Category Archives: My Music

Make You See by Jaz

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Make You See by Jaz

Well here it is, the video I have been promising everyone. This is the song I was referring to the other day. It was written about 13 years ago after I had suffered a terrible relationship blow. I won’t go into the sordid details but my heart was broken. It was produced at Cunningham Audio by my producer Don in 2001 and was released on my solo album “Sublime Evolution”. This song has really started to change. I hadn’t played it for a long time and just started playing it again recently. It is really developing into a song that I love, though painful. I really hope that you enjoy. The images are courtesy of my good friend Lisa Brunetti at Zeebra Designs in Costa Rica another of my wonderful WordPress friends! Thank you Lisa!

No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

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No Resolutions Only Evolution’s…

A woman has many faces as she goes through her life. It’s like we need more than one hair-do. We have many, many changes in the evolution of our lives. We have, we learn, and we grow; we view life differently, and life views us differently.
Sharon Stone

This year I am making no resolutions! Instead I am making evolution’s.  I have plans to evolve into a better musician, a better human being, a kinder and gentler person. I want to evolve as a writer and artist. Last year at this time my future looked very bleak indeed. This year I have high hopes! We have things this year that we didn’t have last year. This year we have a full 5 piece band that is working. This year I have a job as a free-lance writer for a company that actually pays me what I am worth. This year we also have a small acoustic side project going on. This year the only thing missing is Mike finding a good day job that still allows him the freedom to keep pursuing music, I know it will happen with a little faith and good karma. This year I am changing my stage appearance. Over the years it went from heavy black to pinstripe outfits to hippie. This year I don’t know what I am shooting for, I guess you will have to wait to see. This year I promise to keep my anger in check. I kind of lost my mind at the end of this year and spewed a bunch of crap that I shouldn’t have, and for that I am sorry. I am human, and I make mistakes. This year I also promise to forgive myself. This is the year of the sublime evolution! Happy New Year to all my friends and family, I love each and everyone of you for all your love and support and only hope I can give back 1/10th of what you all have given to me! With that I leave you with Fleetwood Mac, enjoy! :)

Almost a New Year!

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Almost a New Year!

If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am. Cyril Cusack

Sick or not I survived the gig last night. It was a great time and we had a full house all night long. My voice held up all night, which was a blessing and I was real worried. It was a very nice acoustic gig and is a nice change up from the whole 5 piece band. I hope the New Year finds everyone happy and healthy. We are set to play at the New Frontier Club tomorrow night and it should be fun! Here a re a few random pics from the gig at the Brewery.

Brother Bob

Brother Bob

Brother Bob and Todd's Friend sitting in on guitar EZ STreet Unplugged

Unplugged

Unplugged

Full House

Jerry , the owner

Jerry , the owner

JT from Smooth Avenue sitting in with us

JT from Smooth Avenue sitting in with us

Mike

Rick Gibson blowing harp!

Rick Gibson blowing harp!

So Far So Good…

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So Far So Good…

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. John Barrymore 

We are back on track, finally. I was beginning to think we were done as a band, but the addition of John Fast to our line up really added some fresh blood to this band that we desperately needed. It would have sucked if we would have broke up before we had a chance to get going. I’m also loving my new boots, they are hurting my feet a little, but I am breaking them in and they are soooooooooo cute! We have a meeting with Barb’s today to set up gigs for 6 months and now, we can finally move forward and I can do it in my new boots LOL. :) There is nothing so wonderful as moving forward after a period of stagnancy where you didn’t know if you were going to take two steps backward or two steps forward. Other than that, my writing is going well. I am bringing in a regular paycheck every week from writing, which makes me so very happy! Life is good my friends and with that I leave you with Yngwie (pronounced Ingvay)

 

