Complimentary Fall 2021 Volume 12 | Issue 5
Inspiring, Informing, Enriching
Eat Drink be scary How to Throw a Killer Halloween Party
Caring For Your Senior Pet The Rome Symphony Turns 100! Picking a Financial Planner
Enter Our Staycation Getaway Giveaway!
It’s All In Our Name...
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FALL 2021 | VOLUME 12 | ISSUE 5
Enter Our Staycation Getaway Giveaway!
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Bang the Drums and Toot the Horns!
The Rome Symphony Orchestra is turning 100 years old this year..
The Year of the Pergola
An increasingly popular way to perk up your patio is by adding a stylish pergola.
Six Tips for Caring for Your Senior Cat or Dog As you get older, so do your pets. Here’s how to make sure your furry companions stay well and healthy in their golden years.
cover story 20
With these tricks and treats, throwing a Halloween party doesn’t have to be scary.
Bermuda’s Natura Spa at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort. (Photo courtesy of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.)
Want to howl at the moon with me?
Picking the wrong financial pro can negatively affect your fiscal health for years to come.
For sun, scenery, and sights, Bermuda can’t be beat.
I spotted Bigfoot in Blue Ridge!
Letter From the Publisher
Calendar for Living
Happenings in our ’hood.
Spooky Halloween reads. 2 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Dollars & Sense
Getting to know Rome artist and ceramics studio owner Cabell Sweeney.
Forget Taco Tuesday. These twists on traditional tacos will have you craving them every day of the week.
Fish Out of Water
The things that actually frighten me come Halloween.
TWO YEARS IN A ROW
Redmond Regional Medical Center has been recognized 2 years in a row for excellence in: · Clinical Outcomes · Patient Experience · Operational Efficiency · Financial Health · Contributions to Community Health and Equity
100 Top Hospitals is a registered trademark of IBM Watson Health
d LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Fall 2021 Volume 12 | Issue 5
Want to Howl at the Moon With Me?
ome of my favorite things about the fall are the Harvest Moon, crisp days, and the first fire of the year. And then there are the Halloween parties. I’ve been to my fair share of them in the past, and some were more memorable than others (can you say costume malfunction?). October 31st is the one time you can dress outlandishly, act crazy, and be a little devilish and it’s perfectly acceptable. For example … Halloween, 1980, Blowing Rock, NC — As economically challenged college students, my friends and I had to make our own costumes. My roommate, Lisa, became a human-sized sandwich by making huge slices of bread out of foam. I wrapped a royal-blue phone receiver and cord around my head and wore a giant handmade dial so people could “Phone home.” Our art buddy, a tall, debonair fellow named Tim, slicked his hair back and dressed as a waiter and had a table covered with a checkered tablecloth strapped to his body. After he won the costume contest (obviously!), everyone kept yelling “Cheers” and setting their drinks on his table. Halloween, 1987, Rome, GA — For a friend’s annual Halloween bash, I dressed as a Vegas-style showgirl, and Richard, my late husband, dressed as Count Diceula, attired in traditional vampire garb with a fuzzy pair of dice hanging from his neck and sprayed jet-black hair. A female partygoer who had been over-served commented she felt sorry for him for dying his hair. Another guy cut off the dice and started gambling with them. Then a group of spirited, uninvited guests showed up, sans costumes, and caused a ruckus by lighting firecrackers in the house and spilling beer in the Beam us up, Scotty, because we’re ready to party! CD player. Needless to say, that was my friend’s last-ever Halloween party. Halloween, 2019, Marietta, GA — A former neighbor of my current husband, Jerry, was having a big soiree, and we decided to go even though he hadn’t lived in the neighborhood for seven years. My flashy flapper costume was store-bought but sexy. Jerry donned a blond wig, bandanna, and blue eyeliner and went as rocker Bret Michaels. He had bought the pants for his outfit at Goodwill and hadn’t even tried them on until right before we left for the party. Let’s just say they were a bit, um, snug. Always try on your get-up first so there are no surprises come party time! Halloween, 2020, McCormick, SC — Our good friends co-host an annual party, and given that there was a pandemic, the guest list was scaled back, so we felt honored that we made the cut. The theme was “sci-fi with glo-lighting” (remember black lights?). Jerry, decked out as Captain Kirk, was more handsome than ever, and I was a Trekkie sporting a mod long ponytail. We didn’t know a lot of people at the party, but that didn’t matter. We ended up dancing Soul Train style, one couple boogieing down the line after the other. The years fly by, but a killer Halloween experience is one you’ll always remember. For tips on how to make your own All Hallows’ Eve gathering a monstrous success, see page 20. Now, who’s ready to howl at the moon with me? Halloween will be here soon. 4 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Publisher and Founder Editor-in-Chief Laura Wood Erickson Editor Jill Becker email@example.com Creative Director Andi Counts Designer Mackenzie Kuhn Contributing Editors Gene Murphy (in memoriam), Elin Woods Contributing Writers
Jennifer Almand, Jill Becker, Ande Frazier, Kathy Patrick, Laurel Bowling Seeger, Robert Smyth, Dana Lynn Thompson, Rachel Turner, Elin Woods Contributing Photographer Andy Calvert Web Developer Ken Caruthers Sales Laura Wood Erickson firstname.lastname@example.org Contact us at: (706) 346-9858 email@example.com NW Georgia Living P.O. Box 72546 Marietta, GA 30007
We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. NW Georgia Living is published bimonthly by L. Wood LLC. Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied, scanned, or reproduced in any manner without prior written consent from the publisher.
Chances are, the birth of your baby will be a happy, healthy experience. Still, peace of mind is priceless, and it’s good to know that Floyd stands ready 24/7 with the advanced care necessary should your baby need intensive care following birth. As the area’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, our expert team of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists provides high tech care with a compassionate touch for the tiniest newborns.
www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 7
d CALENDAR FOR LIVING
Booth Photography Guild Annual Exhibition
Through November 7 Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville This juried exhibition features the work of the talented photographers who are members of the Booth Photography Guild. boothmuseum.org
Ginger Lowry: Art of the Horse in Oil and Pastel
September 2–October 28 Rockmart Cultural Arts Center Gallery, Rockmart An equestrian theme runs through the paintings of this local artist, whose family bred and raced thoroughbreds. rockmart-ga.gov/rockmart culturalartscenter.aspx
Through September 17 Rome Area History Center, Rome This exhibit revolves around the story of Floyd County native Gary Mitchum Reeves, who in 1974 was convicted of a murder he says he didn’t commit. The case gained notoriety after it was featured on the Undisclosed podcast. romeareahistorycenter.org 8 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Rome Shakespeare Festival
RSO at The Movies!
