In case you missed it in Lowcountry Life, Feb. 23

One more chant: USA! USA! USA! The Winter Olympics end Sunday. If you're like us, you might have been sneaking in a few long lunches to watch the action live these past few weeks. We'll be sad to see all the skating, skiing, bobsledding, luge, hockey, etc. etc. go. Despite our lack of snow, ice or other conditions necessary for winter sports (which we're fine with, thank you very much), the Lowcountry has a couple of connections to this year's Olympics. Gold medalist Charlie White -- one half of the beloved ice dancing duo "Marlie" along with partner Meryl Davis -- vacations on Hilton Head frequently because his aunt lives here (and yes, the hair is real). We loved talking to Sun City resident Frits van Riemsdyk, whose grandson James van Riemsdyk was on the U.S. men's ice hockey team. And for an Okatie resident, the Olympics are just the beginning. Ed Modzelewski will begin his second stage of work on the Sochi Grand Marina after the closing ceremonies wrap up. The goal is to turn the construction port into a luxury yacht and tourist destination.

But Mooooom! All my friends have (insert eye-poppingly expensive thing here)!! Struggling when it comes to explaining to your kids that money doesn't grow on trees? You're definitely not alone. But a few Lowcountry parents, banks and teachers are doing their best to get their kids to understand the value of saving and what "expensive" really means. The banks run programs that encourage kids to save even small amounts and watch the money add up. Teachers talk about what a salary really means -- and just how far money will go. And for one family, talking to their kids honestly about what they can and can't afford is key to their children avoiding the debt that crippled them just six years ago.

Get down and give me 20, you wimp! Here's one more way reality TV isn't like reality: personal trainers shouldn't be yelling at you like the do on shows such as "The Biggest Loser" Local trainers say their job is to motivate clients, which means they don't get in their face, bark orders or otherwise say discouraging things. In other words, it's not supposed to be intimidating or scary to work out with a trainer. We know, that's one less reason to stay on the couch. But just think of how good you'll feel after that work out.

Attention all film buffs -- or those with beginner's luck. Which film will take home best picture? Which actor or actress will walk away with the golden statuette? Whether you've seen every film nominated or just a few, throw your hat in the ring on our Oscars pool and you just might win dinner and a trip to the movies. (P.S. If you've seen none at all, go ahead and enter and just guess. It always seems like the least prepared for these things wins, doesn't it?)

Pour yourself another cup of coffee. We've got your weekend long read(s) right here. St. Helena Island native and "American Idol" winner Candice Glover released her debut album, "Music Speaks," this week. The album is doing well --- it was at No. 8 on iTunes charts on its first day and as of Saturday afternoon the album remained in the top 30 at no. 24 on iTunes. It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since everything changed for her. Take a look back at her thoughts on returning to the show for a third time; her hometown visit with an emotional reunion with her family and tearful hometown parade; the moment she won; and what she felt in those first few weeks after winning. Not enough? Find every bit of Candice coverage here.

Lend us a hand. We need your help on a few stories we're working on:

  • Are you afraid of bridges? We'd like to know more about how you deal with that fear while driving in Beaufort County or to Savannah or Charleston.
  • Is there someone in your life who is losing his or her hearing but refuses to admit it? Or did it take you a while to accept your own hearing loss?
  • Have you survived a life-threatening illness? If so, do you have advice or a story to share that might help or inspire others?

For any of these,

email reporter Laura Oberle