31 October 2011

Book 'em, Dannno!

Halloween 2011. Easiest costume ever! I asked our Security Officers to leave a couple of their shirts in my office over the weekend. A retired Charleston Police Officer loaned me his hat (thanks Tom!).  We passed out candy all over the hospital. I work with such great people! Good fun.

30 October 2011

Charleston Halloween

Meeting & Tradd St., Charleston, S.C.
Meeting & Tradd St., Charleston, S.C.
Meeting & Tradd St., Charleston, S.C.
That top photo makes me grin from ear to ear! How funny. Thanks to reader Ashely who gave me the heads up to check this house for skeletons. They were perfect! Happy Halloween kids!

I've spent the day at MUSC with my friend who had the recent kidney transplant dealing with some complications but I got him settled comfortably at home and picked up a trunk full of halloween candy on the way home to take to work tomorrow. I asked our hospital Security Officers to leave a couple of their shirts in my office. That should make for an easy costume!

29 October 2011

Boo Charleston!

Halloween Charleston - Lauren's St.

Halloween Charleston - Lauren's St.

Halloween Charleston - King St.

Halloween Charleston - King St

Halloween Charleston - King St
Fun walk this morning. How cute are the wee skeletons? Pretty darn cute!

28 October 2011

Mac Off!

Mac Off Charleston, Bus Shed

I was afraid the evening was off to a bad start. Mike and I arrived early remembering how crowded the Macaroni & Cheese cook-off was last year. After standing with the other early birds, staff came to the registration table to tell us we were in the wrong line. Half of the crowd seemed to have Groupon tickets and although we did not, all ticket holders were sent around the building to find a long winding line. Sigh. Damn. That was why we went early - to avoid the line. After waiting for about twenty minutes there was a rush of activity and someone seemed to finally clue in that people who had pre-paid for full entry tickets should be able to move along faster. Thank you.

We were still afraid of getting stuck in massive crowds and went around tasting as fast as we could. There were fifteen restaurants but the crowd felt manageable and festive. Some costumes, some kids. There were restaurants that I never knew sold macaroni and cheese and probably still shouldn't. Some was too salty, some too bland. Restaurants that had a gimmick (deep fried macaroni and cheese) like the King St. Grille had the longest lines. I think we tasted almost everything - yes, I am very full, and we both agreed Crave had the best macaroni of the evening and voted accordingly. Good luck folks! Thanks for a fun event.

Let's do this weekend thing!

Spoleto Festival Headquarters, Charleston, S.C.
The entire fence says Spoleto Festival USA but the light was shining so gently on this bit that I just took it. Sweet, eh?!

I found a beer can, sun glasses and a messed up black wig with leaves in it in my driveway this morning. Zombie mischief?

Macaroni & Cheese Cook off tonight, oh yum! I go with my friend Notoriously Nice Mike whose son and daughter-in-law own Cheese-ology in St. Louis. Yep - a successful restaurant that serves nothing but macaroni and cheese.

Uhoh. Just checked the Mac Off site and it is sold out.

Still looking for pumpkin decorating ideas? Here is a pumpkin for Labor & Delivery nurses I snagged from my friend Pat. Love it, love it.

27 October 2011

We're stylin'!

Ayoka Lucas & Joan Perry, Charleston, S.C.

Yep - that is Charleston Magazine's style editor Ayoka Lucas in MY house. The most amazing things do happen!  Ayoka was gracious enough to pretend I was actually stylish and checked out all my personal belongings - photos, knick knacks, teapots and shoes. It was the oddest feeling but she made me completely comfortable and apparently will be an item in the January magazine issue. 

Thanks to Ayoka and photographer Leann Cannon for a fun afternoon and new experience!

I've followed Ayoka's career with interest because although most people don't know it, she was briefly a volunteer coordinator herself. Many years ago I took a team on a Day of Caring project to paint and prep the Charleston Children's museum and Ayoka coordinated the activities for the museum's opening. Now she is the style editor for Charleston Magazine and was the one who brought Charleston Fashion Week into being. I had to keep interrupting her interview to learn more about her.

