Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shows...... what not to do...... again!

After the show in July, I thought I got this show thing nailed.  So when I started packing for this show my inside voice kept saying EDIT; but my hands kept packing!  Why? 

Because I have not done this show since they required costumes and had port-a-potties I really didn't know what the market would be.  I have memories or rather nightmares of wearing skirts, jerkins, leggings and clogs, I sold pottery and was the best damn pottery wench you could behold.  Clipping my truck keys to the skirt waistband, out of sight of fair goers because what respectable pottery wench in days of yore drove a truck?  At the end of the day it was inevitable, one had to use the big blue box.  I backed in, as the frontal approach was just not happening, hoisted my enormous skirt and heard my truck keys hit the rim of the toilet seat and splash to the neither regions below.  My reaction, spin on my heels to what...... try and catch them?  Whence forth my glasses flew off my head and dropped next to my keys.... I could almost see them, it was all a blur.  The magic of adrenalin and shear panic meant I no longer had to pee. I burst from the port-a-potty pulling up my drawers and yanking down my stupid bellowing skirt and sputtering the words; Holy Shit!  As the line of people waiting to use the port-a-potty gasped and laughed. I called for the backup keys 2 hours away.  The office asked me to fill out an envelope and my glasses and keys would be mailed back to me.  Ewww, eww, eww.... they promised they would be sanitized as this happens all the time.  

So when they asked me to submit my application to the show I said; Are kidding me, I cannot costume up anymore.  They assured me no more port-a-potties and no more costumes!  Ok, I'm in....... see what a push over I am?  That's how I got a dog ......  

The last time I attended I had very different work.  Painted holly berries and wisteria and I was just dabbling in raku..... it was a long time ago.  So what is the market now?  It's a big 4 day show.  It used to be a great crowd.  It's $10 to get in the door and $5 to park on the lawn or free to take a shuttle in.  
The committee of red shirted ladies is amazing and take care of their artists.  Bravo ladies!  One of the red shirted ladies said they were expecting 10,000 people if the weather stayed sunny.  What kind of pottery would 10,000 people like?  So I packed it all.  

They had moved the show from the huge flat field under big circus tents.  I was assured we were still under a big circus tent but I should bring a white canopy too.  Great I just sold my white canopy after the last show of vowing never to do shows again.  I called Sam's Club on Thursday and they had 4 in stock.  Awesome.  The weekend came and the weekend went.  Monday morning I jumped in the truck and dashed to Sam's club...... what tents, it's Christmas!  Christmas trees greeted me at the door and there was candy cane poop everywhere.  Hey it's September!  The Christmas Crap arrived on Saturday morning and we reloaded the truck with summer fun crap.  Seriously?! 
I ran to Lowe's,  I ran to Costco, I ran to Home Depot, I ran to Petities Garden Center...... Christmas had arrived over night and if one more Cindy Lou Who told me it was now officially Christmas I was going to choke the tinsel out of her.  The last very nice Cindy Lou Who told me to order it online.  I order from CostCo.  I paid the extra bucks to guarantee delivery for the day needed.  It's basically a Sleezy-Up but lined with silver, not white, oh no, shiny silver.  It will have to work and maybe the shiny force field will save me.  It's a four day show, I'm sure I will need saving from something...... like myself! 

The big day arrived, check in 11:00 a.m. Awesome, time to walk the dog, shower and find my keys.  I blasted Megan Trainer all the way down because it really is all about the base.  Arriving with minutes to spare the place was calm and orderly.  I was ordered to park in a specific spot and a lawn tractor with little trailer pulled up to tailgate, helped unload and off we went to find Birch Ally, site #51.  Is there a craft fair Illuminati that determines where potters should be placed in the landscape?  They pour over the applicants and wringing their hands say; Oh a potter..... place the potters on the highest bluff, across the gravel parking lot and sandstone chunks (THAT ARE NOT PAVERS!) across a thick grassy field and there will be your booth.  And off we went; past the patchwork fabric pumpkins, toofa mushrooms, soap makers, floral bouquets and baskets, boxes of giant candied apples oozing caramel and nuts sliding off the cellophane in the hot morning sun, sunflowers and bird feeders, the train whistle guy (please don't let me be next to the train whistle guy because I'm gonna need that force field and a set of ear plugs or he's gonna be eating one) By the time we found my booth I had a cinnamon spice headache. 

