Jamaican Dreaming and Birthday Wishes

 

Happy New Years Yall

Happy New Years Yall

The New Year is upon us.  We only have 2 more days of 2008.  I just cannot believe we are heading into 2009.  Wow!!!  What does this year have in store for me.  I already picked out my word for the year and that is ABUNDANCE baby.  Bring it on!!!  Abundance of joy, love, fun, food, moolah, bliss, travel, the whole yards.  One other thing I am giving myself this year is a present to just allow myself to hang in the present.  Not worry and fret about my future too much and certainly not dig myself into a depression about the shoulda couldas of the past.  So folks lets drop in the present and have some tea.  Of course after I say all this hanging in the present stuff, I sure cannot wait to go to Jamaica.  I leave in 26 days.

Beautiful Jamaica

Beautiful Jamaica

 I dream of the cliffs of Negril, the pretty blue skies, the reggae music, Red Stripe Beers, Blue Mountain Coffee and the sparkling Carribean Sea.  Goodness me, I will just have to wait.

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sisters on the cliff. Jane and Caroline. Photo by Phil Cheney

 

 

 

Ami Worthen the birthday girl. Pic of Ami in Jamaica.

Ami Worthen the birthday girl. Pic of Ami in Jamaica.

Today is my dearest friend’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to the beautiful, smart and talented Ami Worthen.  She is such an inspiration to me and is my hero.  Ami is the other half of Sugar & Spice. Without her I would have never started this blog.  I Love you girl!!!!!!!

Merry Seasonings

 

Josie and Aunt Caroline hanging by a Christmas Tree

Josie and Aunt Caroline hanging by a Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays to you beautiful people out there.  Blessings and warm fuzzies.  Hold on tight folks Winter is officially here.  Time to lock in and get this Winter party started.  A time to nestle and stay cozy.  Time for creativity and some true inner work.  This just in, my buddy Ken just reminded me to wear your most fun socks on these cold days.  What a great idea. 

 

Today my parents come to see me and I also get to play music with George Pond on the LaZoom Bus.  So this is going to be a glorious day.  These gray and cloudy days are not gonna grab a hold of me. dsc00748

George with Guitar on LaZoom

George with Guitar on LaZoom

 

 

 

Well, I leave you with pics from Vincent Tseng last Friday night when I played with Bobby Lee Rogers, Larry Keel, Dave Blackmon and Tony Rice down in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse.

Much Love to all and don’t forget to shine your inner light.   xoxoxoxo

love those Variety Playhouse lights, photos by Vincent Tseng

love those Variety Playhouse lights, photos by Vincent Tseng

 

on stage with Bobby Lee Rogers, photo by Vincent Tseng

on stage with Bobby Lee Rogers, photo by Vincent Tseng

 

 

backstage with Jason Flornoy, and Dave Blackmon Variety Playhouse photo by Vincent Tsent

backstage with Jason Flornoy, and Dave Blackmon Variety Playhouse photo by Vincent Tseng

Solar Healing Coverlicious

It’s 2 days before Christmas and I am freezing my southern girl pattooties off.  Dang it!  It’s colder than a witches brew.  

i am freezing my butt off

i am freezing my butt off

My drafty 1920’s style flat is too cold for words and I even have a heater by my bed.  I woke up this morning to 15 degrees of blustery winter weather.  Prying my carcass out from underneath my feather bed was quite a chore this morning.  I had that feeling of coverliciousCoverlicious is when you do not want to get out of your bed in the morning and you keep hitting the snooze button so you can have 9 more beautiful minutes of blissful sleep under your delicous covers.  Repeat and hit the snooze button. This is the true definition of coverlicious.  Anybody else out there experience this coverlicious stuff?  Its even better when you have a snuggle buddy and thats when the term is called snuggle button push.

