My heart was pounding, and the smoke alarm was screaming, and I was in full-on panic mode. Flames were reaching toward the adjacent wood cabinets. It happened so fast! I didn’t have time to run to the pantry to search for baking soda.
I had a rip-roaring fire on my hands, and I was in slow motion thinking about how sad it would be to be homeless for Christmas.
I’d turned my back for a few seconds to find a utensil. When I returned, small flames were shooting from the burner. My quick thinking told me to smother the grease fire, so I grabbed a pot lid to do that. But the lid wasn’t airtight, and soon the flames were double the size—and spreading.
That’s when I locked eyeballs with the fire extinguisher that had been sitting on the counter for so long it blended into the decor.
The News is Really Good
We have all heard of it, and most of us know others who have had it. But very few of us really expect it will happen to us. The diagnosis of breast cancer is a woman’s fears realized. Questions like why me? How bad? Will I survive?
Then a second wave of questions rushes in, like will I need chemo? Will I lose my hair? Will I have to lose my entire breast? What does reconstruction mean? Well, there is hope for these questions.
A Novel of the French Revolution’s Women
It isn’t unusual for a group of six women authors, who write in similar genres to be friends, but to coordinate their talents and schedules to create what I predict soon to be a best-selling collaboration novel on the historical women of the French Revolution, is just pure genius.
Ribbons of Scarlet, with foreword by Allison Pataki (which makes seven women writers) is written by Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, Heather Webb and E. Knight, all New York Times bestselling authors and storytellers extraordinaire.
Dear Readers: If you’re like most people, you’ve made a few hare-brained money decisions in your time. That’s just being human. However, if you’re striving to get yourself on track, I suggest that you review these ten smart money management tips. This Halloween, treat yourself to a more secure financial future!
Stick to your budget, no matter how large or small: Living beyond your means is dangerous no matter how much money you make. So even if you’re lucky enough to earn a big paycheck, it’s important to create—and stick to—a realistic budget. Use an online budget tool and make a list of your essential expenses and another list of your nice-to-haves. If your income won’t cover both, start crossing off the extras you can live without. And don’t be tempted to pull out the credit cards to cover any excess. Keeping on top of debt is an important part of smart budgeting. While you’re thinking about debt control, remember to stay on top of any student loans!
As Seasons Change, So Can We
Autumn is one of my favorite times of year, and it’s not just the oversized taffy apples. I’m talking crispy cool days that call for turtlenecks and yoga tights, a seasonal shift to fading colors and falling leaves, and great sales on outdoor furniture.
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree,” writes Emily Bronte.
“This is the season of the harvest,” writes Elson M. Haas, “the fruition of all the growth of spring and summer.”
Fall Fashion’s Top 10 Favorites
Fall is fashion’s favorite time of year. Designers roll out the runways with updates on the classics and totally new inspirations that will give you a wardrobe ready for the season ahead. Check out these 10 must-have items to add right now:
A Big Blouse
The blouse is back, and it is big ... in volume, that is. Drama is the name of the blouse game, with billowy sleeves, big bows and standout collars. Romantic is the look of this fashion trend.
A plaid jacket Designers are mad for plaid this fall, and the plaid jacket is one of the season’s key pieces. Top off pants and skirts with a roomy jacket in menswear plaids or checks. Then, for a new twist, cinch it with a skinny or wide leather belt.
I think we’ve been looking at physical activity all wrong. We often link it with losing weight, but to be honest, it takes a lot of moving to lose a pound or two. As I’ve learned, the value of physical activity is that it makes you feel better, makes you move better, gives you a sense of joy.
The bottom line? Including some sort of daily physical activity in your life keeps you healthy. That’s really why we should be doing it. Knowing that may be more of a motivator than watching the scale.
Most of us have that backward. We work out to lose weight and then quit when we don’t. But maybe the key is to turn our thinking around: We work out to be healthy, and every day we do, we’re healthier.
A recent study found that increased activity in middle age and beyond may decrease the risk for death from all causes—cardiovascular disease and cancer—according to a study published recently in The BMJ.
It’s not all ghosts, goblins and ghouls...
Halloween is one of the most successful and widely celebrated holidays in the United States, coming second only to Christmas. Many of us have grown accustomed to the traditions that come with Halloween, complete with Trick-or-treating, costumes, parties and jack-o’-lanterns. But where did these customs come from? In many cultures, there is a day for honoring the dead. It is said that on this day, the “veil” is thinner and spirits walk among us. This day, although often landing on different dates in other cultures, goes by many names: Samhain, All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve, Dia de los Muertos (Mexico’s Day of the Dead—a 3-day holiday) and, of course, Halloween.
Love, Life and Memory Loss
When I heard the theme for Paisley’s September issue would be #AgainstAllOdds and since I write about seniors, the first person who came to mind was Ernie Andrus. At age 95, Ernie, a WWII Navy Veteran, has graced us in the Golden Isles at least twice now during his treks across the country. His determination and will to keep going is such an inspiration, but he is not the only senior citizen who makes me think of perseverance.
About a Great Way to Detox?
OK, here’s a bit of silliness to start your dendrites dancing: What do Chubby Checker and every yoga class in the world have in common?
Think now. (If you’re wondering who Chubby Checker is ... YouTube.) Yes! It’s “The Twist.”
Chubby Checker made twisting a wildly popular dance in the ‘50s, but for thousands of years before him, yogis were doing twists as part of their daily bliss-making practice: deep, penetrating twists around the spinal column that are done standing up or sitting down, upside-down or right-side-up, by slowly, gently twisting to the left and then slowly, gently twisting the opposite way, moving as far as you can, coming to your edge ... but not powering through.
Fall 2019 Denim Trends
If you’re ready to update your wardrobe, chances are you’re going to want to add something denim to your shopping list. And while you may need to replace some of your old favorites, the newest denim choices this fall are anything but basic. From relaxed carpenter jeans to fringed miniskirts to snakeskin prints, there is plenty of new jean therapy for everyone.
Here are a few tips for boosting your denim mood right now.
• When shopping for a new pair of jeans, it is best to head to the store. Unless you have a brand you’ve recently worn and know your exact size, it will be difficult to order denim online. As there are so many different designs available now, a morning session of actually trying on jeans may be the best way to find a new favorite.
Turning a Mess into a Message and Pain into Power
It is difficult to read Jane Carson-Sandler’s story, let alone live through it. But this tenacious, altruistic and immensely strong woman has a reason to keep putting her truth out there: the only way to transform nightmare into purpose is by sharing her experience.
Early on the morning of October 5, 1976, shortly after her husband left for work, a ski-masked man brandishing a butcher knife broke into Jane’s home. Threatening her between clenched teeth, he bound, gagged and blindfolded both her and her 3-year-old son. After taking the boy away, he viciously raped Jane, but all she could think the whole time was Where is my son? What are you going to do to my son?
and Wake Up Your Muscles
Have you ever woken up and felt like your limbs aren’t responding to what your brain is asking them to do? How about taken a long road trip, and when you go to get out of the car, you’re not sure if you can actually make contact with the pavement without toppling over?
Short, tight and stiff. These are all conditions your muscles want to avoid, but they need your help. Muscles, like many other systems in the body, retain memory. That memory is what propels the body into motion, recalls specific movements, and retains the muscles normal physiological shape. So, when you’re lying down, sitting, or standing for a period of time, your muscles want to stay in that position, which causes them to shorten and become tight. By stretching, you are activating the muscle memory and returning them to their normal designed state. Stretching will enable the joints to lubricate themselves, increase blood flow into muscle tissue, reduce muscle tension and improve range of motion. These are all necessary to improve balance, strength and physical stamina.
Sunglass Trends and How to Buy Them
“Sunglasses and a great pair of heels can turn most outfits around.”
Yes, sunglasses are one of the best accessories to add a touch of glamour to anything you wear, but they are also one of the most important ways to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays—oh, and to give you a break when you don’t want to put makeup on!
Rewire Your Brian So All is Well
Would you be surprised to learn that one of the most popular college courses in America teaches students how to be happy? Probably not.
Most adults discover that you can be crazy rich, drive the biggest Tesla, take a luxury vacation that costs $4,500 a night—breakfast not included—but if inside you’re feeling miserable and depressed and unhappy, what good is it?
Welcome to Professor Laurie Santos’ wildly popular course at Yale University called “Psychology and the Good Life.” I haven’t taken it yet, but as a dedicated student of Positive Psychology, I’ve studied the research for years, including a recent overview of Santos’ work by Adam Sternbergh called “How To Be Happy.” The article was published last summer in New York Magazine, now available online at The Cut, and is well worth reading.
Is Your Car Ready?
Few things in life seem to conjure memories of our youth more than the infamous family road trip. Road trips have almost no socioeconomic boundaries, and for that brief period of time riding in the family truckster, crisscrossing America’s highways to visit Grandma or the Grand Canyon, all are equal: same rest stop bathroom breaks; same fast food and same universal “are we there yet” from the back seat.
Nobody wants their vacation memories to be the time the car broke down in the middle of nowhere and had to ride in a smelly tow truck and sleep in a one-star motel bed for half of the vacation waiting on repairs. For the most part, problems can be avoided with a bit of pre-road trip preventative maintenance.
Hit the Road for an Unforgettable Experience
1,200 miles + 2 Besties + a cabin nestled on top of Brush Mountain + the Horse Capital of the World + Keeneland 2019 Spring Meet + hundreds of thoroughbred horses running hell for leather + a few bets = 1 Amazing Road Trip
When you look back at some of the most iconic movies it is not surprising that many of them have a common theme... a road trip! Whether it’s skipping school on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, summering with National Lampoon’s Vacation, hitting Myrtle Beach with the girls from Shag, or adventuring with the guys in Road Trip, each one leads to unexpected adventures, memories and a ton of laughs. So why not decide to create your own memories and live out loud with your very own road trip?
A Book Review
We asked Joanna Cherry (left), mom of three, wife and school teacher, to read and tell us her thoughts about Mothering with Courage:The Mindful Approach to Becoming a Mom Who Listens More, Worries Less, and Loves Deeply—parenting expert Bonnie Compton’s long-awaited new book release.
Joanna’s Review: 5 Stars
Mothering with Courage:The Mindful Approach to Becoming a Mom Who Listens More, Worries Less, and Loves Deeply by Bonnie Compton is not an easy beach read. You may enjoy reading it on the beach, but more than likely you will give this book a permanent parking space on your bedside table. This is a book you will refer to repeatedly, yet it isn’t a reference book. It’s much more thought provoking. This may not be a book you sit at once and read from cover to cover. Rather, you might choose to read one of the many valuable chapters such as, “Hopes, Wishes, and Dreams,” or “Children Are Our Teachers” and then take time for reflection.
But Are You Using it?
Summer’s here. Time to kick back, take a deep breath... and focus. Slowly inhale through your nose; hold it for a couple of seconds; then exhale, also through your nose. Then do it again.
Why? Because whatever your favorite summertime sport—running, swimming, biking or daydreaming on a sun-dappled porch—you’ll do it better and spark more joy if you develop this skill, which you already have but may not have the habit of using.
Big, Light, & Airy
Stash the heavy leather tote and lighten up your load with a brand-new bag. This summer, you don’t have to worry about cramming all your worldly possessions into a tiny purse. Bigger is better this season with airy bags that look like they’re bound for the beach. Here are the latest trends to look for now:
> The breezy straw bag. From round rattan bags to bamboo totes to raffia crossbody bags, the straw handbags are making their way from picnics and parks to bistros and bars. Designers are making hay with innovative designs of all sizes, dressed up with leather handles and metal hardware.
You Fell in Love With the Beach. Now What?
There is an old saying that goes: “Once your feet touch the sand on Jekyll Island, you will always return.” Well, I think it goes for all our gorgeous beaches here in the Golden Isles. There must be some truth to it, because a large part of our coastal population migrated here after retirement to enjoy the fruits of their labors. They do this by basking in our golden sunshine, enjoying picturesque scenery, and the much slower pace at which we locals tend to move.
The question of care often arises for retirees who have relocated great distances from their still-working adult children, who live in various cities across the country. We no longer live in an agrarian society where land is tilled, tended and passed down the generations. This cultural change offers an exponential amount of freedom to retirees. Gone for them are the days of hitting the snooze button a few times before punching the clock. Every day feels like the weekend when you retire to the beach!
Retirees are free to spend their days with no obligations to anything other than what they choose as long as their bodies can keep up. So, what happens when a hip gives out, or Mom seems more forgetful? Was there a plan made in advance for the inevitable part of this human experience?
10th Annual Celebration of Local Men
There’s something special about the bond a man has with his chair. There is no set time for a man to acquire his chair, and his chair may vary throughout his life. Nonetheless, a man’s chair is a place where many important decisions are pondered and made, both personally and professionally. In history, we can look back to powerful moments put into action from a chair. From his bunker chair, Winston Churchill successfully pondered how to save the free world, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats eased an entire nation, all from a chair. More iconically is the power kings convey from their thrones and the barking of orders from the director’s’ chair to create great movies. Sometimes the chair itself takes on a best supporting role and becomes a character of its own like Archie Bunker’s famous chair in “All in the Family,” or Martin Crane’s chair in “Frasier.”
Curiously, we wanted to see some of the chairs our local Glynn County men are attached to, so we went looking for a few good men. We did a good job finding them, and not only did they have a favorite chair, but a lot of heart, as well!
What's the one accessory that can transform your face? Earrings! Did you know that large earrings make a nose look smaller? Or that silver hoops cool down a ruddy complexion? Or that a pair of gold button earrings warm up pale skin tones?
"There are few accessories that can have as much effect on the face as a pair of earrings," says health and beauty expert Deborah Chase, author of "Terms of Adornment: The Ultimate Guide to Accessories." "Round or square, plain or fancy, earrings bring light, color and movement to the face. They are the perfect finish to a look, adding balance, polish and personality."
How to Keep Your Joints Happy
Healthy joints make for happy athletes. A bum knee, sore shoulder or painful wrist gets in the way of your best time—playing tennis, riding your bike, humiliating yourself at golf.
Research shows that more than 80 percent of all sports injuries involve joints. Ouch! The good news is that there’s a lot YOU can do, and Aleve cannot, to keep your joints strong and healthy all year long.
Here are seven points about joints that will save you time, money, aggravation and dependence on painkillers:
Dear Carrie, My 17-year-old daughter has her first summer job with a reasonable salary.
To me, this is a great opportunity for her to start saving and realizing the power of
compound interest. What’s your advice on how to explain that to her? —A Reader
Dear Reader, I agree this is a great opportunity for your daughter to start saving—and the power of compound interest is one of the primary reasons as you suggest. A key factor in compounding is time, and at 17 your daughter has plenty of time to watch her savings grow. Plus, while interest rates have been very low for the past 10 years, they’re starting to rise and that can help even a beginning saver see some results.
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim and headed straight for a couple who were swimming between their anchored sportfish and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other, and she had screamed, but now they were just standing neck-deep on a sandbar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard toward him. “Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears and screamed, “Daddy!”
Meet four groups of fun-time locals procuring personal wellness and the social benefits of playtime. For them, Glynn County is their Playground.
Bella Italia of the Golden Isles: Bocce League
While Sunday driving through St. Simons Island’s Epworth neighborhood, check out the fun-loving, competitive bocce players associated with Bella Italia of the Golden Isles. They are in full springtime play at Glynn County’s Epworth Park.
You’ll find official bocce game rules posted adjacent to two Olympic-size regulation bocce courts. Meet Rodney, Tony, Mark and Joe, all original league members who beam with pride when asked to share the successful bocce courts construction story. “Glynn County Parks and Recreation brought in a group from Jacksonville for consultation. They did it right and did a good job; the courts are beautiful,” said Mark Gagliano, League Commissioner. “These former shuffleboard courts are now crushed oyster shell bocce courts with stone underneath, so it drains.”
Three Powerful Stories
Only those who have experienced it will ever know the immense strength it takes to face Lyme disease. Strength to withstand blow after blow from an unseen, unknown stealth pathogen that evades modern diagnostics and moves rapidly through the body attacking any system it chooses. Strength to bear being ignored, dismissed, disrespected, and outright laughed at by those who don’t believe your illness is real, including doctors. Strength to keep trusting your own judgment instead of giving in to outside suggestions that you’re “just depressed.” Strength to carry on with daily activities when all the joy has been sapped out of them by a disease famous for the fact that it doesn’t kill you; it just makes you want to die. Strength to persevere when you’ve been led into collapse by false diagnoses and misguided treatments that only made you worse; to find hope in the latest plan when all the previous ones have failed. Strength to dig deep and pull yourself up over and over, day after day, year-in and year-out with no end date because supposedly there isn’t a cure. Strength to keep believing in yourself when you’ve been on the floor for so long, to keep believing in life, to keep believing in happiness.
Only survivors can understand this.
My boyfriend and I pretend we have thick New Jersey accents when we go to art museums. It dissolves the pretension that sometimes comes with viewing art in a somewhat subdued and stuffy environment. It also entertains on-lookers, perhaps adding a little humor to their day, and who doesn’t need humor? One more thing it does, it keeps our relationship fresh and unpredictable. There are advantages to consistency, but a predictable relationship breeds boredom, and we don’t want that.
He texts me in the morning “Good morning, Honey,” and I text back, “Awww, tanks Fwankie, you are so schweet and muscular.” (His name is Robin.) I’m more likely to get a fun conversation going that way than if I text back, “Good morning, sweetie.” Playfulness keeps relationships vital. It helps you have something to fall back on when times get rough.