Kathryn Vaughn's Blog


Sunday, 12/30/07
Yipes, the last days of 2007 are slipping under me like some cosmic banana peel! I never saw it leaving until yesterday. Honestly, this year lasted about three months and most of that was in just over the Christmas holiday! Here I am, on my 'keesta' trying to figure out where it all went. I have a great photo download of my son Gregg and his wife, Rebecca, flying along a zip line through the trees of Costa Rica. They went there for their honeymoon and their radiant smiles are something I continually treasure. It's so wonderful to see your children really happy. I also wonder who in the heck took the picture, a monkey up there?
My neighbor next door, Rich Lazzaro, left me a surprise gift of a sack full of 'baby' jade buds wishing me a happy new year. I'm on the search now for a really cool planter to put them in! All the cards and well wishes from my family, spread around the country, come one day at a time, making it more like Christmas week rather then day. Just seeing the postmarks make me smile. My neighborhood is all of downtown Stoughton, so it's holiday trees and cheer all over the place. The ice spikes frozen along the alley are terrifyingly beautiful. One of those puppies could easily puncture three men and a boy! But the best is the tree the city itself put up. For the first week up it was tilted way to the left, the next week, way to right, the next week, forward. Last week it was laying down! Lights on and everything! Who could top such entertainment? Right now it's perfectly straight up, so my guess is there is someone buried under the snow holding it...
Sunday, 12/23/07
It's the time of year when everyone really wants to get everything done and right on time. Count me in with everybody and what...my cell phone goes goofy on me! I tried every little trick; there are plenty of minutes to use but all I got was the three ascending tones from, I think, maybe Pluto? Me, drive in this wacky weather without my cell? Not gonna happen! So I called the 800 number for Einstein service and there is no doubt in my mind, I did get hold of a celestial being going by the name of Scott. If he wasn't a cherubim he was at least a very high ranking elf. Not only did he know what kind of phone I had (which I bought three years ago) by my scanty description of it, he taught me how to take it apart, clear the static out and put it back together. I tried a call and he listened to those annoying three tones and knew in a nanosecond it was not static, but had somehow switched over to the second line (I had two lines?) and all I needed to do was switch it back, which he instructed me how to do as well. He then sent over some other goodies so I can use my phone for my email if I so choose. Thing is, I know he was busy but he never made me feel rushed or let on he thought I was a moron. This is surely heavenly behavior and I believe deserving of some special tribute. It is true that I have been naming my cars for years, but now, I am naming my phone. I may have to field a few Star Trek jokes, but it's got to be Scotty!
Sunday, 12/16/07
Boy, oh, boy! We are some kind of lucky radio station to have such nice listeners. I was taking the phone pledges for a good part of the Holiday Wish program and how generous and wonderful people are is just astounding. Really, it was absolutely moving to be part of such a display of kindness. That old-fashioned term 'brotherhood' keeps coming to mind, like 'he's not heavy, he's my brother.' Does not matter HOW many times I hear the stories, they all make me cry. However, seven of us from the Magic Crew went to Cheeseburger In Paradise later in the evening. If you were there, you would know what table we were at...what a bunch of yahoos. We just laughed as hard as we had all cried. Amy Abbott even gave me her mini sunglasses that were perched on the honking large strawberry sailing on her fishbowl-sized drink! Liz Terry had a strawberry daquiri I almost stole from her but luckily the waitress got me my virgin pina colada before I made a thief of myself. I finally got to meet Amy's boyfriend and I think he secretly is a radio guy in another town...he fit in so well with the rest of us screwballs. I also learned that Lanette's car has one of those seats that heats up! She very politely assured me I had not wet my pants; it was a modern perk of her spiffy car. Pat O'Neill and Jim MaGaw each had one of those fishbowl drinks with the pineapple boats floating in them but somehow I just cannot get myself to taste something the color of fabric softener. There was not a crumb or a drop of anything left at our table when we were through. I was still laughing this morning when I woke up just remembering how much fun we had!
Sunday, 12/9/07
I used to think that everyone named their car. How boring a car is with no name? It's like having a pet with no name! Unthinkable. Every car has its good and bad attributes, like the silver Tracer I had that would start, even at 25 below first time every time, but would konk out if it had to sit in hot weather for more than five minutes at a red light. That was Alvin...he was not classy by any stretch of the imagination, but he had a kick-butt stereo system! There was Greg, my very first car, a very well-seasoned, cream colored Volkswagen bug I used to have to start by sticking my fingers to move the fly wheel. No heat, had a moon roof and was so much fun someone actually stole it. My first new car was Bruce. White Grand Am with blue interior. Split seat in the back so I could carry my compound bow or my son's cello without it falling off the seat. Now I have a silver Tracer wagon, perfect for hauling artwork around but still decent on gas. He is Jed. Short for Jedediah Clampet, borrowed from one of my favorite TV characters. He was always so kind, good-natured and FUNNY! Jed, the car, is a little worn around the edges, but he is always so reliable despite his quirks. Like the interior lights never work and you must become a pretzel to find the blankety-blank seat belt. But the heat is fast, the AC is even faster and it is so easy to park! The gal who owned it before me had great dogs and I think all their friendly vibes are still left in the car.
