Recommended diversions

Spray Paint

Took a page from “Trading Spaces” and all those other home renovation/redecoration shows this past weekend and salvaged a light fixture with a little creativity. For the cost of a can of Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Hammered paint in dark bronze and five little faux leather lampshades — about $30 — I solved what was looking to be otherwise about a $200 problem. Thrilled with the results, I’m looking for other things to spray paint now. Lucky me, the Rust-Oleum Web site has an entire section dubbed “Inspiration.”


Homemade Pizza

Living down in the Triangle while in college I got spoiled eating Lilly’s Pizza. It was the kind of pie that they just went ahead and put “Damn Good Pizza” on the box. And boy was it. Not that there’s anything wrong with the traditionals, but I miss being able to get toppings such as prosciutto, red onions, roasted red peppers and fresh basil. So I went to the G-store and got makings for a home variety with an olive oil base, lots of herbs, spinach, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Genoa salami, red onions and lots of garlic. It was great fun to make, more fun to eat. Rustle up the family and make an evening of topping off some pies — with all the pre-made crusts these days the hard work’s been done for you. Go healthy, go weird, just go play with your food.



The first day of fall is a mere two and a half weeks away. Fall! I love how the light changes with the season, the bugs sound different, the leaves start to turn. We’re having a rather sad apple harvest this year thanks to frost and draught, but I imagine there’ll be enough Stamens around for an apple pie or two. This time of year is great for getting outside and doing some hiking. When I was little my mom, my aunt and I would go for walks out in the woods behind my aunt’s Taylorsville home, looking for arrowheads and making our way to an old apple orchard. We’d pick an apple or two and eat it in the field, then stomp our way back through the brown, crunchy leaves. Start thinking about some fun, seasonal crafts — leaf pressings in sheets of wax paper was always an easy thrill — and plantings that will make the springtime bright.



On Tsali Boulevard in Cherokee this family eatery earns its recognition for offering traditional Cherokee items on its regular menu. There’s fry bread — the Indian taco version or with blueberries — Buffalo burgers and on special nights bean bread and selected greens. It’s right tasty and great to see alongside the decidedly non-traditional and more commonly found fast food chains. For those who want to try their hand at making fry bread at home, I found a mix at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Co-Op.

— Sarah Kucharski

The Naturalist's Corner

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Back Then with George Ellison

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