Alex Cassetti, August, 2012, on the back porch, Q. Cassetti.As I have mentioned before, the new parents are not handed a care and feeding manual when  leaving the hospital to prepare them for the new life ahead. However, many parents despite the lack of information, learn how to parent, learn how to raise/ praise/ reward/ and grow these little beings they have been blessed to foster. I was one of those people who were surprised into parenthood. The time with these remarkable people sped us through almost two decades…so that time before kids is my B.C/ A.D. And just as quickly, the time changes…as they need to go on, and bridge into their own lives with our support and coaching, but not as core players.

Alex is gone and now is situated at Hofstra, being enlightened by the diversity of people, the joy of a new community of like souls, and the freedom of choice, freedom of time, and self focus. He was just a wee bit tentative, but as we were saying our goodbyes, he turned to both of us and said ” I think I am already homesick. You know, I had it really good in Trumansburg.” Just when I thought he took it all for granted, just as he was getting ready to plunge into the unknown, he had the grace and inspiration to gift us with that wonderful sentiment. Not only did he appreciate living in this charming little town, but we loved having him here with us. It has been a remarkable two years allowing us time with him as our only child with Kitty at Hampshire.

We became a new team watching sports with Alex and loving every minute. We took him out to see bands we thought he would like. We had weekly bro-fests with his friends—with food, video games and gossip. We had boy sleepovers and cast parties. We had sausage fests and cross country events. We had sports banquets and musical performances. We had Prince Dauntless and Ike Skidmore. We were treated to Alex’s back seat comedy impressions and hilarious serenades from musical theatre. We froze squirrels for Elly. We went on double dates with Alex and Elly—movies, dinners, pizza. We drove all over. We shopped and planned and talked. We were there for each other. You can guess it, I miss him.

After leaving him to start this new chapter, it took me the better part of three days of being silent to process this change. Not only did Alex have a new world, so did Rob and I. We had a nice life before kids, 12 years of just us doing what we wanted to do together. We traveled. We lived in different places. We had friends (albeit nothing like the life we have now). But this amazing two decade slide from Q and Rob as couple, to Q and Rob as parents, has changed us as the team that we are. We too, have changed and continue to evolve.

It makes me nuts that having your children leave is called having an “empty nest” as the grown birds never return. I was musing on that during the last lake float that I had—and it dawned on me that Rob and I were bookends for our family. We are on the left and right, with just the right amount of space between us to accomodate two delightful books that need a bit of help to stand up. The bookends squeeze the books just to allow them to be vertical— keeping the binding and the paper in the best possible way. When the books are borrowed or are no longer between the bookends, they keep that same space, waiting for it’s  purpose to come back…to support, to accomodate those publications. That is where Rob and I are. We are the bookends, holding the space for Kitty and Alex…and we should learn to scootch together for the time they aren’t here, so we can support each other and relearn our new role as US, versus as the parent role that we have assumed.

The High School is back in session. Everyone has moved forward a grade…and my boy has moved forward too. Its going to be a wild ride for him from now until Christmas—and the work will be hard. I know he can do it. I have to watch from the sidelines and cheer—even if he cannot hear me.


Soon to be for Sale at Qtoo on Etsy.The gang have gone to the Big Splash event in Stewart Park and I am blissfully washing towels, charging my iPad, making coleslaw and thinking about the iconic aspects of roses. It was similar yesterday—and I revelled in not having deadlines, plans or schedules. It was just nice being….reading, and at the end of the day floating…until the Bros came over and I made a nice but pretty informal and quick dinner to entertain them.

I am making these cameos (see to the left) and shooting pictures on my windowsill with a point and shoot and then using the photoshop skills (once in a while this sort of thing is nice to really have chops in)—to create images to post to Etsy for the soon to be Qtoo Shop. There will be jewelry and tattoos, cards, and sticker sets, and of course, tattoos. The more I think about Q designed/ illustrated tattoos (particularly the big ones) I think there is a cool niche that could happen not only as one offs, but for wedding parties, anniversaries, etc. And, the darker the better though seed package art might make some cute tats as well.  Both Alex and Rob are not enthused about this, but it is keeping my mind off of where my head is these days with the travel and changes about to happen.

I must be a bit depressed, I think, from the change in the near future. No more kids full time. You have them, raise them and put them first in all you do from cash spends to time spends— and then, they are gone. I am sounding selfish, I know—but when “THEY” give you the baby to take home from the hospital, “They” do not give you a book on how to nurture and raise this person, what to watch out for, how to behave, how to react, how to plan, how to care. “They” do not give you a roadmap of the key “decision diamonds” (corporate speak, impressed?) on this persons path from zero to eighteen. And as we adults stumbled, and fumbled, our little ones raised themselves with breakfast, lunch and family dinners, with little vacations and time at the lake, with the picking and loving of pets, music, art and books on tape to become the fledglings that are leaving our nest…and with that my fear the bumpy road ahead. Why is it that I hesitate in trusting this person who I trust implicitly? Why is it that  I fear for their personal fumbles? Why is it that I worry about the unknown? What can I do to help my fledgling get out of the nest and point his head into the wind to soar? I worry at this change—and am at the same time puzzling over all the new time I will have to be selfish with. More time for pictures. More time to date my boyfriend husband. More time to get myself together. It could be a wild marvel and opportunity and I should try to focus on that than the fear and trepidation I have for my kids. Number One is flying. Number Two is ready….He just needs to jump…and I need to let him (and applaud!). I need to treasure the time I have with them together in the next few weeks and then try to let go. I think I can do this…. I know they can. Deep breath.

New Year, new day.

Sketch, Q. Cassetti, 2012We are back from a lengthened trip to take Kitty back to Hampshire for Jan Term. We swung by Mass Moca with a treat (staying at The Porches Inn) complete with a little sleep, a lot of art and some swimming in the pool and hot tubbing outside in the cold New England air. We had a great time with Kitty and Alex— lots of talking, laughing and really enjoying being in each other’s company. Alex regaled us with his impromptu interpretation of the the horrible books they read in middle school… causing us practically to wreck the car with his funny insights and focus. Kitty wanted to talk about how she is changing/growing and how that could fit into her education and what she is discovering that she may want. What an evolution from the girl we looked at colleges with.

We drove down to Hampshire on Monday on the most spectacular road…taking in the sights of the Mohawk Trail….the mountains, the valleys, the hairpin turns, the goofy souvenir stands (selling moccasins!) (the best being one with an enormous polychromed native american chief to beckon you in for a treat). It was great just getting a dose of new terrain, new places—without having a definite deadline against it. All of my “vacation time” (and Robs) have been involved in looking at colleges, going on college tours and going to and from college as part of the shuttle bus. It was nice to have this as an option (along with our mini trip to Miami) just to change the channels. Would love a week of that. Love.

