Monday, October 16, 2017

Blogging from the chemo lab.

Gooooood Monday morning, y'all! I'm writing from the Norton Cancer Institute where, for the first time in months, I'm able to accompany my mom to her doctor's appointment. I lost my nanny in August, and it's been a struggle to piecemeal childcare. My in-laws are visiting this week, however, so they're snuggling wee Angus, so I can snuggle my mommy.

Things I'm observing: it's been 3 months since she's been able to have treatment because her blood counts have been off, making it dangerous to have chemo. Good news/bad news, of course, because no treatment gives the tumors time to grow. Good news is her hair is growing back.

She'd been dying her hair red for about the last 10 years because she had this redhead daughter and had just always wanted red hair. Because of the dye jobs, none of us ever noticed if her hair was graying or not.

It's grown back, is about an inch or too long, and I'm here to tell you that at 66 years old, her hair is 98% brown. She has a super cut tiny white patch on her upper right forehead -- and that's it.

She's also been having some fun with her faux-hawk for the past month and dying it various bright colors that fade after a couple of days. Today she's sitting in a hospital chair, hooked up to a bag of fluids, scrolling through Facebook, with a burgundy stripe in her hair.

No word on whether there's treatment or not today -- I hope she can have it -- but in the mean time, I'm making good use of a rolling desk and hammering out emails and blogs this morning to catch up with work.

Super fun weekend of playing music with friends! Belknap Festival was brilliant. Photo below.

Ways to support indie musicians:

photo by Robert Pieroni

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mommy-tracked in the Music Biz. EYE ROLL.

A music business friend I hadn't seen in ages asked me what I've been up to lately. "Oh, just gigging, doing self-employed work, hustling, playing lots" -- all of which is true.

His response? "Oh, I didn't think you'd been playing much since you had kids."

It's making me CRAZY, y'all. I didn't realize it was possible to get Mommy-tracked in the independent musician business, but argh, it is, and it's irritating as can be. Longer essay on that to follow, but this is just my blog, you know.

Anyway, I don't always tell you, dear readers, about every single gig I play -- and that's mostly because I play a ton of private events and that just seems mean to tell you about. Like, hey, y'all, I'm playing this amazing house concert this weekend, and the homeowner is making 3 kinds of chili and an entire buffet of desserts and YOU CAN'T COME NANNY-NANNY-BOO-BOO!

Just for fun, here are some photos of one of these house concerts. Maybe they'll inspire you to host your own event because aren't party-leftovers the best? And bringing live music to your living room is something you'll talk about for years on end.


United Kingdom I've got dates available:

  • Monday, January 29 in Somerset or Dorset or South Wales or Bath/Bristol?
  • Saturday, February 3 ideally somewhere between Yorkshire and Edinburgh, but, hey, I'm not about backtracking. 
I'm all about work these days, y'all. Work work work work work work work.

Also, I'm selling my house in Schnitzelburg. Anyone want it? 1350 sq ft? 2/1? You know it's hott there right now.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sukkot celebrations and tricks.

Graham as a pumpkin in 2013. 
We spent last weekend building a shed, or as I like to think of it, preparing for Sukkot. Y'all, I think I'm going to start getting *really* into Sukkot. I grew up more Jewish than Catholic (interfaith parents), but I still didn't know what Sukkot was until I learned my kid's preschool canceled school for two days because of it. Further research revealed that Sukkot is probably the holiday behind Thanksgiving -- not necessarily a cultural appropriation, but more, like WHAT A GREAT IDEA FOR A HOLIDAY, LET'S ALL DO IT.

This year Sukkot happens to coincide with some houseguests who are not Jewish, but always very inquisitive about Jewish traditions. I'm tempted to play the most wonderful tricks on them and make sure they are get a chance to craft a proper "Sukkot hat" and attend the "Traditional Sukkot Seance" while making sure everyone at the table is wearing the "Orange Sukkot Scarf." But not everyone things my jokes are funny, and I don't want anyone to think I'm being mean, rather than playful.

Instead, I think I'll just, as stated above, get really into Sukkot, and we can all have Thanksgiving in October. Because, really, Thanksgiving is just the best holiday, so why not have two? Or, more accurately, I suppose we'll have Sukkot, and then we'll have Sukkot again the fourth Thursday in November.

BUY MY CD PLEASE. Or download it for free, whatever, but maybe buy a t-shirt?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Laundry and marriage and folding boards.

I mean, why does it matter how you
fold DIAPERS when they are just
gonna get POOPED on anyway?

How do you all sort out laundry with your partners? 

For years, we each just did our own laundry. But three years into David traveling all the time, and his laundry piling up because I didn't want him spending our family time doing laundry on the weekends, I decided to take over laundry completely.

I honestly don't mind. It's not like I love laundry, but I do work out of my home office, which happens to be right next to the laundry room. So when a student is late while I'm teaching, I'll switch a load, or while I'm creating invoices or answering emails, I'll switch another load. I generally do 6-8 loads of laundry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and it's finished.

I thought it was working quite well.


I apparently do not fold his clothes properly.

