31 March 2015

Sweet blossoms

Trident Technical College, Culinary Arts, North Charleston, S.C.  
When I have a meeting at Trident Technical College I take a stroll and snoop around the Culinary Arts program. Check out the fancy floral icing on the cakes.

Speaking of sugar - I hosted a group of teenagers interested in exploring Pharmacy Careers this evening and the staff in our Pharmacy had the brilliant idea of using candy treats to show how we sort, store and deliver medications. It worked well! They went home with individually packages Skittles and medication bottles full of dispenses M & Ms.

And now it is time for bed. Zzzzzzz. G'night kids.

30 March 2015

Wisteria Hysteria

Wisteria, Charleston, S.C.
I do a wisteria post each year - click here for past wisteria hysteria. A beautiful blanket of lavender vines has been flung over the lowcountry.

I saw again our own sweet home
Half hidden 'mong the trees,
My parents, brothers, sisters and I,
As happy and busy as bees.

Around the door of the homestead,
The sweet Wisteria vines,
And on the old oak in the yard
The clinging ivy twines.
 Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard

28 March 2015

Magnolia Garden Bike Trail

Bike path, Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, S.C. 
I usually bring back a few pictures from my morning walks but this time I folded up my new bike, tossed it in the back of my car and took a spin on the bike trail at Magnolia Plantation. It was a lucky choice since the blossoms are starting to show and the cars were flowing into the park.

I had the bike trail all to myself expect for the very annoying trolley cars full of tourists with the guide giving his talk over a loud microphone. It really is a glorious place and not a part of the garden that I normally see.

27 March 2015

Rainy days in Charleston

Vanderhorst St., Charleston, S.C. 
It is a rainy day in the lowcountry and we are being invaded by thousands of visitors for the Cooper River Bridge run in the morning. Traffic has been a nightmare in almost every direction and I was happy to come straight home this evening and gobble up leftovers. I usually go to town early in the morning to take pictures of the wheelchair racers speeding down King St. but I just don't know if I am going to make it this year. It's been a busy week. Good luck to all the runners and walkers!

Here is a bit of fun. Five favorite South Carolina foods taste tested by Californians. The boiled peanuts don't go over so well but the shrimp and grits dish is a big hit! 

26 March 2015

Bag Pipers for the win!

Bag Pipers in the Meditation Garden at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, S.C. 
This incredible scene happened because I bid on and won, an offer of "One Hour of Bag Piping for Your Event" at a fundraising silent auction. I didn't have an event lined up of course, but the piper said she had always wanted to play in the garden under the giant oak trees at the hospital. I lined that up and lemonade and cookies too!

What a great evening. Our pipe Karen McKerihan recruited help and they entertained us for an hour. How lucky am I? Pretty darned lucky. The neat thing is our pipers are an MD and a Nurse Practitioner. Very fitting for a hospital garden.

25 March 2015

Doors of Charleston - mini version

Doors of Charleston, S.C. 
I spotted this in the area close to Hampton Park and it made me pause and smile. Someone is ready for the little people.

I've had a busy but good day. I sold over $5,500 in cookware at work today. Occasionally I have vendors come in to set up in a classroom to sell their wares to our staff. For years I told the vendor, "No one will buy pots at work". He proved me wrong. After the sale I get a modest percentage to play Lady Bountiful and support the hospital by purchasing wheelchairs, blanket warmers etc.

G'night kids!

24 March 2015

Spring Tea Rooms

Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Charleston, S.C.
Southern Church Tea Rooms are a phenomena. No doubt about it. I go each year to confirm that.

I've been in the business of good people doing good things long enough in this town that it is like old home week. I know the gentleman parking cars, I know the hostess Ruthie in her colonial costume. I know the coconut cake is Mizz Arlene's special recipe. I know the server Richard. I know I am going to order chicken salad sandwiches on white bread and she-crab soup. I recognize and get hugs from someone at almost every table in the church hall. I know I will be back next year and I like it.

You have until April 5th to enjoy lunch at the historic church and you will see what I mean. See their website here.


23 March 2015

Volunteer Fair - Lowcountry Senior Center

Volunteer Fair, Lowcountry Senior Center, Charleston, S. C
Volunteer program managers took their show on the road this afternoon setting up information and recruitment tables at the Lowcountry Senior Center's Volunteer Fair. From my healthcare table to Pet Helpers, SC Historical Society, Barrier Island Medical Clinic, Water Keeper, Charleston County Library, Park Conservancy, Footlight Players and the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, non-profits from all over the lowcountry were represented.

