Review Category : Contributors

Remember when

By Lee Scott

It is fun as you grow older to recall things that happened in the past. Those amusement parks you went to with a sibling or a friend or the vacation you took with your family. All those childhood experiences that happened or at least your memory’s version of what happened.

Sitting around with my siblings recently and reminiscing, I found it was amazing to discover their version of the same event. “No, they say, Jean was not there. That was Martha.” I laugh when this happens because my father used to ask us as we grew older, “What was your recollection of an event?” He understood that because we were at different ages and stages of our lives that our perspectives of past events might be different. He loved to hear the eight different memories.

My oldest sister was six months shy of graduating from high school and off to college when our youngest brother was born. Their memories of the family are so different and their perspective of family gatherings were totally opposite since she was already an adult while he was still in the sandbox.

Recently, I wrote a piece about the houseboat, The Biofore, that was brought to land and used as a summer rental by our family and sent it out to family members. My siblings and cousins all had their own memories of the place, some correct and some not, but it did not matter. They were all good memories.

Now I find that it is interesting that when pulling from memories of being four years old, I find that the specifics of the events do not really matter. It is the sentiment. My grandfather used to take me, my brother (one year older) and my little sister (two years younger) to a little candy shop when we would visit. He would buy us candy cigarettes, candy necklaces and some other equally heavily laden sugar products. He would act surprised that I was smoking and suggest that maybe I should kick the habit. He would tell my sister how beautiful she looked in her candy necklace and shake his head at my brother as he sucked down the flavored juice out of a wax figure and then chewed the wax. Whether that memory is exactly as I have presented, does not matter. At some point, I went to the candy store with Grandpa. At some point I was with Sandy and Allison in a candy store and at some point, I thought I was really cool smoking those candy cigarettes. It is my memory.

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June is Cataract Awareness Month!

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has declared June as Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of treatable vision loss in the United States, and it is the leading cause of blindness in the world. There are 24 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts, so it seems fitting that an entire month should be dedicated to education and awareness.

In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, here are some common questions and answers about cataracts:

What is the treatment for cataracts? Even though cataracts are so prevalent, they are very successfully treated. Cataracts are a clouding of the human lens inside the eye, which prevents passage of light into the back part of the eye. The solution to cataracts is cataract surgery, which requires a surgeon to remove the deteriorated lens and replace it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL. Over 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually, making it one of the most common surgeries in the United States. In fact, the entire surgery lasts only about 20 minutes, and most people can resume normal activities after surgery fairly rapidly.

Is cataract removal safe? Cataract surgery is a twenty-minute miracle! Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries with a success rate well over 95 percent. Your eye surgeon will remove your clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL). Only a micro incision in the cornea is necessary to do this procedure, and it can be completed in about 20 minutes in an outpatient surgery center. We currently use phacoemulsification, an ultrasonic process that breaks up or emulsifies the cloudy lens and then vacuums it out. We currently have a wide variety of vision improving IOL’s that patients may choose to reduce their dependence upon eyeglasses, thereby improving their lifestyle.

Do cataracts only affect seniors? Cataracts can affect anyone! Although most people do not show symptoms of cataracts until at least the age of 40, cataracts can also affect young adults or even children. Heredity, disease, eye injury and smoking may cause cataracts to develop at an earlier age.

Can I prevent cataracts? There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, choosing a healthy lifestyle can slow the progression of cataracts. Some ways to delay the progression of cataracts include avoiding smoking, reducing exposure to UV rays, eating healthy foods, and wearing proper eye protection to avoid eye injury.

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The art of being present

By Barbara Alexander

Today I was reminded again of the utmost importance of a well balanced self-care ritual.

In this instance, I am referencing the part of self-care that is focused on your emotional well-being. Just think about this for a moment… What do you do to find inner stability and balance?

Here is how the typical day unfolds. You wake up and within seconds your mind begins to race with all the things that need to get done that day. Sound familiar? Have you ever caught yourself reaching for the cell phone to check Facebook, messages or even email before you get out of bed?

Some of us think we already have a daily self-care routine. We exercise, try to eat right, cut back on sitting for too long… these things are for the body but what about your emotional self care? Is your mind just running amuck during your exercise and better eating habits?

