Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Charleston Artist: Mary Whyte

Mary Whyte's work is everywhere in Charleston. She’s a watercolor expert and

she has a new exhibit at the Gibbes Museum of art for the Working South Series ( I say new, but it’s been up for a while). It’s running through Sept 9th and it’s definitely worth seeing her work in person.

Keith Claussen from an article for the Augusta states concisely:

Mary Whyte has focused on images of people whose blue-collar lives in the rural South seldom gain notice in today’s celebrity-driven, high-tech culture. From the textile mill worker and tobacco farmer to the sponge diver and elevator operator, she has sought out and documented the faces of people whose traditional livelihoods are fast disappearing.

(article here)


Paper Carrier

Monday, May 28, 2012


Well I couldn’t sleep and I ended up cleaning out my drawers for goodwill. Then started the changing of clothes and a  doggy date.  4am production, baby!





I have a shirt with  a bicycle on it so people will think I’m athletic.

I will probably regret posting this.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

getting somewhere, maybe not

well it’s been about three months now since I blocked out the under-painting on this 24x32 canvas…perhaps one day I will finish it. Right now it’s just been in the way and our lack of space has found it being moved from place to place as a nuisance. The problem with art is the continual need for motivation and renewal…my tank is pointing to empty. After I started this guy I was disappointed because I pretty much only paint trees. It’s like a curse, I try to paint something different, but it always comes out trees. (p.s. ten points if you know what this scene is from.)


the new place

Here are some pics of the outside area and the  listing pictures. More to come when we move in of course. It feels a lot bigger than in the pictures because of the high ceilings. This is the living room. The door opens up to the patio. We’ll stick our dining room table where they have theirs too.




This last area is actually the laundry room. The washer and dryer fit behind the open door…cept we’ll be buying/finding our own set.



these are what most of the places look like. it must be meant to be since there was a rainbow!



And here are some I took of the outside area. If you leave the condo and turn right, there is a huge grassy field and a park with baseball and tennis areas and a pool.


our condo is  the stucco one.


facing the backs, ours is on the right in the left hand cluster,  hidden by the tree



and yes I took these photos in creepy drive by fashion and felt really sketch.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

nanny fo fanny

OKay, I’m going to start with the grumpy part


Since the weather has been warmer, pool days have begun.

it sounds like a luxury to be at work and be able to swim, however i hate pools.

I hate pools full of children with water that tastes like sunscreen and salt with oil floats on top.

I hate getting to the pool and finding that it’s freezing and about to rain.

I hate being a living bouey for the jillion kids in the pool while their mother’s/nanny’s sleep in the chairs.

I hate random children who wrap their arms around my neck in fear for their lives as I look around to make sure no one’s going to sue me for touching their child.

I hate being in a bathing suit in public.

and last but  not least I hate the little boys who make it a game to splash and cannon dive water into my contacts.

so I sit there and do my duty like a drowned rat/ bitter sea monster…and when that swim team whistle blows…adios nasty pool spawn- I’m going to go gargle Listerine and not think about what I just swam in.




okay the grumpy is over

no really, I  have a job. and I get to spend time outdoors. That is a score.


One thing I’m frequently confronted by is my role in curbing thoughts. I’ve never been a good judge of age groups, what an age can and can’t understand. I find myself wanting to go into lengthy discussions about topics that are touch while in reality…a six year old isn’t going to get it. I know for my own kids, I’d bring up conversations so they might recall the right thing later. If you’re a nanny, there can always be sticky situations later…like “why did you talk to my kid about hell”. “what do you mean you told them the tooth fairy isnt real” ect ect. (I haven’t done either of those fyi)


IMG_7947 copy 4


A few weeks ago I was informed by butterfly princess:

“I am going to have a beautiful wedding one day. my husband will have brown eyes and brown hair. my bridesmaids will wear light blue with little flowers on the dress and I will have a pretty white dress with flowers everywhere and a big big ring. I’m going to be a world famous ballerina/ violinist. We will have a  house boat and several horses that live with us on the boat.”

“ what if you met a really nice guy without brown hair and brown eyes?”

“well he could have blue eyes if he has a candy factory”

“what if he had a candy factory but he was ugly?”

*stares at me like I’m crazy

I wanted to explain to her so bad what marriage is more about than hot princes, lovely homes, and fulfilled dreams. What distractions and money wasters weddings can be….but you can’t really talk to a kid about marriage…it’s a little uncomprehendable. Neither do I want to squash her dreams.  I do try to throw out the idea to her that her prince is a person and marriage is a relationship. I said,

“butterfly princess,  I hope you find a God fearing man, swoonworthy or not. I hope he’s gentle and kind and honest. I hope you are best friends. I hope you will go to God to make things work. “

(and if he can’t be any of those things, I really hope he has a candy factory.)



Also that day while we were driving , she had the creativity to make up a song for me. It started with a simple statement:

“sarah you’re weird. “ 

Followed by giggles.

and the rest of the song went: weird sarah weird sarah weird sarah”

This kept up until we reached our destination. I thought the lyrics were delightful so I chimed in with her in a false baritone.

I then had to explain to her why I didn’t care about being weird and how I thought weird was a good thing.


Today I wore a high waisted dress. butterfly princess put her hands on my tummy and exclaimed

“ it looks like there's a baby in there!”

I laughed and told her I hope not, unless it was a baby husky

* very confused face

Not wanting to get into a discussion with a six year old about why I didn’t want a baby/kids, I just left that one at that.


Also at bedtime, I have a tradition of playing truth and truth, she gets to ask me anything and I get to ask her anything. Today I asked her what she would wish for with three wishes from a magic lamp.

1. to be rich

2. to be a grown up

3. to be queen

Poor kid, I wanted to explain to her so bad that none of those things will make you happy. I sort of tried too by having her think about what she asked for but it ended up with a definitive , nope, I’m pretty sure if I’m rich I’ll be okay.


They make me laugh so much. I laugh because she is so assertive. It’s a wonderful privilege to be assertive..I never was the positive and bold little individual. I was always too shy and to unsure. I’m so glad to see children that feel confident and loved and accepted. ..not afraid to share their observations on life. I just hope that they'll think through the little things…not even now, but later, enjoying the innocence that is childhood . Sometimes I wonder what she’ll remember from the important conversations.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A word from the Chef

An unnatural phenomenon occurred today (no, not the eclipse).

I was sitting at my desk working and Charley turned to me and said “ can I write a blog post?”

I stared at him…sometimes I wonder if he even remembers I have a blog.   “well yes, of course!”

I picked up my camera to go document his cooking, but he stopped me.

“no, I want to do it my way, my pictures.“

It’s probably going to dumbfound me for the rest of my life: Charley hates taking pictures. But without further ado, here he is.

Voice a-la- hubby:


 If you have ever worked in the food service industry for any extended period of time, there occurs, at least once, a moment during which you question your sanity for choosing a career so reward-less (in the traditional sense at least).  The pay is mediocre at best and you end up working much harder than your friends who have cushy office jobs with nice salaries; and usually for no better reason than “I love to cook.” For me, today held such a moment. Driving home after an unusually monotonous day, a little voice began to question me.

“Why in god’s name did you decide to do this to yourself?! Is working so much for so little money even worth it? Why not find some desk job where you can sit all day and answer phone calls. It would suck, but it would be easier than this crap! Honestly; can you really say that you even enjoy all this that much?” 

Walking through the grocery store, I found myself having to answer these questions…


photo (77)
















  Just what I needed to punch my stupidity in the gonads…metaphorically speaking. Harris Teeter was having a massive swine sale and happened to be fully stocked. A seven pound Boston butt for nine dollars? BOGO premium bacon and pork chops for a dollar a piece? While I was sitting in my car mentally castrating myself, there were shelves of fat, waste-eating mammal begging to be consumed.

  Finally, all those nights watching episodes of Epic Meal Time for three hours straight finally began to pay off.  Maple BBQ paste? Don’t mind if I do.


After rubbing down the pork butt with its delicious –UV 40 BBQ sunscreen, I gave it a good sear then began working on the “broth.” Usually broth means some sort of protein-flavored liquid, but for me apple cider and good ol’ Kentucky bourbon would do just fine.



I began to slide the beast into the oven for its six hour heat nap, but quickly remembered that a nap is not a nap without a blanket…a bacon blanket. Once I wove myself a sheet-o-swine to keep my bundle of un-kosher gluttony warm, I forced it to surrender its bacony juices – which in turn became a night cap of sorts for Mr. Pig.


And there it was. A delicious mixture of pork, booze, more pork and then pork fat.  Six hours in the fiery pits and we would have BBQ. More importantly though, there sat a curly-tailed prophet, gazing into my soul saying:

“Stop being such a troll – what the hell else would you do with your life?”

Screw it, I love to cook.

Monday, May 21, 2012

moving right along

So I forgot to mention, we signed a new lease and we’re leaving the city to be a little farther out. I’ll miss all the interesting things to see and the people everywhere atmosphere. I don’t have pictures of it yet, but this is the (rough) floorplan:

sorry It’s hard to read


There are a few things though that I’m pretty stoke about:

  1. easy parking : no more parking behind each other or getting blocked in from others
  2. a porch: it’s fenced in and halfway shaded and pretty big compared to what we’ve seen
  3. we can kick Juneau out the back door: formerly we had to put her on a  lease and bring her around back.
  4. no pet deposit!
  5. a laundry room: space to do laundry and iron things. I haven’t ironed our own clothes in a year and I’ve got pile of things that need er bad.
  6. a spare bedroom: office a la sarah/ people can stay over now.
  7. kitchen space: we’ll have actual countertops and cabinets !
  8. a normal sized fridge: ours currently is a little weenie
  9. closet space!
  10. cool little separate area to put makeup on in the morning: battle of the bathroom no more.
  11. no one is upstairs= less late night domestic drama
  12. we’re right next to a park
  13. our back porch opens up to a huge grassy field
  14. our freezer will have an icemaker!
  15. we’re right next to walmart/ outlet mall
  16. super cool landlords

IMG_8402but before we found our little condo, we had a mess and a half to try to find something….I mean, I didn’t think it should be so hard. We wouldn’t have chosen to be as far out as we are, but it will work for this next year and we’re grateful to be within our financial means. We looked at a bunch of houses for sale as well but really didn’t find “ the one”. We’re glad we’ve looked and have gotten a feel for what we’d like. There was one that I really really loved the location and pictures off and I scheduled to look. I confirmed the time and date three times and drove out in the rain. I waited for 45 minutes after we were supposed to meet, calling and calling the realtor. I had just finished drawing my little page header so I could take notes underneath and he finally called back and was like oh, it has a contract on it as of this morning. It was a complete waste of time and super frustrating/unprofessional of the realtor.

I think in all, we looked at over 25 different  places/ apartments and ect. We were almost to the point of trying to find a rock to live under. But we’re grateful that we finally picked something and it’s no longer something to figure out. I’m still dreaming that one day I could design my own house. It would look a lot like this…somewhere in the woods, lots of windows & a yard for the husky:


Dogs and their people: photography by Janne Peters

I love these! check out the rest of her work here