29 April 2012

The Oaks Plantation

The Oaks, Goose Creek, S.C.
I won't have internet connection hooked up in my new little nest until Thursday so for the time being it is easier to use pictures I have on file rather than trying to upload new ones. Luckily I have a lot in my files!

This is the Oaks Plantation in Goose Creek.  The original house was built in the late 1600's although it has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt a couple of times. This building was probably built in 1892. There was another fire a few years ago and I thought it had been destroyed but apparently it was one of the out- buildings. It is now all part of the Golf & Country Club.There is still a very impressive avenue of oaks leading up to the property.

I spent my day back at my house in town cleaning, mopping and trying to leave things in order.  I am meeting a writer who is doing research on the early owner of the home tomorrow after work to give him a chance to get a feel for the person he is writing about. The couple told me to make dinner reservations at any restaurant I wanted to eat at after the house tour. Oh boy! I made reservations at the Macintosh. Yum.

28 April 2012

Adventures in Moving

Lake Marion, S.C.
Lordy, kids, moving day lasts at least a week, doesn't it? I remember last time I did it, swearing that I would be buried in the back yard because I never planned to do it again.

Two Guys & A Truck gave me a moving time between 11 am and 4 pm yesterday and around 4 pm started a phone tag adventure giving them directions. They finally arrived around 4:30 but the more serious problem is that it had sunk in that morning that there was no way my beloved roll top computer desk was going to fit in my new little nest. It might get in the front door if we took it apart but there was no way it was going down the narrow hall into what is to be my new office. Help!

My internet has been disconnected so I had frantically been calling around to consignment stores hoping someone would agree to let my movers pack it up and drop it off on the way. Naturally we had to load it last and everything was going to close up on Friday evening. By the skin of our teeth we left town at 5:45 pm and pulled up at Consign Charleston on Wappoo Rd and dropped off a giant rolltop desk and mirrored entertainment center just before they shut their doors. Whew. My moving guys were great and tipped accordingly. If the shop hadn't stayed open the furniture would be sitting in my driveway right now. The desk is so heavy I couldn't lift it an inch to get the modem cord from underneath it.

So - if anyone is in the market for a real nice, wooden computer desk that can hide a house full of clutter when company comes, it is at Consign Charleston waiting for you. I was in and out in five minutes so I have no idea what price they put on it.

I was so tired last night I slept like a baby.  This house has been a rental for years so every little things needs to be fixed but I am here! Blogging is more trouble than it is worth so I won't be online much until knology gets me hooked up next Thursday. I can handle facebook but not this. The peaceful photo is from last weekend at Lake Marion. Sweet!

24 April 2012

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Reflections, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Someone asked if it was my bike. :)

Just back from a weekend conference in Myrtle Beach completely disorientated. It feels like Sunday night. Who am I? Where am I?

I did ride the giant beach sky wheel at dusk! The best part was seeing the neon light reflection of the wheel in the glass window front of the beach hotels nearby. Very impressive. It was oddly cool and windy for the end of April but lovely to be at the beach when it wasn't packed with tourists.

Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel

22 April 2012

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Navy Chapel

Eternal Father of the Sea, Navy Chapel, North Charleston, S.C.

Renovating this old Navy Chapel on former Charleston Navy Base was on my list of projects if I'd won that $640 lottery jackpot last month. Sadly it looks worse each time I visit. I need to win that lottery soon!

Thanks to everyone for comments and emails. I've been on the run and haven't been able to respond to everyone but appreciate them all. I hosted a luncheon honoring the St. Francis Hospital volunteers at the Marriott on Lockwood yesterday and it was lovely. I am always in awe when I see the whole gang together and realize all the lives they touch. I have over 150 active hospital volunteers at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and more than double that in the whole Roper St. Francis Healthcare system. What an amazing group.

 I am heading up to a conference in Myrtle Beach shortly but thought I'd update you in adventures in moving - fun, fun, fun!

  • Nationwide Insurance does not take change of address information over the phone. Gee, I thought they might want to send me my next auto insurance bill. Nope. Ya gotta come in to the office.  

  • The Post & Courier customer service web page doesn't work.

  • Comcast is sorry but they have no one to take that call. 

