Sunday, March 4, 2018

Inspiration...



Good morning! Here we are comfortably on the other side of the holidays and I’ve still yet to post. I’ve sort of been holding my breath and I’m not exactly sure why.  I suppose it’s the old diet/still fat theory.  Do you know what I mean? You have a friend who makes these incredible proclamations about the diet they are starting, all the rules of the diet, how difficult their workouts are, etc…and yet frankly the friend stays fat despite their dozens of facebook (or in my case, blog) posts about the diet.  One learns the hard way you ought not to tell people you’ve lost weight, rather let them notice.  Well don’t worry cause I’ve gained ten pounds so this is not about one of my many weight loss journeys. I guess it’s more about keeping the shutters closed because the house is kind of a mess. 

When I posted in July about my plans to start a business in real estate, I honestly believed I would have it wrapped up and finished by the end of the year.  Well, it’s March and I’m still not entirely finished.  It’s been a long time since I have been in any sort of school and it requires a completely different type of discipline than to get up and go to work.  I think depending on all of our personalities, one tends to be easier than the other.  Of course there have been days in my life where I have felt loath to get out of bed and go to work.  But for me, it’s an easy switch to flip and the second I am out of bed, I sail through to the end of the day.  School is a little different.  Ohio allows real estate course work to be done online and South Carolina requires it be in a classroom with a teacher.  Thank god SC has this stipulation because if not I would have done both online and probably pulled my voluminous hair out in the process.  After finishing the Ohio coursework a few months ago, I closed my laptop and literally put it in a closet.  I was not sure I could ever look at a computer again.  No, deskwork is not for me.  That and my penchant for falling down rabbit holes.  I have a ridiculously strong memory (I think I recently creeped out a client because I remembered her grandma’s birthday she had mentioned like three years ago).  But there is no memory without understanding, so many of these things—especially real estate law—I chew on and read more and more until I can connect the dots.  Obviously this is worth the time, but it makes a slow and thorough Taurus even slower. 
I’m sure some of you are like okay that’s nice Stephen but what the fuck are you saying? I guess I’m saying I’ve been a bit reluctant to say anything until it’s all done, but at this point it’s pooling at the dam and stopping me from writing about other things, and I miss writing! But I’m going to try and ease back into the habit.  I’m sure it seems I have forgone my blog for Instagram, and while that has been technically true, it’s not.  Frankly, I hate Instagram just like I did before.  Don’t get me wrong, there are elements I love, but the system as a whole makes me insane.  Why do we reward talentless people?! And I’m not talking Kardashian talentless, I’m talking actually tal-ent-less.  Guess what, bitch, recycling the same fucking 300 pinterest photos we’ve all fucking seen ten thousand times because some of us actually paid for the fucking magazine ten fucking years ago does not make you a tastemaker.  I love how snobbish some of them are about it, too.  Saying things like “Now, THIS is elegance”. Like, no you dumbass it’s a fucking magazine and no one can see each other with 39 taxidermy ostriches between them. Then once a year they’ll post something they actually did themselves and you get a dark ass closely cropped shitty photo of a plate of food resembling vomit on dishwasher safe plate.  Ummm? Where’s the priceless china you’re posting seventeen times a day with “inspiration…”? Whoops, my teeth came out.  How about this, please tag me with your favorite real accounts.  I love Instagram for its connecting of passionate people, if there’s an account of a real person sharing their real passion in just about any arena, I’m interested.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any trouble finding inspiration… when I need it. 
So, here I am on a glorious Sunday morning in Hilton Head.  I have been here a week and am here for two, maybe three more, getting my South Carolina education.  I am so glad to have a teacher and classmates, even if it is hard for me to sit still for eight hours a day.  That washes off quickly when one can start and end his day at the beach.  The plan still stands and I’m more excited about it the deeper I get.  It’s a great feeling to know you are a natural fit for a new endeavor.  Even if you’re getting there at ocean liner speed rather than Concord.  There’s a lot to see and learn along the way.  So what have you been working on?  Am I the only one moving a little slower than expected? I hope not.  I’m having an issue with comments on Blogger, so I might respond with an anonymous account just called SAJ rather than my official Blogger account.  I don’t like to do this because anyone can comment under a blank account called SAJ but hopefully you’ll know if it’s me or not. 
So, all that to get to my photos which pushed me to post.  Have you ever been to Beaufort? It is the most beautiful little town completely ensconced by glimmering marsh, river, and sea.  The trees are colossal, the Spanish moss tends to hang even lower and more luxuriously languid, the houses are old and just take your breath away when you turn a corner and feel you’ve discovered another Most Beautiful House.  One of my friends from class lives there and said that when she went to the showing for the house she ended up buying, she just cried because she couldn’t believe she could live somewhere so beautiful.  Yesterday I explored Beaufort again with Barbie bopping along at my side.  The sun was bleachingly bright, the air was so fresh off the water, and the strong breeze sang through the Spanish moss in a muffled chorus.  A spectacularly gorgeous morning. 



