28 February 2013

Retiring ladies

Annette & her medical posse, Johns Island, S.C.

Oh, what am I going to do when all of my friends retire? Yikes. I still have years to report to my desk.

I went to two retirement parties this week. I tried to go to three but that was a personal problem. I got halfway to Johns Island yesterday when I realized I was a day early. I went anyway and had a private visit with the honoree and everyone had a good laugh at me. I did a re-enactment of the journey today.

My friend Annette the nursing director of the Wellness House at the Our Lady of Mercy Outreach on Johns Island said farewell to her staff and friends this afternoon. The Wellness House offering free dental and maternity care to island folk and migrant workers was her baby. She opened the place, recruited the volunteer dentists and lined up help.The gentlemen in the top picture are Dr.s Principe, Howard and Allen.

Someone gave the little dynamo a hat at the party. Hamming it up with her hat helped diffuse some of the mixed emotions of the day. More than anyone I know, Annette can retire knowing how many lives she has touched with her kindness and humor. Good luck buddy!

27 February 2013

Blogger Meet Up

Kate & Jim, Charleston, S.C.

Kate and husband Jim from the Visual St. Paul blog in Minnesota are visiting Charleston and dropped by the hospital for a tour. I was able to treat them to a classy cafeteria lunch and walk through our beautiful garden. Kate has a blog similar to mine featuring pictures from St. Paul but for the time being we can enjoy photos from the lowcountry. They are making the most of their time here. Thanks to everyone on Facebook who suggested places to find the best shrimp and grits in town.

It was a treat to show them where I spend my days. Welcome to Charleston!

26 February 2013

Welcoming Porch

Smith St., Charleston, S.C.
Well heck, it's after 11 p.m. already and although I am wide awake, I should be thinking about bed. It was a relief to come home from work and go for a walk without skipping through puddles and getting rained on. I understand that we have had close to ten inches of rain for February with more to come.

Barbara Stroud raved so about her chicken pasta in wine sauce that I picked up pasta on my walk and made that. Just for me. Yum. 

Luckily I stayed up late enough to watch the news to learn what color of shoes the retired pope is going to wear. Not red. Make a note.

This evening's picture is a ground level porch on Smith St. I love wide porches with brick floors. They look so welcoming don't they?

G'night kids. Don't stay up too late. 

25 February 2013

Sunny pictures for a rainy day

Smith St., Charleston, S.C.
We had one bright and sunny day on Sunday to give us a break and rain again today. If am so used to walking every day that my legs start to get itchy and twitchy if I don't go out marching. I took advantage on Sunday, parked on Smith St. and headed down the peninsula.

I couldn't take too long since my friend Andre' had picked up tickets to the matinee showing of Les Miserables at the Performing Arts Center. What a treat that was. The music was simply grand.  I still catch myself humming the tunes.

Both of today's pictures are from Smith St. I spotted the two orchids perched on top of a car. The ladies who had been carrying things turned to see me with my camera, assumed I was taking a picture of their house and gave me a bit of history. Truth is the house just made a happy backdrop for the orchids.

24 February 2013

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Smith St., Charleston, S.C.
I've featured teeny, tiny houses of Charleston before but this one on Smith St. takes the cake.

I love it when people throw things out on the sidewalk and they are gleaned before the garbage trucks come by. On my walk back up the street I grabbed two watering cans.

Charleston Heart Ball - 2013

Charleston Heart Ball, Charleston Marriott, S.C.

The Charleston SC Heart Ball was held last night at the Marriott Hotel and my friend Amber from the American Heart Association asked me to fill a new role - Red Carpet photographer. How fun! I got to line up all the good looking people, admire their outfits and take their picture. I am watching the Academy Award Red Carpet pre-show and I think lowcountry women held their own very well!

The event includes a silent and live auction of art and wine and it is one of my favorite causes. Take care of your precious heart ladies and gentlemen. I love all the cardiologists and health care providers in attendance but you'd rather not need them. 

23 February 2013

Naughty Bites

Spotted Dick, Publix, Charleston, S.C.
I could be more mature but it makes me giggle every time. Spotted Dick is now available in lowcountry grocery stores. I googled to find the origination of the name and came up with a fun article called: Spotted Dick & Other Foods That Sound Dirty But Aren't. They had this hilarious list as well as new ones added in comments. What a hoot!
 Cock-a-leekie soup
Spotted Dick
Bangers and mash
Toad in the hole
Coq au vin
Matzo-stuffed breasts
Eggs in a basket
Mozart balls
Pound cake
Hard rolls
Sticky buns
Bubble and squeak
Rump roast
Head cheese
Whipping cream
Nut goodie
Grape Nuts

Banana split
Fish taco
Jerk chicken
Fluffer Nutter
Atomic Fireballs
Blow pops
Nut roll
Conch fritters
Spicy tuna roll
Buttered crumpet

Charleston drought

Flood plains of West Ashley, Charleston, S.C.
The Post & Courier reminds us that despite the rain, we are experiencing a drought. This is what my drought looks like.

