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  • CHS Travel Guide

    I've lived in the south my entire life, but until recently had only been to Charleston twice. Each of those times involved short trips with itineraries out of my control. I never truly explored the city. Friends and family would say "Charleston is amazing." "I want to move to Charleston." "The food is to die for." "You have to take your next trip in Charleston." But I honestly didn't understand the hype or have a desire to go. Traveling for me has always meant leaving the south. Fast forward to 2021, and my BFF deciding to move to CHS. Of course, Joe and I booked a trip to visit her within months. And I am so glad we did! Charleston could not be more charming, and I'm so thankful we had the chance to leisurely explore the city with a "local." Enjoy the below list of some of our favorite places! Already looking forward to our next trip. Brown's Court Bakery: This outdoor coffee counter is tucked in a cute alleyway. We ordered cortados and muffins each morning. The muffins were baked into the cutest mini loafs - I recommend the morning glory. Xiao Bao Biscuit: A stone's throw from our airbnb, we ended up having lunch here by accident, after discovering our intended restaurant was closed. I recommend the house made ginger drinks and the Japanese pancake. Pictured: The Japanese pancake with cotton-candy pork. Mex1: Delicious Mexican restaurant on Sullivan's Island! Try the street corn queso dip. Sugar Bakeshop: The cupcakes are scrumptious and the patio is the cutest thing I have ever seen. I could have sat here for hours! Pictured: Chocolate and grapefruit cupcakes. Airbnb: We loved our Airbnb. It was an affordable carriage house walking distance to many great restaurants. Pictured: Kombucha purchased at a convenience store about 200 feet from our room (also pictured). I know my parents are considering a home on Amelia Island, but my vote is for CHS.

  • Amelia Island

    Hi Everyone: I hope y’all are doing great!? What are you up to these days? Exploring new destinations? Lately, when we’re not rescuing horses, Jeff and I are exploring Amelia Island, Florida as a possible retirement-home target. (No! We’re not selling McKinley Road. Ever. Maybe we will though:) Getting up to speed on aspects related to Amelia has become an adventure from a part-time resident’s perspective, potentially. If you live in the south you’re more than likely familiar with Amelia Island? But, if you live(d) in the northwest United States…say…Oregon, where I grew up, perhaps you have no idea where Amelia Island is? I had no idea Amelia Island existed when I returned to Georgia 40 years ago. Do you know that Amelia Island has existed under eight flags? Or, that any U.S. territory has existed under more than a couple flags for that matter? I didn't. If you happen to be well-versed on Amelia, then you know that the following flags have graced her, over 450 years time: French - 1562 - 1565 Spanish - 1565 - 1763 British - 1763 - 1783 Spanish - 1783 - 1821 (with 3 interruptions) Green Cross of Florida - (date not provided) Mexican Rebel Flag - December 1817 American Flag - 1821 - present Confederacy - 1861 - 1862 Amelia Island was originally named “Santa Maria” which was derived from a mission the Spanish conducted after defeating France. The mission was aimed toward converting and educating natives. But after the English destroyed Spain's mission in 1702, Oglethorpe renamed the island “Amelia” in honor of King George II’s daughter. Who knew! How large is Amelia Island? I was curious too: 13.5 miles long. Width varies from a quarter mile to two miles. There are 11,600 acres; 18.2 square miles (7 square miles in the city limits of Fernandina Beach). Elevation averages 20-25 feet above mean sea level. Annual average temperature: 69.9°F. (Amelia Now Spring 2022) All sounds good to me! Wait, there’s more Sweeney-intrigue stuff about Amelia Island: “Since 1995, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has annually brought some of the rarest, most beautiful and unique automobiles to the island every spring.” (Amelia Now Spring 2022) Every spring! Jeff is a big car buff so this is pertinent info. And, ya, there are horses on Amelia to boot. But, way more important is that pickleball is alive and well on the island! --Speaking of horses. When the real estate market comes down off its high-horse we’ll get saddle-comfort about trigger-pulling. Maybe a cute, little spot near John Grisham or something? Tips on Amelia from y'all are welcome and appreciated. Thanks for reading! Love, Shelley (Following up the previous blog, Jeff and I really hope some of you can join us at The Mane Event in September/Cherokee Town Club! More to come…)

