Tag Archives: none

Under the Sea

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Mermaid Adventures

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Mermaid Adventures

Want to make a splash? Unleash your inner Ariel at mermaid school in Maui. 

There are any number of reasons to visit Hawaii. Sun, sand, surf, swimming, snorkeling, school. Yes, school. Specifically, mermaid school, aka, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures in Maui. But don’t worry — Maui is more than 100 miles away from the active lava on the Big Island of Hawaii.

“Many people have dreamed their whole life of becoming a mermaid. Doing it on Maui with year-round sunshine, warm water and uncrowded beaches make this the perfect location to transform into a mermaid,” says Rebecca Pang, spokeswoman for the company. 

Timothy Lara, owner of Hawaiian Paddle Sports, started Hawaii Mermaid Adventures in 2016 after seeing mermaid photo shoots on the beach and at pools. Instead of merely letting people dress up as mermaids, he decided to give them the opportunity to become mermaids and combine it with a swimming lesson and a snorkel tour to create a memorable ecotourism experience. Could there be a better way to get your “sea legs” than with a mermaid tail? 

2. Mother Daughter Mermaids - credit Hawaii Mermaid AdventuresTelling the Tale (with a Tail) 
At Hawaii Mermaid Adventures, wannabe Ariels of all ages – males or females ranging from 50 to 210 pounds – can learn to swim like a mermaid or a merman. The year-round sessions are offered in the early morning when the water is calmest.

Instructors teach participants how to swim in a monofin tail suit and then lead the new mermaids on a tour of the reef where free underwater photography is provided. The lifeguard- and CPR-certified instructors, who also are certified marine naturalists, begin with a land lesson and an educational safety briefing.

Before entering the ocean, the instructors demonstrate proper etiquette in the water and around wildlife. Guests learn to keep a respectful distance from wildlife – tropical fish, corals and green sea turtles commonly are spotted, and the company has a strict “no touch” policy. Mermaids are encouraged to watch, but not chase, marine life. In fact, marine animals want to spend more time around their mermaid visitors when they are not being disturbed. The guides also teach guests how to identify native fish species and highlight important ocean conservation issues.

After their land lessons, guests can practice swimming through hula hoops and splashing around in their mermaid tails. They also learn about different types of mermaids – sirens, deep sea mermaids, whale singers and reef mermaids – and can play the role of their mermaid of choice.

“In the winter humpback whales flock to Maui, and our mermaids can actually hear them singing in the ocean,” Pang says.

The aspiring mermaids and mermen find that the fin-powered dolphin kick gives them a powerful push through the water, and most people learn how to use the tail quickly. “It feels unnatural at first, but by the end of the lesson feels more comfortable,” says Pang.Stories and

Immersing students into the ocean habitat, the guides teach them all about life as a mermaid, mermaid mythology, sailors’ tales, various marine animals, coral, marine conservation and the importance of keeping the ocean clean.

The mermaids of ancient myths were not afraid to use their voices, often leading sailors astray or luring them to dangerous shallows with their songs. Contemporary mermaids can use their voices as well. However, instead of endangering their listeners, they can advocate for the environment and promote positive changes for the world’s oceans.

“Mermaid swimming is an unforgettable experience, but our ultimate goal for guests is to help them learn about ocean conservation and to take away a sense of action to care for environment,” Pang says.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe mermaid instructors conduct mini beach cleanups before each lesson to give guests an idea of the things that get left behind on the beach. Note to students: mermaids hate to find trash in the ocean. The instructors hope to inspire mermaids and mermen to take small actions that will result in a big wave of positive change.

“Ocean stewardship is an important part of living in and visiting Hawaii. Whether you’re snorkeling, surfing or relaxing on the sand, it is our kuleana, or responsibility, to ensure that we maintain healthy, thriving oceans for future generations,” Pang says.

The 1.5-hour classes are $199 for a private lesson and $139 for two to five guests with a single instructor. Special arrangements are available for groups of six or more. For more information, visit hawaiimermaidadventures.com or call (808) 495-8919.

By Morgan Davis


Pure and Simple

In The Home
Photography by Candice and Dan Lanning

Photography by Candice and Dan Lanning

A natural, minimalist lifestyle brings an abundance of joy to a Grovetown family.

