Friday, October 17, 2008

Porcupine Farm Revisited

This is my husband Chris on a perfect Sunday morning at the farm. We're finally moved into the new house and he's closing on the Podunk Road house next week. I'm all "yea", but I know it's been tough for him to leave so many memories behind. Even our old dog, Spud (below), is buried in the grape vine. We were planning SpuddyBuddy White and SpuddyBuddy Red, but by the time we moved we just had some lame cruddy-duddy grapes.

Chris the first one to admit that he's ready to let a lot of the past become the past, but it would sure be nice to have been able to take some of the more special trees with us.

I never thought I'd marry who man who loved planting trees, and farming, and chopping wood. Growing up in NYC, we always "had someone do" whatever it was that needs to be done, from painting bedrooms to installing wall units and swing sets. I married a man who actually "does it" - it's like marrying the superintendent, but not having to live in a basement apartment! His garage is full of tools and projects and skill saws and a whole lot of crap that he just can't stand to throw away. That's fine - it's his space, but I could do without the life-size Molson bikini girl winking at me through the window.

I am so getting a life-size Bobby Labonte cut-out for my studio space!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Podunk Princess Designs

Podunk Princess Designs is an "umbrella term" that refers to my numerous creative projects (read: jobs) , the most important (and lucrative) being "Jewelry for My Generation".

Right now, a large selection of earrings and necklaces is available at SUNDREES, a great little gift shop right in Trumansburg! If you haven't been there, GO! It's totally worth the trip.

I also have a selection of jewelry at Julie Stone Salon in downtown Ithaca. It's an AVEDA salon, so you know it's good!

A separate website is in the works! I know you can't wait. In the meantime, I will try to post photos of new pieces as they roll off my assembly line.

The necklaces below are all sterling silver and semi-precious stones. With necklaces priced between $45 and $75, my jewelry is completely affordable and really fun. My friend Abby wore the middle one to a party and got two dates! It was the necklace, not her awesome personality.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Adventures of Skipper and Slouch

Oliver (white) and Dodger (black) are our "rescue dogs", although we didn't really rescue them... we won them. When over 70 people apply to the SPCA to adopt two poodles (well, one poodle, one spoodle) that have been together since they were born (to a breeder), it's more like a lottery jackpot than a rescue. They were willingly given up by a family that didn't want them anymore. They came to us as Tony and JJ and we immediately renamed them. We don't know the details of their first two years of life, but we've had them for about four years now and they never cease to crack us up! The first photo photo was taken the day we brought them home... I call it "who are you and will you love us?"

They are two peas in a pod... one dog in two bodies.
Yin and Yang. They have two totally different personalities, but they are inseparable. They have to be together at all times, or at least kept in each other's sight. Even at the vet, they have to be on the table together or they panic.

I call them Skipper (Oliver) and Slouch (Dodger). Or Comet and Cupid, Piglet and Eyeore - whatever happens to come to mind watching them interact with each other. Whether they're curled up together in a black and white, furry ball or chasing each other around the picnic table, they are completely in tune to each other's movements, no matter how subtle. They are typical twins, but obviously not identical in looks or in personality.

Oliver is extremely happy-go-lucky and not a good listener. Nothing fazes him. Not even skunks... and THAT was a horrible night! Actually a horrible week as the scent lingered in my clothes, glasses, and car keys for a long time! I used to kinda like the smell of skunk... now it makes me nauseous as it brings back the memory of vomiting all over the house.
He's definitely the alpha dog. And he knows it! He's like the kid in class whose name has to be repeated over and over by the teacher.

Dodger, on the other hand, is a bit neurotic. We think he had a pretty damaging experience in his puppy years. He shakes a lot and is extremely timid. He's the lover... he needs constant reassurance that he is indeed a "good dog".

I call him "Slouch" because his hind legs are too long for his body, so he walks like an old man with hemorrhoids, all hunched over... compared to Oliver's "Skipper" walk, where his back legs actually trip up his front legs. Together, they look like Piglet and Eyeore walking into a Milne sunset. (I know it's Pooh an Piglet, but Dodger is much more like Eyeore.)

Best medicine: when I had cancer, Dodger never left my side.
The only picture of me going through chemo is this one, with Dodger splayed out on top of me... protecting me, loving me, and keeping me safe and secure. Although he looks like he's doing a "Hey y'all", he was my best medicine. For as little love he may have (or not) received as a puppy, he sure gives a lot of affection. I treasure this photo because it reminds me of how much I (we) have all been through in the last three years, and how much I love my boys. All of them!

Chris and the boys - Summer 2008

Oliver and Dodger in their usual state of togetherness.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apartment 10-A

This is where I grew up.

944 Park Avenue.

Apartment 10-A.

That would basically be the whole tenth floor as shown, as 10-B was the whole back half of the building - which I actually would have preferred as I would have been able to survey the P.S. 6 schoolyard to see if anyone was "hanging out". (Before puberty, "hanging out" meant playing stick ball... after puberty, "hanging out" meant "pining for John Denoia"). As it was, I could lean out one of the alley windows (see that sliver?) and listen for the sound of dribbling basketballs or well hit softballs. I got really good at recognizing particularly sexy voices and the spurting fizz of beer can pop tops... ummm, as a teenager I mean.

I experienced many "firsts" in that schoolyard. It defines me in inexplicable ways. Like a sorority sister's collection of yearbooks or a chef's recipe box of sauce stained index cards.

My world inside that schoolyard was the dynamic opposite as the one that moved below my bedroom windows, which are the two windows all the way to the left. I think that's my old air conditioner, which would now be my step-mother's, but I wouldn't really know because I haven't been welcomed into that apartment since my dad passed away a few years ago (wow, this could be a long one...).

The doormen, the shopping bags, the private school cliques fresh off their buses, the yellow blur of taxi cabs. I would much rather be blowing up Scooby Doo thermoses with M-80's on Halloween or waiting for John Denoia to pull up on his ten-speed and flash a grin to make me stutter.

Once upon a time...
My parents moved into apartment 10-A in the late 50's (maybe early 60's) with a newborn baby (my sister) and ready for "happily ever after". My father was securely and passionately attached to the family business - his uncle, my great uncle, was Harry Winston (can I say that without getting sued?) - and my mother, for the 15 short years I knew her at least, was a perfect lady.

"Happily ever after" never really came for them and this blog is very much a result of that derailment, but it is also and exploration into how I went from Park Avenue to Podunk Road.

And I have had a lot of fun... oh yeah, and breast cancer... along the way.