Friday, July 31, 2009

No More Secrets

I read my friend's recent blog about missing her aunt who had passed away a year ago, and she related a sweet/funny/sad story about an early memory of her dear auntie.

It touched my heart, as my aunt is in the hospital dying of cancer as I type. I plan on going to see her early this week. I hope she lasts till then.

My other aunt, her sister, asked me not to post it to the Internet. I think some kind of family feud is going on in her head; she is angry with my cousins who were only trying to help them, so I suppose so she did not want them reading about her dying sister, THEIR aunt, on my blog. But this side of my family has always kept secrets, does not like to air their dirty laundry, which now makes me very suspicious. But that is for another blog.

When my father was sick with cancer, we had to keep it a secret from him. How unfair it was to a family of four children who never got to yell at him for what he did, or give him a chance to explain or apologize, or settle differences and maybe part with forgiveness. We were cheated. He was cheated. Just like we have been cheated with his sister, not knowing the cancer that we thought was perhaps in remission, had spread throughout her body, and that she only had a short time to live.

And now, it could be hours, days, or weeks. And we are scrambling to find time to see her one more time. So from this day forth, my motto is NO MORE SECRETS. Not on my end.

I love my aunt. She was always kind to me, and one of my earliest memories of her was when I was still in my crib, and she peeked her head in to see if I was awake. It was early in the morning. We NEVER had visitors so early in the morning. I was delighted, jumping up and down with excitement.

She was so kind to us, a ray of sun in a very dark world. She took me ice skating, she bought me gifts, she told us stories, took us for walks, teaching us how to pick ripe blueberries, and then later in the season, Concord grapes. She did things that men only did, and her inspiration gave me the courage to challenge traditional women's roles. It was her fire that I carried within me when I was the only girl in shop class, or at 19 was a truck driver/safety mechanic.

Sure she was quirky. She did not like parties or crowds, like my father, and a bit like me. She did not like to be photographed. She drove Al Capone cars...big Buicks, and little Mercedes sport cars. In her later years she drove primarily VW's - perhaps that is why I feel oddly at home in my VW's. She was a fly fisherman. She was almost manly. She never married, or even dated that I know of, and spent her entire life taking care of her mother, aunts, and living with her sister. If wondered if she was a man caught in a woman's body. There are many untold stories here, and maybe even secrets, which will probably go buried with her. She is conservative, yet was far ahead of most of us in her research into healthy eating and supplements. She was and probably will always be, a bit of an enigma. And when she passes on, another set of secrets will be buried with her.

Perhaps my being so open is direct opposition to what I have lived with and rebel against. I spill what is in my heart and am open about my life. Perhaps it is in my openness that I hope to find healing .

So to those who are left in this old Irish family, there will be NO MORE SECRETS. At least not from me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Goin' 'round in Circles.......

The rain is pounding down upon the tin roof where I type. I would like to be enjoying the rain, like some of my friends on Facebook who are posting cozy fuzzy comments like "enjoying the rain while reading, sipping wine to the humm of the droplets". And all I can think is PLEASE GOD, DON'T LET THE STUDIO FLOOD. I didn't get to do a clean up before the downpour.

With each downpour of rain I become more and more agitated and despondent - sure that I am going to need the plastic bags, gloves, wet-vac, towels, and have to spend hours of tomorrow cleaning up water and possibly mud. I keep remembering Katrina and the damage it did, and then feel guilty for feeling put out by the mess and inconvenience.

You think by now I would have nothing on the floor, and keep everything in plastic. But studios don't work that way; especially mine.

It's bad enough I am perseverating on water, but after reading some FB posts, I think I have tomato blight and did not know it. I noticed some yellowing leaves with spots on the bottom of the plants, and I did not think too much about it. Ah, just the lower leaves, forget about it. But now I suspect blight, which could wipe out my entire tomato garden (which is quite some garden with 1/2 dozen or more varieties).
So another thing to obsess about till I get out there in the daylight and start to do damage control.

