Saturday, December 23, 2006


It's been so long I can't even fathom where to start. First it was the nagging never ending cold which would go away and then come back after a weekend art show. Then it seemed like it was art show after show. Then it seemed like I was not having any time to rest during the day because I'm the "teach" and if I don't homeschool Xan, who will. Then I got the flu just as we were preparing to leave for 2 back to back shows and be gone for two weeks which changed the schedule to Michael and Xan leaving for one show without me and then they had to drive home to pick me up for the other. Then it was our best and busiest show of the year in Chicago with me just getting over the flu. Then we arrive back home to have Artie arrive home (Yippee!!!) and now Michael, Xan, and I all have the flu. And, of course, this all has to happen during our busiest time of the year.
And how is everyone else? My dear cyber-space companions. I haven't even read anyone's blog in ages. I feel like I dropped down a well or something. I am wondering how Mons flummen's surgery went. I have been holding her very dear to my heart this week. I want to know all about Jane's births she's attending...I do so miss her quick wit. I wonder if Annalise finally got her house and what terrific places her family has been to and what books on tape they listened to on the way.
Happy Holiday's everyone. I don't think we are expecting a white christmas it is presently raining this day before the day before christmas. This is the day after the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice (we missed the solstice celebration/ritual at the UU church last night becuase we are sick). It is also the day after Chanukkah. In my house we celebrate them all. Mostly, the 2 latter.
I wish for peace to enter all your lives. For your days to be as enjoyable and soft as a purring cat. I wish that humans will wake up and do everything that they can to help save our mother earth (watched an Inconvenient Truth this week). I hope that love abounds in your lives.
Hopefully I'm back from my trip down the well.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Hey, I'm still sick. Still have this crummy cold. I am very tired of green snot. Yep, I'm infected. The best remedy I have found this time around has been raw garlic. Am I the only person on the planet who has a hard time eating raw garlic? It burns. How come Michael has a geographic tongue (meaning his tongue has more surface area than most other tongues and it is very weird) and raw garlic doesn't burn his tongue.
Every day for the past week I have been dutifully getting out the spelt bread, slathering it with butter (we get an Amish butter roll that is to die for) and then I squeeze a clove of garlic on it and eat it. Tears roll down my face. I like the taste of it but it burns my mouth and it burns on the way down. Oh poor me...I'm still sick and we are going into our crazy, busy time of year.
This week I had to drive Michael to a show in Hartford, CT because he was too sick (we kiss, what can I say?) to set up on his own. It is only a 2 1/2 hour drive so Xan and I took him down and then came back home because Xan is in a chorus and they had a concert on Friday night. Michael is sharing a hotel room with a friend and today we drive back to the show to break down our booth. Ya gotta do what you gotta do, right?
Before Xan and I leave for CT I am going to take all of our food off of our shelves and rearrange everything. Doesn't that sound fun? It's all part of the rubic cube lifestyle that I have at the moment. Since I packed up most of our kitchen stuff and now we are staying I need to make do with what we have blah, blah, blah.... I am also trying to rearrange furniture and such to make room for the arrival of Michael's inherited things (Yes, it's all still a bloody mess!). That mean's that I am going to rearrange the food on the shelves so that when inherited furniture arrives we can take some of the cabinets out to make room. I have this gut feeling that we are going to be notified like 1 day in advance that it's time to pick up the stuff. That's how it happened in September. The pick-up never happened because my sister-in-law was demanding that her brother's sign blank receipts for the stuff that she said was their portion of the equal distribution of the personal property. Of course they didn't sign was blank...they did not know what they were getting. The rest of that tale is more bullshit. I am refraining from telling all because we are still in the middle of it. One day when this is all over I'll put it all down for all to read.
So I am off to the kitchen for some rearranging fun. Yesterday I made 3 batches of strawberry jam with the strawberries that I had frozen in the freezing. I bought 5 organic, freshly slaughtered chickens (I helped slaughter last year and couldn't this year because of my crummy cold. It's a very ancestral experience and I'm sorry that I couldn't participate this year) from my farmer friends and I needed to rearrange my freezer to make them fit. Thus I had to make jam.
Is there end in sight? Is Victoria going to spend all winter rearranging her apartment? Will she still be sick next week? Stay tuned, same blog, same weary woman writing it. Until next time....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I have been taking a weaving class. Not only do I love to weave but it's the only time that I get to go do something that is just for me. I pay $6 an hour for the opportunity to leave my family behind and emerse myself in something that I like to do. I find it funny (I mean funny as in strange) that I get to pay someone for my opportunity to leave my family behind. Sound familiar women? A couple of years ago I was thinking about taking the class and one of my daughters thought that it was so cool and they wanted to do it to. Instead of saying "no, this is my time" I just never did anything about it. Now I'm over that and I've been taking classes since the spring.
This is a scarf that I made for my friend Eloise.

