Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yard Dog

When we moved here we only had one dog.  And then we got another one.  The first time we took her to the Vet we were told she was a Carolina Yard Dog.  The Vet told us that if we look closely we can see this breed of dog in pretty much anyone's yard on a chain or a leash.  She said that they are known to chase cyclists, runners, cars, trucks and tree racoons and squirrels.  She said they will eat tires and toys and chew on sticks and pinecones for fun.  She said they are smart dogs.

Unfortunately for me there are also yard dogs in everyone else's yard around here.  And another sad fact is that I'm forced to exercise by either running or fast walking around the neighborhood for both my health and my waistline. 

I have been chased by one mean yellow yard dog that looks just like our yard dog, same color, same size, probably same bloodline.  And then a black dog appeared out of nowhere, literally for 7 months there was no dog and then 2 weeks ago it just appeared.  Last night when I went out to walk I was chased by not just one yard dog, not two yard dogs but three yard dogs and they trapped me.  Lucky for me another walker came my way and they chased after him and allowed me to streak past as fast as I could, huffing and puffing and sweating and swearing and my normal evening exercise turned into a game of dodge dog and I don't want to play that game.

I've called the cops and that hasn't helped.  There are 2 more dogs now than when I called both the police and animal control.  I now know why most of the people in the area work out at gyms and health clubs instead of tying up their laces and heading out into the beautiful out of doors for some free cardiovascular exercise.  Sigh.  For the time being I've been restricted to the street I live on - all our yard dogs are actually confined to our yards.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Every summer we have had the opportunity of hosting my niece and nephew for a week or two at our house.  And even with our cross country move, this summer is no exception - they arrive tonight at the airport!  The reason for this visit first and foremost has always been to give my Mom and Step-dad a break, after all raising kids in your 70's sometimes can be hard work but it is also selfish, so that we can enjoy these two kids. 

Of course there is much more work having 4 kids in the house as opposed to two kids and so it requires me to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food and try to not stress the little things like dirty socks kicked under furniture, food wiped on tshirts and pillows being used for weapons.  It also requires me to not stress the kids getting very little sleep because when your summer is full of friends and family visiting, you have to know that sleep is low on the list of things to do.

Of course it is tough to eat healthy food when you have kids asking for pizza, frozen waffles, bagels, chips, soda and all manner of junk food type options.  I try to limit them to one item per day but even that gets hard.  Lucky for me the kids live in a Vegan home but love all things Non-Vegan.  Enter Korean Beef. 

Here is how the next 8 days will play out:

lots of water
Korean Beef

We can't wait to see them!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of July

I love doing new things and having new experiences.  Some of them are fun and calm and fairly normal and others are wild and madcap and hysterical.  I think back to things like going water skiing and our boat catching on fire and having to bail into the lake until the firemen showed up.  Or hitchhiking across Europe because I ran out of money and I needed to get to Paris in 2 weeks to catch a plane.  Or laying in the backseat of a car under blankets and driving to East Germany to spend a week before the wall came down. 

This 4th of July we were invited to spend the evening with 8 undocumented families that were all related and their kids.   They have all been in this country for 15, 16 and 17 years and they all work hard and they all speak Spanish and they put out a good spread.   Gabe had to dust off his Spanish and he also had to eat a lot of carne asada, hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken.  He drank his Modelo with Tapatio poured all over the opening of the can.  He did good.  And the kids ran around with a posse of kids and they caught fireflies and played hide and seek and danced in the rain.

And I thought back to how all of us somehow came from somewhere else to live here and that if it wasn't us, it was our parents or our grandparents or their grandparents and that in order to be a great country we have to dust off our bbq's and buy a bunch of beer and meat and invite the neighbors over!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Oprima el numero dos . . .

Here in N. Carolina on Sunday evening during the school year everyone gets a phone call with a pre-recorded message from the school Principal or Vice-Principal.  It starts like this, "Hello (insert school name here) families, this is the Principal calling and I hope you have had a wonderful weekend".  And then the message launches into what is coming up on the school week and updates on things to look out for or special instructions for certain grades.  It is very informative and the way the school stays in touch with families that cover many different levels of technology.

During the summer, the messages are less frequent but there are still messages with updates for all the school families.  Starting on Tuesday, there will be a second voice that shares information with families in Spanish and will go a little something like this, "Muy buenos dias, familias de (insert school name here), espero que tengan felices vacaciones de verano."  I am excited to bring vital information to Spanish speaking families all over my neighborhood!