31 August 2014

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Trinity Episcopal, Edisto

Trinity Episcopal Church, Edisto Island, S.C
We have some of the most beautiful country churches in South Carolina and I love being a passenger in a car when the driver says, "let me know if you want me to pull over for a picture". You can imagine we had some screeching brakes and quick turn-arounds driving to Edisto Beach yesterday.

I knew this would be today's Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance. This is the Trinity Episcopal Church on Edisto Island.

I hope everyone is having a good long Labor Day weekend. Thanks to the volunteers staffing the desks at the hospital so I can enjoy my day off. Picture me blowing kisses to you all!

30 August 2014

Seashell decorations

Seashell decorations at Botany Beach, Edisto, S.C.
Since you are asked not to take seashells from Botany Bay beach, people have been decorating with them for years. They are laid in designs in the sand, hanging from palmetto tree bark and hanging from the tips of smooth driftwood like holiday ornaments. Between the dangling shells, swooping flocks of pelicans and driftwood branches, there is something about it that delights me so much I don't know why I leave it so long between visits.

There are no t-shirt or ice cream vendors, no restaurants or bathroom facilities so this incredible beach is usually a peaceful treat. We took a snack and sat on giant driftwood logs for our picnic, counted off the loggerhead turtle nests and had a wonderful time before heading on to Edisto Beach for lunch. Day one of my three day weekend was a grand success. I hope yours was as well!

29 August 2014

Window boxes on State St.

State St., Charleston, S.C.
Let's hear it for three day weekends! Hurrah!

I found a reddit.com question asking "What is the most beautiful piece of music?" and have been reading the suggestions, clicking on the recording and enjoying music I have never heard before. What a treat! I want to listen to them all and download a bunch. That could keep me occupied for awhile since there are over 7,000 comments.

I admit to being a reddit lurker. The only time I participated was when a young pregnant gal described what sounded like a seizure and was wondering what everyone on the internet thought she should do about it. I checked back every five minutes until she reported back to let me know that she was in the Emergency Room. Whew.

Have a good weekend, kids!

28 August 2014

Charleston Gates

Charleston Gates, Charleston, S.C.
Think you like this picture? Hold on to your horses and check out Vanessa K's photographs of the gates of St. Michael's Episcopal church. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Here is something funny. I knew there was a contest with the "X Marks the Spot"  theme offering the chance to wine free Charleston Wine & Food Festival tickets. Free wine, free food you say? Sign me up!  I played with these dueling okras at our hospital Farmer's Market booth yesterday. Yep. You guessed it - as far as I can tell the contest may have ended with the big party at the powerhouse the other night - I can't tell for sure. Tickets are now for sale.#‎CHSWFX

27 August 2014

House guests

Charleston, S.C.
Poor thing. He is in here somewhere but I don't know where. I tried to catch him in a dishtowel to help him escape but he didn't understand my intentions.

26 August 2014

Move the darn car out of my picture

Pink House, Chalmers St., Charleston, S.C.

Okay, I'll say it out loud - we all want to take pictures of the little pink house on Chalmers St. and we want YOU to quit parking your car in front of it. The last thing I'd like Mayor Riley to rule on before and if he leaves the Mayor's office after his record breaking forty year term would be to put up a "No Parking" sign in front of the quaint cottage. I wouldn't even mind a sign restricting parking to vintage or cute car parking that would be an asset to a photo.
The distinctive little pink building at 17 Chalmers Street is said to be the oldest standing tavern building in the South. Built within the walled city of Charles Towne in the mid 1690s by John Breton, this oldest stone house in the city was constructed of 'Bermuda stone'. The West Indian coral stone had a natural pink cast, so the building was known as the Pink House from the beginning. Tradition holds that the Bermuda stone was brought in ships as ballast, as the cobblestones on Chalmers Street were, but it is more likely that it was cut in Bermuda and imported as a building material. The stone is soft enough to be cut into blocks and then when exposed to weather, it gradually hardens and becomes stronger. Its elasticity was proved in the great earthquake on 1886 when nearby brick structures suffered damage. The tiled roof is original terra cotta tile of an ancient vintage. The curved shape of the tiles was said to be formed over the workmen's thighs. The Pink House also was one of the few buildings in Charleston to survive 1989's Hurricane Hugo virutally unscathed.

