Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Time to refresh.

If any long-time readers happen upon this post, they will notice a major change to this blog. Aside from the fact that I'm posting for the first time in over two years. My furry Flartopian muse is different.

I started this blog in the early years of Rosie's reign, a decade ago. She was the furry chow/lab mix I called mine, and served as a constant thread through eight years of writing. Politics, farmers' markets, annoying tv commercials, vacations, housecleaning, you name it; there was probably a Rosie reference in there somewhere.

But life moves on, and change visits all of us. Rosie lived to a respectable 13 years of age, and kept a close guard on my every move until the last. In August of 2017, we had to say a sudden and tearful goodbye to the second Dog of My Heart.

Fortunately, enough time has passed that I can immediately follow that up with the news of our next four-legged loved one. Maddie came to us also from the Humane Society of Charlotte in April of 2018. For weeks and months, I suspected I'd rushed into things, let Miss Chef talk me into the wrong dog, made a regrettable mistake. But four months later, I'm starting to have those heart-squeezing moments when I look at her sad hound expression, or give a belly laugh at her leg-sprawling antics. She's no Rosie, but she's finding her own way into my heart.

Of course, other changes have come in the intervening years since I last put finger to keyboard for this blog. For four years, I've kept up a part-time freelance writing presence here in the Charlotte food world, and made many friends, apparently garnered a fair amount of respect, and had some memorable experiences. I've worked through various part-time jobs with very small food-related businesses, finally landing a poorly-paid but full-time position in retail management (still food-related, though).

And now even bigger changes have been forced upon me. Miss Chef's job is going away, and sadly the other opportunities for culinary instructors here in Charlotte have disintegrated. So she cast her net wide, and came up with a position in a small, very rural community college in western North Carolina.

As I write this, she is sitting in a hotel room in Murphy, feeling ridiculously unprepared for her first day of classes. The job offer and starting date happened within two weeks, and the school seems less ready for her to start than she was. On top of struggling to find the tools and information she needs to start her new job, she's also trying to find temporary quarters for herself, and, if possible, more permanent ones for both of us plus our small menagerie.

So here we hang in the balance, me going about my daily routine while trying to rev up the job-hunt machine; she swimming through a sea of bureaucracy to find her way to the classroom. These are dark, frustrating days, but we have to assume that we will emerge into a much brighter future. Transitions are seldom clean and easy. I hope that the dirtier this one proves, the lovelier will be the other side of it.

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