Friday, November 30, 2007

Packed for the Show

Have you ever worked so hard and so long where one moment you just can't stand it anymore and you feel like you are going to lose your mind, explode and run out the door screaming?

You got it. That is where I am, but all that is left is to pack the car early in the morning, drive to the show, set up, and hopefully enjoy the weekend. There is a rumor of snow on Sunday, which could make things difficult and slow both sales wise and driving, but I have experienced many storms the first weekend of December, the date of this show that I have done for years.

I am bringing higher end art this time, along with fabulous Victorian papers, and my cards and ornaments, as well as a few of my vintage Japanese cardboard houses and those little elves. I bought a large lot of them to sell and use for display, but sadly they did not arrive in time. The USPS isn't too fast these days and I tell you, mail early. Five days and no package from Ohio.

It has been a rough few days, especially having close friends staying with you, whose brother is dying and you want to listen,console, and grieve with them.

I am off to find some brandy or other apertif, and heading to bed to read for a bit. My back hurts, my eyes are blurry, and my mind is overwhelmed with images and some sadness.

Till tomorrow's report. Patti

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thoughts While Finishing the Soup.

I came home today to my house smelling aromatically of turkey soup. Wendy had started a pot for me, and the warm homey smell made me realize how priceless this moment was. And, the most precious part of it -- I had done nothing. It was a gift.

As I was finishing it off and straining and chopping I thought about our friendship that has spanned a space of some 37 years.

In 1969 I was transplanted from Long Island to the Catskill Mountains. Wendy had also moved from Long Island, but a few years before me.

The kids were very different that those I knew at St. Frances de Chantal, it took me a long time to make friends, and I did not have that many.

My father was a teacher in one of the local elementary schools that fed into the Jr High and High school, and he quickly got a reputation for being a hard, strict, and sometimes mean teacher. Many of the kids hated him, and as they moved up into the High School they would torture me about him. I snapped a few times, and as a result beat up a few boys. After that I was left alone. So very alone.

In the stress of trying to survive this, Wendy and I found one another, and spent 6 years together being best friends, learning how to navigate life. We were both in the top 20 of our class, and were known for our talents.

Wendy taught me how to put on make up, loaned me her bikinis when we went swimming (they were always too big but oh-so-much-nicer than any of my suits).I jealously watched Wendy’s romances, while my crushes played out only in my head.

There are many stories to tell about the time we spent together. We have been to each other’s weddings (twice for each one of us) and through divorces. We have been through the deaths of each other’s father, and now we both faced someone in our immediate family become ill with cancer.

Say a prayer or meditation for Wendy’s brother Gary, who is in the hospital. He is stable, but has end stage cancer. Each evening we have laughed and cried over our wounds, shared stories about our dysfunctional families, and it is like we never left the halls where we shared the deepest of friendship while the world rocked around us.

Thanks for your love. Patti

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick Check In

I am sooo busy that I have not had any time to write, or do much of anything else.Thankfully Larry made most of tonight's dinner, otherwise I would have gone without. Having a guest in the house also forces us to be more civilized and take time out to nourish our bodies.

I am almost done with my ornament order. I still have lots of odds and ends to finish up for the show, and only three nights left to do it. My student worker is coming over for a few hours tomorrow, so she will help with some of the things. I am trying to not take a day off until after the show so that I can relax rather than work. It I take a day off this week, all I will do is work my day away.

I keep saying, "it is what it is" and be grateful for the order that I have rather than perseverate about what I don't have for the possible sales that I will or will not have at the show. Over the years I get better at not being so stressed out about it.

I will check back in tomorrow with hopefully something more interesting than a drone about work. My life is so dull......and even the endless chatter in my mind and in my heart has been suspended for a bit, my thoughts hanging like half finished webs.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unison Show

I have been working all weekend getting ready for the show that is advertised in tonight's photo.It is a great show, with fine quality work and a minimum of wood and dried flower crafts.

If there are wood crafts, they are handmade pens and clocks. If they are dried flowers, it is one vendor and they are exotic works of art.

I love the vendors and the customers at the show. If I could find more like this I would do them. Out of all the local school shows, this is the BEST as it is run by an arts organization, and the clientele tends to be art sensitive.

The weekend is over. I have school work to do, and I am hoping that the predicted freezing rain will give me a bit of a delay. It would be a lovely gift. In fact, it would be an even nicer gift to get off so that I have a relaxed day in the studio, and maybe, MAYBE even get some time to myself. Now that is a novel thought.

