Thursday, November 30, 2017

Earth-obsessed + Brigid's Gift Ideas #1


Did y'all see that video of the turtle with a straw up its nose? It made its way around Facebook about a year ago, and it has haunted me ever since. I can get a little obsessive about trying to save the world (re: taking PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN LOUISVILLE -- something that is just not done), using cloth diapers most of the time, not eating meat, recycling (duh, don't even climate-change-deniers recycle by now?), feeling guilty about oil miles when I buy bananas, and even having a home birth (though truthfully I wouldn't have had kids at all if I wanted to be really helpful to the planet). Anyway, you see how I can be obsessive?




Our family's latest thing is carrying around a set of bamboo utensils with us at all times and making sure we also have an aluminum straw. Remembering to use them has been a challenge, but I imagine I'll get used to it. Friends in Europe or California are probably not at all surprised or weirded out by this because y'all figured that out, like, 15 years ago. But Americans are slow adopters at things that are good for the world.



Anyway, aside from remembering to use the straw, it'll also be a challenge to NOT LOSE IT. Like, if I'm at Twig and Leaf and we all extract our reusable straws, then will we actually remember to return it to the diaper bag? So far, so good. Just think of all the turtles I've saved!

So that's my gift idea for you.  If anyone knows of a local shop that sells them, let me know, and I'll edit this post to include it. (#oilmiles)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Selling my house and EATING YUMMY FOOD!

House for sale! We finished fixing up and remodeling the house I bought when I was 24, you know, back when you get get a mortgage just for breathing and didn't have to show much more than a driver's license to prove you were good for it. Anyway, it's a great home with excellent bones and shiny new floors, appliances, fences, shingles, paint, driveway, and more. Its location can't be beat either -- on a quiet street in the heart of Schnitzelburg, but steps from Eiderdown, Finn's Southern Kitchen, Hauck's, The Post, Lydia House, Bean, and even a new cupcake shop!

Here's the listing with all the beautiful photos:
https://www.kyselectproperties.com/property/932-ash-st-louisville-ky-40217/pid-11046731/

Now we wait for someone to buy it.

In the mean time, David and I celebrated our first date night in months and the end of this project with a vegetarian tasting menu at the Fat Lamb (like them on Facebook, friends!). I won a meal in an internet contest (seriously!!!) and we slurped up every morsel of deliciousness at this fabulous restaurant. It's the only place in town that I know of where you can just show up and get a multi-course gourmet vegetarian meal without calling ahead and special ordering or without being made to feel like a weirdo. The Fat Lamb has plenty of meat on its menu, but the chef's wife is a vegetarian. So you know veggies are considered people too.

Photos below. I would have more, but my phone was stolen by a big meanie yesterday, and my iCloud doesn't have all the photos I actually took.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Oversharing, overasking, and Benyaro music.

This house-renovation thing has been all-emcompassing, and boredom has set in. I've been using miter saws, measuring baseboards, estimating angles (correctly!), and all the while sitting there thinking about blogs and essays and songs I'd like to be writing rather than caulking. So here's a quick update of something I managed to do in between installing backsplashes and quarter-round.

I went to a house concert on Tuesday! 


It required a babysitter and a lot of energy. It was at the most beautiful home I've seen in ages (mid-century-modern or 'MCM' as the kids say) and with the most spectacular art collection I've ever seen in a personal home. I was nervous because I didn't know the hosts very well, and I was going alone -- not knowing a single other person there. But I went, and I had a blast, even though I overshared and asked far too many questions of the musicians. At one point when I asked, "So when you get home from this 3-month-tour and you walk in the door, is your wife just going to hand you the baby and run?" and then a lovely and kind woman looked at me and asked, "Are you okay?"

Yikes. I assured her later that, yes, I am okay. But dammit, this solo parenting thing is hard, both for the spouse who travels and the one who stays home.

BUT THE MUSIC! The music was grand. The company was grand. The evening was grand. Only one of my kids was awake when I got home at 10.

The music was provided by Benyaro -- a duo from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They were delightful company and great music.

If you've never been to a house concert, YOU SHOULD GO! They are my absolute favorite place to hear music, whether it's a solo artist I've never heard of or a band I superfan for. It's so relaxed, that even people with anxiety can enjoy themselves.

I'm playing a house concert on Friday, November 17, in Scottsburg, Indiana, and I think there are a few seats still available for it. RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/507758216263885/


Thursday, November 9, 2017

48 hours in Austin, Texas

Last week I took a quick trip to Austin to surprise my BFF on her 40th birthday. It was a well-executed gift plotted by her husband, and it meant we got to spend 48 hours together hanging out and playing with each other's kids. She hadn't met Angus yet, and I hadn't seen her or her kids in 3 years.

It also meant: VACATION FOOD!

Breakfast tacos!









