Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wedding Blankets

I am knitting a wedding blanket for some family members that just got married. To avoid confusion and rumor that the relatives are marrying other relatives, it is really just a family member marrying someone outside the family. Anyway - I went out and purchased the yarn for the blanket, came up with the pattern all on my own and then started the blanket. I worked on it furiously all summer long, at least it felt like I worked on it all summer long. About half way through I realized that I had no more time left and so on the day of the wedding, we bought a nice card with a nice message and let the happy couple know that while we have a gift coming - it isn't completely finished yet. We will be shipping it soon.

That was a week ago and as of today I have not touched the blanket. Sigh

Monday, August 23, 2010


I found out today that two new people have read my blog. Yesterday I found out that someone new also read my blog. That makes three new people in a week, I consider that a great and gigantic week.

I was on my way home this morning from taking the bigger of the wee ones to school when I saw a brown couch I could not live without. After sitting on it and listening to it squeak I raced home and asked the neighbor with the gigantic truck if she could help me go pick it up. I then raced back and cut in front of the trash truck to bring it home. Then I had to rearrange the tiny living room to accommodate not just two couches but now three.

Then Uncle Joey did the unspeakable, he said, "I can list that blue couch on Craigs List and we can sell it". My heart did a flip flop because in the past we have not been lucky with the selling and buying power of Craigs List. But by 5pm this evening the blue couch was being hauled out of the living room by two college students who will most likely use it to spill beer on and many other fluids because that is how college students are.

We were given the blue couch by my Mom and her Bob and while I have always been overwhelmed by their generosity, I have never been able to reconcile my taste to the hideousness of the blue couch. It is truly something straight out of the museum of natural ugliness. But because we were too poor to own a nice and new couch and because I could never find a nice decent and clean free one, we kept the blue couch and put up with its ugliness.

I'll let you in on a little secret too, it had secret powers. YES, it had secret powers. If a child under 8 jumped on it, it worked like a trampoline. Children everywhere used it to launch their bodies up toward the ceiling. So to all those children who love our blue couch, it is gone. And I'm sorry. But we got money for it and we didn't have to lift it and now I never have to look at it again as long as I live.

In its place, there sits a used and sticky brown couch that squeaks. All in the name of vanity.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Religious Experience

I knew this guy when I lived in Spain who is now an Adventist youth pastor somewhere on the East coast. He is also a friend of mine on the social networking site, Facebook. He is a very social guy, has lots and lots of friends and he often posts things related to being a pastor. One day not too many months ago he posted his sermon topic for the youth group and the title read something like this: Why do so many young people leave the church?

My mother is a devout Seventh Day Adventist. I remember once complaining to my friend Heather's dad as we sipped wine that over the years she hasn't let up at all, if anything, she refuses to let her religion age with the times. He actually stood up for her and said it was refreshing. Too many times we see people who change beliefs due to different reasons. Many Adventists eat out on Saturday now and pay with credit cards whereas 50 years ago, buying and selling on the Sabbath was a no-no. The same holds true with jewelry, 50 years ago, Adventists did not adorn themselves with jewelry, trading wedding rings for wedding watches. Until he made those comments I had not even looked at my mother from another perspective, she is after all my mother.

I stopped going to church when I was 18 years old. I had begun to separate myself from the rigidity of my mothers rules and her religion at the age of 15 but by 18 I was through. You must remember that my mother's rules have remained constant and to a teenager they were nothing but controlling and ridiculous. I was not allowed to bathe from sundown Friday night until after sundown Saturday night. I was not allowed to listen to the radio or read secular reading material. I was not allowed to swim, ride bicycles, sing songs or play games that were secular.

Once the Sabbath was over the rules still continued - no putting any food in your mouth until prayer was said, no opening your eyes during prayer or else you were spanked after prayer, daily morning and evening worships, the list is long. There were even rules that could be embarrassing like when we went out to eat we had to bow our heads and bless even that food, even if we didn't like everyone staring at us and tried to pretend we were just resting our eyes. We would sometimes try to leave our eyes open and hope that we didn't get caught, just so we could look like everyone else in the restaurant.

As a girl, I had even more rules, for example I wasn't allowed to wear pants with zippers in the front of them as they were classified as boys clothes and girls were not allowed to wear boys clothing or vice versa. I fought until high school to wear jeans and even carried them in my backpack to school and changed once I got there. I was not allowed to wear clear nail polish or jewelry of any kind. I was not allowed to wear makeup of any kind.

My mother is now raising 2 of her grandchildren. Let me back up, neither of my brothers or myself go to church, my sister goes to services but not a church per se, she is in prison. My mother is raising my sister's 2 kids and she is raising them exactly the same way she raised us. I asked her once why she would do the same thing twice when obviously the first 4 kids didn't turn out exactly as she had planned and she gave me a very long explanation on her faith and what her faith means to her and how she lives her life with her faith and her God leading her. I didn't feel like she exactly answered my question. But I believe I have answered my Facebook friend's; Why do so many young people leave the church?