Day 26: Status Quo & Consequence   

Good March 3rd morning!

Temps have risen, winds subsided, even the chickens want to venture out into the snowy landscape! They must know something. Yoga's done, Adrienne was a wee bit under the weather today.. I was yesterday. 30 Day challenges are no cake walk. But today, a ginormous thermos with ginger, lemon, cardamom seeds, heavenly roseleaves ( my sweet daughter had sent me from Nelson ), home dried turmeric, black pepper is waiting.

Taking stock from yesterday:

My honest perception post on Day 24 took the wind out of my sails.  I am generally a positive person, or I would have given up a long time ago. We cannot possibly appear positive every day. If we forever internalize sincere feelings of concern, the questioning of authority, observations of 'wrong doing' in fine cities ~ where will we end up?! Worst yet, what kind of future society will our children have to suffer through in their life time?!

~ As mature adults, are we truly participating within society if we just monotonously go about our day, wearing blinders, unwilling to to observe the goings-ons in small town, big-fish-in-small-pond behaviour by so called leaders? Ain't looking so good on us, is it.

~ What are we possibly afraid of when we hide our outrage, our valid critical questions addressed to those responsible for some clearly deep messes we are in? 

~ You know a city is in trouble when neither of your so well respected local political leaders get back to you about a concern you write to them or place a phone call about. Squarely, they don't care. They have their agenda. After all, we voted for them, right?  

Giving up is not an option, in my books. More people need rise, take time and question the way Algoma Steel and political leaders continue to hold our health, air, land and water hostage. 

Here we are, I didn't want to talk about this again at-length, but it's okay. Because it's important stuff, right? Complacency rarely bears change.

And guess what ~ I am in good company:

“We can pretend that extending the status quo into the future, unchanged, is one of the options available to us. But that is a fantasy. Change is coming one way or another. Our choice is whether we try to shape that change to the maximum benefit of all or wait passively as the forces of climate disaster, scarcity, and fear of the "other" fundamentally reshape us.” 

― Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal


Which work derived from my albums (besides 'War') would be more appropriate in complementing the above topic than 'Every Little Moment'? 

Enjoy! Musicians: Doug Wilde piano; Mariano Slaimen harmonica; Rusty McCarthy guitar; Martin Virta bass; Ed Young drums.

Moonstone & Solitude are available in CD format with extensive lyrics and credit sheets enclosed inside their artful sleeve, mailed to you following an e-transfer of $20. each or $30. ~ packing & shipping included ~ for both CDs. 

Thank you for supporting independent artists, writers, musicians and original music. Namaste. 4 more Days! 





Day 25: Getting down to the Truth  

Good wonderful Morning!

The storm is subsiding, the sunshine is out, chickens have been looked after, fire's been fed, breakfast made and spot cleaning took place. Not much time during last month to get down to the truths of real house care. Soon...

Meanwhile, Yoga with Adrienne empowers and calms any anxieties one might harbour.  What a gift!

Definitely worth a try ;)

Taking stock from yesterday:

It poured out. Observations bottled up throughout the last 3 decades have found their way into this journal yesterday. Dutifully, necessarily and importantly raw and bare. The time has come. 

Given these times, I feel so lucky to be still alive and enjoying the privilege (!) of residing on this beautiful Mother Ship Earth, whilst finding extra purpose these days, best as possible, marveling at the wonders of nature and simpler living, finding healing powers while visiting forests and lake shores ~ a gift all previous civilizations have enjoyed ~ some perhaps encountering more hardships than others.

None of the previous civilizations though have managed to destroy natural habitat the way we have in the past 100 years. Remarkable. For example, looking at huge, forgotten, moss covered, tall White Pine stumps no two people were able to wrap their arms around and touch each others fingers ~ old growth areas offering food, medicines and shelter for many species, including homo sapiens: 

Learning from Wikipedia can be astounding and ~ frankly ~ embarrassing. Embarrassing when comparing humans to highly evolved gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan species, many almost extinct thanks to ~ you guessed it: Us. Maybe it's not the brain size that makes for an evolved species..                                                                                                    "Humans (Homo sapiens) are a species of highly intelligent (?) primates. They are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina and—together with chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans—are part of the family Hominidae (the great apes, or hominids). Humans are terrestrial animals, characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool (!) use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains (?!) than other primates; and highly advanced and organized societies.[3][4]"

Okay. There you have it. Add your own experience, research and counter thoughts to this brilliant description of us. If you like. 

Truth be told, 'highly intelligent' exploratory trips to Mars aren't doing Mother any good at this point, they are just an excuse to plunder her resources and beauty even further and fiercer. But maybe those who plunder the most, need be invited to be first ones settled on Mars. Then let's see how they like living WITHOUT nature, fresh air, water, fertile soils and time on the beach. Should be interesting.

And no. I do not get paid to feature this company:
                                                                                                                            I however DO believe there are small things we ALL can do every day to push back and regain our independence from large, greedy, destructive corporations and their interest in stealing resources and our identities.

We CAN research and invest in local small business and support corporations like ECOSIA  who are seeing the light and the importance to actively rebuild REAL (not just virtual) natural habitats at a time when devastating deforestation slashings by greedy corporations becomes fiercer and fiercer, threatening our very existence on this planet. 

Check out ECOSIA and do some of your own reading and research as to why you'd want to dump Google and welcome search engines like Ecosia into your life.

Today's Tune: Harbour Dreams off the Moonstone. My own melancholy home sick for the Hamburg Harbour composition, beautifully decorated by Moonstone producer and fine guitarist Rusty McCarthy.   Also, Mistr Tahti on Accordion; Mariano Slaimen on Harmonica; Martin Virta on Bass; Marc Dubreuil on Drums. ~ Enjoy!  Click the track below this journal.



Moonstone & Solitude are available in CD format with extensive lyrics and credit sheets enclosed inside their artful sleeve, mailed to you following an e-transfer of $20. each or $30. ~ packing & shipping included ~ for both CDs.

Thank you for supporting independent artists, writers, musicians and original music.


Namaste. 4 more Days!




Day 24: Sault Ste Marie City Blues...  

Good Monday morning!

An icy cold morning has its wintery grip on us, as it should. March coming in like a lion is normal for these regions and we welcome natural normality, don't we?

Taking stock from yesterday:

Warning: You are about to read the unapologetic opinion of a mother, entrepreneur, musician and advocate.

My feelings of spring fever joy were severely dampened yesterday by the news relayed by one of  our children ~ that yet another 2 YOUNG people we know who live in Sault Ste Marie Ontario; were diagnosed with aggressive cancers. I feel speechlessly distraught, angry, livid about the lethargy and sheer ignorance this City beholds in the face of growing carelessness by current local city and provincial political leadership and so called environmental management staff at Algoma Steel. 

About 3 months ago, December 7th, I happened to be in town, standing in line outside the downtown post office to mail Christmas packages. All of sudden, an eye and lung burning cloud of pollution rolled in from the east, down Queen Street, engulfed everyone and everything outside. Pollution was so nasty and thick that one could barely see the other side of the street. Days later I still had a sore throat from the inhaled smoke.

Long story short: In my disbelieve, I contacted Algoma Steel environmental manager Fred Post, who had the nerve to try sell me that the pollution that day was 'not detected' by Algoma Steel's pollution monitors and likely came, quote: 'FROM A SOURCE IN MICHIGAN'!  Interestingly he also stated that the 'independent' pollution monitor at Sault College happened to be 'down' that day at the exact time of  the pollution incident. Coincidence...? The Ministry Of The Environment officer was less than helpful, claiming she received word of the incident too late and happened to be out of town...

