Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal    February   2006


February 28, 2006
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things. Theodore Roosevelt

  So begins a quiet evening at the home front. It was actually snowing again today. Man, enough already with the winter. I passed a thermometer after leaving physical therapy and saw that it was 37 degrees. Funky. I have what may be the determining appointment tomorrow regarding my back. It is actually getting better with exercise and all the PT. Still I am in sad shape after any time in the car or just doing day to day chores. Coughing is really hard on your low back. That is what I was told today so I hit the cough syrup but the damage had already been done.
  Chani acquired another virus on her computer and spent much of the day on ours looking for an apartment or a room in a house. We said take it easy and focus on kick starting your new job and get situated with that first.
  Mish called today and talked to Andie. She said she wanted to spend more time but it hasn't turned out that way so far. Tell me about it. I am still interested in the idea of finding a large chuck of land we could all share. Yes but where would that be. We like it to the North but most opportunities seem to be to the south. We keep searching and seeking and watching. We need to start doing and soon: the labor and effort and courage and all that.

Kayden 8 months
Kayden 8 months

February 27, 2006
Man this month is over already. It is hard to believe. I have a to do list a mile long that does not have a single check mark on it. Wow I need to get jumping to get some stuff done. We have all been sick and it is still droopy around here. We had a very nice visit with Noel, Lois, Carry and Robin. Both kids, Missy and Kayden were great. Kayden poured the smiles and charm on everyone. He did burst out crying when we first arrived and Noel took him into the house. After hours at a funeral, a very long drive and new faces and surroundings, Kayden seemed to say "sensory over load." I snatched him saying Papa is here, Papa is here and he was fine. After that he was game for anything and let himself be passed around like a prize. That is one little one who knows he is loved. Although there a lot of health issues at this time, I have truly treasured the days I have gotten to spend at home with Andie and Kayden.
 Chani arrived with her new puppy in tow and it is smooth sailing so far. Missy did not even bark at her baby. We got even more funny and beautiful pictures of Saria taken by Josh. He gets better and better with each batch. There are some wonderful shots he has shared.
  We were exhausted to point of collapse last night when we finally got home. We went to Vesper Service in Bellingham and I played at the service with Pastor Paul and Kevin. What a joy that is. I managed to stifle 90% of my coughs but probably looked like I was wrestling with unseen forces as I gritted my teeth and held my breath. I wasn't able to really sing but I could still play. And that is it at this moment and it is off to more doctors over the next three days and then on to the next phase. Take care and peace.

February 24, 2006
The creeping crud has caught hold and won't let go. I am ready for warm and happy and healthy. Too bad for now I have to wait. We went to a funeral for one of Andie's relatives. What a great man given the testimonies of the people we present at the celebration of his life. I was grateful to have the chance to be there. It was very inspiring. I met so many of Andie's relatives and family on her mom's side and they all said that her uncle made them want to be better people. They wanted to be the way he saw them and most did. He truly blessed many lives.
  I heard Chani has already landed a spot to work at a tattoo shop that has only one other artist. I am happy she has found a spot that is new and will let her work at what she obviously loves. She seems to be doing great on her own and has adopted a new dog into her life, its name is Chaos. Now she can say she already has enough chaos in her life.
  Our friends Bill and Cherie are getting married in April and they honored me by asking me to play at the reception. Bill has recorded a lot at Silent T Studio and writes beautiful and spiritual music. It is a pleasure to know and work with him. Congratulations to them.

