My husband Tom and I returned from filming Monarchs in Mexico very late Monday night. The first day back was pasta making for Saint Joseph Day at the Groppos and spending time with our son Alex and granddaughter Charlotte. Yesterday and today I’ve been pouring through the footage to add to the film. I’ll write some posts about beautiful Mexico, the fantastic JM Butterfly B and B, and the magnificent Monarchs as soon as I have time to sort through the photos. It was an adventure of a lifetime!
I was most worried about torturing Tom and wasn’t entirely sure we would have uninterrupted internet access so he could work remotely, but he had the best time meeting new people, riding horses up the mountain, climbing Cerro Pelon, and practicing his Spanish!
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Duckworth’s on New Year’s Eve. Here we are in Bermuda at the Coral Beach Club where we married and had our honeymoon.
Can you believe Tom still has that same leather jacket. It was lent to dozens of school and community plays–think West Side Story!
That’s Tom’s selfie–he’s the original selfie-maker–or at least I had never seen anyone do that before. It’s not that easy to make a selfie with a film camera. He did it so effortlessly, but then again, he can also draw upside down!
We’re so very touched by the beautiful anniversary arrangement sent by our daughter Liv and her fiance, Matt O’Rourke.
My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a bit melancholy, as I think were other family members, because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.
This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.
Bumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie
Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine.
My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!
Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning
Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2!
Always a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!
Double Exposure Fuifilm X- E1
End Note: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.
Thank you with all my heart to everyone who attended my film premiere. I feel so very blessed to have had my beautiful community of friends and family there, and by attending, you all made the event a great success and sellout!!! What a whirlwind, and it went by all much, much too fast. I hope I didn’t miss saying thank you to anyone last night.
With love and gratitude to my wonderful team. I could not have done it without you!
Tom Hauck ~ Although I began shooting my film “script-less,” I did, through the course of filming, write the story. I know I can always go to Tom for editing assistance, commentary, and proofreading and find his advice and knowledge of the written word invaluable. Life Story of the Black Swallowtail stems from a profound desire to communicate about the natural world found in our own backyards and that can only be achieved when rooted in a beautiful story.
Liv and Kathleen ~ From the moment I asked Kathleen and Liv to help with the music for my film they were there, giving 100 percent of themselves. Thank you Liv for sharing your beautiful voice and Kathleen for your beautiful organ playing. Thank you both especially for the improvisations, which so gorgeously melded with scenes of the butterfly during metamorphosis. And thank you Liv for simply being the best and most supportive and loving daughter a mom a could ever dream of and hope for.
Craig Kimberley ~ To my friend Craig for his editing assistance, and especially for his stunning key frames (the swan in flight!), help with title design, and overall advice on the film as a whole. And special thanks to Hannah for sharing Craig on his days off!
Joey ~ My friend Joey for his tireless support of everything great and good about Gloucester, for the weeklong “sticky,” and for writing, “Butterflies FTW!” I love being part of his GMG team, for more reasons than I can count.
Andrew Love ~ Thanks and appreciation to Andrew, who really saved the day in the eleventh hour, despite the fact that he was in the midst of leaving Cape Ann TV and beginning his new job at Newburyport’s cable channel PortMedia!
Lisa Smith, Cape Ann TV Producer ~ To Lisa for her continued advice, support, and friendship, and assistance, too, in the eleventh hour (and for the wonderful bottle of champagne last night!).
Rob Newton ~ Thank you Rob for inviting me to have my premiere at your very special venue—and didn’t that gentleman fall off his seat at just the right moment! Link to CACC Indie Gogo fundraiser so Rob can continue to support up and coming filmmakers like myself.
Fred Bodin ~ For hosting, once again, a wonderful party at Bodin Historic Photo Gallery. Fred just has the magic touch—his gallery is always warm and welcoming and everyone always feels entirely at ease and has a fabulous time at his parties. Special thanks to John McElhenny for staying late and helping clean up.
Felicia, Pat, and Barry ~ Despite the fact that Felicia is in the final stages of writing her cookbook and preparing for her Kickstarter launch she, Barry, and Pat provided the wonderful array of food served at Fred’s last night.
