Randevu Restaurant

Chris and  Marina McDonald

Chris and Marina McDonald

When looking for a name for his new restaurant Chris McDonald asked his wife, Marina, her favorite restaurant. She hails from Bulgaria, often touted as the cultural crossroads of three continents. So her dining experience was extensive. She thought for a minute and answered, Randevu. “That’s it!” Chris said. “A place to meet…and to eat!”

McDonald, an accomplished chef in the region for more than two decades, worked his way up through the culinary ranks from Grove Park Inn to top chef in Lake Toxaway, 18 years at the Greystone Inn and four years at the Toxaway Country Club, both under the same management. And it’s no wonder he loves cooking. His dad was a pastry chef and six of his eight brothers are chefs, each gifted with his own cuisine magic.

Randevu, operating March through October, had its grand opening this past spring, and was an instant success. With generous portions and a family-friendly atmosphere, it lives up to its name, becoming Cashiers’ designated gathering place for food and fun.

McDonald says, “We operate a cozy restaurant with lots of mouth-watering specialties. We give you a huge bang for your buck. In fact, reviewers say our breakfast portions can feed two!”

He adds, “We are a bistro, not a dress-up fine dining establishment, though the dining is more than fine! For dinner we have three offerings: rib eye, tilapia, and penne pasta all with house or Caesar salad, two for just $25. We also serve a delicious rack of lamb and halibut coated in a tasty pumpkin seed crust.”

Given McDonald’s estimable background in the culinary arts, he can accommodate any palate. If you have special dietary needs, let him know in advance and he will serve up something sure to please. And he caters to vegetarians as well.

To learn more about Randevu’s hours, menu, or to make reservations for an evening meal, contact them at (828) 743-0190. Or you can e-mail them at coolwaters61@yahoo.com. Or visit their FB page. Just enter Randevu. Meet you there!


Cullasaja Club Receives Wine Award

Cullasaja Club’s Clubhouse Manager Larry Fruchtman.

Cullasaja Club’s Clubhouse Manager Larry Fruchtman.

The Club Managers Association of America International Wine Society awarded Cullasaja Club the International Wine Society’s Award of Merit for its 2012 Wine Program.

The Club qualified for this Award of Merit by meeting several rigorous requirements as set forth by the CMAA’s International Wine Society.

“Larry Fruchtman, Clubhouse Manager at Cullasaja Club, has for many years made it his commitment to ensure that every member and guest has the opportunity to enjoy fine wines that compliment the tasteful cuisine we serve, making for some of the best dining experiences on the plateau,” commented David Cull, Cullasaja General Manager.  “We are very proud of this distinction.”

Cullasaja Club was recognized at the Wine Society’s Annual Business Meeting and Education Session held on February 10th in San Diego, California. Cullasaja Club will also be acknowledged in the newsletter of the International Wine Society and their upcoming issues of Outlook and Chapter Digest.  This is an award that truly distinguishes Cullasaja Club’s wine program from other clubs across the region. For more information about Cullasaja Club, please visit www.cullasajaclub.org.

Contributed by Debbie Leonard



Highlands Culinary Weekend

The Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend  is set for November 7 - 10.

The Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend
is set for November 7 – 10.

Highlands Culinary Weekend returns for the seventh season November 7 through 10, showcasing Highlands’ award winning restaurants, innovative chefs and a huge selection of wine varietals against the beautiful backdrop of the Blue

Ridge Mountains. 

Culinary Weekend kicks off with the Opening Night Celebration at Highlands Country Club on Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 P.M. Guests will enjoy fine wines and the delectable cuisine of Highlands’ local chefs as their taste buds ignite to prepare them for the weekend’s festivities.

Culinary Weekend Event Schedule:

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, fill your itineraries with an array of activities, tastings and dinners hosted by restaurants, merchants and accommodations of Highlands. Whether you are up for a farm to table wine dinner, singing & suds or cooking demonstration, there’s something to inspire everyone. Guests will indulge some of the finest wine and food pairings.

Relax with the popular Sip and Stroll in beautiful downtown Highlands on Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9 from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Experience the wares of Highlands’ fine shops, while tasting and enjoying a selection of wine and delightful edibles.

Reservations for the events are taken directly by the respective venues. For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to be a part of the 7th Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend, please call (866) 526-5841 or (828) 526-5841. View the event webpage at www.highlandsculinaryweekend.com.

The Highlands Area Chamber of Commerce is the presenting sponsor of Culinary Weekend. Event sponsors include The Laurel Magazine, White Oak Realty, WHLC 104.5, The Highlander Newspaper, Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Inland Seafood and Mountain Fresh Grocery.

Contributed by Laura Huerta



The U.S. Mule

The Highlands Post Office was located on Main Street from 1940 until 1966.

The Highlands Post Office was located on Main Street from 1940 until 1966.

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Ice-cold Brick…

There is more truth than poetry to the Postal Service’s nickname, U.S. Mule.

In the early 1900s a robust fellow name Gene Mays carried the Highlands mail on the southern route to Walhalla. For five decades he trekked back and forth. Folks say you rarely saw him without his trademark cigar dangling out of the corner of his grin. He never lit it, just kind of gnawed it.

He started out at 28 years of age delivering mail by bicycle. That had to have been an aerobic workout. No wonder he was described as rugged. Soon he graduated to mule delivery, then a horse and buggy. Even with gradual transportation improvement, it still took ten hours round trip to make all the stops.

Eventually, real-life horsepower was replaced by the mechanical kind with an old 1911 Model T Ford. Acceleration and engine spark were controlled by levers on either side of the steering wheel. Imagine manipulating all the handles and knobs while sorting mail and steering and stuffing mailboxes. But it was worth driving a car to cut his travel time in two, and that was with frequent stops to refill the radiator and patch the tires.

On top of all that, his old Model T was not heated in the winter, so he’d stuff a hot brick into a sack and keep it by his feet. When he turned to make the trek home, the heat had dissipated, so he had Popsicle toes by the time he got home. Eventually he and a Walhalla mail carrier split the distance. They exchanged mailbags at the halfway point. By the 1960s, the U.S. Mule was kicking into high gear, and the journey took only two hours.

In 1966 Mays passed on in line of duty. He had a heart attack while driving his mail truck. He was seventy-eight years old. But his legend lives on. It is in the fortitude of Gene Mays, who tackled the elements daily, that the spirit of the mail service lives on. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor an abundance of levers, nor an ice-cold brick…

To learn more about the heroes who built Highlands one outstanding job at a time, read “Heart of the Blue Ridge” by Ran Shaffner or visit the Highlands Historical Society’s website: www.highlandshistory.com.


by Donna Rhodes  |  Photo Courtesy of Highlands Historical Society



William Wilson’s Estate Papers

Page from William Wilson’s 1836 estate papers.

Page from William Wilson’s 1836 estate papers.

Back in the 1830s, if a man died without writing a will, his earthly goods, or his “estate” had to be settled by following a strict set of rules determined by the county. The records that were created in an estate settlement are of inestimable value – information of social and economic life and no other group of records presents a researcher with so many details of the everyday life of the deceased. For an example, let’s examine some of William Wilson’s estate papers. He died December 12, 1836, at age 67 in Hamburgh (now Glenville), Macon County, North Carolina. Note that Jackson County was not created until 1851 so the estate records are found at the Macon County courthouse in Franklin.

March 30, 1837, Notice of sale of Personal Property [perishable] of William Wilson, deceased, including; 1 colt, stock of cattle; hogs; sheep; farming tools; house and kitchen furniture; a wagon and team.

April 25, 1837, Date of Sale. Signed by Administrators, Katherine Wilson [widow] and Alex. Zachary [son-in-law].

April 25, 1837, List of [some of] the Property Belonging to the Estate of William Wilson, deceased. Cows; Pigs; Salt; Waffle Pan; Plow; Pitch Fork; Tom Hawk; Coffee Mill; Bible; Sheep Shears, Candle Stick; Tin Flask; Saddle; Flat Iron, Ring; Bed; Bridle; Bell; Wagon; Hoe; Iron Wedge; Smoothing Iron; Horses; Log Chain, Ax; Wheat.

Some of the purchasers:

Alfred Wilson; Alexander Wilson; Thompson Wilson; Jane Wilson; Bartly Wilson; John D. Brown; Allen Leadford; Jonathan Zachary; Hugh Brown; Henry Wilson; Allen Barnes; John Wilson; Jefferson Morse; Thom Wilson; Jonathan Coward; John Zachary; John Stuart;  Henry Whitmire; William Dodgen; James Leadford;  Wm. Shelton; Gray Crow;  Berack Norton;  January 24, 1839: Settlement of Estate of William Wilson, deceased by Alexander Zachary, Administrator – Total: $622.14.

September 11, 1844, Macon County Deed for 183 acres of land (including improvements made by William Wilson, deceased,) in Hamburgh, naming legal heirs of William Wilson, deceased. William Wilson’s son, Thompson Wilson, bought out the other heirs, his siblings, who were named – Jane Wilson, Bartly Wilson, Thomas Wilson, John Wilson, Alex(ander) Wilson, Alfred Wilson and Isabel (Wilson) Zachary.

Notice that Thompson Wilson, who became the sole owner of William Wilson’s property, was also the purchaser of the Wilson family Bible, probably prompted by his mother, Catherine Wilson. She died in 1841.

Contributed by Jane Gibson Nardy, Historian, Cashiers Historical Society



The Glenville Area History Tour

Big Ridge Baptist Church, the beginning site for the Third Annual History Tour on July 20. Stop here for Tour-tickets and information.  Photo by Pearl Krepps

Big Ridge Baptist Church, the beginning site for the Third Annual History Tour on July 20. Stop here for Tour-tickets and information.
Photo by Pearl Krepps

Misty Ridge Farm on the Big Ridge History Tour  – also known as the Wilson/Ennis property-has been carefully restored from the original homestead.  Photo courtesy of Dottie Ennis

Misty Ridge Farm on the Big Ridge History Tour – also known as the Wilson/Ennis property-has been carefully restored from the original homestead.
Photo courtesy of Dottie Ennis

What makes the Glenville Area Historical Society (GAHS) History Tour extraordinary each year are the stories tour-goers hear at each site!  At each tour stop a knowledgeable guide, often accompanied by the property’s ancestor or present owner, offers “inside” information, anecdotes and intriguing details about the original family and those thereafter. This is a must-do/must see not only for history buffs but for anyone who just likes to…well…know more.

The GAHS’s third annual History Tour is planned for the Glenville area’s prominent Big Ridge Community on Saturday, July 20. As a result of  the expertise of  Tour Chair Pearl Krepps who has carefully researched the rich history of  Big Ridge, the Tour is well organized by Krepps and the GAHS committee offering remarkable sites and fascinating stories to share with tour-goers. According to GAHS Chair Carol Adams, “Previous tours of Glenville proper in 2011 and the Norton Community in 2012 have earned the organization praise for producing one of the best historical events in the county.”

From the Tour beginning at the Big Ridge Baptist Church to buy tickets, pick up the brochure and hear a basic overview to the final stop at Syms Valley where dulcimer musicians will entertain, this tour is well worth the time. Included are almost every type of historical site from original and restored homesteads, farms and cabins to community buildings with a past. One cabin on the tour was taken apart board by board from a site now below Lake Glenville, loaded on a wagon, driven up the old Big Ridge Road by a team of horses, and reassembled in the present location.  A back room (kitchen area) was added after it was reassembled on Big Ridge, power was added sometime in the fifties when electric power came to Big Ridge.

