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Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Day at Abbott's Mill Pond

On a particularly warm day in early January, Bob and I discovered Abbott's Mill Nature Center that includes an historic grist mill and is located just across from Abbott's Mill Pond, a short drive away from our home. The nature center offers education classes year-round for kids and grown-ups and short, easy trails through woodlands and meadows. The Mispillion Art League meets there once a week for an informal painting session. The weather was so beautiful Bob had a wonderful time taking photos while I sat on a hillside sketching. The birds and wildlife are plentiful and the atmosphere so serene. It is a really lovely spot and I can see us spending more time there as the weather warms into spring. Here's their website: http://www.delawarenaturesociety.org/abbotts/abbotts.html
The Nature Center is open 9-4 Monday-Friday but the trails are open from dawn to dusk.

Here are some of the things that caught Bob's eye:

Abbott's Mill Pond

Abbott's Mill

Rusty Saw Blade up close and personal

Shadows on the Barn

The stream that runs through the woods

A Visit to Cold & Frosty Milwaukee

Last week we took the drive to Milwaukee to visit Jessica, braving the colder temperatures we were expecting to find there. Our daughter is stage managing the season at Next Act Theatre (http://www.nextact.org/) and we wanted to see her and the show she is currently working on, The Faith Healer, the Brian Friel play about a traveling faith healer, his wife and their devoted manager. It is told by lengthy monologues by the three main characters and was spell-binding in it's simplicity and sense of mystery, as the tale unravels. The three actors, Jonathan Smoots, Mary MacDonald Kerr and David Cecsarini give outstanding performances and I would recommend it to anyone in the Milwaukee area.

The weather was less than warm and we arrived to find snow piled up a few feet high on all the local streets, with more on the way. Fortunately it never accumulated much more but the temperatures remained in the single digits throughout most of our stay. We bundled up to stay warm and spent one of our days visiting Milwaukee's Public Museum (http://www.mpm.edu/bodyworlds/). The exhibit "Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS", to quote their website: "features authentic human specimens preserved through a revolutionary process called Plastination. This remarkable preservation technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics, thereby preserving human tissue in its natural state. Visitors who embark on this amazing journey below the skin's surface will view an extensive collection including more than 200 authentic organs, systems and whole-body displays." – This was both creepy and really cool but I suggest you go to their website for the whole story (we have no photos of our own to show you unfortunately, since photograhy was not permitted) – along with a video. Another site you could peruse is (http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html) – totally fascinating stuff!

Snowy Streets & Icy Windows in Milwaukee

We got home late Thursday and spent Friday lazily at home, doing laundry and hanging out as the early morning snow turned to rain and slush outside.

Yesterday was our 39th wedding anniversary! We celebrated with a walk on the beach, breakfast at Victoria's Restaurant on the boardwalk overlooking Rehoboth Beach. We had a date for a movie and dinner last night and chose "Atonement" one of the Oscar contenders and really enjoyed it. Dinner was nothing fancy but nice, an Italian restaurant near the movie theater called Adriatico and we toasted ourselves with a nice Chianti and talked about our life together. We feel so fortunate to have found each other and made a life together.

Today we're planning a leisurely pancake breakfast and a walk outdoors, maybe to Prime Hook or one of the other Nature Reserves in the area. It's sunny and the temperatures are supposed to be in the 40s. Funny how warm that feels after Milwaukee's 7!

We hope all of you are having a great weekend and would love to hear from you!

Take care,
Rosemary & Bob

Update on Receptions & Art Shows & etc.

The Milton Arts Guild Reception (http://www.miltonartsguild.com/) was held on February 9, 2008 at the Fire Hall in downtown Milton. Over 300 guests attended and walked through the space checking out work by 18 local artists, Bob and I included. It was a good experience for us, just in preparing for and setting up the show. Due to space restrictions, every artist was permitted to bring two 3' x 6' panels. So our focus was to prepare enough work to fill them. We were kind of nervous to begin with but it was fun meeting everyone who stopped by and of course talking about our trip to Italy and the work we had done there. Almost everyone who stopped by had either been to Italy or dreamed of going so there was a good deal to talk about. Not really advertised as a "sale" we hadn't expected to sell anything and in fact only a few of the artists who attended did. But it was good exposure for us we thought and we met a lot of the other artists who offered good advice and information. All the guests who attended were asked to vote for their favorite artist/work of art and I was delighted to tie for second place.

Since then, we've been gearing up for the March 7th show at the Mispillion Art League, our own hometown's art group (http://www.mispillionarts.org/). We have been building up our inventory of prints, matting and framing and organizing what we have. The MAL has it's own gallery space, the newly renovated Governor Tharp Building, an historic building, right next door to the LadyBug Shop in downtown Milford. This is a Photography, Prints and Student Member show and it will be interesting to see what the locals think of our work.

Here is what we put together for the Milton show. We have ordered a 10' x 10' tent for future outdoor shows and a couple more of those stands.

Bob's display panels

Rosemary's display panels

Next on our agenda is Downtown Milford's Bug & Bud Festival on Saturday, April 26. (http://www.downtownmilford.org/festival.html). In case you were wondering, the ladybug is the official bug of the state of Delaware (it's such a little state, you know!) Every year on Arbor Day, downtown Milford hosts this festival, with a costume parade and seedling tree giveaways, live entertainment and arts and crafts vendors, along with street games, kite flying, and much, much more. Bob has volunteered to bring the concept of "Tocati" (http://livecheapmakeart.blogspot.com/search?q=tocati) the street games festival we enjoyed so much in Verona to Milford and has been contacting local groups to involve them in setting up various locations throughout the downtown where everyone can participate, like the games we played as children – hopscotch or bottle caps or double dutch jump rope for example. He wants to involve the various ethnic groups that live in Milford, in an effort to bring people together, sharing history and culture in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.

Here's our agenda for the next few months:

March 7, Mispillion Art League's Print, Photography & Student Member Show
April 26, Bud & Bud Festival
May 17, Cape Henlopen Senior Center Show (this coincides with a Sidewalk Sale in Rehoboth Beach)
June 28, Milton Arts Guild Sidewalk Show & Sale
July 5, St. Peter's Episcopal Church's 42nd Annual Art Show in historic downtown Lewes (http://www.stpeterslewes.org/Artshow.htm) This show has a great reputation and has been a summer highlight of the Delaware beaches since 1966 and we were excited to be juried in)
July 18, Rehoboth Art League Members' Fine Art Exhibit

That should be enough to keep us busy for a while!