Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Saturday, February 16, 2013


On Wednesday my youngest daughter had a "Good Manners Valentines Day Tea Party" in her classroom.  The kids were all supposed to come in their "Sunday Best" which to us means leggings and t shirts but here it means church dresses and ribbons and bows in their hair, shiny shoes and vests and clip on ties and sequins.  Getting dressed up can be a touchy subject at Casa McKeon because 1) we have always let our kids decide for themselves what they will wear,  2) getting dressed for some of us can test the patience of even the Saints themselves and 3) sometimes polka-dot  leggings and tube socks really do look good with last year's Christmas dress even if your Mom thinks it looks awful. 

When I was a kid, I went to church regularly.  I am sure many of you reading this have said the exact same sentence.  Anyway - I had an entire section of my closet that was church related.  For example, I had Sabbath shoes, Sabbath socks and even Sabbath underwear, you know the kind, white with little ruffles across the butt?  They were fabulous.  I had Sabbath tights, and even a Sabbath hat.  And while the thought of having to sit through an hour sermon was upsetting, the idea of getting to dress up like a little princess once a week was fun.  Just don't get any part of it dirty - or so help me God.

Anyway - back to the party at school.  The kids were going to eat lots and lots of sugary foods including Krispy Kreme donuts in the shape of hearts, dunkin donuts with pink frosting, pink cookies, lots of those chalky candy hearts that look so yummy but taste awful to anyone over 8, carrots and celery with pink ranch dip, crackers and cheese, black olives and mini pickles.  Mini Pickles?  

The highlight of the tea was when the boys approached a little girl and asked very politely if she wanted to dance and then they took each little girl by the hand and led her to the dance floor.  (insert Careless Whisper by George Michael here)  And then they very carefully placed one hand on the ladies waist and the other they took by the hand and they danced back and forth to love songs.  I was amazed because this is the stuff of books pre-1975 and moves of another era.  Who ever heard of dancing kindergartener's at public school???

But it was cute and I forgot my camera as I am famous for and noticed that the platter of celery and carrots had not been touched. But they cleaned out the mini pickles of all things.  Pickles!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Marcko Polo McKeon

Two years ago I was bitten on the leg by a rescue dog that a friend of mine had adopted and was working very hard at fostering, loving and rehabilitating.  She was a beautiful dog and very bright but she had learned some very bad habits in her other homes and as a result was unpredictable and she perceived me as some kind of threat and jumped up and before I knew it she had bitten me.  It wasn't a horrible bite, it was just a laceration but it bled pretty good.  Lucky for me she had all her shots and I didn't have to have any trips to the plastic surgeon.  But it left a lasting mark on my right leg and an even stronger lasting mark on my mind. 

So when I went looking for a couple of weeks ago I decided it had to be a puppy and not a full grown dog.  After all, we have kids, we have other animals and everyone has a different idea on how to treat animals.  (I don't think I need to name names, you know who you are).  And let me tell you, there are not a lot of mutt puppies roaming around the country.  You have to really look.

Enter Swamp People and their compound of dogs and dogs and dogs.  I'm not sure if these people were backyard breeders or what they were doing with all these dogs but once I had seen this puppy I could not get her out of my mind.  I kept thinking about the tiny pen she was kept in with her brother and sister and how much filth they were standing in when I went to see her.  And I kept thinking about all the dogs chained around the yard and why Animal Planet hasn't send someone to their house to rescue these dogs like those Animal Cops people.  And I felt like if she stayed there she would either become a fighting dog or a breeding dog and have very little to eat and no Veterinary care.  (and I happen to know a good Vet). 

And so I slept on it and then I called the Swamp Man back and went and picked up our puppy.  And I would say that she is learning to fit right in.  Later I will tell the story of how my dream of having a dog named Yoko Ono was dashed in a democratic process of names being drawn out of a hat that resulted in the title of this blog.

 Sleep tight Marcko Polo.

Friday, February 1, 2013


First things first, I have 31 blog followers!  All time high!  I'm not sure if it was Luciane or Laura that pushed that number to 31 but thank you ladies for the add and I wish there was a prize or something I could give you for making it to 31.  I think when I get to 50, the 50th person will win a prize.  So if you are the 50th person that "follows" my blog - email me and I'll send you something cool like one of those gigantic-normous-mongous spiders that Gabe killed last night in the house and that I'm sure is the main actor in most of my nightmares from here on out.  IT WAS HUGE. 

Anyway - I was supposed to go to my first yoga class last night but it got cancelled so instead we changed course and I went out for my first "Ladies Night Out" to a local mexical joint down the road.  I fell off my calorie counting wagon big time by indulging in the sweetest Strawberry Margarita and chips and salsa and spinach tamales and all the fatty goodness that the worst Mexican Restaurant I have ever been to can offer.  The tamales were so hard that if I were hit in the head with one I am sure I would have suffered a concussion.  And they were flavorless.  And the salsa was bland.  But the chips were good.  And the conversation was good. 

And here is the embarrassing part of the night:

I talk way too much.  And when I'm stuck at home with the cat and dog and not much else to do, I talk even more.  So I was like a dying dog being thrown a bone.  Or a bleeding patient being given a dressing.  Or a dying man getting his last rites.  Or a thirsty woman being offered a glass of water.  It was diarrhea of the mouth all over that Mexican restaurant.   I'm sure those 2 ladies who invited me out were amazed that one person can talk that much.  And it got worse and worse as the night went on.  I was unstoppable.  I'm embarrassed right now just writing about it.  In hindsight it is probably good we didn't go to yoga because I probably would have just pissed off the yoga teacher by yakking it up the whole time instead of relaxing and focusing and meditating.

Dear God I hope they invite me back.  And I hope that we check out different Mexican restaurants next time.