I kind of hit the wall with teenaged and college aged boys late last week. It started with one of them eating all the homemade breadcrumbs for Christmas eve prep for dinner and climaxed with eight guys lurking around my kitchen all day eating anything within eyeshot and then leaving all their detrius…moving on to more and more and more. I was overwhelmed after working and confronting this wall of masticating men…I immediately became dehumorized and needed to shut down. Unfortunately, with all of this pre Christmas, post Christmas gathering of the “Bros”, it took the quiet time we normally have together and tossed it out the window. I gotta make some plans to make sure this doesnt happen at such volume next December. I can appreciate the need to gather, to eat, to bro-it-up….but starting at 11 a.m. and then finishing at 3 a.m. with heaps of sleeping men for days…is just a bit overwhelming. Yes, I did approve this all…but it then took on a momentum I didnt anticipate.

We have the ACT done. We have the Hampshire application done. We have interviews at Hampshire and Landmark scheduled. We will have the Landmark application done this week. Alex is commited to change with Landmark and wants to sharpen up his skills to let him succeed in a four year program and is articulating why he is looing forward to Landmark and then the next chapter once he has gotten his chops sharpened up. He is a remarkable person…so self aware. He is a solid, centered person that I adore and want the best for.

The New Year has clicked into that of 2012. So much happening from a few graduations, a few weddings, a prom(!), travel for us and the kids (together and separate), and change galore. I do not feel that happy anticipation of the year ahead…and need to get my head there. I want a creative shot…and something I can run with… I hope the New Year will inspire that. 

and now the day begins. Work waits.

New week on the horizon

scherenschnitte1. Q. Cassetti, pen and ink, 2011Old week coming to a close. Since we spoke last, I have cooked up a storm, visited with people, shopped in Corning and in Waterloo, searched for shoes, and tried to sleep in between. We have had visitors from both sides of the family and lots of wonderful time with our dear girl and darling boy.

So the cooking started late Wednesday afternoon in prep for Kitty’s arrival. It was dinner and a few little things. She arrived around ten at the bus station—so Rob and I went to get her. She came home and ate a phenomenal amount of food…talking and chatting, laughing and opinionizing. Delightful. But it got late and we all had to put our heads down. Alex had friends over, so they listened to music and watched movies (which they always do).

Thursday, it was up and early. We had a dinner to put on the table, “wheels up” by 4. Everything was defrosted. The brined breasts washed, the salad compiled, the maple walnut layer cake iced and decorated. Table was set. Placecards made and placed. All went without a hitch. New refinements to this year’s even were: 1) preheat the premade gravy in advance. Use the hand/emersion blender to froth up before serving. You can add a bit more parsley at that time to freshen things up; 2) Second type of cranberry. I make the raw orange/cranberry/bit of sugar in the food processer so its chunky kind. This year I mulled some cider (about 3 c. cider, 1 seeded orange cut in  half (put 4 cloves in each half (skin side), squeeze the juice into the cider, 2 cinnamon sticks…and boil.) then, I put 2 bags of fresh cranberries into the cider (you can sweeten/ I didnt) and let them pop… What with the pectin in the fruit, it makes a lovely change and alternative to the raw stuff); and 3) prior to the early gravy making with the early stock making (turkey legs and wings from t he cheap parts section of the turkey aisle at the store)—make a TON as you do use it). Stock is key to Thanksgiving. I should have put a number at each placesetting to force people to change partners at dessert…and need to remember this for the next festa. Only downside to the party was that a family member was out of line with his behavior which soured the event for me. Better planning in the future to manage this behavior is needed. Nice thing is that this misbehavior is consistent. It was silly me to expect better. Next time.

I fully engaged the boneyard moments after the Thanksgiving festivities were winding down. The full carcass of the 19 lb. organic, natural, loved turkey, and Mr. Purdue’s fresh natural breast were boiled away after roasting to yield me three enormous containers of stock for the next Turkey fest after the 25th of December. Plans are in place to have a family party of kids and their friends for more of the same…We will see.

Eddys and Cassettis, November 25, 2011Friday, my brother Tom, his wife, Jenny and three wonderful kids came to visit on the way home to Boston. It was great to see them, albeit a bit short as we were just beginning to get warmed up.  They arrived in an enormous truck, something Hagrid from Harry Potter might have driven, the “Raptor” with my nephew who has grown to way over 6’ tall and the girls lovely and chatty. I loved seeing them. What a treat. So we had pizza and gabbed and laughed. I said wicked things to prompt them to join in, but they were so well bred, they snickered but didnt take the bait the way team Cassetti always does. The day was gorgeous…vernal with green grass, bright orange sunlight and a blue sky. It was November in SoCal, not Central New York. But we will take these blessings as they come…hoarding them as jewels. Rob and I did a quick strategic strike at the Black Friday Corning Museum of Glass sale. It was remarkable by 3 p.m. how much merchandise had been cleared out of the museum and the big auditorium with the big ticket items. I bought some drinking glasses, some glass jewelry and a few presents to add to mypile….for a great price. The big things they had were a huge selection of Waterford drinking glasses, example of Iittala Toikka Birdstumblers, wine and water glasses, a huge selection of Riedel glasses, and a huge selection of the Iittala Toikka Birds at very good prices. Everything was 20% off across the board with deeper savings throughout the boutiques. It was amazing…and hopefully it will all bode well for the Museum of Glass financially. High class stuff for good prices is hard to beat and next weekend is the fabulous Studio Sale which I recommend anyone in the area to make a visit for. Well worth the trip. We will not be here, so listen…and you will hear my teeth gnashing from down south! Go and hit the dollar table…the interesting experimental drinking glasses will make your morning orange juice something to celebrate or at least, notice. Latticino spun plates and bowls, some lovely cast glass….and so on. Too fun. All one offs.

We bought new dancing shoes for Kitty and a plaid shirt for Alex at TJMaxx to their delight. Kitty was giddy with her new shoes…for contradancing and the costume shop (her new reference points). Alex, as usual, was “hitting it” and working on the new look for Fall Winter Alexstyle. We are going to take some pix for fun and put in an application for Ford Models for  A. He wants to do it, and I can take the shots…why not? The worst thing would be that nothing would happen. No change from today, right? And in the tradition of our house, you should try and try and try. You never know.

