Friday, September 28, 2012

The Passing of a Dear Friend

Tomie's beloved friend, Mother Placid, at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, died very peacefully yesterday morning. Tomie wrote about Mother Placid in "A Regina Laudis Christmas" in CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED. He wasn't shocked by the news delivered by phone last evening (because he had been alerted to her condition several days earlier), but he was, and is, saddened. It was fortunate that he got to visit with her many times during the last few years.

Her artwork can be seen at:
Under "Current Events," click "The Transitus of Mother Placid." 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ups and Downs

On August 25, Bronte had surgery to remove his left eye because of tumors. He had gone blind in the left eye. Several days later, Bronte was acting his normal self - full of energy and enthusiasm.

Bronte began to have problems with his left rear leg on September 9. An X-ray was taken of the leg on September 11, and later that day he began a program of weekly injections and a daily dosage of an NSAID to help heal a tear in his "knee" and alleviate the discomfort of arthritis.

We learned on September 10 that Tomie's new book, THE BIRDS OF BETHLEHEM, received a starred review in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

Jarrett Krosoczka's interview with Tomie for Sirius XM aired on September 12. We sat in Tomie's driveway in his car to listen to Jarrett's wonderful "Book Report" program.

By September 13, Bronte's eighth birthday, Bronte was feeling playful.

Also on September 13, Tomie learned that his peers had selected him for The Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Illustrators.

After I, Tomie's Blog Blogger, helped Bronte off of Tomie's bed on September 14, and Bronte ran into a piece of furniture, it became obvious that something was terribly wrong with Bronte's "good" remaining eye. Later that day, his right eye was removed because of tumors, and Bronte was blind.

I had planned on taking Tomie to dinner at Burdick's restaurant in Walpole, NH, on September 15. "Surprise guests" were to meet us at the restaurant. However, since Bronte was at the hospital on Friday night, September 14, I was able to arrange for two of the guests to meet us at the restaurant on Friday night: Cyndy Szekeres Prozzo and Marianna McGuffin. Cyndy is a wonderful writer and  illustrator of children's books that Tomie first met at Pratt Institute, and Marianna is a friend that Tomie met at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont - both meetings happened decades ago.

September 15 - Happy 78th Birthday, Tomie!

Bronte was able to come home on Saturday morning, September 15. He is making incremental improvements each day. He is taking pain medication and wearing an Elizabethan collar.

Since Sherry and Steve Litwack of Concord, MA, couldn't change their plans for Friday night, they came to Tomie's house on Saturday night to sit with Tomie and Bronte and quietly celebrate Tomie's birthday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bronte!

Today Bronte is eight. (Tomie will be 78 on Saturday.)

If Bronte could talk, he might say, "Getting older isn't for the timid."

Bronte had his left eye removed nearly three weeks ago because of tumors in the eye. This past weekend, just as he was feeling better after eye surgery, his rear left leg started bothering him.

After two visits to the vet, and an X-ray, Bronte has started weekly injections and a daily dosage of an NSAID to alleviate the discomfort from a slight tear in the "knee" and arthritis.

The irony is that Bronte now feels great and has lots of energy and wants to run around and play fetch and catch, but he is supposed to stay relatively quiet. In fact, I need to lift him in and out of the car, and onto Tomie's bed at night so that his "knee" can recover. When he brings a toy to one of us to throw so that he can run and retrieve it, we can't engage him in running games. He's a bit confused.

Bronte will have to quietly celebrate his birthday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the Radio with Jarrett Krosoczka

Tomie will be a guest on "The Book Report with JJK" on Sirius XM radio, Channel 78, Wednesday, September 12, 5:40 p.m. ET/2:40 p.m. PT.

I guess I know what we'll be doing tomorrow afternoon: riding around in Tomie's car listening to Sirius XM.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TV Worth Watching?

If you haven't watched one episode of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" on TLC, you must. Or, you could watch a clip on YouTube. I happened upon Honey Boo Boo in August in a hotel room while changing channels. I quickly emailed Tomie and told him what I had just seen.

When Tomie watched an episode back in NH, I told him to close his mouth. He was in such shock that his mouth was involuntarily open.

Tomie is excited to watch the premiere of the new season of "Long Island Medium" tonight on TLC. This summer Gina and Jarrett Krosoczka mentioned LIM during a dinner get-together.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tomie Does the Parallel Bars

After Tomie left the hospital in late December, he went to physical therapy sessions for several weeks. One day I was sitting in the waiting area when Tomie came out of the physical therapy room and I asked him what he had done during the session. He replied, "Parallel bars."

I imagined Tomie on the parallel bars swinging and flying and hanging, and dismounting. Yet, this didn't seem to fit with his weakened physical condition.

He noticed my puzzled look and explained that he was walking with the support of parallel bars. That made more sense.

American Mink

Tomie's blog blogger saw a "new" animal in Tomie's yard peaking out of an opening in a stone wall. After looking on the internet, we think it was a young American mink. According to Wikipedia, "it is the most frequently farmed animal for its fur..."

I do need a new winter coat...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Freed From the Collar

Tomie just removed Bronte's Elizabethan collar. Bronte is very happy, and acting quite normally after eye surgery ten days ago.

He doesn't have a glass left eye, but he does have a prosthetic that gives the impression of a closed eyelid. When the hair around the left eye grows back, the missing eye should be even less noticeable.

Howling in New Hampshire

Several days ago, I was in the barn at 9:00 p.m. All of the windows and doors were shut. Yet, I could hear howling from outside. I went outside to try and determine what was happening. It was very dark and instead of getting too close to the extraordinary wailing and howling, I got onto Tomie's deck and called him on my cell phone. He came outside to listen to the noise. I assumed that loose dogs were fighting in Tomie's meadow.

The next day I walked in the meadow and came to a tree that had many small branches on the ground around the trunk of the tree. I looked up into the tree and saw several small branches that were bent downward.

After sharing my findings with Tomie, he came up with the most credible idea of what happened. He suggested that a dog chased a bear up the tree. There are two small corn fields in the meadow and at least one bear is a frequent visitor to the corn fields.

Mystery probably solved.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Lost Art of Drawing

Tomie is sharing Michael Graves's Opinion piece, "Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing," in THE NEW YORK TIMES with everyone.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Remarkably Brave Bronte

One week ago, Bronte had his left eye removed at a hospital in Woburn, Massachusetts. It had a melanoma that caused glaucoma and blindness.

The eye was examined at the University of Wisconsin this week and the tumors were not malignant.

After the surgery, the ophthalmologist wrote in a report, "Bronte has been remarkably brave!!!"

Bronte is still wearing an Elizabethan collar, or plastic cone. It can be removed on Monday.

His right eye is being watched for signs of glaucoma. He is currently getting three different kinds of drops inserted into his right eye each day to prevent the same fate as the left eye. Bronte does not like having drops put into his eye.