Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Hate Shopping

Neither God, nor genetics graced me with a $hopping gene – let alone a slew of them to last my lifetime. My sister on the other hand, bless her soul, has inherited not only her share of the $hopping genes, but slender legs, the Reynolds butt, and a gorgeous bubbly personality. She does not have to worry about bending over in low rise pants, whether her thighs will fit into her jeans from one weekend to the next, nor does she dread shopping. Lord, I went shopping with her once and she bought two purses – she had a BOGO coupon for Christ sakes. I didn’t even know what BOGO meant. And what woman needs more than two purses? And.oh.mi.gawd! One had fuckin’ Giraffes on it (no the Giraffes were not fucking on the purse) what in the world do you accessorize with Giraffes?

Why do I hate shopping? It is always my luck that I will need a pair of black slacks at the last moment and there won’t be a pair in town to be bought. This has led to years of frustration and a habit of online and catalogue clothes $hopping. Online or in a catalogue I can find the size I want, unless I’m shopping Spiegel’s, it will be in basic black (to match my ONE basic black purse.) I can mull over my decision for hours, days, weeks in the comfort of my own home, and if I want to order ten pairs (because basic black slacks match anything) no problem, I charge it.

Dee on the other hand is one of those gene enhanced people who can walk into TJ Max, Ross’, or Marshall’s and put together an classy ensemble for less than twenty bucks, in 15 minutes, that has you drooling in fashion lust. She is blessed I tell you, blessed. Umm, the purses were from Meyer and Franks – she is a shopping slut, thrifty, spendy, trendy stores are her friends.

I hate shopping. Whether it is shopping for clothes, shopping for cars, or shopping for groceries – I hate it. I hate the crowds, I hate the heat – because most women my age take their own heat sources along with us – I hate other shoppers. Inconsiderate, Rude, and oblivious – Americans live in their own little bubbles unaware of the world around them.

Like driving on an American roadway, shopping carts should stay to the right. Park at the curb (no double parking,) no jetting out into traffic, and do not jack knife your cart into the flow of traffic with your ass taking up the remaining room on the aisle as you count the marshmallows in the bags on the bottom shelf. Hey, it happens. Do not move your cart against the flow of traffic. Do not stop on a dime, back up, and then give the shopper behind you a look of blatant disgust for not reading your mind and KNOWING you were going to go baetso on the condiments aisle and back up with no beeper or notice. And do not stand idling in the middle of the aisle, every frickin’ aisle, talking to you next door neighbor as if you’d not seen each other since right after the earth cooled.

I hate shopping. Due to a phenomenon based on a forgotten tier of the Mayan calendar that is in accordance with the ratio genes use to calulate how much wider women will get, aisles have gotten narrower. All except the dairy and the freeze sections, those are the widest.

Today being the widest meant nothing. Women leave your husbands at home or send them alone, but do not block the entire egg case as he reads to you why he chose three, one dozen eggs cartons instead of a 36 egg crate that was on sale. TWICE. Because folks she was a bit slow, I’m sure from all the hormones in those eggs.

I hate shopping. It is a fact of me, regardless of which check out line I select shortest, longest, or in between something will happen. If you see me standing in a line, move on to the next – even if it is the longest in the store – you will get out and home far faster than me. Bookies could lay odds and clean up on the logical appearance factor alone. Because the shopping law of Cele demands that what can go wrong in a shopping line, will go wrong in the shopping line of Cele’s choice. The most reliable NCR will jam, cashiers will take breaks and the newbie of the day will ask for the code of each produce item on need to know basis. Thank Gawd I’m not a vegetarian…yet. Luckily I bag my own groceries.

The only place shopping where I feel in total harmony with the universe is in the nursery. It is like eating, my eyes are bigger than my weekend. I inevitably come out with more bedding plants than I can get into ground, planter, pot, or basket in a weekend’s time. I will spend hours feverishly digging, planting, feeding, and watering to come back the next weekend to deadhead, weed, and water in my own little nirvana. Let Ducky go to the store.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bad Hair Day

The problem with being a DJ (besides the wages) is the fact everyone uses the same windsock so the microphones are breeding places for all sorts of creations gone wrong. I have no problem using copious amounts of Lysol before and after I take the mic, to keep me and others healthy, in fact I consider it my duty. A duty many do not appreciate…Bob. Yet, in 17.6 years at KCST I’ve never called in sick (called in sick being the operative words.) I’ve missed days because I started at work, broke a tooth and ended up with eight hours of staring up at my dentist ceiling while he probes with poinkie things that make me want to pummel the life out of him. But I have never called in – stayed at home – and suffered with microscopic creations gone wrong. Even when I missed that day last month for surgery, I scheduled it off (I emotionally still consider it my first day of work missed – despite scheduling it three weeks in advance.)

