Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So I asked an old friend on Thursday if she liked my blog and she replied, "Yes. (pregnant pause) I get nervous when I read it. It is only a matter of time before I turn up in it." I never realized that this wonderful little blog that I throw a limited amount of talent and creativity into would be the source of nervousness for those friends that participated in some of the best and most memorable shenanigans of my life and who have been with me for a long time.

I got an email from another friend who spelled it out for me, I was not to blog about her by name E-V-E-R. I laughed out loud when I read her message because this specific friend has redefined the word privacy in a world where nothing and no one is private.

I'm lucky to have good friends. I wasn't always so careful about my friends. I'm sure I'm not the only person in this world to have run off or angered a few friends. I had to learn valuable lessons about friendship such as don't date your friends ex-boyfriends, don't be too friendly with a guy your friend is into, don't share too much information with your friend's boy because maybe she hasn't told him very much about herself, don't be cooler than your girlfriend, don't sell your girlfriends down the river to any man, don't be too funny to another girls dude and some other rules that each girl makes up about herself and her girlfriends.

I lost 3 very good friends, two in my early 20's and another in my mid 30's and losing their friendships rattled me. I always presumed that I was outgoing and friendly enough that no one would sever their relationship with me and I was wrong. I let the first two friendships go after a long fight to try to repair the damage I had done. I let the third friendship go without a fight, that friend just walked away from me. I figured that if my friendship was not worth salvaging or fighting for, then it was over.

People say that I talk too much and they are correct, not only do I talk to much, I write too much too. So to those two friends that are worried about showing up in my blog - I promise to change your names to protect your privacy but those fabulous stories will be shared!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I have thought it would be fun to list a playlist of songs so my readers can enjoy some quality or not so quality songs. Of course the only kind of playlist I can start with is the kind that 1) drives the husband crazy 2) can only be listened to alone 3) must be accompanied by singing loudly while walking the dog, driving the car or cooking 4) totally drunk.

I have to tell you that these songs are wonderful but also each one has a special place in my heart. So here goes:

This Girl's in love with you - Sacha Distel version
The Last Worthless Evening - Don Henley
Too Much Heaven - the Bee Gees
I Just Called to Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
On the Wings of Love - Jeffrey Osborne
I Don't Need You - Kenny Rogers
Redemption Song - Bob Marley
Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt
I Fall to Pieces - Patsy Cline
Those Good Old Dreams - The Carpenters

So there it is - the playlist that I only bring out for the really good days. It is cheese-ball but it is good cheese - the kind that makes you remember roller skating on Thursday nights or brings back the hot tubbing with drunk friends in Angwin.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today I stumbled across something interesting - a blog that tries to look like a blog that endorses products and services but that has little to no original writing or photography. I am pretty sure that the person who is "blogging" in this situation is having one or all of the following happen: 1) they are being paid to "blog", 2) they are being paid to endorse someone else's products 3) they make money every time someone signs up to be a follower or part of their "blog" or 4) it is only called a "blog" to get people to read it.

I read something not too long ago about these kinds of "bloggers" but I chalked it up to silly and frivolous. Who would waste valuable blogging time by endorsing toys, products and services? Why would you sully your energies for a $10 check by telling people you like Huggies over Pampers?

Then I was offended. Here I am sweating out original subjects and trying to come up with original material, writing from the heart, blood, sweat and tears and all that bullshit. And this person is just copying and pasting some fabulous link from Youtube or something funny from Jibjab and including a picture of their 2 year old, oh, and check out this neat product that you can buy for only $24.99 that fits in your microwave and convection oven and can later launch rocket ships, and calling it a blog.

And finally I am feeling cheated and swindled. Why haven't I tried to sell stuff? Why am I not profiting from this venue, using this site of the aforementioned blood, sweat and tears to trump up some money? Why am I slaving away at the keyboard without any kind of payback or paycheck whatsoever?

So here goes, see the picture at the top of this blog? Some kind of neat throw that is being knit? I am knitting it right now but it can be yours. It will go to the first person that is willing to pay shipping/handling and $100 dollars. It is soft, warm and will look good on your shoulders or on your lap or on the bed or tossed across the couch. And if you like it and buy it, you can tell people where you got it and I'll make them one too for the same price.

(I'm just kidding, it is for my friend Tara's birthday and you can't have it)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bigger Britches

My little brother got a job this week. I am so proud of him, he is the newest employee of a local pizzeria. Let me just tell you that my brother has done pretty much every job under the sun.

He has pumped gas, he has made pizza, he has bussed tables, he has painted pottery, he has delivered papers, he has roasted coffee, he has made coffee drinks, he has babysat, he has run errands, he has done telephone tech support, he has fixed computers, he has cleaned, he has cooked. The list goes on and on and on.

I once said that one of the things I was the most proud of was that the members of my immediate family would pretty much do anything for work; that an honest days work was an honest days wage and that there was nothing beneath us or above us that we would not do for a paycheck. I know this is not the case for everyone. I know a guy who did not work for nearly 5 years because the jobs available were not up to the perceived standards of his degree. And so he waited for the job he considered to be worth his education... I know another guy who preferred to ask his grandmother for money because he figured out that after taxes his pay wasn't even enough to pay his rent. I know someone else that feels that certain jobs are beneath them because of what people would say if they knew they were working retail or waiting table. I have a girlfriend who worries that taking a steady job would mean passing up future opportunities.

I know there are not a lot of jobs out there. I know that you can apply for 20 jobs and not get callbacks on any of them. I know that a great job opportunity will sometimes turn out 500 applicants vying for the same position. But I also know that there is a list of jobs out there that some people will not do to avoid shame - to avoid having to tell people, "I make pizza for living" or "I pump gas".

I took care of my grandmother for the last 2 years of her life. I remember at first being very ashamed to tell people what I did for a living. After all, I had finished school, I had had a career, I had been a teacher, I had made my own living, I had shared an apartment with a roommate, I had freedom and my own space. All of a sudden at age 27 I had to tell people I was living at home and caring for my grandmother full time and it was difficult to do. Now I feel great about it, I think about what a wonderful opportunity it was to spend time with her and to share those last years with her and to give back to her after all the time she gave to me.

My grandmother used to tell my brother as a child when he would start to get mouthy or cocky, "you are just too big for your britches!" I think she meant he was larger than life or that his head was getting too big. I'm not sure how he feels right now but to me he has every reason to be too big for his britches, because he's got a job!