Living in a Renovated Masonic Temple

My husband, Adrian, and I have been renovating, furnishing, arranging/rearranging furniture, and getting ready for the fun to come at the 1st annual Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival. The DBDR will be a related event that we will host in The Holy Moly which is an official nighttime venue, at the 17th annual Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, April 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2020.

It’s been an ongoing process (over seven years now) to figure out how to live in a Masonic Temple, make it affordable as well as comfortable, and set it up to share with other people. I imagine that most people don’t imagine setting up their dining room and/or living room in a way that allows for workshop-style learning. Notice the long tables behind me in our dining room! We’re anxious to fill those chairs with people who will come to Clarksdale (birthplace of the blues) to learn how to play the blues on a mountain dulcimer.

I know I don’t look like I’ve got the blues in the photo below…..and I don’t…..except for the kind of blues you get when you can’t play dulcimer with a bunch of other people who play dulcimers. I’ll admit to having those blues pretty often. Otherwise, my quirky life in two countries is grand…..quite grand, if I can call it that, living in a Masonic Temple.

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Information about registration, workshops, and instructors for the Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival, along with the location and accommodation details, can be found at www.DeltaBluesDulcimerRevival.com. Click here for the press release.

Time Well Spent!

My time in the last three months has been spent appreciating life in Australia, sharing time with family and friends, building strength (mentally and physically), and taking a few road-trips with Adrian.

I try to look for beauty wherever I am, and I usually find it! Being surrounded by beauty, relaxes me and makes me breathe easier…..even when I am climbing steps in a rain forest!

Here are a few snapshots from a recent trip to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

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Road-trips! I love taking them with my husband, especially when our destinations include meet-ups with friends and family.

A few weeks ago our road-trip allowed us to visit our friend, Terry Hennessy, in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. We enjoyed hearing Terry’s stories, seeing the unusual puppets and musical instruments that he has built, and sharing meals together.

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Luckily, Adrian and I don’t have to go all the way to Kangaroo Valley to see kangaroos! I photographed this mob during a 10 minute drive from my home in Daylesford, Victoria.

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The beauty of these funny animals never grows old. I often wear a kangaroo necklace which Adrian gave me about 10 years ago. Kangaroos symbolise moving forward in life, as they cannot jump backward. Isn’t that beautiful! I happily wear my kangaroo and enjoy moving forward in life with Adrian.

 

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Speaking of beauty….the views from my passenger seat during road-trips in Australia provide an abundance of it! Beauty inspires me, and I like to be inspired.

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Speaking of inspiration…..I’m always inspired and energised by visits with good friends. Adrian and I recently reconnected in real-life with our friends, Pip Cowan and Graeme Padgett, at the Murray River Horse Trails. We spent a lovely afternoon watching the horses, patting dogs, making new friends, and playing music that made hearts dance. That’s a successful road-trip event and an afternoon well spent, if you ask me!

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Having Fun With Friends!

Adrian and I took a trip to Numurkah, Victoria, Australia, to visit our friend, Pip Cowan.

Pip has been to Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA, recently. By just a few days, we missed seeing each other in America and had to catch up in Numurkah.

Pip has an interesting story to tell about his travel to the Mississippi Delta in his wordpress blog: Busking My Way to Mississippi.

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It was a pleasure to visit with Pip!  While Adrian and I were visiting Pip, we met one of his good friends, Graeme Padgett. Graeme runs a horse trail riding business near Numurkah.

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Pip and Graeme are two of my new, very fascinating, Aussie friends!

Another wonderful road trip took us to visit Adrian’s long-time friends in Port Fairy, Victoria: Brian and Claire Atkins, a beautiful couple of artists! It was a 20+ year reunion for Adrian, while I enjoyed getting to know these lovely, talented, interesting, people. Claire is a glass artist, and Brian is a retired boat builder (his grandson, Nick, has taken up the business). They are both fantastic story-tellers, too! It was a pleasure to get to know Brian and Claire.

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What a beautiful place Port Fairy is!

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There are a lot of things I can do in this world, but one of the most valuable things is spending time with friends and family. I always feel blessed when time is spent this way.

My Musical Life in Australia

I’m starting the new year here in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, and feeling blessed by that.

A few of my friends have posted Facebook posts about good-riddance to 2016. I’m not sure I feel the same, but I am happy to be moving forward with a positive mental attitude about 2017! The new year started with the Table Hill duo (that’s me and my husband) playing music at the Radio Springs Hotel on the 8th of January in the centre of the universe. Lucky me!

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Dulcimer Cartoon by Carla Maxwell — Adrian Kosky and Carla Maxwell, players

As I sit and write, in my little house on Table Hill road, I’m listening to my hubby play and sing about sitting on top of the world. That feels pretty good — all of it — the sitting, the blogging, the listening to my hubby, being in the little house on Table Hill road.

Table Hill will play again in Lyonville on January 22 @ 12:30 p.m., February 2 @ 6:30 p.m., February 9 @ 6:30 p.m., February 26 @ 12:30 p.m., and March 2 @ 6:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. The phone number is 03 5348 5562. Come on over, if you can!

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Dulcimer Cartoon by Carla Maxwell — Adrian Kosky and Carla Maxwell, players

Happy New Year!

 

My American Life — June 2016

AdrianCarla_9130My few summer months in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, passed by quickly (too quickly), as I enjoyed life there with my husband, Adrian, and Miss Jelly Bean. We had lots of lovely visits with family & friends and a few wonderful road trips. A three-to-four month timeframe doesn’t seem like enough time to be in some places, sometimes, but at other times, that’s plenty of time to do something good and move forward.

I’m here in America now, with Adrian, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, having my second summer of this year. Already, it’s very hot, although this Mississippi Delta summer has just begun.

Adrian and I have been enjoying a visit from our Australian friend and bandmate, Phil McNamara. Phil is The Holy Moly’s first guest Artist-in-Residence! We’re happy to have Phil’s help in setting up a system for future artists in residence at The Holy Moly. PhilMac2

Our friend from Portland, Victoria, Australia, is also coming and going, visiting us in Clarksdale, and sharing her amazing enthusiasm for life and travel, not to mention her knowledge of knitting! I’ve been her obedient student, knitting my days away for months, and loving it. Currently, I’m waiting for Jacqui to return to help me finish up Adrian’s V-neck vest which is in progress but was put on hold the minute I actually began to knit the V in the v-neck vest.

Meanwhile, craft bear work is my specialty! I’ve been knitting up little cuties — I’m enjoying my new love of craft bear (as opposed to craft beer, get it? hahahaha) — and having a lot of fun with photographing them.Bears640

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Carla Maxwell’s Mountain Dulcimer

Adrian and I recently played for the breakfast crowd at the Bluesberry Cafe in Clarksdale. There’s music there every weekend morning, just around the corner from our house! Bluesberry_9084

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As far as family life goes, I’m loving being on this continent, closer to my all American daughter and other family members. We have had several really good visits, recently, and I am thankful for that! Our family’s big news is that Alex is getting married! Her fiancé, Kevin, is a fabulous addition to our family. We’re having fun with the excitement that goes along with planning a marriage. alex_9504

Adrian and I are working on the latest ideas in The Holy Moly project and moving forward, slowly, but surely, always in the pursuit of happiness and our next Waffle House experience.Waffles_9431