In the building's early days, as a 'groggerie' and coffee house for sailors visiting the port from all over the world, this area was a red light district called Mulatto Alley and the street was lined with many small houses, most of which were bordellos. The Pink House was not a fashionable bistro for Charleston gentry, but rather a simple tavern, where the seamen found their 'three Ws'......whiskey, wenches, and wittles. Around 1800 the area was cleaned up after many citizens petitioned the City Council. Thomas Elfe, the famous furniture maker, wrote a letter complaining about the noisy parties at night.

25 August 2014

Raising Cane

Richard Neapolitan with his hand carved cane, Charleston, S.C.
There is nothing I love more than a sturdy walking stick on a hike. I got so close to my $3 bamboo poles after climbing into Machu Picchu that I wanted to bring them home on the plane and I got sentimental tucking them behind a bush waiting for the next sucker climber. 

Lately I have admired people who have turned their cane into a fashion accessory. I've spotted painted, carved and fancy tipped canes but this one takes the cake. I was at a friend's wedding when I noticed  Richard Neapolitan's cane with his own portrait hand carved into it.The cane was carved by his brother's friend, a retired Army Officer in Murphy, NC.

I did have to ask Richard to explain the inscription. Richard is a long term volunteer at Roper Hospital and met his wife Deb who was an employee there. See - you can volunteer and meet people! The initials stand for "Your Secret Admirer" and "My Only Girl".

Altogether now, "Awwwwww!" That is almost too sweet.

Thanks for letting me share, Richard!

24 August 2014

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - St. Philip's Church

St. Philip's Church, Charleston, S.C.
By the look of the long line of parked cars, everyone but me was in church this morning. Well done kids!

I used to feature a picture of a church almost every Sunday. You can find the series under the: Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance tag. The history of St. Philip's Church goes back to the 1680's and you can even listen to a recording of the church bells.

Here is your bonus joke:
A Fine Sermon: A man went to church one day and afterward he stopped to shake the preacher's hand. He said, "Preacher, I'll tell you, that was a damned fine sermon. Damned good!"

The preacher said, "Thank you sir, but I'd rather you didn't use profanity."

The man said, "I was so damned impressed with that sermon I put five thousand dollars in the offering plate!"

The preacher said, "No sh*t!" 

How hot is it?

Old Country Store, Hwy 176, S.C.
How hot is it?

It's so hot in South Carolina that...

* A seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
* When the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
* It's so hot outside it will make you return things you never stole.
* It's hotter than a steel playground at noon.
* You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
* The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
* Hot water now comes out of both taps.
* You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
* You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
• It's so hot that it makes me want to take off my skin and sit in my bones.
• It's so hot the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
• It's so hot I saw two trees fighting over a dog.
* It is so hot even the sea breeze feels like a hair dryer...
• It was so hot today I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking.
• It's hotter than a June bride in a feather bed.
• It's so hot that the trees are creeping around looking for shade.
• It's stupid hot!
• It is hot enough to cure tobacco.
• It's hotter than the devil's underwear.
• It's another one of those aluminum foil sweater days.
* Hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night.
• It's hotter than a ginger mill in Hades.
* It's so hot you could spit fire. But, please don't.

Compilation of previous hot summer posts plus a few facebook additions. These are always fun. Stay cool kids.

23 August 2014

On the road - Washington, D.C.

Korean War Memorial, Washington, D.C.
My welcome home wake up call is 105 degree heat index expected for today. I anticipate indoor activities and hope my ancient air conditioner hangs in there.

