31 July 2014

Swim little fishy!

Fish, Charleston, S.C.
This little fish would be happily swimming today! Wow, we had a downpour.

As much as I miss living downtown I don't miss the frequent flooded streets. It's nice not to have to check the tide charts before heading home. According to the Post & Courier we had 4 - 8 inches depending on what part of town you were in and more to come over the next few days. Stay dry my friends.

30 July 2014

STOP! God Bless Y'all

Charleston, S.C.
I'm putting in time until it is cool enough to walk outside.

What the Sheet? Charleston's Homeless Shelter, Crisis Ministries is almost ready to move into their new facility and they need twin bed sheets and towels. They said white was best so they can bleach them. I bet I have 110 friends who might chip in on a twin sheet set or two or more. I shared this on Facebook and helpful contacts tracked down good deals at Walmart, KMart and Anna's Linens (if they have white in stock) and many people have already donated. Spread the word! Here are the details:  

Are you looking for a quick and meaningful service opportunity? We need your help! As we prepare to move into our new homeless services center with beds for 110 men (including 40 beds designated for male Veterans), we need new linens.
Because we are still finishing construction and access to the shelter is limited, we will have an easy donation drop-off at 212 Huger Street (our Veteran Services Center across from Taco Boy) on Friday, Aug. 1 from 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
We need:
- New, white twin sheet sets (fitted, flat and pillowcase)
- New, white towels and washcloths
- New, standard pillows
Help us make this drive a success so every guest who comes through our door has fresh, clean linens! You can also donate financial gifts online at One80Place.org/donate.

Questions? Contact Brad Cashman at 737-8369 or bcashman@one80place.org
I do know good people and I love this message I just got from Brad at Crisis Ministries: We just received a delivery from Walmart with a set of 4 sheets. Perfect timing since we have 4 men going through orientation today who will receive these sheets.


29 July 2014

What does the fox say?

Wine & Design, Charleston, S.C.
 What does the fox say? 
Objects in the mirror may be larger than they appear!

I finally stopped to get a picture of the mural going up on the side of Wine & Design on Ashley River Road. Pretty colorful! I was heading back to my car when I spotted the reflection in the mirror. Sometimes the last shot is the winner.

If anyone knows who the artist is let me know.


28 July 2014

The Alien has arrived

George St., Charleston, S.C.
I popped in Caviar & Bananas yesterday morning at the end of my walk to treat myself to their naked kale salad. Mmmmmm. I took a look over the fence in the little park across the street and spied this recent addition.

Hello there! Is it cooler where you live? Will you take us back with you? 

According to the sign it isn't an alien but a Subterranean lizard by Austin Abt.  Silly me. Thanks for making me happy Austin.

27 July 2014

Doors of Charleston

Doors of Charleston, S.C.

When I come across something like this I am almost emotional. Seriously? Someone did this for ME!? Someone I don't even know gave me this gift. Thank you unknown artist.

This won't make it on the artsy Doors of Charleston poster but it is a perfect addition to my collection.

Stay cool kids. It's mighty hot out there. You can follow my walk this morning by the sweat trail.

26 July 2014

Daufuskie Island field trip

Ferry to Daufuskie Island, Hilton Head, S.C.
I immediately requested a Friday off when author and Daufuskie Island resident Roger Pinckney offered a tour to members of a local Facebook history group I belong to.  Woohoo, field trip! On further research, although I had never been there before, I could have gone anytime, rented a golf cart to tour and even better, rented a cabin for the night. I did it the very best way, meeting new friends and getting a personal tour but I'll share the info in case anyone else wants to make the trip. Hint: It was really hot. Might be slightly more pleasant in early fall.

The ferry leaves from Hilton Head Island. $64 included round trip ferry ride, lowcountry buffet on arrival and either a guided tour or golf cart rental. Plan your trip here. Dolphins escorted our boat and lunch was waiting for us on arrival. We met our guide Roger Pinckney and driver Eddie, boarded our magical history tour bus.The island is very rustic and peaceful. I had downloaded and reread Pat Conroy's book The Water is Wide about teaching in the little school house for a year. Some of the few old cottages are being restored and the church and school are open for viewing as museums. We stopped at an iron artist and pottery studio and ended back at the dock for deviled crab treats before boarding the ferry. It was a lovely day. Thanks to history lover Josephine Humphreys and Roger Pinckney for putting us all together. More photos here.

