Review Category : Contributors

What’s in a name?

By Tracie Korol

The first three dogs I met when I moved to South Carolina were all named Rebel.

I thought it was one of those arcane state laws I had heard about. Then I met two Dixies and four Beaus in a row. Years and many more Beaus, Rebels and Dixies later, I concede it’s a regional thing.

People choose names for all sorts of reasons. Some want to honor their heritage, hence the preponderance of Southern-related dog names locally. Some choose to honor a favorite celebrity — Reba, Tupac, Harpo (that’s Oprah backwards). Others choose names that spotlight a particular physical or character trait. For example, I had a Cardigan corgi friend at kennel, black with a white spot on his forehead, whose name was Domino, Dom for short.

Many dogs have three names. The first is their official name, which is the name that is registered with the kennel club and appears on their pedigree certificate. These are usually marvelously pompous and/or meaningless, such as Temujin Persia’s Pride, my first registered cocker spaniel. The American Kennel Club gives you 28 letters to come up with this formal title.

The dog’s second name is their “call name.” After all, you really don’t want to be standing out in your backyard yelling, Remasia Vindebon of Torwood, come! The dog’s call name becomes its own unique and solely owned name and which is the one that we actually use when we talk to them.  Temujin’s call name was Khan. (Temujin was Genghis Khan’s given name.)

All of my dogs also have had a group name, which for me is “Doggies”. This is their alternate name, thus when I yell “Doggies come!” I expect all of my dogs within earshot to appear at a run. A neighbor, who only has female dogs, uses the word “Girls,” while another with male dogs uses the group name, “Troops”.

Then there are the nicknames, the names that seem to grow naturally from affection or convenience. My Lab came with the name Tucker; I never thought it suited him. He felt more like a Rooney to me.  Then, due to his overall sense of calm, he became Buddha Dog which later was shortened to Boo. He answered to all four with equal enthusiasm. I always ask for nicknames for my boarding guests as it can immediately warm up a new relationship.

In choosing a name, try to pick something that comes easily to your lips. Choose a name that will honor your Best Friend as all words have power and meaning. If you have a sense of humor, try to pick a name that will not embarrass you, let alone your dog. Hooter is a good dog name in theory, but embarrassing if you have to roam the neighborhood calling for him post-escape. Allow children name in-put within reason; 11-year old boys can curse a dog for life with what they think is a riotously funny scatological moniker or conversely, a precious 3-year-old can sentence a dog to terminal cuteness. I know a strapping 100-pound male chocolate lab named Fluffy.

Try to select a name that is not easily confused with a command. Such as Beau and No, Stay and Ray, Kitt and Sit. Dogs cue on one syllable. That’s why commands are sort and delivered deliberately.  While names like Costello, Washington and Trismegistus are very cool, know that the dog is only hearing the sound with the hard consonant — Tell…, Ton… and Triz…. Some names are very popular, like all the Southern affectations, but it can cause confusion if you are in a park or place where there are multiple dogs with the same name. Choose something unique to your Friend’s temperament, appearance or personality, or the opposite; Hoover, the dog dedicated to floor food, is one of my favorites.

If you rescue or take on an older dog, there is no problem in changing his name. Often, changing a dog’s name will help separate his association with a dark early life and the new, happy life in his forever home. He will quickly learn to respond to it if used in the correct way.

But whatever name you select make sure you can say it with a smile  — it should reflect the relationship you have with your dog and be a special communication between you and your Best Friend. A name should be enjoyed.

Next week: How to use a name correctly.

Read More →

Holidays and traditions and technology

By Lee Scott

It warms the heart to start the holiday season with cooking and decorating and welcoming company. This season, I have started a new holiday tradition that can actually extend throughout the year. It is setting up a charging station. Because, if you are like me, your family and friends walked in the house and immediately started to seek out the nearest electrical outlet to charge their electronic gadgets.   Yes, out came the iPhones, the iPads, the Kindles, the Leapfrog pads, the PCs, the Macs and the Blackberry phones. It seemed like every family had multiple electronics that needed to be charged.

