Ty Unglebower–Advice for Freelance Journalists

What is your name?
Ty Unglebower

Can you tell us your occupation?
Freelance journalist

How old are you and where do you live?
39 and Knoxville, Maryland.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
Probably Seattle, Washington. I was only there once for two days, but would like to get back.

Could you tell us a little about how Seattle caught your interest?
I was in high school, and Mom and my younger sister and I were going on a cross country trip. That was one of our stops. We spent two nights there, took several tours, and visited Mt. Rainier. I enjoyed how it seemed far less congested and claustrophobic than most East Coast cities I’ve been to, but still had plenty to do and see. The Space Needle of course makes it one of the more interesting American skylines as well.

Your favorite meal would be?
Spaghetti and bread.

Pet peeve?
Incorrect use of A.D. as pertains to years. It is properly “The year AD 1500.” Whereas most will write, “1500, AD.”
I also get highly annoyed with misquotations.

Where can we find you on the internet?
Twitter: @TyUnglebower

Looking at your website, you describe yourself as “writer, actor, introvert.” Could you give us some insight into why “introvert” makes your top three list of self-identifiers?
Introversion influences so many different aspects and processes in my life in ways that run counter to the conventional American social structure, it felt as though it would almost be false-advertising not to mention that I am introverted. To be open about this right off the bat provides some small cushion against the expectations folks often have about being gregarious, pushy, stimulus-oriented. It doesn’t solve everything, but it is a start towards knowing what I am and am not about if people know from the start that I am introverted.

Thanks for sharing that. Favorite movie?
Probably “The Lion in Winter.”

Are you married or have you been? Any children?
Never married, I have no children.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Truthfully, I don’t believe any of my talents are hidden. People who know me tend to know the things I do well.

What advice would you offer to freelance journalists?
Ask. Everywhere, anywhere if they are in need of a writer. Know what you like to write about, find a publication or paper or source that shares that interest, and just ask them if they accept freelance writers, or if they would be willing to let you try to write a piece for them. If you don’t get an assignment, do it all over again somewhere else. If you do get an assignment, do it well, on time, and still do it all over again somewhere else. Meet people connected with such places if you can, and if you cannot, at least compliment writers of pieces you enjoyed, even if it appears in national magazines. It’s difficult to find the work sometimes, and difficult to keep doing it, so writers ought to consider themselves somewhat on the same team, at least for a while.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would devote more time to my writing in most cases.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
My first fully formed sentence was, “I can talk Mom, I just don’t want to,” at age three or so.

Could you give us a sentence or two about the greatest frustration you’ve faced in being a writer? How about the same with the greatest satisfaction you’ve found?
The greatest frustration with being a writer in my case is probably successful publicity, both for my work, and for my potential services. It’s difficult to find places for which to write more freelance material, and even more difficult to sell the fiction that I write and publish myself. Finding a way to be in front of the proverbial audience is frustrating, as is not having my work read by anyone/few people.

The greatest satisfaction I’ve found as a writer is when I do reach someone, and they tell me or the world about it. When I know I have entertained, or provoked thought, laughter, introspection in someone else by way of my writing, I’m contented to put up with the frustrations a while longer.

Thanks much, Ty. And may I mention also that I’m a fan of your work, and I’d encourage my readers to check out your website and Twitter feed. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little bit. May the writing continue to bring satisfaction, and may you prosper in it.

Sue Bargeloh–Advice for Equestrian Therapists

What is your name?
Sue Bargeloh.

What is your occupation? If retired, retired from what?
Retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Worked there, and throughout the DOE complex, as a trainer, providing management training programs and facilitating organizational design.

How old are you?
Age is 30/32. My husband and I have used this method of describing age for years now, it seems to express a more truthful concept of how we actually feel.

Can you tell us a little about your method for telling your age?
My husband, Tom, is the one who came up with our method for determining age. We started in our forties, so at that time we looked back on our thirties with nostalgia. Consequently, it seemed appropriate to use 30 as the baseline, since we still felt like we should be in our 30’s, then add the appropriate number of years to be accurate: 30+12= 42, for example. In our fifties we began to start with 40 as a base and build from there. Now that we’re in our sixties, we should be using 50 as a base, but depending on how well–or not–I feel on the day I’m giving my age, I’ll use 30, 40 or 50 as a base.

Where do you live?
For now, in a motor home in campgrounds between Raleigh and Asheville. We have a house being built in Raleigh that is supposed to be finished in September.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
Have done some world travel and lived in at least six different states, but recently I experienced a tactile art exhibit in Sarasota, Florida that was a truly interesting experience. A room was hung from floor to ceiling with different colored silk ribbons, all the same size. The experience was to walk through the room and experience the silk flowing against you from every direction, kind of like walking through a very thick, silken forest. Very zen, very beautiful. The other most interesting experience was watching–literally–saguaros bloom in the Sonoran Desert.

