Monday, December 31, 2007

At Peace

I awoke to a soft quiet layer of snow. The trees were laden with the heavy snow, the electric went out a few times from lines stretched or down.

No cars, no footprints, a perfect white blanket laid upon the landscape.

I remember the joy of getting pulled down the street on our Flexible Flyer by my mother, bundled up a snowsuit and red rubber boots that went over my shoes. I must have been about 3 or 4, and my brother Jim about 2. It didn't happen much after that as my mother had more babies, and could no longer haul all of us.

I hated when someone ran through the yard in the snow, making forts, snowmen and in general messing up the snow with footprints. It wrecked the aesthetics of an unbroken virgin field of white. I still feel that way. Strange I suppose, and perhaps it is the only thing I am anal about in my life.

I stayed in all day, took a hot bath, sipped glug. I bought webspace, started fixing the bugs in my pagibbons website that have been long overlooked, and updated some of my internet sites. I have to start designing my new site and that is always a challenge for me. A course in Dreamweaver would be helpful, or a template of sorts for me to just fill in.

As I sit here I am listening to the beautiful voices of Chorus Angelicus. I ordered a CD of choral music recorded in the Sistine Chapel, with a few pieces woven with the etherial and haunting saxaphone of Jan Gabarek.

I am completely at peace.

Later we will go to a friend's house for a few hours, and then come home to bring in the New Year in whatever way we see fit.

May this year be FULL of peace and may this war end. Amen.

Happy New Year's Eve, Patti

Snowflowers laden with snow in the garden

Sunday, December 30, 2007

This Year's Thank Yous

I have been busy with lots of entertaining for friends and family. My dishwasher has not seen a workout like this in years, the house has been cleaned in places that have not seen daylight in forever.

In the moments in between I have bought a new domain, started planning my business strategies for next year, and cleaned up 2 gigs of hard drive space on my computer, thanks to a great article on PC World that I found online. I have hot linked it here as it was easy to follow and created a miracle on this older jammed up computer.

I have had snippets of time to muse about life. I finally posted some news about my daughter on her MEGANAID blog. In doing that, I came to think about this past year.

It was the year that my daughter was diagnosed with a deadly rare form of cancer. It was the year that I had to watch her suffer greatly. It was the year that I co-parented my grandchild. It was a year that I had to face my own demons and work hard to heal. It was a year that my marriage almost fell apart. It was a year that I almost fell apart. It was also a year that my daughter got married, and now by some miracle has become pregnant.

It was a year of generosity, love, and support from a entire community of people, some I have never met in person. Strangers I met on the internet, friends, and family reached deep into their pockets, gave generously, with love. It was a year that I learned how to accept such gifts from others.

Not to be maudlin, but I am sitting here with tears running down my face because I have learned so much about selflessness and the love that is out in the world, presented to me kindly. Your donations of money for Megan, clothes for Alanna, meditations, and prayers have soothed and healed us in so many ways.

So to all of you out there, thank you. You have given us a gift that is priceless.

May it come back to you tenfold.

Photo: Megan and Dole on Xmas Eve

Friday, December 28, 2007

In Praise of the Workers

I got up early this morning, and saw Megan and Alanna off. Larry and I cried when the car pulled away with them, and we walked back up the driveway wiping away tears knowing it won't be that long before we see them again.

A few cups of coffee, and I was ready to put time in the studio. There are cards to be designed, cards to be made for orders, and I received a call for art for a book titled 1,000 Cards. I have already been in one book, and it would be nice to be in yet another. I feel this is the year of growth for my business, and I have a really positive attitude about my work and where I am going with it.

As I was heading to the house, I saw a women in a red city pick up truck stopping to pick up all of our garbage which had been forgotten as part of the trash pick up.I walked down to meet her, and ask her what had happened.

We ended up having the most amazing conversation, and I am going to have her come into my classroom to do a presentation on the importance of recycling. We laughed about women in non-traditional jobs, and I was grateful to have met this lively environmental activist who had some fascinating stories to tell. So here's to you, Jeanne Edwards, I am so pleased to have met you, someone who works behind the scenes for the city of Kingston! YOU ROCK.

I thought about how easy it is to complain about how crappy the roads are, about pitfalls of bureaucracy, how awful the schools are, etc., and we forget that though some of that may be true, there is a world full of people that work very hard to keep the mail moving, the streets and environment clean, and work with our children. If you take some time to actually get to know these people you will find out that they too are artists and activists, movers and shakers, dreamers and survivors.

So take a moment this New Year and thank someone in the public sector for the great job that they do. Spread some cheer, some love, and put out some positive energy into the world.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Best Medicine

I need a vacation from the vacation. It has been a busy past 6 days.

