Page 1


CRITTER CATCHER On the hunt for home invaders

MAY 2016


Brunch time SC STO R I E S

A mermaid’s tale

THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 70 • No. 5 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 559,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033 Tel:  (803) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 Email: letters@scliving.coop

MAY 2016 • VOLUME 70, NUMBER 5


16 It’s a wild, wild life What’s it like to catch snakes, alligators, raccoons and squirrels for a living? Pure bliss, if you’re Horry Electric Cooperative member Russell Cavender, aka The Snake Chaser.



Diane Veto Parham FIELD EDITOR


Travis Ward


Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Susan Collins PRODUCTION

Andrew Chapman WEB EDITOR

Van O’Cain



Ron Aiken, Mike Couick, Hastings Hensel, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Patrick Keegan, Brian Sloboda, Kelly Rae Smith, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, S. Cory Tanner, Damaine Vonada, Paul Wesslund

4 CO-OP CONNECTION Cooperative news


The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds roar into South Carolina for the Shaw Air Expo. Plus: Renovation tips to boost your home’s curb appeal.



Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739-5074 Email: ads@scliving.coop NATIONAL REPRESENTATION

National Country Market Tel:  (800) NCM-1181 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor.


10 Uninvited houseguests

Keeping wildlife out of utility infrastructure and your home’s crawl spaces is a good policy that protects people and animals alike.


to your local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Address Change, c/o the address above.


12 Improve comfort, save

energy by sealing air leaks

Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, S.C., and additional mailing offices.

Air leaks. Every home has them, and they waste energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here’s how to stop them.

© COPYRIGHT 201 6. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor. is brought to you by your member-owned, taxpaying, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative, wise energy use and the faces and places that identify the Palmetto State. Electric cooperatives are South Carolina’s — and America’s — largest utility network. SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


14 Wearable tech

We’re not quite to Batman’s utility belt just yet, but we’re pretty sure this month’s collection of portable technology would impress the caped crusader.



Member of the NCM network of publications, reaching more than 7 million homes and businesses


21 Making a splash

Swim a lap around Ripley’s Aquarium with Shannon Kelahan-Pierson, and learn why mermaids are always smiling. SCENE

22 Give your house an

energy upgrade

When it’s time to remodel or renovate, consider replacing HVAC systems and major appliances for maximum energy savings. GARDENER

27 Big, blooming hydrangeas Gardening tips to make your landscape bloom with South Carolina’s favorite flowering shrub. RECIPE

28 Herb-seasoned brunch

Enjoy Chef Belinda’s menu of dishes bursting with freshfrom-the-garden flavors.


Susan Scott Soyars


30 Putting the ‘ooh’ in kazoos

Stop by the Kazoobie Kazoo Museum, Factory and Gift Shop for a musical adventure you won’t soon forget.



38 A bad case of shingles

Notorious outlaw Jan Igoe faces off against the ultimate keeper of the peace—her neighborhood HOA.


On the hunt for home invaders

SC R E C I PE MAY 2016


Brunch time SC STO R I E S

A mermaid’s tale

For critter catcher Russell Cavender, rounding up venomous snakes and apprehending alligators is all in a day’s work. Photo by Milton Morris.

On the Agenda For a listing p m co lete s, see of Event 6 page 3


MAY 21–22

Shaw Air Expo

MAY 21

Look! Up in the sky! It’s the Thunderbirds, the dramatic precision-flying demonstration team of the U.S. Air Force. They’ll be wowing crowds at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter for two days of free air shows, along with the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. The “Thunder Over the Midlands” show and open house, hosted by the 20th Fighter Wing, will include aerial demonstrations and on-the-ground aircraft displays.

The Thompson family’s agritourism farm and nursery near Conway specializes in showcasing what’s homegrown. At this day-long outdoor concert, they’re spotlighting locally grown musicians, including Sumter native and singer/ songwriter Lewis Brice and the alt-country/Southern rock Kenny George Band (above) from Aiken. Capping off the night will be country music’s Keith Anderson and a fireworks finale. The family-friendly event also promises a kids zone and a “redneck swimming hole.” Proceeds benefit Children’s Recovery Center, a child advocacy program in Myrtle Beach.

For details, visit shawairexpo.com/2016 or call (803) 895-2019.

Local Grown Country Music Fest

For details, visit thompsonfarmandnursery.com or call (843) 236-1400.

MAY 27–29

Sumter Iris Festival


Thousands of beautiful Japanese irises in bloom make Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter the place to be for this Memorial Day weekend festival. Enjoy boat rides across the lake, flower shows, concerts, car shows and kids activities. Keep an eye out for the park’s eight different swan species.


Koncert for Kids

If your kid’s devotion to Frozen never cools, “Let It Go” to this Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra concert designed to introduce young listeners to classical music and instruments. Popular songs from Disney’s wintry hit musical will be featured, along with up-tempo classical pieces and familiar tunes from other movies. Dressing up as Elsa will not be discouraged at this Sunday afternoon concert at Columbia’s Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.

For details, visit irisfestival.org or call (803) 436-2641.

For details, visit LMSO.org or call (803) 400-3540.

MAY 27–28

Gallabrae/Greenville Scottish Games

Celebrate all things Scottish over Memorial Day weekend in Greenville. Start downtown on Friday evening with the Great Scot! Parade, featuring bagpipers, clans in tartans, and a procession of Scottishthemed floats and characters. Saturday offers a full day of entertainment on the Furman University campus, with traditional Scottish athletic contests, pipe-band competitions, Celtic rock bands, demonstrations of border collie skills, classic British cars and Wee Scotland for the kids. For details, visit gallabrae.com.





Curb appeal counts to make a good first impression. That old saying is true for you and your home. All too often, homeowners dwell on how a house looks and feels on the inside and neglect the outside. A new granite counter­top may add sparkle to your kitchen, but maintaining your home’s exterior appearance—or curb appeal— is important to your enjoyment of the place. It also boosts resale value, says Tom Salomone, president of the National Association of Realtors. “One thing that will never change is the importance of curb appeal, because it serves as the first impression of a home,” says MILLER CUSTOM EXTERIORS


Salomone. “If buyers don’t think a home is GET MORE Turn to page 22 for attractive when driving by, chances are they tips on saving electricity won’t ask a realtor to see more.” and money by replacing According to Lorin Miller, president of outdated HVAC systems Miller Custom Exteriors, pride of ownerand indoor appliances ship also motivates people to improve their during your next home’s appearance. “They want a house that remodeling project. immediately looks good when they’re entertaining family and friends,” he says. When it comes to remodeling your home for maximum livability, curb appeal and resale value, Miller offers these tips.


“Color is an expedient way to add curb appeal,” Miller says. “The better siding products available today have no issues with darker colors fading, and there are lots of color choices for siding and trim pieces. We’re no longer limited to neutrals like white, beige or clay.”



Homeowners want more than a house with a pretty face. Sprucing up the outside also presents an opportunity to caulk around windows, add weather stripping around doors and plug air leaks that waste energy and money.

Vinyl siding has been America’s number-one exterior cladding for decades, but many of Miller’s customers now choose seamless, galvanized-steel siding with a baked-on finish. “It’s stronger and lasts longer than vinyl siding,” he says. Since each length is custom cut on the job site, seamless steel siding fits a house exactly and has no unsightly splices or gaps. In addition to its durability and good looks, steel siding is manufactured from recycled material. Vinyl siding is still a viable option, but the thinner, cheaper materials will eventually undermine curb appeal by sagging or losing their color. Miller prefers to use a thick vinyl siding that is sturdy, impactresistant and made in extra-long lengths to minimize seams and splices. He also advises homeowners that proper installation is paramount to vinyl siding’s looks and performance. “If vinyl siding is put on right, it lays straight and flush and won’t blow off,” he says.

This historic Queen Anne home had its curb appeal enhanced by Miller Custom Exteriors through the addition of colorful siding, the installation of new metal slate roofs and the replacement of drafty, dilapidated windows.


REDO THE ROOF An attractive roof in good condition increases curb appeal, but stained or missing shingles are both an eyesore and a red flag indicating a house in poor repair. In fact, in the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors, new roofing ranks highest among exterior projects appealing to home buyers. A roof that keeps out the elements and keeps up appearances protects homeowners as well as their property investment. Asphalt shingles are the nation’s most common residential roofing material. They can last for years, are available at different price points and offer multiple design options. Miller acknowledges that asphalt shingles remain a “very popular choice” for renovations, but he often recommends metal roofing for clients who can afford the upfront cost. Metal roofing costs roughly twice as much as asphalt but never needs replacement. “The real payback is how much longer it lasts down the road,” he says.

“The entry door is one of the most important aspects of curb appeal,” Miller says. “It’s the first thing people see, and everything about the door— color, design and even hardware— forms their opinion of a house.” Wood doors lend sophistication, but because they’re costly and require routine care, many homeowners opt for steel or fiberglass. Steel doors are less expensive and better for painting because of their smooth surface. Fiberglass doors—which can be made with woodgrain textures duplicating mahogany, cherry or oak—look great stained or painted. Although steel and fiberglass doors are virtually maintenance free, Miller cautions, “You get what you pay for.” Doors with tight-fitting frames, energyefficient foam cores and glass inserts have higher price tags, but they’ll look nicer, function better and survive longer than bargain-basement products. —DAMAINE VONADA



On the Agenda BY THE NUMBERS


Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. SOURCE: NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION

Give energy claims a reality check A QUICK SEARCH OF THE

internet reveals many great ways to save energy around your home. Simple things, such as adding insulation or using energy-efficient lightbulbs, are tried-and-true ways to make your home more efficient. But the same search might also reveal “amazing” products that claim to cut energy bills without requiring the consumer to use less electricity. These claims almost always turn out to be exaggerations or outright lies. Energy-efficiency scams generally center on misstatements of science or confusion over how utilities work to deliver power. One popular scam attempts to sell consumers a little box with promises that the device will cut energy bills by 30 percent or more by controlling and conditioning the flow of electricity into your home. The sales material often claims that the utility doesn’t want you to know about the device. That last part is actually true— because the device is a rip-off. There are several questions you should ask when evaluating a pitch for an electrical cure-all. Does it violate the laws of science? Some products claim that they are capable of “changing the molecular structure … to release never-before tapped power.” Changing the laws of science is no easy task. If the inventors truly can do this, the product will surely be sold at every store in the nation. They won’t be mailing out flyers or operating from a poorly designed website. Was the product tested by an independent group like a national lab or university? Be skeptical of any product not tested and certified by an independent source. Call the third-party group and talk to them to verify any claims. Sometimes scammers lie about the outcome of independent testing. Is it too good to be true? Trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. —BRIAN SLOBODA 8


How reliable is your electricity? Good news for electric consumers: The energy you depend on at work, school, home and church is hitting new milestones for reliability across the nation, according to the latest reports by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Consider these stats.


