Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Apple

I went to New York City for my birthday, actually it was the day after my birthday.  The last time I was in New York to visit a friend was when I was 26 years old, I had gotten an insurance settlement check for an accident I was in and instead of fixing my car or my back, I bought a plane ticket and headed to the East Coast to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I remember stepping out of the terminal and it was so cold I opened my suitcase and put all the clothes I had brought on.  It was freezing.

It was just as cold last weekend but I packed well and brought many layers.  For those of you familiar with New York you know that even though it is freezing cold outside you will go inside and be sweating in 2 minutes because the heal is cranked up so high.  The friend I stayed with has these old radiator heaters in her apartment so the temperature was not controlled, it was HOT.  So you alternated between bundled up like a snowman and naked.  And it wasn't even that cold - I have heard it can get colder.

We walked around the city and I got a massive blister.  I made a rookie mistake of bringing cute shoes not comfortable shoes.  When will I learn?  And then instead of switching to comfy shoes I continued to wear the cute shoes.  We went shopping.  We went out to eat.  We talked and talked.  We went shopping some more.  We went for walks in Central Park and around the Reservoir.  We had brunch.  We drank really good coffee and ate really good croissant.  We stopped in a place I had been in 20 years ago for a beer.  We met friends.  We met new people.  We slept.  We bought shoes. (plural)

When I was 26 I thought that living in New York City would be quite possibly the coolest thing anyone could ever do and don't get me wrong, it is pretty cool.   I love the ethnic diversity.  I love the food.  I love the shoes.  I love the vitality of it all.  But at 46 I can say that while it was fun and exhilarating and totally different from my life in North Carolina, I wouldn't change my life for anything.  Thank you Julie and New York City for a wonderful weekend, can't wait to come back again soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sell Out

I have sold out - I have added ads to my blog in the hopes that I can write a bunch of stuff that only makes sense to me and I can get paid for it.  So click away - click on my ads and I promise that I'll dedicate my first hard copy to you.  If I ever get the book published.

And since we are on the topic of the book I'm writing, I will be selling everyone out in my book, friends and family, if we have something juicy and good and worth writing about it will be going into a chapter somewhere.

So please for the love of God start reading my blog every week and click on the ads.  Especially the one for the vacuum and the shoes.  They are really good shoes.  Happy Shopping.


I hate a love/hate relationship with the selfie.  I think that taking a picture of yourself is wonderful - something to remember yourself by - something to mark the passage of time.  But for those of you that are on social media know that there is an occasional selfie and then there is the selfie addict that posts selfies all the time.

They also have a signature thing, whether a peace sign sideways, or the tongue stuck out, or a wink, or wearing a bikini in every picture or showing off those newly purchased boobs.

The only thing worse than the selfie is the picture of every meal you have eaten, home cooked or otherwise.  I don't care about what you had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and stoner meal.

So in response to the selfie I have started taking a picture when I wake up in the morning, the first look, the head shot.  And then post it.  Here is the latest:

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I like to think that I am frugal.  I discount shop.  I shop sales.  I hardly even buy full price.  I have even started recently to thrift shop.

We have a thrift store here where we live called the Chatham County PTA Thrift Store and if parents go and help clean up the store, hang clothes and vacuum, they give a portion on the the money to the schools to help the PTA offset the deplorable conditions of our public schools and how little money our moronic
republican state officials think it takes to provide quality education now-days.  But that is another blog post.

 So after we are done straightening and cleaning and organizing and hanging things at the thrift store we can 'shop' for items and we get them at an even sweeter discount that they are already being sold for.  And I can tell you that I've found some amazing stuff.  Leather boots, sweaters, jeans from Anthropologie, Free People brands, Ralph Lauren bedding, and the list goes on.  Last school year there was a pair of Jimmy Choo boots that were black leather and very cute but they were size 6 so I could not wear them.  (sob)

So you can imagine my delight and giddiness to be told last week when I was at the Rack that the cream colored dress pants I was buying were 1 cent.  And if you don't believe me I've included a picture of the receipt.  I couldn't believe it either.  What deals have you found?


Last week we went to the girls school for Parent/Teacher conferences.  When we got there - the teacher was in another conference so we hung out in the hallway and waited until she was done.  There were kids in pairs sitting in the hallway waiting for their parents too, so my kids weren't the only ones there.  There were at least 6 other kids there and each child was either on a tablet or an iphone or an ipod or some kind of hand held technology device.