February 22, 2006
   If all goes well Chani should be arriving here tonight. She said she was camping Oregon last night. She dropped Chris off in Oakland and was on her way to see Josh, Christina and Saria but changed her mind. She is still having the trouble with her kidney stones I guess. I hope she is doing okay and we look forward to seeing her. I am not sure what her plans are but she can figure that out here.
  Josh gets better taking pictures with every e-mail. He asked us not to share them so until we make a trip to California there won't be any new pictures of our 1st grand daughter. I can tell you this, she is one very cute baby.
    Andie called and said if things stay slow at the shop she will be coming home. There are no appointments on the book today. I am still feeling like pooh. I went to visit Mike Daily's studio 04 yesterday. He has installed a "hear back" system that allows each person to adjust the levels of everything in playback to their pleasure. It is an amazing time saver. Dawn Williams called and wants to do a demo for church here at Silent T. I am so packed with gear the studio has just about become like one of those mini subs that will fit one person only. I don't quite know what to think of my next move regarding organization of space. That is where project management skills come into play. I don't like the idea of 21 steps to more abundance. Sell, give away or throw away 1/3 of what you have. I will think about it though.

February 20, 2006
Everyday life confronts us with new problems to be solved which force us to adjust our old programs accordingly.
Dr. Ann Faraday Thanks Dale
Happy birthday Randy! I got a note from our dear friend Terri and she said there is a Fickel family dinner tonight to celebrate Randy's birthday. God is great. Thanks to my father and his team of prayer warriors
I am still fighting this cold. It is very unusual for me to get sick but I have been doing this detoxification plan for two months. I am feeling better overall except for my back and one other very irritating condition that has not been diagnosed properly. It is referred pain from a pinched nerve in my back. It does not refer to fun I will tell you that.

February 19, 2006
Laid up in bed with the creeping crud today. I am whipped. Chani called to tell me that she is driving Chris to Oakland. Earlier she had said she would traveling on her own. Changes. Life is a roller coaster sometimes. I don't think I am going to get up today. I have that gargle with glass kind of feeling. I am not feeling like one of the Three Amigos today. It was a good evening last night with John, Ron Dale and I. No bass player and half the evening fighting funky sound. I got it dialed in for the second half. It was good to see Mary with Manolito. They are already planning their next trip to Mexico. It sounds good to me. It is good to plan escapes. I hear the little man waking up from his nap. Gotta go.

February 18, 2006
  It was a grand evening last night. I am paying for it with back pain today but it was fun. Aaron Ewing came and announced he won the Golden Globe Award at work. I was so proud of him. I wrote dozens of e-mails to managers over the years about what a great worker he is. It is nice to see it recognized.
It was Ron on guitar, John on percussion and Jimmy on bass last night. It was packed out in Provinces and that is good because Kenny said business is off since the smoking ban took effect. Jason, Blu and Chris were there supporting the craziness as was Dale the Shaker Boy. He made a strong solo showing last night. I guess Kathy is still under the weather. Dee Roberson strutted her stuff for a few numbers. The rest of the evening is a blur. I did see Bill Shanks and his fiancee. He wanted Murat tunes and we had some other requests so I hope we didn't disappoint him. I forgot one verse of Let Your Merry Go Heart, a Doug Hamilton and Greg Murat tune. I still play most of the songs we wrote together. Anyhow, I have no speaking voice left and I am not sure what it will lead to regarding singing tonight. Miracles usually take place when it comes to singing and if I do sing it will definitely be a proclamation of the glory of God. Jesus take the wheel, like the song says. Here we go again. Tonight it will be John Matthews, Manolito Fuentes and me. I think it will be cool. Thank you all for being there in body or in spirit.

February 16, 2006
  Here it is the night before Friday and another day has wound down. Mike got some really cool headphone mixing gear today. It gives 7 parameters of control over the mix to each person listening on headphones. It is a great tool but Mike set it aside to make me copies of several songs off the new project so Andie and I can practice harmonies. Sarah Maria says she just pecks harmonies out on the piano. It makes sense because I just don't hear them naturally. I think I do until I listen to the play back. I have to let go and let it happen. I have decades of listening to harmony parts. The information is there.
   Liz's car broke down so I had to head out to pick her up and didn't get to finish copying all the songs. I will deal with having someone check that out tomorrow. I should rest. I am still sumo wrestling this flu, cold, virus or whatever the heck it is. Andie gave some incredible pictures of our boy. He is growing so fast. He'll be moving out before we know it.

