North Carolina 13 Weeks Up.. Good bye Goldsboro

My travel nurse contract has ended in North Carolina. While I liked the hospital and the staff were great, it was time to go. I would have stayed longer however dental concerns precluded my extension.

Watching some of my favorite challenging patients depart for home be it home with family, or group homes has been rewarding. It is always good to see patients improve. These patients are folks who at one time during their stay want to kill you then as they leave request a hug, often apologizing for their behavior and thanking you. This is the nature of psychiatric care.

Living in the Bible Belt has been an experience. I’m told there are 300 churches in Wayne County, and almost everything is closed on Sunday. What goes on in those churches I will never know, or understand. The Bible Belt is the place where the horrific slogan of the 2016 election began. However, life is a mystery and after 63 years of it I realize you can never figure people out.

So, good bye Goldsboro and to my cherished co-workers at Cherry Hospital. The memories of the night shift staff on this unit will stay with me forever. What a great group of dedicated staff and pleasant folk.

And in closing let me have the honor of expressing your city slogan:


and let me say, so do I even at 4 a.m., 🙂

State Farm

No, this isn’t an insurance ad, it was an exit off the highway on the way back from Raleigh to Goldsboro. What a great farmers market, so glad to have stopped.

While I wasn’t after super sod, (my goodness how could I ever fit this in the car for the trip to Florida), I certainly benefited from the many fruits, vegetables, and baked goodies available at this great spot. They should have one of these in every state, if not several.

Open 7 days a week this market offers an assortment of tomatoes, as tasty as those in New Jersey, bags of pecans, different apple varieties, jellies, home baked delicacies, great flowers, and plants. Then there is always the honey, wherever I travel I buy the local honey. In every area the honey has a different taste as well as a medicinal effect for cuts and the like. To date my favorite honey is from Italy, however there are some Florida varieties that give Italy a run for their money, and the N.C. blend was definitely tasty.

Since watermelon juice is my treasured juice of choice, both straight and in red wine, I picked up a new variety of the melon. Once home I blended up a batch and now I’m plagued with trying to find this new deep green creature as it struck my palate with a glow.

Then of course there were the pumpkins…

There are also fish and food vendors beyond the farm stand roofing, however with the 105 degree weather I stayed beneath.

With this I say good bye to this Raleigh journey thanking them for the fun filled weekend.

Quilt Speak

Quilts speak, and they certainly do with a story all their own. These stories were beautifully displayed at the museum. Come and read a few.

This is a pieced quilt made from 11,650 pieces of fabric none larger than a postage stamp. Mamie Dameron made this quilt after finishing her farm chores, and as a project to keep her from thoughts of her husbands 1932 death.

The fabric used in this quilt is chintz which is a printed cotton fabric with a polished look. This was a more expensive fabric to use.

Crazy quilt – These were made of a combination of different fabrics, sometimes fine silks and velvets. The fabric was cut in varied shapes with an overcast stitch to maintain the construction.

Applique is another type of quilting. This is done by adding a design with pieces of cloth to a foundation fabric.

Quilts can also be made as memories or history.

This is a thank you quilt made by Patience White, a slave. Once freed she continued to live with her enslaved family. It was during this time she was taught to read and write. This literacy occurred between 50 and 77 years of age. Patience, what a woman!

And nowdays the rage is quilts made from t-shirts. These can include anything from sports to places of interest visited.*

With over 500 quilts in the collection the exhibit will be changing as it continues. So, bring the kids to see this extraordinary exhibit. Who knows, it may create a new hobby for the family to enjoy together.

*not in exhibit

The North Carolina Museum of History

The final museum in this Raleigh tour was the North Carolina Museum of History. This Museum gave a portrayal of history and depicted North Carolina citizens during the various eras. Let’s start with those who lived here over 10,000 years ago those being, our native sons, the Cherokees.

In this area of the museum was an authentic Indian home. The Cherokee Indians lived in the remote mountains of North Carolina. They had little to do with white settlers until the 1700’s when trading began. Also in this area of the museum was Indian sculpture and a replica of their sports equipment, which were a chunkey and stickball, as seen in pictures below.

And can we forget the villain of the seas who strolled the Carolina waters? Here is a replica of the Blackbeard ship.

On to the Revolutionary War where a Continental Army soldier stood..


Civil War..

And reconstruction.

The Depression.

And on to happier days.. Flight and new innovations.

The North Carolina Sport Hall of Fame is housed at the museum. Begun in 1963 it honors many native sons and daughters who gained prominence in sports. Stop and view the introductory film at the beginning of this area. There are over 300 honored in this exhibit.

Separate from the Hall of Fame was the Legends of Racing. Here the race car of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., is displayed and a tribute to the Tar Heel racers.

