What a Weekend….!

FRIDAY: Helped iolana dress like Kurt from the t.v. show, “Glee”. She looked just like him….went to the annual awesome party
at Max’s house…but only got to stay about 25 minutes…had a gig….
Sang at a private event and there were poltergeists. Broke two strings (on two different songs), my guitar FELL off of it’s strap right as a
song was starting (boing!!!), and my picks kept flying out of my hands or into the soundhole. I just turned it into a Carol Burnett show…what else
can you do?! smile

SATURDAY: Woke up to a phone call that the Burundi’s house was on fire. Got over there to a conglomeration of six fire trucks, two ambulances,
a Haz Mat truck (!!!), police cars….thank God the family was ok. They were sitting inside an ambulance, keeping warm. Plopped my youngest daughter
in with them, and was immediately bombarded with questions from the police dept.’s victims advocate, who was super nice. Also spoke with fire
department, fire dept. detective, the housing authority and the assistant manager of the housing unit. It seems one of the younger girls was
trying to set a small fire to keep warm, and didn’t realize the dangers. Their entire room was destroyed; when I was allowed in to assess the damage
with the family and the housing authority rep, I was shocked. Everything we have all worked so hard to help them attain (peace, a home, goods, clothing…),
covered in soot and smoke, and the girls’ bedroom blackened, burnt to a crisp, water and soaked sheetrock combined with shattered glass (the window had
to be busted out), the closet chopped with axes, all the items in the room melted to ashes. It looked like the inside of a volcano: dead and chokingly acidic.
The flames were so intense, they had licked the hallway, the ceiling, all black, too.

We were warned not to stay in long, that the residue/smoke could be very toxic, especially for those with asthma. I had called my husband, who brought my
oldest daughter to help (she was quickly choking harshly), and my dear friend, Jen, and between the four of us and the Burundi family, we quickly started
gathering what we could: documents, photographs, clothing, shoes…Tim arrived, another church friend and constant supporter of this little clan, and we
loaded his truck, my van, Jen’s van and Lance’s car with items and people. The housing authority set up a hotel room about four miles away, so took
the family there. Got back to my house, where Jen and I started going through all the items, sorting out what could be salvaged, what could be washed
and cleaned. The Red Cross brought some basic staples to the hotel for the family to eat, and also gave them an emergency credit card so we could
buy things they needed. So, last night, I went to Wal-Mart and we got bras, undergarments, socks, pants, skirts, shirts, shoes and jackets. The little
girls, 6 and 9, had lost everything. The three adults (15, 18 and the mom) had lost a lot to smoke damage, so helped them, too. My youngest went
with me and took charge of helping the youngest girls while I helped the women. First, a proper bra fitting—they’d never had one, only bras
donated, which never fit—as I might have written about when the mom had ended up in the ER this summer and that nightmare ended
well, but, again, brought to my attention she was wearing improperly sized intimate wear.

While out on the driveway that afternoon, sorting through tons of stuff, a baby oppossum appeared, meandering across our little street. I ran in
the house and got the girls. Lily put on gloves, captured the little dude, and he/she is now in Jeff Goldblum’s old glass cage (my snake, for those
who don’t know who Jeff was)…whoo-whee! Does he/she smell! We plan to let her go on the greenbelt today…we’ve just been so busy.

That afternoon, got to hear io’s choir…WOW OH WOW! They sang at Rutumaya, and iolana sang her first solo! She was ASTOUNDING and full of
joy…just beaming off of her! I filmed the entire thing. I love hearing her sing. Everyone says to Lily (or me), “Lily, you have such a great voice!”
which is right on and true, but I wish people could hear iolana, too. I fear she has been overshadowed by Lily and me, and try my hardest to
include her in any opportunity (she has sung on some of my cds), but I think she is just finding her own “voice” and place, and being in this
choir is definately a big plus in her unfolding. Thanks to Mr. Tabone…he is a true asset to our school, and a phenomenal choir director/arranger
and all around awesome dude/musician!!!!

Came home, made dinner, got everything decorated for our annual Halloween party, friends arrived, we went trick-o-treating….really the best
party yet…so much fun walking around with io, her friends, and my friend, Sarah Jeansonne, laughing and taking tons of goofy photos. Saw
tons of other parents we knew. Lance and Jack stayed at the house to give out treats and watch the Texas/OU smasharoo on tv. I haven’t laughed
that hard in quite a while. The haunted garage at Jude’s house was hilarious—part of the scary part was a section that had photos of Rush Limbaugh,
Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent (!!!) and various other hilarious pix. Sarah and I had fun screaming our heads off when we saw those! There was candy for
the kids before entering, and shots of Tequila for the parents that wanted one. I declined, but thought it was just the funniest idea.

Lily was out walking with her posse of teens…all dressed hilarious…Lily was Juno (yes, pregnant belly with striped shirt and ponytail…she does bear
a striking resemblance to Ellen Page) and then a group of them came to our house and stayed up until…uh…late….I’ll just say VERY LATE….and
when I went in to get Lily and Clara up for church next morning, there were four girls, all asleep like little angels, all shoved in one big pile on
Lily’s full size bed. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of that heap! Too cute.

SUNDAY: Lily and her best friend, Clara, sang in church for All Saints’ Day…beautiful. Then I sang at the Texas Book Festival, which TOTALLY rocked!
The kids were bouncing, I was stomping my foot on the wooden stage and it made a throaty kick drum to my jammin’ guitar. B-L-A-S-T!
Then, off to Ronald McDonald house, where I sang for the Memorial Service. This is always such a moving tribute to the children who have passed
away during the year, and the families are just grieving, crying, as I sing. I try to look each and everyone of them in the eyes, and sing with all the
love in my heart. Tulips were passed to each family member as each name of those who had died were said aloud. One little boy, maybe 7 or 8,
was being held in his loving father’s arms, and he just wept and wept. My heart was grieving for everyone there; the mothers, the fathers, the grandparents,
but to me…to see the siblings in tears…oh, it wrenches your soul apart. Thank you, Ronald McDonald houses, for providing a sanctuary for these families
as their children go through their treatments. What a great gift you give.

Gathered myself together, crying towards my car, when one of the young moms who had been inside, came out with her two year old who pointed and
said, “There she is!” So I had to go over and give her a squeeze, and hold her momma and love her, too. She was trembling with sadness. I held her a little
longer, looking in her wee ones eyes and said, “Sometimes mommy is gonna be sad…and that’s ok…” and she pushed me away with her little hand, nuzzling
into her mommy’s neck. I had to smile. The power of family. The inate desire to protect those we love. What a strong little girl…what depth of understanding…
it never ceases to amaze me how brilliant and aware children are….

Well, came home, picked up the laundry Lance had finished folding/hanging, and took it over to the Burundi family and that’s when we went to Wal-Mart.
Working now on Monica’s Baby Cd project, prepping the calendar and seeing which musicians I need to contact…I love producing!

I hope you have a day of sweet adventure and no harm comes to anyone you know and/or love. Including you.

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