We'll see if I can actually stay on top of this, but I want to share with you all my adventures and my ups and downs. Since I spend so much of my roller coaster in a personal space I'd really like to start taking you along. There's huge bits of silence as the physical and neurological oddities I face take me for a ride but I'm still doing so much musically or dreaming. It seems I never come to a realization of the fruits of all these labors and I don't ever share the little tidbits as I aim too high, trying to tackle huge projects. Last year I accomplished some of those on beautiful stages at great cost, and they were so fleeting. I'd really like to create something lasting here that can be revisited again and again.
On January 14th I get to go to the great underground stage of Fort Collins Public Media. Once again I'm dreaming high and may have to go more simple than I'd like. The Mast Cell disorder I have means these little guys that are meant to disperse and protect us from all sorts of things from toxins to viruses, have decided I'm under attack and pretty much since October I've been battling recovering from a flared nerve attack and mast cell flare. I really messed up by turning my art room into my studio and stirring up dust that turned into acute bronchitis. All of it makes me terribly unruly and obnoxious as I'm stubborn. The worse I feel the more I fight it and try to pretend I'm fine...so I knock myself down a little more and more. I'm trying to actually rest....sipping ginger tea, wearing a mask, taking a mast cell stabilizer, piping humidifiers, helping my mitochondria recover with loads of amino acids and all sorts of supplements to try to take down the nerve and muscle inflammation as well as the arthritis. I feel like a doofus. But if it means I can sit in my music room and record and compose a little tomorrow than so be it! All the coughing has reaked havoc on these vocal cords so I have some training to do to get them back into shape.
I don't know if it was a virus, the holiday push, or the cold but there's been a steady uptick of neurological electrical activity in the past few years that went from shimmery migraines, to electric shock feelings, and the past couple of months it's been resulting in seizures. Only mild convulsions, but scary none the less. I had my first loss of consciousness outside a store a week before Christmas and I tore my shoulder cuff and slipped my shoulder joint a little. Hallelujah I didn't dislocate it like I've done loads before due to the hyper-mobility from the EDS, but I'm already back to being able to strum. So that's awesome. Sometimes that takes months I still have to get into the doc and get a referral to a neurologist again...even though I'm already on anticonvulsants...and I just don't want to...I just want to live my life and make music. There's that stubborn fit part of me again. That part that makes things get so much worse before they get better. I get the "I don't wannas" a lot because it all piles up. Especially in winter. Especially in Colorado. And I'll be honest it's hard to go to doctors when there's so much to sift through and they just want to skim the surface...and it costs money, and it's not pleasant, and you never know what kind of mood they'll be in, or how receptive they'll be, or if they'll just want to pharm you up....so....I'd rather throw a fit sometimes and let it get worse...or see if it gets better. Anyways...January the BIG dream would be to play 3 staged songs Molly Brown-
If you don't know who she is, you have to read her story! A long story short she came from humble beginnings in Missouri. She married a poor man, when she could have married into money, for love, and then they struck it rich. So rich. She became a philanthropist, stood for women's rights and loved culture and traveling. She and her husband moved to Denver, Colorado and their house is now a museum to tell her story. When she was travelling she heard her grandchild had fallen ill and she booked the first charter home....the Titanic. As you probably know so many first class passengers were trying to load the life boats light. She stayed for a long time helping to load the boats. After they boarded one and the boat sank, she was insisting they go back and look for survivors. When the man in charge of the life boat refused, she threatened to throw him overboard.
When much of my neurological issues began causing confusion and speech difficulties and I had an MRI, they found a white mass. It's a brain lesion associated with dementia, Alzheimers, MS....just another thing to add to fear box. So many people fight with invisible diseases, struggles that change from day to day and behind closed doors. We come out into the light strong, resilient, full of smiles and spunk and no one would be the wiser. I decided no matter what I'm not going to mull on this. It's just going to be another squall to my ship and I'll weather through it no matter what the results of the findings are...I'm going to sail on through. All the people to fight through, whether it be aging, disease, heartache, loss.....we're all unsinkable and this is a little anthem about weathering the storm.
I'm hoping to have a little nautical themed set for this. It will probably be pretty kitsch and cheese. But that's how I roll.
Last year my sister was diagnosed with ALS. I had a dream that she came to me in a garden and planted a plant inside a plant and said they would grow together rooted forever. And even though she's the one that is facing this terrible degenerative fate in such a brave way she actually asked me if I was going to be okay. I woke up with the chorus of this song being sung by hundreds of voices, as if there were a crowd of others joining us. I immediately recorded it and composed the verses. It took me months before I could sing it without breaking down, but I want to use it as a way to raise funds for all the many changes she needs to make to her home for her mobility. I was in a wheelchair for years with doctors telling me there was no treatment and then bed bound for quite some time. I know what a devastating mind battle it is, but I also know what a warrior she is. She's an Air Force Veteran, a Meteorologist, and now a head of a Medical Facility in Missouri. She plans to continue to help people and take no time for herself until she can no longer work, even though she could be spending her time traveling or thinking of herself. Her brilliant son, my nephew, is in college for engineering, and creates mobility devices for her. My brother in law is a high school teacher and is the kind that inspires all of the kids and makes them look forward to being there. They both are incredible musicians and will be helping me make the official recording of Wildwood which I will release later this year. I'm trying to pull together other extremely talented local musicians for the project as well, but it's a big favor to ask so we'll see.
I'm hoping to set her up some sort of fundraising site for this as well as a backdrop in the studio with woods, foliage, and firefly effect. It's a little lofty as I don't know how it will translate with studio lights and cameras so we'll have to test it.
Written by Donna Farar, Richard Danko, and musically composed by the fellas of Gasoline Lollipops this musical number was gifted to me by these amazing people and I love it so much It's a sweet little love song about not seeing love right in front of you and jilting the love you'd been wishing for before realizing it was right there. It's a soft descending progression and I adore it. If it works I'll bring my little red bridge I built and brought for my Washington's production and a little water stage light to give the illusion of a little wishing bridge.
So I may just end up playing my ukulele under the lights in front of a velvet curtain if this health persists. I was hoping to play with the amazing musicians I'd played with before, David Bauer bassist and Jackie McConnell violinist, but I've been so under the weather I don't see practice enough happening in time.....I guess we'll just have to see all of it! My hopes are to make lots more videos, more blogging, more content in general and share more of the journey. Love all!