Review Category : Contributors

A “Weather Vain”

By Lee Scott

A Weather Vane is an instrument for showing the direction of the wind. A “Weather Vain” is an obnoxious person bragging about their great weather. You know that person who has the uncontrollable urge to send texts and emails about the wonderful weather they are having while others are suffering. They send pictures of themselves wearing shorts and t-shirts out fishing while their brothers and sisters are shoveling snow. They brag about how many “inches” of sunshine they had that day. Clearly these “Weather Vains” have not read Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to win friends and Influence people”.

The residents of Boston who have endured over one hundred inches of snow this year are not prepared to see the “Weather Vain’s” Facebook post showing him drinking a martini on his back deck. On the other hand, they don’t mind seeing a Boston couple’s Caribbean vacation pictures posted because everyone knows they will be back in the cold by the end of the week.

We here in South Carolina have had a pretty chilly winter, but we must refrain from complaining about our forty degree days. There are people in the North who would have loved to just get out of the single digit temperatures. They are posting pictures on Facebook now of their thermostats above freezing – a warming trend. A friend of mine told me the story of her son who lives in Staten Island and takes the ferry to Manhattan. She said what used to be a short trip for him was turning into an hour long ordeal.

The last thing he wanted to hear was her complaining about our two nights of freezing temperatures. Their lives have been disrupted this winter. School delays and cancellations; bus, train and airplane  delays. Government offices shut down. Let’s face it, these people are just not in a good mood right now! Do not rub it in that you were playing golf all weekend! They do not want to know about your sunburn. That is just down right cruel.

So the next time you are chatting with a relative up north. Be sensitive. Understand that they have had a particularly bad winter. Of course, when they send you pictures next August enjoying their comfortable seventy degree weather while we are sweltering here,  you might want to provide them with the definition of a “Weather Vain”.

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The Lowenstein impulse

By Lee Scott

I saw it last week – a woman in her red mini-cooper driving next to me over the bridge near Parris Island. It was one of those beautiful days when the thermostat was heading towards eighty degrees and the sky was a clear blue. The February chill was finally behind us. The top was down on her convertible and I heard her as her arms went up in the air, “Lowenstein, Lowenstein!” I knew what she was doing that day. Anyone who has read the book “Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy or seen the movie “Prince of Tides” will recognize it. Tom Wingo, the main character in the book, says it as he crosses one of the bridges out of Charleston that take him home in the evening. He says it “as prayer, as regret, as praise”. “Lowenstein, Lowenstein! It is soulful.”

The Lowenstein impulse hit me the first time I drove over the old railroad bridge into Charleston. It was the fall of 1996 (right after Hurricane Fran struck the east coast). My daughter and I were doing the tour of colleges and we were headed to the College of Charleston. As we drove over the bridge in her little VW Cabriolet, I put up my arms and said, “Lowenstein, Lowenstein.” You can imagine my seventeen year olds reaction, but when I told her the story, she understood. She told me that later after she had started classes at the College of Charleston, she would say it too, especially on those days that were particularly spectacular.

For me, who moved around a lot as a child, my birthplace does not hold the same significance it would have had I grown up there. My father was Civil Service and although I was born in Rhode Island, I only spent three short months there before we moved. When people ask where I am from, it is a tough question to answer because I have lived so many places. Children of military families say they have the same problem. But sometimes, you feel a connection to a place.

It has been almost twenty years since my daughter and I did that trip and I never expected to see myself driving over the Low Country bridges as I do now. Here I am in Beaufort finding myself looking up through the sunroof of my car and saying it. “Lowenstein, Lowenstein.” It is the sense of being thankful for life; but also now for being home. When I saw the woman in the mini cooper with her arms in the air, I thought of how many people must be inspired to do the same thing. As with Tom Wingo we are headed home.

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A cup of coffee a day may keep retinal degeneration away!

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

Here’s something coffee drinkers can get excited about. Aside from java’s energy jolt, food scientists say you may reap another health benefit from a daily cup of joe: prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetes.

