Happy Birthday To Red!

I wanted to take a moment and wish Red a Happy Birthday!  You’re miles away but I feel so lucky that we have been able to keep in touch and even “see” each other on a regular basis.  You are an awesome friend that gives so much to us all and you find a way to keep us all laughing.  You’ve kept me from doubting my own sanity on more than one occasion and gone giggly crazy with me too.  You have opened up worlds of new authors, new foods, shopping, and even an appreciation for action movies; thank you for being my friend.

I hope this new year of life brings you all kinds of happiness and hopefully many nights of uninterrupted sleep!

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite Lovely Ladies!

And

sally2

Feeling the Spring

Spring has not sprung here like I am used to. Instead it has crept in slowly making the trees green here and there, sprinkling a few yards with early blossoms, and making the little creatures around all twitterpated. It looks like the warm days and warmer evenings are here to stay so I think Spring has arrived in its full force. The forecast looks good  so Honey brought the little seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs out of the comfort of his home office and into the scary world of the back deck.  So far everyone is looking perky and will hopefully give us some yummy veggies.

We wavered for a while on if we should plant anything right now because we are renting and we don’t have the same unrestricted freedoms that we had with our house back West.  But after we settled in and started getting into our new version of our routine we realized that gardening and growing our own vegetables has now been written in ink to our routine.  Honey has picked up the torch on the gardening more than I have, I still feel like I can’t touch anything in our back yard (though it so desperately needs it).  I guess it has to do with my ignorance of the climate or  not knowing how the sun will shine on the yard or what kinds of things need to be kept around to keep the North Carolina clay soil in check.  I’m starting to feel more at home here so I suspect I will out staining my clothes in the dirt soon enough.

seedlings

For a while a rejected any kind of settling into this house because I knew it was only temporary.  I also began looking at it for all of the faults of the house rather than its positives, I think this was some weird subconscious thing with the moving and selling of the house that I had put a lot of myself into.  Don’t get me wrong I was and am on board with our move and selling the house, but I guess I was not ready to put as much of myself into our home (for now).  I guess I also expected that I could run this house like a well oiled machine quickly, because I had at the old one.  This was not the case.  We started from scratch on a lot things such as furniture and even things like our pantry items.  I tried my best to find the stuff we used and what we needed but there was always something I realized we were missing later.  It seriously took me four weeks to notice that we did not have any flour in the house and of course it came at the worst possible moment (making cookies).  I think those are the moments when you realize you’re not in your version of home anymore and you have start over.  I also finally agreed to get a small table and chairs, because the ottoman dinning was not cutting it for us.  It has made the breakfasts and dinners much more relaxing and has kept off that damn TV off more.

So I guess I am letting the place feel more like home, but not forcing it into any narrow constraints.  Over the weekend while Honey moved the seedlings into their “big boy” pots I sat out our lawn and read, I never did that at our old house-there was always something else to do even when we sat back relaxing.   As I sat there listening to the carpenter bees buzzing pass me and birds chirping everywhere, I got this strange multiple flashback of the Aviary at the San Diego Zoo and sitting out on the field in elementary school reading during lunch.  I think the Aviary sprung to mind because that was the only other place I heard that many different types of birds together at once, it almost echoes here there are so many birds.  As for the elementary flashback I can only think that I haven’t spent enough time sitting in the grass as an adult.  These two experiences, separated by decades melded together in a way that made me appreciate the moment I was in as unique feeling because while they reminded me of past experiences I was only taking tiny tastes of my past to help me get the bearings on my present. Once I did, I stopped seeing the backyard as this unknown miscellaous place and saw it as my home.

redb

I’ll get the hang of it here someday, the Spring is helping.

The Differences

A few of my Southern California friends have asked on occasion what is it like in our new city, I am on the other side of country so it has to be a little different, right?  To be honest it has a lot more in common with San Diego than you would believe.  People are friendlier and occasionally you’ll hear an accent but like San Diego, Charlotte has become a town of newcomers from all around so I hear as many different accents here as I did back home.

But there are some differences and here they are, in no particular order. =)

The water is soft here, it makes our skin and hair feel softer which is awesome.  The tap water tastes funny to us, but it’s good when it goes through a filter.

It has rained at least once a week since we got here so I haven’t had to water until the landlord just had the lawn treated and now I have to water everyday for two weeks (blah).  Apparently during the summer you have mow at least twice a week to keep your lawn in line, this is totally new to my chaparral yard techniques.

It is amusing that people outside of California are so scared of earthquakes when the thunder here rattles buildings more than most quakes I have felt.  (On a side note… I am still very scared at the prospect of tornados, which do happen here).

You can’t buy spirits in the same place as beer and wine.  I can buy a bottle of wine or a six pack at Target or a grocery store, but I have to go to a state run store to by the hard stuff.   Also you cannot buy alcohol before noon on a Sunday, so if you want a mimosa for Sunday brunch, you better plan ahead.

Sunday, before noon

And the city is significantly emptier on Sunday mornings.

The gas nozzles don’t have vapor guards.

Paper seat covers are not always provided in public restrooms.

Most commuters use surface streets to get to work and brag about their newly discovered faster route, but never share the details.

The major freeway is circular here so the 485 can be North, South, East, West all at the same time and on the same trip.  The Garmin gets tripped on this all of the time.

Having deer in our backyard is so common that I hardly notice them anymore.

deer

I go out state every week to go see my cousin, it is only 15 minutes away.  To get to another state from San Diego you better have a at least a half full tank of gas and make sure you take a potty break before you leave.

The trash service does not provide bins for yard waste, you can buy your own or just leave bags or even loose branches out and they will pick it up.  The recycling bins are only picked up every other week.

They mostly use pine needles as mulch here instead of wood chips.

Chick-Fil-A’s are everywhere.

There are occasionally posted signs that read “concealed weapons are not allowed on premise” on business doors.  I am not used to that be an option.

Sunrise happens much later here, even before the time change.

The dirt stains your clothes from the iron in it.

You best not confuse the term BBQ with Grilling, that is a whole other ball game.

People are very into having those banners outside their house with either a big letter of their last name or a seasonal display that I swear changes every fortnight.  This might just be a ‘burbs thing, but it’ new to me.

People always wave and smile at you when you’re walking, even if it’s not your neighborhood and you are a complete stranger! Weird, huh?

 

All joking aside, it is a great town.  I hope at some point all of our friends will come out and visit so we can show off our new city …though hopefully not all on the same weekend.