Posts Tagged ‘house concert’

The Inn Keeper’s Diary

October 28, 2011

The Musician

Katie Sawicki  2011

Katie Sawicki and Emily Stanback first visited our home June of 2008.  Right after we got Winston the Pig.  The two girls were on a cross country musical journey. Not in a position to host a house concert that month, we  offered to let them stay in the B and B for two days in exchange for a  “mini” concert in our kitchen.  I told Katie about our annual music festival, and vowed to have her back some year to headline.  That was this past month.

You can check out Katie’s music here

The Call

5 :20 AM the phone rang.  Now nobody calls me @ 5:20 in the morning unless  someone  just died or is in jail,….so I picked up the phone.   Karen from Kum and Go  was on the phone.   A couple needed a place to crash.  They had been driving all night and could not find anything anywhere.  They’d left their home in Virginia   11 AM the day before.    They were on their way to pick up a quarter horse, so  they were pulling a 24 ft  horse trailer.    Wife and I talked briefly,  said, what the heck, the suite was open, just needed 30 minutes to tidy up…so I talked with Larry on the phone, gave him directions….30 minutes later,  he was backing the 24 fthorse trailer into our driveway.  Turns out he was a real life horse whisperer.

The knock

Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law went missing. Ended up filing a missing person’s report. Police caught up with him south of St Louis heading home.   The next night, he showed up @ our door.  Am not @ liberty to share any more details (this adventure is still unfolding), other than the fact he spent the first two nights on my bedroom floor….


The word hospitality literally means “Lover of strangers”   I love that definition.    B and B’s come in all shapes and sizes.  Some of you reading this have experienced a visit to our place first hand, so tell me, how would you describe  a visit here?

It has been weeks and weeks since I’ve felt a “writing muse.”  Finally decided this morning to  just sit down and type.  It’s not that all of you don’t come to mind,  (I love the bantering that takes place on my blog)   but I refuse to write just for the sake of writing….too many other irons in the fire.

I told  my  recently found brother-in-law , I feel like the cook on a wagon train. I’ll whip you up something for breakfast, but after that, you’re on your own.  (Indians are  circling the wagons and I’m needed elsewhere)

Stay tuned….

Applejam 2009

October 11, 2009

        Kids  running up and down  rows of  Red Delicious, Honeycrisp,  and Ginger Gold’s  playing hide and seek.    Branches laden  with red and yellow fruit.   In the middle of the  orchard  a small wooden stage for musicians, story tellers and who know what…. and  a long table filled with  pies, maidrites,the smell of  black coffee and apple cider in the September air.

      That  is what applejam looked like in my mind even before I drove the first nail , or picked up the phone in 2002  to find some musicians -Flash forward to September 12th 2009.  We just wrapped up our 11th Applejam.

     The Bible talks about us making plans but then the Lord directing our steps.  That is a great word picture for what has happened with Applejam.  If you’re reading this and don’t believe, I understand,  I really do.  I spent the first twentysome years of my life thinking the same thing.  But when God decides to reel you in, you’ll know it.  ;-)

       After each Applejam my wife and I would critique everything- what worked, what didn’t, what would make things run more smoothly?   In 2003 it rained, we still had 40 people show up, so on a lark we moved everything into the basement of our 100 yr old red barn- no lights, no electricity, listening to a 3 piece Mennonite group while it drizzled outside.  (We still had fun)    After that, we decided to set up in the barn….just in case.   I  wired the barn with enough circuits to support a 5 piece band.   (Remember U2 is my favorite band…you just never know)

      As a result of Applejam we’ve hosted musicians from literally all over the world.  We  have a small bed and breakfast that we  see as a watering hole for traveling musicians.  We’ve even been known to barter on occassion- talk to me about  singing  for your meal and a place to lay your head.  Did you know  there is a subculture of  musicians traveling the country?

     Here is a pictorial highlight of Applejam 2009:


Jesse resident artist

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   Tom and  Pam.  Tom played a Neil Young cover that sounded just like the original.  Someone told me this was the first time Tom had performed in public for at least 10 years…what a treat.

