Monthly Archives: April 2022

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Literary Loop

ONE ITALIAN SUMMERThe bestselling author returns with a moving exploration of the powerful bond between mother and daughter, set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone.

To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms — to Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer before meeting Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with going alone.

As soon as she arrives, Katy feels her mother’s spirit. And then Carol appears, healthy and sun-tanned…and 30 years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how. All she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back.

Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her.

Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.

Wednesdays, Big Colors, Chris — Ryan Adams

Listen To This

RYAN ADAMSUnless your name is Prince, releasing three albums of solid new material over the course of a year is a feat that is absolutely crazy by most standards. Not only did singer-songwriter Ryan Adams effortlessly deliver, he surpassed the goal by releasing a double album encore.

With an abundance of inspiration and grit, the first album, Wednesdays, is an acoustic-filled retro-introspective of mellow Americana. With heart on sleeve and tank full of experiential soul, the journey of heartache, triumph and the winding roads in between makes Wednesdays the perfect lazy porch swing soundtrack.

The next release, Big Colors, is a 12-track rock ’n’ roll fantasy wrapped in a nostalgic Bruce Springsteen-meets-Rick Springfield vibe with catchy hooks and warm layers of vibrant wild abandon.

The grand finale in the Adams trifecta is the double album, Chris, an ode to Adams’ older brother who passed away a few years ago. Chris harkens back to the early Adams catalog, and for the diehard fans, there is a hint of his prior band, Whiskey Town, in the mix.

Much like the discographies of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and James Brown, two generations from now will truly reap the benefits of Ryan Adams, but until then, enjoy the firehose of tunes and catch him live.

– Chris Rucker

Joy Ride


Celebrate National Bike Month and kick off National Bike to Work Week with the Kroc to Lock Ride.

If you’re pumped up about spring, then one of the best ways to enjoy the season is with a bike ride along the Augusta Canal towpath with your family, friends and fellow cyclists.

The 10-mile Kroc to Lock Ride on May 15 starts at Kroc Augusta and proceeds to the Savannah Rapids Pavilion headgates in Martinez.

Once riders reach the headgates (or anywhere along the way), it’s time to turn around and head back to the green space at the Kroc for a post-ride picnic. Be sure to have lawn chairs and blankets on hand.

The picnic will include grilled hot dogs (or veggie dogs upon request), cold drinks and Bruster’s Real Ice Cream. Italian ice also will be available as a non-dairy option. Entertainment will feature a live DJ set by Matt the Mod.

The first 200 riders to check-in on event day will receive a free Kroc to Lock commemorative water bottle. In addition, 100% of the net proceeds will benefit the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and future biking-related projects.

While the emphasis is on fun, there are a few rules of the road to follow. Hybrid, cross, gravel, mountain or comfort bikes are recommended for the terrain.

All riders are required to wear a helmet, and bikes should be in good working order. The minimum tire width to safely traverse the trail is 32 millimeters or 1.5 inches.

Cyclists should bring water or sports drinks, snacks, sunscreen and an emergency bike repair kit.

Water stations will be located at the Lake Olmstead Trailhead, the Pump House and Savannah Rapids.

Registration deadline is May 8. No onsite registration will be available.

If You Go:
What: Kroc to Lock Ride

When: noon – 4 p.m. Sunday, May 15

Where: Kroc Augusta, 1833 Broad Street, Augusta

How Much: $35 adults; $15 ages 7 – 12; $10 ages 6 and under (plus signup fees)

More Info:

This is Us


Photos courtesy of SK Designs

A Taste of Beaufort gives festivalgoers a sample of life in the Lowcountry.

It’s hard to find a better way to spend a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon than by gathering at the water’s edge to eat culinary delights, listen to live music and play a variety of lawn games.

And A Taste of Beaufort has had plenty of practice delivering all of these simple pleasures and more. The festival, which typically attracts 8,000 – 10,000 people, has been held for more than 20 years.

Foodie’s Delight
This two-day foodie’s delight is returning to downtown’s Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park on May 6 and 7. Six local restaurants will gather in the grass at the park to cook up some of their best Lowcountry cuisine and showcase what it tastes like to be in Beaufort, S.C.

Festivalgoers can enjoy the aroma of fresh grilled shrimp in the air while savoring local seafood favorites such as shrimp and grits and crab cakes as well as decadent desserts and other Lowcountry cuisine. Each vendor will sell a variety of dishes to highlight their talents. Beer and wine will be sold at two locations in the park as well.

