Kate here…There are a thousand ways to talk about what’s been going on around here. Let’s just say it’s a busy time, prodding old saws like “One foot in front of the other” and “It’s going to be fine.” Wow. Take a breath and keep on moving.

The past few days have been filled with bookings for gigs and Ukalaliens Workshops around the country. Steve’s got a birthday coming up next week and taxes still need attention. Yikes!

We just came back from playing Wintergrass on three great stages and a packed workshop to convert a bunch of new listeners and turn sixty-three new Ukalaliens out onto the streets. Nice work, great people and superb setting at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.

We lug a lot of gear around to do what we do but once we get to DO IT, it all seems worthwhile. Our music made people happy. Hooray.

The scariest thing happened when I woke up at 6 in the morning on the last day to discover that my voice had completely disappeared. Zero. Uh-oh. After multiple quarts of lemon water and moving my songs down half a step, we were able to get on stage at 10:45 and sing the promised songs. My voice had a huskier than usual quality (;o) but no blank spots. Whew, that was close!

The folks running the festival were friendly and genuine. Wintergrass has a special quality all its own. There was bluegrass and much more. We were entertained by the astonishing skills of the headliners and enjoyed every note we heard as we walked through the hotel. No wonder we do this; once we get to work, we get to play! We are two very lucky musicians to do what we do. It’s not easy but it is worth it.

Once we got home it was time to get on the phone and fill the calendar with workshops and shows as much as possible. I’ve been using some new software for independent artists booking gigs called “Indie Band Manager” by Charlie Cheney. It still holds some mystery for me but it’s one place for all the aspects of a performing artist and that is an enormous help. Charlie may be coming to town soon and giving a seminar on the program. If we’re in town, I will definitely be there! Check it out.

When I try to answer the old “What’s new?” from friends and family, I’m stymied to respond. There is so much. Here’s a start.

We are selling our house and moving this month. A good friend is buying our place and we’re moving into a smaller version of our house – a Portland bungalow near Reed College. We’ll be packing and getting ready to move when our little five year-old granddaughter will come and stay with us for a few days. We’ll go to the coast for that special time. Upon returning we’ll bring Lucy back home and move into the new place.

Now keep in mind that Steve and I have lived in the same house all these years. This will only be the second place we’ve ever lived. After moving around a lot as a child, I cherished this one address over all these years. We’re happy our home is going to someone we care about. We’re also excited to get settled in the new digs. We’ve been living in our basement apartment since the end of the summer and believe me, we are ready to live above ground! So, up and in we’ll go.

Four days after we move in, we’ll pack the mo-ho, Modoc, and head to Molalla for the Portland Folk Society Singtime Frolics on the last weekend of March. Come Sunday, we’ll say goodbye and head for Colorado. We’ll play a kickoff concert for The Big Read in Paonia, CO and give a Ukalaliens Workshop the following day.

After that, we’ll return to Parkville, MO and give a concert produced by the wonderful Mark Bentley of Bentley Guitar Studios. That will be a wonderful time in the old steamboat town on the Missouri River.

References to Mark Twain will follow us for the next week as we travel through Kansas City and head for the Big Muddy Festival in Boonville, MO to play with some of our lifelong heroes. The people in Missouri are among the friendliest in the country and we love going there.

After Boonville, we’ll aim to bring our Ukalaliens Workshop to Springfield and Joplin, Missouri, and on to Wichita, Kansas. After that, it’ll be smooth sailing to Flagstaff, Arizona and then a good chance we’ll work in Las Vegas. Steve has never been to Vegas before so it’s sure to be an eye-opener for my folksinging husband.

Then it’s on to California where we will give workshops and concerts to get us home by the end of April.

That’s just April!

I think I’ll take a nap now.

More to come….