Okay, I'll admit I drift off the Charleston peninsula for pictures.
I found this shot while clearing off an old camera card and googled the Hell Hole Swamp Festival to bring you the most latest and most accurate nonsense.
This is the very weekend! Spitting contests, Ugly Dog Contests, Elvis Impersonators....it's all there and waiting. None of it matters to me though since the Miss Hell Hole Swamp pageant was held last weekend and that is the only thing that counted. I do so want to be rejected as a Miss Hell Hole contestant. My age alone would have done it for me but I wasn't there. Sadness.
In other news, I happened to check to see if there were any other Joan Perrys on Facebook and discovered close to four pages of us. I sent out Friend requests left and right and my people have been gradually checking in. It's a tad confusing...Joan Perry said to Joan Perry, Joan Perry is now friends with Joan Perry. Watch out! We are breeding. Today Facebook. Tomorrow the world.
In yet other news, Kenyan Women have announced a Sex Strike to resolve ongoing political turmoil. Am I going to have to deal with a bunch of cranky and irritable men while I am there? I think I'll make a button saying "I'm with the local girls."
When Everyday Eclectacism topped my sign gobbling tree picture I had a sneaky feeling that I had another one somewhere. I found this one tucked away in an old "backroad South Carolina" album. Location.
I toured the Water Mission International offices today in preparation for my trip. I ran my hands through the garnet chips that filter the muddy water and turn it in to sparkling fresh drinking water. We ate sandwiches and finalized travel details. It is so exciting to be part of a real solution like this.
The water purification unit that we funded has arrived and is being put together. It will give fresh water to the Plateau Mission Hospital, a neighboring school and community of 3,000 in Kenya. We will be present for the official commissioning ceremony and festivities and the system will be turned on and functioning.
I was interested to see the new project these clever folks have up their sleeve - a poured concrete outhouse! They designed a toilet that could be flushed with one gallon of the back flush water from the purification unit. How much sense does that make? They made a metal bracketed form that the cement is poured into. When the bracket is removed a whole outhouse is in place. Bingo!
They laughed and said "I don’t suppose anyone wants to model that?"
Planning what to take to delight children in Kenya has made me think back on the wild fun we had as kids growing up in the hills of north east India. I can't think of a better place to have been a child, wild and free. My stories of hiking to rivers and late nights out with siblings and packs of breathless, laughing friends sound more like those told by our grand and great grandparents here. We took turns strapping our youngest brother to our backs.
Games were seasonal. Although we all collected them, marbles were mostly a boy's game. We designed and made clumsy off balanced kites. Carrom of course. There was a game similar to jacks with five smooth stones.
We played games that involved stacks of flat stones that we tumbled with a ball. One team had to try to restack the stones while the other team knocked them out of play by hitting them with the ball. We played hide and seek and wild cops and robber style games with strips of rubber cut from inner tire tubes that we shot slingshot style at the enemy. Ouchie!
My grandparents would periodically write to tell us that a package was on the way from Canada and list the contents. Delivery took months and our hearts would almost explode with the anticipation. Food items were measured and divided among the ten of us to be completely fair. I didn't eat a whole candy bar until I was an adult. There was usually some game, pocket knife or match box car included. The game where a ball ties to your ankle started the fiercest competition. We didn't stop skipping and jumping the ball until we were called in late at night with our ankles raw and sore.
We collected and traded stamps and candy wrappers. I had stacks of precious shiny foil candy wrappers smoothed out flat. Silly as it sounds I recall some pain leaving them behind on a trip back to Canada.
I am in the back center of this shot. You can see a few pale faces in what looks like a happy balloon party.
For a city on a peninsula Charleston doesn't have very many real waterfront restaurants. Fleet Landing is one and it is a treat. Even better, it sits out in the marsh on a reinforced pier in a renovated concrete marine building with windows and porches all the way around the building. It was a warm day in the sun and there was a cool ocean breeze.
I met friends there this afternoon and sat on that front porch drinking mimosas and enjoyed a crab sandwich before we headed to final performance of Cirque Du Soleil. It was a perfect way to end the weekend.
Now, I have to really end the weekend by paying all my bills. Blah.
This handsome fella is also a new sculpture in the North Charleston Riverfront Park. It looks like they switch them out every year or so just to keep me entertained.
