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MAY 2017 | VOL. 8, ISSUE 5



Serving the Sandhills & Southern Piedmont

MAY 2017 | 1


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features MAY 2017

DIY Boom Issue


24 Two Journeys DIY Style by Nan Leaptrott

30 Honoring World War II Veterans Series: Al Brafford by Carrie Frye

36 6 Easy Springtime DIY Projects by Rachel Stewart & Carrie Frye

4 | MAY 2017

Carolina Conversations with “This Old House” Master Carpenter Norm Abram by Carrie Frye

50 Woodworking, Painting & Découpage: Keeping Arts in the Family by Michelle Goetzl

56 A Garden for the Senses: Martha Franck Fragrance Garden by Jonathan Scott

MAY 2017 | 5

departments May 2017


“Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.”

advice & health


64 life


Ask the Expert by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA


Cooking Simple by Rhett Morris


Caregiving by Mike Collins


Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark


Brain Health by Taeh Ward, PhD


Senior Shorts Poetry by Ruth Moose


Achoo! Spring Allergies by Jennifer Webster



Nutrition by Laura Buxenbaum, MPH

Grey Matter Games Sudoku, Word Search & Crossword Puzzles



Resource Marketplace Find the resources you need. | MAY 2017


Over My Shoulder by Ann Robson


The Reader’s Nook by Michelle Goetzl

66 66 

Generations by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl




a Gift That Lasts All Year... 12 issues of

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910-692-9609 or mail a check to: P.O. Box 2478 Southern Pines, NC 28388

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advice previous issues recipes

magazine extras

MAY 2017 | 7

from the editor


ay is upon us, and 2017 seems to already be flying by at record pace. Spring’s full arrival brings this month’s theme of DIY Boom into full bloom. We came up with six easy craft projects for this issue, and with a lot of help from my teammate friends, we created each of them. As far as how they turned out, we will let you be the judge. To my AOS team, you have my abundant thanks and my undying gratitude for your sweat equity, time and talent. Not only did the projects leave this editor with plenty to smile about, I am also no longer afraid of using a glass cutter. Co-editor Jeeves made a great model for our repurposed vintage window frame, too, so check out our springtime craft projects on Page 36. We’ll also introduce you to some local crafters and artisans working with all kinds of mediums: wood, découpage, oils and pastels, and fabric and chalk paint. We go behind the scenes for Carolina Conversations with “This Old House” master carpenter Norm Abram, who lets us in on his own to-do project lists and making a career focused on craftsmanship. Our salute to World War II veterans continues this month with Hope Mills’ former mayor, Al Brafford. This month, Mr. Brafford celebrates his 101st birthday and 75th wedding anniversary with his lovely wife, Edith. It was my honor to spend an afternoon with him. This Memorial Day, we remember and honor those lost in service to our country and thank them and their families for their sacrifice. As we also celebrate mothers this month, there are some great and funny lessons learned in our “Over My Shoulder” column on Page 64, and some sweet answers to the “Generations” question, “What’s your favorite memory with your mom?” on Page 66. We wish all the moms a very Happy Mother’s Day from the OutreachNC team! As always, this issue is packed with information to help you age with success with everything from coping with spring allergies to toning your bones against osteoporosis. Thank you so much for turning pages with us again this month! Co-editor Jeeves is ready for some cuddle time. Until next month...

—Carrie Frye

8 | MAY 2017

Editor in Chief Carrie Frye | Contributing Graphic Designers Stephanie Budd, Nikki Lienhard, Jonathan Scott Contributing Proofreaders Michelle Goetzl, Jennifer Kirby, Kate Pomplun Contributing Photographers Katherine Clark, Diana Matthews, Mollie Tobias Carl Tremlay, Sarah Violette Contributing Writers Laura Buxenbaum, Mike Collins, Michelle Goetzl, Nan Leaptrott, Ruth Moose, Rhett Morris, Celia Rivenbark, Ann Robson, Jonathan Scott, Rachel Stewart, Taeh Ward, Jennifer Webster

Y Publisher Amy Natt | Marketing & Public Relations Director Susan McKenzie | Advertising Sales Executive Ashley Haddock | 910-690-9102 Advertising Sales Executive Butch Peiker | 904-477-8440 OutreachNC PO Box 2478 | 676 NW Broad Street Southern Pines, NC 28388 910-692-9609 Office | 910-695-0766 Fax

OutreachNC is a publication of The entire contents of OutreachNC are copyrighted by Aging Outreach Services. Reproduction or use without permission of editorial, photographic or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. OutreachNC is published monthly on the first of each month.

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MAY 2017 | 9


Our Aging Life Care ProfessionalsTM will answer any aging questions you may have.

Email us your questions!


Become Your Loved One’s Best Advocate by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA My brother lives in a care facility about an hour away. We try to go visit him once a month, and each time we do, he seems to be declining. We always find him in his room, often asleep in his chair. We ask him if he would be more comfortable in his bed, but he says he does not want to bother the staff. Other times he is soiled, because he couldn’t get to the bathroom in time. We keep encouraging him to ask for help, but he seems reluctant. Do you think we should be concerned?

Older adults are often reluctant to ask for help for a variety of reasons. This may or may not be a direct reflection of the environment. It is great that your brother has you as an advocate and you are correct to pay attention to any red flags. I would try talking more with your brother about the reasons he does not ask for help. He may feel that he is bothering the staff, and he may need your reassurance that they are there to help him. The staff may also need to be made aware that he would like to lie down after lunch or that he is having accidents. They may be able to implement a toileting schedule or other routine to help him get the assistance without having to ask for help each time. There may be cognitive issues that prevent him from verbalizing his needs. Is there a call system, and does he seem able to use it correctly? Is it in reach when he is sitting in his chair? Is his mood generally positive, or has he had difficulty adjusting? Has he been assessed by his medical provider for possible depression? Some people also have a fear of retaliation. This may be based on a reaction they received when asking for help in the past, or something earlier in life. Either way, it is good to try to get to the root of the fear. He may be worried about the staff reaction if he is disrupting their routine or requiring too much assistance. He may have had a bad experience in the past. 10 | MAY 2017

It is always a good idea to visit at different times and observe how the staff interact with your brother and with other residents. Is he always reluctant to ask for help, or is there a particular person he is avoiding? Does he have a roommate that he could be having an issue with? Is this a lifelong pattern or something new? Are there any other signs or unexplained behaviors that you have noticed? If you see something that concerns you, request a meeting with the person in charge to discuss these concerns. The staff may have concerns of their own specific to your brother and ideas that would help increase his interactions. Depending on the level of care he currently receives, he may be concerned that asking for help will trigger a change to the next level. For example, moving from independent living to assisted living, assisted living to skilled nursing or into a memory care unit. Fear of change can cause a person to resist help, even when they need it. Your job is to try to find out if that fear is legitimate or if he simply does not like asking others for help. If you continue to see red flags and the facility administrator or social worker is not able to help you address those concerns, you can always call the ombudsman or community advisory committee for your area. This is a person through the state’s Division on Aging

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that serves as an advocate for residents in longterm care settings. You can contact your local health and human services office or the main office in Raleigh to get the appropriate contact by calling 919-855-4800. Finally, you can consider hiring a private care manager to help advocate for your brother and work with the care facility to ensure all his needs are met. It can be helpful to have an extra set of eyes and a professional opinion to sort through the variety of issues that may be going on. This can also be beneficial if you are going to be out of town or unable to visit for a few weeks. A great resource is the Aging Life Care Association at their website, . Continue to be your brother’s advocate and keep notes regarding any specific concerns, dates and what you observed. You will find that the majority of staff are ready and willing to help but may need some direction or suggestions as to how they can better meet his needs. Get to know the staff and help them get to know your brother, his likes, dislikes and reluctance to seek assistance. If you can’t be there in person, call to check on him and consider getting other family members, friends or a professional to go by and visit. Adjustments late in life can be challenging, so continue to help him navigate this transition and offer your support.

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Readers may send questions to Natt, an Aging Life Care ProfessionalTM, certified senior advisor and CEO of Aging Outreach Services. She can be reached at . | 919.733.2750 | 877.627.6724 PRESENTED BY




MAY 2017 | 11



Five Simple Movements to Put More Spring in Your Step by Mike Collins


his is the do-it-yourself issue of OutreachNC, so here’s a do-it-yourself health quiz for caregivers. Simply put a check beside the statements that are true:

1. More aches and pains than usual 2. More headaches 3. Tired a lot of the time 4. Don’t have the strength for many daily activities 5. Experience “cotton mouth” more often than in the past 6. Colds and other simple ailments seem to linger 7. Emotional moments seem deeper and more difficult to move through.

