Saturday, February 28, 2009

Workshop Photos

Not a good start to the day.

I thought the workshop started at 10. At 9 am I double checked online. It started at 9. I live 1/2 hour away from the center.

In my rush to get leave (sans breakfast) I hit the portable dishwasher, which knocked over the bottle of wine, whose top was not on, and spilled all over the wall and behind the stove. The timer also fell, which I promptly whipped across the room and broke into a half a dozen pieces.

I am not proud of this. I know I snapped. I have not done so in such a long time.I am a total hormonal mess, and this can't go on.

On the way to class, I thought "great. I am just like one of the kids that I teach. I am going to class a total mess, and ready to have a meltdown". In that reflection, I understood how my kids must feel, some of them on a daily basis. I knew that I needed a cry, to be left alone to dive into the paints and get myself back into a human state.

I have no excuse for this. I don't have any stressors in my life at the moment. Mom is holding her own, Megan is for the moment OK too. But then I stopped to think and realize that my job has been horridly stressful, and my body is a mess - I need to get a grip on this. Figures, I did not meditate this morning either.

I did paint for close to 6 hours straight on a mostly empty stomach. I have posted the unfinished paintings here. They are rather poor photos as they were shot hand held with my digital camera in natural light. But you get the essence of the work. One is a sky for my sky series, and the other is of the salt marshes I hiked through this past summer. I have primed another large canvas for a dramatic sky/Catskill Mountain landscape, but that is for tomorrow. And I WILL be on time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It has been a REALLY tough teaching week, and I have not been well physically. My hormones are making me really sick and playing Russian Roulette with my brain and my body. It is probably the last big party before they head out, or at least I can only hope. If this happens again in 2 or 3 weeks, I am abandoning my body. Or heading to a warm Caribbean island.

Below is an excerpt from my art blog. In addition to work and physical frustrations, I came home to "the letter"....

"I had spent 135.00 to join an elite art organization, and another 20+ for the fee to have 3 pieces submitted to a show that was curated by a Bard College professor. By now you know how deep my love for the Hudson River Valley region runs, and how it is reflected in some of my art. It come from a very spiritual place inside of me, and I love the work that I produce from my experiences spent hiking, photographing, painting, and being one with the region.

200 pieces submitted, 47 accepted, I sent in 3 slides...nada.

I know this is par for the course in the art world. I don't take it personally.
I know I need to work through this rejection and not loose faith. It was not the venue for my work, and I do know there is a reason for being rejected.

So I am trying to be happy about my weekend workshop of painting at the Woodstock School of Art with Christie Scheele. She is a fabulous teacher, and a great artist. Lois my friend will be there too, and I am sure after the first hour I will be back in the saddle again."

Oh, and Larry bought home a package sent to me by Megan. She decided I needed a new phone and sent me a phone, charger, cards for it, etc. She said it is much better an fancier than the phone I had (which is still in great condition and a very nice phone.)I will have to wait till the weekend is over to figure out how to transfer my phone numbers and info over, and how to use it, but it was very sweet of her to do that. It was one of the things that made me smile today, along with the emails, IMs and facebook messages from my friends, telling me to "keep on truckin'."

Thanks guys.

Patti O Rejection

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From the Observation Deck...of life

Tom has been working on my house...he was still here when I got home and we chatted for a bit before we both had to do other things. He is a faithful (I think) reader of my blog and was talking to my daughter online about where I was last night. "You mom must have had a bad day. She hasn't been online at all and she still hasn't written her blog". She agreed, and they wondered what was up.

I have had worse ones, but the days on end of cramps got to me and I hauled poor Annie out to Ugly Gus's for A drink. I had only a thimble of wine left in the house (I put a lot of it in the bean salad - and am still feeling the effects of from the day before). Needless to say, we met up with other people, and one hour turned to three, it being so easy to sip on our drinks and share stories and discuss our lives. Finally I realized that I had to get home to write and tidy up the house a bit before another day rolled around.

Back to today and Tom. He is running speaker wire through the walls of my kitchen so that we can put up a set of speakers that we had to buy. Now only a few feet away is the living room with FOUR speakers, but for some reason, we have to have them in the kitchen too. A little decadent considering I need other things done - I certainly hope that Larry plans on spending A LOT OF TIME IN THE KITCHEN (are you reading this Larry?!) to compensate for the cost and prioritizing it over other jobs NEEDING TO BE FINISHED or DONE. Ahem. Tomorrow starts some bathroom construction, phase 1. Phase 2 may require me to find a place to shower for a week......

After Tom left, I decided to head out and do some errands. The sun was starting to sink low into the late afternoon sky, and since I had my camera with me, I headed to the mall, where the best part of the box store construction site is the view of the Catskills from the parking lot. I parked the car, turned up the music, and listened to some lesbian folk singer crooning about love and women. It's all good by me, love is love is love and I don't particularly care who's doing who, as long as it sounds good. I put the window down, and took some shots from the window and watched the sun set. 47 degrees, and I pretended I was in some exotic place, and flashed back to my nude flying dream from the night before.

A trip to Barnes and Nobles, where I went to renew my membership and pick up a Rodney Yee DVD on a series of 15 minute yoga exercises. If Larry can do it, so can I. At check out the clerk informs me that my husband already renewed the discount card. Hmmm...I think. The mortgage might not get paid, nor the taxes done by him, but he has it together to keep the card renewed?! I know where HIS priorities are, and I mumble something about there could be worse addictions in life.

I was hungry and then did the unspeakable. I went to McDonalds for a 3.00 dinner, and savored all the MSG and fake flavors in a carnivorous chow down.

As I sit here and type the phone has rung. It is Annie; time to go make the cake for our student for tomorrow. Here I am, going out at 8pm, wine and chips in hand off to make a cheesecake.

Oh and yes, and spring is in the air.

Patti O Observer

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thoughts While Meditating

I meditate each morning for 8 minutes.

I have it down after doing it since October, at least on work days. I have to get better about it on the weekends, but at the very least I do it before work as I know that is the time I need to be calm, be in the moment, and have a sense of peace before I start my day.

The alarm goes off at 6 AM. I lie in bed and dream, think, snuggle, or stay warm for another 30 minutes. I tear myself away from the warmth of the bed and of Larry's curled up body to get up, put on sweats or my robe, and go into my little meditation room.

