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Special Pull Out Dining Guide February 2011 Priceless

Eventually you will come to understand that heals everything, and is all there is.



– Gary Zukav

I n t e r i o r

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You spoke.

Your friends and family rely on you to be there for them. And for heart and vascular issues, McLeod is there for you. As we celebrate 25 years of excellence in open heart surgery, we’re set to open additional state-of-the-art facilities that will allow for the most efficient and streamlined patient care in our history.

We listened.

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McLeod Heart & Vascular Institute

Florence, SC 47527-H&V Friends&Baby Sasee9x10.125.indd 1 1/14/11 3:30:50 PM

featured articles

12 14 18 20 22 24 28 30 32 34

February 2011 Volume 10, Issue 2

who’s who

A New Kind of Organized

Publisher Delores Blount Sales & Marketing Director Susan Bryant Editor Leslie Moore Account Executives Kim Griffin Amanda Kennedy-Colie Erica Schneider Celia Wester Art Director Taylor Nelson Photography Director Patrick Sullivan Graphic Artist Scott Konradt Accounting Bart Buie CPA, P.A. Administrative Assistant Barbara J. Leonard Executive Publishers Jim Creel Bill Hennecy Tom Rogers

by Melissa Face

Memories From a “Black Thumb” by Beth Wood

Sweet Sweet Elizabeth by Marsha Tennant

Southern Snaps by Leslie Moore

Just an Ordinary Josephine by Diane Stark

In the Know by Kim Seeley

Green Thumb-less by Holly Bowne

A Spoonful of Memories by Monica A. Andermann

Line Dry or Tumble? by Janey Womeldorf

My Cactus Garden by Felice Prager

PO Box 1389 Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 fax 843-626-6452 • phone 843-626-8911 •

I n T h is I ssue Faves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Read It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 All Dressed Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Love Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Sasee Gets Candid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Scoop on the Strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39



Sasee is published monthly and distributed free along the Grand Strand. For subscription info, see page 36. Letters to the editor are welcome, but could be edited for length. Submissions of articles and art are welcome. Visit our website for details on submission. Sasee is a Strand Media Group, Inc. publication.

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material, in part or in whole, prepared by Strand Media Group, Inc. and appearing within this publication is strictly prohibited. Title “Sasee” is registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

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february 5

contributing writers Monica A. Andermann is both an avid gardener and a writer. More of her personal essays can be found in several Chicken Soup for the Soul and A Cup of Comfort collections with additional credits widely published both online and in a variety of print media.

letter from the editor Many of you know that I have a soft spot for animals in need and have volunteered for various rescues through the years. My love for dogs, especially, has brought four wonderful little canines into my life who have enriched my world in so many ways. There are many organizations in our community that work tirelessly, with the help of loving volunteers, to save thousands of homeless animals each year. Any one of these nonprofits could use more volunteers or a donation of any amount. This month, St. Francis Animal Center in Georgetown, is holding their annual fundraising gala, Black Tie and Tails, on February 19. Not only will guests have a great time dancing, eating and drinking, they’ll be helping even more animals find a forever home. More information about this fun event is in our Sasee Scoop and on the St. Francis Animal Center website. I’d love to hear how you like our new look! Our Sasee crew has had so much fun working on these last two issues. Don’t forget, we’re now in our new office in Murrells Inlet!

Holly Bowne’s work has appeared in regional, national and online publications. Visit her at where she explores the more humorous aspects of balancing the writing life with parenting her teenage children. Melissa Face lives in Virginia with her husband, son and dog. Her stories and essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. E-mail Melissa at A native South Carolinian, Lisa Hamilton is the director of the First Presbyterian Church Preschool and Kindergarten. Of course she loves reading, but also finds time for cooking and walking her dog, Hurley. Felice Prager is a freelance writer and author of the recently released book, Quiz It: Arizona from Arthur McAllister Publishers. To find out more about Felice’s book, please visit Kim Seeley lives with her husband, Wayne, in Wakefield, Virginia. She has just published her first national article in the new volume of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series entitled, What I Learned from the Dog.

cover artist Sweet Dreams, by Elaine Cory Elaine Cory’s work is vibrant, expressive, colorful and serenely relaxing. An impressionist-style painter, working in acrylic and mixed media, Elaine pulls you in by infusing her paintings with imagination and tension of colors. Born in New York, from early on Elaine had a crayon, pencil or brush in her hand, constantly doodling, drawing and painting. At age eight, her family moved to Germany and later to France. These countries opened her eyes to the great beauty of the world. The French countryside was especially memorable with its old world patina. After moving to San Francisco, Elaine’s education blossomed and her creative independent spirit was nurtured in museums and art shows. She received a scholarship to San Francisco State College and earned an interior design degree from La Salle University. For 20 years, the artist pursued a career in design, and many of her paintings now hang in her client’s homes. Today, Elaine lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Ron, and is privileged to paint full time. To see more of her work, visit her shop, “elainesheartsong.”



Diane Stark is a wife, a mother of five and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in publications like Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms. She loves to write about her family and her faith. Marsha Tennant is the author of the children’s book, Margaret, Pirate Queen, and lives in Calabash with hubby, Randy; dog, Callie and cat, Clara. After 40 years in education, Marsha will be retiring in June to write the second pirate book that takes place on the Outer Banks. Marsha and Randy plan to travel and sleep in until 7 am! She can be reached at Janey Womeldorf is a freelance writer who drinks too much coffee and loves elastic. She scribbles away in Memphis, Tenn. Beth M. Wood is a mother of three, marketing professional and freelance writer. Her work appears in publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You. She is a devout reader, semi-fanatic editor and not-so-great golfer. Follow along at


A few things our staff loves right now “Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” Lindley Karstens This is my “go-to” garden book when I want to know if a particular plant will grow well in my yard, this book is a must for every plant lover’s library. Leslie, Editor

This hand-painted butterfly house not only gives shelter to my winged “friends”, it makes a beautiful decoration in my garden as well! Kim, Account Executive

Gift Shop at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet

Yardbird Emporium, Calabash

“If I’m going to dig in the dirt, I might as well do it in style.” Erica, Account Executive Sassyfras, Myrtle Beach

This Cathedral-styled, lighted wall planter is the perfect accent in my garden. Susan, Sales & Marketing Director I love this “Bird Brain” mushroom garden stool. It can be used indoors or outdoors as a plant stand, accent table or even as added seating. Celia, Senior Account Executive

Butler’s Electric, Myrtle Beach

Palmetto Ace Home Center, Pawleys Island

february 7

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Taylor’s A Ladies Boutique

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This National Historic Landmark is home to the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo on the coast in the Carolinas, and one of the most significant sculpture collections in the world!

Help others look and feel their best.

From overland excursions on the Trekker to garden tours and new exhibits, there is always something new and exciting at Brookgreen.

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Butterfly Exhibit Opens Spring 2011

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Lisa Says…Read Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese by Lisa Hamilton 10


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Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, is a marvelous novel. It does what all good books do, engrosses you from page one, telling a great story of love, abandonment, betrayal and redemption. Verghese is a physician and an accomplished author who writes with passion and intimacy. Cutting for Stone is moving and entertaining, truly enjoyable. Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a British surgeon in a mission hospital in Ethiopia. Orphaned at birth, the twins are raised by two physicians at the hospital where their parents worked.


