Thursday, May 31, 2007

Word of the Day

I subscribe to the's WORD OF THE DAY. I love getting a new word each day, seeing if I know it, and if I don't, trying to figure out how I would use it in a sentence, in my classroom, or like today, in my blog.

Some words roll so easily over my tongue and bring to mind creativity and light. Bri-colage. Empyrean. Pastiche. Then there are those words that lurk and hang on the tongue like black strap molasses....furtive, moil,impugn.

Today's word was disconsolate. Synonyms: bad, black, cheerless, cold, comfortless, cracked up, crestfallen, crushed, cut up, dark, dejected, depressed, desolate, despairing, destroyed, dispirited, distressed, doleful, down, downcast, downhearted, dreary, forlorn, gloomy, grief-stricken, heartbroken, hopeless, hurting, in pain*, inconsolable, low, melancholy, miserable, put away, ripped*, sad, somber, sorrowful, torn up, woebegone, woeful, wretched. Well, after reading that, if I was not disconsolate before I read it, I certainly was now!!! AND, the readership of my blog has dropped as of late, which made me even MORE disconsolate!!!!!

Well, I am going to take my disconsolate ass upstairs. Maybe I can reach a euphoric state in my dreams, and tomorrow is a new day and a new word!!!!!!

Gotta love those words, Patti

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Gazing Ball

I have always wanted a gazing ball. Back in the 1960's the backyards of my neighbors in Long Island sparkled with these mercury glass like spheres. Magenta, teal, silver. I was entranced by their beauty; they were like large Christmas balls that people put outside to celebrate summer.

For Mother's Day Larry bought me a silver one. He wanted to place it where I could see it from my studio window.

I joked with him and said.."when I am in my studio I am working, I am not staring out the window!"

He put the ball outside my window anyway, between the rhodadendron and the little "Zen" garden.

Today, for the first time in a week or more, I spent some time in the studio listening to an eclectic mix of music and working on some projects. As always I was deep in thought while designing and producing, when I stared out my picture window into the yard. There stood my gazing ball...reflecting the life around it.

I smiled. I felt soothed by my childhood memories and this silvery orb inspired wonder, innocence and magic.

I wish that I could see answers in this magic ball. I wish it gave me the meaning of life, love and happiness. But as I mused, a Mona Lisa smile crossed my lips. That answer is deep within ME, and that all that this magic ball reflects is what stands in front of it.....

To magic and finding truth from within

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vacooters and Pusabits

Preface: the other day my friends and I were talking about how as children most of us were never taught the proper names for our genitalia. We had all kinds of nicknames for them. Many parents today choose to use the correct terms. I live in both worlds. It still has never felt 100% comfortable to say penis or vagina but it sure doesn't sound as silly as some of the other names we have called our "private parts".

Fast forward to tonight: I was giving Alanna a bath. I told her to wash her hiney. She washes and says,"I washed my back hiney." I told her to wash her vagina too. She looked and me and said THAT IS MY COOTER. I looked, and shook my head in disbelief. I guess that is what her mom calls it, and I just said, "ok, it is also a vagina." She looks at me and says.."it's my va .... va.... vacooter!" I almost howled.

Then I had a flashback about how my brother and I came up with a nickname for penis--- it was (now are you ready for this.......) a PUSABIT. We had that code word and it was safe because my parents knew that my brother was always making up inventive words and names, so it was one of many.

One day we are all in church, and the priest is giving a sermon and says "In your BOSOMS" which to us little kids sounded like "PUSABITS" and we looked at each other, and got hysterical. Of course you KNOW we got the look of death and immediately stopped laughing....but I never EVER forgot it.

Here's to Vacooters and Pusabits, may they all be healthy and strong!

PS Spell check had a field day with this posting,and I had one with photoshop and a card I had made.....

Monday, May 28, 2007

Angel AND Devil Girl

I posted earlier, and am too tired and crampy to post much again, but I had to post these pictures from my Memorial Day Afternoon barbecue with Alanna and Megan.

Megan is a Veteran of our current disaster of a war, and rather than march in a parade, she opted for a quiet afternoon in mom's backyard, having a few beers, eating some food, and just hanging with family and a few friends.

Thank you Megan for your service to this country, even though the government has not served YOU as well as you have served them. Thank God for community and friends who will indeed take better care of you than the Veteran's Administration does. I hope this changes for our Veterans!!!

Alanna in her coy sweet mood, and Alanna when Mimi (me) told her not to play with the gazing ball, and upon this request Alanna screaming "I DON'T LIKE YOU ANYMORE".

To bed, Patti

Artists in the Mountains

I may have used this little watercolor before in a blog, but it so captures the essence of my beloved Catskills.

I miss the mountains. I hated them when I was a teen as I was transplanted from Long Island, a place where there was tons of kids in a block to hang with, into a hamlet (A HAMLET - not even a town!)in the middle of nowhere, with trees, chipmunks, and other wildlife to converse with.

I hated my life back then. I was depressed, and, with good reason.

But now, as an adult, I yearn for the coolness of the forest, the smell of the pines, the sound of the wind when it roars down the mountains. I wish I had the privacy that I once had..where you could walk outside with nothing or everything on.

Last night's party at Judith's house was splendid. She lives off Route 28, one of the main routes through the Catskill Mountains, in a log style home, with a terraced waterfall and pond full of thousands of poly wogs, surrounded by woods and bordering on state land in the Catskills.

