Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Last year at this time I decided it would be a great idea to pile all the leaves together that had fallen in our yard and in the neighbors yard and in the gutter in front of the house and let the kids run and jump into the pile.  It was something I had seen kids do in the movies or in areas of the country where there are enough leaves that fall such as North Carolina.  So after the work of scraping enough leaves together to make a big pile the kids started running and jumping, screaming and laughing.  And that is when the property manager and also our neighbor came screaming out of her apartment and started in on me about the mess I had just made, how I had created more work for her by dragging everyone leaves onto her lawn and how she could bill me at $250 dollars an hour for all the extra work she now had to do not to mention the diseases they could get from the neighborhood cats and dogs that pee and poop in the leaves.

After the kids were done jumping and exposing themselves to life threatening diseases caused by cats and dogs that poop in our yard I raked all the leaves off back into their respective yards and the gutter where I had found them so that the property manager and our neighbor would not have do much work to do and so she could not bill me when she came screaming outside again about how the city could sue me for piling her leaves into their gutter and how liable I was for problems the leaves on the other peoples yards could cause and how being outside playing with the kids was only condoning bad behavior by all the neighborhood kids because by being outside I was sanctioning everything they did, good or bad.

All I had wanted to do was make a leaf pile and jump in it.  I'm pretty sure that lady is crazy.  And I remember thinking that I could not wait to own my own house.

Tomorrow we close on our very own house.  One that I can rake leaves into piles at and jump into.  One that my cat and dog can pee and poop on and leave life threatening diseases all over and around and beside.  One that no property manager will come running outside to tell me what I can and cannot be doing.  One that is going to be mine, ALL MINE.  You cannot possibly know how exciting that will be for me, my kids, my cat, my dog, my other dog, my rats and my husband. Unless of course you had the disadvantage of living next to or near that lady yourself. 

Mazel tov.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Tomorrow we go on our first East Coast Adventure to another state, another town, another romp.  We are excited because it is a paid adventure - so it will be at very little cost to us which makes it even more exciting and bargain driven.  And to top it off, I will get to see my sister's very best childhood friend who lived down the road from us in Jamaica and whom I have not seen since I was 14 years old.  I love new friends but I love old ones too.  You hear that all old friends?  I love you guys!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy Halloween

I have a confession - I hate Halloween.  I don't like the costumes.  I don't like having to buy the costumes.  I hate all the candy.  I hate the decorations.  I hate the pressure of having to buy pumpkins only to discard them by carving them up and watching them rot.  I hate wasting food.  I hate gearing up for what is not officially a holiday and then having to get up the next day and try to scrape the kids out of bed for school.  I hate the candy hangover. 

I wonder sometimes if part of the reason I hate it is that we weren't allowed to "celebrate" Halloween as a kid.  It wasn't on the top of the list of Christian holidays and activities you should let your children participate in to glorify God.  I remember trick or treating maybe once as a child although that probably means we did it two or three times.  But as we got older my parents (the same sex partnership I spoke of in my last blog post) got more conservative and so that activity was pulled off the table.

I know it is fairly Scrooge-ish of me to dislike and disregard Halloween and it is very frustrating for my kids.  But I love Christmas!  And I love Thanksgiving!  But those holidays do not require the wasting of perfectly good pumpkins or scaring the crap out of small kids and do not require multiple trips to the dentist to right what bags and bags of sugar have done to perfectly healthy teeth.

Any other haters out there?  Just for the record I also hate St. Paddy's day, Valentines Day and the 4th of July. 

Friday, October 18, 2013


Manners are something that people pay close attention to in the South.  I have noticed that people pay more attention to them than they did in say . . . California.  I mostly attribute that to where I lived in California and the high number of Asians that lived in the town I was from.  Other things matter to Asian parents such as, "stop doing that and focus on your homework", "don't mess around in school, listen and get the best grades", and "your kid is so big and has huge feet", "eat healthy food not junky food" but manners is not a big deal, not a huge deal.  That isn't to say that Asian parents don't care about manners, it just isn't the first thing they worry about and maybe they could improve upon that.  Or not.

In California my parents and inlaws would comment on how great the kids were but they are the Grandparents and they have to say nice things about the kids.  It wasn't until I moved here that I got specifics on my children's manners from teachers and other parents.  The art teacher at school told me that the girls are so well behaved and good girls and she can tell that they have had good upbringing.  The neighbor lady said that the girls were so good and polite. The lunch lady in the cafeteria told me that the girls are polite and smile and answer when spoken to and have good manners and always remember their lunch number. 

