Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Slight Rant


I have not written in a few days. Just too busy and I guess my monster entry gave me my fix for a few days. Thanks Judy for the compliment on the art - it is pretty scary, but man, did I love the process of doing it and putting it out there. I think it helps let out the demons, and I KNOW there are a few readers out there who understand and can relate to the metaphors and symbolism.

I have had criticism from a few people (out of love and kindness, not out of malice) for putting some of my inner soul out on the table of words. I know the reality of the internet, the super highway of all the data you could ever hope to find on people. You can't run, you can't hide. But I also know that you can't believe everything you read either, so who's to say I am nothing more than an interesting fiction writer.

My most intense blogs have been some of the most enjoyed, and at times most controversial. I know I can be dark, but there is plenty of light to balance it out. But thanks for the thoughts friends. I know you are just concerned readers.

Now for a quick spin around on the political front, I am having a hard time finding hope. New York Primaries are tuesday and I am in a quandry and need to do some homework this weekend.

Somehow I think this is a set up by the Republicans to get another 4-8 in. Will a majority of the country vote for a woman (Bill's wife no less) or a man who is not a caucasion?

The thought of McCain and Hucakabee running the show is mortifying, worse than my dream images. But when I have to vote, who is going to best represent MY views about the war, the right to chose for a woman, same sex marriage, the economy, the environment, healh insurance and poverty in this, the most powerful and richest of countries? Can anyone help me here??

To everything there is a season, and I hope this fall will be the season to start anew. But I am having a hard time smelling the roses.

Tonight's art fits perfectly for the latter part of this blog. Called "The Lottery".
It was the one and only piece that I have sold on the internet, but then again, my work is not that accessible OR updated. That too will chance...

Patti O Rant

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monster in the Box or Prometheus Unbound



The dream that I awoke to set the stage for the day. It so inspired and stuck with me that I had to make the artwork for tonight's entry from a photo of myself. Nothing like making me look like a Goth version of The Scream. Could I make myself uglier....Peg will want to see this.

The 6 AM alarm woke me from a dream that was taking on terrifying proportions.

There was a monster, a horrid monster in a wooden crate which was bound up with ropes. It had big teeth, and the skin of a burn victim from a war. My children started making noise, and the monster awoke, scrambling about in the box. I tried to quiet them as I knew the ropes could only contain this flesh and soul eating monster for a short time before it broke loose and devoured us all.

Sounds like some Stephen King novel, but I bought it with me to my Jungian therapist whom I am in total awe of.

She explained that the dream represented both people in my life -- and myself.
My living in fear for 30 years from two men who were indeed monsters in the soul of an innocent, and my own terrors, anger, and fears, bound up deeply within myself inside of a box. I fear what will happen if they get out. The burn victim represented the damages of living in a war zone, which I indeed survived. I was dreaming in metaphors of course, and this description was quite simplified for brevitiy and perhaps my own sake.

As Peg explains it, therapy is like doing open heart surgery, it hurts, but eventually you heal. Unlike open heart surgery, it can't kill me. And, in the words of my friend and poet Stephen Mead, "We are More than Our Wounds". (visit his link to read some of his poetry and see his art)

Patti O Monster

Monday, January 28, 2008

Go Google Yourself


After a long day, a good workout, a bite to eat, I went home to work for a bit, then headed to the attic to look for old photos of myself as a child and teen. I wanted to write an article about high schools days, probably prompted by my recent viewing of the movie Juno and those constant emails about "THREE PEOPLE HAVE SEARCHED FOR YOU ON HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.COM.

I had a bit of a panic attack when I saw how many bookcases and how much ephemera that Larry has shoved into every nook and cranny in the attic. I was beginning to feel like I was married to one of the Collyer Brothers. I fear that the floor will collapse under the weight of all the paper, and we shall die in bed killed by a ton of books.

I found one photo album, the part of my life that was one of the most awful times.I felt sad while I paged through it, remembering how heartbroken and traumatized I was, while trying to make a happy life for my little children. But that was not the book I wanted, nor was there enough light to dig further, so I gave up.

Instead I turned on the computer and decided to Google myself. You should try it sometime..it is interesting. I tried all derivations of my name, but the only ones that had any decent stuff was the ones I have been using as my online names -- Patti or as P.A. Gibbons. It has been a long time since I was Patty (with a Y--- I got bored of it so I changed it some years back) and even longer since I was Pat. There were snippets all over the Internet about me, and no, I am not Patti Gibbons the animal trainer, the florist, the baker, OR the religions Patti Gibbons! I am the ARTIST and BLOGGER Patti Gibbons. Now if you type THAT into Google, I take up a good percentage of the very first pages.

