A Folly Starfish Christmas Story

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It was Christmas Eve in our little slice of Folly Under the Sea. This year things around me seemed more calm than usual. Everyfish seemed to be ahead of the typical hustle and bustle of the season. That is, every fish except for me. I like to live in the here and now, which means I am really good when it comes to what others view as procrastinating. I like to think of it more as I work well under pressure. That aside, I was bobbing from store to store as quickly as I could but a starfish can only go as fast as the current takes him and today the current was in no rush.

Somehow I managed to squeak in grocery shopping, picking up my famous last minute –but always perfect– gifts, visiting a few friends, and even getting a relaxing arm massage at Sacred Arm Massage & Healing Arts. Floating home, I looked around at all the happy fish. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was glistening brightly through the waves. There were even surfboards overhead, and not a shark sighting all day. The small fish were playing with each other and singing carols in anticipation of what tonight would bring. The bigger fish were holding hands and sneaking kisses, just as giddy as the little ones.

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Finally making it home, I put on my favorite Michael Bubble Christmas album and started wrapping presents. Later that evening, I enjoyed the sunset in my back sand where I could see the human’s Folly Christmas tree off in the distance. Those humans are so creative! Who would think to put a Christmas tree on the beach anyway? ?After Christmas Eve dinner and appeasing carol singers who literally would not leave until I gave them figgy pudding –good thing I picked up dates at the store– I finally settled in to rest until Christmas day.

However, it was a restless sleep, and when I did drift off I had crazy dreams. One was of a psychedelic octopus. He just kind of joyfully floated in one spot, smiling and waving almost glowing in the surf. And then I woke up. Then there was the dream of a sandcastle Santa Claus. Had I seen the humans building one on the beach? Had Santa visited me and I sleepily caught him? Was Santa Claus really made out of sand? The psychedelic octopus seemed to make more sense than that! Maybe I was just as excited as every fish else that I had seen the day before. After all, Christmas is my most favorite of all the holidays. And even after all these years, I have never stopped believing. I gave into my excitement and floated out of bed, cranked up the Bubble, and got ready for the day.

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As I put on my funny Santa attire, the smile that would remain ever present for the day crept across my face. How silly of me to think there would be sleep on the eve of today of all days! The doorbell rang. My friends and family had arrived. It was the beginning of another perfect Christmas Under the Folly Sea.

From our family to yours,
Happy Christmas, Merry Everything!

Never Stop Believing

What Charleston is Thankful for in 2016

Charleston, we asked and here is what you are thankful for at the start of this holiday season…

-“Family.”

-“Thankful I’m a teacher and can still make a difference in the world of a child.”

-“Family and beauty of Charleston and its people.”

-“Fish fingers and custard.”

-“My work ethic.”

-“My friends and family, opportunity, and beauty.”

-“Generosity of friends and family, and that this baby seems to be developing well.”

-“Time off with family.”

-“Sanity.”Thanksgiving People Table

-“Life. Family. Friendship. Health.”

-“Nap time!”

-“Thankful when nothing is left unsaid.”

-“Family.”

-“Home, health, family, experience.”

-“That I wake up each morning to a new day.”

-“Wine and ice cream.”

-“To have friends and family that I can count on.”

-“Healthy kids, affectionate pets, loyal and loving friends, and the respect of my parents.”

-“Wonderfully, amazing friends who love me for me.”

-“2016 is almost over.”

-“God, my family and friends.”

-“Three children, Alyssa, Kyle, and Blake and for their strength and perseverance. Beyond blessed.”

-“A new start at a new life.”

-“Indoor plumbing…and soft toilet paper.”

-“Family.”

-“Still breathing.”

-“To be able to watch the sunrise.”

-“The relationship with my family.”

-“Family.”

-“Coffee, so I am able to wake up early to catch my flight to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving.”

-“To be alive for the holidays.” #CancerStrong

-“Family, good health and America.”

-“The time that we did have together.”

-“Supportive family and friends, a new career that I love, and health.”

-“The immense amount of love I’m surrounded by with my Charleston family…especially when so far from my actual family.”

-“Selfless friends who spend their time helping me fix my truck.”

-“Family, friends, good health, salt water, diet green tea and that I can smile every day.”