An environmental committee / has been 'appointed' by City Hall officials on November 1st, 2020. According to a member, absolutely nothing has come from this 'facade' committee, no meetings, no new positive developments.

To top it off, the Provincial Government under Conservative Doug Ford has granted another 'exemption' from pollution improvements for Algoma Steel.  When will SSM people wake up?!

The steel plant is an over one hundredandtwenty (120) year old dinosaur, outdated in its production and environmental standards ~ polluting earth, water and air in and around this fine city of Sault Ste Marie without reservation. The plant should have closed in 2004 and with the help of bright entrepreneur, engineer and social development minds from outside the city; this town would by now have reinvented itself beautifully. 

As a former tourist operator of Sky Bear Lodge and Lansdowne B&B, I can tell you SSM used to pride herself with the most incredible tourist attractions:

1.) Tour Train

2.) Passenger Train (with special trains to Searchmont Resort, that's another story)

3.) Lock Tours

4.) Double Decker Bus Tours

5.) Cruise Ship visits with international tourists staying in SSM and visiting tourist attractions

6.) Bus tours to Lake Superior destinations 

7.) Bush Plane Museum & Ermatinger Stone House (Oh, we still have these attractions, thank goodness)

8.) Whitefish Island (still here and thriving)

So imagine what those attractions did for a diverse Sault Ste Marie economy! Tons.

As it is now: Who wants to visit a city that supports an industrial corporation that spews out pollutants all over the downtown area and Whitefish Island on a daily base or over pristine lands and waters, depending on wind direction ~ to a point of people not being able to breathe or go for walks on the beautiful board walk or treasured Whitefish Island.  Never mind drinking the aweful tasting toxic water coming from the taps in the city.  

We live in one of the most pristine naturally phenomenal places in Canada ~ and accept to let rich corporations and clueless politicians poison us, the land, waters, air we breathe, continually and carelessly, in the name of $$ ??! 

Isn't it about time to make a drastic change??! When even our young people come down with and succumb to cancer, will the 'good old boys & girls mentality' at City Hall EVER change? Where are the good people who bring much needed real change and no longer tolerate the excessive pollution and also condemn ridicoulous plans of building a CHROMITE SMELTER smack in the city along with the polluting STEEL PLANT??!  

This kind of industry bullying would NOT be tolerated by citizens and especially by young people in civilized European countries. 

Isn't it about long past time to 'think outside the steel plant box' , Sault Ste Marie?!

It is no longer acceptable: While the 'rest of the world' is working hard to combat pollution and climate change, Sault Ste Marie is clinging on to its prehistoric dirty town policies, continued by the same 'old boys and girls club' which has likely never seen or studied a forward thinking exemplary place outside their own sad archaic city bubble, clutching to possessions and illusionary power. These are the people who are still permitted to run this town, voted in by seemingly boorish, lethargic, ill informed voters.

What does Sault Ste Marie sorely need? New entrepreneur blood and leaders who truly care about the city and understand its potential, who arrive with a modern, intelligent perspective ~ Mayor and Councilors who look beyond the steel plant mentality and lead with freshly broadened horizons in mind.

And while I am on the roll: Cultural hub and historic icon 'Norgoma' ship  has been towed away from the waterfront in 2019, to the tune of $50.000 of tax payers money, with a monthly additional bill city taxpayers pay to Algoma Steel to simply have it docked there! Algoma Steel Corp is laughing all the way to the bank. I want to scream. I think I will. Ugh.

Here a comment by yet another annoyed, observant citizen: 

"Moved June 2019, so at $1200/month Norgoma storage at Algoma Steel docks, has cost taxpayers $20,000 so far, plus $50,000 to move it. Any additional insurance and maintenance costs are unknown. 
The last time somebody paid to ask questions, we learned there was still interest in purchase by unknown parties. Maybe we’ll hear more this spring. Meanwhile, the cost meter keeps ticking."                                                              

Canada is still a free country.  People in oppressed countries literally must die if they dare to speak up! Take advantage of your right to speak up, folks in Sault Ste Marie. In fact, I would even go as far as saying: Not only is it your RIGHT, but your RESPONSIBILITY to speak up, demanding city officials to either roll up their sleeves and work for REAL change, or step aside:

SSM City Leaders: Transform this city into a diverse, prosperous healthy place to live for our children and grandchildren ~ or to get out of your leadership position. Enough is Enough.

Song today was born, following decades of frustration with the City of Sault Ste Marie, the pollution, the leaders, the corporations, the lethargy, the  ignorance, the greed... Enjoy, regardless. After all, SSM is a Blues town. This song was born to cry the Cold Cold polluted City Blues...







Day 23: Gains and Losses  

Dear Friends, good morning!

Yoga and a short walk begin the day, air scents like spring rains. Winds are beginning to rouse and shift constantly, a storm is lingering on the horizon. Winter bargains with spring.

For the sake of personal peace, I chose to opt out from featuring my much valued artist friends from here-on until Day 30,. It has been SO amazing to help shine a light upon many of you! I will pick up where I left off at a later time, k..?  I know you understand. 

There are future plans for less intense blog activities, spaced out for more ease in time and unrushed content.

At this point, in all its intensity, I can feel things pulling together, showing me the way to go, beyond these 30 days. It is what I have been aiming for with this:

Me, this musical ship adrift at sea for 12 months needed to get the motor running again, set sail, push through 30 days of joyful and grueling days at sea, purpose being to brave a storm.  An eye and mind opening, self realization journey I cooked up here for myself and for you! Welcome to the sail. But maybe you already hoisted down the life boat a long time ago, rowing away from this to some distant island fast as you can..ha!  That's okay too. Pina Coladas on the beach are not a bad choice, in comparison. 

Taking stock from yesterday:

I truly was a chill day. A much needed chill day. I went skiing, shoveled white stuff off the deck, played with the chickens, made spinach lasagna for the guys.

And, most importantly, I got out my beloved Godin guitar, set up the mic and the Fender Acoustasonic 30 amp again, pulled out my Roadhouse & Watertower solo gig books and played some tunes I have not played for probably 16 months.. just, making a living by playing music. Sweet sounds of familiar tunes.

Jazz with my MoonDazz band is my number one passion and hard work, solo gigs used to provide a good part of my  livelyhood, once upon a time. 

But I am ready to adapt to the current times. It's all good, a shift in progress. 

Today's I would like to introduce to you a Northern German song close to my heart, written by Knut Kiesewetter (who passed in 2016), fellow singer songwriter, who wrote this song in our mutual rare Northern Coastal, internationally recognized language: Plattdeutsch. I grew up listening to and speaking with neighbours over fences and at gatherings, thus still understanding and speaking reasonably well. A beautiful language, almost extinct. Below find  'Fresenhof' by Knut Kiesewetter. Willkommen.

...well, so much for that idea. My IPhone5 recording device died and refuses to be charged.. so, I dug my yet older IPhone4 out of the drawer, charging it up with a questionable charge chord, but it seems to work. can't wait to see if the old device will save the day!! It's 6% charged now... bear with me.

In the meantime, I will post this blog and add the track later tonight, hopefully. Or, all else failing, will pick "Harbour Dreams" from Moonstone instead :) We shall see... another wee challenge!

Update!! I managed to record & post above advertised song :) Enjoy!





Day 22: Intuition Talk  

Good gentle morning!

On my early morning outside check-up, fresh snow had fallen overnight, sky and landscape carry an irresistible beckoning and bright satiny light ~ as I follow fox trot steps around the house, outhouse and chicken coop, watching them casually draw a line over to the snowshoe trail and up the mountain into the sugar bush.