September 3, 7pm Town Green, Rome Hear local favorite Kindred Fire in the last concert of the season. downtownromega. us/events
September 11, 7pm Rome City Auditorium, Rome The Rome Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 100th season (see related story on page 26) with an evening devoted to music from iconic movies such as Superman, Gladiator, and Lord of the Rings. romesymphony.org
September 22-26 Town Green, Rome This year, the cast takes to the outdoor stage to perform two of the Bard of Avon’s comedies: The Tempest and All’s Well That Ends Well. romeshakespearefestival.com September 29-October 3 Various locations, Rome This, the third-largest geocaching event in North America, draws cachers from near and far to participate in what amounts to a giant outdoor scavenger hunt. There will also be lab adventures, escape rooms, and more. goingcaching.com
October 9-10, 10am-5pm Paradise Garden, Summerville One of the top folk art festivals in the Southeast, Finster Fest honors the life and legacy of Rev. Howard Finster, one of the country’s most widely known and prolific self-taught artists. paradisegardenfoundation.org
Great Locomotive Chase Festival
October 1-3 This three-day celebration features street parades, carnival rides, entertainers, pageants, concerts, fireworks, and more. adairsvillega.net/festival
Fiddlin’ Fest Between the Rivers
October 9, noon-7pm Downtown Rome The festivities include live bluegrass music from two stages, an artisan village, a car show, sidewalk sales, and pony rides. fiddlinfest.com
October 22-23 various locations, Rome Tails are already wagging about this fairly new event celebrating all things Schnauzer. In addition to the usual agility and best in show competitions, they’ll be a Schnauzer singing competition and a parade of costumed pups strutting down Broad Street. schnauzerfestrome.com
Chiaha Harvest Fair
October 23-24, 10am-5pm Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, Rome This annual juried arts festival is back after a hiatus in 2020, and with a new location to boot. More
Nearby and Noteworthy Oktoberfest
than 100 painters, potters, photographers, and more from Georgia and beyond will be on hand. chiaha.org
Cave Spring Ghost Tours
October 23-24 Town Square, Cave Spring Prepare to get spooked on this walking tour of the oldest town in Floyd County, as storytellers share tales of ghostly happenings at various sites around town. cavespringga.com
September 9-November 7 Helen Festhalle, Helen Get out your lederhosen and dirndls as the city of Helen celebrates Oktoberfest. Something, it’s worth noting, they’ve been doing for the last 50 years! See the alpenhorns being blown, dance the polka, enjoy a brat and a good German beer, and partake in the gemütlichkeit (you’ll just have to go to figure out what that means). helenchamber.com/ oktoberfest-menu
Gold Rush Days
October 16-17 Historic District, Dahlonega There’s gold in them thar hills! Celebrate the origins of the 19th-century gold rush in Dahlonega at this yearly celebration where more than 200 arts and crafts exhibitors gather to show off their wares. goldrushdaysfestival.com
Wings Over North Georgia Airshow
October 30-31, noon-5pm Richard B. Russell Regional Airport, Rome The Navy’s renowned flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, headlines this annual exhibition of jawdropping aerial acrobatics. Other performers include Michael Goulian Aerosports and the Georgia State Patrol SWAT Team. This year’s event will feature a drive-in format. wingsovernorthgeorgia.com www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 9
d DOG EARED
Horror Stories Spooky Halloween reads that are real page-turners.
BY ELIN WOODS
all is my favorite time of year, not only because of the glorious foliage but also because of Halloween. I love all things horror, and that includes literature. Something full of genuine scares that keeps me awake second-guessing every bump in the night is a thrilling read in my book. Here’s a peek at some of my favorite ghostly tales and creature features that are a little off the beaten path rather than the same old books that make the usual horror lists.
post-Twilight world (cue the sexy vampires), but the genre had limited backstories even before the Stephenie Meyer mega-franchise. That’s why I was excited to come across this 2004 book, which is part anti-bullying text and part a sweet coming-of-age story with a budding friendship. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Note: If you’re interested in watching the film adaptation of Lindqvist’s book, I suggest watching the original Swedish version rather than the American remake.
The Only Good Indians
By Max Brooks
By Stephen Graham Jones
World War Z
In this 2020 novel, four friends commit a crime that haunts them until the day they die — literally. (Don’t worry, I’ve spoiled nothing, as there’s so much more to read, with some intense twists and turns along the way.) If you’re looking for a suspenseful revenge thriller, look no further. Jones is a master storyteller, so much so that you’ll swear you can hear the tensest scenes playing out in the room with you. This book has one of the most creative “villains” I’ve ever read, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide who you think the real villain is, as Jones’ book leaves quite a lot of room for interpretation.
I finally read this 2006 best-seller last year during the pandemic, isolated from the rest of the world, and it felt all too real given the circumstances. In this well-researched and nearly fortune-telling tale, Brooks imagines what happens after the zombie apocalypse, once the war against the walking dead has been won, and envisions how the world begins rebuilding and plans on stopping it from happening again. The book is fiction, but the style is very journalistic and reads like an account of something that could happen if you substituted a plague for zombies. In my history with zombie fiction, I’ve found it’s often here to teach us something, and World War Z is no different. It makes one think, How can we better prepare and keep more of us safe? Brooks’ story will leave you uneasy and questioning that very thing once finished.
White is for Witching
Are you a historical fiction fan? Then check out this 2018 book based on the real-life events of the tragic Donner Party, the group of Midwestern pioneers who migrated to California in a wagon train in 1846 and reportedly resorted to cannibalism to survive. The true story is terrifying enough, but Katsu takes the fear of the unknown even further by adding in touches of the supernatural. Told from various characters’ points of view, The Hunger examines the feelings and actions of the group as they seem doomed, some may even say cursed, from the start. As the events unfold, you’ll experience every decision they had to make, each one more complicated and gruesome than the last.
This Halloween-themed book collection wouldn’t be complete without a haunted house story, right? Oyeyemi begins most of her works like something out of a fairytale, but it never takes long for them to turn utterly sinister. Miranda, one of the characters in this 2009 mystic novel, is the house’s latest victim, pulling her into levels of madness and away from the other members of the family. It’s a house that, for generations, has held the women of the family hostage. But why? The house has a riddle for the readers to solve, and it’s challenging due to the book’s structure. If you’re looking for something to stay with you for a while, look no further.
By Alma Katsu
Let the Right One In
By John Ajvide Lindqvist
Vampire fiction can often be very one-note, especially in a 10 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
By Helen Oyeyemi
Elin Woods is a librarian from the mountains of western Pennsylvania. When she’s not reading, she enjoys spending her time baking, being the coolest of the cool aunt, and exploring all corners of the East Coast. Her favorite books include Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, plus too many cookbooks to name.
Win NW Georgia Living’s Staycation Getaway Giveaway! Prize package valued at more than $400! To enter, find the three separate ads in this issue that have the silhouette shown at right hidden within the ad. Then, go to nwgeorgialiving.com and correctly name the three ads. It’s that easy! We’ll randomly draw the winner on Monday, October 11, 2021. The winner will receive … A free weekend stay at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, downtown Rome’s award-winning boutique hotel. (dates subject to availability) During your stay, relax and enjoy the unique combination of historic charm and modern amenities set in a beautifully renovated 1907 warehouse boasting original wood floors, brick walls, and a sky-lit atrium. Many local restaurants and shops are within short walking distance. The prize details: • A two-night stay in a spacious king room • A full Southern-style breakfast buffet for two each morning • Fitness gym and bike-sharing program available • A $50 Visa gift card Visit Off Broad for drinks, appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
706.512.7488 Mon–Fri, 10–6 Sat, 10–4
6 Central Plaza Rome, GA 30161 firstname.lastname@example.org
Standard King Room
hawthornsuites.com | 706-378-4837 www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 11
d DOLLARS & SENSE
Finding Your Money Mentor Picking the wrong financial pro can negatively affect your fiscal health for years to come. BY ANDE FRAZIER
inding the right professional to help you with your money is perhaps one of the most important decisions you need to make. To complicate things, there are several different types of financial professionals. Here are some guidelines to help you find the money mentor who best suits your needs.
Experience matters. When it comes to money, know-how is key. Does this person have expertise in personal finance? Have they worked with people in your position before? Do they have professional credentials that let you know they’re equipped to handle your individual circumstances? For instance, are they a Certified Financial Planner, or do they have financial designations specific to your situation, like that of a Chartered Special Needs Consultant or a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst? Specialized accreditations provide critical knowledge of how to handle particular situations. If you need to make decisions about insurance, ask if they’re a Certified Life Underwriter. Having the right insurance or securities licenses isn’t always enough to give you the critical advice you may need. Look for more.
It needs to be a good fit. Beyond experience and credentials, this person should also “get you.” They should listen and guide you based on your values and goals, not theirs. But how do you know if they’re truly listening to you? They should be making eye contact and writing notes while you talk. They should be as aware of your financial behavior as they are about what’s in your accounts. And consider 12 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
that they may also serve as a habit builder or an accountability partner, so feeling like you can listen to their input is essential.
