Three's the charm

Angel, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalI wrote two entries yesterday. I lost two entries yesterday…so I am trying again and hoping that this entry will not get lost or go down the digital black hole that yesterday’s efforts so happily did. Sorry for the grousing.

Sunday’s trip to Cheryl Shaefer’s yarn sale was better than I could have even anticipated. It was totally in the Central New York experience of fruit stands and vegetable tables in the front yard. The garage and a side bay of the garage were open on Cheryl’s property, with a little “canning room” sized niche starting the grand tour of skeins upon skeins of colored, hand dyed fibers suspended from nails, and often 6-8 skeins deep. There was every gleaming color—some brights, some drabs—painted in gradients and blends, some complementary colors, some not—all the promise of scarves and jackets, socks and baby sweaters. There were two bays of all these fibers, all this future. Kitty and I frolicked in the wool, in the color, in the wonderful hand of the silk mixes, the mohair, the lovely washable superwash merino—trying to pick the skeins we wanted to do projects with. Kitty quickly settled on a bright bundle which when knit (as its almost halfway done) becomes a red fabric with colored flecks. I picked a range of sock wools (which is a wonderful thing I love) and a hank of “Elaine” in olive and khaki for a scarf that I may stripe with another, cooler green. When we went to check out, Cheryl, her husband and her design director were there with happy patter and editorial on the colors and skeins we had selected. There was a little basket filled with little folded pieces of paper. We were instructed to take one…which we did, unveiling our discount (55%) which made the shopping even more exciting. A younger member of the Schaefer clan was selling lemonade and brownies which the boys happily bought and devoured while we girls frittered away the time.

There is a possibility of doing a little branding work with Schaefer (which is something I have been thinking about for quite some time) as a trade, which could be very cool. I am meeting with them Thursday to see what happens. Interesting how things just sort of happen.

The hosta here at the lake are huge and full and fragrant. We have the front of the house planted (original plantings) solid with these yellow green plants which around this time of the year, pop open these enormous flowers, white easter lily sized blooms, which emit the most glorious, waxy scent in the spirit of lilies and gardenias. At dinner, in the cool humidity of the day, we are gifted this lovely smell, which only comes at this time, in this place for which I am always delighted and amazed. It is that time of the season.

Alex has started Cross Country training. He is all over it and able, this year, to articulate why it is he loves this. It is the running against oneself, but also it is the comraderie of his teammates…the spirit of individual by himself and individual as part of the larger group. Kitty is winding down. We get her to Hampshire by the first of September. She just got her classes and dorm assignments—so we will call with questions today to see if we are missing anything. Kitty is interestingly putting a lot of her people issues to rest in anticipation of the new future. I do not know if this is conscious, but it is fascinating to see her preparing for the next chapter in such a mature way. She is resolving old conflicts, talking to folks that have made her nuts, and setting her old relationships on new paths for the future. Now, (this is her mother speaking) if only she could focus on packing. But she will…just not much in advance of the move.

I am working as Alexander Girard these days. I made an angel yesterday in the spirit of the Nativity poster—but it became mine as I gave it a fraktur face and changed the hands/body a bit. I am fascinated with his approach and how he is very decorative but deliberate in his placement of frivolity. He lives in the world of negative and positive which is comfortable for me too…so I really need to let that go a bit. Girard also worked in a “making icons” way of work where each image was more of a single “potato” and not so much a storytelling process. It is more “here’s an angel, here’s a series of sunfaces, here’s aheart” driven by his love of type and folk art. Interestingly, his three dimensional work (his people, his nativity) is more narrative, but personally, I think he treated each figure the same iconic way—but allowing for the viewer/owner of these figures to make narratives by the placement and use of these forms. Girard got down to the basic design elements of color, type, form. He revelled in them that the simplest use was often his final resolution (ie the colored planes for Braniff). And in that pure use of these design elements, the sheer confidence in saying that it was okay for a plane to be lavender, it was an entirely appropriate and successful solution. So Girard’s charge to me today, is to go forth, be simple and bold, and love what you do and what you depict.  And so it goes.

Today is clean up and make plans. Alex works. Kitty doesnt. Radio the Ape, a band comprised of Kitty and Alex’s friends play at the Rongo as a farewell concert. Rob has a village board meeting. And I have time for me….I think Alexander Girard and I have a date.

back in the saddle.