Palmetto and American Redbud in bloom! What could be a better representation of the subtropical, deciduous magic of the
Lowcountry?!


Every street ends with a similar view.





42 comments:

  1. Beaufort, Bluffton, Charleston, the entire coastline is beautiful. Great photos! I could not agree with you more about Instagram,every single word! Enjoy your trip.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I’m sorry for the delay in posting comments. Blogger was being moody!

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  2. I'm with you on the classroom versus the laptop...much better for my learning style and discipline.
    Enjoy the time in Hilton Head and good luck on your course...I applaud you for taking on a new carrer path...you are very visual, passionate about details, love antiques and I think that these will help you sell many houses!
    XO

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  3. I would happily live in ANY of those houses, and to think you'll be selling them (or some like them) while also getting to enjoy living in such a wonderful community. I can't remember how much time you think you'll be spending there and if you think you'll be relocating or not. Either way, I see spending more time there in your future, you lucky soul. As for us, we're off to Oregon next month, so starting a whole new adventure! Glad to see you back to the blog, Instagram is great but for those fond of the written word, it has its limits. Great for photos though, and you have so many beautiful ones. xoxo

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    1. How exciting! I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s blogs!! Thank you so much! The houses really are spectacular there!

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  4. Hi Stephen, Well, the way you described Beaufort with the glorious sun, fresh air breezes from glimmering sea, languid Spanish moss and colossal trees, I think I need to move there. These description skills will serve you well in your real estate life! The colorful homes remind me of the trend in NH where owners of Victorian homes began painting their houses in multi-colors on trim, doors and windows to restore them to their original glory. Makes driving around town so enjoyable. I see Instagram as you do, sharing passions and connecting with those people. I get annoyed when Pinterest alerts me to how many people pinned my finds or Instagram tries to entice me with getting more likes. I mean, who cares? Life is about finding and enjoying what we love, not the superficiality of what's popular. I'm glad I'm not the only one who chuckles at the ridiculousness of some. One account I read posts, "I die." "I can't." "To die for." Really? If Instagram is that life-threatening it's time to quit. ;) p.s. Is that your little cup with the bird? Now that is class, and art! xo ~Nicole in CA

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    1. Haha thank you so much! I die! Oh that’s so funny, yes instagram is not worth that! Haha yes that is my bird and cup! Love seeing old houses freshened up!

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  5. Laughed aloud reading your comments about the tastemakers .... geez, how true it is, well said. And Beaufort does look amazing .. the literal french translation is beautiful strong. Not bad.
    bonnie in provence

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    1. Thank you so much! They have had to be strong after their many storms!!

