WRITE TO ME! email@example.com Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016
Friday, May 31, 2013
A man drives to a gas station and has his tank filled up.
While doing this the clerk spots two penguins sitting on the back seat of the car. He asks the driver, "What's up with the penguins in the back seat?"
The man in the car says, "I found them. I asked myself what to do with them but, I haven't a clue."
The clerk ponders a bit then says, "You should take them to the zoo."
"Yeah, that's a good idea," says the man in the car and drives away.
The next day the man with the car is back at the same gas station. The clerk sees the penguins are still in the back seat of the car.
"Hey, they're still here! I thought you were going to take them to the zoo!"
"Oh, I did," says the driver, "and we had a great time. Today I'm taking them to the beach."
Thursday, May 30, 2013
LET'S DO IT AGAIN. I am sitting here composing the haiku and....I can't finish it! Nonono, not because of a blank mind, but TOO MANY possibilities.
Go to comments and add your line!
(as you will recall, the wife was on the road and returned last night)
The wife returned
We shared a glass of joy!
She is still sleeping.
The only good part
When a loved one travels
I was thinking like: "finally somebody comes home and makes the bed" or "you can stay up late and watch FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH or DUMBO!" or even "when you are alone nobody thinks it odd when one day you eat peanut butter sandwiches breakfast lunch dinner and then the next day you eat burritos...breakfast lunch and dinner" or maybe "your friends can come over at odd times and share frosty brews" or lastly "the dog and cat have PLENTY of room in the bed..." (even though the cat still sleeps ON my feet, no matter how uncrowded the bed).
Of course, there is always "it is wonderful when they get home!"
Dig this teapot: I was like "make an ordinary teapot with... A HUGE FLYING PIG ON TOP! Why the heck not :)"
(new pottery by Gary Rith)
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
My best pal Sandra blogged the 27 (or whatever the date was) things she loves, is grateful for the other day. I looooove that idea and got started! You can too!
I just rolled with it, adding items to the list all day, willy nilly, not thinking about it much...
1. apple anything, pie, sauce, crisp, scones, muffins! SEE BELOW. Frankly, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple too....
2. peanut butter--do you have any idea how much of that I eat? I think my body is some kind of fast burning furnace and craves peanut butter and jam sometimes...really! But it is good for cookies or on pasta andandand... :)
3. Jam! We make all of our jam. Our favorite since fall since it is easy to make all year (berries and peaches have their seasons, right? apples available year round) is APPLE SPICE JAM! Jam making is fun and the wife and I cooperate on the task and then cooperate on the eating.
4.CATS, especially my Spike who was on my feet all night long, and now? Here at the desk? Again on my feet!
5. small beagles! Esp. MY small beagle Penny.
6. mountains! see my post of a couple of days ago, where we climbed one!
7. the sea! When I was a kid we lived for awhile on the Connecticut coast which is where I first had swimming lessons...that was a chilly morning experience, but pretty smart to learn how to swim under difficult circumstances, right? I remember when we moved from Chicago back to the east coast and our first trip to the beach brought us to Gloucester, Cape Ann and Rockport, Mass... about the prettiest area on EARTH...years before I was visiting the Florida Keys--most of Florida had been a crushing disappointment to me, it was NOT like Miami Vices best scenes, instead overcrowded, overbuilt, too many cars BUT there is a state park on the Florida Keys that is probably the prettiest spot in all of Florida, and reminds me of what humans have ruined down there.
I have a big conch shell I found there, can you believe it? It is on the back deck now...
8. New York City! The wife is returning here from there today, LUCKY GIRL. As you guys know, we visit there often, 2 sisters live there, I lived and worked there in SOHO for an artist one winter in the 80s, my family all lived there for many generations AND the wife's family....it is one big urban playground, the best place in the world, and not as dangerous as it used to be!
9. trains! The wife rides the train home today, lucky HER
10. bikes! esp. my bikes! I have not had as much chance to bike this year....
11. baking! we bake everything....see below for more baking goodness!
12. running! although with all the thunder and lightening out there this am, I am like "maybe not today..." I run in any weather, but maybe lightening is an exception....all that rain is probably killing my new basil and tomato plants, par for the course
13. drawing! see the bunny mugs below! I have limited drawing skills...but love it so much, and it is amusing to me... the bonus I give my cat sitting and dog walking dogs is an illustrated note of our adventures....I think that is why my pet sitting business is EXPLODING and growing (adding...CHICKENS to the resume this weekend) because of the amusing drawings I make of people's pets when I care for them....
