30 December 2014

New Year's Traditions

Charleston, S.C.
Lowcountry folks are shopping for their traditional New Year's day meal of Hoppin' Johns and collard greens to bring prosperity and good fortune in the new year.  Not a fan of black eyed peas and greens? May I suggest the Scottish tradition of inviting a handsome, dark headed gentleman bearing gifts to cross your threshold first thing after midnight? Bringing gifts no less. I like it!
First Footing:   The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you're about to have.  Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt. Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household. Aim a gun at them if you have to, but don't let them near your door before a man crosses the threshold.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/holidays/newyears/beliefs.asp#vuL4LL6jEQIgf9ua.99
Charleston, S.C.

29 December 2014

Narrow escape

Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.
My favorite homes look even prettier with their holiday decorations. I dashed from work to see my dentist on Wentworth St. who had threatened a "procedure". Lucky for me she explored around, hemmed and hawed and decided I didn't need it done after all. Bingo! I can live with that.

I love this no-man's land of a week between Christmas and New Years. No meetings. Most of the big kids are out of their offices. It's time to close the year and get ready for the new one.  Hopefully I can squeeze in some major office cleaning.

Remember my mermaid? She got dressed for the season and refuses to take it off. 

26 December 2014

Going, going, almost gone

Colonial Lake, Charleston, S.C.
I imagine this scene will be completely different next year at this time. The Sergeant Jasper apartment building is scheduled to be demolished and the Colonial Lake area to be completely renovated. If those walls could talk, I bet they would tell some interesting tales!

I am at work today and set this to post. I am hoping to get a lot of work done on a quiet day. Y'all carry on eating leftovers and playing with your new toys.

25 December 2014

Merry Christmas to all!

Baby in waiting, Charleston, S.C.
By the looks of the pictures flowing in to social media, people had a Merry Christmas! Not having any little ones around myself, I live vicariously through all the happy family shots shared on facebook. Keep them coming!

My son and I slipped out of town yesterday afternoon and had a peaceful Christmas in a lakeside cabin. We read, ate good food and went for a walk this morning. It was perfect. We were only away for twenty four hours but it felt like a mini vacation.

Today's picture is actually from yesterday but I can't resist sharing. The tradition at our hospital is that Baby Jesus is not placed in manger until midnight on Christmas Eve. He is delivered into the care of the nursery nurses, lays in a crib warm and snug. At midnight a nursery staff member calls security to unlock the front door and they carry Him out and lay Him in the manger. I always try to catch a picture of him in the nursery.

Merry Christmas everyone!

24 December 2014

Charleston window boxes December style

Charleston window box, Charleston, S.C.  
I found all of these gorgeous blooming window boxes on a recent walkabout town. In December!? They are glorious. I can only assume most of these homeowners hire gardeners to maintain them and to them I say, "Thank You".  

23 December 2014

Naked house alert!

Elliott St., Charleston, S.C.
Poor naked house in the cold and rain. At least it has the blue tarp to protect it. I'll have to go back and take an "after" view to see what she looks like with bright new siding.

22 December 2014

Tough times for so many


The holidays are supposed to be happy and joyful, right? Yet, so many people I love are suffering or have lost loved ones recently. Times are tough for a lot of folks. Illness, death. A friend buried her husband yesterday, I just got back from saying farewell to one of our own nurses and another friend buries his mother tomorrow. Along with many others, my own dear sister Shirley is suffering the awful effects of chemotherapy. Life is short and precious. Be kind to each other folks and let's lend a hand where we can.

21 December 2014

History of the Poinsettia

28 Elliott St., Charleston, S.C.
You see them everywhere at Christmas time - lush red poinsettia plants. I knew they had a Charleston connection and the sign caught my eye on my walk yesterday. This brick building was the Poinsett Tavern. It looks like it was Elisha Poinsett's descendant who became the Mexican Ambassador who loved plants and brought the Poinsettia back to the U.S.  It does seem like the red flowers in the window box should be poinsettia's shouldn't they?