Taking stock from yesterday:

Isn't it funny sometimes how writing a letter suddenly makes you realize things.?!  Yesterday I had posted the blog, then decided to send out and posting on Instagram a newsletter, warning of the imminent end of this 30 day journey and that I am happy to feature other artists who live close to my heart. And I am!!  But all this computer work takes a lot of time, energy, nerves and patience. It can be outright frustrating.

Well, today I will take a break from featuring you, my  amazing fellow artists! During coffee this morning, my intuition had a talking to me and suggested shifting things back a wee bit, focusing on my own 'stuff'. My intuition has yet to fail me, so I listen. 

Right now, I post this log for you and the rest of the day is reserved for skiing, shoveling the deck, observing winter birds in their beginning spring rituals and enjoying outside time, as tomorrow there's rain in the forecast, Monday is -11 which makes the snow crusty and hard to work with. 

I hope to squeeze in some quiet piano practice as well.

Have a wonderful Saturday, I hope it takes you outside!

Which tune could be more perfect today but 'Cat Tango' from Moonstone!




Day 21: The Tasmanian family connection  

Good Day 21 to you!

A bright night, the waxing moon illuminates the snowy fields out front, one must close the curtains for a better sleep! Morning Yoga is so great.. I do not wish to give that up once the 30 Day Challenge concludes, those exercises are a firmly embedded morning routine and start the day with purpose and positive energy. I may even consider myself a Yogini after all is said and done...

Taking stock from yesterday:

Worked on a few songs in the evening and it is so much fun to sing favourite Jazz standards again! I do miss working with my regular MoonDazz band members Jeff Holmes, Martin Virta, Marc Dubreuil and hope some day we can commence working together again.

In 1984 Jeff & I travelled to Tasmania to visit my great Uncle Arnold, then 80 years old, who lived in Hobart. Tasmania (Tassie) is the most Southern island state of Australia. I would encourage you to research detailed facts about Tasmania, the truly fascinating nature, animals and, of course, people.

We were so lucky to meet Uncle Arnold's grand daughter Yoona there and have kept in touch with her to this day.  Yoona lives in Mole Creek, which, at the time of our visit, had a petting zoo with animals native to Tasmania, Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary.   Yoona began creating beautiful Tasmanian clay animals for souvenirs and ran a kiln on site of the zoo (Yoona correct me in the comment below if I remember wrongly!)




Here, my amazing Tasmanian cousin Yoona (relativity from my Dad's side of the clan ~ Uncle Arnold used to travel by boat from Tassie to Hamburg Germany to visit my grandmother Gertrud) working on fettling her clay animals prior to glazing and firing. Above you can see a selection of her beautiful, unique animals. Left to right: Tasmanian Devil, Echidna, Platypus, Koala.  Look up the fascinating facts about these Tasmania's animals! Below you see:

The now extinct Thyacline and the Bandicoot.


In Yoona's own words:

Tasmanian and Australian animals are unique and Yoona's Designs attempts to capture this in a range of ceramic sculptures that have now been under production for 30 years, first conceived in 1991.  The range is 
slip cast using plaster moulds that were made from original clay models. 

The animals are raw fired which means they are only fired once, instead of the usual bisque and glaze firings.  This saves significant energy. 
The firings and workshop heating is generated primarily from solar 
panels.  It is important to me to be as environmentally conscious as 
possible.  ~ 
Check out cousin Yoona's Designs, so adorable!

Our family has a nice collection of her beautiful animals and we love them so much:

Yoona also sells deco jewellery & more:

So happy to spread the word here about Yoona's  impressive long time endeavours!


Today's song choice attached below: 'Cry Me A River' by Arthur Hamilton in 1953, made famous in 1955 by Julie London. Enjoy! This is another practice track, you tube backing by 'Queen Serenity' (Diana Krall ).


Feel free to post message below or send an email, thank you for reading these musings!   

Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'copy' the URL showing in the address bar.    






Day 20: The better Half  

Good grief. Good morning!

Twice. Twice I lost the blog due to technical glitches. Pictures, text, enthusiasm. Almost all lost. Time. So precious! Almost crying in frustration. I'd rather be outside playing with the chickens. Or shovel snow. Or take a hike. But then.. THIS all is SO important to me and I shall persist. 

Taking stock from yesterday:

I just remember working on jazz standards yesterday ~ my passion. :)

But today ~ let me introduce the other half of my life, the better half. The artist extraordinaire: Jeffrey Riordan Hinich. 

'Magician' : Unique musical CD compilations from a brilliant mind. 

 Notably,  yesterday's featured artist, Jeff's own beautiful artist sister Leslie Hinich Cochran, has created the amazingly creative art work on Jeff's CD,  Book and Website.

She can also take credit for the art work on my first music CD Moonstone.

For more information, please check out:



Music Track upload has also been challenging today.. Is it me? Impatience perhaps?? Snow on the satellite dish??

'Why Don't You Do Right' by Kansas Joe McCoy and Herb Morand in 1936. Attached below, a vocal practice track.



I will sign off now without further delays, posting this blog for you.

Be well. I am headed outside for fresh air!


Day 19: Family Affair  

Good morning Everyone!

Fire in the wood stove is out, it did not have to be fed overnight, such mild temperatures! Snows are falling softly today, snow is sliding off all roofs, to the tunes of earth quake like rumblings (not that I ever was in an earth quake, to my knowledge). Yoga was great, chores are done, here we go.

Taking stock from yesterday:

I must admit, I would like to spend more time writing, recording, learning new songs, working on music than I have been doing lately. Time... slips away. Once my challenge is done in 10 days (!) I will have a good idea how to arrange priorities. At the moment, I am pressing on best I can. I love featuring humble artists who have made a deep impression on me. And there are so many, I will not be able to get to honour everyone when all is said and done.  And, as I mentioned earlier, visual artists inspire me in my musical endeavours more than I realize.

Today I am so happy to feature another humble, quiet artist,  my beloved sister-in-law Leslie Hinich Cochran.

She is such a versatile artist ~ throughout the years I have been just in awe and in love with her projects! 
To the right you see the 'Sky Bear' she created for our 'Sky Bear Lodge' when we were running our wee accommodation business in Wabos ~ to the left one of many unique intricate small quilts she created.

In Leslie's own words:

Leslie Hinich Cochran is an artist living and working in North San Diego County California.

She works with found objects for collaged and assemblage pieces, and uses fabric printed with photographs and other techniques to make small quilts and medicine bags.

Leslie is also a graphic artist, with projects including cd covers and book design. In 2007 she used digital collage to design a Tarot deck of Major Arcana, ‘The Dreamythology Tarot’.



Leslie’s work can be seen on her self-published website: 


Today's jazz standard upload is, what seems to be a short, easy song to perform. Ha. There are so many little tricks to consider! One needs to really dig into this tune and practice all the nuances, add scat and own the song. I have work to do.

'Bye Bye Blackbird' by Ray Henderson, lyrics by Mort Dixon, published in 1924.


Feel free to post message below or send an email, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :)    

Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'copy' the URL showing in the address bar.    






Day 18: Spring Fling  

Good evening!

Yes, I did my yoga session, then spent the day skiing the Pinder at Hiawatha and running errands in town. I forgot to tell you that spring is definitely upon us, as we saw a Peregrine Falcon hover over the highway near Lake Superior the other day (super exciting!!). Also, the old window of my studio room finally opened this morning, after being permanently shut for winter from moisture and cold I guess. Also, I shut off the heat lamp for our aging ladies in the chicken coop this morning, it stays off now unless full moon brings another deep freeze. 

