Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cheers to A New Year From Piedmont Triad Living

By Jessica Thomas Lewis
I, for one, am very excited about the New Year.  

2014 is the year I turned 40.  It is also my first full year of being single since the age of twenty-two.  This year brought several mini-vacations for my girls and myself.  It brought self growth.  It was, to be honest, one of the best years of my life thus far.  It also brought, here towards the end, a discovery of truth and betrayels that rocked me to the core and nearly brought me to a halt.

2014 brought a new energy to Piedmont Triad Living.  I'm excited to see growth in my labor of love, as it gives me a voice to share all that I love about the Piedmont Triad.  I live laugh love play shop local and I'm thankful that as a brand we have thousands of fans across our area.  

I am thrilled to have contributing writers to Piedmont Triad Living, each picked for their brilliant writing skills and interesting perspective of our area.  

I am proud that we're not afraid to talk about subjects that matter.  While we'll always be a family publication with fun and lighthearted topics, we're also ready to talk about the harder, more controversial topics.  The best conversations and the most significant changes have stemmed from controversy.  

Our goal for 2015 is to go to quarterly print; I'm proud that Piedmont Triad Living is a known, relevant name and that you allow us to be a part of your day.   In addition to the website and this blog, we are also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Thank you for being a follower and a reader.  

I am so excited to see what 2015 brings us all.  

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joy Cometh

By Carly Pete

So, it’s about forgiveness?

After submitting my first blog to this publication, I checked in on Facebook where I read a post from a friend about a St. Louis, Missouri police officer, so happens he’s black, saying he witnessed racism firsthand while on that city’s police force which caused him to resign after five years…an eyewitness account from a police officer regarding the Ferguson grand jury decision.  I paused. The friend who shared the post is a white male human being, the husband of a friend from church. We three share a mostly virtual acquaintance: we share information we care about on Facebook; we read.

And now, I write; I’ve begun a conversation with you.

Before signing out of Facebook that night, I saw a photo shared by another friend, someone I hadn’t seen in a while who hadn’t posted anything on Facebook for months. She looked fantastic! We distanced ourselves from each other last year. I clicked “like” on the post.

Instantly, I was overcome with emotion, ready to let bygones be bygones.

Ten days later, before she and I could reconcile, I learned through a Facebook post on her page that Carolyn passed away from complications with a medical procedure, ending her life abruptly.  Her family was devastated, and I, inconsolable. Reaching out to my adult sons in a private Facebook chat, I asked where they believed the energy and life force of a loved one goes when the body dies so suddenly. Michael and Lawrence, oldest and middle sons, allowed their younger brother Christopher to respond. Mike, my second husband, Christopher’s dad, passed away four years ago. Christopher wrote: “The energy goes through us and still lives through.  That inspired thought, or coming inspired actions, that “spirit” is what inspires because it has been implanted in you and everyone she’s touched.”

Everyone she’s touched…he was empathizing with me by gently reminding me he knows the pain of a sudden loss, too, their dad. Instantly, I’m reminded of the sacredness of my sojourn, of the amazing people whose lives have touched mine. I remember the joy, bask in it, and let it flow.

About Carly Pete: Carly, a 2013 graduate of Salem College, earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Creative Writing. She resides in Winston-Salem, where she works as a communication consultant, lyricist and writer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Year's Party at Quiet Corner's Sports Bar

Bring in the New Year with our friend Mr. J  
at Quiet Corner's Sports Bar in Winston-Salem.
2805 Indiana Avenue

Doors Open at 9pm

$10 before 10pm
$20 after 10pm
Call for Advance Tickets
Gwen 336-655-5520
J 336-479-5007
Where the Grown and Sexy Socialize

Angelina's Teas

By Denton Gerow

Are you looking for something different?   Tired of meeting for coffee?  Need a great gift for someone?   This is a place you have to check out.

This is not your grandmother's tea shop.  With hundreds of teas, tea sets from delicate to manly and a wide range of gifts, this shop stands out.