My plan of a Hell-a-Simple booth took two trips and a trip to Lowe's for two more extension cords and many more 5,000K Led lights.  By the time I was done I felt like I was sitting on Broadway!
Behold the pottery booth....... key the angelic singing!  What a cluster fuck......

Behold, carved porcelain in sea of blue and green...... 

Black and white carved slipware with chartreuse liner.

New work I'm calling decal madness and transfer slip

and lest we forget the woven work and dustables.... 

I'm changing the name of my pottery to SQUIRREL!  Thursday morning, 10 a.m. we opened to sunny skies and a full parking lot.  Let the games begin! 

The judges came around twice and they were fun to talk with although I didn't know any of them.  I was so bored I would have talked to a camel so when they asked questions I was happy to engage.  After they left the booth I grabbed the packet and riffled through wondering whom I had just engaged with..... Kristina Malcolm: artist, silversmith, instructor, writer, lecturer; Arnold Tunstall: Akron Art Museum, worked in various curatorial positions and has served as collections manager, on the board of SPACES and Akron Soul Train and Amy Mothersbaugh Akron Soul Train Creative Conductor and Knight Grant Winner and her badge read: Queen of the Judges!  Who doesn't love a queen?

  Fair go-ers stood in the aisle pointing at work to their friends.  They were intimidated to walk into my booth.  Smiling, I beckoned them in.  They walked away.  The booth was confusing! 
And finally someone bucked up the courage to enter the cluster fuck..... Hi, ummm do you have a colander?  OMG!  No, I most certainly do not have a colander but I do at the gallery.  Yup, the one thing I left on the shelf...... colanders.  Thursday we closed at 5 pm and I had sold 2 mugs for a total of $40.00.  Friday has got to pick up........ 

Friday, up early to walk the dog, feed the dog, sit on the floor with the dog and tell him I would be back soon.  Off to the show Hi Ho Hi Ho.... I passed the bill board of a local church declaring; "BODY PIERCING SAVED YOUR LIFE...... LOVE JESUS.   10 a.m. and the sun was out again, the parking lot was full and the buses were rolling.  The gingerbread was being passed out and the red shirt ladies were happy.  Good Morning.  The golf carts filled with committee ladies were buzzing the grounds, I waved and then they stopped at my booth.  Awarded Best in Show.... shut up!  I got kind of choked up because so far I was a Fine Art Girl in a Pumpkin Spice World.  Grand Prize..... a free booth next year.  And I just want to say how much I love the Mid West.... big ass ribbons, church bill boards and kettle corn!  Who doesn't need a bigger ribbon, I'm hanging that thing right over my wheel when I get home!  The crafter next to me asked me what I won, "a free booth next year".... she whispered in my ear, "Oh the irony".  Took me a minute but yes so far this had been a lot of work for $40 and a free booth and 6 days out of the studio.   Honestly, I was truly grateful for the award! 

Friday sales did pick up, Saturday the front gate ran out of gingerbread and sales slumped.  As we walked to the parking lot the mitten lady said; tomorrow will be family day, they come for the gingerbread.  Oh great the gate ran out so there will be angry people.  The gate set records and it was the 2nd time in 50 years the show had 4 sunny days in a row.  The red shirted ladies were giddy!  Me........ I sold mugs like it was my job.  I sold two slipware pieces and two dustables but both of those had to be shipped, the fun never ends.  I ended up selling very close to $2,000.  Guess what I'm taking next year........ lots more mugs!   I will take a few dustables,  and the booth will have a banging mug display, sprinkled with a few other things like colanders and tiny ring bowls.  Small things people can tuck in a bag........ like a mug with a bird, bunny or bee. 

