Friday, November 30, 2007

I get by with a little help from my friends

don't get high with a little help from my friends anymore, unless the occasional Chardonnay binge counts... However-

I know full well I am one of those people that genuinely needs to be connected in some fashion or another to others. I need my peeps! It's just the way I am. Which is perhaps the reason why my Ohana is so large.. But in truth I'm just lucky to have so many wonderful friends, neighbors and colleagues in my life.

But to tell the truth, I tend not to vent or give the entire unvarnished ugly to many people, and to those few, rarely. Which is probably why my very public, secret blog 'o my life is so precious to me. The friends I have made here are very much a part of my Ohana as well. The fact that we've never met in the flesh really doesn't mean jack, the human spirit can connect without being right next door, or even on the same continent. Kindred spirits find one another. A professor of mine once told me that communities of the heart are created in many different ways, and if you open yourself up to possibilities, your life will be enriched ten fold. So true. Mine sure has been.

I thank you all for letting me whine the past few weeks, and for being a part of my Ohana.. Will, you rock! And cheered me up more than you'll ever know! Very musical, yes? Ironic as hell, isn't it? And I'm not even catholic..

And a special thanks to my virtual brother, and totally non-sexual crush- my one and only Tater bug- you made it all right honey and I love ya! You are the absolute best my sweet, may the Goddess always smile upon you and yours. I'll be wearing something new and red at the Christmas Parade tomorrow just for you! Thanks baby, I really needed that very gentle little kick- love ya!

Thank you all for hanging in there with me and taking care of me! Blessings and peace upon all of your houses.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Alex- I'll take 2 points for effort for $500.00.

It’s been a really crazy few days, to say the least. In spite of my hard line intentions, we gave the lost children one more week.. As my grandmother used to say “You can’t teach common sense.” How very true.

Well, best intentions, yada, yada, yada… It’s just painfully obvious that nothing has gotten through- nothing. But they have secured a place to stay as of this coming weekend, so at least I don’t have to feel guilty about that. The problems are just way larger than our capacity to fix. And fixing a problem generally also requires effort, and I’m sad to say I really am seeing none. And the fact that I caught major attitude for asking if there was a departure plan, as the agreement had been they were to be vacating as of Sunday past- you could say I am just done to death with the entire thing. Gratitude I don’t require, civility- why yes, I actually do!

But I can’t help but feel like I’m being an awful person. I want my house back to normal. I no longer wish to cook and clean for a party of eight, thank you very much. My children are pretty well over the 2 and 3 year olds trashing the house and causing a rukus, as am I frankly. I want my space back.. I have work I need to complete, deadlines on the horizon and my clients don’t care if I’m having issues at the moment.

Yeah, I guess I am being a bitch. Well, so be it, I did try, I really did…

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Walk right in, it's around the back..

just a half a mile from the rail road track.

I had to laugh. While watching the turkey fry- yes Baby Sister had to fry the sucker, and it was damn good- Brother #2 said "It's been a lot of years since you sang Alice's Restaurant for me." So I did. As previously noted, my idiot savant thing is lyrics, so there we sat on the porch frying a 20 pound turkey and I sang the whole damn thing for him. Right down to the
twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. Yeah, I'm weird like that.. and it's kind of a family tradition.

Excellent day, I really miss my brother.. and it was awfully nice to have the day with him, especially after the August drama. So enjoy your day too Arlo- and the rest of y'all as well..

Have an excellent day folks-

A blessing upon all your houses and may you enjoy your feast of choice with people you love. And my thanks for all of the virtual love and support the past week or so!

I actually won’t be cooking since some time in the 80’s- Chef Baby Sister and the Cranky Old Fart are doing the honors this year, Brother #2 is in town as well. Which will be lovely, we haven’t had a holiday together in the better part of a decade and change. Which does mean I’ll have to bite my tongue and be pleasant to his she-devil. Oh well, I can manage for a few hours with the help of a glass or four of wine. We made a deal Tater, I will behave, I swear! I'll be downright damn charming..

Well, time to bake a couple of pies, finish the appetizers and make with some breakfast so we can watch the parade.

Be well, be safe and enjoy whatever you may do today.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Ohana rocks!

