Tag Archives: new river valley

Kids Square in Roanoke!

The new Don & Barbara Smith Children’s Museum, Kids Square, is a space in downtown Roanoke located on the third floor inside of the Center in the Square. The fun museum is geared towards children ages 10 and under. The exhibits encourage play, education, and motor skills that are important for the development of children in this age range. Children over the age of 10, yes that includes adults, will enjoy their interactive exhibit and other areas within the Kids Square as well.

Let your child’s magic run free with carefully selected exhibits that are geared toward learning through play and discovery! The hands-on exhibits will include a miniature real-life town, a theatre, a building room and much more to be revealed at the grand opening celebration!

Join them for the Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, August 15 at 10am in the Atrium of Center in the Square!

Virginia Western Community Arboretum

The Virginia Western Community Arboretum began 24 years ago when the state college allowed use of the property with the understanding that it would be developed and maintained using private donated funds. The grounds have one full-time and one part-time staff member, and they rely on volunteer assistance to accomplish the many tasks that face them throughout the growing season.
“Our volunteer program is vital to us because of our limited budget,” explains Clark BeCraft. “Right now we have twelve regular volunteers who come out weekly and help us in the gardens. We have six tour guide volunteers that help us with groups that come into the Arboretum.”
Tour guide volunteers also help out with children’s tours, and will often provide assistance with activities like a scavenger hunt or a learning activity with the children that is related to nature or gardening. Additionally, the Arboretum hosts horticulture students though a program that allows them to complete a one semester internship there.
The garden helper is one of their most popular volunteer opportunities. Garden helpers visit the Arboretum twice a week during growing season, and work closely with an Arboretum tech, Sarah Isley, to care for the plants.
“There is no specific skill set needed,” adds Clark. “We help you identify weeds and instruct you on how to plant things if that is part of the task for the day. Sarah and I work with [volunteers] to answer any questions they have.”
A majority of the current volunteers are retirement age, but the Arboretum is open to all volunteers ages 16 and up. Although they have a need for volunteers who can work during the week, they are open to setting up times for those who work on weekdays to volunteer on occasional Saturdays or evenings if there is enough interest. Every volunteer is required to complete a background check as they are acting as an agent of the college.
“Our volunteers look forward to coming to the Arboretum to work. For many, it is the highlight of their week. They enjoy working in the gardens because it is for the community, but also an opportunity to come out and fellowship with one another. We look at it as getting work done, but it is also a nice way for our volunteers to spend time together and work in the gardens,” says Clark.
If you’ve ever visited any of their gardens, you know that the community effort results in an unforgettable experience. That effort includes a partnership with the Roanoke Master Gardeners, who have worked with the Virginia Western Community Arboretum since 2008. In 2016, the Arboretum logged over 700 volunteer hours, showing that the volunteer program is an essential part of their success in serving the community. Many of the volunteers are Friends of the Arboretum as well, contributing both time and money to maintaining the location.
You can also support the Arboretum by attending one of their events. They will offer a Garden Tour to the Gardens of Pennsylvania and Delaware featuring Longwood Gardens September 7-9, and host a Fall Accent Plant Sale on September 23 from 10am-1pm.
To learn more about the Virginia Western Community Arboretum, and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.virginiawester.edu/arboretum

Art by Sharell

Sharell Whipple graduated in 2010 with a degree in animal biology. Soon after, she began a petsitting business.

“I took really nice photos of the pets and left them for the owners to find when they came back. One day, I took one of the photos, painted it, and gave it to the family as a Christmas gift,” Sharell recalls. “That was the first time I experimented with painting, and I fell in love with it.”

After her first piece was complete, Sharell continued painting pets, and eventually expanded into nature scenes, keeping her vibrant, colorful feel.

“I think painting on wood adds that extra element of nature. Also, a lot of the wood I paint on is extra smooth and sanded. It doesn’t have that texture that canvas has, so I can blend differently on wood,” she explains.

