Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween and kissing

I had a sick kid yesterday so I took advantage of the one hour that she was not running a fever to drop off dry cleaning, pick up dry cleaning, get gas, pay a bill, return something and drop off some library books.  I have many times expounded on the virtues of the public library as one of the most wonderful places in this town.  I feel very strongly that part of my kids love for books centers around the amount of time we spent at the library from the time they were tiny.  We take out stacks of books and movies and I can't wait to see what types of books we will get next.  Right now we are reading Geronimo Stilton, all types of Manga, Garfield and let's never forget the immortal Harry Potter.

Yesterday as I was leaving the library I happened to notice a car parked in the library parking lot with both windows down.  And sitting in the car was a man in the passenger seat and a woman in the drivers seat.  The reason they caught my eye was because the man was practically sitting on top of the woman.  And then I looked closer to realize that the man was not only sitting on top of the woman, he was devouring her with the most amorous kiss I have seen since The English Patient.   There is a kissing scene between Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott-Thomas that is so amorous that it makes me melt to watch it, at a certain point I am convinced that one of them will swallow the other and then poof!  They will disappear.  Anyway - this couple was really going at it.  As a matter of fact it made me slow down the car really slow and creep by as I creepily stared at this couple making out like a couple of teenagers in this gold Toyota Camry. 

Did I mention that the couple looked like they could be around my age?  Now, it has been a long time since I made out in the car and even longer since I watched the English Patient, but I didn't gross out - instead I was intrigued.  Why were these two making out at the library?  Were they lovers?  Were they married?  Were they having an affair?  Were they living out of their car?  Whatever the reason - I think we need to bring really awesome kissing back - all over the place and all the time.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mama knows best

I grew up in a house where the Teacher was boss.  That means that once we had left home where Mom or Grandma was the boss and got to school, the Teacher was in charge.  I don't ever remember thinking that was strange because that was just how it was.  I remember my first grade Teacher, Mrs. Maddox swatting me on the bottom because I was pushing and not listening to her and when I went home and told my Mom she just said, "well if Mrs. Maddox spanked you then you probably did something to deserve it".  I avoided Mrs. Maddox for the next 2 years until I got to 3rd grade and got a new teacher.  Mrs. Maddox meant business.

I remember coming home in the 5th grade with welts on my right hand and telling my Mom that Miss Marajgh had hit me with the ruler for being late to class after lunch.  And when I told her my hand hurt she said, "I guess you won't be late coming back to class ever again."  And when I was a freshman in high school I remember coming home and telling my Mom that the PE Teacher, Mr. Evans, was picking on me and so she cautioned me to improve and do better and then he would have any reason to pick on me. 

By the time I was in high school I got really really tricky though, I came home and told my Mom that playing volleyball was injuring my fingers and affecting my violin lessons and could she please write a note and excuse me from PE for the quarter.  My elaborate scheme came crashing down when my Mom wrote the note and the PE Teacher read the note in front of the whole PE class and my entire grade stood and laughed at me right before we picked teams for PE.

But my Mom was right about backing the Teacher.  I stayed out of Mrs. Maddox's way and we never had any other problems.  I listened to the rules and behaved and we got through the 1st and 2nd classes.  I was never late to class in the 5th and 6th grade and Miss Marajgh never had any reason to have me come to the front of the class and cane me with her ruler.  And I learned how to play volleyball backwards and forwards and ended up being one of the best players in the class by my senior year and my PE Teacher stopped picking on me.

 I'm glad that I didn't get any support to my shenanigans in school.  I'm glad my Mom supported the Teachers always, it set the stage to make me a good Teacher and make me a good Mom.  Teachers have a rough go of it out there, especially public school Teachers; packed classrooms, budget cuts, curriculum cuts, low pay and to make matters worse, many parents no longer support or respect the Teachers like they used to back in my day.  We have been super lucky in having wonderful Teachers for our tykes and so backing them has been something we've always worked hard to do.  But I have to also throw out some kudos to my Mom who was one smart cookie when it came to me and my Teachers.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Husband of the Year

Gabe was gone last night and I got a miserable amount of sleep.  But that is not what I want to talk about.  I was bleary eyed and grouchy this morning when I took the girls to school.  Partly to blame was us all waking up really late and rushing around to get to school and partly to blame was the fact that Gabe does so much stuff around here that getting up and showering and dressing and making lunches and feeding animals and feeding children was overwhelming and too much.  Lets remember that I usually only have to deal with my little cup of coffee and my trashy Internet gossip sites in the morning so you can see why I was grouchy - all that work! 