19 Days and Counting…

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19 Days and Counting…

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. Maya Angelou

As some of you may know Mike and I are preparing for a gig at The Crescent Brewery on the 29th of December. We are playing from 8-11 and are doing 3 sets. It has been my goal to make this set list the strongest we have done yet as an acoustic duo.  We are playing many blues songs and songs from the 60′s and 70′s. Just for fun I added in a great song by the Violent Femmes. I have also added in a song I have wanted to do for the longest time, “If You Could Only See” By Tonic. As well as the usual suspects we are also doing a few Welsh folk songs that some are sung in Welsh, some are macaronic, 1/2 Welsh and 1/2 English, and some are in English. Probably the parts of the set list I am most happy about are the 3 originals that I wrote and the original that Mike and I wrote together. I finally finished up the last of the changes on “No Feeling” which is our joint compilation. First I transposed it and then I added a capo on the second fret to bring it up to the key I wanted the song in. I am really pleased with the originals. 2 of them, “Journey” and “Make You See” were songs I wrote over 12 years ago and the other 2 were written this last year. For me the song writing process is either really fast, or very painfully slow. It took me over 6 months to lock down “Empty” and “No Feeling”. “Empty” has always been complete as far as the chord progressions went, what took so long was the vocal melody lines. It took over 6 months to find the vocal melody line that I was happy with and then I had to lock it in my head to where I could actually hear the melody line without actually hearing the music. I finally got it locked in this last week. So we are rehearsing every night and getting ready. Acoustic duos take much more work because every mistake is painfully obvious, you don’t have a bunch of other background noise to cover up when you make a mistake, hence the extra rehearsal time. On that note the full 5 piece is back in rehearsals tonight getting ready for the New Year’s Eve gig and life is very good…. :)

On that note I will leave you with The Violent Femmes…

Reflecting….

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Reflecting….

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. Tony Robbins 

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog almost a year ago. I started writing this blog on New Year’s Eve 2011 and as it almost dawns on New Year’s Eve 2012 I was thinking back at the amazing amount of changes that have occurred in our lives over the last year. When I started this blog Michael and I had just gotten back together after a forced separation due to legal circumstances. We almost broke up several times at the beginning of 2012 and, in fact, I almost left him and he almost left me more than once. We both struggled with bouts of alcoholism, me more than him. We went through the AA program together and are stronger for it. This last year I have hit some of my darkest nights and yet at other times I have seen some of my brightest days. In the last year we have lost “friends” to betrayal and back stabbing, we have lost musician friends, but at the end of the day our relationship has grown stronger through all the trials and tribulations. We have grown closer as friends and our love has grown deeper. We have managed to regain something through our music, that something special that has always been the glue that held us together.

During the last year I gained some of the lost time with my daughter and grown closer than ever to my mother. I have become a better rhythm guitar player and taught myself to sing in Welsh. I have learned more about myself as a musician in the last year than I have in 42 years of life. We have played some really fantastic gigs over the last year, and have many more to come. I moved up in the writing world from being an internet writer to writing for a real magazine and making my worth for the articles I write. My photography editing skills are getting better and better and I am continuing to work on my dream collage. I have no idea when, if ever that will be finished. It’s an ever evolving dream journal in images. 

I have seen friendships end and new friendships sprout. I have also seen friendships that I thought were dead in the water re-sprout with new life of forgiveness and understanding. With each dying flower a new one sprouts in its place, a more beautiful one I believe, richer in color and smell. At the end of the day, and almost year, life is very good. It is as hard as it ever was, but we are happy, and I know that come what may Michael and I will continue to grow together, to love together, and to perform together. Life is very good my friends!

With that I leave you with The Supremes and the beautiful Diana Ross…

Getting the Funk Out!!!

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Getting the Funk Out!!!

Funk, I don’t think I have anything to do with funk. I’ve never considered myself funky. David Bowie

Ok, I am here to tell you that I have officially fallen out of funk! That’s right, the funk is over, I got funking sick of being in a funk and I am moving on. On top of being depressed about the whole CL attack thing, and the funking bass player thing I was totally funking sick. But, I am funking over it! :) I have spent the last 4 days in recuperation reading, something I never get to do. I have finished up “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” for the second time and I loved it more the second reading than I did the first. I also read Oscar Wildes’ “The Picture of Dorian Gray“, which I absolutely loved. His eloquent prose on art and hedonism touched such a deep nerve in me as an artist and musician. I wanted to share with you a passage I read that really hit home.

“The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible  He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.”

With that I leave you with something fun  and different….

Defeated????

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Defeated????

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. George Edward Woodberry

I have not been writing so much since last week because I really hate writing when I am down. However, it’s a week later and I am lower than before. I know that some of you caught my blogs about being attacked on CL, which I deleted BTW because I wrote in anger, and I hate it when I do that. I may have been able to delete the blogs but I can’t as easily delete the hurt and pain I am still feeling. I am also still utterly beyond understanding why some anonymous person would take to attack me on a public venue. I know what you are going to say. People are mean, people are jealous, people do things like this to make themselves feel bigger, etc. You can tell me that all day long, you can also tell me not to let it get to me. It still hurts. They attacked me right where it hurts, my music. On top of everything else we are still struggling with bass player issues. Every time I think I’ve got it figured out and we have everything on line, I am wrong. So, the band may never get going like we should, and a bass player is the only thing holding us back.  So, unfortunately, I am sad and my heart is still breaking. Am I defeated, I don’t know. I know I sure as hell feel like giving up. Sorry my post is so sad, but that’s all I have for right now. Thank you for listening.


