Showing posts from May, 2008

Mohonk Preserve Hike

After work Karen, Cody (the dawg) and I went hiking on the Mohonk Preserve. The rail trail is lovely, but it is flat, and can be a bit dull at times, whereas we have lots of choices of hikes on the preserve.

As soon as we pulled into the small lot on the farm, the most beautiful blue bird hung out a bit for me to photograph him. At first I thought it was a bluebird, but on closer inspection I found it to be an Indigo Bunting, which I have never seen in all my years of checking out wildlife in the Hudson Valley. It could be a Blue Grosbeak, but I think it a bunting. It was so fabulous, and the beauty of his color made me grin ear to ear.

Part of the hike is on old carriage trails, which have some good hills, and if you go at a good pace, affords a great work out. I am in decent shape and I still found myself winded several times. The hike takes you through meadows, woods, and along the Bonticou Crag, pictured here. I have hiked/rock scrambled this crag several years ago, after my …

The Magic of Spring

I have been too busy enjoying the good weather, going for long walks, rides, and working in the garden or studio to be inspired to write. The weather has been glorious, and now that I am home, there is always so much to be done after work.

Yesterday evening I attended a fabulous soiree put on by The Center for Photography in Woodstock. It was a "welcome" party for the new interns who will be working there for the summer. It is always a pleasure to meet the young, mainly female college students who are here as photography and art administration interns from various colleges in the U.S. Woodstock is almost always a very interesting experience for these young impressionable students, and I think for the most part, a good one.

Great food, great drinks (yumm..those Caribbean Martinis rocked) and even better still, great company. I spent much of my time talking to photographer friendCharise Isis, and CPW's Education Coordinator Liz Unterman. I thrive on the passion that the…

Back Home Again

It has been a whirlwind, but a fabulous whirlwind.

Sunday - baby shower, given by Megan's friends on base. They gave her a shower with all that they had, and I am proud that I have raised a daughter who cherishes sincerity, friendship and the love with which these girls showed Megan by giving everything they had to give her a shower.

These families struggle...I have seen some things that make me even angrier about how our government treats our soldiers. I cannot say some of this publicly, as I don't want to disclose some of the personal struggles of the people I have befriended, but those of you who know me personally can ask me about it. Our soldiers deserve thanks-from us but even MORE so, from the very government who hires them.

Though I don't think I would do well on a military base--it is a very different life than I am accustomed to living, I value the experiences I have had there.

I left yesterday, had a wonderful flight, even though it was heartbreaking to leave …

Community Childhood Memories...

I had a day yesterday reminiscent of a day my mother might have had 50 years ago had she not been depressed/social phobic/drunk. While other moms were outside hanging out on their front steps or on lawn chairs while their kids ran in and out of each other’s houses and lawns, my mother hid inside, doing whatever she did. She did sit outside from time to time, but she never mixed with the other neighborhood moms…partly due to the controlling nature of my father, partly due to her own personal demons.

I don’t hold it against her, she was a kind mother, kept us dressed, fed, and off to school on time, only she was vacant, and a ghost in my life. She never did protect us against my father, that perhaps being her greatest fault, but back in those days men ruled the roost, women had little power in the home as a stay at home mom, and abuse and other family secrets remained locked deeply with in a closet.

I lived in a neighborhood in Long Island in the 50-60’s, filled with tons of kids. I h…

Fantastical Journey

My journey was as smooth as silk. On time flights, pleasant people to sit next to, and a 2.5 hour layover in Detroit where I found a Tex-Mex restaurant to get a frozen margarita (4 on my scale of 10) and a few exotic tacos. There I almost finished my Allende book...(the book that seemed seemed no matter how much I read it, I never got any further in it!) I also read this month's issue of Art News, which focused on artists and their contributions to being green and changing the way we interact with our environment.

The coolest part of the trip was the psychedelic tunnel at the Detroit airport, which changed colors while abstract New Age music played. I heard a few people on the plane laughing about it, as I don't think they got it at all, but I think it rocked. I took tons of photos in it, and they are tonight's work. Two are touched up a bit in Photoshop, and one is posted as is.

The best part of the trip was being greeted by my two girls, and Alanna came ru…

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am rushing- doing laundry, scooping cat litter, packing, paying bills.