Stephen Huneck
Lend a Helping Hand
Image size: 6" x 7"
Paper size: 8 1/2" x 11"

So, I have been thinking about a lot of stuff. First off, a name for a friend's new business. He has been giving it a lot of thought and has some possibilities--but after having a dose of Vermont and the naming that goes on there, I think this could go further. I am intrigued by the name/word "Vermont" and how that has come to mean pure, good, wholesome, farm grown--excellent, though reading the labels might dissuade you from buying the entire package. However it really works. There is Vermont Butter and Cheese, Vermont Smoke and Cure. There is Vermont Maple Syrup (with no other brand than that). Vermont Cheddar and Vermont Cheese (though Cabot Creamery might be the big owner there). Ben and Jerry's is identified with Vermont. You get the Idea. I was tickled to see that there is a Vermont Mystic Pie Company who is using Stephen Huneck to design and illustrate their packages for pie. The look is distinct and frankly very "Vermont". That is one train of thought. What makes Vermont, Vermonty? What is it about Vermont that embues all of this expectation and promise for pure excellence? Do we even have glimmers of that here?

Then there is the approach with getting a bigger name, a wider reach. What I mean is that if my friend is going to make one thing, but possibly blow that channel out a bit, or have other offerings that complement the product he is focusing on, how do we name that entity that has all that the word "Vermont" offers, and yet keeps it broad enough to embrace more. "Vermont" interestingly is a place, a location, a specificity that adds the novel "localvore" connotation as it is to those who can buy those Vermont brands,something desired, something special. So, place is part of the equation, a locality, a pinpointable place. Could that place be even more local? A farm? a street? a town, a village? a hamlet? That resonates for me as the place is the source, the lodestone from which all this goodness, this thinking, this approach comes from...Of course, it comes from the people, but the product is an outflow from the place. So, a place name makes sense with a describing word that situates it like farm, street, ville or burg, hill or river, stream or bend. That can help our name.

That's the thinking now.

Rob is off to Cooperstown and back for an interesting board meeting. Kitty is nursing a sore throat and Alex is nose to the grindstone. I am looking at my list of dos and redos and know that things are going to crank up. Ahhh. More holiday shopping online as today is Cyber Monday? and we all must spend all of our holiday money online as fast as we can. And did I mention holiday cards! Yikes.

Saturday catch up

Big news. The portrait I did of Jiri Harcuba for the Masters of Studio Glass Show at the Corning Museum of Glass just got accepted into Illustration 52 (a juried competition sponsored by the Society of Illustrators, NY).I am delighted. This is the third year (last year was the Willow head from the Memento Mori work, the year previously, was the Chicken Chokers Poster). To be honest, I was fretting a bit on this one. My friend, the very talented and smart, Lori Ann Levy Holm emailed me earlier this week that she got a piece in the 52 and had gotten the phone call. I didnt get any call...and was being calm about some years you get in, some years you don't. Despite the fact that my head was rationalizing it, and integrating it into the push forward, to keep going, to keep heart was reluctantly following. But, yesterday around 3 p.m. the call came, and they happily told me the great news. Hurray!

Kitty is plugging away on the college stuff. Alex is out with friends and Rob is asleep. I have a cranberry sauce done, potatoes cooked and an apple tart finished and cooling. Gloria is back from California and we will have an early Thanksgiving with the family tonight.

Alex just called. He missed the bus in Ithaca, and could I please come down to pick him up. I guess I have no choice.

More later.

Monday first Monday in November.

Working a bit on the Star poster. Its a hand holding the star (which up until now, they have not done one like this)--with some little flying spirit effigies in the background. Not sure on the coloration, and may put a little banner with the word "Onward" or something along that line in the layout. I am planning on a tone on tone thing in the background/some floral insanity hopefully. But, this is the beginning (as you can see the star is still being worked on.

Yesterday afternoon, I generated dinner for the week: a pot of chili, 2 pans of lasagne, a shepherds pie (with leftover mashed potatoes from last week and the left over browned meat for the chili), along with roasting 4 chicken carcasses with leeks,carrots, celery and leftover parsley stems for stock. It was a cooking afternoon of cranking. I feel like the cook has been here and all I need to do is pop it in the oven and not have to scratch my head and wonder what I was going to serve up. It was a great exercise in opening up boxes and bags to also see what weathered the constant summer infestation of "flour" bugs. I just hate them...but, those bugs force one to review, compost and or devour quickly all flour related food as they have the ability to dig into any vessel (except for mylar sealed packages).