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They come of age during the social and political turmoil of Ethiopia and are eventually separated as each pursues their own medical specialties. Verghese includes vivid descriptions of several medical procedures throughout the book that may not be enjoyable for those with a weak stomach. The medical background is fascinating and is an added bonus to the novel, as the author displays his knowledge of human anatomy and human nature. The title, Cutting for Stone, is a play on the surname of the characters and a line from the Hippocratic Oath, “I will not cut for stone.” This novel succeeds on many levels and definitely makes the cut for a great read for this year.

february 11



Kind of Organized by Melissa Face It is three o’clock in the morning, and I am watching an infomercial for some sort of robotic vacuum cleaner. I am tempted to order it in hopes that it will suck up the cookie crumbs in the kitchen and the mound of partially chewed dog food in the hallway. Perhaps it could restore my home to a state somewhere near normalcy. But the phone is on the other side of the living room, my credit card is in my purse, and I am just too tired to move. For the past three weeks, I have had no more than five consecutive hours of sleep. I nap when I can for thirty minutes or so, and I enjoy a longer, three-hour rest when my husband returns from work. I am exhausted, in need of a shower and surrounded by complete chaos. I am a new mom, and this is my new life. I expected to go without sleep for days and days. I was prepared to deplete my checking account for weekly purchases of diapers and wipes. I was prepared to feel a bit overwhelmed with the newness of motherhood. I even expected the hours of nonstop crying – I just thought it would all be coming from the baby. But I was not prepared for my world to become completely disorganized. My husband and I prefer living in an environment in which everything is in its place. Our house is far from perfect, but we do like our things clean and put away. This was important to our former selves. Now, a glance around our house reveals a markedly different lifestyle. The coffee table is littered with empty bottles and burp cloths. The kitchen counter is covered with plates of half-eaten food and cold cups of coffee. The diaper pail and laundry basket are overflowing, and the answering machine blinks with unheard messages. Today I woke up at six o’clock so I would have time to take a shower before my husband left for work. I quickly dressed, dried my hair and ate some cereal. The baby started fussing so I changed his diaper. The diaper change turned into a full bath and a new outfit. I realized the baby was out of clean sleepers so I wrapped him in a blanket and started a load of laundry. Then, it was time to feed him, burp him and lay him down for a nap. While he was sleeping, I tried to pay a


few bills. I wrote one check, and then the crying began again. The baby’s diaper was wet, and so was his blanket. I went to grab a clean outfit and remembered that I never dried the clothes. I wrapped the baby in another blanket and moved the wet laundry into the dryer. Over the next few hours, we went through five more diaper changes and two additional outfits. The baby spent the remainder of the day eating and crying. Before I knew it, my husband was coming in the back door after a long day at work. He walked into the kitchen and set down his keys and his coffee mug. “How was your day?” he asked. “What have you been doing?” I looked around at the stack of dishes, pile of bills, wet laundry and other unfinished tasks throughout my house. “I have been taking care of the baby,” I said. “I fed the baby, burped the baby, held the baby, changed the baby and bathed the baby. That is what I got done today.” My husband sat next to me on the couch and put his arm around my shoulders. “Go take a nap,” he said. “I’ll take over for a while.” I looked at him, the dog and our beautiful baby boy. I realized that my house is still organized. It’s just a new kind of organization. Paperwork hasn’t been filed and laundry isn’t folded. But everything important is in its place, and I can quickly find all that I need. And right now, all three of them are beside me.


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february 13

Memories From a

“Black Thumb” by Beth Wood

I do not have a green thumb. Potted plants do not survive in my home. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a proud homeowner, and I take as much care of the outside of my house as I do the inside; trimming the landscaping and adding mulch in the springtime, mowing and watering the lawn in summer, raking leaves in the fall and shoveling the driveway in winter. But, I don’t consider myself a gardener. Plants in my care do not fair well. I come by it honestly; my mom doesn’t have a green thumb either. She’s never tended a garden, planted fruits or vegetables or spent an afternoon working in the yard. As soon as we were old enough, my brother and I cut the lawn, trimmed the bushes and raked the leaves (mostly this last, so that we could jump in the ensuing big piles). You can imagine it didn’t look terribly lush with two teenagers at the helm. The point is, that when I finally left home, and eventually married, I didn’t have a lick of knowledge about plants, potted or otherwise. My new mother-in-law, however, loved to plant. Hers was a tomato garden. Each spring she’d turn the soil, cover the plants and water the soft earth. And each summer, she’d pluck swollen, red tomatoes from those delicate vines. I often wondered how such wispy, little vines could hold such abundance. Her back, however, was not as strong as those vines, and tending her garden typically left her in a great deal of pain. So that first spring as her daughter-in-law, I offered to help plant new vines in her backyard garden. It was an arduous task, a labor of love that I didn’t fully realize until my back was bent over the earth, sun baking behind me. I turned the earth while she regaled me with stories from her son’s youth. We laughed while the sweat


poured down our backs. And a few months later, she called me over to pick the vegetables of our labor. And then she taught me how to make the most perfect BLT. Fresh white bread (not toasted!), crisp bacon, leafy lettuce, a dollop of real mayonnaise and the best part – fresh tomatoes, right from her own backyard. Each spring we’d spend a day in her garden, clearing and turning the little patch of soil, and burying new plants deep in the ground. And each summer, I’d return to help her pluck brand-new tomatoes from those heavy vines. Years later, her son and I divorced. It’s never an easy thing to go through, and for us it was tumultuous. There was a great deal of finger pointing, name-calling and, most of all, hurt. Our respective families surrounded us, our friends took sides, and by that first summer, my mother-in-law’s tomato garden was the farthest thing from my mind. For several years, each time I looked back on my marriage, it was with a mixture of hurt and betrayal. I would pick apart every fight I could remember, every event that could be considered a sign of our marriage’s demise. But, time truly is a great healer, and four years later, my ex and I are both healthy and, most importantly, happy again. And lately, I have begun to remember different moments. Like the day we bought our very first Christmas tree, and I cried all the way home. Or the way our Doberman puppy would fall asleep with her tummy on the couch and her long, lean legs hanging over the side, her great, big paws dragging on the floor. And every time I make a BLT (on white bread, untoasted) I am reminded of that first day my mother-in-law and I spent in her tomato garden. Sometimes, we exert all our energies on trampling the past, and end up with nothing in return. But at some point, it becomes important to acknowledge what took years to build, even if its time has passed. And then move on; turn the soil, plant new seeds, make new memories, and be respectful of the ones that came before.


