Thursday, December 22, 2016


OK, so I let my nerd rage get away from me yesterday.  Feel my shame.


I realized this morning that I had not, as previously stated, seen the original, hand written, lyrics to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Robert May which proved Gene Autry changed the name Donder to Donner in the song.

So I did some digging.

What I had actually seen was the original, hand written draft of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas," or as most of us know it, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore (or whoever. Apparently there is a controversy over who actually wrote it, but that's not important right now.)

Whoever wrote it was the person to give the reindeer we all know and love the names we use in popular culture (Rudolph not included, obvs.)  I looked back at the draft, and sure enough, the name was Donder, like I thought.  HOWEVER, when the song "Rudolph" was written, Robert May used an alternate spelling of Donder, which happens to be Donner, and ergo, it isn't a mistake.

Also, there are two other alternate spellings for both Donder and Blitzen: Dunder and Blixem, which are Dutch words for thunder and lightening respectively.

I did not know this!  Dogs and cats, living together, MASS HYSTERIA.

So, basically, I was wrong and have been humbled and Christmas is ruined.


; )

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


1) A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to sing during the Sunday morning church service.  I was not feeling well  for whatever reason, but it wasn't too bad.  A little tired, a little queasy, a bit know, the regular crud that goes around and around this time of year.  I was nervous about singing, of course, which didn't help matters, but I was OK.  No big deal.

At least it wasn't a big deal until I got up on stage and the music started.  I don't know if my nerves kicked everything else into overdrive or what, because suddenly I was standing in front of our entire (albeit small) congregation waiting for my cue to start singing and had become about 93% certain that I was either going to pass out or vomit.  That's a pretty bad feeling. I don't know about you, but I don't want to do either one of those things in front of a room full of people.  So not only was I nervous about singing (and I'd forgotten the sheet of music that had my lyrics on it, so I was freaking out about forgetting the words to the song) I also had a second layer of freaking out because I was fairly certain that I was about to have something unpleasant happen up on stage.  I started singing and everything sounded ok, but I had to hold on to the pulpit to keep from falling down.  I thought I was being nonchalant about it, but apparently other people noticed something was wrong, but at least if I did go down, there would have been people at the ready to help me out! Yay!

In the end, I didn't actually barf or faint and I made it through my song, but that's the closest I've ever been to having a medical emergency while singing before. I felt better after I got to sit down for a while, so I have no idea what the problem was. I'm glad, because I have a feeling I'd never fully be comfortable ever singing in public again had I thrown up on stage.  That would be a shame.

Huh. Now that I've written it all out, I realize how anticlimactic it all is, but still...I wanted to share.

2) Did you know that you can now visit my blog over an encrypted connection?  Instead of, you can use It's the little s that makes the difference.  Just FYI.

3) Have I ever told you about the time I won the 4H cookie baking contest 3 years in a row?  Well, technically I only won 2 years in a row, but I know the third year they just didn't give me the 1st place ribbon because they didn't think it would be fair to the other participants if I won all 3 years.  The reason I know this is because all of the judges asked for my recipe that third year, and they didn't ask for anyone elses. Pfft.

I have no idea what made me think of any of that, because I honestly hadn't thought of even being in 4H in a long time. There was a time when I could bake, and win prizes for my baking, without any problem and that's when I was a kid. What happened?  I know my current oven is not 100% reliable, temperature wise, but still...I was 10 and not burning things so often.  At what point did I lose my ability to cook?  Probably when I opted to do Agribusiness instead of Home Ec.  Eh, I ain't bovvered.  I learned how to weld and use power tools in Agribusiness, so really I think I came out ahead in the end.

4) I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I know how cliche that is, but it's the truth. In some ways I feel like the month has flown by, and in others, I feel like it's dragging.  It's like riding on some weird kind of temporal elevator that is having electrical hiccups. I've still got a lot to do, but I can't seem to accomplish anything useful.  I just look at what needs to be done and then sit down in abject horror at the scope of it all and ignore it.