At 6:30 or so it is still dark, a faint light coming through the open blinds. I know in another week the clocks are turned ahead an hour and the room will be softly lit with early morning light. It does not matter; I close my eyes.

I never know where my meditation will take me. I try and have an intention every day. Sometimes my mind goes all over the place, and I have to let the thoughts come in and let them go.

Today I was remembering my yoga from the other day, where with each breath in we bought ourselves further and further out of our bodies; the breath out we returned.I thought about how we take in what we need, and give out what something else needs, and a revelation occurred. Through my breathing I realized that it is OK to take what we need in life from others or from the earth, as long as we also give back,something which I have had difficulty with. Taking that is. The universe wants us to take what we need, as long as we are giving back in some way to balance it.

It also made me think of the bible verse: "“Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”

Suddenly another bible verse popped into my head: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.". I am not a religious person persay, but these verses, buried deep within my genetic code made absolute sense.

These 8 minutes of quiet meditation give me insight, strength, hope, and peace. I wonder what will happen if I up it to 10.

Good night, sweet dreams,

Patti O Philosopher

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


First of all, my friend sent me a fun thing to do on Facebook, which I am going to post here for all of my Photoshop savvy readers. My "random" results were quite interesting. You take a bunch of random links through which you get the name of a band, and the name of an album, and an image, and put it together. The photo I posted tonight was my band and album, and what a hoot. Here are the directions if you want to play:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random...or go to The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

I just got home from a fun Fat Tuesday party. I met a couple who has been together 65 years. The husband, Norm, a retired Navy man, was getting up early to go downhill skiing tomorrow. He took it up in his 60's. I asked him what his advice was to live a long and healthy life. He said: "there are 24 hours in a day. Divide it into 3 segments. 8 hours of it are spent sleeping. Make sure you have a very good bed. The second 8 are spent working at a job; make sure that you love what you do. The last 8 are spent with my wife; I picked the right woman."

I asked his wife how they both survived 65 years, and she said with a twinkle in her eye: "we spent the entire time holding hands so that we didn't hit one another". Of course she was joking, but I am sure that there was some truth to it.

So off I head to bed to get a recap on Obama's speech, and to spend the last 1/3 of my day in a warm and cozy bed holding my husband's hand. It's all good.

Patti O Inquirer

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Secret Obsessions

I love historical books and movies, whether they are biographies or historical fiction. I wonder why I have such a passion for it as there was nothing in my life that would have influenced such a greedy hunger for it. Perhaps it is the little girl or pre-adolescent deep within me working through my fantasies of knights in shining armor, of being rescued, or treated like a princess or a queen. Or maybe the artist in me yearns to don gorgeous dresses and jewels. And let's not forget sordid affairs, cuckolded husbands and the such.

Though I only read 35 of the 100 greatest fiction books listed by the BBC, (and I am sorry, but The DaVince Code should have NEVER been on that list) I have also read countless books on subjects such as Marie Antoinette, Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, Edward VII, Jenny Churchill, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cleopatra,etc.

I have watched also lots of movies that are also of this ilk, and as I sit and type here, I suddenly have a flashback to the first movie of this genre that I watched - one of my all time favorites - A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Perhaps this jump started my obsession with said movies, and also movies that deal with the dark side of religion, which not only educated me but freed me from the religious brainwashing done by family, priests and nuns in my formative years. Some of those heavy hitters include The Name of the Rose, The Mission, The Magdalen Laundries and Queen Margot. What mankind has done in the name of religion.

What prompted this blog was my recent renting of The Queen and Queen Margot. I found the first movie rather dull, and I certainly hope Royal Family is much interesting in person, and was horrified by the French film Queen Margot starring Isabele Adjani (Ishtar, Camille Claudel, and Daniel Auteuil. (Manon of the Spring and most recently, My Best Friend) Though it was full of violence and dead bodies, it also was ripe with passion (thanks to the French) and fabulous costumes. (it won a Golden Globe I believe for the costumes). The 2.5 hours of reading subtitles flew faster than watching Brad Pit de-age in Benjamin Button. (no matter how hard I try, he doesn't excite me one bit)

So off I go upstairs, to see what else I have to watch. I think I have watched nearly all the movies I borrowed or rented from Net Flix, so I am either going to read some Maya Angelou, or watch some news, which can be oh-so-dull and depressing. Same spin, over and over.

Or, I'll make up my own story in my head, lying on my heated bed.

Didn't mean to make that rhyme, lol

patti o royalty

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Widgets and Gadgets and Code OH MY

So I pretend I am a code writer. I try and make one of my logos link to my Catskill Paper blog, the one that has all of my art on it. I copy code from another source, and blindly try and write my own. I post, review my blog, and horrors, instead I lost all my blog writing. How I did that, I have no idea, but the combos of periods, forward slashes, words, etc. made all of my writing go away. Everything else was fine, but instead of my cute little picture that was supposed to link to my other blog, blogger went bonkers and poof, my wonderful (or for some of you -- not so wonderful) words of wisdom vanished.

Fortunately I got rid of the code- once I found it, and decided that I really need to consult with someone about my marketing ideas, my coding etc. Let's face it; I am not a professional graphic designer (though I am not too bad at some of it) and I have MINIMAL HTML coding experience. And widgets, aren't they cousins of midgets?

So, I have found someone online whose work I like, and for what seems to be a reasonable amount of money, I can have her start to rework my art blog. This blog I am OK with for now, but I think that my art blog and my etsy site should be done really nicely. After all, I am representing art, aren't I?

I am supposed to be at a Oscar Party, but the wind is howling, it is cold, wet, and icy out, and I did not leave the house all day. I hope my friend isn't pissed, but I told him that I don't want to go out. Besides, I think my hormones have just dumped big time on me, which explains the headache, fatigue, and my wanting to just sit and nest.

So off to the heated bed I go, with visions of code imprinted in my brain. Tomorrow is another day to think about this.....

and tonight's pic is of my button for Catskill Paper. I think it rather fabulous, and need to make it work as a button correctly without wiping my words off the face of the planet.

Patti O Code Failure

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bargain Art

I have been having endless conversations in my head, and a few with my therapist about being able to sell art. I do it for the love of it, but isn't there a book that says do what you love and the money will follow?

