2014/10/16

TJH: Inspire – Just a Couple Faire Folk

Da Goddess @ 01:07

Here are a couple of friends from faire. These ladies are in the guild next to ours. The purple blouse? I gave that to L. I could never get the chestal region to fit quite right so I passed it along and L made it work. I love when that happens!

Faire Folk 1

Faire Folk 2

2014/10/12

Slooooooooow Poke

Da Goddess @ 01:38

The internet connection at the timeshare is about the slowest damn thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had dial up connections that were faster!

But that’s neither here nor there. I wanted to tell you about my slow stroll around faire. And I mean…s.l.o.w. I took my meds before we went and felt okay when we arrived, but it wasn’t long before I could feel my left shoulder lock up and my right leg lock up. The left leg was really hurting, too, but it didn’t freeze up on me like the right side did. No, the left side felt like broken glass being ground against every raw nerve possible. We made it most of the way around the faire before I said anything about the pain (I count that as a big WIN!) and when we finally stopped, I realized I’d left my pain meds in my camera bag back at our friends’ guild camp. D’oh!

A slow walk back to their camp later, I got my meds and we sat around talking with our friends, met some new people, and basically rested. By the time we were ready to leave, I was feeling a lot better. It didn’t take too long before everything began to hurt though. Got back to the timeshare, took my meds, and settled in to watch some TV.

King Arthur fell asleep early and I’ve been trying to edit photos and write this post. It really has taken a very long time to get this written and posted. Oh well. It’s done.

Oh! At faire, there was the most gorgeous dragonfly hanging out at our friends’ camp! And I got photos of it! Woo hoo! I haven’t uploaded those photos yet, but they’re on the camera just waiting and I promise I’ll get to them this week. Really and truly.

Well, I’m going to hit publish now and see how long it takes for it to happen. Fingers crossed!

2014/10/10

Mostly Live from Las Vegas

Da Goddess @ 19:19

King Arthur brought us out to Vegas for ren faire this weekend. We won’t be going until tomorrow afternoon, but we’ve managed to have fun even still. Last night we went to see Human Nature (thanks to my friend who is in the band), went for dinner afterwards, and then threw a couple games of darts.

KA got to meet another one of my dearest friends and they hit it off well. I love when that happens! I credit Big B with saving my life when he encouraged me to move out here years ago. For those who remember, my living situation before the move was horrible and I didn’t see any way out of the whole sordid mess. Once I moved, life got better. So Big B is one of those very special people to me, just like KA. That they met and liked each other? HUUUUUUUGE! It’s a very big deal to me.

Also spent the better part of this afternoon in a meeting at the time share KA owns. Couple hours doing that isn’t so bad when you end up getting to stay somewhere nice for basically nothing. The property is very nice and the people are accommodating (yes, it is their job, but when it’s genuine, it’s even lovelier). So, after that meeting, we came back to the room and have settled in for the evening. I’m wiped out. Yesterday’s drive wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly great for the old back and it’s left me a bit exhausted. Now it’s off to early bed for me. Maybe. Probably. Could happen. Who knows?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

2014/09/27

Uuuuggghhh! Catching Up

Da Goddess @ 19:03

I survived last weekend, barely. Actually, the temps were much nicer than the weekend before and I didn’t melt. So, that was good. The bad thing was that my back didn’t want to play nicely. Yet I survived and that’s all that really matters.

The past week has been spent in recovery mode. Lots of sleeping and lots of TV watching. In that respect, it’s been nice. The cats have been extra sweet and cuddly. And funny! Fletch has been my constant companion and I rather love it. Celia has been all over King Arthur. Kind of cute how she’s become his lap kitty almost entirely. They’re very sweet together.

This afternoon was spent with King Arthur’s ex-wife and her family. Weird, huh? Except that it isn’t. She’s a truly lovely lady and her family is wonderful. I mean this most sincerely. KA’s family is the same way. It’s always nice to be around people who are genuinely kind and fun. So, we had a cookout and got to play with Baby E and visit with the other kids. Good music, good food, good people, good times.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the final episode of Outlander until April. I love the show. I may have to look for the books at the library because I’m hooked. I don’t necessarily want to read ahead, but I may have to. Anyone else watching the show?

