Time flies when you’re busy!

In my last post I mentioned that my best friend, Klista, got married.  Since her September 21st wedding date, our life has been an absolute whirlwind of activity!

On October 13th, we had our monthly poker game here at the house, and we had an out-of-town guest (we love it when he shows up!) that went to school with me.  Mike drove down from Kansas City for our little town’s annual “fall festival” (also known as “Apple Butter Makin’ Days”) and with very little begging on my part showed up for the poker game, with his dad in tow (we love his dad as well!).  It was a fun night – and I look forward to the next time I can convince Mike to join us.  🙂

We have started having monthly board game nights as well… so those that don’t play poker can come and hang out, enjoy dinner and have fun and avoid the “real world” for a few hours.  This last month we had “make your own Quesadillas” (Scott, our friend who is apparently petrified of anything that will cook food, actually made a burrito) and I think everyone enjoyed the shrimp, chicken and steak we had – along with the homemade Pico de Gallo I made (it was tasty).  After we were done eating, it was time to break out the games and choose the one we felt would be best to play.  The choice was “BuzzWords”; for those that aren’t aware of the game, there is box of cards with a “buzzword” and 10 clues.  You break up into teams (in our case, it was girls vs. guys) and one person in the “guessing team” tells you what the word is (For example, ball) and then the questions below it will be things like, “It gets sticky when chewed” (Gumball) or “Served with spaghetti” (Meatball).  If your team misses any of them, then the opposing team gets the chance to try to get them.  The questions get harder as you progress through the card, so there are times you get stumped.  We had an absolute blast, though, even though there were 4 guys vs. 3 girls and the girls kicked the butts of the guys quite well.  HA!  🙂

Our “concert building” has been used more in the last 6 weeks than it has been in the last 2 years!  Klista’s wedding, then our fall Halloween concert on October 27th (it was UBER cold that night, so there were only a few folks that showed up besides all the band members, but we still had a LOT of fun) and then Angela (she is more than a friend – I’ve known her mom for 17 years, her grandmother for 15 and Angie for 6ish.  They’ve all had, over the years, the job of keeping my house clean for me, and wonderful friendships have developed with all 3 women over the course of time) got married on November 1st in a “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the dead) themed wedding.  A few days before the ceremony she asked me to officiate over it (I’m ordained) – I was surprised, and honored.  I sat down and started writing out the ceremony. Several hours later, I was done – and I sent the final draft to Angie. She texted me back with, “Thanks, you made me cry”. I think that’s a good thing.

The day started out in a somewhat chaotic fashion.  The wedding and reception were both happening here on our property, so the bride walked in with the meat for the meal and said, “Could you cook this for me?”.  Sure, not a problem, until everything else started falling apart (regarding getting things set up for the wedding) outside.  The wedding was scheduled to start at 6pm.  At 5:30 (I was wearing sweats that was covered with grease from the meat, and had been sweating all day in my treks back and forth across the yard to get things done; originally I thought it was going to be 60 degrees, so I had on sweats.  The temp climbed to the mid 70s.  I quickly learned sweats was a bad choice, but didn’t have time to change) I announced I HAD to get a shower and get dressed and made a beeline to the shower.  I walked out of my bedroom, ready to go, with 2 minutes to spare.  LUCKILY the guests were slow arriving, so the wedding didn’t start until 6:30 – so that gave me a few minutes to catch my breath!
Here are a few videos from the wedding, for those interested:

Angie’s entrance to the wedding.  The person shooting the video HAD to have been sitting on the ground, as our yard
is almost flat.  She asked a few different people to be her maid-of-honor, and everyone declined; her son said he would
be her “man of honor”.  Her nephew was in charge of keeping up with the train of her wedding gown (and LOVED it!)


Angie progresses down the aisle to “Que Sera Sera”.  I officiated over the wedding, so I was doing my best to keep a
straight face.  I failed miserably.