Taking stock from yesterday:

Eureka! Enjoyed manifesting another jazz standard practice yesterday, adding it to the blog. It will be my goal for the rest of this challenge, to work through my list of favourite jazz standards, record and post. 

By the way, I am passionate about featuring visual artist friends this week. You might ask ~ what does this have to do with music? My answer: A lot. Much inspiration to me comes from visual artist works, ideas spilling over into music. Makes sense, right...

I met Ms Mireille Gagnon Moes at an incredible Sault College 'Entrepreneurship Course for Women' in 1987, taught by the just as incredible artist Calna Cardiff at that time. Since then, I have adored and bought hand dyed socks made with Mohair produced by Angora goats, a treasured winter possession when one lives in a drafty log house! I LOVE Mireille's hilarious sense of humour, her beautiful French accent and the way she approaches her work: With much discipline, she is simply all involved in whatever her current project. 

In Mireille's own words: Mireille is a textile artist who creates original hand crafted works using traditional, limited production methods in the Algoma region of Ontario.


Check out Mireille's work at the addresses below, let her know if you have any questions about her wooly eyeballs ;)


Musically today, I had hoped to record another jazz standard for you, however satellite internet decided to kick me off my game ~ again.   No lesser value, I offer you one of my own favourites from Moonstone: Cafe Leonarde. Enjoy.


Feel free to post message below or send an email, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :)    

Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'copy' the URL showing in the address bar.    







Day 17: Musings Monday  

It's Musings Monday!

Yet another trip for me & Jeff to the Shores of Lake Superior, marveling at the mystical white glow hovering over the ice & snow covered bays, drapings of mist over the mountains and, thankfully, clear roads, for the most part. 

Day 17 Yoga this morning was 40 minutes long, as I like to slow down the video to really follow each move carefully. This time there were off-mat stretches and I had to weave my arms casually around the legs of the keyboard on one side, then skillfully past a pile and a basket full of sheet music on the other side. The room is well organized and fully functional as long as one keeps to the lay-out of the mat there is no problem. But we are flexibel in our endeavours and innovative, thanks to ample life experience ;)

Taking stock from yesterday:

First time during this '30 Day Yoga / Music / Blog Challenge' that yoga took place in the afternoon; as I was a bit behind on all things blog and needed to catch up! Really it was a day spent on the computer, for the most part, a bit of outside time, playing with the chickens and going for a walk, observing the surrounding square km around the house, noticing the ever changing scenery, animal tracks, weather patterns Mother Nature offers on a daily base. Never a dull moment!

Have you ever met someone you instantly feel kinship with, not really knowing the person at all..?

For me, this happened with fibre base artist Lisa Meschino whom I met at a small Cafe concert while she still resided in Sault Ste Marie. Her art work and personality fascinate me. She lives gently, quietly and humbly, pursuing her creations, portraying special connections between community and nature.  I see it that way, but my admiration of her art work is really indescribable and very personal. So fortunate to hold safe one of Lisa's creations, seen to your right: 'The Approaching Departure of Birds'

Lisa in her own words:

Lisa is a visual artist and community-engaged researcher currently living in Toronto. Her making practice uses drawing, sculpting, and fibre-based techniques to interpret the patterns of the natural world. She holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and her community research work is guided by her three passions – the creative process, social wellness, and education.

Nothing perks up like singing a fast jazz tune with scat and possibilities to improvise! 'It don't mean a thing' was composed by Duke Ellington, lyrics by Irving Mills in 1931. This one is 'smoking'!!

Find me and my ghost band on the attached track below. Solos: piano, guitar, violin and sax. You tube backing track uploaded by karafun.  I opted for Ella's version... 'You've got a ways to go, kid...'  Note: It's a practice track, but tons of fun nevertheless!  You get the idea.

Go swing!!

(Sorry we're so late! It took an hour to convert & upload the tune..)

Feel free to post a message below or send an email, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay. 

Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'copy' the URL showing in the address bar.   






Day 16:  

Happy Sunday!

Up with the chickens today, got a lot done this morning. Cool!

Wrote much of today's blog; absentmindedly clicked 'previous' and... lost everything I wrote.

Sour grapes. So, if things sound a bit dense and have sour overtones ~ at least you know why, haha! Will try to keep things concise today and cut to the important matter.

Taking stock from yesterday:

Highlight for me was recording vocals to a ghost band you tube track, nailing the lyrics and managing to sing the middle part breathlessly. An accomplishment indeed, thanks to Adrienne's yoga breathing teachings! So, check out Day 15's attached track. Now for the fine-tuning.

If you have been an avid snowboarder and patron at Searchmont Ski Resort during the past 15 or more years, mighty good chance you would have met Carole Stubinsky, photographer extraordinaire, soul and volunteer organizer of the Searchmont and Area Freestyle Alliance.  SAFA was formed to provide freestyle skiers and snowboarders with opportunities to develop skills and experience a competitive environment. In partnership with Searchmont Resort, SAFA fosters the development of local youth in a fun and controlled environment in preparation for competition in provincial, national and international events. 

Carole Stubinsky spent every weekend outdoors at Searchmont Resort, no matter the weather, volunteering her time, photo equipment and her love for the kids and the sport. Always there for the kids, she has helped them through various challenges and as a parent I am DEEPLY thankful for Carole's dedication.  Searchmont Resort and all us parents owe her a ton of gratitude! Carole deserves an award.   http://www. safasnow. 

Carole is most certainly photographer of choice for my album cover art and promo photo shoots. Not comfortable having my picture taken, she has the experience, skill and touch, turning each photo into a work of art! I am so pleased with both my album covers and highly recommend Carole to everyone for your next photo shoot!



Carole Stubinsky: 705-206-6230


Today's tune below is from my Moonstone album: Back On The Road. Written shortly after meeting Jeff,  we had to part for a longer period of time. One of the first tunes...

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Day 15: Half Moon, Half Through..  

Good Saturday afternoon!

A gorgeous pre-spring morning with sunshine, light snows and a 'half moon' yoga session with Adrienne!! Yes, it just so happens to be real half moon time as well, such perfect timing. 

Taking stock from yesterday:

I think I already touched base on everything in yesterday's late eve blog!

I can feel a definite shift, a restless notion, an urging to get outside and immerse in nature ~ temperatures certainly have eased, one can sit outside and have a tea, bathing in the warmth of the sun. Spring fever is about to erupt! Can't wait to go to camp :) 

Yesternight's half Moon also marks the half way point of this, my 30 day Yoga, creative music & blog challenge. Must say, I am amazed with myself, having persisted thus far:

~ Have NOT missed one yoga session.

~ Have NOT missed writing one blog.

~ Have NOT missed providing 1 song per blog.. perhaps a track from one of the two albums, maybe a newly recorded cover or so far 1 new original I may have solo played at the Watertower Pub or at the Roadhouse when the 'living was easy'... back in the day.

~ Interestingly, I admit that piano practice has taken a back seat... Let's see if I can catch up with piano learning in earnest during the second half of this challenge! It does not help that I almost cut my left index finger tip off while slicing bread a few days ago... it is slowly healing.. nasty cut.  Excuses, excuses.. My goal is to record at least one song played on the piano and sung along with, before this 30 day challenge is over. 


Thankful for the mentorship & teachings she provided to our daughter Myrica, I am honoured to feature today:Karen Nisbet, multi talented & skilled, much admired Sault Ste Marie artist and former high school teacher.