I'm still waiting.

The problem is I what I make fits into a small niche market. VERY SMALL. Not many people buy cards these days, especially BLANK cards because that means that they have to actually write. Then to top it off, they contain Victorian images, and a majority of Americans have no clue about what they are nor care if what I make contains the original pieces, not reprints or copies. Then there is my twisted sense of humor. Once I heard a woman walk by my art and say "I don't get this".Bada bing.

My mixed media pieces are very cool, but Larry keeps reminding me that people like to buy PAINTINGS. And I have a hard time fitting in time to paint, as I need more than an hour or two here and there to do it. It requires a commitment of several hours at a pop, something difficult to do after school when I am burnt.

I think that the universe it telling me to slow down on the cards. I will do them for shows, the few shops that I sell to, and my client, and will move to creating more fine art pieces, whether it be mixed media or painting. It is time for a change.

Of course the cards I am listing on Ebay which I am unveiling tonight, are still niche market material. But it is a little piece of art, and people look at art differently that a card perhaps. And, maybe they are just warm ups to bigger and better. (and starting bid is only 4.99!!)

Patti O Art Sale

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cancelling my Myspace Account

I came home from a very difficult work week, and headed straight to bed. Not out of depression and frustration, but out of pure exhaustion. A majority of the staff and students were sick all week from the flu, and I felt that my body was telling me something that I was going to listen to. I slept for a few hours, and woke up to CNN which I had put on for some news before I fell asleep, also hoping that some of it would seep in while I was in the zone.

I woke up to the story of the cartoon published in the NY Post on Wednesday, depicting police shooting a gorilla/monkey in regards to the stimulus bill. An excellent article about this is on the Huffington Post which will save me a lot of typing, so if you are interested, give it a read.

I believe in Freedom of Speech, but not when it promotes hatred, violence, bigotry, racism etc. The Post could have saved a BIT of face by issuing a forthright apology, but instead issued one that I found INSULTING. And further more, I think that they must think Americans STUPID to buy their excuse that the ape represented the chimp that was shot. They knew full well what they were doing.

The Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch and when I googled what else he owned I came up with a list of holdings by News Corporation.And included in those holdings are many TV shows that you may or may not watch. Well, I am going to try and be vigilant and boycott what I can. And, I have cancelled my MYSPACE account. It was garbage anyway.

The only thing that might make this right is a full apology, admittance to wrongdoing and racism, and take the editors, and whomever let this happen (I cannot blame the artist in full, as his editors could have said NO, and trashed the project)and reward them with cleaning the toilets of inner city jail cells for eternity.

Remember to do what you can in the world, even by doing one simple thing. There is power in numbers, and if people banded together, we could change the world. We already have.

Patti O Soap Box.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's All How You Look at It

Originally I had hoped that I could meet up with a friend tonight for dinner, but one was dealing with relatives, my other friend I tried to text, but it turned out either she has a new cell number, or someone has stolen her phone, as I got Edgar returning my texts. I gave up after trying twice, and decided that I really needed to go home and just settle in. Besides, the wind was kicking up a storm and I HATE WIND unless it is 75 degrees and coming off some ocean,preferably the Caribbean.

Larry had bought home some food from Woodstock, and told me I could have the left overs. As I was attempting to lay it on a plate, the tempeh fell on the floor, scattering the sauce all over the place. I wiped off any cat hairs which may have stuck to it, and proceeded to heat it up. The polenta was OK, but the tempeh SUCKED. I ditched it, and settled into eating the rest of the brie on crackers and sipped on some wine.

During a discussion with a friend, he referred to me as being a lovely energy wrangler, and it made me grin from ear to ear. For ONCE someone had validated something that I cherish about myself. Since I was a child I have borne the stigma of being called bad, hyper, Type A, blah blah blah. Being full of energy was not a positive attribute, and something that I never understood. I felt like an outcast.

#1 had no clue about what I was about, as he was too numb to care. I think he saw my energy as a threat to his manhood and survival. I left him in a rush. #2 had it on the list of negatives about me that I found on his dresser one day when I was cleaning. In addition to his distaste of my energy level, he thought me crass, inappropriate, and messy. (there was more, but only these have stuck deeply into my heart). I never did find the list of things that were good about me; I am not sure if he could ever find the kindness in his heart to write that one. I found this note on my birthday (Nov 10Th..) and was gone by Thanksgiving, leaving a six year relationship in the dust. #3 (Larry)has never called my energy Type A, as he would never say anything mean; he just tells me when I am spinning out of control "you are making me nervous".

But to be called an energy wrangler made me feel like someone transformed what others may have considered bad into something positive; I liken it to calling hot flashes "power surges". You see, it's all in how you look at it. And at this lovely lovely wise part of my life, I have a good sense to know when the wranglin' is a bit too much, in steps yoga and meditation. After all, it is the energy that gives me the ability to teach, to love, to heal, to give, to make art, to market what I do, to write, and do it day after day after day with a smile on my face.

Thanks friend. I so needed that.

Patti O Energizer Bunny

Print for sale in my Catskillpaper Etsy shop!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A New Doctor

After school I had a visit to a new doctor. I had been putting off the visit to this doctor for a long time, until I found a suitable candidate to explore my last unexplored, and/or unexploited orifices.

This was not an easy task. The most poop-u-lar gastroenterologist in town lives down the street from me. Dr. Steckman. Now what kind of a name is that for a doctor who explores one's gastric regions? I AM THE STECK MAN. I AM THE WALRUS. GOO GOO CA G'JOOB. GOO GOO my ass. NOT MY NEIGHBOR.

Can you imagine, your neighbor doing YOUR colonoscopy? Running into him on the street or at the local deli? Oh hi Dr. Steckman, how IS the chocolate pudding here?

I have been having some stomach issues for a year now. I am also over 50. So I knew that I had it coming...the exploration of both regions. The question was WHO?

My doc (who is a woman, as are most of my physicians thank you - save for the crazy woman dermatologist who traumatized me by having a man come in and look at my very unusual issue who happened to be a young MALE doctor WHOM I KNEW - but that is for another story...) referred me to a woman doctor whom she had heard about, whose name I cannot spell nor pronounce. El Shaheed or something like that. Fine. I don't care where she is from as long as she is a woman.