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  6. There is not even a second thought in my mind that you are going to be a success at this new endeavor. I'm sure dealing with finicky haired clients is only going to be a plus in dealing with some of these prospective home shoppers as well. As to the computer work--simply a means to the end you want and thankfully, that part is finished. I'd be ripping out my hair as well---I love to learn new things but only on my own terms. And what a gorgeous area you are in. I've never been in that particular state, but every photo seems to drip with fine southern genteelness and invites you to sit on the veranda and have a glass of tea and a nice gossipy chat. Frankly, I'd be hard put to leave.
    I don't have any specific IG sites for you---I find some interesting ones, just poking (nosing?) around. I quit most of the 'shelter' ig'ers. I love beautiful places, homes, interiors, 'things' (who doesn't??) but I find I'm finding that beauty in less obvious places lately and liking that a lot. Enough of the overly contrived interiors and tables..not that I want to see someone's cigarette butt jammed in their dirty plate but that's what the 'unfollow' button is for. I had to quit one woman's beautiful stitching site after she showed her mysterious foot disease once too often. Um, no thank you. Enough--you're doing great and I love following you. Deb

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad to be done with the computer work! Now it’s just practice tests haha. South Carolina really is spectacular! Oh how awful about the foot disease haha!

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  7. Yay! You posted!! May I take a little credit? hah! just kidding! :) I'm so glad to see you writing. I know just what you mean about revealing your goals ahead of achieving them. I'm the biggest blabbermouth and sometimes admire those people with mystery and surprise element who've already been doing said wonderful thing. They're too cool for words. But that's just it. Cool, cold, distant, marble. But I love you for the very fact of your sharing and vulnerability. You're real to me and beautiful. I like that you're doing this your way...what other possible way would you do it?? I also think you're incredibly brave. It's really hard to take on something big like this after you're you know, past a certain, you know, (help me) point in life:). Kudos!! I hope the time you're spending there is at least partly as beautiful as your stunning photos. I'm saving your beach photos. I'm so enamoured of your night shots particularly..wow! What are taking those with? I took some late night water pics years ago and then painted from them..some of my favourites. The intense blues.

    Well I'm super happy for you Stephen. Take it all at whatever pace suits. Hugs to Barbie, what a beauty and you too!

    Barb from T.O. xoxo

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  8. I cannot be the 1st to comment. Everyone else must be having a delicious dinner or something. I am so sick of Instagram; I did like it until it decided what I wanted to see in my feed. I feel as if I were in the bad dream where one cannot move as far as progress with my life goes. Unlike you, I am enjoying the online classes I've taken/am taking. At least I don't have to suffer the snotty & condescending comments of 30 year olds when I speak up in class. Instead of getting less self-conscious, I'm getting more so as I get older (ignorance was bliss?). I'm thrilled you're writing! I so enjoy your posts & have (finally) subscribed. Also, you are taking classes in a beautiful place & that helps.

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  9. Oh, Beaufort is lovely, all those spectacular Southern mansions. It reminds me of my one and only visit to New Orleans (pre Katrina) and I nearly died of happiness looking at those pastel pretty houses. Good luck with the Real Estate, my father after years in other businesses, did the study and qualified in his fifties, never looked back and made some serious money in the process. I would say I am a reluctant Instagrammer (also?), a bit too instant for me, he he. Always a pleasure to read your blog.

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  10. "The sun was bleachingly bright, the air was so fresh off the water, and the strong breeze sang through the Spanish moss in a muffled chorus. " You write so beautifully!! Thank you for your post-I look forward to them always.

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  11. Have missed your posts so much. As usual beautiful pictures, I wish Beaufort was not so far from Australia, I want to visit, the homes as you say, are breathtaking. Keep posting please. We are gearing up for the 13hour flight to visit family in San Francisco at the end of the week, love SF.

