Open the door of the Church Mouse Thrift Shop and the first thing you notice isn’t the wonderful display of sparkling crystal, or the art on the wall, or even the stunning dining table and chairs so reasonably priced. It’s the happy chatter, smiling faces, laughter and welcoming words. It’s a warm and friendly place that buzzes with activity and cheerful banter between staff, volunteers and customers. The customers are thrilled with the bargains, and the volunteers and staff are eager to make suggestions, offer assistance and answer questions. The atmosphere is almost like a family reunion, a party where everyone seems to know everyone else.
More Americans than ever are hungry to transition to a less stressful, more meaningful way to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving holiday. If you're one of them, I have some ideas to share:
FIRST, A GUT CHECK. How do you know if Thanksgiving adds to your stress? Listen to your gut, seat of great wisdom. If thinking about Turkey Day makes you feel anxious instead of enthusiastic, something is wrong.
Maybe you feel the pressure to do everything perfectly. (I call that Martha Stewart syndrome.) Maybe you'd rather be a guest than a host. Sit calmly and meditate on where the stress is coming from. Write down your insights, without judging, without censoring.
A Conversation with Author Hope Kelaher
Friendships are vital to our mental health, but one size does not fit all. As Hope explains in her book, quality and quantity of friendships are important. From acquaintances to closest friends, we need them all. “Humans need community,” Hope explained. It seems so obvious, but it’s important to remember. She explained the different types of friendships (a concept that Aristotle wrote about!) and how they are all important. They are Friendships of Utility (primarily acquaintances), Friendships of Pleasure (fun friends) and Friendships of the Good (soulmates or besties). Our happiness depends on all types, and some people will move between them as their relationships evolve.
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot circled over the Great Salt Lake, tipping the wings ever so slightly so we could witness the unusual reddish-purple color of the water—a phenomenon, he explained, that occurs when a particular species of algae meets up with a certain bacteria. It was quite fascinating.
Just as he was bringing the plane level so we could be on our way, CRACK! A loud kind of popping noise sent a chill up my spine. “I believe we’ve hit something, so we will be returning to the gate,” an audibly shaken pilot reported.
With the spirit of Halloween coursing through fall, October brings us all kinds of tricks and treats to enjoy throughout the month. One treat that is enjoyed, not only in fall, but year-round is the Bloody Mary. Originally created to cure a hangover, the Bloody Mary has become quite a gastric gourmet concoction, especially at brunch. Whether you like olives, pickles, spice, or no spice, these are one-of-a-kind drinks that can be mixed and mingled any way you like it. Adding to the morbidity of its name, the lore behind the Bloody boasts a haunting history that can tell its story for itself.
Though the history is as murky as tomato juice, this popular drink has myriad myths and legends of how it got its chilling name.
Not often does a name fit a purpose as well as one does in this case. EmpowerRF is a new device offered by InMode that actually empowers women. Its development, as well as the clinical studies, have all taken place right here in Bluffton at Advanced Women’s Care. EmpowerRF is a new feminine wellness treatment option that helps restore women’s lost confidence, lost sensuality and intimacy, and works to resolve painful consequences of the aging process, all while addressing urinary leakage. Does help like this actually exist? The answer is yes; now it does!
EmpowerRF started as a thought, an idea between like minds. Could there be a device that helped women with the problems brought on by the challenges of life, childbirth, gravity and menopause? At a conference in Dallas, this spark was lit and a revolutionary, noninvasive surgical device was created.
Any body, at any age, can suffer a sports injury, but we baby boomers are famous for them. There’s actually a term for it—boomeritis—and it refers to the high number of sports-related injuries that happen to people born between 1946 and 1964—the first generation of Americans who grew up working out, with or without the Jane Fonda leg warmers. (I still have mine.)
We’re facing a classic good news/bad news scenario. On the upside, we have millions of boomers who share an enlightened view about the benefits of regular exercise—hiking, biking, Downward Dogging our way to stronger bodies and longer lives.
The sad news is we’re going about it like maniacs, and our hips, knees, thighs, shoulders, ankles and other important body parts are wearing out in record numbers.
Q&A with a Breast Imaging Patient Navigator
You just heard those words you never wanted to hear:
“Your mammogram is showing a spot, and we are
going to have to perform a biopsy.”