I go to the office, and get a sheath of paperwork to fill out. Like a good student, I arrive in plenty of time to fill out my medical history. 10 minutes or so fly by, and I am interrupted by the nurse. "Ms. Gibbons?" "Already" I ask?
"I am not finished with my medical history, it is" I reply. She takes it, incomplete, and I am frantic that I might have left off the bout of girardia I contracted while traveling, or some piece of pertinant information.

What I did not take into account is, that as you get older, you need more than the standard 15 minutes to fill out your medical history. It is just tooo long.

I enter the exam room and sit staring at the plastic models of the stomach, intestines, and colons. I want to touch them and see if I can take them apart and put them back together. As I am about to reach for one, she comes in, this doctor who is pretty and is like a breath of fresh air. Young, smartly dressed, and above all, kind.

I spill my guts (no pun intended) to her, and she takes her notes. As I feared, an endoscopy is to be performed in the near future. She also wants to do the C thing, but that is for another time. I tell her I have a medical phobia, and is it ok to self medicate (prescription wise) before I come for it. She assures me it will be ok, someone will find my one and only vein that is big enough to stick a pediatric needle in, to inject the magic sleep fluid.

I consent to this, and almost too easily I make an appointment with the next person, who instantly recognizes me as her son's art teacher. We talk and I mumble something that school has finally got the best of me - or my stomach.

The date is set. The first day of spring. What a way to usher in a new season.
I am told I will be a bit woozy from the drugs. As long as I don't know OR feel a thing. And hopefully, nothing will be wrong save for a over vigilant acid valve or something like that, and diet modification and/or a little pill will take care of it all. Then I can move on to the next medical adventure. And what a blog THAT will be.

Patti O Examination

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tonight's painting BEWILDERED, along with last night's piece, PLANETARY PINCH are listed on eBay. I don't usually list my art there, as I have other venues to sell my art, but right now, I have art, and it all isn't out and about in places to be seen, and I figure that at the very least, different people will see it on eBay, and maybe someone will say I HAVE TO HAVE THAT. As the old adage goes, "you can't win if you don't play."

I also look at it as a way to get my artwork out for the world to see at the very least. Pretty cheap advertising I say! And, if I make a few people chuckle, or it brings to them a memory or reaction, then that is part of the joy of making art.

This piece is titled "Bewildered". Painted on location at Wilderstein, a historic site outside of the town of Rhinebeck that has a view of the Hudson River. Painted in acrylic on a 5 x 7" canvas panel, and collaged with an antique Victorian die cut, the little girl representing me, but oddly enough looking like the late great Lady Di.

Most of my life I have been in love with the Hudson River Valley and visited it since I was a toddler. At 12 I moved from the hustle and bustle of Long Island, to be plopped in the middle of the Catskill Mountains. It was a lonely life, I lived far from any children my age, and maintained my sanity with hikes through the woods and into the fields to pick berries and flowers, write poetry, read, or sketch. Back then I was bare-legged and barefoot, and there was no Lyme disease, though Agent Orange was said to be sprayed along the railroad tracks to defoliate them. On a rare occasion I might have one of the neighborhood boys with me, hoping to snatch a kiss or at least have some company. As I got older I found a few teens to hang with and we would hike to said woods, but with a party in our backpacks.

Ah..those were often sad and painful times, but they helped form who I am.

Oddly enough, I have sold several of my autobiographical pieces. I find them so personal that I have a hard time believing that someone would want to buy one, but perhaps it is that it resonates a memory deep within them. Sometimes I wonder if my autobiographical pieces are the best of all, because they come from a place deep within myself, and are brutally honest.

Off to bed. I worked all day, into the early evening, did an hour and a half of yoga, and am a bit achy.

Patti O Story

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Perfect President's Day

Today was MY day to cater to myself, and shut out the world, except when I wanted to be part of it.

I joined Twitter, though I am not sure what the point of it all is quite yet. What I have discovered is that places like Twitter, Facebook, and yes, probably even Blogger, have the rights to anything you publish on their sites.

Yep, you read it right. I have to do more research and see if any of these sites have ever USED any one's writing or images, but it makes you realize how as artists we need to read all the fine print. So any art images from now on will be at low resolutions, and probably watermarked, so that they won't WANT my images. It makes the viewing less lovely for my readers, who I am sure are all honest people, but I don't want blogger stealing my artwork! I am not going to bother doing all of that for my photos, and I will keep writing, but it makes you realize how vulnerable we are to having our art taken without compensation.

I spent much time working in the studio, making cards, but also finishing up some art pieces left incomplete, one of which I posted here. It is a crummy shot, as I was having problems with glare and focus, but since it is for here, I really don't care all that much. And, since I got another delivery of gas for the studio today from a delightful delivery man I must add, the piece is indeed for sale!

I fit in a 45 minute workout on the elliptical at the gym, and after a hot shower went back to the studio. I met Annie/Loel at one of our favorite places for Thai food in our little city, the Kings Wok, which also makes Chinese AND Japanese, and all are equally good!

And here it is, almost the end of the day. It is quiet as Larry has had to work all day and into the evening. I will preheat the bed, and watch some TV or read. I am sitting here breathing the fragrance of the Stargazer Lilies that Larry gave me for V.D. along with my truffles, raspberry liquor, and silver bracelet. He is out of control and thinks he is King Midas. But I do enjoy them, and feel so decadent surround by such goodies, and count myself lucky to have a man who loves to shower me with gifts.

I am contemplating what to give up so that we have money in our budget to get a stem or two of lilies every week, as they are not only beautiful, but their heady spicy aroma fills the downstairs of my house, and even the most terrible of cat poop smells which occasionally emanate from the back bathroom are scarcely noticed.


Patti O Fragrance

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Week in Review: movies and music

Amazingly I got to the movies TWICE this week!

I love love love going to the movies, but never seem to have the time to do so. I have a tough time watching movies at home too, as I usually head up to bed too late to make it through an entire movie.

The last two movies I have rented were bombs...or else it was too late to wrap my head around them. TITUS was WAYYYY too much work to watch after an incredibly long day, and THE QUEEN put me to sleep. I have not given up on the movie, and am hoping that it's slow pace was again, just too much for me to deal with at 11 PM.