Be careful what you sign your name to...postings that I made other people's blogs showed up too, as well as other articles and quotes that popped up on the 10 or so pages that I checked out. Then I checked Images..yep, several of my artwork and of me popped up. And then I went to the MORE tab on Google and found even more things in odd places. Fortunately, no images of me OR my work showed up when I typed in Pootie, but what I found give me a chuckle!

So, on those evenings where you don't want to do much except mindless things, go google yourself. It can be very entertaining--and, for a brief amount of time, you can be a legend in your own mind.

xxpatti o fame

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to Relax



REMINDER...valentine's day is coming and I have some lovely cards for your loved ones on Etsy. I have many more here that I have not listed, but peruse my site from time to time to see what I am up to. Tonight's cards are new items I listed this morning BEFORE I took a break and...went to the old Granite Hotel to spend a day at their spa, which is now the Hudson Valley Resort in Accord, NY. Smack in the middle of farm country, tucked back in the back roads of Ulster County, it is one of the several surviving Catskill Mountain resorts.

The Catskills were a haven to resorts in the latter 1800's, such as the Catskill and Overlook Mountain houses which have long burned down. After the depression, the hotel businesses took a nosedive, and it probably wasn't until the 60's or so that the Nevele Hotel, the Granite, the Homowack (yikes, what a name!)were hip places to go in the Borscht Belt of the Catskill Mountains. An easy drive from the city, a perfect mountain get away. Horses, ice skating, boats, swimming, games, music, stand up comics, drugs..remember, for me it was the 70's, still a good era for those of us who were a bit too young to get a good grasp on the 60's.

I worked at the Nevele hotel in the late 1970's, and what a party place that was! I was the photographer in the dining room on the weekend evenings, selling you photos the next morning. I was also the skinny girl in the colored bikini who rented you your bike or paddle boat to you on hot summer days. It was the summer that my heart was broken, that my father died, and my life changed forever.

Somewhere I have photos from that time, photos which MIGHT leave you rolling on the floor in hysterics, but I am digressing.

Karen and I went to do a spa day, where we worked out on the machines and took a very long sauna afterwards. It was only 8.00 to use the facilities, and a fair deal at that. It is not Mohonk, or the Emerson, but it was decent enough for the price.

After our weak mush state, we went to High Falls to the restaurant below the infamous Depuy Canal House (review written somewhere around Nov 10th..my fateful birthday.)called Chefs on Fire. We only had a drink, a sushi roll and some edamame, so I don't feel equipped to rate the experience. It is unique as it is under a 1700's or so building, surrounded by ancient stone and woodwork, and like its sister restaurant, the service is S L O W. Fortunately we were in no rush.

So here I sit m e l l o w and am heading to watch another episode of Rome. School tomorrow, and I am sure that will be a challenge unto its own. Till then,

Patti O

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In Production


I have taken a hiatus from writing for a few days, and wishing I could take a hiatus from life too, but in the spare moments that I have when I am not dealing with life/house/family/ I go on mini-vacations, even if in my own studio, or my own head.Or, a movie--that is my most favorite place to take a trip away from reality for a few hours. The trippier, the better, LOL.

I have spent a few blocks of time in the past days to work in the studio, mostly in production making cards. It is a lovely space with a great music set up, and I am surrounded by my artwork and things that I love. Candles, scents, altars, odd collectibles, paints. I received some new paper and photographs which I bought on eBay, which is always exciting and inspiring as it gives me a jump start on ideas and designs.

Larry and I grabbed a date together tonight as I lamented that I go out with everyone except him, so at the last moment we grabbed our coats and headed to the Rosendale Cafe for dinner.

I have eaten at the Cafe sporadically over the years it has been there, and every time I go I order their house salad with Japanese Dressing. It is like coming home, and I savor each bite. When I went online to find the link for the Cafe, I discovered that Rebecca Pronsky & Lucy Wainwright Roche were singing tonight. Pronsky as been touted as the new "Joni" and Lucy is the daughter of Loudon Wainright and Suzzy Roche (of the Roches). Had I known I would have forgone the movie.

But Atonement was worth it, though a little more intense that I expected. (I went in cold with no prior knowledge of anything about the movie) The cinematography was beautiful, rich and arty. Though I walked out emotionally ruffled, I was full of images and in deep thought about the story and the characters, and reflected upon it.

Tonights image is a large photo from the first quarter of the 1900's I think,and is of a sewing factory in anywhere USA. The room is filled with women, and one lone male supervisor. WOAH. What kind of intensity would THAT be, though I know that such factories still exist, but I hope that there are WOMEN supervisors as well and that conditions are MUCH better. I think I will post this to eBay, yet, it could remain as a poignant reminder of the type of work and conditions which were available to women a mere 75+ years ago. Here's to those women, and to the women all over the world who STILL work in those factories.