Will report back tomorrow, patti o weather

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Fragility of Life

I am writing quickly as my high school best friend is flying in from California and arriving soon to stay with me for the evening, and possibly for her week long visit here. Her brother is gravely ill with cancer in the hospital, and she needs a place to stay. I welcome her into my home; I have been part of her family for the past 35+ years, and I am honored to be able to give back to her family in whatever way I can.

I visited her brother today. I dreaded it. Memories of watching my father die of cancer, of a dear friend who died in her early 30's from cervical cancer, and more recently, dealing with my own daughter's fight with the disease

Gary was my girlfriend Wendy's older brother, the brother I could legally flirt with. We sat through many holiday meals together, and have kept in touch on and off over the years.

Cancer is cruel, but my other friend reminded me that death is not the end all, rather it is the uniting with the beauty of the spirit that is our creator, in whatever form you believe him/her/it to be. It is a place of peace, of supreme joy.

Though he was not able to do much, Gary rallied and ferociously enjoyed the sushi I bought in from our fave local sushi place, one where we have all dined together in another time......

I wish him and his family peace, and a transition to the next life with dignity and love.

It seems trivial to post these, but tonight's photo are the ornaments that I have been making for a folk art gallery. The chains are not on them yet, but they are mini collages or antique papers that are sandwiched between two microscope slides, sealed with copper foil tape, soldered, and they hang from a chain which is soldered onto the top. They make a great ornament, and hang nicely from a nail, or a cabinet knob, or from a wine bottle. They are two sided and most are made with 100+ year old paper. I had an order of 100...the first 50 have been shipped, and she is picking up the last 50 at my show this weekend. I will be SO glad when BOTH of them are done and over with, so that I can actually enjoy the holiday preparations.

Enjoy every moment, and may you be surrounded by love. Patti

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Larry, Meredith, and I had a lovely dinner together yesterday, and for the first time in a long time I enjoyed cooking for a good part of the day. The dinner was absolutely delectable, and we were blessed with love, friendship, and a wonderful meal.

It was a mellow day, her house a visual treat, filled with items which she has collected from her travels around the world. We listened to world music, looked at art books, sipped on wine and champagne, and chatted. No disasters, no pretense, no stress.

I did not sleep that well on so much food, and was up early this morning. I refused to go out and do much of anything on Black Friday, save for a quick trip to the PO and to a friend's house for an hour or so. Most of the day I spent working in the studio on my orders, listening to music, nice and toasty warm.

Larry took some photos of my studio after he photographed Kip's bowl, which can be seen on my Catskillpaper blog.He was playing around with some flash techniques, so I begged him to photograph some pieces. I will try and upload them but I am having a hard time with my Photoshop freezing it might take a bit. It is here I often escape to, and transform any variety of emotions into art, and surround myself in light...while Black Friday spins out of control around me.


Photo 1: How Green is YOUR Garden; Mixed Media
Photo 2: Ecstasy Girl; Mixed Media
Photo 3: Mixed Media Antique Cabinet Photos
Photo 4: Donated by my long time friend, Julie, an early 1800's American portrait painting. She has taken up residence in my studio, and is one of my muses and protectors.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving?????

I had just written this entire blog, and it got lost in space. GRRRR. I guess it is a practice in saying what I had to say in less words.

I got this photo forwarded by a friend. Normally I don't "capture" images from the Internet, but on forwards I figure it is part of the forward. I cannot give credit to the photographer, as there was no info to do so.

I love the images of animals..animals love unconditionally, they kill only what they need to eat, and they don't abuse their young, and they usually don't shit where they eat or sleep. Something that humans need to learn.

Yesterdays drill was pretty much as I expected. Lots of noise, cops in riot gear pointing big guns, and some of us even got screamed at with obscenities.

Just another example of using fear as a control factor.

After some research on the Internet, (and you can do your own) I discovered that there is a very very small percentage of violence that ends in death in schools per year, as compared to the number of deaths that occur PER HOUR by parents killing their own children, or in other domestic abuse events that end in death.

There have been shootings in our local mall, in Post Offices, banks, other places of employment. I heard it took 9 hours to evacuate our local mall when a gunman was on the loose. Yet should every public place put its employees and customers though simulating drills such as we went through, or should be we looking at the underlying factors as to WHY we have such a violent youth?

Speaking of personal experience I have seen the failure of school systems to control bullying, of family court systems failing to protect children from their parents and from themselves, the failure of this country to control the ease of which people can obtain firearms, the promotion of movies and games by corporate America which promote mass violence. I could go on, but you get the point.

So, instead of the police telling us to get out head out of the sand, it will happen here, we need to figure out how to prevent violence, and what changes we have to make in order to accomplish this. And I am a believe in "The Law of Attraction", that you attract what you put out there. Enough said.

