Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Enjoy Yourself, Enjoy Yourself….!

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm

When it rains it pours.

I am struck so often with the thought “make the most of every day!” Surely it seems there’s been a recent rash of tragic happenings and I just keep thinking, “holy crap, you just never know (when you might be next)!”  What better reason is there, what better lesson learned, than to go out and make the most of your life! Live every day fully. But not morbidly as though it’s your last day, but live joyously as if it’s your first day! Live with all the happy abandon of a child.

As I was plunged into another long pensive shower this week upon learning of another poor soul going to meet their maker (well, I learned of three such blessed souls within 12 hours) I could hear in my head the Guy Lombardo band singing, ‘Enjoy yourself, … it’s later than you think!” What a wry, darkly witty song. And there’s truth in that matter. I’ve long sung the tune “are you having any fun?” which begs the question, “what good is what you’ve got if you’re not having any fun?!”  And of course Louis Armstrong warns that “as long as you live you’ll be dead if you die”…. so for God’s sake, please don’t sweat the small stuff (as they  say)…Try and remind yourself what good you have in your life. It can be small stuff, like, “the milk was fresh this morning”, or, “the birds are singing today”. It can be big stuff too, like, “holy shit I can breath today!” This reminder is as much for myself as anyone! Yes, yes, enjoy yourself.  AND, sign up to become an organ donor, please!

What I am grateful for today; 1) the immunoglobulins may be working as my CMV is down to ZERO! (Insert *huge* sigh of relief here) 2) My white  count was actually within a NORMAL range for the first time in ages  which is a good defense to have during cold and flu season. 3) Oddly enough, I am glad that I am grumpy today, because Mom always said I was feeling strongest when I had the energy to get mad! 4) I am glad that Lickin’ Good fried are just days away from our new album launch! November 3rd at the Lula Lounge yeo!

I was just feeling a bit stressed by everything that’s going on in my life  so I took half an hour to clear my head and go for a lovely walk around Trinity Bellwoods Park. My aged dog Henry kept up a great pace and we jointly loved every moment of it: the yellow and gold leaves, the crisp air. Beautiful!  So please, don’t wait for tomorrow to find joy: try and find some today, in whatever way you know how

I feel this post would not be complete without Doris Day singing “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think!” Dear Doris makes this song sound positively, er, perky!


In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 1:29 am


Last weekend I did a brave (maybe stupid) thing: I went to a music conference in Ottawa with our band, Lickin’ Good Fried.  It was a hotel packed with musicians and music-buyers and the like.  In I went, germ zapper around my neck ablaze!  Purell at the ready!  For a group of musicians, however, I was pleasantly surprised that they mostly seemed healthy. (No kidding!) My fear was  that I might catch flu or cold and be unable to do our press events and album launch over the next two weeks:  if I were to sound SICK it wouldn’t make the right impression on the public when I tried to make the claim later this month that “organ donation works!” I was pretty careful, I fancy, and sang well and gave sickos a wide berth.

Anyhow, the conference was great fun, I sang lots and I went to bed very late both nights.  In between, I visited a friend in the Byward market and took a lovely sunny  walk along Wellington and past the Rideau Canal locks, parliment (“where the idiots sit”, according to Dad!), and then past the beautiful and moving war memorial (pictured above) called the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”… Nearby a plaque read, “they gave their youth”, while around the square young men frolicked on skateboards… Had that been 1917 perhaps those boys might have been fibbing about their age to to enlist. Certainly gave me pause.

I loved walking around the city. I did it alone as Tom was back at the hotel making musical connections.  It felt great to be healthy enough to do active exploring all on my own!  Anyhow, a glorious day & a great walk. The Docs feel confident I’m on the right course with my new lung medications. They do warn that it might take weeks before it starts to improve though.  Even the occasional  cough hasn’t stopped me from intrepidly exploring Ottawa or from riding, however.  I love the autumn, as does Gypsy. Leaves are so wonderfully crunchy under-hoof this time of the year. I made this goofy video yesterday from horseback, in case you wonder what my view is…

Aw, Spit!

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 3:17 am

Picture 1

The bad news first:  I’ve been coughing up “junk”… and my lung function is down a little bit from my assessment last month. Docs tell me it is most likely something they found on my bronch which can be treated with antibiotic tablets over many months. A slow moving wrinkle that may take some time to resolve. The transplant team remind me often that “the first year is often the most challenging!” but I will say it hasn’t (yet) affected my riding, of which I’ve been enjoying plenty of on a pony strong with the autumn winds. This weekend a particularly wonderful ride with friends on new terrain brought thrilling orange and red cliff-side views and long runs in open fields with the brisk air in our nostrils!

In other news: Thanksgiving was canceled! Well, to explain: there was sickness in the family (cold season has arrived!) and so I spent the holiday long weekend, mostly with my animal friends, Henry-dog and Gypsy-pony! We had a grand time. Henry tried out some new Nigella Lawson recipes with me, and Gypsy ate the peelings from the apple pie I made.

HOWEVER, Thanksgiving was NOT canceled, really, for I am thankful EVERY DAY for the gift of life,  and for family and friends who’ve been supportive as always.  This weekend my friend Amy nearly got a lung transplant but had a false alarm. I am praying and hoping daily that she, and others on the waiting list, get their second wind soon! Please spread the word!

Now for the good, the new album has arrived! We got our CDs from the pressing plant! It’s always an exciting day when a shipment of a new album arrives. I type this amidst about 1000 shrink wrapped copies of the new disc, which will be released November 3rd @ Toronto’s Lula Lounge! $15 a ticket! Come out and hear the new lungs in action!

I played a jazz gig on Saturday which was a phenomenal success.  I just love singing all night and making a small difference in people’s lives. Giving back as it were, in the way I know how.

Speaking of making a difference, in the hallway at the hospital today I passed Dr.K, the surgeon who transplanted me.  As I was wearing a hospital mask he couldn’t see me smile in greeting to him, so I saluted him.  Because really he deserves my respect! And I thought after I passed him that I think I love him! Well,  I am certainly THANKFUL for his skill (sure, I make a small difference singing for people for a living, but THIS man… he literally puts people back together again & gives them back their life!)

‘Till next time!

Nuit Blanche : LIVE

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 at 3:13 am
Sign says " L I V E " at Toronto's City Hall

Sign says " L I V E " at Toronto's City Hall

A year ago this weekend I ate Chinese Food and then hooked up to my oxygen tank to walk to the end of my street to see an art exhibit for Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s Modern Art Fair. (This fair features modern art installations all over the city, and takes place one  October  night a year all night till dawn. It is best attended on foot walking between the different addresses as an “art crawl”).  That was as far as I could manage to walk: it was damp, which made me cough, and my oxygen tank was tedious to cart around “in the name of art”. I couldn’t walk fast enough to stay warm. It was an utter failure. As people went off to partake of the wacky art fair I went home to eat left over egg rolls.

Flash forward one year later. And one miracle later.  I realize I ate at the same Chinese food place last night, but this year my plans for Nuit Blanche were very much different, and I write to you tonight with two rather sore feet. Sore from walking for hours around Toronto late into the night. I have not walked this far or this long in about 5 years. I literally iced my feet upon returning home!  We saw all sorts of wacky outdoor exhibits, from a man rapelling from the Cameron House (the joint where I met my husband) & affixing large ants to the exterior, I saw people riding a giant midway “fun slide” in front of the Bank of Montreal Building in the heart of Toronto’s financial district (Baystreet), I saw weird and wacky art, and I saw one exhibit at Nathan Phillips Square that I want to tell you about. At Toronto’s City Hall, whose striking architecture one could imagine looks like two lungs, flashed text on a digital sign two hundred feet in the air: LIVE it said. I said quietly to myself, “Yessiree!”   It was a great moment. (Especially as the curvy double buildings look a bit like…lungs, Live you say? Sure!)

Today we ate the soup I made, the pie I baked, the stew I cooked (I never had the energy to cook pre-tx), rode my horse, and played hide and seek in the delightfully misty autumnal woods on horseback. LIVE. I’m only doing what the sign told me to do!