The poinsettia got its name, not from a horticulturist or plant person, but one of Americas notorious and outstanding Congressmen and physicians, Joel Roberts Poinsett. Mr. Poinsett was appointed as the Ambassador to Mexico by United States President John Quincy Adams in the early 1820s. Joel Poinsett had an interest in botany, and as a result, he would introduce plants into Mexico during his travels there as ambassador.

During his visits to Mexico he would wander the country looking for new plant species.On one occasion he was walking along the side of a road and came upon a rather interesting shrub that had large beautiful red flowers. He took cuttings from the plant and took them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. Even though Joel Roberts Poinsett was very dutiful in his appointment as Ambassador to Mexico and Congressman, he will always be remembered for introducing the Poinsettia to the United States.

20 December 2014

There's No Place Like Charleston

There Is No Place Like Charleston, Charleston, S.C.
This is cool! Fess up artists, who did this? I did a looooong walk (10,291 steps - thank you smart phone step counter) about town in the drizzle this afternoon. I  took a detour on George St. to pick up my favorite "naked kale" salad at Caviar & Bananas and spotted this poster in the now closed Jack's Restaurant. I'm not the only one who stopped in my tracks.

It was a baking and cooking day. I made a pear almond tart and the stew for wee pot pies. My house warmed up with delicious smells. I even made more pralines - for gifts, I promise!

Edit: I tracked down the artist. The internet is a wonderful thing. The artist Jeff Fitzharris who already had a fundraiser for the Charleston Autism Academy.  Jeff will be selling shirts with the image as well as framed prints for $100. He is on Facebook and setting up his Facebook store this week so stay posted. I suspect the poster will be a big hit for a good cause! Good luck Jeff.

19 December 2014

Gingerbread Contest

Santa's Workshop, Charleston, S.C.
I helped coordinate a Gingerbread House decorating contest at work today and once again was left amazed at people's creativety. Look at these amazing creations! Each one was submitted by a different hospital department.

It's been a busy week. I've had volunteer recognition luncheons at all three hospitals. The warm hugs I've received this week leave me feeling very fortunate.
Manger scene with Gingerbread Inn
The healthy version!

17 December 2014

Before - The Westendorff

The Westendorff, St. Philip St., Charleston, S.C.
The Westendorff building has been empty as long as I remember it and it has seemed a shame. I took pictures back in 2010 when there was talk of turning it into a hardware store themed restaurant but that never happened. This time it looks like it will be completed. I am sure construction is further along than when I took these pictures. I was fascinated by the writing on the walls that I had never noticed before. Can't wait to see what they do with it.

From Eater Charleston site: During the process of approvals and construction, owner of upcoming The Westendorff (at 114 St. Philip St.) has had some time to think about his establishment's concept. What started out as a diner-type eatery, will now be a brunch every day place and switch into dinner service in the evenings.


16 December 2014

Polar greeting

Goat Island, S.C.
What an odd sight to find on Goat Island! A polar bear and a kayak in the same scene make for a good December shot even if I did take it earlier this year.

How did it get to be 11 pm already? I need a few more hours in my day, no doubt. I made a few stops on the way home from work and spent a lot more money than I had intended. By the time you add pretty little holiday gifty bags and tissue paper to a present it costs more than the original gift and postage is a killer. All good stuff.

Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends!

15 December 2014

Casual Santa

Casual Santa, Seabrook Island, S.C.
My friend Linda asked me out to Seabrook Island this past weekend to take a picture of Casual Santa for Island Life newspaper. Long braid, tattoos, khaki shorts and his dog, Santa looked quite comfy relaxing by the fire. Ask for what you want but I suspect you are going to get something beach related.

14 December 2014

New murals - North Charleston

Mural - North Charleston, S.C.
I had brunch at Madra Rau in North Charleston this morning and walking off my meal, noticed these splashes of color I'd never spotted before. It took me a minute in the morning glare to realize what I was seeing in the painted windows below. Well done artist!

The weekend has been filled with happy holiday chaos in Charleston but I have managed to skirt most of the crowds and still enjoy myself. I hope you did as well. I had recently purchased a new fire bowl for my back yard, put it together, bought firewood and my semi-annual hot dog and enjoyed a little back yard campfire. It was a real treat. I have a small but heavily wooded back yard and it was my reward for raking pile after pile of leaves.

