Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Journey

Tomorrow after school I am getting into my car and heading south. I have spent the evening packing, getting orders together to go out, and I doubt that I will have time to do my lesson plans tonight. That will have to be squeezed in during the day tomorrow. Another day of 10,000 things.

But after that I am heading to help my sister with her 12 and 2 year old as she is having baby Alexander, who will probably be her last child as she is 41.

I am excited about being with the girls, and of being somewhere else. Though I will have responsibilities there, I am leaving all the ones I have here behind. Too much has gone one, too much stress the past several weeks since I have returned from California. It is time to go away again and embark on another journey. I am lucky that I can rapidly discharge my stress when I leave my home. I wish I could find peace there, but I have not figured that out yet.

I have solved my car music problem as I returned the transmitter for the IPOD (dont' bother unless you buy a good one...about 100.00 or so I have heard) and traded it in for the thing that you plug into your IPOD and then the other end is a tape. (25.00) The sound quality of that is much better than the transmitter, and I don't have the patience to be continuously trying to find a station that provides a good signal for the IPOD, especially while I am driving. I still have not pulled the unit from my car to try and fix the CD player, and that won't be for a while. In the meantime, I now have tunes.

I am not sure what I will do in my down time. Explore Pelham? Take a walk? Sit and read? Write? Play on the MAC? Take naps? Compose novelettes in my head? Ruminate on upcoming changes in my life and my purpose and desires?

Stay tuned as I am definately going with all my technology and will be connected. I can't imaging being any other way.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

In Memoriam

I knew Beppo was going to die. She came to me in a dream the night before to say good bye. I know some of you are thinking the I am weird, but I believe in dreams and apparitions. I had a vision of my father dying before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer at a very young age, I have seen the future in brief but brilliant flashes. I have been preparing for this the past 24 hours, and when the phone rang I knew it was about her.

Many of you have suffered the loss of a family pet. They are like small children, who love us unconditionally and ask for so little and give so much. It is not only the loss of a dear pet, but the memories that come with out pets. When and how we got them, why we got them, the travels, the funny times; it is both the loss of the companionship, and the poignance of memory and the past that we mourn.

Beppo signified times of great struggle, times of great joy, and times of sadness, that were connected with this overweight, sometimes obnoxious, but ever loving talkative cat.

She was the only cat that I had that would roll over on command, but only on the kitchen floor. She tolerated Alanna, mainly because the shock collar keep her in three rooms and she could not escape the squeals of a toddler. She was always good with her, and would put out her claw from time to time to stop her from doing something. That was enough and Alanna would come running into me, hysterical.

I don't know how to tell Alanna where she is. I cannot tell her that she was sick and died, as I don't know what kind of connection she will make with her mother's sickness. I think I will tell her that the doctor is keeping her because she is sick for now. Maybe she won't think to ask for her, but I doubt it as very little escapes those ever wandering eyes.

Hard to believe that I will miss a cat that had a major mental problem not even solved with drugs, who would pee in the weirdest of places till I got invisible fence and kept her in three rooms with washable floors. Then she never peed on anything but in her litter box from that point on.

I will miss her meow when she hears me stir upstairs, I will miss her rubbing cat hair all over my legs as I head out the door to work. I will miss her emerald green eyes that got more intense as she got sicker. I will miss her appreciation of the affection and attention that I gave her.

The cycle of life..... patti

Techno Adventures

I fill my days solid with all that I have to do, all those ten thousand things. I hope that the universe grants me nine lives in order to get them done. I did so much that again I ran out of steam to write last night (also being harassed by my hormones is not helping things either), but I have my coffee in hand, and am recharged for the next 15 hours.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I have been into electronics these days. I really want to keep in step with the pop culture and their ease of use of all kinds of technology. Though I STILL WON'T turn on my cell phone when I go out unless I want you to find me, I am slowly becoming plugged into the electronic world.

I got my fabulous phone and hands free headset which will allow me to talk to you while I am working on my house or in my studio. I have avoided calling some of you because there is simply very little time to sit and talk. Being a type A personae, I find it very DIFFICULT to sit, so now I can work and talk.

I also decided to upgrade my computer so that I can add some programs. I have outgrown my RAM and went and bought more. I have not taken my computer apart to install if you don't hear from me you know I screwed something up badly.

I also bought the gadget for my IPOD so that I can play it through the FM in my car, but I am very disappointed in the quality. I wonder if the tape that goes into your tape deck works better as it is not relying on signal, rather goes directly into the car (I think...)

Probably one the the most useful things I need in the future is a GPS system. I have a terrible sense of direction, and a slight phobia about driving places I have never been to, so I am wondering if that might enable me to be less stressed and able go on more radical adventures. For my trip to my sisters this week, (to help her with the girls while she is givig birth to Alex) I bought a map of Westchester so that I can get a sense of where I am and maybe even be adventurous and take a few side trips while the girls are in school.

And, while at my sister's, I will get to explore her Super Mac laptop loaded with every art program I could dream of. I still need a laptop, and am debating on what to do. Buy a cheap one just for writing and minimal photoshop work, or go for a fabulous one which might eventually replace this computer in a few years when it becomes totally obsolete. It's only a matter of money.

We went to visit Beppo in the hospital and spent an hour with her yesterday. The vet is not too optimistic, but I thought she looked great considering the condition she is in and not eating. She purred, stood up a few times, and I am sure was thrilled that we came to visit. They will rerun her blood work again on monday, and then we will know the prognosis. I don't believe in letting an animal (or human for that matter) suffer a long and drawn out death. If she is terminal, then I will be there with her so she can gently drift off to sleep.

Off to dismantle my computer and hope that it helps it a bit.

Today's photo was taken by Larry looking at my studio through a glass globe I have in the garden. It was taken spring of last year; the garden is not quite that lush yet, but I am working on it.

Perhaps I will return later, xxpatti

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Morning Groan

I was too fried to write last night. Some days I just don't have one bit of energy left to think.

I have been busy preparing for a workshop to deliver to art teachers on Monday. The workshop person they had backed out, and here was an opportunity dropped right into my lap to share my expertise on digital photography, Photoshop, and how to incorporate it into the classroom art curriculum. I have a few lessons that I have developed over the years that are amazing. I am delighted to share with others, and in fact, need to start writing them down and submitting them to Art Education journals before someone else does. (the story of my life in designing)

I have been asked to write a few articles for various web sites and been forwarded a request for a submission for an anthology. Though I still am insecure as to my writing abilities (insecurity is unfortunately part of my secret ancient past) I won't get published if I don't submit. And I have been somewhat successful in my art endeavors, so why not writing? I have been practicing by writing diligently to my blog nearly every night for a year now, and my friend Kip assures me I can do anything I want. (everyone needs to have friends like that...)

