I may not have been a star pupil as a child and my high school teachers could have trouble picturing it, but I taught a lively class today. The topic was "Blogging" and these were my star students.
The Lowcountry Senior Center had suggested I teach an Introduction to Blogging class. They didn't have internet access in their main classrooms so we snuggled up close in the computer training room and I had a great time telling stories of all the fun connections I've made through blogging. Many of them will check here so I am going to include the addresses to a few of the lowcountry sites we talked about:
I am such a ninny. I've posted pictures of this before assuming it was just a wacky art object. It took my dad to pick up the air hose and show me it was an active working air pump for bike tires. Duh.
I was at this birthday party last night. It was perfect. We sat on the deck of the Harbor Grill overlooking the harbor and the bridge. Wow.
Skipped out of work a bit early and took my folks to see Slumdog Millionaire at the Terrace Theater. We were the only ones in the 4:30 show. Lovely to have the place to ourselves.
The hospital I work at decided to try to raise enough money to build a water purification treatment system for a little hospital in Kenya. We did it! They were able to announce today that we have raised more than our goal in the last few months. We have been working with Water Missions International and in touch with the Plateau Mission Hospital.
The unit we build will provide clean water for a community of 6,000, including the 89-bed hospital and a primary school that serves 600 children.
Here is the part that stunned me - they called to see if I wanted to go over and be there when the unit is dedicated and functioning. I haven't been able to talk about this until it was certain but at the moment it looks like I may be going to Kenya in May. What an incredible opportunity. Wow.
My dad and his wife Dianne are visiting from Canada this week. My father is 83 and has led a fascinating life. From growing up on a farm in rural Canada, he traveled all over the world, raised eight children and served as headmaster of a school in north east India for fifteen years. I had the idea that while he was visiting me it might be nice to have someone interview him so we would have some of his adventures recorded.
Luckily I knew the right people for the project! Dan Conover, journalist/writer and Don Lewis, videographer came over last weekend and got the basic layout of his life story and reviewed pictures. They returned this afternoon ready to get to work.
Dan was wonderful, asked all the right questions to get my Dad talking while Don kept the cameras rolling. It was a great idea to have someone outside the family ask the questions and to know how to encourage someone to talk.
I can't wait to see what they come up with! Thank you gentlemen!
Do not put your faith in the tangible my son, for even the mountains will fade away...
I took this picture a couple of years ago when artists took over a group of houses just before they were demolished in North Charleston.
My Dad and his wife arrive for a lowcountry break after a long cold Canadian winter tomorrow afternoon. Sadly I've discovered that I've forgotten how to throw regular meals together. I eat so simply by myself that I am long out the routine of putting together a week of meals with different courses. Sorry Dad.
I made a pot of beef stew last night and the makings for chicken pot pie. I'll see if I can throw together a key lime pie tonight but what about the rest of the week? How many days can I respectably serve them grilled cheese sandwiches?
I've been wanting to make a bottle tree for some time but decided not to after picturing shreds of glass all over my yard after one of our wild windstorms.
My idea then was to make a mini-bottle tree ............cool, eh! Until a few years ago all of our SC bars sold liquor in mini bottles. Now, not so much. I've considered being a bar dumpster diver looking for wee blue bottles. Stinky job that would be.
One of my volunteers listened to my plea and came to work the other day with a brown paper bag - for me. Yep, it was full of little blue bottles. Even better, they are full of vodka! Full of vodka that I have to drink before I can go ahead with my project. This might be my most fun craft project ever. History of the Bottle Tree The bottle tree is based on the belief that the shiny, colored glass can attract and then trap the evil spirits. It is a beautiful addition to any garden. The colorful glass adorning the “limbs” will catch the light of the sun and will display a dazzling light show.
You can stay here when you come to visit Charleston, but if you do, let me know because I am coming over to snoop around. Isn't it beautiful? All that iron work is a bit more like Savannah than Charleston.
Naturally George Washington stopped by in 1791 for breakfast. I'm beginning to think he stopped everywhere but my house. My claim to fame is that a man from my house was arrested in connection to a murder on Meeting St. that is described in one of the ghosts of Charleston books. I'm probably sleeping in the murderer's room. Boo!
Here is the official scoop: John Rutledge, one of the fifty-five signers of the U.S. Constitution, built his home in 1763. Now exquisitely restored, it is one of only fifteen homes belonging to those signers to survive - and the only one to now accommodate overnight guests. History records that George Washington called here in 1791. An entry in his diary shows a breakfast with Mrs. Rutledge.
