31 July 2012

Travel Tuesdays - Scary Mermaid

Crescent City, California
She is a bit scary isn't she?  Even with the flowers in her hair she looks threatening.

Sometimes when I've taken a picture I like I search google images to see what other people have taken. Yep. I'm not the only one who visited this gal - even these guys.  Nice. No wonder she was mad.

A few years ago I flew to Portland, Oregon and joined my daughter on a road trip down the coast to the giant redwoods of California. We stayed at the Requa Inn in Klamath, California in the Redwoods. We did all the touristy things, driving through the giant Redwood, riding the cable care to the top of the mountain, listening to the seals and watching the sunset over the Pacific. What a delightfully different coastline! The air was cool and crisp and I ate my way down the coast in fish and chips.

*Travel Tuesdays will feature photos taken out of Charleston and the Lowcountry.  Join me for Travel Tuesday Field trips!

30 July 2012

Afternoon storm clouds

Terrace Theater, Charleston, S.C.
I stopped to catch the storm clouds over the Terrace Theater yesterday but that wasn't too difficult since this has been what our skies have looked like every afternoon lately. We've had dramatic skies and awesome lightening shows but the rain has been spotty. I just did a nice walk around the neighborhood in a warm drizzle.

I don't know what I would do without the Terrace Theater. I go to a movie almost every Friday afternoon and sit in the dark alone with a hot cuppa tea letting the work week slip away. I missed this Friday so treated myself to the Intouchables yesterday afternoon and sat there grinning through the show until that last few minutes when my eyes burned with tears for just a few minutes. Really, really good. If you can live with subtitles go. It is a French movie. 

Has anyone else seen any good movies recently?

Speaking of dramatic skies over Charleston, check these out: VanessaK: More Summer Storms. Wow.

29 July 2012

Tilting at Windmills

Windmill, Wappoo Cut, Charleston, S.C.
"Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza. 

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

Are we fortunate? We have only the one giant to battle. This adorable windmill watches over the boaters putting in at the Wappoo Cut boat landing. Built by John Roessler at the Wappoo Cut around 1936, it 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. She is a sweetie. I've featured her before and I expect I will again.

Sunday night. I am sure there will be giants to battle again this workweek. Perhaps more than usual.

Vehicle of choice for flood prone streets

Canon St., Charleston, S.C.
This vehicle makes so much sense in a city that floods regularly. Perfect. Minor detail is that it is usually raining when it floods and this has no top but I suspect that is a minor detail. I can picture them happily enjoying the Charleston monsoons at high tide while other cars are bobbing in their wake.

Dang it is hot, kids. I got my joggling board delivered (so exciting!) and I'm trying to spruce up the area with a trip to Home Depot for a few plants and re-purposing an old pot rack as a trellis. I am dripping enough sweat not to have to water them. Hope I bought plants that like salt water.

28 July 2012

Bali Coconut & Lime Sea Salt

Salt Bar, Caviar & Bananas,  George St., Charleston, S.C.
I walked up King St. this morning and detoured to pick up one of the scrumptious duck confit sandwiches at Caviar & Bananas on George St.  Wandering while waiting for my sandwich and trying not to notice if they had their giant coconut macaroons on hand (they did. I didn't get one. sniff), I noticed this display of salt. Yep. Artisan salt. Is that the new thing or am I slow?  I remembered reading about a salt related event and found this on the Post & Courier site:

Pass The Salt II

Thursday, Aug 2 6:30p at Caviar & Bananas, Charleston, SC
The evening will begin with specialty drinks and passed hors d'oeuvres for the cocktail hour followed by a hands-on salt tasting and an elegant family style dinner. Insightful, educational and delicious this is an interactive culinary adventure you will not want to miss.
Executive Chef Todd Mazurek will select salts from among Caviar & Bananas salt bar's 16 artisan salts to enhance the flavors from the bounty of fresh vegetables, seafood and fruits of the Lowcountry while Sarah Graham, author of The Local Palate's recent article "Salt" will introduce you to the art of choosing and using Artisanal Finishing Salts to enhance your everyday eating experiences. read more

I finished my walk through the Charleston Farmers Market and had to grab this funny shot from the Banana Tree booth. I love people who take the trouble simply to get a smile. :)

27 July 2012

Happy Days

Bobby & Dianna Luff, Charlestowne Landing, Charleston, S.C.
I went to the celebration party for my former office suite mate Dianna who married one of my gentlemen volunteers Bobby. I think they look pretty darned happy! They had a private ceremony, slipped off to Ireland on a honeymoon and gathered friends to celebrate at Charlestowne Landing this evening. I am slightly invested in their happiness since they met in my office. :)  Congratulations kids!