Average time, in minutes, a typical American home went without power in 2014


Percentage of the time power flowed without a hitch in 2014


Reduction in average outage time from 2011 to 2014


Average number of outages a typical consumer experienced in 2011


Average number of outages a typical consumer experienced in 2014 While co-op employees have always been dedicated to providing reliable service, automated meters and new monitoring technology are helping line crews prevent, discover and correct issues with even greater speed, says Tony Thomas, principal engineer at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “With automated meters, utilities can know a consumer is out of power before the consumer knows it,” he says. “Rural electric co-ops have done an amazing job of adopting technology and putting it to use.” —PAUL WESSLUND




you have at least one ceiling fan in your home. Ceiling fans are more than a decorative addition—if used properly, they can help lower energy costs. Use these tips for cool summer savings. IF YOU ARE LIKE MOST AMERICANS,

FLIP THE SWITCH. Most ceiling fans have a switch near

the blades. In warm months, flip the switch so the blades spin in a counterclockwise direction, effectively producing a “wind chill” effect. In winter, move the switch so the fan blades rotate clockwise, creating a gentle updraft. This pushes warm air down from the ceiling into occupied areas of the room.

ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT. In the summer, when using

a fan in conjunction with an air conditioner, you can turn your thermostat up 3 to 5 degrees without any reduction in comfort. This saves money, since a fan is less costly to run than an air conditioner. In the winter, lower your thermostat’s set point by the same amount. Ceiling fans push the warm air from the ceiling back down toward the living space, which keeps you warmer even at the lower setting.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE. Make sure your ceiling fan is the right size for the room. As a rule of thumb, a fan that is 36 to 44 inches in diameter will effectively cool you in rooms up to 225 square feet. Bigger rooms will need a larger fan, or multiple fans, for maximum comfort. TURN IT OFF. When the room is unoccupied, turn

the fan off. Running a fan in an empty room only wastes electricity.


The town of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

l i o o v t e e s hosts the annual South Carolina Festival of Flowers each June. Use the capital letters in the code key below to fill in the blanks above.

D E G N O R W means s o l v e i t


BONUS VIDEO A better butter. Flavored butters turn simple dishes into sensational treats. Get Chef Belinda’s recipes for fresh herb butters to top grilled meats and sweetened butters to spread on pancakes.

INTERACTIVE FEATURES Who wants a $100 gift card? Sign up for our free email news­ letter, and you will automatically be eligible to win a $100 gift card. One lucky reader’s name will be drawn at random from all eligible entries received by May 31. Register today at SCLiving.coop/reader-reply.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK Join us as we celebrate all that’s great about life in South Carolina. Add your voice to the conversation and share your photos at facebook.com/SouthCarolinaLiving.

GONE FISHIN’ The Vektor Fish & Game Forecast provides feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour. Minor peaks, ½ hour before and after. Minor

PM Major

4:07 11:07 10:37 4:37 11:22 11:22 4:52 11:52 11:52 — 5:22 7:22 — 5:37 8:07 1:07 6:07 8:37 1:37 6:37 9:22 2:22 7:07 10:07 3:07 7:37 10:52 4:07 8:22 11:37 5:22 9:22 12:37 6:52 10:52 — 8:07 1:22 1:07 8:52 2:07 2:52 2:52 9:52 9:37

5:37 6:07 6:52 12:22 12:52 1:22 1:52 2:22 3:07 3:52 4:37 5:52 7:07 8:37 4:07



17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

AM Major


PM Major

1 3:37 10:37 10:37 2 4:22 11:07 11:22 3 4:52 11:52 12:07 4 — 5:37 7:52 5 12:52 6:07 8:37 6 1:37 6:52 9:22 7 2:22 7:22 10:07 8 3:22 8:07 11:07 9 4:22 8:37 11:52 10 5:52 9:37 12:37 11 11:22 7:37 — 12 8:52 1:22 1:37 13 9:22 1:52 3:37 14 2:37 10:07 9:07 15 3:07 10:37 10:07 16 3:37 11:07 10:52

5:22 6:07 7:07 12:37 1:22 2:07 2:52 3:22 4:07 4:52 5:52 6:52 7:52 4:52 5:37 6:07



AM Major






President and CEO, The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina


biggest source of job security is squirrels. Squirrels are infamous for causing outages and taking out transformers. They gnaw through shielded cables or they make contact with live electrical wires, and—zap!—it’s lights out for the squirrel and, sometimes, the entire neighborhood. Power outages and “blinks” that take place without an obvious weather event are usually the result of animals or motor vehicles getting a bit too close to the electrical grid and shorting out a transformer or taking out a pole. While the ­dollars-and-cents cost of replacing damaged equipment can be steep, the animal at fault in a blown transformer pays a bigger price. Blown transformers are not the only wildlife challenges facing today’s cooperative employees and members. One out of four South Carolina co-op members lives in a manufactured home. Critter problems aren’t unique to these dwellings, but they certainly bring unique challenges. In the course of conducting energy audits across the state, we routinely find heating and cooling systems in double-wide mobile homes damaged by animals. The ventilation system on each side of a double-wide is connected by a crossover duct that usually runs underneath the home. When we perform an audit or respond to a high-bill complaint, this connection is the first thing we inspect. Animals seeking warmth in winter or a cool place to curl up in summer manage to find the crossover duct and, over time, may shift it such that they can crawl inside. They sometimes disconnect the duct altogether. With the heating and cooling system now open to the great outdoors, homeowners are usually shocked to find their utility bills suddenly skyrocketing— or they may be even more surprised to find an opossum, raccoon or feral cat sharing a bedroom with them. Beyond the crossover duct, manufactured houses also present a challenge in that their belly boards—the plastic webbing that secures the insulation underneath the flooring—offer an


open invitation to animals, including cats and raccoons, to take up residence. While it is disturbing to have living creatures make their home beneath your living room floor, the most unfortunate case I’ve heard of occurred when an opossum burrowed deep inside a mobile home’s belly band and breathed its last— leading the homeowner on a weeks-long investigation to find out just what was causing that horrible odor. As you make adjustments to your home’s heating and air-conditioning systems for the season, whether cooling in the summer or heating in the fall, please take the following ­suggestions into account to avoid problems with uninvited houseguests and unexpectedly high power bills. u Don’t

let critters get into the attic or underneath your home. Air vents, access doors and barriers to exclude animals need to be maintained or replaced from time to time.

u If

HVAC ductwork is underneath the house, keep it off the ground. This makes access more difficult for animals, especially smaller rodents. It also keeps moisture away from the ductwork, which extends the life of your system.

u Have

your HVAC unit and ductwork inspected at least once a year by a licensed technician. As the system ages, ductwork can become more susceptible to animals and leaks.

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS Santee Cooper welcomes Volvo Cars to the Palmetto State! And why wouldn’t they come here? We lead the nation in automobile exports and Southern hospitality. Santee Cooper, working with the South Carolina Power Team and the state’s electric cooperatives, will be along for the ride to help Volvo drive toward Brighter Tomorrows, Today.

www.scpowerteam.com • www.santeecooper.com



Improve comfort, save energy by sealing air leaks


My new home feels drafty. I added weather stripping to the doors and windows, but it hasn’t solved the problem. What else can I do to increase comfort?


Weather stripping around doors and windows is a good first step in sealing gaps that let in drafts.

As much as 30 percent of conditioned air can be lost through duct leaks, according to energystar.gov.






Caulking can prevent conditioned air from escaping through less obvious gaps.



Sealing air leaks is one of the easiest and most cost-effective improvements you can make in your home. Weather stripping doors and windows is a great first step and one that will likely pay for itself within a year. However, less obvious sources of air leakage can cause significant discomfort in your home. The average home leaks about half of its air every hour through various cracks and gaps. These air-leak openings add up to a 2-foot-square hole in the average home—that’s like having a window open all day, every day! Sealing your home can help keep heated and cooled air indoors, making your home more comfortable and reducing your energy bill. Places where air could be escaping and where moisture, pollen, dust and pests could be seeping in can include holes drilled into walls, ceilings and attic for plumbing pipes and electrical lines. Outlet covers and recessed lights may also have small gaps where conditioned air can escape. There could be leaks in air ducts in unheated spaces and around fireplace chimneys and attic access hatches. To find leaks, start with a visual inspection, checking for gaps and cracks where air could escape. Walk around your home’s exterior, and closely examine where different building materials meet, such as around the foundation perimeter, around outdoor water faucets and where the siding and the chimney meet. Indoors, examine common sources of air


Seals for gaps around the chimney require special fire‑resistant materials.

leakage, including electrical and water service entrances, baseboards, door and window frames, and attic hatches. The next step is sealing the air leaks you’ve found. The materials you need will depend on what gap is being sealed. Your local hardware store can help guide you to the right products. u Doors and windows with gaps at the frame need weather stripping. u Small gaps, like those around outlets or between the baseboard and the floor, can be filled with caulk. u Larger gaps and holes, such as those around pipes, may need foam insulation, foil insulation, sheeting or a combination of materials. u Seams or gaps in ducts should be sealed with a special duct sealant or metal tape available at home-­ improvement stores. Regular duct tape will not be sufficient to seal leaks. Your home needs some air leakage to stay properly ventilated. A home that is too “tight” can have issues with too much interior moisture, as well as carbon-monoxide risks if combustion appliances don’t have adequate ventilation. It’s especially important that you not plug up vents that bring in outside air to a gas or propane furnace or stove. But don’t rely on uncontrolled air leaks instead of mechanical ventilation. In cold, windy weather, your home may be drafty; in warm, still weather, not enough air may come in, creating moisture and air-quality issues. An energy auditor can help you determine a healthy level of air infiltration for your home and, if needed, recommend a good ventilation ­strategy. Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, email energyqa@scliving.coop or fax (803) 739-3041.