Megan leaves tomorrow for Nashville. I hired a limo to take her to NYC to LaGuardia. It would cost me about 50.00-75.00 in gas and tolls, and about 5-6 hours of drive time, so 200.00 seemed like a bargain to get them back. I had offered them the difference in $ to fly into the local airports which are much closer and easier than driving to Queens, but they did not take me up on it, so now she has no choice but to take the limo so that we don't have to drive into the city.

If you have been following my blogs over the last year or so, you already know that I DO NOT like driving in the city, or to places that I am unfamiliar with.
Perhaps when I get a GPS system that will change, but after my nightmare of getting lost in Yonkers and Westchester for hours in the pouring rain at night, I am quite reluctant to drive to the airport.

My friend Gary is slipping away..his mother told me he is eating less and less. I am going to visit him tomorrow. Each time I go I wonder if it is the last time I will see him. Yet I know it is time for him to let go, that it is OK to leave the earth in peace and in the love of friends and family.

Tomorrow night I have to go to a friend's mother-in-law passed away on Christmas Eve.

What keeps me going is the funny things that happen, though at the time are not so funny. In hindsight it gives me a chuckle.

Xmas eve night, after going to bed at 3:00 am, I am woken up at 6:30 by the sound of the cat gagging and throwing up three different times. Since Larry insists that Shiva sleeps with us, I make SURE he gets up and cleans up the vomit as it is happening, not wait till the morning. Except this time he did not do such a great job. I am up at the ass-crack of dawn, putting my clothes on to go downstairs as Alanna is up and wanting to see what Santa left. I grab my black lace bra which was on the floor from the previous night, and as I put it on I realize it is wet. BLECH. I suddenly realize that it is wet because the cat threw up on it. EWWWWWW.

Then later Larry makes me a much needed glass of glug. I can't wait. I sip the warm liquid and OH MY GOD my lips stick to the burning hot cup. I realize that he has taken the cup, put in the glug and put it in the microwave. Problem is, the cup has a huge gold metal rim around it which has conducted the heat and now seared the skin off my lips. "I didn't know" he pouts as I dance around like a tasmanian devil. WHAT PART DON'T YOU GET ABOUT METAL IN THE MICROWAVE I SCREAM.

The bra is in the wash, my lips are still a bit sore, and there is no kissing the yule log. Serves him right.

So when I get a bit down and out, I grab for the funny moments, and laugh, cause we all know, it's the best medicine. Oh, and a kiss from Alanna always makes things better.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Winding Down

Thousands of thoughts have run through my head. So much to blog, so little time.

The fire is dying down, and I want to catch the last few moments of its heat.

I have cooked, I have fed, I have entertained nights on end. I have struggled, and I have laughed. I am full of glugg, of wine, of spiced cookies, of eel, and many other exotic foods.

I have survived the family disasters, and basked in the love of friends.

Tonight's picture is of my husband last night, making a visit to all the little children. Alanna tells people, "I saw Santa outside the window, and I FREAKED OUT". Out of the mouths of babes.

To all a good night, and there is plenty of time for more words of wisdom, and of 1001 tales.


Monday, December 24, 2007

The Eve

I have to go run and make pudding for the three chocolate cream pies which I have to bring to my sister in laws Christmas Eve dinner.

I am exhausted, need a nap, and wonder how I am going to stay up for another 8 hours.

Most of my presents are wrapped, all my food shopping done, and if I get home at a decent hour, I may even feel little if any stress.

I ran into my friend who teaches yoga, which reminded me that I need yoga for my mental, physical, and emotional health. Put that on my New Years list too. I am a high stimulation person, I just need to figure out how to be stimulated to the max and be centered and not stressed. Therein the challenge lies.

A picture of my tree. I finally had to ask Larry how to set the speed and F-stops on my digital camera. I do not like to shoot with flash, which adds quite a challenge in setting exposure, light setting etc. At least this is relatively sharp, or was sharp until the internet reconfigures my photos and then they appear blurry, when in fact they are not. That is one thing I have not figured out yet in Photoshop; how to get a crystal clear picture on the internet of my work. It always looks compressed, no matter what resolution I post it at. Any suggestions?

My tree is about 8' tall, a Frasier Fir, and bought from our favorite guy who sets up on Route 28 every year. He no longer imports his trees from Canada, they are bought from a local tree farm across the river. They are about as fresh as you can get!

Off to cook, will post more later or tomorrow, and may you all have a lovely Christmas Eve, for those of you who celebrate this Christian Holiday (that is for another discussion, but no time for that!!)

Patti O Tree

Sunday, December 23, 2007

No Wonder I Feel Like a Scrooge

I am thrilled my daughter and granddaughter are home for a week. Though I know I won't see them all the time, and welcome the break from all the commotion, I do so love the times we have when we are together.

I should be thrilled and constantly ecstatic, right?

