Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Love those Cowboy Boots


I have owned many pairs of cowboy boots over the course of my life. There was a long hiatus where they walked out of my closet into someone Else's, but the last two years they have made a resurgence in my wardrobe.

I have always been a shoe and a boot girl. In the boot department I had CFM boots, rugged work boots, hiking boots, Uggs, cowboy boots. Each boot served a particular purpose, or went with a particular "look". But after I severely broke my ankle, I was very limited in what I could wear. Two years later I still can't wear certain foot gear, and I have been sadly giving some of my collection away.

One style of boot I could wear was a black leather and snakeskin pair of cowboy boots that I bought gently used from a good friend. As a bonus she threw in a few more pairs. Dark brown, light brown. They were wide in the ankle, (where my leg still swells!) and I can tolerate the heel, though I think that someone needs to design a pair that has a nice soft thick insole as the leather bottoms can be pretty hard.

When I arrived in Nashville I had on my infamous Tony Loma black cowboy boots, a pair of jeans that I bought in New Orleans in the French Quarter the spring before Katrina, a rose colored light cotton v-neck sweater, my pearls, a smart double breasted black sweater. Comfort clothes that can be worn just about anywhere. I commented to Megan about my whether woman down here wore cowboy boots, and she rolled her eyes and said "mom, this IS Tennessee".

While we were unpacking Megan's household items which had finally arrived from New York, Megan sadly pulled out her BCBG Cowboy boots. They hurt her she said, and they were too small. Did I want them? I greedily grabbed them, slipped them on, and they were PERFECT.

I do love that cowboy boot and boot cut jean look, and don't even know OR care if it is in style. Thinking I need to find a green or red pair though.....for when I want to make a statement!!!


Keep posted for Halloween pics. I don't have them together yet, but as promised, I will post them soon.......

patti
Photo-polariod that Larry shot. Found it on the mantle! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Die Schwarze Katze

I can't blog tonight as I have been incredibly busy, and am getting my last minute costume together.

It is simple. Ears, makeup, black t-shirt, black leather pants, high boots. Classic Cat Woman. At almost 50, I am indeed a classic.

The kids in school will love it; I am not sure about the staff, but because I am an art teacher, I can often get away with more than others. Many expect it of me because I am one of those artsy freak types. The students have already figured it out, and I suspect my co-workers too, but it's all good, and I don't care what anyone thinks for that matter. Another advantage of being a classic.

Photo tonight is courtesty Larry. Self portrait of him, Shiva, and fellow freak who stops by once a year.

Patti-O-cat

Monday, October 29, 2007

You Know You're in Nashville When.......

You know you're in Nashville when you go to the airport and there is a stage complete with seating, and a sugar faced young man named Shelby Merchant crooning country songs.

Alanna has always been fascinated with music, so we sat and listened for a while as we had arrived in plenty of time to spend a few more moments together before I had to jet out. After a few songs, one being a lovely rendition of John Mayer's Daughter's, I took Alanna over to the stage and asked him if I could take his picture.

Well, if that sweet young man didn't ask Alanna to come up on stage with him, and give her the microphone so that I could get a photo of the both of them. I smiled, knowing that this had made our day. Megan sat in the background smiling, Alanna was most decidedly mesmerized by the entire experience, and I knew he was my blog for tonight. Thanks Shelby, for making a moment special in all of our lives. I didn't have much time to explore Nashville this time around, and look forward to when I come back.

So head on over to Shelby's site, at shelbymerchant.com to listen to his music, check out his myspace, his website etc.

I am writing this from home in the great state of New York. It was a beautiful day for flying, hardly a cloud in the sky. I watched intently as we flew over the Shawangunk Ridge, and I saw Mohonk from the air. The sun was low in the sky and it gleamed off the mighty Hudson River. I took photos, but my window was really dirty so I am not sure how the photos will come out. If I must, I will abstract them in photoshop and they will be documentation of some sort for my art. Another series...From Heaven. If I have energy I will post a few on my Catskillpaper site.

I am tired and a bit sad from having to go. We cried in the airport when we had to kiss goodbye, and my heart ached that I am not closer. But Megan and Alanna are heading north for the Christmas Holiday, and we are going to make it one hell of a great time.

Off to have the food and wine that Larry had waiting for me in the kitchen, complete with an illustrated note (bats of course) and gerbera daisies. :)

patti

A Different World

I spent today going back and forth a few times between Kentucky and Tennessee, on a military base. Megan's husband, my SON-IN-LAW (oh my God, it is so strange to say that) is stationed at Fort Campbell which straddles the border of both states.

We shopped at the commissary, went to the liquor store, and toured the base.

Now I have to say it is a very strange world for a woman who is often called a hippie, though I am far too young to be one, nor would I call myself one. I am just a northern liberal artist, who still can't understand how her two children went military. It is a strange world for me, one that I just can't fathom.