Patti

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Will Fix You


Driving home tonight was dark and cold. I had gone to the movies with a friend to watch Juno....and I had much to think about on the quiet drive home alone.

It has been a pensive 24 hours. Therapy that rocked my world last night, and let loose a torrent of tears that have been saved for 20 years. A friend's family lost a four month old baby. A student of mine lost their two year old cousin who had lived with them in a house fire. I felt like the world was a series of earthquakes rocking all of our lives.

While I was buried in my thoughts, a Cold Play song came on...

Lights will guide you home
and ignite you bones
and I will fix you.

I thanked the universe for my therapist, for my husband, for my art---they all fix me. And in turn I try and be the light for others, and fix them.

I did take the day off. I had a headache, was tired, burnt, worn out, and needed renewal and rest. I have taken very few days off work, and I really needed a day to center myself and gather strength to keep going. I rested in the morning, then made art for a good part of the day, and tonight's piece is a collage done in encaustic, meaning that the pieces are held together with layers of molten wax and resin. I will post the appropriate pieces over the next few days. One is a bit..hmm...edgy.

Till tomorrow...Patti O Light

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life as an Artist in Woodstock


My friend Liz has a blog called Life as an Artist in Woodstock. I put the link on my Catskillpaper blog. You should stop by and check it out, and read the entry on SECRETLY CREEPY. The site contains weird photos that were found on ebay. I have a few that I should submit, including the photo I posted on tonight's blog.

I took it a few summers ago when I was selling a collection of dolls for a friend on eBay. Alanna is in the background, about 8 months or so, rolling around. I have some fun photos which I kept as they were so cool..both the dolls and the photos.

So I leave you here with this image...I should have a writing contest based on it. The places we could go.

Till tomorrow, Patti O Dolly

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On Being the Student


I am sitting here in my back room, bundled up in layers. My computer room is surrounded by french windows which is chilly in the bitter cold of winter, and steamy in the hottest days of summer, but oh what a room full of light and comfort it is most other times. I am sipping on red wine, and eating handmade chocolates, listening to a music mix I made for Megan.

I am alone, Larry is gone for the evening, and I am enjoying the solitude and peace.

After all the sadness and emotional turmoil of the last month, it feels wonderful to say that I had a GREAT day today being a student instead of being a teacher.
I was excited...1)that I did not have to go into school and teach (it is regents week anyway, and I would just be cleaning and grading, and 2) that I was going to learn a program that I had always wanted to learn---- DREAMWEAVER.

The reality is, I LOVE being a student. I love the challenge, the mental stimulation, and consider myself a life long learner. I can understand why some just spend their entire life in college. If I had the money I would go for another Master's Degree...but I would rather spend the money on other things, and take courses here and there that I love.

I need a new version of Dreamweaver. Mine is ANCIENT..probably over 10 years old. I don't have 300.00, and I just got a 200.00 heating bill for the studio. But I do have a better understanding of the program, of meta tags and such, and look forward to building my next two websites with SOME version of the program.

So off to make some tags, and to finish some listings as I do so need the money, but I am smiling with the buzz of a nice day. Oh, and I met a really cool woman whom I went to lunch with--the universe keeps giving me gifts.

Patti
Image is an antique leather postcard I listed on Etsy..or will list in a few!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Bit of Humor Needed


I had breakfast with Gary's family before they all headed back to California. It was a bittersweet departure, and they will be back as their mom's house needs some work and she needs some help disbanding Gary's things I am sure. I will visit Erna every few weeks and bring dinner as I know that when the dust settles, she will miss the son who made sure she was OK.

I went home to work in the studio all afternoon. It was cold, and it took forever to heat up. I just got slammed with another heating bill and my hard earned art monies go to heating my studio..sometimes I wonder if I will EVER get ahead.

I took the latter half of my day to go work out.

I had been a runner, a racer in fact, an in line skater, skier, and tennis player, sometimes all at the same time. It has been 2 1/2 years since my accident that I have done anything besides physical therapy, and with the new year decided that I have pain whether or not I work out, so I may as well be in shape.

I have had people come up to me saying, "Patti, I did not know you belonged to this gym!", and I mumble that I have belonged to it for years...just have given them tons of money without using their facilities.

I pretty much go about my business as it is not a social outing for me, in spite of the fact that I know a ton of people there. Today, as my luck would have it, I chose an elliptical machine next to a guy who is doing a half marathon on it, sweat flying all around, and giving off the smell of garlic like nothing I have ever experienced. He is grunting, laughing, sneering, and totally distracting me.

