October Tour 2015- Texas

Here we are again, out on the road. This time we are taking ourselves to Texas. We are a member short, as Pete has other obligations to fulfill, and so we ditched the trailer and added a tour dog! Abe started traveling with us last month when we did just three shows in Minneapolis, Verona, and Rockford. He did so well that we thought we would take him out again.

6th- We left out today and drove to our friend’s house in North Richland Hills, TX close to Fort Worth. Jack and Shannon are some friends we met about three years ago by accident. Tony and I had planned a trip to Fort Worth to see my uncle who was living there at the time and one day we went out and happened upon a festival. When we looked up the acts we saw these guys called Whiskey Folk Ramblers and thought they looked cool and decided to see what they were about. We instantly fell in love! When we got back, I had followed them on social media and sent them a message telling them how much we enjoyed their show and how cool it would be if we played a show together. Later down the road, we got the show together at the Magnolia Motor Lounge and we all met and hung out and they became people we followed on social media and therefore knew everything about each other’s lives. Jack and Shannon instantly clicked with us and I constantly told them how adorable their two kids were and that I was going to steal their youngest. *Rewind* Jack is the stand up bassist for Whiskey Folk Ramblers and Shannon is his wife. These guys were awesome enough to offer their house to us for a few days and so day one ended with us driving into their driveway at almost one in the morning after a huge delay in traffic from construction and a quick stop at In-N-Out Burger. IMG_2133

7th- When we woke up, Shannon was already gone for work, and so we wondered outside with bleary eyes and found Jack. We let Abe wonder around in their yard and talked about everything under the sun. It’s really hard to get caught up in a timely manner when you haven’t seen someone in three years. We had a lunch date at 12:30 and so we went to meet a guy that has played some shows with us in the Shoals area and was also in our performance video of Resonate. Daniel Jameison. He and his family recently moved to the same town that Jack and Shannon live in and so we met at a BBQ place called Smokeys. It was pretty legit. The buns were sourdough, the sides were at a bar area, and I have never been to a place where the service was faster. They were literally sitting my plate in front of me as soon as I said what I wanted. Daniel and his family seem to have taken to Texas really well and are having some great experiences here and we are so happy for them! After lunch, we went back to meet Jack and Shannon’s two boys: Ian and Ollie. They are both so precious and sweet! I say that, but Ian is 15 and Ollie is 7. Not sure Ian would approve of the term precious. Ian was so sweet, in fact, that he watched Abe while we went to our first show. We played at The Live Oak. Now…all of you people who think that living this life is glamourous, here you go. Literally three people who weren’t on the guest list showed up. And just fyi….we put two people on the guest list. There were three bands and our pay was based on ticket sales after the fee that the sound guy gets. It just happens that way sometimes, but this is a good time to mention supporting live music. But… I had promised myself that I was going to try to live in the moment more often and so I got up there and played like I have never played before. For those of you who have seen me….I actually moved while I played and I had a good time. Haha! After, we went out and had a drink since it was Shannon’s birthday and then we stopped at Whataburger and I got a honey butter chicken biscuit. Dear. Lord. IMG_2141

8th- Bless Shannon’s heart. She and Jack got up today and she cooked us a feast for breakfast on her birthday. It was nice to just be lazy for a while and talk and enjoy our friends. We had to be in Gainesville after 5, and so we eventually had to load up and say our goodbyes to everybody. We will be back, though! Tonight we are at a house on Moss Lake and we have spent our day with the Wicks just jamming to some music out on the porch watching the lake, and eating some white chicken chili that was out of this world! Abe has been so content. He has laid around all night taking naps, and I know that means that he’s a happy pooch. In tomorrow’s forcast, we have lots of water sports planned. I need a lifeproof phone case! IMG_2143

9th- This morning we woke up and immediately hit the water, even though it was a little chilly. Abe and I loaded into a kayak and paddled out to the middle of the lake togehter. It was a stressful, but peaceful time for me. The breeze was blowing and the scenery was beautiful, but I was freaking out that my precious baby was going to, at any minute, fall or jump out into the lake. Can my dog swim? That is debateable. We eventually returned as the wind picked up speed, causing the lake to become choppy. The rest of the afternoon was spent putting golf, IMG_2146 reading, and hanging out. We left out for McKinney, Texas around 3:00 PM and had no trouble with the traffic, only with trying to stay awake after being fed well and being so relaxed. These guys throwing the house show are super awesome and this is our third time with them in the last three years. As usual, they put on a heck of a party and spoiled us rotten, and we even signed a guys nipple. So… FullSizeRender

10th- LeGrange, Texas….here we come…Tonight’s venue is a place called The Bugle Boy. We ended up getting there before anyone else showed up and so I searched around the place and saw all kinds of air plants and I found just the right one that reminds me of something out of a Dr. Suess book and I put it in the car to come back home with me. IMG_2151 We had several people come out to see us and we also had several people who watched it live via the web! That’s a cool bonus! Also, there were volunteers there that were beyond sweet to us. We ended up having a great time!

11th- Today was a day off. Although we have stayed with the Wick’s for several days at this point, let me tell you about our arrangements. They have put us in a room that adjoins one with Chris. We all share a bathroom and it is very roomy and pleasant. It also has no windows, which means every day we wake up at noon or after and think that it’s still the middle of the night and then we go back to sleep and wake up even later. It’s been nice. The only thing we did was get ready to go see our buddies The Whiskey Folk Ramblers in Denton at a place called Dan’s Silverleaf. Before we went there, we met up with our friends Emily and Josh (from the house show) and ate at LSA Burger, which was amazing! The Ramblers put on a great show and we had a great time seeing all of them again! IMG_2159 IMG_2160

12th- There are a few days off in a row and so today, being another one, needed to be a productive day. We all spent a few hours going over some cover songs that had been purchased in the Pledge campaign and we plan on videoing them in the next few days when we get most of the kinks worked out. IMG_2168The only other thing we did was venture out about 2 miles down the road so we could have supper. We went to Dominos and Chris got a pizza and Tony and I got some chicken bites, his with buffalo sauce, and mine with the jalepeno and pineapple stuff. Then we went to Sonic and got some ice cream and a hot dog (for Abe) and saw a cute toad hanging out in the kid’s sand area. At one point we saw him chasing a cricket, and we were cheering him on, but he was too fat to keep up. IMG_2174