This is not surprising, and it should in no way be construed as a "man has wife who does his laundry, but is critical of her folding techniques," even though I suppose that would be a factual headline. I am the one insisting on doing the laundry, however, because I am tired of the massive piles of dirty clothes on the floor and doing everyone's laundry helps keep me on a schedule.

A few weeks ago, he said he would rather me not fold it at all than to fold it incorrectly.

So I stopped folding his clothes. Sometimes I carry up a wad of clean clothes in a laundry basket. Sometimes I just lay everything flat in a big pile and put it in his office to deal with. I'm not sure I love this, however, because now there is just a big pile of clean clothes rather than a big pile of dirty clothes, so how is this solving a problem?

He asked me, "Would you like me to show you how to fold them?" I promptly replied that if he enjoyed being married to me, he would absolutely not teach me how to fold his underwear. But since it seems important to him, I would watch a YouTube video that shows me the way he likes them folded and adjust accordingly.

He has yet to send me such a video, so the wads of clean clothes continue. I suggested that he maybe create his own YouTube video, but then I thought that might make him a huge enemy to all women -- a video of a man teaching his wife how to fold his old fraternity dance t-shirts probably does not endear him to the world.

And, my friends, he is very endearing. He just cares a little more about right angles and matching socks than I do.

I asked a friend about this, but she was no help because she uses a FOLDING BOARD. Someone point me in a more civil direction?


Gratuitous photo of adorable children just because:
Brothers holding hands on the sidewalk.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mental health checkup & irish fest photos.

My husband's snapchat, ha ha!
Hey friends! I think my antidepressants are working. How's that for straight-talk about mental health? I've been a bit of a mess since my live-in nanny went on vacation 2 months ago. I can't decide if it's because I haven't been able to work or because I haven't been able to go to yoga, but I need to find some sort of regular childcare so I can do both. Today, however, I have a babysitter, and I've escaped to a coffeeshop to answer a bunch of emails, build invoices, and book tours. Tonight I am playing a 3-hour gig with the best bluegrass band in the state, and that is something to look forward to. I still have 105 unheard voicemails, but it feels good to want to get out there again.

Also, there are $484 flights to Paris from Cincinnati, so don't be surprised if you see me checking in to the Eiffel Tower at some point. I need a break, and Angus needs a passport stamp.

Irish Fest was good fun, and here are some highlights:
My cargo bike loaded with my guitar, saw, accordion, merch.

Princess hair!
View from soundcheck. Steve Cooley and Mike Schroeder.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Louisville, Kentucky t-shirts for Those Who Drift Away.

MY SECOND RUN OF T-SHIRTS HAS ARRIVED! If you ordered one at my CD release show, I'll get it to you ASAP. Wayne & April, I haven't gotten any sans fleur-de-lis yet, but I'm working on it. The rest of you, I'll send you an email, or message me.

Shirts are $20 no matter your size, and I would LOVE to sell one to you. I mean, no one buys CDs anymore, so if you're just streaming my new album because you like everything digital, then how about buying a shirt? It's grey, so it works well with your minimal wardrobe. And my name is on the back, so mostly you can have a cool shirt with Kentucky on it. And don't we all need one of those???

Fall has consistently been my busiest gigging season, and this year is no different. I'm doing a zillion private events, from Rosh Hashanah celebrations to fancy soirees, but in between I've got a couple of public gigs.

This weekend: IRISH FEST!
Bellarmine University. I'm emceeing the event, so I'll be there both days all day. It's all ages, and you get a dollar off if you're a Zoo member.
I'm also playing two sets of Celtic-inspired songs with Steve Cooley on banjo and Mike Schroeder on mandolin. It'll be a fun event, and if you're vegetarian like me, you have an excuse to eat french fries all weekend.
Saturday 9/23 on the Main Stage at 2:40
Sunday 9/24 at the Cralle Theatre at 12:15


Monday, September 18, 2017

Nashville wrap-up and Monday Morning music.

Crazy morning bed-head princess hair.
Monday morning, y'all. Entirely because of the title, here's a video of Adam Holmes with me on accordion and backup vocals before he released his first album. We're doing a live thing on the BBC, recorded on the Hebredian Isle of Lewis, just before we played HebCelt Music Festival.

Monday is particularly difficult this week, as I'm just returned from a week in Nashville. The AmericanaFest is one of my favorite weeks of the year, a time when I get to catch up with industry friends from around the globe and see music. This year I didn't get to see as much music because I had my babies with me. Not ideal, but I brought a babysitter with me to manage times when I was at panels or lunches or interviews. She was wonderful and made the conference possible, but I still wish I could have gone solo to the event -- it's really hard for me to clock out of parenting and into music-ing. Re-entry is easier because I'm happy to see the boys, but leaving them without anxiety and list-managing? SO HARD.

Anyhoo, I'm off to edit a little interview that Michael Young did with Joan Osborne that I got some video off. Will share in a bit! She's a hometown hero, and wow, is she smart.
Photos from Nashville:

Blogging from the chemo lab.

Gooooood Monday morning, y'all! I'm writing from the Norton Cancer Institute where, for the first time in months, I'm able to ac...