Page 1


Complimentary SUMMER 2021 Volume 12  |  Issue 4

Inspiring, Informing, Enriching



Enter Our Yummiest Prize Giveaway Yet

Sapphire Laser Package Got Wrinkles, Sunspots, Capillaries, Smoker Lines, Dark Spots, Tattoos? Treatment Is So Easy. Smoothe, Radiant Skin

Six Easy Visits

G. Marc Wetherington M.D. 406 East Second Avenue Rome, Georgia 706-235-5119 | 706-235-5203



Enter Our Yummiest Prize Giveaway Yet

See page 9

features 22

Hiking Cloudland Canyon

Trekking the state park’s top-notch trail system.


A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Preserving your priceless images through organization and digitization.


Taking Men’s Emotional Temperature

Exploring the divide between the sexes when it comes to mental health.


A Spotlight on Shedquarters

How backyard home offices have hit the big time.

cover story 16

Fire It Up!

Tips, accessories, recipes, and more to ensure you’re king (or queen) of the grill this summer.


Cloudland Canyon Overlook (photo courtesy Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources)

departments 4




Time flies quickly, so take a pic to remember it.

So you want a better credit score?

Kicking back on the Florida coast.

Settling an old (golf) score.

Letter From the Publisher


Calendar for Living

Happenings in our ’hood. 2 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Dollars & Sense



Getting to know Rome’s first female mayor, Evie McNiece.



Get Cookin’

Recipes that prove you can never have too many tomatoes.

Fish Out of Water


Robert’s World

When it comes to keeping the family calendar, happy wife, happy life.


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 


Time Flies Quickly, Take a Pic to Remember It


ast year, one of my proudest accomplishments was organizing more than 3,000 photos using index cards and categorizing the pictures by names and holidays. I took a ton of photos back in the day, but I remember being happy if I ended up with one or two good shots from an entire roll. We didn’t have re-dos back then if our eyes were closed, and we didn’t have filters on our camera phones to make us look 10 years younger like we do now. Still, all of the photos dating back over the last 40 years that had been tossed in a big wicker basket needed to be reviewed and pared down. The thought of tackling such a huge project had always been daunting, until last spring, that is, when I suddenly had a lot of unexpected free time on my hands. It took days to sort all the photos, but it was fun reliving the past while I was at it. A few months ago, I learned about a company called Modern Image Atlanta that could help me finally convert my old VCR tapes to digital. I only knew what was on two of the videos I submitted, so it was a fun surprise to watch them all back. My husband, Jerry, and I had a nostalgic movie night watching video memories from the past, including my wedding to my late husband, Richard. Our reception was great because it was held at The Old Mill in Cedartown, and everyone was dancing and having a ball. To have video of my grandmother, father, uncle, and several other relatives who have since passed is priceless. I had 10 copies made to share with my family, and you couldn’t give a better gift. In our story “A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words” (page 24), Modern Image Atlanta’s owner, This photo of me was entered in a cutest kid contest at the David McDonough, gives you the tips and inspiration you need to old Rich’s department store, take the plunge and get all of your old photos and tapes organized and I won. It’s a keeper! and converted. Elsewhere in the issue, we’ve introduced a brand new department titled “Getting to Know [Insert Name of Interesting Person Here].” In this first installment (page 10), we grill former Rome mayor Evie McNiece about everything from her best life tip to her aversion to exercise. In “A Spotlight on Shedquarters” (page 28), we look at one of today’s hottest design trends. The pandemic and subsequent increase in the number of people working remotely gave rise to a surge in the addition of small but functional outbuildings nicknamed shedquarters that primarily serve as a home office. My own house has two home offices. Mine is tastefully decorated and impeccably neat. Jerry’s looks like a bomb went off in there, with drawers hanging precariously open and stacks of folders strewn all over the floor. My husband has many talents, but organizing is not in his DNA. So a shedquarters sounds like a fantastic idea. Although, to be honest, I envision ours being equipped with a big-screen TV, bar, and comfy chairs. It will be called The Dawg House and will be ready just in time for us to watch our favorite team, the Georgia Bulldogs, kick off their season over Labor Day weekend. Now that would be photo-worthy!

4 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Summer 2021 Volume 12  |  Issue 4

Publisher and Founder Editor-in-Chief Laura Wood Erickson Editor Jill Becker Creative Director Andi Counts Designer Mackenzie Kuhn Contributing Editors Gene Murphy, Elin Woods Contributing Writers

Jill Becker, Tim S. Elliott, Dr. Steve Fogleman, Ande Frazier, David McDonough, Kathy Patrick, Brianna Reid, Robert Smyth, Rachel Turner Contributing Photographer Erin Clay Web Developer Ken Caruthers Sales Laura Wood Erickson Contact us at: (706) 346-9858 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.




Vaquero Legacies & Diverse Descendants

Through July 11 Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville The work of 10 photographers showcases the many legacies left behind by the first cowboys to come to the Americas in the 1700s.

First Fridays

July 2, 7pm Town Green, Rome Join the eight-piece group Party at the Limit for all your favorite party tunes.

Summer Music Weekends

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays July 2-Sept 5, 8:30am-7pm Rock City Gardens, Lookout Mountain Listen to live tunes from country, folk, and bluegrass artists; enjoy good eats; take in a birds-of-prey show; and more. summermusic

Downtown Cartersville Sidewalk Series

Most Saturdays thru September 25, 4-6pm Presented by Century Bank, this ongoing concert series features performances by two live acoustic artists most Saturday afternoons throughout the summer. The artists will perform on both sides of the railroad tracks, with their locations varying from week to week to encourage residents and visitors alike to explore all of downtown Cartersville. events 6 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Fourth of July Celebration

July 3 & 4, check for times Dellinger Park, Cartersville The festivities at this community-wide annual event include a parade, arts and crafts, children’s activities, a concert, and, of course, fireworks.

Rolling on the Rivers

July 4 & Aug 1, 2-4pm Heritage Park Boat Dock, Rome Join two local historians aboard the 40-passenger Sulzbacher Roman Holiday as they share stories about how Rome’s rivers have shaped its history. attraction/roman-holiday

The Crabb Family

July 16, 7:30-10pm Mill Town Music Hall, Bremen The Grammy-nominated family group, who hails from rural Kentucky, shares the music that has taken them from New York to Morocco.

First Fridays

Aug 6, 7pm Town Green, Rome Electric Avenue plays all your favorite hits from the ’80s.

Ricky Skaggs

Aug 6, 7:30-10pm Mill Town Music Hall, Bremen Hear why this bluegrass and country legend has won five Grammys and been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Wonderful Wonderettes Aug 20-29, check for days & times Rome Little Theatre The theater’s 2021-22 season kicks off with the smash offBroadway musical featuring more than 30 classic tunes from the ’50s and ’60s.

Choose Heatherwood,where living is easy!

Age 62 and Over

Heatherwood is a beautifully designed three level, sixty-eight unit one bedroom complex with units available for the mobility impaired. Heatherwood includes the following amenities: Automatic Entry Doors with Security System

Individually Controlled Heat and Air Conditioning

Rent based on 30% of Adjusted Monthly Income

Bulk Rate Cable Fee

All Appliances Included Private Mailbox Inside Building

In-House Maintenance Walk-In Closets & Kitchen Pantry

All Utilities Included

Medical Alert Pull Cords in the Apartments

Laundry Facilities

Bus Route



“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.

42 Chateau DR. SE • Rome, GA 30161 706-235-2881 Equal Housing Opportunity

Equal Employment Opportunity | 7


So You Want a Better Credit Score? Tips on how to improve the seemingly innocuous threedigit number that’s so vital to your financial well-being.



ike it or not, credit scores have become an integral part of our lives. Whether it’s obtaining a loan, acquiring auto insurance, or finding the best cellphone plan, your credit score can determine the price you pay or the rate you’re offered. Here’s some insight into how your score is determined and what actions you can take to increase it.

the sooner you do this, the better. Remember, it won’t get fixed on its own; you have to be engaged in the process.

