Baby Juno 5 weeks old, sitting on the blanket we mailed her!
Hello fabulous VIP members!
We’re hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family. We were in much gratitude this Thanksgiving holiday for each and every one of you, and all the incredible support you’ve given us! We take your fabulous energy with us in our travels, and get the opportunity to share your energy and our music with the rest of the world. What a gift…..
We just returned from Jackson Hole and are so grateful that Mother Nature was on our side, helping us arrive safely there and back home again. We left early, and got to Jackson just before the snow flew last Wednesday. Now, “early” meaning 6am, was a challenge, I cannot lie, especially for us entertainers, but in lieu of a potentially dangerous journey, we rallied to get on the road while still dark, and fought off the sleepy stick, enjoying all the sites because we had daylight to lead the way. Osa had the best seat in the SUV.
Traveling over the Swan Valley and Teton Pass, 10% grade, slick and scary, is not for the feign of heart. Good thing Niccole is a fully bonafide commercial driver. I feel safe in her hands, totally trust her. And then of course, there are just certain travels/roads that she’d rather be behind the wheel anyway, because to be a passenger while I’m driving can sometimes be a scary thing, at least for Niccole.
We landed at our friend, Sarah’s place near Teton National Park. A magical little wonderland that’s nestled below the incredible Teton mountain range. You cannot imagine the amount of wildlife we saw! We thought we could be in National geographic! A family of 8 deer, about 4 fawns the rest does, came up as close as the porch to say hello and feed off the grasses barely visible cloaked by new snow. Moose were known to frequent the property but we didn’t see any this time. However, you’d think we were in the Elk Refuge from the incredible herds of elk that came through her property……amazing!
We spent Thanksgiving eve with a group of folks we didn’t know, but with whom we quickly became friends. One of the gals, named Sue, did photography as a hobbyist, but could have easily been a professional photographer for any wildlife outfit. Beautiful authentic pictures of grizzlies and their cubs, a bear that took down a bison, wolves, and rams antlers locked in the fight for the next female. Stunning pictures, and so many stories she shared. It was a special treat.
We not only had a food coma, but a sensory coma with all the incredible beauty we got to see on film .
Friday we headed over the hill to the party that we were hired to play, after a much needed rehearsal. We landed at the Teton Teepee hotel, on the way to Targhee Ski Resort where the party was hosted. We played for a gals’ 70th birthday party. She and her husband has seen us play throughout the years, but approached us last August while we were playing at Redfish Lake Lodge and asked if we’d come out Thanksgiving weekend in Wyoming to play for her special day. We couldn’t have been more delighted to have such a gracious invitation at a time to give thanks.
The beauty of this venue is that we were all enclosed in this gi-normous great room, that looked like a gigantic wooden teepee, and somehow that all brought us close. Nicci called it, they all wanted to dance. So we pulled out our dance tunes and the dance floor became full of folks shaking their tail feathers! So much fun! Lots of great laughs and smiles witnessed that night. We retired to our hotel room where Osa excitedly awaited us to hear of our recent adventures, and bite our hands to signify she was happy we were home, well Super 8 was home for this particular night.
Saturday, the “day after” as we’ve affectionately coined it, we had fun. In other words, the gig is behind us, we have no other commitments for several days so we can just relax, and unwind a bit. We spent the morning swimming laps in the hotel pool and taking a soak in the hot tub. We had the whole place to ourselves. While the prospect of skinny dipping under these circumstances was appealing to me, we decided to play it safe. Afterall, we had brought our bathing suits. Would have just preferred not to have to wear them.
We then visited an outdoor store, so Nicc could get a better jacket for winter. Something warm, but stylistic. And we found it, on sale no less, so we were very happy campers. This was in the little town of Driggs, ID. and I couldn’t help notice the Thai restaurant down the way. So off we went for some lunch, and OMG! It was absolutely amazing!!! Truly authentic! Don’t know if you realized, but Nicc and I are total foodies! Any delicious, delectableness is right up our alley! So we were in hoggie heaven, and thoroughly enjoyed our indulgence, which included a decadent Thai ice tea too!
We then ventured over the Teton pass again, free of snow thankfully, and made our way to Sarah’s in Jackson Hole. We had a leisurely couple of days at her homestead given the fact that it snowed on and off the rest of the time we were there. Got to get our exercise shoveling her porches and driveway, and of course, there were lots of good meals to prepare. It was very relaxing, and we found ourselves feeling free of stress, obligation, or worry. It was like a continual meditation. Everywhere you looked was unprecedented beauty with the hopeful promise of something fresh and new.
Upon our departure at dark-thirty Monday morning, 100 elk came meandering through Sarah’s property. Babies, Bulls, and Mammas! I could hear the babies calling to their mammas. Sounded like mewing kittens. Incredible! Of course witnessing this monumental event delayed our departure a bit, but we were the better off for it. What an incredible site to witness. So majestic!