She graduated from acupuncture school this past spring. I chose to use fibers that came from non-animals (cotton and rayon) and I chose to use specific colors for their healing properties.

Green for balance (and it's the color of american money), purple for serenity, and white for connecting to one's higher self.
Eloise is an amazing woman that I know and love. I am so pleased that she is out there "filling her cup" and doing her thing to make the planet a better place.
For Eloise, with love.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Wow. I'm back. My pinky finger is feeling much better. It's still not a pretty sight but it's not hurting like it did. As for my cold...I've got that Lauren Bacall husky, sexy voice thing going on and I need to take a nap every afternoon. We were in New Hamshire this weekend (another blog entry) and we went to the state liquor store and bought a bottle of Jim Bean so that we can have hot toddies at night. If nothing else I get loopy enough to get a decent night's sleep.
This is going to be a brief blog because I need to get dinner going and I have my weaving class this evening.
I want to share some Halloween pictures with you all.....
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. We set up our 10x10 Easy Up tent out in front of the house and give out hot mulled cider to the grown ups and non edible treats to the kids. This year we had tombstone stickers, halloween tattoos, bloody hands and feet (these were sticky and gushy), and trick candy (they looked like taffy but when you unwrapped them there was a plastic bug inside). We order all our non edible goodies from the Oriental Trading Company. It's the most amazing outlet of cheap crap that I have ever come across. It's amazing the shit you can buy in gross. This is a picture of our set up this year...

This is a better picture of Michael's pumpkin. Pretty cool, huh?

This is Xan and her friend Gretchen. Gretchen is the little old lady who bakes and Xan is her plate of chocolate chip cookies. What a crack up they were....

Lastly, this is a dish that Xan made for us. She makes dinner one night a week and the week before Halloween she made spaghetti with eyeballs.....

This is my brief post about Halloween. I hope that everyone else had as much fun as we did.
There is so much more to catch you all up on....a scarf I made for a friend, my mother's quilted clothing fashion show, and so much more.....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Can you kinda sorta see my finger? The nail on my pinky? I got it slammed in the car door on Sunday morning. And to top it all off I have a crummy head cold.
So many wonderful things to type and my pinky is pretty sore. Hard to type.
Will return, ouch, in a few days, ouch.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Yesterday's moving of all of our stuff went really well. We were aided by Xan's friend, Gretchen, and that made all the difference. Gretchen is strong and she kept Xan cheerful. So, everything is moved. My living room still looks like "early college" because of all the stuff I brought inside that I have to sort. But, we are all happy campers.
Last night we went to a Halloween/Sowhein party at our friends' Bairbre and Hanks house.
This is Bairbre's website. We got to know each other when we played sisters in "Dancing At Lughnasa". A great play and way fun being her sister!
Here are our hosts:
They are up at the bonfire.
And here are some more pictures of other party goers:
This is Andrew. I just loved his costume. He also made ice lanterns that he put candles in and had outside. I wish I had thought to take a picture of them. This is how I think you make the ice lanterns. You fill a balloon with water and put it into the freezer. The ice is going to form from the outside in and in a day or two (I think that he said two days for his) you are going to empty out the water inside the frozen ball. Make a hole in the top and empty out the inside water. Put it back into the freezer and take it out when you want to use it. Put a candle inside and you are ready to party! I gave Andrew this blog address so, if I'm wrong...leave a comment and correct me.

This is our neighbor Kara. She's a riot.

And her daughter, Elisabeth. She had a stuffed cat pinned her butt and was walking around asking everyone if they had seen her cat. What a hoot.

This is "Wonder Bread Girl" and her sidekick "Mushroom Sister". The older used to be in a dance class with Artie and I've forgotten her name. If Artie wants to leave a comment and remind me that would be nice..hint...hint. "wonder Bread Girl" brought back fond memories of going on field trips to the Wonder Bread factory as a kid. I remember coming home with a loaf of Wonder Bread and thinking that I was just the bee's knees.

And lastly, Michael and I went as delegates to Star Fleet (now is that one word or two?). I walked around and in very slow speed with a made up accent saying, while pointint to my Star Fleet emblem, "SSStaaarrr FFFFlllleeeeeet". Then I would nod and put out my hand to shake. Michael was saying, "Don't blame us, we're not from here." I love this picture because Michael looks like a pre-occupied kid.