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W ! o ith G o Som T ewhere 17

Sweet Sweet

lizabeth E by Marsha Tennant

My granny always said that southern women were gentle and pretty on the outside and strong as a plow mule on the inside. That was surely Elizabeth Edwards. Since she arrived on the national scene a few years back I have followed her as she traveled some stormy waters. There was something about her grit that caught my eye. She made no excuses for who she was or what she thought. She spoke in quiet but determined words. Her daughter, Cate, reminded us of that in her recent eulogy for her mother in Raleigh. There are famous people we find fascinating, and others we are drawn to because of a common thread. Saving Graces, Elizabeth’s first book, was my hook. I watched her on Larry King Live. She talked about how she had navigated her life so far. She was beating her cancer, and I was sure that her attitude was a significant component in her recovery. It was when she mentioned the loss of her son, Wade, that I came to full attention. She told how she had gone to his grave armed with books to read to him – share what she thought he would like. She cared for the graves around him and spent endless hours “in the dirt.” A mother grieves in her own way and time she said. That was our common thread. She had put into words what I had not been able to do forty years before. Go Elizabeth! Wade was a teenager when she had to say good-bye. My son, Blane, was a baby. She said she knew there were those who thought she was behaving in a peculiar way – but it was her way. NO apologies. Forty years ago I had gathered every blanket given to me at baby showers and made my husband and mother promise that they would wrap our baby in all of them. I wanted him warm and safe in his tiny white casket. I would wake in the night and go out to his grave and sit with him so he wouldn’t be afraid. I know – made no sense. But a mother doesn’t have to make sense. Elizabeth was so


honest and open about what she had done. She gave me such a gift. In her next book, Resilience, my admiration exploded. The cancer returned, and John waffled, and she discovered he wasn’t the man she and millions of others thought he was. How in God’s name could she find mercy and forgiveness in the midst of facing cold hard facts about her mortality? I read and reread the book – underlined words and phrases. Although I was facing nothing like she was at the time, there was wisdom about how we choose to spend our days. Hate and anger would only hasten her demise. She would not feed the cancer. Once again, she gathered her strength and grit for her children. She would be the beacon of safety for them as they faced the storm. I have to admit that I don’t think I would have shown that type of courage and forgiveness. I even yelled at her words a few times when she cut John much more slack than I thought he deserved. “You have cancer, let him have it!” But those would have been my words, not hers. In several more interviews she spoke of the “love” child, and how she deserved to be loved and happy. The adults had made the choices. Elizabeth blew me away with her ability to rise above the others. Watching the celebration of her life at her funeral only verified the admiration I had for Elizabeth. Friends spoke of her “authentic” self and how she believed her major roles in life were to be a good mother and serve. Several times I heard the message of “live each day” repeated. She was REAL – not reality show material. Even when the media circled around her 24/7, she maintained her dignity and did not speak ill of those who had wronged her. So that is why Elizabeth Edwards is my celebrity of choice. Long after she is gone her message will still be resonating among the talk show hosts and Sunday morning programs. That is staying power…sweet sweet Elizabeth.



Dear Isabe lle my love , There was a time whe nI didn’t beleiv e in love. I really thou ght it never existed, but this is the t ime that makes me want to thank you. Before, I fe ared love. But now, I know I can ’t go on without love. Not a ny love, but yo ur love. It is you who I li ve for and will die for. It is you who ha s my heart, b ody, and so ul. I Love you today, tomorrow a nd forever. Yours Alwa ys, Jack

Love can be expressed in a myriad of different methods, but the most timeless and most treasured will always remain the classic love letter.

Monogrammed stationary & note cards Ooh La La, Myrtle Beach

Designer ACME pen, STUDIO 77, Myrtle Beach Three Designing Women Personalized self-inking stamp, Sassyfras, Myrtle Beach Handcrafted letter opener, Graphite Quill Pencil Sculpture,

Toby’s Old World Gifts, Calabash

The Mole Hole, North Myrtle Beach

february 19

Southern Snaps Amy Armstrong: Protecting the Mountains and Marshes of South Carolina by Leslie Moore South Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the country. In our community, we are able to enjoy beautiful beaches, rivers and marshes that draw many new residents and millions of visitors each year. It is easy to take for granted that this beauty will always remain unspoiled and available for generations to come. Laws are in place, both state and federal, that protect our environment, but implementation and enforcement is ambiguous at best. Since 1987, the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP), a non-profit public interest environmental law firm, has worked to protect South Carolina’s natural resources and environment through forceful legal advocacy. Sadly, founder Jimmy Chandler died last summer, leaving behind a formidable legacy of success. But, SCELP was left in the talented and capable hands of Environmental Attorney, Amy Armstrong, who worked side by side with Jimmy since 2002. I met Amy at the SCELP office, a lovely historic home that has been in the Chandler family for several generations and is leased to SCELP by Jimmy’s heirs. This attractive and fit 40-year old was born in Michigan, but grew up in Columbia, and after graduating from college with a degree in Biology, went to work for the Department of Natural Resources, the perfect job for this outdoorsy young woman. “I spent my days in the woods and loved it. I managed a population of endangered red cockaded woodpeckers.” While working one day, Amy had an accident that changed her life. “I was driving without my seatbelt on and the truck flipped. I don’t really remember what happened, but we do know that the impact ejected me from the truck, and my body hit a tree and fractured my spinal cord which left me a paraplegic.” The accident forced Amy to examine her life and make decisions about


how to live. “It was hard to imagine my life without being able to run, jump, climb trees and wiggle my toes in the sand…all the things that I’d loved to do. I spent nearly a year researching advances in science and hoping for a cure. But then I realized I had to move on with my life as it exists right now. I also realized that I’m still the same person; though it does take me longer to do things that most people take for granted. For example, I still go to the beach, kayak, swim, take my dog on long walks, most anything I want to do. During my recovery, my mom told me that everyone has painful things in their life that they have to struggle with, mine was just more obvious than most!” During her recovery, Amy had to move back into her parent’s home. At first it was wonderful to have her mother’s undivided attention – Amy is the oldest of four children. But, it didn’t take long for Amy to want to move on with her life. One of her dad’s good friends is an attorney and suggested that Amy attend law school. With her parent’s support, Amy took the LSAT, applied and was admitted to law school at USC. “I knew I wanted to do conservation and environmental work and was able to get a joint degree; a Master’s in Environmental Management and my J.D.,” Amy remembers. “I interned at SCELP my first summer in law school and met Jimmy. I was so impressed with his work and learned so much from him. There are not many public interest jobs in South Carolina for Environmental Attorneys; in fact there is only one other organization in South Carolina doing similar work. Bigger cities have lots of environmental lawyers, but I didn’t want to move.” After passing the bar, Amy asked Jimmy if she could apply for a fellowship that would pay her salary for two years and come work for him. He agreed.