Turn to a trusted outside source. You may be thinking you don’t need a financial professional because you have a friend or family member who’s been successful with their own finances that you can rely on. This isn’t always a good move. Friends and family might not understand your individual circumstances to the degree that they can give you the right advice. Discussing money is also a personal issue, and sometimes when we try to have these discussions with someone close to us, we might not be as forthcoming as we should be about our financial outlook and behavior. And let’s not forget that everyone has a money story that has influenced their lives, their thoughts, and their actions, so even if you have a friend or family member who’s trained in personal finance, they may not be able to serve as the financial neutral you need. Do, however, ask friends and family for recommendations about who they use to handle their money. Ask them questions like, “Why do you like them?” and “What do they do for you?” to get insight as to whether this person is someone you should consider for yourself.
customized advice. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re the right professional for you.
Be an active participant.
Finally, there’s you. Financial advisors can’t do it alone; you have to be engaged. Be willing to share what’s working and not working in your current situation. Create a cadence of communication about when and how you’ll work together. Confide and let them know what it looks like when you want to bail on your goals. Be willing to be vulnerable, honest, and most of all, transparent. With a little bit of time and research, finding the right professional doesn’t have to be scary or difficult.
Be wary of online gurus or financial entertainers (think Instagram influencers). Keep in mind when you see someone on TV, listen to a podcast, follow someone on social media, or read a blog from someone who claims to be touting financial wisdom that their main objective may not be to provide
Ande Frazier CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RICP, BFA™, ChSNC, CDFA® is an expert in behavorial finance and the author of Fin(anci)ally Free: 11 Conversations To Have With Yourself About Life, Money, and Worth. In addition to being a recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, she also serves as a partner at Clocktower Wealth Management, LLC. To learn more, visit andefrazier.com.
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100 W. 2nd Avenue, Rome, Georgia • 706-378-4837 • hawthorn.com
Getting to Know… Cabell Sweeney
Artist and ceramics studio owner
BY JILL BECKER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDY CALVERT
can’t remember a time when I wasn’t coloring, painting, or creating something,” says Cabell Sweeney, the artist behind Cabell’s Designs, a decades-old ceramics studio on Bale Street in Rome. Her handbuilt and hand-painted creations include housewares and serving pieces pretty enough to grace Martha Stewart’s dinner table. “I would describe our products as functional pieces of art,” says Sweeney. “Because each piece is made by hand, each piece is one of a kind. It’s our hope that each piece brings a pop of beauty and joy to someone’s home.” While the studio isn’t open to the general public, it is open for appointments and on Wednesday afternoons for order pickups. “The lion’s share of our sales are made at the Christmas and Spring shows we put on each year,” explains Sweeney. “But we also take orders and registry requests through our website and Instagram account all year long.” The things that inspire my designs are ... everything. Birds, flowers, trees, a conversation with a friend, an idea for a great gift, a memory from my childhood,
a quote from a book, a thought from my mother, a piece of fabric, a painting, scripture, wallpaper, song. Helping me on this journey is … my business partner and best friend, Susan Peterson, who’s been beside me through all the highs and lows of business and life for close to two decades. Countless friends have run legs of this relay with us as well. My loyal sidekick is ... my white lab, Penley. I’ve had her for eight years, and she comes to the studio with me every day. Just this fall we added a black English Cocker to the mix. His name is Biddle, and he, too, is now a studio fixture. They add a lot of energy and laughs to the place.
Cabell Sweeney’s fur-baby Penley joins her in studio as she creates her masterpieces.
When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be … a pirate, an actress, a doctor, or a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (I know, but it was the ’80s).
The word that best describes me is … extra. My mother-in-law once said my personal motto should be, “If anything is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” She nailed it. My personality is big, my laugh is loud, I don’t have an inside voice, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, I feel deeply, I cry quickly and freely. I tend to overdo things because my vision is always big. It’s wonderful to be so passionate, but it’s also a bit exhausting. I’m not great at … unwinding. When I feel wound up or stressed, I usually do one 14 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
or all of the following: eat something with lots of sugar; start a huge, unnecessary project; or look through art and garden books. I can’t live without … flowers, cheese, and forgiveness. I laugh when … I’m hanging out with my friends, running around with my dogs, when I do something typical and dumb, or when I watch anything with Will Ferrell in it. Cabell’s Designs cabellsdesigns.com | @cabellsdesigns3
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Jewel of the Atlantic For sun, scenery, and sights, Bermuda can’t be beat. BY JILL BECKER
icture yourself lying on a secluded stretch of sparkling pink sand, your tanned skin gleaming in the midday sun, your hair gently tousled by the ocean breeze coming in off the Atlantic. Picture yourself in Bermuda. The idyllic isle feels thousands of miles away, but it actually sits just 600 miles due east of North Carolina, making it a quick two-hour plane ride from most major East Coast cities. It is renowned for its stunning beaches, pastel-hued architecture, spectacular golf courses, and, of course, its stylish citizens tooling around in sports coats and Bermuda shorts. Here’s what you need to know about this tiny island that’s big on possibilities.
GETTING AROUND Visitors can’t book conventional rental cars here (automobiles weren’t even allowed on the island at all until 1946!), so why not hire yourself a scooter instead and zip around on two wheels like most of the locals do (Oleander Cycles, oleandercycles.bm). Another option is to rent an eco-friendly two-seater electric vehicle from a company like Localmotion (localmotionbda.com). Their pint-size “Bermis” are equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth, and a sunroof and have a range of almost 100 miles, which is more than enough to get you from one end of the island to the other. Whatever your vehicle, note that they drive on the left-hand side of the road in Bermuda.
GREAT STAYS The pretty Fairmont Southampton (fairmont.com/ southampton-bermuda) sits atop the highest point on the island and boasts its own private beach. Its sister property, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess (fairmont.com/hamiltonbermuda), aka the Pink Palace, is an equally excellent option. The Rosewood Tucker’s Point (rosewoodhotels.com/en/ tuckers-point-bermuda) is a fan favorite for its sparkling service, lavish amenities, and million-dollar views. Newer hotels include The Loren (thelorenhotel.com) and Azura Bermuda (azurabermuda.com). 16 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
An ailing Mark Twain once said of Bermuda, “You go to heaven if you want to. I’d rather stay here.” And we can see why.
FUN IN THE SUN Unlike a lot of Caribbean destinations, Bermuda doesn’t really have a rainy season. It’s truly an outdoor lover’s dream. Top activities include horseback riding along the beach (Bermuda Horse Trail Rides, bermudahorsetrailride.com), kayaking into sea caves (Somerset Bridge Watersports, bdawatersports.com), and diving among the plentiful coral-encrusted shipwrecks in the area (Dive Bermuda, bermudascuba.com). You’ll also want to make time to play a round on one of the island’s magnificent golf courses. Tops, according to many, is playing the back nine at the Port Royal Golf Course (portroyalgolfcourse.com), which offers stunning ocean views on almost every hole. Of course, you can always just kick back and soak up some rays on one of the pristine beaches. Horseshoe Bay is one of the most popular, but if you head east from there on the unmarked trail, you’ll come across some equally scenic spots that are less well known.
PAMPER YOURSELF There are plenty of places to get a facial, body wrap, or relaxing massage on the island, but the Natura Spa at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort (grottobay.com/spa) gives you the option of taking your treatment alongside an azure underground lake inside a 500,000-year-old natural cave.
