Category Archives: Beautiful world

Among and Of Art

Today's Temporary Office Space

Today’s Temporary Office Space

Today I decided to step out of my comfort zone and step into a café I normally don’t go to (mostly because it’s about an hour from home–I just had come this way for a dentist appointment* and a visit with Mom).  With a few free hours before my next thing and with heading home a stupid proposition since I had be back this way for it, I felt this was the time to give this place another try.

I confess…  this place doesn’t work for me most of the time.  And today was no exception.  If I hadn’t needed something more doughy than flaky (and definitely not crunchy once the Novocaine started wearing off), I would have been highly disappointed in my ordered nibble (a buttered croissant that tasted frightfully like a Pillsbury Crescent Roll from a tube that had been “baked” in a microwave oven–under-baked at that).  The tea was good, but then as long as the water is clear and heated right, I usually can monitor the steeping to my taste just fine.

Still, I’m so very glad I came.  OMG, the paintings!  A local artist, named Tim Dobert, had several works displayed about the backrooms.  Incredible stuff.  His work with water effects is just…  Wow!

Even in this iPhone4 image you can see how good the water looks

Even in this iPhone4 pic you can see how good the water looks (I posted this to my Facebook to gloat a bit about my happy “office away from home”)

I  so wish I had the money to buy a painting.

Maybe after I find out what the oral surgeon I need to hire for the next tooth is going to do our bank accounts…  Just kidding.  Then the money will go to the oil bill, the car and house insurance… trivial stuff.

Guess I need to learn how to paint.

Not now though.  In lieu of a career as a talented painter**, let me update you on my progress as another kind of starving artist…

ROW80 Check-in

After yesterday, I bet I’m ready to take up a PT job as a proofreader.  The last few days have all been spent editing and beta-ing.   Sometimes it hurt to snip and trim…  I loved the work so much as it was, even when I knew it didn’t fit the guidelines.  Some pieces…  I’ll be honest, annoyed me because the creators took the suggestion that this was a place to promote their work very seriously.  I’m not big into ‘market speak” and “You too can…” genre of sales-speak just gives me the willies.  I understand where it comes from; these days, everyone feels almost forced to sell themselves to someone… audience, employers, even stores!  The urge to be the next Best Thing can seem overpowering in our society.ROW80Logocopy

I never wanted “IN” on that.  I so very much never wanted IN, that seeing this post by KM Weiland just made the world feel sane and happy again.  Or at least a place where I can stay sane, which is good enough for me.

But what all that meant for my goals is…  I’m squeaking by.  Almost.  Sort of…

Not really.

If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go through the list and explore my failures in fine detail.  Accept they are there and that I have a bunch of work to catch up on before Sunday, and then go visit some other ROWers here for hopefully more happy news.

Me?  I’m off to enjoy a song or two and get my 750words for the day done.  Here are two of my favorite car ride and contemplate tunes if you’d like to enjoy with me, both from the Avalanches album Since I Left You:

*I’ve had the same dentist since high school, and I don’t deal with change well…  don’t judge.  😉

** As I noted in this post, my brushwork could use some brushing up.

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With Her Head in the Clouds — ST4S/ROW80

Windy and cloudy...  on Greylock Mountain

Windy and cloudy… on Greylock Mountain

Yesterday we took a bit of a drive across the Massachusetts border to the little town of Williamstown and its friendly neighborhood mountains Greylock, Raimer and Smith Hill (where Petersburg Pass is located).  There are a bunch of wonderful hiking trails in the woods there.

There’s also a lighthouse on top of a mountain.  Not that you could tell yesterday….

The Greylock War Memorial Lighthouse

The Boodle didn’t mind–he was thrilled to be running in a “cloud”

This is more or less what we saw, as a cloud had decided to settle on top of the mountain for the afternoon.  It’s amazing how easily something as big as a lighthouse can hide in that much water vapor.

I took this at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Imagine what this must cloud cover could do to a small airplane at night.  Not that the Veteran’s Memorial Tower was really designed as a lighthouse, but for many years it was the brightest beacon for over 70 miles round it.  At the very least, its (nearly) perpetual light would have helped prevent someone from flying into the tower itself or any of the many television antennae that use Greylock as their transmission points.

In Bascom Lodge

Relaxing and playing games

Another thing about being on a windy cloud covered mountain that one might not know…  It’s cold.  Fortunately there was plenty of warmth in the Bascom Lodge (as well as very yummy ginger lemonade and maple cookies).  No fires were lit in the fireplace, but lots of people gathered around it anyway.