Nothing commercial like that place in the mall.  True loose teas in so many flavors.  From classic black to chocolate strawberry saffron and everything in the middle.  Enjoy a cup as you browse the myriad of books that range from coffee table photo books to old leather bound tomes.  Play an a old board game as you sip a mellow blend or talk with your dear ones while drinking a supercharged Go Juice. (More on that in a moment).

Don't know much about loose teas and how to select and brew?  No problem.  Wade will gladly coach you and assist you.  They have everything you need to get started in this fine tradition of teas.

Gifts galore are available.  Some of my favorites are the elegant cup, saucer and spoon sets to light up the imagination of any special lady of any age.  Loking for that Japanese tea set?  They have them all shapes and colors.  Something for your office?  They have tea and coffee presses travel mugs and more.

A varied selection of gourmet chocolate bars, with and without liquor, including locally made bars make great gifts to accompany the teas. 

One very unique offering is the line of Salt Of The Earth.   These are packs of sea salt with rare spices infused like saffron, truffle and more.  A line of salt sprays with flavors infused is also available for those times you just want a dash of flavor.

Usually, there is a special baked good available also to accompany your beverage.  Today it was bourbon pecan cake.  Be sure to ask what the day's treat is. 

Now about that Go Juice, which is my favorite drink.   This drink is better than almost any mocha, latte or coffee concoction you have ever had.  You pick the chocolate infused tea of your choice.   Wade, the owner, mixes it with a blend of tea that has more caffeine than a cup of coffee.  He adds cream and sweetener (sugar free is available). This drink rocks!   Only two per visit allowed.  It's just that strong.  As a caffeine fiend I can tell you, this one packs it in.

I strongly suggest a visit here.  

Find Angelina's Teas on Facebook and visit their website.

About Denton Gerow:  Denton was born in Charlotte, but has lived all over the eastern seaboard and in California.  An avid Foodie, he prefers to eat at local joints, hole in the walls and the oft missed.  Denton loves to cook and share his passions for food, cigars, beer and more.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Carolyn

By Carly Pete

A dear friend, Carolyn, passed away a few days ago; I learned about it on Facebook. We lost touch last year after she and I had a couple of spats. Now, I feel she intentionally created that distance, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Carolyn and I met in 2003 at Martin Luther King Jr. rec center here in town. We took aerobics classes together twice a week until I began classes at Salem College in the fall of 2009. We were among the more highly motivated women in our class who attended religiously; I’d been diagnosed with diabetes in 2001, Carolyn was a breast cancer survivor.

Carolyn’s my best new friend since childhood. Her constant encouragement reminded me of how my life might have been had my mother lived to raise me, although Carolyn was only a year older and didn’t look her age. She complimented everything about me: my hair, the way I thought, talked, dressed, my cooking, singing…on and on; it was almost embarrassing. She loved me. I can’t remember ever in my life being so unabashedly celebrated by another human being (not related to me) as by Carolyn. Her acceptance was validating, personal, and startlingly real. Whenever I sang somewhere, or hosted a jam session at my home…and spectacularly when I graduated from college in 2013; Carolyn was there, cheering wildly as I crossed the stage.

Best of all, Carolyn is the keepsake of our birth name; I relinquished Carolyn to her safekeeping when I became the singer and college student Carly to newer friends, plus it reduced confusion when she and I were in the same spaces, which we often were, until last year.

I’m certain she knew how much I loved her and how hard losing her would be on me. I only pray that she passed peacefully away without much physical pain.

Touch the sky, fly girl. Say hi to our mamas. Always know I love ya!