There ya go! I don't know how so many people handle moving every couple of years. Luckily a scanverger lady who lives at a Senior Retirement home came by looking for cans in my trash. I waved her down and loaded up her van with bags of goodies.

Last question - what is the moving guidelines for alcohol? Move it or drink it?

21 April 2012

Funny Hahah

Smile! Charleston, S.C.

I don't do much on Google + but I check in once and a while to see what is going on and always get a laugh from the one liners by Jonco Stl.  He always seems to come up with one I haven't heard before and cracks me up. Here are a few of his recent ones. If you are on Google+, I'd add him to your circles for a daily smile.

I'm convinced the new girl I'm seeing is a transvestite.
I can feel it.

My doctor just said, "Nobody has ever died from a migraine."
So I killed him..

I thought I saw a guy wearing camouflage.
I didn't.

My girlfriend wanted me to buy her a Siamese cat.
My buddy told me that they are really expensive, so I bought 2 normal cats and glued their heads together.

Just been down the hospital to pick up an X-Ray.
He's called "Rachel" now.

I don't know why I even bother having a smartphone.
It spends so much time on the charger, you might as well call it a landline.

Laser eye surgery, what a waste of money. Two weeks and not a single laser fired from either of my eyes.

I've just finished writing a book called "How to delegate."
Well, actually my wife wrote it.
But it was me who told her to.

My wife left me because of my habit of excessive lying.
She didn't leave me.

I finally managed to sell all my old super hero comics...
I feel marvel less.

I'm being taken to court for plagiarism.
But it's just his word against my word...
which he claims is his word.

I hate condescending people.
But, I wouldn't expect you to understand.

20 April 2012

Volunteer Week Fun

Lowcountry Senior Center, James Island, S.C.
This has been Volunteer Week so I've been hopping from one event to another. This morning I stopped by the Lowcountry Senior Center on James Island for their Volunteer Recognition brunch. I never hear anyone talk about the Lowcountry Senior Center without raving about how wonderful it is. I joined last year so I could take the Zumba classes on Saturday mornings. They always seem to have something going on.

I need to go to bed, kids. I've been on work shaped roller coaster for the last few days and it isn't over yet.

19 April 2012

Tony the Peanut Man

Peanut Man, Charleston, S.C.
When I took a bag of boiled peanuts up to my family in Canada no one was very impressed but they are a big hit in Charleston. Tony the Peanut Man has been selling boiled peanuts as long as I can remember. This week his backyard cooking set up caught fire and destroyed $10,000 worth of equipment as well as his peanuts. Piggly Wiggly is replacing the peanuts and Cheryll Woods Flowers commented on the fund set up to help him out:

Cheryll Woods-Flowers: We started the fund this morning for Tony the Peanut Man at First Federal. If you would like to help Tony put his business back in business, you can stop by any First Federal...the account is "The Peanut Man." When I was with Tony this morning, he told me that he has been completely overwhelmed with the offer of assistance from so many. I told him that is our gift to have the opportunity to help HIM! When I asked First Federal to help, the stepped forward gladly. There wasn't a dry eye in the office when we were together...all of us, Susan with First Federal, Tony, and I cried. Love this community!!!!!!!

Good job Cheryll!

The photo above is from the MLK parade earlier this year and here is a fun little video I found of the Peanut Man in action:

18 April 2012

SC Governor's Volunteer Award

S.C. Governor's Award Winning Volunteers, Governor's Mansion, Columbia, SC
I am a nomination writing fiend when it comes to boasting about my volunteers and I hit the jackpot this year winning the award for Volunteer Family for two of my volunteers who are sisters, Lorraine Holmes and Delores Diggs. Between them they have served over 5,000 hours at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital besides all of the other charitable activities they do. I was very pleased.

Governor Haley did it right, recognizing this group in the state house this morning and then hosting a luncheon at the Lace House on the Governor's Mansion property. She spent time with each volunteer, posing for photos with them and I do appreciate it. Historically in my experience no other Governor even attended the Governor's Awards.

The folks in the bottom picture are my peers. I made them pose for a picture after we recognized all the winners. These are the volunteer managers from Trident United Way, Camp Happy Days, Water Missions and Hospice among others. They worked hard to make this a very special day, and it was! We had a blast. Thanks folks!

