Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


There are times in which I feel like screaming "Stop the world, I want to get off!" Yet I stick it out, day in and day out, getting it done, the whatever "it" is that comes my way...sometimes it's just one thing after another..."You know, it's always somethin'."

Like the rest of the country that got it, we got the first snow on Thursday night...a black out came along with it too...and when the power came back on, the storm itself was pretty much done, so I gained a false sense of security thinking "all's well" and started various tasks all requiring electricity...Laundry, Cooking Dinner, a Hot Bath...and then Bingo! A brown out...so everything had to be shut down...soggy laundry in both machines, partially cooked components for dinner was tucked into the fridge to be continued another time, (I had guacamole and chips for dinner instead, yummy enough, but it wasn't my planned baked heavenly mac n' cheese.) And we also ran out of water in the tanks. Drag.The brown out went on all night with several power outages mixed in during the wee hours until finally by morning the power came back on full...could've been worse...just annoying. It became bitter cold out, dropping into the 20's burrrrrrr! I'm grateful for our woodstove to keep us cozy.

 Max and I went outside late that night to admire the stars and the white blanket covering our acre of the world. He became fascinated with something under the porch, so I called him away (always fearing there'd be a skunk under there one of these days! He's been sprayed before, and I've been lucky enough to not be near ground zero of the deed at the time!) I shined the flashlight around and didn't see anything or hear anything...no tracks in the snow...we went inside with caution...I didn't put the pieces together until the next day...

From a white out, to a black out, to a brown out...the morning was very white...

On Friday afternoon, I came home early to take my doggy to the vet for a quick check of his infected ear, and just as my son and I were getting ready to leave we heard a kitty crying...and there under our porch was this pitiful little fellow with a badly injured eye (very likely he got biffed by a car and amazingly survived)…we coaxed him out, got him into a cat carrier and took him along for the ride (arriving a little late for our appointment.) It’s clear he is not feral, that he belongs (or did belong) to someone, he’s people friendly and neutered, go figure how he came to be all the way out here on our acre of the world. They find their way to us, the little critters who need help…it’s just us. So a free vet visit later, with free antibiotics and free advice, I’ve been seeking help through a cat rescue group to get the little guy fixed up, we are going to become the foster home, and I’m also chipping in to cover surgery to remove the eye (which won’t be cheap!) The eye is so badly damaged it can’t be saved (but the kitty can be saved.) So…you might laugh (or be appalled), we’ve named this tough little buddy “Popeye” (I am what I am and that’s all that I am)…he’s a real sweetheart and very lovable…aren’t they all? I don't want to post a photo of his face just now, he's not a pretty sight at the moment, it's just heart breaking. Whatever his story is, we may never know how he came to be under our porch in such rough shape, but for now, he’s safe with us, and hopefully will recover and live out the rest of his natural life in peace and secure that he will be loved…

Popeye napping
And so that’s my story…never a dull moment! I have a full plate in my life and I wouldn't want it any other way!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday night....

Maple Leaf and Seeds, 10/22/2011
It's the end of a creative weekend, I took several long studious walks around the acre with my good dog, Max...the dog sniffing the ground for interesting smells, and I looking at the ground for interesting objects to photograph...filling my digital sketchbook with more pictures...

Maple Leaf Layers, 10/22/2011

Maple Leaf, 10/22/2011

The Remains of Summer's Lilies, 10/22/2011

Viola Leaf on Stone, 10/22/2011

Wild Cucumber and Burrs, 10/22/2011

Willow Leaf, 10/22/2011

Mushroom Group (under the lilac bush), 10/22/2011

It felt good to be so productive image-wise...although I've been a bit woozy at times, fatigue mostly, but some of the woozy feeling is from euphoria because I finished my first painting since my mother's passing...it's good...it's what I wanted to do with that blue-black square that I had staring at me for a week...
The Blue Square Window 10/23/2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Milkweed Leaf, 10/14/2011
I'm trying out a new background design...I think I like it...for now.

Old brick, with accidental paint. Summer 2011
(Oops!) I spilled some turquoise paint on an old brick during the summer when the wind knocked my little paint cup off the table on the porch...look how pretty it is now! If you look close at the milkweed leaf photo, you'll also see some flecks of turquoise on that too! They were all in the same general area of my studio table on the porch. It already feels forever ago...

