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!

June 09, 2007

Fatz Cafe

After a very hot day at the Piccolo Finale at Hampton Park, we ate at the Fatz Cafe at the Tangier Outlet Mall. I had the Edisto Shrimp and Grits and my daughter had the Calabash Chicken. This is my dinner and then my daughters chicken.

My dish was spicier than I thought it would be, but it was still very good. My daughter was most pleased with two containers of honey mustard! We had great service given by a nice server named Caroline. Our food was delivered quick and hot!

My daughter and I both loved the rolls or are they really some sort of doughnut roll hybrid? They remind me of Krispy Kreme doughnuts with butter. Can I say heavenly? They are worth fighting over! I thought that California Dreaming had the best rolls/croissants. They now have some competition in the roll department. That is the only thing I have tried on their menu as it was my first time there. I had tried to eat there once before on a Thursday afternoon for lunch when the wait 45 minutes long. I could not wait that long...my entire lunch hour would be used up. This evening there was not any wait. We were seated right away.

I think I will have to trek it on back to Fatz a time or two again to try some other things on the menu. So far so good. Two thumbs up and a dab of pluff mud!

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

June 08, 2007


I took my daughter to see Quintango on last Saturday afternoon. It was raining downtown and we had to park in the lot in the market just down from Henry's. We had quite a walk in the rain to the Footlight Players Theatre on Queen Street. The walk was not so bad, just the rain. We were all dressed in our finery and heels! Luckily we both carried an extra pair of shoes just for the rain. I had my Crocs and she had her ballet slippers. We changed into the more presentable shoes at the theatre.

We arrived about 50 minutes early and there was already a lobby full of people. We waited and while I was waiting I ran into a very old friend of mine from college--the College of Charleston. She was actually one of my best friends. I was in her wedding. Her daughter is one of the performers who dances for Robert Ivey. She had just performed there for the Brown Bag Ballet. She and I kept up with each other for years after we both graduated from the College of Charleston. We visited back and forth where ever we were living in the states. She married a Citadel cadet and ended up moving all over the world with his military career. Regardless, we wrote and visited and flew all over the country to visit. Somehow we eventually lost touch.

I recognized her first and it was like a reunion! She is back here in Mt. Pleasant, so we will work hard on rekindling the old friendship. She was always a dear person.

Back to the performance. I was very excited about seeing this show as it has gotten rave reviews and had been around for eight years. I must say that it was my only Spoleto disappointment. I do not have anything bad to say about the performance. It was just so-so. It lacked some excitement. There were a few moments that were at a high but overall it was just okay. We saw the 2nd act. We were going to see the 1st but decided to try another event. I think that Quintango needed just a little bit of coffee to jazz things up a bit.

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

Denmark Vesey: Insurrection

I took my daughter to see Denmark Vesey: Insurrection. She loved it. That is her in the picture. I loved it. She thought that it was the best thing that she had seen in all of Spoleto this year. It was her favorite out of all the events we went to this year.

Personally I thought the actors were both riveting and the story line raised some very interesting points of view. The show was one that kept you interested and really on the edge of your seat till the very end. If you missed Denmark Vesey: Insurrection at the American Theatre, then you REALLY missed something this year. It was excellent from beginning to end!

My rating? 2 thumbs up and an extra large dollop of pluff mud!

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

June 03, 2007

Piccolo Spoleto Early Music Series

After church today I went to the Piccolo Spoleto Early Music Series held at First Scot Presbyterian Church on Meeting Street. The performance today was The Baltimore Consort performing Adew Dundee, Early and Traditional Music of Scotland. It began at 3:00. I took my daughter today and we had a wonderful afternoon. The performance was just fantastic. We arrived at 2:10 and the performers were still rehearsing so it was almost like getting 2 performances in one. They allowed us to come in early and we sat and listened to them rehearse.

The Piccolo Spoleto Early Music Series performance today was played on a lot of old world instruments that I had not seen in person before. I had heard of most of them but had not seen them played. Treble viols and tenor viols and rebecs and citterns were the ones that I was not familiar with. I was familiar with the other instruments used.



The music was lovely and they were actually recording the performance for a Spoleto Early Music CD that will be released in a few months. I will be sure to get that as I was there for the live recording!

More information on the performers can be found here at the Baltimore Consort website. They will be performing for most of the remaining days of this week except for the day that Vivaldi Four Seasons will be performed. The Baltimore Consort will be performing a different early music concert each day. My daughter was pleasantly surprised that it was so good. Now that is all that a mother could ask for!

After the concert we went to Poogans Porch for a fantastic dinner. I had the duck. It was fantastic! My daughter had the low country pasta. She loved it. We both loved the appetizer that we selected....the pimento cheese on toast points. I have never had pimento cheese that was so good. It was homemade, cheesy and hot! Hot pimento cheese takes on an entirely new dimensions.