I never got home till near 5:30, crashed from lack of sleep till 7:30, and then Larry too me to dinner at the Egg's Nest in High Falls, which, if any of you in the Hudson Valley have not been there, should get your butts to this unique and fun eatery. Every inch of the historic building is collage and assemblage and painting. Unique, fun, eccentric, good inexpensive food, and you never know who you might run into there. (I sat and stared at Aidan Quinn's baby blues one

Once I got home, I stared at my computer, shook my head, and bolted upstairs to the soft embrace of my bed. My dreams were troubled, hot flashes all night, and I was upset and woke up as Beppo came to visit me in my dream. Before my other cat Chessie died, she did that too.

I am heading over to the mechanic's to get my switch put in, Larry's car is in there already as it needs a new starter, and I will go and visit Beppo to pet her and let her know I am still here. I have an order to fill and deliver tomorrow, and the card on the blog I made for Mother's Day.

I have NOT become my mother thank God, at least at this point. My mother's story is very sad, and I cannot go there right now. I am proud that I have had the desire and strength to surpass the faults and weakness of my parents, though they have passed me a few new ones that I still struggle with....but I don't mind the challenges as out of them come growth.

Off to start the day and more later. Patti O Block

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Beppo Story

I had just split up with the man who I was going to marry. I had invested six years with him, and I have to say, many of them were fun, full of great dinners, travel, and he was good to my young children. But one day he realized he was not in love with me any more, and it ended. In the blink of an eye, in the beat or lack of a beat of the heart.

I took my dignity and my love, packed them in with the rest of my belongings, and once again I left my home with kids in tow, and Chessie my calico cat, howling in the front seat of the U-Haul, wrapped around my neck.

I picked up the remains of my life and started all over again. My children did not understand the affairs of the heart and had a really rough time. While selling my cards at the local artsy flea market,(where I got a start to the businesses I now run) I saw a litter of kittens that someone was giving away. I chose the most friendly one for Megan as she was having a horrid time of it all.

We named her Beppo, after a monkey whose antics lived in an antique Mother Goose book I had of my fathers. Beppo was rocked in a cradle, Beppo wore a baby t-shirt to bed. Beppo was a cool cat till Megan moved out 5 years ago, and then she developed some really weird habits.

Needless to say we kept her in spite of her annoyances and tempermental behavior, and we loved and spoiled her.

Today I took her to the vet. She has kidney failure. Megan called me from a party..I was torn about telling her. I did not want to make her sad. But I also wanted to give her the opportunity to see her tomorrow should she get worse. I don't think Megan is ready to let go of her yet.

Beppo is a symbol of survival, of love, of healing, of starting over again.
I told the doctors to please give her lots of love and talking to as that is the very thing that will keep her alive. I will visit her tomorrow with Megan and Alanna if they let us. I hope that seeing us will keep her spirit strong.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Far Off World

I am only going to drop a quick bomb here and leave, as I sacrificed my evening and blog time tonight to watch the Bill Moyers special on PBS about the lies the Government fed us on the War on Iraq and how the press facilitated the war and it's support of it.

I hope many people watched it, as for me, it was just "preaching to the choir". And, unfortunately, because I was exhausted from going non-stop from 6 am till 9 pm, I fell asleep about a half hour into it.

What I woke up to was a French reporter (was he a reporter- I am not sure but that is inconsequential as to what he was) who went into the Sudan, describing the horrors of genocide in the country and how the world is turning a blind eye to it. I did a bit of research and discovered that many states, universities and retirement systems have investments in countries "that do major business in the African nation of Sudan" Hawaii was making a move that was socially responsible by forbidding such investments.

Wow, you learn something new every day....and the general public needs to not look at the "far off world" as something distant and not part of their life.

Off to sleep with troubled dreams. patti

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back on Ebay

I have not listed on eBay in ages. It takes a lot of time, and I have had precious little of it. But I have this very cool lot of antique Hawaii photographs and real photo postcards, and I am enjoying doing the research in order to describe them as best as possible, and learning along the way.

This is a detail of a photo of a James Armstrong (on the left) in Oahu, Hawaii, in 1919. He owned hundreds of acres of rice fields. He is shown here standing in a cactus patch. Cactus were raised as fodder for cattle! He has some wild looking hair.

My eBay link is to the right if you want to see the other photos and cards I have listed. For future listings I have a photo of Edward, the Prince of Wales which is WAY well as erupting volcanos, funerals, skulls and more. I need to get my customer base back as the summer is coming and I will be doing the "hussle".

I was not in the greatest of moods today....I slept very little last night, woke up with a headache, had to deal with my car and a long day at school. I took my car to the mechanic who conferred my opinion that the battery was shot, and then he showed me why my light/and alarm were not working. The door switch was broken. Then I asked him about taking out the stereo and he printed up the schematics to get it out. He advised my NOT trying to take the unit apart.....just take it out, have it sent out to be fixed. I will see how far I get! Did I ever tell you my readers, that when I was 19 I was a safety mechanic on U Haul trucks?! (ok no U-Haul horror stories) Jamie, my mechanic, rocks...he takes such good care of me and my car!

At least the best was for last; my friend Tom and his son Nate stopped by, and later had a delightful evening dinner with Alanna, another good friend, and Larry out on the back porch which we opened up this past weekend. We had potato leak soup, brie and crackers, green and bead salad, and pasta with homemade marinara sauce. I have to say both the company and the dinner rocked!

So off to bed I go, I felt at peace by the end of the evening, and tomorrow is a new day.

Guten Nacht! Patti

Monday, April 23, 2007

There are no medals in this lifetime.....

I had a crazy busy day today doing budgets, phone calls for photo equipment, some digital work for school, as well as writing up awards for the kids recognition ceremony today, most of which while teaching 7 periods of art. To top it off, we had an end of the day meeting.

I had a doc appointment as the school nurse did not like the look of the toe nail on the toe that had been infected. Lynn looks at my foot and sure enough, I probably need surgery. I insisted on valium if that is the case as NO f$#%#^ doctor is coming near me with a knife ever again unless I am stupified and don't care. I know I have to deal with this..infection can be deadly with metal plates and screws only a few inches away from the site.

My doctor knows the stress I am going through, and she told me that when I cried in her office last month (the first time in 20+ years and I have had some tough shit go down over the past 25 years...) that it upset her very much. She said out of all the women she has ever treated, I was one who gave so much and have had nothing but heartbreak, and that I deserved a medal. I replied: "there are no medals in this just do what you have to do", and I hugged her, and left.

I went out to my car and it was dead again. I made a call or two to get a ride, no one was around, so I walked the 2 miles home. I was ok with it. It gave me time to think (like I already don't do that enough) it was 80 degrees and DRY, I was dressed comfortably, and almost welcomed the forced exercise and meditation of the journey. It was, simply put, another adventure. It is one of my tools that I pull out that helps me keep a smile on my face.