It has finally dawned on me that I will be flying to Kenya a week from tomorrow. I'd been too busy to let it sink in but I am suddenly stunned.
Most of my travel involves some kind of hiking trip but in this case I will be representing my hospital and touring hospitals, orphanages and a school for the blind. I googled "what to wear in Kenya" and discovered camoflage is against the law.
I've been pondering what to take for kiddies but it's tricky not knowing how many there might be at any one place. I talked to the fellows at the sports store at Citadel Mall and we decided on a couple of deflated soccer balls with a pump. I like it! They liked it! They accidentally (ahem) charged me $4.95 for a $20 soccer ball.
At Harris Teeter this morning I started tossing candy, crayons, markers etc. into my basket. I have a week left to go and it doesn't look like I will have any room for clothes. :)
Oh, oh....maybe a good jump rope? What could I take to the School for the Blind? Any ideas?
I happened upon this blog about an artist working on a sculpture of a giant water bottle and then noticed in follow up that it had been installed in North Charleston as part of the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition. I was in North Charleston today so walked over to see it.
Naturally I wished I had a giant tube to make a straw out of to pose with. It is very cool even if it does mean they had to replace my giant chair. I've enjoyed the creative pieces they have placed in the park. It is a nice addition to a beautiful spot.
I joined Jodi Bateman, Charleston School District (top right) bright and early this morning and zipped around town trying to catch as many of the kids in action for Youth Service Day as we could. It wasn't easy since we were tempted to get caught up in the activity at each place we stopped.
Festivities started early this morning at North Charleston High School where shirts and packed lunches were handed out. Teams then caught buses to their service projects in different non profit agencies. The happy chaos was coordinated by Sally Burnett and her team from Trident United Way.
The group in the first picture was landscaping at the Boys & Girls Club on Mary St. In the next shot the kids had loaded a truck of donated supplies at Tricounty Family Ministries and cleaned out the clothes closet. In the third picture, students took turns cleaning the facility, walking and bathing dogs at the Charleston Animal Shelter.
Not the typical way most teenagers spend a Saturday morning (nor do I for that matter!) but with them all working together they accomplished more than they could ever imagine.
Not exactly in Charleston but a nice day trip ride away. Anyone know where this sign is?
Billed as "Twisted Comedy that Makes you Laugh and Look away", there is a new Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack. I laugh twice as hard because I've attended just enough real Perry Family Bible Fellowships to make me splutter when I read these. Wicked, wicked people. Heh.
I just ordered one. Perry family members can let me know if they are next in line to read it.
Okay, enough frittering time away online. I have to get up bright and early and make the rounds on Youth Service Day activities. Y'all turn the lights out.
These two gals selling toys and stuffed animals in the Charleston City Market lead a double life. They are both full time top notch Emergency Department Registered Nurses at St. Francis Hospital. If you ever end up in the ED with an emergency you may consider yourself lucky to be in their hands. Then - I'd try asking for a stuffed bear. I might ask for one myself.
Next time you walk through the Market say hey to Frankie and Amy. They will be good friends to have when you need them.
Chef Marvin Woods of "Home Plate" cooking on Turner South TV was at the hospital for a book signing this afternoon. I spotting shy members of our cafeteria staff peaking out with curiosity realizing they recognized him from his show. When I suggested it, he charmed them all by walking through the back kitchen, posing for pictures, signing autographs and hearing about who really makes the best red rice in the lowcountry. According to us, we do! :)
I am slow. It just dawned on me now that I am supposed to wear my autographed bandanna on my head. Classier than a hairnet I guess.
Chef Marvin Woods on Turner South Marvin Woods is an effective ambassador for the flavor filled world called the Low Country, an eighty square mile area surrounding Charleston and Savannah. He has become the unofficial and universally respected spokesperson for the essentially African cooking styles, which include influences from Spain, France and the Caribbean. These combine to make up one of the most intriguing regional cuisines which Chef Woods has brilliantly synthesized in his recipes and cooking demonstrations. With such originality,” Home Plate” is a sure bet to become a winner.
We haven't featured a Charleston Black Cab recently so here is one before I head to my corner of the couch with a cuppa tea. This little sweetie is posing beside one of the classiest hotels in town. You can stay here if you win the lottery and invite me over for dinner. Here is a peak at the rooms inside the Wentworth Mansion.
