Artnotes Italy Daily

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Painting in Italy

 Campanile Vescovio   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   18 x 13   46 x 33
 Fields at Vescovio  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 24"  30 x 60cm
 Back of Church at Vescovia  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 12 x 16" 30 x 40cm  
Dog in the Road, Farfa  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 18 x 13  46 x 33 cm

The Street at Farfa   Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  12 x 24"  30 x 60 cm

The priest raised his finger to his lips to indicate “hush.”  Then he proceeded to bless the room, us and our paintings.   We were painting in Farfa, Italy, an abbey-town about 30 minutes from our house, and from Rome.  There were six of us, our first week-long painting workshop of 2018.

We were painting on the porch of a trattoria, where we were to have lunch.  It was raining cats and dogs.  In fact, Harika refused to leave the house the weather was so bad.

A woman from the restaurant brought out a plate of cookies that she made.  This is my image of Italy:  a smiling woman with a plate of food coming my way.  “Everything will be alright.”  The blessing may or may not have helped my painting:  city views, with their tight perspective, are always a challenge for me.  It could have been worse.

It has rained every day in the month of March here, near Rome.  Antonio, a Stimigliano local, points out “last year not a drop for 4 months!!!”   I tell him this is a disaster, we are entertaining four painters from the USA, intending to paint “en plein air”.  He shakes his head.

Our first day was slightly better – we painted at Vescovio.  Again, the restaurant where we were to eat lunch generously opened their terrace to our easels.  By the afternoon the sun had some out and we could paint in the nearby fields, transferring the colors of the Italian spring onto our canvases.

Sunday was not as lucky for painting.  Instead, we visited the Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola (named after the goat herders who founded the town).  It is an exceptional place, started as a fort, but finished in the second half of the sixteenth century as a summer house for the Farnese clan.  I am astounded how modern the Renaissance could be:  we took pictures of murals to inspire our own walls.   

I haven’t painted outside in a long time, and felt challenged by the task, particularly in the cold and rain.   Luckily, each day the restaurants we have eaten at have fireplaces, to cook at, and to impart the feel of light and warmth.   The best part of our trip together may have been our lunches:  not just for satisfying ourselves, but to see all the people around us.  Italy is so much about breaking bread with those we love.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Drip drip drip

all acrylic on newspaper 17 x 24"    43 x 61cm

“Water is life,” a cabbie in Paris once told us.  Since then, I try to see the beauty of rain, and snow, and assorted precipitation.  In Rocca Malatina this weekend, the snow, still nearly a foot deep, is melting and giving life to Springtime.    Rivers are running down the sides of the streets; plastic pipes, spilling gushers, make me think of miracle springs; gutters and downspouts spew.   The drip drip drip continues night and day, and the snowbanks have diminished from 6 to 3 feet.  Snow recedes and grass grows around the trunks of the trees, many with broken, dangling branches.   
Harika loves this yard and runs around where the grass should be, digging to earth.   We’re just here for the weekend.  We sold five paintings in February, three of which I forgot were up North.  We picked them up and shipped them off to Sarasota, Florida.  I wouldn’t mind hitching onto that ride.  But it’s great to be back in Rocca Malatina, with a steady diet of hugs and pizza with friends. 
We drove into Rome this week to attend a presentation at Blair’s old architectural school.  It is right next to the Coliseum, and it has that casual, “hey, there’s the coliseum” quality when one glances to the side.  A toga wouldn’t be out of order.   The speaker was outstanding, and the other attendees were of the exceptional level one finds surrounding universities.  How often do you get to speak to someone who is mapping the Vatican, or was accepted to the Medieval Studies graduate program at  Yale, Harvard, Princeton, but chose Blair’s school, Notre Dame?  It was a lively group that took part in the question and answer segment of the evening.  I won the door prize:  a book of the complete collection of Piranesi’s drawings and etchings.
We looked at a possible mural project before that:  a Paris scene in a French products store in downtown Rome, right up our alley.  The thought of painting indoors had great appeal, after our outdoor workshop last Sunday, in the cold and damp.  We visited with an old friend from Paris while we were painting.   
I get confused about where we are when we move around so much.  Roman voices are quite different from those in Emilia-Romagna.  It is funny that I think of coming back to Rocca Malatina as “home”.   There was a time I felt that way about Paris and Seattle; both of those places are very distant past now.  I rarely felt at home in Connecticut, although my own voice comes from there.  
I am painting party dresses this week.  It must have something to do with the Oscars and such, and what one wears on the red carpet.  Black.   Or maybe I need a night on the town.  For now, I am wearing my fur coat in the house.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Artnotes: Blame it on the Weather

