11 November 2009

Off To See The Apple. We Shall Return

Dogs waiting for me.

   We're off to see the Big Apple, family, theater, museums, restaurants, walks, friends, etc. The dogs and farm are in excellent hands. Some people were distraught when I reported earlier today that I had to shoot a rabid skunk, and I appreciate how they feel. But I would do it again in a flash.
  Whenever you see a skunk or raccoon charging at you or your dogs in broad daylight, run or call for help. It isn't good.
  So the blog will be quiet for a few days, and I will miss it. It is so integral a part of my life now, that it seems things don't really happen to me unless I take photos or blog about them. I will report back from Gotham.
  Many of you have been with me and this blog for some time, and it is quite a connection, and I very much appreciate it. We are still working to make the blog easier, and better.
   I am also very excited. I have to say, I am tired in the head. "Rose In A Storm" took the wind out of my sails, and children's books are not simlple to write, either. But I love doing both and am lucky for the chance. When I get back, I plan on obsessing quickly on the next novel and more children's. And on living my life.
  Books on  tracking, the Adirondacks, wildlife, and other related subjects have been arriving all week.
  But I'm not going to think about that now. Be back soon.

The Daily Potholder(s)

  Potholders, like fingerprints, are individualistic. No two are alike, and they are streaming out of the Studio Barn for diverse points around the country in time for Christmas. The ugly potholder is happy in Northern Colorado, I'm told and today Maria got a batch of clothes and fabric's from a daughter (the clothes belonged to her late mother) who wanted the material made into potholders for members of the family. An interesting use of fiber and fabric.


  Notes on appearances.

   Sunday, November 22, Union Village, 1 to 3 p.m. to sign books and calendars for the Agricultural Stewardship Association, a farmland preservation group based in Washington County.  (518 692-2034) You can see and buy these calendars online.

   Saturday, November 28, 1-3 p.m., talk, book and calendar signing at Gardenworks, Route 30 in Salem (518 854-3250). Lots of good food, gifts, cheese, muffins, pies, crafts. Also to benefit the ASA.

   January 9, 2010. Show, "Portraits Of My Life," photos for sale by me, Redux Art Gallery, Dorset, Vt.

Posted in General

Izzy, Rose. Lots of stories.

Izzy and Rose love to hang out in the garden

   My trip to NYC is a re-connection, an encounter with old stuff, some new beginnings in a different phase of life. New York City always conjures up issues relating to energy, choices, success and lifestyle. I think everyone who lives in the city love it, and almost every who doesn't  – well, doesn't. How odd that I live on a 90 acre Civil-War era farm and my daughter lives in a room in Brooklyn. Neither of us could live where the other does.
  The idea of living in a two-room apt, amids all that noise and crowds has become unfathomable to me. But I drink up the energy, intelligence, culture, food and atmosphere of the place. I always feel a bit of a failure when I visit New York, as I could never really crack the place. And a part of me still defines that as success. I'm excited to be spending a few days there. I'm bringing my camera, and two lenses – 16-35, and a medium zoom, 70-200 for portraits and architecture.
 Zeroing in on plays, friends, movies. Maria is googling museums and galleries. The blog will be quiet for a few days, give everyone a rest from me and my life. I've decided to see this trip as a celebration for hard work and some accomplishment. Much more to do, but sometimes you have to stop and celebrate the glory of life.

Shooting a skunk: Notes from the perfect life

 Every now and then life on a farm rears itself up and reminds you how different a world we are in here. I came back from Manchester, where I was planning my photo show for January 9 at the Redux Gallery in Dorset, Vt., and saw a big fat skunk waddling right towards Rose and Lenore who were out in the yard. Izzy was with me, and Frieda was inside in a crate, thankfully.
  Skunks are never seen much if they are healthy and this was rheumy and walking aggressively towards Rose, who was circling it and backing up. Fortunately, she obeyed the command to get off, and backed up.
  I thought of the camera, but it was in the truck and I didn't have time.
   I grabbed my .22, loaded, aimed and caught the skunk as he was heading right towards me.
 A good clean shot between the eyes, and he fell backwards into a culvert. I do not relish shooting anything, but on a farm, it happens. Rabid raccoons, once two rabid feral cats who attacked Rose, and today, in the middle of the day, a skunk approaching two large dogs. Not healthy. It's good every now and then to be reminded how close we are to life and death here, and a good focal point before heading to Manhattan for a few days of culture and good food.
  Nobody's taking my rifle away.
 Perspective is everything, isn't it?

Being the Best

Rose is good at everything she does.

  I wish my father had taught me that anything worth doing is difficult to do. Anything. Even if you do what you love, and love what you do, accomplishing meaningful things, living a meaningful life is just always hard. I think of this as I return to New York for an extended visit for the first time in years. I'm excited and a bit anxious, I suppose. New York demands an edge, and I might have lost mine. I think it comes back though.
  People have this strange notion that a perfect or meaningful life comes from living on a farm, or being with a lot of dogs. That is not so. A meaningful life to me means understanding that there is no perfect life, and that meaning comes from courage, strength, love and compassion. We all suffer, our lives our shape by our response.