Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just a very quick note here today everyone.....I am on the road for the holiday and looking forward to the break. I wanted to acknowledge how thankful I am since 'tis the season to do so. Being grateful is something I try to be everyday. Sometimes I fall short but for the most part, I try to recognize all of the good things around me.

This year we/the band/Jorma had the pleasure of working with Skoota Warner. Hot Tuna's new drummer...yeah!!!! Skoota came to us through Jorma's agent, Seth Rappaport. A phone call about how great Skoota was and then a phone call to Skoota. Sight unseen for the band and Skoota, they decided to work together. For us it was a match made in heaven. Not only is Skoota a fantastic musician but he is a great soul. His gratitude is evident and he spreads it around like the wind. The moment we met....I felt his divine grace. If that wasn't a drummer, he is the best I have seen play with Hot Tuna.

This is going to be a great tour ( on the 4th and 5th of December Skoota will join the band along with another Master, G.E Smith. G.E is one of Jorma's favorite guitar players...and mine too! We are grateful to Seth for hooking us up with Skoota and to G.E. for all that he has given us over the years. G.E. has been teaching at the ranch since the beginning and now he and Jorma are going to perform a weeks worth of dates out west in February ( Can you tell I am grateful? I hope so....there are so many people in my life that are responsible for the gifts I keep receiving......a simple thank you doesn't seem enough....but thank you....and a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May you be surrounded with the people you love and if that is not possible, then may you find joy in giving back........



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You know, there’s no denying that time are tough. Jobs…good jobs are hard to come by and the resources to find them are sleeping giants. I found one of those sleeping giants right here in my own neighborhood when I wasn’t looking. It came about through jewelry oddly enough. I was asked to host a Silpada jewelry party by Jorma’s long time production assistant’s (Myron Hart) sister. I kept putting her off because I just didn’t think I could find the time. Well…a year and a half later, I saw an opportunity come in a very small window of time this past October. I found a day that I could host a party. Still feeling uncomfortable about how these parties work…you host….you gain (as sales are accrued) points towards free merchandise. Now I have a lot of jewelry and it did not seem right that I collect more as others spent their hard earned money helping me collect what I could easily afford to buy. So I thought it was better to give away whatever I earned. Not as gifts, but as a donation to something or someone. And as it goes in my life…all the stars aligned and that something just came to me through a conversation and turned about to be a sleeping giant.

The giant is called The Work Station ( An organization here in southeast Ohio, that works through Human Resources. Their prime objective is to provide residents and employers with No Cost employment education and training in a one-stop service center. I was overwhelmed with the services they provide…everything from basic literacy skills, GED preparation, job training, access to a community computer lab to providing interview sites, resume application screening, providing perfect match job leads and more. The further I looked into what they did, I saw that they had Veteran Services and Mature Services for the 55 and older set looking to work. Providing job searches in every field, from Home Health Care to Food Prep to Legal Secretaries, Sales Reps, Medical & Health Services, Farmers and Ranchers, Elementary School Teachers, Supervisors, Tellers, Bookkeepers and Carpenters. They cover the needs for youth, adult and dislocated workers. Then I saw something they offered that I could directly contribute to. They have a service (the sleeping giant) that offers professional attire for those who cannot afford it. I mean it when I say, for some; it is tough out there. With as many people that are out of work and just trying to still manage their household obligations, the last thing they may have, is money for a new outfit….one that fits a specific job interview. Nor do they have accessories like a pair of earrings or a belt that pulls it all together. I know that part of pounding the pavement looking for work seems trivial to most. But when you pull it all together, it can really help with the confidence factor. Nobody likes losing a job when they gave it their all. You start to feel like you are not worthy or qualified and then your self- esteem attacked. How do I know this? I have been there. A long time ago I lost a really good job with benefits and the college opportunities that went along with it. I had $700 to my name, a car with a payment and I was homeless essentially. I did seek shelter with a brother in my home state then a sister who lived three states away. Within one month I found a job. But not without the help of my sister who lent me an outfit and a pair earrings and I borrowed a very nice briefcase from a friend. I sold myself because I was qualified. I believe I made it to the second interview because I looked the part. That job brought me from Maine to Key West where a few years later I met the love of my life…Jorma. So you never know.

There are thousands of communities out there filled with people that want to work and only so many jobs to go around. Having the confidence to get one of those jobs is everything. Being an employer myself that has the staff of the G-ds…I know about both sides of that reality. I was so happy that I was able to host this party and give the $900 worth of Silpada jewelry I earned for hosting it…hoping that it might lead someone else to find a decent job or the love of their life.

Please…give back, whenever you have the time. It can mean everything to someone less fortunate than you.