There was an organized swanky birthday cocktail hour and dinner at Truluck's in downtown Austin, which had a tasty vegetarian entree. It was really just a brick of tofu on a bed of wild rice, but it was done surprisingly well. Also, the desserts were family-style wedges of cheesecake, chocolate cake, and carrot cake, and a pile of blackberries that wee Angus devoured pretty much singlehandedly.



Lyzz's birthday cake was Tres Leches with amazing frosting and shaped like a unicorn. It was perfection.


Also, BREAKFAST TACOS. I don't know why they haven't made their way to Louisville (don't try to convince me otherwise -- your $10 breakfast "tacos" are not done right and cost 5x what they should).

My superhero power of having perfect travel weather continued, as it was 70-80 degrees each day and perfectly pleasant. We played in Zilker Park, rode the train and visited the brand new Central library.

 

Photos!


New library in Austin. Elephant chairs!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Matching doorknobs or macarons? No competition...

Freight Elevator turned into a bar!
photo by Daniel Stephen
You guys, I'm so far behind in everything because I've been working non-stop on this silly house because apparently people care about switch-plates matching closet doorknobs, which I think is completely absurd and, like, didn't you guys ever read any fables? I mean, material things don't matter, right? Anyway, material things do seem to matter, and so I've been sanding and painting and gardening and power washing and staining and doing all sorts of things that make my knuckles ache and my fingers shake.

Things I have also been doing, however: gigging like crazy.

Last weekend I played possibly the coolest event I've ever been to. It was a Bacchanal party at The Speed Art Museum here in Louisville, where I played a 90-minute set with the fabulous Laura Ellis (and equally fabulous Dennis Ledford and Scott Lankford) for beautiful people dressed in ancient-themed attire. The freight elevator had been turned into a red-carpeted bar, complete with muses handing out pomegranate cocktails in silver goblets.

One day I want to go to an event like this and not be working, though I admit it's kind of a fabulous job to mix and mingle with beautiful people, even if I'm just hanging around because it's too crowded to load out my gear.

Here are some photos of the fancy evening! Now I'm off to the paint store  as soon as the babysitter arrives. I'm sure that I owe you an email or a phone call. First, I have to sand the kitchen and put up a backsplash because I'm told people care about that sort of thing. Me, I prefer macarons...



Monday, October 30, 2017

Crockpot chili, house concerts, and 18th century dress!

I hosted a house concert last night, and it was just the most fun, pleasant little experience. My house isn't very big, so I didn't invite many people and ultimately had to decline a few people's interest for the sake of everyone having enough personal space in my living room. Still, it's amazing how much room you can find when you move the furniture out of the way and bring in a few folding chairs. We had a nice group of around 20 adults and 5 kids. It was plenty -- any more would have been uncomfortable -- but it was the perfect mix of neighbors and friends and family.

And The Black Feathers were just brilliant! I say "brilliant" partly because they live in England, and that's a very British word. Mostly, however, it's because they are really, really good. Tight harmonies, great picking, and just really pleasant to listen to.

It makes me want to build an addition onto my house purely for the sake of hosting house concerts. Or at least knock down that pesky living room wall.

I did make a crockpot chili that was popular -- though I think I used too much cinnamon.

Fabulous photos here:
Crockpot chili!

















Also- I had 7 gigs last week, and one of them was a fantastically fun show with an 18th Century band that required Fancy Dress! My neighbor sews beautifully accurate historical clothing, so she dressed me. Then my Wee Angus promptly messed up my laces and undid my scarf, which made someone dressed like a RedCoat walk past and shout "Madam!" while covering his eyes. Oops. I'm an 18th century tart! But playing the musical saw and the mandolin was fun.



Monday, October 23, 2017

UK Tour dates... almost ready to announce...

I'm currently trying to fill in dates on this United Kingdom tour that I've booked for February. Some of the dates have been really easy to fill, but I'm now trying my best not to have any days off. Days off when you're on tour just mean you have to 1) pay for a hotel room and 2) not make any money. I've been staring at a Google doc I made, and my eyes are spinning now.

Here's what I'm looking to fill:

Sunday 28 January & Monday January 29 in Dorset or Somerset or South Wales
Saturday Feb 3 in Northumberland or the Scottish Borders or even Glasgow would be great

Anyone have any leads or ideas on pubs/venues/folk clubs or maybe even interest in hosting a house concert? House concerts can be as small as 10 people ... you don't need a huge place :)

In other news, I am hosting a House Concert at my place on Sunday, Oct 29. It's the Black Feathers, from Gloucestershire, England, and they are just wonderful. Message me if you're interested in attending ... it's looking like it'll have to be an indoor event because of weather, so I'll have to cap the RSVPs at 30.

Here's some of their music:

Earth-obsessed + Brigid's Gift Ideas #1

Did y'all see that video of the turtle with a straw up its nose? It made its way around Facebook about a year ago, and it has haunted m...