Why? Because I refuse to get sick, I also hate to not be able to breathe. So at the first sign of a bug, I begin dowsing myself with vitamin C and Airborne. I usually works. Usually. But there is now a part timer, who (if he wasn’t more cold infested on death’s doorstep than me would be in deep shit) made my microphone all squirmy with creations gone wrong and I can’t breathe.

This was made only worse by the fact that, as I was driving down the road today wanting to stuff a whole box of Kleenex up my left nostril to stop the flood (the small box not the large) I noted a long black hair growing out left side of my head somewhere between jowl and my chin. Now what do you think when you see a menopausal woman with a long whisker growing out of her 1) chin 2) upper lip 3) cheek?

You think, “Jesus Mother Mary of God, can’t she see that big hairy ass black rope growing out of her chin?”

Well let me answer you now, “No of course she can’t see the fucking big black hair growing out of her chin, because she is blind and needs reading glasses.” It’s true. I borrow my husband’s reading glasses to go tweeze (you learn in beauty college that “we don’t pluck, we tweeze.” Yeah, as if Queen Victoria ever tweezed.) So long ago I asked my boss (because we’re close friends like that) to let me know if EVER I had an ugly ass deformity growing out of my chin.

Needless to say he must need reading glasses too, because I spent an hour in a meeting with him today and he never mentioned it.

I use to keep tweezers in my truck for just an occasion as this. But I stepped on them. I mean who would have thought I’d need to replace them? Really who? There’s a pair next to my chair at home, two in my bathroom, one in my make up bag, one at my desk at work, so I should never run out. But argh, I have. So I guess really I could just stuff the box of Kleenex up my nose, and as long as I leave enough hanging out no one will notice the hair.


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Rescue.....or Lord Take Me Now!

Elevators aren't common in Florence, Oregon, the water table is too high, and the buildings too low. In the entire community, I can count five, two are in hotels, two more are in retirement communities, and then there is the fifth. Well actually it is 13 miles up highway 101 at the Sea Lion Caves, a stinky shaft that drops seven hundred feet from the headland, through basaltic rock, to the foot of the Pacific Ocean.

Sea Lion Caves, home to hundreds of Golden Stellar Sea Lions year round. Stinky, loud, and lazy mammals that apparently are the objects of observation by millions of tourist who have traveled the spanse of the world to western Oregon just to take a peek. A place I have avoided for the 28 years since my last visit, when I slipped in Sea Gull droppings. (Note to the wise, wet grass and sea gull droppings do not mix.) This slick combination resulted in my tush sliding, as though it had been drop kicked, two hundred yards down a seven hundred foot cliff. Yes folks, the elevator was operational that day.

Perched precariously on a narrow rock ledge, five hundred feet above the pounding ocean and hundreds of barking sea lions, I sat. Sea Gulls and Murlettes sailed the wind, crying out their disgusted at my grace. Bashed by the rocks during my descent, scraped palms and knees were weeping pinpricks of blood and plasma. Bird poop smeared my arms and clothing. And the wind was whipping knots in my long blonde hair, while tears coursed down my cheeks creating rivulets of eyeliner and mascara through the dirt on my face. Could it get any worse? Do bears...

Well of course it could? I was perched on a rock ledge and the only way out of my predicament was...Down? Up? Ouch! People had run to the edge of the cliff, screaming directions to me. Yeah, as if I needed to be told not to move. Someone threw a rope over the edge with a deluded notion that I could pull myself up the cliff. Others informed me that the rescue teams had been called and were on the way. Then it happened, off to the north could be heard a low rhythmic hush, hush, hush, as the big rotors of the United States Coast Guard Sikorski Helo beat the wind along the rocky coastline from Newport to rescue me. Oh, please Lord just take me now.