Your favorite meal would be?
Salad, cheese pizza.

Pet peeve?
People who litter and people who refuse to pick up after their dogs when they walk them in public.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
Don’t watch a lot of movies but: Mr. Holland’s Opus, Have many favorite books but two that come to mind tonight are To Kill a Mockingbird, A Man Called Ove.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….?
Giving me the strength to let go (one of my main learning objectives in this life).

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Grandkids? Obnoxious and demanding pets?
Married (22 years), one step-daughter, one horse (Danny), two dogs (Sydney and Bridget) and one cat (Little cat). No obnoxious and demanding grandkids.

(Grin) Thanks. One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Reiki. Ride dressage. Play the piano.

Can you tell us a little about reiki?
Reiki, meaning ‘universal life force energy,’ is an alternative healing methodology in which a practitioner places hands on the patient to channel ch’i, or energy, in order to provide pain/stress relief and healing.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
Write plays, write stories, write poems. Do yoga and ride bike. Volunteer at animal shelters and soup kitchens. Work for legalization of medical marijuana. Direct plays.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I ran a therapeutic riding program in New Mexico that served handicapped children and adults. I was a Licensed Practical Nurse before changing careers. I’m an amateur actor. I’ve volunteered as a reading tutor. I love to garden. I am a late-in-life vegetarian. I saw one of the best Pink Floyd concerts, Dark Side of the Moon, in Pittsburgh in the 70’s. I met and spent time with Monty Roberts, the original Horse Whisperer. Many years ago I was able to spend time in Paris and actually speak French (now lost to me).

Great, and thanks much. Could you give some advice for people interested in therapeutic riding programs?
For those who might not be familiar with these programs, therapeutic riding uses horses to help people with physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. There are a variety of ways horses can be used to help people. I once established and ran a Recreational Therapy program where our riders were taught by certified instructors (me and three other women) how to actively engage in riding a horse to the extent possible given the type of disability of each rider. Recreational Therapy riding helps patients to relax; improve muscle tone, sensory and motor skills; and develop coordination, confidence, and well-being. At one point in our program, The North Mesa Riders, we had a physical therapist working with us, which elevated the program to a Hippotherapy program. In Hippotherapy Programs licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech and language pathologists guide the therapeutic team to encourage specific motor and sensory inputs for the rider’s benefit.

There are therapeutic riding programs all across the country, and there are several in the Asheville/Hendersonville/Brevard area. Most of these programs use a team of volunteers to assist the riders as needed: some riders need a volunteer walking beside them on either side of the horse and a volunteer leading the horse, while other riders may have only one side-walker volunteer, and a very few riders have full control of their horse. If you enjoy helping others, this is a hands-on, out-of-the-box way to make a difference. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

YOU DON”T HAVE TO HAVE HORSE EXPERIENCE. Volunteer training will teach you to be a horse leader and/or side walker. If horses frighten you, be prepared to lose that fear (or at least 90 percent of it–it never hurts to have some healthy respect when working around a large animal) and then fall in love and want a horse for your own. No one who watches how these amazing animals care for and manage their unstable riders can remain untouched. Warning: Falling in love with horses can lead to economic and marital stress.

EMBRACE THE DIRT, THE FLIES, AND THE MANURE. Don’t wear perfume, sandals, or shorts to the stable. Pull your hair back and don’t bother with make-up. Leave jewelry and fake nails behind. Your volunteer work will put you as close to God’s natural creative efforts as you can get in today’s urbanized landscape, so let go and enjoy it. The riders and the horses will love you despite your sweat and smudges. And if you have a dog, he/she will adore any smells and manure you bring home. As for other family members…well, maybe not so much.

GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME when you volunteer. You’ll need time to help prepare horses for the next class and time to get riders lined up to the mounting ramp to get onboard. You’ll need plenty of extra time to listen to the riders as you get to know them because you’ll be helping them in a very unique and personal situation. They will become your friends and want to tell you about themselves, the disability they are struggling with, and the wonderful things they are learning from their horse. You’ll need time to talk with the instructors and other volunteers as you get to know them. They will become your friends as you work together to plan new ways of helping each rider achieve his or her goals. And you’ll certainly want time to brush and pet the horses you work with. They will become your friends and partners in making a difference to others and you will love feeling their energy and learning their individual personalities.

