The Raleigh World: Six Months, Give Or Take

It’s not that I had forgotten about my monthly update. Things are launching in some areas and others seem stuck on the launch pad and I’ve been working and nudging as seems appropriate.

It sort of seems impossible that it’s already been six months since Dos Gatos Locos and I spent our first nights here in Raleigh. I was excited, a little terrified, and very exhausted.

Six months in and I’m still excited and a little terrified. Depending on whether I’ve pulled an all-nighter or had to take the allergy pill that makes me drowsy, I may also be tired on any given day.

I still have moments when I suddenly realize that I’m living on the east coast, so if anyone around here sees me looking like this, you’ll know I’m having one of those moments.


The Boys and I are surviving our first southern summer (a well-functioning HVAC system helps). A few tricks I’ve picked up for dealing with the heat and humidity include:

1) Running the defogger in the car rather than the A/C because the defogger pulls the humidity out of the air and makes it much more comfortable.

2) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I actually learned this last June, when I made my visit to Raleigh and had to make an urgent pop-in to a couple of shops for a bottle of water.

3) Learning that, unlike the west coast, a dark and cloudy day does not mean it’s cool outside: I’ve made that mistake a few times over the last few weeks thinking it looked cool and refreshing outside, only to open the door and…


That said, I have an entirely new appreciation for afternoon thunderstorms1.

As for Dos Gatos Locos, Charlie celebrated his 7th birthday at the beginning of July by immediately baptizing his new mouse toy in his water bowl. Like you do.

Mister Seven
Mister Seven teaches his mouse how to swim.

The Boys are utterly bewitched by the neighborhood skink that hangs out on the patio for a little while most afternoons. I finally got around to unscrewing the bottom of the blinds on the door to the patio so they can be permanently raised enough for them to observe the skink through the door. (The raised blind also provides a nice afternoon sunbeam for Clancy to have a quick snoozle before supper.)

Clancy loves his afternoon sunbeam.
Clancy loves his afternoon sunbeam.

Now that we are on the opposite coast, they seem to have switched personalities in the mornings. In California, Charlie had NO CHILL when it came to his meal times. If I didn’t get up and serve him something by 5:30 a.m. (7 days a week), he’d start knocking things off of the dressers and nightstand. Clancy didn’t care: he knew he’d get fed, which was much different than his life as a street kitty.

Now that we’re on the Atlantic side of the continent, Clancy has equated first light with First Breakfast and he will push stuff off of the dresser or, worse, start ripping up any book or magazine I’ve left there (library books no longer stay next to my bed). Charlie seems happy to snooze until a more reasonable hour.

I’m back to dealing with insomnia, though it is mostly down to the eternal conflict between my natural vampire internal clock and the capitalist’s 8-6 schedule, that also includes admonishments to get up at 5:00 a.m. to be productive and healthy and worky-outy before the day starts.

IF I AM OUT OF BED THAT MEANS MY DAY HAS BLOODY STARTED. Also, if I’m following my natural rhythm, I’d probably be going to bed around 3:30-4:00 a.m. so…


Speaking of sleep, I was awakened recently by strange noises in the kitchen. It sounded like water was dripping into a dish, but I didn’t have any dishes in the sink. By 2:00 a.m. I was sufficiently awake and distracted that I got up to investigate. What I was hearing was the sound of the garbanzo beans I had put to soak clanking against the side of my Pyrex bowl as they absorbed water and expanded.

This is a testament not only to how quiet this area is, but also how lightly I sleep.

Also kitchen-related: I’ve started brewing my own kombucha! The local tea shop I like had kits on special for $10 off. I flavored the first batch with blueberry/ginger and blueberry/lavender and the second batch was ginger, ginger/lemon, and strawberry. I’m thinking about flavoring the next batch with fresh peach.

Brewing my own kombucha also means I’m now responsible for the care and feeding of a few more life forms. I hope property management doesn’t charge me an extra deposit for them.

blueberry-ginger kombucha
My first batch of blueberry-ginger kombucha

During month six I also celebrated The Beautiful Game. The FIFA 2018 World Cup was one of the craziest World Cups I’ve seen and I absolutely LOVED it! (Even if it meant that my favored team, Germany, didn’t make it past the Group stage and that I had set fire to my brackets after the first 10 days.)

In last month’s dispatch, I alluded to a “passion project” I was about to undertake. If you follow me on social media you have probably seen some posts like this:

I’ve been doing photography and game recaps for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC for Prost Amerika since around the middle of June. Sports photo/journalism is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a tweenager with a passion for sports who immediately confiscated the first 35mm camera my mom bought at Sears. It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun and I learn more and get a little better every time out.

NC Courage v Washington Spirit
Jessica McDonald leaps for a header against the Washington Spirit on 11 July, 2018

Also, it’s making me realize that it’s time to upgrade the camera gear and update the computer. And that I probably should have less expensive passions.

I am also still photographing adoptable kitties for Best Friend Pet Adoption and am so happy to learn that two of the sweeties that I photographed were adopted!

Adopt Twinkle
Adopt Twinkle!

So, that’s month six (and a half). I’ll check in with month seven of The Raleigh World in a couple of weeks.

1I appreciate them a bit less when I’m wandering around a soccer stadium with a bunch of camera gear.

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