New legislatio g big $$$ on heating and coolin4, signed into law H. 387 On February 16, Governor Haley me tax credit for which provides for a 25% state inco s. alla residential geothermal inst tion S.C. residents can enjoy:

30% federal l 55% INCOME TAX CREDIT = 25% state + income tax credits

l 70% SAVINGS on heating, cooling and

hot water

energy consumption

TAX CREDIT l $11,000–$27,000 COMBINED INCOME for the average homeowner

There’s never been a better time to invest al a free and your loc t. Cal You may not in realize but home is l sitting on rmal uni theyour geo a newit, ut the abo re mo rn renewable supply of energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal comfort lea to WaterFurnace dealer today ing stay le whi system taps into gthe stored solar energy in your backyard oy enj amazin savings you will to provide savings of up on rheating, ’round. cooling and hot e all yea abl70% comfortto

water. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn how to tap into your buried treasure.



GeoPro Master Dealer (843) 779-3551 • berkeleyheating.com



GeoPro Master Dealer (864) 412-2651 • carolinaheating.com

Myrtle Beach/Georgetown


GeoPro Master Dealer (843) 235-1158 • waccamawgeo.com

H E AT I N G & C O O L I N G

TY & LEIGH SHARE THE TREASURE IN THEIR YARD WITH FAMILY How did you learn about WaterFurnace? I have long been involved in environmental and conservation work, including as chairman of the board of the Grand Canyon Trust. I know efficient uses of energy are essential to our future. This was an opportunity to practice what I preach with technology I was eager to understand.

Why did you choose a geothermal system over a conventional unit? I was well versed in the various options. This seemed the most environmentally friendly and most mature of the technologies available in my region. It was clear I would earn the cost back over time, in comparison to conventional and now-outdated approaches.

Are you enjoying a lower power bill?







(803) 597-3092 • fulmerheatcool.com

Rock Hill/Charlotte


GeoPro Master Dealer (803) 792-0788 • pantherhvac.com

We built the house from scratch. It is almost 7,000 square feet, and despite having a pool, wine cellars, south-facing windows on the ocean, and other potential drains on power, the power bill is comparable to that of our previous 4,500-square-foot home.

What are your favorite features? It is state of the art, quiet, and heats and cools effectively and immediately. Very delighted that, so far, the system has been problem free over the 31⁄2 years of use. Very, very pleased.

Would you recommend a WaterFurnace system to your friends and family? I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a high-quality, efficient system. Many folks building on the island stop by for a tour and to discuss the choice. The savings are forever!

How did you select your contractor? This was very easy. Berkeley Heating and Air Conditioning has an excellent reputation. They are responsive, creative, and excellent about understanding and achieving their clients’ goals.

Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn how you can discover treasure in your backyard.

visit waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

visit waterfurnace.com





While we’re not qu ite to Batman’s utility belt just yet, smart watc hes, fitness trackers, healt h bracelets and mor e have brought the lat est technology to yo ur wardrobe closet.

Wearable tech TIME IS NOW

SMART SLEEK Samsung’s Gear S2 looks good and works smart, with customizable watch faces to match your style, 3G/4G connectivity for calls, texts and emails, Bluetooth availability, and built-in speaker and microphone. Plus, its partner apps give you news, scores, calendars, health trackers and more, all at your wrist. It’s compatible with most Android smartphones. $300. (855) 726-8721; samsung.com. SMART OUTDOORS A watch that’s smart enough to guide you through camping, hiking, fishing or other outdoor activities requires a very particular set of skills. The Casio WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch is rugged, water resistant, easy to read in bright sunlight, equipped to measure altitude, direction, and atmospheric pressure, and able to graph tides and personal activity levels. And it tells time. $500. (888) 280-4331; amazon.com. SMART SWIM In the pool or in open water, the Swimovate PoolMate2 leaves swimmers free to focus on form and technique while it automatically tracks laps, strokes, distance, speed, calories and more. It’s a swimmer’s computer, water resistant to 50 meters. $99. (888) 280-4331; amazon.com.


LIGHT SPEED Remember how those firstgeneration fitness monitors felt like you were carrying a boom box on your wrist while you ran? Garmin’s Vivofit2 is light, slim and hardly noticeable. It helps you set your fitness goals and track progress, and it syncs to Garmin Connect for visual records of your achievements. $100. (800) 800-1020; garmin.com. KNOW MORE Fitbit helped revolutionize wearable fitness technology, and its Surge fitness “super watch” takes performance tracking to new levels, with built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking, in addition to keeping count of calories and daily activity. It also delivers call and text notifications and lets you access your music. $250. (877) 623-4997; fitbit.com. 14



SWING BETTER Zepp’s golf-swing analysis and training tool attaches to your golf glove and does just about everything but hit the ball for you. You get a 3-D picture of your swing, your club speed, your backspin rotation, hip rotation and more, plus training tips, all delivered right to your phone via the Zepp app. $130 for kit including sensor, mount and USB charger. (888) 280-4331; amazon.com.

SEE EVERYTHING GoPro action cameras have literally changed the way we view sports. The easy-to-use GoPro Hero is an entry-level tool for recording athletic endeavors, with options for shooting high-quality videos or 5-megapixel stills. User-friendly features include a one-click button for quick recording, fast-action-sequence shooting, time-lapse mode and more, all in a lightweight, wearable and waterproof package. $200. (888) 600-4659; gopro.com.


WHERE’S MY KEY? Does it seem like your keys go missing of their own free will, especially when you’re running late? Fear not. Attach a Tile tracker to your keys, and the Tile app on your phone guides you right to them. Also works for any other items you can slap a Tile on. $25. team@thetileapp.com; thetileapp.com. WHERE’S MY PHONE? Separation anxiety can set in quickly when your phone is missing, but this unobtrusive little doodad—the Protag Duet— wards off distress with a sensor that sounds whenever the two of you are parted. That way, you find it before it’s lost. The colorful tags also attach to laptop sleeves, keychains or wallets. $30. (800) 999-1984; theprotag.com. WHERE’S MY DOG? Have a dog that likes to wander? The DogTelligent Connected Collar lets you track your pup’s precise location, with the added benefits of virtual fence technology that cues your dog when he strays too far and a microphone that lets you call to him remotely. It’s not available until September, but you can preorder now. $144. (619) 630-0383; dogtelligent.com.


food stays fresh The food will taste great without preservatives or loss of nutrition.

preserve better than your grandmother It’s far better than canning and takes little time and effort.

Prepare for the future Your favorite recipes, meats, fruits and veggies will last 25 years on your pantry shelf.

1-800-939-5614 harvestright.com


EYES ON THE PRIZE Horry Electric Cooperative member Russell Cavender has learned the hard way to keep a close watch on venomous snakes like this copperhead.


For professional critter catcher Russell Cavender, wrangling wild animals is all in a day’s work BY JAN A. IGOE

THE SNAKE CHASERS In a typical year, Russell Cavender, his son, Hayden, and fellow nuisance-animal operator Jamie Sargent travel more than 40,000 miles responding to calls in the Lowcountry. April, May and June are their busiest months.



morning battle. Exiting their truck, they strap on back-mounted spray tanks and square off against their vast, green target. To the casual observer, it’s shrubbery. To professional snake removers, it’s a reptilian hideout. Unassuming in their khaki cargo shorts and white tees, the men approach the bushes Ghostbusters style, hoses blazing. Their tanks carry enough home-brewed snake repellent to send scaly intruders slithering back to mama, wishing they’d never been hatched. It’s a typical summer chore for Horry Electric Cooperative member Russell Cavender—aka The Snake Chaser—his son, Hayden, and fellow nuisance-animal operator Jamie Sargent. They’ve already finished setting underground traps in a nearby neighborhood where moles have been tormenting the sod. Next, they’re off to look for venomous snakes behind high-end North Myrtle Beach townhouses bordering a cypressfilled pond. And, at any moment, the cellphone clipped to Cavender’s belt could ring with an urgent request to remove an alligator from a neighbor­hood pond, a trio of snakes from a drugstore or a swarm of bees from a freaked-out homeowner’s azalea bushes. It’s what Cavender loves to do: catch critters, whether they’re furry, feathered or scaly. “If it moves, we’ll catch it,” he says. The men grab their snake tongs and buckets and head for the brush.




Wildlife tips BAC K AWAY F RO M T H E R E P T I L E Unless you’re an expert, do not pick up any snake. Most people can’t tell harmless rat and corn snakes from venomous copperheads and end up getting bitten. “Eight out of 10 people who call us incorrectly identify the snakes in their yard,” Russell Cavender says. L I ST E N TO YO U R AT T I C If you hear rumbling overhead, you have a guest. Get professional help immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage the intruder might do.

T R I M T H E AT T I C W E LCO M E M AT Keep potential intruders away from your attic by leaving a 9- to 12-foot clearance between nearby tree branches and your roof. Squirrels can easily jump 8 feet from tree to rooftop, and raccoons are resourceful climbers. Once on the roof, they tear soffits, explore exhaust fans and rip through shingles and plywood to access your attic. L E AV E T H E L A D I E S A LO N E When a fox, raccoon or other nocturnal creature is spotted roaming around in daylight, it doesn’t necessarily mean the animal is sick or rabid. Females often adjust their schedule to feed during daylight hours, so they can protect their young from predators at night. Don’t approach, but there’s often no reason to panic. B E E S M A RT Honeybees swarm every spring to perpetuate their species. “It can be terrifying to see a huge collection of buzzing bees hanging from a limb or attached to a tree trunk or mailbox, but it’s a good thing,” Cavender says. “Honeybees are vital to our planet’s survival.” Every year, the original hive creates a new queen and takes many bees with her to a new location. The swarm is waiting for its scouts to return and give the queen their new address. Honeybees are not aggressive when they swarm. They are full of honey and shopping for real estate. Leave them alone, or find a local beekeeper to collect them. They usually move on within 24 hours. D I S CO U R AG E S N A K E S Get rid of mulch, pine straw and natural substrates around your home. Instead, use rock or gravel for landscaping. Remove leaf litter under bushes, plants and trees. Trim low branches so you can see the ground, which leaves snakes no cover for protection. Watch your step around other snake attractants, like woodpiles, debris, metal and discarded appliances (all good hiding places), as well as fishponds, bird feeders and food left for outdoor pets.