Anyway - he is in North Carolina talking to some fancy people about a job that they think he would be good at.  Considering the amount of work he does around our house I am more than confident that he can tackle anything North Carolina has to throw his way.   And now that we are on the subject of jobs, I haven't wanted to talk about his job interviews this time around because the last time I got excited about them nothing really came of it and I felt like a deflated balloon.   So he is talking to folks here and there and I hope that something great happens soon because I really really really want to buy a house all my own and paint it any old color I feel like.

So back to school and the 3rd grade line up as the kids wait to spend 6 hours with a teacher that should be winning a Nobel peace prize of some kind.  Some of the kids started to laugh at a boy who mentioned something about boys dating boys and I perked right up.  I started to bristle a little because at our house we are OK with boys marrying boys and we talk about girls marrying girls and recently we had a lengthy conversation about boys who wear skirts and mascara and girls that don't ever wear dresses or want to dance with boys.  And we talk about how we are working to change the laws so anyone can marry whomever they love and that is the only criteria for getting married.  And then I started to worry that if we move to an area that is in Middle Earth (any state East of California and West of New York) we might get stuck in a place where my children are teased and taunted for their parent's beliefs.  And then I looked at my 3rd grader and she smiled at me and shook her head as if to say, "I stay out of it" and I was instantly proud of her.

And I can't wait for my husband to get back home so I can take a breather.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shop and Hide

I have started that annual tradition of buying little things here and there and ferreting them away for that big day in December when our kids will rip open 20 presents in under 2 minutes.  It seems a little early to me this year but we are already in October and usually by Halloween I am done.  I have not had the impulse or motivation this year to get out there and buy.  I also have not have the motivation this year to start to create little things that I can sew, knit, glue, cut, or assemble. 

Every year I feel this pressure to get the perfect gift that each child will ooo and ahh over and they will assure me that they got exactly what they wanted.  Of course I will also admit that I very sneakily open their Santa letter each year after they have sealed it and find out what they want so that they are happy and excited on Christmas morning. 

It was so much easier when the list was just chocolate candy and a hula hoop.  Now the list is longer and has very detailed stuff that even Santa has a hard time finding or making. 

Last year we started a new tradition of taking each child out shopping for their sibling, cousins and parents.  That way we reinforce that they are focusing their energies on others and not only themselves.  This is infinitely more difficult on the younger child and results in more than one in store meltdown.  But we only had to drag her out of one store physically because she refused to walk.  Hopefully this year we won't have to drag her out of any. 

And finally - it is getting harder and harder to find the perfect hiding place for these items.  Kids are smart and they know that the parents hide things and they know where those hiding places are.  My sister ruined Santa for me in a big way by taking me out to the garage and showing me a box of brand new ice-skates about 2 weeks before Christmas when I was 5 or 6 and telling me that I would see them again on Christmas morning.  While my kids still believe in Santa the older one is starting to get wise to our antics which means the jig will soon be up.

Friday, October 5, 2012


There are moments in life when you look around you and you feel so happy you can’t do anything but smile.  And when you have those moments, you are doing something you really enjoy, reading something wonderful, spending time with someone who makes you feel warm, dancing to your favorite song.

I got on two airplanes yesterday and headed up to the Great Northwest to spend time with friends.  I me  my friend Jill while in high school, she was the little sister of a classmate of mine.  When we were teenagers it seemed like I was soooo much older but it turns out she acts much older than me.  Ok, maybe only a few years older.

I am taking a little Mommy break and doing the following for the next 4 days:

sleeping in (until 7am)
drinking wine
taking naps
eating whatever I want whenever I want (like cookies at 7am)
watching Larry the Cable Guy and 7:15am with Lamont
watching the most beautiful nature from inside because I’m terrified of bears

And I am enjoying every minute.  I’m smiling, reading something wonderful, spending time with someone who makes me feel warm and dancing to my favorite song for the next 4 days.  And then I will come home with my batteries recharged and squeeze my little ladies until they beg me to stop and kiss my husband until he begs me to keep going.