 

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas.  Cold weather gets people in the mood for holdiay seasonings.  Enjoying Egg Nog or for the lactose-intolerant Soy Nog, sitting by a cozy fire or planting a kiss underneath some mistle toe.  Awwww the delights of the holidays.  Also, I am so digging on all these LED Christmas light decorations that are popping up.  It’s electrifying!!!!!  I can’t help to think what these Light Emitting Diodes would look like for a caveman to get teletransported from their cave man times to our times and to see these unexplainable lights.  I bet that would freak them out.  Okay, this is some funny stuff here, my friend Kevin said, “Hell yeh they would freak out on those LED lights, because the only lights they saw were the white stars that appeared when they clocked their mates over the head with a wooden club.”  

caveman with club

caveman with club

Too funny,  LED’s are so futuristic.    Heck, if I got teletransported from when I was a kid in the 70’s to now, I would probably trip out on these LED lights too.  Or maybe not, I was not fully awake in the seventies.  Okay sorry folks I am going off track.  

 

My sunny California girlfriend, Delphine sent this Christmas card to me and my other apartment mates and it just warmed me up.  

sexy christmas card from delphin e

sexy christmas card from delphin e

 

 

Speaking of warming things up, check this website out that my sustainable broccoli farmer banjo player friend named Eli turned me on to:

http://www.solarhealing.com/

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This is some fascinating reading about the awesome powers of the gamma rays from the sun.

“The Solar Healing Center is focused on helping humanity to develop a better understanding of how the sun can be used to heal the mind, body and spirit as demonstrated by Hira Ratan Manek, who, as a result of sungazing, has claimed better physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.”Well its time for me to retire and get underneath my heavy feather bed. Time to prepare for coverlicious.

P.S. – Eli if you are reading this you really need to start a blog, you tell great stories and turn me on to good things. Infact, any one who is reading this, get on the blog train and tell the world about it. Blogs are fun, addictive, theareupetic and entertaining. I highly endorse them and think it would be great for you all to blog for 2009. Every day life is an adventure for all beings and its time to write your histories, herstories and blog blog blog. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twilight Zone Drive Home

Driving from Atlanta to Asheville or vice-a-versa is usually a breeze. dsc00776 My drive yesterday was  like a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  I was hanging at my friend Jon Weiner’s studio in Atlanta and when it was time to depart, I decided to take a different route back up the mountain.  Usually, I rely on my friendly GPS that I lovingly call Carmen.  She navigates me through unchartered territory.  She is a Garmin and Carmen is a good name for her.  I just wish that I could program a different voice to shout out directions to me.  I would love to have Whoopi Goldberg, tell me “Yo sister you best be taking the next left.”  Or a British Chap giving me directions, ” It would be jolly of you to take a bloody right.” That would be so rad, but instead I have the default computer woman’s voice.  Oh well.  To my dismay, Carmen did me wrong last night.  I was traversing through some heavy, heavy rains on highway 985 and then highway 52,  Things starting getting sour when Carmen led me down Cemetery Road and the fog was hanging so low.  I felt like I was driving through Transylvania.  It was so eerie.  There were no street lights just fog and darkness.  At this time I blasted my Fats Waller CD to keep things Jazzy Fresh and the general mood light.  The music helped me because I was about to have a freak out trying to find 85 North or 441 through the Nanahala Gorge.  

Fats Waller is the man

Fats Waller is the man

 

When I am behind the wheel, I have more creative juices oozing out into overdrive.  Numerous thought bubbles float within the walls of my Honda CRV.  

I am on creative overdrive while zippin down our nations highways

I am on creative overdrive while zippin down our nations highways

I have so many mental to do lists and I think about what my next album is going to be called, I think about when do we kickstart the next Snake Oil recording, what song do I want to make on our first music video, what is my next painting going to be, what is a good idea for my next blog, etc…..

Driving in my CRV on some backroads

Driving in my CRV on some backroads

 

Okay Caroline, get back to the story. My little Honda found its way through the back roads of Homer, Georgia where I saw a sign that read Home of the Largest Easter Egg Hunt.  That sounds like a lot of fun.  I want Snake Oil to do a gig there. 