Dole let me try on his 45 lb. vest, which is what Megan wore for over a year in Iraq. No wonder her back is destroyed. I was able to lift it and put it on without a problem, but after 10 minutes my shoulders and neck ached. I tried to imagine what it would be like to wear it in battle, or even walk around, in 100+ degree weather.

Dole is being deployed to Afghanistan after the New Year. His term is 15-18 months. I don't know how Megan is going to take that, and I can't fathom what being deployed there will be like. Images from the book The Kite Runner flashed through my head, and suddenly I am immensely grateful that I am a free woman, and for all that I have.

Tomorrow I head back to New York, back to my husband, back to my "other life". I muse at how interesting it is that once again I am thrown into the winds of war and the lives of soldiers, and pray for understanding, wisdom, and peace in the world.

I will miss my little family here, and look forward to my return. Tonight's photo is of Alanna, who insisted on wearing her new sweater that I bought her, complete with hood. She is an angel.

In peace, patti

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What I Don't Remember About the 80's

Things have been low key here in Tennessee. A trip to the mall, lunch at the Olive Garden. A mid afternoon nap for all of us as we hardly slept last night. Then later, we had dinner at Megan's with Andrea and Alyssa, who are Alanna's father's wife and daughter.

Now I know some of you out there might think it a bit strange, but we are indeed the epitome of a "modern family", where in spite of unusual circumstances and events, friendships are forged and families bond together to raise children.

Andrea bought a few games to play, one of them being the 80's edition of Trivial Pursuit.

Wow. What I learned from three hours about myself while playing this challenging game was that I don't remember much about the 80's! I don't know if it is the brain cells that I killed in the 70's and early 80's, the birth and raising of two children mostly on my own,(I am convinced it is not the placenta that you deliver after the baby-rather it is part of your brain..), peri-menopause, or the horrible traumas from the marriage and subsequent divorce from my husband that has blocked most of my memories. I failed miserably on the TV questions, sucked on most of the political queries, and was only weakly good on the music (Alyssa, who is 11, was a music whiz---she was amazing!) And sports, why can't they make a trivia game without that category on it. I was proud however about earning a chip by answering a question about Idi Amin.

I am rather depressed. I was outsmarted by all in the room. I had better brush up on my trivia, and see if there are any games online to help me prep for my next trivia game at the Skytop!!! I don't want to go back to those high school days where no one wanted me on their sports team, and I was the last to be picked!

Off to get some sleep. Perhaps it was the toxins built up in my brain from lack of sleep, but somehow I doubt it. I will go to sleep dreaming of White Snake, Kiss and Phil Collins questions, of game show hosts and TV series that I never heard of.

Do they make Trivia tapes that you can listen to while you are sleeping?

Patti

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Off to Tennessee!!!!


I am sitting in the Atlanta Airport for a two hour layover. I saved my battery just so that I could spend some time online for a while, but I can’t connect to the WI FI here for some reason. Keep losing the signal, and the airport has a “charge” for using their connection. The free public WiFi isn’t working and I don’t see any potential friendly geeks sitting nearby me that I could ask.

The first part of the journey has gone well. Perfect timing to the airport, no delays thus far. There were some extra seats on the plane, so the large man next to me got up and moved. He said he regreted losing the potential excellent conversation that we may have had together, but he was afraid that he might squish me. He wasn’t that large, but who was I to argue about gaining more room and some quiet time to myself.

I picked up a new magazine in the airport shop-a magazine for women over 40. I figured why read the magazines for women who have pencil thin bodies who wear fashions that I can’t either wear, fit into, or afford. It was interesting, and I got myself a bottle of some decent red wine on the plane and read about women and their investments, about mid life career changes and I still have half a magazine left. I will save that for when the low battery signal comes on.

I watched a beautiful sunset, and took a few photos with my camera until the light got so dim that I only got blur. As we landed in Atlanta, I looked out the window and thought how beautiful all the lights were from the air, bedecking the earth with their Cartier-like jewel shimmers.

I can’t wait till I see my girls. I come bearing gifts for all. In fact, I hardly have anything in my suitcase because it is full of Megan’s wedding photos, coffee syrup, Halloween goodies, and an Edward Gorey decoration for their house. I will just have to use Megan’s things while I am there. Funny how things come around full circle, and I will be living off her for a few days!!!!

So, when I get a chance, I will upload this and one of the photos. Ciao for now!

patti

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Deep Fried wishin' I were Ossified


I am burnt. Toast. Crisped. Not from partying or living the high life, but from a very rough day at work, dealing with some very intense issues at school. I was angry, frustrated, upset. I can't talk about it here, but let me assure you, my job, though rewarding, can be very intense, as I work with street kids, gang kids, troubled kids, emotional kids, all day long.

I love them. Yet I don't know what I was more angry about, the behavior of the students, or the way it was handled by the school. I REALLY want to go on a rant here, but being a professional, I won't.

Enough said.