Her house was filled with artwork, mostly assemblage as she is an assemblage artist herself. The food was great, and the party was graced by many artists. It has been a long time since I have been amongst so many people, and I felt ready to be social again. The winter and the stress in my life had taken its toll, and I felt like I was becoming invisible and fading into a ghost of my former self.

Sunlight and warmth has given me energy. The color in the landscape has opened my eyes again. The touch and smell of the earth has given me hope and life back. I am beginning to feel once more like the Maidenform never know WHERE I might show up.

Off to plan the day, TO SPRING! patti

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Speak Softly and Carry a Magic Mallet

It was the opening of the Farmer's Market in our little city in the Hudson Valley. I love strolling down the closed off street and buying things that I can't find elsewhere such as homemade quiche with salmon and leeks, or fabulous cheeses, black currant juice, plants. There was not much produce as the season is slow this year. (my peas are still only 6" tall, I only got one spinach plant, and not much is progressing in the garden), but to stroll and see old friends and feel the energy of an open market is always fun.

We got some more gardening done. At this time of the year the outside of the house always looks far better than the inside! The winter snows can hide a multitude of sins, so that we can concentrate on the inside, but spring/summer/fall is a time where most of my energy goes into making our small city plot a garden full of flowers and organic edibles.

Larry planted all of our cannas which are multiplying out of control. When we dig them out this fall (and they produce more tubers every fall) we should have a plant sale so WE don't have to store hundreds of them in the basement. They are from 80+ year old stock bulbs...every year for 80+ years someone has lovingly planted these bulbs, then dug them up after frost, and stored them in a basement. They were given to someone to gave them to someone who gave them to us..and we pass them on with the history of the bulbs. They are not native to this zone, so it is a bit of work to take care of them over the winter, but I LOVE having them as they fill large blank spots in the yard with their huge sculptural tropical leaves and red flowers. They are a presence and make a statement.

Later we went to Karen's party where I kicked EVERYONE's ass in croquet. For the longest time I was the last lonely ball on the field. I got mildly ribbed, and I figured it was OK as my ball was closest to the food and drinks.Then my time came...where magic overtook my mallet, Phil became my coach, and in one 5 minute sweep, I finished the entire course to an untouchable victory.

I smiled sweetly, waved my mallet in the air and headed for the food while my opponents shook their heads in disbelief, including my husband who is a VICIOUS player in the game.

Though we did not swim as the algae is being tenacious in its hold on the pool, we had a blast and five hours of being outdoors running around left me exhausted but smiling.

A great way to open up the summer season.

I must practice my Bocci throwing.

(photo of the cow skull that Karen hangs in her garden and is the yearly nesting grounds for sparrows)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

While My Eyes Gently Weep

So the ante has been upped with my allergies. Not only do I sneeze,cough,have a voice that is several octives lower making it sound like I am changing sexes (now isn't that in interesting thought- I would be a very scary man) but my eyes are running, giving me the appearance of being a sad sad weepy woman. And, even though I have had PLENTY of reason to carry tears in my eyes, I am not the crying type.

My day yesterday was stressed. I tried with all my might to get the yearbook done and the final copy on three supervisor's desks. Computer freezes, constant program crashes, file problems etc. made it IMPOSSIBLE. I sat at my computer for 6 hours non-stop and finally had to give up and tell my two students who were feeling the stress with me that we did our best, and we will resume next week to finish it up.

Turn off computers and I zoomed to the foot doc who assured me I am healing fine and I only have to keep the bandage on another week. Anything after a tri-malleolar fracture is a piece of cake I keep telling myself. He is a very sweet, young, somewhat cute doctor with great bedside what the hell is he doing being a foot doctor? Why would ANYONE elect to be a foot doctor, or a proctologist for that matter? Just another mysetery of the universe. Perhaps I will make him a cool card and send it off to him thanking him for being a nice guy and fixing me. The proverbial mouse/lion/thorn story.

I had a 30 minute break and then zoomed to Woodstock to see Peg my therapist. Now Peg has been in the hospital the past four months - post op complication MISSED by the hospital, which almost killed her. I have been without a therapist during one of the toughest periods of my life. Only because I am so strong that I managed to survive it without doing anything drastic to myself or anyone else for that matter.

I walked out of there drained, my head spinning. Come home and blog? NAH. Go out and DRINK! Larry drove me down to the waterfront where I sat and had a few margaritas and some appetizers with a few friends from work. It was warm, we watched lightning flash a few miles away from us, and I held onto my drink, praying that it would not strike the deck, electricuting all of us as we sat in metal chairs with our elbows on metal tables. I prayed that I got to finish my margaritas before the universe might zap me with more energy than I have.

It worked out well, I went straight to bed where the A/C was on and all the windows closed and hoped that I would sleep without coughing and sneezing. I did wake up to my eyes shut with the crust of salty tears, but a warm washcloth set me straight.

Off to hunt drugs to help me, to the opening of the farmer's market where I PRAY that Lorna is there with her amazing potions and lotions that I just ran out of, and there is a party this afternoon...and if the pool is open, you know who will be throwing herself in.

later and here is to the weekend! Patti O Block

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Gift to Myself

For the first time all year, I took 1/2 a personal day for myself today. I take time for everyone else but so rarely take time for me.