BE PREPARED FOR EMOTION. It’s hard not to feel humbled by the courage of a paraplegic who allows himself to be hoisted onto the back of a huge animal for a lesson in balance and motion, and you’ll feel exaltant when after weeks of grueling work that same person shares that his spinal flexibility has improved from riding. You’ll have to fight tears when you listen to a young girl sob because her classmates make fun of her disability at school, and then you’ll smile through those tears when she’s in the saddle, proud and confident on her horse, high above the rest of the world and full of power and magic. And you’ll chuckle when the class of ladies with MS decides they need an extra 30 minutes each week to spend time drinking iced tea and chatting after the lesson because they’re all such good friends now and, well, just because!

To find out more about therapeutic riding and its various types of programs, do a few web searches: you’ll be overwhelmed with information.

Thank you, Sue, and God bless. We appreciate the opportunity to get to know you a little. May your journey continue to be interesting and full.

Theresa Cox–Advice for Hobbyist Filmmakers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Theresa. Sometimes my friends just call me “T”.

What do you do for a living?
I am a self-employed hairstylist. It’s how I have fed myself for the last 20+ years.

How old are you? (You can lie if you want to.)
44. I don’t lie about my age. I am sure it is written on my face.

Where do you live?
Mills River, North Carolina

Any internet presence?
I have a blog but it’s just a place to vent. My Twitter account is woefully inactive. But I love showing off videos I have done over the years. Click here or search for ladyzahl on YouTube.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
San Francisco, California.

Your favorite meal?
The meal I don’t have to cook, but some steamed asparagus sounds good right now.

Pet peeve?
My pet peeves are highly inconsistent. What doesn’t bug me today just might irritate me tomorrow.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
My favorite book is “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. My favorite movie is “Starman” with Jeff Bridges. My favorite television show is Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…….?
My nephews. They have me as their guardian and I may not know what I am doing.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Grandkids? Pets?
I was married until I got traded in. No plans for other marriages are in the works. I have one daughter and 2 granddaughters, 8 years old and 2 months old. Sadly, they live in Alabama. I also have a cat that believes he is a reincarnated Egyptian god. He thinks he should be fed anytime he meows. I keep having to remind him that we aren’t in Egypt and that the Egyptians rang the cats’ necks and mummified them. Thus far, my words have no effect.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Most people don’t know that I speak two languages, English and Spanish. Three if you count pig Latin.  I also can play clarinet.

Where did you learn Spanish?
I am self taught. Many Hispanic clients would come to the salon where I worked with a translator. The translators never seemed really comfortable with telling me what the clients wanted, which made me nervous, so I decided to learn their language so I could communicate with them myself. I bought books from the college and when I had a working knowledge of the language I immersed myself in it. I would watch TV in Spanish and would go to online chat rooms where people spoke Spanish, made lots of embarrassing mistakes but they helped me learn. I still make mistakes and construct sentences weirdly sometimes but I could get by in a Spanish speaking country if necessary.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would either create things or film things or sleep.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I am an amateur actor, and director. I directed “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Miracle Worker.” “The Miracle Worker” thus far is my favorite. I also film and edit videos. I don’t have fancy cameras and such but I make do. I love to do all kinds of crafts from polymer clay to painting, crocheting, paper crafting, etc.

What sorts of things do you do with polymer clay and papercrafts?
I do all sorts of things. With polymer clay I usually use it to cover other things like bottles and such. I bought a silhouette cutting machine and I have been busy making decals and such. At times I crochet doll clothes. It all depends on the mood.

Can I show my readers this sculpture you made?

You can use whatever pics you need.

Thank you!  I enjoy your videos. Anybody interested can check out a lot of them here or your previous link. Can you give us some advice for hobbyist filmmakers?
Hmmm. Be open. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions or share credit. Don’t get boxed in, be willing to bend, particularly when working with actors. Also, keep it short and sweet. I have watched hour long videos that could have been trimmed down to five minutes and could have made more of an impact. Beyond that, don’t film your neighbors unless they want you to, keep it clean, (that way more people can watch it), and keep it safe.

Thanks much, Theresa. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little. Stay creative!

Carolyn Angel–Advice for Nurses

What is your name? Carolyn Angel.

Any nicknames? Not since childhood and we’re not going there. “Trouble,” maybe. That’s one I’ve had lately. That’s one they call me at Carpenter’s Hands.

What is your occupation? Retired from hospital nursing.

How old are you? Sixty-six.

Where do you live? Mills River, North Carolina

The most interesting place you’ve visited? Probably Alaska.

Why is that? We did four mission trips there with Carpenter’s Hands. The first one was in 2004, 2005, then I forget exactly how the others fell. Also, Alaska has beautiful scenery!