After 30 minutes I escape as he does his second round, and am onto the machines. I no sooner get there then I am shadowed by a man who is 20 years OR MORE my senior. And remember, I have turned 50. He starts to talk to me, and ask me a million questions. I try and go about my workout and be polite. He then springs the "let's go out for a drink" line. I look at him in disbelief and tell him I am VERY married, and I don't think that is possible.

I am shocked. He doesn't wait for a few chance meetings, or until the third time he sees me working out there, HE WAITS ONLY TILL THE THIRD MACHINE to try and pick me up!!!

I end my circuit, and head BACK to the elliptical to seek the solace of Lois who is doing her workout. She looks at me and starts cracking up. I am depressed and deeply distressed that the one time I am stalked is by a man old enough to be my father. Out of the hoards of young muscle pumping gods out on the floor, I get the oldest guy. I am not prejudiced about age, but jeez, couldn't it be someone a bit younger?

Off to dig up the ancient tubes of Retin-A that I have stashed in the closet...

Patti O Gym

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Berry Patch


Larry and I went to the memorial yesterday. It was a beautiful celebration of Gary's life, and it was also the place where I finally let the tears flow, to the point where I could not turn them off.

I don't cry much, at times I might be called stoic. I know where that comes from--as a child I was stripped and beaten with a belt and I would swear that I would NOT let my father see my cry. I stuffed the anger and the shame by doing things to hurt myself. I am over that now, but I still find it difficult to cry.

On the way home I stopped to drop off some cards to my friend who had bought some Valentine cards from Etsy. She has a shop in Shokan on Route 28, the wonderful old building called THE BERRY PATCH.

I have driven past it 100's of times and never stopped in.

Well, what a treasure. Thousands of square feet of the most wonderful gifts. Candles, ornaments, angels, fairies, handmade beaded jewelry that is amazing, by Sherry, writing paper and inks/pens, candles, peace cranes, and SO much more.

If you are driving down 28, be SURE to stop in to the wonderful lavender building on the left as you head towards Kingston. It is after Winchells Corners. Heading from Kingston, it is on the right and before Winchells corners. Support local business and find something unique for just about anyone in your life. I now will add her to the stores that I frequent to buy my gifts.

As a gift Sherry gave me a fabulous soy lavender candle by Mangiacotti Florals.
Richly scented, in a frosted glass jar, complete with a container with a lid with a pewter top to store the candle to keep it dust free when not in use. She gave it to me to light in his memory. I will put his picture nearby and think of him whenever I light it. She also gave me a peace crane. How lucky I am to have met such a wonderful soul.

Today I am in the studio for the most part, and sadly taking down the tree. I have to start decorating for valentines day, so I will leave some of the garlands and replace the Christmas things with hearts and valentines from my collection.

Patti O Celebration......

Friday, January 18, 2008

In Memoriam

Yesterday was busy with giving mid terms, then heading to Gary's family home to meet his sister Wendy (who was my best friend in High School) and his mom to make the photo board for the memorial tomorrow.

I found out that Gary's obituary was in the Daily News yesterday, as well as the Woodstock Times and other local Hudson Valley Papers.

He was known as Gary "The Z Man" Zoehfeld, as he was a local DJ for many years on WHUD, sometimes WDST, and other local northeast stations. He also worked in the Grand Union in Woodstock for years, and before his death at the one in Tannersville.

He was a recording genius and music afficiando, and could be found taping the WDST sessions over the years.

Gary had a wonderful sense of humor, was gentle, kind, and lived life to its fullest right up until the end.

Rest in peace Gary, and may your heaven be filled with music and good times.

We miss you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Don't they Get About Driving in Winter


I travel some pretty steep windy roads on the way to work as they are shortcuts.
For 16 years I have been figuring out the quickest routes to work, and have had to alter them many times when construction crews muck up the highways and shave precious time off my carefully planned trip to work...

When the weather is too bad I stick to the main roads, but I usually take the back way as it is scenic with little traffic. The roads wind along creeks, between steep hills where the highway department has not quite figured out how to direct the flow of water that cascades from the rain, or from the periodic thaws.

Here in the Catskills, the temperatures can range from several degrees below zero, to a warm 55. With the recent thaw and temps above freezing, there has been much melting of the huge snow banks along the road. Often the early morning temperatures are below freezing, making the puddles formed by day into long runways of ice.

It never ceases to amaze me that people drive well over the speed limit in such conditions, and I watch with a grimace and a prayer how they deal with the ice at such a high speed.

Options appear to be slam on the brakes IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SLICK and sometimes spin out, hitting any variety of very bad things. Guard rails, houses, cars, and oops, sometimes land on their roof.

Some keep driving fast.

