NWGA Living March/April 2024

Page 1

Play Ball

A thrilling season awaits Rome’s baseball team.

What’s Old is New Again

Grandmillennial interior décor offers vintage charm.

Never underestimate the human spirit.

How do we measure the human spirit? In inches? In hours? In jobs well done? Maybe there’s no way to measure it — because, as you show us every day, the human spirit simply has no limit. AdventHealth’s whole-person care is designed to support you in body, mind and yes, in spirit, for every step of the journey ahead.


Health insurance is personal. You’re not just a policyholder, you’re a valued member of our community. Health Coverage with Heart . Ind I v I dual / Fam I ly P l ans s mall Grou P Plans l evel-Funded Grou P Plans lI ve4 I t Call for a free quote 866-403-2785 • AlliantPlans.com
Letter From the Publisher Home is Where I Want to Be 6 Calendar for Living Happenings in our ’hood.
departments contents MARCH/APRIL 2024 | VOLUME 15 | ISSUE 2 features
Unlocking the Secrets of Positive Discipline A guide for today’s parents. 28 Penguin Power Rome’s baseball team has a regal new identity and an exciting upcoming season. 32 Hills and Valleys, Heart and Soul Mercer County, WV, comes alive in the spring. Visit Mercer County, WV 10 Dog Eared A bookish bouquet of flower knowledge in honor of springtime. 12 Dollars & Sense Smart moves to make when handling windfalls and large expenditures.
Robert’s World A little advice from a dad of five.
Just Sayin’ A motto to remember.
Community Getting to know Andy Baxter, founder of Andy Baxter Photography and co-founder of Baxter Dean Studio. cover story
Timeless Allure Grandmillennial style makes traditional interior design popular once more and offers its own spin on the classic look. Cover photography by Katherine Medlin.
Wanderlust Miami is becoming as well known for its high-profile art scene as its palm-lined beaches.
Get Cookin’ Mushroom main courses and appetizers to delight your palate. 2 | NW GEORGIA LIVING MARCH/APRIL 2024

Expert ER Care

If you or a loved one are injured or experience chest pain, stroke symptoms or severe stomach pain, don’t hesitate. You’ll find expert emergency physicians at the AdventHealth ER standing by to help you feel whole.

To find the ER nearest you, visit AdventHealthGeorgia.com


Home is Where I Want to Be

While attending service on the first Sunday of Lent, I admired the angular wood beams and the contemporary design of St. Catherine’s, my church in Marietta. It differs significantly from the old-world charm of my family’s historic Episcopal church, St. James, in Cedartown. Although distinctly beautiful, they have one thing in common: both are the houses of God.

My modest home is nothing like the churches, but I’ve always strived to make it warm and inviting. The Erickson household is the meshing of two different personalities. When you marry a man like my husband, Jerry, who is a cross between a Sanford and Sons junk collector, history buff, and pirate, you never know what treasures he’ll drag home after scouring through everything from old barns to antique malls. Trying to incorporate his latest find is sometimes challenging. Here are some items we haven’t quite figured out when or how we will use: Johnny Cash’s studio recording door, a metal hooded vent cover engraved with the letter E, two large stained-glass windows, and an early 1900s brass light fixture that originally had candles and was converted to use electricity.

What I have incorporated in decorating our home has made it cheerful with a warm color palette, sunlit rooms, soft throws, and several areas to entertain or curl up with a book. Cwtch is a Welsh-English dialect word meaning a cuddle or embrace, with a sense of offering warmth. Last year, on our trip to England, Jerry and I bought a cwtch plaque for our home while visiting Wales because our house is cozy.

My decorating style is eclectic, using a mixture of antiques, contemporary pieces, art, and unique accessories. Little did I know this look describes the latest decorating trend, Grandmillennial. I’ve decorated this way for years but didn’t know how to define it. Thankfully, I’m not a grand yet, but I have style! And so does a whole new generation. Let’s eliminate all the grays, neutrals, and minimalism and say hello to colorful and cozy, keeping those heirloom antiques. You’ll make your grandmother so happy.

My most prized possessions are antiques from my family. My Grandmother Gibbons gave me a small ladies’ writing desk, a ’50s vintage swan rocking chair, and a set of Italian nesting tables she bought in Europe. My dad gave me a cherry cedar chest and a pair of vintage Hull Art Pottery. These pieces are not fine antiques, but they’re priceless to me.

Decorating has always been my passion, and I briefly considered it as a career starting a Decorating Den type business. Instead, it’s been my favorite hobby. My best friend, Wannetta Beck, and I love it when Jer gives me the go for a decorating project. The unofficial name of our decorating side hustle is Netta & Boo. We quickly run up a credit card when we’re on a mission. The bank once called Jerry because of unusual activity and a large purchase of porch pillows. All is good when we put it together and have the grand reveal like Chip and Joanna.

So, what do a church pew, deacon’s chair, prayer bench, tabernacle, and a vintage brass monastery bell have in common? They are all part of the décor at the Erickson house. Granted, it’s a little odd, but we make it work because it’s our home, and we’re a little eccentric. And if we can’t attend church, we can have our service at the house!



Jill Becker

Gavin Booker

Alice Brock

Justin Franklin

Alexandra McCray

Katherine Medlin

Kathy Patrick

Robert Smyth


and Founder Editor-in-Chief
Wood Erickson Editor
Alexandra McCray
Andi Counts
Creative Director
Designer Mackenzie Kuhn
Copy Editor
Contributing Writers
Elin Woods
Slack & Associates
Web Master Tracy
Wood Erickson wood.laura@yahoo.com Contact us at: (706) 346-9858 wood.laura@yahoo.com
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 © 2024. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied, scanned, or reproduced in any manner without prior written consent from the publisher. d LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
MAR/APR 2024 Volume 15 | Issue 2 4 | NW GEORGIA LIVING MARCH/APRIL 2024
Surrounded by natural splendor on the banks of Eagle Lake, the simple things in life are made even better at The Spires. With all the serenity of our 27,000 wooded acres yet all the vitality of our location at Berry College, it’s second nature to explore new opportunities and make genuine connections when you’re here. This spectacular setting is brought to life by resort-style amenities, chef-prepared dining, friendly neighbors and a carefree lifestyle — plus the assurance of quality care available on-site if ever needed. Discover true serenity and simplicity. fresh air. A BREATH OF Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Care • Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation 600 Eagle Lake Trail | Rome, GA 30165 Come see our breathtaking lake and mountain views for yourself — call 706-672-6055 or visit RetireAtBerry.com to schedule a personal tour.


Saint Patrick’s Day

Pub Crawl

March 15-16

Downtown Cartersville

Enjoy adult beverages from small businesses that you can visit on your own schedule throughout the holiday weekend.



Something Rotten!

March 15-17, 22-24

DeSoto Theatre, Rome

In the bustling Renaissance era, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom strive to outshine legendary playwright

“The Bard” by creating the world’s first musical. Through the chaos of their groundbreaking production’s debut, they learn that achieving success requires staying authentic amidst the allure of scandal and novelty. romelittletheatre.com


March 16, 6:30pm

Bridgepoint Plaza, Rome

The Leprechaun-a-thon 5K returns featuring glowing, foamy fun along First Avenue and the Kingfisher Trail and will conclude with a festive finish on the pedestrian bridge near the Town Green. Be sure to wear your green and some glowing accessories! rfpra.com/leprechaun

Photography Public Program and Exhibit Opening of Picture Perfect: The Development of Photography and the Camera

March 21, 5:30-8:00pm

Booth Western Art Museum

Museum, Cartersville

Join Bartow History Museum and Booth Western Art Museum in a joint program about photography and its history. See the new exhibit, then listen to a discussion on esteemed photographer Dorthea Lange with Lange’s granddaughter and a family friend. Advanced registration is preferred.


Georgia String Band Festival

March 22-23

Harris Arts Center, Calhoun

Experience the 16th annual Georgia String Band Festival, featuring a performance by Hubby Jenkins on the

by lively competitions in fiddle, banjo, and more at the Gordon County Fiddler’s Convention.