We just love Halloween and the party going was a great reward for all of our laborious endeavors.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


We have created a bunch of work for ourselves here at Terra Cottage.
The first, and most pressing, and time consuming is the moving of our posessions from one place in the house to another. Ahhh, the constant shifting of our shit (I truly mean our most prized and cherished household items that are packed in boxes ready to be lovingly moved out to Lopez).
That's right folks. I was very busy this summer packing up all our stuff. Leaving only what we couldn't live without using unpacked for the the last minute packing that I was going to be doing in July, no wait August, Ok September, What? October. Now, as you all know, we have decided that we are going to stay the winter and hopefully, HOPEFULLY move in March, maybe April. Victoria will be a raving lunatic if it's May.
As a result, our school bus (Big Red) is stuffed with boxes, my livingroom's got the decor of "early college", and we are in the process of doing the rubic cube manuevers of the poor and infamous. This week we took the kitchen table that Michael made to fit our kitchen here and replaced it with a table that my Mom gave us this summer. Now the replacement table is a bit wider than the old one but we needed to get it out of the living room where is was leaning up against all the boxes. I am going to have to take a picture of my her (I really think it's a she) and show you all. It's a table that my mom was using in her studio and I think that it came from my maternal grandmother. She (my table) is probably from the late 1800's and has the most beautiful legs and feet that you ever saw. Kitchen Table (that's her name for now) was fun to set up. Setting up a piece of family history and her being so gorgeous was a treat.
TODAY we are heading out into the garage. UCK.... the garage. The back room of the garage is full of junk. It's one of the places where we just dumped the stuff that we don't know what do with. I think that I've got clothes hanging out there from the conception of our owning this house. It must be cleaned out so that we can get our box decor out of the living room, out of Artie's part of the girl's room, and out of Big Red (we must sell BR for a larger school bus...and that's another blog, trust me). All because we decided that we are staying the winter and Victoria is going to pop a gasket if we don't make our living quarters livable. That's makes today "garage day". We've put off "garage day" for a while. Of course, who wants to deal with a bunch of stuff that you haven't missed in years. And it requires LABOR. And it requires that we do it TOGETHER because I'll be damned if I'm going out there all by myself. Oh no...this misery definetely needs company.
It is time to go outside and move the car.
I am going to end this missive with promises to post pictures of Kitchen Table ( were such an inspiration with Ethan Allen).
Think of me fondly for I am going to battle....

Monday, October 16, 2006


A conversation with Xan while we are in our booth...

Xan: Mom I'm hungry.
Me: There are chicken salad sandwiches in the cooler.
Xan: I don't want that.
Me: Ok, there are also apples, have one of those for now.
Xan: I am going to eat the apple and I am not going to have the sandwich.
Me: Yeah you are. You can't just eat the apple for lunch.
Xan: Why not?
Me: Because even though the apple is great food it is natural sugars and the sandwich has protein. You need the protein. You must eat the sandwich.
Xan: Mah-om you know that I hate tuna and chicken salads. If I eat that sandwich I will barf.
Me: This does not have to be your favorite sandwich. You need to eat the sandwich.
Xan: Than I am going to barf on your head.
Me: Then you will probably get no treats today...probably.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Have to get ready for a show and procrastinating.....

1. FIRST NAME? Victoria

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? The queen. Mom is an anglophile.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Monday morning when I turned the phone back on (I never turn the phone off) and there was a message from Artie needing to have a "mommy talk" because she missed me. Learned my lesson....I am NEVER shutting off the phone again.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I live with an artist who has really cool handwriting. Mine is boring and nondescript.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Umm? Honey roasted turkey, I think.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Oh jeez, I certainly hope so. I like to think that I've grown into being a desirable friend.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Only here, baby.



10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Oatmeal with maple syrup and soymilk. Does that count as cereal?


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Emotional rock....physical? my last blog entry.


14. SHOE SIZE? 8 to 9

15. RED OR PINK? ICK! Neither really. But, I must admit that I just bought the most cool pair of leather high top sneakers that have stitching on them like they are cowboy boots. It's more of a "left to center" pink so they are acceptable to me.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My pointy nose or the stress hump that I am developing at the base of my neck right up above my shoulder blades or the fact that I am a very self conscious or that I hold things inside and don't fully express myself. "These are a few of my least favorite things..oom pa pa...omm pa pa"

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandfather, Dado (long o). He had the gift of truly paying attention to someone. I have only met one other person in my life who can do that. Dado was a treasure.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Don't get it....going on....

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm in my pj's. They are peachy colored with violet and blue flowers on them printed on waffle cotton. I love pajamas!