Appalled and embarrassed I watched as the orange dot grew on my horizon. Within moments the helo was hovering a mere fifty feet above me and slightly to my northwest. A young, fresh-faced guardsman scanned the ledge, his eyes coming to rest upon me, on my rocky perch. Then as the helo hovered, its rotors beating the wind upon my rocks, a cable lowered a carrier basket and crewman out from the chopper's side. Slowly it descended to me and my ledge. With knees drawn up towards my chest I buried my face in my jean-clad legs, trying to avoid Sea Gull slime and the stare of my rescuer. From above, the growing crowd on the cliff cheered, screaming direction and encouragement to the Coast Guard.

Then the basket stopped, just mere inches from me. And from inside a white flight helmet, blue eyes rimed with the blackest lashes looked out at me. Strong, white teeth grew out of his mustachioed smile. Climbing on to my ledge he looked at me and asked, "Come here often?"

© February 20, 2001 Calista Cates

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ice Cream Jazzy

In my eight years on the net I’ve cyberly met many. When I went to England in 2002; my mom, brother, and I traipsed into the Poetry CafĂ© on Drury Lane in London to have coffee and chat with Raven and with delightful wife Kathleen – a photo of the two hour coffee chat is in my gallery. One who I wanted madly to meet, will remain unmet, because we don’t talk. One who came to stay and comes back often. And a at least four who I am so wanting to met soon.

I got a rare treat on Tuesday; I got to meet an Internet friend for ice cream. Jazzy and her family were taking a whirl wind tour of the Oregon coast and came through my little burg for a bit of sand, sun, and fun before heading north.

Just after one o'clock she called me to say they’d finished lunch at Mo’s on Bay Street. I suggested BJ’s ice cream (because they are ice cream purveyor extraordinaire) and who doesn’t like ice cream. Jazzy’s family is delightful, including Peanut the dog. We met at BJ’s and I was immediately enveloped by family warmth. Her children are delightful, chatty, and completely excited about the Oregon Coast (my favorite type of people.) Jazzy is lovely, shy, and everything I expected. I hope you get to meet her too.

Now I have to say the picture does neither of us justice, but at my advanced age of menopause I finally saw what other see and I need to exercise and lose some of my granny fat. A few "Hail Mary's", maybe some prayers, and a candle or two to the cause would not go a miss.

Sith (means peace)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Dad, Late

My dad has always been my hero. A handsome hero, with whom I always butted heads, And yet today he is still one of my best friends. My father taught me that there is nothing I can not do if I can imagine it in my head. It is an ideal that has served me well through out my life.

Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia to a mean, good for nothing, alcoholic farmer, from a good family, my dad probably shouldn’t have raised above his beginnings. I am so blessed he did. My dad has never forgotten those beginnings. Wears them like an albatross at times and hates the phrases “you might be a redneck” and “hillbilly.”

a really cute picture of my
dad at age 6 should go
here but it wouldn't load

The baby of eight children, my father was oft times raised by an older sister who also made well of herself despite the performance of her parents (she is my favorite aunt, an eclectic character of esoteric thought and beliefs.) My grandparents often left their children to fend for themselves. I kid you not, once when my father was about four they left the four youngest children (the other four we off to their own lives) alone at home for over a week with no food in the house, save a pot of soured beans. My dad once told me of a time, my drunken grandfather beat a mule to death with a chain. He was not a pleasant man, and my grandmother (for whom I am name) followed my grandfather wherever he went. My father, in turn, does not drink to excessive. I think his limit was about four beers a summer, never more than two at a time.

I remember my dad taking me to my first horse race. I’m not sure but I think it was at
Santa Anita. I remember him wearing a white shirt and a tie, his flat top hair cut, intently watching each race. I was about five and at one point so impressed with my surroundings and my father’s intentness at each race I jumped into the frenzy.

With the start of each race I would start shouting for my horse to go faster, screaming, “Go Joe, Go Joe.”

My father leaned over to me and asked which horse I was rooting for? I remember pointing out some mount from the field, and my dad saying, “Good choice, that’s my horse to.”

My father never graduated from high school, shit, high school ended at the tenth grade. This sits hard on my father, who suffers from anxieties over his belief he is unworthy, because he is unschooled. Rubbish. Regardless of the tremendous strides and accomplishments my father has made, he doesn’t feel he meets the mark.