Northwest Georgia Women’s Expo & Artisans’ Market

March 23, 9am-3pm

Clarence Brown Conference Center, Cartersville

This ultimate celebration of womanhood promises over 70 vendors offering exclusive products and services for women and families, alongside $1,000 in cash door prizes, food trucks, and carotid artery screenings.


April 5, 7pm

Rome Emperors Opening Day Game


Rome Emperors Opening Day Game

April 5, 7pm

AdventHealth Stadium, Rome

See Atlanta’s High-A affiliate team take on the Hickory Crawdads. Be one of the first 1,000 attendees through the gates and you’ll get a Rome Emperors rally towel. milb.com/rome/ schedule/2024-04

Georgia’s Rome Spring Art Market

April 6-7

Rome Civic Center

Explore an array of gifts, food, and outdoor décor all from Georgia artisans and businesses at this annual market hosted by the Georgia’s Rome Welcome

Center and Gift Shop. romegeorgia.org/ springartmarket

Sports Collector Tradeshow

April 13, 3-7pm

AdventHealth Stadium, Rome Hunt for treasures and discover rare finds on the Front Plaza before the game. Admission is free, but tickets are required for the game; the tradeshow starts at 3 p.m., with game gates opening at 4 p.m. romegeorgia.org

Spring Market

April 13, 9am-3pm

J.R. “Dick” Dowdy Park, Summerville

Welcome spring by shopping for arts and crafts, jewelry, body and hair care, wooden items, live plants, and more. Don’t forget to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets so you can enjoy special musical entertainment and family fun. facebook.com/ cityofsummerville

BBQ & Brews

April 20, Noon-8pm

Downtown Cartersville

Taste barbecue prepared by some of Georgia’s most talented pitmasters at this popular festival that includes plenty of craft beer and great live music. Retail vendors and a kids’ zone will also be onsite. facebook.com/ downtowncartersville/events

Rome Symphony Orchestra Presents: Tango!

April 20, 7pm

Rome City Auditorium

Don’t miss this captivating collaboration between the Rome Symphony Chamber

dancers showcasing a mesmerizing fusion of music and dance. romesymphony.org/ upcoming-shows

BBQ Boogie & Blues Festival

April 26-27

Downtown Calhoun

Dig in to delicious barbecue and cast your vote for people’s choice during this weekend event with a nationally sanctioned barbecue competition alongside family-friendly activities, live music, and food and craft vendors.


Firefly Fling

April 26, 7pm

Lewis Lofts, Rome

Support the Rome Area Council for the Arts by attending its annual fundraiser. This year’s monochrome theme invites guests to dress in black and white attire and enjoy a night of local art, live entertainment, sumptuous dining from LaScala Catering, and exciting raffle prizes and auctions.


BBQ & Brews

April 20, Noon-8pm

April 27, 10am-4pm

Ridge Ferry Park, Rome

Soak up some sunshine and enjoy a car show, vendors, and lots of barbecue sampling opportunities while supplies last. So, get there early (sampling starts at 11 a.m.), and be sure to wear something with a little stretch!


Rockmart High School Art Exhibit Reception and Gala April 27, 6-8pm

Rockmart Cultural Arts Center

See the creativity of local high school students shine brightly under the theme of “illuminate” at this art event.

rockmart-ga.gov/ RockmartCulturalArtsCenter. aspx


Spring Festival

April 28, Noon-7pm

1 Friendship Plaza, Cartersville

Celebrate the vibrant colors of spring with Interculturalfest’s outdoor extravaganza, featuring enchanting folk music and dances and an array of other global cultural delights.

facebook.com/ InterculturalFest


| 7
TRACY Slack & Associates WWW.TRACYSLACK.COM 404 797-5212 Marketing Graphic Design Web Development Printing Business Consulting Marketing Consulting Brand Management Business Development Design est. 2009 • tracy@tracyslack.com Northwest Georgia’s Premier Garden Center 4065 Martha Berry Hwy. NW | Rome, GA 30165 706-295-0299 | lavendermountainhardware.com Like us on facebook Voted #1 Garden Center 20 23 9 years in a row! Welcome Spring Great selection of • Trees and Shrubs • Perennials & Annuals • Fruit Trees & Berries • Vegetable Plants & Seeds • Fountains & Statuary • Pottery • Tropicals & Houseplants Your Favorite Brands • Southern Living Plant Collection • Knockout Roses & Encore Azaleas • Proven Winners • Fafard Soils • Fertilome & Hi-Yield Services • Landscape Design & Installation • Container Design 8 | NW GEORGIA LIVING MARCH/APRIL 2024

S a t u r d a y , M a y 4 , 6 : 0 0 - 9 : 0 0 P M

B o o t h M u s e u m S o u t h L a w n

T A C O S | M A R G A R I T A S | L I V E M U S I C


T I C K E T : $ 5 0

T A B L E O F 8 : $ 4 0 0

F e a t u r i n g

B O O T H M U S E U M . O R G / B R E W I N

Floral Fluency

A bookish bouquet of flower knowledge.

Even though their return means I’m often left in a few sneezing fits, as winter turns into spring, I love flowers. Real or fake, they bring me so much joy, and it’s an area where I’m constantly learning something new. I still don’t know all the names, but I can turn to my mother, who’s likely the reason for my obsession, and she’ll supply the name, sometimes also in Latin. I’m still just as likely to exclaim how gorgeous a particular pink flower is or describe another in such a ridiculous way, but much like learning French (one of my new goals for this year), I welcome the challenge of floral fluency.

So, this edition, I’d like to share some of my favorite books full of flowers, some with gardening and care tips, some focusing on the history of certain plants, and because I can’t resist pretty photography, there’s going to be at least one book on arranging. Let’s celebrate Earth’s prettiest accessories!

On Flowers: Lessons from an Accidental Florist

I was so drawn in by this cover and the “accidental florist” title. I grew up surrounded by my parents’ love of gardening, so it’s not a true accident that I, too, got into flowers, but being any good at arranging or sometimes knowing the right name has felt like an accident a time or two. What I love about Merrick’s work is that she finds inspiration everywhere. Wildflowers in a paper cup look just as beautiful as a few dozen pristine red roses; they tell different stories, but they must tell your story. Equal parts memoir and guide to flower arranging, featuring lots of unexpected materials, this book was so much fun to study, and I enjoyed learning my floral style and how to tell stories with the pieces I’d selected. Foraged, homegrown, grocery store purchased, all arrangements and flowers are deemed equal here.

“I’m still just as likely to exclaim how gorgeous a particular pink flower is or describe another in such a ridiculous way, but much like learning French (one of my new goals for this year), I welcome the challenge of floral fluency.”

The Complete Language of Flowers: A Definitive and Illustrated History

Last year, a similar book came out on the meanings of flowers and when I saw it on my local bookshelves, I scooped it up and luckily started perusing the pages. It was good, but it didn’t come close to the one I’m recommending, which is my favorite book on the history and meanings of flowers. What sort of flowers mean thank you? Which flowers can support someone through a dark time? Popularized by the Victorians, floriography, however, has been around for much longer. In fact, Medieval writing included meanings for flowers within certain texts, and this book explores over 1,000 different species. People have always told stories and sent messages through flowers, and I think it’d be lovely if we returned to this.


Some of the prettiest flowers are the ones that grow wild in roadside ditches and overgrown fields. I’ve stopped numerous times on backcountry roads, gathering up wild bouquets for my apartment. (Heck, I even do this when I go camping; some may call it glamping.) Carol and Hugh Nourse are longtime experts on the flora of Georgia, published a few times over. This is one of their most recent books, published by the University of Georgia. Highlighting 86 natural wonders of the state, the book lets you know the best places to see them, mountains to the coast, their best season, and their protected status. If you, or someone you love, relishes getting outdoors and exploring, this is an excellent guide for your adventures.

Never Put a Cactus in the Bathroom: A Room-by-Room Guide to Styling and Caring for Your Houseplants

Plants possess so much power. This book shares how to harness it. Looking for air purification or stress relief?