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Some of the crowd

my daughters singing

Kathy, Beka and Angie surprising their Papa

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Addy and friend dancing to Fran Snyder

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Sam, Kailee ,and Patrick-  on short notice (30 minutes)  they put something together-  all I can say is Wow :-)

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Fran (on the right) drove over an hour by herself and her two little ones to perform- sang some original songs.  I asked her if she would come back and play at another one of our events- she was delightful.

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This young couple (and their son)   worked tirelessly behind the scene- They spent an extended weekend with us.  I think we all made lots of memories


Here is “Lena” my dad’s first cousin doing a comedy routine

Fran Snyder

Fran Snyder- He  was our headliner this year, came all the way from Kansas.  Great sound and a lot of fun.


barn @ night

View of the barn after dark…with  music  and light flowing through  the cracks.

Last Three Months In Pictures

September 17, 2009

    If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then this post will give me a chance to catch up with some of you    The past 3 months have been some of the busiest  in years. 

      I know how to build “margin” in my life, and it’s slim….Ready?  Here goes…

family reunion siblings photo 002

We played host to a family reunion in July.  Wife’s siblings (she’s one of 7) were all back in town to connect.  I love my wife’s family.   They’re not perfect but they really work at staying involved in each others lives. They are scattered all over the United States.  I took one of my nephews to work one day:John helping pour cement

Nephew bonding with Uncle Doug, pouring cement


Late July we hosted concert # 3  in the 2009 Bear River Concert series.  Here’s a picture of  Jesse Martin, Gayla Drake Paul and myself after the show

monks and carrs -)

In 1999 I stayed several days with a family in California while attending a conference.  We’ve kept in touch ever since.  Catherine and her son Jonathan came for a visit. She was originally from the Midwest, came back for a school reunion, wanted Jonathan to connect with some of his roots.  This is a picture of all of us one Sunday morning


Here’s Jonathan seeing what potatoes look like fresh from the garden

petting the chicken

Here’s Jonathan petting one of the hens.  I think it’s Joy ;-)


In early August, I got a call from someone saying “Let’s do it”  We’d been talking about building him a new 26,000 sq ft warehouse.  Here’s a picture of the first day digging footings.  Once we broke ground, this project  has been a priority .

4 foot of water

We had 11 inches of rain the first 2 weeks of this job, our ditches had to be repeatedly pumped out in order to pour the wall and footings.  Here’s one area with 5 feet of water in mud.  Made for some long days


  bucketing mud

Dad always said, never ask someone to do something you won’t do yourself (I think many of our government leaders missed that lecture)  Here’s a picture of nephew, son and myself  bucketing mud off the footings.  The mud was too thick for the sump pump so we did it old school.

 box of tools

Speaking of school, I started teaching part time in a new community college building.  This is a picture of me in the shop. I teach 2 construction related classes from 12:30 till 2 Monday through Friday.   I love the class, have a great bunch of guys, but it has been brutal in terms of  my schedule.  I go to my first job (building new warehouse) from 7:30 till 11:15 , run home, clean up, head to the school, teach, then go back to the construction site.  In the evenings, most nights I have to work on the lesson plan for the next day.  It has really cut into the time I typically blog.

through the lens of the camera

    In late August, we hosted concert # 4 with GDP 3.  Here’s a view through my video camera. 

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Here’s a picture of the cement pump starting to pour the floor in the warehouse.

 cousins picking apples 1

Forgot to mention, we have a bumper crop in the orchard this year, so we’ve started picking apples.  Here’s two little cousins picking apples

 john kneeling-w-crates

Here’s a picture of my son with some of the cortlands

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   Last week friend and fellow blogger Kristina and family came for a visit.  I think we all made lots of memories.  Here’s a picture of us after we got off the river kayaking. 

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Here’s a picture of Kristina in the kitchen cooking w/o meat.  She really is a great cook.   I could get used to having a full time maid :-)

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 Applejam (Concert #5) took place over the weekend that Kristina and family was here. They were a great help.  I’m guessing there were at least 120 people here for that.  Here’s a picture of a brother sister duo who were awesome.  He sang a Neil Young song that sounded as good as the original.

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Young lady on the right  just finished singing @ Applejam.

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     I did get on stage and sing an Alison Kraus song with Kathy, DJ and Lori during Applejam.

