Brandi Bear and Buffalo!

Hi Friends,

Top of the world! Jump for Joy and not for lightning!

Top of the world! Jump for Joy and not for lightning!

We are home for 2 days and I thought I would take advantage of my “time” (ha ha) and get you a little download I am super excited about AND tell you all the cool stuff we’ve witnessed and have done. I know as I tell you these stories many of you might think we live a “charmed” life. Believe me, I feel blessed, and for the most part we do. Just remember in ALL things, there is ALWAYS a “flip side”.

So, we leave for Washington May 30th. It’s late, 4 pm. We won’t make it there. We know that. We are exhausted. Our show is not until the next day (Friday). The Thunder crashes down in Boise. It’s an epic powerful storm. We had just planted our flower beds. We peek out the bay window with Juno and watch the big drops hit the soil. It suddenly starts to hail. Oh how I wish I could crawl into my bed with a good book and stay there for a few days!

We had just played a series of shows and June has me a bit anxiety ridden. I haven’t had enough time to myself, for anything (there’s that flip side I was talking about). I haven’t been able to read, write, and don’t even ask me how to relax or have fun. I simply felt at that point that I didn’t know how to do any of those things anymore.

I had several appointments, way over scheduled and a body work class to attend. Some of you know, I do body work on the side. It’s a passion, a love, a hobby, a fling career. I’m good at it. My small clientele love it and it pays some bills. I squeeze these appointments and lessons in between our shows and trips. It’s no easy juggle.

People have been doing yard work. There are several emergencies. Low backs and hips are going out and I am “on call”. I haven’t had a moment to take a pee and I am my own boss (!/?) I’m pretty ridiculous and questioning everything. The drops come down. I am over joyed to just stop and take it all in.

We are taking our trailer, leaving our beloved puppy with a great friend (thank you Jackie), and heading to the Gorge in Washington to witness one of our favorite musicians Brandi Carlile. Some how back in December I rationalized that we would have time and deserve to see our favorite players when they are in the Northwest. I was also scrambling for a good Christmas gift for Mo and I and was coming up short.

With the price of tickets now being so ridiculous (ridiculous must be my word tonight) I really felt like I bit off much more than I could chew with time and expense. Yet here we were. We had a gig less than a 1/4 mile from the big stage! We aren’t playing at the Amphitheater…but we are playing at the Gorge! Hallelujah!

I wrote a beautiful blog/newsletter about that whole trip here: Playing Next to Brandi Check that out if you want to take that journey, but let’s move on ward.

We get back from that trip and have 8 shows in 7 days, I have clients between those shows and another class. I’m a little concerned for myself, my energy level, etc. The saving grace, I have made time to get to the gym. I know. Crazy right?! I take only one hour to lift and swim 3 days a week. I lift for 20-35 min. and swim for 20-30 minutes and then I am OUT OF THERE! No time to flex in the mirror, no chatting it up; get busy, get to it!

That helped drastically! My energy levels you would think would have waned, but they didn’t. This helped beyond belief. All the more reason to stay in shape I thought. No easy task when you just want to escape into a bottle of wine! Ha! Someone wrote, “the bottom of a bottle’s not the safest place for you to hide”.

Some may be asking, escape from what? Responsibility, commitments, obligations, you name it! We all “adult” a bit too much at times and me…I am completely guilty of that! I would like to say and think I have balance, but I am definitely a “work in progress”.

We finish the 7 shows and the Universe steps in (what I like to call Divine Intervention) and our last show that week is cancelled by the venue due to their double booking! Hooray! I am saddened for the people that planned to attend the show, a little miffed at the loss of income, but I am truly relieved because we are leaving the NEXT DAY to BILLINGS Montana for another “splash in the pan”!

Juno goes to the sitter again as we thought we were FLYING to Billings but turns out, our stand by tickets would have kept us “standing by” to MISS the gig on the other side! Oh holy moly we are driving…again! Opposite direction! Here we go. Pack everything up.

The garden needs irrigation or all our work will die. We some how cram that in during the slew of shows. My tomato plants out back will be dealt with tomorrow, they somehow survived the drought of the last 4 days as we flooded them before we left. I ordered business cards from my web manager, folded t-shirts til 12:30am, checked on the new shipment of “SunRuns”, paid bills.

We are up and out Thursday. Longest drive in the Universe (except if you are driving back to Jersey, eii yii yii!) We get there. Our friends are tied up with some family illness. We recuperate the next day. I brought my yoga mat and stretched and rolled on my roller as my hip and butt were “yelling” at me. I catch a work out with our friends, and the next day is the show.