13th- Long ago, in the year 2008ish, I started playing banjo a bit, not seriously, but I still got on a forum board called banjohangout.com and met a guy named Zachary Almaguer. We wrote each other back and forth forever and became really good friends. Later on in 2009, he came all the way from Illinois and stayed a weekend with me and we literally just sat around talking about life and I watched him blow me away with his banjo skills. Everyone at work was worried that he was some weirdo that was coming to kill me, but Zalm, as I call him…and sometimes Zalmalamabingbong, was super shy and quiet and a gentleman. He didn’t even complain about sleeping in the back room with no air conditioning or the fact that the only way my bathroom door would close is if you put a really heavy candle on the floor next to the door. Anyway, Zalm moved to Texas shortly after to pursue a musical career, and we have kept in touch ever since. That being said, we drove to Austin tonight to see him and hang out. This is the 2nd time Zalm and I have seen each other and we have been friends for 7 years now. Before he got off work, we made our way to The Noble Pig and had some lunch.  It’s a great BBQ place that we learned of from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Then I took Tony and Chris to see the bats at the Ann W. Robert’s (?) Bridge downtown, but it wasn’t peak season so by the time they came out it was already dark and they just swarmed under the bridge. IMG_2187 It was really hard to see. I’ve seen it before and it was pretty awesome. The bats came out and there were millions of them! They just kept coming out of the bridge for almost an hour and we watched them fade into the distance. It was beautiful. I thought I could share it, but, maybe another time. When Zalm got off work he took us to a honkey tonk bar called The White Horse and we sat around catching up and watching people do the Texas Two-step. It was pretty amazing. I almost wanted to get out there and try, but Zalm said one of the guys was an instructor and I didn’t want him seeing me try to dance or getting me back out there to teach me how, either. So I kept sitting and watching. We eventually left and went to Trudy’s and Chris and I had a stuffed, deep-fried avocado because Chris’ mom said they were amazing. We said our byes to Zalm at the end of the night, and prepared ourselves for a 3 hour drive home. Maybe it wont be another 7 years before I see him again. *Rewind* On our way down, we stopped at a convienence store on steroids called Buckees. Anyone who has never been to one, needs to hop on a plane now and go see one. Then you can die happy. There is a hot food bar, little knick-knack items to buy, clothes, sandwich bar, sweets bar, fudge, cinnamon rolls, beef jerky, burritos, etc., etc., etc. It’s my best friend. Please, everyone, write letters to these people and make them put one closer to me.

14th- Today I am still under the weather from my avocado, so I’m still drowsy and bleh. But… Tonight we have a show! We drove to The Woodlands, TX to play at The Big Barn of Dosey Doe. It looked like all kinds of 90’s country artists had played there before. The acoustics were awesome too. Tony said that he read that it was an old barn in Kentucy and they took it down and shipped it to The Woodlands and recontructed it. We played with The Wicks and Chatham County Line, who are out of central North Carolina. It was a good show and I feel like I should get CCL hooked up with our friends from Kentucky, The Misty Mountain String Band. We had a large gathering of people who were there for us. For example: Ali, who is a friend of a girl named Airi that we met in Florida, and who are both friends with a girl we met and stayed with in California named Destiny. Small world. Speaking of small worlds, we also met the brother (and I would say twin brother) of a man we call “a saint.” Steve Beckman. IMG_2201A couple also came and brought me some jam from berries that were picked fresh that day. We literally have the best fans in the world!

15th- Love and War is tonight in Plano, Texas. We have a lot of friends that live there because of meeting our house show friends, Josh and Emily. They brought a whole slew of people to our show! Thank God for loyal friend/fans! Also, this place has a killer sirloin pecan salad. I NEVER box up salads, but I did this one, and greedily ate the other half of it as soon as we got back from the gig. The sound was awesome and the sound guy was good at what he did. We also met Eric, a guy who has pledged for one of the songs that we have been working on this week. Great venue. I hope we made some new fans. IMG_2215 This is our friend that looks just like Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

16th- Another day off and I have literally laid in bed until, like, an hour ago. It’s 6:30pm as a reference. Abe has been my buddy all day. IMG_2176 I’ve gotten some work done too! I had a short story to write as another one of the purchases made through the Pledge campaign. I’m super excited about it! It helped that I know this couple personally and I know a bit about their love story. They are expecting some children (triplets to be exact) and I’m writing them a children’s story book with a fictional twist on their love story! I can’t say how excited I am about it! We will probably end the day with a celebration meal with the Wicks for the end of the tour kind of thing. Tomorrow is our last day and then we head home. We hear that The Rustic is a really cool venue though, so we are excited about that.

17th- The Rustic was a really cool spot…all except their “green room” which was a room that had all the workers stuff and bags of onions that blocked the doorway to the bathroom. Over all, there were hundreds of people there, and I think that we won over a few new people who were working on their bachelors in nursing. I’m working towards getting into that program myself. I’m not looking forward to it. It was nice to see all of our favorite people out and some new ones that we have been following for a long time, but just hadn’t had the chance to meet yet. Tomorrow is home times, though, and we are really excited about going back, even though it seems to be about 20 degrees cooler. Yuck.

18th- All that needs to be said today is that we are all happy to be home. See you guys again in November!

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Long Time No See

August 12th- Maybe it goes without saying, but I haven’t blogged in a really long time. With Alli being in home school and using my computer, it wasn’t always readily available. But, we have recently put Alli back in public school, and I have bought a new computer. So… here I am! Today is the second day of our tour. We haven’t played any shows yet, though, because we are driving to Utah for the first one. Utah is a 25 hour drive from where we live, so all of yesterday was spent driving, and all of today is being spent driving as well. We are heading to our friend’s house tonight in Ogden, Utah. The amazing 14 year old Sammy Brue and his wonderful family take us in everytime we are out their way, and we are so blessed to have friends like that! I think for this renewal of blogging I’m going to technically blog everyday, but just compile it all in this one document and then upload it at the end of the tour. Nothing super exciting has happened yet, except that I woke up this morning to a few texts at 7:00 am from Mary saying that the neighborhood dog had had her puppies, and then after school I received a picture of said puppies and there were 11 of those things! IMG_1690

August 13th- We played our first show tonight close to Salt Lake City. Tony performed a wedding ceremony for Beth and Troy Black who are raising 7 teenagers. S.E.V.E.N. That’s how we started off tonight’s show! IMG_1700 Also, Beth’s friend Wendy bought, through our Pledge campaign, us singing Hey Grace, Hey Tony but replacing our names with Beth and Troy. I think they all really enjoyed that part of the show. Just to share a few more moments of our day with you, I’ll tell you about this morning. I must preface with the fact that Tony and I have been going to the gym 5 days a week for the last 2-3 months and have started to watch what we are eating more carefully. It’s been a challenge trying to do this on the road, but last night I took 30 minutes before bed to do Yoga on the Brue’s porch that overlooks the city lights and it was amazing! It was 77 degrees with a light breeze…….I live in a place where, in the words of my brother-in-law, “August will turn on you and burn you alive.” Anywho…this morning Pete, Tony, and I got up and went out to the Brue’s carport and set up yoga mats and the guys did weights while I did a series of pushups, burpies, squats, lunges, and all manner of despair. Then, Tony and I went to Riverfront Park and he jogged while I obeyed the Zombie Run App and switched between walking, jogging, and sprints (when zombies were attacking me). I saw a guy fly fishing and he had caught a trout and I can’t explain the joy I had for him in that moment, or maybe it was the fact that I had never seen anyone fly fishing and I got really excited. After our run, Tony and I went to Walmart and picked up some healthy eats. Most importantly, Tony ate an orange for the first time ever today, and I think that everyone on social media got a kick out of that. IMG_1695

August 14th- It’s now the end of the day and I’m sitting in dorm room 317 at a college eating almonds and worrying about how many times I’m going to have to get up to pee by myself. We played at Main Street Studios in Walla Walla and had a crowd that was on the small side, but attentive and excited, which is all that matters. Some cool things from today: (This first one is only marginally cool…) We saw a wildfire on the way to Walla Walla IMG_1707, and on our way to the dorms we saw the Foo Fighters concert and there were thousands of people there,and when we arrived at the dorm rooms we could hear the whole thing through our windows. It’s been a pretty cool day after a 10 hour drive!

