Friday, April 27, 2007

The Dinner Party in a Nutshell...

Check this can see pics of all the plates, as well as the entry banners, all on one page. Stunning, really. Click on "The Dinner Party Runners" and "The Dinner Party Triangles" at the bottom of the page for more pics and info.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Abstinence Only Sex Education

Today's Commentoon from Women's E-News

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The New Seldom Scene

These guys are fantastic...I was totally amazed...they are far too young to be this accomplished.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Bit Dazed by it All

So, the week has been a little overwhelming, starting with Monday when I wasn't feeling good anyhow... a fibromyalgia "flare up," probably due to our strenous week-end. I was unable to do much except stay glued to the television while they broadcast the terrible events at Virginia Tech. And I was bummed that I didn't feel well enough to make that night's reception for the publication of the Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education. Didn't feel much better on Tuesday. Managed to go to Curves, but realized I was in need of a massage, so Wednesday made an appointment and finally got one yesterday afternoon. I feel physically better, but my mind was still coping with the Imus fiasco and the ongoing Blacksburg news, when the news that the Supreme Court had upheld the partial birth abortion ban came out yesterday. UFB.

On the plus side, for me anyhow, several painting opportunities arose this week. It looks like I will have a few portraits to do, one of a couple of neighborhood children for the woman that bought the half price portrait I offered at the Murch auction; a portrait of the Sewall Belmont House for a fundraising raffle for the House in June; and a portrait of my nephew Andrew's daughter Hannah's hockey skates for "the Girls."

Tonight Jim and I are going to hear The Stringdusters at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Va.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


In spite of the rain, Jim and I had to get out of the house today, so we drove over to see the recently opened "Art-0-matic" at Crystal City in Virginia ( Although he saw a couple of things he liked, Jim's main comment was "It's amazing what some people will do and call it art." The last time this was done, I think in 2004, one Washington Post critic said "Hanging is too good for it." :) Further, "five floors of mediocrity jammed into shabby rooms in an indiscriminate show that does nothing to advance the cause of serious art. ..." Although there is some good stuff here and there, this one will probably merit the same kind of review. And you won't have to be an art snob to agree. But then again, I saw some stuff at the Neue Gallery a couple weeks ago that was painful to behold....and Carey, Kay and I will never forget the last Whitney Bi-ennial...Jim's comment as well as the Art-o-matic reviewer of 2004 would fit that one just as well.

Two Fuchsias for the Front Porch This Year

Forwarded to Me from My Brother Tom

The Rambo Granny of Melbourne , Australia

Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down - - and shot off their testicles.

The old lady spent a week hunting those men down -- and when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way, said Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp. Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 'Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.'

Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cell mate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.

The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said. The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to, Detective Delp told reporters. Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through.

The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was car jacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row. "When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the Law would go easy on them," recalled the retired library worker. "And I wasn't scared of them, either-- because I've got me a gun and I've been shooting' all my life. And I wasn't dumb enough to turn it in when the law changed about owning one"

So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos', tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.

I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them, the oldster recalled.

So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door and the minute the big one opened the door, I shot 'em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know.

Then I went in and shot the other one as he backed up pleading to me to spare him. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in.

Now, baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny. What she did was wrong, and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81-year-old woman in prison, Det. Delp said, especially when 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for Mayor.

Raindrops Keep Falling on...

our nice, clean pachysandra patch and azalea bushes...

We spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the left over little pieces of old roof and nails, as well as last Fall's leaves, out of the front and side yards and bushes. Our timing appears to have been perfect, as it started raining fairly in earnest late afternoon, as we were heading over to Lia's for calamari and half price burgers, and has continued all night. With all the trash out of the way, there is no reason all this good rain shouldn't soak right in...we have a several inch deficit for water this Spring so I'm hoping this will go a ways towards remedying the same time I'm hoping it doesn't, as the forecasters are predicting it might, cause any flooding.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Back to the Mansion!

Jim was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Community Health Accreditation Program ( and he attended his first Board meeting on Tuesday. The organization was having a dinner on Wednesday night to honor and say farewell to both a long time Board member and a long time staffer. It was to be held at The Mansion on O Street ( formerly, The O Street Mansion and before that H.H. Leonards.... the very place we got married! When he told them that, they told him to bring me.

Without telling me where it was, except for "some hotel" on O Street, he told me that I was invited and asked if I wanted to go. I said, sure, why not....I met him at his office at 5:45, we took a taxi over...I didn't exactly hear the address he gave the driver, but when the taxi turned the corner onto the street and asked what address we were looking for again, Jim said, 2020...and the dawn struck!! "Hey," I said, "isn't that where we got MARRIED!" "Why YES," he said, laughing his little trickster laugh.

It was very nice and exciting. We hadn't been back at all since the wedding in 1983 and it was only one house then. Now it is five interconnecting houses and very interesting to explore. They had a fabulous bar and both of the young women make excellent and very large cosmos...I know because I had two! Then, after we were all seated but before we ate dinner, H. H. herself talked a little about the place and asked if there were any questions. I told her we had gotten married there almost 25 years ago! And she gave us a coupon for a complimentary champagne Sunday brunch for two....I think we'll use it on May 27, which is the Sunday before our anniverary on the 29th. And maybe we'll have a party back there for our 25th anniversary next year. It's certainly a beautiful and fun place and the food is fabulous!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pray for the Girls

This is 4" by 6" (as framed, 8" by 10"), acrylic on paper.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Strong Women are Scaring the Pants Off the Right

My mom sent me the link to this story which I think is hilarious:

Thanks, Mom!

Why Aren't They Suing Him for Libel?

Don Imus called the Rutgers team "hos"....isn't that libel? I don't understand it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

One Paws2, Ella's Favorite Shoe

This painting for Girls Gotta Run is 5" by 7", 7" by 9" framed. It is acrylic on canvasboard. The photo is a little crooked; my easel wasn't quite straight.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Beautiful Sight on Easter Morning

Holding hands, together

They walk the dog, Zelda.

Mary Kay skips a little, playfully slaps Gary’s shoulder.

He smiles.

They settle back into their natural stroll -

Comfortable, content

Married couple.

P.E. Ortman

Thoughts on Easter

You can't blame the ancients for believing that people came back somehow, sometime, somewhere....or wanting to believe that....when every Spring they saw life "spring" anew....

Saturday, April 07, 2007

This is Very Cool

I'm going to do it...


I was shocked this morning when I looked out the window to see snow covering everything. This is what it looked like yesterday at Kenwood, a development off River Road near the shopping center that houses Whole Foods, and which has at least as many cherry trees as the Tidal Basin, but is closer and easier to get to and a bit of a secret except to the "locals."

Speaking of Love

The new issue of the Beltway Poetry Quarterly, called "The Science of Love," was waiting on my email when we got back from New York:

I read every single poem, and collectively, they inspired me to write this one:

All These Love Poems

I don’t get them


What’s so hard about it?

What’s so complicated?

Why all this aching, this longing, this un-understanding….?

Love isn’t something you feel,

After all,

It’s something you do.

Again and again and again

Or decide to stop.

P.E. Ortman

Friday, April 06, 2007

Catching up with the News

Little by little I went through the W. Posts that had stacked up when we were gone. I can't stand to throw them into the recycling until I've reviewed them thoroughly and I'm always rewarded for my diligence. Two fascinating and very disturbing in depth stories that captured my attention was the one of the Mexican woman who is exposing pedophiles ( and the one about China decimating the forests of several nearby countries in order to make cheap furniture and flooring, in large part for companies that sell cheaply to us (Idea, Home Depot, Lowe's, Armstrong) (

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

We're B-A-A-C-K!!!

We had a jampacked fun NYC adventure, culminating with the very sad departure of Carey from the car at Penn Station, where we left her off on our way out of the City on Monday, noon-ish. The good news is that all of her tests at Sloan Kettering that morning were fine.

Jim saw three ABB concerts, as scheduled. Carey and a couple of our friends from upstate NY went with him on Thursday night; he went by himself Friday night, and Saturday, two of our friends from here drove up, we met them for dinner and then they, Jim, Carey and I all went.

Also, there was much eating of great food (and Jim got a little off his diet, but not too badly), and the three of us took a subway trip to Brooklyn on Friday to see "The Dinner Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. We also went to the Neue Gallery, on Saturday, because there was a Van Gogh and Expressionist exhibit and we are all Van Gogh fans. Sunday Carey and I did our usual Met excursion and among other things, saw one of Van Gogh's famous shoe paintings which we hadn't seen before. Since the week's art excursions had actually started on Thursday when Carey and I took the bus down to Chelsea from our 87th street apartment to see the Phoenix Gallery and meet the director to discuss a possible GGRF exhibit, we thought that was a fitting coda to the art outings.

We got home about 4:30 Monday afternoon. Jim's parents, who were stopping for the night on their way back from Florida, were already here, so we had dinner with them at Arucola and after they left yesterday morning we started trying to get back to "normal." It will take a couple more days.

I think the Goofy One is going to go back up for the last two ABB performances of this year's Beacon run on Saturday and Sunday. Not me! I'm glad to be back in my own space and won't be leaving for awhile.