So here we are, here we stand

October 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Posted in art, baby, country living, food, knitting, love, marriage, photography, pumpkin recipes, relationships | 16 Comments
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16oct09-schwenkbaconoirFollowing a long absence from writing, here I am again. Hopefully some of my readers have been able to get caught up on past postings while new readers have found their way here and found out something about what I hope to offer.

It is early in the morning here on our farm. The sweet dog is laying on the love seat nearby snoring up a cold autumn snore, stretching out every now and then. It sounds as if he is enjoying a very deep, satisfying sleep. Good boy, you keep that up.

For the past three years and more, ever since I came to live on the farm, I have tried in vain to get myself onto a schedule of waking up and getting going on my work at 5:00 a.m. (actually, at first I tried to taking on my husband’s schedule, but getting up at a quarter to four in the morning is not something I found I could do on any kind of regular basis). I did think I could at least try for 5:00 a.m. because I enjoy getting up early. For some reason though, I just could not do it.

About one month ago that all changed with the help of a pretty little cell phone. It was time for us to renew our cell phone contract and we got to upgrade our phones in the process. Previously I had one of those Motorola Razrs, which was an okay phone. For my upgrade I chose an AT&T Quickfire, and for some reason I have quite a good feeling of affinity for this new little phone. It has a good sized touch screen and nice little keyboard, and is very pretty in silver and a muted lime green.

16oct09-luckysetthetable2I use it for my alarm clock, and it wakes me up faithfully every morning at 5:00 a.m. Of course, my cooperation is essential in this relationship, because I am the one who has hit snooze only once and then exercise the discipline necessary to get up, get dressed and get going. I have so many paintings to complete in the next few months that I cannot afford to sleep in even one time.

Since I last posted an entry back in August (so sorry for the long absence) I have completed three paintings and am well on my way into a fourth. Two of the new pieces (the sunflower and the cluster of grapes you see in this post) are hanging at Zambistro Restaurant. The third is a small painting that is reserved for the gallery opening in January.

The bunch of grapes I painted is a cluster of Baco Noir I photographed out at the Schwenk Wine Cellars vineyard (Kent, NY) last autumn.  I loved the beauty of the old leaf.  For me, the leaf is really what the painting is about, and the grapes are a beautiful counterpoint to the leaf.  The leaf is beautiful even though it is old and beginning to wither.  It stood watch over grapes along with many other leaves and drew in nutrients from the sun’s rays to nourish the grapes.  The grapes are plump and full of delicious juice destined to become a delicate wine and they could not have arrived at this perfect, plump and ripe moment without the support and steadfastness of the leaf.

Since that last post we have also harvested our pumpkins and today we will set them around in our yard for a visual delight. Yesterday I made some pumpkin bread, but I must admit I could not bring myself to cut into any of the pumpkins we grew yet … it seemed almost like murder to do so. Instead, I used a can of Libby’s pumpkin I had on hand. Soon I know I will have to cut open some of the pumpkins we grew and I know that they will make delicious, soothing, and healthy soups, breads, and pumpkin butters … but oh, how I wish I did not have to cut them.

16oct09-finalharvestOf course, a few of them are destined to be this year’s Jack o’ Lanterns and I do anticipate quite a bit of fun with that. It is so exciting to have such a nice selection of big healthy pumpkins we managed to grow ourselves in the Sincere Pumpkin Patch. We only had a few that were eaten into by various critters (including dogs). We haven’t weighed any of these, but as you can see some are quite large.

With Halloween only two weeks away we have a party to plan and costumes to gather. I used to love helping my children plan their Halloween costumes. I still remember my first costume when I was a child … it was simply a plastic mask of a Saint Bernard with a little elastic string that held it to my face. That was it, just the mask.

I also remember being prepped for Trick or Treating by my older brothers, and my mother taught the boys how to make a sort of a seat with their arms that they could use to carry me if I became tired. It all seemed so official to me, the little shy and quiet girl, as my brother’s practiced making the seat with their arms and had me climb on for a test run in our kitchen under the supervision of my mother.

I could feel the sense of importance my brother’s were feeling at being given such an important task, it was a great feeling that something big was about to happen. A year or two later, we were all in the kitchen again putting a ghost costume on my little brother and prepping him for his big night out. Of course in this later scene I was one of the experienced Trick or Treaters. What a great adventure childhood was, and I treasure the rich memories I have of those days.

Today as we prepare for Halloween on our dear 50-acre farm, I know we will have no visits from wayward Trick or Treaters. So, we will make our own Halloween party with a few friends and at some point in the evening we will all venture out to the Sincere Pumpkin Patch to see about that visit from the Great Pumpkin that we all have been anticipating.

This will be Sweet Pea’s first Halloween, and I know my daughter will make it extra special and we will have a great time.