August 15th- Gentlemen of the Road was today for us! It started yesterday, of course, but today, is when we got to participate. We had a show at 1 PM on the Spokane stage and it ROCKED! There were hundreds of people there and we had the biggest line for merch in the history of ever! IMG_1716 We even met The Band Joseph, a band of 3 sisters that our good friends from Penny and Sparrow introduced us to. IMG_1715 Afterwards, Tony and I sweet talked our way into the backstage area of the main stage so I could stand on the side stage to watch Jenny Lewis. IMG_1719 It was awesome! She is a perfect specimen! Her hair!!! I even got up enough courage to talk to her after her performance was through. She was really sweet! We then watched a little of The Flaming Lips and saw enough of him throwing balloons and confetti and having people dressed up as mushrooms and rainbows out on stage, and even missed him rolling around in a ball through the crowd. It’s okay, though, because we had already gotten pretty close to him. IMG_1831 Enough to know that his entire outfit was made out of duct tape. After a well needed nap, we all headed to Kontos Cellers for our last show here in Walla Walla. We have had such a good response here that it’s just been unreal! Anywho! Tomorrow is an offday and we have…well, I decided for everyone, that we are going to camp for most of this trip. So we are headed to Perkins Creek outside of Portland tomorrow and so I’m ready to share how our experience goes. Mostly just Chris’ reaction to camping. Also, as an update on the dorm bed situation…Tony and I slept in a twin sized bed last night together that was so high off the floor that he had to hold onto me for me to put my phone on the ground without falling. Neither of us slept much because I was too worried I was going to roll off the side and kill myself. Today, we found out that Chris had a double room and neglected to inform us. So tonight we are commondeering his room and I get a bed to myself! Woot!

August 16th- We had an off day today so we drove out to Clatskanie, Oregon to Perkins Creek Campground and set up camp for the night. We drug out our tents and started a fire to cook supper on a cast iron grill that I borrowed from my dad. IMG_1833 I was a little proud to see “Stofer” aka Chris help Pete put up his tent until I noticed later that he had used the little pin that you hold up the rods with as a stake… After we had devoured our cheddar brats and grilled chicken tenders we settled down in some lawn chairs (Chris holed up in the car with his movies) IMG_1834 and sat around a Coleman lantern and talked until we were tired. We had some wildlife show up on our campsite and Tony threw some Doritos to the poor thing. IMG_1738 It’s probably somewhere with the squirts damning us to hell for it. The temp was down in the 50’s and so it was a nice night to snuggle for Tony and I. I never thought that I would live to see the day that Tony enjoyed camping, but everyone, save Chris, said that they had a great time!

August 17th- Early this morning we got up and made another fire in our grill and set my cast iron skillet on top and cooked eggs and turkey sausage. IMG_1741 We had slept so well that it was almost lunchtime before we woke up. I say that, but when I exited my tent I found that Pete was already up in the lawn chair and had apparently been there since 5 am. Tony and I slept well, though. As the sun came up it began to get a little toasty, and so I decided to just take advantage of it and lay out until I had to get up to get ready for our show. It was so hot after a while that I got up and went to the creek to cool off, and just as I was about to make myself plunge my whole body into the icy cold water, Tony came up behind me and said that everyone wanted to try to leave early to get lunch in Portland. Skipping past the part where I got ready and Pete heard me singing in the bath house…we found a lunching spot when we got to Portland. Pete and I ate at a Thai food truck (he had curried rice and I had Pad Thai), Tony ate at a burger place right beside the food truck, and Chris took off to a pizza place down the street. After sound check, Tony, Pauline and Jedidiah (from the Wicks), and Brant and Raymond (from Brant Colella) went to Voodoo Donuts and grabbed our poison of choice. Mine was a maple bacon IMG_1764 and Tony got a chocolate cake donut with coco puffs on top. We saved our donuts for later and went back to the venue (The Doug Fir) for some grub. It was fun getting to sit down and talk and relax before our show. Before we played I used my nice new computer to Skype with my BFF Lenny Piazza and we talked for almost an hour and a half. He was a good sport because it was only 10:00 my time when we were through, but it was 1:00 am his time! Tony also got some workout time in by doing push ups with me on his back. IMG_1761 Today was a pretty good day and spending time with our friends The Wicks and making new ones with Brant and Raymond was just an added bonus. Tomorrow we will be in Seattle with The Wicks at The Tractor Tavern and everyone has been raving about how awesome this place is so we are all really excited!

August 18th- Today we got up and packed up our tents before the dew had dried from them to make it to Seattle in time for a radio show that we had set up with The Wicks. Upon arriving to the radio station, KESR, we found out that they were not expecting us and didn’t have any interview material to ask us, and so they turned us away. We left and decided to go into downtown Seattle and look around Pike Street Market. Tony and I bought the girls a present each and then I grabbed my sister a birthday present since she will turn 27 the day that we get back from this tour. We ate lunch at an Irish pub and I had a sausage roll because it reminded me of being in England. After lunch Tony bought some Salmon jerky (that later stunk up the entire car), and I bought a glass of fresh apple cider that they had turned into a slushy. I could have died happy right then and there! It was AMAZING! The show that night at The Tractor Tavern was a small crowd, but attentive and we even saw this guy that used to live in Florence, AL and had been at a show that we played with our friend Red Mouth about 2 years ago. I think that Pete also met a guy that was from where he grew up. We mostly just stayed in the green room laughing at the walls covered in poop jokes. There were all sorts of band names turned into poop jokes. For example: Cyndi Plopper, Neil Dung, Paula Abstool, and Alice Pooper are just a few. Then I kind of fell asleep before our set. IMG_1835 That night we were lucky enough to have some guys offer to let us stay with them at their house and so we went there and hung out with Nick Foster (who has a band of his own) and Skylar (who may be moving to our part of town). It was here that I had my very first root beer that was alcoholic. I tried to sneak some on Chris, but his taste buds let him in on the prank. Wah Wah Wah…