26 October 2011

JPaulz Dinner Party Fun

JPaulz dinner party fun!
What a fun night! I bid on and won a certificate for a four course dinner for six at JPaulz Restaurant in an online auction benefiting Operation R & R for military families. Lucky me!

We gathered friends - Vanessa, James, Amber, Andre', myself, Angel and Jimi Hatt on short notice and were treated like royalty by owner Robert Walker and our very own server and friend Melanie Wilson. From the sushi assortment, sweet potato ravioli, drunken pork Osso Buco to the coconut milk bread pudding - everything was a treat.Thanks JPaulz. Sometimes people don't know what happens to their donation to a charity cause  - but this time we were able to let them know how much we appreciated it!

25 October 2011

Monday Evening Hodge Podge

Charleston, S.C.
It's the best weather of the year but we know we are seeing the last of the blossoms.

More good press for Chef Sean Brock in the New Yorker. He is the best. We knew that!

The tiniest little restaurant on at 221 1/2 Coming St. is now a Taco Spot branch. I stopped in on my walk and asked them to have a black bean veggie burrito ready for me on my walk back. It has been a pizza place and hot dog restaurant but I might actually use it in this reincarnation.

If anyone has a Canon G11 or G12, I accidentally bid on and won two leather cases for mine on eBay (Ooops) and am happy to pass one along. They don't cost much but are vintagy and cool.

Dinner tomorrow at JPaulz and Mac Off on Friday! I'd better keep walking.

I stopped at KMart on Savannah Highway for a photo frame and saw a blue and white checked shirt I liked. It was on sale for .99 cents. I bought four of exactly the same shirt and feel a little silly for leaving one on the rack. If I look like I am wearing the same clothes all the time, I'm not. I really do wash them. I just may have more than one - at that price!

G'night kids. Midnight hath happened.

24 October 2011

Pumpkin Related Search Terms

Pumpkins by Christophe's of Charleston

Wonder what people are googling for today? Check out these recent pumpkin related search terms. Everyone is on a halloween theme!
49 Visits21.49%pumpkin decorating ideas
11 Visits4.82%pumpkin decorating contest
7 Visits3.07%creative pumpkin decorating ideas
6 Visits2.63%ideas for pumpkin decorating contest
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6 Visits2.63%wadmalaw island
5 Visits2.19%hospital pumpkin decorating ideas
4 Visits1.75%best pumpkin decorating ideas
4 Visits1.75%charleston daily photo
4 Visits1.75%decorating a pumpkin for a hospital laboratory
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3 Visits1.32%charleston waterfront park
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3 Visits1.32%joan perry charleston
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3 Visits1.32%strawberry chapel
2 Visits0.88%2010 pumpkin decorating contest winners
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2 Visits0.88%crazy pumpkin decorate

23 October 2011

Peep House

Lake Marion, S.C.
One room, open floor plan, great view!

Ooooh no. It's the end of the weekend. I'm not ready. I'm not strong enough yet.

I got to MUSC this afternoon in time to get a hug from my friend who received the kidney transplant just before his daughter packed him in the car to take him home.Smile!

Hasn't the weather been grand? Sadly though, my free range toes were imprisoned in shoes and socks for the first time in months. Poor tootsies.

Missing Wheels

Charleston, S.C.
Wheelchairs have always been problems in hospitals. Either we are tripping over them or no one can find one anywhere. They roll out the door and often never come back. We find them all over town. A volunteer recently took his truck and retrieved one from Target. I spotted this one with my hospital's Escort Dept. and initials stenciled on the back, sitting in a yard as I walked by this afternoon. I did not retrieve it.

21 October 2011

Hello Best Buy!

Trenneice & Mike and MY tablet

Yep - that would be MY new tablet! Yipee! With my laptop on it's last legs I had promised myself that if I got through hurricane season without related expenses I'd treat myself to a tablet. My head was spinning with the choices but I got the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Now to learn it.

20 October 2011

Congrats! It's a kidney!

Charleston, S.C.
Quick photo for you this evening of one of the grandest houses on the peninsula, and then I am off to my bed. It's been a long but exciting day. A long time ago one of my gentlemen volunteers confided that he was waiting and hoping for a kidney transplant but would be dropped off the list if he didn't have a local support person. I couldn't let that happen! We rallied a little gang of support peeps and after waiting for three years he called me bright and early this morning and our network kicked into action.

