Wednesday, January 26, 2011

While Cleaning out my Purse

While cleaning out an old purse, I found this poem that I wrote as my mother was dying, and my daughter was about to give birth to her post cancer treatment "miracle baby".  I was planning to drive    to Tennessee to help her for a week with Larry, as my mother lay in critical condition.  The Clash lyrics to  "Should I stay or should I go" were bouncing about in my tortured brain.

Before I threw it away, I thought I would share it.

Sanctuary music
it says on the tape.
A nun in the nursing home
has left it playing on my mother's radio to soothe her.

New Age music...
to calm the soul for the journey.

The angels are waiting at the gate mama.
I wish you would go and meet them.
I think you have suffered enough
for your mistakes,
and so have we.

Free yourself.
Free us.
Rest in PEACE.

As a postscript, my mother rallied.  It is a miracle she is still alive, though she never gets out of the bed in the nursing home. She seems happy enough with her second chance, watching her favorite movies and cooking shows all day long. She drank herself to a stroke 23 years ago, had brain surgery, and still lives, though I don't call her life living. But who am I to judge or question.

My daughter gave birth to a healthy baby boy who is 2 1/2 now.  She will never have any more children due to medical problems, but she has the million dollar family; a boy and a girl.  She still has her life, even going through a reoccurance of cancer, and another round of chemo and radiation.

Funny how today's FB status was: "I am grateful that I am of strong mind and body. May it always be that way...till the last painting."

Patti O

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photoshop is Dangerous

It's the first night that Larry has left to teach a class at Marist since last spring.  Though I enjoy having him home, I am very comfortable with being alone, working in the studio, or working online listing my cards and collectibles in various venues.

It is time I get to think, to play, and sometimes socialize without having to worry that I am leaving Larry out of it.

Tonight as I was scanning Valentines to sell on Etsy, I came across this one which read:"Who Wouldn't Blow About a Guy Like You".  Now I think the person who designed this back in the 1940s knew what he/she was doing.  Photoshop had not been invented, but I am sure that they knew someday someone would have a field day with the card, as I did.  Those who know me, know that I could NEVER leave this card alone.

The clone tool is one of the Photoshop tools I use quite often for retouching, and used it to get rid of just one little word.  Presto, instant crack-up.

I hope you laughed a bit...otherwise I feel like a total jerk sitting here amusing myself
with such juvenile  things.

:) Patti

Friday, January 14, 2011

Into the 21st Century

For those of you who are around "my age" there was a TV show called The 21st Century, which was hosted by Walter Cronkite.  I believe it followed the Disney hour, and it talked about the latest in science....whether astronomy, oceanography, geology, genetics etc.

Well, here we are, 10 years into the  21st century, a time where technology is developed and updated faster than I can type, and in my lifetime I am amazed at how technology has changed in transportation, video/audio/photography, and graphics.

In my trying to keep up with technology I have had to learn about Smart Phones,  I cables, Flip Video Cams, iMacs, iPhones,iTunes, iPads, and learn acronyms such as HD 3d LCD LED, HDMI etc.

I am in the middle of doing a major upgrade to my technology, and just bought a Smart Phone. I am LOVING my Droid, and have quickly gotten over the fact that Verizon is going to get a chunk of my money every month.  As long as I can get a signal, I can call, text, email, take photos, HD videos, read books, check up on my businesses and Facebook.  I have only started to learn how much it can do, and I am hooked.

I also bought a BluRay player which has wireless, and I can stream Netflix, YouTube etc. onto my TV.  I just put in digital cable, and will be looking to purchase  LCD TV with a screen larger than 19" to watch those 1000 movies that I must see before I die. 

Technology is moving SO fast that my 2007 iMac won't run some of the software and apps that I want/need,  and the stroll past the new Macs put obscene thoughts into my head.

Tonight's photos were taken by my Droid, uploaded to Facebook, and captured off Facebook onto this blog.  Two of the photos look like they are from another age.  Note the "ghost" in the blue photo.  The bottom is my VW Emblem on my EOS steering wheel.  Not bad for a cell phone.

