Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Monday, December 29, 2014


This week my husband and I initiated what we would like to call The Great Purge of 2014.  For those of you that like to collect and save things, you know what I'm talking about.  But for those of you with children in your family, you really know what I'm talking about. 

Neither my husband or myself are collectors.  We used to collect all sorts of things but after the 7th move in 8 years we decided that collecting anything was a nightmare that had would have to be moved yet again and so we stopped collecting stuff and started giving that stuff away.  I also learned that stuff is exactly that, stuff.  It doesn't contribute to our lives in any way and only causes me a headache because it has to be dusted or moved across the country so that was the end of our collecting.  I got rid of things that I thought were so valuable, a VHS copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's that I had watched 1000 times, a Casio watch that was one of the first things I bought with my first real paycheck out of college, my first Coach handbag. 

Anyway - after watching the amount of stuff that my kids unwrapped on Christmas (and I did not buy all that stuff, I know I didn't) I realized that if we didn't purge it was going to be a really cluttered 2015.  So this week while my kids were in W. Virginia visiting their Aunt, Uncle and Cousin we sorted, cleared, cleaned and donated 9 bags of stuff, one food processor that wasn't being used, a box of books, a huge bag of paper bags from the grocery store and even a table.  I even found things I didn't know I had like a crock pot - and thank God I found it because I was getting ready to buy a new one!

My 2015 resolution is to buy whatever I need at our local thrift shop.  We have 2 great ones one of which I volunteer at several times a month.  And every time I work there I am shocked and alarmed at how much Americans buy, save, collect and throw away.  And I'm right in there with them.  I just got rid of 9 bags of stuff, 9 bags of crap that at some time in my life I or my spouse or my children needed, wanted or thought we needed or wanted.  Of course our groceries I am not buying at the thrift store but all the other stuff I'm going to get there.

First up, all our ski gear that we will need for a ski weekend we are taking in January.  I need snow pants for 2 McKeon's and goggles for 3 McKeon's and some warm turtlenecks and gloves.  What resolutions will you be making?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bok Bok no longer

I called En Vivo Radio this morning and got through.  I understood everything they said to me and I only had to ask "Excuse me?" once.  I got really flustered and sounded like a dork but I did it!  Not as much of a chicken as I thought I was. 

To catch up on the original post about calling into a Spanish radio station click here:

Monday, December 22, 2014


This is one of those stories that will make parents laugh, and cringe.  I have a child that collects all manner of things including pieces of paper and things that most people consider trash or recyclables.  I am constantly taking things out of her room and recycling them or throwing them away because they end up on the floor or in the closet or stuffed into toy houses or purses.  If I am throwing something away this is the child that will run up and ask "Mama, can I have that" and then cherish it as if it was the best thing they got in their entire life, until the next day when I find it on the floor or the dog has eaten most of it.
Last week she came into our bedroom and found a small bottle of Astroglide on the bedside table.  It wasn't supposed to be there it was supposed to be in the small basket that hides things away from nosey kids but she picked it up and told me that it was exactly what she wanted for the longest time.  I told her no and asked her to put it down hoping that it wouldn't turn into a big deal but of course she didn't take no for her answer and begged saying that she always wanted a small empty plastic bottle that said Astroglee-day and why couldn't she have it?  I told her that the e was silent and she responded that she really really wanted some Astroglide of her own and what did Astroglide mean?
I stopped in my tracks because I knew that if I told her it as lube she would then ask me what lube was so I told her it was hand sanitizer and so she did what any 7 year old would do, she squirted some into her hand and rubbed her hands together.  And then she made a face and said, "Ew it is all sticky and gross" and dropped the bottle and went to wash her hands which allowed me to quickly pick up the bottle and hide it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I haven't worn heels for more than 5 years because something terrible was wrong with my right foot and it didn't allow me to.  But lately I've noticed that my foot is fine and I'm not sure if that is because I'm getting older and I don't notice it because of all the other stuff that is broken down or in disrepair or if it has healed but God forbid I go to a doctor and figure out what is wrong. 

Lets get it straight - I have insurance but this state is so messed up that the insurance costs a fortune and quite honestly I can't afford another co-pay and some lame explanation and then a bill for $250 or $500 dollars that isn't covered by the lame insurance I have.  I have never had such problems with an insurance company until I moved to N. Carolina.  And that is the Gods Truth.

Anyway - back to the heels, I recently discovered that not only can I wear heels, I can wear cute heels and they don't have to look like Keens or clogs which I was so sick of wearing after having owned every pair that Lands End has come out with in the last 10 years.  So I have bought some heels and I wear them to work and every time I do, I feel like I'm hitting a runway, and not the airport kind.  It is fun to be a girl sometimes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Secret Snowflake

So this year at my new job I am participating in what we call a Secret Snowflake.  It is basically the Secret Santa idea, you leave little things for the person you whose name you picked out of a hat and at the end of 3 weeks you reveal yourself and everyone says "Wow, I had no idea who was giving me presents"!!!  It is a way to break up the monotony and make people feel good and spread some holiday cheer.

Well my Secret Snowflake is a now show.  I mean that since I am only a part time-er, my Secret Snowflake only has to worry about me Monday through Wednesday.  But we are on Wednesday and my Secret Snowflake hasn't left me anything.

I did write on my detailed list of things I like to get as presents as being diamonds but I guess I am not really expecting someone to buy me diamonds for a present at work.  I have to say that whenever I fill out paperwork I try to really ham it up.  So this could also be all my own fault.  For example under favorite food items I listed 20 cheese food items but then under the things I'm allergic to question I put cheese.  See?  I actually made buying a gift for me really fun to myself but really irritating and annoying to my Secret Snowflake. 

I am hoping my Secret Snowflake shows up before the end of business today.  Or else I am going to feel like maybe I need to start learning how to play by the rules of the game.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bok Bok Bok

I listen to XM radio in my car to and from work and I almost exclusively listen to a Spanish language morning program called "Tu Manana live" out of Miami.  I love it!  They talk about music, food, politics, social networking, what is going on in the world, gossip, sports and so much more.  They have a great team of 3 radio personalities, a lady and two men and they rif off each other, crack jokes and keep the show going through discussions, arguments, games, jokes and more.

I have wanted to call this show for some time now to participate in a game they play on Thursdays and Fridays.  They play a song and then they stop the song and the caller has to complete the song.  The songs are all in Spanish but since I listen to Spanish language radio almost exclusively I know many of the songs they put on this program and I love Spanish popular music but for some reason I've been too chicken to call in.

Well Tuesday morning I called in.  They were talking about racism and stereotyping and I called in to comment about being bi-cultural and what that means to racism and stereotyping and to me.  The screener asked me some questions (in Spanish) and then placed me on hold until the song was over and the program continued.  I sat there on hold for 2 or 3 minutes with my heart in my mouth and on the verge of a nervous breakdown and then I hung up!