NC Author Showcase at Bond Brothers Brew Company

We’ve gathered the top summer books written by NC Authors for you at the Bond Brothers NC Author Showcase on June 2nd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 202 E. Cedar St. in Cary, N.C.

The Summer Author Showcase features WRAL’s Amanda Lamb‘s book launch for “No Wake Zone,” her third book in the Maddie Arnette Mystery series. Amanda will have her books for sale with a special “No Wake Zone” reading at 7 p.m.

About “No Wake Zone” After a near brush with death, Maddie Arnette heads to the charming coastal town of Cape Mayson, North Carolina, to heal. She temporarily trades in her microphone for a paddleboard. But when she finds a dead man floating in the water, her sabbatical turns into a quest for the truth.

Amanda Lamb is a veteran television crime reporter with three decades of experience. She works for an award-winning NBC affiliate in the southeast. She also appears on a regular basis on national news magazine programs and networks which feature crime stories. She has recently taken on a new role as the host and producer of a true crime podcast called Follow the Truth, which features in-depth investigation into high-profile cases.

Summer NC Authors Showcase:

Sheila Ogle, author of “The Pink House.” One of Cary’ NCs Top Ten Places to Visit Tells Town Secrets. Cary philanthropist and entrepreneur Sheila Ogle masterfully weaves the story of the beautiful Victorian Mansion located in the heart of downtown Cary in her book “The Pink House.”

Allison Forrester, author of “A Special Light”

Holly Richard, author of “One Hundred Twenty-Six Days: The Unthinkable Journey”

Whether you prefer to read our top picks for the summer in print, Audible or Kindle, they’re all available at affordable prices so that you can stock up on several! Grab yourself a refreshing glass of your favorite Bond Brothers beer, pop on your sunglasses (and sunscreen, of course!) and prepare to get lost in the best summer reads of all time.

Other Features of the NC Authors Showcase

IH Creative is offering handmade book totes.

Rub of the Warrior is the feature nonprofit for The Joint Special Operations Association with seasoning samples and sales.

The NC Author Showcase is a production of FRS Communications and hosted by Bond Brothers. “Summer is meant for sitting out in the sun by the pool or at the beach, with a book in hand and bottle of your favorite Bond Brothers beer by your side,” said Liza Weidle, CEO of FRS Communications.

Pink House Post Ribbon Cutting

Please join Sheila Ogle and the Cary Pink House for a ribbon cutting for the Pink House Post on Saturday, April 2nd from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 215 S. Academy Street in Cary.

The Pink House Post is a memory mailbox that will be installed near the Cary Pink House sidewalk. Inside the box will be a journal for friends to write a note of inspiration, a memory, a poem, a wish for the future or whatever would be honoring of our community. You can also drop off messages in the box.

We will have greetings from friends including our State Auditor Beth Wood, the pink ribbon cutting at noon, and then a chance for Cary Pink House fans to write journal entries.

Adding the memory box to Sheila Ogle’s Pink House is a part of her vision that downtown Cary can be something special. “I want to leave Cary when I am done on this earth with a legacy.” said Ogle. “I want to help Cary, especially downtown continue to grow – to become a center of activity.

About the Pink House Post

After April 2, the Pink House Post will be self-service with community friends able to open the box for the journal they can write in or leave a note for the Pink House. We hope to share some of the notes and journal entries left in our Pink House Post on our Facebook and Instagram pages. The captured messages may be published in a book.

The memory mailbox is with the creative team to have her name and designs added and will be installed in the days to come. Until then, be thinking about what you want to write in the journal.

The inspiration for the Cary Pink House mailbox comes from “Every Breath” by Nicholas Sparks that tells the story about the Kindred Spirit mailbox at Sunset Beach.

About the Cary Pink House

The historic Guess-White-Ogle House is located in downtown Cary, NC at 215 S. Academy Street. The home was built in 1830, on the national historical registry and received an Anthemion Award for its restoration in 2002.

Although known locally as the Cary Pink House, this home has had many owners throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1880, railroad “roadmaster” Captain Harrison P. Guess and his wife, Aurelia, purchased the land to build the original home from Allison Francis “Frank” Page, Cary’s founder and local businessman.

John White, a local Baptist minister, bought the house from the Guess’ in 1896 and substantially remodeled and expanded it. He transformed the house into a Queen Anne structure by adding a three-story tower to the façade, a front bay window and much decorative woodwork.

