Showing posts from June, 2009

Day #4. The Sally

Each day I try and get another chore done - a chore, any chore which has been bugging me for a long time. I am great at starting lots of things, and then either getting bored with the project, or running out of time to finish it. Today it was the two bags of clothes to go to the Salvation Army which had moved three times to three different rooms before they got moved to the car where they lived for another three days.

They guy at the Sally knows me and probably wonders where the hell I get all this stuff? Bags and bags of donations. I have a friend and a sister who give me their clothes, and I go thru them, keeping what I like, and then packing off ones I don't, or ones that I am tired of in my own wardrobe. I try and be feng shui about it because these old houses don't have a lot of closets, and the attic is overflowing with BOOKS and PAPER LARRY, so off the clothes keep going. And folks, my donations are one of the few tax deductions I have left besides my house and …

Day #3 - Working in the Garden

After what seems to weeks on end of rain, we had a full day of sunshine.

As I sipped on my coffee, I took a walk out into the garden. I was amazed at how many weeds had taken up residence in the flower beds, and the purslane was having a feast in my center veggie garden.

Purslane is a member of the portulaca family that is edible. It can be used in salads, on sandwiches, in soups, stir fried etc. It is higher than any other green in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is a staple in many countries, but here we consider it a pernicious weed, and rip it out. (photo from Wikipedia btw..and I believe they are copyright free...hope so)

By early summer the spinach, cilantro, and arugula are done and gone to seed. I pulled out the plants, and since there are very few veggie plants left at farmstands to put in, I resorted to planting seeds again.

I had planted tons of seeds in little pots a few weeks ago, but they must have either been no good or rotted with all the rain. Not one sunflower, cucumber,…


I am now in the habit of writing my blogs in the morning, while leisurely sipping on coffee. Day #2's blog is actually written on the morning of Day #3....

My goal for this summer is simple: to heal my body, and work on my paintings. Healing will take on many forms. Rest. Reading. Doing things that bring me joy, whether it be weeding one of the gardens, or working on my house, or art. Eating well.Enjoying friends. And saying NO to stress - especially stress that can be avoided - the drama kind.

My morning routine is simple and comforting. I wake up when my body says it's rested. Now that guests are gone and I have my meditation room almost back together, I will meditate for 10 minutes before going downstairs to feed the cats, make my one cup of coffee, open up the screened in back porch and step out to feel the early morning air. I put on the weather box (which Alanna now asks to hear so that she can determine if it is a sprinkler or pool day) and stretch. By then the c…


I started my first day of vacation by waking Alanna up a bit early and taking her to an art opening at 10 AM.

Yes, an odd time, but it was the unveiling of artwork purchased by the county for the Ulster County Rural Transportation building, which is normally only open to the public for meetings.

It was great to see my friends get commissions for a public space, and it is always delightful to see government investing in art, but I was a bit disappointed that all these wonderful paintings are hidden away from the public eye, especially since my tax dollars paid for it and I would love to have access to it.

The food was nice, I got to meet gallery owner James Cox (all these years I had never formally met him) and to see some of my artist friends who attended to support their fellow artists. It was a nice "wake up" to the day and I left quite cheery. Plus, I hooked up with a few people who have children or grandchildren and want to have a play date.

I had grand plans for the af…


I am saddened by the death of Farrah and Michael Jackson.

But I am even MORE angered by the endless streams of jokes, nasty remarks, and judgments by people's comments on Facebook about MJ. None of the comments were made by MY friends, but by some of my friend's friends.

I don't know what happened with those children Michael slept with. Many of them, including some very famous kids, said it was all just like the family bed, where nothing but sleep went on. In many third world countries, entire families sleep in one room, as many cramming on the "bed" as can fit. And I can tell you for a fact that I teach kids whose extended families and friends sleep in large beds together in all kinds of configurations.

But that is chump change to the world. They aren't someone famous and rich.