Stimigliano in Snow  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  18 x 15"  45 x 38 cm   

​Snow Scene out the Window  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 8 x 20"  20 x 50cm   

​Sign of the Whale   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25" 43 x 63cm    

​Galaxy Corbeau Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17" 63 x 43cm  

three little galaxies  9 x 12"

​As you likely heard, there was SNOW in Rome this week.  The last time it snowed was 2012 and before that it was in the last century.  People went completely crazy and Stimigliano was no exception.  Children and adults alike threw snowballs and made snowmen.  I saw the best broccoli eyes ever; three days later there are carrots everywhere.  And my red glove.  I lost it just before the snow, dropped on an off-the-beaten track.  Despite retracing our Harika walk steps, it only emerged this morning, with cat poop on it.  

The most surprising thing was that our entire borgo was excavated, using shovels!  We had between six inches and a foot of the white stuff (being a bit higher up than the city of Rome) – and the scraping of our cobbled pavement went on for hours.   Next day, we had a broken pipe, a big one, which served the entire community.  We went out for lunch.

Life is always surprising here.  I like it, mostly, although my best friends remain up in Rocca Malatina.  We’re headed up there to pick up three paintings I sold, this week, just for a few days.  They have had multiple feet of snow.  We were really lucky not to have had to pay for heat in the frigid temperatures they are experiencing.  We’ll be back down here for a week long painting workshop.  We are looking forward to it.

Being shut-ins, like we were (in a place they use shovels to clear snow, you really don’t want to be driving), we came up with every so many more ideas.  I went hog-wild with my constellation paintings, and Blair is trying to launch a new gig:  Portraits in Rome.  

He is proposing to paint portraits of tourists who come to visit the Eternal City.  He will meet with them for an hour or so, during their visit, deciding on a style of painting and location.  He will make sketches and take some photos and in a few days to a week:  portrait!   You can check out his site at:    We’d love to hear what you think of the idea.

I picked a few lemons off the tree I’ve been stealing from – they were as hard as rocks.  I defrosted them and made marmalade, although it is more like candy.  I was unable to get the timing right on a batch of blood-orange marmalade two days later, and it is like soup.  I blame the weather.

Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Artnotes: Just the Facts

 Magenta Ranunculas  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  17 x 25"  43 x 63 cm

Flower in Mistaken Spring Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17"  63 x 43cm   
 Ranunculas from the Market Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17"  63 x 43cm   
 Ranunculas on Turquoise  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  17 x 25"  43 x 63 cm   
 ​Fields in Winter  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 8 x 19.5"   20 x 50cm  

Santuario St Famiano  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  27 x 46cm   11 x 18" 

