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I suppose having no TV or “plastic, consumerist, stereotype-perpetuating” items (otherwise known as toys), forced me at a young age to find creative ways to entertain myself…like compulsive cleaning.

Or getting crafty in the afternoon…

In most every mention of my parent’s divorce, my mom said she got the kids while my father got the money. She did however have enough funds to afford a plot of land with two ramshackle houses and tumbledown orchards, desperate for pruning and a multi-functioning tractor.

Our homestead quickly became a commune for nomadic gypsy travelers, broke hippies and local artists – each bringing buses, tents, and various clutter.

No one but me seemed preoccupied with fantasies that one day the outside disarray, comprised of large piles of random rubble, might at last be cleared and properly landscaped.

Rather, most of the adults celebrated the full moon and other re-occurring “rituals”, while submitting to cathartic LSD-induced mind/body adventures. Day after day they’d dance and play instruments in the backfield around a large wikiup – a dome-shaped structure built of tree branches and canvas, also known as a sweat lodge (but not to be confused with the higher end version of a yurt).

I recall once scrubbing the kitchen floor after such a gathering, when my mother walked in and found me with sponge in hand:

“Deli, you gotta get this… I BECAME a lion today. I just started runnin’ through the cherry trees as fast as I could until I collapsed on the grass… I’m dirty and there’s flies on me, but I was so connected to the earth – I didn’t care! And because I was embodying such a feline energy, Tippy the cat tunes into this and comes over and lays this wounded snake at my feet. And then I realized this is what cats do, they bring the ‘momma cat’ an offering… So I’m watchin’ this one third of a snake undulating and doin’ this beautiful dying-dance and then I remembered…

Pause for deep breath.

“Snakes represent rebirth! And I realized…”

Pause for tears.

“I am havin’ a REBIRTH.”

Pause again as I avert the uncomfortably intense eye-contact, thank her for sharing, and inform her we need more Bon Ami to clean the tub.

To this day, I’m still clean freak, however you may find it surprising that I’m not so concerned about my hands. Perhaps I can’t be anal about my hands and the house simultaneously – even when these mitts are protected in rubber gloves, they take a beating when cleaning. My number one rule of thumb when it comes to caring for hands, particularly after a cathartic ‘ritual’ of cleaning, is to keep my mitts moisturized.

I admit to being almost as obsessive about moisturizing as I am about the shine on my kitchen counter top. I once met a gal at a party, and after shaking her hand, she said, “My god, do you like use lotion 10 times a day?!” I laughed along with her…but truth is, the answer is yes.

11 Responses to "OC-Deli"
  1. Patrick says:


  2. Christopher says:

    Hey Deli- Does your mom still live down the canyon? My parents are selling their place, and I'm feeling like I am losing my tether from this earth in a way. everything else is just a house, or a city I happen to be in…. Strange how a piece of land can have such an effect on someone. Great story!

  3. Adele Uddo says:

    Sadly she no longer has that land, Chris. I know what you mean…I've so come to appreciate the earthy 'nature' of that part of the world. It's so important to get out of the city from time to time and back to our roots!

  4. joni says:

    Naked from the neck down, in a home made, eerily reminiscent "clockwork orange" bunny mask!? From the looks of it you're…5 years of age? Just a bean sprout! Standing stock still, with the poise of an already mature, working model.

    i kinda wonder what was in our dna that compelled us into the fallen angels industry and i wonder if it was because of our "hippy" mother's ideology? As if in order to establish our own identity, it meant to go toward an opposite direction, perhaps one in direct conflict or contradiction to the path we were forced to tread upon, barefooted or moccasined~as children?

    Cyclic, or circular, or genetic dispositon, i find myself following the bread crumbs(hallucinagenic free)thru the dark forest, back to the homey cottage, "livin off the land" in Hawaii mentality of my "hippy" mother. We used to call them "new ager's" in the 90's, but the term 'hippy' irrefutably, as you know with regard to my mother, sums her pretty good up! And with a smile she'll just laugh off the label, and tell you 'the dolphins are calling you to come swim with them!'

    i am an "acid baby".
    Perhaps because of this i was never drawn to explore those drug realms of my mother's generation~but rather stick to the ol' bottle of Chianti to get my kicks!
    However now, or for some time actually, a new~ish(to the west), drug has landed on the scene, called:
    DMT (or Ayahuasca~found indigenously in South America), which i'm rather certain your mother, deli(as well as my own)has dabbbled with. it supposedly readies you for our inevitable death.

    "DMT is a psychedelic chemical naturally produced in the brain of every human being. Of all the psychedelics in the world, DMT drug is by far the most powerful psychedelic known to man."

    From what i understand, DMT comes from toads, and is very hard to extract.
    Sounds a little like my early beginnings, where my mother kissed a toad for a lift to Woodstock, got a little more in return, and in her perfect maternity empire~waist dress hitch hiked to California to "extract" Love and Freedom from the "Orange Sunshine!"

    Deli you really need to write a book, whereupon all these topics of self discovery and relevant reflection can open up discussions for the healing and humor to come in.
    i SO look forward to your blogs as i get to connect to myself again thru your memories and current tales of the biz.
    i don't think jesus had a book deal or that mother teresa has a blog, but women read Robert A johnson's "He" book to discover more about the psychology of men, and men read "women are from venus and men are from mars" to discipher female codes…so i do think you would have a vast audience: yuppy, hippy, conservative, male, female, transexual, vegan, carnivore, whatever~you are highly appealing across the board baby~
    keep the tales coming~they are my drugs!

  5. Adele Uddo says:

    I LOVE getting comments…so waking up to THIS is indeed like wonderfully stimulating 'drug'! Thank you Joni for your gracious support and personal reflections of your own past. I too love hearing these stories!

    Yes, I definitely think my current path is a rebellion of sorts to those earthy roots (See "Femmenism" on my website). But I'm still and always called by the dolphins… 😉

    Sometimes I still feel a child still finding her own identity… I'm glad this blog is allowing me to explore that more deeply, and I'm so grateful you're listening!

  6. Lyn Dillin says:

    Your mom always had a way with words. As one of her friends from those days I enjoyed her run-on rants and quick witted responses. I once asked her what she would most like to remove from her life and without skipping a heartbeat she replied, "Doubt."

  7. Adele Uddo says:

    Sounds like her… I can relate – Doubt would definitely make my top three…

  8. Comedy Karma says:

    I loved this post! And that naked pic..OMG! You are quite the clean freak, Chippidy Chop. So THAT'S where it came form!

  9. Lynn Zavaro says:

    Who the heck took all these pics? Can't help but wonder who found the time to snap away while they were tripping out of their mind…And that pic of you – my God!!! I was laughing out of my mind! What a trip! Thanks for taking me on one… Made my day!

  10. Adele Uddo says:

    I actually gathered these, along with hundreds of other pictures, from numerous relatives in New Orleans a few months before hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf. Little did I know in doing so I would manage to save certain family archives in the process!

  11. Lynn Zavaro says:

    @Adele – so cool that your intuition saved the day!!! What a fortune it is to have those photos and document them:)

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