Can you tell me about the Carpenter’s Hands ministry?
It’s based at Mud Creek Baptist Church but it’s not limited to Mud Creek. I go to French Broad church and some of the other members do too, but it’s not even limited to Baptists. We have a Methodist and some others who go. In the summer we go on a mission trip; this summer it’s going to be to New Hampshire to work on a girls’ camp so they can reopen it. The week after Christmas we do a mission trip as our birthday gift to Jesus. That may be in another state, or this past year it was in the county, helping out with a building for people that are rehabbing from drugs, for them to have a place to go on the weekends. Sometimes we work on people’s homes, that sort of thing. Sometimes we have training and participation in disaster relief.

Your favorite meal would be? Steak, baked potato, and salad.

Pet peeve? People following too close when driving.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show? I like NCIS. I read the Bible, of course, and I like mysteries.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for……? Wisdom.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets?
One dog that thinks he’s human. I’m widowed and have two children, grown, and a daughter-in-law.

Tell us about the dog that thinks he’s human. He came to us because of our son, who we told couldn’t have him. He’s become a part of the family, his name is Timber, a good-sized dog. He can pout and then he can turn around and make sure I make it to bed okay. He’ll walk in front of me sometimes or follow me but he won’t go to bed until I’ve gone into the bedroom. I’ve got lots of stories, well, you know Timber.

I do know Timber. Can you tell us one thing that many people don’t know you can do? I can paint some, whenever I take the time to. I like to do landscapes.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Take off somewhere for two or three days, just by myself and just relax and read.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. I have no ear for language, I have found out, although I would love to learn Spanish. Years ago I found out that mission work can happen here in the United States–it doesn’t have to be overseas. Over the years that’s one way I’ve grown, and now I’m at the point where if God would call me I could do mission work overseas (with an interpreter, of course.) I’d love to travel more. One of the things for me that God has given me, it’s not so much witnessing to people as being there, maybe for Christians. I have had the opportunity to witness but it seems to be more being there for people sometimes, which kind of feeds more into the nursing, too.

What advice would you give for nurses? If you go into nursing, go into it because you want to help people and not just for the money, and go into it thinking about helping the younger nurses. When you’ve been in it awhile you want to help the younger nurses as they come along. Through the years I’ve realized that God used that as part of a ministry. It does have its challenges, too. And do it because you want to and not because someone else thinks you should.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Just having lost Clyde over a year and a half ago, take it day by day and allow yourself to grieve and don’t put a time limit on yourself. For each person grief is individual and it can catch you unawares sometimes. And one thing as I’ve gone through it it’s been good to be there for someone else who’s grieving. And I’ve been very grateful to my church and Carpenter’s Hands who’ve been there for me through that. God is good.

Thanks, Carolyn, for sharing with us and letting us get to know a little about you. God bless.

Mary Thompson–Advice for Research Historians

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Mary V. Thompson (I never changed my name when I got married, because I was 41 at the time and everyone in my field knew me by that name–it was too late to change it). My dad sometimes calls me Dolly; my brother used to call me Sissy. In high school, I was known as “the little dynamo.” My next-door neighbor in grad school called me “Masha” or “Mashinka,” which is my name in Russian. My husband has always called me “Catwoman” (sometimes I wonder if he remembers my real name).

What do you do for a living?
I am the research historian at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, which is located across the road from Mount Vernon. Started working there in 1980, as I was finishing up a master’s degree in history at the University of Virginia. I spent 18 years in the Curatorial Department and have been part of the Library staff for 19 years now.

How old are you and where do you live?
I’m 62, but still feel about the same as when I was in high school (only physically creakier), and I live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Where can people find you on the Internet?
They can find me on LinkedIn.

Most interesting place you’ve visited?
Egypt. I’ve been there twice and would love to go back.

Favorite meal?
Meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, and green beans. Next favorite would be a really good burger.

Pet peeve?
The fact that the world is run by morning people.

It sounds like you’re not a morning person. Can you tell us what that’s like?
I enjoy the night, because it is lovely and quiet. Can get a lot of reading or writing done without interruptions (or watch movies that my husband doesn’t like). Working 9-5 (or in my case 9-6) is very difficult–I don’t really wake up until about noon, even if I am at work. I tend to get a second wind about 4PM and often work until about 7PM.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
Favorite book: There are too many, but let’s say “Jane Eyre.”
Favorite movie: Again, so many I love, but I guess it would be “The Trap” with Oliver Reed and Rita Tushingham.
Television show: I Love Lucy.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….?
Better health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets?
I’ve been married for almost 21 years.