In Karen's own words: I have a BFA from Queen's university 1975, and after teacher's college went on to teach high school art for 31 years. After retirement I spent the next ten years creating sets for local theater, eventually switching to pottery, which is my main focus these days. I enjoy a wide variety of media, so I'm never bored! You can find me on Facebook at Hummingbird Studio in groups, or on Instagram at @karen.nisbet.

Today I am working again on a new jazz tune, a well known instrumental.

'Take Five' was written by Dave Brubeck, who would have turned 100 this year. Lyrics by Carmen McRae, who sings through the main part of this song WITHOUT TAKING A BREATH! 

Welcome to my mega challenge today, wish me luck. Will attach my practice session below. 'Canned' you tube jazz ghost band today by  'MishaG9'. Yoga has really helped open and expand my breathing: I succeeded singing the mid section w/o taking a breath :) Note: Recording quality is basic.


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Day 14: Family Day  

Good late Evening to You!

It has been a picture perfect day from the album of this entrepreneurial family, for sure.

Yoga with Adrienne Day 14 started my day out just fine. Then .....

One has to understand this family and all that keeps a self employed clan going, especially once spring approaches.

I dropped everything today to accompany Jeff on a discovery journey towards Lake Superior. Such a beautiful day and we have always supported each other in the quest for new ideas and venues.

Coming home, it was already time to get dinner organized so I did not start to organize my Day 14 until about 8 pm, because we also had some fascinating, urgently important discussions involving aliens. Yup.

Then, while organizing a potential video sample for Instagram, our satellite internet went rogue ~ again ~ so I recorded and attached a track for you instead. A song I used to play for an appreciative crowd at the Roadhouse SSM back when live performance in bars still happened and provided income for musicians. But things have changed. 

I would encourage anyone who loves music to purchase a CD / Tape from your favourite musicians to help them out in these dire times ~ you can really make a difference that way. 

Today's featured person is our daughter Myrica, who is a fantastic musician and visual artist. Like so many true artists, she does not promote her work, but merely is deeply involved while at work creating..  I believe 100% in her! She had an incredible artist teacher in high school, who taught her to work with a variety of mediums: Karen Nisbet will be featured in tomorrow's blog. I would have loved to post more of Myrica's art work, but.. ;) I guess that's normal, I am simply proud of her and her art work!

Enjoy a free, raw track of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' today. We all need such beauty in our lives.

Be well. 

Feel free to post message below or send an email, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :) 

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Day 13: Tapes, tapes and tapes!  

Thursday the Thirteenth!

And I'm working the nightshift today, just got back from town. Had to get out of Dodge, we needed to do business in town, so I  saturated myself in the old growth pine and maple stands of Hiawatha's Pinder 4 k trail, skiing myself back into a good mood. At -15 C wearing just a wool sweater, ski pants & no hat, I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh cold air breezing through fabric and hair, refreshing every cell and soul in my body. The rhythmic motion of X-country skiing in-track is really an invigorating treat, as I normally do back country snow shoeing, skiing or hiking. Feeling great!

Taking stock from yesterday:

Busy in so many ways, and that's life. I realize now that powering through a 30 day promise is not as easy as it seems.  Nice idea, but one also has to tend to other aspects of daily life, especially when self empowered. Lots to assess and to tend to at any given time. 

In fact, I am finding that taking a break from parts of an intense schedule makes one returns refreshed and ready for more. The brain will have had time to work through new materials and one gets back on track with new perspectives. 

So coming back from town today, I eagerly opened our mail box at the Community Centre and excitedly pulled out a wee, light package about the size of a... TAPE! You know, I have been watching videos and following pictures on Instagram for a while of a local artist I do highly respect for his easy going demeanor and persistence in his craft: DJSeith.  Having grown up using tapes to record my music, concerts and just listening to tapes, (including dealing with horrifying 'tape salads' when something goes very wrong) ~ I became increasingly curious as to what DJSeith so confidently produces and promotes: His mixed & recorded tapes.

Being an artist myself, I often trade or buy other artist's work. So I signed on to DJSeith's monthly Tape Club.

Every month he puts out a new tape production and I have subscribed.

Subscribed, without even knowing whether I have a tape player..  And if I do, does it work?! I trusted the universe on that and just forged ahead, very happy to support his fascinating endeavour!

So today, before dark, I clambered into the dark corners of our attic and found an old, cold but functioning looking 'The Band' tape in a cardboard box at the bottom of an intimidating cardbord box pile and took it back to the house.

With trembling hands, I pushed the release button for one of the tape chambers on our old stereo, which we rescued a few years back from a house to be demolished.  Now imagine, I have not touched a music tape in probably 25 years. THAT FEELING of sliding the tape into the tape chamber (at first the wrong way around of course..), clicking it shut, then finding the 'ON' button and ~ finally pushing it ~ indescribable! At first, The Band moaned and put out an alarmingly muffled sound, then suddenly the air cleared and the sound came out proud and strong!

So then, I put in my newly arrived tape, snapped the cover shut and eagerly pushed the button and: I LOVE IT!  You MUST hear for yourself. Note: original cover art work by the master himself. 

And I am now officially one of the cool kids,

haven't had this much fun in a long time :)

So here we go, I am honoured to introduce to you:


In his own words:

DJ Seith is a producer and hip-hop DJ, focusing on beat explorations, the art of the scratch, and the street that everyone lives on.

Also follow @djseith on Instagram and ask him about the Tape Club.


Today's music choice attached below, is:

'Harbour Rat Blues'

.. which has very little to do with the blog, but who knows...


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Day 12: Writing  

Bon après midi !

Yes, it is already 2:30pm and I am only now beginning to dive into keeping my promise ~ 30 days and none less. Today, morning & afternoon were spent taking a 15 minute sunrise fresh air catch walk, 30 minutes yoga, followed by washing dishes, doing laundry, breakfast preps, packing and freezing a huge stock pot full of African Peanut soup made last night, pureeing & freezing 4 pumpkins, baked the day before. 

Then it morphed into more.. house work. No longer could I face downstairs dust bunnies and wood chip accumulations and so had to oblige. My favourite zen-like house task however is carefully sweeping the floors with an old-fashioned fine-bristled broom while listening to 'Real Jazz' on Sirius Radio. A treat! Today Rhonda Hamilton played some fantastic tracks by and with pianist composer Chick Corea, who sadly passed away suddenly on February 9th. In luck, I was able to listen to a live concert track with Chick, accompanied by an orchestra and featuring a beautiful older vocalist Al Jarreau..  the music sent warm shivers up and down my spine as they performed 'Spain', a song I have off and on been working on vocalizing since teenage years, trying to channel Al Jarreau. Some day.. soon.

Taking stock from yesterday:

The day had been carefully planned out.

Interesting how things can change. I had a sudden desire to film and record myself singing 'Blue Skies' by Irving Berlin, so to re-enter the world of jazz vocals and to include the wav track on the blog page and to post a video on Instagram. Manifesting my return to singing jazz. Piano practice was conveniently set aside in favour of vocal work!

Eager to pursue this, I left the blog aside and spent a couple of hours working on 'Blue Skies'. By the time I got back to the blog, after converting & attaching the track, I proceeded to post the blog. It would not work. I refreshed the page, posted again and ~ lost half of my script, photos and frills. Aggravating... 

I had to rewrite from memory and insert the photo again, then finally posted it at almost 6 pm.  By that time it was too late to practice piano ~  time to make dinner. 

It's okay though, we need to follow our true passions as artists, sometimes change direction. Sweeping the floors this morning while listening to jazz also gave me some new, exciting ideas to pursue..