Somehow, after a long time driving through foggy back roads, I finally ended up in familiar grounds.  Highway 85 is where I found myself and I was definately on the home stretch.  Don’t ask me how I got there but I did.  I decided to stop at a rest area to use the facilities.  As I was getting out of the car, this man came from out of nowhere and approached me and he asked me if I could help him.  I immediately had my guard up because I have gotten so burned in the past.  So I politely said I had to use the restroom and I briskly scooted off.  While I was in the restroom there were 3 ladies in a row wearing burkas and they had there faces covered up with a cloth. There eyes met mine and I gave them a nod and a smile.  I respect those women so much. 

A Lady in a burka

A Lady in a burka

 I am so interested why they feel like they have to cover up here in America.  Anything goes here in the States.  But I totally have to respect their culture.  I feel like these women should have nothing to hide.   

After leaving the bathroom, that same man was waiting for me outside and he asked for the second time for my help.  Again,  I told him that I was very sorry and I immediately ran to my car.  I do not mean to not lend my fellow kind a hand, but I just felt like it was not safe. It was very suspicious.  He could have been harmless, but I just could not take the chance.   As I was driving off, I peered  in my rearview mirror and I saw him approach other travelers in their cars.  I immediately called 911 to get the cops to help him.  I felt like that might be a better thing.  You just never know.  I wish the world was different but I have to be on my pees and cues.  Perhaps, rest areas are not that safe at night and I need to go other places to go to the ladies room.  Luckily I do not travel alone all the time and I am with my friends or a touring band. 

So this 3 hour tour ended up being 6 hours.  I had to pull over in Greenville, South Carolina because the rain was so heavy I could not see 2 feet in front of me.  So I took a nice long break and had a  Tiny Heineken and a bag of chips.  Yes a tiny Heine and a bag of chips.

I am home safe from my Atlanta tour and what a glorious Sunny Sunday it is.  That’s if for now….

Early Morning After Gig Talk

3;45 in the morning and I am wide awake.  

09 am..

Yours truly at 4:09 am..

I am just in awe of all the amazing folks I got to play with at the Variety Playhouse this evening here in Atlanta.  I was so excited to play with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge and Tony Rice.  Bobby Lee Rogers and I just jammed like crazy and I was thrilled to play double fiddles with Dave Blackman.  Due to the holidays, Larry Keel suggested our  encore song be Jingle Bells.  There must have been 25 musicians up there on stage tonight doing this little christmas classic.  Family Christmas stylie for sure.  Hopefully, I will be able to get pics from photographers Jon Weiner and Vincent Tseng to post at a later date.   My camera cord has gone missing, so no personal photos from me  this evening.  Also tonite was my friend Clay’s birthday.  So Clay just in case you are reading this, Happy Bday again.

My good buddy Tovah is graciously allowing me to crash in her family home this morning.  The house is quiet as a mouse and I am just typing away on this here blog.  My belly feels real full because after the show I dined at a healthy vegetarian diner called R. Thomas.  Thank goodness it was not a greasy spoon.  My dinner consisted of Quinoa, Tempeh, coconut curry, broccoli and onions.  So delicious!  Also, I ordered and enjoyed a beet and carrot juice.  However, eating this healthy late night, is making me feel real gassy right now, so maybe the greasy spoon option might have been a better idea.  Ha ha.  This is too funny, I am just ranting away about food again.  Raw foods need to be more prominent and integrated into my lifestyle.  One step at a time though.  However, when I am starving, I want something cooked and starchy.  I just can’t help it.  I crave potatoes, mac n cheese, kale, and other deliciously cooked and prepared items.  Going all raw when you are starving doesn’t work with me at this very moment in time, but I want to graciously work my way into eating more raw foods into my future.  