Then the even more dreaded diagnosis confirms your worst fear. What is next? Who can you count on to help you as you begin a new journey into the world of breast cancer? At Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, Angie Gillespie is your go-to breast imaging patient navigator—a position no one even knows about until they need her the most. Meet Angie and find out more about the career she absolutely loves and how she has made a positive difference in thousands of patients’ lives.
You have many years of experience, tell us about it.
I’m the mother of a very creative 12-year-old daughter who wants to take classes in art, drama and dance, but I have a limited income. While we live a comfortable life, paying for all these extras is a real stretch. I don’t want to disappoint her, but I’m struggling. How can I handle this on top of everything else? —A Reader
This is a question I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to. From sports to music to dance to computer coding, the world of kids’ extracurricular activities keeps growing—and getting more expensive. According to a recent survey, 46% of parents spend more than $1,000 annually on their kids’ activities, and 27% spend more than $2,000. Not only that, 62% go into debt to do it, with credit cards being the most popular form of payment.
Even though I haven’t been in a classroom for years and years, I still have an inner alarm that plays in my brain when August ends and Labor Day reappears. The tune is so familiar, and so is the slight anxiety it creates.
It’s back-to-school time! Do I have my three-ring binder, my ruler, a pencil sharpener—three items that have no meaning whatsoever in classrooms today?
And still, I find meaning in that back-to-school feeling, and I’ll bet plenty of you do, too. Summer is over. Your two weeks of vacation are a faint memory, though the smell of burgers and bug repellant lingers on. The kids are back to their routine, and I hope it includes some limits on small-screen media. It’s time to buckle down and get back to work.
There’s something warm and inviting about a well-placed, thriving houseplant. Experts call this “interior landscaping,” and it’s becoming increasingly popular, not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that’s because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now, we’re learning that houseplants offer surprising physical and mental benefits as well.
NO. 1: CLEAN INDOOR AIR
A number of studies reported by NASA give conclusive evidence that plants are excellent at removing toxins from the air -- over 80% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. VOCs are chemical compounds often found in common household items such as carpets, toys, paint and more. These VOCs can evaporate and compromise air quality, posing health risks to inhabitants. One large plant—or two smaller plants—per 100 square feet is recommended for noticeably improved air quality.
Late fees, punitive interest rates, over-limit fees, loading up your credit report with negative information—it’s enough to make you scream! It’s not that your creditors are doing anything illegal. You just didn’t understand the power you gave them when you accepted that credit card. It was buried in the fine print. And now, it seems like they’re staying up all night looking for new ways to stick it to you. If you’ve just about had enough, maybe it’s time for you to turn the tables and get back at them.
According to industry research organization R.K. Hammer, in 2016, credit card companies hauled in $163 billion, 30% of which was derived from annual fees, late fees, and over-limit fees. You’d think they would be pretty satisfied with all that interest you send them each month. But no. They want more. The days when issuers allowed 10 or 15 days for a payment to arrive after a due date before charging a fee are long gone. Now, those fees kick in if you’re even five minutes late, and can be as high as $39 per occurrence.
Tips to Stay Safe This Summer
We wouldn’t live in the South if we couldn’t handle a little heat, but how can you tell when it’s just too much? There’s no shame in admitting when you’ve reached the limit of your heat tolerance. Heat-related illnesses range from mild to severe and can affect even the toughest Southerner out there. As the summer heat peaks, it’s imperative to remember the importance of hot weather safety. Staying cool, hydrated and informed can make a big difference!
There are several types of heat-related illnesses, each with its own symptoms and treatments. Knowing which type you or a loved one may be suffering from can make a huge difference in deciding how to proceed. As you take advantage of all the fun summer activities available in the Lowcountry, be aware of the potential health hazards the sun, heat and humidity can bring on. Anyone can be susceptible to these effects of high temperatures, so familiarize yourself with the following facts before spending a significant amount of time outside. You could save a life, even your own!
Dear Carrie: I’m 28 and trying to be smart about my money. My problem is that as soon as I pay down my credit cards, I start running them up again. The result is I can’t seem to save, and I feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle. I know I need to adjust my financial attitude, but how? —A Reader
Dear Reader: First, realize that you’re not fighting a losing battle. The very fact that you see the problem and want to do something about it means you’re already starting on the solution. And you’re correct that it is a matter of attitude—because if you start now to think and act positively, you’ll be able to not only control your current debt, but also get started on saving and investing for the future.