Oh, before I forget, I did manage to take a lot of photographs last weekend, so I suppose I’ll have to upload them soon. And when I say I took a lot of photos, I mean A LOT! At least 300. And, I almost knocked the Queen in the head with an oar. Thankfully, she forgave me. Anyhow, tis time to pay full attention to Outlander and get my fill of handsome men with Scottish accents wearing kilts.

2014/09/15

Hot, Itchy Albatross

Da Goddess @ 18:27

Well! Where to start?

Let’s see. Friday we headed down to San Diego to get set up for Ren Faire. The drive itself was okay. I’m still having a hard time with drives. It makes me hurt. Plus, it was hot. Very hot. And humid. Now, don’t tell me 30%+ humidity isn’t humid because you live somewhere it’s always 50+ humidity-wise. When you live in a normally dry climate, humidity in the double digits is ALWAYS a shock to the system, especially when the actual temp is like a dodgeball game between high double and triple digits. We’ll add to that equation a lot of dust and leaves and pollen and tons of manual labor in a largely breezeless environment. That should put you in the rough neighborhood of where we were. It was not pretty.

While I mostly did little more than “supervise” setup (poor King Arthur and our guild guys had the all the heavy lifting), I did have small jobs to keep me busy in between chats with friends. There’s really only so much I can physically do at this point. I felt rather useless. I was the albatross around their necks. I don’t like not being able to help more. But them’s the cards I be dealt.

Once we got to the motel, I showered off, noting the changing level of brown in the water as it gradually stripped the dirt away. It’s amazing how dirty you get when loose soil and leaf detritus mingle with sweat. After the shower, I settled into bed and actually fell asleep without any trouble. That may have been the first time in many months it’s happened. I still dreamt of pain, but I wasn’t waking up every 30 minutes! Hallelujah! We take our victories where we find them.

Saturday was a beast. A BEAST, I tell you. I barely made it through 40 minutes of gate duty and that was with shade. Only it wasn’t just the heat getting to me. My pain level was threatening to derail the entire day. Common sense dictated I head back to the guild, take my meds, and sit the hell down. Which I did. Gladly. Attendance was fairly light due to the insane temps. 104° with humidity over 30% again. In. the. shade. Oh joy! Because of the light attendance, faire became more of a kind of gig just for ourselves. I missed the usual flow of kids and families, but it was fun to be able to take in a show and talk with friends from other guilds. (Best part of the day was getting a wave from the stage from my new little toddler friend, Zoe. She’d been super shy earlier and would only smile after I started playing peek-a-boo with her. Her mom and dad are Old English folk dancers and are new to this faire. Mom had her in a sling during one of the performances. Very cute!) However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy and relieved to be back at the motel. Ahhh, air conditioning (kind of — the a/c was being somewhat cranky at first)! Shower! Food! Bed! And then I couldn’t sleep. I may have had a full hour’s sleep at some point.

I had planned garb pretty well for the weekend. No long sleeves. No leather. Saturday’s garb was double skirt, blouse, sea vest, boots. Elizabethan enough to be period appropriate, so maybe “bethan” as opposed to ELIZAbethan. Sunday? I was barely “bethan” adjacent. Single skirt. Blouse. Boots. No bodice. No sea vest. I felt for everyone who had to wear full garb. Like our queen and her court. And the knights who were in battle gear (including armor). Saturday, 15 people (all guests, I believe) were treated for heat-related symptoms, three of which were transported to the hospital. Don’t know the count for Sunday, but my guess is there were fewer incidents as the medic had time to be a-wandering and a-visiting (see below).

Sunday (yesterday) was just as hot and just as humid and just as sparsely attended. Again, the nice thing with light attendance is the opportunity to hang out with other people and get to know each other. We have a new guild member. She was our waitress at dinner a month or two ago and we invited her to come play…and she did! She’s a great addition to the guild. We also have two prospective members who jumped right into our literacy gig and played alongside us with a nice family who stopped by. Then there were my favorite musicians at faire. I had a chance to get to know them better and I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much while feeling so awful. They’re a delightful couple who are just loads of fun and talent. I even got serenaded! As well, I got to spend time with our faire neighbors, listened to wonderful stories, heard a couple of disgusting tales from a medic, drank the equivalent of a lake of water and gatorade, and survived it all. Teardown went quickly and the drive home was uneventful. Thank God! Shower at home was one for the record books. Extra special plus was Fletch crawling up into my lap when I finally got to sit down. It was sweet. Fell asleep early, but I woke up wracked with pain (isn’t that a funny saying? I mean, the definition of wrack is to cause extreme mental or physical pain and yet we say “wracked with pain.” This, it would seem, means I’m in extreme pain with pain. Hmmm.). King Arthur, too.

