big dreams, big ideas, small tactics along the way

The road to glory must be paved with small tactics.

Over the weekend I ordered a tiny fake leopard fur purse on line for twenty-eight dollars.

Why does this matter?

It matters because if it makes me feel fun and cool and happy throughout the winter in Minnesota, then it is money very well spent.

It's the little things, compounded.

It's all these weird quirky outlandish overly honest way too personal somewhat annoying self centered myopic blog posts that may add up to something worthwhile and revelatory.

It's the little leopard fur purse, maybe.

It's the one little song written...scribbled...toyed five in the morning.................

Also, it's ordering the additional "Songs From The Open Road" t shirts today...the black album cover ones.

And ordering a new shipment of the sold out "High Priestess And The Renegade" album..both versions are sold out...I've decided to reprint the Frida Kahlo inspired cover version that has the more polished versions of the recordings from producer Rob Genadek.

Also today I'm going to go buy more white t shirts and make more of my very own design "holy spirit" holiday shirts to sell at upcoming shows from now until Christmas or however long they last.

So much to do!

Have a great day!

the world is a safe place and I trust myself and my God

The world is a safe place and I trust myself and my God to guide me.

Say that ten times in the mirror.

Every morning.

And see what it does for you.

Why not?

It can't hurt.

What have you got I am being shown lessons every day that are miraculous.

Why are these coincidences happening daily?

They're happening as a thumb's up from the Universe.

They're the "you got this" message.

Don't get hung up on what the symbolism is.

Don't get hung up on it like it's a for sure message.

Just feel glad.

My son Jordan called me to tell me that he's suddenly feeling very strongly that he should apply for graduate school in art and design at the University of Minnesota, and come home from California for a while.

He was sitting on a bench in Laguna Beach with his longtime girlfriend Grace when they decided to call me and tell me of this revelation.

Just as he finished telling me, he said, "Grace, look at that! Mom, I have to hang up, I'll call you back!"

I wondered what had happened and I hoped everything was okay.

He called back about ten minutes later and said, "Mom, you'll never believe what just happened. When I was telling you just now about my idea to go to the U of M, I suddenly saw this couple walking by in front of us and as they walked past the woman pulled off her sweatshirt and she was wearing a University of Minnesota t shirt! Can you believe that? It's a sign! So I ran over to them and I said hi and said I was from Minnesota and just wondered why she had a U of M shirt and they said they are both professors at the U of M! So I told them I was just calling my mom and telling her I am going to apply to go to grad school there and they both said it was a sign and they said 'okay well see you next Fall because this is obviously meant to be'. And we all agreed."

He and Grace and I all marveled over this event.

These signs are real.

They aren't just a coincidence.

They're small miracles.

Last night I had a long leisurely dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, a little bohemian style French cuisine place called Barbette, with one of my favorite people.

This woman keeps me going, literally and figuratively.

She became my self appointed guardian angel many years ago and I struggle to comprehend the immensity of her kindness and generosity, but even more I try to understand how she understands me so well.

I don't understand it, but I'm so grateful to her.

She knows that my journey now is uncharted and that I have no clear destination or clear plan for a strong finish.

It's just sort of a long winding road roughly headed toward Happiness and eventually toward the Grave with a general hope of some kind of Eternal Life or Reincarnation.

How's that for a mission statement?

Well, that's mine.

You can borrow it if you'd like.

The dinner was a delicious unfolding of all that has transpired in the past two months since I saw her last.

I got to tell about some highlights of my time in Europe and my time in Upstate New York.

I got to tell about what's sold out on my merch table right now.

She helped me think about my relationships with my loved ones.

She helped me think about a plan to replenish my merchandise.

She helped me think about my real reason for being and my real sense of who I am.

We sat and ordered small plates and large for several hours, from four until eight in the evening.

We had a bottle of Sancerre, which of course, is my very favorite.

We had the mussels, the scallops, the salmon, the salad, the pomme frites.

We had the carrot cake too, which was one large piece we shared, but we couldn't finish it because we were stuffed by then.

It was a feast for the soul in every way.

There aren't that many people ever in your life who can be this person for you.