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  12. Stephen Andrew so happy to see your post! I was completely afraid you'd given up your blog for Instagram as many bloggers have done. Thank gods you haven't because you are such a good writer and you create such a community here. You are totally right about Instagram too omg you had me falling over laughing you're so spot on.
    Beaufort, well that looks like heaven. I can't wait to get down to South Carolina again, probably next year. We've been so busy here no time for a holiday this winter. SO EXCITED for you with your licenses, I think you're getting it done incredibly fast though! That's amazing!
    You're killing it my friend.
    Please post regularly I love to read your voice it fills me with joy. I'm sure I'm not the only one. XOX

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  13. Thank you for the much needed and beautiful in all senses Wake-up Call. I miss posting too. :( Love to you. You are doing great.

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  14. So good to see a post from you! Sending you good thoughts and much luck on your new venture!

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  15. Oh Gawd I've missed your acerbic commentaries and your glorious photography.
    Going back to school later in life certainly is a trip. I started a Master's degree at 57 and was done 5 months before hitting 60. Did it change my career in any way? Absolutely not-in fact it made it harder to deal with. However, the personal satisfaction was extraordinary.
    Best of luck as you finish your program. I think your future clients are going to enjoy having you on their side. Carol in VT

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  16. Dear Stephen, I am a 67 yr old who has never been compelled to comment on any blog, though I so enjoy talented people who are willing to be so vulnerable. I have read you for a long time, and run into your comments to others. You strike me as one of the kindest and funniest people out there, and your talent for capturing beauty is fun to watch. Your down to earthy personality comes through as in this post which finally pushed me to dare to comment. So....there it is.Don't mean to be sappy, but thanks for being you.Love you, Always can find a good dose of kindness here and fun!

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  17. Well, let me be the first to say welcome back. When I go to Google, a little record keeper of "things/blogs you've checked most recently and most often" pops up and, guess what?, you win. Happy to see that you are enjoying a new endeavor and beautiful Beaufort!

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  18. SAJ
    I love to visit South Carolina. I agree with you about instagram, but you have a succinct way of putting it. So what are your favorite instagram accounts?
    karen

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  19. You are hilarious. I'll never look at Instagram the same again. Best of luck with the new endeavour and the studying. Gah! Xx

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  20. Hey stranger! Nice to see that you are alive and well. First of all, I love the architecture down there...beautiful photos. I used to sell real estate for awhile, then went back to teaching. Learned a lot and still feel that I have the ability to appraise a house. It seems that with HGTV (among other things) there is a real upswing in activity. Before long, you will be out there selling.... Will you be licensed in Ohio and South Carolina? I'll bet you end up moving down there. Barbie looks as gorgeous as ever. Thanks for filling us in. You have been missed by many.

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  21. Beaufort looks beautiful. Keep slogging at the course, it is wonderful feeling when you do something that you know is just right for you! I love Instagram, however, I am really selective with the accounts I follow - friends, the genuinely talented and people who only post their own work. Ciara

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  22. Why I have been to Beaufort - after we stopped off to buy a marines shirt in the nearby marine training centre where it was all very an officer and a gentleman vibe. Then we had lunch at the cute cafe by the water - I think it was one of 2 places we could eat? Then there was something going on bc the local news was reporting and then my husband and I got so excited that we saw the report later on that evening. It was all so quaint. For the day that is. The air is thick and perfect for smoking writing sipping - isn't there a famous writer that lives there? i forget his name. I have utter faith in you Taureans to get it done and done right. you might even highlight a thing or two to your in house tutor. I have had to cut down on social media bc the actual scrolling took only a few minutes day but it was the rest of it that took half a day. I am so bad at time management i would end up going on twitter facebook instagram and then it was bedtime. PS have you thought about doing sales pitches through video as well? like a blog for your business specifically? I remember going on a few house tours in charleston - who doesn't but the houses in that area are on a par with the national trust here. plus i could see you dabbling in antiques. i wish you always all the best SAJ.