I am packing so I can leave after school. I am not feeling well, I think stress may have invited the beginning of some illness. But I am going to swap with Zicam and drink more ginger tea, have a nip of vodka, and snuggle down deep into my soft mattress and down comforter and watch another episode about Ancient Egypt. FYI, it is called "Egypt-Rediscovering A Lost World", produced by the BBC. EXCELLENT narration and acting.

Tomorrow I will be checking in, probably from Atlanta. Or, maybe on the plane to Nashville. Off to more adventures, much like Stuart Little.

Patti O Flyer

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

TRIVIA!!!

As some of you may have noticed, I did not blog last night. I worked till 7:30, and then headed to my first "Trivia Night" at the Skytop. I got home after 10:30, and figured I had better spend some times with my husband after having spent two hours at a bar with three SMART younger men...playing a game. He had been too tired to go, so off I went on an adventure. I had a dream about playing in a trivia game a night before, so I knew I HAD to check it out.

I am a trivia nut. I don't know as much as many trivia nuts know, but I love the challenge. I watched Quiz Bowl as a kid and was an alternate on the high school Quiz Team. I loved it. Then when Trivial Pursuit came out, I was in my GLORY. What memories of Trivial Pursuit parties I have! Some vicious games too!

I arrived at the bar, and no one who was supposed to show up did. I am a woman of my word. If I say I am going to be at an event, I show up. So I sat at the bar for a while, sipping on my beer, and wondering if I was going to stay. I had no team. I was also a bit lonely --it has been a LONG time since I been in that situation. I found myself staring off into space wondering..."what now"?

Fortunately I knew someone, who had only one member, and then we invited another guy who was alone to join us, and before we knew it we were one point away from being the top team. We took second place, got a prize, and went home smiling.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with my team members. I learned never to judge people by what they do either. A food/scuba vendor, a construction guy, and an insurance rep, all really smart!!!!!

I look forward to going again perhaps next week if I have the energy after flying around from New York to Atlanta to Tennessee and back.

It was fun being back in high school, or at least that is what it felt like!

Tonight's collage was done digitally, but it will also be an actual collage when I find just one more image for it. I need a plane or a car, of the correct era to go with the dates and story of the other pieces.

Patti

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cattle Management and Records in the City


I had a some good chuckles today reading the comments from last night's blog that made me feel so totally OK that I am not the only one who does silly cow things, like talk and moo to them, wave hay around to tempt them, and then take photos of their silly faces. (while protected from them by major fences) (oh, and a PS, have any of my readers encountered any violent incidents involving cows???)

And even sillier is that Google ads are having a FIELD DAY posting ads relative to my blog....about managing my cattle, keeping records of their breeding, stud fees, sales, etc. I guess it is better than the ads they were putting in for single older men, though I don't see much of a difference.

One of the things I LOVE about the city I live in, is that it is a city where you can find cows 7 minutes away, and have deer and bear amble through your backyard like they own it. This summer a hawk set up camp near out house and I could hear its piercing screes several times a day.

Come to think of it, I have seen skunk, fox, opossum, and rabbits, and just about the ONLY animal I have NOT seen is a porcupine, which we grew up learning to shoot before they chewed up our car tires, hoses, and house siding (and believe me, I have seen the most amazing wreckage done by porcupines and raccoons...tore up entire cabins!!!!)

Secret fact about me---I used to compete in turkey shoots as a teen. OK, the grown ups got the turkeys, and we got chickens. The only person who beat me was my own brother. That made the country kids want to beat up us Long Island imports even more than ever. I was a mean shot.

Someday I will have to tell a few of stories how I got in several fights with some of the country folk's kids in order to be respected and left alone. I always came out the winner.

On that note, I am heading up to bed to learn some more about Ancient Egypt. I am having a hell of a good time on the journey.

patti
photos are a closeup of the cows checking me out. They never seen red hair like that on a cow before.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Till the Cows Come Home

I spent much of the early part of the day working on the Internet. I broke away around 2:00 pm to pick up a flyer for some plays that my students might enjoy down at ASK, and headed to buy my son some clothes for his birthday.

On the way back, I stopped at a few places along the road, and ventured down a few small lanes that I have never traveled.

One stop on the highway overlooked a farm that is sandwiched between Sawkill road and the New York State Thruway. I stood at the side of the road, almost in the lane, talking to the bulls in the field. It was funny how as soon as they saw me, they all turned towards me and stared.

When I was in Ireland I took a hike along a back road, where the cows and bulls were grazing freely- no barbed wire or electric fence to keep them in. I remember being fearful that they would charge me and do unspeakable things to me with their horns and hooves. I survived, and today's bulls were unable to even get near me, so I teased them a bit with a beckoning call, and some conversation.

I think they were staring at me thinking "who the hell is this nut, talking to us and standing very close to traffic, and almost touching the electric fence?"

I took quite a few photographs, headed down a dead end lane that had a bunch of highway trucks at the end, and fields of uncut brown corn stalks.

However, when I got home, and was organizing my photographs (the unending task of a digital photographer) I accidently deleted all but 2 photos :(

So here are my cows.