My charging station consists of a table in the corner of the living room covered with a colorful tablecloth. On it sits a 2 foot tall white metal tree that my mother used to hang decorative Easter eggs. There are several electric strips at the bottom of the tree and various chargers hanging on the tree limbs for people to use. Since it is in a central area, anyone can use it, they don’t have to run around the house figuring out where they need to plug in or where they plugged in.

When a neighbor saw my table, she sent her son over to charge his phone since he left his charger at the airport. The other positive thing about the charging station is that when it was dinner time, everyone put their devices at the charging station. The dining room was off limits. We could hear some buzzes and bings in the background during dinner, but everyone stayed at the table.

I discovered another new tradition too. In addition to the fresh linens in the guest rooms, I write out the wireless code for our Internet on an index card and place it on their pillows.

Let’s face it, there are definite advantages for having everyone charged and connected.  While we were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade someone asked, “What year did the parade originate?” Three people accessed the Internet and provided all the information we ever wanted to know about the parade.  (1924, in case you wanted to know.) We were able to connect with out-of-town family members through Skype and FaceTime; and when I wanted to watch “The Grinch who stole Christmas,” someone downloaded it on their iPad.

So my suggestion is to get prepared for the onslaught of devices and chargers this holiday and set up a charging station. You might consider purchasing one of those solar powered charging stations. Or, better yet, ask Santa to bring one for you.

Happy Holidays.

Read More →

Approaching a pre-presidential election year: 2015

By Arthur Levin

As we close in on the end of 2014, we were reminded that 2015 is the third year of a presidential term, making it a pre-election year, which has historically been a strong year for the market in terms of positive equity returns. Based off of observations from some previous Presidential Election studies and comments made by Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO), on “Presidential Election Cycles”, we wanted revisit this subject as it relates to the stock market and look at the precedence that have been witnessed over the years.

Arthur Levin

Arthur Levin

To get an idea of the type of precedent that has been set during pre-presidential election years, we can look back to the performance trends over the past 181 years now, including 2011. During this time period, the pre-election presidential year produced a positive return in the stock market, as defined by the Dow Jones Industrial Average [DJIA], which rose 5.53% in 2011. One of the major resources that we use when looking at the presidential election year data is a function of the studying and data compiled by Jeffrey A. Hirsch & Yale Hirsch in their yearly installment of the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

The Stock Trader’s Almanac data,  includes the 4-Year Cycle returns beginning with the first full year of a particular President’s cycle, going back to 1833. As we mentioned above, pre-election years have historically been a positive time for the market, especially over the past century. As a matter of fact, the last time that the market was down during a pre-presidential year was in 1939. Of the 4-Year Cycle, the pre-election years have historically been the best performing year. On average, the pre-election year has seen a 10.43% gain since 1833, so 2011 was surely under average in its performance with returns only half as much as the average. So, generally speaking, the year before the presidential election and even the actual presidential election years are historically positive for the stock market.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.  This article was written by Dorsey, Wright and Associates, Inc., and provided to you by Wells Fargo Advisors and Arthur Levin, 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. 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. 

 
Read More →

Deck the Halls with boughs of holly

By Susan Stone

Take a break from weeding this month and deck the halls! We have beautiful greenery to choose from. Not only can you add holly to your arrangements and wreaths for the holidays, you have a plethora of choices.

Juniper, boxwood, palm, cedar, magnolia and pine add a touch of the Lowcountry to any holiday decoration. You can spray paint them as well to add a little color to your arrangements. Seed pods and grasses are excellent choices as well. And don’t forget shells — oyster and clam shells are perfect for making angel ornaments for the crafty decorator. Or just simply add starfish to your garlands and trees for that coastal look.