14. reading! all my life my nose has been stuck in a book....my mom too, and her family, even her grandfather who worked in a factory with barely any schooling but read all the time....
15. clay! glazing! I made some fun stuff yesterday AND opened the kiln to see bunny things ...see below! what a perfect occupation....
16. checkerboards! I have come to realize that my neurotic self really like the tidy order of decorating with checkerboards....a favorite glaze scheme, as you know, is a turquoise and blue checkerboard...
17. greens!!!!!!!!! all kinds of light greens! you should the green thing I just ordered with a gift cert. I was given (the phone company so grateful for my contract they gave me a HUGE bonus), the wonderful and lush woods on the riverbank behind our house WHICH as you know we recently had painted green and, of course, the many green glazes in different shades that I use...
18. forget me nots! mmmm...green and light blue...YES, that is the color combo we used to paint our house...
19. wine!!!! the guy at the NY Times wrote that "wine is a joy" YES. Yes it is, a nice dry white is like a glass of sunshine. So soft and lovely! I will say in the evening to the wife "would you like a glass of joy?"
20. COFFEE! I try to like tea, but it is SUCH a distant second choice to strong, black, hot espresso....
it powers MY machine
21. SUMMER! Holy cats, we have the BEST summers in upstate NY, 70s and blue and green all summer long....my favorite day of the year????? JUNE FIRST! Then you know we have 3 guarenteed nice months ahead....
22. spring! spring is an exciting preface to SUMMER!
23. FALL! well, fall is golden and colorful and hopefully not too cold and snowy, right?
24. CHRISTMAS! I like Christmas so much we GOT MARRIED on Christmas, as you know. Quakers believe that no day is more sacred than another, but Quakers are not total killjoys, we live in the world, and I was surprised last year there was even a brief pageant the kids put together (Quakers also worship in silence with zero pageantry) and it was cute...a couple of carols and TWO babies (where one baby Jesus is cute and a good idea, you should probably employ another baby as an adorable bear in the manger...)
25. my FRIENDS! Trevor was over last night having the frosty brew on my porch...you would love my friends...of course, you reading this? a beloved friend too!
26. our house! it is such a nice house, on a river, VERY old, and now painted like a forget me not...
27. birthdays! MINE! and yours! just like Christmas, BUT it belongs to you alone and you don't have to share, although celebrating them with others is FUN
28. rock and roll....
29. the wife!!!! good golly, gone for a few days, I miss her...
Like I say, go to comments and add your 3!!!!
I love bunnies, who wouldn't? Catherine asks "I will need bunny mugs for my sister, do you ever do BUNNIES???" and its like "of course I do! And you should see all the bunnies around my house, driving my beagle NUTS and inspiring ME".
In other news, Bronwyn loaned me her vegan cookbook. I was madly going through it, recipe cards and pencil in hand like it was THE BEST HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT EVER.
And remember number one up there, how much I LOVE APPLES etc? There was a recipe there for APPLE PIE CRUMBLE muffins and I set my pencil down and baked those puppies right away and HOLY CATS they are SO perfect! I did not have any cider, so I mixed a little applesauce with water, voila!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I love dogs.
I grew up with hounds. They are full or personality. Stubborn, not very obedient, but so loving and fun. Petey seemed to be about half beagle, half corgi.
The minute we got the rope on Petey he puffed out his chest and was like "I have a home! I have a family!". You could see that he had been missing his rightful place as the boss of a family...further enforced when he marched into the apartment, past the hissing cat, settled onto our bed like a teddy bear and looked pleased.
Petey was named after the dog in Our Gang, The Little Rascals, which I had enjoyed when I was a kid.
He had terrible bloody bite marks on his face from fighting (he was a fighter alright, he was absolutely fearless and would attack any large dog that menaced him, pit bull or German shepherd always backed down when he snapped) and he was a little underweight but otherwise healthy. He also would duck in fear whenever you went to stroke his head. Somebody had hit him in the past. Luckily, as the years went by, Petey forgot to be afraid of human hands.
