Tag Archives: Family

feel good

Feel Good Farm Fotos

Feel Good Farm Fotos…

The Marsh Farm. Established in 1937. My favorite vacation spot with my family.

This is where I go as often as I can to reboot. With the exception of the chirping birds, meowing cats, and occasional crop duster, there is silence.

Relax, breathe, and restore.


feel good feel good feel goodfeel goodA little bit of land + a lot of big ideas = 8 Point Farm.

We’re located in the Fox River valley of northern Illinois, near the confluence of the Fox and Illinois Rivers. For now, we’re experimenting — with permaculture, sustainable and small-scale (very small) farming, rain harvesting, orcharding, and beekeeping.

Plus a few chickens.

growing up

Growing Up on Throw Back Thursday

Growing Up on Throw Back Thursday…

My 49th birthday is in a few days. I found this photo from a blog post in July of last year, under which was typed, “I don’t wanna grow up.”

Well, because we all have to grow up and make our mark doing it, I thought I might share a few lesser known things about me, my life, my family, and my mark on the world.

  • President William McKinley is my great, great, great Uncle by marriage.
  • I’ve been a vegetarian for 24 years.
  • When I was 15, my Dad took me to a Frank Sinatra concert. During a quiet moment, I stood up and yelled, “I love you, Frankie!”
  • Four out of the seven members of my family have had cancer. None of us needed chemo and all of us are survivors.
  • I’ve met two famous people…Celine Dion and John Tesh.
  • My favorite number is seven and here’s why:
    • I was born in the 7th month of 1967
    • There are 7 years between me and my only sister
    • There are 7 people in my immediate family
    • There are 7 chakras
    • And now, I get to include this: 7×7=49

But, I still don’t wanna grow up.

growing up


Hello Friend by The Hollow Trees

‘Hello Friend’ by The Hollow Trees…


Join me out in the country with The Hollow Trees! This is such a great knee-slappin’, banjo strummin’, and boot kickin’ CD for kids and families! My daughter keeps asking me to play What Do You Want On Your Taco? I had to listen to the CD once by myself to enjoy the rest of it! We love My Dog Has Fleas, I Can’t Dance, and the cool percussive sounds of Backward Bill. 

We say Hello Friend right back at ya’ and would love to party with The Hollow Trees some time! This energetic CD comes out today, July 1st, and can be purchased at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, The Green Bean in L.A.’s Eagle Rock neighborhood, Grow Kid Grow in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, and at all Hollow Trees shows.

Thank you, as always, to Waldmania PR for our complimentary CD in exchange for this review.


From Waldmania PR:

LOS ANGELES — Acclaimed for their high-energy, acoustic Americana music played with passion, skill, and humor, the Los Angeles-based band The Hollow Trees is set to launch their fourth album of upbeat, top-tapping folk music for families,Hello Friend!, on July 1.

Blending an Americana cornucopia of musical styles that includes folk, bluegrass, jug band, Western swing, country, blues, and jazz, The Hollow Trees offer a great mix of old-time chestnuts, obscure gems, and fun, new original songs. The band, noted for tossing off clever wordplay combined with excellent musicianship, has been compared to Asleep at the Wheel, the Jim Kweskin jug band, and even The Hoosier Hotshots.

“What Do You Want on Your Taco?” is not only a spirited opening number with clever rhyming lyrics and a delightful sing-along chorus, but the band also manages to imbue a list of taco ingredients with the empowering idea that in creating a life for oneself, “the choice is up to you.”

An album high spot is the jazz novelty song “I Can’t Dance (I’ve Got Ants in My Pants),” with a repeat-after-me, sing-along style that can be previewed HERE. Also noteworthy is “My Dog Has Fleas,” whose lyrics and music fit The Hollow Trees like a glove and will bring a smile to those caught up in the current ukulele craze. Preview “My Dog Has Fleas” HERE.

The Hollow Trees are: Gregory Hollow Tree (a.k.a. Greg McIlvaine, guitar, vocals, kazoo), Traci Hollow Tree (a.k.a.Traci Green, vocals, jug), David Green (drums), Adam Levy (bass, vocals), Mike Flanagan (mandolin, bouzouki, vocals),Katie Cavera (plectrum banjo, ukulele, vocals), Phil Parlapiano (accordion, vocals), Leah Ashton, Tia Simone, Nina Kasuya (vocals), and Matt Witler (mandolin, guitar).