God rest your souls, easy, dear family of our loved one. Take comfort in beautiful Carolyn memories and let your hearts be strengthened by the everlasting joy of Christmas. We send condolences and our love.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Treasury: Carolina Calling

Carolina Calling

A treasury filled with NC sellers!  We always support shopping locally.  Buy local, stay local!
Petite GOLD-Filled North Carolina Necklace--Solid
Home Sweet Home NC unisex tshirt S M L XL
Floral North Carolina Decal - Colorful Flower NC Bumper Sticker Red Heart Cute State Laptop Decal Pink Green Yellow Blue
The Town Clock at Statesville North Carolina Print from the Original Watercolor by Michael Joe Moore
NC Home Car Decal
Wrightsville Beach Wilmington NC  Summer Rest Road watercolor painting commission local artist on location or from photographs acrylic pen
North Carolina Roots State T-Shirt - Unisex Adult Short Sleeved NC Tee Shirt - 100% Cotton - Hometown Roots Apparel
Carolina Theater at night - Durham, NC 4x6 postcard
Asheville, NC Urban Photography Warehouses in the River Arts District, Urban Decay, Asheville Wall Art, Asheville RAD Old Broken Down Places
Lake Lure NC postcard - Blue Ridge Mountains, Chimney Rock, North Carolina high cliff, mountain scenery, patriotic flag
Ca. 1970s "Great Smokey Mountains" in NC Topographical Picture Postcard - 1314
Currituck Lighthouse - Outer Banks Lighthouse - Duck, NC - Outer Banks Photography - Landscape - 8x10 Photo
NC State Memorial Bell Tower - NCSU, North Carolina State University Photography - College Home Decor Fine Art Print or Note Card Set
NORTH CAROLINA (NC) Shaped Magnet - Regular Blue Pepsi Soda Can
First In Flight License Plates on NC
Wilmington, NC, Art print called "Night On The Town" - Cafe scene, horse and carriage, horse and buggy, Riverboat Landing Restaurant

Powered By Toastie Studio - Etsy Tools

Thursday, December 11, 2014

7 Tips for Your Holiday Travel

By Raymond Fleckles

Keep all of your travel documents together.  ID, passport, boarding passes should all be kept together in a place that you can easily access.

Keep it simple!  Wear slip on shoes if possible and carry as little metal and electronic gadgetry as possible on your person.  This will help speed your way through security.  Not only will you appreciate it, but so will your fellow passengers.

What Can I Take?
Always check http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items before you travel.  This site is updated regularly with any changes and will let you know what can be carried on and what must be checked.

When Do I Need to be at the Airport?
For a domestic flight I recommend a minimum of two hours before your flight.  On heavy travel days (Thanksgiving and the 23rd of December through January 3rd) I recommend at least 3 hours before take-off.  For any international flights I always recommend at least 3 hours before departure.

Do I Need a Passport?
This is a question I hear quite often.  The answer is, if you are leaving the US then generally yes.  The only exception to this rule is if a) you are a US citizen b) you can provide a copy of your birth certificate (issued within the US or by the State Department) AND a state or federal issued photo ID c) you are taking a cruise from a US port that will be returning to a US port.  Only if you meet ALL three of these criteria can you travel outside the US without a passport.  That said, I highly recommend a passport as it will simplify your boarding procedure as well as your return through US Customs.  Also, should anything happen while you are on vacation at any port of call outside the US that requires hospitalization or a medical evacuation you will have to have a passport in order to return to the US. If you should have any questions regarding this please contact your travel agent!

What About Holiday Travel Bargains?
Anywhere warm is going be at a premium price during the holidays so plan accordingly.  Caribbean, Florida, Hawai’i, Australia are all going to cost as much as double what they might in the summer months.  The best deals for any kind of winter travel are typically going to be Europe.  Yes, it will be cold, expect similar weather to here in the US.  Prices for Europe in the winter time can be as much as 1/3 the price you would pay in the summer months.  If you’re someone who just gets really into the Christmas spirit and loves the idea of the decorations, the food and are looking for something really special over the holidays I’d highly recommend Germany or Austria.  The majority of the towns and cities in these two countries turn their town squares in to huge open air holiday markets from the beginning of December through Christmas with lights, food, gifts and live music.