I have felt stressed, had back pain, general malaise, and some depression, and bemoaning the fact that I have to now do all the things in life that I hate; cleaning, wrapping, tagging, and cooking, and the E word. Entertaining. The way I have been feeling, I don't care if I ever saw another human again.

Bah Humbug.

Yesterday Megan, Alanna, and I went out for a ride for a while. Alanna fell asleep in the first five seconds of the ride. We could not wake her, so we thought, what can we do?

First thing we did was head to the Burger King drive thru where I ordered a Whopper Jr. Do you know how many years it has been since I have done that?! I had this intense craving and I went for it. I wolfed it down, while Megan daintily munched on her salad sans dressing.

The kids headed out for the evening which was good as I have to tag all the gifts. By 9 pm I am in so much pain and exhaustion that I go to bed. Now I have a sore throat as I drift off to sleep.

I wake up this morning. I HAVE CRAMPS. What the $#*&#^% !!! Come to find out, Peri-Menopause played a very mean trick on me and I have my period two weeks early. I want to cry. Throw Up. Scream.

At least that explains many of my symptoms of general Scroogedness. I can breathe a sigh of relief that I am not crazy, ugly, demented, or depressed. It is only my hormones, the nasty little devils that they are.

I hope the next 24 hours will lighten up so that I can smile some, feel joy. Right now I might hit up the glugg (Larry made it last night) and some tylenol.


Friday, December 21, 2007

The Second Solstice

For the heck of it, I went back to last year's blog entry on the solstice.

Interesting how introspective I was about family dynamics. Much hasn't changed much in a year, though I have learned how to deal with my family problems and issues and process them better. It still doesn't change the sadness and pain you feel when you see your children suffering and know there is nothing you can do to help them.

I worry about my 22 year old son, who is periodically unemployed, homeless, depressed, struggling, and who knows what else... I suspect several things, but perhaps it is better than I don't get too deep into it right now. I saw him yesterday briefly. I know things are not going well, yet they are situations I need to stay out of.

I went to two parties, managed to smile, but wasn't in my usual jovial mood. I met a large group of my co-workers downtown, then headed up to Woodstock for the Photography Centers Holiday Dinner at the Bear Cafe which is always a fun, bustling, aesthetically pleasing place, where often you can get a glimpse of some famous person.

All through the day when I felt sad or on edge, I remembered that each day from this day forth gets just a little bit longer, and the sun shines just a little bit stronger.

Megan and Alanna, are due in withing the hour. They flew in from Tennessee, and I can't wait to kiss their cheeks. They experienced long delays coming into LaGuardia; I am glad that I did not have to drive down there to pick them up. I hate driving much past Westchester. I am sure it handicaps me at times, but if I never drove past my sister's house in Pelham, further into the city, I would be just fine.

Off to do some decorating...Patti O Light

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Z Coils

Larry received two packages from his dear friend Eric. One, a fabulous limited edition photography book for his collection, another, a pair of wild white shoes, one in the z coil line, similar to the above photo.

The shoes do not fit Larry. I look at the box, see they are my size, and promptly put them on and bounce all over the house in them.

I think, wow Larry, your friends just sent me a 150.00 pair of shoes? Did you tell them that I have foot and hip problems? How did they know my shoe size?

Larry shrugs, says he has no clue, and I continue to spend the night on my bizarre, but fun and comfy pair of shoes.

I think, hmmm....a bit funky, but I could see myself walking miles in these...

I make Larry call Eric. He tells Eric, "Patti is jumping over the Christmas tree in her new shoes!. Eric says ..... "what are you talking about?"

Turns out Eric has not sent me shoes. I feel sad and say, "you mean I am wearing someone else's shoes?" Turns out his shipping company made an error and we have to send them back so he can ship to their rightful owner.

Z Coils. They remind me of the name of the IUD that was recalled in the 60's. I ask Eric if I am supposed to wear them when I am having sex. He laughs heartily and can't WAIT to tell his wife the story.

I did go online and research all the styles they make. Pretty wild shoes, some look really cool, and let me tell you, they are unlike anything I have ever worn before, and they feel pretty amazing. I remember a friend of mine bought them in black several years ago and trekked all over Europe in them.

Hey Santa, haven't I been a really good girl this year?

Patti O Springer

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Patti O......

Many of you probably wonder..why I sign my blogs, Patti O Furniture, Patti O Decorations, Patti O Tale.

It is actually a very silly story, but one to tell nonetheless.

I was in the heart of the Catskills, in a town called East Durham. It was the week of the Irish Music Fest, where musicians from all over the world gather to take classes with well known musicians that play traditional Irish music.

In the evenings, the teachers get together, as well as the students, and jam in all the pubs that dot the quiet little town known for its Irish population and for the fest.