Peacocks have been competing to pose for me lately. Take me! Take me!
I started my day taking pictures at a nursing conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel and am just back now from the Bobcat Ball put on by the Kiawah Conservancy this evening. Tables were set outside in a parking lot at dusk. My friend Linda Benedict, the publisher of Island Life Newspaper was a publicity sponsor of the event and was invited to fill a table with friends. I am fat and happy.
I was happy to see the owner of Carolina Heritage Outfitters jumping in the comments about the Edisto River Tree houses. I'd like to hear from someone who has stayed in one. Speaking of cool places to spend the night, I still have my eye on Yurt Village as well.
Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values.... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. Charles A. Lindbergh, Reader's Digest, July 1972
This is the hard working, fun luvin' crew that pulled off an actual farmer's market for us at the hospital today along with educational displays and canvas grocery bag give away. People left work with fresh veggies. Nice.
Private river access for the treehouses allow you to come and go as you wish. Fully furnished, they sleep 2 to 8.
Each treehouse is
* tucked in the woods out of view of any other * nestled in the trees on the river's edge * located on its own private, gurgling creek
Rental of the treehouse includes the use of a canoe and a shuttle to the put-in. Paddle in on Day 1, spend your nights in the treehouse and then paddle out on your last day. Cost: $125 per person per night.
Sheepman Graffiti, Buffalo South Shopping Center, Folly Road, James Island, SC
I get regular hits looking for Sheepman graffiti so I am putting up another of these treasures. These are behind a pretty much abandoned shopping center on Folly Road. I haven't been out recently so don't know what shape they are in or if there are any new ones. It is an incredible show.
This is the first day in a long time that I haven't been scrambling to get from one major event to another. Wow. I didn't attend any meetings and didn't dash out of work to get somewhere. It was like a miracle. I attacked the stacks of paper piled in my desk just before they toppled over, tried to make sense out of old notes I've scribbled and went outside for a quick walk around the building at lunch.
And now, I've ordered pizza from D'Allesandros. With extra cheese, mushrooms and black olives. Mmmm. I already have the Corona.
Charleston routinely makes travel and style magazines' top-ten lists, or gets nice mentions in national papers like the New York Times or regional magazines like Southern Living, but this week the city got glowing write-ups in two very different, glossy, national rags.
Forbes profiles what we call "historic Charleston" (everything below Calhoun and a little bit above) with emphasis on historic preservation and the exploding culinary scene:
"Charleston today has to be included among the handful of great eating cities in America, and it may be the only one where you can taste a local, close-to-the-ground cuisine being born and defined from plate to plate."
For Gourmet it's mostly about the food. (It's nice to see that my usually forgotten West Ashley gets a mention.) The dek?:
"Beyond the picture postcards, Charleston is a lovely port city that’s fast on its way to becoming a serious food capital."
*It's not that I don't want you to vacation here. It's that I prefer if you don't move here. Metro Charleston is crowded enough as it is. And yes, like you, I'm "from off" but I got here first.
Heheh. I took her out for her first photo op. Isn't she a little cutie?
I bought my old car from a 93 year old gentleman after my divorce and I've been driving it for seven years. I am long overdue. I am one of those boring "save money and buy what you can afford" gals. It took a while but she is all mine.
Many thanks to Eungen Hunter at Summerville Ford Mercury. Last time I called about a car he drove it all the way down to my office so I could walk out the door and look at it. It made complete sense to call him this time.
With the nice weather it's tempting to leave my windows open at night to enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately with my bedroom being at the front of the house I also get to hear every word yelled out by tipsy hoards of college students roaming from party to party. "I Love You Man! I Mean It!"
This gentleman lived across the street for awhile. He had turned to write down his phone number so I could call him before I called the police. Each roommate had the same shirt made especially for their party. Priceless.
Whoops. I missed posting the Easter Bunny picture this year.
I can check a couple of my events off the list after hosting a volunteer recognition luncheon for 130 today at the Charleston Marriott on Lockwood Drive. If you haven't been in there since it was the Sheraton it's time to go back. They invested bucket loads of money into renovating. As long as I can get the banquet room with the doors opening into the courtyard it is a lovely place for an event.
All went well, no major bloopers on all the award certificates, or programs. What a wonderful crowd of people I work with. We must have made a good impression because one of the waiters decided he wanted to come and talk to me about being a hospital volunteer as well.
Then..(drum roll)...I bought a car! I'm tickled pink. I bought an adorable little 2006 Scion Xa with very low mileage and came home feeling like I got a great deal. I've been driving a 1997 Lumina I'd bought from one of my senior volunteers years ago. This is definitely a step in the fun direction.
The Broom Game is a game in which a player holds a broom over his or her head, spins in a circle 30 times in a row, throws down the broom, and jumps over it.
1) The broom must be gripped with both hands, and with the bristles pointed toward the sky.
2) The player must look up at the bristles of the broom at all times. The player must spin as fast as s/he can
3) Thirty full rotations are required (which is why a second person, the Count or Countess is required). Be sure that the Count does not get tricked into counting seconds instead of rotations. Novice Counts often fall prey to this trap.
4) No matter how many times the player falls, s/he must always resume spinning in the same direction s/he was spinning in before the tumble.
5) There is no valid excuse for stopping short of 30 spins.
Hmmmm. What do you think? Can it be that hard? Let me know if you try it.
A wife begins to get a little worried because her husband has not arrived home on time from his regular Saturday afternoon golf game. As the hours pass she becomes more and more concerned until, at 8 p.m., the husband finally pulls into the driveway.
“What happened?” asked the wife. “You should have been home hours ago!”
“Gus had a heart attack at the third hole,” replied the husband.
“Oh, that’s terrible,” said the wife.
“I know,” the husband answered. “All day long it was, hit the ball, drag Gus, hit the ball, drag Gus . . . “
My taxes went in the mail on Monday. My accountant puts them together since I have to deal with rent from tenants etc. and he has moved his office to Daniel Island. When I was ready he tried to save me a trip by letting me know that he would be in town for church on Sunday and I could leave them at Second Presbyterian.
I banged on the door of the education building where a janitor was supposed to be working with no luck. A choir member let me in the side door of the empty church and I wandered trying to think of a safe place to leave my taxes. I felt like a spy hiding an envelope and leaving a message telling him where to find them. "Psssst....manila envelope in the church foyer, in the desk, under the crayons."
Luckily he is a regular church goer and was able to drop the completed envelope back on a return visit.
Okay kids. I hope everyone gets a hefty tax refund. I am off to bed. Y'all turn the lights out.
I'm getting old. Ending the evening with fifty teenagers exploring surgical careers has ended the day with me crashed on my couch. Yawn.
The nurses outdid themselves. They handed out safety glasses and let them use a laser to burn their name into a wooden tongue blade. I was relieved we didn't set off any smoke detectors. They laid out plastic bones and let them practice orthopedic surgery with drills and screws. Pretty cool stuff. It's nice to see kids appreciating the opportunity to learn something they are really interested in.
Anyone else watching Saving Grace? Naturally I am hooked in time for the season finale.
I've always poured champagne at the Dining with Friends benefit. This year's event will be held at the Maritime Center on May 2nd. Follow the link for more information on hosting a party yourself or join me as a volunteer at the Champagne & Dessert finale. Stop by and say hey if you are there.
Things are looking pretty sad at the UFO Welcome Station in Bowman, SC. I took the top picture in 2004 and the follow up this afternoon. Most of the fencing is missing, loose sheets of metal blow in the wind and the ramp is at half mast. Jody Pendarvis once gave me the royal tour, lowered the ramp and let me climb the ladder to peak at his private quarters in the upper level space ship. Not everyone can say that they've been in a space ship's private quarters.
I try to circle the block if I happen to be going through Bowman and the situation today looks pretty pitiful. I wonder if Trident United Way would accept it as a Day of Caring project. Do you think Habitat for Humanity would work on a spaceship? Does anyone know if something has happened to Jody or if it simply became too much to keep up?
When the aliens do land they are not going to be happy at the state of the official UFO Welcome Station. It is the only real cool and quirky thing in Bowman. I wish the town would adopt it, maintain it and make it a museum.
It's been a heavenly day in South Carolina with bright skies with while billowy clouds. I started off buying fresh tomatoes at the Farmer's Market and ended on a long drive in the country. The lowcountry is a garden of color at this time of year.
