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How Single Moms Do It Guide to Pet Care Resources The Bond(age) of the


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Spring is f inally here, Summer is on its way… and it’s time to

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Spring Dreams

28 34

Pet Lovers

9 10

Super Mom Contest Winners!


Finding My Mother’s Voice


I Miss My Mom!


Best Local Brunches


Ali Casparian: Bounty & Soul


22 The Bond(age) of the Umbilical Cord


by Janis Gingermountain


Sullivan of ID.ology Interiors

by Kyung Sook “Walker” Lee by Kiesa Kay

by Farrell Sylvest

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Raising a Special-Needs Child

by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker by Pam Robbins

by Sarah Nowicki Nicholson

Four Decades for Women

by Jonna Rae Bartges

Remembering Mom

rsges 28–31 e v o et L out pa

by Janey Wood Kelley


C he





The Mothers Who Came Before Us COSMICOMEDY


But, Mom!

by Lavinia Plonka



Mare Carmody by Peggy Ratusz



What Women Want

by Victoria Garlin



I See the Moon


Chasing the Elusive Dream of Work-Life Balance by Meridith Elliott Powell




A Lifetime of Financial Wisdom from My Mother by Scott Boatwright, J.D.

A Wild Afternoon

by Dr. Beth Hampton Jones



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Change Management

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Erin Lawrimore: Archiving NC’s Beer History by Anita Riley




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4  //  MAY 2018

Volume 17 Number 5

MAY 2018

Words From the Editor Mothers. We all have or have had one (at least) at some point. Maybe it was a grandmother or aunt instead, but mothering energy is one thing few of us have not experienced. Whether that was or is a good experience varies for sure. The women I know have either a fraught, a neutral, or a loving relationship with their moms. Sometimes all three!

And those of us who have become moms ourselves are likely to have realized at some moment along in our lives that understanding and forgiveness are needed. Both toward mom and from her, and we hope to receive it from our own children as well. So, what exactly do we mean by “mothering”? How do we define a good experience or a less than nurturing one? A quick look at synonyms for Mothering is instructive: Tend, Watch, Foster, Nurture, but also Ride Herd On, and Keep Tabs On come up. In these words, we see that Moms are responsible, apparently, to keep us on the right path either with gentle nudging or more forceful attempts to control. We begin this issue with a list of the Mothers Who Came Before Us: women who excelled and fought to become First in their fields, whether Science, Politics, Mathematics, or Sports. In Cosmicomedy you’ll read about Lavinia’s “bad girl” behavior and her mother’s contrariness; but also, the long-awaited words of reconciliation.

In “I Miss My Mom,” Walker Lee presents a poignant view of the loss of her mom as well as her own guilt at needing to leave her young child for work to support the family.

This month is the last for Anita Riley’s Brewing Up a Storm column. You can still read her Blog online to keep up with what’s happening “down East” with the world of women in brewing.

That theme of having to adapt to working outside the home while raising children as a single mom shows up in Crystal Pressley’s story, “All Moms Are Working Moms.” Her dedication, no matter what, to keeping a roof over her kids’ heads and food in their mouths is clear.

And, we are pleased to announce the seven winners of our Super Mom contest this month (out of a group of almost 30 nominated!). Check out page nine to see who these stellar moms are and what they’ve won. You’ll see a link to our Facebook page to learn more about them and the other much-loved nominees.

That same dedication appears in the story of Patty Levesque raising her special-needs child, Amanda: now a grown and independent young woman. Farrell Sylvest sorts through the varied emotions of grief and resentment about mom and hope for her own children as she finds ways to “honor the past yet not empower it to reside in the present.” Moms can point the way to financial and other wisdom; they can teach us about our own need for creative outlets and self-care; and they can offer role models (positive and negative ones!), support and mentoring.

Finally we want to point you to this month’s profile, Laura Sullivan of ID.ology Interiors & Design. You’ll see her on the front cover and on pages 10-11 read about her expertise, creativity and style. You’ll also see photos of some of her gorgeous designs as well as some family photos to put her life and work in the context of Our Mothers Our Selves. 

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Much to inspire and connect and inform us this month including our newest Department, Life Over Lattes, with a look at What Women Want in Community. That brings me to a poignant moment of letting you dear readers know that a couple more of our regular writers will be moving on to other pursuits. April was the last month of JeanAnn Taylor’s Speaking of Style column; keep an eye out for her in other forums.

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Sandi Tomlin-Sutker MAY 2018  // 



Sadie Alexander

Wilma Rudolph

Lise Meitner

Nellie Tayloe Ross

Augusta Ada King-Noel

The Mothers Who Came Before Us Nellie Tayloe Ross was

the first woman to be sworn in as governor of a U.S. state, Wyoming, in 1924.

Laura Bassi, eighteenthcentury Italian scientist, is the first known woman to earn a university chair in a scientific field of studies.

Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognize that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. As a result, she is sometimes regarded as the first to recognize the full potential of a “computing machine” and the first computer programmer.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898 –1989), was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States (1921), and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

6  //  MAY 2018

Marie Curie, the first woman

to receive a Nobel Prize in 1903 (physics), went on to become a double Nobel Prize recipient in 1911 (chemistry), both for her work on radiation. Forty women have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2010. Seventeen women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine.

Lise Meitner was an AustrianSwedish physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Meitner and Otto Hahn led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939.

Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics in 1960. Born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child who had to wear a brace on her left leg.

North Carolina Women’s Firsts ! Sarah Malinda Pritchard Blalock. In 1862, Sarah cuts her hair, dons men’s clothing, and enlists with her husband in the Confederate army, becoming North Carolina’s only known female Civil War soldier.

Dr. Susan Dimock becomes the first female member of the North Carolina Medical Society (1872), although she never practices in the state. Earlier Dimock is forced to go abroad to find a medical school that will accept women, then practices at a hospital in Boston as one of the nation’s first licensed female doctors.

Lillian Exum Clement of Buncombe County becomes the first woman elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1920—and this was just before women even had the vote in NC!

Elreta Alexander becomes the first African American woman licensed as a lawyer in North Carolina in 1947. She was the first African-American woman to graduate from Columbia University Law School (1945). She practiced law in Greensboro from 1947 to 1968, becoming part of the first integrated law firm in the South.  

Sadie and Bessie Delany, North Carolina natives, at ages 104 and 102, publish their book in 1993, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years. Their story becomes a successful Broadway play.

Spring Dreams: Celebrating Earth Awakenings From My Deck I invite you, my friend, to my cabin for the May extravaganza. There’s nowhere to be but outdoors at such a time. It’s a little bit cool, but let’s start on the deck with a steaming cup of peppermint tea. As chef and writer Ruth Reichl says, “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Life is so endlessly delicious.” I’ll take a huge handful of baby mint leaves and put them in my prettiest spring teapot. (My other teapot I gave to some friends who needed one, so they can have mint tea, too.) Pour boiling water over the leaves and wait. Mmmmmm! Heavenly smells. And look: I’ve brought out some lemon thyme cookies for us to savor as well. We two have great ideas steeping, too, soon to come to aromatic fruition. What better time to discuss them than now? Look beyond the patio. The garden is still a bit brown, let’s face it, punctuated only by brave garlic shoots reaching for

the sun. My life feels a little bit brown, too. Maybe there’s a start of new life here and there, but lots of room for planting new ideas. Well, at least the baby chives have started up in the herb garden, promising baked potatoes with sour cream and chives for dinner. Daffodils are about finished now, but mayflowers and Star of Bethlehem will soon twinkle over in the woods. The willow is swishing her chartreuse skirts in the gentle wind. The redbud is sporting her breathtaking deep pink blossoms. Bits of new life everywhere. Oh, did I tell you that new inspiration I’ve had? What’s your latest inspiration? I’m thinking seeds. And potato starts and candy onions for the garden. They should have gone in the ground in April, but it was too wet. Maybe sweet potatoes this year. What do you think? Never mind the garden catalogues. I’ve saved lots of seed: especially basil, marigold,

zinnias, and coriander. Basil? I grow maybe a hundred little plants to share with friends. It’s my go-to herb. And musing about seeds leads to thoughts of digging up and hoeing those weed-clogged raised beds. Maybe my Amish friend Andy will have time to lend me a hand. And maybe you, my friend, will take time to share the seeds of your creative thoughts with me, as well. Oh, listen! Peepers to top it all off! They’ve arrived at last, sounding like soft Tibetan bells chiming. They will remind us to keep our ears tuned to the songs and cries of our precious world. Where did the afternoon go? It’s getting colder, and the sun’s fading. Let’s go inside and pop those potatoes in the oven. Let’s celebrate our friendship and our closeness to the earth.  — Janis Gingermountain

MAY 2018  // 


OPINION » Lavinia Plonka

There are new age folks who say that we choose our parents before we are born. Somehow, our consciousness floats around until it sees the perfect hosts for the entertainment spectacle called “This Is Your Life.” Yet, when my Mother and I would go at it, one of her jabs was often, “You should be grateful! I gave you life!” To which I would retort, “I never asked to be born!” Perhaps somewhere in between these two extremes lies the truth. I tried to fathom why, if I chose my parents, I would elect to be born into this chaotic, stressful household instead of choosing Ozzie and Harriet, or at least some of the richer families in town. Gurus told me that we choose our parents based on the life lessons we need to learn. And yes, growing up was indeed a learning experience. According to both my parents, I was a “bad girl.” Really, I didn’t mean to be bad. I suppose other folks would have labeled me as “contrary.” Over the years, I’ve learned to temper this odd characteristic in order to have some social life. What neither parent ever recognized of course, was that my contrariness was learned. When I was a young girl, my mother made all my clothes. I did not know that she did this because we had no money. She dressed me in wild designs that would have made the designers of the McCall’s dress patterns gasp. When I asked why we couldn’t buy clothes at the store like other kids, she would huffily reply, “You don’t want to see yourself walking down the street!” She couldn’t possibly understand that yes, I desperately wanted to look like everybody else, to blend in, to be one of the crowd. And while she did make a coat or two, she did eventually succumb to buying items that were too difficult to sew—either at thrift stores, or at the Sears Outlet store. They were always either slightly out of fashion, vintage or so avant-garde they belonged on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. One year everyone had hooded ski parkas. But I ended up with a plaid mohair coat. “But Mom, everyone got ski parkas for Christmas!” I whined. She glared. “You are not every-

body, you are you.” Contrary indeed. Then there was the year she found a turquoise, halter-top, mohair bathing suit in the Sears bargain bin. (She did love the mohair. I still have my cable knit mohair cardigan she uncovered in that same bin.) This was a year when everyone else was wearing cute two-piece bikinis. The neighborhood kids called my bathing suit “the rug.” “Here comes Lavinia in her rug!” they’d shout. My mother insisted that, “It doesn’t matter what the people say, as long as they keep talking.” I honestly can’t remember the bad things I did. I just remember the scoldings and the punishments. My mother was often so upset with me that she would throw up her hands and say, “I don’t know why God did this to me. I hope you learn your lesson when you have children of your own.” To which I would retort (because I was contrary), “I’m never having kids!” Sometimes I wonder if that strong pronouncement went out into the ether and formed my future. Parents didn’t get to choose their children—perhaps I chose my parents to torture them for some past life transgressions. Thanks to our thrift store forays, I became a vintage fashionista, sporting 1930’s toques with matching veils, 1940’s sequin sweaters and 1950’s poodle skirts. When I came home one holiday proudly modeling an elegant Ginger Rogers silk dance dress covered in Asian inspired lady bugs, my mother, now a middle-class American wearing a polo shirt and jeans sighed. “Can’t you ever wear anything new? You look like a refugee from a flea market.” And she wondered where I got my contrariness. As she lay dying of ALS in the kind and beautiful environs of Care Partners, I came in one day wearing one of her old blouses that I had rescued from her home when I brought her to Asheville. She could no longer smile or talk, but her hand could still scrawl on paper. “That’s my blouse!” “I hope you don’t mind, Mom.” “It looks good on you. You are beautiful.” The words I’d been waiting for my entire life. 

When not rooting through her closet for unusual combinations, Lavinia helps others celebrate their unique gifts via the Feldenkrais Method.

8  //  MAY 2018

We are delighted with the response to our First Annual Mother’s Day Contest. We had so many nominations it was very difficult to choose! However, after much deliberation we have seven winners listed below with the prizes they won. To learn more about these women... and to read about the many other much‑loved Moms—and we couldn’t award prizes to them all, though they all deserve it—visit our Facebook page at this link: and click on the Comments section on the right panel.

Stargazers Designs


Wine Sage & Gourmet


Joan Naylor

Nominated by Megan Naylor Directions Salon

Spa Package ($125 value)


Shawn Fiora

Nominated by Emily Clare Aiken European Wax

$100 Gift Basket


Aniyah Davis

Nominated her mother Stargazers Designs

European Plant Garden ($100 value)


Anita Herring

Nominated by Adrienne Mills Copper Crown

$50 Gift Certificate


Patricia Ray

Nominated by Kiesa Kay Hot Springs Resort & Spa

1-hour soak for couple ($50 value)


Wanda Watkins

Nominated by Rachel Louise Swannanoa Flower

$50 Gift Certificate


Sarah Hayes

Nominated by Dr. Lulu Shimek Wine Sage & Gourmet

$25 Gift Certificate

MAY 2018  // 


Laura K. Sullivan ID.ology Interiors & Design in Asheville

here is so much more to creating a beautiful home than simply selecting great colors, textures, and patterns. Laura Sullivan and her team bring expertise, passion and a desire to make the entire process of building, renovating, or decorating as enjoyable (and as stress-free) as possible. “This is one of the biggest investments an individual or family can make in their lives.” Bringing on a group of professionals who understand the project scope as a whole is incredibly important. Laura comes to the table with overflowing talent, education and experience. She is a native of the Asheville area who grew up with a father in real estate, a very creative mother and two sisters who went into real estate as well. “I was always on construction sites with my father, involved in art classes both in and outside of school, and had a real innate ability to lay out spaces and décor. All of which laid the groundwork for selecting Interior Design as my study of focus. I attended Appalachian State University where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in interior design and then began working in the field, and with my family, shortly thereafter.” Intimately understanding the importance of having the skills and knowledge of building in conjunction with design, Laura became a licensed General Contractor and a Real Estate Broker after completing her B.S. “It is really invaluable to have the knowledge of how a structure comes together, how things work mechanically, and how to implement unique or high style design features cohesively with the architectural design. This helps me understand how some design ideas won’t work,” Laura adds.