At noon I left and headed straight for the nursery and bought my lettuce, herbs and tomatoes. I put on the least amount of clothes that are legal for a middle aged woman to wear while gardening, and dug, fertilized, and planted most of my plants. My daughter and her toddler came over, we hooked up the sprinkler, filled the baby pool, and all proceeded to dance and run though them---clothes and all. The sun was shining strong, it was a clear blue sky, it was in the 80's, and I thought "It just doesn't get better than this."

Afterwards my friend made me and a few other of my coworkers dinner, and we had a GREAT MEAL and laughed the entire time.

I am back home, sneezing up a storm. I can't breathe, but I am smiling. I have a bit of color, and I am once again grounded by my work in the garden and gratified by my using the earth and plants to create outdoor art with.

Oh, and I got a check from my consignment shop which is selling my cards.

It is all good.

Tomorrow I am going to check out Sudafed. I hear that and coffee might get me though the round morning patches. Hmmm......

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dichotomy of Spring

Spring is here. The violets have disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared. Come to think of it, I have never seen a dead or brown violet, never found little brown corpses slumped over their green heart shaped leaves. Nor have I ever seen a bird die and fall out of the sky while in flight. The mysteries of nature.

The daffodils are little brown paper wisps, and the dandelions have turned into little puff balls in my yard. The wild iris are starting to open, while the lily of the valley are still tight in their buds holding onto their scent for yet another few days. Forget-me-nots still embrace the Buddha, and Larry won't mow the lawn where they grow.

I love the garden at this time of year, in its youthful green and new growth.

However I have been suffering horridly from the pollen of spring. I cannot breathe, I cannot sleep. I lay awake for hours while snippets of dreams and thoughts course through my brains for hours. My ex comes to me in a dream, I slash him with a broken glass. I think about love and remember disappointment. I have a night sweat and remember where I am in my journey through life. I dread the call of the first bird and when I get up I look in the mirror and wonder how many dimes I can fit into the bags in my eyes.

I plough through the day like a zombie in search of food.......and somehow make it though.

I am heading up to bed, my head feeling like it is stuffed inside a huge down pillow. I cannot smell the lilacs, I cannot taste the fresh greens. There is a fire in my temples and my chest feels like someone is sitting on it..but alas, no one is there. sleep, to dream.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Still Thinking of the Soldiers

I raced to the grocery store after work to buy some food so that I could make dinner for Megan, her friend Sunshine, and Alanna of course. We had a lovely dinner, just us girls, nice organic salad, pasta and sauce, garlic bread and dark chocolate KLONDIKE BARS!!!! Oh and a nice bottle of red wine.

Megan's boyfriend Dole is in the desert of California where it is 114 degrees, in training for his future deployment to Iraq. Sunshine, a sweet 19 year old friend of Dole's and Megan' also alone. Her fiance was deployed in early April. They got married by the Justice of the Peace before he left, and plan a "real" wedding at the Mohonk Mountain House (for the 10th time---one of my favorite places in the universe...) when he comes back.

I looked at these two young in love with their men, and so lonely without them. I of course, being hardened with time and VERY independent, told them that they will live, and to enjoy their lives without the men around while they can, but I still smiled remembering how hard it was to be away from my boyfriend for a long period of time.

I pray that angels will travel with these boys. I pray that a miracle will happen and President Bush will have a REAL epiphany and realize that Jesus would not condone what he is doing.

I pray that people will stop propogating hate and violence in the world.

I used tonight's photo on Megan's blog once I believe. She said that in order to catch up on sleep, the soldiers would put their dog tags on their eyes to block out some of the intense light. It looks too macabre and too much like death for my likes.

May our soldiers be safe and have love to keep them strong.

In peace, Patti

Monday, May 21, 2007


I rarely have a morning like this, but I was so miserable while trying to get my act together to go to work. I could not find a thing to wear that suited my mood, I hated my hair, slammed it up in a quick bun, and stormed off to work.

Work proved just as difficult as it seemed that many of the kids were in the same mood. Agitated, cranky, tired, lazy.

After three coffees and a couple of classes under my belt, the day went a bit smoother.

Then I went to Marshalls to buy some t-shirts and summer shirts as yet ANOTHER one of my bags that contained my summer clothes has disappeared!!! (two years in a row that this has happened!!!!!) and came home aggrevated because out 16 or more shirts I tried on (and I had to pour through 1000s to find these) only 1 of them was right.
You know the gig---too short, too tight, too big, too itchy. We just want to look 30 again and it is getting harder and harder to find clothes that help.

But the evening ended nicely as Larry and I went to hear assemblage artist Lenny Kislin talk at the Woodstock Artist's Association . Lenny proved to be a fascinating story teller about his love for the objects he collects and his passion for transforming them into art. I related to what he was saying as I take paper that would normally be hidden away in a box somewhere and put it out into the world in a piece of art or craft. I too can remember the stories of some of the pieces that I use in my I obtained them, who I was with.... So thanks Lenny for making me feel a bit more normal in my passion for collecting and making art, and thanks for the your work.

Off to bed...tonight is 13 years since Larry and I went on our first date. We normally don't celebrate this but Larry did this year. A beautiful dress, a nice dinner after an inspirational evening of art....and ?

hahaha....Patti 360

PS. THis postcard from the early 1900's was held over a fissure in a volcano in Hawaii and scorched. It was a thing that tourists did back then. Interesting factoid 732.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have not been in the mood to write much. Lots to say, no energy to say it. I was severely hormonally challenged this weekend and feel like the volcano in this picture. I REALLY REALLY wish I had a little cabin in the woods, where at times like these, I could tuck myself away for a few days, with some food, my paints, a few books and my Ipod of course. Sort of like when Lon Chaney was locked up as he was turning into the wolf man!!!