My husband is taking a vacation day today and we are going to venture out to breakfast at the Lighthouse Restaurant on the Point, a cozy café out by Lake Ontario that some friends of ours opened last March in a what used to be a crab stand many years ago. We have been going there each Saturday morning for breakfast, but this week we break that tradition because of the vacation day.

Tomorrow he will be helping some friends move, and I will be helping a local vineyard harvest their grapes. I expect it will be cold and wet, but a great adventure that includes a tasty lunch and a free bottle of wine. I wish my husband could be there with me, because everything is more fun with him by my side.

Until next week, this is firefly signing out. Hope you have a great one!



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  1. Your paintings are very beautiful! I especially love the grape cluster and leaves one. Very well done! 🙂

    Happy Autumn!

  2. Oh, please tell me if the Great Pumpkin shows up! He has been letting poor Linus down for many years now. I have a feeling he may show up for you and your family. I would have to agree with your assessment of your paintings, they are exquisite! The restaurant must be excited about them. I hope you will share the other ones when they are finished. Have a happy and productive weekend.

  3. What a pleasure to have you back online with your blog! I absolutlely love reading about your life & I can live thru you the life on a farm! Your blog is like getting a letter from a good friend that you love to hear from…..Thanks! Your painting are beautiful!

  4. Oh, firefly … so good to get an update from you. After weeks of not even checking your website, early this morning I did and I was so disappointed to see nothing new since August. She’s busy with the baby, I thought, and I know how that can be, and I’m sure you’re enjoying every moment.

    So when I returned from my shift of volunteering in the hospital gift shop, I was so happy to open my e-mail and see the message from you!

    I’m delighted to hear you have been painting so much. The leaf and grapes are amazing and beautiful, as is the sunflower. Lucky locals to be able to see your work in person.

    Beverly in Des Moines

  5. Firefly~ It was wonderful to hear from you! I’m glad to know that all is well! Enjoy your autumn! Ann

  6. Glad you have been well. Clearly time well spent…your rendering is so realistic I expect the grapes to give juice.

  7. Wow. There’s nothing I can add to the earlier comments. I do hope the Great Pumpkin visits your patch. Don’t you have to have at least one pumpkin out there as an attractant?

    I sent your daughter’s etsy shop info to my niece who has a daughter born at the end of May. I’d love to see photos of her with a tutu — what fun! But both my DILs will be having their second boys in Feb and Mar 2010 so no tutus for them! (I love little boys — good thing!)

  8. You have used your time away from the blog quite well. The painting of grapes made me want to reach out with my grandpa’s old hook knife and “liberate” them. He grew Concords and taught us how to properly harvest them. I miss the old vine (and all the other things he grew.)

    Great pumpkins, but then with all the rain we had this summer here along the lake they should be a good size. Hope you get to see the Great Pumpkin unlike poor Linus and Charlie Brown.

    Enjoy the apple/grape/pumpkin season.

  9. Hi there J,
    Long time between posts but I know you’ve been busy. We are going to be in Rochester next week for a day as my husband has a talk at RIT and then we are going to tour what we can of the Finger Lakes District in two short days. Would love to meet up with you, but realize you are still a bit from that area. Take care and it’s good to see you posting again.


  10. hi nice to see you back hope you all have a great b,day jus before that.not look forward to friends g,grand daugh will be 1 day after mine.Fauntaine.very cute..take care marie

  11. It’s so good to see you writing again!! Both paintings are lovely but I especially like the grapes. When I finally redo my kitchen (soon I hope) the theme will be grapes. Enjoyed the childhood story with your brothers. Sweet times and memories. Hope you and your hubby have a wonderful time at the Lighthouse!!

  12. Good morning Firefly!
    So good to hear from you online! Your grape/leaf painting is just gorgeous!! I have my kitchen and front entry in a grape/wine theme as I love anything/everything Italian!! I have a St.Francis of Assisi statue by my front walk/porch greeting all…my memories of Italy resonate from trips to Italy: Rome, Assisi, Siena, Venice, Florence. So your painting brought back many wonderful memories for me! I’m really glad you’ve found time to spend on your painting!

  13. Great posting! I love the paintings and the piture of the pumpkin harvest by the patch! Thanks for all your work keeping it all going and still having time to go grape picking and on a walk to support breast cancer research.
    Those are very special childhood memories of halloween! Thanks for it all!

  14. Loved this post and the images of the paintings.

  15. It was so nice to read here today, I love visiting with you and catching up with what has been happening in this wonderful world of blogs. You and I must be two of the luckiest grandmothers around as we both get to share the daily lifes of our beautiful grandchildren at such a wonderful age, memories we will be able to carry with us for ever.

  16. Congratulations on passing the million mark! Amazing.

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