Susanna Shetley

Website URL: http://www.susannashetley.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Anyone involved in the Haywood County swim community knows Robin Batchelor. She is a powerhouse when it comes to the sport. I’ve known Robin personally for many years. She and I were teachers together at Waynesville Middle and I remember her coming in with damp hair each day after an early morning swim workout. In the afternoons, she would leave after a day of teaching to coach the Tuscola swim team. 

It’s been another hard news week. It seems like that’s becoming the norm in modern American society. No matter which news outlet you favor, there are a slew of heartbreaking or alarming stories. Even if you simply pop on your phone to get directions or check your bank account, it’s hard to avoid the headlines. 

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It’s not even February and I already feel a bit bogged down with the cold and rainy weather. When I was a little girl, I remember getting hot easily, even sleeping on top of my covers most of the time, but as I’ve aged, I’ve become very cold-natured. From November to March, I constantly feel chilled. Simultaneously, I enjoy these months because of the holidays, my boys’ birthdays, snow, hot tea, cozy fireplaces, and ski trips. Through the years, I’ve learned a few ways to combat the dreariness and frigid weather. If you’re like me and are looking for ways to warm up, physically and emotionally, keep reading. 

Local artist Lauren Medford was recently promoted to the art and gallery manager at the Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) in downtown Waynesville. 

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I created this smoothie recently with some ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry. I call it a blurange banana smoothie. One tip before you get started regards freezing bananas. Frozen bananas make a great addition to smoothies. They add flavor and serve as a substitute for ice, which can water down an otherwise delicious frosty beverage. Whenever I have bananas that are too mushy to each, I chop them into halves and freeze them. That way, I always have frozen bananas when I need them. 

Artist Lauren Medofrd was recently promoted to art and gallery manager with the Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC). A native of Waynesville, Lauren holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in advertising and graphic design from Southwestern Community College and a Master of Fine Arts from Western Carolina University. 

January is an annoying month for many people. The hoopla and excitement of the holidays has ended. The weather is cold and dreary and for most there is little to look forward to, but for me, January is special because it’s when both of my boys were born. 

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Bryson City is a lovely, quaint town in the mountains of Western North Carolina and is considered the gateway to the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a beautiful scenic place for well-known attractions such as Fontana Dam and the Polar Express. Even though it’s chilly outside, many of us are already planning spring getaways. I’m lucky because Bryson City is only about a 30 minute drive from my house. With a slew of hikers and mountain bikers in our family, we are lucky to live so close to a panacea such as Bryson City. 

I’ve been going strong with plant-based eating for over four months, and I’m still loving it. Lately I’ve been experimenting with vegan cookie recipes. The one I’m sharing today is absolutely delicious, even if you aren’t trying to eat plant-based or dairy-free or gluten-free. These cookies fall into all of those categories. We have five kids in our blended family, and all of them enjoyed these cookies. That’s always a good sign! One of the ingredients is a can of pure pumpkin, so if you have some lingering cans of pumpkin in your pantry from the holidays, this is a great way to use it. 

Working at a newspaper requires thick skin. I’m a columnist and lifestyle writer, so I don’t get nearly as much pushback or rebuttals as the reporters. Nonetheless, I’ll occasionally get a hateful or condescending message from someone who doesn’t agree with an opinion I stated in a column. 

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Since taking over the family business in 2015, Leah Wong Ashburn has been a breath of fresh air within the Asheville brewing community. She's made it a point to be visible in the  and  generous with her time, especially when it comes to speaking to other women in the business world. Amid the pressure of taking over such a well-established brewery, Ashburn has brought her own leadership style to the table and it seems to be working out beautifully, positioning Highland Brewing to maintain a strong brand into the future.

For this week’s entrepreneurial spotlight, Rumble sat down with Kristi Ball-Mayrand, owner of Balsam Mountain Floral, located on Main Street in Canton. She is also the lead designer and creative mind behind Stargazers Design. 

My grandfather once told me that on Christmas Eve his family would go find a tree in the woods and then spend the evening trimming the tree and adorning it with lit candles. The family enjoyed its glory for one night only. He mentioned this story on several occasions and each time, his eyes would alight. What made it so magical for him was the brevity. When we know we only have a few hours to embrace an experience, we do not take it for granted. 

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This week Rumble sat down with fitness and life coach Beth Sanderson. Through her work and services, she inspires clients to focus on the "why" and to feel empowered to lean into the best versions of themselves. 