Simply put, all those experiences are reported by caregivers as outcomes of not being as healthy as they should be—and need to be. Caregivers and researchers are discovering that the time and energy expenditures needed to deal with caregiving duties and stresses are causing more health issues. In short, most people are simply not in good enough physical condition to be caregivers. If you were experiencing some of the seven symptoms above before you became a caregiver, they are probably worse now. Yes? I tell caregivers that if you know you have a caregiving experience in your future—and you know who you are— you need to think about the term “caregiver athlete.” Now, I could tell you that “caregiver athlete” is really a catchy sounding, benign, marketing term that does not mean I’m asking you do anything physically extraordinary. The physical and emotional demands on caregivers can be extraordinary. Pushing a wheelchair full of Mama around a mall or walking around in the house with wandering Dad who has dementia is exhausting. All the time and energy it takes to keep two households in place is so much more than is normal for you, and all of 12 | MAY 2017

this requires much more energy. The only way to get the extra energy is to train your body to create it. However, so often, when I encounter information about how caregivers can stay healthy, here’s what I might as well be reading and hearing: Walk to Myrtle Beach, go to the gym and lift weights until your eyes pop out, do yoga until you can do that pose that makes you look like a pregnant giraffe on an icy pond, and swim the English Channel and bike in the Tour de Aberdeen (on the same day). Let’s get serious, though. It is possible for some caregivers to find time to exercise. In fact, if you can simply get out and walk for only 20 minutes a day, the positive effects of aerobic movement, not to mention some fresh air and, possibly, interaction with friends and others, can be amazing. For many folks, though, lack of time and a daunting schedule simply don’t make it possible. Many caregivers go see their loved one immediately after work, or their caregiving duties are their work, and they are with their loved one most of the day. Can you get in a little better shape, be a little better able to handle the demands of caregiving and not fall into bed totally exhausted every night? Yes! Can you get an adequate-to-good workout and never leave your, or your loved one’s home, and not have the workout take hours? Absolutely! However, please consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. You only need five simple “movements.” I’m not calling them “exercises,” because that sounds like work. Start with three to five repetitions for each movement. Do them slowly, and work up to 15 reps. You can do the five exercises as a workout, or do them one at a time, spread them over a half-hour or a whole day. Even a little is better than nothing. The key to not getting injured is to start easy and light, and do the repetitions slowly.

Here we go: Shoulder Shrugs: The shoulders are the weak link in picking anything up. Find something of moderate weight (3-5 pounds), hold one in each hand and, with your arms by your side and slightly bent, simply do the shoulder shrug.



Stairs: The best, most natural workout apparatus is a flight of stairs. If walking up a flight of stairs makes you winded, you need these exercises more than you know. Start with walking halfway up, rest, then finish. If you don’t have stairs in your home, simply go outside to the steps that probably lead into your house. Start at the bottom and step up, then step down. Step up again with the same leg and repeat five times. If you have long legs, you may want to take the steps two at a time.


Push-Away: Stand arms-length from a wall or closed door. Put your hands flat against the surface and lean forward. Slowly lower yourself until your nose, chin or forehead touches the surface, and then slowly push yourself away, back to arm’s length. This exercise works the chest, arms and front of your shoulders.


Calf-Raise: Remember standing on tiptoes to look over a fence or someone’s shoulder at a concert? You weren’t actually on your toes, you were

on the balls of your feet. Take your shoes off (and socks if you are going to be on wooden stairs) and stand on a stair step or thick books. Make sure the balls of your feet are solidly on the surface, and let the rest of each foot hang over the edge. Brace yourself with your hand on a wall or stair rail. Slowly, lower your heels until you feel the stretch in your foot. Then, slowly raise yourself as high as you can; hesitate, and then slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Start with very low reps, maybe three to five, and do the exercise very slowly. This is a challenging exercise. Take it slow, and expect some soreness.


Pull-To: You need a back exercise to balance the Push-Away you did for the chest. This is another “be careful” exercise. Get a short length of rope or a sturdy belt, loop it over or around a sturdy, stationary object (railing, porch column, small tree), and then hold each end in a hand. Stand so you can lean back (don’t do this with only socks on or on a slick floor) and then pull yourself forward until you are standing straight up. (You’re smart; you’ll figure it out by feel.) That’s it! If you do these five movements on a regular basis, you’ll start building a reservoir of strength and energy that allows you to meet the physical challenges of caregiving. Having physical strength and energy always helps deal with emotional challenges. Finally, drink more water, eat a little better and get rest whenever you can. Remember: “You take care of you!” Collins is the producer of the video, “Care for the Caregiver,” winner of a National Caregiver Friendly Award from Today’s Caregiver Magazine. For more ways to deal with the craziness of caregiving, visit . ©2017 Mike Collins

MAY 2017 | 13



Picnic Perfect Mason Jar Gazpacho by Rhett Morris | Photography by Diana Matthews



• 1 16-oz. can plum tomatoes, undrained • 6 fresh basil leaves • 1 English cucumber, finely diced

• 1 cup Bloody Mary mix

• 1 8-oz. can corn, drained

• ¼ cup red wine vinegar

• ½ cup onion, diced

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1 celery stalk, diced

• salt and pepper to taste

• 2 garlic cloves, diced

• 1 celery stalk, cut in half

14 | MAY 2017

Leave out ¼ cup each of corn, onion and cucumber for garnish. Put first 10 ingredients in food processor or blender, and mix on high for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve in a Mason jar, and garnish with corn, cucumber and onion mixture, and add celery stalk.

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MAY 2017 | 15



The Do-It-Yourself Brain by Taeh Ward, PhD


ust like our muscles, the human brain functions under the principle of “use it or lose it.” This means that rarely used connections between brain cells (neurons) become weaker and can be eliminated over time when you stop using certain skills or are no longer exposed to specific environments. Exercising your brain strengthens and creates new neural connections and reorganization. Researchers initially thought that the human brain was static and stopped developing as we grew older, but newer studies show that the brain can change over a lifetime. Neuroplasticity is the process by which the brain continues to reorganize itself by forming new connections in response to changes in behavior or environment. Developing new thoughts and skills can carve out new pathways in the brain. Neuroplasticity allows individuals to recover from strokes or other brain injury by developing new connections in the brain to compensate for areas of damage. Research shows that engaging in new, unique and complex activities or environments and then practicing the skills necessary to participate promotes more neuroplastic changes in the brain. In research on mice, living in an enriched environment with greater learning and physical activity decreased age-related

brain degeneration. Both mental and physical exercise help to maintain brain function over time. Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to increase mental stimulation and neuroplasticity in the brain. DIY promotes and strengthens new neural connections through: • MOTIVATION: being alert and motivated to complete a project • CREATIVITY AND COMPLEXITY: coming up with a new project • PLANNING: thinking through the steps and materials needed and prioritizing what comes first • ORGANIZATION: obtaining and organizing necessary materials • NEW LEARNING: learning new skills as needed to complete the project • PRACTICE: using old and new skills to complete the task • PROBLEM SOLVING: thinking outside of the box, working around challenges, coming up with solutions for problems during the project • MENTAL STIMULATION: DIY projects in general are mentally stimulating, which can be increased by listening to music while you work. • EXERCISE: Most DIY projects require increased movement; even if you sit throughout the task, you are still moving your arms.

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Compensatory strategies can be used to reduce frustration during DIY projects. Use a written plan, drawings and simple schematics to visualize how the project should look when finished, and to determine the needed materials. Carry your plans with you when gathering your materials. Discuss your project with others to help you think through the necessary steps and materials, and to learn from others who may have more experience. Prepare a shopping list of necessary products and materials, and for what the item is needed, such as plants for specific-sized pots. Carry a small tape measure and calculator (or cell phone with calculator function) with you when shopping. Bring samples with you or obtain samples at the store in order to match colors, textures and materials. Be mindful of safety during your project by reading warning labels on products, asking questions when purchasing materials, using safety devices, like gloves

and protective glasses, and reading do-it-yourself magazines, manuals or online instructions and videos. Break the project down into small steps and set realistic goals regarding how much you hope to complete each day. Reduce the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed by focusing on individual steps and daily goals instead of the project as a whole, and having fun no matter how well the project turns out. Most importantly, remember that even planning or starting a DIY project results in mental stimulation. So, while finishing the task results in positive emotions, engaging in any part of a DIY project promotes brain health and neuroplasticity. Dr. Ward, a clinical neuropsychologist at Pinehurst Neuropsychology, can be reached at 910-420-8041 or by visiting .