I don't know what happened, and I am not to judge. He was an abused child, and who knows what the pressures of being a child prodigy star did to his young developing mind …


Today was my last full day of SCHOOL. (to the tune of SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!) Summer is officially here when I get up tomorrow morning and salute my house for the last time and head off for a few hours of work, collect 4.5 paychecks, and run to the bank. After wards maybe go out to lunch or drinks with the crew for a bit. Then pick up Alanna and play grandma for a few weeks and learn about life, time, and play through the eyes of a four year old.

Today no one was home, so I enjoyed the quiet for a bit. I stripped the bed in the guest room, as Julie will be in town in a week or two and I hope I get the honor of hosting her for as long as she needs/wants. I cleaned up the mess from dinner last night, and headed out to the studio.

The phone rang. "Mom?". "Yes", I automatically answer. "Uh mom, uh...". For a moment I panic. It is a little voice, and I cannot ascertain whether it is Alanna, or one of my kids calling after something really bad ha…

Father's Day at Olana

For a Father's Day adventure, Larry was to choose a destination.

No.1, located somewhere in the Berkshires, was a botanical garden. Too far for the time that we had. We had to be home early enough for the once-happy-free-range-hormone-free chicken to go in the oven so that we could eat dinner at a reasonable hour.

No 2, was Olana. That always excites me as I can NEVER had enough of Olana, home of Frederick Church, of Persian and Italian architectural foundations. A few of my paintings are of the view from Olana, and each set of digital photos that I take on the road is a story unto its self. Light changes, the river changes, as does the color, the clouds, the flora. Me. My camera.

This visit I took some unusual pictures while exploring the properties of photographing against glass, shooting into Church's studio. No flash used of course. Straight on gave an eerie quality through the glass, back and at an angle provided me with three layers; the landscape, the photographe…

TAGGED... aka More About Moi

I have been tagged again, possibly because my readers know how I love to do these, and talk about myself. Sometimes I think this whole blog adventure is a bit narcissistic. I do a lot of talking about myself.....but perhaps the one difference is that I hope to reach others, to show the universality of joy, pain, illness, and struggle. I hope that I touch someone, make them laugh, think, or feel that they are not alone...... so here you are...a touch of hedonism....

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

What is your current obsession?
Lately due to health issues, it has been what to eat, and how to keep my body and mind healthy. Avoid stress, get rest, eat right and be happy. When I am not doing that, I am putting my energy into my next body of work.

What is your weirdest obsession?
Oh I have had an obelisk obsession since I…

And the rain falls...

The Peppermint Patch
The Anal Expulsive Side Garden

The Swiss Chard Alanna and Randy

We have had so much rain that the seeds I started for my next planting have either rotted, or else the sun hasn't been strong enough to get their little heads to pop up out of the dirt. I am frustrated as they are cucumbers and zucchini and should be in the ground by now, and I have nothing but trays of dirt with puddles.

Of course the rain and the occasional break through of the sun has made my garden lush, as well as the weeds, and our lawn which is looking pretty out of control. I should be out weeding in between showers, but somehow I can't find the energy to do it.

Patti's Peppermint Patch is flourishing, and have discovered the delight of a large pot of fresh peppermint tea to sooth my irritated stomach, which was very upset with last night's debauchery. I cooked up more bok choy and made a huge salad out of the greens still left in the garden. The arugula is past its prime an…

Excuses, Excuses

I have been a bad girl.

Last night I played the infamous beer pong game with the kids and their friends for a bit. I only lasted a few games as I really can't drink, but I was dying to play this generation's "college drinking game" - a very different game from some of the college games I played at their age. It was fun playing with youth half my age, and was honored that they even WANTED me to play. I made sure I did not wear out my welcome, and graciously slid back into the house for the last few games. Besides, it was dark and the mosquitos were out.

I told everyone to leave and continue their partying at 10:30 PM so I could go to bed. I heard Meg and Dole come in at 1, then at 3 AM was woken up by a wild animal screaming - either due to copulation or to death ( or was it copulation - then death, or death then copulation--not sure how that works in the animal world) Just as I got back to sleep I heard the baby crying at 4 and 6. I had a rough time getting up …

Why Women my age should NOT have babies

I have read about women a bit younger than myself who go through extraordinary measures to have babies. Personally, I think they either must have tons of money to hire a nanny, a big family to help them, or they are just plain crazy. After one afternoon with a 24 lb 10 month old, I am convinced that there are reasons that younger women should have the babies.

I am a type A personality. I can multitask, work full time, run a few businesses, show art, garden, socialize etc., but only a few hours with a baby nearly put me under the ground.

I picked up Randy from his other grandfather.
I had to take the Honda today as I would have NEVER fit anything in my Eos.
I loaded:
1 pack and play
1 portable high chair
1 walker
1 box of baby food
1 large diaper bag
1 large backpack full of clothes
1 misc. bag.
I car seat
1 24 lb baby.

When I got home I left the baby in the car as he was temporarily smiling and took all of the above into the house and up one flight of stairs.

I ran out of steam and laid down on…

To Play...

I had my four year old granddaughter for the day, so life today was slow and mellow.

She had fresh made juice for the first time.
We picked flowers in the gardens and I showed her how to arrange a vase.
We took photos of one another. She did tonight's portrait of me - set the scene and how I should sit.

She went shopping with Larry for groceries while I took the car to the car wash and spend an hour cleaning it up. (Convertibles are high maintenance. The leaves and road dirt and pollen make a mess of the inside!)

I rested for a bit, then we went to the park to see the peacocks, and play on the playground. We met new people, and Alanna made friends with a girl her age.

I made dinner and she ate all her shrimp, rice with saffron that I hauled back from Spain, and even the stir fried bok choy with sweet red peppers.

To end the day:
A huge homemade chocolate chip cookie.
A Sponge Bob Bubble bath.
Two stuffed animals,
A tuck into bed, kisses goodnight.
She was in heaven.
So was I.

Patti O Play

Definately Slogging

Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY
Heading up Route 28
Heading into Woodstock
Heading back home in the storm.
(PS...did not finish this last night due to bad I am finishing up to post now, as the sun is shining through the French windows of my sun porch)

Energy level low, along with the atmospheric pressure.
Health in the yellow zone, hovering on the line where it becomes orange.
I eat carefully today, and sleep a lot.

I am angry.
The house is a mess.
It is the weekend.
There are openings and parties.
And the market, and shopping, and gardening.
And painting.

But I must listen to my body. Being able to do a few things is better than being able to do nothing.

So I must rest.

Later afternoon, the sun was shining strong, and I rolled myself out of bed to go to a few of the openings. I had already decided not to go to any of the three parties I was invited to. But a nice ride in the 82 degree sun in the lovely evening light was enticing, as well as seeing a few of my art friends.

As s…

Colorectal Surgeon Song

Today was a bit of a backslider, or should I say, a back sider. Ate a few things in the past 24 hours that my body did not take well. A reminder that I have to really watch what I do. Oh but it is soooo tiring, this two long months of being unwell and having to make serious diet and lifestyle styles. And in addition to the colitis, my acid reflux is breaking through the Prevacid.

I saw the doc yesterday and she gave me the diagnosis of cologenous colitis. One of the more unusual forms of colitis, usually found in women 50-70. Not much info on it, can go away on its own, or can be a lifetime affliction. Causes possibly a virus, bacteria, or an auto immune disorder.

Mine was serious, lots of inflammation and blood throughout the colon. Excess collagen is found in the large intestine interestingly enough. So that's where the collagen in my face has gone to....I wonder if somehow I can..... oh, no, forget that thought!

List of problem foods: fatty foods, lactose, non-Tylenol product…

They're HERE!!!

A quick post as I have spent most of my day after work with my kids and grand kids. Drinks, pizza, a trip downtown to try and see the boats come in from the Hudson, (no parking that was convenient with 2 little children), ending up at the local ice cream place for dessert, one of our favorite past times. Larry used to take Megan to Mickeys all the time when she was pregnant, and now 5 years later, we keep the tradition.

