July 26, 2007

Good Ole' Charleston

After being gone for awhile to the Amazon and coming back home I had forgotten about one thing. That one thing is the mosquitoes here. Believe or not, not one bug bite did I get. No mosquito bites at all. I was prepared for swarms. The people at Passport Health in North Charleston had given me repellent that I had to treat my clothes with and then let them dry for two hours before packing. I treated all my outer clothes and they supplied me with an odorless repellent for my skin. I slathered it on everyday but there were no bugs.

As soon as I stepped out of my car my legs were attacked and eaten up by lowcountry mosquitoes! How ironic is that?! Good Ole' Charleston

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

Dream Trekking

I have been away on a misson trip to the Amazon jungle. Can you believe it!?! It was a medical mission trip to Brazil. I have just returned and have set up a travel blog to keep all of memories of what happened intact. I do not want to forget a single minute. My travel blog is located at Dream Trekking. I will be using it just for trips that I take. I will still be updating this blog.

My pictures of the Amazon and the people who live along the riverbanks are being developed. As soon as I get them back I will be adding them to Dream Trekking so that you can get a taste of the Amazon as well. It was an amazing trip! Life changing even...so be sure to check out all my pre-trip posts as that was a nervous time with the passport situation. And please don't miss my Inspiration that started it all and why the wanderlust will never go away!

I took about 300 pictures so I have a lot to show and tell! The Amazon is an amazing place!

Here is the group picture of all of us, taken at the last village we visited! This boat was our home away from home for 9 days!

Where am I in this picture? I am on the steps on the left side. I am the third person up from the bottom in the white shirt and tan shorts.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

July 12, 2007

Day 765: Surprise

This is the surprise I got last week when I opened the side door on the garage. Surprise!!! It was not left by my cat. I know who the culprit is...the neighbors car. He usually is hanging out at my house lounging on the front stoop or the window sills. He has a home but is never there. He is always at my house.

I think that he felt that he might have overstayed his welcome, so he left this lovely parting gift for me!

Excerpts from my cat's diary

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair ... must try this on their bed.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer". More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

July 11, 2007

Spice Girls?! Who??

I heard a dirty rumor the other day and I had to look it up to see if it were true. IT IS! The Spice Girls are reuniting. Is this a happy thing? I guess it depends on how you ask. I am in the middle. I never saw anything wrong with them. I am all about girl power! There tunes were snappy and danceable. They were cute and perky! My daughter loved them.

Spice came out in 1996 and my daughter was three. I think I got her the CD when she was 4...almost 5. She was just crazy about all the Spice Girls. Fanatical almost. Really. All those little girls were. I even had to buy her a Spice Girl doll for Christmas. It was Scary Spice. She was just thrilled beyond belief to have the Scary Spice doll. She dressed and redressed that doll for months and sang Spice Girl songs around the house. Even I got hooked on some of the tunes.

I mentioned to my child that they were reuniting and she just rolled her eyes at me. I looked at her and said, SPICE GIRLS! Really loud like Duh!!!!! Spice Girls! Spice Girls?! She again just looked at me and then said, "don't ever do that again." I then reminded her that she loved the Spice Girls. "No" , she said. She also gave me the left handed "L" for loser. She then told me not to tell anyone she ever liked the Spice Girls. I reminded her of just how much she loved them and all the things she used to do when she was 4 and 5. She claimed she did not rememeber any of what I was telling her.

Was it selective memory? I am not sure. What is true is that her liking that very popular group is something to keep under the rug. She is 13 now. How would her friends see her now promoting girl power? I guess it is a teen thing. Me? I will keep up with the Spice Girls, just to see if they are still any good and will have the draw they had before. I know that there has been some drama....with Scary Spice. She needed Maury Povich to say: When it comes to the DNA test, Eddie you ARE the father!

That is a SCARY Scary Spice girl!
That pirate eye look is not working!

Regardless, they are coming back at 5 million dollars per Spice Girl. That is not too shabby!

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

July 03, 2007

Beverly Sills, Dead at 78

Beverly Sills has died of lung cancer. She was the American opera diva extraordinaire! I have listened to some of her opera and I thought she was exceptional. If you have not checked out some of her opera or even opera in general, you are missing out.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

June 20, 2007

Typical Charleston Streets

I was on my way home on yesterday and was driving through my subdivision and this is what I came across. People are taking matters into their own hands. Our streets are so bad that no one is even bothering to repave often. We just go with the bumps. This is classic. Thank goodness someone did this. I got out and looked at that hole and it is very deep. It is the classic homemade warning to the public.

When do you think that hole will be repaired? From what I have seen West Ashley, it takes quite some time for the city to come out and patch a hole. We will be waiting for a while. So look out for potholes West Ashley. There are some like these that are very deep!

What can I say? Is this not what just about every street in Charleston is like? The feel is that of modern day cobble stones. Just one drive down Calhoun Street will put all your tires out of alignment. I noticed that King Street was just repaved....just in time for Spoleto. Keeping up appearances you know.... just like Hyancinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances ( I love that show.) Could not let all those tourists feel the bump and hump of lumpy Charleston streets!

June 19, 2007

Morning After

I followed the story on the news last night about the Sofa Super Store blazing out of control. Of all the things that was most surprising of all the bits and pieces of information that was released was that there was not a sprinkler system in that building. I have shopped there many times and just never noticed. The one employee who I recall who worked there was a man named Earl. He was very nice to me whenever I shopped there. To hear that 9 firefighters were killed was just something that took my breath away.

I have a friend whose husband is a fire fighter here at the station in downtown Charleston on Cannon Street. This morning before the names were released I was afraid to call her house for fear that she lost her husband. I called her job instead and they told me she was not in today. As I also know her assistant personally, I was able to talk to her and she assured me that my friend did not loose her husband fighting that fire. He was there, but not lost. The assistant told me that she had spoken to my friend and that one of their best friends was the firefighter who apparently gave a "mayday" over the radio. Sad and chilling.

It just seems unreal. We have not ever had any sort of tragedy like that here. It just does not seem fair that so many could have been lost in that disaster. They truly are heroes. They were doing their jobs protecting the public when tragedy came in like a thief and stole precious lives, changing the lives of their friends and family forever.

I, like so many others, had to drive by the place today. It was a zoo. The traffic out there is just terrible...mostly from all of us ( me being guilty) rubbernecking. The one thing I did notice was that there are 9 crosses place in a line in front of the building and that people had already begun to bring flowers, balloons and other mementos to remember the fallen nine. As I was stuck in traffic trying to get off of Savannah highway, I heard on the radio that the authorities were asking people not to drive by as traffic was terribly snarled from all the cars. The radio announcer said that there will be time to come by as it will be like that for quite some time with the pending investigation and everything.

I will wait a few says before going back. Maybe Sunday after church I will leave some flowers. I bet that will be a busy day. I bet many will have the same idea I have Sunday afternoon. My prayers go out to the families of all those lost. We have lost 9 heroes, irreplaceable in every way.

- Capt William "Billy" Hutchinson, 48
- Capt Mike Benke, 49
- Capt Louis Mulkey, 34
- Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40
- Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, 37
- Assistant Engineer Michael French, 27
- Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, 56
- Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27
- Firefighter Melven Champaign, 46

They truly lived the firefighters prayer:

The Firefighter's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;

Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child before it is too late

Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,

To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.

And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;

Please bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

June 17, 2007


With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
- Steven Weinberg

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

June 16, 2007

Obama Girl

Well, it is sweeping the internet. Had to see what it was all about. This is her 15 minutes of fame.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All or none of them could be true. For whatever the reason, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

The Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors at 135 Meeting St. today for a free program honoring the holiday Juneteenth and celebrating Charleston's cultural diversity. There were a series of family activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a "Juneteenth Quilting Circle," a performance of Gullah music, poetry and stories and a presentation of the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira.
It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

June 14, 2007

Charleston's Summer Pet

I hate Charleston's Summer pet, but they do love me...the mosquito . I must seem to have the kind of skin they love. They have been devouring me over the last few days. In fact, no one else is ever bothered by mosquitoes except me! It drives me mad. Whenever I am gardening, I have to lather down in Deep Woods Off. Those pesky things are smart. I tend to spray right up to the line of my shorts or Capri's. Those smart mosquitoes then fly up into the Capri or the shorts and sting me above the line of Deep Woods Off!

I have tried different remedies over the years, but have elected to keep on with the Off. I hear that some claim that vitamin B1 will make you smell had to them so that they will not bite. Is that true? I am willing to get some and take it daily. I know some of my coworkers swear by Skin-So-Soft by Avon. I have never tried it, but I do like the smell. Does that really work? I just want something to stop the nagging, buzzing and stinging! They leave little red welts all over me!

Anyone got any tips for mosquito relief? I am looking to try something new.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!

June 13, 2007

So Long Spoleto

So Long Spoleto it has been a good run! The only thing that was a damper on the Piccolo Finale was the heat. Mother Nature was in rare form that day at Hampton Park. I arrived about 3:30 and it was just sweltering. We arrived just as the first group of African Dancers were performing. It was so hot that most people had moved chairs that were set up right in front of the stage to the trees to get a little shade. The heat index was so high that it almost did not make a difference that day if there was shade.

After squeezing in with friends under the trees we watched the Greek dancers. They had beautiful costumes. And we were all Greek once we learned the word "OPA!" I love that word.

One of the things that we really wanted to do was ride in the hot air balloon. While we were there, they had problems getting it off the ground. I think due to no wind. They tried hard to get it up. I decided that since they were having so much trouble that was a sign that I was not to go up in that hot air balloon that day. That was an adventure missed that day. I am sure there will be another time.

Finally the heat drive us away. We left just before the belly dancers were to perform. After snagging very large grape snow cones, we limped back to the car to get some air conditioning. We missed the fireworks. We had had enough fire and heat for one afternoon. I have to hand it to the performers. They did a great job. Every last one. Those costumes, long sleeves, tights, dancing in the heat, the heat! They really personified the phrase, "the show must go on!"

It was a good Spoleto run this year. Next year I will plan to buy more tickets early. We were able to get a lot in this year, but there were other things I would like to have attended.

It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!