12 December 2014

Bottle Cap Portrait

Bottle Cap Portrait, Charleston, S.C.
I reckon you really are famous when someone takes the trouble to do a portrait in bottle caps. I have featured a few of these giant portraits before. This one was in the window of Michael Mitchell gallery on King St. 

I know Molly B. Right was the artist on ones I've seen before and it looks like she did this one as well. I happened upon a web site featuring images of her other pieces and am blown away! Check this out.

11 December 2014

Secret Gardens

Charleston, S.C.

“If you look the right way, you can see 

that the whole world is a garden.”

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston

Charleston, S.C.
This is a favorite and I stop to say hello to the little pink house each time I pass. It appears uninhabited and in need of some tender loving care.

It is late and I should be snug in my bed. This is my first day back in the office after a few days away so spent catching up with emails, voice mails, notes under my door and on my door. I had an order of Charleston sweetgrass baskets waiting for me from a friend at work. They cost so much but are so lovely and I have a connection if anyone needs any for gifts. Let me know and I will put you in touch.

09 December 2014

Field Trip! NYC

Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC
Okay, okay, these clearly aren't Charleston Daily Photos but I had a quick escape to New York City with my friend Mary to see the big city lights during the holiday season.

We only had three days but they were completely perfect. Saturday rained all day and we carried our trusty umbrellas logging ten miles walking on my step-counter app. We packed a lot into our brief stay. We saw Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the holiday decorated windows, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Bryant's Park and Central Park. We met a good friend and former co-worker Laura and walked the High Line in a chilly breeze. We ate burgers at the secret burger joint in the Meridian Hotel lobby....ssssh! We were treated to lunch at Brasserie 8 1/2. We got into MOMA for free and won prizes at Bergoff Goodman.  We saw Candice Bergen and Alan Alda in Love Letters. We stayed at the Salisbury Hotel which was conveniently located. All in all a great escape. Back to reality tomorrow.

Rockefeller Center, NYC

Central Park, NYC
View from the High Line, NYC
NYC Holiday Windows
In front of Brasseries 8 1/2, NYC

04 December 2014

Nursing School reunion - 75 years later

I was tickled to see this picture I took last Friday on the cover of West Of newspaper on the stands this week. These two ladies were nurses who graduated from the old St. Francis Hospital Nursing School class of 1939. Marilla Powell - 97 and Mary Mayo - 96, were best friends and the only two left from that class. They came back to the current hospital to have a little reunion lunch in the hospital cafeteria last Friday.

What stories these ladies had to tell. They rhymed off names of physicians that sounded very familiar and were probably grandfathers, fathers and uncles of some of our current doctors. They brought their white nurse's caps and wore their school pin on a chain. They talked of mixing their own saline and sterilizing their glass syringes. Dr. Cuddy stopped by to say hello and Marilla Powell offered to be his "sponge nurse" in surgery. You can read the story here: West Of

03 December 2014

Plantations of Christ Church Parish

Plantations of Christ Church Parish Map, Pitt St. Drug Store, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Lowcountry author (and map designer) Suzannah Miles finished her map of the Plantations of Christ Church Parish are just in time for holiday sales. I went by the old Pitt St. Drug St. to pick up my signed copy and found it rolled up in the bike in front of the drug store with my name on it. Suzannah left copies there in case you want one too.

Then I used my 40% off coupon for frames at Michael's and found one that fit perfectly. Bingo! Thank goodness for standard size prints!

02 December 2014

Golden marsh

Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Decisions, decisions. Do I like it better lush and green or golden in the sunlight? It is always a pleasure to walk the boardwark at Shem Creek.

Last day for a great deal on Charleston Magazine subscriptions. $14.95 for a year. Go get 'em! Cyber Monday was extended to Cyber Tuesday.


01 December 2014

World AIDS Day 2014

World AIDS Day, Charleston, S.C.
Today is World AIDS Day. The theme for World AIDS Day 2014 is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.” We had panels of the AIDS quilt hanging in our hospital lobby today and every year it is emotional moment reading the panels designed in honor of people who have lost their lives to AIDS.