Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012: Eleanor at home

Eleanor is now at home with Mom and Dad. She is that fragile bundle of love and happiness that will grow stronger and more knowing each day. Making her own life and our lives fuller as she does.


Tiny feet


She awakes

Gripping Poppop's finger

Back asleep

Toasting Eleanor (and Joey behind the camera)

Cute outfit and it fits

Baby book designers at work

And play (what's wrong with this picture)

With Cohen

Eleanor finds her thumb for the first time

The Poppop and the Dad

I get to take this home

July 4, 2012: Abby on the beach

A perfect day on East Beach, Rhode Island.

July 3, 2012: Eleanor Rose Re

Life is so beautiful. Welcome to this world Eleanor. May your life and time here be beautiful, happy, fulfilling, meaningful and fun.

Eleanor Rose Re born July 2, 2012

Poppop and Eleanor

Happy and tired parents

So sweet

She likes her puppy


Dad and his baby girl.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Musings: April 2011: Part I: Clearing out my mental and physical spaces or 'Time and space and IKEA'

Bernie: April 22, 2011

Going through life changes always seems to first set me off on another kind of journey.

Recently the the catalyst (this time around) for that journey was being laid off from my position as Online Sales Manager at a newspaper (this journey has certainly pointed me in the a new direction as for my next career decision too, but more on that maybe later).

I don't know how you deal with life changing events such as these but the way that I deal with them is to do some physical space restructuring.

The beginning of that process is of course to review the things in the physical space, like what to keep and what to discard (of course this effects the place I am in inside my head as well).

In beginning this journey I started with the office area and threw out all the old job stuff and freed up the record player. I find when I'm about to start down the three lane (physical, mental, metadata) highway of clearing out, for me, having music playing is a must, and what better music than old vinyl records played on a basic of basic record players.

Once I freed it from that stack of files in the right corner there in the photo.
And what better album to start with than, Neil Young's, TIME FADES Away.

Yes, I am coming to how this all relates to our journey to IKEA, because when one clears out one also decides what to save and what will go and how that which is saved fits into that new space (both the physical and the mental) and how it is arranged so you will be ready for that new adventure.

But first I needed to move out some of the components from the old life to make room for what could be coming. Fresh space goes with fresh opportunities. So I tackled the storage under the east and west eaves, the baskets (and anything else that was on the floor or in bins that had not been touched for years).

Things worth saving started piling up in my studio.
To Neil Young's Time Fades Away I pushed into the bins that hold a bazaar mix of stuff and the wicker baskets that hold my old book collection.

My vinyl.
Sing along people...

All day presidents
look out windows
All night sentries
watch the moonglow
All are waiting till
the time is right
Son, don't be home too late
Try to get back by eight
Son, don't wait
till the break of day
'Cause you know
how time fades away.
Time fades away
You know how time fades away.

Bins full of t-shirts collected at Newspaper Association of America conferences and on other business travels.

Among my wicker baskets filled with books I found, Rip Van Winkle (1921 edition by Washington Irving and illustrated by N. C. Wyeth, a 1933 edition of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, that was my mothers' but somehow I have never read yet, and my old The Artist's Handbook of Materials & Techniques (that I have used from time to time) from college.

Some of my antique books...
...and an old friend.
The most interesting find though was (or should I say rediscovery was, because years ago I myself put these books into this basket) was a album from 1859 owned by a woman living in Danbury, Connecticut (where I grew up).

Album cover.
Her name was Eliza J. Hill. It appears that in the album was something she brought along on her travels and asked the people she knew or visited to write something in.


May'st thou live in joy forever
Nought from thee time pleasures sever;
From thy heart arise no sigh
And no tear burden thy eyes;
Joys be many; cares be few
Smooth thy path thou shalt pursue;
And heaven's richest blessing shine
Ever on thee and thine
Be thy path with roses strown       
All thy hours to care unknown
Sorrows cloud thy path may never
Happiness be thine forever.

Milford, May 25, 1859

The album contains sections separated by engraved illustrations with titles like The Miniature, Happy Moments and scenes like one of Saratoga Lake.

Pinned to a page page were stems of grass with this inscription, "Grass picked from the grave of Abraham Lincoln".

The album is embellished with hand made drawing and borders. These words by Eliza and the people she let share this album have come on a journey of their own into this basket to this house in Canaan, Connecticut.

135. Eliza J. Hill,' daughter of Alza* and Mary (Ferris) Hill, 
married November 7, 188 1, George H. Speedlmg. of Nelsonville, 
Putnam County, N. Y. Issue, Mary E., born December 30, 1883 ; 
Oliver H., born January r8, 1889. Reside at Nelsonville, N. Y. 
From: Internet Archive 
I do not know who Eliza J. Hill of Danbury, Connecticut was, but she is remembered.

And what of this thing, "this clearing out process" that has been repeated numerous times. Yet this book has been saved now for over 150 years. I do know how it ended up in a bin with my collection of other antique books. Maybe someday I will research Eliza more or donate it to the Scot-Fanton (now the Danbury Museum and Historical Society) in Danbury.

The last entry in the book reads:

Should sorrow oer take thee,
Should friends foresake thee,
Should the world look dark and cooled to thee,
then turn thee to this book where so many names
are inscribed in friendship and think not those friends are all gone . .
that in remembering them thou art also remembered by them. 
- Cahi (it is hard to make out who this author was by the handwriting)

As you see it took me a while to get through the books. Facebook and the other Social Networking sites will never replace books like these, because they have no permanence, only fleeting glimpses of the people in our lives on pages that are soon gone or buried with the next new posting.

The stacks of cement patio blocks that I had been using to weight down frames when I glued them to panels was easy (I'm not doing my artwork on panels anymore, but using unbleached linen, mostly, gathered materials and natural pigments now and then gluing them to canvas board) to decide what to do with.. They are now sitting out by the woodpile ready for another life as well. The stacks of National Geographic Magazines that I also used for weight and the first few years of Wired Magazines are proving more difficult to deal with.

But the hundreds of National Geographic Magazines did finally go to a person that found us on (we traded emails so maybe we'll hear something about how they were eventually were used later). Getting someone who is interested in my old Wired Magazines from the early '90's is a different story though. While Wired was the first Internet publication not centered totally around technology platforms but people, creativity, ideas and applications, all that is very old news now. This magazine marked my very early introduction to the Internet. So I really need to decide what to keep and what to let go. Of course I kept the first monthly issue from 1993. I also saved some issues from the next few years that I still found interesting and some that I would pass on to friends and family. The magazine really lost interest to me when it was sold and it's wonderfully crazy, creative, beautiful design sense that I loved was lost in the process. But what to do with the remaining copies? It came to me in a dream (no not really) to use them as path making material to create an Infinite Loop pathway back in the woods. I think that is a much more fitting use for them than to spend time trying to sell them on eBay. And it fits with my current opinion of the things going on in the online newspaper industry at present - an Infinite Loop with no transformative breakthrough in sight.

Into these areas to the left and right of the couch, formally filled with wicker baskets, cement patio blocks, magazines, and other stuff I plan to fill with clothes storage units.

The newly opened up spaces to the right and left of the Love Seat.
The problem is I have been looking for something to use as clothes storage furniture for Joey for years.

I have been carrying the dimensions around in my wallet but had no luck in finding something that would work for her clothes and that fit into the casual style of that we find comfortable. But now it was time! There was the space...

So as the physical clutter was cleared in the house and the mental clutter was clearing from my mind. There appeared that "room" both physical and mental for something new.

Continued in PART II: Time and space with IKEA [READ]