Review Category : Contributors

I love Jim Cantore

By Lee Scott

My husband is well aware of my love for Jim Cantore. It has gone on for years. I was always a big Weather Channel fan, but when Jim came on the scene, well he had me at “Hello”.

Jim Cantore puts enthusiasm in the weather like no one else in his profession. Sure, Al Roker is good, and Dr. Steve Lyons is so informative. I love all of Dr. Lyons charts and graphs. Of course, when I want the local weather, I  to turn on Channel 3 in Savannah and watch Lee Haywood, the Meteorologist.  Lee always give me good information about the day’s forecast. They are all very proficient, but no one loves the weather as much as Jim Cantore.

My love affair with The Weather Channel started when I began to race sailboats. Knowing the current wind conditions, the temperature and future forecast all meant something on the race course. My husband, a life long racer, understood my fascination with the “Local Weather on the 8s”.

Then came Jim Cantore. It wasn’t just the Local on the “8s” anymore. It was whatever crazy weather was going on in the world. Jim was there at the scene and I was watching. Hurricanes, blizzards, hail storms, they are all his adrenaline. He stands there reporting in all kinds of weather wearing his signature headgear – baseball hats. His enthusiasm is contagious. He is always right there in the thick of storms. His hair blowing in the wind, (at least he used to have hair) pointing out the waves pounding the sand through a hurricane, or measuring the size of hail coming down during spring thunderstorms. The wind pushing him and the cameras all around as he tells you how hard the wind is blowing. But the one phenomenon he loves the most is Thunder snow.

His latest thrill was six sounds of thunder in a row during one of the most recent New England snow storms. He was reporting the weather conditions; standing there with icicles hanging from his beard, his goggles covered with snow when the first sound of thunder rolled in. He was beside himself  as another one happened, and then another. He counted them, one, two, three, four, five. Then it happened, “Six”, he yelled. He was jumping around the snow yelling and howling. I jumped up off the couch. “Six, thunder snow” I yelled along with Jim. “Six!”

“Sit down,” said my husband, calmly as I started punching the air with Jim!

Jim Cantore has seen it all and reports it with the contagious enthusiasm of a young child. I don’t wish bad weather on anyone, but if there is bad weather, Jim will be there and I will be watching.

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Eyebrow Extension Enhancements now available in Beaufort

By Takiya Smith

Three years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  As she underwent the grueling process of chemotherapy, I watched her endure the loss of her hair, lashes and brows. It was during this time that I noticed my otherwise strong, confident and beautiful mother become a little less secure about her looks. Our hair, lashes and brows don’t make us the women we are, but they certainly enhance what we already have.

For the past 5 years I have meticulously applied millions of eyelash extensions, hair by hair, lash to lash, one Takiya Brow Extension 1at a time to many a client. The results have been nothing short of beautiful, however the new confidence and glow extensions give these women is what I have found to be most rewarding in my line of work.   Now, with the introduction of Eyebrow Extensions, I expect nothing less.

Eyebrow Extensions, much like Eyelash Extensions, are single synthetic fibers mimicking the natural shape, texture and color of brow hairs. They are either applied to existing brow hairs or directly to the skin.  Prospective clients do not need to wait for hair regrowth because the procedure offers a hypoallergenic adhesive that allows direct bonding, even to sensitive skin.

Eyebrow Extensions are a great alternative for anyone with sparse, thinning or scar damaged follicles. They add a natural, noticeable, undetectable alternative to replace temporary or permanent hair loss. The Brow Company Beauty Bar & Makeup Studio is excited and anxious to offer this ground breaking new service in Beaufort County. For more information or a consultation, please contact the salon directly at (843) 322-0426 or book online at www.blb-boutiques.com.

Takiya La’Shaune Smith is a the founding owner of both Beautique Lash & Brow and The Brow Company Beauty Bar & Makeup Studio. She is a published author and mentor as well as a Licensed Cosmetology Instructor and International Beauty Educator utilizing her experience in the industry as a platform to promote inner and outer beauty, health, wellness, social etiquette and positive self-esteem. Find, follow or contact her at www.blb-boutiques.com.

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In lieu of market barometers

By Hall Sumner

Andrew Thrasher makes an interesting case for there being a new market barometer in town.  So long, Dr. Copper and hello, Semiconductors:

“There used to be a belief on Wall Street that copper had a Ph.D. in economics since it was often used as a barometer for the economy and often the market. Traders would look for divergences between the copper and the equity markets for signs of potential danger. If Dr. Copper began to weaken it was believed that the stock market would soon follow. While this may have been the case at one point we would argue it no longer is today or has been for a few years now.