Fortunately more make it safely than not, but recently I have read a few accident reports on people not have not have not been so lucky.

And it happens over and over.

I have a four wheel drive, but that isn't going to save my little ass on ice. I drive slowly, know where the danger zones are, and creep my way though them.

My biggest fear are the drivers who don't pay attention to the hazards of winter, who might just be coming in the opposite direction towards me. I put out my force field, envision myself protected, and wave my finger at their carelessness.

May you all approach the winter's challenges with care and prudence, and may the force field be with you.

Patti O Ice

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lost Blog

I wrote an entire blog, hit some @#$@#@##@@ button and it zoomed off the screen into the big void of lost words.

I am too tired to rewrite it.

So you will have to wait for another evening when I will rewrite the story about cats and pinatas and cats in bustiers.

Damn keyboard.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cabin Fever In Alaska


I don't have much energy. I have been gone from my house for 12 plus hours, taught all day, gone to the gym, then met my mixed media MASTER friend Annie Barr for a bite to eat.

I wasn't going to write a blog, as I am so tired and don't have much energy left to think or write. I am PMS'd to the max (at least I assume that is what it is) and am not sure whether I am digging or hating the Patti Smith CD that Larry is playing in the background.

Then I visited my friend Judy Var's blog, CABIN FEVER IN ALASKA and I knew that I had something to write about---her.

I am not sure how she found my blog, but the universe hooked us up and we have become friends across the great wide US of A... I love her energy, her art, her thoughts,and her musings. She is talented, honest, and I have watched her grow in leaps and bounds.

I am sure we have been sisters in this universe at one point in time, and if we ever meet I think we will have the grandest of times. I love her, and I have never even met her. Anyone who picked up and left their life behind to live in the wilderness of Alaska has to be one spectacular person.

And, I love her art.

The photo tonight is a painting from her blog..stop on by and look at her fabulous art, and savor her honest and heartfelt writing.

Thanks for your friendship Judy...peace, joy, love and abundance to you. You are a special person.

patti

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Northeaster Headin In


I have a headache. I don't know if it is the effect of the pressure from the storm coming in, or my hormones, or both. I am out of my migraine medication, so a stint in bed for a while was in order this afternoon after I made a pot of veggie soup big enough to feed our neighborhood. It is a recipe from the Soup Bible, a book I bought in Barnes and Noble. I have had it for a year, and figured that each week I will try a new soup. (and it is a very very thick book!)

I visited Gary's mom today, and we went through photos of him so that we can make a board for the memorial next weekend. I am also going to make the cards for service, which I had done for my friend Julie's mom. I am not big on flowers at such services, and would rather provide my artistic talents as my contribution to him and his family.

I have been keeping busy, working in the studio, and on my two websites, trying to figure out how to design them, and how to upload them to my web space. So far, I am not doing too well. I designed the first page for my Catskillpaper.com site, and my computer crashed and it was gone. I cried a bit, but prided myself on the fact that I did not throw the thing across the room.

It is a lot of work learning all of this, and building and maintaining a site, but I do like the challenge and the possibility of having success with the two businesses I am starting.

Last might my cousin and his wife rescued me from what was a long and tedious day by stopping by with a bottle of wine, and then we headed out to dinner. We had a GREAT time, laughed a lot, drank a bit (except for the driver of course!) and then went "shopping". What we shopped for shall remain a mystery, but it was a hoot and we all laughed like a bunch of teenage kids. THANKS JIM AND LINDA for making the bright spot in my weekend!

I am hoping I have off tomorrow because of the snow storm so that I can catch up on all that has to be done. Larry starts his classes this week, so till May I will be a professor's widow, spending three nights a week alone. I don't mind it so much, I figure I will learn Illustrator through tutorials in that time, and get my businesses off the ground!

Tonight's image is an antique postcard celebrating the Hudson Fulton..which then was its 100th year celebration...and next year is going to be its 200th! Hard to believe this mint postcard is 100 years old! Off to Ebay to list them!

patti

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The End of all Suffering


Yesterday was one of the longest fridays I have had. I started the day without coffee, and headed into school, teaching through a day that dragged on F O R E V E R.

I think the week was so long as it was the first full week after the winter vacation, which was NO vacation for me. I am feeling a day to myself looming in the horizon, where I head up to Mohonk, bask in the beauty of the mountains, maybe do some cross-country skiing if my foot body can take it (I have been slowly working out at the gym and my body is not happy) and ending the day with a massage, a sauna, and a hot mineral bath.

I checked my cell phone messages. Gary died a few hours before. I heading to my massage, and felt numb- I could not cry. I decided to wait to call the family until after I had the massage as I needed to get centered and be relaxed before I made the difficult calls.