August 19th- Matt Strutynski, who played with us last night at The Tractor Tavern, came in to Nick’s house this morning and asked us what time we were heading out for our show in Yakima, and so Tony started looking for a time and was informed that the place had decided to cancel on us. So today is a day off! The guys wanted to go back to downtown Seattle, but I had different plans. I drove out to Tolt-McDonald Park and set up camp for the night. I had dropped them off somewhere in Seattle and didn’t know how long they would be and I didn’t want to set up camp at night, so I drug our tents out and started putting them up. After putting up our tent and Pete’s tent (Chris is still sleeping in the car, of his own choice) I then blew up both of our air mattresses and put them inside the tents, got out our cast iron grill, took the trailer off the car, and was a sweaty mess by the end of it! There is a river there and so I took the trail down to it and got in. IMG_1788 It literally took me 30 minutes to make myself get all the way in. It was the coldest water EVER! Right after I had took the plunge and buried my entire body in ice water, I get a text from Chris saying they are ready to leave Seattle. *Disgruntled* I grab my clothes and two towels and get in the car soaking wet. I put the two towels down so that the seat didn’t get wet, but otherwise I was in a car in my bikini soaking wet. If you’re wondering what the rush was, it was because Seattle was a 45 minute drive from the campsite. So this is how that drive went. Again, I am completely drenched in ice cold water, don’t have any clothes on, and so to dry off I just rolled down both windows, (something that wouldn’t fly if the guys were in the car) turned some Tokyo Police Club on full blast, and put on Tony’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas style sunglasses! I was probably a sight to see! Driving 70 on the interstate, in a bikini, singing at the top of my lungs! It was freedom at it’s finest! I remember thinking at one point when someone was staring at me that I didn’t care because I would never see that person ever again, and started singing louder. When I picked up the guys we had to roll the windows up and turn down the music and I wondered if there was any way I could kick three guys out of the car and leave them to fend for themselves while I had fun. The answer was a divorce, so I settled in and drove them back to the campsite. Tony and I took to exploring the place and I took him to see the river, and we sat there in our chairs for a bit enjoying the view, and then we walked over the suspension bridge to the west side of the camp, where the bears are, and looked around at the Yurts. Yurts are awesome! Later we grilled steak and vege-kabobs, and I made myself a baked apple by putting apple slices, butter, and honey into a tin foil pouch and putting it over the fire for a while. It was really great! We stayed up for a while talking with Pete around a campfire, while Chris watched movies in the car, and eventually went to bed.

August 20th- As per usual on our camping mornings, we made eggs and sausage over a fire and fought off yellow jackets who wanted in on our sausage. After repacking our camping gear for the last time this tour and saying farewell to a beautiful park, we headed to our show in Spokane at The Big Dipper. The night was interesting, to say the least. Everybody that played was super nice, but the pairing of musical genres was eclectic. I feel like we made new fans there and ended the night with a jam band called the B-Radicals. After saying our goodbyes to The Wicks, IMG_1837 we ran over to a diner and grabbed a bite and then walked into the most badly reviewed hotel ever. The stay wasn’t really as bad as most people made it sound, though the tub water never stopped running, and it took the desk guy 20 minutes to check us in because he was so high. All of this makes for a good story.

August 21st- Today we are heading back to the Seattle area, actually Redmond, to play a house show for some people that are cousins with some guys that Tony grew up with. Since we only had a 4 hour drive and we didn’t have to be there until 7, Pete decided we needed to go visit the quaint little German town in Washington called Leavenworth. So we did! Let me lead in by saying that the weather has been absolutely amazing the entire time we have been here, but stepping out of our car into a little miniature German Epcot in 70 degree weather was like being in heaven! Since we didn’t have all the time in the world, we made a bee-line to the spot selling the local beer. Pete and I split a sausage while there with some sauerkraut and spicy mustard on top. Still in heaven. After finishing off a pint of beer each, we left and went to a spot serving local sausages and I grabbed some more sauerkraut, stone-ground mustard, and horseradish on top of my brat this time and added another pint of beer. IMG_1818 So, each of us had at least 2 pints of beer a piece and realized that the only person who could drive us to Redmond was Chris…. oh man. I don’t let Chris drive because Chris sleeps, literally, any and every time that we are in a vehicle, so I’ve decided to diagnose him with a number of sleeping disorders, including sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Basically, I’m terrified that he will fall asleep while driving. After 2 beer, I apparently didn’t care too much because I got in the back seat and immediately fell asleep for the entire drive to our show, a two hour drive, and we made it there alive and well. The show went really well and we made new friends, one of which has been made to promise to take me to Egypt when he crosses “seeing the pyramids” off of his bucket list. I tried a mojito for the first time and loved it, except for that part where I swallowed a mint leaf that then got lodged in my esophagus for the remainder of the night. I also met Mr. Trent. IMG_1836

August 22nd- We have started our trek back to the really hot and humid state of Tennessee…. 😦 Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be coming back home, but I’m really going to miss the weather here, and the camping. I think I’ll make a point to do more of it in the near future. It has been rather smokey on this journey home so far because I’ve heard that Washington is completely on fire right now. I did find out that we are traveling through Mitchell, South Dakota, which is where the Corn Palace is, and I plan to make everyone join me in a small detour there tomorrow. *High-fives self* We just stopped at a gas station that had a little fruit stand beside it and I went in to get some cherries and apples and the guy gave me some donut peaches that look and smell really good. I can’t wait to try one! IMG_1823 IMG_1824

August 23rd- We have literally been driving since 10:30 am yesterday. Didn’t stop at all last night. We did actually make it to the Corn Palace IMG_1827 and I was terribly disappointed. When I was here as a kid, it was way better. More corn everywhere. This is just a basketball gym now! I’m not really sure what else happened besides us getting really really stinky, but still going in at Buffalo Wild Wings for supper and hoping that nobody cared.

August 24th- It’s now almost 10 am and I’m on MY couch at MY house with MY dog laying in the floor finishing up this blog. We got home about an hour ago and hadn’t stopped last night either. So today is day 4 without a shower and my feet had been in my tennis shoes for 2 days straight and I about passed out when I took them off my feet. I’m glad to be home again, though, even if it is hot as crap. And I’m sure that eventually we will remember this tour as a good one. We just can’t think right now. It was so bad that on the last stretch of drive Tony made up a country song that made it sound like someone was talking about a girl, but then you find out later that he’s only talking about a rebel flag. I’m going to take a shower now…

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Memories of Jimi Hendrix

Today, as I was on my way to Sheffield, AL to the recording studio, I was listening to a mixed cd that I had made in 2010. My nephew was in the car with me, and as a Jimi Hendrix cover of House of the Rising Sun came on, I noticed him dancing in his car seat. All of a sudden, a rush of emotions and memories came flooding back to me.

House of the Rising Sun has special meaning to me. My Pawpaw Shultz and I would sit in the den together playing that song and I would play organ while he played guitar and sang. It was also the first song he taught me on guitar. When he got sick with leukemia, I made him a video of me playing the song on guitar to send to him in Birmingham because I couldn’t visit him because of his body’s inability to fight off anything we might bring in. I remember him calling me after watching the video and him telling me with labored breaths that I needed to keep working on my F’s.

The next song that came on was Jimi Hendrix’s cover of The Star Spangled Banner. My dad loved it and wanted me to learn it. If you haven’t heard his cover, you should go listen to it. I’m not really sure how old I was, but learning to play that like Hendrix took a lot of imagination and beating around on my electric guitar. But I figured it out, and as I was driving down the road listening to this, I started laughing about the 4th of July gathering at my grandparent’s house where dad made me grab my electric guitar and my small amp and made me play the Jimi Hendrix cover of The Star Spangled Banner while he shot off fireworks.

Yes, I have a southern gospel background, like all the interviews say, but I hated every single minute of it. I didn’t get it back then. Most of my musical influence came from my dad’s classic rock influence and his brother’s heavy rock interests. My dad and I would always sing together in his red Chevy 4X4, that would later be my first vehicle. Our two favorites to sing together were Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason, and Train, Train by Blackfoot. Later on, I would make a habit of sneaking into my Uncle’s closet and ultimately became a huge fan of Metallica and Alice in Chains.

That’s the cool thing about music. One song brought back all those memories of being a child and those around me who showed me how to play instruments or how to sing at the top of my lungs in a Chevy truck and seeing who could down their bottle of Sundrop the fastest, and those around me who, even though I hated it, showed me how cool Johnny Cash really was and how to be a story-teller with my music.

Today, we start the first day of recording at The Nutthouse and all of those influences have made me the musician I am today. So, today, I’m thankful for all the people in my life that have influenced me.

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Tour: Norman, Oklahoma

Today I’m posting about our first stop in Norman, Oklahoma. It is technically day 3 for us, but I’m sparing you the boring details of our 10 hour drive here. But I will say that I spent the day before leaving packing, but this time, I wrote down everyday we would be gone, where we would be, and exactly what I would be wearing each day. OCD at it’s finest. I feel very accomplished and proud about the way I don’t have to spend time fretting over what I’m wearing each day, though.

We left out Wednesday, the 12th, around 11 am and traveled on I-40 West the entire trip. The land started to go from hills and valleys to just plain flat land. But, I don’t mind, because if you have been paying attention, we spend a great deal of time in the North East, and it is snowing up there, so, that sucks. We stayed with a couple that has a farm and a vineyard and a really awesome house. Meet Susan and Terry Boehrer. These guys work hard and are super generous with their time and their house. They are almost 100% self sustained from their farm and so, when we woke up the next morning, she cooked us a farm-fresh meal! Everything was from the farm! Eggs, bacon, sausage! It was great!

The reason we are here, actually, is because of Cayamo. Cayamo, if you haven’t heard is a music cruise that starts in Miami and takes you to the British Virgin Islands and back in 7 days. When we played Cayamo last year in February, we got an opportunity to perform on one of the islands at a venue called Foxy’s. Note: Foxy is a real person who just decided one day to go live out in the woods in a lean-to and start growing his own plants in buckets. There is a guy at the restaurant/venue that Foxy owns that will convince you to go see Foxy out in his lean-to, and you go, and Foxy tells a bunch of jokes and tells you his story and it is a very interesting story to add to your life. Anywho, while we were at Foxy’s, we met a group of people, and started chatting with them, and the dialogue went in the direction of house shows. So, Frank and Suzy Lawrence and their partners in crime, Susan and Terry, had us out for an awesome night. Tony actually became good friends with Susan and Terry’s grandson, Jaxson, who followed Tony around pretty much all day. It was so cute!

As usual, we always like house shows better than venues. People are there for the music, and they are respectful and stay quiet. Last night, we actually played two brand new songs for our guests and they seemed to be taken fairly well. We are excited to share them with the rest of the world! Starting in December we will be recording the new album and we are beyond anxious to get it out to our fans!

Today, we will make the short 3 hour trip to Dallas, Texas and play another house show. On the way there, we hope to find a Buckees store so that I can freak out about how awesome it is.

I will leave you a few pictures, one is of me and the house pet, Kiser, and there are others that were taken by my Instagram friend, Tom Hibben of Hibben Photography. Neither of us are really sure how we ended up following each other on Instagram, but it never fails that some of the coolest people I have ever met, I have met on Instagram. So, here are the pictures, and make sure to check out Hibben Photography on Instagram and check out Redbud Farm and Vineyard on redbudfarm.net. FullSizeRender(1) FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender(2)

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Becoming a better me

There are a lot of things that preface the point of this post, so bear with me.

Everyone knows that I am a musician. We were gone this last time from September 26th to October 16th. Most months are like this. Sometimes they are longer; sometimes they are shorter. I have said it before, but I will say this for those who might have missed a post or two, I am also a registered nurse. When we come home, I spend the time we return to the time we leave out again working 12 hour shifts 3 days a week. I am also a wife and the step-mother to two girls, ages 12 and 14. To those of you who have already parented and survived the teen years, I need not say a word, but for those of you who have yet made it to that milestone, I will probably say some things that may leave you thinking about the words adoption and/or murder…

My life is super crazy and hectic, and I could just decide to tour all of the time and we could home school both kids and hit the road, but I have made a decision that nursing was a goal in my life and I plan on fulfilling it. So, I kill myself while I’m home doing something that I want to further myself in and want to become a full time career one day. (Tony and I have an agreement that as many years as I spend playing music with him, that’s the amount of time he has to commit to living in Africa with me while I nurse over there. He’s up to 4 years.) I work in an inpatient rehab facility in Muscle Shoals, AL. We have more stroke and hip fracture patients than anything, but occasionally a multiple trauma. My job can at times be very frustrating and stressful and sometimes it can be very easy going or rewarding. Take a stroke patient for instance…

A stroke can be one of two major complications: ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic is when a blood clot lodges in a vessel and the person loses blood supply to anywhere that vein/capillary travels thereafter. A hemorrhagic stroke is where a person’s blood pressure might be so high and uncontrolled that a blood vessel in their brain bursts and they bleed into that area of the brain, which puts pressure on the brain tissues and damages them. A stroke can happen in any area of the brain. Sometimes it might just effect, say, the cerebral area, other times it may effect more than one area, like the cerebral, parietal, and temporal lobes. How a person is affected by a stroke is completely different from the next person. One might walk away from it with a new respect for life, others might be flaccid, or paralyzed, on one side and need a feeding tube to be able to eat and need 24 hour nursing care to be able to live the rest of their life. Stay with me, here, I’m coming to my point. That point being, the area of the brain that the stroke effects can determine what the side effects are. Also, the left side from the right side can determine how a person is after a stroke. That is the frustrating and also rewarding parts of my job. There are some people that come in and they don’t know who they are, where they are, or what year it is, and they come in and they work hard and by the time they leave, they can walk with the help of a special walker and can feed themselves and lead relatively normal lives. But there are times, when the stroke effects that certain area of the brain that turns christian-living sweet old granny into a conniving, evil, cussing, hurtful woman, and she can’t help it, and she is now depressed and can’t make herself eat or get out of bed and all she does is get worse and she either dies or ends up in a nursing home. The frustrating part is that SHE CAN’T HELP IT!  Now, there are some people that can, and just won’t and that’s sad too, but I see too often the listless eyes and the giving up. But…when you have a patient be continent for the first time after a stroke… We take for granted that little nudge our bladder gives us when we have to pee. Being continent for the first time after a stroke is something to high-five about! And I walk away from my patient’s room with tears of joy in my eyes almost every time. I can leave my job and know that because I worked with someone, I made a difference in their life.

