Archive for August, 2011

I imagine this is what Pat Conroy describes in his many novels set in this beautiful Low Country landscape. I took these photos between 6:30 and 8:30 last Friday when Hurricane Irene spared our coastlines and salt water marshes of Charleston. And sunsets like these make me so so thankful.

Lazy dock at high tide

Quiet Sky during Hurricane Irene

Marsh grass at high tide

Firey sunset instead of Irene

Reflecting Sunset

Lazy dock at sunset

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Earthquake in Charleston

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What gift is Charleston giving me for our 1 year anniversary together?

A potential category 3 hurricane!

Path of Hurricane Irene

When I announced that I would stay in my Sullivans shack (built circa 1900) to experience the storm in style, my office yelled at me, literally yelled at me for even suggesting such a stupid idea. Then my boss informed me that Hurricane Hugo, the devastating storm that pummeled Sullivans Island in September of ’89, was a Category 3 when it hit Charleston’s coastline.

My little bungalow survived though…and hopefully it will stand strong if this storm lives up to its worst-case-scenario projections. Not investing in renters insurance is sounding like a bad decision right about now.

My little beach bungalow

I feel safe though. Channel 7 was Live at Lowe’s last night, reporting on Hurricane Preparedness. This is not at Lowe's, and was not taken last night

I feel even safer in my 1900’s Sullivans cottage after watching this video, especially after the reporter said that since Hurricane Hugo, “building codes have been tightened up, but for the structures built pre-1989 are extremely vulnerable.” Sweet.

For now, I am just excited about the 5 day forecast. After this scorching summer, my flower bed and money tree need some rain like this.

5 day weather forecast on Sullivans Island

Money Tree

Thats just the growing money tree that will make me a millionaire soon. I'll pack him if we end up evacuating. Biscuit, Turk and Linus will come too.

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I have to share one of Sports Illustrated’s featured photo galleries from yesterday. All about animals and watersports. These photos were not taken in Charleston, but if they were, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Charleston is known for its “dog-friendliness” – whether you are on the beach or eating al fresco at a restaurant downtown, chances are…your canine companion is welcome to come along. Here are some of my favorites from the gallery. They are AWESOME photos!!  See all of them here. 5 dogs surfingTerrior SkimboardingSurfing compeition for dogsSurfing GoldenFat Pug Surfing!

Beach Dogs

Sorry pups, you just aren't as cool as the surfer dogs

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Now playing on the porch: Hold My Hand by Hootie, the Blowfish and Elmo

As if my love for Darius Rucker could grow any deeper, this discovery may have just solidified my adoration. I don’t need to explain why I am playing this right now. Darius Rucker + Elmo = best recording EVER.

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Su ChefDetailBackyard RelaxinHow much is that doggy in the window?Red Green ContrastDIY Sort OfFat Cat

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This charming screened-in porch needs owners that will fill it with cozy furniture and friendly people. Right now this porch is lonely, and empty. But never fear, it looks onto an amazing corner lot that sits across the street from one of the best elementary schools in Charleston. This porch will be filled with love soon enough.

A lonely porch

Help! I don't want to be a storage room!

28 Charlestowne Road is for sale, and for the porch’s sake, will hopefully fly off the market.

Walking in the lowcountry

Thats not walking in Windermere. And probably not with much purpose. Just walking lovebirds.

Situated on what I think is the best lot in highly desirable South Windermere, this home needs a family looking for a safe, inviting neighborhood with a true community feel. South Windermere is a marshfront neighborhood with a very high walkability rating and it is just 5 minutes (a true 5 minutes, not a “just 5 minutes but its really 15 minutes”) from downtown Charleston.

From this porch, you can walk to tons of shops, restaurants, boutiques, and more. I call it being able to walk with purpose. There are few places, other than our major US metropoli (I am making up a better plural form for metropolis…similar to the plural form of octopus) that allow us to walk with purpose – that is, to walk with a reason more than simply getting exercise. I love the idea walking or biking to get groceries, or coffee, or dinner out, or a haircut, or to the dentist, or the doctor. And South Windermere offers all of this…without the urban cityscape.

As we all know, I’m not a big-city girl. I don’t love concrete jungles. Or the aroma of hot dogs, sewage and gasoline. I love the slower pace of suburban life…I love having a yard…and I love having a porch on a quiet street. What I don’t love is suburban sprawl…having to drive everywhere. And being isolated. South Windermere provides the best of both worlds – walkability without sacrificing convenience.

Plans for St. Andrews Elementary in 2012

Plans for renovation of St. Andrews Elementary in 2012

Kids are allowed the independence to walk to school in the morning, and then to the public library just down the street when the bell rings.

This neighborhood is a rare gem in today’s world – and if I live in Charleston when I have my own family…we are living here. (Actually, in a perfect world I think I would live in THIS HOUSE. Lets hope it goes on the market when I have kids in 100 years.) So check out some interior photos below, and when you have a free afternoon, walk through the shops of Windermere. Get a massage at Urban Nirvana. Buy some toys for your doggy at Doolittle’s. And then grab a bite to eat at Med Bistro.  And if you are one of the lucky ones – one of the residents of South Windermere – mozy on home and have a glass of wine on your porch 🙂

South Windermere real estateSparsely furnished living roomKitchen with tile backsplash

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Now playing on the porch: Waiting On An Angel by Ben Harper, covered by Kina Grannis

Since my Pet Helpers orientation, this song has been dancing around in my head so of course, it needed to hit Monday’s Tune. When I typed it into YouTube, I was super excited to see that one of my very favorite Youtube sensations, Kina Grannis, had covered it. And she does it BEAUTIFULLY. This song will pull at the heart strings of the coldest of spirits…so listen, enjoy and then donate to Pet Helpers today – all the animals are just waiting on an angel to carry them home 😦

Then check out all of Kina’s covers and originals. She is AMAZING. And she is going to be BIG.

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I’ve lived in Charleston for a year.Pet Helpers logo

I have not given 1 hour of my time to a local volunteer effort.

This changes today.

I just got back from an orientation to become a volunteer at Pet Helpers, a local non-profit organization committed to ending animal euthanasia of all adoptable cats and dogs in the Low country. Here is their full mission statement. By offering a plethora of services – everything from affordable spay/neuter clinics to animal cruelty prosecution aid – Pet Helpers has made a substantial impact in Charleston and Berkley Counties. Substantial is not enough though. Dogs who WOULD become treasured members of wonderful families still sit in shelter cages…cats who WOULD have loving families still live behind glass windows…and the longer they live a shelter life, the less likely they are to be adopted. Play the Sarah Mclachlan music….now.

Why did I choose Pet Helpers?

Muffin - 1992

My first dog - rescued in 1992

Specimen A – Muffin

Biscuit and Turk at Christmas

My dog and my boyfriends dog - rescued in 2008 and 2004 respectively

 Specimen B and C – Biscuit and Turk

Dog driving car

My college roommate's dog - rescued in 2009

Specimen D – Mabie

Pet Helpers offers a one-of-a-kind volunteer program, providing the opportunity for all their volunteers to truly put their skills to work. It is an extremely personalized and flexible program – if your background is graphic design, you can volunteer to work on the Pet Helpers website. If you enjoy public speaking, fundraising and adoption events are held where you can be the voice for these animals. Or if you’re not sure how your skills can be put to use, you can come in to walk dogs, socialize and train cats and simply give the animals needed time out of their crates, cages or rooms. Best of all, it is on your time. Because I work a regular 9-5, I can schedule volunteer hours on Saturdays and Sundays. And the organization is appreciative and welcoming of your 1 hour or 100 hours of time given.

The facility is warm, inviting and clean (I will take my own pictures soon!). The goal is for the shelter to not feel like a shelter. Cats are socialized by being placed in window-filled rooms with couches and toys and ladders. Dogs are given exercise in the outside runs and play areas. 2 full-time vets, a full-time trainer and a passionate staff team keep Pet Helpers safe, clean and inviting. Oh, a $90,000 dollars…a month.

The monthly costs includes:Entrance to Pet Helpers

  • Mortgage payments
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Maintenance
  • Salaries for staff

Because Pet Helpers is a limited-admission shelter, they cannot apply for state or federal funding. Limited-admission means that when they reach capacity, they don’t allow incoming animals until the current animals find homes. This is why volunteers are SO IMPORTANT!

Pet Helpers is strongly against the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals and because of this, they do not work with animal control centers (government agencies) who unload their captured animals onto shelters to be euthanized. This dissention with animal control thus, denies Pet Helpers extra funding to accommodate for the care (or in this case, the murder) of innocent animals. Pet Helpers IS a member of the ASPCA and is in direct partnership with the Charleston Animal Society and Humane Net.

The need for volunteers is greater than ever, and I am excited about the opportunity I will have in the coming months to help save lives and make lives – for the humans and the animals.

Stay tuned and donate today!

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Happy Friday! Happy Week 11! And Happy Birthday to my dear dear friend, Abigail Rose Lipshie the first! The big 26. I assume everyone knows the significance of one’s 26th birthday.

No? Oh, that’s right. Because there is none. Happy Birthday Abby – you are on the cuff of being in your late 20’s. So maybe there is significance in this seemingly insignificant birthday? In any case, I wish you 26 cake pops (if you haven’t had them, EAT ONE TODAY), 26 brie stuffed mushrooms, 26 minutes of walking at Sequoyah Hills, 26 minutes of The Real World Season 6 (with Montana) and 26 ounces of Tasti D*lite frozen yogurt.

Have a great weekend to all, and check the three65 tab to see the entire project.

plant soaking rain and sun photo lab and dark roomsunset at terrace theaterblue mailboxvintage convertiblewelcomemarsh porch

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