29 April 2013

Moore Botanical Garden - Lake City, S.C.

Moore Botanical Gardens, Lake City, S.C.
A bonus happy surprise from my trip to Lake City was a quick stop at the Moore Botanical Gardens.
The garden wasn't open for tours but I enjoyed the drive in and a visit to the sod house on display near the entrance. The sod structure was designed and created by Herb Parker.

For a better tour, visit an earlier entry from Tales from the Laboratory with photos describing the entire garden.

Here is the good news - for folks interested in making the trip, there is an event coming up in May.

May Days: Plant sale and pig pickin’

For the first time ever, we’ll be combining two of our favorite things: Plants and BBQ!  Please join us in the garden from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm on both Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th for this special open house. The plant sale will feature over 65 varieties of choice, hard to find and unusual plants from the garden. Some varieties will sell out quickly, so plan to arrive early for the best selection.

28 April 2013

Artfields, Lake City, S.C.

Artfields, Lake City, S.C.
I don't need to ask if anyone else made the trip to the arts festival in tiny little Lake City this past week because the town was bustling with people touring the art displays. What a brilliant idea! Lake City is the home town of Darla Moore. Under her guidance, they renovated some of the buildings, encouraged business owners and announced an art festival with combined prizes of $100,000. That was enough to get people's attention!

The entire town seems in on the idea with paintings hanging in restaurants, shops and barbershops. Locals asked if I wanted to take pictures of them (I did!) and posed for me. The hostess of the buffet restaurant was amazing that she had a piece of art valued at $50,000 on her wall. Visitors were invited to vote on their favorites which meant every single one of us was welcome to traipse through each business. I loved the idea! I didn't have enough time to visit all the art but did a quick run through town and then headed out to Darla Moore's botanical garden.

Here is a quote from Charleston Magazine's recent interview:
But will the experiment work? Will visitors coming to see art be seduced by a quaint town’s quiet charms and stay a while, spend some tourism bucks? Maybe buy one of those 1910 fixer-uppers? Start a small business? A new hotel is already slated to open soon, a hopeful sign. ArtFields takes its lead from a similar event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that had positive economic development outcomes, but the net gain for Lake City, besides the prize winning artworks that will stay in the city’s public spaces, remains to be seen. “Dr. George Washington Carver said, ‘Where there is no vision, there is no hope’,” says Lake City mayor Lovith Anderson Jr. “The people of Lake City and the surrounding communities are the beneficiaries of the hope and promise and progress which have sprung from the visionary effort and leadership of Darla Moore.”
My daughter took business and economics at USC and Darla Moore has been so generous in supporting her Alma Mater and the Darla Moore School of Business that I have been grateful fan for years. I will be delighted if this experiment works to revive a sleepy small town in South Carolina. Next year let's get some buses lined up to take people from Charleston for a field trip!

27 April 2013

Through Charleston's gates

Bull St., Charleston, S.C.
I do a lot of peeking through Charleston gates into private gardens. Sometimes someone peeks back at me.

If you like wrought iron work as much as I do, pay a visit to VanessaK's amazing photos.

26 April 2013

Farmer's Market season

Charleston Farmer's Market, Marion Square, Charleston, S.C.  
Yipee! It is Farmer's Market season. Fresh tomatoes, zucchini and strawberries, oh my! The photos from last week show more booths than usual because some other festival tagged on but it is always good. Heck, now you can buy everything from fresh pasta to art work.

The aisles have spread out a little which I appreciate. With all the space I couldn't understand why we had to have the walk ways so narrow you could hardly move. All the time I am looked at fresh veggies I am consciously trying to keep myself from buying a bag of coconut macaroons from the Rococo German bakery booth. Oh yum.

25 April 2013

State Street greenery

State St., Charleston, S.C.
This is one of the prettiest stretches of street in Charleston and I can't resist grabbing a shot when I go by.

I took this on Saturday which was lucky since it is pouring rain at the moment and the weather might mess with my evening walk.  This was national Walk at Lunch day so I did squeeze in a brisk march around the hospital campus at lunch which equals about a mile. This staying fit business is time consuming isn't it?  I've tried to get back in the routine of going to a zumba class but missed last night because I had forty kids learning about Obstetrical careers at Mount Pleasant Hospital.

At least it is staying light later so it is more tempting to get back outside after my initial post work crash and burn. Stay healthy my friends.

23 April 2013

Ghost hunting in Charleston

St. Philip's, Church St., Charleston, S.C.
Ghost hunting in historic Charleston? You are in luck at the churchyard cemetery of St. Philip's. They boast about their Ghost and invite you to learn more.

22 April 2013

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Bull St., Charleston, S.C.
Here a couple more shots to add to the series of teeny, tiny houses of Charleston taken on a Bull St. walk this weekend. They might not really be so small in square footage but they are in respect to the large neighboring homes. Cute little things indeed.