I was awoken at 3 AM by a car speeding by, and smashing into all my bags of leaves, and garbage cans of yard waste that our incompetent city has yet to pick up in the past two weeks. My cans are dented beyond repair, the leaves strewn, my walk dug up. I don't know how the missed hitting the ancient maple only a few feet beyond.Undoubtedly a drunk joy ride. Do you know that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year? It took me a long time to get back to sleep.

So, on this Thanksgiving Day, I will surround myself with love, with the friendship of like-minded people, and keep making art and look at my cup as half full and getting fuller, and do my part to be green and take care of the many gifts the universe bequests me.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

They're NOT Rocket Scientists

I have decided that the world for the MOST part, is run by incompetent people. From the top on down, I am constantly amazed at how little those in power have in terms of people skills, intelligence, common sense, and empathy, to run the country, the government, and yes, to run our schools.

Case in hand. Our school is the only one in the area who has to go into work the day before Thanksgiving. Once upon a time we too had off, but over the years it has morphed into our "Superintendent's Conference Day".

I am OK with that. It is part of my job.

But this year they have really hit an all time low.

The day before Thanksgiving, they are doing a "mock hostage or school disaster" where the police, swat teams, etc. will run around with their fake weapons, shooting blanks, screaming in people's faces, and generally acting like boys playing war games. And we, the teachers and staff, are the victims.

Perhaps such drills are necessary, but I am tired of being bombarded with living in fear of terrorism and other such disasters, when indeed we should be living in fear of what we are doing to our planet and to our fellow man. The school system feeds into this and we have to experience this THE DAY OR PERHAPS HOURS BEFORE WE TRAVEL OR PICK UP OUR FAMILY MEMBERS.

So to all your intelligentsia who came up with this grand plan, may your turkey be overcooked, dry, and you deserve to fall asleep face down in your mashed potatoes.

Tomorrow I will have a more in-depth report of this brainstorm. Perhaps I will have egg on my face, but somehow I doubt it.


Monday, November 19, 2007

What I Want for Christmas

I find myself having a hard time writing this blog tonight.

It is coming upon the holiday season, and we are trying to figure out how to get Megan and Alanna home for Christmas.

I don't want for much in my life, in fact, I think I have too much. I would trade it all to have my children healthy in mind and body; it saddens me when I know otherwise.

I am glad I will have my daughter one more Christmas. I pray that she will beat the statistics....and be one of the 35-50% who live beyond 5 years with LMS. We make every email, every conversation count. I cannot stand when we disagree, or when I say something that hurts her. I have learned to make amends, something which has been hard for me.

I want very little this Christmas. One thing that I ask, is that if you want to do something to make a difference in the world, make a donation to the National Leiomysarcoma foundation, or buy a bracelet (they are a mere 2.50). With funding being cut right and left by our government, we need to dig into our pockets in order to support cancer research. I know I will buy bracelets for friends and relatives this holiday season and make donations to organizations that will feed people with cancer, aids, and other diseases who have so much less than I.

While I am writing this, I got a phone call from my friend's mother who called to tell me that he is in the hospital in hospice in bad condition. He has 15 cancerous tumors in his brain......say a prayer for him.

May you and yours have a healthy and fulfilling holiday season.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

What's with the Leaves?

Larry was appalled when I told him that I photograph while driving. He told me it was dangerous, and I looked at him like he was even crazy for questioning it. Heck, I can take pictures AND put on lipstick at the same time Larry!

Here are a few photos of my ride to work the other day. I realized it had been a while since I had taken the camera out, and I wanted to immortalize the leaves still being on the trees in mid-November.

What is up with that? Here it is, past mid-November, and some of the trees are just turning, many still have their colorful yellow and red leaves, while others stand buck naked among them.

I can only guess that this strange weather has confused the shit out of the trees, as it has us, though I can't say that I don't mind the show of color for the past month and a half.

Larry raked some of the leaves, but he was reluctant to do the entire yard as there are still huge maples behind us that are tenaciously holding onto their leaves. The city has already been by to pick up the leaves; I hope they return because they only got what came down from a few trees....we have much left to rake...

I wonder what it would be like to ski with the leaves still on the trees. At this rate, I might get to witness that.

Off to read a magazine, a rare occasion for me, and then sink into my warm bed. Till tomorrow, xxpatti

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Scorpio Birthday

Today is Larry’s birthday which marks another weekend of celebration. Larry and I have birthdays a week apart, and we typically celebrate it for a 10 day stretch.

People wonder how two Scorpios can cohabitate without killing one another. I suppose over the years we have become immune to each other’s poison, and know when to step back, leave, or just plain hide.

