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.