Consider which flowers and plants you’re bringing into your space. Since I’m now living the strictly houseplant life, I’ve been devouring

for you. This little guide has the most adorable illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions on care and suggestions on which plants will be the best for you. Bonus feature! It also includes tips on growing herbs and veggies indoors, too. If you like Hinsdale’s style, she has another book just about plant care, What Is My Plant Telling Me?: An Illustrated Guide to Houseplants and How to Keep Them Alive. Beginners or experts are sure to find this book helpful.

P.S. I couldn’t leave without sharing one of my favorite resources for flowers, which is Flower Magazine (flowermag.com). It often features arranging guides and trends in the world of flowers, and as someone who can’t garden in my current home, I can arrange flowers, and when I treat myself to a DIY bouquet from my grocery store, I like starting here for some inspiration. Enjoy!

P.P.S. There are so many books about the plants and flowers of Georgia that selecting just one was difficult, but I discovered an amazing resource that I have to share for those of you interested in native species of your state: gnps.org/recommended-reading-list

Elin Woods is a librarian from the mountains of western Pennsylvania, now living in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not busy reading, she enjoys baking historical treats and exploring the East Coast. She balances her mostly nonfiction history reading with the occasional modern romance novel and plenty of cookbooks.

nwgeorgialiving.com | 11

Let’s Talk Big Money

Smart moves to make when handling windfalls and large expenditures.

From unexpected windfalls to daunting expenditures, the financial rollercoaster is real. However, managing sudden wealth and navigating large expenditures doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let’s explore the art of balancing windfalls and big spending for a financially empowered future.


Whether it’s a hefty bonus, tax refund, or inheritance, or you hit it big at the casino, handling a sudden windfall requires careful planning and a strategic approach to ensure long-term financial stability and fulfillment of goals. The first step in handling a sudden windfall is to take a minute to process the emotions you may have around receiving this unexpected wealth. The circumstances surrounding this money may bring up all kinds of feelings, like guilt, relief, elation, confusion, and stress. By categorizing things into “now,” “next,” and “later,” you allow yourself to make intentional and thoughtful decisions rather than reacting through your feelings. Let’s look at how this strategy works.


“Striking a balance between financing and savings is essential for a sustainable financial plan.”

This is the time to address immediate priorities. Ask yourself, what decisions must be made now? Is there paperwork or action that can’t wait? Handling these things is a nonnegotiable, so you’ll need a plan to address them right away. Do your research and take time to make sure you’re working with a professional who isn’t pressuring you to make hasty decisions. Certainly, some things can’t wait, but by sitting tight on some decisions for 90 days, you’ll give yourself that critical processing time to do your due diligence and be better situated to make smarter decisions.

Once you’ve handled the urgent tasks,

you can evaluate your current financial situation and address any pressing needs or outstanding obligations. One idea might be clearing high-interest debts, such as credit card balances or loans. This not only relieves financial stress but also prevents unnecessary interest payments.

Simultaneously, establish a liberty fund if you don't already have one. Having a financial safety net ensures that you can cover unexpected expenses without derailing your long-term plans. Consider allocating a portion of the windfall to this fund, providing peace of mind and extra financial security.

Additionally, review and update your insurance coverage to protect against unforeseen events. This includes health, life, and property insurance. Adequate coverage safeguards your financial wellbeing and that of your loved ones.


After immediate priorities are addressed, shift your focus to short- to medium-term goals. Identify specific financial decisions that must be made in the next few months. This may include paying off remaining debts, saving for a down payment on a home, or funding education. Allocate a portion of the windfall to these goals, accounting for the timeframe and priority of each. Contemplate consulting with a financial advisor or accountant to make sure you’re planning for all contingencies and tax considerations.


Looking toward the future, this phase involves comprehensive long-term planning. This includes retirement savings, creating a legacy, and philanthropic endeavors.

Allocate a significant portion of the windfall to retirement accounts, taking advantage of tax-advantaged


options. Consider establishing trusts, contributing to charitable foundations, or supporting causes that align with your values. Planning for legacy ensures that your wealth has a positive impact beyond your lifetime. Furthermore, revisit and update your estate plan. Ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizing potential complications for your heirs.

Engage with financial professionals to create a robust and sustainable longterm financial plan. Regularly review and adjust your strategy based on changing circumstances, economic conditions, and personal goals.

In conclusion, the "now, next, and later" strategy provides a structured approach to handling a sudden windfall. By addressing immediate priorities, focusing on short- to medium-term goals, and planning for the long term, you can navigate windfalls wisely and ensure lasting financial well-being.


Define the Purpose and Scope

Before embarking on any major financial expenditure, it’s crucial to define the purpose and scope of the investment. Start by identifying the specific goal or objective you want to achieve with this expenditure. Whether it's purchasing a home, starting a business, or funding education, understanding the purpose will help shape the entire planning process.

Once the purpose is defined, outline

the scope. Break down the project or purchase into smaller components, estimating the costs associated with each. This detailed breakdown will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive budget. For instance, if you’re buying a house, consider not just the purchase price but additional costs like closing fees, property taxes, and maintenance expenses.

Establishing a clear purpose and scope lays the groundwork for informed decision-making and avoids potential financial pitfalls.

Create a Detailed Spending Plan

A well-structured spending plan is the cornerstone of effective financial planning. One of the most common mistakes I see is that people are good about saving up for a big expenditure but haven’t adjusted day-to-day spending to account for ongoing costs related to the expenditure. Take, for example, buying a home. When you’re saving for a down payment, consider saving what you would be paying in mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and a change in utility costs each month. While you may need to save more than that to reach your down payment goal, if you at least save that amount, you’ll learn what it will ultimately feel like to have this extra expense going forward.

Going into debt for a big expenditure can have a ripple effect on the rest of your plans. Make sure your spending plan considers how this debt will be repaid, with contingencies for

emergencies. Will this compromise other goals you have, like saving for retirement? If so, consider if the expenditure is necessary. It may be better to save and then purchase, rather than go into debt and compromise other important plans.

If the planned expenditure is longterm, explore investment opportunities that can potentially generate returns to offset costs. However, exercise caution and align investment choices with your risk tolerance and timeline.

Striking a balance between financing and savings is essential for a sustainable financial plan. Carefully evaluate the trade-offs between immediate financial impact and long-term financial health. And don’t forget to revisit and update your spending plan as circumstances change. Flexibility is key to adapting to unexpected developments or changes in financial status.

By following these steps, whether with sudden windfalls or significant expenditures, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and ensure a stable financial future for you and your family.

CLU, ChFC, RICP, BFA™, ChSNC, CDFA®, is an expert in behavioral 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 Peachtree Planning Corporation. To learn more, visit andefrazier.com.
nwgeorgialiving.com | 13

Getting to Know …

Andy Baxter

Andy Baxter Photography Founder Baxter Dean Studio Co-founder

Inever dreamed it would turn into a career,” says Andy Baxter of his days casually snapping pictures for the Calhoun High School newspaper years ago — but into a career it has. Today, Baxter is one of the most sought-after photographers in Northwest Georgia and beyond for weddings, engagements, baby and family sessions, and commercial work. He’s also the co-founder of Baxter Dean Studio, a collaboration between himself and a longtime friend, plus talented makeup artist Hanna Dean.

Both Calhoun High School alumni, the duo is known for its annual spring runway show celebrating area high school students and awarding scholarships. What began in 2012 with just 14 models on the sidewalk has turned into a full-blown fête with a red carpet and around 100 high school senior participants from across North Georgia, says Baxter. There are even two other show versions now for youngsters and middle schoolers. This year, the high schoolers will strut their stuff on April 26 in the Barbie movie-themed spring runway show.

The flash of Baxter’s camera can be seen at his alma mater throughout the school year, too. Photo shoots surrounding homecoming and promoting the school’s arts and athletics programs are all on the docket for Baxter and Dean.

Things don’t slow in the summer, either. The photographer also helps organize another signature event. “Dancing with the Stars is a scholarship program open to all high school students in Gordon County,” he says of the show taking place May 10 to 11. “It’s a lot of fun and brings students from diverse backgrounds together. That’s probably my favorite thing about it. You have football players dancing with musical theater youth.”

with 35 people during the peak of COVID for a photo shoot. My secret weapon is...I require very little sleep.

