Susanna Shetley

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It seems the warmer weather is finally here to stay, and we can confidently plant flowers and vegetables without the worry of a hard freeze. If you’re a fan of gardening or tending to plants and herbs, be sure to visit Cultivate Garden Shop located in the historic Frog Level district of Waynesville, N.C. 

When I was growing up and even in early adulthood, World War II veterans were the elder of the veterans that we knew and honored. Now, as the decades roll along, Vietnam veterans are moving into their place. 


Last weekend, I flew to Phoenix for a conference. During the four-hour flight, I sat beside a lap child, which is a young child who is small enough to sit on a caregiver’s lap during the plane ride.


Brian and Craig Artley founded Grass Root Gardens in 1980. The business grew into one of the most trusted and respected garden centers in Western North Carolina. The community was saddened when the original owners closed the doors in 2021. Luckily, Rhonda and Brett Yarrington purchased and reopened the business as Grass Root Garden Company at the end of 2022 after several months of learning the trade and business operations from the Artley brothers. This week Rumble sat down with Rhonda Yarrington to learn more about her family’s powerful journey. 

During a recent trip to the grocery store I noticed that everyone looked stone faced. The only people who were smiling and looked lively were the children skipping alongside their caretakers. It made me realize that if people would smile a little more and not look so miserable, the world could be a brighter place. After I had this thought, I began thinking of other ways that we as individuals can add more light to a seemingly dark world. 


Registration for Waynesville's 2023 Main Street Mile is open! This is a fun and lively family-friendly race. It will take place on Saturday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. The event has been called "Western North Carolina's fastest, flattest one-mile race" and will raise money for REACH of Haywood County, which assists individuals suffering from domestic violence, dating abuse, sexual assault, or elder abuse. The Main Street Mile is a cherished road race down the historic section of Main Street, starting one mile south of the Haywood County Courthouse.   Following the race will be a free, post-race party featuring live music, food, drinks, local craft beer and kids' games/activities.

Patchwork Meadows embodies a new way of conceptualizing landscaping. Founder Emily Sampson and her team partner with clients to grow and install native plants that encourage pollinator habitats. Their goal is to convert parcels of residential or commercial land into beautiful wildflower meadow patches that benefit butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife. 

Vacation planning sounds fun in theory, but who really has time to sit down and plan an entire getaway? Amanda Henderson, owner of Time to Travel, is a Haywood County native and busy mom to two boys. She is also an instructor in the Birth-Kindergarten (BK) program at Western Carolina University. She created Time to Travel 10 years ago to help other families plan memorable vacations to places like Disney, Universtal Studios and more. 

Ever notice how the sparkle in a kid’s eyes diminishes with age? The older I get, the more I want to be like a kid. I want to laugh with my whole body and get excited about little things like chocolate chips in my pancakes or blowing a dandelion. 


Nathan and Micheala Lowe own Southern Porch in downtown Canton, which has become a culinary and social hub for the town. They, along with their two young daughters and extended family, are fully immersed in day-to-day operations, making this a very special place for them and the town of Canton. For this week’s Rumble issue, we sat down with Michaela to learn a more about the story behind Southern Porch. 

In last week’s Rumble issue, we featured a roundup of female-driven businesses in Canton, N.C. CLick HERE to see the full list. We always encourage our readers to support local businesses, but in the wake of the recent announcement to close Pactiv Evergreen Packaging, we especially encourage you to support downtown Canton businesses in an effort to boost morale and the town’s economy. Today we are highlighting Lisa Conard and Pigeon River Mercantile, located at 365 Main Street. Lisa and her husband, Rick, opened the store in 2018. 


This year for Lent I took on a challenge instead of giving up something. I challenged myself to communicate more with friends and family who are not in my daily realm.


It’s been a little over two weeks since Pactiv Evergreen Packaging made the announcement to close early this summer, and for those intimately affected, it’s already been a heavy span of time. Mill workers are trying to figure out what’s next for them and their families. Further, downtown Canton as an economic entity has concerns the closure will impact their businesses. 


Let’s talk a little bit about laundry detergent. Not only can it get expensive, but the chemical ingredients in commercial brands can be bad for our health and the plastic jugs are terrible for the environment, so why not make an effective, healthier version right in your own home?

“Americana”: noun. Things associated with the culture and history of America.

“Grief”: noun. Deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement; deep sorrow.

“Nostalgia”: noun. Pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing you could experience it again; derived from the Greek language, with “nostos” meaning homecoming and “algos” meaning ache.


Somatics describes any practice that uses the mind-body connection to help you survey your internal self and listen to signals your body sends about areas of pain, discomfort, or imbalance. When Kristin Jackson experienced a life altering tragedy in 2011, she had to find a way to heal the pain in her body. She is now a clinical somatic educator and helps other people become pain-free. Kristin said, “I know it sounds cliché, but somatics changed my life.” Rumble conducted a Q&A with Kim to learn more about this powerful treatment.  

I’m the mom to two boys, ages 14 and 11. Both of them are currently on the cusp of a big transition. My younger son, Case, is in fifth grade and will be starting middle school in the fall, while my older son, Brooks, is in eighth grade and will be entering high school.


They say that tofu is a chameleon food, and it takes on whatever flavors it’s surrounded by or marinated in. After eating plant-based for over six months, I can attest that this is true. 

Change happens with small, consistent actions and habits. A few tweaks to your daily lifestyle can make you feel more alert, productive, content, and energetic. Following these nine steps will make your body healthier and your life more fulfilling.

Kathy Odvody is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. With this week’s Rumble theme being ‘Incredible Women,’ we thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce Kathy to our readers. One can’t help but feel energized when hearing Kathy’s many tales from the trails. While her passion for hiking is far-reaching, one of her favorite aspects is gathering women together for group hikes. Kathy’s story and several of her beautiful photos will be included in an expanded piece in the April/May issue of our sister magazine, Smoky Mountain Living

A study conducted by the scholarly journal, Science, found that lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Experimental and quasi-experimental studies of humans and animals suggested that social isolation is a major risk factor for mortality from widely varying causes. 


I recently donated blood and had my annual physical exam, all in the same day. During the blood donation, they checked my hemoglobin and during my physical, they did a full lab panel.What I learned is that my hemoglobin, B12, and iron levels are the highest they’ve been in several years. This is exciting because there were times in the past when my hemoglobin was so low I couldn’t give blood and when my B12 was so low, I had to give myself daily shots. 

Homemade tortilla chips are easy to make and pair perfectly with salsa, guacamole, or another type of dip. They’re an especially great snack to make if you have leftover corn tortillas. The benefit of making your own is that you don’t have to worry about excess additives and salt because you know exactly what’s going into them. 

Homemade tortilla chips are easy to make and pair perfectly with salsa, guacamole or another type of dip. They’re an especially great snack to make if you have leftover corn tortillas from another dish you made. The benefit of making your own is that you don’t have to worry about excess additives and salt because you know exactly what’s going into them. 

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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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? 


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.


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. 


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.


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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