I went with a friend to see TAKEN. It was not a movie I would normally put on my "to see" list, but there was nothing else that I was interested in that was showing at the time my friend and I went. Besides, I figured, with Liam Neeson headlining, how bad can it be?

What was bad was the cup of coffee I had before the movie. It should have been something sedating. Instead I sat on the edge of my seat rocking, chewing on my hands (I could not afford the popcorn) the entire movie. It was a fast-paced action movie, with an uncomfortable story line.

I am not a fan of action movies with car chase scenes, crashes, shooting, kicking, blowing things up etc. I think most of it is garbage, and I shake my head at all the violence that is portrayed on film, especially when most of it is gratuitous and senseless. And people wonder why this culture has become so violent as they stand in line buying tickets to the movies that shamelessly promote it.

This was borderline, its saving grace being filmed in France, with a moderately decent story line, and starring Liam. Did you know that he was once a fork lift operator for Guinness Beer, and starred in one of my favorite films, The Mission? (more on that later) HOWEVER it fulfilled my action movie quota for the year....

The next movie was Slumdog Millionaire, a winner of a film,(far better than Benjamin Button) and actually, in spite of the difficult and often violent story line, was an excellent movie for Valentine's Day. Filmed in India, some of it on hand held video cameras, it was a fast paced two hour saga. Boy from the slums of Mumbai ends up on a show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" He is arrested for cheating, and you learn through his interrogation, and explanation of how he knows the answers, his painful past. Well acted, disturbing, riveting, and beautifully filmed, I give this two thumbs up. The ending is joyful, and they do a catchy dance scene in the end, which was a bit outlandish and out of character with the movie, but portrayed the ultimate joy of the ending. (sort of like that final scene in PERFUME!)

I rushed immediately to buy the CD of the soundtrack, something I usually don't do. I think many of my friends also did too. Written by A.R. Rahman with some vocals by M.I.A., it is great "liquid dance" music. In fact, at Karen's girl party last week, she had it cranked up, and it was surely a hip mover.

I am freezing in this back room, and must head to bed which Larry has heated up.I am behind on reading blogs, and since I have tomorrow off, will catch up on that, as well as hopefully get into my studio!

Patti O Reviewer

PS 1800's tintype of FRANK CLARK who is looking for a home. He can be found on Ebay, seller ID Catskillpaper.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Tonight is the opening of the 5th annual Varga Gallery showcase of women's art. I joined the Visionary Collective yesterday, which was a good step in the art world for me as it will force me to come up with two new small art works a month, to hang in the Christina Varga's Gallery in Woodstock, New York.

I now belong to the Woodstock Art Association and Museum, am an artist "repped" by the Varga Gallery, and the jury is out as to whether I will re-join the ASK network in Kingston. I will eventually re-join, but with money tight, I will have to bring in more money to pay the 55.00 fee. It is expensive to be an artist, as there are dues to pay, art to make AND frame, and with a sales of fine art sporadic, I have to invest my money wisely.

I held back my notebook from the Notebook Project as I found out that the fine print states that they own the copyright to my work! The limericks and art were unique enough that I cannot chance their using my art and writing, without comepensating me.

I heard that the same applies to Facebook. As I understand, images posted there can also be used by them. Now guaranteed, there are zillions of photos of work on there I am sure, and the chance of mine being used is slim, but it does put an artist at risk of having their work used for no money.

For Valentine's Day Larry and I went out for a late lunch at the Canard, our local French Restaurant, and then ditched all other night plans and opted for the movies to see Slumdog Millionaire, which was the perfect choice for the evening. The theater was not crowded, and the movie was fab. Afterwards we ran into Best Buy to buy speakers for the kitchen that Tom is going to be doing the wiring for. I bought the soundtrack to the movie. I can see myself now - dancing, cleaning or painting to the beat.

Two movie reviews tomorrow. I have a nightcap to make, (methinks a White Russian) some chocolate cookies to munch on, and a man to hmmm...entertain for a while.

Patti O Valentine

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Church Part II

After last night's blog, I don't want you, my readers, to think that I am totally soured on religion. Instead, think of me as one who has been able to throw off the cloak of guilt and of the fear of eternal damnation for my sins, to receive a loving and kind God.

I grew up in a time where anything I did was going to put me in hell. Patent leather shoes, french kissing, thinking of sex, and such things that I can't get into here. (remember the big brother of education might be reading this blog) I was married for the first time in the Catholic church, and then got a divorce after #1 represented a severe threat to our lives...according to my current therapist. He was right, and I knew I had to leave.

I met #2, who was a good man, but emotionally bankrupt, and then finally met #3, who is the man I plan to spend the rest of my life sickness and in health, through thick and thin. I am sad that my mother would not come to my second wedding because I did not get married in the church, but I refused to spend money we could not afford on an annulment. I knew in my heart I had already been to hell and back with #1, and that God had finally gifted me with a man who to this day, loves me unconditionally.

Though it has taken me a long time to be able to say the word GOD, I am able to embrace him/her, and believe that I am a part of the divine love of God, and am honored that I have learned to live with love. I am no longer bitter about the physical and mental harm that others have caused me in the name of religion, and I now see how mankind can manipulate the word of God to fit their own needs.

So my dear friends, may the peace and love of God/Allah/Jehovah/YHWH/Buddha be with you today and forever. It is such a wonderful thing to be filled with and practice love from the divine.

PS HOT NEWS ALERT...rumor has it that there is an event tomorrow night at the Center for Photography, where Larry works, featuring the McCourt brothers...all 3 of them. Frank, Malachy, and Alphie. I know they will be at the Bearsville Theater in Bearsville, outside of Woodstock, on the 15th..reading from their books and doing a book signing....but I hope I can catch them at the Center..which is much less publicized.....I have read all of Frank McCourt's books; Angela's Ashes, Tis, and Teacher Man. If I get more info, I will publish it here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Sick Joke

Sent to me by a dear friend...Two priests are in a Vatican bathroom using the urinals. One of them looks at the other one's penis and notices there's a Nicoderm patch on it. He looks at the other priest and says, 'I believe you're supposed to put that patch on your arm or shoulder, not your dick.'The other one replies, 'It's working just fine.. I'm down to two butts a day.'