A Foundation Building Strength, Fundraising Dinner, McCrady's, Charleston, SC
This little princess named Ava has a rare muscle disorder called Nemaline Myopathy. She was visiting her Grandpa Andre' in Charleston this weekend so he organized a fundraising benefit in her honor, to bring awareness to the disease and the foundation that the family formed.
Andre' invited prominent chefs he had worked with throughout his career in New York, Washington and Philadelphia to the event and each and every one of them accepted when they heard the benefit was for his own granddaughter. It all came together on Sunday night and was an incredible success. I talked to guests who had traveled long distances to attend. Once again, I was made free to go in and out of the kitchen between courses to catch the visiting chefs in action.
Ava and her parents made the rounds thanking all the guests before the end of the evening.
While you were all working today I was exactly where I should be on a pretty day - out on the harbor on a yacht. Yes sireee...... It's been a long time since I've seen Charleston from that angle. I was so caught up in the scenery that I kept forgetting I had been invited along primarily to take pictures of the other guests.
It was a perfect day for a boat ride. We took off from Toler's Cove and the Captain gave us a good tour of the harbor, under the Ravenel Bridge and up the Cooper River. It was a beautiful day in good company. I felt pretty lucky.
I suppose I do have to get back to reality tomorrow, huh?
I've long been a supporter of Water Missions International's project to build water purification treatment systems for communities in developing countries and disaster areas.
It is a simple, basic solution - people need clean water. This system works. The water filtration systems are made right here in Charleston and shipped to communities that need them.
My health system took on the project of raising the funds to build and transport a unit to a small hospital and community in Kenya. This week we discovered we had raised more than our goal of $25,000. and our project is ready to go!
Our successful campaign was timed to end at World Water Day and today was the Third Annual Walk for Water. The festivities started at Cannon Park and led by George and Molly Greene, the group walked three miles down Rutledge, along the Battery and back. People carried empty buckets which were filled about half way to symbolize the trip that women and children make daily to carry water in many parts of the world.
I am still uploading pictures so may be back with more.
I've featured pictures of Charleston's pyramid, now here is a peak at our lowcountry windmill. It fascinates me that this odd piece of the Netherlands has found a home between the fire station and the boat landing at Plymouth Park.
What makes the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Here are 71 suggestions.
Googling Best Grilled Cheese brings up 2,160,000 sites.
The best I am aware of around here is the Ultimate Grilled Cheese at Sesame Burgers & Beer on Spruill Ave. described as:
Ultimate grilled cheese with Tillamook cheddar, brie, fontina, tomatoes and garlic aioli on sourdough. $5.95
Yummers. I always use real butter, a couple kinds of cheese if I can. A light spread of mustard on one slice and mayonnaise on the other. I'm not opposed to a slice of tomato. Can't be beat really.
Now, what else can I do to keep from doing my taxes?
Healing all People, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, SC
I work for a pretty unique health system. Ten years ago, the non profit Catholic hospital I worked at merged with our non profit competitor and neighboring hospital to form a merged health system. Wowza....you can imagine the fun and games with all the strong Charleston personalities involved in that project. Since I have a closet full of pictures I had quite a few visits and phone calls when they assigned author Jane O'Boyle the task of writing the story.
I stood in line last night at the Governor Thomas Bennett house after the toast and Jane autographed it "It wouldn't have happened without you!" and then she had me sign my picture in her copy of the book.
I walked around sipping wine and interrupting conversations to ask the caste of characters to sign their pictures. Finally as I was leaving I was trying for an artsy shot with the book cover and a floral arrangement and the bar tender asked if I needed a model to hold the book. He was gave me my final autograph for the book and scribbled, "Have fun!" on the front page. I did. :)
Healing All People reads almost like fiction, with a cast of characters only Charleston and its real-life medical community could create. This is the story of two centuries-old hospitals, Roper and St. Francis. They were neighbors that supported one another, where generations of doctors treated patients from the Civil War era through the civil rights era. Then the 1980s and 1990s changed the landscape in healthcare. National healthcare conglomerates came courting in Charleston, and the two hospitals that once supported each other became rivals in a swirl of lawsuits and distrust.
Jane O'Boyle interviewed scores of doctors and hospital staff to unravel a tale that is a touchstone of twentieth-century Lowcountry history. Filled with colorful personalities and anecdotes, as well as black-and-white photographs, Healing All People is the heartwarming and entertaining story of community members who went beyond the call to save a cherished tradition.