This feels like the longest winter of my life.  Yes, I am warm in the apartment near Rome, but I want to be playing outside.  And now we are facing the icy blast from Siberia:  I planned on it being warmer.  I hope my outdoor painting workshop in the Borghese Gardens next Sunday will be possible.  The show must go on.
I like winter, at first, when the trees display their beautiful limbs senza leaves.  All the mosquitoes die – yippee. There is so much brilliant angular LIGHT.  The sky directly above is unimaginably blue.  At night the stars are fantastic.   But as we drag into February, and I am still painting flowers in the house, or painting from photos, I get cranky.   All this, as Rocca Malatina sits under a near meter of snow.
So, I spend time sorting books in my library.   I find great happiness in alphabetical order:  it is a fact.  I have been thinking about truth, and facts and physical laws.   To watch Richard Feynman explain how drops of water all cling together to make surface tension makes me relax.   I can count on it.
I watched a video this week from the Intercept, where Glen Greenwald and James Risen debate about political allegations and the need for proof.  I respect Glen Greenwald’s sentiment that proof is necessary in journalism – in everything really.  But I’d rather be outside watching the crows.
Everything seems so uncertain at the moment.  We are approaching an election here in Italy next Sunday, the 4th.  I am hoping to paint-through-it.    The former president, Berlusconi, could actually win, even though he is 80-something and cannot serve because of a felony.   Another candidate is just 31 years old.  Everyone is promising the population more money.  The Fascists here are the real thing.  It’s most disconcerting.
Meanwhile, I try to live my life the best way possible.  We picked up another 30 boxes of books in Florence this week.  We hired a man from Nigeria to help us load them all in the station wagon, precariously parked.  Among the books is a guide to Florence architecture.  It is such a beautiful city, I look forward to studying each stone in chiseled, unmoving detail. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Join us for a Painting Workshop Day in Rome:

Turning Up the Heat

Villa Loris in Snow  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 24"  30 x 60cm 

Ludovico's House in Snow  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 18"  30 x 45cm  

​Eurospin Orchid  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17"  63 x 43cm   

​The Lorenzo Orchid  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17"  63 x 43cm  

​We spent most of the week in Rocca Malatina, at the “big house”.  We had a number of activities taking place there:  a friend who we knew from the first weeks of our time in Italy passed away.  We missed seeing him a very last time by just an hour.  We took solace in the fact we always had great fun when we were together.  
We celebrated Valentine’s day at an exhibit in Reggio Emilia.  “Kandinsky > Cage:   homage to Kandinsky’s abstract artwork and Cage’s abstract music.  I had seen Cage perform in 1978 and it was remarkable, although not exactly understandable to me.  Kandinsky, on the other hand, has always brought joy with his bright, musical colors.  And that is the thing:  Kandinsky had a condition called synaesthesia – he could see sound, and he placed it on the canvas as it occurred.   The exhibit was quite interesting, the music which inspired the piece playing directly above the painting.   In college, I tried to associate sounds and colors, which seemed apparent to me at the time.  Now, I can’t listen to music when I paint or I lose control of what I am doing. 
I was listening to a Richard Feynman interview on Youtube recently (in my quest to learn more about how the universe works: physics), and he talked about how people’s minds work differently.   In his head, he used to count (1-48, or so) to time a minute for an experiment.  He found he could read while still counting.  He mentioned this to a colleague, who did the same, but he couldn’t read, but could speak.  Feynman absolutely could not speak while counting.  Which led him to believe we are all really wired quite differently.
We ate Thai dinner with friends, their goat had a kid, and it snowed twice.  I made snow bunny sculptures out of the wet stuff, melting, refreezing, spring-ish snow.  I made Valentines and we painted snow scenes.  We received the shipment of 70 canvases for our painting workshops.  We are advertising our day workshops in a new way:  on Eventbrite.  Our first one will be 4 March (election day here), in the Borghese Gardens:  
We left on Friday, before we got hypothermia, our heat never cresting 65 F degrees (18C), despite the furnace running continuously while we were there.  When we arrived in Stimigliano, there was some sort of festa, where they had an artificial snow machine, blowing snow into the piazza.  We turned up the heat inside.