No kids (was told at 33 that I wasn’t able to have any; thankfully I found someone who didn’t care about that).

Pets: Currently have a 15 year old calico Persian cat, who is my baby and incredibly sweet.. A few years ago, had a dog (West Highland White Terrier) and three kitties, but we lost one kitty about four years ago from congestive heart disease at 13, and last year lost the dog (3 weeks before his 18th birthday) of kidney failure, and about five months later lost another kitty (age 17) from kidney failure, as well (he never really got over losing the dog, who was his best friend). Will be getting a new puppy once I retire.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Belly dancing.

Oh, that’s a wonderful mental picture. Where and when did you learn to belly dance?
Started learning in high school and then took lessons here in Alexandria at one of the local rec centers.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
When I retire, I’m looking forward to doing more at church–I’d like to sing in the choir and/or play in the orchestra; would also like to do more cooking at the homeless shelter (have done that some with my Sunday School department and love feeding people).

Can you tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered?
I play flute, recorder (alto and soprano), dulcimer, and one-handed piano. I make really good: scrambled eggs with cheese; green enchiladas; and chili. I’m addicted to gummi bears.

Can you give us some advice for research historians?
It’s really important to be interested in everything. Sure, you may love history, but historians now are expected to produce tables and charts to quantify their findings, so you have to be good at math. Reading in fields like sociology and anthropology can be really helpful, because those books and articles might give you an idea for a new angle or approach that might be useful for a history question you are investigating.

One of the fields I’ve worked in for several decades now is historic foodways, which has involved trying to make foods based on 18th century recipes. It’s a lot of fun, but knowing how to cook prior to taking on this project was really important. So just keep open to other fields and new ideas.

Thanks much, Mary. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little bit.

Greg Tipton–Advice for Alaska Sport Fishermen

What is your name?
Greg, GT at work

What is your occupation?
Air Traffic Control

How old are you and where do you live?
49 years old and Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
Alaska, what a breathtaking place in the summertime. Daylight till after midnight and the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered. The fishing was incredible. Sockeye salmon fresh out of the Kenai River can not be beaten. The wildlife is incredible. Rivers, ocean, mountains, icebergs, glaciers, the list goes on and on.

Favorite meal?
Sockeye salmon from the Kenai River.

Pet peeve?
People who drive slow in the left hand lane on the interstate and refuse to get over but speed up when you try to pass them on the right.

Favorite television show?
Last Man Standing

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for……?
Good health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or grandkids? Obnoxious and demanding pets?
I’ve been married and divorced twice, I have seven kids, all but one adopted and all but two have special needs, and I have two beautiful grandkids, and absolutely no pets.

Can you tell us how it came about that you’ve adopted numerous special needs kids?
I was born with spina bifida and my mom always made sure I had the best medical care possible and pushed me to do everything I could even when I didn’t want to. I hoped to one day pass that on to my kids. After numerous miscarriages during my first marriage a friend introduced us to adoption. When we figured out how long it took we investigated special needs adoption, which took over two years the first time, but was quicker than a traditional adoption and felt like where God was leading us. After the first two it was almost like an addiction; we wanted to help as many kids as possible. After losing our daughter Janet in 2004 it was really hard to consider anymore, however, we did manage not only one more adoption, but we ended up with temporary custody of two more. Thus the seven we have now. Only one remains at home but they have been and continue to be a huge blessing in my life. Right under my nose God gave me a ministry that I will always cherish.

Thanks, Greg, and that’s an amazing story. If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I love to travel. Nothing like a good road trip.

Can you describe what you would consider the ideal road trip?
A good road trip for the weekend would be a journey through the mountains down roads you’ve never traveled. Seeing places you’ve never seen. Small towns are full of history and culture. Talking with people who have lived a totally different life.
The ultimate road trip would be across country to the Pacific Ocean. Over on a southerly route and back on a northerly route. Probably taking two weeks at least, each way. That’s a retirement trip that is on my bucket list.

Fishing in Alaska figures into your favorite meal AND your most interesting place. Can I ask you to give some advice to Alaska sport fishermen?
Fishing in Alaska is a tremendous adventure. There are many types of fish and many types of bodies of water. River fishing for salmon is the best type by far. Be prepared to get wet because it rains quite often in the summer. Be prepared to run into all types of wildlife including moose and bears. Bear spray and a gun to scare them away is not a bad idea, or when you go make sure you take someone you can out run LOL. If it’s your first time, a guide would not be a bad idea. There are so many places to fish and so many ways to fish, if you’re not familiar with the area it might be frustrating. Take lots of pictures because you cannot describe the beauty of it all. So a good pair of boots, rain gear, and a good guide will make your fishing experience in Alaska more enjoyable.