Today’s been a challenge. Celia has conjunctivitis and went to the vet to be treated. On the way home, she pooped everywhere. She was covered with shit. KA called and had me prep the shower. Who was elected to brave giving the sea witch a shower? Me. And you know what? Celia was an absolute rockstar throughout! When we were done and it was time to dry her off, I wrapped her in a towel, held her close, and she just melted in my arms. Rarely does she allow one to hold her so close. I’m sure she was relieved it was over. Now she’s clean, dry, well-fed, on the road to recovery from conjunctivitis, and snuggly.

Our recovery day didn’t start out easy, but we’re now all mostly settled in for nothing but rest. I say mostly because there is laundry. I figured I was already wound tighter than an eight day clock, in pain, etc., so I may as well just get it done. My hope is to finish the second load and leave the rest for tomorrow, provided I can move then. Until then, I’m sitting still as much as possible, slathering myself with Benadryl cream because of the heat rash on my legs, drinking lots of fluids, and watching TV and movies.

Oh yeah. One last thing: I took my camera out of the bag Saturday and never took a single photo. Sunday? The bag remained closed. Ummm hmmm. It was THAT HOT.

2014/08/12

Oh, Robin! Life Ain’t Easy and We Will Miss You

Da Goddess @ 02:39

Even if you think it is, you don’t know what’s going on inside them that they haven’t shared with you.

From one of my Facebook posts:

One of the greatetst gifts ever given to me was a friend I found while waiting in line to see Craig Ferguson. Each day she reminds me she understands what I’m going through, reminds me that it’s okay to cry, and reminds me that she’s there if I need her. I do the same for her for all the same reasons.

While sitting on a bench, before being herded into pre-show line, I’d reached into my purse and grabbed a lemon drop. I turned to her and offered her some. I told her I had almost said, “have a sweetie?” Right away she got the reference (Saving Grace, 2000) and we were fast friends. I knew I should have just said it because it was instinct that told me she was a kindred spirit.

Her grace and her love of life are not diminished because of her illness. In fact, I think her illness makes her shine ever brighter. She’s my hero.

We all need friends like that. We all need each other. While love can’t cure depression or addiction, it goes a long way to helping people realize they are not alone.

Living with chronic pain sucks. Whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain. It sucks. It sucks the life out of you. It eats away at your heart and your head. It hurts those around you. Depression is a common cohort with chronic pain. You fight it. And fighting that kind of battle every single day wears you down. (I almost said, “wears you the fuck down”, but didn’t want to offend anyone.) That’s the truth, though. And having good people in your bunker, fighting alongside you is one of the best tools in your arsenal.

No one gets through this world alone. I think we forget that all too often. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends when you hurt. You never know…they may be going through the same thing and may be emboldened enough by your admission to open up and release some of their own burdens. In a way, just by being honest with someone you could end up saving two lives: yours and theirs

True story. My friend, my new, dear friend. She has no idea how much I admire her. She’s one of my heroes. Her life is difficult. Her illness is greatly debilitating. And yet, I’ve never known her any other way and I found her to be one of the liveliest and loveliest people on the planet. She shines. She SHINES! She is one of those people blessed with the gift of love that simply pours out of her.

Had it not been for Craig Ferguson, we’d never have met and my life would be poorer. But we did meet and because of her, I laugh when I feel like crying, cry when I really need to, and spend an awful lot of time thanking God and Craig for bringing this amazing woman into my life.

She sent me a message earlier tonight thanking me for making her load lighter. I wanted to weep. It’s she who lightens my load. Truly, she does.