Sunday, 12/2/07
The roads were such a mess early on when Amy Abbott and I got back from our remote at the Mounds Pet Store, I decided to spend the night here in the Magic 98 lobby. I always have extra blankets in my car...I use them to transfer my paintings with...and the sofa here is a nice, soft leather. The coffee machine has premium roasted beans; vanilla creme brulee is my favorite. There are enough things packed into our staff fridge to feed a small army, including a turtle ice cream pie from Michael's Frozen Custard. I usually get up at 4:30 so I can actually be awake enough to do Magic Sunday Morning, but now I get to 'sleep in' a little because I am already here (ha ha) and can just roll off the couch and run up to the Magic 98 studio! By golly, there is even orange juice in the vending machine for breakfast. Now, if I can just get them to put in one of those portable fireplaces...
Sunday, 11/25/07
One of the nicest things that can happen to me as a longtime music director is to have a fantastic CD come my way. To have a holiday CD is even more wonderful. This year 'The Cambridge Road Ensemble' has a new disc out that is just marvelous. No singing (seems there is always enough of that), just pure gorgeous melodies with Irish whistles, piano and brass and even one with a church organ. My favorites are 'Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent' (#9) and 'Good King Wenceslas' (#10). I've had the disc on repeat in my player for a few days now and I like it more and more. If you want one, www.cambridgeroadensemble.com is their site. The Heinecke family has once again put together some really excellent music. So lucky for us to have such terrific local talent!
Sunday, 11/18/07
I am really, really lucky to live in such a nice town with such great friends. My neighbors all know about my pet Joe. I think it's the only turtle people actually know personally. Well, the other day I was making my favorite cookies. I love to bake once it starts to get cold outside. I needed a few things from the grocery store, so I put up my pre-made note to "watch out for Joe" on the door and zipped over to Pick-N-Save. When I got back, there was the mixing bowl of softening butter and light-brown sugar with a note propped up against it.
It read, 'Kathryn, John from "Midnight Moon" had these left over from fishing and thought Joe might enjoy them. They are in the fridge. Hope you are not too appalled by them...S.B." S.B. is Sharon Blum, a fellow artist (she does pottery in Peeling Ceiling which is right next door to my place). John and Lynn have the huge bead store right across the street from me. There in the fridge, right next to the SKY HIGH apple cider, were three tubs of night crawlers! Appalled? By golly, I was thrilled! Of course I can't watch Joe eat these, but this is steak for him! It's just soooo nice being so connected. It just so happened that I ran into John later while I had the tin full of my best shortbread cookies...
Sunday, 11/11/07
It's amazing to me how the seasons do what they do and then we do what we do. Maybe it's because I grew up in a mostly concrete city and things that grew out of soil and animals that are big and alive were fiction.
Those huge sugar maple trees that turn that bright yellow, as if lit from inside themselves, make my heart pound faster. They are only that way for such a small amount of time and to be lucky enough to catch them in their glory is a thrill. Walking through stacks of different colors of fragrant apples, jams and pies opens synapses in my brain! Even the way trees look as if they are now upside down, as if now they are root up and under the ground the green leaves are resting, makes something young skip into my being. I really like seeing the drift fences go up. The freshly plowed fields all look like chocolate cake and the fences make sure everything stays tucked in.
I drove over to Baraboo on Wednesday early in the day and got to see an absolutely magical frosty coating on every tree, bush and clump of grass. The rolls of hay looked like giant shredded wheat with sugar on top. Black crows flying against the fall rust and tan foliage...what a life!
Monday, 11/5/07
I know I am not alone in being nutty about dragonflies. Most people don't realize that there are about 500 different types or that they go back to the dinosaur days and used to be huge as well. I find them particularly wonderful because for the first two years of i's life, it lives as a nymph under the mud underwater. It changes up to 15 times, just eating and growing until it knows to climb up on a reed for the sun and light. Then its head cracks open - I have actually witnessed this on the Mississippi River - and the dragonfly emerges. It only lives two to five weeks after that. But what a life! Flying 65 mph, 30,000 eye facets all at once, flying forward and backwards and catching its food in the air! Makes me see the best is yet to come for me...