How It’s Calculated

Do’s and Don’ts

The hardest part of having a good credit score is getting started. The first step is to pull your credit history and make a plan. To find out your score, contact the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can do that for free by visiting sites like NerdWallet or Credit Karma. You can also reach out to your credit card issuer or your bank. Remember that your credit score is not just one number, but many. It’s defined by a formula that the three major credit bureaus use to determine your creditworthiness. A good score is 700 or above, but it can change over time, which means you should understand how your actions affect the numbers. After you find out your score, pull a full credit report from each of the major bureaus, and check to see that the information is correct. Are there old cards on there you need to have removed? Are there mistakes on your report you need to clean up? It’s on you to reach out and get those errors handled. Since the process can be time-consuming, 8 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Good habits are the key to raising your credit score. Nothing impacts your score more than being late on payments. With online banking, there are many ways to automate your payments so that you’re never late. If you continue to send payments the old-fashioned way, set a date on your calendar to pay them that ensures your checks arrive in the mail well before the due date. Don’t be afraid to regularly use your credit accounts. Know your credit limits, and don’t charge more than 30% of that limit. And always pay the minimum balance, or if possible, pay the entire balance. Don’t use old credit cards or apply for too many. Every time you apply for new credit, it can adversely affect your score. There’s a difference between soft and hard credit inquiries.

A soft inquiry would include the following: • You checking your credit score • A potential employer checking your credit

Hard inquiries include the following: • Applying for a new credit card. • Applying for a mortgage or auto loan. • Applying for some other form of credit. At all costs, resist the urge to open up those specific store cards, even if you get a discount. Those cards typically have a high interest rate, making it harder to pay off if you get behind. Make the most of a thin credit line. You may not have a lot of credit history, so developing that is key to getting increased credit when you need it for those larger purchases or loans. Just keep the limit usage to no more than 30% of the amount available and make sure you pay on time. This will help prove you can handle more credit, and eventually, you can apply for a credit increase until you build up more history.

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

Win NW Georgia Living’s Yummiest Prize Package Yet! Valued at $400!

To enter, find the three separate ads in this issue that have the silhouette at right hidden within the ad. Then, go to and correctly name the three ads. It’s that easy! We’ll randomly draw the winner on Monday, August 9.

A $200 gift certificate at Findley’s, NW Georgia’s premier butcher shop. They offer custom-cut packages that are the best value, plus fresh premium cuts of meat, homemade Brunswick stew, and smoked sausages. Findley’s has several heat-and-eat items: fully cooked baby back ribs, pork shoulders, chicken, brisket, twice-baked potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese, and Cajun dips. 151 Main St., downtown Cartersville.

A $100 gift certificate to Main Street Coastal Cuisine, a fantastic seafood restaurant offering daily fresh fish, New England clam chowder, lobster bisque, oysters, poboys, shrimp and scallops, grits, trout, fish and chips, as well as butcher-cut steaks, chicken, hamburgers, and pasta dishes. 24 W. Main St., downtown Cartersville.


706.512.7488 Mon–Fri, 10–6 Sat, 10–4 6 Central Plaza Rome, GA 30161

A $50 gift certificate from Las Palmas. There are plenty of Mexican restaurants, but Las Palmas is the winner of Rome’s Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Fajitas, and Best Burritos. 311 Riverside Pkwy. and 246 Shorter Ave. in Rome, and 140 Main Street Market Place in Cartersville.

A $50 gift certificate from Okinawa, offering a fresh spin on a traditional Japanese steakhouse, serving signature sushi and hibachi dishes at great prices. Preorder and pick up lunch or dinner at their drive-thru window. 1010 N. Tennessee St., Cartersville. | 9


Getting to Know… Evie McNiece

First female mayor of Rome BY JILL BECKER


n high school, Evie McNiece’s after-school job wasn’t flipping burgers at the local fast-food joint or hawking T-shirts at the mall. Instead, she was working at a finance company taking loan applications and checking credit. Today, she’s the owner of Accounting Solutions Plus, a fullservice accounting and tax firm on East 2nd Avenue in Rome. But you’re more likely to know her for her community service rather than her ability to crunch numbers. She served as a city commissioner for 12 years and was on the board or donated her time to multiple local organizations, from the Redmond Regional Medical Center to the Rome Symphony Orchestra. Most notably, McNiece served as the first female mayor of Rome from 2011 to 2014. “The best thing about being mayor was the wonderful people I met who care so much about our city,” she says. McNiece and her husband, Doug, have been married for 40 years and have two adult sons, a grandson, and a granddaughter. The person I looked up to as a child was … my grandmother. She was intelligent, funny, and traveled the world. I have a picture of her and her two sisters on an African safari in an open jeep with a guide holding a rifle. She was 89, and her sisters were 84 and 86.

Rome-based photographer Erin Clay snapped this photo of Evie McNiece in front of City Hall, where Evie once governed the city. To learn more about the people and places that make Rome tick, check out Erin’s blog at

When I’m stressed out, I … take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine, and read the newest edition of Garden & Gun.

My favorite place in Northwest Georgia is … a cabin on 10 acres between Summerville and Menlo that my husband and I purchased about nine years ago. It sits in the valley of Lookout and Pigeon Mountains. It’s quiet and peaceful. There’s a lot of wildlife “Do what’s right, we enjoy seeing, and it’s such a restful place with majestic mouneven if you think no tains surrounding us.

one’s watching.”

My pet peeve is … dishonesty.

My go-to vacation spot is … Kiawah Island. I can’t live without … chocolate.

My favorite expression or quote is … “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”

One of the things on my bucket list is … to spend time in Italy eating and drinking my way through the country.

The best advice I ever received was … “Do what’s right, even if you think no one’s watching.”

For exercise, I … don’t! I think I’m allergic to it because every time I do it, I sweat and hurt all over.

The thing I love most about my job is … meeting with my clients. Most of them are not just clients. They’ve become good friends, and I’m now working with a lot of their grown children.

The one thing I would want if I were stranded on a deserted island is … a widescreen HD TV to watch college football. We’ve had season tickets to the University of Georgia with 10 friends since 1981 (40 years!).

My schedule during tax season is … very hectic. I get up   and usually leave at 4:30 and get to the office by 6, about 9. I work every Saturday during tax season. 10 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

My best life tip is … put down the cellphone and converse face-to-face. Get to really know people again.

Do you know that you can change your Health Insurance Plan at any time? Healthcare coverage plans to meet your needs, situation and budget.

We’re Much More Than Just Another Women’s Group.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the confusing healthcare market. Susan Smith-Hopkins, Licensed Agent Healthcare Coverage Programs, Medicare Supplements, Supplemental Catastrophic & Accident Plans

Call today, 770-861-1172

Detoxify, Rejuvenate, Protect

is Mention th 5 ad for a $1 discount.

Carla Price:

Medical Aesthetician / Owner

770.675.3859 | | 4442 S. Main Street, Acworth, Ga 30101

Project Style Interior Design services include: • Full renovations and management of new home construction

• Procuring furniture and accessories Kathy Phillips, Designer Email: 770-598-9470

• Paint consultations and custom window treatments

• Floor plans and downsizing consultations

Whether you’re dreaming of a European river cruise with your wine club, a romantic trip for two in Paris, a round of golf in Ireland or a family adventure through a rain forest, we listen to your desires so we can co-create your trip of a lifetime that not just gives you the perfect vacation, but the vacation that’s perfect for you! The Classy Lassies of Ireland Emer Coughlin 404-434-4373 Dervila Stivers 239-464-9014 | 11


Kicking Back on the Coast The Florida beach town so breezy and bewitching we almost don’t want to tell you about it.