My friend has attended several times and rents a tiny cabin at a cabin coloney called Stacks, which is resplendant in its 50's worn decor.

So we are out one night, and everyone is drinking pints, many feeling no pain. I am staying overnight so I don't have to make the long trek home.

I am in the middle of a large group of people, being introduced to Paddy O this, Paddy O that, and at one point someone asks me what my name is.

I glibly replied "Patti O Block". They stared at me, not quite getting my joke.
I chuckled and walked away.

Since then I have used this line hundreds of time. Patti O Furniture, Patti O Dancer, Patti O Shower, well, you get it.

Perhaps you had to be there; it acutally was pretty funny to see their expressions, and my friend hysterically laughing at my silliness.

After that, a few people shyed away from me. Perhaps it is because, as I was told at a party last weekend, that tall, attractive, smart women make men nervous (?!) and I guess if you have a sense of humor, that really seals the deal.

Here's to humor, for without it, I would be off to the Patti O Ward.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot like ??????

I am experimenting with the tripod that Larry picked up for me for 10.00 at a yard sale down the street from us.

For over a year I have been hand holding my cheap BUT GOOD Canon digital camera in low light conditions, and perhaps 1 in 30 pictures might have been decent enough to post on my blog.

I am an untrained photographer. I don't have any intention of BEING a photographer, and really don't want to know any more than I have to know. I will leave that to Larry. However, I am trying to figure out how to do the best with the least amount of equipment and information (lazy, eh?)

I have discovered I can get a sharper picture, but that I need some additional lighting from SOME source.

I do love the digital camera. For me it is instant art; I get to experiment, compose, light, and then work with in photoshop without getting my hands dirty. (I do plenty of that as it is)

SO...tonight's photo looks into my hallway. Over the holiday season I will be posting other photos of my house. Then you will REALLY get a look into a bit of my personae.

Patti O Decoration
PS I have to remind myself to explain the variety of Patti O Signatures

Monday, December 17, 2007

In a Moment of Silence

In a moment of silence and pre coffee awareness, I read a headline about the death of Dan Fogelberg.

I stopped, and tears came to my eyes.

He was one of my favorite singers when I was 19. I was in college, and shared a house with three other people, spending many fabulous long nights in my room painting while playing my albums. The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, John Denver, (OK yes, I even had a crush on him and fell in love with a few boys who definitely had his look but were taller)

My little room was the most magical of places as it was my first place away from home. It was a place that was MINE; only invaded when I wished. It was also a time of being wild….having left the prison of my family home, where I existed a mere shell of myself. Be quiet, behave. Get good grades, and NEVER express your own opinion, and NEVER talk back.

I was a free woman and it was the 70’s, when disco rocked, and life was one big party, while at the same time pulling a 4.0 average in college.

When I THINK of some of the things that I did, I start to get a hangover.....

Dan wooed me with his romantic ballads, and to this day I still smile wistfully when I hear his songs. I played Souvenirs till I wore out the grooves. He was my fantasy man, who crooned sweet romance and wisdom into my ear.

I read that he died with great dignity and peacefulness. I hope that is true. I think so, as he was wise as a young man, and could only get wiser. Much of what I did not understand then, I understand now.

In closing here are some of the words from Part of the Plan...

I have these moments
All steady and strong
I’m feeling so holy and humble
The next thing I know
I’m all worried and weak
And I feel myself
Starting to crumble.

The meanings get lost
And the teachings get tossed
And you don’t know what you’re
Going to do next.
You wait for the sun
But it never quite comes
Some kind of message comes
Through to you.
Some kind of message comes through.

And it says to you...

Love when you can
Cry when you have to...
Be who you must
That’s a part of the plan
Await your arrival
With simple survival
And one day we’ll all understand...

to your next journey.... patti

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Musings on a Wintery Day

I enjoy when I am snowed in, and today was the second day this week. It forces me to stay home and be quiet. Perhaps not still, but more quiet. I am able to find time to sit with my thoughts and listen to my heart and create. To me, that is nirvana.

I was able to go back into the studio today and work for the first time in a few weeks. I burnt out so badly that I had to take a hiatis from my artwork. This afternoon, during the storm, I made gifts, and handmade cards for some of my friends with papers or images that they collect. I may have problems remembering my passwords, but I know what each and every friend of family members collect. Elephants, peacocks, dogs, cats, monkeys, vintage transportation, windmills, concertinas, fiddles, and more.

I also made some more cards for customers, and thought about the direction I want to go this year in art and my life. I have found the winter an excellent time to examine an aspect of my life that I need to understand or change, and have also worked on my art by taking classes or working programs such as the Artist's Way Books.