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and self-sufficiency, and Grovetown residents Candice and Dan Lanning bring those traits to almost everything they do. Two years ago, the couple, along with their daughters, Stevie, 7, and Dani, 5, moved to the area from Charlotte, North Carolina to streamline their lives.

For Candice, who grew up in Columbia County, the move was a homecoming – something she never really thought she would do. However, Candice and Dan, who started their own photography business – The Beautiful Mess – in 2007, thought the area would be a picture-perfect place to live. 

“We wanted to have a lifestyle where we could work together and raise a family together,” says Dan. “We can live anywhere with our business, and we decided we wanted to be close to family and have space for our kids to see and do.” 

2. Living Room CouchA Way with Woods
In January 2016, the Lannings bought 10 acres of land, which they christened Rolling Brook Farms, with Candice’s parents, Debra and David Whitley, and started building their house nine months later. Dan, who earned a degree in architecture from the University of Michigan and had worked for a property group in Charlotte, started making sketches for their dream home on a legal pad. With help from Candice’s parents and brother, the Lannings did much of the construction themselves and moved into their home in the summer of 2017.

“We’re pretty simple in our construction methods. The way we build and the way we live are simple,” says Dan. “We knew we wanted to build a home that we could live in. We took elements from different homes that we love.”

One of those homes was Candice’s grandparents’ Albany, Georgia farmhouse, which she says was part of the Underground Railroad. “They had a wraparound porch. It was a great place to live and socialize and be together,” says Dan.

Naturally, the Lannings also have a wraparound porch, which includes tongue and groove pine flooring and exposed beams in the ceiling beneath the home’s metal roof. Of course, the space wouldn’t be complete with a front porch swing.

The interior of the house is designed to bring in as much of the outdoors as possible. “Windows are the most important thing to us,” says Candice. “We love good, natural light.”

The top windows in the rooms with two-story ceilings also give them incredible views. “At night we can see the moon though the upper windows,” says Dan.

They included transom windows above the five-panel doors throughout the house as well. “The transom windows add an old-style farmhouse element,” says Candice. “People used to crack them open for air.”

All of the lighting in the house is LED, and they have recessed lighting and hardwood flooring throughout most of the house as well.

4. Living Room Record Player 2The flooring in the main living area is made up of 1955 heart pine bleacher boards from a high school gym in Ohio. “We wanted our floors to creak,” says Candice. “Dan planed every one of the boards, and he put dowels in the holes where the bolts were. I wanted it nailed down.”

In addition to the creaky floors, the living area features classic gray walls and a brick, wood-burning fireplace. “We deliberately have not gotten a mantel. I like it plain,” says Candice. “I verge on keeping things simple. I think it brings calm to a place.”

Dan built a recessed bookshelf on one side of the fireplace in four hours one afternoon. He built the staircase to the loft, and he installed all of the shiplap, which they found in Walhalla, South Carolina, in the house and the trim for the windows.

Candice used lots of rose gold, black and gray hardware and accents in the house. “I didn’t want the house to feel like a lodge even though it has a lot of wood,” she says.

A four-legged record player console, which the Lannings restored after finding it in their 1952 ranch house in Charlotte, adds a retro touch to the living room.

“We’ve tried to incorporate a lot of elements that are special to us and that mean something to us into the house,” says Dan.

3. Kitchen Horizontal 1His handiwork is on full display in the kitchen as well. He built the island and installed the scalloped tile backsplash in the kitchen. The floating shelves on the wall are made of white pine wood they found in Appling.

The kitchen also features a pot filler, farmhouse sink, hidden dishwasher, stainless steel refrigerator, double oven, black sconces, soft-close drawers, a shiplap hood cover above the gas cooktop, double oven and quartz countertops.

A trio of rose gold pendant lights hangs above the island, which has open shelving on the back side. “We wanted open cabinets because you don’t use appliances that you don’t see,” says Candice. “It’s simple and easy to access.”

The island is painted white, but Candice loves the way the knots in the wood seeped through the paint. Dan built the Southern yellow pine table in the pop-out nook for their fifth anniversary.

The mud room features an open pantry with a height chart for the girls on the inside frame, a deacon’s bench, shiplap walls, sealed butcher-block countertops, a sink to clean vegetables and plenty of canning supplies. Jars of homemade strawberry jam line a shelf. 

“We eat clean. We cook all of our own food. Because we cook so much, the double oven is a must,” says Candice. “We try to be like our grandparents were. Our goal is to homestead and provide as much of our own food as possible.”