I have other friends like her. You know who you are. I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to write about her as we ponder the death of Robin Williams and why it strikes so deeply for us. Perhaps it’s because you could always sense a sadness in him, even as he laughed. Perhaps it’s because we understand the depth of the pain he felt. Wanting to take your life is something I understand. Not been there recently, but I have been there. An attempt was made many, many, MANY years ago. Now? Now I try to surround myself with people who aren’t afraid of me and my ever-lovin’ mo-fo’ing pain. (I try not to talk about it non-stop, but they know and they support me.) Life is short, but it’s also too long to hang on to those who have no time to say an occasional prayer for you or who can send you good vibes.

My wish, for everyone, is that they have at least one friend who is there to remind them that they are loved. It’s not a cure for pain. It’s not a cure for depression. It’s not a cure for addiction. But it might just be the one thing that makes someone stop and think long enough to keep them from taking their own life.

Many people say (regarding Robin’s death), “oh, another addict died because he took his own life. A celebrity. And people will make a big deal about it because of his celebrity. They’ll cry like they knew him.” And that’s true. But here’s the thing, for some of us, Robin Williams was a part of our lives for more than 30 years. He made us forget our problems at times. He was the reason we sat in front of a TV with our families way back when. He drew parents and children together. United them in laughter. He was a part of our lives, doing what others failed to do. So his loss does leave us feeling like there’s a hole in our hearts. It’s okay for us to mourn him, just as we mourn anyone else. Not because he was a celebrity, but because he stood for something precious to us.

Robin, thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the tears. You were such a part of our lives for so many years, it’s as if you were part of our families. It hurts us that you’re gone. But we all hope you’ve found peace now. THANK YOU, Robin Williams. Thank you. You’ll always be in my memory as a man who had the world by the balls. I’m just sorry your hand cramped up.

Robin Williams RIP

2014/06/26

I Still Miss You, Man

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Oh, Rob.

You’re still gone and I still miss you. Eight years has gone by and you continue to be in my thoughts, my heart, my dreams. You always will be. You were one of the most special people in my life and there are times when it feels you’re still among the living. At the very least, you’re here, watching over me.

Thank you for your friendship, love, laughter, and music. Thank you for being true to yourself and living your life on your own terms and teaching us how to do the same.

I know your kids miss you, too. I hope they get the same warm feeling I get when they realize you’re there beside them, guiding them to do their best and grab life by the balls. Your friends, I know they’re still missing you. I’m pretty sure Willie’s playing songs, thinking of you. I’m certain Rick & Georgia are sharing stories and shedding a tear or two.

The world is a sadder place without you in it. The world is a better place because you were in it.

Thanks for giving us all such great gifts. We love you, Robbie!

2014/06/23

A Quote I Searched High & Low to Find

Da Goddess @ 08:01

From Whales on Stilts:

“Along the shore, the forest and the gorge turned red with sunset. For a long time, they stood by the railing and talked about things that mattered to them. There are times when friendship feels like running down a hill together as fast as you can, jumping over things, spinning around, and you don’t care where you’re going, and you don’t care where you’ve come from, because all that matters is speed, and the hands holding your hands. That’s how it felt to Katie, Jasper, and Lily: Though the night was falling, it was if they could still feel the sun on their faces, and they stood together talking until the sky turned to black, the party balloons sagged, and the androids came to take them home.”

I dreamed about that quote last night, if you can believe that. I knew I had it tucked away somewhere. Turned out it was in an email to San Diego Momma years ago. Thank goodness for gmail and saving emails!

2014/05/02

The Long Weekend, Part II

Da Goddess @ 01:24

Well, we’re in the last moments of prep for the second weekend of faire. I just finished folding the last of the clothes. I’ll pack in 5 minutes in the morning. And then we’ll head down to SD for the weekend. It’ll be hotter than last weekend, which I don’t like. But otherwise, we’ll be back amongst friends and making new friends along the way.

Have a friend coming over to feed the cats on Saturday. We’d fed them their wet food early last Friday, left lots of dry food and water for the entire weekend, and then fed them again once we were home Sunday evening. While that part went okay, the stress on Celia was obvious: she lost the fur on her ears. Fletch gave me the cold shoulder when we walked in, but got over it quickly enough. In order to avoid more hair loss, our friend will be here Saturday to feed them the wet food and play with them a bit. Fingers crossed!