JoeAnn Hart and Gordon for sharing their breathtakingly beautiful great drift of asters (mecca to the pollinators), of which we will see much more of in my Monarch film!
Donna and Rick and Ann and Bob Kennedy ~ Thank you for the beautiful flowers. I am very touched by your thoughtfulness. Ann, the flowers were you in absentia!
And special thanks to Kate at Wolf Hill for providing our “special guest star” Black Swallowtail caterpillar for the premiere. This is the second time a caterpillar has been found on a parsley plant at Wolf Hill and that Kate has offered it to me to raise.
Update on the caterpillar: Last night Kate’s caterpillar spun its silk girdle and it is going to pupate at any moment!
Newly Emerged Wolf Hill Butterfly from this Past Spring
Again, my thanks and love to you all! And the butterflies thank you, too!!!
The Self-publishing Event at the Sawyer Free was packed. Ironically, when the program was held two years ago, moderator Susan Oleksiw said that there were more people in the panel than in attendance, which speaks to the overall dismal state of traditional publishing houses versus the growth of the self-publishing industry. Susan did a great job moderating and each panelist brought to the discussion a different approach based on their individual experiences with self publishing. The sheer range of options is fascinating and anyone facing the challenges of self-publishing would be well served to thoroughly research all.
Before heading out to dinner last Saturday night my husband Tom and I stopped in briefly at the Monsterrat College of Art annual fundraiser, Artrageous! 26. Tom had donated several paintings, as are all the works of art donated, and we had a great time looking at the paintings, prints, photos, mixed media, and sculpture. My favorite piece in the show was a self portrait by a young artist from Wenham, Camilla Jerome.
Camilla Jerome’s Weigh Me Down -Click to view larger image
Panorama Monsterrat Artrageous! 26 -Click to view larger.
Last Saturday for my birthday my husband Tom treated me to a beautiful and fabulous dinner at Duckworth’s. The following morning I met my Good Morning Gloucester friends for brunch at Passports–talk about spoiled–Duckworths and Passports are two of my very favorite restaurants and two of the very finest restaurants on the North Shore.
I had only my iPhone camera with me at Duckworths and don’t like the way most of the photos turned out–too little light for the iPhone’s tiny image sensor .
Nicole Duckworth’s Fabulous Desert ~ Gingerbread with Marscapone and Poached Pears
In response to last week’s featured story in Time Magazine, “Playing Favorites” by Jeffrey Kluger [October 3], husband Tom Hauck’s letter is published in this week’s issue:
I empathize with Kluger. But extrapolating his experience to all families is conjecture, not science. I am one of three siblings as well as a parent. I cannot remember one instance of favoritism shown by my parents to any of their children. Likewise, my wife and I love both of our children equally. Really, we do. For a black eagle, only one skill is necessary to survive–the ability to hunt and kill–so parents have every reason to favor their more robust offspring. But humans can survive and thrive using any number of skills, including reasoning, social skills and creativity, so your comparison is flawed. It’s entertaining to speculate about favoritism, but please do not call it science.
Thank you Tom! Another perspicacious Tom Hauck Letter to the Gloucester Daily Times (May 16 editorial page), calling them once again on their uber-conservative far-right editorial bias:
To the editor:
Just when you think it’s safe to read the Times again, another zinger appears that gets reasonable readers riled up. The case in point is the editorial of May 11 entitled “Partisanship has no place in League of Women Voters.” The issue is a series of TV ads run by the national and state League of Women Voters criticizing Senator Scott Brown for a vote he cast on four environmental bills. The Times characterized the ads as “nasty,” “shameful,” and “vicious.” To support the editorial, the Times quoted a press release from Senator Brown’s office and provided a statement from Tim Buckley, who is the state GOP spokesperson. As would be expected, Senator Brown and Mr. Buckley thought the ads attacking the senator were unfair and partisan.
For some reason the Times either failed to contact the state or national LWV to get their side of the story, or did not report the results of any attempted contact. Therefore it is incumbent upon readers of the Times to do their own investigating.