A mission of the GAHS is to preserve the rich history of the Glenville area. The committee interviews elderly residents, conducts map research, collects documents and researches history. Ultimately, after coordinating written material, photos and documents, the result will be a comprehensive publication, about the greater Glenville area and Hamburg Township.  The annual History Tour is a fundraiser to raise seed money for the publication while offering a historical event opportunity for young and old alike.

The approximately two to two-and-a-half  hour tour is self- guided via a tour brochure that includes the basic story of each site, an excellent map and photos.  The Tour opens at 10:00 A.M. and tickets will be sold until 1:00 P.M. Plenty of directional signage will be placed on the main roads leading to Glenville and Big Ridge. For more information call the Glenville Area Historical Society at (828) 743-1658 or email historicalsocietyglenville area@ yahoo.com.

by Carol Adams



Town Place Residences

Town Place Residences in Highlands NCTown Place Residences in Highlands NCTown Place is conveniently located on Brock Court, just off Hickory Street at Highway 64, three short blocks from Main Street, Highlands.
With all units of Phase I sold, people are excited that Phase II has begun. Unlike the condos, which were built in Phase I, the Phase II residences will be town homes.  According to Listing Broker Pat Allen, of Pat Allen Realty Group, this is what buyers have requested. Pat says, “Phase II will consist of side-by-side attached homes including a garage and an option for an elevator.  Potential buyers have specifically asked for this, so we are building to meet their needs.”  Each home will be a straight walk-in with the option of a finished terrace level.  Square footage will range from 2500 to 3400 square feet.  Homes will feature hardwood floors and screened porches with a fireplace. Enhanced landscaping will soon be completed along with the cul-d-sac.  Completion of Building 1 is estimated for late fall.
Just think – You can enjoy the elegance of casual mountain luxury and still walk to town. These new townhomes incorporate a crisp, clean design with rustic textures; native stone and unique mortar wash brick, plus reclaimed timbers. The style is reminiscent of homes you’ve envied during your tours of the
European countryside.
Choose from two different models – the three bedroom, three and a half baths; or the four bedroom, four and a half bath models.  Each includes a spacious living room with a timber trussed cathedral ceiling and a fireplace. A covered deck, the perfect spot for relaxing with your favorite novel, connects to the living room.
Meal prep is a breeze in your very own gourmet kitchen featuring custom-built cabinets with hand crafted detail.  Thermador and Bosch stainless appliances compliment the custom kitchen backsplash.  Entertaining is a breeze with your own wet bar which includes ice maker and wine cooler. The laundry room and mud room is just steps away from the kitchen.
On the main floor is the luxurious master bedroom suite which includes a master bath with double vanities, a soaking tub and a separate shower plus a walk in closet. The light dances across the marble countertops to add elegance and charm.
Upstairs your family can enjoy two additional bedrooms, each with private bath.  Everyone can gather in the game room to catch up on recent happenings. If you select the option for a Terrace level, you may add another bedroom, a large family room and additional storage.
Lush landscaping and a community garden enhance the common areas of this beautiful neighborhood. Simple, carefree living in a luxurious mountain home; could you ask for anything more?  Town Place residences created by the Mesa Capital Partners are offered by Pat Allen of the Pat Allen Realty Group.  For more information go to patallenrealtygroup.com or call Pat at (828) 200-9179 (cell) or (828) 526-8784 (office).

By Wiley Sloan

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds in Highlands NCThe Cotswolds in Highlands NCThe Cotswolds in Highlands NCAn expansive, gently rolling lot at the top of a mountain in the Cotswolds is the site of this magnificent timber frame and stone home.  Enjoy the benefits of a friendly neighborhood while having the beauty of the mountains surrounding you. With panoramic views that allow you to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets, you have the best of both worlds – a mountaintop enclave just minutes from town.
Built by a Georgia Tech engineer who personally picked every beam, nail, board and window, the appearance might make you think that this home was built at the turn of the century, but it wasn’t. It is truly a state-of-the-art, 21st century home.  Its rustic elegance adds to its charm.  Sit on the front porch and enjoy the gentle breeze
The open floor plan gives this home maximum flexibility.  Enjoy dinner in front of a low fire in the dining room’s stone fireplace. The wall of windows frames nature’s beauty as you watch squirrels and rabbits scamper across the large lawn. Next door in the cozy sitting room you have an eye-catching view of the setting sun as it glides behind the Fish Hawk Mountains. A glass enclosed walkway connects to the double car garage to protect you in inclement weather.
Wow your friends with your culinary talents as you prepare a time-tested family recipe on the kitchen’s granite countertops. Custom cabinetry safely guards your collections of china, and crystal.  Viking appliances include a gas range, a convection-microwave and refrigerator. A copper hood and farm sink plus pantry complete the kitchen’s amenities.  A large central island provides workspace for multiple cooks.  The breakfast bar is the perfect spot for a quick bite any time of the day. Chill your favorite beverages in the wine cooler.
An outdoor living room with stone fireplace and dining room welcomes family and friends surrounded by nature’s grandeur.  From two to 20 – there’s no better place for family fun.  Step through sliding glass doors into your own private retreat in the home’s master suite.   Pamper yourself in style in the master bath with double vanities, and large walk in closet. Lull yourself to sleep with the gentle cascading water from the large waterfall just outside the master bedroom.
Your guests will feel like kings and queens in the guest suites on the upper level.  Large, light-filled rooms each with private bath surround a large sitting room with a comfy sofa, a desk with computer plus a large TV room.    You could send the youngsters upstairs and never have to worry about them at all. This one-of-a-kind home awaits your family.
Call Country Club Properties to arrange a special showing. Reach Terry Potts or Dan Chapman for an appointment at the Wright Square Office at (828) 526-2520 or via cell at (828) 421-3417. For more information go to www.ccphighlandsnc.com.

By Wiley Sloan

Behind the Names

Matthew at Cullasaja Falls. Cullasaja is originally the Cherokee word for ‘sugar’.

Matthew at Cullasaja Falls. Cullasaja is originally the Cherokee word for ‘sugar’.

In the early 18th century when Europeans first made contact with the Cherokees, the Highlands Plateau and Cashiers Valley were part of the eastern edge of their residential territory. The area was used for hunting and gathering rather than for year-round settlement, as the growing season is far too short for Cherokee flour corn given the elevation. A handful of Cherokee place names remain in the area, however, all of them related to Cherokee villages at lower elevations to the south and west of Highlands and Cashiers.
Chattooga was the northernmost of the Cherokee Lower Towns, which were found in Upstate South Carolina and North Georgia. The town was located in the fields north of the old Burrell Farmstead off Highway 28. It gave its name to the river which flowed past it and which has its origins just east of Whiteside Mountain.
Cowee was one of the Cherokee Middle Town which were found near the Little Tennessee River in Rabun and Macon counties. It was located almost 20 miles northwest of Highlands on the left bank of the Little Tennessee River. Due to the importance of the town in the 18th century, the high ridge which forms part of the border between Macon and Jackson counties came to bear its name, as did the gap through which Route 64 passes.
Cullasaja was a Cherokee Middle Town located near the mouth of Ellijay Creek. Cullasaja is originally the Cherokee word for the Honey Locust tree and also became the Cherokee word for ‘sugar,’ so the settlement was often called Sugartown by European traders and settlers. In this way Cullasaja contributed its name not only to the river which feeds Mirror Lake and Lake Sequoyah and the falls below them but also to the Sugar Fork community located between Highlands and Franklin.
Toxaway was a Cherokee Lower Town located in present-day Pickens County. The settlement lent its name to the river which rises at the Jackson/Transylvania county line, to the lake north off Route 64, and to the falls south of 64 just below the lake.
Contributed by Matthew T. Bradley | matbradl@gmail.com

Stories from 1964 Pensacola Open

I had close, and secret, encounters with two of professional golf’s most legendary players – Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Both these incidents took place during the 1964 Pensacola Open at the Pensacola Country Club in Florida.  It was my first Assistant Pro position – I was 19 years old at the time.
After 36 holes of the tournament, Arnie and Gary were battling for the lead. Arnie was always tinkering with his clubs, especially his putters. He came in the golf shop after playing and asked if he could work on his putter. The golf pro was a grumpy old coot and gave specific orders that no pros were allowed in his workshop. I told Arnie this and since the pro was still on the premises couldn’t allow it. He said OK and proceeded to the putting green to practice.
As we were closing up, I had an idea. At that time I had a room on the third floor of the clubhouse and opened up each morning. I told Arnie if he would be at the front door at 6:30 A.M. I’d let him in to work on his putter before the pro arrived.
The next morning, Arnie was there at 6:30. I let him in and he proceeded to put his putter in the vise and bang on it with a hammer and bend it till if felt good to him. He would run out the front door and putt a few times and come in and bang some more till he had it just the way the wanted it. He then put one of the pro’s new grips on it, thanked me and was on his way. The secret was just between the two of us.
Gary was playing a club brand made by The Shakespeare Company.  The clubs all had black fiberglass shafts, just like the fishing poles they make. After the second round, his driver shaft started coming apart and he didn’t have a spare, except for a couple of 3 woods. He asked me if we have any Shakespeare drivers for sale and, unfortunately, we didn’t. He was in a quandary because he couldn’t play with a steel shaft per his contract.
I thought about it a while and had an idea. After the pro left for the day, I said, “Mr. Player, would you please go through the shop and pick a driver you think you would like?” He chose a Ben Hogan Persimmon “Speed Slot” model with a brown head and steel shaft. I proceed to tape the face and sole plate of the driver and put it in a box and sprayed it with black spray paint. When done it was completely black and if you were not close to it couldn’t tell the difference between it and a Shakespeare. Again, it was our secret.
He took that driver and won the tournament with it. As he was leaving, he came in the shop where the pro and I were standing and shook my hand and secretly slipped me a folded $20 bill and told the pro he had a most cooperative assistant. The pro didn’t know what he was talking about.
I met Gary and Arnie a few years ago and both remembered those incidents from many years ago. Arnie sent me a commemorative putter just like the one he used that day and an autographed picture thanking me for the help. It hangs in my den today. Gary was the usual perfect gentleman and said it was one of the strangest ways he won a golf tournament.
Contributed by Tom Chillemi, Tom’s Golf Tours, tnchillemi@windstream.net

Plantar Fasciitis, Relief Is Possible

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness (828) 743-9070

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness
(828) 743-9070

As the mountains fill with color, many of us are taking advantage of being outdoors.  As we increase our walking, hiking, jogging, tennis, and golf, severe pain in one or both of our feet can occur.  The inflammation of the plantar fascia, the arch tendon of the foot, causes radiating pain usually at its worst upon awakening or after sitting for a long time.  Untreated, plantar fasciitis can cause significant shin, knee, hip, and eventually back pain.  Home remedies can work:  applying an anti-inflammatory cream with menthol to the area in pain, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and taking supplements are parts of a successful holistic treatment plan.  Years of experience in treating these problems has taught us that the patient that takes their symptoms seriously and acts immediately won’t miss out on the sports they love to play.  Your physician has the knowledge and training to provide in-office treatments and prescribe the supplements that will help you in the healing process.  Stretching the plantar fascia correctly with exercise, cryotherapy, electrical muscle stimulation, deep muscle stimulation, and instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (such as the Graston Technique) are just some of the many methods for relief of pain.  Most importantly, our physicians can fit you with a custom orthotic which, when worn as directed, can make playing your sport more fun and injury-free.
Your chiropractic physician’s training and experience in correction of abnormal biomechanics such as plantar fasciitis is your resource for ultimate relief of pain and correction of the problem.  The most remedial exercises are stretches and simple routines that prepare the foot for pain-free movement. Exercise therapy prescribed for you to practice on your own, and personalized, individualized treatments by your chiropractor work in partnership for relief.  Approaching the relief of pain from plantar fasciitis by integrating the art and science of chiropractic, exercise, orthotics, and nutrition has been hugely successful in complete pain relief.  Do not ignore the severity and risks associated with untreated plantar fasciitis.  Our feet are our foundations and play a huge role in optimal, overall good health!

