Tuesday, May 6, 2008


JW Country...
And just why I'm a Country boy!

From rural Wisconsin, welcome to my little space here on the web! I'm a country boy, born and raised on the outskirts of town (Chippewa Falls). I've watched as the farmfields gradually got consumed by the housing developments, and finally even my family ended up having to move into the new subdivision when the Hwy 29 project hit our old house. We managed to retain about half of our old land, and actually pick up a few more acres from our neighbor whose land got sliced in half by the highway. There, my dad began to establish a fledgling nursery and lanscaping business. That was the year 2000. Our nursery is now doing significantly better than at first, and we are generally kept busy all summer with miscellaneous landscaping and pond building thru at least September, when we have to start closing things down for winter. My photography fits in well with the landscaping business, since I have a nearly unlimited supply of subjects here, and we need pictures taken for promotion anyway!
Check us out on the web!

We have also always had a decent size garden on the place. I remember when I was small- 5 or 6 probably- my dad would grow many grocery sacks of shell beans, and it was my job to shell them. My older brother(s) grew snap beans and some years, cucumbers. The beans we cut and froze or canned (my sister got so fast at cutting beans it was amazing to watch; she still is quite fast) I eventually mastered the art of rapid bean cutting too, but not quite as well as my sister!

The year 1995 stands out as the year we grew a HUGE number of cucumbers. We tried to sell them out at the road in a stand--a few people came. Whatever didn't sell, we pickled. The spiny things were washed in batches in the washtub outside, and then prepared for pickling. We made mostly bread&butter pickles, and we made so many of them that we still have some left on the pantry shelf!

I started growing watermelons in 2000; just a halfhearted attempt at first, but I got more serious about it when an unknown stray plant came up in the strawberry patch in 2002. That plant grew extremely fast, and it soon became apparent that it intended to make giant melons!

One of those melons currently holds the record for the largest watermelon I have ever grown, at 39 lbs.! Another is still #2 at 37 lbs., and I forget how many ounces. My #3 melon, I picked last summer, 2007, at 34 lbs 9oz. (pictured) Many of my melons make it to 18 lbs or more. My favorite varieties are the Sweet Favorite, (only available thru Jung Seeds), and the Glory Sugar (an enhanced version of Sugar Baby available thru Pinetree Garden Seeds). Both varieties I have had great luck with; I have played with several other varieties, but have had mixed results.

I could probably type stories and events for the rest of the night here; tell about the chickens, my weather records since '98, and all manner of amusing things, but I want to get down to the other reasons this post is named JWCountry.

I am what you could call a "Christian, Country Music Fan". I like good old Country, Folk, and gospel music (especially when they mix!) Because I am a Christian, I do not care for the drinkin' and cheatin' that typically stereotypes Country Music. I don't feel that those things line up with what God is like.

Above all, I like good Country because it's down-home; about ordinary life, family, love, and God. The next reason is the music itself-- There's something about that steel guitar that I just love! My favorite instruments are the steel guitar, fiddle, dobro, guitar and banjo. Oh, and don't forget the drum! Generally speaking, I like the soft Country, and the 'crooning' Country styles; there's always a few exceptions! *EDIT* Actually rockin' Country ain't too bad either! Call it all personal preference, but I say Country's the heartbeat of real life haha :)

I cut my teeth on folk music about 10 yrs ago. Peter Paul and Mary are still great favorites!
Recently, I discovered a new group from Canada: The Wailin' Jennys- man are they good!! I got to run lights for their show Feb. 21,2008 at the Heyde Center. Very close harmonies; amazing show!
And don't forget our own hometown musician, songwriter, and historian Jerry Way.
*EDIT* Did I mention Anna Johnson??? I met her after this post was originally written haha :) Hometown folk-pop musician now living in Nashville TN! Check her out at www.myspace.com/annajohnsonmusic

Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, Don Williams, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Josh Turner, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, and Paul Overstreet are probably my favorite Country artists, but there are countless songs in my collection by miscellaneous artists. I do not recommend every song sung by the artists in this list, but there are a huge number of their songs that are very good. Oh yeah, and who wouldn't like newcomers Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift--modern sound, but man, can they sing; and they're both so cute!!

Hey, check out Alan Jackson's gospel album Precious Memories. I recommend this one entirely!
This album was apparently originally recorded as a gift for Alan's mother.

New Country News (2008): George Strait recently scored his record-breaking 43rd Billboard #1 at the beginning of May 2008-- with I Saw God Today. (it was his 56th #1 on another chart) I can't think of a better song that he could have broken the record with. I think it is the best song of his that I have ever heard! It stood at #1 for 2 weeks; George Strait now has the most Billboard #1's of any recording artist, at least in Country Music.

*EDIT* I suppose that now that it is 2011, I should say something more modern? hahaha my current favorite songs would be Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer", and Lady Antebellum's "We Owned the Night".

Hey, that's all for now! See y'all later,


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