Mud on the Wall

My daughters have a way of telling me that not only are we, as a family, not normal, but they wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Willing suspension of disbelief...

The new website ( is almost finished! All of the parts that I can do are, in fact, done, and I wait now for my friend and paid 'digitizer-for-hire' to do the last of the database work on the 'back end' for it to be a complete and functioning work.

I'm hoping that people click through and look at it; give me feed back; etc... It has been such a struggle to create and serve all of the people that I want to serve, (the Galleries, the Collectors, the shoppers, the fans and friends).

We've included not only the commercial aspects of the website, but also a lot of the community aspects of our lives and friends. This will be our portal for at least a few years!

The design aspects were something that Victoria and I have been talking about for a couple of years at least and I got much of it figured out over a year ago... then came the browser de-bugging process that no one in their right mind wants to hear about unless they are having difficulty falling asleep. The last part (the interactive databases) is almost invisible to the end user and I am promised will be done by the end of next week.

This feeling reminds me of having things sent to the printer, years ago, where you've done everything you can do and now you just have to sit back, while someone else does things to your baby in a far away place, and see what comes back to you.

Do let us know what you think! Blessings abound!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

on the side of Service

I have just re-joined Regis Brodie's evening Master Class at Skidmore... this time not as his assistant but as a fully paid member of the ?graduate/adult? student body... and yet it seems as if I've fallen right into that pattern of being asked and saying "yes"...
Yesterday, I went into the studio to use the extruder and before I knew what was happening I was re-working the hoses on the compressor driven extruder and agreeing to go out and buy C-clamps... I never managed to do the work that I had intended to do there and, even though it is ego-stroking to be back in the studio where people are very welcoming, etc., I did have the intention that I would be focusing on my own artistic development...
My daughter points out, (in a thrice, I might add), that she has learned this 'service' behavior from me (therefore when she says 'yes' without meaning to it is my fault). I certainly admitted it with the caveat that I continue to struggle with this response to need even though I am an 'adult'.
I don't know if there is hope for me, but I sure hope that my daughter, having figured this out so soon, will sort it out before too much longer.
If not, always better to err on the side of 'Service'.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

the Great Paducah Conspiracy...

as only the opportunity to do something for someone you love and cherish can do,
I have,
in the last 24 hours completed the financing package to send off to Paducah Bank, drafted plans (to scale)for the entire rennovation project, completed a detailed construction estimate, completed a detailed construction timeline, and drafted three support letter documents.

If we can get a favorable letter from the folks at the bank in Paducah, then we can go ahead follow through with them 'cradle to grave'. The toughest part of this proposal process is the Professional contractors estimate and the Bank letter.

I just sot of realized that part of this gift to my wife means that I won't be able to sculpt for probably four months... Zounds! I'll have to play with my food at dinner.

A friend, who dropped in today for muffins and coffee, has just offered to give us an operating van for free... actually something that we could use if we are dividing the family into two parts to do the building this spring...

The Universe seems to be in on the conspiracy...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Three Rivers, One Mind...

Well, every possible consideration was included in Victoria's deliberations and she announced to us all yesterday afternoon that we are going to try for Paducah.

Xan is delighted- her own business and new sights and friends- she tells me that she is going to come down and help me with the construction phase... Artie claims that she's fine as long as Mom is happy... I'm delighted- looks like we'll be surrounded by people who are passionate and present in their own lives and their community- how much more fun could we have?

I stayed up until about 3 am today finishing a comprehensive construction cost analysis for the building that we are interested in on 7th street and it looks like something that we can do without self injury.

Because of the length of time that the proposal and approval process takes we really want to jump on it now... Victoria is concerned that once they 'post' the property that someone else will come in and scoop up the property...

I'd better get crackin'!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Paducah Paducah Paducah...

Well we have just spent a most stunning two and a half days in the mysterious and magical place called Paducah...

Victoria, right around christmas, delcared that she thinks that we cannot move back to Lopez Island yet! Zounds! and, that we should check out some of these Artist Relocation Programs that we hear about at the art shows that we travel to all over the country.

We were stunned as a family- this was a completely new script!- but, what I told Victoria was:
"You moved here with me so that I could take care of my Mother and now this is the chapter that you get to write... what would you like to do?"

We ended up in Paducah last week and found a smallish city/big town at the confluence of three rivers with regional health care centers and a thriving and excited arts community and a sense of being welcome in a way that left us feeling as if we had not arrived but had, instead, returned Home.

I found one of the original Artist/Pioneer families had a beautifully appointed room in their reconstructed house that they rented on occasion to wanderers... turns out that they were so generous and kind that we probably would have been happy sleeping in the car in front of the house just for the opportunity of hanging out with these guys and their 9 whippets, (yes, I did say 9 whippets). The Renzullis have one of the formerly derilict homes in the Lowertown area of the city and have tranformed it into the cover shot of "YouWannaLiveHere" magazine...

As we wandered the city, often in the company of the real estate agents Laura and Briana, Monica from city planning, or Bob Jones, I got the impression of Big Sky Country and a western feel (rather than a Southern Feel). Everyone was friendly to us- not only the real estate agents but also the cashiers at the Kroegers and the gas station attendants too.

The Renzullis put together a little dinner party for us on Wednesday... it was going to be 8 folks and it grew, as only the best dinners can, into 12 by the time we got back to the house... fortuneatly I made enough Chocolate Mousse the night before! There we were, sitting with 10 folks that we had not known 12 hours ago visiting as if we were already living down the block. Watching Victoria revel in the coziness and warmth of companionship it felt as if I'd already had dessert... sems like a place where she could thrive in a community of caring and alive women.

We are now wrestling with the pro's and con's of the move: How will it impact our 13 year old?; How will it impact the business?; Can we keep the Island house as well?; Do we go for the derilict building or the one that is 'done' that needs $50,000 of reconstructive surgery?...

It's Monday and already I've spoken to 4 different departments in City Hall and the Paducah Power engineering department... again, I have to report that everyone is being extraordinary...

What is the universe telling us?

Victoria is sort of sidling up to the question and asking me what I want to do and i am keeping my trap shut, (for once), with the philosophical idea that I don't want her to be influenced by how I feel. I really really really want this to be her choice.