SNATCH UP SOME SOUVENIRS Like to shop? You’re in luck because there’s no sales tax in Bermuda. Some of the island’s best stores are clustered together around Front Street in Hamilton, the capital city. Among them are The Island Shop (wislandexports.com) and Riihiluoma’s Flying Colours (flyingcolours.bm), which are great for finding tokens to commemorate your trip. Another favorite spot for authentically Bermuda mementos is Bermuda Seaglass (bermudaseaglassbykelly.com), where proprietor
Above: Enjoy a relaxing massage deep inside a cave? It’s possible at the Natura Spa. Below: Bermuda’s pastel palette is a perfect reflection of the islanders’ cheery outlook.
www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 17
Its calm, crystal-clear waters make Bermuda a kayaker’s paradise.
Yep, they really do wear Bermuda shorts in Bermuda.
Kelly Diel sells one-of-a-kind jewelry, ornaments, and more that she’s made from sea glass that’s washed up on the shore. To see other local artisans at work, check out the Bermuda Arts Centre (artbermuda.com).
WINING AND DINING Located dockside is the Waterlot Inn (fairmont.com/ southampton-bermuda/dining/waterlotinn), which has been serving fine Bermudian fare for more than 300 years. Steaks are a specialty, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, especially the Caesar salad and bananas Foster, both of which are prepared tableside. Of course, you can’t go to an island like Bermuda and not sample the seafood, like the fish and chips with a wheat beer batter or the rum-spiked fish chowder at Hog Penny (hogpennypub.com). Speaking of rum, Bermuda’s national drink is the Rum Swizzle, and there’s no better place to try it than at the Swizzle Inn (swizzleinn.com), whose motto, appropriately enough, is “Swizzle Inn, Swagger Out.” The original location in Baileys Bay is Bermuda’s oldest pub, proudly serving the rum and fruit juice cocktail, along with a menu of burgers, nachos, wings, and more, since 1932.
CHARMINGLY BRITISH Bermuda is a British territory, and the historic town of St. George (stgeorgesfoundation.org) is a great place to explore its English heritage. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, St. George boasts museums, churches, and fortifications dating back some 400 years. Be sure to time your visit so you can be on hand for the historical reenactment of the “dunking of the wench,” in which the town gossip is plunged repeatedly into the harbor. 18 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
The refreshing Rum Swizzle is Bermuda’s national drink.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: To learn more, visit the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s website (gotobermuda.com). Be sure to check the country’s COVIDrelated entry requirements before making any plans. All photographs in this article, except the bottom image on page 17, courtesy of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
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With these tricks and treats, throwing a Halloween party doesn’t have to be scary. BY JENNIFER ALMAND
20 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
alloween has always been my favorite holiday. It signifies the end of the long, hot summer and fills me with nostalgic childhood memories of carving pumpkins, picking out a costume, and going trick-or-treating and carting home a sack of candy. My mother knew how to sew and would usually make me a costume. Each October 31st, I would be magically transformed into the characters in my favorite books, like Pocahontas, Raggedy Ann, and Pippi Longstocking. I remember the feeling I got walking down the streets at night, in the dark, surrounded by different costumed characters, and running up to my neighbors’ houses and shouting “Trick or treat!” The stuffy masks, the haunted houses, the counting of the candy. It was the one night of the year I
could be anything I wanted to be in the whole wide world. Needless to say, it’s become an annual ritual for me to throw an epic Halloween party. They’re usually geared towards adults, not children, but we still have a heck of a lot of fun getting dressed up and being silly with our friends. My ghoulish gatherings have drawn up to 200 people, although nobody bothered counting. There are bonfires, adult beverages, music, dancing, laughing, and more. As a veteran party-thrower, I thought I’d share some of my insights so you too can throw a monstrous Halloween bash.
When I’m planning my parties, I try to pick a night that won’t conflict with the kids’ trick-or-treating. That way, the adults can concentrate on their own costumes, since I usually have a contest awarding those with the
most elaborate or creative outfits. The invitations themselves are usually pretty simple. They’re typically on black cardstock with an ominous Gothic font, inviting my guests to a “wicked affair.” A good rule of thumb is to send your invitations out at least four weeks in advance because your guests need time to brainstorm about their costumes.
Of course, I love to get creative when putting out all the trimmings for the party. Some of my staples include scary motion-sensor ghouls hanging from trees or around doorways, spider webbing and mummy gauze strung everywhere, and flickering candles. I also like to surprise people by putting black light bulbs in the bathroom, along with a plastic shower curtain that’s painted with “bloody” handprints. Sometimes I’ll add a small hidden speaker playing eerie music for extra spookiness. Another fun
ITED TO A
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Did You Know?
Our modern-day Halloween is mostly thought to have evolved from the European tradition of All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, which was dedicated to the remembrance of the dead and all who had faithfully served and departed. There’s also a significant amount of Halloween tradition attributed to the Celtic/Gaelic harvest festival, which marked the end of the summer growing season, and there’s a bit of ancient pagan tradition sprinkled into the mix as well.
touch is to hang black paper bats from your ceiling in an ominous swooping flight pattern. Dead branches, fall leaves, and pumpkins are great for table decorations, and the inclusion of battery-operated flickering LED black lights adds a bit of magic. You can also construct witches’ broomsticks out of some twine and dead sticks from your yard. I like to make several and lean them up by the entryway, you know, in case anyone gets too scared and needs to make a fast getaway.
Next on the list is music. You don’t need to make it entirely spooky-themed, but I do like to add a few classics like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “Monster Mash,” The Eagles’ “Witchy Woman,” and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder to the playlist, along with dance music to keep the party going.
About two hours after everyone arrives, and they’ve had a sufficient chance to snack and mingle, I hold the costume contest. I set out a large jar and paper and pens, and people can secretly submit their nominations for their favorite costume. Once everyone has put their votes in the jar, I count them up and announce the winners. Coming up with prizes to give out is easy. Just make up a goody basket with a bottle of wine, some Halloween candy, and a couple of gift cards. In addition to the basket, I like to prepare something extra for the first-place winner. I find an antique-looking black box, and inside, I place a fake bloody finger adorned with a gaudy costume ring and a note that says, “Congratulations from last year’s winner.”
Food and Drink
As far as feeding your guests goes, your creativity is the limit! Even though I ask guests to bring a dish to share, I always prepare a few things for the table. One of my go-tos is to build a huge charcuterie board atop a slab of weathered wood. I start by placing a medium-sized plastic skeleton in the center. I build out from there, trying to make it look as though all of the meat and cheese is spilling out 22 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
from inside the skeleton. Another party favorite is taking a round Styrofoam ball about the size of a human head, covering it in plastic wrap, and then covering it with tiny smoked sausages doused in barbecue sauce. You need to place the smokies on a toothpick and then pierce them into the Styrofoam in a circular row pattern so people can pluck them off using the toothpicks. It’s supposed to resemble a human head, so make sure you use vegetables to form sinister eyes and a mouth in the appropriate places, and present it on a ghoulish platter. The options for fun frights and bites are endless, though, so grab marshmallows, olives, pretzels, or whatever else you have in the pantry or fridge and let your imagination run wild. A lot of people bring their own beverages to a party these days, but I do like to concoct a “witches brew” for my guests. I simply make a clear punch, add some clear alcohol, and then add orange or red food coloring for effect. I mix it
up in a large black plastic cauldron that you can pick up at the party goods store and add ice, gummy worms, and some ping-pong balls painted with a black dot to look like eyeballs. You can also glue some spiders to the ladle. If you can find it, adding some dry ice adds an amazing spooky effect. Hosting a Halloween get-together sounds like a lot of effort, but when your guests arrive and you see their faces, it’s all worth it. Let the evening be laced with magic spells, add a dose of hostess witchery, take turns howling at the moon, pass around the chalice, and have a frighteningly fun night. Whatever you do, though, make sure you remove all your Halloween makeup before you go to bed that night. Don’t ask me how I know this; I just do. Jennifer Almand is the owner of Almand Specialty Painting & Design. She and her husband, Rick, live with their four dogs in Kingston, GA. Find her on Facebook or call 706-346-1590. www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 23
We are making great strides in our downtown revitalization effort that is being forefronted by our Downtown Development Authority. With this growth we are seeing, the Adairsville downtown merchants Association was formed in May 2021.
BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY
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24 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
We had the opportunity to partner with the Adairsville High School Art Program for the first ever Tiny Doors Adairsville project. You can pick up your poster at any of our downtown shops. Proceeds N O M A D Igo C back | 2 4 into the AHS Art Department.
City of Adairsville Fall Event Line-Up
Great Locomotive Chase Festival October 1 - October 3
Halloween On The Square Veterans Day Event
Christmas On The Square
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The Rome Symphony Orchestra is turning 100 years old this year.
s m u r ! s D n e r h o t H g e n h a B oot t T d an BY
usic lovers may not know that one of the South’s most storied symphonies exists right in their own backyard. Looking to bring a second century of orchestral music to Northwest Georgia, the Rome Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary with its 2021-2022 season.
The Oldest Symphony in the South The origins of the Rome Symphony began in 1919 when Edith Lester Harbin founded the first Junior Orchestra in Georgia. The current iteration of the organization came together when Harbin merged her junior orchestra with Paul Nixon’s Orchestral Band of Lindale in 1921, creating the Rome Symphony as it exists today. According to an editorial in The Baltimore Sun in June of 1923, “It was the first and only symphony orchestra in the South.” So while other famous Southern cities such as Birmingham, Lexington, and Nashville boast similar long-standing music groups, the Rome Symphony holds the distinction of being the oldest symphony in the South. The Rome Symphony has a long history of blazing new paths, embracing female artists, and bringing big-city concert experiences to our little corner of the world. In 1946, the RSO became one of the first city symphonies with a female conductor when Helen Dean 26 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Rhodes took over at the podium and held the post for nearly three decades. At the time Rhodes was conductor — a time when female leadership of any kind was in scarce supply — the symphony also had a female concertmaster (the instrument leader of the orchestra). Louise A. Hoge served in the same post from 1947 to 1982, and between the two women, the RSO thrived under its all-female leadership. In addition to utilizing local professional musicians and string pieces, in its 100-year history, the RSO has also brought big-name guest artists to Northwest Georgia, including Rome native Eugene Talley-Schmidt and his wife, Jeanette, both respected opera singers who performed with the RSO in 1963. Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops were also guests of the RSO in the 1960s. In recent years, current maestro Jeffrey Dokken has been instrumental in delivering world-renowned guest artists to the Rome City Auditorium stage, including Broadway tenor Alan Naylor, Ecuadorian pianist Juan Carlos Escudero, and even Las Vegas illusionist Landon Swank.
Continuing to Innovate While milestone birthdays are exciting, any historic organization must embrace change in order to survive. A revitalization of the Rome Symphony began in 2018 when Dokken took over as conductor. With his fresh energy and reputation as one of the best in the industry, Dokken continues to infuse the symphony programming with original
digital marketing footprint both online and on social media. ideas. “I believe that orchestral music should be accessible to everyone,” says Dokken. “It should be accessible both financially and musically, so the RSO will continue to present innovative programming, showing how fantastic and multifaceted the world of symphonic music can be. And we will keep our ticket prices affordable, allowing people from all walks of life to enjoy world-class live musical experiences.” As current president of the RSO board, Liz Tierney also seeks to revamp the symphony for a new generation of concertgoers. “The Rome Symphony Orchestra strives to honor our tagline of ‘Inspire, Educate, and Entertain’ with musical works of art from various genres,” she says. “With every season, but especially with our 100th season, we hope to educate our community on the different aspects of music and inspire them to tap into their hidden talents and play an instrument or take up some other form of artistic expression.” New efforts to modernize the symphony for a new century are underway, including recruiting younger board members with fresh perspectives, refreshing the look and feel of the symphony’s branding, and generating more collaborations between the symphony and other organizations in surrounding areas. The symphony also seeks to meet new concertgoers “where they’re at” by expanding their
A Centennial Season Where Past Meets Present The RSO performed its inaugural concert under founder Paul Nixon’s direction on May 11, 1922, with a program of Johann Strauss waltzes, the overture to Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, and other selections. Thematically, Dokken’s slate for the 2021-2022 season pays homage to not only the heritage of the Rome Symphony but also to the history of the “greatest hits” of orchestra music over the last century: the growth of movie music as we know it today, the rise of Aaron Copland’s star as “America’s composer,” and the advent of the Broadway songbook. The current season kicks off on September 11 with “RSO at the Movies,” an entire evening of selections from iconic films such as Braveheart, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Superman, Cinema Paradiso, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. This concert will also feature one of the world’s leading violinists, Jorge Saade, who will perform John Williams’ powerful Oscar-winning score from the movie Schindler’s List. On January 8, 2022, the symphony will undertake its first-ever live recording, titled “Music for a New Year: Bach, Berlioz and Beethoven,” featuring world-renowned Brazilian flutist and Universal Music Group artist James Strauss. With the live recording, Dokken and the musicians of the RSO aim to
record for posterity and share with the world the high-caliber sound of the Rome Symphony Orchestra. Additional performances in this season’s RSO lineup include the holidaythemed concert “A Dickens Christmas on Broad Street” on December 19. Special guest and Broadway veteran Alan Naylor will return April 2 to lead “Give My Regards to Broadway,” an evening dedicated entirely to musical theater favorites. The season concludes on June 2 with a tribute to Aaron Copland. When asked why invigorating the region’s passion for the small town symphony for the next 100 years is so imperative, Tierney replied, “Music is a vital part of the human experience. Whether used in celebration or providing solace, it has the power to heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. It allows us to connect with each other in a way words sometimes cannot.”
Rome Symphony Orchestra The 2021-2022 season runs September 11, 2021, through June 2, 2022. romesymphony.org
Lauren Bowling Seeger is an award-winning content marketing strategist and writer whose work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Fox Business, CNBC, Forbes, Business Insider, and more. After selling her personal finance blog to The Motley Fool in 2019, she now works as a freelance writer and PR/content strategist for brands big and small. Learn more at beehivedigital.net. www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 27
Courtesy of Trex Company
The Year of the Pergola Outdoor living continues to gain momentum, even now as it starts to get a little chillier. And one increasingly popular way to perk up your patio is by adding a stylish pergola.
ouzz, the noted website and online community focused on architecture, decorating, landscape design, and home improvement, has deemed 2021 “The Year of the Pergola.” These openwork structures, consisting of a roof supported by four columns, are popping up in yards and decks across the country as an ideal way to add dimension, shade, and personality to any home. Add flowy curtains or a fun fire feature, and you’ve got yourself a cozy place to relax even when colder temps come calling. Trex, the manufacturer of outdoor living products stocked in more than 6,700 retail locations worldwide, has shared four creative ways to integrate a pergola into your outdoor living space. 28 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Define Your Deck Just like you can with the inside of your home, you can establish separate areas in your pergola for relaxing, cooking, dining, and socializing. Pergolas are perfect for designating an outdoor “room,” making entertaining easier and helping to maximize the function and flow of your space.
Create a Focal Point If you want to add some drama to your deck, consider incorporating a pergola that captures attention and serves as a natural gathering spot for guests. It’s a great way to add an interesting architectural element to your outdoor scheme.
Add Pops of Color Pergolas come in a variety of finishes, including bright hues that add boldness to your backyard in a big way. For those who want a truly personalized structure, you can choose custom paint tinting to match any desired color, be it the exterior color of your home or the shade of your favorite plant.
Grow Your Garden Up Create a vertical garden space with an open-top pergola, which works well for climbing plants like wisteria, honeysuckle, and ivy. If the vines are properly trained, they can cover the pergola like a roof. Plus, the structure itself can be used for hanging baskets. Pergolas serve multiple functions and incorporate some of today’s most popular design trends. For example, selections from Trek’s new Pergola Pavilion collection feature a modular roof system with an integrated gutter. They’re not only architecturally appealing, but their aluminum panels also create a watertight ceiling offering complete rain and sun protection.