  • Maltreated to Miraculous

    “When I bestride him, I soar. I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes” — Shakespeare “When God wanted to create the horse, he said to the South Wind, ‘I want to make a creature of you. Condense.’ And the Wind condensed.” - Emir Abd-el-Kader “There is much we can learn from a friend who happens to be a horse.” - Aleksandra Layland. “A civilization is measured by how it treats its weakest members” Mahatma Gandhi The Horse is far from a weak member of civilization. In fact, the horse is notorious for strength, determination, endurance, valor, freedom, travel, companionship, beauty, and spirit. They are not mere animals. They are world contributors that have served in war, agriculture production, leisure and sport activities, and as humble therapeutic companions. In ancient Greece, horses symbolized wealth, prestige and power. Still today, they represent wealth, high rank and therapeutic friendship. The photos above make the esteemed quotes difficult to believe -- not that the horses don't live up to the accolades -- but rather that human beings walking among us could have callous capacity within their soul to maltreat, neglect and discard such an honorable creature, or any creature for that matter. Especially one that has contributed immensely to the advancement and well being of humans. Last weekend, Jeff and I travelled to north Georgia to visit Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary. We have supported this rescue for the past several years but had never visited. Having spent most of my life around horses, I was surprised and deeply moved to witness a side of equine struggle and triumph that I didn't know existed. There are 83 horses on 180 acres at RCR. Currently, none of the horses are ridden. With no trainer on-site, a riding ring goes unused. Some of the horses are available for adoption. About a dozen of them are completely blind or without eyes. The horses are all basically "out to pasture" enjoying their new, safe, caring home. I became obsessed with these two inseparable beauties, Meg and Finn: You may not believe it but Finn (above) is the same Finn as in the first, disturbing images. Miraculous! Finn was friendly and sociable with Jeff and me. He approached us at the fence for smooches and carrots. Meg waited at a distance for her buddy to fill his affection thirst. Their mesmerizing markings paired beautifully, side by side, like a painting; indeed, horses have been depicted in art for thousands upon thousands of years and it's easy to understand why. Together Meg and Finn exuded strength, beauty, companionship...survival... Below is a video of Finn struggling to get up when he first arrived at RCR. The clip was taken only a few months ago: Finn's idyllic life today is owed to Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary. It's my pleasure to introduce the Owner and Operator of Red Clay Ranch: Lee Rast. Lee is a retired ER nurse and her husband, Phil Rast, is a retired surgeon. Lee and many other volunteers are credited with saving Finn and numerous other horses. Jeff and I are honored to join Lee on her selfless mission to help the creature who has given to the world as a whole, extraordinarily. A Snippet of Finn's Survival Story at RCR Euthanasia is at the bottom of RCR's list of options for maltreated horses when they arrive at RCR. Every attempt to revive and restore the horse is pursued. Lee said that when they were bringing Finn to the ranch he collapsed in the trailer as they turned into their driveway. She didn't think he would survive. She said his body "slid out" of the trailor when they opened the trailer doors. BUT...suddenly she saw hope in his eyes. "Something in his effort to lift his head this one last time. We had to at least give him a chance to live, farfetched though it may have been. ...Finn was not ready to die." Lee saw a glimmer of hope in Finn's eyes and I believe Finn saw and felt much Hope in Lee's presence. Often, there is a "presence-connection" between a person and a horse that can't be described. One of my all time favorite quotes is from our pastor at Chuch of the Apostles, Michael Youssef: "If we can explain it, God did not do it." Presence-connections with horses are near impossible to describe. Finn spent three arduous weeks living in an Anderson sling. Lee slept by his side in a make-shift bed in the back of a jeep so she could be awakened every four hours to hand feed him small portions of food. Properly portioning Finn's nutrition was crucial so he wouldn't gorge and further impair his recovery. Lee said, "I hated giving him such a small amount of food when he was so very hungry, but the risks of overfeeding are enormous with this type of starvation..." When Finn laid down and tried to get up on his own he failed many times. Discouraging as it was, she kept on nourishing and nurturing him. Miraculously, on March 23, 2022, two months and four days after Finn's rescue Lee said, "Cool breezes were brisk, and the sun was shining...Finn began running up and down his pasture. He playfully kicked and bucked, showing us his recovered abilities to just be a horse!" If you're a passionate horse lover or always wanted to be, check out Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary. There are so many horses that need your help. If you're family or a friend of ours, be on the lookout for an invitation to a great event at Cherokee Town Club, September 9, 2022. This event is Red Clay Ranch's primary fundraiser. Jeff and I hope you can join us at one of two tables that we will sponsor. When Jesus first came to earth he rode humbly on a donkey’s back. Upon his second coming he will ride a white horse! ~The Bible~ Thank you for reading! Love, Shelley

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  • Casual Reading Lifestyle Blog Art | Triangle Park ATL

    Welcome to Triangle Park ATL ​ About Triangle Park gets its name from a small ▲park that sits at the end of McKinley Road in Atlanta, Georgia where I (we) raised two daughters (Savanna and Diana). Though the park is small it is home to an oak tree, swing, bench, library book stand, and charming homes surrounding it on all three sides. Triangle Park provided entertainment for neighborhood children before larger ones came about. I pay homage to ▲park by naming this webhome after it: www. Triangle Park "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickley broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12 I'm an empty-nester mom staying digitally and diligently connected to my girls and you through art, photography and blogging. The best part of having an online home is you, the readers. Thank you for visiting! Shelley

  • Photos | Triangle Park ATL

    Blog Photos Vintage Photos Out of gallery

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