Saturday, December 22

Bringing Henry Home

"You ARE taking me to that place where I can raid the fridge all day, right?"

Henry was waiting for us when we got to his school house this morning. He grabbed Paul and me each by a hand and headed out the door with us in tow, shoes forgotten. Now home, the air is already filled with the sounds of Barney, and he's polished off a nearly full box of Utz pretzel rods (spirited away while we were not looking.) Vacation time: 6 hours down, 330 to go! (I think I am a little pre-tired this time. :-)

Friday, December 21

Delivery Day!

I came home from yoga class to find this tower of packages waiting on my porch! Seems like UPS just saved up all the possible deliveries for one big offload. Reminded me of the Holiday Tower of Treats® from the Harry & David catalog! Except there are probably no pears. ;-)

Monday, November 26

Henry at a Party

Henry joins in...
So, Paul and I were invited to an artist friend's party in the city last weekend. My first thought was no, can't do that, Henry will be home. Second thought, might be nice to have a destination for our nightly drives with Henry. We don't have to STAY! Hen actually really enjoys walking around in cities looking at different things, smelling new smells etc. So, even if we lasted only two minutes in Patrick's apartment we could still go for a night walk in Queen Village. 

I checked in with my friend Pat, who confirmed no dogs would be present (Henry has a morbid and overwhelming fear of dogs, yes Jane, even your very sweet old Labrador who wouldn't hurt a fly) and that sure, Henry would be welcome. 

Well, after a certain amount of trepidation and waffling we decided to go for it. And Henry had a great time! So did Paul and I, more unusually.  Henry was pleasantly delighted with the snacks and the music. He'd sit on the various sofas in turn, grinning and stimming and rocking lightly in time to the music. Then he'd get up and amble about quietly looking at things, lights, even sometimes smiling gently into people's faces and standing near them, then ambling off again. He was in party mode! He did quietly polish off a medium sized bowl of potato chips (next time we'll bring a bag of chips with us!) but otherwise was well behaved. That meant Paul and I could relax (to a greater than usual extent) and enjoy ourselves too.

The really nice thing was how cool everyone was. I'd occasionally make a quick Henry explanation to someone I didn't know and people were nice but, blessedly, not overly interested! It was great to not have to trot out the whole Story of Henry six million times, just say a few words and hear in return "Oh yeah, he has autism? Okay, cool." and that was that. I was reminded of how truly accepting of differences many artists are. A relief. Nobody seemed phased or disconcerted in the least.

Anyway, I guess this seems like a long post about not very much, but it was a first, a leap, taking our 18 year old to a non-family unfamiliar-surroundings grown-up party with us.  Only after two hours had passed did we look at our watches and think about moving on, simply because we were tired from a long week on Henry duty. But now I'm thinking, maybe we can try this more. Have six foot five inch boy with autism home on holiday break, will party!  Some times, anyway. (Thanks again Patrick King!)

Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night the house smelled divine as Paul and I took turns at the oven, preparing special treats for today's holiday. I was struck by the glorious colors on the kitchen counter as I put together a butternut squash and apple casserole that is in great demand at family gatherings. I got the recipe years ago from one of my sister-in-laws, and I was preparing it to bring to my other sister-in-law's kitchen today. Thoughts of family, the heady fragrance of cinnamon, nutmeg and mace intermingling, and the bright colors of the ingredients sent me into a happy little cooking trance.

May everyone everywhere have a peaceful and happy day today, filled with blessings and gratitude. ☆¸.••*¨*•♫♪♡♥♡♪♫•*¨*•.¸☆

Monday, November 19

Son and Sunny

Henry and Sunny 11/19/12

Henry came home on Saturday for eight days of Thanksgiving vacation. I was a little nervous about how he would react to our new young cat, Sunny. But so far so good! There seems to be mutual acceptance. Sunny never leaps up on Henry the way he will with most everyone else, perhaps realizing this would not be a good idea. Henry seems to keeps an eye out for Sunny, and so far anyway has not inadvertently tromped on or sat down on Sunny's sleeping form.

This was the scene at breakfast. When I got closer I realized that the loud rumbling sound was Sunny purring away, perhaps tuning into the "happy eating" vibes that Henry was sending out. 

Sunday, November 11

Fetch Cat

Yep, that's what I am talking about!
I can't believe I have a cat who plays fetch. My two previous cats, dignified ladies, would never have dreamed of participating in such a dog-like activity! However, five-month-old orange tiger tomcat Sunny not only plays fetch with great gusto, he was the one who taught US to play! Because, duh, we had no idea that cats played fetch.

Here I come. Only throwing it into the next room was pretty lame.

It took us a while for us humans to cotton on. The cat would be bringing us little things and dropping them at our feet (okay, NEAR our feet. he is not actually a dog, after all!) Slowly, we grasped the rudiments of his master plan. You could just see him thinking "Sheesh, took long enough!" the first time I made the connection.

C'mom c'mon already yet! Game ON!
This can go on indefinitely. I have to say, it's the one cat playing game I actually like participating in for extended periods of time.  I'm still kind of amazed by how different Sunny is from our previous cats. It's sort of like having a catdog!

