with all of its

glitz and glamour, was the perfect way to

celebrate not only their nuptials but also the holiday. Dark winter tones, accents of gold and white floral arrangements

brought their Gatsby-themed wedding to life. Emily wore a stunning, beaded and silk mermaid wedding dress for the ceremony and changed into a flowing

ball gown for the reception. Joey was


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


coordinator, mom and sister do a lot

of the planning and logistics. It helped ensure that I was relaxed and excited for the day instead of anxious and stressed.

While I gave my input on things, I was honestly hands off with the majority of

the planning. “While it holds true that the

bride and her family do the majority of the planning," Joey adds, "don’t take your role

as the groom for granted. When she asks your opinion, she wants your feedback,

even if it is about the color of the napkins

or flavor of the cake. It may seem menial,

but when a bride can’t decide, she relies on the groom to help make the decision.”

Working together to put all of the

details into place made the wedding day memorable for all the right reasons.

In the final days leading up to the

wedding, a small hiccup occurred with one of the wedding day dresses. After picking

up her wedding dress and reception ball gown and trying them on alone in a small

dressing room, Emily traveled from her

current home in Richmond to her New

River Valley hometown of Riner feeling confident that the gowns were ready

to wear. Once home, however, she tried them on again in a bigger space with a larger mirror to discover that she was

not pleased with the alterations of one in a classic black tux, with his best man

as they hoped. The new couple, Joey and

of them. With little time to spare, she

black tie. The navy, sequined gown worn

and ringing in the New Year. “We got to

emergency alterations. Even with this

with our favorite people. The night ended

had an unforgettable day.


planning process can be incredibly

and reception went just as smoothly as

closer to your wedding day. Don’t lose

allowing others to help as much as they

~ you get to marry your best friend. Keep

matching except for a gold instead of a by the maid of honor added Gatsby flair to the bridal party.

The couple were married on the

Virginia Tech campus in the War Memorial Chapel by Governor Ralph Northam (Lt. Governor at the time). Following the

ceremony, the bride and groom celebrated with family and friends at the German

Club. Everything turned out magical just 28


Emily Conduff, spent the night dancing

made a last-minute trip to Richmond for

greet the New Year as husband and wife

unexpected twist in plans, Emily and Joey

with champagne and kisses. It was truly

Planning the entire ceremony

stressful, especially as the weeks get

the wedding day itself. Emily recommends

sight of what the planning is going into

can and are willing. “I let my wedding

your eyes on the prize and everything will


Joey, sums it up well: “The


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


work out. It is a beautiful time, and it will fly by like you cannot believe. Enjoy the ride, and have fun!”

Astleigh Hill is a Christiansburg-based freelance writer, wife, mama and iced coffee drinker. Connect with her via her lifestyle + home blog, Darling Do (



NRV Vendors:  Gates Flowers, Christiansburg  New River Cakes, Radford  Kristie Lea Photography, Blacksburg  Rick Pruett, DJ, Blacksburg  Same day wedding coordinator: Emily Yost  Lodging and rehearsal dinner: Inn at Virginia Tech



CYNTHIA ILEWICZ ph: 540.808.3691

LISA GAYE ph: 276.970.0555

Where will you find Nester Cynthia Ilewicz on her ideal day in the New River Valley? She’d begin at the Blacksburg Farmers Market, then browse local yard sales or flea markets. Next, she’d head out for a hike with her three rescue dogs: Duke, an 84-pound pyrenees mix, Max, a loveable English shepherd mix, and sweet Dosha Bear, a 12-year-old border collie. She and her boyfriend Andrew would finish off the day at one of their favorite restaurants in Salem, The Blue Apron, and afterwards grab a treat from Corbin’s Confections, a delicious gluten free bakery just down the street. This wealth of local knowledge is something that Cynthia loves to share with her clients—showing clients around town, sharing great places to eat, favorite activities, and insider knowledge about the area. Born and raised in Roanoke, she moved to Blacksburg in 2007 with Andrew, her longtime boyfriend whom she met in