I hate technology and what it has done to children and eventually the people that these children will become.  I hate the fact that you have young men and women breaking up over text message.  I hate that people will actually say to you, don't call me, I never answer my phone, just text me.  I hate that I will be talking to someone and they will pick up their phone and start texting while we are talking.  I am angry that people think that technology teaches children so many wonderful things that they are willing to throw all kinds of tablets and hand held devices at their children but then all they do is watch videos and play games and avoid the "educational" parts of these items.  I hate that homework can be done online and that 5th graders are being taught social media "etiquette".  Whatever that means.

Don't get me wrong - I had a tablet and I took it on the treadmill to exercise and I got really clumsy and threw it in the air and it shattered all over the garage.  I have a smart phone but I handle text messages like I handle phone calls.  Take them when you can and sometimes you just set it down and have a nice time.  And sometimes (when the kids aren't around) I text a lot.  But I get to do that because I'm a grownup.  And someday when my kids are grownups they can have their own smartphones and do whatever they want with them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


There is something that happens to a woman who has had some children and has reached middle age - we become somewhat invisible.  By invisible I mean that no one looks at our legs or asses as we walk by.  No one whistles.  No one hits on us.  No one flirts.  So when it happens that a man I don't know strikes up a conversation with me or compliments me out of the blue I am always surprised he isn't asking for loose change or for directions. It never occurs to me that it is because he finds me attractive or even ravishing.  I usually attribute it to something is going wrong.  Or maybe I'm wearing my doughnut shirt and he thought it funny.  Except today I didn't have my doughnut shirt on.

There is a store near here called Harris Teeter.  It took me a while to say that without giggling because for a grocery store it sounds kind of dirty.  Say it out loud.  See what I mean?  Anyway - at Harris Teeter for some reason I have been hit on by men 3 separate times in a year.  Strange men, unknown men, middle aged (50 to 60 year old) men.  Yes, I am pushing middle age back.

At first I thought maybe it was because there are only 3 Asian people that shop there and so I'm something like an albino tiger but whatever the case, I love it, as would any other woman in her mid 40's!  I would do all my shopping there except it is frightfully expensive.  So ladies, - if you are feeling frumpy and a little run down, or the color has come out of your hair or you have had on your stretchy pants now for 2 weeks, head on down to Harris Teeter - you'll have them humping your leg too!

New Job

I am heading to work next week!  After 10 years, lots of volunteering, lot of blogging, lots of cooking meals, lots of cleaning house, lots of dog walking, lots of babysitting, lots of talking about going back to lunch I am finally heading out the door, dropping my kids at before school care and getting on the freeway and walking into an office somewhere to do work which I will be paid for.  I am so excited.

First of all, I'm excited to have a job.  It sounds like something that is well suited to me and something that I know a lot about and something I will get to use my language skills at and that makes me happy.  This will only be the second thing in 10 years that I'm doing that is just mine and not my husband's or my kid's.  It is just mine.

Secondly, I have had a chance to invest in some new work clothes.  About 5 years ago, I finally threw away the last suit jacket that I'd hung on to thinking at some point I would go back to work.  But when I tried it on I realized that it was so out of style that I would never be wearing it again.  So buying slacks, trousers, dress shirts and even a pair of heels or two has been so enjoyable.  And trying them on and modeling them for the girls has been super fun, "Oh Mommy, you are so fancy!" is my favorite comment so far."  I have promised several times to save the new shoes for the kids to wear someday.

Lastly, I am going to get a paycheck.  I have done tons of volunteer work in the last 10 years but none of it has come with a paycheck.   The thought that I will be contributing to my family financially makes me want to jump for joy!

Of course there are things that make me a little nervous.  For example my children will be going to not only before school care on the days I work, they will also be going to after school care.  And regardless as to what other people think about daycare or babysitters or nanny's, I was not able to put either of my children in any of them, I had to care for them myself.   I also am going to have quite a lengthy commute having tested the drive twice to see how long it will take and how to avoid traffic jams and accidents and gauge the flow of traffic in the morning rush hour traffic, but nonetheless there will be a long haul in the car.

But weighing all the good stuff and all the bad stuff, I am joyfully going to be headed out the door to work on Monday and cannot wait!  Stay tuned for updates!