Friday, June 20, 2014

As you can see, I've not been very good at blogging. But I'm determined to begin doing so more often. A lot has happened in the last year regarding my SLE (Lupus). I had a tough year. Lost a lot of weight, from 109 to 86 pounds & was dangerously close to organ failure. However, with the help of my doctors & family I was able to get better & gain almost all weight back! I was in the hospital with acute pancreatitis. Then in hospital again with what they found was stomach & esophagus ulcers. All this due to Lupus. The Summer of 2013 was unseasonably HOT. heat, sun & Lupus do NOT get along! I pushed myself to try to go visit some beautiful state parks in Oregon but in doing so, even covered up and my big hat, the heat & sun landed me in bed. I didn't even touch my bass. 
When 2014 came, I promised myself to quit being stubborn & to take good care of myself by eating right, resting, exercise when I can. It's working so far. 
Unfortunately after my weightloss incident, I've got kidney damage. So I'm working on that. I picked up my bass guitar about a month ago & found that my joints & finger pain was the worst it's been. But I pushed through it & I play the bass every now & then. I had to quit playing bass in the worship team at church as I could stand for long & just too fatigued to make it through rehearsal & the Sunday morning services. All because of my bad weightloss incident. 
What is good however is I finally accepted my Lupus SLE diagnosis & started taking better care of myself. Resting more, learning to say "no" & reducing stress. 
There's no doubt that Lupus Sucks & I hate it but it's here to stay so it's up to me to listen & learn from my doctors, fellow "Lupues" and listen to my body. 
I am SO ADD!! I've started making jewelry, but made two sets of earrings & one bracelet & all the supplies are in a box in my bedroom!! Then I decided I'd start photography. I ended up with 400+ photos of mainly flowers, the same three mountains I live by and numerous photos of my two grandsons! But at least I still have the "want to" in me!!
There are so many great Apps for learning to play guitar & I'll share those with you soon.  
Life is a blessing & Lupus is just an obstacle course. My goal, as always, is to make it through it!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Hello everyone! I took a long hiatus! I'm back now though. Lupus decided to get bad, I was pretty ill for a long time. I couldn't even think about picking up a bass much less playing it. I was in bed a lot, in hospital, etc. But not going to bore you with the specifics. The thing is, I'm better now and picked up my lonely bass guitar and plugged it in. Wow, that first note rang out, low end, reverberated through the room. I was SO excited!!! While ill I had to stop playing in the band, playing at church. No jamming. But this is good. Why? Because while in bed I discovered all different genres of music I really liked. It opened up a whole new world of bass lines to learn! Which has only made my bass playing better. I knew that the hard rock bass playing of steady galloping was pretty much boring and hard on the fingers. The church music was beautiful but on the other end of the scale, slow, one note at a time. But it helped me learn to read music and play with a group of musicians who rely on me and the drums to keep the timing. This was good. The rock band I wasn't even heard I think. I could have played mary had a little lamb during the song & the guys wouldn't have known. Everything was so loud & wild lol. I learned to love blues, country, alternative, country rock, pop, etc. Unfortunately YouTube copyright rules make it impossible to cover songs and post though. Hey, I can post on my website!! During the time I was ill a friend asked to borrow my beloved Tiger eye Peavey bass. I said of course! The poor thing was just sitting there. So he played some heavy metal riffs on it with the band he's in at shows. That Peavey held up wonderfully. A GREAT bass. I've tried some other basses but love mine the best. No active pickups but I don't care. Well, since I hadn't played bass in over a year, I wondered if I could remember anything. Any of the songs I'd learned, etc. But it was like riding a bike cycle. I fell right back into the groove. Ahhhhh yes, the GROOVE, something that was missing before in my playing. I was so busy trying to play everything correctly I wasn't feeling the music. I since have learned to find that groove & play it. It makes bass playing so much better. So, since I don't have much more to add because I'm just getting back up and playing. I'll add a couple of recent covers I've learned to my Listen page. I SO appreciate all of you who have sent me greetings and positive notes! I am thinking of you all and hoping your journeys are going well too. More later!!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Finally getting to work on new original material with the guys from the band. Our lead guitarist is so great at arrangements, etc. that it makes my job playing bass easy. He already has my part tabbed out. I know I should come up with it myself, but I'm still learning & he is such a master at bass as well as guitar. Can't wait to upload some of our new music!!! On the flip side. My arthritis & lupus has been giving me heck & it has become really hard to play the bass because of the pain. I'm hoping I don't have to give it up. I just slather on the arthritis cream I'm given & play. For Now anyway. I am still loving for its lessons & roving around the internet utilizing every bass playing site I can.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WOW! It's been awhile!