This winter I am doing a workbook recommended to my daughter. Called Repeat After Me, it is a workbook for developing new life skills, changing negative behaviours to positive, changing hurtful beliefs, and understanding how the past influences the present. At the very least if forces me to write which can influence my art or my own writing. Fodder for the blogs. (you know it is HARD to write every day and have something of worth to say!)

I also just bought Adobe Illustrator Classroom in a Book, as I need to learn Adobe Illustrator from now till May. I can't get a class as they keep getting cancelled, so I am on my own using a method that is not my favorite...I would rather have a teacher SHOW me....I follow suit, and that is the way I learn best--not with a book, but now I have no choice......

These past few snowstorms have also given me time with Larry. Though we spend much of the time doing separate things, there is an unspoken comfort and peace in having him there.

Tonight's ephemera is from the late 1800's. It stands up as a decoration. I may put it on etsy or ebay, but then again, I may keep it. It is over 100 years old and I do so love the antique images that I have gleaned over the years.

Off to make dinner, patti o cooker

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow and Ice and Beowulf

I ventured out into the world today, warm in my insulated boots, sweater, wool coat,scarf and gloves. Larry had manicured the driveway, cleaned the cars, and all I had to do was get in and drive. Nice.

The roads were slick and I fishtailed quite a bit, but I am fine as long as no one else around me is spinning out of control. When I drive in snow I visualize a force field around me and so far it has worked....try it! lol.

After a calm day, I headed over to the mall to see Beowulf. I was not sure I would like the animation, but quickly I was transported to another world, and swept away by the special effects which were much more impressive than the story line. I found this type of computer animation fascinating and its complexity makes what I do seem like infants play. I will need to rent it on DVD so that I can view the extras, which are sometimes more interesting than the movie itself.

I did object to the fact that though Beowulf was shown nearly naked, (they did show plenty enough to see that he had a great ass), they never did a full frontal. Swords, warriors, carefully placed beams and monsters shielded our eyes from his great, or, not so great...manhood. Damn.

But oh - wait, when the main monster (played by Angelina Jolie) makes her appearances, she proudly displays her fake looking large breasts complete with nipples, and you get a hint of her V---that leaves barely enough to the imagination. And of course, it is taken for granted that you would see her ass.

It's movies like this that are another reminder that we live in a man's world. Shee-it. I say us girls need to do a remake, and let's make it EQUAL.

So off to fantasy land where I will have to fill in the blanks.

Patti o fire

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Little Bit Greener

The older I get, the more simple and meaningful I want the holiday season to be.

I can't stand crowds, and I hate the mall though I don't mind shopping in smaller shops, where the owner can be found digging in the inventory and checking out customers.

I do like to shop on occasion in some of the "chain stores" and I can never resist a Pier 1 or a Barnes and Noble during the holiday season.

Journals, books, music, candles...all the things that make MY life a sensual life.

One of the best books I found thus far is Michael de Jong's CLEAN: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing. I am becoming more and more aware of the toxins we put into our body, into the environment, and when we are cleaning we are doing BOTH.

This book, small in size but large in impact, has simple recipes for cleaning using baking soda, vinegar, borax, lemon, and salt. It makes a great stocking stuffer/gift, and costs a mere 7.95 at B&N. I have a few extra copies, and am debating as to whom I am going to give them to.

Today we used the recipe for cleaning the microwave, which had a moderate splattering of tomato sauce and other speckles of unknown foods decorating the inside in a colorful array. After boilling 3 spoonfuls of baking soda in a cup of water inside of the microwave, we were able to wipe down the inside with a paper towel. Larry had to boil the water a few times, but it worked fabulously, the inside is sparkling, and it was all done without inhaling or touching harmful chemicals.

At this time of year I always recommend wearing rubber gloves--- in the winter, any over-exposure of my hands to water will make them crack and hurt.

I got my snow day, got many little loose ends tied up.....laundry, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, resting a bit...soon I am heading up to take a hot bath, change the sheets, and put in a movie....

Then sometime tomorrow morning, we will have to deal with a foot of snow.......


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I felt assaulted by flashing lights while on my adventures tonight. Cars. Police. Firetrucks. Police. Flashing Lights. Christmas lights. More Police. (did I say Police?)

It put a damper on my evening as it took me forever to get to Rhinebeck, and I was paranoid about having anything to drink at dinner with Lois, so I made my wine spritzer last two hours, and slugged down a glass of seltzer afterwards. I walked to my car, jumped up and down to get my cheeks flushed (what for---I don't know) walked around the car, checked all my tires (I have a few sloooow leaks) and wished that my tail/brake light wasn't out. I have known all these things for a few days, and have been putting off dealing with them. Now that I have a leatherman, I am capable of fixing all these things on my own. NOT in the cold.

On the drive home I see police lights. Sure enough, a car is pulled over, and has one headlight, and oops, it looks like a Firebird. I make sure there is no braking action in case the cop turns around and sees me and.....