7. Guest BathroomCountry Living
Dan, the son of a pastor, grew up on a 40-acre parsonage in northern Michigan, but life in the country was new for Candice. She easily adapted to the lifestyle, however, and her parents also built a house on the property. The Lannings enjoy having the girls’ grandparents close by, and most of Dan’s family has migrated to South Carolina as well.

The Lannings eat organically, and they grow vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, zucchini, bell peppers and cucumbers in their garden. “We can teach our kids that food doesn’t come from the grocery store,” says Dan. “Our lifestyle gives us the opportunity to teach our kids a lot of things school-wise and in life.”

They have five or six pecan trees on the land as well as blackberries, blueberries and persimmons. “We hope to eventually plant a lot of fruit trees on the property,” says Dan.

However, they already planted four trees – a tulip poplar and three October Glory maples – in the front yard. “We wanted trees to grow up with the girls,” says Candice.

Their three chickens – named after the Three Musketeers – live in a “swanky” henhouse that Dan built. “We tried to mimic our house with it. It has a metal roof, hardy board and a black door,” says Candice. 

They like the privacy and the quiet of living in the country. With their new home they nearly doubled the size of their living space, moving from a 1,400-square foot house in Charlotte to a home of just under 2,500 square feet.

“We have plenty of room in the house, or we can go outside for alone time and space,” says Dan.

6. Master Bedroom 2Function and Purpose
The bedrooms offer everyone their own space inside as well, but size doesn’t matter. “We went with a smaller master bedroom because we wanted home school space,” says Candice.

The master bedroom features a natural shiplap wall, a ceiling fan and a walk-in closet with an open door. The placement of the windows in the room allows them to see the sunrise in the mornings. All of the closets in the house have open doorways, but eventually they plan to put barn doors on them.

“Building a house requires patience,” Candice says.

The master bath features shiplap walls, faux wood flooring, rose gold shelving, separate vanities and vanilla leaf-shaped tile in the walk-in shower. The master bath also includes space for the pedestal tub that they plan to restore after finding it in a barn at Candice’s grandparents’ farmhouse.

“We added a door from the master bath to the home school room,” says Dan. “Neither of us are big fans of hallways. They separate space. A hallway is just a way to get from here to there instead of being useful.”

The home school space includes a simple white table and chairs, a storage closet, bookshelves on the wall and a piano that came from a home next to James Brown’s house.

A portrait of a woman in the room was painted by their neighbor in Charlotte. The woman depicts someone the neighbor met during her missionary work, and they call her “Miss Frances” in honor of the artist.

The powder room is the only room in the house with no windows. “Originally, it was going to be a closet,” says Dan.

The space includes a shiplap wall, a black and white tile floor and a six-panel, 100-year-old door.

The bottom panels are wood, but the top three are glass that Dan frosted so no one can see into the room. 

5. Master Bath 1A Jack and Jill bath, which features a transom window and elongated subway tile in the shower, separates the girls’ bedrooms. The bedrooms feature a shiplap wall and scalloped, sheer drapes that let in lots of light. Stevie has a white iron bed while Dani has a servant’s bed with a distressed finish.

The stairs to the loft feature gate posts on the rail. The loft, which Candice expects to become a bedroom for one of their daughters one day, includes a trundle bed in window. “Dan cut down an existing day bed, and it pulls out into a full bed,” says Candice.

The upstairs bath features a hexagon tile floor. Otherwise, along with its incredible views, the loft offers plenty of space and illustrates the methodical way that Candice has filled their home with meaningful pieces.

“I don’t want to drown a space. I do one space at a time. I just like to think about it first,” she says. “I look for things that speak to us. Everything has a function or a purpose.”

By Betsy Gilliland 

Professionally Yours Home Care, LLC

Resource Guide

“Care In The Comfort Of Your Home”

Our caregivers are hand selected, trained and have background screenings to ensure safety and trust for each of our clients. They can provide:
• Personal care services such as bathing, dressing and grooming • Light meal preparation • Laundry • Housekeeping (only client’s area) • Provide range of motion • Medication reminder


Please visit us at: www.professionallyyourshomecare.com

Finuf Sign Co. Inc.

Men At Work

Mark Finuf has come a long way in the business that his parents, Larry and Barbara, founded 39 years ago in a small building on Reynolds Street in Augusta. He started as a helper at Finuf Sign Company – “a hole digger,” he says – but now he has a new title: Boss.