The biggest celebrity I ever met was… Reese Witherspoon. If I went to trivia night at the corner pub, the category I would kill it at is… pop culture or ’90s music.

“I never dreamed it would turn into a career.”

The most important lesson I’ve learned is… you can get more money, but you can’t get more time.

The weirdest thing I own is… several vintage Christmas blow molds.

A movie I love is… Parasite

If I could only ever eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be… cheeseburgers. When I need inspiration, I… scroll social media. My best quality is… I’m extremely passionate. If I’m 100%

Outside of his photography work, Baxter stays busy serving on the Calhoun City Schools' Board of Education, the Board of Directors for the Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community, and by being a Calhoun Downtown Development Authority member. When he has free time, you’ll find him traveling and spending it with family and friends, saying, “My children are very active and keep me constantly on the road!”

One of my best tips for looking great in photos is… confidence. A hidden talent of mine is… whistling. I’m an amazing whistler. I’m known among my friends and family for… being stubborn. The craziest thing I’ve ever done is… travel across the country

Photo by Chris Hardin
Photo by Andy Baxter


one bedroom complex with units

impaired. Heatherwood includes the following


NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS FOR INDEPENDENT SENIORS ~ Rent Based on your Income and all Utilities Included “Each Unit Provides You with a Quiet, Private Environment and a Homey Atmosphere.” Heatherwood has a sunroom with deck and patio suitable for family parties and other activities. There are spacious landscaped grounds with a beautiful gazebo. Age 62 and Older
is a
level, sixty-eight unit
available for
amenities: Automatic Entry Door with Security System Rent based on 30% of Adjusted Monthly Income All Appliances Included Private Mailbox Inside Building All Utilities Included Laundry Facilities Individually Controlled Heat and Air Conditioning Bulk Rate Cable Fee In-House Maintenence Walk-In Closets & Kitchen Pantry Bus Route Choose Heatherwood, where Living is easy! CALL FOR APPOINTMENT TODAY HEATHERWOOD Apartments 42 Chateau DR. SE • Rome, GA 30161 706-235-2881 Equal Housing Opportunity Equal Employment Opportunity GNTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an EOI H i g h D e m a n d C a r e e r s B e g i n H e r e ! GNTC.edu 866-983-4682 PRECISION MACHINING AND MANUFACTURING nwgeorgialiving.com | 15

Picture-Perfect Miami

This sizzling Florida spot is becoming as well known for its high-profile art scene as its palm-lined beaches.

Visiting Miami today, it’s hard to imagine that a century ago it wasn’t much more than a mosquito-infested mangrove swamp. It has since become a trendy travel spot known for, among other things, its sandy beaches, buzzing nightlife, and amazing art deco architecture. But the uninitiated may not be aware that Miami is also acclaimed for its flourishing art scene, which has steadily been growing ever since Art Basel Miami Beach was launched in 2002. Held each winter, the days-long event is an offshoot of the prestigious art fair in Basel, Switzerland, and features countless exhibits, installations, openings, and parties. But Miami’s enviable art scene is accessible no matter the time of year. In fact, you’ll be privy to great works before you even depart the airport, thanks to the various sculptures, murals, and rotating exhibitions located throughout the terminals. Here, we look at the vast tapestry in store for you, artistic or otherwise, on a trip to Magic City.


Overlooking the bay in a space dubbed

Museum Park is the Pérez Art Museum Miami, home to more than 1,800 multicultural works dating primarily to the 20th and 21st centuries. The Museum of Contemporary Art has a healthy schedule of stimulating exhibits, as well as a permanent collection of works by top artists such as Edward Ruscha, Dan Flavin, and Anna Gaskell. Another top draw is the Rubell Museum, which houses the personal collection of Miamians Don and Mera Rubell, who have amassed more than 7,000 paintings, sculptures, and more from their travels over the past five-plus decades. There are galleries and studios galore as well, from Dimensions Variable located downtown to the Durban Segnini Gallery in Coral Gables.

Much of the city’s architecture could be considered museum-worthy as well, and you can get an eyeful on one of the Miami Design Preservation League’s 90-minute guided walking tours of South Beach’s historic art deco district.

Beyond the canvas, the local attractions afford activities, including airboat rides and alligator spotting in Everglades National Park, paddleboarding and more at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, exploring the palatial European-inspired estate and grounds at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and sunbathing and catching waves at Crandon Park or any of the area’s other picturesque beaches.


It wasn’t all that long ago that what’s now the Wynwood Arts District was an area of abandoned run-down warehouses. Today, it’s one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, drawing folks to its main attraction, the Wynwood , an ever-changing array of murals by graffiti and street artists that are curated to be a sort of “museum of the streets.” There are kitschy shops like Frangipani and eateries like Panther Coffee and Beaker & Gray to enjoy as well.

You can’t go to Miami without exploring its Latin roots by sampling some Cuban food, and one tasty spot to give it a try is Molina’s Ranch Restaurant, a family-run eatery that’s been serving Cuban sandwiches and other regional dishes for more than 40 years.

Southern specialties are what’s on the menu at Yardbird. The list of must-tries goes on and on, from the fried green tomato BLT to the shrimp and grits to the deep-fried Oreos. There are some pretty creative cocktails, too.

Joe’s Stone Crab has been a local institution for a century, serving everyone from Al Capone and Amelia Earhart to Muhammad Ali and Madonna

Photos courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, MiamiandBeaches.com

over the years. Don a signature white bib and tuck into a plate of chilled stone crab claws and other seafood delights or pick from a selection of burgers, steaks, salads, and more.

Of course, it can get hot in Miami, and a great way to cool off is with a scoop or two at Azucar Ice Cream, which sports refreshing flavors like coconut and key lime pie along with more unique concoctions like sweet

plantain and rum cake with walnuts.


The Hyatt Centric South Beach has garnered fans for its enviable location along bustling Collins Avenue; its minimal, modern décor; and its knowledgeable staffers ready and able to recommend all the best places in town. A cool perk is the free bikes you can borrow for a spin along the beachfront boardwalk just across the way.

The ocean views and luxurious rooms at the gorgeous Morris Lapidusdesigned Ritz-Carlton, South Beach are rivaled only by its multimillion-dollar collection of works by Latin American and European artists on permanent loan from local gallerist Diana Lowenstein, whose family co-owns the hotel. To get yourself looking and feeling beachready, treat yourself to a pedicure, body scrub, or other treatment at the 16,000-square-foot spa.

Given its downtown financial district

address, you might expect to see more business suits than bathing suits at the JW Marriott Marquis, but there’s plenty to attract leisure travelers as well, including a heated rooftop pool, indoor golf school, NBA-approved basketball court, virtual bowling lanes, and proximity to the dining, shopping, and nightlife of the happening Brickell neighborhood.

The Biltmore Hotel, located in upscale Coral Gables, offers one of the most historic stays in the area. The opulent, Mediterranean-style property was opened in 1926 at a cost of $10 million, and in addition to its 250-plus rooms, it boasts a fitness center, an 18-hole golf course designed by noted architect Donald Ross, and one of the largest hotel pools in the country (fun fact: Tarzan’s Johnny Weissmuller was once a lifeguard here). But even if you can’t swing the nightly rates, you can get a look around on one of the hotel’s free weekly walking tours.


For further details on planning a trip to the Miami area, visit miamiandbeaches.com.

Jill Becker’s travel writing has appeared in dozens of magazines and websites, including more than 25 stories for CNN.com. The Biltmore Hotel
nwgeorgialiving.com | 17
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
www.rivercity.bank | (706) 236-2123 L O C A L State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company • Bloomington, IL • statefarm.com® LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR, STATE FARM IS THERE.® Providing Insurance and Financial Services Terry Simmons, Agent 5 N. Fourth Street, Lindale, GA 30147 706-235-3276 Diabetes Annual Physical Weight Loss Hormone Therapy Mental Health Asthma & COPD Heart Disease Medical Weight Loss Allergy & Asthma Well Visits Sports Physicals Attention Deficit Mental Health Weight Loss Sick Visits Cosmetic Injectables PRP Treatments Vaginal Rejuvenation RF Skin Tightening RF Micro-needling Hydrafacials Laser Hair Reduction 706.692.9768 Complete Family Health Feel your BEST with Prestige! PRESTIGEMEDICALGROUP.ORG OUR NEW ROME LOCATION: 415 EAST, 2ND AVE., ROME, G A 30161 Butterfly Mural building nwgeorgialiving.com | 19

What’s Old is New Again

Grandmillennial style makes traditional interior design popular once more and offers its own spin on the classic look.