Endings & Beginnings….

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Endings & Beginnings….

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. 
Oprah Winfrey 

I have been feeling very sad and stressed out. It all culminated in having to make some heavy decisions to move forward. So, today is going to be catch up day on everything. I have a whole inbox full of articles that need to be written today and fortunately I was able to complete 2 since last night. I had to go in and update the band’s webpage with a pic of the new bass player, Ken. I left Bob’s pic and stuff on the webpage because as far as I am concerned he is still a member of this band. I also updated new videos and put up dates that we are playing. All of this and I need to clean the house good today as we are having rehearsals here tonight to be ready for tomorrow. Anyone know a good maid? :)

With that I am leaving you with one of Mike’s favorite tunes….

Stumped….

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Stumped….

“Everyone has his own reality in which, if one is not too cautious,timid, or frightened, one swims. This is the only reality there is.”  ― Henry MillerStand Still Like the Hummingbird

Life is funny. Somedays it feels like my life is moving faster than a speeding bullet, and on others it feels like I am standing utterly still. I don’t really know what to do with myself when I am standing motionless. I think I much prefer the speed of sound. There are days when I get on my computer to do my work as a writer or to take care of band business and 8 hours later I am sick to death of seeing the screen and the keyboard. Then there are other days, days like today, where I am staring at the screen and keyboard with a blank deer in headlights look because there is nothing to do. I have all of my articles wrapped up for the week, the band webpage is as far as I can go with it for now and the only things I have to do are write down the lyrics to a couple of new songs that we are in the process of learning. I think once that’s done it is a good day to clean house and catch up on “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”  Have a peaceful day everyone and with that I leave you with one of my favorite Concrete Blond songs….

Halloween, A Time to Be Anything You Want….

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Halloween, A Time to Be Anything You Want….

‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

I love Halloween, it has always been one of my favorite holidays ever! It’s the one time of year you can dress up as anything and be anything you like for a few hours. I have no idea how many different costumes I have donned in 42 years, but I know that barring being sick I have dressed up faithfully every year. I have been a butterfly, a witch, Rambimbo (a female Rambo), an angel/devil, the Grim Reaper, a hippy and so many more that I can’t even remember. I think my favorite costume of all time was when I dressed as the Reaper, it was really scary because I wore a ski mask and blackened in any skin that was showing and no one could see my face at all. Halloween is the one time of year that children and adults alike are allowed to let their imaginations go wild and they get sweet treats for it. It’s a fun night for friends, music, sweets and fun, fun, fun! For an update on the band’s Halloween party last night go to EZ Street a Day in the Life for a full update. 

With that I am leaving you with my second of all time favorite Halloween songs, “Dirty Creature” by Split Enz, Happy Halloween everyone! :)

A Good Tired…..

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A Good Tired…..

The Bermuda Triangle got tired of warm weather. It moved to Alaska. Now Santa Claus is missing. Steven Wright

Boy am I ever tired. I have no idea what I am doing up so early other than I needed to send out thank you messages to all the people that came out to see us last night at the BoEx. I also wanted to send out thank you messages to all the band members and the owners of the BoEx. It is so important to me that people know how much they are appreciated, especially the members of EZ Street because without them none of this would be possible. My eyes are burning and I have some work to do today before we play tonight and I absolutely have to try to get some more sleep. The tired I feel today is a content and good tired. Things are going very well and I haven’t a complaint in the world! With that I leave you with the incomparable Ella singing black coffee….

