out frRain was beginning to set in on a fog-ridden day on the slopes when Annie Dephouse gave her 5-year-old charge, Phillip Meacham, the heads up that it would soon be time to head indoors. 

“We can do two or three more,” Dephouse said as the ski lift swung on its way up to Cataloochee Ski Area’s easiest slope. 

fr animaltherapyDomestic violence in Haywood County — and its effect on children — could take a hit as the Thirtieth Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance starts using the $1 million it won through a competitive federal grant. Only $10 million was dispersed nationwide, but the Alliance’s share of the three-year grant, given through the Office on Violence Against Women through the U.S. Department of Justice, jumped from $400,000 in the last grant cycle to the $1 million it now has to work with. 

bookFour years ago in November, a schoolteacher in Knoxville asked her English class to write a composition on family dinner together. With two exceptions, the class — a racially mixed, lower income group of students — hooted at her in derision.

Mountain Momma

art mommaSupposedly just 8 percent of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution keep it.

The obvious reason is human beings just aren’t very good at self improvement. But some resolutions are doomed from the start.

coverBy Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • SMN Correspondent

Think of it as somewhere over the rainbow. 

You know the place, only this time not in Oz, in Waynesville, on Frazier Street, behind the parking lot of Sagebrush Steakhouse, in a non-descript building that’s 60-feet long and maybe half that wide. This is where the bluebirds sing, where happiness prevails. 

Mountain Momma

art mtnmommaLike many of you, I’ve been amassing Christmas presents for months now — stocking up at consignment sales, cruising craigslist for good deals, and slipping irresistible stocking stuffers into the shopping basket when the kids aren’t looking. There’s something slightly exhilarating about shepherding bags of future presents into the house undetected and squirreling them way on the top shelves of cupboards and in corners of the basement.

Mountain Momma

art mtnmommaLast weekend, I sat down with a calendar and began sifting through all the fabulous Christmas-related events happening this month.

As I plotted out which ones we could try to squeeze in — Christmas parades, Christmas concerts, Christmas plays, live nativity scenes, town tree lightings, Santa visits, and nighttime holiday festivities in our downtowns — I had a flashback to last year’s Disney preparations.

Mountain Momma

art mtnmommaI was caught flat-footed last year when my oldest daughter began questioning the myriad Santa spottings of the Christmas season.

Santa’s peripatetic ways just didn’t compute.

Mountain Momma

Dear Pottery Barn photographers,

Please consider hiring a consultant who actually has kids before you shoot your next product magazine. Otherwise, your catalogs will be reclassified and shelved in the comedy section. 

From, Been-there-done-that-and-it-sure-didn’t-look-like-that.

Mountain Momma

art mtnmommaI don’t buy the theory that texting has fueled an explosion in writing among kids.

The claim is texting is like a “gateway drug.” Kids who normally wouldn’t read or write very much now do so prolifically, albeit in truncated words and cryptic acronyms. But any writing is better than no writing — the notion goes — and once hooked there’s no holding back the inner reader and writer within.

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