On the way to my masseuse, I put on my Ipod which I have hooked into the tape deck of my CRV. Out of 500+ songs, (I had it on shuffle), one of my favorite calming and beautiful pieces came on.... The End of All Suffering (by Gary Malkin and chanted by a Vietnamese Monk). The storm front was lifting from the mountains, along with mist, and the light shone beautifully over the Catskills. I drove with tears streaming down my face, not in sadness, but with joy knowing that Gary's soul was free from its body which no longer served its purpose.

I am sad, there is no denying that. He was a friend for 35 years. As he lay dying he said that the one thing he regretted was that he never asked me on a date. We laughed as even though I thought my best friend's older brothers were cool and cute (hey, what girl didn't have crushes on their friend's brothers) there was the unspoken taboo of not going there. They were too much like family and who wanted to chance ruining a perfectly good friendship and slot in their family.

We remained friends over the years..sometimes not seeing each other for large chunks of time, but there was always a comfort in our friendship. Once, when Gary was getting chemo or coming from one of many doc appointments, he dragged his sick self over to my house to take me to an appointment when I had my broken foot. Both of us were a mess, helping each other in a very difficult time in our life. We went to breakfast afterwards, me on crutches and in pain, he dealing with cancer.

He fought for near three years, and lived each moment as fully as he could. What I learned from him and from my daughter, is that we must start NOW to live, to really LIVE and LOVE life, because, we never know when we face death.

Though the vessel called his body is gone, his spirit will live forever in those whose life he touched.

Patti

Friday, January 11, 2008

No Milk


I am sitting here in the pre-dawn hours, tired, and sipping on chamomile and vanilla tea. There is no milk in the house, and I hate black coffee, so I decided to forgo the coffee and drink tea...only thing is, this tea very well may put me back to the zone of sleep!

This week has been in incredibly busy...my blogs have been minimal, though my mind is crammed full of thoughts and stories. This morning there is no time to write, but I did want to share this "Note from the Universe".

"A master's awareness of spiritual laws, directs him or her to manifest major life changes by working with their thoughts, not by working harder.

Which isn't to say they don't sometimes work very long hours, because they do; they just don't think of it as work. Which also isn't to say that they all have cool jobs that anyone would love, because they don't; they just see every task before them, no matter where they work, as a gift to unwrap."

BINGO.

For those of you who are interested, you can get these "notes" every day by visiting Tut's Adventure Club, a site for those who are interested in "the power of thought and creative visualization to manifest dreams".
I love starting my day sipping my coffee (groan---I will have to wait till I make a pot at school) and reading such tidbits of inspiration.

Off to the showers---tired, but with joy. (of it being Friday with a massage after school---how nice is that?!!)

Patti

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Visit My Catskill Paper blog

Some of you know that I run a few blogs....maybe many of you. But, for those of you who don't, and are interested in my musings in relation to art, stop on by Catskill Paper once in a while.

I don't post every day. It is difficult enough to find the time AND the energy to post on this one every day, never mind two blogs. But I have been posting whatever art finds its way to my sun room where my computer resides.

I post about marketing, inspiration, faith, rejection, whatever topic my art life inspires.

I made the banner in photoshop----it is my Etsy banner. I love the double entendre of my blog's name, and found a great antique chromolithograph card from the late 1800's.

In a flash of inspiration, I checked to see if CATSKILLPAPER.COM was available as a domain....and IT WAS! So, for 10.00 for the year, I have purchased the domain!Oh boy, another website...I see it now. Just devoted to cat ephemera and cat cards.

Donald Trump, here I come.

Chuckling on my way to dreamland, Patti

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Final Days

The title of tonight's blog sounds like the name of a book my father would have had in his library of books, and if my father had lived long enough it WOULD have been in his library. It was published much later however, and it is about Watergate and Nixon. AH, my father, being the staunch Republican that he was, would have indeed had the book.

I remember some of the books he had in that bookcase...Airline Safety is a Myth, books on the death of Kennedy. William Buckley was his hero....I wonder what he would have thought of Bush?!

I am getting off topic here.

What I am referring to is my visit to Gary's tonight. He is fading...and though he still knows we are there, he is barely responding. He enjoys our conversation however, and how we rub his feet, hold his hands, and give him love.

I cried on the way up to see him...and fear it will be the last time.

It has been a journey, this dalliance with death. I have avoided it my whole life, but now I am trying to be the best nurse and friend that I can be, though I know I suck at it. Yet I have learned so much, and I know that whatever I have been able to give has been cherished.

I hope that he dies in his sleep, to spare his elderly mother the pain of actually having to watch him die. The past 6 weeks of seeing her son suffer has been more than enough.

