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Archive for July, 2010

The Cookie Lady

July 30th, 2010 14 comments

With so much going wrong these days in the world, the state, the city, a small thing going right is our local Georgetown Farmer’s Market. It is in its infancy, its very first season, and lots of new merchants and farmers are setting up their stalls and trying their luck at open market each Saturday from 10 until 3. I have been delighted with some of the new vendors, we had Indian food featuring fresh Naan, Argentinian Empanadas, Vegan chocolate cake, a northern Italian selling pasta made from chestnuts, a southern Italian selling eggplant casserole, and lots of organic farms selling gorgeous fruits and vegetables. Some of them seem to have already given up on our small market, I haven’t seen them come back after the first few Saturdays. So it seems I have a huge emotional investment in this market succeeding. This past Saturday, there was a cookie seller. And the woman who ran the booth called herself “The Cookie Lady.” There she was, the kind of woman who clearly could do anything if she wanted, surrounded by all kinds of wonderful concoctions – her creations. We asked for samples. Each tidbit we sampled we ended up buying a batch. Her stuff was good. She was sassy and confident. We’ll be back! (I hope she comes back too) This is a watercolor on 9 x12″ arches paper and it is for sale. Photo reference by Donald Boothby.

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By the big barn

July 28th, 2010 7 comments


From the number of dilapidated huge barns that we see on our bike rides, western Washington state used to be a big dairy producer. Every one of these barns shows pride, industry and independence to me. Some of them are unique.
This is another painting based on my husband’s collection of photographs. We rode by this barn on our tandem and had to stop to gaze at it. I confess that it is actually more decrepit in person than it appears here.

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A log cabin past its prime

July 27th, 2010 9 comments


Bicycling is one of our hobbies, we cover a lot of miles on country roads at a leisurely pace. Unlike traveling in a car, we are exposed to the elements, the smells and the sights that you might miss at high speed. On a bike it is easy to stop to pick some flowers, or feed grass to a friendly horse. Near Winthrop, Washington, we found this cabin in a field. It was important to take a photo of it, because we knew that it would eventually collapse. Many of the barns and buildings that my husband has captured with his camera are now gone. The reference for this one was one of his photos.

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How does a cat smile?

July 26th, 2010 10 comments


There are two kinds of animals who chose to live with human beings for companionship. The domestic cat is one of them. How well we get along with each other is partially measured by how well we learn each other’s language. This little kitty is air kneading, to show his pleasure. His eyes are also half-closed, which means he is really relaxed and happy. I’ll bet he’s purring too. Everyone has had a tuxedo cat. I had one named Figaro before I was born!
Thanks for the Reference Photo, Jeannie! This painting has already sold..

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Giuseppe Mercurio – 1942-2010

July 25th, 2010 3 comments


2001 was the first year that my husband and I went to Italy together. One destination was my favorite grandfather’s birthplace Sersale, situated in the toe of the “boot”. We met a lot of family during that visit, but one person stands out in our memories, Giuseppe Mercurio, the only surviving son of my grandfather’s little sister Rossina.

One of the things we learned quickly in Sersale was that no one there spoke Italian! they all spoke an incomprehensible dialect. Fortunately, all the people our age had adult children who could speak Italian and translate for us. Giuseppe and his wife Santina had three sons and three daughters who clearly worshiped him. He invited us to dinner and we sat down with the whole family – Giuseppe taking the stage. Giuseppe had no concept of another language and was convinced that we could become fluent in his dialect in just a few weeks. To prove his point, he had us all gasping with tears in our eyes when he tried to pronounce the single word “PICKLE.”

He was a master of storytelling, of drama, of humor. Whenever he would start to spin a yarn (with a lot of repetition to make sure we understood) the rest of the table would become silent – no one wanted to miss a word. Besides his hilarious stories, he talked a lot about family and love. He remembered my own grandfather who also had a big heart and faithfully sent money and packages to his family in Sersale and because of this, he said, because we a part of my grandfather’s family, we were always welcome in his home.

He also walked his talk, as every time we saw him, his adoring children and grandchildren surrounded him. I cannot imagine how devastated that family is to have lost him. I know that my life will forever be richer having known him.

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