“The food will be a mix of everything you can imagine,” says Andrea Hackenberger, Beaufort’s downtown manager and events coordinator. “It will run from A to Z.”

Admission to the event at Waterfront Park is free, and festivalgoers can purchase tickets for $1 each to use at food and beverage vendor booths. While beverages will cost $3 – $4, the food offerings will range from $3 – $15.

Arts & Entertainment
The festival has more than good food on the menu, however. At an arts and crafts market, vendors will set up tents to sell their wares. An emphasis will be placed on local, handmade items.

Children of all ages also will have lots of fun as this year’s event in the kids’ corner, which will include arts and crafts.

While younger children can get their face painted by local artist and gallery owner Mary Thibault, their older friends and siblings can learn to airbrush with the folks from Coastal Art Supply. This locally owned business operates under the belief that art connects us as humans and as a community.

Guests also are invited to stop by the gallery, which showcases original art, and the art supply company.

Entertainment will include live music throughout the festival as well.

The Friday night show will begin at 7:30 p.m. and star Departure, the popular Journey tribute band from Atlanta. Performing more than 100 shows nationally per year, Departure brings the very best of Journey to audiences of all ages.

Saturday’s lineup will feature local musicians such as rockabilly artist Chris Jones at 11:15 a.m., the Parris Island Marine Band at 12:30 p.m.; vocalist and guitarist Liz Jane, who plays jazz and acoustic folk music, at 1:45 p.m.; and Tricky Lick Blues Band at 3 p.m.

Working Up an Appetite
Of course, festivalgoers should work up an appetite before they arrive, and one way to ensure that they come hungry is to participate in the City of Beaufort’s 2022 Run to the Table 5K Run/Walk.

The event will begin Saturday at 8 a.m. on Bay Street at Newcastle Street. The 5K course is USATF-certified, and the race start/finish line is on Bay Street between the Marina and Best Western.

The run travels through historic downtown Beaufort and across Woods Memorial Bridge and back.

“Before you eat, you have to run,” says Hackenberger.

In a ceremony immediately following the race, the top three overall male and female winners, along with the top three male and female runners in each age group, will receive awards.

If running isn’t on your plate, then the festival will offer games such as cornhole, Connect 4, chess and other yard games.

This year five nonprofit organizations also will be on hand to educate festivalgoers about their work.

“This is who we are,” Hackenberger says. “This is what being part of Beaufort is like.”

If You Go:
What: A Taste of Beaufort

When: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, May 6 and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7

Where: Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort, S.C.

How Much: Free admission; food and beverage tickets $1 each

More Info:

By Morgan Davis

Lay of the Land

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

Country life is second nature for this Leah family of five.

It’s only fitting that a couple who named their Boykin Spaniel “Timber” would build their forever home on 11 acres of land.

Almost three years ago, Aaron and Jenni Murphy moved into their new farmhouse in Leah next door to her parents, who built their house at the same time on 11 adjoining acres.

“I’ve always had a wonderful relationship with my parents,” Jenni says. “My dad found the property, and we always wanted to live in the country.”

The Murphys’ home has everything Jenni, a respiratory therapist who is now a stay-at-home mom, and Aaron, a forester for the Army Corps of Engineers, need to raise their three children, Emmi, 10; Anni, 8; and Jack, 2.

“Living out here is how I grew up,” says Jenni. “We always have a houseful of children, and the kids stay out until dark.”

Character & Timelessness
To build their home, the couple modified a Southern Living house plan called Four Gables, which gets its name from the four identical intersecting gables that form its major roof structure, to meet their needs.

“We added square footage,” Jenni says. “We added an office and made the master bath a lot bigger.”

Southern yellow pine flooring with 10-inch planks, six-panel doors and black window frames accent the entire house. While all of the rooms on the first floor have 10-foot ceilings, the rooms on the second story have 9-foot ceilings. Many of the rooms feature board and batten walls as well.

“I love board and batten because you don’t have to hang pictures on the walls,” Jenni says. “It’s pretty by itself.”

In addition, a black and white color scheme runs throughout the house – except for the ceiling on the front porch that is painted a subtle shade of haint blue.

“My favorite colors are black and white. When we built, I tried to keep it simple,” says Jenni. “I wanted character. I wanted something that was timeless.”

The front porch sets the tone for the black and white décor. Three white rocking chairs occupy one side of the front porch, which also features six white columns. The two larger rockers belonged to Jenni’s grandparents, and the smaller one sandwiched between them once sat on her great-grandmother’s front porch.

“I like to pick things that tell a story and things that I love,” says Jenni. “When I find something I love, I keep it.”

Two black chairs sit on the other side of the porch, and black and white buffalo-check pillows rest in the chairs.

The porch also features five black hanging lantern lights and small floorboards like those of an old farmhouse.

“When we built, we knew we wanted a lot of outdoor space. We sit on the front porch every afternoon, and we like to watch the sun set in the evening,” Jenni says. “There’s always a breeze up here. Always. It’s so quiet here, and we love being able to see the stars at night. There are no other lights around.”

Mixed hanging baskets filled with pink wave petunias and other flowers, along with two oversized ferns on either side of the double front doors, bring pops of color to the porch. Containers filled with colorful flowers line the front steps as well.

The Murphys also planted a one-acre vegetable garden in their front yard.

“Gardening has become a new love for me,” Jenni says. “We try to plant a garden every year. My kids love it. They love to get the corn and shuck it.”

Clean Lines
Through the front doors, black iron railings on the stairs in the hallway deviate from the traditional farmhouse feel.

“I like the clean, black straight lines,” Jenni says. “They give the house more of a contemporary farmhouse look.”

An inset space beneath the staircase was supposed to be a bookcase, but the Murphys had a better idea. They made it into a coffee bar with a sink and an icemaker to keep clutter off of the kitchen countertops.

The area also features black wallpaper, which serves as a dramatic backdrop to the white dishes and canisters on two open shelves. Lemons in a white bowl perched atop a white cake plate add a splash of color.

“There is one space under the stairs that isn’t used,” Jenni says. “Every other space in the house is used.”

The light fixture in the front hall features the unorthodox – but statement-making – combination of a chandelier, chicken wire and a spherical frame.

“I just fell in love with it. I knew I needed to put it somewhere,” says Jenni.

The office off of the hallway features shiplap walls, an antler light fixture and distressed black bookcases. A glass bowl on the desk is filled with arrowheads that they found on the property when the house was under construction.

The main living areas have an open floor plan, but a column connected to beams in the ceiling offers definition between the kitchen, dining area and living room. The column and beams are made of reclaimed wood.

The kitchen features quartzite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a wood range hood, subway tile backsplash, lots of drawer space and a trio of teardrop-shaped glass pendant lights above a large island with a farmhouse sink.

Three open wood shelves and glass-front cabinets, which showcase the silver tea set and china that belonged to Jenni’s grandmother and great-aunt, provide display space.

“We don’t have a dining room, so we did that to have a place to put our china,” says Jenni.

In the adjoining breakfast area, a burlap table runner stretches from end to end of the two-toned table with a stained top and black legs. Two black ladderback chairs with rush seats line each side of the table, and a dough bowl filled with black and white orbs, faux greenery orbs and pink flower blossoms serves as the centerpiece.

Happy Place
Like the breakfast area, the living room features board and batten walls and 10-inch baseboards. A raised-hearth brick wood-burning fireplace with a reclaimed wood mantel is flanked by built-in bookcases, and the room also includes a black industrial ceiling fan. A pair of doors leads to the back porch.

A strand of decorative beads hangs on a portrait of the children on one of the bookshelves. More decorative beads are wrapped on a vase atop a book on the distressed black coffee table. Throw pillows add color to the white couches.

Brick pavers on the laundry room floor are arranged in a chevron pattern in the middle, and the powder room features shiplap walls and a rectangular console sink with a front towel bar.

The enlarged master bath includes a clawfoot tub with a telephone faucet and two vanities with quartzite countertops. Black and white hexagon-shaped tile on the floor and subway tile on the walls accent the walk-in shower.

An orb-shaped chandelier and a pair of black outdoor light fixtures on the wall provide lighting. Two windows high up on the wall across from the vanities pull in natural light as well.

The couple also included built-ins in the walk-in closet off of the master bath. “They free up space in the bedroom,” says Jenni.

She sewed the curtains in the master bedroom, and furnishings include a serpentine chest of drawers, which belonged to Jenni’s great-aunt, and a full-length mirror that leans against one wall.

A door in the master bedroom opens onto their favorite spot in the house – the screened-in back porch.

“This is my happy place,” says Jenni. “The kids have their snacks out here, and the TV swivels. We watch football games and eat dinner on the back porch. This is where we spend a lot of time.”

The back porch features another raised-hearth brick wood-burning fireplace with a reclaimed wood mantel, Southern yellow pine flooring and three ceiling fans. The underside of the metal roof on the house is visible through the exposed beams.

Jenni sewed curtains for the back porch to offer protection from the sun, and hog wire around the screens shields them from children and pets.

“I love the black lines,” Jenni says.

The furniture ranges from a wrought iron table and chairs on one side of the porch to a queen-sized bed on the opposite end.

“A lot of people have a bed swing. We put a queen-sized bed on the porch,” says Jenni. “Aaron and I sleep on the porch sometimes. It’s like camping out at your own house.”

Child’s Play
While Jenni and Aaron have a choice of sleeping quarters, the children’s bedrooms are brimming with personality.

Emmi’s room features black, gold and dusty rose décor. “Pink and gold are her colors,” says Jenni. “She had a room makeover for her birthday last year.”

Furnishings include a canopy bed, a desk featuring black and white vertical stripes on the drawers, and a distressed gray armoire and side table that match the bed on the porch. Jenni coated the frames of the two matching mirrors on the wall with black paint.

White treehouse bunk beds are the focal point of Anni’s room. The animal lover also has a fish tank against one wall, and a chandelier hangs from the cathedral ceiling.

In Jack’s blue and white nursery, the seaside theme includes blue canoe paddles on the wall and a whale-shaped toy basket on the floor. A quilt draped over his crib, where he likes to stand and look outside at the tractor, features blue whales. The frame on the mirror in his room is made of rope.

His bath features hexagon tile on the floor. The girls share a bath that has white subway tile in the shower and blue fish scale tile in the shower niche. Both baths have a console sink with a front towel bar.

“It cuts down on the clutter,” says Jenni. “In the old house we had cabinets under the sink, and everything in them was junk.”

Two built-in bookcases tucked in the board and batten walls of the upstairs hall hold books for the children. They can curl up to read on one of two faux fur unicorn hang-a-round chairs by the windows, where natural light streams into the space.

“When you build a house, it’s like your baby. You put your heart and soul into it,” Jenni says. “I feel like it’s easy when you know what you want, and my husband and I agreed on everything.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Blue Hawaiian Cocktail / Mocktail



  • 1 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce Blue Curaçao liqueur
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce Sprite (optional)
  • 1 cup ice
  • Pineapple wedge
  • Maraschino cherry

Pour rum, curaçao, pineapple juice into a cocktail shaker and shake until combined. Pour over ice in a chilled glass. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 drink.


  • 7 ounces Sprite or 7-Up
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 drop blue food coloring
  • Pineapple wedge
  • Maraschino cherry

Pour Sprite or 7-Up into glass and add pineapple juice. Stir in coconut extract and add 1 small drop of blue food coloring. Stir together until combined. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. Add ice and stir to chill. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Makes 1 drink.

Universal Plumbing

Women In Business

Here is to the strong women.
May we KNOW them. May we BE them. May we RAISE them.

Founded in 1985 by Larry Jones, Universal Plumbing is the largest plumbing company in the Augusta, GA area. We have over 100 years of plumbing experience on our staff and a focus on fast service, quality, and fair pricing. Our employees have been with us for years and are highly skilled professionals.

We service the CSRA, including North Augusta. We charge a small service fee to come out and assess, if the work is performed on the same day the service fee is waived. We offer after-hours emergency service at an overtime rate. Call us today for more information!

2415 Milledgeville Rd, Augusta, GA 30904

Donatella Armstrong Key – Southeastern Residential LLC

Women In Business

Past experience may have laid the foundation for Donatella Armstrong Key’s real estate career, but she is fully present for her clients in every transaction.

Originally from Northern Italy, Donatella owned a home improvement store before she moved to the United States in the late 1990s. Since 2001, however, she has helped her real estate clients sell their houses or find the home of their dreams.

“Houses have always been my passion and my interest, and real estate was a perfect match,” Donatella says. “A knowledge of building materials and home construction is fundamental to selling.”

Although she is an expert in resale homes, land development, commercial real estate, and the local market, her specialty is new home construction. “I like starting from scratch and help someone build and live in their dream home,” Donatella says. “It’s not just what you can envision. It’s also bringing that vision to life. I like projects and development. I like to look at a piece of land and seeing what it could be.”

4024 Washington Rd. Evans, GA
Direct: (706) 627-4815  and Office: (706) 945-0512

Maggie + Mary – TWO MOMS

Women In Business

For Maggie Douglas, spending time with her grandparents in Tennessee, where her grandfather owned a flour mill and her grandmother cooked big family meals, is one of her favorite childhood memories.

“My grandmother would wear her prettiest dress with an apron,” says Maggie.

And ever since Maggie pivoted from a 20-year career as an RN to the owner of Two Moms Kitchen in 2010, she has baked the prettiest cookies you can imagine.

If you’ve attended a local wedding, bridal or baby shower, gender reveal party, corporate outing, gathering for medical professionals, sporting event, school party, church event or any other place people get together, then chances are good that you’ve seen – and better yet, tasted – some of her handmade iced cookies.

Maggie and her daughter, Mary, plus their staff of seven, bake cookies for any occasion because, after all, cookies are appropriate for any occasion. 

2830 Central Avenue | Augusta, GA

Satcher Insurance Services, Inc. – WILLENE J. SATCHER

Women In Business

Willene Satcher, owner of Satcher Insurance Services, Inc. along with her daughter, Alicia Bible, serve customers in Georgia and South Carolina. They have been dedicated to protecting their clients’ families, properties and businesses since 1994.

They carefully select nationally recognized insurance providers to offer clients the best possible protection. The providers include:

• Travelers
• Progressive
• Foremost Insurance Group
• Zurich
• Auto-Owners
• American Strategic Insurance

“The advantage of working with independent agents is that they obtain several quotes from multiple insurance companies to secure the best rates,” Willene says.

Building 1 A | 4210 Columbia Rd | Martinez
(706) 863-0002

Visit our website at :

PAM LIGHTSEY – Jim Courson Realty

Women In Business

What is the key to forming a good relationship with your clients? My mother, who has held a broker’s license since 1976, gave me the best advice I ever received: Make sure to listen to your clients. Many agents “hear” their clients, but they don’t “listen” to them. The key to forming a good relationship with my clients is to find out their end goal and how they would like to get there.
How would you describe the current real estate market? The current market is changing, and we still see multiple offers and intense competitiveness. The anxiety levels are high for buyers and sellers. Buyers are making multiple offers, and being outbid is a reality right now. Sellers have to select from multiple offers. Agents put in long hours, and my job is to keep my clients as calm as possible and to keep them informed through every step of the process. Buying or selling a home should be exciting, not something to dread.

Pam Lightsey – The Professionals at Jim Courson Realty
Licensed in GA and SC
4063 COLUMBIA RD, MARTINEZ, GA | C: (706) 840-2087 or O: (706) 860-3032 |

DONNA GIBBS – Casual Furniture of Augusta

Women In Business

Casual Furniture of Augusta is known for quality outdoor furnishings at affordable prices and impeccable customer service.

“All of our furniture can stay outside year-round, and it is made to last,” says owner Donna Gibbs, who has more than 38 years in the business.

Most of the furniture and accessories she carries — including chaises, sofa groups, dining groups, fire pits, outdoor bars, umbrellas — are made in the USA for sunrooms, porches, patios, decks and pool areas.
3725 Washington Rd
Augusta, GA 30907


Women In Business

Sally Kolar, a fulltime licensed certified-master PPA professional photographer, is known for delivering for her clients. However, she enjoys giving back to her profession as well.

Once again, Sally has been re-elected to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) National Council by her Georgia Professional Photographers Association (GPPA) peers. She also serves statewide as treasurer for the GPPA.

Sally is a proud member of the American Society of Photographers, which only invites those who have achieved a Master Photography Degree to join. In addition, in 2021, she achieved her Service Degree from GPPA. Sally, a former Washington state resident, is still a member of the Professional Photographers of Washington as well. 

4384 River Watch Parkway, Evans, GA 30809 • (706) 513-7290

JESSICA VELEZ – Living Spotless

Women In Business

Jessica Velez likes to stay on the move, and her favorite way to get her daily exercise is by cleaning.

In August 2016, she put her cleaning skills and ingenuity – along with a family tradition – to use and started her own business, Living Spotless Cleaning Services.

• Commercial cleaning/Offices
• Move-in and move-out
• Construction and remodeling clean up
• Weekly, biweekly and monthly services
• One-time deep clean
• Masters Week preparation and daily cleaning
• Property watch

Martinez, GA | 706-305-9100