Daufuskie Island was occupied by native Indians prior to the arrival of European explorers in the 16th Century.  Islanders sided with the British during the Revolutionary War.  Plantations covered the island prior to the Civil War when they were occupied by Union soldiers.  Freed slaves then occupied the island and grew cotton until fields were ruined by the boll weevil.  Canning for the famous Daufuskie Island Oysters ended when local oyster beds were closed in 1951 due to pollution from the Savannah River.  Electricity came to the island in 1953 and telephones in 1972; however, with few opportunities for work, the population shrank to less than a hundred people, leaving a legacy of rich Gullah history.  In the 1980s, tracts of land facing the Atlantic Ocean were purchased, development began and the island was rediscovered as an historic treasure.

25 July 2014

John Rutledge House

John Rutledge House, Broad St., Charleston, S.C.
Aaack! I had to stand on my tiptoes and snuggle up to the house across the street to try to squeeze this house in my shot. This grand building is the John Rutledge House Bed & Breakfast on Broad St. near the Cathedral. I saw a similar shot, I believe in Charleston Magazine and was trying to see if I could pull it off. You can check out their web site for a look inside. It is listed as one of the top 100 hotels in America so you won't be camping.

I took today off work and am heading on a field trip to Daufuskie Island. I am ready to go! Heading down to Hilton Head shortly to take a ferry over to the island.

23 July 2014

Celebrating summer with tomato pie

Tomato Pie, Charleston, S.C.
Many of us had our first tomato pie of the season thanks to the generosity of farmer Paul Nelson who along with wife Lana, shared the bounty from their garden. They summoned their social media friends and sent us  home with trunks full of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and potatoes. I soon noticed that everyone was eating tomato pie this year. Charleston Magazine's version has eggs in it. Mixon Market had a Tomayto Tomahto festival and pie contest - yummy photos on their blog! Southern Seasons had a Tomato Pie contest last week and shared the winning pie recipe. They included bacon in theirs.

Mine is simpler and I cheat with frozen pie crust (ssshh!). It is a lot easier and still scrumptious.  Give it a try and invite me over.

Tomato Pie
4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
2 cups mix of grated mozzarella and cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt & pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

22 July 2014

Magnolia Park Community Garden

Magnolia Park, Charleston, S.C.
The Magnolia Park community garden is looking lush and healthy! What I'd like now is for it to be the location for a West Ashley Farmer's Market please. Pretty please.

21 July 2014

Guerrilla Cuisining

Chef Jonathan Kaldas, Charleston, S.C.
I didn't waste too much time laying down my fork to pick up my camera at the recent Guerrilla Cuisine dinner hosted by jimihatt last week. The underground dinner club events are usually held on Sunday nights. You buy your ticket based on the chef or description of the event and the day before you get an email with directions to the dinner.

This event was held upstairs at Burwell's Stone Fire Grill on Market St. Our chefs for the evening were Chef Jonathan Kaldas, Chef Jordan Moore and Mark Heyward-Washington. The taste adventures included beef heart and beef tendon and fried sweetbreads and yes, I did eat it all. Check here for upcoming events. I guarantee each one will be an adventure.

19 July 2014

Tree trimming day

Charleston, S.C.
I paid a lot to have some trees trimmed and one large dying tree cut down but wow, did they put on a good show. They swept in with a large team, heavy equipment and swarmed over my little property. That truck in the photo above is already full of wood chips and they hadn't started with the large tree they took down yet. I was very impressed. I sneaked a few pictures between the blinds because there was no way I was going out in that madness!

No one got hurt, no trees crashed on my roof and they cleaned up well. It was better than watching an action movie.

Dinner with a view

View from Shem Creek boardwalk, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
I am on a Salmon Caesar Salad kick and just like my Thai Curry streak last year, I've been eating it in every restaurant that offers it on the menu and some that will put it together for me. Nice having a craving that consists of healthy food! One thing that nudged Vickery's Bar & Grill salad to the top of the list is the waterfront views that come with it. Last night was a perfect lowcountry summer evening. It was warm but the humidity level was low enough to make for a pleasant outside dining experience.