And for a piece of trivia in regards to the title of this blog, here is a quote from Groucho Marx: "I could dance with you till the cows come home. Better still, I'll dance with the cows and you come home."

To the cows, patti

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Global Warming in the Hudson Valley

I asked Larry to co-author this with me, but he is stumped (he does not like that term, but since he has not given me a better descriptor, stumped it is) and is more interested in sipping on his port, leftover from the infamous Glugg which he made almost a year ago, for the holidays.

He is taking this all too literally. He feels he cannot contribute to my blog because he does not have the facts to back the subject at hand. What he does not realize, after 13 years of living with me, is that I talk in metaphors, double entendres, and sarcasm. (I am reading this to him and he is royally laughing --methinks the port has gotten to his brain).

What I intended to talk about was that I spent the last few days enjoying this autumn. My back porch has been opened again, a place to sip on whatever refreshment suits you, I am still picking tomatoes. I have STILL not felt the need to make pesto out of my basil and parsley, and went to a party this afternoon in Tivoli (near Bard College) wearing a light shirt.

The leaves were falling down upon me while I broke out in a light sweat from time to time. Global warming vs. perimenopause. Same difference. Maybe the new term for the 21st century should be periwarmopause?

I joke about the wonders of this fall being attributed to global warming. I have not done my homework to compare this fall to others in the history of keeping track of weather in the northeast. But I can't remember swimming in early October, and still hanging out in the sun soaking in its heat this late in the season.

I love it. I hope this winter is only 3, not 6 months. But I do wonder, is this global warming, and if it is, what does it mean for generations to come. My guess is, you had better get out your glasses and sip on some port, cause honey, it ain't' good.

patti
PS blogger having probs with photo uploading, so no photo tonight!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Fog


I grabbed my camera as I headed out the door. I had received an online fog advisory, and I was not going to miss out on a great photo op.

The sun took hours to break through, and there were no spectacular rays of light to stun me first thing in the morning, but the ride was still amazing, and here are a few pics shot from my car as I was driving.

My energy tonight went into the blog I wrote for my daughter, who is a veteran of Iraq, a 23 year old mother and wife, and who is battling a rare form of cancer, as well as having other disabilities.

To her my attention and love goes tonight. Head on over to her if you would like, her Meganaid link is on this site. And keep her and her family in your prayers and meditations.

Namaste, Patti

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Beauty of the Fall


With the advent of less light, it has been easy to find fault with the arrival of fall. Shorter and cooler days, cold nights, the end of outdoor swimming. The impending cold. (I don't mind ice and snow, it is the sub zero temperatures which I object to.)

I have failed however, up until the past few days, to appreciate the beauty of the autumn.

My morning rides have gifted me with the most stunning visions -- visions which set the scenario for my day. When I feel myself slipping into shadow, I revisit my morning ride, envisioning the creek with its nebulous mist rising above, weaving in and out of the sleepy boats tucked in along the docks.

My ride over an the old Broadway bridge winds through a cut into a large hill, and around the bend the sun shoots beams that bounce off the brightly colored trees and the water dripping from the black rocks glistens like diamonds.

The air, though cool in the morning, warms to gently embrace us in a silk blanket of perfection.

I am learning how to live in the moment. Such mornings have been kind reminders of the state that I want to achieve-- experiencing, love, beauty, spirit, and the joy of the art of living in the now.

Patti.

Cycles Gladiator

I came home from a long day at work to clean up the studio a bit. I have decided to hire a student for 2-3 hours a week to do the things that I don't want to do, such as package cards, paint wood forms for ornaments, organize the studio etc. In that time I can design and work of my other art while Jess works on the "small stuff".

I had bought the most wonderful Cabernet Savignon to make homemade sauce with and sip on, Cycles Gladiator, and had a half a glass while I worked. Around 8 pm I felt weird, closed down, and went inside, and headed straight to bed.

I lay in bed feeling horrid, with the splendid smell of Larry's homemade sauce drifting up to torture me. But I had no appetite nor energy to leave my bed.

The past few days I have some kind of intestinal upset-yuck, but worked in spite of it. Plus a headache which I suspect is fall allergy related. It all just caught up with me and knocked me down I think. FLAT.

So off to start the day and hope that I can make it through another 12 hour day!

Till later, P

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kate Bush Story


A friend of mine passed me a link to a bootleg song of Kate Bush, and I was just about to post it here, and then realized perhaps it was not meant for me to pass along. So, until he OKs it, I will only tease you with the possible promise of hearing it. Otherwise you will have to get your Kate Bush fix on You Tube, which has a nice collection of her music.

When I hear Kate Bush, I am taken back to a time after I left my horrible first husband. R (as I shall call him) was a friend of my sisters; he was handsome, mysterious - a "sensitive" guy. I was head over heals for him....and he was head over heels for Kate Bush.

