The Raleigh World: Ten Months

We’re getting into Hot Cocoa Season. HOORAY!!! I’m wearing shirts with sleeves that extend below my elbows. WOOT!!! The trees are turning and the colors are stunning!

However, it’s still and forever Allergy Season for me because apparently, I’m allergic to air.

Win some. Lose some.

Cocoa Time
It’s Hot Cocoa Time!

Where DOES the time go?

It’s mind-blowing to realize that I’m well into my fourth season in North Carolina. It still surprises me, sometimes, that I’m on the east coast. At least I don’t have to remind myself as often that the ocean is EAST and the mountains are to the west.

I will say, though, that my greatest gripe with the roads here is North Carolina’s stupid habit of randomly making lanes turn-only. If I’m lucky, I might get a 500-ft warning: usually, I have to suddenly scramble to get into the next lane. It’s especially aggravating on the freeways. When I’m coming back from Crossroads and I get onto Hwy 1/Hwy 64, the lanes entering the freeway immediately become Exit Only lanes for I-440W, so I’m scrambling to cross TWO lanes. Whoever engineered that hot mess should be forced to do that, all day every day, for the rest of his/her life.

Besides my recent trip to Jordan Lake, I drove over to Fuquay-Varina (the locals seem to refer to it as just Fuquay) to photograph kittens. It seems like a nice suburban area. It’s been so long since I’ve seen single-family homes sitting on such large lots that it seems like neighbors are miles apart.

Waffle House Hashbrowns
Waffle House Hash Browns

I also finally figured out how to get to the Waffle House in Cary and check that off of the list. This one seems tiny and they hid it on a lot behind a gas station. I’m still not 100% sure that it’s an actual Waffle House and not a front for smuggling or money laundering. But I was able to order some hash browns (smothered and diced, for those familiar with Waffle House parlance) and scrambled eggs, so it was legit enough for me.

The OTHER season

Is it just me, or did this past week feel like a year? Election season is exhausting and this is my first one in a state that’s sorta purple but the red is really red. The ads attacking Democratic candidates were largely cynical (Tamara Barringer attacking Sam Searcy and George Holding attacking Linda Coleman), but some of the ads were downright laughable (Nancy Pelosi! Bogeywoman! EVIL LIBURLS FINNA TAKE YOUR GUNZ!!!1!!@!!). Yes, ads from both sides can massage facts, but holy hell some of those adds were

via GIPHY

I took advantage of early voting and chatted with a nice lady while waiting in line. Though, when I said I moved here from California she said, “Oh, bless your heart!” and I THINK she meant that the nice way and not the “well aren’t YOU just a li’l ol’ tofu fruitcake!” way.

North Carolina is one of those states that has been gerrymandered beyond any sense. Despite that, the Democrats managed to break the Republicans’ supermajority which means they can’t just pass any legislation they want and know they can override any veto by the governor. It’s baby steps, but progress is progress.

CATS

Now that the nights have gotten colder, Clancy has started spending most of the night in bed with Charlie and me. During the summer, he spent the night sleeping in the cat tower in the living room and wouldn’t join us in bed until around 5:00 a.m. As much as I love snuggling with Dos Gatos Locos, being pinned in place for several hours makes my lumbar area very grumpy.

Charlie and Me
Charlie and Me
Cuddly Clancy
Clancy is especially cuddly, now that it’s colder.

As I mentioned above, I’m still volunteering with Best Friend Pet Adoption. We took in some dogs and cats from other shelters that were impacted by hurricanes Florence and Michael, so I’ve had plenty of kittens to photograph and write bios for. I’ll do another post soon with the current group of #AdoptableAdorables, but you can also find them on my Instagram page.

Go Outside

I am still going to my Tuesday evening meditation group and I really like it. We start off with a presentation and discussion focusing on an aspect of mindfulness, and then the last half hour is spent in meditation. The people there are super nice and supportive of each other and I think (hope) I’ve found my sangha! I still constantly feel socially awkward, but these folks seem forgiving and patient.

I’m hoping to get out at least one more time to see the fall colors before they’re gone. I had forgotten how much my soul needs this kind of inspiration from nature. As things have felt tense recently, I fell back into the habit of staying in my apartment. Sometimes, though, the best thing to do is go outside. Preferably with a camera or two (or three).

film film film
Keeping the fridge full of film, like you do

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