Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bottom Lines

It is very cold now in my little house - it is very cold outside of my little house as well. It is hard to sit near any of the windows in my house because there is a terrible draft and it is cold to sit anywhere in the house and not be moving to keep warm. If we sit on the couch downstairs we must wear blankets and slippers to keep from shivering. If my hair is up in a ponytail, I have to take it down to provide my neck with some much needed covering and warmth. I knew there was a reason I was growing my hair long.

In the part of California where we live, it never gets too terribly cold but we had warm weather followed by some rain followed by a cold snap that has left us all wondering when it will head back up to the 50's which is where we like it to stay in the winter. Oh I know that there are those that would laugh at me considering the 40's unbearable but I am a Californian, so I can't help that, laugh away.

Four months ago or more our neighbors who live in a duplex building identical to ours got new storm windows put in, the double paned kind, and I hoped that we would as well. When I found out that we would not be getting them I hoped and prayed that the small wall heater downstairs would provide enough warmth to keep us all warm both downstairs and upstairs. And I hoped that our flimsy and gappy windows would keep the warmth in and the cold out. I was wrong and it is only November.

So we've pulled out all the blankets and we've bought winter pajamas and we keep the heat to a minimum and we march into Winter hoping that it is not too long or too cold. And my bottom line is that I will not pay over $100 dollars a month for heating my house. And the landlords bottom line does not involve new windows. Something tells me my bottom line will be moving while hers stays just where it is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I took my kids and my neice to the mall today in Marin county and I was met by a parade of Spanish speaking Nannies with their little ones in tow. I could tell they were Nannies because they looked nothing like the little children they had with them. I could also tell they were Nannies because they treated the children in a manner that indicated they were not the parents. And I could tell they were Nannies because I speak Spanish fluently and I can understand everything these women say to each other as well as to the children.

I met a group of Spanish speaking Nannies at a park when I first moved to the South Bay and I was so excited to find and meet ladies that brought their kids to the park and sat and chatted in Spanish, my Spanish was going to improve! After having been at home for 4 years and not having used my Spanish professionally, I was excited to bring it out of the briefcase and dust it off. As soon as the ladies learned I was an actual parent and not a Nanny, they changed parks and I never met them again. In the time I was able to spend with them, I was apalled by their treatment of other people's children and the things they said about the children in front of them, because these children understood what they were saying. In the time I was able to spend with them that one day at the park, I was apalled by the high number of children that were in the care of what seemed to me, a high number of unqualified caregivers. These Nannies were apalled by the end of the playdate that I was the mother of my two children and that they had invited me into their inner circle without checking to see if I was a Nanny first.

I was approached at the end of the playdate by one of the Nannies and given a stack of business cards and asked to distribute them among my Mommy friends.

I believe that teaching our children more than one language is a good thing and that we are helping them to expand their educational opportunities by introducing them to 2 or 3 languages at a young age. I think that we should try to expose our children to people of all languages and all cultures. I also think that hiring people to watch our children is good for the economy and that everyone who wants to work in this country should get a chance to, Spanish speaking Nannies included.

Just know this, if you do pay someone to watch your kids, make sure you know them well or make sure you don't care about what goes on when you aren't there, because there is a good chance that they don't treat your kids or talk to your kids or act around your kids the same way that you do when you are with your kids. That is why they are called Nannies.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It comes as no surprise to those of you that know me well - I enjoy discount shopping. For those of you that don't know me well - I enjoy discount shopping. It allows me to browse and imagine what I can do with the bucket full of cupcake liners or pink napkins that I bought for only 99 cents, but it also keeps me on budget which is where I have been for many moons.

I tend to frequent those types of stores that carry mainstream brands for less, you've heard the ads I'm sure, the one where the girlfriends ambush another friend who is spending too much money for name-brand clothes. Or the one where the super posh girl whose T-shirt cost more than the clothes in the entire store is claiming to be a buyer for these discount stores and skulks around runway shows to get great ideas. Anyway - I like those stores and wander the aisles looking for fun things that need a home.

I bought a brown short sleeved top at one of those stores recently and it was $12.99 and with tax it came to $14 dollars and some change. I put it in my closet and forgot about it until a day when I was volunteering at my daughter's school. I brought it out of my closet and put it on, what a fun day, wearing something new to the closest thing to a "Job" that I have. I looked down after wearing it for about 2 hours to discover that there were about 12 smallish holes in the front of the shirt, so I took it off, dug the tags out of the trash and found the receipt and put it aside to return.

When I returned it to the store, I pointed the holes out to the young man who refunded my money and told him that I was sure I had not put them in the shirt, I had only worn it a few minutes when I noticed them. As he processed my refund, I noticed that he was re-attaching the sales tag to the item. I just passed it off as a store policy so the tag would not get lost - after all, stores have to account for inventory - maybe that is what he was doing.

I was in that exact same discount store that starts with a T followed by a J, the day before yesterday, when I noticed a cute brown short sleeved top that looked very familiar. I pulled it out and see it was the same shirt I had purchased previously. I thought, "Wow, how cool, I could get a new one, since I liked that one so much! So I looked down at the front of the shirt and I noticed 12 smallish holes at exactly the same spot where mine had been. I then noticed that price tag read $12.99 "small holes".

Holey Moley!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baby Pants

For some reason everyone is having babies again and so I am making baby pants. The first pair I knitted were huge and fit a 4 year old. These fit a 6 month old. I am getting pretty good.

There is something so wonderful about the knitting process. I love creating things with yarn and needles. I love seeing the end result even if it doesn't look anything like the pattern. I love the look on people's faces when they realize you've made something with your two hands. I like giving original and creative gifts regardless as to whether or not anyone wears them. I like sitting and watching my hands keep busy while the rest of me is still. I like buying yarn and knitting supplies.

I will give these to a lady I hardly know who is having a baby girl. If she doesn't like them or let her baby wear them it is fine, because I think they are fantastic. Now I will make the same thing for another baby coming soon.

I can't wait to get started.