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Anni Blog February 9, 2015

Sometimes shoveling is for the birds

Hello to All! Punxsutawney Phil says we got 6 more weeks of winter ahead of us. I believe it! January in Maine was very, well… wintery! In my neck o’the woods, we’ve had lots of snow to shovel & snow banks are built up tall like I remember when I was just a little tyke. (Maybe they looked bigger then cos I was smaller?) Back-to-back storms have made for challenging clean ups & closed schools… some for several days all in one week. Being a teacher, my fingers are crossed that this pattern breaks soon so we aren’t in school into July. Meanwhile, there’s snowshoeing & skiing to be done in between storms… & Texas in April is a light at the end of my mind’s tunnel (See Section 3 below.) I am thankful I had no gigs on the books in January… as you know, I’m not a big fan of cancellations or white knuckle road trips. I have 2 shows booked for February, pretty close to home, so here’s hoping for no storms on those dates… I am itching to get back to singing! Here’s the NEWS in this order:

1. FEBRUARY SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Town & Time Only)
2. CURRENT TARGETS (February Details)

1. FEBRUARY SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Town & Time Only)

FRI, FEB 6 - JJ’s - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM
SAT, FEB 28 - The Maine Table - S Portland ME - 6PM

2. CURRENT TARGETS (February Details)

FFRIDAY / FEBRUARY 6th / JJ’S / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 6:30PM / 207-934--0222... a perfect choice of venue to begin your month long holiday cheer… and wicked close to my home. Great food & drinks, local music & local color combine to make this a fave hang in OOB 12 months of the year... I call it "The Cheers of Maine" for good reason. Here's JJ's [website].

FRIDAY / FEBRUARY 28th / THE MAINE TABLE / S PORTLAND ME / 6PM / 207-699-4495… Playing here the day after Christmas will be a blast! FYI, this used to be the Merry Manor / Governor’s… but now, The Maine Table features Maine sourced foods & beverages… and this Maine gal plays 6 to 9. The food is yummy, the patrons are spunky, the wait staff & bartenders are funky & my tunes sound great in here! I encourage reservations… the place gets packed on Fridays… & please tell them you’re coming to hear yours truly. Here’s their [website].

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On April 17th I fly south to TX to embark on “The Maell Memorial Bluebonnet Tour.” I talked a bit about this in January’s Cerebral Wanderings. For those who missed it, I’ll be honoring my late, great friend Merry Ellen Featherstone (Maell for short) in the only way that makes sense to me… I’m hitting the TX road with my guitar & my songs for the first time in 10 years. I’ll be touching down in places where Maell & I spent quality time during our many years of touring together, myself in the driver’s seat, Maell ridin’ shotgun (with her “good ear” facing in my direction.) I’ll be performing at least 3 times & maybe hit some open mics just for the fun of it. Here are some particulars so far…

SATURDAY / APRIL 18th / A MAELL MEMORIAL HOUSE CONCERT / CYPRESS TX… details TBA… invitations for long time friends of Maell will be sent first… we’ll open things up to more attendees later, as space allows.

SUNDAY / APRIL 19th / HOUSE CONCERT / WYLIE TX / 4PM… with SHAKE RUSSELL! It’s been way too long since I’ve been to Tom & Linda’s spot in Wylie… so many great memories here… playing music, listening to others’ songs, breaking bread & sharing good wine, watching the sky with Tom’s telescopes, hangin’ in the hot tub, staying up REAL LATE sharing stories, creating more to be told later. I have to say without a doubt, this is one of my fave places… as a performer & as a road queen in general. Maell was with me every time I went here… & Shake was with me many times as well… so glad he has climbed on board for this one! Though Maell will be physically absent, her spirit will be there for sure. These Wylie concerts are destined to end sometime next spring (Tom & Linda will eventually be moving to Washington state!) so it’s a chance to be part of something awesome one more time OR maybe a first & only time? Here are particulars for those of you who want to venture out to Wylie: house concert website [here] and Tom Noe’s e-mail [here].

FRIDAY / APRIL 24th / ANDERSON FAIR / HOUSTON TX / 9PM… opening for SHAKE RUSSELL! (doors open at 8PM)… once again, without doubt, one of my fave places to play EVER. Did you know a lot of performers have recorded LIVE albums here (Nanci Griffith for one)? I’ve played this room a number of times, but not in 10 years… never been here without my touring pal Maell. Damn. I will feel her with us… see her smiling, tapping her feet & bobbing back & forth in her seat. This venue is one of the best in all of Houston… I encourage buying tickets in advance online at the website [here]. CASH ONLY AT THE DOOR (if we don’t sell out.) The number at Anderson Fair is 832-767-2785. This will be a night to remember… I am totally psyched to be going back here!