A Walking Oscar

“Do you know how much I weigh?” Frances yelled at the traffic cop who had just pulled us over for running a red light. Caught completely off guard, the officer stood speechless. Frances opened her door, tottered around my car, and answered her own question on the way. “Eighty-six pounds!” Then she repeated it for emphasis as she pulled up her sleeve and pinched her skinny upper arm waddle to dramatize her point. “Look at me! I’m a scrawny chicken!”
“Ma’am, you need to get back in the car,” the officer said, but Frances was on a mission and Hannibal’s elephants could not have dragged her from it. She was determined to get me off, scot-free from a ticket I admittedly deserved.
Frances was an octogenarian and a seasoned master of manipulation. But I had clearly broken the law and neither the hand of God nor Frances could save me from certain doom. Embarrassed, I shriveled behind the steering wheel holding my breath in a desperate attempt to become invisible.
The officer got out his ticket pad and started writing. That sent Frances into overdrive. “Officer, you can’t give her a ticket. She ran the light because I had to (to what? Frances was thinking fast). “To go to the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom.” Then she lowered her voice, “And I mean I need to go ba-ad.” She turned around and looked at the house behind us, then pleaded, “Could you just go to that door and ask if I could use their bathroom?” Then she crossed her legs and began to whimper.
“Ma’am,” the officer said, “I am not going to give your friend a ticket, but lots of people saw her run the light and I had to stop you. I am just doing a routine tag check and then you can go.”
“But I need to go to the bathroom,” she implored. Then she threw in, “Do you know how old I am?”
“No ma’am…” the officer sighed, patience
wearing thin.
“Eighty-five. I am 85 years old. And I really need to go to the bathroom. I live close by. Couldn’t you let us go now so I can take care of business?”
About that time Tallahassee came through with tag verification. The officer ushered Frances back to her passenger seat and came over to my window. He whispered, “Ms. Rhodes, I won’t give you a ticket. You have enough to deal with. Please get this lady to a bathroom.”
Once out of the policeman’s view I raced Frances to the nearest pit stop. “Here’s a bathroom, Frances. Sorry it took so long,” I said apologetically.
“That’s okay,” said Frances, not budging. “I didn’t really need to go.”
We looked at each other and laughed for about
ten minutes.
I learned a lot from Frances. When I am 85, thanks to the Divine Miss F, I will have so many tricks and waddle up my sleeve, I’ll be known as Doddering Donna, slickest ticket dodger this side of the Little Tennessee. But until then, thank you Frances for teaching me the ropes. If they gave Academy Awards for X-treme Improv, you’d be a walking Oscar!

Just Don’t Feel Good?

Contributed by  Dr. Sue Aery,  Aery Chiropractic  & Acupuncture   (828) 526-1022

Contributed by Dr. Sue Aery,
Aery Chiropractic
& Acupuncture
(828) 526-1022

You don’t feel good.  You are tired, depressed, foggy, non-sexual, unmotivated or just “not feeling right.” You want to find out why you are experiencing one or all of these symptoms.  Have a test, get the results, and then there is still no resolution? Perhaps the testing was actually not the right type to determine the cause of your feelings and symptoms.  It can be so frustrating to find nothing conclusive from lab results but your search for the path to feeling better is already available to you.  Specific testing of amino acids and organic acids just might be the answer to how you are feeling and, even better, how to resolve your
health problems.
Amino acids are the building blocks of our proteins for all body tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, nails, hair, glands and organs. They are also necessary for healthy function of hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters. Testing amino acids is part of functional medicine testing and can detect contributors to illness and prescribe individualized compounded formulas to repair deficiencies.  Organic acids are measured in the urine, indicating any deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients. Elevated urine levels means these acids are not being broken down adequately by the appropriate elements. Again, individualized compounded vitamins are prescribed to complete important metabolic reactions in the body. Testing for both of these significant indicators of good health can reveal disorders of behavior and mood, digestion and absorption, hormone balance, cardiovascular function, detoxification, oxidative stress, pH regulation and the musculoskeletal system. These are all components of “feeling good” or subclinical findings in customary medical laboratory tests.
Amino acid testing is done with blood drops and the kit is easy enough to perform the testing at home yourself. The Organic Acid test is just urine and is also done at home. The lab processing takes about one week.  When you meet with your doctor to review the results, a special supplement is compounded for you to take for a certain period of time before you are retested. Once you have made the recommended corrections, you are on that path to better health and feeling better.  Allowing your body’s functions to return to normal over time will result in increased energy, libido, motivation and even clarity!
Don’t let your feelings of “just not right” prevent you from actually taking control of your health and feeling better. Be part of your own healing and don’t stop until you know you feel better. Find your path to better health!

Sky Valley Country Club

Sky Valley

Sky Valley

Has a drive through the mountains ever captured your serendipitous spirit? If so, we have the perfect haven in which to celebrate the first day of the rest of your life. Sky Valley, Georgia, is a natural oasis nestled between the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Highlands. The new trend in weddings is a weekend getaway with friends and family amidst the wonders of nature. Here at Sky Valley Country Club, we can make any of your event dreams come true from an intimate elopement to vow renewals, or even a gala hosting 300 guests.
This isn’t your grandfather’s old country club with a facelift. We’ve constructed a completely new state of the art clubhouse with a whimsical lake view. We have a stunning waterfall setting overlooking our golf course, and a charming outdoor pavilion that is perfect for any special occasion. One of the most lovely aspects of Sky Valley is the fact that we have our own romantic chapel. Not only is this the ideal venue for your special weekend, but we also have one of the only reasonably priced 18 hole, par 72 public golf courses in this region. Your wedding weekend at Sky Valley Country Club is not limited to your ceremony and reception as we also provide spa packages and golf outings. Furthermore, we host intimate rehearsal dinners and bridesmaids luncheons catered by our very own in-house chef.
To fulfill your rest and relaxation needs we provide lodging from townhouses to 6 bedroom homes. Some of the nearby amenities for the more adventurous guests include on site yoga, as well as zip lining, group horseback river rides, tennis, access to pool facilities, hiking, waterfall views, fly fishing, and world class shopping and dining all within 20 minutes of our country club. So whether this venue suits your wedding, social occasion, business retreat, or golf outing, we hope you’re delighted with the beauty of our facilities as well as the quality of service our staff provides to make your events with us truly memorable. For more information on planning your Sky Valley weddings and events, please contact Joy Eager at (706) 746-5302.

Contributed by Joy J. Eager and Melissa Vidaurre

Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic

From a single rented medical/dental van operating for only three days, much progress has been made to address the dental needs of the people of Macon, Jackson, and Transylvania counties.
Today, the Blue Ridge Free Dental clinic utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to complete more than 1,150 patient visits annually.  Located at Laurel Terrace on Highway 64 East in Cashiers, the clinic is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and on Tuesday mornings.
Local churches identified the need for dental services back in 2003.  Clinic Founder Tom Smith initially relied upon used equipment.  He treated folks who could not afford dental services.   Many patients had never been to a dentist. Dental problems were painful and negatively impacting their overall health.  Susan Posey of Cashiers United Methodist Church joined Smith in co-founding the clinic.
This dynamic duo recruited dentists to volunteer their time.  Some dentists are retired; some take vacation to work at the clinic.  The clinic now boasts six full-time dentists and nine part-timers. A support team assists them in this mission of love.
Funding for the clinic comes from local churches, private donations from individuals, and an extensive grant writing program.
The clinic has grown from 1,400 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet.  They currently offer 6 dental stations plus x-ray services and the ability to make crowns and dentures.  There is space to add two more stations when funds become available.  These new stations will allow them to grow to 1,500 to 1,700 patient visits in the next couple of years.
You may have seen the Clinic’s Tooth Fairies.  These goodwill ambassadors join Dr. Michele McDonald and Dr. Christopher Dyer to educate youngsters about the value of good dental health.  Through the Children’s Dental Health Program students at area schools receive fluoride treatments and dental education.
As much as the Clinic has accomplished there is still more to be done.  More than 40,000 people are eligible for the Clinic’s services.  At any one time, the Clinic has a backlog of several hundred people who need service.  If you would like to donate to the clinic, visit www.blueridgefreedentalclinic.org or send your check to P.O. Box 451, Cashiers, NC 28717.

By Wiley Sloan

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Baskets made with Rivercane.

Baskets made with Rivercane.

Rivercane, Arundinaria gigantea, may have been one of the most abundant plants in the Southeast. This grass, a member of the Bamboo family, still grows along the shores of many of our rivers and streams. Early explorers of our region found “spacious tracts of cane” (Botanist Mark Catesby, 1724), “a forest of tall canes” (William Byrd, 1728), and William Bartram in 1791 saw “perhaps the most extensive Canebrake that is to be seen on the face of the whole earth.” By the 1800’s, the expansion of agriculture, grazing, and building had dramatically altered the natural habitat of rivercane.
Given the abundance of rivercane it is not surprising that the Cherokee made use of it. Some historians suggest that rivercane was used to make baskets by the Cherokee starting as early as 600 AD.  Whenever they started they were certainly part of the traditional Cherokee way of life by the 1700’s. But as with many of the Cherokee traditions, the skills necessary to weave these baskets was nearly lost. In the last couple of decades there has been a revival within the Cherokee community to weave these incredible baskets and research to restore the canebrake along our streams.
Please join Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust on July 30 as we travel with Dr. David Cozzo on a joint eco tour with Little Tennessee Land Trust to the Tessentee Bottoms to learn more about Cherokee basket weaving and why there should be concern over rivercane’s scarcity along our rivers. Dr. Cozzo is an ethnobotanist specializing in the relationship of the Cherokee to their botanical world.
David will also be the featured speaker at the Village Nature Series at 7:00 P.M. on July 30 at the Village Green Commons at the Village Green in Cashiers.  For more information contact: (828) 526-1111, Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net.