It takes a lot of work for me to leave for 4 days......between house, work, and business. I am rather stressed, and am using Larry's computer as mine is fried and my laptop is packed.

I am sure that once I am on the plane, and I have a glass of wine, or a Bloody Mary, I will feel better, and once I land and get picked up by Megan and Alanna, and see their joyful faces and gigantic smiles, all my stress will be erased. But that is proceeded by a day of teaching, writing sub plans, working on a deadline for a publication, dashing off to the airport (on a strict time schedule) and hoping that I have everything I need for four days, haphazardly thrown together into a suitcase and business bag.

I have also had a major melt-down, but I won't go into that.

Stay tuned for tales from Fort Campbell, where a liberal Yankee woman invades the Army base. It has been spring there for over a month now (here in the Nort…

Keeping Green

Tonight's art is titled "How Green is YOUR Garden" and I should make another version, "How Green is YOUR House?".

I try and be as green as possible. Ok, I did go and buy a non-alternative fuel car, but I did make sure that my EOS was one of the top in its class for MPG..and at this time I have gotten close to 30 MPG on the one highway trip I took, and 25-28 in the city. So far so good and I got what I wanted...a four seater convertible. I hope in the next four years to have a larger offering of cars that are fuel efficient.

At home I do not use pesticides on my lawn or in my garden. I live in a neighborhood with perfect green lawns marked with little yellow flags. My lawn is greenish, though most of it is not from grass, rather from violets, crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds that sort of blend in to make it green.

I clean most of my house with vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. I make my laundry detergent from Ivory Snow, Borax, and Baking Soda. I…

The First Harvest

Tonight Larry and I had our first salad from the garden. A combo of red leaf lettuce and baby spinach, garnished with some sliced red pepper, toasted pine nuts and goat cheese.

I think this is the earliest I have ever eaten out of the garden, perhaps because I got an early start one warm weekend.

My peas and other seedlings however are very slow this spring. Not enough rain, then too much rain, and now it has been rather cold so things are taking their own sweet time growing.

However, the cool weather keeps the greens sweet and from going to seed. To much heat bolts the cilantro, lettuce, and other greens, and I get to keep my chives around a bit longer too.

Off to bed. I slept horridly last night, and am tired so I will go up early, dig out the sweats, and settle in to read a bit more of my book.

I have some great prints by the way on my Etsy site. This one is a print of a River in Connecticut I believe. I wonder what it looks like now.....probably totally developed........


What I Have Discovered

My weekend has been packed…packed with work, packed with discoveries, packed with the divinities of the universe.

I have discovered through my painting class that there is so much that I don’t know and I have so much to learn about painting in regards to color, technique, and structure. I have learned that I will only learn these things through hard work and perseverance and painting painting painting.

I have discovered through my yoga class that every time I incorporate movement, breathing and awareness in my life, I am doing yoga. May I remember this in my day to day activities, and boy, do my inner thighs hurt from my 2 hour yoga class.

I have re-discovered the value and joy of friendship and the beauty of having dinner with people that I admire in my life. Thank you Karen for this gift.

I am off to make my bed with clean sheets which is another gift. I love to slide under freshly washed cool sheets and close my eyes and breathe deeply.

To discovery and divinity


My Not-So-Still-Life

Today I took a 1/2 a day off as I had a painting workshop in the afternoon at the WOODSTOCK SCHOOL OF ART, which is finished up tomorrow afternoon.

The workshop was titled "The Poetic Still Life" and the description was right up my alley. A blend of landscape and still life in oil, a combination of Hudson River Artistry and the old Dutch Masters. The artist's work is well known, and beautiful, and I was looking forward to the class.

The supply list for the class stated that I needed to buy water soluble oils. Another 90.00 to buy, but I go out and get the supplies, even though it is nearly breaking my already low bank account.

The list for the class also stated that we need reference photos, which made sense since the landscape was also part of the class.

