What Fresh Hell Is This?

I think Dorothy Parker said it best, don’t you?

I’ve lost my wallet. It wouldn’t be an issue, except today I’m renting a car. So, HUB rented the car and now I’m supposed to be looking for my wallet – except I think my wallet is 17 miles in the opposite direction in Port Aransas. So, now I’ve sent an IM to a friend in Port Aransas to check the Youth Room so I don’t drive 17 miles in the wrong direction.

Plan A: I find my wallet and leave late for Dallas. 16YO will be completely frosted like a cupcake and won’t speak to me the entire way up to Dallas. We’ll call that a little bonus.

Plan B: I don’t find my wallet and then 16YO has to ride up with another family which is going to the same All-State Tournament. We lose the hotel funds. Hub Kills me.

Hmm… Not liking the end of Plan B. Better get to work on A.

Six UNINTERESTING Things About Me — a meme

Gorgeous Maria Anderson tagged me in her meme, so here are the rules and questions, and then my response . . .

Meme Terms and Conditions
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. List six unspectacular things about you.
4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.

Six unspectacular things, huh? Alrighty then. Time to get humble – and we all know I’m not good at that, right? I think I’m INCREDIBLY spectacular, so I’ll need to dig.

1. I love road trips. Some of my most incredible ideas and decisions have been on a road trip – deciding where to live, starting my business, new directions in life. I just came back from one, and rather than making a lot of decisions I actually just made peace with some recent events, but it seems that I get clarity, focus and mentally sharp driving more than 200 miles.

2. While I love to cook, and I’m contemplating my own cafe/bakery/coffeehouse at the moment, I rarely cook at home. In fact, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hurricanes is about it. The rest of the time we’re on the road to/from volleyball or church, so dinners @ home are rare.

3. I very often look for patterns & similarities in random things to create purpose or connection with people I love. For example, my grandmother married at 20 and had two daughters three years apart, and so did I. We both married for love and had our daughters almost a year to the day from our wedding, and we both moved 3 times our first year. Somehow these parallel events means that I am far more connected to her than I would be otherwise. Or, it could just be random, but my brain doesn’t think so.

4. I often pray for wisdom, and crack up when I get back sarcasm. Perhaps it’s my filter? For example: When I was pregnant with Cathryn I asked God one morning on the way to work what I should name her, and told Him I wanted the perfect name – His name – just for her. I looked up and I was on “Mayhem St.” – and thirteen years later, I know what he meant. Funny, real funny.

5. Like Lorelai Gilmore, I can smell snow. And I love it just as much as she does.

6. I dislike Florida. The whole state. For no good reason.

So, there’s my six. Now…. who to pick on…. hmmm…. well, let’s see what Jill Browne’s got to say, Shawn Coons’ got brewing inside his head and Andrew Walker Cleaveland’s got up his sleeve. If Pam over at NerdsEyeView will put down her ukulele for a bit, we might hear what she has to say – and it’ll be worth it. Megan @ TwitterMoms – Tag, you’re it. Finally, Debbie, the DeliciousBaby blogger, who didn’t even need to photoshop her kids in front of the Eiffel Tower like I did. (Yes, that’s you – don’t you remember???)

Enjoy, virtual friends!

From Hill-Raiser to Palin-Proponent

Here we go, folks. We’ve got ourselves a race with two strong tickets.

I have supported the democratic party – my party – since my first voter’s registration card more than 20 years ago. I cry every time I vote – no matter the election or issue. I’ve carried babies on my hip as I’ve voted and tried to instill civic pride and responsibility in my daughters. In this election season, I’ve made sure they understood that they were watching history being made.

My poor kids. They declared themselves independent as soon as they understood that Mommy was Blue and Daddy was deep, deep red. We’ve discussed issues, delved deep, debated and every four years we have to have some ground rules and throw down the naughty-mat for mummy or daddy to sit on in time-out, depending on who just drew some blood during a verbal assault.

Hannity & Colmes is off limits year round. We just can’t afford the marriage counseling, and really, most therapists wouldn’t want to take us on.

It wasn’t easy around here for a while. I emphatically supported Hilary Clinton, after admiring her for years, and campaigned for her while definitely being in the minority with friends and family here in the deep South. Nothing new there, of course, I’ve been on the prayer list of many Texas women’s church groups. If I had a nickel for every condescending “head pat” and a quiet, “I’ll pray for you, dear” when my politics were revealed…

But, with head held high, I pressed on. And cried when it was not to be… this time.

With Obama’s clinching of the nomination, I waited to see if he would do the smart thing – unify our party and name Hilary Clinton the Vice Presidential nominee. I thought that certainly he wouldn’t simply ignore 18 million supporters and expect that we would just tow the party line.

That’s exactly what he did. Naming Joe Biden was, on it’s face, a move designed to shore up the questions of foreign relations and experience. It did nothing to inspire me. Obama does nothing to inspire me. All mirth and no matter.

