Boulder Coffeehouse in Fitchburg MA PRESS RELEASE


CONTACT: Nate Smith

The Boulder Coffeehouse on Saturday, February 9th, 7:30pm, features Fran LaMalva!!

Fran La Malva has been around for a while in these parts and has delighted every single crowd he’s performed for.

Fran L Malva copyright Nate Smith
Fran L Malva copyright Nate Smith

His polished and intricate guitar styles and arresting vocals capture each song equisitely, whether its one of his own compositions or maybe a Chris Smither tune or something else.  A very heartwarming experience!

Regular Coffeehouse goers may recall him from May, 2009 and we are blessed to have him return.  Not only does Fran play at the top-shelf level, but he also builds his own guitars and will bring two of them to the show Saturday.  His luthier business is located at and he hails from Groton, MA.

Proceeds from the $5 suggested donations will go to a local non-profit organization chosen by the feature performer.

The Boulder Coffeehouse is a smoke-free, alcohol-free, fair-trade coffee, candlelit venue for folk and other musical genres, located at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 923 Main Street on the Upper Common, Fitchburg, MA, Note that parking in the Post Office lot is no longer allowed.  The show begins at 7:30.  You are welcome to visit our website at .

Email or call 978-345-2661 for more details.

Suggested freewill donation is $5 at the door.  Non-perishable food goods are also encouraged.  Throughout the evening a delicious assortment of baked goods, teas, and coffees will be available for your pleasure.

Email regarding open mike spots. Sound reinforcement is provided by JB Sound.  Soundboard recordings of each performance can be requested by each performer in advance for a suggested $3.


Illness is the teacher

I can attest to the truth of these words. A few years back an elder Ojibwe friend told me this. Margaret was a wise woman who spoke volumes in short bursts of wisdom, which I absorbed.

I  have COPD and my lungs and bronchial tubes are at a risk when I catch cold or flu. Since January 1, I have had two bouts of chronic bronchitis. Both times I needed antibiotics for five days. I am on a five day regiment now.

I believe in complimentary medicine. I know that some seeds, herbs and plants are good for treating respiratory ailment.

Come spring, I will transplant more woodland medicinal plants in the woods that my family owns in Fitchburg, MA.

Today, I am making a tea with fresh anise seed (breaks up bronchial mucus.)  I added dried peppermint( energizer), Throat Coat tea by Traditional Medicinals.

I learned about the benefits of slippery elm bark, cinnamon bark, wild cherry bark and fennel seeds and they are some of the ingredients that make up Throat Coat tea.

After I let the tea come to a boiling point, I turn stove off and let the concoction sit for a least five minutes.

I strain the tea and pour the ingredients into a tall drinking container. Before I add the tea, I squeeze a lemon slice and honey into the drinking container first. I remember my grandmother making hot fresh squeezed lemon and honey as a drink. It helped me sweat out a cold.

I guess I can call this experiment a COPD herbal tea that I am documenting. Let’s see how it goes…………..

A Story About O-Dark-Thirty from The Writer Magazine

A Story About O-Dark-Thirty from The Writer Magazine.

As a member of the Veteran’s Writing Project military family, I support veterans and the healing power of writing their truth in stories.

I am a widow of a Vietnam veteran and a published author of two children’s books. I believe in the power of telling our own stories.

I subscribed to the Journal, which I donate to the City of Fitchburg Veterans’ Office.


Entertainment Scene in Fitchburg MA

Entertainment Scene in Fitchburg MA. This is more publishing news in the music arena. Check out artists and their links in the article. Enjoy!

To read full article, visit


Garden Group Lecture with Roger Swain

Sunday January 13, 2013
2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Location: Meeting Hall A&B Townsend MA Public Library

Roger Swain copyright Harvard Press
Roger Swain copyright Harvard Press

Roger Swain, “the man with the red suspenders”, is recognized by millions as host of The Victory Garden, television’s longest-running gardening show. For fifteen years Roger planted and pruned, harvested and chatted with PBS viewers across the country.

More recently, he co-hosted People, Places and Plants on HGTV, a show which celebrates New England gardens and gardeners, and features Roger’s commentary, “Food for Thought.” Biologist, gardener, writer and storyteller, Roger Swain was born and raised outside Boston Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, and went on to earn a Ph.D. , studying the behavior in ants in tropical rain forests, before becoming Science Editor of Horticulture magazine.

Since 1978 readers have been enjoying Roger’s essays and articles in that magazine, as well as his five books: Earthly Pleasures, Field Days, The Practical Gardener, Saving Graces, and Groundwork. When he is not editing, writing, filming, or meeting with gardeners across the country, Roger can be found at work in the orchard and gardens of his New Hampshire farm.

Roger Swain received the Alice Milton Award for Design from the Worcester County Horticultural Society in 2012, the American Horticultural Society Award for Writing in 1992, and in 1996 he was awarded the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gold Medal for his “power to inspire others.”

I am attending the event. Hopefully, I will come back with photos and story to share afterwards.

MASSCreative needs art and cultural advocates

MASSCreative needs art and cultural advocates. I hope you will join me in helping MASSCreative with a petition to support the arts and culture in Massachusetts. What you can learn is possibly how to help your own creative city.





Styron on Books and Writing and More…

I support the good work that Veterans Writing Project is doing. Read more about them. As American citizens we have a responsibility to all veterans after they return home. Only then could the Veteran suffer the horror of war and the damage it can do.

Veterans Writing Project

Over at the Paris Review they’ve just put up part of one of their interviews with Marine veteran William Styron (Sophie’s Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner, etc…). It’s worth a read. Styron’s life of letters crossed over into politics pretty often, apparently. But the bit at the bottom about the attributes of a good writer seems pitch perfect to me.