Courtesy of Trex Company
A pergola is an affordable way to enhance and expand your outdoor living space. HGTV®
Distinctive and Decorative
Courtesy of Trex Company
www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 29
Fire It Up!
Here is Cutting Edge Firewood’s secret to starting a fire with a single match:
What You’ll Need:
2. If you’re using heart pine, carefully rest a single piece on top of the lit fire starter. (Heart pine is not recommended when cooking over an open flame.) Place a couple of pieces of kindling directly above the heart pine in the shape of an X. Use additional kindling if required. 3. As the kindling lights, place two large pieces of firewood alongside the kindling. Add additional logs on top as required. You want to have some logs go directly over the burning kindling. You can build this up as high as you like (as long as you keep it at a safe height). You can rent a fire pit from Cutting Edge Firewood if you don’t want to invest in your own. They also offer fire butler service in case you’d rather leave all of the dirty work to them. For more information, visit cuttingedgefirewood.com.
Traditional with a Twist Modernize the look of an old-fashioned pergola with a design that foregoes the stringers and features an on-trend neutral color like grey. Furnish with contemporary pieces that feature clean lines and a sleek finish. Modern Minimalism Defined by a sleek, streamlined design, minimalist pergolas (see example, page 29) are often made from metal and are available in fresh, vibrant finishes. These cool, industrial structures can create a stark contrast that, in many ways, enhances the design of the landscaping.
Courtesy of Trex Company
Cabana Style With the popularity of backyard pools and spas, pergolas are the ideal place to enjoy poolside cocktails and conversations. Replicate the relaxed vibe of a tropical resort cabana by adding flowing curtains to one or more sides. Use different materials to match your needs, such as thicker curtains for more privacy and sheer prints or bold colors for more vibrancy. Distinctive and Decorative Etched metal roofs take your pergola from humdrum to happening. Achieve an elevated design with distinctive architectural panels (see example, page 29) available in different patterns that offer varying degrees of openness and shade. Pergolas are a relatively quick and affordable way to add much-needed style, shade, and excitement to your yard or deck. They’re also versatile and relatively easy to maintain. Just think how much more time you could spend outdoors with the addition of a stylish and functional pergola in your backyard. For more information on Trek Pergolas, visit trexpergola.com.
30 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Courtesy of Trex Company
• Dry firewood • Fire starter • Heart pine • Kindling • Match
1. P lace the fire starter at the center of where you want the fire. Strike your single match and light the fire starter.
Old Romantic This classic pergola design features charming rafters and traditional columns. White is a popular color for it, given its elegant, timeless appeal. Create a dreamy atmosphere by weaving vines and lights among the stringers and decorating with candles and ornate table pieces. Courtesy of Trex Company
Firewood and fire starters for your fire pit are available at your local hardware store. For the ultimate luxury, you can have Georgia-based Cutting Edge Firewood deliver bundles and stacks of logs right to your doorstep. And their wood isn’t just any old wood. It’s conditioned for 48 hours so that it’s pest- and mold-free, burns hotter and longer, creates less smoke, and is easier to light than untreated firewood.
The Three-Step Guide:
Courtesy of Trex Company
A fire pit can extend your time spent outdoors by keeping you toasty even when the temperatures start to dip. Just picture you and your friends sitting around a roaring fire enjoying some laughs, sipping on cocktails, and snacking on s’mores.
Here are five popular styles of pergolas.
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www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 31
Six Tips for Caring for Your Senior Cat or Dog As you get older, so do your pets. Here’s how to make sure your furry companions stay well and healthy in their golden years.
BY DANA LYNN THOMPSON
have loved and lost four senior dogs and one very senior horse, who was my best friend for 31 years. I did my best to make sure their latter years were filled with as much good health, happiness, and love as they gave to me during our precious time together. Thankfully, due to improved veterinary care and better diets, our pets are living longer than ever before. While the standard age range for what is considered a senior cat or dog varies by breed and size, pet parents should watch
for signs of aging like a slowdown in activity, increased barking or meowing, urination issues, and cloudy eyes. Like their faithful humans, dogs and cats experience age-related conditions and challenges that require lifestyle and diet changes. So, how do you make sure your energetic puppy or kitten can transition into a happy, healthy older dog or cat? Here are six ways to ensure your aging pet enjoys a good quality of life well into its golden years.
eep Up the Exercise K in Moderation
We all slow down as we age, and the same goes for our furry friends. A moderate exercise regimen will help your pet maintain good muscle tone, sustain mobility, keep joints from becoming stiff, and assist in retaining an ideal body weight. For example, if you and your dog used to go for long, strenuous hikes or morning runs, simply moving freely at the dog park or taking a swim may be more his speed now. (Swimming is especially good for senior dogs as it’s low-impact but still great for their cardiovascular health.) Adult cats typically aren’t as active as adult dogs,
Human Age Equivalents for Older Pets CAT YEARS
(small to very large dogs)*
24 to 56
56 to 78
76 to 115
96 to 120
*Small: 0-20 lbs; Medium: 21-50 lbs; Large: 51-90; Very Large: >90 lbs Source: American Veterinary Medical Association 32 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance
but you should still be sure to schedule playtime with them even when they get up there in age. Use laser pointers, wand toys, feathers, and the like to tempt and tease your cat. Throw a crumpled piece of paper on the floor for them to bat around, or simply leave a cardboard box out for them and sprinkle a little catnip in there.
Make Regular Vet Visits
Semi-annual wellness exams are recommended for senior dogs and cats. Your vet will do blood work, check for lumps, listen to heart function, check red and white blood cell counts, and evaluate liver and kidney function. Early detection is key to disease prevention and treatment in older pets.
M aintain a Healthy Diet
Obesity can shorten your pet’s life and increases the likelihood of diseases and other problems developing. Excess weight places a burden on your pet’s heart and joints, causing inflammation that can lead to pain. Joint supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids for brain, skin, and joint health can keep senior pets moving pain-free. Check with your veterinarian to see if and when you might want to switch to a pet food made especially for senior cats or dogs, which still contain the appropriate nutrients but are less calorie-dense.
Take Care of Those Teeth
Just like ours, pet’s teeth become more sensitive and susceptible to infection as they get older, the latter of which can increase the risk of both heart and
kidney disease. Make brushing your pet’s teeth with a special dog or cat toothpaste a regular habit. Your vet can let you know if a professional dental cleaning is needed to remove buildup and check for loose or infected teeth. This also helps keep that stinky pet breath at bay.
A dapt Your Pet’s Environment
Small modifications to keep your senior pet comfortable at home can make a big difference. Adding more carpeting or rugs to slippery surfaces like hardwood or tile floors makes getting up and down easier and reduces the chance of injury. Adding small stairs or a ramp will make it easier and safer for your pet to get up to their favorite spots. Also, elevating food and water bowls can eliminate stress on your pet’s neck and head and ease digestion. Increasing the number of water bowls around the house and even adding a night light can help ensure your pet stays hydrated. Orthopedic or heated pet beds can help with joint stiffness.
Extra Snuggles + Lots of Love = A Happy Senior Pet
Quality time with their humans is what happy senior pets crave most. Taking your senior dog on special outings like a walk in the park, a car ride, or on a road trip will stimulate their senses, relieve boredom, get them moving, and make them feel loved. When it comes to senior cats, it’s not unusual for them to crave more attention and emotional support. Older pets may have some special needs that require changes to your regular routine. With proper elderly pet care and attention, your furry companions can continue to enjoy good health and a happy life for years to come.
