Thursday, May 7, 2015

Visions of Sugarplums... smashed

Ask anyone if they could handle a huge setback or tragedy or death and they'd probably tell you no. 
People have told me I am brave, strong and have so much respect for how I am handling my husband's death. 
Well let me tell you: I am a survivalist, a realist and a hopeful-ist. 
I tend to go into a mindset that when things are going topsy- turvy, I can solve the problem, I can work it out and I can make it better.
Put this way, any knot in your necklace, I can take it out. 

I made Steed go to the Kaiser urgent care on January 1st to see what was going on and essentially saved his life. He went into a coma, mind you, but he got medical help. He was scared right before he was carted off to the nearest hospital for his eyes told me so. 
After he was admitted and I was told he was gonna be OK, I wasn't scared. I just handled it. 
I made my work schedule work around visiting him - even if it was at his bedside; I held phone meetings in the halls dodging nurses, texted clients from at the cafeteria and even had an argument in a Waffle House parking lot over bad grammar. I finally dropped the news that my husband was in the ICU with double pneumonia. That shut him up. 

I had to travel to Rome, GA to see Steed for he was undergoing trachea rehab. The whole trip took 3 hours with the 100 miles round trip. I went the scenic way so I could have something to look at.

Six weeks of constant thinking of how I am going to do this made me really tired one Saturday that I slept for about two hours in a chair at the ICU in Marietta. It was a hiding place for me. No one knew I was there. 

He told me all about his dreams he had while being under, he told me NOT to tell him anything from my end. He didn't want to know. Ignorance was bliss. 

If Steed was really feeling low, I'd have to separate my mind from his to let him explore his feelings. I couldn't go in and paint the walls yellow for him. He suffered from depression and many physical ailments that were probably hereditary or as simple as mind over matter - where his mind was distraught and so his body. He would joke half way of course, about his condition. He told a cop as we went backstage in Macon, that he was a serial killer. I glared at him. I didn't feel like bailing him out of jail. 

The picture above is the walkway from the parking lot to Kindred Hospital in Rome where he was for about 12 days. He fought the nurses to get home. He said he didn't like me being alone.  

I had turned off the TV for six weeks. I have no clue still how to the work the remote. That was his domain. But I can rewire a lamp.

My visions of sugarplums often were sprinkled with salt.

I protected him with my life against all the elements around him, sometimes even lied so he wouldn't feel bad or worse. People would criticize me for it. I made faces at the phone while they lectured me. I had my reasons and some I was able to get to understand it and to others it was a lost cause. 

At hotels and at home, he slept on the side of the bed nearest to the door so he could protect me from intruders. The last hotel we stayed in was in Athens - and I slept in front of him near the door. 

A client of mine, told me once, about having bad days awhile back;  "...sometimes you gotta crawl inside the sadness. Embrace it. Feel it. Then walk away." And that's what I am trying to do... maybe a few more 100 times than I anticipated.... 

I consider myself very blessed and lucky that I had him as a husband so that's what makes me strong, brave and able to take out the knot. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Throwing Plates Against The Wall...

Tonight a week ago was the last night my husband was alive. He wanted burgers over tacos and some cheesecake.
Typical cravings.
He was having a hard time relaxing that night so he kept the tv on and took a shower
Typical routine.
I got frustrated with all this and pulled the covers over my head to sleep.
Typical reaction.
He finally laid down, turned off his light and left the TV on
Typical give in.
I didn't wake up til late; made that decision two times until Ferdinand jumped on the bed
Typical feline action.
I saw he was sleeping. Good deal.
Typical reaction to a late night of restlessness.
I came down, put the coffee on, fed the cats and began to work.
Typical morning.
One time went up to get something, check on him - sleeping like a baby
Typical mid-morning.
Got back to some work and went up to see what he'd want to eat.
Typical 12:10PM
After that it wasn't typical at all.
All hell broke loose, men in cars came, cats ran in the other room under the shoe rack in the closet.
Called sister and my mom, called my client to remind him of interview and told another friend
who called another one, they called, he called - then the pens and paper were pulled out - officer this, EMT that, detective who? and the ME - who what where when how... all answered but why.
Medical Examiner said he was gone. He had been gone.
50. Too Young. On the mend from a coma, he was happy; we were happy.
This was a flurry that no one wanted. This was a storm no one wanted to hunkered down for. The umbrella? It was in the car. We didn't even have any batteries or back up plan. All we had was a new beginning and a fresh start.
Time was on our side.
We had plans.
We were going places. Memphis, Daytona and anywhere else.