Many of Sharell’s nature pieces are influenced by her adventures with her husband. One of her early works was a Blue Ridge Mountain scene. At the time, she was living in California. She painted the landscape with acrylic paint, and added the quotation from John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” It’s the one piece that she has never sold because she loves it so much, and it now hangs on her bedroom wall.

Sharell can often be found creating art in the bay window her red brick home surrounded by a quiet neighborhood in those same Blue Ridge Mountains she painted just a few years ago. There, she can see deer walking through her front yard. She can hear the creek trickling right outside her window. It provides a connection to nature that translates gracefully into her art. However, sometimes she needs to step outside her peaceful home to spark creativity.

“I feel most inspired to create pieces when I’m away from my studio. When I’m out backpacking in the middle of nowhere and it’s quiet, the fireflies are glowing, and the total tranquility of beautiful sunsets surrounds me. I’ll go back to my studio, and I may not paint the sunset, but I’ll use the colors to paint a completely different subject matter,” she says.

You can find Sharell’s work at The Big Latch on Roanoke at Roanoke College on August 5, Riot Rooster on November 17-18, and locally at Kozy Comfort Kountry Store in Hardy. If you can’t make it to any of these locations, please check out her work on her website, www.artbysharell.com.

Catherine and Whitney of Punch Boutique!

Catherine Justice (right) and Whitney Greene (left), new owners of Punch Boutique!

You all took over Punch Boutique in May. At what moment did you decide that taking over the business was what you wanted to do?
Whitney Greene: I have always had a passion for both the apparel industry and entrepreneurship. When the previous owner approached us about purchasing the business in late spring, we knew at that moment we didn’t want Roanoke to lose such an amazing business in the community. It was an amazing opportunity neither of us felt like we could pass up—and the support from our customers really affirmed our decision. I knew that it was something I couldn’t do without Catherine though, as we both have different backgrounds, personalities and perspectives. I think that really makes us a unique partnership.

Catherine Justice: I have been with Punch from the ground up. Our former boss taught me everything I know and I continuously want to know more! I love Punch and saw this a natural progression. There is nothing else I’d rather do, and no one else I’d rather do it with than Whitney!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
WG: There are so many things! The customers that have become a part of our lives, the fact that each day is different and always requires us to think creatively and problem solve. I also enjoy being able to bring fashion and unique products to my hometown and spread my passion with everyone here. I love being a part of something bigger in the community.

CJ: The relationships. I absolutely love my customers, coworkers, and vendors. I thrive on building and keeping relationships. Finding that perfect outfit together is the heartbeat of my job. Also, the clothes…it’s pretty much every girls dream job right?!

Do you have a favorite quote that guides you in your role as a business owner?
WG: “Always keep your eyes open, keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” Grace Coddington

CJ: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Michael Jordan
You can’t be the best on the team without going to practice or failing!

Who is your biggest inspiration?
WG: My family and our customers. Both are the reason were lucky enough to be in the position we are. My family constantly supports my dreams without question and our customers constantly fulfill my dreams.

CJ: My husband is my biggest inspiration. He works harder than anyone I know. No day is more important, he gives 150% every single day and it is very admirable.

What is your favorite style for Fall 2017?
WG: There is a strong emphasis on sleeves for fall. Dramatic shapes and fresh details make arms key focal points. It’s classically romantic and feminine. I think the diversity in style, silhouette, and substance is what makes fashion great.

CJ: It’s all about velvet! All ages, all styles…you have to have something velvet or with velvet on it!

How do you hope your customer’s experience in Punch Boutique impacts their daily life?
WG: We constantly strive to provide each customer with a personal experience. We are so lucky that many of our customers have become our friends, with whom we share our highs and lows. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We want customers to feel like even though we are a ‘dress shop,’ we truly want to be involved in the process of dressing them for all the occasions in their lives. We want to be a part of helping them feel and look their best for all their needs. We also know that our customers work hard in their daily lives, so we like to ask ourselves how we can make life easier for our customers: by being a one stop shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories. Our customers (hopefully) leave with a friend in our employees (& us), a personalized experience, and a phenomenal outfit.