So my car has a major electrical problems I think. I always seem to get electrical problems in my cars which could never be found..Larry said my crazy energy fries out the electrical system of things. I say haha bite me (only kidding..)

Larry's car has something wrong with it and it is going into the shop, and I may have to bite the bullet and rent a car till one or both of our cars are fixed. When it rains, it pours. But, you know, it is really nothing when you think of all the other possibilites.

Off to bed I go. I am tired and will crawl up the stairs and probably pass out in a heartbeat.

Thanks for listening to me whine...and I have only told you half the story. I will save that for a different entry, or for Megan's blog, where it really belongs.

Give me strength...give me strength...or GIVE ME MONEY!!!!!!!! patti

Sunday, April 22, 2007

To Till the Earth

This past weekend Larry and I worked hard to start our yard clean up. I only have 1/10 of an acre or so, a city lot, but it is filled with many gardens and lots of plants and shrubs that have to be raked, and trimmed or pruned. I have two herb and veggie gardens, fenced in to keep out the deer, that needed major work. I weeded and turned over the smaller one, and planted my bed of violas and pansies, along with putting in my peas and spinach.

Larry had a major problem with the larger garden, as he has planted peppermint and spearmint in it, and in a short few years, it had taken over 1/3 of the garden. He did clean a major amount of it up, and we rid the rest of the garden from the carcasses of last year's tomato plants and the various varieties of pernicious weeds that love to live in my garden such as spurge, purslaine, and one other that I cannot find in my weed book. BUT it is ready to turn over, and I will be putting in my mesclun and various lettuces in the next week.

This year is the year of getting things done. I did get my taxes done AHEAD of time, and I swear that the tomatoes will be in well before June. Hopefully my friend's son will come over and start to chop down my shrubs in the front of my house. The yews have grown too big over the past 50+ years, and they dwarf my modest home.

It felt great to be doing some gardening, the sun on my body, my muscles waking up from a long winter's nap. My legs always get sore in the beginning, from all the crouching that I have to do. The pitchfork work usually does not bother me, just makes me stronger and firmer. I bet if I did this every day I would have some muscles.

Later Megan invited us over for our first barbeque, complete with a fire pit and fire, roasting marshmallows, and throwing hot cocoa into the flames. (bet you've never done THAT!) I saw my first mosquitos (that did not take long!) and my hair smells of fire and wood.

Here is a photo of Megan, Alanna and I. Megan goes for one last PET scan tuesday to determine if indeed all the cancer cells are gone. She told me she was stage II, and when they found the other tumor they bumped her up to Stage IV, but since the cancer cells vanished so fast, they are reconsidering whether or not it is indeed Stage IV. Let's hope that it was there all along, and she is indeed only stage II.
Her hair is still falling out, and once the chemo and radiation is done, the doctors are going to try and get her blood back in order, treat her ulcers and all the other problems she has.

It was a weekend of work, but it is a pleasure and so grounding to have my hands in the dirt and to start my organic garden, and best of all to visit, laugh, and play with my family.

Off to take a hot bath and prepare my psyche for work tomorrow. I know I will sleep well tonight!

Love the earth and treat it with respect, cause if we destroy it, where will be go?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Secret Place

My dear cousin who reads my blog from time to time may know this secret place. It is a place where we played as children, in a time of innocence, in a time when we did not know or understand the journeys and imperfections of our parents. There was no cause and effect, and the dark things were buried safely within our psyche....all that existed was joy in the most simple of things.

It is that joy that I revist from time to time, and I think of Joni Mitchell's song My Secret Place. Here, in a bit a creative writing, is a glimpse of my secret place....

In my world of fantasy, a world of unbridled passions and kisses that last a lifetime, I have a special place. It is a place that is tucked in between cool dark pines, where you breathe deeply and are transported to a time of agelessness and beauty. In a tiny field of sunshine and wildflowers rests my cottage, my refuge from the world and a place where only the sweetest of dreams come true.

This little cottage painted the bright red of pulsing blood, is adorned with the wildest and most fragrant white roses, their thorns carefully shielding themselves from my longing touch. In the gardens peonies bow gracefully, blueberries sing to birds., and grapes hang heavy from ancient arbors.

This cottage, simply filled, presents with a pot belly stove, a refrigerator, a table and a few chairs. In one corner is my easel, in another my rocking chair with a pile of books. The tiny bedrooms hold ancient beds, whose springs squeal family stories, and are covered with dolls - crackled, worn, whispering lullabies from the ghosts of children who once touched their faces.

In there I paint, while the airs of cellos, oboes and violins caress me. In there I visit my ghosts of my past. In there I seek truth and love and paint my visions and find the answers to HOW WHY WHEN WHERE AND SO? and leave fragments of clues for others to gather on their own journeys.

In there I find peace.

May your all have your secret place, and most of all, may it be a place of peace and of rest. patti

Friday, April 20, 2007

Twin & Earth Day

Though Earth day is two days away and is on a sunday, I decided to sport my earth day t-shirt during our annual twin day at school with my friend Leah.

My friend Lois has an Aveda salon in Rhinebeck and the company sent her these t-shirt for earth day awareness. She gave me a few, and thus the outfit for twin day was born. Leah and I LOVE when we have an excuse to wear our leather pants and cowboy boots (its fun to be biker chics for a day) and I dug out my studded belt. The kids were fascinated that we had worn t-shirts, and many wanted to know the message. Instead of the typical satirical potty humor that the kids often sport, ours carried a message: " Every 15 seconds a child dies from a lack of access to clean water". It prompted many conversations and I was glad that we got the kids to think of something other than themselves. "One small change at a time" I tell myself.

We made the day fun, and as the school photographer I took lots of picture this week as it was spirit week. Crazy hair, mis-match day, hat day, inside out day, and twin day. I love the energy it promotes and it is times like these that keep me revved.

I went out for a while with some friends later on, and enjoyed the warmth of the sun (finally) and felt a slight stirring of spring fever deep within me. This weekend is supposed to be glorious, and I will clean out some of the gardens, and with any luck, plant some lettuce and snow peas.

The warmth of the sun will feel good upon my body, and the smell of the damp earth puts me in touch with nature.

And it is all good.

To spring and to honoring the earth, Patti

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April Showers bring Morels and Ramps in May

It was a day of wonderful energy from kids and from friends, and was comforting and inspiring. After meeting Rob in New Paltz for a light bite, a coffee from Starbucks, and a stroll along Main Street on a sunny spring day, I headed home.

The sun was low in the sky, shooting beautiful rays into the clouds. I wanted to stop and take photos, but I had left the camera in school. On my ride home the fields from the Wallkill River looked like huge lakes, and the road I traveled on had only recently been opened again. It was surreal.

