Blog 2013-01-04 // A Belated Very Merry from Shari

I'm pleased to be writing you on this week after the end of the world. After so many similar predictions have come and gone, we're never really surprised, but it's always slight relief to still be here. I kind of like the world. Granted, it does have a few problems thanks to the humans who have taken it over. They truly wreak havoc and can be pretty annoying. I wish they'd stop doing that, but alas, I don't think they're going to. We all try to take solace in our little worlds - find ways to escape and soothe and avoid the madness. In fact, this annual Festivus is my favourite part where everything feels like it goes on hiatus for a week or so. It doesn't matter if the official occasion is unrelated to my own sensibilities. I just like that there's a brief window where it's agreed - we're all going to take a breath, feel like it's okay to stop working, step off the machine, do something special together, and show a little love.

I continue to be unwaveringly grateful for music - in our world, and in my life - and I plan to make a lot of it this year.

It looks like Julia will be producing a new album for me in February. More on that later.

I'm heading to Saskatchewan and Manitoba the first three weeks in March and am scheming to drive & play my way there and back, so if you're in between here and there and would like to present a Shari concert in your town, please write me here.

The Shari trio with Ted and Julia will also be resuming when McGill is out, so we'll be east from the end of April to the end of May - and again - if you'd like to present the trio we'd love to play in your town! As with the last few years, considering I'm their summer job, we'll be doing as many shows as we can through the summer months.

You are your fave artists' best outreach, so if you have a folk festival you love to attend, please write them and tell them you'd like them to include them...okay, I really mean me... in their plans! I'll be applying to all of them, but the word from fans definitely helps.

Further to my previous notes on the geriatric dog, we decided to give him the gift of "traction" for Christmas. Our main floor is hardwood, and apparently it's not uncommon for older dogs to have increasing trouble standing on slippery floors. First I tried trimming the fur between his pads - it seems dogs, like humans, grow extra hair where they don't want it as they age. (Don't you just hate that?) But that didn't make enough of a difference, so, thanks to the entrepreneurial folks at Ultra Paws, behold.....

I have my girl home safe and sound from Montreal for three weeks of silliness, reversion to old dynamics, downloading from her brain to mine what she's been learning, frequent cuddling up to a bowl of popcorn and a movie, heaping extra love on the dog, and generally appreciating that we have our health, food in the fridge and a warm dry place to be. I can think back to many holidays in my youth when I was a long way from home in any sense of the word.
I'm profoundly glad I found my way here.

I know - kind of pathetic. He was surprisingly tolerant of the indignity of it all, though getting them on him is no easy feat (or feet). They do work. However, this morning I learned not to leave them on overnight. By morning, they'd all managed to work their way around to the smooth fleece on the bottom instead, leaving him with extra slippery paws. DOH! I checked to see what all the thrashing was and I found him desperately trying to break into a cracker tin without the benefit of the all important element of traction. As well, clearly he doesn't realize that success relies on being quiet about it. I caught him before my homemade rainforest crackers were devoured by his utterly undiscriminating palate. I guess I can thank the Ultra Paws malfunction for that.

On a more somber note, this has also been the season of friends being diagnosed, undergoing treatment for, and some losing their fight with cancer. Most are winning, thankfully. But I'll never understand why the kind, loving, spirited people who give so much to their spouses, children, and the world around them, are taken, and the nasty, hateful, mean people who do unspeakably bad things get to stay. Why oh why?

So be kind to your kids, your parents, your friends, your ex-husband, your ex-wife, the clerk in the store, your mates, your loved ones, and maybe your not so loved ones. Life is fragile - we could all use a little more kindness and grace.

Thanks for being in touch. I love your letters.

Happy Trails,
Shari