Steve has had a lot of Christmas parties to go to this year, because he's involved in so many things now.  You'll either be thrilled (but probably disappointed) to hear that I managed not to do anything awful at his corporate Christmas party this year!  I stayed very still, I didn't eat anything that required a plate, and I didn't drink anything containing alcohol.  OK, so I accidentally almost broke one guy's arm by hitting him with a door, but it was his own fault for not knowing I was coming out of a door when I did, and Steve and I left right after I hit him, so maybe he didn't even know who I was!  We went to a party for one of his Cyber Security groups, and that went well because we got to sit at a table. I'm much better at parties when I don't have to circulate, so I got to talk to one of Steve's co-workers for a while.  He was from Ohio, and was very excited that I had once been in FFA. It came up, shut up. He said I was the first person he'd met down here that had been in that (Wha?) and that was a big deal where he is from, so we talked about it. A lot.  Apparently he hasn't been over to Limestone county at any point, or he'd find a lot more people to discuss FFA with, but whatever!  I tagged out of his last cyber security party and Steve got someone else to go with him and I was glad.  I can only pretend to be fascinated with cyber security for so long. Yikes.

Other than that, December is weirdly lonely because everyone is really busy doing...stuff. Everyone disappears. So even if you're at a million parties or whatever, you can't just sit down and have regular conversations with your people. I'll be glad when things settle down and get back to normal. I kind of miss what was going on before all the Christmas craziness started.

5) I'm going to tell you a very specific, Christmas related irritation that I have.  It's the very famous Gene Autry version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."  He mispronounces the name of one of the reindeer.  He says "Donner" and it is supposed to be "Donder."  I even looked at the original, handwritten lyrics written by Robert May and it is Donder! Gene Autry sang the definitive version of the song and he messed it up! NERD RAGE!

6) I know that it probably sounds like I don't like Christmas much, but I promise that isn't the case. I just think it's harder to enjoy it when you're an adult.  Too much to do and not enough time to enjoy it, maybe?  But at least I know that people I love will be close by (Even if some of them will be there for just a little while), there will be sausage balls and the Doctor Who Christmas special, and at some point, there will be a whole day where I'm not obligated to wear pants!  Who can have a problem with that? :)  Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2016


My desktop computer died a few weeks ago without warning.  When I say it died, I mean it was, in the immortal words of Jerry Clower, grave-yard dead.  That might not sound like a very big deal to some of you, but it was.  That computer held the entirety of my professional design portfolio, all of my design software, files, fonts, and patterns, all of the pictures that I'd taken and stored for the past 15 years (along with scans of other pictures that were taken before things were digital) my library of audio books, my digital crochet patterns, my writing  projects, my spreadsheets dating back to 2004, and the very, very worst thing to me was that it held the archives of all of the emails that I'd been saving since practically forever.  I don't just mean regular emails, I mean important and special emails that I'd saved on purpose.  These were irreplaceable emails from my late father, my late mother-in-law, and emails that people had sent me during bad times in my life where they were encouraging me (I'd pull those out and read them periodically when I needed a boost.) There were emails where Steve and I were writing our wedding vows, emails where I'd been sent photos and recipes, and then there were just emails from people I love a whole lot and liked to keep our correspondence, because we are funny and had fun conversations.  I kind of likened it to those letters you hear about people finding in old hope chests, tied with blue satin ribbons and kept forever, only they were digital and had no ribbon, because technology hasn't evolved that far yet..  That's just how important they were to me. 

I have no idea what happened to the computer, but when it died, it went down hard and took everything with it.  When I realized what happened, I thought I'd go into a major panic, but I didn't. I sat down and cried for about 3 minutes, but it was just too big to cry over, really.  I hadn't really had time to think through what all the loss of the computer was going to entail, so I went back to my bedroom and slept for an hour, the way a person does when they are trying to avoid bad things.  Besides...I had backups.  Steve said I had backups.  Steve should know, because he is a computer guy.  BACKUPS.