Sisters Delores Diggs and Lorraine Holmes with Govenor Haley

Volunteer Managers at the Governor's Mansion

17 April 2012

Packing up, moving out...

Vanderhorst St., Charleston, S.C.
I guess I owe my brother Jim for sprucing up my house with a fresh coat of  paint last summer. In the picture, he was contemplating painting that last peak.

I'm packing up, moving on. Someone wants to buy my home. It's been for sale long enough in this unlikely market that despite the occasional inconvenience of real estate agents traipsing through, I'd almost forgotten that I'd actually have to move out. After all, being stuck in a historic downtown Charleston house two blocks from the Farmer's Market ain't all bad at all.

It is bittersweet but for the best. I am alone now with family grown and gone. The dingo moved out with my daughter and Frisky cat King of the Neighborhood grew blind and died. Through the years I've hosted a caste of characters as tenants; rickshaw drivers, art professors, jugglers, coastguard and navy gentlemen. I  had an exotic dancer in the basement for years. Two sets of tenants matched up and get married. This has been a full service operation! I've been the keeper of the link between the descendants of the early owner of my home which was built around 1840 and welcomed his grand daughters and great grandsons back into his home last year.

So, it's time to go. I won't have to laugh every time I make my gps pronounce Van-der-horst Street anymore. 

The little cottages that I had my eye on when I first put it up for sale have long since sold so I'm kicking my son out of the little West Ashley rancher he has been sharing with roommates since they got out of Clemson. They have cleared out the poker table and packed up their video games for me. A friend is freshening up the inside with a coat of paint and we'll deal with the outside after I get moved. It will be a nest to move to for the time being while I decide if I can survive off of the Charleston peninsula where I've pounded thousands of miles into the pavement.

If all works out I'll be a West Ashley girl by May. Amazing.

16 April 2012


Hawk at attention at pond side, Charleston, S.C.

Uhoh. I went behind the hospital a couple of times today searching the ponds at the back of the campus to see if I could find mama duck with her babies at swimming classes. I just missed them this morning but when I went back this afternoon I met this impressive figure on guard at the pond. Considering the spread of snowy white in the grass things don't look good for the little ducklings.

15 April 2012

Fox Sightings on the Charleston peninsula

Silver Fox, Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S.C.
Sightings of foxes on the Charleston peninsula, you say?! This fella didn't even startle when I spotted him watching over the Cooper River bridges from his perch on top of a tomb at Magnolia Cemetery. Apparently a couple of foxes have been seen downtown Charleston.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I've been cleaning out my garage. Blah. It seems like every tenant through the years has left at least one thing - a chair, a ratty old desk, car cleaning supplies.....sigh. I heard someone stop to rummage through what I had put out on the sidewalk and invited him back to see what else I had. He wanted almost everything. Yipee! Old tiles, extra roofing shingles. All gone. 

A cotton pickin' bouquet!

Cotton, Charleston Farmer's Market, Marion Square, S.C.
How about this eye-catching bouquet of fresh cotton?! Or maybe some smoked olive olive oil from Max Blackman at Holy Smoke below (it really was smokey)? Fresh asparagus from Fields Farms?

The best thing I did at the Farmer's Market yesterday was enjoy crepes for breakfast with St. Paul, Minnesota blogger Kate Mura and her husband Jim. Kate is a frequent commenter here and it was a real treat to meet them as they traveled up the coast.

Holy Smoke, Smoked Olive Oil

Joseph Fields Farms, Johns Island

Kate & Jim Mura

14 April 2012

Best Place to Give Birth

Duckling Nursery, Charleston, S.C.
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital has been winning the Best Place to Give Birth award annually since, well..since the Charleston City Paper started giving out the award. Apparently it is still true! This mallard duck in our back pond has thirteen ducklings hidden under her wing. We don't keep our newborns in the nursery - we believe in "rooming in" with mama.

The gentlemen in Engineering have been feeding her with corn and were eager for me to catch a glimpse of the babies but mom was pretty protective. Hopefully I can catch them at swimming lessons on Monday. 

I hope everyone is making the most of their weekend!

13 April 2012

Summertime and the livin' is easy....

Charleston Singleton, Memminger Auditorium, Charleston, S.C.

