Stay At Home Californian

Displaced Stay at Home Californian

Displaced Stay at Home Californian

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Real conversation between two 10 year old girls

Ever wondered what 10 year old girls talk about?

Friend:  I don't like to go to Katie's house because her Mom smokes and it smells bad inside.  And Katie's 16 year old sister smokes too and there is all this beer all over the place and in the kitchen and all they do is smoke cigars and stuff and drink beer even the 16 year old.

My kid:  That is smelly isn't it?

Friend:  Yeah and when you open up the dresser drawers there are all these ashes and all these pretty plates all over the place full of ashes and cigars.  And she asks me all the time to sleep over but I don't know what to say.

My kid:  Why don't you tell her that you don't like it?

Friend:  I don't want to hurt her feelings.

My kid:  You can die from cigarettes.  Michael Jackson died from taking too many cigarettes.  (No matter how many times I've told them that this is not how he died they ALWAYS say this and it drives me crazy)

Friend:  And it is really hot in their house.  She got a divorce and she doesn't have money to turn on the air conditioning and since she stays home all day she just leaves all the doors and windows closed and smokes and drinks beer.  Across the street is Katie's step-mom and she has a big house and air conditioning.  And she goes outside to smoke her cigars.  That way the inside stays nice and clean and smells good.

My kid:  Susan at school started crying because her mom and dad got a divorce and she hadn't seen her dad in a long time and she found out she was going to see him and she started crying because she was so excited.

Friend:  Well Katie's mom and step-mom were best friends but then the dad stopped being married to the mom and moved across the street to be with the step-mom.  He said he was working all the time but he was really smoking cigars across the street with the best friend.

My kid:  That is really sad.

This is when I jumped in the conversation and gave them a lecture on second hand smoke inhalation and the effects of absenteeism parenting.

Why I am loving this place

Tonight I stopped on my way home from the store because a woman had her flashers on and was stopped in the middle of the road.  I leaned my head out as she was getting back in her car and slowed way down and asked "is everything ok?" and she smiled broadly and replied, "Yup, just helping the turtle cross the road".

This is why I am loving Chatham County.

Friday, June 27, 2014


I have had a difficult time coming up with something interesting or uplifting to write about.  As a writer I would like to pick my own topics and write about what I want to write about but as a writer I have found that if it includes sensitive people, family members, relatives, people that are unable to read something written about themselves or anything less than positive then I might get the cold shoulder or the silent treatment.

Human beings are really strange.  We love to judge and tell others what is not working, what they are doing wrong and what we don't like about them (to others, not to their faces) but we don't want anyone to know we are doing that.  There is this human component that keeps us from blurting out what we do or do not like about other people.  We only tell them the good things.

If a dog runs up to another dog and sniffs and doesn't like what they see, they don't play nice-nice until they walk away - they bare their teeth, growl, bark and snarl and sometimes attack the animal they do not like.  If we act like dogs we are called (and I refer to women) bitches, snarky, catty, opinionated, judgemental, grating, confrontational and all sorts of other not so nice words that are not very complimentary of women.

I have found that when I was in my 20's I could be a real bitch.  When I was in my 30's I could be a real bitch too.  But having children has mellowed me some.  Partly due to not wanting to invest a lot of energy in stuff that I think is stupid and not wanting to get sucked into dysfunctional family stuff and staying out of it.  But when that dysfunction lands in my living room and stays here for a pretty lengthy period of time it is really hard to ignore it. (have I mentioned that I do enjoy complaining at length instead of being a bitch?)

I will say this:  the dysfunction isn't welcome back.  Somehow and sometime soon I will have to address that but it isn't welcome back and it isn't something I want anything to do with.  I've been in therapy for years to work at identifying my problems and fix them and so should you.  If you are not willing to do so - I'm not willing to be around you. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I was watching a movie with someone I love very much.  During a particularly moving part of the movie two men who were very much in love kissed on the lips.  The person I love made a disgusted sound of distaste and it shocked me and upset me. And for a minute I got really angry.  And then I got really sad thinking that someone I love so much could be so bigoted and closed minded.  And it made me not want to finish the movie.  But then I realized that we can love people a whole lot but not love the way they are or the way they think.  And I was able to finish the movie and still love the person I was watching the movie with. 