Today, we went to the Waterloo outlets to get pants for Rob. This week is Art Basel Miami and Design Miami. Rob will be speaking at Musecon on Tuesday and doing some business/ meetings this week until  A. and I show up on Thursday and Friday to take in some art and happenings. So we needed to get some things so that Rob could look like the grown up he is. Costuming is complete. Now for the packing for him (Florida and Manhattan, from swimwear to formal wear…sounds almost Miss America-sh). He has lots of work in front of him, but if things happen postively, 2012 will be far more interesting (and diverse/complicated).

The sky is paynes gray grading to cream to light pink to paynes grey again. We have had some spectacular sunrises and sunsets in the past few SoCal days. It would be great for things to quiet down a bit so I can put some ink down and then settle in for an hour or so of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie (who I have loved from his other biographies, particularly that of Nicholas and Alexandra). But just time with my pens would be lovely.

I hope you gave thanks with friends and family…surrounded by the people that get you revved up and going. I love this holiday of gratitude. We should have more of them. The count the blessings holidays. I am thankful we just have the one we have…but a monthly one would be great too. There will be lots to talk about in the next week. Stay tuned!

Lovely Fall Back

Here I am at the ultimate chic Maguire VW to have my car get a check up and lo and behold, there is this lovely computer room, free snacks, teevee, nice chairs, windows and not a cigarette butt in site. How remarkable. I am so impressed, I want to have my car serviced weekly. Maguire really is impressive.  No greasy vinyl chairs tucked between the humming soda machine and a stand ash tray with the battering ram sounds coming from the garage and the endless chat of the owner of the shop on the phone. Now its the car spa…blonde wood, free iced cream and teevee. Glorious.  And the folks are really really nice too. And, with the time I thought I would be dawdling, I can dawdle a bit with you.

I seem to be able to get through my lists these days—taking on more new stuff and being able to get through it without having to do nine or ten iterations on something really simple (like a two color mouse pad that was the recent project of note). We are getting the lineup of a lot of people who want to make their year-end bonuses by finally figuring out they need to get things done that they hadn’t thought about until now, and they need them figured out, designed and produced by December 1 so as to print and distribute by January 1. Screamers. And many of these folks are not our focus customers, so its a bit disconcerting as I really want to say no to quite a few of them as I do not want to have to work Thanksgiving and the day after on someone else’s lack of planning. Urg. Enough of my complaining.

Alex posted some music to the web yesterday—mashups that he created with some audio scrap and work of a rapper online. He is smiling and happy as he is getting some great response (including the rapper who saw a post on YouTube—and was psyched by the work). I need to get Reason, a software package for him for the holiday (along with their software that really allows you to untangle the layers of sound and pluck out snippets to work with. It is great to see him delight and have motivation around something he is getting recognition for. He is talking about how easy these mashups are and how he is done with it. So, both Rob and I are pushing for a body of work so he has an hour of original work to play with the incentive being an exclusive DJAQ (his DJ name) party/event. There is some interest in that…and if its so easy, 75 new mashups should be in the works. If John Thompson told me I would not be an illustrator until I did 500 illustrations, I would say the same around audio mashups. Then we can move on…But recognition for his work and the sheer joy in having others enjoy our work is something I want him to have more of. We all can relate to that (particularly those of us who blog and post our work). I hope there is more of this in the future.

I must admit, I love fall back as much as spring forward. I love the velvety darkness in the evening and being in our snuggly house with the woodstove fired up in the evening with tea and company. It is such marvelous sleeping weather, I am feeling much sunnier and revv’d up. Now, the sixty degree weather and chrome yellow leaves on the trees cannot hurt things either. But we have had a glorious fall—perfection—that to have it extend a bit further into November is something I do not take for granted.

Rob is working late tonight. Leah, Alex and I are going to pick up our two pig shares (1/2 pig each) to our delight. I think there might be some bacon for dinner. Yes!

And then more mailing list correction, amendments and changes.

Furious pie

Halloween Masks: Skulltime, Q. Casseti, 2011, Adobe Illustrator CS5I am sitting here in the kitchen with two pies in the oven to take to the annual TBXC dinner tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of this years cross country team. Apple with craisins. It should be fun, to the point and then we have the prime opportunity to take Alex up to Cornell for a concert that he and a crew from the high school are psyched to go to. We had two of Alex’s friends for the night, and I throughly enjoyed gossiping with them before Alex got home. So fun.

Last night’s performance of “A Bagful of Fables” was great. It was a series of short one acts, linked by Aesop introducing the fable, summing up the former one, and making some sort of dramatic reference or two to remind the audience that this is a performance. The cast was all in colored tee shirts and grey sweatpants with minimal props and sets. It was all very well done…and to speak as the proud mama I am, Alex stole the show. He is a big energy and personality on the stage, totally comfortable in his body and is coordinated and graceful. He has a comedic aspect which, I think if he were to do more of this, might be interesting to see what and how he would develop. I was delighted in his performances as well as his obvious happiness in the performance, the community and the work he accomplished. Win Win. So worth the time.

On November 18-9 ,w e are going to see Landmark College, a 2 yr. accredited college in Vermont, committed to teaching learning methodologies (through skills and technology) to exclusively to students with learning disabilities. They give the students tools to learn, grow and be able to keep up in a college environment and then help them move to a four year program to finalize their studies. I am, to put it mildly, very optimistic about this opportunity and giving our student the understanding, the community, the help and tools that frankly he did not get. He was the child that was left behind. There is no end to my venom around that little catch all government phrase that sums up my children’s educational experience—around testing and not around learning. It was around mainstreaming and not teaching to each child and his/her method of learning/processing. It is about ignoring the symptoms of a child struggling and not ONE teacher, aide, principal, counselor questioning if the child is truly being served, truly learning or just keeping “within the lines” (or within the sweep of Alex as a Farmer in “A Bagful of Fables, 11/04/2011, Q. Cassetti“standards”) to run them through the public k-12 offering. The school’s responsibility is to provide support in order for a student to learn. They missed that here. And, so much more. However, I am being negative and should focus on that which is good. I have a strong student, a smart student, and one who does not totally loathe himself. I have a student that can be educated to move forward postitively and we have the means to support that study (nothing like saving like a squirrel for years and years). Not withstanding, the system failed us. Unforgiveably so. I hurt inside and hurt for my child. I need to focus on the potential for the future…but anger is my middle name…

Shady Grove still stinks. I have two cats wrapped around my ipad/ ipad keyboard. All three pets grunting and moaning in their sleep. It should feel restful, but the constant heaving and squeaking is a bit disturbing.

More masks. I may start drawing a few (ink) and then either redrawing in illustrator or modifying in photoshop before coloring them as they are pretty basic, and then they would be all mine to do with what I want. Rob wants to prototype them as real masks….I just want to do illustrations.  And more illustration and more.

I was musing this morning over the opportunity to make a little cookbook for Kitty and Alex of all their favorites with of course, illustrations from me, and photos of them….I think I might make this a years project and then do it as either a or blurb book. It would be fun to be a little Provensen with it.

New opportunitity alert! with Minted is one of those on demand printing sites where you can get ink on paper for cards etc. with your child’s picture so instead of sending mom and dad little baby’s picture with a Kodak card, you can get it on “real” paper. Minted has upped that game with for real paper (Mohawk Superfine is their standby with an upgrade to a pearlescent paper), and with designed “shells” that have nice typography, cute illustration and basically, good graphics with good taste. Nice fonts, tasteful illustration, clean layouts. Now, you do have to pay for this (“hello Kodak, you are looking mighty affordable these days)—but the results are really nice. I have to dig deeper to see if I can do some design for their design challenge and get a shell printed. Wouldn’t that be cool? Maybe there is a shell that could hold pix of my kids for the fam? Not everything needs to be totally custom custom? right?

We will see. Some new illustration opportunities on the horizon. I wish I could talk about them, but alas….

Summer lull

Green Man 10, Q. Cassetti 2011, pen and ink.Yesterday was a day of shuttling and shopping, cooking and floating, revelations and quiet. Rob went sailing with our friend Peter and our friend John on the prettiest little wooden sailboat on Cayuga Lake.

I took Kitty into her job by noon with a stop at the fabric store to buy fake fur to make  hats out of. We looked and touched pretty much everything in the store, ending up with a yard of tone on tone spotty cheetah type stuff that she was delighted with. I then did a little grocery shopping (for the crowd of 10 for lunch everyday) coming home to marinate chicken, brown a big hunk of beef for spaghetti sauce, and a mamouth pork butt into the crockpot for pulled pork (the crew loves it, its cheap and in the crockpot, not a lot of heat is generate). After all of that, I glanced at Alex and Jacob looking glum and uninspired, so I suggested I take them to Jacob’s favorite music store to see what there was to be seen. I dropped them off, and ran to TJMaxx for wrapping paper and thises and thats. Then, my phone rang and it was time to pickup the boys. With more time to kill prior to picking up Kitty, we went to the new Trader Ks to find some really great things for the boys. We took a long and neighborhoody drive down the hill to gather our girl and go to the lake for swimming. But that changed as Kitty went off to the last Blue Stockings game (one of our rollerderby teams) and Jacob and E. stayed chez camp for music and such.

So, Alex, Shady, Rob and I were lakeside and talked about how maybe Alex would like to spend a year (maybe Rotary) abroad to experience all of that. Bless him! He finally heard me…! How great would that be? and what a great calibration for him out of high school and into a world that loves him and that he can grow and expand in. This is so so great. He would so love it. Now, to  make it happen.

Today, we had a quiet morning with coffee and swimming.  Once Rob started to mow the lawn, Kitty and I went to pick peaches and raspberries. I have about 3 quarts of raspberries in the freeze with many many more planned (seeing the abundance of green berries ready to go in 10 days or so). The peaches were sublime with soft fruit on the ground with tremendously happy bees scavanging for the sweetness to take home to the hive. Maybe some bees and fruit need to become integrated into the greenman project.

Bright and Shiny

Cool,clear and beautiful today. Alex was up early to prep for his Physics examination. Kitty and Thea were up bright and early to get on the bus to get to Ithaca to watch a friend give his final presentation of a project. I got the trash and recycling to the curb—trying to make some sense of the trash room which was essentially “trashed”. Its nice to have that done.

I wanted to share this interesting link with you….which you may be interested in (or not) but I think its cool, kind of a celebration of our digital age, the digital cottage from whence the digital cottage industries happen. To wheel this back a bit, I love where the world is these days. One can, if inspired, start a business, sell stuff online, and create a job, a business, create a salary without having to pander to “The Man” and all that entails. So, the paradigm of going out to “get a job” may become more staying put, and creating a niche for yourself. Etsy is a model for that…but anyone with a website can/could be in business. One step further, anyone with a computer can be a small manufacturer. What with the amazing stuff that is created for scrapbooking, one can do limited edition vinyl, paper, plastic laser cutting combined with the lovely Epson printers (large scale) that can print paper, fabric, material etc. Laser cutters like Cricut, The Silhouette, or the Klik-n-Kut (CNC cutters)  that work with standard purchases along with VECTOR Graphics (hello! this is my world!!). Companies like Spoonflower allow us the opportunity to create patterns and custom fabrics for ourselves and for sale. Klic-N Print allows you to print on ribbons, stickers. There are all sorts of inexpensive on-demand and conventional printers out there online that I cannot say enough about. And there is this new site I have discovered, Ponoko, part of the “personal factory movement”. This is what Ponoko says to explain the business they are in:

Welcome to the world’s easiest making system.

Ponoko is an online marketplace for everyone to click to make real things.

It’s where creators, digital fabricators, materials suppliers and buyers meet to make (almost) anything.

We kicked off at TechCrunch40 at the end of 2007 with a vision to reinvent how goods are designed, made and distributed worldwide.

The core of this vision is the trade in product designs – kinda like the trade in music (iTunes), photos (Flickr), movies (YouTube) and software apps (iPhone) before us.

We host tens of thousands of user generated product designs, ready to be customized and made into real things with the click of a mouse.

But hosting designs is only a part of the puzzle. Importantly, we also provide the world’s first digital making system that means these product designs can be priced instantly online and made locally, as close to the point of consumption as possible.

It means goods can be made in the greenest way. Making on demand reduces warehousing and wastage. Plus, making locally emphasizes digital transportation of goods instead of the traditional shipping of physical products.

Check it out. Isnt it great we have so much within a mouseclick away? Think of all you could do and make.

Saturday thoughts

Daughters, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink manipulated in Adobe Photoshop CS5End of the week, beginning of the long weekend. Did an quick logo exploration for a new client yesterday. A program logotype which was amusing and fruitful. The other new client job met the deadline, and I guess we will hear about the next steps early next week—or at least that is what I hope. You never know how timely the information will be.