This is the time of year that sees the highest number of flight delays and cancellations due to the weather.  Relax!  Getting upset with the gate attendants at the terminal will not help.  Quite the opposite it may get you bounced from the flight or even arrested.  Take a deep breath, realize you’re all in the same situation.  It’s probably the hardest thing to do when things start to go wrong, but you truly will have a better chance of being moved to the next available flight or of receiving some kind of compensation from the airlines if you just remain calm and civil.

About Ray Fleckles: As co-owner of Raymond Fleckles & Karla O’Maille – CruiseOne, Ray strives to bring his extensive experience of world travel to the aid of his clients.

Over the course of almost forty years, Ray has lived in Europe, Australia as well as several cities and states within the US before settling in Kernersville in 2002.  Ray has also travelled to both Canada and the Caribbean. For the past 23 years Ray has worked almost exclusively in customer facing positions including sales, sales management and customer service.  This wealth of experience enables Ray to assist his clients in making the most informed travel decision possible.

Ray is an avid follower of several motorsports including Formula One, Le Mans style endurance racing, MotoGP and World Superbikes.  His other interests include his children, music and movies.

For any travel related questions or to submit a topic for this blog please email Ray at rfleckles@cruiseone.com

Kernersville, NC
T: (336)992-0167
E: rfleckles@cruiseone.com  

Website: www.CruiseOne..com/rfleckles
Family Cruises:www.family-cruises.net/rfleckles

Luxury Cruises: www.SeaLuxe.com/rfleckles

Monday, December 8, 2014

OpEd: Race Relations in the Piedmont Triad ~~ Waiting for Thanksgiving

By Carly Pete

Thanksgiving is my favorite food event not counting family members’ birthdays. This year’s planning was interrupted by an announcement the Monday before that the grand jury in Ferguson did not indict the murderer of Michael Brown, an unarmed local teen.

Bamboozled, duped, hoodwinked. What?

How could this possibly be? There were multiple eyewitness accounts to the killing, one even contemporaneous to the shooting. But the 12-member grand jury – six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man – voted no indictment; nine votes were needed to indict.

Do the math.

I’m troubled about the three-month delay announcing this decision, as well as its timing, choosing to announce during the week of Thanksgiving. Were black people supposed to drown our sorrows in turkey, dressing, gravy, and other comfort foods? Maybe, eat cake and get over it? I can’t swallow.

White policemen are killing black boys.

During their teenage years was when I first noticed a change in the way my sons were treated by white police officers. As they grew, which coincided with them leaving the safety of our yard, they sometimes met with friends on the corner where we lived: Policemen told them they couldn’t “congregate” on the corner. The further they strayed into society – high school, the park, the mall – unaccompanied by my husband or me, the more attention they attracted from police. My sons constantly complained that the police officers harassed the black kids, but seemed oblivious to what the white kids said and did. My sons survived; however, potentially life threatening encounters with local police did occur. My sons now have sons.

Black men are men.

Let’s face it. Generally speaking, it’s not black officers or female officers who are killing young black men, it is white policemen. In fact, many black officers working undercover have themselves been killed by fellow white male officers. Something is deadly wrong here; we need to fix this, for all our sakes.

Waiting for Thanksgiving…

I boycotted Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. I’m waiting for justice.

About Carly Pete: Carly, a 2013 graduate of Salem College, earned B.A. degrees in Communication and Creative Writing. She resides in Winston-Salem, where she works as a communication consultant, lyricist and writer.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

OpEd: Race Relations in the Piedmont Triad ~~ If We Can Laugh Together

By Stephanie Barclay

When I was first offered the chance to write about race relations, I was excited. After all, I have a somewhat unique perspective, being mixed, and a lot to say--in general and about the current state of things. But after trying all night to approach the subject in an analytical, objective manner, what I wrote seemed... well, it didn't ring true enough. So I scrapped all that. I'm going to speak to you from the heart, and you can take out of it what you will, dear reader.