The ads are running in Massachusetts and also in Missouri, where they target Senator Claire McCaskill, who is a Democrat. Here is what Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters, says on the LVW website: “Air pollution is a life or death issue. Senators Brown and McCaskill cast dangerous votes that put public health at risk…Voting to block clean air standards is bad for America and deadly for many Americans.” The LVW website also says, “The campaign includes 30-second spots that point to the public health consequences of the Senators’ April 6 votes. The ads depict a child suffering from respiratory illness and ask viewers to consider the votes and ‘imagine what it could’ve done – to her.’”
The website states that the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the League of Women Voters Missouri joined in this effort, and that the League has been a strong and active supporter of the Clean Air Act.
The League’s ad campaign, which targets both a Republican and a Democrat, is non-partisan. It does not present anything that is not factual: both Senators Brown and McCaskill voted in favor of four amendments that would have crippled the bipartisan Clean Air Act, which was signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, a Republican. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said, “The Senate stood up for children and families by defeating four amendments that would have interfered with EPA’s efforts to protect the health and safety of the American public. The Clean Air Act has had strong bipartisan support since it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon. The American people support EPA’s efforts to safeguard us from polluters.”
If the Times chooses to adopt an editorial policy that is to the right of the majority of Cape Ann voters, that is the paper’s prerogative. But to present an editorial that parrots the public statements of one political party is reprehensible. Readers of the Times deserve the full story.
I am dreaming of blue crabs that talk and dance...
The Dreamer by Luis Aira. Book review posted by guest writer Tom Hauck, “Luis Aira is a gifted writer and his prose is timeless and poetic. The Dreamer will enchant and inspire you to look at the world with new eyes.”
Congratulations to my friend Luis Aira on the publication of his new novel The Dreamer. This richly imagined story begins in a place called Eden Orchards. Dozing under an apple tree is a local wino named Old Slim. A young stranger suddenly falls through, or out of, the tree and lands with a thump on the ground. This man who fell to earth is like a child with no memory: he doesn’t even have a name, so they agree that he should be called Apple. The stranger has no knowledge of human society, doesn’t know what dreaming is, and is able to talk to animals.
And so begins this magical fable that unfolds with a series of vignettes as Apple, curious to learn more about this world into which he has fallen, leaves Eden Orchards in search of answers. As he travels he meets people; from each he learns something and to each he gives transformative insight.
The underlying philosophy of The Dreamer is exactly what the title implies: that God or the Creator (call it what you will) is not a scientist or an uber-designer in the sense that most Western religions believe, but is a dreamer, and we are all part of a magnificent and ever-changing dream. As Apple proclaims later in the book, “The Dream lives through the Dreamer; the Dreamer lives through the Dream.” Time is not linear, and all things are interconnected – not physically, but by this vast cosmic dream.
One is reminded of the great poem by Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within a Dream,” which evokes a similar if much more melancholy view:
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
In The Dreamer, hope does not fly away; it is always in our hearts. The dream brings not weeping, only joy. Luis is a gifted writer and his prose is timeless and poetic.The Dreamer will enchant you and inspire you to look at the world with new eyes.
Another succinct letter from my husband Tom Hauck, published in this week’s Time magazine.
To the editor:
To feature Republican candidates Meg Whitman, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Christine O’Donnell on your cover a few days before the critical midterm election is utterly reprehensible. Why not simply endorse them? Or better yet, why not sell TIME magazine to Rupert Murdoch? He would be thrilled to add you to his media empire.
A thought-provoking succinctly stated published letter to the editor of the Gloucester Daily Times, in support of Governor Duval Patrick, written by my husband Tom Hauck:
In their attempts to sway Massachusetts voters, Republican candidates, including Charlie Baker and Bill Hudak, offer the seductive elixir of tax cuts as the cure for our economic woes and the way to revitalize our economy. We have heard this merry tune before, and we should know that it hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work again.
“Supply-side economics” states that by lowering economic barriers for people to produce or supply goods and services, the result is economic growth. These barriers to supply are lowered not by investing, but by reducing income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by reducing government regulation. In theory, the result is an expanded economy that leads to an increase in tax revenue.