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A chocolate covered oreo. Michael and Xan went to a gallery opening of Michael's work in Northampton, MA on Friday while stayed and worked in our booth at a local show. They went to two different chocolate stores and brought home truffles to try and some other goofy chocolate covered things. I was pleasantly surprised by the oreo. I'm not a big oreo fan. The dark chocolate covered ginger was my favorite.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The hum of the computor, the occasional car driving by, my keyboarding, and I'm sniffling (think a cold is coming on).

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I want to be a beeswax crayon made by this woman I use to know on Lopez. She made the most amazing colors from these powders that she had. She made them for her children. Can you believe that? I want to be irredescent (sp?).

23. FAVORITE SMELL? Low tide.




27. FAVORITE DRINK? I have a few. Apple Cider mixed with Goya ginger beer, Moose Drool (Micro-brewery beer from Missoula, MT), water...always water.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? I like to watch figure skating.

29. EYE COLOR? Brown.

30. HAT SIZE? No clue. But, I do have a small head. Round hips, small head...go figure.


32. FAVORITE FOOD? Too many to list.




37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Creamy chocolate things.

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Jane and Annalise.

39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everybody else.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel & Abarat by Clive Barker.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Don't have a mouse pad.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? The last 4 episodes of "Surface" on DVD.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The ocean, rain on window panes, wind in the trees, laughter.


45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Saudi the time it was home.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Loving it all.


48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I copied it from Jane.

And this is how I have productively spent my time getting ready......

Thursday, October 12, 2006


On Sunday Xan and I went on a hike with our friends Terry and Mark. Terry and Mark are our best friends here in Saratoga and they get out into nature whenever they can. Terry and Mark are going to come out and live in our house on Lopez Island when we take off for our year abroad. The point here is that I love them and trust them.
On Friday night at dinner together they invited Xan and I to go on a hike with them up north in the Adirondacks. Michael was in Baltimore doing a show and Xan & I stayed home to go to a wedding. So, yeah, why not? A hike sounds nice. Xan and I would love to join them for a nice day outside.
We got picked up at 7am (after a late night because of the wedding) and drove 1 1/2 hours north to some trailhead somewhere admist mountain peaks. Mark had brought a hat for Xan (haven't unpacked winter stuff yet that is in a box in the bus with all the other things that I have packed to go home and now we're not until the Spring) and 3 water bottles for us. I only took two, they were big we didn't need three (and water is heavy, you know). I had a backpack with sandwiches, extra socks, chocolate covered ginger, apples, and almonds. What more does one need? Again, in life, I am humbled.
I didn't ask where we were going? I knew that is was an all day affair and that Terry had a potroast in the crockpot for us waiting at home. I was thinking about a nice hike/walk in the woods.
We hiked up Cascade Mountain. 2 1/2 miles up. Did you see that "UP"? I am not a totally unfit, out of shape, 44 yr. old. Or so I thougth. I have been humbled into the realization that I am a really totally unfit, out of shape, 44 yr. old. About 3/4 of the way up I could of layed down and wept. But of course I am with 3 other people and I can't stop.
Mark has a GPS unit and every once and while he would take it out and tell us how far we've gone. "Well thank-you, Mark!" because it was never far enough. We were never at least 1/2 way there to the elusive summit.
Lots of people passed us. I told my companions that if the couple from Quebec with the small toddler passes us than we know we are really slow. They passed us. We got to chat with the people hiking down that had passed us on the way up. I learned that I can still be charming and engaging even when I think my heart is going to pound out my ears and I my thighs are going to quiver off my body.
At one point, when we truly were half up the mountain, there was a group of kids coming up fast behind us. Our party stopped and moved off to the side to let them pass. I shook every kids' hand and welcomed them to the half-way point and told them what a great job they were doing. "Yeah, yeah, right, wacko lady"
Terry and Mark had planned that we would get to the peak and then hike another 1 1/2 miles RT to another peak. Had to let them down on that one. I'm a one peak kinda gal. Xan too. We were whipped but we made it to the top. And yes, it was truly an astounding view. Worth the struggle up. Worth the bad thoughts I was having about healthy, vibrant people.
At the peak, there is a cairn. A beautiful, beautiful cairn:

I took a picture of Xan:

Xan got a picture of me:

Believe it or not...the descent was a breeze. OK until the last 1/2 mile and my legs were feeling like some sort of squiggly desert. The peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches were devine. We dranked all of our water. After Xan and I powered through the first bottle on the way up we figured we better conserve it. We did and it all worked out.
All in all it was a fabulous day!!! I mean it, really. All complaining and funny storytelling aside. What a view! Terry and Mark have the pictures of us at the top. "Wild Ravens" friends (this is their celtic art biz, the link is in my index) were blessed with 7 ravens at the peak. Watching Mark run with his camera and dive and stand way to close to the edge of the rocks photographing the birds was a wonderous and terrifying sight.
Monday morning I could barely move. Sunday night I woke up and took 4 tylenol and finished reading my book. Now it is Friday morning and I'm feeling much like my ol' self again.
Spectacular view.
Invigorating hike.
Wonderous nature.
Me?..out of shape and humbled again.
I must do this again.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Funny story...Michael is working on these "cuppa joes" for someone and he mailed them these pictures. Now the person who ordered these cuppas can't open them in their email and Michael is away in Baltimore at a show so I came up with this idea posting them on my blog because I have no idea how you send pictures in an email. So, here are the pictures of the "cuppa joes" to view. In all their glory for the whole world to view.....