I go to print some of my most fabulous photos, and the printer runs out of black ink. No problem, I have bought a large box of various colored inks for my printer. Only one problem is as I discover, there is no black …

Eat Morels, Drink Wine

One of spring's blessings is the morel mushroom. It grows here in the Catskill Mountains, and it takes a trained eye and knowledge of its habitat to find them. Once you know what they look like and how to find them, it is an exciting treasure hunt for a mushroom which is heavenly in taste and texture.

Our local specialty farm market sells them for 50.00 a pound, and they were all gone when Larry went back to check.

Though I have gone out a few times with a friend who has a passion for both hunting and eating them, tonight's dinner was none of my pickings. My friend came over with a bagful and we proceeded to make a FABULOUS dinner (recipe enclosed) which was accompanied by an affordable bottle of Linderman's Savignon Blanc (South African)which I bought for under 8.00 a bottle, superb for both drinking and cooking.
Dinner was finished off with another one of Larry's amazing salads.

The mushroom grows all over the country, and a google check will give you more informati…

Putting my Top Down and Junk in my Trunk

I won't even BEGIN to tell you about the jokes I have had to bear over my car. How I can put my top down with one hand, and how the guys at work want to put their junk in my trunk.

Fortunately they are old friends who are just bad boys, and I have no problems cutting them down when I need to, but geez, give a guy a phrase, and he will see how many ways he can run with it. Too bad you can't give a guy a chore or a list and they do the same.

I have had some problems with my car, and I won't go into it, but when I did go back to the dealership, I gently told them in how I used to be a truck driver and safety mechanic and I had no problem getting down underneath the car, skirt or no skirt (as witnessed by the dirt on my hands from doing so.) They are fixing the problems, and I grinned as I shook their clean hands with my dirty ones. (while in a skirt/jacket and my fave Dansko wedges)

Pics of my front and rear. Enjoy.

Patti O Mechanic

Good Things Come to Those who Wait, and Wait, and Wait...

Larry and I spent the fading hours of daylight in the EOS, listening to the Allman Brothers and to Tracy Chapman's Fast Car, marveling over the cool neon blue and hot red lights that lit up the interior of my new car.

The car is amazing. It is beautiful, all that I imagined and more. A hard top convertible WITH a HUGE sunroof (no other car maker has this feature, not even Mercedes yet!) and bells and whistles above and beyond my imagination. Dual climate control, heated seats, Ipod ready, 10 speakers, good system, LUMBAR adjustment, 2 windscreens, an irridescent silver that reflects back the colors around it, with a hint of blue. Lightly tinted windows and roof, and my favorite part, a tiptronic transmission that lets you "shift" without a clutch, or use it purely as an automatic.

I have driven vans, utility vehicles etc. for the last 16 years of my life. At 50, I have finally bought myself a car that I could never afford as a kid, or as a single mother.

Sure, the pa…

Mother's Day

It is way past 2 am when I got woken up by some one's car alarm that must have gone off till the battery ran out. Hot, annoyed, and wide awake, I got up for some warm milk and 1/2 an ambien.

I have had the bottle since I had major surgery and could not sleep from pain for months, and only used it rarely, even then cutting a pill in half.

Tonight I am desperate for sleep as I had plans to get up early, and go shopping for Dole in order to get him out a goody box to Afghanistan.

I hate to shop and the only shopping I do is when I have no choice, or can go to a store that I like, which is usually the small farmer's stand, and generally a non box store.

I am going to have to put aside my phobias and dislikes, and pick up some food and supplies that will make him smile in a dangerous country far from his wife and children.

It seems the ultimate sacrifice I could make on Mother's Day for my son in law who has been good to my daughter. I will also go and visit my mother in the nu…

I am Nobody's Twin

This week was spirit week in school.

Every week for me is spirit week, but I love when we run special events.

I could not participate in every event, as I have so much going on in what seems to be every waking moment in my life. I told my students today that I felt like I was doing 80 in a 40 zone.

I participated in the 60's day. I wore a tye-dyed t-shirt by my friend Phillip Brown who has been making tie dyed shirts for 30 years. It was a tank top, and since it was cool out, I paired it with my fave short tee from the French Quarter in New Orleans that I bought the spring before Katrina hit and a slim pair of low cut blue jeans, with a microscopic zipper much like the one on my rust colored bell bottoms of my teenage years. I wore wedge sandals, similar to those from the early 70's, and finished the outfit off with a necklace that I made in 1969 when I moved up to the Woodstock area from Long Island. Funny how it never broke, and I have worn it for 30 years. ROCK ON.