“I was really nervous asking Jimmy for the job. What I didn’t realize at that time is that he needed another attorney, but SCLEP is a non-profit and didn’t have the funds to hire another attorney. I later learned that he was very grateful for the ‘free’ help.” After the two years were over, the organization was able to secure funding from donors and grants to continue to keep Amy on staff. Amy stressed that SCLEP is a non-profit and practices Public Interest Environmental Law. Cases are taken at the request of other organizations like the S.C. Coastal Conservation League, The League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, ad hoc groups, homeowner’s associations and sometimes individuals. As cases are won, precedents are set, increasing the legal protection of our environment. For example, through the efforts of SCELP, isolated wetlands in the eight coastal counties are now protected from dredging and filling, unless there is an overriding public interest, such as a public transportation project. The precedent was set through a case involving a 32-acre tract behind Home Depot in Murrells Inlet. While there is no federal law protecting this type of wetlands, SCLEP asserted that state law does offer protection. After months and countless hours of work on the case, the S.C. Supreme Court agreed. “After winning this case, Jimmy and I were on a natural high. The rules are not always black and white, but in this situation the rules are very clear, and fortunately the Supreme Court agreed with us,” Amy said. The last case Jimmy worked on also ended in victory, even though the ruling came after his death. His legal expertise and dedication ensured, through a long and difficult battle in court, that salt marsh can not be filled in for personal gain. “This case was an affirmation of the work Jimmy has done. Filling in salt marsh to increase lot size is illegal, and the S.C. Supreme Court agrees,” Amy explained. In a unanimous decision, the S.C. Supreme Court upheld an enforcement action against a landowner in Heritage Shores in North Myrtle Beach, requiring him to remove the fill, restore the site and pay a $1,000 fine. These cases are hard-won for the SCELP team, but each one ensures that this particular battle will not need to be fought again. Losing Jimmy was a huge blow to Amy – he had been her boss and mentor – but SCELP has not missed a beat. “I’ve taken on a lot of new roles and it’s an intense amount of work. But we are committed to carrying on Jimmy’s legacy. He wanted us to continue.” Luckily for Amy, she has help. Attorney Michael Corley now works with SCLEP full-time. He began, like Amy, as a summer intern, and was hired as a staff attorney in September of 2010. “A Supreme Court case requires at least 100 to 150 hours of preparation and we need two attorneys working fulltime to keep up. Michael is doing a great job.” The third key player in this team is Administrator, Jordan McDonald, who’s behind the scenes support enables this small office to run smoothly. SCLEP works on cases throughout the state, and when I asked Amy what she was working on now, she explained that our state is one of three that

has a low level, radioactive waste disposal facility. In Barnwell, there’s a radioactive disposal facility that puts waste in trenches, in concrete vaults that are not grouted and have holes in the bottom, allowing radioactive waste to mingle with groundwater that eventually ends up in the Savannah River. SCLEP is challenging this practice and hopes to force the company to securely seal the waste and store it above ground in concrete bunkers. She is also working on a case to protect Captain Sam’s Spit on Kiawah Island. The developer wants to build a half-mile long, 40 foot wide concrete block wall covering nearly three acres of sandy beach along the Kiawah River, and SCELP is working to protect that public beach. SCELP is also involved in legal challenges to three proposed landfills which would allow enormous amounts of out-of-state waste into South Carolina. Amy does manage to have time for a personal life and a close circle of friends. She lives in Pawleys Island, with a cat and Rufus, her mastiff. “Rufus is my third mastiff. When I was young we dog-sat a friend’s mastiff, and I just clicked with them. They love people and like to be close. Plus, he forces me to take walks with him twice a day!” Amy is also the “favorite” aunt to three nephews and one niece, who she sees as often as possible. But, her work is her true passion. “I have been blessed to learn from and practice law with the best. Jimmy was the lead legal advocate for the environment, and I am so thankful to have had eight years working alongside him. SCELP is here for the people of South Carolina, and we aim to find a solution for anyone with an environmental problem. Our mission is to support the public, not to make money. This is not a private law firm.” Amy summed up her philosophy by saying, “Development is necessary and important to our community, but I believe we need to try to fit into our surroundings, not make them conform to us. And, there are ways to do that and retain the unique features of the landscape. I think a great example is the Hammock Shops – it still has trees, parking is spread throughout the area and many of the natural characteristics of the site remain intact. Most of us want to live in a community, not a place that looks exactly like hundreds of others. Let’s do it the smart way – protecting our natural landscape, unique resources and water quality.” To find out more about the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, call 843527-0078 or visit

february 21

Josephine Just an Ordinary by Diane Stark

I was a huge fan of the show Friends. My favorite friend was always Chandler…and Phoebe…and Joey too. Oh, I loved them all. But I think my real favorite was Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston. She was so interesting, both on the show, and especially in real life – interesting and seemingly perfect. She was beyond gorgeous and even had an entire hairstyle named after her. She was married to Brad Pitt; she starred on one of the most-loved TV shows of all time, and she was paid a million dollars an episode to do it. And she was married to Brad Pitt. (I said that already, didn’t I?)

But as we all know, that marriage definitely fell into the seemingly perfect category. The reality was a whole lot different. When the media revealed the reason behind Brad and Jen’s split, I was indignant, almost as much as I would have been if that had happened to one of my real-life friends. “Rachel – I mean, Jennifer – is such a great person,” I’d think to myself. “How could any man do that to her?” But not everyone was as sympathetic as I was. Tina Fey, who hit the big-time by making fun of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, made jokes about their split. One night on the show, she said, “If Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are tired of having sex with each other, what hope is there for the rest of us?” I laughed – just a little – but the point was well-taken. If those two, with all their money, beauty and fame, couldn’t make it work, how could normal people like me expect to? After all, it’s not like Brad and Jen would ever argue over what to fix for dinner or worry about how to pay the cable bill. Their biggest problem, I thought, would be whether to vacation in Fiji or the island they purchased for those little weekend get-aways between movies.



And surely they didn’t struggle with those little insecurities that plague the rest of us. I can’t see that Jennifer Aniston ever worried about a dress making her look fat or wondering if her husband was checking out the waitress at the local Applebee’s. (Do celebs even eat at Applebee’s?) I thought money, fame and good looks erased the problems that “normal people” deal with. But I was wrong. Yes, in many ways, the rich and famous have it easier than the rest of us. They don’t have to worry about making ends meet. They can buy anything and go anywhere because money is no object. But they can’t really go anywhere because the media follows them around like wild animals, hoping to catch that million-dollar photo. Celebrities are frequently out of work and they constantly have to worry about getting older and being replaced by someone younger and more attractive. (That sounds like insecurity to me.) And the divorce rate among celebrities seems even more pitiful than for the rest of us. So having money, fame, and incredible sex appeal don’t bind two people together any better than being a middle-income, sorta-cute-on-a-good-hair-day, famous-only-in-my-own-family ordinary Joe – or Josephine, in this case. I think a big part of making a marriage work – and being happy with your life in general – is just being able to roll with the punches. It’s waking up in the morning and not expecting your day to be perfect. It’s accepting that you’re going to experience frustrations and small problems – maybe even big problems – but it’s part of life. You just deal with whatever happens the best you can. Maybe celebrities are less equipped to deal with life’s problems because they spend so much time in the fantasy world of TV and movies where things are always tied up with a bow in two hours or less. The rest of us know how reality works. Sometimes it sucks. Things can be rotten – and for a lot longer than two hours. But other times, life is so utterly beautiful that it can take your breath away.

Being happy means learning all you can from the hard times and not taking the good times for granted. It means looking for happiness in the little moments life offers us every day. Moments we miss all too often. Things like hearing a child laugh, enjoying a cup of coffee with our spouse or a good friend, or just having five free minutes to rest and think. Sometimes I think our world has it backwards. Instead of us hanging on celebrities’ every word, I think they should watch us for a while. They might learn something about real life. Because even an ordinary Josephine can be someone pretty special.