I’m going to have to stop there.      Wanted to stay in touch w/ those of you that are regular readers.- later- DM


July 1, 2009

      This past Saturday night,  the beat of a  Bodhran  drum cast it’s spell over young and old…. I watched as my granddaughter   got out of her stroller,  with child like abandon began to move  her arms and then her  feet to the beat of the Irish drum.

    If you’ve never heard one, take a minute  to listen to this  clip:



     Saturday night was our 2nd  concert in the 2009 Bear River Concert Series  we’re co-hosting with Camp Courageous of Iowa…It rocked.   Here is a picture of Jacquie Manning from Small Potatoes playing her Bodhran:


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     Here is a snapshot  my granddaughter  dancing to the drum….


      Before I met my wife, I spent  2 yrs drink’n, smoke’n the wacky weed (I didn’t inhale), and trying various other methods  to catch a buzz.  Woke up a few times not remembering where I’d parked my car.  There’s  a good chance many of you reading this have done similar stupid things….that’s not my point.  If you’re still doing that sort of thing. or if you did it when you were younger, why do we do it????

I did it to fit in

 I did it because I was bored…

I did it for the  fun,  which it sometimes delivered short term, but I hated waking up the next morning, w/ a splitting headache  feeling like I was going to loose my cookies.

       There was a moment in a budding relationship w/ my future wife where I thought to myself…if she  finds out about some of this stuff, she is going to  drop me like a hot potato,   so I made an intentional decision to step away from the booze and drugs.    It’s possible you know….

   It doesn’t mean I don’t still have an occasional beer, but honestly, the rush I felt on Saturday night, listening to the Bodhran,  and watching Addison dance  is  so much sweeter, and I’m still living off of it, 96 hours later.

If you absolutely have to take something  for  a mood enhancer, I’d recommend a cup of coffee- black/ no sugar, it’s all natural, legal and in moderation can be good for you.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts   DM

Photo highlights of Our May 30th folk concert

June 4, 2009
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         The Sill barn on the   Camp Courageous   property came alive this past Saturday night.   More than seventy Five people enjoyed an evening of great music in a rustic barn nestled back in the  tall pines.   The Dalziels and Beth Wood can each  hold their own with the best of them- Both have been finalists more than once @ theKerville folk festival, Beth won it in 2005.   If you have a second, check out that link to Kerville.  I’d never heard of it before we started hosting  music festivals..the level of talent will blow you away. 
      “The acoustics in the barn are so good, you might not even need a sound system.”  Scott Dalziel   commented 
      Judy F.(who attended the event with her husband Jamie)  said one of the things she loved about Saturday night was she could understand the words, it wasn’t just a bunch of noise.
    It’s hard to describe how magic the night really was.  If you’re not doing anything June 27th another evening is in the works.  A group called the Small Potatoes is coming to Monticello   We’ve already gotten calls from people as far away as the Twin Cities telling us they are coming. Most (not all)  of these artists coming for the concert series are  hand picked by Michelle Dalziel herself.   
        On July  18th Gayla Drake Paul is coming, she’s on a list of the top 100 acoustic guitarists on the planet!-
    Another fun project we have in the works with this concert series is a music DVD with highlights of the series.  A local TV station is taping each of the concerts and asked me to interview the artists  one on one for some “behind the music” clips as well. 
  Here are some photos from last Saturday night:
Here’s Michelle and Scott Dalziel, Beth Wood and the Mrs and I right after the concert
Here’s a picture of the crowd
Here’s my daughter Katie and her BF Jason helping us with check in
This is my co-worker and daughter Beka and her boyfriend Frank helping out at the merchandise table.

Bear River Concerts- In The Chute and Ready to Ride

May 15, 2009

  In case you’re wondering what it feels like behind the scenes with the  Bear River concert series, let me give you a word picture.

     I feel like I am sitting on the back of a big black  bull in the chute at the rodeo, something which I have never done before.    I have no idea what I’m in for when the gate opens….I may be in for the ride of my life:

bull rider

Friday (today) or Monday, a public service announcement about the concert series goes  out to 500 news organizations (Newspapers, radio, and TV)    Once that happens,  there is no turning back.  We have no idea how many people might come to concerts…50 or 500  Because of that, we got a second phone line and are encouraging reservations if you think you might be coming.    