Of course, OCD would not be complete without the woodchuck problem. I might have to buy a Have a Heart trap and be done with the borrowing it from my ex-father-in-law. I will keep him, however, as my relocation advisor/assistant. With any luck the pouring rain will flood their home by my foundation, all the mud will cave in, blocking off the entrance. Then I will pour all of my broken up rocks down there and stomp them in good.

Rain.. blight...woodchucks. OH MY.

Here is a video for you all going 'round in circles tonight.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Maple Syrup Secret

Some of you may thing this cruel, but listen first before you judge.

Woodchucks have lived on my little piece of 100 x 100 property for a long time. As do rabbit, deer, skunks, possums, squirrels, birds....and I live in a city.

I don't mind their passage through my yard, though they have decimated my crops from time to time as well as my flowers. Sometimes I have to clean up after them; especially the deer like to poop on the lawn. No biggie. We deal.

But when the woodchucks too up residence by my side porch and dug a HUGE hole along the foundation of my house, my eyebrows were raised. Constant dirt on my steps, a hole getting bigger and bigger.

Then there was the weird smell by the end of last summer. I scoured my back porch for any little turds that may have dropped off my long hair cat. Moved everything to make sure some piece of fish or food did not drop off a plate, and looked in every bag/container to make sure that there was nothing organic in them. Nada. Clean as a whistle.

Over time it got worse. I couldn't even stand to go out there.

I am figuring it was the woodchucks using somewhere in their dens as a toilet, and that somewhere was under my porch. Also, the giant hole along side of my house has to be filled in somehow as it can damage the foundation.

So after many feeble attempts by Larry to catch the WC, I decided yesterday to take over. I dumped out the old food and knew that I had to up the ante on what we were feeding it. Since it had available a very lovely compost pile and a variety of plants in gardens, he was not going to go after just any old food. I gathered some lovely lettuce leaves, sprinkled it with a generous amount of maple syrup, and reset the Have a Heart trap.

While I was working in the studio, I heard the dogs going crazy, and heard some strange whistling noises. My head shot up from my work and I wondered.....

Out in the cage was a very upset woodchuck. I had gotten him. Later on Larry and Dick took him for a long ride on state property far from houses, farms, but full of great food sources. They have to be relocated over 10 miles from their den, which is what we did. And if it was a female with babies, they are on their own by now, so that they won't die in the den. And if there are more, I will have to trap them.

And now to fill the hole. I think I have some huge rocks and gravel in a container, but I don't think that will fill a 2-3' hole that goes for a long ways.

I hope that this is the end of my trapping days, but woodchucks beware...I have more lettuce and maple syrup.......and am not afraid to use it!

Patti O Trapper

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Look Familiar?

If you think this painting looks familiar, it indeed is. It is the painting that was born from the photo I took of the Hudson River from Olana, and has been my Blog photo for a while now. Perhaps I will change the photo to my painting when I have a bit more energy.

The landscape has been my passion for 30+ years, and only now am I listening to voice that has plagued me for years -- to paint. In graduate school I studied that art of the Hudson River landscape painters as well as American art and craft, and it is only now that I have totally joined with them in spirit by painting the very land that they painted 100 years ago.

When I am not painting I have been having too much fun. Lots of parties and openings with wonderful people, music and hoop dancers. Lately I have been doing a lot of living, and very little writing about it. And that is OK too.

Today was an hour and a half yoga class after not going since March. My knees, hips and back were very unhappy with me, but I shut out their whining and will keep it up to gain my strength back. I am thinking I will try on my in-line skates and see if my ankle will tolerate them. When I skate, it is the closest I can get to flying. Downhill skiing also gives me that rush of wind, the glide of the ski and the blades akin to the flight.

The rest of the early afternoon was rather rainy, so I finished up this painting.
I persuaded Larry to hop in the car and head to the corn fields in Hurley. Those pics are for another blog.