All went well. After a long day of tests and cross matching, he went into surgery this afternoon. Everyone has assumed I am his wife and I didn't correct them. I've been text messaging his daughter in Washington all day long with progress reports. I just asked to sneak into the recovery room to see him and now I think we can all get some sleep.

All good news so far. How exciting! Thank you, thank you to the medical magicians at MUSC for their caring and skill today.                                      

19 October 2011

Tea Time

French Huguenot Church, Queen St., Charleston. S.C.
The French Huguenot Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Charleston. Even the roof looks like an elaborate wedding cake. I feel like I should take a pictures every time I go by, so I almost do.

Long day. After work I was invited to tea - a proper British Tea hosted by the tiniest little Scottish lady who cracks me up every time she opens her mouth. It was absolutely perfect. We had cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and mincemeat tarts. It was BRILLIANT.

I mentioned that when I was a kid, an aunt in Scotland used to send us the "Oor Wullie" cartoons and she pulled one of the annuals off her bookshelf. Wow....talk about a trip down memory lane. Oor Wullie is the Scottish version of Denise the Menace and the cartoon dialect is in Scottish.
Wullie's adventures consist mostly of unrealistic get-rich-quick schemes that lead to mischief, to the despair of his parents Ma and Pa (Dave), and the local policeman, P.C. Joe Murdoch. Wullie's friends are Fat Boab (Eng: Fat Bob), Wee Eck (Eng: Little Alec), and Soapy Soutar, and he is the leader of their gang, a position which is frequently disputed by the others. He used to have another friend called Ezzy, who stopped appearing in the strips, along with Wullie's little brother. He owns a pet mouse named Jeemy and a pet hedgehog named Hamish, and in later years has gained a Highland Terrier named Harry and a "sometime-girlfriend", Primrose Patterson. Characters from The Broons occasionally feature, particularly Granpaw and the seductive Maggie Broon. Noticeably, in the change of artist, Wullie likes Primrose more and Harry and Jeemy are rarely seen. Wullie is nine years old, and his height has been specified at four feet, six inches tall. His catchphrases consist of "Jings", "Crivvens","braw"and "Help ma Boab".
 Anyone else familiar with the series?

18 October 2011

World's Best Cities

Charleston, S.C.

Not sure how I feel about all this recent publicity for Charleston. We know it's the best place to live but do we have to tell everyone? Sssshhhh. I've highlighted the cities I've been to so I can see where I need to go next. Clearly I need to get back to Europe. 

The world’s 20 best cities are:

1. Sydney, Australia, 85.1
2. Florence, Italy, 85.0
3. Charleston, United States, 84.7
4. Cape Town, South Africa, 83.9
5. San Francisco, United States, 83.7
6. Santa Fe, United States, 83.0
6. Quebec City, Canada, 83.0
8. Barcelona, Spain, 82.8
9. Vancouver, Canada, 82.5
10. Rome, Italy, 82.4
11. Kyoto, Japan, 82.3
12. Chicago, United States, 82.2
13. Paris, France, 81.9
14. Bruges, Belgium, 81.7
14. Venice, Italy, 81.7

Trot for Tots

Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

I read that the new boardwalk along Shem Creek opened this week. That should make a sweet walk some weekend morning. I've been thinking of Vickery's Salmon Caesar salad since the day I went kayaking on Shem Creek and had brunch there. Mmmmm.

Speaking of Mt. Pleasant, the 2nd annual Trot for Tots 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29th at the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. There is a kiddie costume contest, face painting etc. and prizes will be awarded. The event helps fund car seats for babies who might not get them otherwise. Registration link here. There is free parking on campus and live Music will be provided by Steel Petals. I missed it last year but the photos made it look like a fun event.

Don't let me forget that I am to be at work before 7 a.m. tomorrow to take a picture of a gaggle of anesthesiologists in the OR. I am very motivated to cooperate with the people who control pain.