In the future, we’ll either have to board them while we’re gone, take them with us, or have someone come spend the entire time with them while we’re not home.

Off to bed now to get the rest I need before craziness sets in.

2014/03/19

Cats Cats Cats!

Da Goddess @ 03:05

Celia has taken to sitting in the window or at the door, growling. She’s protecting us from the evil that lurks outside. You know: stray cats and opossums. Maybe even the odd person walking by. It’s really pretty cute. She takes her work quite seriously. However, it does come with its downside. The window next to my chair is currently open a bit and that is a beacon to her. She sits on the arm of the chair, long furry tail in my face or on the computer keyboard, balancing precariously on the window ledge. That’s where my pen and notebook, my water bottle, cell phone, earrings, hair accessories, and other things reside. I have everything in reach. But she knocks it down while she’s up there. And the tail in my face tickles. So, I keep trying to redirect her attentions elsewhere. It takes nothing short of ten lift and relocations to get her to let up. (She really is very dedicated to her job.)

I’ve also closed the other window she guards enough so that she still gets fresh air but can’t get too feisty and push the screen out. I opened two other windows on that same side of the house the same little amount so that we still benefit from the breeze (which we need as it’s been rather warm [we actually had THE hottest temp in the country on Sunday]).

Right now, Celia is perched, again precariously, on the tiny bit of space in front of the TV. Fletch has done this a few times, but never Celia. Apparently she likes General Hospital. Or maybe it’s just part of her night-time “crazies”. (I don’t know what else to call them. She only gets into things and gets goofy late at night.)

Fletch, my little darling, he is snoozing on the sofa. Resting his head on what has become his pillow. But, of course, he’s sensed that I’m blogging about him and moved closer to where I am. He does this. He always knows when I’m writing about him. My smart little furball.

>^..^<

About a week ago, our friends came over with their 11-month-old daughter. We didn’t know how things would go with her and the cats, but there was only one way to find out. So, we introduced her to Fletch and let her pet him. We also had her pet Celia once she came out of hiding (she pretty much walked away after and ignored us the rest of the night). But Fletch! Savannah crawled around in the kitchen and Fletch would play peekaboo with her. She would crawl after him for a bit and then get tired and stop. Then he’d come crawling after her for a bit. They’d peek around the corners at each other. They kept their eyes on each other. And they both seemed to have a really fun time of it. It was not only cute, it was quite sweet. Oh, and when Savannah saw the catfood on the floor by their bowls (we collectively held our breath), she would pick it up and put it back in the bowl, looking up at us with a big ol’ grin, as if to say, “I’m a good helper, aren’t I?”

>^..^<

We took the cats to the vet last week. What a fucking adventure that was! It was stressful getting them into their carriers. On them and on us. I walked out of the house looking as though I was part cat myself; covered head to toe in copious amounts of cat fur, I even coughed up a hairball.

At the vet’s, we found out that Fletch is weighing in at about 13 pounds. Lovely Celia is a mere 6 pounds. Frankly, I was surprised she weighed that much! She’s really very light. Picking her up is like cradling a bubble in your hands.

Celia freaked out and hid under the sink in the office. There was just enough room for her climb through the opening above the cabinet door. Fletch later tried the same thing but failed, 1) because he’s too damn big to get through the same opening, and 2) because he’s not exactly adept at gracefully scaling certain surfaces. To that end, he also managed to bring down the cat tree at home as he was attempting to scale it. He got up to the top by digging his claws into the rope-covered posts once before, but on his second attempt, he went slower and the entire thing just fell over on him. Why he couldn’t climb up from the couch, I don’t know. He just had to do it his way. (He goes up to the top from the couch now, though.)

Back to the vet story.

