The Fire Island Light is an old and respected lighthouse that has been turned into a museum dedicated to the men and women who labored in them and to the rescue teams who manned the boats to bring stranded sailors back to shore. If you are ever near Fire Island, which is one of Long Island's barrier islands, stop and have a look around. The light sits in what is now a nature preserve and has some nice board walks over the sandy ground.
Paul and I volunteered to be Election Inspectors this year, as the people who man the polls are called in this part of the swamp. I was surprised to learn that one was paid to do this which was good to hear from my budget's point of view. Next I found out that I wasn't to be an ordinary poll inspector, but a HAVA inspector. HAVA is short for the Help America Vote Act. In New York State, to comply with the law, special voting machines were placed at each polling place to be used by disabled voters who could not use the regular lever machines. There were different attachments to facilitate use by the blind, paraplegics and the wheelchair bound. Unfortunately, it takes 25 minutes or more to vote on these things. In my county, there were a total of 389 machines being supervised by approximately 800 inspectors. (By law, there must always be one Republican and one Democratic at each machine.) Paul was assigned to another polling place. His partner's mother uses a wheelchair. When she came in to vote they tried to get her to use the HAVA machine so that they could say at least one person did. She wanted no part of it and opted to use the regular machine which only took her a couple of minutes. No one came to my polling place to use the machine. This is not to say that the disabled didn't vote. Most used absentee ballots. As a matter-of-fact, before the election, the Board of Elections sends personnel out to senior centers, institutions and other places where the disable gather in order to facilitate the process for them. I spent most of the day talking to other inspectors, beading and telling voters in which district they were. (There were two districts at my poling place.) It was a loooooong day. Oddly enough, it wasn't boring. There was a steady stream of people coming in and we even had a line of about a dozen voters waiting for the poles to open at 6AM. Our last voter showed up at 8:55PM. After the poles had closed and we were packing up, the precinct captain told me that almost 90% of the registered voters for our districts actually voted. That made me feel good.
This is the first oil painting I've done in over 35 years. The subject are fields in Umbria, a region of Italy just east of Tuscany. The strange color of the soil is due to its volcanic origins. I painted it from a photograph that I took along the road.
I finished my 2nd pastel. It's a Spring time view of the beautiful Bouchard Gardens on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The day was a little misty but it was warm and there was a gentle breeze. The garden itself started life as a gravel pit. The owner's wife thought it was an eye-sore and was determined to do something about it. She took over with an army of gardeners and the result of her vision is like walking into a fairy tale.
It was a great day for his school; they beat the socks off the other team.
Getting a good shot of him without just telling him to turn around and stand still was impossible so I ran the risk of embarrassing him in front of his friends and just hollered at him. Now if only the light had been better so you could see his face.
The Erie Canal stretched across New York State ending at Buffalo on the shores of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes. Pictured here is the recently excavated Commercial Slip built where the canal met the Buffalo Harbor.
The old Buffalo lighthouse built in 1833 still stands at the head of the harbor.
Paul bought me a ticket for a glider flight for my birthday. On September 19, we drove to the glider field on top of Harris Hill near Horseheads, NY and I did it. My pilot was a charming man who was a Korean War Veteran. He told me that none of the pilots are paid. They all belong to the glider club which runs the field and volunteer their time to take people up. The income from the tickets they sell goes toward the maintenance of the field, hangers, tow planes and gliders.
The tow plane that took us up to our first thermal where we cast off and floated on our own.
The view from my seat as we took off.
The view from 12,000 feet.
My pilot took this photo after we landed.
No motor meant that the only noise was a soft hiss as the glider wings cut through the air. It was a wonderful experience.
Every year, at the September meeting of the Long Island Craft Guild, we have 5 or 6 members demonstrating some of their techniques. The Guild is made up of people who are involved in such a wide range of crafts, that this is one of the few times they get to see how the other guy does it. This year I demonstrated free form rug hooking using yard, ribbon, and strips of cloth in the same design. These pieces are used for bags and wall hangings rather than rugs.
Blythe, a Freethinker and my niece, was asked to put together an exhibition of her work for her local library. One of the people who works there had seen some of her paintings encouraged her to do it. It's the first time she has shown a body of her work. I am, of course, very proud of her.
I have a habit of shooting photos out of the window of the car when it's going bombing down the highway. Every once-in-a-while, I get something good. This was shot looking west on I-5, somewhere between Los Angelos and Sacramento, on August 8th.
Introducing Tricksie, a sun worshiping Boston Bull Terrier, and Gertie, a personable Pug, who live with my cousins, Joan and Jim in El Cajon. They were excellent travel companions who accompanied the four of us on our drive north to Portland, OR.
My cousin, Tommy, the morning after the family reunion in Park City, Utah. It was a great gathering and Paul and I were happy to see everybody, particularly those we had not seen since last year. We also enjoyed meeting a few cousins whom we had not met before.
This is my first attempt at using pastels. I learned a lot while doing it and hope that the next picture turns out better.
It's really Paul's fault that I'm doing this. He came home from a garage sale with a set of 36 pastels that had hardly been used. My friend Adrienne, who has been taking classes in this media, took me along with her and this is the result.
Working on a new piece now. I'll post it when I'm done.
My original shop, MarthaHorman, still has some jewelry but, little by little, I'm moving it to my new jewelry shop. Martha Horman will feature my paintings, both oil and watercolor, my photographs and, for the benefit of the Long Island Craft Guild, the prints of the late Jessie Fuchs.
My second shop, AuntMartha, features vintage goods and supplies. Since I am an Aunt Martha, I felt that this was a good name because it feels old fashion even though I'm not. (At least, I don't think so.)
My third shop is CabArray. It features my jewelry and I hope to add glass and hand cut stone cabochons in the future.
Do stop by and take a look around. The links to my shops are in the links column to the right.