Patti O Tech

Sunday, January 09, 2011

My Favorite Kitchen Toys

I am sitting here eating a bowl of vegetable stew flavored with the African spices of coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, watching The Third Man on my new digital cable, thinking about how I love toys, all kinds of toys. Art toys. Kitchen toys. Electronic toys. Kids toys.  Adult toys.  Boy toys. (just kidding).
I love my electronic toys most, though it is close tie with my kitchen toys. I have a few things that I have used for years, over and over, and I don't know what my life would be without them.
 No. 1 is my Braun Submersible Blender w/attachments. I blend my cream soup right in the pot, and then attach it to a small container and whip up the salad-dressing-of-the-day. 
No. 2 is my Salad Shooter.  I got one when I was married to #1 about 20 years ago, and finally some of the parts broke because they were brittle from use, though the motor was still going strong. My son bought me another one for Christmas and now I can once again make my potato pancakes and cheddar broccoli soup. And if I get really mad at Larry, I can shoot him with edible bullets.
No. 3 is my blender for pesto and margaritas - used lots in the summer.
No. 4 is my juicer which I should use more than I do.
No. 5 is a little stocking stuffer that my sister gave me a few years ago- a milk frother for making cafe o' lait and hot chocolate, great after shoveling or playing in the snow. 
No. 6 is my mixer for the few times I bake, or make whipped cream.
No. 7 are the food processors which I don't use much as I can use the blender for such activities, and No. 1 can do some of that work if small amounts.
 No. 8 is my coffee pot---which used to be NO. 2 or 3 until I stopped drinking coffee.
No.9 --- my crock pot, which I wish I used more to cook with, but am a bit leery since I burned a dish that I tried in it some time ago.
No 10. My electric knife-which is about 10-15 years old.  It is used once a year.

HOWEVER-  we have a newcomer, a Christmas toy from Larry that I have not yet tested a  OXO Mandolin.  I have never been able to make Japanese Cucumber Salad, potato chips, scalloped potatoes, etc. the way I wanted to.  I am envisioning roasting veggies for dinner, and thinner slices for snacks. I  need to have a dinner so that I can make a huge pan of potatoes gratin.  And, if my cucumber crop is anything like it was last year, I will make pickles for all of my friends.

Off to find the finish off the evening.  Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt. Yummmmm

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Bus Station....

I had started feeling sorry for myself Sunday morning because I had to go back to work after having 10 days off. Oh poor me. I had too many parties to go to, and too many evenings of entertaining. I was tired and needed a vacation from the vacation. I felt a tweak of guilt knowing not all people have off between Christmas and New Years, and some people have no family and friends TO party with, and many had no money to buy gifts.  

But what really humbled me - was the ride past the Trailways bus station. A young soldier, in his desert fatigues, was saying goodbye to his family, their arms wrapped around one another in a somber huddle.

Tears came to my eyes while thinking of my son in law in Afghanistan who was not with his wife and children for the holidays, and I ached for Megan, sick and alone, in Tennessee....our first holiday with out her and the children since Iraq.

I flashed back to the emotional memory when Megan had to go back to Iraq after her two week leave.  Though she was thrilled to see her family and friends, saying goodbye was probably one of the hardest things we all had to do, knowing she was going back to fight a war.  Though I pushed it back as far as I could in the recesses of my mind and possibility, I always this the last goodbye? Will I see my baby girl again?

The experience smarted like a slap in the face. My heart ached for those who are far from their loved ones, and for those who have lost their loved ones due to war, illness, or misfortune.  And I felt stupid for feeling sorry for myself...and for being so self centered.

As I drove, I made a mental list of all that I am grateful job, my family and friends, my house, my art, the ability to feel and receive love, and for my freedom and my health...and when Monday morning came, I greeted it with a smile.

Happy New Year to you all. No matter what your political views, be grateful for what you have, and say a prayer,  or keep those who are less fortunate in your thoughts.  Be generous in love and in gifting what you can. 

Peace, love, and resolution in 2011

photo of Megan in Iraq, holding the photo of me that she tucked into her helmet.....which she kept for strength and comfort.