Example, through out my childhood there was always a boat in the garage in some stage of construction. From the upside down frame of a hull to the itchy spider web of fiberglass, to the almost finished product that was moved to the front yard my dad was building. The Three D’s (Debbie, Dale, and Denise,) the Four D’s (& Darryl,) the Sea Horse (my dad loved racing.) My dad had a boat. A boat he built himself, on evenings and weekends. When the boat was finished we went fishing. Till he sold it and built another.

When I was a junior in high school my dad quit working for Southern California Edison, cashed out his stock and my parents bought a trailer park in Oregon. Always strapped for cash in those early days he cut firewood, picked moss, sold and serviced as a propane dealer until they modernized the park and it became a viable business.

Boats were a thing of the past, now it was planes. For years there was an ultralight in some phase of construction in the garage. The hull became a fuselage, sometimes made of wood framing another time made of foam, duly wrapped in fiberglass, sanded with love. Painted, polished, flown, and on at least two counting the water landing I guess three...crashed.

Today my dad, my hero is in the advanced stages of emphysema. We have been blessed with extra years with him for which I am grateful.

He is now grounded, but I know he still longs to soar in the sky. And I know someday all to soon he will with his own wings. Until that day dad, I hope you know what a special angel you have been to me on this earth. Thank you for the laughter, the adventures, the debates, advice, conversations, friendship, tears, and love. Most of all thank you for not holding my idiocy against me and for allowing me to become me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Once Upon A Time...

I was driving down Highway 101 Tuesday morning on my way to the post office and happen to notice a guy on a Sting Ray bike waiting for the light to change. Now that in itself this pretty strange, I mean, who in this day and age rides a Sting Ray bike? It begs a chain of variable questions. I mean really he had to be 25 years old if a day. He was wearing fake leather and had a 36 inch bar chainsaw perched on his shoulder.

Only in Oregon.

Okay, maybe in Washington State. But not in LA. I’m thinking a guy riding a Sting Ray bike wielding a chainsaw would get little attention in LA unless he was cutting down an old growth Sago Palm. It could possibly happen in Texas, but the leather would be real.
NYC? I hardly think, what he was going to chop down the tree in Rockefeller Center? Get real.

Now it must be asked, just where did he think he was going, riding west (within one mile of the ocean) on a prehistoric bike, with a chainsaw? That’s a wee bit of over kill for trimming firewood.

When most people (aka those living outside of the Pacific Northwest, Upper Midwest, or Northeastern portion of the country) imagine in their mind’s eye a logger, they imagine some lumbering oaf, in tattered red and black plaid (kind of Al Borlan with out the nice beard,) who tracks mud and pine needles all over their mommies’ floor (could you imagine Al Borlan tracking anything in on a clean floor?) Most people are expecting the hard working, hard playing lot that they are. Most would never expect to find a chainsaw artist.

The magnificence that can come out of a chainsaw is incredible. From a hulking piece of Sitka Spruce, the beginnings

Give a chainsaw artist a goal and watch the chips fly and the magic come alive

Give a chainsaw artist a goal and watch the chips fly and the magic come alive

This year the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Championship theme was Once Upon A Time…

Give 50 people a theme and you get 45 different concepts

Since I began going to the Chainsaw Carving Championships I have been in love with the incredible works. But last year I fell in love with the moose.

All year long I’ve wanted a moose. I’ve been eyeing these moose for three years. Last year as we walked back to the truck talking about the works of chainsaw art we’d seen I decided I
wanted a moose. A moose is kind of like men (or snowflakes) each one is different, so choosing is…well for someone as undecided as I am…difficult

So I went with the one with the most ‘tude dude.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I’ve Been Wry-ghtly tagged

Ha, ha this is a great twist on the MeMe, kind of a SidSid instead of a MeMe. So, I tagged my beautiful friend Sideon earlier this week, as MeMe Karma would have it I know get to blog eight things about Sid – Too Fucking Easy.

1) After splitting tequila shots, Sideon gives table dances.

2) Sid LOVES cheesecake

3) He writes some of the best poetry around, in a style that challenges me to step out of my own poetic mold and write uncharted waters. Sid is inspiring.

4) Sid is supportive, positive influence on the net, as I imagine he is in his real world. **sniffle**sniffle** away from us.