We were hungry around Santee and in my continuing campaign to try the green curry at every Thai restaurant in SC we stopped at the Thai House in a little strip mall in Santee. My face must have been so downcast when they said they didn't put eggplant in their green curry that they offered to do it just for me. I can look so very pitiful for a cause. :))
I sat next to the display of framed pictures of past customers (you can see them on the left) and it seemed only fitting to make sure I was included when they expanded their showcase to cover the whole wall. Grandma and Grandpa were visiting from California so they rallied three generations for a group photo, sent out a complimentary Thai pudding treat and packed us off with Thai travel brochures.
My sweet baby. Yep, she is a vintage 1965 Caravel Airstream and she is mine. She has been tucked away in the woods on the back of my ex-husband's property for years. I'm going to have to do something with her but I haven't told her yet. Ssssshh!
Today was the first time in over five years that anyone has been inside and look how perfect everything is. I took a couple of the curtains home to wash but other than that she was in great shape and just needs a wipe down. When I bought her years ago from an elderly couple I had the seats re-upholstered, sewed curtains and refinished the wood and hinges. The outside skin could use a good polish but shined up nicely going through a car wash today.
I suppose I'll have to sell her eventually since I don't own land or a vehicle to tow her. If anyone has a dream spot on a lake that needs a guest cabin and wants to share her let me know. The canvas chairs and an inflatable canoe are tucked inside the cabinets ready to go. There is a CD player and an electric tea kettle. What more could anyone need? Meanwhile, if I need to sell her, it looks like inflation has hit the Airstream market while she has been in hiding. Wowza.
Anyone else notice that now that you can do such nifty things with computers, desk top publishing and great paper products, that you end up doing a lot more work for an event?
I am sure that half the stuff I do people used to simply turn over to a printer. Now I sit at my desk for hours designing flyers, programs, invitations, editing, and churning them out on my printer. Sheeesh.
With Volunteer Week coming up I have one event after another lined up for take off. I have 46 kids coming to learn Surgical careers on Wednesday, co-host a recognition lunch for 130 on Friday, host a luncheon for 120 on Saturday and am sorting through 66 applicants for a health careers summer camp that I only have 44 spots for.
I've been furiously working on invitations, response cards, programs, hundreds of personalized award certificates, name tags etc., etc. I'm scrambling to stay ahead and getting home late every night this week. Did people really used to turn it all over to a printer shop? Sounds kinda dreamy right now.
I play talent scout a lot and enjoy it. I suggest folks for photo shoots and on occasion tv spots. I choose interesting characters for profiles in local publications. I get a real kick out of it.
Our health system recently decided to stop buying stock photos for brochures and newsletters and hired a photographer. They use employees as models and often ask me to pick one of my volunteers. Volunteers have posed as patients, grandparents and support group members and we look forward to seeing their pictures in print. I had lined up one of my gentlemen for a photo shoot at Kiawah this afternoon when they said they wanted me in it as well.
I work behind the camera not in front of it. This was a whole new game and I enjoyed watching a professional photographer in action and aim to steal as many ideas as I can. It was windy and cold at the beach this afternoon. Photographer Mic Smith patiently tried to get us to smile into blinding sun with sand blowing in our eyes. Our hair was whipped to shreds. If he can get our motley crew to look good for this project he deserves all the credit. I think I can still crunch the sand grit in my teeth.
Meanwhile, not the professional shot here but check out my fancy bonnet. It took both hands to hold it on in the wind. Fun note - I got to pose in a "grandma" shot pushing an adorable little gal on a swing. I think I'll send it to my kids. Heh.
I did a pretty good job of bribing hospital staff to walk around the campus for National Start! Walking at Work Day. Folks were told they could walk at any time but that certain employee leaders would lead groups at specified times. Our beautiful campus makes it look like they are going for a walk in the woods.
So many of our projects supporting the Heart Association involve ....ahem...unhealthy fundraising practices ranging from selling candy bars, Krispy Kreme Donuts, cupcakes and bake sales, it was nice to be part of an actual healthy event for the cause.
Here is the My Start Online page with lots of helpful features from the American Heart Association for anyone who likes to log their steps or miles.
Yep. I practically had to lay on my belly for the shoe shot.