Now, to being a mom and a wife… Recently, I have had difficulty with dealing with the pressures of being a mom and a wife. I get down on myself and wish sometimes that I could just disappear, because I feel like I’m so stressed out and angry and on edge that I’m making everyone around me miserable. And, in truth I really am. Being a mom to two teenaged girls is a battle against Satan, himself. In one week, there will be a day of crying at a drop of a hat, screaming until you’re sure child protective services will be called immediately, the “I don’t care” glaze-over, the days when everything I say is stupid, and then there will be times when they will love you to death! This is an emotional roller coaster not only for the child, but for the parents as well. Lately, I have been more and more frustrated to the point where sometimes I dread coming home. And I don’t feel bad about admitting that, because I heard a woman say that same thing today, so at least I know I’m not alone. It’s not because I hate them, or don’t love them. It’s because I’m scared of what mood I’m in and what mood they are in and that I will make a bad decision as a parent, or there will be fights or I’ll lose my temper. Then there’s being a wife. I stay just as frustrated with him as I do the kids. And I know he stays just as frustrated with me. I come in and nit-pick the house after work, or I make fun of him. I’m disrespectful to him in front of the kids, on top of a number of other things that I do because I carry around all this stress and let it build. Or, at least, that’s what I have been attributing it to. There have been days when I have lost all hope and just sat in my bed reading Psalms and crying my eyes out, and just praying that God keep me sane for one more day.

Two nights ago was one of those nights. Mary came in from being with a friend all day and it was two hours before bedtime and she tells me that she has an enormous project due the next day. I light her up. She screams at me, I threaten punishments, and finally I just walked out of the house and walked around the neighborhood for 30 minutes trying to cool down. Fights with Mary affect me more than fights with Alli, because Mary is me made over. Although she biologically isn’t mine, I could swear she came from me. Fighting with her reminds me of me and my dad fighting when I was a kid. I would be hurt by his words or just plain angry and dad would say things he didn’t mean. While I was walking, I remembered a book that my mom had bought me called Momsense by Jean Blackmer and I decided I would take it with me to work and read it. There are times when you feel like you are failing as a parent, and this is one of those times.

So, today, in my free time, I read Jean Blackmer’s book. And her words hit me like a ton of bricks. You see, I expect a lot out of the girls. I expect them to be respectful of each other and to be able to interact with other people the way people used to interact with each other before cell phones. I want to teach them how to take care of their own houses one day and how to take care of their husbands. I read today about patience and respect. Basically, Jean told me that when I am not patient with them, I am teaching them to be impatient people. When I am disrespectful to them or to their dad in front of them, I am teaching them to be disrespectful to others or to their spouses. I have worked so hard trying to make them decent human beings, and all this time I have been teaching them to be disrespectful and impatient. Two of the worst things you can be as an adult.

Now, after, what my computer tells me is over 1500 words, I come to my point. I am done teaching my kids to be impatient and disrespectful! I know that from here on out, there will be times when I will be impatient and disrespectful, but I’ll be danged if I don’t try my hardest from now on to be consciously aware of how my actions effect other people, especially my kids. Trying to be patient and respectful to them, will help me be patient and respectful to my husband, and then I’ll be that way to difficult patients that I have, and I feel like my life, and everyone that has to be around me, would be a lot less stressful and a lot happier if I just gave this a go. Yes, I have a lot going on in my life. Yes, there are stressful things that happen. But I have decided to take the time to check myself before I lose my cool and say things that I don’t mean or that serve no purpose, and if it becomes too much for me, there’s always a neighborhood to walk around, and hey, I’m burning calories doing it! Two for the price of one! So… Here’s to becoming a better me.

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Tour life: Day 18 and so on…

I first must apologize for not writing this sooner. Our last show with Dom and his crew was in Rocky Mount, Virginia at The Harvester. We arrived and were pleased to find that we had a parking spot right by the door for load in blocked off by orange cones. This is the first time the whole tour this has happened, and it was greatly appreciated. Our group loaded in and moved through our sound check as quickly as possible and took the elevator, yes, the elevator, down to our greenroom. Dom, Brian, and Dante met us there and we recorded our greenroom session with them. I hope that we get an opportunity to post some outtakes from the video that we made, because it was hilarious.

The show went well. There weren’t as many tickets sold as were expected, but it seemed like there were a few people that walked up and bought tickets that night. Our friend, Eric Honeycutt, from North Carolina drove to see us. If you watch for our posts on social media, you have probably seen some of the new pictures that he’s taken of us. One in particular that I have noticed people have said that they like a whole lot is the one where we have angel wings. We were glad to see him and glad that we have friends and fans that go to great lengths to see us. We even had a couple there from Colorado that just so happened to be in town that night, and they are one of the couples that we are going to do a house show for on our November tour.

After playing, we were all starving, and so we went across the street and picked up some food that was on the house for being the entertainment for the night. I don’t know about everybody else’s food, but my crab cakes and braised greens were amazing! Being the tour mom that I am, I cleaned up everybody’s plates and empty bottles and was praised by the girl that came to pick up the greenroom later. She was surprised that we hadn’t left a mess for her. Bands….pick up your crap. It’s just polite.

Parting ways wasn’t so easy for all of us, so we decided to form a circle hug and we actually sang a verse of Kumbaya. We all hopped into our vehicles and hit the road. We decided that we didn’t want to have to get another hotel and be gone another day, so we opted to drive the 7 hours back to Nashville that night. I took the first shift, Tony got the second shift, and Pete got unlucky and took the last shift. We arrived shortly after five in the morning, so Tony, Alli, and I decided to crash at Pete’s for a few hours. My family arrived in Loretto on the 16th sometime around 1 PM and shortly after, while we were visiting with Tony’s parents, I got a call from my boss asking me if I wanted to work the next day. We had a show at my sister in law’s house the next day so she asked if I could work half a day as a tech and I told her I could. At work, I was asked to work the next day as well, and I said that I would. I’m a sucka.

It was fun having a house show at Tony’s sister’s house. She had invited some of her friends, and it was actually her and her husband’s anniversary. We played most of our songs, and I feel like her friends were adequately impressed. Unfortunately, because of my decision to work again, I asked to stay in her pool house that night so I could sleep some before having to wake up before 6 AM to make it to work in time. I believe that Tony left her house around 3 AM, so it’s a good thing that I decided to be a party pooper and go to bed before the party ended.

