Parenting September 2022: Hey Mom and Dad! Just Say No to Being Your Child’s Homework “Buddy”

John Rosemond

Living With Children by John Rosemond

Parenting September 2022: Hey Mom and Dad! Just Say No to Being Your Child’s Homework “Buddy”

Q: The school our 10-year-old daughter attends believes parents should micromanage homework sessions – they call it “being a homework buddy.” As a consequence, our daughter believes we should help her with her assignments. Mind you, we’re willing to help when help is truly needed, but we don’t want to be our daughter’s “buddies” under any circumstances. What are your thoughts on this?

A: When are teachers, administrators, and college professors going to realize that enabling by any other name is still enabling? Homework buddies? Give me a break! Back in the dark ages of my youth, when children did their homework independently, they did their homework, and student achievement was considerably higher than it has been since.

Single File - September 2022

Susan Deitz

Hey Ladies, Stay Mysterious!

Single File - September 2022

DEAR SUSAN:
You’re always going on about head games between men and women, yet I’ve read where you are a strong believer in a woman’s mystery. Please explain. —From the “Single File’’ Blog

DEAR BLOGGER:

The mystery I favor is poles apart from the senseless and childish phoniness so common in the dating game. It takes a clever woman (yes, mystery is usually associated with the female of the species.) It has to do with not telling your life story from day one too early in a promising relationship. Be charming, soft, feminine. Leave plenty of silent spaces in the conversation for him to tell his story. Don’t laugh too often, but do smile when appropriate.

Skating Uphill - September 2022

Judith Lawrenson

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Skating Uphill - September 2022

“Okay, we have six Healthy Habits, so here is MY #7.”
– The Uphill Skater –

I do have another Healthy Habit, and it is one that I really feel should be on the list. I will call it “keep up” for lack of a better way to describe it. Sometimes I, you, we, take each day as it comes and get sort of ho-hum about things as we skate along. I think it’s a good thing to do this once in a while for a mental breather, but honestly, in general, aren’t we better than that? As you read this month’s Skating Uphill, think about it and how you want to be. I know that saying one should always be their best selves gets old, boring and nagging, but do please just give it some thought. 

Reel Corner - September 2022

Donne Paine

The Amazing Benefits of Watching Comedies...Let's Laugh a Little

Reel Corner - September 2022

Bad new abounds as we are bombarded daily with news about climate change, random violence, Ukraine conflict and secret documents. We are dealing with inflation, shrinkflation, high gas prices, ridiculous housing prices, flight cancellations and more doomsday films than should be allowed—much of which is out of our control. What can help?

How about a couple of hours of comedy? Comedy is personal; some prefer RomComs and others prefer improvisational comedy or slap stick. Whatever the preference, frequent doses of comedy can be healing. In fact, it’s an often-overlooked tool in our arsenal to maintain good health. During times when we are barraged with economic, social, political and health problems, it’s wise to turn to a not-so-obvious way to protect ourselves—laughing.

Pink Makeover - September 2022

Nancy McGregor

The Candidate: Jana O’Bryan

Pink Makeover - September 2022

I knew Jana O’Bryan was going to be special when three different colleagues and her boss wrote to nominate her for our monthly day of pampering—the Pink Makeover. They said things like “To meet Jana is to have an instant connection. She’s kind, listens with intention and genuinely engages you. I cannot get enough of her!” and “Jana is so very deserving of a special day dedicated just for her. She always puts others first; it’s time she was recognized for the compassionate, dedicated woman of integrity that she is.”

They were spot on, as Jana was a pleasure to spend an afternoon with and watch her transform. When Jana walked into The Hair Designers Salon at Village at Wexford with her daughter, Ashtin, in tow, we were all excited to get started. Mark Goodman, salon owner, has more credentials than this article has space. He is a master at color, cut and making people look—and feel—their absolute best.

Parenting August 2022: Parents’ Questions Answered

John Rosemond

Living With Children by John Rosemond

Parenting August 2022: Parents’ Questions Answered

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter is a rising high school sophomore. We let her wear eyeliner this past year, but she is wearing entirely too much. She is well-adjusted (plays sports, good grades) but seems insecure to go out in public without her make-up. When we tell her she looks prettier without it, she becomes defensive. Should we lighten up or insist that she stop trying to look like Miley Cyrus?

A: Your daughter is at an age where peer approval is more important than just about anything else (certainly approval from you) and wearing makeup is a ticket to that approval. That’s unfortunate, but in childrearing as in every other area of life, it is sometimes necessary to make compromises. Parents should always keep in mind that one can win a battle and still lose the war.