The vet fell in love with Fletch. I even heard her saying (through a closed door) “if they don’t want that little orange tabby, I’ll take him. He’s just such a sweet boy!” No way, Doc. You’re really nice and all, but he’s OUR sweet boy! We love him way too much to ever want to be without him. Surprisingly, Celia, who normally goes through stress-induced whacko scratching with people she doesn’t know, was sweet as hell whenever anyone picked her up. She was even very good during her blood draw and pet-i-cure and teeth exam, stool sample, temperature taking, etc. However, by the time she got back into the room, she was quite shaken. She sat on the floor, making herself as small as possible, and trembled. (Fletch had already been through it all and was back to his curious and somewhat uber-chill self.) I picked her up and cuddled and calmed her as much as I could. Finally, seeing Fletch stretched out on the floor — in the corner under the exam table, but still…being chill — I said, “Celia, why don’t you go lay down with your brother? You two can comfort each other.” Honest to God, she walked over to him and laid down with him! It was almost as cute as the two cats out in the adoption center who were curled up together, the one with his paws around the other’s neck. Almost that cute. Surprising as hell, because she tends to keep her distance from Fletch, except when we’re not paying attention and then they sleep together.

After all was said and done, cats went back into their carriers (much easier at that point because they were just wiped out!), vaccinated, examed stem to stern, swabbed, probed, and pet-i-cured and we began the check out process. It took ages, but we finally got out of there, arms loaded with cats, food, treats, five containers of medication, instructions, and a stack of paperwork from the visit.

Both cats have to go back to have their ears rechecked after we finish two weeks of ear drops and flushes. Their ears were infected and filthy like you wouldn’t believe! Twice a day we piss them off by swabbing the upper outer ear and then deposit three drops per ear per cat. If we don’t spell out (literally) what we’re going to do, Celia runs and hides, making it quite the chase and crazy ordeal to get her over to the meds. Fletch, well, we just walk up to him and scoop him up. Sometimes I can do it all by myself. Other times, it’s a two-person operation. Afterwards, they both look at us with murder in their eyes. Or at least, on Fletch’s part, great derision. He gets over it very quickly, though. She holds a grudge. In the morning, she will go lie under the rocking chair for a few hours, glaring at us in between naps. Otherwise, they’ve been fairly cooperative and fun to have around.

Celia’s post-vet behavior change has made her seek more loves from us and she is almost always on the chair with me (when she isn’t at the window or door protecting us from the world). Fletch has become even bolder in just about every other way. He always did like to check out the shower when I was getting in, but he now has actually allowed me to gently run water down his back and tail. Before long, I imagine him simply taking a full shower with me.

They’re weird cats, but they’re OUR weird cats. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

2014/03/10

The Fat Guy is Gone

Da Goddess @ 01:08

Some of you may remember The Fat Guy. Some of you may have even been the ones to introduce me to him. For those who aren’t aware of the man, go read his archives. There’s a little something for everyone there.

In my long overdue blogroll cruise, I discovered an entry on his site dated 2-5-14. It wasn’t like him to go so long without posting except when he was really ill (and I knew he was still fighting cancer, going to see specialists regularly, etc), so I checked in on the comments and saw the news I didn’t want to see: he had passed away February 7, right around midnight.

He’s no longer in pain. He’s no longer slowly wasting away. Now he gets the chance to sit at the great bar in the sky, telling stories and making people laugh, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll be the guardian angel the Rangers need this year to win the Series. If anyone can pull strings from Above to make it happen, it’s the Fat Guy.

RIP Scott Chaffin aka The Fat Guy

The photo above was taken at my 25 year high school reunion. Scott flew out to take me and have a bit of a vacation. We had a great time wandering around San Diego, eating at D.Z. Akin’s — giant pastrami sandwiches, followed by a decadent napoleon. Afterward, we headed down to Sunset Beach to watch crazy people jump into the ocean in a very rocky area. CRAZY crazy people. Both of us shook our heads and blamed “youth” for the insanity.

We talked as we watched, laughed a lot, and basically had a good time. Then, we headed off to a park to watch a local rockabilly band play. Luckily, it tickled Scott that we’d survived the knot of streets in that part of town in order to find the park, listen to the band, and then walk around and look at very old grave markers in the corner of the park (it was once a cemetery in just a small section and even though the bodies had been moved, the markers remained for the sake of history). “Graveyard park and people dancing to live music 30 feet away — that’s perfect!” And we laughed about it.

When the night of my reunion came around, Scott was a great date. He entertained me, he entertained my friends, and when he saw I was pretty much over the entire thing, he was cool about us going to a local bar for a bit of decompression. Of course, half the people from the reunion showed up there, too. We laughed and enjoyed ourselves until it was time to go. He had an early flight and I had to get home and pray for no hangover.