When I first had the idea to start a blog, I asked my friend and writer Mary-Lynn Murphy for advice and book resources. She was quick in recommending 2 books and also generously offered to lend them to me for a while.                                                 

These two books are amazing!     

"Writing down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg 

"Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott

Easy to relate to and also hilariously written, I try to read a chapter every night. I even discovered "Writing down the Bones" on our own fully loaded book shelf! Will have to acquire "Bird by Bird".


Mary-Lynn Murphy is a remarkable writer and I am taking the opportunity to share with you some of her background information today.


Mary-Lynn Murphy is a remarkable writer and I am taking the opportunity to share with you some of her background information today.


Here is Mary-Lynn, telling us a bit about her work: 

Mary-Lynn Murphy is a writer living in Northern Ontario, near Lake Superior's eastern shore. Her novel, 'Finding Grace', is set partly in this area; her fiction and poetry have appeared in several Canadian literary magazines--most recently the winter 2021 issue of The New Quarterly (

For more information: 

Contact Mary-Lynn here to purchase a copy of her book: .


'Elevator' from the Solitude album is song of choice today, attached below, especially since it is Mary-Lynn's favourite song on the album.




Day 11: Blue Skies  

Good lovely morning! 

Taking 10 to tidy up work spaces after a great half hour of yoga. My room is small, but well organized. Just need pick up scattered sheet music, fold a pile of laundry to stuff into drawers, then add some tissues dotted with drops of lavender. Love the fresh scent! The day can begin. 

Taking stock from yesterday: 

Ah... days are getting longer, hours of the day don't.. so here's another tweak in this journey: Go to bed earlier, get up earlier, although I am already an early bird.  As a morning person, I get so much more done, so it's time to buckle up once again. Estimation: 

~ Coffee (30) 

~ Yoga (30) 

~ Blog beginnings (45) 

~ Breakfast (30) 

~ Vocal exercises (15-20) 

~ Blog continued (maybe switch this one with Vocal exercises or I lose momentum..) 

~ Grandchickens  & Cockatiel care (30-45) 

~ Blog continued  (?) 

~ Song choice of the day! (60 or more) 

~ Piano practice... I still struggle with this, as it requires lots of focus & energy, but... 1000 hours. (120) 

Somewhere in between or thereafter one needs to prepare meals, care for the sprout trays, put a log on the fire (thanks Jeff for bringing in the fuel wood every day:) and do other tasks like banking and music administration. 


Music administration yesterday took a while, as I finally uploaded all 10 Solitude wav tracks via our sloth internet system, to an email to the CBC music library (yes!), 2 years late... I just couldn't come up with the will and energy... But better late than never. Art work, credit & bio went along and it actually mailed out swiftly! I was surprised that it even sent, given thee largeness of thee attached files. Thanks google (grudgingly..). 



Today I would like to introduce to you one very inspirational woman and friend in my life: Zaynab Wilson. Zaynab plays drums on my album 'Solitude' and is an all around natural talent, skillful multi instrumental musician and artist. Please visit her website, get to know her a bit and follow her on Instagram 

@zaynabwilsonmusic if you like! 

And of course listen to her drum work on 'Solitude', most tracks are first take ~ amazing! 

"A Soul and creative Artist of her Time" ~ 

By the way, feel free to send me a message below or an email,  feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :) 

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Song Choice, find track recorded today just below: Blue Skies by Irving Berlin (1926). You Tube musicians uploaded from 'Kzmonova': 








Day 10: 'You Want It Darker'  

Good chilly morning!

Catching up with oneself, after a restless almost sleepless night; requires focus yet reflection so to find out why the night was so torturous. Conclusion is that writing really opens a can of worms in my head, eager to spill its contents.

Day 10 ~ and daily patterns are shifting, priorities are changing, interestingly enough. 20 more days to go and still so much to say! We shall see...

Question is: Why haven't I been writing all along? It seems to come natural, brings feelings of contentment and purpose. In school (remembering here..) always excelling in essay and interpretational writing, language and art; I was lousy at anything mathematical and even horrified of it.. music theory included. Can't be good at everything!

Taking stock from yesterday:

So pleased that I was able to record and attach Leonard Cohen's 'Dance me to the end of Love' to the blog yesterday. I will try to do this more now, record and post raw recordings. I like it. 

All went well and goals were met. New development: I will alternate certain tasks: Daily blog stays, piano practice stays, working on new vocal tunes will take a back seat as it is very time and energy consuming ~  while recording and attaching tunes to daily blogs takes priority now. Covers, or if possible, newly written tunes. Also tunes from my albums of course.

In an effort to get away from the ever alarmingly invasive and powerful and rapidly rich growing corporations such as google, amazon, walmart, spotify and the likes ~ starting at the core grass roots: Me. 

Learning every day how to avoid these uncomfortably powerful entities, I have been researching a bit. Technically, I am not sure yet how this is effecting my privacy on the internet, but I researched, then signed on to Proton VPN (Virtual Private Network) in an effort to dodge google's probing into private spheres. 

I also tried getting away from g-mail and signed on to Protonmail to gain further protection against ever bold privacy invasions of google. Seems google is well on the way to coral us all nicely into herd mentalities...Only we can change that as individuals.

This is why it is so important we stand up for and support local independent businesses rather than box stores like walmart and online giants like amazon for example. If we don't ~ the rich get richer and more powerful, while populations become powerless. Again, grass roots...

Alternatively, I eagerly waved goodbye to the ever mighty google search engine, welcomed 

search engine into my life instead! Very fascinating. I follow Ecosia on Instagram and their work is truly inspiring in this world of corporate greed. Check it out! 


As always.. feel free to send me a message below, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :) 
Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'grab' the URL showing in the address bar.

Today's song for you is, appropriately,  'Cold Cold City' from my Solitude album. A tribute to a city which continues to allow 100 year old dark age industry to rule and devastate surrounding air, soils, water ~ poisoning its people in the process, with political approval.  Let that one sink in.

Once again.. change comes from the grass roots ~ people who are conscious and not afraid to demand necessary transformation, respecting climate change, along with the rest of this planet.  This type of extreme pollution would not be tolerated in civilized, Western  European countries. People would stand up and protest until positive change occurs. After all, it is our children's future.

As it is, 'This' city continues to live in the dark ages, enabling toxicity.

'You Want It Darker' ..

Check out the fantastic Music Video for Cold Cold City by the amazing @jaderobertsonfilms . In fact, much gratitude goes out to Jade and his family @jcksnrd & @tinyweecabin Paula and friends for their support & patience during the video shoot. Truly a magical time, plus Jade pulled it all together skilfully and swift, due to a looming deadline. 

Plus he provided the donuts and coffee! I owe you Jade...

Watch Cold Cold City right here on this website or on Vimeo:



@brittawolfert_music   (all things music) 
@solit_moon (nature & environment)


Day 8: Falling off the Wagon 

Good Saturday Morning!

Day 8 has arrived, which means I'm already one quarter into this 30 day challenge! Today's Yoga was Yin, gentle and meditative with some deep stretches.

Taking stock from yesterday:

Sure enough, noticeably and alarmingly, old habits started creeping in yesterday, the little devil perching on my shoulder, hissing into my ear: "Awe.. have a beer, clean your house, surf Instagram, don't you feel guilty, sitting here writing, holding your guitar on your lap?? And playing piano?!  What are you thinking!! Your job is to look after the family, keeping things neat and clean, stoke the fire in the wood stove, find a job, make money, bla bla bla..."

Ugh! I was really hoping it would not come to this.  Yesterday was a disappointment. I 'fell off the wagon' and did not practice piano. I had a beer and read a book last night following hours of kitchen work, forgetting about my goal. Darn! Of course, this morning I feel sluggish and groggy. Time to buckle up.

