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Enjoy and maybe buy the art and crafts on display.
A very determined young father came to get our hot tub last weekend. He brought along his wife and 3-month-old baby boy. While his family kept warm in our house, Joe took down the deck railing and dragged the tub onto his trailer. Then he put back the railing and drove away. Many happy soaks to you, Joe!
Pat said a sad farewell to his last motorcycle, a vintage 1972 Husqvarna 360. The day that I posted it for sale, this fascinating guy messaged me that he wanted it 100%, and he didn’t quibble over prices. That was almost too good to believe. When we spoke the next morning, I asked if his offer was for real.
It was. As he strapped the bike into his moving van, Romulus von Stezelberger told us his story: how he left home at age 15, and eventually headed up a company that made custom, one-of-a-kind leather jackets for celebrities.
He was delightful and fascinating, and also friendly and fun. After he left, I checked out his jackets on Facebook. He had not exaggerated.
A beautiful creation…
and the designer himself, somewhat younger.
Thanks, Romulus! It was great meeting you.
The snake baby I found in the bag of potting soil was not a venomous species. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed.
According to Raymundo, our local reptile and amphibian expert, this was a young ribbon snake masquerading as a viper. He said that the shape of the eye indicates who is dangerous. A round pupil (as above) belongs to harmless types, while an eye with an elliptical pupil means trouble. Also, venomous snakes’ heads are distinctly triangular, with a narrow neck. Also, a snake with heat-sensing pits along its head is poisonous, if you want to get close enough to check.
So I guess it was a good thing that I set the little snake free by the stream. Maybe she’ll grow up to control the mice population that enjoy the warmth of our walls in the winter!
You would think that after 26+ years teaching in schools, I would feel confident and ready to share my books and writing ideas with children. Instead, I felt anxious and self-conscious.
I needn’t have worried. The fifth grade classes that I visited were welcoming and interested. If nothing else, we could have used more time to talk about making books, developing characters, and the method I used to make the illustrations in Guided by Magic.
The most rewarding moment occurred when I was reading a part of Tangled in Magic. Since we were focusing on character development, I wanted the students to hear the first time the character of Scrub appeared in the series. In this selection, protagonist Agatha finds Scrub staked out to die in the forest.
I looked up from the page I was reading and saw twenty-some awestruck faces, silent, listening intently. What an affirmation of my writing! An author couldn’t ask for a better response.
While the students were working on creating their own characters using a worksheet I developed for the purpose, they took turns examining the books and art materials I’d brought. They perused the magazines containing my writing, and my handmade books, but the most fascinating objects by far were the linocuts and tools I used to make the illustrations for Book II, Guided by Magic.
In the end, I enjoyed myself immensely, and I’m looking forward to more author visits.
Thank you Amy Wendel, and the fifth grades of Walden Elementary School!
This morning, I was cleaning up around our storage shed. There was an open bag of potting soil that had been sitting around, adding to the mess. I picked it up and dumped it out by the azalea in front of the deck.
Whoops! Something fell out along with the soil, and writhed in the dirt. At first I thought it was a big earthworm. A closer look revealed a small snake. Figuring it was a garter snake, I picked it up.
Yikes! This was no garter snake. The baby serpent hissed at me with a wide pink mouth. Copperhead? Rattler? (no rattle) but definitely a venomous snake with its triangular head. If you can identify this baby, please drop me a line!
After showing it to the workers at the house next door, I took the snake to a warm rock by the stream at the bottom of our property, and let it go.
The big questions: Where is the mama? Where is the nest? Are there more surprise snakes lurking nearby?
The Cars and Crafts show on September 28 at the Ulster County Fairground turned out to be a day of gorgeous warm weather. This festival competed with several other events, in particular, the Elting Library Fair. Attendance was moderate, and yet I sold two books. The best part of the day was talking to my neighbor, a jeweler.
In the quiet moments, I worked on a new story that is a middle grade mystery.
You see I’m sporting my favorite Hudson Valley Writing Project t-shirt.
Kudus to Nicole Jurain, the main organizer. That is a big job, and she made the Cars and Crafts show happen.
Another event we attended was the Wiltwyck Quilter’s Guild’s Quilt show. It was held at the Rondout Elementary School. The artistry of the quilts on exhibit was astounding.
First prize winner–Susan Stessin-Cohn–all hand appliqué. Congratulations, Susan!
I love to quilt, but I am not as precise as this.