Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February Blues

I feel like I need to post something because it is February and I haven't posted anything consistently for a long time.  It has been raining here for one day but between all the fall rain and the winter rain I feel like it has been grey for weeks and weeks.  I don't like that, it reminds me of when we lived in Portland and how much I hated the long stretches.  I told Gabe if we ever lived in a place like that again we had to have enough money to go to Cabo or Playa or the Caribbean at least a week to escape the dark and damp days.  I guess I need to do something about that.

I have had some sick kids lately.  I don't want to go into it but there is nothing worse than seeing your child sick or seeing your child suffer needlessly.  Or any child for that matter.  I guess we are more callous to older people being ill or suffering.  And older people subject themselves to things that are not good for them, smoking, drinking, eating excessively, drugs, etc.  So if they get something icky we figure they were unlucky or did it to themselves out of stupidity.  But kids getting sick is another thing.

We have 4 animals under the age of 4 in our house.  Buzz is one and a half and Cricket is 6 months old and they have turned out living room into a circus tent.  It can be cute but it is mostly a freak show.

And since we have a Girl Scout in the house now we have been flooded with Girl Scout Cookies.  What a nightmare.  It brought back memories of having to sell spaghetti servers and candles and light bulbs from door to door.

Finally we have had some California visitors already in 2016 and that has been wonderful.  I made a rash decision this month that you can't officially say you are from a place until 5 years have passed.  So when people ask me where I'm from I still say "we moved here 3 years ago from the Bay Area" and that opens the door for a conversation about many other topics.  But we do love it here and we have put down roots and we have no plans to leave.  But every time someone comes to visit a little part of me still wishes I was going back with them.  A very little part.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gabe the Builder

I said I was going to post the rest of what we did during the holiday and then I never did.  I got too busy.  I remember thinking when the girls were babies that I could not possibly be any busier but it turns out that I am like a whirlwind.  As I write this, it is snowing outside but it is a wet drippy kind of snow so I don't think it will stick and that makes the girls sad.  They each got a sled for Christmas and are dying to use them.

We are in the finishing stages of the upstairs of our house.  When we bought our house it had this huge upstairs attic and we knew we would finish it but the cost seemed so unreal to us and so did the work that it would require.  We got a bid or two but they wanted so much money and we didn't have that.  So 2 years later and we are in the finishing lap.  What we wanted was one bedroom, one sitting room, one bathroom and one big closet and one smaller closet.  In the sitting room there will be a built in desk, some built in bookshelves and an entire electrical/media set up for a big screen tv.

I like to say "We" because I have made lunches and listened to stories of what Gabe will do to this and what he will do to that but in all honesty I haven't really done much other than "ooo" and "awww" over his work.  He (and his Dad) have done the following:

Framed - that means to put up the beams and make the open space into rooms
Electrical - put all the wires in that will be recessed lights, bathroom lights, light switches, etc
HVAC - put in the heating and air conditioning unit since it is either blazing hot here or really cold
Insulation - All the fiberglass puffy stuff that goes into the walls and ceiling to keep you warm and cool
Roughing in the plumbing - we farmed that out
Hanging sheet rock - that covers the insulation and makes the room look like a room
Taping and Mudding - covering up all the sheet rock with goo
Sanding and Painting - that is where he is now
Putting in fixtures and tile

I include some pictures so you can see where he is in the process and so you can "ooo" and "awww" over the process too.  It is impressive.  And so you know it is a legit operation, we have passed every inspection and we have permitted everything properly so that someday when we go to sell this monstrosity of a house, we can increase our sale price.

I am so proud of my Gabe (and his Dad).  They do not cease to amaze me.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year

That's right, we made it through another holiday season and school starts tomorrow.  We had a lot going on and a lot of small accomplishments but most of all we managed to have a great time and still came out at the end of things loving each other and caring about something other than ourselves

With all the shit out there in the world, yes, I used the word shit, it gets harder and harder to focus on buying stuff and wrapping it up and covering it in tape and ribbons and giving it away.  Bombs going off, guns being used in anger, road rage, terrorism, and the list goes on.  Do I need another spaghetti server?  Does my mom really need a gift card to Subway?  And who gave me a bottle of Bourbon?  I know of a lady who took her whole family to the Dominican Republic and posted pictures of bikinis, beaches and sunburns and it looked so much better than the gift giving frenzy.  I wonder if her kids were laying in the sun sipping smoothies and saying, "I wish I could go home and play with my DS!"

To begin with the weather was crazy, it was humid and 75 degrees for what felt like 2 whole weeks.  So the sleds that I carefully selected on Amazon were put in the garage for another day.  And one kid got a kitten which caused the other kid to burst into tears.  So Santa screwed that all up.  Nothing is worse than having a child burst into tears on Christmas day unless its a child bursting into tears on her sister's birthday.  Clearly you can see a pattern.  I'm not saying my kids are spoiled rotten but if I had done that when I was 8 I might have gotten smacked.  I'm certainly not spoiled but I can tell you that when I want something, I get it.  I had to wait 47 years but I get what I want.

I have to interject here that the worst commercial this holiday season was one of the hundreds showing kids all on electronic devices and their parents too and everyone is sitting around with their electronic devices and not talking to each other.  No one in my family got an electronic device unless you include the lava lamp.  But we did go to a party where some videos were made and someone said they were going to post the videos on Snapchat and Instagram so I had to contact all the parties included to request that none of the videos ever appear on Snapchat or Instagram.  And I wonder, is this what I have to do now?  Wear facemasks and Halloween gear so that if we are posted on someone's Snapchat or Instagram we are not recognizable?  Or do I have to ask before arriving, "will there be any 8 to 17 year olds making videos of my kids and posting them on social media?"  And then I have to filter through declining and accepting which parties will be Social Media free?  And so in true Kim fashion, I thumbed my nose at the electronics industry and branched out and bought books for my kids.  Yup, pages, words, stories, imagination.

Since a lot happened this holiday season, I'll have to continue this later.  Tomorrow I'll write about Gabe the Builder.