As they say, “What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.” We hold images in our minds and expectations in our hearts of how our existence should unfold and when it doesn’t go that way, we often feel we’ve failed ourselves and those we love.

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If you've been to 828 Market on Main Street in Waynesville, you've no doubt seen the handmade ornaments hanging on the wall across from the cash register. This week, Rumble sat down with ornament artist Megan James to hear about her entrepreneurial endeavor.

I have felt disconnected from the holidays ever since my mom passed away six years ago. Throw a divorce, two moves and a pandemic in the mix and things really get wonky when the goal is to be joyful. 

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Each year on November 19, we celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Currently the global workforce lacks women. The women who are working earn only around 10 percent of the world’s income and earn less than their male counterparts. 

It’s pomegranate time, and that makes this gal very happy. I love walking into a grocery store and seeing them on sale at the front of the produce section. Granted, they take a little effort to hack into and get the arils out, but it’s totally worth the effort. 

Did you know a family in Denmark uses, on average, four single-use grocery bags per year while American families use one per day? 

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The Halloween season brings with it spooky and ghoulish jack-o-lanterns, and while I thoroughly enjoy watching the kids carve pumpkins and even sometimes carving them myself, my favorite part of the experience is roasting the seeds afterward. 

The sound of falling leaves crunched under our feet as we searched for the white blazes along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Our dog, Ringo, happily followed along, thrilled to be out of the house and into the woods.

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The cool thing about elementary students is they still get excited about the events and activities going on at their school. Once they roll into junior high the hormonal indifference sets in and even if they are thrilled about something, it’s hidden behind a veil of adolescent angst. 

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Many moons ago, when I attended a seventh-grade sleepover, I met a new girl in town. Her name was Lana. She was from Natchez, Mississippi, and had wild curly blonde hair, a vibrant personality and was a huge New Orleans Saints fan.

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Whether it’s creating beautiful handmade pottery, developing recipes for her restaurant or curating a vast selection of high-quality olive oils, Cathey Bolton is truly a talented artist, as well as a successful business person. 

I know next to nothing about hunting, but a random man in the gas station got me thinking about the sport. We were both waiting in line at the cash register. He turned to me and struck up a conversation about finding a severely injured deer while hunting in the woods.

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An iron skillet frittata is one of my favorite healthy, low-carb, gluten-free breakfast dishes. It's fun to experiment with various ingredients. If you have meat lovers in your house, you can add bacon and ham, or if you want to go the vegetarian route, you can pack it full of healthy veggies. I tend to lean both ways, depending if I'm making it for myself or for all of the kids. As you take a look at the recipe below, remember that these ingredients are merely suggestions. I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen and add whatever ingredients you like. 

Are you a people-pleaser? Do you give so much of your time, love and energy to other people, you’re physically worn out? 

The ‘circle of life’ philosophy is not only about procreation and ensuring the long-term existence of a species. It’s also about love, family ties and paying it forward. 

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In May my boys were counting down the days until school ended; now, they are counting down the days until school begins. It’s intriguing what summer vacation can do to a young mind. 

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I’m writing this column from Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo in Mexico. We just watched the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea, and now I’m sitting on our balcony listening to the euphony of tropical birds and relishing in a fleeting morning breeze that will soon turn to heavy humid heat. 

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With summertime comes a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers, either from your own garden or a garden of a friend or family member. Instead of bemoaning the abundance, I like to make a lot of salads with these delicious produce items. The recipe I am sharing today is one of my favorites. It works well as a light lunch or as a side dish for dinner. This is also a great dish to take to a picnic or summer party. 

There are only a few more weeks of summer break. My two boys have been busy attending various camps and traveling to and fro, but when we’re in town, I’ve been trying to explore this beautiful place we call home. Whether it’s a trek to downtown Asheville to eat dumplings and look in gem stores or a drive out to Bryson City to explore Darnell Farms, we’ve been making the most of each day. 

Women of all ages are opening and expanding small, medium and large businesses throughout Western North Carolina. Asheville, alone, is home to numerous successful female-owned businesses. While there are many on the list, the five highlighted in today’s Rumble are some of my personal favorites. 

In a previous column, I talked of my personal challenge to undergo “The Great Susanna Reset” this summer. One of my goals is to be more playful and to remember the little girl that still lives deep inside my hardened womanly shell. Interestingly, superheroes have become a part of my journey. 