As I write I feel so fulfilled. Yoga, painting, photography, and a touch of gardening for my body/mind/spirit. A dinner made with garden/farm fresh produce. A gin and tonic, and some Mozart. Life is good. And if there is one more chocolate left in my candy box, then life is even better.

Hedonistic Patti O

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm IN!

I have spent the past few days painting, and not writing. I can't seem to do both in the same day it seems, so I am writing early.

Hours pass seamlessly while painting, quiet save for the meditational music that I play, or the occasional phone call that I take. Before I know it the day has slipped away, the sun rising and falling (when there is sun) and I feel like I have been in suspended animation. I remember hearing Deepak Chopra talking once about this "suspension of time" and the slowing down of body functions which can happen when an artist is deeply immersed in his/her work. I totally understand it. It's like a deep meditation.

The paintings have been struggles. I have learned some things, while becoming frustrated with others. While I have some colors and methods down, others challenge me. I have made mud in parts, and already don't want to fall into formulas and composition ruts. I also have to learn when to stop a painting and accept it for what it is, and leave it. Each one is its own learning experience.

Good news...I was accepted into the Woodstock Artist Asso. show "Energy, Spirit and Vision". The piece I posted here, "Light Flight", was made after an intense dream I had. A spiritual awakening, a call of sorts. My fabulous Jungian therapist interpreted the dream yesterday, and it is uncanny how I illustrated the interpretation in the artwork. The muse and the spirit was with me on this one.

May he/she continue to visit. The grasshopper said so.

Patti O Artist

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Another glum rainy day in the Hudson Valley. I did not feel like going out today, and was totally into grunge. Hair in a bun. Unshowered. No bra. Old jeans and a tank top. No earrings, NO LIPSTICK.

I spent most of the day working in the studio, cleaning up messes, making cards for WHO I DON'T KNOW as no one is buying them right now and listing them in Etsy, where I sell very few. Sometimes I wonder why I keep doing it. Making these cards I mean. Few people write any more, at least not on paper, never mind blank cards that require a bit of penmanship and creativity to say something on one's own. Yet I still like making these miniature collages, and in the past they have paid my studio heating bills, though this year, I am not so sure about that.

Yet with the recent rejections of my mixed media work, the loss of a fab client, and a very slow market, I keep seeing the signs. PAINT Patti. PAINT. Fads come and go, styles and techniques go in and out of style, but paintings hold their own. And, for a long time, collage was my way of avoiding the paint, hearing that little voice clamoring in my brain saying "you're just not good enough to paint". What I have learned is that if you do enough of anything you have a passion for, you will get to be a master at it.

Perhaps it was the rejection, or the encouragement of others to keep painting, but I have been packaging up my antique paper collection into lots to sell. I will never recoup the value of this collection, especially not in this economy, but it is taking up space, and whatever I can get will be put towards my art bills. The worst thing to do is to sale out my art work, so I will liquidate my art supplies that I have collected and don't use or no longer need so that I can keep the studio open for - painting.

Tonight's little card was made after I found out that another one of my pieces was rejected. I still have a shred of hope that the other piece will make it in, but I am not holding my breath.

I will know more tomorrow!

Patti O Artist

Monday, July 20, 2009

Goodbye Teacher Man

I did not know what to write this morning for my blog, and was just going to let it be until I was inspired. No sense in writing about the routine of my day..unless it had an interesting story, a lesson, or a laugh. I don't want to bore. I am not boring.

But this morning when I saw that Frank McCourt had died, I felt a keen sadness at the loss of a great writer and man, and knew I would pay tribute to him.

I have been in therapy for the past 20 years. I am not ashamed to admit it, and some of my friends even say it is taboo to post that in a public forum. But we are not in the 50's anymore, and I bet if every person went to therapy, the world would be a better place.

Yet in spite of all of my therapy, there was one book that changed my life with insight into some of the dysfunctions of my Irish family, and that was Angela's Ashes, a story about poverty, abuse, and Catholicism.

