29 January 2017


Abandoned filling station, SC   
I expect this was a lively gathering place in times past and it catches the eye of anyone traveling with a camera as we go by. I've seen many versions of the same shot taken by other travelers. If I recall correctly it is tiny little Pregnall, SC in Dorchester county.

It's the end of the weekend, kids. Boo. Since I tend to leave all my routine chores until the last minute it is time for me to kick into action.

Note: See that? I didn't talk about politics at all. Whew. 

28 January 2017

Day tripping - Hopsewee Plantation

Hopsewee Plantation, SC   
A perfect day trip up the coast from Charleston, the historic rice plantation property of Hopsewee Plantation has a tea room serving a tasty lunch or afternoon tea. I'd enjoyed the tea room before but for the first time paid the fee and took the house tour.

The owners live in the home so it has a warm and friendlier feeling than most historic home tours. The owners are active participants in the running of the property and restaurant. We had an informative tour and were allowed to explore the basement and attic although I wasn't able to take pictures inside the building.
Hopsewee Plantation: Built circa 1740, some 40 years before the American Revolutionary War, Hopsewee Plantation was one of the South's major rice plantations and the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

27 January 2017

Happy Friday!

King St., Charleston, SC    
Happy Friday, kids! I am ready for it. I've been very busy lately and am happy to welcome the weekend. I spotted Pee Wee on King St. with posters promoting the Comedy Festival. Things have been too stressful lately. Let's do something fun this weekend. 

26 January 2017

Pucker up!

Celebrating sixty-five years!
I should have saved this shot for Valentine's Day. I caught two of my precious hospital volunteers celebrating their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary over a cup of soup in the hospital cafeteria. That is an amazing achievement and lovely to see. Happy anniversary Bob & Norma!

24 January 2017

Lime green & purple

Charleston, SC   
Lime green and purple are not my color choices for a historic house but if it was up to me everything would be painted blue so I suppose it is fortunate I don't get to pick for everyone. Blue houses for you, blue houses for you and you and you! What do you all think about this color combo?

Trying out recipes in my new Instant Pot pressure cooker means either I need to invite people over to help eat or enjoy leftovers. The stew from a couple of days ago is now in the oven in a cute little meat pie. I love me some leftovers.

23 January 2017


Oyster Roast, Charleston, SC 
The rain and windy weather tried to ruin our hospital anniversary party last night but we pulled it off.
We had ordered a giant tent and invited hundreds to the festivities celebrating twenty years in the West Ashley location. Tornado threats and high winds meant we had to move the party inside but we figured out a way to have our oyster party under the entrance awning and partied in classrooms. The good think about not having everyone show up meant there were plenty of oysters for those who like them.

A giant oak tree in our hospital garden is one of the beloved symbols. Check out these delicious cookies!

22 January 2017

Church Photo in Lieu of Attendance - Branchville

Sardis Methodist Church, Branchville, SC   
I've been to Branchville, SC. I've had a hotdog and a float at the Churn and I've even enjoyed a great dinner at the Eatery at the Depot but until I recently noticed pictures of the Sardis Methodist Church on SCIway I'd missed it entirely.

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to direct a drive in the country towards the spot and I am happy I did. I ran into Mickey Byrd who was cleaning debris and tending to the cemetery. He showed me a few of the notable tombs including that of a Spanish American War soldier.

When I asked about the decorated Unknown Indian's grave he said that the Indian had done some odd jobs in the area and when he passed away none of the churches were comfortable burying him in a Christian cemetery. The Sardis church offered a plot just outside the cemetery boundaries and he himself tried to decorated it in a way that would be respectful.
The Orangeburg Times & Democrat: Early inhabitants of the area held religious services outside under the trees prior to the American Revolution. After the war, a little log church referred to as the “Meeting House” was constructed. In 1786, Methodist missionaries preached for the first time there. On Jan. 13, 1811, the log church was moved to a site on the north side of town on land sold by George Hartzog for $1. The land was part of a 417-acre tract which was granted to Tobias Hartzog on Sept. 4, 1786. The name of the church was changed to Sardis. In 1849, a framed church replaced the log structure. Sardis church was in the Orangeburg Circuit until 1866, when it became part of the Branchville Circuit. According to headstones, the cemetery contains the remains of an unknown Indian, Spanish-American War veteran Avery Heaton and at least three generations of the Byrd family.

21 January 2017

Signs & Messages

1st Class Hair Design, Line St., Charleston, SC   
Here are a few of the hand painted signs and quirky messages that caught my eye on a recent walk. Make of them what you will!

I watched yesterday's inauguration exactly where I've watched every important event in the last 40ish years - on a hospital television. These moments are imprinted in my brain, who I was with, what hospital, what waiting room. Yesterday's was one of the most awkward since if you don't know everyone you are with you can't read how a comment will be taken. Feelings are strong and raw. Healthcare is in a very uncertain time and that is one of my top concerns. All the best to us all.

King Market, King St., Charleston, SC 

19 January 2017

Festive flag display

Flag display, Rose Lane, Charleston, SC   
 This is a colorful way to get a little piazza privacy on Rose Lane. 

In other news, I joined friends for dinner at Fish restaurant this evening. The menu has changed and I ordered this! I was expecting a dainty piece of trout. Holy cow. I mean holy fish including the head! It was delicious and I brought half of it home for dinner tomorrow night.

18 January 2017

A cheery top hat

Spring & St. Philip St., Charleston, SC  
I smile in anticipation and look up when I pass this cheery red roof top on the house on the corner of St. Philip and Spring St. Who lives in that room? Can I come visit?

In other news, I bought an Instant Pot pressure cooker in a black Friday sale after winning a $100 Amazon gift certificate in a webinar. When I joined the Instant Pot facebook group of over 300,000 members talking about their successes and failures it was so overwhelming I didn't open the box for three weeks. I decided I needed to either return it or break into it so last night I invited a couple of friends over for an entire pressure cooked meal (except for the salad) capping it off with a pressure cooker cheesecake. Yep. It is smaller than it looks - just 6 inch round but it sure was creamy and delicious. Does this make me a cult member?

17 January 2017

Bicycle storage

Bicycle Storage, D'Allesandro's Pizza, Charleston, SC  

We don't have room for another bike. Or maybe we do! 
It’s been said, you shouldn’t neglect family for business. We figured, why not have both? 
Everyone at D’Allesandro’s is considered part of the “family.” Some of them are brothers. 
Some of them are eccentric uncles. Everyone plays an equal part, and they’re all family.

16 January 2017

MLK Day Parade - Charleston 2017

MLK Day Parade, Charleston, SC 2017

“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties
and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.” 

15 January 2017

Before & After Spring St. Hold me while I cry.

Spring St., Charleston, SC   
Before and after Spring St. Hold my hand while I cry. This colorful decorated and quaint barber shop is now a white box. I hope the owners are happy.

This, is now. Sob.
1st Class Cuts, Spring St. Charleston - before
Whatever, Spring St., Charleston, SC   

14 January 2017

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston - Line St.

Line St., Charleston, SC     
I walked the line this morning - Line St. that is. I did this route last weekend in the dripping rain while today is warm and sunny. Adding to our series of tiny dwelling are these Freedman's cottages. Looking for information on these traditional Charleston cottages I discovered that there is actually a book about them. What a fun book to research.

The Charleston "Freedman's Cottage": An Architectural Tradition
Charleston’s “freedman’s cottages” are some of the most understudied and undervalued vernacular buildings in the city, found as far south as Council Street and as far north as North Charleston. Though these cottages have long been associated with African American history and culture, they in fact extend much further into the history and development of Charleston and deserve to be studied and understood. The predominant theory is that these tiny houses, often no larger than five hundred square feet, were constructed by and for freed slaves after the Civil War, due to a rising need for inexpensive housing. Who occupied these houses over time? What were their lives like? Most of them were ordinary citizens to whom we can all relate. Each one of these houses has at least a hundred stories to tell, many of which have been uncovered and recounted here.

11 January 2017

Ashe St. fixer upper

44 Ashe St., Charleston, SC   
I'll need to revisit this home soon to see how it looks after renovation. It is a project!

Lord have mercy, the news is wiping me out. It is probably for the best that I got rid of cable and stopped home delivery of the Post & Courier. I can't bear to see it. Someone make it stop. 

09 January 2017

Home of the Hand Wash

Above the Rest - Home of the Hand Wash, Line St., Charleston, SC    
All of us could use a gentle hand wash now and then and this auto-detailing shop on Line St. used to be Above the Rest. I revisit these hand-painted sign favorites often on my walks and was saddened to see how far we've slipped when I searched back on this very blog and remembered what it used to look like.

08 January 2017

Remuddled corner

Rutledge & Spring St., Charleston, SC

This Old House magazine used to have a page dedicated to a "remuddled" rather than a remodeled building and this one at Rutledge and Spring St. should win a prize. What the heck? There might be an attractive building or two under this hodge-podge mess.
Remuddle: (architecture, pejorative) To remodel a building or room in a way that obscures or destroys key aspects of the original design
Hmmm...I googled This Old House Remuddled feature and it may still exist. Perhaps I should submit this image for a chance at $100. 

I imagine it is pretty clear I took the image during the drizzle yesterday. 

07 January 2017

Tucked away - tiny houses of Charleston

Spring St., Charleston, SC  
It was chilly and drizzly this morning and I carried a pocket camera to walk the Bogard, Line, Ashe, Rose, Percy and Spring street area. There are a lot of changes happening in that part of town but you can still homes waiting for some love.

Sometimes just coming at a house from a different angle makes you see it in a fresh way and walking down Rose Lane I was reminded how this tiny house is snuggled in between two much larger residences on Spring St. Maybe the close quarters will keep it warm tonight!

I brought in as many plants as I could and protected some of the rest. We have so few freezing nights it is worth trying to coax them through! Stay safe and warm everyone.