And it thundered in a pleasing aire!

I just realized why people used to come up here all the time to the Catskill mountains, and why they still do. This climate is just like California. I should say the weather because there is only climate in CA and weather in NY.

It thundered and rained again and it is now 74 degrees with little humidity.

People used to come up here because it is cooler and nicer than in the lower parts of the state. This is still the great NY vacation spot. So, why aren’t you here?

News Flash!!!

We now have a wireless network here. When you check in, just ask for the SSID and the Key. We change the key every week for security reasons.


Sylvan Salad Days of Summer

This is supposed to be the Dog Days of Summer and in a perfect world it would be. However, in our imperfect world, it’s cool and dry, not sultry at all. Imperfect world and perfect weather. Who knows, our cool, green days of youth, gathering rosebuds where and when we may in July, may turn into lazy, hazy days of summer with our little brown dog, Spot. And thus, we’ll have Lazy Brown Dog Days of Summer. With our schedule, we wont be sitting around even if the weather turns, so scratch that.

We already had our hot days of summer in the beginning of June. 97 degrees! Ouch. Now, it tops out at 80 or rarely 85 with 60 degree mornings.

Speaking of Lazy Brown Dogs, Spot is still doing well. He’s a little more frail and a little slower but I give him his pills in the morning with this liquid meds, he is hanging in there. He’s a good boy and a fine inn dog. He is well loved by all.

Perhaps we are in our melon days of summer, cool and green with a hint of perfume on the air. Like youth, ripe and juicy without being cloying. Yes, we are in the melon days of summer. I’d put it to a vote but this is not a democratic institution.

Kim and I have been busy. She hasn’t been blogging. So, please send in your comments urging my sweetheart to blog away.

Do it!

I have to mention the weather

It has been 60-65 F in the morning every morning. Dry some days and misty on others, heating up to a breezy 80-85 by mid afternoon. This is California weather. The rains have stopped and the humidity is down. Not too shabby. Very sweet weather.

I’m not sure Kim likes it because is it exactly like Northern California.

The Hobart

Well, the sanitizer repair man is in again. I have had more trouble with this piece of equipment than any other. And when the dishwasher or sanitizer is not working, the kitchen doesn’t work.

It’s a vital piece of equipment. Now, after all these repairs, it seems that a hose was crimped. Who did it? The last repair man? Tony? Who knows.

Friday, the class wants to have a nice fare-thee-well party for Thomas since this is probably his last workshop. Too bad.

Thomas Sgouros

I must say something more about him.

Thomas is an unassuming, gentle and elegant man who appreciates sylvan landscapes, good food and wine. He is an excellent teacher and an appreciative guest. His classes are terrific and the students work hard, throwing themselves into their work.

This has been a wonderful start to the second half of the season. Thanks.

The baby robins are getting big and fluffy

Soon, they’ll fly away, John will throw out the nest and maybe another robin will build a nest and lay 4 eggs, three of which will hatch.

Thomas is a great teacher. Everyone loves him and his course and are happy they took it. If you wanted to get in and didn’t, I’m sorry. Them’s the breaks. However, we have some room, and not much at that, in other courses. There’s always painter’s week.

Soon, this class will get big and fluffy and fly away. These people have been very pleasant and fun to have. For such a big group, they have been easy to care for. Thanks people.

Get out your Beano

Some people were…ah..suggesting, oh yes they’ll remain nameless, my delectable red beans, that’s light red kidney beans for the exacting, and couscous was two starches. Indeed, one must concede couscous is a starch. Red beans are mostly protein after all and a high percentage of the starch they have is resistant starch.

“The nice thing about legumes is that they have a great deal of dietary fiber plus the resistant starch,” said George C. Fahey Jr., who led the study. “You always think of legumes for their protein, as you should. With their protein, fiber and resistant starch, these foodstuffs offer good nutrition. Until now, we never knew legumes had so much of their starch in the form of resistant starch.”

In other words, red beans, the second best bean to eat, produces butyrate, a short-chained fatty acid desirable for its cancer-preventing qualities. The starch is acting like fiber unlike than starch found in bread which just makes you fat. So, not only were you having a wonderful taste treat but I was saving your life as well.

No need to thank me. All in a day’s work, ma’am.

Wine Cellar


Didn’t get a vinotemp but did get a small 30-40 bottle wine cellar. That’s great. It freed up space in the service refrigerator. Now we have a our wine cellar sitting next to our ice cube maker. It has a glass door and everything.

Not as large as my old vinotemp, which held 600 bottles of the finest wine. Sigh.