We went to Felicias last night to celebrate the end of the week. Long John and the Tights were playing with all sorts of musicians swapping in and out during their sets. There was such happiness in the music, the conviviality of the musicians and the basket of bread that Stefan Senders had for sale in his linen lined basket. We had such fun with Kitty and Alex…and wit and gossip. We are so lucky to have such a fun family. The light was magical…rich and deep. I cannot wait to see what the camera has yielded.

Tonight’s music is Billy Eli at the Rongo: 9:30PM-12:30AM
Billy Eli celebrates Eric Aceto’s birthday with Djug Django, Southern Tears & the Flying Aceto Brothers celebrates Eric Aceto’s birthday with Djug Django, Southern Tears & the Flying Aceto Brothers -
So, Alex and Rob and I will stroll over to hear the wild music and catch some of the Billy Eli magic (as well as all the wonder the Acetos bring). Need to charge the camera for this evening!

David planted my cherry trees! They are so glorious in their perfection…small, but hardy. We have put cages around them to give them a chance against the critters. We have put a mesh fabric over all the tasty bits (tree peonies,hosta and others) to see if that will keep the deer away. But as you know, the deer are persistent. Not smart…but they keep at it. Diligent and persistent.

What with all the rain and cool humid days, the raspberries and sour cherries this season will be remarkable. Thing of all the things we can make! Ball Diamond Road in a month or so! Wahoo!

Speaking of making, I just made up a vat of fresh salsa for Alex and his band friends who are making music all day in the living room. We have just Alex this weekend as the Dancing Princess has gone off to Vermont for the Brattleboro, “Dawn Dance”. We got her to the bus this morning…with great pride in our hearts that our girl was confidently moving forward, bags packed, ticket in hand ready for fun.

Onward to sketches and ideating. I have lots to think about!

Monday update

Chequered Bunny, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink, colored in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS5Monday. Things have changed. We have two kids in the house with a summer guest in the offing. Today is Rob’s birthday! We will hopefully have dinner out at our nice restaurant a block from here. There is an awards ceremony we need to attend…so maybe a late dinner.

We had a nice evening with all sorts of “Facebook Stalking” (Alex’s phrase) with the review of all the prom pictures (which is almost as much fun as the prom)—the dresses, the hairdos, the white dinner jackets etc. Kitty and our friend Thea were very consumed by looking at all these pictures—sort of a yearbook of some sort. Shoes and hairdos took the lead insofar as conversation. 

Interesting. Behance Network, a free, social networking page for visual people is a terrific resource to share (and get interesting feedback) where you can post projects and follow others. I have gotten some interesting leads on work from folks that have seen my work on Behance, so I cannot say enough about it. Also, Behance and LinkedIn, have an app. that allows you to post Behance projects (known as portfolios) to LinkedIn as soon as its posted. So, that is a nice extra to make your content get out there, easily. Now they are doing a Beta on easy up personal websites that parse the same projects/portfolios to a central page with a series of simple but really nice skins to show your work. One has choices in background, background color, font selections etc. This is something I may look into because of the reach, simplicity and to better understand what these two social networking sites can do with/for each other.

Wow. Look at this! You can flow the Behance stuff to your Facebook page! I need to try this out! I guess it pays to wander a bit on Monday morning! You never know what you will find! From the Behance Blog>>


Work beckons. There are a bunch of little projects gathering around my ankles…and should get them moving.

It is so so great that it is cooler and raining as it is changing the high pollen content here. Everything has been coated with chartreuse pollen from the walks to the cars, to even our furniture inside as it wafts in through the screens and windows. Shady is snoring.

First Workday: 2011

When Cats Fly, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies from the second sketchbook project, Long day yesterday. In the car most of it… We got Kitty tricked out with food and drugstore stuff with productive trips to Target and Whole Foods. Wow. If only we had one here in Itown (Whole Foods that is). Sure is the Museum of the Organic Lifestyle. Pricey but inspired buying, inspired display, and a complete grasp of what their customer is looking for. I was intrigued by the packaging we saw in the babyfood aisle—foil packets and these flat packages with sealable spouts (which really makes trash to go in the landfill…so environmentally, maybe not the message they are trying to get across. Yes, there is less, but it doesnt reduce to zero).

Kitty and Alex schlepped the whole contents of the back of the wonderbus to her room (skiis and more) and got her settled. We took back far less than we delivered so that the May pickup will be a crunch. Kitty seemed so happy to be back in her new digs, new friends, new opportunities, new things to share and try. Rob and I were comparing our first semester of freshman year to that of Kitty’s and yes, thank you, she is doing just fine. We forget how time is the big ingredient for change.

Rob had to work on a presentation in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express until 1:30 when we picked him up to take Kitty back and say good bye. And then, we were off with sandwiches from Whole Foods and my lovely teabags from Harneys. I have been driving Rob crazy by carrying a shortie steel thermos with me when I travel. However, this trip, he saw how good it was. Everytime we stop for a bio break, I get hot water from the venue of choice (free) and then plop an elegant Harney teabag into it…and we have tea to sip between stops. For those of us coughing, sneezing and throaty, it has been a lifesaver. And, if you dont know about Harney Tea, you should>> I recommend the Hot Cinnamon Spice (reg and decaf), their bulk Earl Grey Supreme, the Holiday Tea (drank a box of the sachets in less than a week with Kitty) which are the basics around here. And the perfume of these teas are rich and amazing which goes right into the flavor of the tea. It makes the Liptons/Red Rose stuff seem like sawdust. More expensive but a transcendent experience.

First workday of the new year. Need to make it count.

Day after Advent #1: Phew.

Swanheart, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpie, from the second sketch book project

Phew! Another year done! Wrapping and boxing, list making and shopping, cooking and sorting. All done. Phew.

The amazing “feast in a box” (icebox) is the total way to go. I had the stock, gravy, stuffing mix (not the cornbread part), the cake layers, the bread all done. Turkey went in around 9 a.m. I iced the cake, tossed the stuffing and threw a salad and a veggie together so the holiday went without a hitch and the nightmare of carving and creating a mediocre gravy didn’t happen. Yay for me! Yay for kitchen schmarts. Yay for a freezer (if you dont have one, get one..but be clever about how you use it). A freezer is a not forever thing, but a hold until next week, next month thing. And you can have plates and plates of different food that you made yourself (just not concurrently). So, dinner went without a hitch. The glorious pure turkey (freerange, no antibiotics, organobird) did all the things it did to my delight at Thanksgiving. All the food happened at one time as was hot. And, we seated everyone for dinner around 4:45 p.m. to make it an early evening for all of us. It was a nice party. Quiet, but nice.