Now we’ve been home for 3 days. The to-do lists have piled up, and our offices are a mess, but we are so grateful to be in the holiday season, and feeling the fabulous holiday spirit in the best way possible! At home, with family and friends, and with much to be thankful for. Hope you’re enjoying the new CD, “The Sun Runs.” May it run a little extra slow this holiday season so that we can truly take in all the beautiful memories we have to behold, and those precious moments that simply unparallel any others.
Wishing you all the best this season! May the most you wish for, be the least you receive. May you always share what you’re grateful for, and may you have health and happiness abundant!
Happy Holidays to each and every one!
Love Mo and Niccole, and Dig Dog, Osa
Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to you lovely VIP members!
Wow! Can you believe it’s already time for giving Thanks! Well we have a lot to give thanks for, both this time of year, and every day of the year with all of your support on this musical journey and significant outreach to the world.
We are so excited that our 8th CD, titled “The Sun Runs,” was released at the Sapphire Room on November 10th to an amazing sold out show! For those of you that were able to come, we thank you for your warmth and applause as we delivered our musical musings to you, a long time in the making.
January of 2016 is when we started to record the instrumental tracks; the vocals came later, and layer upon layer of other instrumentation and vocals. Many hours in the studio, watching each other through glass, hearing the vocal tracks laid down for the first time and feeling everything meld together so beautifully. Then the arduous editing part, uggggg! Well, as you know, apparently it takes a long time to baste that turkey ladies and gentlemen! We thank each and every one of you for watching the tiny embers of this new collection of songs rise into the heart-felt, brilliant flames we’d hoped it would be! We believe in the messages it brings!
We’ve been all over the place since we last posted. We attended the Northwest booking conference in beautiful downtown Spokane WA mid October, and met some talent buyers from WA, OR, NV, and CA that expressed some interest in booking us for their 2017-2018 concert series. The historic Davenport hotel is lovely if you’re ever in that neck of the woods. We highly recommend it!
We were home for a few days thereafter before packing up for the East Coast tour. This was a fun trip as the “anchor gig” actually started as Niccole’s High School Reunion, of which she’d never attended before. No, I won’t tell you the year because that would “date us,” and we want you to continue to think how young and vibrant we are, even if we feel like antiques. So needless to say, we had a Unity church in Rehoboth Beach, DE invite us to play a concert Sat night 10/22, and for their Sunday service the next day. There was so much love and appreciation in the room we thought we were back here at home! We had a lot of pre-CD sale orders too, which we are proud to say are already off in the mail and have surely arrived in good hands!
So our trip back East was like 4 trips in one. The first two days “catching up with ourselves” at Nicc’s sister Donna’s. What a lovely lady! We call her ‘Donna Mamma.’ She took us on a lovely walk of a nature/wildlife preservation park, wined and dined us, and wow, the rich conversations that took place between she and Nicc as they told stories of their family roots and what they thought about it all. We were up till 1am every night chatting it up. What a beautiful time Nicc had with her precious sister. Was great to see her zest and enthusiasm! It was like a slumber party, true girls night out!
We were then off the Rehoboth Delaware, where we were hosted in a lovely home about 2 miles from the beach. We enjoyed walking along the boardwalk and of course the smells and sensations of the Atlantic Ocean! We landed back in Columbus, NJ where Niccole grew up, and visited with friends and family there for a couple of days before we headed to Philidelphia to see one of my high school buddies, Arcana. It had been 5 years since I’d seen her. Was great to catch up, though I only wish I could have extended time in order to enjoy her delightful company a day longer.
The next day we were on a train to Penn Station, NY. It was only an hour or so from Hamilton NJ, a mere 9 miles from where we hung our hat. We landed around noon, and went to Time Square to be overwhelmed for awhile. Niccole got a coffee from a street barista. We sat down and took it all in for awhile. Since we were only going to be there a little over 24 hours, we decided to rally to see as much as possible. We jumped on NY Tours; a bus that takes you to many favored spots and tells you about it. You can hop off, when you want to explore, and hop back on when you’re ready to hit the next location. Best of all, you’re not dodging traffic or worried about getting hit in a cross walk, you’re safe and sound on a double decker bus checking out the sky-risers. Don’t stand up though because you’re likely to kiss a traffic signal light…..no, that did not happen to us……
So we explored Chinatown and Little Italy, some of the Soho district (somewhat a part of Greenwich village). The city felt like it had its own entire vibration, like it was undulating. Parts of it felt like bling bling Las Vegas, especially around Broadway, and 8th Ave up to Columbia Circle. We saw the Statue of Liberty (from afar, but as close as we could get), visited the giant bronze Merrill Lynch Bull, that signifies strength and leadership for the country, visited sobering “Ground Zero” which wasa beautiful elegant vision and tribute to a deathly and horrific event in our history. We stopped in to the sacred Trinity Church, one of the only churches in the vicinity of the Twin Towers to survive that time. The experience was rich and unforgettable.