Two minutes later on the other end of the bridge is another set of lights. Hmm....a nice sports car with a high spoiler. Again, no braking. Whew.

As I slink home I go at a speed that I don't have to brake very much, especially if there is a car behind me. I check to see if the cars behind me have a rack of lights, but when you are paranoid, every car or van seems to have a set of lights.

Now I have no reason to be paranoid about getting stopped, but I HATE getting stopped by the police, and I especially hate tickets. Too many flashbacks to the old the time I got a ticket and went to change the headlight and shoved the screwdriver up my nose and had to go that way to show the police I had fixed the light, blood dripping from my nose. (then he had the audacity to point out another light that needed to be fixed..) Or the time I got into ....oh never mind. Some things are better off not told.

I made it home fine, and got my angst out in Photoshop, playing around with filters in order to make tonight's art.

Off to bed to dream of a snowstorm....patti o shovel

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All You Need is Love

It is Tuesday. Tuesdays are busy days, as my students have finally woken up and recovered from either their weekend of rest or of partyland.

Yet I have to pause and remember--it is much the same for the adults. We are not immune to recovering from a weekend of quiet and rest, OR a weekend of wild abandon.

On Tuesdays after work I head to Woodstock to see my therapist/guru. I have been to many therapists over the years, and the last few have been amazing, each one getting better and better. I now have the creme de la creme, and it is not mere chance that I have been graced with her presence.

I have worked with her for a year. I have traveled roads that were rough, roads that I never wanted to go down, and roads I never knew existed. I have turned myself inside out and upside down.

But now I am on my feet again. And the one thing and the ONLY thing that I have realized that means anything, can make any difference, that MATTERS in LOVE.

And, this line from the song All You Need is Love, makes sense of all the pain and the sorrow of life, for "Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be...all you need is love".

To love, Patti

Monday, December 10, 2007

What I do When I am Alone (Boring)

When I signed onto my blog, google had put in an ad for urinary tract infections. WHEN did I write a recent blog about that? I guess any illness is fair game for them to place an ad.

I am multi-tasking. Larry is gone for the evening, I am alone, and enjoying decorating and cleaning the house, ordering presents online, paying bills, making lists.

The cat is patiently sitting next to me while I eat my edamame. I threw him a few, and he pounces on them and chows them down.

I go to grab my Waterford crystal ashtray which I never used as an ashtray even in the days I did smoke, and it has been used as a spoon rest by some mysterious person. I grab another bowl to put all my vitamins and supplements in. I am finally feeling up to taking my pills.

I am also listening to a meditation cd that my friend has sent to me….I think I am not supposed to be multi-tasking listening to them, but I figure, at least I am listening to them and it is a start. (right?)

I find a pile of things to list on eBay or Etsy, and my thoughts wander to my fantasy world viewing whatever magic happens to walk through my brain at the moment.

In paying my bills I have decided that I should start designing books for the computer where you store all your usernames and passwords. I know you aren’t supposed to do this, but how else the F--- are you supposed to remember all of them? My space, EBay, Etsy, the bank, Honda, the utility company, the phone company, Amazon, the house insurance, Netflix, Photobucket and so on and so on.

I have learned to write the codes down as SOON as I register so that I don’t waste even more time by having to wait for emails that tell you your forgotten password, or resetting all your info. It is easier to write out a check, but paying online lets you wait till almost the last minute to pay it. You don’t save paper if you print out a receipt. I have a folder for the confirmation emails, but that too is getting out of control……

So this is how hours of my evening has gone by. I made a dent on my desk and on the floor. I think near everyone is paid, or their bill has been found. I am still surrounded by papers, but they make more sense now, and I can see the top of my desk.

Tonight’s pic was taken in Mexico the summer of ’06. I would love to be on a float right now…

Patti o pool

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dirty Hotel Secrets..a Must See Video

A friend of mine forwarded this to me several days ago. I just watched it and was horrified. And glad that I am saw it, and you ALL should watch it too. I will NEVER drink out of a hotel glass again that is in the room.

Though I am not a germaphobe, I am very aware of what can be transmitted through drinking glasses, unclean food, etc. I have been the victim of a nasty staph infection which ate through my skin, down to the bone. I carried it systemically for months. I think I had a form of MRSA. (I was running down a carpeted ramp at work, fell, skinned my knee up pretty badly, was sent to the hospital the next day for treatment through workman's comp, than POW, I got an infection and ended up on crutches for a very long time!!)

In fact, I currently have a stye in my eye. I can't help but wonder about the fact that one of our students is in the hospital in isolation with MRSA. Sadly, the school had told us they are in complete compliance with state regs, and must feel that they don't have the responsibility of giving us any in-service about the infection and how it is carried, spread etc. Imagine, a school who is in the business of education, not educating their staff? I am pissed.

