Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Yesterday we were trying to decide if we were going to scrap our internet service and sign up for satellite TV service.  My FIL found a great deal and spoke to someone and it looked for a few hours like we were going to be spending the summer watching the Real Housewives and the Food Network.  I had all these questions about installation and cost and where would they put the dish and then my FIL said, "You can put the dish wherever you want because you own the house" and it hit me - I still have a house rental mentality after 6 months of owning because I have rented for ever.

One of the joy's of owning is being able to put a garden in wherever you want.  And being able to landscape your house.  I have done both.  It has been hard work and back breaking work but it has been totally worth it.  I have a pretty decent sized garden that is thriving thanks to being in the sun and also being fenced to keep the pesky deer out.  And the landscaping is so beautiful and makes my house feel so inviting and pretty.  The final touches were a couple of banana trees flanking the driveway, I can't wait for them to grow tall and give my driveway a plantation feel.

And the only downside to the garden is everytime I go out digging in it I seem to bring ticks back inside.  But now that I'm practically a local I don't care.  I really don't care.  I'm totally over it.  My friend Karen is going to get a tattoo of a tick and I think I might join her!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Road Kill

Today I fell down walking to the mailbox.  I was wearing clogs but I wear clogs all the time.  And I'm not very clumsy although I certainly feel clumsy now.  I was walking along and not paying attention to where I was walking or what was in front of me, walking down the driveway and watching a neighbor walk her dog and the next instant I was face down in the driveway and my letters were scattered all over the ground.

I jumped right up and my left knee was smarting pretty good and the palms of my hands were scratched up but mostly because I didn't want that neighbor to look over and think what a lousy klutz I was.  And also because my skirt was up around my shoulders and that is not a good look for me.

I limped carefully back up the driveway after getting mad enough to cry but not letting myself and came in the house and put in my notice.  Sometimes you need perspective in life and I felt like that fall was the perspective I needed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Secret Garden

There is a housing community not far from where we live.  It is one of those communities that exist in this part of N. Carolina for people who want to live in a rural setting but they don't want to feel like they are living in a rural setting.  It would be like taking our old neighborhood in Cupertino and airlifting the whole thing to N. Carolina and setting it down.  They cleared out all the trees (no small feat) and all the houses are very very close together - think San Francisco close and then throw in a foot or two.

When we were house hunting we stopped there to visit the community and see what it was like.  The girls said it was like the movie The Lorax because they had bulldozed all the trees and there were only bare open spaces.  I loved the brand new homes and the open floorplan and how modern they were until I looked out the window and could read what the man next door was reading on his Blackberry as he stood outside in his yard, shirtless, smoking a cigarette.

I went walking the other day with a friend who lives in this area and we strolled past a community garden and I commented on how lovely it was and did she have a little plot in the garden?  She launched into how there is a gardening group and you have to be a member and it is tight knit and you have to be friends with the gardening group and only a few people have a key to the gate and no one else is allowed.  She has lived in the community since it was built practically and she has been shut out of the garden. 

I don't know what makes us do this.  I find it more common with women than men but too many times I hear that women have formed a group and the group won't include others and this woman is excluded because of something she said or because she is friends with another woman or because the kids had a playdate and didn't get along.  It is really quite foolish and it annoys me more than anything else.  I listen to first grader and fourth grade girls and I know where they learn most of the types of conversation that they have - they learn it from listening to their parents and their parents friends, and then they repeat it.

I remember once hearing a woman discredit two boys that her boys liked to play with because she didn't like their mother.  They might as well have been rapists, drunk drivers or convicted felons from the way she attacked the character of a 4 year old and a 6 year old.  Needless to say, I was speechless.  At first I thought she was joking and then when I realized what she was saying all I could think of was, "Oh My God, how can I get out of here this woman is crazy."  

I'm no parenting expert - and yes, parenting does come with books, entire shelves of them at bookstores and libraries.  And I know that parents read books about sleeping through the night and feeding the kids the right amount of fruits and vegetables and how to potty train painlessly but why aren't they reading about how to teach their girls to be supportive and kind women?  Why aren't they reading the part of the books where Dr. Phil locks them in a room and forces them to admit they are shitty parents and need to go to therapy?

I'm glad I don't live in their community because when someone tells me I can't be part of their group, the first thing I do is I figure out a way to get into it.  I do not like being told I can't do something.  I do not like not being shut out.  And if it means destroying the way they do something and recreating it, that is what I will do.  I am woman!

Friday, May 2, 2014


When we moved here I spent 6 months feeling very grumpy.  I just felt sad and grouchy about being so far from my friends and family.  I wished that we had moved to Oregon or Washington which was our original plan in the first place but as you know life doesn't always follow a plan - at least not my life.  I was weepy and cried easily.  I withdrew and spent a lot of time in my bed.  I slept a lot.  I guess from a certain perspective you could say that I was mildly depressed. 

Last weekend we went camping with friends and as I sat around the circle and looked at all these people that we've made friends with since we've moved here and all the kids that my kids have made friends with I realized that we have our own community here, 3000 miles away from our community that we left.  And while I still really miss our old community - it is nice to know that we are building that here.  It made me happy for myself and my kids to know that we have people here we can count on and we can reach out to and that can reach out to us.  And after a year and a half I realized that leaving this place would make me sad. 

And I never thought I would say that.