I am going to post one more travel blog before hitting the lowcountry scenes again. I finally had a chance to visit the Korean War Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC on Thursday evening. I'd seen pictures of this scene and it is even more impressive in real life. Time for me to hit the books and learn more about the actual war.
Designed by Frank Gaylord and dedicated on July 27, 1995 by American President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young Sam, this memorial depicts 19 American soldiers making their way through the rough terrain of Korea.

Almost surreal in appearance, especially in the shadows of dusk, the lifelike statues stand about 7 feet tall (2m) and represent various branches of the armed forces including 14 Army personnel, 3 Marines, 1 member of the Navy, and 1 member of the Air Force. These detailed sculptures also represent an ethnic cross section of the American melting pot. Visitors will count 14 Caucasians, 3 African-Americas, 2 Hispanics, 1 Oriental, and 1 Native American soldier.

From certain angles, it's nearly impossible to see all 19 statues as 3 of them are in the trees, giving the appearance of troops emerging from Korea's vast wooded areas. Strategically planted juniper bushes represent the country's sometimes unforgiving terrain. The statues, made of stainless steel, wear authentic Korean War-era gear and the sculptor has given them motion by designing them to appear as if they're walking into the wind. They also seem to be talking with one another as they march into battle.

22 August 2014

On the road - Washington, D.C.

Washington, D. C.
It has been difficult posting a Charleston Daily Photo when I have been away from the Holy City. This week I have been in Washington, D.C. at the national conference for Administrators of Healthcare Volunteer Resources Professionals. How is that for a mouthful? This is a very large group of people who coordinate volunteers in healthcare facilities all over the country. I have tried to steal every good idea that I heard.

I get frustrated being cooped up in a hotel in a new and exciting city. It has been many years since I took my kids up on the train to explore Washington. As soon as I could escape from meetings I got into town. Sadly my timing coincided with a rain shower and the closing time for all the Smithsonian galleries. The only gallery I actually got to explore was the National Portrait Gallery which was incredible.

I wandered around trying to see what I could with a folded rain soaked map on my head. Last next night I joined an evening trolley ride around the monuments to at least get to see some of the sights. That turned out to be wonderful. Seeing these incredible memorials at dusk was amazing. I was stung by a wasp at the Lincoln Memorial and saw a fox at the MLK memorial. I didn't get enough time. Must go back, must go back!

19 August 2014

Corner Stores - Burbages

Burbages, Charleston, S.C.
It's good to see Burbage's flourishing after the former owner retired after 67 years of business. We don't have too many attractive and successful corner stores and they are such treasures. Link to P & C article on the history of this particular store.

So many stores are impersonal chain convenience stores. I wish we had more of these around. Looking back on past entries, I have a few on Corner Stores of Charleston.

Have a good day kids! I am hitting the road.

18 August 2014

My fifteen minutes of fame

Lowcountry Senior Sun

I was away on vacation when friends let me know I was featured on the cover of the Lowcountry Senior Sun's August issue. I didn't know until I came back and had one in hand that there was a very large picture of me on the front cover.

I can promise my friend and editor Torrey Monroe that people do read his newspaper because I've been hearing about it everywhere I go! For months I've been nominating candidates I thought were interesting to be featured and this time he sent write Brian Sherman to interview me. Thanks Torrey!

17 August 2014

In the details

St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C.
Look at the incredible detail work in these old tombstones. I walked yesterday from the Unitarian Church into St. John's Lutheran churchyard and that is where I found this selection. They are amazing works of art.

In other news, I had a nice healthy salmon caesar salad for dinner and then ate a piece of caramel pie at O'Charley's. I am close to being a sugar coma.

Cemetery Blossoms

Unitarian Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.
I went to a friend's wedding this morning (congrats Lynne and Eric!), did a quick change of clothes and took advantage of being downtown to get a walk in. Taking the shortcut through the Unitarian Cemetery I caught a few bright blossoms in contrast to the old tombstones. It is one of my favorite places and well worth exploring.

It's after midnight kids. I'd better get to my bed. Y'all turn the lights out.

