31 October 2010

Textures - the lowcountry carpet

Charleston, S.C.

Is there anything more beautiful than nature? I've been on a texture kick this year. Still taking pictures of what I walk on. What a glorious lowcountry carpet!

30 October 2010

Itsy, bitsy spider.....

Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, S.C.

Roaming the Holy City has the best of the peninsula's Halloween decorations. Go visit!

Part 1
Part 2

The Bloomin' Swamp

Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, S.C.

The swamp is in bloom, kids!

I had breakfast with a group of my hospital volunteers at the Sunflower on Hwy 61 this morning and since I was already heading in the right direction I walked through the garden at Magnolia Plantation. There is always something in bloom and it was heavenly to be there on such a bright and beautiful day.

Yesterday's Dr. Oz' column claims walking helps keep your brain from shrinking. They recommend 6 - 9 miles a week. With the amount I walk each day, my brain is soon going to be too big for my skull.

29 October 2010

Today's Halloween Themed Image

Backroads, S.C.

Doesn't this just invite you to drive down a country lane? This is a small piece of the "bone art" decorated entry way into private property on McCords Ferry Rd. not too far from Elloree, S.C. I don't believe this property owner needs guard dogs. No one is going to casually enter the property. Check out this link to a larger view.

Happy Halloween, kids! I have had such a busy week I am pitifully grateful to welcome the weekend. I missed my Friday movie by working until after 6 p.m. Sigh. I did take a mid day break to dress up as Joan of Arc and pass out candy around the hospital with my merry band of scarecrows and clowns. Fun.

27 October 2010

Come on in and slam the door shut.....

Old Charleston Jail, Magazine St., Charleston, S.C.

Let's continue our Halloween week features with another peak at the old Charleston jail. The jail is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in town and regularly featured on ghost walks. Boo! I would imagine it would be a pretty spooky place at night. Bulldog tours web site says:
This is quite possibly the scariest place you will ever go. The experience is NOT recommended for small children or men that cry easily.**
Gotta love it!

Meanwhile, today the jail houses the American College of Building Arts and they are throwing their annual Red Party tomorrow night and my friend Becca who actually works in the jail, asked me to invite YOU.
The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) invites all who are brave enough to serve time at the most haunted building in Charleston, South Carolina. Mystery, intrigue and pure enchanting delight will meet a red theme at the Old City Jail on Thursday, October 28, 2010 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The historic building that houses the college will be transformed into a rich red decadence that only ACBA can produce. Come dressed in... red and mask your face.

The Red Party is the kind of party that people are dying to get in! But the main purpose is to raise awareness for our mission, and emphasize the need for educated artisans in America. All proceeds from the event will help support the education of ACBA’s students.

The event will host a silent auction including incredible luxury trips, fine art, exciting adventures and items crafted by the students of ACBA! DJ Arthur Brouthers will have the crowd dancing to beats while guests enjoy an open bar and a delicious repast sponsored and prepared by Good Food Catering.

Tickets are $55 in advance and $65 at the door. To purchase tickets please call 843-577-5245 or visit our website at www.buildingartscollege.us.

26 October 2010

Come on back to the Slaughter Shack

Slaughter Shack, S.C.

I think I can come up with a trail of Halloween type photos. Boo! We can start the Slaughter Shack. I had to get this picture when I spotted the scene on a country road drive. This would work well for a haunted Halloween tour.

25 October 2010

Flute Playing Statue

Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.

My friend Leah emailed me a few weeks ago when she was trying to track down a flute playing statue of a young boy. I knew I'd seen one but couldn't place the location. This evening I walked past him and had to grab a picture through the fence at Ashley Hall girl's school on Rutledge Ave.

Wow, that was quite a rain storm, kids! I was glad to be safely home listening to it all.

24 October 2010

Camera Free Weekend

Botany Bay, S.C.

I was sorting through all of my camera cards looking for a particular photo for a newsletter on Friday and left them all at work so I've had an unusual camera free weekend. Odd. These shots are from Botany Bay, one of my favorite places in the world. More in this album.

It is almost a crime to spend such a beautiful afternoon at the movies but I went to see The Social Network at the Terrace and almost wish I hadn't. What a sad tale of greedy privileged mixed up kids insulting and stabbing each other in the back. I hope all the characters weren't as awful as they were portrayed. I'll keep enjoying Facebook as usual but it is going to leave a bad taste for a while. Blah.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend!

23 October 2010

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Khasi Hills

Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India

When I was a kid, living in Shillong, India, we would often attend church services in the outlaying areas. All ten of us would pile in the old yellow Willy's jeep and head far into the hills to remote villages.