26 July 2012

Charleston Grit Blogging Party

Charleston Magazine's posse of bloggers Charleston Grit had a party and I was invited. Woo hoo! The event was held at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery on King St. and I'd been looking forward to snooping around all the delicious artwork. I went with my friend Susan Moore and we met all kinds of interesting people. Bloggers, artists, writers, designers and stylish folk galore. It was great to meet the faces behind Charleston Magazine. They gave out a few awards to people who have been blogging under the Charleston Grit umbrella. It was good to put some faces to people I've only known online.

In the bottom photo is the meeting of the "Joans". There aren't too many of us Joans around anymore. We have to stick together when we can. :)) Whenever she says something clever I aim to take credit for it.

Good to meet y'all! 

25 July 2012

Rainbow Row & delivery problems

East Bay St., Charleston, S.C.
This is a pretty section of East Bay St. often called Rainbow Row because of the pretty and varied colors.

A month or so ago I asked your advice about a furniture purchase. I had in my mind to buy a silver chest/cabinet. After considering everyone's input and balancing my whims of the day, I decided on selection #5 from Vivaterra. It was a major purchase for me and I've been counting the days until I could set it place.

Easy no? Not so.

The freight delivery company sent a link to a webpage to pick a delivery date. I happily selected the day after I returned from vacation and planned a bonus day off.  I was called by the delivery company in Columbia while I was in Chicago wanting to deliver it the next day. They laughed at the fact that I had selected a delivery day online. Hahah, they said! We don't know why THEY let you think you can chose a delivery option. We don't even go to Charleston on Mondays. Double hahahahah.

I told them not to return my chest and called when I got back to arrange a day. They called me THREE times to confirm last Wednesday. I sat at home from 3 - 7 pm in my assigned delivery window. Hahah on me. When I called the next morning they wondered why I thought I was getting a delivery? My chest was still in Atlanta. Why had I even called them, they wondered. They had no chest for me.

Fast forward another week and I was to be available today from 4 - 8. They called, showed up promptly and whipped my package into the house. They tore off the first corner of the box, pronounced it damaged,  boxed my baby back up and took it away.  They teased me with a flash of silver and whisked it away.

I need to stick with used furniture stores as is my custom. Hahah. It does look purty though doesn't it?

24 July 2012

Travel Tuesdays

My thinking was that every Tuesday I might feature a picture taken outside of Charleston.  Some days the "Charleston Daily Photo" title feels restrictive. Surely I am allowed to amble off campus now and then.

This picture was taken on a hiking vacation in Ireland some years ago. I had intended to go with a girlfriend who backed out at the last minute. When you are single and planning a vacation that is a big deal. I called the travel agent intending to cancel the trip but was encouraged to go on a trip that was for "solo travelers". Keep in mind that this was "solo", not for "singles". It was designed for independant travelers who happened to be alone, rather than people trying to hook up.

It was one of the best vacations I have ever taken in my life. The group included a Radiologist from Australia, a Psychologist from New Zealand, a Belgian school teacher, a French Pharmacist, a nurse from Cape Code, a gal who worked for NASA, a twenty one year old Canadian girl and a Scottish grandmother among others. At some point we walked along with each person and got to know everyone in the group.

We ate breakfast together at our inn and then set out hiking each day ending up in a pub by late afternoon. The group suited every interest. If someone wanted to hang out and watch TV in the evening there was someone to do that with. If you wanted to go to the pub in the village there was someone who wanted to join that party. I hit the jackpot in travel companions. By the end of the week we all exchanged emails and kept in touch for some time.

Irish Graffiti

23 July 2012

Horsing Around with Retirement

Charleston, S.C.

You could tie a horse to a horse, of course.

In other news... I had a conversation with my daughter on our vacation about pensions and retirement. It hadn't dawned on her that working as I do in a non-profit hospital, I don't have a pension. We are encouraged of course to set money aside into managed accounts and a tiny portion is matched by the health system. She has worked for the county and now is in a university position. I explained that she may well be able to retire before I do.

Just for fun I plugged some numbers in one of those nifty and depressing retirement calculators. What a relief to discover that it will all work out after all as long as I follow their advice:

  • Increase contributions to 132.89% of your income
  • Increase your rate of return before retirement to 26.58%.
  • Reduce your required income at retirement to 41% of your final year's income.
  • Delay your retirement until age 94.

Oh. That should work.