Today, I have to say, (crediting Geralidine Ferraro for the sound byte) …

PUMA. To be crass, “Party Unity My Ass.”

Hilary, I can’t in good conscience get on the love train. I’m not convinced that you want us to, really, but that’s another story.

I’ve got from Hill-Raiser to Palin-Proponent. It isn’t solely the fact that she’s a woman, although McCain’s decision to name Palin shows me that he’s not as out of touch as Obama says he is. It shows me that he understands the conversation taking place. Change is happening – it wasn’t initiated by Obama, but by the American people, as it always has been. Who can manage that change? Who is listening to me and others like me?

Today, my answer is McCain/Palin. I refuse to declare myself red, but I suppose I would say a lovely shade of aubergine at this point.

Dalai Lama’s 18 rules for living

At the start of the new millennium the Dalai Lama apparently issued eighteen rules for living. Since word travels slowly in the digital age these have only just reached me. Here they are.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
1. Respect for self
2. Respect for others
3. Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Arrowhead Fires

I’ve been asked a lot if we were affected by the fires in Lake Arrowhead. The answer is yes, but not as much as others.

My Grandma passed away at home in Arrowhead on the 17th. The next few days were a blur, but the fires started on Monday morning.

Our old house on Amador Lane above the golf course was burned to the ground. It was essentially ground zero for one of the fires.

I stayed in Grandma’s house, on the other side of the lake, despite the mandatory evacuation order. I made sure to stay off the roads, deferring to the emergency personnel, I had plenty of supplies and kept the house hosed down. Since we had just worked 7 months to completely reconstruct it after the “Great Christmas Flood of 2006” I wasn’t going to let it go without a fight. It was and is my childhood home, and where all my kids mountain memories are based.

Again, next few days are blurry, but the fires stayed mostly west and north. It was smoky and a little eerie to be alone, and at times I felt unsafe thinking about looters and bad men. I was also really sad to be there in Grandma’s house, without Grandma to even talk to.

I flew home to Padre Island on Saturday the 27th. I’m back in the swing of real life – volleyball, of course, Island Life, the girl’s school, their alma mater charter school, and, business. We thought about Thanksgiving there, but I think I’m just (pardon the pun) cooked. I’ve mandated the Holidaze at home this year.

I Miss My Grandma.


Gloria Rita Goss

Gloria Rita Goss (January 6, 1930 – October 17, 2007) Surrounded by her loving family at home, Gloria peacefully passed after long courageous battle with lung cancer. She was a longtime resident of Lake Arrowhead and loved her mountains, lake, family, neighbors and her cottage in the clouds. With a career spanning more than 55 years, she managed several successful mountain institutions, including the Lake Arrowhead Country Club, Monte Corona, Lake Arrowhead Yacht Club and the Ice Cream Castle. She also contributed to the success of the catering departments of Snow Valley, The Lake Arrowhead Hilton and The Original Villager.

She is remembered and loved by her two daughters, Christina Jones Connolly and Cynthia O’Kelly, Son-in-Law Patrick O’Kelly, Granddaughter Michelle Honiker Yarbrough and her husband Kenneth, their daughters Kelsea and Cathryn Yarbrough; Grandson Jeremy O’Kelly, his wife Cheryl O’Kelly and their children Chloe, Quentin, Cade and Phoebe; Grandson Matthew, his wife Haley O’Kelly and their daughter Jasmine; Amanda Woodgrift and sons Cody and Austin O’Kelly; Grandson Daniel Lyons; Grandson Robert Connolly, III; Granddaughter Katie O’Kelly, Dave Motley and their daughters Amelia and Cassidy Motley.

She is preceded in death by her beloved mother Gloria Benitez y Munoz and sisters Mary Frances and Rosemary as well as many long-time friends from her days with the Elks Lodge, Bowling Leagues and Senior Center. Her family is certain she’s already won several after-life Bingo games and has Mickey Haskins hopping mad. GG wouldn’t have it any other way.

She will be forever remembered as a strong-willed woman, full of life, mischief, fun and determined to do it her way. Her unrestrained passion for the Los Angeles Lakers will be greatly missed by best friend and fellow unofficial “Laker-girl” Betty Baumann.

The Family wishes to thank The loving staff of the Palms of Loma Linda, and Director Carla in particular; Loma Linda University Medical Center, Dr. Gregory Cheek, Dr. Shawn Ifkitar, The Intensive Care Staff of Unit 7200, and most especially Nurses Donelle and Brigid who helped fulfill her wish to come home and take her last breath of mountain air in her mother’s bed.

A Catholic Mass will be held at St. Andrews by the Sea on North Padre Island, Texas where she spent many wonderful times with her family over the past 7 years and a memorial gathering will be announced at a later date.

In Lieu of flowers The “Gloria Rita Goss Scholarship” has been established at the Port Aransas Children’s Theater. Visit www.portaransascommunitytheater.com for more details.