Someone said it's funny how we watch the movies and they get results of a death in five mins, Dr House could solve it in one hour, and MASH took the whole war. I have to wait almost 3 months.
According to the Buddhist religion a deceased take about 100 days to travel around saying good bye and coming to terms with their transition. This is about the same time I will find out what took him.

Until then, I'm angry, sad, lonely, frustrated, pissed off ... I kiss your ashes in the box but I stick out with my tongue cause I am mad. I am furious with you so you better have a good excuse for this.

I love you Steed.
1964-2015






Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jubilee Riots Trying Times video

Jubilee Riots - Trying Times
Penny Black 
Artist: Steve Smith 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lucky for him, I am the best mean nurse in town.

This sick bug is about deadly.

All it took was about a month and a half in two hospitals, bottles of milk of amnesia (propofal), every antibiotic known to man and a tracheotomy. A central line, a picc line, a pee line and a food peg line. Every kind of test you could get on a human body. Oh a tiny weeny heart attack.

To find out he had pnuemonia.

He didn't know he was in some Lewis Carroll dream.

So I folded up like a pretzel in a chair in the ICU units to cat nap, working for sometimes 18 hours a day, walking from one end to another of the hospital. I texted his sister every time he moved. Held calls in the ICU halls, set up interviews in elevators and argued with future clients in Waffle House parking lots. None of my clients knew, for they were my sanity. Not many of my friends knew. I know I probably am making some of you mad, but I had to keep it close.

Hubby didn't wanna go anywhere that day. He didn't want to spend New Year's Eve at Kaiser's urgent care so we waited til Jan 1 still fought me on it. Finally he began look ashen and I said we're going. Last thing I told him was I love you.

He had to go Kennestone - the few minutes extra to KP approved Northside would've killed him.
The last thing the Kaiser doctor said was he's septic.
They sealed off his room for 5 days in case he was contagious. Just in case.
I went in anyways. I am a rebel you know.
The first thing the ICU nurse said, was he will be fine.
I knew how to read all the screens of all 15 machines in his room.

He didn't know he was in some Lewis Carroll dream.

The first and last thing I told him each time I saw him was I love you.
He had every machine in the room with him, a cooling blanket, boxing gloves to keep from pulling the cords out, he was a House episode, he was in MASH, he was in Dr Jane Medicine Woman, he was Robin Williams in Patches.

All roads lead to Rome right? MacLand to Hardy Parkway to Smith to 101 to Kindred in Rome, GA. They got him off the trachea and his lungs got better after just 10 days. Drove 100 miles a day.

But he was gonna be fine. So was I.

I sang to Mariah Carey's O Holy Night about every day for a month after Christmas.
When little things happened to him I listened to Joy to the World.
I turned off the TV for over a month. I read the news on Twitter.

He thought that Jan 15 was really Jan 3 - see he was in a medically induced coma for 15 days dreaming about Alice In Wonderland. Propofal is a wonder drug - for it makes you forget everything but dream about anything.

Nest time you feel like you have the flu, you probably don't, you probably have bi-lateral pneumonia with a staph infection.

Lucky for him, I am the best mean nurse in town.

Friday, November 21, 2014

dawlin... you are in Nawlins...

Nawlins as the natives say. NOLA as those who have been there. Some call it the Crescent City. Some just know it as Mardi Gras others know it for Jazz Festival. Whatever you call it, Cyril and others call it home.
New Orleans, is a magical place, there's no doubt about that.
It's had its share of rough patches that somehow it gets blurred over by all the goodness coming out. It gets all teary eyed for about five minutes when you have a funeral but when you see a parade come down the street you dance. You dance for that person's life - the good - the bad. Who wants to mope all the way to heavan right? You gotta dance through those gates!!
People come to NOLA and don't realize the richness of the city, they see it as Disney world.
Pull back the curtain...
There's no other city right now, that sounds the same as it did 10 years ago, 20 years ago or even 100 years ago as NOLA sounds today. There is a perservation to the city it's not in the hall club in the French Quarter, it's in the people that carry the legacy on. They LOVE it. They are married to it. It's in the water, the air and what comes out of them is fire.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Devon predicted to Billboard, “…this one's going to be really heavy on guitar and come out and punch you in the teeth."



