Author Archives: Kristy Johnson

Tonda Booker Real Estate Team

Resource Guide

Realtor Tonda Booker Specializes in Helping Seniors and Their Families with Real Estate Transactions

From the day she passed the real estate exam, Tonda Booker knew her slogan would be “Your Agent, Your Advocate.”
After all, as a past executive director for a United Way organization and a senior community center, and as a current board member for a local hospice company, she has long-term experience as a community advocate. She also has a passion for seniors and their real estate needs.
“When you are ready to retire, your home could be one of your most valuable assets. Therefore, selling your house at retirement age presents a different set of considerations than when you were younger,” Tonda says. “Whether you’re downsizing, buying in a new community or moving in with family, it takes careful planning to get the most out of your equity.”
Tonda has several recommendations for seniors who want to buy or sell a home. For instance:
Seek Specialized Real Estate Assistance A specialist can guide seniors in making appropriate sales decisions and refer them to other experts as needed.
Know Your Home’s Current Value Seniors, who might be unsure of their long-time home’s current value, should make certain a real estate agent can provide a current comparable market analysis from homes in their neighborhood and zip code so they don’t accept less than their home is worth.
Investigate Incentives and Pitfalls Pensions, IRA accounts, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and estate planning could be impacted by a real estate sale, and seniors who plan to buy a new home in a retirement community could be eligible for perks such as reduced upfront fees and closing-cost assistance.
“As a veteran nurse working in home health and hospice services, I have seen many children who are unprepared for what will happen to their parent’s estate,” says Robin Elliott, RN, BSN. “Families need to discuss their wishes and make plans with a real estate professional such as Tonda and a health care advisor.”
“I can help you prepare your home, gather a list of professional resources, assist with estate sales and provide a comparable market analysis,” Tonda says. “Planning for the future is essential.”

(706) 831-4472

Please visit us at:

Lake Crossing Health Center

Resource Guide

Lake Crossing Health Center is a Medicare & Medicaid certified skilled nursing facility. We are recognized for our rehabilitation programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Our therapy staff provides care to residents recovering from stroke, orthopedic and cardiopulmonary disease. Our care plan team works with each resident, their family and the resident’s personal physician to structure a program that will meet each resident’s personal goals. Our belief that each resident deserves the chance to succeed directs our rehabilitation program.

(706) 541-0462 6698
Washington Rd | Appling, Ga


Harrington Park Health and Rehabilitation

Resource Guide

511 Pleasant Home Road
Augusta, GA 30907  


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Star-Spangled Fun


2019 Local Independence Day Fireworks & Festivities

July 3
Fort Gordon’s Independence Day Celebration
Barton Field
Celebrate the red, white and blue at Fort Gordon’s annual celebration that includes a carnival, food and craft vendors, fireworks show and live music by Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce and Kylie Morgan. Bring blankets and chairs, but no pets, tents or coolers. 5-11 p.m. Admission is free. Food and beverage tickets also are available for presale at the MWR Directorate Office (Building 28320, Lane Avenue) if you want to avoid the lines. Guests 16 and older must present a photo ID at Fort Gordon’s entrance gate. (706) 791-8878,

Freedom Blast
Thomson-McDuffie Government Center Lawn
The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce and the City of Thomson bring Independence Day fun to the front lawn of the government complex. The event includes family games and activities, live music and food and drink vendors that offer barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and more. The Thomson Fire Department will be on hand with its ladder truck, spraying water for kids to play in. 7-10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Bring lawn seating. Coolers are allowed, but no alcohol. Admission is free. (706) 597-1000,

July 4
Boom in the Park
Evans Towne Center Park
Bring chairs, blankets and picnics to Columbia County’s annual Independence Day celebration. Event includes live music by Whiskey Run, free Sparkle Express train rides for the kids, local food vendors and fireworks. 4-10 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Admission is free. No pets, coolers, glass or outside food and drinks. (706) 868-3484.

 Grovetown Fourth of July Barbecue
Liberty Park Community Center
The City of Grovetown’s community-wide picnic features free barbecue sandwiches (while supplies last), craft vendors, food vendors, family activities, live entertainment by David Doane Entertainment and a kiddie fun zone with inflatables and face painting. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (706) 860-7691,

Independence Day Celebration
Augusta Common
Downtown Augusta’s Independence Day Celebration features live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, patriotic merchandise, family activities and children’s play area with inflatables. 4-10 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Bring blankets and chairs but no coolers or pets. Free admission. (706) 821-1754,

July 6
Clarks Hill Lake 4th of July Fireworks
Amity Recreation Area
Community group Friends of Clarks Hill Lake presents a fireworks show for boaters and onlookers from shore. Best viewing areas on land are from Amity Recreation Area and Raysville Marina. Free. 9 p.m. Bring seating and picnics.