My father's family wore their Irish/Scottish heritage proudly. My grandfather's Irish relatives came to Philadelphia with money and servants in the 1800's. I don't know much about the financial status of my grandmother's relatives aside that they came over from Scotland via Nova Scotia, but when my grandparents married, they had a lovely brownstone in Queens (my aunts live there now) where they lived along with my grandmother's two sisters, who never married and lived there until their death. My grandparents had four children, survived the depression, and overall did well for themselves; my father went to Fordham to enter the Jesuit fold, and my aunts finished high school and had some college education. No one lived in abject poverty like the McCourt family.

But then my father got polio and never returned to the Seminary. My other aunts are, for the sake of not spilling their personal lives, different. My father was angry, abusive, and is the main cause of my life long work in therapy.

McCourt's books gave me a glimpse into what I believe was at the core of my family - an Irish Catholic up bringing, complete with the guilt and abuse that comes with it. Even though we weren't poor, my father was very frugal, and that frugality spilled into my own childhood and later, into my adult years. Food was metered into bird-like doses, hands, fists, and belts were freely used as discipline, and affection was an elusive emotion.

I think that the culture of the Irish was buried deeply in the being of my family, and McCourt's story gave me a glimpse into why things played out the way they did. Some of my family secrets I may never know, nor am I sure that I need to know them, but I suspect there are some nasty ones locked away in that closet with the cross on it.

After reading Angela's Ashes, I read Tis, and then Teacher Man. Through the power of the tale, I came to understand the foundation of my family, but also showed me that with perseverance, hard work, and strength, it is possible to rise above the burdens of the past that we carry with us.

Thank you Mr. Teacher man, for giving me a glimpse.

Patti O Reader

One of my mixed media pieces..that fits the tribute well I think.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dials, Switches, Numbers OH MY

As I was getting off my last connection last night, I passed the cockpit, its instrument panel lit up in the late evening darkness. I stopped and was both amazed and overwhelmed by the array of dials, digits, and switches. I had wished for once that I was the last one off, and had whipped out my camera for a photo.

"How do they read that"? I asked myself. I can barely keep track of my speed, gas gauge, and engine temperature on my car. Add the GPS and I am almost over the edge with visual information while I am driving. Its enough to make me twitch and prompt a migraine.

Which brings me to the four year old granddaughter is better at Mario Kart than I am. On the Wii---I am a LOSER. I can barely figure out how to steer the damn thing, never mind knock people off the road, use the track layout to figure out the next turn, note where I am on the track, capture icons that give me super powers, and know when to use them. I was such a poor driver that I actually made not only myself dizzy, but those watching me play the game. Only I would need the barf bag for a Wii game.

I have figured it all comes down to a primitive hand-eye coordination and a small processor. Are there exercises that can fine tune that? How do they train the pilots to read all of that? How much training does it take? Can I be trained?

On that note..if it were finely tuned, would that make me a better artist?

Hmm..breakfast for thought.

Off for a wash and a wax.

Patti O Circuit

Photos taken as I was boarding the plane. Got off the boarding line to take them.
Taken with an old Canon PowerShot A75

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Heading Home

To be fair to my grandchildren, here is a photograph of my little grandson Randy who will be 1 in a few weeks. He is an energetic little boy, but no more so than any 1 year old boy should be. He loves his Mimi, showering me with his two toothed smiles.

I head to the Nashville airport in a few minutes, ready to come home and start my summer vacation of painting, writing, and getting some house projects done. (mainly cleaning, haha). I've been off track for a several months due to illness and company, but now I am ready to get back in the fast lane and I have got PLANS.

So...till tomorrow when I am back in NY, Patti O Flyer

Friday, July 17, 2009

Taking it Slow

The flight was great. Alanna was great. I have been enjoying my laid back time here, Megan and Dole cooking for me, and playing with the kids, meeting more of their friends.

The weather here is crazy, going from 77 with cloud cover, to over 90 when it shines in between the clouds. I haven't felt weather this warm since the last heat spell in NY...was it in May?