I hope that it will get nice and warm and the moisture will make for a good morel season (maybe this year my ankle will be strong enough to go with my friend for a few hunts). Oh, and wild ramps. They make a wonderful substitute for leaks in a creme of potato leak soup. I find the hunt for both exhilarating, especially when it is really warm and we take her little Miata and ride with the top down, the warm air rushing through our hair. We almost always laugh.... BUT this year I will protect myself with that poison ivy guard as the last time I went I had the WORST poison ivy almost EVER.

I spent a few hours working on the studio, throwing things out, gathering things to give to my students, organizing my paints etc. Things had really gotten out of control, and the flood has forced me to make some changes. I was quite happy with old ICEHOUSE blaring, inspired by the music, my thoughts, and the materials themselves. I need to have the studio functioning for this weekend, so that I can do some work. I am getting myself psyched for painting this summer.

This is an older photo taken with my 35mm Nikon which has since seemed to be on the fritz. I still love real film, and sometimes I carry both my digital and my Pentax K1000 with me.

This is by my back porch, the clematis surrounding these sweet angel children. My yard is dotted with sculptures, and every year I find a few new things to add. I still want a gazing ball for my garden; perhaps this year I will get one to place in my concrete flower stand which always seems to kill my flowers.

Spring is here and I look forward to it infusing my veins with life.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Patch of Blue

I was driving Alanna back home from pre-school today as Megan was too sick to get her. I did not mind, I had some time to spare before my chiropractor appointment.

I kept to the main routes, and only traveled on the back roads that I knew were free of water. I passed by many corn fields submerged still under flood waters, and taught Alanna a new word as we drove by the fields. FLOOD. She looked out the car window and promptly said MUD.

As I was driving along, a patch of blue shone through the greyness that has been literally and figuratively in my life for a LONG time. It was a crisp, clear, beautiful blue, especially brilliant against the somber grey clouds. I smiled.

As I drove along I had many things on my mind, but I was feeling especially grateful for the special people in my life - those who have loved or accepted me unconditionally and whose non judgemental manners have let me be who I am. There is no greater gift to give to a person.

At one point in my drive I became infused with the most wonderful feeling of pure white light love in my heart. It was beautiful, it was peaceful. It was one of those moments when you know that we are only a small part of a larger entity, and that entity is the source of love and great joy.

I felt honored to have briefly held such beauty in my heart. It made me smile, it gave me peace.

There was a time in my life when I did not know love, could not feel love, could not give love. It has been something that I have had to learn from others as I had no role models to teach me such skills. It has been a difficult journey; I have been hurt and I have hurt others. I still struggle with it; I think many of us do. But experience and learning that comes from hard work and age has given me the gift of feeling and learning how to accept and give unconditional love.

Such moments of clarity are dear to me, and with that I will sleep tonight with a smile on my lips and in my heart.

Love, Patti

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Still Flooded

We had a two hour delay at school this morning due to many of the area roads still being flooded. Some of the roads I traveled on at 9:30 am had recently been opened back up as the tide was out and some of the tidal flooding from the Hudson and feeding creeks had subsided. Two schools were still closed today and flooding is still anticipated tomorrow. I must be thankful that only my studio took on water, as many had to have their basements pumped out by the fire department.

My entire evening was consumed by Alanna. She did not have a nap today, which trashed the evening as she was cantankerous, whiney, then got a second wind so that she would not go to sleep. Finally about 11 PM, I just left her, put the gate up, and said good night. Tomorrow morning she won't be able to wake up without having a nervous breakdown, and at lunch time will fall asleep in her food at daycare. SIGH. All because she did not or would not nap.(PS I know how I get when I am is no fun!!)

Megan is sick again, both from the chemo and another cold. However next week is the last week of chemo and radiation. They are starting to give her medicines to heal her ulcers, which have been raw and sometimes bleeding for the past six months.

I also went to see my friend Gary who is in the hospital with his third occurance of cancer. I had not seen him since the summer and was taken aback by the amount of weight he had lost, perhaps more so than any hair loss that he has suffered. Please keep him in your prayers and meditations as he receives chemo and radiation for the tumor in his lung.

Tonights watercolor sketch is about 5 or so years old of my studio. My house, a 1928 small Colonial Revival, was painted by the previous owner in pale gray with med-dark shutters. I repainted it a deep barn red, with sage green and deep gold trims, and burnt orange doors. I LOVE how my house zings and sings "Welcome" when I pull in the driveway. (As does my super soft down bed when I crawl in from a long day at work for a mini-nap which I did not get today!

Sweet dreams to you all, Patti

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wake of the Flood

I remember having that Grateful Dead album, Wake of the Flood. I also remember the asshold soccer player that I was "dating" who stole that from me as well as all of my King Crimson records. He left a bad taste in my mouth for jocks, him and his taped up ankle.

All the area schools were closed today from all the localized flooding, except for MY school. I did get out early, had some time to do some things I needed to do, then I came home and crashed for a while.

I have not been sleeping well, but that has become a cycle in my life these days. I have come to accept it and try and grab a nap whenever I can. I even refused to answer the telephone when it rung TWICE.

Afterwards I went out to the studio and tried to clean up the mud residue, and the puddles of water that were still on sections of the floor. Each time it floods I have to rearrange things, and rethink what to keep and how to store it. Forces me to Feng Shui it!

In spite of the cleaning I did manage to finish a watercolor/illustration for tonight's blog. The top one is a quick sketch I did from the plane. It is one of my favorite quick sketches because it captures the essence of the fields below me. The other is a painting done of the Marin Headlands the evening I went to watch the sun set and the divers come out of the water and strip. I still managed to put enough concentration into painting instead of the boys. The painting will mean more to me in the end.

Off to turn of the heat and lights in the studio, and get ready for some R and R.
I suspect a few schools might have delays as flooding is still predicted through tomorrow night and wednesday morning. I myself must be ready for tired kids who have had three days off and are infected with spring fever to boot. Personally, with temps in the 30's, snow, sleet, rain and little sun, spring fever has not hit here yet.

Ciao, Patti

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Electronics and Organization

The weather in the northeast since last evening has not been conducive to doing much more than catch up on bills, letters, phone calls, and, my biggest challenge that I have been working on: organization.

My computer room is a mess; items to sell on ebay, shipping materials, artwork, bits and pieces of things that go into artwork. I found some things that made me stop and ponder, and think about my past. Unearthing some of the things that I did made me sad at times, wistful others, and sometimes I would find something that would make a big grin break out on my face.

Then there was the electronic “stuff”. I started to gather all my electronic and related items together in one spot. Corners of my house hide A/C adaptors of all sizes, headphones, jacks, and some things that I don’t recognize, not even vaguely.

I had to do a surface sweep as the studio was calling to me, then in the middle of working, water started pouring into my studio from all the heavy rain we are having. I spent an hour or two mopping, throwing down towels (like every towel from my closet), moving things, taking up the rugs, hauling away bags full of heavy wet towels that I think killed my back. Finally I gave up. Practically in tears I stomped into the house and told Larry that there was no hope. I could not keep up with the flow of water.