But NYS law says that a student with MRSA has the right to come to school, has the right to confidentiality, and one single case does not have to be reported. I guess that also means ignorance is bliss for the rest of us.

So do take a few minutes to view this video. It might keep you from getting something that you had no clue how you got!


ps: The photo is of a wonderful martini I had in Belmar, NJ. Hopefully, a glass run through the dishwasher.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Deja Vu

I should have known better, not to drink on an empty stomach, but somehow that did not register. The pain of making that mistake in the past did not sink into my mind.

I did not have any time to eat dinner before going out. Larry was driving, I figured I could have a few drinks, but POOF---I was rendered useless for one entire 24 hour period, suffering miserably. It is only now that I can sit and type!

I only had a few beers, and Marcel was sipping on scotch, so I took a few sips of it in exchange for some of my beer. The crowd was good, Jeffrey Gaines and his opening act were both fabulous, made even more special by the intimacy of the small audience. AND the beer was fresh brewed and very tasty.

I only had one other scotch experiences, and from that I should have ALSO known better than to let any of it past my lips. The other time was skiing as an older teen (I was legal---drinking age then was 18) with my boyfriend and his friend. One of them had a Thermos of hot tea, and a hip flask of some very expensive scotch.It was mid morning, and cold. They guys were sipping the scotch, and I had some too.

I remember renting my ski boots and running into my old science teacher, and talking to him on the line. I probably smelled of booze. What he must have thought of me, the quiet little brainiac who was in the top 15 of her class!!! Later on all I remember is trying to stand up on my skis in the snow. I kept falling over and could not stand. I lay in the snow laughing hysterically and had enough wits to take off my skis and crawl to the car where I slept for several hours. The car was spinning. Fortunately I did not freeze to death as my boyfriend skied, and I woke up a few times to run the car for some heat. Actually he should have never left me in a car, but then again, he wasn't thinking too clearly either. I felt horrid the whole ride home, and swore NEVER AGAIN.

Then there is the Halloween story, but that will be for another time.

So yes, I had a nice time, but it wasn't worth the price. Next time I will eat SOMETHING if I am going out, or else not drink, and even more important still, I can not drink the hard stuff!!!!!!!! Blech!

But the ginger ale and clear soup has seemed to settle my stomach, and now I just feel weak. I know I needed rest and to lose a few extra pounds, but just not this way!

Tonight's artwork is the Epiloge/last page from my zine EAT MAN DRINK WATER. I changed it a bit in photoshop for the blog, but the zine consists of a bunch of these that tell a very wicked story. Makes a great stocking stuffer!!!!!


Friday, December 07, 2007

Snow Angels

An image for the season......
I am doing the snow dance so that I get a three day weekend...or so I hope. It is snowing out now, but we are only supposed to get a half inch or so.

It has been a busy week--visiting Gary, cooking for his brother, still filling orders. I have been going from dawn till the late hours of the night. Last night I needed some comic relief and watched South Park (I am a secret South Park fan)

Later I am meeting up with Marcel, my friend from Berlin, to go out to the Skytop to hear Jeffrey Gaines sing. Snow or no snow, I will be tasting a few of the brewery's beers and grooving to some fab music. Till the next time.........


Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's Four in the Morning

"Its four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New york is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton street all through the evening."

The words of Leonard Cohen echo in my head as I lie in bed. I am wide awake, the facts, thoughts, and emotions of the previous day race through my nervous system like the Grand Prix.

It's hormonal, I know, and I get up to make some warm milk. I hope that it will calm me down, my heart racing in my chest. I have on light silk pajamas with a thin cotton robe, far too diaphanous to be wearing on a cold December night. But it feels like the tropics, and my hair sticks to my face.

I decide to check my email even though research shows that the computer screen, like a TV screen, can interrupt one's sleep. How much more wrecked can it get tonight?

There are no emails, not even one for Viagra or a breast enhancement miracle. I feel insignificant, and the world of cyber info courses around me and leaves me alone, too alone with my thoughts.

Thoughts of death, thoughts of a new life, which go hand in hand in this fragile world. I have much to think about, much to face, and lying awake don't help me be very Zen about it.

But the milk is all finished, and I'm getting colder
my little white bathrobe slips from my shoulder,
yes New York is cold but it could be much worse,
and I'm ending the blog - like L.Cohens verse.......P Gibbons

(couldn't resist ending a la Cohen....)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Human Touch

I am posting this for Gary. He doesn't do much these days except rest. He was moved home yesterday, and I will stop by and see him for a bit today.

Gary is a music nut. He recorded the live sessions for WDST for YEARS, catching Dave Matthews, October Project, and many, many, other musicians who played in our little artsy local town famous for art and music, and the 1969 Concert which was not held in this town...rather in Bethel, about an hour and a half from here.