Not too very bad for a pocket camera across a dark room with no flash! I just got back from the concert at Memminger Auditorium for the 40th Anniversary of the Sea Island Comprehensive Care Corporation. Pianist Dr. Wilfred Delphin, Soprano Dr. Valerie Francis and the Charleton Singleton (above) Jazz Quartet put on a wonderful concert.

Wow, it was really grand. They finished off with Summertime from Porgy & Bess. Sweet. Nice to listen to wonderful live music for a good cause with old friends and new. Thanks to the blog fans who introduced themselves!

12 April 2012

Teeny Tiny Houses of Charleston

Charleston, S.C.
I love these little tiny houses in Charleston. Some of them hardly seem wide enough for a tall person to stretch out. Many of them were carriage or kitchen houses for the main building on the property. This brick one is a sweetie.

This link is a bit dated but leads to the contest winners for decorating small spaces on the Apartment Therapy site: Small, cool.

This link leads to an blog entry titled: Ode to our teeny, tiny apartment about living in a wee apartment in Charleston.

Meanwhile I am in the mood to get rid of things that I haven't used for years. I burned up a shredder motor last night tearing my past into thin strips of paper. Soon everything I have left will fit in a shoe box.

11 April 2012

Sorry Sampler Sister

My brother Bob is a respected Veterinarian with the Dunnville Veterinary Clinic in Ontario, Canada.  Many years ago when he was a good looking young animal loving whipper snapper, I was so proud of him graduating from Veterinary school that I planned to cross stitch an elaborate animal themed sampler for his office.

Ummm......I've been cleaning house and just came across it. Sorry Dr. Bob. Still proud of you.

10 April 2012

Best No Parking sign

Avondale Mural, Charleston, S.C.
Living in a college rental part of town, I am especially tuned in to No Parking signs. I've collected quite a number and variety of signs and this takes the cake. I don't think I would park here. Love it! This is one of the murals behind the shops at Avondale.

I just moved furniture, rolled up my oriental carpet and lugged it to the porch by myself. Huff puff. The folks from Rug Masters are to come by to get it in the morning for cleaning. I'm not really worried about anyone stealing it overnight since I can hardly move it.

09 April 2012

Bring me to a Travel Agent!

McIntosh Travel, Society St., Charleston, S.C.
It isn't a travel agency anymore but this building on Society St. still has the McIntosh Travel agency sign hanging and it reminded me of this picture below that I took years ago.

There must have been a child in the family helping to promote business. "Mcintosh Travle. The Numer One Cruise Line"  and the picture of the black cat says "Please bring me to a travel Agent!" Cute :)

I didn't mean to travel more than a few inches from my couch this evening but after a lazy dinner of potato pancakes (yum, yum)  my legs seemed to decide they were going for a march with or without me so I tagged along and we did the King, Meeting, Broad St. loop. Now I am wide awake again. 

08 April 2012

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves, Charleston, S.C.

What a beautiful day!

I've posted pictures of this church before but it seems particularly suited for today. Happy Easter kids!

07 April 2012

Lake View

Lake Marion, S.C
I missed the first day of the Farmer's Market but I did have breakfast with my son overlooking Lake Marion. Not too very bad. 

The water is high and the trees are lush and green again. Almost time to dust off the kayaks for the summer!

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Angel Door Knocker, Warren St., Charleston, S.C.

I've been carrying around a page from the Post & Courier on Decorative Door Knockers in my backpack, meaning to eventually track down the locations. Most of them of course are on mansions in the lower peninsula. Then, to my happy surprise I spotted the angelic gal right around the block from my house. She may not date back as far as some of the ones in the article but she has a certain rusty charm.

The hard copy version of the article has all the pictures but apparently the online version does not. Sorry. This photographer's site has some of them.

06 April 2012

Have a Good Friday!

Have a good day! Coming St., Charleston, S.C.
Long weekend I love you. When I am queen every weekend will be a three day weekend.

I convinced myself that yesterday was Friday and make it to a 5 pm matinee to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the Terrace Theater. I had my cuppa hot tea in hand and thought I had the entire theater to myself until a couple slipped in late. It was the perfect ending to my short work week. Since yesterday was my Friday I was convinced that I was going to stop by the first day of the Farmer's Market for fresh veggies on my way home from my walk this morning. I am happily muddled.