My Canadian niece Elizabeth is studying this year at the University of Essex in the UK. Peak in on her travels and say hello on her blog: Keep Calm and Travel On.

Take a moment and vote for Bernie Ditter on the Salute to Senior Service link. Bernie is an extraordinary volunteer not only for the Juvenile Justice Dept. but for Roper Hospital. This is an easy vote and you can repeat daily if you are inclined: http://www.salutetoseniorservice.com/volunteer-contest/entries/bernie-d/

21 April 2013

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - French Huguenot Church

French Huguenot Church, Charleston, S.C.
Hello - something is different here. The beautiful French Huguenot Church used to be a brilliant white and now it is pink. Apparently it was damaged enough during the restoration of the Dock St. Theater across the street that is went through an entire renovation and while they were at it they went back to match the original shade of pink. I was not consulted.

Restoration in Progress: The current restoration project began due to damage caused to the church by other construction done in the area, namely from the Dock Street Theatre, which underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, completed in 2010. While work has been going on for quite some time now, a major change just took place. The color of the exterior stucco, which as most of you will remember, used to be white, has been reverted back to its original pale pink.

20 April 2013

Powder Magazine celebrates 300th birthday

Powder Magazine celebration, Cumberland St., Charleston, S.C.

These cute little gals were posing for me but kept their eyes on their mothers behind me. There was a crowd lined up to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Powder Magazine and the festivities were getting ready to start as I walked by this morning.
The small brick building on Cumberland Street is distinctive for its three-feet-thick walls, four groin vaulted arches, and a pyramid roof, architectural necessities in case the loose gun powder stored there in the 1700s exploded.
“It was very well built,” said retired USC art and architectural historian John Bryan. “And the proof of that is the fact that it is still there.”
The magazine was completed in 1713 under the Lord Proprietors rule and was part of the walled city called Charles Towne. That city was four blocks wide and two blocks long, bordered by the present Meeting, Cumberland, East Bay and Water streets.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/18/2730582/powder-magazine-celebrates-tricentennial.html#storylink=cpy

19 April 2013

Thank a volunteer - Lowcountry Senior Center

Lowcountry Senior Center, James Island, S.C.

Next week is Volunteer week but we've been pro-active and held volunteer recognition events this week. I've been party hopping and have been hugged by so many wonderful people I should be radiating good will.

I've helped host volunteer award luncheons for Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Mount Pleasant Hospital, Roper Hospital and today I attended a recognition brunch for the Lowcountry Senior Center volunteers on James Island. What a great group. Joe Hanf, pictured getting the smooches above has volunteered for over 10,000 hours for the Senior Center.

Events unfold

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, S.C.
I've spent the entire evening watching the story in Boston unfold, amazed at the work done by law enforcement, FBI, EMS, hospital staff and the city of Boston. My heart is full of gratitude for everyone who worked tirelessly to bring this awful incident to some closure.

17 April 2013

Need something to read?

Window Books, Hollywood, S.C.

I lightened my load and got rid of so many things when I moved downsizing to a smaller house last year. The only thing I have caught myself regretting has been that I gave away so many of my books. I had boxes of books that had been in my attic since my move before that - over twenty years earlier. I gave away all of my recipe books now that I google all recipes. If the internet is down, I am completely helpless and unable to make a meal.

I spotted this window full of books in Hollywood, S.C. in Robert Sarvo's Antique Store. Maybe I should buy a few. 

16 April 2013

Travel Tuesdays - Endebess, Kenya

On Tuesdays I allow myself to stray out of the lowcountry and dip into old travel albums. These shots were  from a trip I took a few years ago to document the installation of a water purification system designed by Water Missions International for a community hospital in Kenya. The hospital I work for raised the money and sponsored the project and I was fortunate to be part of it.

After the commissioning ceremony we traveled a bit and visited other hospitals, clinics, schools and a school for the blind.  I took these between Kitali and Endebess if my memory serves. It was a market area that sold veggies and piles of used clothes and repaired bikes. I was a quick hit taking pictures of the market ladies and kids and showing them their image in the back of the camera to whoops of laughter.

14 April 2013

The Eatery at the Depot - Branchville, SC

The Eatery at the Depot, Branchville, SC..

An interesting fact about Branchville is that it is the site of the oldest railroad junction in the world. The world! They celebrate the fact each year with the Raylrode Daze Festivul.  The actual depot burned but has been restored into a museum and restaurant called the Eatery at the Depot.