That was the one and only trip I got to spend with the legendary Fat Guy and it was great. I missed him the moment I closed the car door and walked into my apartment. I didn’t think it would be the last time I would see him, though. He’d promised we’d someday go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or for Jazz Fest. Even all these years later, I figured King Arthur and I would pick him up on our way to NOLA and hold him to that experience. Now, when I do finally get there, it’ll be in his memory.

Thanks to whoever it was who first introduced us via blogging. And thanks to his ex-wife Cindy who was the other half of that angel team. They were always so kind and funny and lovely people. I know Cindy, her family, and Scott’s family are still grieving their loss and I feel for them. When good people leave this earth, they leave a void that can never truly be filled.

Scott, set up one of your incredible music and food festivals where you are now. You got plenty of talent up there keeping you company and I’m sure those who are up there with you would appreciate it. Look for Rob and Mikey. Look for my Grandfather, he’ll join in on a jam, I’m sure. Rest in peace and pleasure, my friend.

Goodbye, Scott Chaffin. We’ll never forget you.

2014/02/16

Happy Birthday, You Cranky Old Cracker

Da Goddess @ 17:05

Missing you, Rob! You’d be 63 today. There’d likely be a box of chilled white zin ready to roll. Franzia.

Rob Smith in Florida on our vacation
Were you here, I’d make you meatloaf with some Vidalia onions you’d make sure I’d have. I’d insist upon you playing guitar and singing some songs. “Louisiana 1927″ — no one could beat your version. EVER. It was pure heartbreak in every note. Of course, you sang me many other songs and I’d be begging you for those, too. Hell, I’d be happy just to hear your voice calling me a bitch right about now. (Thankfully, you never really meant it, but at this point, you could and I’d still be happy to hear you say it.) Which reminds me of this image. Remember sitting on that balcony in Daytona together, watching the storm roll in? That was one of the most difficult trips I’ve ever had to come home from. Finding a friend who makes you laugh and cry as you did, well, that’s more precious than gold, silver, platinum, or jewels.

You and King Arthur would totally exhaust all those around you with your endless supply of stories. You’d be great friends. I know this. You’d laugh and argue and sing and tell tall tales and drive me absolutely insane, but I would love every moment of it. I really wish you could be a part of this world today, Rob. You’d be so surprised at what’s going on. Of course, I’m pretty sure you’re keepin’ an eye on things from a distance and I’m pretty sure you’d have a mouthful to say about all of it.

I miss you, my friend. And today I celebrate you.

Hope there’s a party happenin’ wherever you are.

2013/12/27

Was It Good For You?

Da Goddess @ 12:17

Not only did I survive Christmas, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

How was your Christmas?

2013/11/28

Merry Thanks Stuffed Turkey Day!

Da Goddess @ 04:55

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

May you be blessed with much, loved by many, and go hoarse from all the praises you sing today.

As I said last year:

Today I forgive the idiocy and cruelness. Today I focus on the kindness and love. And today I offer my thanks all those around me for being a part of my journey.

That should be my mantra each and every day. Maybe I need to start making Thanksgiving resolutions instead of waiting until January 1.

And it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some form of this:

Monica with the turkey

2013/11/23

And There Was Much Rejoicing

Da Goddess @ 23:13

Yay!

LD, who missed his train and had to take the next one, arrived safely. We’ve had a good day.

We had game night. We played a new game called “Quick Wit”. Found it on Ebay while looking for Chinese Checkers. My particular version is dated 1938. And it’s FUN! At some point, there were tears, laughter, spontaneous belching and farting, and lots of shouting. I’m surprised the cops weren’t called. All that fun was loud and thoroughly enjoyable.

Quick Wit

The premise of the game is simple: there are 50-some cards with letters of the alphabet (excluding X and Z) with prompts for categories. The first person to shout out an answer that fits the category gets the card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins. I did okay. And I think I was the loudest. Imagine that.

Tons of fun for a couple bucks. Hours spent laughing with family and friends…PRICELESS.

All we need now is a regular table (we have bar-height and stools) so I don’t kill my back during game time and meals and we’re in the money!

Bonus: The Garden Wife is in town and we’ll be meeting up tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

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