It is odd for me to be out walking on a weekday morning watching the city waking up. I am happy to see that the old Abercrombie & Fitch building on King St. is being renovated for something new. Sermet's Corner is putting the finishing touches on their renovation. Things are popping on King St.

Y'all have a Good Friday.

04 April 2012

Say "Amen"

Amen Street, Charleston, S.C.
Uhoh. I should be in bed, shouldn't I? I get a second wind around 11 p.m. and want to keep going.

Amen Street is a seafood restaurant on East Bay St. I had to keep clicking until the sign spun so you could read it. I was trying to remember why it was called "Amen St." and came across this bit of history from their website: 
Amen Street and 205 East Bay Street:Amen Street began as Wragg’s Alley, a small passage through Samuel Wragg’s property, running from East Bay to Motte Street (now part of State Street). By 1788, Wragg’s Alley had been extended westward to Church Street and renamed Amen Street. According to tradition this name was given because “amens” could often be heard from two nearby churches – St. Philip’s and the Methodist Meeting House. In 1839, Amen Street was absorbed into the widened and extended throughway, Cumberland Street. Unfortunately from that time until now the colorful name had disappeared.

Go get some oysters, kids! 

03 April 2012

Baking up a storm

Middleton Place, Charleston, S.C.

I've been baking a carrot cake and the house smells yummy. I've squeezed one last cake out of the oven before it gets too hot to bake.

When I had a growing family at home I baked constantly and took it all in stride. Now it is such an occasion that I can never be sure I have staple ingredients on hand. Vanilla, huh? When did I last use vanilla? So I buy another bottle just in case and now I have three. Three bottles of vanilla but only half a cup of sugar. Luckily the Piggly Wiggly is on my regular walking route.

Today's photos are from my recent Middleton Place walk. 

My good news this week is learning that two of my hospital volunteers have won the Governor's Award for Volunteering. Yipee! They are sisters and won in the Family Volunteer category. I am very pleased. I love it when I can earn recognition for people who give so much. Later in the month I'll escort them to the State House to be honored for their years of service. Color me proud.

02 April 2012

And a white picket fence.....

Old Museum pillars, Canon Park, Charleston, S.C.
From this angle it does almost look like a giant fence for the house across Ashley Avenue. We usually take the picture of the old museum pillars from the other side. This was once the nation's first and oldest museum founded in 1773. How sad that all that is left after a fire is these grand pillars. 

91 degrees in Charleston today. What the heck? It is April 2nd? We had a lovely rain in the evening so I have all my doors and windows open to catch a little of the cool breeze. I did get a quick walk in and found this floral arrangement for you on Radcliffe St. You are welcome.

01 April 2012

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - St. Andrew's Parish Church

St. Andrew's Parish Church, Hwy 61, Charleston, S.C.
In a way, I did attend! I caught the last day of the St. Andrew's Parish Tea Room yesterday. The Tea Room  is a southern church tradition that amazes me each year. The church members cook and serve exactly the same food every year - she-crab soup, chicken or shrimp sandwiches, congealed salad, coconut cake and the parking lot is full every single day. Loaded buses pull up from retirement homes.

This is the annual fundraiser for the church and I'm glad I didn't miss it. I know so many people that go each year or serve at the event it feels like old home week. When I googled for information to get my facts straight, I found all the pictures I'd taken in past years.
History: In the late 1940's, shortly after the church was reopened, a group of women often spent all day cleaning and preparing the church for worship services. They had their lunch on the lawn, and soon began to share their lunches with tourists who stopped to see the old church. Because there were no restaurants in the area at that time, and as a way of raising funds for renovation, the ladies began selling coffee, lemonade, and sandwiches to tourists. Thus the Saint Andrew's Tea Room was born. Today waitresses are dressed in late 18th century costumes and serve a full lunch in the Parish Hall. A full gift shop is available and tours of the historic church are available. Proceeds from the Tea Room and Gift Shop provide financial support to a variety of ECW programs and services including mission and ministry in the world and at home, care and outreach in the community and church, support for parish programs and upkeep and restoration of the historic church building.