It was deadline on top of deadline today. So much so that I worried about it from around 3 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. without any real solution other than to call the client and ask her to help us prioritize the emergencies that were heaped upon each other. That drove a lot of sanity for us...and surprisingly, we got through quite a bit of the work that was there. Tomorrow, I feel I can catch up and get back to zero/ or at least a levelset I can handle. I laid out 2 dozen slides from scratch, amended a logotype for the Museum, reviewed a bunch of stuff, reconfigured final art for a tradeshow exhibit skin, and began a layout for a tradeshow "abstract" paper. Numerous emails and confirmations along with a few scheduled calls. Yikes.

And, now I need to worry about tomorrow. Also, need to worry about Christmas, cards and the whole shebang around that. And, did I mention the taxes due in January? It just keeps coming. Bring it on... I will try, try very hard, to be ready!

The rose is perhaps the most mystical and beautiful of symbols to Rosicrucians. The rose possesses both beauty and pain; one can not have the fragrant blossom without the accompanying thorns. This concept of dual nature pervades the writings of both the Kelpius settlement of 1694 and the Eighteenth-Century Community of the Solitary at Ephrata. At both settlements Rosicrucian symbolism and concerns were part of the organized belief structures of the members. As with the rose, so too in life we must take the good with the bad, the cross with the crown, the dark with the light, the pain with the joy.

A most beautiful and symbolic poem on the rose was written in the mid-eighteenth-century by Conrad Beissel, known as Vater Friedsam, Father Peaceful.

The rose is perhaps the most mystical and beautiful of symbols to Rosicrucians. The rose possesses both beauty and pain; one can not have the fragrant blossom without the accompanying thorns. This concept of dual nature pervades the writings of both the Kelpius settlement of 1694 and the Eighteenth-Century Community of the Solitary at Ephrata. At both settlements Rosicrucian symbolism and concerns were part of the organized belief structures of the members. As with the rose, so too in life we must take the good with the bad, the cross with the crown, the dark with the light, the pain with the joy.

A most beautiful and symbolic poem on the rose was written in the mid-eighteenth-century by Conrad Beissel, known as Vater Friedsam, Father Peaceful.

From Lucy Carroll's article on the Symbolism in Conrad Beissel's hymn

Personal Powwowing

I was reading more of David Kriebel's article on powwowing among the Pennsylvania Germans last night. He breaks the practice of powwowing down into 3 groups from small, insignificant treatments to the big bam boom treatments with all sorts of laying on of hands, remedies and prayer. Along with this, he breaks the practitioners of this folk medicine down into those neighbor or family friends or members to professionals who accept payment and have a space devoted to the practice. Kriebel is good not to condemn or even personally comment on his understanding of this and is open to the efficacy of these practices. He cites folks even now practicing powwowing in Pennsylvania...a tradition that is always passed down from father to daughter, mother to son, husband to wife, brother to sister...but never same sex.

From Wikipedia:


Tame thou flesh and bone, like Christ in Paradise; and you who will assist thee, this I tell thee (name) for your repentance sake. + + + This you must say three times, each time lasting for three minutes, and your headache will soon cease. But if your headache is caused by strong drink, or otherwise will not leave you soon, then you must repeat these words every minute. This, however, is not necessary in regard to headache.


Bruise, thou shalt not heat;
Bruise, thou shalt not sweat;
Bruise, thou shalt not run,

Pow-wow is a system of American folk religion and magic associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Its name comes from the book Pow-wows, or, The Long Lost Friend, written by John George Hohman and first published in German as Der Lange Verborgene Freund in 1820. Despite the Native name, taken from an Algonquian word for a gathering of medicine men, the collection is actually a very traditional collection of European magic spells, recipes, and folk remedies, of a type familiar to students of folklore. They mix prayers, magic words, and simple rituals to cure simple domestic ailments and rural troubles.

The tradition is also called hex or hex work, or Speilwerk in Pennsylvania Dutch; its adepts are hexenmeisters. The tradition of Hex signs painted on Pennsylvania barns in some areas originally relates to this tradition, as the symbols were pentagrams thought to have talismanic properties; though many current hex signs are made simply for decoration.

Also important to the pow-wow practitioner were the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, books brought to the United States from Germany, containing cabalistic magic, claiming to be the magical arts by which Moses obtained his powers and commanded spirits. Actually, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses were apparently compiled by Johann Scheible in nineteenth century Germany.

