Review Category : Contributors

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

The good, the bad and the southern

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

Unmistakable is the drawl, unexplainable is the tone and unfortunate is the target of the Southern Woman’s disdain. As the social barometer rises in the sultry sweet south, one thing goes unaffected by the heightened humidity and lowered productivity. Clearly heard at garden parties and cocktail hours all over the region, is the sing-song voice of southern women telling the world how they really feel. As far back as history can recall, the poetic and polite piercing of an untamed tongue often belongs to none other than the hospitable and often hostile women of the south.

We are taught manners, etiquette and the proper way to write a thank you note for every kind gesture known to man. By preschool, we have blessed enough hearts to rival the Pope. It is a skill sharpened and honed to perfection long before the less desirable or beneficial mastery of literature and arithmetic. A southern woman can walk the line of linguistic laceration as though she were sashaying the red carpet.

As a public service, tourist guide, and warning to the wise, I have collected a few sentiments that quite possibly could save your life or at least your soiree. To understand, interpret and most importantly, avoid an encounter of the unkind exchange it is imperative to be able to identify the onset.

1. Oh my goodness – This delectable phrase can mean delight or detriment depending on which word is stressed. If there is a distinct pause between each word, the best one can hope for is immediate shelter. If ‘goodness’ is drawn out to exceed two syllables paramedics should be notified.

2. Sweetheart – All too often this sugary salutation is misconstrued as endearment. If an eye brow or wine glass is raised, it is not endearing. Not endearing at all. May heaven and Oprah help you should ‘listen here’ proceed this foreboding term.

3. Did she/he really? - If this is muttered someone, somewhere will not be sleeping tonight. Often confused for a question when in reality it is a statement of intent and that intent is not to share a recipe for apple pie.

4. I shouldn’t say this but… - Prepare for an onslaught. This could go on for quite some time. Do not interrupt, intervene or attempt to argue. Simply nod and politely insert and occasionally ‘Oh no’.

5. You’ve done something different to you hair – A confirmation that your hair dresser wasn’t on their A-game at your last appointment. Acknowledge the observation and blame the humidity.

6. I haven’t seen you at church – Obviously you are living a life of crime or at least a life of shame. Quickly clear your Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday evening schedule for the next three months until someone else is missed from church.

7. Awe, look at her – When spoken during the summer months this is a direct reference to how her bikini fits. It is an unspoken agreement that all southern women understand. If you don’t understand, don’t wear a bikini.

8. Isn’t he/she great? - This is a strategic interrogation, not a compliment. Your answer will determine your social fate. The best response is to sneeze or faint and to do so quickly.

9. Where are you from? – The slippery slope of seemingly innocent conversation. If you aren’t drinking sweet tea, wearing top siders or sporting the summer sandbar tan, the answer isn’t important. It is just to buy time until cocktails are served.

10. Last but never least, Bless your heart - I have considered writing an expose on this sole phrase; however, some things are best left alone. Like casseroles after catastrophe, white platters at weddings and girdles after Thanksgiving, some things are just sacred. Just understand that your heart could possibly be blessed or it could be the beginning of your indoctrination to a language where even insults are held in high regard. It is the good, the bad and the southern. Welcome to the sultry south where the days are hot, the nights are hotter and the women are as sweet as can be until they aren’t. Happy Summer Ya’ll.

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.

Read More →

Transcendental Napping

By Shafiya Eve

You can experience a restorative rest whether it’s five minutes in the recliner, ten minutes on your lunch break in the car or a half hour or more in bed. Transcendental Napping (T-Nap®) can maximize the quality of your rest and rejuvenation and may even offer a lovely mystical experience to boot.

My preferred position is lying down on my back. I usually put a fat long pillow under my knees and a small pillow under my head but if you are in your car, just make do, whatever is most comfortable for you in your environment. If it’s daytime, I sometimes add a dark piece of cloth across my eyes.

It’s quite simple. Close your eyes and be aware of the light you see. No matter how dark it is, there is always light. It may be shapeless, formless, diffused light, kind of like a very deep fog. For me, sometimes the light is very still, other times it swirls into mystical realms. The trick is just watching it without thinking about it, without letting your imagination run away with you. Just be aware of the light you are perceiving. I like to add a measure of wonderment into the awareness. Here the difference between awareness and thinking will become obvious. The thinking mind and mindful awareness are two distinctly different phenomena.

The mind will drift. The thinking mind which was meant to be our servant has enslaved us with its none-stop analysis, useless imaginings and judgments. When you recognize you’ve gone off on a mental tangent, quietly and peacefully bring your attention back to the light. No chastisement, no “there I go again.” Without a thought let it go and come back to the light.

The first thing I notice when T-Napping are my eyes relaxing, then the jaw releases and my shoulders drop and the back of my throat will soften and feels like it is opening up – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Other relaxation responses will follow. I am mindful when the relaxation responses gain my attention to simply let go of the thinking about it, just appreciating the mindfulness of the shift and coming back to seeing the light, to the awareness of light in the dark.