He went out there and came in shaking his head. He had no clue what I had been battling. He took off and went to Target to pick up a shop vac. He managed to get it under control so that it did not flood the entire room, just ½ of it. I have yet to go back out and see what is happening now. I dread it, and I have the feeling that I will be up every few hours to deal with it.

What I managed to gather during a quick run through my house was the following:

2 portable CD players
Two mini portable CD recorders/players
2 battery chargers
2 digital cameras
2 35 mm. Cameras
2 card readers
5 sets of head phones
1 flash drive
1zip drive
5-35 mm flash units
A pile of USB cords/connectors
Tons of stereo jacks
3 cell phones
2 cell phone chargers
1 I-Zone Camera (what was I thinking?!)
A Pedometer (given to me before the fall)

I know there is a box that contains more cords, jacks, and some paraphernalia for one of the walkman. I don’t have a portable DVD player, or a palm pilot, or any of those other small hand held device, unless a hand held Tetris game counts.

I need to figure out what works here, and what is trash. What is saleable, what can be given away. Can’t bring in the new unless I feng shui out the old!!

Hope you are all dry where you are. I am heading out in the rain to see what I am up against for the next few hours. I hope it changes to snow in order to slow down the flow of water!

Tonight’s photo is of my brother and I with my father when we lived in Long Island. We looked pretty happy, don’t we. Ah, but what hides deep below the surface……….. patti

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Urges and Technology

I had just one more thing to add to my previous posts about urges, as another email slid in through the wires when I opened up this morning's mail. A very close friend of mine wrote: "In ancient times couples rarely lasted this long, either women died in childbirth and men got a younger wife, or the man died hunting or battle. Maybe just going off for long hunts helped matters. A few months alone would probably do the trick, while he is wandering in the woods with the other guys. It would probably do everyone a little good." Touche! But wait, my husband doesn't hunt! OH NO! How about a photography expedition with the boys! Or, a painting expedition for me! Karen happens to be one of those friends who keeps me going and lifts my spirits.

So the key for now is sublimation sublimation sublimation. Art, shopping, friends, walks, and trying to make things better. Being positive. And buying electronic things.

I decicided when on vacation, that I need things that make my life easier and more productive, or more pleasurable. He he he..that leaves the door wide open for any number of things. I started with an IPOD. Now I have bought a set of cables that will allow me to hook it up to any stereo. I already am all set up in my classroom as I play it through my fab computer speakers in my classroom. Now I can plug it into my stereo system in my studio. I mean, how much better does it get? I can have music wherever I go! I need to investigate speakers now. If I could find a really good portable speaker, then I can have music again in my car. I checked one out for 60.00 by Alting Lansing, but I was a bit disappointed in the sound. I need to do some more homework before I start to make that kind of a purchase.

Then tonight I ordered a very cool phone/headset on Amazon by Plantronics. I am thrilled that I can have a little tiny phone that clips onto my pants, wear a headset and I can talk on the phone hands free, while doing the 10,000 other things that need to be done in my life. Maybe people will actually start to hear from me again. I don't spend much time on the phone these days because I can't sit still enough for any period of time to talk!

I am craving a laptop, and that might be my next major purchase after getting some more income from my business and paying off the few bucks left on my computer. Anyone have any suggestions???

I went downtown today to a lovely gift store with my cards and small paintings. I usually don't put my work on consignment, but I felt the need to be out in my community in a shop that supports local artists, is run by a professional, knowledgeable, and NICE woman. She loved my cards and wants some for May 1st. She even wants some from my bad girl and bad boy series.(oh boy, do I have fun making those..) She will also take a group of paintings when I have a few more done. She does radio advertising and told me she would run a blurb on having my work in her shop! I need to start getting my work out into the real world again vs. the virtual world. I think people need to see it to really get the quality and essence of my work. I have not ended my stores yet, but I think I will be carefully trimming them down some.

Off to pay some bills, make reservations for Seattle, and figure out what else I can do till I head up to bed. I have the DVD Memoirs of a Geisha. I have seen it, but Larry hasn't, and visually interesting enough to see again.

Plugged in,

Friday, April 13, 2007

She Carried a Broom

I just got is near midnight. I came home from a long frustrating day at school, and attempted to take a nap. I don't know if it was that I was overtired, or the caffeine that I had during the day kept me wired, but I did not sleep much, and just sunk into my soft mattress and tried not to think. HA-right?)My entire body ached from being on my feet and lack of sleep.

I laid in bed and tried focusing on one thought and image, and was amazed at how my brain would jettison to another thought, and another, till I was in some intense scenario in my head, and I would nod out for a brief while, and then start the process all over again. Sometimes I wonder if my brain is normal, or if it has more than the average synapses and firings, because it sure is constantly active, to the point where I get annoyed and have to make it stop. I wish I could hook my brain up to a machine of some sort and make money from it. It works way too hard and is way too creative for the salary I am getting, LOL.

Tonight's card made me chuckle. I tell my kids in school that my broom is my transportation home. They look at me as if I am crazy. In reality, I am sure I am unlike many adults they know, but I inspire, love, teach, honor, and respect them and hope that I can be a positive role model in their life as a unique and creative individual who is alive every moment of her life.

The card is made with a hand watercolored print from around 1835, and is a mixed media collage with art paper, metallic thread, and antique words.

Yep. She carried a broom and flew on magic carpets, turned frogs into princes and princesses and said all is good.

Happy friday night, xxxp

PS and if I hear ONE MORE WORD on CNN about IMUS I am going to throw up. Shut up already! People are dying all over the world, there is still a war on, and we are giving Imus all this air time?! SICK.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Urges Part II

It is late, I am way beyond tired. I slept maybe 5 hours last night, and I looked ragged today from it. There are never enough hours in the day for me, and I am wide awake each morning at 5-5:30 am, well before the alarm goes off. So tonight is a quickie. I need to finish up some new art this weekend for both myself and the blog. Tonight's photo was taken while driving from the car at the sunset while heading back over the Hudson.

I got a few responses from people about last night's blog, and I think I touched a few of those raw spots in women's lives. I don't know about men, since they usually don't respond and I suspect there are more women than men reading this, but several posted to the blog and emailed me privately about their urge to live alone.

I have also spoken to several women friends of mine who were both wives and mothers for a good part of their lives, and who are divorced (some more than once)and are over 50 and now live alone. I asked them if they wanted to remarry or share their "space" with another man. The few whom I talked to recently vehemently said NO; they are content with dating, but never want to give up their space to share with anyone again.

I did some research on the internet and came across a great article about mid life divorce. 66% of women vs. 41% of men seek divorce in mid life. The article was very interesting, from AARP Magazine: A House Divided. Lots of compelling info for those of us approaching 50 or older and questioning marriage. One interesting statistic: 43% of women divorcing after 50 would never remarry compared to 33% of men.

Though I am not on the verge of divorce, I still contemplate the need to be alone. One woman said, after a mid-life divorce, that she... "dated but has no desire to remarry. Her female friends provide her with companionship and emotional closeness. And, having been married at 19, she's finally experiencing living in the world on her own. "After getting my divorce it was like going back and doing things I should have done when I was a teenager," she says. "I learned how to look within myself for happiness. It's a new experience, and I have found that I do it quite well."

Hmmm....I can so relate. can I have my cake and eat it too? There is a lot to be said about a warm body in one's bed, about having companionship in good and bad times. If I lived alone, would I find the peace and freedom that I imagine exists on the other side of the fence? Would I be happy? Would I feel the same had I lived alone for some part of my life, or if I had a less stressful life full of responsibilities?

I can't answer that. And since I am not so miserable as to break up my marriage, I suppose I must find a balance and peace within the relationship AND within myself as long as it exists.

The only solution that comes to my mind right now is VACATION, VACATION, VACATION and to make sure I have time alone and time to heal when the world is twisting around me. Woman are always trying to heal and help the world, and too often forget to heal and take care of themselves. Oh, and constant dialogue with your partner, whether man or woman, keep things on the table in sight..otherwise one risks falling into a ruts and the threat of drifting apart so far that reconciliation is near impossible.

Enough for tonight...lack of sleep might be making me a bit daft!

love to you all, Patti

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Urge for Going

One afternoon while Bardet and I were sitting outside eating lunch (was it in San Anselmo??) I had an AH HA moment about my life. In a brilliant flash of light I realized that I have never lived alone. I have lived on my own since I was 19, but I have NEVER been alone.

I left my parent's home at 19 and never went back, and lived with roommates in shared housing for a few years, then moved in with my first husband, and years later when I left him, I had two babies in tow. I lived on my own as a single parent for the next 6 or 7 years, had two very brief live-in encouters with the same man, after which we split up. Time passed, I met my second husband.

For 18 years I have been the primary caregiver of my children and the primary support both mentally and financially. I worked hard to survive, finished two college degrees, and was the best mother I could be to two challenging children.

My children have left the nest for now, but life had not given neither them nor I a break.

Lately I have been craving for time alone. Sometimes I think it has nothing to do with marriage or relationships, it is that I am burned out from having people needing me in my life for so long; too many responsibilities and stresses, and I am just plain tired of dealing with people. I want my own place, and the choice of seeing whom I want when I want. There are periods of time when I am perfectly happy not seeing anyone at all.

So what am I to do?

When I get into situations like this, I ask myself...if I had a magic wand, what would my life look like? Would I be a part time wife, who had her own place in the woods, just far enogh away from the demands of life to spend alone when I got the urge for going, or would I travel for chunks of time, and come back when I was at peace with myself again?

So many questions, so many paths.

In the words of Joni Mitchell:

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
And shivering trees are standing in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go...
...The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They've got the urge for going, they've got the wings to go

In musing, Patti

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The $2,000.00 Store

Before I get into my story, I want you to check out the incredible house boat that I photographed. The gentleman in the photograph is the inhabitant. It reminds me of Olana, home of Frederick Church of the Hudson River School fame, where I got married on the equinox at sunset, ten years ago. (by Bardet who is an interfaith minister) I love Middle Eastern architecture. Perhaps it is because it reminds me of fairy tales and stories from my childhood that involved Sinbad, flying carpets, and wonderful Victorian illustrations that amused and scared me. I would have loved to have seen the interior; that is for the next trip.

Imagine being surrounded by thousands of sailboats, moored at the end of a dock, gently rocking, with a view of San Francisco, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Bay Bridge. I would like to experience living on a house boat like that. I am not sure how long I would last, confined in a dark and constantly moving place, but it is enticing, especially in good weather.

The $2,000 store story. Well, I guess you had to be there, but Bardet and I were shopping, and she said "let's go to the 2,000 store!", a joke on the fact that we have more dollar stores where I live than fine department stores or boutiques. Now I am not being a snob. I do shop at the $1.00 store for many an odd item. The helium balloons rock at 1.00 each (Alanna loves them)and I can always find gift/party supplies there.

The truth of the matter is, $2,000.00 stores make me rather nervous, especially when there is a preponderance of them. Bardet was quite at home looking at the clothing,and trying things on. I, on the other hand, just looked at the clothes and figured I was not going to torture myself. I know if I try on a jacket that is to die for, I will be in agony about spending that kind of money on myself. Now nothing REALLY cost 2,000.00. I did not find one piece of clothing over 300-400.00. And the jacket I fell in love with, off white fine linen with vintage looking wood buttons was 275.00.

However, what I did learn from Bardet (who is a clothing/fashion designer)was how to examine the clothing in such stores for style, fabric, panache, get a sense of current fashion, and then shop around at other stores for something similar but at far less. Like my very very cool heavy beige linen blazer complete with raw edges for 20.00 - a splendid find at Old Navy, or the very cool pair of pants at Anthropologie on sale.

I had forgotten what it was like to shop, to enjoy trying on clothes with a friend, being honest mirrors of feedback as to whether we really need it, or if it looks good enough to warrant buying.

Thanks Bardetta, for getting me out to play!

And you are probably laughing right now when you read that there is supposed to be 7 inches of snow or more in the higher elevations of the Catskills tomorrow night.

Here's to the west coast. Patti

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Buddha is Back

When I left on monday there was still snow around the Buddha. In fact, it was only two weeks before that he was completely buried under mounds of snow. He is about 18" and is so heavy that I cannot move him without help. I thought I would never see him again, lost in a field of snow.

The ice is gone on the Hudson and the creek. It was my measure of time this winter, so my new measure became watching the snow melt around the Buddha. I was overjoyed when I saw the top of his head, and the next day his neck....Today was the first day in several months that I have gone to visit him and see how he fared through the winter.

This buddha is very special; I bought him for Larry for Father's day years ago, and hauled rocks and built a little stone wall niche behind him. Nearby are the oriental grasses, which Larry just cut down in preparation for spring. I will miss their golden dried plumes, which rustled in the frigid winter breezes outside my studio door. In another month he will be graced with anenomes which I hope survived the winter. I don't know what will show up in the spring, and my garden is populated with plants that are pretty good about surviving on their own.

It is still dreadfully cold for spring. But the sun is strong, the plants are stirring in the ground. Now that the snow around the Buddha is gone, I will measure time by watching the iris and the lilies poke through the ground, and await the first flowers of spring.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Day Musing

This trip saved my sanity. I don’t know why I let myself get to the point of almost no return before I do something to help myself.

Perhaps it is old habits; it is what I have always done. I never go over the edge, but stick out my foot and test the waters, and waver in a twilight zone of sadness and struggle. Perhaps it is biochemical ; I suspect it is a combination of both.

During my trip I read Discovery’s latest magazine. Fascinating information about the latest research on development, disease, and functioning of the brain. I was especially interested in Kate Jamison-Redfield’s article on manic depression. She wrote the intense and informative book “An Unquiet Mind” and a book on Manic Depression and the artistic temperament.

Whatever the cause, I have come back in a calm state. I feel like I can deal with the issues in my life in a rational manner, and I have learned things about myself that enlightened me and I have gained strength in order to grow and to change. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Thank you Bardet for providing the safety, the love, and the environment to heal and be inspired. You are indeed a goddess.

I spent today with Megan, Alanna, and Dole, Megan’s boyfriend. We had a lovely time eating, coloring eggs, hiding them, then watching Alanna seek them out. It was an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. I thank the universe for this time with my daughter as I don’t know what the future holds. But every day that we can smile and laugh is a day that we hold love close in our hearts.

I also went to visit my mom in the nursing home. She is always glad to see me. We spent the time chatting, and watching an old Judy Garland/Fred Astaire movie.

I made dinner for Larry tonight, perhaps for the first time in weeks. Veloute du Cresson (crème of watercress soup) and a salad with goat cheese, apples, and walnuts. A healthy, yet filling and tasty treat. It has been 30 years or more since I have made watercress soup. We would pick the watercress growing wild in the swampy areas, near drainage ditches and such by the road.. Tonight’s epicurean delight took me back to another time, when I was 17, and full of wonder and lust. At 49, I still feel 17 at times, and hope that I will feel that way ‘till I move to the next realm.

Tonight’s picture was taken coming back over the Hudson. I love California, but I still love my Hudson River, and sunset tonight was fab.

Peace to you all, xx patti

Saturday, April 07, 2007

American Airline Rant

I am exhausted. In fact, I just got up from a four hour nap. I intended to go to the art openings, but by 7 PM I just crashed. I managed to get a lot of chores done as I am cooking breakfast tomorrow morning and then doing an egg hunt and needed to pick up some things, but the evening was lost. I guess jet lag and going to bed at 2 AM killed me!

I have flown American twice in my life. I had a credit card with AA Miles (mostly from graduate school) and had earned enough miles to go to Santa Barbara. That was about 15 years ago, and you made a phone call, the agents found you the best flight, booked you, and that was it. There may have been a small fee, but I don't remember paying any money. On our trip back our flight was cancelled and we never received a phone call. Needless to say, we were pissed and they put us in first class the next flight home.

I have been trying to book tickets using my miles for 2 years now. There are seats for 25,000 miles, but there are never any to be found. This time I got disgusted and just booked my flight using 50,000 miles because I will be quitting this program after I use the rest of my miles.

I booked online. That was easy enough. Fees: 60.00. Hmmm.

2AM before I fly out, I am in a dead sleep. DEAD. The phone rings. An AA agent tells me my flight is cancelled. He is giving me a list of options and I can't even process the fact that they are telling me I will get in 4 hours later. My brain was slow, but all I could think was NO. In my half wake/dream state, I tell him to book my on the flight that will get me there at the earliest possible time, which is 2 hours later than my original plan.

The flight from Stewart to O'Hare ran on time, was in a small plane and for the most part uneventful. I was surprised that you did not get one ounce of food to munch on, unless you paid for it. The connecting flight was fine..the plane less than grand. No TVs for this 4.5 hour flight, and again, if you wanted to eat you had to pay for it. And I mean no pretzels or nuts either for free. I was a bit disconcerted.

The return flight was where it got really really annoying. I get to the airport and our flight boards on time, however, once we are on board we are told we have an hour delay because of the wind in Chicago. Why couldn't they have kept us in the terminal for that hour? Time after time it kept getting pushed up another 15, then another 15 minutes......Eventually we take off, and I breathe a sigh of relief that there is a TV on board. However, the movie was Rocky (the new one) and I gave him up years ago. UGH.

At O'Hare they make three gate changes after I got off the plane. At the second one they looked at me like I was crazy and said no, this flight is to Memphis. SO I say well, the board JUST said to come here. Then one of the agents snips "well, that is gate 9". I thought "why the attitude"? I was nice, just asking if this was the correct gate.

I finally find the gate, and sit FOREVER. Apparently no American flights are leaving the airport on time and we wait and wait and wait. Finally we leave and I get my ride home in a plane with NO leg room. The plane has been sitting on the runway and the seats are ice cold. No heat. We take off, and again, no snacks. This time I think...I will have a bloody Mary to celebrate my return home and the end of my trip. No vodka. OK, I will have some red wine. No red wine. White? NO. Beer only. They ran out of everything and did not restock.

Since I had the priveledge of sitting second seat from the front (there is no first class seat) I get to see into the Stewardesses serving "area". The handle is broken off the doors to where they keep the booze. It is opened with a tied plastic bag. WHen she goes in there it is a jumble of empty carboard boxes that used to hold the little bottles of wine and cans of beer.

The saving grace to the flight was the attendent who was a great woman who hung out and chatted with us for a long time.

We land in Stewart. Larry knew I was going to be late, but the airport never posted any of our flight information! In fact, it was not posted at all. it was like we never existed! He started to get nervous (there were only 3 flights arriving to the terminal at that

It all ended well in the end, but when I think back on all the other flights I have taken, this airline's service was the worst. I am going to find a credit card that had miles with choice of airline now!!!!!!

A Quickie

I just got in, hours after I was supposed to land, so I have no energy, am EXHAUSTED from traveling since 3 am eastern time (it is it is 1 AM now) , and though I have TONS of notes and ideas that I wrote in the airport, and the airport restaurants, looking at the bay etc., I cannot bring myself to share them. Some will make you chuckle. ALso, the batteries died in the camera again on the ferry to Sausalito so therefore no pics for tonight, but I have a few drawings to finish and watercolor up this weekend so that will be fun to post. See you around tomorrow, xxxpatti

Friday, April 06, 2007

Last Day

It is near midnight and I am exhausted, still have to pack, and then get some sleep. I am not too worried as if I am tired enough, I will sleep on the plane-I hope.

It was a full day. A leisurly morning where I worked with Bardet on her computer. I never think of myself as a computer wiz..but I guess it is all relative and I know a lot more than I perceive myself to know.

We did a bit of browsing in Sausalito, then took the ferry to San Francisco, where we browsed the Ferry building, had the MOST incredible meal in a restaurant which was tre chic, and then took the trolly/electric train up to 4th street or so to shop. Anthropologie, Forever 21, and other shops. It was fun, and the day was perfecto. We came back, and then headed back to Mill Valley for a late evening massage. How much better does it get.

I have had some intense thoughts, discoveries, and changes that need to happen in my life, but I will save that for another evening.

I have had a wonderful time and feel at peace, and hope that I can bring that peace back home with me.

