Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I took the summer crew to see the new Pixar film on Friday, Inside Out.  It is about an 11 year old girl that moves from rural Minnesota to San Francisco and her adjustment to moving from the country to the city.  She used to ice skate outside on frozen lakes and enjoy the freedom of roaming around to all of a sudden living in a city and navigating in a new environment.  Her Dad who was previously around all the time is now gone to work all the time and not available.  Big changes.

I usually take the kids to a summer movie and push my chair back, have some popcorn, distribute the snack/candy bags and then promptly fall asleep.  This is what I did in the Lego movie, the Cinderella movie and anything Disney/Dreamworks/Princess related.  And when the movie is over I feel refreshed that for the price of $20 dollars I got a good hour long nap in a cool air conditioned room that is dark and noisy.  And I blocked out a good amount of crap, like the song about everything being Awesome from the Lego movie.

This movie caught my attention immediately because it has a peppy and upbeat character named Joy.  How can you lose with that name?  Seriously.  Its a verb, its an emotion, its a name.  And also, those beautiful red arches of the Golden Gate Bridge instantly made me homesick and wish that I was also driving across that bridge with Riley or whatever the characters name is.

But we did the opposite, we flew away from those arches and ended up far away from our family and friends and had to make new friends.  And when we go back to visit it doesn't quite feel like home anymore because our house and our animals and all our stuff is somewhere else.  Anyway - I'm getting off track and at some point in the movie, Joy and Sadness get lost and Riley is left with Anger, Fear and Disgust.  And at some point my little Fiona snuggled into my left arm and whispered, "that is what I felt like when we moved here Mommy" and I looked down at her and she was crying.

They say Home Is Where The Heart Is and my heart is definitely here in North Carolina.  My husband is here, my kids are here, my pets are here, my new life is here.  And while I miss family and friends in California - I don't know if we will ever get back there other than for the odd visit now and then.  But in the meantime we have Pixar and their ability to keep me awake for 2 hours and to do a little more than entertain.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


My niece is here this summer and she is taking care of my two treasures so that my husband and I can go to work and be productive contributing members of society without the stress and strain of worrying about the kids and what they are doing and who they are with and whether or not the door of the after school program van is going to fall off and kids will roll out into the road.  It is so much better to me to have someone you love and know well watch your kids as opposed to complete strangers but I know that not everyone has that available to them.

For those of you that know me, you know that my father drowned on a family vacation when I was a small child.  I spent my entire childhood hearing how strong of a swimmer my father was and how much he loved fishing and how he grew up swimming and fishing and how shocking it was that he drowned and how there had to be fowl play at work because a strong swimmer doesn't just drown.

Now that I'm an adult I know that anyone can drown at any time.  You can get overtired and drown.  You can get a cramp and drown.  You can swallow too much water and drown.  Something bad happened and he drowned and there was nothing anyone could do to save him.

Fast forward to my kids heading to the pool without me.  I know that they are just as safe there without me as they are with me - more than half the time they are off swimming while I am doing laps.  There are lifeguards.  There are friends.  There is the niece/nanny.  They are strong swimmers.  But until I know they are safe back home and having lunch, I will be a bundle of nerves.  A massive bundle of nerves.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I love returning things.  I am not sure what that is all about but I love going into a store with something I purchased online, receipt in hand and merchandise intact and returning the item to only have them credit back my account.  I even love when they ask me why I'm returning the item because sometimes I get to tell them it was ugly and sometimes it was the wrong fit and sometimes it was too big and sometimes it was too small.

Quite honestly it doesn't really matter why I am returning the item, and most of the time I make something up, but I love to have something to return.  Yesterday we took the girls to the mall and then out to dinner to celebrate good grades and I had 4 places to go to return things. And I enjoyed every minute of it.  I don't even stay to dig through the mountains of clothes that are laying around or browse the sales rack, it is too much bother.

Last week I was really sick with pneumonia and apparently while I was sick I ordered two really ugly dresses from The Gap.  I got to return them and tell the sales lady that I am pretty sure that no one ever will buy those dresses because they were hideous.  Which takes me to my next question and that is, what has happened to The Gap?  Their clothes have gotten really hideous lately.

I know I'm not alone in this because I was talking to my friend Mary Beth the other day and she loves returning things too.  How about you?  Do you like to return items?  Or do you only buy things that you know you will love, keep and wear?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Faling Down

This year I've fallen down 3 times.

The first time I was climbing up in my closet to put something on the top shelf.  I use this red high chair that is metal and not very sturdy.  I felt it start to give and so I jumped clear of it but I was sore the next day.  It happened when I was home alone and I remember thinking that I didn't want to die that day because I was alone and wearing something really ugly.

The second time I was walking down the driveway.  I was wearing clogs.  All I remember is that one minute I was walking and the next minute I was laying down.  I scraped up my knees and my hands pretty good but the worst part was how much those little abrasions hurt, I mean my pride had been hurt.  I jumped up so fast it was shocking.  I don't think anyone saw me.

Today I fell again and it was at the pool.  I was going to step down into the pool from the side and I thought I knew how deep it was but I was wrong and I stepped down and lost my balane and landed on my tailbone.  OUCH.  I lay there for a minute, hoping no one saw me fall out of the 55 or 60 people milling around.  But I also lay there because my butt hurt so bad I couldn't stand up for a minute.  Talk about clumsy and lame.

Then I stood up and hobbled back over to my lawn chair and lay down - tail bone smarting like crazy. It is still smarting 3 hours later, I sure hope I didn't break something.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I haven't been in action lately, I've been out sick with pneumonia for the last 7 days which I think I got from my kid even though they say you can't catch pneumonia.  But they also said that there was no risk of getting Ebola in the US and now every time you go to the doctor they ask you if you've been around anyone with Ebola in the last 30 days.  Hmmmm

Anyhow, when you get really sick like I was, you have lots of time for other things, such as:  binge watching 9 seasons of The Office on Netflix.  There are entire eposides I faded in and out between high fevers and trips to the bathroom.  But the good news is that Jim and Pam made it and Dwight finally was promoted to manager.  Sorry for no spoiler alert.

I also got to learn my dogs habits down pat.  And while they are just dogs, they commandeer a lot of time and energy.  Lets just say that we will never have more than 2 dogs ever.

I slept a lot.  I love sleep.  But I hate fever sleep.

I had the creepiest dreams in the whole world.  And I had a lot of mental conflicts that I would wake up and wonder if I needed to solve.   But then I would fall asleep again and have some more weird dreams.

I love water!  I drank so much water and only water and it made me realize that I need to drink way more water.  I drink too much other junk, coffee, tea, soda water, when I should just be focusing on getting plenty of water.

And finally while I certainly felt like I was going to die at least 2 or 3 times, especially the time I was standing in line to check in at the doctor and the man in line in front of me was telling the receptionist about his 16 year old and how he found out she was lying to him and what he did to punish her and I thought I was going to pass out right at that moment, I am glad to tell you that I didn't.  Now bring on summer 2015.