Now some of you may be offended by this joke, but it is a commentary on an issue that some just wish would go away, choose to ignore, or are in denial about -- like the abuse in the Irish Catholic culture bought to light in Frank McCourt's books and in movies such as The Magdelaine Sisters.

The Catholic church has lots of deep dark sins over the past 1,500 years or so...from the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the selling of indulgences, to the present buying out of your marriage through annulments, and many many layers in between.

On a personal note, I never knew what made my father so angry and abusive. I probably will never know, but I think that it had something to do with his Irish Catholic family, his years at Fordham studying to be a Jesuit priest. That never came to be obviously, as he married, and had four children, but something snapped in that man, and he spent his life torturing others in a way of retribution for something that happened in his own clouded with the mystery of the church. I wonder if he was abused as a child, or if he bore the guilt of something that happened within the an altar boy, or while in the seminary.

It has been a long time since I have been to church, the rare visits usually reserved for weddings and funerals. It has taken many years to no longer bear the fear and guilt bestowed upon me thanks to my family and nuns and priests from my previous lifetime. I can cast off the judgmental edicts of fanatic religious zealots, and believe in a God that is kind, understanding, and forgiving. What a wonderful place to finally be in....if only those who judge could also see religion in this manner, instead of bending it to their own needs and visions....

Patti O Ranter

Photo of my son Will, taken by Larry...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

60 degrees of roof separation

I woke up this morning after a series of nightmares quite disturbed. The first one made me want to hurt Larry. I hate those dreams where one's spouse or lover does things to you in your dream that make you so mad that you want to hurt them either in your sleep, or when you wake up. One night I had such an evil dream that I bit Larry in my sleep I am embarrassed to say. That was a definite "WTF!" response on his end.

Then there was the dream of my swimming with my granddaughter in an pool of dead sea creatures. Rotten giant squid and jelly fish come to mind, and huge fish, like sturgeon, were swimming threateningly beneath our feet. At one point Alanna and I went under, and all I knew was that I had to get her out of there. Two intertpretations are that it is the symbol of dying fertility (duh) or that it symbolizes the loss of wealth through some disaster. Is that what happens after you watch hours of CNN and its discussions about the stimulus package? (FYI, the only stimulus package I have faith in is my husband's).

It was another hellish day at work, where I was threatened by a student. Something's gotta give here. It is a very sad commentary on today's youth, and their value of education, and respect for others. But today, instead of my climbing under the covers, I headed to Rhinebeck to visit my mom in the nursing home, and since it was 60 degrees, I put the top down on the car. It was a wonderfully soothing ride, feeling cool blasts of air seep into the car as I cruised by banks of snow. I bought her a card that I made for Valentine's Day...she was sooo happy. Then a light dinner and good conversation with a friend, and I stopped by another friend's house before the final destination of home. (THANK GOD FOR FRIENDS---LOVE YOU ALL.)

So with that, I am heading to bed, hoping I dream of more pleasant things!

Patti O Dream Catcher

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Upside Down Day

I was in bed after work today, only to roused by Larry tempting me with brie on a cracker, and the promise of some wine downstairs.

I don't know what it is, but I will blame the hormones, cause it is easy. But I suspect it might be the stress of the day and my life that comes creeping in disguised as fatigue.

I did not want to write last night. I did not go on the computer much at all today, which prompted my friend Tom to call and ask if I was OK. (he also had to ask me some questions about tiles for the bathroom). After work I crawled into bed, something I NEVER DO. I laid there and sulked.

Today was a rough day in school. It was a day where I almost walked out and told them I can't do this anymore. This has been the first time this year since I have felt that, but I work with very difficult students, and one class makes me feel unsafe, angry, and frustrated. At the end of the day I fought back tears as I sat writing up reports. My stomach started bothering me again; it has been quiet for a few weeks. (gastro doc appt. next week) Then I found a lump in my hand, in my palm, which totally freaked me out. It is my right hand, the one that I make my living with. But I can't deal with that right now, I have to deal with the impending endoscopy first.

To boot my daughter has been diagnosed with systemic lupus. She is in remission from cancer, and now is suffering with severe pain, headaches,and the after effects of a moderate dose of prednisone which she will be on for several months. She is 900 miles away, and I feel so helpless.

Then there is the economy. And the stimulation deal. I don't understand it all, and am not quite sure how this is all going to work. No one knows what happened to the first 350 mil of the first bailout bundle under Bush, and if their isn't any accountability for this money, I fear another round of "take the money and run" (remember that Woody Allen movie?) and we will be left holding the empty money sack. I feel sorry for Obama coming into office and having this dumped on the table in the oval office, but I also want a deal that gives money to the places that we need it most.

Then to top it all off, I am disappointed in my Victoria's Secret order. The sweaters were fine...I know what I like and I know my size, but the little short corduroy skirt in plum? The one that I fantasized about wearing with my books and a sweater? Made me look like an elephant in a tutu. I got the size right, but there is enough fabric to dress up three size 6's.

The laugh of the day was a demonstration on how to use the filters and liquefy tool in Photoshop. I asked the class "what personality would you like to make into a total freak?", and the class shouted BUSH! Now I had been thinking they would say Chris Brown, or some other personality, but no, they chose Bush. See folks, it is not only ME who still likes to poke fun at him. I had called him an old fool, but he is no fool as he retires to his new Texan home "with a Dallas office, staffers, Secret Service protection, a travel budget, medical coverage and a $196,700 annual pension, all at taxpayers' expense" while we watch our retirement funds play magic tricks in front of our eyes.

No guilt in Photoshop class.

Patti O Bitcher

PS If I disappear, that email that was a Valentine e-card, that I thought was from my daughter Megan and said "I think of you every day", was really from a "MAGS" not MEGS, may be some very toxic form of computer virus sent by some sneaky enemy grabbing all my info and passwords, and possibly sending me into the eternal black abyss of virus-land......

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Noble Cause

My friends Kathryn, Zoksang and their two lovely children live down the street from me. In fact, they live in a house that I wanted to buy with #2 some 20 years ago. At the time I thought 180,000 was preposterous, and we found the home that I live in now, for 128,000 which I thought was still too much money.