Okay its 4am and I probably should get some shuteye and relax this rumbling belly.   Tovah suggested I put pure virgin coconut oil on my face and skin.  It makes my skin and face feel smooth and it smells like a tropical paradise in here.  I sure did have a blast tonight in Atlanta with all those musical buddies.   

Much Love from your Bloated Belly, Healthy Eatin’, Coconut Lotion wearin’ Fiddle Player 

xoxox

Barometric Pressure and Charlie Watson Photos

 

photo by Charlie Watson, Snake Oil in Boone, Dec 5th, 2008

photo by Charlie Watson, Snake Oil in Boone, Dec 5th, 2008

 

photo by charlie watson in boone, nc snake oil show dec 08

photo by charlie watson in boone, nc snake oil show dec 08

Why am I so much happier in sunnier days???  Is there truth to when the barometer pressure is low, it effects human emotions?  What is my emotional barometer???  Am I suppose to make my own days sunny?  I guess its really all up to me to bring the sunshine in to my rainy days.  But wow,  do I ever feel the pressure of all these cloudy days lately.  

 

 

Photo by Charlie Watson in Boone, NC Dec 5,2008

Photo by Charlie Watson in Boone, NC Dec 5,2008

I do love Asheville and all the colorful people that I surround myself with, but I can’t help to wonder what is my next chapter.  Move to California?  That has been on my mind a lot lately.  My sister lives there as well as a bunch of my friends.  I just don’t know, the thought of uprooting and moving and leaving all my beautiful friends and family here is heartbreaking.  But life is short and I do feel another adventure about to take place in my life.  Who knows?  Nonetheless, I am so grateful for my health and my family and friends.

photo by charlie watson boone, nc

photo by charlie watson boone, nc

 

 

photo by Charlie Watson Boone, NC

photo by Charlie Watson Boone, NC

 

 

 

Things that I am looking forward to are heading to Atlanta, Georgia on Friday to play with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge and Tony Rice in the Variety Playhouse.  I also look forward to my sweet mom and dad coming to visit me next week.  Jamaica is also just around the corner as well..

Okay just to add more color and sunniness to this blog, I will list 10 things that I love, maybe you should too, if you feel the crunch of the barometric pressures.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Orange Cats    
    Bo Bazemore, my brother's orange cat that loves to snuggle up to me

    Bo Bazemore, my brother's orange cat that loves to snuggle up to me

     

     

  2. Netflix
  3. learning new fiddle tunes
  4. Lemon Drop Martinis
  5. Peacocks
  6. Pom Poms
  7. swimming in the ocean
  8. traveling to new places
  9. performing on stage
  10. sunny days

Shanties and Sea Songs

It’s 11:30 on Saturday evening and I finally can catch my breath.  I have been go go go going like the energizer bunny and now I am back in my home sweet home.  energizer-bunnyI just finished playing a gig in my hood at a beautiful home in Montford on Pearson.  I played with Ben Scales, an awesome singer songwriter and guitar player.  He is such a great friend and his wife Cate and I are exactly one day apart so that is super cool.  In addition, I jammed with a talented banjo guy from New Hampshire, Kevin Scanlin.  He taught me about Shanties and sea songs.  No I am not talking about panties and g string thongs.  Ha ha….I really thought a shanty was a shack, like the line I have heard in a song, “Sitting around the shanty puttin’ a good buzz on.”    So another term for shanty that Kevin told me in so many words,   “Shanties are the work songs that were used on the tall-rigged ships of the Age of Sail. Their rhythms coordinated the efforts of many sailors hauling on lines. Much loved by modern sailors and folk musicians, they are rarely used as work songs today. This is because modern rigging doesn’t require many people to be working in the same rhythm for long periods.”  So this was very fascinating for me to learn sea songs and shanties from Kevin Scanlin. 

The New Zealand topsail schooner Shepherdess sails in Cook Strait about 1870.