My neighbors did well; eternity scarves that I just could not figure out for love or money.  But she brought 125 scarves and sold all but 9 for $65 each.  Yeah, do the math.  She pointed out the scarf costs her $18 and the leaf prints were about $2.  A tidy profit and the booth was super simple and she was gone before I had the stuff off my pedestals.  The beach glass lady sold out...... beach glass glued on craft lamps..... or glued on a pendant hung on a chain, who knew?  Also gone before my stuff was off the pedestals.  The floral lady...... sold out and gone before I turned my lights out.  I'm still picking sweet annie out of my nose.  Yup, I got schooled in craft fair 101.   

My award for best story of the show....... 
A young couple walked around the booth the last day of the show.  Finally said; we love your work and were opening a gallery, would you be interested in putting work in our gallery?  My inside voice said; nope.  But not wanting to be rude I asked them what type of gallery they were opening and what they were going to carry.  Well they had been taking glass blowing classes for two years and just started pottery so they want to make it a teaching gallery.  I started doing the math in my head; equipment for pottery and glass blowing, gallery fixtures, just the set for book keeping and tracking sales, deposit on building etc my head was spinning.  They were going to teach all the classes but you just started taking pottery classes.  Oh the young with trust funds and encouraging parents.  As they walked away I said: Hey, whats the name of your gallery??  wait for it ....... Throw'n and Blow'n  and with that I said; wow am I busy, I can't possibly think of putting work in another gallery.  

I honestly don't know what the hell I'm doing anymore....... 

I've been off the blog for a while but buckle up everyone because while I've been away I've been keeping notes and will be updating my adventures weekly until I'm caught up.  
The adventures of Kirby the wonder dog continue next....... 

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Month of Kirby..........

A Month has passed since a beat up, scabby, shaky dog walked through the door.  My oh my, what 30 days can do for the forlorn and downtrodden.  30 days of treats and attention you get your wag back!  

Since last posting, Kirby made it to the beach, gone for three car rides and made it onto his bed.  Although the bed seems to be more of hurdle than the beach or the car!  Clearly, he has never seen furniture before.  Two days ago I sat on the floor and sprinkled a peanut butter treat at each corner of the very expensive orthopedic dog bed, we have been walking around for a month.  He walked around to each corner, ate the treat and asked for more!  No, you need to get on the bed to get the treats!  2 treats placed in the middle of the bed and wow can this dog lean into get treats, his paws never left the floor.  I gave up and told him I'd try again tomorrow.  This guy has scabs on one hind elbow and a healing scab on a front elbow.  I'm pretty sure he spent a lot of time on concrete.  Trust me the bed is better than the floor, you're gonna love it.  

Next morning.  I get on the floor with a bag of treats and tapped on the bed with my hand.  Oh God, he dropped to his belly quivering and I got the flickering squinty eyes like he was waiting to be beat.  Well my heart turned to goo.  Here have a treat, no wait have the whole bag of treats, no wait give me a couple treats.  And while I was dolling out treats I got on the bed and talked pretty to the dog who was gobbling down treats.  Everybody calmed down, took a breath, lots of praise and then he figured out there was a full grown person on the floor playing with him and giving him treats.  In the heat of fun time he jumped on the bed, immediately jumped off the bed and dropped to the floor.  When he jumped on the bed I exploded with delight!  What a good boy!!  Yes, do it again and he did!  And I exploded, clapping and carrying on and if a dog could laugh I think he did. And if the neighbors saw me I'll be in the loony bin.  After all that we went for a long walk. 

We tried again later and with a lot of coaxing, he made it onto the bed.  As I backed away, he got off the bed.  Thats OK, we can try again later...... 