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I tend to live on a deeper plane than some, and it’s admittedly an exhausting place to be. I feel the word mindfulness should refer to when the mind is full of every thought and feeling, as opposed to when the mind is free and living in the moment. Nonetheless, my primary goal this summer has been to live more lightly and mindfully, to realize that life is fleeting and finite and that worrying and overthinking is not conducive to a full and joyful existence.

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I created this recipe on a whim, and it ended up being absolutely delicious. It’s not complicated, but it is fresh, fresh, fresh. It tastes like summertime on a fork.  It also stores well and can be eaten for several days after the initial batch is made. Enjoy! 

I recently spent the day frolicking around Cashiers alongside Ashlie Mitchell-Lanning, executive director of The Village Green, and Thomas Taulbee with the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce.

A Buddha bowl is a vegetarian meal full of nutrition and yumminess. There are several explanations for why the name refers to Buddha. It may originate from presenting a balanced meal and the fact that balance is a key Buddhist concept or from the story of Buddha carrying his food bowl to fill it with whatever bits of food villagers would offer him. Today’s recipe is one option for a Buddha bowl, but there are many others. You can get very creative with this! 

In my adult life I’ve noticed an emotional pattern when it comes to appliances. When I have an antiquated appliance, it seems to work well and is a non-issue, but when I have a new, fancy appliance, I often feel annoyed and frustrated. 

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Weaverville is a quaint municipality nestled in the northern part of Buncombe County, N.C. The town and the Reems Creek Valley have been a beacon for travelers and settlers since pioneers discovered the area in the 1700s, when it was still Cherokee territory. Weaverville’s scenic beauty, healthful climate and short distance from Asheville’s urban vibe have made it attractive to both tourists and individuals moving to the mountains of North Carolina. 

When I travel and tell someone I’m from Waynesville, a small town nestled in the Smoky Mountains, the comment is always met with awe and excitement.

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Over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to make homemade black bean burgers. I couldn’t find an exact recipe that fit my fancy, so I combined several to create one that meshed with my culinary desires and preferences. This burger was so scrumptious and much less expensive than its beefy competitors. 

Last week, prior to the horrific schoolroom massacre at Robb Elementary, a friend told me he had to get a criminal background check to acquire a single-use alcohol permit for a race we’re facilitating. The race is a fundrasier for a local non-profit that supports victims of domestic abuse, elder abuse and sex trafficking. Several local breweries are offering post-race beers so our committee needed to obtain an alcohol permit. 

As he explained the process, it seemed like a lot of hoops to jump to simply get an alcohol permit. As he spoke, my overactive brain went down a rabbit hole of wondering if getting a single-use alcohol permit was more laborious than purchasing a firearm. 

‘Tis the season is not only a motto for the Christmas holidays, but also an apt way to describe the craziness that is the month of May when you’re managing schedules, events, birthdays, celebrations, practices, banquets, end-of-year parties and final exams for five children. As school comes to a close and summer teases the horizon, life becomes a chaotic mixture of busyness, excitement and sentimental moments.

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I have been tweaking and perfecting this granola recipe for many, many years and have finally achieved the perfect taste and texture. This crunchy granola has minimal sugar but is high in fiber and flavor. A few evenings a week, I make a huge batch, store it in an airtight container and enjoy it each morning with some almond milk, oat milk or Greek yogurt, and topped with fresh berries. This recipe is so scrumptious, I could never go back to store-bought cereal. And not only does it taste incredible, it's easy to make. 

It is no wonder collegiate athletes are required to take a sports psychology course and why higher-level athletes, such as Olympians, focus as much on their mental stat as they do physical training. Further, I’m realizing more and more that the tactics athletes use such as visualization, self talk, goal setting and achieving a state of flow are not only helpful on the field and the court but also in everyday life.

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Nikola Tesla famously said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Albert Einstein said, “Everything is energy.” 

Who’s to argue with Tesla and Einstein? 

All of my childhood memories include my older sister, Savannah. She and I did some pretty weird and funny things when we were little girls, but because we were together, it all seemed like one big exciting shared adventure. 

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National Volunteer Week is April 17-23, 2022. This week we celebrate all volunteers that make the world a brighter, healthier, more helpful place to live. One Haywood County business that thrives off the work of their volunteers is the Within Reach Resale Shop located in Hazelwood Village.

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