“I learned all of the big and little things about designing, fabricating and installing signs from my dad,” Mark says. “I learned about leadership from him, too.”

Growing along with Mark, the business has moved twice from its humble beginnings to the Grovetown building he now owns. New products and new ways of operating, such as software upgrades and new lighting elements, have changed the business as well. However, basics like good customer service have remained the same.

426 Park West Drive
Grovetown, GA 30813

(706) 863-7327


Visit our website at www.finufsign.com

Busby’s Heating and Air Conditioning Co.

Men At Work

Few people continue to work into their eighth decade. Undoubtedly, even fewer spend 60 years with the same company. Then there’s W.E. Eubanks, the installation department team leader and sheet metal fabrication specialist for Busby’s Heating and Air Conditioning Co.

He started working for the company in 1958, a year before Rick Busby, president and CEO, was born. “W.E. has been at Busby’s longer than I have been a Busby,” Rick says.

W.E., who earned his GED while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1952 – 1955, worked briefly as a cloth weaver at Sibley Mills before joining Busby’s. He started out as a sheet metal worker.

“He is an artist with sheet metal. He can make anything out of sheet metal. There probably isn’t anyone left in the country that can do what he can,” says Rick. “He fabricates all of our special metal fittings. He is well-known in the area and in our industry for his skills.”

1236 Gordon Park Road
Augusta, GA 30901

(706) 722-8855 

Visit our website www.busbys.com

Aiken Augusta Audio

Men At Work

At Aiken Augusta Audio, the technicians’ work speaks for itself. And now that more home features – from lighting to audio – can be activated by voice and controlled by smartphone, the staff members don’t just talk the talk with their services. 

“Technology keeps evolving, and we’re trying to keep up,” says owner Tim Logan. “We’re wiring today’s home for tomorrow’s future.”

With voice-activated technology, homeowners can ask their systems to play music as soon as they walk in the door. When they’re away from home, they can make sure they turned off their lights by checking their smartphones.

“People don’t need remote controls anymore,” Tim says. “They can control everything by voice.”

The Aiken Augusta Audio crews install the voice-activated technology in existing homes without having to rewire the house. They also install these systems in new construction for residential and commercial customers. 

Other services include whole-house audio installation; cable, Internet and telephone wiring; TV mounting; and the installation of smart security cameras for high-definition video surveillance, intercom, home theater and central vac systems. 

“We do anything that is considered low voltage,” Tim says. “The services we provide used to be extras for homeowners and businesses, but now they’re not only expected. They’re necessary.” 

He takes great pride in the variety of services, high-quality equipment and proficiency that Aiken Augusta Audio offers to its clients. He also enjoys the camaraderie among the staff of seven people, which includes Tim and his wife, Marla. 

Different crews have specialized tasks. One crew does pre-wiring work; another installs and programs devices.

“It give us more eyes on the product. When you have five to seven people on one job at different times, we have better outcomes,” says Tim. “I have known all of our staff members my entire life, and I trust them to do the job right.”



Please visit our website www.AikenAugustaAudio.com



IMG_8001If you enjoy many area trails on foot or on two wheels, then thank a member of SORBA-CSRA. Founded in 1997 by a group of civic-minded mountain bikers, SORBA-CSRA, the local chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, promotes sustainable trail preservation and development, riding and fellowship for local mountain bikers.

The nonprofit organization, affiliated with the International Mountain Bike Association, also works with local land managers such as the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

SORBA-CSRA has about 150 members, and the volunteers help to maintain about 150 miles of multi-use trails in Georgia and South Carolina. The trails include a 3-mile track between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal towpath as well as Bartram, Keg Creek and Mistletoe State Park trails in Georgia.

IMG_6234In South Carolina, they help maintain trails at Baker Creek and Hickory Knob state parks, Boyd Pond, Turkey and Wine creeks, Lick Fork Lake Recreational Area and Modoc as well as FATS (Fork Area Trail System) and Long Cane Horse Trails. Mountain bikers, walkers, hikers and runners use these trails.

“We support and work with the land managers to maintain the trails,” says Evans resident David Funk, the SORBA-CSRA president. “We have four large events each year, and we typically have 20 to 30 volunteers for a large work party. These are four- to six-hour events. We also have smaller events as needed.”