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4. FRANKLIN HOUSE CONCERT / WALPOLE MA / SUNDAY, APRIL 12th / 2PM / 508-528-0026… I’m telling you about this gig in advance, as I’m hoping some of you can plan ahead & call in some reservations. Seating is limited, the show is always unplugged & intimate… & we have a pot lunch lunch together before the show, which is always fun & yummy. Barry Kassindorf has been creating this series of concerts for a long time now. He has recently moved them from Franklin to Walpole… it’ll be my first time here in Walpole but I’ve played many times at his home in Franklin & have some great memories stored of my times there. I am really looking forward to getting back to this area to play… since I’ve been teaching, it’s harder to travel for gigs too far from home in Maine. This one is most definitely worth traveling for… & it’s my last New England show before gigs in TX. Here are the particulars:

Potluck Lunch at 1PM, show begins at 2PM… reservations strongly encouraged via e-mail at [here] or by calling 508-528-0026. The address is 43 Hutchinson Rd in Walpole MA 02081… set your GPS & we’ll see y’all there!

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Bird Feeder Path, 3 storms later (2/6/15)
More Snow Coming!!!

My neighbor thinks I’ve gone manic with shoveling. We had 5 snow storms in 13 days here in New England, 2 of which totally qualified as blizzards & 3 of which kept me home from my school job. (It’s snowing again right now - Feb. 8th - maybe another foot here overnight?) Yeah, I have a condo & eventually the guys come with plows & snowblowers to clean up… BUT, during heavy, constant dumping of the white stuff, if I don’t get out there periodically to push some white stuff around, there’s really no way to get out my door, get to my car, feed the birds, or use my outdoor grill… (which, by the way, I DO use 12 months outta the year & comes in handy if we lose power.) Oh, & there’s the detail of keeping the vent open outside for my indoor monitor heater… this, of course, being on the opposite side of my condo from my exit door & the walkway to my car… hence, I need to be on snowshoes around my end of the building OR go the long way around where maybe (just MAYBE) a small path has been cleared to get from the end of the building near the parking lot to the opposite end where my vent is at. Throw in some big winds & drifting… these tasks need repeating 4 or 5 times during a storm. Yes, I am out there a lot. If the snow is heavy, I’m out there even more often… too hard to move wet snow if it piles up. Luckily, only 2 out of 4 of these storms brought heavy snow… fluffy white stuff fell during the blizzards… I was grateful for that. (Today’s storm, heavy snow… so, 3 out of 5… I shoveled before school! Thankfully no snow day…)

Anyway, after clearing several vents multiple times, I learned that the neighbors on either side of me are heating with electricity this winter… so no need to clear THOSE vents. I, on the other hand, really hate electric baseboard heating & the cost of it, so I will keep shoveling my Monitor vent with diligence… especially since, back in 2003, I was stranded on Nantucket during a blizzard & came home to a covered vent, frozen pipes & a heater that imploded & needed to be rebuilt. Lesson learned. If I’m away during a storm, I call people to “please go check my vent”… that was an expensive lesson.

So these are some of the things I get to do during a winter such as the one we’re having here at the start of 2015. Bring it on, I say. “if ya can’t handle the wintah, you don’t deserve the summah.” (My Texas friends say the opposite.) You know the other reasons I’m out there shoveling?

1. It’s great exercise. Who wants to drive to the gym during a storm? Besides, the gym’s been closed more than once for obvious reasons. Knees bent, back straight, squeeze the butt & don’t twist when you throw… that’s the drill. STRETCH when you get back inside… absolutely necessary.
2. I get to eat more when I get back inside! LOVE that part… maybe a glass of warming red wine? Definitely…
3. It’s kinda pretty out there… does a world of good for the soul… which brings me to the most important reason:
4. I get Cabin Feevah wicked bad! I gotta get outside… even if that requires the face mask & the goggles… the snowshoes & the hand warmers in the mitts. I CAN NOT stay inside all day when it’s snowing.

So as the snow continues to fall, I wonder: have I gone manic with shoveling? Perhaps… but I dodge the choke that comes with Cabin Feevah when I’m out there being productive. Cabin Feevah creates a kind of panic if left untended. So does Panic become Manic in the end? I guess that’s up to the one who wields the shovel.

All that said, it’ll be nice when this pattern of back to back blizzards begins to dissipate. Any of you who are feeling the choke of Cabin Feevah, I suggest you get outside for a good ole shovel session, brush off the cah & head to one of my gigs. We’ll beat back the panic just fine… a little exercise, a little camaraderie, some hearty food & preferred libations, a lot of music & we’re good to go. As always, thanks for tuning in… drive with care & I’ll see you there.


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14 - Brunswick Hotel & Tavern - Brunswick ME - 7PM
     (Maine Restaurant Week... Reservations Strongly Encouraged!)

3 - JJ’s Eatery - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM
10 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM
12 - Franklin House Concerts - Walpole MA - 2PM - 508-528-0026
     1PM potluck - reservations encouraged:
     (venue: 43 Hutchinson Rd - Walpole MA - 02081)

     Wylie Concerts website here and e-mail here
     Limited seating - reservations encouraged
     Potluck before show, song circle after Shake & Anni

     (doors open at 8PM)
     Advance Tickets online at the website (or call 832-767-2785)

8 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM

2 - Drummore Bay Concert Hall - Phippsburg ME - 7PM
     (With Dan Merrill! Up Close & Personal / No Alcohol)
5 - JJ’s Eatery - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM
18 - Noble House Inn - Bridgton ME - 6:30PM - 207-647-3733
     house concert: reservations encouraged:
26 - Ocean Pizza - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM

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82 Cascade Rd #8
Old Orchard Beach ME 04064
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