Laurie and Blair PESSEMIER

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Library

At Montelibretto  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper  25 x 17"  63 x 43cm

In the Grove  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  13 x 18  33 x 46cm

A Windy Day at Ladispoli  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10.5 x 18"  27 x 46 cm

the library

Finally, after weeks of delay, the new bookcase was delivered on Monday.  Our American Library in Stimigliano has over 1,250 donated books, of various genres, available for circulation.   We found a lovely antique wooden bookcase, slightly over twelve feet (3 meters) in length for sale in a second hand lot.   Because brown furniture is so out of fashion, and we are among the few people who have a twenty foot long wall, unpierced by windows, we were able to buy the libreria for very little money. 
Needless to say, this maneuver has put crimp in our painting this week.  I use the library as my studio, as well, and my painting surface was piled with books for three days.

The next day, we went to Rome, and scoped out painting sites for an April engagement.  We visited the boat basin in the Villa Borghese Gardens, and are eager to give it a try.  We were in Rome for a meeting of the American Business Group.   Blair and I have always been involved in the business of painting, as well as the act of painting.   The ABG has the most interesting speakers, and this was no exception.  We heard from a recently retired journalist with a long career at the New York Times, speak about fake news.  It made me seriously consider quitting Facebook, which targets people for what fake news they receive.  Google is king of the news targeting department, although not necessarily fake,  and depending on your profile feeds you different information when you “google”.   Which explains to me why Blair and I always get different results.  I won’t go into detail about the biggest purveyor of fake news, which you can certainly guess.

On Friday, we drove to Montelibretti, to visit Libelulla, an olive oil operation.  They have an “adopt-an-olive-tree” business (, and we are thinking of teaming up with them to offer olive painting tours.  We strolled acres of olive groves, and visited the charming town of Montelibretti.   It’s just a little more than a half-hour from where we live, and the same distance from Rome.  We might bring our Rome-city painter there in April, if she would like a break from the ancient stones.   A full-fledged olive-grove-hills-of-Rome tour is in the planning.

I still have to organize the subjects and alphabetize the library, but the unpacking and shelving is complete.  I am using a cataloging program on the Internet to register each book, so they can be checked out.  We’re headed up to a snowy Rocca Malatina for a few days, to see friends and celebrate Valentine’s Day.   Red and white paint.

Sunday, February 04, 2018


Olive on th​e Embankment   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas   13 x 18 "  33 x 46cm  275.00

​Olive tree mural  Laurie Fox Pessemier  84 x 138"   214cm x 350cm


    ​Olive trees on Paper  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm  90 each or 3 for 200.00

I have finally got into the swing of 2018, and have been working on my goals.  One challenge is to finish my Art of Slow Travel book. I really don’t like doing that, and my 10 pages or 20 minute a day goal isn’t much of a motivation. 
The thing about projects that I don’t want to do, is that I can find incredibly interesting other activities. 
This week I latched onto a serious “olive tree” kick.  We live in the Sabina region, famous for its olives, its wine and its beautiful women.   There are large fields planted with new olive trees on our way to the grocery store.  It’s the time of year that the trees are being pruned, so you can really see their marvelous trunks.   All of the other trees are without leaves, so there is a clear view of the oliviers.
​So, I started painting olive trees.  They are not so easy.  After my first three attempts, I ran across a photo of a dining room painted with trees all around, and thought, “perfect for our bedroom:  olive trees”. 
I jumped right into this crazy idea, rubbing a sort of coral colored paint mix into the white plaster wall.  I wanted it to look like a fresco, a little old, rustic.   Blair convinced me that a conventional paint might do – I could still rub it in, not roller it, and have that plastered background look.  He was right.
If you’ve ever seen olive trees, you know they are extraordinarily gnarly.  The old ones (there are a few in this region over 1,000 years old) have impossible-looking, great, large bases – I skipped that bit, but let loose with the branches that take off in every which way, twisting, turning.  I was encouraged.  I painted until I got a backache. 
Today, I finished putting on the olives.  Black: a mixture of turquoise and red.  The actual olives are an almost blue-ish black, and the flesh runs deep red.   If there were to be any olives remaining on the trees now, they would be black olives.   The image itself starts about three feet off the ground.  I’ll make it dark below.
It’s been raining here for a couple of days.  We had four hours of thunder Friday night, and Harika was still trembling on Saturday afternoon.  The river is rising.  That gives me another idea.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Go With the Flaw