IMG_2557Along with advocacy and hands-on volunteer work, SORBA-CSRA raises funds to support repair and improvement projects. In addition, Funk says, “Most months we have an Explore the Trail Ride for users that aren’t familiar with the outlying trails.”

SORBA-CSRA volunteers average 1,200-1,300 hours of trail work and 400 hours of administrative work annually. For more information, visit sorbacsra.org or facebook.com/SorbaCsra/.

Rotary Club of Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale


Calling-Post-2The Rotary Club of Columbia County supports the community in a variety of ways, but it primarily focuses on literacy projects. And one of the main ways the organization supports these endeavors is with its Giant Community Yard Sale each spring.

This year’s eighth annual yard sale will be held from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 5 at the Columbia County fairgrounds. Bargain hunters can find items such as furniture, plants, Tupperware, arts and crafts, books, toys and baby clothes at more than 200 booths. 

“We sell the space, and we allow people to have their own yard sales,” says James Waldron, a Rotary Club of Columbia County board member. “Imagine having 220 yard sales in your neighborhood at one time.” 

Calling-Post-1The Rotary Club rents 10-foot-by-10-foot or 20-foot-by-20-foot spaces to vendors at indoor, outdoor or patio locations, and attendees might find more than household goods.

“One year we had a man cooking ribs. I didn’t know anybody ate ribs for breakfast, but he had a long line at his booth,” says Waldron.

About 2,000 to 3,000 people typically attend the yard sale. Local charities also will be on hand to accept donations from vendors that don’t want to take home any items they don’t sell. 

Shoppers are asked to make a donation for parking, and these proceeds will be used to support literacy projects such as Communities in School, the Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Proceeds also will provide funding to purchase books for the SAIL school, sponsor an international student at Augusta University and support a local Boy Scout troop.

“It’s a great project,” says Waldron. “We don’t do it to promote Rotary. It’s an avenue for us to expand our youth charities.”

Casual Furniture Augusta

Women In Business

Casual Furniture of Augusta is known for its quality outdoor furnishings at affordable prices and its impeccable customer service. And now, the store – voted Best Outdoor Furniture six years in a row – has added even more new collections.

“We’re excited to bring these new indoor and outdoor furnishings and accessories to our customers,” says owner Donna Gibbs, who has more than 33 years in the business. “It’s one more way for us to serve them.”

3725 Washington Rd
Augusta, GA 30907


L & J Roofing and Home Improvements, Inc.

Women In Business

Some customers might be surprised to find two women run- ning a roofing/remodeling company. They might not be surprised, however, when they realize the women are Grace Gilpin, president and CEO of L & J Roofing and Home Improvements, Inc., and general contractor Carol McWhorter. Grace and Carol are excited to play an active role in the roofing/remodeling industry and community, just as Larry Gilpin, Sr. would have intended for them to do.

The women are building on the business model that Larry – Grace’s late husband of 41 years and a mentor to Carol – started in 1972.

Visit our website at: augustaroofrescuers.com
4345 Columbia Rd. #D  • Martinez, GA 30907
(706) 738-7663
Hours of Operation:  Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Silverton Mortgage

Women In Business

At Silverton, we consider all the financial factors affecting your mortgage. We don’t believe one size fits all – we help you strike the perfect balance between product and pricing, so you can finance your home with confidence knowing we’ve got this! This balance, along with superior personal service and communication throughout the entire process, is why branch manager Holly Lott and her team are one of the leading mortgage lenders in Augusta, Georgia.

Holly, an award-winning mortgage banker, has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and financial industry – 22 of those years in the mortgage industry. She is a past president of Augusta Mortgage Bankers Association and a member of Augusta Board of Realtors, Augusta Homebuilders Association and Sales & Marketing Council. She also serves on the FHA/VA liaison committee for Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.

3520 Walton Way Ext | Suite B Augusta, GA 30909
Visit our website at www.silvertonmortgage.com


Willene J. Satcher – Satcher Insurance Services, Inc.

Women In Business

Insurance is an unavoidable aspect of life, and Willene J. Satcher,  owner of Satcher Insurance Services Inc., is dedicated to protecting her clients’ families, properties and businesses. The company, which serves customers in Georgia and South Carolina, covers many items that people often overlook including recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, boats, jet skis, campers and motor homes.

Building 1 A | 4210 Columbia Rd | Martinez
(706) 863-0002

Visit our website at : www.satcherinsurance.com