hen Georgians want to escape to the beach, the usual destinations come to mind: Destin, Tybee Island, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head. All, of course, are perfectly wonderful options, but if you haven’t yet checked out charming Amelia Island, Florida, then you need to put it on your vacation radar. The quaint resort area is located just north of Jacksonville, about 125 miles due south of Savannah, and has a more laid-back, small-town feel than its touristy coastal cousins. It’s roughly the same size as Manhattan, but while that island has some 1.6 million residents, Amelia Island only has around 35,000. And even during the holidays, its 13 miles of beaches aren’t all that crowded. But don’t let its small size and easygoing vibe fool you because there’s plenty to see and do here. An ideal way to get an overview of the area is aboard one of Amelia River Cruises’ sightseeing tours. One of their most popular excursions travels to Cumberland Island, a federally protected barrier island with its own herd of wild horses. If you want to get out on the water yourself, rent a kayak or paddleboard from an outfitter like Kayak Amelia. Or mosey over to the Kelly Seahorse Ranch, one of the few places in the country where you can still ride horses on the beach. The island also boasts 40 miles of bike trails, 6.2 miles of which are part of the East Coast Greenway that runs all the way from Key West, Florida, to Calais, Maine. For something a little more leisurely, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the 50-block downtown district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While downtown, you might want to stop in to the Palace Saloon, where patrons have been bellying up to the bar since 1878, making it the oldest bar in Florida. The Amelia Island Lighthouse is less than a 10-minute drive away, as is Fort Clinch State Park, where you’ll find a 19th-century garrison used, in part, as a refuge for blockade runners during the Civil War. Also boasting a unique history is The Williams House, an elegant B&B located in the historic village of Fernandina Beach. Dating back to 1856, the restored Victorian mansion features a secret room that once served as a stop along the Underground Railroad. On the more modern end of the accommodations scale is The Ritz-Carlton, a five-diamond 12 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Splashing around | Amelia Island CVB

beachfront resort with every luxury imaginable, from an adults-only pool with private cabanas to one of the largest spas in the entire hotel chain. Brand new on the beachfront is a joint property that contains both a Courtyard by Marriott and a Springhill Suites. When contemplating where to eat, you’ll naturally want to take advantage of the island’s coastal setting at a spot like Timoti’s Seafood Shak, a no-frills walk-up with outside seating that serves wild-caught seafood in menu items like the crab burger and blackened shrimp tacos. The Sandbar has everything from soups and salads to burgers and pizzas, but its claim to fame is that it’s the only restaurant on the island that’s right on the beach. If you don’t mind swapping your board shorts for a nice pair of slacks for one night, make a reservation at Salt, the award-winning dining room at The Ritz-Carlton. Your options may include starters such as tuna tartare with lotus root and tempura pearls, an entree of beef tenderloin served on an ancient Himalayan salt block, and Key lime soufflé with raspberry Chambord Anglaise for dessert. After supper, scurry over to the Fernandina Harbor Marina, and join the folks who line up each night to watch the sun go down. It’s a fitting end to a perfect island day. For More Info … Amelia Island, FL |

Fernandina Beach — Fort Clinch State Park | Scott Barnett for Visit Florida

Scenic shoreline | Deremer Studios Amelia Island Commercial Photography | Amelia Island horseback rider | Patrick Farrell for Visit Florida | 13

a gathering place... Beer • Cocktails • Wine Many Hot & Cold Appetizers Soups • Salads • Entrees Burgers • Sandwiches Desserts Coffee • Tea Mon–Thurs 5 pm to 10 pm Fri & Sat 5 pm to 1 am For takeout, call the hotel 706-378-4837 Bar ext. 407

100 W. 2nd Avenue, Rome, GA

RIGHT TIME. RIGHT PLACE. RIGHT PRICE. Now’s your chance to take charge of your future at Georgia Highlands College! Find classes that work for your schedule, including remote, hybrid, and in-person options. Plus, GHC is one of the best and most affordable paths toward earning your college degree today! Charge up your future or recharge your career by choosing from two-year and four-year degrees in more than 30 areas of study including: Entrepreneurship • Criminal Justice • Health Sciences • Film Studies • and more!

Apply today and start #TakingCharge!

706.802.5000 14 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021


yo Find path

Say Goodbye to Those Stubborn Bulges and Achieve the Curves You’ve Been Fighting For! • Free Consultation • Skin Tightening • Payment Plans Available • Laser Liposuction • No More Muffin Tops, Spare Tires, or C-Section Pooches!

Louis A Spencer, MD | Christie Bennett, Aesthetics Nurse Manager Family Medicine and Aesthetics

Chloe Bradfield, Esthetician | Cheryl Fountain, Office Manager 650 Henderson Dr., Ste. 504,Cartersville, GA • 678.719.8502

PEA H STATE “Small Town Feel...Great BIG Deals” 770-748-FORD •

2076 Rockmart Hwy Cedartown, GA

Nick Chubb at Peach State Ford | 15





Fire It Up!


Tips, accessories, recipes, and more to ensure you’re king (or queen) of the grill this summer.


ummer means outdoor fun, pool parties, softball games, days at the lake, and this year, some welcome relief from pandemic restrictions. Complementary to these alfresco adventures is firing up the backyard grill for some scrumptious eats. Many of us have go-to grilled dishes that are easy to pull together and loved by all, like hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob. But grilling doesn’t have to be limited to these more traditional menu items. Years ago, I attended a personal chef conference, and the session on outdoor cooking taught me the general differences between grilling and barbecuing. Grilling technically refers to searing food quickly over high, direct heat, while barbecuing uses lower, indirect heat over a long period of time and can incorporate sauces, rubs, or other added flavors. Grilling is best for tender, uniformly shaped and sized cuts of meat, poultry, sausage, seafood, and vegetables. Barbecuing, on the other hand, is suited for less tender cuts or uneven or large pieces of meat such as ribs, roasts, briskets, chickens, and turkeys (whole or in pieces). Grilling and barbecuing both use heat sources that are below the food. Outdoor grills may be fueled by charcoal, propane gas, natural gas, or electricity, and some grills have special attachments for smoking foods. The grill you choose depends on how you plan to use it. Some people love the taste of food cooked

16 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

over charcoal and enjoy building the fire in a chimney, then spreading the coals out for grilling. Others prefer the convenience of gas grills, many of which offer push-button igniting and a simple turn of a knob to kill the fire. Electric grills aren’t the hottest grills, but they heat up quickly, have a smaller footprint, and can be stored indoors when not in use. One “hot” outdoor type of grill is the infrared gas grill. The main difference between infrared and regular gas grills is that the infrared ones are designed to heat the food directly, while gas grills heat the air and then heat the food, which can dry out the food as it cooks. Infrared grills tend to cook things more quickly and evenly as opposed to flame grilling.

So, what tools do you need to get started? Here’s a list of basics: • Tongs — Sturdy and long, but not too long. Sixteen-inch tongs keep your hands away from the heat but are much more flexible than larger tongs. • Spatula — You want it to be heavy-duty, but again, not too big. The handle should be long enough to keep your hands away from the heat, and the blade should be wide enough to easily flip meat or delicate fish. • Grill brush — Opt for a brush that has stiff nylon or wire bristles (preferably three rows) and a scraping edge so you can get in between the grates and scrape the surface. • Instant-read thermometer — Never cut into grilled foods to check for doneness, as that lets the juices out and may cause flare-ups. Get a good thermometer and insert it into the middle of the food, keeping it off the grate and out

Gril mas l at w ter ork of the flame. Know the correct internal temperature to be sure your food is safe to eat. • Stainless steel skewers — Twelve-inch skewers hold nice-size portions and are long enough to maneuver without burning yourself. Metal versus wood or bamboo skewers are ready-to-use and don’t require soaking beforehand, plus they’re easier to clean up. • Backup heat — Have extra charcoal on hand or an extra tank of propane for gas grills.

Keeping the grill and grates clean is key to successful grilling. Here’s what you need to know to keep your equipment spic and span: For a charcoal grill: • Clean the still-warm grates with a long-handled stiff-wire or -nylon bristle brush, making sure no bristles are left on the grates afterward, as they can adhere to food and accidentally be ingested. • Once the charcoal has cooled, remove the briquettes and brush out the ash. • Apply vegetable oil to the clean grates using a rag or folded paper towels to help prevent rust and food build-up.

For a gas grill: • Follow the steps above, but instead of cleaning out the ash, remove the heat deflectors located over the burners, wash them with dish soap, and dry gently with a rag.

Okay, now on to the good stuff. Here are some yummy recipes to help you get your grill on:

Grilled Swordfish with Tomatoes and Oregano Serves 4 | Swordfish is close to pork chops in texture and grills wonderfully. This recipe calls for searing the fish first, then marinating it, inspired by the technique called escabèche, in which cooked fish and meat are preserved in an acidic mixture. The touch of honey is essential to the marinade, balancing the vinegar and capers. ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill 2 tbsp. pine nuts 2 12-oz. swordfish steaks, about 1” thick 2 tbsp. olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 tbsp. drained capers, finely chopped 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped, plus 2 sprigs for serving ½ tsp. honey 2 large heirloom tomatoes, halved and thickly sliced

Prepare grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Toast pine nuts in small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until golden, about 4 minutes. Let cool and set aside for serving.

Pat swordfish dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and let sit at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, capers, chopped oregano, honey, and ½ cup oil in a small bowl to combine, then set marinade aside. Arrange tomatoes on a rimmed platter, overlapping slightly; set aside. Rub swordfish all over with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and grill, undisturbed, until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn over and cook on other side until fish is opaque all the way through, about another 4 minutes. Transfer to reserved platter with tomatoes and top with oregano sprigs. Season with more salt and pepper. Pour reserved marinade over fish and let sit at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Scatter pine nuts on top of fish and serve.