The Palmetto Ocean Conservancy Bottlecap Mural
Blue caps from bottled water become the ocean.
Yellow caps from sweet tea become a sea horse. Orange juice caps become crab claws and red Coca-Cola caps become the inside of a shark’s mouth. The transformation is artistic but also symbolic: trash that could have polluted our environment, instead becomes a touchstone for preserving it.
It used to be that kids reaching adulthood could not wait to
leave home and be on their own. That worked out well
because their parents longed for an empty nest and quieter lives.
But these days, young people are spoiling these plans.
Estimates out there indicate that, currently, some 50% of U.S. college graduates plan to move back home with their parents after graduation. It’s possible the other 50% never moved out.
Many American homes have become very crowded nests. While parents are asking themselves what went wrong, the “boomerang” kids seem to be adjusting quite nicely. And why not? For lots of boomerangs, they get a boarding house without the rent, a laundromat with no slots for coins and a mini-storage facility—otherwise known as your garage.
Are you hooked on your favorite sport?
Do you spend all your workout time either running, biking or swimming, believing that single-minded dedication is going to make you stronger and faster, better and better?
Sorry, dear reader. That’s not how it works. It’s time to learn about the benefits of cross-training, a fancy name for simply including a mix of activities in your exercise regimen.
Cross-training isn’t just for uber-exercisers or competitive triathletes. It’s for all the rest of us who want to live healthier, happier lives with more fun and fewer injuries.
to Take Stress Out of Flying
Flying is back.
More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. If you plan to travel by air anytime soon, one thing is for certain: You won't be alone. The TSA estimated that this summer’s air travel is going to break records.
I’m a single mom with a decent income, but I’m always living paycheck to paycheck. How can I break that cycle and start to save, not only for an emergency but also for my bigger goals like retirement and maybe even a home? -A Reader
Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t uncommon these days. Recent studies suggest many Americans are doing just that, which makes it next to impossible to save and invest. Overspending can be part of the problem, but even more often, people get squeezed through no fault of their own—low wages, unpredictable income and high costs for essentials like childcare, health care, housing and college. On the other hand, even people with high incomes can find themselves caught in a seemingly never-ending cycle.
I love the Fourth of July. Fat, juicy hot dogs, exploding firecrackers,
fried Oreo sandwiches with big scoops of strawberry ice cream on top.
These are a few of the things I avoid on this, our most John Philip Sousa of holidays.
So, what are your plans for July Fourth? Since this only-in-America holiday is first and
foremost a celebration of freedom, why not liberate yourself from old ways of
thinking and create some new traditions. I’ve got some ideas:
…More Than Just Words
I’m too busy. I’m scared. It hurts. I’ll get to it soon.
1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed
with breast cancer in her lifetime.
These are the number of excuses we tell ourselves about getting mammograms. During the past year of craziness, it’s been challenging to take care of ourselves. There have been so many things going on, from the stress of working at home, to the loss of jobs, to homeschooling, most women have just focused on surviving the past year. As we are making our way to the halfway mark of 2021, I’m hopeful that we’re moving beyond Covid and ready to start taking care of ourselves again, which includes being kind to ourselves, both mentally and physically, allowing some treats, and yes, taking care of our medical health.
The Ultimate Adventure Within
It’s 3:58 AM. Apart from the rural sounds of roosters crowing and the occasional rumble and whistle-blast of a passing train, all is peacefully silent. Then a gong rings, its long resonance drawing out in the dark. This is a wakeup call for the 4:30-6:30 meditation session.
Now it’s 6:40 AM. All is still silent but for the clinking of spoons in cereal bowls, the pop of the toaster and hot water steaming into tea mugs. No one is catching up on the morning news; no one is sharing their dreams from last night; no one is making to-do lists. The agenda here is very simple: meditate. Whether ambling silently around the walking paths, sitting cross-legged in the meditation hall, or laying quietly on their bed in their room, everyone is meditating.