Only, for reasons we still don't understand, both backups failed.  FAILED.  We knew that one of them hadn't been working properly, but the second one, a 2T external hard drive that was supposed to be my saving grace in situations like this, also bit the big one.  I still didn't panic, although, I came really close when Steve said that my second backup wasn't working.  I must've looked kind of scary, because the first thing he did was bundle me into the car and take me to the Apple store to buy a new computer.  The salesman took one look at my face and didn't try to up sale or anything else, he just let us buy the new computer and leave.  Steve spent a LONG time trying to figure out what had happened to the computer.  He felt bad, apparently, because he had not been checking to make sure that any of my backups were still functioning...for years. I can't blame him, I guess.  It wasn't his computer, so why would he think of it, but WHAT IS THE POINT OF BEING MARRIED TO A MAN WHO DOES I.T. WORK IF HE DOESN'T CHECK ALL THE COMPUTERS?!!  *ahem*  Sorry.

To make a long story much shorter, we took the old computer to a Mac shop that does data restore and they managed to find some of my files.  Some of them were useful, some of them were garbage, and some of them were things I'd deleted a long time ago (so just a reminder, kids...nothing is ever truly gone on a hard drive unless it's really, really important to you.)   Steve ran a recover program on the external hard drive, and we found some more files...again, not my emails, but design portfolio isn't a complete loss anymore.  So there is a very thin silver lining to this story.  I now have an updated iMac with a few usable files on it, and now I have a subscription to the Adobe software I need that will save things on a cloud in case of another complete meltdown.

In light of full disclosure, though, I feel I should be honest enough to tell you that I finally did have the long awaited, stress-related come apart brought on by the loss of my computer files. I'm not proud of myself, but I can't, with good conscience, leave you with the impression that I handled this with complete composure. 

The recover program that Steve used on the external hard drive took over a week to run.  For some reason, the files that were stored on the thing had fragmented, and the program had to piece them back together like a jigsaw puzzle from hell.  We weren't even sure that when it was done, any of the files would be usable, so when we got back from our Thanksgiving visit to Georgia, we saw that it had finished.  However, as it turned out, we couldn't look at the files right away because the recovery program needed to be paid for.  Fine...thought it was free...but whatever.  We paid the fee and were sent a key to open the program, only the key wouldn't work.  Steve decided to call the help desk, because at this point, if we lost all these files again, I might have burned down the house.  Look, y'all...I don't know who's big, amazing idea is has been to locate help desk jobs in India, but I'm going to just go ahead and say that the people over there - as qualified and as smart and capable as they are - do not seem to understand when people from America are trying to tell them no.  I don't know if the tone doesn't translate well, or if there is a language barrier, but when Steve tried to explain our trouble, the man on the other end of the phone decided that instead of helping us, he needed to remotely log into my machine and try to find firewall issues.  Nothing that Steve, in his soft-spoken, computer guy language, seemed to say would deter this man from doing just that.  Thinking that would speed up the process, Steve allowed him to remote in, only the help desk man didn't seem to understand that a firewall wasn't what we needed at the moment. He insisted that he needed to finish that before he could tell us how to use the key to open the computer program.

This is when I lost my composure.

I took the phone from Steve's hand and proceeded to explain to the man, in tones and language I normally never use with other human beings, that neither I, nor my computer, needed whatever (expletive deleted) that he thought he needed to do right now unless it involved unlocking the (expletive deleted) program that we'd just bought from them. I shouted at the poor man, I rhapsodized about what he was currently not doing to satisfy me as a customer, and then I went on to elaborate about how I'd gladly speak to whomever they felt it appropriate to elevate me to in the event that the person I was currently talking to couldn't help me in the way I needed to be helped.  I said a lot of things.  A lot of mean things.  The man on the other end of the phone was very quiet, and when I handed the phone back to Steve, the help desk man went on to help us unlock this program.