The next morning I went for my run and decided it was time for us to hit the beach.  He's a lab for pete sakes, he has to love the water.  First trick, get him in the truck!  He had not been in the truck since he arrived.  I put his life jacket on because it has a handle and I hoisted him in the truck.  He hooked his front feet under the jump seats and dug in.  I had to put him down and try again.  By the time I got 90 pounds of dog in the backseat of the truck we were both shaking and panting.  Rolled the windows down, started the truck and off we went, both breathing hard.  The beach is about 2 miles away and we made it!  I opened the door, his tail was wagging and the ears were on full alert, all good signs.  I grabbed the handle and hoisted him out.  His feet touched the sand and he froze.  Hmmmm never been in sand Kirby?  Cool, we'll just hang out until you're comfortable........ and we hung out in the parking lot for 15 minutes.  He was velcro-ed to my knees.  We spent 3 hours at the beach.  And just for the record, you can't poop in a life jacket.  He attempted twice and the third time I took the life jacket of and the relief on his face.......well you can only imagine.  Poop time over, life jacket back on.  We made it to the water.  Lake?  Wave Action?  You're kidding right..... 

We spent a good hour wading around and then I walked in a bit deeper, up to my knees.  He kept up brilliantly, it was like wearing another pair of pants!  I finally walked to where his feet no longer touched the bottom.  The life jacket held him up but he flipped over!  He was like a bobber at end of the leash. Then panic set in.  Shit was all I could say.  The last dog loved the life jacket.  While in the deep end I unbuckled him and took it off and he did great!  He knows how to swim but is not happy about swimming.  We waded back to shore and we happy danced.

Life is pretty sweet at the beach.  His third trip to the beach and he was much easier to get in the truck.  On the return trip, I said: well Kirb, lets go home.  We got to the truck and he hopped in; BY HIMSELF!!  Phew!  

We got home and we were both pretty exhausted.  When we walk in the door I always get the peanut butter treats and tell him to sit.  After 3 weeks, we walk in the door and he automatically sits, patiently waiting for a treat. He is eager to please and I'm just easy. 

Your bed awaits........

He was so tired there was no problem getting him on the bed....... 

on alert.....

but soooooo tired........

And it's sooooo cushy........

Every night I make sure he starts off on his bed.  I turn the lights out, say good night and in the morning he's on floor. 

Speaking of on the floor......... 
guess who just couldn't stay away....... 

See this floor dog?  Well it's all mine....... 

Now seriously guys, we gotta talk...... a dog?  You're keeping it?  
I just don't know what to say...... 

So can he do impersonations?
Look, I'm the Sphinx! (more like the Stinks)
You're still keep'n him? 

Hey Rufus, I got this....... 

and I'm not getting anything else done...... no pottery updates this week! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Not So Quick Up Date........

A quick catch up before I lace my shoes up and head out to wrangle the day into some sort of order...... 

The best phrase to sum up this summer: Drag and Drop (thank you Apple).  
Still hot, still humid, still trying get my underwear on in less than 30 minutes.  Seriously why isn't this an Olympic sport?  Anybody can row a canoe or take a dip in the pool but Michael Phelps until you can get a sports bra on in less than 10 minutes in 100% humidity are you really an athlete?  The judges deduct points for dropping to the floor, crying, screaming, excessive sweating, writhing on the bed, giving up and just telling everyone you're wearing a turtleneck; you just have not been in a competition because the sports bra wins.... every time!  Hey Iowa, cut the corn already, we need the corn sweats to stop!  Honestly if one more person from the midwest posts a picture of cornfields with the caption; The corn is just beautiful this year...... I'm sending them my underwear!  I have lost count of how many times I've run to the bathroom, tried to get my underwear up or down and discovered I put on tear away underpants.  Of course I should not get dressed in the dark either because I had wiggled myself into a leg hole instead of the waistband.  Half way through my morning I wondered why my underwear kept riding up to a thong on one butt cheek one........ because it was your waist hole.  I figured this out by the time the temperatures were over 90, another pair of tear aways.....  