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february 23

In the Know by Kim Seeley

I live in a small town, a really small town. We have one stoplight, one drugstore, one pizza parlor, a 7-11, one grocery store and one restaurant. In the last few years, we have acquired a Subway and a Dollar General, which means we have moved up in the world. I moved to this town 35 years ago, right out of college, to take a teaching job at the local school. I married a local fellow the following year, raised my daughters here, and now my daughter, son-in-law and new grandson live less than a mile away. There is one thing about small town life that I believe holds true, whether the small town is in South Carolina, Vermont or Kansas. I learned this quickly when I moved to this town from the suburbs where I grew up. There is really nothing more important to the populace of a small town than being “in the know.” When I moved to town, party lines were still in existence, and my mother-in-law shared one with one of the local gossips. There was little that went on in this small town that the folks on the party line did not only know but helped to broadcast. Now, to be fair, much of the news these ladies enjoyed was uplifting, positive news. Louise’s daughter was getting married, Muriel’s son was going into the Army, or Olivia’s granddaughter had just graduated from the university. Spreading this type of news was just part of everyday life, whether on the party line or in the cashier line at the grocery store. But it’s the other news that spread through the party lines like wildfire. “Did you hear? Augusta and Tom are getting a divorce.” “No, I hadn’t heard that, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit. He’s always had a wandering eye. What about that scandal with the new teacher and her behavior at the party last weekend? Have you heard about that?” Your imaginations can probably take it from there. What would small town life be without the local gossip-mongers and rumor mills? I was not used to the scrutiny of small town life when I first moved here fresh from college. I remember being appalled that my students not only knew where I lived, but they watched my house to see whom I was dating. The eyes were everywhere. When I married a local boy, I was informed that one lady in town always marked the wedding dates of the local girls on the calendar, then marked the date nine months later to see if they had been pregnant at their weddings. I was dumbfounded, but I shouldn’t have been shocked. Many of these ladies had nothing better to do than make every one else’s lives their business. Many were widows who were retired or had never worked outside of the home; they thrived on gossip like a baby thrives on milk. Gossip kept them in touch with the outside world, and any news was better than no news.



My generation was not much better than my mother-in-law’s when it came to being “in the know.” The main difference is that we were busier. Most of us were working full time jobs and raising children. No one I knew had time for long telephone conversations. We managed to chat while attending school functions, before and after church services or in the grocery line. I have not been entirely innocent of the “need to know” mentality, but I have made an effort to minimize its importance, and there has never been a calendar in my house to mark down the local girls’ wedding dates. Thirty-five years later, I have seen many changes in this town. The small grocery stores have been replaced by one large one. The independent bank has been taken over by a major institution. But if one thing remains, it is the importance of being “in the know.” Nothing hurts a woman more than to feel as if she were left “out of the loop.” Some have become a little irate when a member of the church died, and no one informed them. There is a sense of caring and community in a small town that people in big cities probably never experience, but it comes with a price. If people crave anonymity and privacy, they should not live in a small town. Once someone settles within the town limits, he or she becomes fair game. On the plus side, if a tragedy befalls you in a small town, you will more than likely be inundated with flowers, phone calls, pound cake, fried chicken and country ham. There are many times when it is good to know small town people and to have them know and care about you. I can think of worse places to live and worse people to live among than this small town and these small town folks. I’ll trade a little privacy for a lot of concern, caring and compassion any day.

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february 25

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Meet Heidi Douglas

Daylilies are beloved among flowers. Their beautiful blooms bring together people from all over the world who take delight in their many unique shapes and colors. Heidi Douglas’s skill in growing daylilies brought her a lot of joy for many years, but in 2005, her hobby and passion brought her love. Charles Douglas, owner of Browns Ferry Gardens, local daylily farm 13 miles west of Georgetown, travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio, to see Heidi’s garden, when it was on a National Daylily Tour. Her garden at that time held 1,100 different varieties of daylilies. Charles and Heidi had met through daylily clubs and events, and this Georgetown County man knew she was the one for him. A year later Heidi moved to the area and a year after that, she and Charles were married. Their home is an oasis of peace and beauty, set on land that Charles’s family originally used as a tobacco farm. Today, the farm is dedicated to daylilies, and both Charles and Heidi are experts in hybridizing new varieties that are eagerly sought after by customers from all over the U.S. and Canada. Tell us about your days at Browns Ferry Gardens I am only in the gardens part-time. When I lived in Cincinnati, I did computer consulting and when I told my employers I was moving, they wanted me to continue working remotely. But, I only work 20-25 hours a week. I want to take the time to enjoy life! I love my family – Charles has two daughters and six grandchildren, and I love them all. They treat me like I’ve always been here. Our 10 year old granddaughter had her birthday party at the farm, and we taught her friends how to hybridize daylilies! They loved it!

I am also a photographer and take all the shots for our catalogue and website. Naturally, daylily people are all into photos – I’ve just updated our website with new photos of all the different varieties, it looks great! Charles and I also travel and speak to daylily clubs. We’ll be out of town every weekend in February. Daylilies have brought me a lot of riches that have nothing to do with money – we have friends all over the country! What does it mean to hybridize a daylily? Basically, we cross pollinate two daylilies to create a completely new one. It’s exciting because you never know how it’s going to turn out. Judging the results is like a beauty contest. The first year it’s all about the “face” or flowers, the second year is the “bathing suit competition” to see if the plants have “good legs” or plant habit; the last year is the “evening gown competition” where the new plant has to have it all. If a new daylily makes it though the first three years then it’s likely to be introduced and registered with the Daylily Society. Then we’ll put them on the market. This is my second year introducing daylilies. I am very proud of one of my new seedlings. It has been given the garden name “Boss Hog.” The blooms are huge – 8 1/2 inches wide. I’m hoping to win an award with this one. In 2007, Charles named one after me – “Yankee Princess!” Why is this area a good place to grow daylilies? The climate and soil are very good here. We say if they can’t make it here, they won’t make it anywhere. We ship some of our hardier cultivars to Canada, and they do very well. Of course, we know our daylilies. Browns Ferry Gardens has been in business since 1994 and we sell 1,500 different varieties of daylilies.



Every year, on the first weekend in June, we have an open house – this year will be our 17th open house! We have lots of good food and many of our daylilies are on sale. Last year we had more than 300 visitors from all over, including Georgia, Tennessee and, of course, lots of locals. We also do a large mail order business, shipping all over the U.S. and Canada. We’ve even shipped to Germany, England and Lithuania! What do you do when you’re not working or growing daylilies? I have two cocker spaniels and one spoiled kitty that I love spending time with, and I feed the ducks and geese here on the farm. I go back to Cincinnati to see my family when I can, and I love to shop. But, I am very happy here. I love spending time with my husband – he is the best man I’ve ever known. Contact Browns Ferry Gardens by calling 843-546-3559 or visit The nursery is open beginning March 1st, from 9 am-5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

february 27


Thumb-less by Holly Bowne

My mother always has beautiful gardens. Growing up, my family was treated to a profusion of obscenely healthy house plants clustered en masse in front of our windows. Outside, there was a bountiful vegetable garden, endless raspberry bushes laden with ripe fruit and…flowers. Those gorgeous splashes of color whose fragrant blossoms decorated our landscape from spring ‘till late into fall. My mother has the greenest thumb of anybody I know. Seriously, all she has to do is look at a plant, and it immediately grows several inches and begins blooming. And although my mother has shared many of her fine qualities with me; a talent for art, a love of books, even a few freckles, alas, her green thumb is not among them. I love flowers. Unfortunately, they don’t love me. When my hubby and I bought our first home, unaware of this serious deficit in my biological makeup, I excitedly purchased an array of blossoms to line the front of our new little home. I happily troweled the dirt, planting my colorful impatiens beside feathery wands of astilbe. After hours of labor, I stood back and brushing soil from my hands, admired the effect I had created. Stunning. It took only two weeks for me to kill them all. I was so depressed. Apparently that little tag the nursery placed on