The storms here are strong, stronger than I care for. Thunderstorms are severe, viciously throwing bolts about the flat landscape. Tornadoes blow through more often than I care for. Dole said to me: "if you hear hail, head to the laundry room". "Why?" I asked. "Breaking glass?". "No" replied Dole. "Tornadoes". The week or so before one touched down on base, and the strong winds tossed their glass topped table and chairs about; miraculously the glass survived.

It is a strange place, this military base. A canon shoots off every day at 5, followed by the distant sound of lone horn floating over the rolling hills. Periodically rounds of ammo are heard from the range, and helicopters are seen moving back and forth; I still hear them as I type.

I can't drive here unless I apply for a temporary permit, I can't shop at anything save for the food courts on base. The housing is modest, the lawns carefully groomed, dotted with the toys of children, driveways filled with an interesting array of cars and trucks.

I am the foreigner here, with my Long Island accent, sometimes doing yoga on the lawn. But I am always welcomed, often with southern hospitality. A drink, a bite to eat, and kindness.

I'll keep NY however, where the temp these days rarely hits 90, tornadoes are a rarity, and severe thunderstorms pale in comparison to what visits here. I'll take the snow and the "rudeness of NYers" (though I beg to differ on that), as it is home, and what I know and love.

Photos of a window by Gate B11 at the Albany Airport....which also has wonderful rotating art shows...ah New York.

Patti O Traveler

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Packing it In

Wow..I am really behind on blogging. Being a full time grandmother has changed my whole routine dramatically. But the time given to her was time well invested, and when I get back I will be back into my creative mode and paint and write on a regular basis.

We fly back to Kentucky tomorrow 11:23 flight out of Albany, arriving in Kentucky around 4. One two hour lay-over, perfect for a bathroom break and lunch with Ms. Alanna. I am well prepared, with coloring books, stickers, crayons, notebooks, raisins and pretzels in my carry-on. '

I cried a few times today, thinking about bringing her back. We have settled into a comfortable routine, even finding friends her age to play with.

It has been an incredible experience, to spend so much quality time with her, at a point in my life where I am mellow, stable, have enough money to do what we want. Larry and I nurture and give her lots of life experiences. It doesn't hurt that I have the summers off, and that Larry has lots of vacation time that he has taken to spend with us. We have the time to give her one on one or TWO on one attention, something parents can't always do, especially with other young children.

In observing and thinking about life these past few weeks with her, I don't know how parents survive parenting, having a relationship, and taking care of their own needs in order to stay sane. It is such a delicate balance and juggling act, while learning what it is to be an adult.

I will be in Kentucky a few days to help Alanna adjust back into home lift, to see the fabulous little Randy who will be 1 very soon, and spend some time with my daughter and her husband before the long spot of time sets in where we don't see one another.

Photo by Larry, (Alanna's first sparkler) who has made a lot of pictures in the last few weeks. This photo is so magical.

Ms Patti O Grandma

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life is a Carnival

I have been having problems posting every day. Sometimes my morning is absorbed by Alanna, and honestly, by the end of the day, I am wiped and too tired or uninspired to write. It is a reminder of how much parents give up for their children/grandchildren....

I have however, been reading, flying though at least a book a week. One of my recent reads have been Water for Elephants, a mesmerizing well researched novel about life in the circus during the Depression.

I have never been to a circus, but do visit it's sister sidekick, the Carnival, which comes to our city every year. A friend of mine told me she won't take her grand kids to a place where people that put your kids/grand kids on ride are the very people you would avoid on the street.

I beg to differ.

Yeah, the carnies are an odd bunch of people. Many rough, toothless, struggling folks, weathered by cigarettes, booze, and a life of constantly moving. They are survivors. It might not be the life we choose, but they are people still the same, and deserve respect, love, and kindness as does the person who sports a Cartier watch and drives a Jaguar. Larry has been photographing the carnies over the years, and gets topmost respect when one of them recognizes him. He has given them a few fab photographs, which have pleased them immensely, one guy saying "this is the best photo that was ever taken of me".

