Hickory, North Carolina: Big City with a Small Town Feel

Fellow travel nurses are living in Hickory so decided to explore the City. On the outskirts much is available..


A movie theater..

and some other necessities..

However, in traveling further I found more to Hickory than stores. There is a college,

a museum area,

and a downtown alive with community theater,

a renovated train station with a restaurant,

and a myriad of shops including a billiard hall, yoga studio, coffee shops, church, and a playground for children. The City has done a fine job infusing a variety of venues to bring folks back to this area and on my Valentine’s Day visit it was bustling with patrons.

Another interesting downtown piece was the building murals. Catch a glimpse..

But my favorite was…

Tomorrow: More of Hickory, North Carolina,..

North Carolina Arrival

Rented a cabin for my stay in Western North Carolina. Didn’t think I would arrive in the middle of a snow storm with a power outage, however, I did. Driving through the forest as my Atlanta based landlord guided me was a challenge in the darkened wilderness but the cabin was found. Discovering no power another call to Atlanta was made. The landlord’s brother in law arrived with candles. Nice touch.

Since this is my eighth travel nurse experience I know to plan for the unexpected. The small and light weight Vornado heater was packed and has served the purpose for heat along with a flannel night gown, quilt, and afghan.

Up early the next day to investigate the area found an interesting lumber operation nearby. Here’s a few pictures..

Later laundry was done with a recent purchase – a portable washing machine. What a great machine. Here she is…

Brought plants for the cabin and am growing herbs. A homey touch and fun to watch…

Computer access is problematic in the area. Am learning more of hot spots and the like since my last blog. Running back and forth to Verizon and Staples is exhausting and time consuming for this computer nincompoop.

Tomorrow will be exploring Hickory, North Carolina. Stay tuned.


Charleston, South Carolina

After visiting the Carolina Cider Company the journey to Charleston continued with a variety of trees and water ways adorning the road.

A beautiful drive, how scenic, and what a delightful surprise.

The entrance to Charleston is welcoming, passing over the graceful Ravenel Bridge with views of a posh marina. I wonder if Stephen Colbert has a boat here????

The city is relatively small with the main attraction the Slave Market.

Many vendors sell their wares here and woven straw baskets are sold on every street corner as well as in the market. Lovely, but not lovely enough for the price asked.

Around the marketplace are many restaurants. Anson’s is a place of history and a 5 Star restaurant. Captain Anson was a Brit and naval officer who came to the Carolina’s in the 1700’s. A known card shark this property still bears his name.

Since I had little time to visit and needing direction I stopped at one of the many Visitor Centers. Here I was guided to a horse drawn carriage ride of one hour which fit my needs. The staff at these centers are friendly, personable, and know their city. Did I also say they have coupons??? Stop in and they’ll put you on course for your visit.

The tour was perfect with a guide who was interesting, funny, and well informed. He is an author of historical fiction writing the Rice King Series, a collection based on Charleston townsfolk. He knew his stuff. Check him out on Amazon..

David Henry Lucas

Charleston began as a walled city, similar to St. Augustine, Florida. 65% of the City is reclaimed from the sea and it lies on the largest earthquake fault of the east coast. The last quake was in 1886 and the destruction catastrophic. Historical preservation began in this City and its strong influence remains. Enough fun facts, here are some beautiful homes viewed on the tour.

And here’s one for sale. What a great bed and breakfast this would make..

Behind these walls is a home to a celebrity whose name remains a secret.. Truth be told I asked three times but didn’t understand what was said. Have to take lessons to pick up the Southern drawl and then those masks, so needed but frustrating at times!

There also was an interesting section of the tour known as Goldsmith’s Row on Anson Street. These wood framed single homes were owned by predominantly Jewish families involved in business and the gold trade.

Aren’t they adorable? My ultimate home..

Many of Jewish descent lived in Charleston. One of our nation’s first synagogues is here. It is open for tours but was closed on the day of my visit.

After seeing the synagogue my eye caught a cemetery of interest. Always interested in these places as the stonework and history is fascinating.

Then I tried the church door and it opened..

to a lovely small church where I lit candles, made wishes, and said prayers. Been awhile since I’ve been inside of a church. Think that’s why God made internet masses. Every time you visit a new church make 3 wishes, it has always worked for me.. Give it a try and let me know.

And if St. Mary comes through a church donation is in her future. They currently have a building campaign so St. Mary think hard of my requests.

This concludes my short visit to Charleston. There is much more to see in this lovely City. Here are some ideas:

  • Boone Plantation
  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
  • Edmonston-Alston House


Carolina Cider Company

Came across this spot on Charleston Highway. It is an adorable store with tasty ciders, jams/jellies, honeys, candies, baked goods, BBQ sauces, and all sorts of gifts for the palate. The shop is a former gas station. What a great repurpose idea!

The Outside..
The Inside…

And while there check out the planter covered in license plates, have a cider, and rock a bit as time goes by..


Welcome to South Carolina

Stopped at the South Carolina Travel Center in Hardeeville, South Carolina. While not open at the hour I arrived many state tourism books were available outside the center.

Visitor Center
Nice picnic grounds

After taking a book I began a conversation with a friendly security guard which led me to my next venue.

While the Visitor Center was closed due to covid, this was a fun place for a walk with it’s beauty and many signs along the short trails. A great stop off with kids when you need to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.

Have the kids, (or even adults), try to locate songbirds, animal tracks, Spanish moss in the trees, and wetlands.