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MAY 2017 | 17

Achoo! by Jennifer Webster


pring allergies and asthma try to steal your experience of one of the most beautiful times of the year. Don’t let them. May is ripe with flowers. In central and western North Carolina, April brings dogwood, azalea and redbud, while May opens the blossoms of crab apples, mountain laurels and wild cherries. The lessdramatic plants are blooming, too. We may not notice pine tree or hardwood flowers, but we do notice when they coat our cars in yellow pollen. And then there are those spidery bundles of pecan flowers that pile up in porch corners and clog gratings. The result: lots of people experience spring allergies, with symptoms ranging from sneezing and coughing to red, watery eyes and sinus headaches. Other people find that their allergies develop into asthma, or cause existing asthma to flare up. That’s known as allergic asthma.

What Is an Allergy?

The human body has evolved to protect itself. We blink when something touches our eyelashes. We swell up around a broken bone or sprained joint, limiting movement and further damage. An allergic reaction, too, is a self-protecting mechanism, even though it may be excessive for the stimulus that inspired it. When we encounter an allergen— something that our immune system takes to be a threat—we produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E, also known as IgE. The IgE antibodies deploy in response to the “distress signal” to help out. IgE attaches to white blood cells called mast cells, which then release histamines, causing allergy symptoms. 18 | MAY 2017

Some of their help makes sense; watery eyes and sneezes, for instance, can expel foreign matter. But a lot of times, this help is overkill. Scientists aren’t sure why some people have allergies and some don’t; they also don’t always know why certain substances trigger allergic reactions. They do know allergies run in families, and they can test to find out which substances are triggering allergies.

Airway Attack

In allergic asthma, the allergen causes the bronchial tubes, or airways into the lungs, to swell. This can trigger an asthma attack, with wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath. The muscles around the airways can tighten, making it even harder to breathe. While asthma is a lifelong condition, the allergens that trigger allergic asthma may come and go.

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You may not want to stay out of the spring flora—and who can blame you? However, you can take steps to ease the exposure. Your house: Limit the pollen that travels inside. For instance, take off jackets, boots or work shirts before entering. Inside your house, sweep, vacuum and mop to get rid of any pollen that may have wafted through the door. If you run air conditioning, make sure you have a new, anti-allergen filter on the unit. Some people find a portable air purifier helps, too. Outside: Plan your outdoor time around days and locations with less pollen activity. You can use a local pollen guide to help. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality posts detailed pollen breakdowns and trends at Dryer, windier weather tends to spread pollen, while it may be easier to breathe when the air is very wet and humid. Your body: Shower and wash your hair after spending time outdoors. Use nasal spray or a neti pot to help clear airways. It’s easy to use over-the-counter allergy medicine as needed, but some people experience drowsiness and other side effects. If you already know you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider visiting your doctor before allergy season starts. He or she may suggest preventive measures to stop allergic reactions before they occur, such as allergy shots or prescription medications. If you have asthma, your doctor can also help you plan to avoid attacks and make sure you have the right tools to care for an attack on-thespot if it occurs.

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MAY 2017 | 19



When Calling, Pay Attention, As Some Options May Have Changed by Celia Rivenbark


hy is it that every time you call a business office, medical office, government agency, even a retail store, you are greeted with an automatic response that immediately instructs you to “listen carefully, as some of our menu options may have changed.” I hate change. I want my menu options to stay the same no matter what. But, apparently, much of the average workday is spent making sure the department that used to be “Press One” is now “Press Two” or, for our Spanish-speaking customers, “Numero Dos.” I will admit that I often want to press Numero Dos just to mess with them. When the Spanish prompt picks up, maybe I’ll just start yelling “SAY IT IN AMURICAN!!!” Oh, settle down. I have a lot of time on my hands since I finished “House of Cards.” Apparently a lot of people are upset about having to talk to customer service reps that are half a world away. I’ve noticed commercials in which businesses crow about how you will get a “real, live, Englishspeaking person who will not try to sell you additional merchandise” when you call with a question or complaint. Hahahahahahahahahahaha. No. What I meant to say was, I don’t object to calls being outsourced as long as they keep the options the same. I don’t care that “Craig” in Bangladesh is halfway around the world. I don’t even care that we all know his real name is not Craig but he thought Americans are a skittish lot and would be freaked out by Reyansh. Craig sounds very Midwestern hot dish and therefore trustworthy. Just stop changing the options. It happens so often with one office I call that I honestly wonder if they’re just bored.

20 | MAY 2017

“Susie, what are you going to do today?” “Ima going to change up these options again. Boo-ya!” “Why? What’s wrong with the current options?” “Nothing. But they haven’t been changed in a few days and we don’t want people getting too comfortable.” And to keep you on high alert, note that it’s always “SOME options have changed.” Really? Just some of them? Why not all of them? Answer me, Craig/Reyansh! Sometimes, they say that “SOME options MAY have changed.” Don’t be coy. I can’t take the suspense. And while we’re on the subject, why do they always say: “Please pay attention” with this kind of vaguely disappointed tone as if they assume the caller is a dumbbell who won’t be able to remember whether he wants new option 1 or old option 4. Wait. What was 1 again? Ack! Now I gotta hang up and start all over again. No! I can just go press zero for an operator. OK, disconnected. In conclusion, I will call back and pay better attention because some options may or may not have changed and, well, my call is very important to them. They told me so. Right before they cut me off after being on hold for 20 minutes.

Rivenbark is the best-selling author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at . ©2017 Celia Rivenbark. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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3 Tips to Tone Your Bones and Prevent Osteoporosis by Laura Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN


ccording to the National Institutes of Health, more than 40 million Americans are at risk for developing osteoporosis-a disease that makes bones weak, brittle and more prone to fractures. What’s hard to understand is osteoporosis is a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences. Preventing broken bones late in life starts in childhood and continues as an adult with healthy lifestyle habits. Consider these three tips to tone your bones and prevent fractures and osteoporosis:


More Milk Please Healthy bones must have the mineral calcium. The best foods sources of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified cereal and dark green leafy vegetables. Research shows that most of us are drinking more sugar sweetened beverages and less milk. By adding one more serving of milk-either at meals or snacks- it’s possible to close the calcium gap and enjoy the bone building benefits.

Almond Mocha Iced Coffee • 1 ½ cups low-fat chocolate milk (can use lactose-free chocolate milk, if lactose sensitive) • ½ cup cold-brewed coffee or regular brewed coffee • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

22 | MAY 2017

Combine all ingredients, and stir well. Serve over ice.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie • 1 cup strawberries, frozen • 1 banana, peeled • 1 (5.3-ounce) container low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt • 1/2 cup low-fat milk Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.


Enjoy the Sun Vitamin D or the “Sunshine Vitamin” is made in the body with the help of UV rays and aids in absorption of calcium. While sunlight is the top source, other sources of vitamin D include salmon, eggs, milk, butter, tuna and sun-dried mushrooms. The overuse of sunscreen and lack of time spent outdoors have been cited as reasons for vitamin D deficiency.


Aim to be Active Daily physical activity is a healthy habit for all families. Aim for 30 minutes each day, most days of the week. Weight-bearing activities like walking, running, hiking, climbing, dancing and lifting weights is necessary to prevent fractures and maintain healthy bones. Remember, it is never too late or too early to make better bone health a family priority. And, try one of these healthy drink recipes to cool off this spring, which are good for your bones, too.

Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN, assistant director of nutrition affairs of the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc., can be reached at 800-343-4693 or , or visit

MAY 2017 | 23

Two Journeys

DIY Style

by Nan Leaptrott Photography by Diana Matthews

A Journey with Wood


tay awhile. This is the immediate feeling one gets when you walk into Jim Wiltjerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pinehurst home. Everything you see is a welcoming panorama where elegant charm and luxurious components intersect. You instinctively know this is not just another story. This is about a journey of a man who picks up a piece of wood as a boy and never stops carving and creating fine wood pieces, all while his journey takes him on many other interesting paths.

24 | MAY 2017

Being resourceful is a life skill Wiltjer first learned on the farm where he was raised. Living close to nature and his interest in natural wood helped him choose forestry as his college major. Another strong interest he has was being active in ROTC, which led him to a career in the Air Force, where he flew F-100, F-105 and F-106 fighter planes. After leaving the Air Force, Wiltjer became a pilot for Pan Am until its demise and later flew for Delta. Any down time Wiltjer had, he’d pick up pieces of wood and make something, a three-piece stool or a redesigned end table or coffee table. Soon his passion for woodworking grew more sophisticated. His home now reflects his talent as a craftsman. “My approach with each wood making project is simple,” he says. “First, I see it in my mind. I study photographs, especially in Fine Woodworking Magazine, rely on my wife Diane’s inspiration, chart a plan and head to my workshop.” Wiltjer’s workshop, which is a former garage, is like none other. The floor is knotted pine and pristine clean. He wanted a wood floor, because a dropped tool on a cement floor will dull his instruments. The room is temperature ready, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wiltjer works from an innovative saw horse. It is light weight, collapsible and easy to store. Across one wall, he has made pull-out box drawers, each one labeled with what tool is in that particular drawer. He has plans to make another wall of storage containers. “I like to know where everything is placed,” he says. “I don’t like to spend time looking for the right nail or screwdriver.”