         Here’s a peak at who will be perfoming  May 30th at 7 PM in the Sill Barn on the Camp Couragous property:

scott and Michelle Dalziel

Biography for the Dalziels

CD, Thinking Out Loud, #12 on International Folk Charts

Folk Alley’s artist of the month in 2008
The fresh and soulful sounds of Scott andMichelle’s voices, combined with their high energy performance, memorable and meaningful songwriting, and instrumental finness, put them in a category all their own. Said to have more sound than two people should be allowed, acoustic Rock or Folk genres could very well hold them but not completely. They dip down into R&B, Jazz, roots, and Blues showing the versatility of this duo. Since their Kerrville Folk Festival and South West Regional Folk Alliance Debut’s in 2004, they are gaining recognition and respect from not only audiences, but from venue owners and established artists alike:

“Scott and Michelle have a super tight duo sound with great harmonies, great guitar playing and some of the most soulful drumming and singing anywhere. I Love these guys!” – Chris Rosser, Singer Songwriter, Producer, Engineer

These guys have the full package, tight harmonies, solid songs, and a groove that won�t stop. All dished out with loads of fun, great energy, and big open hearts.- Johnsmith,

“Scott and Michelle opened for me and I was knocked out by their great songs, singing, andplaying. They were great!” – Michael Smith,

A beautiful natural blend of voices and musicianship with some intriguing writing. It’s obvious they enjoy performing together because they’re very connected on stage They opened for Michael Smith at the Village Square. Our audience loved them and has asked us to bring them back!
…. – Chris McNamara, Village Square Concert Series

“Michelle andScott – What a breathof fresh air, passionate, intelligent lyrics with just enough mystery making their music unique and appealing. This is a duo going places.” Rachel Bissex

“Great songs, great playing, great people–what else do you need?” Small Potatoes


Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, djembe, hand percussion.

Waitng for the Revolution
Greater than I
Thinking Out Loud


Beth Wood

There must be something in the waterThat’s the inevitable phrase BethWood hears any time she talks about growing up in Lubbock, a high plains Texas town with a uniquely rich musical heritage that includes Buddy Holly, Natalie and Lloyd Maines, Mac Davis, and Joe Ely to name a few. Beth doesn’t remember the water tasting particularly funny, so all she can do is nod her head in agreement and say…”indeed!”

It was in Lubbock that this fiercely talented singer-songwriter began her musical journey. Beth’s family demonstrated extreme patience as they supported her classical studies in piano, violin, harp, andvoice. With grandiose dreams of becoming a musician, a baker, or a cowgirl, Beth left west Texas to study voice and piano at Brevard College in North Carolina. She then moved on to another musically-blessed town, Austin, where she earned her degree in literature and picked up her first guitar. Living in Austin awakened Beth’s creativity, and it was there that she began writing songs and performing them in clubs and coffeehouses.

Inspired by an electric moment at a Rickie Lee Jones concert, Beth threw caution and her day-job to the wind to become a full-time musician. Twelve years, thousands of shows, seven albums, three cars, and numerous awards later, she has never looked back. Beth’s exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and warm stage presence have been winning over audiences from coast to coast. “It’s really hard to not fall in love with Beth and her music,” writes one Texas music journalist. Thanks to a healthy obsession with words, an ability to drive long distances, an innate musical sense, and keen observational skills, Beth finds herself perfectly suited for the job of modern-day troubadour. This job has brought Beth many diverse opportunities beyond stage performance. She has taught creativity workshops to students young and old, shared her poetry at literary events, contributed to a literary journal, provided music for weddings, and done extensive vocal studio work. Beth also loves combining her love of sports and classical singing to perform our National Anthem for teams such as the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Fort Worth Cats, and many others.

In February of 2008, Beth released her seventh independent CD, BEACHCOMBER’S DAUGHTER aboard Cayamo, a seven-day Caribbean songwriters’ cruise featuring Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, and many more. Bethcollaborates with Dallas’s finest studio musicians on her self-produced BEACHCOMBER’S DAUGHTER, a mature work that elegantly captures Beth’s soulful and versatile voice, her thoughtful and thought-provoking songwriting, her knack for arrangement and song interpretation, and her musical versatility.