I often joke that I have a lifetime pass and won't need to attend another church service as long as I live - and I mean it. I am exempt. Sundays alone could easily involve three separate services, morning, afternoon and end in evening services by kerosene lantern.

I'd spend my time drawing cartoons of the preacher and eagerly offer to take crying babies outside. I'd lay on the grass playing with the kids and torturing ants with my magnifying glass while the congregation belted out the good old familiar protestant hymns in Khasi.

This image is from a brittle slide in my Dad's old box probably from the mid 1960's.

Love my weekends, I do

King St., Charleston, S.C.

What a lovely sunny day! Everyone is outside. Girls in bathing suits are laying in Marion Square, I had to dodge boys carrying surf boards on King Street and hop over skateboards laying on the sidewalks.

I've been invited to a cookout this evening and slipped up and offered to make dessert. What was I thinking? My day to day life at home is so simple now, I barely cook anymore and my oven hasn't been turned on all summer.

My policy is not to skimp with dessert so I experimented with a Tres Leche Cake and I've tried this one from Coastal Living magazine: Tres Leches Boston Cream Cake. Wowza! You can't really go wrong with condensed milk, can you?

In the good news category, the students who rent behind my house played a prank today and saran wrapped a car. I could hear them laughing and taking pictures. Definitely an improvement from last year's crop who liked to break through my fence and vandalize my yard. This is good!

21 October 2010

Where to stay Charleston - Andrew Pinckney Inn

Andrew Pinckney Inn, Pinckney St., Charleston, S.C.

I figured the "where to stay" theme was worth continuing since I had this neat shot of the Andrew Pinckney Inn.

Carol Hannah of Project Runway fame named this dress after the street I live on. This one is the Gadsden St. dress and this one is Queen St.

Check out this Craigslist ad for a bike.Too funny.

I've been everywhere today, from the Retired & Senior Volunteer Luncheon at the Rifle Club (thanks Pam!), to trying to squeeze our health system's entire business office staff into one photo, back to my office again to try to catch up, then to James Island for Zumba class.

You may not have noticed but I haven't taken a real vacation this year. I just booked Thanksgiving week in San Francisco with my daughter. Woohoo! Where should I stay? What must I see? Exciting. I ain't never been to San Francisco before.

Southwest Airlines announced bargain flights from Charleston for folks ready to make plans.

I need to get to bed, kids. Turn the lights out.

20 October 2010

Places to Stay - Wentworth Mansion

Wentworth Mansion, Wentworth St., Charleston, S.C.

I get quite a few emails from people wondering where they should stay, eat, see in Charleston. Here is a treat for the big splurge! This is the Wentworth Mansion which I believe used to be an insurance company building. Check out the rooms in this link.

Living the good life doesn't come cheap and it looks like the average price is $350 a night so my family can't count on me putting them up there, but I definitely think you should treat yourself to a night and invite me over for tea.

Charleston Funeral Homes

Charleston Boags Funeral Home, Calhoun St., Charleston, S.C.

One of the best things about Charleston is that we still have locally owned businesses with character. The Harleston Boag Funeral Home was established in 1901 and was one of the first African American funeral homes in Charleston. The Avery Research Center keeps their historical records.

Busy days, kids. I came home starving and made myself a tuna melt. Now I need to make myself get out of my corner of the couch and go out for my evening hike.

19 October 2010

Saving the Girl Scout Camp

Richmond Plantation. Photo by Pamela

My friend Larry and his wife have been putting hours of manual labor into cleaning up and restoring the old Lowcounty Girl Scout Camp - Richmond Plantation. He is hoping we will help them get a $250,000 grant from Pepsi by voting for the project. Larry writes:
It is a great facility that provides a wonderful experience for Girl Scouts of all ages. It is in dire need of repair. Many volunteers, including my wife and I, have put in hours of effort to clean gutters, the interior of the manor house, the cemetery, and the grounds in general. Money is needed for repair to the historic buildings and roads. Pepsi Cola will provide grants to the top two vote getters in each category and it is a site where you can vote each day during the month. If we don't reach one of the top two spots then, being in the top 100 in this category will roll us to the next month for consideration so we can try again.

I hope you will consider voting for this worthy project, and, on a daily basis if you find time. I ask that you also inform your friends who might also be willing to vote for this grant that would benefit girls in our area. You can go to the site to register and cast your vote here.

On the web site you can see photos of the site and an explanation of how the money would be used to improve the facility. There are also comments from people around the country that are voting for the project. We're currently ranked at 67th and every vote helps us move up. Thanks and I hope you find this to be another cause worthy of your attention.

I think we can help with this, don't you? Make the link a favorite and let's start voting!

