Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I really really really hate sewing.  I have always hated sewing as long as I can remember.  I am probably not that bad at it but my hatred for it and my lack of interest in improving at it has prompted me to drop my sewing machine off at the local donation place - so that someone can put a $5 dollar sign on it and put it in the thrift store window and someone else can come along and enquire "how much you want for that sewing machine?" and buy it and take it home and make it theirs.

I tried to sew I really did.  I bought fabric and I checked out books from the library and I still hate sewing.  This hatred began at the age of 14 when I informed my mother that I would not be taking Home Economics my freshman year of high school, I would be taking Wood Shop like any self respecting young lady would and she used the phrase, "over my dead body" and I found myself enrolled in Home Economics.  It was a fine class if you ignore the strong "D" I was pulling the entire quarter on colors and decorating.  The cooking quarter I improved slightly and pulled my grade up to a "C" only to have it drop back down again during the sewing segment.

We were told we could make either an apron or a pair of sweat pants.  I chose the sweat pants naturally because who in their right mind would wear an apron???!!!!  Only a 14 year old would use this logic because obviously an apron is flat and requires nothing tricky like elastic bands or matching up pieces, etc.  But I was in a real strong sweat pants wearing stage in my life so I decided on making a pair of those.  My career as a sweat shop worker was cut short when I connected the legs each going in a different direction and I failed the sewing segment.  Lucky for that "C" in the cooking segment which saved my grade and allowed me to finish the course without having to take it over.

This healthy beginning with sewing came back to haunt me at my high school graduation when my mother informed me that my graduation gift was going to be a sewing machine of my very own.  I begged and begged and begged some more, for a camera instead and she kindly gave in, realizing that I was not going to be a sewing legend like my Grandmother.  But recently I've tried to teach myself something new so I can have something to do during the day besides  1) watching netflix 2) watching pirated online shows 3) doing other stuff I can't put on my blog because my mother reads it occasionally (all legal of course) and 4) online shopping.

In all fairness to the sewing machine that now sits at foster care for sewing machines, the thrift shop, it was broken during the move and it took me an entire linen-Japanese-pattern-book-from-hell-dress to figure it out.  Maybe I'll buy a new one when I calm down.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Air Supply

A friend of mine from Sunnyvale called yesterday while I was out and about and left a message.  Let me just tell you what "out and about" means for me.  It means leaving my house and driving around Chapel Hill and then driving to Durham and then driving to Raleigh and then driving back to Pittsboro because I can't stay at home all day and I need to pick up curtains.

Anyway - I didn't get the message until about 8:30pm when Gabe came in the bedroom and said, "Oh, we have a voice-mail".  And then I listened to the message and felt like crying but I stopped myself because Fiona was already crying and that is enough crying for one evening.  But I felt very low.

I went into town to meet a lady in the Mother's Club who offered to meet me for coffee and a chat.  Then I went to World Market to get panel curtains that had come in after 2 weeks of waiting.  And then to Super Target for some super stuff.  And then to a Starbucks just because I had to use the bathroom and didn't want to wait for 30 minutes until I got home.  And by this time it was 2pm and I realized that I had not had lunch.  And then I drove home in the rain and I started to cry.  And at some point I realized that the song on the radio was Air Supply and I started to feel sick.  A forty something woman, driving, alone, in the rain, listening to Air Supply.  How nauseating.  So I immediately started to laugh. 

Having 2 kids in school full time is hard.  I need to go back to work.  Or I need to find a new hobbie quick.  Anyone with any good suggestions please fire them off to me this instant - because I am in need of some good ideas.  In the meantime, enjoy this song from the 80's.

Air Supply

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I love my new home.  I love it.  L.O.V.E.  It is beautiful to me.  I feel like I won the housing lottery and this home is the home that I got with my winning ticket.  It isn't exactly huge and it isn't tiny, it is just the right size.  And it fits all the stuff we brought with us and some new things.  And everything has its right place and everything works just right.  I even found a place for every picture and every mirror and even a few new things that we picked up at the best little antique/consignment place that I found with my mother-in-law. 

But as most things in life, it isn't perfect.  It is far far far away from my friends and family.  And it is in a place that is so totally foreign to me that I struggle to make sense of this new place we call home.  It is even so strange that our dog and cat are a little freaked out by going outside because it is not the outside they are used to.   

When I was a kid my Mom had an old story book that included a story of the City Mouse visiting the Country Mouse and what a debacle it was to take the City Mouse out of the city and the Country Mouse out of the country.  I now totally understand what this story was about. 

For example tonight I heard 2 planes flying overhead and they were the most assuring and refreshing sounds I had heard in 2 weeks.  Here is a list of things I haven't heard in 2 weeks:

Car doors slamming
Neighbors talking/laughing/screaming/crying
Trash cans being dragged to the curb and back up the drive
Garbage trucks coming by and picking up your trash
School bus coming by in the morning
Dogs barking

It is really amazing and while it sounds somewhat idyllic it is going to take me a while to get used to it.  The quiet.  I need to adjust to the quiet and learn to embrace it.  But today a car pulled into the driveway and Sally and I jumped a mile high when the doorbell rang.  It was the UPS guy with my new living room chair.  I had to take that off the list - I have heard the UPS guy pulling in and out of the drive.  Thank God for UPS.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I will try to keep this clean because I've just moved and I'm feeling super judgemental right now but I'm under a lot of stress so I might let some honest emotions fly.  Put on your helmet and prepare to be amazed as you read this chapter of what I like to call, "Joy's Emotional Roller Coaster Of Writing Whatever Is On Her Mind This New Years Day 2013". 

My husband and I snuck in a movie today because our folks leave soon and we will be many moons without a babysitter.  Because it is New Years Day and because we live in a quiet corner of an even smaller hamlet, we only paid $7 dollars for the movie!!!  A new release!!!  I could go on and on about just that but we went to see the new Hobbit movie which was a good romp that will turn into 3 movies spread over 3 years to finish one story because so much money was made with the Lord Of The Rings movies that there was no need to cram so much adventure into one movie, for crying out loud.  Good to see that Peter Jackson is really milking another trilogy for all its worth.

Anyway - back to the movie.  I loved the animated Hobbit movie that came out in 1977 but I didn't get to see until the 80's because I was a late-comer to movies and as a result I saw most of my movies later than most kids.  Which most likely explains what I'm about to tell you and that is, I was alarmed entering the movie by how many 4, 5 and 6 year olds were coming to see the movie with their parents.  This was a very very violent movie.  There were creatures like Orcs and Goblins and Trolls and stuff I had never seen before.  There were sword fight scenes and Smeagol and at one point he is killing a Goblin to eat it.  There were dragons and gigantic mountains of rock fighting, there is terror, blood and death all throughout the movie.  And about half way through the movie I realized that I was surrounded by families with all ages of children and no one walked out or left.  No children were crying.  No one was hiding under their seat.

Now maybe these kids had fallen asleep during the movie.  Or maybe they were all wearing sleep shades so they couldn't see what was going on but I seriously have to consider the parenting skills of any person who thinks that taking a 5 year old to a movie with this level of violence, a good idea.  With all the people who are raising their voices about our children being desensitized to violence and the increase in violent crimes, why are we allowing kids to watch this shit?  I won't even let my kids stay in the same room with a very close family member who loves watching Swamp People because it involves the brutal killing of so many animals.  And while we are on the subject - I seriously questioned the integrity of the couple who took their 5 year old twin girls to Sex And The City Part 2 because of the sexual nature of the film.  But everyone was giving those people stink eye and that was in Cupertino.

Seriously though people, when will enough be enough?  Do we need to make movies PG 3, PG 4, PG 5 and PG 6 until we get to PG 13?  And should we ask the people selling movie tickets to turn away parents who think that taking a 5 year old into a violent movie is a good idea?  If parents can't govern what their children watch, who will?  At a certain point I stopped enjoying the movie because I thought of those kids and how what they were watching affected their young minds and hearts and souls.  And I judged those parents and their choices.

Lets make 2013 a peaceful year.  And lets crack out the animated 1977 version of The Hobbit and have them watch that movie if they have to see something with Hobbits in it.  And lets try to stem the tide of violence that we, yes, we as parents seem to be instilling in our children.  Let them watch wholesome, good, boring stuff like Veggie Tales and Caillou.  No Orcs or Goblins or Gollums in those shows.  Thank GOD for PBS. 

Oh and Happy New Year.