Today is Sunday, and we had our weekly family meeting at my grandmother’s house. She always fixes Sunday lunch and it’s nice to be there with all of them after being gone for 3 weeks. My nephew was there and his mom, my sister, was up at our parent’s house nursing a head cold or some such nuisance. Tony has stolen Kon’s heart, as Kon has stolen Tony’s. He ran after Tony most of the afternoon until I took over and he fell asleep in my arms. There is a running joke with my family that my grandmother puts sleeping powders in her food, so not only did Kon go to sleep, but I went to sleep as well.

As of now, Tony and I are working on a new song for the next album. If you didn’t know, we are working on getting down to Florence, Alabama to record with Jimmy Nutt for this one, and we hope to start in December and have it ready to go by May. Fingers crossed. Watch for a launch of Pledge from us on social media, as we will be trying to crowd fund this again. You guys help us make music without putting us in “a van down by the river.” This one that is being worked on is a tale of pirates being stuck at sea for an extended period of time, and that’s all you get people…

Now, a bit of sales pitching. Before I end this post, please remember that we are having a home town show on November 1st with several special guests. Malcolm Parsons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Carolina Story, The Huntley Sisters, and a secret special guest will all be there with us to play and most will be attending the “meet and greet” that you can attend with the purchase of a VIP ticket. Our show will be with Tony and I, our cellist Chris, our drummer Pete, and we are also having two violinists, another cello, viola, and full size upright bass. We really cant wait to have this show, and I hope that everyone who is able to attend will go pick up some tickets in our area at select businesses or get their tickets via brownpapertickets.com. We hope to see you all there. It is an important show for us, as it is helping to raise money for our tour to California and back. So, tell all your friends and family!

Thanks so much for reading this blog, guys. I will post again closer to our “Coming Home” show on November 1st! Just a little less than 2 weeks away!

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Tour life: Day 17

Burlington, Vermont…. I’ll have to change my previous views that Pennsylvania is the prettiest state I’ve driven through. I tricked you there because the prettiest state is not actually Vermont. On our way there, though, we drove through New Hampshire. Oh. My. Goodness. Rolling hills for miles and miles topped with vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and greens. Barns and old buildings came popping up out of nowhere randomly and presenting themselves as a reminder of the past. So beautiful!

Yesterday, we got on the ball or something because we were actually early for our sound check! Almost an hour early! Woah! The guy that opened the doors for us was nice enough to let us load in and that was really awesome of him. After we had set up our gear on stage, at Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont, and out of Dom’s band’s way we went upstairs to the greenroom. Lining the walls were pictures of people that had played there in the past. My two favorite pictures were the ones of Cake and there was a really awesome picture of Shadows Fall, which is one of the old “hardcore” bands I used to listen to. I think I actually saw them once or twice live. The lead singer has dreads that are seriously scraping the ground. This picture was of him with his body flung forward in a scream and his dreads flying through the air like tentacles of a sea monster reaching out to grab someone from the audience to sacrifice them to the Cthulhu. It was an amazing shot! Tony was more impressed with the picture of Aaron Neville and his Jesus tattoo on his massive arm… Are there one of those emojis with rolling eyes for blogs?

The greenroom was split into a few different sections and we even had our own room with our names on the door! Legit! They had a fruit and veggie plate waiting on us and also a bowl of salsa with tortilla chips! Then there was supper! We love venues that feed you!!!! We had fresh baked bread, rolls, salad, pulled pork, BBQ brisket, mashed red spuds, baked mac and cheese, and steamed carrots. I was in heaven.

After I was rolled onto stage like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…I ate too much…. Our crowd was very receptive here and we are proud of you crowd! Thanks for making us feel good about our music songs. The finale went really well, also, and Dante about made my hand fly off with his drum beats during my fast solo in I’ll Fly Away. This is the second night in a row. Sheesh!

Our next show will be in Virginia so that was over a 12 hour drive so we drove a little last night and made it to Albany, NY before falling asleep behind the wheel at almost 4 in the morning. Our journey started out well and we were really excited about seeing our friends, the Boobergs in Midlothian, Virginia, but we are currently sitting at a Chevy dealership after having our oil changed and the oil “mysteriously” ending up in the intake. Our car is smoking like a freight train and we are not getting to Midlothian anytime soon. Bummer.

Well, tomorrow is our last show in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and then home! Yay! I will update you all about the car in tomorrow’s post! Thanks for tagging along on our journey this time, and give some feedback if this is something interesting and worthwhile enough to do on every tour or if maybe I should make one long post with highlights next time? What do you think?

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Tour life: Days 15 and 16

I just realized that I didn’t remember to inform everybody that Dom now has a drummer too! Dante Pope joined us at The Hamilton in DC for the first time and he has been an amazing addition to the band. I guess everyone has been wondering since I’ve been posting pictures of all of us and I’ve not said who he is. I’ve done him an injustice. Also, just a fun fact, Dante told us that he felt like his name was an oxymoron last night, and I thought that was funny.

Yesterday we left out from the Condon’s again, after a breakfast of pancakes with real maple syrup again. I can’t ever get used to real butter or real maple syrup. I use margarine at home and always have so butter tastes funny to me and I wonder what they do to maple syrup that they sell at stores because it doesn’t taste anything like real maple syrup. Alicia Condon and I decided that real maple syrup is almost more sweet that the stuff that they sell at stores, which is odd.

Anyway, we started on our way to New York City yesterday and played at Subculture. We have played there before and we loved the place. Last night was a really late show, so our set didn’t start until after 11 PM due to a delay in sound checks. I feel like that’s why there wasn’t many people that showed up, because, I think I’ve said this before, but 9:30 is my bedtime and I’m 28. So…. But, the crowd that was there was really awesome and we actually had a couple of people that had been to see our show in Winnipeg in Canada when we were at the Folk Festival in July.

When we left there we drove to Kacey and Jen’s house again and had a great night’s sleep. I know this because we ended up being late for sound check today at our show because we didn’t leave there until…well, it was an hour later than we were wanting to leave.

Tonight we are in Portland, Maine at One Longfellow Square. During our set all of the people in the crowd were tapping their feet and seemed to really enjoy themselves. As of now, we haven’t even done the grand finale yet! I’m on here because I ended up being on my computer anyway trying to Skype with my family, but I ended up using Pete’s phone to FaceTime. I got to watch my almost one year old nephew eat supper at his Great Grandmother’s house, and I wished that I was sitting there with him with mashed potatoes up to my elbows too. We are on day 16 and I really miss everybody. Even though the connection was really crappy, I loved being able to see everybody and talk to my grandparents and my sister and mom and uncle and see the baby! I’ll have to make this a ritual for Sundays, since we always have lunch at Grandmother’s house on Sundays. I hate missing that. It’s the only good cooked meal I have all week.

Well, it seems it’s getting closer to our encore performance, so I better end this before I’m late and embarrassed. Only a few more days people! Tomorrow is Burlington, Vermont, a day off to drive to Rocky Mount, Virginia and then after that show, we are roughing it and driving home through the night because we miss home so bad!

