Tag Archives: North Carolina


If all goes as planned, on the morning of 27 July 2013, the Husband and I will be driving away from Charlotte.  For good.

His job is relocating back to Portland, Oregon.  To say I’m happy is a gross understatement.

I’m also very happy to be back here and sharing the experience with you.  I apologize for the radio silence, but this took a long time to secure and I was not at liberty to disclose anything.

So…which one of you is going to buy my house?


Posted by on 10 May 2013 in Charlotte, Happy Thoughts, Portland


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Knowing Our Farms

Twice every year, the people responsible for my CSA organize the Know Your Farms Tour; a weekend in which area farms are open to the public.  We packed the car with friends, snacks and a cooler for fresh produce and hit the road.

Most of these farmers were around my age, which was surprising and inspiring.  As much as I crave life in the Concrete Jungle, there’s always been an inkling for land.  And I have no idea how to reconcile these two wants.

Food is a precious commodity and I’m extremely grateful for these farmers.  I listened to them talk about not having enough water, having too much water, insect infestations and overwhelming financial instability.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a personal challenge regarding finances and food.  The details are still coming together and I will share them with you soon.

Until then, enjoy the pigs:


Posted by on 8 October 2012 in CSA, North Carolina, Photographs, Video


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I Need A Nap

In the last three weeks:

I flew to Portland and back.

I drove to Pennsylvania/New Jersey and back.

Charlotte is currently under a Secret Service lock-down on a scale that few have ever witnessed.

I’ve been living on beer, boardwalk pizza, frozen custard, soft pretzels and anything that comes from a street corner shack.

I need a shower, a month at the gym and a much needed sleeping pill.


Posted by on 7 September 2012 in Photographs, Politics, Travel


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8 May

8 May is Primary Day in North Carolina.

We will be voting on whether we want to keep a racist homophobic crazy person in office and if we want to elevate a moron to the federal level.

There is also something of great importance on the ballot:  Amendment One.

Gay marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, but this would define marriage as only between one man and one woman and adding said definition to the State Constitution.

Other than this Amendment being complete and utter crap, it is so poorly written with vague language that it could legally jeopardize the relationship status of unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexual couples with civil unions.  It is unnecessary and blatantly discriminatory and I was so pleased to read this New York Times editorial that ripped it to shreds and this fantastic column by a local journalist.

(Note: if you want to lose all faith in humanity, read the comments following Tommy’s column.  Then pour yourself and drink or two and let me know when you come out of the fetal position).

As you may imagine, the rhetoric regarding this vote has been vile and abusive.  But, this is the South.  Religion and politics mix freely; politicians openly discuss how their God is better than your God and clergy tell their congregations how to vote.

That brings me to Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church.  This past Sunday (29 April), Pastor Harris gave a sermon advocating fathers to punch their sons should they display any behavior that could be interpreted as effeminate.  He also said to “reign in” girls that were “acting butch” by reminding them how to be girls: look pretty and smell nice.

All of this in the name of God.


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A cold-ish drizzle has been dripping in Charlotte for a few days.  I enjoy this for a few reasons:

  1. It obviously reminds me of home
  2. Charlotteans freak out and remain indoors and find leftover wood to…
  3. Start fires; I love the look and smell of smoke coming from chimneys

I’ve recently started a new volunteering gig at a nearby botanical garden.  I’m a greenhouse grunt and though I may be familiar with growing edibles, the extensive variety of plants and flowers at the garden are daunting; I’m way out of my comfort zone.

In the past two weeks I’ve also been chased by an amorous wild turkey, wielded a machete, dug up 800 tulip bulbs, was surrounded by a deranged flock of Canada Geese, accidentally frightened some tourists, help plant flowers in three enormous landscaped areas and learned to identify three weeds previously unknown to me.

The people have been gracious and kind and not meaning to draw parallels, none of them are from the region.  They have formed a little tribe, devoted to beautifying and maintaining a stunning piece of land in place that does not belong to them for people who do not want them here.



Posted by on 25 April 2012 in North Carolina, The South


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Charlotte, North Carolina

The Charlotte skyline was a welcomed sight. Hauling the cats up to their last hotel room was a huge relief.

The cats, as many have asked, did great. Thankfully, most hotel rooms place boards under the beds to prevent pets from getting under there. Of course, Henry and Lily found ways to get stuck under or behind various pieces of furniture, but I am pleased with how well they did with all of the driving and transferring to and from the car.

Matt and I set up a pet barrier behind the driver and passenger seats and the back seat were folded down. This left a large, flat area that extended into the trunk. We placed a tarp over the area, followed by an old blanket. The litter box went in a back corner of the trunk and our one small suitcase went in the other. Between the suitcase and the litter box we put down a 9×13 aluminum pan which held small bowls of food and water (the pan caught spillage). The cats were transported in soft-sided carriers; opened at the last minute. Getting them back into their carriers when we were at our destinations was carefully choreographed as to not let them leap out of the car. Matt and I got quite good.

Henry was morose and easy to deal with. Lily on the other hand could be a royal terror. She hissed, whined, bit me multiple times and required some insane wrangling. In Nashville she gave me a look that seemed to say, “Tonight, you die.” as I was yanking her out of an impossible position in the back of the car.

Once in the hotel room, Henry, without fail, would make a beeline for the bed and burrow himself under the covers. Something he used to do as a kitten. I think Lily enjoyed the reprieve from her little brother’s harassment and would take her spot on the highest point in the room.

I have enjoyed this trek across the country. If we didn’t have to transport the cats, we would have made this journey much more of a “road trip”, but I am happy with the stops we made and the items I got to see. I did not spend a great deal of time talking with people, but the few I did interact with were pleasant (with the exception of the restaurant workers in Missouri) and interested in our move. Hearing the accents change was fun and a good reminder of how large this country really is.

Note: Oregon was the only state that had a “Thank You” sign when crossing the border. Go Beaver State!

Many, including myself, tend to write-off the South. The stereotypes are not kind and are unfair. I worry about what life will like in Charlotte; if my recycling, vegetable growing, public-transit taking, NASCAR hating, left-wing liberal lifestyle will mesh well.

But, there I go assuming again.

We settled into the hotel room in time to watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. At that moment I knew regardless of religion, political affiliation, race, sex or ZIP code, millions of my fellow Americans were doing the same.

How truly grand.

Complete photo album of the move can be found here.


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