Then, after the dishes were swept away, I got right into the great boneyard roasting with leeks and onions, celery and onions (with the skins). So, this morning that whole pile of vegetables and brownness got popped into the cauldron on top of the stove to cook away all day into the next round of turkey stock. I just need to click into processing the rest of the food (soups, stews, pies) so we have a weeks worth of dinners on hand (a real vacation). Kitty is ice skating with her friends on their pond. Alex is off making music or trouble with his new friends….

I need to download “Pencil” as my Christmas present from Kitty was a tutorial in this software to make simple little animations. I had a beginner this afternoon around lunchtime, so I need to show good faith and give it a try before she gets home. I recieved some great books on soupmaking and breadmaking, a piece of glass enamelled by Emilio Santini’s wife (a spur by my hubby to get to enameling on glass), some cocktail napkins with my name on them(!), and books on illustrative topics. It was a good Christmas. Not over the top or anything. Pretty simple, but satisfying to all, I hope.

Interior of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA froToday I can also be retrospective. Tomorrow, December 27, Rob and I celebrate our 30th anniversary! Who would have guessed! In my case, I am proud of this accomplishment and cannot imagine having a better partnership with anyone other than his wonderful man. We have grown up together. We have gone over quite a few speed bumps in our journey, but bounced along problem solving and pushing each other to be the best we have the ability to be. These are things that when standing in the gold tessellated nave of my church, I could not have imagined…I just knew this was right and good and it has been. Marriage is a toss up, and really for me, it is a test of faith in that gut knowledge that the journey will be enriched and bettered by the other person on the trail with you. It is faith in yourself, your partner and trust that you will continue to have faith, trust and abide by the contract that marriage puts on your relationship. For me, the contract is the piece many do not value. If the contract is broken (the stuff about love and obey, as translated by the partners..)then the whole of the marriage cannot survive completely. Also, I believe that this contract is truly between the partners and the Greater One and if broken, then difficult to get back to a place of trust, of faith, of love. I have been blessed by so much and one of the greatest is my marriage to Rob.

On that note, I am sounding a bit preachy and I apologize. I need to go and get the pencil..and make some lines wiggle for Kitty. More later>>

Advent Calendar Day 20: You never know

Holiday Cookie, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies, from the Second Advent Calendar ProjecdFunny how things happen. I posted a collection of these “pretty and creepy” drawings to Behance, the social networking site for artists/illustrators/photographers/ graphic designers just to see what the reaction would be. Turns out, I was notified that this little set was featured today (meaning, it is culled out of the mix and highlighted which has happened twice before for me). What happens is a lot of traffic is generated, nice comments (particularly in the Russian artists noticing that some of these illos feature the Russian Nesting Doll idea) and thats that. More traffic and more response than I ever got for my $700 on the iSpot. And candidly, more actionable response (two jobs already). Interestingly, I got an email this a.m. from an art director in Dubai interested in my quoting on a job from them (from the Behance exposure)….So, hip hip hurray! and if you are an illustrator and not on Behance, I highly recommend it. It’s free and you never know who or what will strike people’s fancy.

I guess this line stuff has some legs too. Didnt think it would…as it isn’t as bold/strong as the other line work with the tiger teeth….but it seems to strike a chord with some. We will see what happens.

Got the holiday cards in the mail this a.m. I have a meeting with the Hangar Team this a.m. and then back to see what we can do about this car and the financing.

Kitty is free, so I plan on her doing a little office work for me (to make some mooohla). Mandy, David B and John, Rob are all here. So I need to add some water to the soup pot and see what kind of left overs I can dump in the crock pot for lunch for the team.

Rob is off to have his foot xrayed. I hope that they can make him feel a bit better. He is hobbling around and it doesnt look very comfortable.  More later.

Before the Sunrises

Purple nooodle, Sketchbook2 project, Q. Cassetti, 2010, sharpies.Got some wrapping done. Not all finished but groupings are boxed and all they need are tags. Those that need to be fleshed out, are still on shelves. However, I am not feeling lost or disheartened about all of this…so I am feeling like goals could be met.

Now, for Holiday Decorating. I am going to need swags. Big question with that is to be a big girl and buy the real deal, or go for fauxpine, and have it around for later and not to worry about shedding etc? Other question, should I buy a few little lit trees for the front porch and that would be that? They would be sweet. I am also thinking luminaria for the Chorus event might be sweet too. Hmm. The shelf of nutcrackers need to come out. Big visual strokes. Not the usual “how bitty is bitty” thinking. And silver ornaments? How many zillion do I have. More zillions might be good. First, though, the Thanksgiving events need to happen. That is this week….

Finished Sketchbook 2 yesterday. Need to scan in and see what evolves. Had a nice hour last night making lines and loving my pen and paper. The last few images were valentines (only halfsies) so I cannot wait to see what happens when I flip them. I could cheat with a mirror, but the real fun is doing it in photoshop and seeing if what I hope/think will happen, does. Or, even better, a happy surprise! I am grooving on Sirin wings…and am putting them on all sorts of stuff. You will see as soon as they are scanned.

Rob is off to Albany early this a.m. for an interesting meeting. I have yearbook before 9…and then a quick drive to deliver cards to my pals at Cornell. There are the following things on the boards: work for the big client, Brochure and logotype for the Museum, Calendar to come for the Museum, a brochure for IC., and the two annuals for divisions of the Vet School. I need to nip at my printers as things are  not moving fast enough for me on the cards that are printing etc. I am using a small press that bumped my work for a job that their client screwed up and they needed to go of press for the second time. I am not thrilled about that. I have personal cards being printed and plan on sending out a business card and rack card for the Bakery as that need is there and the prices are good.

Alex has three days of school. Bruce is off on his holiday today. So, activity abounds and its not quite 6:30 in the morning.

Rob found my work here:  Crazy Chinese channels/ sites. I wish I could see what they like about the stuff. I find it fascinating. This Anina group literally lifted the entire bulk of work form  Chinese Padmag. Hmm. I also need to look into the address (web) that someone just plunked on one of my pieces. What does this mean?


Eye/Hand, Q. Cassetti, Second Sketchbook Project, sharpies, 2010Cooking off a bunch of stuff that is seconds from turning in the fridge. Now its cooked and frozen to use later this week. We had a quiet evening of it, and a quiet morning with a good call with Miss Kitty, a visit with Miss Vann and Mr. Delfs, and music from the synth from Mr. Quarrier. Now, the house is a bit empty, so I am writing you while my holiday labels print on the printer.