Carroll and Sheila Ogle bought the property in 1997 and renovated it, adding onto the house, building the outside steps and repainting the exterior.

In 2019, Sheila Ogle published “The Pink House” to not only tell the story of the renovation but also her memories of living there with her late husband Carroll.

“The book is a little bit about Cary history, but very personal and talks about the process of renovating the house,” Ogle said.

When Ogle writes about her experiences and memories, the Guess-White-Ogle House becomes a character on its own, as “The Pink House” describes in third person how the house felt when Sheila and Carroll first came there and how it felt during events such as Thanksgiving parties.

“I based her on my personality. She speaks and she tells stories,” Ogle said. “The words just came through the house and feels as if you are talking together.”

Copies of “The Pink House” will be available at the April 2nd event for $20.

The Cary Pink House is Ogle’s personal home and not open to the public.

Step Back in Time with a Staycation in Warrenton, N.C.

Enjoy stepping back in time when you visit Warrenton, N.C. My husband and I went to the area partly to take a stroll on the trails at our timber farm a few miles down the road and partly to experience the growing downtown district of Warrenton.

We started with lunch at the Hardware Cafe, a restored 1907 hardware store listed in the National Register. After studying the menu, I wanted to skip straight to a dessert. I opted first for the Nuts and Bolts sandwich, a delicious BLT nestled between three slices of bread, and then we shared a slice of spice cake.

The Locorum Distillery has a full selection of distilled spirits

The charming shops along downtown beaconed us after lunch. My favorite is Friends Two   located at 126 S. Main St., Warrenton. Betty Rollinson and Deborah Robertson are the longtime friends who share a love of crafting especially knitting and quilting projects. This unique gift shop has a little something for everyone and the best feature, they will gift wrap your purchases! 

Our next stop was to visit Locōrum Distillery at 144 S Main St, Warrenton. Their selections of homemade spirits are unmatched. We especially enjoyed the samples of coffee-infused rum! Our next visit will be at night so we can enjoy the local bands and food trucks.

The Ivy’s front porch was made for sipping tea!

If you are looking for a taste of New England, you need to book a visit to The Ivy Bed and Breakfast, 331 N Main Street, Warrenton, North Carolina. Each of the rooms at The Ivy is individually decorated with vintage and antique items along with personal history of owners Karen and Mike Kelley. The best part comes in the morning with a full English breakfast!

One of the new features for The Ivy is a Tea Club. You won’t want to miss the launch of Easter Sunday afternoon. Register now for the event on April 17th that runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. You will be able to sample an English Tea while listening to the sounds of High Clouds. Space is limited. Tickets are just $10. For more details, visit this page => https://www.theivybandb.com/Teaclub.

It was a wonderful getaway for us. We enjoyed making new friends and are already planning a return visit to Warrenton soon!  

How to Spot Fake News

How are you doing with spotting fake news? I was suckered in years ago by a young lady who said she had been bullied. Things didn’t quite add up in her story and I am thankful my editor pulled the plug on my column before it ran. Since that time, I have relied on credible sources who have a policy and practice of correcting mistakes.

Our schools are starting to take steps by teaching media-literacy to students. It might be time to start a remedial course for adults.

Until then, here three tips: rely on multiple sources, check accountability of sources, cross-check facts across sources.

What are the ways you spot fake news? Please share your reliable news sources in the comment section below.

A Charming Staycation in Fuquay-Varina

Of all the surprises on this year’s Anniversary getaway, the biggest one came at the end when we learned that Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe babysat our host. I am getting a little ahead of the story that happened on February 28, 2022. While this was an ordinary day for most, for my husband Bert and I, February 28th marks our 35th Wedding Anniversary and we wanted an adventure.

After watching marriages crumble around me, starting with my parents when I was 19-years-old, I want to celebrate each year of my marriage to Bert. We started with a getaway the first year to the Poconos. For our 25th wedding anniversary, we took the family, including my mother-in-law, on a Caribbean cruise. Some years we’ve stayed closer to home and explored North Carolina Bed and Breakfasts or just celebrated with a dinner out.

Beautiful time of year to walk in Fuquay-Varina

Bert wanted this year’s Anniversary Adventure to be a surprise and he only told me that it was about an hour away and we would be staying overnight. I haven’t driven southbound on HWY 55 in a long time and was amazed at how much the area in Apex and Holly Springs has grown. We drove just a little farther to Fuquay-Varina. I was excited about this destination because I have great memories of working on a senior task force with Police Chief Laura L. Fahnestock and Mayor John W. Byrne. Both of these incredible Fuquay-Varina leaders retired this year and I wanted to see the impact their work had on the community.