Amidst the sea of minimalistic and farmhouseinspired home interiors, another interior design aesthetic is taking over. Named after the generation that created it and its inspiration, Grandmillennial style is all about pattern, bright colors, maximalism, and warmth. With vibrancy, it echoes the décor one likely would have seen in the traditional home of a grandparent.

We chatted with blogger Katherine Medlin to learn more about this interior design style and how to incorporate it. On her website, Pender & Peony (penderandpeony.com), Medlin shares inspiration for Grandmillennial decorating and runs Curio Collected, an online boutique for those searching for unique vintage and antique pieces to add to their spaces.

How would you describe Grandmillennial style?

Grandmillennial style is an interior design aesthetic that re-embraces traditional style and classical design. It encourages a return to the collected interior and a celebration of color and pattern. Grandmillennials are also very interested in bringing charm to everyday pleasures at home, from serving afternoon tea in an antique teapot to investing in fine linens with fancy monograms. We love to set a beautifully styled table with heirloom china and pretty flowers. For me, it’s a design aesthetic and lifestyle.

What makes Grandmillennial style different from traditional and Southern traditional styles?

Most of us Grandmillennials would agree that we’re heavily

Photography by Katherine Medlin

influenced by traditional and Southern traditional styles. We certainly wouldn’t be here without those forerunners!

I think it comes down to a nostalgia for the warmth and character of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ homes, but Grandmillennials want to create spaces that are up-to-date and perhaps a bit more streamlined to meet contemporary living. So, a bit less clutter and more practical furniture with performance fabrics, or, for example, a paired down traditional curtain with pleats but no ornate cornices, or a mix of openconcept space in kitchens and dens with formal entertaining rooms in the house, too.

Also, I think we have a bit of a brighter approach to color with more white. Many of the traditional interiors I remember from my childhood in the ’80s and ’90s were darker with deep burgundy, hunter green, and navy colors. For the most part, Grandmillennials are less Ralph Lauren and more Nancy Lancaster with that English Country vibe.

ottoman, or monograms, just that little extra embellishment that adds personality.

What tips do you have for shopping for antique and unique pieces that fit Grandmillennial style?

What are some classic pieces you’ll always see in a Grandmillennial space?

1 Chinoiserie ceramics like blue and white porcelains and, my personal favorite, Rose Medallion

2 Chintz fabrics

3 Brown furniture — vintage or antique furniture in deep wood tones

4 Frilly details like a ruffle on a pillow, or fringe on an

Avoid the big-box stores! Even though you’re seeing the Grandmillennial aesthetic take off and lots of pastel-hued décor with frills and bows in more mainstream stores, don’t go for cheap and trendy.

Instead, shop secondhand finds at estate sales, auctions, antique stores, and thrift shops. You’ll find much higher quality materials, better construction, and timeless patterns. In order to recognize these characteristics, you’ve got to spend

nwgeorgialiving.com | 21

some time educating yourself about past styles, so research design history. Look at the characteristics that make a piece of furniture Victorian, Georgian, or Empire. As you start to educate your eye, you’ll begin to pick up on these design elements while out hunting.

Follow dealers like me (@penderandpeony on Instagram) who spend a lot of time educating their followers on antiques and design history. Look for trustworthy shops on Instagram that have a curated collection in a style that matches yours. Build up a rapport with the owners and tell them what you’re looking for. You’ll get insider access and shopping tips.

Why do you think so many people are drawn to Grandmillennial style?

I mentioned earlier there’s a nostalgia for the warmth and charm of past interiors, but I also think it’s a return

to expressing your own personality through your décor. That’s what makes decorating fun and exciting…collecting the things you love and choosing colors and patterns that make you feel good. All-white boxes rarely make people feel cozy and happy.

What do you love about it?

I love combining my passion for history and antiques with design. The majority of the furnishings in my home, from the drapes to the art to the furniture and rugs, are all secondhand finds that I’ve bought at estate sales and auctions. I adore the patina of a piece well-loved and bringing that into my own contemporary home and making it work for me and my family.

How can people figure out if Grandmillennial is their style? There are a couple of simple questions you can ask yourself: Are you attracted to a room with collected curios, art, antique furniture, and the more-is-more aesthetic?

Do you love mixed patterns? Are you bored by gray walls, farmhouse mass-produced décor, rustic woods, and open-concept everything?

If you said yes to those three questions, then I think you’re well on your way to loving Grandmillennial style! I have a fun quiz on my website, penderandpeony.com/grandmillennial/, with more of these questions to help you figure out if you’re a Grandmillennial.

If someone wants to completely overhaul their home into Grandmillennial style, how should they start that process?

That phrase “complete overhaul” worries me a bit as a decorator. Anytime I’ve got a client who comes to me asking for a completely new look or wanting to totally change styles, I like to hit pause and start with an assessment of their true tastes and design likes and dislikes. You really need some selfinsight into what you love and why and how you want to live with those tastes before you start making changes.

Working with a decorator can be a really helpful, costsaving strategy because he/she can help you figure out what you really want, how that will actually work in a physical space, and set some attainable goals for the design.


If you are a DIYer, then start with some color assessments. Figure out what colors speak to you and why. Look at how you can start to change the color palette of your house and décor to embrace those.

What about keeping their current décor style but incorporating a little of the Grandmillennial feel? What advice do you have for that?

Embrace your collections or start a collection, whether it’s Herend bunnies, landscape paintings, Majolica pottery, or handmade quilts, then use that collection to decorate with. Display it proudly in your home and let the characteristics that attract you to it play out in other ways, like color choice or textures. Grandmillennial style is all about bringing your unique personal take to decorating, so dig into that and see where it takes you!

With a careful balance of nostalgia and personal touches, Grandmillennial style transforms your living spaces into cozy, timeless sanctuaries. So, dust off those cherished family heirlooms and infuse your home with the warmth and character that defines this eclectic design trend.

Katherine Medlin founded Pender & Peony (penderandpeony.com) in 2014. As a lover of Southern living, home décor, and entertaining, she transformed her blog into a haven for Grandmillennials and traditional enthusiasts, providing practical tips on classic home decoration and hosting. With a background in art museums and auctions, Katherine also curates a vintage and antique shop, Curio Collected, offering classically charming items.

Small Town Feel Great BIG Deals 770.748.FORD • peachstatefordcedartown.com 2076 Rockmart Hwy • Cedartown, GA PEA H STATE “Small Town Feel...Great BIG Deals” 770-748-FORD • peachstatefordcedartown.com

Unlocking the Secrets of Positive Discipline

A guide for today’s parents.

Although child development sciences recognize the importance of rules and discipline, they sadly provide few beneficial recommendations and parenting strategies that realistically work in everyday life. I became quite fond of positive discipline because of how useful it was in my own experience with helping families.

Positive discipline is knowing what you want to achieve when it comes to social skills and your child’s behavior versus focusing on things that you don’t want. Instead of scolding, yelling, punishing, and shaming children into correcting their behaviors, you think about things that you want to achieve and guide your child toward the kind of behavior that makes them feel accepted and successful.

No matter the size or circumstance your family is in, the principles and strategies of positive discipline can help you see changes in your day-to-day life almost immediately.

How Positive Discipline Differs from Traditional Discipline

Positive discipline is all about mutual goals and well-being; opposite to that, traditional discipline highlights a certain moral philosophy. Positive discipline doesn’t shame, embarrass, and use verbal and emotional aggression, which traditional discipline does.

Instead of viewing misbehavior as a problem for which a child should be punished, we view it as a step-down from assertive, prosocial behavior that we’ve set as a goal. So, for example, instead of saying: “You’re being rude,” we say, “Your words are hurting other people and that needs to change.”

The second statement gives the child more guidance and shows them what’s wrong with their behavior. Positive guidance shows them how to express their thoughts and feelings respectfully. Practicing that each day helps the child figure out the right way to act in other circumstances as well.