When we returned to ‘Donna Mamma’s’ house, it was time for Niccole’s High School reunion. Now the gal that was organizing it wanted to do something special for Niccole because it was also her birthday. She ordered a beautiful cake that was to be shared in a special moment with all of her classmates. She said quite knowingly, “are those candles the ones that don’t go out?!?” Well no sooner did she say that and start blowing did her lovely long locks catch on fire! The former class president was smacking her hair, yelling “you’re on fire!” poor fellow looked like he was going to have a heart attack! But then all was well, Niccole put it out herself, no one threw water on her, and she did enjoy her cake, even though she smelt like a smoldering pile of burn hair all night, poor love. Everyone loved her up anyway! That was a fabulous and memorable time! Even though I’m a west coast girl, and hadn’t met many of her East Coast buddies, I felt right at home. They are a beautiful group of folks, much like we are grateful for here at home and with you all. We were honored to play 4 ballads of Niccole’s for the event that night. You couldn’t hear a pin drop.
What I loved in particular was watching Nicc rally the turnpikes and highways with ease and grace; when she got her “Jersey” full on! I love that accent! Driving became a new kind of sensation as she’d talk to fellow drivers she was irritated with; when you could hear her jovial, wall-shaking laughter from any corner of the room when she was greeted by old friends; and of course, don’t forget the quintessential moment when we bit into a philly cheesesteak or hoagie! De-li-cious! Made everything complete!
(This is now Niccole, because Mo is NOT a completion freak like I am! Ha HA!!! I want to get this to you before we leave!)
We are now presently off and running to Wyoming for Thanksgiving. We have friends of ours to meet in Jackson and a private party to play the day after Thanksgiving in Alta (which is near Driggs on the Idaho side of the Tetons)
We haven’t forgotten about new mp3’s and movies. We ARE behind in getting some new stuff to you…I hope for now you are satisfied with the new CDand know that now that Mr. Winter is on his way, we will have more time to devote to writing, musing, posting. In fact, we will be working on implementing a new web site. It will be nice to have an updated sleek new site that goes along with a treasured gem of a CD!
Isn’t it cool that you guys “watched” us through this process? Remember last year when I posted “I Give Thanks”, I just wrote it and was in tears…and had the courage to just post it while it was so fresh and vulnerable. Wow! Now it’s come to fruition and it has a new name. I decided to change it to Thankful because it’s not about “I” at all…this is a worlds’ tune. Everyone can own it and YOU can be the narrator of your own thankful song! 😉
Thank you for ALL your kindnesses! We so appreciate you keeping our fires burning! Now…please pass that egg nog! *wink* Be well sweet friends!
Hello there special VIP members!
Lots of travels this past week and more to come as we will be touring the East Coast through early November and want to catch you up on how our project is coming along for our 8th CD release of “The Sun Runs.”
We played a show called “Elevate 208” whice was an all female artists showcase on Friday 10/7 at Cinder Wineries here in Boise. We had 7 gals belting it out on 7 mics, with all kinds of instrumentation, and a crowd that was unyielding in their enthusiasm. This event was 10 years in the making as we’ve all “jammed” together, but never played a collaborative concert event. This was a lot of fun, and for those of you that made it to the show, we hope you felt the same. Artists featured were Emily Tipton, Meghan Watters, Rochelle Smith, Rebecca Scott, Deb Sager, and yours truly. We would like to do a similar production once a year, but then again, getting 7 musicians together for rehearsal is like herding cats, so…… to be continued on that beautiful subject.
Thought we’d have the weekend to pack for our week-long tour in WA/ID, oh no……we had a private party in Mountain Home the next day to celebrate our lovely friend’s 60th birthday party, and then our last patio show Sunday at the Sandbar in Boise.
We drove cross-eyed to WA the next day, Monday for our annual NW booking conference.It was in Spokane WA this year, Monday-Thursday. We’ve been attending these conferences for the past 10 years in an attempt to get our music into communities all over the NW regions. These include the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Wyoming. You ask, what is a booking conference? Well it’s a place entertainment acts go to get booked. Talent buyers from rural areas and metropolitan cities show up every year to “buy” talent, or in other words, book the artists/performers that come to showcase their music. We didn’t have a showcase this year (a 12 minute frightening performance in front of 250 talent buyers) but rather gave a workshop for artists on “how to balance business with creativity.” We had a booth representing our music/act and were visited by about a half a dozen talent buyers in WA and OR who are interested in having us come perform for their communities for their 2017/2018 concert series season.