Then I went into my bedroom and cried very hard for a long time, because I am not the kind of person that does things like that.  If I could have called India again and gotten the same man, I'd have apologized to him.  Having worked as customer service for as long as I did, I do not, as a rule, do things like that.  I can only blame the stress of the computer stuff finally just wearing me down.  I need to do some kind of penance, but just what, I'm not sure.

So that is the story about how I lost, and now partially recovered, my computer stuff.  My emails are still gone, and I keep finding lots of little things that didn't get recovered, but at least my freelance work isn't a complete loss, so...yay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


1) Heh...this job. 

I want to start off my admitting something. I hope this isn't the last job I will ever do. I know I'm good at it and I love being able to help my church, and I love the people I work for, but I do hope I'll be able to work in a more lucrative and creative field again someday.  I don't mean to come across as ungrateful for my job, but it isn't exactly the kind of thing that stirs the imagination, if you get what I mean.  

On paper, the whole thing seems pretty straight forward. I'm called a secretary, but in reality I suppose I'm more of an office manager for our church.  I answer phones, keep up with files and things  like that, but I also do accounting and insurance stuff, as well as keeping up with payroll and taxes.  Exciting stuff.  :)

However, I do have to admit, that aside from the things that I will be able to put on my resume, I have also gotten some really interesting experiences.  This morning for instance.  My pastor has been having some trouble with his vision and his eye doctor wanted him to try wearing contact lenses for a while instead of glasses.  Like a lot of people starting out with contacts, he has a lot of trouble putting them in himself, so he asked me if I would help him. He knows I wear contacts, so I thought he was wanting some advice on how to put them in.  No, he needed more help than that.  I spent about twenty minutes this morning putting his contacts in his eyes for him!  I was surprisingly not grossed out about doing it, which surprised me. I think maybe he has the hang of it now, though, so I don't think I'll have to do that again! Fingers crossed!

2) Last night Steve's company gave the employees tickets to the Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.  That is where they do an elaborate light display along the path and you can walk along and listen to music and look at the lights.  We haven't actually done the walk through in years, so I was excited to go!  Plus, we found out that we were going to be there on one of the Dog Walking nights, so the gardens were full of people walking their dogs!  Steve had to give me a pop quiz before we got there so that I could try and remember the names of the people he worked with (which almost backfired in a spectacular way, but luckily I didn't have to say his company's owner's name out loud.  Let's just say that had I said his name the way I thought it was pronounced, I would have called him something that wouldn't have been flattering.) 

We had such a good time!  I met a lot of people and I got to pet a lot of random dogs!  I also accidentally stepped onto a dog turd, which was less than ideal, but when you've got a lot of dogs, you'll have the occasional turd.  Such is life. 

3) Um...anyone else kind of feel like there might be some slight overreaction about the election turn out going on?  Just a little?  Like...oh, I dunno, maybe some of these people need to calm down and deal with shit like adults?

(By the way, just me saying that much apparently makes me racist, homophobic, a misogynist, and possibly pro-hate crime, or some such thing.  I thought maybe you should know what a horrible person I was, just in case it means you can't be friends with me anymore.  Sorry.  It's been a good run, though, hasn't it? I'll miss you. I'm sorry that my past as not any of those things at all has just been proven false and I turned out to be such a disappointment.)

*rude hand gesture*

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


I know that I don't have any right to say anything about the election.  I didn't vote.  I couldn't.  I know that sounds stupid, if not downright reprehensible, to a lot of people, but I couldn't, with good conscience, support either candidate.  My gut didn't trust Hillary Clinton, and my brain didn't trust Donald Trump. 