5) Sideon is the envy of several men on the internet because he is so popular with the ladies. I lie not, so Sid do not even deny it. Girls can I see hands? See told ya so. He’s so cute when he blushes.

6) Sid and his hunky Scott live 8 hours, 51 minutes (three pee stops) and five hundred thirty seven and six-tenths of a mile directly south of me. J But I smell more ocean than they do.

7) Sid’s BFF SML sketched an awesome likeness of the ever fetching Sideon from a picture several years old and has it on her website. What a handsome manly bloke.

8) Sid has not written us a most recent episode of Season of Truth. Why? Damn friggin’ good question?

8) Sid thinks Paul Blakethorne is hot. I have to agree, have you seen Harry Dreslin’ ass in a pair of worn levis? It makes the heart and other pulsing places go piddy pat.

8) Sid loves bouncy perky breastestesses

I have no one to tag…Oh Wait, I tag Sideon, he must write an 8 point MeMe on his BFF Sister Mary Lisa of the recently well unveiled cleavage :)

Wry my dear, thank you for the tag.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I’ve Been Tagged

By Sacred Sister. I know I feel the love.

Here it is - "I quickly write 8 random facts/habits about myself, and then tag 8 people. If I tag you, I hope you play.”

1) This is the biggest thing on my mind at the moment and I am kind of embarrassed about it. I had surgery yesterday and only told Natalie. Why? Because, I am stupid like that. No not for telling Natalie (because she is an awesome friend,) but for being embarrassed (I tend to keep a lot of stupid little secrets – but that means I’m pretty good at keeping the big secrets too.) Parents, please use sun block, make your children use sun block, especially your teenage girls. I had a little pencil eraser size basal cell carcinoma removed from my chest. It will be turtlenecks for the rest of the summer, which is really bad because I love showing skin and my still somewhat perky breastessess-ss.

2) I am boring. No really I am. I am horrible at small talk. I am the wallflower who sits and watches others, having no clue what to say, nothing important to say, and I hate talking about myself. Which people find unbelievable because I am also the idiot who will equate something you say to something in my life or about myself.

3) I’m a DJ, I know after number two you find that amazing. But I know a bit about yesterday’s music, American Idol, and will learn more, happily, about today’s music. I love music trivia. I love music. I hate DJ’s that blather on about absolutely nothing, especially blathering on about their favorite make out song from their incarceration in a Catholic Middle/High School. I find myself without anything to say. My friend Karin (who will get tagged in a moment) once asked if I was a funny DJ, so sad, I’m not.

4) I haven’t blogged about my Paris Hylton angst for fear of Paris Hylton Karma. Now I don’t know if that would mean I would get the full 45 days in jail to make up for her rich karma or if I would get new accessories that would show off my shapely ankle in a neutral tone of gunmetal gray or institutional beige to wear around my own house, but I’m not chancing it. Plus I have a nice relationship with the Florence PD, but this would not be a good way to meet the new police chief. The reality is, except her life has no consequence, who gives a rusty fuck about Paris Hylton?

5) Sacred was born on Christmas day, she’s a present to the world. I was born February 15th, I’m a left over sweetheart. Two ex-husbands can attest to that.

6) I hate the telephone. I hate talking on the phone. I hate calling people on the phone. But my boss says I give good phone. Apparently I am a natural flirt. I never thought so, but I have great phone relationships with media people in baseball, music, and attractions across the state.

7) I collect ostriches and dragons. Weird right. When I was in high school I was far from popular, with a last name like Furby – well you can imagine the nicknames. It is hard to turn them into a positive. But I got called ostrich because I am tall, had a bubble butt (cute bubble butts turn in to middle age fat butts,) and use to pop my neck constantly (something that is not so easy to do today.) I actually liked the nickname Ostrich, which was shortened to Ossie. Then my little brother bought me my first Ostrich. I love them. I have pictures, key chains, stuffed dolls, all sorts of Ostriches. Darryl gave me the cutest one (the very first) Dee gave me the kewlest stuffed ones.

