Since I Spoke With You Last, Here’s A Toast to All Who’ve Come My Way

May 31/June 1….Flew into Albuequerque and drove out to Santa Fe for the Real Deal House concert at Vince Bell’s. He and Sarah
have a view that is spectacular, with a dog named True to keep you company. I had fun looking at all the antique photos
Sarah has collected of family, hanging in all the rooms in interesting frames. John and Kathi Lopez came out, and that blew my
mind cuz they drove two days to come hear me sing songs they’ve heard at 6 zillion times over the last 18 years. (For all that
time I’ve known them, though, I can never get enough of their smiles and hilariousness. One of these days we are just going
to have to sit down over John’s cooking and share some tears and stories while I pour an excellent bottle of wine and the
sun sets over Lake Livingston.)

Jim Jennings, my dearest friend of even longer, a friend who on numerous occasions has stood strong through tumultous
troubles and helped me stay on my feet, came out to the show because he lives only 3/4 or so miles away! So, I got to meet
Gaia, his partner, and share some hugs. I meant to go see them at the flea market the next day, where they sell Gaia’s jewelry,
but by the time I finished talking with Sarah and Vince, and then high-tailing it over to another of my brother’s, Mike Easterling,
to meet for breakfast…well, the day was marching on and I had to skedaddle on to Las Cruces, 4 1/2 hours away.
Mike and I walked down to the plaza and had breakfast in a fabulous restaurant. I’m glad Mike and Jim finally got to meet.
To have two such deep friendships with two such very smart, caring men…who also get dry humor and read a lot and like sports
and are just good Joes to be around….blows my mind that now they KNOW ONE ANOTHER. Cuz I hope they hit it off somehow and
start hanging out. Who knows if that will happen. Me and my party planning! smile

I called Jim and Gaia, twice, to tell them I wouldn’t be makin’ it to the flea market, and a few hours later, as I’m driving through hot,
empty desert, I find a message on my cell phone (I’d gone in to pay for gas) from a woman who kindly told me she’d gotten all my messages
but that Jim and Gaia hadn’t cuz I had the wrong number. Just goes to show you that calling and SINGING phone messages ALWAYS puts folks
in a good mood to return a call, even if they don’t know you.

Got to Las Cruces and met up with Lee and wandered around with eyes like saucers of moonbeams cuz his house is FANTASTICALLY GIANORMOUS.
(I felt like I was in something Brad Pitt designed with Marsha Brady in mind, assuming Brad Pitt is really as good at creating interesting architecture as I think he
probably really is.) I mention Marsha only because this house had enormous rooms, ceilings, floor tile…much that 70’s space! space! the folks living here
will need lots of space! mentality….The room I performed in had a ceiling at least 20 feet over my head that extended in a slant upwards to about 35.
Perfect room for house concerts, or a small BALL! And the backyard had the feel of Greek mythology, with this cool bush covered in yellow-golden
petals, many of which had fallen to the ground, like a ring of brilliant feathers. They also had a mysteriously empty pool. Why didn’t I go stand in the
empty pool in the moonlight? Hmm. Just thought about it.

Both audiences both nights were just PERFECT—attentive, fun, good heckling….Interesting to look at, too…lots of colorful, artsy glasses and cool hair
and smiling faces and husbands and wives and girlfriends and even families and a woman with a blue crystal heart who I just couldn’t stop hugging, either
because she had that sweet accent (Tunisian?) or because we were both into hugging anyway and Fern, Lee’s mom, who fell asleep as I sang a quiet song
and drinking Max Pumpkin Ale (and you know I think beer tastes like dirt so this was only my THIRD BEER EVER!) because Mike E. makes homemade beer
and he made it for me with REAL pumpkins and it was, well, it was GOOD! and walking in the New Mexico sunshine felt glorious and freeing and all those
mountains made me realize how tiny I am and it felt like the arms of God to be in all that goodness of so many kind strangers and friends, surrounded
by all those silent hills.

Since then:

I got a speeding ticket driving over to the El Paso airport.

Went to Lily’s 5th grade awards ceremony. It was moving and I took way too many pictures but this is her last year at her elementary school, and suddenly,
she’s a young lady and I can’t believe it.

Lance and I watched the school talent show with 8 zillion other parents/family members, teachers, kids…. The show was good, the emcee needed to pick up the pace (and I mean he needed some salsa on his talka)…Lily and Clara sang “Tears of Rain” , written by Aubrey Elenz of Super Pal Universe. Lily learned the guitar just to learn this song, and now she can’t put it down.
She’s written, maybe, 10 or 15 songs already. I hear her in her room, practicing and playing and singing all the time. Amazing. One day she doesn’t want to play guitar,
the next, that’s all she can think about. So, I went in my closet and gave both she and iolana a guitar each, smaller, handmade guitars that kind men have made me
during tough times, and it’s wonderful to pass on that love of creation, to watch it unfold in your children. So, Clara and Lily were great and we were only sad that iolana’s band,
THE SKELETONES, didn’t get accepted into the event.

Last day of school….even some of the fifth grade boys were crying. I took pictures of everyone….iolana’s class, too….although there wasn’t any crying going on in there, just happiness
cuz they all got to pick out a treasure from the treasure box!

Talked to Art Greenhaw on the phone. We are going to work on a special secret cd I can’t talk about at the moment, but has the potential to be quite cool.

My nephew, Milo, arrived with my mom and dad…he is visiting from Colorado, and we are going to Sea World and Seguine. It is a full-throttle capital S summer for us!

Went to the Capital with the kids, my mom and dad, and sat in the Senate side of the beautiful place and sat through a very…ah-hem…..lengthy presentation that really wasn’t geared towards children, but there they were, dressed up and waiting …for the cookies and lemonade….after many speakers, who were all very nice, they showed Joe McDermott’s Summer Reading song celebrating 50 years of libraries…and then I got up to sing and we sang my summer reading song live and then iolana’s song, to which I had Rep. Otto come up and hold the cards and do a little dance and we all had a good laugh/time…then back into the chambers (wow! so cool!) for the cookies and lemonade, which are all handmade by the Capital’s chef. Delish! The TLA gave out goodie bags with age appropriate hard cover books for each child…that was amazing! I love libraries, and I love working with kids…and it was fun to take Milo and Gunner (our 8 year old cousin from Minnesota, also visiting) to the capital to walk around and sing under the star in the middle of the rotunda.

Worked with the kids on the Super Pal Universe pilot! I was there all day Friday, which started off slo-o-o-w, but built up speed. The kids are so patient and do such a great job working with the director, or whomever (me…Joe McDermott…Mady…) who is helping them. Saturday, I went for awhile and then was told we had an hour and a half, but that I wasn’t needed til 4, so came back and shot my segment of the pilot after watching a lot of hilarious green screen antics with the kids and a polar bear. Sunday we had off, Monday the kids finished up. I can’t wait to see it all edited together and the animated front segment and….

SPU has started their summer library tour…I went to the first one, and Joe (McDermott) came out to see how they handled it…we had a little pow-wow afterwards, me and Joe, and the kids had their own pow-wow…I really like how they gather in a huddle and discuss what worked and what didn’t. That is a dream come true, to see them taking charge of what they want to accomplish. I thought they did pretty, pretty, pre-tty good, as Larry David would say, and they know what they need to work on, although, of course, I’m happy to tell them more feedback, if they would like it. smile

Went to Sea World yesterday with family.

On our way out of town for a short family vacation….My mom just gave me “The Shack” to read….and I just finished iolana’s suggestion of “Hugo Cabret”, which I absolutely loved. Between the illustrations, the story and the historical content, excellent reading! Five stars, I say.


To top