Manners are important to me.  I was raised by 2 women - I like to call it a Same Sex Partnership but it was my Mom and my Grandma.  Technically however it was a Same Sex Partnership and they were big on manners.  My Mom worked a lot and my Grandma held it together at home and they didn't have a lot of free time for sassy bratty kids that couldn't speak when spoken to or that were not respectful.  That doesn't mean that we didn't push it - I remember my twin once using the word Bitch when talking to my Mom and he wasn't talking about a dog.  But I have tried to do the same with my kids and manners and have tried to teach them to answer properly when spoken to and to not be so obnoxious that they are never invited back.  And those of you that are not invited back, you know what I'm talking about and exactly why.  And those of you that are invited back - you know how far having well behaved kids will get you.   It will get you invited back!

It kind of has taken me by surprise this attention to manners.  I didn't really pay attention to it until I started getting comments.  But now that I have had comments I take great pride in my kids when we are out and about.  And I take great pride in their "please" and "thank you" comments.  And I love being able to navigate situations of all kinds knowing that they will behave appropriately.  Now please stay tuned for the disclaimers.

Disclaimers:  My kids are not perfect.  Your kids are not all brats.  My kids are sometimes bratty too.  These were all comments made by others in regards to my kids manners, they could totally be blowing smoke up my ass.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Remember the saying, "Act your age, not your bra-size?"  That only worked when you were 12 or 14. 

Yesterday someone asked me how old I was and I did not get the customary "OMG you look so much younger than that!  I would never guess your were that old!" and I realized that I look my age, finally at nearly the age of 45 I look my age and it was ok.  I'm fine with the wrinkles on my stomach, the sags in the inside of my thighs and the chin that is starting to slope.  I'm fine with the eyes that appear heavy in the morning at the evening and the breasts that comfortably sit on what is left of 2 pregnancies.

I see so many women that are not ok with what life has handed them.  I see the work they have done to deceive themselves and others by injecting, cutting, sucking and pulling and in the end, they get old too, they can't avoid it.  And sometimes they look like The Joker and I'm pretty sure that is not what they were going for.

I remember telling someone at 16 that I had no plans on living past 60 which of course was childish nonsense, if it gets better and better I can't wait for 60.  It doesn't mean I'm not going to have fun or be a little silly and disregard the rule on wearing lace leggings in the wintertime with boots - or embarrass my kids by getting the mail in my bathing suit, and we have a looooong driveway.  Imagine if they are embarrassed by it now, how much more fun it will be when I am 60. 

I say bring it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

An Open Letter to People Who Post Open Letters in Regards to Twerking Teenagers Who Are in Charge of Their Own Lives

There has been a lot of commentary with regards to what cute little Hannah Montana, otherwise known as Miley Cyrus has been up to lately in the entertainment world.  There was an Open Letter by Sinead O'Connor to Miley and then an Open Letter to Sinead O'Connor by someone else and now I'm writing my own Open Letter to anyone who wants to read my opinions on the whole thing.

Miley Cyrus and all of her graduating class, has chosen for whatever reason to be famous on TV and to showcase all their skills, whether acting, singing, twerking or otherwise for everyone to see.  And while this is nothing new and while celebrity antics are nothing shocking anymore, for some reason everyone feels the need to either be shocked and outraged at her behavior or they feel the need to berate her and criticize her and cut her down because I guess that makes them feel better.  I have to be honest, when I first saw her stick that tongue out I thought she was licking something good off her face.

When I was a teenager no one wanted to post what I was up to because there was no internet.  And no one wanted to follow me around and document what I was up to because it was moronic.  That didn't stop me from doing stupid and foolish things like striping naked and scaling walls and swimming in someone else's swimming pool and getting caught and kicked out.  And it didn't stop me from drinking too much vodka and stripping naked and walking the dotted line in front of public safety at my local college.  And it didn't stop me from doing a lot of other things that I am not going to rehash because you get the general idea, I did plenty of crazy hairbrained naked things in public and private.  The sad thing is that we have a teenager that has had little to no anonymity and who just wants to be a kid.  Why can't we ignore her and all the other idiots out there and let them grow up and get out their growing pains like all the other kids on the planet?

I remember asking a young lady once what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said, "I want to be famous" and I realized that she didn't want to be a famous dancer or a famous painter or a famous singer or a famous anything.  She just wanted to be famous.  And that is what we have delivered via technology to anyone who will spend the 2 minutes, 3 minutes or 10 minutes to watch the latest viral sensation, someone who is famous for just being famous, they really had little to no talent or skill or ability, they just got famous. 

If we stop giving creedence to the antics of the famous or the infamous and shut out tabloid trash then maybe the Kanye's and the Miley's will just go away or be silenced.  Or better yet, they will stick to what they know how to do or what they do well and leave the rest of it for other young and impulsive people who will willingly step into their shoes and become tabloid fodder for a new generation.  Remember the advice we were given as kids?  If you want the annoying kid to stop, ignore them, they will go away.  Stop paying attention.

Better yet, focus on your own problems - chances are they are just as bad if not worse.