It has been well over a year that I've blogged....that's LUPUS for ya! Much has changed in my bass playing journey! The band broke up, duh! However....I decided I really like the music at this church I was going to & I took a bold step, I emailed the worship pastor & asked if I could audition. To make a long story short, I've been playing bass in a large church, in front of lots of people who stare at me because they just can't get over a 5'2" female is up there playing electric bass guitar! Plus, it has taught me SO much about playing in front of an audience that isn't hidden in the dark, that are drunk, and number like maybe 20 at the most....(the bar settings that bands get to play at). I enjoy it, and I rotate in as there are other bass players, so is I am ill with Lupus, I can take a week or however many off. I've had to learn to actually read music, rehearse, ya know, NOT WING IT like I've done! They have a sound guy that runs everything, monitors I can hear myself & the other musicians, great equipment too. I'm blessed to be able to play the bass in an environment that is really teaching me to step up my game, learn different musical styles & we rehearse a lot so we end up jamming at rehearsals which is fun. There was a time in the last year that I didn't even pick up my bass. I wasn't inspired, figured I'd gone about as far as I could with what I knew, had no outlet to play, and was frankly bored learning songs in my living room for kicks. But that was because I was ill & everything looked bleak. Then I heard an old song with a killer bass line, decided to plug my bass in & learn it, realized that playing my bass did lift my spirits, and dusted it off to start playing it again. So that is where I'm at, at the moment. Still learning new styles, getting a little bit better at using my fingers on the frets, but bottom line, enjoying playing music!!!! It is more fun when you get to jam with others though, and they are humble & helpful & don't yell when I screw up :) OH, love the cropped pants I'm wearing in the photo, geesh, I really need a stylist!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lupus SLE Rears it's ugly head

Well, I haven't been able to Blog OR play bass for that matter for a few weeks. The painful symptoms of Lupus SLE hit me hard and shut down all the fun! Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and your immune system can turn on itself. Where one person will have the flu and take a couple days off of work, if you have Lupus and get that same flu, it will send you to the hospital and can be a fatal infection. In my case, it wasn't flu. I had this great idea to try snow skiing again,I hadn't done so since years prior to my Lupus diagnosis, and thought I was feeling strong and good enough to do so. However, all it took was riding the lift to the top of the mountain that I realized I was in trouble. My hands and specifically fingers were hurting so bad, as were my knees, and I hadn't even gotten off the lift yet! It was the cold weather. I was bundled up too. But, with my Lupus comes poor circulation to my fingers. Therefore, I got off the lift and automatically wanted to get down the mountain as fast as I could to thaw my hands outs. I was actually nauseated from the pain in my hands and fingers. As I skiied down, my knees felt like I'd been a pro skier for years and had two old knee injuries, which I don't, but they hurt too. When I finally got to the bottom, I ended up in the lodge next to the fire. I told my friends and family to keep skiing, I fine. This little outting cause a month of what is called in Lupus Circles as a "Lupus Flare"....when lupus rears its ugly head and symptoms return. Luckily, mine were confined to my joint pain, fingers, and horrible exhaustion and days on the couch. I am also very fortunate that it didn't attack my kidneys as in the past or my lungs.

BUT, when my friends said, hey! We are ready to put this new band thing together and here is the first track I've written, AND we have a wonderful singer, I did sit up off the couch! So bottom line, I won't be going skiing anymore, I really wasn't that into it, I was always jealous that I could snowboard instead. I am getting better every day and following doctor orders.

It is more important to me to live a long life, and enjoy my family and passions than it is to do activities I don't think through very well. I know my boundaries, I just try to do more than I should and be the person I used to be.

Our new music is pretty cool I have to say though, and I'm learning some new techniques which are helping my playing. I think we are actually going to have a full line up, a full set list, and shows set up by the end of the year! I just pray I stay healthy. I still study a lot at and watch all the music channels to find songs with different bass lines to learn. For those of you that are healthy and can play bass or guitar, I mean are shredders deluxe!!! Count your blessings!! It takes great talent to do what you do! You inspire me. Also inspiring me are people on my YouTube channel who say nice things about my journey to grow old playing the bass....ha! Yes, and I DO mean old! Keep those comments coming, they keep me going.