The rain has arrived, thankfully!  The river is up, the steelhead will spawn, and the gardens will grow.... like little shop of horrors! Yikes! 

Tuesday I walked from the studio to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and make the mistake of bending over to see whats going.  4 hours later I'm headed to the kitchen with an arm load of cukes, excited I have more pumpkins than I can count and pockets full of peppers and tomatoes.  I always know it's August when I see this on the counter because I have cukes up the kazoo!  
and how cute are baby pumpkins?

Kirby has these same issues.  I have learned soooooo much in a month of Kirby!  Butch was standing in the kitchen yesterday saying he thinks Kirby can really see and is just faking it.  Kirby will sit there and watch him eat a hot dog, begging with those doggy eyes and Butch just melts.  Butch declares;  He can see me eating this hot dog, look at him!  No he smells you eating a hot dog!  I think he's faking it........ and then Kirby walks away, into his water dish.  Yep, totally faking it and you're such a guy! 

This dog!  We walk everyday, in the morning, evening and right before bed.  Everyday he grows more comfortable in this new house and neighborhood.  Everyday I ask a little more of him.  I walked  everyday before Kirby arrived but it has occurred to me how blind I had become.  This big yellow dog with the polka dot tongue has made me slow down, be patient and quietly observe.  He might not have sight but his nose makes up for his eyes!  I am realizing his world is so much bigger than I ever thought it could be.  My expectations were limited, his are not!  This week he made me look at small tiny mushrooms, caterpillars, a pile of downy goose feathers, many piles of random poop and a pink condom.   Yeah we walk in a cemetery and it made me laugh.  I thought, how interesting this is a place where we honor the end of life and yet I wondered how many lives had started in the back of this old cemetery?  It's been here over 150 years ........  I run in the cemetery I find it to be great incentive to keep going!  All this stuff has been there since before Kirby but now I am seeing it. 
He found the skunk in the middle of the night before I did!  Thanks buddy!  Really! 

He is teaching me no matter how many times you run into a wall, you eventually find the door!  
And when you find the door, wag that tail and be so happy! 

Yesterday I asked a lot of him.  I asked him to run with me.  I asked him to trust me enough to run along side, not timidly picking your way down the sidewalk but on the road.  We started with a walk, then a little faster then we dropped into a nice cadence.  He matched my steps and fell in behind me.  Early morning, the day was still cool and we had a gentle breeze.  It was perfect!  We got to the big open field and took him off the leash to explore.  I could hear and see a huge flock of geese that had spent the night in the field.  They seem unflustered when we arrived.  Kirby didn't seem to care either.  Then the wind shifted and he got a snoot full of goose.  The tail went up, the nose hit the air, the ears perked up, and he was on red alert.  The honking did nothing for him but the scent!  Very methodically he worked the field.  The geese never took off but just kept moving and honking.  He never broke into a run because that would be crazy!  But the tail was on full wag!  It was amazing to watch and I loved it, he loved it!  The heat was building and I decided it was time to head for home.   He will not jog with me in the grass but prefers pavement.  He dropped into a nice rhythm.  The last 200 yards we walked to cool down.  He was spent.  He slept the rest of the day. 
He's still getting used to new things.  Bed: $50, Floor free......

 I am excited to be back in the studio these days.  I'm loving all the carving these warm summer days.  And high fire porcelain has won my heart too. 

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
W.B. Yeats

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer.......

Here in Ohio we have entered the 8th month of the year; the month I wish we would just skip.  I love that my Anglo Saxon ancestors called it; Weod Monath or better know as Weed Month.  It's the month when you know summer is over.  The yellow fuzz ball geese bobbing along on the river a few short months ago are eating everything in sight to gain the strength to start the journey south.  Butterflies are very busy; I have not seen one Monarch butterfly this summer.  Many swallowtails and admirals but no Monarchs, pay attention humans and put that bottle of RoundUp down.  The yellow jackets have turned evil and I usually need to duck and cover at least once while walking to the studio.  The cicadas, also known as space invaders, are singing madly this month. Spiders are on the move too.  There are so many spiders in the downstairs bathroom it feels more like an outhouse.  Every morning I scoop them into a cup and return them to the garden.   Too sum it up, stuff is moving. 