Sunday, 10/28/07
Other than the "no drinkable coffee" hazard, the road trip was a lark! Jen's magnificent dress was all wrapped up and carefully placed on top of everything so it wouldn't get crushed. Well, the best laid plans...short of having the train flapping out the back of the van, it had to be folded somewhat. We figured when we got to the cabins we'd hang the dress from the rafters. Surely being suspended a few feet off the floor for a few days the folds will smooth out, right? Nope. Not a problem, Jen's mom has a portable steamer! Well, my seventh grade science failed me...I forgot in Colorado's altitude the water boils at a different temperature. The steamer refuses to steam! Of course, everyone knows it is bad luck to see the gown before the wedding, so on to "Plan B": evacuate the dinning hall so we could use a huge, round table to iron the dress.
Recall now this is Halloween night! There we were, four women, three of us very carefully carrying the dress in the light of a nearly full moon across the camp grounds while the forth held the door open. It was all I could do to not laugh but it had been drizzling all day and one slip in the mud...I shudder to think.
It all turned out spectacularly in the end, mostly because on the wedding day, Jen stood in her silk slip and cowboy boots as the dress was gently let down from the rafters right over her head!
Sunday, 10/21/07
November 1st is the wedding anniversary of some of my best friends. It was a grand affair as they had met each other at camp, in Colorado, when they were 16. All kinds of life went on in between those years but in their 30s they decided to finally tie the knot. It involved a road trip accross the country so the wedding could take place at the very cabins they first found each other. Three vans loaded with food, gifts and all kinds of wedding finery (including the magnificent dress) headed out west, using walkie-talkies to navigate between her Mom and Dad in van one, her sister and brother-in-law in van two and Jennifer and I in van three. It is no secret that I am a coffee-aholic. There are places accross the country that have machines that read COFFEE on them...no doubt in 1988 they put some beans in...but it was not until we got to Colorado that we found a place up to Wisconsin standards. The 'Congo Bongo' was no mere coffee shop...it was like a tollgate to heaven! I wanted to kiss the ground but settled for buying a thermal travel mug which I still use every day. The camp was magnificent and as the rehearsal dinner was on Halloween, everyone was given a pair of those funny glasses that make your eyes look like they are opening and closing. It was a really hilarious dinner with great food, as Ken (the groom) is a gourmet chef and prepared the best barbecue and corn bread anyone ever ate.
Sunday, 10/14/07
People often comment about how they could never do what I do because they would just be too shy. I was shy, once. I'll never forget it. I was three, sitting on the front stoop of the apartment building we lived in. I didn't know how to read yet, but I was carefully studying an "Archie & Jughead" comic book. There was boy who lived up on the third floor who I thought was the cat's pajamas. He was really old, maybe 14, but he was so cute and nice...I was wild about him. I had just gotten my brand new sneakers with yellow, orange, red and white stipes. I knew they were very cool and I guess being physically so much closer to them at my child height, I couldn't stop checking them out.
Well, this fellow came down and stopped to talk to me. He was really nice. Not condescending or patronizing; he was just trying to have a conversation with me. Well, I just scrunched down a little lower behind my comic book. He was still nice, making a comment about how neat it was I could read. I scrunched lower still. He complimented my good taste in choosing sneakers and I almost spoke then. But instead, scrunched even lower behind my comic. He realized I was just not able to speak and said some kind of nice goodbye and left me sitting there. It was an epiphany for me. I can even recall hearing myself say, "THAT sure didn't work!" Shy kept me from getting what I really wanted and I was not going to do that again.
Sunday, 10/7/07
Some things just need to be done first. Before it gets too cold out, I make sure that I get to the lake as often as I can. I like to share the path of the Great Blue Heron. It is just this one, gorgeous creature that hangs out in the same area all the time. Once, I was actually close enough to see we are the same height! It had a fish in its mouth that it swallowed in two gulps. For a girl who grew up in a city, with the one tree we saw down the block, this is National Geographic material. Even when he is not there, his big footprints are still sunk in the soft silt at the water's edge. That's the fun part...I hike up my pant legs and walk one foot over the other right on his prints. I go slow, so the schools of little minnows can come with me, too. They all turn and shimmer at the same time and and swim with me until a few of the bigger blue gills show up. They flit off but come right back after the coast is clear again. There is something totally magical about sitting with sandy feet drying in the breeze watching those same minnows leap up out of the water, catch a flicker of light and dive back into the green.
Sunday, 9/30/07
What would you think if someone invited you to a chili dump? I was asked over the phone so he didn't see my face when the first impressions showed up. However, I said "sure" just so I could find out! Turns out it was a really nice party out on the 11 acre Hart Farm in Edgerton. BIG fire pit with whole tree logs burning some blue-hot colors. One only has to bring some warmer clothing to ward off the fall chill and a pot of your own chili to 'dump' into the huge one in the farm kitchen! It was to-die-for delicious. Crusty bread, all kinds of nice dips and veggies. Though I don't drink at all, all my friends where smacking their lips on a number of New Glarus beers and every kind of wine ever made. We all sat around the wraparound porch with bowls of chili resting on our knees. Amos the basset hound watched...wishing he was human I'm sure, the way he drooled all over. Looking at that dog I couldn't help but think of Jed Clampet & wondered out loud what all was in the chili pot? I mentioned something about Granny's vittles and road kill and well, it was all downhill after that. We laughed until we cried over those old TV episodes. Someone has yet to take the credit for calling it a 'chili dump'. If they don't soon, I will!