Live each day to its fullest, have no regrets, and remember to love yourself so that you can love others...perhaps the greatest lesson of all that I have learned.

Patti

Monday, January 07, 2008

Now THIS is Cute


Oh the people at Honda hate me when I come in to get my car fixed! Why? Because I ask questions and make them look things up to make sure that we are on the same page. Long story, I won't get into it, but the moral of the story is...always check online to see if ANY of the problems you are having with your car have recalls or bulletins put out on it, and make SURE that it isn't covered under warranty. I don't think car places like smart women.

I also got my music order and FINALLY have some new music to listen to. A Few Small Repairs by Shawn Colvin, the new KT Tunstall CD, and choral music sung in the Sistine Chapel. Am heading upstairs right now to relax to that one.

A few cute photos of my student's pit bull puppies. How sweet are they?!!!!

REMEMBER TO PLAY.

Patti

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I am Legend

The title of the blog refers to the movie I saw tonight, not to my brief 20 seconds of fame on the wall of a gallery, though I am honored to be hanging on the the same gallery as photos by great artists such as Keith Carter.

The opening was packed, lots of people checking out both Isis's work, and the other fabulous photographers in the BMG Gallery. The gallery was in fact at one time a gallery called Photofind, run by Howard Greenburg, who has one of the biggest photography galleries and collections in NYC.

No one purchased me, alas, but I have a copy of the infamous photo which I am going to mat and frame and put next to the Ruth Bernhard over my bed.

Afterwards an after show party attended by an array of interesting people and foods.

Yet though I have no claim to fame, and am a small town artist with giant ideas, I am content to be able to do what I do, and bask in the fabulous friends that I have met along the way.

I love Larry's joke about people being "legends in their own mind". Perhaps it is not so bad to be a legend in your own little world, as long as you don't get a swelled head about it.

The movie tonight was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat and had too scenes with needles to keep my eyes on the screen the entire time. Will Smith does a great job, and it was an entertaining enough movie, though not in MY top 10.

Off to the bed to rest. I worked out today at the gym, and ache from the jostling of muscles that have been dormant for far too long.

Patti

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Early Afternoon Musing


I just got back from my Saturday morning running around.

I have been so busy and exhausted that I did not get out of bed till 9, and have been busy handling business, cleaning, and am heading out to the studio for a bit before I have to head out to an opening.

Early in the spring I participated in a Pin Up Girl workshop with friend and photographer Charise Isis. To my surprise, she wanted to use one of the photographs in her show opening tonight in Woodstock, New York, called The Boudoir Project.

I was honored to grace a photography gallery's walls, and be part of this project. For more information email me. It is at the BMG Gallery on 12 Tannery Brook Road in Woodstock, and the show runs from today through February 18th. Opening tonight from 5-7.

Back to the focus of todays musings...As I was on line in the Post Office, I ran into an old acquaintance.

I greeted her and asked her how she was doing.

She told me how wonderfully well her children are doing in their lives, one is married, the other is in Columbia University, the other is some big shot...and her proud comment was "if the children are doing well, I am doing well".

I thought about it, and silently ruminated on how difficult my children's lives are, and replied somewhat tartly "ah, but the challenge in life is to do well even when they are NOT doing well".

Her cell phone rang, and I wished her good cheer and left.

I guess her comment hit me like those Christmas letters you get from friends and family, where all is rosy and wonderful and the cats, dogs, kids, etc. are just the most amazing creatures that ever walked the face of the earth. Mine are periodically sick, in trouble, struggling though life.

I have learned not to base my life and my happiness on my children. I am a separate being, and my joys and sorrows, though interwoven with theirs, are my own.

And, the reality of life is, that even those with the most perfect of lives, someday too crash and burn...as it is part of the learning and the path.

Patti o quip

PS the photo of me in the show is titled Miss Sylvania. I had asked that my name not be used in the title of the piece for various reasons. I had sent the photographer a handmade card (the image here) thanking her for the wonderful experience and fabulous photos she took---so when I saw her the other day, she informed me that she had used the pin up on my card as the title piece for my photo.
Ingenious!!! lol.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Addendum



I just got in. It is 11 pm, I have an emergency dentist appointment first thing in the morning, then have another long day tomorrow.

But I had to tell the part of the "shop class" story that I forgot last night.

The class was lame. Figures that what went on behind closed doors with a bunch of teenage boys and a teacher named Mr. Moses WOULD be lame. (though I have to say the teacher was very patient, and very very kind to me, even when I created a disturbance in the room because they boys were giving me such a hard time and I gave it right back)

The projects?! Learning how to make pads of paper (the only reason why I liked that is I could make mini sketchpads for myself), potholders (I already KNEW how to do those, and I was sick of having to help the guys do the hard part of finishing them off), making little statues out of slip molds (didn't I do that in summer crafts camp?) and model airplanes. Remember, I made at least one or more of everything that my brother made. I made everyone else's models for them.