February 15, 2006
 Josh sent some family photos to Andie. Saria is getting very big. They all look like they are doing fine. Chani called and is in Reno where they will be staying a week and doing a guest spot or two. She said it was very cold, as I told her it is here in Washington. I just let the kitty in and she murmured that it was freezing outside. Kayden was very fussy tonight right up until I said we were going outside. He stopped crying immediately. Andie and I zipped him up inside my coat ( won't be able to do that many more days.) And out we went. He studied the night sky, the cedar tops, the stars, the snow crunching under my feet, the creek, the shed, the clouds. He snuggled in against my chest and we just walked in silence until he let out a really big sigh and I knew he was ready to sleep. Andie fed him his bottle and tucked him in and now she is sleeping too. I am having a tough time sleeping at night. What's new? Earlier I talked to Jimmy Culler on the phone and he was doing a study on Columbia Crescent and it sounded like the experiment was going rather well. I am looking forward to playing some music with him on Friday night. I guess John Matthews may be in on Friday. It will be great fun. Jimmy has really helped keep me writing over the years and continues to remember more of my songs than me. He is having a blast with Mike and Jimmy in the Jimmy Wright Band too. Well I am hoping the pipes don't freeze tonight. We have a little dribble going in the bathroom and kitchen. Hope we make it into another day with water. I hope I don't get frozen out of playing this weekend.
Happy Valentine's Day
February 14, 2006
  Another low key day. PT and lawyer and a little chow time for Andie, Kayden and I at a little Mexican restaurant in downtown Everett. Kayden was wound pretty tight this evening and is finally asleep. Liz is out shopping. We chatted a little bit tonight about the piggishness of men, the fact that she needs someone to love her for the special person she is. When someone loves you they just do. You cannot make them by saying, giving or doing things. They do or they don't. It is really simple. However, it is not simple when you are in the middle of a relationship. We just hope it will all be okay. It could be worse, she could be on American Idol. God what a bunch of crap that is. It is embarrassing to watch.

February 13, 2006       When you blame others, you give up your power to change.   Dr. Robert Anthony   (thanks Dale)
 Chani checked in from Idaho and is still having fun. I talked to Freedom and he has the first ultra sound of the new baby. Josh and Christina had their birthday and got an new computer. Josh says Saria is still busy imitating the body sounds that he makes. We talked to her on the phone and she was giggling away into the phone. He sounds very happy to be a dad. I haven't gotten through to Sarah this week yet but I will keep trying. Jason and Blu are expecting and we are so happy. Liz is applying to colleges, going to school and working a job. Mike and I are continuing to move forward on the simple Essence recording project and I at Provinces this weekend. Jimmy will be in Friday and maybe even Mike Daily and Manolito Fuentes will be in on Saturday night. I am looking forward to that. More trips to the doctors this week to see if I am going to stay on the planet or head off to the next adventure.
 We had a nice visit with the MacGougan family this weekend. Their friends Preston and Cheryl were there on Saturday night. Scott and I played and sang in the kitchen while the girls were making an incredible dinner. It was nice to play with Scott and he was happy with my new tune All The Time No More. At dinner he asked everyone to tell there happiest moment of the week. I was the only one who had a hard time doing that. I guess I still have a long way to go in the happy thought department.
  We got great news from Jason and Blu and we are hanging on to every second while we see how Blu is fairing with the hope of new life or lives. They have a cheering section at our house. You would think it was Andie she is so excited for them. Andie is informing me as she finds out each new bit of news. I am sorry I am remiss in writing. I am having a tough time with pain and it doesn't leave me with much left over for inspiration. It will all get better soon. I really believe that.
February 9, 2006
   I have really enjoyed spending some time with Mike Daily at Studio 04. I have played songs I haven't played in years and we have 12 songs recorded for a new CD called Essence. It has brand new songs and songs like Lady of Dunsmuir that go all the was back the early 70's. I talked to Dee Roberson and she asked me to record her and Hans at the end of the month. It will be a simple matter of hitting the record button on my mini disk recorder and letting it run. The work is in the editing and importing into software. The sound quality is truly amazing though.
  We had a meeting of the family mind tonight and survived. I don't know that we are any closer to anything but I am done for the moment. The funny thing about talking as it brings darkness into light and no amount of darkness can over come light. By the way, Andie shot some incredible shots of Kayden when he was in his walker out on the porch. Pretty soon I will be able to join him in my walker. Won't that be fun. I am fiddling with ideas for a web site for Jimmy Wright and the boys. It keeps me from going crazy while I am going through this physical therapy and now I find out that one of the doctors wants to put me under the knife. I don't like the knife. No, not one bit. Help!