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Tour life: Days 12, 13, and 14

After being so proud of myself for being caught up, things got crazy and then I got three days behind. Oops. The morning of the 12th started out with this…IMG_1075(1)This is a picture that Rob took of us. As you know, there is a cussing rule that has basically gone to pot since the beginning. The reason for this is because every time someone cusses, Alli gets quizzed on a capital of a state. Well…Alli…Alex (crap, why did I start this?) doesn’t know any of the capitals and so she just gets quizzed on the ones we know she doesn’t know and so she never makes any money. She also doesn’t attempt to learn them either. I don’t know what to do about that. What kid wouldn’t go learn the state’s capitals if they knew they could make money? Alex. That’s the answer to that. Anyway, here, Rob is taking pictures of us and instead of saying,” Say cheese!” he says,” Say shit!” and this is what happened. Hilarious.

That night we drove to Hamden, Connecticut to the Outer Space Ballroom and had a really great turnout. The best part of my night was the crab cakes that I had, though. In my head, I thought that maybe the walls of this venue would be painted dark blue and that they would have glow in the dark stars stuck to the walls. It wasn’t like that at all. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed about that or not. I think that night we drove for about 30 minutes and stopped at a hotel somewhere. The next morning we only had an hour drive so we decided to stop and get Alex a pacifier AKA a book. It was literally like shoving one of those things into a baby’s mouth! Really loud noises, then, all of a sudden, complete silence!

That night we were in Northampton, Massachusetts at the Iron Horse. Looking at it from the outside, it looked really small, but then when you went inside, it was actually quite roomy and had a balcony. During the sound check, we found out how serious Chris took his check…IMG_8231   I was really just trying to take an us-ie and then after I looked at the picture, I about peed on myself, and so did everyone else. Also, here’s a picture of us at the end of the night while we did our I’ll Fly Away finale…IMG_8227This end of the night thing we do is so much fun! It may be the same song every night, but we do it differently every night.

After our show we went out to a pizza place called  Mimmo’s that seriously had the biggest slices of pizza ever. Even better than that, is the fact that they make it to order. I actually had some really good buffalo wings that I ate like a wild boar. I’m not sure how wild boar eat, but anyway, here’s a picture of Pete’s slice of pizza…IMG_0511

That night we drove to a couple’s house in Malden, MA. We had never met them before, but because of some really awesome people, we were introduced and had a place to stay, and met new friends! Russ and Alicia Condon opened their house to us really late at night, but Tony and Russ hit it off and Alicia and I had to pull them apart so that we could all go to sleep! This morning we all got together and jammed a little, and I offended Russ by telling him that his voice sounded like Robert Pattinson. I then had to find a good recording of him singing so he wouldn’t be so offended.

Tonight we were in Cambridge, MA at Club Passim. When we got there, we unloaded and I had to go park the car with trailer attached. Ugh…. I knew it wasn’t going to be great when I started out on my journey, but I didn’t know it was going to be as bad as it got. I actually found a parking spot fairly easily. I pulled into it, but the trailer was still out in the road more than I wanted it to be. I tried to maneuver it around, but after I lost my mind in the car and screamed like a maniac in anger a few times, I decided to just get out of the car and take the trailer off. So I did. I slammed the door, threw my keys in a pile of leaves on the sidewalk and I stood there and unscrewed the trailer, picked it up, moved it out of the road sufficiently, and then screwed it back on the hitch. When that task was done, I found that I only had 4 quarters and the meter needed to be fed until 8 PM and it was 5. I had to pay for two spots because of the trailer, so I put 30 minutes on each meter and then walked down the street and found the first store I could, which happened to be a chocolate shop. The guy at the register wasn’t excessively nice about having to give me quarters and told me I needed to buy something before he would give me quarters, so I bought a piece of chocolate the size of a quarter for $1.25 and then he gave me enough quarters to get me through till 6:30. THEN!!!! I get lost! I’m thinking I’m going in the right direction, but I was apparently going too far north or something. So I was lost for a good 15 minutes and was late for sound check. By the time I got to the venue, I was mad enough to spit fire! I even had to go back and find the car, after being lost, and put more money in the meter. I did find it, though. But, the crowd was good and we actually played two shows tonight and the crowds were good both times which is more than we could have asked for. I ate two circles of stone ground 70% dark chocolate, and it was amazing! The taste was great, and the texture was the best. There was a gritty texture to it and it was almost like a ganache. Also, Alex has blazed through the two pacifiers that she bought…so….

We loaded up tonight and headed back to the Condon’s house, have chowed down on some pizza, and now we are going to bed when I finish this crazy blog! Tomorrow we will be in New York!

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Tour life: Day 11

Our morning, well, our afternoon rather, was very relaxing at Rita’s house. We left there around 4:30 to head to the Tin Angel in Philly. By the time we got there, we were all very ill from not eating well and there was a confusing fight about parking…so anyway. Deciding that the best course of action was to eat first and then load in the equipment, we flagged down a waiter and set him to work. So I had the roast chicken and red quinoa, Tony had the pork chop and wild rice, Alli had the…Alex had the salmon and couscous, and Pete and Chris had a steak with fries.

After making it through an uplifting rush of glucose that we all needed to be sane again, I sat at the table reading my book that I can’t put down (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) while everyone else brought in equipment. The show went well for both of us and we even all fit on stage at the end for I’ll Fly Away. Our friends were there again, too! Lenny, Kathy, Tracey, and Rob, and then our tour manager Tom and his wife Crystal came too! I’ll have to get a picture of this, but Crystal also brought me a purse that she made herself with a little hand purse inside and it even has a little metal clasp on it that is holding mint leaves so it smells really good too!

The best part of the whole night, though, is what happened after the show! Rob took us to a place called Pat’s Steaks or Pat’s King of Steaks. I ate a whole “cheese wit” and some pizza fries. Let me explain “cheese wit”. When you are in Philly and you order a cheese steak, there is a technique to ordering. When saying cheese wit you are telling them you want a cheese steak with onions and cheese whiz. 20141008_000436They were amazing, though, I do believe I liked the chopped steak better. The pizza fries were pretty good too. I’ll have to learn how to make those at home. Just the atmosphere of the whole night was perfect. It was pouring down rain and we were sitting outside on picnic benches all together having an awesome time! This is one of the rare times that we have had to spend time with people several times during the tour and be able to hang out and not worry about tomorrow and how many hours we have to drive and when we need to be in bed. It’s been nice. Thanks to Lenny, and a great schedule on tour, we have had friend time on tour. It’s gonna suck having to leave all these people tomorrow and go on our way, but that’s the reason job is synonymous with sucks. Even though, this is a pretty good job. I’ll leave you with a few pictures from tonight and just wait for tomorrow because we are heading to Hamden, Connecticut!20141008_001636<—This is Lenny, by the way… IMG_1067From left to right… Tony, Kathy, Rob, Pete, Chris, Tracey, All…ex…, and me!

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