Lunch at Vicious Fishes

We started with lunch at the Vicious Fishes. I had the homemade broccoli and cheese soup with a notorious BLT – delicious – and enjoyed the Here Be Dragons IPA. Bert had the fish and chips – best ever – and Into the Abyss Brown Ale. Following the meal, we wobbled – I mean walked – to the first downtown district area and discovered lovely shops while we studied menus of other restaurants to figure out the best spot for dinner.

The extra surprise on the walk was going into Ashworth’s Clothing and talking about the family connection to Ashworth Drugs in Cary.  I didn’t realize our friend Ralph Ashworth was one of 9 kids and that his business savvy is a family trait. Ashworth’s Clothing first opened in September of 1937 by Rufus and Cornelia Ashworth and the store has been in the family for three generations. From men’s t-shirts to tuxedos and everything in-between, Ashworth’s is worth the drive from Cary as they are having a 70% off sale!

Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn & Garden

The big reveal was having a room in The Fuquay Inn. This Colonial Revival Inn with Carriage House & Garden is a local historic landmark and situated across the street from the Historic Fuquay Mineral Spring Park. After we checked into the Carriage House that has incredible artwork including ones painted by June Carey, we had champagne on the patio area. To my delight, there are two B & B cats that happily hung out in the sunshine with us.

We then had an amazing massage from Mary Teal, owner of Heart and Hand Massage. Mary filled me in on more of the details on the Fuquay Inn and its owner, former F-V Mayor John W. Byrne. That little detail explained the memorabilia in the room of the New York Yankees. John’s father is Tommy Byrne, a starting pitcher for the Yankees and three other American League teams. Fun fact about Tommy Byrne is that he also served as the Mayor of Wake Forest, North Carolina from 1973 to 1987 and his wife, Mary Susan Nichols Byrne, was a Wake County School board member for 10 years.

Cultivate Coffee is Bill Fletcher’s new spot for coffee chats.

All the background helped me to re-meet our gracious Inn host John W. Byrne who told us more about Fuquay-Varina and then made dinner reservations for us at Garibaldi. The next morning, we were treated to a delicious breakfast with fresh fruits and then went on another walkabout that took us to Cultivate Coffee and the chance to see Bill Fletcher, a sweet friend who recently moved from Cary.

Portrait of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe that is signed by DiMaggio that is one of several incredible artwork that featured in the Fuquay Inn.

At the end of our staycation, John gave us a tour of the Fuquay Inn and that was when I learned that Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio once babysat John. Hearing the stories of what it was like growing up with a father on the New York Yankees was entertaining.

Our visit to Fuquay-Varina was a delight. We enjoyed getting to know Patty, John’s wife, who teaches English at Campbell University. John is a natural born story-teller and I won’t spoil the other surprises in store for you when you book a weekend at The Fuquay Inn.

About John W. Byrne

When John Byrne moved in 1973 to Fuquay-Varina with his wife Patty, most of the storefronts on main street were empty. In 2000, Byrne was elected to Mayor and served for 20 years. His leadership and attention to detail has successfully grown the downtown area and beyond to becoming a destination spot.  “I believe a mayor needs to be engaged in the community.” One of the ways Byrne gets involved with the community is by walking 5 miles a day and stopping to talk with the people he meets along the way.

Byrne stepped down as Mayor of Fuquay-Varina in 2021. Under his leadership the town saw unprecedented growth and success.

  • Population grew from 8,000 to 40,000
  • Two thriving downtown districts.
  • $50 Million in grants for projects like park development and transportation
  • AAA bond rating for Fuquay-Varina

About Fuquay-Varina

This area seems to grow by twos; two communities and two downtown areas.

Fuquay Springs and Varina, joined in 1963 to form one municipality to become Fuquay-Varina. The little dash that connects the two names is now the logo for the town that is a dash more of the unexpected in town that offers something extra-special.

Two downtown areas offer a mix of shops, breweries, and restaurants. It’s a little tricky to walk to the two sections, but well worth it with Aviator Brewery offering up the best on tap and in the smokehouse in the section just beyond the railroad tracks. The area closer to the Fuquay Inn offers more restaurants and unique shops including Ashworth’s Clothing.  

Do You See What I See?

Take a moment to look around you. Can you see the uptick in people asking for a handout? Can you see the homeless camps popping up faster than spring flowers? Are you present to the world in front of you?