There is little to do in the garden for the next two months, unless you have winter crops. Harvesting and replanting continue year round for the food growers. And if you have stubborn scale and mealy buy on your evergreens, this is the time of year to treat with dormant oil. Other than that, just keep your gardens hydrated to protect against frost damage and enjoy some time off.

Over the year, I have published some recipes for natural bug repellent, weed killer and the like. Just in case you missed some of them, here they are:

Natural Bug Repellent:

• 1 oz. Cinnamon Leaf Oil (approx. $6 on Amazon.com)

• 8 oz. Witch Hazel

Mix and spray. For No-See-Um’s, mosquitoes, chiggers, fleas and biting fly. (Please test for sensitivity to the cinnamon. Never use undiluted.)

Natural Weed Killer

• 1 gallon White Vinegar

• 1 cup Pickling Salt

• 1 cup Cheap Dish Soap

Mix in a pump sprayer. (Be selective, it will kill anything green!)

Powdery Mildew, Rust & other Funguses: Our beloved Crepe Myrtles and roses are very susceptible to powdery mildew. Early detection and treatment are vital. Milk and buttermilk can be an effective remedy if caught early. Simply use full to half strength (can be mixed with water) and sprayed every 7-10 days. Compost Tea has the same effect.

Making Compost Tea is very easy and doubles as a liquid fertilizer. Just like any other tea, steep in water (out in the sun is perfect), strain and use. You can add Blood Meal, Bone Meal and or Manure to the mix, set aside for a week to dissolve then pour a little over your plants each week. This is a perfect fertilizer for lawns too.

Garlic is not only a good fungicide, but an excellent insecticide as well. You should know that like many insecticides, it is not selective. It will kill even the non-harmful or beneficial insects. To make a batch, I use about 10 cloves to a gallon of water. The garlic must be crushed and then steeped in the water (set in the sun), or use a blender to mix, then strain.

Fire Ants can ruin any outdoor activity and drive your pets crazy. One simple and safe solution is to treat your lawn in the early spring with Dried Molasses. It is available in 50 lb. bags at your local feed and seed store. You simply spread it like a fertilizer with a lawn spreader. I don’t know why it drives them off; perhaps it puts them in a diabetic coma? But it seems to work.

Enjoy some well-deserved time off and enjoy the harvests from your gardens.

Until next time, Happy New Year!

Fa la la la la, la la la la!

You may send Susan your questions and garden wisdom to theriverangel.ss@gmail.com.

Read More →

It’s simply magic … by design!

By Martha O’Regan

Over the years, as I have learned about bioenergetics, pain/stress/energy management, quantum science and vibrational medicine, I have come to the conclusion that it’s all simply magic, defined as “an extraordinary power from a supernatural source.”

The four statements that make up the foundation of how I live and coach are:

1. Everything is energy, including you and me,

2. Every single thing is designed in perfection,

3. We create our own reality through the vibration of our thoughts, words and deeds,

4. The power of “all that is” is the same power as the Divine. And, taking it even deeper, inside the smallest particle known to man is nothing but pure light essence that is measured as the vibrational equivalent to “love” which happens to also be the power of “all that is” which has many names, including God. God is light, God is love, God is the ultimate power, God is creation, etc.  Even in its smallness, it’s bigger than our human linear mind can even fathom, yet we all know it deep inside because it is encoded in our DNA, our subconscious, the Bible, our soul perspectives and even our thoughts to ultimately create our daily reality of health, relationships, choices and behaviors. It’s so simple even in all its magnificent complexity.

As you try this little experience, check in and feel how it lands in your body and mind. Make an “O” with the thumb and forefinger of each hand, keeping them several inches apart. These circles represents the energy fields surrounding the egg and the sperm that came together to grow you, making your spine, kidneys, finger nails, etc.  Begin bringing the two energy fields closer together until their fields begin to interconnect. Stop as soon as you see the light between the circles. Now, just imagine the magnificent spark, like two wires or maybe stars coming together which then connects those two perfect cells that knew exactly what do to create YOU right on schedule. Magic … by design! Did you feel a spark ignite anywhere in your body?