In the past few years, I was shocked by how horrible labels for holiday packages were, so I bought avery labels and printed out my own labels/own design on the Epson. Its always fun…but a bit of torture to get the labels (mac is never supported in the template world) to match up…so the designs were floaty and random. However, this is not true anymore. Avery has really cleaned up their act by having no end to great templates (including for ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR!) that you can download and immediately use. I found this out this week when I was making up a little package of business cards and rackcards (handmade jobbies) for the new bakery…and discovered the new and improved Avery. It is a wonder!

So, I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon filling out labels, filling boxes and figuring out who is done and who is not. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I need to get this done. Time is fleeing…

I also hope I can crack open the sketchbook to get a bit more done. I am two pages away from finishing book #2 and am anxious to start the new one. I have been nosing around my Lubok book for new inspirations, more Sirin, more odd countrified people and dwarves. It will be interesting to see where these pix go. I have around 9 images that need to be scanned in…so there is plenty of stuff and nonsense.

Spoke to Kitty. She is in great shape…personally, spiritually, academically. It is amazing to watch and listen to her growing as we talk. She is maturing daily—and devoted to her work and animation. She is watching her friends and learning. She is leaning on her new friends to grow, to talk, to listen and I am so proud. She is looking forward to coming home to cuddle with her cats and dog and snuggle in her room. Alex was so nice on the phone. Fond words, fond tone. I love my kids. They are nice people.

Did I mention marvelous Mandy stopped by? We will see her in January for a few weeks. That should be fun.

Pourhouse Week

Alex (and Bruce) at the Pourhouse, Q. Cassetti, 2010

Quiet Day yesterday. It was turkey stock, present wrapping, and a bit of drawing. Don’t know if I love the drawings, but the stock rocks. Rob worked on a great presentation about a possible new chapter for the Museum. We named an event (the same way we named 2300˚ which was fun…as Rob tells me stories and I write down words and then we hammer them out). We watched “The Abyss” which was great and trashy. Just what the doctor ordered.

Work to do on the Vet School stuff (to nail down as we have time this week). Time to think about the LSP valentine (foil stamped) and get to Mr. Sepi (Pioneer Printing). Need to finalize my mailing list for holiday cards (Barbara is reworking the mailing list…from a word doc to an Xcel doc). Need to add more names from all the new friends I have made over the course of the year.

Need to get the alumni thing going with the Hartford Illustration Blog. Versus me handing the whole thing, we are having class representatives handle their respective class materials. I will need to set up separate accounts…and resolve that. Speaking of  illustration, I will need to get the entryfee thing sorted out with Society of Illustrators LA as I have more stuff to enter. CA is taking entries already.  I am entering CA Illustration and CA Design this year too.

More later.

Sunday cake

Atkins Farms Harvest Cake from a photo, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalHi. I took the picture of this cake while we were at Atkins Farms the last time we were visiting Kitty in Amherst. As you know, I am a big fan of the smart Atkins Farms and the team with the pastry bags rock. So instead of giving you a retouched photo, I figured I would monkey with it in photoshop and see if I could make something more “illustrative” happen. Who knows, but it puts me in mind of Thanksgiving and the plannign I will need to put in place to make that all happen. I woke up this morning planning what I could freeze, make ahead and or not make. I pulled up Epicurious on my fabulous iPad and discovered that it will make shopping lists and do almost everything but cook the dinner. We are having tutti cassetti (6) plus five. There may be a few more. I know we are having turkey. I am thinking no mashed but roasted…and maybe a wild rice and mushroom stuffing. An onion pie? There is a pumpkin cake with chevre frosting? A salad. And maybe some whole wheat knots from earlier this year. Rob and I are doing a round trip to Amherst on Wednesday to pick up Kitty. So planning is in order to pull this little event off in style and without the crazy amount of stress on Thanksgiving day. Yes, I like the cooking…but the pressure of getting it ALL done is not my favorite. So, today I am making turkey stock (for the gravy etc.) in the oven. Epicurious sez turkey wings…and so I got them. And now we have the bones roasting as we speak.

Deadlines personal and professional this week. Personal (assessment of Christmas being top of list, and planning the weekends etc. for the next two months).Professional (finalize image searches for all my projects). The Pourhouse closes on Thursday. There is a remarkable opening at Cinemopolis of a documentary made my local guys and their transformation of a regular guy “Frank” through a raw diet, support and a regime change. One of the filmmakers and Frank will be there after the screening. I hope we will not have the endless meeting, but you never know. Would also like to get the Hangar finalized (3 more posters). Then that would be off my back. I also have Taughannock/Triathlon on the roster too (thinking to go Alexander Girard).

Am learning something about (a bookmarking, social site) and how it works. Its cool as it will stream this blog, stream twitter/facebook etc. Its a different slice of how to network. The spur was from the Moleskine site and the options to feed your uploads. Hmmm.

Goals, Roles

Sushi for Breakfast, 10/17/2010, Q.Cassetti, 2010On the second of September, we left our daughter off at college, to start the next chapter of her life as an individual and a member of our family—with all of our respective roles tossed into the air to float and fly until we redefine ourselves. Here we are, a month and a half later and Kitty is settling into this next chapter with a spring in her step, an Indian story on her tongue and a giggle. She is delighted, as she always is, in the opportunities, the joy of new friends, new knowledge and in a community where play and adventure is valued. Even Alex, our skeptic, was swept away with the sense of play, and reaching out to others, and the fun that can be had within this sort of environment. These Hampshire students are not sitting in front of televisions in elegantly appointed home-like living rooms, or stretched in front of cracking fireplaces intent on beating the next guy to Law or Medical school. The Hampshire student is the child that finds joy in a piece of string…and shares that joy with his/her friends until they figure out something fun, fabulous or even additive to do with this thing. Case in point: There were these students who were standing in one of the quadrangles with a tarp. A regular tarp with people on each corner— moving the fabric to make it simulate waves. Other students saw this, and engaged in this activity with dancing through and around it. Skaters doing the same…and it was magic. It stopped time. Alex (and Kitty) were enchanted. And this sort of thing happens every day. This playing with ideas, playing and making, thinking and doing, engaging and laughing. It is a charmed place.