Crepiscule on the Tiber  Laurie Fox Pessemier  13 x 18"  33 x 46cm  Acrylic/canvas

​Monk Puppet   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm 

Puppets    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm

​Blair Pessemier  Squares  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"   40 x 50cm

We went to the café for a Campari/soda as soon as we got back to Stimigliano on Friday.   We’d been up in Rocca Malatina wresting with paperwork for a few days.   The Café Garibaldi is a homely sort of place, with shelves full of toys for children – “soccer” cards and little girl lipstick; balls with monster faces, and jars of slime.   There is an odd “homeliness” about a lot of Italy, but is comfortable and right here.   There is no pretension, and for that it is a relief.  

I recall, from the 1990s, living in Hartford Connecticut, an Italian woman telling me, “it may be nothing, but we can all sit and have a dish of spaghetti together”.  That perfectly describes the homeliness:  a simple meal, not five courses, and you can dig in and eat more of, if it’s there.  One dish, one glass, one fork.

I try to look up a translation for “homely” and it comes through as “”familiar” – not exactly.  Once Google translate has an idea in its teeth, don’t try to trick it. I find other colloquial translation programs, and they are better:  bruttino (a little ugly), or semplice (simple).  I am sure there are ways to convey the idea.

There is a sense in Italy that things have always been this way (thousands of years, before the Romans were the Etruscans), and why change?   There are surges of beauty, like Roman architecture and statuary; mosaics; the Renaissance – a lightning bolt in all fields; Mannerism; Baroque – the Italian Futurists in the 1920s were great, bringing outstanding graphics to the world.  Italian car design leaves the rest of the world in the dust; fashion and furniture, too.    But when you get down to the basics; food, communication, the family:  civilization is what goes on here.  And beauty is a treat, admired, never scorned.

When Blair buys my Saturday paper at the café this morning, Franco slips in the wrong rotogravure.  The Repubblica has the “D” (he says donne (women), I say design) section, which has the latest fashion and  interiors, editorial and recipes.  Regardless of how homely things might be, people always like to look at people who look good.   When I return it, “brava” he tells, me – good that you caught it.  I leaf through for dressing inspiration.   Plaids and florals combine, athletic shoes accompany chiffon dresses…  Nobody “coordinate” anymore – like the end of buying matched wood furniture suites.

At the Comune, our city hall in front of our house, kids are making masks for Mardi Gras.  The noise is deafening, but somehow even Harika recognizes the fun of it, and isn’t bothered.   There will be a “snow machine” here for the celebration, and after a party for the kids, there will be a DJ for the teens and adults.

On the back of the Repubblica’s main newspaper is an ad for a clothing brand:  Only a Device should be Precise.  Go with the Flaw.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I Can't Explain...

 Borghese Garden  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  22 x 28"  56 x 71cm


 Big Boar  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Running Boar  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
Baby Boar  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm

Every morning this week we have heard gunshots while on our walk.  It’s a bit disconcerting, but part of living in the country.  Men are out hunting boar.  There are numerous boar (and boors) all over Italy, and they are not endangered.  Still, the idea of killing them is always a bit difficult.

When we get back home, I sort through the generous contribution of several hundred books for the American Library from a scholar who lives in Florence.   There is a book by the famous physicist Feynman called “Six Not-So-Easy Pieces”.  As I finished the chapter on Vectors, I thought this could be interesting.  It made me think about Cubism and Abstract Art. 

One of my 2018 resolutions is to “grow” my art.  There are a few ways to do that, and changing the way I think and see things could be one solution.  I have also been watching Feynman’s lectures at Cornell University from the 1960s.  I am working on the law of Gravitation, the first physical law.   It will take a while before I amalgamate Physics and Art, but I am hoping it all mixes together with the help of my Muse.