Taking Stress in Stride…

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Taking Stress in Stride…

Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. Hans Selye 

As with all things in life there is stress. For the most part I am taking the stress with music, the band, the clients and people who come to see us play in stride. I admit that it does get a little overwhelming at times. Ok, I lied, it can be hellya overwhelming and really stressful, but I’m trying hard not to let it get me down. The stress in and of themselves are minor, but they culminate as a whole and at times push me into wanting to lock myself in my room, shut people out and just gel for about 2 days. Unfortunately I can’t. We have these intense financial worries and until I start work on Monday and see some checks start to roll in I am going to have that on my head. Our mortgage is due and we aren’t anywhere near having the money to pay it, we spent our last bit of money on gas to get to the gig last night. No one made any more than the gas money we had already paid in last night so Mike and I have got to go get a loan to get through the rest of the week. We really want to help Giuseppe out but he has to respect the fact that we need to be getting paid to play, a real paycheck, not relying on the kindness of people’s tips to pay our wages. After Halloween things are going to change because we have to be getting paid, unfortunately we don’t have the energy or financial resources to keep playing for free. I will find someone to take over for us as soon as I can so that Giuseppe can try to keep his business going but I have to move this band forward. We will keep it up as long as we can, but we have had offers from 2 different venues and I have to take them for our sake because the band members have made it clear that playing for free is ok for now, but not much longer, and if I don’t move us forward I am running the risk of the band falling apart before we even have a chance to get started. I am not going to sacrifice this band for anything, we have all worked too damn hard to see it go up in smoke because we couldn’t make a decent nights wages for playing our hearts out. Don’t take this wrong, I am not really bitching here, I am just stating the facts as they are and trying to express a little of the stress I am feeling so that I can get it out of my system and push us forward. With that I leave you with John Mayer, one of my favorite guitar players/vocalists

How I Feel….

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How I Feel….

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou 

My spirits are incredibly high. I have had some very good karmic payback over the last couple of weeks. The new band is going so well, and Mike and I have waited for a band like this to come along for so long. We have both been in bands together through the years but never quite this good. EZ Street is picking up gigs faster than any of us could have anticipated and for the band this is absolutely a testament to the chemistry we have as a band. We all have our financial worries, many of us have no full time jobs and these gigs are going to make the difference in whether we have gas or not, so this is a great thing for us all. If only we were independently wealthy. Fortunately I got my new position freelance writing for The Travel Council Magazine which will take some of the pressure off of Mike, not all of it, but some. These gigs are really going to help us out financially. I am happy and content, busy but happy. It didn’t even phase me this week when I was trying to get a promoter to help us get some of these bigger events and he was short with me and very rude. He treated me like crap and if he were to approach me tomorrow and say he wants to help us out I would basically tell him to get bent! The sad thing of it is is that I know this band is that good and he just screwed up and closed any door with us that he might have hoped to have in the future. To make matters worse the guy works with my producer in another local band. It’s sad that people have to pull that holier than thou, my poo doesn’t stink attitude. C’est la vie my friend, you just burned that bridge by your very attitude. It’s ok because I know that I am a strong enough person and have enough where-with-all that I can do it myself, I was just trying to take some of the pressure off of myself, but I will just keep on keeping on. :)

On that note I leave you with one of my favorite all time happy-happy, joy-joy songs by Jimmy Cliff, enjoy :)

It’s Amazing….

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It’s Amazing….

I’m amazed that things have panned out the way they have. I always say I’m so lucky, though my mum always says, “You make your own luck.” Orlando Bloom

That quote pretty much says it all. This has been an amazing week! The jam is going incredibly better than I could have ever expected, we have this amazing gentleman, Taduz Lemke, that is going to showcase with us. I got a new freelance writing position with a magazine, and our band has been asked to sit in on a 1/2 hour set at a venue that Michael and I had played years ago. This has the potential of blooming into a regular gig. This isn’t everything, we have been asked to play at a benefit for a premie baby named baby Maxwell and it is opening up doors to us that I never knew existed. This must be the week where I collect on some of my unspent karma points my friends. The band is doing fantastic and I am ever so proud of the progress we have made in just at 2 weeks together. We are getting ready to record some demos so hopefully I will have something for you to listen to very soon! With that I leave you with Sir Paul….

It’s My Life

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It’s My Life

This is the latest in a series of videos I have been working on for months now. I have been trying to get all of our studio work finished on YouTube and this is “It’s My Life” by me and Mike Fagan produced around 2007 I think. When we finally get into the studio with the full band you will notice a whole different sound. I hope you enjoy! :)

Expectations…

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Expectations…

Aquarius Horoscope for week of October 18, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
“Dear Rob: I really enjoy reading your horoscopes. You feel like a friend I’ve never met. When I try to picture what you’re like, I keep getting a vision of you as being fat, short, and bald with a strawberry blond moustache. Am I right? – Curious Aquarius.” Dear Curious: It’s great that you’ve decided to do a reality check. This is an excellent time for all you Aquarians to see if what you imagine to be true is a match for the world as it actually is. To answer your question, I am in fact tall and thin, don’t wear a moustache, and have an abundance of long silver hair. Evil is boring. The universe is friendly. Life is on your side. Joy is your birthright.

Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. In fact, all of creation wants you to succeed.
Act as if the universe is a prodigious miracle created for your amusement and illumination. Assume that secret helpers are working behind the scenes to assist you in turning into the gorgeous masterpiece you were born to be. Retrain your senses and intellect so you’re able to perceive the fact that life always gives you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.

I firmly like to believe that what I imagine to be true is, but more often than not I find I am let down by my own expectations of who I expect people to be and what expectations I have for situations. I have found, especially when it comes to music, that if I don’t expect too much out of the musicians and different venue owners I have to work with then I am less prone to heartbreaks because I was let down. This isn’t to say that I don’t set the bar as high for everyone else as I do for myself, it is only to say that people are fickle and I am grateful for  whatever little gems of light they have to give me. That is my only expectation, give me a tiny pin point of light and I will show you a sunbeam!

On that note here is our cover of “Come on People Now/Smile on Your Brother” by the Youngbloods. This was recorded by my husband and I about 3 or 4 years ago. Hope you enjoy!

 

All I Wanna Do…

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All I Wanna Do…

I found this image and quote quite funny! My days have taken on quite a dramatic turn. I get up in the morning, make my coffee and spend the next 5-6 hours working on band business. You wouldn’t believe how much there is. I respond to every Facebook response we have as a band and personally, I work on working lists for rehearsals and set lists for gigs and the list goes on. I love it and I am really doing what it is I love to do. I have found myself surrounded by some of the best musicians this valley has to offer and I am a very lucky woman indeed.  On that note I will leave you with Sheryl Crowe

Here Comes the Rain Again…

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Here Comes the Rain Again…

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. John Ruskin

We had our first rain in months last night and what a blessing. Now, finally, the smoke from local forest fires may clear out of the air. For a vocalist the smoke is really hard on you. It makes you congested and affects your voice in ways that you would not believe. I feel sorry for people that have emphysema. For myself I can’t get enough clarity in my voice for the last couple of months and my voice wears out much easier. It makes it harder to sing, and singing is hard enough as it is. But, the rains, the beautiful cleansing rains, have come once again and there is a rainbow at the end of the smoke filled tunnel. I always love the smell of the Earth after a good rain. The air is so pure and unadulterated, cleansing and toxic free after a good rain!

Smooth!

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Smooth!

There’s an inherent thing in me where, if things are going too smooth, I’ll sabotage the hell out of them, just to make the music more of a sanctuary. Daniel Johns 

When things are going well it kind of intimidates me because it seems I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. LOL. I know I should stop being a pessimist and cynical, but I think as humans we are all like this. Things in my life are going so smoothly that even a little bump in the road this week, a backstabbing by a so-called friend, didn’t even phase me. What is wrong with me?! The music is flowing well, by vocals are building back up to the level of playing with a full band again, and I am happy. We are all healthy and I really haven’t one single complaint. Money is tight, as always, but this is nothing new. So life is good. I will take the smooth road, thank you very much and could I have a large side of fries with that? :D

A New Day….

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A New Day….

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. J. B. Priestley

Well my friends I am going to have to be short today, I have a ton of business to take care of today before rehearsals. I finally had the time to get another video produced this morning from an old recording back in 2000. You can see it here at my EZ STreet a Day in the Life Blog. Life is moving along at a swift pace now that I have my focus on one thing. Unfortunately my camera has died. I plan on giving it a proper burial with a 21 flash salute, LOL. I hope life is treating you all well. If you take the time to go to the video the images are courtesy of my good friend Russel Ray at Russel Ray Photos! Have a peaceful day my friends….

Happy Day!

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Happy Day!

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy? Albert Einstein 

I am happily exhausted. I am up after only a few hours sleep after last nights gig. I am happier with this new line-up of musicians that we have hired on than I have been in the longest time! To read more about the jam last night go to my EZ Street A Day in the Life blog. Life is very good. My poor Mojo still has a little cold, but he’s a happy cat. He has a home  food and milk and a dog that likes to sniff him, what more could he ask for? My brother is ok after hitting that cow. He’s a little bruised, but he did the smartest thing. When he saw the cow he didn’t even try to swerve, he knew it was far too late so he braced himself and hit it straight on. I know it’s terrible and I feel so bad for the cow. What angers me about this whole damnable thing is that my brother could have been killed and all because these damn ranchers are allowed to let their cattle free range. It’s dangerous and they should be required to put up fencing! Not only that but they can sue the person who hit the cow! What kind of BS assbackwards crap is that. Anyway, I am just ever so grateful he is alive. Life is good!