Previous albums by The Hollow Trees include Wacky’s Tackle (2010), Welcome to Nelsonville (2008), and The Hollow Trees (2005).

Hello Friend! will be available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, The Green Bean in L.A.’s Eagle Rock neighborhood, Grow Kid Grow in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, and at all Hollow Trees shows.


‘In My Dreams’ is Wonderfully Wacky

‘In My Dreams’ is Wonderfully Wacky…

You get a little bit of everything with Dean Jones’ CD, In My Dreams. I detect a space-age techno beat, a bit of calypso, and the sound of Paul Simon. All  of the songs are a bit wacky, which is ideal for a car ride with my four year old daughter who requires constant entertainment. Thanks for that, Dean. We especially enjoy What Kind of Fruit?, Do You Talk to Yourself? (who doesn’t), and Monkey C. Monkey. People Watching is the one that has the Paul Simon sound. That’s my personal favorite.

This CD comes out today, July 1st, and is available at CDBaby, www.dogonfleas.com and other music retailers.

Thank you, as always, to Sugar Mountain PR for my complimentary CD in exchange for this review.

in my dreams

From Sugar Mountain PR:

Rosendale, NY, June 28, 2016 ~ This summer, find a companion to reverie with Dean Jones. His new album of 13 new original songs, In My Dreams, leads listeners on a stream-of-consciousness journey full of humor and hopefulness.In My Dreams arrives on July 1 from CDBaby, www.dogonfleas.com and other music retailers.

Jones, a GRAMMY winning producer and prolific recording artist (he also leads the band Dog on Fleas), says he wrote all of these songs while walking in the woods with his dog, within a 10 mile radius of his home in the Hudson River Valley. “These are things I think about when I just open up my mind and senses,” he explains. “I tend to leave a lot to the imagination. I ask a lot of questions and don’t often answer them.” Born in Ontario, Jones is proud that the new album arrives on Canada Day.

The unique sound of In My Dreams melds various genres, from pop to calypso (think Vampire Weekend), to jazz, to funky folk (think Robyn Hitchcock). Jones sings and performs all of the instrumentation. Guest vocalists include Morgan Taylor and Rachel Loshak of Gustafer Yellowgold (on “Swiss Cheese Angels); Michael Napolitano of Michael and the Rockness Monsters (on “Do You Talk to Yourself?”); Frances England (on the whisper-soft final track “Nighttime”); and a few kids. The dreamy cover art is by Giselle Potter, who has illustrated books for Toni Morrison,  Mary Pope Osbourne and Cari Best, and whose work appears weekly in the New York Times.

Like musical essays, the songs on In My Dreams raise questions and spark an alternative perspective on everyday subjects like pets, fruits, babies and people watching. The songs employ wit and syncopation to ponder important questions like “Do You Talk to Yourself?” Or, “Have You Ever Been Real?” Or, “What Kind of Fruit” would you like to be?  The tune “Feline” wonders, “Who was the first person in the history of the world to snuggle up with a feline?” The tiny human in “Oh Little Baby” who grabs strangers’ noses and drools, prompts the question, “What are you thinking?” Indeed, humor and high seriousness enjoy a comfortable back-and-forth conversation in Jones’ songwriting. The refrain of “Humans Are Still Evolving” posits: “We’ve got to get more peaceful/ we’ve got to get more loving.” Sometimes, the issue is purely fanciful, as in the electro-pop “Animal Collective” track, which mentions several rock band names, from The Beatles to the Spiders from Mars.

In My Dreams stands out from an ever-rising tide of “family music” in that it doesn’t hammer its music or messages into listeners’ heads. “Kids are constantly bombarded with stimuli, and I like to try to not fill up every space in my music.  I want these songs to breathe a little, allowing kids to hear some of the details and subtleties.”


Sea, Sand, and Sunset for Wordless Wednesday

Sea, Sand, and Sunset for Wordless Wednesday


sea sea