Dr. Copper in our opinion has been replaced by technology, specifically semiconductors. The market seems to be much more focused on the happenings of Silicon Valley rather than Milwaukee or Detroit. While the industrial sector still remains a large piece of our economy it no longer is the driver of growth. At least that’s what price action has been telling us. It seems Copper has been expelled while the semiconductors step to the front of the class.”

Seems logical and the charts are compelling.  So, what should we do with this information?  Follow the lead of Semiconductors, right? Perhaps, this relationship lasts 3 years; perhaps, it lasts 30 years.  The problem is that we won’t know until after the fact that the market has moved from Semiconductors on to the next leading indicator.

Furthermore, what if the lag of a given market barometer is 9-12 months on average.  We suspect that this is another one of those market tendencies that sounds great in theory, have some truth to them, but are pretty tough to implement from a portfolio management perspective.  How does this approach to risk management differ from the previous approach of reliance upon Copper (or now Semiconductors)?

Rather than hoping that a relationship between a given commodity or sector to the broad market persists in the future, we believe relative strength can help dictate allocations.  Admittedly, rather than being early to take defensive action, you will be somewhat late (by definition, a trend following strategy like relative strength never gets out at the exact top).  However, if a relative strength strategy is designed to help mitigate some of the downside risk in major bear markets with the objective of attempting to avoid the problem of a market barometer completely failing from time to time, doesn’t that make more sense?

The relative strength strategy is NOT a guarantee. There may be times where all investments and strategies are unfavorable and depreciate in value.

This article was written by Dorsey, Wright and Associates, Inc., and provided to you by Wells Fargo Advisors and Hall Sumner, CFP®, Financial Advisor in Beaufort, SC, 211 Scott Street, (843) 524-1114. Wells Fargo Advisors did not assist in the preparation of this article, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. 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 0115-02940

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My Doppelganger?

By Lee Scott

Somewhere in Beaufort is a woman named Pam who is my Doppelganger.

If you don’t know what a Doppelganger is then you never watched the Television show  “How I met your mother.” So I will enlighten you. Originally a German word for double ghost, the term has morphed into a new definition which is “your twin or double”. According to some folks, everyone has a Doppelganger on this earth.

I know that I have a doppelganger because ever since I moved here people have called me Pam. It happens all the time.  I will be at the produce section of the grocery store and people come up and start talking to me. “Hi Pam”  they say and I turn and say, “No, my name is Lee”.

Some people grab a friend or spouse. “Doesn’t she look just like Pam?”  And the two of them will study my face to see how alike or different I am from Pam.  Of course, the question fills my brain. “Is she ten years younger or older than me? Is this a compliment?”  When they say things like, “No the nose is different.” I find myself grabbing my nose as if to say “Is something wrong with my nose?”

There are those people who look at me as if I am having a senior moment. “Maybe poor Pam has forgotten her name!” I try to assure them. “No really, my name is Lee but people tell me all the time that I look like Pam.”

I have also been at crowded gatherings like the symphony where total strangers wave to me “Hi Pam”.

I just nod and wave. Why  bother to explain. My husband shakes his head at my complacency at being called Pam. When it first started,  I would ignore people because I assumed that they were talking to someone else. Poor Pam. She has gotten a reputation now for being quite the snob. I wonder if Pam is out there getting called Lee and ignoring people too or responding,  “Not Lee, my name is Pam.”

Some part of me wonders if maybe Pam is my actual twin and we got separated at birth. I always thought I was adopted, but my mother assured me that she would not have adopted a child when she already had a four year old, a three year old and another child who had just turned one. Maybe my parents gave my twin away because they had too many children?

Now I am curious. I have to get introduced to Pam. So Pam, if you get a chance to read this article. Drop me a line.  My email is Nowwhat.LeeScott@gmail.com.

I would love to meet my Doppelganger.

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Pick a desk Cherimie, and sit still

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

It should have occurred to me at an earlier age that my path would be tattered with a few twists, turns and the occasional thorn-laden thicket. Life on more than one occasion has generously afforded me the opportunity to settle into a more normal existence. A comfortable couch of conformity. However, normal isn’t a flattering fit, and conforming gives me wrinkles. I seem to insist on doing the ill-advised, the best-nots and the really should nots. I have learned a thing or two about myself, my limits and my tolerance for discomfort. Apparently I have yet to master traditional habitudes of adulthood.