The perception that so many of you white people have about the subjugation, harassment, disenfranchisement and marginalization of the black American ending almost two hundred years ago with the Emancipation Proclamation and that no one alive today having anything to do with it, well it's false. Ask a Southerner in their 60's about the segregated water fountains, lunch counters, swimming pools, hospitals, etc ad nauseum that still existed when the Beatles came to America. It was American apartheid. So "almost two hundred" is really more like 50 years ago... or less. It's been a scant 45 years since the last schools in the country were desegregated, just three years before I was born. 14 years since the state of Alabama struck its (albeit unenforceable since 1967) ban of interracial marriage from its law books, the last state in the US to do so. 34 years since the last known lynching of a black man by the KKK. 

And whether or not you were personally responsible for any of this, and many other injustices meted out against black Americans before and since Lincoln freed the slaves, you should at least give black Americans the courtesy of recognizing it's not ancient history, and it's not all in their heads.

At the same time, you black people who look at all white Americans with mistrust, as being part of a system that's keeping you down, are just plain blind. If you're teaching your children to mistrust whitey you're as bad as white Americans who teach their children all the worst stereotypes about people of color. There are many good white Americans and you're alienating them with your attitude. And those of you who look down on getting an education and using proper English at all because you think it's a "white" thing and therefore beneath you, (well you probably can't/won't read this article anyway but...) do you not understand that a proper education and ability to speak, read and write proper English doesn't make you "white", it makes you EDUCATED. 

Slaves would be put to death if it was found out they could read or write. I'm sure if any one of them could be brought forward in time, they would be mighty confused, sad and angry that with all the freedoms you do have, you choose to deny yourself that which was denied them by deadly force. Because the powers back then knew an educated slave was a danger to the whole system of slavery. Yet, here you are, willingly treating  yourself like a slave, wrapping yourself in shackles of ignorance.

I could go on in this vein but I'm done scolding. What it all boils down to is this: we are all the same species. We all need the same basic things to survive: shelter from the elements, food to eat, medicine to heal us when we're sick, and beneficial relationships with other human beings to sustain and enrich our souls. 

The difference in how we achieve these goals, as long as the process doesn't involve criminal activity, is chump change compared to the four basic ways in which we are all alike. This "racial divide" is an artificial construct and it CAN be breached and destroyed, just like the Berlin Wall.

The air these days is full of ugly comments, sprung from the incidents in Ferguson, New York City, and other places, flung from both sides of the "racial divide". This may scare the Bejeezus out of some people, but I think it's a good thing. The subject of race, and racism, has been covered up by so many political and metaphorical band aids that it's become a festering wound. All this recent ugliness in the air is just the buildup of nasty rotten goo releasing itself. And the wound is back open. 

Dear reader, we have an opportunity while the band aids are off to do some real cleaning of the wound. Maybe some real bandaging too. We should just go ahead and ask our ignorant questions, because let's face it, ignorance abounds on both sides of our own racial version of the Berlin Wall. And let's answer those questions, with patience and kindness, no harm no foul, laugh together at the most ridiculous ones, and work to fix the painful ones that hit the bullseye.

And if we can laugh together, maybe we can all start to finally see each other as what we truly are: fellow Americans. If we can work together, maybe we can finally heal this festering wound and tear down that wall.

It all starts with you.

About Stephanie Barclay:  Born in Upstate New York, Stephanie Barclay has lived in the Piedmont Triad since 1979. From early childhood on, she has always been most in her element when involved in one creative process or another. Today she is an artist/singer/writer, and lives for cheap or free stuff to do.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OpEd: Eric Garner's Death Should Not Have Happened

By Jessica Thomas Lewis

I am enraged about Michael Brown and Ferguson.  I am enraged about Eric Garner.  I am enraged that a 63-year-old white man stood on the the streets in Kalamazoo, MI with a rifle and had a 40 minute encounter with the police, was not arrested and got his gun back the next day.  I'm enraged about the 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, shot point blank in Cleveland, within two seconds of police arriving because he was holding a toy gun.  I am enraged about white privilege.  I am enraged and saddened by the plethora of black men being shot in the streets by police officers, and in Eric Garner's case, choked to death.  I am a white woman, 40 years old.  And I will not stay quiet about this.