college while both attending Radford University. Working with a wonderful Realtor to purchase their first home, the home buying process sparked her interest in real estate. She realized that helping others through this important milestone in their life was a perfect career choice, and working with firsttime buyers has now become one of her specialities. Ten years later, she and Andrew still live in the same bungalow that Cynthia has lovingly decorated, largely with furniture that she’s refurbished herself. She has a keen eye for design and loves to scour antique stores, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, flea markets, and yard sales. Seeing the potential in furniture, and houses, has been a huge asset for her clients. Helping buyers envision the home they could create, or aiding sellers in the staging process is just one of her many talents. Meet Cynthia and learn more:

If you had to eat just one food everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be? For Nest Realtor Lisa Gaye the answer is easy—spaghetti! A lover of Italian food, fresh noodles topped with spicy meatballs and her own homemade tomato sauce is her ultimate favorite. An avid gardener, Lisa grows 40-70 tomato plants each season, with the majority of them dedicated to making her spaghetti sauce. One of seven siblings, she shares her bounty with large family, all of whom are located just hours away in her hometown in Nicholas County, West Virginia. Sharing food has become a family tradition—opting to exchange food instead of presents. As a real estate agent for 17 years, creating a cozy home to create family traditions is something that she enjoys helping her clients achieve, “The joy of having a roof over your head—a

warm, dry place to set up your table to congregate with your loved ones and enjoy life.” When Lisa isn’t gardening or cooking, you can find her exploring the vast outdoors of the New River Valley. Rising early to practice yoga and meditation, she then catches the sunrise each morning on a hike with her three rescue labs—Lulu, Fannie, and Hershey. To keep herself, her partner Charles, and their family of fur babies warm through the winter, she’s become skilled at using a chainsaw to cut her own firewood. A nature lover that values the land and wants to protect it, she chooses to only cut trees that are diseased or falling. Lisa jokes that as a third generation family of loggers, “For every tree my brother cuts down, I plant one!” Meet Lisa, and learn more at:

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Making Music that Doesn't Exist versatile musician composes as well

Text by Nancy Moseley

Photos by Kristie Lea Photography John Crawford started playing music as soon as he was old enough to plunk on piano keys. Of course, a lot of toddlers plunk frenetically on piano keys, but few grow up past toy keyboards or even grade school band to become talented adult musicians, scholars of composition, active in community and professional orchestras and mentors to like-minded youth. “My grandmother noticed my early interest in the piano and immediately took it upon herself to give me lessons.” John Crawford ended up continuing with the piano throughout elementary school, his dedication atypical of childhood 32


capriciousness. In middle school he chose to play the trombone because "when the band teacher presented the different instruments for selection, it was the only one on which I could produce a sound." Crawford, 32, grew up in Yorktown and went on to be a December 2009 graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Computer Science. During his college years, he continued with the trombone as a member of the VT Jazz Band plus two seasons with the Marching Virginians. He cites a desire to continue learning with the same intensity that college requires as the motivation to pick


up a new instrument post graduation. “I really wanted to get into classical and group performance," he explains, "but I wasn’t good enough at the piano, and I think most classical trombone parts are kind of boring. I thought and prayed about it a lot and started to hear cello parts on the radio.” He readily admits that making the jump to a string instrument was not easy. Upon recommendation from a friend, he contacted Daniel Foster of Foster Violins who set him up with a rental cello and a list of local teachers. Åke-Eric Renqvist, conductor of the Blacksburg


Make your New Year sofantastic!