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  23. LOVE YOUR RANT ABOUT IG!!!!!!!!!
    I GET IT!!!!!!
    I think I want a HOUSE HERE................XX

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  24. and there she is. the lead picture. as it should be.
    looking every bit the little princess she is... holding a well chewed ball between her paws.
    I want to just hug her. how can you not stop? I would get nothing done in that paradise with her
    bopping along beside me.
    when you graduate your courses does this mean you will relocate? I may have missed it if you've already
    said. I LOVE that you're adventuring into a new life cycle! wow. could I have said that anymore weirdly?
    no. but you know what I mean. continue to bop my darling beautiful boy! with our beloved Barbie. XO

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  25. hahahahahaaaaa.... OH, Stephen, how I have missed your blog'n. Although I've been 'round this blog long enough to know you might flit away again ..but I truly hope not. Your writing style is just awesome and hilarious and real and full of your own style, which is as fabulous as your hair that you will not ever pull out for any reason if you know what's truly good for you.

    Beaufort!! what a paradise!!! I sorta feel like The Notebook and Prince of Tides were right there in that area, two of my favorites reads/movies ever. Do you ever feel like Noah did.... What do you want, Stephen, What do you want... what do YOU want...

    Keep slogging along, you're doing just fine... who set the pace anyway?...

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  26. Thank you for the lovely photos,and an update on your comings and goings.
    I have never commented before, and I have very much enjoyed your blog in the past and wanted to say thanks for the (often hilarious ) peek into your life. You are an amazing writer.
    I love the light and colors of marshes and sloughs.I live on the West Coast and have never seen the Atlantic, but you certainly make me want to visit Beaufort.
    rebecca

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  27. Died laughing about your Instagram comments!! I have to agree. I've weeded out most of the people posting regurgitated photos from Pinterest/ magazines ad nauseum. I'll tag you in some of my favourite accounts if you haven't already found them. Actually I have a blog post up my sleeve called Insta-fake, because all the fakery on Insta drives me nuts. There's a New York decorator I was following until two weeks ago... he posted a photo of "a garden in St Tropez at the villa I stayed at for several summers". Except that I recognised it from a very well known landscape designer's portfolio... here in Sydney. I forwarded it to the photographer who had taken the original photo to confirm it, and he went nuts about it being stolen. The funny thing is that he obviously didn't check his comments for about 24 hours. Then poof! The photo disappeared. The next week he posted a "computer rendering of a conservatory on a Park Avenue Duplex I'm designing". Except it was clearly a black and white photo... which I also recognised in full colour doing the rounds on Pinterest. Shameless!
    Anyway. Back to you. I'm so glad you're having this time in South Carolina - it looks quintessentially what I think of as the South. The houses are beautiful, the landscape so restful. Good luck with your studies, and I'm so glad you're back blogging. While I love your Insta posts, I love your blog too and have missed it! x

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  28. I have missed your writing & glad to see you are back!

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  29. So happy to see you back posting on the blog. You are a wonderful writer. You will be a success on your new career.

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  30. I read you from time to time and find your thoughts/photos intriguing. I remember scenes of Beaufort from the movie, The Big Chill.

    Just wanted to say that the message you left Janet Korff about her husband's cancer diagnosis was a perfect tone and I feel very uplifting for her. You said the right thing at a difficult time.