Single File - August 2022

Susan Deitz

Sexual Bill of Rights

Single File - August 2022

Sexual expression is part of mental and physical well-being. On that we probably agree. And being unmarried, you know how difficult it is to find a caring and committed partner. It’s well worth waiting for, because when soul mates join spirit and flesh, their union can approach spiritual communion. Once that’s experienced, anything less is out of the question. But to aspire to that height, you must first make sense of the sexual choice overload too readily offered in single life.

Skating Uphill - August 2022

Judith Lawrenson

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Skating Uphill - August 2022

“They say that the most curious learners
make the very best teachers!”
– The Uphill Skater –


Back in the day, when I first graduated from college, my dream was to become a high school history teacher. With no money to finish the credential I needed, I decided to slum it and take a job for one year as a kindergarten teacher to save up. Needless to say, I fell in love with teaching kindergarten and did it for the next eight years until I got married and moved into a different life. There is a book called All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, and let me tell you, it is absolutely true.

Reel Corner - August 2022

Donne Paine

Let’s Talk About Elvis

Reel Corner - August 2022

Whether you think of Elvis Presley as the young, energetic singer with the dynamic good looks and gyrating hips that shook the music world in the 1950s, or the more mature Elvis with the long sideburns and sequined jumpsuits who performed regularly in Las Vegas, his career spanned decades. Music fans around the world were devastated by news of his death on August 16, 1977.

And yet, 45 years later, the man with the voice and style remains the King of Rock and Roll. Millions around the world still buy his music and hundreds of thousands visit Graceland every year to see where he lived, died and is buried. How has he stayed so deeply ingrained in our hearts, minds and culture, so many years after his passing?

Pink Prescriptions - August 2022

It's All Pink

Gallbladder, Spleen and Appendix, Oh My! What they do, when to worry, and are they really non-vital?

Pink Prescriptions - August 2022

There are several organs that our human bodies can live without, but we’re especially curious about three of them.
These mystery organs are a puzzlement to most of us. About the only time one hears about the gallbladder, spleen or appendix is
when someone is having it removed. What is the point of these seemingly unnecessary organs? How can they just be removed?
We asked the experts to clue us in and not spare any details.

Parenting July 2022: Teens are Not Entitled to Rage & Disrespect

John Rosemond

Living With Children by John Rosemond

Parenting July 2022: Teens are Not Entitled to Rage & Disrespect

Q: I’m a single mother with a 13-year-old son. His father, whom he sees infrequently, has PTSD from battle experiences. My son has anger toward his father, but I can’t get him to talk about it. It comes out of him in the form of a lot of disrespect directed toward me. What should I do about this?

A: I assume that by “this” you mean your son’s supposed anger concerning his father. If I’m right, then you’re focusing on the wrong issue. The problem is the disrespect and hostility your son directs toward you.

In the first place, you’re playing amateur psychologist. You’re engaging in pure speculation (which is, by the way, all a psychologist is doing when he claims to know what causes a person to behave in a certain manner). Your theory concerning his disrespect gives your son a free pass to behave as abusively toward you as he pleases. On the other hand, if you happen to be right about the source of your son’s “anger,” the question becomes “so what?”

Pink Makeover - July 2022

Nancy McGregor

The Candidate: Laura Sterling

Pink Makeover - July 2022

The word “Community” came together this month in the small business known as Sweetgrass Salon. It was a very special makeover that underscores friendships, mutual respect and hearts of love.

Our makeover candidate is Megan DeWeese. Megan is a 2nd grade teacher at Okatie Elementary school. That title, however, doesn’t do her justice. In the 2020-21 school year, Megan was a Teacher of the Year, both in her school and the district. Her history, however, includes surviving loss and grief. She’s experienced the crushing bereavement of a still born child and, more recently, the loss of her mother to cancer. Megan formerly spent six years in the army reserves. She’s gone back to school many times over the years and has scored several degrees.

Single File - July 2022

Susan Deitz

Bitterness, Blame and Beyond

Single File - July 2022

Of all the aftershocks of love’s endings, bitterness does the most damage because it’s sneaky. While it clouds perception, it silently fulfills its own prophecy, which is that people will stay away. Potential friends and lovers keep their distance from an embittered person, which only serves to confirm his/her sour view of life, completing the circle of cynicism. (Deep sigh.)

But when people are content with life and with themselves, they, for the most part, view life’s downturns fairly, placing blame where deserved while (ahem) shouldering the rightful share of responsibility for mistakes, which are almost inevitable in a full life. So what’ll it be, bitter or optimistic? Take your choice. I kid you not, my friend; it is indeed a conscious choice. There are ways to remain hopeful, even when life tosses you a world-class curve.

Skating Uphill - July 2022

Judith Lawrenson

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Skating Uphill - July 2022

“The definition of good food never changes, right?
Actually, that is not right!”
– The Uphill Skater –

Every once in a while, I love to write a column that is a truly honest food update. While many may think an egg is an egg, an apple is red, and free-range means chickens can run all over the place, my positive and correct answer is yes and no.