I've seen the sign but have never been in so I touched base with blog friend Pamela who has a great set of photos of Richmond Plantation on flickr. What a cool place! I grabbed one of her photos for this post but look at them all. I'd be happy to be part of saving this neat property.

18 October 2010

Guerrilla Cuisine - Chef Nico Romo

Guerrilla Cuisine, Lowndes Grove, Charleston, S.C.

I was lucky to attend the Guerrilla Cuisine dinner last night because the featured Chef was Nico Romo from FISH restaurant and I am a fan. The location is revealed the day before and I was tickled to learn it was at Lowndes Grove Plantation because although I've driven by a hundred times I've never actually been inside the gates. The setting was so beautiful with the tables set to overlook the sunset reflected on the Ashley River.

Chef Nico did a proper French dinner with French onion soup, frogs legs and snails (oh my!), beef wellington and a napoleon treat for dessert. We sat at a the end of a long table and I was thoroughly entertained by members of the military bomb squad next to me who made the evening a treat. Two of our other table companions were celebrating anniversaries made it a festive occasion. Jimihatt and Angel were the perfect hosts as always.

Click here to get on the mailing list for future Guerrilla Cuisine dinners. I put some photos on Facebook last night but will add a few more here for my table companions. Thanks for a fun evening!

A house divided

Pitt St., Charleston, S.C.

Oooops. Usually a house divided in the lowcountry means USC vs Clemson not England and India. Interesting!

Teeny tiny Red Dot store


This has to be the teeniest, tiniest red dot store. Cute isn't it? Can you imagine doing business in that little building surrounded by shelves of liquor? It would be a fun short story.

I've afraid I've started my week needed another weekend. Whew. Busy days, kids. I'm off for a long walk before dark. Back later.

17 October 2010

Saving the Quirky Lowcountry

James Island Baptist Church, S.C.

Thank you to all my friends who joined the Riverland Terrace Garden Club's dinner last night to raise the money to repair our quirky little windmill. We arrived a few minutes early and walked down to the water to visit the actual windmill. The new mayor of James Island James Woolsey was there with his wife doing the same thing.

We had a very pleasant evening with good company, a great meal provided by Chef Barry Waldrop of Stono Cafe and a silent auction. They needed $3,000 to do the repairs and pay for insurance and I am sure they got what they needed.

15 October 2010

Tie up your horse and come on in.......

Charleston, S.C.

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at the saloon for a drink. The locals had a habit of picking on newcomers and by the time he finished, he discovered his horse had been stolen.

He came back into the bar, flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head without even looking and fired a shot into the ceiling. "Who stole my horse?" he yelled.

No one answered.

"I'm gonna have another beer and if my horse ain't back outside by the time I'm finished, I'm gonna do what I dun back in Texas and I don't want to have to do what I dun back in Texas!"

Some of the locals shifted restlessly.

He had another beer, walked outside, and his horse was back! He saddled up and started to ride out of town.

The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, "Say partner, what happened in Texas?"

The cowboy turned back and said, "I had to walk home!"

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Pineville Chapel

Pineville Chapel, Pineville, S.C.

Here I am - taking you to church and it isn't even a Sunday. Surely I get extra points for that? I've heard two or three people lately joining the "church photo in lieu of attendance" club and I found us a sweetie this time. There isn't much left in what was historic Pineville.

Berkeley County’s wealthy planter class, wishing to avoid the fevers associated with their low lying plantations during the summer months, established inland settlements, particularly in areas wooded with pine trees, beginning in the late eighteenth century.

The Pineville Historic District is composed of four principal buildings, three residential buildings and one Episcopal church, ranging in date from ca.1810 through 1925. In the mid to late nineteenth century, Pineville was a densely-settled village that included as many as one hundred buildings, including an academy, racetrack, library, churches, and residences. Much of the town was burned by Union troops at the close of the Civil War in April 1865.

14 October 2010

Cool Spiritual Places

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.

The Post & Courier recently featured this article on Cool Spiritual Places in the Lowcountry. They are almost all on my frequently visited list. I've tried to get to Boonie Doone but haven't got past the locked gates when I can get there on a weekend. The last one in Kingstree is unfamiliar to me and may be worth a visit. What do you think of their list?
10 Cool spiritual places to visit in the Lowcountry in no particular order)
Friday, October 8, 2010

Mepkin Abbey: Stroll through the gardens and meditative places of this former rice plantation on the banks of the upper Cooper River outside Moncks Corner.

Meditation Garden at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital: Roam the natural cathedral, the garden of reflection, the spiritual maze under the circle of oaks on the hospital's West Ashley campus.

Chapel at Middleton Place: Renovated several years ago, the small chapel beside the little lake evokes the past. Here, in this illuminated space, slaves gathered for worship.