I try to look the other way. I think I need to wait. Truth is, there is no better time to be numbered among those who give now. This is your moment. According to Elaine Marshall, our NC Secretary of State, North Carolina charitable donations are down by about $10.8 million. Will you lean in and give?

The Cary Women’s Giving Network helps me ensure that the money I give goes to groups in the Cary area who are making an impact. We meet regularly to hear the needs of nonprofits and then open up the grant applications to organizations who need support. I am proud to be serve as the co- chair of this year’s committee who will be reviewing the applicants and making recommendations to our group.

Over the years, the Giving Network has given more than $150,000 to nonprofits including many of the ones listed below. Applications open March 4 and close at noon on April 5, 2022.

Let me know if you want to join the Cary Women’s Giving Network and be a part of this group that will distribute funds in June. If you want to help now, consider one of these wonderful nonprofits.

If you have a worthy organization to add to this list, please put in the comment section below.

North Carolina Nonprofits

Homeless

Durham Rescue Mission serves men, women, and children of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh offering solution to homelessness and addiction that goes beyond just meeting basic needs.

Families Together helps families in Wake County and surrounding areas find stable housing and connects to community resources.

Green Chair Project offers gently used home furnishings for families recovering from homelessness, crisis, or disaster.

Habitat for Humanity partners with the community to build safe, affordable homes with local families.

Haven House operates 11 youth programs, including Wrenn House, the only  emergency shelter for youth ages 1- to 17 in the Triangle.

Note-In The Pocket helps homeless and poor children have the clothes they need.

Raleigh Rescue Mission  serves those experiencing homelessness in our community through the love of Christ with a focus on assisting those who are ready to make a commitment to transforming their life, and working to overcome the negative factors that led to homelessness.

Carying Place “Our goal is to help working homeless families achieve independent living through mentoring of volunteers providing weekly guidance in managing personal finances, seeking permanent affordable housing, and maintaining a job – breaking the cycle of poverty they have experienced.”

Food Insecurity

A Place at the Table  provides community and good food for all regardless of means.

Dorcas provides a pantry where people in need can shop for groceries at no cost.

Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina collects donations, dry and shelf-stable foods.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle feeds our neighbors, teaches self-sufficiency, grows healthy foods, and cultivates innovative approaches to end hunger.

Meals on Wheels serves meals to homebound older adults and people with disabilities.

North Raleigh Ministries provides a pantry where people in need can shop for groceries at no cost.

Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen provides food obtained by donation and served by volunteers.

TABLE provides hunger relief and nutrition education services to children living in Orange County, North Carolina.

Nonprofits who offer emergency service

Activate Good helps recruit and connect volunteers to fulfill volunteer needs with hundreds of Community Partners around the Triangle.

Antioch Builds Community offers a wide variety of programs to help identify needs in the Durham community and respond with compassion through collaboration, support, and education.

Bridge the Gap dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families by helping to provide for their immediate needs.

Dorcas provides Cary residents emergency assistance including shelter, clothing, food, fuel, transportation, medical care, childcare and education.

Lutheran Family Services helps refugees and immigrants with housing, health screenings, and school enrollment.

SAFEchild is working to increase child safety, prevent child abuse, bullying, and interpersonal violence.

Urban Ministries of Wake and Durham County serves neighbors experiencing crisis or poverty with food, healthcare, medicine and shelter.

Salvation Army has served Wake County since 1887. We provide food for the hungry, companionship to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, opportunities for underprivileged children, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, and many more services to those in need.

The Politics of Work

My favorite co-worker greeted me warmly every morning, liked to go for walks at lunch, and often took naps in the afternoon. She also had a tail and four legs. When this adorably puppy stopped coming to work, the atmosphere of the office shifted and I started to notice more politics.

While, it may not be easy to add a dog to your workplace, you can make changes.  A good book to help is the “Millennials’ Guide to Workplace Politics: What No One Ever Told You About Power and Influence” by Mira Brancu and Jennifer Wisdom.

The book is broken into proactive strategies with tools to build a network of support and reactive strategies to try before you make a move. Often, the grass is not greener at another workplace – it’s just different players in the field.