Thanks much for sharing with us, Greg. God bless.

Brett Hargis–Advice for Costumers

What is your name? Brett Wahab Hargis

What is your occupation? Former college professor, professional theatre nerd and, right now, retail.

I like your “Shironuri” picture. But I don’t know what that is. Can you tell us about it? Shironuri is a type of Japanese street fashion. There are many types of Japanese street fashion, like Lolita, Decora, Gyaru, Shironuri, Fairy Kei, Dolly Kei, Mori Kei, Visual Kei. Kei means style, basically. And all of these cover a vast range of fashions. Sometime they spill over into different categories. If you want an amazing example of Shironuri, look up a lady named Minori. Her style is ethereal and beautiful! Have fun googling all these different types of style. They’re awesome!

How old are you? I just turned the big 4-0.

Where do you live? The mountains!

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you? Nope! I don’t like random people finding me. I do have a Facebook page, though. I mostly lurk around the internet.

Most interesting place you’ve visited? For my 40th birthday and our 17th wedding anniversary, we went to JAPAN! I’ve also been to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales several times.

Can you tell us about a highlight of the Japan trip? I just recently got back from my first (but not last) trip to Japan! I think my favorite thing was the Fushimi Inari Taisha. It is the main Inari shrine, at the bottom of a mountain. Inari is a god of rice and metalsmithing. His messengers and shrine guardians are foxes. The big shrine is at the bottom and there are torii gates everywhere. You walk up a path that is covered with thousands of reddish orange torii gates. We took a side path that took us through a bamboo forest and a much less traveled path to the top of the mountain. There are around 32,000 shrines that dot the hillsides and are just stacked on top of each other. They’re everywhere! It’s really quite an amazing sight! We also had inari sushi and kitsune udon for lunch. It was delicious and the view of Kyoto below was not to be missed.

Favorite meal? I really like well cooked sukiyaki and inari sushi. A good steak can be nice. Man…it’s like choosing your favorite song or something… I can’t pick just one thing.;


Can you give us some advice for costumers? I’m not a professional costumer, but I’ve worked many an hour in a costume shop, while pursuing my Master’s in Theater. My advice would be to start working on things as soon as you can!! I’ve been in that shop that was sewing the costumes on the actresses as they were walking up the stairs to go out on stage. It’s usually full of stress and craziness! No one wants that!
Another bit of advice is to stand back and let yourself enjoy your work. Not just the finished product, but a particularly good hand stitch, or really getting that button in right. I worked on a Shakespearean play once, and we sewed all the costumes from scratch. I made so many ruffles… We didn’t buy any ruffles, we hand scrunched each one. I got darn good at doing a ruffle, let me tell you!
Oh, and always get good fabric. Don’t cheap out on it. It always turns out better if you spend a little more to get a better quality. Usually, it just cuts and sews up nicer.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show? That’s like picking a favorite child. Not a fair question. If you could give me genres or something… The Dark is Rising Sequence is a great series of books…. I’m really loving Legion right now for TV. Movie…hmmm… I love the Captain America movies. Especially Winter Soldier. Avengers was good. The Lord of the Rings movies were great. Labyrinth. Man. Could I be more of a geek? I haven’t seen a non-nerd movie or animated movie in forever. I didn’t go into anime series, to spare your readers… Would you consider that tv?

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….? To find a job I love. Good health.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets? Seventeen years, two fur children currently.

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Sing opera.

I didn’t know that. If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Travel, go outside, read, play video games, volunteer more.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. I’m a terrible writer unless it’s fanfiction (lame). I love to sing and dance. I am allergic to dust. I’ve never broken a bone. I took piano lessons for 12 years and can barely read music.

Great, Brett, and thanks.  We appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you a little.

Bryan Byrd–Advice For Visitors to Hendersonville

What is your name?  Full name: John Bryan Byrd; Family nickname: Pee Wee (yes, at 6’2″ / 240 lbs I am the runt of the family); Known to my friends as: b2 (b-squared)

What is your occupation? CURRENTLY SEEKING NEXT ROLE – Customer Cultivation Professional, Sales Executive, Operational Efficiency Consultant

How old are you? 46

Where do you live? Hendersonville, North Carolina (aka – Paradise)

Do you have a website or a blog where people can learn more about you? http://b2publishing.blogspot.com/

The most interesting place you’ve visited: Hendersonville, NC – seriously, five years of living here and it still intrigues me……still so much to explore, learn, and do.