When a child is being shamed and humiliated, it has the opposite effect of what they want. They don’t know what they’re supposed to say and do, and instead, act out or only obey as long as needed to avoid punishment. They do what’s needed to get what they want or to avoid the parent’s anger, with little to no awareness of the consequences of their actions. With positive discipline, the focus is on understanding and compromise. Instead of being a hierarchy, the parent-child relationship is based on mutual love, respect, and care for one another.

In a hierarchy, one is a subordinate or superior based on age and position, not necessarily on merit and trust. This way, traditional discipline can be confusing and ineffective. Your child can be perfectly obedient at home and then act the complete opposite when you aren’t present.

Some of my favorite ways positive discipline can help with the challenges of contemporary parenting include:

• Simple guidance: I love simple, viable rules that are easy to follow and work for all families.


• Mutual respect: Positive discipline acknowledges and respects every family member. This is different compared to your typical contemporary parenting that often prioritizes the child to, I dare say, an unhealthy extent.

An exaggerated emphasis on children’s wellbeing that disregards parents sets unhealthy expectations on the child (the lives of all adults revolve around their happiness — imagine the pressure!) while being too hard and dismissive of parents.

With positive discipline, everyone has needs and rights that matter equally. It supports parents taking care of themselves and living a fulfilling life while providing love and guidance to their children.

• Two-way empathy: Empathy is a huge part of contemporary parenting and is also emphasized in education. However, teaching empathy by showing it is only half the lesson. A child needs opportunities to practice empathy if they are to show it outside the home.

From a very early age, a child, in my opinion, should learn to be considerate toward others and respect boundaries like:

• Respecting other people’s private space

• Quieting down when other people need a bit of peace

• Taking up some chores and responsibilities

• Consequences: Have you noticed how there’s so little awareness of actions having consequences across the board? Me too! In a way, people’s daily actions tend to revolve more around affirming their spiritual, political, or living philosophy than creating positive results for themselves and their families.

The lack of consequence awareness, and the impact of children’s actions on other people, can sometimes contribute to tantrums and acting out. Children are getting little guidance in this regard. However, not only is that effect real, but it will also impact them throughout life.

Children of all ages should learn and observe what happens when they do certain things and act in certain ways. However, this should be done in a safe environment. That way, they learn to follow rules and shape their thinking not by philosophies but around creating positive results. Positive discipline helps align those results with what benefits the whole family. This helps children be more self-aware and proactive and boosts their confidence and resilience in

nwgeorgialiving.com | 25

consequences that you can use:

• Natural: Sometimes, it’s good for a child to experience a bit of discomfort as a natural consequence of their actions.

For example, if they spill their juice on purpose, don’t give them any more. If they’re leaning in their chair, let them fall over. While it’s important to make sure that the child is safe, it’s OK for them to learn from experience.

• Logical: When you can’t allow a natural consequence, because it’s too dangerous or because it’s inappropriate, you can use logical consequences. These consequences are reasonably related to the inappropriate or harmful behavior, and they require that the child right the wrong or fix the damage they caused. For example, if they break their friend’s toy, then they’ll buy them another one with their allowance.

Positive discipline specifically aims to abolish “arbitrary consequences.” These consequences don’t directly relate to the act or behavior and don’t resolve the situation. Instead, they punish and hurt the child emotionally as retribution. Some examples of arbitrary consequences would be to destroy one of the child’s favorite toys because they broke someone else’s or taking away screen time as a punishment for misbehavior. These consequences or forms of punishment don’t relate to what the child did and aren’t useful in changing their behavior.

Tips for Implementing Positive Discipline

1 Think about what you want versus what you don’t want. Practice imagining what you want your family life to look like and figure out ways to get there. Here are some examples:

a. I want to play outside with the kids after work and then for us to make dinner together in peace and quiet.

b. I want everyone to enjoy their games and hobbies.

c. I want my children to engage more in chores they like.

2 Acknowledge that your child is their own person, and your role is to help them become a functioning member of society. For parents, it’s often hard to accept when their children start showing character and personality traits they don’t like. But a child is a whole person as they are, and the parent’s role isn’t to shape them in their own image. Instead, their role is to help them balance out the needs of their unique personality and the outside world. Here are some guidelines and examples:

a. Judge your child’s behavior by its effect, not by how much you like it. Let’s say that your teen daughter wants to wear blue lipstick. You might hate it, but if doing so doesn’t cause harm or break rules (e.g., makeup is allowed at school), then let her enjoy her creativity no matter how much you dislike the color.

b. Your child isn’t as kind, selfless, or compassionate as you’d like. Children are quite self-centered for much of childhood and adolescence, so don’t let it get to you. Instead, acknowledge their right to not share or give when they don’t want to. Instead, model the beauty of sharing and caring, and they may start to enjoy it over time. If not, and they aren’t hurting or using other people to get what they want, you should accept that about them.

c. Your child isn’t as tough or resilient as you’d like. Not everyone is a fan of being gentle. Yet, sometimes, children need time to build resilience, and it should be done in a way that doesn’t injure them emotionally. Instead of beating yourself up over whether they come across as fierce as you’d like, look at their wellbeing. Think about whether they’re assertive enough to protect and advocate for themselves. If not, teach them to do so better. However, don’t force them to be someone they’re not.

With positive discipline, children understand why certain rules exist based on consequences. The behavior that we’re asking of them is more logical and it makes sense to them.

When children have already received the understanding and loving care that they are expected to show, they have a clear direction for what they should and shouldn’t do.

Alice Brock is the author of How to Make Your Kids Mind with Positive Discipline and has a deep-rooted passion for pedagogy and the holistic development of children. Armed with a degree in pedagogy, Alice has dedicated her professional career to working with children, empowering them to thrive and reach their full potential.



Rome’s baseball team is back for the season with plenty of opportunities for family fun and an exciting new identity.

Northwest Georgia’s minor league baseball team turns 21 this April, and the newly minted Rome Emperors established themselves as the freshest brand in the business, all thanks to a handsome flightless bird.

For the last 20 years, Atlanta’s High-A affiliate team has called Rome home, and the club has found great joy in bringing local families one of the best experiences around. That hasn’t and won’t change, but in 2024 the Rome Emperors are poised to double down on providing local family fun. Whether you’re coming out on Fridays to catch a post-game firework show (that’s right, fireworks after every Friday home game) or on Sundays for Sunday Fun-day by AdventHealth where kids get in the game and eat for free, the Rome Emperors’ 2024 season is sure to have something for everyone in the family this year.

fan-first initiatives, the Emperors are focused on cultivating

high-value entertainment in Northwest Georgia. For example, Rome is slated to have four bobblehead giveaways in 2024, headlined by fan favorite Bobby Moore. On May 11, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will go home with a Bobby Moore bobblehead thanks to AGC Pediatrics. The Emperors’ schedule lines up perfectly for the summer holidays this year, too, as both Memorial Day weekend and July 3 give fans a chance to see the team wear special-themed jerseys.

All of this comes on the back of a successful rebrand. On November 16, 2023, the Rome Braves officially became the Rome Emperors, rolling out an entirely new identity headlined by an Emperor Penguin mascot. So, this begs the question: why a penguin?

When the over 5,000 entries were submitted in the club’s name-the-team suggestion box this past fall, “Emperors” and the possibility of bringing the more regal bird in the animal

On the road, the Emperors will swap their usual white uniforms for gray ones.
“But how do you make an ancient Roman emperor family-friendly? Simple. You bring in the birds.”

became increasingly clear, over time, that Rome’s baseball team’s new name had to tie back to ancient Rome. Hence, the Rome Emperors were born. But what can you do to bring a Roman emperor into the world of minor league baseball?

“We started looking at ‘what is an Emperor?” Rome General Manager David Lane said.

If you’re not a history buff, you may not know the real power that an ancient Roman emperor had. Emperors had the highest power in all the empire, and Rome was an empire rich in history and culture. Roman emperors were known for leading a variety of scientific and technological advances in the world. They established modern tools, built exquisite buildings, and facilitated artists and writers. But how do you make an ancient Roman emperor family-friendly? Simple. You bring in the birds.

Emperor penguins are the biggest of the 18 species of penguin found currently and one of the largest of all species of birds in general. Emperor penguins got their name around the year 1844 when George Robert Gray of the British Museum coined the term after observing the size, strength, and regal nature of the penguin. Today, emperor penguins remain not only one of the most popular species of penguins but one of the more popular animals in general.

Thus, the throne was assembled and 2024 will mark the first year of a new dynasty in Emperor City. Rome’s royal Swingin’

Penguin has his bat resting over his left shoulder with his hand on his right hip. He proudly dons a fierce red sash clasped together by a baseball brooch. With his laurel wreath atop his head, he gives a smirk only to be found in a witty and powerful leader like himself.

So, with a new era of baseball on the horizon in the City of Seven Hills, what else can fans expect to see at AdventHealth Stadium this season?

Despite what you may have heard, the Atlanta Braves farm system is loaded with talent. In 2023, Rome saw names like AJ Smith-Shawver, Hurston Waldrep, and Spencer Schwellenbach,

nwgeorgialiving.com | 29

who are all inside Atlanta’s top three organizational prospects. Smith-Shawver climbed the ranks so fast he found himself on the mound at Truist Park pitching for the big-league club before the season’s end. Could we see more of the same in 2024? Probably.

Schwellenbach joined Rome late in the 2023 season after spending the first half of the season in Augusta and representing Atlanta in the MLB’s Future Stars game during All-Star Weekend in Seattle. Schwellenbach is poised to be the Opening Day starter for the Emperors in 2024. But it won’t just be Schwellenbach anchoring the rotation, as Owen Murphy (ATL’s No. 5 prospect) is more than likely on track to find his way back to Rome in 2024.

In the same realm, could we see Atlanta’s biggest international signing in recent history in Rome this year? Jose Perdomo was signed by Atlanta earlier this year and is tagged as one of the purest hitters in the international free agent pool. At just 17 years old, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see Perdomo don the penguin cap in 2024.

With the play on the field poised to be as captivating as ever and the fan experience bound to be top tier, the Rome Emperors are ready for the best summer ever.

We’ll see you at the ballpark.

nwgeorgialiving.com | 31

Hills and Valleys, Heart and Soul

The heart of Appalachia can be found in Mercer County, West Virginia. Located in the mountains on the southern border of the state, Mercer is teeming with rich culture and casual adventure just waiting to be explored. From smalltown charm, rich history, and unique experiences to state parks and beautiful waterfalls, Mercer is the perfect place for a peaceful weekend getaway.

Get Lost in the Outdoors

While quiet and serene, Mercer County certainly comes to life during spring. Here you’ll find three beautiful state parks: Pinnacle Rock State Park, Camp Creek State Park, and a part of Pipestem Resort State Park located in the county. Camp Creek State Park is the state’s only horse camping park, while Pinnacle Rock State Park stands out because of the iconic sandstone formation that the park is centered around. Visitors can venture to the top of the rock to the observation deck to get amazing views. A visit to Mercer County isn’t complete without seeing at least one of the secluded waterfalls in the area — there are two to discover in Camp Creek State Park (Campbell Falls and Mash Fork Falls), and Brush Creek

Falls is also worth a visit. These falls are great for families, with short hikes and minimal elevation gains, and are at their peak in the spring.

As the Southern Gateway to one of the longest systems of ATV and UTV trails in the world (the Hatfield-McCoy Trail (HMT) System), Mercer County has become a haven for off-road vehicle lovers. The trails are open year-round, but spring is the perfect time to take in the vibrant, blooming vegetation while also enjoying a little mud. The part of the HMT that runs through the county is the scenic and family-friendly Pocahontas Trail System, which is open to all skill levels of ATV riders

Mercer County, WV, comes alive in the spring. Photography courtesy of Visit Mercer County Camp Creek Falls
Riverfront ATV Resort

and links to three other HMT systems; the combined four-trail system makes for the most continuous miles of trails east of the Mississippi. Beginners and experts alike have endless opportunities to explore the backcountry of WV.

In the spring, a wild plant known as ramps can be found across eastern North America, but they’re especially common in the Appalachian Mountains. They look like scallions and taste somewhere between onions and garlic. In West Virginia, the harvest of ramps has traditionally marked the start of spring. Mercer County hosts the annual Camp Creek State

Give in to Nostalgia

Lean into the Southern hospitality and unique Appalachian heritage that can only be found in Mercer County, WV. Charming small towns welcome visitors who want nostalgic experiences, from diners and drive-ins to adorable downtowns. While you’ll certainly see many modern upgrades throughout Mercer County, you can also step back in time, relax, and make your own wistful memories.

Twice a year, the quaint town of Bramwell, once home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the country, hosts an official Tour of Homes. Visitors can get a glimpse inside some of the beautiful Victorian mansions built by coal barons in the late 19th/early 20th century during the Spring Tour of Homes in June and the Christmas Tour of Homes in December, which celebrated their 40-year anniversaries in 2023.

Classic, old-fashioned eateries sprinkled throughout Mercer County welcome visitors who want to experience homestyle cooking. Enjoy a soda-jerk creation from Bramwell Corner Shop’s retro gooseneck soda fountain or grab a burger from the classic Dolly’s Diner. Don’t forget Jimmies Restaurant,

Lumberjack Competition to celebrate the unique West Virginian culinary tradition each April. Park Ramp Feast and Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism Visitors can venture to the top of the rock to the observation deck to get amazing views.
nwgeorgialiving.com | 33
Ramps look like scallions and taste somewhere between onions and garlic.

which has held its title as the essential eatery on Mercer Street for just over one hundred years.

Travel through the beautiful countryside to enjoy a drive-in movie experience at the Pipestem Drive-In Theater in Athens, West Virginia. Nothing beats the fun, classic feel of a drive-in movie! Every weekend from April through October, you can catch a double feature at Pipestem, one of the last remaining drive-ins in West Virginia. Built in 1972, the nostalgic drive-in sits on 5 acres of land and can fit over 200 cars. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets (pups are allowed too!) or set up in the bed of a truck and enjoy a movie under the stars. For another nostalgic activity, Princeton, West Virginia, welcomes classic cars downtown for its annual Cool Cruisin’ Nights. Classic car owners get to show off their rides as guests explore downtown shops and restaurants along the “Mercer Mile.” The event takes place every third Saturday from May until October on Mercer Street.

Support Small-Town Artists

The small town of Princeton is home to the Mercer Street Grassroots District, an area of downtown that has a budding art scene that’s transformed the town into a

haven for artists and unique shops.

Artists have moved here because they’ve found Princeton to be a community that’s supportive of the arts but not as competitive as other cities throughout the South and East Coast. There are a number of galleries and art shops that support local artisans in the Grassroots District, including the RiffRaff Arts Collective, a quirky co-op for artists, musicians, and more. The district is also home to over 34 professional murals. Stroll down Artist’s Alley to see 22 murals, all painted by different artists, or walk down the main street to see unique outdoor paintings that take up entire blocks.

The Mercer Street Grassroots District also has a selection of unique shops and restaurants, including hidden gems like the Blue Ridge Bee Company (a small country store that offers beekeeping supplies, bees, and a variety of country goods), the Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company, The Hatter’s Bookshop, and WILD ROOTS coffeehouse (a coffee shop that also showcases art from local artists).

Find the Perfect Place to Stay

The beautiful landscape of Mercer County gives way to several unique lodging experiences, from historic bed-and-breakfasts to accommodations

Blue Ridge Bee Company
Lake Mountain Manor

Bluefield Inn is a B&B that combines the comforts of home with the formality of a Southern-style mansion. Enjoy verandas, a complimentary gourmet breakfast, lush gardens, and lavish, historically decorated bedroom suites.

The Dome House Retreat is located on 10 secluded acres in the serenity of the Appalachian Mountains. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and more, this is the ideal space for an extended getaway. Most notably, the Dome House boasts an observatory loft with a 360-degree view of the Appalachians that’s ideal for stargazing.