Tonight's pic is the sunset last night at the Marin Headlands, without a flash (last night's was with flash)

Sweet dreams, and until tomorrow, Patti

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Headlands.........

Bardet and I discovered a new past time: to drive down to the Rodeo Beach parking lot, where we sit and watch the sun set over the Marin Headlands, and watch the surfers strip off their tight black skins, dry themselves off and slowly put on their clothes.

We just sat there, mesmerized by glowing streaks, changing colors, and hard lithe bodies nearly naked in the dark. We romanticized it all of course, not paying to the attention to the fact they were blowing their noses into their hands, the gravel, their towels, spitting all over the place and probably doing other things that would absolutely disgust us.

But watching v-e-r-y athletic 25-35 year old men strip is novel, and they seemed to be clueless to the show they were putting on and the audience they had.

We had a mellow day, tripping through the small towns of San Anselmo, San Rafael, and driving down Shady Lane in Larkspur checking out the million dollar plus homes. We went to the Marin Headlands, where I sketched and photographed, and after Rodeo Beach we headed home.

On the way back the air appeared to be misty and smoky. I thought it was smog, Bardet became suspicious and said fire. Turns out we could not get back to the apartment because one of the houses, about 100 feet from our deck, was in flames. The firemen are still out there chopping down the deck, the walls, checking to make sure that there are no hot spots. The couple who were renting the house are on their honeymoon……the entire rear of the house is burnt, and whatever is left is wet and smoke damaged. Thankfully the wind was not strong like it was yesterday, as all the houses are very close together, and many are made of wood.

BUT all’s well that ends well, just another day in the life of adventure.

Tonight’s photos: 1 of 2 versions of the sunset over the Headlands, this one done with a flash. Another evening I will put on the other one that was not flashed. Neither one of these photos have been touched up in Photoshop..if anything it was very minimal. Straight from the camera. There are times that I really want my 35 mm camera with the great lens. I might have to get my Nikon fixed and carry that along with me. The other photo is of the 5-minute light tunnel, hand held, moving car, no flash. Fun!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dawn over Angel Island

Last night we went into Sausalito to Tommy Wok’s for dinner. We had fabulous spiced beans and salmon, and veggies in a light garlic sauce. I had a cosmo to usher in my vacation (on the plane I had a Bloody Mary, hoping to get a little sleepy for the long trip, but it did not work). I was too tired to walk to do much more, and I crashed after blogging.

I awoke this morning to the trill of the first bird to break the silence of the evening, and for the first time in a long time, I watched the sun rise. It rose over Angel Island, shooting gold against the pale blue sky through a few stray clouds. The Coast Guard boat was still docked not far from the balcony, guarding the harbor. Lights slowly pierced the early morning like little beacons dotting the houses on the hillside. San Francisco lay under a soft lavender pink haze.

Of course the batteries in my camera died; so I only got a photo or two of that splendid sight. So, the first stop this morning will be coffee and batteries. .

My morning has been leisurely, sipping green tea, listening to mellow music, writing here on my laptop. I realize I could easily become used to this, and now understand why Bardet lives here, while still keeping a house in the Hudson Valley.

I feel full of light and peace. I have not felt that in a long time.

I want to use this respite to evaluate my life, to heal, to focus on what I want and how I will go about obtaining it. I also know that because my life is so fast paced and I am a driven person, I need to take vacations more often so that I don’t crash and burn like I just did.

For the first time in my life I also did not have any travel anxiety. Perhaps it was because I so desperately needed to get away, and preservation of self outweighed old habits. Whatever it was, I hope it is gone forever, that I have beat that old demon which has haunted me since my trauma in childhood. It will free me to do a lot more.

Off to meet the day. Patti

Photos; sunrise over Angel Island, beautiful flowers along today’s walk, and Bardet and I at Piccolos

On the Bay

1976. Took a year off after high school to work and get my life together so that I could start college. I went to San Francisco, Los Angles, and Phoenix with my aunt on a road trip where I stayed at the infamous Clift Hotel, lounged and star-watched at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and shopped at Goldwater's.

It was on the ferry to Sauselito that I met a young man and had one of my first formal dates. It was one of the most memorable nights....riding up and down the hills of San Francisco in a vintage red covertable, drinking at the Top of the Mark, dining at Chen's, and breathtaking views of the bay at night.

Then in the 1980's I went with an ex boyfriend, and again I returned to the Top of the Mark for a drink. If I am in the neighborhood I will surely check it out another time-if only just to smile at the days of my youth.

The flight here was unremarkable save for the fact that the airlines called me at 2 AM to tell me that my departing flight was delayed 2 hours and they had to change my entire itinerary. Imaging having to make major decisions after being woken from a very sound sleep. I got here, that is all that counts. It was a long ride, it is almost 2 AM eastern time, and I am fried.

Photos: a view from the plane, and the other is a view from Bardet's apartment in Sauselito..overlooking the Golden Gate, San Francisco, Angel Island, Alcatraz AND MORE. I will sleep tonight with the sound of the waves lapping underneath my slightly opened window.......

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Nano Nano

I have just joined the Nano generation. I broke down and bought an IPOD Nano at Sam’s Club for my trip, and for other times I need portable music that just slips in with my digital camera in my bag. Technology never ceases to amaze me.

Thankfully Megan came over and helped me transfer all of my music files from Jukebox to I-tunes, charge the Nano, and get the music I wanted onto it. I had a crash course, and I think I’ve got it!

I fit an amazing amount of music on it; from Yoga to Classical and Funk, I have it all. Now I can see my new obsession will be downloading music to my computer and uploading them onto I-tunes, and making play lists!!! Music is a very integral part of my life, and all I need to figure out is how to play my I-pod through my car until I get the CD player fixed!!!

I took another ride up to Woodstock to Pegasus shoes, where I found two pairs of shoes that were comfortable and that I could wear. My toe is KILLING me, so it was of utmost importance that I find a few pairs that will not hurt my foot or ankle. Found a pair of great lavender Portuguese shoes and a pair of Dansko shoes that should do it ok. I just pray that this infection goes away FAST and that no complications arise. I soak it, apply Tea Tree Oil, and taking all kinds of supplements to keep me healthy, and once I leave the ground tomorrow morning, I am ON VACATION AND A NEW ADVENTURE!

I packed my watercolors. It has been a long 6+ months since Mexico and since I did any little sketches and paintings. I miss having them to post on my blog, so I hope to have some new art for you. I am bringing a laptop, a camera, a flash drive and plan to write, make photos and art to post, and I will be blogging from the California Bay Area. Hopefully sunny and warmer than the East Coast, where we still, on April 1st, have snow in our yard.

Till tomorrow where I will be reporting from the other side of the US of A….……. Patti
PS Alanna who is 2.5 took this photo of me. I, of course, could not resist altering it in Photoshop. xxxxxx