Tuesday, 9/25/07
This past weekend I was not only the florist who did the flowers for the wedding but was a guest AT the wedding. So in real life, that means Kathy (my flower boss) and I had to get the wedding flowers to the church first, set that all up and then zip over to the reception and set all the tables up. This in itself was no small feat. The Concorse is a fabulous place to have a party - the food was the best I've had at a wedding reception - but there was a game in town so you know what that means for parking...NONE! Anyway, after taking care of that, back I go to the wedding to change in the bathroom into my formals. Yikes. It reminded me of Superman changing in a phone booth, only he didn't have to get into panty hose...oh, wait a minute, he DID have to put on panty hose! No wonder they call him Superman...
Sunday, 9/23/07
Sure was nice to be in my studio last weekend for the 14 South Studio Art Tour and visit with so many nice people who came to visit! It is also nice to be able to actually hear Magic Sunday Morning myself...of course I had it on all day. Thanks to Liz Terry for getting up early and doing such a fine job, too!
We had such a nice staff dinner last week, but we all agreed it was just not the same without Bob and Jimmy. We'll all feel the loss of Jim's mom...he spoke of her often, he gives her all the credit for any talents he has and that is quite a lot. We are also really glad Bob has bounced back so quickly after being so close to the edge! We are all anxious for our two funny men to be back with us soon! It's just not the same without them!
Sunday, 9/9/07
They say that people are really like their pets and I don't know exactly who 'they' are but they might have something there. Some years ago my great friend Lori and I were out and about looking for just the right thing for our children for Christmas. We were at the 'Ben Franklin' in Oregon, in the back by the birds and fish and such. There we were, two grownups not quite noticing there was a very small person with her nose pressed up to the glass below where we stood. "What can we get for the boys for Christmas?" I asked. This little voice from below pipes up, "Why don't you get 'em a hamster!?" Now you may not believe this, but even though we were back by the critters, neither Lori nor I had any intentions of looking for a small rodent to give to anyone. But, well, there was just something about the way it was suggested that gave us room to consider it. I'm sure that little person is on her way to a fantastic career in sales somewhere.
Lori and I looked at each other, the way only friends of like minds can, and each picked out a little fur ball to take home. Well, I'd never had such a pet so this was big. We got the cages, wheel, water bottle & stuff that hamsters eat. They put the little creature in a small box, with lots of little breathing holes and a handle, and I took her home. I hid her on the top shelf of my clothes closet while I went to work and then would have time to put the cage together. Well, I get home and look in the closet and there is the box with a huge hole eaten out of it and NO hamster. I confess, blind panic struck. I had a flash nightmare story about cornered rats attaching people run though my mind. The idea that I was giving one to my seven-year-old the next day was just mortifying. As it turns out, the poor thing must have been scared to death to eat its way out of the box only to find itself in scary closet land. I looked down at my feet and it sat there, trembling, looking up at me with pleading little eyes. It was mostly tan with what looked like a little white vest over its shoulders. Well, I just picked her up and made her cozy thinking she was just a going to be a sweet little thing. Gregg named her Hammy and insisted we get her a rolly ball. In case you're new to hamsterdum, a rolly ball has a little cap that comes off, you put the hamster in it and it can run around the house in the ball. Well, Hammy loved that thing. She'd get in, run pell mell into the wall, the cap would fall off and she'd be high tailing off to only God knows where. Gregg also saved up enough paper towel and toilet paper rolls to link up a pipe system that went though our entire apartment. It started in the hall and ended up on the couch. Hammy would trundle through that thing in lightning speed, and run out on to couch, hide in the couch cushion until Gregg would find her and let her go again. Sweet little thing my aunt Fanny...once I had company and Hammy was in her cage on the coffee table. Running her wheel, cute. Then hanging by one arm and swinging like a little monkey. Cuter yet. Then she started flinging her little poops at us! Her cage was kept clean, I swear it, but she found some to hurl out at us. Side arm, right-handed, tossing them like snow balls. We just howled over that. Oh yeah, did I say pets are like their owners? That was GREGG'S pet!