We met a lot of very talented artists/musicians as well, and made some good connections for Washington and California. Each day had a jam packed agenda. Workshops in the a.m, rubbing elbows with talent buyers in the afternoon, 2 showcase sessions lasting 2 hours each in the beautiful Fox theater, downtown Spokane, and then luncheons, consultations, and after hour showcases in the evening. We ran from 8am to 11 pm each day, and Niccole even did karaoke with the talent buyers one night (a very late night for her). A lot of “hob-knobbing” if you will, to build the relationships needed to get the contracts to perform in the next few years.
We stayed at the historic Davenport hotel downtown. Originally built in 1914 and remodeled to its exquisite original state in 2002. Osa, our beloved furry one, hung out in the hotel room all day and didn’t complain at all. What an amazing pooch!
On Thursday we headed to Sandpoint, ID for our show at the Panida Theater. We had a radio interview on KRFY 88.5 FM community radio on Friday. You can hear that show if you go to www.krfy.org and look under their archived shows for 10/14/16. Then we performed at the theater Saturday night. We had a great turn out, and lots of wonderful feedback. We even got “shimmers” put in our hair for the show. We have sparkly, glimmers in our hair that were tied with a fish knot to single strand roots, and their supposed to last 6 months to a year. Hours and hours of happy entertainment. Looked fantastic with the stage lights. Like celebrating your birthday everyday! By the way, it was pitch black while we performed. Very difficult for us who like to “see” our audience, however we could hear the giggles and sentiment in the audience, and it reminded us of being at home. Thanks for all of your support! You are with us wherever we go!
The “Sun Runs” CD release at the Sapphire will be November 10, 2016. 7:30-10pm. We have our CD mastered and ready for replication. Just working on the finishing touches of the art work for the CD. We think you’ll really be pleased with how it turned out. Can’t wait to celebrate with all of you! Again we thank you so much for all of your support, and look forward to seeing you soon!
We’re off and running! With only a day between our Northern travels to our Eastern travels we are so glad we got the chance to catch up with you! We’ll catch you up on our East coast tour when we return early November! Until then, enjoy this beautiful Autumn weather, and take good care of yourselves!
It’s been a bittersweet month my friends!
I (Mo) wanted to share a bit of it with you…..so when Niccole said she wanted to record “75 Septembers” by Cheryl Wheeler to share with all of you, I smiled widely. Niccole always has some special notion of what we should share with you based on our life’s experiences at the time and memories we’d like to pass on to you. Well, 75 Septembers is about Cheryl’s grandfather and the passing of 75 seasons. It’s tells his story interwoven with the elements of time, and captures it so well. So much so that all of us, when hearing the song, can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the many years we’ve had on this beautiful planet with our beautiful people!
For us though, and this particular time, singing this song held incredible meaning as we had to say good-by to our old Bose system. It’s traveled with us for the past 7 years and has been a faithful friend. I’m sure over 25,000 songs have come out of it’s speakers over the years! We played a very HOT gig in the Sun. We were overheated at 107 degrees and…well…the system fried! Fortunately, Niccole had put all of our equipment on special insurance for just such occasions (Smart cookie)! So it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as it could have and of course, your proceeds to us she diligently saves away, also helped make up the difference! (Thank you!)
The thing that we did not for see, the real kicker and almost prophetic that we picked this song is…my father left the planet. We got the news when we were in Stanley and my cousin happened to be visiting us from California (I think Dad set it up that way). She came up to celebrate her birthday with us and he died of heart failure (due to many complications) the same day as her birthday. We were sitting at our campsite stunned when we got the news. A blessing my cousin was there because our sadness could then turn to laughing hysterically telling all the funny stories of him we could remember in his Jersey accent (Nicc didn’t have to try hard; she’s got his accent pegged). So bittersweet. Lots of laughs and tears, followed by a meteor shower that late evening. He was saying hello to all of us.
What an imprint he made in this world. He touched so many people, influencing them to be the best that they could be, in everything they strive to do in life. Yep, that PE/Health Teacher/Driver’s Ed teacher/football, baseball, and golf coach/and home education where he taught kids how to cook wild game he’d hunted. 40 years of teaching and 4 generations of kids, not to mention all his hunting buddies. The list is too long to count. There were almost 800 people at his funeral. He was well loved by many. I will miss him but I am smiling knowing that he had such an incredible life, and experienced so much, with such charisma and joy, and he knew love. What more can a person ask for.
Niccole and I had to perform that same night on the green at Redfish Lake Lodge (Stanley ID). I gazed at the amazing Mt. Heyburn and prayed for strength to get through our 2 hour set. I didn’t lose it until I sang “Lena’s Lullabye” at the end, so all things considered; I think he’d be proud. People always told me how proud he was of me. Good to know we had nothing between us that needed cleaning up before he passed. Forgiveness is our friend, regrets hold nothing but sadness. I am glad he taught me all he did. I am grateful to have known him.