The Business of Creativity “My husband, Sean (owner and custom home builder of Living Stone Design + Build,) is an incredible partner. With God’s plan for my life and my husband’s partnership I chose to focus solely on Interior Design in 2012, and opened ID.ology to offer clients a greater experience in designing and furnishing their homes. I’d always been entrepreneurial so starting this business came naturally… it’s in my blood! I’ve got the skill set of the creative side and the analytical side, so I balance the two pretty well.” “Not all creative individuals are comfortable with the marketing, budgeting, financial and more mundane aspects of business.” Laura says she learned the importance of the business side from her family and says, “My partnership with my husband has been amazing!”

The Team Creating a dynamic, talented and diverse design team is essential. Laura is the principal designer and has five other Designers on staff. “The Lead Designers facilitate and run the jobs. I oversee and collaborate with them, giving advice and support on design ideas and processes.” One thing that sets Laura apart is her background from which she considers the structural side of how construction works. “When a house is under construction, we work with our clients on everything from plan design, space planning with furniture, details, accent walls, exterior materials & finishes, and interior selections like tile, paints, or countertops. We provide plan design and space-planning, so the home is the best it can be for comfort, livability and functionality, as well as giving each client a unique, personalized design.” Similarly, ID.ology brings these skills not only to construction or re-designed spaces, but also to new furniture, artwork and other décor to add that personalized touch. Laura’s team consists of numerous professionals with many years of experience. Instead of a single design style or aesthetic for the firm they are adept at providing design expertise for a variety of styles such as contemporary, traditional, modern farmhouse,

craftsman, rustic, and trending fusion styles. Traveling and attending industry shows, markets, and continued education allow them to stay abreast of what is trending, and infuse new and fresh design applications with projects that will remain timeless. The firm has a showroom with many manufacturers represented, through which they offer a wide range of products for various project scopes, to provide great value to the client purchasing furnishings and accessories. The team also focuses on “Aging in Place” as well as a strong emphasis on “Indoor Air Quality.” “We offer designs, materials, finishes and products suitable for longevity, and we consider aging family members, or those who wish to remain in their home as comfortably and as long as possible. We educate our clients on clean materials and products going into their homes to ensure they are living in a healthy environment, and provide the option for healthy furniture pieces. There are thousands of product options available, which we narrow down based on our design recommendations (and expertise) to suite our clients’ tastes and program. We reduce the potential for clients to get overwhelmed with the endless amount of choices out there.” And all of this while raising a family! Photo:

You can reach Laura Sullivan and her team at ID.ology: 828-252-4403 • MAY 2018  // 


12  //  MAY 2018

I M IS S M Y MOM! Mom died when I was 8 months pregnant with my son. He is now 27. I lived in Manhattan, and my family in Korea decided not to notify me. They imagined the possible trauma for me at 43. It was at the end of May, the same month my father died four years before. I didn’t know that would be my last time with mom in person. She was only 62. I didn’t hear from my mom after the delivery, which was a couple of weeks before my mother’s 66th birthday. My sister said mom was in Japan, but when I called my brother on her birthday asking why mom still didn’t call me, he confessed her death. I was too shocked to cry. Instead, my infant son cried as my breast milk dried up. I had to suppress my sorrow. Finally, on the following year on my mother’s birthday, I wailed like a wounded animal. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to hug her the way I did while consoling her after my father’s death. Mom was a tall, beautiful and talented woman with unlimited ambitions. She was called Ms. Skin for her flawless porcelain complexion. She had wanted to go to Paris after she finished her fashion design school in the early 1940s when most women only wished to have a husband. When she and we three daughters went out in her designed outfits, people noticed her and our dresses, instead of us, of course. She arranged fresh flowers everywhere in our house. Although we are above-average homemakers, none of us daughters could compete with her. I have outlived my mom by five years now. I moved from New York to the North Carolina Mountains in May 2015. My daughter still lives in Manhattan, and my son moved to Boston for work. I have to fly to hug my own children. What is this invisible bond between mothers and children that never dies? I remember this scene as if it was yesterday: I was only 12 years old, and heading back to my dormitory after one month of summer vacation. Mom came to the train station and stayed with me until the conductor asked her to leave. I didn’t want to show my tears, or cling to her. Instead, I was prettying myself up by pulling my blouse down. I was watching her slowly walking down the stairs turning her face back to me just before she left the train. Then, I found her standing on the platform next to my window. We were looking at each other waving hands, smiling reluctantly. My mom walked beside the slowly moving train. Then she ran as the train speeded up. She was running faster and faster until we couldn’t see each other’s faces any more. She became a small dot, and warm tears rolled down on my cheeks. My heart was congested. No one but my mother was on the platform.

Like mother, like daughter. Women are connected through our wombs. I watched my mother in bed weathering her morning sickness from her last child, the 5th. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I carried an empty can around with me, so I would not vomit on the floor. In my early 30s I lived in Berkeley, California. I got up at 5:30 a.m. to catch a 6:25 a.m. commuter bus to work in Palo Alto, 60 miles away. I was a breadwinner for my family of five: my husband, my daughter and my in‑laws. When I left home in silence in the dark, I hardly saw anyone or heard any sound. I hurried to the street corner to catch the bus. I came home around 7 p.m., and the first thing I heard was, “Mommy is home!” The second thing was our hug before I started washing rice for the dinner. She was four years old, and in sound sleep when I left in the morning. One morning, just about turning a corner to head to the bus stop, I heard my daughter yelling, “Mommy! Mommy! Come back to me!” I turned around and saw her running toward me in bare feet in pajamas. I couldn’t say anything to her, or run back to her to hug even after I heard her crying. I had to catch the bus on time. I turned my head to see her in the dark once more. She was dragging her feet toward home with her head dropped. I wiped my tears and got on the bus. I replayed the scene again and again even when I was setting up my apparatus in the laboratory. I couldn’t eat my lunch. When I came home, my daughter greeted me with sparkling eyes. “Mommy, grandpa said you go to work to make money. I have money!” She handed me her piggy bank full of pennies she had been collecting for months. “It’s all yours. Don’t go to work. Play with me.” I held her piggy bank on my left palm, and lifted her with my right arm to kiss the top of the head. She was so happy, assuming that her plan had worked out. I started preparing dinner, knowing that I would break her heart the following morning. Now, as I put on my makeup in the morning, I catch a glimpse of my mom in my face. I remember her saying to me, looking at her self in the mirror, “I don’t want to see my old face….” I replied, “What are you talking about? No wrinkles, mom. You are 62 and no wrinkles!” She stretched out her lips to show her parenthetical lines around the mouth. I didn’t see what she showed me then. Now, I see what she meant. I did the same when I visited my daughter last time. She said the same, “What are you talking about? No wrinkles, mom. You are 70 and no wrinkles!” 

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MUSIC  »  Peggy Ratusz

spotlight on

Mare Carmody

I met singer-songwriter and voiceover actor Mare Carmody eight years ago, though neither of us can remember exactly where or when. It’s apropos because when you first meet her, she makes you feel like you’ve been friends for years.

From the time she was seventeen and enrolled at Old Dominion College in Norfolk, Virginia, she began her career in music, radio and voiceovers. Summarizing the outcome of her life’s work thus far, we see a rich resume and the places she’s lived, all vibrant and bustling.

“I was always listening to music as a child and was exposed to performing at a young age when Mom, who’d sung professionally, would invite me to sing duets with her at parties. I asked for a guitar one year and started taking lessons from a high school teacher. It was my salvation after Dad died.”

While studying at ODU, she hosted a show on their college radio station. A prominent radio news director at WNOR named Brian Leher heard her and asked her to audition for a parttime news position. She became a disc jockey after that, working multiple music formats at radio stations in the

14  //  MAY 2018

Hampton Roads area which covers a metropolitan area from Southeastern Virginia to Northeastern North Carolina. For the next twenty-one years, she worked as a mid-day jock and did radio and TV commercials on the side. “Until things in radio got a little weird, I loved being a disc jockey. Talking to call-in listeners on air and interviewing musicians was fabulous!” She performed on the side with local bands along the way. “I was in a band made up of DJs from Eagle 97, a country radio station where I was music director. Our focus was parody songs. We re-wrote songs that were current on

country radio. Shania Twain’s, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” became “That Don’t Depress Me Much,” which was about turning forty. I turned Martina McBride’s song, “Wild Angels” into “Wild Hair Day!” We called ourselves the ‘Ill Eagles’ and we opened for people like Vince Gill and Ronnie Milsap.” They even put out CDs of their most popular tunes and gave the proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Though she vowed to “never marry anyone in radio” she met her husband, Sheldon Borgelt, a producer/engineer from Ohio, at a Norfolk station. They

have two children, Christopher and Allie. While the kids were young, she was approached by the same commercial audio studio in Norfolk that Sheldon worked. They offered her freelance voiceover work, so she quit her job at Eagle 97 to expand that vocation. Within a short time, the Norfolk studio decided to open a satellite location in Memphis, Tennessee and asked Sheldon to manage it. “Back then, sending Mp3 files was in the future, so recorded material was sent overnight express. FedEx’s main hub is in Memphis, and on top of that, Memphis is on Central Time, an hour behind Norfolk. In those days, it gave producers in the east a little extra time to get recordings out to customers.” So in the fall of 2001, they packed up the cars and a moving truck with kids, pets and belongings and headed to where central time and the Blues on Beale Street were eagerly waiting. In addition to commercials, the studio recorded interviews with certain celebrities passing through. Fran Tarkenton, Morgan Freeman and Al Green were some of them. “My favorite was Isaac Hayes who was still playing the role of “Chef” on South Park (the animated hit series on Comedy Central), when he moved back to Memphis. He’d record his lines for the show there in the studio and send them to Los Angeles after. He also recorded his weekly syndicated radio show there. I called him “The Sun King” because he dressed in flowing colorful garb. He was a sartorial splendor; one of the sweetest men in the celebrity world I’ve ever met. “We spent seven years in Memphis. It was a fascinating place. I continued to freelance and play music on the side. I met a prolific guitarist named Steve Newman who mentored and performed with me. While he taught me to embellish chords, he also taught

me about self-promotion, stage banter, how to deal with booking people. Steve is the kind of guy who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, let me tell ya. I learned a lot from him for sure.” By 2007, another studio contacted Sheldon and offered him a better paying position in Little Rock, Arkansas. He accepted, and once again they packed up and headed west. While Little Rock had its charms, they weren’t long for the area. Mare caught wind that ProComm Voices out of Asheville was looking for an engineer. During Sheldon’s interview process, Mare arranged for their teenage daughter, Allie to board with a host family in Little Rock so that she could finish her senior year of high school at a magnet school of science where she excelled. Son, Christopher, had a job and a band so he stayed behind in Memphis. “The first thing I did anytime we moved was to find out who, what, and where were the movers and shakers in the music scene. It helped me survive the changes. We had a big scene going on in Virginia, a big scene in midtown Memphis, and Little Rock was no different! I met a group of guys there, calling themselves the “Pickoides” and we’d get together weekly to throw down.” A guy named Courtney Shepherd became her go-to singing partner and by that time, she started taking songwriting more seriously. “The more I write, the more I learn how better to turn a phrase. I’ve learned to be economical while still telling a complete and compelling story.” This calm, cool, collected artist writes songs to reflect back to her audiences that same sense of ease.

Walking away from one of her shows, one feels chilled out and settled down from their work-a-day blues. So by 2010, she was living in South Asheville. Armed with her tried-andtrue strategy of meeting musicians in new places, she attended an open mic at The Bywater. There she met Kelli Redmond and her husband James Harrell, founders of the renowned Americana band, Letters To Abigail, and a longstanding “round robin” night in Hendersonville. She credits and is grateful for Kelli’s openness to showing her around. Each week, Mare would show up at the round robin, all the while zeroing in on yet another like-minded fellow guitarist and singer, Michael Carver. Everyone affectionately referred to him as “Country.” Fast forward five years, and ‘Carver and Carmody’ has become a duo that’s a house hold name, especially in Hendersonville!

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One night many years ago, Mare’s mom traveled to see one her shows. After, her mom asked, “Where did you learn to sing like that?” Mare told her it was in her DNA. She then asked “How long are you going to sing this type of music?” Mare answered: “Until I get tired of it.” “The style in which I sing and write comes from vast amounts of influence and observation: from pig pickin’ in Hampton Roads, from Little Rock for its singer-songwriters, and from Beale Street for its smoky, bluesy rich voices.” 

Peggy Ratusz is a singer and vocal coach

To keep up with Mare and her shows with Michael Carver, visit their Reverbnation page: And her voiceover website:

MAY 2018  // 


LIFE OVER LATTES  »  Victoria Garlin

What Women Want Four things women want in a community

Life over lattes is all about authentic

friendships. Women are relational, and we crave conversation, time with others, and meaningful connection. Women are the barometer for our families: if mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Again, women (Single, married, or divorced) are the gauge for our relationships. If we aren’t feeling fed, nourished, secure, and confident, then our relationships suffer. So many of the ladies that I have coffee with tell me that they struggle with a lie or a label someone told them. They were told they are dumb, or ugly, or have chubby knees, or are not worthy of being loved or cared for. Or on the flip side they are too happy, too nice, too business oriented, too determined and focused, too pretty. As women we have been conditioned to compete and not to trust other women. I want to give you some tools to help break down the lies and labels put on each of us and share four things women want in a community. The way we build a solid community of women around us is by choosing to love, foster involvement, freedom, and encouragement. As friends, we will never be perfect or expect each other to be perfect, so there are no unrealistic expectations.


We women want to be loved unconditionally. We want to call our friends and be honest about what is going on in our life. We want to be accepted— not judged for having a messy house, a dirty car, or a crying baby. We want to be nourished and secure and confident—free to be happy, successful, content with our life, marriage, and friendships. I love my friends by being present. My favorite thing is to do real life together, that might mean helping them do the dishes or laundry, talking on the phone while cooking, and having people over to my house and hanging out while eating yummy food.


Friends are involved in each other’s lives. That means being intentional with our time together whether its picking up the phone and calling to check in, getting dressed up and going out for a ladies’ night out, sending a handwritten note just to say “Hi, I like your face” or to tell her how proud you are to be her friend. Being involved means showing up when times are tough, when the kids are making you crazy and you need an understanding friend, when your husband gets laid off from his job and you have to figure out how to make ends meet. I am totally a quality-time person so spending time with others fills my heart. I love to get calls from my friends when they are on their way to work in the morning. Or from my entrepreneur friends that want to talk business and get ideas for improving their client experience. Women want to be truly involved in each other’s lives and want their friends and family to be fully engaged in theirs.


Women want to be free to be themselves! You know the saying, “if you want to see me come on over, if you want to see my house make an appointment”? We want to be free to welcome people into our real lives. Free to work or stay home. Free to breastfeed or bottle feed. Free to drive whatever car we

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want. Free to be an entrepreneur or a waitress or a CEO or a hairstylist. We want to be allowed to be bold, to be silly or loud, or shy. There is so much confidence that comes from loving and giving your friend permission to be themselves.


In a world that is currently very judgmental, be encouraging. Be loving. Be kind. Support your friend who is in direct sales by buying some of her product. Stop gossiping. Say nice things! Give compliments without expecting a return compliment. Often it’s difficult to receive a compliment. Compliment: “I love your dress. Its so flattering on you.” Instead of saying thank you and receiving and enjoying the compliment we brush it off and say, well it’s just from Target and it was on clearance. Receive a compliment fully and with grace. Empower a stay-at-home mom to start a side business for fun, growth, and extra income. Many of my friends love to try DIY projects and actually completing one on their own is an incredibly empowering moment. Women thrive in relationships. We crave them and need them. We need to feel loved, to be involved in our family and community, we need to be free to be our selves, and be empowered to be our best while empowering and encouraging others to strive for more. Be that kind of friend. Call your gal pal and grab a latte. Real friendships take intentional time. Make it a priority.  Victoria Garlin is a wife, mom, women’s ministry director at Take Heart Church, and monthly contributor. One of her favorite things to do is love on and feed people!

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by Kiesa Kay


he little girl loved to watch her Armenian grandma cooking all the special treats that meant family time together—dolmas, pilaf, a special stew of lamb bones and green beans—and she delighted in the scent of the Middle Eastern spices wafting through the air. She wanted to be a chef, even then. Her mother, who’d had four daughters in less than four years, learned to cook those delicious foods for special times, too. Time in the kitchen meant time to love and appreciate each other. Allison “Ali” Casparian grew up, and the family scattered, but they’d get together for those wonderful meals every chance they had… Ali worked in corporate offices, making good money and creating catering connections

for big businesses. She moved with a beloved boyfriend to another state. Then, her world shattered into little pieces. That boyfriend beat her senseless with the intention of killing her. He hurt her so badly that she required multiple surgeries and almost lost an eye. He strangled her and discarded her among the trash bags. “He had seen his father shoot his mother when he was only three years old,” Ali recounts. “In order to forgive him for what he did to me, I thought of that three-year-old boy, of the good soul inside him, the deeper part born before he became someone who could hurt me.” As she began to mend in body and soul, she turned back to her roots, to

the first things that had made her feel whole. She turned to her family and to good food, sustenance for health in so many ways. She had lost everything— her home, her relationship, her selfesteem, “I had become a skeleton, a fragment of myself,” she said. “I lost pieces of my own soul and had to retrieve them.” She moved in with a sister in Raleigh, but a visit to Asheville changed everything. Suddenly, she felt peaceful, deeply peaceful, for the first time in a long time. She moved into a tiny cottage with space for a garden, and started digging in the dirt, hiking with her dog, feeling whole again. She knew no one in town, so she began volunteering for the Welcome Table. “Food is medicine,” she says. “I know good food healed me! I saw, too, what good herbs could do to help my father, who had heart problems.” What she needed most of all was a place to belong, a place where she could feel needed, alive, and wanted for her talents and energy. She wanted home and a community. With scant money for the basics, including food, her gardening became increasingly vital. She realized that many, many people in her community shared the same need not only for healthy food, but for loving connection. Ali believed that God had spared her life for a reason. “God always talks to all of us, but I finally was ready to listen,” she says. Miracles started happening fast. She had no money, but she met a grant writer looking for a special project. When she identified a need, it was answered immediately, again and again. By 2015, Ali had founded a new non-profit, Bounty & Soul (www. The organization that began as a table with fresh produce has grown to be a consortium of more than 30 groups, all determined to end food insecurity in Buncombe County. With Produce to the People, Bounty & Soul distributes 7500 pounds of

fresh, healthy food a week. Through Rooted in Health, the group offers health coaching, free health & wellness classes and cooking demos on how to cook healthy, nutrient dense foods on a budget. Bounty & Soul partners with numerous agencies. They even inspire and educate participants to grow their own gardens. This year on May 19th during their first annual Community Dig Day, Bounty & Soul will give out free plants and host workshops to support participants in growing, harvesting and cooking their own food. “Bounty & Soul is the greatest expression of my soul,” Ali says. “It isn’t only about food. It’s much deeper. It’s sharing love and acceptance, and feeling stronger as people reflect back that love. At Bounty & Soul, we all need each other, seeing one another for who we really are.” In less than three years, Ali’s attracted a strong staff, board of directors and more than 150 volunteers. She’s beginning to export the ideas to Transylvania, McDowell, and Yancey County, and has received requests for training from as far away as Montana and Florida. “No two groups ever will be the same, but Bounty & Soul was designed to be replicated,” she says. “Every

community can create sustenance from the resources they have.” She works with community partners, like Manna Food Bank, churches, colleges, schools, physicians, Gardens that Give WNC, and health organizations. Like a matchmaker for good health, she links people who need nutrient-rich food with community gardens that have an abundance of produce. She links grocery stores and growers to distribution outlets so that nothing goes to waste. Ali’s cooking classes also quickly have become local legends. “Self-acceptance and love also are part of our education,” she says. “It’s about taking care of the whole person.” What Ali needed most, when she arrived in Asheville, was a sense of inclusion, a meaningful purpose, and a place to call home. She needed food not only for her body, but also for her soul. With Bounty & Soul, she founded an organization that provides for those needs not only for herself, but for thousands of people. Ali doesn’t consider Bounty & Soul to be a charitable organization because everyone who goes there gives something, whether it’s food

UGrow Community Dig Day will occur in partnership with Eat Smart Black Mountain from 1pm to 4 pm on May 19 at the Swannanoa Valley Medical Center parking lot located at 997 Old US Hwy 70 W, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

or time or a smile of appreciation. Everyone matters. “It continues to be God’s work, with amazing miracles every day,” she says. “One woman couldn’t have done this alone. I just answered the call.” She also found peace in her personal life, with a new partner who celebrates her strengths and sees the light in her—her courage, resilience, and determination. He loves the light in her and accepts her shadow side, and she enjoys time with his children. Ali has found joy. “I get my hands in the dirt every day, and I go hiking with my dog,” she said. “I love my life.” Ali can’t go back in time and protect that toddler who grew up to be a man who would beat her. She can’t erase his past, or hers, or anyone else’s, for that matter. So she does what she can. She can gather people together to share their strengths, and to feed each other. She can work with them to create an oasis of calm, food, and love. She can help end insecurity, including food insecurity. Ali does what she can, every day. She nurtures others in bounty and soul.   Kiesa Kay, poet and playwright, celebrates and shares stories of resilience. Her play Love Makes a Home: The Life of Rebecca Boone has been presented in seven venues, and will be presented next at 6 pm Thursday, August 2, at the Orchard at Altapass in Spruce Pine, NC.

From the Hive. i see the moon by Sarah McKinney

Deep into a hive as I work, I look up and notice that the moon is out during the daytime. It reminds me how beautiful and constant it has been in my life, just like my mother. Steady. Solid. Overflowing with glowing love. On the frame in my hands are thousands of honeybees busily working and attending the hatching baby bees. Then I see her, the queen mother. She lays over 1,500 eggs a day in peak season, spending all her days in darkness surrounded by a group of her daughters. They take care of her every need, as she has no time to do anything but lay eggs. She chooses whether she wants to lay a male or female, simply by fertilizing or not fertilizing the egg, after precisely measuring the cells like a minuscule mathematician. I watch her stroll across the frame. Everyone moves out of her way, for she is the mother and the most important one in the hive. Their survival depends on her. After seeing

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the moon and the queen my thoughts drift to my mother…. October 17 1972. I am born into this world. Mother sings a lullaby to me: “I see the moon, the moon sees me, the moon sees the one that I want to see.” It is 1977. I’m five years old. I’m sitting in the backseat of her 1969 Pontiac. My older sister has already fallen asleep on our trip back from the mountains. I see the moon out my window. I watch its borrowed light fill the sky. The moon chases me alongside our family car; over hills, through trees, leaving me only for brief moments as it dodges thick patches of trees and clouds. It is spring 1986. I am 13 years old. I rub my hands over my horse Ginger’s swollen, round belly. My dad has told me to wait 12 moons until Ginger gives birth to her first baby horse. And now, it is the 12th full moon! “How will she know when the baby horse is ready?” I ask excitedly. My dad stops shining his boots and smiles, “She will know Sarah, just like her mother did.” Sure enough, on that full moon night Ginger’s eyes widen. She paces a circle, and pushes out Boomerang Moon, whose head is marked with a white crescent. I watch his shaking hooves touch the ground for the first time, as his eyes fill with the full moon.

Notes on photos: The queen bee photo is by Kathleen Soriano Taylor, and the moon photo through the telescope is by Sarah’s daughter, Zoe Eshan. (They were from that supermoon eclipse in January.)

Throughout my life when I miss my mom, I look up at the moon and am connected to her once again. I know we share the same moon, and that the moon sees the person I want to see. I am driving to visit my aunt in Asheville, with my first child, Zoe, in my belly. My mouth is open at the sight of all the land variations that we don’t see on the coast of North Carolina. Then the moon appears. Big as a mountain, full and orange. I catch a deep breath. It is the same moon that watched me grow up. That watches the world grow up. “I see the moon. The moon sees me.” Fall 2002. My daughter Zoe looks up at the night sky, points, and says “moon.” That word flows from her lips for the first time, and her eyes fill with the moon’s light. “The moon sees the one that I want to see.” October 2005. I listen to my now four-year-old daughter correct me after commenting on the beauty of the moon’s light. “You know mom, the moon’s light really comes from the sun.” My two-year-old son looks up with that familiar, refreshing awe. “Moon!” He points to the night sky. Just as his sister did once, just as I did, as you did, as we all did. And with the moon, we are all connected. Mom, I see the moon, the moon sees me, and the moon sees the one that I want to see: you, Mom. I see your light in every moon.  

MAY 2018  // 


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I dug deep into the covers after the long drive home from the burial of my mother. The weight of the covers offered warmth but no relief. Years of providing oversight for her care had kept my feelings of pending loss at bay. There was nothing on this night separating me from the depth of grief exemplified by a sustained image of the powerful severing of the umbilical cord. My grief was intensified because I had felt powerless to impact the quality of her care. In Die Wise, Stephen Jenkinson writes, “Your life is always lived in the arc of your mother. At birth, we leave the only home we’ve ever had. We’ve never existed without the memory of our mother.” As long as she breathed I could touch the power of our connection. I didn’t know how else to explain the image of the severing of the umbilical cord other than as a reflection of my profound loss. I’ve spent much of my life in efforts to complete gestalts steeped in behaviors on the part of my mother that, unknowingly to her, had the impact of rendering me void of a healthy selfesteem. She birthed and cared for me to the best of her ability and yet I held onto resentments, blaming her for all that I deemed wrong in my life. It was easier to dump my anger on her than to turn the mirror around and accept that, as an adult, I was responsible. Yes, what I internalized was rooted in my childhood but to live an adult life as a pouting child didn’t benefit me or

22  //  MAY 2018

our relationship. I wasted years being angry with her. I chose to care for her even as it meant stuffing my feelings. She gave me life; how could I not step up? She held to her values, always in conflict with mine, such as criticizing the hole in my jeans after I’d driven seven hours to see her. I can’t say how I was able to continue swallowing my resentments other than the desire to care for her was greater. Maybe because she looked so vulnerable and fragile or maybe I just loved her for giving me life and wanted to give back. Sadly, it was just weeks before her death that she began to shed the barriers of criticisms about me, all the things that she’d spent my entire life trying to change. As I walked into her room she blurted out that she realized that she’d placed importance on things that were not important and was sorry for that. We softened in the silence of that moment, touching an intimacy that we desperately longed for. It was life changing in that it propelled me into a deep examination of how the layers of history and projections profoundly contaminate the present, forging a blinding gap between people—t he e l e ph a n t in t h e r o o m , a palpable yet invisible presence. As I lay buried in the covers, there wasn’t a container big enough to hold the feelings that were flowing, all that we had allowed to stand between just loving each other, anger at me, her, regret, despair, loss, a grief no less than the impact of the severing of the umbilical cord.