220 Laurel Street NE 540-381-4000

Meet the Artist

Gallery Open House Feb. 3-4 Saturday 11-4 pm Sunday 12-3 pm Spring in Appalachia

223 Gilbert Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 (540) 552-6446

Validated Parking available at the North End Center Garage

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Community Strings and former violist with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, was the first teacher to pick up his calls. Crawford started formal cello lessons with Renqvist in April of 2010, practicing two to three hours every day at Squires Student Center. He excelled quickly, and by the holiday season of that same year, Renqvist invited him to play with the Blacksburg Community Strings (BCS). Over the years, in addition to his BCS membership, Crawford has procured several professional opportunities. He has performed with Mill Mountain Theatre, Showtimers Community Theatre and the occasional special church event or wedding. He has played for Chinese New Year and Lunar festivals, New River Stage performances and, rather simply, to entertain folks in retirement communities. He is also a staple on the worship team at Northstar Church in Blacksburg. Crawford is a research computer programmer at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke by day and continues to moonlight, so to speak, as a cellist. When asked if there is any connection to his profession as a computer scientist and his passion for music, he nonchalantly offers that he is currently writing a custom plug-in that will remotely control his synthesizer for better use while composing. 34


Crawford started composing in elementary school (a “Jazz Train” number) and continued to dabble in arrangement and composition throughout high school and college, amassing more than 31 original pieces of work to date. The motivation to compose and not just play, he notes, is born out of a desire to hear music that doesn’t exist. “Sometime in my elementary school years, my dad bought a Casio keyboard which I actually still have. I remember using the MIDI track recording features to make covers of different songs.” Now Crawford’s first orchestral piece, entitled “Dance of the Magus,” is slated for performance in 2018. Crawford composes and records in his home studio in Christiansburg and has plans to release an album in 2018. “It starts with a lick or a chord progression and soon you have a song. The album has definitely been my driving force to continue learning.” He is currently learning to perfect playing the electric guitar, electric base and drums and has even studied the harp. To round out his already impressive repertoire of instruments, he recently started voice lessons with Ella Kromin, whom he found through Bridge Kaldro Music in Christiansburg. “Music is my voice. It’s my way of expression, of exploring different facets


of myself.” Crawford has always admired music with varying styles and artists that don’t stick to one particular sound. His taste runs the gamut. He found early inspiration in Yoko Kanno, a Japanese composer best known for her work on the soundtracks of anime films, and his favorite classical piece is “The Planets” by English composer Gustav Holst, where each movement is named after a planet in the solar system. He also likes old movie musicals, classic rock and popular music from the late '90s and early 2000s. A humble, steadfast devotion to learning has influenced John Crawford’s musical career since he first toyed with piano keys. His preference for music that widely varies mirrors the human condition, ever-changing and evolving with life experience. When prompted for what’s next, he openly admits to looking ahead in only one-year increments. “There is so much material and technique with string instruments to give you a path forward. I will continue to take lessons for the foreseeable future. Even all the practicing is beautiful.” Nancy Moseley is a Blacksburg-based freelance writer. She played the flute throughout middle school and retired her musical career after 8th grade.


DCJS #11-9804


Home Safe Home · 745-2111

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8



at the Top of the Mountain

Text by Joanne M. Anderson | Photos by Kristie Lea Photography

Five years ago, Alan and Cindy Gensamer moved to the New River Valley from Houston, Texas. It fit their criteria for a place to retire: close to colleges and universities, airports, museums and cultural venues, plus a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. And the climate - not too cold, not too hot. They brought myriad talents along with warm, charming personalities. The 1½-story Cape that caught their eye is at the end of a wooded, uphill country road then up more on a long, winding, single-lane driveway. To paraphrase Dorothy: "I've a feeling you are not in Houston any more. You must be over the rainbow!" Figuratively, they are over the rainbow with enthusiasm for and contentment with their uniquely crafted 36


mountain lifestyle in Giles County. "The house was built in 1997," says Cindy, "and we spent a year and a half renovating and expanding it." Sitting on 30 acres, the couple almost completely remodeled the house from the roof to the basement and everywhere in between. The kitchen takes center stage in any home, and this one is not only very large with a unique pantry, farmhouse sink, upscale appliances, dumb waiter, soapstone and butcher block, but also has especially striking countertops. One can measure antiques by decades, usually centuries, and there are many lovely pieces in this home. But the Gensamer's kitchen counters are assessed in hundreds of millions of years. "It’s called glaciogenic diamictite," explains Alan, a retired consulting geologist with a life long


association with rocks. "It is a jumble of rocks from a glacial deposit with sedimentary, metamorphic and volcanic particles up to two billion years old. The source for the components is thought to be parts of Eastern Brazil and possibly Western Africa. This particular formation was purportedly created before the opening of the Atlantic Ocean." It is stunning for the fascinating assortment of geological materials and textures. The kitchen island cupboards are a very attractive, smooth, marbled hickory, and the others on the walls are white. "The soapstone around the sink abutting the butcher block is in place to keep the butcher block from being adjacent to water," relates Cindy. The open concept living and


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


dining spaces which flow toward the kitchen showcase Alan's handcrafted Windsor chairs, special antiques and intriguing pieces from their four years in Indonesia. The master bedroom and bath are on the main floor, with two guest rooms upstairs, all lovingly furnished with quilts and Americana decorative style. Many of the paintings and folk art designs are handcrafted by Cindy. A couple of doors are barn style floating sideways on tracks above the doorway, and the dumb waiter takes groceries from the lower level near the garage with a push of a button to just outside the kitchen. Over the new 2-car garage is the expansive FROG room (Fun Room Over Garage). It has a cathedral wood ceiling and tons of natural daylight for enjoying the pool table, dart board, television and games. "This could be a nice efficiency apartment or airbnb option," Cindy adds. One way to integrate into a new community with aplomb and equanimity is to focus on local suppliers and contractors for a renovation project. It's likely that Alan and Cindy endeared themselves to the many NRV tradesmen they specifically sought out and offer accolades for their quality and commitment. 38


 Floors: Ratcliffe & Sons, Pearisburg  Kitchen cabinets: Wiley’s Woodworking, Peterstown, WV  HVAC: McGrady Perdue, Christiansburg  Metal Roof: Aikens Construction, Dublin  Masonry work: Brain Atkins, Newport  Finish carpentry: Brain Corboy, Pearisburg  Plumbing fixtures: Ferguson, Blacksburg  Electrician: Greg Williams, Pembroke  Lighting fixtures: State Electric Supply, Mike Dangerfield, Christiansburg  Plumbing: Justin Miles Plumbing, Blacksburg  Hall's Garage Doors, Christiansburg Alan and Cindy are just as interesting as their house. She has a gigantic craft space where the two-car garage used to be, with a wine room and root cellar/ pantry nearby. Alan is a gardener, and Cindy preserves their harvest with dozens of jars of tomatoes, applesauce (Doe Creek Farms


apples), pickles and relishes, and jams and jellies in the pantry to prove that point. Alan is a talented woodworker with interests in turning, carving, general carpentry, and a special interest in handmade Windsor chairs utilizing traditional hand tools. Cindy is a folk artist, painter, quilter, stained glass artist, decorator and teacher. Alan plays guitar and they both play the dulcimer (one of their three made by Alan). They did much of the renovation work themselves including design, general contracting, painting, trim carpentry, drywall, landscaping, and some electrical, plumbing and tile work. The couple loves to socialize and "do impromptu parties", so the spacious kitchen, lovely outdoor decks and open living room and dining areas are perfect for crowds as well as intimate dinners, for any reason, in any season. The house is nestled among the trees in summer. Once the leaves have fled, winter brings spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. They call it their jewel at the top of the mountain. And they well know they are not in the humid, subtropical climate of Houston any more.


J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8



Splash Time at the Great Wolf Lodge

Text and Photos by Krisha Chachra Our daughter happens to be a water baby. She loves splashing in anything – kicking her feet in the bath, slapping her hands under a running faucet, jumping in small puddles and lately, slushing through melted snow. Pool season can’t come fast enough – it’s hard to resist those pleading eyes asking: “Mommy, is it splash, splash time yet?” Many people rave about the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge, and I had seen it on Undercover Boss. Friends cautioned that it is a little pricey. The attractions are only open to overnight guests, so a day trip to save money wouldn’t work. Honestly, the idea of an indoor water park didn’t appeal to me. I envisioned the thick smell of chlorine and mold growing 40


on the walls due to all the humidity. But the Great Wolf Lodge marketing – commercials of little kids splashing joyously on water slides -- did me in. There are special offers for booking early, staying multiple nights or being flexible on weekdays. Great Wolf Lodge has 15 locations across the US and Canada with two more on the way. There is one in Williamsburg, but the closest one to the New River Valley is in Concord, N.C., about three hours away. The Concord Great Wolf Lodge is the second largest and the eighth largest indoor theme park in North America. It is conveniently near the popular Carowinds amusement park and close to restaurants, malls and shops. Before checking in, you might pop in to a grocery store for snacks, drinks or cereal as every room has a sink,


microwave and fridge. You can stretch your budget if you eat something in your room in the morning, hit the water slides and then take a break for lunch at one of the cafes. I recommend getting dinner out and maybe ordering one of the special desserts on the room service menu later. The water park also has an outdoor section and ropes course, so don’t forget sunscreen. There is no valet service, so grab a cart and unload at the entrance before self-parking. At check-in, pick up wolf ears for the kids and get the lay of the land. In Concord, the Great Clock Tower comes alive throughout the day with woodland characters that are the central theme to the parks, lending awareness to the outdoors and wildlife preservation. Evening story time, as well as character shows, adult and child


dancing and yoga instruction all take place at the clock tower. Surrounding it are the two main restaurants – a buffet and a more formal (but still family casual) choice – along with a gift shop and Dunkin’ Donuts. Youngsters are running around the resort waving wands and pointing them at the walls. Besides the wilderness theme, the lodge has a “magical forest” undertone with fairy holograms, talking trees and shiny amulets. Children’s imaginations soar when battling the “Shadowlord” on their quest to collect evidence, uncover secrets and cast spells to save the light before it vanishes forever. Questing is an extra cost – at least $35 per child - but if you are staying for a few nights, it definitely adds another dimension to the experience. The real fun, however, is the water park. It only takes moments to understand that this concept holds water. Although the place does smell of chlorine, it is not overpowering and it IS clean – no mold despite the warm water mist and wet, rubber padded floors. There is a large wave pool,

cabanas for rent and a warm pool with an obstacle course. The eight, fast water slides are tucked in the back corner and although you enter them on the inside, they are built on the outside of the water park and require either a mat or a two or four-person inner tube that you pick up before you climb to the top. Most memorable of the slides is the Howlin’ Tornado. Using a four-person tube, you twist and turn until you are dropped six stories into a funnel where you swing your way down the walls before a splashdown going through the last tunnel. The cute cub paw pool is for little ones, complete with gently sloping water slides and toddler-sized jet skis that squirt water. There are towel stations and floaties all over the park. Arrive early and find a seat with a table or stake your claim to the few lounge chairs by the wave pool. Remember to first see how far the giant water bucket at the top of the interactive tree fort dumps every 10 minutes after the bell tolls. You don’t want to be sitting in the thunderous water’s wake.

Take a break from the water and indulge in a massage at the Elements Spa – they have a pampering experience for little girls at Scoops kid’s spa where young ladies are treated to ice cream-themed fizzy scrubs and delicious nail color manicures. Still, the most exciting sound is your kid’s laughter that lasts throughout the trip. Our daughter slept soundly every night, exhausted by the day’s excitement. Every morning she awoke refreshed asking: “Mommy, is it splash, splash time?” And this time I could look into those eyes and say: “Yes, it is splash, splash time – always at the Great Wolf Lodge!” Krisha Chachra served eight years on the Blacksburg Town Council and has written for NRV Magazine for 11 years. She writes often about travel and NRV life and has explored over 40 countries on 6 continents. Krisha has reported and hosted shows for public radio and television and has freelanced for USA Weekend Magazine, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Alexandria Gazette among others. Her book about returning to Blacksburg, Homecoming Journals, may be found online or in local bookstores. Email her at

A Rockingham policy is written by a local agent and serviced by people who live and work in Virginia. Contact one of our local agents for a quote on insurance for your HOME, FARM, MOBILE HOME, RENTAL PROPERTY, AUTO or SMALL BUSINESS...and Come Home to Rockingham! 540-250-1482

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Southwest Virginia on Ice

Text by Emily Kathleen Alberts The first time the temperate drops enough to freeze nearby ponds, the winter world truly becomes a wonderland. The fascinating feeling of ice underfoot brings out the kid in all of us, and gliding across frozen water is pure magic. While I know a few brave souls who have skated across Pandapas Pond in the dead of winter, I wouldn’t recommend it. Hearing the ice stretch 42


and fracture while bubbles begin to rush to the surface is nothing short of terrifying, so instead of gambling with Mother Nature’s temperament (and temperature), head to a local ice skating rink for a safer, more solid choice. As early as November, you can go to the outdoor ice skating rink at Elmwood Park in Roanoke and rent a pair of ice skates for $2. They have both


figure skates and hockey skates and adorable seal skating aids for beginners. You can get your skates, admission to the rink, and unlimited access to the super-fast ice slide -- which is basically a human ice luge – for just $10. Another popular ice skating spot is the Berglund Center. While Elmwood on Ice can hold 75 to 100 skaters, the Berglund Center can hold up


to 300. At both rinks, skaters can choose between figure skates and hockey skates, depending on preference and skill level. Hockey skates offer thicker blades, and it is harder to stop. If you’re a beginner who simply wants to learn some ice skating basics and have a little fun, figure skates are a good choice. When trying on a pair of skates, make sure they fit snugly and are not too tight or loose. You want your ankles to be supported, but you also need enough flexibility to turn and do some basic moves. There are fun themed skate events at Berglund, such as: “Every child 10 years of age and under who dresses up in their favorite costume will receive free admission” and a skate with Santa event. The season's final themed event is on St. Patrick’s Day, when all children 10 and under who are dressed in green receive free admission. Ice skating at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., is a magical wintertime experience. Since it is an outdoor rink, the opening date is weather-dependent, but generally it runs from early November through early March. You can rent skates for the entire day or just for an hour, and the setting is nothing short of idyllic. Charlottesville Ice Park inside the Main Street Arena in downtown Charlottesville serves as an indoor ice rink during winter and transforms into an indoor facility for various sports during the summer. If you’re looking for an activity for the family or just an afternoon getaway, the public skating is perfect. Check the schedule for dates and times, because they also offer sessions on Freestyle, Learn to Skate, and Learn to Play Hockey for all different levels. A night out on the town with a special someone or group of friends can include a Late Night Skate session, which is guaranteed to get you moving and grooving. They bump the music

and get the lights going to make sure everybody has an enjoyable time. The Charlottesville Ice Park also hosts youth and adult hockey leagues and a skating school for all levels. These ice skating rinks involve a little trip from the New River Valley, but there might be something here soon. Christiansburg is considering shutting down Hickok Street and installing an outdoor ice skating rink during the winter months. Looking for ways to bring people downtown during the winter season, Councilman Henry Showalter notes that Elmwood on Ice has been very popular, even when the weather dips below freezing. If done right, the proposed changes to Hickok Street could end up being a new town square for Christiansburg, with the Farmer’s Market right in the heart of West Main Street. Officials have discussed turning the street into a pedestrian mall and installing park benches, an archway, stage and even string lights to add to the ambiance. Downtown Christiansburg, Inc., President David Franusich states: “If you can bring people downtown in any way, it’s fantastic.” And speaking on the idea of an ice rink, he adds: “There’s nothing like that in the New River Valley.” In the meantime, take to the ice somewhere this winter. Whether it’s an indoor ice arena or an outdoor rink, it will be fun. Be sure to bundle up – and wear clothing that will help protect you from the inevitable falls if it is your first time skating on ice. Gloves are a good idea, too, waterproof ones. Steer clear of the “speed skaters” and take your time. It is worth getting the hang of things like stopping and turning before trying to win Olympic gold. Emily K. Alberts had her very own pair of classic white ladies ice skates growing up in Virginia Beach, though she rarely got to use them. She is a regular contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

Elmwood on Ice, open Wednesday through Sunday, as early as 11 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m. Season pass, $75, skate and slide any time Elmwood on Ice is open. www.downtownroanoke. org/events/elmwood-on-ice The Berglund Center, generally open 2-5 p.m. daily, early November through March. www.theberglundcenter. com/485/Ice-Schedule The Greenbrier, Mon-Fri., 3 - 10 p.m.; Sat-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Complimentary for resort guests; $20/day non-registered guests plus skate rental or $37/day bring your own skates. Skate sharpening WedSunday, $14/pair. www.greenbrier. com/Activities/Outdoor-Activities/ Ice-Skating Charlottesville Main Street Arena, $10 admission includes skate and helmet rental; $6 for kids 8 and under. www. NOTE: As of press time, Main Street Arena in Charlottesville had been sold, and some reports indicate this is the last year for ice skating.

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


NR V F o o d F a re

Serve Warm


People can talk all they want about winter comfort food in the form of mac 'n cheese, beef stew and chili, but no winter meal is complete without warm bread, preferably straight from the oven. It is the epitome of comfort food. Two of these recipes call for buttermilk, and if you have never purchased The Saco Pantry's "cultured Buttermilk blend", on the baking aisle, then here's a New Year's resolution you can keep. An easy 4 Tbl. in a cup of water makes a good, instant buttermilk substitute.

Cornbread is known as the cornerstone of Southern cooking and may most often be associated with chili, but it goes with any good meal - breakfast, lunch or dinner. Potato bread may have developed from some clever cook or baker looking for a new place for old mashed potatoes or even just the water from boiling potatoes. Our ancestors are famous for minimal waste on the farm and in the kitchen. If you look closely at the biscuit photo and the recipe, you'll note that they do not match. Call it editorial license. The bacon-thyme biscuit recipe is mine, and the photo is a good enough stand-in for a morning biscuit, or afternoon, with dinner or before bed. You simply cannot pin down a time not to enjoy warm bread. Compiled by Joanne M. Anderson

Old-Fashioned Cornbread Serves 8-10

If you don't have a 9 or 10-inch iron skillet, you can use an 8 or 9-inch baking pan. But if you don't have an iron skillet of any size, you are missing a classic kitchen staple. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup white or yellow cornmeal 1 Tbl. sugar 2 tsp. baking powder 44


1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup buttermilk 1/3 cup butter, melted 2 large eggs, beaten 1 Tbl. butter Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking

soda and salt in bowl. Stir in buttermilk, 1/3 cup melted butter and eggs just until mixture is moistened. Melt the one Tbl. butter in cast iron skillet. Pour batter immediately into pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Jan/Feb 2018 2017

. Bread from the Oven Bacon - Thyme Biscuits Makes about 12

Begin by putting 1/2 cup shortening in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400ยบF 2 1/3 cups flour 4 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 Tbl. sugar 1 tsp. dried thyme 3/4 tsp. salt Combine above and add: 1/2 cup chilled shortening 3/4 cup buttermilk 2 Tbl. melted butter 4 slices cooked, chopped bacon Pat dough into 8-inch circle and cut circles. Bake 10-11 minutes. Serve warm.