Then I…

Blame it not on the lilac

It is 4 am and I have been up for nearly 2 hours. Periodic hormonal insomnia I suppose.

I came downstairs to warm up some milk, but there was only enough for my AM coffee, so I made a drink.....tart cherry juice, vodka, and seltzer. I am feeling a bit tired, so I think that it may have worked.

My day was splendid, gave a series of heartfelt lectures to my kids about life and the importance of being present (physically AND mentally) and the power of positive thinking. They were receptive and I hope I reached a few of them. I really love my job. I feel I can give back to the universe all it has given to me though my teaching.

After work, I drove up to the mountains to my therapist. It is only a 20 minute ride from my city that sits at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. She works out of her house, a 19th century home that is filled with art and antiques from her former B and B in Hunter NY. She is a Buddhist, and a humble and brilliant woman. I have learned so much from her…

In Praise of the Water Pick

I was going to write about my adventures in new car buying, about my daughter going into labor at six months and being shuttled in and out of hospitals 900 miles away, about my son having a car crash last night, about the melt downs I had while trying to use In Design, and about how I am rapidly using up my tools in my "life tool box".

But while I was performing my nightly routine, I decided to rejoice in the magic of the Water Pik.

Now at 50 I am proud that I have all my teeth save for the four wisdom teeth that I got pulled along the way, and that my mouth has very few fillings. I have always kept my teeth brushed well, and have had them whitened with the bleach solution a few times as I do drink a little coffee and like to boost their whiteness from time to time.

BUT I HAVE ALWAYS HATED FLOSSING, and it has caught up to me.

Over the past 5 years or so, I have had to endure the dental hygienist probing deep into my gums and shouting out numbers to her assistant. 2,3, oh …

You Know It's Spring When......

You know it's spring when my dinner consists of salads. It is my favorite summertime meal, and I got the bug today, inspired by Larry making a huge pot of egg salad for the week.

I made potato salad, and a tuna salad loaded with fabulous things, recipe below. Since 2 things already had mayo, I chose to leave it out of this salad, and made a salad dressing with similar ingredients as the tuna salad.

The opening last night was wonderful. It was such a celebration of faith, bravery, of life. I saw many friends, some of whom I have not seen in a long time, and some whom I did not know had cancer.

After the opening I went to a very groovy tapas bar called The Elephant with a bunch of friends, and met up with even more friends. It became one big party fest.

Before we headed home, I went over to the building where I had a studio/gallery with Lois for a few years. They have been redoing it, and divided the old R & F Encaustic space into various sized studios. For the first Satu…

Touched By Cancer

Today at 5-7:30 is the opening of the art show "Touched by Cancer" at Backstage Productions on Wall Street, in uptown Kingston, NY.

It consists of artwork by about 25 artists who have been touched by cancer in their lives, whether personally, or through someone they love.

I have not done much art other than design for my few clients and shops who keep me afloat, but this was one show I would not miss as my life has been touched, or rather groped by cancer for 31 years. It has effected me deeply-on an emotional level.

Upon sending my emails out announcing the show, I received several emails from people telling me about how cancer has literally "invaded" their lives, some rather extensively. Parents, in-laws, friends, themselves. My prayers and meditations are with you all.

The artwork I have done for this is intense. It is from deep within. It is powerful. It has healed me emotionally and spiritually.

I hope to see some of you there in this celebration of life and app…

No Words Can Say.....

I had some interesting things to talk about, but all seems such frivolous idle chatter when you have people whom you care about being diagnosed with cancer, and things are not great.

It puts things into perspective.

Many things.

Cancer. A word that has invaded my life.

My father. My aunt. My daughter. A dear friend who died from it. A dear friend recently diagnosed.

What have we done to ourselves to make cancer so prevalent?

Chemicals in and on our food, present in our plastics which house drinking water as well as so many other things, making holes in our ozone layer,?

Technology has come to this?

I won't even get into war.

I am distraught.

Sometimes the human race disgusts me.

But I must keep positive and do what I can to change things.