I honestly can’t believe how different time is while Jared and I are traveling. Without the daily schedule to keep up with for Rudy, our dogs, friends, and whatever other domestic endeavors we attempt, we have very little daily obligations to tether us. Days seem like weeks, weeks fly by, gigs come and go, and the towns all begin to feel similar. We are essentially in a liquid state of mind and body, ebbing and flowing with whatever happens, children of circumstance, and slaves to no master. (Also another cool album title, “Children of Circumstance”) So when there is actual reason or need to set an alarm, it shakes us to our very core. 

The reality hits hard as the mornings alarm expels its horrific tones, much like the cry of a thousand hyenas, trapped with you in an outhouse with no escape. As I hit the “snooze”, it felt like trying to silence a bus full of screaming toddlers with a mitten-muffled “shhh”. Am I coming across as overly dramatic? I think not. This was EXACTLY what I heard and you can’t convince me otherwise. Like a fart at a monster truck rally, my squeaky plea for more sleep was overpowered by the next blaring blast of my alarm. Now we needed to get up, get dressed, and look FABULOUS!!! Whose idea was a morning photoshoot anyway? Oh yeah…mine.

Buuuut, it was a super great time and here are a couple of stills I got off my phone while I was recording. Can’t wait to see the full reel of shots.

The photographer, Marianne Maynard, is a local in Stevensville and has a really cool business called “Mama’s a Hot Mess Vintage Thrift and Boutique Store“. She prints and sells novelty toilet paper (you bet we’re gonna get on that train), as well as all kinds of other cool stuff like pillow cases, tie dye shirts/dresses, prints, jewelry, and all kinds of odds and ends. Marianne stepped away from photography, but, lucky for us, she still does specialized shoots for folks she digs. We are said “folks”! So much fun was had, even in the early morning, and she shot over 500 photos of us being goofy and playing music in front of a cabin that Gretchen’s grandfather was BORN in!! Gretchen was feeding the goats and baling hay while we were singing along with the rooster. She said it was pretty magical to have live music playing during her morning chores . . . we are most definitely NOT in Tacoma anymore!

After the shoot was finished, I thought I may want a nap . . . but that was NOT in the cards for me. Since the venue for our gig was located right next to the library, away we went to get more work done before set up. Since we were all gussied up for the photo shoot, we didn’t have too much to do to get ready, so we quickly changed and got to work. A few more blogs down and then we were off to the show.

Two years ago, when we were on tour in the area in the summer, we had the honor to play for a group of people who were grieving the loss of a community staple, a husband, an artist, and an all-around beloved human, Robert “Bob” Lutzenhiser. Jared and I were approached to come play in the courtyard of the jewelry store where Bob and his wife, Kate, had made and sold jewelry for over 30 years. It was a magical and healing time, and Champagne Sunday was able to do what we do best, connect people through shared experience, love, laughter and tears. It helped the community and also left a lasting impression on us as well. So, when Gretchen asked us if we wanted to do another concert at Kate’s place, we were thrilled to accommodate. 

What a fun night it was! What a difference two years makes in the hearts of grief! It was a completely opposite kind of evening. So much joy, laughter, and celebration, both for the memory of Bob, AND for the new-found independence displayed by Kate. Kate, who was soley Bob’s assistant in jewelry design and craftsmanship of pieces, is now spearheading the business with her own designs and skills, learning new things daily, and realizing that, during all those years as an “apprentice”, she truly soaked up more knowledge and experience than she thought. Kate shared something with me during the evening, 

“I did something really dangerous recently. It was part of the jewelry making process that Bob always did and I was afraid to try. I never thought I would be able to do it, yet here I am…doing it. I honestly felt him with me, talking me through the process. It made me feel calm. I think I’m going to be ok.”

A shining example that, even when we lose loved ones, they are never too far from us as guides and mentors. Also, it made me think that if I lost my sweet Jared, the only things I’d hear from him would be farts, him telling me to “Quiet down, woman!”, and probably something like, “Hey! On your way here can you please grab some bourbon? We’re running low already.” (Only kind of kidding…but I can’t put in this blog the stuff he’d actually say to me beyond the grave. Tee hee) 


I’m not sure if you can see the piano in the back, but “Have piano, will play”. It wasn’t amplified though, so at the very end, the audience howled for an encore. Jared suggested we just do it “off mic”. So, I turned off my microphone, walked in the crowd, and did a rousing rendition of “The Day Miss Alice Went Insane”…it is so fun to sing without a microphone! Marianne got video of Jared playing the whole song, and someone else got video of me singing the whole song. I wonder if we can edit them together to create one complete video…

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