I did spend a lot of time working on my computer doing maintenance, and getting small projects done on the house. It took me hours to get 3 gb of hard drive space back, and I had to delete a lot of file and programs to do it!

We have torn all the wallpaper off the kitchen walls, and it is a slow process to wipe the excess paste off, wash the walls and woodwork down. When we moved the fridge and stove I was appalled how much dust and dirt there was under them! So the floors had to get scrubbed down too. There is the spackling, priming, and then painting. I have a color idea - the small entry way will be a deep red to flow into the beautiful runner we have in the hall, and I am envisioning a glowing orange/gold for the kitchen. I have such a color in my bathroom and it is rich and glows in any light. I obsess about color in my house...the outside painting scheme almost made me crazy!!!!

I have also been back working on selling things on ebay as that will be one of the ways I will get rid of my excesses and sell some of my artwork this summer. The antique Hawaii photos have been doing really well, especially the ones of skulls and Shriners etc. I have quite a few left to list, and the photo for tonight's blog is a real photo which has been toned from the early 1900s...of an erupting volcano in Hawaii. I have learned so much just be reading the backs of the photos.

Off to make 9 PM at night. It will be LIGHT. Till tomorrow, xxpatti o

Friday, May 18, 2007

Beautiful Light

This is the third of the card designs that I have of Rob's. Even though it is a scene with cursed SNOW, it is so beautiful that I did not mind posting it.

I saw a similar view tonight as I crossed the Hudson River. The clouds were a dark blue ahead of me over the river and east banks, while the sun was setting behind me, casting brilliant light over the trees which glowed a rich full Crayola green against the navy sky.

I kicked myself again for not having the camera. I have been too preoccupied with other things in my life these days to remember much of anything except to take my ipod where ever I go....

I joke about how much I love my ipod. In fact, Alanna said to Larry "don't touch Mimi's IPOD!! It is the mini transporter that provides me with amazing amounts of music and moods where ever I go. I listen to music in order to quiet the perseverating thoughts and conversations that run ceaslessly in my hyperactive mind...I get too far in sometimes and the music puts me in another space. And, when I am alone, I love to sing along with Joni and Sarah and Beth..... It is a carefree and wonderful time.

Off to bed. I need to get to sleep earlier since I seem to be waking up pre 5 AM.
If it continues, I may consider getting up and painting or making art along with sipping my first cup of coffee. I will have to readjust my life for a bit.....

To being friday night, and to a schluck of cherry brandy before retiring! xxp

Quick Morning Muse

Allergies are really kicking my ass. I got home late, Alanna got dropped off for the night, and after I got her to sleep at a late 9:30, I was unable to do much more than go to bed. Combine allergies with the fact that I am up awake these days as soon as the first bird sings.....

This is another one of Rob's cards and paintings. I love it.....the day lilies calling of hot days and swimming and the summer off. I can't wait.

Off to school. Yearbook is still not done, I have an art show for at our local community college and have to deliver the student's art by 4 PM, then to meet Jay at the Cafe in High Falls to pay him for my Bob Dylan tickets, then to Rhinebeck for my hair cut AND you KNOW Lois and I are heading out for a drink and a bite to eat at the end of a busy week.

My therapist is also back from a four month hiatis in the hospital...she nearly died and I am so glad that all is well. I am sure I will twist her head around a bit with what the last four months in my life has been.......and I guess it is time for a tune up. Thank God for blogging,art, and my friends!!!!

Have a great is FRIDAY! Till later, Patti

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wild Blossoms

I was supposed to go plein air painting with Rob after school, but nature did not cooperate. We had to call off our original plan, but I took a trip down to see him and the new paintings he has done in spite of his being quite ill.

Comfortably tucked deep in his old soft leather chair, I was surrounded by canvases that were heavily textured with white and pink blossoms. I gazed upon fields of apple blossoms that were full of light and life. I am sure the blossoms are gone now, especially with the heavy rains that passed through, but I got to experience them through his eyes.

Tonight's photo is one of the three cards he has had printed up that I will be carrying on my eBay site, or directly through me. It is titled "Wild Blossoms". I will post the other two on another blog. He is having a show at the ASK Gallery in July in coordination with the Sculpture Biennial in Kingston, so those of you who are local should come down to see his work at that first saturday opening. It promises to be a good party, a FABULOUS SHOW, and I will even make a rare appearance! (I have been keeping a low public profile these days)

You can visit Rob's work at ARTROOF

Still smelling blossoms, Patti

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Skeletons in my Closet

Now you REALLY think I am going to tell you about the skeletons in my closet? I am sure I have let a few out over the past year or so that I have written this blog. But I know you won't sleep unless I give you just one......BUT at the moment, I can't think of one story that would be appropriate. Add some more to the post retirement blog. (I will be taking sign ups for that soon...)

What I CAN tell you is that the photo of these skulls is from 1918, and was taken in Oahu Hawaii. Information about burial rituals of native Hawaiians can be found on this Hawaiian siteThe spirit resided in the bones, and there were different methods used to return the bones to the ground which enabled the spirit to depart, thus completing the cycle of life/death.

This is one of the photos I have been listing on Ebay. It has been a long time since I have done any listing, but this lot of goods REALLY interested me and it has been fun putting out some rare historic photos into the world.

I decided to also list some of my risque double-entendre collages. It has been a while since I have listed any art so it seemed like a good time to birth them. At the very least it has cost me a few dollars to advertise my artwork to the world for a week, no?

Oh, and I did indeed have another great dream last night-scenario: a huge sea resort, where I spent the evening in a hot tub eating chocolate (which melted and flowed out of the hot tub into a huge body of water...a chocolate lake) and if dawn did not come, I would have found my horses to ride along the beach... All I can say is, think me nuts, but it was a hell of a lot of fun!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Two Lips

An appropriate card for the season. Tulips, two lips, ah it is spring and either kind is a good thing to have. I am close to ending this long day of work and dealing with family illness and issues, and am thinking that a nice warm bath will loosen all the jams in my head and the stress in my body.

I need to recharge and I look forward to another evening of a deep sleep. I travel far in my dreams and go on great adventures. I look forward to these journeys and often feel like I live another life when I sleep. I believe anything is possible and these epic tales and travels are just another part of me, in another space or plane. The really strange part is when they cross over into my waking life and vica versa. Sort of like living in a constant state of deja vu.

I am sure some of you are shaking your head wondering what the hell I am talking about. She must have gotten into the wine again you think..are they REALLY morels that she is eating? Well never mind, it is just the ramblings of a type A highly creative person whose brain never stops, and I love every moment of the alternative worlds I create. Next stop.......?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

With All My Heart

With all my heart
I love you and promise
not to judge your actions and decisions
which I may not understand nor agree with,
but accept them as part of your journey, not mine.

With all my heart
I give you all that is possible
but I will not enable you in behaviors
that could hurt you, because I love you so.

With all my heart
I will remember what it is like to be young
and laugh and embrace your youthful antics
and keep them dear to my heart.

With all my heart
I love you and yours
and am glad that I got a second chance
to be the mother I always wanted to be.

To Megan on Mother's Day xxxmom

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Garden of Distraction

Beethoven's Fur Elise (sorry, I don't know how to put the umlauts in over the u in fur) is playing on WHMT. I smile for a moment, remembering how I tried to play that piece over and over again on my father's piano. My mother never complained, though I suspect she may have been in some sort of altered state and did not hear me.

My father, who was the authoritarian in the house, would never give me lessons, and my parents spent their life ignoring their eldest child's talents, passions, and dreams.....

By that being said, I am lucky that I have several avenues in which to sublimate my anxiety, my sorrow, and my frustrations. My first choice is always my studio, but a close second is working in my yard, making installation art with my gardens and sculptural pieces.

I spent a good part of the afternoon in the warm spring sun weeding and mulching different parts of my gardens. I have many small gardens which meander through my small city lot. Many house a sculpture within, and a special plant. Fairy Candles, poppies, a Japanese maple, pink miniature lilacs, iris and lilies of all kinds.

Some of my gardens consist of the plants that survive the erratic Catskill Mountain winters and the deer, and I have allowed nature to form the beds. Cottage gardens is how I describe my property as I failed the formal garden school.

This year the larkspur have established themselves in half of my lettuce garden. They are so hardy that I dare not disturb them. Dill is emerging around them and sprouts of peas climb the fence and netting that keeps the deer out. The spinach is beginning to sprout, and I pray every night for a touch of rain. The larger garden is awaiting the tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, but it is still not safe to put them in as a frost is forecast for tomorrow night. The local farmers are worried as the corn is in and up high, and could be taken down with one good frost.

I take great pride in my gardens which are nurtured with passion, love, joy, and sorrow. During each foray in the gardens I rejoice in the beauty of the earth and the gift that our higher power has given us.

To the gift of the beauty of nature......

The first photo is my wild columbine that grow along one side of my house, and the other is my scarecrow against the forsythia. He needs a new outfit, but has been a great part of my garden these past few years.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Foot Trauma Part Deux

It is a few months short of two years since I had major surgery to repair my broken tibia, fibia, and some other bone that I pulverised in a fall. I was traumatized by the entire experience. The fall, the crunch, unbelievable pain, swelling, emergency room docs, needles, morphine, setting the bones, casting, and surgery three days later. Waking up twice during surgery. The insane pain for months.

At my last doc's appointment she said, "whatever you do, don't get in ingrown nail." NO PROBLEM I thought, never had one, never will.

NOT. About a month ago I experienced a very painful infection, and today, I had to deal with minor surgery to remove part of the nail and dig out all kinds of debris which was in my foot post infection.

My foot is still numb. They shot me with so much Novocaine that I can't feel half of my leg. I am limping, and this is all too reminiscent of a my prior trauma.

I had agita most of the day over this, the docs gave me a 2 mg Valium which was a joke, and here I sit, sipping wine wondering what the heck I am going to feel like when the anesthetic wears off.

At one point I felt rather guilty about my anxiety, as I thought about all that Megan has gone through. Again, a reality check.

I know that the throbbing will end. I will take good care of this and I will be OK. And the doc assured me that by now all the metal in my leg is part of my leg and it won't attract any infection enough to kill me.

With that comfort I am heading upstairs. I am full of good red wine and Hagen Daas ice cream and hope to get a good night's sleep.