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  31. Have just discovered you'd blogged again when reading FF's new post! So lovely to see! Your photos as always are superb! Love the way you introduce us to places we would never normally see that are so beautiful and full of character. You probably know already I am a great fan of your beach and water pics. And Barbie. Wonderful that you've persevered with your real estate requirements. It's never easy going back to school again after you've been away from it for a long time. As a onetime teacher of adults (long ago) I used to see their first funny classroom reactions. For the first day or so some of them want to revert to what they did as primary school kids: writing and drawing on the blackboard, passing notes, asking if they can leave the room to go to the loo. You can see the novelty of it and the naughty light in some of their eyes. But then they get over it and settle down. Social media is taking a hammering lately in current affairs. As you may know I started instagramming only fairly recently (and am currently spamming pics of the fabulous Cartier Exhibition at our NGA) and had mistakenly thought that it might be safer than FB. But a mutual friend set me right and also said that some of my followers are possibly bots (eg the ones who are dressed in military style uniforms in their photos). Not a happy thought. But I'm persevering still as I kind of enjoy it and most of the family like it. It's a bit like a personal diary of activities and interests for when my granddaughters are older so they can look back on our lives. The older one already follows. At the risk of boring or annoying others I guess. But at least they're all mine own, for what they're worth, not re-posts except a few of the family dog. You'll get there with the course, Stephen Andrew and it will all be worth it in the end. We must all follow our paths and goals in the directions we feel called to. Sometimes of course life has other plans for us. But I'm sure your commitment will be rewarded. And have great fun along the way! Warmest wishes, Pammie

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  32. Study is so hard, I could never go back to uni NEVER! Hang in there, keep the faith, love your insta insights! x

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  33. SAJ - some of us went to IG to get away from the political stance EVERYONE seemed to be taking on FB. At first it was lovely, primarily pictures of things I enjoy looking at and similar interests and often a funny joke. I follow you and enjoy your posts immensely. However, lately everyone seems to be a "Mama of 6 that loves Jesus and lives everyday to the fullest on their self-sustaining mini farm where their amazing husband handy man is installing ship lap" Then there are the pictures of overloaded "country/shabby chic/farmhouse CRAP" gives those of us that have a true love of well collected homes full of antiques a bad name. I live in a 150 year old real farmhouse that has been lovingly restored and there isn't a sign on any wall that reads "Farmhouse" -I feel like I have done a disservice to my house if it is at all confused by no identifier. Starting over at any age takes discipline. Your love of homes is shared by many of us. I am certain you will be successful - just remember that you will have to sell the ugly with the gorgeous and that is not easy. Especially with clients that think their home is IG ready to show - when you know 2 moving trucks will be needed to haul out the clutter. At any rate, please write more. Please continue to post on IG as some of us are adept at scrolling past the posts we don't care to see. We would all miss you terribly if you just went away - we've clearly all grown to love you (and Beaufort through your eyes and discriptives). xoxoxo

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  34. I can't believe I missed this post earlier...but I'm so glad I found it. You are a very talented writer--the analogies about the diet, the shutters...perfectly drawn. I agree with you on IG. I want to see original material, not something copied (I believe the technical term is plagiarized, but these days it's called "shared") from somebody else. Or promotions flogging some brand. I want ideas, not a shopping list.
    Good luck with the real estate business. It does seem like the perfect calling for you. What a pleasure to hand such beautiful homes from one owner to the next.

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  35. Stephen, Just catching up on my blogs and what you've been up to. Gosh I totally get you about long hours on the computer and trying to connect the dots with things.I did that today and sometimes question if I have an undiagnosed learning issue! LOL. Hang in there. I feel the same and when I am trying to manage computer stuff, blogging is just another chore. I also agree about Instagram. I am so done with the 'stories' flashing at me from the top and the popular people with the same darn pics that have been there forever. I read an article recently saying it was hard wiring our brains to keep us checking it all day long. I kind of agreed so turned off the notifications for it and now I forget to even go on. Honestly, it hasn't been terrible. I could easily lose an hour on it and get nothing out of it, but inferior feelings about my home, clothes, state of fitness, etc. Now who needs that? I do still prefer blogs and hearing a bit more! Hoping you're doing well and kicking butt on the real estate thing. I am sure you'll be amazing at it. x Kim

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  36. I am late to this party but I will say that I have issues with "real" on Instagram and so have been avoiding it AND---I have swung a few hundred miles out of my way to make sure each of my grown kids saw Beaufort. My husband's cousins just moved there and I hope we can visit them sometime soon. It is an AMAZING place.
    Have a great upcoming weekend---hoping you get this. xo Diana

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