We do have a lot of fun, and when we’re hot, we’re HOT, and when we are not, we know that a cool down period is necessary so that we don’t burn up into a little crisp.

Fighting is not fun as we both are intense; me in a louder, more aggressive manner, and Larry being the silent but deadly type. He can hold a mean grudge, while I let it all out in a cathartic but sometimes dangerous storm.

We do laugh a lot, and that is what I remember most. We have laughed so hard that we cried, or made those funny SNORT sounds. Laughter is the best medicine for a marriage.

Tonight’s art is a card that I made for “Lars” for his birthday. To my King of Kameras, with his dapper hats, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
xxx patti

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Link to Megan's Story

Here is LINK to the recent newspaper article about my daughter Megan. She was one of four veterans interviewed in an article about veterans who have returned from the war in Iraq. Some of you read the Meganaid blog on occasion, some of you may have never been there. I started the blog when my 23 year old Iraq veteran daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year.

Though Megan is currently in remission, she is still undergoing visits to the doctor for a number of ailments. No 23 year old should have so many problems, but she does. We are both strong women, but it pains me to hear her tell me how tired she is of doctors and tests.

There is nothing I can do but be a good shoulder to cry on, ears to listen, and someone to echo her laughter. We talk nearly every day, something we never did before she was diagnosed. We have become very close...again, out of what appears to be bad, has come many wonderful things.

I am glad that the veterans and soldiers are starting to openly talk out against this war. I know several years ago Megan was not as open as she is now. Perhaps the political climate has enabled her to be more truthful and honest about things that she was previously scared to talk about.

She is however, finally getting Veteran's disability....though it doesn't heal her broken body or mind, it will help her try to build a life.

The photo for the article was taken when I was there several weeks ago. The girls were dancing, and I was taking pics. Tonight's photo was taken by Larry when Megan was pregnant with Alanna, just after she was home from the military base in Germany; two months before Alanna's birth the Army allowed her to come home.

Off to finish up more work. I am working away so that I can play some with Larry this weekend as it is HIS birthday. The nice thing about having birthdays a week apart is we do get to party and play for a good 10 days........and we love every moment of it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Self Portrait

I felt like this cat, especially at the end of the day when a student decided to play "tough chick" in my room. I was in no mood for confrontation, for aggravation, for instigation, or any other kind of "tion". Perhaps I was a bit over the edge, but I let it fly. I don't get paid enough to be abused, and in no uncertain terms I let be known. I am a kind and nurturing teacher, and usually kids are begging to get into my class. Today someone was begging to get out. FINE.

The card is part of a series of cards of mostly dogs that I just made, and have not posted anywhere for sale. Interested? Drop me an email.

I just got home from a screening of a film about the poet Stanley Kunitz by local film maker Toby Carey. By chance Carey found out that they both spent their childhoods in the same house in Worchester, and Carey made a documentary about him, with some of the footage taking place four days before Kunitz died at 101 years of age.

I know little of Kunitz's poetry. Larry, I suspect, is fairly well versed. But what I loved about the film was its universality in the quest for our history and past, our desire to know what our ancestors experienced, wanting to connect with those who either through death or circumstance have deserted us, the memories of the places we have lived in. Plus, Kunitz's mother was another fellow Lithuanian.

Off to bed. My brain is on overtime, and I need sleep. Till tomorrow, Patti

What My Brain Looks Like These Days

After not sleeping much since Thursday!! I could not even blog last night. My biochemicals are out of control, not helped by a bad drug reaction, now hormones, and by 9:30 I was wiped. Of course I fell asleep, (I always do..) and slept for several hours before I was wide awake.

The past few night's bonus was night sweats to boot, and Larry uses me as a heater when he is cold, and then has to scoot away when I become a furnace.

I can't wait until this phase is over. I feel like the walking dead. I look OK however, and no one would know how burnt I am.

Today grades are due, I have Jess coming over to work, and there is a movie at the local arts society that Larry wants to see.

Off to begin the day.......till later, Patti
PS photo Larry took in my friend's barn of a light for this past New Year's blog. I thought it apropos again!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Depuy Canal House

After the massage at the Emerson, we headed home to change for dinner. I wanted to dress up as we were headed to a restaurant which I had never been to, but heard about for years.

The Depuy Canal house is a fabulous historic site, build in 1797. The restaurant is renowned for its cuisine. Larry had eaten there before he met me, and had never been back. A few years ago I had dessert in the basement, as there is a small, more casual eatery called Chefs on Fire.