17 October 2011

Blue skies & palmetto trees

Calhoun St., Charleston, S.C.
I am just back from my late walk-about town and thinking of the 100 year old gentleman who ran the marathon in Toronto.
TORONTO, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A 100-year-old man ran a marathon in Toronto Sunday, apparently becoming the oldest person to complete the long-distance running achievement.
CTV reported Indian-born Fauja Singh came close to quitting about 6 hours into the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon but persevered and finished the 26-mile race in about 8 hours, 25 minutes. Singh, who didn't take up running until he turned 80, will likely be named the Guinness World Record holder for the world's oldest marathoner, the TV network said.
That is quite amazing. He ran 26 miles during what would equal my work day. What a guy!  I know some feisty seniors but this takes the cake.

16 October 2011

Going Back Home

Shillong Peak, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
I'm going home. Next month at this time I will be in the hills of north east India. I haven't to Shillong since I graduated from St. Mary's High School in Laitumkrah many years ago. I went back to India once but at that time the hill states were closed to travelers and Darjeeling was as close as I could get. This time my daughter is going with me to see what I've been talking about all these years.  Sorry folks - my Khasi is so very rusty! I'll be embarrassed to open my mouth.

I've  been warned that things have changed - there is more traffic and noisy congestion, the sweet cottages with flower gardens are now buildings made of cement. My old bedroom where four of the eight Perry kids slept in a double bunk bed is now a classroom in the elementary school where my father was headmaster. I've asked to walk to the river where we washed clothes on Saturday mornings, picnicking and playing wild games while our laundry dried on the bushes.

The state's name "Meghalaya" means Abode of the Clouds and the British liked to call it their Scotland of the East. Most years it is the rainiest place in the world.  We are going north to places I've never been and will ride elephants on safari in Kaziranga. As soon as we land we are heading to a village drum festival.

My brother Jim lives there still with his wife and three young sons. I asked what I should bring and he emailed a link to a cookie press. They want to make Christmas cookies. It is the only thing already packed in my suitcase. I stopped at Micheal's today and picked up cookie cutters (still need gingerbread men), piping tips for icing and food coloring. Send me any of your best holiday cookie recipes! This should be interesting!

I don't leave until the second week in November but it is starting to feel like I am going on an adventure. It is all very exciting!

Humor that Heals

Caring Clown Program, Charleston, S.C.
I went to lunch with a couple of clowns on Friday. The folks at Cafe Fork didn't know what hit them when I walked in with four hospital clowns but they were great sports and besides the always tasty lunch the chef sent out complimentary desserts for us all. As it turned out I was the only one who could stuff my face without worrying about clown make up. Bob Mason aka Dr. Geezer brought the Caring Clown program to Charleston quite a few years ago. He has since grown his posse to a small cast of characters who use gentle humor on their rounds.
Mission Statement: The Bumper "T" Caring Clowns, Inc. is a volunteer organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of hospitalized patients, their families friends and caregivers. Therapeutic Clowning is a powerful tool in promoting the healing process. Sharing the Humor that Heals: We’re clowns with a mission—volunteers dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of hospitalized patients, their families, friends and caregivers. Our clowns complete a comprehensive clown training course on the art of gentle humor. We use therapeutic clowning as a powerful tool to promote the healing process.

13 October 2011

The Macintosh

Burden Creek Goat Cheese Gnudi with Stone Crab
I want a restaurant named The Macintosh to have some Scottish connection but I guess the Scottish version is Mackintosh with a "k". Jeremiah Bacon is the executive chef at the latest new restaurant on King St. but I also keep my eye out for Chris Delaney in the kitchen who used to work at McCrady's. Chris came out to say hello to us last night when we stopped in for a drink and bite to eat at the bar.

I didn't do too bad considering I just had my little pocket camera. Everything we had was yummy - the scallops, the soup (licked my bowl thank you) but those Gnudi with the Stone Crab in the first photo are melt in your mouth deliciousness.  The giant bowls make the servings look small but they really were good sized portions. Not cheap but so very tasty. I want more.

Extra walking is going to be necessary tonight!

Chris Delaney & Andre' Guillet
Hot and Sour Pork Belly Soup