22 July 2012

Sunset on Lake Marion

Sunset on Lake Marion

I've come up with the most brilliant idea for a retirement home for men. It should be designed with a long porch overlooking a boat landing. Is there anything men enjoy more than critiquing other boaters launching their boats? They could do a little fishing themselves in between show times. It would be perfect. I should build it myself.

20 July 2012

Tough Times

Charleston, S.C.
The news is tough to watch these days. This story of the shooting in the theater in Colorado is just so sad. I can't even imagine what a nightmare it was for the people there.

Things have been tough for some folks in my life closer to home as well with illness, sadness and loss. Hang in there folks. Peace and strength.

19 July 2012

Bird's eye view

Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. 
I don't think this is the first sea gull to perch on that pole.

Holy cow, kids, I just got a Jury Summons from the Coroner's Office for a Coroner's Inquest to determine a cause of death. I didn't know such a thing existed. Has anyone else done this?

18 July 2012

Items we still use today

Charleston, S.C.
This is one of the finest houses on the battery. I like how the businessman in the suit dashed around the corner and landed smack dab in the middle of my photo.

In other news, here is a list labeled "outdated tech items we still used today."  I do still use a few of them. I always wear a watch although in my recent summer camp, not a single one of the teenagers had one on. They all used their cell phones. I still love my morning newspaper ritual even if I've already read the news online. That might be almost it for me.  I still had a VCR in the attic when I moved but got rid of it. How about y'all?

Outdated Tech items we still used today:
  1.  VCR
  2. Watches
  3. Non-Internet pornography
  4. Regular mail
  5. Movie rentals
  6. Nintendo
  7. Landline phone
  8. Newspapers
  9. Classified ads
  10. Discman
  11. Phone books
  12. Fax machines
  13. Maps
  14. Flip phones
  15. Standalone GPS units
  16. Non-flat TVs and monitors
  17. Film cameras
  18. Payphones/phone booths
  19. AOL email
  20. 1-900 numbers

Donkeys for Sale

Lowcounty cottage, Eutawville, S.C.
I adore these little lowcountry cottages. I used to imagine that if I won the lottery I would give a great award to architecture students to design something practical and new that looked like this but would replace the ugliness of today's mobile home. Whenever I pass this particular one I have to sing out "Donkeys for sale!" and keep my eye out for the two asses in the neighboring fields.

17 July 2012

Too bad I'm not a writer

Keats at Shelley

Kipling at Shelley
What a shame I'm not a writer. I've moved to the right neighborhood for them. There are more....Longfellow, Byron, Browning, Barrett. That settles it. I need to start writing.

16 July 2012

Signs of the times, Chicago style

No Parking
Had to laugh at this one! What part about No Parking in Front of a Driveway Don't You Understand?

We have no hours. We're never open. We're always closed.
Crochet Tree Owl!
Killing People is Rude
He That Loveth a Book
United Airlines - Hemisphere Magazine
Nothing like heading home to Charleston and finding Chef Sean Brock in the United Airlines Magazine. 
He is everywhere!

Chicago Trip Impressions

Crown Fountain, Millennium Park, Chicago
  • Planes arriving early? What's with that? Have they changed the travel estimate so passengers get the impression that we are arriving early? It works for me. Yipee, I got in early!
  • Chicago Taxis are cute little Scion XBs. 
  • Pedestrian signals lights up before green traffic signals giving walkers a head start before cars start turning. Thank you. 
  • Architects must love Chicago. Skyrise buildings are presented like precious treasures. I never heard as many Architect's names as I did on the river Architecture boat tour. 
  • Sporty town! People can ride their bike to the lake to go swimming. The beaches are full of serious volley ball action, roller blade hockey, soccer. We watched exciting sail boat races at the Navy Pier.
  • The large outdoor art installations are grand and delight so many people - the bean, the spitty mouth Crown fountains. Such joy!
  • The Art Institute is worth an entire day so that is what we did.
  • There was an adorable wee kid's level sink and soap dispenser in the bathroom at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  What a hit with the toddler crowd. 
  • It was great being with my daughter. She does the travel research and lines up interesting restaurants and neighborhoods to explore. We walked for miles each day dodging rain storms in musty antique stores and coffee shops. More photos here.  
Now, time to see what you have all been up to while I've been away!

Architectural Tour, Chicago
Chicago Art Institute, Chicago
Chicago Art Institute, Chicago
The Bean!
Crown Fountain, Chicago
My gal scouting out coffee shops in the rain
NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me!
Volleyball at the Lake
Amazing sailing at the Navy Pier