It took a while to get a drink, but the service for the rest of the food was adequate. The borscht was wonderful, as was the salad we ordered. Larry ordered a fish I never heard of for his entree, and mine was beef tenderloin.

My meat was cooked to perfection, but the breaded cauliflower was cold, and the polenta was BURNT!!! I could not believe they served it. After a bite, I had to call the waiter over to send it back. I kept the meat, which I had to nibble on alone while I waited a good 10 minutes for the rest of my dinner. Larry's dish was lukewarm too...but being hungry he ate it. (the polenta was yummy on the second round)

The chocolate dessert (a name I cannot spell in French) was out of this world. What we lacked in the main meal was made up for in the dessert.

The restaurant has wonderful old Dutch ambiance, full of antiques, art, and collectibles. There are two floors with small individual rooms for private parties should you want to have one.

Yet when you pay 42.00 JUST for the entree, you expect it to come hot and cooked to perfection, and what put me over the edge was the blackened polenta which tasted HORRID. I mean, what were they thinking?

However, I will go back again sometime for a special occasion. It is elegant, the waiter staff professional, and the food quite good.

Perhaps I should write both the Emerson and the Canal House and tell them of my experiences. If the owners don't know, then how can they fix things?

Oh, and if you want a bit of that old-world early Americana ambiance for less money (though the food is NOT of the same caliber) the Hoffman House in uptown Kingston is a good place. Plus it is a nice bar to have a drink in.

Tonight I am eating leftovers and am incredibly busy. It is 9:30 and I still have a massive amount of school work to do after working for several hours in the studio. Ah, such is the time of year!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Emerson Spa

It is hard to write a review. I always want to be nice and say everything is good, when in fact, sometimes it ISN'T. I think it is a habit of mine which I have had for a very long time.

As I have gained wisdom, however, I am more inclined to call a spade a spade. Being sensitive, if there is bad, I balance with good, if it is excellent, then it is a no-brainer.

My trip to the Emerson was delightful. It was a sunny, cool, early November day. Some of the trees have forgotten to turn color, especially some of the maples. There are many trees that have lost their leaves, while others still think it is late summer.

We arrived to be astonished that the woods and mountains surrounding the spa had a dusting of snow. It was quiet and peaceful, the only sound being the cars traveling Route 28.

I had been to the Emerson once before, when the new spa had been opened. It needed a few finishing touches, but it was lovely.

Yesterday we arrived, and checked in at the desk. Oh. We are told that we have to go to the old spa across Route 28. We were early enough, but it would be nice to be told which building your treatment is in ahead of time.

We follow the back road and arrive at the spa, which was a very simple wood building bordering a back road. Again, quiet.

I check in and am taken to the room to change. Upon arrival, I think I have entered a girl's locker room; towels on the floor, on the counters. The attendant apologizes and mops up the wet spots on the floor with the towels. I grimace and glance at the sink and counter which is cluttered with someones hairbrushes, and hair all around. Yikes.

Kate is my masseuse, and she is marvelous. The sheets are softer than anything I have ever experienced. I am in heaven.

Afterwards I change into my suit to go to the whirlpool and wave pool. I look for towels. There are none. I have to go to the lobby desk to get more. Hm. However, the whirlpool and wave pool are delightful, though when the wave pool runs it sounds like a motor boat is cruising through the spa.

After 45 minutes of this, I head to the showers. Nice, clean, equipped with all the necessary items for your washing and moisturizing needs. I always bring my own hairbrush as the thought of using the plastic ones sitting in the green disinfectant gives me chills.

Larry and I go to leave, and it is pitch black outside. The girl can't figure out how to turn on the outside lights, and we stumble on and off the path into a ditch, me hanging onto Larry for dear life so I don't break another ankle.

We finally get to the car in one piece and I shake my head.

Recently the spa was written up in MORE magazine. It sounds like nirvana, but it falls short. I hope that they get it together. I think I will return to the Mohonk Spa. For a little more, you get service, cleanliness, and magic.

PS. The bar at the Emerson has lovely ambiance, and a classy bartendress.
Photos outside of the old spa. It is as peaceful as it looks.

Celebrating in the Catskills

My birthday started out with a severe drug reaction from a medication I was given to try for my foot/hip pain and also deals with anxiety. Though I was reluctant to go on any sort of medication again, and I have been treating my pain and mood swings and anxiety through supplements and taking really good care of myself, I felt I should give it a shot. I was told it had very little in the way of side effects, did not affect weight or sex drive, and was a promising drug.

Oh my God. It was the worst reaction that I have ever had from any drug I have ever taken. (remember I was a teen in the 70's-in Woodstock NY no less, hahaha)I became manic, heart racing, speeding my head off, my muscles were twitching. I only had taken it for two days and by yesterday morning I knew I was in trouble.

