it comes to Trick or Treating, yesterday (Sunday, October 30, 2005) was
such a delicious day I wish I could serve-up a huge portion of same to
each and every person in the world. Not that I would wish upon anyone
the events and activities of my life, but that I would so very much like
to share the quality of the enjoyment of the experience.
Shawna, my youngest
Filled with what really amounts to the trivial and
mundane, I – still clad in my nighty and robe – set about on my
morning inspection tour, assigning "tidy-up" duties to my
darling children and adding my own measure of spit-shine to my personal
bathroom which had received barely a lick and a promise from me since
the day I set foot.
This pleasant pastime was interrupted by a surprise
visitor… a handsome gentleman of wit, charm and intelligence stopped
by to say hello and I, my hair looking much like a Bozo the Clown
coiffeur, scrambled to get dressed.
We had a lovely visit in spite of my uncomely state
and the day continued to blossom with wonder and awe. Household chores
got tended, clients on my "long overdue" list got served, and
I watched West
Wing (a really great show and phenomenal education into the workings
of mainstream politics today), then tumbled into bed.
Sincerely, hope your daily treats are as
rewarding… Just remember, 90% of having what you really want amounts
to the simple making of choices about what to do with the other
Ain't moving fun....
It has been an interesting
two weeks... I (and the kinder) LOVE the new abode, though the drudgery
of toting and schlepping all our stuff from one place to another is a
Then this morning, after 15
straight days of setting up housekeeping (including this past full week
of installing our technology in our new office, hooking up DSL, and
getting everything going, this morning (Sunday) I sat down at these keys
primed and ready to get caught up on all the stuff that been
accumulating to be done and....
For some strange reason
known only to the mystics of virtual space the connection that seemed to
be working perfectly yesterday simply wasn't anymore. Crap...
Thus the majority of my
waking hours got invested in trying to figure out the cure to a problem
which should not have existed, yet did and refused to let go, until....
My dear friend Justin Bonds
walked me through several possible fixes and -- eureka!!! -- at long
last I'm back.
Now to get caught up....
KATRINA RELIEF UPDATE...
The following is published verbatim as passed along:
Sent: 9/23/2005, 11:28 AM
wilderness wench's diary :: ::
Where we were in Waveland, MS (just west of Bay St. Louis, where the
hurricane made landfall), a huge storm surge came in. The amount of
water in people's houses varied according to the landforms: from about 1
1/2 feet up to about 30 feet. I would say about 90% of
the houses are either totally destroyed or now covered in mold and
hazardous to health. Most people who stayed through the storm, or
returned afterwards to find their houses in ruins, are living in their
yards in tents and tarps and, if they're lucky, rv's and trailers. Or
else they are staying in nearby towns and shelters and coming down to
try to salvage anything from their houses and yards.
The water ruined most of the trees and plants in town and drove away or
drowned the birds, insects, and wildlife. Everything is brown,
shattered, covered in mud, and stinks to high heaven from decaying in
the ~100 degree heat. This goes on and on and almost seems unreal to
someone from a living, vibrant place. On a positive note, we saw a
Dandelion blooming and a Wisteria making a few flowers.
Thousands of companion animals were either lost or abandoned. The woods
and debris piles are home to many cats, who are too traumatized to let
you approach them. Stray dogs also abound. Many of the animals are
injured, mangy, and starving. The animal rescue folks are working their
butts off trying to get them all in, but there are so many. Efforts are
being made to re-unite animals with their owners, but some of them are
deceased or unable to take their animals to
shelters or motels. Many animals and horses trapped in barns have
drowned, but some survived and need caring for.
Many animals are being taken to the shelter in Hattiesburg, MS. They
will be kept for 30 days in case their people come looking for them.
Then they are up for adoption. Unfortunately, there are so many that
some will have to be euthanized. Please adopt if you can.
Many people are staying in the devastated areas, without city water or
electricity. They don't want to abandon their property or their family
homes of generations. Many are local farmers, fisherman, or townspeople
who can't imagine living anywhere else. Many of them weathered Hurricane
Camile in '69 and they all say this one was much, much worse, and nobody
thought so much water could come so far inland. Don't blame anyone for
staying. They just didn't foresee the
extent of this huge storm.