Independence Day Celebration Fireworks and Boat Parade
Plum Branch Yacht Club
Celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic boat parade, food, games, live entertainment and fireworks over the lake. The boat parade kicks things off at 12:30 p.m., and festivities continue until 10 p.m. To enter a boat (there is no entry fee), pre-register with Commander Dave Kelley at (864) 391-8173 or Prizes are awarded for first, second and third place winners, so be creative and decorate with a patriotic theme that includes costumes for the crew. Barbecue plates will be sold for $8 each at the Pavilion at Plum Branch Yacht Club from noon to 4 p.m., and the Lakeside Grill will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Games and entertainment for children of all ages will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. near the Pavilion. Fireworks begin at dark. For more details, contact the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce at (864) 852-2835, the Plum Branch Yacht Club at (864) 443-3000 or the Lakeside Grill at (864) 443-3004.,

July 7
Independence Day Festive Service & Potluck BBQ
Saint Paul’s Church
Music director Keith Shafer presents a patriotic worship service at 11 a.m. that includes a brass quintet, percussionists and soloist Russell Joel Brown. A potluck barbecue will be held afterward in Saint Paul’s River and Berlin rooms at 6th and Reynolds at the Riverwalk. For more information, visit or call (706) 724-2485.

Edible Flower Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 ounce ricotta salata cheese
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons honey
    1 teaspoon poppy seeds
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3-4 cups mixed salad greens
    12 nasturtium flowers (taste slightly peppery)
    16 borage blossoms (taste like cucumber)

Shave ricotta salata cheese into strips with a vegetable peeler; set aside. Place olive oil, lemon juice, honey, poppy seeds and salt in a small jar. Cover jar and shake vigorously to combine. Place mixed greens in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Sprinkle with ricotta salata and top with nasturtium and borage flowers. Makes 4 salads.

Affinis Hospice

Resource Guide

Your Local Non-Profit Hospice Care Provider

At Affinis Hospice, comfort, care and support of patients with life limiting conditions and their families is the foundation of our personalized approach to health care. We understand the challenges patients and their families face in this journey, and our team of dedicated clinical and support staff will be along to help you every step of the way.

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Brookdale Senior Living

Resource Guide

In the right setting lifelong passions can become daily joys. That’s why it’s so important to find a home that helps you focus on doing what matters most. Whether that’s volunteering for a great cause or sharing a cup of coffee with a good friend, we give you the freedom to accomplish what’s important, not just what’s necessary. Whatever you’re inspired by, we can help you make

326 Boy Scout Road
Augusta, GA 30909

(706) 738-6003

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Take Two

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

Whether serving as a movie set or a place to showcase local artists’ work, a West Lake home has a leading role in the life of this family

Some houses are so beautiful that they ought to be in the movies. Like the West Lake home of Dagni and John Frederick, for instance. Scenes from the movie, Saving Zoë, which will be released July 12 and stars sisters Laura and Vanessa Marano, were filmed at the Fredericks’ Mediterranean-style house two years ago.

“It was fun to see how a film was made,” says Dagni. “They set up one day and filmed all the next day.”

The master bedroom served as the wardrobe room and a hangout for cast members, and the vanity area in the master bath became hair and makeup central. Other parts of the residence, such as the backyard pool, will appear on screen.

However, the house doesn’t have to have a cameo appearance in a film to look picture perfect. Outside of those two days of movie making, the Fredericks have spent the rest of their nearly three years in the house making it into a home for themselves and their two young sons, Reiter, 4, and Cameron, 3.

Clear Vision
Just as their home fit into Hollywood’s vision for the film, the Fredericks, who also lived in West Lake before they moved into this house, had a vision for it as well.

“We drove by the house every day, and we were always intrigued by the house and the property,” says John. “The house was adjacent to a greenspace, and we thought the property had real potential. We had a vision for it. We had talked about it. I don’t know why.”

As it turns out, though, those hypothetical conversations were prescient. Because one day they saw a “for sale” sign in the yard. Needless to say, the house was not on the market for long. (Neither was the Fredericks’ previous house, which is similar in style, but smaller, than their new home. In fact, they “swapped” houses with the prior owner of their new house, who moved into their former residence.)

One of the first orders of business when they moved in was to clear more of the 2.3-acre lot and add landscaping.

