Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

This is the first piece that I've done to imitate Polaroid's Time Zero SX-70 art photos. Since Polaroid discontinued making the film a number of years ago I've been deprived of the process that I'd fallen in love with back in the early 90's. When there's something I'm hankering for, come 'hell or high water' I'm determined to have it. That's when I decided that if I couldn't have the real thing I had to come up with steps that could turn an ordinary photo into a fine art piece. I'm dubbing my process PseudoSX-70 art. Not surprisingly it takes longer to reproduce this effect on a computer than it ever did when I was manipulating the SX-70 prints straight from the camera. But as with all things I do, this sense of 'controlled chaos' is quite fulfilling!

This is a photo I'd forgotten about but when I stumbled across it yesterday I knew it was the "ONE". I took "EMTs" with a 'toy' camera from the sky bridge that leads from the hospital to the parking garage. The scene caught my attention because of what I perceived to be a perfect moment caught in time. Two EMTs returning to their rig after another ordinary run.

Each photo tells a story but there are stories and then there are stories! I remember this day so well that it can still make me shiver. It was one of those unexpected late autumn snowfalls that turns into a blizzard by nightfall and we were 100 miles from home. We had just finished one of my son's sporadic but crucial visits to a specialist buried deep in the labyrinth of the U of Penn Hospital.

After leaving the hospital we drove north through Philly and then on to a place called Peddlers Village in Lahaska, PA. For all of the 30 odd years that we've been taking our son to specialists in Philly we've always made the same run and we thought that this day would be no different.

It was a Thursday and in the main restaurant of the village it was a reservation only "King's Feast" that started at 4 pm. We reached the village around 3 and spent the time until our 4:30 reservation window shopping. By 3:30 I realized we were in trouble. The wind had picked up and was blowing the snow into drifts around the village square. My husband was undaunted even when I pleaded that we leave for home right then and there. A big bear of a man at 6'7" and 350 lbs. he wasn't about to be cheated out of the unlimited seafood and roasts that were awaiting him inside. My son takes after his Dad so it was a 2 hungry men against one nervous woman. They did, however, agree to go to early and see if we could bump up the reservation time. It was warm in the big waiting room and a fire crackled in the hearth. Besides ourselves there was one other couple for the 4 pm seating.

We sat near a window eating lobster after lobster while I kept a watchful eye on the ever worsening storm. Other than the three of us there were perhaps a dozen other brave folks who came in to feast. And those I can guarantee were locals because anyone who had to come from a distance would have been crazy to brave a storm like that. But the food was amazing and plentiful and by the time we had all eaten our fill and were ready to leave, night had fallen and the snow kept right on coming.

We haven't had a new car since the early 90's and that day we were driving an old green Suburban. I buckled up and started praying we'd be able to make the 90 minute drive without mishap. Past the darkened Delaware on Rt. 29 it was a bit tricky with all of the turns but we literally plowed on...with a guardian angel in there with us I know. It took us 90 minutes to reach the entrance to NJ 195 and that's when our angel took over. As we entered onto the highway we pulled right behind a trio of snow plows clearing the road ahead. My husband's knuckles were white by this time but he stayed behind the center truck and 75 minutes later we were home safely and joyously aware of having had a harrowing but unforgettable journey.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Why is it that I can get up in front of a thousand people and give an off the cuff speech or even a eulogy but put me on the phone with someone who is looking for/offering a job and my knees turn to vanilla pudding wobbly? When I decided to accept my son's offer of a Job with his company:

I was told it was going to be as a creative/marketing consultant finding new ways to promote BrokersBullpen.com. Well that sounded just ducky because I worked 12 years as a promotional copywriter for a large local newspaper. Then when he heard me on the phone negotiating my way out of a cancellation notice with either the car insurance company or the electric company he decided that I'd make the PERFECT new phone contact person for stockbrokers looking for a new position and broker/dealers looking for new reps.

Well you know how it goes. Sounded easy when he gave me my new job description because I've never been afraid of public speaking. But put a freakin' phone up to my ear and I go all sweaty. My hands are even shaking! Now THIS is just NOT me...I thought I was invincible...after all I kicked breast cancer's ass so good that the doctor who told me I only had a slim chance of recovery still goes red in the face when she sees me in the hospital for new scans. I obviously didn't stay with her...I don't like anyone telling me I can't do something :) And btw...the new scans I had last week came back clean and I'm now FOUR years and counting out from breast cancer...Yay me!!!

But I digress. What is it about a telephone and an unseen person that gives me the willies? I never have a problem with phone negotiations over cut off notices but this cold call deal is a killer. Especially the one guy who was gruff...he reminded me of my Dad and I felt like I wanted to throw up my oatmeal, excuse the visual image I just gave y'all. I'll keep at it, of course. My son is the reason I still have a roof over my head so I owe him big time. I just wonder at my timidness ... it just doesn't feel like ME!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Falling on Hard Times

Cleaning out my documents file I came across a .doc I'd written just over three years ago. Interesting perspective I had then and little has changed over the last 1,104 days but my faith. I am a stronger believer in a higher power than I was when the downward spiral began eight years ago. My level of empathy has also continued to spiral upward. No longer do I look at a poorly dressed woman dragging tired and worn clothing out of a dryer and think "Why doesn't she buy something new"? When I see an overweight woman my first thought isn't "How could she let herself go like that". The first thought when I see a bald woman is no longer one of repulsion but compassion.

So even though my circumstances haven't changed much, my viewpoint has and for that I am profoundly grateful. I have survived cancer, poverty and depression and still I am not defeated nor wallowing in self pity. I no longer measure time by man's clock but by that of a much higher power whom I am certain has amazing things in store for me.