Another characteristic practice of pow-wow magic is the Himmelsbrief or "heaven's letter" and Teufelsbrief, a "devil's letter," which presumably is meant to bestow a curse. Significantly, the Long Lost Friend assures its owner that:

Whoever carries this book with him, is safe from all his enemies, visible or invisible; and whoever has this book with him cannot die without the holy corpse of Jesus Christ, nor drowned in any water, nor burn up in any fire, nor can any unjust sentence be passed upon him. So help me.
No more than Virgin Mary shall bring forth another son. + + +

From the sublime to my reality: Alex woke up this a.m. with a sore throat, phlem and of course a raging fever. Guess I will need to get my red string ready and see if i can help him...either that or a thermometer and ibuprophen. I think the latter probably will be more effective for me. However, I do need to look into the Himmelsbrief (we've talked about this), and the lovely devil's letter. Plus, the Books of Moses Long Lost Friend are a must. There might be some pictures there! Who knows, maybe a remedy too?

From the Long Lost Friend:


Take rose seed and mustard seed, and the foot of a weasel, and hang these in a net, and the fish will certainly collect there.

Singing in Pennsylvania

detail from:
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. This fraktur consists is leaf 18 (verso of 18/recto of 19) in a music book that was produced at Ephrata Cloister. On the left are the opening lines of three hymns with music. On the right are music and a drawing of flowers. The book consists of three preliminary leaves, one hundred and forty-one numbered leaves (out of an original one hundred and sixty), one unnumbered leaf, and the printed index of opening lines of the hymns in four unnumbered leaves. The music includes music in four parts and the opening words to a selection of hymns from the Zionitischer Weyrauchs Hügel (The Incense Hill of Zion), published in 1739 by Christoph Saur of Germantown. There is major decoration on the rectos of leaves numbered 19, 24, 30, 38, 58, 61, 88, 90 and 122. Minor decorations can be found throughout the book. Three additional leaves, including verso of 60/recto of 61, verso of 89/recto of 90 and verso of 120/recto of 121, are included in the database as FLP 114702, 114703 and 114704. Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Was doing some research on Conrad Beissel, the founder of the Ephrata Community (a lodestone in my understanding of a particular driver/style setter in the Fraktur style). Beissel came to the US from Germany as part of the Community of the Brethren--and split off to found Ephrata, a monastic community with a sisterhood and brotherhood. Beissel wrote hymns and encouraged his followers to sing, and sing purely--as their celibacy, they believed, was manifested in the purity of their voices. Chasing down a bit on Beissel's hymns, there was a firestorm of hymn writing in Pennsylvania at that time happening in all corners of the state from the Ephrata Community to the Moravians in Bethlehem (see the Google book, The Early Hymn Writers of Pennsylvania by Lucy Carroll. Coupled with this writing, Beissel encouraged his followers to illuminate and illustrate hymnals which went beyond the walls.

The Ephrata community was known for it's printing...and shared work with, yes, Benjamin Franklin. So, the link is made between the two. Franklin was tuned into what they were doing technically and I would assume, intellectually. From Black Arts, The History of Printing in Lancaster County:

1730s: In Philadelphia, Ben prints several mysteriously mystical books for the Ephrata Cloister, including:

* Mystische Und sehr geheyme Sprueche (Mystical and Very Secret Sayings) (1730) --- Authored by Conrad Beissel to explain his other-worldy views on Christianity, celibacy, and spiritual androgyny.
* Goettliche Liebes und Lobes gethoene Welche (1730) (Melodies of Love and Praise) --- This is a hymnbook of 65 hymns written by Conrad Beissel and other Cloister poets.
* Vorspiel de Neuen-Welt (1732) (Prelude to the New World) --- This is sort-of Beissel's New World Symphony. It's a hymnbook, with more mystical hymns by Beissel and friends.
* Jacobs Kampff- und Ritter-Platz (1736) (Jacob's Place of Struggle and Elevation) --- More ethereal hymns by Conrad Beissel. This book's preface includes the earliest printed mention of the name Ephrata: Ephrata in der gegend Canestoges (Ephrata in the Conestoga Region.)

From Benjamin Franklin, In His Own Words:

"Founder of the German Seventh-Day Baptists Johann Conrad Beissel immigrated with the community to Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in 1732. Beissel served as the spiritual director of the group as well as its composer, devising his own system of composition. The group's illuminated musical manuscripts were hand-lettered in Fraktur and are among the earliest original music composed in the British colonies. This illustrated hymnal was once in the possession of Benjamin Franklin. The rare second compilation of Beissel's hymns was printed in roman type without music by Benjamin Franklin in 1732."