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First Parish UU hosting Boulder Coffeehouse

Laura Doell published the following article in The Open Door, a monthly newsletter of First Parish UU. This link is to January 2013 Newsletter at

I am looking forward to this event as well as others that I will share as time permits  Culture and Arts are alive in Fitchburg, MA. Hopefully, some of you nearby can stop by for a fun night out.



Sat. Jan. 12th 7:30 p.m.

Eric Blackmer
Eric Blackmer

Eric Blackmer (photo courtesy of Google Images) is many things to many people, multifaceted. He has just released an album of original music titled “How I Survived the 00s”. On the surface Eric Blackmer is a folk musician, a singer songwriter and acoustic guitar player from Peterborough, NH. But he is also a studio builder, a recording and live sound engineer and much, much more. Blackmer has a long history in Rock and Folk music.

In the late 60s he was in the band, Simonpure, with David Frank, later of The System. In the early 70s he played hot single cylinder rock & roll with Velocette, and then with Art Attack he backed up Slaphappy at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. Meanwhile, he performed with Lucy Sollogub as Coleus and the Unicorn, a dulcimer- guitar duo.

Then for several decades marriage and family took precedence. He began performing again in the late 90s with Full Cold Moon, an acoustic trio playing original & Celtic music. Proceeds from the $5 suggested donations will go to a local non-profit organization chosen by the feature performer.

The Boulder Coffeehouse is a smoke-free, alcohol-free, fair-trade coffee, candlelit venue for folk and other musical genres. Suggested freewill donation is $5 at the door. Non-perishable food goods are also encouraged. Through out the evening a delicious assortment of baked goods, teas, and fair trade coffee will be available for your pleasure.

Email regarding open mike slots in advance of the show.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

First Thursdays in Fitchburg MA

The city of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, comes alive the First Thursday of each month. Several events have been ongoing for months if not years.

Butterfly Woman Publishing
Butterfly Woman Publishing

For the first time, Butterfly Woman Publishing, Inc.  participated as a Vendor at the First Thursday Fitchburg Farmers Market, at Fitchburg Art Museum. The museum welcomes the community to participate at the museum, FOR FREE, on the First Thursday of each month. Through a generous grant, Ward Four residents are granted an annual free membership. First Thursday at the museum is dedicated to the Fitchburg Farmers Market. Other events may occur on the same evening, which proves to enhance the event. More traffic is generated when different functions take place.

The Fiddler's Gardens
The Fiddler’s Gardens Steve and Sue

Last night was no exception. Sheila Lumi, Community Organizer, invited Steve and Sue of The Fiddler’s Gardens to play Celtic music. Sue plays fiddle and Steve plays guitar. I absolutely loved it. I am sold on the idea of partnering.

I am a member of Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg Farmers Market Association. Can you imagine setting up a table next to the Hudson River School Painting Exhibit? Yes, there are several rooms devoted to American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting, on exhibit through June 2.  There was also art on the walls where I was stationed. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of this program. I was raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, home to the oldest thoroughbred horse races in the world. Saratoga is near the Hudson River with its magnificent views. Fitchburg Art Museum has landscape paintings of Lake George and Seneca Lake, which are right in my childhood backyard.

VeeLashua Vee Lashua and her son Zack, student St. Andrews School, were selling fresh eggs, vegetables, and organic meat. I bought two pounds of grass fed ground beef and pork chops last month. This month I bought two dozen eggs (yes they are that good), cut kale, and beets. Vee’s crops are delicious and the pork chops are the best I have ever eaten. Zack was selling fresh made “Award Winning” chili that his mother had made. I had a bowl and suggested Vee make chili again for next month. It was delicious. They also served hot chocolate.

Nick Capasso and Terry Impostato
Nick Capasso and Terry Impostato

Nick Capasso, new 10th Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum, stopped by to introduce himself. Nick says, “I am proud to join a museum with deep ties to its community – in Fitchburg and in the surrounding towns and cities in Central New England.” Next month I learned that Nick is planning to host an informal meet and greet reception where he will greet museum visitors.  This is why I love the art scene here. Everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to promoting Fitchburg to the World.

Terry Impostato of Semi Precious Gem Treasures assisted me by restoring some old family jewelry necklaces that had broken. Both were from the 1940s or earlier. The seed pearl necklace is gorgeous now set with some red inland stones and the cinnabar necklace has been interlaced with black onyx. I am well pleased. Now I can start to plan to buy some jewelry each month.

Duffy Lanciani of I shoot Wildlife.
Duffy Lanciani of I shoot Wildlife.

Robert “Duffy” Lanciani was there last night representing his wife Mary, who was ill. Mary is a fabulous photographer. Matter of fact, I bought two of her photos made up as greeting cards. Naturally one was a wet monarch and the other was a standing bear in fall. They both shoot nature, wildlife, artistic impressions. Check them out at

Janice Oikelmus recently relocated to Fitchburg from San Francisco.
Janice Oikelmus recently relocated to Fitchburg from San Francisco.

Afterwards, I walked over to First Parish Church to participate in the monthly First Thursday Drummers Group that starts at 7 p.m. The music led me to the meeting room. How warm it was to see a Music Alter set with instruments around the lit candles set for intention.

Music alter honoring intentions
Music alter honoring intentions

Some participants’ play drums; others played talking sticks, flutes and wind primitive handmade instruments, while melodic drumming kept the beat.

Sacred gourd
Sacred gourd

I immediately fell into a meditative mood and played my gourd rattle that I grew and dried. Nature provides musical instruments.  I would have liked to stay longer, but it had been a long day already.  I did a wrap within an hour and walked home with Glenda Littlehale. We both live at The Sundial.

One can only anticipate that things are getting better in downtown Fitchburg. The more we partner and enjoy the fruits of our labors, the better we become.