June 12, 2006

I’ve often thought that if elected officials were forced to live as I have over the last five years, the middle class would be growing instead of disappearing. Healthcare for the masses would be a reality, not an impossible dream and those that sit in the seat of power would be doing more than warming their seat.

Since reality shows seem to be all the rage today, imagine a series where a Congressman, Senator or President was stripped of their cash and told they had to find a way to pay the mortgage, health insurance and utilities without the benefit of a regular paycheck. They would be forced to rely on wits not welfare. There would be no paycheck coming in at the end of the month but a guarantee of a mailbox full of final notices. Personally, I think it would be a phenomenal hit that would grip the country and keep them tuned in week after week. Should a producer decide to develop a reality series like that I’d be more than glad to be their technical advisor!

As incredibly stressful as the last five years of pinching pennies has been, it has given me a perspective that I would never have gained from the backseat of my limo. Having actually said to a driver ”Home James” (yes, his name was actually Jim) to be car-less is unimaginable to some but survivable by most. I went from riches to rags in a less time than it takes to grow a beefsteak tomato. How this happened isn’t as important as how I survived and eventually thrived. And wondering how the next mortgage and health insurance is going to get paid has left me with a strange sense of comfort. I’ve come to trust in a force much greater than myself and have handed over the illusion of actually being in control of my life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Those who follow this blog know that after years of retirement I recently took a job with the Marketing Department of BrokersBullpen, LLC. In this capacity it is my job to find additional resources to present the services offered by the firm. Word of mouth is a far superior source, especially from a friend. As a friend I'm asking you to help expand its fan base! Become a fan!

This is my idea...using social media to spread the word about the services they offer. It occurred to me that maybe all these years of blogging, FBing, tweeting, etc. could come to some good for my new position. So I'm using these resources to get people to refer licensed brokers to them and be paid a referral fee at the time of their hiring. Sounds like a good idea to me and they gave me the next few months to test my idea. So if you know of a stockbroker who would like higher payouts and a better position working for themselves, then please have them visit the BBP website.

And be sure to connect through the fan base by letting us know you've referred someone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Economic Downturn

Economic Downturn puts the kybosh on my sabbatical!!

BrokersBullpen.com is my new area of creativity. I always said I wouldn't go to work for my son, CEO of BBP, but I've learned a few things over the last month. One of which is that my creativity is NOT limited to what comes off the tip of my brush.

I started out last month by declaring that I was going on a four month sabbatical. That I was going to spend the time 'finding' my artistic spirit. What I DID NOT count on was the effects of the Economic Downturn the country is in AND the effect it would have on my family's budget without my paltry contributions from my art sales. So in a word, the Economic Downturn has been BAD for my sabbatical but GOOD for my peace of mind. Taking off the month of May I discovered a number of things about myself.
1. I'm NOT happy painting pretty little pictures or collaging encouraging words on a piece of art.
2. I am happiest when I'm behind the lens of a camera.
3. Selling off my old gold jewelry didn't hurt a bit especially with spot gold at an all time high.
4. I can settle almost any bill with any company by being reasonable, calm and convincing.
5. That going back to 'work' is an inevitability BUT
6. Working for my son is allowing me to use some atrophied creative muscles. Those of the long retired copywriter and PR person.

My first bit of business will be finding men and women to refer friends, family or brokers to BBP who will in turn pay said person a 10% - 40% referral fee if the broker is hired through us. Sounds easy but I've found that the word stockbroker brings up a lot of hateful words and descriptions when googled! So my job isn't going to be easy. But I'm determined to help my son's company soar! The potential is great because a. we're helping people find jobs and b. we're helping families overcome their own Economic Downturn.

If you know anyone who is a broker, a broker/dealer or a WAHM who'd like to work for us by providing referrals, just comment on this post. One hand helps the other and in this economy we all need a helping hand!
Carolyn, a Jersey Girl

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


If you need a bit of sunshine in your home or to add to your jewelry collection, go to these sales at my two Etsy shops:

BarefootBrideDesigns is offering 20% off each piece of jewelry.

WildGypsyArt has a buy two get one FREE offer now through Sunday 6/14.

Thank God for a sense of humor. What's that old saying..."Man plans, God Laughs"...well I'm sure He's been yucking it up for years with my plans for success. And the latest...my SABBATICAL was really the best laugh yet. It's over before it started. But that's because I really didn't plan on the fact that the bit of money I made on eBay and Etsy was what put food on the table for the family. I simply assumed that DH's commission checks would keep right on coming and my little bit of cash wouldn't make a BIG difference. Boy, was I wrong!!!

But in keeping with my deep faith and abiding trust in God (even when He's enjoying a laugh at my expense) I can see how much of a difference taking off those few weeks has made in my life. I realize that I really don't enjoy painting or making jewelry. Something I've been doing for years and years. Just by putting away the paints, pencils and paper I got to take a deep breath and look around me. I spent time finishing my bathroom project as mentioned in previous posts and found some old photographs that I'd taken during my days in the college photo labs. It made me realize that the last time I'd really been happy was when my eye was pressed against a camera and the world was reduced down to a manageable size through my view finder.

Now that doesn't mean that I plan to go hying off and starting a photographic career but it does mean that I at least have come to realize where my true love lies. My Dad was a photographer during WWII so I guess I come by it naturally. But for right now I'm selling off my stock in my Etsy shops, my collectibles on eBay and my gold jewelry to a local Jewelry store that specializes in Cash for Gold. I'm trusting that whatever the future holds for me it will be the right thing at just the right time.

Pop over to those sales of mine that are going on through Sunday. Maybe you NEED a Sadowski original...after all they're going to be as scarce as hen's teeth if I pick up that camera again!