Thursday, March 29, 2012

Off Island...on to Charleston

So we're on our way to Charleston one afternoon and we stop at McD's to get the first of many sweet teas for the day. 

I get out of the back seat, take a few steps and find myself tangled up in yarn.

Lots of yarn.

Gulp. I seem to be attached to M's knitting. 

And I'm dragging it along the filthy pavement, through all kinds of gunk.

What's that doing there? 

I still don't know how it got out of the car. But I'm hopeful our knitting friend, PKB, can help us figure it out. She loses yarn in parking lots too.

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Of course, this happened after I had sat on M's knitting and pulled lots of stitches off the needles. 

Gulp. Sorry, M. 

I'll fix it.

I don't have anything against your pretty scarf. Honest.
Rainbow Row. 

And a sweet couple.

Walking along Rainbow Row we found this pretty little pathway.


We admired it from the sidewalk, although we would have loved to walk along the path a little bit.
Further along, we found this gorgeous wrought iron gate. 

It stood guard over the prettiest courtyard. Very reminiscent of Venice.

Caught the girls through the glass windows as we were walking along a shopping area.


They are a little shy. So I have to sneak in photos when I can.

Charleston is a beautiful city. And friendly.


Lots of quirky plazas, and fountains, and alleyways.


And porches.


Love, love, love the porches in Charleston. 
Charleston at night. 

Even the lights are in rainbow colors.

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We met up with some of C's students and had dinner at a comfortable pub with them.  I took this photo as we were leaving and heading back to the island.

I learned a few things that evening.

I learned that the city of Charleston doesn't always replace missing cobblestones in their cobblestone walkways.

I learned that you probably shouldn't keep your camera out of its case during the dark hours.

I learned that the people of Charleston are very helpful when you step in one of the holes caused by a missing cobblestone. And wind up on your knees before you know what happened.
And I learned that the $15 lens cover I bought for my {more than $15} lens is worth its weight in gold when the camera smashes into the cobblestone.

Not a scratch on the lens. And the camera was fine.

But the poor valiant lens cover? 

Shattered.

Thank you, Mr. Lens Cover. 



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beach Time

I finally finished editing the photos from my trip south with M. 


It took long enough. 


Of course I wasn't able to work on them for a while. The Man has been a bit under the weather. I have been trying to pamper him this past week.


Let's just say the words, "Poor little bunny" have been used quite frequently.





An oldie but goodie from the Brits.


In case you haven't seen this a billion times already.


A heart seashell. 

I told you I'm a heart whisperer.

Wandering around the island one day, C took us to a quiet spot at the end of a dock. 

All four of us plunked ourselves down and started chatting. Then we got quiet and sprawled out all over the dock. Eyes closed, faces turned up towards the glorious sun, warm breezes blowing across us, we listened to the snuffles of a pair of dolphins playing not too far from the dock.

Ah, peace.

Until two men came with their motorboat, that had not been run for two years, and put her into the water right next to our dock.

Unbelievable.

There goes the neighborhood. Smelly exhaust, loud motor, and men talking. 

Pooh. No more peace.

I was not feeling too kindly towards these men until that southern charm came oozing out.

"Are we in your way?" C or M might have asked. Since we were sprawled out on the dock and one of them had to maneuver around us to get to the boat. 

"No, ma'am," this charmer said. "The property values just went up with you ladies sitting here."

Isn't he just the sweetest thing?
Beautiful blue sky.

I think we had only one morning of light rain. And we were sleeping in that morning anyway.

So we enjoyed our breakfast and watched the starfish we had drying out on the back steps turn into slightly mushy starfish.

Oops. Forget to pull them inside before the rains came.
We explored Botany Bay.

An absolutely beautiful beach.

Actually, it takes your breath away.

I have never seen such big seashells on a beach. But they are all protected at this beach and you can't take any home with you.

It was tres difficile to leave them behind.

Botany Bay is where part of the movie "The Patriot" was filmed.


One of my favorite scenes. 

Makes me cry every time.



More photos another day.


Yawn.


Time for bed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sweet Shopping



A most charming, and quaint, and gorgeous, and just l-o-v-e-r-l-y resale shop in the Charleston area.

We were meandering our way into Charleston and kept making stops along the way. This store was pure eye candy, with each turn of the eye more beautiful than the last.

They have a delightful mix of consignment items and new items that have been purchased for the shop. Such was the 60" strand of peach pearls that I bought. 

