Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

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50 Facts about South Carolina

Many of the items on this list were news to me. My comments are in bold and italics.  Enjoy!

  1. Campbell’s Covered Bridge built in 1909, is the only remaining covered bridge in SC. Off Hwy 14 near Gowensville.  This bridge is about 15 miles from my house and has been made into a pretty little park.
  2. The salamander was given the honor of official state amphibian.  Well that explains why Sabrina can catch so many of them.
  3. The walls of the American fort on Sullivan Island, in Charleston Harbor, were made of spongy Palmetto logs. This was helpful in protecting the fort because the British cannonballs bounced off the logs.
  4. The City of Myrtle Beach is in the center of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile crescent of beach on the South Carolina coast. In the last 25 years, Myrtle Beach has developed into the premier resort destination on the East Coast.
  5. South Carolina entered the Union on May 23, 1788 and became the 8th state.
  6. David Robert Coker (1870-1938) conducted his early crop-improvement experiments on the family plantation in Hartsville. Beginning with 30 experimental cotton selections and methodically applying the latest techniques in the scientific breeding of crops, the work of Coker Experimental Farms played a great role in the agricultural revolution in the South.
  7. The state dance of South Carolina is the Shag! Guess Bob and I should look for a class in this.
  8. The first battle of the Civil War took place at Fort Sumter.
  9. South Carolina is the nation’s leading peach producer and shipper east of the Mississippi River. I can testify that the peaches are wonderful.  I couldn’t get enough of them this summer.
  10. Before being known as the Palmetto State, South Carolina was known as, and had emblazoned on their license plates, the Iodine State.
  11. The only major league baseball player to wear the name of his hometown on his uniform was pitcher Bill Voiselle. He wore number 96. Yes we have a town called 96.
  12. The Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame features champion thoroughbred flat racers and steeplechase horses trained in Aiken.
  13. The Black River Swamp Preserve is located near Andrews. This slow-moving river is characterized by high concentrations of organic carbon, which accounts for the tea-colored water and gives rise to the diverse habitats in its widespread floodplain.
  14. Batesburg-Leesville is home to the annual South Carolina Poultry Festival held in early May.
  15. South Carolina’s smallest county is McCormick at 360 square miles while the largest county is Horry at 1,134 square miles
  16. A noble Catawba Indian who befriended early Camden settlers, King Haiglar is often called “The Patron Saint of Camden.” Today, he reigns over Camden in the form of a life-sized weather vane which graces the tower of what once was the circa-1886 Opera House.
  17. Chapin is known as the Capital of Lake Murray.
  18. Sumter has the largest Gingko farm in the world.  Think I have to check this out.
  19. Stretching 60 miles from Little River to Georgetown, South Carolina’s Grand Strand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
  20. The Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel was started in 1856 by a railroad company and is bored for more than a mile into the granite heart of fabled Stumphouse Mountain. The coming of the Civil War in 1859 ended the work on the project. Some years ago, Clemson University made Blue Mold Cheese in the tunnel successfully for the first time in the South.  I have heard of Clemson’s blue cheese and have it on my list to find it and try it.
  21. Tyler Brothers Work Shoe and Boot Company in Wagener produces 8 major brands of OSHA approved safety footwear, including such famous brands as Redwing, Georgia, Northlake, and Wolverine.
  22. The Board of Public Works in Gaffney built an elevated water storage tank in the shape of a peach in 1981. I have seen this many times.  It is really an eye catcher.
  23. The Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail covers 66 miles of the river for which it’s named. The Edisto is reputed to be the world’s longest free-flowing “blackwater” stream. “Blackwater” is a term that not only describes the color of the tannin-rich water, but also refers to the peaceful rate of flow that characterizes such rivers.
  24. The Argent train Engine No. 7 was donated to the town of Hardeeville upon the closing of the Argent Lumber Company. This narrow gauge train is a rarity and attracts many people from across the nation.
  25. The first boll weevil found in South Carolina is on display at the Pendleton District Agricultural Museum.
  26. Duncan Park Baseball Stadium in Spartanburg is the oldest minor league stadium in the nation.