We play in an awesome horse training barn. OMG! A whole other life flashes before me. I was once a cow girl. Yep! Rode horses every day. Picked there feet, oiled my own saddle, pitched their shit, brushed and loved on my horses every day over 20 years. Wow! Just walking into that place and the smell of the leather brought me right back.

Just leapt up on him here…notice the soft dirt!  :-)

Just leapt up on him here…notice the soft dirt! :-)

This party was for Bon-Bon, otherwise known as that bad ass chick who plays electric guitar with us on occasion. She’s mega skilled and this was her day to shine and turn another decade older with two other friends. Bonnie turns 50, Lydia turns 60, and Trudy turns 70! She built a stage in the barn, this woman can do anything. She builds everything! Quiet a clever, wickedly funny, waggy tailed crusader of life and love and a sweet friend.

When we found out the day before we couldn’t fly…I must admit, I wanted to vomit just thinking about crawling into a car again. But then I thought of her smiley face on the other side. I thought of all the people we would help make their day special. I also thought, “Billings, that’s next to Red Lodge, which is next to the Beartooth Hi-way, which is next to the NE gate of Yellowstone”.

Let’s pull a crazy! Let’s go through Yellowstone on the way back! Many of you have seen the videos on Facebook. Boy did God bless US for our butt pain!!! 3 bears and hundreds of buffalo! Here is a video clip: Bear Buffalo

Oh MY GOD! Truly! How incredible was that? What was also incredible is that we got the last little cabin in Roosevelt at a decent price! When I called ahead of time they had reservations which were already out of my comfort zone financially and then they added another 30% on top of that for reservation charges and fees! I just laughed at the lady. Not in a mean way but, hell…I am a musician, not an I.T. agent. Who has crazy money to spend on a tiny cabin for one night? Ugh! I could go to Brandi Carlile for that kind of money! *eye roll here ha ha!

We get there and this place was a 1/4 of the price! Bingo! That we can do! We get into the little cabin and decide to venture out that evening and saw a big black bear off the side of the road and this little black bear that darn near looks like a cub, but it is a yearling. There is the gift! There were many gifts on this trip:

We got to make 3 people’s birthdays and about 150 other people very happy!

We got to play music with our buddy and hear her rock her guitar!

I got to ride “Bayley” the horse, a beautiful Palomino - bare back “bull-ya”!!! That REALLY took me back! (I looked at the ground before muscling my way up to it’s bare back and thought, “well, that dirt is soft enough” ha ha! )

We got to drive the bear tooth hi way again and take in that beautiful landscape.

Bear tooth.jpg

As we hiked to the outcrop at the top of the bear tooth summit we did NOT get struck by lightning even though our hairs stood up on end! Yikes!! (Gotta thank God for the things that DON’T happen!)

Electric Nicc

Electric Nicc

Electric Mo

Electric Mo

We saw a total of 3 bears! 2 giant black bears and one little one.

We literally got stuck in a Buffalo heard! Best traffic jam ever!

traffic jam.jpg

We saw some beauty and very cool geysers and springs.

Can you smell the sulfur?

Can you smell the sulfur?

We reconnected with a super fun Golden Doodle “Syd” and met 2 greyhounds ( I fell in love with “Wallace”).

Wallace the greyhound.  Sweet baby!

Wallace the greyhound. Sweet baby!

We got to come home to our lovely lily’s popping and our happy baby Juno and friends!

Flower garden finally complete.

Flower garden finally complete.

And now…we get to go to Oregon and play for several little towns and all kinds of different folks! Right after I put mulch down in the flower bed, attend another bodywork class and go see the Indigo Girls concert tomorrow with good friends (thank you Cindy and Shelly)! Ha ha ha!!!

One of our biggest influences.  They’ve written with courage and sang with grace for over 30 years. I’ve been a big fan for all that time!

One of our biggest influences. They’ve written with courage and sang with grace for over 30 years. I’ve been a big fan for all that time!

Ridiculous?….yes, that I am. I will probably move fast until I can’t move fast any more or learn how to just let go, slow down, relax, or not worry. I am completely blessed. Sometimes in the midst of it all, my “little brain” can forget that, like a little child that needs a nap. But for the most part, I treasure every moment, because ANY moment could be our last.

Enjoy your download, “The Story” a Brandi Carlile tune I covered a month or so back at DejaBrew. “All of the lines across my face, tell you the story of who I am. So many stories of where I’ve been and how I got to where I am!” Thanks for listening, thanks for reading the stories, thanks for everything!

I hope you all enjoy our whirl-wind. It is the Summer after all! Be well, go slow, go fast, do what you like!

Quick video of some highlights on our journey!