To this day I can still smell him in his black leather coming into my house after his second shift, the leather crackling every so slightly as he bent over to kiss his Sleeping Beauty who was deep into her dreams.

It was doomed from the start. I don't think he was ready for my ready made family, of two toddlers, and I was too broken to be of any use as a girlfriend. But he loved Kate Bush, he wore black leather, and danced underneath the full moon, and when I think back on that time, I get a silly grin, and I am sure some wonder "what's she thinking about?!"

To black leather, Kate Bush, and dancing under the stars.

Patti
(blogger is having photo probs tonite..I do have a photo of a deep dark Catskill evening with starts...photoshop drawing, and will post when it allows me!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not Answering the Phone


It is Sunday night, after 8:30. I have just come home from a lovely dinner at a friend's house, after a long but productive day of work.

It is uncanny how the phone does not ring all day, but when you come home and it is evening and you are tired and cranky and just want to be left alone, the phone starts to ring. People figure that I have to get up early in the morning, and that I will be home. Well, that is half right, the only part they don't know is that I have work to finish, and things to get ready for my week.

It has taken me many years to go to be able to do this, but I don't answer the phone. I have an answering machine if someone really needs me, then I will call them back. I never ignore an important phone call. I just decide when I want to take or make calls. It helps me keep my sanity.

I don't even have time to blog tonight; I have a 9 hour PBS series on Ancient Egypt to watch. I think I will focus on the discovery of the Rosetta stone, and "secrets" about Hieroglyphics. I make notes while I watch the videos, so that I have a work sheet to keep the students on task. I hope it is fairly interesting as I hate boring documentaries. I also bought a REALLY GOOD book on mummies at Barnes and Nobles. I like to have a decent library of books in my room about the cultures we are studying for my students to look at.

SO off I go to learn more about mummies and writing, and I am rather excited believe it or not. It will be quiet time and I will get to be taught.

patti

Photo of the Catskills from a back road in Rhinecliff/Rhinebeck.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Changing Viewpoints


One of my readers commented (happens to be a friend that I see) that when they don't see a post on a Friday night, they know I went out.

Correcto mundo! By Friday I am so burnt out from working all week, some days from 8 am to 8 pm without much of a break, that on Fridays I treat myself by going out after work, to either shop or have drinks with my co-workers, come home to meet Larry, and then we go out for a bite to eat.

By the time we get home, I have no energy to blog.

I was pretty stressed the past two days as I had to deal with things from my past. My Friday afternoon started with my sitting outside of the Child Support Agency yesterday trying to calm myself before going in, while various scenarios were playing in my head.

I had spent too many times in my life in Family court in my custody battle, then my child support battle, then over various things with my children, and in Social Services for my mother when she had a brain aneurysm and was disabled for life. They have not been pleasant events, and as I sat outside I was having a flashback to all the conflict and pain.

BUT as I sat there in negativity, I realized that I did not want to go in there with that attitude. I wanted to think positively and feel like it all will be fine. So I took a deep breath, and walked in.

The first thing the police officer did was take my keys. No wonder, it had a little pen knife on it. I could stab one of the workers in a fit of rage. I laughed and said no problem, and proceeded to the Child Support Office.

I had the most wonderful case worker, who promised that she would fix all the problems, assured me that my ex had been flagged (as after 3 years he finally got a job on the books) and that I am owed 38,000 and could take him back to court for all the medical etc. that he owed me. (another 10-20,000??!!) I said why? The only thing that will accomplish is that he will sit in a jail cell for a bit, and go back to his same way of life. I believe in karma, and it will come back to him some day.

I left there a bit lighter in heart, less stressed, and actually believing that I will start to get some support. The money will help with my trips to see my daughter in Tennessee, maybe pay off some of the wedding debt for her that I incurred, and save a bit to spend ON MYSELF. After all, I raised my children for 19 years with only sporadic support.

With any luck I will get a check by the end of the month to pay for my flight to see Megan and Alanna. When I made the reservation I envisioned something coming thru to finance it. And, with any luck, it will.

Here is to changing viewpoints and trusting the universe! It is working!

Patti
Photo is of the Free Bird Farm booth at the Kingston Farmer's market which runs to Thanksgiving this year. He as wonderful produce, and fresh farm eggs!!! Locals, check him out!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blue Raincoat



I am listening to old Judy Collins courtesy of some downloads from I-Tunes.

I am in a funk, having had to deal with issues that bring me back to a place I don't want to be. If I think about it too much I get angry and several little emotional monsters rear their heads, awakened by the turn of the cards.

Listening to these songs I try no to think about these little earthquakes that throw me into chaos. The soft mist of sadness dampens the fire of anger and I feel somewhat better.

It is cold and dark, I have put on the heat to take out the chill. The rain drums steadily on the tin roof, and is sometimes heard in between the quiet passages of the music ....Cohen's Blue Raincoat.

"And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobodys wife.

Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief
Well I see janes awake --

She sends her regards.
And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
Im glad you stood in my way.