I've been an awfully good girl this chaotic week and ending early with a meeting in town am thinking I might be able to make to my Friday matinee after all. Sitting for a couple of hours in the dark sounds perfect right now.
Well phewy. I can't get the embedded link to work but here is the footage Channel 5 took of my Leprechaun visit to the hospital yesterday. Tell me this fellow doesn't make a perfect Leprechaun? It was meant to be.
The gentleman's name is Bob Jones and he calls me every year at this time.
I've been reading the Everything and Nothing blog by Shawn Lea in Mississippi for years. I've stolen poems and recipes and ordered CD's she recommended. I vaguely knew she was planning a Hospital Association meeting in Charleston but hadn't kept up as much since she joined the twitter world and blogged less. Monday Shawn emailed saying she was arriving today and would love to go on a photo walk.
My ears perked. Photo walk!?! Right up my lowcountry alley. I had it all timed to catch the light until we were foiled by her flight delays. Still, we met up at the Francis Marion Hotel around 6 pm and I marched her through some of the peninsula's highlights. We started at the College of Charleston Campus, down King, sidestreets, through Charleston Place, Market St., St. Micheal's Church area, Philadelphia Alley, Waterfront Park, the Pineapple Fountain, Rainbow Row to the Battery. Luckily Shawn wore her walking shoes because I was determined she see the highlights before dark. I practically forced her into the exact spot in the pavement to get a good shot.
We ambled back trying to decide where to eat and I pointed at McCrady's saying "that's where my friend Andre' works, it is one of the fanciest restaurants in Charleston" and Shawn said, "That's where we are going to eat then and it's my treat," and with five minutes notice we did. Andre' sat us at a table near the door so he could keep an eye on us and make sure we behaved. ;P
We spotted blogger Dan T and his wife across the room celebrating her birthday and I thought, here I am sitting with a delightful blogger I've never met before, being welcomed by a new blogger, our meal prepared by an extraordinary chef blogger and seeing blogging friends across the room - how much this whole thing has become a delightful part of my life. We visited the kitchen where Shawn Lea met Chef Sean Brock.
Our meal was delicious and they treated us to the chips of strawberry frozen in liquid nitrogen which tickles me to no end. The vapor pours out of your nose and mouth and makes me want to blow smoke rings. Puff.
Pack your bags kids! Charleston is ready to explode into color.
I drove out Highway 61 in the fog this morning to renew my annual membership at Magnolia Plantation just in the nick of time. It's that perfect time when the camellias are still blooming and the early azaleas are open. I swear this is one of my favorite places on earth. It makes me happy just to walk through it.
I've been all over today. Back later. I need to do yard work before it gets dark.
Baker Memorial Hospital was built in 1912 as Baker Sanatorium, at a cost of $100,000. The hospital was founded in 1912 by Dr. Archibald E. Baker, Sr. of Charleston and Dr. Lawrence Craig of Dillon. The hospital left this building and constructed a new building in North Charleston in 1981, and the old hospital was converted to a condominium complex called Baker House.
Commenter Paul, Tx mentioned this building on Colonial Lake. It is now expensive condos each costing much more than the original cost of the building.
Bonus Joke: An eight year girl is trying to check out a book entitled "Advice for Young Mothers" from the local library.
Librarian: Now why do you want to check out this particular book, dear?
Sheepman Graffiti, Buffalo South shopping center, Folly Road
It's worth repeating some of the pictures already posted in the smaller version on my previous blog. It's a pleasure to see them on a larger scale.
This is one panel of the Sheepman graffiti images on the back of the old and abandoned Buffalo South shopping center on Folly Road. I haven't been out there for some time and hope they are still intact. A few of the other panels can be found here. Tremendously cool.
While we are in an artsy mode, take a peak at these anatomy tattoos. Wow.
One day a picture like this will be dated by all the wires, poles and newspaper boxes. Already it is hard to find a telephone booth or mailbox. Things are disappearing quickly.
I was at the SC Hospital Association in Columbia today for a meeting of Volunteer Directors. It's nice to be with the only other people in the world who really know what we do. The gentleman who is our uniform vendor was there and I won a pair of Dansko shoes in a drawing. Lucky for me someone dropped my name in the bucket when I wasn't paying attention. Can't beat that!