It is a huge Victorian home, with several parlors that have pocket doors, a bay window, two kitchens, a huge bathroom with built in cabinets galore, and a double sized lot PERFECT for a huge garden. It had a slight structural problem, the woman would not come down in price, so we found another home. BUT I still get to visit it now and then, and they have done a beautiful job doing the work that it needed.

The photograph above was taken by Zoksang, who graciously allowed me to post it on my blog. He is a photographer and owner of VISIONS OF TIBET I believe he is one of the main photographers of the Dalai Lama, and this photograph is available from his website (link I just provided) for 15.00. He has printed it on quality paper, and it is signed. All profits go to Students for a Free Tibet Kathryn and Zoksang have lovely items in their online shop; they just had to close down their store in NYC which they had for nearly 20 years, but the building sold, and they are now trying to sell online and find another store in NY.

I will be proud to display this photograph in my meditation room, a place where I focus on healing, love, peace, and hope, for the world, this country, and for my own little family. And the proceeds are going for a good cause.

Tibet was invaded by China in 49/50. Since that time, over 1.2 million have died as a result of the occupation, 6.000 monasteries destroyed, 1000's tortured by their political or religious beliefs. The Dalai Lama had to go into exile in India, and was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for non-violence in 1989. (info from Students From a Free Tibet site) There are many grassroots organizations and groups that are attempting to bring this to light, and force world governments to take action against China for their violation of human rights and end their occupation of Tibet.

I try and buy American made as much as possible, or Fair Trade goods, and avoid products made by China, or stores that promote goods made in China, which is sadly most stores in America, especially the dollar stores and Walmart type stores. The American economy and workers need to be employed and supported, so by boycotting Chinese goods (there are probably Chinese parts in my computer) at least I am doing my share to help the economy in my own country, and I will do my port in supporting legislation to enforce basic human rights for ALL.

Off to find a frame so that I can place it on my small table with the candle and my book on meditation.

Patti O Peace.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Shameless Promoting

I have been working hard on building up more stock of my cards for submission to Olana, to have them ready at the drop of a hat when my client emails me "NEED MORE CARDS" and to have for others to buy.

I just spent nearly 100 dollars investing in about 500 pieces of new paper and postcards, in order to be ready. It is harder and harder to get antique paper at a price that I can afford to create with.

I am a one woman show here, and only hire someone on occasion to help me put on the finishing touches of glitter for holiday cards, to package/label/price them, and that is usually just before a big show. The rest of the time I do it all myself; the designing, sewing, and usually everything else in between. Then there is the marketing, the listing on Etsy, and the occasional post here and on Facebook etc.

I will never get "wealthy" from these cards, as they are labor and material intensive, but oh do I so enjoy making them. Since I often can't get into the studio for long enough periods of time to paint, I can go in there for snippets of time to make mini works of art at affordable prices. Imagine the joy and surprise when I go into people's houses, some of them strangers, and I see my cards on their mantle, or in a frame on their wall?

I never know what I will create when I am in the studio. They can be a humorous bunch, or just simple cards with adorable images of cats and dogs. Some are naughty, some are hysterical.

The only downfall I may have in the way I work is consistency, as unless you order a style that you see and like, I might not make the same thing ever again!

Off to email the buyer at Olana and send her some samples. I need to get an idea of what she likes, so I can get busy and get a batch together.

Also, my cards are down at BECKON on the Strand in Kingston. If you are a local reader, support Mary Ann's store, which has lovely handmade items made by local artists who are struggling in this poor economy.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you like my style, stop by ETSY (my pagibbons site) and visit. And, if you are interested in Antique paper for your own work or amusement, stop by the other shop, Catskillpaper.

Off to get back to work!

Patti O Production

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Meaning of Life

I had this great blog percolating in my head, and I had a great session planned out in therapy - about the meaning of life, and the wonder and greatness of it all. I thought I had it all figured out. Then POOF, Peg played the devil's advocate, and twisted it all, just a little bit.

She knew I was strong enough to face the challenge. And she pointed out, things don't have to be ruined or put on hold, it is how we approach things in our head and in our heart that makes the difference.

But back to my original thoughts.

I have been pretty stable for the most part. Health of family stable (well, not really, but nothing critical). When life is stable, I am able to dig deep and think hard about life. Not my life necessarily, but life in general.

I think about our purpose in life. I believe we are put here on this earth given certain gifts. For me it is the ability to work with young people through my teaching, to love others to the best of my ability, make and share my art, and help others by teaching them one of the 10,000 odd things that I know.I have been able to let go of the things that have enslaved my ability to love myself and love what I do, and to love others.

So what, you may be wondering, happened?

As most of you know, my daughter is ill. She is in remission currently from a serious cancer, and is now awaiting the verdict on some other tests which might point to some pretty advanced lupus.

At 24, the poor girl has suffered so much. A war in Iraq, chemo and radiation, deteriorating cartilage in her back and hips. Severe pain, and other issues which I won't elaborate on.

Peg wanted to know (and I can see why she asked me at a time when I was well grounded) if I was ready to really be there for my daughter and her 2 little children, as she does not have the best chance for a long and healthy life.

It took me for a loop, but instinctively I knew the answer.

Of course.

She wanted me to understand that I have the strength within myself to be level headed, giving, yet still have a life. She talked about the law of attraction (in the positive sense) and how I can still have it all, even if the world seems like it is falling apart. She is a brilliant woman, and in spite of my being the rock-of-Gibraltar, she knows my Achilles heel well.

So in summary (as it is late and I don't have much energy left), the meaning of life is not only realizing and practicing our strengths, but knowing our weaknesses, and being able to deal with them.

Such food for thought.

Patti O Ground....

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Definately Sloggin'

First of all, if you are a man and you are squeamish about discussing women's bodies and such, stop reading. This is NOT for you. But for some of you, it might be educational, and give you some insight into the women in your life, whether sister, lover, wife, mother, etc. And for my women friends, I can see you shaking your heads up and down in empathy.

At almost 52, I should be done with this menstruation bit. Somehow, when I turned 50, I thought, HOORAY, it is going to be over! Then my dear friend told me she did not go through menopause until she was 62. I wanted to scream.