One of my favorite things that happens is I’ll relax to the point that I hear myself snoring. I consider this a highlight in the (T-Nap) technique. I often have clients while receiving Reiki who will hear themselves snoring. It’s always a good indication of the depth of their relaxation and sacred experience. Many of us snore in our usual sleep patterns but we rarely hear ourselves snoring (unless our bed companion gives us a good nudge). This occurs in both the T-Nap and a Reiki session when the mind and the body have gone into such a deep state of restful relaxation yet still maintains its’ Awareness. It is through one’s awareness that the snoring is perceived.

I love experimenting. Sometimes I’ll do a body scan I just notice the various rhythms of different areas of my body then bring all my attention to the sacred heart center, being in awareness of the heart rhythm as a focus and before long my entire body will come into unity with that rhythm.

Just be mindful when experimenting that awareness is the goal, not thinking. Slipping into the thinking mind is natural. It’s had its way with us for many lifetimes. Just gently bring your attention to the awareness.

Take a T-Nap, rest and find yourself rejuvenated.

Shafiya Eve is a Transformative Energy Practitioner offering sessions in Beaufort, SC and by Phone Nationally, for life enhancing shifts to a higher state of being. She employs Reiki, as a Master/Teacher, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Visioning Time Travel and Zen Tarot Readings call (843) 986-8704, email: Shafiya_eve@yahoo.com or visit www.eveshealingvision.com to learn more or schedule a session.

Read More →

Driving my pick up truck

By Lee Scott

I have never lived in an area where there are so many pick up trucks like there are here in the Lowcountry. In most towns, it is normal to see contractors driving around with their company logo printed on the side and materials in the bed of the truck. But here, pick up trucks are everywhere. Part of the reason is because the fishing is so good and we are a tourist destination. Anyone passing one of our many boat launching ramps is familiar with the rows of trucks lined in the parking lots. Then there are trucks towing other things like campers, racing cars or jet skis. Well, we own a pick up truck too. It is a five-year-old F-150 truck that comes in quite handy.

When I was working full time in banking, I would drive it occasionally. It was a challenge climbing down from the cab in a business suit. But now that I have hung up my briefcase, there is something special about getting in the truck. It is much more comfortable to drive now that I can just put on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt when I drive it. My persona changes, and I confess to turning on the Country station and singing along with Shane Yellowbird belting out “Me and my pickup truck”.

Recently, I passed another F-150 truck driver on the way into the Convenience Center with my truck bed full. The driver gave me the two finger nod to his baseball cap. I returned the gesture thinking it was an F-150 thing, like the wave Harley Davidson motor cycle drivers give to one another. My husband shook his head and said, “There is no F-150 truck wave, that was our neighbor, Herb.” Oh well.

I do struggle with the fact that my truck has an automatic transmission. What happened to the old stick shifts? Remember Grandpa’s pick up on the old Lassie television series? You wouldn’t find him driving around with an automatic transmission. Anyone that has had to tow something uphill or downhill knows the true value of a standard transmission.

You cannot argue about the overall utility of a pick up truck. I understand why folks in our area own one. But with so many of them looking alike, I decided we needed something distinctive. I ordered one of those stick family decals for the back of the truck. You know that ones where there is a father, mother, five kids, three dogs and a cat. Ours has the man and woman and the two dogs. You can hardly see it because the back window is tinted. But if you look carefully it is there, distinguishing our pick up truck here in the Lowcountry.

Read More →

Great summer garden recipes

By Susan Stone

Keep an eye out for aphids on your crepe myrtles, roses and mandevillas. Keeping them well watered helps, but if those little suckers come calling simply whip up a batch of garlic soap water. It’s not much of a recipe.  In a household spray bottle: Mix approx. 1 tbs. garlic juice, a few drops of cheap dish soap then fill with water and spray.

No-See-Ums can make you crazy. They love the same weather we do with temps between 60-80 degrees. Here is my favorite bug repellant. It’s non-toxic, it’s cheap and it works! 8-1 ratio; mix witch-hazel and cinnamon leaf oil (always test for sensitivity)

As the temperatures raise so do the weeds, here is a great non-toxic weed killer that really does the trick. Be careful not to spray on anything you really like. 1-gallon white vinegar, 1-cup pickling salt, 1-cup cheap dish soap; put in lawn sprayer and spray directly on weeds (Works great on poison ivy)

For whitefly and soft scale (its early, but they may be left over from last year); you can spray rubbing alcohol directly on the bugs undiluted. Or, a few drops of cheap dish soap and water.

It’s important to get a jump on damaging pests as soon as you see them arrive. Once they get a foothold, it’s tough to get control without using harsh chemicals. Soap is your best friend in the garden. Bug’s don’t like the taste of it any better than we did. Spray early in the day; Not only because the wind is usually calmer, but the sun is not so intense. Over-applying soap in the hot sun can burn the plants.

Don’t forget to treat for Fire Ants! This has amazing results! Here I quote Howard Garrett, The Dirt Doctor; “Dry or dried molasses is a soil building product made by spraying organic bits with liquid molasses. It is used to quickly stimulate microbes in the soil and give an indirect benefit of fertility. It also in many cases will run fire ants off the property. It should be used at 10-20 lbs. per 1000 sf.”