Sunday, 9/2/07
This summer has really been the season of parties for me! Last Sunday, Pat and Bud Erickson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It was held at Eugsters (on 138 in Oregon). When I first moved from New Jersey to Wisconsin in 1980, I was as yet an unpublished writer. Naturally, I spent a lot of time at the library (still do) and Pat was the director. She took me under her wing, read my work, encouraged me and never once did she doubt I would succeed. In her life, she is just that way. She would help every and all and just consider it her place in life to do so. But now poetry, articles, a column for four years and an entire career in radio still flourishing for me later, I sat by her side while the endless line of well wishers hugged and congratulated her for such an achievement. Fifty years of doing anything deserves big rewards. When the line stopped for the three minutes she had to nibble on her potato salad she had been trying to eat for over an hour and a half, I thanked her for believing in me. It was a teary moment for me; people having faith in you like that is absolutely priceless. She said with her gentle smile she was happy for me. I looked at her perfect white hair and classy outfit and thought, I wanna be just like her when I grow up.
I am now working on finishing a book I started over eight years ago. It took me three years to get the 450 page monster on paper but it still needed a lot of work. The life threatening pneumonia with complications I had back then stopped me from doing anything for awhile. When I told her I was at it again, she said she wanted to read it as soon as it was possible. She made me laugh then and there is no doubt that I'll be handing the manuscript right over! Another well wisher came by, taking Pat's hands into her own, and said, "Too bad you don't have any friends to help you celebrate your day..." I laughed out loud and Pat just blushed and giggled a little. The whole barn had been filled to capacity!
Sunday, 8/26/07
Well, back to going away...I had everything ready so I could be away for a few days up to Door County and I had let Joe have free roaming rights. I often do that while I clean his tank out so he'll be in fresh water while I am away. Well, it was coming up to 3am and I could not find him. I usually leave about 6:30am so you can imagine how anxious I was to find him. There I saw myself, crawling around on the floor checking all his usual haunts, calling "Joey come on out now" in my sing-song voice that he always responds to. No joy. Finally, after about an hour, I just happened to turn my head and saw that he was behind me, quickly slipping into the last place I just looked! He had been following me all that time!
Now my search is for a companion for him. My favorite man had given me two tiny baby turtles he had found...they were beyond the cutest, most precious things I ever had, but they were snappers. I did some research and found out they were known escape artists, eating filter systems (including the rocks!), growing very large and able to snap your finger off. But the real clincher was that the zoo will not even take them. I wonder if that is why turtle soup was invented? Anyway, I had to hold back tears when I put them both back in the river and watched them swim away. Sometimes when I walk along the river I'll see the tell-tale bubbles of the turtles under water. I don't know if it's them, but I like to think so.
Saturday, 8/25/07
It's no secret that pets can tell when you are going away, even if they don't see you packing a suitcase or checking the oil in your car. My pet is Joe. He has been my pal for over 17 years and still has the power to charm and fascinate me. When I was getting ready to leave for Door County for a few days, I went about the usual procedures, one of which is to let him have free range of the studio and apartment while I clean out his tank. Joe is a painted turtle. A very cute one at that.
They told me at the pet store you cannot tame a turtle; well, don't tell HIM that. He sits on my foot while I paint, sometimes for hours. If I am journaling, he'll sit on my lap, his little front feet dangling over my knee. He'll find one of my many shoes I have around my place and just park inside it. Sometimes he'll find a reflective surface and stare at himself awhile. I have a small, floating island with 12 palm trees that I keep on the floor in the sunny window. He loves that. I tell people that inside the house he wears Bermuda shorts and some happening shades, but when we go out for walks, he likes to keep a low profile. No pun intended - only my friends know when I am walking very slowly and talking to the ground it's really to Joe.
Sunday, 8/19/07
Getting things to each of the galleries that sell my art and jewelry takes up a big part of my time these days. I am glad for all this rain we need, but it gets old fast having the wipers on all the way to Door County. There is a vibrant coffee/book store in Egg Harbor called "The Bridge" which carries my paintings, as well at "The Paint Box" in Ephraim and "The Tens Gallery" in Gills Rock. I am lucky to have kind friends in Fish Creek and Bailey's Harbor who let me stay at their places when I go up there! Sometimes I need to get up there in a hurry but most times it's major putzing. I hit my favorite antique places, thrift outlets, bead stores and coffee shops on the way up. Then on the way back, I stop in Algoma at 'Bearcats' fish market to get freshly made salmon spread for my friends at Cheesers. Neither UPS or USP will risk shipping it, so I load up the big cooler and by the time I get there, they have it all ready for me. I've seen other people from Chicago restaurants waiting to pick their fish up as well.
With all the fish packed under ice, I head back for home. Peg or Marie will put the "fish is in" sign on the front door and those who appreciate fresh fish think I'm their best friend! I grew up ocean side, so being near a body of water is crucial for my mental health. You could offer me a home in a mansion for free but if it was not near water I'd have to beg off. Even now I am only a block away from the river. It's a nice way to have a life!
Sunday, 8/12/07
I am happy to report that I have actually done some really nice things for myself this summer. Not just the big events of my son getting happily married and co-hosting the July 4th 'Concert on the Square', but just having the time to watch my son play ball in the evenings. I've been watching he and his friends play since T-ball days when no one could hit or catch a ball for beans, to now, when they all have facial hair, wives, serious jobs and grand slams out of the park and triple plays more fun to me than professional ball games!