It is a tricky thing finding a meaningful volunteer role but I think some connections were made today. Many thanks to the Lowcountry Senior Center for hosting the event. The Trident United Way web site is a good place to start if you are looking for volunteer opportunities.

22 March 2015

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance

St. Mark's, Thomas St., Charleston, S.C. 
In this case I actually did go to church - for the very best part, amazing singing. I went to hear the Lowcountry Voices Choir perform Robert Ray's Gospel Mass yesterday evening and they did almost lift the roof off the old church. This was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the St. Mark's Episcopal and I am so glad I went. It was even more meaningful because a friend and co-worker was in the choir.

Check the Lowcountry Voices web site for other performances scheduled for this year. You won't be sorry.


21 March 2015

Walk for Water 2015

Walk for Water, Brittlebank Park, Charleston, S.C. 
I headed up to Brittlebank Park this morning for the annual Walk for Water. We are so proud that Water Missions International is based right here in Charleston and builds and provides water purification units for countries all over the world. Quite a few years ago I was actually lucky enough to travel to Kenya to see one of the units commissioned for a little hospital we had partnered with. It was the experience of a lifetime.

The Walk for Water raises money to provide clean water and the event grows each year! This was a new location and we circled Hampton Park filling buckets with clean water half way through the walk. I saw so many people I know at the event. Well done folks. You made a difference today.


20 March 2015

My Blue Baby

Charlestowne Landing, Charleston, S.C. 
I am the most timid bicycle rider you can imagine. I didn't grow up riding bikes and have no interest in riding in the company of cars. I do however, like the idea and wanted to be able to take a bike to ride on peaceful park paths and county roads. Meet my new baby! She is a folding bike that I can fold completely in half and put inside my car. Woohoo!  Ain't she just a little bit pretty?

The bike is a Citizen Miami and came almost completely assembled. I took her for a spin at Charlestowne Landing and haven't killed anyone yet. I think I will like this!

This week has been a bit of a rat race. I am ready for the weekend.

19 March 2015

It's a rainy day in the neighborhood

Broad & King St., Charleston, S.C.
It's a rainy day in the neighborhood but that is okay by me since I stopped at Home Depot yesterday afternoon and exchanged my dead hibiscus twigs for some in blossom. I am sure they are enjoying this good soaking.

By popular demand Charleston got it's own block on the newest version of Monopoly U.S. Here & Now game. Of course we did.

I have a  new blog to share - Buildings are cool. I found the link on facebook and backtracked to read the discussion of acclaimed planner and architect, Andres Duany suggestions for Charleston. Here is that entry: The Week of Duany.

Andres Duany and his firm Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) had been hired by the City of Charleston and the Historic Charleston Foundation to make suggestions on how Charleston could improve the quality of its architecture.  According to Duany, he was practically begged by Mayor Joe Riley to come and help Charleston.  And that Mayor Riley had said that the new architecture being produced today in Charleston “just isn’t good enough.” 
The other interesting thing is, this blogger bought and completely renovated a little brick cottage that I had considered and walked through. It was too much of a project for me but I am delighted to see what they have done with it. Well done!

18 March 2015

Broad St. blossoms

Broad St., Charleston, S.C.  
Seriously? Are there gardeners in Charleston who specialize in window boxes? There must be. That is the only way to explain the fact that we have beautiful window boxes in every season of the year. This is lovely.

Meanwhile, in other news, blossoms are popping out all over. Charleston is turning into a spring garden. I skipped out of work early today and treated all of my volunteers to an afternoon at the movies. We went to see the Second Best Marigold Hotel at the Terrace Theater. I got out early enough to stop at Home Depot and the pop-up garden shop on Wappoo Road to replace my hibiscus plants. Lovely!

17 March 2015

Charleston's Leprechaun

Charleston's Leprechaun, Charleston, S.C. 
For twelve years this gentleman has popped his head in my office in early March to confirm that I need a Leprechaun appearance on St. Patrick's day. I think so, yes!

A woman once told Bob Jones that he looked like a Leprechaun so he decided to embrace it. He dresses the part, spreads some cheer around the hospital and then usually makes an appearance at a local school or retirement home. Thanks for the smiles!