Megan, her husband, and kids are in town from Kentucky. Dole is back from Afghanistan, and happy to be reunited with his family and friends, and back in NY for a few weeks.

Megan has already informed me that the second she or the children are woken up by the barking dog or the screaming family who owns the dog, she will get military Kentucky on them and be at their doorstep. Whoa baby, I don't envy them having to deal with her. Whereas I fear of confrontation unless forced into a corner, she is dead ass aggressive if she needs to be. Imagine a cross between Ang…

And Thus the Day Went.........

Tough morning to get up as it was dark, raining, and I could hear the distant rumble of thunder crawling towards me as I stirred in my bed, thick with the remainder of dreams and distant memories of the night before.

I did my meditation in bed, and stumbled downstairs to make my juice and check my email.This was one morning where I really needed a cup of coffee to wake me up. In this state I juiced, but forgot to put the glass under the nozzle, so I juiced all over the counter and the floor before I realized what was happening.

In the craziness of now being late because I was cleaning up the mess, I forgot to take all of my meds which included my Pepto Dismal, which is supposed to keep me from going to the potty TOO many times in a day......

And thus the day went.

School was crazy. I won't discuss it here (saving it for the book) but kids went nuts, we had to lock down the classrooms and deal with a few incidents on hand. I seemed to be one of the few adults who was keeping their c…

A New Read

I started a new book, "Water for Elephants". I was immediately engrossed, and I wonder what my fascination is for things like HBO's now defunct series "Carnival" (too weird for the general public?) and books like these, especially when I have never been to a circus.

I have gone to the local police carnival for 25 years, and watched it change year after year. Larry has photographed many of the carnies...and talks easily to them. They have let him into their little world year after year, especially when he gives them fabulous 8 x 10 photos of them. It is a strange world, one that has been captured by the likes of Mary Ellen Marks and others.

Off to read more. Perhaps it is through the imagination of others that I can live such a colorful life, and also by throwing in an adventure or two of my own. My ride in a plane that was built to be part of a side show 80 years ago has fulfilled my adventure quota for this week. Maybe.

patti o flyer

The Big Surprise

I woke up early, but decided to finish A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beal. Not light Sunday morning reading; more like a autobiographical true horror story about the civil war of Sierra Leone in Africa, and of the recruitment of young boys as soldiers.

It is a heartbreaking story, and in the end there is a happy ending for this one young man. But it is the ghosts of his story and those who still live the horrors of war that is etched into my being.

Larry and I spent the early part of the day "working the land", our small plot of city soil that we will own in about 10 years. I am determined to keep my soil well conditioned and able to provide us with organic eating from spring to fall. I look forward to eating the crops as each comes into season and there is great satisfaction from doing the work and being able to be reap the benefits.

After a shower, I settled in for a bit of Sunday paper read time. I hear a commotion at the door, someone's voice saying JUST GO IN, and La…

Bagels and Bi Planes

I got up extra early because Tom was coming over to work on the bathroom - again.I don't do well with the dirt and ado of construction, so I took myself out to go to the farmer's market, and then for my second bagel of the month. F--- no gluten, dairy and caffeine. I had myself a fat everything bagel with cream cheese AND butter and a coffee.

I read the local paper as I settled in with my little feast, and my eyes caught a small ad. Free day at the Rhinebeck Aerodrone. The mechanics were tuning up and test flying the planes before the season opened next week.

Was it the lure of the memory of my father taking us as kids, my fascination for flying and airplanes, the trip to back to another time that the Aerodrome provides, or the movie The English Patient, that made me call Larry and say: "GET READY AS WE ARE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE".

I had not been to the aerodrome since my father took us as little kids. I was the oldest, and guess that I was about 12 when we went t…

The Gift

Several times last night while writing my blog, Larry came downstairs from the Netherlands and asked: "are you coming up?".

I issued my typical curt answer: "when I am done."

