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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A busy time...

Fooling around with snow, light and shadows

my old friend Maple Tree

Snow ripples.

More snow

Tree tops of the acre...and a moody January sky...
The digital sketchbook is full of winter shots, and I'm playing around with black and white which just seems to be the idea pallet choice for this time of year. We're deep into winter, and seeing the light returning one minute at a time...some days a little more than that...it's snowing again, lightly...we missed the big storm (for once), but I have to feel sorry for the poor souls in communities less able to deal with the snow, we get tired of it, but we make do...4 wheel drive is helpful, but it doesn't stop you from losing it on ice...drive carefully and get where you gotta go in one piece...

Lots has happened...last week, our son turned 25 last Saturday, I cooked his favorite spaghetti and meatballs for dinner...he's reached the milestone of no longer being our dependent, so no more tax write off...overall, we've raised a good kid who's grown into a mature young man, who still has a lot to learn...Where did the time go, right?  Looking at the calendar today, I realized this is the day he finally came home from the hospital all those years ago (he was a month premature, so there were complications to be monitored.) It was hard for me to leave the hospital without my baby, and to go to the hospital every day to be with him, feed him, and recover (me), he was such a wee thing, about the size of a loaf of bread, the weight of a roasting chicken...I remember my brother telling me that our mother handed him a chicken at the grocery store the day her grandson was born and said "This is how much he weighs" (5 lbs 4oz).I just remember being so dang poor, working poor, we both had jobs, but barely got by, always a paycheck away from financial disaster. So my baby is all grown up...not yet on his own, but getting there...it's hard for the young people to get on with it these days, such a tenuous time...bottom line, I want him to be happy in life.

Last Sunday morning, I got a call from my sister that our mother had a stroke (she's 79, will be 80 in May). Thankfully, long story short, she's recovering quickly...the scary part was that it had affected her vision (she's a folk artist/painter so imagine the fright for a visual person to suddenly loose the one sense they rely on!) Within two days her vision returned to near normal, and she started painting on Thursday...WHEW! Call it a warning shot across her bow, I suppose...time to take it easy, slow down, take care... she's going to be fine. If anything, Mom is a force of nature... (aren't all moms?) Although she's physically tired, she's doing fine considering what she's been through.

In the midst of this, my Fred and I were preparing for our next art exhibition at Moonlighting Gallery  that opened last night, it's always a treat to meet and greet, talk to people about what I do creatively, painting, photography, and writing books...the positive energy of the night, the enthusiasm in the steady roar of voices filling the space, and the well-being of all made it a good night.

Oh, yes...2 weeks later, the wee kitten, Butters, is adjusting, doing what kittens do, only he's Mr. Mellow Yellow, not quite the curtain climber nut-job some kittens can be...not saying he doesn't have his moments of kitten crazies...he's fitting in, and he's happy. For him, life is good.

I'm glad it's Saturday, I'm tired, I need a break...I need to recharge...it's a juggling act to do all that I do and manage a body that rebels on a daily basis with chronic fatigue, pains in strange places...sometimes it's all I can do to stay upright and go forward, but I do it...

Looking down at my size 6 1/2's yesterday afternoon, telling myself, "Come on, you can do it..."

Monday, January 17, 2011

A long weekend...

Shadows, Concrete, Vines and Weeds, 12/30/2010

Ice, 12/30/2010

The Shed Door, 12/30/2010
Crow Tracks, 12/30/2010

Black Dog with Face in Snow, 12/30/2010

It's been a long weekend...but good! I've been spending it quietly, resting mostly because of my latest lingering flareup refuses to settle down, I've been writing a little, tinkering with photos, and have been mesmerized by the bitty kitty we adopted on Friday afternoon...our son called me at work at about 2PM "Mom..." (I knew by the tone this was going to be a special conversation) "...someone found a kitten keeping warm on a car engine, is it okay if..." (Okay? Of course it's okay! I've been looking for a kitten and knew one would come our way...they always do...and so, this little scrawny baby, probably about 8-10 weeks old, very hungry and cold, but so far healthy and super sweet has come to live with us...I think I've spent more time just looking at this little cat, marveling over his littleness, cuteness, a bitty life just starting out, a whole story unknown prior to our meeting, questions of how did he come to be in a parking lot on campus, keeping warm on a car engine, and why in the world is he outside in this cruel cold weather? Who knows. So I hold him in my lap, study his beautiful fur pattern...meditating on a name, post it notes stuck to the dining room table as possible names come to mind...Marbles, Marley (as in Bob Marley), Dewey, Louie, Tommy Ginger, Carrot Tail, Wally Walnut, Stinker (he does have deadly gas, typical for a weanling on new food), Peanut, Nutmeg, Marmalade...and then Butters...Walter I tossed in last, but not all of us agree on that, Butters seems to stick, and he responds to it...must be the right intonation that he likes about it...he's in my lap now and wants to "help"...passing out kitty kisses and purring his heart out...

Butters in the baby basket, 1/16/2011
So far, so good...not too much hissing, just the occasional bottle-brush tail...Charlie is jealous (he's been "the baby" for 7 years, so this is natural.) Tiggy-Pooh isn't too thrilled either, but Willy Big and Fatty Woo are accepting. Max has yet to gain the little ones seal of approval...the poor dog, he's excited about having a new bitty (his ears are so perked they just about pop off his head), but the bitty is not excited about him (yet) these things take time (Butters hisses at him, Max becomes sad, everything droops and he walks away, tail down, ears down...so I go love him up.) Most of the time he's baby quiet, sleeping a lot, and he explores, running low to the ground...hiding under chairs and tables (the way his mommy taught him)...I've kitten proofed the places that would be bad...he's gathering dust balls...I think he's going to be a semi-fluffy cat, ruffled...
Warm by the fire, 1/17/2011
Little guy in the middle of two big guys! (The Warmest Place in the House!)

We're glad to have taken him in...it just hurts my heart thinking this little guy wouldn't have survived this long weekend if someone hadn't noticed him climbing up inside that car...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Turn it up to eleven...

Exposed Roots, 1/1/2011

Three Trees, 1/1/2011

Abstraction, light and shadows, 1/8/2011

A tree branch in snow, 1/8/2011

A mouse imprint in snow, 1/8/2011

Abstraction, light and shadows, 1/8/2011
Leaves in snow, 1/1/2011
Abstraction, Shadows and Light, 1/9/2011
Lichen, 1/1/2011

Lichen, 1/1/2011

One, one, one, one
One, one, eleven...
Happy 2011...twenty eleven...
I keep hearing this phrase whenever I write the new date..."Turn it up to eleven..."
Wait, did I just hear Spinal Tap? I do believe I just did...

Here they are...the classic lines from This is Spinal Tap (regarding the number eleven...)

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.


And so, for 2011...turn it up to eleven!
A black dog in white snow, 1/9/2011
That's eleven photos for this post.