An emotional self-care routine helps you to ground and stabilize your personal energy. The most powerful way I have found to do this is through focusing each day for 15 minutes and actively opening the lines of communication between you and the Divine.

One of the key things I noted was the limiting belief that we are in this all alone. Many times we try to do EVERYTHING ourselves, we figure it out, organize it and make it happen. But what if there was something far greater that we could be tapping into? We can choose to do it all on our own – or we take steps to align with a Divine support system and ask for help.

Let’s get back to your emotionally intelligent self care. Imagine that you have a savings account made up of past thoughts of appreciation and joy. These good emotions, over time, fortify your strength of well-being and in times of need, when life gets too hectic or emotionally unbalanced; your well-being account comes into play.

But I have one more point that we often forget in our times of imbalance and stress. I always remember to ask for help.

Most of us know what it feels like to ask the Divine for help in difficult situations but how about including that in your daily routine? What if you asked each morning that in every situation you encounter today, the Divine support you and work through you in all that you do or don’t get done?

But here is the caveat: after you have asked, you must trust, have faith, believe… and then let go of any attachment to the specific outcome. After all, between you and the Divine, who has the greater vision???

Are you willing to do that? Completely? Go ahead, take a deep breath, and embrace and expand your own daily self-care. Take 15 minutes each day, BEFORE you think of all that you have to get done. Take the time to feel genuine appreciation for something – anything will work (sunshine, your pet, air that you breathe…). Try it for 30 days and I promise you that you will feel the difference all the way to your Soul.

Barbara Alexander, mentor and life coach, is founder and director of The Sacred You Academy of Epona Ridge, a place for advanced human development through equine experiential programs. Programs for The Sacred You are located near Beaufort, SC and in Asheville, NC. www.SacredYouAcademy.com

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The heat is ON!

By Susan Stone

We were so fortunate this year to have an extended spring season with temps remaining below 90 and the humidity below 90%…that time has passed…the heat is on!

Whitefly on a Gardenia leaf

Whitefly on a Gardenia leaf

Hot dry weather brings us spiders, humid weather brings us fungus, rainy weather brings rot and molds. The aphids have arrived and the whitefly is left over from last year! Ahhhhhhh! It feels like enemies at every turn! Don’t despair…go with the rhythm. Water early in the day to avoid problems with fungus in the first place. Wet leaves and warm nights are breeding grounds for fungi to get a foothold. But it’s nothing that a little garlic juice and dish soap can’t handle. Put a few drops of each into a spray bottle with water and you have an inexpensive, very effective tool against sooty mold and other fungi.

The aphids are laying eggs right now…and lots of them! If you catch them on your roses and mandevillas early, you can eradicate them quickly with a few drops of dish soap and water. Re-check them every few days to get the new eggs.

Aphids on a rose

Aphids on a rose

The trick to controlling pests and disease is to inspect often and treat early and consistently. The time of day you treat is critical. Depending on your sun exposure, spray soaps and oil mixtures and rubbing alcohol when the plants will not get direct sun for several hours. For you it may be early morning, but for others it may be early evening. Just make sure the plants have time to dry before sundown.

June is the month you will want to prune your fruit trees, winter/spring flowering shrubs including azaleas; you have until the first of July to prune azaleas before they set their buds for next spring’s show. If you shear them year after year, you will encourage growth only at the top and eventually there will be no foliage in the middle. I recommend hand pruning instead, removing dead wood as you go. You can find proper pruning tips for your specific varieties by going to www.clemson.edu.com.

Please send your gardening wisdom and questions to susan@outdoorarchitecture.com if you are asking about a particular disease or pest; please include a photo if possible.

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Uh oh!

By Lee Scott

Recently I was at the gym when a friend looked at my arm and said very seriously, “Where did you get that bruise?”

I looked at my arm and saw the large bruise blossoming from my elbow to my wrist and although I recalled how I got it, I was hesitant about telling her because I was a bit embarrassed. Then I realized she would have thought worse, so I had to tell her the story.

“Well,” I explained, “I was walking my dogs at a Flying J service station and my husband stepped out of our 24 foot RV, shut the door and then said, “Uh, oh.” “Uh oh.” I replied. “What’s wrong?” “The keys are in the van.” He said.

“Uh oh!” I responded.