PS I was going to show some really gross post surgical foot photos, but I thought that the view from my back porch was much more appealing!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Black Book (Zwartboek)

I had plans tonight to meet a good friend whom I used to work with. At 4 we met in Rhinebeck, and being a lovely spring afternoon we sat outside at what was once the Starr Bar (not sure what it is called now...the Rhinebeck Cantina?) Drinks, light dinner, great conversation and many laughs made it a delightful relaxing time.

There was a man behind us who was very loud, and a bit of a braggert about his involvement in the art world and with some woman who worked at a hospital and I could hear snatches of his conversation...."she does it for money, she won't do it for free" (sing?) and the last part was garbled so I could not determine if he SLEPT with her or SCHLEPPED with her.

All of a sudden I started laughing so hard that the tears were rolling down my face. My back was to the man, so hopefully he did not see, and I think he was too involved with himself to even notice. I dragged my friend out of there before I made a complete ass of myself. Besides, it was time for the movie.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven of Robocop and Basic Instinct fame, Black Book was 2 1/2 hours of intrigue, drama, action, tension, violence and death. Oh, and sex of course. Scenerio: Holland at the end of WWII. The lead character is Rachel, a young beautiful singer who is Jewish and in hiding. I won't tell more but it is about love, betrayal, death, the Resistance, and Nazis, and survival.

Movies like that always shake me up and put me deep in thought. I asked Fran if she wanted to walk as I was not ready to get into my car without processing some of this and releasing the nervous energy out that had been building while watching the movie.

Fran asked me about my mother and son, and all of a sudden I just started crying in the middle of the street. Fortunately we were a bit out of town so that no one saw me. I was too raw to talk about it and choked on the words. I shook it off fast, as I do so many times when I get very sad.

I thought about how terrible life must have been (and still is--- let us not forget that..think of Iraq and Africa for starters..) for millions of people in that horrible war, and how dare I cry because of things that happen in everyday life. I have a nice house, my family and I are safe from persecution, we don't have to prostitute ourselves in any form for any thing, and I hope I never have to watch any of my family members be killed or tortured. How dare I be sad.

Yet my feelings are so very real and valid, but this film helped put things in perspective, which is sometimes what I need in order to refocus myself.

Tonight's work is an eruption of Mauna Loa in Hawaii during the 1920's.....I thought it visually fitting for my mood.

Still in deep thought, Patti

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I am getting a bit punchy right now. I just posted a rather intense Meganaid blog and I don't have much left.

Don't ask why all of a sudden I thought about Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the Knights of Ni want Shrubbery. (you have to know the movie to understand this drivel...)SHRUBBERY in that high pitched accented voice. SHRUBBERY.

I just ripped out all my shrubbery (for your information) in the front of my house. It looks rather naked now, but the shrubbery was overtaking my modest home. I will find some less imposing plants, and am done with the shrubbery for now.

Tonight's vegetation is a photo I took of a dock in Mystic CT quite a while back. The film sat buried in my car for years and got rather grainy. I quite like it. No photoshop in this photo!

Here's to keeping your shrubbery under control, Patti

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Homophobia at the Metropolitan?

Last night I talked about my world..the secret, and often not-so-secret world of P.A. - a world where everyone is accepted for who they are. This world does not see skin color, religion, or sexual preference. This world is also my reality.

Sadly, this is not the reality of mankind. We pride ourselves on our freedoms, yet live with intolerance, violence, and hate.

Sadly, one of the biggest institutions in the arts, the Metropolitan Museum of art, is perpetuating an air of homophobia by choosing to ignore any mention of the the role of homosexuality in Ancient Greek culture, even when the artifacts that reside in the new Greek and Roman galleries graphically depicts it. Yet it is my understanding that heterosexual acts are discussed in the descriptive text on the walls and artwork, but the other side of human sexuality- homosexuality, is ignored.

This is a sin of omission - to leave out such an important part of culture and history. Shame on the curators of such a world renown institution - to color our world with only the colors that they chose to use.

I had a well written article on this which I cannot find ANYWHERE on my computer or in Google matter how I word it. I regret this as it was a must read, and will email my friend whom originally sent it. As soon as I get the link, I will post it.

You owe it to the world to read it, especially if you are an artist OR curator.

Reporting from the desk of P.A.

PS a card I designed as a final project in my Photoshop class!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Secret life of Ms. P.A.

I started writing a blog about the process of being middle aged and stumbling upon all kinds of amazing discoveries about life and one's self. It got rather thick and sticky and even a tad bit maudlin.

So I stopped writing, went out to the studio, and sat down with the FULL intention of making more cards for my client who is my BEST customer ever.

As usual, I got sidetracked, and began making bricolages. Paraphrased from my favorite online dictionary...Bricolage is art made from existing materials.. a bricoleur is person who makes bricolages, and is creative and resourceful: a person who collects information and things and then puts them together in a way that they were not originally designed to do."

So, into the surreal and twisted world of P.A. we go, down, down, down till you can't get any lower, where every word has a double meaning, children have dog heads and crickets ride on the backs of mice.

As I dig in the detritus in my studio, words from an antique children's book are rearranged, and images leap onto old bingo cards and paintings. Out of nursery rhymes comes Nursery Crimes, where women tempt men and women, a world where men hold hands, and anything else that they please.

It is a place where I find refuge, and recharge. It is a world that I can live out my fantasies and muse on the state of our world. It a part of me that I absolutely adore. It is a part that has been criticized by some, and has even cost me relationships because though I try and keep it all under wraps, it spills out into the "normal world" from time to time.