I want you to see this.  Watch this video of Eric Garner, dead or nearly dead, on the street.  Listen to the words of the man taking the video.  Eric Garner was killed by a police officer and it Should. Not. Have. Happened.  It's happening everywhere, it's happening frequently and it is unacceptable.

I cannot believe this happened.

It should not have happened.  Eric Garner had stopped a fight on the streets.  And then he was killed on the streets.  Trial, judge and jury right there on the streets of Staten Island.

The chokehold is prohibited by the NYPD.  Eric Garner was held in a choke hold until he stopped breathing, right there on the streets.  In front  of everybody and on video.  The man is dead.  The medical examiner has declared it a homicide.  And there is no indictment.    There are no repercussions.  
The police officer is above the law.

It breaks my heart.  

When is this going to stop?

Over and over again, black men.  Dead on the streets.  At a much higher rate than any other race.

When is this going to stop?

The above video is difficult to watch.  It is 7:35 of watching Mr. Garner take his last breaths.  
It should not have happened.

The below clip is 8:45.  If you have the time, you should watch the whole thing.  If you're pressed for time,  you can start the video below at 2:06 and see the impetus for Eric Garner's death.  You can see the reason why he's dead.  It. Should. Not. Have. Happened.

This is not a one-time incident of police brutality (especially in this area of Staten Island).  There is a pattern, every day in cities all across America, of black men being tried on the streets.  Being pulled over and ticketed at a higher rate, being harassed when they have done nothing wrong.  I've seen it with my own eyes, in person.  I don't buy into media hype.  I do buy into right and wrong, fairness and unfairness.  What was the law being enforced with Eric Garner?  What was he resisting?  On the video, (above), what evidence do you see that the police had any reason to question him, to harass him, to kill him?   The police have a difficult job.  Police, very often, have a thankless job.  I am a supporter of the police and pray for their safety.  I do not, however, have tolerance of obvious harassment based on skin color.  I am not going to accept it or keep quiet about it.  Ever.  Silence is acceptance and this is not acceptable.  Eric Garner was killed on the streets of Staten Island.  It could have been stopped and it should have been stopped.

Click here to see 11 important facts.  

No matter what the cops were supposedly restraining him for, he didn't do anything that deserved for him to die on the street.  Eric Garner was in no way, shape or form resisting and there was no just cause whatsoever.  The coroner declared a homicide.  There.  Now I've played judge and jury.  I saw it with my own eyes and Eric Garner's death Should. Not. Have. Happened.

There are protests across the country.  
There are protests here locally, in the Piedmont Triad.  

Silence is acceptance.  When you see a wrong, speak out.   

Speak out. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: The Tyler Nail Trio at Jamestown's Turntable

By: Abebi Stafford

A visit to Turntable, located in 
Jamestown near High Point, was quite an unexpected and pleasant surprise.   It is an intimate setting where musicians and audience members can really connect with each other; a band playing to a full viewing house is about 30 individuals.  Walls are decorated with historic and iconic album covers from artist such as John Coltrane, and Steely Dan for texture and soft lighting for ambiance.   Turntable is reminiscent of a high school, or college house party with a live band for entertainment.  The bar is stocked with wine and beer, coffee and tea, as well as light snacks to enjoy while listening to music if you have the taste for it.  If you want to hear good music and have a homey feel while doing so then Turntable is your spot.

The Tyler Nail trio also consists of Quique Rodriguez-Pastor -bass, and Johnathan Loos-guitar.   All the musicians are solid players and each individual has an album as a leader.  Original, inspired, gritty at times, folk music filled the building for a few hours.   Tyler and Johnathan’s smooth voices work well together harmonizing with one another while they play and Quique lays out the low tones underneath it all.  One feels as if they are driving the road with one’s own thoughts for a couple of the nostalgic inspired tunes. Tyler Nail loves his guitar and it is absolutely apparent to the audience.

Addendum (January 3, 2015), from the Facebook page of Turntable: We're sad to announce that this message comes with the unfortunate news that as of January 1st, 2015, Turntable has officially closed its doors.
Original music, art, and the creative spirit; these were the threads that intertwined a community that has continued to grow over these past two years. Our goal was to create a space for musicians and listeners alike, where all were respected and had the opportunity to truly be heard.
We cannot thank you, our community, enough for your continued patronage, support, and belief in all that is Turntable. Although the business will no longer be open, the spirit of Turntable will most definitely live on contributing to the music community that exists around us. So be on the look out in the coming months. We love you all!

About Abebi Stafford: Abebi is a local jazz pianist and composer. Born in Minnesota, Abebi relocated to Winston-Salem two years ago. Abebi has headlined two major jazz festivals, performed in such cities as Berlin, Munich, Nuremburg, Frankfurt, Paris and Prague and has toured the Southeast United States as a performer. Abebi has produced three albums compiled of mostly original works. He is currently working as a solo artist and featured artist at such local venues as Crown and Cork, Tate's, Krankie's WS Shuffle, Arts on Sunday, Kernersville's Spring Folly and the Wayne County Jazz Showcase. Abebi is working on his fourth album. You can purchase any of Abebi's albums on cdbaby.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Feed the City; An Annual Thanksgiving Outreach in Winston-Salem

By Jessica Thomas Lewis

So grateful for this opportunity. 

By 11:30am, we had packed more than 800 meals for shut-ins, the indigent and homeless. 

These were hot meals; turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a roll.  Packed by volunteers in hopes of touching the lives of those who wouldn't otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal.

All told, we fed 1,400 people through Feed the City, an annual Thanksgiving outreach.

Organized by Flow Automotive and St. Paul UMC, this initiative brings Flow employees, church members and others together to quickly prepare and deliver the meals to such places as Crystal Towers and Healy Towers on Thanksgiving Day.  The group of volunteers included young men from Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy.  I was there with my daughters, ages 6 and 10.  Everyone had a specific duty.  I carried two trays at a time down the line and each food item was ladled in as I went.  My daughters were at the end of the line with another young girl, placing a sheet of parchment across the food, and added a roll and packaged utensils.   A piece of pie went out with each meal.  

It does this Mama's heart proud that my children thanked me for bringing them today to pack those meals.  

From there, we went to my sister's house, where she hosted her first Thanksgiving and we found out that they're expecting their second child!  So excited for this new niece or nephew; we'll have a full baseball team of cousins and we're blessed to be close.   

 Be grateful, give back and be blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

La Casa Lopez Mexican Grill

By Denton Gerow

I got spoiled in California with fresh, family made Mexican food.  I found some okay places around but none of them could match up in flavor or that 'you're home' kind of hospitality I had come to enjoy.

Then I found La Casa Lopez Mexican Grill, 3028 Healy Dr. Winston Salem.  The Lopez family runs this corner restaurant in the strip plaza just off of Stratford Rd.    They make you feel like you are a long lost friend the first time you walk in the door and it only gets better from there.  They respect when you need some quiet time and they make a large group feel like they each are important to them.

Their menu has something for everyone.  From the best ChoriQueso dip to vegetarian options, to seafood and a wide range of classic dishes, everything here that I have tasted has been delicious.

Among of my favorites to order are the Lunch Special Nachos, a pile of chips, with the meat of your choice, covered in cheese dip, homemade guacamole, salsa and creme fresh with lettuce and tomatoes.  

If you are hungry, can't make up your mind, or want to split something, try the Special Dinner.  It takes up to three plates to be delivered, You get a burrito, chalupa, chili relleno, beef enchillada, beef taco, refried beas, and rice  All for $10.49.  

On a quest for trying different flavors I once ordered the Burrito a la Roqueta.  Two burritos filled with tender delicious carnitas (pork), covered in verde sauce and served with pico de gallo and rice.  This dish is awesome and I highly suggest it.

On a warm day or nice night, be sure to ask to sit on the patio, smoking allowed.  Oh and don't forget they have inexpensive draft beers.

I don't miss those spots in California anymore.

Welcome New Contributor Denton Gerow!

Denton was born in Charlotte, but has lived all over the eastern seaboard and in California.  An avid Foodie, he prefers to eat at local joints, hole in the walls and the oft missed.  Denton loves to cook and share his passions for food, cigars, beer and more.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bethabara Concert Band Performs at Maple Springs UMC to Benefit the Food Insecure

We had the pleasure of attending last night's Bethabara Concert Band Holiday Concert at Maple Springs United Methodist Church on Reynolda Road in Winston-Salem.  

Food Donations were accepted for the Food Pantry Ministry at Maple Springs.  This ministry effort regularly offers food assistance to over 400 individuals and families who live in our local area each month.   North Carolina has the second highest rate of food insecure children under 5 years of age in the nation.  For all age groups, North Carolina is ranked as the 4th worst in the nation for food insecurity. (Source: hungernwnc.org)   As you can see, the generosity is also great and much food was was donated . 

The Bethabara Concert band is in it's 28th season, with the season typically running from June-November.  Most performances take place outdoors at the Park Pavilion at Bethabara.  Families bring blankets and picnic dinners and there are hay rides, children's games, ice cream and hot dogs.

Last night's concert was fun-filled, with familiar songs such as Sleigh Ride and Hallelujah Chorus.  Soloists Candy King and Jeff Williard joined the band for Irving Berlin's Christmas and A Holiday Sing-Along.  The band also performed a few not-so-familiar songs such as Christmas in the Highlands, A Renaissance Christmas and Chanukah is Here.  And of course, Santa himself made a visit!  The children in the audience were called up and they listened intently as Santa read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.  There were approximately 125-150 people in the audience enjoying the music.

Mark your calendar now for the 
2015 season of the Bethabara Concert Band!

Summer Kickoff - June 11 - 6pm-8pm
Independence Concert - July 9 - 6pm-8:30pm
Back to School - August 13 - 6pm-8:30pm
September 11 Remembrance - September 10 - 5:30pm-8:00pm
Dark in the Park - October 8 - 5:30-8pm
Holiday Concert - November 19 - 7pm

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Civility ~ An Op-Ed by Stephanie Barclay

I've become acutely aware lately, due to my likes of several radically different pages on my favorite social networking website, that people of different groups are drawing in on themselves, increasingly ignorant of and uncaring about the humanity of people who belong to groups other than theirs. That seriously disturbs me. We are all put here on this planet to make it a better place, and in my opinion part of that is how we treat our fellow human beings, even if they look, worship, or live differently than us, no matter how much or how little they earn, no matter what station of life they're in. In short, I feel like civility and respect has flown out the proverbial window. People seem to be concentrating so hard on how different others are that the things we all have in common are ignored.

So let me break it down to you. No matter what the color, creed, culture, religion, gender orientation, political affiliation or national heritage, every single one of us human beings desires to be loved, to have a roof over our heads, to have enough to eat, to be recognized as a human being of worth. We're all helpless as babies and none of us have control over where or how we're born. The differences we see in other human beings, even if they seem major, are but a trifle compared to those things we have in common. 

I hope this strikes a chord, that on your day's journey today you recognize the human being in someone different than you and you treat them with civility and respect. It's good for your health to let go of and negative associations, which in turn is good for your soul. Best of all, it's free. And we all like free things to do, don't we?

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