And a Cool $1,000,000 for Life-saving Treatments & Early Detection for Lowcountry Women
The cause might be part of the reason why the Lowcountry turns a sea of pink every October, but it's the four days of sun, shenanigans, and sisterhood that keep 1500 “flockstars” coming back year after year.
If you have only seen the scores of photos of smiling faces, you might think that Pledge the Pink is merely a 4-day party. You wouldn’t be wrong, but you also wouldn’t be entirely accurate in your assessment. Make no mistake, Pledge the Pink is very much a celebration, so go ahead and save the date—October 14-17, 2021.
Five South Carolina Adventures You Don’t Want to Miss
Whether you're 8 or 80 and have an adventurous spirit, you don't have to travel to exotic international destinations to quench your thirst for adventure. The Palmetto State has plenty of options for discovery, exploration, magic and wonder. Discover South Carolina! From the majesty of the mountains to the beaches and marshes and everything in between, there are so many options: hiking, scuba diving, water sports, backwoods camping, spelunking, fossil hunting and soaring in the sky. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions!
14th Annual Celebration of Local Men
There’s just something about a man and his chair. If a man’s home is his castle, then the king must have his throne, right? From Archie Bunker’s iconic recliner to Sheldon Cooper’s carefully positioned “spot,” pop culture is filled with men and their chairs. Here at Pink, we usually focus on the women of our community, but each June we give the guys their time in the spotlight. Some of these gentlemen seem to be always on the move, never taking a moment to sit down, but our photographers managed to capture them with their favorite resting spots. They graciously answered our questions and opened up about themselves. We proudly present a few of the Lowcountry’s Men and their Chairs:
Hospice Care Patient Gets One Last Visit to the Beach
There wasn’t a dry eye around Joseph Eagers, Jr. (Joe)
at what was his last visit to the beach.
“When death is coming, there are few material things that matter,” said Maggie Clark, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry Volunteer Coordinator. “What is important are experiences, family, love and comfort.”
Joe Eagers, a long time Hilton Head Island resident, and his daughter, Jan Eagers, spent the last year of his life reminiscing, reflecting, and sharing their bond for each other. Joe, who lead a very active life up until last year, had been bed bound for nearly 16 months, in hospice care, with death imminent. At Jan’s direction, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry carried out her final wish for her father—a trip to the beach in Joe’s longtime neighborhood, Sea Pines.
It’s summer. Yippee. Run to the hammock and let’s play a game. I want you to lie back and relax into thinking about something you want to accomplish this summer. Here’s the sentence.
Fill in the blank:
“This is the summer I want to ...”
What? Name your heart’s desire. Keep it clean. Think about your own well-being.
Want to run a 10k? (Great for the body.)
Learn to play guitar? (Good for the brain.)
Meditate for 15 minutes a day? (Marvelous for equanimity and everything else.)
You know my theory: When the seasons change, so can we. In summer especially, we tend to take more time for ourselves, play more and have more fun. If you’re ready this summer, you can create new habits and attitudes that make your life richer and riper.
Align Your Spine and You'll Be Fine
It's time to roll my shoulders, press through the balls of my feet and take a strong stand on proper posture. It's super-important to your health and wellness—right up there with eating real food and getting enough sleep—but it's just not top of mind when we think of ways to boost our energy and prevent pain. When it comes to awareness of the awesomeness of body alignment, the country is in a slump.
So let's look at a few things everyone with a spine ought to know about posture and why it matters, inspired by an article in IDEA Fitness Journal by personal-training specialist Ryan Halvorson.
My garage was so overwhelming I began dreaming about it. In my dream I got swallowed whole by the mound of stuff piled high and bubbling over like an erupted volcano. All I wanted was to find the bicycle pump—probably to pull my bike out and escape the garage forever.
The garage has not always been a disaster. There have been times when I parked my car in there, or had a ping pong table set up when the children were still at home. But then came the perfect storm.
Remember Hurricane Matthew? Well, that’s when things got bad. When two gigantic pine trees came through the roof of the house, everything that was salvageable had to be moved out. Every. Thing. The garage was one of only two rooms undamaged. So all the stuff—14 years of family-of-four-stuff went into the garage and two Pods that sat in the driveway for the next 18 months. Those 18 months held another disaster—divorce. There’s nothing like splitting everything up when it’s all stacked up as tall as it is wide. As such, most of it got left behind for lucky me.