After more than a decade of hospice work, beginning soon after mother’s death, I bore witness to the potential of pending death to serve as a leveling field if people choose to step into the opportunity for healing and closure. From my vantage point, few people dared the discomfort of crossing a chasm deep with ruts of a lifetime. I was grateful that my mother and I bridged some of the gaps that kept us at a distance and yet more layers were added to the grief in that it happened so late. So much work yet to do as I had to own my part in the painful gap that I allowed to keep me at a distance. It is an enigma: one’s relationship with one’s mother. The connection is profound simply by virtue of one’s birth, and yet the layers of history have the power to contaminate the purity of that love. I was raw with grief as I began hospice work, alert to the elephant in the room. At times the distance I felt between people was heart-wrenching. Having a sister die at 40 and my dad at 47, I was thrust into the realities of dying long before one would normally confront the ever-present potential. The death of my mother, my beloved golden retriever companion Celie, and being present with their dying impacted my life more than any other single event. The desire to live in present time, clean from the past while looking towards the future, has at times been like a madness and since the potential of death is always hovering, the urgency is ever present. The

norm seems to live as though tomorrow is a sure thing, but I tend towards the uncertainty inherent in today. Balance has not come easily. After providing oversight for my mother’s sister who had no one to look after her in her dying days, I packed up my stuff and with Celie, took to the highway with one intention; to not come home until I felt that I’d bottomed out on all the conflict that resided within me around my mother. It was a long journey and, while I felt relief, I also felt an incredible depth of sadness. I never knew my mother for who she really was because everything was filtered through my perceptions of her, many rooted at such an early age that I wasn’t even aware of them until I had done enough soul searching. My mother was a strong and assertive woman long before it was deemed okay for women to express themselves openly. I didn’t see that in her. I didn’t see her as the caregiver that she was for other people because I didn’t feel that she was a caregiver for me. I didn’t see the risk she took as a woman in the ’60s even as she was frightened to step out on her own after her husband died. She was a remarkable woman and my own blinders kept me from seeing that until it was too late to relate to her as two women making it in the world on their own. Now I cherish the ways I am like my mother and have released the stuff that doesn’t serve me. I will always miss her and even though she

has been dead for 18 years, I am never without longing for her; to have her listen to a new piano piece, to share excitement over the baby bluebirds, to savor the blooming of a gardenia, our favorite flower, and mostly to just know that she is there to listen because that is what mothers do. I will always regret that we didn’t lay down the stuff that kept us at a distance until it was too late to enjoy a long history of fruits from that special intimacy. I can only hope that my children will choose to know me for me and not from their projection of who I am so that we can cherish many years in present time before I leave them. I pray that there are no elephants in the room when I am dying. I don’t think it is our destiny to repeat the past. I do believe, however, that much is required to honor the past yet not empower it to reside in the present.   Farrell continues to assist elders, teach piano, create artwork, play piano for a Sunday service, garden and in her spare time continues writing about the silent voices behind closed doors of those entrusted to the care of our health care system. She can be reached at

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MINDING HER OWN BUSINESS  »  Meridith Elliott Powell

Chasing The Elusive Dream Of Work-Life Balance I just took a month off from work, an entire month where I made the

decision to go have fun, travel (to Southeast Asia) and not focus on growing my business. Okay I will admit, I did still answer some emails and I did make some sales calls, but still I was for the most part MIA (missing in action) from my business. This is my second year in a row doing this… giving myself permission to turn off my entrepreneurial drive for two full months per year. Even though the idea scared me to death the first year, I decided to do it as an experiment just to see what would happen. What would happen if I took my foot off the gas and focused my attention elsewhere. To my surprise in 2017 the result was that my business increased by thirty-percent. We will see what happens at the close of 2018. So why did I decide to do this? Well, like most of you who run your own business or are part of a team that is driven to succeed, I work all the time. I never turn it off. Now, I love what I do, so this work is not something I don’t like; in fact, just the opposite: it is something I have passion for and I am driven to do. However, I kept reading the articles, listening to the gurus about the importance of taking time away from the business. That it would really recharge my battery and increase my productivity. Also, I wanted to travel. Now that my husband has more flexibility in his work, it is the first time in our lives we can take those three and fourweek vacations.


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Being a life-long workaholic, I started small. Three years ago, I took my first two-week vacation half of which put me in a location with no internet access. When my business did not suffer it motivated me to take it a step further. In 2017 the goal was to take one month off, and I chose May (one of my historically busiest months.) When the world did not come crashing down, and I realized how much I enjoyed my month away I decided to take December off, too. When my accountant told me at year-end that my business actually increased I was sold on this idea of giving myself permission to chase this elusive dream of work-life balance. Now, I don’t really believe in balance nor am I striving for it. I think a smarter goal is to know what you want out of life both professionally and personally and merge those together in a way that has you feeling excitement whatever you are doing. For me, I had found that in my professional life, but there were goals and things I wanted to do personally that I needed time away from my business to achieve.

4 Vital Lessons I Learned From Taking Time Off


Recharging My Most Important Muscle. I have always heard that the brain is a muscle and it needs time to rest and to recharge. Just like any other muscle in our bodies we can overuse it and stretch it too much. Working seven days a week yearin and year-out I am guilty of that. By giving myself the time to walk away from the day-in, day-out need to produce, I find this important muscle is so much stronger and

ready to work once I get back in the professional chair. The month after I return from my extended vacation, I find is my most creative and productive.


Paradigm Shift. Walking away from my business for a full-month and shifting my focus to physical exercise and cultural experiences has given me the opportunity to see my business from a different perspective. A true paradigm shift when it comes to problems or challenges in my business. This is probably my most surprising lesson of the four. I had no idea how much taking time off would do in giving me room to breathe new life into my business. In this fast-paced, constantly changing marketplace, businesses need to change and grow. By walking away, and taking my head out of the business space, I always come back with powerful new ideas on how to grow my business.


Getting My Priorities Straight. We all say it: our family and friends are the most important things in our lives, but like many entrepreneurs my actions did not really show it. In the last two years, both my husband and I have lost our parents, and that experience has been a huge wake-up call to what really matters. When I look back on my life now, my greatest memories are never of work, they are of travel with family, special occasions celebrated and time with friends. Taking this time away from my business has helped me get my priorities straight. Creating memories and experiences that I treasure and will remember for my lifetime.


Putting It In Perspective. This is my favorite lesson of all because it has taught me not to take myself too seriously. As an entrepreneur, I have always been defined by my business and what I do. I needed to get a grip and understand that there is more to life and more to me than the services I provide and the work that I do.

Taking time away from my business has helped me put that into perspective. Whether my business grows from the experience or suffers a little it just does not matter. When my career comes to an end, I want to make sure I am not that person who is lost about what to do with their life, but someone who is excited about the possibilities. These mini month-long vacations are ensuring I can put things in perspective. One of the great benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you set your own schedule. One of the drawbacks is that you set your own schedule. Every self-employed person I know works all the time, never really taking a vacation day and considers weekends time to catch-up. While I know that two months off per year may be too much for most to consider, I would challenge any of you working for yourself to find the time to chase the elusive dream of work-life balance.   Voted One Of The Top 15 Business Growth Experts To Watch, Meridith Elliott Powell is an awardwinning author and keynote speaker. She helps her clients learn the strategies they need to succeed no matter what this economy does.


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CURRENCY CORNER  »  Scott boatwright, j.d.

A Lifetime of Financial Wisdom from My Mother


y mom, Wilma Scott Boatwright, is eightythree now, but I guarantee that she still balances her checkbook with greater precision than I do each month. As a child growing up in Waynesville, I probably didn’t realize that she had any special financial savvy. Facing significant decisions about money as an adult has certainly made me appreciate just how acute her financial senses have always been. Had she been born one generation later, she would have excelled in my profession of financial planning. With Mother’s Day upon us, I took the opportunity of interviewing my mom about her life from a financial perspective, and about the financial wisdom that she would like to pass on.

My mom was born and raised on a 96‑acre farm in Smyth County, Virginia, about twenty minutes from Interstate 81. When I asked how money was managed in her family, her answer was succinct: “Well, we had very little money to manage—very, very little. The main income came in the late summer/early fall when we sold the beef cattle.”  Her parents made that income last all year by being incredibly frugal. “We raised most of the food we ate, and our fuel came from the farm—the wood from the mountains. We didn’t have an electric bill until the 1940s—that’s when the electric line came down Teas Road.” My mom has great stories about how her parents’ thrift and hard work impacted her. “I remember when Mom would take the eggs to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Marion. Afterwards, we would go over to the

Marion Drug Store that was diagonally across the street, and she would let me have ten cents’ worth of cashews out of a machine. That was so special! I can still smell that.” I was curious whether my mom remembered financial distinctions among the people that grew up in her farming valley. “There were families that, now, I realize, had more land and cattle and more money, but, then, there was no distinction. We were at church with them and that’s who our friends were. There was no caste system, and everybody was pretty much equal.”  My mom was the first in her family to attend college. She arrived at what is now Radford University having never seen it before, even though it’s only about seventy miles from the farm. At first, her plan was to complete a two-year secretarial course, but she continued on to get a bachelor’s degree. Before and during my dad’s residency training in Richmond, my mom taught high school business courses—her first year salary was $2,400!—and took evening and Saturday classes to earn her master’s degree in business.  

For my parents’ entire marriage, my mother was the one keeping the books. When I asked how she and Dad decided that she would be the bookkeeper, she said “[t]here was no discussion that I remember. Since I was business and he was medicine, each one just did his own thing.” When I asked whether she had taken some accounting courses that helped her, she was indignant: “I taught accounting!”  Duly noted. My parents were always savers first and not big believers in credit. When I asked what sort of mortgage they had on their first home in Waynesville, in 1961, the answer was that they didn’t have one. The house had cost $12,000. How had they managed to save that much during my father’s residency, with my mom teaching school? The answer, not surprisingly, was work and controlled spending. “While we were in Richmond, Bob had two jobs. He did the residency job and then, on weekends, he did autopsies for the medical examiner and JohnstonWillis Hospital. We didn’t spend a lot of money living in Richmond.” Mom remembered that her own parents had the same attitude toward credit: “My Mom and Dad never bought anything ‘on time.’ The fertilizer, they wouldn’t buy it until they had money. Without having the money, they didn’t buy anything.” My mom wouldn’t want anyone to believe that she was always levelheaded in financial decisions, but even her departures from fully rational thought often had not-horrible endings. I had her re-tell a story that has

26  //  MAY 2018

been family legend since the 1970s. “Maggie Valley had these auction houses, mainly for the tourists. Libby Kauffman and some other ladies, we decided we’d go out to Maggie Valley one night for the auction. We had been before and bought, like, dish towels for a dollar. And that night, as they usually did, they passed around pieces of jewelry for everyone to examine. They passed around this solitaire diamond ring—it was beautiful. Just out of the blue sky I decided to bid on it and ended up buying it for $400. It made me sick to my stomach after I had done it. I couldn’t believe what I had done. When I wrote the check, they knew I was scared to death. The auctioneer said, ‘That’s okay, we’ll give you twenty-four hours and, if you decide you don’t want it, just bring it on back and we’ll give you your money back.’ So I went back home, and of course Bob was asleep. I woke him up from a deep sleep and told him what I’d done. I was in such a state that he laughed. He said, ‘We’ll just count it as an investment.’ The next day, I was determined to find out how much I had overpaid, so I drove to Asheville and had the ring appraised. It appraised for within $25 of what I had paid for it—I think $25 more. But I took it back anyway. And what do you think it would be worth now? Thousands of dollars, I guess. So that’s one bad decision I made.”

Our daughter, Harper, was with me when I was quizzing Mom, so asking for advice that she wanted to pass on to the next generation was a natural ending point for our discussion. Her answer was equal parts clear-headed and sentimental. “I think you need to study business some. Because a lot of times, people that go into a profession, like medicine, don’t have much background in business. So, even though they may have a good income, they don’t have any experience in business to go along with it…. I hope that when I’m gone, you will take good care of the farm so you can pass it along to the next generation. That’s really important to me. Be good stewards of the land.”  

Scott Boatwright, J.D., is a financial planner at Starks Financial Group (440 Montford Ave., Asheville, NC 28801 / 828-285-8777). Starks Financial Group is not a registered broker/dealer, nor is it affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.  Member FINRA/ SIPC. Investment Advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. This article expresses the opinions of Scott Boatwright and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Raymond James does not provide legal services. MAY 2018  // 


Asheville Humane Society Is your pet destined for the spotlight? Enter their photo and story in Asheville Humane Society’s Pet of the Year Contest! Campaign for your pet to win the title “WNC’s Pet of the Year!” Voting is $1 per vote and all the proceeds will benefit local animals in need! Prizes include private sessions with one of our professional pet photographers, features in Prestige Subaru advertising, gift packages from local pet businesses, and more! Visit our website for details and to sign up! A curated pet supply store with 3 convenient Asheville locations, including a new location in West Asheville! Visit us 7 days a week or online anytime!

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Calling All Cats Most people think that cats groom themselves. But in reality cats only lick themselves. Nothing is done during the licking process to relieve a cat of tangles, mats, fleas, dandruff, skin conditions, etc. At Calling All Cats we use the best products, high quality tools, and advanced techniques to remove tangles and mats, degrease coats, remove excess shedding, clean up dirty hindquarters, trim nails, neaten up overgrown faces, and more.

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It’s no mystery that dogs love daycare and boarding at Camp Bow Wow South Asheville. You can tell by the way they whine and bark with excitement at the mention of C‑A‑M‑P. Dogs pull their parents from the parking lot through the front door because they can’t wait to romp and play with their fur-iends. Parents love Camp Bow Wow too; they know while they are busy away for a day or traveling, their furry kid is happier and healthier while they get regular exercise and improved socialization with dogs and people.

Your cat is part of your family, and Cat Care Clinic is here to help your kitties live a long and happy life. Our full-service veterinary practice specializes in the well-being of cats, and only cats. Dr. Karel Carnohan and her staff provide a range of services including: Wellness exams for kittens as well as adult cats; vaccinations and immunizations; cat obesity management and nutritional counseling; anesthesia and surgery; boarding and grooming services and more.