If you ask Beth to describe her music, she might just shrug. Some have called it folk, pop, folk-pop, country-folk, Americana, etc. Beth prefers to say it is soulful, organic, free-range, barefoot music delivered through a high energy communicator of joy. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls Beth “a superb singer-songwriter whose versatility discourages labeling. So, call it what you will, but listen with mind and heart wide open, and you may just find yourself transformed.

Beth and her husband and their good puppy dog live in beautiful Lyons, Colorado. When Beth is not writing and touring around the country playing clubs, festivals, and house concerts, she still occasionally finds the time to bake and ride horses.


Winner -   2006 Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest
Winner -   2005 Kerrville New Folk Contest
Winner -   2nd Place – 2005 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriters Contest
Winner -   2004 Wildflower Festival Songwriters Contest
Finalist -   2007 Telluride Troubadour Contest
Winner -   2006 Top 20 Acoustic/Folk Category – Unisong International Songwriting��Contest
Honorable Mention -   2006 Mountain Stage Newsong Contest
Honorable Mention -   2005 Billboard World Song Contest
Winner -   2000 Campus Activities Magazine Coffeehouse Entertainer of the Year
Winner -   1999 Campus Activities Magazine Club Performer of the Year
Finalist -   2000, 2001, and 2002 Campus Activities Magazine Contemporary Music Artist of the Year

Music Midtown (Atlanta, GA)
Bele Chere Festival (Asheville, NC)
SXSW (Austin, TX)
Mandarin Folk Festival (Jacksonville, FL)
North Texas New Music Festival (Dallas, TX)
Kerrville Folk Festival (Kerrville, TX)
Sisters Folk Festival (Sisters, OR)
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Tucson Folk Festival
Riverbend Festival (Chattanooga, TN)
Wildflower Festival (Richardson, TX)
Buddy Holly Music Festival and Symposium (Lubbock, TX)

Beth plays many of her gigs with acoustic guitar and vocals. She often uses two guitars for alternate tunings when travel permits. She also incorporates piano into her set when one is available. Beth is occasionally joined by a combination of assorted players (drums, bass, guitar/mandolin).

Meet Lou Brown- Our musician friend from the UK

February 11, 2009

     I (DM) asked Lou Brown to  stop by   the blog and introduce herself.  She came into our lives  March of 2008.  Lou had contacted us the Fall of 2007 about an tour of the Midwest- she is a singer/songwriter from the UK.  Anyway, we told her we would love to help out if we could, so we rented a local coffee house for a concert.  It was a week full of memories for all of us.  I can still see  a picture of Lou and Aimee having a snowball fight in Western Iowa…plus the look on her face the day after they’d all spent a sleepless night in a building that may have been haunted.  You’ll have to ask her more details about that if you’re curious. :-)  Anyway, please give Lou a hand….(sound of clapping  can be heard as she approaches the mike)…

       Hi,  My name is Lou Brown.  DM asked me if I would consider making a guest appearance on his blog….
       There is something about Doug’s  family that warms my heart every time I think about them. Our paths in life crossed when I came over to the mid-west to tour last Easter. As a songwriter here in the UK I felt like having a mighty adventure and taking my music to an area of The States that not many of us Brits visit that often. Sure, loads of us go to New York for shopping or Florida for the theme parks but Iowa, nope I don’t know anyone else that’s been to Iowa except us.

Lucky me I say, for my few brief weeks I spent in Iowa were the most humbling of my life. There is something about the mid-west which we just don’t have over here. Yes, we have history a plenty, beautiful palaces and Royal estates, our villages, towns and cities are all firmly established and it only takes us a couple of hours driving to reach France and the rest of Europe. But Iowa has a sense of community and hospitality which I have never experienced. I will never ever forget driving in the thickest fog ever in the middle of the night up a dirt road to Doug and his wife’s B&B in Iowa, the moment when Aimee and I opened up the guest room door to find, fresh towels, the electric blanket on and the packet of Butterfingers on the pillow. I have never ever been so grateful to anyone in my entire life, I was missing home like crazy, the three of us touring together were starting to get on each others nerves and suddenly we had arrived in paradise.