-“Family.”

Princess Diana is given credit for the saying “Family is the most important thing in the world,” however we have known this for centuries. Given how our hearts’ shine, it is no surprise that family appears as a reoccurring value amongst Charlestonians.


Happy Thanksgiving,
from our family to yours

What the Charleston Lady Was Doing While Her Other Half Watched the Epic Finale of the 2016 World Series

By, Minta Pavliscsak
  • Enjoying the crisp fall evening on the patio while sipping a glass of wine and sneaking a few pieces of the kid’s Halloween candy.
  • Hanging out with her man because she is after all a true Southern Bell, and supporting his interests is just part of what we do. {…even if there may be texts exchanged with the bestie about how cute that one player’s butt looks in his uniform.}
  • Sleeping – hopefully not interrupting any important plays with the occasional, adorable snore.
  • Finally catching up on her DVR shows on the smaller T.V.
  • Using her man’s credit card to buy those shoes she has been eyeing for quite some time now. -How that matching belt made its way into the shopping bag is a mystery to her!-
  • Constantly refilling the chip bowl and mixed nuts while making countless pigs in blankets, all while keeping the coffee table her honey and his friends are huddled around clear of empty beer cans and bottle caps.
  • Taking advantage of an empty house to sit around in her favorite baggy, ripped sweats and bleached stained hoodie for once…crazy hair and all.
  • Getting hit on at Mac’s Place -unbeknownst to her significant other- by some guy rooting for the opposing team, despite the fact that her and her man have been sharing a plate of nachos since the second inning and he keeps drinking her beer because he refuses to take his eyes off of the screen.
  • Pretending to show interest in the game but instead, plotting her moment when she gets to use the line that starts with, “Honey remember that time when I sat up with you after midnight watching the World Series?”
  • Cheering right along by her love’s side because she has always been a Cubs fan.

 

World Series 2016 Video

In a Charleston Minute – Sangria, Fashion, Art and New Friends

Story by Mark A. Leon / Photo by Amy Rose Walter instagram @redrosevintageshop
Story by Mark A. Leon / Photo by Amy Rose Walter instagram @redrosevintageshop

“I kinda wish I was cool….Well If you’re looking for an answer it’s gonna be found on your own.? And if you’re looking for disaster you’ll find it not being alone” Johnny Delaware – Charleston Singer/Songwriter

Hidden behind the Southern class, slow spinning fans cooling the hot humid air, historic cobblestone roads and plantation mansions, pleasant palmetto landscape, whispering sails on the harbor and traditional polite demeanor lies a part of Charleston sweating in color and life.? It is a canvas of creativity, individualism and an expressive independence you might find in the urban havens of New York and Los Angeles.? It is a place where fashion reigns high, sangria flows into the soul and social and economic status have no place.? This is the part of Charleston you need to know about.

In a Charleston minute, you will feel something rich and rewarding.? In a Charleston minute, you will find a friend in a corner you never thought to look.? In a Charleston minute, you will share a story with a homeless man and forget they will be sleeping under the stars later on.

This is one of those stories.

It was a perfect autumn?Saturday?in Charleston.? Spring Street was alive with its eccentric population.? Still considered taboo by some and a thriving cultural awakening to others, you can always count on a unique sighting at each street corner.? From Wild Flour bakery to Sweet Radish to cans of malt liquor and cigarettes, Spring Street has an iconic feel no matter what side you are on.? On this morning, Red Rose Vintage Clothing, who shares a space with Wine Awesomeness, was hosting a Sangria and Vintage Clothing Sale.? At?9:30?in the morning, what better time to discover yourself in outfits that transcend the ticking clock and indulge in a fruity alcoholic delight.

Several outfits later behind a single black curtain and slimming mirror and a number of toasts to warm weather, wonderful friends and moments you never want to end, we had to depart.? Not without a smile and gracious thank you for the owner Amy Rose.

I returned several hours later, at the request of Amy Rose to share more sangria.? It was refreshing and the sun was still shining.