Can you give visitors to Hendersonville some advice?  Any given visitor to Hendersonville, North Carolina (aka – Paradise) must be wary of the warning I was given by the first real estate agent I encountered when I rolled into town in April of 2012, (read this statement to yourself as if you are Scarlett O’Hara) “We don’t have comers and goers, ….we have comers and stayers.”

There are many reasons why this is the case, including but not limited to our incredibly charming main street. That April day I first arrived I was unable to meet right away with that southern-belle of a realtor because I approached her downtown office during lunch hour. They were closed. How charming.

There is also the fact that you cannot go five miles in any direction from Hendersonville without entering protected land of some sort: National Park, National Forest, State Park, State Forest, County Wetland, Village Watering Hole, and last and certainly least, Neighborhood Watch Memorial Park Bench.

When I think about what really pulls all of these features together to make for a travel destination, and eventually a home, for so many from all over the universe, it’s gotta be the ‘tude.

The ‘tude, or attitude for perpetual landlubbers, is closely related to the fact that from the day that Charles Barring arrived from Charleston and realized that his wife Susan might be able to breathe easier here in the summer this area has been a place for “foreigners.”

Then Charles’ buddy Mr. King came up and eventually played a part in writing the charter for the city of Hendersonville which says among other things that Hendo would always have a main street wide enough to do a U-turn with a six horse carriage.

This town has always been a place of escape for folks from other worlds, and as a result has always been a haven for characters.

So please,…be sure to be one. A character that is.

We like that.

Great, and thanks much. Describe your favorite meal. Grilled chicken breasts, grilled asparagus, fresh spinach salad, tater tots, and dark chocolate mousse for dessert……..shared with friends outside on the deck

Pet peeve? Pet peeves……they really get on my nerves.

Favorite book? “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch — have given away at least 20 copies and re-read it at least every 3 years.

What is “The Last Lecture” about and why might we want to read it?
Living out your childhood dreams is the subtitle, and exactly what the book will inspire you to do. Any excuses that you can come up with, and I can be pretty creative when it comes to excuses, will sound lame and ridiculous when you immerse yourself into the story, life, and legend that is Randy Pausch.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…..? Patience in my latest career discernment

Are you married or have you been? Any kids or pets? Was married to my first love for 23 years. Two beautiful teenage boys, who have two rescue pups (Genuine Pure Bred Carolina Ditch Dogs).

One thing many people don’t know you can do? Wiggle my ears.

I didn’t know that.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Write one of the 18 books that are spinning around in my head

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered. The first time I was in the paper it was a pic of me and The Captain, from Captain & Tennille, sitting on a piano bench together when I was 4 while and was wearing his famous greek fisherman’s hat.

Great, Bryan. Thanks so much for sharing with us. We’ll be praying about the career discernment.

David Keim–Advice for Ice Cream Makers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is David Keim. Many people call me “David,” many others call me “Deacon David” or even (gasp!) “Father David.” A few call me “Dad.” I’m pretty flexible: I answer to anything that isn’t flagrantly derogatory.

What do you do for a living?
I am an attorney, working in house for a large software company. But I’m also an ordained deacon in the Eastern Orthodox Church (hence the “Deacon David/Father David” thing). Being an attorney pays better, at least in the short run.

Can you tell us your age and where you live?
I am 51 and have all the gray hair to prove it, and I live in lovely Cary, North Carolina.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?
I do have a website — http://www.noeticspace.com — but it sometimes goes months without any care or attention. Right now, for instance, it still has some Christmassy stuff going on because I just haven’t had time to update it. But there’s some cool stuff on there (said a distinct minority of people, mostly liturgy nerds). I have an Instagram account (@dbkeim) that some folks enjoy.

What does “noetic” mean?
“Noetic” (νοητικός in Greek) is the adjectival form of “nous” (νοῦς). “Nous” is a technical term in ancient Greek philosophy that means intellect or speech/reason. St. Paul uses the term in this classical way in his epistles. However, the Church Fathers repurposed the term to mean, specifically, that facility of the human spirit that yearns for God. It is sometimes called “the eye of the soul.” So, in Orthodox Christian writing “nous/noetic” is distinct from intellect. I use it in this way.

One of our contemporary Orthodox bishops, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, has written a really great summary that can be found here: https://thoughtsintrusive.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/the-function-of-the-nous-the-noetic-faculty/

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
This is a hard question! The Scottish Highlands. St. Peter’s Basilica. Bookseller’s Row on Cecil Court in London. Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia. The stone farmstead that my immigrant grandcesters built in the mid-1700s in Berk County, PA. I cannot choose just one place.

I love the word “grandcesters” and will have to work it into conversation. Can you tell us what your favorite meal would be?
Now, this one is easy: that would be barbecue. Specifically, of course, NC barbecue (viz., pork cooked slowly over smoldering wood coals, until all connective tissue has rendered into collagen, bathing the meat in lipsmacking goodness, then pulled, chopped, shredded, etc., and anointed with a sauce made primarily of vinegar). On the important ancillary question of whether I prefer my NC ‘cue in the down east style or in the Piedmont style, I will confess that I am an ecumenical bi-ritualist on that point. I love both when they are executed with care and charitas.

Pet peeve?
Grammatical errors in formal writing — in particular, folks who insist on not using the Oxford comma. Madness.

Favorite book?
I love Tolkien. “The Return of the King” (vol. 3 of “The Lord of the Rings”) may be the greatest prose fiction written in the 20th century. (The movies were good, but can’t hold a candle to the books.) I also enjoy reading philosopher-theologian David Bentley Hart. His book “The Beauty of the Infinite” is a game changer. No movie for that one, yet. But my favorite book of all may be “Wind in the Willows” (Kenneth Grahame). That is really a perfect book. Oh, yes, and Homer’s “Iliad.” Good grief, you’ve snagged me in an endless loop again. Did I mention “Peter Pan?”  P.G. Wodehouse?

Why is “Wind in the Willows” the perfect book?
If you think about it, all of the best stories — The Iliad, The Æneid, Peter Pan, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings — are about finding one’s way home. “Wind in the Willows” may be the best exemplar of this ever. Plus, Grahame is a master writer; he really knows his craft. Every sentence is perfectly sculpted. The chapter “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is filled with perfect sentence after perfect sentence. It is a joy to read.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for ….?
The wisdom to know what is right and the courage to take action on it, once known.

Are you married? Children or grandchildren?
I am extremely married to the woman who has been my constant companion since we were in kindergarten. (I mean, she was more of a girl than a woman back then, but that’s a technicality.) We have six beautiful, lovely, amazing children, each of whom makes us very proud to be parents. We have no grandkids as of yet.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
My one hidden talent is that I can ride a wheelie on a standard wheel chair for an indeterminate amount of time. I suppose I could just hold it there forever if I were catheterized and someone would feed me (it does take two hands to balance). Honestly, in this small feat I am a wonder to behold. I can even do doughnuts and travel forwards and backwards. It is my superpower. Too bad it is practically useless.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
Oooooh. Learn languages. Getting fluent in Greek and Latin would be a top priority. Then Georgian. (Is there a more interesting language than Georgian? If so, I am not aware of it.) Church Slavonic. Arabic. In that order.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I am convinced to a fair degree of mathematical certainty that time is an illusion; nevertheless, I’m an avid collector of mechanical wrist watches. Check out my Instagram account for evidence. And although I am a bit of a gourmand, I do not care for mushrooms — really, any fungi, not even truffles. I enjoy bourbon. I am a strong swimmer. I make excellent, hand-cranked homemade ice cream (Philadelphia style only; no eggs involved). I love country ham.

Great, and thanks! Can you give us some advice for ice cream makers?
One secret to good homemade ice cream is ice crystal management. Most people don’t realize this. Ice crystals ruin the mouthfeel of ice cream. They add unwanted texture (grittiness) and lower the melting point so that you don’t get that luscious, unctuous melting of the fat when the ice cream is popped into the mouth. It is this immediate melting that delivers a coating of dairy yumminess in an even layer across the flavor receptors of the tongue. One should not have to chew ice cream.

There are several simple steps that can minimize or eliminate ice crystal formation and deliver the perfect mouthfeel and melting point.

One easy step is to add some specific ingredients to the base that bind with the water and prevent ice crystals. Some will use a little cornstarch, for instance. My own secret weapon is to add a little bit of commercially made peach preserves — just a few tablespoons. The peach contributes some pectin, which adds body, and commercially made preserves all have corn syrup, which helps to inhibit ice crystal formation. Win, win! (Commercial peach preserves have almost no taste and do not impart any peachiness to the final product. It’s really not good for much other than assisting your ice cream.)

Another tip is to be patient! Ice cream making takes three days if it is to be done right. The base needs to be cooked on Day 1. It needs to chill thoroughly for 24 hours in the fridge then get cranked on Day 2. DON’T EAT IT SOFT-SERVE STYLE. Pack it in a vessel and let it freeze overnight (preferably quickly frozen in a freezer that is at -10F or lower), then serve on Day 3. Following this schedule helps to quick-freeze the ice cream, which also helps prevent crystal formation. Your patience will be rewarded.

Thanks much, Dave. Now I want some homemade ice cream and I’ll have to see what I can do about that. We really appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you a little.