I struggled with it. I didn't want to be one of those people who just couldn't make a decision, but I couldn't see how either one would be good. I felt guilty about not going, but I didn't want to just go and vote for the sake of getting a sticker so I could post a selfie, either.  I also wasn't going to let anyone shame me into making an empty gesture, because screw that noise.  The world is full of empty gestures, you know?  If I'm going to get behind something, I want to believe in it with some conviction and not just because it's the "thing to do."

Last night I was alone, bored, and not feeling particularly well. I think if I'd had someone to watch the election results with, I might have done so, but instead I went to bed early.  I kept up with some of the results online until I got sleepy.

When I woke up this morning, I was truly unprepared to find out that Donald Trump had won this election.
I genuinely thought Hillary Clinton was going to win.  I really did.  Whether or not I trusted her, she at least had some experience.  I can't say I'm sorry she lost, but I can say I'm confused that she lost.

So for better or for for worse this living muppet, Donald Trump, is our new president.  I honestly hope it isn't the disaster that it very well could turn into.  All of this really blows my mind.

So...yeah.  God bless America.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

I wish there could be some kind of swashbuckling adventure story about how we got out of Charleston by the skin of our teeth, but alas, it is not to be.

No, we just got up super early, had breakfast in the Starbucks in the lobby of our hotel (because the call of pumpkin spice is strong, that's why) and we went back to the little airport to turn in our rental car.  Steve doesn't have to go through proper security lines anymore because he has some kind of pre-checked thing (grumblegrumblegrumble) so I got in line with the rest of the peasants and got frisked by the TSA.  This time my right ankle set off the body scan alert.  Seriously, I know I have thick ankles, but they aren't that bad!

There was a lady in line with me who had a really neat tattoo, though.  Around her thigh she had tattoo of a lace garter with an antique pistol stuck through it.  I mean, you don't see that everyday!

So after that, we went to one of the shops so that I could get a snow globe that wouldn't get confiscated, and we waited on our plane to leave.  Since our flight wasn't full, I ended up being able to move to a seat right next to an exit that had a lot of leg room!  I think Steve wanted it, but he was nice enough to let me use it.  Awwww.

We landed in Atlanta (have I mentioned how much I don't enjoy the Atlanta airport?) and our layover was long enough for us to have lunch and sit around for a while.  We ended up on a flight full of kids going to Sci-Vis Space Camp (which is the program for visually impaired children) but we didn't say anything to them.  At this point, I may not be the best ambassador for the place!  Haha!  Nah, I wouldn't have said anything to discourage them.  I'm not a monster, after all!  They were excited.  I ended up sitting next to a lady on the trip home that had an almost visible bubble of "DON"T TALK TO ME" around her.  I was ok with that.

Then we got home and that was that.  I already miss it.  Not the sweating, of course, but there is something about the place.  I can't really explain it. 

I think when I'm old, I'm going to move over to Charleston or Savannah... somewhere out there  Old people don't mind the heat so much.  I just need to find some people to go with me.


SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

Today was the day that Steve didn't actually have to work!  Yay!

We got all our stuff together and headed out to our first destination.  We'd looked at a map and found a place called Sullivan's Island.  There wasn't a whole lot of stuff there, but we figured that we'd still take a look around.  It was a nice drive out there, and we finally got to drive out over the big bridge.  I don't particularly like driving over bridges like that.  I know that they are made by smart engineers and everything, but engineers can have bad days.  Eeeeeeesh.  Anyway, we drove through the lovely little town and wound up driving through what looked like a residential area.  We were going to go out to the beach, but we felt a little weird parking along people's houses to get to it, so we drove until we found a tiny little park with what looked to be a public beach.  It was really beautiful and tiny, and it was on the edge of everything, so we got out and walked a bit.  It wasn't a place where you could go swimming or anything.  There were signs that warned of a dangerous riptide, but it was a beautiful place to walk.  The sand was pearl gray and it sparkled!  I picked up some shells and looked around a bit.  We didn't stay for long, since it looked like it might rain, but we stayed long enough to see a wedding party come and take some pictures.  I loved it there.  How nice would it be to live in a place like that?

