Thursday, July 19, 2012


       Some of you will be seeing this blog for the first time today, which is a very lucky adventure in itself.  If you've seen my link on the front page of the Burlington Times, thanks for following through and visiting me here!
       The project started out last Monday, after lots of preparation and planning.  We power washed the brick on the North side of Company Shops Market, Burlington's food co-op, on Sunday and Monday night.  Tuesday was a big job.  After purchasing supplies from Home Depot, Priming was next on the agenda.  Just shy of five hours, three of us painted the brick wall, which soaked up six gallons of green primer.  After seeing just how big the project was, we were ready to initiate phase two of the project;outlining.
       Wednesday at 5pm, Leila who is CSM's operations Manager, and the produce departments Glenn, laid down the grid so we could start painting the outline.  We chose a flat light brown color to map up the "shady grove," and that is where the mural is currently sitting.
       A lot of employees volunteered time with this phase, which is very important in reaching our deadline of this upcoming Sunday.  Tonight, Thursday the nineteenth, you are invited to CSM to help paint the mural.  It is fun, easy, and a great way to meet other Burlington residents!

       I thank you all in advance for your support!  This has been a dream of mine and Leila's for a while now, and after all the behind the scenes planning, it feels good to put our ideas on the wall.  If you are at all interested in future projects, please email me at  I will gladly help you make your business or home full of color, as well as help out along the way.  If you read back into my blog, you will find that community is the basis of the creation of my writing.
        I have self funded every mile of my travels, and now am hopeful that I will raise enough money to publish my first book, which is set to be published my this December.  You can help by donating at the bottom of this page and also by contacting me with leads on North Carolina publishers that might be interested in publishing a book about the craft of brewing locally.  Thank you again for visiting and I encourage you to scan the several posts of the last two years of my life.  Have a great day, and we'll see you down at the Co-Op Thursday and Saturday night around six pm!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Home is where the beer is.

        So I must admit it took some time to really settle in, but isn't that how it works?

        Since gardening I have had to transplant herbs, flowers, and vegetable plants into bigger pots as they grew.  Each time they were introduced to fresh, new soil, there was a period of adaptation. Consuming all available space, they reach their new home within new dirt, where they must thrive to stay alive.  Plants have no fear, they accept all that is around, in part by choice, in part by imprisonment. I have found my roots slowly exploring, soaking up the nutrients of information, making them stronger, wiser, and exposed constantly to new Earth.
       It's great having a potted garden at the house, I can control much more in the way of growth, light exposure, and water levels.  I have found an immediate connection between gardening and dog sledding.  I am caring for something that needs my attention, and also requires an infinite amount of patience for a successful outcome.  Like plants, dogs tell you when they need something, it's up to you to diagnose and procure the very best results with what you have.  The garden at our neighbor Randy's is in six raised beds, equipped with a 10'x10' trellis for our hops to soar.  Needless to say, but because I started with that phrase I must indeed say, I love gardening.
       Pj, Jaime, and Bandit came up from Florida a week or so ago for the weekend.  Phoebe, who is Erin's dog, stayed the weekend while her family went to see William graduate in Nashville. We visited Asheville, Saxapahaw, Raleigh, and Hillsborough, while braving the 100 degree heat.  We scooped up lots of homebrewing supplies at the Nash Street Homebrew shop with the goal of brewing that night.  Mystery Brewing Company is holding a competition for a southern brown ale.  Pj and I made a killer batch, adding fennel and popcorn near the end for aroma.  I think it will be entered into the innovative category, depending on the final products aroma.  I also brewed a batch with Stephen, CSM's front end Manager. I should have prefaced that acronym with a little sentence on my place of employment.  Company Shops Market, Burlington's CO-OP, has been my home for 40 hours a week.  I dabble in bulk foods, meats, and grocery, but my heart lies in Produce.  Caring for veggies and fruits, I have become attuned to the seasonal availability of sustenance. I have learned a lot from Dave and Glenn, both produce junkies, and I'm thankful they've taught me so much so fast! Back to the beer.... Both brews checked out, brewed and they are a week and three days apart in age.  Home brewing my third brown ale, I had the foreshadowment of it all.  This is my new passion, gardening and homebrewing.  I am so lucky to share all of this with erin.
           As I read "On Writing" by Stephen King, I am reminded of the hardships of life, writing, and finding your voice.  In the "Rum Diaries" Hunter talks about a veterans journal of poems and writings that far exceeded the Authors' mind's age.  Hunter complained of not being able to find his own voice, and King found difficulty in continuing without a voice.  Both writers kept writing, and kept writing...and kept..until they began the momentum of a rolling stone pouring pigs blood all over the prom party floor. (Two references, maybe a stretch for some.)  I am a slow reader, but I listen, and that's what counts.
        So as I've taken a little siesta from writing, I am once again hopping on the creative horse of the great white page, to bring back the subtle flame that ignites my ideas.  Music, brewing, loving, gardening, and producing produce sit comfortable in my new pot, and I can't wait to see where my roots travel next, as I make this patch of Earth my home, and stretch out to new soil's prospective opportunities.