As electromagnetic beings, everything within and around us is ignited by a spark of some form that creates a connection for something remarkable to happen, like the ability to scratch our nose, blink, heal a wound or to feel love.   In our body, these sparks are called electrical impulses, synapses, neuro transmitters, and they ignite to activate communication within all parts of us — including our muscles, organs, glands, the brain and spine and our heart — all without us having to tell it to, at least not with our conscious mind. These sparks are automatic; it’s the vibration of the spark that determines how well our system is communicating. Greater vitality ignites a greater spark ultimately enhancing communication within the system, creating greater health and happiness.

One way to support the magic is simply noticing what is going on within and around us and making conscious choices about what we put into our mind and body that will enhance the sparks. Simply being in awe of the magnificence on a regular basis allows those sparks to really ignite, creating even more magic … by design.

So, take some time to pause and just watch a bird fly or a tree sway in the wind, notice the twinkle in someone’s eye when they laugh, feel your feet as you walk along the pavement or barefoot in the grass, see how wide your face stretches when you smile, stare at the sky and imagine what it would feel like to fly, feel your breath in every crevice of your body or truly allow yourself to open your heart to receive love. Simply notice how many magical moments you have in an hour, day, week or month, and before you know it, you can’t experience life any other way.

Live Awake … Have Fun!

Martha O’Regan, is Your ‘B.E.S.T. Life’ Coach, supporting you in accessing your magic with the work of Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique and Vibrational Coaching. Contact 843-812-1328 or yourbestlifecoach28@gmail.com to discover just how easy it can be to create change in your life.  www.yourbestlifecoach.net.

 
Read More →

Looking for a best friend

By Lee Scott

Soon after I moved to the area, I started my search for a new best friend with red hair. The reason for this endeavor was because ever since I was 5 years old, I have always had a best friend with red hair. I don’t know why. A part of me wonders if it wasn’t because of the old “I Love Lucy” shows with Lucy and Ethel. Those two were best buddies — one blonde and one redhead. But I have discounted that theory because I would not have known whether Lucy was a redhead or not since we only had a black and white TV at the time.

It all started with Vickie Adams, my first red headed girlfriend; then there was Marianne, then Lynn, then Libby and then Donna.  As I moved around as a child and then as an adult, the relationships with  redheads seemed to just happen without me trying.

So living in a new place, I found myself once again looking for a new best friend. Someone who likes to do the things I like to do. Someone with the same kind of  shared experiences. Someone who just  understands me.  Someone with red hair.

When I talked to my husband about finding a best friend, he said, “I thought I was your best friend.”

“You are my best male friend. It’s not the same,” I replied. Ask any woman.

I do have my daughter who I call my life best friend.  She gets me!  We know every line of the movie “Steel Magnolias” and we can tell by each other’s tone of voice what kind of day the other is having. But she is not here, and regardless of how close we are, it is difficult for me to separate my maternal instinct totally from our friendship. She understands this more now since she has her own daughter.

But I have lived here in Beaufort for a while and I have had the opportunity to meet many interesting women.  The realization has come that I don’t have to have one RBFF (Redheaded Best Friend Forever). The  women I have met love the things they are doing and are willing to share their experiences with me. Each of them is unique. Some have children, and some don’t. Some like to travel, to read, volunteer, go to concerts or go boating.  These women have opened my eyes to so many things and provided me with a new insight in my search for a best friend. I don’t have to limit myself to one redheaded best friend. I have expanded the circle and found many new friends.

Read More →

What the dog got for Christmas

By Tracie Korol

It wasn’t so very long ago that the phrase “a dog’s life” meant sleeping outside, enduring the elements, living with aches, and sitting by the dinner table, waiting for a few scraps to land on the floor. Today’s dog has it much better. APPMA (American Pet Products Manufacturers Association) reports that 42% of dogs now sleep in the same bed as their owners, up from 34% in 1998. Half of all dog owners say they consider their pet’s comfort when buying a car, and almost a third buy gifts for their dogs’ birthdays.