N E V E R F E E D T H E G ATO R S Not only is the activity illegal, but it also teaches the animal that humans are a natural, easy source of food. That’s when the large reptiles—which are not naturally aggressive—become dangerous. Feeding any wild animal is never a good plan.

FAMILY BUSINESS Hayden Cavender has been catching snakes with his dad for fun since he was in grade school. Now he does it for a living and can’t imagine doing anything else.

“I caught 19 cottonmouths here over the last couple of years,” Sargent says. That sounds impressive until Cavender chimes in: “I caught 29.” In this business, there’s bound to be a little reptilian rivalry.

Answering the call

“People are so afraid of snakes,” says Cavender, recalling the time he had to rescue a woman who locked herself in her bathroom to avoid the enormous snake she’d seen slithering through her bedroom. The call came at 2:30 a.m. “I’d caught a snake for her a couple of weeks before. She wouldn’t leave her bathroom,” Cavender says. When he arrived, the front door was locked. Despite her pleas to knock it down, Cavender waited for police officers, who reluctantly agreed to break in. The Snake Chaser cautiously approached her bedroom, where the tie belt to her bathrobe was curled on the floor. That was the first time he had to rescue someone from a terrycloth snake. One Sunday afternoon, a gentleman called to report a snake in his bushes. Cavender assured him that the snake wouldn’t be there by the time he arrived, but the man was insistent and promised to keep the reptile in his sights. “He was waiting behind a bush when I got there. He’d been watching a stick for 35 minutes,” says Cavender. “It’s not the first time that’s happened.” But not every call is so benign. Nine years ago, Cavender broke his heel while liberating a raccoon from a dumpster and couldn’t put any weight on his foot for several months. “It was one of the most miserable times of my life. April, May and June are our busiest time of the year,” Cavender

says. “But I still caught a couple of alligators while I was on crutches. I still crawled through attics.” Now 48, Cavender often relegates ladder climbing and belly crawling under dank, webby, muddy crawl spaces to his younger colleagues. Another benefit to being the boss: Cavender assigns himself the fun jobs. “I get to go catch the snakes and alligators,” he says. “I get to do what I like to do.” But he also has to deal with the wildest animals of them all—the humans who call for their services. “Everyone who calls me is freaked out,” Cavender explains. “I always talk to people calmly. I am a diplo‘This is the most mat to the extreme.” Part of the job is calming exciting job. You people down and explainnever know what ing the procedures and you’re going to get legal restrictions on removing nuisance animals. It isn’t into. Every day is always a quick process, and insists on doing it different.’ —JAMIE SARGENT Cavender as humanely as possible. “People don’t understand. If a raccoon has babies in your attic, you’ve got to wait,” he says. “If they die there, it’s going to cost a few hundred more to clear them out.”

GOTCHA! Removing squirrels from attics and opossums from crawl spaces is all part of the job. Cavender usually sends the younger men out to handle these tasks while saving the snake and gator calls for himself. “I’ve earned my keep,” he says.

Cavender grew up in the Carolinas chasing and studying wildlife. He caught his first snake at age 4 and his first venomous one (a rattlesnake) at age 7. It never occurred to him that he could make a living at it until 1993, when he was working as a maintenance manager for an oceanfront condo complex in Myrtle Beach. Catching snakes didn’t seem like the most reliable way to support a family, but there were always side jobs from pest-control companies and property managers that weren’t equipped for reptile hunting. “I wanted to work with animals and hated working for other people,” says Cavender. “I can’t have someone tell me what to do.” It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate discipline. Cavender’s dad spent 28 years in the Marine Corps. He was an avid hunter who raised hunting dogs. Mom was an animal-­ control officer, so love of animals and unrelenting work ethic come naturally to him. While building his business, Cavender would clean pools in the pre-dawn hours and catch creatures until dinnertime. During one stretch, he worked six months without a single day off. The calls kept increasing, and his reputation grew. In 1997, The Snake Chaser became a full-fledged business. As a boss, Cavender says he’s no picnic. You’d better be on time and ready to work. He wants every job done to perfection and has zero tolerance for excuses, even from his son. That’s fine by Hayden Cavender, 26, who has been


From hobby to occupation

capturing snakes, removing raccoons, banishing bats and wrestling alligators with his dad since age 5. He can’t imagine doing anything else. Neither can Sargent, a former “surfer dude” whom Cavender hired 11 years ago. “This is the most exciting job,” Sargent says. “You never know what you’re going to get into. Every day is different.” Wildlife removal is no career for the squeamish or anyone opposed to pain. The senior Cavender has been called to remove about 1,000 dead animals, with the occasional carcass exploding on him. He estimates he’s been stung several hundred times. There have been broken bones, torn ligaments and countless bites from raccoons, snakes—only one was venomous—and squirrels. l l SCLIVING.COOP   | MAY 2016   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




THE WILD KINGDOM The menagerie in The Snake Chaser’s backyard includes a temperamental goose (“He might sit on your lap, or he might bite you. Depends on his mood,” Cavender says), the always-friendly Hey Pig and a 75-pound tortoise that goes by the name Professor X.

“The squirrels are the worst,” he says. “They bite right through the gloves. I could feel teeth hit bone.”

Back to the wild

Some people like to leave work at the office, but Cavender isn’t one of them. After a day of wrangling wildlife, “I can’t wait to get home to pet my dog and feed my crow,” he says. His backyard is a personal zoo and wildlife-rehab center where Peanut, Cavender’s mischievous pet crow, swoops in and perches on the snake chaser’s shoulder as soon as he exits his truck. Regular visitors know to sidestep his 75-pound, tunnel-digging tortoise, Professor X, and to expect a greeting from the 150-pound pig, known simply as Hey Pig. Hazel, the border collie, will want to play fetch. Along with chickens and a temperamental goose that’s been around for almost 20 years, there are always animals

Ride along with The Snake Chaser When Russell Cavender isn’t catching or rehabilitating wildlife, he’s posting pictures, videos and stories of his latest exploits on social media. “I post a lot on Facebook,” he says. “I just like telling people what I do.” Cavender has even created a public-figure Facebook page for Peanut, his pet crow. Follow their adventures at facebook.com/TheSnakeChaser and facebook.com/Peanut-1637417943170328.



While most people call The Snake Chaser to get rid of wildlife, local vets call him when an animal needs rehabilitation.

on the mend. While most people call The Snake Chaser to get rid of wildlife, local veterinarians and animal hospitals call him when an animal needs rehabilitation. Georgie Girl, a newborn deer snatched by a hungry coyote in Georgetown, found sanctuary in Cavender’s menagerie. Now almost a year old, she beat the odds and will head back to the wild soon. Just past Georgie Girl’s enclosure, two cautious but curious owls with luminous orange eyes perch in the shadows of a room-sized bird cage. “Supposedly, they were a breeding pair. But Samson and Delilah turned out to be Samantha and Delilah,” he laments. Shiny black crows, or rooks, inhabit the next enclosure. They’re among Cavender’s favorite animals. “I’ve always been fascinated with crows. They’re smart. They are up there with chimpanzees and dolphins,” says Cavender, who plans to breed European crows, which can be worth $3,500 apiece. Cavender doesn’t keep snakes anymore, although he occasionally leaves a bag full of reptiles on the kitchen counter where he won’t forget them. Christine Cavender, his tiny, red-haired wife of 28 years—they met while working in a pet store—is used to it. “What did you bring home today?” she’ll ask. There are moments when Cavender can imagine himself on adventures far away from South Carolina wildlife, eating at fancy restaurants and watching big-city crowds, but they fade quickly. His daily adventures are hard to beat. “I love it. I’m in the perfect line of work for me,” he says. “If I won the lottery, I might give the business to my son, but I’d still want to be rescuing animals and catching alligators and snakes.”


SC Life

Making a splash Shannon Kelahan-Pierson AGE:


Pawleys Island CLAIM TO FAME: Mermaid Clodagh at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach DAY JOB: Kelahan-Pierson is a senior marine science major at Coastal Carolina University, where she was crowned Miss Coastal in 2014. She is also involved with sea turtle rescue organizations. ABOUT HER MERMAID NAME: “It’s a play on my Irish heritage. It’s the name of a river in Ireland. We stuck with the body-of-water theme.”