Obviously I was not meant to be a social worker- I’m too damn pragmatic. I expect my “Get your shit together NOW!” mode wouldn’t work real well..

But, that said- my Ohana totally rocks.. As predicted- the situation went south. The only vehicle the lost children have broke down. Crap- well we really don’t have the resources to deal with that situation at the moment. So the calls went out.. This is just more shit than we can manage alone.

Mechanic genius friend/neighbor- I managed to fix a rather large insurance problem for him a while back after kid five was born with heart problems- to the tune of about 40k- he’ll diagnose the car.

Dude I know that owns an independent car rental, I fixed an issue for him in respect to a little coverage situation for his Mom,. In truth, not a big deal, just a knowing who to raise hell with thing. He’s offering up a rental for next to nothing so they can manage getting to work and such for at least two weeks.

Old friend that’s a retired social worker gave me referrals to every resource in the entire damn region for assistance to help me in lighting a fire under their asses..

My Ohana rocks out loud!!!!!!! If nothing else I am reminded that my life has been blessed with some genuinely amazing people. Seriously- I am so damn lucky to have all these amazing people in my life.

And my virtual Ohana is equally exceptional- thank you all for the good karma! I expect we’re going to be needing it the next few days..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yep- I'm still here..

Sorry dears- no DSL for a few days and it has been terribly difficult to find a moment to compose anything. That is if one can actually refer to me bitching as “composing” anything.. Those few moments of peace I squeeze in have had to be devoted to the paying side gigs- with one or two little forays to check on my bloggy buddies to help maintain my sense of humor.. But thank y’all for checking in, it really means more than you probably know.

I think I must be old and set in my ways.. This has been a lot harder than I thought to deal with. But then again, the dogs and kids are none too thrilled either, so perhaps it’s not just me. Baby sister and her partner lived with us for nearly four months a couple of years back while transitioning from Florida to Virginia and it was pretty easy. Hell, it was downright enjoyable most of the time, even with two extra dogs underfoot. Current situation? Not so much…

I keep telling myself that doing the right thing doesn’t mean it’s the easy thing. Rinse and repeat..

It’s been a zoo more or less. My current universe was not designed for out of control toddlers. While I’m sure not a candidate for mother of the year, I’m pretty certain my kids were never that out of control at those particular ages. And I pretty well draw the line at giving unsolicited parenting advice, as that’s pretty damned overbearing. Especially in light of the fact that I’m trying to give some common sense 101 advice to try and help these two get their act together. I fear this is going nowhere.

It appears that the answer is going to fall from the sky- even though I keep gently preaching proactive kids, get proactive- this is how you got where you are as it is.. Very, very frustrating. And I do not in any way expect guests in my home to labor away, but could you put your dishes in the dishwasher? Wipe the counter off after the cheerios and cereal or juice have gotten all over it?

I keep trying to remember that this has to be as difficult for them as well, being in someone else’s home. The only time it ever happened to me was during a huge ice storm a few years back- the power was out for a week. Boots and her family took us in, as they have doggies and such and a week in a hotel with 2 dogs just wasn’t going to work. It was fairly pleasant, if a little awkward at times, as we were trying not to disrupt their lives too much. Boots hates to cook, so I made dinner every night as a way to say thanks- made the kids help keep things clean and so on. I’m no saint- that’s not what I’m trying to imply, but a wee bit of consideration?

It will be what it will be in the long run.. and good things have come out of it. Miss Thing has had to try and learn how to deal with small humans. We have figured out that the Hurricane should have been born first, he makes an awesome older sibling. I have seen a really sweet, patient and loving side of him with the little ones that is pretty amazing. And I may well have learned that there are some things I can’t fix. But we’ll see, I haven’t given up yet.

And again, thank for thinking of me y’all!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Is a word that has always resonated with me, as defined by the following:

’Ohana can actually mean much more than the dictionary definition of family. ’Ohana can describe a community, a circle of friends, who share common goals and values.