  27. Every few years, Irmo has a sighting of some kind of water monster that inhabits Lake Murray. The monster first ‘surfaced’ in 1973 when residents of Irmo and Ballentine saw a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster. It was described in The Independent News in 1980 as “a cross between a snake and something prehistoric.”
  28. A 24-mile motorcycle trail and a 26-mile horse trail are unusual features of Parsons Mountain Park in the Sumter National Forest.
  29. The Isle of Palms was originally named Hunting Island and then Long Island, it’s thought to be at least 25,000 years old, and was first inhabited by the indigenous Seewee Indians.
  30. Johnston is called The Hub of the Ridge because it is located at the meeting place of the three river systems which flow away from the Ridge, a fertile plateau about thirty miles long between clay hills to the north and sand hills to the south.
  31. Johnston is known as the Peach Capital of the World.
  32. The Lake City tobacco market was established in 1898, and has grown to become one of the two largest markets in South Carolina today.
  33. Sweetgrass basket making has been a part of the Mount Pleasant community for more than 300 years. Basket making is a traditional art form that has been passed on from generation to generation.  These baskets are beautiful and very expensive.   I settled for sweet grass earrings.
  34. Bomb Island on Lake Murray each spring and summer is the home of a very unusual event. Each year thousands of Purple Martins return to this island to roost for the summer. The island has been declared a bird sanctuary and it is quite a sight to watch these birds return to Bomb Island each day around sunset.
  35. At the Riverbanks Zoological Park in Columbia more than 2000 animals thrive in recreated natural habitats with no bars or cages.  I have this on my list of places to see.
  36. Little River is the Gateway to the Grand Strand. Giant moss-covered oak trees, that are centuries old, line its waterfront and many streets!
  37. There is an old saying in Marion that anyone who drinks water from Catfish Creek becomes infatuated with the area and wishes to remain there.  I think this is true of Greenville also.
  38. In February 1852 William Burkhalter Dorn discovered the second richest vein of gold in SC history on the site of the present town of McCormick.
  39. Red Spider Lilies were first planted in the US, in the Willington-Mt. Carmel area when Dr. James Morrow sent them and other plants from the Orient while he served as surgeon with Commodore Perry’s expedition to open trade with Japan.
  40. The introduction of tobacco in 1894 rocketed Mullins into the Tobacco Capital of South Carolina. As many as 200 tobacco barns sprang up throughout the community. Warehouses were also constructed and the first tobacco sale took place on August 28, 1895.
  41. Housed in a 100-year-old freight depot, the Cowpens museum is a showplace for relics belonging to the crew of the USS Cowpens, a famous World War II aircraft carrier.
  42. Orangeburg is known as the “Garden City” because of its beautiful Edisto Memorial Gardens. The Edisto Memorial Gardens displays past and current award winning roses from the All-American Rose Selections. It is also know as the place where a horrible massacre of young black men occurred in the 1960’s.
  43. The Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport was the first airport in South Carolina opening in October 1927.
  44. Summerville’s beauty is mirrored in her motto, “The Flower Town in the Pines.” Since the early 1900’s day tourists have flocked to the town during early spring to enjoy millions of spring blossoms, particularly azaleas, in private and public gardens, including the mid-town Azalea Park.
  45. Fountain Inn is proud of the town’s most famous native son. Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates lost his leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of 12; he overcame his tragedy to become a famous dancer. His signature step was the “Imitation American Jet Plane,” in which he would jump five feet in the air and land on his peg leg, with his good leg sticking out straight behind him. During his career, Bates performed more than 20 different times on the Ed Sullivan television show more than any other artist.
  46. The Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest cascade in eastern America; it descends for nearly 411 feet.
  47. On Nov 2, 1954 Strom Thurmond became the first US senator elected by write-in vote. Thurmond received 139,106 write-in votes to win his seat. He defeated Democratic nominee Edgar Brown, who received only 80,956 votes.
  48. Beginning Labor Day and running through the following weekend, the South Carolina Apple Festival celebrates the beginning of apple harvest season in Oconee County, the largest apple-producing area in the state.
  49. The Columbia City Ballet, South Carolina’s oldest dance company, has developed into one of the most broadly supported performing arts organizations in the state.
  50. Thanks to: Joyce Myers, Beverly Miller, Diana La Rocque, gaitrie, Randy Cox