The kids inch closer to the aquarium glass, clutching camera phones and lollipops. In the luminescence of the tank, they glance right past the Southern stingrays and bonnethead sharks, searching excitedly for the first sign of a purple-spangled mermaid tail. They scream and cheer as Mermaid Clodagh comes finning and twisting downward, blowing bubbly kisses and playing underwater patty-cake for a full eight seconds before going back up for air. They love it. They want more. And so she dives back down again. And again. “I think kids like mermaids because it allows for an extra sense of wonder,” says Shannon Kelahan-Pierson, who plays Mermaid Clodagh at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. “To little kids, there’s every possibility in the world that mermaids exist.” Originally from Phoenix, she grew up vacationing on Pawley’s Island, then moved to the Grand Strand to study marine science at Coastal Carolina University. “Coastal has one of the best programs in the country, and even though I was moving 2,190 miles away, I was going somewhere that my heart felt was home,” she says. Like many of the other Ripley’s mermaids, KelahanPierson has always had a passion for water—whether it’s working as a lifeguard or as a swim instructor, or earning open-water scuba certification. Such aquatic skills are necessary when you wear a tail that weighs 35 pounds and perform four shows a day during tourist season. “A lot of people come here on vacation and want something new, they want something different, and I certainly think we provide that,” she says. “We all really love what we do. I haven’t ever come to work and had a grumpy mermaid day.” —HASTINGS HENSEL






ou’ve seen all the home-improvement shows on TV, and now it’s your time to overhaul everything outdated and annoying in your decor. You’ve picked out flooring, countertops, cabinets and paint colors. But have you thought about your home’s heating and cooling system or its hardest-working appliances? Major renovations are good times to consider upgrading your home’s top consumers of electricity—HVAC, refrigerator, water heaters, washing machine, dishwasher—even if your current models are still functioning. Federal efficiency standards for home appliances have risen so much in recent years, newer models now leave the showroom ready to work smarter, says Brian Sloboda, efficiency expert for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. A 6- or 7-year-old fridge or washer may be working just fine, but the models that have come on the market in that timespan are likely to be more energy efficient, he says. The benefits of upgrading? “More efficient performance from your appliances, cool new features, and you may avoid the high cumulative cost of repairs,” Sloboda says.

Now, think about the size of your household. A heating and air-conditioning system runs most of the time, as does a refrigerator, regardless of how many people are in the home. But washers, dryers and dishwashers work harder in bigger households. “If you are a family with kids, and you’re using the washer five to eight times a week, you might want to get rid of a 5-year-old washer and buy a newer, more efficient, Energy Star model with a larger tub to reduce the number of loads you do and save money,” Sloboda says. “If you are empty nesters, using your washer one or two times a week, you can keep that same appliance longer, because you won’t see as much savings.” Big appliances and HVAC systems don’t come cheap—you could lay out $5,000 for a new air-source heat pump, for example, adding thousands more based on brand, size, features and whether ductwork also needs replacing; geothermal systems cost upwards of $20,000. But you can offset some of those costs with tax credits, rebates or other financial assistance that are available in your area for energy-efficient appliance upgrades. The federal Energy Star website (energystar.gov) has details on tax credits available through Dec. 31 for residential energy-efficiency upgrades to heat pumps (air source and geothermal), air conditioners and water heaters, among other purchases. Programs in South Carolina that offer financial assistance for energy-efficient improvements can be found through the S.C. Energy Office (energy.sc.gov/ incentives) and the DSIRE database for renewable-energy incentives (dsireusa.org). You can also boost the return on your investment in appliances by using the yellow EnergyGuide labels and blue Energy Star logos to identify the most energy-efficient models (see “A shopper’s guide to energy efficiency,” p. 25).


When it’s time to remodel or renovate, consider replacing HVAC systems and major appliances first for maximum energy savings

Do the math

One of the first things to consider in deciding what to upgrade is the age of your current appliances. To really lower your energy bill, start by replacing your oldest appliances, even if they’re still up and running. “If your heat pump is more than 15 years old, you’ll get a real benefit from changing it out,” says Michael Smith, director of corporate strategy and emerging technologies for Central Electric Power Cooperative. “Any refrigerator over 20 years old, it’s time.” When an indoor appliance gets to be 8 to 10 years old, Sloboda says, it’s a good time to look at how much more life it has in it. 22



Big-ticket savings

You want the most bang for your buck—that means choosing upgrades that can pay you back with lower bills. Energy experts suggest starting with the biggest power consumers in your home and working your way down.

THE HVAC SYSTEM In South Carolina, one of the hottest

states in the Sunbelt, maximizing efficiency in your airconditioning unit should be a focal point. Heating and cooling accounts for about half of the energy used in most homes. “The HVAC system is number one—the air conditioner, anything electric-heat related. If you’re going to spend money to upgrade somewhere, that’s where to do it,”

Sloboda says. “You’ll notice the savings on your electric bill.” Expect a useful lifespan of about 12 to 15 years for your HVAC system, Sloboda says. Maybe you’ve noticed signs that your HVAC system isn’t working well—higher utility bills, rooms that are too hot or too cold, damp or clammy indoor air, and musty odors. That doesn’t always mean it’s time for a new unit, according to Paul Parker, HVAC design consultant in North Charleston. Before replacing your system, have a qualified contractor assess your whole house to accurately diagnose possible ductwork leaks, gaps or deficiencies in insulation and the tightness of the building envelope. A home that’s leaking conditioned air will tax even the most efficient HVAC system. l l SCLIVING.COOP   | MAY 2016   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



“You could spend thousands of Heating dollars [on a new unit] and not be and cooling any more comfortable,” Parker says. While comparing price tags on accounts for new air-source heat pumps, look at about half of a unit’s SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) number, which tells the energy you how efficiently it cools. used in most The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air-conditioning homes. system, says Ford Tupper, energy auditor with The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. Higher numbers generally indicate systems with additional features that contribute to efficiency, such as variable speeds and variable-stage compressors, he says. The current minimum SEER is 14 for air-source heat pump systems; Energy Star-certified systems will be rated higher. For geothermal systems, cooling effectiveness is rated by EER numbers, starting at 18 and up for high-efficiency systems. Balance the upfront purchase cost against the potential savings offered by a more efficient model. For air-source heat pumps, Sloboda says, “An 18 SEER is a good choice for maximizing efficiency without spending an obscene amount of money.” To save a bit more, invest first in new or securely sealed ductwork, then buy a system closer to the 14 SEER standard. That way, you’ll enjoy a quicker return on your investment, says Parrish Neville, marketing manager for Palmetto Electric Cooperative. If you’ve been eyeing a geothermal heat pump system, 2016 may be the year to pounce. There’s a federal tax credit of 30 percent for the installation of geothermal systems through Dec. 31 of this year. Plus, South Carolina is offering a 25 percent state tax credit on geothermal equipment and installation through Dec. 31, 2018. “The call to action is that there’s a guaranteed 55 percent income tax credit in 2016” for installing new geothermal systems, says Steve Weitzel, S.C. territory manager for WaterFurnace, which manufactures and distributes geothermal heat pump systems. Geothermal systems require a sizeable upfront financial investment—an average of about $24,000, Weitzel says, for a

GET MORE Visit SCLiving.coop/energy for more articles on making your home more efficient, choosing the best appliances and understanding HVAC systems. Making sense of appliance upgrades – A shopper’s guide to major appliances. Blowing hot and cold – Technology and tax breaks make heat pumps an attractive option for heating and cooling South Carolina homes. Wrap it up – Does your home have enough attic insulation for peak comfort and efficiency? Our guide will show you how to evaluate your home’s thermal barrier and insulation upgrade options. Seal and save – Save 5 to 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills with a little caulk and some elbow grease. 24


typical 3-ton system. On the savings side, a geothermal heat pump can save a residential homeowner 50 to 75 percent on heating and cooling, with a life expectancy about twice as long as traditional air-source heat pumps, he says.

THE WATER HEATER Right after heating and cooling, your home’s biggest energy user is likely to be the water heater. Life expectancy for this appliance is about 10 to 12 years. The efficiency rating for a water heater is expressed as its Energy Factor. If a water heater has an EF of 0.94, for example, that means 94 percent of the energy going to the water heater from its power source is being converted to hot water, according to NRECA. Standards vary by the size of the tank and the energy source, but, like a car’s mpg rating, higher numbers mean greater efficiency. The latest EF standard for 50-gallon electric heaters is 0.95; for 80-gallon electric models, 1.97. You can compare similar models by locating the label with the EF number on a new water heater. Recent changes in Department of Your local Energy efficiency standards for residential water heaters mean consum- electric ers may find it difficult to replace cooperative their traditional electric-resistance water heaters with a newer model in may be able to a similar size and style. advise you on New standards that went into replacement effect in 2015 have eliminated the manufacture of residential, largeoptions for capacity, electric-resistance models your water holding 55 gallons or more. Your local electric cooperative may be heater. able to advise you on replacement options, especially if your current water heater is part of a co-op’s load-control program, which helps reduce demand for electricity during peak usage hours, saving all members money. Manufacturers are working to create a new category of grid-enabled water heaters, but these new models, when they become available, will be designed for installation only as part of a utility’s load-­control program. (For details on the new efficiency standards and advice on replacement options, visit SCLiving.coop to download the NRECA brochure “Product changes and disruptions for large electric water heaters.”) Another option is installing a light-duty commercial water heater in an 80-gallon or larger size, Neville says. These units, not subject to the new standards for residential water heaters, are what Palmetto sells to members in its load-­control program, he says. They may be a little more ­expensive and require care in setting the maximum temperature no higher than 120 F for residential use. And, as they are larger, they may not fit all homes, Neville says. In that case, a home that requires heavy hot-water use may opt for two smaller, 50-gallon residential water heaters. For smaller homes, a ­single 50-gallon unit may be sufficient, he says.

A SHOPPER’S GUIDE TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY When you’re ready to shop for new appliances, the yellow and blue tags you see on new models are your key to maximum energy savings. ENERGYGUIDE LABELS

Bright yellow EnergyGuide labels help shoppers compare operating costs and energy use across similar appliances. If you’re trying to choose between two refrigerators with comparable price tags, for example, the EnergyGuide label will show you the range of annual operating costs for similar models, as well as an estimate of the annual electricity use, based on national averages. Those numbers are estimates; exact costs for you will depend on your local utility rates. “There may be variation from where you live, but you can compare the relative costs across all models,” says Brian Sloboda, NRECA’s program manager for energy efficiency. A few appliances—clothes dryers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ovens, ranges,

microwaves—don’t carry EnergyGuide labels, because there’s little variation in energy use between models. As for specialized features—such as variable-temperature drawers in a

Another option, a heat pump water heater, offers high energy efficiency but with downsides, says Alan Shedd, director of energy solutions for Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. While they use little electricity to operate, heat pump water heaters can cost about twice as much to install as electric-resistance units, and they require more maintenance, tend to be noisier and need open interior spaces with good airflow to function properly, he says. “The simple takeaway is, there are installation issues you need to take into account,” Shedd says.