Having kids, I also liked the definition in the movie Lilo & Stitch:
“Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”

We’ve always had an Ohana that spreads well beyond the immediate family unit. Which is generally a delightful thing. Our “adopted” kids are now numbered somewhere around twelve or so. They started numbering themselves, don’t ask me why. But either way, they are always welcome and all know which fridge the juice is in and where to find the extra TP. And any number of stray adults that the kids all refer to as “Aunt” or “Uncle” -in spite of a complete lack of blood relation there.. and it’s all good.

My concept of Ohana got tested today. I got a call from a young woman I worked with many years ago, we’ve stayed in sporadic touch, and I always thought she was a good kid. We get together on occasion, but it’s not like an exceptionally close relationship by any means.

She and her husband and two kids got evicted and have been living in their car for two days.. They have no family near by, no Ohana either.. Left side of the brain would never let a child sleep in a car if I could do anything about it. Right side of the brain realizes- not mine to raise and this could turn in to a long term commitment we’re not necessarily in a position to deal with financially. Crap!!! So, the left and right got together for a conversation and decided to call a family meeting.

The Beast is all for a short term assistance mission, the Hurricane got all sad thinking about little people in such a situation, Miss Thing agreed this was a nasty state of affairs, but wanted some limits set on this situation clearly defined for her prior to any further discussion or agreement. This house is not big enough for 8 people (two of them under 5) to live for anything other than a very short period of time..

Guess who’s coming to dinner?? I spent two hours researching transitional housing programs that are available in their “last county of residence”- which is the defining criteria for such assistance. Have numbers, applications printed and such.

How far do I go here? The mom and compulsive organizer/fixer wants to take charge, but I fear that’s the wrong thing to do on multiple levels.. But conversely I fear without some strong guidance from someone (not necessarily us) this situation is going to go south real damn quick..

If it was just me it would be one thing- but I’m involving my kids and husband in this scenario.. Have I done the right thing? We decided two weeks was about as far as we can afford this either financially or in the space and intrusion department. Have I gone too far? Am I doing too little??? Aw hell- what do I do??

Friday, November 09, 2007

A stroll down memory lane..

So, the quickie reunion was mighty nice.. get your mind out of the gutters people.

A good bottle of wine and a pleasant couple of hours of catch up and recollection is a fine way to spend an afternoon. J-Man came out of the closet about 15 years ago- good for him. I was mildly amused that he was a wee bit put out that I wasn’t shocked. Umm, honey I saw that coming nearly three decades ago? But in truth most people wouldn’t have, I just did for what ever reason. He’s well, happy and living his life, it’s all good. It was a lovely afternoon.

So for Tate and EG, the lurid details of a part of Miss Dora’s tale. Why y’all need the nasty I don’t fathom..

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.. Oops, wrong story. Long, long ago in a small college town- OK, right story. Music was always a large part of my life. Daddy was a frustrated musician, so my early childhood definitely had a sound track. Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Cole Porter and so on and so on.. I’d sit on his lap and close my eyes and just listen and he’d ask “what instrument is that?” I was singing along with Miss Ella at about age three.. One of the parent’s restaurants had a pretty well known blues joint in the basement and I got to hear a lot of really great people that broadened my musical tastes. Then my older brothers got into music and that whole late sixties early seventies rock and folk got thrown into the mix. I loved it all, and still do.

I sang in the church choir- yes it boggles the mind. The only thing that kept me returning to church was choir, plain and simple. There was an amazing director, young, gay and full of excellent ideas. The youth choir at that Methodist church was incredible.. There were indeed people that came to services merely to hear the choir. The only thing that kept me in high school was theater and chorus truthfully, the rest of the time I was bored out of my mind, or getting stoned to try and numb the fact I was bored out of my mind..

So naturally what would Miss Dora do when left to her own devices? Well find a band or four to hang out with naturally. Knees blew out and ballet became a fond “what if” so what the hell, let’s hit the band circuit. Now the fun thing about small college towns is that bands tend to be fluid things, and all tend to party together.. Yep- I was a stage ‘ho. The Blues one night, a rock band the next, and I did Patsy Cline and Emmylou and Waylon more than once as well. And yes, I have been a Do-Wop girl too.