I guess that makes me a grown up.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Today I got to watch my youngest child dive into the swimming pool over and over over.  She was so careful about the placement of her feet, the way her hands were held, one on top of the other, the way the other foot was out to the side to steady her and how close her feet were to the edge of the pool.  It was amazing to watch.  Both of my children swim really well and enjoy the water as much as they can.  I usually have to force them to leave the pool even if their eyes are bloodshot and their feet and fingers are raw from the bottom of the pool.

It took me a really long time to learn how to swim.  Of course my siblings learned really quickly so it seemed even longer.  I'm not sure if the reason it took me so long was the trauma of my father drowning or the even bigger trauma of being thrown in the deep end of by family members who would say that they were sure I would learn how to swim once I could no longer touch the bottom.  Regardless as to the reasons why I was slow to learn to swim, my kids were fast to learn as they were not hampered by any pool or water related trauma as children.

And I am a strong swimmer now even if I prefer to sit by the side of the pool with my floppy hat, stylish coverup and sipping my drink while I chat it up with my new N. Carolina pool friends.  Hey ya'll!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Tomorrow is my last day at the little job I do.  I started freaking out a little a couple days ago because I thought about my last paycheck and I wondered what I was going to do when next month came and I didn't get a paycheck.  I realized that no matter how agonizing, how painful, how mind numbing the job, I am willing to do just about anything for a paycheck. 

One of my first jobs was the summer after my freshman year in high school, I worked at the housekeeping department of the local college in my town.  I cleaned the dormitory rooms and bathrooms, made beds, vacuumed, emptied trash, a total disaster.  The only real saving grace was the manager that ran the housekeeping department, a lovely lady by the name of Nancy Morgan.  She was a hardcore bible thumping, preaching, hellfire and damnation kind of lady and I decided in every way I was going to be her black sheep.

Every morning before we were allowed to clean rooms we had to sit through one of her worship ceremonies that included reading a devotional and having a lengthy prayer.  I informed her early on that I was an atheist and opposed to all things that had to do with religion and religious observance.  I would roll in to work 5 minutes late, act hung over (or at least what I thought hung over would look like) and pretend I'd been out all night partying, dancing, drinking and more (remember I was only 15).  She could not have had more fun preaching to me and I could not have had more fun getting her goat.  The work was terrible, the pay was miserable but the interaction with Nancy was heavenly.

It has always been a big priority to me to enjoy not only what I'm doing but who I'm working with.  And because of that I have been able to turn some of the worst jobs, (custodian, dishwasher, cleaning houses) into some of the most fun.  The jobs might not be that fun but I'm the girl to make them fun.  And with that in mind; I'm not sure where I'm headed after this Friday but whatever I find to do I am going to make sure I enjoy it as much as I did that summer I worked with Nancy. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Yesterday we were trying to decide if we were going to scrap our internet service and sign up for satellite TV service.  My FIL found a great deal and spoke to someone and it looked for a few hours like we were going to be spending the summer watching the Real Housewives and the Food Network.  I had all these questions about installation and cost and where would they put the dish and then my FIL said, "You can put the dish wherever you want because you own the house" and it hit me - I still have a house rental mentality after 6 months of owning because I have rented for ever.

One of the joy's of owning is being able to put a garden in wherever you want.  And being able to landscape your house.  I have done both.  It has been hard work and back breaking work but it has been totally worth it.  I have a pretty decent sized garden that is thriving thanks to being in the sun and also being fenced to keep the pesky deer out.  And the landscaping is so beautiful and makes my house feel so inviting and pretty.  The final touches were a couple of banana trees flanking the driveway, I can't wait for them to grow tall and give my driveway a plantation feel.

And the only downside to the garden is everytime I go out digging in it I seem to bring ticks back inside.  But now that I'm practically a local I don't care.  I really don't care.  I'm totally over it.  My friend Karen is going to get a tattoo of a tick and I think I might join her!