The only thing that challenged me was the mechanical drawing portion of the class. I had to fight tooth and nail for a good grade as you had to be anal about every line drawn, and the only thing that I was anal about was anyone messing up the blanket of new snow in the backyard.

So..after I finished the shop portion of my school experience, I decided to bone up on science,.but that is for another story.

Off to bed,
The Loud Red Patrick (he was a character in a book, and my Irish family called me that at times)
PS I had such fun with this poor guy.........hahaha

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mechanic Musings



It all started with my Leatherman. No, back up. It all started when I was 19 years old.... NO. It really started when I was 14, but I suspect it was much earlier than that.

I was the oldest in family of four, and it was a great disappointment that the eldest was a Patricia, not a Patrick. When my brother came along, I could see that he was soon to be crowned prince regent. I suspect it was due to sibling rivalry, and clamoring for the hope of a morsel of love and attention from my father that made me prove over and over again that I could throw any ball as well as my brother and I was always willing to play. Poor Jim, I even won all his baseball cards from him when we flipped in the neighborhood. (all those Mets cards I collected...)

At 14 I announced to my parents and to my school, that I wanted to take Shop Class. In the early 70's, shop was for boys, and home EC was for girls. I had art, home EC, and wondered what lay behind those doors in the basement of my High School, a place where I saw boys come and go all day long.

I was not interested in boys. I was interested in the projects that lay behind those double metal doors. And now I wanted to more than one-up my brother, I wanted to take on the entire class of boys.

I was allowed in, and the boys instantly hated me because I had infiltrated the club. But somewhere along the line I became their best friend as I had the highest grade in the class and if I liked them well enough I might throw them an answer or two. What power I had over boys then, even if only the offer of a few good answers.

After losing a job at Trailways because I complained that a man was getting paid more than I while he sat around with his feet on his desk chatting away on the phone, and being fired from a job where the boss fired me on my birthday (I never quite knew why she fired me...except that she was angry with her husband for cheating on her and I was her victim of the week) I decided to switch gears and get another job in a man's world.

At 19 I was a truck driver and safety mechanic for U-Haul. I can't tell the wild stories that I have from that job (is there a statue-of-limitations on ... oh never mind) but I did learn some handy things. I could grease bearings, change a tire, change oil, check electrical systems, replace lights etc. I learned how to drive a standard 24'truck, with a trailer attached. I only burned out one emergency brake, and never crashed into anything, which is more than I could say about the guys that I worked with.

Over the years it has come in handy. I have accrued a small kit of tools. My Leatherman, my digital tire gauge, my mag lights (Xmas present from Larry). Twice in the past week I have needed them--to replace a burned out bulb on my CRV taillight, and fix my door lock this afternoon. I even have a spare pair of gloves in the car for dirty jobs, a few wipes, a blanket, and hmmm... I still need a compressor, and some flares. I don't need much more as I can't fix much more with everything being electronic.........I won't be pulling the engine on THIS car!

Still, I would rather be making art, but it sure helps to not be afraid to read manuals, use a tool, or problem solve. And I still love to prove that I am a very capable women who knows how to use her tools.

Patti O Mechanic

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

How I Started the New Year


A big difference from a year ago last night. Last year on New Year's Eve I was dancing the night away to great dance music in tight black leather pants and a velvet bodice.

This year I was bundled up in loose comfy almost pajama-like velvets at that same friend's house that had the dance party last year, and was miserable as I had the most awful of stomach aches. A few bottles of champagne sat in front of me and I could not bear to think about drinking. Something was not right.

We left before midnight, and in between my moans we kissed in the car when 12:00 struck on the digital clock in my trusty Honda.

When we got home, I grabbed the heating pad, and Larry and I made the best of the evening, considering I was sick for hours. Food poisoning? Too many cookies? Pork?

I awoke to another 4-6" of snow. We had 2 parties to go to. Somewhere around 3PM we dug out and went to celebrate the New Year. I was a bit tenuous when it came to eating and drinking, but I slowly eased myself back into the world of fabulous libations and food orgies.

And friends. Lots of very cool friends.

Though my start was a bit rough, I ended the New Year with a smile. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I want to thank you my readers. I sit here almost every night and write from my heart, and though I don't know all of you, I have met some of you, and your kind words (OK and sometimes not so kind, but we need that input too) keep me smiling.

I hope that your New Year was blessed, and if you had a rough day, I send you a hug. If you didn't, I send you a hug anyway!

Patti