I Can’t Help It

Day 169

I’m not really supposed to use everything I get from one event at once, am I?  I know I feel a little guilty coming back with another tray of appetizers two days in a row – wait, no I don’t.  This was too good to miss.  I didn’t even know that there was such a shape in a serving plate – but let me tell you, EVERYONE at that party could see the guitar in it –  169_365 Guitarsjust add baguette…

Girl’s Night Out

Day 168

168_365 GuitarsI could no more pass on this arrangement at a cocktail party than I could on the candied bacon they were serving in addition to all of this delectable goodness.  I tell you, when the girls get together for a nice social evening, we don’t go hungry.  I have to tell you, though, I didn’t really eat much salmon or beef once they put that bacon out there…and I don’t think I sampled any of the green things at all…

And yes, it was a huge plate of meat.  I know that – but check this out…Courtesy of KOKO London

via Cindy in Hamburg…Big Guitar

Call of the Wild

Day 167

I used to have a great friend who would come to visit me in the summer to harvest the purple plums when they ripened, and the mushrooms under the oaks. I miss her. She made an awesome German plum cake, and could tell the difference between mushrooms that would make you – well, let’s just leave it at sick. Although she would try to show me the subtleties of mushroom differentiation, from year to year I would forget, and as those differences were small, I would not venture to take that on myself. I miss fresh picked wild mushrooms – they have a delicate and special flavor. So now, this time of the year, as I wander up to the mailbox and see the mushrooms just sort of going to waste – although regenerating and making more mushrooms is hardly waste – I miss Erika and the taste of plums (the tree is gone too,) and a nice omelette with wild mushrooms. 167_365 Guitars

Fresh from the Reserve

Day 166

Remember a little while ago when the kids came to dinner and guitars began to magically happen?  I have held most of them in reserve for just this moment – when I was out too late to possibly be able to function on a creative level this early in the morning.  So today I present to you Whole Wheat Penne Pasta Guitar.

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Not that last night wasn’t about guitars.  The local open mic brings out the singers, the poets, the ukeleles, and the guitars.  It is a lot of fun, and from serious classical guitar through new players, there is a range of talent and ability that makes you understand that the appeal of the instrument does not wane.  In a way, I guess, the photo I found on Best of the Blues captures an aspect of the guitar – that whole dream-boat thing…  1000688_557408757630847_986314077_n

In the Summertime…

Day 165

A milestone of sorts, if milestones can be counted in the reverse – only 200 more guitars to do.  Who could have known that I would ever put that string of words together, but it is how I see it – ONLY 200 more days to go.

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So here it is, summer.  I cannot, honestly cannot tell if it rained last night or if the humidity is just laying in puddles on the front porch this morning.  Air conditioning the house to a comfortable temperature and moisture level has the windows totally fogged over.  I do not check the weather channel to discover the temperature at 5:30 a.m.  I can’t do anything about it, and these other indicators really give me all the information I need.  It is uncomfortable.

But, I keep saying, summer has it’s advantages.  For someone like me who much prefers cooler temperatures, those advantages on the Eastern Shore of Maryland may be somewhat obscure, but I am an optimist, overall.  Advantage, fresh fruit.  I’ll take that.

Sea Glass

Day 164

I have a box of odd bits here and there (or everywhere, it could be said) and one of them contains sea glass that I have acquired over time. I have to admit that I am not an especially dedicated beach walker or glass hunter, so some of it I have gathered myself, and some has been given to me. The pieces I have collected myself typically come from a significant place – reminders of vacations or random stops along the way. Pieces that are given to me are more complicated. Always, always I keep them because they come from a person of some note, and sometimes, just to add to their significance, they come from someplace special. Like the sea glass from Murano. A friend returned from a trip to Venice with a bag of glass her daughter collected on the island of Murano. How cool is that? Some of it is just interesting – some is really beautiful…

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Day 163

Yes, of course I was looking for something else.  Having put these bits and pieces away years ago, it seems unlikely that I would be tearing the studio apart looking for them when there are far more immediate answers to seek.  But there, obviously in the drawer that also holds the sumi-e  brushes (the really good ones that I am saving for delicate work) and a few odds and ends, was this jewelry bag full of the collected remnants of a gilded bronze reliquary.  Someone with really good tools and much more patience than I had cut it up – I don’t know, thinking they could use the center section for something?  It has lovely cherubs on it – but wow.  Cutting bronze is no small matter.  The fact remains as well, that even after all of that effort, it still looks like a reliquary.  I think I will leave it out for awhile.  See what inspiration it gives me…

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Hurricane Residuals

Day 162

I finally got around to having someone in to clean up the mess made when the cedar three went over last October during hurricane Sandy.  I know, it seems like a long time to wait, but well, it’s how it worked out.  There was no danger, and so many other things to do.

