Category Archives: Lifestyles

Preparing garden beds for spring and beyond

Gardening enthusiasts may have been thinking about their landscape plans throughout the winter, eager to once again get their hands dirty with soil. Whether a home gardener is making preparations for edible crops or beautiful flowers, he or she must take time to make the soil amenable to planting. To establish hearty, durable plants, gardeners can focus on three main areas: addressing soil composition, cultivating and adding nutrients.

Soil composition

Many gardeners prefer growing a variety of plants in their gardens. Such an approach requires taking inventory of the type of soil in one’s

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Ergonomic techniques can make gardening less taxing

Gardening is a popular activity that seems to be gaining even more supporters. Statistica reports that the number of people who gardened within the last 12 months in the United States rose from around 105 million in 2008 to 118 million in 2017.

Gardening can be relaxing yet physically demanding work. Gardeners who find themselves battling aches and pains after spending time in the garden may need to make a greater effort to reduce injuries and

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Annual Clemson Experimental Forest celebration Saturday

CLEMSON — The Clemson Experimental Forest will hold its annual Forest Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 7, in the Lake Issaqueena area.

Above: Saturday’s third annual Clemson Experimental Forest Forest Fest will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Lake Issaqueena area.
Courtesy Clemson University

There will be activities for adults and children, including guided hikes, nature walks, scavenger hunts, air rifle demonstrations, waterfall views, canoeing and kayaking, forestry activities and outdoor games.

This is the third year for the event. South Carolina Botanical Garden education and resource coordinator James Wilkins and Experimental Forest manager Russell Hardee coordinated the event and said it is for anyone who wants to spend a day connecting with nature.

“This is a wonderful event for people to spend a day in our Experimental Forest,” Wilkins said.

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Symbols of Easter

Icons complement most sacred holiday

Tradition plays an important role in Easter celebrations for many families. Cherished traditions and symbols of Easter may include anything from egg hunts to lilies to lambs. Understanding the importance behind these symbols can make sharing the miracle of Easter that much more special.


The crucifix is one of the central symbols of Easter and Christianity. The cross is a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion and sacrifice. The crucifix also highlights the ability of God to give people new life after death.

In addition to wearing and displaying the cross during Easter, some people bake “hot cross buns” as another symbol of the season.


Eggs are one of the more recognizable symbols of Easter. For Easter egg hunts, eggs are hard-boiled and decorated in bright hues. It’s believed that the origins of Easter eggs are both secular and religious. From the secular (once pagan) perspective, the egg is an ancient symbol of new life, according to The History Channel, and has been associated with pagan festivals that celebrate spring. Some

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Create and hide unbreakable Easter eggs

Easter is one of the most important days of the year for Christians. Easter Sunday is filled with symbolism and tradition, some of which harken back to early Christianity, while others trace their origins to paganism.

The Easter Bunny and Easter eggs are two Easter traditions with less extensive histories. The Easter Bunny, according to sources including, first arrived in America in the 1700s via German settlers who brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase.” Children would make nests where the rabbit could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread from Pennsylvania, where many German immigrants settled, to other areas around the country.

Eggs are symbolic of new life and rebirth in many cultures. To Christians, eggs represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Another theory suggests that Christians were once forbidden to eat during the Lenten season

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Yards of Yarn

Local residents had a chance to reminisce about the area’s textile heritage with Yards of Yarn at the Hagood Community Center in Pickens. The community center was the perfect site for the show about the history of textile mills in the Upstate, as it was once a mill school in the heart of the Pickens textile mill village. Those in attendance had a chance to hear stories and look at old photos and other artifacts and mementos from the textile mill communities of the early 1900s. Upstate musicians Hunter Holmes and Steve McGaha also performed songs of the era and gave historical perspectives of the songs.

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier


Beloved children’s classic coming to Liberty High stage this weekend

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter


he story of a pig in danger and the smart, resourceful spider trying to save him may be geared toward children, but Liberty High School theater teacher Jean Scales Toole says it has a message for everyone.

“I love this story,” Toole said. “I love what it has to say. It is not just a children’s book. If you really listen, there are some true life lessons in this play.”

One of her favorite scenes is one where Wilbur the pig asks Charlotte the spider “Why did you do this for me? I haven’t done anything for you,” Toole said.

“And she says ‘By helping you, perhaps I lifted my own life a

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From slavery to the White House Part 2

Keckley joins the

Lincoln family

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

In part one of our story last week, Elizabeth Keckley, a talented seamstress and slave, had been told by her master that she could buy her and her son’s freedom for $1,200. She managed to raise the money, buy their freedom and amazingly work for ladies of the upper class. This included the family of Sen. Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederate States of America.

A daughter of Union Maj. Gen. Edwin Vose Sumner was one of Elizabeth’s patrons. “Bull Head” Sumner inspired a legend that a musket ball once bounced off his head. He also had a great booming voice. His daughter asked Elizabeth to make a dress

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From slavery to the White House

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

Elizabeth Keckley was a talented and intelligent slave who became a successful dressmaker and managed to buy her freedom. Because of her adroit skills in clothing design, she amazingly became a close friend of the families of Jefferson Davis and Abraham in Washington, D.C. President Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, became a very close    friend and confidant of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth lived longer as a slave than as a free dressmaker for Mrs. Lincoln. She later wrote a tell-all book about her unusual life. The book included private details about the Lincoln family and provoked great controversy and broke several traditional boundaries. Individuals felt deeply offended when a black former slave felt free to publish intimate, personal details concerning the lives of upper-class white people. The Civil War was about freeing people like Elizabeth Keckley, and involved, in the most critical way, both Jefferson Davis’ and Abraham

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Love Potions from Around the World

When mixed with herbs, the eggs of Uganda’s gray crowned crane — a bird that mates for life — are said to increase affection and monogamy.

In Africa, the bark of the yohimbe tree is said to have certain aphrodisiac qualities when steeped in hot water and consumed as tea.

The people of Madura Island in East Java are known for their jamu ramuan, a concoction of herbs that, when ingested, restores youth to women and makes them more desirable to their husbands.

On Dragobete day, the Romanian day of love, frozen snow is collected and its water used as

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