I clearly have a drainage issue. I am the middle in a series of three homes without the drainage ditch that all the other houses on my street have but although this section is a state road the S.C. Deptartment of Transportation  wrote me back a pretty letter claiming no responsibility for the water run off from the road. I put off fixing my fence hoping they would put a ditch in but finally gave up and fixed it. I haven't done any landscaping yet because I don't know what to do. The water washes away all the topsoil so it almost seems pointless. I'll make dinner for anyone with any suggestions. Meanwhile I hop from puddle to puddle.

21 February 2013

Find something you love to do

Volunteer Nurses, Charleston, S.C.
This picture makes me very proud.

These ladies are all registered nurses who returned to volunteer in the friendly little hospital across the river

How lovely is that? It speaks so much to the reason that they chose their profession - because they love people and are healers. I am not retired and the lady on the right still holds a job as well as volunteering, but the rest of the women spent their careers nursing. When they retired, they came back to do what they loved, minus all the meetings and paperwork. They volunteer in the outpatient reception, pastoral care, newborn nursery, information desk and as Patient Representatives. We are so fortunate to be the beneficiaries of their years of experience. Thanks ladies.

20 February 2013

James Beard Foundation Semifinalists

Housemade Ricotta Gnudi, The Macintosh
Eater Charleston shared the James Beard Foundation semifinalists. Yeah! Check out all the Charleston candidates. The finalists will be announced on Monday, 3/18 and the winners will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday, May 6, 2013 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. We are so lucky to live here. I am glad I don't have to pick winners from this group:

Best New Restaurant
The Ordinary, Charleston, S.C.

Outstanding Chef
Sean Brock, McCrady's and Husk

Outstanding Wine Program
Charleston Grill at Charleston Place Hotel

Best Chef Southeast
Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh
Craig Deihl, Cypress
Joshua Keeler, Two Boroughs Larder

Cotton pickin' cotton

Cotton processing, S.C.
Driving the back roads of South Carolina there appears to be more and more cotton each year. Maybe I should consider cotton farming. It appears to be a profitable crop.

In other news, I dashed home from work and made dinner for six people so we could clear the table and solve the world's problems. I think we got things taken care of. Well worth the roasted beet salad, mini chicken pot pies and pear tart. Yum. I always feel like I am playing grown up when I entertain :).

18 February 2013

James Christopher Hill does Folly Beach

Planet Follywood, Folly Beach, S.C.
Artist James Christopher Hill happened upon my photo albums and realized what y'all have known for years, I am a big fan. I take a couple pictures of his mural on Planet Follywood every time I am at the beach. I once asked one of the British Black Cabs to park in front of it just so I could get a shot. Here is his etsy shop with darker fantasy, horror and science fiction paintings to steampunk designs and images and his gallery web site.

As far as I am concerned I keep going back to my old favorites of his work - the stars on the side of the building on Folly Beach. Thanks for the smiles James Christopher Hill!

17 February 2013

Lowcountry carpet & weekend endings

Lowcountry Carpeting, Charleston, S.C.
I want a carpet that looks like this. I often like camellia blossoms rotting on the ground as much as I do blooming on the branch although they aren't bad this year either, are they?

For a lovely show of blossoms visit Tidewater Gardener: Bloom Day


If the first picture is to be my carpet how about this for my wallpaper? This pink fungus was on a tree at Magnolia Plantation Garden.

Tree bark fungus, Charleston, S.C.
My company has gone and my little ranch house is quiet again. I took them for a last walk on Folly Beach before they left and here is my Dad looking like a proper lowcountry gentleman before he left. We enjoyed a hot bowl of she crab soup at Locklear's on the Folly Beach pier.  I had a quick escape this weekend and will get back to reality in the morning. I can't even imagine all that is waiting for me to deal with. I will report to work with my seat belt fastened!

Oh, oh.....this is late but some of my "heart" pictures are featured on Charleston Magazine's Charleston Grit page. Vote for your favorite at: Charlestongrit.com

15 February 2013

Hanging out at the Edge of America

Folly Beach, S.C.
So, this Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, new wild birds flocking to town I hear.

Valentine's Day Fun

Cupcake Decorating Contest, Charleston, S.C.

I was off for the most part of this week but worked today since Valentine's Day is one of the high holy days for the Volunteer Department in the friendly little hospital across the river. I watched with relief as the happily, decorated cupcakes started arriving for our annual cupcake decorating contest fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Volunteers spent the day directing florists to the right floors to deliver flowers to lucky employees and patients. Mrs. South Carolina even got a personalized pageant balloon doll from our clown volunteer Dr. Silly Bone.

Mrs. South Carolina - Jennifer Loveday Donovan served as Honorary Volunteer for the day handing out Valentine fortune cookies and posing for photos and fellow blogger Christina Orso from Hungry Meets Healthy arrived to be official cupcake contest judge. Thanks ladies! You brought a lot of smiles today!

13 February 2013

What are these?

Queen St., Charleston, S.C.

These little boxes under the roof line have me puzzled. They look like they must have some purpose other than decorative. Anyone have any idea? Close up view below.

Cemetery Walking - Unitarian Churchyard

Unitarian Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.
I didn't manage to take the entire week off to be with my guests but it has worked out to almost every other day off. This time off feature is very nice. I need to marry rich and retire!

Luckily the rain held off this morning and we parked at Colonial Lake, followed Queen St. to King and came back through the Unitarian Cemetery Gateway Walk. Then as you can see in the final picture - I send my folks to jail - the old Charleston jail.