The local people here have been extremely nice and welcoming to us. They
have an admirable spirit of survival and persistence. I can't say enough
about how kind and open-hearted they have been. People are
looking after their neighbors, sharing supplies, and doing whatever they
can to help one another. Many are feeding the stray animals.
Many of the people, of all backgrounds and economic classes, have lost
every material thing they had. The water ruined their houses,
possessions, tools, appliances, automobiles (thousands of dead cars and
trucks are scattered everywhere). Many can't get around except on
bicycles or by walking and hitchhiking. Most folks don't have
electricity and won't get it because the wiring in their buildings is
ruined. The power company has started running wires down from power
poles to trailers and rvs for the lucky people who have them. There is
no telephone service, and cell phone service is being
re-established and mostly works ok in some areas; other areas have no
cell service at all. They have the sewage treatment plant working and
city water is coming back to some places, but (as of Sunday, Sept.
17) was considered unsafe to drink.
Many people lost their jobs when businesses were destroyed along with
everything else. Unemployment, food stamps, Red Cross, and FEMA relief
money is slowly getting to folks, which helps some, but since there is
only one store open in town (a gas station/convenience store), there's
not much to buy.
People who are lucky enough to have functioning cars (i.e., those who
left and came back afterwards) and gas money are driving to the Wal-Mart
in Picayune, about 25 miles away, to buy stuff or wash clothes.
Many people can't do this, however. Either they have no car, no money,
little kids they have to stay with, or are afraid to leave their houses
vulnerable to looters.
By the way, there has been some looting but nothing on the scale of New
Orleans. The local law enforcement has been very focused on arresting
troublemakers and getting them out of town. We personally experienced no
violence or theft while we were there, even in "bad"
neighborhoods that some folks warned us about. We left our van open most
of the time and nothing ever went missing. I even lost my cell phone at
one point and it was returned an hour later by a little old man on a
bicycle who had nothing left but his cats.
Many different types of people showed up to help. The Florida Highway
patrol has been totally wonderful. They are experienced with hurricane
recovery and have been very caring and sensitive. They are working
hand-in-hand with the church groups and hippies to help people and keep
things orderly. The local fire department and police department and
sheriff are doing the same - making do with what little they have left.
Nearly all of their cars, trucks, and equipment were destroyed too. The
Red Cross came and delivered hot meals for a few days, but now they are
nowhere to be found in Waveland and surrounding areas. The gossip is
that they are having serious administrative problems,
and while the workers are busting butt, they are being hindered by inept
bureaucracy. FEMA has finally got some stuff moving, and they
established an office in Waveland and are distributing trailers to the
many, many homeless folks and other aid. The National Guard
is directing traffic, manning checkpoints to keep sightseers and
troublemakers out after curfew (8 pm), distributing ice and water, and
generally making everyone feel like there's some stability in the area.
The individual guardsmen and women have been very kind and friendly to
Mari and I were involved in establishing the largest independent and
coalition relief center on the Gulf Coast. We call it the New Waveland
Cafe and Relief Center. Working in a kind of creative and positive
chaos, many groups (including independent individuals) have erected a
village in the parking lot of a destroyed shopping center. We built a
cafe that serves three hot meals a day to any and all comers for free.
The food folks are working their butts off to keep cooking, organizing
supple, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. At night sometimes people play
The Rainbow family folks brought buses and are running the kitchen in
conjunction with a church group called BCOC and others, all working
together. It's beautiful how people of very different backgrounds have
come together for this.
The firemen built showers out of plastic and lumber and set up a tanker
with a generator, so folks can have warm, clean showers. We also have a
medical tent with an EMT and MD and RN available 24/7. They sleep right
in the tent and do everything from wound care to
vaccination (tetanus and hepatitis are a concern). They have a
defibrillator and other EMT equipment. If someone is in serious trouble
they go to the mobile hospital about 1/2 mile down the road in the Kmart
We have a big tent housing a free store where people can pick up canned
and boxed food, bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, personal
car items, toys, school supplies, cleaning supplies, batteries,
etc, etc, all the stuff you need. Out back there are pallets full of dog
and cat food and pet supplies. There are mountains of donated clothing
too. These supplies have come from all over the country and are greatly
needed and appreciated by the people.