Grilled Summer Squash with Red Onion and Feta Serves 4 | The leftovers from this dish are wonderful. Slice and grill some bread to dip in the marinade — delicious! ½ cup plus 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for grill 1 garlic clove, finely grated ¼ cup white wine vinegar 4 medium summer squash and/or zucchini, cut lengthwise ¼” thick 1 medium red onion, cut through root end into 8 wedges 2 bay leaves 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground pepper 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled ½ cup sliced banana peppers, jarred Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Prepare grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil grate. Whisk garlic, vinegar, and ½ cup oil in small bowl to combine; set marinade aside.

Hot o the G ff rill

Toss squash, onion, and bay leaves on a rimmed baking sheet with remaining 3 tablespoons oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange squash and onion on grate. Grill squash, undisturbed, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Flip vegetables over and grill on other side until tender and starting to release liquid, about 2 minutes. Transfer squash to baking sheet. Grill onion, turning occasionally, until tender and charred around the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Arrange squash, onion, bay leaves, and feta on a rimmed platter and pour reserved marinade over it. Scatter banana peppers on top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Let sit at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving. | 17

l, l i r G My ules. R My

Ch ill d gr in’ ill in’


Grilled Watermelon Salad Serves 4 | A light, refreshing salad featuring one of summer’s favorite fruits. 1 small red or yellow seedless watermelon, 3-4 pounds ¼ cup olive oil 3 tbsp. lime juice (about 2 limes) 1 large navel orange, juiced Pinch of sea salt Pinch of cayenne ¼ cup fresh mint leaves and/or fresh basil 5 oz. arugula ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat gas grill or build a charcoal fire for direct grilling. Cut watermelon in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half. Cut these quarters into 2-inchthick slices, leaving the rind on the slices. Brush slices lightly with olive oil and set aside until ready to grill.

18 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Combine lime and orange juices. Taste and add orange juice until it tastes like a sour orange. Add salt and cayenne and whisk continually while adding oil until thickened. Taste and adjust oil and salt. Add mint and/or basil and set aside. Just before serving, place oiled watermelon slices on a clean cooking grate directly over the heat source. Grill until marked and warmed through but still crunchy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Let cool. Cut off rinds and discard. Cut watermelon into chunks, place in a serving bowl, pour dressing over it, and toss gently. Top with feta and sprinkle with another pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.

Grilled Pineapple Angel Food Cake Serves 8 | Yes, you can even make dessert on the grill! 1 pineapple, cored, peeled, and cut into 8 long planks 1 round store-bought angel food cake, cut into 8 wedges Ice cream, optional, to serve Toasted coconut, optional, to serve

Preheat grill to medium-high. Place pineapple planks over direct heat and grill undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Flip and grill other side for about 5 minutes, until

well-marked and caramelized. Remove from grill and let stand in rimmed dish, reserving any juices. Place cake on hot grill rack and cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides. Place cake wedges on serving plates, top with pineapple and any accumulated juices, and if desired, ice cream and coconut.

Keep calm a nd grill on

d e s en ill c i L r g to

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. | 19

It’s All In Our Name...

nissan • hyundai • honda • • 706.291.2277

Hiking Cloudland Canyon

Taking a trek on the trail once rated by Backpacker magazine as one of the top 10 hikes in the US. And there’s more where that came from.


22 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021


erfectly positioned on the western edge of popular Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon State Park is one of the largest and most scenic parks in Georgia, which means there’s generally room for everyone to roam and enjoy a comfortable experience, especially midweek. But there’s another reason the park is one of Georgia’s most raved-about attractions. Apart from the unbelievable views you’re privy to regardless of the season (Cloudland Canyon is one of those places that’s even more stunning in person than in photos), the park is filled with must-do hikes and other adventures. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to check it out, so go ahead and add this Peach State getaway to your travel bucket list. You have to see it to believe it. Be sure to bring along your camera so you can capture all of the beauty that lurks around every corner. Cloudland Canyon State Park is home to Instagramworthy thousand-foot-deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, wild caves, dreamy waterfalls, cascading creeks, dense

woodland, and abundant wildlife. In addition to the laundry list of beautiful natural sites, the park offers ample outdoor recreation options for parkgoers of all backgrounds, interests, and skill levels. Strap on your hiking boots and take advantage of the 64 miles of walking trails. The park’s most popular paths include the short but scenic Overlook Trail, the moderate West Rim Loop Trail (once named one of the top 10 hiking trails in the country by Backpacker magazine), and the strenuous Waterfalls Trail. Well known for its steep descent, the Waterfalls Trail involves descending and climbing a set of 600 steps. Each way, not total! While definitely one of the more physically demanding trails, it rewards you at the bottom with a view of a spectacular waterfall and wading areas. Each trail at the park is unique for numerous reasons, though, including the flora and fauna, wildlife, and sights you’ll see along the way. Visit the park’s website ahead of your trip and learn about the different hikes you can take. You might even want to schedule enough time and carry enough water in

your canteen to embark on more than one trek so you can get the full experience. Biking enthusiasts are in for a treat at Cloudland Canyon State Park as well. There are 30 miles of mountain biking trails, including ones at the newly developed Five Points Recreation Area and along the Cloudland Connector Trail. No bike? No problem. Rentals are available for $35 for a half-day and $55 for a full day. In addition to hiking and biking paths galore, the park also offers disc golf, a fishing pond, geocaching, caving with the Canyon Climbers Club (the caves are only open certain months), horseback riding, picnicking, and awe-inspiring overlooks perfect for selfies and other pics. On certain sunny days, lucky guests may even catch a glimpse of a rainbow glistening in front of the waterfall—the perfect addition to any photo! Visitors who want to get their hike on and experience multiple trails can overnight in the park in one of the 16 fullyequipped cottages, one of the 10 glamping yurts, or one of the dozens of walk-in, backcountry, and RV campsites. There’s an onsite camp store for all of your outdoor needs, plus a playground and a group shelter. Truth be told, there’s not much visitors can’t find at the park in terms of enjoying an outdoor adventure. You can even pick Cloudland Canyon State Park as a unique and gorgeous backdrop for your wedding or other special event. And if the park itself didn’t already have enough to offer, there are a host of nearby attractions that are well worth a visit, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chief Vann House State Historic Site, Canyon Ridge Golf Club, James H. Sloppy Floyd State Park, Resaca Battlefield, Ruby Falls, Rock City, CrockfordPigeon Mountain Wildlife Mountain Area, and the cities of Dalton, Rome, and Chattanooga.

Photo: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

For more information on Cloudland Canyon State Park and its many attractions, visit Note that the park sometimes experiences large crowds on the weekends, so park staff may temporarily limit access to day users until there’s available capacity.

Brianna Reid is a public relations professional based in Atlanta who is responsible for handling media relations and digital strategies for a range of hospitality and tourism clients. A native of Georgia and a graduate of Kennesaw State, she has a passion for travel, adventure, and dining. | 23

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

So hang on to them by organizing and digitizing your priceless images. BY DAVID MCDONOUGH


© Thongchai Siriporn /

f you’re like most people, you have a box or three of photos, slides, and videos of the memorable moments in your life that you’ve captured on film. You may have even inherited a bunch of old family photos from your parents or grandparents. You want to keep and do something with these precious memory holders, but you’re not sure what, so it all just sits hidden away in a closet. (Ideally, in an acid-free album or storage box, away from exterior walls and interior plumbing, and not in an attic or basement.) Sadly, I lost my family’s photos to Hurricane Katrina. Afterward, I started noticing that every time I would see TV coverage of

24 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

a disaster, weather event, house fire, or the like, I’d see an interview with someone saying, “We lost everything, but it can all be replaced, except for the family photos.” Spurred by those events, I founded Modern Image Atlanta, a company intent on helping people protect their family archives so that what happened to my photos doesn’t happen to their photos. The staff and I at our Marietta office are dedicated to helping you convert your photos, slides, video, audio, and paper files to digital format so they’ll be preserved for eternity. So, how do you get started organizing and preserving your photos? First, you

need to think about where you are currently and where you want to be with your valuable images and stories. Strangely enough, it’s best to start with the end in mind. Do you want to clean up and organize physical pictures so they’re easier to pass along to your children or grandchildren? Would you like to be able to easily share them with family and friends? Do you want to protect them from getting ruined? And what do you want to do with the countless digital images stored on your various devices and accounts? And where do you want to keep them once everything is fully digital?