Some call it heavenly in its brilliance. Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream. I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft. We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping. This is the land where the Pharaoh died. Jim Morrison, The Wasp
Another one of my favorite pieces of sidewalk graffiti is gone. I walked Pitt St. last weekend, realized I hadn't seen it for awhile and retraced my steps. These inscriptions have become the landmarks of my walks and I could feel something was missing.
It's amazing that I have been able to keep up a blog. I'm not allowed to talk about all the wacky stuff that happens at work since it is a hospital. I've been given strict rules not to blab about my kids. They are wisely very protective of their internet privacy. I'm single so I don't really talk about myself ;). My cat died. The dog moved moved to Oregon. It's lucky this town has an endless supply of purty pictures to share. And it does. It does.
Some days we all need a hand wash. Tonight I'd accept a foot massage as well.
I love hand painted signs, I do.
I started my day at a 7:30 am CEO Breakfast for the Heart Walk and ended it up at Trident Tech at the annual Employee Recognition Banquet where hundreds of people received award pins for years of service. Yawn. Sleepy me. I was hopping around taking pictures and they took my plate away (sniff) so I arrived home late and starving. Munching on peanut butter toast here as I nod off at the keyboard while my pictures upload.
If you've been hanging around here for long, you know that I steal a lot of my jokes from a blogger by the name of Old Horse Tail Snake. I knew Hoss was sick, in fact he often joked that he was in Hospice and not dying on schedule. It was still a shock to check back to his blog this evening for a quick smile and learn that he had passed away.
Here is how he described himself:
I am a mere 78 years old, and I have escaped from The Old Folks Home. I am living with a beautiful woman in Wilsonville, Oregon. Ain't no flies on me!
Hoss had recently lost the template to his blog and hadn't been able to rebuild it. Happily his last post was a picture of an angel, but not exactly an angelic one :)). He was a rascal to the end. It's a weird thing isn't it, missing someone you never knew.
His beloved Scamp's entry where she shares some personal letters is titled The End of a Wonderful Correspondence and in it he writes: "You will like the last line of my obit: “Maudlin plans to be cremated and then will reincarnate.” Really. A person should be allowed to have fun with his last words.
Alexei Perry & Dan Boeckner, Handsome Furs, Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC 2008
Reading my niece Alexei Perry's My Space page to see where their band Handsome Furs is playing makes my head spin. From Toronto to Texas, they hit Utrecht, Brussels, Belgrade, Krakow, Berlin, Lisbon all before the end of May.
These kids are on a roll and look like they are having the time of their lives. Last year I happened to glance at the calendar and was stunned to see they were scheduled to play the Village Tavern in Mt. Pleasant in the middle of an East Coast trip. Alexei had visited Charleston as a kid but probably hadn't connected that Mt. Pleasant was just across the river. No such luck this year but if you like Indie Rock their new album goes on sale today.
FACE CONTROLis the second album by Montreal’s Handsome Furs, 2007’s Plague Park was their first. Alexei Perry and Dan Boeckner wrote the songs on FACE CONTROL together. The album was recorded and mixed by Arlen Thompson at Mount Zoomer. It was mastered by Harris Newman at Hotel2Tango. It will be released on March 10th, 2009.
Yep. That talented bundle of energy is my niece. :))
I've been tugged in a thousand directions at work lately and hope I haven't let anything crucial slip through the cracks. I have pages and pages of scrawled messages to return. Every time I leave my office I come back to exactly seven new messages. It's all good stuff but I have that sinking feeling. Blub, blub.
How busy am I? I googled to find out how busy everyone else is and came up with:
Busier Than a Crack Dealer on Payday Busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs Busier than normal but I just cannot stop working Busier than a one-armed paper hanger Busier than a one-armed man in a rowing competition Busier than a one-legged man at an ass kicking contest Busier than a one armed brick layer in Beirut Busier than a bee collecting honey. Busier than a one-toothed beaver Busier than a one-legged Riverdancer Busier Than You Thought I Was. I am busy, busier than thou!
Anyway. Like I said, it's all good stuff and a couple of incredible opportunities have been popping up, one which might involve travel to a most unexpected place. More on that soon.
I have been asked to do a couple of presentations to active seniors on blogging. What shall I tell them about this wonderful, wacky crowd I've grown accustomed to hanging out with? YOU.
Yep. This is how we dress for a walk on a Sunday morning in Charleston.
335 King St. I can't complain about cleaning my windows after watching this.
On a glorious and sunny like today I hear Mr. Rogers humming the background music for my walk. People are in their yards pulling weeds, washing windows and nodding to their neighbours. My daughter once told me she had college age friends who watched Mr. Rogers because he was the only one who told them he liked them, just the way they were. It made me realize how important he was.