I am very involved in my town, as I live and have my studio where I paint and write right there, and it's just cute. Stoughton is a historic downtown and many of the buildings have features they just do not make anymore. For instance, between Cheezers and Woodland Gallery, there is a half door (way in the back) between them. This makes for 'Mr. Ed' kind of conversation between the shops. Gary and Cindy, managers of Woodland Gallery, have a sofa-sized dog, Sheena, who is always treated with cheese scraps of the finest quality! I have my artwork in Woodland Gallery and I work a few days a week at Cheezers (I help to 'herd' the hundreds of fresh curds in from the dairy), so I get to stand at this little door often.
At Cheezers they also have Babcock Ice Cream. One day a child so small I can hardly understand how those little feet could hold her up, sat at one of the little tables with her Blue Moon cup of ice cream. Her legs dangled a least a foot off the floor & she had blonde pigtails popping out of either side of her head. I can never bring myself to eat an ice cream the color of fabric softener, but this was my chance to find out what it did taste like. After I asked her, she rolled up her eyes as if she was looking inside her head, poised her plastic spoon up and said matter of factly, "Blue." Well, now I know!
Wednesday, 8/8/07
I am beginning to think a crack in hell has opened up and this humidity is leaking out from there. My normal, effervescent self turns into Ms. Crabby Pants when it is so 'close' like this! I'm not alone, either; many other cheerful friends of mine have taken to hiding in places where the air conditioning is set on 'meat locker' just to be sociable. Just goes to show how much I like my friends...I actually baked a birthday cake!
Here in my town of Stoughton, we celebrate the place where the actual coffee break got started...right there on Coffee St...by having a cool car show, arts & crafts fair and all kinds of goodies for sale out on the Main Street. All kinds of things going on, just this Saturday, all day. I'll be working on two weddings (yes, I am a florist as well as an artist, writer and air personality) at Main St. Flowers but I plan on have some great coffee and taking in all the fun as well.
Sunday, 7/30/07
What a magical event Gregg's wedding was! No rain, no bugs, floating candles in the lily pond, Chinese lanterns in all the old trees and inside the tents, deep magenta lilies on all twenty eight tables and the DJ playing their song, Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", while my son and his new wife, Rebbecca, held each other tight on the dance floor. So nice to see him so happy! NOW I understand why the mother of the groom cries! And party? Like rock stars! At 12:30 am the private bus pulled and took the whole wedding party to the hotel to go swimming....I took off my wickedly lovely (but totally uncomfortable) shoes and walked blissfully down the moonlit hill to my car. I turned back and took one last look at all the glowing, delicate faces of the Queen Ann's Lace flowers nodding softly in the night breeze. Even though it was not quite a full moon, it's serene light was bright enough to bathe the entire landscape. It made a wonderful end to a wonderful chapter of my life.
Sunday 7/15/07
Well, after pulling up crab grass that has been in between the stones on the garden path since about Moses was around, the yard is ready for the big day. Do I want a little cheese with my whining? Ok, it's just been HOT to do yard work outside. My son, Gregg, has been following with the mulch so he has even more to do yet. I am just hoping that if it rains, it's either before or after the wedding. We have the big tents of course but...well...sunny, breezy, cool is the order I put in for! The guys are all wearing dark chocolate tuxes, and my new daughter-in-law is just about the most beautiful young woman I've ever seen in her champagne gown. Now that they have been engaged for these past few years, it's nice to see them hitched. Amy Abbott will be in for me on Magic Sunday Morning. I'll need that time off to recuperate from wearing 2 inch heeled, black, strappy satan sandals for hours.....
Sunday 7/15/07
Sometimes life just amazes me...last Thursday after Amy Abbott and I were through with our appearance at the Oregon Kwik Trip, I came home, put in a DVD (It was 'Morse'---British detective) and I just put my feet up and started to eat my salad and I hear 'bam bam bam' on my door.
"Who is it?"
bam bam bam
"Police." A little louder.
I'm thinking, did I park my car in a bad place??!
I opened the door and there is a huge, very pleasant officer, smiling and holding a very soiled, black purse.
Had I reported a missing purse?
I had, in 2002! I couldn't believe my eyes. All my credit cards where still there, my license, photographs, phone numbers and addresses in my little black book no one except me could decipher, but what thrilled me was a simple, small "Thank You" note that was very precious to me. It was from my favorite man's mother for flowers I had sent her for Mother's Day long ago. I had thought I would never see it again! I guess life is just full of neat things that sometimes, only time can take care of . There was even a lipstick (Revlon's older 'color stay' ) that has since then been discontinued. That alone is a small miracle.....