Petey lived with us until he was nearly 19! We moved from Chicago to New England, and 5 weeks after we moved here to Ithaca he passed, 7 years ago today. It was like he said "I helped you choose a good new home, my work is done and I can go now".
The morning after he died I could not understand how anybody could get up in the morning if they knew that one day they would feel so much grief and loss.
He is buried out under a tree which we had brought with us from our last house, one which he had peed on many times.
I was poking around in my UNorganized photos yesterday and was glad to find this one. The wife and I had a totally choice apartment in the 90s, 350 a month for a 2 bedroom outside the Chicago Loop, with, as you see, the world's tallest building 4 blocks away (not the tallest anymore, but anyway...).
I am wearing that same Cubs baseball jersey right now as you see in the second pic.
6 years ago this spring, 11 months after Petey passed, another stray small hound came into our life from the shelter, Penny the beagle. They are absolutely and utterly alike in so many ways.
Monday, May 27, 2013
It is once again a favorite glaze, used in the pieces pictured below.
I gave myself this mug when it came out of the kiln. It is next to me right now.
I continue to make potential vases for our Quaker meeting house, one after the other. Unusual for me, to make one shape over and over, but I love this and it is fun. Will I ever have one I think is perfect for flowers during worship? Of course I will, and many other perfect ones along the way....
(new pottery by Gary Rith)
Sunday, May 26, 2013
There are WARNINGS. They tell you repeatedly it is hazardous. It is also the MOST awesome mountain climb we have ever done, the MOST.
When we lived in New Hampshire and walked, we would count the spotted newts (the NH state amphibian!). We see them here around Ithaca, but not too often. We counted 12 or 13 on Friday.
Seriously, the fukking trail goes straight up this rocky MESS? Yes it does, for a LOOOOOONG ways....everything is well marked. BUT we got lost once. We turned back without, um, freaking out....
One view of the top. I am sitting on a point hanging over a sheer drop down to the valley of hundreds of feet. I love my dog, but she kept pulling me to the dang edge, it was terrifying. I sat down and grabbed her. GORGEOUS, huh? I set the camera on a rock and used the timer for a good shot of us all, south view, toward Great Barrington.
We THOUGHT we were done with the steep, narrow, treacherous trail....
...until it continued to ANOTHER peak, this view is north to Stockbridge. This is a tiny little saddle of rocks and as I told the wife as the wind whipped across "I am glad it is not colder, windier or wetter than it is, because this is good enough..." Yes, we were in the clouds....
When the wife was kid she lived in the west, but her grandparents moved from NYC north up the Hudson to a wee little town, with 2 rivers and waterfalls named Valatie, NY.
All that remains of the house is the barn that had been in back.
It was an incredible house, according to pictures. It burned down after the wife's family sold the place!
The house across the street gives you an idea of how !!!!!!!!!! this area is and what the houses on this hilltop look like....
Waterfalls in the village, that house hangs over them...
This is the street her granparents lived on, cute clock eh?
Frederic Church was one of the most famous painters ever in America, 150 years ago and even still. He made a fortune from his art and built the BIGGEST BADASS mansion you have ever seen in Hudson, NY, overlooking mountains and the Hudson River....what a place, especially with the flowers like this here in May.
I then dropped the wife at the train station in Hudson so she could go down to see her sisters in NYC. I had a 4 hour drive home alone with the beagle and the weather and traffic were horrible. We did fine. But there was a plane crash and I saw one of the worst truck accidents ever, which had just happened. The rain and visibility were like a bad snowstorm for a while, and it was nice to get away from Albany and clear sailing after that. I was at a truck stop and walking back to the car saw Penny waiting for me in the car. Later she was curled up asleep on the backseat. It occurs to you later that you damn well better drive carefully when somebody like that is relying on you.
What a great trip!
Saturday, May 25, 2013
500 mile drive, round trip for the day, over and back.
TODAY? I feel like I was dragged up a pile of rocks and down...and I was! There is nothing like a small energetic beagle to help you hike a mountain, and I am SORE.
It was incredible though.
I will fill in the details Sunday, here is a beginning:
In 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne had just written THE SCARLET LETTER and met Herman Melville for the first time to climb Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, Mass. They were hit by a very heavy storm and sheltered in a cave and enjoyed chatting about writing (we had good climbing conditions on our climb, but it was REALLY stormy before and after, and it is such a dangerous and treacherous hike I am glad it was dry) .