Often women talk of motherly maturity. That somewhat instantaneous enlightenment that comes from having a child. This “shining” of sorts passed right over me like the Sunday offering plate. The birth of my sweet little one brought about tremendous gifts, but instant enlightenment or profound wisdom has yet to join me for coffee. Some days it seems as though my intellect has dropped a degree or two. I am one who takes considerable pride in presenting a faux front of formidable ability. I am  hesitant to admit that working full time, caring for a mirrored-miniature, and attempting to maintain an acceptable level of self maintenance isn’t a walk among the roses. It is, however, a walk I thoroughly enjoy.

As if owning a small business and raising a small family isn’t enough to cause a small panic, I am once again dancing in the rain of real estate development. Delightful as the world of small business ownership certainly is, the ins- and all too assiduous outs of real estate lure my interest as effectively as red-velvet flavored anything. I find the implicit rule of one career per person eluding at best.

“Pick a desk Cherimie, and sit still.” Those prophetic words of my sweet second grade teacher resonate quite well. She did everything within the legal limits to keep me in one studious position. She was the first of many to travel that path of futility. One desk simply did not suit. Life has a way of repeating itself.

Watching the revitalizing breath rise in a sleeping community brings me joy.  Late nights, early mornings and action packed days, but joy nonetheless. Filling vacant land with vibrant life rivals watching daytime television any day of the week. Once again, I am walking sidewalks that will soon giggle and crossing streets poised to guide families home. I am unlocking doors that will open new chapters for many. My days are hectic, my slumber baited, and my hopes grand.

Having two careers isn’t popular and somedays it feels impossible. However, raising a family, running a business and revitalizing a community is my cup of sweet tea… sitting quaintly on as many desks as needed.

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Borrowing from the Hitchhiker Trilogy

By Tracie Korol

I have had dogs all my life but my current level of overbearing involvement began when we adopted my son’s first dog, Dave. He was the first dog that joined the family as an adult, the rest were puppies. With puppies I knew to start them off right from the very beginning–good food, consistent training and lots and lots of love. Save for the occasional beagle predilection to adventure afar, my early dogs were a breeze.

Dave spent his first year on a chain with little to no interaction with humans. He was emaciated, parasite infested, without any good dog manners and as my neighbor said, leaning over the fence to examine our new acquisition, “not much to look at”. He was, however, grateful, eager to please and my son loved him immediately, scroungy as he was. Me, I had to warm up.

Around that same time Drs. Pitcairn and Billingsworth made news with the novel concept of feeding dogs what they were meant to eat–real food, raw food and raw meaty bones. I contacted Dr. Pitcairn, who wasn’t famous yet and was eager to share his message, and became his mentee. With his coaching and with a diet of real proteins, real fruits and vegetables Dave rather quickly snapped into a model of good dog health. His coat grew out, became shiny, he lost that wet carpet funk, ear goo and parasites and he began to settle into his new life feeling better than he ever had before, with a sparkle in his eye and spring to his step. The only thing he refused to eat was Jerusalem artichokes, but I don’t really hold that against him.

Good dog manners were another matter. Having lived in deplorable conditions out of doors during his formative months, we had some catch up to do in terms of where to pee (not on the carpet, please) and the development of trust from which we could work on a solid recall, a few basic commands (sit, wait, down, with me). This was a decade before the dog soul crushing training concept of controlling dominance and that “alpha” crap became a thing, so with common sense and a little fine-tuning from Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell’s training philosophies we slowly came to a place of understanding in a positive, reward-based daily program. While Dave never was much to look at in terms of “what breed is that?” (he’s a brown), he became a vital member of the household and lived a long, healthy life.

Why am I recounting this? To let you know that it IS possible to have THE best pet ever with very little effort, a lot of common sense and some hardcore targeted love. You can start any time in a dog’s lifetime and achieve positive effects. How about today? My time in the Lowcountry has been spent helping other inveterate dog lovers achieve a level of understanding that it IS all about what we eat, that food IS medicine, that good health IS NOT something Dr. Whitecoat sells you in yearly vaccinations and drugs, drugs, drugs but is something that happens every day, at home. Good dog manners are the same thing. It’s between you and your dog, not your dog and his trainer. All dogs want to cooperate and especially with the human he loves the most.

To those of you who have changed the way you go about the business of pet management, who feed real food, who truly advocate for your Best Friend, say “no” to Dr. Whitecoat, who have spent some time Googling before automatically accepting the next best drug, who have worked to develop that special love bond, I admire and applaud you (and so does your dog). For those who think that cheap Big Box store food is just fine, who run to the vet for medicine fixes every whipstitch, and who believe Neanderthal training practices are the way to go, I wish you all the luck in the world.

Many thanks to all of you who have allowed your Best Friends to become my Best Friends, too. Please keep in touch. And, with full credit to Douglas Adams, so long and thanks for all the….dogs.