them which read: Thrive In Sun and Partial Shade was just a big, fat lie. Impatiens and astilbes truly only thrive in shade and as I’d planted them in the full sun of our southern-facing domicile, they shriveled up and died a slow painful death of dehydration. Before I could kill anything else however, my husband’s job required a move to the other side of our state. There we purchased a brand new home. So new, we had to put in our own lawn. We were unable to afford sod, so it became my part-time job to tiptoe around our yard with the sprinkler every day, urging the little grass seeds we’d planted to grow. I was thrilled when after many days I was rewarded with little patches of green for my efforts. Unfortunately, that was precisely how the lawn remained the entire time we lived there. Patchy. Loads of crabgrass, clover and some dead white spots filled in the empty spaces. Resigning myself to this excuse for a lawn, I decided once again to turn my focus to flowers. This time I did research. I interviewed neighbors whose yards I admired and learned the names of different plants. I drew endless potential designs on paper, taking into account when different flowers bloomed, what colors they were and how tall they would be. I finally satisfied myself I would have carefully coordinated blooms occurring throughout the growing season. That fall, my mother coached me long-distance in planting my bulbs


and bushes. I imagined how my dwarf magnolia tree would hang heavy with large white blooms when spring arrived. How my Red Riding Hood Tulips would push through the earth with their cool striped leaves, followed by brilliant purple irises. And in front of them all an array of hardy petunias would dance in myriad colors. Then, just as my magnolia tree began to bud, my husband announced we were moving again. I was devastated. All that work! All that effort! I’d finally succeeded in growing something (at least I was pretty sure I had), and it was all for somebody else to enjoy. I was listless as we moved into our third home. This was an older home and apparently the previous owner was a gardening zealot because there were raised boxes of plants everywhere. (Including poison ivy!) With two young children to keep track of, I could barely keep up with the weeding, let alone attempting another flower garden. But after a couple of years, we had the plant boxes removed so the kids actually had a place to play, and I was at it once again. So far, I’ve planted and successfully killed three azaleas, two Rose of Sharon bushes, multiple petunias, pansies and too many hanging baskets of flowers to count. I did manage to grow a few herbs in pots on my back deck. But I went outside one afternoon to find them suddenly shriveled up and gasping for…Air? Water? What had I done? (My husband later confessed he’d helpfully sprayed them with weed & bug killer.) Arrrgghhh! I give up! I think it’s important to acknowledge one’s own strengths and weaknesses. And gardening is simply not one of mine. I mean, we can’t all be like my mother, right? Acknowledging this fact has been liberating in a way, and after accepting that I will never have a green thumb, I discovered the ideal solution for my lack of gardening skills. “You’re geraniums are amazing!” a friend gushed as she came up our front walkway to greet me one afternoon. “And your hanging baskets are so lush! I can’t believe how healthy your flowers are when it’s been so dry lately.” I smiled and threw my arm across her shoulders, guiding her inside the house and praying she wouldn’t look too closely at my vibrant blooms. See, I finally figured out that there actually is a plant I can’t kill. A silk one.

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february 29

A Spoonful of

Memories by Monica A. Andermann

I peered out of the door that leads from our kitchen to the backyard. Lately, my husband, Bill, and I had been contemplating a move, an upgrade, to a home with more living space and a larger yard. A yard. I think that will always be the part of home ownership I love the most, having my own little spot on which to stand barefoot, feel the sun and cultivate only to have the pleasure of gleaning later what rises from it.

My eyes wandered around our existing small plot of land, each corner containing handfuls of memories: the large fig bush started from a small twig snapped from my grandmother’s plant; the tiger lilies harvested from underneath the tall pine in my mother’s yard where we would sit and visit and sip tea and talk; the white and purple irises received from a dear friend as a housewarming gift along with a whole slew of much needed gardening tools; the garden patch, now winter bare, that had nourished our family with all manner of vegetables and herbs; the two pink azaleas received from yet another friend after my mother’s passing so that the memory of her would re-blossom along with them each spring. So many remembrances stood planted there. If I had to leave right now and take only one memento with me, I asked myself, which one piece of it all couldn’t I live without? What to choose? It seemed like an impossible decision really, and probably one best left until our actual moving date. So I decided to defer further thought of it. Still, the question stuck to me like a burr. Later that evening, out of the far recesses of my memory, I recalled a small wooden jewelry box that my mother owned. No larger than two decks of cards stacked atop one another, it was decorated with a delicate blaze of wildflowers painted across its lacquered top. I first found it when I was no older than five or six, as I poked around my mother’s top dresser drawer, the place



where all her treasures were kept. Among the strands of costume jewelry pearls and half-used bottles of perfume it sat – the locked mystery box, its key lost long before. I turned the box over in my hand then shook it like a wrapped birthday present, all the while imagining what manner of wealth lie within. Whatever it was, it had to be tiny and mighty valuable at the same time, I decided. And whatever it was, I had to know. Right then. I ran down the stairs to the kitchen to where my mother stood in front of the deep, white enamel sink peeling potatoes, the box held toward her in my outstretched hand. “What’s in here?” She turned then stopped a moment, her vegetable peeler poised in mid-air, “Dirt.” I looked at the box and then back up at my mother, “Dirt?” Mom placed her vegetable peeler down then came closer. She tapped the box, “In here is one spoonful of dirt from my other home, the place where I lived as a little girl.” From inside my mind came a confused, “Huh?” I thought that something so carefully locked away had to be really important, not just a useless spoon of dirt from some long ago, other place. My expression must have said it all. Mom knelt beside me on the yellow linoleum floor and began to explain. And within moments, I understood. As I clutched the box, my mother told me of the place where she grew up, far away in Europe. She detailed her childhood home in dimensions that I could understand: an attic so large, she said, she could ride her bike in it. Mom took me from one room to the next and in my mind’s eye I could see where she sat to play the family’s piano, where the Christmas tree stood each December, and how the long, pine kitchen table was placed far enough from the wood burning stove so that no one would get stung by the errant sparks that sometimes flew from it. Then we went on a tour of her garden, a virtual farm by my standards: through the pear and apple trees that she climbed with her best friend Krista; behind the chicken coop where she chased her feisty fox terrier in tight, fast circles; to the place where when they were tired from the effort of it all, they rested on soft grass and looked into the vast sky to wonder what lie beyond. Forced by the unfairness of war to leave her childhood home when she was in her late teens my mother told me how, in the last moments before closing the heavy steel gate behind her for one final time, she bent down and scooped one spoonful of dirt into a jewelry box so that she could hold on to those memories forever. They had sprung from that earth and lived still, first in the garden of my mother’s heart and now in mine.