THE REFRIGERATOR You may not think about it, but your refrigerator is working constantly. Over time, even onceefficient models use more energy as their motors wear out, Sloboda says. Consider a fridge purchased in 1985, one of the most energy-efficient models then on the market—16 cubic feet, with freezer on top, refrigerator below. Using Energy Star’s online Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator, and plugging in local electric rates, the math shows that replacing that old fridge with a newer, energy-efficient model in a similar size and style could save nearly $200 a year in energy costs. To maximize efficiency, look for the Energy Star label, and focus on size and style when choosing a new fridge. Avoid double-door models with door-mounted ice and water dispensers and internet access; look for a traditional,

refrigerator, steam-cleaning washers, touchpad controls—focus on the ones you’ll use and that fit in your budget. Think ahead about maintenance. Some highend models with fancy features can tap your wallet down the road with expensive repairs. “Most of the features you see advertised on appliances are not energy focused,” Sloboda says. “There are so many different features, you can’t do a true comparison. That’s why the yellow label is so critical.”


The other color to watch for is blue. That’s the Energy Star logo applied to the most energyefficient appliances—those that exceed minimum federal energyefficiency standards. Often it can be found at the bottom of an EnergyGuide label. The choice between two comparably priced products may be easier if one has earned Energy Star certification—you’ll see savings faster on an Energy Star purchase.

top-mounted-freezer model in the 16- to 20-cubic-feet range. “The best style, from an energy standpoint, is the one nobody wants anymore—the old-fashioned models with the freezer on top and the refrigerator on the bottom,” Sloboda says. How much difference does style make? On Energy Star’s 2016 list of the most efficient medium, large and extra-large refrigerators, top-mounted-freezer styles use an estimated 296 kilowatt-hours per year, versus 532 kilowatt-hours annually for French door models with the freezer on the bottom. Fewer kilowatt-hours used translates to lower operating costs. By way of comparison, that 30-yearThe most old fridge above is using more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours a year. energyabout that old refrigeraefficient style tor.Now, If it’s still working, why not keep it in the garage or baseis the kind as a backup? Because, no nobody wants ment matter where you move that energy hog, it’s still hogging anymore— energy and costing you money. freezer on “Putting it in the garage is always a horrible idea,” Sloboda top and says, noting that outdoor heat and refrigerator humidity put an added strain on a fridge working to maintain a on bottom. SCLIVING.COOP   | MAY 2016   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



constant temperature. “If you really need a second refrigerator, buy a smaller, Energy Star-rated refrigerator.”

THE WASHING MACHINE How much laundry are you doing?

With an upgraded washing machine, a family doing several loads of wash a week could see a savings on the monthly electric bill. Energy Star-certified washers use about 25 percent less energy than conventional models and about 40 percent less water, according to energy.gov. Again, consider the age of your current appliance— if it’s more than 10 years old, more efficient washing machines on the market will save you money. Use those high-efficiency washers correctly to see the savings, Sloboda cautions. They use less water, so they need less detergent. Overload them with soap, he says, and you’ll make them work harder in the rinse cycle, decreasing your energy savings. “They take a longer time to perform the same job, because they’re being more efficient,” he says. “But you’re getting double the bang for the buck—you’re using less water, and you’re using less soap, which are good for the environment and your wallet. And you’re using less electricity.”

‘The best way to save money with a dryer is to buy a better washing machine.’

THE DRYER Although there’s not much difference across comparable models of clothes dryers as far as energy used, you can still find savings by looking for the blue Energy Star logo. Features such as moisture sensors, automatic shut-off and low-heat settings help these dryers use 20 percent less energy. “The best way to save money with a dryer is to buy a better washing —BRIAN SLOBODA machine,” Sloboda says. Buy a washer with the fastest spin cycle you can—when you bring the clothes out of the washer, they’re just kind of damp, and you can dry a whole load in 15 or 20 minutes.” THE DISHWASHER Like washing machines, today’s dish-

washers use much less water to clean. According to energystar.gov, a new Energy Star-certified dishwasher can save an average of 1,600 gallons of water over its lifetime, compared to models dating back before 1994. “A sensor makes sure the dishes are clean by checking the water to see if all the soap and dirt are gone,” Sloboda says. “They don’t use a lot of water in cycles. So it takes longer to clean, but it still uses less energy.”


is invading SC forests! REPORT COGONGRASS:

864-646-2140 or invasives@clemson.edu

Find out more at clemson.edu/invasives Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org 26





Big, blooming hydrangeas in South Carolina, where old-fashioned bigleaf hydrangeas dot landscapes from the mountains to the coast. Few flowering shrubs deliver a summer impact like bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). I have a sentimental attachment to this most traditional of hydrangeas from childhood memories of family members’ gardens. Thanks to their ease of rooting and transplanting, they were easily passed down and shared with friends and neighbors. Hydrangeas also offer us that rarest of flower colors—blue. Flower color on bigleaf hydrangeas, including both mophead and lacecap types, can vary from deep blue to greenish white to bright pink. It’s not unusual for a gardener to be gifted a piece of a blueflowering plant, only to have it flower pink in their own garden. The reason for that is all about how the hydrangea relates to the soil it’s planted in. Blue flowers bloom on hydrangeas growing in acidic soils (pH 5 to 5.5) when there is sufficient aluminum content. Aluminum is the linchpin for producing blue flower color, but hydrangeas can’t absorb it at higher soil pHs. So, in less-acidic soil (pH of 6 or higher), or when aluminum is lacking, the flowers will trend toward pink. Excessive amounts of lime or other nutrients, particularly phosphorous, can interrupt aluminum uptake, HYDRANGEAS GET A LOT OF LOVE


Endless Summer (top) is a newer variety of hydrangea that blooms throughout the season. When pruning in the spring, leave the branches that show swelling buds to ensure a swell show.

leading to pink instead of blue flowers. If you want to know why your hydrangeas are blooming blue, pink or somewhere in between, a soil test will help you find the answer. If pink flowers are your goal, add lime according to soil test results. Many S.C. soils naturally produce blue flowers; if yours does not, your soil report may recommend adding aluminum sulfate, a granular product that lowers pH and supplies aluminum for blue flower development. Be cautious: Aluminum is toxic to many plants at high levels, so don’t apply too much aluminum sulfate. Besides flower color, failure to bloom is the biggest concern I hear from hydrangea gardeners. The oldfashioned varieties that bloom only once, in spring, flower on “old wood,”

meaning their flower buds form during late summer and fall of the previous year. Heavy pruning between fall and spring removes those buds, reducing or eliminating the spring show. You can protect young buds by managing your pruning. For dormant pruning, remove dead stems and flowers in early spring, just as buds begin to swell. Remove any branches or branch tips that don’t show swelling buds, but leave healthy buds in GET MORE For more place to preserve the on growing hydranfuture flowers they geas, see Clemson Extension contain. If you need fact sheet HGIC 1067 at to reduce plant size, clemson.edu/extension/hgic. prune just after the For advice on having your blooms have faded. soil tested, see the article The newer, remon“Digging up answers tant (a fancy word with soil samples” at for reblooming) SCLiving.coop/home--garden. hydrangea cultivars, like Endless Summer and Penny Mac, flower on “new wood” and are more forgiving. Even if you cut off spring flower buds or lose them to frost, new ones will take their place for a later bloom. Don’t forget to snip some blooms to enjoy indoors. Hang them upside down to dry inside, then create dried arrangements to prolong the show. is an area horticulture agent for Clemson Extension based in Greenville County. Contact him at shannt@clemson.edu.






Herb-seasoned brunch Fresh herbs, especially straight from or to the garden, add a burst of flav e tried hav may You es. dish all kinds of your but , them in savory meats or sauces e of tast the n hte favorite herbs can also brig that nu me a s e’ Her ds. traditional brunch foo to ors flav den -gar -the om adds fresh-fr e each dish, whether the herbs com r you or from the market own backyard.


1 9-inch piecrust (homemade or ­store‑bought) ½ tablespoon olive oil ½ red onion, sliced 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 6 eggs ¾ cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon Kosher salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes




Preheat oven to 375 F. In a 9-inch pie plate, arrange and crimp piecrust. Cover crust with parchment paper and weight with dried beans or piecrust weights. Bake crust 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Remove from oven, and lift off parchment paper and beans. Set crust aside. In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onion until caramelized, about 10–12 minutes. Let cool slightly. Layer onion, broccoli and cheese in the piecrust. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream, herbs, salt, pepper and pepper flakes, and beat lightly with a whisk. Pour over broccoli mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 pound fatback or bacon, cut into pieces 2 pounds ground pork 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1  ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 tablespoon light brown sugar ½ teaspoon cardamom (or equal parts cinnamon and nutmeg) ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Using a food processor, grind the fatback or bacon. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Form into 2- to 3-inch patties. (Patties will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.) In a medium nonstick skillet, over medium heat, cook patties until brown on both sides and done in the center, about 8–12 minutes. W H AT Õ S C O O K I N G AT


Tweak the flavor of your butters for dinner rolls, baked potatoes or grilled steaks with Chef Belinda’s simple herb butters. Get the recipes at



¼ pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks ¼ cantaloupe, cut into bite-size chunks ¼ honeydew melon, cut into bite‑size chunks 2 cups watermelon, cut into bite‑size chunks 1 cup strawberries, halved or whole

1 cup blackberries, raspberries or blueberries 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint 2 tablespoons honey ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine all the fruit. Spoon mixed fruit into individual serving dishes. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mint, honey and lemon juice. Spoon a dollop of mint yogurt onto each serving.


2 ½ pounds small red potatoes, halved ¼ cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano Kosher salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon lemon juice ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Place potatoes in an extra-large bowl. In a small mixing bowl, combine oil, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pour over potatoes, and toss until potatoes are completely covered with oil mixture. Empty potatoes into foil-lined pan. Bake 35–40 minutes, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese while still hot.


MAKES 18–24








Putting the ‘ooh’ in kazoos from the assembly line to greet two new guests at the Kazoobie Kazoo Museum, Factory and Gift Shop in Beaufort. Emerging from the back, where a team of four employees hand-builds thousands of instruments each day, Moody puts on her tour-guide hat, so to speak, and begins one more fantastical journey into the wonderful world of kazoos. The short-and-sweet factory tour starts with two videos that walk guests through the history of the kazoo, which begins in the 1840s with an African-American inventor named Alabama Vest. When Vest met GermanAmerican clockmaker Thaddeus Von Clegg, the two collaborated to create a prototype of a curious musical contraption made of tin. In 1852, the pair finally presented their kazoo at the Georgia State Fair, calling it the Down South Submarine. It wasn’t until 1912 that commercial production began on the kazoo, and the whimsical little instrument went on to be popularized the world over by blues, jazz and jug bands alike— and even Ringo Starr, who gave Paul McCartney a kazoo solo in his cover of “You’re Sixteen.” ERIN MOODY TAKES A BREAK

GetThere The Kazoobie Kazoo Museum, Factory and Gift Shop is located at 12 John Galt Road in Beaufort, just off Highway 21. HOURS: Tours are offered Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment necessary. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADMISSION: The gift shop and museum are free. Factory tours are $5 per person. DETAILS: Call (843) 982-6387 or visit thekazoofactory.com.


But you don’t have to be a Beatle to play the kazoo. Moody continues the tour by demonstrating the simple art of humming—nope, not blowing— with just about every kind of kazoo there is: a metal kazoo, an electric kazoo, a French-horn-shaped kazoo and more. “And you can accessorize your kazoo,” she says. “You have a wazoo horn that goes in the top of the tower. That picks up the noise coming off from the resonator and makes it louder. Or we can add a trumpet end to the front, which makes it slightly higher pitched. Or you can do both at the same time.” Every time you take something away from or add to the kazoo, it becomes a new instrument, so it gets a new name, like a wazoo, kazoogle or wazoogle. But it all starts with the three basic parts of the kazoo—the mouthpiece, resonator and cap— which are made by Kazoobie Kazoos,


When she’s not assembling kazoos in the factory, Erin Moody helps visitors build and learn how to play their own instruments.

“In the infantry, two things happened at Anzio: You got wounded, or you got killed.”

the only plastic kazoo manufacturer in the country. Following the kazoo demonstrations and—be warned—a brief quiz, the tour continues in the factory, where all the magic happens. From cutting out every small, round resonator and bagging kazoos to doing custom designs, a human oversees it all. “We do everything by hand here, except for one thing: we don’t count the kazoos,” Moody admits. “We’d never get anything else done. Also, I’d probably never be right.”

Order Honor Flight online at scliving.coop/honor-flight-book or complete and return this form with a check made payable to Electric Cooperatives of S.C. PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY YOUR NAME ADDRESS



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Whether or not you take the official tour, you can still explore the mini museum and gift shop. Inside the museum, discover everything from pipe-shaped Popeye “jazoos” from the 1930s to a Japanese “street singer,” aka a hum-a-zoo, from the early 1900s. Gift-shop wonders include Kazoobie goodies as well as Acme-made contraptions that mimic a siren horn, referee whistle and British police officer whistle. Need a 24K-gold kazoo? They’ve got it. A nose flute? Oh, yes, they have plenty. So what’s the highlight of the tour? Without a doubt, the chance to assemble your own instrument puts the “ooh” in kazoo. After choosing the mouthpiece and cap color you like best, simply snap your kazoo into place with Kazoobie’s air compressor box, and voila. And then, while humming a tune with your tour guide, you’ll feel just like a kid again—a kid with your very own, hand-assembled Down South Submarine.

From the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the Berlin Airlift— be absorbed by the fascinating stories of 100 South Carolina World War II veterans. Order your copy of Honor Flight today!


From cutting out every small, round resonator and bagging kazoos to doing custom designs, a human oversees it all.

Charles L. “Flop” Shaw of Sumter, S.C., still has a hand in running his family’s lumber business. But during World War II, he narrowly escaped death in a fight to liberate Italy from the German army. “I’ve just always believed when it’s your time, it’s your time. But I can tell you this: I’m glad it wasn’t my time.”

t h C a r ol



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Calendar of Events UPSTATE MAY

13–22 • The Fair at Heritage Park, Heritage Park, Simpsonville. (864) 296-6601. 15 • Artisphere, Main Street and surrounding downtown locations, Greenville. (864) 271-9398. 16 • Assaults on Mt. Mitchell and Marion Bike Race, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg. (864) 546-4782. 19–22 • BMW Charity Pro-Am, Thornblade Club, Greer. (864) 234-5100. 20 • Greek Festival, St. George Creek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville. (864) 233-8531. 20 • Rhythm on the Rails, Laurens County School District, Clinton. (864) 200-4503. 21 • Clemson Festival of Arts, College Avenue, Clemson. (864) 633-5051. 21 • Peter Rowan in Concert, Walhalla Civic Auditorium, Walhalla. (864) 638-5277. 21 • Train Day Celebration, Hub City Railroad Museum, Spartanburg. (864) 504-5202. 22 • Horse Play in May Horse Show, T. Ed Garrison Arena, Clemson. (864) 654-9410. 22 • Taste of the Upstate, Hyatt Regency Downtown, Greenville. (864) 232-3595. 26 • Plum Hollow Alternative Bluegrass Festival, Plum Hollow, Campobello. (864) 680-0225. 26–28 • Seneca Fest 2016, Gignilliat Community Center, Seneca. (864) 723-3910. 27 • Brew in the Zoo, Greenville Zoo, Greenville. (864) 467-4300. 27 • Rock the River Concert Series, Peace Center, Greenville. (864) 467-3000. 27–28 • Ware Shoals Catfish Festival, Town Square, Ware Shoals. (864) 554-7024. 27–29 • Long Creek Music Festival, Chattooga River Resort, Long Creek. (864) 873-7310. 28 • Greenville Scottish Games, Furman University, Greenville. (864) 607-4878. 28 • Palmetto State Chili Cookoff, Chamber of Commerce, Fountain Inn. (864) 862-2586. JUNE

2–27 • S.C. Festival of Flowers, Greenwood Area Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood. (864) 910-1595. 3–4 • 14th Annual BRAPA Antique Tractor Show, Cherokee County Recreation Department, Gaffney. (864) 304-7558.


6 • Good News Golf Classic, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, Sunset. (864) 261-1159. 10 • “Weekend Comedy,” Oconee Community Theater, Seneca. (864) 882-1910.


13–22 • Myrtle Beach Bike Week & Spring Rally, Myrtle Beach. (336) 643-1367. 14–15 • Blue Crab Festival, ONGOING waterfront, Little River. Thursdays, April­–­­July  • (843) 249-6604. Music on Main, Morgan Square, 14–15 • Intergalactic Bead Show, Spartanburg. (864) 596-2026. Trident Technical College, North Third Thursdays • Art Charleston. (888) 729-6904. Walk, downtown, Spartanburg. 19 • FDTC Foundation Golf (864) 542-2787. Classic, Location Traces Golf Second Saturdays • Course, Florence. (843) 661-8002. Heartstrings, Hagood 19–21 • Marion Foxtrot Mill State Historic Site, Festival, Historic Downtown, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. Marion. (843) 246-4182. Third Saturdays • Milling 19–21 • Pinestraw Festival, Hop aboard a Saturday trolley tour of Aiken Day, Hagood Mill Historic Site & Turnage Field, Patrick. when you’re in town and visiting the Aiken Folklife Center, 138 Hagood Mill (843) 498-6994. Visitors Center and Train Museum. Road, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 20 • Dive-In Movies: “Avengers,” Sundays • Sundays Unplugged, Island Recreation Center Pool, Chapman Cultural Center, JUNE Hilton Head. (843) 681-7273. 21 • Minecraft Hour of Code, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787. EdVenture Children’s Museum, 4 • Carolina’s Caribbean Culture 20 • Sounds of Summer, Columbia. (803) 673-2826. Festival, Garners Ferry Sports North Myrtle Beach Park and Complex, Hopkins. (803) 795-5270. MIDLANDS Sports Complex, North Myrtle 21 • Mini Makers Faire, Beach. (843) 280-5570. EdVenture Children’s Museum, MAY 4 • H.E.R.O. Dance, Columbia. (803) 673-2826. Township Auditorium, 14–15 • Southern Steel Guitar 20–21 • May Days Plant Columbia. (912) 980-7186. Convention, Belvedere Jaycee Sale and BBQ, Moore Farms, 21 • Palmetto Patriots Ball, Building, Belvedere. (864) 352-6581. Embassy Suites, Columbia. Lake City. (843) 373-8068. 4 • Run Red Bank 5/10K, (803) 206-6088. Lexington Family YMCA, 15 • Rose Festival at City 20–21 • Johnsonville Heritage Lexington. (803) 407-8007. Roots, City Roots Farm, Festival, Venters Landing, 21 • Rick Alvitti in Concert, Columbia. (803) 254-2302. Johnsonville. (843) 386-3500. Newberry Opera House, 5 • Lake Murray Koncert for Newberry. (803) 276-5179. Kids, Cornerstone Presbyterian 16 • S.C. Athletic Hall of 21 • Bulls Bay Nature Festival, Church, Columbia. (803) 400-3540. Fame Banquet, Columbia Francis Marion Forest and nearby 21 • Shakin’ da Lake, Convention and Visitors Center, locations, Huger. (843) 928-3264. Rocks Pond Campground, 11 • Dinosaur Revolution Columbia. (803) 779-0905. Eutawville. (803) 513-4818. Maze, Museum of York County, 21 • Local Grown Country Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. 19 • An Evening of Hope Music Fest, Thompson Farms, 21 • South Carolina Cornbread Cancer Benefit, Saluda Shoals Conway. (843) 385-0426. Festival, Spirit Communications 11–12 • Ag + Art Tour, various Park, Columbia. (803) 957-1048. Park, Columbia. (803) 786-7232. sites in Lancaster and York 21 • Sport & Leisure at counties. (803) 981-3021. 19–20 • St. Philip Neri Italian Middleton Place, Middleton 21 • Southern Nights Movie Festival, St. Philip Neri Catholic Place, Charleston. (843) 556-6020. Series: “Goonies,” Woodside 12–19 • Southeastern Piano Church, Rock Hill. (803) 548-7282. Plantation, Aiken. (803) 617-0494. Festival, various locations, 21–22 • Repticon Charleston, Columbia. (803) 777-1209. 20 • Blackville Music and Ladson Exchange Park, 21 • Tour de Cure, Robert Mills Art Festival, 483 Main St., Ladson. (863) 268-4273. House, Columbia. (803) 799-4246. 13 • 4-H2O Camp, Lee State Blackville. (803) 300-3486. Park, Bishopville. (803) 484-5416. 27 • Taste of Gullah, 21–22 • Shaw Air Expo, Shaw Air 20 • Hops ’n’ Hogs, Pendleton and Force Base, Sumter. (803) 895-2229. 15 • Dive Into Dinosaurs, Waterfront Park, Mount Hayne streets, Aiken. (803) 642-2221. 27 • Flopeye Fish Festival, Pleasant. (843) 856-9732. Museum of York County, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. 20 • Taste of Newberry, Memorial 2534 James Baker Blvd., Great 27–June 12 • Spoleto Park, Newberry. (803) 321-1015. Festival USA, various venues, Falls. (803) 482-6029. ONGOING 20–21 • Red Rose Festival, 27–29 • Iris Festival, Swan Lake Iris Daily • Planetarium Shows, South Charleston. (843) 579-3100. Historic Downtown, Gardens, Sumter. (803) 436-2640. Carolina State Museum Observatory, 27–June 12 • Piccolo Lancaster. (803) 283-2489. Spoleto Festival, various sites, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. 27–29 • Lone Star Bluegrass & Charleston. (843) 720-3885. 20–21 • Wagons to Wagener Country Music Hoe Down, Lone Tuesdays • Second Shift Festival, downtown, 28 • Cast Off Fishing Star BBQ & Mercantile, Santee. Twosdays, South Carolina State Wagener. (803) 564-3412. (803) 515-3938 or (803) 854-2000. Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. Tournament, Folly Beach Pier, Folly Beach. (843) 795-4386. 20 and 22 • Jasmine and Jazz: 28 • Haynes 4th Saturday Saturdays, weather Columbia Chorale Society Spring Bluegrass Series, Haynes permitting • Aiken Trolley Tours, 28–29 • Hilton Head Island Art Concerts, Columbia Museum Festival, Shelter Cove Harbour, Auditorium, Leesville. Aiken Visitors Center and Train of Art, Columbia, and Fine Arts Hilton Head. (561) 746-6528. (803) 582-8479. Museum, Aiken. (803) 644-1907. Center of Kershaw County, 30–June 10 • Grace Church Tea 28 • Jailbreak 5K, Lexington Fourth Saturdays • Mountain Camden. (803) 933-9060. Room and Gift Shop, Grace Church County Sheriff’s Department, Dulcimers of Aiken, Aiken 21 • 19th Annual Antique Tractor Lexington. (803) 785-8230. Visitors Center and Train Museum, Cathedral, Charleston. (843) 277-2361. Show, McConnells Community Aiken. (803) 293-7846. 30 • Memorial Day Solemn Center, McConnells. (803) 684-5161. Commemoration, Harriet Barber 21 • Columbia Black Expo, House, Hopkins. (803) 788-7185. Go to SCLiving.coop for more information and Columbia Convention and Visitors 30 • Military Appreciation Day, Bureau, Columbia. (803) 254-6404. for guidelines on submitting your event. Please EdVenture Children’s Museum, confirm information before attending events. Columbia. (803) 673-2826.



