Saturday, October 13, 2012

seattle busking

at the end of a hard week of recording, playing music and two nights and three days away from my little guy, i headed home with $5 in my pocket and another $22 in my suitcase. how could that be? i had worked so hard and for so little monetarily. i was filled with disappointment despite fulfilling so many dreams. following my passion was not paying the bills this week and i felt discouraged.

with my 18 month old in tow, i tried to head back to my friend's seattle home, knowing i would have support and could spend the next two hours playing music at the ballard farmer's market. maybe i  could recover some of my losses. but i got lost.

so i went back to pike's place market. i tried to stay calm as the toddler in the back seat was getting impatient from the long car ride. parking was no where to be found. i finally settle on a parking garage not too far from the market. busking (street performing) at pike's place is not like busking on mass st. in lawrence, ks or the pearl street mall in boulder, co

like many other cities or busking locations, you obtain a licence, which i now had (accompanied by a long list of rules.) most of the performers know one another and help each other keep a rotation going. you wait your turn, letting the other performers know you'd like to get in line. you can play for an hour at one location and you can't be in line at another place at the same time. so i waited an hour and a half, listening to other musicians and letting cooper run around, hoping he'd tire out.

no such luck. it was my time to play...cue the toddler all out tantrum. determined to pay my rent, i stuck it out, trying a variety of things to try and perform for the countless number of people watching the struggling mama and her willful baby. "okay, sweety, mama has to keep a roof over our heads," doesn't cut it. humiliated after 45 minutes, a handful of songs, enough money for parking and an extra $3 for coffee, i pack up our stuff and call it a wrap.

exhausted, we get back to the car and head back to the island. i pulled over to dig my $22 out of my suitcase. it wasn't there. had i misplaced it? luckily i had my coffee money at the $5 in my pocket, just enough to get me on the ferry (thanks to the recent off season prices). the entire ferry ride, i access the car and start putting the pieces together. my car had been broken into!

the money was gone along with a few other things. i hadn't notice because unlike other break-ins i've experienced, not much was left out. bags had been zipped back up neatly so i hadn't noticed right away.    my day had just gone from bad to worse and i started feeling sorry for myself. this person really needed to take MY last $22 dollars?!?!

my super positive self took a bit of a beating for the next few days. i couldn't shake the anger. repeatedly, i counted my blessings, looking at all i did have. and it wasn't really about the money. i have plenty of organic fresh food, a beautiful home, a wonderful community and plenty of people to love me and help me get through tough times.

it really does take a village to raise children. i'm feeling the weight of single mamahood right now and looking for inspiration from other parents. as my child gets older, the busier he gets and the more energy is required to keep up with him.

i think every parent is faced with difficult decisions as they strive for balance in their families. my challenges are certainly different from those of a household with two parents. it just doesn't seem fair that a parent has to choose between raising their child or letting someone else raise their child while they work to put a roof over their head.

what are your thought? i would encourage you to leave a comment inspiring single mamas and papas, unhappy parents who stay in shitty jobs to provide for their families, and parents who don't have enough support. please share your story! what have you had to overcome for the sake of your family; for a loved one?

Monday, October 01, 2012

in gratitude

"enjoy every moment with Cooper (aka Ollie). They grow up fast, " my friends reminds me in a recent email with details of how quickly her own children have grown. i hear this reminder a lot from parents with older children and i am grateful for the reminders.

i try to stay mindful of how quickly we grow and how precious life is. i am so incredibly grateful to all of the people supporting me in carving my own path and being able to provide a loving, nurturing environment for my son, meanwhile doing the things i love.

we have found such a magical spot in washington with sources of the things we love; music, dance, art, nature, ocean, fresh organic foods, and great community. i feel so blessed to have such beautiful new friends to share in community with and raise our children together.

this picture was take yesterday by my new neighbor. 
my deepest gratitudes for his support and help with cooper.

thank you to everyone who continues to support us in our non-conventional journeys. there are countless people to thank and i hope to express this to each of you how much your contribution has touched my heart and allowed me the most precious gift of all; to raise my son in the most beautiful. natural setting, surrounded by people who adore him. our network extends wide and i look forward to watching it grow as we settle into our new washington home, continue to travel and bring you great music.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

how to start an overwhelming project

i'm reading a book, my aunt sent me with a beautiful hand made quilt for ollie. Operating Instructions; A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott. the story if of another single mama (an only parent), who talks about her struggles into motherhood and the joy her son brings to her world. her story hits very close to home.

she tells a story about her nine or ten year old older brother who had a research paper do on birds. it was the night before and he hadn't started it. he had tons of books on birds and everything he needed to do the work. but he was too overwhelmed. 

she says,"And I remember my dad sitting down with him at the dining table and putting his hands sternly on my brother's shoulders and saying quietly, patiently, 'Bird by bird, buddy; just take it bird by bird.' That is maybe the best writing advice I have ever heard."

i think that's really good advice for getting started on anything that's overwhelming. today, just take one teeny tiny step toward a project you've been wanting to start.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

what we've been up to?

this post is in response to all the dear people who are trying to keep up with where we are going and what we have been up to.

since ollie was born, we haven't had a permanent home. i have been housesitting, nannying and playing music for income and housing. my relationship to money has changed as my main intention is to raise my child and live an abundant life. i am ready to find a spot to nest into but am not quite sure where that is yet.