I am hedging a bit, but really, the truth when it comes to food is ambiguous. Vitamin content and calorie count can vary in an egg quite a lot. Everyone knows not all apples are red, but have you considered if they are pesticide-free? And, unfortunately, many free range chickens have never seen a range in their whole short lives. 

Reel Corner - July 2022

Donne Paine

First Ladies and Patriotism

Reel Corner - July 2022

America can only claim a few art forms as its own. Jazz, for sure. Comic Books, certainly. And, it’s probably safe to add the Western to that list, too.

Westerns are a vital genre, with a habit of reinventing itself every few years, that doubles as a way to talk about American history. While there are certain themes and elements that define the genre, the Western is also proven to be flexible, capable of playing host to many different story lines and a vast variety of characters.

Pink Prescriptions - July 2022

It's All Pink

I Just Don’t Feel Right. Could it be my Thyroid?

Pink Prescriptions - July 2022

You may not be able to point to your thyroid, but it controls many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats—pretty important things. However, the thyroid seems to be a mystery gland that is not thought about until it begins to wreak havoc. Basically, when your thyroid is functioning properly, things we take for granted, like a good night’s sleep, regular bowel movements, controlled inner temps—not inappropriately hot or cold, are also functioning properly. Because an out-of-order thyroid can cause symptoms that are quite common, usually the thyroid is the last thing we point to as the culprit for our dis-ease and discomfort. That’s why we wanted to unlock the mystery behind this little gland in your neck that can make feeling good a real pain-in-the-neck! In order to learn more about the almighty thyroid, we asked our local experts to clue us in.

Parenting June 2022: Nip it in the Bud

John Rosemond

Living With Children by John Rosemond

Parenting June 2022: Nip it in the Bud

Q: Our sons are six and four. When their same-age cousins come over, they all go down into our basement to play. Invariably, within thirty minutes my youngest comes upstairs crying because his older brother is causing the cousins to gang up against him. I end up going down into the basement every half hour to settle these disputes. Is there a way to solve the problem once and for all?

A: You’ve discovered, the hard way, that “settling” one of these conflicts does not solve the problem. In fact, settling 1,358,495 of these disputes will not solve the problem. In further fact, you serving as a mediator is making matters worse. Unwittingly, by coming to your youngest son’s rescue, you cause the other boys to resent him and want to get back at him. When they do, he cries, you come running, you rescue, and again they resent him, and around and around it goes.

Pink Makeover - June 2022

Nancy McGregor

The Candidate: Laura Sterling

Pink Makeover - June 2022

Laura Sterling is our makeover candidate this month. She runs Laura’s Little Critter Barn, which is a not-for-profit haven for wild and domestic animals. Walking into Laura’s house means you’ll encounter a variety of contented creatures. You are first greeted by a canine crew of varying ages and temperaments. In the corner of the dining room is a floor-to-ceiling cage housing two baby squirrels. By the kitchen is a nest of kittens and their momma, who was found in the middle of a busy highway with her head stuck in a can. Laura stopped the car and ran into traffic to save her life. In gratitude, the kitty promptly presented Laura with two kittens. In the living room, under the window, is a crate containing two baby piglets. In the powder room, just off the living room, are two tiny, spotted, baby deer who are still being bottle fed.

To say that Laura Sterling is a unique woman is a bit of an understatement. Laura is both sweetly gentle and hotly fierce. She has carved out a life that makes her the kindest darling to some and the steely-eyed foe to others. She once went to a political meeting, one filled with solemn gravitas, with a tiny baby opossum hunkered down in her pocket. The little baby was on the brink of life and needed to be kept warm and safe. To Laura, who was there to dispense some of her fiery intelligence, the tiny life was equally important as the room full of dignified politicians. How many women do you know who would head to city hall with a pocket full of ‘possum?

Single File - June 2022

Susan Deitz

All The Single Ladies: Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions

Single File - June 2022

Oxymoron
Dear Susan: Last weekend, I had sex with a woman who’s just a friend. (She and I laughed and said it was “friends with benefits.”) But now she’s calling me regularly, asking when I’m coming to see her again. I feel so guilty. It was purely platonic on my part. She’s a nice girl, but honestly, it meant nothing. What should I do?

Dear Reader: It might have meant nothing to you, but it could have unlocked some hopes in her. (Deep sigh.) That’s the tricky part of this misnomer—it’s supposedly casual but rarely so. The hurtful part of the rutting we’ve come to label “casual” is that one of the partners usually brings into the bed a secret hope. They don’t dare express it, fearing their lover will fly the coop. They play the game, pretending the passion is shared, but what lies beneath is a yearning for the real thing. And if you suspect the pretender is usually female, you are correct. And so, the path of casual sex is littered with feminine yearning. The female is the one who proves that “casual sex” is an oxymoron. How can the joining of pulsing flesh be ho-hum casual? Think about it. Then call her and apologize.