Friday, October 26

Friend Friday!

I managed to catch a bunch of friends' shows yesterday...they all come down after this coming weekend so hurry if you'd like to see them too!

Eileen Neff at Bridgette Mayer
Wow is all I can say! A great show! I love her imaginative and playful work.

Weird shot in the video room (I'm trying to be like Eileen I guess!)
I never saw so many red dots at once...go Eileen!
David Wilson's show at Rodger LaPelle Galleries.

That's Rodger gesturing. Talking with him is always a lot of fun! 

Friend Sarah Barr momentarily becomes part of "The Incident on Pine Street."

Lorraine Riesenbach and I in front of Diane Feissel's lovely work at Artists' House Gallery!

Susan O'Reilly had several strong pieces at AH as well.
I especially liked this one, entitled "When Turquoise Was New."

Thursday, October 18

Italian Penicillin!

I woke up dismally sick yesterday (just that bad cold that is making the rounds) and a very kind friend brought me some homemade Italian Wedding Soup and orange! Yummy Italian penicillin!  

The only thing wrong with this soup is that there isn't enough of it to last me several days, so I crawled out today and bought myself a few cans of the Progresso brand. Not as fantastic as homemade but not bad either! 

I looked at some recipes online for when I am feeling better and want to make some myself and this recipe looks good:

Anyone have a recipe for this soup that they love and want to share?

Monday, October 15

Friends, Family, Fun and Art Galore!

It was great to have a visit this past weekend from Amer Olson and his lovely family!  (photo credit: Jon Redmond )
It's been a busy month, so halfway through, I am going to somewhat randomly focus on some of the more obvious points, in no particular order, just to keep up!

Part of the the old art school gang: Jon Redmond, me and Amer Olson (photo credit: Paul Downs )

Son H running in a X-C race two weeks ago
Well done all!
A couple of weeks ago the Wilburn cousins came up from Maryland to see the William Trost Richards show at PAFA. Friend and artist Eliza Auth joined us for lunch and small masterpiece viewing. I highly recommend this show, A Mine of Beauty, it's simply amazing! And there are magnifying glasses!
My wonderful MIL Darian came to Philly from DC for a day to lend her expertise and support in a medical matter (but we had fun, too!)
Darian came to Philly by train: the view at 30th Sreet Station was fantastic!

The first PAFA Aumni Gathering took place earlier this month. This was something the Alumni Association Council has worked very hard to pull off, so we were all thrilled that it turned out to be such a great night (many thanks to all who helped make it so memorable, most especially Patty Castner!)

Liz Wilson and I joking around in the cast hall (Fred Danziger took this shot!)

Liz drove me home and we just by chance happened upon this visually stunning art happening, Open Air,  as we wended our way past the art museum later that night!

This past Saturday was yet another PAFA event, a panel for Family Weekend on "Life After Art School." I was the moderator and here I am with two of the panelists, old friend Clarity Haynes and Sterling Shaw. This was the first time I was a moderator, an unexpectedly interesting role! (photo credit: David Sigman)

Wednesday, October 3

Sixteen and Six Foot Three!

My baby turned sixteen today (and I don't mean the cat!) I can hardly believe it. Happy Birthday honey! xoxoxox....

Friday, September 21

Sunny Days...


the glow

biting the fox 


Owl play

at the vet's

home from the vet


Wednesday, September 12

Lotsa Art Openings!

Wow, there were a lot of art openings last weekend! This is typical for Philadelphia which has a tradition of "First Fridays", the first Friday of every month being when most galleries tend to open their exhibitions. It can be a lot of fun, and it's a handy way to take in a lot of openings in one evening, but First Friday is not really the best day for the serious viewing of art. There's an almost carnivale flavor to FF, crowds of good times or bust people swarming in and out of the galleries and up and down the's more  party than arty. Fortunately some galleries, including my own, have an additional reception on that first Sunday which is still festive but less frenetic. You can actually see the art instead of peering around clumps of determined celebrators, and talk with the artists instead of shouting banal congratulations to them over the roar of the crowd. Anyway...

Me in front of my four pieces in the Still Life Invitational at Artists' House Gallery

I ran into a whole bunch of other artists also showing

Yet more artist friends hanging out in the great art-filled atmosphere

Richard Rosenfeld stopped by, and he gave my work the thumbs up..woo hoo!

Actually at The Rosenfeld Gallery around the corner my friend Tremain Smith was showing her work

More friends in a gallery clinch

My young friend Hazel was inspired by all the art she was seeing

Ken Hamilton and Fred Danziger are showing together at Rodger LaPelle Galleries

I also went to a thought-provoking  multi-media exhibit called It's Your Funeral at Pterodactyl

     This is artist and co-curator Dr. K. Malcolm Richards introducing the work at the reception on Saturday. There's something for every taste in Philly, from the mundane to the macabre!

Saturday, September 8

First Race of the Season!

Belmont Plateau was looking its best!

That's my guy! (I'm holding his glasses.)

Coming up the hill...

Dramatic skies as they cross the ridge...

Spreading out

The Hay Bale at the finish...H's long legs made it no obstacle

A good start and a strong finish! Well done!

The entire team did well overall...a happy day!