I got online and discovered horror stories of withdrawal and drug reactions from this drug, Cymbalta. I know it has been a miracle drug for some, but I also know that the doctors hand these samples out like candy-here, try this for 6 weeks and call me.

Fortunately Larry knew what was going on and had planned a day that literally saved my butt as I was having a total melt down because I could not stand how I felt.

After going to our farmer's market and to a few stores, he took me for a ride to the mountains and had scheduled an appointment for a massage at the Emerson Spa in Mt. Tremper, followed by dinner at the Depuy Canal House. I have a few interesting stories and reviews on both of them which I will post over the next few days.

I had a wonderful deep tissue massage, and spent some time in the whirlpool, and in the wave pool, took a shower, feeling revived and somewhat relaxed. We stopped for a drink at the Phoenix, which is the bar/restaurant at the spa, and headed to High Falls for dinner.

I have some interesting comments on both places...both good and bad, mostly appalled at the quality of customer service when you drop big money. I will save that for a later blog.

I will post some pictures later, and oh, Larry bought be the Leatherman I have always wanted (a tool folks, lol) and a beautiful white gold bracelet to match the necklace he bought me last year. He is a wonderful man, so very good to me, and I told him that when I am out of control and say I want a divorce, to just humor me and it will pass. It always does. After all, I am quite the challenge too.

To being 50. patti

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Half a Century

It is late morning. I have been doing some research online, sipping on the coffee that Larry has kept refilled and hot on my bedside table. I am moving slowly, taking in the day and relaxing. A few phone calls have trickled in wishing me Happy Birthday. I actually took the time to enjoy talking on the phone and bask in the well wishes.

I have had a hellish week, topped off by starting medication which I am immediately stopping due to adverse reactions. I have not slept in a few days, and feel like I am crawling out of my skin. Instead I am going to the health food store, getting more supplements, and starting a collection of meditational CD's, DVDs, books, and need to take a yoga class that will be easy on my broken body.

After work yesterday a group of my coworkers met me out downtown for some laughter, snacks and drinks. I have a supportive group of friends I love and cherish dearly over the past 16 years. Afterwards, I met a few more friends with their dates for dinner at one of my fave local hangouts, which makes a decent margarita.

Today I am relaxing. Larry tells me I have to be ready to go out at 3, then dinner is at 8. I am not sure what is up, but I am thrilled to have him take the reins and create the day for me. I have spent too much of my life leading others, teaching others, being in the driver's seat.

Perhaps during the next 50 I will sit in the passenger seat, and let others lead ME. I will stop my chatter and listen, repress my constant need to control the world, and instead sit quietly and observe and learn. I have finally learned that the only thing I can control is myself, and let go of the rest.

Off to start the next 50....Patti

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm Beginning to get a Complex....

I think when I am undergoing great stress, I find relief in my humor. It has saved my ass in the classroom, it is saving my butt right now as we speak.

Because of the nature of the situation, I cannot disclose certain facts out of respect for my family. My heart aches, but I know there is little I can do or control, and have to believe that there is a reason for everything.

So back to my humor. I meant to write about this a while ago, as it has been bothering me.

We have these automatic deodorizers in the faculty bathroom at work. They are on some kind of timer or have a sensor that periodically releases a spray of scent into the air.

Very cool I think, EXCEPT that every time I go in there, and pick up my skirt, or pull down my pants, it goes off. I hear a distinct spray and smell whatever the scent is wafting over me. At first I though it funny, but now I am getting neurotic.

I dunno..maybe it has a motion sensor that sets it off, and by golly, I am going to find out what it is. Inquiring minds need to know, so that I can report back and perhaps countless others who may be experiencing the same thing will know.

Photo tonight===Hudson River Painter Thomas Cole's outhouse. Thought it very apropos to the blog. Wonder what THEY smelled like?!

Trying to laugh, Patti

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Preventative Maintenance??

Lately I have been blogging a lot on my laptop. I take it into bed, plug it in, fire up the heating pad for some aching or cold part of my body, catch up on a few emails, and write my blog. Occasionally a friend will be online and IM me, and we will chat in between paragraphs.

Occasionally as I prepare to write, I draw a blank, and think, what the hell do I have to say that is so important? Then I think about a few of the amazing/appalling/disgusting/scary/sensual things that happen to me in the course of a day, and I type away.

Today was ALMOST the last part of my series of doctor's visits that one must endure in the name of "preventative maintenance". In light of the health history of my parents AND children, I do keep up with my doctor appointments on a regular basis.