In lieu of the early summer drought and now torrential rains. In the heat and humidity the plants are waking up, although things are looking pretty stressed; hell, I look pretty stressed.  I have delayed firing glaze kilns as our night temps are almost 80 with very little breeze and humidity lingers and builds through the night to 90-100% by morning.  Not so great for computerized kilns, even with a fan blowing on the components.   

As for the true dog of August, Kirby. He is doing great!  We are still figuring out these thunderstorms and as they are hitting daily and we are figuring this out as fast as possible!  

Yesterday a storm hit out of nowhere and he decided to hide behind the buckets in the studio.  The pacing and panting started.  


He hates the crate.  It's akin to caging an angry bear. The ace bandage trick worked pretty well except he is a 90 pound guy and even the biggest ace bandage only works for a while before he wiggles out.  I read reviews on the Thundervest and thought that would be a good investment.  I remembered I had the life jacket from our other 90 pound pup, Zeus. Zeus loved his life jacket!  It's practically brand-new, has a handle on the back, and I can tighten it down pretty good to make Kirby feel snug.  Perfect!  I dug it out of the rubbermaid in the shed and let Kirby smell it and see what he thought.  Seemed ok.  


Well I thought he was relaxed...... the next storm hit about three hours later and it was packed with 50 mph winds, power outages, thunder, lightening and full on Ohio summer storm.  

I ran for the life jacket, the way the rain was coming down I thought I should get mine too! 
I strapped him and he stood frozen.  No pacing, lots of panting and stress but not the usual hiding under tiny chairs, knocking over pedestals and vibrating.  
I sat on the floor with him and tried to get him to sit down.  

Holy shit he couldn't sit down because I had velcro-ed his boy junk in the life jacket!  Sorry buddy and ripped the vest off.  He stopped walking on his tip toes and took a breath.  

Made it through that one and got ready for another round of storms coming in.  I gave him 30 milligrams of melatonin (thank you Brenda!!)  It took about 30 minutes to kick in.  The first lightening bolt hit about 20 minutes in.  So I carefully put the life vest on him, avoiding the boy junk and it helped! 

Still hiding but finally found a safe place and laid down, somewhat weathering the storm.

I'm not getting too much done as we figure this out but it's August and it's the dog days and I have spiders to wrangle and glaze calculations to revise...... 

Hurry up September........ 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Future is Clear and Bright........

Oh how a life can change in 10 days since my last post.  Life has been pretty full, in fact there were days I would call it overflowing.  I am learning, Kirby is learning....... yes, I changed his name; either that or buy a zig zag brown shirt, a red baron hat and a friend called Linus.  He responds to Kirby and eats everything off the floor so it seemed to fit.  Just like he fits in this old house, we three call home, and an occasional interloper called, Rufus. 

I am now jumping out of bed at 5:30 a.m. grabbing a leash and waiting for me is this face.  We have our customary 30 second meet and greet, then hit the backyard, tree lawn and navigate up the driveway to the house for breakfast.  Kirby eats while I make coffee.  

Food and treats have taken a couple days to figure out.  The kibble sent home with him was too big.  He had had three teeth extracted from his run in with the Akita and I think the big stuff was just tough to eat.  Luckily they make the same stuff in small bites and I added 1/3 can of something called tender chunks that make me want to blow chunks but it was the ticket, it stayed down and he was happy!  Tail wags all around.  Phew!  Entering the realm of treats, who knew there would be an aisle, yes and aisle of treats........ I stepped away when I read a bag called; Better Than Pig Ears.  Pass on that "treat" and bought 5 others.  I ran home and opened package after package.  4 brands where taken excitedly, rolled around the discerning pallet and spit on the floor; Nope.  The last package which I thought for sure would be a dud; Hollywood Stars, peanut butter treats for dogs, $1.99 for a package (the cheapest treat on the shelf)  4 paws up and a full drool bar of success!  I went back and bought 3 more bags.   