Quite an engaging path..
Spanish Moss

Can’t recall what these two are, however they are simply lovely.


And of course if anything is learned in this visit, it is the name of this culprit….

Poison Ivy

So, make the stop, walk the trails, and take a break…

I guarantee you’ll be glad you did…

Off to North Carolina

Have accepted a travel nurse gig in North Carolina. Left at 4:45 a.m. to travel to this next adventure. Spent my last Florida day walking the beach, soaking up the sun, and treating myself to a brownie hot fudge sundae. The condo remains in renovation state, however, between Steve and my daughter it will come together. Much progress has been made and those who follow have seen the blogs.

The 600 mile trek was an easy one with clear skies and little traffic. The 2 1/2 hours to the Florida border was easy and have my fingers crossed this will continue for the entire journey. Entering Georgia I noted this overhead sign,

“You’all don’t litter.”

This was a welcomed sign as in traveling through our beautiful country I have noted a horrific build up in trash along our roads. Since I am old and was indoctrinated under Lady Bird Johnson’s, “Keep America Beautiful,” campaign, this litter distresses me. It also causes brings to mind hygiene as we are in the midst of a pandemic and would this trigger another??

In Florida, they often have inmate work crews handling this task. While this doesn’t resolve the problem it does help.

On to North Carolina…

Next: Sheet Rock

With electrical and plumbing completed the next step of closing those holes begins. I have learned from the handyman and friend I hired this is quite a process. The sheet rock needs to be screwed into the joists, the walls muded, the joints taped. then muded again, sanded, and only then can you start to paint. WHEW!

Nice job, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks, Steve

Cabinetry delivery is behind schedule. With covid these deliveries are lagging due to factory worker illness. So if conducting a renovation take that into account. Since I have started another travel nurse gig arrangements were made for delivery acceptance and installation. That said no final pics will be available till the fall.

Stay tuned.

My currently unemployed daughter and son in law will be doing this deed.

Thanks, guys.

Plumbing Work: Always get a second estimate, if not a third….

This is what I do.

Decided to put a washer/dryer in the condo. Never knew it would be this much aggravation. The first plumber’s estimate was $5000. for installation. Then I came across a plumber where I volunteer who said he only works for friends and would charge $3500. He came to the condo to survey the work. While there I mentioned the garbage disposal didn’t work and he installed another. Plans were made for his arrival to do the next step. He never arrived or called back. Florida senior gossip says workmen never return calls until they need weed money, so I got the name of another plumber.

When this plumber arrived and heard what was paid for the garbage disposal he smirked. The price was double what his company charged. Then the $3500 estimate for the washer/dryer install was revealed. He said an entire condo repipe could be done for this and the washer/dryer install would be $750 to 1000. Since he was honest he won the job. The next day my “plumber friend” returned my call saying he would start the job the following day. I told him I was leaving town.

When 3 plumbers and 2 large trucks arrived I was overwhelmed never realizing the scope of the work..

The plumbers surveyed the condo and floors began to be covered with mats. Since sheet rock dust permeates all I quickly located sheets and tablecloths to cover furnishings..

The condo wrapped and covered,

and much hidden in the bedroom with the door closed..

Pictures of condo wall holes.

Mike installing the hot water heater.

Paul and Gary working on the washer/dryer connections.

Work was completed in 14 hours. Cost: $ 5600.

Next step: Sheet rock repair, then cabinets to cover the washer/dryer..

And they even fixed the bathroom sink.

I am in plumbing heaven!

Commercial #8 Apple Upgrade

This blog is about what I think.

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The upgrade greets me with, “Hello.” The next screen wants me to, “Place Your Finger here.” I do not want to place my finger there but cannot pass the screen. What finger shall I choose if I do this? I need direction but do not receive it. I select my right index finger, but do not apply it to the screen. Suddenly I am returned to the main screen and now am able to bypass the touch screens and password code protections. Next I am greeted with, “Hola,” guess a language change has occurred. What have I done as now all upgrade directions are in Spanish.

I breathe and touch another button and English returns. The phone once again tries to sell me on two step security verification. I don’t bite and the red circle next to settings is gone. More success. I now am able to make the call for a dental cleaning.

I am having a good day.

Isn’t it wonderful how these devices upgrade with a stroke of a finger? Do you ever wonder how these signals get to the phone? Do they pass through a window or better yet me? In the future could these signals cure cancer or perhaps my appetite? I rise from my chair, glance around the room and the white line signaling an upgrade in installation is almost drawn. Attempting to find this energy around the room there is no trace but the white line has disappeared and the phone states the installation is complete.

A Colorful Cartoon of People Communicating on Cellphones - Royalty Free  Clipart Picture

Now I only have to learn how to use the d-mn thing.

How I wish Apple made a less challenging phone for Seniors. I bet it would be a best seller.

Cartoon Pictures Of Cell Phones | Free download on ClipArtMag

The Royal Horses

This is a blog about what I do.

Recently attended this event at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds. It was an enjoyable event and watching these beautiful trained horses left me in awe. Here are some pictures from the event.

A quiet gallop of all horses…

A daring move by the rider.

These Arabian, Andalusian, Friesian, and Lipizzaner breeds perform nationally. Their beauty and grace are amazing to observe. Currently, they are performing in the Florida area with a January 30th performance in Vero Beach, Florida. Tickets can be obtained at: http://www.galaoftheroyalhorses.com.

Upon completion a meet and greet with the horses is also available with special tickets.