And played with for the rest of the day. Tee hee.
I could not stop looking at the painting of this handsome gentleman. 

His smile makes me want to smile. 

Beth, the owner of the store, has done a wonderful job blending Southern charm and whimsical art amidst the clothing and accessories offered for sale. 
Another painting that kept pulling me close. 

Full size, she is quite a beauty and that blue background is s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g. 
Who wouldn't want a mermaid necklace holder? 
Took a long walk on the beach and collected lots of shells. I think Edisto Island rivals Sanibel Island for number of shells on the beach.


M only collected a few shells. She's going for the less is more approach.


I'm going for the grab-all-I-can-approach and have way more than a few shells to take home. I'm a tad bit nervous about the number of shells I have.


My luggage weighed forty-one pounds when we arrived. I only have nine pounds left.


M's luggage weighed forty-two pounds. The Hammer nailed that one. He lifted both suitcases and said M's was heavier. And it was. Maybe that is why she is going with less is more.
Sweet tea.

Really it's just sugar water, with a bit of tea flavoring and more sugar added.

This has become the drink of choice while visiting here in the South. We stop EVERYWHERE for this stuff. We get it with our lunch. And our dinners. And they give us free refills and takeaway cups to go on the road with us. 

Very generous with the sweet tea these Southerners are.

~~~~~~~~~~

More photos when I get back home. I'm working on my laptop and have limited editing capabilities. 

But I couldn't wait to share some of these with you. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Having Fun, Yes Ma'am

photo courtesy of sonofthesouth.net

The most polite city in the entire world. Yes, ma'am.

Charleston, South Carolina.


M and I are here catching up with some old long time friends and enjoying sunshine, and flowers, and good food, and seashells, and beaches.


And laughing. Holy moly, are we laughing. I was bent over at least twice from laughing so hard I could not stand up.  Which is hard to do on a staircase.
~~~~~~~~~~
One of us had to go to a meeting across the compound. She said she'd be back in about an hour and half. 


So the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, chatting and knitting. And laughing. Always with the laughing.


About three and half hours later, one of us still isn't back so we three decided someone had to go find her. We picked the bravest of the brave and voted for her to go get our long lost friend. She was gone about twelve seconds, came back and said, You might wanna come with me. There's some flashing emergency lights over by the place where our long lost friend is.


Like Charlie's Angels we were, marching along the road, arms pumping and hair swinging.


Sort of.
~~~~~~~~~~ 
Of course, the lights had nothing to do with our friend. She was still lost. We had to go up into the dragon's den meeting room to check on her.


Gulp. 


So we three climb the stairs, with the bravest of the brave in the lead and the two scared mice (that would be me and M) hanging back, lurking behind the corners letting the brave one go first.


The brave one turned around to see if we were behind her.


Nope.


Get up here, NOW!


Gulp. Giggle. Chortle. Snort. HAHAHAHAHA. 


Bent over laughing.


We were back in high school, letting the brave one take the lead and hanging back to see if she would get arrested.


Man, are we having fun.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Surface Looks

I am having a whole lot of fun with this macro lens. I took it to knitting tonight and shot some different yarns. 

That green/blue/gold yarn is not a thick yarn. I love the detail. I never realized the gold strands are held in place by teeny tiny threads wrapped around them.
This purple and green yarn is some sort of ribbon yarn. About a quarter inch wide. 

Incredible. 

There are so many tiny fiber strands in each segment.

~~~~~~~~~~

I love how this lens is making me look at the world with a new set of eyes. And that I'm seeing so much more to everyday objects. 

I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Go deeper than just a surface look at things. There's more depth, and detail, and substance to something when you get beyond the surface. Surface looks lack dimension. You miss things. You don't see something clearly until you've examined it a bit closer.

Except my wrinkles. Don't look at those too closely.






Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Basketball Fever

M and I watched a high school basketball game last night. We used to do that a lot when we were in high school.


Now? Not so much.


But this year, our local girls team is runnin' and gunnin'. And they are FUN to watch. 


The crowds are crazy wild, yelling at referees, calling out to the girls, distracting the visitors as they shoot their free shots. Everyone's a coach and everyone's a cheerleader.


~~~~~~~~~~


At half time, the cheerleaders put on a tumbling show and then some sort of human pyramid routine. Three girls high, these were insane girls at the top of that pyramid. 


I leaned over to M and said, Next week, you and me and C and B are going to practice this routine at the beach.


Then we giggled at the thought of the four of us women of a certain age trying to build a human pyramid.


~~~~~~~~~~


Next week, M and I are flying the coop to go visit two dear friends in a much warmer locale. We get to spend a week at the beach, walking and talking. Shopping. Eating. Resting. Sightseeing.


And pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
Playing with a new macro lens. 


Cool.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Prom Shopping, Revisited

Prom shopping. Day Two.


One hundred dresses. I'm not kidding.
We looked at fairy godmother dresses, slinky dresses, cotton candy pink dress, dress with superhero capes, but thankfully no chicken dresses.

K tried the superhero cape as a veil.

Silly K.
She's examining the superhero cape attached to the dress. 

No surprise, this was one of the favorites of the day.

She giggled when she tried this one on. I'd have so much fun in this dress, Mom. I can play with it.
K's friend, S, tried on the bright yellow dress. It was very poufy.

It stood up all by itself. So S had to climb into it. She almost needed a ladder.

There was so much pouf to this dress, it oozed out from under the dressing room door.
This was one of my favorites.

It was immediately ruled out. 

No black dress with her date's black tux. I don't want to wear black to prom, Moooom.

Even the salesclerk tried to get her to consider it. No go.
I loved this dress.

Sweet.

Simple.

Pretty.

Just like K.
There were a lot of girls trying on dresses. It was so much fun listening to their conversations with their mothers.

How's it look, honey? said one mom.

Well, if it's a naked prom, it'll look great, replied the frazzled young lady. 

Some of the dresses had Very.Little.Material.

~~~~~~~~~~

Another young lady, a self-professed tomboy, was trying on many, many dresses. Most of them were very poufy, very debutante-ball looking.  

She came out of her dressing room decked out in crinoline, lace, tulle and a whole bunch of other poufy material.

She took one look in the mirror and wailed, I look like a girl!

Poor thing. She didn't expect to get the laughter that followed.
My favorite picture of the day.

I think she's beautiful.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Women of a Certain Age

Isn't it funny how often you can have the same conversation with different people, all about the same time?


Hmm. That was a bit cryptic.


I had lunch with a good friend this week and we started talking about our families, especially our children.


Naturally. That's what women talk about. Their children.


D's boys and my two are about the same ages, within a year. We were commiserating with one another how unnecessary we feel in our children's lives right now. Gone are the days when we were the center of their focus, when we set the guidelines and the schedules, when they wanted to spend time with us, hiking or cooking or whatever. We agreed that we both felt like we weren't even blips on their radar screens.


It's hard to take a back seat when you've been driving for so long.


~~~~~~~~~~


Fast forward to tonight and I'm having the same conversation with M. She texted me today to see if the Man and I could go out to dinner with her and the Hammer (remember how her husband, also an M, got his nickname?)


She started telling me how she didn't feel needed anymore by her son, about the same age as K. Yup, I told her, I feel the same way. I told her I didn't think that our kids were thinking about us as much as we think about them. They weren't wondering, "Gee, I hope Mom and Dad are having a good time out with their friends," or "Boy, I hope they drive carefully coming home in this awful snow storm." 


I'm not sure they even think about us at all. Or if they do, it's like that Disney commercial where the son thinks his parents are bored at home, all by themselves, when in reality they are at Disney, kicking up their heels.


They don't see us as individuals. We're more like elevator music.


~~~~~~~~~~


So D and I started talking about what these changes meant for us. And we both seemed to reach the same conclusion. It's time to do those things we kept saying, "Maybe someday." It's time to put some color in our lives.


D? She wants to spend a summer on an island, working in a small shop and just enjoy island life for a few months.


Me? I want to chase tornados. With my camera. 


~~~~~~~~~~


The times they are a-changin'.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

{March}ing In Like a Lion

What a day.

It snowed all. day. long.

Thankfully it didn't amount to anything.

But it was gray. And blechy out. 

There is one good thing about today.....

IT'S MARCH!

And March means spring is a-comin', flowers blooming by the end of the month, warmer days, more sunlight at the end of the day, and sheer joy that winter is almost behind us.

Ah. I love March.

A blog friend from the U.K. posted this happy song on Valentine's Day and it makes me think about spring. Thanks, Elisalex, for sharing!


I don't know what they're saying. My Italian is very limited. 

 I really hope it's not anything o-b-j-e-c-t-i-o-n-a-b-l-e.