27 April 2017

Video. Maria’s “Show Your Soul” Postcards, New And Now For Sale

By: Jon Katz

A couple of months ago, Maria created her Defiant But Gentle Goddess, a response to the edgy times we are living in.

Her posters have been very popular, and so she decided to also offer an inexpensive alternative for the many people who expressed an interest in the "Show Your Soul" idea, a tonic and an affirmation these days. On the video, she explains the idea and where it came from and why she is making and selling "Show Your Soul" postcards, you can order them directly from her at [email protected], they are six for $10 plus shipping.

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Mansion Art Show: Madeline, Potato Stamp Portrait

By: Jon Katz

Potato Stamp Art

Madeline is 94, she is a former painter and artist and dancer. She grew up in a Bronx orphanage and was a military spouse for many years. We all thought her potato stamp portrait was especially inventive, it isn't easy to make art out of pieces of potatoes. She won a book.

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Portrait: Elsie At The Mansion: “I Know What Love Is”

By: Jon Katz

"I Know What Love Is"

Elsie is an enchanting pixie, she came over to the Mansion Art Show from the Cambridge Hotel, another assisted care facility down the road. She wanted to see the art show and she wanted to see Maria and I. She has read all of my books, and also reads the blog often.

She wanted to say hello, she had the biggest and warmest smile, she she wanted to say that she loves the way Maria and I love one another. How can you know that?, I asked.

"I loved my husband so much," she said, "We were married for 35 years, and I know love when I see it. I just wanted to come and see you, I need to see love like that again. I can tell from your writing how much you love each other, and I can see it on your blog and also when you are together."

I gave Elsie a big hug and promised to give her a free copy of my new book. I was very touched by her coming to see me, I told her it was true, Maria and I did love each other very much, we both knew what the meant, and we could also see it in other people.

I am amazed by Elsie's perspective on life.

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Eating Grass: It Feels Good

By: Jon Katz

It Feels Good

Maria and I were both delighted to open up the pastures to the sheep and the donkeys yesterday and this morning. It feels good, it feels natural. Unlike horses, donkeys and sheep will only eat for a bit, and when their bellies are full, they stop. We acclimate them to grass slowly, it is much richer than the hay they have been eating for the past six months.

They are clearly excited to be eating fresh grass, we take them out for one or two hours in the morning, then again in the evening. It is a peaceful and inspiring feeling to see the animals out on grass, where they should be. We can now see them grazing from just about every window in the house.

The flies are also gathering around them, another sign of winter. The grass looks strong and green. In recent years, with global warming, it has dried out and browned early. I hope that will not be true this summer.

Each day, we walk among the grazing animals, checking their coats and their hooves, taking note of their weight. We love the crunching sound they make when they are pulling the grass up. Welcome to the warm months, it is time to prepare for winter.

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Grand Winner, Mary, Paint And Sip Category

By: Jon Katz


All three judges went right to Mary's painting in the Paint and Sip category (normally, the artists paint and sip wine, the Mansion served juice. It had a number of different elements and was so well composed, it evoked the feeling of a beach. I know Mary well, Red and I often visit her, she is very quiet and soft-spoken. She is eager to do more art work, and I hope she does. You can write Mary c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Street, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

Maria and I both loved doing this, we are eager to try it again. Maria is thinking of  teaching some art at the Mansion, I hope she does.

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