Sunday, 7/8/07
What amazing fun the 4th of July Concert on the Square was! WHA-TV was there filming the whole deal and "Five By Design" were so kind to come by the Magic 98 table and sing for us! A perfect five-part harmony singing OUR jingle! How cool is that! Because this was the first 4th of July that Andrew Sewell was conducting as a U.S. citizen, the WCO presented him with an American flag that was once flying over the Capitol in Washington D.C. He started to cry (so did I...it was soooo moving) and then had to conduct the orchestra! God, he's more then great. There was a little boy in plaid shorts and sky blue crocs (you know those rubber clog-like earth shoes) having his first experience with a real camera. He had at least 10 shots of the ground, five or six of his own eyes, a couple of the sky and at least three of his Dad. He was just precious. I learned his name was Sam and the camera was digital, as I watched his Mom beam out most of the really off stuff. He gave me a big hug when I told him he was going to be a great big brother to the new baby on the way.
If you are not too busy this Friday night (July 13), consider yourself invited to the Firefly Coffee Shop in Oregon around 6pm. I have a whole new group of paintings on the walls and "The Matt & Pete Variety Show" will be performing. Pound cake to nosh on, too! No cover charge, of course, just a very informal gathering of the locals. Be nice to see you!
Saturday, 6/30/07
Well, here I am with my very own blog! For awhile I really thought a blog was one of those big pimples you get in the middle of your forehead or the tip of your nose. I decided I wanted to have my own blog because when I 'googled' myself I found out Pat O'Neill was talking about ME on his blog! Being back here at Magic 98 is so much fun my face hurts from smiling.
What a blast Jim McGaw and I had at the first "Concerts on the Square." I just love how very human everyone in our business is. Of course, when we interviewed Andrew Sewell on the air, he was a perfectly composed (no pun intended) gentleman, but off mic, he and Jimmy were swapping notes about how they try to keep the gray in their hair at a mimimum! The music was so wonderful, the weather was perfect, the food the Concourse served us was just right for Haydn!
The best part of the evening for me, though, was when a quiet little dragonfly landed on the sleeve of the woman sitting in front of me. It was my favorite music of the evening and it apparently thought so, too! It sat there, blending completely into the black and white stripes of her blouse, just as Hugo Alfven's 'Midsummer Vigil' was played. As soon as the last note drifted away, the dragonfly flew close to the face of another woman at the same table. I am sure it was only trying to say "Wasn't that splendid?" But the woman was in a different moment, trying to eat her dessert if I recall, so I thought I'd share this with you.
Well you could knock me over with a feather still!  I would be happy with getting one painting jurried into the Appleton Art Museum show, but they accepted all 3 and even put "Odin's Canyon" on the promotional post card.  My face hurts from smiling!  Luckily all that crummy weather was past and the ride up and back to Appleton last night was a cinch. They had a marvelous turn out and the 4 gigantic gold flying angels over College Ave only looked all the better for the wind moving them about!  The show runs through Jan 16th if you get up that way over the holidays. It was even a nice ride home to see all the Christmas lights everyone has put up this year. It's such a nice way to deal with it getting dark by 3:15!
Well my life is never boring....my friend Becky Guzman (a bead artist---she actually hand makes clay beads) came up with a way of framing small parts of my art work into bezels and coating them with resin.  Who'd a thunk!  Kathryn Vaughn art framed and worn around your neck, arms or dangling off your ears!  We have been working feverishly to make as many as we can for the bead show coming up this weekend.  The resin process is slow (72 hours).  It takes constant vigilance, melting out the trouble-some bubbles and keeping the temperature warm enough so the resin won't cloud over. I am a total goof ball to begin with, but get me really tired and working with a great friend, well let's just say I know where the expression 'slap happy' originated.  This brand new line of jewelry is now called "Bubble-check".  You know the place, right below Romania and just above Bulgaria?  Yeah, and the president of "Bubble-check" is "Top-em-off"  and we can't forget his twin brother, "Top-it-off".  We spent a lot of time by the river the "Bubble-watch" that runs through the heart of "Bubble-check".  I've made hearts, ovals, squares, circles in all the disigns I've been painting for years.  It's like discovering I've got a tail and didn't even  know it.  I like it!
way bac­z!o,­#­her I'm snuggled up on my own sofa reading a good book or sitting in a coffee shop with a friend by the fireplace talking stupid for awhile, that is top shelf enjoyment. As for working, I get a pot of chili or some nummy soup going on the stove and then slip on a good book-on-tape and have a story read to me while I am painting or making earrings. Hearth and home are so sweet if you let them be.
Sunday, 2/8/09
Joe is living the life. Right now, as I am typing away on my computer, he has both his feet stretched out the back and his little arms stretched out the front. His eyes are just hidden underneath the fronds of the tiny palm trees on his little island that sits in the middle of the studio floor. Six of these little trees are staggered into different levels of green formed foam...he's right on the top. When I had a yard, at my last apartment in Oregon, I'd float the island in one of those round, kiddie pools. Between the driftwood log and his island, he'd float around catching some rays while I would journal. I miss having a yard!