MAY 2017 | 25


Wiltjer hasn’t met many projects that he hasn’t taken to with enthusiasm. “If something doesn’t look or feel right, I’d take it apart and start over,” he says. Back in his house, there is plenty of his handiwork on display, including an ornate, handcrafted bathroom vanity. “Diane found this beautiful china wash bowl and asked me to make a commode table for it,” he recalls. “The space is tight, but the table fits perfectly with enough room for a bar on the side to hold a guest towel.” Downstairs is a huge living space where your eyes go immediately to the Country French-inspired bookcase. Each of the shelves is precisely measured. Books rest comfortably and perfectly in the box-like structure. They do not fall to the back, they are easy to see and retrieve, leaving no room for a book to be askew or for shelves to collect dust. Framing the center of the room is a magnificent fireplace. The mantle features crown molding with carved fluted columns. The fireplace is inviting; it is a welcoming signal that demands you curl up in a chair and read a book or study a Fine Woodworking Magazine. Building furniture and wood pieces for his own home is not all Wiltjer does. He takes his tools and goes to help others with needed projects. The Woman’s Exchange is a great example. Wiltjer took an old spinning wheel, reworked it and put a shine to a part of history. He also rebuilt their back door that had rotted on their historic cabin that serves as a welcome center and also serves lunch. The specials of the day are listed on a framed board Wiltjer made. Wiltjer is a humble man, a learned man, a man of great talent, a man who has lived his life well, a man whose journey with wood has turned him into a selftaught, notable craftsman. 26 | MAY 2017

A Journey with Tapestry

here is a quiet strength and multi-dimensional personality Patti O’Day of Pinehurst exhibits. She has written advertisements for television networks and many articles for various publications, but it is tapestry with its rich texture mingled with subtle color hues that captured her attention for a successful DIY project. O’Day selects tapestry from various sources, and the splendid and singular pieces of tapestry line her workroom shelves. One look and you know O’Day is about to embark on a tapestry journey, a journey which begins with an astute observation. “Women were ruining their backs with large, heavy purses flung over their shoulders,” she says. So O’Day picked up a piece of her tapestry and began to design fabric purses, and “Be Kind to Your Back & Neck. Carry a Lighter Purse,” became her slogan. O’Day created a successful business with her hand-designed purses until the mind-set of women changed. “Today’s woman wants to carry the largest purse possible, and the more they can stuff in them, the happier they are,” she adds. “Women are again ruining their backs, but for now, their backs are not their focus; big bags, today’s fashion gets their attention. The flourish of big bag fashion slowed my business.”




A slowed-down business didn’t deter O’Day, though. She uses her creative genius in other ways. She searches for old but great pieces of furniture. She refinishes them and is very successful in selling her work online and to special clients. “My premise is to preserve and restore furniture, not go to the big box stores and buy new,” she says. “This saves money, and when a project is finished, there is a sense of pride in what you accomplished yourself.” A more recent DIY endeavor for O’Day is to use chalk paint on furniture and fabric. This is a newer twist on the old and provides interesting results. Chalk painting uses a different technique from regular painting, which is becoming very popular. O’Day suggests these tips for using chalk paint on fabric:

28 | MAY 2017

• If the weather permits, paint outside. If inside, make sure to have a drop cloth beneath the project, so paint won’t spill onto the floor. • Before you begin, have the necessary tools arranged in the order they will be used. • When working with fabric, use a spray bottle filled with water to wet the fabric, but do not soak the fabric, just dampen it. • Make sure the fabric is completely dry before applying the chalk paint, which can take up to three days. • After the fabric is dry, mix about 20 percent water to into the chalk paint. Use a medium-size paint brush or a smaller one depending on the area you need to cover. • Make sure all your strokes are in the same direction. • To get a good coverage in the grooves of a pillow, use a tiny art brush. “The fabric will not feel the same when chalk paint is used,” O’Day says. “It will have a firmer texture. There are so many options when using chalk paint, so many colors with which to work. I can create stripes using tape, make circles or create art-deco designs. When my projects are finished, I take a long look and believe I am entering a beautiful furniture showroom.” With O’Day, there is always something waiting to be created. She is a woman who has an eye for design, a woman with impeccable taste, a woman who isn’t afraid to tackle any DIY project. Be it wood or tapestry, two different journeys can be linked together with DIY creative ingenuity.

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DECEMBER 2016 | MAY 2017 | 2961

Honoring World War II veterans Series «»

Al brafford

by Carrie Frye Photography by Katherine Clark 30 | MAY 2017


itting quietly in his room at the North Carolina Veterans Home in Fayetteville, wearing his Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630 Hope Mills hat, this former sergeant thumbs through the day’s newspaper. But back in 1944, World War II led every headline, and Alfred Brafford of Rocky Mount was newly married when he was drafted and became an “enlisted man,” ready and willing to serve his country. Brafford headed to Fort Chaffee in Arkansas for his Army training. An orphan, Brafford spent his youth working on a dairy farm, so he was ready for the hard work that came along with being in the Army and had his mind set on learning artillery. “I thought I was ready for the big guns, but my eyes weren’t good enough, bad eyes,” Brafford laments. “So I couldn’t do artillery. The Army works like an Army, and you have to learn and accept that you may have to kill people in war. I have fired and practiced, but I have never shot a gun in anger.” CONTINUED PAGE 33

MAY 2017 | 31

32 | MAY 2017


hen I came home and saw my wife waiting for me at Fort Bragg ... I’ll never forget how she looked that day.



Brafford’s journey of service continued from Arkansas to Illinois and then finally to Boston before boarding a ship to England and onward to France, where the war raged. His orders led him to the 199th General Hospital in Rennes, France, where he worked in medical records. “I was a records keeper, and we kept track of all the soldiers that came in and out of the hospital,” Brafford recalls. “It was long hours and a lot of paperwork. We were busy, because the war was red hot then. France was in ruins, battered to hell, but the people made do. It’s what war can do.” The days were long at the hospital, but Sgt. Brafford labored on. He remembers how cigarettes and soap were valuable commodities for the soldiers and that a regular meal usually included Brussels sprouts, which is still not his favorite, and how ice cream was hard to get, but it remains one of his favorites. “I supervised one section, and one day we took in a train load of wounded, discharged them and put them on a ship back to the U.S.,” he says. Brafford carried out his duty at the French hospital until the war ended in September 1945, but he wasn’t sent back home right away. He ended up at a base in Birmingham, Alabama, to finish his Army service. By the end of the year, he was finally headed home to North Carolina and his bride. “When I came home and saw my wife waiting for me at Fort Bragg,” Brafford says, “after I had been gone for more than a year, that was special, I’ll never forget how she looked that day. She looked like an angel.” Brafford celebrates his 101st birthday this month and 75 years of marriage with his wife, Edith. He studied textiles at N.C. State University and settled into textile mill jobs in Hope Mills. He still had service in his heart after his return from the war, settling in Hope Mills and serving as the town’s mayor and commissioner for seven terms. “I have had a good life,” says Brafford with a thoughtful gaze, turning the pages of a photo album, “a good family, good friends and Hope Mills is home.”

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MAY 2017 | 33

RESOURCE MARKETPLACE DID YOU KNOW? May is National Egg Month • Eggs are an all-natural source of high-quality protein and a number of other nutrients, all for 70 calories per large egg.

• A new study by Purdue University indicates that adding boiled eggs to a salad increases vitamin E absorption.

• A review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, eating one egg a day reduces risk of stroke by 12 percent.

• Nutrition research suggests eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function and eye health. • Source:


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MAY 2017 | 35


Easy Springtime DIY Projects by Rachel Stewart & Carrie Frye Photography by Diana Matthews

36 | MAY 2017


pring has finally sprung-and there’s no better way to freshen up your surroundings than to take on a do-it-yourself project. So set aside a weekend, and pick one or more of the following projects. Tackle them on your own or invite some friends and family, especially grandchildren, over for a fun, creative afternoon.


Reuse old containers for a mini garden. If you’re new to gardening or are short on space, building a container garden can be a good starting point. You can get creative using items from around the house, such as empty coffee cans, milk crates, a kiddie swimming pool, concrete blocks or a menagerie of leftover flower pots. Not only are all these options decorative, they’re great if you’re trying to grow a handful of things, such as herbs or flowers. Another popular approach is the 4 x 4 garden, where you take four wooden 4 x 4s and simply create a raised garden area. This is the perfect option if you’re wanting to plant a summer garden with tomatoes and squash. CONTINUED PAGE 38

MAY 2017 | 37



Use rain boots for a standup garden. Whether you’re a first-time gardener or a seasoned pro looking to add whimsy to your landscape, a pair of old rain boots can offer a quick early morning project. Pick up a pair of rain boots at a thrift store or grab a pair you haven’t worn in awhile from your own closet. Use a sharp knife to poke a few holes in the sole of the boots—this will allow water to drain naturally. Next, put a thin layer of rocks or gravel in the bottom for drainage. Add crumpled newspaper to take up some space in the bottom of the boots, depending upon how tall of a boot you choose, and then fill up the boots with the potting soil of your choice. At this point, you can plant some seeds or replant flowers or herbs you purchase from your local hardware store. Annual plants or flowers are a great choice for this type of planter, but you could also replant something from your existing garden. Once you’re done, plop the pair of boots on your front porch or by a pretty tree in your yard.

38 | MAY 2017


Pretty up a plain old pallet. Wooden pallets can be used for all sorts of crafting purposes such as being the basis for a futon to creating this console table for your home or office. Simply sand the pallet, trying to hit all of its rough edges. For a more shabby chic look, prime then paint the pallet in a pastel hue. Take a separate piece of wood that is a few inches longer than the width of the pallet that will serve as the tableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shelf. Paint or stain the shelf in a contrasting color. Attach the shelf to the top of the pallet with construction adhesive, nails or screws. Once dry, be sure to use a gloss to seal in the color. Now you have a fun side table you can use in your foyer, mudroom or office for mementos, magazines and more. CONTINUED PAGE 40

Need a pallet to do a project? Email us at or call 910-692-9609. MAY 2017 | 39



Make wine into waterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; a planter that is! Before you recycle that empty wine bottle, consider turning it into a planter for your indoor plants or creating a tabletop succulent garden. To get started, soak the label off of your wine bottle by using soapy water and a scrubber. The simplest way to cut a bottle is by using a bottle cutter, which you can purchase at your local craft store. Follow the instructions included with the glass cutter. You will need safety goggles and gloves, and the process can be tedious, but the end product is sure to please. Once your bottle is cut and ready for planting, put water in the bottom of the bottle with decorative rocks, shells, sea glass or whatever you prefer. Next, invert the top of the bottle neck so the stem goes down into the bottom of the bottle. Run a piece of cotton twine through the bottle neck, and make sure it goes into the water. Now add a small amount of potting soil and either seeds or a small indoor plant to complete your indoor garden.

Crafting note: Want to make the planter but avoid the wine-bottle cutting process? Bottles of all kinds and sizes are available for purchase online that are pre-cut and ready to go. For the succulent garden variation, use a glass cutter to cut off one side of the wine bottle or purchase a pre-cut wine bottle. Cut one cork in half and use a hot glue gun to attach on each side to act as feet to balance the bottle. Then fill the bottle with a thin layer of rock or gravel for drainage. Then add potting soil and two or three succulent plants. Build the garden from the middle out so all the plants have plenty of space to grow and thrive. To water your succulent garden, use a small watering can to drip water into the stem of the wine bottle and use a cork to seal it.

40 | MAY 2017


Turn back time by making your own custom clock. A treasured timepiece doesn’t have to come from a fancy store anymore. Why not try putting one together, with a DIY clock kit or a unique day-of-the-week clock? “This DIY clock is for all. It is a simple one-person project ... and it only takes a few minutes to complete,” says Elizabeth Ragsdale, owner of Southeastern Clocks in Whispering Pines. “Crafting of any kind is a great hobby for all ages. It keeps your mind and hands busy, and then seeing the final creation is rewarding itself.” For a clean, modern look, you could just attach the clock hands without numbers. Ragsdale recommends customizing any clock with fun additions or stand-ins for traditional numbers such as family pictures, flowers or dots. Each clock kit comes with easy-to-read instructions. You can turn just about any item you want into a functioning clock with a DIY clock kit. We took a plate, drilled a hole with a ceramic drill bit and added the clock kit to create a whimsical clock to hang in the kitchen. Wall decals are available online, so we ordered one and added a DIY clock kit to it to complete our own OutreachNC logo clock. The possibilities are endless. For more ideas or DIY clock kits, visit CONTINUED PAGE 42

MAY 2017 | 41



Reframe a vintage window. Typically found at antique stores or salvage yards, a vintage windowpane can serve as a unique picture frame. For a six-pane glass window, you could use each pane to showcase an individual photo by attaching a photo to the front side of the glass with tape or other adhesive. For a show-stopping photo or a larger portrait, cut the picture to fit the whole frame then attach it to the back side of the glass. Next, attach a wire hanger for easy display. Not a fan of photos? You could paint the frame and let it stand out as its own work of art hanging over a fireplace or by a staircase.

Did any of these craft projects inspire you? Share your photos with us! Email them to . Follow us on Facebook and look for more behind-the-scenes photos and videos of our DIY craft efforts.

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Carolina Conversations with

“This Old House” Master Carpenter

N OR M A BR A M by Carrie Frye


Photography by Carl Tremlay & Sarah Violette

hirty-eight years later, viewers are still tuning in to PBS and “This Old House,” deemed “TV’s original home-improvement show,” to watch the remarkable transformations of homes with the craftsmanship of the show’s master carpenter, Norm Abram. An author, columnist and former television host of “The New Yankee Workshop,” Abram is most at home when he is alongside his fellow “This Old House” home improvement professionals Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, Roger Cook and host Kevin O’Connor, showcasing the how-to know-how of their current project. Born in Rhode Island and the son of a carpenter, Abram may have been destined to take on the trade, but he still finds joy in a job well done and happy homeowners. At his home in Massachusetts, Abram, 67, discusses the show’s longevity, the importance of patience and taking your time with home projects, and the show’s new initiative, Generation NEXT, which is working with its partners to “close the skills gap by encouraging young people to master the vocational trades.”

❖ ONC: How did your love for carpentry develop? NA: Well. I grew up in a family that did a lot of things on their own. My father was a carpenter. I

think I got my first little tool kit, the Handy Andy Tool Set, and it was really meant for children (laughs), although I must say, today, they probably would not allow it, because it had some sharp tools. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of it, but then someone remembered and sent me one. I was probably 7 or 8 years year old. It was a Christmas gift. So being around my father who built a summer cottage that we spent our summers at and in the house I grew up in, I was always around carpentry. The first time my father took me to a site he was working at was when I was 9 years old. That day, he was installing hardwood flooring, and back then, we didn’t have all of those pneumatic nailers, so it was all hand nailing, and that was the beginning. As I got older, my father never had his own company, but he always worked for a remodeling contractor and then eventually a home builder. When I was 15, I started working all of my summer vacations and school vacations for the same company my father worked. And he was more of a lead person, so I was under him. I started from the very beginning, learning all of the basics, and worked my way up. It is definitely a process, but I just love the fact of the site, the smell of the wood, the day you can go there and take a pile of lumber and start cutting it up and start building a house, and at the end of the day, look at it and say, “We made some great progress today. Look, we got all the walls up.” So it is a very rewarding process, and I was hooked on it right from the very beginning.


44 | MAY 2017

MAY 2017 | 45


Since starting in 1979 with “This Old House,” did you think about it resonating with an audience so much that it would still be airing nearly 40 years later?

I had no idea what I was getting into at all (laughs). I had my own business going. I was introduced to Russell Morash, the executive producer and creator of the show, and he just took things he enjoyed and wanted to celebrate craftsmanship and show people how to do all of these things. When he approached me, I didn’t know what his job was, since I didn’t come from that world. So he just said, “Come and look at this project with me and see what you think.” He had seen some work I had done, and I was actually working on his property at the time. I was building a small structure, a small garage with a garden shed. Part of it was for a little woodworking shop. And ultimately, that building became part of “The New Yankee Workshop” show. We added on to it for the show, but the birth of it really started back then. The first project was a local show in Boston, 13 episodes. It was quite different from where we are now, because we have a general contractor and work it all out. Basically, he pulled together people he knew, and we did the job, and eventually, they auctioned it on the public television auction. Russell said, “Well, you know, this worked out pretty well. We broke even and showed some people how to do things, and maybe we’ll do this again.” Four or five months later, he called me and asked me to come look at another project. The rest is history. We are all blown away by the fact that we are still here 38 years later, and this show just keeps going. I think it is to Russell’s credit, because he really wanted to celebrate craftsmanship. He wanted it to be real, real people doing real work that showcases their skills. I think he has been successful. People watch the show for inspiration. We’ve influenced people to get into a building business and gotten people to appreciate the value of the trade. I think the mission is accomplished. What’s the most enjoyable part of doing the show?