Link to see a page of this hymnal> another>>Beissel"s writings>

Sunday doings

More Lubok from trolling the web. Inspiring stuff.

It's kind of been an "attack the piles" day. I processed a half bushel of apples into lovely pink applesauce last night. I turned left over rice into a nice rice pudding. The applesauce became part of the "Joy of Cooking" amazing applesauce cake. A selection from the fridge and new stuff became a meatloaf. I took the waiting pile of chicken bones and roasted them with onions, celery, carrots and leeks. Now I have those roasties in a pot on the top of the stove being rendered into stock. Rob made a calendar of things on the roster from now until Xmas. I itch with all the to dos. Two loads of laundry processed. All the white socks that have never been matched are now going to the trash. We have new bags for Sally's boutique (The Army). I need to make up a guest bed for friends of my inlaws (they are really entertaining). I have started a Christmas list to get in front of the purchasing and presents. This can get overwhelming if I don't get on it and have everything wrapped and ready by no later than Thanksgiving. I have started--but just.

I bought the card for valentines and need to do the art (psprint was having a good sale on folded cards this week...uncoated stock) and need to get the fun extra ordered too (a temporary tattoo!). Also should get a reorder of my buttons for fun (and for halloween?). This week. No kidding. The button folks, Busy Beaver, have glow in the dark buttons which are fun. I should figure out something to do with them.

Just finished Dan Brown's newest version of the DaVinci Code. Same premise, same Langdon, new "cult or crazy" , same female smartypants that is close to the "truth" or is the truth. Nice protagonist who loves tattoos and is an "illustrated man". I would say he is the big reason to read the book..just to hear about his masonic inspired symbols/illustrations all over his body/head etc. Other than that, read the DaVinci Code one more time. Am also chipping away at thises and thats in Fraktur...

Gotta go and keep the pots boiling. Sorry for this report of domesticity, but even the best of us need to succumb to these exercises.


The author of A Journey Around my Skull, an inspired illustration/design driven blog, mentioned Lubok in his recent post "Russian Fairy Tales from A. A." and he/she inspired me to go deeper.

Wikipedia say:

The lubok or Russian popular print is a variety of Russian popular art. In Russian, Lubok (Cyrillic: Russian: лубок, лубочная картинка) Earlier (latter 17th, early 18th century) they were woodcuts, then metal engravings or etchings, and in the 19th century produced by lithography. They sometimes appeared in series, which might be regarded as predecessors of the modern comic strip. Cheap, simple books, similar to chapbooks, which mostly consisted of pictures, are called lubok literature or (Cyrillic: Russian: лубочная литература). Both pictures and literature are commonly referred to simply as lubki. The Russian word lubok itself means the inner bark of the linden tree and refers to a technique of woodcut from bast of the linden tree, which used to be a common material in Russia for manufacturing various items: bast shoes, baskets, chests, etc>"

So...does any of this look familiar? Need to dig deeper..but figured I would let you in on the research.

Just finished processing left overs into rice pudding with cherries and lemon zest and a pile of cortland and macintosh apples into bowls of applesauce...

Need to go poke more apples. Just was thinkinig of you...and didnt want to let the day slip by without a little gumdrop.

monkeying around

click for enlargement>>

Click for another year>> I am now a year older today. We are going to the State Theater to see They Might Be Giants (a fluke,really, as I bought the tickets without registering the date). So, that is the fanfare.

The monkey keeps evolving for the wine project. His head is still evolving, but you can see something happening. I may do a little abstracted guy too.. who knows.

Holiday card was approved yesterday. Need to do brand new accurate art for it. The cool thing about this card is that it pushed me into learning a bit about Live Paint (one of the whizbang tools that are part of Adobe Illustrator). Like the negative snot that I am, I wrote it off like many of the "wild and crazy" filters that make your image seem oh so "digital". Turns out, its a great tool, a good time saver and allows lots of changing, lots of variation (to offer to clients) and gives you another work around to cutting and pasting shapes. Divine. I think I may change my name to reflect this conversion to align with Live Trace, Live Paint, Live Wire... at least when it comes to these new tricky helpers. And, I would not have even thought of it if I hadn't been in the presence of Jean Tuttle and Nancy Stahl who do not write off filters and new tools-- but try them and embrace them. I need to grow up and be cool like them....