CJ: I want women to feel confident in their Punch attire. It isn’t shallow or superficial to feel good on the outside because that is the first step to feeling good on the inside. “Retail therapy” is a real thing and I see it happen on a daily basis.

What We’re Reading: Wild

Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion (A Photicular Book) shines a spotlight on the mammals, birds, and insects currently threatened with extinction.

With Dan Kainen’s masterful Photicular technology, readers are treated to eight movie-like images of a diverse range of endangered species, including a rare Amur leopard licking its paw, a pair of gorillas at play, a young rhinoceros speeding ahead of its mother, and an elephant bathing in a river. Each scene is paired with an informative profile by science writer Kathy Wollard.

Readers will learn that an albatross can float through cold air currents for hundreds of miles without once flapping its wings, that a leopard can leap about 20 feet into the air, and that there are more than 250 species of bumblebees in existence. They will also learn about the devastating environmental and economic conditions that threaten these animals’ survival, and the steps that conservationists are taking to stop (and in some cases reverse) the damage.

Wild will be available where books are sold on September 5, but you can win a copy over on our Facebook page in August! Stay tuned!

Bella Sips: Sloshies

The temperatures are climbing, and we find ourselves longing for a nice cold drink under an umbrella by the water. If it’s your day to relax, or you’d like to try a new drink by the lake with your friends, Sloshies: 102 Boozy Cocktails Straight from the Freezer has you covered! With everything from tart drinks like Whiskey Smashed, to spiced drinks like High on the Hog, your experience is destined to be unforgettable!

Whiskey Smashed
Give your party an extra kick with this smashing combination of small-batch Kentucky bourbon on top of a citrus blend and minty frozen love.

ABV: 9.77%
Glass: Up & Down
Garnish: mint leaf, lemon wheel, and a floppy hat (for you to wear)

2 3/4 ounces water
9 ounces Simple Syrup
7 1/4 ounces Mint Simple Syrup
6 ounces lemon juice
6 3/4 ounces lime juice
8 3/4 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Combine
Place the ingredients in a medium-size metal bowl and stir.

Freeze
Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, approximately 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into an ice cream maker and proceed per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve
When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

High on the Hog
Bacon is the candy of meats. It’s so delicious, we decided just to build a drink around it. Ginger, maple, and bourbon roll on your tongue while you fight the urge to just eat the bacon garnish first.

ABV: 12.78%
Glass: Up & Down
Garnish: strip of crispy bacon

27 ounces ginger ale
2 ounces Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry
2  3/4 ounces Cabin Fever Maple Flavored Whisky
8  1/4 ounces Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Combine
Place the ingredients in a medium-size metal bowl and stir.

Freeze
Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place it in the freezer until frozen, approximately 4 hours. Alternatively, pour the liquid into an ice cream maker and proceed per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve
When you’re ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.

Makes at least 4 drinks.

Visit our Facebook page for details on how to win a copy of this book!

#Ilooklikeananesthesiologist

PHOTO CAPTION: #Ilooklikeananesthesiologist (starting at one o’clock and moving clockwise: CJ Swanson, Christine Sherman, Ilona Parks, Sarah Nie, Maxine Lee, Julie Joseph, Pam Zollinger)

Four female surgeons in full gowns and masks, peering over an operating table graced the cover of the April 3 New Yorker and inspired female surgeons across the world to tweet photos of the same using the hashtag: #Ilooklikeasurgeon. Surgery persists as a male-dominated field with women making up 19% of all surgeons in the U.S. Not so in the case in anesthesiology where women are closing the gender gap in terms of sheer representation. These physicians specialize in perioperative care, development of an anesthetic plan, and the administration of anesthetics. Seven female anesthesiologists from Anesthesiology Consultants of Virginia (ACV) recreated this tableau, not as a political statement but rather a symbol of their diversity, celebrating their American, Indian-Canadian, Jamaican, Asian, and Polish backgrounds. They belong to a practice where women comprise 27% of the group. Many of the reasons they all chose anesthesiology are strikingly similar:  a love of clinical procedures, the excitement of working in acute care, and the benefit of being in a field that affords work and life balance.
While earning her undergraduate degree at W&L, Dr. Christine Sherman volunteered at Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington where she was first introduced to the work of anesthesiologists. Drs. Julie Joseph and Ilona Parks noted that they decided to go into the field because they noticed the anesthesiologists were the happiest people in the operating rooms. Parks began her medical career as a neuro-monitoring technician. Dr. Sarah Nie was inspired by her grandmother who was a physician in China.
None of these doctors feel the need to be in the spotlight. Dr. Maxine Lee likens her position to that of a bass player in a band. She is in the background, but still plays a crucial role on the surgical team.
Sherman states, “We take people as close to death as they’d ever be and then we bring them back, and they rarely realize this.”
They are the last people patients are with before a procedure and often the first ones they see when waking up; it’s intensive patient care that goes largely unseen.
The rewards for these doctors are many, and several cited their practice, ACV, as a source of satisfaction. Unpaid vacations and time off are negotiated at the yearly scheduling session, allowing each partner flexibility. Sherman chooses to spend a month at the beach with her family each summer, Parks travels the world, and Dr. Pam Zollinger has renovated a home, paints and participates in community work. She chose ACV because it’s a practice in which physician anesthesiologists provide direct patient care (as opposed to the increasingly common nurse supervision model). Lee is the immediate past president of the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists and has strongly advocated for physician led anesthesia care. The doctors also cite the challenge of using communication skills to establish trust with patients in just a short amount of time, and they enjoy the fact that when they are done with their work day, they don’t take it home with them.
Like in any profession, these women face obstacles, especially in their dual roles as physician and mother. For Joseph, returning to work after having her babies was a challenge. She was determined to breastfeed, but had no dedicated place to pump and found the whole process of running back to the OR to be exhausting and stressful. Sherman has promised to advocate for better conditions for Nie, who just delivered her first baby and plans to return to work and continue breastfeeding.  “I am going to make sure she gets 25 minute breaks!” says Sherman.  Balancing family and work can be another challenge, and Sherman notes that she has purposely avoided taking on leadership positions at the hospital so that she can focus on raising her three children when she isn’t at work.
The respect these women have for each other is tremendous. Baby showers and social gatherings strengthen their friendships when they aren’t in their scrubs. Group e-mail communication allows them to support one other. When a family emergency comes up, a back-up plan is merely a text away. If you find yourself on an operating table in any Carilion facility in the Roanoke Valley, you may be lucky enough to have one of these accomplished doctors looking over you.

Written by Kate Ericsson

FloydFest 17: Freedom

Boasting one of the most dynamic lineups ever assembled for a multi-day world music festival, FloydFest 17~Freedom is set to deliver a truly engaging and diverse artistic experience along the magical Blue Ridge Parkway from July 26 to 30. Across nine+ stages over five days, FloydFest 17 welcomes more than 100 bands for its 17th installment, including Thievery Corporation, Michael Franti, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Rising Appalachia, Leftover Salmon, Steel Pulse, Railroad Earth, Marty Stuart, and Xavier Rudd.

FloydFest is located at Milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and tickets are available by visiting FloydFest.com. Single- and multi-day general admission tickets are still available, with bundles available for camping. A small number of High-Roller, All-Access VIP tickets are also still available, along with additional ticket options for parking, camping, and outdoor adventure activities. Visit FloydFest.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

A recent recipient of top accolades from TIME Magazine and Fox News — and voted the 11th ‘Best Festival in the World’ and 2nd ‘Best Festival in the USA’ by FlightNetwork — FloydFest 17’s final artist lineup includes Thievery Corporation, Michael Franti, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Rising Appalachia, Leftover Salmon, Steel Pulse, Railroad Earth, Shovels & Rope, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Xavier Rudd, White Denim, Turkuaz, Fruition, Keller Williams+, TAUK, The Steel Wheels, The Hip Abduction, Larry Keel Experience+, HONEYHONEY, Vurro, BIG Something, Shook Twins, Baskery, Zach Deputy, The Mantras, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Fémina, That 1 Guy, Dave Eggar Band feat. Sasha Lazard, The Lil’ Smokies, People’s Blues of Richmond, Rebekah Todd & the Odyssey, Jack Broadbent, The Suitcase Junket, Black Masala, Hillbilly Casino, Urban Soil, Blue Mule, Che Apalache, Jordan Harman Band, M.C. Broom & the Jam, T Sisters, Banditos, Jon Stickley Trio, The Tillers, Alanna Royale, The Stash! Band, Strange Americans, Whiskerman, The Brother Brothers, Honey Island Swamp Band, Edward David Anderson, Dead 27s, Davy Knowles, McLovins, Hayley Jane and the Primates, Broccoli Samurai, The Drunken Hearts, Strange Machines, Trae Pierce & the T-Stones, Liver Down The River, Sol Searchers, GOTE, Black Mountain Revival, Lobo Marino, PLF; Galax to Floyd Pickers: David & Mason Via, Aaron Woody Wood, Blake & Jamie Collins, Gina Sobel, Mason Via & Hot Trail Mix; EchoMix Artists: Konrad Kuechenmeister, Boib Funck, JANXX, Brain Hill, Dead Sea Sparrow, Kendra Warren, King Django, John DeCarlo, Gyorgy De Val; Mama Said, The Get Right Band, The Mallett Brothers, Villa*Nova, Dharma Bombs, The Folly, South Hill Banks, Seph Custer & the Papa Tom Band, Chris Ross & the North, Morgan Wade & the Stepbrothers, Mad Iguanas, Claire Hitchins, Bryan Elijah Smith & the Wildhearts, Jaewar & Vibe Riot, The Wildmans, Fernandez Sisters, Einstein’s Monkey, Girls Rock Roanoke, Community High School Band, Jefferson Center Music Lab, Mike Mitchell Trio, Dixon’s Violin; FloydFest Buskers: Brad Collier, Waiting to Exhale, Fason & Cannaday, Seph & TK, Will & Jodie Norton, Flirting with Chemicals; Nicki Calhoun, Howard Falco, Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts, Lunaversal.hoopz, Oakely the Greenman, 1000 Faces Mask Theater, Ambrosia Farms Puppets, Magician of Life, Becky the Balloon Lady, Gravity Check Juggling, Gypsy Geoff and more.

The unforgettable magic that was FloydFest 16’s Buffalo Mountain Jam returns in 2017 for its second-annual installment. Known for its impromptu artist collaborations, super jams and special guests, the Buffalo Mountain Jam will evoke a ‘freedom’ unique to the 17th annual event—not to be missed.

“The Buffalo Mountain Jam is extremely important to witness — it’s a capstone of the festival, spotlighting ‘new-school newgrass,’” Hodges said. “It’s a free-form jam that speaks to the quality of the musicians that make it happen … a jam that speaks to freedom.”
As always, FloydFest will also include vibrant and varied vendors, quality craft brews and chews, healing arts, workshops and whimsy, children’s activities, onsite art installations and a final lineup featuring more than 100 artists performing on nine+ stages.

FloydFest is located at Milepost 170.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Va. Detailed directions, tickets, and additional information are available by clicking to www.floydfest.com.
For more information, call (888) VA-FESTS or email info@floydfest.com . Find FloydFest on Twitter @floydfest, Instagram @floydfestva and Facebook @FloydFestVA.