As far as gear....I played my friend's Geddy Lee Fender Bass the other night. I had gotten mixed views on it and not knowing all that much about which bass is best for which music, I loved it. The only con was that the bass itself was too heavy for me, my shoulder was pretty sore after the jam. I am used to my little Peavey. The Fender shoulded awesome and the neck was small and easy to play like my Peavey. PLUS, I do love active pickups!!! So, I've played an Ibanez 5-string, Geddy Lee Fender, and my little Peavey Millenium and have to say they were all great sounding. The Ibanez had the deepest tones, the Fender second and my Peavey third. But that is probably because I am not setting it up correctly. Keep playin! Susie

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OK, about LUPUS and SUPPORT and playin BASS!

I feel compelled to write about Lupus. I get many questions as to what it is, etc. Also, most people with Lupus look just fine. They don't look "sick". Leading many friends and family to say "you look fine, why don't you just get off that couch and do something!!!" Or, how can you stand up long enough to learn to play a bass guitar, or use your fingers????? However, those who live with a loved one with the disease long enough, or knew them before they were diagnosed with Lupus KNOW how it effects us. Also, they know how much we want to do the things we used to, or to not be in pain or in fear of Lupus' horrible symptoms and effects on our bodies. For me personally. I was very, very active. I trained horses and showed them since I was a kid. I lived on a ranch and we raised cattle as well. I was a gymnast in high school. I worked in the film and television business as a animal trainer (horses), stunt woman (on horses), trained actors how to ride, be safe, etc., worked in casting and many areas of production as it pertained to livestock. I had to travel a lot with horses, driving long hours and hauling horses. So as you can see, I was a pretty active person. Then I began getting very tired, then extreme fatigue, my joints hurt, I was in a lot of pain but couldn't take the pain meds because they made me ill. I couldn't "kick" the illness. I started having problems with my kidneys which was scarey. Lupus is a disease where your body turns on itself. Your immune systems works against you. So, it effects your organs, like the kidneys, heart, etc. The sun is your enemy, you can't be out in it. It can bring on a flare. And I LOVED the sun and water sports! I was finally diagnosed correctly, after many mis-diagnosis' (which wasn't their fault, it is just hard to diagnose) when a doctor did a barrage of blood tests and other tests. Once diagnosed, I was put on a couple of drugs for the symptoms. Like prednisone, and a drug used for malaria! They helped a bit when I was very, very ill. But I have chosen to try and fight it with taking care of myself. STRESS is very bad for Lupus. I try to stay away from it, but that is impossible!!! SO, I was SO down, felt like life was over, I was going to be old before my time. Can't do anything without fear of having to leave early because I would fade out (get too tired or hurt too much). I did go into this depression on just wanting to lay on the couch with the blanket over my head. But, watching music videos all day and night wasn't all that healthy on me or my muscles...but, I did love watching the bass playersf & their techniques! Figured, why not try to learn to play the bass. Which is why I have.
So, if you know of someone who is ill with something like Lupus, but they look fine. Don't assume they are OK and just looking for attention. They may really be ill. Just support them and let them know its OK to have a bad day, week, or month. But that you support them and there will be good days ahead. I, personally, have been judged pretty harshly, during times I couldn't get off the couch, or when I couldn't go out and do fun stuff.....people would say mean things to me like I am lazy, or I should "buck up"!!! No one knows better than ME how much I wanted to! I tried to do those things, and I became sicker because of it. Now I take care of myself.
With anything, whether it is lupus, depression, just a bad day or whatever....just be kind and supportive. Don't try and "fix" the person....because you can't. But you can love them where they are at, and proceed on with each day and have good times in the midst of an illness that would rather you live a life of pain and suffering. SO, in 2009, be good to each other!!! :)

Learning arpeggios, octaves, scales

In 2009 my goal is to work on learning arpeggios, working with octaves and scales a lot more. They are so important!!!! My favorite site for learning this stuff is . Just go to the LESSONS link, then to the BASICS. Sort this lists by "HITS" and you will find the most popular lessons for learning the basics. They have helped me so much. They explain the theory, you can click on the track to listen to it, it has the tabs right there. You can slow it down, speed it up. It is just everything I would ever ask for in learning!!! YEA!!! So, 2009 is hunker down and learn BASS THEORY instead of just playing around.
As far as Lupus goes....2009 will be continuing to learn more about the disease and to learn ways to eat right, take care of myself, have fewer "flares" which are the times when I am really ill and need to rest alost and visit the doctor more. I'll never be "cured" but I can keep working at feeling better. I research online a bunch, just like playing the bass. The Lupus Foundation is a great foundation for trying to find a cure and find ways to help the suffering that comes with Lupus. Here is wishing EVERYONE a Happy New Year!