Adding the Who, What, When, and Where For many people, the place to start is to add context and stories to their photos. The fear is that otherwise, five generations from now, an old picture of someone the photo holder doesn’t recognize or have stories about will

become, unfortunately, just an old photo. I have a large box of images in my office from clients who have lost their connection to the photos. To annotate your images, you can write on the back of them with a felt tip pen that’s designated for use with photos. Or you could ID them on an acid-free index card that you keep with the photos. Or you could type out a document with the names, dates, and places relevant to each photo and note what makes it special or unique.

Organizing Your Pics with the GASP Method The next step is putting your images in some sort of order and preparing them for long-term storage using what I call the GASP Method (gather, archive, store, pitch). Gather — Collect all your pictures and make an area large enough that you’ll have room to set up folders and stack photos accordingly. Archive — In the first pass, select all of the pictures you would be devastated to lose. These A-list photographs capture the most precious moments and memories and would definitely make it into a photo album. Store — These are the photos that pass the pitch test but don’t make it into the archive on the first pass. Pitch — Remove duplicates and test shots. Ask yourself the following questions and discard the photos that fail any of the following criteria: • Picture Quality — Is the print overexposed or underexposed? Out of focus? Is it physically damaged? • Subject Quality — Is the subject entirely in the frame or blocked? Are there distractions like traffic and unsightly telephone wires in the background? Do you know (and like) everyone in the photo? • Comparative Quality — Is it a test shot? Are there several images that are similar? Can you pick the best one and eliminate the rest? • Emotional Quality — Are you or anyone else likely to want this photo in the future? Is it embarrassing to anyone

or of someone you’d prefer to forget? Is it just a picture? Note: If an individual requires being cutting out of a picture, consider tossing the photo. That person’s memory will survive the scissors. This process carries over into digital pictures as well, where the vast majority of us are likely to keep way too many pictures.

Folder Structure The best way to organize photos is the way that’s most familiar and useful to you. Generally, 50 to 75 photos per folder is plenty. Any more, and it starts to become unwieldy. Any less, and it becomes difficult to navigate because of the number of folders. There are different ways to sort them, but a combination of these methods makes sense for many of our clients. Chronological — Balance folders with the number of pictures in each and organize by year or range of years. For example, my daughter was born in 1996, triggering an explosion of photographs, so I organized my folders like this: Pre-1967, 1967-1980, 1981-1995, 1996, 1996-01, 1996-02, and 1996-03, and so on. By Event/Person/ Family Branch/ Location — This method can become tricky with crossover,

but it may still be a good way to group photos from within an archive, for example, all your Thanksgiving pictures or those from a beach or mountain house. Now that you’ve organized your images, it’s time to digitize them. Here’s what you need to know.

Digital Storage — There are quite a few cloud options to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some combination is likely best, but you don’t have to commit to paying each month to have reliable cloud backup. Develop a strategy and be consistent. And make sure someone else knows where it all is and how to get to it. Sync Your Phone — Use a hosting service like Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Photos as an instant backup. For most people, it’s enough to have a two-shared-folder structure: current and frequent. Use a “Current Pictures” folder to store them until you can move them to their more permanent spot in your archive. This spot is synced with your phone to allow immediate backup. Use a “Frequent Pictures” folder to keep pictures you’re most likely to want to show someone on your phone. Enhance Your Archive — We have more powerful cameras and video recorders in the palm of our hands today than what we were lugging around in the ’90s. Use them! Interview, record, narrate, and reminisce, and save the results in your archive folders. Several generations from now, your relatives will marvel at hearing their great-grandmother interview their greatgreat-grandmother about life during WWII or listening to young children describe the pandemic of 2020. The bottom line in all of this is to determine your goals, take baby steps, and enjoy the memories that will likely come flooding back to you throughout the process. David McDonough is the owner of Modern Image Atlanta in Marietta, which has been providing document scanning and media conversion since 2011. Modern Image features state-of-the-art equipment that allows you to convert your photos, negatives, slides, videotapes, 8mm film, and more to current format so you can preserve your family memories for years to come. They can also perform touch-ups on old or damaged images. | 25

Taking Men’s Emotional Temperature

Exploring the divide between the sexes when it comes to mental health and how to overcome it. BY DR. STEVE FOGLEMAN


magine there was a virus out there that caused men to be four times more likely than women to die by suicide. A virus that caused them to be more likely to binge drink, use illicit substances, or die or visit an emergency room due to substance abuse. That caused them to underreport instances of depression and eating disorders. And that caused boys to have higher rates of behavioral problems and men to have a greater tendency to commit acts of violence. Now let us imagine that scientists discovered that this virus impacted males throughout their lifespan, and that it damaged their physical as well as their mental health. The public outcry to this epidemic would no doubt be immense, and society would channel funds into uncovering its source and finding a cure. What’s most striking about this scenario is that it’s not entirely imaginary. All of the impacts on men that I mentioned are real. It’s a major public health issue. We also don’t have to imagine what’s at the bottom of all of this. It’s because of the way men are socialized and the messages they receive about how they can and can’t express themselves, relate to others, and manage their pain. Psychologists refer to this as “gender role strain.” According to the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men, “Gender role strain is a psychological situation in which gender role demands have negative consequences on the individual or others.” The

26 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

constraints imposed on men in the name of gender and what it means to be “masculine” impact them and all of the people in their lives — their partners, children, co-workers, no one is spared. In this sense, it is viral and spreads rapidly and insidiously. Ask any man about what he’s been told it means to be a man, and you’ll hear things such as “don’t cry,” “don’t show weakness,” and “suck it up and deal with it.” Ask them to tell you what happens when they do cry or try to talk about a difficult emotion, and you’ll hear how they were ridiculed, shunned, bullied, or even beaten. As a psychologist who specializes in working with men, I can tell you that not a week goes by without a client mentioning one of these damaging statements or traumas and how it’s impacted them. This gender role strain not only affects men’s mental health and their relationships; it also impacts their physical well-being. Men have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, and how men are told to mask their emotions is partly to blame.

Fear of the Unknown After absorbing all of these stigmatizing messages, men are understandably reluctant to speak about their emotional difficulties. They’re also hesitant and even avoidant when it comes to seeking professional help. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, around 1 in 10 men reported suffering from some form of depression or anxiety, but less than half of those men sought

treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that male veterans are twice as likely to use alcohol or other substances than their female counterparts, often as an attempt to cope in silence with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health issues that arise from their service. Men can also be hesitant to seek therapy because of limited and outdated representations of treatment in film, television, and other media. They may have images in their head of having to lay on a couch as a psychoanalyst sits in silence behind them, jotting notes and occasionally offering a vague interpretation about the role of the patient’s mother in their life. If that’s the idea of therapy people have, no wonder it’s often avoided! Thankfully, therapy has come a long way from that proverbial couch. Therapists work hard to create a warm, inviting environment in which they actively support their clients. They help them disclose their pain, reacquaint themselves with their strengths, and offer strategies and interventions backed by rigorous research. Help is also more accessible than ever before. Due to the pandemic, more therapists now offer sessions online in addition to in-person sessions. If there were practical barriers such as taking time off during the workday or a lengthy commute that prevented men from seeking help, virtual sessions could help. Also, if you’ve never searched for a therapist, it can feel overwhelming, but sites like can simplify the process. A growing number of online mental health platforms, like Talkspace, can also allow people to more readily find a therapist. Just as with selecting a general medical practitioner, some men may feel more comfortable with a male versus a female therapist. This may be especially true when it comes to discussing issues like sexual difficulties or trauma. So much of what makes therapy work is the relationship between the client and the therapist, so if a man feels the gender of the therapist will make a difference to them, it’s worth considering. It often takes others to help men become open to seeking professional assistance. If there’s a man in your life you’re concerned about, note that

men don’t always put words to their emotional difficulties. Mental health issues such as depression often manifest differently in men than women. For example, men often exhibit more anger or irritability as opposed to the sadness that we normally associate with depression. Here are some warning signs that may signal a mental health difficulty:

Behavioral: • Increased substance use or substance misuse • Changes in sleep patterns (increase or decrease) • Changes in appetite (increase or decrease) • Social withdrawal/isolation • Engaging in high-risk activities

Emotional: • Anger/hostility • Irritability • Sadness/tearfulness • Anxiousness/seeming “keyed up” • Hopelessness • Seeming emotionally “flat”

Physical: • Headaches or other bodily pains that have no clear cause

Verbal: • Suicidal thoughts, even if expressed as “jokes” If you become concerned about a man you know and he’s exhibiting one or more of these signs, especially if the signs persist over a period of days or weeks, draw on the strength of your relationship and first express genuine care and concern. Then express what you’ve noticed and let him know that it’s OK to talk about it with you and that therapists and other professionals are there to help.

How to Get Help When men are ready, psychologists, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers are always the front line for psychotherapy. They are all licensed, well-qualified professionals who have received years of schooling and training. Religious counselors, especially licensed ones, are also a helpful

resource. For general life advice and encouragement, life coaches can provide valuable support. Medication can often be a great and sometimes necessary supplement to therapy, and psychiatrists specialize in working with patients in this capacity. Individual work isn’t the only route to take when it comes to seeking help. There are men’s therapy groups led by licensed professionals. While the idea of group therapy may initially seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Men who participate in these groups often speak of them as one of their most powerful experiences, as it’s rare for men to discuss difficult or emotionally laden topics in the presence of other men and then receive support and encouraging feedback in return. Groups often have a specific focus, such as substance misuse, divorce, adult children of alcoholics, or sexuality, but others offer general support and processing. Men may not be ready to step directly into the world of therapy, especially if they’ve never tried it before or have had a negative prior experience. Close friends and family, places of worship, or talking to a medical doctor are some alternatives. Self-care activities should also not be overlooked or undervalued. Meditation, time spent outside and in nature, music performance or listening, yoga, and exercise in general all go a long way in reminding men that they’re more than their jobs and that they’re well-rounded individuals capable of feeling a range of emotions. While the mental health crisis among men is not caused by a virus as pondered at the beginning of this article, that hypothetical was chosen for a reason: If there’s one lesson that can be taken from 2020, it’s that acknowledging the urgency of a public health crisis can save lives. And the case of men’s mental health is no exception. Dr. Steve Fogleman is a licensed psychologist at Juniper Psychological Services in Atlanta. He earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia. He works with college-aged and adult clients and provides individual, couples, and group therapy. His areas of expertise include men’s issues, trauma, relationship concerns, and grief/loss. Virtual appointments are available. For information, visit | 27

A Spotlight on Shedquarters BY TIM S. ELLIOTT


s teenagers we yearned for the prospect of moving out of the house. As adults, it appears that notion has taken on an all-new attraction thanks in part to the ubiquitous Cheryl and her flaming “she shed” from that long-running State Farm commercial. In today’s market of new home builds with ever-expanding square footage, it seems odd that residents would look to their yards to add additional accommodations. Yet this trend is taking off, more commonly with a less pretentious role than Cheryl’s she shed. Outbuildings are leaning more toward practicality and purpose rather than a

28 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

Forget tiny houses. Tiny, backyard

home offices are the latest design trend.

storehouse with gaudy chandeliers and toile draped from the rafters. That is the past. She sheds are out and slick, fashionable “shedquarters” are the latest international rage. As the name implies, these property additions are geared toward more pragmatic uses. Though an existing garage renovation is still possible, shedquarters are more likely to be new builds or prefabricated structures that are altered to suit a myriad of contemporary needs. The finishes are higher-end, the amenities are greater, and the dwellings themselves are more residential in expression. First a little background. Perhaps the primary focus of this detached

mini-movement was a desire at the end of the 20th century to lodge aging parents with minimum separation and maximum privacy. This was possible by situating an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on existing residential properties. From there, “tiny homes” became all the craze for young homebuyers. They were cheap and required a minimal footprint. Unfortunately, they also harbor the stigma of wheeled mobile homes that don’t pass the discernment of most home investors or HOAs. This growing momentum then blipped the home improvement radar, and permanent accessory structures not meant for dwelling emerged. The strongest asset gained other than additional footage

and raised aesthetic is privacy. We’ve become individuals who value our personal refuges outside of the traditional home foundation, now with an increased business slant. Work from home (WFH) scenarios have soared with modern connectivity, prompting many companies to attempt reigning in their forces. To move employees back into the office, many corporations were in the process of restructuring their facilities into open concepts and employee pools versus private cubicles. In 2020, however, the working world was shaken by the sudden global transition from work office to home office in order to accommodate shelter-in-place orders. The coronavirus had an abundant effect on this design inclination, sending corporate interior designers back to the drawing board. The fallout was so leveling that many companies abandoned renovations and resolved to move staff back to full-time remote situations. Basically, WFH is shifting the paradigm of business assets. The overhead required for staff support is transferred to the employee, who in turn reaps expanded freedom, company benefits, and tax deductions. In 2019, Owl Labs surveyed 1,202 full-time workers in the United States between the ages of 22 and 65. Of those surveyed, 55% stated they would look elsewhere for employment if they lost the remote work option, 32% of remote workers report to be more engaged, and 13% are more likely to stay in their current role for around five years. Employee retention is a key factor in business success. Workers unaccustomed to WFH swiftly realized that the typical distractions of home were the greatest obstacles to working there successfully. These corporate warriors were adapted to their routine of rising, dressing, and exiting home with coffee in hand; they required that regimen to maintain motivation and gain separation from their nest. A shedquarters distances distractions and helps set professional boundaries at home. In addition, entrepreneurs are leaving employment in record numbers to make their mark via home-based, small businesses. Some require processes or manufacturing that are not desirable inside the main home. The necessity to meet

with clients and suppliers is not often a comfortable prospect in spaces that are designed for personal expression and shared with other family members. Beyond the professional purpose for shedquarters are those with a more intrinsic value, like health and wellness. Examples are a home spa, yoga studio, hobbyist studio, and music studio—any purpose your imagination can take you other than generating salary. A solution now exists, perhaps already in the backyard. The concept has had decades to model itself to consumers and now has a proven track record of keeping up with emerging usages. The secondary structure industry has reached a level of refinement that can provide for increased comfort, nicer finishes, more amenities, and privacy in a neat package that fits on your property. For the right investment, they are infinitely customizable to suit particular needs and ultimately add property value. Before you jump on the shed wagon, though, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, check with your local government about building

codes and restrictions concerning ADUs and detached structures. Zoning laws in many cities will not allow two or more separate dwellings on one property. If you live in a planned community with an HOA, it may be less likely that these structures will be approved; always query your board or architectural review committee before abruptly moving from dream to deterred reality. Even if willing to entertain these structures, board reviewers will often require architectural renderings, blueprints, etc., as tools for considering your approval. These are additional expenses that may not come to fruition. It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local zoning codes before beginning any professional addition or secondary structure. Zoning may come into play if you are planning a micro-manufacturing facility for a small business. Make certain your intended use is not prohibited in your zone. If local restrictions allow ADUs, it is important to consider short- or long-term rental potential. This would be a wonderful source of income once the office has gone into retirement. Again, | 29

Stick-built construction allows for unique footprints that can satisfy setbacks on compact properties. You will also achieve a solution that is exactly suited for your purpose. A contractor will field issues with government and suppliers, meriting the premium price of this option if you prefer to circumvent headaches. Also, a designer can be instrumental in helping you look forward to potential long-term applications of the space. By having this consultation, you can potentially save money in retrofit later when the original purpose has passed. State Farm Cheryl may forget to blow out candles when she leaves her she shed, but she does deserve some credit when it comes to raising the value of the common outbuilding and introducing us to this current design path. Explore “shedquarters” on Pinterest for a wealth of inspirational images. They illustrate that good things do come in small packages. © 2021 Elliott Design

© Summerwood Products

review restrictions and ponder that those renters and their traffic may raise privacy issues, as this likely was your underlying motivation for the project. Never purchase, design, blueprint, or hire a contractor until these primary concerns are explored. The selection of local, regional, and international manufacturers of sheds and ADUs is growing; use “shedquarters” as your keyword to find them online. The basic prefabricated package is normally 8 x 8 feet and is priced around $6,000 without plumbing, bath, or kitchen amenities. Many of these builders offer bundled features you may desire as available package upgrades. Be mindful of the installation of services (electric, water) when budgeting. If after doing your due diligence you prefer a solution that incorporates advanced custom features or specific dimensions, by all means involve designers and contractors as your partners to build an exclusive structure. This will be a more costly approach, but it broadens the design possibilities.