Contributed by Gary Wien, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

New Leadership at Highlands Rotary

In July of each year, newly elected officers assume their roles at the Rotary Club of Highlands.  For 2013-14 our President will be Rick Reid.  Others in leadership roles are Dave Jellison, Secretary; Steve Perry, Treasurer; and Peter Ray, President-elect.  These Rotarians will lead our 95 club members in the mission of Rotary, which is “Service Above Self.”
President Reid owns Carefree Home Monitoring, a residential property management and maintenance company that cares for many homes at Highlands Falls Country Club as well as others in the area.  He and his wife, Marcy, have lived in Clark’s Chapel near Franklin since moving here from Indiana in 1993.  Rick joined Rotary in 1999 and has served in a number of leadership positions in
the organization.
All of the newly designated leaders firmly believe in the  mission of Rotary and will give of their time and talents to further its work, both in our community and around the world through Rotary International.  The club meets at noon on Tuesday at the Community Building and combines lunch with fellowship and a speaker and keeps members aware of issues important for us all.  Guests are always welcome.
Since 1945 the Rotary Club of Highlands has supported and funded local, national and international projects, such as polio eradication, that help make our world a safer, more peaceful and healthier place.
The leadership and all of the members pledge to continue that legacy.
Contributed by Peter Ray

Big Brothers and Big Sisters

 JT with his Big Brother Peter

JT with his Big Brother Peter

Whether it’s a fishing “Big” buddy or another organization to partner with, the best times are when folks come together for a good cause. This month Big Brothers Big Sisters of Highlands wants to recognize and thank those that make our program the success it is. Internally we can thank our mentors who devote their time to bring a smile to a young person’s face and the advisory council members who, behind the scenes, support our efforts through networking to promote our mission, program choices, and fundraising.
In the community we receive wonderful support through scholarships from several organizations. The Bascom continues to provide opportunities for our “Littles” and “ Bigs” to blossom in their classes. One of our children will be participating in the summer theater camp at the Highlands Playhouse. And the Highlands Nature Center always finds a spot for a few of our children to attend a summer nature camp. The Mountain Garden Club supported our raised garden bed project on the school campus; vegetables and herbs will be there for the picking through the year.
Of course, our program and projects wouldn’t succeed at all without the “nuts & bolts” support from  local groups and churches. From all of us at BBBS, we want to thank the Cullasaja Women’s Outreach, the Highlands United Methodist Church, Church of the Incarnation, Highlands Presbyterian Church, and Mountain Findings for standing by our side as we provide our services to the children of Highlands. We can say our end of the school year Harris Lake fishing party was a success thanks to our supporters.  “Little” JT received the award for Best Sportmanship.
Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, and we have one great village. If you would like more information about BBBS, contact Program Coordinator Debbie Lassiter at highlands@bbbswnc.org or (828) 526-4044.

Contributed by Debbie Lassiter

Blind Faith

Even though he can’t see, Banjo manages to convey a noble heart  and a gentle spirit.

Even though he can’t see, Banjo manages to convey a noble heart
and a gentle spirit.

One of our newest residents is Banjo the Blind Beagle.
He was found as a stray on the highway and picked up by a caring passer-by.  She searched in the area for Banjo’s owner, but to no avail.
She could not keep him and took him to the local Animal Control facility.  As soon as his hold period was up we brought him to the Forever Farm where he instantly made friends with the other small dogs, and the staff.  His blindness is due to retinal damage of unknown cause. Banjo is only about five years old, and healthy in every other way.  Although somewhat shy of strangers, he is a very sweet, well-mannered dog, “looking” for a loving home.
Friends for Life is participating in two activities in July to raise funds to help care for the special animals at the Forever Farm.  From 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. Sunday, July 7, we’ll join the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society for a Barrel of Fun and Friendship at the Cork & Barrel Restaurant & Lounge in Cashiers.
On Saturday, July 13, we’ll join forces at the Village Green with the Jackson County Builders Association for the Dog Days of Cashiers Dog House Competition and Pet Celebration.  Regional builders will be competing on their designs for the Best Dog House and Cat Tower, and their structures will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Forever Farm.
Friends for Life is a charitable nonprofit organization that operates the Forever Farm in Lake Toxaway, a sanctuary for senior and special needs companion animals.  For information, call (828) 508-2460, or visit www.friendsforlifeforeverfarm.org.

Rotary of Cashiers NC Honors Local Students

Ryan Mull with  Jason Watson, principal

Ryan Mull with
Jason Watson, principal

Pictured are Cainan Yaskiewic, a fourth grade student at Summit Charter School. He is in remission  from leukemia.  During the last three years of treatments, he has kept his academic work up.  Make-A-Wish Foundation recently sent Cainan to Charlotte Motor Speedway and he wore his NASCAR outfit to the meeting.  He is pictured with his family.
Also pictured, from Blue Ridge School Early College, is Ryan Mull with Jason Watson, principal.  He is an exceptional student and will be working at the new Cashiers Recreation Center, with youngsters,
this summer.
Cainan and Ryan are the last Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley Students of the month for this
school year.
The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley  began in January, honoring local Students of the Month.  The first Rotarian Students of the Month were Caitlin Gilbert, a senior at Blue Ridge Early College and Spencer Stone. an eighth grader at Summit Charter School.  Caitlin is an honor roll student and is a New Century Scholar.  She graduated this year with close to 40 credit hours towards her Associates degree.  She was the Senior Class President, President of the Rotary Interact Club and a member of the Beta Club.
Spencer Stone from Summit Charter School is part of the Duke Tip Scholarship Program, captain of the soccer team and has taken a strong leadership role in his three years at Summit by organizing can and blood drives.
Other Rotary Club honorees from Summit Charter School were Charles Hargrove, Elizabeth Sealy, and Emma Carter.
Blue Ridge School & Early College honorees, besides Caitlin, were: Derick Bryson, Kaitlyn Stewart, and Aloura Boutte.
The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley is very honored to give these students the special recognition they deserve.

Contributed by Vanna Cameron

The Cashiers Community Fund

The Cashiers Community Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, has been helping schools and non-profits in our community for 21 years. It has a board of twenty-two year-round and seasonal volunteers who work hard to allocate the funds (this year right at $100,000) to deserving groups who also work hard to make the greater Cashiers area a better place to live, work and play. Requests that exhibit the greatest community benefit (including requests addressing education; early childhood development; health and wellness; assisting people in need; community or economic development through the arts, culture and natural resources; or the environment) are given the highest consideration. Among the grantees last year were the Dental Clinic which received $40,000 from the Cashiers Community Fund to expand its treatment facilities, and the mentoring program Big Brothers Big Sisters which was started in our schools with help from the Fund.
Applicants must submit a complete application which can be found on the website. www.cfwnc.org,. The deadline is 5:00 P.M. on July 12. Funding decision will be completed, grant awards announced and funds distributed by the end of August. Tax-exempt organizations with 501 (c) 3 status which serve the greater Cashiers community are eligible to apply.  CCF does not fund scholarships or direct support of individuals; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; endowment, deficit funding or debt retirement.
The many generous donors who contribute to CCF are the true heroes in this story. Their gifts not only enable the Fund to help those who need it most in our community right now, but the principal of the fund will still be around and helping long after present generations are gone. The Board salutes our donors who help to make the quality of life in our beautiful valley so much better for all.  Donors, teachers, agency staff and volunteers all work together for the good of Cashiers. If you are not already, we hope you will become a part of this circle of cooperation!
Contributed by Eleanor Welling

The Fifth Element

Sue treating horses in Hayesville

Sue treating horses in Hayesville

After writing an earlier article in The Laurel, I have answered numerous questions from people who wanted more information and background on PEMF therapy. I decided I needed a follow-up article in response.
Most of us were taught in school that we need food, water, oxygen, and light for survival. However, most people don’t realize that there is a fifth element essential to life. That element is Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields.
In 1962 the Russian Yuri Gasarin made his historic flight into space. He returned after less than two hours in critical condition. He had food, water, oxygen, and light, but was missing the fifth critical element, Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields. As a result, he returned to earth with bone loss, depressed metabolism, depression, and muscle weakness. Since that first flight, pulsed magnetic devises have been used in every space suit as well as the MIR Space Station.
It is interesting to note that as the earth’s magnetic field has decreased, illnesses have become more prevalent. As civilization has evolved, our infrastructure comprised of concrete, steel, and such has had a dramatic effect on the earth’s magnetic field. Additionally, electronic smog from cell phones, power plants, microwaves, and the like also have decreased the magnetic field.
Pulsed electromagnetic Field Therapy restores the natural magnetic field necessary for the 70 trillion cells in our bodies to function at an optimal level. PEMF works to recharge unhealthy cells to the normal range. It has been successfully used to treat a variety of conditions: migraines, pain, muscle soreness and inflammation. NASA holds several patents for its use and the FDA has approved it for several uses.
Our focus has been and will continue to be on equines. Our results have been stellar! Through this focus, we have discovered amazing research for possibilities applicable to the treatment of humans as well.
CDF is a 501©(3) educational foundation. We can be reached at (828) 526-2854 or by emailing:

Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director, Highlands NC

New Golf Pro at Cullasaja Club

Cullasaja Club of Highlands' new golf proTom Pannier

Cullasaja Club of Highlands’ new golf proTom Pannier

Cullasaja Club has selected Tom Pannier as its new Head Golf Professional.
Tom’s career has included significant experience both in Assistant and First Assistant Professional positions at five prominent private facilities:  Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Forida; Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre, Massachusetts; Wollaston Golf Club in Milton, Massachusetts; The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida; and, most recently, from 2006 to 2013, as First Assistant at Timuquana Country Club.
Timuquana Country Club is an 18-hole private country club, with a Donald Ross-designed course, built in 1923 and located on the St. Johns River in
Jacksonville, Florida.
He has been a Class A Member of the PGA of America since November of 1996.
Cullasaja Club, a private golf community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, has long been — and today still is — considered one of the finest residential areas in the Highlands region. With a total of less than 300 residences within its secluded 685 acres, and with vistas that extend outward to the mountains, Cullasaja Club offers a scenic retreat in one of the most beautiful areas of the eastern United States.
The gated community boasts a stunning mountain Clubhouse, a premier golf course, gourmet dining and a full roster of club activities including tennis, croquet, swimming, boating, and a first class fitness and wellness facility.
The Arnold Palmer designed 18-hole golf course combines exceptional playability for all skill levels with a view of the mountains and waterfalls that can only be described as “breathtaking.”
The Club is currently undergoing a $7 million renovation program, including extensive improvements to the Golf Course, a substantial renovation and extension of the Clubhouse and Pro-Shop, upgrades to the Tennis Courts, the construction of a croquet court and a major re-construction of the Pool complex.
For more information, visit www.cullasajaclub.org.

Contributed by Debbie Leonard


We know what technology has done for cell phones, space exploration, and medicine. It’s nothing short of miraculous.
But technology has also created a miracle right over our heads. It is called Enviroshake.
Enviroshake roofing, developed by scientists 15 years ago, is a composite of durable materials guaranteed to last a lifetime. Imagine never having to maintain or replace a roof again — ever!
Customers and contractors can’t stop raving about the benefits of this product which looks like an authentic, natural cedar shake roof.
Tim Wright in Asheville says, “Wright Family Custom Homes was founded on four core values: quality, craftsmanship, integrity and excellence. When I discovered Enviroshake Inc., I knew their products were a great fit with our values, as they embody the same beliefs. Enviroshake  products truly look like real cedar, are maintenance free, durable, and offer significant lifetime savings for homeowners. I look forward to continuing to use Enviroshake on my custom homes.”
An Enviroshake roof is off the scale in durability. Customers in coastal regions across the U.S. and the Caribbean swear by the protection an Enviroshake roof offers during a storm, even a category five hurricane. It can survive sustained winds of 180 mph, beating all others in the industry. And to top it off, Enviroshake roofs are insect, mildew, and fire resistant.
If you want to know more about Enviroshake, call them toll free at (866) 423-3302 or email them at Info@enviroshake.com. They will discuss your needs, then give your contact information to a certified Enviroshake contractor who will set up an appointment and give you a free quote.
Director of marketing Ashley Hewko says, “Most homeowners replace their roof five or more times during their lifetime. With Enviroshake, you only roof once and save more than half a lifetime of roof replacement costs.”
In this day and age, keeping a roof over your head means a lot, especially if it has all the aesthetic appeal of a cedar shake roof without the maintenance. Join the more than 5,000 satisfied customers nationwide who never again have to worry about maintaining or replacing a roof.

by Donna Rhodes

Highlands Properties

The very talented and experienced  team of Highlands Properties.