15 August 2014

100 Best Restaurants in the South

Charleston, S.C.

I pulled the Charleston restaurants listed in Southern Living magazine's top 100 places to eat in the South listing. I am doing very well. I haven't got into Edmond's Oast or out to Sullivan's Island to the Obstinate Daughter yet, but I've been fortunate enough to enjoy the rest of the list. Yum, yum, yum. We are spoiled in Charleston.Southern Living magazine's top 100 places to eat in the South


14 August 2014

100 Objects, 100 Days in Orangeburg County

Muffler Man, Holly Hill, S.C.
The Orangeburg Times And Democrat is featuring a series called, "Orangeburg County: 100 objects, 100 days," featuring the stories of 100 objects in Orangeburg County. I am familiar with many of them but have never seen Valentine's Cotton Gin & Country Store and I certainly haven't seen the old Coffee Pot diner since it was refurbished.

I don't believe they have finished their 100 items yet so I am here to nominate old Muffler Man in Holly Hill who always has a friendly wave as I pass by and the never open when I am there, Tea Pot museum in Elloree.

What else needs to be included? I know I have friends haunting the back roads of Orangeburg County. Thanks to reporter Martha Rose Brown for leading me to the interesting series.

12 August 2014

Field Trip - San Juan Islands

Whidbey Island

Back to work today but it was a day of meetings at Trident Technical College. Tomorrow I will have a phone full of messages, hundreds of emails to respond to, notes pinned to my door and stuffed under my door. For a week I will hear people say, "I came to see you but you weren't there....!"

I wasn't. This is where I was.

This evening's selection is an assortment from the San Juan islands - Orcas and San Juan Island including the Sculpture garden. In fact, I think the top one was from Whidbey Island. Sweet memories already.

11 August 2014

On the road - Orcas Island Kayak Trip

Rare sighting of a kayak family in the wild, Orcas Island
I've been away, yay! I left a few posts to show up during my absence but I've been across the country on vacation. I met my daughter in Seattle and we took the ferry over to the San Juan Islands and spent a week island hopping. Forgive me if I haven't responded to messages and comments. I travel lightly and as much as I love y'all, I don't worry too much about my online life when I am on the road. I got back last night to learn that Charleston has been pounded with rain storms and daily flooding. I have tree limbs in my yard to drag to the curb and my birds are complaining about soggy seeds for their dinner.

I have lots of pictures to upload. This first batch is from a kayak trip on Sucia Island. We stayed at the Kangaroo Bed & Breakfast, named after a former owner Sea Captain who kept a Kangaroo as a pet. My bed was an alcove bed in the wall with red velvet curtains and a nightlight chandelier. Ha! My daughter is a detail planner and had everything mapped out to keep us moving from one adventure to another.We picked up lunch at the co-op grocery and headed out for five hours of paddling around the islands. The scenery was so different from our lowcountry marsh views it was a real treat for me. I may or may not have an impressive sunburn on my arms. My own budget kayaks don't have rudders and these were sweet kayaks to paddle.

Sucia Island Kayak Trip: Outer Island will shuttle kayakers to Sucia Island via power boat. On the trip over we will stop by prime wildlife viewing locations and explore some of Sucia's natural history. You and your kayak guide will be dropped off at Sucia Island, a small pristine island located 3 miles off the North shore of Orcas. After a brief kayaking lesson you will hop in your kayak for a 2 to 3 hour paddle which includes a lunch stop at a remote beach. You will then be shuttled back to Orcas by power boat.

Sucia is only accessible by private boat. Its remote and undeveloped character make it a haven for wildlife and its large protected bays, make it a wonderful setting for any kayaker, novice or advanced. Sucia has caves, fossil beds, spectacular sand stone formations and a wide variety of wildlife. One can encounter bald eagles, osprey, river otters, harbor seals, sea lions, porpoise and the occasional transient orca whale.

Kangaroo Bed & Breakfast, Orcas Island
My bed with the red velvet drapes ;)