Yummy Potato Rolls Makes about a Dozen

3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbl. sugar 1 package Rapid-Rise yeast 3/4 tsp. salt 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup instant potato flakes* 2 eggs (one for dough, one for top) Preheat oven to 375ยบF. Combine one cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130ยบF). Stir in potato flakes and let soften a minute. Add one egg and remaining flour for a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth (4-6 minutes). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Make round rolls, placing them barely touching in a circle on a greased cookie sheet, or slightly smaller rolls placed inside two 8-inch round pans. Pour boiling water in a shallow pan and rest the cookie sheets or pans on top for 15 minutes. Lightly beat remaining egg, brush on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds and/or oats. Bake about 25 minutes. Serve warm. *Can use 1/3 cup mashed potatoes and reduce water to 1/2 cup. Stir in with egg.

J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 8


Newsy Relevant Valuable A round-up of items of interest across the NRV

"Easy Rider"

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Nita Dawson, 89, hops on a Harley with Chris Faith for a tour of the NRV countryside.

Lazy Sundays (noon to 8 p.m.) and Pickin' and Pints (Wednesdays 4 to 9 p.m., bring your bluegrass instrument and join in) are two of the new, casual events at the recently opened Sinkland Farms Brewery. Other entertainment can be found on the website, and 10 carefully crafted beers on tap, a beer garden, fire pits and casual barn taproom make it a fun country kind of place. "At Sinkland Farms, nothing is more important than family tradition and Southern hospitality. Your family is our family."


Save the date on your calendar for these final performances in the seasonal lineup of Musica Viva! This 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization has been promoting chamber music awareness and appreciation for more than 15 years in the New River Valley. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law, and members of the Board of Directors and artistic direction serve without compensation. It is a valuable community music resource to support with contributions and attendance.

Thurs., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Moss Arts Center, Blacksburg

Hong Kong String Orchestra, Yao Jue Music Academy and the NRV's Renaissance Music Academy Chamber Orchestra join up to make beautiful chamber orchestra music. This very special collection of fine musicians is part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Renaissance Music Academy. If you miss this, you can breeze up to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3, where it will be performed again.

Sun., March 25, 3 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation

1301 Gladewood Drive, Blacksburg First prize winners at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition in Canada, the Rolsten Quartet is the new fellowship quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music. “A string quartet demonstrating incredible smoothness of tone and gesture, perfectly precise interplay and the most sensitive emotional understanding, emanated musical magic.” –Tegernsee Newspaper (Germany)



New River Valley's Rotary Clubs received pledges in excess of $1 million dollars in just the first five months of 2017. This, along with expanding its membership in different donor categories and fulfilling its service-minded mission, was celebrated at a stunning black tie event on Dec. 1, 2017. The keynote speaker, Ron Burton, addressed the privilege of being at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, named for the late Mr. Bill Skelton, former Rotary International President and Blacksburg resident. The Rotary Foundation supports sustainable service projects that benefit people in our NRV communities as well as around the world. Jan/Feb





ETM: Double Down Friday, February 23, 2018, 7:30 PM The unique and powerful history of tap dance is presented in a new and dynamic context by Dorrance Dance, a company that upholds the tradition of tap, while simultaneously pushing it rhythmically, technically, and conceptually. $25-$55, $10 students with ID and youth 18 and under

The Mountaintop

Sunday, January 28, 2018, 4 PM

Imagining Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last hours.

ColorsVA is the media sponsor for this event.


Saturday, February 10, 2018, 7:30 PM

The story of 70+ year old Ada who, bereaved of her twin sister, Ava, solitarily marks time in the patterns of a life built for two.

PERFORMANCES l EXHIBITIONS l EXPERIENCES 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 | | 540-231-5300

Nrv mag jan feb 2018  
Nrv mag jan feb 2018  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Montgomery County, Giles County, Pulaski County and Floyd Virginia.