Intertwined in this recording of “75 Septembers” marks moments in time that will never be forgotten. Pictures Niccole picked from this past trip and some special moments we chose to share with you. She is thrilled to have learned how to drop a picture in the movie. It looks quite cumbersome as the software decides to not play very nicely at times. Watching this movie, I needed a few Kleenex, but then again, there’s much to be sentimental about at this time.
On a more uplifting note, we are back in the studio now that Niccole and our engineer are all healed up! We have a mix coming to us next week and have to dive into our homework, listening to the album on multiple mediums, and deciding what needs to stay or go, be accentuated or pushed back, and decide if anything else is needed for the fine finishing touches. We are getting close and it’s very exciting! We can’t wait to share it with you! Mark your calendars for Thursday November 10, 2016 at the Sapphire Room where we’ll be finally releasing our new album! “The Sun Runs” vs. “Thankful” to be determined…cheers to another 75 Septembers…or “another 100 years!”
Be well friends!
Wow, it’s been quite a month. Not only is there so much going on with the world but it seems to be a trying summer for me in regards to health. As you know from our last entry that “bug” that I got the end of May has mutated and followed me around since then! Yes! It’s hard to believe. I don’t think I’ve ever been ill for so long. It’s been about 2 months and 3 trips to the doctor later!
I’m usually a healthy person, but I tell you…I must have gotten quite a strand of virus or whatever it was. I am hopefully pulling out of it but, wow…talk about making someone slow down!!! I haven’t been able to do very much. I show up for the show and that is about all I can muster these days.
My usual hummingbird pace has slowed to that of a sloth. I think I’m finally getting used to this different pace. It’s interesting; I was very resistant to this “cold”. I was fighting it all the way. Still moving too fast, taking all sorts of homeopathic things and my attitude was “come on get better”. After having it for so long, my thinking was more like, “Well, what am I not looking at…what am I not seeing…what is showing up for me in my life that is having me take a deeper look?” I started asking myself some tough questions, quite a bit of soul searching. I had to let go of “doing it all”.
I haven’t been in the place and space to really sit and be idle for so long until this illness. We’ve been moving fast for over a year. Well…my body just put on the breaks. Even now as I’m writing this I feel the weariness behind my eyes and my constant post nasal drip.
On top of that we have been dealing with our sweet dog Osa’s mortality. Yep. So sad. She has been the most amazing doggie. Quite the rock-star in my book! Her legs gave out on her and she couldn’t get up last week. I was her human wheel-chair for 4 days. This took Mo and I down quite an emotional road as we are seeing our baby come to the end of her days with us. Many friends are connected to her as well and if you ever met her, you know she’s a real special sweetie. A pure delight!
Our Zen dog, after much prayer, massage and some last resort medicine miraculously GOT UP AND WALKED! This was amazing. Now, I know they rally for us. I know it may not be a permanent health improvement and the end of her days are still nearing. But I can’t tell you how blessed we feel to have another day, more moments or perhaps another week…or even two…or hopefully a month with her.
I think in all this hard stuff I’ve been going through with health, and seeing my beloved dogie’s life passing by, the state of the world with people killing each other…I think it has opened up a space to really KNOW what is a priority and what is not.
Love is the only real energy that matters. Doing things with love and only love and if you don’t love it… don’t do it. Bring the love back to your life. Time, time by myself, time with my family, time with friends – these are priorities. I have found myself so stretched thin all the time and I’m really telling myself to “knock it off”. I am getting of the age now that I recognize the belief system that may be pulling me in a direction that is unfavorable, “I can’t be all things to all people”. I didn’t think I believed that, and even writing it seems weird…but I think a part of me tries. I am a very sensitive soul and not liking to disappoint I “feel” others expectations upon me. Well, with this illness I haven’t had the time nor the energy to address others. It’s been a foreign feeling.
I’ve only had time to take care of myself, to love on my dog and keep my head space positive and non pressured. I obviously was pressuring myself to a degree where my body shut down. When do we ever realize it? These things culminate over time.
Also in my sensitivity I feel the “weight of the world” feeling at times. The moon is now full and I feel lighter than I have in a month as I write this. My body is making certain that I take these “lessons” seriously and don’t start back on my roller coaster of too busy. We’ve been saying “no” to many gigs. We’ve cancelled. I’ve cancelled many appointments.
I’ve sat on the back porch listening to the wind through the chimes. I haven’t written a “to do” list in over a month. I’ve become one with my Zen dog as we just sit. Sit…idle…nothing…no guitar in hand…no book…no pen or paper…just sitting. It’s such a trip!
You try it and tell me how it goes. Do it for longer than 2 days…a week…a month…2 months! Ha! It was not easy at first. I’m beginning to like it now, ha! So different than where I was at in April springing around. This summer feels like winter to me, but it’s hot out. I haven’t worked out, gone for a bicycle ride, partied with friends…I really haven’t done much. Even the dust and the papers are collected on this desk. And…that’s o.k.
Apparently I needed a break. I get it. Nature provided me this time. Time to take it in, take in this beautiful doggy friend I’ve come to know and love for over 12 years. Not take myself or this career so seriously. Just do what I can. Enjoy what I can do. Love who I am in the moment. Not expect so damn much of myself all the time. Let things go. Let my house be a mess. Let go of those 100 e-mails I have not gotten to, stay away from computers, the phone, planning.
Have you ever wondered about Christmas time? Why is it so special? Because we get out of our normal routine…we stop. The same thing happens when someone dies. We stop. We don’t keep going. I mean sure, some people do and the world keeps turning. But remember 911? The whole world just stopped for a moment. The priority was the focus on love and the togetherness that we had as a human race. With all the stuff happening in the news these days…it seems the grand lesson is to just stop. Stop what we are doing. Be. Be for a while. Feel. Feel everything. “What are you trying to escape?” “What do you think you HAVE to do?” and is it really important in the grand scheme of things? “Who is in your life?” “What do you need to tell them?” “What are you telling yourself?” “What agreements have you made with yourself that you need to let go of?” “What brings you up?” “What lifts you?” “What do you love?” “If life were to end tomorrow what is it you need to do, say, be, go, experience?”
Yes, I’ve been digging. Digging deep. Illness can’t be controlled people. I’ve tried it. I am also not to blame for being sick! Ha! Some folks are like, “When are you going to get better!?” as if I could really do something about it (aside from take the best care of myself as I can). As if it’s my choice to not be 100%? The powers that be are working their magic. Making space for me to be, whatever needs to come through.
But I see that it’s not just happening to me. The world, our cosmic energy is shifting. Things are getting REAL! The moon is bright in the middle of this Wed. evening. I got to take Osa for a stroll in the moonlight at 2 am. I GET to do that again! For a little while longer. I’m stopping and making time for her. I’m putting down my phone. Putting down all things I thought I had to do. I’m being with my girl on her way out. She’s got all my attention. This world spins very fast, and faster yet are the people on this planet whirling at 100mph.
I’ve gotten off the fast track…for now. And even though illness may hold me for a while still…I’m feeling contentment and gratitude deep inside that is so much stronger than it’s ever been. I feel my Spirit emerge.
The mp3 of this month is a favorite that I’m learning. I’ve been singing it to Osa every day. I’ve always wanted to play it and for some reason never learned it, but while I was hanging out with Osa the song came to me and it hasn’t let me go all week. It’s a Towns Van Zandt song, “If I Needed You”. This song describes where I am at with her. It came to me and it’s the perfect thing to sing in her furry little ear, to let her know I am there for her, in this life and the after-life. She will always be with me.
Thank you Spirit, for slowing me down, enough to get some good quality time in with this pooch! All things happen for a reason…even illness. What a trip life is! Be well sweet friends. Go slow. Try stopping. Then go again. 🙂
Well…we are back from our tour to Washington state. Just got in last night and drove through the extreme heat (101 degrees) on the way home. Whew! Thank God for air conditioning. Normally we rarely use it, but I was in no mood to sweat it out all the way home AND since we weren’t pulling the trailer this time, I didn’t see any real reason to “suffer” right? God gave us air-conditioning, so why not use it (*big laugh)!
We have a song that we cover now, by John Salz called, “You just have to laugh” and I bring this up because this tour was like that. “You just have to laugh, or you’ll go crazy, you just have to laugh, in between the tears…you just have to laugh, when it ain’t easy…open up your eyes and say hello to another day”.
I got incredibly ill on this tour. So much so, that my voice was stripped from me for several days! Yep! That’s right folks, a lead singer without a voice! I contracted a strange “laryngitis” type of virus, bacteria, whatever it was it was strong.
The Genesis went like this. 4 days before we leave for tour two men knock on our door. They have pencils dangling from their ears and I assume they can read the “No Solicitation” sign by the door. I say hello, “you must be builders, and can I help you?” One of them is French, so he was fun to listen to.
Basically they tell me the neighbor behind us is moving and is replacing the fence. If we have anything against the fence we need to move it. Well, that was good news but not good news. Yes, we need a new fence but what was the time line on the job? They said immediately. YIKES! Well, I told them we wouldn’t be back until the 7th so she’s going to have to wait as we were getting ready for this trip and in doing this it takes a great amount of preparation to leave home for several days (in this case almost 10).
Then the owner’s mother came over and we also got a phone call from the owner pushing us to move our things off of the fence line. Apparently the woman is in a rush to sell the place. So her crises became every one’s emergency and I really don’t like being operated like that. Mo talked me into complying with the woman which is a total role reversal. I’m usually the “hop to” gal and she’s good at saying, “no” and holding a boundary. So, not wanting to be a pain in the ass neighbor I took it on myself to start moving all the wood we had stacked up against the fence.
At first I thought, I’ll get 5 good friends to help and it will go quick. But I had so many appointments before leaving (lessons etc.) that I had no time to carve out and organize with other people AND I knew there were spiders and possibly bee’s in that pile so, I didn’t want my friends to be subjected to that. Then I said to Mo, how about I hire the kid down the road to move it. She did not have confidence that the kid would do a good job or it would take him too long. So, since she’s allergic to bees it was solely my job.
I started Sunday evening and in 2.5 hours had a lot of the junk wood moved. Now mind you, there was every kind of creepy crawler in that pile of wood that has been sitting there since 1962! Since WAY BEFORE we bought the place. I’m sure years and years of pollen, allergens, fungi, bacterial, spores, spiders, cocoons, eggs, vermin where running for their lives as I was disrupting their long standing homes. I worked until dusk and I quickly ran away from the pile as mud bees at the bottom started to buzz around. That’s it! I’m done for the night.
Now, back story…I was stung by bees as a little girl. Around 9 years old. A swarm covered me and I had received over 150 stings as my mother doused me with meat tenderizer on each sting. It was horrendous and fortunately I survived it and was not allergic. I had made peace with bees since then, but I have a deep respect for them. So, I buggerd off, until mid-night and while they were sleeping I sprayed the nest. I felt horrible committing murder in their sleep! Ugh! I HATED doing this!
Now the next day I was deathly afraid of the bottom layer of wood. Who KNOWS what’s lying under there? I have a few tough friends that make me feel tougher when I’m around them and this one friend in particular well, she’s quite tough and had the day off so, she came by for a couple hours and helped me finish the job. She went a little nutty with the bee killer when we discovered a few more.
I may have inhaled a little of that too and let me tell you…that is bad news right there. Anyone that doesn’t want to own a gun…just buy wasp killer as a weapon…that will MESS YOU UP~!!! Between that and all the dusty pollen that went down my pipe something stuck.
I felt fine when I finished the job. I had some other appointments and the next day came around. I woke, felt a small congestive like a sinus thing in my head in the morning but by mid-morning it was gone. Had some more appointments and then by mid afternoon, my eyes started to water. My throat felt like I swallowed a cactus and I started pouring on the home remedies. Gargling with salt water, taking Chinese Herbs, decongestant, wow! This was aggressive and we were leaving the NEXT DAY~! “How was I going to pack?”
Mo let me sleep in, knowing how crappy I felt. That meant for a late start and a long, long drive day! We were heading to a friend of ours Wed. in Seattle, then we would head to the Juan de Fuca festival in Port Angeles Friday morning for two performances.
I thought I might actually kick it on Thursday, I felt better. But oh no, when night came rolling around my eyes felt like burning saucers and my throat started to inflame. I knew this was going to be quite a challenge. I was doing everything to self medicate.
Friday came and we drove up to the festival. My energy was fine, but my head was a soupy mess! Little snotty singer, I was, who sounded and octave lower than normal. I was not at my best for sure and so disappointed not to be. Ugh! We practiced a few hours before going on and I realized my vocal capacity or “lack there of”. Honestly, I was a bit amazed that I could carve out a set list which stayed away from those vocal jumps I knew I didn’t have. My voice was missing its throaty middle tones and high middle tones. I could do the deep stuff and I could do the very high stuff, but the middle, where I sing often was super tender.
We played that night, and did a very good job considering. We got a standing ovation which made it very hard to give myself due to the fact that I was only running on 4 cylinders and I have a 10 cylinder motor! Ha! I let the tenderness of my voice be the platform and finessed with Mo very delicate harmonies, but songs like, “Life is Beautiful” were definitely off the list!
The audience cheered and asked for an encore and it was the first time, I really was not up for it, but what can you do? So we played them one, I had built it in just in case (thank God) so I was prepared. After that I was toast. My voice was done for and I felt razor blades in my throat. I tried not to speak but that is totally hard.
The next day, same thing, I was silenced. Mo kept fooling herself saying, “I think you’ll be fine by tonight.” I literally told her, “you are in denial, we are going to have to cancel or you are going to have to step up”. The show was only an hour and we had enough “Mo songs” to run for an hour. I will do my best to harmonize but honestly, I could barely do that.
I became the silent jester offering comedy that night, while Mo was the star of the show. She did a very good job. She was nervous as all get out. This was a show of 100-200 people sitting in close proximity and you can’t hear a pin drop between songs. It was on her to take care of all the dialogue and sing the songs. I think the dialogue freaked her freaky more than anything. Ha!
It was fun for me to watch her. Ha! I just smiled and silently joked. I played guitar, I had a great time. I was bummed we came all this way and I couldn’t do our specialty songs, but hey…now and then it happens right? So, I cut myself some slack and enjoyed Mo over there sweating. I knew she’d walk away with a new found respect for what it is I bring. Ha ha! And, she did! She was like, “that was the scariest thing I’ve ever done OMG!” Ha!