It's 8:30. It feels like 10. I think I am heading to bed.

patti

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bats in my Belfry

Isn't this a great print that I found in my attic while cleaning some of my piles? I have a blissful collection of paper for the artist, print collector etc. To many it would be to die for. I have enough to work with for the rest of my life.

When I googled the phase "bats in the belfry" I got some fun information.
The phrase means "crazy, eccentric". It was also the title of the first episode of the 2004 Batman's first season show. It is the title of a Goth Radio site on myspace, an Ottawa design studio, a band. I am sure there is much more; that was only the first Google page that I looked at.

I take pride in being crazy and eccentric, in fact, I AM PROUD OF IT. I can't be all that weird, or else all my friend are just as weird, and then it doesn't matter anyway.

I am off to bed as I am pretty tired from working all day and working in my studio. Check out the wedding cards I designed-I am posting them on my Catskillpaper blog.

Batty Patti

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Highway Shrines


It was a dreary as I headed up Route 28 on my way to therapy. I listened to my iPod and tossed about thoughts which were about as foggy as the road. I thought that my week was rather insignificant, and that I really had nothing much to talk about.

WRONG. WHAMMY UPSIDE THE HEAD.

I only had to say one sentence and that started the entire session. WOW. (kudos to my brilliant Buddhist Jungian therapist!)

But on the way up there, I was sobered by the shrine of flowers on the side of the road. It was to commemorate the death of a man who had been hit on a bike, a man that I had known for 30 years.

In the 80's I would see him riding his bike as a kid, a few years younger than myself. He seemed to be homeless, and it was deeply touching that he reminded me of my brother. I talked to him a few times, as I think he camped out in the bushes not far from my house. He was a simple man, but a kind enough man.

He got married, had a kid, but still rode his bike all around the city and its outskirts.

Then one day he was hit, killed, and left for dead. Hit by a driver whom I heard was on drugs, and someone I knew from another lifetime.

I have seen many shrines left for loved ones. I have known many of the people whom have died. A state trooper whose son was on my son's soccer team. The father of a young girl's baby. The grandson of a co-worker. A young mother of two. My students.

These roadside shrines serve us as reminders of how all too short life can be, how one second can change an entire course of events and people's lives.

Most of all, I take a moment and say a prayer for the departed.

So to that man younger-than-myself-whom-I-don't-know-your-name, may you find peace. And may your family find peace.

Patti

Monday, October 08, 2007

The F-Bomb



It was another fabulous day in the Hudson Valley. After all the home work I did, which included fixing computer problems and school work, I headed to visit a friend in Poughkeepsie.

Armed with picnic food and drinks, we headed to a place that I have not been to in years, the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park.

I have spent much time over the past few months visiting state historic sites, and I encourage you to support such sites when possible financially, whether through tours, festivals they host, or stopping into the gift shop to spend your money (instead of the mall!) We need to support the local history and culture, and for a small fee one has beautiful views and gardens - and you don't even have to mow to lawn to use it. I am fortunate that within a 45 minute range, I can visit seven or more beautiful sites, most with views of the Hudson and mountains.

One photo was taken crossing the Mid Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie, and the others taken on the Roosevelt Estate.

Now about the F-bomb.

I am tired of hearing the word "fuck" everywhere I go. I was handing my money to the guy in the tollbooth and he is shouting to someone "I would like to go the f---home too!) I hastily handing him my money and sped off.

I was shopping with my little granddaughter and f-bombs were being dropped everywhere, by young and old alike.

The word is a great word, don't get me wrong. It has impact and meaning in many situations, when no other word will suffice. It has power and sensuality, but is becoming meaningless drivel when used in casual conversation.

So folks, if we wear out the word, what else will we use for impact, and think about how it will sound when our youth shouts joyfully to us, innocent eyes shining in delight....."daddy, mommy, that dinner was fucking great!!"

patti

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Clang Clang Went the Trolley




I spent the morning with a few cups of coffee doing things that are terribly time consuming, such as booking airline tickets to Nashville, ordering supplies for my business etc. Though they are not horrid jobs, they are just annoying when I have so many other things to do.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, Larry and I went downtown to one of our favorite little cafes, Dolce, and to bring art to Mary Ann at Beckon.

Afterwards we wandered down the street to check out the Bluestone Festival, which was a small festival, but had amazing men cutting, chipping and building with bluestone. The Catskills are loaded with bluestone, and Kingston was the largest exporter of it in the 1800's, shipping tons to New York and other locales. The sidewalks, walls, and foundation of my 1928 home are made with bluestone, and it was fascinating to watch the stone be transformed into sculpture.

I ran into Jonathan, my friend who is a blacksmith, and he needed someone to replace him as flag person for a trip on the trolley ride to Kingston Point Park.

The old trolley runs along the Rondout Creek which flows into the Hudson River, with the trip ending at the site of the old Kingston Point Park.