Asheville’s first licensed doggie playland, daycare, and social boarding facility. The concept has grown in popularity in urban areas across the country and has found an apt home in pet-loving Asheville. We are conveniently located in North Asheville, near the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The Dog House staff has over 40 years combined experience breeding and handling dogs, and the facility is licensed by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division.


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A local non-profit supporting Therapeutic Horsemanship, including Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning provided at no cost to veterans, their families, at-risk youth and their families. Founded to support and insure quality, professional equine services, our vision is that every veteran and at-risk youth get access to the therapeutic opportunities horses offer. We offer demonstrations to small groups who want to learn what Equine Therapy is all about.

Through grassroots efforts, we envision a future in which all companion animals find loving homes where they are able to receive the care and respect they deserve. Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville is a foster-based group of pet lovers that are committed to the welfare of pets and their humans. If you are interested in joining our efforts through adopting, volunteering, or fostering please reach out to us.


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A curated pet supply store focusing on nutritious food and high quality supplies for dogs, cats and small animals. The business started in an old farmhouse in West Asheville in 2011, and has now grown to three larger full-line stores across Asheville. While the business has grown over the years, the friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff and warm, inviting atmosphere has not changed, and PAPCo remains Asheville’s favorite pet supply store!

The Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital (REACH) is a 24-hour veterinary emergency and specialty hospital located in Asheville, NC. Our mission, as a group of compassionate and professional team members, is to provide exceptional emergency medicine, critical care and specialty referral services to the pets of Western North Carolina. As the only hospital in Western North Carolina solely dedicated to providing veterinary emergency and specialty medicine, our doctors and staff are trained and experienced specifically in emergency medical care.

Designed to bathe your pet in an affordable, climate controlled facility. Equipped with a waist high stainless tub, we offer 4 different shampoo selections, conditioner, and heated dryer. Open 7 days a week, 8 am–9 pm. Located with Splash-n-Dash Car Wash in Mills River at 50 Cross Road Drive.


Camper must pass interview and be current on all required vaccinations. Other restrictions apply.


Camp Bow Wow South Asheville 5 Airport Road, Arden, NC, 28704 828-676-0444 MAY 2018  // 


PET CARE CORNER  »  Dr. Beth Hampton Jones

A Wild Afternoon


irtually every veterinarian I know has dreamed of working with exotic animals, either at a zoo or out in the field. In veterinary school I had the opportunity to clean a tiger’s teeth, and on another occasion, we treated a manatee’s wounds. Those are some of my most memorable experiences as a vet. So, when I heard Peter Gros of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was coming to Asheville for an event, I was super excited to go. Peter was kind enough to grant me a phone interview before the event. Many years ago, Peter found himself raising a large litter of tiger cubs who had been abandoned by their mother. Johnny Carson of The Tonight Show heard about this unusual circumstance and invited Peter and the cubs to be guests on his show. At the taping, Peter met Jim Fowler, Marlin Perkins’ famous sidekick from Wild Kingdom. Mr. Perkins was getting close to retirement, and Jim offered Peter the job. What a fortuitous meeting that led to a lifetime of animal adventure, education, and resource conservation and protection. Because of his interest in conservation, I asked him about his experience with saving endangered species from extinction. He told me about his participation in bringing the California Condor off the endangered species list. Condors are scavengers who eat rotting material, and they contribute significantly to the balance of the ecosystem. With a concerted effort, these grand birds are flying again in good numbers and doing their very important job in nature. Peter travels the globe learning about animals and the environment, and then he shares that information everywhere he can. In a culture where fear and danger draw crowds and ratings, he hopes “to create more understanding and less fear.” What an improved world we could have if we all espoused that goal!




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After a wonderful phone interview and much anticipation, my daughter and I arrived for the event, and we sat in the front row because I wanted a good view of all the animals. With the help of young people in the audience, Peter showed us a hissing cockroach, a large Cane Toad, and a scorpion. When the children came on stage, their faces revealed wonder, worry and excitement. He followed these creatures with a legless lizard (pictured in this article), an anteater, and a lemur. He showed us both a tortoise and a turtle to highlight their differences. Did you know turtles are generally omnivores, while tortoises are herbivores? Now I do! I got to see my first porcupine in real life, and I watched a two-toed sloth sloppily eat a banana. I was in heaven! The last furry creature was a Binturong, an animal that I’m told smells like buttered popcorn when he emits an odor. For the finale, Peter called up four young people to hold a boa constrictor. Those children had various responses to being that close to a snake, but I am sure it was an experience none of them will ever forget. After the show, Peter graciously allowed me to take a few photos, including the one of the leg-less lizard. I told him how much I envied his job, and he told me how much he respected veterinarians and the role they play in animal health and conservation. The whole experience was an absolute joy. So, in this special pet section of WNC Woman, Peter and I both want you to know that we agree on a very important point. The animals I mention in this article are animals that have to live in captivity due to some special circumstance. Some were abandoned by their mothers, others

The Joyful Breath

were injured and could not be returned to the wild, and others were born in captivity. These animals provide a very special opportunity for education, and they highlight well the challenges we face in preserving endangered species and their habitats. However, they DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS. These animals are not domesticated, and they do not deserve to be caged or denied their natural lives in the wild. They can also be dangerous or carry diseases to humans in some cases. No one needs a wild animal as a pet— ever. Please learn about these animals, enjoy them at educational events, protect their environment, and let them be wild. I asked Peter if he brought any medical personnel along, either human medics or veterinarians, when he traveled to remote locations. He said that those folks didn’t routinely travel with the crew, but they established relationships with local professionals at each location. That sounds very reasonable but it also sounds like there might be a job opening for an enthusiastic veterinarian from Asheville on that team. Well, that’s probably just a dream, but even after all these years, the desire still resides somewhere in my soul. Thank you, Peter Gros and your team, for all that you do for the animals, and for rekindling that “wild kingdom” excitement again for a wonderful afternoon. Dr. Beth Hampton Jones is a veterinarian in Asheville providing acupuncture and cold laser for dogs and cats. You can reach her at 828-450-0851 or visit her website at


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Imagine raising three daughters, many years as a single mom… and add into that situation that one of them has special needs for her daily care. Yet, Amanda Levesque, now at age 34, lives independently and has created a life for herself with the help of her strong mother Patty that isn’t so different from the life of any young woman.

Amanda to be such a strong, determined and independent woman even with her physical challenges.

If you’ve been around the Asheville community for any length of time you may have read about Amanda in WNC Woman magazine (May 2010), seen her on a Little Pearls video, or glimpsed her tooling around downtown in her motorized wheel chair. You may have even heard her singing on a YouTube video!

“Amanda was my first child, born at home and all went well. But as she grew something was a bit off. All her checkups were fine but when she was 17 months old she had a vomiting episode one day; she couldn’t take food or nurse, so we decided to take her to the hospital. On the way there she went into shock and lost oxygen to her brain; she even reverted to a fetal position.” The family spent two months in the hospital, going through inconclusive tests and therapy but when she finally started to grow and get better they were released to go home.

Patty and I sat down recently to talk about how she has managed to raise

After a few months more of physical therapy that was not showing great

results, the family decided to undertake a “very intensive home therapy program through The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. It was very involved, but we were committed to doing it because they specialized in children with brain injuries and had done world-wide research. Our goal was for her to be able to walk. Over several years she grew stronger, she was smart and determined, but was only able to walk with support.” By the time Amanda was six she wanted to go to Kindergarten, so the family reluctantly got her a wheelchair and she was off to school. Even though her speech wasn’t always perfectly clear, most people could understand her (unless she was too excited and talked too fast!). “I could tell she was smart and motivated, but I had to be her advocate, attending all the IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meetings and fighting to keep her in regular classes rather than what were called Resource Classes. Through all those years she absorbed so much.” Being in a wheelchair and unable to write meant that Amanda needed the support of an aid and other special modifications. All her tests were done verbally, and someone helped by taking notes on carbon paper to share with her. In middle school she was introduced to theatre and art and that was to be her path through her life. “In High School at North Buncombe one of the most influential people was her theatre teacher Rick Webb (nicknamed ‘Spider’) who supported her to be in every single theatre production; she joined the chorus and sang in every presentation.” She was able to go on field trips because the school accommodated her needs for a lift on the bus and an assistant to help her. “You learn to ask for what you need and is it doable… so many things are doable. A curb cut, bathroom access.” A great example of this was when Amanda wanted to audition for a play at Asheville Community Theatre (ACT). The auditions took place on the

stage and she couldn’t get up there so the director held her group’s auditions on a lower level and insisted that the theatre build a ramp, so she could get backstage. He even created the role of a wheelchair-bound character for her. And when she was ready to leave home for college she first attended a summer program at Mars Hill College called Upward Bound. After that she was

to many people coming and going. As they grew up they went to Amanda’s events and she came with me to watch them in gymnastics or soccer.” In college Amanda had quickly learned that there was competition in theatre, often fierce, and that there were not a lot of roles for wheelchair actors. But wanting to be in that world, she did props, ushered, tried her hand at as-

several yoga classes from Mathew Sanford who, from his own wheelchair, teaches others abled differently as well. “She works with the kids at Jubilee! on Wall street and sings with the Jubilee! singers. She’s doing community theatre with Barrie Barton’s choreography group “Stand and Deliver Asheville.” She travels and has visited her father and family in Connecticut and her sisters in Colorado. “She just kept going whether for work or fun or inspiration or just her own well-being.” When Patty and I talked about her own and Amanda’s process of growth, it was clear that even though there were times when fear might have crept in and caused Patty to pull Amanda back (like the time in High School when Amanda “ran away” from school and was found in her wheel chair on the side of a road in a ditch) Amanda’s determination to create a life she wanted led to independence and strength on both sides. Whether her drive came from the years of the home care program that helped her see that progress was possible for her, or whether she simply was born with it, we may never know. 

ready to fly, and UNC-Greensboro was her destination. “She was there for five years and received her BA in Theatre Arts. I was in touch with the woman in charge of her dorm and the special department that dealt with special needs students. There were times when she wanted to take a specific class in a location that was inaccessible to her and they moved the class for her. She was a pioneer in so many ways.” Through all those years Patty was also raising two other daughters, Aliza, two-and-a-half years younger than Amanda, and Andrea, another two years younger. I wondered how Amanda’s life and needs affected the two younger girls and Patty says, “It was just a part of our lives. We had a lot of help from volunteers, so they got used

sistant directing. After returning from UNCG she co-founded a group called Interweave, a mixed abilities performance group that does Improv. and other performances around town. The culmination of her love of theatre is probably her work in the past five years with the Fringe Festival ( an annual performing arts multiple-venue festival. She has won awards each year and this year’s piece “The Unspoken Word” she co-directed with friend Meredith Yager led to a “Most Inspiring” award for the multi-media piece aimed at dispelling myths about suicide. Today Amanda lives on her own in a downtown Asheville apartment. “Because she is determined, she’ll try things, put it out there.” She’s taken MAY 2018  // 


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by Pam Robbins My mom lost her voice a few month’s ago. Her creative voice, that is. It was October 16. I remember the date because it was two days after I opened my new business. Not great timing—but, then again, these things never are. My sister called and said that mom had, apparently, been in a car accident. I booked a flight to St. Louis and packed my bags. Since it was still touch-and-go, I took clothes for hanging out in the hospital and clothes for attending a funeral. I’m practical like that. As it turned out, my mom’s car had rolled into a pylon, but it was in a parking garage, and it was because she had suffered a cardiac arrest. Her story is filled with all kinds of serendipitous events: she happened to be driving past a hospital when she started feeling poorly; there happened to be two student nurses leaving the hospital as she pulled into the garage; she happened to have cracked her window before passing out, so the nurses could unlock her car; etc. She arrested two more times before her “angels” were able to get her into the hospital, and, according to the doctors, it was a miracle that she survived. My mom ended up needing a double-bypass, which she got later that week. Physically, she recovered just fine, but, mentally, she struggled. After the surgery, she fell into a deep depression and, at one point, asked her doctors if they would help end her life. Every day, we lost her a little bit more until the only thing left of my once vivacious mom was a lifeless shell.

Then, one day, we got a second miracle: my mom returned from wherever she had been and started to recover. Little by little, she became interested in life again and, eventually, was released from the hospital, and then the rehab center, and moved back home. My mom is an artist, so engaging in life, first and foremost, means creating. Prior to her experience, she had been a photographer, first doing portraits, then moving into more experimental images. After her illness, however, she lost interest in her work. It didn’t call to her like it once did. She had lost her creative voice—and, to some extent, herself. Like my mom, we all have a need to find and express our creative voice. For highly creative people, making stuff is necessary for survival. For the rest of us, creating isn’t essential,

but it helps give meaning to our lives; it makes us feel more fulfilled. What’s difficult—and what’s challenging my mom—is figuring out what makes your “heart sing.” It intrigues me how so many people are drawn to painting, for example, and it really does nothing for me. I, on the other hand, am fascinated by the process of deconstructing and reconstructing images, and not everyone sees the fun in that. Besides time and experimentation, finding one’s creative voice requires letting go of judgement. Some people believe that fine arts are the only true arts; crafts (like knitting, quilting, collaging) are considered less valuable. That simply isn’t true. If creating a mosaic stepping stone gets you excited, good for you! If making jewelry puts you in the zone, go for it! Who’s to say what is and isn’t “art”?

If, like my mom, you’re struggling to find your creative voice, I encourage you to play around until you find something that captures your attention. Creativity begets creativity, so, even if you find out something isn’t your thing, doing anything creative will make you more receptive to what is. Although my mom still hasn’t found the thing that gets her really excited, she’s been exploring. In the last couple of months, she’s taken a writing class, read books on watercolor painting, and played with her bead collection. If she can outsmart death three times, I’m confident that she’ll be “singing” again soon!  Pam Robbins is a life coach and owner of Purple Crayon, a shared play space for women hobby artists just north of downtown Asheville. She loves helping women find their creative voice, either through workshops or creativity coaching. If you’re looking for a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, consider a Purple Crayon gift certificate! Please visit Purple Crayon’s website or email Pam at for more information.