I anticipate an exciting afternoon on my property today as I have tree trimmers coming to prune my trees and remove a large dying tree on my neighbors property. Woohoo! Hope all goes well.

17 July 2014

Thursday evening hodge podge

East Bay St., Charleston, S.C.
I am back from a birthday dinner for an good friend and former co-worker. It was good to find her just as full of grace and mischief as I remembered. 

Last summer may have been the summer of the hydrangea but this, this is the year of the crepe myrtle. They are glorious and the city is a garden. 

Al Jazeera America did a nice profile on our own Mayor Joe Riley. Click here to see how Charleston is  making history with our long serving mayor: America's Favorite Mayor.

Lisa Shimko's art is so colorful and fun! Check her web site and see what you think.

I slipped out at lunch today to attend the Charleston Regional Business Journal's Influential Women in Business awards luncheon. I had nominated one of my dedicated volunteers and she was selected for recognition. Made me very happy and proud!

16 July 2014

Waterfront Park Charleston

Waterfront Park, Charleston, S.C.

In between the frequent thundershowers lately we have been treated to beautiful skies. The pineapple fountain is a draw for every kid to explore on these hot days. I don't know if this story about the symbolism of the pineapple is true but I like it:
The pineapple has been a symbol of hospitality since the days of the early American colonies. The legend began with the sea captains of New England, who sailed among the Caribbean Islands and returned to the colonies bearing their cargo of fruits, spices and rum. According to the legend, the captain would spear a pineapple on a fence post outside his home to let his friends know of his safe return from sea. The pineapple was an invitation for them to visit, share his food and drink, and listen to tales of his voyage.

Check out these dramatic photos of the pineapple fountain
I need to get to my bed kids. I download books from the library, forget about them until I get the three day expiration notice and then I have to read every spare minute in the race to finish the book before it disappears. 

15 July 2014

We came, we saw, we left our mark

The 4 Horseman, Charleston, S.C.
We've been winning top tourism awards lately but folks in the know have been coming to Charleston for years and many of them left their name in the pavement. Yep, the 4 Horsemen, Elvis, Jesus, the Godfather, Susan Anthony and Captain Blye. Been here, seen that, scratched my name in the pavement.

Elvis, Charleston, S.C.
Jesus, Charleston, S.C.
The Godfather, Charleston, S.C.
Susan Anthony, Charleston, S.C.
Capt. Blye, Charleston, S.C.

14 July 2014

The Storming of the Bastille

Bastille Day celebration, Charleston, S.C.
In this case it is the Storming of Fish Restaurant for Chef Nico Romo's celebration of Bastille Day which grows bigger and bigger each year. They had can-can dancers, sang the French National anthem and had a costume contest. I didn't wear my only French costume - Joan of Arc. The chain mail is simply too hot for July in Charleston. 

Thanks to Chef Nico Romo for a delicious dinner and my friend Andre who insists on being the host for this annual event! What a treat.

13 July 2014

Sailing to freedom

Robert Smalls plaque, Charleston, S.C.
What an adventure movie this story of Robert Smalls would make. What is even better is the happy ending. He became a state legislator and congressman. I've copied the write up by Henry Louise Gates.

Which Slave Sailed Himself to Freedom?
Just before dawn on May 13, 1862, Robert Smalls and a crew composed of fellow slaves, in the absence of the white captain and his two mates, slipped a cotton steamer off the dock, picked up family members at a rendezvous point, then slowly navigated their way through the harbor. Smalls, doubling as the captain, even donning the captain’s wide-brimmed straw hat to help to hide his face, responded with the proper coded signals at two Confederate checkpoints, including at Fort Sumter itself, and other defense positions. Cleared, Smalls sailed into the open seas. Once outside of Confederate waters, he had his crew raise a white flag and surrendered his ship to the blockading Union fleet.
In fewer than four hours, Robert Smalls had done something unimaginable: In the midst of the Civil War, this black male slave had commandeered a heavily armed Confederate ship and delivered its 17 black passengers (nine men, five women and three children) from slavery to freedom.
I took the photos yesterday rather than this morning when some parts of the lowcountry got between 3 - 4 inches of rain.  Stay dry kids!