As my much respected musician friend Doug advises: Compose something every day, no matter how small or meaningless is seems. 

I mean ~ this is not supposed to extend into stress.. have seen enough of tension (and joy) to last me a life time, running Sky Bear Lodge & Lansdowne B&B for nearly 30 years, Achigan Cedar Products for even longer, all  together with Jeff. And of course, happily raising our beautiful children! Add to that the music biz and gardening work...

So, it's all good. Time to re-focus and continue this magic carpet ride, this 30 day journey!. So much more to say. Here we go:

Pleased to say, I went back to Day 4 and posted 2 photos of Tom along with his song! Mission accomplished. Now for some fine tuning for the song, involving newly acquired piano playing skills, if all goes right.

So, check back here later today, perhaps I will have a surprise...

Hey, I am back again. So, in spite of my dislike, making my own video posts, I did it anyways. On Instagram. Unfortunately I cannot post it here. If you have an Insta account, please have a listen.  Otherwise, I will be back tomorrow with a song track for you. Thank you!

By the way, feel free to send me a message below, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :) 

Also, to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'grab' the URL showing in the address bar.






@brittawolfert_music   (all things music)

@solit_moon (nature & environment)






Day 9: Happy Valentine's Saturday!  

Happy Valentines Day, Everyone! 

What a beautiful morning. I managed to do yoga, coffee and sauna clean-up before indulging in strawberry chocolate cheesecake together with Jeff :)  beautifully created by Sarah @scottcoffee Sault Ste Marie.

What a lovely treat! Also took a photo of the ultimate 'altar of the north' ~ our Finnish Sauna.The early morning light was just magnificent, whispering promises of spring and maple syrup season to be upon us soon... 

I also had to share a photo of our beautiful old lady sauna in glorius morning  illumination... 

But now back to the regular program. 

Taking stock from yesterday: 

My apologies, first of all, for not posting a tune last night. Instead, I worked for a fair amount of time on a set-up to take a music video 'selfie... An odd experience, with the amp hoisted up onto my desk in front of the mirror, microphone & guitar set up so not to create screeching feedback in the process; setting the volume for both guitar & mic, duct taping the old Iphone5 and it's batterie attachment (without which it will no longer work) to a clip and strong wire I acquired for a mere $3. at the dollar store; propping up a music stand with a yoga block to gain height and so on... a work in progress indeed. 

Then I had to pin the curtain back just right, so to influence the lighting. And then, I had to get over myself as I loath taking selfies, never mind a video of myself! Ugh! But, it has to be part of the 30 day challenge. There is more than one challenge to be met here... The crowning glory then was to post the video onto Instagram @brittawolfert_music .Then, reminding myself I am doing all this for myself, not for anyone else's judgement and that it will help be grow into a more accepting person. By that I mean ~ accepting myself. Yup, a lifelong journey. 

Then, almost 2 hours of piano practice. 

So once that was all accomplished, I needed to let off some steam and shoveled out a 20 meter path to the sauna, cleaned off the entrance way and started a fire, hauled wood and buckets of water up the trail. By dusk the roaring fire had created that enjoyable Finnish sauna atmosphere to be relished. In candle light and complete stillness. 
I am planning to post a nice Valentines song for you later on, hopefully....

By the way, feel free to send me a message below, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :) 
Also, if you would like to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'grab' the URL showing in the address bar. 

Update: I just finished recording "Dance me to the End of Love" by Leonard Cohen for you! Vocals & Guitar, a last minute choice for Valentine's Day!  Please click and listen below. 



@brittawolfert_music   (all things music) 
@solit_moon (nature & environment)

Day 7: A Word on Imperfection  

It's Friday ~ I guess.  Good morning!

Day 7 and a rather intense yoga session with Adrienne! Wow. It feels real great though. But firstly my ritual of lighting a candle on the coffee table (adopted from my mother), gazing out the window, holding a mug of coffee, whilst another ever stunning sunrise unfolds, illuminating the ancient Cambrian Shield mountain west of the valley, featuring the east facing bare rock. One can only be a amazed every morning, a different view each day.

Taking stock from yesterday:

I posted yet another 'raw' song recording at the end of yesterday's blog, the tune which had come to mind after finding out of Tom's passing. By Simon & Garfunkel, who helped me through teenage hood, sporting a fairly severe crush on Art at the time. Must have worn their albums out, playing music in the room I shared with my older sister when she wasn't around...  

So why did I post this embarrassing imperfectly recorded, sung and played song?

Everything starts in the raw. Few music listeners have access to the sometimes intense process of developing a tune. Well hidden in studios everywhere, no matter who sings, no matter how famous or established an artist; polished records of famous musicians start at the bottom, same as everyone elses.  Hours and hours of work from scratch often go into a meticulously recorded song. It can be a joyful experience, it can be frustrating and grueling. Mind you, nowadays studios can filter out and tweak imperfections easily with help of technology. But, listening to some recordings, with absolutely no flaw and every note in place, leaves me flat, literally. I need authenticity, realness, soul, when listening to a record, personally.

How about you?

So, to make this point, I bravely posted two very imperfect tunes, recorded with my old IPhone5, amplified merely with my retro Fender Acoustasonic -30 and ~ left them to the mercy of unforgiving airwaves. Yikes. Rusty would moan in pain should he ever hear... 

Today's song track from my album Solitude (posted below), talks of touring by myself and the thoughts associated with that. Having mentioned my brilliant record producer Rusty McCarthy above, I would like to encourage you to check out / purchase his music and listen to a recent interview:

By the way, feel free to send me a message below, your feedback is appreciated, yay or nay! :)

Also, to subscribe to this 30 day journal, click the RRS button below and 'grab' the URL showing in the address bar. 

Thank you for coming along on this trip! :)





Day 6: We are in Control - Kind of 

Good promising Morning!

Up and at it early today. The floor in my work room seems particularly drafty today.. even the heater fails to remedy that. Regardless, an extra sweater and socks take care of that. Body and soul are happy doing Yoga with Adriene!

Taking stock from Yesterday:

What great surprise to see many encouraging emails in my inbox, following the newsletter sent out the other day! I enjoyed reading and answering each and every one of your mails. So personal and touching. Although I will try to do that earlier in the day from now on, because again ~ at night my capacity to be genuine and on topic is generally diminishing.. Hopefully my replies made sense. It will get better in time, one needs to reacquaint with the skill of real letter writing!

Some friends connected and re-connected via 'contact Submission' on this website, in some cases updating their email address. Also with some added personal notes. again, I do enjoy this much more than social media!

Piano and Vocal exercises went well felt like furtherment in my life (furtherment: new word in my vocabulary! Who knew.)

Looking into today:

I will boldly publish this now without adding a music track. Why? I need urge myself to add a new song today. Still with Tom in mind, because I thought immediately of a cover song when I heard of his passing. So I will want to honour first thoughts, right? Add to that task today the routines of piano and vocals, as well as making meals and other daily chores, including getting outside for fresh air ~ and my day is complete, considering unforeseen circumstances of course.

Have a fruitful and happy day. I see you later with a new song attached below!

... and like a Navajo Rug, mistakes resemble signs of authenticity. Thus, the music file below is ~ once again ~ a 'first take' and thus far from perfect. That's okay.

For Tom: 'The Only Living Boy in New York' by Simon & Garfunkel, slightly altered. Recorded before doing my vocal exercises today, as there were no distractions in the house at the time :)

You hear a few squeaks in the upper range, as well as some rusty guitar playing. But it's definitely sung from the heart.