In fact, Americans now spend $54 billion a year on their pets — more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world. That’s double the amount shelled out on pets a mere decade ago. Pet owners are becoming increasingly demanding consumers who won’t put up with substandard products, un-stimulating environments, or shabby service for their animals.

Additionally, the rising status of pets started an unprecedented wave of entrepreneurship in an industry once epitomized by felt mice and rubber balls. There are now $430 indoor potties, $30-an-ounce perfume, and $225 trench coats–let alone the diamond-studded accessories for a celebrity’s dog — aimed solely at four-footed consumers and their wallet-toting humans. Thanks to passionate purchasers like that, the quality gap between two-legged and four-legged mammals is rapidly disappearing in such industries as food, clothing, health care, and services.

But what does all that bling mean to your dog? Absolutely nothing. Unless your dog is completely different from the thousands of dogs I’ve known, a plain old stick from the yard can be worthy of an hours’ attention and licking out your yogurt cup is epicurean nirvana. I know many dogs that will eschew the fancy, faux fur, orthopedically crafted, heated pet bed for a heap of the owners’ dirty laundry.

What your dog is looking for is attention from you: you throw the stick, you hold the yogurt cup and it’s your smell the dog is soaking up on the pile of your clothes.  This year, instead of spending money on doggie junk, give your Best Friend the gift of you. It doesn’t have to be much; dogs aren’t greedy, plus, they can’t tell time. Twenty undistracted minutes a day is all your dog needs. Mind you, that’s in addition to the utility time for potty walks, or the ride-along time you spend in the car when you pick up the kids. Twenty minutes of you-on-dog quality time.  Play ball (or stick) together, give him a comprehensive full-body rub, teach him a new trick or just sit quietly together and appreciate the end of the day. It doesn’t matter all that much to your dog, just as long as it’s with you.

But, if it doesn’t feel right that Murphy doesn’t have a package under the tree Christmas morning, consider getting a present that will last. In lieu of buying another, impossibly cute, $10 stuffed toy your dog will disembowel in a New York minute, spend the allotted gift money on a present that has practical use and meaning.  Honor your dog with a handsome leather collar with a sturdy buckle. Rivet on an engraved ID tag. Junk the stupid plastic retractable leash-y thing and get a good leather lead, (they’re called leads for a reason) one that feels good in your hand, doesn’t twist into knots and gets better looking with age. It will last the lifetime of your dog and beyond. I’ve had mine for 30 years and seven dogs.

Your dog will appreciate a heavy, stainless steel bowl with a rubber grip that he doesn’t have to chase all over the kitchen floor. He’ll appreciate a travel crate — his own special, safe seat for car rides. He’ll appreciate if you buy yourself a good dog book — “Dog Sense” by John Bradshaw, is a good place to start — so you will understand what he’s thinking and why he does what he does. And, I’d like to think that he’d very much appreciate it if you donated the money you saved on doo-dads to a local animal welfare organization for one of the brother-dogs that has not been quite so fortunate.

Read More →

Choose safe toys this holiday season

By Mark S. Siegel

No one chooses gifts with the intent to harm, but some popular children’s toys can cause serious injuries.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 257,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2013, and almost half of these injuries affect the head or face. In fact, about 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries treated in the ER trace back to toys. Unfortunately, most of these injuries happen to children under age 15.

“You’ll shoot your eye out”

Some propelling toys, like airsoft guns, arrows, BB guns, paintball guns and darts can be particularly hazardous, with the potential to cause serious eye injuries such as corneal abrasion, hyphema (bleeding inside the eye), traumatic cataract, increased intraocular pressure and even permanent vision loss.

The good news is that following a few toy safety tips can easily prevent most eye injuries.

Top Toy Safety Tips:

• Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.

• Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.

• Ensure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.

• Along with sports equipment, give children the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your eye doctor to learn about protective gear recommended for your child’s sport.

• Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.

• Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.

• If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Read More →

Shop Local campaign seems a success

By Pamela Brownstein

Last Saturday, I woke up early with one goal in mind: To make it to Lulu Burgess when they opened at 9 a.m. so I could be among the first 24 customers to purchase a certain amount and get a free scarf. My ambition paid off, and even though I had a 15-month-old in tow, I was able to find gifts for a variety of family members, mostly thanks to Lulu Burgess owner Nan Sutton and her lovely staff offering to hold and entertain aforementioned baby (my daughter Selah, who can be very adorable, but also very stubborn, thus making browsing a bit of a challenge). But I got my scarf, and being that it was Small Business Saturday, they also gave me a nice “Shop Small” tote bag for free.

As I headed down Bay Street after my spree, I passed Sweet Bay, where they were just opening and the friendly owner offered to take a picture of me and Selah in front of Santa and Mrs. Claus, which was part of a festive display at the front of the store. I sat down on a decorative chair, and the photo came out cute, a perfect way to document my outing.

I continued down Bay, and went  to Greenfish Gallery, where I bought some other locally made gifts. Then I ended up at Palm & Moon and ordered my favorite bagel sandwich to go.

By then my tiny helper was melting down and wouldn’t let me hold her hand to keep her from running right into the street, so I knew it was time to go home. But I felt productive and happy. It was a fabulous morning, and the stores I visited were bustling with friendly folks.

I don’t know the precise calculations as to whether Small Business Saturday was a success in Beaufort, but from my personal account, I could see the support and enthusiasm for shopping locally all around downtown and it made me feel lucky to live in such a special place.

Read More →

Questioning my parenting skills

By Lee Scott

Once I thought I was a good parent.  I fed my babies fortified infant formula, started them on Gerber food and put them in the playpen with animal mobiles circling overhead.  I showered them with talcum powder after a bath and placed them in their bumper padded cribs so they wouldn’t bang their heads. I tucked them in with teddy bears to cuddle in the night.  And during the cold winter months, I would cover them with a blanket.

As for safety, I strapped them into a Peterson car seat, with the red horn, which was placed securely in the front passenger seat next to me. When we would go on family trips, the back seat would be folded down and we would spread out sleeping bags and lots of pillows so they could sleep. I made peanut butter cookies for the school parties and a Chex Mix treat with pretzels and nuts that all the students loved. Based on the times, I think I did pretty well as a parent. However, based on today’s standards, I was a horrible parent!

There are so many differences in the way I raised my children and the way my grandchildren are being raised. The warning labels are everywhere! Products and practices common when I had children are considered unsafe. But when I look at how my grandchildren are being raised compared to how I was raised, my parents should have been arrested.

We were sent out to play in the morning and told to come home at lunch time. We devoured endless pounds of candy at Halloween that was never pre-inspected.  We always had red Kool-aid in the refrigerator during the summer and the playground consisted of a cement paved area with a tall slide and hanging bars.   We would leap off the high dive board at the pool and ride our bicycles all over the neighborhood.  As one of eight children we were crammed into the family station wagon on seats that were incredibly hot in the summer!  Entertainment on a long trip was singing “A hundred bottles of beer on the wall” or naming state license plates.

Each generation has their own way of raising children based on the information on hand. I am grateful that despite my parents’ neglect, I survived and I am glad my children survived my parenting.  But watching my grandchildren, I realize how much I would have loved to be born now. Air conditioning in the car; padded car seats that look incredibly comfortable; little cup holders for Sippy cups; and strollers that look like my leather recliner.  And  the ultimate luxury — a DVD player with little headphones so they can watch their Disney movies.

But despite all the new changes in child rearing, I am sure my parents did the best they could for me, and my husband and I did the best we could for our children. So maybe I was a good parent after all.

Read More →