“When we looked at the property, we knew what we could do outside. We’re outdoor people, and we wanted to make it as comfortable and as usable as possible,” Dagni says. “We don’t feel like we’re in the city. We’re constantly finding turtles and taking them back to the creek.

They made part of the cleared property into a greenspace, and new landscaping in the backyard included a palm tree and azaleas that were transplanted from the front yard. By removing all of the pine trees except one, the afternoon sun fills the property with light.

“The yard has gotten to be low-maintenance,” says Dagni. “We have to pick up limbs in the greenspace, but it takes us less than an hour.”

In the backyard, they extended the pool area, gutted the previous pool and replaced it with a gunite pool surrounded by salt-pitted concrete decking. The pool includes an umbrella in the water on the steps, waterfalls and two fire bowls on either side of a sunk-in hot tub. Containers full of plants add color to the deck area as well. Dagni also has a hydroponics tower garden where she grows green onions, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

“I have a love for plants. I find them very calming,” she says. “I swap plants with my mother in Arkansas.”

They also built a covered outdoor kitchen, which includes a stone base and granite countertops, and a connecting covered sitting area, where two ceiling fans, heaters and a fireplace let the Fredericks use the space year-round.

“We have breakfast out here. We use this space all the time,” Dagni says. “We sit outside and have coffee, enjoy nature and the birds, and grill outside at night.”

Behind the pool house, they added a play area for their sons and built a fire pit out of boulders. “We wanted to use boulders for the fire pit to incorporate the look in the front yard,” says Dagni.

The fire pit is surrounded by cedar Adirondack chairs and a stand-alone porch swing on a flagstone surface.

An open-ended covered porch, which is connected to the house, features columns, natural stone flooring, outdoor furnishings, a fire pit table, three tropical ceiling fans and a rack to hang colorful beach towels.

Neutral Colors, Natural Light
Double doors from the covered porch lead into the living room, where full-length and arched windows offer a view of the pool and bring in natural light.

The Fredericks added a raised-hearth, stone fireplace, which extends to the top of the two-story coffered ceiling, in the living room. Serving as a focal point, the fireplace includes a mantel of reclaimed barn wood. Built-in bookcases, which are painted black and include lighting, sit on each side of the gas fireplace.

An upstairs catwalk overlooks the room, and a wet bar is tucked in the space beneath the stairs. The arched entries from the hallway include four columns.

“Every room had columns,” says Dagni. “We removed 16 columns, and it really opened up the space.”

John and Dagni, a member of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art board of trustees, love art, and a large colorful painting by Lakota Phillips hangs on the wall across from the fireplace. In fact, their home is full of pieces by local artists such as Lillie Morris, Lucy Weigle, Ann LeMay, Linda Hardy, Lola Streett and Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman.

“We like neutral walls and then bring out color with artwork,” says Dagni.

The foyer features a medallion inlay in the natural stone flooring, which the Fredericks used to replace the original marble floors in the house. They put UV protection on all of the windows to protect the flooring and to make the home more energy efficient.

Unlike their first house in West Lake, their current home includes a formal dining room that has a curved wall, wainscoting, hardwood flooring and arched entryways.

A pair of china cabinets holds pieces of the Fredericks’ china pattern as well as china that belonged to both of Dagni’s great-grandmothers.

Matching decorative bowls of different sizes hang in an irregular pattern on the wall between the china cabinets, and each of the bowls features a pair of LED votive candles.

“I didn’t want a picture on the dining room wall,” Dagni says.

Across the foyer from the dining room, the billiards room also features a curved wall, wainscoting, hardwood flooring and arched entries. The pool table, which belonged to the previous owner, sits beneath a light fixture that John gave to Dagni as an anniversary gift one year.

“John is the pool player, but I can give him a run for his money at darts,” Dagni says. “The boys just roll the balls across the table.”

In the dining room and billiards room, they put up half-rods so the window treatments wouldn’t extend across the walls. “It provides a lot of natural light,” says Dagni.

Making It Their Own
They painted the kitchen a neutral color to make it lighter, and the room also features natural stone flooring, granite countertops, a tile backsplash, a walk-in pantry, lots of drawer space, stainless steel appliances, a TV above the refrigerator and three pendant lights above the island.

Two sides of the island, which has a light-colored granite countertop, are painted black. The perimeter cabinets have an Old World finish and black countertops.

The adjoining breakfast area features a bay window that overlooks the pool.

Another bay window in the sitting area of the master bedroom – one of Dagni’s and John’s favorite spots to relax – adds symmetry to the back of the house. A curved couch is nestled in the window, and a ceiling fan cools the space.