The New Zealand topsail schooner Shepherdess sails in Cook Strait about 1870.

 

 

 

Last night we celebrated Andy’s birthday in Greenville, SC at Gott Rocks.  We really had a blast.  i just love my Snake Oil Family so much.  I feel like my performance and stage presence has taken on a new level.  I am getting the audience to sing more and dance and getting volunteers to get up on stage with me to sing.  It really is a delight for me to stir the band and the audience particles together and put them in one primordial soup.  I am really ready for the Big Leagues and I  want to take the gang with me.  We stick together like glue.  The gang wanted coffee before we played our gig last night.  I  really just wanted to hang out at the club and wait for them, but my band insisted that I go and stay with the pack.  I guess this  is just how we roll.  The band sticks together like a pack of dogs. 

In addition to my adventures this weekend, I got to enjoy an awesome hot tub session on Burney Mountain today.  I saw my friend Kevin and his dogs and it was really nice to connect.  It was sheer bliss to relax my weary body and my tired feet in the warm waters of the jacuzzi under a bright blue sky.  Life is good and busy as all get out.

Well its time for me to get under my sheets and rest.   I have not taken my camera around lately but I want to leave this image for you that I took while hanging with my family last week.  My little niece Josie is rocking on with some leg warmers and this photo just tickles me.   Much Love to you all…

 

Josie rockin in her leg warmers.

Josie rockin in her leg warmers.

Andy Pond’s Birthday

This is a huge celebration day for Mr. Andy Pond.  p7263239My musical brother.  I am so glad he is my family and my friend.  He is so talented and so nice and sweet and so positive…..

Andy Pond, photo taken by Frank Merenda

Andy Pond, photo taken by Frank Merenda

Andy Pond turns 32 today and he has accomplished so much in his life.  This Italian born banjo player went to India this year to play music for the afro swami, Sathya Sai Baba.

Sai baba Afro Swami

Sai baba Afro Swami

Furthermore, Andy Pond continues to be the reigning light of Snake Oil Medicine Show, CX-1 and The Pond Brothers.  This world is so much more sunnier with Andy Pond in it.  We are celebrating his birthday tonight in Greenville, South Carolina at Gott Rocks.  Come on out if you can to celebrate.   I LOVE YOU ANDY, YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Andy Pond photo by Frank Merenda

Andy Pond photo by Frank Merenda

Abundance of Blue Skies

I woke up this Monday morning and the skies were so blue.  I just felt like rejoicing.  My heart sings when there are blue skies.  I feel blessed that I have the morning off to just relax and paint and play music and write on my blog.  These days don’t come very often so I just love it when they do. dsc00176  I hope that you are finding peace in this crazy Holiday time.  Just don’t forget to breathe and take time out for yourselves.   My word of the month and I think I am going to carry it on for the new coming year is Abundance.   Abundance of joy, income, love, music, art and friendship.   I am putting that out in the universe for myself and for you….    MUCH LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Homegirl is Having an Off Week…..

I have been super duper busy this week and I have noticed my room is a wreck, I have barely picked up my fiddle and I have had no time to write in this blog.  One of my new fave things to do lately is write in this blog.  Guess I can’t always have fun creative weeks.  Its been all work and no play and I am having a bad food week.  In addition, I am not going to the gym because this home girl is too busy. Being a human being can be tough sometimes.  photo-170

Running from here to there and eating toast over the sink.   Ahhhhh, I need to breathe and remember that everything is going to be okay.  Bare with me folks, my loved ones who read this, I will be back with fun stories to tell.  I really just want to be at a pool side bar drinking a mai tai and listening to some great music.  This cold and rainy weather is kicking my butt.  Does anybody else feel this????   I am gonna put a flower in my hair to make myself feel more summery.  Hmmmmmm…………..I am off to Boone tommorow for the Snake Oil Medicine Show gig.   Much love to you all.  Comment me if you feel like it and let me know how you are.    Cheers……