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I stood up from where I sat day-dreaming about that long ago conversation and walked to my back door to again survey what was held there. It was decided. Tomorrow I would buy a small wooden jewelry box that would hold a spoonful of dirt scooped from my yard right before I walked through my gate one final time. I, too, would hold the memories – and the ground – for my family. Just as my mother had.

february 31

Tumble? Line Dry or by Janey Womeldorf

Do sheets dried on a washing line smell better than sheets dried in the dryer? To many, this is a no brainer. When it comes to laundry, there are two types of people in this world: Those who believe that nothing smells as fresh as sheets dried on the line. And everybody else. Actually, there is a third kind – those who dry clean. I’ve never understood them though; I mean, where is their fun? Talk to any advocate of the line-drying crowd and enthusiasm gushes out; they can’t stop themselves. To them, nothing beats the sunny, crisp freshness of sheets dried by Mother Nature. I feel the same way about my tumble dryer, especially when I use the “tranquil-lavender” scented drier sheets. Not only do I like the smell, but the used-up drier sheets are handy for giving faucets a quick shine and for scraping


the fuzz off the lint screen. Where is the benefit from picking up your clothes at the dry cleaners though? Admittedly, you get a free hanger, and the plastic covers are handy when travelling, but the hangers are rubbish. Hang a pair of jeans on them and it’s just a matter of time before they bend in the middle. I hate that. I guess I’m just a dryer girl. If the label doesn’t say tumble dry, it’s not in my closet. I do own a few dry-clean tops; they pretty much represent the only high-priced items in my clearance-rack closet. I tend to save them for special occasions, which basically means they never get worn. Actually, I can never get past the fact that they will then need laundering; the scratch and sniff test only works for so long. Before you know it, you’re searching through coupon


books or calling around for prices in a sad attempt to lessen the pain. Laundry is stressful enough without adding more. The truth is, we are a nation divided by housekeeping. Don’t even get me started on ironing. That’s another one of those do-or-don’t rituals: There are those who iron, and those who avoid it at all costs. Certain behavioral traits, however, give each type away. The “ironer” will instinctively smooth down her clothes at the mere suggestion of a photograph; heaven forbid she gets caught in public with a wrinkle. The non-ironer doesn’t care. She does, however, bolt from her chair the instant she realizes the dryer finished ten minutes beforehand. She scrambles to the laundry room praying that the dreaded wrinkle will not have set in, so she doesn’t have to iron. Fortunately, she probably has that wrinkle-remover spray lurking in the depths of her closet somewhere. I know women who iron everything. Forget shirts, these women are ironing pillow cases and panties. I mean, what is all that about? When I stand in my panties, there is no amount of ironing that will stop my butt from looking like Wrinkle City. Unfortunately, that has more to do with the saggy, rippled skin underneath than it does my laundry habits. Wrinkles are not choosy where they live, and there is no iron in the world that will smooth out nature’s creases. I wish there were. Can you imagine? “I’m almost ready Sweetheart; I’m just ironing my face.” Some friends of ours went to great effort and expense to visit us recently. She’s an ironer. I figured the least I could do was let them slumber on wrinkle-free cotton, so I ironed their pillow cases. This was a first for me. It could have been worse though; they could have been the sort of people who use a clean towel for every shower. Yes, such people exist! I’ve never understood that either. (How much cleaner can your body get?) I had one house guest who put his towel in the laundry basket after each use. When he went out, I retrieved it, popped it in the dryer for a quick hit of tranquil lavender, and hung it back up. He was none the wiser. He stayed 4 days – so did his towel. The strange thing is, housework does give me a wonderful sense of satisfaction; not that I would miss it mind you. Years ago, I had a cleaner. We lived in Germany at the time, and our apartment had stone-tile floors throughout. No matter how often I swept, dust bunnies rolled down the passageway like Texan tumbleweeds. The night before our cleaner first came, I cleaned the entire house; I didn’t want her to think it was dirty. When I returned home from work later that day, the smell of cleanliness hit me the moment I opened the door, and I never looked back. I never could admit to my mother though that I paid another woman to clean my house. Two decades later, that still sounds odd. Any woman who has ever hired a cleaner, though, is lying if she doesn’t tell you how blissful it is, coming home to a clean house after a full day’s work. My cleaner never did our laundry; it was probably a good thing. People are fussy about the way their clothes are folded, especially socks. I tie my husband’s socks in a knot; my Mum rolls hers and my mother-in-law folds hers over. I think my way is more logical but foolishly, so do they. I’ve decided, therefore, it’s just best not to mess with another woman’s laundry. It is rarely wise to stack or unload her dishwasher either. But that’s a whole different story. Or is it? When it comes to housework, it seems we all have quirks – apart from me. If you ever come to visit, you’d discover that. You see, nothing bothers me as long as you abide by a few small rules: Don’t expect a clean towel every day, ignore wrinkled linens, and don’t load my dishwasher the wrong way. Other than that, my door is open, so feel free to come in. Unless, that is, you don’t like your tranquil-lavender-scented socks knotted.

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Cactus Garden by Felice Prager

To some, a garden must be lush and green with flowers and plants, a manicured lawn, bushes, hedges and trees. We had one of those when we lived in New Jersey. Our summer chores were focused on mowing, raking, trimming, cutting back, removing weeds and maintaining various projects we started. It was a labor of love, and it looked beautiful. When we moved to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, however, we were aware that maintaining a garden would be nearly impossible. How could we get color in a backyard when water was a precious commodity and daily temperatures would burn most plants? When we built our house, the landscapers we hired tried to recreate New Jersey in our backyard – and we tried to maintain it. We had a lawn that we mowed when it was 110 degrees in the shade. We filled in dried patches with seed where the sun burned through what had been there. We covered it with burlap to protect the seed. We planted things only to eventually realize that if something isn’t indigenous to this area, it will be difficult to keep it alive. We had a drip system to keep our bushes and plants healthy, but one by one, everything we planted died. We thought our neighbors had more luck than we did with their yards, until we saw them putting in new plants – just like the old ones. Then, we had a revelation. The revelation was fifteen years in the making, but we decided since WE saw beauty in the desert, we should try to focus on THAT instead of trying to recreate what we used to know. With the teal blue sky adorned by wisps of clouds as a backdrop and burnished mountains sweeping the horizon, we decided to create a picture-postcard paradise in the desert right in our own backyard. The concept is called xeriscaping – planting with little or no need for water. According to the State of Arizona Department of Water Resources, xeriscaping can take on many different looks depending upon the gardener’s taste. The idea is to decrease the harsh effects of the desert climate and