Now we were about 500 miles from our home and we had no spare key on us. Even if we had one it would have probably been in my purse which was also sitting in the van. As we stood there looking at the RV, I noticed that one of the back windows was open a little bit. He was very pleased because it turned out that it was an emergency exit window and it could be lifted up once he got the screen opened and the latches undone.

He looked at me and said, “Come here. I will give you a boost.” “Really!” I said but knew that it was me going through that window or we were going to have to pay for a locksmith.

He stood there with his hands locked together so I could step on them and he gave me a boost up. After one attempt up I could not reach the window.

He then noticed a ladder leaning up on the side of the building near us so he grabbed it and put it under the window. I proceeded to climb the ladder and then climbed through the window. Unfortunately, as I went over, I got my left arm caught on one of the emergency latches and bruised my elbow on the way down to the couch below. Nothing serious, but as I stuck my head out of the window I said, “Nevermore, dear.”

I keep forgetting that I am not 25 or even 45. The time for climbing in and out of windows is probably past. But a certain side of me was so proud of the fact that not only I could do it but I did do it.

As my friend listened to my story she started to laugh and said.

“Somewhere out in the Internet is a video on You Tube or Facebook of you climbing in through that RV window. I would love to see it.” “Uh oh!” I replied.

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My pride and my itch were left in the salty surrender

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

In the deep south we grow up romanticizing the less than delectable circumstance of which we are presented. Our words are chosen carefully when speaking of matters steeped in discomfort or disdain. Any self- proclaimed southern Shakespeare will agree, a rose by any other name is, of course, a weed.

Anything not shiny and absent of prior use is obviously vintage, an argument is always a discussion and a farm is more aptly named a plantation. It is highly unusual for an undesirable event, circumstance and/or object to be plainly named; however, even southerners have a limit. Like an unwelcome storm, an unwanted lecture or an unswept front porch, Chiggers are just Chiggers. Unlike their cousin the no-see-um, Chiggers are void of any poetic justice. We don’t bother dressing up their title or dressing down their menace. Chiggers are an unfortunate reality to an otherwise enchanting existence.

As a southerner, it is understood not all ordinary occurrences are possible, such as a quick trip to the local grocery store or a summer without an itch. Making allowance for specific discomforts in exchange for certain delight is our specialty. The summer’s first sunburn is seen almost as a right- of- passage for a culture of tanned, toned and tastefully exposed skin. Small talk, regardless of how mind-numbingly mundane, is a small price to pay for keeping one’s social standing and avoiding the feared fall from acceptable social graces. Chiggers are our equalizer with the rest of the world. How else would the south keep her towns so beautifully small? If our summers were without Chiggers, we would be without balance for all the blessings blindly bestowed below the Mason Dixon.

Akin to parking tickets and bad hair days, it was simply my turn. Enjoying the fruits of my laboring actuality, I soaked up the sun and the sweetness that is slow southern afternoons. Cautiously abiding by all the summer rules, my guard was down and my sleeves were up. Frolicking from flowerbed to flowerbed, fence to friendly fence, paying no mind to the evil that lurks. Confidently I applied sunscreen; fervently I hydrated and with decided dedication I broke in this year’s flip flops. The trifecta of summer preparations seemed complete. Pride cometh before the fall and Chiggers before the itch. Less than 24 hours later, my body had become a battlefield of bumps burdened by an unbearable itch. Concerned and confused, I Googled it. How could I have been so naive? I had been viciously attacked by the bane of my southern existence.

Logic fell victim as quickly as appropriate clothing immediately followed by an onslaught of home remedies that although had no scientific grounds, seemed awfully attractive when compared to the alternative. Nail polish, vinegar, bleach and an obscene amount of Epsom salt, did nothing but make me a colorful, mobile, disinfected being with a ravenous itch. Wallowing in a calamine haze of self- pity and summer loathing, I did what any proud southerner would do. We are a strong, defiant, capable population that historically refuses to fall prey to even the most formidable of adversary. Facing my reality, I put aside the Benedryl and I did what needed to be done.