Happy Gardening!

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.

Read More →

‘Bionic eye’ is an incredible breakthrough…but not right for everyone

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

News stories about a ‘bionic eye transplant’ have gotten a lot of attention, but what is the reality of new technology for restoring sight to some blind patients? The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has sometimes been called a ‘bionic eye transplant.’ Right now it is not possible to transplant an entire human eye – only corneas and some other specific eye tissues can be transplanted. And there is no electronic replacement for the whole eye.

The Argus II is a three-part device that allows some perception of light and motion in patients who have lost their vision due to retinitis pigmentosa. Surgery is done to place a small electronic device on the patient’s retina. Later, the patient wears a camera mounted on a pair of glasses, and a portable video-processing unit. Images are taken in through the camera, processed, and then sent wirelessly to the implant in the patient’s retina. The implant stimulates the living cells in the retina, and the brain interprets these patterns as light. Over time, the patient learns to interpret the signals from the Argus II to see objects, their surroundings, and — in some cases — even read large-print text.

This is an exciting development, but the Argus II is not for everyone. It is only for patients who have no vision or almost no vision due to advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina’s ability to respond to light. This inherited disease causes a slow loss of vision, beginning with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral (side) vision. Blindness ultimately results. Unfortunately, there is no cure for RP.

Patients must pass a careful medical screening to make sure there are no other physical reasons that they shouldn’t be given the implant. And patients should be aware that the Argus II does not restore complete, natural vision. The vision that is restored is black-and-white only, and does not include fine details.

Currently, only a handful of tertiary-care referral centers are performing the surgery. However, as more refinements are made to the Argus II and more progress is made, we may begin to see significant improvements in visual prognosis for RP and other debilitating eye disease.

Read More →

You just can’t make this shift up

By Martha O’Regan

It seems that folks I speak with lately have one or more areas of life that feels overwhelming, out of control or just plain wonky? Have you noticed it too? Does it feel like time is speeding up? Are your emotions all over the page for no obvious reason? Are old issues that were dealt with long ago showing back up for another review? Are you feeling the need to be with more people? Or, do you do all you can to avoid the over-stimulation of crowds? The good news is you are not alone…we’re all in this shift together.

There is a Universal shift that is affecting every single thing in all of creation — from an evolutionary shift in health, planetary shifts in nature, technological shifts in how we manage our daily lives to psycho-social shifts in families and relationships. It’s all happening by Divine Design and is too big for any one of us to stop it, so we may as well stop resisting and do our best to ride with it. It’s not personal. We aren’t being punished, duped or bullied by the politicians, the Universe or God. It’s just shift happening.

Being aware that shift is occurring and will continue can hopefully bring a level of calm amongst the chaos as we find new ways of being in this evolutionary process. Learning ways to nurture ourselves and others emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually can be amazingly supportive on individual, local and global levels. We don’t have to know how the body works or exactly how the Universal laws keep the stars in the skies, water in the ocean, or our feet on the ground to appreciate the magnificence of the energetic flow of cause and effect. Everything that is happening is based on a vibration, a frequency or a magnetic response to something else. It’s not random or a coincidence…just some crazy shift.

No one is exempt or gets to hide from these shifts, so once we acknowledge it, we can begin discovering ways to manage our personal shift for our health and well-being. Take a moment to contemplate the various areas of your life….relationships, health, livelihood, finances, physical surroundings, spirituality, etc. and identify an area that is in upheaval, upset or unrest, and notice where you feel a shift in your body. Do you get a headache, an oogie feeling in the pit of the stomach, tension in the neck or jaw, a pain in the butt, etc.? Do this with curiosity rather than judgment, remembering that our body is our feedback system for how we are living in our mind, spirit and environment; always revealing areas where we can create change in our life. Rather than turning off the messages, consider ways to manage the various shifts of energies that are flowing through and around your body, that will support actual change rather than disconnect from it. Taking a deep breath, changing your posture, moving your body, laughing for no reason, cranking up some fun music, or just being in awe of the magnificence of the moment can all shift something in the body, mind, and/or spirit.

Have you noticed that not all shift is bad, hard or tragic? With the increased changes in our world, people are actually coming together more to create social change, finding ways to give back to society and taking care of each other with more love and compassion. Social networks are providing a way for people to have greater access to valuable information and support through this change. Energy medicine is growing as we understand about finding harmony in mind, body and spirit. There are more heart based conversations with the word ‘love’ being used with greater frequency than ever before. Spiritual practices of meditation and mindfulness have become commonplace as we seek peace and understanding that we truly are all one and in this shift storm together. That’s some Good Shift!

Have a little fun playing with you own shift and watching what unfolds for you. Live Awake…Have Fun!

Martha O’Regan, BEST Life Coach for the Awakened Shift Head, supporting those who are tired of ‘thinking’ their way to health, happiness and success and ready for a Shift of Heart. Contact her at yourbestlifecoach28@gmail.com to discover just how easy it can be to Create Your BEST Life…By Design www.bestlifecoach.net.

Read More →