At the end of the exhibit was an interesting movie bringing history to modern day. What a great way to end the visit.

Tomorrow: My favorite exhibit at the museum: Quilts

NCNHM: Women In Science

The Museum has a fascinating exhibit of women who have and are currently changing the world in STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), careers. Bring your children to this exhibit and read a several of the bios. We need them, especially our women, to make our world a better place.

Here are a few of the amazing women represented at this exhibit.

This talented Chicago born gal is an engineer and physician who flew into space during an 8 day mission. Here she studied weightlessness, motion sickness, and bone cells. She also is a talented modern dancer and was the inspiration for the Lt. Khura character on Star Trek.

This China born woman has no post graduate degrees nor the usual credentials for scientific research, however she discovered artemisinin, a compound to treat malaria that has saved millions of lives. In 2015 she won the Nobel Prize for her discovery.

This Austrian woman was one of the first to discover nuclear fission in 1939. She was the second woman to obtain a doctoral degree in physics at the University of Vienna in 1905.

Born in London in 1920 this woman is known as the dame of DNA. Her work allowed Watson and Crick to understand the structure of DNA.

This American astronaut flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 and was the first woman of Indian origin in space. She died with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and was awarded posthumously the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

This German biologist identified genes which cause an egg to be fertilized. Primarily working on fruit flies it gives information regarding our embryonic roots. She won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for her work.

Another NASA woman who in this instance innovated the space program by developing transmitters to transmit images from space. Her technology is also is used in surgery and television screens.

Nicknamed “Amazing Grace,” this Navy Admiral was the first to build a computer compiler converting code into English words through a series of “0’s” and “1’s.” She began the words debugging and computer bug when actual insects were found in the machine. The components for Fortran and Cobol computer languages were also developed by her.

And let us end with a climate change innovators…

This woman studies atmospheric change so we can predict weather and climate. She works with NASA and is co-director of the Berkley Institute of the Environment.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

And let us not forget Greta Thurnberg. This 16 year old Swedish woman recently spoke at the United Nations regarding climate change. She is a strong advocate and I am sure we will hear more of her.

Let us hope she wins!

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

And, discover I did of this amazing museum with much to offer. This kid friendly museum provides much, read on.

Of particular interest to children seemed to be the dinosaur exhibit. Passing through I heard the oohs and aahs of many under aged as they viewed these creatures. Quite frankly, I did as well.

Then there was the tribute to the Carolina Coast.

And the creatures of the forest..

As well as the minerals from the Tar State.

Documentaries are available at the Museum. Those I viewed were Earth Flight, concerning bird migration, and Great White Sharks, informative but not scary. Pricing is reasonable and with membership discounts are available. The Museum web site is:

Meet With The Animals is another program at the Museum. Here come face to face with the actual creatures.

All in all a great place to visit and bring the kids. They will never want to leave.

Caveat: Still trying to figure how to transfer photos with the new phone. Perhaps I should have asked at the Museum?

Wide Open Blue Grass

As I drove to the festival I began to wonder about the music and it’s origins. All I knew was Steve Martin plays in a bluegrass band. So, here’s what I found:

  • Bluegrass developed in Appalachia in the 1940’s
  • The name comes from the band Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass
  • Bluegrass music is focused on the instrumental
  • Bluegrass is string based
  • Bluegrass music can be played on the following instruments acoustical string instruments – fiddle, 5 string banjo, mandolin upright bass (string bass), resonator guitar (Dobro), harmonica, or a Jew’s harp.
  • Earl Scruggs is considered the Father of Classical Bluegrass and was from North Carolina

Now, that you’ve received Bluegrass 101, let’s look at some of the fun that goes along with this music.

The Bands..

And the food..

And the vendors…

North Carolina sure loves their Bluegrass

Mordecai Historical Park: Slave Play

Noting this sign on my way to the Bluegrass Festival I stopped. As I walked through the Park a staffer informed me the Park was closed. She stated there would be a play in the Park in a few moments and explained. I signed on and paid my $15.

Shortly thereafter theater goers were escorted into a dark room. Cell phones were to be silenced. We closely sat next to each other as a woman explained of our capture. While I didn’t understand what the staffer had said, I did now. I would be following the path of a slave from Africa to their plantation.

Once we left the dark room which was the ship we were brought to a market and sold. The actors portrayed this scene true to life from my readings on this subject. From here we were guided to the plantation where we met the Mistress of the Plantation. She sternly warned us of our duties and how to perform them.

Then we were split from our friends and family. Some cleaned cotton, others split green beans, or swept floors. While I cleaned cotton one of the slave actors approached the plantation owner asking if he could marry a fellow slave. The owner said he would think about it.