What can I say? He likes puns.

Monday, October 02, 2006


On Sunday we spent the afternoon at the Empty Bowls Project in Albany. What a great way to raise money for hunger and what a great way to have fun. There were over 1,400 bowls donated by local potters

(Michael being one of them) and 6 or so restaraunts that donated soup. For those of you that don't know what an Empty Bowls event is here goes:
It's a way to raise money for any organization that helps with hunger issues. Potters donate bowls and restaraunts or organizations donate soup. An individual pays $10 and gets to pick out a bowl and then goes and gets soup and bread.The individual gets to keep their bowl as a reminder that no being on earth should ever go hungry. How cool huh? I had a blast!! My afternoon couldn't have been any more fulfilling. The event was so much bigger than I had imagined it in my head. I was thinking of a couple hundred people in a room eating soup and communing. There must have been hundreds of people packed like sardines in this building all have a great time. It was really crowded and hot.
Here are some pictures that I took of friends and people I don't know. I got turned on by seeing what people picked as their bowls and I walked around and took a bunch of photos. I really couldn't help myself. Here are a few:
This one is of some ladies that I saw in line picking out bowls while I was picking out my bowl.

This is my friend Rebekah and her daugher Margaurite.

This a delightful little girl and her stunning bowl.

This is our friends Lily & Don.

This is my best friend in the world, Andy, he was visiting with us this weekend.

I end my photo parade with Miss Xan eating soup.

An inspiring event for such a worthy cause.
May our bowls never be empty.....

Sunday, October 01, 2006


On Saturday we went to Storm King Sculpture Park. Here are few pictures of our trip:

Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006


We have decided that we are staying here in Saratoga Springs for the winter. Not a choice that we particularly like but one that we are comfortable with. Things are not going to well with my mother-in-law's estate and we need to stay to be on top of the situation. For a few weeks I have been chirping into Michael's ear that even if things got worked out by November that would mean that we are driving through two major mountain ranges in December with a bus and a van with cargo trailer attached. I was having concerns! So we decided on the eve of Rosh Hashanah that we take this choice into our own hands. We took my sister-in-law out of the equation (we don't want to be making choices based on feeling backed into a corner) and we choose to stay and see this estate stuff through. We plan on leaving in March or April when it will be safer to travel.
Next comes the part where we tell the girls...
Xan is fine, she's got good friends here and is rooted. Artie, who promised me that she would get on a plane willingly the next time I told her to, is not fine. She doesn't want to come back to NY. She's got very good and compelling reasons not to come back here. She has a job working in a day care center (her very first serious job), she has friends, a good home with our friends, she's teaching herself her homeschool stuff, the adults on Lopez take her seriously and don't treat her like just another teenager (like here in Saratoga).
Damn, sometimes I just don't want to be the Mommy. I want to be VICTORIA THE DICTATOR and just tell everyone exactly what they are supposed to do and they do it. It's a nice fantasy. I comfortable wishing for this. OK, I'm not.
So, Michael and I have many heart to heart and private conversations about our oldest and what is the situation that we can figure out that is going to serve everyone.
Artie is getting on a plane sometime in December and we promise to have her back on Lopez sometime on or before
April 1st. That way she gets to keep her job at the day care center. We could just say, :"Ha, Ha, April Fools" when the time comes. Fuck....we're just not like that.
This means that she is only here for 3 months. I was hoping to have her all spring and sign her up for some groovy classes at the local colleges. She is interested in metalsmithing, and glass work, and wants to learn stage make-up. I wanted to offer these things to her in WA this past summer but we all know that didn't work out. We had found a great stage make-up course in Seattle. What now? What now....all I got was a pissy compromise that serves her better than it serves me....
I'm not done hands on parenting. This was not how I saw my #1 chick leaving the nest. I don't want to be selfless and put her needs first. I want to stomp and cry and have me a major hissy fit. I want the time back that I've lost. We had no clue that we were not going to get home this summer.
Trying to get pregnant is fun, being pregnant is ethereal, giving birth is a state of grace, babies are warm and fuzzy, toddlers are a crack up, little kids are fun to banter with, kids are humorous, puberty is to be taken in stride, teenagers are great to hang with....
and entering womanhood is like trying to push an elephant through a keyhole.
I feel like I'm on the merry-go-round of life and trying desperately to kiss her on the forehead everytime I pass by.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


This weekend we were at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival. One of my favorite shows of the year! Because of the delays with my mother-in-law's estate and never imagining that we would still be here on the East Coast we do not have a Fall show schedule. We were on the waiting list for the Garlic Festival and we got the call on Thursday night that someone had dropped out and there was a spot open for us. Whew!
It was a blast of a weekend. We normally do art shows not street fairs/festival type events. We do two festivals in our year. One is the Garlic Festival and the other is the Fremont Fair (in Seattle). They are both just "to die for" fun.
At the Garlic Festival there are craft vendors, food vendors, garlic farmers, lectures, cooking demos, people wearing garlic and people dressed up like garlic. Everyone is in a good mood. Lots of laughing, smiling faces. I saw garlic ice cream go by a few times but never got motivated enough to go and buy some.
We rocked. We were so busy that I only had enough time to go to one lecture or demo. I chose to go to one about growing garlic. It was way interesting. Do you know that garlic needs alot of sulphur in the soil to do really well? Or that garlic, like the banana, has lost it's fertility over time? Garlic's roots grow to about 4 feet in length. It's one of our most ancient plants and there are only 10 varieties in the world. There are many variations of the 10 original but only 10 original. I can't wait to get back to Lopez and get into the garden and plant me some garlic.
Michael and I walked around on Sunday morning before the show opened and bought garlic. We just had to go back to a few growers that we bought from last year and just loved their garlic. We bought Elmer's topset (I bought this last year because it had a funny name. The farmer doesn't know exactly what variety it is and his neighbor, Elmer, got the seed from his grandfather). We bought Korean Red (very spunky) and music (my all time favorite, it is mildish and has uniform large cloves). We bartered for jazz (a variation of music), reisig, and italian red. We also bartered for some fantastic locally made garlic-ginger chutney and some lemon-fig chutney. They are by a woman out of Cooperstown (I think that it's good for the homeplace of the Baseball Hall Of Fame to have good chutney joo-joo).
Since we were so busy, I didn't get to walk around and take pictures of my favorite artists there. So, I came up with the idea of trying to capture reactions to Michael's work on film.
I was sitting outside our booth with a table full of garlic roasters:

Here are few pictures of people's reactions to the garlic roasters:

It was a much harder task than I expected. I learned that there is a big difference between looking and reacting. Capturing someone reacting was really hard. I think that I want to play around some more with this idea.....
We got to stay in Woodstock with our friends Bernard and Judy. We had two fabulous dinners at some amazing restaraunts. One of them, New World Home Cooking is a place that I wanted to eat at last year but we never got to. I have heard the owner/chef on NPR often and like his philosophy on food. The meal we had there was great! On Friday night after we set up we were driving to meet Bernard and Judy for a celebratory Rosh Hashanah dinner and we passed this place called Lucky Chocolates. It was closed, lit up like a christmas tree, and there was someone running around inside with pink hair. Of course, we had to stop and look in the windows. Rae, the pink haired owner, let us in and we bought lots of delicious chocolates!!! Rae is a talented chocolatuere. If you are ever in Woodstock you should check her out.
So that was our weekend. With all the angst that we've been going through this summer we needed some garlic infused fun.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Last Sunday Xan and I went to our friend Elizabeth's wedding shower. Our wonderful, totally spiritual, and body beautiful Elizabeth has found her soulmate and is getting married.
It was a potluck. We arrived and milled. I met Elizabeth's fiancé, Andrew, and then he had to leave. I got to meet Andrew's sister and Eliz's Aunt. We munched on a bunch of yummy food and then the fun got started.
We sat around and made some prayer bundles for Eliz. We had lots of groovy herbs and spices to choose from. All of them with properties that reflect all the wonderful foundations of a meaningful relationship. After we were done with the prayer bundles we had Eliz take center stage and we wrapped ribbons with our good wishes for her around a branch wreath that we put around her waist. In the middle of our ritual together I realized that it was the first time that I was enjoying circling with Xan, just the two of us. I had to lean over and tell her.

Eliz is such an elegant spirit. She was in her element.

She danced in our circle of love.

She moved like a woman who knows her greatness.

We were graced, in our ritual circle, to be able to drape our Eliz in womanly prayer.

It was a great evening. Eliz played the piano and we took turns reading poetry. We feasted on good wine and food. Eliz and Andrew got foot massages. We saw Eliz open up her gifts. Everyone drew all over her body.
Xan captured this moment of love in motion.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I went to the dentist on Thursday. Now don't feel sorry for me. Not just yet anyway.
My dentist, Dr. David Presser who has an office in Clifton Park, NY is a wonderfully funny individual. I'd love to link you to him but alas, he has no website. So, if you live in the Capitol Region in upstate NY then you should definitely look him up.
I have been having some old craggy fillings replaced and that has meant many visits with Dr. David.
This is a picture of Dr. David: The first time I saw this on him I thought that I was going to pee in my pants. Maybe out of fright but mostly I was thinking of stories that Michael tells me of learning about how to survive a nuclear bomb attack at school (think the 50's and early 60's). How the teacher would show all the kids in the class how they have to hide under their desks. Like that was going to save anybody! So, here is Dr. David in his gas mask attire and I'm trying not to crack up. I guess he wears it because of the mercury in my fillings.
Dr. David also sings to me, "Vic...tooorrrr...Ey......Ah" and he talks to me asking me all sorts of questions and then says, "Oh yeah, you can't answer me." I love a good sense of humor and he makes my visits very enjoyable. Go figure, eh?
I am not a dentist enthusiast mind you. I had a very bad "rubber dam" experience a few years ago back in Seattle. I went to the dentist just as we were getting ready to drive across the country. Long story short, the dentist screwed up and I spent from WA to AZ in exquisite pain. I loathe those rubber dams. Here's the TMI part: I am in incest survivor and had kept my incest secret for far too many years. I am a jaw clencher and anything that forcibly makes my mouth stay open is a bad thing!! I hate those rubber dams. I think that the devil invented them and gave them to the dental profession to use on goodly innocent people (like me).
Now Dr. David has restored my faith in dentistry. He keeps my spirits up during a procedure and when he is done he does some cranial sacral work. I was impressed.
Now, I saw Dr. David at a party before I had my last appointment and I asked him if I could take a picture of him of him in his gas mask. I thought that it would be a fun picture taken by me in the chair holding up the camera. He said that it sounded fine to him. So, when he gets his gas mask on he lets me take the picture. The one above is the second because the first one is the one I got of his stomach. Hey, it's hard to aim when you are stuffed with novocaine. After he was done with the procedure and before the dreaded rubber dam was removed Dr. David said that if I got a picture of him then it was only fair if I took a picture of me. What?! He did make sense though...again I was under the influence of novocaine. This is me with my rubber dam in Dr. David's office: Now you can feel sorry for me. I got suckered into taking a ridiculous picture of myself and I must still be under the influence of dentist mania something because I am posting it here. Don't I look good in my teal colored rubber dam? I think that color suits me well. I'm going to tell Dr. David that teal is only color that I will have in my rubber dam.
In all seriousness, I love Dr. David. I love him for being great at his profession, his compassion and sense of humor. Now mind you, my jaw still hurts. It takes me about a week to recover from that damn rubber dam but I go to the dentist without reservation these days. Dr. David is my dentist gem.

Friday, September 15, 2006


This past weekend we did an art show in Manassas, VA. Whoever heard of Manassas? I hadn't. It was an OK show for us. Not much of a big turnout but we had some repeat customers who made our day. We work with a promoter, Sugarloaf, and this was one of their shows. A big benny is that we got to stay with our close friends Suzi and Barry at Camp Wapakoneta.
Michael and I both have, and had, colds and it was very hot there in Manassas. We did have a very fun meal at a Salvadorian restaurant. We were bummed that they had run out of yucca fries. We love yucca fries! We had a tasty Indian meal with our friends Lauren and Patricia. They just moved out of DC and into Falls Church (another obscure town). They were telling us about their new inversion machine that they just got. It's one of those gidgies that you hang upside down in. It releases the pressure off of your spine. They just got this thing and to start off they hang for less than ten minutes at a time. Can you imagine? And this machine takes up space. Our friends have just moved into a small basement apartment so that they can sell their condo in the city. And here is this huge machine taking up space in the living room. But worth it!! Patricia has back problems and already she feels better. I'm afraid that I'd get into one of those things, get stuck upside down, and laugh to death. L and P and are as wonderful as ever and it was great to see them.
On Saturday night we ate in at Camp Wapakoneta. Suzi invited Chris and DA over. They live behind Suzi and Barry. I was not feeling so great so soon after dinner I went to bed. DA phoned a little while later to say that there was a flower blooming in his garden that only blooms once a year. Michael got Xan out of bed and they went over to see it. He let me sleep because I had that cold. Chris took a picture for me. It's a beautiful white lily. I think that was pretty cool for them to see.
Miss Xan worked her tushie off this weekend. She booth sits for people, gets them drinks, walks their dogs, and brings them lunch. She knows how to process credit cards and take money. She works for about 10 or so people a weekend. We call her the "Sugarloaf Mayor" because just about everyone knows her and it's funny when they make the connection that we are her parents. She knows way more people at shows than we do. This weekend was very profitable for her.
I took this picture for Artie.....She really is a handy gal and we were so pleased to see that she, too, discovered the "whoever heard of Manassas" Manassas. We like to take pictures of places that have people's names on them. A quirky Terra thing.
On Monday we stayed over in Bethesda at Camp Wapakoneta to have our car looked at. We like a mechanic there. So, Michael, Xan, and I went into DC to have some Smithsonsian fun. We saw "Aliens of the Deep 3D" at the IMAX (loved it even though I'm not a big fan of wearing 3D glasses)and dinosaurs (Xan's choice and always a good place to hang out) and a small exhibit of a couple who trekked through China and Tibet in 1923 (very interesting to us because we have been watching Michael Palin's adventures in the Himalayas and it is fun to compare the two). Stayed the whole day in the Natural History Museum then took the subway home.
Listened to "Merlin, the lost years" on the way back to NY. It was a groaner and the three of us kept wondering if this was the last tape. Just like a bad "B" rated movie...we hung on hoping that it would get better. It didn't. Xan and I worked on a Su Do Ku puzzle. We got turned on to one at Camp Wapakoneta. It was a good thing that it was in the Monday Post because that's the easiest one.
Arrived home on Tuesday evening to have 3 people say that they were worried about us because we always come back on a Monday. I guess people notice.
All in all another fun weekend.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


You can't tell by the picture but Michael has incredible hair. It is thick, has texure, is wavy, and very long. I see it down all the time (like, duh, eh?). I looked and looked through all our pictures on the computer and couldn't find one with his hair down. You can probably tell by the picture that my hair is not like his.
On Lopez we live on the road that goes to the ferry. Most people who come and go on the island drive past our house. When we first moved there and we were first building we were the topic of much island discussion. People told us how they liked the trees we put up. Gave us suggestions about exactly where we should put our foundation. We got postcards in the mail with people's input. Once a friend of ours was on the ferry. She was sitting behind a group of old ladies who came to the topic of the Terras. They were talking about all the work that we have done on our property. How they liked one thing but didn't like another. Then one old biddy turns to another and says, "And isn't it such a shame that his hair is so much better than hers?"
Now I ask you (this is real life here) who thinks of that shit?! So, I married a man with much better hair than my own. Ok, I don't like my hair either but I don't want anyone else to notice it's deficiencies. Did the old bat think that maybe I was thinking of Terra generations to come? That I was thinking of how beautiful the hair would be on our girls if they got the silkiness of my fine hair only thick like his? Artie's hair is fine like mine and wonderfully thick like his.
Michael can tie his hair in a knot. Alas, no one else in the family can do that. I can't even get barrettes to stay in, they slip right out. Michael can go for months on end without cutting his hair. I have to get my cut mine on a regular basis or it is frizzy and split end city on the ends. Michael can cut all his hair off and 6 months later it's down to his mid back again. I have to wait years to get my hair past my shoulders. His hair is only just starting to show the hints of grey hair age. I started going grey somewhere around 30. He can use cheap shampoo and never even notice. I have to be very careful about what kind of shampoo I use or else my hair is limp, limp, limp, and greasey.
So, where am I going with this. Nowhere really. But I ask you...where is the balance in all this. What do I have that is so great that isn't so great on him? When are the biddies on the ferry going to talk about how good my mmhhff is better than his?
When will I like my hair? When will I have the sexy hair?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


This is how I feel today. Like a squished fairy.

Monday, September 04, 2006


In Saratogs Springs there is a folk coffee house called Caffe Lena. It is the oldest continiously run folk house in the US. Anybody who's anybody in the Folk world has performed there. Xan has performed there 3 times.
Her music teacher Elizabeth, who is also a composer, is quite involved over at the caffe and gets Xan to go over for open mike and perform songs that Xan has written.
This is a picture of a time this summer when Jupiter Circle, Elizabeth's group, performed a song that Xan had written. Before they performed it they invited Xan up on stage to talk about her piece. The song was amazing!! As soon as they were done with her song, Xan made us leave because she was embarrased and didn't want to end up on stage again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Artie (girl #1 who will now be named) was dog tired at a show that we were doing in Minnesota last fall. A log of girl with red hair.
I miss her to bits. What I wouldn't do to see that lump of colored head.