The Glass Castle, an autobiography written by Jeanette Walls, is about poverty, alcoholism, the epitome of a dysfunctional family, survival, and acceptance/love. The book was intense, and is a true story, and the irony is that it opens with the author who is well off, riding in a taxi, and at a stoplight sees her mother digging in a dumpster in NYC. Ashamed, guilty, and overwhelmed, she heads back to her apartment to calm herself down. She calls her mother, meets with her, and it is through that turn of events, that she writes the book, which frees her.

It is a difficult read, but instead of being depressed, I was uplifted, as the author found a way to come to terms with her past, still love her family, and claim a joyful life of her own. I realized that we can either be victims or be strong. After years of being a victim of my past, I have found to focus on and embrace the strengths that came out of the struggles, and live life with joy, rather than anger and sorrow.

I am currently reading some historic fluff, not very well written. If it doesn't get better, I will abandon it for something more worthy of my time. I would LOVE some book suggestions from my readers......!!!! On my list are two books written by local writers who are friends of mine, one of which takes place right here in the Hudson River Valley. Just waiting for that extra 15% off coupon from Barnes and Noble to grace my inbox or mailbox.

Patti O Reader

Wednesday, July 08, 2009



I have laid low the past few days, spending time with Alanna that has been wonderful for us both.

I broke away for a hair appointment with Lois, after which we jetted off to catch a quick Cosmo before a movie in Red Hook. Tuesday is 4.00 night there, so we were bound and determined to see SOMETHING.

We ended up seeing "My Sister's Keeper" which I thought was a light movie.


I cried through the entire movie. By the time I left the theater I looked like I had smoked up big time. I ducked into my car, and drove home into a horrid storm, watching the light show over the mountains, wondering what town was being slammed with a severe thunderstorm, only to hear that 2" of hail and sleet landed an hour south of us. No surprise.

The movie was tough. Cancer in a child. Heart rendering decisions. Love.Desperation.Death. Healing. All too close for me, but yet on some level I need to watch such movies and garner what I can from them NOW, when I am strong.

Today was a double date with Lois, the twins, and Alanna. They played for hours together, and Lois and I just sat and watched, doing crossword puzzles, reading magazines, playing with the kids, with a view of the mountains and the occasional rumble of the Amtrak train along the river to break the silence of the woods and pierce the laughter and singing of the children.

Life IS beautiful..

Patti O Play

Monday, July 06, 2009

Two Wolves

Larry and Alanna walking to the Sanctuary

A very LARGE pig

This goat lost a leg being hog tied

It's Monday, but it is still the weekend in this household.

Larry took four days off, today being the last one. Alanna has been thrilled to have both her grandparents home for four days, and it helps ME out a bit as I have been her caregiver during the day when he is working.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my grandchildren. But I am so thankful that Larry and I never did have a child together in our later years, 'cause simply, I don't have the energy for 24/7 kids, and man, it is very hard to make art. But we DO manage to have a lot of fun and we are full of tons of love and adventure, and that is what counts anyway.

One of our more interesting adventures this weekend was to visit the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, beautifully nested in the mountains of the Catskills in Willow. We wandered around the sanctuary for hours, in and out of fields and pens that held piggies (LARGE and small..the small not being so small either) goats, sheep, and chickens. Turkeys wandered the grounds looking for a rub down. Annie, the little goat kid, doesn't like to be in with the other goats, so she too runs around loose with the volunteers and visitors on the farm, testing out her little horns on innocent kids like Alanna, who was in shock the first time she was butted right off the picnic table bench. But like a friend on Facebook said, "she was left with marks, but no scars" as Alanna ended up befriending the little goat and playing with her, which included a few more butts.....