 life is changing rapidly. i recently said goodbye to an awesome band i was in called, the smile high club. people loved us and i am sad to see it end. i am being genuine when i say, i have entered into motherhood and my priorities have shifted. i thought i would go far with the smile high club but the truth of the matter is, i will always choose meeting the needs of my child, over meeting the needs of a band (although i strive to do both). i remember being pregnant and hearing someone say that having a baby can ruin a band. ;) i guess i just need to be in a band with other mamas and papas!

i am really happy to be where i am at with my music. i have been working hard, devoting more time to being more self sufficient and stepping out on my own. it's always a struggle for me to stand alone on stage but i am getting better at it. with the encouragement of my friends, i played stage 7 twice at  "winfield," the walnut valley bluegrass festival. it felt really good to except the opportunities as they presented themselves.

this week, i am home at my parent's house this week, unpacking bags, repacking bags, playing gigs, trying to see all the people i love, and organizing work.

people are enthusiastic in their support to help me move my music forward. i assure you, i am in the process of making music available to you. there are three ways you can help:

1) tell someone about my music. introduce me to someone or a venue that might be a good fit for me.

2) send me your email address so i can notify you when music is available.

3) financial support is always welcome and greatly appreciated. hosting house concerts and hosting us in your home as we travel to gigs is a great way to do this.

next week, we head to boulder to meet with families who are looking for specialized childcare. i'll also be doing work with a company called buff notes. the baby starred in his first buff notes video. you can find it here. email me for the link to the special gansta version!

Friday, September 09, 2011

another cell phone update

i bought a go phone. for those of you who haven't been reading my posts, i no longer have a traditional cell phone but instead am using a combination of an old iphone, skype and google voice to replace having a cell phone service.

the first time i realized that i needed an alternative to my skype/gvoice set up was when i left my baby for a few hours to hear a band play. i nursed him, headed out and returned exactly three hours later. he was absolutely fine but he had woken up thirty minutes before i came home and was hungry. the person who was caring for him had no way to get a hold of me and was frustrated by the situation. i don't leave my baby often but i want to continue to work as a musician and recognize that there will be times that i need to leave him at night. the choice to get a go phone, just puts my mind (as well as the sitter's) at ease so i know i can be reached if need be.

google voice is such an awesome service. i have added my go phone # to my list of phones on google voice. when i decide to use the go phone, i simply forward my calls and get all my calls and texts messages. this elliminates the need to give anyone a secondary number for me.

on a seperate note, i recently realized that i CAN receive incoming calls. i just need to have gmail open on the computer and i can answer. until recently, i assumed i could not receive calls since i typically run google voice on the old iphone. it's still a bummer that i can answer on the iphone but i get the messages quickly and can return calls easily when i am near the phone.

the  go phone i chose to buy was $40, which included $15 worth of use. i decided on the $2/day plan that allows me only to be charged on the days i use it. despite the additional cost, i still feel that my non-conventional cell phone set up is way more affordable than any phone plan that i would be locked into with any cell phone company.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

to work or not to work?


what i want more than anything in the world is to be with my son. i have waited a long time to be with him and to be a mother. i have been well trained through my work as a waldorf teacher and a nanny. i'm good at what i do and i am so exciting to be applying what i know to my time with ollie.

since embarking on my journey into motherhood, i've learned so much from the other mothers. i've heard countless stories of the struggles women have regarding their choices to either return to work or stay home with their child(ren). many women are heartbroken and guilt ridden as they leave their six week old baby in the arms of someone else while they return to work. but they feel like they don't have any other choice.

all a baby needs is the love and warmth of their mother. it is my hope to prove that going back to a job isn't the only choice. but i'm really struggling and i can empathize with that choice as i try to figure it out all out for myself.

as ollie's only parent, i try to arrange how can i be his main care provider and provide for us financially. so far, i've only been able to figure out how to survive off very little and to ask for help (something i am not very good at).

as the money swindles down to almost nothing, and with very little work on the horizon, i'm honestly panicked and question if i've made the right choice. i've started applying for "real" jobs. i justify it thinking that if he's in a waldorf daycare then at least he'll be given more of what i want for him and more than i can provide for him on my own. and i truly believe that, but i also think i am the very best person for him to spend his days with at this point.

i'm worn down today emotionally. but i know it will work out. in the meantime, i'm trying to keep myself centered and have faith.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

no cell phone update

july 5, 2011 about 5pm, i am driving to dinner with friends in kansas city when i realize the transfer from at&t to google voice is complete and i have no cell phone. it's a huge relief. it's really nice just to be present with the people i am with and not have to worry about my phone ringing.

the next day, i use the landline where i am housitting to check in with a few people, like my mom. an email from the person that calls and texts the most says, "i don't know about this no phone thing ha ha." she wants to tell me a story and for a moment she feels like i'm not available. we've talked a lot since then. the change hasn't really effected us that greatly, in my opinion.

at this point, it has only been about three days. i've spent some money getting all this set up but i still feel like it's minimal compared to the cost of a cell phone. the first step was to pay google $20 to transfer my number.

google voice assumes i still have a phone of some sort, so i had trouble calling out. i'm sure there is probably a way around that but i haven't figure it out yet. my solution, $8.50 to skype to call anywhere in the US over the next three months (the plan i chose is 2.99/month with a 5% discount for paying for three months at a time). not only can i now call out from my computer but i can also call out using skype on my iphone when it's connected to the internet.

when i call from skype, it showed up as "unknown." i prepaid an additional $10 for skype credit so they could charge me $.23 to send a text message confirming my google voice number, which should now show up on the caller id when i call from skype.

i feel like everything is set up well for me to communicate as i would with a cell phone. so far, so good!