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?...
It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood, A neighborly day for a beauty. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?...
I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day. Since we're together we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Won't you please, Won't you please? Please won't you be my neighbor?
I love reviewing the googled search words that land people on my page but these screenshots are even funnier: Is Google making us dumber?
It's been a bright and glorious day. I walked King St. this morning mourning the new flagstone that has destroyed my treasure trove of sidewalk graffiti. :(.
Day trip down the coast today to sweet little Port Royal and ate green curry at the Suwan Thai because eventually I will have eaten the green curry in every Thai restaurant in South Carolina. This version had no eggplant which I take points off for, but you might not.
Ummm.....if you can't find a bill after searching the whole house, does it still exist?
Ha! That picture of Chef Johnny Iuzzini and his father cracked me up. I thought I'd post it since Dad is going to stop by the blog to look at setting up his own travel/photo blog for his dive adventure shots.
Now that I am the McCrady's family photographer (heheh) I was seated at the family and "adorable chef wives" table at the Food & Wine Festival dinner last night. Check out all the top chef luvin' going on, awwww, awwww, awwww! No wonder they are creating great food.
Can you imagine the tasty leftovers all over town during this festival? It boggles the mind. Link to the last night's food pictures.
It is a bright and sunny day in the lowcountry. Where shall we walk this morning?
What are they doing in this beehive of activity? Making my perfect dinner that's what. And to think I my ate lunch in a cafeteria today. The weather went from one end of the scale to the other today and so have my dining experiences.
I was invited to pull up a chair at the Charleston Food & Wine Festival Dinner at McCrady's this evening and made free to abandon my seat when there was peak action in the kitchen. What they produced from that tiny kitchen was incredible.
The only thing I could compare the coordinated chaos in that room to - in my more familiar hospital experience, would be the delivery of triplets in surgery, where there is a doctor for every baby and a nurse for every doctor, all the back up personal stand ready to leap into action and a timely is delivery important.
Yum, yum. You might consider this food extravaganza wasted on a non foodie but I licked my plate after each course. Along with Chef Sean Brock, the visiting chefs were Wylie Dufresne from Wd-50, NYC and Johnny Iuzzini, Jean Georges Restaurant, NYC.
I am falling to sleep at the keyboard. G'night, kids. I'll put in links to images of the dishes in the morning but right now I can't tell my Candied Kumquats from my Calamanzi Noodles.
Edit: Here is the City Paper scoop from Stephanie Barna who actually knows what she is talking about :). Link to the evening's food pictures.
Just before valentine's day, scancafe.com offered free Obama Valentine's cards to promote their photo restoration services. You could send in a picture of yourself and they would insert President Obama next to you. For free.
Naturally, they got thousands of requests for their promotional joke, including mine. They got so many that they guaranteed to keep their promise to do them all even if it took weeks.
It did take weeks and I got my Obama Valentine yesterday. Heheh. Here is my sister Shirley and I at Magnolia Plantation with a slightly oversized President Obama, courtesy of Scancafe. This photoshop business is still fun. Look how happy he is to be spending the day with us in Charleston.
Marjorie & Lori - Best Day Care, Roper St. Francis Learning Center
A few year's ago, when I had a baby blog called Walk this Way, my sister Shirley in Edmonton submitted it in the Best of Canada Blog awards. It was a great joke, since I live in the lowcountry of South Carolina. But, I am Canadian so I was eligible, and although there were some rumblings in Canadian blog circles about American influences, I won second place in the Photo/Art category. It was good fun.
Tonight I won the Charleston City Paper's "Best Of" category for Best Local Interest Blog. Woohoo! This is even better since most of my audience and commenters are not from Charleston. I tend to attract readers who used to live here and have pangs of homesickness, wished they lived here or who have visited here. This is quite an honor to get the local vote and I thank everyone who took the trouble to vote for me. Picture me blowing kisses.
The party was at the Joe Riley Stadium and had a mustache theme. I stopped by Hokus Pokus on the way home from work the other day and bought up a supply of mustaches.
Best Local Interest Blog Joan Perry's photo collection is a daily affirmation that we live in, "the most beautiful city in the world."
My health care system cleaned up as well. Roper St. Francis Healthcare won Best Hospital, Best Place to Have a Baby and Best Learning Center. Tonight I am allowed more than one daily photo. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to the Charleston City Paper for a fantastically hairy event!