The Fredericks removed built-ins from the master bedroom to open up the space, but arched built-in bookcases featuring white shelves and black walls, occupy either side of the gas fireplace with a natural stone surround.

The room also features hardwood flooring and a trey ceiling.

A restored antique cedar trunk, filled with artwork by the boys and other keepsakes, rests at the foot of the bed. A painting of President John Tyler, which indicates that the trunk was built during his 1841 – 45 presidency, can be found on the inside lid of the trunk.

“The lock is the only thing that has been replaced,” says Dagni.

The trunk, which came from an online company, was another anniversary gift from John to Dagni. “He always thinks outside the box when it comes to gifts,” she says.

When it comes to gift-giving, Dagni does pretty well herself. She gave John a watercolor of Riverwalk by LouAnn Zimmerman, displayed in one of the bookcases, as an anniversary gift one year. Riverwalk is meaningful to them because that’s where they made the decision to move to the area.

The adjoining master bath features natural stone flooring, a walk-in shower with natural stone, a trey ceiling, a jetted tub with natural stone surround, granite countertops, a cushioned built-in seat and a framed mirror. In another personal touch, they also created office space in the walk-in closet off the master bath.

“This is everything that we want,” Dagni says of the house. “I think we finally feel like we’ve made it our own.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Pimento Cheese?


Have an appetite for baseball? Then sandwich in these two special nights with the GreenJackets into your summer schedule.

Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament are known for their pimento cheese. For two nights in August, the Augusta GreenJackets also will be known for their pimento cheese — on their uniforms. Yes, the Augusta GreenJackets will compete as the Augusta Pimento Cheese.

The team will sport its new uniform against the Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) on Friday, August 2 and on Saturday, August 3 against the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers).

“We knew that if we wanted to represent the CSRA in a food-related promotion that pimento cheese was the only way to go,” says General Manager Brandon Greene.

The two-night-only re-brand features a Pimento Cheese logo and custom Pimento Cheese uniforms. Pimento Cheese merchandise, which includes baseball caps, T-shirts and more, is available at the Hive Pro Shop and online at

Game nights will offer different pimento cheese food selections and pimento cheese-based, in-game promotions. On Saturday the GreenJackets will hold a Pimento Cheese player jersey auction, and proceeds will benefit Walton Options for Independent Living.

Fans are encouraged to share their Pimento Cheese merchandise on social media using #AUGPimentoCheese for a chance to be highlighted on the videoboard during the Pimento Cheese weekend. They also can be entered to win a Pimento Cheese prize pack, which includes four tickets to one of the Pimento Cheese games.


Don’t Miss the Boat


Augusta University art professor Brian Rust isn’t afraid to rock the boat. He recently created a 50-foot-long granite sculpture, Stone Boat, at Augusta Canal National Heritage Area’s Mill Village Trailhead behind the Kroc Center. The Augusta Canal Authority chose Rust’s boat concept from more than two dozen submissions. Inspired by Petersburg boats, he sculpted the large-scale, site-specific, interactive piece out of granite curbstones along the canal that once lined the streets of Augusta.

“I like working with materials that have a history to them,” says Rust. “And I like working with logs or stone or something that has some sort of other purpose, so this was perfect.”

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Literary Loop

Memory makes reality. That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome — a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Inexplicably, friends and family of the afflicted also remember portions of the false lives.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease — a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them? 

“Cutting-edge science drives this intelligent, mind-bending thriller,” says Publishers Weekly. “Michael Crichton’s fans won’t want to miss this one.”

Titans of Tomatoes


Vine-ripened, sun-warmed and ready to burst. Is there anything better than a juicy red tomato in the summertime? Well, how about a whole bunch of juicy red tomatoes, featured in a variety of delicious dishes and drinks, together all in the same place?

Photography by Erik Meadows

All Things Tomato
The 11th annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival is the perfect event for anyone who loves all things tomato. Founded by chef Ford Fry, who has 16 restaurants in Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston – plus four restaurants that are set to debut in Nashville this year – the festival will showcase the creativity of about 70 top chefs and mixologists from Georgia and Alabama. These tomato titans are teaming up with dozens of farmers to create tasty tomato concoctions.

The indoor-outdoor festival will be held 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14 where it all started – JCT. Kitchen & Bar in the Westside Provisions District of Atlanta.

Every participating restaurant will purchase tomatoes from local farmers to make their dishes or drinks for the festival. Last year they used almost 250,000 tomatoes to create new and innovative tomato-based bites and cocktails such as tomato jam doughnuts, BLT tostadas, tomato tartare and roasted tomato tacos.