The boys in the bands loved me for three things- I loved music, I have this idiot savant thing with lyrics, and let’s face it, having a chick fronting gets you a little exposure. And oddly enough it really wasn’t an “attention” thing per se for me. It was just a state of joy for me to be on stage, and in truth it was in many respects not “me” on stage- just me, and the music and the other folks just came along for the ride. I was equally as happy just jamming in a living room at some communal house with 10 people that had never played together.

My voice was never anything spectacular- but people were often surprised that voice did come out of a short scrawny white chick.. I’m a natural tenor. Yes- skinny little pale girl can sing the blues. But I had fun with it, and it made me very happy.

As to the sordid drugs, sex and leather pants.. No Hat- thankfully no pictures survive that I am aware of, so don’t start.. Tate and EG, you’ll just have to bloody well call me if you want those nasty bits. And the prior year in New York? Well that would be the real collection of sordid tales. I often look in the mirror and wonder how the hell I made it out alive..

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Never saw that coming-

Busy Tuesday morning.. Had lots of crap to drop at the various offices I’m freelancing for, got a flu shot, did the parent teacher conference for the Hurricane, stopped to vote.. All of which led me back to the gas station/general store at the foot of the mountain to mortgage the house to fill the tank before I head on up.

Heading out of the store I hear someone calling me by a nickname. Warning- major digression ahead- Most of my close friends can be easily marked as to the number of years we’ve been friends by what they call me. If you’ve known me quite some time and we’re close, just my first initial. Just “C”. If you knew me back when raptors roamed the earth (i.e.- before the Beast and I tied the knot) the initials of my first and middle name.. “C.C.”

Imagine my shock as I hear someone calling frantically “C.C.!!!” Huh? I see a man in a beautifully tailored suit standing next to a rather nice looking Mercedes jumping up and down screaming a name reserved only for people I know very, very well.. and I have no fucking clue who the hell this is. As the daughter would say, “Oh my- AWKWARD”

Doing the only thing I could do, I strolled on over, trying like hell to figure out who this could possibly be. No clue.. Zip, zero, nada..

So I get this huge bear hug from some guy that obviously knows me and I’m trying like hell to make a connection.. The second he let go and I looked into his eyes and was really able to really hear his voice it hit me.. JAMES!!!!!!!!! What the hell are you doing here??

James was the bass player in the first band I ever fronted for. So you’ll have to understand da hard core blues scraggly boy had morphed into some dude in a Hugo Boss suit driving a fucking Mercedes.. I wasn’t tracking. Never would have seen that one coming in a million years.

So I’m happy as hell to see this old friend. But I’m like- man, how the hell did you recognize me? Back in the “day” yours truly sported butt length hair, as opposed to the inch and a half length I roll with these days. (Yeah Tate- boggles the mind doesn’t it?) So James laughs his ass off and says “You’re still you bitch” Aren’t old friends the best thing ever??

Invited him up to the casa, but he was heading south to check out a group Blacksburg- he’s an east coast “talent scout” of sorts for a record label these day, go figure- he had obligations. But we’ve made plans for the trip back after seeing the kids play on Thursday, and are already yakking about a reunion for the old crew, just for us. I admit, just once I would like for my kids to see the Mom sing on stage, just once for the hell of it. But more than anything else, just to have a chance to sing with the boys again- they were a wild bunch, but all very, very talented and creative people, and they enriched my life a great deal just by having the chance to hang around with them.

Random chance, karma, whatever you want to call it, can sometimes come back to haunt you in a very happy way.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

So, is everyone having a pleasant weekend?

It was rather a lovely afternoon here yesterday, I must say.

Hope you boys in Boston are enjoying yourselves. You could have at least posted a picture or two last night, really..

Since I'm lazy I'll just resort to some pictures of Old Uncle Bob-

Hard to see, but Bob is a very big fella.. Which is why the pictures are a little fuzzy- it's a long way back to that rock wall he's playing on. And I wasn't traipsing down to request a close up. I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid people.

Poor bears- it's been so very dry, I'm afraid we're going to have an awful lot of very skinny hungry critters come spring. Very little in the way of color either this fall. I expect a lot of crashing of limbs when the ice hits..

Hope you all remembered to set your clocks so you got your extra hour of sleep! Have yourselves a lovely Sunday.