But as nice as the lodge was to spend a few moments in after the chill of the summit, we hadn’t gone to the mountain for crowds.  We’d gone to hike.  Since the observation deck of the Memorial was closed off for repairs, we quickly headed off to find a trailhead.  The Overlook Trail ended up being our best choice as it was on the sheltered side of the mountain.  Not even three steps into the tree cover and that sweatshirt I’d been desperately zipping up around my neck came off and got tied around my waist.

A mile and a quarter downhill, then back up…  It was a good two hours of pictures in the woods, occasional peeks into the Hopper (as the big conical hollow in Greylock is called), but very little “overlooking”.  The tree cover (and the tree color) was too omnipresent to  see far into the valley.

Another year, I guess…

ROW80

Meeting at the Reservoir

Meeting at the Reservoir

Not too much has happened since Wednesday’s check-in.  I’ve slacked off a bit on my plotting for Courting a Swan Song.  The editing of photos has gone well; I’ve averaged three pictures a day with extras today because I took so many images on the mountain yesterday.

What I haven’t done is finish my sponsor post for the ROW80 blog.  I have lost my notes somewhere along the way on my computer.  I’m making it my goal to finish the post by Friday.  That gives me a chance to get the other stuff done I need to do and lets me look over the finished piece after a day’s wait.

Just one more picture to enjoy (though, if you wish, I have uploaded a few to my Flickr feed finally)….

A "moss-tasche"

Look, Ma! A “moss-tache”!

ST4S — Weekend Wonders

Welcome to the next installment of “Some Thing 4 Sunday” all!

Happy Crabbies

Happy Crabbies

There’s a problem with these Sunday posts, a problem best expressed by asking “some thing?”  How I pick a solitary thing out of all that a normal day can offer?  It can get challenging.  Good weekends (and this has been one of those super, awesome, amazing, love it! weekends that feel like the world is brand new) have so much happening that picking just one thing to focus on seems impossible.

And the so-called “bad weekends” have the opposite problem.  Nothing seems worth noting.

A lack of inspiration isn’t a problem this time….  What a wonderful weekend this was!

Treasures for me

Treasures for me

But I probably should focus on one thing since I’m already pushing the “late night” limit again (yes, last weekend was pretty wonderful too).  So, as much fun as the sale at Grandma & Grandpa Mabee’s church was, that was yesterday, and doesn’t count as a Sunday adventure.  But I am still tickled at the trove of nifties I bought for $8.00. And really, can you blame me?

And I also probably shouldn’t dwell too long on the fun we had at the Normans Kill Preserve where the Boodle found acorns well over an inch in size nearly everywhere on the path and got the chance to try climbing a rope swing someone had hidden in the woods.

Oh, and the concert!  I definitely shouldn’t spend too much time on the beautiful opening night concert put on by the Albany Symphony last night….  Certainly not!  It would be decidedly unfair to discuss after the fact how Clarice Assad‘s Nhanderu took me back spiritually to shadows and campfires and skies full of stars and fiery volcanic eruptions and the calls of the gods of earth and sky…  of birds and the dawn of humanity, of beasts in the throes of survival and the peaceful green of forests.  Then came a sublime violin concerto by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky‘s Fourth Symphony with its fire and passion….

New ladder styles

New ladder styles

No, I definitely shouldn’t dwell on that.

So today…  we made today another family outing day.  With one small mission on our schedule, we stopped off at the Boodle’s school to trim off dead wood from an old apple tree in their playground.  Between hauling logs and gathering apples, I kept myself pretty busy.  Not too busy though…  After picking up two full bags of apples for saucing, I headed over to check on my hubby’s progress, to almost walk into…

Bothered Bees

Bothered Bees

Yeah… I didn’t get closer than that.  After stepping back carefully, I checked in the tree and saw that there had once been a huge hive about 25ft or so up.  Now the hive was in several pieces, several of which were on the ground.  Given the gathering on this layer of comb compared to the others, I almost wonder if the queen wasn’t being sheltered in that small swarm.

The Half Moon in harbour

The Half Moon in harbor

Once we’d accomplished our mission, we headed up to Albany to spend some time at the Corning Preserve in Albany and walk down to see the Half Moon.  The skies were cloudy, hinting at rain but never bringing it.  There was enough sun to make the Hudson River glisten.

And the Boodle found a new passion…

He wants to be a tour guide on the ship.

There was more to the day, of course.  There was time for the Boodle to play on the playground, moments of laying back on benches and watching the clouds…  there was even a short train with an orange caboose!

It wasn’t a planned weekend.  Except for the concert, we had no idea of what we would be doing until we got in the car.  And it was a wonderful weekend…

How was yours?

Climbing apple trees is a childhood rite of passage

Climbing apple trees is a childhood rite of passage