Tim S. Elliott  | Owner/Creative Director, Elliott Design Denver, NC  | Tim S. Elliott celebrates a diverse career nurtured in numerous avenues of creativity. He began as an illustrator in retail advertising, and from there, became art director and creative director for numerous advertising agencies in the Greater Charlotte market. But his initial desire was to be an architect, which motivated him to open Elliott Design in 1994. This fresh direction allowed branching out for the creation of a multitalented design firm offering turnkey interior design services. Today, Elliott is still imagining branding and advertising for local, national, and international companies and creating what he dubs “soulful” interiors.

Why I Love My Shedquarters


hat I love about it is that it is 100% my own space,” says Caitlin McClure, a self-employed illustrator and graphic designer on the subject of her shedquarters in the backyard of her Lookout Mountain home. Added on five years ago, McClure’s snazzy outbuilding functions primarily as a workspace for her Feel Good Design business, but it also doubles as a workout space on rainy days. “We live in a very small house, and I was in need of a separate workspace,” she says of the reason for investing in the tiny detached office. “We bought the shed from Backyard Outfitters in Summerville, GA, and then we finished the inside ourselves.” The 10 x 12 space has windows on three of the four sides, bamboo shades, framed artwork and family photos, a ceiling fan, a large desk (arranged so McClure can work either sitting down or standing up), two bookshelves “full of art supplies and inspiration,” and a daybed for the occasional afternoon nap. Lest you think McClure ever gets lonely working out there by herself all day, she has the family’s husky, Biscuit, by her side to keep her company most days. Seen here is a darling illustration McClure drew of her shedquarters and a photo of her lounging on the daybed where she sometimes takes a break from the action. — Jill Becker 30 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

The perks of one NW Georgia resident’s backyard office space are privacy and a fivesecond daily commute.

Complexion Perfection starts here Customized Facials Laser Hair Removal Spray Tanning

20 20

Bear Grylls Survival 3740 Master series

1850 Redmond Circle Suite 700 | Rome, GA 30165 706-291-8596

of Rome

Jen Hopper, Esthetician

100 West 2nd Ave located in Hawthorn Suites Rome, GA 30161 | 706-290-3979

Opening Soon 5619 Canton Highway Cartersville, Georgia | 31

mato o T ay








I Say

S u t m a m re

Eating er !


These recipes prove you can never have too many tomatoes.

Yellow Tomato Bloody Marys

32 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021


e’re seeing red. As in tomatoes. Oodles and oodles of delicious, gorgeous, ripe summer tomatoes. Whether they’re baskets of beauties from your own garden or a farmers market visit gone wild, it’s easy to end up with too many ’maters. It’s a common but nice problem to have. Here are three ways to enjoy all those extra tomatoes. Just be sure to keep a few on hand for tomato sandwiches.

Pasta with No-Cook Puttanesca Serves 4 | Tomato seeds and membranes can be bitter, so remove them; this also prevents the sauce from being watery. 2 beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 lb.) halved crosswise, seeds and membranes removed 2 garlic cloves, finely grated 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pits removed and crushed 2 tbsp. capers, drained ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 12 oz. pasta, spaghetti, fettuccine, or bucatini ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Pulse beefsteak tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt in a food processor until smooth. Transfer sauce to large bowl and mix in cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, and ¼ cup olive oil. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid. Add pasta, parsley, and butter to sauce. Toss vigorously with tongs, adding a splash of pasta cooking liquid or more as needed to create an emulsified sauce that coats the pasta. Divide among bowls and drizzle with more olive oil.

Salmon Panzanella with Green Beans Serves 4 | A one-dish meal! 1 ½ ¼ ½ 3 1 2 1 8 ½

Cooking spray lb. salmon fillet, skin removed tsp. salt, divided tsp. black pepper, divided lb. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil tbsp. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar cups cherry tomatoes, halved cup red onion, thinly sliced oz. whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips

Heat broiler to low. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Season salmon with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side; let cool. Bring water to boil in small saucepan. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain and set aside. Whisk oil, vinegar, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper in a serving bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, onion, and basil, then toss. Flake salmon and add to salad; toss again gently. Let sit 10 minutes. Add bread cubes just before serving.

Fun Facts Tomatoes are an edible berry in the Solanum lycopersicum family and thus botanically classified as a fruit, but they’re commonly used as a vegetable. Tomatoes most likely originated in Peru, where their Aztec name meant “plump thing with a navel.” Roughly 94.5% of a tomato’s weight is water. Speculation has it there are more than 25,000 varieties of tomatoes. One tomato (about 3½ ounces) has an average of 18 calories, 1 gram of protein, almost no fat, and 3.9 grams of carbohydrate. New Jersey recognizes the tomato as the state “vegetable.” 93% of gardening households in America grow tomatoes. The largest tomato ever picked weighed in at more than 7½ pounds. The average American eats 24 pounds of tomatoes per year. The town of Buñol, Spain, annually celebrates La Tomatina, a festival centered on an enormous tomato fight.

Yellow Tomato Bloody Marys Makes 4 drinks | Extra ripe tomatoes, even those with some bruises, are key for this recipe. 2 lb. very ripe yellow tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice ¼ cup Castelvetrano olive brine, plus olives for serving ¼ cup finely grated peeled horseradish 3 tbsp. hot sauce (preferably Cholula) 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 tsp. sugar 4 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp. mild red pepper flakes 1 lemon wedge 6 oz. gin Sun Gold (or cherry) tomatoes for serving Celery stalks with leaves for serving

Blend yellow tomatoes and chopped celery in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a large pitcher, pressing solids to extract as much juice as possible. Whisk in lemon juice, olive brine, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and 3 teaspoons salt. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Combine black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl. For each cocktail, rub rim of a 12-ounce glass with a lemon wedge, then dip into spicy salt. Fill glass with ice, pour in 1½ ounces gin, top with 5 ounces of the chilled Bloody Mary mix. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, celery stalks, and olives.

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. | 33


The Dreaded Question “Where do you want to go eat tonight?”

Now serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner! • Dine-in, drive thru, pick up, catering • Gondola Pizza has 50 pizza

combinations to choose and delivery from. Always Buy one Pizza, • Full breakfast Menu from Belgian Get one Free! Waffles to Eggs Benedict • Breakfast Special: 2 Eggs, 2 slices of • Full dinner menu with Bacon and 2 Pancakes $5.99 (Mon-Fri) Burgers, Calzones, Blackened Chicken Alfredo, • Lunch Specials start at $7.99 Italian Favorites and more. Choose from ten entrees that include a side salad and drink Breakfast: 7am–2pm, M–F, 8am–2pm Sat–Sun Lunch/Dinner: 11am–10pm M–Sun

Formerly Gondolier Pizza

Call to order at 706-291-8080 Come see us at our new location next to Bruster’s Ice Cream at 1803 Shorter Avenue

“I don’t know, what do you want?” Now, you can say, “Let’s go to Las Palmas!” We use the highest quality ingredients. We have the tastiest, award-winning food, and we have exceptional service. If it’s not the best, it’s not Las Palmas!

Shorter: (706)291-9788 Riverside: (706)235-0555 Dalton: (706)529-8477 Cartersville: (770)386-2977

Over 100 Flavors

Original New Orleans Shaved Ice

2302 Shorter Avenue, Rome, Ga 34 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

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

Terry Simmons, Agent 5 N. Fourth Street, Lindale, GA 30147

Happy Hour Half Price Appetizers M–F, 4–7pm at the Bar Half Price Oysters at the Bar Thursday from 4–7pm Join us for $10 & $12 Tuesdays for Lunch and Dinner 24 East Main Street Cartersville, GA 30120

Mon –Thurs: 11am–9pm 770-334-3813 Fri & Sat: 11am–10pm Sunday: 11am–8pm

New Pick ’O Deli Location 595 Riverside Parkway



Providing Insurance and Financial Services State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company • Bloomington, IL •®

• Call ahead orders: Offering Hot Meals to Go or Cooked Meals to Reheat at Reduced Price

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

• Convenient Pick Up Window

• Conference Room can accommodate groups up to 40

• New location will have a nightly carving station from 4pm–6pm.