The very talented and experienced
team of Highlands Properties.

No doubt about it, the Highlands Plateau is the place to be. If you haven’t already settled on a beautiful plot of Cashiers or Highlands Heaven, the agents at Highlands Properties have a respected history of helping their clients find a perfect dream home, second home or investment property.
Highlands Properties is knowledgeable about all aspects of the market, from investing in commercial properties to purchasing a permanent residence. The experienced agents at Highlands Properties have decades of real estate experience. The existing sales team of Kyle McKim, Chris Clifford, Jo Pipkin, Melisa Loudermilch and Mark Meadows has grown over the last year with the addition of several new accomplished agents including Joe Simmons, Becky Simmons, Guy McKenzie and Myrna Moore. Each one is ready to assist you in the process of buying or selling your property.
Highlands Properties is a company that has been built on relationships and service. They have a solid reputation in which you can place your trust.
Whatever your real estate need Highlands Properties can help. Whether you are a first time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or wanting to sell your existing property the talented team at Highlands Properties can manage all your real estate needs. Owner Kyle McKim says, “We have across-the-board services, covering every aspect of real estate. While our proven market for years has been in investment properties we can handle any real estate transaction from either of our two offices located in Cashiers and in Highlands.”
To learn more about investment opportunities or to find that perfect property on the Plateau contact Highlands Properties directly at (828) 526-5522 in Highlands or (828) 506-6167 in Cashiers.
Or you can e-mail them at: info@highlandsproperties.com.

Whole Life Market

Whole Life Market in Highlands NC and Nectar Juice Bar invites you to  their Grand Re-Opening Friday, July 12.

Whole Life Market in Highlands NC and Nectar Juice Bar invites you to
their Grand Re-Opening Friday, July 12.

Whole Life Market in Highlands is known on the Plateau for the best in local and organic foods, high quality supplements, natural body care, holistic pet care, and locally crafted gifts.  They’ve come a long way since their humble beginnings on “the hill.”

Now in their new location at 680 North Fourth Street, they’re able to offer more of the quality products and supplements you have come to expect.  Call them at (828) 526-5999.

Whole Life Market is thrilled with the opening of Nectar Juice Bar.  Nectar features a wide array of fresh pressed juice, delicious healthy smoothies, and natural herbal tonics to help you achieve maximum vitality.

Whether you want to hydrate, detoxify, revitalize, or empower their large menu selection is sure to please. From classic blends to signature smoothies, stop by and try items like Total Bliss — a traditional combination of strawberry, banana, vanilla, coconut. With a boost of protein, this drink makes a great pre-workout or mid-afternoon pleaser. For the early riser, try Morning Rise — this smoothie is loaded with fiber and anti-oxidants to give your day a smart start.

When you need a lift or are feeling stressed Nectar’s herbal tonics are a natural way to improve your well-being. From fresh wheatgrass shots, to calming kava, balancing aloe, and elderberry immune boosting elixirs you’ll leave feeling a renewed sense of self. With menu items designed especially for everyone, including kids, your family will learn that eating healthy can taste great!

We live in a toxic world but at Whole Life Market we are here to help you keep your home, your pets, and your family safe. There’s a wide selection of  non-toxic household cleaners like Bio-Clean and Ecover, natural pet supplements like Wellness and Canidae, and locally raised hormone free meats and poultry from Hickory Nut Gap Farms, located in Fairview, North Carolina.

Whole Life Market and Nectar Juice Bar will be celebrating their Grand Re-Opening from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Friday, July 12. There will be hands-on Hot Topic Demos, samples, coupons, and raffle prizes.

By Wiley Sloan 


4th of July Celebration in Highlands NC

July 4th in Highlands NCThe 4th of July Celebration in Highlands is a tradition filled with family fun, good eats, community camaraderie and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show.

These festivities begin at 9:30 A.M. at the ball park with a Water Rocket Launch. Thursday, July 4 will bring games children and adults, among which will be a three-legged race and a water balloon toss. Other happenings at the ball park include a visit by “MAMA,” the hospital’s emergency helicopter and the Fire Department’s ladder truck will be on display.

The Rotary Club of Highlands will hold its Annual Barbecue from 11 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the Highlands Community Center next to the Town Ballfield. A second location will be on Hickory Street at the ball park.

This group of public spirited men and women will work through the night to ensure that there’s plenty of barbecue on the Fourth. They’ll be serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue pork or chicken fillets. The box lunch will include pickles, potato chips and a cookie. This year the barbecue will be cooked by Highlands’ famous chef, Joel Porter. All condiments will be available. No tickets or reservations are required. Proceeds from the barbecue help support the Rotary Club of Highlands’ many service projects for the community and the rest of the world.

At 1:00 PM at Mill Creek, the stream by SweeTreats, the Second Annual Rotary Rubber Duck Derby will be held. Purchase a rubber duck for $10 and have a chance to win $250 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd place.

First Presbyterian of Highlands will present the annual patriotic concert at 8:00 P.M. This free concert will las-t approximately 45 minutes, ensuring plenty of time to watch the town fireworks display. Featured will be  Dave Landis, bagpipes; Larry Black, trumpet; Angie Jenkins, pipe organ; and the Highlands Male Chorus under the direction of Joe Powell, with Carol Guise as accompanist. Come dressed as you are. The church is located at 471 Main Street. Handicapped entrances are located on Church Street and on Fifth Street.

Then, with the fall of darkness, the Highlands Chamber of Commerce brings a spectacular fireworks show that’ll be visible throughout the downtown.

Mantiques in Cashiers NC

Carl and Cheryl Littlefield

Carl and Cheryl Littlefield

Tucked beside VC for Men at 88 Marmalade Lane (just behind from Victoria’s Closet) is Mantiques-an eclectic collection of items from days gone by.  Mantiques is a store for the discriminating shopper whether it is a sportsman who is looking for the perfect bamboo fly rod, surf or casting rod, the hard-to-find lure or someone looking to add the “lodge look” to their home.  Owners Carl and Cheryl Littlefield share their passion for the unique with each of us.
A pair of vintage gut-strung snowshoes or beautiful wooden skis with their original leather boots would be an alluring accent to your wall.  Hang two large wooden kayak paddles-wows, what a look!  Display your favorite rifle or shotgun in a gun rack of deer hooves. Collectors of duck decoys will appreciate Carl’s collection which includes a large number of decoys from the famed Pascagoula Decoy company.   Enhance your décor with a carved corner shelf, a bamboo table, a wide plank table, an Adirondack oak server and an English armoire.
Tobacco enthusiasts will be enamored by the wide selection of vintage pipes, pipe racks, vintage tins and English pottery tobacco storage items, cigarette holders and more. I was enthralled by a Roaring Twenties era free-standing ashtray with colored lights.
English lawn bowling balls, leather boxing gloves and punching bags, fishing creels, polo mallets, wooden arrows and bows reside in concert with limited edition prints, and giclees to add a touch of aristocracy to your décor.  Carl’s inventory includes artist’s proofs by famed North Carolina artist, Bob Timberlake. For the western enthusiast, you’ll find a western saddle with wooden stirrups, a large wagon wheel, carved Indian statues and, Indian trade blankets.
Allow plenty of time for your visits to Mantiques.   It will take two or three times around the shop to see it all.  There’s no better source for a Father’s Day gift than Mantiques.  Open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.  Call them at (828) 743-0004.

By Wiley Sloan

Holley Heating and Air: Way Cool!

It’s spring and time to service your heating and cooling system. Holley Heating and Air Conditioning, dba MADCO since 1987 is your one-and-only hometown expert at helping you keep your cool. They have a new location on Cashiers Lake Road where they continue to provide the same excellent service upon which you have come to depend.
Holley specializes only in the industry’s top name brands: American Standard, Mitsubishi, and Honeywell. From home installations to emergency service calls 24/7, Holley is more than just a reliable business, it is a trusted friend to Cashiers, Sapphire, Toxaway, Glenville and Highlands customers.
While installing and service are their specialties, they also provide a full line of AC and heating products including filtration systems, ERVs (energy recovery ventilators), HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) accessories, dehumidifiers, thermostats, and much more.
Their regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. year round. Contact them by phone at (828) 743 2053 or visit their website at holleyheating.com. E-mail Jenna, service coordinator at jenna@holleyheating.com for more details. Or ask her to set up a seasonal servicing of your AC unit.
While you are at it, check out their new digs on Cashiers Lake Road. Stopping by is more convenient than ever.  See why Holley Heating and Air-conditioning helps customers and their AC systems keep their cool!
by Donna Rhodes

Highlands Cove Realty

Highlands Cove Realty at Old Edwards Club may have a new name, office, community and media presence, but one thing remains constant:  a long history of dependable service you can always count on.
Broker-in-Charge, Jennifer Blake and General Manager, Ed Hillis, have several years of combined real estate experience in the area. Formerly Mountain View Properties, Highlands Cove Realty’s current focus is representing buyers and sellers within Old Edwards Club and in the surrounding Highlands/Cashiers area.  As Real Estate Brokers, members and residents of Old Edwards Club we have a thorough knowledge and complete understanding of our community and can provide our clients with the highest degree of professional service.
Ed says, “We are the onsite agents for Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove. Our office is located at the front entrance of the community. We are building a new office, directly across the street from where we are now. It will open mid-to-late July.”
Jennifer adds, “We enjoy a synergy with OEI. We have the same passion for first-rate service, customer care, character and integrity and quality lifestyle.”
To keep abreast of the most recent trends in real estate Ed and Jennifer have strengthened their web presence with the latest technology including a new website, Facebook, and Linkedin. And they’ve contracted professional photography along with an advertising firm, and much more.
“The market is experiencing an upswing now,” says Ed. “Owning property on the Highlands Plateau is a solid asset whether you’re interested in a vacation home, investment property or permanent residence.”
“We also share a love of the community in which we live,” adds Jennifer. “We recently became a sponsor of the Highlands Playhouse. We understand the importance of being involved and supporting our community.”
To learn more about Highlands Cove Realty at Old Edwards Club, please visit: highlandscoverealty.com or inquire at: info@highlandscoverealty.com. You can reach Ed or Jennifer at: ehillis@highlandscoverealty.com or jennifer@highlandscoverealty.com. Or check out Facebook or Linkedin.  Highlands is more than a destination. It’s a lifestyle. When you’re ready to make it your own–for a weekend or forever — please give Ed or Jennifer a call at (828) 526-8128.
by Donna Rhodes

Anna’s Got a Brand New Bag

Annawear of Highlands NC celebrates an anniversary with an exciting new storefront.

Annawear of Highlands NC celebrates an anniversary with an exciting new storefront.