We left there and drove to the next place which was called Folly Beach.  Folly Beach is much more like the beach towns that I'm used to.  It wasn't as nice as Sullivan's Island, and it wasn't huge by any stretch of the imagination, but there were shops and restaurants, and there were hotels and beach houses all over the place.  We parked the car and walked around a bit.  We walked through the shops first, which I have to say, had some hilarious merchandise.  I love looking at the cheesy stuff that gets sold in tourist shops.  I don't buy it, but I love looking at it!  We got hungry while doing that, and we kind of stumbled across a very out-of-nowhere Irish Pub and we decided to stop and eat there.  It seemed oddly out of place, to be honest, and except for the size of the building, it was very much like the pubs we saw while we were in Dublin.  I thought that was kind of neat.

After lunch, we moved on to the city pier.  We walked up, and a very friendly man stopped us and told us all about the stuff we could see there.  I liked him immediately, and he seemed to love his job, so I mentally adopted him.  : )  Steve decided he didn't want to walk the entire length of the pier, so I left him at the tables, and I walked to the end.  It was really cool!  There were a lot of people fishing, and some guy had just caught the biggest fish I'd ever seen outside of an aquarium.  When he pulled it up, everyone came over to see it.  I don't know what kind it was, but it was so pretty that I kind of hate that he caught it!  It was gold and about four feet long!  I didn't stick around, though, because I wanted to go down to the beach before the rain started for real.

We walked down to the shore, and one thing I noticed was that the sand was half white and half black (which I thought was weird) and that instead of shells, the shoreline was covered in chunks of dead coral.  Huh.  We walked a bit and picked up some shells, but we could tell it was really about to rain and we didn't want to get soaked before getting back in the car.  I got to see the coast, at least!  I wonder why the sand is black.  I always though that had something to do with volcanoes.  Oh, well.  I got my shells and sand, and we went back to the hotel.

I had every intention of cleaning up and going back out, but once I got back to the hotel, I hit a wall and I hit it HARD.  I had gotten a shower (because of frickin' course I did. I've had a million showers since I've been here!!!!) and I had decided to reorganize my luggage to making packing easier, and I don't know if it was a blood sugar thing, or if all the walking and irregular sleeping and things just decided to pile up on me all at once, but I went down.  I didn't faint, exactly, but I had to lie down and not move for a bit.  My body just said "Nope."  I was pissed.  Here it was, my last night here, and I was lying in a hotel room and not doing anything!  However, sometimes you have to listen to your body, I guess.  I think it must have been a low blood sugar thing.  We finally decided to just forgo going anywhere else and just ordered room service again.  Heh, it was kind of funny, actually.  We didn't want much for dinner, so we both ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and fries off of the children's menu.  I don't know if room service people mind if adults order off of the kid's menu or not, but we didn't care and they didn't know we didn't have kids up here.  We had also found Star Wars: A New Hope playing on TV, so of course you know we were watching that.  It only occurred to me later how silly we must have looked to the waitress, to have been in our room, watching Star Wars and ordering grilled cheese sandwiches. :) At least we weren't wearing footie pajamas.  I mean, I didn't even bring mine!

I felt better after we ate and I finished the packing stuff I wanted to.  Now I'm sad that we're leaving tomorrow. I really love it here, even with the sweating.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


September 22, 2016

Happy first day of fall!  Not that it feels like fall. Eh, well hat was I expecting?  Heehee.

Steve didn't have to go into the office to work today, so we actually got to spend some time together this morning! We got breakfast and then sat around in the lobby of the hotel and chatted a bit. We finally parted ways so that he could do his homework and I headed back out to explore some more.

I realized last night that I didn't bring any clothes or shoes suitable for going to the beach, even if I was just going to walk around and not swim.  Greeeeeeeeat.  What was I thinking? I probably don't have to tell you that most of the cutesy boutique clothing shops around here don't cater to the bodaciously fluffy kind of woman that I am, even though I'm not exactly completely out of the "straight" sizes. I figured that it wouldn't be easy to find something to wear. Luckily, the very thing I complained about yesterday actually helped me. I walked to the GAP and got some shorts! Hooray for the GAP!

After that I just sort of wondered around for a while looking for some shenanigans to get involved in. I walked all the way to the visitors center and grabbed a tour bus. I really should have done that on my first day, but I got really excited about being able to walk everywhere I wanted to go. I'm not so excited about that now, so I paid to take a "General History" tour. The tour was ok, but I was disappointed that the driver didn't give us more specific history concerning things that happened around here. He did give us the history of the town itself, and about a couple of the houses, but I think he spent more time talking about the colleges here in the city. I was still glad to have taken the tour, because at least I know now that I went to most of the major things that I would have wanted to see. I missed a couple of the house museums, but that's fine. Maybe the only thing I won't get a chance to see is the French Quarter, but it is mostly restaurants, so unless I want to go from restaurant to restaurant and eat, which actually sounds like a pretty good idea now that I think of it, I am ok not going back! 

I actually left the tour bus before we got back to the visitor's center. His tour was technically over, and he gave us the option to get off and take a trolley back to wherever we were going. I got off because I wanted to look around the market one more time and then I could just walk back to the hotel.  Before I could look around too much, Steve texted me to let me know he was done with work, so I walked back and we ate together.  We had plans for later, so we came back to the hotel for a bit so I could clean up. 

I feel like this whole cleaning up thing has taken up way too much of my time here in Charleston.  I just really hate feeling sweaty unless I specifically want to be sweaty, you know?

We hung around the hotel until it was time for us to leave, and we walked back down past Market Street to meet our tour group.  We were going on a ghost tour!  Woot! I love, love, love going on ghost tours.  I really do think it's the best way to learn about a city.  I mean, sure, you have to listen to ghost stories, and mileage may vary on that depending on your feelings on the supernatural, but the tour guides usually have a real passion about the history of the city that your in, so you get a lot of the normal history along with the ghosties.  Our tour was pretty good, although like the bus tour, I thought there would be more to it.  Not that it wasn't fun and informative and all that, but I still thought there would me more stories.  We did learn that Edgar Allan Poe's legendary "Annabelle Lee" is allegedly buried in a kind of out-of-the-way graveyard just off of King St. so that was pretty cool.  The tour took us all over and lasted for about 2 hours.  By the time it was over, Steve and I were hot, sweaty, tired, and starving.  We had not eaten dinner before going on this thing, and I don't have any idea what we were thinking.  We felt too gross to go into a restaurant, so we went back to the hotel and got room service.

I love room service, even though it seems kind of hedonistic.  I don't know why it does, really, other than someone else cooks and brings you food that you can eat without wearing pants, but it was good!  We ended up staying up rather later than we had intended to, but it was a fun day.  I slept kind of hard.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Today has been an odd day.

I don't really understand the way time works in this town.  Steve had to leave early for work, and so I slept in a bit longer than I had intended. I got ready to go and was out the door before ten, but things were either not open yet, or had just opened. I expect that from restaurants, but not from shops. In fact, when I found an open store and walked in, two different workers said "Wow, you're out early!" Ok, then.  Charleston is a town of late risers.  I can dig that, I guess! 

Oh, and a little off topic, but here's a weird thing that happened to me TWICE while I was out this morning.  I got asked twice where I was from.  I told them Alabama, of course, and both people said "Oh, that means your a Roll Tide, right?"  Now, I'm used to being asked which football team I root for, because being from Alabama means you love football, I guess, but that's a weird way to put that isn't it?  Am I "A Roll Tide?"  Is that a thing?  I told them I wasn't really a football fan, but if I had to choose, then yes, I suppose so.  That's not really accurate, but it was easier than trying to explain the intricacies of the football culture in my state. They were satisfied and so I left it at that.  Weirdness.