Many pet owners consider their pet a member of the family. Health insurance for your pet offers the ability to provide your dog or cat with affordable care should they become seriously ill. Here are some pros and cons to buying pet insurance.
Pros •Y ou can choose any licensed veterinarian •C ostly emergency procedures and treatments are usually covered •Y ou can customize your plan based on your needs •M ost plans offer discounts for insuring multiple pets • L ow premiums and low deductibles are available •P eace of mind knowing your pet is covered in an emergency
Cons •W ith most plans, you have to pay upfront, and then you’re reimbursed • T here are some coverage limitations on how much you can claim yearly or over the life of the pet •P re-existing conditions may not be covered •M any breed-specific conditions (hip dysplasia in golden retrievers, for example) may not be covered •M ost plans do not cover routine care •M oney paid towards premiums is lost as opposed to contributions into a health savings account Dana Lynn Thompson is a writer, dog mom, and founder of Surviving Everyday Stress, a blog for people suffering with IBS and anxiety. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with everyday stress. Dana lives on a small farm with her rock star husband, three rescue dogs, and two horses. She can be reached at danalynnthompson.com. www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 33
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Let’s Give ’Em Something to Taco ’Bout K
d GET COOKIN’
Forget Taco Tuesday. These twists on traditional tacos will have you craving them every day of the week.
Blackened Salmon Tacos
36 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
pologies to Bonnie Raitt for the play on her song title, but tacos are something we should definitely be talking about. Specifically how you can spice up taco night at your house by replacing ordinary taco fillings with tempting taste combinations that come together easily, feature fresh flavors, and are far from run-of-the-mill. Here are recipes for three nontraditional takes on tacos, plus a yummy avocado and tomatillo salsa.
BLACKENED SALMON TACOS Serves 4
Salmon 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ ¼ 1 4 2
tbsp. paprika tsp. cayenne tsp. dried thyme tsp. cumin tsp. onion powder tsp. garlic powder tsp. black pepper tsp. kosher salt salmon pieces, 6-to 7-ounces each, skin-on tbsp. oil
corn or flour tortillas 8 2 cups romaine lettuce shredded 1 cup diced tomato
½ 2 ¼ 1
cup diced red onion tbsp. minced cilantro cup tomatillo avocado salsa (or sour cream) lime, cut into small wedges
Combine spices in small bowl. Put mixture on a plate or other flat surface and coat the portions of salmon, one at a time, on the flesh side. Heat large heavy-bottomed pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Add salmon, flesh side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until the skin is crispy. Slightly cool salmon, peel the skin away, and shred into chunks. Char tortillas in skillet until edges are lightly burnt. Fill each tortilla with lettuce, tomato, onion, salmon, cilantro, and drizzles of fresh lime and Avocado Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe at right).
BRUSSELS SPROUTS TACOS WITH SPICY PEANUT BUTTER Serves 4 | Helpful hint: Vinaigrette may be made a week ahead and refrigerated.
Vinaigrette 3 1 ¼ 1½
tbsp. fish sauce cup unseasoned rice vinegar cup scallions, sliced inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated Kosher salt
2 tbsp. Aleppo-style pepper or 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes ¾ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts, plus ¼ cup crushed Kosher salt 1 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed, divided 1 cup vegetable oil 8 6-inch corn tortillas
¼ cup white onion, finely chopped Sliced avocado Sliced serrano peppers Cilantro leaves Salt Lime wedges
Heat small saucepan over medium heat and pour in 1 tbsp. fish sauce. Let thicken and darken, about 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining fish sauce, incorporating 1 tbsp. at a time. Carefully add vinegar and transfer mixture to bowl; let cool. Stir in scallions and ginger. Taste; season with salt.
AVOCADO TOMATILLO SALSA Makes 2 cups
2 small tomatillos, husked and chopped 1 ¼ 1 1 ¼ 2 1
(about 1 cup) jalapeño pepper with seeds cup white onion, chopped clove garlic, peeled large avocado, diced cup fresh cilantro, chopped tbsp. fresh lime juice tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper
Place tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, and garlic in food processor. Pulse a few seconds or until minced. Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pulse for 1 minute till mixture is smooth but chunky. To store, refrigerate salsa in storage container or cover with plastic wrap.
Purée Aleppo pepper and ¾ cup whole peanuts in food processor until smooth butter forms, about 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt; scrape into small bowl. Thinly slice ¼ of Brussels sprouts; transfer to medium bowl. Cut remaining Brussels sprouts in half. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Shallow-fry halved Brussels sprouts in batches, without overcrowding pan, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then add to sliced Brussels sprouts. Drizzle with ¼ cup vinaigrette and toss to coat, season with kosher salt. To serve, heat skillet over medium-high. One at a time, heat tortillas; transfer to plates. Spread tortillas with peanut butter, then Brussels sprouts. Top with onion, avocado, peppers, cilantro, and ¼ cup crushed peanuts; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with lime wedges. www.nwgeorgialiving.com | 37
BAJA-STYLE TACOS WITH CAULIFLOWER, MANGO SLAW, AND CILANTRO SAUCE Serves 6
Mango Slaw 7½ ½ 1 2 1 ¼
ounces coleslaw mix mango, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped tbsp. lime juice tbsp. jalapeño, minced tsp. salt
1 cup coconut, unsweetened and shredded 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 cup canned coconut milk 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. ground cumin ¼ tsp. cayenne 1 tsp. salt ½ head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 lb.) 8 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
¼ ¼ 3 3 ¼
cup mayonnaise cup sour cream tbsp. water tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced tsp. salt
Adjust oven rack to middle position, preheat oven to 450°. Combine coleslaw mix, mango, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, and salt in bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine coconut and panko in shallow dish. Whisk coconut milk, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt together in bowl. Add cauliflower to coconut milk mixture; toss to coat well. Working with 1 piece of cauliflower at a time, remove from coconut milk, shake off excess liquid, coat well with coconut-panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until cauliflower is golden, 20-25 minutes, flipping cauliflower and rotating sheet halfway through baking. Whisk cilantro sauce ingredients together in bowl. Divide slaw among warm tortillas and top with cauliflower. Drizzle with cilantro sauce and serve.
You’ve no doubt heard the expression “Taco Tuesday,” the phrase signifying the Mexican-food equivalent of happy hour that has become a hugely popular social media hashtag. (Even NBA star LeBron James has used it on Instagram to describe his family’s weekly taco night ritual.) But did you know that the Wyoming-based Mexican fast food chain Taco John’s holds the U.S. trademark to the term? They registered it way back in 1989, and that was only after an eatery called Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar had trademarked the name in New Jersey seven years earlier. Who knew? — Jill Becker
Kathy Patrick is a personal chef and barre instructor in Rome, GA. She loves cooking, traveling, water-skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and bicycling with her husband, Berry College professor Martin Cipollini. She is president of the Georgia chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation, a volunteer organization whose goal is restoring the iconic trees. 38 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Saturday, October 9 12pm-6pm Downtown Rome Broad Street 2 stages live bluegrass usic vendor village - pony rides car show
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A TASTE OF NW GEORGIA
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d FISH OUT OF WATER
I Spotted Bigfoot in Blue Ridge! To be precise, I saw artifacts at the Expedition: Bigfoot! museum that just might persuade some of the mythical creature’s existence.