MAY 2018  // 


Best Brunches K By Sarah Nowicki Nicholson

Brunch. It’s some insane combination of lunch and breakfast—where all things cheesey, eggy, decadent, sweet, and syrupy meet between 10 a.m. at 2 p.m. You can choose not to choose. You can have coffee, juice, and something boozy. Put an egg on your burger; use French toast as a sandwich. sheville and the surrounding areas are bursting with brunch options. The A beauty of this city is that it isn’t just a classic brunch with eggs benedict or a Bloody Mary that’s on the menu. You can order an avocado toast just as easily as carrot hot cakes. You can grab southern classics like fried green tomatoes and add in a side of cured local trout. Here are our Best of Brunches as decided by those who live and play here in the land of the sky. . 

Photo courtesy Sunny Point Café

38  //  MAY 2018

Best Classic Brunch K Early Girl

A downtown Asheville staple, Early Girl has sat perched on Wall Street with lines of hungry diners waiting for their brunch fix since opening its doors in 2001. Although owners John and Julie Stehling will be handing over the reins to Jesson and Cristina Gil of Blackbird on Biltmore Avenue, here’s to hoping that the delicious brunch classics like fried green tomatoes, porky breakfast bowls, and sausage and sweet potato scrambles don’t change. It ain’t broke.


Best Outdoor Brunch K The Market Place

In a town where restaurants come and go on a fairly regular basis, The Market Place has remained in its corner on Wall Street since 1979. Every Saturday and Sunday, patrons can snag a spot on the beautiful sunny patio—one of the few in downtown—and enjoy dishes inspired by the mountains themselves. “Our garden patio is filled with edible flowers, herbs, and vegetables— making it an urban oasis in downtown Asheville,” says Executive Chef and Owner, William Dissen.


Best Latin Brunch K Limone’s

If you’re searching for a brunch outside the eggs, bacon, and toast box, look no further than Limone’s. The Mexican restaurant boasts brunch specials ranging from chipotle chilaquiles with eggs, queso fresco, and bacon snug in a tortilla casserole to authentic hot chocolate with churros. Plus, the Paloma made with Jarrito Grapefruit soda is a nice brunch-time drink.


Best Beer & Brunch K Salt and Smoke

Starting out as a pop-up kitchen at Burial Brewing in 2015, Salt and Smoke has grown to a killer brunch program utilizing the creative brews coming out of the spot. The team makes the best of seasonal vegetables in each Sunday omelet and the chefs de cuisine, Brendan and Harrison, are constantly “playing around” with cured fish (just last week, they cured some Sunburst trout with hibiscus). This isn’t your average bar food. “Our double patty, dinner style brunch burger is always a hit, especially with Burial’s ShadowClock Pilsner,” says Shannon McGaughey, owner and general manager.  


Best Fill You Up Til Dinner Brunch K King Daddy’s  

Fried chicken over top a buttery waffle is the brunch you never knew you needed. Want a classic Belgian topped with heirloom fried chicken? How about a cornmeal waffle and Korean chicken? With tons of choices and healthy portions, King Daddy’s solidifies its spot as the best fill-you-up brunch spot. Owner Julie Stehling says, “We like to fill your belly with delicious and fill your soul with comfort. The fried chicken never fails for self-soothing yumminess and if you prefer a little less decadence, the shiitake and rice bowl is a raved-about favorite.”


Best Hangover Brunch Best Locals’ Brunch K Biscuithead

K Sunny Point Café

When you live in the town with a brewery on just about every corner, it’s very possible to overindulge. Luckily, if you’re hunting for solace in the form of brunch, there’s Biscuithead. With three locations—one in West Asheville (the original location on Haywood), one nestled on Biltmore Avenue, a new location in South Asheville, and a far off spot in Greenville, Biscuithead is an easy location to get to regardless of where you are in (or how badly you’re feeling). Thanks to gravy flights, jam bars (don’t miss the pepper jellies or the tomato jam), protein heavy biscuits with eggs, fried chicken, bacon, or any combination, those riding the struggle bus on a Saturday or Sunday morning can take some comfort in these twisted southern staples.

Drive down Haywood on any given Saturday or Sunday morning, and you’ve likely noticed the throngs waiting outside Sunny Point Café. Asheville locals know that the café has one of the best brunches in town, and boasts plates piled high with everything from gourmet avocado toast with arugula, eggs, pickled onions, and bacon to stacks of organic carrot hotcakes with cardamom cream cheese and maple syrup. “We’re thankful for all the local and neighborhood support we’ve received since first opening in September 2003. We love seeing familiar faces bringing family and friends from near and far to dine at our restaurant and explore neighboring West Asheville businesses. With the addition of our on-site garden and expanded waiting area we see locals and visitors alike taking time to sit and talk, enjoy our garden and relax,” says Alice io Oglesby, director of marketing at Sunny Point.


Best Boozy Brunch K Desoto Lounge

Think of brunch, think of Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Desoto Lounge in West Asheville offers quite a spread on Saturday and Sunday mornings including a full Bloody Mary and mimosa bar from noon to 3 p.m. If you aren’t in the mood for a little liquid day-starter, don’t miss the assorted breakfast burritos or the French toast paninis—marrying together sweet, cheesy, breakfast goodness. Also, there’s foosball.


Best Farm-to-Table Brunch K Over Easy Café

Lavender French Toast, seasonal hash bowls, and local stone ground grits, all hearken to Over Easy’s dedication to area farmers. Nearly every item on the menu has a name next to it—like Queen Bee Farm eggs, Sunburst Trout, Goat Lady Dairy, Olivetti Farm, and many more. “We care about where our food comes from and have great respect for the farmers that provide us with such amazing products. By changing our menu regularly, we can be creative and use only the freshest ingredients.  The connections between our farmers and vendors are the basis of how we build our menu,” says owner Carson Lucci and Executive Chef Eric Burleson. Don’t miss the wide array of dishes studded with local produce year round.


❯ MAY 2018  // 



The Why Behind The Scene In SolFarm Solar Company’s eyes, nothing is better than a healthy planet for us and our children to enjoy. At the age of 24, SolFarm’s marketing manager, Katie Mussel, has already traveled to 23 countries, graduated from a four-year university, overcome the death of a parent. She now spends her time running the marketing team for one of the most trusted solar installation companies in Asheville. SolFarm’s owner Mike Diethelm found Katie at the Walk’s taco Tuesday on a warm night in September 2017. They bonded over their love for a healthy planet, the importance of renewable energy and chicken tacos. Since Duke Energy filed for its 2018 rebate, Mike, Katie and V.P. Nick Welch have been working hard to come back from a tough 2017. Their team is stronger than ever and grows with every solar energy installation. While Mike spends his weekends with his young son Nolan, Katie spends her weekends in the woods on her mountain bike or climbing rock faces at various climbing crags in the area. “I’ve really taken notice of our impact on the mountains. Even the most environmentally friendly activities out there disturb our environment.” She continues, “… the environment can’t wait. We have just about exhausted our natural resources and we need to take steps towards cleaner energy while we still can.” From personal experience, she speaks about garbage left in the woods by foreign hikers in the Nicaraguan jungle, African jungles polluted with western garbage due to lack of proper waste disposal, Himalayan rivers polluted with waste so dense that you can smell the stench 800 meters away, and smog in the skies above China so thick that she’d go days without seeing actual sunlight. “The thought of entering the solar industry had never crossed my mind. When I met Mike, something inside me just clicked and everything fell into place.” Passionate about what they do and why they do it, SolFarm is trying to give nature a chance! Every solar installation, either residential or commercial, makes a difference. For the sake of our sons and daughters, the fish, the birds, and everything in between SolFarm wants to work with Asheville’s community members to build a strong and healthy community. Call for a free solar analysis today! 828-332-3003

40  //  MAY 2018

The Grapevine is a unique women’s clothing boutique located in the heart of Burnsville, N.C. Ordinary is not what you will find at the Grapevine. We offer extraordinary contemporary clothing for women who want their own personal style to shine through. Lines such as Habitat, Comfy, Cut Loose and Moonlight are a few of the unusual offerings that make the Grapevine a wonderful place to find that special garment that you can’t find anywhere else. Our friendly staff will help you to put together a look that amplifies beauty from the inside out. We want you to feel amazing in what you choose and we’ll help you to accessorize with affordable handmade jewelry while wrapping, draping and sweeping scarves around you with style and grace. We make shopping an experience that you’ll enjoy! Come and dress like you meant it! Come and see the new Grapevine Store in Burnsville, NC. Under new ownership in 2017, we carry the same great lines you have come to love and have the same friendly staff that can help find what you are looking for! Open Monday–Saturday 10:00 am–5:00 pm 11 West Main St. Burnsville, NC 28714 828-536-5166


Forward Thinking, AVORA is a privately owned and operated healthcare company with locations in Asheville, NC and Black Mountain, Forward Moving®NC. AVORA specializes in outpatient orthopedics, sports performance, balance, dizziness, vertigo, and concussions.

The company was founded in 2009 by Dr. Kim Fox, DPT. Her vision was to create a dedicated balance and dizziness center for patients living in the Asheville area. The challenges of being a small provider with big dreams were extensive, but Kim continued to focus on patient care first. By 2013, she had two locations providing outstanding orthopedic services and is the only Doctor of Physical Therapy in the area specializing in the advanced diagnostic testing and treatment of vestibular disorders. Specializing in orthopedic

rehabilitation, sports performance In 2016 her dream became a reality as she opened the doors to the AVORA Health Center for Balance & Dizziness. A 7,000 square foot, multi-discipline training, concussion management, health center dedicatedand to therapy helping for patients whoand suffer from conditions dizziness related to imbalance, dizziness, vertigo, and concussions. The center has balance disorders. all the right equipment and highly trained providers to correctly diagnose and treat vestibular conditions from mild cases of BPPV to extremely rare and complex conditions like MdDS. Proof that all things are possible and brought to you by a WNC Woman business owner.

The Most Advanced Technology On The Planet The secret to the AVORA success is simple; treat people right! Hire the best Highly Educated Providers doctors, buy the best equipment, and solve complex problems. As a leader in the medical field, AVORA owns the most advanced technology on the Outstanding Service planet and sees patients from around the world. Call 828-505-2664 to schedule your appointment.

THE ART OF LETTING GO During one of Jonas’ painting performances, one gets to both witness and participate in the process of abstract expressionism. A single color, line, drip, becomes a starting point. As the painting develops a life of its own, it begins to evolve without a predetermined design. Jonas calls this, “The art of letting go.” The interaction between artist, paint, and color form a composition in syncopation with the strong rhythm of the music which he plays (loudly) as if the music itself did the painting. There are no mistakes. Like unpredictable events in life, things enter the painting that unexpectedly shape its course. The being of the artist is the vehicle through which the canvas is transformed. The more relaxed the audience, the greater the opportunity to enter this process with Jonas. They feel the movement, the feelings, and become part of the discovery process—often experiencing a reconnection to something beyond themselves. The physical is left behind, allowing participants to contribute their energy, “borrowing from” and riding along with Jonas’ creative flow. The experience feels good. We invite the public to experience this month’s Painting Performance which falls on Saturday, May 12th—the day before Mother’s Day. Imagine coming home to a painting like the one you have witnessed being birthed at a painting performance. Imagine it subliminally welcoming you back to that awakened state, becoming a stimulus to continue your own spiritual journey—that’s what art really is about—witnessing a part of the artist’s soul. Carl B. Gacono, Ph.D., ABAP / Author / Artist Jonas Gerard Fine Art hosts monthly painting performances at its Riverview Station Gallery located in the River Arts District. 191 Lyman Street, Studio 144, Asheville. For more information: 828-350-7711 •

3 Convenient Locations! 1000 Centre Park Drive, Asheville 226 Charlotte Hwy, Asheville 15 Jane Jacobs Rd., Black Mtn.

Call (828) 505-2664 to schedule your appointment!

MAY 2018  // 


University Advocacy Group c e l e br at e s

Four Decades

Tea Hat Contest

40 Years of Accomplishments By Jonna Rae Bartges

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead


orty years ago, a small group of thoughtful, college-educated WNC women committed themselves to working together to improve opportunities for others. Their main focus was on creating more leadership positions for women in higher education, and assisting young women in continuing their studies. On May 11, the thriving Hendersonville branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), now nearly 100 strong, invites the public to help celebrate “Four Decades of Women.” The 40th Anniversary program begins at 10 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 900 Blythe Street in Hendersonville. Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m. To further mark the milestone, Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) President Dr. Laura Leatherwood will speak at a June 2nd luncheon at the Hendersonville Country Club. Reservations are required, and can be made through the branch website at The AAUW is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since 1881, its members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day. “We were originally part of the Asheville branch,” said Joen Goodman, whose mother, Julia Appleton, was one of the founders. “When we found we had seven women from Hendersonville making that commute, we decided to start our own branch.”

From the moment the women committed to branching out on their own, they’ve been changing the educational landscape for women and girls in Henderson County in a very big way. Major accomplishments include sponsoring Jr. Achievement; creating a series of Women and the Law forums at BRCC that provided continuing education credits; winning a National Women’s History Project award; creating the Latin Leadership for Young Women project; receiving a National Certificate of appreciation for significant contributions to women and girls in Hendersonville; and launching the 2018 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Community project. The branch has also received the Governor’s Certificate of Appreciation for Hendersonville leadership and volunteer work in public schools multiple times. Currently the main focus for the Hendersonville Branch, says President Ellen Garbarino, is to increase awareness and support of AAUW in the community by advancing equality for women and girls through advocacy, education, philan-

Jennifer Hardin, right

thropy and research. Key issues on the front burner include closing the gender pay gap, which is currently at an abysmal 80%; halting sexual harassment in the workplace; protecting Title IX, and providing the tools to help women achieve economic security. Ellen said a big part of the Hendersonville branch’s focus is providing scholarships for women studying at BRCC, and creating an endowment at the community college to continue bestowing scholarships in perpetuity. In May, one scholarship winner, BRCC nursing student Jennifer Hardin, will become a RN. “I am so thankful to the AAUW for the scholarship I received,” Jennifer said. “School is stressful enough, and receiving the scholarship made my life a little less chaotic. I will always tell anyone going to college to apply for an AAUW scholarship. You can receive financial aid and meet wonderful people.” Jennifer is particularly thankful to AAUW for the emotional support branch members offered while she was working towards her degree. Even when she experienced setbacks, Jennifer said, the women encouraged her to keep go-

Four Decades for Women MAY 11

• 10 A.M.