Raw coffee is, on average, just 1 percent caffeine, but it contains 7 to 9 percent chlorogenic acid (CLA), a strong antioxidant that prevents retinal degeneration in mice, according to a Cornell study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (December 2013).

The retina is a thin tissue layer on the inside, back wall of the eye with millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. It is also one of the most metabolically active tissues, demanding high levels of oxygen and making it prone to oxidative stress. The lack of oxygen and production of free radicals leads to tissue damage and loss of sight.

In the study, mice eyes were treated with nitric oxide, which creates oxidative stress and free radicals, leading to retinal degeneration, but mice pretreated with CLA developed no retinal damage.

The study is “important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects,” said Chang Y. Lee, professor of food science and the study’s senior author. Lee’s lab has been working with Sang Hoon Jung, a researcher at the Functional Food Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. “Coffee is the most popular drink in the world, and we are understanding what benefit we can get from that,” Lee said.

Previous studies have shown that coffee also cuts the risk of such chronic diseases as Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive declines.

Since scientists know that CLA and its metabolites are absorbed in the human digestive system, the next step for this research is to determine whether drinking coffee facilitates CLA to cross a membrane known as the blood-retinal barrier. If drinking coffee proves to deliver CLA directly into the retina, doctors may one day recommend an appropriate brew to prevent retinal damage. Also, if future studies further prove CLA’s efficacy, then synthetic compounds could also be developed and delivered with eye drops.

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Feel the rhythm

By Susan Stone

This is the time of year that we must “feel the rhythm of the Earth” in order to know the right time to act. As another winter system moves through, we see the robins return, the Carolina Wrens searching for the perfect nesting spot and other species of birds performing their mating rituals. They are telling us that winter is nearing its end and spring is about to return. I wish I could tell you with certainty the right time to set out your seedlings, or to start shopping for them, but alas, it is a rhythm. And each year has its own.

By this time next month, we “should” be nice and warm during the day with cool nights, but there are years when winter hangs on a little longer than usual.  There are years that we appear to have no spring at all, but instead go from winter to summer. If you think about it, the earth is always seeking balance. If summers are too hot, the winters may be too cold. If we use up too much water and the aquifers get low, too much rain or snow may fall to refill them. Balance is the name of the game.

Fortunately, our soil stays workable all winter. So, cool season vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, lettuces and greens of all sorts, peas and root vegetables like beets, carrots, onions, radishes and turnips do very well in this rollercoaster weather.  You can plant seedlings or seed directly. This is a great time to plant berry bushes and to prune your woody plants while they are still dormant.

Valentine’s Day marks the time of year to prune roses, though I have held off pruning mine because it “feels” too early. That is what I mean by rhythm. Just because the calendar says it’s time, doesn’t mean it is. The rose needs to be pruned before its buds open, but if you cut them too early the warm days will force the rose to send out new branches, and if a late freeze comes the rose could be severely damaged. If that happens, the world does not blow up, I promise. The rose will just have to be cut back more severely, perhaps to its crown. And that’s okay too. Gardening is all about connecting to the rhythm of the earth and her cycles. Every season has new challenges and opportunities. I have learned most of what makes a garden beautiful by making a lot of mistakes and killing a lot of plants.

If this is your year to begin a new garden, flowers, vegetables or general landscape, start with good soil. It is one of the most overlooked areas of the garden. You will need a soil sample. This will tell you where to begin with your amendments. You would think you would want your PH to be balanced, but what are you growing? The Clemson Extension office here in Beaufort supplies little paper bags just for this purpose. Instructions are on the bag. For a small fee, they will analyze the sample and give you a report. Then your homework begins. Find out what your landscape needs. For example; azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas thrive in acidic soil.  Your pine trees and oak trees create acidic conditions, so you may find you don’t need amend if you plant near them.

In the meantime listen, observe, pay attention to what nature is saying to us. Watch the little critters; they are the harbingers of spring…not the calendar. Put out some suet for the early birds. When you see the robins, the hummingbirds aren’t far behind.

One more thing. The pine, oak & azalea pollen will soon be falling again. If you have any sensitivity to it, this may help.