Last Saturday I had a new student over for a few hours and Joe politely made his way over to her foot and sat on it for a moment, his way of saying hello, before he went off to explore under a pile of drawing papers I leave for him to enjoy.
They have asked me to teach a few short workshop classes in March for the grade school here in Stoughton. It was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Horowitz, who introduced me to painting. Not only am I really looking forward to it, it's my way of saying thank you to her. My trusty assistant, Maggie, will be helping me. I've decided to call the class 'Turtle Top' giving the 'youngins' a chance to try different mediums and still have a 'dressed turtle' to take home to hang on the fridge.
When Joe and I go on our outings, people don't often see him right away. They just see me walking slowly, looking at the ground a lot and talking and make snap judgments about my sanity. However, once I explain that Joe leaves his Bermuda shorts and sun glasses up in the studio because he likes to keep a low profile, they realize all is well.
Monday, 2/2/09
I really enjoy my Monday mornings, as it is my Sunday morning to sleep in take my time to do what I want for the day! My son, Gregg, is coming over this evening for linguine and clam sauce along with some brussels sprout-parsnip soup. I've got my 'Viking rune' shortbread cookies baking in the oven, too. This Christmas time I made oodles of them for my family and friends. Just in case you are not familiar with runes, there are 24 of them in the alphabet I have learned to read. All the rune symbols can be made with short, straight lines which makes them very easy to press into the shortbread dough.
I have brought some of my artwork and earrings I make to a terrific place called "The Railroad Cafe" in Galena, Ill. Galena has always been a place I've enjoyed visiting and this cafe has great food and great coffee in an antique atmosphere. You guessed it, it's right by the railroad tracks. They also have live music on the weekends and a menu that serves some vegetarian things. If you ever get down that way be sure to stop in and tell Connie hello. If you want to call ahead, (they are closed on Wed.) for directions, the number is (815) 777-0047.
Oh, I nearly forgot. I promised some listeners I would post this phone number if you had any questions about your TV switching over. Clint, from WPT TV, gave a snappy little lecture and demonstration at the Stoughton Library and left this number for people who have questions about the change over. (800) 422-9707.
Sunday, 1/18/09
My newest treat these days are those VERY cool Redbox DVD rental units. We have one in Stoughton right in front of the Walgreens. It's kinda Star Trek to be able to walk up, use the touch screen to go through the movies, pick what you like, zip your card, tell them your email and it slides out your choice for $1.00. Then when you get home it sends you an email telling you what you rented. From your computer, you can check out the movies at all the boxes, get a synopsis of what they are, reserve them if you want, and when you're done, return them at any of the boxes. I have a thing for cowboy movies. Real good ones, like "3:10 to Yuma" which I had already seen was at the box in Stoughton, but when I went to get my new eyeglasses at the Shopko on the west side, la de da, there is a Redbox inside Cub with cowboy movies I had not seen yet. Sweet! When you're finished, you put them back in the same slot they slide out from and your return conformation is in your email box. When I first started using it I ended up teaching whomever was behind me but it's really easy to do on your own and more important, fun!
Sunday, 1/11/09
Looks like I am going to have to break down and BUY another pair of ice skates. I've been going since I was five and naturally I've had several skating costumes. The photos of me in them are borderline hilarious--red fluffy ear muffs and matching red corduroy short skirt. Don't get me wrong - I'm only an average skater. However, I grew up in a city, so we slung our skates over our shoulders and walked to the indoor rink. We went all the time. When I came to WI and had to skate on bumpy ice it was an education in falling the best way you can.
Only a few days left for all those paintings to be in one place (The Robert Rae Gallery of Fine Art), at the same time! It's been a nice show and I'd like to thank all Magic 98 listeners who took the time to visit and also buy paintings and bookmarks. These will still be available but a lesser amount, as Steve Kozar's show will open on Jan. 16th and he'll need the space. A few doors down, at Peeling Ceiling Pottery Studio & Gallery, you will find a lot of my paintings and earrings, too.
Monday, 1/5/09
I am lucky enough to live three doors away from the Cinema Cafe in Stoughton. There are four theaters and all have round tables and upholstered swivel seats so you can eat some excellent pizza while you watch the movie. My son, Gregg and his wife, Schula, and I went to see 'Yes Man' last night. I had at least five belly laughs, two of which I lost my breath it was so funny. I will probably watch it again. Jim Carey has always been accused of over-acting but it doesn't make him any less hysterical. It's a cleaner movie than 'Liar Liar' was (which I really enjoyed, too) but the crudeness is like what all of his humor is based on...what people really hide! I'd give it 4 1/2 stars and recommend it to anyone who'd like to up their happy quota.

10/05/2012 12:28PM
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Jim Bartlett
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