Magnolia Cemetery: Wandering through this famous graveyard, beneath the Spanish moss and around the tombstones, one sees the evidence of a complicated, fascinating history.

Circular Congregational Church: Formed in 1681, this church on lower Meeting Street originally was called the Independent Church of Charles Towne and was meant for residents who did not attend nearby St. Philip's (Anglican) Church.

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church: This church on Anson Street, organized in 1822, was the first place of worship in the country where pews were not rented or sold, but free to all comers. The current building was consecrated in 1836.

Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim: This Reform Jewish synagogue on Hasell Street was founded in 1749. It is the birthplace of the Reform movement in the U.S. and the fourth oldest Jewish congregation. It has the second oldest synagogue building in the United States (the oldest in continuous use).

French Huguenot Church: The only independent Hugeunot church in the U.S., this downtown church was built in 1844 in the Gothic Revival style. A beauty.

Bonnie Doone Plantation: This gorgeous sprawl of land near Walterboro is the site of the Charleston Baptist Association's Conference Center. It's a good place for a church retreat, family event or bit of recreational fun.

Springbank Retreat: Run by nuns, this swath of nature near Kingstree specializes in "eco-spirituality and the arts." Wander through the woods or walk along the swamp and the artist in you is sure to be stimulated.

Tulips and Tea

Windmill, Plymouth Rd., S.C.

Does anyone but me have a picture with a windmill and a British black cab in the same shot? I doubt it. :))) A bouquet of tulips and a cuppa hot tea and we'd be all set. This is a reminder about the fund raising dinner the Riverland Terrace Garden Club is having on Saturday night. Details here.

Also, last call to vote for your favorite AHA Moment in this round.

In other news, I finally have my TiVo working again so I can watch John Stewart at breakfast. Whew.

13 October 2010

Dot, dot, dot....

Exchange St., Charleston, S.C.

I seem to be collecting pictures of red dot liquor stores.

Busy days at work, kids. I'm beat. I walked down to the new Tabbuli Grill for a quick bite and then crashed.

Camo Baby!

Hand knitted baby bonnets, Charleston S.C.

There is a team of baby luvin' knitters busy at this very moment, all over the lowcountry making sure that our babies are sent home with something hand made for them. Most of the baby bonnets I get are traditional pink and blue with smattering of yellow thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday a lady brought me two bags full of these - hot pink, deep blue, orange and on the top of the pile, a camouflage bonnet! I love it. Some macho dad is going to be very happy. I packed them off and sent them over to the new hospital in Mt. Pleasant to welcome our brand new babies. Thanks Rosemary!

12 October 2010

Before and After - Jamie Westendorff

Jamie Westendorff, After!

I get a lot of hits looking for Jamie so this photo is my gift to those of you who want to make sure he is okay. Jamie was seriously burned in an accident with his cooker earlier this year. He was burned so badly on his hands and face that they flew him to the burn unit in Augusta, Georgia and had to use pig skin to repair his face. Here is the Post & Courier article about his accident.

I was at a meeting for volunteer manager's at James Island County Park last month and was delighted to find Jamie back on the job making our lunch. He insisted on posing with the same cooker that burned him and took me to his truck to show me the gruesome photo album documenting his accident and recovery. I got kinda emotional seeing that the very first picture in the album, the "before" picture was one I had taken as well.

What a miracle!

Save Charleston's quirky windmill!

Got dinner plans for Saturday night? Cancel them. Let's save the quirky windmill! The Riverland Terrace Garden Club estimates it needs $3,000 to repair the funky little windmill on the water at the end of Plymouth St. Dinner is just $25, so let's do it!

They are having a silent auction as well and I am sure can use donated items. Call Edith at the number listed below and I'll see you there! Donations accepted.
Windmill fundraiser Sunday, October 10, 2010
The Riverland Terrace Garden Club is raising funds to repair and paint its Dutch-style windmill.

Chef Barry Waldrop, owner of Stono Cafe Catering, will prepare a dinner Saturday to raise the $3,000 needed for the project.

The windmill, built by John Roessler at the Wappoo Cut around 1936, was a landmark along the Intracoastal Waterway. It was donated to the club and moved near Elliott's Cut adjacent to the Plymouth Avenue firehouse boat landing and playground in 2000.

The dinner menu is croissants, fall salad, herb encrusted pork tenderloin with a port wine demi-glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetable medley and a fall berry cobbler. A silent auction will be held during the event, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the James Island Baptist Church social hall.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Charleston Post Card Co., 182 Plymouth
Ave., James Island. Or call Edith Mclemore, event chair, at 762-0771 or Barbara Knight, president, at 762-1243.

How many times do you get to save a windmill in the lowcountry?