Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Saturday, November 29, 2014


So when we moved to Silicon Valley from Davis I swore I would never step foot in a Walmart again.  Mostly because I spent so much time driving to Dixon from Davis to save money and pinch pennies but also because I got so tired of the lack of customer service and the sloppy attitude and the rude employees.  But there are no Walmart's in Silicon Valley - so it wasn't really a problem and I got used to shopping at Target.  It turns out it really doesn't matter which big box store you are giving your money to, they are all big box, Costco, Walmart, Target, pick your destroyer of the Mom-and-Pop store and get crazy with that credit card.

I remember my neighbor Joanna always telling me that in North Carolina the Walmart's were better, cleaner, the employees friendlier and the quality of the items being better.  I now believe her.  For some reason in California the Walmarts look like a bomb went off and then black Friday happened all at the same time.  

Walmart has started a program that allows their shoppers to save additional money while shopping at one of the cheapest places on earth.  You just go to and register.  And every time you shop there you enter a code on your receipt and if they can find a price out there in Consumerville that is lower than the one they have at Walmart, they credit you the difference.  And you watch your money grow.  And once it gets to the amount that you want to use or spend, you can print up a gift card or voucher and go into Walmart and buy something.  It is pretty cool.  

One day I was asking a lady who works there who talks to me every time I stop in to get peppermint patties or Ghiradelli Chocolate bars or Coke Zero, what is stopping me from entering every receipt I find in the parking lot or the abandoned shopping carts.  She said that she isn't supposed to say anything but she guessed that nothing was stopping me.  I looked down and there was a receipt for $150 laying by my foot.  So I picked it up and entered it that afternoon.  I got $2.75 back from that receipt.  

Flash forward to today - the family stops at Walmart to get rat bedding and return some useless crap and I find 5 receipts just laying around.  The last one I had to ask Gabe to slam on his breaks so I could jump out of the car and salvage a stray receipt flying through the parking lot but if other people refuse to save their receipts to enter them to get free money back, why shouldn't I?  And while I was chasing down the stray receipt my child groaned to my husband in the car, "My mother is a hobo!".  And we all had a good laugh, actually they all laughed at me.  She has made me promise to not chase stray receipts while she is with me.  I told her I will try my best but I'm not promising anything.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Apple

I went to New York City for my birthday, actually it was the day after my birthday.  The last time I was in New York to visit a friend was when I was 26 years old, I had gotten an insurance settlement check for an accident I was in and instead of fixing my car or my back, I bought a plane ticket and headed to the East Coast to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I remember stepping out of the terminal and it was so cold I opened my suitcase and put all the clothes I had brought on.  It was freezing.

It was just as cold last weekend but I packed well and brought many layers.  For those of you familiar with New York you know that even though it is freezing cold outside you will go inside and be sweating in 2 minutes because the heal is cranked up so high.  The friend I stayed with has these old radiator heaters in her apartment so the temperature was not controlled, it was HOT.  So you alternated between bundled up like a snowman and naked.  And it wasn't even that cold - I have heard it can get colder.

We walked around the city and I got a massive blister.  I made a rookie mistake of bringing cute shoes not comfortable shoes.  When will I learn?  And then instead of switching to comfy shoes I continued to wear the cute shoes.  We went shopping.  We went out to eat.  We talked and talked.  We went shopping some more.  We went for walks in Central Park and around the Reservoir.  We had brunch.  We drank really good coffee and ate really good croissant.  We stopped in a place I had been in 20 years ago for a beer.  We met friends.  We met new people.  We slept.  We bought shoes. (plural)

When I was 26 I thought that living in New York City would be quite possibly the coolest thing anyone could ever do and don't get me wrong, it is pretty cool.   I love the ethnic diversity.  I love the food.  I love the shoes.  I love the vitality of it all.  But at 46 I can say that while it was fun and exhilarating and totally different from my life in North Carolina, I wouldn't change my life for anything.  Thank you Julie and New York City for a wonderful weekend, can't wait to come back again soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sell Out

I have sold out - I have added ads to my blog in the hopes that I can write a bunch of stuff that only makes sense to me and I can get paid for it.  So click away - click on my ads and I promise that I'll dedicate my first hard copy to you.  If I ever get the book published.

And since we are on the topic of the book I'm writing, I will be selling everyone out in my book, friends and family, if we have something juicy and good and worth writing about it will be going into a chapter somewhere.

So please for the love of God start reading my blog every week and click on the ads.  Especially the one for the vacuum and the shoes.  They are really good shoes.  Happy Shopping.


I hate a love/hate relationship with the selfie.  I think that taking a picture of yourself is wonderful - something to remember yourself by - something to mark the passage of time.  But for those of you that are on social media know that there is an occasional selfie and then there is the selfie addict that posts selfies all the time.

They also have a signature thing, whether a peace sign sideways, or the tongue stuck out, or a wink, or wearing a bikini in every picture or showing off those newly purchased boobs.

The only thing worse than the selfie is the picture of every meal you have eaten, home cooked or otherwise.  I don't care about what you had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and stoner meal.

So in response to the selfie I have started taking a picture when I wake up in the morning, the first look, the head shot.  And then post it.  Here is the latest:

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I like to think that I am frugal.  I discount shop.  I shop sales.  I hardly even buy full price.  I have even started recently to thrift shop.

We have a thrift store here where we live called the Chatham County PTA Thrift Store and if parents go and help clean up the store, hang clothes and vacuum, they give a portion on the the money to the schools to help the PTA offset the deplorable conditions of our public schools and how little money our moronic
republican state officials think it takes to provide quality education now-days.  But that is another blog post.

 So after we are done straightening and cleaning and organizing and hanging things at the thrift store we can 'shop' for items and we get them at an even sweeter discount that they are already being sold for.  And I can tell you that I've found some amazing stuff.  Leather boots, sweaters, jeans from Anthropologie, Free People brands, Ralph Lauren bedding, and the list goes on.  Last school year there was a pair of Jimmy Choo boots that were black leather and very cute but they were size 6 so I could not wear them.  (sob)

So you can imagine my delight and giddiness to be told last week when I was at the Rack that the cream colored dress pants I was buying were 1 cent.  And if you don't believe me I've included a picture of the receipt.  I couldn't believe it either.  What deals have you found?


Last week we went to the girls school for Parent/Teacher conferences.  When we got there - the teacher was in another conference so we hung out in the hallway and waited until she was done.  There were kids in pairs sitting in the hallway waiting for their parents too, so my kids weren't the only ones there.  There were at least 6 other kids there and each child was either on a tablet or an iphone or an ipod or some kind of hand held technology device.

I hate technology and what it has done to children and eventually the people that these children will become.  I hate the fact that you have young men and women breaking up over text message.  I hate that people will actually say to you, don't call me, I never answer my phone, just text me.  I hate that I will be talking to someone and they will pick up their phone and start texting while we are talking.  I am angry that people think that technology teaches children so many wonderful things that they are willing to throw all kinds of tablets and hand held devices at their children but then all they do is watch videos and play games and avoid the "educational" parts of these items.  I hate that homework can be done online and that 5th graders are being taught social media "etiquette".  Whatever that means.

Don't get me wrong - I had a tablet and I took it on the treadmill to exercise and I got really clumsy and threw it in the air and it shattered all over the garage.  I have a smart phone but I handle text messages like I handle phone calls.  Take them when you can and sometimes you just set it down and have a nice time.  And sometimes (when the kids aren't around) I text a lot.  But I get to do that because I'm a grownup.  And someday when my kids are grownups they can have their own smartphones and do whatever they want with them.