Speaking of Jean>> Chad Grohman wrote a mini article/interview with Jean and posted it here!

Cracked open one of my Fraktur books yesterday to read a bit on the religious symbols that the author speculated on . It really isnt clear about the imagery in Fraktur whether it reflects a tradition (predominantly German) of religious art and symbols...or whether the imagery just is...and stands alone. Being a gorpy person who loves symbols, I of course, want to believe that this stuff is chock full of meaning, meaning inside of meaning, layer upon layer often not even understood by the artist/illustrator / scrivener--but because of the deep history and visual memory of these things-- they are embued with so much more. The author reminded his reader of the powwowing and folk cures and of the superstitions and beliefs of these people which we do know...and rolled his assumption that this stuff means stuff based on that as the foundation of that understanding and knowledge. I can make that leap of faith too. Not scientific-- but my gut says yes. I need to learn more about the Ephrata community as they are (to my thinking) the thought center for this type of American work. Their beliefs, their leader and his writings should illuminate this.

Sorry this is so fractured today...but thats kind of whats going on here. Hopefully, more least visuals.

Thursday thises and thats....

Celebrating the First Day of Autumn

I had a treat this morning when I picked up my apple share from Black Diamond Farm's fridge with a "help yourself" crate of glorious gala apples. So, the apples were a bonus enough for the morning, but somehow my timing was perfect as I had a chance to greet the family. Ian Merwin was full of energy, full of ideas and inspiration....made me want to sign up immediately for my next degree in Pomology...with his passion for teaching horticulture at Cornell, his pointing out the upside of his apples, and a quick review on colleges with an open style curriculm such as Reed College, Hampshire College...Evergreen. Next was Jackie...full of energy and ideas...letting me know that she and her daughter, Erica (now on the ballot to be the Town of Ulysses Clerk! Pls. vote for her on Nov. 3) were appalled (as was I) on the NPR story on natural gas. The way NPR portrayed natural gas, it was an obvious choice, it was the brave new world of energy resources despite the oilmen not interested until now as the economics of horizontal drilling and other processes (no mention of FRACing...the destruction of the landscape. the killing of the water resources) now make sense. NPR made it seem as mild as milk. We know that is not true.
These oilmen are infiltrating our neighborhoods trying to get any foothold into the shale and not telling the complete story to farmers who would love the money to make ends meet. Nothing on what the fracturing of the shale with chemically impregnated water does to the land, the water, and the water system. Nothing on the decision one land holder makes, impinges on the contiguous properties etc. We all are in this together, or not at all. We need to stop this stuff from happening in the Finger Lakes for the small change now...versus the irreversible destruction later. This is a subcrust version of strip mining. Not, an option.

Back to the apples. Kitty had a field trip to Black Diamond Farm with the Naturalist Club. Ian took them through the genealogy of his trees...this tree has these trees as the momma and the pops...and this tree has been grafted with that tree to make this spiffy apple. Kitty was taken with this deep red/brown apple called King that is used in cider making that has streaks of fermentation throughout its flesh...and has the flavor of licorice. Another apple tasted like cinnamon...and the gala for Kitty, stands alone. Yes, she tried all of the apples as Ian plied his pocket knife as part of the demonstration, showing the trees, and allowing a taste. He had them all in his thrall. I cannot imagine a happier moment than this sort of exposure with one of the best in his field, among the hometown kids...on a perfect clear fall day, standing in the orchards, talking about apples.( I am a bit biased as Ian spoke of his delight in teaching his Intro to Horticulture class at Cornell, and his pleasure in teaching this overview....He was so infectious, I was doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how I could work this into my schedule....everything from apples to grasses, from flowers to plants...the first step in beginning to specialize...and what with Cornell's strength in the land of the could be amazing)....This is such a gift.

Kitty had two gifts today. The other was going to Smith Woods (our old growth forest) and doing environmental science quadrants. She told me of all the mushrooms and ferns, the trees and all the loveliness in the quadrant they had to sketch and remark on. Wow. I want to go back to school.

Alex is hopeful for chords in guitar class.

Churned through a pile of work today. No fun, whatsoever. The bow is part of a Xmas logotype and felt I could pull it over and put it on a box more to remind myself that I have this "part" in the scrap pile.

Tomorrow is finalizing things. Confirming ads. Getting files to 3x3 for the advertising. Searching for glass hurricanes (wholesale). Calling a printer or two. And having mini prayers for the outstanding holiday card that could hit the bricks at a minute's notice.