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!