After several days of sleeping, experiencing our first thunderstorm in this summer of drought, hanging out,  just getting to know each other, it hit me I had work to do.  Oh and on that thunderstorm..... he cleared the back room, flipping a table full of potted plants, a couple pedestals with old pots I didn't mind loosing, disconnected the printer when he crawled under the desk; it was nothing short of experiencing a tornado inside your house.  The backfire of a car or a neighborhood kid with firecrackers will send him to the moon.  The back room is now decorated in early American dog.  I went back to the APL and purchased a crate, then off to buy a cushy orthopedic dog bed and more treats.  The ace bandage sits above the crate (works like the thunder vest) and I have a bottle of melatonin at the ready.  Installed the window air conditioner.  Survival gear and if all hope is abandoned, the crate for me!  Noises he likes: motorcycles, vacuums and big trucks....... he obviously has history. 

Ok back to work.  I put the leash on him after three days and walked him out to the studio.  I opened the door, he backed away and dropped to his belly shaking.  OK, not today.  I had asked so much of this dog in three days I was not pushing the studio.  We walked back to the house, I opened the door and for the first time he walked across the threshold without being coaxed and laid on the floor.  It was enough and he knew this was a safe place.  I stroked his head, told him how great he was, he passed out and I went to the studio to work.  We did this for 4 days....... the fourth day, with a lot of coaxing, he put one paw in the studio, then the second paw. I cheered, handed out treats but the back end was just not coming in.  I put a pile of treats of the floor as he gobbled them up I hoisted the back end of this 90 pound tank into the studio.  I took the leash off, he turned around and realized the door had closed.  I waited for the tornado but instead he very carefully paced.  I turned up the radio, thank the heavens above he likes NPR, and set about my studio routine.  He checked out every corner, under every table, he liked the hum of my old Shimpo wheel but never sat down for three hours.  He paced and panted.  I finally thought this was enough and picked up the leash.  When he heard the leash, he danced!  We went for a toot around the yard and back to his safe place and a treat.  Phew...... but he had made it to the studio!  The next day, same routine, however after 30 minutes I looked over my shoulder and saw this: 

I had a bed and blankets on the floor but he decided on dirty concrete..... and how happy am I that I work in porcelain and white stoneware!  Life's little wonders..... or I would have gotten a brown dog :)

He does well with routine, as do I and there has been a cadence to my day again.  

My morning view also includes this guy....... the romance is going very slow but he is coming around. 

Hey, whadda ya do'in?

This is gross...... who eats this stuff? 

We can visit from the safety of your window ....... for now.

Kirby has had his nose swiped once but not been deterred and Rufus really needs a snuggle along with his ears and butt scratched everyday so eventually they will figure it out.  I anticipate once the days grow short and cold and the wood stove is fired up, we will see d├ętente and the cold war will ease. 

I never thought this blind dog would join me on the long walks and hikes I love so much but to my amazement he will.  In 10 days he has made one entire lap around the cemetery, 1 mile.  Wild cheering on my part!  He seems to want to go, his energy level and smell expectations are grand!  We have walked to the corner of the street.  Other dogs freak him out a bit as does the traffic on the road.... me too so we will find quiet places to hike.  Kirby likes to go to the same destinations and each time it is easier for him.  He is not of fan of walking at night and tends to walk to the street lights, so he can see some light.  He bumps into things ..... a lot.  I have learned when he bumps into me I should not jump out of his way but let him because that is how he is building self confidence and getting his bearings.  A short leash is a great tool too.  We both could use a helmet as we wander through life and boy we both have our bumps and bruises from finding out way...... 
Nice to have a buddy to find it together.  He has fit into this old potters life seamlessly.  

Next week we tackle porcelain teapots and car rides ......