The Reagan administration was the first to implement supply-side policies. President Reagan promised that the government could maintain expenditures, cut tax rates, and balance the budget. It didn’t happen. Government revenues fell sharply from levels that would have been realized without the Reagan tax cuts. Reagan entered office in 1980 with a $79.0 billion budget deficit. By September 1988, the deficit had ballooned to $2.6 trillion – over thirty times as large. Meanwhile, a reduction in the top marginal individual income tax rate from 70% to 28% helped to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. The theory was that by helping the rich get richer, wealth would “trickle down” to the middle class. This was nonsense. The rising tide did not lift all boats, only the yachts of the wealthy.
Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, was forced to raise taxes to offset the massive federal deficit caused by a recession and low tax revenues. For his courage he was (and still is) vilified by the far-right wing of the Republican Party.
Members of Reagan’s own staff have repudiated supply-side economics. Most recently, in a New York Times op-ed piece of July 31, 2010, David Stockman, director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, says, “If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. . . It is unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.”
Republicans have a recurring habit of wanting to play Santa Claus to the voters. They hand out irresponsible tax cuts like candy at a holiday party. Then the economy sours and the Republicans stand back while Democrats come in and do the dirty work of restoring tax rates to former levels. Once the economy is healthy again, the Republicans howl about the terrible Democrats increasing taxes. It is a tiresome routine that voters should reject on November 2 in favor of realistic, progressive solutions to the challenges facing our state. We don’t need Santa Claus promising unsustainable tax cuts. To elect leaders willing to make tough decisions, vote for Deval Patrick and John Tierney.
Another great letter to the editor from my husband Tom to the Gloucester Daily Times, September 29th, regarding the upcoming Massachusetts gubernatorial election.
To the editor:
As the November elections draw near, the topic that is dominating our national and state discussion is unemployment. There is hardly a candidate for any office, either in Massachusetts or in any other state, who does not agree that the current national unemployment rate of nine percent is unacceptable. However, there is tremendous disagreement on who is to blame and what should be done to reduce it.
The Republicans, including Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, are offering a familiar menu of tax cuts and business deregulation. The theory is that business, once free of the chokehold of government taxation and regulation, will be empowered to grow and to increase hiring. Everyone who wants a job will be able to find one.
It is a deceptively simple tonic that resonates with many voters. And, as is usually the case, it is up to the Democrats to offer the more nuanced and more accurate assessment of the problem and the solution.
The fact is that companies, whether large or small, are not in the business of creating jobs. This may sound shocking to our Republican friends, but the bottom line is that businesses exist to make a profit for their owners. Making a profit and providing jobs are not identical. In fact, they can be mutually exclusive. An unprofitable corporation that needs to become profitable will cut expenses. Often the quickest and most effective way to do this is to cut jobs. Employees cost money, and the fewer of them you have, the lower your costs. If you need more employees to increase revenues, then you hire them. But they are an expense, just like a new truck or a computer. It is not in the mission statement of any corporation, anywhere, that the goal of business is to create jobs. The mission is to create profits. In the current fiscal quarter, American businesses are doing this very well and the stock market is continuing to rise.
This is one reason why we are having a “jobless recovery.” Profitable businesses aren’t hiring because they don’t have to.
Voters should always suspect the candidate who touts a successful record in business as qualification for elected office. Sure, Charlie Baker “saved” Harvard Pilgrim. He did this by jacking up rates by 150 percent. This scheme to generate revenues the easy way may have worked at Harvard Pilgrim, but it has nothing to do with being the chief executive in government. The mission of government is to help people live better lives. This very different from simply posting a quarterly profit. To balance the state budget, Charlie Baker blithely says he will cut 5,000 state jobs. Where will these people end up? On the state unemployment rolls. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Candidates like Governor Deval Patrick who clearly see the forces that shape our economy know better than to bring simplistic corporate solutions to the vastly more complex world of government.
Thursday night my husband’s band, Big City Rockers, a new version of their old band, The Atlantics, played at House of Blues on Landsdowne Street to an enthusiastic crowd of old and new fans. WFNX organized the event and it was great to hear hits like Pop Shivers and Lonely Hearts. Congratulations Big City Rockers! xo