We learned a lot about each other. In fact, so much so that she is motivated to learn and WRITE more songs! I couldn’t be happier about that! That is good news, so…this trip inspired Mo to consider her place a bit more seriously in this business and it taught me that I need to pay a kid to do my dirty work now and then, ha ha, ha!!!
No, it taught me how much energy I extend all the time and I have to learn how to reel it in from time to time. Just putts around the house, and do nothing. My friend who helped me stack the wood never got sick. Of course she is a nurse and is exposed to cooties all the time. She said she had felt weird that night after, but nothing manifested like it did me. So, stress can definitely do it too. Too much on the plate, not enough relax time.
After Saturday’s show then the exhaustion hit me…like a brick between the eyes! So much so, that we stayed an extra day at our lovely host’s house and I lay in bed all damn day! Somewhat mortifying but hey, it happens to the best of us now and then right? You know that feeling of falling in front of everyone and people asking, “are you o.k.” It’s a little embarrassing right? Well, that’s how I felt. Particularly because I was fighting something last year when I went up there! Strange right?!
So, we stayed until Monday and we had shows last week on Wed. Fri & Sat, near our buddy Steve’s place in Bonny Lake area. I took it really slow when we got back. He wanted to go golfing with me, but I just couldn’t. I retracted and laid low. It was hard. The days were just gorgeous weather over there and I was saddled with a serious congestion that was creeping down my lungs and causing me to cough at random times.
I wound up going to the Doc in the Box in Port Angeles, you can see snippets of our tour from the movie clip. I spent $105.00 to see the doctor and he mainly said, “you need to rest”! Ha! Wow! Really?! He did write me a prescription for antibiotics but told me not to fill it for a few days. He thought I was on the down swing of this thing, and may not need them. I DID wait a few days and then I got on it because it was hanging in there like puppy on a tug-toy! He thought I had a virus and antibiotics don’t work on viruses. He said, “you have to just ride this out”. Now, I think it was the pollen and something else I inhaled and just flat out exhaustion.
Let’s face it, we’ve been to the moon and back since Feb. Plus a CD pre-release party and constantly on the go. I look at my calendar now with a bit of trepidation. We have 8 shows in the next 10 days starting tomorrow! I’m still not 100%. I have my voice back for the most part. 95%, but I was a lazy sloth today. This letter to you all will be my biggest accomplishment of the day! Ha!
So, the Washington tour taught me how to let go a little. Just be where I’m at and accept what is. I’m grateful for that and the people that made space for us to just be. I wrote in my journal a lot. I slept like crazy. I watched the trees for hours, blow in the winds ever so gently. So amazing that is! Almost more intriguing than watching the ocean waves, the movement was hypnotic! I trusted that all will work out. I have faith in Mo and her ability to sound like an angel. And to also let go and allow myself to falter a little bit. It’s hard when your health is not up to par, and you have so much you want to bring and give. Moral of the story…sometimes you have to give to yourself.
So we will soon post our video and the “You Just Have to Laugh” song for your enjoyment. Hope you dig it and hope you stay healthy throughout the season and give to yourself…and laugh a lot! I know we did! Be well fabulous friends!
Well Hello Beautiful Friends:
We are back from our travels (for a little while) and it feels really good to be home. Upon arriving home, road-tired, but with a smile on our face, we had only two days to literally, “get our ACT together” for a big local show here at the Sapphire Room in Boise. This was our second sold out show at the Sapphire! We send a hardy hello to all of you who attended the “Live at the Sapphire” show in April, 2014! You all brought the same incredible energy to last Friday night’s show (our pre-CD release “Keep Facing the Sun”) If our instruments and voices could have wings, you put them there that evening! Wow! We are still high from that incredible time with you to share our up-coming tunes, and see our new lead guitarist, Fritz Jones, and drummer, Blaine Johnston in action. Roxx as always, added her amazing harmonies to ours, and that, my friends, is called musical nirvana! We get lifted by your support and kindness, just as much as our harmonies may touch your hearts.
We are so grateful for your on-going support to follow this dream called “music.” We consider it a special privilege to be doing what we love for a career, and you make it happen dear friends! We simply couldn’t do it without you, so a very special thanks of appreciation to all of you who keep this ball rolling!
We have been offered more tasty, high caliber shows this year, and the best thing about it is, they are reaching out to us. No more long endless hours on the computer, going down cyber holes of music research, with very little return on the time invested. Part of the reason we keep getting invited back is because of folks like you! Staff at various venues always remark on how wonderful and kind our audience is, and that the entire experience we all bring when we get together is an amazing “feel good” time! So kudos to you, and your hearts and smiles that touch everyone is some way. You are a gift!
Much Love to you all,