The vow portion of the ceremony.  Angie teared up, again, which caused me to tear up.  Klista (her wedding was my
last post) came up to me after the ceremony and did the, “Love you” thing again.  She’s been telling me that a lot, lately

As we went through the ceremony, Angie and Ryan exchanged the vows they had written and Angie teared up a few times, it was over.  I introduced the new couple to everyone and we went off to have fun at the reception.  At one point, the groom walked up to me and said, “I didn’t write those vows down on a piece of paper.  They came from my heart.  I thought about them all day.  Don’t tell Angie”.  I revealed to him that Angie, earlier in the day, was doing the same thing.  Apparently, in the few minutes before we went out the door, she found a piece of paper and scribbled a few words down that she shared in her vows.  Whether they were written or not, they both revealed the love and commitment they have for each other in the words they said that day.  Speaking of the bride and groom, here are a few pictures of them:

Angie wanted something unique, besides the theme, so the wedding was also a masquerade ball.  I took the lazy route and bought my mask (although I love it!), but many made their own – and it was very cool to see the masks that showed up!  The reception was an absolute riot as the evening progressed!  At one point they had a Longevity dance; even though Russ and I aren’t married, we are a few weeks short of being together as a couple for 13 years (we’ve known each other for 17, meeting in one of those fabled “online romances” – see, they do work out on occasion!).  Russ and I protested the requests to dance (we contended we weren’t married, everyone else contended it was “close enough”), but we swayed back and forth for a few seconds before we determined that was enough and went back to our respective corners (Russ was the DJ for the wedding).

The bride had set up a “photo booth” area, and everyone was having an absolute blast putting on the various hats and playing with the various things in the “prop box” that was provided to them.  I think Russ and I were the last people of the evening to have our pictures taken, and he had enjoyed a few too many alcoholic beverages as the night progressed, so as we were posing I put my hand behind his back and apparently it brushed against his rump.  Suddenly I heard him say, “You’re playing with my butt!” and everyone roared.  My guy, gotta love him!

Here are some pics from the photo booth area:

As the evening progressed, various members of the family of the bride told me how appreciative they were that we allowed the wedding to be held here, how much they loved us (we got this a lot from the groom), etc.  After everything that has been going on with various members of MY family (things are rough due to some disagreements over various things), it’s nice to know that someone still likes me and appreciates me (and loves me).

Sadly, yesterday (November 5th), the brother of the groom died.  Luckily the groom (aka Ryan) was able to make a trip to San Diego a few weeks ago to visit his brother (who was hospitalized), but he was still heartbroken yesterday. At one point in the ceremony I had written, I had asked Angela and Ryan to take each others hands – while they were doing that, I said several words about how those hands were supportive.  In no way did I expect the following snippet to come true so quickly:

“These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief comes to you. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.”

This year, while having some joyous times, has also had some very dark ones for myself and all of my friends.  My hope is that next year things will be better!

Of course, yesterday was also election day.  I know there are a lot of folks irritated that Obama won; to me it’s not about winning or losing, so there is absolutely no need to gripe and throw a tantrum (which several of my Republican friends will do for the next 4 years, just like they’ve done for the last 4 years).  There is a lot of finger pointing blaming Obama for “the mess” we’re on right now.  I think folks need to calm down and look at the bigger picture.  Deficit?  Bush started that war that was draining us.  Gas Prices?  They were almost $4 a gallon in July 2008 (way before Obama was elected!).  Economy?  It sucked when Bush was in office as well.  Unemployment?  The unemployment rate was awful when Bush was in office.  It’s also related to the economy, which Bush had a hand in messing up (I remember TONS of companies moving overseas or to Mexico during the Bush administration due to the taxes and regulations they faced in the US).  Obama has marks against him as well – but we can’t blame him for stuff he “inherited” when he became president (and, maybe over the next 4 years, he’ll accomplish a lot of good stuff!).  Having multiple family members and friends that are gay, I’m glad that Obama was re-elected; I feel that my gay friends deserve the right to marry, just like “straight” people do (most don’t realize this, but not that long ago it would have been ILLEGAL for me to marry Russ, as I am part Cherokee Indian, due to the miscegenation (aka Segregation) laws that also affected the blacks, Asians, etc.).  I also feel that there are certain cases where a woman should be allowed to get an abortion (In cases of, “Oops, I forgot to protect myself” is NOT a case I agree on for a reason behind abortion- you screwed up.  Either keep the child, or put it up for adoption.  I DO believe that in cases of rape, incest or genetic testing that proves something is wrong with the child, that abortion IS acceptable.).  But, these are MY opinions, and everyone else is allowed to have their opinion as well.  I won’t tell you that you’re stupid for the way you feel, so I request you don’t do it to me.  We’ll just agree to disagree, and be done with it.

Okay, I’ve gone on for WAY too long, so I am going to shut up and update you more next time.


Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you

Until next time!

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