I am probably going to move most of my library from Rocca Malatina to Stimigliano.  Our studio has an ideal wall for a bookcase, and I can receive borrowers there.   There should be more borrowers in that region near Rome.  The library will serve as our art studio as well, encouraging borrowers to buy paintings. 

On one of our walks, we encountered a man in hunting garb.  “Are you a cacciatore?” Blair asked him.   Yes, was the reply and he went on to talk about a boar he shot that day that weighed more than 100 kilos.  Harika was growling slightly.  The man spoke a very little English, and together we learned about one another.  His son lives in Chicago where he works as a physicist for NASA.  We went by the fellows house and yard where he dressed the boar, and now Harika barks when she sees him.

We went to the flea market today looking for a sofa for the new house.  Instead, we bought a collection of ten antique hand puppets.   I am not quite sure how to explain that, either.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Maybe I'll Bake a Cake

 Artichoke 1  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Artichoke 2 (vertical possible)  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
  Artichoke 3  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Two Pigeons  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm

  Alleys by our House  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Black Cat Hanging Around my Door  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Black Bird  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/newspaper   17 x 25"  43 x 63cm
 Tiber in Winter  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 24"  40 x 50cm

​Horse in Borghese Gardens  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  16 x 20"  40 x 50cm

We drove into the city of Rome today, for the second time this week.  We went on Wednesday, just for fun – we need our city fix from time to time and there is no better place.  Seriously, Blair and I both have always said Rome was our favorite city in the world.  He has seen more cities than I have, but it would take a lot to knock Rome out of that number one slot for me.

There is just so much there, and it is so deep.  From the Etruscans, to the Romans, to the Italians, there are layers upon layers of history.  I love driving into Rome itself, from our bucolic corner with olive trees and hill towns, by the fields of sheep, the murmuration of  starlings, the car dealerships, the billboard for Enzo, private investigator; the prostitutes and hourly hotels; the curtains shading the balconies, the laundry; the umbrella pines giving way to the villas at the outskirts of town.

Blair and I ate at a dive he and his college buddies used to go to in the 1970s:  il Delfino.  The lasagna was 5 euros and there was an assortment of pizza slices.  We got on the bus and rode around like we were in a chauffeur driven limousine.  One can’t drive in downtown Rome, like many Italian cities.  We observed cats among Roman ruins, and watched the Tiber (Tevere) flow past.

Today, our destination wasn’t into the center city but to a rather funky contemporary neighborhood, where we were buying a gas stove.  It was paved with less lovely buildings, but rich, nonetheless with life.  Evidence of the garbage strike, and people waiting for buses, 99 cent fruit stands and tabacchi(s) welcomed us. 

Our new apartment in Stimigliano came with a stove “never used”.  This was because when you plugged it into the wall, the power failed. I feel lucky this was among the few tricks played on us; it’s Italy, after all.   Blair had been eyeing a gas cooktop/gas oven model.   We went to a local vendor on 8 January, when it would have been marked down:  SOLD, in fact.  So, when this model came up, we wasted no time jumping on it.

The seller and his wife were real characters.  He looked like the chubby rat that drove the coach for Cinderella.  Beady, lashless eyes, a pointy nose, and sharp backward-tilting teeth – he was smiling and happy.  His friend Melania, similarly circular, had shaved eyebrows filled in with purple pencil.  She was a bleach blonde with black roots.  I could see her sewing Cinderella’s dress.   She made me coffee and chatted.  I felt good about them, the stove was clean and he helped us pack it into the car.

On the way home, I thought about how it is possible to enjoy every minute of life.  Without expectations, all is new and beautiful, like a child seeing snow for the first time.  Using our grocery caddy as a dolly, we moved our old stove into the studio, and got this new model inside the kitchen.  I feel like a new beginning.  Maybe I’ll bake a cake.