In a world where the media are ramming fancy new products, brands and technology down our throats, where our young people view their future aspirations on being on Pop Idol or America’s next top model rather than hard graft and apprenticeships and where the current economic climate brings a fear into every household across the globe that we might not be the ones to survive the recessions. I remember that moment at Doug and his wife’s Country B&B and hold to it tightly to remember that life is actually about hospitality and opening our doors to others and simply having the time to be interested in someone else. Those small things in life are priceless and outweigh any amount of money we can be given or fancy clothes we can wear.

So it was my music that bought me to Iowa and it is my music that brings much adventure into my life. My new album is due to be released over the next few months and it has taken what seems like lifetime to get written, recorded, mixed and produced. This is the first time I have ever undertaken a recording with a very strong sense of what I wanted to achieve. I find that I am often too influenced with other people’s opinions, of my want to please others and my lack of faith in my own abilities. But this time, it was me, my music and my sounds. So I find myself with a strange fear in the back of my throat. It is a fear of a multitude different questions, “what if no-one likes it?” “what if no-one buys it?” “where are we going to find the money to get it printed up?” “what if it a success and I actually have to fly into the blue sky of my dreams?”.

Then I find myself thinking about President Obama. Dom and I stayed up through the early hours of the morning to watch the results (the time

difference between our nations is annoying sometimes!). That man has overcome so many embedded prejudices just to be in the running for President and now he sits in the White House. Wow. Not only is he African American and his middle name rings of media placed fear that everyone with an Arabic sounding name could be threat, but he is not even from a family of political weight or vast wealth. Now that’s inspirational, and if that man is brave enough to overcome all that then I need to be just 10% as brave to attempt to realise my dreams.

So, I’m off to travel my adventurous road a little further and hope that it is one that ends in a beautiful place. I’ve no doubt it will take me to number of other cities, towns and countries. But I hope, one day, it will bring me back to Doug and his wife’s  B&B for a butterfinger and some time with their family.

If you would like to hear my music you can find me at:


If you are reading this in The States and would like to purchase my albums it is cheaper to buy in dollars at:

I also make beautiful bedspreads, if you would like to look at some of my textile designs you can find me at:


Thanks for sharing some time with me,



You’re invited- help restore a barn from the 1800’s

February 4, 2009


      There were two old barns on our property when our family  moved here 1995.  If you’re a regular reader to this blog, then you know we already use the big red barn  to host an  annual music festival we call “Applejam“.    What you may not have known is there is another  old dairy barn on our property that dates back to the 1880’s or before.    You can still see the ax marks on the beams:






     Currently this older  barn is sitting empty.  It is in need of a lot of TLC.     Our long term plan is to restore this relic from the past and  use it all year round for receptions, parties, and music festivals.  If you would like to contribute to this project financially, let me know.  I am willing to donate all of the man power-  (I’m a general contractor by day.) we need $75,000 to pull this off-  if this is something you’d love to get behind leave me a comment and we can talk more.  :-)  We are in the midst of setting up a 501 (c) (3) non profit corporation- to support the arts (music, authors, artists, poets)   so, if you love  history, or  the arts,  this is the perfect  way to invest in both.    I’ll close with this  poem from another wordpress blogger:


The Old Barn
J. Carl Brooksby

When I see an old barn, my thoughts return home
To the place where I lived ere I started to roam.
I think ever fondly of our barn full of hay,
Where, as youthful children, we would frolic and play.

We’d tie ropes to the rafters; we could climb there with ease,
And pretend we were men on the flying trapeze.
We would fly high and low; we’d swing and we’d sway,
Then, when we got tired, we would fall on the hay.

In the sweet-smelling hay, we would lie on our backs
And look at the sunbeams in the sun through the cracks.
We’d play “cops and robbers” and fall “dead” on the hay;
There were so many games that we children could play.

We could play “hide and seek”, there were places to hide.
There were kittens to play with and horses to ride.
We could drive in the milk cows from the field down below;
Never get them excited, but drive them in slow.

Now, the barn is not there: there are houses instead,
But those ever sweet memories are still in my head.
I can never forget the contentment and charm
Of those sweet summer days that we spent in the barn.