Back to roles. Kitty has found her path. We are forging a new team with Alex as the main man which is beginning to get some steam and we are all enjoying it tremendously. He is in the spotlight…and responding positively to having the center stage, our attention and pocketbooks. And we are loving it too.  We can tease him…and he teases back. He is not as reticent to be honest—blunt, with us. But where are we as parents to Kitty? We spent yesterday with her, feeding and shopping—just spending time. After a day of hanging out, she finally, after the moroccan sandwich, began to loosen up and tell us Hindu tales, which coming from her was a hoot and a half. As we got in the car, it dawned on me we had something we could offer her. “Kitty?” I asked….”would you like to come back to our room, take a bath and a little nap?” Yes. That would do. Our role has been redefined. We bring home with us…and we need to offer up the hot buttons and allow our girl a bit of time just to unwind….and veg….whether its here or there. Tubs and naps. Food and truly, unconditional love. That is our role. She also said that she approved of my asking her if she was drinking enough water? or  what about her hot room or humidity in her space. She is looking for her mommy to continue to be home and comfort. I can do that. I can help her be comfortable. I can be a support. i can listen happily to her talk about the nutty eye covered Hindu god, or about the four elephants that hold up the world. I can meet her lovely friends and not need to be anything but enchanted. I can help and hopefully be of value to her and her friends. I want to be relevant and helpful.  I betcha if I brought a feast in a cooler, that might rock a bit. We could cook for the troops…take the cast party to the cast…and meet these lovely playful folk.  New role we can fill. We are back to preSeptember 2. We have all been redefined. And, its all good…and all the same.

White Pumpkins at Atkins Farms, Q. Cassetti, 2010We met Kitty for Breakfast (sushi today). Alex and Rob bought a dozen doughnuts at Atkins Farms (a food we never buy…but AF breaks that rule). I oogled the piles of white pumpkins, the gourds, the halloween candy and finally bought a gigantic rosemary plant (bush sized) as I am weak in the knees with rosemary. There is something so happy about the bush, it’s lovely scent and its heartiness. I hope I can nurse it with humidity and happiness through the winter.

It was a long drive home. We do not need to go to family events any more now that we know our roles. We just need to get our girl, get a tub, find a stove and settle in.  I did remember that tubs are something that you can get in Noho. There is a hot tub spa that you can endlessly use on Saturdays for $10 per person, so that Kitty and her gal pals can do some fun soaking together to get the tub thing in between going home….unless we buy them a portable spa…? Plus, from the lovely coffee opportunities, the thrifting (she has figured that all out), and the stores…she doesnt need us to make home for her all the time!

I am currently home, roasting some chicken bones (to go into the pressure cooker tomorrow), and watching Alex watch a frightening show about folks overeating… somehow adding enormous amounts of bacon, cheese and meat…I am belching just watching. Ouch.

Rain with a chance of more rain.

Edge Lit Mr. White, Q. Cassetti, 2010Here he is. Mr. Percival B. White (be is for Barry as Alex couldn’t handle the prissy Percival name). Rogue cat. Rabbit killer. Mr. Making Friends with all the Bed and Breakfast Guests So They Give Him Tuna Fish. Mooch Meister. I liked this shot as the screen sets up a scrim of the background facing the quadrangle and the clearing with his pink ears complementary with the bright green in the foliage.

Working on a phoenix. You got the first shot last night. Working into it…more tone, more flames, twistier, better curves (at least I hope). Its a nice respite to be among my vectors while I brew and stew in the world of the handdrawn. Next step, really focus down on the Hangar posters…and spend some time on them. Time, which I will have next week!. News is that I will go with Rob to the Great Camp Sagamore for his week of conference with Museumwise. I thought I would stay home, mind the shop and tend to Alex (which is a good thing) but the time in quiet would be a break and a chance for me to really think about things with a pencil…or without. I think I will take an iPod along with my phone with books on tape…and settle in with Hangar, illustration and some other work to not dash it off…but draw it and have the time to do it. Need to make some lists too…but the ISDP/Hartford travel schedule and enforced getting out there needs to switch to my life. Thus, the decision to do this for temper my thinking and sharpen my pen—and push ideas around in that beautiful place.

Have meetings tomorrow. One regarding the Annuals for Cornell along with a new piece for Ithaca College. Good stuff. New stuff. If I have time, I will search my images next week too for the Cornell piece. Should be good.

News from Kitty Section: (quoted from Facebook)

Kitty Cassetti  thinks its funny how we all go through high school saying “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!” but once one gets to college all we can say is “I wish we had more time.” Fifty pages of the Ramayana left and several new documents on dancing on the way. DO I EVEN HAVE TIME FOR HAMPFEST????

Kitty Cassetti  gods cursed with a thousand female organs all over their body, the room of anger, scheming wives, beds feeling like rocks and birds being too loud all because of a spontaneous love. Oh Ramayana, you are so hilariously awesome… I think that Hampshire needs a Room of Anger to just go into and rant…

Kitty Cassetti  has had two separate conversations today about how misunderstood sharks are and how evil dolphins are. God I love this place…

Please note. All seems good in Amherst.


Momento! Memento!

Kitty before the Prom, Q. Cassetti, 2010It’s funny that life is this long strand of time that sometimes just keeps going on it’s own without a definite time or date to tag things around. There are dates that are significant that one really doesn’t have any control over.Your birth and death happen outside of your control. But some you can impact and fix a time and date to. The day you enter college and graduate. The day you got your first apartment. The day you were engaged. The day you were married. The day you gave birth. The day your child went to school. Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and birthday. Each date a thread that twined with the next to infuse the continuum with color and note, annual comparisons but blending with the main thread and becoming one with it.

Then there are the times that things change significantly. Deaths change lives of those left behind for good or bad. Births do the same by changing the family dynamic through causing everyone to budge up and make room (in their time, pocketbooks and attention) for the new member. This new one, a child leaving home has for me, caused the clock to stand still. She is gone from us. Not for summer camp but has crossed the threshold into her own life independent of us. Sure, she will always be our daughter and one of our most amazing God-given treasures , but she will not be late for breakfast every morning or floating in the bathtub late at night. She will not be singing at the top of her lungs as she walks the dog at night. She will not be here every day to tease the cats and cheer her brother. The wild,extreme outfits and hairdos every morning and the wonderful, kind humor every night. Her insights and observations, her ability to see the good and obvious, her delight in everything and everyone is no longer here. Our dancing girl, our laughing princess, our gentle girl has gone to grow and expand. She has moved forward to be her own person and to infect the world with her kind, rational spirit—and we have been bumped out of her direct sphere of life to another ecliptic path that has the occasion to be in her vicinity versus daily or hourly to monthly to an occasional week here and there. We have to share now, whether we like it or not…there is no choice in this matter. 

We can fix a date to this change (09/02/2010) which none of us saw coming. No preparation, no warning but this sort of thing can creep up on you. And it did.

And left us all winded as our light moves on.