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increase energy efficiency by understanding the challenges and options available. We opted for the most minimalist approach. We wanted our yard to look natural – like the desert it used to be before man decided to cut it into developments. We wanted people to see our yard as a continuation of the desert arroyos adjacent to it. We started by removing the lawn. It was not environmentally correct by any stretch of the imagination to use so much water. In its place, we decorated with sand, stones and boulders. We transplanted cacti that had outgrown pots and put them into the ground. We did a great deal of research and learned which plants required full (intense) sunlight and which required shade or defused sunlight. Everything required little or no watering. The concept was – if it needed more than a bucket a month, it didn’t fit into the plan. In fact, after planting the cacti, I became very aware of rain or lack of rain. I watered each plant (in the hot summer months) on the first of the month – unless it had rained. What I noticed over time was that I didn’t have to water anything if it belonged in the desert. Nature would provide. Over-watering tended to rot out the roots. To my surprise, everything produced by nature gave back presents. Cacti that just grew a little in pots grew huge in the ground. Some even flowered when they hadn’t in pots. What started as rocks and some little plants is now a cactus garden of enviable proportion. In addition, each of our plants attracts birds and our bird population increased. We now have hummingbirds, finches, cardinals, Gamble’s quail, Gila woodpeckers, Gilded Flickers and dozens of other bird species visiting. We even attract migrating birds just flying through our little corner of paradise. Many cacti also have another positive trait. If a cactus becomes overgrown, you can carefully remove a piece of it and plant it elsewhere. These cuttings grow into brand new plants. In fact, if someone is visiting and comments on my cactus garden, I say, “Which is your favorite?” and I send them home with a cutting from it. Like most Arizonans, we also have a swimming pool, which most of us who live in the desert find to be a necessity when it’s 115 degrees outside. Having xeriscaping helps me feel less guilty about the water a pool uses. My favorite of all my plants is my cereus in the front of my house. When we planted it about twenty years ago, it was about eighteen inches high and only had one stalk. I have a photo of my sons standing next to it on the first day of school – both looking pretty miserable since vacation was over. In the photo, both boys are taller than the plant. Today, the plant is taller than my house and has about twenty arms. I watch this plant more than all the others. It often gets scattered buds on the various arms. As these become larger, they bloom. The last time the cereus flowered, we had 61 flowers – yes, I counted. It takes about ten days from start to finish for one bud to become a flower. The flower opens slowly at sunset to a five-inch white flower. I’ve read that bats like them, but I haven’t gone out to see them because I’m not a bat fan. In the morning, bees are drinking their last taste of cereus nectar, and by about 8 am when the sun is on them, they have completed their life cycle. Then the flowers wither and die – and from the root of the flower, a piece of cactus fruit forms – more food for those who live in the desert. This morning, I went out to get the newspaper, and there was one flower opened on my cereus. As I stood and admired it, a new neighbor walked by with her dog. She asked me what type of plant it was, and I told her. She told me she planned to re-landscape her property with a more natural look than the previous owners had. I just went to her house and handed her a small cutting from my cereus. I told her the plant’s history, and together, we planted it in her front yard. When she asked me what she had to do to keep it alive, I told her the truth: “Leave it alone. Admire it. Appreciate the beauty of the desert.”

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3072 Dick Pond Road, Highway 544, Suite 2, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

february 35

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011

THE WORLD OF THE ORCHESTRA (WITH THE CAROLINA MASTER CHORALE) A symphonic showcase exploring the individual facets of the orchestra, from strings to woodwinds, brass and percussion as well as chorus, culminating in a performance of one of the most vibrant and colorful large orchestra/choral masterpieces of the 20th century.

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47556-TourOfHomes4.375x6.625_Layout 1 1/18/11 9:58 AM Page 1

Advertiser Index

The Art Museum’s

16th Street Salon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Miller-Motte Myrtle Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Accents by Carol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Palace Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31


Barbara’s Fine Gifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Palmetto Ace Home Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Brookgreen Gardens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Pawleys Island Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Featuring seven unique and stylish homes in some of the finest neighborhoods in Myrtle Beach Saturday, March 5, 2011 • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $35 in advance • $40 day of Tour For tickets and tour information, please call the Art Museum at 238-2510 Tour of Homes Luncheon Besides a feast for the eyes, the day also offers a feast for the taste buds with a luncheon buffet – served along with an ocean view – at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, 9000 North Ocean Blvd., 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., $17 per person. Reservations suggested but not required, through the Art Museum.

Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates, PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Butler’s Electric Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Personal Touch Med Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 David E. Grabeman, D.D.S., P.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Physicians Weight Loss Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Eleanor Pitts Fine Gifts & Jewelry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Pure Compounding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Fancy Frocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

The 11th Annual Tour of Homes is generously sponsored by:

Hucks& Washington

Bobby Kelly

From the Heart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Rose Arbor Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Grady’s Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Sassyfras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Coverage You Can Count On.

A benefit for

Grand Strand Primary Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Seacoast Oral Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 In Style Hair Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Shades & Draperies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

3100 South Ocean Boulevard Myrtle Beach • 238-2510

Indigo Landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Taylor’s Boutique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Power of Yoga for Body and Mind.

The Kangaroo Pouch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Taz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Long Bay Symphony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Victoria Dianne’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Be inspired in a stress-free atmosphere. Be challenged at your own pace.

Maguire Law Firm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 WEZV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

All levels welcome.

Marina Inn at Grande Dunes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 YMCA of Coastal Carolina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

February is 2 for 1 month, bring a friend for free! (Bring this ad to redeem)

McLeod Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Yoga Divita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Middle Child Portrait Parties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Instructor Dawn “Shanthi” Divita brings over 10 years of experience and is a 200 hour registered yoga teacher (RYT).

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All classes are held at the J.Bryan Floyd Community Center 1030 Possum Trot Rd. • North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 (843) 280-5555 • for class schedule and more information

february 37

Princess f o r a D ay

All little girls dream of being a princess, and on Saturday, March 5, that dream can become a reality! The second annual Princess Gala starts at 8:30 am, sharp, with breakfast with their favorite princesses at Travinia Italian Kitchen in the Market Common, followed by a princess parade led by the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming. The parade ends at the red carpet entrance of Grand 14 where all princesses will watch a princess movie. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the Coastal Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross. For tickets or more information, call 843-477-0020 or e-mail




Visit for a full calendar and more Sasee events!

Free Health Seminar, Dr. Tim O’Neil discusses “Wellness and Health,” 6:15 pm, Pure Compounding Pharmacy. To RSVP, call 843-293-7979.

3, 17

Promenade Concert at First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach, 3 – Angela Brown, Soprano; 17 – New York’s Claremont Trio, 1 pm. For more info, call 843-448-4496.









Creative Exchange Series, “The Art of Fitness and Nutrition,” Cindy Hoskins Black, Sunset River Marketplace, 10283 Beach Drive, Calabash N.C., 11 am-12:30 pm, lunch included, $7, RSVP required. For more info, call 910-575-5999.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Theatre of the Republic, Conway. For more info, call 843-488-0821,

Annual Myrtle Beach Stamp and Postcard Show, Holiday Inn West in Myrtle Beach. Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. 10 am-4 pm, free admission and appraisals. For more info, call 843-347-0087 or e-mail l

Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon, events for all ages. For more info, call 843-293-RACE or visit www.

Mr. Toad’s Mad Adventures, Stagestruck Players, Youth Division of Brunswick Little Theatre, Virginia Williamson Events Center, at Odell Williamson Auditorium, Brunswick Community College. For times and ticket info, call 910-755-7416 or visit

17th Annual Horry County Museum Quilt Gala, 25-10 am-4 pm; 26-1-4 pm, Ocean Lakes Campground Recreation Center. For more info, call 843915-5320 or visit




The Scoop



Art Walk, Downtown Conway Historic District, 10 am-5 pm. For more info, call 843-248-6260 or

Moveable Feast, Ann Ipock discusses, Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller, Kimbel’s, Wachesaw Plantation, 11 am, $25. For more info, call 843-235-9600 or visit

Black Tie & Tails, Raising the “Woof” for St. Frances Animal Center, 6-11 pm, Old Waccamaw Farms and Nursery, Black Tie & Flea Collar Optional, $100. For more info, call 843-237-7100 or visit

Taste of the South, 11 am-3 pm, North Myrtle Beach High School. For more info, call 843-249-6604. 39


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Sasee February 2011  

Sasee Volume 10, Issue 2