Month: January 2015

jewels

I have found

a cache

 of sparkly jewels

on the roof

of the milking shed

below my studio windows.

I wonder what

I should do

with my

new-found wealth.

ice crystals on the roof
ice crystals on the roof

shovel duties

Once in a while

when the cold dry air

creates a snow so fine

as to look like powdered sugar

and the wind

comes from the north

and dances

around the yard

before it departs to the south

I find it necessary

to shovel

the inside of the barn

before I go to work.

inside snow
inside snow

My mother used to tell the story of when she and my dad owned a ski lodge in New Hampshire in the early 50’s. They lived in the house next to the lodge and she often came down in the morning to a little pile of snow on the floor that had blown in through the key hole.

Years later, my husband and I moved into our current house where the door was single pane glass and you could look right through the keyhole. Fortunately, the snow never made it through, but it sure was cold on windy days.

We replaced that door very early on in our years here. We have yet to solve the snow-in-the-barn problem.

 

orange soup

Sweet potato

carrot

butternut squash.

Peel them

dice them

roast them

then boil them until soft.*

Add sautéed onions

ginger

apple

nutmeg

and don’t forget the cream.

Whirl it

swirl it

and mash it right up.

That is how you make

orange soup.

the beginning of orange soup
the beginning of orange soup

 

*I boiled them in chicken stock and water.

tink tink tink

I was sitting in my studio earlier tonight working on a miniature version of a sculpture. The CD had run its course and it was quiet except for the “tink tink tink” of the frozen precipitation that was coming down outside. We are in for a long night of “nobody quite knows what will come out of the sky”. This is the kind of winter weather I don’t like, the unexpected and somewhat dangerous frozen-in-between stuff. Fortunately I have nowhere to go tomorrow but my studio and I can always put spiky things on my boots when I walk over there.

In the spirit of what is coming out of the sky I thought that it would be appropriate to post some recent pictures of what the weather has been like around here. I am looking forward to being able to take my time in the next few days and take my camera out for some more visual reporting. For now, enjoy these pix! (Especially if you are one of those sweltering people down under…thinking of you.)

The snow came down in beautiful big flakes the other day and I sat in my upstairs studio and watched it paint everything a dusty white.

from the upstairs studio
from the upstairs studio

Later that evening, while making dinner I looked out and my attention was captured by how the dying light makes the snow so very blue.

evening snow
evening snow

And this is why we changed the kitchen around and added big windows and doors…this view is so awesome when it snows!

looking out the kitchen door
looking out the kitchen door

The snow has mostly melted in the few days since and when I came out of the studio I couldn’t help but be distracted by how the frost and melting snow crystals had painted designs all over the concrete ramp to the barn.

frost on the concrete
frost on the concrete
frost from the melting snow
frost from the melting snow

I particularly like this last one, it looks to me like something shadowy is growing out from the grass onto the concrete.

snow grass and frost abstract
snow grass and frost abstract

Isn’t Mother Nature an amazing artist??? I can’t wait to see what’s out there tomorrow…

 

missing

Tiger Woods and I finally have something in common. We are both missing a tooth. The difference is that mine was taken out by a licensed dental professional and not a photographer.

Tiger Woods
don’t you just love his choice of gaiter??? It’s as if he almost knew what was coming…

 

In case you missed the news, I am getting braces. It seems that I have spent the majority of my 52 years with teeth that were really unsuited for chewing food, at least on one side. I’m not sure why it took me this long to figure it out, perhaps because no dentist understood how wacky my teeth were until I said something. Here’s the thing. Dentists are good but they can’t possibly know what is going on in your mouth when you are eating.

So I finally spoke up and told my dentist that I had trouble eating small things like rice and pasta on the right side of my mouth. He took impressions of my teeth to see what I was talking about. (How weird to see your teeth on the outside of your mouth.) Yes indeedy, the teeth on my right side don’t even come close to touching.  So off I went to an orthodontist who assured me that he could fix the problem. The only catch was that I would have to have a tooth taken out in order for the rest of my teeth to easily move into a better alignment. That stopped me in my tracks for a while but the thought of chewing normally was too strong an incentive.

I’m sure you are dying to know all the gory details but we are going to fast forward to today. I am recovering from the tooth extraction that I had done yesterday. Getting a tooth out is not that big a deal, physically. For me the harder part was the sense of emotional loss that I went through. It felt weird removing perfectly good tooth. I didn’t realize how attached I was to my teeth. I am feeling very sad to see that hole…perhaps it is a sign of much larger losses that I have been through in my life. I don’t know.

I am not going to show you a picture of me with a missing tooth…I am too vain for that. Fortunately, I have an Invisalign plate with a tooth painted in to wear when I am out in public. That way I don’t have to keep my mouth closed the whole time.

Instead, I will post a picture of my grand niece who (blessedly) has all her teeth and a whole bunch of chocolate sauce on her face…someday my smile will be this big and beautiful…

chocolate girl
chocolate girl

 

esteemed and accomplished

hey hey hey hey whatcha doin'?
hey hey hey hey whatcha doin’?

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with tonight’s theme but I liked it so I added it. Besides, I have been woefully lax in my photo taking, mostly due to the weather. It’s hard to take pictures in snow, rain, ice, high winds and freeeeeezing temperatures. So you will have to live with a picture of a goat. It’s a very nice goat, inquisitive, loving, and, like all goats, kinda funny looking.

I’m getting distracted from my thoughts here…not a rare occurrence in my life. Let me get back on track.

Oh yeah. esteemed and accomplished. These adjectives were said about me this past week. Me. Really?

It seems to me that all artists struggle with feeling appreciated. I know I do. I also know that no matter what other people say about me, I am going to filter it through my “aw shucks” filter. I think this has something to do with my mother who did her darnedest to make sure that none of her children would get a swelled head. That’s not to say she didn’t support us or go Oooooh Aaaaaah over everything and anything we accomplished. But the message was that we were to stay humble through it all.

If the message doesn’t go through this first filter, then it will definitely go through the “I’m not worthy” one. You probably know that one. Add the two together and you’ve got a recipe for disbelief at positive feedback. (Just as an aside, I am even worse at hearing negative feedback.)

So you can imagine my reaction to hearing someone call me an esteemed artist on Thursday and then getting an e-mail describing me as an accomplished artist on Saturday. The funny thing is…I am kinda starting to believe it. Now that my mother is no longer among us living folk, I don’t have to play it down in order to be the good daughter. And while I don’t think it will go to my head, I actually kind of feel, well, proud to have been described with these words. I can feel the struggle within me even as I write these words. It is uncouth to acknowledge that one i talented or smart or beautiful or…I guess my mom taught me well.

What I want to do is keep these words at the forefront of my thoughts, especially when I start to doubt myself (often) and worry that I’m not working hard enough (even more often). I can easily come up with a zillion excuses as to why someone should not like my work, or not be inspired by what I do. I will spare you the list.

I guess my point is that people see what they want to. I know what happens “backstage” and I know how much personal work I still have to do in order to be an esteemed and accomplished artist in my own mind. I also know that the esteemed artists that I look up to may very well feel the same way that I do. Esteem comes from outside. Confidence comes from within. I’m working on bringing the two closer together.

If you have been reading this without knowing what I do, take a moment to see my website and make your own decision…