Branchville then became the first railroad junction in the world when the railroad company extended its rails on to Hamburg, across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia and to the north, to Orangeburg and Columbia. Both rail lines closely paralleled the Old Indian Trails. The "Best Friend," the first steam railroad in the South, if not in the United States, hauled freight and passengers over the Charleston to Hamburg line through Branchville.
To satisfy the demand, the railroad persuaded a Mr. Chatrand, operator of the tavern known as "The Branch Eating House," at the fork in the Indian trail, to move his establishment to the Branchville depot, Chatrand did so and erected the same sign used by his old establishment. But for railroad purposes, this was not satisfactory, according to old accounts. Hence, the "ville" was added to the name of "The Branch," which soon became known by its present name, "Branchville."
I've been through Branchville before but never happened to be there when the restaurant was actually open. I finally got to sit down and enjoy dinner and has a very pleasant meal. Cars were lined up and the place was quite busy so I felt lucky not to have to wait long.

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Ravenel

United Methodist Church, Ravenel, S.C.
We haven't added to the Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance series lately but this lovely historic church in Ravenel, SC fits the bill for a spring time image. The azaleas were in bloom and I had to stop to take a picture and wander through the churchyard cemetery.

There was an odd startling moment when I saw a tombstone with the name of a vibrant and alive friend on it. That is always weird.

“Spring had really come. The south opened like a mouth. It blew one long breath, humid and warm, and flowers quivered inside the seeds, and the round earth began to ripen like fruit.”

Jean Giono (found in Provence: A Country Almanac)

13 April 2013

Honoring Volunteers

Peri-op Volunteers, Charleston, S.C.

I may be one of the most fortunate people in the world - getting to work with people who do a job because they want to make a difference. I spend my days recruiting, interviewing, processing, scheduling and training hospital volunteers and I have the best team anyone could every hope for. I love these folks. My health system has over 600 volunteers who serve during a year and in 2012 my team worked well over 82,000 hours. What an incredible group of people.

Volunteer Week is in April and we have a few recognition events the first of which was today. This is a very small part of the volunteer teamp. For this photo grouping we tried to gather volunteers who greet patients coming in for surgical procedures, staff the OR Waiting Room, pre-surgical area and recovery room. What a difference this team makes. Thanks folks! You are the VERY best.

12 April 2013

North Charleston Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park, North Charleston, S.C.
My kids attended the Academic Magnet High School when it was housed on the old Navy Base so we did the trip down memory lane driving around the old base and North Charleston's Riverfront Park during my daughter's recent visit. I always like to check in on the outdoor sculptures at the park. 

The scene below is their fancy bandstand. It must be quite a sight to see fireworks going off over the river.

11 April 2013

I'll take this town.....

Charleston Street Poetry

I'll take this town,
I'll make it my own
I'll walk the street.
I'll feel the beat
of the sun on my face
I'll say, I like it here,
and I'll stay.
And I did! 

10 April 2013

Asleep in a tree

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, S.C.

See the dark spot in the ancient oak tree? That is the final resting place of the former owner of Magnolia Plantation. John Drayton Hastie's remains are inside a container that is tucked inside the oak tree that was  planted by his ancestor three centuries ago.

Each year it seems to disappear a little more until soon, I imagine he will be completely enclosed within the tree. Not a bad resting place.

09 April 2013

I Heart My City - Charleston

King St, Charleston, S.C.
Check this link to an I Heart My City entry on Charleston on the National Geographic site by Barrett Caldwell. It's fun to think of how you would answer the questions.

Ready for another National Geographic thing that tickles me to no end? They link to this blog on their Free Things to do in Charleston site. That is pretty cool for a long time National Geo fan like me.

08 April 2013

Here's lookin' at you kid

Hollywood, S.C.
He is a giant treat waiting for you on a street corner in tiny Hollywood, S.C. Many years ago I first spotted him on the water side of the Charleston City Marina behind the Rice Mill building and I was pleased to see that he hadn't disappeared entirely. He is a established Hollywood personality now.

It is hard to get a feel for the size in the picture but years ago the business owner told me that it took a crane to move him to the location. Stop by and say hello. 

07 April 2013

Gandhi visits North Charleston

Mahatma Gandhi, North Charleston, S.C.
I've been on the look out for a mural of Mahatma Gandhi that I heard was in North Charleston but no one seemed to know where it was. I finally asked a server at Evo's Pizza and was informed that it was on the wall inside a bar - The Sparrow.

It was early in the afternoon and with the establishment relatively empty the manager let me wander and admire. The artist is Douglas Panzone.

06 April 2013

Charleston Battery soccer players run the Cooper River Bridge Run

Charleston Battery runners, Charleston, S.C.
There were a lot of fun costumes in the Cooper River Bridge Run this morning but these gentlemen from the Charleston Battery soccer team were actually in uniform. Run gentlemen!

Congratulations Cooper River Bridge Runners/Walkers!

Cooper River Bridge Run - 2013, King St., Charleston, S.C.
Amazing. They look like they are flying. The wheelchair racers were so fast most of them had already passed by when I arrived.  After the initial serious competitors, I love the sense of humor and outfits people wear to enjoy the day. Town is happy chaos and I am sure every restaurant will be full. I am sorry I didn't offer to make brunch for participants I knew. Maybe I will do that next year.