1986 was a banner year for Anna Herz. It was the year she got married and the year she opened Annawear. Celebrating two 27th anniversaries in 2013 has been a joy. And now there is something new to celebrate: Herz’s newest storefront in her original Annawear space. It is right next to her current Annawear store on
Main Street.
Herz says, “I actually started out in that tiny spot, and now I am back in my original digs. It felt like coming home.” But she didn’t want to expand her adjacent dress shop into that reclaimed area. She wanted to make the new space a specialized division of Annawear. So she went for a bag and accessory store called Purse. And that’s what’s delightful about Annawear. It is always fun, fresh, and ever-evolving.
Another reason Annawear has enjoyed nearly three decades of successful business is that Herz is in tune with the latest trends. And she caters to the desires of her loyal customers. Herz says, “We work hard to find fashion lines that people like at a price they
can appreciate.”
And just like Herz has done in Annawear, she will stock a certain Annawear-look in her line of purses while catering to a wide range of tastes at prices ranging from an affordable $30 to $200. Clients can find something whimsical for a passing fancy or a classic clutch to last a lifetime.
Customers will welcome the most popular name brands including: Cowboy’s Bag, Bed Stu, Betsy Johnson, Steve Madden, Volatile, Melilia, Urban Expressions,
and more.
Call Herz at Annawear at (828) 526-4660. Click Like Us on Facebook: Annawear or Purse. Check out Annawear. See what they’ve got in their new bag of tricks!

by Donna Rhodes

Francie Hargrove Interiors of Cashiers NC

Francie Hargrove Interiors of Cashiers NC

Francie Hargrove Interiors of Cashiers NC

For years, you’ve looked to Francie Hargrove for home furnishings, accessories, and clothing with style and flair.
During the winter, Francie has moved to a new location — the old Tommy’s Restaurant building on Highway 107 South. There’s parking galore, so stop by today to freshen up your home and your wardrobe.
Francie has truly transformed this space. It is light and airy with a flare that only Francie can deliver. The new shop has an additional 2,000 square feet, so you will find many new and exciting lines this season.
“The new shop is so exciting — it is truly a one-stop shop for the discriminating shopper,” says Francie. “Whether ladies are shopping for their home, their husband or children or their own wardrobe, we offer just what they are looking for. I look forward to seeing everyone this season.”
You’ll want to check out Francie’s own line of unique jewelry featuring earrings with semi-precious stones. And for the man in your life, new this year are buffalo leather loafers to enhance any outfit. You will also find designer shirts, silk ties, button covers and so much more. Dress him in style from Francie’s.
Of course, she still has the most enchanting home furnishings — chests and tables, lamps, mirrors, custom monogrammed pillows, linens, soaps, candles and so much more. Take your home to the next level with items found here. When you need a hostess gift, there’s no better place to stop than
Francie Hargrove’s.
Mark your calendars now for the Clara Williams Jewelry Trunk Show on June 28 and 29. Stop by the store at 95 Highway 107 South anytime between 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday.   Call them at (828) 743-9700. Congratulations to Francie for being named the Spotlight Retailer for the Summer Market by the Americasmart, Atlanta.
With a double major in interior design and historic preservation Francie’s eye for style can help you transform your home. For design services, call (828) 743-1700.

By Wiley Sloan

Hen House of Highlands NC

Kerry Kennedy comes to Highlands

Kerry Kennedy comes to Highlands

The Hen House of Highlands has won a regional reputation for its magnificent pottery collection. Owners Lloyd and Deb Wagner scour the countryside in their quest to find talented potters and ceramicists.  The fruits of their labors line the shelves of their shop and imbue it with an irresistible charm. The Wagners’ personal approach to meeting and supporting their artisans has allowed them to develop deep friendships over the years.
That’s why they’re so excited about their latest ceramic artists–Paul Anthony of Anthony Stonewear and Kerry Kennedy of Fire Horse Pottery Studios.
Paul Anthony’s original dinnerware and serveware are stunning in the subtle color and dimensionality of the designs. In particular, his chicken casserole and fish poacher beg to be studied and touched. Since Paul’s studio is located in Burnsville, North Carolina, his works have an unmistakable, elegant mountain feel.
Kerry Kennedy share’s Paul’s careful blending of color and her designs reflect an aesthetic that’s timeless in its execution. She’ll be visiting The Hen House in June to meet the community and speak with collectors.
Both artisans join the ranks of The Hen House’s storied ceramicists–artists like Richie Del Watts, and Paul and Sheila Ray. The shop is bursting with color and vibrant designs.
Also this year, The Hen House is offering collegiate women’s hoodies.
“Our customers have always known us for our University of Alabama displays, but now they’ll be able to find their favorite ACC and SEC clothing,” says Lloyd.
Of course, The Hen House still offers its Great Pantry’s worth of jams and jellies, dipping sauces, relishes, salsas, soup mixes and indulgent treats. And the Highlands Coffee Mugs are still on the shelves, ready to be a cherished memory of a gentle Highlands day.
For more information, stop by The Hen House at 488 Main Street in Highlands or call (828) 787-2473.

By Luke Osteen

Coming Home

David, Kodi, Hemi and Max - Cashiers Highlands Humane Society

David, Kodi, Hemi and Max – Cashiers Highlands Humane Society

One year ago I was blessed to begin the greatest job a lifelong advocate of animal welfare could ever dream of – to become your director of the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. Kodi, Hemi, Max and I arrived in Cashiers late on a Saturday night after a fourteen-hour drive from Fort Myers with a U-Haul in tow. We left in our rear view mirror many wonderful memories and experiences, not the least of which was transforming in just three years an old, financially-struggling shelter at the Gulf Coast Humane Society to become a first-class rescue organization that was voted in 2011 by ASPCA as the #1 shelter in Florida and #6 in the United States.
But enough of the past. My shelter rescue Siberian Huskies and I had an exciting future to experience and embrace. Some of the most beautiful and pristine natural scenery on the planet Earth. A no-kill shelter with a proud and beloved reputation, one that allowed dogs to run and romp in acres of play yards, and where cats and kittens could socialize in community play rooms with no cages. And best of all, a community of kind and compassionate animal lovers who support their pets and their
local humane society.
This past year has literally flown by. And we have built upon the solid foundation that CHHS and its supporters – you – have developed over the past quarter-century. There have been many, many accomplishments and achievements in the past twelve months, but I am most proud and grateful for our success in finding forever homes.  In 2012, adoptions increased thirty percent over the previous year. In the first four months of 2013, adoptions have already increased another fifty percent. Thanks to our incredible, dedicated staff, our awesome volunteers, and the support of the great people in our community, we are getting the animals entrusted to our care into the place they belong and
deserve – home.
And home is exactly how I feel about this magical place in western North Carolina. Because of the generous hospitality of the countless number of people in Cashiers, Highlands and surrounding towns, not only have we found homes for more animals than ever before, I found my home as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your gracious love and support of the animals.

Contributed by David Stroud, Executive Director, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society

Beginnings and Endings

Deneen Fendig faced death in the same way she faced life –  with courage and grace.

Deneen Fendig faced death in the same way she faced life –
with courage and grace.

Deneen Fendig lived life to the fullest.
And her living showered blessings on those around her.  As a clinical therapist, prolific writer, and mother, the goal of her own rich spiritual journey was to teach all she learned about love to others.  Comments left at www.deneenfendig.com, established by her sons Jeff and Duncan, remember her attributes of wisdom, courage, inspiration, benevolence and grace.  After 12 years of heroic efforts against breast cancer, it became evident that Deneen’s family had a few good remaining days with her.
Deneen’s son, Jeff Trussell, and his fiancée wanted her to be part of their wedding.  And so they moved both date and place in order to be with her at Four Seasons Hospice House, Elizabeth House, for their joyous ceremony.  And joyous it was, as evidenced by the video available on the website.  There is Deneen, with little hair and oxygen, but wearing white flowers, with a glowing radiance and blissful smile on her
beautiful face.
Too many of us wait until too late to avail ourselves of the caring services of Hospice.  Many of us wish to spend our last days at home.  Sometimes this is not possible.  Sometimes the continuous, comfort-bringing palliative care we need is not feasible at home, but we do not want a hospital environment.  Hospice houses provide the warm, homey comfort of a “home away from home” at such times, with reassurance and support, not only for the patient, but the entire family.
In such an environment, even a lovely wedding can take place.  In such an environment, our ending can include new beginnings.
Next month: exciting information on the formal opening of our own nearby Four Seasons Hospice House.  Hospice is for living life to its fullest for as long as we live.
For more information, contact Steve Mills, Director,
at (828) 526-2552.

Contributed by Diane McPhail

Beginning the Third Decade

Carpe Diem Farm’s newest family members, Reebok Mercedes and  Isabeau’s Nightwatch.

Carpe Diem Farm’s newest family members, Reebok Mercedes and
Isabeau’s Nightwatch. Highlands NC

It really is quite incredible to think that the foundation is in its twenty-first year and Carpe Diem Farms, the place, is sixteen years old! What a journey.
We are working diligently to get all the horses in shape for the summer season. They had a long winter off and are enjoying the longer days, warmer weather and the green grass. Our herd, now eleven in number, of varying ages, 6-28, are in various stages of learning. CDF operates on a safety first approach to the horses, working with students and program participants and that takes time.  Many hours of groundwork and exercising are needed before a horse can be a trusted riding companion. Socialization with people and the other members of the herd is a daily process. Horses are always on guard and ready to take flight. They must trust humans to be their leaders to create partnership.
This winter we introduced two new horses to the CDF family. Reebok Mercedes, a six-year old card-carrying Quarter Horse and a member of the Reining Horse Association. She participated in the National Futurity competition as a three-year old and is a wonderful addition to the herd. She spins, does sliding stops and turns on a dime! She is learning, slowly, to be ridden out of the arena and will soon learn to travel the trail.
Isabeau’s Nightwatch, aka Izzy, is a seventeen hand German Oldenberg. It has been my life-long dream since first watching the Disney classic, The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, to have my very own dapple gray. Izzy fills the bill! She has just turned seven and has spent her first two months here learning to be a horse with freedom. She is dressage trained, been stalled her whole life and always ridden and turned out in an arena. What joy it has been to see this giant of a horse run and play freely in a herd.  Carpe Diem Farms is a 501© 3 educational foundation. See our website at carpediemfarms.org
or call (828) 526-2854.
Contributed by Sue Blair, Carpe Diem Farms Executive Director

Beauty and the Beast


Sweet Suzy is looking for an understanding home.

Friends for Life cares for cats with Feline Leukemia (FeLV).   A separate room is maintained at the Forever Farm where these cats are isolated from the rest of our colony.

  This virus is a “beast” that can be spread via any body fluid: blood, saliva, or nasal discharges, etc.  Food bowls, water bowls or litter boxes can be contaminated.  A fight that draws blood, or breeding, is often how outside cats, that have not been vaccinated, get the disease.

We were recently asked by a local county shelter to accept a “beauty” we named Suzy and her two infant kittens.  Suzy had tested mildly positive for Feline Leukemia, and could not be put in their adoption program and faced euthanasia. Her kittens were too young to be tested.  They are all temporarily in a Friends for Life foster home.  The kittens will be weaned shortly and Suzy will be retested in hopes that her healthy young body has chased off the “beast.”  The kittens will then be tested as well.  If any of the three test negative, they will placed up for adoption.  If Suzy tests positive she will move into our FeLV isolation room.  If the kittens test positive they will stay in a cage and be retested in a couple
of months.

Cats with Feline Leukemia can be adopted into homes with no other cats, or can reside with another FeLV cat.  However, over the years we have only adopted out one FeLV cat.  Adopting one of these cats would truly be
a “lifesaving event.”

Friends for Life is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that operates a sanctuary for senior and special needs animals in Lake Toxaway called the Forever Farm.  Your tax-deductible donation will help support our mission.  Donations can be made through our website, friendsforlifeforeverfarm.org or by mail at P.O. Box 340, Sapphire, NC 28774.  For information, or to visit the Forever Farm, please call (828) 508-2460.

Contributed by Kathy Bub, Executive Director, Forever Farms


It’s a Community Collaboration

Are you ready to give up that chili bowl and high carb lasagna for some lighter fare?

Are you also in search of a crisp green salad and a tomato pie?

If you’re like most of us, as the coat comes off and the shorts come out, you’re missing those delectable vegetables of summer.

A new project is in the works at The Bascom. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Highlands is partnering with Carol Taylor of www.vertical.towergarden.com, (cjtaylor1119@gmail.com.) to start an aeroponic garden on site.

Joy Eager, a BBBS mentor, has been working on the project with Taylor and Bascom Outreach Coordinator Will Barclift to create a great learning experience for both the BBBS “Bigs” and “Littles.”

The group will be starting from seeds a veggie garden loaded with lettuces, herbs, and tomatoes this spring. The Bascom has offered the BBBS participants the opportunity to attend their June 8 class, “The Brand Within,” to learn how to design their own logo and labels. In addition, the children will be photo journaling their experiences throughout the project with hopes of creating a photo display or book at the end of growing season.

Taylor will help during the project by offering instruction on the importance and power of nutrition; creating fresh salads and smoothies for the kids to sample. In addition, she will assist them in preparing their goods to sell at the Highlands Farmer’s Market at the Highlands School
on Saturdays.

The children will learn first-hand the fun and challenging aspects of entrepreneurship with a sense of accomplishment and purpose along with nutritional education highlighting the creative side of culinary art.  It’s another BBBS “Positive Project” offered to encourage higher aspirations and greater self-confidence in the children from
our community.

To learn how you can become a BBBS mentor and join in fun activities like this with great kids, contact BBBS Program Coordinator Debbie Lassiter, highlands@bbbswnc.org, or (828) 526-4044.

Contributed by Debbie Lassiter


Macon County CareNet

An advocate, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal.” Without the support of this community and the admirable time spent by each and every volunteer, staff and board member of CareNet, we would not be able to maintain their mission to provide for their neighbors that are less fortunate. In 2012, CareNet, with the help of over 125,734 lbs. of food donated by members of the Macon County community, distributed 292,420 lbs. of food to families in need through Carenet’s food pantry,  soup café, TEFAP and backpack program. In addition to the assistance provided through thier food pantry, they were able to serve 13,011 meals through thier soup café and delivered over 15,425 backpacks to school children in need, through Carenet’s backpack program. While the numbers may be alarming now, we certainly realize we’re just scratching the surface of the real issue at hand.

CareNet relies on the generosity of community members, businesses/organizations and the area churches to ensure needs are met right here in our very own community. It goes without saying that their ministry is always in need of additional volunteers to assist with daily operations (contact Carenet for volunteer opportunities), as well as, ongoing donations/support to make certain that families in Macon County never have to go without food.

Join CareNet on June 11 from 4:00 until 6:30 P.M. for a ‘meet and greet’ with various representatives from local agencies, businesses and organizations (contact CareNet if your organization would like to participate). There will be an opportunity to learn more about the resources available here in Macon County through literature and Q&A sessions. CareNet is located at 130 Bidwell Street
Franklin, NC 28734.

Visit their website at www.maconcarenet.org and/or on Facebook at maconcountycarenet.

Contributed by Shaina D. Adkins  |  Executive Director, Macon County Care Network



Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Bogs! One of the rarer plant communities found in our North Carolina mountains is the Southern Appalachian Bog. A bog is a type of wetland that accumulates peat due to acidic conditions.

In the north, large bogs occur in old glacial features.

In our region, bogs are smaller, scattered on the landscape, and often form in valley bottoms or along gentle slopes. Bogs are important as they often provide floodwater storage and are home to a host of specialized and rare species such as the pitcher plant. The Southern Appalachian Bog tends to be a mosaic of open, shrub, and forested wetlands along streams. Because they tend to be small, bogs are easily disturbed through development and agriculture. In addition, there are indications that some kind of past disturbance such as beaver, grazing, or fire may have been important in maintaining these wetlands. The removal of these natural disturbances may have led to the decline in bog numbers and area. In Jackson County, Panthertown and Dulany Bog are both good examples of Southern Appalachian Bogs that are doing well. Both are protected by the U.S. Forest Service or North Carolina State.

The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust has been able to protect several bogs in recent years. In 2007 HCLT was instrumental in protecting 38 acres of Dulany Bog and in 2012 we accepted a two-acre tract from Janice and James Carter that conserves the core of Bracken Bog at 6th Street in Highlands. We are currently working to conserve two additional bog sites in Macon County.

Please join the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and the Village Conservancy, rain or shine, on June 24 as we co-host Rob Evans of the N.C. Plant Conservation Program. He will discuss “Mountain Bogs” as part of the Village Nature Series at Harmony Towers across the street from the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library at 7:00 P.M. Rob will discuss the great diversity of this habitat and component species, especially its rare plants. The talk will also present examples of ongoing ecological restoration efforts on Plant Conservation Preserves in Transylvania County.

To learn more about the Village Nature Series, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust (www.hicashlt.org; (828) 526-1111) or the Village Green (www.villagegreencashiersnc.com), check our websites.

Contributed by Gary Wein, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust


It’s Wedding Season

The month of June is synonymous with weddings. Here on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, that couldn’t be more true. Destination weddings have always been a big business, but recent years have turned the beginning of a couple’s new life together into a full-blown industry. What once was planned as a simple Saturday ceremony has become a “getaway weekend,”  filled with food, activities and lots of opportunities to catch up and celebrate.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, the biggest decision you’ll make (besides your dress, of course) is “where.” The Highlands-Cashiers area is among the top ten destinations in the US for wedding events and with good reason. Breathtaking views, incredible weather and some of the most beautiful venues continue to draw brides from all over the country year after year. Whether it’s the beauty and grace of our churches, some of our world-class facilities or the splendor of the outdoors you want for your backdrop, there’s not a bad choice to be made here.

Area country clubs are another fabulous choice, offering elegance, privacy and the opportunity to hold the day’s events in one central area.  While some offer these options for members and their families, there are also some clubs who will allow non-members to hold their wedding celebrations on property. Keep in mind, the interests of the members will take precedence. But depending on the time of year and your requirements, if you can be somewhat flexible, the benefits
are fabulous.

Another great aspect of working with a club is that you will work closely with a team of people who already work together daily, communicating about everything from menus to seating to parking. They know the inner workings of the facilities, and can answer questions, help solve problems or make recommendations fairly easily. They also have a host of quality vendors already in place and have established relationships with them, ensuring a more seamless planning experience – one less thing for you to worry about on your big day.

Congratulations on your engagement – and on choosing to get married here in the mountains! We are looking forward to planning your destination wedding
with you!

Contributed by Krysti Henderson  Director of Event and Membership Sales, Cedar Creek Racquet Club.


Lower Back Pain?

Contributed by  Dr. Sue Aery,  Aery Chiropractic  & Acupuncture  (828) 526-1022

Contributed by Dr. Sue Aery,
Aery Chiropractic
& Acupuncture
(828) 526-1022

Getting out of the car just isn’t what it used to be?

How about standing up from a chair?  Does your low back “catch” a bit as you ease yourself from one position to another?

You’re experiencing the first noticeable sign of low back pain.  “Lower cross syndrome” is a serious condition that can really take you to your knees if ignored.  If you convince yourself this is just another sign of aging, your body will continue to show you how serious this syndrome can be.

These symptoms are not normal and they are not signs of normal aging.  They are the result of your vertebrae compressing and your back muscles shortening because the front muscles of your hips pull on your spine and pelvis.  Now that sounds serious, right? Further damage, including pinched nerves, sciatica, and disc herniation, can occur if you don’t address this condition with proper care and stretching.

Your body is supported and moved by intricate layers and a complex arrangement of connective tissues that act as cables and pulleys. When they are all in balance, you can achieve most movement comfortably without
any hesitation.

When some of these cables are too tight and others are normal this creates a problem for the spine due to abnormal pulling forces and ultimately results in pain. Sometimes this is caused by simply sitting longer than standing in a day, especially during car travel, desk and computer work or even playing bridge.  The muscles in the front of your body contract and shorten while the muscles in the back become stretched and weakened, resulting in a stooped posture. The compensation position causes the spine to become compressed, squeezing the spinal discs and ultimately pinching the spinal nerves as they exit. Herniated discs and pinched nerves lead
to pain!

The best treatment approach to avoid further damage down the road includes chiropractic care, massage therapy and focused stretching.

Don’t let this get out of hand; stand up straight again and move with ease!

Get Out of Here

Just say “No” to feeding your furry neighbors.

Just say “No” to feeding your furry neighbors.

We all know that good manners are important for getting along in the world.

However, if you have a bear snooping around your house hoping to find an easy meal, you don’t need to mind your manners. In fact, being nice to a bear is bound to get you into trouble. That only teaches it that your yard is a great place to hang out, and before you know it, the bear will be tearing up your birdfeeders, breaking into your car, or worse yet, climbing in a window to find food. Talk about bad manners! Unfortunately, it is usually the bear that winds up paying—with its life–for our poor behavior.

Therefore, it is important to teach bears that they are not welcome. Bears are smart—smarter than a German shepherd, and their noses are more sensitive than a bloodhound’s. So the first step is to remove anything that might be attracting bears: garbage, barbecue, or pet food. Keep them locked inside a sturdy building. Make your birdfeeders inaccessible to bears, take them in at night, and use a seed tray.

A bear simply walking through your yard is an experience to savor. But if it comes snooping around your house and getting into trouble, you need to take action. First, be assertive; let it know that this is YOUR house and it is not welcome. Stare it in the eye — sometimes that is all that is needed. Put your arms over your head to appear larger. Stamp your feet and yell. Bang on pots and pans. Shake a garbage bag at it.

For more help, check out the B.E.A.R. Task Force’s new brochure, “Bear Attractants and Deterrents.”  It is loaded with valuable tips for dealing with bears. Find them at the post office, Hudson Library, Mill Creek Gallery and other locations in town, or call (828) 526-9227. Also, watch for up-coming programs on preventing and dealing with bear encounters.

Contributed by Cynthia Strain


The Big City

The Empire Hotel

The Empire Hotel

Recently I decided to escape the serenity of our plateau and headed to New York City with two girlfriends.  Since “Gossip Girl” and “Sex In The City” both had featured The Empire Hotel, we decided that we would make the hotel our home away from home and we were not disappointed.  The Empire Hotel is nestled in a quiet area of the Upper West Side on 63rd Street, just blocks away from Central Park, next door to The Lincoln Center, about a twenty-minute stroll from the theater district or the America Museum of Natural History.

This 1892 hotel was remade a few years back, complete with a canopied pool deck, sexy rooftop bar and a dimly-lit lobby lounge studded with zebra-print settees, and, of course, Gossip Girl martinis.  We found there was little reason to leave the Upper West Side to dine.  Ed Brown of Eighty-One restaurant opened Ed’s Chowder House in the Empire Hotel and was tops on our list of places to eat.  Brown knows a little bit about seafood, having authored “The Modern Seafood Cook,” and having helped to update the fish section of the new “Joy of Cooking.”  Our best meal was at Boulad Sud and might even prove to be reason enough for a visit back to the city.  Truly amazing!

The design of the hotel pays tribute to the area with stonework reminiscent of the Lincoln Center and earth tone colors for Central Park.

“We always wanted The Empire Hotel to be a hotel for the masses, with appeal to everyone whether you are eight or 80 years old,” says Laura Turk, Director of
Sales and Marketing.

Our suite was luxurious with a great view of the Lincoln Center. The glass-enclosed shower with a rain showerhead in the bathroom was a treat and we had to keep reminding each other that we had to share
the bathroom.

On our last night we decided to be star chasers and went to Lady Gaga’s parents’ restaurant, Joanne’s Trattoria,  hoping to catch a glimpse of Lady Gaga.  Joanne’s Trattoria is named after Gaga’s aunt, her father’s late sister, whom the singer credits with inspiring her to become an artist. Joanne, a poet and painter, died of lupus at the age of 19.  Unfortunately, we did not see Lady Gaga and found out later that she was on the road for a concert, just another reason to come back and visit.

This was my favorite trip to New York City and I attribute that to staying in the Upper West Side.  It has a wonderful neighborhood feel and offers everything without having to hail cabs, fight traffic or the rush of the city.  We have already decided that The Empire Hotel will be an annual girls’ getaway for us.

Who knows, I may just show up with a man one of these days. It certainly could be a great place for romance.

Contributed by Elizabeth Fletcher  |  elizabeth@idoeventsatlanta.com


Antiques as an Investment

Antiquesviv4Are antiques a good investment?

The answer depends on you and your expectations.

We’ve all heard the mostly true stories of a piece purchased at a garage sale that was ultimately sold to finance a healthy retirement. It happens often but for the more practical among us there are several steps you can take to safely invest in antiques.

The first step is to educate yourself. We are lucky in Cashiers to be home to several fine antique shops where you can pick the brains of reputable dealers. Visit their shops and ask questions. They are antique dealers because they love the things they carry and are happy to share their knowledge. A very good dealer will also tell you what he doesn’t know as every piece will hold some mystery. Sometimes their experience will tell us many things, but antiques have had a life before today of at least 100 years.

It is great fun to speculate what events of history an antique has been witness to. It is fun to consider the possibility that a stain on a buffet might have happened over a glass of wine and a conversation about the antics of Benjamin Franklin on his visit to France. Ask to see the backs of pieces. You can tell a lot about the age of something by looking under[[neath it or on its back. Often a furniture piece will be made of several different varieties of wood. This makes sense if you give it some thought. In 1790 you couldn’t go to a big box store to pick up some wood or go online to buy a buffet. Furniture making was an art and each piece is a unique work of art. If you realize that you will live with something that will become part of the fabric of your life and your family’s history, then you have completed the second step in investing. As you enjoy your purchase, it will appreciate.

Don’t expect to flip it for a quick return, but instead enjoy and use it as you add some of your own history. In this world of generic mass produced items, you will have a truly one-of –a-kind piece that will be more rare than a Stradivarius violin!  New furniture may be tasteful and inexpensive but it can often be more expensive than an antique of the same style. The last step to investing wisely is to buy the best that you can afford. A true antique purchased from a dealer you trust may appreciate as much as 33 percent over the long haul. That’s better than the stock market or real estate. Purchase something you are passionate about and you will enjoy an appreciation of it in more ways
than one.

When you visit the antique district in Cashiers, you get a sense of what it would be like to shop in some of the small villages of Europe. Most of the shops are in little cottages or barns and there is a wide selection of styles and quality to choose from. You can start with Vivianne Metzger Antiques whose shop features 18th and 19th century English and French antique furniture and accessories. Cherie and Vivianne will be glad to help you explore their shop and warehouse with over five hundred pieces to choose from.

Then walk next door to Rusticks, where Ann Sherrill has created a fine blend of new furniture and antiques displayed in attractive vignettes to give you some great
decorating ideas.

After a quick break at one of the great little lunch spots in town, head to Ryan and Co. and explore two buildings full of treasures. Skip Ryan will be glad to share his knowledge  with you and you can explore The Catbird Seat while on the property.  The hunting is half the fun!

If French is your fancy, you have Dovetail Antiques featuring art, antiques and eccentricities handpicked and imported from European markets. Sally Johannessen will be glad to share her knowledge with you. From there, walk across the street to Summer Place, where Susan Young has transformed a barn into a fabulous shop full of iron chandeliers and curiosities that will delight your palate.

Don’t miss Bumpkins, which specializes in eclectic reclaimed components transformed into novel home decor. Marian Duncan will welcome you and it’s always a surprise when you walk through the door to see fresh ideas for decorating your home.

Last stop on the tour is Bound’s Cave, where Judy and Mark specialize in hand-knotted wool oriental carpets, tapestries, needlepoint and hooked rugs.

We know you will have a wonderful and fun-filled day hunting antiques in Cashiers.

Contributed by Cherie Tibbetts and Sally Johannessen


American River Cruising

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox - Highlands Travel (828) 526-5243 HighlandsTravel.com

Contributed by Bryan & Tricia Cox – Highlands Travel
(828) 526-5243

When we think of river cruising, we often think about rivers in Europe, Russia, even Asia.  However, there are some fantastic places to explore along our own US rivers such as the Mighty Mississippi.

There is no more unique way to experience the history and culture of America’s heartland than to take a Mississippi river cruise onboard a genuine, but luxurious, American

When you cruise along the Mississippi, you will have the opportunity to stroll through charming small towns and vibrant river cities.  Explore ports of call such as New Orleans, Natchez, Memphis, and St. Louis, just to name a few.

Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or culture enthusiast, an American river cruise provides beauty and adventure like you have never experienced.  From studying majestic bald eagles and taking in the magnificent beauty of fall foliage to exploring Southern battlefields with so many stories to tell, this is a trip unlike any other.

And just because you are on a steamboat does not mean that you have to sacrifice the finer things in life.  From luxurious accommodations to fine dining and award winning entertainment, you will feel as though you are traveling on a floating antebellum estate.  Relax and be pampered in the onboard spa or stay in shape in the gym.  Whatever your desire, today’s American steamboats are sure to deliver.

Why not take that unique river voyage right here in the United States?  Not only will you have a wonderful time, but you get to skip the overseas flight!

Take Charge of Your Health

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness (828) 743-9070

Contributed by Jim Johnson, DC, DACBN & Resa Johnson, DC, DACBN, Mountain Air Wellness
(828) 743-9070

“Where did the time go?” “I never thought I would be this old.” “If only I had taken better care of myself.” “Is it too late to do something for me and my aging body?” These are statements that run through our heads on a regular basis. However, there are steps you can take to slow the inevitable aging process.

You must first take charge of your health and become a strong advocate for yourself. Visit doctors who will encourage you to treat your challenges with natural methods and not drugs, start a good exercise program that includes weight lifting, stretching and cardiovascular, and get advice on healthy
food choices.

These suggestions are not rocket science! There are other things you can and should be doing. Have you had your telomeres tested, or done a Blood Nutrition Profile, body composition analysis or MicroNutrient testing? These are only a few of the options you have!

Telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a
normal population.

Blood nutrition is another method of determining where you are in this health journey. There is no general screening test that is more efficient, effective, and affordable than our comprehensive blood chemistry panel. BN is a baseline of biomarkers that can be used to track your progress.

Patients have asked, “Dr Jim, is there a test that tells me if I am vitamin or nutrient deficient?” The answer is, “Yes!”

Your health issues might be from improper amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other essential micronutrients without you even knowing it.

With our healthcare delivery system changing, it’s more important than ever that you take charge of your health. You must do as much as you can to stay healthy and out of hospitals. Make the change today.

A Father and Son Championship

Upon arriving in St. Andrews we were introduced to our caddies, Dod and Kevin.

They have caddied for the likes of Palmer and Watson and are two of the finest caddies at St. Andrews.  First they calm us down and get us in a good mental state and inform us that nothing less than winning the championship will do.

The first round was played on the famous St. Andrews Jubilee Course. Tommy and I, with the help of the caddies, started reeling off birdies and finished the round with a best ball score of 8 under par 64. This gave us a one-shot lead over teams from Malaysia and Canada.  Our caddies were very proud of us and escorted us to Dunvegan’s Pub just up the street from the course to celebrate our good start.

After a good night’s rest, we were ready for the second round on the New Course at St. Andrews.  We were pretty calm until we were announced on the first tee as the tournament leaders.  The round progressed nicely with Tommy and me helping each other out whenever either was in trouble.

We got pretty hot and finished at 7 under par 65 for the day and a two-day total of 15 under and a two shot lead.  We were now feeling like we could win this thing and starting believing what our caddies had planned for us.

The last day dawned beautiful for St. Andrews in April.

Today we were playing the most famous course in the world, “The Old Course.”  We were paired in the final group with the father and son team from Japan who were in second place two shots back of us.  These guys were serious.  There wasn’t much conversation and you could tell they were determined to give us a run for our money. The son hit the ball very, very far, but I noticed he could not hit it low.  Everything was high and far.  My caddie informed me that the winds would pick up in the afternoon and this would come back to haunt him.  By the fourth hole they had made up the two-shot deficit and were high-fiving each other all over the place.

Our competitors stayed even for the next two or three holes and then Tommy and I birdied five of the next six holes capping it with a birdie by Tommy at the famous “Road Hole” # 17.  Tommy was so pumped he cranked a 318 yard drive on the last hole in to the “Valley of Sin” in front of the green… about 45 yards past me. We birdied the last hole and looked up at the scoreboard and realized we had finished with a five-shot victory after a nice 67 today.

Contributed by Tom Chillemi, Tom’s Golf Tours, tnchillemi@windstream.net


The Tennessee Valley Divide

Morning view from Sunrise Rock

Morning view from Sunrise Rock

During the eighteenth century the content of the streams and rivers flowing towards the Little Tennessee River and then on to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, were known to the English colonists as “the French waters.” This was because they ended their journey to the ocean by passing through French Louisiana into the Gulf of Mexico. The northern edge of the Cashiers Valley and the southern half of the Highlands Plateau are defined by the line separating these streams and those whose contents make their way to the Atlantic Ocean via the Savannah River. This line is known as the Tennessee Valley Divide (TVD).

On the way south towards Cashiers, a driver on NC 107 crosess the TVD at the turnoff to Blue Ridge Lane. After turning on to 64 towards Highlands the same driver will cross the Divide again at Cowee Gap. A side trip to Whiteside stays almost on top of the Divide on the way south down Whiteside Mountain Road. A hike to the overlooks on the southeastern edge of Whiteside offers up great views of the headwaters of the Chattooga as they begin the long journey to the Atlantic.

An afternoon of golfing at Highlands Falls puts you just north of the TVD at the head of the Cullasaja on its way to join the Little Tennessee. A morning hike to Sunrise Rock puts you right on top of the TVD and gives you a big view of Horse Cove on the Savannah side of the Divide.

The TVD crosses the summit of Scaly Mountain, accessible via the Bartram Trail and a nice destination for well-conditioned hikers looking for a short but strenuous trip. From Highlands take Dillard Road for about five-and-a-half miles to the parking area at Osage Overlook. Begin your trip up via the set of railroad tie steps across the road. Follow the yellow blazes to the summit. The trail gains over 1,000 feet in less than two miles, so be sure your lungs and legs are up for the trip before setting out!

By Matthew Bradley