For one thing, I work with the most wonderful group of people you could ever want to work with. We are all family, and I think viewers can see that in the show. They see that we are friends, and we have each other’s backs. We all believe in good, quality work and giving proper information. There will be days when you are on set 46 | MAY 2017

shooting a show and something will come up, and the producer may say we are going to talk about this, and we get to say we have to make sure and cover this point, because this is important in the process, and we don’t want to skip any steps. We have carried that through all of these years, and that’s what gives the show the credibility. Sometimes, you’re tired and show up on the set, but when you get in there and start doing your job, seeing the process, seeing happy homeowners, getting good public reaction to the show, you couldn’t ask for any more than that. My daughter was born during the second “This Old House” project. I remember the day clearly, so we all have seen our kids grow up. My daughter just got married last fall, and she’ll be 37 this year. Time goes by so quickly, but the bonds of friendship have always been very solid on the show. Are there any fun behind-the-scenes moments you can share?

Tom Silva is probably one of the best jokesters I have ever met. He always comes back with a line very quickly, and it is all in fun. It really takes the pressure off things when we are really pushing hard to get something done. Whenever things get edgy, Tommy makes some funny remark, everyone laughs and then we get back at it again. There are some fun scenes, a lot of joking around, this year in particular, Tommy has been picking on Kevin. It is always good fun. Can you tell us about the Arlington Arts & Crafts project (one of the latest home addition projects covered on several episodes)?

That project turned out great. If you saw the last show, Tom and I walked around back and looked at that addition, which was huge, and compared it to what was there. You could look at it, and say, “This looks like it has always been here.” It was well designed. Tommy, as always, is very detailed, and it came out perfect. It is one of our best projects I think. How do you balance keeping the homeowners happy with your work, the show and your family life?

It’s not easy. As I get older and look back, I say, “Wow, how did I do that?” I was doing “This Old House” and “The New Yankee Workshop” at the same time. CONTINUED PAGE 48

“This Old House” airs locally on PBS affiliate UNC-TV. Watch full episodes online at .

MAY 2017 | 47


I think one advantage we have as a team is that all of us are pretty disciplined in terms of getting things done in a timely way. We don’t waste any time, so that makes things easier. The travel, at times, can be tough, especially with a daughter and stepkids as well, when you have to leave for a week and work on a project and do personal appearances. That was hard, but it was also good to help build the recognition of the show. My family understood what we were trying to do, and in the long run, it turned out fine. It is never easy to balance all of those things. Do you still have plenty of projects at home, too?


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Oh yeah. One of the reasons I wanted to do less travel is to catch up on the things that I haven’t finished at home. Builders love it when they know I have my own projects I didn’t finish yet. It is not out of a lack of not wanting to do it; it is really finding the time to do it. Since stopping “The New Yankee Workshop” in 2008, now I’ve been picking away at little things that I never totally finished. I think for any homeowner, there is always a list. Now, I can’t help myself to be active and do things, so since I love carpentry, I have plenty of things to keep me in that realm. We are doing a little conversion in our kitchen. When I built the house, I put in an electric cooktop, and I was never really happy with the performance, but on the other hand, we didn’t have natural gas in the area. So a few years ago, I added a generator to our house, and with that I put in a propane tank, so now, I can put in a gas cooktop, so that’s my current project. I have to modify a couple things with the kitchen cabinets, but I don’t have to change the countertop.

Upcoming Dates: MAY 24 JUNE 28 JULY 26 | MAY 2017

What’s your best advice for attempting DIY projects?

There are a couple things to think about when you look at a project. I always tell people not to dive into something you feel overly uncomfortable doing. Start simple and move your way up through the process. The other thing people joke around with me about “The New Yankee Workshop” is that you can build anything. Don’t go out and buy all of these tools, because they won’t do the job for you if you don’t know how to use them. It all takes time, so start small. If you have a few tools, look at what you have and search for a project you can do with those tools. That’s what great about

the Internet now. There is a lot of information out there, and you can look things up or find an idea in a magazine. You will learn from your mistakes. I have learned more from my mistakes than anything else, why did I do that or skip this step. If you rush and get out of sequence, you compromise the work. Just be patient. Don’t take on more than you can handle.

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Since you are known for your famous flannel shirts, what’s your favorite color shirt?

It seems like anything with red, the Christmas-y look. I have been breaking the rules a little bit the past couple years and not wearing as many. I did wear a plaid shirt for the final show of the Arlington house, but most of my shirts are red or blue. Can you tell us about the Generation NEXT initiative?

It is really a nationwide issue, and the response has been amazing. When you tell people that there are 3 million skilled jobs in the construction industry alone that are empty because people haven’t been trained, and we don’t have the workers, people are shocked. There will be more, if we don’t fix the problem. What we are trying to do is use Generation NEXT to empower and encourage young people to consider the trades. Not everyone needs a four-year degree, and not everyone is meant to go to college, so it’s important to change the perception of the trades as lower level or unskilled. People often don’t appreciate the value of those that really know how to build or a good plumber or a good electrician. This country was built by people like that, so how do we maintain our houses moving forward, if we don’t have the people do it? Generation NEXT will feature stories with young people who went through the college process and are now getting into building trades. What we are doing this year with “This Old House” is buying a house. We will be the homeowners, and we are going to fix and modify it. We started a nationwide search for three apprentice positions through Generation NEXT to be featured on the show. (Go to, and click Generation NEXT for more information.)

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I am way into my Second 50. I am into my three quarters (laughs). For me, I think that the success of the Second 50 and beyond is keeping your mind active, keeping your hands active and doing things. Mentor young people and move forward, and use what you know and pass it on. You can never stop learning. Keeping the brain and the body moving, for me, that’s the most important thing.

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MAY 2017 | 49

Woodworking, Painting & Découpage

Keeping Arts in the Family by Michelle Goetzl | Photography by Mollie Tobias


amilies share lots of common traits. For some, it is an adventurous spirit filled with travel. For others there is a love of the outdoors. For some, it can be playing or watching sports. For the Rappaport family, there is a deep love of art. While artistic ability is not necessarily an inherited trait, being around people who enjoy and appreciate art does have a way of passing on that love. For Sheldon “Shelly” Rappaport, his love of woodwork came from his father, who would make odds and ends with hand tools. Rappaport spent his career in manufacturing, starting out as a draftsman and working his way up within the truck manufacturing industry in New Jersey. Rappaport took to crafting handmade redwood furniture as a way to relax from a long day on the job. The father of three daughters, he also found himself building dollhouses and other toys. What really changed his focus was being stood up for a lunch appointment when he wandered into a hobby shop, where he found a book on how to make toy construction vehicles. The book started a love affair with making toys for his grandchildren. When his daughter had twin boys, his truck making really took off. His grandsons, Joshua and Dan, now have collections of their grandfather’s work that are currently put away for their own children. Rappaport continues to build cars and trucks, though less elaborate than many he made for his older grandchildren. His current models are inspired by his younger grandchildren who are students in the Waldorf School in New York. “Our youngest daughter’s friends are our best customers,” Rappaport says, “because they don’t want plastic toys for their children. It has encouraged me to make more simple, classic toys.” After retiring to the Sandhills, Rappaport decided to delve deeper into his woodworking and to branch out, partially because he is no longer working but mostly because he now has the space.


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MAY 2017 | 51


art of the fun in working with wood is that you never know exactly what you are going to get.” —SHELLY RAPPAPORT


“In New Jersey, we had a twocar garage,” Rappaport says, “and in Florida the same. We moved to Pinehurst and what was supposed to be a golf-cart garage has become a real shop.” Rappaport first saw woodworking as an escape, but now, it is his joy. “I don’t play golf anymore,” Rappaport says, “but sometimes, when my body aches, I go to the shop and lose myself.” His projects can take anywhere from hours to weeks to make, and he loves that he is leaving a legacy of items “made by Grandpa Shelly.” Rappaport loves all aspects of wood. “To this day, when I walk into a lumber yard, I love the smell of the resin pine,” he says. “I love to look at wood. Part of the fun in working with wood is that you never know exactly what you are going to get. “I discovered wood turning four years ago,” he says. “It’s very creative, and I can start and finish in an hour or two. I just started turning a vase this morning in ironwood. I got half way in, and there are so many cracks that I’m going to have to throw it away.” Other than toys, some of Rappaport’s latest projects include ornate cheese platters and serving bowls. He donates large amounts of toys and trucks to Toys for Tots and gives many to his grandchildren. It is a legacy that he is passing down both in the items and in the love of the process. Rappaport’s family doesn’t only benefit from his wooden creations. His wife, Sheila, finds her escape in her studio with her paintbrush in hand. CONTINUED PAGE 54

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Sheila had dabbled in painting when her kids were in their teens, but when the couple initially moved from New Jersey to Florida, their daughter, Audrey, bought her paints, and she began to get back into painting. When they moved to Pinehurst, Sheila started taking classes at the Artists League of the Sandhills, and with her husband’s encouragement, she now has a studio there. “I work mostly in oils, but I also like pastels,” Sheila says, smiling. “I’m working on a pastel of my boys” (her dogs). Being a part of the Artists League group provides meaning for Sheila. “There are about 25 people who rent space at the Artists League,” she says. “What’s nice is that a lot of people have artistic backgrounds and just being 54 | MAY 2017

there, you get better because other artists walk by and make comments, and you absorb it.” Art, too, is therapeutic and, for Sheila, it is also a part of her legacy. “I don’t do it to make money,” she says. “It costs me a lot more than I would make if I sold them, but all of my kids and grandkids have my art in their houses. I get a feeling of satisfaction seeing a piece finished that I really think I did well.” The Rappaports’ legacy continues in their daughter, Audrey Shalikar, of Seven Lakes. Trained as an interior designer, Shalikar acknowledges that she simply has “an artistic mind” and sees its therapeutic value. When she was going through 18 months of chemotherapy, Shalikar would cut every inspiring and uplifting word and picture she came across in magazines and keep them in folders in order to use them later in decoupage.