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Another survey!

By Lee Scott

How many times have you gone into the grocery store, or your bank or your local department store and the clerk says “Please complete the survey which you will find at the end of your receipt. You may win a prize.” Then she adds, “Please say good things about me, because we are rated on how many people send in positive reviews.”

Now the pressure is on because you really like the clerk and she is always very pleasant and efficient.  So you go home and decide before you throw that receipt away, “Why not? I can plug in my “enter code here” on their website.” What harm?

First you have to agree to “our terms” and by the way, “have you read our Privacy Policy?” It is a hyper-link so realistically most people who have gotten this far do not bother to read it. Basically what it is saying is that they are probably not going to sell any of the information you provide except to their affiliates one of which happens to be a large Tele-marketing Firm.

After agreeing to all the rules, you proceed to the questions which need to be answered before you are “Entered into the sweepstakes”. Here are some of the questions on the latest survey.

How old are you? How much is your family income? What are your shopping habits? I feel all of this information going into some large data base that already knows most of my buying habits. Yes, I use those 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond that already have a code on them. Yes, I run over to Talbots for their 60% off sales and to Belk’s for their Senior Days. (Over 55) I know that I am getting tracked anyway, but I am not comfortable answering all these personal questions on a survey to win some small prize. All I want to do is provide my name and phone number to qualify for the sweepstakes and hopefully win a prize.  And of course, I want to say good things about the clerk.

There is another real problem I discovered after filling out one of these surveys. The SPAM filter on my AOL account goes on hyper-drive for three days or so. Incredible amount of e-mails and they all want to sell me something based on my buying habits. So the next time you get the “You could win” receipt or notices. Go ahead and do what you normally do, just throw it away. I understand. Because the truth be told, the less people that enter the sweepstakes, helps to increase my odds for winning.

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February is National AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month

By Mark S. Siegel

AMD or Age-Related Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss affecting over 15 million adults over the age of 50. To understand how AMD affects your vision, place your left hand over your left eye. Now make a fist with your right hand. Take your right fist and place it directly in front of your right eye. The only thing you should see is images in your periphery or side vision. Now imagine that this is how you are to function within the world.

AMD

Age-Related Macular degeneration can develop so slowly that it’s not until the vision is severely affected that the patient will notice. Age-Related Macular Degeneration primarily destroys the sharp central vision controlled by a spot at the back of the retina called the macula. Sharp central vision is needed to read, drive, identify faces, watch television and perform daily tasks that require straight ahead vision.

Risk Factors

The exact cause of AMD is not known. There are a number of risk factors that may play a role, some you can help control, and some you cannot. The same risks factors for heart disease and stroke also increase your risk for AMD. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Risks you cannot control include age, family history, gender and race.

Symptoms

AMD symptoms include blurriness, wavy lines, or a blind spot. You may also notice visual distortions such as:

  • Straight lines or faces appearing wavy
  • Doorways seeming crooked
  • Objects appearing smaller or farther away

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is important to see a Retina Specialist for the most appropriate care.

Living with AMD

Make the most of your Vision. Millions of people have macular degeneration and millions of them continue to do everything they always did. Because you never become completely blind with AMD, there is always sight available if you know how to use it.

The peripheral vision you have helps you to get around the house and outside. There are devices and techniques for everything from reading to cooking to watching sports on TV. You may have to stop driving at some point, but for everything else, there is a solution.

If you are losing sight, there are some simple things you can do on your own to improve your ability to see. Don’t become discouraged! You will probably need to try out multiple devices before you find one that works for you. These range from magnifiers that are held in the hand or suspended on a stand to devices that attach to your glasses or computers that help you to read.

Things you can do on your own:

  • Improve the lighting in your home and office. This may not necessarily mean that you should increase the lighting or the brightness. Glare is often a problem for people with low vision. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you. Special lights are available through many catalogs.
  • Use a high contrast for reading and writing. Write in large letters with a broad felt tip pen on white or light paper.
  • Use large print books, I-pads or tablets to increase the font size and contrast or try other media, like audio books. Most libraries have a section of these or you can find them online. There are also special libraries for visually impaired.
  • Use a hand held magnifier. In the beginning, you may find some help at your local drug store by trying out the various small hand-held magnifiers available. If one of them helps your vision, you should certainly use it. Other magnifying devices may be more useful if your vision is very poor.

So see your eye doctor regularly for early detection of AMD!

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Don’t believe everything you think

By Susan Stone

We only think what we think until a better thought comes along, so why are we so sure we’re right?