February 8, 2006
  Chani sent us an e-mail and she is in Montana. It seems like a crazy time of year to go to Montana but she is a snow girl. She runs around in shorts and tank tops in winter so I suppose she can take it. I am more of a beach person myself. Speaking of beaches our friend Mish called from Florida. She is on holiday there with her family and raveling without children for the first time in twenty years. She said is was a brisk 75 degrees and sunny. I miss the ocean. There is always balance in the world and in life so with the sunshine you get hurricanes and forest fires and bugs and snakes. We have the least amount of natural irritants in Washington state. But we do have to deal with SAD from the lack of sunshine and that is a big thing. We are starting to think we will not ever leave this state except for holidays. If that is what we choose it will be okay. It is a beautiful place with lots of friends.
  Jimmy Culler stopped by for dinner and a chat last night and we had a pleasant visit. Andie made this lemon chicken pasta, another dish she would like to serve at our bed and breakfast cafe by the beach someday. It was delicious. I also got a call from my old friend Keith Larson. Just a month ago I was listening to a cassette of Keith and I at Ricardo's back in the late 1970's. It was actually pretty good. I plan on transferring what cassettes have survived the years to CD. I won't be bored because that will take a long long time. Just about my oldest friend, Darrel Harris's daughter Robyn sent Andie a birthday card after checking out the website. That was so sweet.
    If you find yourself in the Super Bowl watch out for black and yellow striped ninja's. Thanks for the photo Dale.


February 7, 2006
    Andie got a sweet e-mail from Josh wishing her a happy birthday and he also sent a picture of Saria. Thanks Josh.
 I got a call from my dad today and he and Judith are coming out to see the Tulips and us of course. I will good to see dad and meet Judith face to face. He is firing up the prayer team for the Fickels like he did for Chani's grandmother. It is always a comfort to know there are people rooting for you with God. He said when life is over he will be able to say one thing for sure and that is God id Good.

  Kayden just did a Kung Fu scissors kick and turned himself over a pillow and onto tummy. It looked like a little light went off in his head at the possibilities that can come with motion. Boy do we have our work cut out for us. He has a little play center that plays sounds and music and speaks in Spanish and English. We may need a translator before too long.

Anyway time keeps rolling along and we are grateful for the time when we are together as a family. It is the best time. I am still amazed that we were all able to gather for my birthday. Thanks everyone who made the event.