Melville came down and wrote MOBY DICK and dedicated it to Hawthorne.
We went to find that cave.
(I think we did)
Remember my last post, about cowboy cookies? Mountain climbers need them too! But NOT beagles.
Penny is a champion hiker and rider. She looooves what we love, marching for miles! Then sleeping like the DEAD. Good golly I slept like the dead last night...
Shortly after starting I was like "this cave?" and the wife was like "that is more of an OVERHANG".
Truly, there might be caves all over the place but.....
We came around a corner and saw THIS waterfall and CAVE. The cave goes back in a bit, and would easily shelter 6 or more people (hard to tell from the photo...but WOW). We were like "this is IT!".
Climbing to the top, as you will see in pics tomorrow, was impossibly perilous. You are climbing up very steep rocks...and down...and across narrow ledges with dropoffs of hundreds of feet!
This is one of the 2 summits....Penny kept pulling me to the edge which is why I sat down I was so scared. Just beyond her tail is a sheer drop all the way down to the valley... unbelieveable view...
Thursday, May 23, 2013
I post at least once a day, as you know all too well, except for when I don't! I don't think I will bother Friday morning, for reasons that will become VERY clear Saturday, but I am making up for it with 13 (THIRTEEN! more or less) photos and a flippin' awesome cookie recipe.
From what I understand cowboy cookies are named that because:
although I myself am not a fan of hard cookies at all and my new recipe is decidedly and pleasantly SOFT.
I had never heard of them until my best pal Claudia made them the other day, mmm mmm they look good! She made them for roofers..in the rain! Any cookie that could satisfy roofers in Florida rain has GOT to be special.
The idea is you make an oatmeal-choco chip cookie and throw other things in.
I saw them and I was like "I wanna make them...vegan!" and holy CATS is this recipe spectacular! Forget cowboys and roofers: they are totally cat and Missus Tastycakes approved. **** I chose this particular recipe because: it is simple, vegan, and I had these particular ingredients in my cupboard! MAKE THEM TODAY.
In other news, Peter from next door comes over with his mother last week and is like "WOW, I really like that mug there!" and I tell him "thanks, funny you should mention it, I have never made that form until today and I REALLY like it too!" and then I glaze it with a glaze experiment (take one of my light green glazes and double the copper OH WOW I love it! and sure, yes, I do have quite a few different light green glazes, don't I?).
The one with the elephant on the right.
It came out of the kiln and I washed it and I am USING IT NOW.
Don't worry, I am making more like it...
FINALLY, I was headed over to Yogi's house to babysit him and horse around! My neighbor Tom sees me walk Yogi and is like "That dog is such a PONY! He looks huge with you but even bigger with his mama!". His mama is, well, quite tiny....
ANYWAY, I asked the wife to come along, as Yogi has a yard with a very pretty old barn, and she wanted me to take portraits and it seemed like old barn boards would be a nice backdrop, and it WAS!
Have a great weekend, see you Saturday....
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In May 1992 the wife and I had known each other 3-4 years and had been an ITEM for about four months and would get married Christmas of '92.... she had a place outside of downtown that I later moved to with my cat Sammy. But Sammy and my bachelor pad was in Chicago's most fun neighborhood (named BOYSTOWN not long after I left, full of young fun people like me, yuppies, old buildings and...well, sure, BOYS). Anyway, I was so close to Wrigley Field where the Cubs play I could walk it in about 5 minutes.
The Cubs were definately a loveable team in the 80s-90s (and I hope they still are!). You could turn in 6 candy bar wrappers and get a free reserved ticket. The very first Cubs game I went to, I sat in a chair on a roof across the street from the stadium! A real neighborhood spot.
I took the wife to a game there this week 21 years ago, on what turned out to be Mother's Day. They gave her an awesome tote bag! Harry Carey the radio and TV announcer was in a booth just past her shoulder and would pop out to sing "take me out to the ballpark...". Pretty flippin' awesome....we went to White Sox games too, I was never one of those Chicagoans who liked one team more than the other (although at this point I still have a White Sox hat and the wife a Cubs hat, suggesting we are a mixed marriage).
She is wearing one of my shirts here, which I still have....
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