Now, to what you can do to help.
PLEASE DO NOT: send money to Red Cross if you want to help Waveland.
They have plenty of cash to do whatever they are doing, which I hope is
somewhere else because we're not seeing it here. DO NOT send bottled
water. We have too much. DO NOT send clothing, again there is more than
enough with the exception of SOCKS,
UNDERWEAR, and functional TANK TOPS and T-SHIRTS. Since people can't
wash clothes, they need a lot of those. It is very, very hot and humid
there, so please don't send anything that you wouldn't wear in hot
weather. PLEASE DO NOT send toothbrushes or toothpaste, we have
thousands. PLEASE DO NOT send kid's books or stuffed animals, we have
YOU CAN SEND PACKAGES BY FED-X! They are doing daily deliveries to:
NEW WAVELAND CAFE AND RELIEF CENTER
ACROSS FROM THE POLICE STATION AND WATERTOWER, HWY 90,
WAVELAND, MS 39576
PLEASE do send the following items asap:
Bath towels, hand towels, washcloths: great need for
these, don't have to be new, just clean.
Socks, all sizes
Underwear, all sizes
clean, light-weight, light-colored t-shirts and tank tops
Bleach, all kinds of cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, pine-sol type
stuff; laundry soap (folks are hand-washing in buckets). Buckets and big
plastic totes to keep folk's stuff out of the rain. You can pack a
plastic tote, tape it up, and ship it.
Tents and tarps (if you have access to a big tent, please please call
Clovis at 608-469-7349). The center needs more big, open tents to keep
rain off supplies and also smaller tents for people to live in.
Hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol. Antibacterial wipes, germ-x
(waterless hand cleaners) are very, very important in trying to keep
clean w/o water. Mouthwash.
Cream or spray for jock itch and yeast itchies (it's hot, humid, and
dirty here; lots of fungi around).
Hair ties, brushes (not combs, we have too many combs) Sunglasses and
sunscreen (people used to air conditioned houses are living outside).
Batteries, especially D cells; you can't even get these in the stores
they are selling out so fast.
School and office supplies.
DOG FOOD and CAT FOOD and BIRD FOOD. FLEA and TICK powder, spray, or
Somebody please send a truckload of cold coke, pepsi, and beer ;>)
If you want to talk to somebody about sending money directly to where it
is needed, call me at 303-746-3512.
IF there's any way in the world you can get away to volunteer, hands are
desperately needed at the center. We need folks to cook, clean,
organize, and help in a thousand ways. If you are a hard worker, go
down. Don't listen to any news reports that say folks aren't needed.
There is a curfew after 8 pm, just get there before then, and nobody
will stop or question you. The local law enforcement folks are delighted
to see us.
If you can go down: look up directions on maps.google.com. You come in
on I-10 and take 43/603 down to HWY 90 in waveland/bay st. louis. 90 is
open along there but bridges are out on both the E and W ends, so you
can only get into the area by coming down 43/603. At the intersection of
43/603 and 90 there is a national guardsman directing traffic. Go West
towards Waveland. The relief center is across from the watertower.
You'll see a big red-and-white striped tent next to a
blue-and-white one and a lot of cars. Go to the cafe tent and talk to
Felipe or Erin or RJ or anyone in a bright green shirt. They will set
you up to help. You will be camping out in your vehicle or tent in the
parking lot. It's HOT and HUMID. But you will be fed and there is
anything you need there,
including a refrigerated truck to crash in when you can't take in
anymore. PLEASE DO NOT bring young children or
pets. If they are old enough to work hard and help and can take the
heat, you could consider it. This place is a mess and only workers
should be here.
The relief center is expected to be operating throughout October. Please
send supplies or get down there to help as soon as possible. It will be
the experience of a lifetime for you. If you have any questions, please
call me (303-746-3512).
Many thanks and blessings!
Lisa & Mari [additional
I know we're all doing whatever we can to help the Katrina and Rita
hurricane victims, to whom the background music (by the Village People)
on this page is dedicated.... If there is a special need to be met, we'll post
something about it. Just let us know.....
On a lighter subject, view
pics of Holleyfest
Christine Weiss [read
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