So instead of lovely cards for my client, I have started a series of little bricolages, that make me laugh. And perhaps even a few of you. I can't get great detail with blogger pics, but there are lots of little phrases poling around on the cards.

The top one is titled Shad Bush, and the bottom is titled "I'm Coming on Wings".

In humor which saves us all, Patti

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Concerts, Royalty and Old Friends

This is a great photo which I have listed on ebay. A pic of the Prince of Wales who became King Edward VIII who had to abdicate the throne in order to marry his love, divorcee Wallis Simpson. If you enjoy biographies, Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937, is a good read about their love affair and relationship. I have been fascinated by royalty and have read assorted biographies over the years. Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, ET. AL. I recently finished one on Jenny Churchill, Winston's mother.

This photo is interesting as it shows the Prince in a canoe on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu Hawaii, in 1920, and he is surrounded by a few photographers trying to get THE photo. This photographer got a great shot.

Last night's concert at the Bearsville Theater was fabulous. Dar Williams is a lively and fantastic performer who serenaded us for almost 3 hours. She did an acoustic set alone on stage for the first part, then bought out her band for the second set. They were both filming and recording the show, and she had done another concert the night before which I wish I had attended as it was a totally different set of music (save for one song that she did both nights). Songwriter and singer Jules Shear got up on stage for a song as he was in the audience to hear her sing.

We had great seats in the front of the balcony, enjoyed a few drinks, and three hours of heartfelt music that touched the hearts of many. It was a great way to end a day of hard work around the house.

It is late, and I will save my other ramblings for tomorrow. An old friend dropped in whom I had not see in two years, so we had dinner together and caught up on our lives in a few hours, so I ran out of time to write!

Till tomorrow, Patti

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Back in the Garden

A quick blog as I am getting ready to get into my concert gear and head up to Woodstock.

Going to Woodstock is a trip. You never know who you might run into at the Theater, or in town for that matter. I love dressing keeps people wondering..who might THAT be? I think it is a leather night....and I think I am going to keep it all black. Or jeans and black. I don't get to go out for an evening of music often, so I like to make it as fun as possible.

Tonight Dar Williams is doing another evening of a concert and a live recording. I am looking forward to the partying and going to a venue which is really really cool.

Off to dress, and will report back tomorrow.

Oh, and my fabulous pedestal in my garden, needing to be leveled and have some sculpture or plant grace it soon.

till the morning, Patti

Friday, May 04, 2007

On Being Mary Poppins

"Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking." --Mary Poppins.

I was in the bathroom at my sister's house doing my routine of massaging in my face lotion, brushing my long hair, applying the little bit of makeup that I wear...and suddenly I felt very sad. I put down my brush and stared off into space in the tiny bathroom thinking about Mary Poppins, and how I felt like I have been popping in and out of people's lives, fixing things, making people laugh, nursing them back to health, loving them, making magic, and then leaving.

I cried a few tears thinking about new life and how death lurks near, about illness and health, and how I have tried to make things better and how love has given me strength, joy, and wisdom.

I wondered how Mary Poppins felt when she had to leave the people who's lives she had touched and changed?

I had come to my sister's house, befriended her animals, had a wonderful time with her 12 and 2 year old, kept up with basic house cleaning chores like keeping the sink and dishwasher empty, organizing toys, doing some transportation, and did a lot of laughing.

After Mary came home with her baby, we all had lunch together and I knew it was my time to leave. Peter had to put the swing and bed together, Helena needed time with her mother, Mary need to nurse the baby and take a nap. I knew it was time for me to head out onto the highway again and gain strength for the next life I might pop into.

Is that why Mary Poppins had to leave? To recharge for the next event? Did she too shed a tear before she took off?

Before I left I told them how I felt like Mary Poppins, and how I was sad to leave. They were sad too, but my sweet niece said "but Mary Poppins always comes back"....and with that I smiled, got into my car, and drove off with a smile.

And here I am, on the highway, shooting out the windshield of my car......welcoming the greens of spring, the mountains on my journey and thinking about whose life I would next pop into for a bit.

In magic, Patti

Thursday, May 03, 2007

House Aunt

I cannot call myself a house wife as I don't have a husband here, so I guess house aunt will be good enough. I have transported Helena to her events and practices, made sure the animals are fed and happy, kept the sink and dishwasher empty, and the floor swept of the days detritus.

I have enjoyed spending time with my 12 year old neice, going out to dinner, playing scrabble, talking, reminiscing about the folk art Halloween doll that I sent to the girls a few years ago that gave Helena nightmares. Peter had to take it to his office as it scared the bejeezus out of Helena, and my sister said "I am NOT giving my children that doll!" It became Peter's office mascot as the adults thought it was really cool, and when I gave Helena a little gift of a fairy when I arrived, she looked at it and breathed a sigh of relief and said, "ah, at least she is not scary".

I have spent some time driving around the town, pleased as punch that I have not been nervous nor gotten lost in my trips to the school, the hospital, the deli and dance school. I am working my way up to leaving Pelham and finding Trader Joes on my next visit. Before you know it I will be driving into the city!!!!

I went to visit my sister and little Alex today. She looks great and moved her room into this very posh hotel-like room that the local hospital has for an extra fee. Except for the hospital bed, it is quite nice, with a large screen TV, a bathroom bigger than mine at home, and it is quiet, warm, and luxurious. I was a bit jealous and wanted to stay the night there. Perhaps rooms should be like that for the terminally ill and dying, so that you can leave this life in style. It sure is a nice way to come into the world!