The culinary lineup for this year’s festival includes chefs Todd Ginsburg of The General Muir, Michael Burtozzi of Bully Boy, Ron Hsu of Lazy Better and Josh Coker of the Optimist as well as mixologists Josh Washburn of Gunshow and Daniel Keith of Tiny Lous.

Silly, Fun & Light-Hearted
In addition to tantalizing tomato creations, the event will feature ’80s music from The Spazmatics and Fry’s chef band, the Foo’d Fighters. The Spazmatics will take the stage with a live, must-see Revenge of the Nerds-inspired performance. A live auction will feature various prizes including a private dinner by chef Fry.

The festival got its start after a conversation between Fry and local farmers, who mentioned that they were losing money because they had a surplus of tomatoes. Fry decided to buy all of the extra tomatoes and throw a party with local chefs and mixologists to support the farmers.

“In the summer, tomatoes grow in abundance in Georgia,” says Shireen Herrington director of events. “Ford wanted to help the farmers with their surplus of product in a fun way that would also help give back to the farmer community.”

The name of the festival came from the film, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, in which a group of scientists banded together to save the world from mutated killer tomatoes. And the festival is carried out in the spirit of the movie. After all, there are lots of serious events for serious foodies, but Fry wanted this festival to be silly, fun and light-hearted.

VIP tickets include access to the festival an hour before it begins, a Meet and Greet with Fry, a VIP lounge with exclusive chefs and mixologists, specialty beer and wine, luxury restrooms and a swag bag. Ford Fry’s Tex-Mex Cookbook Package offers all of the VIP perks, plus an autographed cookbook. VIP and Cookbook Package tickets are available in advance only.

All proceeds from the festival are donated to Georgia Organics, a nonprofit organization that helps farmers thrive, fosters educational farm-to-school programs, and makes organic and local food accessible to Georgia families.

Organizers hope that the event gives festivalgoers “an appreciation for local farmers and tomatoes, as well as a fun time with good music and great food and drinks,” says spokeswoman Stephanie Ackerstein.

If You Go:
What: Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

When: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14

Where: JCT. Kitchen & Bar, 1198 Howell Mill Road, in Atlanta’s Westside Provisions District

How Much: $75 general admission; $175 VIP ticket; $205 Ford Fry’s Tex-Mex Cookbook Package

More Info:


By Morgan Davis

Renegade — Dylan LeBlanc

Listen To This

Singer songwriter Dylan LeBlanc is 29 years old and four records into a lush career that takes most artists 29 years to achieve. LeBlanc, who channels a style and groove reminiscent of a heyday Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac love child, made a significant splash on the Americana scene in 2016 with his buttery-glider record, Cautionary Tale. He has perfectly matured this sound on his latest release, Renegade.

Gathering experiences from being a rebellious and displaced post-Hurricane Katrina adolescent from Shreveport, Louisiana, Leblanc has filtered the torrents of a wayward existence into a pure and concentrated formula of sonic genius.

Renegade is a compact 37-minute stream of swirling, jangle-strum tones and perfectly layered vocals that blanket powerful grooves with the primitive hums of a live session. Find a front porch, rocking chair, hand fan and ice-cold glass of your favorite libation to best absorb this album. Each pass richer than the last. File under: Hot Summer Night Jams.

– Chris Rucker

On the Trail


Officials break ground on a multi-use greenway system
Construction is underway on phase I of the Euchee Creek Greenway, a 4.3-mile trail that will connect Canterbury Farms with Patriots Park. The Greenway is a series of off-street bikeways, walkways and trails that will connect neighborhoods, parks, schools and communities across the county and the region.

Funding for the design and construction of phase I is part of the general obligation bond that was approved by voters in 2016. Construction is expected to take a year to complete.

“The second phase will have to be based on funding. Hopefully, we can put it in T-SPLOST,” Doug Duncan, chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, said at a groundbreaking ceremony in June.

Upon completion, the multi-phase project will cover 26.5 miles from the city of Grovetown to the south to the Savannah River to the north. Depending on the topography of the area, trail types will include shared-use paths, sidewalks, boardwalks and bridges. The multi-use path will travel through native wetlands, lowland forests, rolling hills and along creek banks where users can experience the various ecosystems and natural resources of Columbia County.

In addition, the Greenway will improve connections between neighborhoods such as Riverwood Plantation, Villages of Greenbrier, Bartram Trail and Knob Hill. The system ultimately will feature public art, environmental education opportunities, wayfinding signs and on-trail amenities as well.

For more information visit