So your love for music, and some human touch.

(thanks to Bruce Springsteen!)
You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you dont surrender
Well the world just strips away
Girl, aint no kindness in the face of strangers
Aint gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blesses my darling
I got a deal for you right here
I aint looking for praise or pity
I aint coming round searching for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Aint no mercy on the streets of this town
Aint no bread from heavenly skies
Aint nobody drawing wine from this blood
Its just you and me tonight
Tell me, in a world without pity
Do you think what Im askins too much
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety that you prize
Well it comes at a hard hard price
You cant shut off the risk and the pain
Without losing the love that remains
Were all riders on this train

So youve been broken and youve been hurt
Show me somebody who aint
Yeah, I know I aint nobodys bargain
But, hell, a little touch up and a little paint...
You might need something to hold on to
When all the answers, they dont amount to much
Somebody that you could just to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Baby, in a world without pity
Do you think what Im askins too much
I just want to feel you in my arms
Share a little of that human touch
Feel a little of that human touch
Give me a little of that human touch

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gifts from the Universe

You can be assured that neither one of these photos are my laptops background. In fact, on my laptop is a photo of the ocean looking out through a window in the fabulous Muse Restaurant in Provincetown before July 4Th..

However, you don't get a two hour delay in school for sunny beach weather, so I have graced tonight's blog with photos taken on the way to work after last night's ice storm.

I had a two hour delay, and some schools were closed so I had very mellow classes. I am taking tomorrow off as I am exhausted, and need one day to regroup.

Today was the first day I have not had to work two jobs in what seems to be a month, and I headed over to see Gary in the hospital. He is going home tomorrow, with hospice and a nurse to tend to him.

I spent the evening with him, and perhaps they were four of the most valuable hours of my life.

When he could, we talked, or I mostly talked. We talked about life, my life, his life, how we had crushes on one another when we were some 35 years younger. I rubbed his back, hands, and head for a long time. He was content to have this human touch, and I was grateful that I was able to give this with love. I watched his brother in law come in and hold his hands,and take over some of the soothing touch that he so loved.

I have had a hard time overcoming the fear of becoming intimately involved with a dying man. I watched my father die from a very damaged and distant space. I felt helpless when my girlfriend died as I was too entwined with my own messes and pain to be of much help to her. I have feared death this past year while my daughter battled cancer. And here lay my challenge....

So today I am grateful for the beauty of the morning, of the delay, of the time spent with a dying man. Within all of those moments were life lessons, and a treatise on love.

Thank you.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

sNOw day?

The fair was a success. I delivered my order, sold a good amount of my inventory, and had a wonderful time seeing my customers and fellow vendors for yet another year.

I watch children grow, hairlines receed, and character lines develop in the people I have gotten to know over the past 14 or so years.

I did well, I am grateful, and I sold some larger pieces for higher prices. I have under valued my work for so long, and this was a year where I put a fair value on my work.

I am tired, can't write too much more, and hope that we have a weather delay, or even better still, a SNOW DAY tomorrow. Perhaps the universe will be kind to me again.

I had to say goodbye to this piece. One of my best customers liked it, and bought it without hesitation. I know it has found a good home.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Lone Glove

I had a nice new banner, which featured one of my assemblages titled "Ecstasy Girl". Very cool, and it went perfectly with the title of my blog, but blogger did something, took my large banner away, and now I am left with a little thin strip to put a piece of artwork in. Blech.

I know a little bit of HTML, but am too fried to figure out how to fix it. Perhaps the universe will be kind to me and give me a snow day on Monday, and I can spend some time trying to figure it out.

Long day. Did the fair, did OK considering I did not have that much to bring, and I came home and crashed for a bit. My feet hurt from standing, my face hurt from smiling (truly smiling...I love this fair-both its clients and vendors!)

Wendy is coming over soon-it is her last night here as she is flying back to California tomorrow. She will be back soon I suspect as the doctors gave her brother a week or two to live, and she is heavy with knowing that tomorrow is the last time she will see her brother alive.

While I have a bit of energy I will sit with her, and let her cry.

I found myself crying while I was driving back from lunch yesterday when I saw a lone glove lying in the road. I thought about some of the silly things that make me cry at times when I am vulnerable; someones pet lying on the side of the road, another soldier killed in action, newspaper headlines, the obituary of a person cut down in their prime, --a lone glove. Then I think of the story my father told me once, about his little toy boat, but I will save that for another time.

There is a storm heading east here, and is supposed to start before the show is over. I hope that it is not too bad as I have a 15 mile drive home. I know, that is not so bad, but when it is dark and storming and you are in the country, it can seem like forever.

The angels have been keeping me safe for a long time however, and I know they still ride with me........