Built in the late 1800's, the park had a huge gazebo, Ferris wheel, an open dance pavilion where you could buy beer. It was a hub of traffic for the steamboat and the train, and must have been quite the bustling scene of the Victorian Era.

Over the years the park fell into ruin, with little remaining to remind us of its former splendor. But local organizations have done some work on it, and it has a gazebo and a fabulous view.

The trolley ride was beautiful, and at times we were riding along the creek, with water on each side, surround by lily pads and other river vegetation.

I did no flagging, my job was to collect the donations, help kids ring the bell at the intersections, and chat with conductor Dennis.

I smiled with the views, the warm breeze, the childlike fun of a ride on a train. I was mesmerized with the tidbits of history and yearned to have been looking thought the eyes of a bird 100 years ago.... Yet magically I got glimpses into the past, and another fix of the river, and it was good. -patti

Thanks Larry for being the photographer this time!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Girls on Film


Remember The Duran Duran song Girls On Film. I put a link on to a video that I found of it..but if you have little children around, or don't like cheesecake eroticism or nudity, don't watch it!

I spent the morning in my studio for a bit, then wandered around the farmer's market. The day was beautiful and hot, and once the sun was full strength the humidity and temperature started to rise, and that is when I left and headed to Karen's for the last swim of the season.

The pool was a brilliant blue, and the sun strong. Girls in the pool, girls drinking champagne, the dog hanging with the girls, and photos, lots of photos; girls on film. Fun fun afternoon.

I am heading out to a party for a friend. I am debating about do I wear black, or white? I got a lovely glow from the warm sun today which looks soooo nice against white, but isn't it a fashion faux pas to wear white after September 1st? But that was a fashion rule made way before global warming....so...hmmmm

Off to decide, Patti

Friday, October 05, 2007

Girl's Gotta Have Kits

I spent girl time with Karen this afternoon. She called me at work, and told me to get in my my car and go home, where she would meet me for a walk. I have been burying myself too much in work these days..it keeps me from thinking about my life.

We met and transformed ourselves from professionals to muscle girls in our walking gear, which was minimal on an 80+ degree day.

Our 2+ miles of some good hills consisted of fabulous confessions and conversation. We love each other unconditionally; perhaps it is the closest I have ever come to unconditional love. We have a very close and unusual bond...and I love her dearly. We can be seen hugging one another, nearly oblivious to who may be watching and thinking "what is up with those two women?

At one point I was talking about all the "kits" I carry in my car; and I laughed and said, you have inspired my blog Karen!

At any given time if you look the rear of my 2002 Honda CRV, you will see a bag full of bags (I refuse to add to the landfills and recycle paper/plastic bags as well as carrying two market bags to stuff them into) my swimming kit with a few towels and one of three bikinis (yes, at 49 I still wear a bikini if I have to wear a suit) , my workout kit with socks, and sneakers that my daughter wore when she ran in the desert in Iraq; my painting kit - filled with a variety of art supplies, and my "refresher" kit with a hairbrush, contact case, extra glasses and whatever-else-happens-to-make-it-in-the-bag-for-an-occasion.

I try and be a minimalist who is also ready for almost any adventure...sort of like a super heroine who enters the phone booth a teacher and comes out ready to take just about any part in the play of life.

My kits will change soon. If I can ski this year, I will be carrying all my ski gear, sans skis, and carry a "breakdown" kit for the lurking cold weather. The bikinis will be replaced by silk long johns and wool, and rather than bemoaning it, I will try and look at it as merely a shift in materials and temperature.

So girls and guys, DON YOUR KITS in life, and strap yourself in for a marvelous RIDE!

patti

PS I wanted to post a photo of Karen on the blog, but the only one I could find was of her in HER bikini, and I knew she would kill me...lol. So this friday night, I am sans photo........

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Warm Glow

I just got home from a 12 hour work day. I have had a strange headache, and at one point an earache and was dizzy. Perhaps it was from twirling around in school, showing my friend how wonderfully my embroidered silk skirt flowed when I danced in a circle. How silly I must have looked. But how fun it was!

I was disappointed that I did not swim during my brief break as it was quite warm out, (80+ degrees here in the mountains of New York!!) but I knew that the trip to the lake would only stress me out as I had limited time, and was not feeling all that well.

When I left work it was dark, and the night air was swampy, damp, and fabulously seductively warm for October. If it would only keep on like this---I might survive the depression that the fading sunlight offers me.

Upon walking in the door Larry handed me a short nip of ice cold vodka with fresh squeezed lemon, the perfect end to a long day. As I sipped my drink in the darkness, I was drawn to the warm red orange glow of the mantle. I love my new Edward Gorey cardboard figures, the little orange lights and other interesting decorative items that adorn my fireplace. With the last blast of energy I made this photo, and type out a few descriptive words.

It was a long but good day. I met many of my student's parents and was thrilled to be able to tell them how much I love their children (OK, most of them). To see parents happy that their children have found a school that gives them a second chance makes all the hard work worthwhile. I made some portraits - kids LOVE to have their pictures taken, and I will go to sleep knowing I have bought joy to some of their lives.