Trinity Presbyterian Church 900 Blythe Street, Hendersonville Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m.

42  //  MAY 2018

ing. They treated her to a special tea, and also attended Jennifer’s scholarship luncheon. “Young women are the future,” Jennifer said, “and all women need to listen to one another. We are stronger as a unit.”

, AAUW s Future is Bright

Ellen has a very clear vision for the future of the AAUW in Hendersonville. “I want to see girls being encouraged to explore STEM activities and careers,” she said. “I want to see increased numbers of women graduating from colleges and universities with degrees in STEM fields. I want a future where women remain in their chosen fields without experiencing discrimination, and they’re not forced to seek other careers.” The current climate of change resulting from the #MeToo movement, where women are standing up against abuse, presents new opportunities, said Ellen. “Women can communicate their message to their Senators and Representatives, educate the general public and get out the vote by working at voter education and information booths.” The AAUW leads by example. Hendersonville members facilitate voter registration and information sharing in the high schools and at the NC Apple Festival, assisting first-time voters and new USA citizens. Perhaps the biggest change in the higher education landscape since the Hendersonville AAUW was formed four decades ago, said Ellen, revolves around Title IX, which became law in 1972. Renamed the Patsy Mink Equal Op-

portunity in Education Act in 2002 after its late U.S. House co-author and sponsor, it reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” “When the law is administered properly,” said Ellen, “it opens doors in all aspects of education. More women are attending and graduating from college. More women are being chosen to become presidents of college and universities. Recognition of what women face due to harassment on campus and in the workplace has increased and is being addressed.” With AAUW members’ enthusiastic support, and their growing presence in WNC, Ellen is confident the women will continue to be a force for positive change. Membership is open to anyone holding an associate or equivalent (RN), baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Student affiliation is open to those who are enrolled in a two- or four-year regionally accredited educational institution. 


Remembering your authentic self

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in your life RESERVE YOUR



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 Certified Personal Life Coach  Higher Brain Living® Mastery Facilitator  Certified as a Scholar in Conscious Being through the Spirituality of the Enneagram

611 N. Church Street, Suite 211 Hendersonville, NC 28792 917-655-7024 • *HBL facilitation greatly enhances meditation.

Emmy-winner, author and psychic medium Jonna Rae Bartges is a frequent contributor to WNC Woman. Find a complete list of upcoming events, request a private consultation or sign up for her Practical Spirituality 101 workshop July 21 & 22 on her website at for more information

AAUW SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISING BUS TRIP The AAUW Hendersonville branch has scheduled a road trip May 22 to the Barter Theater in Abingdon, Virginia for a performance of Sister Act. Lunch at the Harvest Table Restaurant is included. This annual fundraiser helps AAUW raise money to provide scholarships for girls and women in Hendersonville. Reservations are required; last year’s bus trip fundraiser sold out. Tickets are $115. For more information please contact Belinda Peters at MAY 2018  // 


REAL FAMILY » Crystal Pressley All moms are “working moms” for sure: from the pregnancy, through the birthing process to nights awake with a crying infant and on through the teen years. But single moms have double, even triple duty!

Crystal’s Family

Crystal Pressley has worked since she was only 15 years old, and at age 18 became a single mother of Zachary. “I knew I had to work to make a living and raise my child. I worked at a nursing home and sometimes took double shifts to make extra money.” She worked later at Kmart (where she was promoted to department manager quickly). But even though she enjoyed that job it entailed nights and weekends, which simply wore her out.

have considered him their dad since we met him. I absolutely love my blended family. I gained another handsome son and he is MY son!” Crystal and Joey have always considered themselves to be a family and the boys call each other brother; no stepbrothers or step-mom/dad in this household. “We are 100% family!”

Biggest Challenges?

When second son Trevor was born (Zachary was only four then) she found a job working Monday–Friday, so she could be with kids at night. “I have to thank God that I have always had jobs where they cared about family. It’s very hard to find an employer who will let you leave or not come in if your child is sick. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve called in sick since I was 18!”

Maternity Leave? This is a contentious issue in our culture and many employers either won’t or can’t offer much time off. Crystal took the shortest time off that her doctor would allow with Zachary and Trevor because, frankly, she still was the only one bringing in money to feed them and keep a roof over their heads. But when third son (yep three boys!) Devon was born she had an emergency C-section to save both their lives. She had to take time off to recuperate and says, “There were so many nights I cried myself to sleep wondering how I can do this.” Yet, like so many strong women, she fought through the many obstacles and challenges the family faced.

Creating a Blended Family In December of 2009 Crystal married Joey Pressley. He was a single father of Tyler, then age 11. “Joey is a fantastic father and took on my three boys who

Like all working moms, Crystal had the painful challenge of dropping her kids off each day to stay with strangers in Day Care. And there is the guilt. “There have been times I worked three-four jobs and hardly saw my kids. But I always made sure to be there for their football, baseball games and wrestling matches no matter what my schedule looked like. They knew Momma was going to be there screaming in the background, ‘pin him, hit the ball, shoot that goal!!’ I am their number one supporter in everything they do.” In many ways, Crystal feels that these pre-teen and teen years have been even more challenging. The boys are now 20, 17, 13 and 11. Tyler is serving in the National Guard in Kuwait which has its own set of worries. “Life, school and relationships are very different now from when I grew up. Middle and High School have huge issues with so many drugs, fights, harder subjects. Having cell phones are destroying many teens who don’t have an outside life without social media when they wake, eat and even go to bed.”

Finding Balance and Self-Care? “I will admit I don’t take care of myself. My children have always come first, no matter what.” She also admits to going many days without food when they were small to be sure they had what they needed first. “I am still really bad about trying to give them all I can, maybe because I had a rocky childhood myself. I tried recently to get a massage or change my hair color, but honestly each time I feel terrible! Joey and I are the same about spending money on ourselves.” She figures they’ve only been on three real dates or hardly taken a full day away just for themselves.

. . . All moms are “working moms.” . . .

44  //  MAY 2018

And yet, Crystal says she wouldn’t change a thing about her life or her kids. “I do wish I’d stayed in school and gotten my CNA license, but I’m happy with my position now. I’m proud that I’ve never quit a job without notice and have moved up in many of my positions. My kids and husband say I am a workaholic, but I love helping businesses grow and knowing I helped with their advertising and marketing.”

Crystal’s Doggies

BLACK MOUNTAIN 100 S. Ridgeway Avenue 828-669-6999

Advice to Other Young Moms? “My first word would be ‘Wait!!’ Get through school and save money. If I knew then what I know now I would have saved, even if it was $5 a week! It’s very hard to raise a family today. Everything is crazy expensive. It’s hard to realize how much I spend on a weekly food bill for a family of boys!” 


342 Depot Street 828-552-3917

You can reach Crystal to talk about your business marketing needs or to chat about life and kids in general.

Crystal has worked diligently in the advertising/marketing field for 10 years here in WNC and is currently Ad Sales Manager for WNC Woman magazine. She has helped many businesses grow using print and digital campaigns.  She especially loves meeting new clients and learning from them as well. Let her help build your client base with WNC Woman. 828-803-4817

A Higher Standard of Care Yancey’s Community Hospice Since 1982


“We cannot change the outcome, but we can affect the journey” - Ann Richardson

Photo by MAY 2018  // 


46  //  MAY 2018

Get Ready for Spring!

Welcome Shawna Boone!

Book an appointment this month with Shawna for 20% OFF Pedicures • Manicures • Haircuts • Color

WATER+COOKIES = THE WATERCOOKIES PROJECT 828.565.0014 88 Main Street, Clyde, NC

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Engaging hands and hearts since 1925. Come enjoy making crafts and good friends on 300 natural, scenic acres in western North Carolina.



When your youngster (k-5) learns about clean water through our activity pages in school, scouts, or other community groups, they receive a reward for learning a cookie! Our outreach activities motivate youngsters to care about protecting the water in their neighborhoods. Everyone wins when

children learn why clean water is so vital for our health and recreation.

Visit our website for more details, learn about upcoming events or make a donation: Or contact Randyll Goodnight, Education Outreach Coordinator

Call Us: 843.338.8981



WE PAY YOU CASH ON THE SPOT · We buy items that are current styles · The amount of pay is based on brand name, condition, style and current demand · You never need an appointment! · We take items up until 2 hours before closing · Complimentary Personal Shopper 1829 Hendersonville Road (in the meridian shopping center)

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828-274-4901 • MAY 2018  // 


HOME SPACE  »  Peggy Crowe

HOME INSPECTIONS /////////////////


hether you are buying or selling a house, the impending home inspection is the biggest hurdle to clear. Here’s what to look for. In North Carolina, sellers are required to complete a Residential Property Disclosure that covers not only the age and viability of systems but also any issues relating to the history of problems. NC is a “Buyer Beware” state where sellers can choose what to disclose. Nonetheless, their agent is required to advise potential buyers of any known problems even if the seller has not. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. How would you react to hearing differing stories about problems from the seller’s team? My guess is that you would probably pass on the property. Sellers can opt for a pre-listing home inspection but be aware that all discovered issues will become material facts that agents must disclose. If you are in a financial position to fix problems prior to going on the market, you’ll be ahead of the game since your buyers will uncover the same issues.

MAKE OR BREAK SALES / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

HEALTH-RELATED AREAS We all want our homes to be safe. Doesn’t it make sense to be 100% sure that your potential new home is? For more details check EPA websites. Here are the biggest health concerns. R  RADON Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas found in most soils and rock. It’s the by-product of the normal decomposition of uranium which becomes a health risk in confined quarters such as homes. Radon is the number 1 cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and is responsible for 21,000 deaths annually in the United States. Radon testing is part of the inspection options because it occurs in pockets. Just because your neighbor doesn’t have a problem, doesn’t mean that you don’t. It is a low cost test and can generally be fixed for under $1500. R  MOLD The degree and severity of mold is what creates health concerns. It is associated with foundational water intrusion, excess moisture and roof or plumbing leaks. Mold can be tested for indoor air quality and physical inspections. Cleanup can be very costly and if not treated can increase or add upper respiratory issues especially for those with problems such as asthma. R  ASBESTOS Homes built before 1980 may have exterior walls or pipe wrapping, ceiling or flooring tiles containing asbestos. “Friable” areas are those where the asbestos can easily be reduced to dust releasing fibers into the air. If it’s in

48  //  MAY 2018

good condition or left undisturbed it shouldn’t present a health risk. If you are planning on remodeling, it is in your best interest to see if asbestos is present. R  LEAD-BASED PAINT Any home built before 1978 may well have lead-based paint present. Flaking chips ingested by young children pose the highest risks. R  WELL WATER Testing for the presence of bacteria and radon is prudent.

BIG TICKET FIXES R  WATER INTRUSION Water can be a harbinger for mold and is one of the most prevalent problems. It can occur from foundational cracks, a leaking roof, groundwater or grading that channels water towards the home. Fixes may include a sump pump, retaining walls or French drains to divert water. Pricing will depend upon the extent of the problem but will generally run into several thousand dollars. R  FOUNDATIONS Your house literally sits on the foundation which affects every part of the home. It isn’t unusual to see cracks or efflorescence (a normally occurring, white, chalky substance), especially with concrete block. Your home inspector will give you guidance into what may or may not be an issue. Structural walls with bowed, horizontal cracks are more prone to failure. A structural engineer will be required to determine how to rectify the problem which generally requires bracing that will run into thousands depending upon the size of the problem.

NORMAL INSPECTION AREAS R  OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS Your roof, HVAC, hot water heater, plumbing, appliances and electrical systems will all be thoroughly checked. These can generally be inexpensive fixes and always show up on any inspection report. Systematic maintenance should cover most concerns and it may save you from replacing them even if they are nearing the end of their life expectancy.

TERMITES & PESTS Every attempt to rid a home of pests is highly suggested. Termites aren’t visible and their presence may not even be known. An exterminator can eradicate them with a transferable termite bond. More serious conditions can affect the structural integrity of the house and may well be very costly. By taking proactive steps, sellers and buyers will have peace of mind, which leads to a positive, closed sale. That’s what everyone wants. 

