Facts of Life

As we get ready to fix up our coop again, I realized you can learn a lot about life when you keep chickens. For instance, I learned from watching our girls that when the buffet is open, you get your dinner, and don’t let anyone get in your way. For the roosters, my kids learned more about the “facts of life” than I was ready to explain. And from the local Fox we learned that it is possible to be happy eating chicken three nights in a row.  Hopefully we’ll sell him on being a vegetarian this year.


This weekend I’m participating in Vermont’s Open Studio for Memorial Day Weekend.

If you’re running around Vermont, look for the yellow signs to direct you to the studios of craftspeople all over the state.

If you’re in Southwestern Vermont, Come Visit my Studio as well as  these two Sandgate Artists:




Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29
10AM to 5PM

Ellen Questel
1176 Sandgate Rd

Mallory Rich
703 SE Corners Road

Rachel Barlow
441 Woodcock Road


If you have never been to beautiful Sandgate and are headed there from parts north, we suggest you arrive via route 313 West from 7A in Arlington (rather than rely on GPS which sometimes tries to route people over Mt Equinox!)

From Cambridge, NY take 313 East to Sandgate Rd; From Bennington take 313 West from Route 7A in Arlington.

The Coach

T2 had been dishing it out all week. Fifteen-year-old T1 is dating a girl whose sister is the same age as T2, and the younger generation has made it their mission to report on every cuddle or kiss.

So the Committee on Perfect Parenting will forgive me if I was suspicious of T1’s motives when I saw him carrying a bat as he hustled his younger brother out the door.  Still, I said nothing as T2 skipped to the yard, tossing his ball up in the air and catching it just before it went astray into one of the windows.

“I am gonna really beat up your hand,” I heard T1 yell as he tossed the bat to the side and put on his glove.  T2 grinned, threw the ball to T1 and squatted into a catching position.  T1 wound up his pitch, and I got out of my chair, ready to referee at the top of my lungs through the window if needed.

Then he let the ball fly.

It was just a little outside the imaginary strike zone, but T2 was ready.  He rose up slightly and leaned to the right, grabbing the ball with the net of his glove. I could hear the THWAK through the glass, but T2 was still grinning.

“Good job,” T1 yelled.  “You got it right on the first one.”

“I don’t think the our pitcher throws that hard,” T2 laughed.

“I know,” T1, “But if you can catch all of mine, you’ll be set for the summer.”  He wound up for another pitch.  “Now watch out, this one’s gonna be inside — you missed a few on the last game.”  As his arm went back, I knew what I had to do.

I knocked on the glass to get their attention and waved and yelled, “Turn the other way so you don’t hit my car!”  Then, with just a smidge of satisfaction, I sat back in my rocker with my paints and pad and went back to painting.

Gearing Up

This coming weekend is Open Studio Weekend in Vermont. Artists around the state, including me, are opening their studios, and I’ve drafted my family to help make the yard look less like the opening shots for The Addams Family.

The meadow has become a lawn, and my garden, neglected for a full year after fractured foot restricted me two solid ground, is in the process of becoming a garden once again.