With eyes focused straight ahead, doubts comfortably set aside and leaving a wake of collapsed clothing behind me, I jumped in the Morgan River. Appropriate is a subjective term. Could have been the healing waters, the liberating dip in the skinny or maybe the less than warm temperatures of the depths of despair, but a few laps and some strategically placed Pluff Mud afforded more relief than any pharmaceutical could employ. Our comfort and our chaos comes from within. We have all that we need to rise above all that we have that bring us down. It is in our blood, in our up- bringing and in our rivers to heal all that hides in our midst. Triumphant yet unattractive was my rise from the waters. My pride and my itch were left in the salty surrender. God Bless the South.

Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, Celadon Real Estate Broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.

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Will our memories fade to gray?

By Brittney Hiller

I want the romanticism of my childhood. The moments where I stood out overlooking the houses, the canyons, and the ocean from the park I would often visit as I grew up. Southern California has a romantic feel to it in itself, yet I can turn the memories I have to make it much more fanciful.

One day, as if written from a Nicholas Sparks novel, this happened – I was a mere kindergartener and yet, already life was showing me romance did indeed exist.

He showed up on a bike and he was my age – I’d never met him, yet I believe I had seen him at school. He made his way up the hill, bike and all to stand next to me. He placed his arm around my shoulders gently and we gazed at the sun as it was beginning to set off in the distance. With the light hitting just perfectly, we could see our school as he softly pointed out. Just past that we could see the ocean. I don’t know the details of conversation, but I know it ended with a gentle hug and a soft kiss to my cheek.

Oh, how I wanted to see him again.

In that brief moment I experienced romance, longing, and joy. In that moment I didn’t know what I was actually experiencing, but I knew it was nice and I felt special.

In the days before texting and inappropriately aged children having cell phones; I was on my own. Living with a mind full of imagination.

What if I see him again? I hoped.

With this wild imagination I continued to visit the spot where he met me, hoping to re-live that very moment.

It never happened again.

To this day I find myself looking to recreate these moments, often having to be the sole provider of them to other people. Almost as if I am gifting to them the moments of spontaneous romance I long for – just so I can experience it somehow.

It’s moments like this I wonder… Will my younger sisters ever experience such a memory? I ask this because our society has turned ‘nose down to device’, often missing out on the simple moments that were created once when we had the pleasure of chatting face to face. Back in the time, which was a mere decade ago, if you wanted to “like” something, you had to stop and verbally express your interest. It was a time that if you wanted to “poke” someone, you had to use your index finger to their shoulder and in turn receive the gift of their immediate reaction and endure the pain of a slap to the shoulder or the joy of a boisterous laugh from their face.

I wonder if those that are a decade younger than I will experience these moments the same way. I wonder if they will experience the beauty of longing and creativity our mind creates as we imagine ourselves bumping into that one person – the person who randomly stopped to say hello and shared with you the beauty of the sunset.

I wonder…

Brittney Hiller is known as one of the happiest Yogini’s – she has practiced yoga for over a decade and can be found at every yoga studio in Beaufort. Find out more information on her at www.brittneyhilleryoga.com.

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Great inventions

By Lee Scott

Looking around our environment one cannot help but notice all the wonderful inventions that have been developed over the past one hundred and fifty years. An important one that comes to mind right now as the summer heat approaches is our air conditioning systems. We can thank Willis Carrier who is credited for developing modern air conditioning. Of course, where would we be with out the electricity to power those air conditioners? It was Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla that ultimately got the credit for transmitting electricity to our homes.

Yes, there are a host of inventions that help improve our quality of life like refrigerators, ovens and cars. But one of my personal favorite inventions that have made my life easier is the Post- it notes. Developed by 3-M, it has morphed into a world wide product. Come on, don’t deny it. You use the Post-it notes too. I see them on the dashboards of cars sitting in parking lots. Little yellow squares pasted on the windshield with reminders, “Pick up kids at school” or “Drop off a dozen cupcakes before work” or my favorite “Get your prescription”. We use them because we are busy and they can be attached anywhere.

I confess to listing chores and posting them at various spots throughout the house. “Grocery store” says the one on my refrigerator. “Fuel” says the one staring up at me on the steering wheel of my car. I know, the car has that little fuel tank with a warning sign saying I am getting low on fuel. But when you have a diesel car it means you can still drive another few days.