595 Riverside Parkway | Rome, GA | 706-204-8381 1403 Dean Avenue | Rome, GA | 706-235-4131 Hours: Mon–Sat: 10:30am–8pm | Sunday: 10:30am–3pm | 35


A Swing and a Not Miss A couple’s outing to Topgolf heals a traumatic childhood Putt-Putt incident.



y husband and I both agree that dates are one of the most difficult things to accomplish in our marriage. There’s always a reason not to go. There’s no time. It’s expensive. Lining up childcare is a hassle. Every other demanding thing in our lives gets prioritized over spending time with each other. Isn’t it selfless to ignore your needs over everyone else’s? Dates come in many shapes and sizes, and we’ve had them all. From extravagant dinners with fancy wine to cheap concert tickets with only enough money left over for two pieces of pizza and a beer between us. Heck, there was even ziplining through the Georgia canopy. The important ingredients are simple: me, him, and no distractions. Last week, I invited my husband to play hooky with me and have a lunch date at Topgolf in Alpharetta. My husband likes to swing a golf club, but I wholeheartedly do not. If I had an anti bucket list, I believe golf, in general, would make the top five. In fact, one of my most vivid childhood memories is of getting so frustrated that my bright turquoise mini golf ball refused to go into the hole in a family game of PuttPutt, that I picked it up and bit into it as hard as I could. There were teeth marks. My sister swears she got that same ball several years later on a miniature golf date in high school. The point I’m trying to make is that people view golf as a relaxing afternoon outing, but those people are wrong. So, yes, for this golf date, I would be taking one for the team. Obviously, I went into this date assuming Topgolf would go on the same do-not-repeat list as ziplining did. Here are the things about regular golf that 36 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

aren’t fun to me: 1. walking a lot, 2. the hot sun, and 3. no snacks. The thing is, when I arrived at Topgolf, I realized that there was 1. no walking, 2. shade, and 3. a full food and bar menu. I wasn’t ready to assume the turquoise ball incident wouldn’t get an encore, but the pork tacos and Long Island Iced Tea were definitely winning me over. The server told us how to play, how the scoring worked, and recommended his favorite cocktails at the same time. And now I’m like, is there a league for this? Can I get a team shirt? A punch card? For those who don’t know, Topgolf is a driving range, but an upscale one with a computer scoring system like the ones at the bowling alley. You can play several different types of games there—even Angry Birds—but we actually enjoyed the simple scoring method of just trying to hit the targets. I don’t know how they know where your ball went and what score to give you for it—it’s computerized, golf-scoring voodoo—but it required no math from me, so you won’t hear me complaining. It took a round for my husband and me to get our legs under us and figure out how to actually hit the ball. And someone may have missed the ball in the forward swing only to catch it on the

backswing, thereby hitting a frightening shot into the glass wall behind us. But Tiger Woods wasn’t always Tiger Woods, right? After the wobbly first few shots, things got a lot better. But don’t misunderstand me. We weren’t good and never got that much better, but we didn’t care. Never once did I feel intimidated or even embarrassed. Nor did I get any golf-ball-biting urges. Between swings, we ordered a few appetizers, drinks, and shared an entree, and were surprised at how good the food was. Also, we were only supposed to play for an hour, but we extended our time not once but twice in order to keep playing. When we finally tore ourselves away, we agreed this Topgolf date was a repeat. As we were driving home, we were even thinking of other couples to bring with us in the future. Regardless of your relationship status with golf, give Topgolf a try. You may even see us there sometime. 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 A native Georgian, she lives in Woodstock with her husband and two sons. Drop by her blog,, or email her at

Feeling overwhelmed by your photo collection?


B C Be ee err & &W Wiin ne eM Ma ak kiin ng gE Eq qu uiip p& &K Kiitts s Crra afftt B Be ee errs sa an nd dC Ciid de errs s B Ba as se e& &A Ad djju un nc ctt B Brre ew wiin ng gG Grra aiin nss – –E Ex xttrra accttss – –S Su ug ga arr – –Y Ye ea asstt -- H Ho op pss H Hy yd drro om me ette errss – –C Ca arrb bo oy yss – –B Bu ucck ke ettss – –B Bo ottttlle ess – –C Ca ap pss – –C Co orrk kss -- K Ke eg gss ST T,, S Stte e1 10 01 1,, C CA AR RT TE ER RS SV VIIL LL LE E,, G GA A 77 70 0--3 38 83 3--3 31 10 00 0 1 10 01 10 0N N.. T TE EN NN N.. S 7

HOURS - Tues – Fri 11-5

C lo s e d S a t , S u n & M o n

G ow wlle errs sF Fiilllle ed d -- F Fiin nd dU Us sO On nF Grro Fa ac ce eb bo oo ok k -- V Ve ette erra an nO Ow wn ne ed d//O Op pe erra atte ed d

Get them out of hiding and protect them. Create an archive that tells your family’s story. Follow us on Facebook to learn about FREE Photo Organizing Seminars. Mention this ad and receive a 10% discount For more information, call David McDonough at 404.835.7239 or email

The Academy Inspiring Success

Forget those new superhero lunchboxes and designer jeans — It’s choosing the right school for your child that will inspire the confidence necessary for lifelong success!!








Two New Locations in Rome and Cartersville



Call 706-295-3484

201 Turner McCall Blvd Rome, GA 30165








Call 678-721-6661

927 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy, SE Cartersville, GA 30120

Contact Admissions Today












Who Am I Going to See Again?



When it comes to the planning of the family calendar, sometimes it’s better to just go along for the ride.

y wife is the Smyth family planner. happy life.” That means she’s in charge of travel The first concert in the series was a young plans, medical appointments, weekly country artist named Cody Johnson. I had never where-to-be’s, and weekend agendas. heard of him, much to the chagrin of my children With as many kids as we have and work-related who thought my ticket was being wasted on a and other events on top of that, the entire calendar heathen. So the night of the concert came, and my is usually full. It’s so hectic, I’m trying to teach the wife and I picked up our double dates, our dear dog how to run the mower to free up more time, friends Bekki and Eric. It works out that both our but he keeps chasing squirrels with it and running wives are named Becky, so Eric and I can yell one over my liriope. (Not going to lie, I had to look up name and double our chances that someone will the spelling.) actually answer us. Usually, my wife tells me our schedule at the The venue at Ridge Ferry Park was set up nicely, beginning of the week, and by Tuesday afternoon, I the weather was perfect, and we had special tickets have completely forgotten it. I think she adds stuff that got us into a reserved area. There were three and tells me she told me just to acts in all, although I mistakenly drive me a little closer to insanity, thought the second guy was but I can’t prove it. I’m thinking the headliner and that we were about wearing a wire. getting to go home early. The food “As I’ve gotten Recently, she informed me vendors were good as well, and all that she had signed us up for the in all, we had a great time. It turns older, my lust for Rome Recreation Department’s out Cody Johnson puts on a good 2021 Summer Concert Series. I’ve show, and unlike some concerts the maddening been to a lot of concerts during I’ve been to, I could still hear when crowd and my life, and as I’ve gotten older, I left. my lust for the maddening crowd We ended the night at the overpriced drinks Waffle House, and honestly, I felt and overpriced drinks has dulled a bit. I remember my very first a bit younger again. Like I could has dulled a bit.” concert was back in 1982. It was still hang like I did back in the Men At Work, and I wore my best day. Now don’t get me wrong, I white painter’s paints to rock out was tuckered the next day, and to “Who Can It Be Now?” Since there were a few young ladies at then, I’ve seen everyone from Led Zeppelin to Billy the show I felt needed their mommas called for what Joel and attended more than 100 live music events. they were wearing, but overall it was a lot of fun, and I’ve met a lot of big names in music and enjoyed I’m looking forward to the next one. many backstage passes. But as I’ve gotten older, the I guess the lesson here is twofold. First, even if thought of parking a county over from the venue, it’s been a while, get out there and try things again; hiking a couple of miles to see a spec on the stage you just might have a great time. And second, don’t sing and dance at upwards of a college tuition for question your wife about what she told you, because admission, just doesn’t excite me like it used to. So you’re going to lose the argument and have to go when my wife told me we were signed up for several anyway. So you might as well be in a good mood concerts over the summer, I was less than over when you get there. the moon. But she loves concerts, so “happy wife,

38 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021 | 39


Happiness is a day at the beach with sand between your toes and sunburn on your nose.

40 | NW GEORGIA LIVING Summer 2021

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

Profile for Laura  Wood

Northwest Georgia Living: Summer 2021  

Northwest Georgia Living: Summer 2021

Northwest Georgia Living: Summer 2021  

Northwest Georgia Living: Summer 2021


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded