Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To Galilee We Go



On Saturday, James and I lit out for an overnight away when the going was good. One kid off to camp, one kid home to guard the fort, and one kid on his way from camp courtesy of neighbors who were driving their son back themselves. Through the years my good friend Joyce and her husband Gerry have created a beautiful oasis of gardens and outdoor living spaces while restoring their historic home, a combined post office/general store residence in rural Pennsylvania.


Joyce has a knack for creating the most gracious of environments and her delicious cooking means meals enjoyed in the nicest of settings. (Thank you dear friend!)  Whenever the light was right I picked up my camera in quest of my own photo soliloquies. Spending a weekend at their country abode in the Delaware valley is to experience a little slice of heaven. One couldn't ask for more.





Monday, July 30, 2012

Live Ink


C. Olaf Högnell of The Mighty Horseman Tattoo Company recently opened a shop in Tarrytown and the other night he and Jenifer Ross of W@tercooler staged a living art installation on her premises. The crowd that gathered mixed and mingled as they compared the styles and designs of Högnell's work along with a few of his talented peers. Tattooing as a means of expression was well represented in the range of detailed creations on display.



                           
I changed the size of images on this post (in case any one notices.)  It was too hard to admire the artistry of the tattoos when they appeared so small. Hope you like!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fluffy


As my son is away, we are taking care of his snake Fluffy for him. I should confess when it comes to reptiles, I am a little squeamish. When it comes to parenting, squeamish I am not. Add to that my own childhood where we were not allowed pets. In the memorable words of my dad, "5 kids are animals enough." My husband grew up in a rural environment replete with chickens, horses and sheep. So when it comes to the animal kingdom he has enough enthusiasm for both of us. And typical of a parent who was deprived of something special when a child, I couldn't say no to all the requests that were made of us


When Jacob was 7, he got his first lizard, Sandy, who lived a long life and then went to the great beyond. His interest morphed to snakes, and we acquired a very sweet ball python whom he named Fluffy and who continues to live a long and mostly boring existence is his room. (We did have a few corn snakes who escaped in to the house.... but no worries Mom!) Whenever kids are over, we take out Fluffy and watch the average 9 year old's gaze widen with fascination. Fluffy is one agreeable critter and bears the distinction of being the lowest maintenance member of the family.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Maps, Bags and Bikes





Yesterday saw another whirlwind round of stamina driving. We took our son Jacob and his friend to the AYR Academy in Northfield, New Hampshire. When we entered the dusty parking lot in this rural locale we had arrived at Highland Mountain Bike Park where the camp is located. Yesterday, the Claymore Challenge was being held and the place was milling with bikers of all sizes and ages. Amazing, expensive bikes were assembled along with their very serious owners. Watching the competitors zoom down the mountain trying to pack as many spine tingling thrills as they could in to their jumps and turns, I realized the irresistible appeal of the sport for my son. Swimming fast in a pool, pinning an opponent on a mat in record time, fielding a ground ball and delivering it in to the mitt of a waiting teammate all pale in comparison to flying down a mountain doing circles in the air. Sometimes, as a parent, understanding the desires of your child brings you that much closer to appreciating what makes them tick.




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dots all Over


It was only a matter time. Houses, Louis and now Marc. I should have see it coming.

On a subject tangentially related, I am in the middle of a fascinating book, Deluxe, How Luxury Lost its Lusterby Dana Thomas. This book is a sobering reminder of the powerful lure of high end consumer goods in how we have come to define ourselves. Or, in the words of the iconic artist Barbara Kruger"I shop, therefore I am."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hot


There isn't a lot to add to a post title like the one above. Going outside seems complicated unless you like the feeling of sweat, damp and a weird fatigue that high temperatures create. I did manage to get to the city for some worthwhile reasons. Had an interesting meeting with a very smart person about a project of mine and I appreciated her input a lot. Sat on an air conditioned bus that sped up Madison Avenue to meet my daughter at the Guggenheim Museum. She was in one of her sulky moods which made me wonder when she will become the kind person whose company would be a huge boost to my sense of well being- but notwithstanding, we attended an hour's worth of conversation with photographers Rineke Dijkstra and Paul Graham moderated by Jennifer Blessing, the Guggenheim's chief curator of photography. A packed audience of well educated, well fed, well clad and mostly white people (if not entirely white people) sat like worshippers to hear the pearls of wisdom drop from these two photographers' mouths. I was interested, and then not. It always gives me ample room to pause on all the ways I probably did not play the cards of my career as well as they could have been played. (Of course, it is all not written yet.) I doubt if my work will ever grace the walls of the Guggenheim (and I don't really like photographs printed so huge). It must be the part of me that is rooted in the magazine culture- and liking the intimacy of the image that does not compete with you in scale.

The photo above is not mine- so my apologies to its creator. Hopefully, you know who you are.


We also sat in the Peter B. Lewis Theatre at the museum. Back in the day (okay like 30 years ago) he and I had a very funny tryst where I did something very adult-like while sitting in his lap. There I was, with my lap once again in a seat provided by him. Sort of a full circle kind of thing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday Night Delights


In our temporary status of virtual empty nesters (my son after all, has become quite the man about town with his posse of friends), it seemed the perfect opportunity to invite Krista, her husband and daughters to our local beach club for dinner. During the afternoon, I was a little displaced to be in such a quiet house. No doors slamming, sudden emergencies or issues to mend. I prepared our dinner in an odd solitude and when my husband appeared after work, everything was packed and ready to go. Our guests enjoyed their first visit to this bucolic spot as their daughters splashed in the river, played in the sand and ate numerous cherries with great delight. I can absolutely wait to become a grandmother (listen up, teen aged children of mine) but watching Krista with her cherry stained girls as they clambered all over her made me remember the deliciousness of small children and the wonderful, messy intimacy that their companionship brings.

And our daughters arrived home late from their road trip, tanned, worn out and full of smiles. Happiness is hearing a car pull in to the driveway at 2 a.m.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My road warrior (and his bicycle) battle the mountain

My son, Jacob, is enamored with the extreme sport of downhill biking. He has a swell bike and all sorts of protective gear and six months of the year, whenever possible, he likes to go to different facilities where he and his fellow enthusiasts ride a gondola to the top of a mountain and then tear down it as quickly as humanly possible. As his mother, I really wish long distance running delivered the same set of thrills- but that is not the case. On occasion, he takes a nasty spill and eats the ground, literally, with his body. (In case you were wondering, along with the padding he wears a helmut so fortunately his head is not involved.) Yesterday, he had a good day of riding until his front tire hit a rock, the bike gave way, and he got himself all banged up. He came home, sporting a huge smile along with numerous cuts and contusions.


His pal took the photo above and after posting his current condition on Facebook,  his friends chimed in with appreciation for his latest 2 wheeled exploit. 
14 years old, a love of speed and a need for excitement- the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 girls, a minivan and a free place to stay at the beach


There are a lot of things you imagine when you are a parent. Your kids growing up. Your kids achieving on their own. Your kids getting jobs. Being responsible. Irresponsible. And all that. But my daughters going on a road trip together? Staying in places unknown? Well, I had yet to imagine that one.
So much for all the unexpected. Something else to worry about. Lucky me.

Summer Reading


In case anyone is interested, I am indulging my eclectic tastes for literature with all manner of prose. Mostly, I am seeking the diversion of well wrought thoughts and sometimes the chance to laugh at someone else's witty exploits. I am also hoping to enhance my appreciation for the talents among us, so the slim volume by our new upcoming poet laureate fits that interest perfectly. So many books, so little time and so many opportunities to ignore the really important obligations required by our lives in Sleepy Hollow. (and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is a truly stunning book. Truly)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Louis goes dotty


Earlier today, Louis Vuitton announced its latest collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama who has had a lifelong appreciation of polka dots (not unlike someone else I know). Dots have gone high end. From houses to expensive leather goods, I wonder what's next.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Word Masters along the Hudson







Sometimes the best events are the ones you attend alone- alone because your family members are otherwise occupied and can't bear to stop what they are doing- or can't muster the interest to come along and sit quietly in an audience- to listen, observe and take it all in.

We are fortunate to live near a writers' center- the Hudson Valley Writers' Center to be exact and today two wonderful writers shared their finely tuned prose. Herbert Hadad and Ben Cheever read works published and in progress. It was fun to sit up front, my camera in hand with an unobstructed view. Recording their glances upward, inward, and fleeting expressions while absorbing their words made for a delightful solo outing on a summery Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence in the Hollow






Another scorching 4th of July but the neighborhoods turned out in full force for a parade, field games, treats and more. My husband works tirelessly with his fellow homeowners' association board members to pull off this annual event and there were smiles all around. The rain that was predicted came the night before and never reappeared. All's well that end's well as a famous scribe would say.

(Our dog Comet's special holiday do was created by James (the husband) wielding his favorite instrument- the Oster dog clippers and our daughters' inspired used of vegetable hair dye.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Sarah


Last week our beautiful girl turned 16. Hard to believe the way the rushing nature of life carries us all along and now our charming girl has achieved this benchmark all her own. She is a talented, bright, loving and able young woman and I am intensely proud of her. So, as she gains in stature, so grows our love for her. What an amazing thing. Truly.



Peter Catches a Star


Spent an enjoyable evening last week in the company of my cast members from our performance last May of the Vagina Monologues. We gathered on a beautiful night to see the play Peter and the Star Catcher. The theatre was full and we were all mesmerized by this very entertaining production.  It was ingenious, well written, well staged and well played by a memorable cast of characters. New York City is full of truly wonderful cultural ops. (especially when you can afford them.)


p.s. I surreptitiously took some photos in the theatre by using the camera but not looking through it. I hope I don't get sued or have to take the photo down.