In which we moved and I cried, part two

The Happy Mathlete reminded me I haven’t finished this story, and my readers want to know that I’m not still sitting on my kitchen floor in a klonopin-induced daze, with Nice-Nice and Mary F. Poppins talking me down off a cliff.

Um, don’t I wish.

No, I eventually got up while Nice-Nice mobilized my children for milk-retrieval and set about finding more milk sources, and then we all went out for Mexican food. Then I went to bed, woke up the next morning to a clean kitchen — thank you, Nice-Nice and Mary F. Poppins! — and have made a few attempts at settling in since then.

Recently I made a Declaration of Intention whilst Living Here (since, if the spell holds, I’ll be here for the next three years before moving somewhere else):

This area of North Carolina is pretty cool — there are many large universities and colleges nearby, not to mention the state capital — and I want to take advantage of the culture, events and atmosphere by doing the following–

1. Avoiding chain restaurants.

2. Going to every local outdoor park with the kids at least once.

3. Attending fairs or festivals or community events on the weekends.

4. Shopping at the Farmer’s Market.

5. Introducing myself to everyone and asking lots of questions.

I’ve found that #5 is the easiest. It’s a total cliche, but as I get older I care less about what others think and more about what I think. I might feel like an idiot when I ask the farmer at the farmer’s market if I should purchase an old chicken or a young chicken — it seems like every other chicken-purchaser in the world knows exactly what kind of chicken to buy without bothering to ask, like, how did I miss this integral chicken knowledge?!?!?! — but I’d rather ask and know that I’m getting the right kind of chicken for what I want than not ask and wonder about it. (By the way, the answer is an old chicken for making stock or boiling; a young chicken for cooking or frying.)

I also asked the woman with the local handspun wool if it hurts the sheep when she shears them (no, although they don’t enjoy being handled) and if she  uses a razor or scissors (scissors). I asked the goat farmer with the award-winning chevre cheese what to do with it (answer: um, anything, really, which wasn’t specific enough for me) and then I went home and googled chevre and realized it’s just a generic term for goat’s milk cheese. I made a (local homemade) fettuccine with chicken and spinach, in goat cheese and white wine sauce. Delicious, needed much more salt.

I’m glad to say that I’ve passed my inquisitive nature on to my children, especially Mineral, who used to be more reserved. He still is more reserved than Animal, physically, but he speaks up now. He asked one of the farmers how she makes cheese, and she gave him an explanation about pasteurizing it and then cooling it and separating it, then feeding the whey (or is it the curds? one of them — I’ll ask next time) to the pigs, and using the rest to mold into cheese. Then she told him that he now knows more than 99% of the population about cheese-making. He was proud of that.

I’m forcing myself to come out of my shell of sadness about leaving my Jugs and leaving my city that I knew and loved, and try new things. This weekend we went to the International Festival and I encouraged the kids to eat authentic food from other countries, although other than Animal eating a Polish sausage, I didn’t have any takers. I take most of the credit for that — I spent years feeding them bland, sweet nutrient-deficient food, and even today I’m not a huge connoisseur of ethnic delicacies. So, they didn’t eat much. Also, in some ways the festival wasn’t that fun — it was busy and loud and I had a difficult time keeping track of the four (Porcelain was home sick with My Chemical Romance). But still. It’s the experience. Each child could get a passport and get a stamp for every booth they visited, and we visited a lot of booths. I may have been tired and they may have been overwhelmed, but I think overall we all had a good enough time.

I already have next week’s schedule: First Friday Raleigh, Logan’s Harvest on Saturday and a boys-only trip to Lego-Fest on Sunday.

All of these things help me settle in here and start to enjoy living here, and also help me continue to procrastinate unpacking or organizing.


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