When you find someone who loves you enough to be excited to sit at a table with you for hours, you have found true friendship.

As we left she made a plan to help me replenish the merch that's out of print.

Without her help, I wouldn't have a lot of what I have to sell.

It's a gift that keeps on giving because it provides the recordings and writings for people and it gives me the cash to put some gas in my tank and keep moving forward, keep sharing my music and my stories.

We agreed last night we don't know where it's headed but we do believe in pursuing some general sense of success and that is happening.

So, a hearty thanks to my guardian angel on this Earth, and a wish to you dear reader, that you keep on and keep on believing.



lessons for December

Two Christmases ago I worked at the cheesecake bakery owned by a much loved and respected friend of mine.

I have no experience as a baker but they needed extra help during their busy holiday season and were asking for any extra hands.

I needed the money in a frightened and desperate way.

I signed on with them.

The first day I did a bunch of dishes and not much else, while some much younger girls were tying ribbons and setting up cardboard boxes.

I was my unpleasant and not best self when I said after a couple hours of dishwashing, "Hey you guys, how about if we switch jobs for a little while? I could use a break from the dishes."

I see now that a person on their first day at a new temporary job where they agreed to come in and do whatever needs to be done, does not get to announce, or trade, or make a big deal about, or even open one's mouth to say anything but "what else would you like me to do?"

So, the next morning they called me to say I was no longer needed and they had it all covered.

I begged to stay.

I said that I was counting on the money now for Christmas.

This was true.

The friend kindly gave me another chance.

Where as before I was offered a few different respites from the ever mounting dirty dish pile, from then on out I was one hundred per cent dish duty.

They needed the dishes done.

Probably no one liked that job.

I was the lowest person on the totem pole.

I wasn't even on the totem pole.

I was an ant in the grass next to the totem pole.

I was grateful to them for giving me a chance to be more humble.

I thought often as I washed the dishes that I was a college educated fifty-something year old woman and this was what had befallen me.

No fault but my own.

But I was taking this dish washing job from someone who might have been more in need than me.

I was taking this job from someone who had no education or skills to get a better paying job.

I was in the wrong lane and I was imposing on these people and making my problem their problem.

I washed the dishes with gratitude and humility.

I watched the owner and her staff work carefully and diligently, with kindness towards each other and their patrons.

All the days before Christmas, as each of them struggled with their own personal issues, as each of them made constant compromises with their own families to make sure the cheesecakes got finished and wrapped and delivered, I listened to them make quick calls on their cell phones asking a friend or a relative to pick up a child from school, to let out a dog who was going to be home alone for several more hours.

I washed the dishes and I kept my big mouth shut.

Christmas came.

I received my check, which was just enough to buy the groceries and stocking stuffers I had hoped to buy for our family.

My children were all coming to town and I was excited and wanted everything to be nice for them.

Also, I wanted to show them that my choice to be a full time artist was working out.

Working out with the help of a dishwashing job...............

After that experience, I promised myself I'd never take a job that wasn't in line with my highest skill level, and that I'd never make my problems someone else's problem.

I promised myself I'd remember that at Christmas and throughout the year nobody owes me anything.

My situation is between me and my God.

The circumstances I find myself in are of my own creation and only I can change them and only through my own change of attitudes.

This year I am playing a variety of different shows during the holiday season.

I'm grateful to be making money in a way that is more in line with my goals and skills.

Last night I went to a party and at the party some people invited me to do a house concert for them in January.

That's the way I want to make money, providing a service for people who are excited to have me play my music and share my stories with them.

a cafe with a wood burning fire

There's a cafe in Minneapolis that has a wood burning fire going in their fireplace now.

It's called The Lynhall.

I'm going to write this blog post, then go jogging outside, then take a shower and get dressed up in a fun outfit, then drive the five miles to The Lynhall.

When I get there I'm going to hopefully be able to secure a seat near the fire.

I'm going to order a drink, not sure what yet, and get out my pens and blank books and attempt to write at least one but ideally two new handwritten small books for my merch table.

I want the new set of books to be whimsical and have a vague holiday woodland theme.

They're going to go with my hand drawn t shirt design...the deer head with the words "holy spirit" hand printed below.