My friend Jim planted those cedars when I first moved to the farm – oh, 25 years ago or more.  They were little things then, and there were four of them.  As of today, only one is still standing – massive and vulnerable.  Hurricanes have taken them all, one by one.  I could name the trees by their nemeses – Floyd, Irene, Sandy.  I miss those trees.  They were my best shield from northern winds, and they gave me a sense of privacy – though the road is a long way away, and it probably isn’t an issue, the sense of it was nice.  I don’t know what I can plant to replace them.  Maybe Italian Cypress – the weather is always going to be a problem, but with a deep enough tap root, maybe I can get something to withstand the blasts…

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On another front, I have a blue bird house by the studio that is constantly occupied during the season, in spite of being directly in a traffic path – ok, maybe talking about me moving about is hardly traffic, still it seems very sociable for the birds to be that close to the action.  I don’t do it often, but since I don’t have to touch anything, a photo doesn’t seem to be a bother.  The babys are growing – they are finally starting to get pin feathers and color – I’m pretty sure the parents are happy to see it.  They must be about exhausted trying to keep the four chicks fed.

Baby Blues

It Is Also Good to Be Home

Day 161

I actually have a number of guitars to choose from this morning, but until I go to the saved images I’m not sure which of them appeals to me.  My head is wrapped around miracles this morning, in fact, a specific miracle that leaves me grateful and just sort of shaking my head.

I have a lovely studio.  I like to paint large.  I have adapted to paint flat because large canvasses require a structure to hold them – the really big studio easel.  I have always coveted one – pouring through the catalogs looking at these things that look a little like you could load rocks on them an storm a castle…  Anyway, I must have done two things of which I was unaware.  1.  Put a studio easel on my cosmic wish list, (ok, I knew about that one) and 2. Done something really, really good.

Yesterday I got a call from a friend who wanted to know if I was home.  Yes I was – winding up a full day of work in the studio and was looking forward to a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine.  So Katie asks if I’d like an easel – she had one in the back of her car.  First rule in a question like that?  Answer yes.  A display easel comes in really, really handy more often than you can imagine.  So when she arrives and starts to unload this thing – I was totally unprepared.  There, under a layer of dirt and mildew is THE easel.  In this case, a Solid Oak Classic Santa Fe 1 Handcrafted with Pride by BEST, Albuquerque, NM 10300 – for that is what the tag reads.  It may not be the largest in the world, but for my world, a maximum image size of 96″ is a really, really wonderful thing.

We have a local auction here every week.  Things that don’t sell are left on the field and just sort of go away after the sale.  This was left on the field.  Bennett picked it up and Katie thought of me.  I have so much to be grateful for.  This is an awesome universe.


But a guitar.  Yes, I can now choose a guitar.

Shopping the other day I was in the fruit section.  It was almost too easy, but I really was actively hunting – well, avocados and a guitar.  I like this one.  There is yet another to come from it, I think, as the watermelon just had to come home with me.

So mostly this post is about gratitude.  Actually, I have to admit to being grateful every day that I am able to come up with a guitar.  Sometimes, the universe offers more.  It is worth noting.

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It’s Good to Get Out

Day 160

I was playing in a bakery again yesterday.  I was wandering around the Country Market in Middletown, Delaware – which everyone just refers to as the Amish Market.  It is actually a large building filled with many small businesses in an open floor plan.  You go

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from one purveyor to another, gathering your dairy, meat, vegetables, roasted chicken, candy, furniture, bird feeders, and decoupaged decorative objects into a single cart, paying as you go.  No central checkout.  My friend Sally is getting ready for a trip to the beach so she was stocking up.  I was really only along for the ride.  It is not my fault that there, in the pulsing heart of the Country Market, Annie Zook and her industrious crew at A&R Bakery are churning out bread and cookies and whoopie pies and muffins and all things grand and glorious.  We were there early.  Everything was still warm from the oven.  It was a hallelujah moment.

Coconut custard.  It’s a weakness.  I was really only going to take the picture and walk away.  I obtained permission first.  OK, I only bought one.   It was still warm…