Shalikar’s most prized decoupage possession is an end table that has thousands of cuttings—on the top, bottom, sides, and even underneath. “Making the end table was sort of bibliographical, healing and inspirational,” Shalikar says. All of her items are personalized and many have been given away as gifts. Of special note is a large “G-d box” that she donated to the oncology floor of St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She knew firsthand how hard cancer treatments can be on patients and their families, and she wanted to be able to give back. “It has a slot for patients and family members to place notes of worry or concern, or dreams and prayers in it,” Shalikar says. Decoupage plays on her natural abilities in interior design and spatial relations and the art of grouping. “Decoupage is not random,” Shalikar explains. “There is meaning to everything, and it gets me out of life’s normal routine.” For Shalikar, things in life should be functional and pretty. “I love landscaping, floral design and party plates,” she says. “People walk by her front garden and can’t help but to stop and look at it,” adds her proud father. The love of designing beautiful plates of food for entertaining

comes from her mother, Sheila. “We’ve always made elaborate party plates,” Sheila says. “When we were a young married couple, I would make platters out of watermelon and pineapple.” Shalikar shares that gift of party planning and beautification as a part-time job as well as a contribution to the Jewish temple where she is a member. The couple instilled a love for art in all three of their daughters. Their middle daughter, Debbie Rappaport-Pine, lives in New Jersey and is a mixed-media artist whose art is very reflective of the mood in her life. Their youngest, Jill Duffy, lives in New York, where she worked as a creative director in advertising and is now a full-time mother and artist. Duffy specifically moved to New York so that her children could attend the Waldorf School, where the arts are integrated in all academic disciplines to enhance and enrich learning. “The exposure to art is so important,” Shalikar says. The couple is proud to have the legacy of art passed down to their children and grandchildren and continue with their ongoing works, be it with wood or canvas. This family has definitely found a way to bring art to their lives and everyone they touch.

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A Garden For the Senses

Martha Franck Fragrance Garden by Jonathan Scott Photography by Diana Matthews


he Martha Franck Fragrance Garden is located in the middle of the campus of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. It’s an exquisitely beautiful composite of four tiny areas the designers call “keyhole gardens,” a gazebo, a fountain and a raised culinary garden. However, I wrote this article about a place I’ve never seen. Instead, I chose to experience it in the way it was originally intended—by senses other than sight. One recent spring morning, with the help of an assistant and a cane, I blindfolded myself and entered a delightful dark world, where I was better able to appreciate what the garden offers to people who are visually impaired. The first thing I became aware of was the sound. Like most people, I find the movement of water relaxing, and the cascade of the nearby fountain was instantly calming, especially as it was accompanied by a quartet of birds. A few stray breezes tickled some wind chimes in the background, and this sort of music kept playing, never repeating itself. I had entered by way of the first of the “keyhole gardens,” the Texture Garden. Even though I’m married to a horticulturist, identifying plants is not one of my strengths. Even so, when I bent down, it was easy to tell I was touching ornamental grasses. CONTINUED PAGE 58

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Next to that was a bed of lamb’s ears. I can assure you that as much as they might look like their name, it’s by feeling you fully appreciate how animal-like these furry plants are. What really surprised me in the Texture Garden wasn’t the variety of leaves—some smooth, some serrated, some wide and so on—it was touching the plants that were out of season. I like a garden that’s rich in visual appeal, that means to me looking alive and vibrant. My wife will trim dead stalks and pull dry leaves from flower beds to make them look presentable. But, without the brown appearance to prejudice me, I was able to appreciate the interesting textures of stalks with brittle leaves and last season’s flower heads. There is, of course, a limit to the pleasures of texture, no better demonstrated than in the next “keyhole” garden. There, a hand isn’t as useful as a nose. I learned it the hard way, reaching much too far from the path to touch and realizing I was in the Rose Garden. Those thorny plants were planted well off the walk for a good reason. Being early spring, they weren’t in bloom, but I felt I could smell the bright magenta of nearby azaleas. A few careful steps away, I was no longer able to feel the warmth of the morning sun on my face. I was in the shade. I had come to the Woodland Garden. Here, I didn’t have to bend down to feel textures. The shrubbery was at arm level, the air was a little cooler and the aroma of pine mingled with the azalea fragrance. Back into the sun, I came to the Butterfly Garden. There the designers of the garden placed plants that have worked out a wonderful system over the countless

58 | MAY 2017

millenia. Caterpillars like to feed on certain species of plants like carnations, lantana and Buddleia, the latter known as the butterfly bush. When these creatures become butterflies, they return the favor by pollinating the flowers. The real winners, though, are their human sponsors, who get to enjoy the show. I can’t promise that I was surrounded there by winged things, because they are notoriously silent, but I liked the idea. I’m sure the students of the School for the Blind and others with visual impairments who visit the garden are much better experienced that I am at navigating without sight. So, being a novice, I was grateful the pathways were wide and lined with raised bricks so, by touching my cane to the edging, I was able to follow the curving path fairly well on my own. My good friend Jane McPhaul, of the Garden Club of North Carolina, which maintains the Martha Franck Garden, explained that the walks were designed to be wide enough for someone in a wheelchair and an assistant to walk side-by-side. McPhaul, a nonagenarian, is very active and still one of the sustaining forces behind the garden. The Garden Club of North Carolina, of which she is chairman, brought the concept of this garden, as well as most of its statuary. It began in 1935, the result of a dream experienced by Martha Franck of Durham, who established a garden for the blind at the Adult Rehabilitation Center at Butner. In 1960, the Garden Club of North Carolina, a nonprofit, philanthropic and educational association devoted to encouraging environmental improvement, adopted it as its third major project, but when the center expanded, the garden was torn down and its salvable objects put into storage.


MAY 2017 | 59

Carolina, including a dogwood, cardinal, the Scotch bonnet shell and It took an act of nature state seal. to inspire the garden’s On the way out of revival. In 1996, when the garden, I was led Hurricane Fran tore around the pavilion through Raleigh, it that contains a bell, demolished a group given to the State of of ancient trees that North Carolina by graced the center of the Gen. Sherman in campus of the Morehead 1865. It’s mounted in Visit the Martha Franck Fragrance School for the Blind. The Garden on the campus of the the pavilion’s ceiling school administration Governor Morehead School for and still in use. On had wonderful vision. the Blind, located at 303 Ashe graduation days, the They could see that Avenue, Raleigh. For security bell is rung 13 times, reasons, the school asks visitors the sunny space left by check in at the administration clearly audible over the the destruction would building. For more information fountain, wind chimes be a perfect new site on the Garden Club of N.C., visit and the spring birds. for Martha Franck’s . My final stop before I 60-year-old dream. They stepped back into the world of the sighted was a piece asked the Garden Club if its members would be willing of statuary that dated back to Martha Franck’s original to work together with them to design a garden and, five garden. I could tell that it was a human face but, since years later, the current site was officially dedicated. I wasn’t able to read the braille plaque next to it, it was Today, the Martha Franck Fragrance Garden is still a up to my guide to explain that it was a bust of Helen work in progress, but it gets plenty of use nonetheless. Keller. “When one door of happiness closes, another According to McPhaul, it’s the only therapeutic garden one opens” was the accompanying inscription, quoting in the state, used by both students and teachers at the the woman who did more than any other to raise the School for the Blind and its visitors. The raised-bed stature of people with impaired senses. Culinary Garden, which I didn’t experience, is a source I’m sure Keller would be pleased that her likeness of herbs that complete the ensemble of non-visual graces the realization of Martha Franck’s dream that senses—smell, touch, hearing—with taste. provides a place of solace and enjoyment for all of the McPhaul has plans to add an octagonal granite senses for its visitors. structure with relief symbols representing North CONTINUED


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60 | MAY 2017



Reading in the Dark by Ruth Moose

The music my mother made was light. She was the one a million times, who flicked the switch saying “You’ll ruin your eyes. Reading in the dark.”