1-tsp. Local Honey
1-tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1-cup warm water

One to three times a day. It tastes like white grape juice and works like a charm!

You may send Susan your questions and garden wisdom to



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It is one thing to dance in the waves

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

Taking precious moments away from the chaos that is assisting in the revitalization of a community and venturing into the social realm the weekend brought about an interesting perspective. Instead of allowing my battered brain a sweet reprieve, I found a pep in the steps of my sweet seaside town. Seemingly the clouds have dissipated, the smoke has cleared and the scent of scorched dreams linger only downwind as the word recession finds itself amongst terms less used. Only a short while has passed since my fingers danced atop worn out keys feigning Pollyanna optimism while most were running from a sky certain to fall. Businesses closed, property foreclosed and gray vastly became the new black and white as most tried desperately to cling to a fading, more gentle time of plenty. It was a grand recession indeed.

Rising from the mud and the muck, we have mended our wounded and are marching confidently into better days. A particular fondness for a certain degree of uncomfortable change is engrained in our Southern psyche, without the occasional regal boat rocking, we get unspeakably stale. We are the masters of recovery. Our rise after the fall is so well rehearsed I often wonder if we trip on purpose with the hopes of showcasing our enlightened charms. We often burn our lawns to produce greener grass, do we not?

Our stride is quickened, our gait is proud and our watering holes, once again have an hour to be happy. Less desirable chatter lends way to jovial banter of more successful chapters ahead. Real estate circles are once again polished and poised as an industry of survivors stake their claim in a market more appealing than recent past. We glance over our shoulder at years of walking uphill with a sense of strength and hope. Our bootstraps were pulled, our breath held and our scars well earned. An unmistakable opportunity to rise, to succeed and to allow moments of frivolity are once again upon us. How we have missed frivolity.

It is my humble hope that our memory, although undoubtedly romanced, is not too terribly short. Cautionary celebration, strategic growth and learned lessons make for a more picturesque revival. As all Beaufortonians know, it is one thing to dance in the waves, but it is always wise to watch the tide.

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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Goodbye BowWOW!

By Lee Scott

Tracie Korol who had been writing a column for The Island News called “BowWow” recently left Beaufort for Portland, Oregon. I will miss her articles. . I found them interesting because I have dogs and her articles always seemed relevant to what was going on with my two canines. Tracie would write about healthy dog treats to give your dogs;  oils that help dogs with digestion issues;  non toxic flea and tick alternatives but above all else she reminded us that dogs are our friends and need lots of love.

I thought of her this week when I picked up my twelve year old cocker spaniel who had just had some minor surgery. He has been with me since he was eight weeks old. I named him George Bailey, the character in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I call him  Bailey most of the time, but George Bailey when he is misbehaving.

Bailey came into my life after both my kids had left the house. Suddenly, the front of the refrigerator was bare; no more school calendars or “save the date” reminders. No book bags or gym bags lying near the back door. There was actually food in the refrigerator because there was no one was snacking at all hours of the day and night. The silence in the house was deafening. And so, I went looking for a dog and found Bailey. He has been a good friend through his twelve years. He was with me through my back injury and subsequent surgery. Although normally not in my bed with me, I found him tucked next to my leg every morning, purring as if to help heal me.

When my husband and I got married, my dog slowly migrated to the other side of the bed. His attachment to my husband was understandable since they could go to work together everyday. My husband had his own business and Bailey loved following him around everywhere. It wasn’t long before he became my husband’s dog. But like a child, when Bailey is sick, he is my dog again. It was me who spent the night on the couch next to his doggie bed after his surgery. I am the one with the medicine, the bandages and the calming voice.

Then this morning, he finally felt like his old self. When my husband opened the garage door to start a project, Bailey was with him. As I watch this twelve year old dog scramble like a young puppy to go after my husband I hope I can take some of Tracie’s advice. Feed him healthy food, make sure he gets regular exercise and love the heck out of him. Thanks for all the great suggestions, Tracie. Enjoy Portland!

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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

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

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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

I would love to meet my Doppelganger.

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