Ask busy sales people who spend their days in a car and they will tell you that the Post-it notes cover their dash boards too. Even though the new smart phones can take notes, that service might not be too reliable when the battery runs out. Of course, then you have to use a Post-it note on the phone – “Charge me”. I suppose that someone might argue that things like vaccinations against diseases are more important than a Post-it note, but if you do not have a reminder to get the vaccination, then you are out of luck.

My daughter recently presented me with a scrapbook of pictures, letters and poetry from when she was growing up. There in the scrapbook were pages filled with Post-it notes that I had put in her lunch bags. “I love you.” “Hang in there.” “I’m still your friend.” Words that she needed in the middle of the day. Little yellow squares with words of love and encouragement.

So say what you may about the greatest inventions like dishwashers, micro-waves and lawnmowers; yes, they make our lives easier. But the Post-it notes are the things that keep us moving.

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A rising dollar environment

We wanted to spend some time on the US Dollar — to provide you with an updated view both short term and longer term on its technical picture, and the implications of its historical price movements. We find now is a very important time to delve into the behavior of the “greenback,” as it has very much been in the news.

Charles Tumlin

Charles Tumlin

The US Dollar has been newsworthy so far in 2015, as it has posted an eye-popping gain, taking it to levels not seen since September 2003, or 11 1/2 years. This bullish story for the dollar has been going on since May 2011, as it has been in a “rising dollar environment” since May 4th, 2011, making it now the longest rising dollar environment since we’ve been tracking this currency.

Relative Strength has helped to keep us invested where the potential for strength is. Historically, US Equities, and Small- and Mid-Cap stocks in particular, tend to outperform the market in a rising dollar environment. Our portfolios have been overweight small and midcap US equites since 2012 and underweight International Equities since 2012.

This is in contrast to strategic asset allocation strategies, which maintain static allocations to all asset classes, even when Relative Strength tells us to avoid or underweight an out of favor asset class.

This article was written by Dorsey, Wright and Associates, Inc., and provided to you by Wells Fargo Advisors and Charles Tumlin, Financial Advisor in Beaufort, SC, 211 Scott Street, (843) 524-1114. You cannot directly invest in an index. Wells Fargo Advisors did not assist in the preparation of this article, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed.Relative Strength is a measure of price trends that indicates how a stock is performing relative to other stocks in its industry. The opinions expressed in this report are those of Dorsey Wright and are not necessarily those of Wells Fargo Advisors or its affiliates. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.  Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. CAR 0415-01622.

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The Philosopher

By Lee Scott

My son called me the other day and said he was listening to audio podcasts in his car during his commute to work. He was listening to the works of various philosophers and wanted to know my opinion on philosophy. I told him that my experience was limited to one semester in college spent with Plato, Socrates and Descartes. One of the benefits, I reminded him, of a Liberal Arts College is that you are exposed to lots of information that you normally would not choose to be exposed; hence the philosophy class. I told him that it took me awhile to get in the swing of the class, but before I knew it I was saying things like “I think, therefore I am “ a translated Rene Descartes line from my studying.

However, there was pressure at the time to actually understand the class because ultimately I was going to have to write a term paper on the subject. I had to delve further into the class subject rather than just memorize the names of philosophers, where they lived and when. It turned out to be very interesting. I learned about various philosophical theories and the class had some very lively debates. It was enlightening to learn that we have incorporated so much of these philosophies into our society and we are not even conscious of it. The Socratic Method is used by teachers all the time. It is the practice of asking a student enough questions so they figure out the answer themselves without you giving them the answer. As parents, we do this all the time.

But the truth is that after I wrote the term paper and after I took my final exam, I moved on from philosophy until the 1980s. It was then that I was exposed to the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson created the two characters. The young precocious six year old Calvin character was based on John Calvin the 16th century French Reformation Theologian. Hobbes, his pet stuffed tiger, was based on the philosopher, Thomas Hobbes who was a 17th century English political philosopher. Calvin’s little stuffed tiger would come to life when no one else was around. They had the best philosophical discussions. It was amazing to watch these two characters examine the world around them and come up with some of the most profound observations.

Think about an average six year old child and how they spend their days asking, when, where, how and what. It makes sense that Calvin’s pursuit of wisdom and his dialogue with Hobbes would draw the readers into his world. So it turns out that without realizing it my son and I are still in that pursuit of wisdom. Socrates would be so happy.

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