Princeton’s Lake Mountain Manor is a gorgeous B&B resort tucked away in a serene location of rural West Virginia, surrounded by stunning views of the mountains, lake, and stars. Despite its countryside feel, the manor boasts elevated design and modern luxury.

ATV riders on the Hatfield-Mccoy Trail System. The treehouses boast beautiful views of the surrounding forest and have an open-concept floor plan with full amenities. Enjoy the on-site bar and restaurant serving everything from buffalo burgers, salads, and chicken to 30 domestic and craft beers, a wide variety of bourbon, and CBD-infused mocktails.

To discover more of what Mercer County has to offer and start planning your trip, go to visitmercercounty.com.

The Dome House Retreat is located on 10 secluded acres in the serenity of the Appalachian Mountains.
nwgeorgialiving.com | 35
The Bluefield Inn

Fantastic Flavorful Fungi

Mushroom main courses and appetizers to delight your palate.

Mushrooms are fungi, not vegetables, even though they’re often served as such. Low-calorie (just 15 calories per cup!), mushrooms have little fat and a low glycemic index, plus they add savory flavor to recipes while being very low in sodium. Mushrooms are also often sustainably grown; they require little energy and water, use compostable growing media, or are collected from the wild. Plus, over one million mushrooms can be produced annually in a one-acre space! So, they can be good for you and for the planet.

The meals pictured are variations of the recipes featured in this article.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to soften onion, for 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes until beginning to turn golden.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for around 1 minute until

Mushroom Pâté

Add pasta, butter, 1 cup pasta water, and 1 ounce Parmesan to ragù. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta water by ¼-cupful as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta reaches desired doneness, about 2 minutes.

Divide pasta among shallow bowls or plates and top with more Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Celery Salad

Serves 4 | This light, fresh-tasting salad may be assembled hours before mealtime and refrigerated but wait to toss with dressing and Parmesan until just before serving.

12 ounces mushrooms (cremini or white button), sliced very thinly

4 celery stalks, sliced very thinly

2 tablespoons fresh parsley (flat leaf), chopped

1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

Serves 8 | Pâté (“pah-tay”) is a paste in this recipe combining mushrooms, dairy, fat, and herbs. It’s a great appetizer on toast or baguette, delicious baked inside a flaky crust, wonderful on a sandwich or burger, and a fantastic addition to charcuterie boards.

1 ounce porcini mushrooms, dried

1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and halved

3 tablespoons butter

2 large shallots, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced

2 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1½ teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Microwave 1 cup water and the porcinis in covered bowl till steaming, about 1 min. Let sit about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain porcinis through fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter over bowl. Reserve 1/3 cup liquid.

Pulse porcini and white mushrooms in food processor till finely chopped and all pieces are pea-size, about 10 pulses. Scrape bowl as needed.

Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and ¾ teaspoon salt, then cook 3-5 minutes till shallots soften. Stir in garlic and thyme; cook 30 seconds. Stir in processed mushrooms and cook 10-12 minutes until liquid releases and they start to brown. Stir in reserved porcini liquid; cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cream cheese, cream, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Put pâté in serving bowl and smooth top. Press plastic wrap flush to pâté surface and refrigerate till firm (2 hours or up to 3 days). Bring to room temperature to serve.

1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

2 ounces freshly shaved Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Toss together mushrooms, celery, parsley, and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

In separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with vegetables. Just before serving, toss with Parmesan.

Kathy Patrick is a retired personal chef in Rome, Georgia. She loves cooking, travel, waterskiing, stand-up paddling, and bicycling with her husband, Berry College professor Martin Cipollini. Kathy is a board member of Rome Little Theatre and vice president of the Georgia chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation.

nwgeorgialiving.com | 37

Not Sure I’m Gonna Live Through This One

Everybody has opinions on how to raise children — some take the tiger mom or helicopter parent route, and some take the more laissez-faire approach. My wife and I have five children, four girls, and one boy, and each has had their challenges and triumphs. They each have a distinct personality, and, honestly, there hasn’t been a one-size-fits-all parenting style that applied to all of them. From homework and what they wear to what they eat, you have to read the kid and figure out what works.

Just to get it out in the open, according to my wife, all our children’s quirks and bad behavior stem from my DNA. What can I say? She’s probably right. Let me put it into perspective. I’m the oldest of four. My sister, Lisa, and her husband have a Christian camp and youth ministry in Temple, Georgia. My brother, David, is married to a minister, and my baby sister, Judith, is also married to a minister. Mom will tell you, “Three out of four isn’t bad.”

A little advice from a dad of five.

them out of the house completely dressed and not stinky, and canceling family game night because someone was going to get hurt. (They were a little too competitive sometimes.)

Then came number five. There’s an eight-year gap between four and five, and before you go to the “oops” scenario, she was a midlife crisis. I wanted a sports car and my wife wanted one more baby, so we compromised and had a baby. Every man reading this knows exactly how that works.

“I wanted a sports car and my wife wanted one more baby, so we compromised and had a baby. ”

So, back to my wonderful, intelligent, talented, and eclectic children. The first four were very close in age, and you could almost use a herd mentality with parenting. You’d herd them to the car, then to events, then to the dinner table to do homework and eat, then to baths and bed. Come to think of it, we could have used a border collie during those years. They all competed with each other to be good students and top performers in their chosen activities, so all Ms. Becky and I had to do was guide them a little and cheer them on. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were challenging times. I remember having to help with homework that Stephen Hawking would have had trouble with, trying to get

Now, our Sarah is 13, and all my parenting tricks are about as effective as bullets aimed at Superman. She is how I know the Lord has a wicked sense of humor. From day one, she came out fast and hasn’t slowed down. She’s tried to keep up with her older siblings and thinks she should be able to do whatever they get to do, but as far as school goes, she’s not a big fan. Oh, she enjoys the social aspect, but the whole academic/educational part is not for her. It’s crazy to me because she’s so smart, and she and her friends can learn complicated TikTok dances and cheer routines in minutes but ask them to learn a bit of science or history, and it’s like you’ve asked for a kidney. Then, she’ll do or say something so sweet and thoughtful your heart melts, and you think, um, maybe this one will turn out OK too.

So, from a seasoned parent, just do your best. Guide, when necessary, discipline with as much grace as possible, and love unconditionally. I’ll let you know in a couple of issues if I lived through the last one or not. Spoiler: My wife says I have to because I’m not leaving her alone with any of them.




Thursday from 4–7pm

Join us for $10 & $12 Tuesdays for



Mon –Thurs: 11am–9pm

Fri & Sat: 11am–10pm Sunday: 11am–8pm

• Call ahead to pick your fresh hot meal at our convenient pick up window located just inside the front door before you enter the restaurant or enjoy delivery thru Door Dash or Dinner Delivered!!

• Bakery Case with Fresh Baked Desserts, Cookies, Brownies, and Cakes.

• We Cater events big and small. Call for a quote.

595 Riverside Parkway | Rome, GA | 706-204-8381

Hours: Mon–Sat: 10:30am–8pm | Sunday: 10:30am–3pm pickodelicafeteria.com

• Conference Room can accommodate groups up to 40

Daily Fresh Fish New England Clam Chowder Lobster Bisque | Oysters | Po Boys Shrimp & Scallop Grits Trout | Fish and Chips Butcher Cut Steaks | Chicken Hamburgers | Pasta
Photo Credit (woman in bottom left): Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash used in accordance with Unsplash license.
Main Street Cartersville,
24 East
GA 30120
Hour Half Price Appetizers
the Bar
at the Bar
M–F, 4–7pm at
Half Price Oysters
Dinner nwgeorgialiving.com | 39
Lunch and
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
– C.S. Lewis


with Jerry was a great experience! He’s very knowledgeable about the materials needed and had lots of finish options to choose from. My clients were extremely happy with the work when it was finalized.”
James Robbins, Realtor / Full Basement Remodel ERICKSON construction
Kitchen, bath, and basement remodeling
Interior & exterior painting
Flooring • Roofing • Deck replacement/ repairs • Window & glass replacement • Concrete & masonry Jerry D. Erickson Licensed General Contractor 678-755-2943 jerry@ericksonconstructionservices.com Residential Remodeling | General Contracting
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.