Mother made floors shine, flowers bloom, food good and the air alive. She was summer tan, strong-legged, laughing. She was earth, her arms full of vegetables, flowers for fingers and sun in her hair. Every day was new, climbing toward wonderful. So then why, why, why did we never thank her? Any of us? Least of all father who saw light only through shadows and then from blackness underneath. Mother loving, loving us and never asking the question we couldn’t answer. “Who will love me when I’m old?”

About the author...

Ruth Moose-fiction writer, poet, novelist, teacher- has been writing for more than 40 years. Originally from Albemarle, she now resides in Pittsboro, where she continues to write and teach since her retirement from the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Creative Writing Department in 2010. For more information, visit .

MAY 2017 | 61

GREY MATTER See Grey Matter Puzzle Answers on Page 65

































































29. Absorbed, as a cost 30. Grassland 31. Clothing 33. Perfumes 36. Face-to-face exam 37. One who facilitates the sale of land (3 wds) 42. Halo, e.g. 43. Charms used in an African sorcery belief 44. Influenza 47. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 48. Charge 51. Ground cover 52. Tools can be _____-_______ 56. Forming a basis 57. Void 58. To withdraw money from use 63. Honey 64. Come to mind 65. “... happily ___ after” 66. Building additions 67. Verb with thou 68. Big game 69. Attends

ACROSS 1. “The Sound of Music” backdrop 5. Kennel cry 9. Book of maps


14. Attack, with “into” 20. Brought on board 15. Sundae topper, perhaps 22. Daughter of Saturn 16. Glove material 23. Process restricted 17. Certain surgeon’s to discontinuous time “patient” sequences 18. Property of being alluring 26. “Chicago” lyricist | MAY 2017

10. Sounds of reproof 11. “Fantasy Island” prop 12. “Much ___ About Nothing” 13. Clinton, e.g.: Abbr. 19. “Mi chiamano Mimi,” e.g. 21. Dolce (Italian) 24. Flashed signs 25. “The Faerie Queene” division 26. Cork’s country 27. Breakfast staple 28. Boxing prize 32. Clothing 33. High-five, e.g. 34. Bar bill 35. Animal in a roundup 37. From ___ to riches 38. Coin featuring Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man 39. Bone-dry 40. All ___ 41. Up, in a way 45. Krypton, e.g. 46. “___ on Down the Road” 48. Big ending 49. Allow DOWN 50. Exit 1. Respiration disorder 53. Restrained 2. Rodeo rope 54. Antipasto morsel 3. Capital on the Missouri 55. Feelings 4. Aerodynamic 56. Big cheese 5. ___ constrictor 58. Code word 6. “A jealous mistress”: 59. Victorian, for one Emerson 60. ___-Atlantic 7. To vomit 61. #26 of 26 8. “M*A*S*H” setting 62. “To ___ is human ...” 9. Rise

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Lessons Learned From Our Kids by Ann Robson


his is the month we devote to mothers. Florists, candy makers and greeting card makers have more or less taken over a day that was intended to be celebrated quietly in a spiritual way. One of my favorite mothers is the late Erma Bombeck, mother, humorist and caring human being. Her column “Things My Kids Have Taught Me” was a great celebration for mothers. While most of us realize at some point we don’t have all the answers, we may pretend we do, so our kids won’t catch on that we may not be as wise as we think. With great respect for Erma and for all the mothers who have been surprised that our kids really do know something after all, here are some excerpts from what her kids taught her: • “If you’re going to draw on the wall, do it behind the couch.” • “It’s more fun to color outside the lines.” However, there’s a new trend aimed at adult coloring books, and you really must stay inside the lines, or your design will be off kilter. • “Ask ‘why?’ until you understand,” is another truism from Erma. I recall having my four-year-old niece stay with us for a week, and she used the “why?” question at least a hundred times a day. I chalked it up to it being a stage, like the “terrible twos.” As

64 | MAY 2017

I look back at that week, I realize that she really did want answers. Her mother had given birth to twin boys the year before, and I’m sure there were times when she just didn’t have time to explain why. That niece now has two children and has been through at least one “why?” stage. • “Some weeks you really need Saturday on a Wednesday,” according to Erma. How true! As I watch today’s mothers juggle schedules, meals, homework and driving to practice for basketball, baseball, band, drama or all kinds of activities, I feel for them and wish them lots of diversional Wednesdays. Many of the things Erma listed could easily be applied to an aging population: • “Play, don’t watch. • Sometimes two is a crowd. • Make sure you always know where the bathroom is. • Giggle.” To all the moms out there who spend 365 days and then some trying to live a good life, bring up nice kids and stay sane, warm thoughts for you on this Mother’s Day. Robson is the author of “Over My Shoulder: Tales of Life and Death and Everything In Between.” She can be reached at .



“The Bookshop on the Corner” Book Review by Michelle Goetzl


ne of the fun things about reading is the wide variety of book types that are available. There are always classics and serious pieces, but sometimes, you may want a book that you can curl up with or read on the beach. “The Bookshop on the Corner,” by Jenny Colgan, is just this kind of book. The protagonist, Nina Redmond, is a librarian in Birmingham, England, who has been made redundant. The library is closing branches and has less need for librarians, and her passion lies in connecting the right book with the right person. At a team building event, Nina is encouraged to think about what she would love to do if she could do anything. Not surprisingly, Nina wants to run a bookstore. On a whim, she travels to Scotland in response to an advertisement for an incredibly large van for sale that she imagines she could convert into a bookmobile. Nina is forced into the “now what” position of having lost her job and having spent a large sum of money on the van. However, she experiences a sense of calm and happiness in the remote village and takes the leap to truly start over. As in any life reboot, Nina experiences stops and starts on her adventure. In the crisp, clean air of Scotland, Nina begins to blossom. As she slowly opens up her shop, Nina thrives in her new role. She starts to think of Scotland as home and learns just how important it is to look past a person’s “book jacket” and discover the meat of what is inside. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home . . . a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.



Goetzl writes an online blog—“Books My Kids Read.” She loves books and sharing that love of reading with children. She can be reached at .

MAY 2017 | 65


by Carrie Frye & Michelle Goetzl

OutreachNC asked adults and children our May question. Share your answer on our Facebook page.

Sunday chicken and persimmon pudding. —Gordon, 73 Baking cookies. —Judy, 71 My mom and dad bringing my newborn brother home from the hospital in a fish truck. —Janet, 74

What’s your favorite memory with your mom?

Bringing my mother home to live with us. —Terry, 74 When she played outside with my kids and had so much fun. —Shelly, 50 Seeing each of the lighthouses in the Outer Banks and climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. —Melissa, 50

When she gave me an ice cream birthday party. —Neelix, 6 I like when we do chores together, because it means less work for both of us. —Journey, 6

When we went to Ohio Caverns together. —John, 6 I loved when she watched a mermaid video with me on her phone. —Allison, 5 When we flew from Australia and she bought me a new toy to keep me happy. — Lucas, 6 When she says, “I love you, too.” —Chase, 5

Cooking. —Gale, 79

Me and my mommy played tickle monster, and when she got me, she just tickled me so much that I couldn’t stop laughing. —Evelyn, 6

Dancing with her. It was a hoot. —Barbara, 79

When I was a baby, I liked it when my mommy snuggled with me. —Chloe, 6

Shopping trips. —Peggy, 60 Reading Psalm 23. —Sharon, 62 Teaching me how to sew. —Caroline, 55 Easter time when she would come to see me from New York. —James, 59 My mother sending me on the truck to go pick peaches every summer. —Jackie, 69 Having motherdaughter conversations. —Earlena, 65 66 | MAY 2017

Seeing her beautiful smile when I give her flowers. —Connor, 5

When I went to Great Wolf Lodge and got a magic wand, and we did lots of cool things with it. —Tanner, 5 When me and mom went to New York, and we went to the candy store. —Gabriella, 6 When me and my mommy went to the circus. —Lawson, 6 When she loves me and hugs me all the time. —Stella, 5

Lap time and cuddling. —OutreachNC Co-editor Jeeves, 4

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OutreachNC Magazine May 2017  

DIY Boom Issue featuring: Two Journeys DIY Style; Honoring World War II Veterans Series: Al Brafford; 6 Easy Springtime DIY Projects; Carol...

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