Since I had designated this my shopping and wondering around day, I decided to head on to the Charleston Market, which I'd heard really good things about. I found it and was about to go in when I got sidetracked by a big steeple off in the distance.  I just followed the streets until I found St. Phillips which was a church established in 1690! I'm  uncomfortable going into a church as a tourist, so I just looked around outside and wondered through the cemetery. I love old cemeteries, and this one was interesting.  You couldn't read most of the headstones and a lot of the other headstones had fallen over and broken, so they used the pieces as paving stones. It was nice and quiet there. While I was there, I got a text from my sister asking if I was anywhere around the riots.  I had no idea what she was talking about, and immediately got nervous, because I had no idea what might have started once I left my hotel.  Apparently she had thought we were in Charlotte, so lucky for me (at least) I was safe from getting teargassed for another day.  I should probablt watch the news while I'm on vacation for these reasons.  Good grief.

Eventually I left the graveyard and made it to the Market.  I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was supposed to be all local artists and city specific type stuff for sale, and there was some of that there, but a lot of it was just your run of the mill flea market stuff. I had thought about buying one of the sweet grass baskets, but good Lord, they are expensive! I know they must take a fair amount of skill to make, but goodness.  I did manage to find a city cookbook and a Haunted Charleston book to add to my collection, but that was all.

Before I left the market area, I stopped into the Confederacy Museum. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was pretty good.  It was very small, but there was a lot to see.  It looked like someone's attic, but with cards on everything that told you what it was!

I left there and continued walking around. I thought that there would be more independent shops, and there were a few, but most of what I found were nationwide chains stores that we have back home. There were a couple of cute boutiques, and I found a Lush and bought a couple of good smelling soap things, but that was it. I did get accosted by some of those people handing out lotion samples, and they say "oh, I want to give you another one, please come inside to get it, and like a dummy I went in. I told the lady I didn't have time to get the whole spiel and I bolted. When I left, I ended up going the wrong way just to get away from them, and instead of turning around, I wound up walking around a complete city block just to avoid passing them again. :)  I'm not even sorry.

I decided to go back to the hotel and cool off for a while. Seriously, I think Charleston must be right above hell, because the heat rising from there is the only excuse I can find for the weather! I felt gross and sweaty, but I didn't get much of a chance to do anything about it, because Steve texted me almost the second I sat down.  He'd gotten off of work early and was having lunch across the street, so I went and joined him.

After lunch, we came back to the hotel and he fell asleep. I was going to take a nap, too, but I decided to take a bath with one of my new bath bombs (I love Lush, y'all) instead and so I spent the next 45 minutes relaxing in glittery blue water that smelled like grapefruits. :)

Once I got out and regrouped, I went out again for a bit to look around in a different part of town I hadn't explored yet. I didn't find a lot, mainly just restaurants, so I came back to the hotel to chill until Steve was done doing the work he had to bring back to the hotel with him.

Once he was done, he said we needed to go do something, but he wasn't in the mood to walk around downtown, so we decided to drive out to a shopping center near where he's been going to work so we could look around. On our way out of the parking garage, we noticed that a Black Lives Matter protest had sprung up in front of our hotel. Great timing on our part! We went shopping and then came back for dinner. We ate at a place called Virginia's on King, which isn't far from our hotel. It was so good. I had cheese grits good enough to make me slap a nun. I didn't, of course, but I could have. :) By the time we got back, the protest was over, so we had no trouble getting back inside.

I feel like I'm not doing enough while I'm here! I've been constantly walking and looking at as much as I can, but I'm afraid I'm going to miss something important! I'll have to get creative tomorrow. I have one more day on my own, and then Steve and I are going out to one of the beaches on Friday, if nothing happens. I need to make sure to see as much as I can before we leave on Saturday!