I write about country music. Mostly.

Five Favorites for Karen Loves Country

It has been awhile since a “Five Favorites” post to share my short list of things currently tripping my trigger. Not only are these posts super fun to write, they also surface cool and beloved personal favorites from readers. So, read on and then let me know what are the best gadgets, trinkets, experiences, etc. in your world right now. Just reply to this post or comment on Facebook or at Twitter.

Karen’s Five Favorites: September 2018:

1.) Walks in the country.

Walk in the country

Lots of sunshine in Iowa this week. I love our walk/bike path that’s nestled along some really tall corn. The path was built about ten years ago and it connects our teensy town of 1,400 with the big town of 6,000, two miles away. If I’m lucky during my walk I meet our 94 year old neighbor Bob who is famous for handing out kindness and Hershey bars.

2.  Spinning gourds

Spinning gourdsThese little gourds of yesteryear were once used as toy spinning tops for school kids. They are fun to grow and display. I bought the seeds I planted last spring from Seed Savers Exchange.  I learned of the gourds after my gardener friend Joan grew buckets of the little gems a few years ago. They are easy to grow and I now have bowls of them around my house.

3. The 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know list from Rolling Stone

IMG_2EE9A7226828-1Yep, a list made my list. If you want a great tip sheet for finding the best new country artists, Rolling Stone Country’s 10 New Artists You Need to Know is hard to beat. Three of the ten that made the grade in September happen to be acts I caught live in the last six weeks:

Abby Anderson was magical as she made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry September 8.


Great voice, a sassy vibe, and cute as a button.  Check her out.

Without a doubt my favorite of the list is Rolling Stone pick Kirby Brown. He played my local music spot the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel in Davenport, IA, on Sept 1. Couldn’t miss that. No way. Last year I had the loveliest phone interview with him and I couldn’t wait to see him live. He didn’t disappoint as he sang many of the numbers from his new album Uncommon Prayer. For intelligent lyrics and hooky as heck melodies, check out Kirby.

The Artisanals treated the #Fine2Day festival audience with a rollicking, high energy set at the barn — Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa, IA —  on August 10. Like rootsy 70s-ish rock, with a measure of Frank Zappa showmanship, you’ll like The Artisanals.  Super fun. They are coming back to The Raccoon on November 24, 2018.  Get your tix here.

4. AK Ballet Flats

My day job includes planning corporate events and if my feet hurt I can’t concentrate on the work. AK Ballet Flats are perfect for dressy days when I’m zipping around at a new property or construction site to put up signs, move a podium, run to grab last minute stuff, or greet a local mayor or TV reporter. Some flats are way too skimpy for a middle-aged mama but AK’s flats are built with thick, cushy soles. They wear like sneakers. After I bought the golden-silvery (AK Alexa) pair shown on the left, I bought a few more. I found the three (yes, threeeee) AK Alexa styles at DSW for $49.99 each. AK has lots of similar ballet flat styles.  Other comfy shoes on my radar are All Birds and Rothys.  I’m interested if anyone can give a review.


5. Measure by Apple

I updated my iPhone earlier this week and I think by doing that the app Measure landed on my phone. I wish it was there when I moved into our new house earlier this year. With Measure, your phone is both a level and a ruler. It is awesome.


To experiment I shifted a painting in our hallway to a slightly wonky angle. The shot at left was three degrees off plumb. Then I used my phone to straighten it out. At right it is level. Is that cool or what? (And aren’t Aunt Betty’s fall leaves watercolors lovely?) Excuse my blurry photos.

Measure also serves as a handy ruler. Here you can see a screenshot I captured as I measured half of our living room ottoman.  Why I would need that I haven’t a clue.  Too lazy to get up from the couch to experiment I suppose.  This would be a great tool for decorators!IMG_4A61B39B9272-1

I hope you enjoy @KarenLovesCountry. Please consider following this blog here on WordPress, at Facebook, or on Twitter @fanmama1. Thanks for reading! #CountryMusic #FiveFavorites #AKAlexa #RollingStoneCountry #Americana #KirbyBrown #AbbyAnderson #TheArtisanals  #KarenLovesCountry #MomLovesHerMusic

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