After this we attended church listening to a sermon regarding how the plantation owner cares well for all and all should follow his direction. Then the plantation owner stood giving permission for the slaves to marry. Once out of church a marriage occurred outside the plantation house and dancing festivities began.

Word came during the festivities that some would be sold. Much upset came about and an escape began with some following and others retreating back to the plantation.

This glimpse into slave life was something I will never forget. What a profound experience to walk in someone else’s shoes. Perhaps it is a lesson we all can learn from.

Raleigh: The State Capital Tour

The Raleigh State Capital was built from 1833 to 1840. While it is one of the smallest state capitals it was built solely by hand with workers making a wage of $2 a day.

In its foyer is a statute of George Washington with an interesting history. Thomas Jefferson was asked who should develop a statute for their capital. He gave them them the name of an Italian, Antonio Canova. Once the statute arrived and was uncrated citizens were aghast at what Canova had done. Washington was depicted as a Roman general. However, the statute remains and even when destroyed by fire it was recreated.

Above the statute is the State Capital Rotunda.

Then there is the legislative chamber where North Carolina succeeded from the Union. The docent stated most citizens were mixed on this decision and when the vote came a handkerchief was dropped from the chamber window to notify citizens.

On the upper floors are two interesting areas.

The State Library


The State Geologist Office..


Lillian Exum Clement

While North Carolina did not ratify the 19th Amendment, (which gave woman the right to vote), till 1971, they did have the first woman to serve in a legislature in the South.

Lillian Exum Clement was 26 when she was elected in a landslide in 1920, 10,368 to 41. She was of the Democratic Party and prior to her election she worked as a lawyer without male partners. During her term she fought for women’s rights and passed a law to shorten the waiting time for abandoned women to divorce. Upon her marriage she left the legislature and sadly in 1924 died of pneumonia.

And another story of female grit as relayed by our male docent..

In the town of Edenton, North Carolina, in 1774 there was an Edenton Tea Party. This is known as the first organized political function by females. Here 52 ladies got together and stopped drinking tea as a response to our treatment by the British.


While the governor still has his office in the State Capitol, the legislature needed more space. In 1960 a building modeled after the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. was built.

And not far from here is another historic spot… The Governor’s Mansion.

Next, a little bluegrass…

North Carolina Art Museum: Garden Tour

The North Carolina Art Museum has an extensive outside sculpture collection in their park. On most Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. they have a 90 minute free walk through the collection. On this day David, the volunteer docent, gave an amazing tour. Let’s start..

This sculpture is known as Askew, and was created by Virginia born, New York based artist Roxy Paine. Standing 30 feet tall this steel sculpture is not meant to be a tree but a dendroid, similiar to our veins. Check out the North Carolina Art Museum website to see how it was installed.

Ogromna which means huge in Polish is true to its name. This cedar sculpture was created by Polish artist Ursula vonRydingsvard. It is one solid piece of wood however it was sliced in order to be mounted in its location. The artist grew up in a wooded area of Poland where she developed her love for this art form.

The Three Shades Can you see they are one individual joined?

These lovely Rodins were the impetus for the new museum building as the owner, Iris Cantor, wished her sculptures be displayed in a better site. Thus the new museum building was forged. In front of these amazing works is a lotus pool. At the present time several sculptures are being refurbished at Stanford University.

The Rodin Garden is one of five courtyards which surround the museum building. Three of these courtyards have water features, however the courtyard pictured below was a creation of Mother Nature. It is one of simplicity and beauty. She’s quite an artist wouldn’t you say?

Linear Courtyard

While the museum was born via state funding in the 1940’s it currently is funded by a 70% foundation/30% state partnership. Support through annual memberships of $50 annually is a key component to their operation. These memberships provide many free items and discounted concerts, movies, and special events. This month a special exhibit of Frida Kahlo will be at the museum and every March Art in Bloom, the museum’s biggest fundraiser occurs.

Now, back to the tour…

Collapse by African artist Ledelle Moe is created in cement and depicts the concept that nothing last forever. Her father was a road builder and this encouraged the artist to work in this medium. It is currently on loan to the museum.

The artist also has this work in the African area of the Museum.

Crossroads in another unique piece in the Park. As the museum was built on the former Polk Youth Center this sculpture says much in its title and creation. It is made of bricks from the former youth center by Martha Jackson Jarvis.

Pigcasso is a fun piece which is part of the Discovery Center of the park. A playground is nearby by and there is a spot for picnics as well. Plans are underway for a butterfly garden.

The Museum grounds are watered via a swale system. All rainwater is captured flowing to an onsite pond. The water is cleaned via this system and provides for a beautiful spot.

What a delightful way to spend a morning. There are also volunteer docents on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. who explain paintings to children. Check out the museum website for specifics, and come for a visit. It will leave you with many fond memories.