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Strangers become new friends

Bob and I just had the most incredible experience with a new family who stayed at our house.   First a little back round.   Several months ago my friend Janae in MN emailed me to see if our invitation for visitors included friends of friends.   She has a good friend, Sara, who is home schooling her three children ages 7,9, and 11.  That’s not too unusual but what is special is that she is taking them on a tour of all 50 state capitals.  Check out  What an adventure.   They left in mid Sept. and in two months have been to 33 capitals.

They came here from two days in Charleston.  They were a few hours behind schedule because a retired general offered to take the family out on his yacht to see Ft. Sumter from Charleston Harbor.   Bob and I can’t stay on schedule for a two week trip.   It is beyond my imagination how this young mother of three is doing it for two months so far and 10 months of the trip.  They arrived around 7 p.m. last night and we had such a wonderful evening and morning with them.   Everyone loved the kitties, hot tub, massage chair and Bob’s demonstration of pen turning.  There was lots of laughter and splashing.   Mom Sara even got some adult time and adult beverages while Bob played with the kids.  Sara lreally relaxed in the hot tub last night and massage chair this morning.   I think we sent them on their way feeling relaxed and happy.

The kids got a big kick out of seeing Bob make a pen, which they took home with them.  Sara loved our pens, bowls and candles  and bought almost all of our inventory for gifts.  Each of the family members has 50 States Tour t shirts and they are having all the people they stay with sign the shirts and will frame them at the end of the trip.   What a great memory piece!

After leaving here about 9:30 this morning they head to Columbia for SC state capital and then to Atlanta for a couple days before working their way to Florida where they will take a break and stay with family for 6 weeks and enjoy the holidays.   The kids were good and so much fun and had lots and lots of questions.   The two younger kids gave Sabrina and Smoky their night time treat and hear them make their little slurping sounds as they eat the food. They really laughed over there sounds.   Sara is a great mother.   Husband and dad will meet them a few places along the way.   Their trip ends next June when they do Alaska and Hawaii.  So far they have been gone two months, traveled 10,000 miles and of all the families they have stayed with they knew only 7.  All the others were friends of friends or family.   Isn’t it great so many families are willing to welcome them into their home?  I also thought it was interesting that every family has had pets.

Bob and I had been a little hesitant when we first agreed but are so glad we followed our heart and welcomed them into our home.

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Alert for people with nut allergies

Bob has been doing lots of research on different finishes, including those that are safe to put on wooden things that will be in contact with food like salad bowls, utensils, wooden cutting boards.  Tung oil is made from the oil of the seeds of the tung tree.  People who are allergic to nuts may have an allergic reaction to foods that come in contact with a surface that has been finished with tung oil.  We were both quite surprised to read this and I wanted to share it with you.

Many people have nut allergies and I would never have thought that it could come from the bowl itself.   Even the odor of tung oil may set off a reaction.


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Explaining the South

LOVE AND MISS YOU.  Thanks Brenda H. for passing this along to me.

Southern FOLKS know their summer weather report:
Southern FOLKS know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The creek
Southern WOMEN know everybody’s first name:

Southern WOMEN know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern FOLKS know their religions:

Southern FOLKS know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Foat Wuth

Southern WOMEN know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don’t “HAVE” them,  you “PITCH” them.
Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up “a mess.”

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long “directly” is, as in:
“Going to town, be back directly.”
(“Dreckly” in my family)

Even Southern babies know that “Gimme some sugar” is not a request for the white, granular, sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when “by and by” is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.
If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin’!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between “right near” and
“a right fer piece.” They also know that “just down the road” can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol’ boy, and po’ white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that “fixin” can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, …. and when we’re “in line”, we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they’re related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y’all is singular, all y’all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, “Well, I caught myself lookin’,” you know you are in the presence of a genuine

Only true Southerners say “sweet tea” and “sweet milk.” Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it — we do not like our tea unsweetened. “Sweet milk” means you don’t want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.
You just say,”Bless her heart”… and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning, bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff……bless your hearts, I hear they’re fixin’ to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

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History of the South

What is THE SOUTH?

Bob and I had our first OLLI class last Thursday – The South as Region and Section: Colonial and Early National Beginnings with instructor Dr. A.V. Huff. We have had him for a class before and he is great. Funny, good speaker, interesting and definitely knows his material.  We are having so much fun learning about our new state. 

He started out talking about “What is the South?” Is it geographic area, the area south of the Mason Dixon Line, the states that made up the Confederacy or a culture?

What do you think of when you think of The South?

He spoke about 10 things that he thinks defines The South.

1.  Weather
Generally short mild winters and long summers.

2.  Agriculture
A rural economy in the south vs more a industrial economy in the north.  Crops that defined the south are tobacco, cotton, rice and cane sugar. Along with these crops came the plantations and I know I certainly associate plantations with the south.

3. Decentralized Government – States Rights vs. Federal Gov. control
Not much more to say about that except it sure is true here in SC.

4.  Negro population
I did some more research on this and found this map that shows the ethnic breakdown by state.   Pretty interesting.   I also thought it was interesting to look at where the people are that call themself American.

5.   Image as Southern Gentleman, Southern Belles, Southern Hospitality
Even though the women were not as educated as northern women and they worked hard managing the plantations when they went out in public they were shown off as “Ornaments to Society”.

6.  Religion
Evangelical Southern Religion. He said it was sometimes referred to as Bapto Methodism.   This link shows the different religions by state.   It’s pretty interesting.

I found the chart below on church attendance on wikipidia

Church Attendance by State [5]
Rank↓ State↓ Percent↓
National average 42%
1 Alabama 58%
1 Louisiana 58%
1 South Carolina 58%
4 Mississippi 57%
5 Arkansas 55%
5 Utah 55%
7 Nebraska 53%
7 North Carolina 53%
9 Georgia 52%
9 Tennessee 52%
11 Oklahoma 50%
12 Texas 49%
13 Kentucky 48%
14 Kansas 47%
15 Indiana 46%
15 Iowa 46%
15 Missouri 46%
15 West Virginia 46%
19 South Dakota 45%
20 Minnesota 44%
20 Virginia 44%
22 Delaware 43%
22 Idaho 43%
22 North Dakota 43%
22 Ohio 43%
22 Pennsylvania 43%
22 Wisconsin 43%
28 Illinois 42%
28 Michigan 42%
30 Maryland 41%
30 New Mexico 41%
32 Florida 39%
33 Connecticut 37%
34 Wyoming 36%
35 Arizona 35%
35 Colorado 35%
37 Montana 34%
37 New Jersey 34%
39 District of Columbia 33%
39 New York 33%
41 California 32%
41 Oregon 32%
41 Washington 32%
44 Maine 31%
44 Massachusetts 31%
46 Rhode Island 28%
47 Nevada 27%
48 New Hampshire 24%
48 Vermont 24%

7.  Violent  Culture
Wish this one wasn’t true but  it’s a history of duals, fist fights, knives, lynching,  feuds,  the KKK  and  a strong military culture, domestic abuse, etc.

8.  Southern Language/ Accent
I didn’t know this.  The accent you hear goes back to the very early settlers in Virginia and SC in the 17th century who came from southern England and the pronunciations they used so it is an old style of speaking.   Add in African words and African grammer and you have that southern accent.

9.  Food
Why are corn products, corn muffins, biscuits  and grits so popular?   Because hard winter wheat that grows in the north doesn’t grow well in the south The beef and mutton eaten in the north are replaced by pigs (because they are so easy to take care of) bear, venison and turkey.  The yam and nuts and beans are a big part of the diet.

10.  View of world(the South)  as  wounded
Defeated in war, an economy destroyed by the Civil War and the resulting poverty that came after have defined how some southerners feel about themself and their state.



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Southern Cooking

When Bob and I were driving down the street in Charleston at Christmas I saw a guy on the side of the road with huge bunches of greens, I would say two feet long.  I asked our host what they were and he said collard greens.   I’ve eaten them a couple times in restaurants but this will be my first time cooking them myself.  Couldn’t decide if I should cook them with hog jowls or pigs feet.   I picked pigs feet.

Also am cooking up my first batch ever of black eyed peas, a New Years tradition in the south for good luck.  Bob’s a good sport to try them with me.  I’m not sure my pallet has adjusted yet to all the southern foods but I am trying.  Will have both collards and beans for dinner tonight with a rack of ribs on the grill seasoned with SC dry rub (a gift from a northern friend) and smoked with Jack Daniels wood pellets.  It’s 55 and cloudy here today.  At Jack Daniels whiskey plant, which we just visited near Nashville, they filter the beverage through oak charcoal.  When they are done with the charcoal filtering, which has now been thoroughly soaked in whiskey, they send it to a plant that makes the charcoal into pellets and then sells it to people to use on their grill and smoke the meat.   Should be an interesting meal.  No other special plans for New Years Eve but we are going to an evening dress up party on New Years Day.

Happy New Year to all of you.   May the new year bring  good health, happiness, peace and prosperity to you and all your loved ones.

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Follow up on Kudzu – the other side of the story

A comment on kudzu got caught in the spam bucket and I just found it today.   Kudzu has some pretty interesting qualities as a medicine.  The Chinese used it 2000 years ago.  Alcohol treatment is one of it’s properties.  Below is the comment.   I did a google search on kudzu and medicine and it is quite well documented.   Here is just one of many links:

  1. Charlotte Fairchild Says:
    October 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm eYou didn’t mention much science. Kudzu has been listed as a medical plant for 2000 years, and Harvard has two peer reviewed medical articles they published in the last 5 years! They have a lot of catching up to do.

    The citations are on in the links below the splash page.

    Great article. Please include for people who want to know how to eradicate kudzu without poisons. Jim Miller supports this experiment station and the research.