If I Had My Life To Live Over Again…

by Francie Elaine Hartsog for Roxana, who came into our life and with her radiant spirit, replenished our family with faith, hope & love. She needs no words to remind us faith and hope are always present, and her light bears witness to the greatest of these gifts… love. “Blessed, how happy are those whoContinue reading “If I Had My Life To Live Over Again…”

The Dark Side of Valentine’s Day by Francie Hartsog

Today is Valentine’s Day – or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day!”  Jay Leno Two weeks ago a good friend of mine sent me a message asking if she should force her daughter to attend school on Valentine’s Day.  According to my friend, this young teen has been in agony over the prospect of facing gigglingContinue reading “The Dark Side of Valentine’s Day by Francie Hartsog”

AJ’s Christmas Gift

“When the accident happened we didn’t know anyone in this town. AJ was treated at Wake Forest from June to July and then at Livene Children’s Hospital from July to September. I stayed with AJ and Michael would drive back to the house to check the mail and feed the dogs. We couldn’t believe the outpouring of love from a community who didn’t even know us. People left notes, food, and gift cards. Now we want to give back to the people who were there for us.”

Glamping: Revisiting Childhood Camping Memories

When it comes to vacations, I am a bit of a princess. I love luxury bedding and room service. We work hard, so when we are able to get away, I prefer five star accommodations. Since I began “chapter two” of my life, the ability to travel has become important to me. I have heardContinue reading “Glamping: Revisiting Childhood Camping Memories”

Who is Red Buffalo?

by Francie Hartsog-Slaughter It was a cold, January evening in 2019 when my husband, Kevin, and I drove from Davidson to show a vacant apartment in downtown Statesville. It was also my 51st birthday. We decided to make our business trip to Statesville a celebration too. The couple loved the 800 sq. ft., two bedroomContinue reading “Who is Red Buffalo?”

Cooking Southern: Love and Culture of Baking Bread

When I look at this picture, I don’t see just a loaf of bread. I see four generations of “microbes” or “bacteria from the hands of my grandchildren, my daughter-in-law, her mother, and her grandmother.

Why Small Southern Towns Are Big

Living in a sleepy little town like Statesville, it’s easy to assume the conflict in the world around us will not find it’s way here. This is a great town. Everyone knows their neighbors, and the community is active and proud of the history and culture of the place they were born and raised. EvenContinue reading “Why Small Southern Towns Are Big”

Tea with Grandma

“If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first.”      If you are lucky enough to have grandchildren, you know this important truth.  Grandchildren bring out the best in you.  When you are in the grandparent zone, you are not concerned about the mammogram on the calendar.  You doContinue reading “Tea with Grandma”