Here are pics of Alex, little Eva, and my sister and Helena. I know no one wants to see my family pics, how boring is that to strangers, but I share them as I love them and hold them close to my heart as I hold you all.

I am tired, I have been up at 5:30 each morning, and need a nap before Helena comes back from rehearsal. I suspect I will return home tomorrow when Mary comes home with the baby...and I will quiety let the family settle in and welcome Alex into his new home.

This time away with my family has been quite lovely and as I grow older I cherish it more deeply then ever. Patti

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Seven Deadly Facts

FIRST OF ALL I AM AN AUNT for the THIRD time today. My sister gave birth to Alex, at 8 lbs 10 oz. They are both amazing!

Well this is a first. Amber Dawn, a good internet artist friend of mine tagged me. I have never been tagged, but I guess I am supposed to follow the rules of the game. So here are the rules, several of you that I have links on my blog to, will be tagged, but I don't have 7 people to pass this too I like to play games, and hope that those whom I tag will play along. Let me know if you do, as I LOVE to learn about friends.

Here are the rules…. each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Now this is really hard for me as I have lots of interesting facts and habits, many of which I cannot post here. Some of you would crack up, some be appalled, some perhaps freaked (you know you have them too) so I have to behave myself. That will be for the blog and book I write AFTER I retire from working in the public sector.

Factoid No. 1- speaking of games. I have NEVER played spin the bottle. I have always wanted to and sometimes amuse myself by thinking of who I would invite to a special party and play the game with. Yes Larry, you are invited. Want to make a list with me? hahaha. Nor have I ever played strip poker. As I get older, that becomes less appealing.

Factoid No. 2- In order to sleep, I must sleep on my right side, somewhat curled up in a fetal position. There are times that Larry wants me to turn the other way, but I don't last long before I have to say goodbye and turn my back on him.

Factoid No. 3- I have an extrememly acute sensitive sense of smell. Bad smells can last a week or the smell of a bun on the street or a goat. I have blogged about that before. But so do good smells too. I have a funny story to go with that but I don't think I can tell that here. OH and I LOVE TO SMELL MY ART SUPPLIES. That was also in another blog.....

Factoid 4- Every single day I put on some deliciously scented lotion. One for my face, one for my body. Preferably something organic, natural and homemade. And it has to smell good. I like to surround myself with an aura of good smells. It helps keep the bad ones out.

Factoid 5- Many times I wear the same clothes on monday that I wore all day on sunday. (not the undies or socks--ok?!) It helps me ease into the work week and there is something cozy and comfy about that. And slightly decadent and evil.

Factoid 6- I do NOT write or make art when others are around. I despise it. Larry knows to ask if I am writing on the computer. If so, he stays on the other side of the door. He only pops his head into my studio once in a while. I am extrememly private when it comes to that. Cats and dogs don't count.

Factoid 7- I am addicted to potato chips and sour cream. And Bugles. Good thing I only buy it once in a while because I could devour the entire bag and container of sour cream. Larry knows that I also can't or won't eat chili and beans and rice without the sour cream. I plain refuse.

So there you go..the safe ones. Hope you got a chuckle.

Here are the people I am going to tag....I only have a few, and they might not respond, but here goes...

Mary Beth Shaw
Bardet Wardell
Judy Vars - Cabin Fever in Alaska
Lisa Cook

Their links can all be found on my blog. I would make them but I MUST get off to sleep now.

And tonight's picture is my neice Helena and her dog Becky.

Ciao for now! Patti

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On Losing a Phobia

I will post a picture tomorrow as it is late, I am on an APPLE, I don't have all my gear out to try and figure it out. But being that I have a bit of spare time on my hands tomorrow, I will figure it out. Just what I love, another challenge.

After a CRAZY busy day at work, I hopped in my car, gassed up (where I saw my long lost son--that is for another story-I have so many of them) and headed south to Pelham. Perfect journey save for a bit of rush hour traffic on the Hutchison River Parkway (which heads into NYC).

Not a stomach ache, not a worry. Not a care.

I wondered, what happened to the anxiety and phobia I have had for the past 40 years about traveling? Why did it disappear? I know when, but why? For years I have been crippled by it, causing me to not go places on my own, especially strange places I have never been to.

Perhaps it came out of the desperation of needing to escape last month, and my booking a flight across country and not thinking about it. Is it because at this point in my life travel and adventure might be the one thing that will KEEP my sanity, rather than destroy it? Have I banished the demon of the trauma I experienced that started the entire phobia?

I think it started when I was a little girl and I threw up all over my father's Mercedes. He had a violent temper, and I was frightened of what would happen. I remember him turning around in a stony silence and heading back home. From that point forth, I would get nauseaus before ANY trip out of the ordinary, and it tortured me my entire life.

Tomorrow I might even get in the car (of course with my map) and travel into town, to visit my sister in the hospital (most likely in labor) and pick up my neice at school. I will let you know how I fare, and I feel a freedom that I have not felt in years.

So it IS possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Damn.


PS I figured out how to post a photo on this MAC. This is an antique photo of Brother John, whom I am listing on Ebay in a bit. The back of the photo reads: Brother John-a religious fanatic who is warning the sinners of Honolulu to prepare for the wrath of God. He has been confined in several asylums. An old Hawaiian and two Orientals are the other subjects. Background is the US Transport Cambrai- ready to sail. Honolulu Sept. 20, 1924