16 March 2015

On the road - St. Louis

St. Louis, MO
I have been places, I've seen things!

I went on a whirlwind trip to St. Louis, Missouri - flying out Friday and back on Sunday. A very dear friend of mine was celebrating the 50th Jubilee anniversary of joining her religious order and I was honored to be invited to attend. It was a grand and joyous event and I was delighted to be part of it and to meet her friends and family.

In between the ceremony, reception and family dinners I dashed out for a quick walk-about. We made our way through the end of the weekend St. Patrick's day parade where clusters of people were still hanging around the beer stations. I loved the city garden with the sculpture installations. 


13 March 2015

Cutest little liquor store in Charleston

Exchange & East Bay St., Charleston, S.C. 

Cutest little liquor store in Charleston. There are a couple of cute ones but I think this takes the cake.

I did not grow up in a drinking family. I remember my mother worrying about my father driving after she realized he had been eating rum balls. My grandmother grew enough grapes to sell but insisted that hers should be seperated and only used for grape juice and rubbing alcohol. Right. Oddly though we have a long history of pretending to be drunk and singing this song. I never knew the second verse until I googled it just now.

Show Me the Way to Go Home
By Irving King

Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head
Where ever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You will always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home

Indicate the way to my abode
I'm fatigued and I want to retire
I had a spot of beverage sixty minutes ago
And it went right to my cerebellum
Where ever I may perambulate
On land, or sea or atmospheric vapor
You can always hear me crooning the melody
Indicate the way to my abode

12 March 2015

The horse photobombed my alley shot

Longitude Lane, Charleston, S.C.

Unrelated to the horse that walked into my shot improving in tremendously, I am here this evening to remind everyone that the Terrace Theater film festival is in progress. I've been busy working of course, but you should go. Find the schedule here: Terrace Charleston Film Festival

11 March 2015

Baptized in Sweet Tea

Author Ken Burger, Charleston, S.C. 
Most of my volunteers aren't very interested in attending meetings. I respect that. I do everything I can not to waste their time. Every once and awhile I throw a Lunch & Learn to update the group on new medical procedures they should be aware of. This time, for a change we got together just for fun. Author, blogger, and sports reporter Ken Burger agreed to spend some time with us as a special favor. What a hit he was! He read parts of his most recent book "Baptized in Sweet Tea" and won our hearts. Thanks Ken! 
Burger’s new book ‘Baptized in Sweet Tea” is a collection of columns he wrote for the Charleston Post & Courier over the past few years. As the title hints, the common thread running through the collection is Burger’s southern-ness… and, more specifically, his identity as a born-and-bred South Carolinian. Having recently retired from a long newspaper career, Burger is now in his early 60s. While he may have been baptized in sweet tea, his essays are steeped in a bittersweet nostalgia for a way of life that’s passing into memory… and a reverence for those timeless qualities that abide.

10 March 2015

Mirror Lake

Charles Towne Landing, Charleston, S.C.
 Where it all began.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site sits on a marshy point, located off of the Ashley River, where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony. Charles Towne Landing introduces visitors to the earliest colonial history of Charleston.
For my photographer friends, there is a State Park photography contest in progress. As far as I can tell by the web site, we are in the period to submit spring themed photos. Summer photo submission will end in June. Prizes are being awarded and there are lots of great photos in their facebook gallery.

09 March 2015

Happy 312 birthday!

Eutawville, S.C.
 A round of applause please, for the latest tree award.

I spotted a new sign under this impressive live oak tree in Eutawville and made a quick stop to see what honors it had been awarded. Three hundred and twelve years! Not too shabby. The grand-dame has seen a lot in her lifetime.

I might commission a sign like this for my next birthday. Wherever I sit down I will have it on a stand in front of me declaring my impressive age and a summary of what has happened in my lifetime. 

08 March 2015

Lunch at Your Momma's

Your Momma's, Bamberg, S.C.
Lunch at Your Momma's in the Alley is Bamberg's little lunch secret spot. I enjoyed my steak hoagie in the afternoon sun but I was promised that I'd be licking my fingers if I had ordered the burger. Most of the traffic was take out with trucks rolling up one after another for their bags of goodies.

Your Momma's, Bamberg, S.C.
Your Momma's, Bamberg, S.C.