I answered this question a few times...but it's OK, it is part of the routine mating dance that we perform with love, grace, and at times, brevity.

Finally, after summoning enough energy to write a few emails and a few thoughts on the blog, I headed upstairs.

I performed my typical night regime; pee, brush my hair, brush my teeth, brush the hair on my teeth, (I know, b a d Patti...) and entered the bedroom.

Larry is in bed, and smiling. I begin to slough off my painting clothes; a much loved and lived in t-shirt, and my favorite pair of feels-great-to-do-anything in jeans - the haute couture of my introvert art world.

I look on the bed, and there is a bag. "Garbage?" I ask him quizzically.

He laughs.

I see that in the bag is tissue, and that it is a present.

"Because you have…

Nina, Pinta and view from the Rhinecliff Bridge

It was such a nice day at work as I got to take some girls out to lunch. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we ate lunch outside on the veranda of the Steel House, which was paid for by the girl's small craft business of making flower pens and selling them during lunch time. They raised 77.00, and when asked what they wanted to do with the money, they said GO TO A REAL RESTAURANT FOR LUNCH.

As we sat on the Rondout Creek, sipping on our sodas and waters, the replicas of the Nina and Pinta motored slowly into their moorings for the weekend. I taught the girls the art of waving to people on boats, explaining the etiquette of boating on the river and creek.

We talked about how difficult a journey it must have been on these boats, which were not that big, offered very little protection from the elements, and how people pooped/peed/bathed 600 years ago while sailing the great seas. Hanging out with teenagers is great because my potty humor is never considered scandalous, in fact, we …

More on Being Green

The workshop with Zoe weil planted a seed very deep into my soul. I cannot go through a day where I don't think about how my actions and decisions are affecting others, animals, the environment.

I stop before I buy a bottle of water or juice, and think to myself, can I wait a bit, and get that in my classroom or at home without adding more waste to the landfill, or taking valuable water away from a farmer?

Lately I have been eating from my garden. I find it so fulfilling to go out into my very own yard and pick the most beautiful organic produce. So far I have harvested bok choy, several kinds of lettuce, peas, arugula, spinach, parsley, cilantro and rosemary. Sometimes it does get a bit monotonous to eat the same thing day after day, , but I think about how many people in the world live this way, making the best of each crop as they come into season. I must learn how to dry some of the herbs, or blanch/freeze/can the excess produce.

On Facebook, some of the people I know a…

The Meyers Briggs Test

After my posting the article on Introverts/Extroverts, and reading the private emails and responses to it that I had received, I headed over to take my own Meyers Briggs test that I found online for free. It was a Jung Typeology test, and I whipped through the 50 questions quickly.

The results? My personality type is INFJ known as the Counselor Idealist Type(Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). Rare, only 1% of the population. Considered one of the more creative types who have a complex inner life. They are found teaching/counseling/and often are artists/designers/novelists. Tisk tisk. Is this me or what? I share this personality with others such as Mohandas Gandhi, Sidney Poitier, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall, Emily Bronte, Sir Alec Guiness, Carl Jung, Mary Baker Eddy, Queen Noor . Not shabby.

It is funny how I have never even thought about this before....and the article on the Introvert really hit home the other night. I have felt guilty at times that I am not a bi…

Caring for your Inttrovert - LONG

Before you decide whether or not to read the rest of this, the painting tonight is stage 1 over the under painting which I posted several weeks is interesting to see the phases that my work goes through before I feel it is complete.

My friend sent me this great article on introverts. For a long time I have felt guilty for not being a social person in the sense that I don't entertain much at my house, and I don't have a lot of guests stay over. I am not one of those people that you just drop in on. I prefer a call. I would never turn away a friend who drops in of course, as I am not that rigid, but I really value my down time and am very protective of it. To be a friend or lover of mine, you have to be very independent. I am a loyal and low maintenance friend, all I need is room to breathe...lots of it.

So here is some thoughts to ponder. We are all such unique people, if only we understood one another and did not try and pigeon hole one another into some fanta…