DEVON ALLMAN ON THE COVER OF ALLEGRO’S TRADE PUBLICATION!
JUST IN TIME FOR OCTOBER 14th RELEASE;  Ragged & Dirty

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Recording artist, Devon Allman, gets ready to wow fans and critics with his latest solo effort, Ragged & Dirty, which is set for release on October 14th on the award winning label. Produced by Tom Hambridge, a Grammy winner, at Joyride Studios in Chicago, this CD is quickly becoming a game changer for Devon. The young Allman continues the legacy of the family name with his music by melting blues, rock, soul and various other genres. With this release, he anchors himself even deeper in that rich musical soil.

Devon Allman is offering music you'll want to crank up and share.” - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Over the next few weeks there will be a few surprises coming up to grab the fans’ attention. So, stay tuned and watch his social media sites and official website to find out. (See the links at the end of the release)

Starting in October, Devon finds himself, on the cover the Allegro’s trade magazine as a featured artist. This magazine goes out to all the retail stores to get them excited about the upcoming release. Allegro Media Group is the distribution company for Ruf Records.  

The album was produced by Tom Hambridge, a Grammy winner and well-known musician himself, (Buddy Guy and George Thorogood), Hambridge gathered up local Chicago musicians, to get a sound that would fit Devon’s rich voice. Hambridge also wrote and co-wrote three songs for the album, in which Devon states, “Tom custom wrote some songs for this record that really aligned with my path.”

There are electrifying blasters, thoughtful acoustic songs and head-nodding country-rock tunes covering all topics: love, hate, loss and gain that carry an insight for the listener as the next song queues up. The grit in his voice and the emotional touch of his guitar work that Hambridge was able to bring out in him, was elating for Devon, stating back in May, "this is one of the most profound experiences of my life." 

As a member of Royal Southern Brotherhood, he thanks his experiences with them for expanding his musical ear, “RSB has been such a deep, rich, globe-trotting experience that it definitely changes your life and gives you new perspective. Anytime you’re involved in something to that degree, it will show up in your art. I think the experience has given me more depth as a writer. I’m more willing to let the groove take over and not force things vocally.”

With the start of every artist’s campaign, there’s always something that is exciting and worth shouting about. Devon has always been a media favorite. His charm is what makes people gravitate to him. He’s easy to talk to, listens intently to the interviewer and always gives a good response. Sometimes he will include a humorous tale that has occurred over his long career.

So let the quotes roll in, from around the world:

“…this is a really super release which deserves to cast its own shadow.” B’mans Blues Report

---“he's one of the best blues rock singers out there and his guitar work is outstanding - melodic and expressive” from Blues Debut

 “…and somebody who covers an Otis Taylor song does in any case everything right” Good Times (a German publication)

“…they (the songs) show more details and profoundness with every time you listen to it.” Classic Rock Mag, (a German publication)

“The way things are going, in time Devon won't be billed as Gregg Allman's son, but rather Gregg will become known as Devon Allman's dad.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer

If you are interested in an interview or just need more information: contact Jill Kettles at Miss Jill PR – via telephone - 404-213-8542 or email: Jill@missjillpr.com or visit www.missjillpr.com

Devon and his band will be supporting “Ragged & Dirty” with the following dates:

11/6      SIOUX CITY, IA                      HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO  
11/8      ST. LOUIS, MO                       THE GRAMOPHONE  
11/11    MACON GA                            DOUGLASS THEATRE          
11/12    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL    PONTE VEDRA CONCERT HALL      
W/ TAB BENOIT
11/13    SEMINOLE, FL                        SCREWIE LOUIE’S    
11/14    BOCA RATON, FL                  FUNKY BISCUIT        
11/15    MIAMI, FL                              TOBACCO RD
11/16 - 11/20 MIAMI, FL                      THE SIMPLE MAN CRUISE   
11/21    BRADENTON, FL                    ACES LIVE     
11/22    SARASOTA, FL                       THE BLUE ROOSTER
11/23    SEBASTIAN BEACH, FL         EARL’S HIDEAWAY  

So get on the band wagon, by following all things Devon at the sites below:

Twitter @devonallman
Instagram: DevonAllman