May you all go to bed feeling the warm glow of love. fulfillment, and peace.

Patti

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


A month ago or so I signed up for Ad Sense by Google. I let Google run appropriate ads that relate to the content of my blogs. If people click through I get a few cents. So far that is all that I have earned, a few cents.

For a while there seemed to be some interesting ads. I even looked at a few and one of them, the one for painting on the Hudson River, I will look into further. They offered the most amazing painting seminar this past summer, free of charge. I don't know if they will run the program again, and it was acceptance by portfolio, but , but if I don't try, then I will NEVER have a chance at something like this. I emailed them and asked to be put on their mailing list. It looks rigorous and intense, but I think it would be a fabulous experience, learning the Pre-Impressionist techniques of the Hudson River painters such as Thomas Cole and Frederick Church.

In addition there have been ads for making money blogging, an ad for a farmer's blog, one for all kinds of swim gear. Most of them were connected in some way to the blogs I was writing.

But lately I have noticed some strange ads. Tonight's was for "OLDER MAN LOVE: 1,000's of pictures of single older men." WHAT?! The other night was for relationships in trouble. One for "Inside Your Boyfriend's Mind". Then there was one for some religious thing.

Has Google invented a program that tries to read between the lines? What is this? Is the universe trying to tell me something? Where are they getting this crap? Is someone playing a joke on me?

I will watch the ads for a few more weeks, and see where this is heading. I am getting a chuckle for now, but if it continues, I think I will have to drop it as I don't think I have any control over what they put on.

I will monitor the art blog. So far the ads have been appropriate there. I mean, I don't want people to get the wrong impression! If need be I will run my own ads for what I think is wonderful, and who cares if I make any money.....

I wonder...after posting this blog, what kind of ad will pop up next???!!!!

Musing in Ad Land, Patti

PS another great video--this one by Natacha Atlas sent to me from Mat in Poland. The singer is beautiful, as is the song, and the meaning. Enjoy some world music! Ciao!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall Fall Fall such is the Season


I don’t deal well with the fading light and warmth of summer as it surreptitiously slips out the back door to make way for the barrenness of winter.

I miss the light and the heat and the time that I had to myself to paint
and enjoy nature in the most minimal of clothing.

I miss the cleansing power of water, whether pool or pond, which leaves me refreshed and renewed, a daily baptism of sorts.

As I gaze outside to my garden each morning with coffee in hand in near dark, I see a few morning glories open, struggling with each cool morning to produce just one more flower for me. The tomatoes have come to a near halt.--they know soon the first frost will make them fertilizer for the next season.

The sunflowers are bent over in sadness, their seeds neatly plucked out by the goldfinches, with the leftovers snatched by the titmice and squirrels.

I still go barelegged to work in my dresses and skirts, but soon I know that I will become pale again, and I will cover my body in many layers to protect me from the cold fingers of winter.

The fall is a mixed blessing with its gifts of warm days mixed in with mornings of near frost, its beautiful colors gracing us before gray sets in.


I think about how I will have to heat up my studio before I can work in it, and how I have to have two shovels-- one by the back door, and one by the studio, so I can shovel my way back and forth in the storms.

Yet I know that I will keep my heart warm with the love of friends and family, and the fire in the hearth will welcome me to lie besides it. I will read, make art, see movies, and settle in and hibernate, till the crocus’ poke through the snow.

Then it starts all over, this cycle of life, and I am glad that I have been graced to watch it one more time.

patti

A wood pile...waiting to get stacked, and a song for you from a blogger friend in Poland ...Nick Cave and PJ Harvey. Fabulous to watch, fabulous to hear.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Eastern Promises


OK, I've got to admit - I saw this movie uneducated. I usually read a group of reviews, then decide whether or not my precious time and money should be spent on the movie.

I went to this movie purely on the fact that Viggo Mortenson starred in it. A girl has got to have some fantasy fodder once in a while, no?

Unfortunately I spent much of the movie with my hands covering my eyes, and at times, I plugged my ears.

The review stated: "The David Cronenberg who made DEAD RINGERS, NAKED LUNCH, VIDEODROME, SCANNERS, and THE FLY has morphed into a more genre-driven, less freaky storyteller with THE HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and now EASTERN PROMISES.

"More genre-driven, less freaky" ...I could not appreciate the naked body of Mortenson crawling on his hands and knees in a bath house, as what happens before it is so violent and disturbing that I could not watch these scenes.

Perhaps it was my past association with craziness and violence that turned my stomach. I felt the movie all too graphic and disturbing for me, and the story line too predictable to justify its gratuitous use.

Perhaps Cronenberg has fun with playing with our heads like that. Beautiful people in a very ugly story. Giving us what at what first appears to be less freaky story, then twisting our heads with a snap.

Off to read my new book. I hope it is more delicate. And I hope that I sleep without nightmares.

patti