3 • Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series, James Island County Park, James Island. (843) 762-2172. 4 • Lowcountry Splash, Patriot’s Point, Charleston. (843) 884-7880. 4 • Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, Waterfront Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 856-9732. 4–5 • Salt Games, Old Myrtle Beach Pavilion, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-0585. 4–5 • Thunder on the River, Bucksport Marina, Conway. (803) 513-4818. 5 • Ag + Art Tour, various sites in Chesterfield, Darlington and Horry counties. (803) 981-3021. 5 • Veterans Golf Classic, various sites, Myrtle Beach. (800) 833-8798. 6–11 • Fire-Rescue Conference, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach. (800) 277-2732. 9–11 • S.C. Humanities Festival, various sites, Beaufort. (803) 771-2477. 9–15 • Carolina Country Music Festival, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade, Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-7444. 10 • Friday Night Boogie, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 10 • Movies at McLean, McLean Park, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5584. 11 • Beaufort River Swim, Downtown Beaufort Marina, Beaufort. (843) 522-9622. 11 • Cast Off Fishing Tournament, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 762-9946. 11 • Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. (843) 762-2172. 11–12 • Art in the Park, Chapin Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 446-3830. ONGOING

Daily through Sept. 5 • “Nature Connects: LEGOS Bricks Sculpture Exhibit,” Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet. (843) 235-6000. Daily • History Tours, Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, Charleston. (888) 763-0448. Daily • QR Code Tour, downtown, Conway. (843) 248-6260. Mondays through Saturdays, through Oct. 1 • “The History of Fishing,” South Carolina Maritime Museum, Georgetown. (843) 520-0111. Thursdays through August • Music on Main, Main Street, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5570. Saturdays • “Snakes and Reptiles” program, Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet. (843) 237-4440.



A bad case of shingles A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, when the moon was full, I briefly pondered raising alpacas in my backyard and inviting the Ringling Brothers to park their elephants in my garage. Instead, I decided to replace my leaky roof, which I hoped would be less traumatic for my homeowners association. I’m thoughtful that way. You’d think my HOA would be overjoyed. New roofs make homes look nice. Nice homes mean the neighborhood is thriving, and thriving neighborhoods mean higher property values. But they didn’t see it that way, because I forgot to ask permission, as outlaws often do. It wasn’t intentional. The pond in my living room was getting deep when the roofers called to say they could fit me in ahead of schedule, so I agreed. My preference would have been May when their shirts are off. (Have you seen those marathon athletes race up ladders with 4-by-8-foot boards balanced on their heads? Roofing should be an Olympic sport. And for $9,500, the least they can do is entertain me.) Besides, I didn’t go artsy-fartsy or anything. It’s not like my shingles are fluorescent purple. (Couldn’t find anything that interesting.) Of course, I considered painting and collaging the gray ones into an asphalt mosaic of flamingos shag dancing, but I deferred to blah and boring—exactly what homeowners associations love. These folks are a “fat-free vanilla yogurt with no sprinkles” kind of crowd. Anyway, the dreaded “bad girl” letter was already in the mail. On page 73 of the homeowner’s manual, which they graciously photocopied for me, Rule 4C5-0916X clearly states that replacing a roof requires the architectural committee’s blessing. Oopsie. The letter arrived on Friday, so I


spent that weekend wondering what it would cost to have somebody remove all the shingles and send the roof back. I never did check their return policy. Although I am a certified troublemaker, I still respect my HOA. These selfless volunteers are our last line of defense against pink polka-dot houses, poolside possum skinning, free-­ roaming giraffes and Genghis Khan invasions. (Rule 74D17-1109Y states that hordes on horseback cannot pillage without recreation committee approval.) That’s all reasonable. But do I really need a permission slip to decapitate a dead tree or save myself from a flood? So, I called the HOA to apologize


first thing Monday morning. Me: “Hi, this is Ja…” HOA rep: “I know who it is. You needed a permit.” Me: “I’m sorry. Do I owe you money?” HOA rep: “No. Permits are free.” Me: “Do I need an inspection?” HOA rep: “No. The roof looks fine.” Me: “Then, what is the prob…” HOA rep: “You needed a permit. And we heard about the tree.” Another oops. Maybe I’ll hold off on the alpacas for a while. is trying to keep a low profile in the ’hood until the roof thing blows over. While she’s still on the lam, write her at HumorMe@SCLiving.coop.


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LOT 68333 69488 shown • 1.3 GPM

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.com or by calling our stores or HarborFreight t or coupon or prior LIMIT 4 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must day. Offer good while supplie 9/12/16. Limit one coupon per customer per presented. Valid through


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72" x 80" MOVING BLANKET LOT 66537 shown 69505/62418


$ 99

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SAVE $29


Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, extended service plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day parking lot sale item, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills,  storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Badland, CoverPro, Daytona, Diablo, Franklin, Hercules, Holt, Jupiter, Predator, Stik-Tek, StormCat, Union, Vanguard, Viking.  Not valid on prior purchases. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 9/12/16.



• Extends from 6 ft. to 8 ft. 10"


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LOT 95578 69645/60625 shown



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SAVE $433

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7 FUNCTION DIGITAL MULTIMETER LOT 90899 shown 98025/69096




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LOT 95659 shown 61634/61952


• 580 lb. capacity

SAVE $230

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LOT 69043 42304 shown



99 $899



Freight.com or by calling prior our stores or Harbor LIMIT 9 - Good at be used with other discount or coupon orreceipt. original 800-423-2567. Cannot original purchase with coupon must be from days 30 after l purchases Non-transferable. Origina customer per day. last. s supplie while per Offer good 9/12/16. Limit one coupon presented. Valid through

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LOT 67227 shown 69567/60566/62532

comp at

Batteries included.

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comp at $ 99 $7.15

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G WATTS 900 PEAK/700 RUNNIN 2 HP (63 CC) 2 CYCLE GENERATOR GAS RECREATIONAL 6033 8/69381 shown Customer Rating

LOT 69684 shown 61969/61970



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LOT 42305 69044 63171

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034 62858/63054/60728/69


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99 SAVE $ 75% comp at $79.99

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• 300 lb. capacity

Tools sold separately.

LOT 69227/62116 62584/62590 68048 shown • Weighs 74 lbs.


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" 40




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LOT 69262 69094/61916 2745 shown




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6999 $11999

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We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 650+ Stores Nationwide.

26", 4 DRAWER TOOL CART LOT 68862/62896 shown


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12499 $168.97

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South Carolina Living magazine's May 2016 edition.

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