Continuous fair winds, Tom...


Day 5: Sleepwalking and all that Jazz  

Good gorgeous morning! (Note: Post is late today due to a website glitch)

Woke up 2 hours late.. slept through 2 alarm clocks and must have needed it. Rested but groggy, coffee kicked me into gear and morning routine house chores got done swiftly and out into the beautiful pristine -20 C morning air, looking after the grand chickens. Ate too much oatmeal and finally settled for Yoga with Adriene (I should have reversed..). Highly recommended, the practice only takes 30 minutes (more if one slows down the video) and feeds body & soul for the remainder of the day. Do it! There is a session for everyone, no matter the ability. Adriene makes my day now, every day.

Taking stock from yesterday:

I learned something. For the first 3 days I had reserved piano practice for the end of the day, favouring the energizing fun vocal practice for the afternoon. Not a good idea. by the time I got to the piano, I had no steam left and no capacity comprehending the new learning experience. It's reversed now. 

In regards to comprehension, l must admit that I will never fully understand or appreciate social media. In fact, in my mind it messes with people's heads, whether they gather illusions as they fish for 'likes' or make trolley comments. My sensitive artist brain dissects everything presented there in front of me, leaving me way too affected.   

So, in the past, I have come and gone and come back from and to social media, following and unfollowing according to how it has made me feel, actually freezing my well being and creative sense as bold and powerful posts took the wind completely out of my sails, leaving me feeling useless, guilty and depressed. Yup. 

No longer do I deal with fb. Instagram appears kinder, predominantly dealing with photography. Also gives permission to express oneself without being faced with instant toxicity. Merely an outlet, followers or not. For me at least. One can still hang on to original thoughts without the influence of outside forces. 

Thus, I enjoy the deeply personal and sincere experience when writing newsletters and now blogs / diaries. Honest feedback has been tremendous lately ~ something I would never get within social media, as every comment is being tailored to a broad, thirsty audience. An email appears like someone sends a hand written letter. It takes effort, but is also much more treasurable. Soon I hope to leave social media all together. Wouldn't that be swell?

So, as of yesterday, I am also learning to focus more mindfully, taking 2 hours in earnest to really learn piano for my goals & purposes. Taming my artist brain ain't easy, fireworks going into all directions..  It took me almost 2 years to finally find my own route of learning piano. I feel for EVERYONE out there who is being chastised, judged and ridiculed in the education system. NEVER give up. 

In that same breath; Jazz has provided an amazing opportunity for self expression, supported by some brilliant musicians and stellar human beings, who are open minded, skilled and fun to work with. It took hard work on my behalf. Some jazz cats just won't talk to you unless you are male or in their 'clique'. They treat you differently when you are female, not equal. That makes me furious. I need to learn indifference. 

One incredibly gifted female jazz guitarist comes to mind: Emily Remler. Being female in a male dominated jazz terrain can be devastating. Here is her story.

Thank goodness, things are improving, for the most part.

I am pleased to say, that everything musical in my life has been accomplished 'By Ear'. It is totally possible. As my Jazz mentor and Jazz Master Sheila Jordan puts it rather candidly, quote: "Those so called Jazz professionals are all 'full of it'. I have never taken a lesson in my life". She says it right on stage! Hilarious.

And you? Do you have mentors in your life? Please comment. 

Find below today's tune 'We Pretend', from my Solitude album. The song was co-written with Doug Wilde. Must I say more.  


Day 4: Song for Tom  

Good minus 35 C Morning!

Here's to dry firewood, cedar kindling and empty pasta boxes to start a fire atop last night's hot coals on a chill morning for a beloved, drafty log home..

Taking stock from yesterday:

Hamburg called in the morning, so 90 minutes later I am behind my self inflicted schedule, but so wonderful to catch up with family! Life happens. Meals need be prepared, daily chores tended to.. although wouldn't it be nice to just create without responsibilities knocking..? I am grateful. My better half Jeff is very supportive. Being a writer himself, he understands the importance of  private time.

On Day 2  ample time was spent doing piano work, which allowed me to 'get in the zone', connecting for the first time head and fingers to create the skeleton for a tune, written with an old friend in mind who passed away unexpectedly last November. Tom was the ultimate Jazz connoisseur, listener, audience, critique and icon at Jazz Matinee, no matter where it took place in Sault Ste Marie throughout the past decades... I called on his long time friend Ron to remind me what  his favourite drink was, and a few other details which I weaved into the lyrics of the song skeleton. So, on Day 3, trying to trade perfection for authenticity, I recorded the very first take  of 'Here comes Tom' ~ accompanied by very basic guitar, amplified by our very trusty Fender Acoustasonic - 30, for both mic & guitar ~ with ye olde IPhone5 and converted from Mp4  to WAV to be added to today's page. Channeling a basic  blues with Bessie Smith in mind.. So here's the raw debut, just for you!! Raise a glass of Rum and Pepsi with a twist of lime for Tom, will ya? 

 Here comes Tom (Wyatt)                   by Britta Wolfert                                                                       2021-02-08 

Look out here comes Tom 4x                                                                                                                                            Strike up the Jazz, play Honeysuckle Rose                                                                                                                        Look out, here comes Tom 

Same table same night                                                                                                                                                          It has got to be right                                                                                                                                                              When Tom walks through that door 

He wears his Fedora                                                                                                                                                              Come hell or high water                                                                                                                                                        There ain’t no need to be more 

He’s a sophisticated man                                                                                                                                                      A Jazz music fan                                                                                                                                                                    And moving swiftly - on the dance floor 

Diet Pepsi and Rum                                                                                                                                                              And a twist of lime                                                                                                                                                                Makes Tom quite happy and fine 

He needs no invitation                                                                                                                                                          To show up at the station                                                                                                                                                    His seat in front of the stage 

Jazz Matinee will miss him                                                                                                                                                  Now who will be listening?                                                                                                                                              Tom has left and turned the page 

He’s bought a ticket to the moon                                                                                                                                        Carrying a tune                                                                                                                                                                    Tom you’re much too sublime... 



Day 3: Un-Social Media  

Good snowy morning!

Taking stock from yesterday: I must omit dairy products for decent vocal practice. But those sour cream Pina Colada muffins were so good... Have to exercise my fingers for a more well rounded piano & guitar practice. But got everything on my list done. Congrats :) 

Yesternight's good news: First ever song written on piano! Well, the beginnings. Now for lyrics. This song dedicated to an iconic friend who passed away last November and took along his great passion for Jazz. Fans like him are hard to come by in this town. He rarely missed a weekly Jazz show.  Also have a cover in mind for him...

Amazing. Woke up. Today. No back pain! Unheard of.

Thanks Adriene!                                                                                                                             

Un-social In an effort to honour 'the moment' as a rather sensitive person ~ it's been instrumental for me to get rid of Facebook. And Twitter. Argh. When posting on Instagram; archiving and sharing my photography has been a feel-good factor. It is a gentle and calm attempt to keep in touch, meet like minded folks. I've come to my own conclusion that 'collecting likes' resembles false news:  Illusion meets expectation meets ego. Unless there is a profound and sincere message attached.  

Also: Time is a factor. Time is precious. Time ticks away and never sleeps. We need choose our activities carefully. Life is precious. Now more than ever. Un-social-media.

Today's tune was recorded at 'Jazz in July'  in Amherst Massachusetts ~  the final concert.  It's wrongly titled 'This Masquerade' but for real it is of course 'Blue Skies' by Irving Berlin (1926) we hear. Note I was extremely nervous at the concert.. truth be told.