Well, the Susan Olgilvie workshop is over with. Sigh. Great people. Lots of fun and they absolutely loved Susan, aka Bacon Lady. I think I finally got the bacon crisp enough.

One of the reasons I love coming back to NY

It poured here. I mean HUGE rain storm. The biggest yet.

The wind was whipping and Kris was afraid of the lightening. Plus, the water spigot is broken. You have to hold it by hand. While she was filling up a water pitcher, I snuck up behind her and when BZZZZT. She jumped. Needless to say, Gary and I laughed. MWhahahahahaha

Kim enjoyed sitting out on the porch watching the wind whip through the trees. She loved it. The rest of the workshop went out on the porch to watch too.

Unfortunately, we had some water come into the house. Sluicing off the carport. Got to get that fixed soonest.

Kim went off to Albany

When the cats away, I can now sit on the front porch with my coffee, and get this, I can sit with Spot and don’t even have to put him on a leash! That’s big! 😉

But I can’t have coffee with my sweetheart. Boohooo.

Well, I hope she brings back a wine cellar we can put out on the floor. How cool will that be? It’ll give me back space in the service fridge. Yea!

Susan Ogilvie, organized artist and half way point

Well, so far this workshop is going smoothly. They are learning a technique that is quite interesting. (I ain’t tellin’. 😉 Susan is delightful and funny. She is also very knowledgeable.

They have been going out for a few hours each day and then painting in the workshop. The weather started out hot but right now it is 72. Nice. Little humidity. However, that could change. Since SO comes from, or has been living in, the North West, she doesn’t want to spend that much time in the heat and humidity. Well, humidity I’m sure she is used to but there, for the most part, hot is 68. 😉

Actually, Port Townsend, good barley wine, is not in the rain shadow that Seattle is.

Ann K. is back. Brenda is in the workshop. I’m happy to have them back. (Tanya is very nice. See, I mentioned you. 🙂 This has turned into ol’ home week. Ann brought a great HP picture printer. Fun.

Hmm. What else? Cousin Mike, CM for short, wanted a longer blog. We’ve been way too busy to blog. Kim is going to Albany to get a wine cellar. We need one desperately.

Spot is doing very well

He was eating more yesterday.

He likes these people. I think he likes pastel people in general. 😉 Actually, he likes all the people that pet him and then some.

A robin has come back

We are not sure if The Robin that has come back, about 3 weeks ago, and built another next in our “spring wreath” is the same robin or not. John swears it is but Kim and I think not.

Anyway, this robin laid three eggs and now one of them has hatched. It’s so funny when all three babies grow large and crowd this little tiny nest.

This is just wonderful.

Spotter Dogger Redux

Well, the tests for Mr. Spot came in and his white blood cell count is a tad high. Also, he is anemic. He seems to be fine otherwise but he is sluggish, anemia, and he isn’t eating all that much.

Kim and I have taken to feeding him by hand and he is loving that! 😉

When our daughter Adina was little, we all went on a trip, Kim, Adina, Spot, Cherry and me. We went on this two week, two thousand mile, monster motor home trip. During that trip, Adina fed Cherry kibble from a spoon. Cherry loved the attention and I think that now Spot wants his.

Spotty is an older dog, no new tricks he keeps reminding us, and has had a full life. He thanks you all for your thoughts but says that he isn’t down and certainly not out, just sleepy.

The Spotter Report

Thank you all for your concern. I took Spot into the vets. We are having tests done on him.

He hasn’t lost any weight. Maybe a pound or two but that could be because he ate a plastic bag. How do I know this? Well, the vet lifted his tail as he was giving Mr. Spot an exam and voila the handles of a plastic bag.

What was in the bag? I don’t know. Where is the rest of the bag? Still in him. I’m giving him Pepto Bismal and some other meds to help him along.

I’ll report on the tests this Weds. But all in all, Spot seems to be OK.

Well, they did love the salmon!

But only one fellow clapped. Sigh. Well, we’ll see when I hit them with the waffles and sweet black cherry ice cream and the chocolate sauce. You know what I’m talking about. Uh huh!

Good group. Stanley is a big plein air painter. We’ll see how well these people keep up.

Spotter Doggy

Well, he’s losing weight and not eating well, not even scraps. He goes to the vet this Monday.

He’s a good dog and everyone loves him. He’s the best inn dog.


Poor Mr. Spot was out on the back porch. He looked into Kris, who’s helping me prep, and just gave this “Hey, it’s wet out here” woof.

