Happy New Year!

I have put La Capretta’s gardens and the studio to rest for the long cold months of winter, but I am still humming with indoor projects and future plans.

With David Carroll’s help we mulched all of the beds with leftover cardboard from Thanksgiving Turkeys. It was large endeavor and somewhat unsightly. We weighed down all the sheets of cardboard with stones and bags of old clay. The idea is brilliant and came to me via Joy Bridy. With the heavy snows that we’ve already had, and the ones that are sure to come, the cardboard should break down into a fine mulch that will prevent weeds from popping through. My mother-in-law is not terribly pleased with the look, but she agrees that if it works it will cut down a lot of our spring chores. Once approved and we acquire a small army of workers, we might implement the scheme for the formal gardens of the Bed & Breakfast.

We heavily pruned the two butterfly bushes– which makes me a little squirrely. I hope they come back in the spring. The lavender and rosemary plants got some special treatment with a chicken &/or rat wire cage, paper strips and a plastic bag around each of them. The plan is to keep them thinking they are living somewhere on the arid mediterranean coast. Something tells me they are not that easily fooled, but I am crossing my fingers.

We still didn’t resolve the issue of the sandbox. So far I have kept the cats from making it their personal latrine by spraying it regularly with orange oil. It is currently covered with cardboard and snow, but I am contemplating using an old shower curtain that bit the dust recently as a tarp for furry pest control.

Lynsi has temporarily left us for her home in Iowa. She is working on laying tile and renovating some apartments with her dad. Linus misses her very much and wants to know why she has not returned. Per Lynsi’s suggestion I am considering making a paper chain to count the days. The advent calendar worked brilliantly, but there’s no chocolate involved with this time keeper, so Linus may not be as intrigued. There are a lot of links between now and February (or March? or…) In the mean time the basement, which will be Lynsi’s temporary home, has been completed. Also known as the Man Cave, it has bright blue and yellow paint on the walls, a new bathroom with a shower, wood laminate flooring, a genuine pool table, fooz ball table, comic book cover paintings and a pop-bottle collection from the 1960’s. I think she’ll love it!

The studio’s fawcet continues to drip to prevent the pipes and the geraniums from dying, but I have taken all the clay out so it won’t freeze. Ideally the studio should have a wood buring stove just like JD Jorgenson’s in Minnesota, but no such luck– for now. We do plan to start renovating the front room and to implement other weather/pest proofing for the entire studio. The Meditation Room will have wood laminate floors, walls painted in the colors of a sunrise sky, and a heater that works. Houseworks, owned and operated by Will & Miki Martindale, will begin work on the studio in January some time. They are also the force behind the Man Cave.

As for other projects, I have continued to work on poetry and illustration. My works from 2009 are now collected in a book on blurb. The proofs have come back and there are still some issues to correct. I plan to revise and upload a paper version. I have to say that the software created by Blurb is somewhat user-unfriendly, so I am looking to find something else for my next book project– The Bunny Series. I currently have an unsolicited audience of one (thank you Alan) for my poems, but who knows what 2010 will bring.

Some poems and photographs have already surfaced in the new year. As always you may find them on flickr. There are some paintings on the edge of mental fingertips that force me to promise no more new posts until I have evidence that I can still paint. Until then, may 2010 be kind to you all.

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