BY RACHEL TURNER
ccording to the website of the Expedition: Bigfoot! museum in Blue Ridge, when it comes to the belief in Bigfoot, there are three categories of people. You’re either a skeptic, a believer, or a knower, and they welcome all types in the museum. Skeptic and believer are defined easily enough, but a “knower” is someone who has had an actual experience. They’re people who’ve encountered something so real that they don’t just believe, they KNOW there are Bigfoot out there. Where do I fall on the Bigfootometer? Well, since there is no “never gave it much thought” category, I suppose I fall into the category of a skeptic. Honestly, I stopped thinking about Bigfoot back in the ’80s when John Lithgow and his family brought one home after hitting him with their car in the movie Harry and the Hendersons. The plot involved Bigfoot acclimating to suburban life and hiding from the neighbors. Seriously? I can picture the letter I’d get from my HOA now. I do admit to being fascinated by stories of mythical, fugitive creatures that haunt our woods and lakes and remain good enough at hide-and-seek that we’ve never been able to prove concretely that they exist. I want to believe in the unknown, but it’s hard to do that when you’ve watched as many crime shows as I have where police sift through a landfill the size of an amusement park to find the one tiny piece of evidence that breaks a case wide open. So why can’t they find a 9-foot-tall hairy
42 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
giant running through the woods? I feel like this question is fair. If the key to my belief lay in the exploration of evidence and eyewitness accounts, then I figured a trip to Blue Ridge to check out Expedition: Bigfoot! would be my Road to Damascus. So I decided to load up my mother, kids, and mother-in-law for a Saturday FFO (fun family outing) to see where we would all land on the Bigfoot debate after we’d seen some proof. By the way, in case you’re wondering how I got all of those people to agree to go with me, our outing also involved a trip to Rocco’s Pub in Jasper for lunch. Exactly zero people in my party were Sasquatch curious, but they were all chicken finger and chili curious, so we came to a fair arrangement. Expedition: Bigfoot! is a hard-to-miss attraction directly off Highway 515. It’s a modest-sized building, and access is granted with a nominal fee. Once inside, I couldn’t believe they were able to get all of these artifacts and exhibits in such a small place. Admittedly, the museum is something you might be tempted to rush through, getting to the end and realizing you didn’t really look at anything. So take your time, watch the videos, interact with the exhibits, and marinate on the eyewitness accounts. Some of the artifacts are a bit, um, unbelievable, but there are also some compelling pieces that gave me pause. What made that giant human-like footprint that’s on display? Why is there a skull shaped like that? Mostly, though, I pondered how in the world so many people have had such
similar experiences. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make you wonder. Well, at least it made me wonder. All my kids were wondering about was when I would take them to lunch. I don’t know if I saw enough evidence to push me fully into the believer category, but the older I get, the more I realize we can’t really be sure about anything. After all, at one point, I was sure I would grow up to be a rich veterinarian and move to a private island with my husband, Kiefer Sutherland. But here we are. While the name Expedition: Bigfoot! makes it sound like you’re going to be strapping on night-vision goggles and heading off into the woods to track the elusive beast, the experience is really more of a fun 45-minute activity saved for a rainy day. We enjoyed our roadside museum excursion, and we have the souvenirs to prove it. Now, if I ever want to have my own Bigfoot sighting, I merely have to lift my pants leg and catch a glimpse of the “World’s Hide-and-Seek Champion” on my commemorative wool socks. I got my husband a pair, too, and make him wear them as payback for missing the excursion entirely.
Rachel Turner is a freelance writer and humor blogger. Her e-book, Cut Film Cover to Vent: I’m Not Super Woman, But I’m Decent Enough, is available on Amazon.com. A native Georgian, she lives in Woodstock with her husband and two sons. Drop by her blog, rachelwriteshere.com, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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d ROBERT’S WORLD
Really Scary Stuff The things that actually frighten me come Halloween. BY ROBERT SMYTH
hen I was a kid, Halloween was a for their kids. I’ve given them several of the scariest simple affair. It involved a homemade ideas I can think of, but no one has taken me up on costume, a paper sack, and dime them yet. For instance, put your little one in a busistore candy. Oh, and your dad having ness suit with a briefcase and a name tag that says to check your candy for razor blades. And when he IRS, and when someone opens their door, have your was done, all your mini Snickers would be gone. child say, “I’m here for your audit.” Or how about Snopes.com says that between 1972 and 1982, pretty a doctor’s costume, and instead of “Trick or treat,” much every report of a child finding a razor blade in they say, “Congratulations, it’s twins!” You could a candy apple was a hoax. Which means someone switch it out from house to house with “It’s time for owes me 10 years of back candy! your prostate exam” if you want. Both would scare Fast forward to Halloween 2021, and it’s all elabome to death! Or just make a big sign they can hold rate yard decorations, full-size candy bars or Martha that says, “I snuck into your house and changed the Stewart-level homemade treats, and expensive thermostat.” That one would send my dad running costumes of whatever Disney/ through the house, making it easy Pixar movie characters are all the for someone to swoop in and grab rage. I even know people who put all his candy. up a Halloween tree. I would rather host a pool When it comes to frights, it’s party for Freddy Krueger, Jason, Vampires? They funny how things that used to Godzilla, the weird guy from the wouldn’t come terrify me wouldn’t even make Saw movies, and Pennywise the me get out of my recliner these clown than look at our monthly near me with my days. Vampires? They wouldn’t budget with three kids in college come near me with my cholesterol cholesterol level. I’m or go to my next physical. As level. I’m pretty sure my blood is an adult and a parent, the list of nothing but gravy and BBQ sauce. pretty sure my blood monsters and what scares me Werewolf? It could not possibly makes Dracula look like a guidis nothing but gravy ance counselor. But then there are shed as much as the dog we have now. His shedding has killed a those moments with family and and BBQ sauce. Dyson vacuum. A mummy? In friends, and sometimes random my house, with all of the women strangers, that make you realize who reside there, he’s just walking that there is still some good in toilet paper and would be naked this world and that people have in less than a day. Aliens? All I can think of is that your back. Maybe the innocence of my childhood if there were an alien invasion, I probably wouldn’t Halloweens is still out there for kids in 2021 if they have to pay my Visa bill next month. I’ve put out a just look up from TikTok long enough to see it. So “Welcome Space Creatures” sign in my backyard. drop by the house this October 31st and try and give On a side note, alien invasion and natural disaster me a scare. If the porch light is off, I’ve looked at movies are why I won’t wear flip-flops. I just know my checkbook balance and am eating that 10 years’ that the first time I wear them in public, the world worth of back candy. will come to an end, and I guarantee you grown men trying to run in flip-flops die first. Every year someone asks me for costume ideas
44 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
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Pepperell Dragon Football 2021 Schedule Haralson County Rebels 8/20 @ 7:30 away Heard County Braves 8/27 @ 7:30 away Bremen Blue Devils 9/3 @ 7:30 away Temple Tigers 9/17 @ 7:30 home Dade County Wolverines 9/24 @ 7:30 away
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Go Georgia Bulldogs! 2021 GEORGIA BULLDOGS SCHEDULE Date
Opponent / Event
7:30 p.m. ET
3:30 p.m. ET
vs. South Carolina
7:00 p.m. ET
vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
3:30 p.m. ET
vs Charleston Southern
vs. Georgia Tech
d JUST SAYING
Autumn ... the year’s last, loveliest smile. — William Cullen Bryant
Rome Symphony Orchestra 21–22 Season Overview RSO at The Movies!
Saturday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. The Rome City Auditorium
A Dickens’ Christmas on Broad Street Sunday, December 19th at 5:00 p.m. The Rome City Auditorium
Music for a New Year: Bach, Berlioz and Beethoven Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. The Rome City Auditorium
Give My Regards to Broadway: Favorites from The Great White Way Jeffrey Dokken, Conductor, Rome Symphony Orchestra (photo
by Tina Krohn)
48 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Fall 2021
Saturday, April 2nd, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. The Rome City Auditorium
Aaron Copland: America’s Composer Saturday, June 11th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. “The Cove” at Darlington School
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Give where you live.
A small donation can make a big difference in your community. Through Project SHARE, Georgia Power will match $1.50 for every $1 you give to help people in your county facing a temporary crisis. You can even donate directly from your electric bill. Learn more or apply for assistance at georgiapower.com/projectSHARE.
Northwest Georgia Living: Fall 2021