They say Poogan's Porch is haunted by its former owners, and the dog Poogan himself. That is what I got from my Haunted Ghost Tour that I took last halloween night. I went there looking for something ghostly to happen. Just as I was about to write it off a tourist ghost hype, I saw a strange, grey cloud like figure/shape fall or float down past the window outside. I could just see it out of the corner of my eye. I got up and looked outside. There was nothing on the ground, yet I saw someting fall. Haunted? I think so.

Both Poogans and the Piccolo Spoleto Early Music Series, get two thumbs up and a dab of pluff mud!

My duck

My daughter's pasta

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

May 31, 2007

Sundown Poetry Series

Thursday evening I took my mother and daughter to the Sundown Poetry Series of Piccolo Spoleto. Hermine Stanyard was performing at the Dock Street Theatre courtyard. As my daughter had never been to a "real" poetry reading, I thought she would like this. She did.

Hermine Stanyard has published two books of poetry, Lingering Thoughts (1992) and Verses for You and Me (1995). Book three is on the way.

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

May 30, 2007

New Music

I was on my way to Barnes and Noble today for a Java chip Frapp. when I heard Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven on NPR. Well I just had to get a copy. I also got a cd to replace the cassette that I had from many years ago of Gregorian Chant. Check out my new music that I got today!

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

American Film Festival

Today I went to the Spoleto American Film Festival held at the Charleston County Library. The movie today was called Shine. Shine was made in 1996 and it is the true life story of David Helfgott. I must say that it was a tragic, riveting movie. It was so very sad. I cried or rather I tried to hold it all in . I could do it no more. When David, played by Geoffrey Rush, cried on stage after he had overcome his illness and was on his way to playing concerts again, I had to let it all out. It was the climax of the movie.

It was beautifully done and the music was excellent. I can see why it won an Oscar. Coming from parents who were just as toxic as David's was, it was kind of like seeing some of my early childhood. (Thank god I was stronger than he was..no breakdowns here.) The movie was excellent and the auditorium at the library was not filled up. There were about 20-35 people there. It was a great way to get out of the heat. A movie will be shown every weekday at the libary at 1:00pm. The theme for The American Film Festival, this year is real life people and their lives. The movie tomorrow is Shakespeare in Love.

Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the early and traumatic early years. Telling the story in flashback we see David as he grows up and into a child prodigy while his father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution. Many years later he is released and through several twists of fate (in reality even more unlikely than film portrays) he starts playing a piano in a bar before finally returning to the concert hall.

After the movie was over, on the way out I viewed the art exhibit there. It was called: Viewpoint: Charleston Kids With Cameras. The pictures were quite good. It is a good program that helps underprivileged youth ages 7-12 from the Meeting Street Manor Housing Authority Residence and the Charleston Developmental Academy. If you have the time check it out.

It was yet another great Spoleto day!

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

May 29, 2007

Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Juried Art Exhibition

Today for my Spoleto event I went to the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Juired Art Exhibition. I spent about 2 hours at Marion Square just walking and seeing all the art there. Needless to say I did not see it all. At the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Juried Art Exhibition I was actually able to speak to some of the artists. It was not crazy like the weekend was with so many people. We had room to walk and mingle without the pressing cramping of a crowd.

Since I had already seen the exhibit at the Visitor Center this past weekend I was thrilled to meet Marty Biernbaum who has Southern Pears on exhibit at the Visitor Center. I told her I had seen her work at the Visitor Center and thought it was a very interesting piece. At Marion Square I was able to see the rest of the pear collection. Very nicely done. The detail was great as well as the different "pear" scenarios. I was able to sign up for her mailing list. She will be having a gallery event later this year that she will be sending out invitations for. I would like to go.

I also got to talk to Will Hegler. His work was just amazing to me. He explained to my mother and I that it was a combination of mosaics, pointillism and stained glass. There was a picture on display of the new Ravenel Bridge that was just amazing. He told me that he submitted it to be the poster for the Bridge Run this year. While it was not chosen, he got an honorable mention. He then took out his portfolio and showed he the picture of the old bridge where it was chosen back in 2003.....I think that is the year he told me. The detail was something I just could not describe to anyone else. You have to see it to believe it.

We stopped at many other booths and spoke to a few other artists. The two most impressive to me were the two above. We stopped by Kent Ambler and saw his woodcut prints. We also went to the booth of the winner this year of the poster...Elaine Berlin. Caryn Smith also had some lovely works as well and so did Margaret de Ruyter Connell. We saw many more. We came to the booth or should I say booths owed by the Spencer's. I liked the work by Mrs. Spencer and not so much Mr. Spencer. My mother was the exact opposite. She liked Mr. Spencer over Mrs. Spencer.

The two pieces I like the most were kind of hidden away on the back panel. They were not there but there was a girl or young woman manning the booths for them today. On the left side and I forget the name now.. was a scene from Italy that had beautiful purple and pink fields of flowers. On the right was a picture the young woman called the "Italian cat." Those were my favorites by her.

There was so much art to see that there was no way to see to all in one day. A second trip will be required to see the rest. I know I will find some other marvelous works of art to marvel at when we return. It was another great Spoleto day!

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

Joe Pasta

Today after Spoletoing my mother and I ate at Joe Pasta. It is good casual Italian food. I had never been there before. Well, as soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by one of my former classmates from Bishop England from the late 1970's. I do not think that I have seen him since high school. That was a good sign. The place was packed and I think that the kitchen was on Spoleto overload. Our food was a bit slow in coming but when it did it was worth the wait. My mother actually had her pasta about 10 minutes before my Greek wrap came out. And we were actually served before a table of 6 got there food who were there waiting long before we must have arrived.

My mother ordered the build your own pasta: spinach noodles with Alfredo sauce and chicken. Muy bien! I had the Greek chicken wrap. It was marvelous! Would I eat there again. Yes. I give Joe Pasta two thumbs up and a big dab of pluff mud!

Joe Pasta : 428 King St, Charleston, SC

  • Cuisines: Italian
  • Average price*: $8
  • Tel: 843-965-5252

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

    Backyard Blooms

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

    Phillip Simmons

    About a month ago I was in the Barnes and Noble in the West Ashley area and just by chance Phillip Simmons was there doing a book signing. I was elated. I got the chance to meet him and I got a signed copy of his book. The book is called Charleston Blacksmith, The Work of Phillip Simmons. He is a legend and if you have noticed any of the iron work in the Charleston downtown area, it most likely is his work.

    Phillip Simmons learned his craft from a local blacksmith named Peter Simmons, who ran a busy shop at the foot of Calhoun Street. In 1938 he got into the ornamental work you see around the city today. Simmons has fashioned more than five hundred decorative pieces of ornamental wrought iron: gates, fences, balconies, and window grills. In 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him its National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States can bestow on a traditional artist. This recognition was followed by a similar award by the South Carolina state legislature for "lifetime achievement" and commissions for public sculptures by the South Carolina State Museum and the city of Charleston. For more about him follow the link.
    If you want a copy of the book I just got, check it out on amazon.

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

    The Edge of America

    Memorial Day was spent in a very classic way. I debated on seeing the Constant Wife about a week ago when tickets were still available but decided to spent the day at the beach. I also felt like it would be impossible to go to a night Spoleto event as we would be exhausted from the sun. I was right.

    I loaded up the car and took my family to Folly Beach County Park. Folly Beach is one of my very favorite places to go regardless of the weather. Rain or shine. I love the beach in the rain. You find the best shells then. They are being thrown up from the bottom of the sea. The breeze on yesterday was constant and it was just right. Not too hot and not too cool. I did get a slight tan. I can see swimsuit marks on my shoulders. It was a great day of leisure. After four and a half hours we called it a day!

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

    May 28, 2007

    Piccolo Spoleto 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition

    We went to the Piccolo Spoleto 23rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition on Sunday. It was a day of art, dessert and walking the Charleston Market. Luckily there is parking at the Visitor Center. We were unable to get into the front short term parking as it was full. I did not waste time driving around looking for a meter there. We went straight into the parking garage.

    The exhibit was lovely and I did find a few favorites. One of the best was a piece called Wisteria. You know I am all about wisteria! I just love it! As I walked around I saw that there was a little bit of everything. Even some very odd pieces. (I wrote the names down on a little slip of paper and put it in a safe place....who knows where that safe place is now) I guess I will just have to describe the pieces if I can't recall the name. I do remember Southern Pear. It was almost disturbing. They were pears with breasts. Very odd that one.

    The piece called Sistersreally was a contrast between ways of life and really brings home that it takes all types to make up this world. There were some mixed media collage pieces that were very pretty. I really like the one that had some bible verses worked into it. That was lovely. The detail was incredible. Some of the photography was excellent. There was only one piece that seemed really odd. It had the quality of a third grader drawing. No definition of fingers and toes. It was a person from the rear rendered like a school child would draw. That was the only one that did not seem to fit.

    Others were just a little scary--or so my daughter thought. These I do not recall names. I might have to go back there to get them. There was a painting on a back wall of a man on the stairs in a sort of greenish/blue glow. His eyes seemed to be on you no matter where you stood. He was always watching. Then there were some face closeups. One was a woman who had an eye and then 1/2 of a pair of glasses on the other. Odd. The other scary one was of a girls face with one distorted eye. I explained to my daughter that it was all art. Even the ones she thought looked a little scary. I explained the art forms out there were varied as well and this was all a part of exposing her and broadening her horizons. She actually went back to some of those and really looked at them again. (My job as mother was done)

    After that we decided to go to the Charleston Market and walk around. Can we say Spoleto Parking from HELL! We spent at least 45 minutes looking for a parking space at a meter or a parking garage that was not FULL that was close by. Finally I decided to just park at the garage near the bank. They charge more than anyone else I have seen but I just wanted to park at that point. They charge $1.00 for every 20 minutes. Crooks! I ended up paying them $8.00 for parking.

    We parked and went to Black Market Minerals and at first just window shopped. Who can do that in there. We ended up buying mood rings and other gemmed items. It was girly fun! We walked the entire market from end to end marveling at all the items on display. They before going home we had dessert at one of my favorite places Kaminsky's. It is a Charleston Must Go To Place when you visit here. Kaminsky's is a dessert and coffee cafe. They have a vast array of coffees that would rival Starbucks, as well as a full beer, wine and liquor selection. The desserts are made fresh each day.

    Most people go there for dessert. I had the Italian Creme Cake and my daughter had the Pound of Chocolate, chocolate cake. They were both out of this world! I had the house blend coffee. We had excellent service by the server who helped us. It is my place to go if I was having a bad day. Chocolate always makes things better. Chocolate and a tiara. After that we headed home all sugared and caffeined up! It was a great Spoleto day!

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

    May 27, 2007

    The Reggae Block Dance: Piccolo Spoleto

    I have been to the Reggae Block Dance a few times in the past, but I had not been in the last three years. I was determined to go this year. As it usually is, it was at the Customs House. It was hosted this year by Osei Chandler and featured African drumming, dance and reggae music by the Dis n Dat Band and Grammy Award nominee PATO BANTON.

    I wanted to be sure that I did not have to stand so I left West Ashley around 5:30 as I knew that there would be no parking to be found. I drove around in circles for a very long time trying to find just one single parking meter open. NONE! I finally parked in the small lot on Market Street. I took my daughter with me and we walked on down through the throng of people to the Customs House. When we arrived there was still plenty of open steps left at The Customs House. We went almost to the top so that we were just about eye level with the stage. It was a beautiful night and the wind off the water was just heavenly. I would say we got there around 6:15 so we had quite a while to sit. The place began to fill up fast.

    The wind was picking up and thank goodness I wore long sleeves or I would have been a little cool. With that said my nose began to run and since I had changed purses to match my outfit I did not have all my normal things with me. I had no Kleenex with me. So I dispatched my daughter off to the closest vendor who was to the right of us under the white tent in the picture above to get me three napkins for my nose.

    I could tell when she asked that one of black women manning the booth was not going to give her the napkins. Her neck and body posture said it all and she was talking, talking talking with my child just standing there. I mean, it does not take but a second to say here is a napkin and give it to her. After about a minute of her standing there, I saw another lady at the booth hand my daughters napkins and she came back to me. I asked her what happened and she said the first old biddy (and that is me being nice) was all over her saying that the napkins were for customers and that she could not have them and when my daughter said okay and turned to leave, the one who was doing all the talking told the other lady at the booth to give my daughter the three napkins. As my daughter left, this same woman told her that she had better not see her buying food from any other vendor but her that night.

    Can you believe that? I was all ready to march back down there and give her a piece of mind and give her back some snotty napkins. I said no....I was not going to let this woman's bad attitude spoil my evening. She had just lost two customers. We had not eaten any dinner and we had been thinking of buying food from that booth. They were close to where we were sitting. Needless to say we went hungry that evening. On the way home we stopped at Wendy's and got a burger.

    The evening began with the African drumming and it was fun. There was a lot of audience participation with people going up on stage. Of course there was one wild and crazy guy in the front who was dancing all over, wildly as if he had no cares in the world. There is always one like that. He was over the top with the dancing. Very entertaining and I guess some of us were secretly wishing we could be that free and wild in public.

    The next performers were the Dis N Dat Band. I had not heard of them before. They were pretty good! Here they are.

    The act that followed this was a young man who attends The School of the Arts: Daniel Davis. He played a mean violin. He was absolutely out of this world with the talent and skill that he displayed. He played "popular" hip hop/vocal songs from current artists. He was excellent!

    Finally the main event: Pato Banton. He was wonderful as well. I was thinking of trying to make it over to his booth to buy a CD but the crowds were just overwhelming by that time. I would just have to get it late on line.

    I decided to leave before the show was over. I wanted to try to beat the crowds. We left about 10:25 pm which gave us just enough lead time to get out of the lot and get home. The Reggae Block Dance was great and of course it is one of the free events. You can't beat that. If you missed it this year, plan to attend next year. You won't be disappointed. Who can be disappointed with cool breezes and rhythmic reggae music to dance in the streets to? It was a night for reggae magic!
    It is not the paper mill! It is pluff mud!