Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Almost nothing beats a good tune

Been thinking lately about our trip to Ireland last November.  Which makes me think of this song.  And this pub in Dingle, a town we both quite liked.  Nice beach nearby where we met a friendly dog.  A grocery store that sold fresh Irish scones in the morning.  A B&B owner who disliked Tom Cruise and loved to chit chat about everything and anything.  A drive around the peninsula with stunning views and old churches.  I look forward to visiting Ireland again one day.  Lots left to see and explore.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


sunrise on Saturday morning

I'm pretty sure she was thinking about hopping the fence and knocking me down

I'll never get tired of the scenery in New Zealand

sheep beads that came all the way from Scotland

part of the facade on the opera house in Prague

plants poking above the water on the Hudson
I imagined men dressed as penguins singing like the Blues Brothers.  "I'm a soul man..."
One can never have too many monster finger puppets!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Exploring a bit more of New York

the river, fall colors and the Catskills beyond

In the Mid-Hudson area of New York, people often refer to a place as being on "this side" or "that side" of the river, referring, of course, to the Hudson.  Where we call home is relatively close to Connecticut.  Close to Hyde Park where Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt called home.  In an area that has widespread ties to the Revolutionary War.  There are plenty of large opulent homes that belonged to famous artists, politicians, people of historic significance or extremely wealthy families such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts.  This area in general is full of artists, tantalizing restaurants, people opening up businesses in tiny towns in an effort to revitalize a way of life many haven't seen in half a century, colleges and universities, boutique shops and farmers who are interested in growing food for locals and restaurants alike who want to eat regionally.  In other words, there is a lot to see and do and get involved in.
On the other side of the Hudson, there are the Catskill Mountains, the farm where Woodstock happened, lots of small towns and villages - many of them with downtowns that resemble sepia-toned photographs from an era gone by, communities focused on art, and ever more farmland.  I took a drive this past Monday from Kingston to Catskill too see what's what over there.  Along the way I stopped for a walk to an old lighthouse near Saugerties which is now cared for by a non-profit group.  The upstairs rooms have been turned into a B&B.  Such a pretty building that made me think of England.  

on the path to the lighthouse

the Saugerties Lighthouse

Further north, I popped into Leeds to check out some real estate I found on-line (yes, I peruse just for the heck of it, quite often).  It is an old-timey looking store with what looks like original shelving plus an apartment above.  You may check out the listing here.  Then I crossed over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and headed south, stopping in tiny Germantown to see the grocery store and hardware store that have opened in recent years.  I didn't spend much time in the grocery store (which is more than a simple market) although the lunch time crowd's plates looked and smelled delicious.  I did, however, spend some time in the hardware store.  I felt as though I had stepped back in time, into something resembling a Little House on the Prairie episode.  Thankfully, neither Nellie or Harriet were inside!  Nope.  A very friendly pair of sibling cats named Hansel & Gretel were cuddled on a counter.  They and the woman who runs the shop, Denise, made for a nice visit.  I absolutely love that there are people out there who take the risk of opening stores that are remote and small yet truly have virtually all you need, all in an effort to breath life back into rural communities.  To live and shop locally.  To get to know your neighbors.  I also love that people go out of their way to patronize stores like this.   

I hope to spend more time diving into all this part of the world has to offer.  Since our path may very well lead us elsewhere once Tim is finished with his studies, taking drives and making stops along the way is likely how I'll spend some of my days off as long as the weather allows.  
a twisted tree that made a nice silhouette

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Elusive creativity

Everyone's heard of writer's block or painters who are without inspiration to put brush to canvas for a while.  Sometimes athletes have slumps.  Occasionally we all get stuck in a rut.  Personally, I've been without creative inspiration for weeks and weeks.  Granted, we moved across the country and started a new life in a new place with new roles.  So I should probably give myself a break already, but the thing is this: I really like making things.  I like thinking about making things.  I like buying the things I need to make things.  I like looking at things that other people make - in galleries, on the internet, in magazines, on blogs, etc.  So why has my vision and imagination been eluding me?  

Without intensive psychotherapy, perhaps I will just chalk this up to being distracted with every day life.  And that is okay.  It happens.  And I can already feel myself being pulled back in the direction of creating.  A few nights ago I assembled a collage and framed it.  I don't love it.  I think I could have done it better.  But it's a step.  I taped and tacked things to the walls in my crafty, creative workspace.  I fished out some cool business cards from artists whose work I either own or really admire and put them in a bowl on my desk.  I hung a print on a wall that Tim bought over the summer as well as a photograph of my grandparents my mother gave to me.  So, it's coming back in some ways. 

owl patches that live on my wall

a close up print of my favorite Boticelli painting, handmade paper, a page from an art catalog

I do believe the intense fall colors and the way light filters over the landscape in the early evenings is helping.  Cooler weather and less hours of sunshine in the day encourage nesting amongst my bead stash and art supplies as well.  
the view across the Hudson

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's in the details

Be Bright And Happy For Time Passes Away That With Grief And Sorrow Ye Can Not Delay