Age can be a great teacher. If we are lucky enough to live a long life, we can accumulate a great deal of knowledge and wisdom…if we can just get our ego out of the way. We tend to lean toward the majority as if that undefined enigma has special power to discern truth. If the majority believes it, it’s probably true. The older I get, the more I realize how little I really understand about how the world works, the actual history of our planet or even the origins of Man. I only have my opinions about how things work or why I’m here, but my own experience has shown me that if I withhold my own opinion long enough I might just learn something.

Last week I had a strange conversation with a woman who was very articulate and obviously educated. I said something that challenged her belief in our health care system. For thirty minutes she went on to quote this media “expert” and that government official…but not one thing she said made a lick of sense. She obviously felt very strongly about this subject and continued to try to convince me that I was wrong. But nothing she said came from her own experience or from her heart. She believed it because they said it. Instead of a resolution, each year I choose a subject to study. I will spend an entire year observing and researching a single subject in order to understand it more fully. What I have discovered is that history is written by the “winners”. So the whole story of any culture or text is suspect. One of the most common stories we tell our school children is that Christopher Columbus discovered America. We now know that isn’t true, several cultures were here long before he even thought about crossing the Atlantic…but we continue to tell the story.

Recently a debate about removing all references to civil disobedience from our school history books took place in Colorado. I didn’t follow the story to see who won, but really? What story would we tell our future generations about Martin Luther King Jr. or even women winning the right to vote, without mentioning their civil disobedience? Are we seriously entertaining the idea of changing the facts for generations too young to remember? How will we explain becoming a Nation…independent from England? If we are having this debate now, isn’t it reasonable to think we have done so in the past?

If we look at cultures collectively, we can begin to understand how stories begin. For example, every ancient culture has either a written, oral or pictorial records of a great flood.  I grew up with the story of Noah, as many of us did. Geology and archeology has shown us that this global event really did happen. But do we get stuck believing in our version of the story? Was God really so angry with the world that he destroyed it? Can it be no other way?  Or can we take a broader look at the facts? Ancient cultures blamed a lot of natural disasters on God. They didn’t completely understand the world around them either.

There is still so much mystery left in the world. Every day, discoveries are made which change previous facts we thought we knew. We don’t have this thing called “life” figured out…not by a long shot! And that’s okay. There is some comfort I find in living in the “void”…in the “I don’t know”. When I was younger, that thought made me feel inferior. Not any more, now it makes me feel humble. I can confidently and without hesitation say, I think what I think for now, all of which is subject to change.

You can find Susan Stone at Beaufort Chiropractic. She is an Intuitive healer, Reiki Master, minister and counselor. Author of “We Heard You,” available on Amazon.com You may contact Susan at theriverangel.ss@gmail.com.

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The party

By Lee Scott

There is a party going on at my house and I was not invited. Somewhere, in one of the rooms in our home, my reading glasses have all gathered and they are having a great time without me. I know this because I cannot find one pair. Of course, there is the occasional time when I am looking for my reading glasses and my husband will say, “They are on your head.” Or I discover after looking everywhere that they are attached to a strap around my neck, but most of the times, the glasses are just partying together somewhere.

My love/hate relationship with reading glasses coincided with my 40th birthday. The print on the newspaper was just not big enough. So like many people, I went to the drug store to one of those displays that carries a hundred pair of glasses with power levels ranging from +1.00 to +4. I was very disappointed when I realized right away that I was going to need the +1.25 power level. This is when my annual trips for more reading glasses began. I bought the polarized ones during the summer and assorted styles that ranged from white framed to rimless glasses. It also seemed that whenever I was traveling I had to buy a pair in one of those little airport shops. Then the inevitable happened; I needed a stronger power +1.50 then +2.0. However, I don’t think I have ever thrown any of them away regardless of their strength, unless you count the pair that was held together with a band aid.

Ultimately, I had to go to an Eye Doctor. There I was presented with my prescription for progressive lenses because the road signs were getting as hard to read as the newspaper print. But these are my good glasses that go in my designated eyeglass case. They are not allowed to play with all those drug store glasses. The drug store glasses are used for things around the house, like reading a recipe from a cookbook. (Is that one half cup or one quarter cup?) Or, reading the name of the caller on the phone’s caller I.D. They do come in handy. But wouldn’t you think they would all like to party together in the kitchen junk drawer with all the pens, pencils, paperclips and assorted other items. No, not my glasses.

I do find them eventually. Three of them spent last night partying in the night stand next to my bed. There were two pair located in the little compartment between the front car seats and my husband found a couple lying on the shelf in the laundry room. I just wish next time they would invite me to their party.

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