A few weeks ago it was the mammogram, where someone I never know is handling my breasts and squashing them between plates in various angles. Today was the "internal" exam.

I had fit it in between jobs, and did not have a lot of time to spend on this appointment. When I arrived, the waiting room had several people, and I asked the secretary if my doctor was running behind. After working in the medical field, I know what can happen. I said to the secretary with a laugh, "can she make this a quick in and out?" Fortunately Sandy has known me long enough to laugh along with me.

No, she said, and I had no sooner settled into a good magazine, about to read the importance of birth-order, and have my entire life explained for me, when the nurse looked at me with a "come hither" look and I was in.

I made some joke with the nurse which I don't think she got, then went into the bathroom to give my paltry urine sample. I drew all over the cup, and I hear her from the other room say "oh, this one is an artist". I laughed.

Doc comes in, we have our usually chat. Lynne has been taking care of me for 30 years now, and knows me more intimately than almost anyone. She knows my sorrows, my losses, my joys, and my pain. She has been a friend and a healer. But she can never find my cervix.

This visit she tells me that I should get a flu shot. I reluctantly agree, and the nurse whom I think I have accidentally insulted comes in with the needle. She waves the needle around a few times, tells me to relax, (RELAX? I HATE NEEDLES!!) and then STABS it into my arm.

As of this writing, my arm aches, my butt feels like the doc left her finger in there, and I won't get into any of the other details for the sake of being halfway proper.

And to think, I am turning 50. I see a colonoscopy on the horizon.

In fear,


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Stories I Could Tell

Perhaps someday it will be safe for me to tell all of my stories. Some of them no one would believe. Stories about family, the government, the Public School System. I know more secrets that I care to admit, and being the trustworthy can't-take-the-Catholic-out-of-the-girl type, I keep my mouth shut. Mostly out of respect for others, but let's face it, I don't want to be ostracized from my family any more than I already am, and I need to keep my job, and don't want the CIA hauling my ass or other's asses off for saying too much.

I have had a wild ride today. Too many crisis, too many injustices and too many futures at stake. And throw an intense therapy session in to boot. Yowza.

The wonderful thing is, I am learning how to stand strong, hold my own, speak my mind, while doing it with grace, dignity, and love. And to take a long hot bath, have a glass of wine, and all but tell the stories..which I KNOW you are all dying to know. Maybe you will buy the book.

Oh and about watching Netflix on your computer. You are limited to about 5,000 titles, it is not all of the DVDs that they have to order. I was disappointed that I could not watch Rome. I did attempt to watch the Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama, but I fell asleep. :( Oh well, I will try again another time.

Tonight's photo inspired by some of what I did see in the movie last night. Digitally altered photo I took out of the plane.


Monday, November 05, 2007

The Joy of my Lap (top)

It is Monday night, and I am alone. Larry is teaching, and I relish these nights when I come home and the only responsibility I have is to feed the cats and myself. After Larry leaves, I decide to work for a few hours in the studio while the light is still good.

My favorite and most productive time is when there is still light. I have a large picture window that faces the west. I get lovely late afternoon light, and if I am lucky, a Hudson Valley sunset to muse upon. My studio is 1/2 of our 2 car garage, has a hip roof, windows on three sides, an excellent efficient gas heater, A/C, gallery style off-white walls, and tons of ephemera and paint to keep me in art for a very long time.

Larry has left me soup in the fridge, but since I am free I call up a friend to meet for a glass of wine and some sushi at my fave place, Kyoto in Kingston. We have a great time, and I come home about 9, and decide that I am going to give myself a treat: blog in bed, and then watch another Episode of Rome via Netflix on my laptop.

I carefully carry my laptop in its indestructible $300.00 Tumi case (how I got the Tumi laptop case is story...), climb under the covers, snuggle down into my 3,000.00 mattress (and that is for yet ANOTHER story), turn on my heating pad,(with no one in bed, I need SOMETHING for warmth) I get ready to write. Oh, but wait, the husband borrowed my laptop the other day and failed to put the power cord back in the bag. Downstairs to hunt for that.

Back in bed, I turn on the computer. Oops, husband never turned it off properly, and the laptop beeps, screams, whines, and briefly has a nervous break down before it settles in for the evening. I have to change the router settings, seems he was tapping off a neighbor's weak signal which he did not know, and the stupid virus program kicks in and freaks out the computer for another few moments.

Finally, all is ready, and I am blogging away.

I have not tried watching a video on my laptop, so this will be my first trial.
Off to Rome, and I will let you know how the trip went.

Reporting live from the best of places,
Patti o laptop

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Postcard Show!

Last night Larry and I watched Little Miss Sunshine which was a good black comedy. We got some really good chuckles out of it, which is always a good thing. I am liking this Netflix set up. As soon as I watch the second episode of Rome, I will be shipping them back for the next two movies. I don't have to worry about them being late, or having to run out to get a movie. (think of the pollution and gas that is saved!) I have unlimited computer viewings, so for shorter videos, I can bring my laptop upstairs with me. Not the greatest, but heck, it is free, and instant gratification, so why not?

I was awake earlier than I wanted to be this morning, as I usually wake up right before dawn. Rather than get up, Larry bought me coffee in bed, and for the first time in ages, I read a magazine while sipping my fresh brewed java. About 1/4 of the way into my Mary Englebreit magazine, right about when I started to get ideas and be inspired looking at other's work, I realized that today was the POSTCARD SHOW!

Larry never saw me move so fast on a Sunday morning. I like to beat out the others who go to the show, and there is one vendor that I always visit as her prices are affordable, and I always find AND purchase a large amount of ephemera from her.

I did not have a budget, and I spent more than I had planned, but I am set for Christmas AND Valentines day for ephemera for my artwork, and have some to sell so that I can afford my habit.

Visit my etsy link if you are a lover of ephemera, and if you are looking for anything special, drop me an email. These two little guys are listed on Etsy, as well as several other lots of dog cards.

Off to watch Rome, yummmm.....I love that show. The costumes, the actors and actresses, the intrique, the sex. For any of you who like historical drama, this is a GREAT series!


Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Farmer's Market

I was alone last night, a FRIDAY night and not in a great mood. I just had a massage, was feeling divine, and all it took was one phone call to set me into a state. I was pissed.

So I was sitting home alone, and decided that NO WAY am I sitting home alone on a Friday night. I called Bardet whom I had not seen in a few weeks, and off we went to a "Community party". The party had people that my friend had not seen in ages, PLUS there was a band and she SO loves to dance. Before I knew it, I was alone again, only sitting at a bar. I did see a few people I knew, which was fine, but I found myself in not a terribly social mood.

After a while Larry showed up, and I dragged him to get some food at the tapas bar across the street. We made it through the evening without damage, and went home.Too crabby to write, I went to bed.

Crabby Patti. Alanna reminds me that it is a sandwich on Sponge Bob. Crabby Patti. Humph.

I awoke to a cold day, the first one all fall. Last weekend while I was in Tennessee we had our first killing frost. Amazingly late. Thursday morning I was in shock when I had to scrape frost off my windshield. Today my hands froze during my half hour trip to the Farmer's Market. I under dressed, perhaps still in denial that winter is looming ahead. I am upset that the clocks are being moved back an hour...though that means more light in the morning, it also means it will be getting dark at some ungodly hour. Another humph.

But here, to brighten your day, is my friend Amy, whom I worked with on an educational movie some 5 years ago. Since that time she has married her boyfriend, borne two lovely children, and is the fabulous co-owner of one THE best granola companies around, Platte Clove Naturals. Though they don't have a website yet, they can be reached at The link is to an article about them in the Woodstock Times.

The granola is FAB. I love the Maple Cranberry Granola, complete with a hint of ginger. It is like candy, and often I eat it sans milk or yogurt.

If you live in the Hudson Valley, the article tells you where you can buy the granola once the market closes in two weeks. It is truly a treat..and I am one picky woman when it comes to food. (thanks to my training by a fabulous French cook back in the 70's...)

And if I say it is good, IT ROCKS.

Off to make shrimp and mesclun salad (spell check wants to make it Mescalin, hahahahahaha) and reheat some fresh chicken soup from one of the best places in Bearsville, near Woodstock, Sunfrost Farms. (maybe only in Europe you could get better)

Crabby Patti

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Caaaaaat Woman

This Halloween I rather innocently dressed as Cat Woman for school. I had bought some ears (which were too fuzzy for Cat Woman), pulled out my leather pants, donned a long sleeved black shirt, and put on a metal studded belt. Oh, and I wore high heeled boots, which I should have NEVER worn with my back in so much pain.

Ok, so I don't really look like Julie Newmar of 60-70's Cat Woman fame, but with a little tweaking, I could. But not in public school.

I also had a black eye mask, but it drove me nuts, so I spent the day without it.

Pictures courtesy of my students who had a blast taking photos. We had some really good costumes in school this year, and I printed 8 x 10's of them along the wall outside my art room.

It was fun to be a kid again, dressing up, and even wearing my costume into the store.

And thanks Judy for reminding me that at ALMOST 50, I can still get my freak on.

Patti-O-Freak 2007