It's been a quiet weekend (and a long one, as we took Thursday and Friday off)...for this I'm grateful. I needed the down time to reboot my brain, get some rest...I even made time to tip on the couch and watch a movie (Out of Africa, again.) Although the weather has been threatening there have been some moments of pristine October blue in the midst of the gray, sunshine to sit in, I made time to watch the world go by...

Leaves on the path, 10/14/2011
My little dog buddy Max has had a bad middle ear infection, but is on the mend, poor little fella, never complains...he's the best of good boys about taking his pills. His birthday is October 20th, he will be 12 years old.

My father has gotten better in some respects, but worse in others, dementia seems to have gotten the better of him (this is how his father went, and my mother warned us this is how it is going to be.) He has reached a plateau in his recovery, and it's very sad to see him slipping away from us a little at a time. He time travels mostly now, and his busy mind invents many scenarios, one happens to be a girlfriend...oy vey, right? Somehow I believe that his being smitten with a lady so soon after my mother's death is not a bad thing, it is filling a hole that he's feeling inside...and there is nothing finer than the euphoria of being in love to make you feel good when you're feeling so sad...I'm not going to deny him that bit of happiness even if it's only in his mind. He knows us, he is happy and safe...this matters most of all.

In all of this, I've managed to find quiet. It hasn't been easy. As you can see, I've taken lots of pictures...

White Feather, 10/14/2011 Just a lone feather on the leaves...
October Rose, 10/12/2011

I've moved along to visit other chapters in Drinking from the Fishbowl, and added some new work to Layers of Illusion, so I'm slowly getting back into the rhythm of writing... a new canvas that I've started is waiting for the next layers of paint, I'm pretty excited about it, yet apprehensive, it's one of those moments of uncertainty, I'll be all right once I'm "there"...some smaller works on paper have taken shape...fooling around with colors, staining papers and making marks...

I couldn't resist turning the milkweed leaf photo into a duotone, the texture is so beautiful!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Sumac Leaves, 9/29/2011

Bones of the Earth, 9/29/2011

The Horse Barn, 9/25/2011

Looking for a four leaf clover, 9/25/2011

Sumac leaves, 9/29/2011

 The compost heap had some pretty leaves in it and I ran inside to grab my cameras to take pictures...suddenly I had almost 200 photos...just a handful are good...some okay, some not so good...good thing there's no film involved, right? I think I took more time fussing and focusing when I had a roll of 24 loaded...and would get a little careless with a roll of 36...whatever, right? The little point and shoot cameras are giving me a creative outlet that I need for the moment...blurry pictures happen, it's part of the process.

(I really should wear my reading glasses while taking pictures, that way I can see the screen better!)

I've been reading a lot (books written by other people, not mine) and I've once again fallen in love with E. M. Forster...A Passage to India is such a beautiful book, I can't believe I hadn't read it sooner...but I suppose, the time was right for it.

I traveled to visit my father at the rehab center last Saturday, he's doing well...but has come to a "plateau" in his progress. Sometimes it is the little things that trip one up, recovering from surgery for a broken hip is one thing, he's doing well in that respect, but he is failing in the basics of self care, and this is of grave concern...so while hearing my sister telling me that he is not coming home, I felt shocked at first, but then after digesting it, I knew this is right. Our mother was doing all the care taking, giving the cues, poking and prodding, and doing every thing possible to make the situation appear "fine", when it wasn't. We, the children, have been in denial. Now we know. And now it's our decision.

Life progresses in strange paths that are unfamiliar and overwhelming...we're hanging in there.

This morning, my Fred and I installed our artwork at the Central Library at the Galleries on South Salina Street in beautiful downtown Syracuse, our wall looked fine...people were already looking. One fella wasn't sure if he'd pay $400 for a painting of splashes of color...but then after he spent time with them and looking (really looking) he piped up that he liked them well enough after all. The display is up through the month of October.

How about the Occupy Wall Street protests, huh? Awesome...I've been catching some of the various live feeds in NYC and along the way, I've come upon the We Are the 99 Percent...a blog full of very inspiring, sad and unfortunately true life stories...check it out...it will make you angry and it will make you cry.


October is one of my favorite months, even its rainy days are lovely, we've had mist all day, and oddly enough, I didn't run out to take photos of any of it. But I know in time, things will adjust and I will get back into creativity as normal...but for now photos and drawings are how I am coping.

It is true, the deeper the sadness, the greater the beauty.

The Pretty Hill, Route 31 outside Port Byron, New York, 9/24/2011
An interesting sign along Route 31, Lock Berlin New York, 9/24/2011