My 3rd Day

If I don’t get high speed internet soon my blog will suffer a premature demise. It took 18 minutes to load this page. I awoke at 5 A.M. and yesterday’s romantic chickens aren’t so romantic at 5:30 on a freezing morning. Did you know that a wet bare hand can really stick to a frosty pump handle. Fortunately your body heat unsticks your skin fairly quickly. On the bright side I heard the mourning dove’s cry as I scraped the windshield before leaving for school, spring will be here soon!

I want to tell you about a fun website that my son and I were exploring this afternoon called  Canon Creative Park. They have downloadable paper projects for just about everything. We were looking at airplanes, John’s current obsession. My favorite ones are the beetles. You download and print the pieces of a 3-D model of the bug, cut and glue the model following the directions. They are surprising. They have mechanical toys made out of paper that work. Wheels turn and pieces move, the tiger jumps through the hoop. Baskets and architecture. Famous buildings from around the world. I found this site a while ago when I was searching paper art. People do amazing things sculpting with paper. When I was in collage we had a professor who had us explore folding paper in order to manipulate the plane. It was an eye opening exercise. There are artist who can create intricate patterns and shapes with elaborate sequences of folds. Try a search of paper art, you will be astonished by the skill , talent, and imagination of paper artists.

I am very happy to have an order for cards to fill tonight from a longtime loyal customer and seller of beautiful things, Shaker Traditions in Evanston IL. So I’ll have to keep my post short tonight as I am needed in my studio.

Studio window with a new banner design, some small paintings and card designs

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My 2nd Day

Sometimes life is complicated. Just when you think you everything organized it happens. Got up early and put my son on the bus, folded the laundry, made dentist appointments, had the septic tank pumped (ugh), returned numerous other phone calls, went to the studio to finish a sample for a painting job, and left just in time to get worm medicine for all of the animals (its spring) before a tutoring job. I was proud of myself. Had my lessons ready and my student was working hard when halfway through the lesson, the phone rings. My teen was broken down on the side of the road. Oh well. So much for work. The school resource officer came out and tried to help us get it started but it was hopeless. She stayed with her flashing lights on the sheriffs car while the school traffic went past so that everyone would slow down and pass safely. My poor teen was so embarrassed. All of her friends wanted to know what she had done wrong. While we waited for the tow-truck she spent her time explaining in text messages that she didn’t wreck or get pulled over. It was pretty funny in the end, although my tutoring schedule is out of whack and this is one of those weeks when I haven’t a moment to spare.

On the upside, when I stopped at the feed store to get worm medicine, they had seeds and soil out. So this weekend we’ll start cabbages and plant our sugar snap peas. Sugar snap peas are one our favorite spring treats. They’ll be ready to eat at the same time as the asparagus. I can hardly wait! Asparagus is just like sweet corn in that when you pick it just before you eat the sugar content is very high. When and if you ever get to eat asparagus freshly picked you will never want it from the store again. We roast ours with olive oil and salt and pepper in a hot oven or on the grill, sautéed in butter with lemon juice or in an omelet. While the children are so greedy for the first stalks in the spring that they will eat it raw, they are sick and tired of it by the end of the season. Fortunately such a long time passes between seasons that fresh asparagus is always joyfully welcomed. Now I’m hungry and I think we still have weeks to go before we get anything but wintered over red beets and yellow beets from the garden.

A winter egg. Thank you Henny Penny.

At least the chickens have started laying eggs again, omelets for dinner?

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My First Day

A view of the painting studio in the winter.

Adams County is a rich and beautiful area in the appalachian foothill region of Ohio. I live on a 15 acre farm with my children in the middle of a mostly amish community. The old fashioned sensibilities of my neighbors are charming. When I go to the IGA, a bag boy pushes my cart to my car and loads my groceries in the trunk. And the Ladies Aid at church makes blankets for new babies and sends cards to shut-ins. I loved living in NYC, it was wonderful, exciting and fast, but there is great value in living in a place where everyone knows your name and a real sense of community exists. And I was able to construct my studio my front yard. Of course you can’t get any real great crispy chewy french bread here, but people wave to one another when they pass in car or walking on the road, which might be worth more in the long run. Besides I learned to make my own french bread, wonderful chewy crispy baguettes. We also make our own jam and cheese. We grow apples, peaches, raspberries, sour cherries, elderberries, and red currants for jam. Some of the 4H kids have dairy goats and are willing to share the milk. Freshly made cheese is a wonderful experience.

Be forewarned that my life tends to revolve around food. In a conversation about anything, food will rear its tasty head. My friends make fun of me for this but it is not my fault. It is a family trait. My brothers and my mother, aunts and uncles, great aunts and cousins all suffer from the same affliction. We are all also great cooks. So if I wander off course please forgive me because almost any topic will make me think of food.

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