February 5, 2006
 Friday evening we had a lovely dinner with Blu and Jason and we sat and talked for hours. It was an evening well spent. It is such a joy to spend time with couples who like each other. They are a lot of fun. It is enlightening to hear all the stories of each other's history. We heard more stories about Ireland and it makes us want to go even more. Maybe in the next few years.
Kayden is playing in his walker. He is a talker this morning. I have gotten some beautiful smiles from him. Everyone else is asleep. Sarah worked her bottom off cleaning and doing chores for part Andie's birthday present. She grew up good. She is struggling with back pain and problems as well. Just like Chani and me. Pain is a pain. Above is one of the many photos Andie shot of Jimmy Wright. The band and Andie had a ball at the session. Jimmy said the guys were all cracking up on Friday looking at the pictures. It is a fun band. Jimmy Culler gave me a nice phone call yesterday with encouragement for the acoustic tracks I have been recording with Mike. They sound really good. Mike is growing leaps and bounds as an engineer. Fun stuff.
Chani sent a note from Idaho and said they are having a great time and they are selling their prints at shops they visit. I will be putting up some gear for sale on Craig's List a for Michael Gardner's Seattle Pro Audio. He is selling some gear on consignment. There is a great surround sound system and there will be a $45,000 Yamaha Console that will sell for around 8 or 9 thousand dollars. It is a great deal if you have extra cash and a lot of room for a really big board.

It is Super Bowl Sunday. That usually wouldn't be any big deal to us but since the Seahawks made it to the game we will be watching. I wonder what the half time show will be like.

February 4, 2006
   If you wouldn't be so negative you could get people to agree with you. Andie Murat
That is about all I have to say for today. Maybe that way someone will agree with me.
Thanks to The Jimmy Wright Band for all their support. Mike, Jimmy and Jimmy are great guys and musicians.
Chani and Chris are packing up tonight to head towards Montana. Crazy time go camping in the Big Sky Country.
Sadly, we did not get a call from any of the boys, Josh, Freedom or Rob to wish Andie a happy birthday. Miss you guys.
What is next? We love you Andie. Sometimes I think God is honing Andie with us. She is so patient and gives so much. I keep hoping we will all get better at showing her how much we appreciate all she does. She shot fantastic pictures of the Jimmy Wright Band. They are on their way to being very busy boys spreading dance fever and joy wherever they go.

God bless us everyone.

February 2, 2006

  Tonight Andie is busy editing The Jimmy Wright Band photos. I visited with Mike for awhile today and he laid down some drum tracks on a few of my Greg Murat Unplugged tunes. His studio is so nice and he is so excited about his new band. What a wonderful bunch of guys to work with. He thanked me for the use of my bride to shoot their photos last night. They had a blast. I am really blessed. I stayed home with Kayden so they could have fun. Who wants a husband around when a lovely woman is shooting your photographs. She got so many excellent shots they will have a hard time deciding which one to chose. I am feeling a bit left out in the cold. They are off and running because their song selection is so good and they have so much heart between the three of them they can lift a crowd like a magic carpet and carry them straight into joy. I know because they took me right along with everyone else at their last show. I will leave the band page up on the website in a form but switch it to past tense. Christopher was the first to jump ship. Every one else was waiting on the ship to come in and I forgot to build it. So, just like on Lost, what there was built caught on fire and burned. Here I am on this island with a beautiful wife and another incredible soul in our lives. I am slipping into peace as I slowly learn to tell my mind to be still and let me just be. I am writing again finally and with power. Blessed is the listener for he shall be heard.

February 1, 2006
Andie is over at Studio 04 taking pictures of the Jimmy Wright Band. She has been at it for 2 and a half hours. I bet they are going to be thrilled. Kayden is sleeping and Liz has gone to see Jesse. I am slowly letting go of the little girl and getting ready to let go of the young woman. Are you ever ready for that as a father? It is harder for a papa than a mama. At least that is my unbiased opinion. My friend Bill Spies gave me a book called The Power of Now, well, actually he gave it to Andie for a present. Anyway I am reading it at this time and there is a lot of information about pain, its origin and also about joy. There is only the present moment of so the author says and it makes sense. Any way there is pain involved in letting go of the children in one's life and pleasure embracing the adults. There is also a great deal of joy to be found in the new relationships. An interesting note I read was this "Say yes to life and see how quickly things can change and start getting better." It is all a jumble at the moment but there is some peace to be found in the words and I am ready for some peace.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist