13 November 2008

Perfectly beautiful dark and stormy-grey  morning.

Spent the last two hours catching up on email and want to pass along two gems.

First, a fellow artist, Jack Saylor,  wrote me for the first time yesterday to say he had been following the blog and had a question or two… which opened the door to his website and his paintings are wonderful… definitely worth a look…

…and then I discovered NPR All Songs Considered, thank you Shawn, and wallowed luxuriously in Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz section and her recent interview with Paul Winter. Took me back to my Cambridge days and then propelled me forward as she began to play her piano tribute to Rachel Carson. It took my breath away. Here’s a link to her page and you can scroll around and find a video of the concert performed with a full symphony as well as find and listen to past interviews including the PW one…

It moved me to head right over to and download Silent Spring…only to find out that I had apparently been so moved about this time last year… and that it was already in my library but had never been imported  to itunes. So I have that to look forward to as well as the podcasts of Piano Jazz which I am now subscribed to…oh how great is it to be alive in this century.

Before I leave this screen and head to the easel, here are a couple quick shots of the last two days’ worth of painting. Tightening up the rock pile. My favorite. Just love the full spectrum of color and the history of the planet therein. Rock Pile Day 2

Close Up Day 2

Now to clean up some of the eges, get those last three rocks done, and then glaze some light into the shadows.

And listen to the muses !


Vineyard Vanitas

11 November 2008

Back to work and in earnest.

It is November, and our lives have settled down again, and I can pull up the drawbridge and blessedly sink into my season of hibernation and let the muses sing.

On one of our Stonewall Beach walks in October, after some hurricane or other had tried to blow us off the bluff the night before, the sea gifted this avid beachcomber with a perfectly preserved gull’s wing attached to a whisper of long white bone.

There is such elegance and grace in it’s beauty and I wanted to explore the negative space that becomes so powerful when it is silhouetted against a sky that foreshadows the type of weather that the wing itself flew in on.

So I dug out the beach stones and my bucket of sand and managed to hold it all in place with the usual rigging assitants …

Studio Set Up

A close up of the set up

and have begun to set the mood….

laying the foundations

I’ll check back in with you as progress ensues.

Be well,


Still Sobbing

6 November 2008

It’s probably the new hormones.

But I heard an interview yesterday with an American Citizen abroad in Mexico who said she had been in Grant Park 40 years ago under very different circumstances and that she was experiencing waves of powerful emotions after Obama’s election and speech there on Tuesday. She said if felt as if she were letting go of decades of pain and shame and anger. Tears wouldn’t stop coming and there were layers of grief woven through the elation.

I understand me tears in a new way now and it seems like there aren’t enough.

And just when I got myself under control… I got this email from our friend David, one of our favorite humans, which included a video he shot from his apartment in Union Square NYC right after Obama’s acceptance speech…. it captures an amazing moment…

…and there I go again.

Be well,


I lift my glass.

5 November 2008

Yes we did.

From chinese take-out in the solidly blue state of Pennsylvania, to leftover stews in the newly blue state of virginia, and family dinners in a booth at Offshore Ale on Martha’s Vineyard, to Shopska in Bulgaria and an evening with the US Embassador in Lesotho, to Mama in her kitchen making eggplant while Papa read one more bedtime story, to chai ice cream on top of tarte tatin along the Hudson, we spent the day voting, we spent the night watching, we lifted out voices and our glasses and became the change we need.

 One giant leap for mankind.



Throw Down part II

Election Day 2008 (10:45 am #333 in line at the Strinestown Fire Hall to vote)

Your responses to the Election Night Throw Down have been making me smile, and laugh and drool for the last 24 hours. So I thought I would share some, by no means all !, of the responses that made their way to my email inbox to add to the comments on TD Part I here on this blog.  And, per Anita’s request…at the end…our own menu !

( I have edited out most personal information and anything that might lead the feds to your doors…and apologize in advance if I have outed anyone who wished to remain in the safety of their kitchen cupboards…)

From Saren,

Heather you are so funny. (that would be victuals, or vittles, whichever your preferance) I sometimes don’t know what dinner is yet half hour before we eat it ! But, as soon as I know what my comfort food will be that night, I will let you know ! Probably everything is sight. They say we won’t know the outcome yet that night. All I can say is that we better have a pretty good clue. For my own sanity. So, what are you serving on Tuesday night ???? Maybe I will come to your house !

From J and K , 

Bowie Deckers are going for comfort food (based on Emerald Isle’s comfort food meal prepared by Dov and Kristine) so that includes but not limited to meat loaf, some green veggie, chicken soup with matzoh balls (not on Dov/Kristine’s menu, but sure is comforting), and Diet Coke Cake AKA Better Than Sex Cake for dessert (see p79 in your Decker’s C.O.O.K.B.O.O.K.).  Drinks will include but not limited to Kettle One Vodka (bring out for special occasions) with either OJ, CranGrape, CranTan, or Mango Passion Fruit juice.  Being the tea totler(sp?) I am, I’ll be drinking water, diet soda, or if I want to get really wild – hot tea! Looking forward to hearing from the rest of the gang, including the Neill/lackey household.

From Peg, 

Well, Sid and I are gathering with our SPIRITUAL community, i.e. The neighborhood Unitarian Universalists, who for some reason have similar political perspectives.  It sounds like an important  night for prayer and hopefully thanksgiving.  This is a potluck BYOWine event so we will be bringing Chinese potstickers…involving lots of good luck herbs. I will probably bring gin a pomegranate juice as well as white wine, just to comfort myself.
There you go!

From Laura R, 

I think we’ll be thinking comfort food, in case of the unthinkable worst. I might do roasted cauliflower with garlic…  maybe some sorrel soup from the sorrel that’s now one of the last remaining edible things in my garden.  Something hot with apples (from our tree) for dessert.  And You ? L (I requested the recipe and here it is…Tonight I made this with broccoli instead of cauliflower, and I may never eat broccoli any other way!  It’s SO easy, too. Cut cauliflower into florets (bit sized or slightly larger.) Toss in a big bowl with enough olive oil to coat, minced garlic to taste, and salt. Spread in a single layer on one or more baking sheets, and roast in oven at 400 for about 25 minutes, until browned and tender. If using two baking sheets, switch the top to the bottom and vice versa half way through cooking.

 From Alice,

Being on the West Coast I don’t think I can bear to join folks until at least 7pst/10est.  If the apt. I’m going to is racous and loud I’ll enter with a bottle of Grey GooseVodka.  Otherwise I’ll slink back downstairs and and hide under the covers for a couple days – maybe years – and drink the whole bottle myself!

From Becky, in Canada,

I am no night owl so will not last long, but fortunately for me I had four of my best ex work colleagues over last night for our annual bash and have tons of leftovers to enjoy during my solo week.  Spanakopita, pepper cheese puffs, artichoke squares, lasagna with sausage, spinach and mushroom, and a cranberry spinach salad – plus someone brought a bottle of champagne last night so I am pretty much set for life! If it goes the other way I am leaning toward renouncing my US citizenship, so keep those fingers crossed.

From Miss Gail, 

Well, 10 or so lovely unattached ladies of a certain age from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation are getting together with various snacks and beverages to watch the returns (not sure if Fanny has a flat screen).  I wanted to bring a Republican for us to torture, but they said NO!!!  Then again…..don’t think I know any Republicans!

From the Zenmaster Himself,

I’m going out to dinner with out of town friends.  The zen center is having a political night with both champagne and smelling salts “just in case!”

From Linda,

 A-we don’t have a flat screen…but BOTH of the kids do!!!!!!!B-Who the hell needs food when there is every flavor imaginable?????  Yes…there will be limes and lemons on my coffee table along with Vodka, Cointreau, Frangelico….need I go on???????

Multum In Parvo – so true.

From long lost Anne,

Who has flat screens, or can bear to sit up and chew nails (past our regular bedtime of 9 PM), or eat when our stomachs are in knots?  I intend to crawl under the covers fairly early and qwake until the storm has passed tues nite. Glad you’re finding solace in food (when I was younger it did it for me too) but at this ripe ole’ time in my life, the coffee table will have Maalox on it til we can stand it no longer and hit the sack…….Bless you for reaching out with a chuckle.  Oh Heather, what an awful, wonderful, scarrey, amazing era we live in!  Wish you lived closer, we might be brave enuf to stay up and invite you over to chew Tums with us while we wait.  Let’s hold Obama in our hearts and link energy with other sane citizens across the continent.  A very spiritual friend tells me that such energy links really work.      We’ll see. Stay in touch; you are unfetterdly  welcome into my consciousness, anytime.

From Brother Bill, 

The DC branch will be having stew.  A recipe originating in Kenya.  Washing it down with pure branch water from Hawaii.  We think it will be good.

From  Jesse, Dave and baby Quinn,

What a coincidence – we are having stew, too!  And Quinn has announced that the finger he used to touch the screen to vote in his very first election – for Barack, or course – is now sacred.  He will not be washing it (or chewing on it or picking his nose with it).

 I’m thinking Baby Barak Ribs and a big mug of Joe Given we have no kitchen right now, it’ll probably be cold pizza though.

From Alice and Ey,

So great to hear from you…been thinking about your request, so here are a few thoughts…
Sweet potato pie (we know it’s Barack’s favorite!) Each peace (sic) served with great Kenyan coffee.
Black and white cookies – same beverage coupling.
Spreads of all varieties – but they should be “green” – to honor the spreading the wealth.  I say serve these with champagne!
Hawaiian pineapple salad would be a great fruit choice!
And to really round out the meal – deep dish Chicago style pizza!  serve with Root(s) Beer! 
At all costs avoid – mac and cheese; macdonald’s of all varieties – especially the big mac!  and never serve
pale ale!  indeed no six packs!  and do not under any circumstances call Joe the Plumber!
Have a great day!  It’s going to be a wonderful 4 (8) years a commin’

From Dov in renovation mode, 

  From Dan,  

I’m having leftovers. I did, however, vote for something NEW !


And finally…

From our log cabin…

A bottle of S and D’s best champagne (which he left for us in the fridge after heading out to volunteer today before heading back to Baltimore to watch the returns in front of all 5 of his teleports) is on ice… and to go with…

Shrimp and Pork Balls with Tamari dipping sauce (low sodium)

Steamed Asparagus wrapped in Proscuitto with a lemon and rosemary aioli (fake)

Artichoke, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Dip baked with Parmesan

Steamed shrimp and cucumber skewers with yogurt, dill and fresh mint (from the garden) dipping sauce

Sour dough crostinis with herbed goat cheese, avocado and smoked oysters

and the rest of last night’s Puff Pastry Apple Pie with cranberries, walnuts, maple syrup and Grand Marnier.

Now, this feast of celebration was originally intended to be shared with upwards of a half dozen friends and co-volunteers who had suggested they might possibly stop by after working all day, neigh these many months, to get out today’s vote. One by one they have signed up for poll duties that will keep them out until way past the deepest November dark and all are opting to go home to the safety of their own dens to ride out the returns. So, while the ingredients for all of the above have been gathered, and much has been prepared ahead of time, it will be just Gulliver and me waiting by the fireside for our hero to drag her hardworking-self home to us late tonight. We will nibble on an abbreviated version of this Throw Down menu and be thinking of all of you in front of your coffee tables and anticipating a collective sigh of relief …just before the victory yell !

Go in peace,

Vote in hope.




Election Night THROW DOWN !

2 November 2008

T Minus 2 Days and Counting !!!

All right now !

IF, as many of you have been reporting, your households are as anxious about the next two days as we are in our log cabin (which is empty now most of the day as Herself notches up her campaign work and I bury my restless soul in the studio at the easel)…

and IF, as I know to be the case, we share the common value that one of our best diversions is a good meal !!!

Well then, I am declaring a THROW DOWN !!!

WHAT are YOU all planning to serve up on your coffee tables, in front of your flatscreens, and within reach of the internet connections… to get you through election night ?????

I want details and I want appropriate beverage couplings.

Share you menus, fears, dreams, desires and recipes by commenting below.

Hang in there  … hope is just around the corner my friends,

Stay frosty,