I'm just about ready to get this all going for my upcoming shows.

I hope I get it all done.

I hope I get a seat by the fire today.

Have a cozy day today, where ever you go.

an extra post tonight as I ward off fear with good stories

First of all, as an update from yesterday's post, I brought my things I didn't want any more from my closet to the Buffalo Exchange store todayith my daughter Nina along for help and moral support.Do you think it's amazingly weird that the girl who helped me at the store was from the same small suburb of Chicago where I grew up?

Do you think it's also weird that her name was Courtney too?

Both of us a girl named Courtney from Park Ridge, Illinois....working together going through my cast off clothes at a thrift store in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I considerositive sign was that they gave me $188 for all the things I brought in.

That's pretty great.

Nina thought it was a very good sum.

It isn't even close to what these things all cost me when I purchased them new, but the depreciation rate on clothing is drastic and immediate. Once you buy it, it's worth next to nothing. Sad but true, unless you're very famous or the thing becomes a collector's item for some reason.

I felt grateful though, liberated by my ability to stop feeling guilty about things I bought that never became my favorites.

I passed them on, and the girls at the store thought they were great, and now they'll get a second chance at being loved.

Amen to that.

And I paid my car insurance!

The other story I wanted to tell tonight, mostly because I want to keep being positive about my music and my shows even though I have less going on right now, is a story about a woman at my most recent show at the Finnish Bistro this week.

A woman came in and told me that she was actually of Finnish origins.

She asked my if I was Finnish and I told her I was Swedish and Italian and a little German.

She was okay with that.

She told me it was her eighty-first birthday and that her entire family was on their way for her birthday the bistro.

She said she had reserved a table for twelve and another for six.

She asked me if I was going to be singing during her birthday party.

I said, yeah, I guess so.

So the birthday party ensued and I started my concert very quietly, trying not to wreck her party and at the same time trying not to disappoint the people who had come to hear my music.

This sort of thing keeps happening and is a reminder to me that I must continue to strive for higher level performance situations where everyone arrives knowing they're going to witness a serious concert and not just endure some background music.

It's my responsibility to will this next level into manifestation, I know this, and it shall be done.

I believe in myself, I believe in where I'm heading, I believe that all things are mine because I am loved and how can I keep from singing...I believe, I believe...and also....any day now, any day now, I shall be released.

So the next thing that happens is that the birthday girl gets up and is dancing to my song that goes "fear is my enemy, money is my rival, gratitude is the remedy and love is my survival.."

She has come up to the stage and is dancing and telling me that she loves my music and she's so happy I'm there for her party and that it was all meant to be because some of her family wanted to go to Red Stone and she doesn't even like Red Stone.

I played my first set and then I took a five minute break.

I went to use the restroom and when I returned, the birthday girl, named Millie, and her many fun and friendly relatives, were buying my merchandise and Millie had taken off her nice grey sweater to put a Courtney Yasmineh t shirt over her black turtleneck.

She looked great, very fun, and she was smiling and laughing.

She's four years younger than my mother and she reminded me of my Mom in her fun jaunty style.

The next thing I knew, she was asking if she could sing with me.

Oh geez, I thought.

But I said yes she could.

She said she wanted to sing Amazing Grace so my mind raced and I thought I probably could play it in a good key.

Her sons helped her up on the stage, but she's in great shape so she didn't need much help.

Then her relatives gathered around with their phones poised to film this, and they asked if she could hold one of my guitars, and when I hesitated she said, "you have two up here" and I thought she's right, what the heck.

So she held my acoustic guitar and I played the Guyatone and I started in on Amazing Grace.

The amazing part was that she asked me if I wanted to do the harmony or the melody and I got the sudden impression that maybe she knew something about singing.

Low and behold.

Millie stepped right up to my microphone and began to sing and she was great!

We sang three verses!

Her family was delighted!

Afterwards she told me that she was an alto in her church choir for many years until just recently and I said well that explains it.

After her group left I played the rest of my show without them, to the regular bistro crowd, and we were sort of happy the birthday party was over, but truly, I'm so glad they came to the bistro that night and didn't go to the place called Red Stone.

This concludes blog overtime tonight.

See you in the morning.

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