If you are ready for a change. Start with yourself. Here are some of the basic rules to consider:

  1. Never say anything bad about anyone at work to anyone at work. Save your venting when you are at home or with friends.
  2. Write emails and messages as if they will be shared on social media or forwarded to others including the person you are talking about.
  3. Be honest with everyone, including yourself.
  4. Be patient. There may be times a person is working or your behalf to make things better and you don’t even know about it.
  5. Be curious about your abilities and look for opportunities to improve.
  6. Remember to be kind always. You don’t know what someone else is going through.
  7. Practice healthy skepticism. Not everything can be taken at face-value.
  8. Stop judging. Observe and clarify your own boundaries, not others.

You can do this. Be a force for good. Find your strength, find your people, and make it happen! Got tips to share? Please add them to the comment section below.

The Creep at Work

No, not the kind of “creep” at work that needs to be reported to the police. This is the creep that happens on Mondays when a conversation between your work life and your home life gets blurry.

You can restore the boundaries when you visualize your time as a garden that needs to be nurtured and protected. Gardens have physical boundaries that stop the creep of weeds. You can do the same at work. Consider these tips:

  1. Ensure meetings have agendas. There should be a beginning and end time with key speakers and topics noted. Appoint a timekeeper who gives a signal when the meeting is 10 minutes from being over. This allows time for final thoughts and takeaways.
  2. Along with an agenda, there should be an overarching goal or project-base for the meetings. You can do away with “status” meeting with emails. If something on the project is going off-track, then you can call a meeting to redefine goals.
  3. Set clear responsibilities in the group. Know what your job is and do it. Turn down requests that aren’t in your scope.
  4. Take control of emails by scheduling a time to respond to them and be sure to unsubscribe from email list servers that aren’t productive.
  5. Unplug from work. This may mean setting the time aside to check-in if there’s a big project brewing and letting the rest go to when you are back “on” at the office.
  6. Don’t overdo the overtime. Prioritize projects by learning the ebb and flow of your industry.

Mental and emotional boundaries are a little more complicated to set. Consider the following ideas to protect yourself from burn out or finding yourself in an uncomfortable situation:

  1. Focus on the person in front of you. You can save time by listening to what they want and responding. In return, you can expect them to respect your time in the same way.
  2. Take a break. This can look like a walk around the block or can be a vacation where you can completely unplug.
  3. Don’t blur lines between professional relationships and friendships. It helps to keep the conversation work-based and may mean redirecting a conversation that edges off-topic or in the weeds with gossip.
  4. Be respectful, but resolute. If you aren’t comfortable with handshakes and hugs, offer a smile and elbow tap.
  5. Value your time. Think of what your hourly rate is – or should be – and then ask for that when others demand your time in the off-hours.

Boundaries establish who are and, in some cases, where you begin and others end. They don’t have to be concrete walls. Our boundaries can be permeable enough to allow the good in, while protecting us from the danger of burn-out or damage to our overall wellbeing.

What are your ideas to stop the creep at work? Please add them to the comment section.

Reduce, Refresh, Recycle: Top Three Ways to Improve your Online Presence

It’s a new year and time to think about making your online presence the best it can be. Here are the top three ways to make an impact. Make it to the end of this blog and you win a free prize!

Reduce your online presence by deleting old accounts and unsubscribing to lists that aren’t helpful. If you are unsure how to delete an old account, visit justdelete.me. Don’t forget to delete old e-mails. After 180 days, emails stored on a web server are considered abandoned and can be accessed without a warrant (Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986). You can also delete old social media posts on Facebook and Instagram. For Twitter, go to tweetdelete. Keep your searches private by using duckduckgo.com. This search engine doesn’t track your searches and link them to you, eliminating targeted ads and search results that you don’t want.

Refresh your passwords. It’s inevitable that there will be a breach of records that may impact your username and email. A few years back, Equifax had a leak that provided access to their database with 147 million Americans. The best practice is to update your passwords every so often.

If you think you are pretty good at the password protection game, think again. Tap your email into haveibeenpwned.com to see where the leaks are. I discovered in 2021 LinkedIn was attacked. The scraped data contains approximately 400M records with 125M unique email addresses, as well as names, geographic locations, genders and job titles.

Keep track of the passwords through a password manager. I use Password Corral. It’s a free download to your computer and easy to use. All of your passwords are stored into a database that’s protected with a single master password – the only one you’ll need to remember from now on. This database is encrypted for an extra layer of security.

Recycle content is an easy way to grow influence. This blog is a great example. It’s posted on the frscommunications.com website and shared through social media sites. It is planned for upcoming webinars too.

In celebration of two years in business we are offering a free 30-minute consultation. Put a note in the comment section to claim your free offer today. Make 2022 your year of working smarter, not harder!