Skating Uphill - June 2022

Judith Lawrenson

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Skating Uphill - June 2022

“Adventure Awaits, but only for those who seek it!
Too bad, you sofa sitters. Maybe next time!”
– The Uphill Skater –


Back in the day, my husband and I used to sail out of the South Carolina Yacht Club, and we loved that life so much. We really felt like adventurers. We sailed all over the Bahamas, the coast from Savannah to the Florida Keys, and even to the Abacos Islands. We also raced and mentored young people who wanted to learn to sail. What a fabulous time we had. 

Fast forward a few years, and here we are living in West Virginia, now old people, tending our little grandson and sitting around the house all day knitting and eating fatty foods. No, wait a minute. That’s not what we are doing at all. We are still looking for that fun adventure to keep our lives happening in positive ways. Maybe we are not sky diving or going into space, but we are having a really great and busy life.

Reel Corner - June 2022

Donne Paine

Cowboys and Indians: A Hard Look at One of Cinemas’ Oldest Genres

Reel Corner - June 2022

America can only claim a few art forms as its own. Jazz, for sure. Comic Books, certainly. And, it’s probably safe to add the Western to that list, too.

Westerns are a vital genre, with a habit of reinventing itself every few years, that doubles as a way to talk about American history. While there are certain themes and elements that define the genre, the Western is also proven to be flexible, capable of playing host to many different story lines and a vast variety of characters.

Pink Prescriptions - June 2022

It's All Pink

Oh My Aching Back!

Pink Prescriptions - June 2022

When it comes to back pain, words such as non-functioning, desperation, unbearable and horrifying are heard by back experts every day. Fact is, back pain can be some of the most severe pain a human may ever encounter. The good news—and there is good news—is much of it resolves in time by the body’s natural healing combined with the help of professionals like surgeons, physical therapists, acupuncturists, exercise physiologists and massage therapists. When it comes to back pain, all modalities are welcome if it leads to relief. If you, or a loved one, has experienced back pain, then you are well aware of the toll it takes on overall well-being and function. Bottom-line: Our backs are truly the back bone of our health. That’s why we asked local experts to radiate their knowledge to help us have healthier backs.

Pink Makeover - May 2022

It's All Pink

A Mother’s Day Makeover with Karin & April VanName

Pink Makeover - May 2022

In a celebration of motherhood, our renewed makeover feature turned its attention to an ultimate mother.

When Pink Publisher, Elizabeth Skenes Millen, asked her Facebook friends who needed a makeover, there was one particular voice that replied “Yes!” from her mother’s Facebook page. Shortly after, her mother chimed in and replied “She really does!”

Our attention was arrested by this mother, Karin, who wanted something pretty and special for her daughter, April. It was a generous and sweet thing. It was something a mother would do because when we look at the concept of motherhood, we’re really looking at unconditional love in action.

So our hearts had no choice. We chose them both for the makeover.

Single File - May 2022

Susan Deitz

All The Single Ladies: Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions

Single File - May 2022

A New Language
You don’t have to be single to be shy, but it’s more likely when your way of life pushes you to meet new people and make entrances ... solo. That’s why it’s so important to learn the language of SMALL TALK. (It merits capitals because it’s not so easy to learn.) Truth is it’s a totally new language for those of us who never inherited the gift of easy, flowing, not-very-important chatter. Which brings me back to a cringeworthy moment years ago at the United Nations in New York City when I was introduced to an old-time film legend and left alone with him. (If you must know, it was Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) I can still see the expression on my face—and his—as the two of us agonizingly croaked out sounds we hoped passed for conversation. Disaster!

Skating Uphill - May 2022

Judith Lawrenson

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Skating Uphill - May 2022

“Yes, I do love the concept of a #Mamabear,
but let’s take it a bit further!”
– The Uphill Skater –

A mama bear is a caregiver. A mama bear nurtures and protects. A mama bear shares love in a unique way. Love is a shared event. I believe the whole concept of a giving and caring persona will encourage others to come together in ways that are not only loving, but also supportive. That kind of person leads by example, and is a role-model. 

Concepts such as “come together”, “come closer” and “come into my warmth” are of such value that we should seek out those who share that value. We all know someone who makes us feel safe, which help us also feel confident and powerful. Being accepted and loved is vital, especially today when so many people feel adrift and lonely. That feeling of being what I call “uninvited” is devastating and creates doubt and fear. Knowing you are loved and valued for who you are not only nurtures, but also is the foundation for a positive self-worth.