“You can never have too many lovely,lovelies.”

January 30, 2009


      Out of Bed

Water boil

Cup of Black tea

little cream

God painted morning

finger paints with oils…

Oh  it’s a lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely day


      We saw Drew Nelson in concert this past Sunday evening at a house concert at Scott and Michelle’s.

      He told the story of two little girls – ages seven  and four  who listened to the song “Lovely Day” on his Immigrant Son CD.   Seven year old commented afterwards, ” Boy that’s a lot of “lovely, lovelies.”

     Four  year old replies , “You can never have too many lovely, lovelies.”

            There’s  a nugget of wisdom.

     If you have a minute, click the link to Drew’s home page  and give him a listen-  Lovely day is on the play list:

update 2/4/09 

     Just for the record-  this blog automatically feeds to a blog rating site called “blogowogo” 

      People rate each post from 0 to 5.  This particular post is getting hammered in the ratings for some reason, who knows why, maybe people think it’s too short, I wasn’t being creative enough, who knows…here’s the deal,  I just wanted to pass along a new artist I’ve come across for you to check out…so if you happen to read this post and enjoyed it, could you take a moment and scurry over to blogowogo (follow the link on this post)  and  help me out..thanks..and if you felt this post stunk..then you don’t have to go over there :-)  appreciate it…DM


“Cross Pollination” Of The Arts Around Our Farm Kitchen Table

June 3, 2008

     I had to say good-by To Katie and Emily this morning.    Rather than me repeat who Katie and  Emily are, take a minute to read this post from my “I also live on a farm” blog.    Pictured above (from the left) are Katie Sawicki,  my daughter Rebekah, and Emily Stanback.  We were celebrating Rebekah’s birthday last night and I’d asked Katie and Emily if they wouldn’t mind putting on a small house concert as part of the party.  They spent two days  with us recharging their batteries for the final push of a three  week of a tour to promote Katie’s newest album Time Spent Lost. 

       Here’s a link to Katie’s myspace blog to check out what we were treated to last night.  

      This morning over coffee we continued our discussion on my latest “raw” idea.   Let me back up.  When we originally came up with the idea of having a bed and breakfast at our place, I had this picture of an author  (poet, artist, musician) coming away for a time to write (paint, compose, create)  We’re situated in the rolling hills of Eastern Iowa…definitely off the beaten path.   As recently as just a couple of weeks ago, I was talking with an artist about coming here to paint.  I shared that with Katie and Emily.   They both agreed we have the perfect setting.

      “Can’t you just see  an artist here in residency and maybe an author, or songwriter  whose experiencing “writers block”   sitting around the kitchen table, bouncing ideas off each other….” a cross pollination” of  the arts  someone  said.

     I mentioned  exploring the possibility of applying for a non-profit 501 (c) (3) status which would open up the possibility for grant money.  (I looked into it a year ago but at the time, it didn’t seem practical)   Katie suggested if there was a way to weave some teaching/instruction  with a local school that would enhance the idea.    There is a local community college here that I’m sure would be open to having  some type of working relationship with us and visiting instructors.     

     In March Lou Brown, Bob, and Aimee spent three days with us.  They are  musicians from the UK who needed a place to regroup between shows.   Lou told us that her time here was  so  nurturing and refreshing…here’s what she said:

      ”  There is something about your place I find difficult to describe, it is not only that  you are truly a special and wonderful family, it is not that it is a beautiful location, it is not that there is a deck overlooking the corn fields, there is something embedded in your place that for me instantly allows me to feel safe, at peace and relaxed.  The land on which that house stand seems to be blessed with love and security.” 


Update 6/4/08

        I woke up this morning thinking about these things. 

     Just like our music festival has evolved over time as we’ve evaluated what we’re doing…so too these ideas will undoubtedly evolve. 

This is a biggie…… I’m not interested in the financial angle as much as encouraging a tired weary musician or someone just looking to recharge their batteries emotionally.  

     Secondly, it’s definitely  word of mouth rather than try to formally make something happen (advertise or  make sure there is aways a diversity of visitors in the mix.)   Since I do bring a spiritual component to this I have a sense of anticipation.

     Your thoughts?


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