As I returned, I saw two girls leaning against the brick wall, with their trendy sunglasses, shirts and leggings and a look that screamed, “It will be alright.? It will all be alright.”? Kayleigh, with her tights, short skirt, hat, glasses, short hair and freckles stole the introduction as if she walked straight off the set of Perks of Being a Wallflower.? It didn’t take more than a few minutes to determine we would be BFF’s and eternal intellectual enemies for life.? As the best friend of Amy Rose, the two perpetrated the perfect odd ball relationship with one as the conservative business woman knee deep in business best practice books and the other the self proclaimed wild girl.? The third was a new addition to girls gone wine.? Lucia was found on the street wearing long black leggings and at that point enjoying a number of cocktails.? She was very proud of her boyfriend, local singer/songwriter Johnny Delaware as well as being a talented keyboardist.? After she changed and prettied herself up, she pranced out the door to Spring Street in her 3 inch heels and happily walked home.? We are sure later on she would lay in bed and be serenaded by her boyfriend and an acoustic guitar.

While taking in the sun in the outdoor patio area with a slight elevation made perfect for the setting of a band and dance party, we were greeted by an artist who designs and sketches names in 3D.? Whether he was homeless would not be determined.? We offered the gift of wine and company.? He declined as he had no money, but money would not be accepted here.? While he showed his works to Amy Rose, I examined Elton John vinyl and discussed the virtues of music, clothing and dreams.

 

“Collected Stories” at Midtown Theatre, a Must See For All

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By Minta Pavliscsak.

Midtown Productions, owner and operator of Midtown Theatre located at 2816 Azalea Drive, North Charleston has started 2016 off strong with a captivating show that will make you laugh, reminisce, and ultimately contemplate those all too important “life decisions” you made back in your college years.

“Collected Stories”, produced by Sheri Grace Wenger is winding down it’s production at Midtown Theatre.?Written by Donald Margulies, “Collected Stories” first premiered at South Coast Repertory in California on April, 1996 and had a two month run on Broadway in 2010. It follows the dynamic relationship between a celebrated writer and her graduate student protégé over the course of six years in the 1990’s.

Angst, intimidation, pride, doubt and an insatiable need to be accepted are only a few of the emotions that leap off the stage from the only two stars sharing in the spotlight. The performance takes place in the Greenwich Village apartment of Ruth Steiner, a straightforward professor and mentor, played by two time winner of the Charleston’s “Best Actress” Samille Basler. Opposite her is exceedingly bubbly Lisa Morrison, played by Charleston newcomer Sarah Glendening. Seemingly incompatible at first, Ruth and Lisa develop a bond that far exceeds that of your typical professor/student rapport.

The pair develops an intimate mother daughter tie fueled by penetrating moments where life and school lessons are shared in a tapestry of complex exchanges. We watch them go from lightheartedly sharing afternoon tea to having a falling out over the thing that brought them together in the first place which establishes the main conflict of the play. The emotional separation begins to build momentum subtly around the same time that Lisa’s writing career flourishes.CS.Lisa@window1

The author scripts out a poignant moment in the play when Lisa gets her first review and she is overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainly and depression.? This mental tug of war between success and seeking refuge in a mentor is one so many in the academic circles must face.? Ruth, being true to her unapologetic ways, tells Lisa “There’s nothing worse than getting what you wanted.”

Set Designer Ryan Ahelert did an exceptional job with “Collected Stories”. We were easily transported back to the 1990’s in part to his careful attention to detail. We spend the entire play sharing in Ruth’s living room space. It’s comfortable here with her bookshelf filled with books of influence and interest, coat rack that has one too many coats hanging on it, and a messy desk piled up with folders and mail. Ruth and Lisa’s movements flowed seamlessly around the stage and nothing seemed to distract the audience from them.

Midtown Theatre is structured to offer an open cabaret style format.? Along with engaging theatrical performances, the theater offers wine, charcuterie and dessert plates. ?Midtown Productions has been happily calling this place home for just over a year now, and they are excited for what their future here holds.

There are only three more opportunities to catch Samille Basler and Sarah Glendening in their starring roles as Ruth Steiner and Lisa Morrison this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can purchase tickets here for the three remaining 8:00 shows. Make sure to keep Midtown Productions on your watch list. They have some great shows coming up for the rest of this season including an upcoming performance of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” beginning February 11.

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Photos courtesy of Nancy Santos.

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist