Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Down East

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Top fo the World! Somewhere on the Avalon peninsula, Nfld.

Hi Folks, So much happens between posts!

Tom and I took a holiday in Newfoundland for several days: I was so excited landing: having SOME Irish heritage,  “the rock” is the closet I’ve ever come to my ancestral climate ; ) No sooner had we landed and hoofed it to Telegraph Hill but we met a giant black Newfoundland dog who matched in size the Newfoundland pony foal I found a few days later. The dog had a soft head and reminded me of Henry in part. We made whale watching from our picture window a past time (my first whale sighting ever!) and we also went on two “searches”, #1 for the aforementioned (and endangered) Newfie pony  and #2 , the search for the star of “The Republic of Doyle”, a CBC show shot in St Johns. This second search was by request of my Mother, a huge fan of the show. Happily, we also found him in a pub. We ate well, climbed hills, huddled close in the 6 degree coolness (while Toronto was in the grips of a massive heat wave!) and enjoyed the company of our generous host James, an impresario and art dealer with a penchant for laughter and ladies.

Tom whale watches with success!

The band arrived that weekend and we played a great gig in town, and then hopskipped it to Halifax for the final date of THE DREAM TOUR! Halifax’s gig was in a grand ballroom of the Lord Nelson Hotel, from the 1920s. That concert was also recorded by the CBC radio, which at some point you’ll be able to catch the radio broadcast. (Stay tuned!) This night was filled with enthusiasm and our final standing ovation of a tour filled with the like.  I can’t help but be proud. I can’t help but pinch myself. I am just so grateful. To my donor, my lungs, my label, the Canada Council, and my great band. This last leg was especially challenging as I started on antibiotics just before our trip.  This was a drag as the drugs tire me out and make me a “space case” brain-wise, but the result is that my x-ray improved and the lung function seems to be starting to respond.  . It’s hard to be band leader/singer/manager/part-time publicist/nurse/secretary/patient/wife.  Oh, and advocate! I once again did more publicity on the road, the summit of which was an appearance on CBC’s national World Report.

Alex @ CBC spreading organ donor awareness through music

Glad to be home and back to the horses. It’s been very hot out but we still visit, bathe them etc. Connie has her birthday this weekend… time to nest a bit.


In Uncategorized on July 9, 2011 at 1:50 am

And so it happens that in my life sadness and great joy are sometimes interwoven  in the fabric of a day or week or month. The proximity of these events sometimes flummoxes me, but so it is.  I take each one as it comes — the both of them both giving more import to the other. And so it is that I came to leave on the “tour of a lifetime” just days after Henry had passed.  The distraction was good, but upon coming home, I again felt the sadness wafting in without Henry to greet me on my return.


We had a GREAT TIME! The guys in my band are such gents. None of them laughed (to my face) about the ridiculous mask I wear on planes to “keep out the germs!”  Nay, they even encouraged me to wear the mask AND the cowboy hat I got in Alberta on the plane home…. A sight to behold.

We had really warm receptions at all the festivals out west.  Honestly, to be standing on stage with new lungs, and a new record on a great label, with a Canada Council grant, and a packed house? It was sur-really amazing! We just had soooo much fun. I love festival season.  On my two days off I rode  the most astonishingly lovely horse flesh in BC  in the most picturesque valley I can think of.  What a treat! I also got to see my red-headed nephews, and that too was — you guessed it — awesome!

It really was the “tour of awesome” because it continued to more jazz festivals in Toronto, and then to Montreal Jazz Festival! We played two shows at Montreal (Mom and Dad Jen and husband all came). One at 8pm… and one at 10pm.  To say that we played for a couple thousand people is likely an understatement. It was unreal. When, in French, I explained that I’d had a lung transplant, an intense and overwhelming  ovation went up from the crowd that I’m CERTAIN was heard in heaven by my donor. I kept looking out at the sea of people stretching back and saying, “pinch me. This is real? Thank heaven! Enjoy it! Remember this day!”

There are videos posted of Montreal by clicking here.    We did lots of press out on the road, including Daybreak Alberta (which phone interview came after just three hours sleep!)  and a few interviews for different papers, including this one, which made the front of the Edmonton Journal to spread awareness.

Next week I finish the Canadian tour with our two shows in Newfoundland and Halifax. Cannot wait. Going to take antibiotics with me on this leg of the tour to try and hit this  rare bacteria they found in my lungs… But the show must go on!  It’s weird, cause i feel fine: up to an including charging around the hayfield on horseback on a perfect summer morning! Squeezing the good out of life!

ps: I’ve included some snaps from the road to enjoy by clicking here.