Surprisingly many of the rescues are out of New York City- from slaughterhouses, from animals found wandering the street...deserted by people who no longer can handle the cute little piggy or chickie they brought home after a bout of drunkenness, insanity, stupidity, or a little of bit of each. Some of the animals were missing limbs from being found hog-tied, one of the roosters had a broken leg. Some were not wanted, like the Silkie chicken, whose deformed feet made him undesirable as a pet or to use for anything but slaughter.

It was a visit that taught us about the mistreatment of so many animals, and I hope that it instilled compassion for animals in Alanna. Children have no idea where their food comes from, how it gets from farm to table, and I hope that by her seeing, petting, and giving love to these animals will make her more aware of what is right and wrong in the treatment of animals and people...

To conclude, this is one of the more profound forwards in my email this weekend. It says it all. Called TWO WOLVES:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people.

He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’

Patti O

Friday, July 03, 2009

Day 6..7..8...same rain different day

It's not funny anymore.

Each day seems the same as the day before, and the day before that. Sun, then clouds, then rain and thunderstorms, more sun, then a repeat of clouds, rain, thunder. The grass never dries out enough to mow, and my basement smells damp and moldy. The driveway and my studio roof are growing beautiful green moss, as green as any I saw in Ireland. I don't know if I sport freckles, or mold all over my body. My allergies tell me that it's all mold. Anything is possible when you live in a rain forest.

Every time I put the top down on the VW, even if there is NO cloud in the sky, I am in it for a few minutes before a big dark cloud comes out of no where and rains on my parade.Up till today I have second guessed the clouds and remained dry. Then my luck ran out. One shower forced me to pull over and put up the top two blocks from home, the other appeared out of a sunny sky, with a handful of innocuous clouds dotting the sky, which were apparently saturated with moisture and decided to squeeze it out over my car.

As I type I sit in clothes barely dried out from sitting on a wet seat. I sport Medusa style hair. I have grown another appendage, called an umbrella. And my granddaughter says to Larry: "I think she's married to the weather box"."

I heard a rumor that the next few days will be dry. I hope it is true.

Tonight's photos are of the sun setting in my back yard. They remind me of a Magritte painting that I have loved since I was a teen called The Empire of Light, pictured here. And there was light, and it was all good.

Patti O Pond

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Day #5 - It's a Zoo out there

Our day started with a 10:30 am play date at the park which meant hot sweaty running around and then a visit to our little city zoo.

The "zoo" has been in existence for years, and thanks to some local support, keeps getting bigger. The animals look a bit rough in my humble opinion, though since I have not grown up on a farm, I am not sure if this is how all animals look anyway. One goat has a stiff leg that won't bend, one of the white deer has a tumor on it. A bunch of the birds have feathers missing on their backs, though I SUSPECT that it might be because the males keep jumping on them for some YOU KNOW WHAT. One of the rabbits is morbidly obese, the sheep is dirty, and the bull is over his hocks in mud as his entire pen is a mud hole (no wonder with all the rain). The llama is a pill, and I haven't seen it standing upright yet. The peacocks seemed well enough, as did some of the exotic birds. I wonder if these animals are rescues or rejects, but children of all ages still seem to enjoy seeing and feeding the animals.

We wanted to feed the animals, but some ruffians had stolen the machines, so we were empty handed. BUT you are allowed to feed them carrots, lettuce, spinach and POPCORN (Alanna was amazed at that) so next visit we will hit the garden.

Afterwards was a visit to the bagel shop, where I devoured my everything bagel slathered in cream cheese and butter. The digestive system is on the mend, and since my cholesterol is AOK, I figured why not.

The rest of the day was a wash-out due to heavy storms that deluged us with rain, and wind that tore down tree limbs and damaged by nearly 5' tall tomato plants. But the day gave us enough sunshine to enjoy it for a while, and a rainy afternoon gave me a chance to clean a bit and relax.

Off to figure out how to save my business. I opened up my investment statement, and have lost 1/3 of my hard earned money. I keep saying over and over, "it's only numbers" and shoved it under a pile of papers.

Patti O Zoologist