Poor puppy. It’s raining. Thank goodness that this class, Frank Webb, is mostly Studio. The air conditioners are throwing out drops.

4th of July BBQ and Picnic was a success

But a lot of work. Working that grill was intense. Making well done burgers was very hard. We had veggie burgers which were fantastic, regular burgers with my super special recipe, and we had three different hotdogs. We had corn on the cob, butter, pickles, though no one took a pickle, pasta salad, corn on the cob, drinks, two different relishes, three different mustards, ketchup, my fruit salad with honey and yogurt and a fantastic seedless watermelon.

Everyone had paper plates but still there was a lot to wash. It took 3 servers to get all the wine and beer.

Everyone had a great time. I took pictures and so did Kim. The group sat out by the pool on various tables that we have out there. The weather was once again just perfect for this. We had Jenny and her mom playing croquet. Fun was had by all.

I know. I know. I’ll get some of those pictures up soonest. I promise.

The Frank Webb Workshop Begins

And what a lovely group of people. They’re very happy with the tonight’s dinner, no ovation, but you can’t have that every night. It’d just go to my head. 🙂 Oh, they all love their rooms. A fun and all around great group.

We have something new here at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. We have a workshop, that is student, couple staying with their little girl. She is a cute little girl. She tried all of her food and I made her a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich.

OK. You can tell who gets the limelight here. 😉

If you are missing this workshop, that’s a real pity. Wish you were here.

The Cortina family is leaving today

I found out some interesting things. Cortina is definately a Spanish-type name, it means curtain in Spanish, and not an Italian name. However, all of the Cortinas are from Italy. They are 39 km south of Roma. Just about smack dab inbetween Rome and Naples, where my family is from.

They insisted that Cortina is an Italian name and there is a lot of precedence for this. That part of the world saw a lot of people moving about. Who am I to argue? People always say ask if LaPolla is Spanish and I always tell them no, it’s Italian. Go figure.

Anway, the kids loved the pool. It’s great seeing people enjoy our 50 foot pool.

I told the men of the family about the Italian food I cook for the workshop. They wanted to know when dinner was. I told them that they had to stay at the inn and order in advance.

Sharon’s class gave me an ovation.

But of course, I hit them with the waffle dessert. Who could deny? Kim usually gets an ovation with her lemon meringue pie.

Good group of people. Lovely class. They painted today at Carriage House. Not to be confused with ours. What a great place to paint. And the weather was PERFECT!

Off to talk about next year, what a line up, with Kim.

Cortina Family Reunion

Well, the Cortina family is having a reunion and they are packing the inn to the gills. We also had to find a place for extra members of the family.

Nice group of people. Remember people, we have 5 rooms with two beds each. Those beds are doubles, queens or kings paired with single beds. That is, all rooms with two beds have one large bed and one single. The price for rooms is double occupancy with each additional guest beyond 2 per room an extra charge. So 1 person and 2 people per room is the same price but 3 or more per room is a per person charge.

How’s that for useful information? I’m just full of relevant information today.

Policy and rendezvous ici s’il vous plait

Well, the Carson workshop has been very good. The people are quiet and charming. I don’t want to say mild mannered because they are fun but they are enthusiastic and great. Sharon is doing an excellent job. Those of you who did not take her workshop are missing out.

However, one thing did come up out of this workshop. Day students usually meet here, at the Arms, at 8:45 before going out. They should never try to meet the works at the appointed destination because it can change over breakfast.

So, what we are going to do is not only tell everyone that they need to meet AT THE ARMS at 8:45 AM before doing anything. Even if you are going to be late. Come here first before going to any painting site. That way if the site changes, you’ll know.

We’ll also put it in the welcome package and here in this blog. So, now you know.

Radicchio Redux

Yes, people, it’s all about the food. Well, as long as I’m bloggin’.

Anyway, we’re going to have corn-on-th-cob. Yup. With tater salad, maybe. With some other stuff. Lots of stuff for sure.

But the salad will not have radicchio. Sorry you radicchio fans.

The 4th

Yesterday was perfect weather. Nice and warm and not humid. Today is a little more muggy.I just hope that the 4th will be great weather. I have planned a massive BBQ at the Greenville Arms, home to the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops and the Fiber Art Workshops.

We are going to have hamburgers, with garnishes, onions, pickles, stuff, hotdogs, inabun, maybe chicken, and veggieburgers.

But where or where is the Sysco Truck?

I’ll have to send Team LaPolla out for a look. Into the CorkScrewmobile!