8) I am terrified of snakes. I really am. When I was in the seventh grade we were at Standish Hickey State Park in Leggett, California. What a gorgeous snake infest place on the Russian River. My cousin Lenny lived with us that year. He was a snake fanatic and got bit by a snake in the water. Suddenly Dee (about age 8 at the time) started screaming (I was standing right next to her) snakes were squirming all over her feet and mine too. Zillions of snakes. (I can still see them when I close my eyes. They haunt my dreams. They scare the shit out of me. There is nothing ill-rational about my terror of snakes.) My dad ran in and grabbed her up, and carried her to safety (she’s was this little thing at the time.) I had to walk out myself. I don’t remember walking out, I understand why my dad had to take only her first. And I'm sure he would have come back for me, but I doubt I left him enought time to do so. I don’t hold a grudge, I just don’t remember anything after he picked her up and left. He doesn't remember the incident at all. My mom and Dee do.

A snake chased me Sunday in the front yard, I swear it did, Ducky said I moved really pretty damn fast from a full sitting position.

Now Sacred says I have to tag eight people. Most of those I know either don’t read my blog or are way to busy. So if you are tagged and can’t not a problem. If you do blog about your eight random facts leave the link in the comments.

I tag – Natalie, Sideon, Peggy, Jazzy, Lemon Blossom, Karin's Hubster, Jake, argh I’m short one.

Sith -

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Picnic

We had a family reunion of sorts this weekend. Ducky’s family is usually pretty close. But now in some respects they are closer, sort of. Ducky’s younger brother was diagnosed with 4 stage, small cell lung cancer in April, it has made things much more immediate. Saturday we trekked to Portland and met in the Mount Scott Park for a “wonderful” picnic. Younger brother is looking good; despite the chemo not being nice to him (of course have you ever heard of chemo being nice to anyone?) He’s not lost his hair, he’s only lost two pounds, and his energy level isn’t too bad (but the reality is it’s stage four lung cancer that has spread to his brain.) It was a long day and you could tell after four hours in the park, with too much family, the activity was sucking the energy out of him.

Younger brother had sown his wild oats in his younger day and the picnic had a two fold purpose. The first being family, the second being family; it was an opportunity to introduce siblings and families to his daughter, Em, and her three delightful children. We taken Ben, two of our girls were able to join us, Robby (Ducky’s older/younger sister) took Boo, and the day was filled with laughter, pictures, and food (well if you can call store bought, mass produced potato and macaroni salad food, let a lone good.)

Two things grabbed my attention during the course of the day. First off Younger Brother’s two sons, couldn’t make take the time to come; despite the fact the two sons had, themselves, chosen the day for the picnic, they had a month to save and prepare for the picnic. Nothing was being asked of them, but to show up. Both had financial excuses. Bullshit. If my dad was dying I’d walk to Portland to see him if that was my only option. Shit their sister came the farthest, all the way from Spokane, for the day.

The other thing that grabbed me was for all their closeness as a family (they don’t fart without letting each other know – and then it is in front of everyone) they are divided. A day spent in the park as a family group was still broken into individual family clusters. Robby didn’t talk to me (not a problem – that’s a whole story in of itself) but she didn’t talk to Younger Brother’s wife – Tech, Em, or Ducky. Sisters, spouses, and children sat closed against the rest, ate by themselves, talked among themselves. I had to wonder why they came?

My parents raised me to be very independent, a fact that has been questioned by others, I relish that independence and rue it at the same time. My siblings are flung to the four corners – Dale is in Sioux Falls racing sprints, Darryl goes where the Air Force sends him (next up Augusta), and Dee is only 70 miles away in Thurston. My family has, maybe, one get together a year, usually when my baby brother is in town.

I hate talking on the phone and I rarely call my sister. Strangely enough, when I am thinking about calling she will call me – yes this makes me feel worse. My oldest brother understands. My baby brother – a total phone person – accepts this, but has a harder time with it. Despite that distance and lack of phone calls, they are forever in my thoughts, always in my heart. I will take vacations to spend time with Darryl and his wonderful wife Tee, and baby. When we get together we aren’t splintered into individual family groups, we ebb and flow. Dee and Tee together they are dynamite and highly entertaining, beware playing games they both cheat – boldly and badly.

I love my family, our independence, and love for each other. I love Ducky’s family, enjoy (most of the time) being with them, while feeling left out most of the time – they are a supportive and loving group, but fractious.

Families are different as snowflakes. In the words of John Edward – please communicate, validate, and appreciate those you love. For what we have today may not be here tomorrow.