I am having "issues". For three years now I have had cycles that last 14-28 days, usually on the 14-21 day end. For a week ahead of time I have insomnia, night sweats, and the day before it hits, I get a headache that drops down over me like a cowl. We won't even discuss the occasional melt downs from time to time, but I know enough now to warn Larry and tell him (in the middle of being sarcastic,angry and mean) that I am not feeling right, and he knows what I mean. I lock myself up like Lon Chaney (the werewolf of the olden days).

Then there was the uterine biopsy to make sure I didn't have the C word. I won't even go into detail about that save for I thought I was in labor for a short amount of time. Biopsy fine, and now I am on a natural progesterone to straighten me out. Only it doesn't seem to be working.

So with such a short cycle, I am either PMSing or DMSing. Can you imaging being my vacation partner, whether husband OR friend, and having to deal with all of this?My students have no clue; they just think I am constantly upset or sick, and cheer for the good days.

Today I am working at my computer in school, and the assistant comes to me with a pretty little tiny pink envelope that has dropped on the floor in a class of boys. I look at it and say, "where was that"? She replies.."oh on the floor by you".

I turn deep red, have an instant hot flash, and am appalled. I remember slipping a little mini pad into my sleeve as I ran across the hall into the bathroom. I laugh and tell her that we would have both denied owning it and asked which one of the boys had their period. (they were HORRID today)

Then in Walgreens, I have to restock my Tampax, as in two days I have used everything I have. I pick up a can of De-Icer (for the EOS which would not open for me AGAIN) and think that I will ask the clerk if it is a cure for frigidity. I decide it is a poor joke, he probably wouldn't get it, but walk down the aisle chuckling to myself.

On the way home after a long crampy, horrid day, I listen to John Mayer croon into my ear:

Oh Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down

Oh twice as much aint twice as good
And can't sustain like a one half could..

Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me...

and I swear he is singing about my breasts and butt..

ms. peri - o - menopause

art: one of my mixed media collages. Fits the subject matter well....

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Some Beautiful Prints

Today was a busy day. Studio work again, but I so LOVE being in my wonderful studio, built by my friend Tom. I fantasize about bumping it up to a second floor, with a sliding glass doors that opens out to a small deck. It would be sort of like a loft, and the floor where I would just paint. I would have a day bed there of course as I have always wanted a day bed in my studio.

Dream on...I think. But dreams CAN come true!

Here are some prints I have on Ebay. They are late 1800's, fab for framing for your house. From a traveling salesman's catalog. My ID (in case you are hankering for one) is catskillpaper.

Off to finish off a bunch of stuff I still need to do before I sleep.

Ciao for now,

Patti O Seller

Monday, February 02, 2009


My love for Olana runs deep.

I wish I could remember the first time I visited it; it was probably at a time that I choose not to remember, like when I was raising two kids alone, working, and going to graduate school.

But I am a sucker for romance, landscapes, Victorian painting, and exotic architecture, so I fell in love at first sight.

I have made several paintings and numerous sketches of the site and landscape, and photographed it many times, during different hours and during all four seasons. I have been married there on the autumnal equinox at sunset. I have embellished my house with decorative objects that I have bought in the gift shop. I have sipped on wine and watched the sun set over the Hudson. I have heard the crunch of snow and ice, and felt the suction of mud on my boots on a late winter day. I have watched the sun reflect the windows at sunset, and witnessed the house turn a liquid gold on a hot summer day. I fantasize about living in the house and painting the landscape from the view in Church's studio. But I am sure I can't, so the photos document what I love oh so much.

patti o romance-of-the-Catskills

Top photo is one of my paintings, other photos taken over various visits.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tromping Through Massachusetts

Larry and I promised ourselves a break after the holidays to spend time together on a little romantic jaunt. We headed north, crossed over the Hudson, and headed to Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

As we drove thru the Berkshires, we saw the horrid damage from the last storm. The tops of the trees along a several mile stretch were all broken off from the severe ice build up. The weaker ones were flattened, the younger ones losing the weakest branches and the tops. It was surreal.

We stopped in Great Barrington for lunch at a Thai restaurant, and went to the Outfitter store which had a GREAT buy on winter boots. As my feet were freezing in my leather boots, I bought myself a pair of Canadian boots - Pajars.

The last pair of Canadian boots I had were toasty warm, the bottoms lined with some kind of silver space age material. They lasted for years until I rode them horseback riding and they got full of mud and manure, got thrown into the basement, only to fall victim to the mold monster.

The Canadians have got the boot thing right, after all, most of the country gets slammed with snow and frigid cold in the winter....worse than here. They might not be the top fashion statement, but they are warm, 100% waterproof, and are comfortable. And they have a zipper AND lace adjust so that I can wear with woolly tights, leggings, over jeans or under them.

Afterwards to the Red Lion Inn. As soon as we settled in, we headed to the downstairs pub, for a chocolate martini and a cosmo. Photo courtesy Larry. Dinner followed at Once Upon a Table, then back to our room for a very lovely evening. We watched TV for a bit with the gas fireplace turned up, watching (now don't laugh) a fascinating documentary on how the weather played an important part in the American Revolution.Hard to believe that a different set of weather patterns could have lost the Revolution, and we would be singing a very different national anthem!

Another night of no sleep and horrid night sweats, and having no choice but to take a sleep aid. Peri-menopause and horrid horrid hormones are rearing their ugly head again I fear, and I am not quite sure what to do.....

Today we were totally lazy, hung out in the room till noon, went for a late breakfast, and did some shopping before we headed home.

On the way back, we stopped at the state historic site Olana, the home of Hudson River painter Frederick Church. I took some photos as I am taking another painting course under an artist I really admire, so I needed new photographs for reference.

Surprisingly the gift shop was open and I met the buyer again. She wants to carry my cards in the shop on consignment, and I agreed to send her a batch within the month in time for the spring season. WHAT AN HONOR to have my work there, in one of the most romantic and breathtaking historical sites in the Hudson Valley. It ranks along side of Mohonk in its views and magic.

So off I go to unpack. No Super Bowl party for me, though I was invited to one. I have done enough relaxing, and have to get some work done.

Patti O Traveler

PS I tried re-designing my blog with a free, html "paste in" which totally messed it up losing a lot of my special widgets and links, but as always, out of the bad came good as I am beginning to like what I designed myself. I need some HTML help on this, so I might have to trade/hire someone, but it is a start. What do YOU think?