Peggy Crowe is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker King who ensures every seller is prepared for inspections prior to going on the market. This means a quick sale with fewer areas of repair. 828-318-4423

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“Peggy breaks the mold when it comes to customer service and putting your real estate needs first! She is honest, ethical, genuine and innovative, especially when it comes to addressing challenges or uncertainties. T hanks to Peggy’s vision, commitment and hard work our house closed in 14 days!” AMY RENIGAR

Women Minding Their Own Business


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Contact Crystal Pressley 828-803-4817 • MAY 2018  // 


eatin eautifu ace for over

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Warren Fluharty Designs furniture | accessories | lighting | mantels | staging 828.273.1101 6 fairview road, asheville




Archiving NC’s Beer History

t’s only natural to seek role models in your industry who you can relate to and attempt to emulate. In the beer industry, there are very few women that have been in the business for more than ten years. A few come to mind: Mellie Pullman began brewing in 1986, Carol Stoudt opened her Stoudt’s Brewing in 1987, Terri Fahrendorf began brewing in 1988 and went on to found The Pink Boots Society, and there just aren’t many others to list. This isn’t because there aren’t more stories to tell, it’s because we haven’t been telling them. North Carolina was the first state to implement Prohibition (1908) and the last to abolish it (1933). Prohibition had a funny effect on the beer industry especially in the South, and many of those effects are still felt today. Perhaps most importantly, we stopped documenting the history of an entire industry deemed at the time to be taboo. Now that North Carolina is becoming known for beer and research instead of tobacco and textiles, Erin Lawrimore and her team at The University of North CarolinaGreensboro are working to preserve the history of the industry that is weaving its way into the fabric of our daily lives through their archivist project, Well Crafted NC. Erin only set out to document downtown Greensboro’s brewing industry as it is today. Her hope was to document the five breweries that are in her immediate area so that future generations could reference a snapshot of the brewing industry of today fifty or sixty years from now to understand the impact the beer industry has had on the state. “We wanted to identify the [beer] industry as something that is important to North Carolina today. Websites go away over time, so they can be hard to capture. Without an archive, much of the history would be lost, as we’ve seen with the closing of family tobacco farms and the shutdown of denim mills. Also, if we wait ten years to take a picture of this industry, the image we capture would be very different from the image of today,” Erin explains. Very quickly after Erin began working on this she realized that the scope of the project needed to reach beyond today’s five breweries in downtown Greensboro. She needed to document the history as well as broaden the geographical footprint of her research to include the entire state. Now, with the interest of several other universities in North Carolina, and more breweries gaining interest in Well Crafted NC, Erin and her team are realizing that this project has already grown beyond what they initially set out to accomplish.

“UNC-G’s own history as a women’s college (until 1964) is reflected in our library. We have a large collection of home economics and recipe books on our shelves. One that dates to the 1800’s is called The Carolina Housewife, which contains a lot of recipes, including spruce and locust beer recipes,” Erin said. With this discovery, it became more evident that documenting the oral history of brewers and breweries was important as was the documentation of the legislative history of the state as it relates to alcohol, beer, and brewing. As Erin begins digging into the past, she’s documenting not only the large breweries like Schlitz in WinstonSalem, but also Loggerhead that opened in 1990–1994 in downtown Greensboro. With more breweries opening all the time, and some closing down, Erin is working hard to document as much as she can as quickly as possible. She is interviewing brewery owners across the state and collecting historical materials from operating breweries, campaign posters from Pop the Cap (2006 legislation that allowed brewers to make beer with more than 6% alcohol), Prohibition-era newspaper clippings touting that everyone in Georgia had forgotten all about beer and that the new trend was buttermilk, and more. You can see some of the items that Erin has curated on exhibit at Beer City Festival in Asheville on June 2. Well Crafted NC and the North Carolina Craft Beverage Museum will be teaming up to host the joint exhibit as a fundraiser for the museum. 

Anita Riley is the Cellar Tech and Assistant Brewer at Lonerider Brewing Company in Raleigh, NC and serves as Chapter Leader of The Pink Boots Society’s Raleigh Chapter. Her book Brewing Ambition benefits The Pink Boots Society’s Scholarship Fund which encourages, inspires, and assists women beer professionals to further their careers through education. Brewing Ambition can be found at She is a Certified Beer Server Cicerone and studied Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation at AB Tech in Asheville, NC as well as Rockingham Community College in Reidsville, NC. You can find her blog Brewing Up a Storm, which focuses on women in the beer industry at Anita is a native to North Carolina. To find out more about Well Crafted NC follow them on social media at WellCraftedNC or visit MAY 2018  // 


BOOK REVIEW  »  Mary Ickes

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver Barbara Kingsolver, a revered author with numerous awards to her credit, published her first novel like any other aspiring novelist. After researching, writing, and rewriting, she searched for a publishing company that considered “The Bean Trees” worthy of public notice. On the surface, the novel is a quiet, character-driven story of grandmothers and mothers, daughters and their children; beneath roils familial and societal struggles. Marietta “Taylor” Greer might be poor and on the bottom of the caste system in Pittman County, Kentucky, but her plan precludes getting pregnant and struggling with poverty for the rest of her life. She will graduate from high school, work, and save until she can afford to move with nary a regret other than leaving Alice, her mother. She exits Kentucky in a “Volkswagen bug with no windows to speak of, and no back seat and no starter” intending

to settle wherever the car dies. The Great Plain “fills her with despair,” so she turns south at Wichita, Kansas, and ends up in Central Oklahoma, so flat that she feels “. . . there [is] nothing left to hope for.” Her plan to leave Oklahoma posthaste changes when a woman sets a child, wrapped in a blanket, on the passenger’s seat. Taylor protests, “Even a car has papers to prove that you didn’t steal it.” The woman replies, “There isn’t nobody knows it’s alive, or cares” and disappears into the night. Taylor stops at a motel to care for the child and discovers that she is a Native American, probably from the nearby Cherokee reservation, about age three. Evidence of sexual abuse sickens Taylor. She names the child Turtle because her grip on the nearest object, including Taylor’s hair, rivals that of a snapping turtle. Taylor works at the motel during the holiday season to replenish her funds after an expensive car repair, but they eventually arrive in Tucson, Arizona. The desert surrounding the city may be as flat as Central Oklahoma, but the distant mountains, like those in Kentucky, “make [her] think something good might be just over the next hill.”

52  //  MAY 2018

Lou Ann Ruiz arrived in Tucson via Angel Ruiz, a rodeo rider passing through Kentucky. They have been married four years, and she is pregnant with their first child. Since they constantly argue, Lou Ann, “expected that a divorce would develop . . . without having to discuss it.” Instead, she returns from a doctor’s appointment on Halloween and discovers that Angel has moved out. Dwayne Ray Ruiz arrives on New Year’s Day. The young women meet when Taylor answers Lou Ann’s ad for a house mate. They quickly bond because of their Kentucky backgrounds, but could otherwise be from different planets. Taylor is self-confident, decisive, and sassy, sometimes to her detriment. Lou Ann expects life to be a disaster, retracts opinions at the slightest challenge, and second guesses herself about divorcing Angel. The biggest contrast is their approach to motherhood. Since Lou Ann wanted a baby, she dotes on Dwayne and frets nonstop about keeping him safe in a dangerous world. Taylor cares for Turtle meticulously but, for valid reasons, is not affectionate. First, Turtle is silent, completely unresponsive. When Taylor picks her up from day care, Turtle is still sitting in the same place and staring into space. Lou Ann, at least, is somewhat diplomatic in her observation, “I’m not saying that she’s dumb, but it seems like she doesn’t have too much personality.” Other people bluntly pronounce Turtle retarded. Taylor’s other concern is that Turtle will eventually be taken from her for lack of formal adoption papers; the pain will be less if she can remain somewhat aloof. The differences between Taylor and Lou Ann stem from their mothers. Rather than weep and moan because Taylor is leaving, Alice puts her

through a tire-changing boot camp that professionals would flunk. A few pages with Lou Ann’s Granny Logan and Ivy, her mother, reveals who instilled the young woman’s fears and self-limitations. Taylor goes to work at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires, operated by Mattie, the book’s third mother figure. She appreciates Taylor as a dedicated employee and, like the mother Taylor sorely misses, encourages her with patient wisdom. Mattie is also the first person to elicit a response from Turtle. Above the tire shop is a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, like Estevan and Esperanza, forced out of Guatemala for political dissent. Estevan and Taylor create a fascinating cultural contrast. An English teacher, Estevan is so incredibly handsome and well-spoken that Taylor promptly falls in love with him. The perils of the escape and fear of capture in Tucson introduces a life beyond Taylor’s comprehension. Estevan assumes that Taylor, like most Americans, has led a life of political and financial ease entitling her to remain oblivious to the world’s realities. They waste no time in setting each other straight. As Taylor and Lou Ann make a home for Dwayne and Turtle, they encourage each other. Lou Ann finds a job that “takes the wrinkles out of her.” Taylor is so relieved and overwhelmed as Turtle progresses from a laugh to “bean” to “bean trees” that she must learn motherly affection from Lou Ann. Their new-found satisfaction with life and motherhood is short lived. Angel wants Lou Ann to live with him in Montana. Unless Taylor provides written proof from Turtle’s nearest relatives that they gave her the child, Child Protection and Placement will seize her. Mattie must move Estevan and Esperanza out of Arizona before they are arrested, but her usual options are no longer available.

Barbara Kingsolver progressed from “Bean Trees” to revered writer status because she understands her characters. Taylor, in the first person, tells her own story, but Lou Ann is third person to keep her story on track. That their mothers appear so briefly yet dominate the book is the work of a master. Mrs. Parsons may be succinct in spewing racial venom to Estevan and Esperanza, but her hatred echoes to the book’s end. Kingsolver even treats Taylor to glimpses of Arizona’s natural beauties. Maggie bounces her across the Tucson Valley to smell the first rain, and a neighbor invites them to see the yearly night-blooming cereus. Taylor and Turtle revel in Maggie’s garden, a “wild wonderland of flowers and vegetables and auto parts.” Taylor, Lou Ann, and Maggie each tackled their quandary, but without final resolution in “The Bean Trees” because Kingsolver penned a sequel: “Pigs in Heaven.”  

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Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in rural Kentucky. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France, and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to southern Appalachia where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have been adopted into the core literature curriculum in high schools and colleges throughout the nation. Kingsolver was named one of the most important writers of the twentieth century by Writers Digest. In 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. MAY 2018  // 


Remembering… Mom by Janey Wood Kelley

“If life has a base that it stands upon … then my [life] without a doubt stands upon this memory.” This line from Virginia Woolf’s, “A Sketch of the Past”, aptly summarizes the memory I have of my mother as the base from which I stand. I imagine many others might share a similar sentiment. The memories we form throughout childhood based on a mother’s love can carry us through a lifetime. When we no longer can maintain the ability to remember we are lost to ourselves and to those who love us, and we cannot function without the care and sometimes the sacrifice of others. The memories I have of my mother, Annie Ruth, are that she was self-sacrificing. She raised six children practically by herself. Her love, dedication, courage, and her fierce determination to prevail is what I remember most about her. She had a big heart and was very forgiving and had an incredible ability to always see the best in people. Unfortunately, this ended with her developing memory loss due to the insidious disease Alzheimer’s. Early in my mother’s disease process, I was given charge to help determine the nature of her condition since my husband and I are medical professionals. I remember how difficult and stressful this was since I also had a three-year-old in tow, and a teenager in the home, making it difficult to find time for myself. This was also a time when I saw how vulnerable and dependent my mother was on others to care for her due to her memory loss. Fortunately, my oldest sister was able to take over the care of mom the last ten years of her life, but not without a great deal of sacrifice from her and her family.

The stress that women face daily with a multitude of responsibilities as caretakers, along with other factors, puts women at a much higher risk for developing cognitive disabilities. For women, Alzheimer’s is more common than breast cancer, as women make up over 65% of the patients and 60% of the caregivers There is hope however, thanks to the recent work of some cutting edge clinical researchers. Dr. Dale Bredesen, at the Buck Institute, whom I have had the opportunity to meet, as well as others like him, have published clinical research and guidelines for us all that is available for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline. I believe we are now at a crossroad as women. And, if we are to avoid losing ourselves and our memories only to become a statistic, we must first make the necessary changes in our life to care for ourselves as a matter of preservation. We do this by taking time out for rest, activity, healthy food consumption, spending time with family and friends, and for reflecting on the memories we have and are creating. This is our main priority; we cannot forget. 

of adver tiser events ■ May 1 – June 1  ➢  see ad page 31 Asheville Humane Society’s Pet Photo Contest

■ May 6 & 12  ➢  see ad page 22 Great crafty workshops and Open House (the 12th) at Purple Crayon

■ May 7, Aug 9, & Nov 15  ➢  see ad page 12 WomanUp events at Asheville Chamber of Commerce

■ May 8 – 18  ➢  see ad page 53 Mother’s Day Specials at Sole Haven

■ May 11  ➢  see ad page 42 4 Decades for Women fundraiser for AAUW scholarship fund

■ May 12 – September 8  ➢  see ads page 41 and inside front cover Art of Letting Go painting performances with Jonas Gerard

■ May 13  ➢  see ad page 36 Mother’s Day Brunch at Roots & Fruits in Black Mountain

■ May 19  ➢  see ad page 19 UGrow Community Dig Day with Eat Smart Black Mountain

■ May 19 – 20  ➢  see ad page 47 Write Legacy Letters with Carolyn Wallace

■ May 27 – June 2  ➢  see ad page 34 Janey Wood Kelly, is a registered/licensed dietitian with a passion for the science of longevity and wellness. She is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has lived in Asheville for the last 20 years with her husband Johnny Kelly, MD. They are both advocates for living a healthy life at any age, and work together at aspire2health, PA in Swannanoa, NC. Janey also does skin and body care consulting and writes a blog, “Living Longer More Beautifully.” In her free time, she hikes the great outdoors with her two dogs, Chewie, and Leo, cooks delicious and healthy meals, and reads WNC Woman magazine.

Croatia Retreat with Mindfulness Travels

■ June 9  ➢  see ad page 28 MANE Fundraiser Event at Heart of Horse Sense

■ June 21  ➢  see ad page 24 Western Women’s Business Center’s 4th Annual Conference

■ July 11 – 28  ➢  see ad page 33 Second Camp Session at Skyland Camp for Girls

■ September 20 – 23  ➢  see ad page 18 Dr. Lulu Shimek’s R3 Retreat: Recover, Restore, Reclaim

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The Mission Breast Center provides state-of-the-art breast imaging utilizing 3D mammography, whole breast ultrasound (ABUS) and diagnostic ultrasound. To schedule an exam at the Mission Breast Center, call (828) 213-9729.

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4/9/18 9:50 AM

WNC Woman May 2018  

Western North Carolina Women's publication. The mission of Western North Carolina Woman is to celebrate the inherent strength, wisdom, and g...

WNC Woman May 2018  

Western North Carolina Women's publication. The mission of Western North Carolina Woman is to celebrate the inherent strength, wisdom, and g...