Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ahhhhh....... the day after

The day is gone, the wrappings hiding anticipated surprises, then warmed our toes as it burned brilliant flashy colors in the wood stove.  The big ass ham has been eaten and re-wrapped for a week of leftovers as have the host of sides and dessert.  I can see the floor again, I love my floor, it grounds me......


This morning is the day I love, the day after!  Still, all the mixed feelings of this holiday season swirl through the early morning house.  Can't say it was a grand and wonderful Christmas but it was a nice day.  We sort of went through the movements of what is expected on the grand day.  Ok, I hate it and don't do well with this holiday...... or any holiday in reality.  This house used to be filled with people; laughing, children twirling, setting small fires with candles while coating fingers and clothing in wax, coloring on walls, fighting and just plain bursting with people.  I can't say I loved that chaos either.  Today it is filled with three and a cat, I think we were spinning but certainly not twirling.  A CAT, who would have ever thought there would be CAT in our home?  Neil is a survivor and plucky so I guess it's why he fits just fine.  It's not that any of these Christmas's are good or bad or anything; it just changes and no matter if the house is bursting or just three fill our decorated rooms.  The decorated rooms now seem large.  How did we ever fit 12 to 14 people around this house?  It's the same amount of holiday stuff, amazingly the stuff remains the same.  Over the years we hashed out the holiday;  I cook, bake and clean, Butch decorates and goes to work.  It works.  

This year is was just different.  Maybe is was the lack of days from Thanksgiving to Christmas, maybe it was the year of challenging shows and lackluster sales culminating in a full week of driving and parceling out work to galleries, maybe it was the idiot in the black beamer, maybe it was Ruth (my mother in law) admitted to a nursing home last Friday, maybe it was having my better half usually known as Mr Christmas, trying to sort through mounds of her paper work, missing paper work, meeting with nurses, nursing home staff, doctors, cleaning her house for his sisters arrival, washing loads of her laundry, offers to help being turned away, watching a guy who sacrificed his year of badly needed vacation to take care of his Mom.  For the first time I watched him bend under the weight and the rest of us trying to bolster him but knowing it wasn't helping.  We carried on because it seemed the right thing to do and we suck at this.  In the back of our minds the oil bubbled to the surface as we remembered the Christmas morning he ran out of the house as his Dad severed the gold thread that tethers the spirit to physical boundaries, it was a hard Christmas.  

Christmas morning as I rambled down the stairs I found him standing in the old dining room, hurriedly hanging ornaments and apologizing for not getting the tree decorated or the last box of decorations up.  No worries, we will drink coffee and get the ornaments on the tree before Abby is out of bed!  Merry Christmas honey, we are here, warm and glad to have each other today.  We really don't need a tree!  Well I don't need a tree but he really needs this tree...... I get it, I really do.

Mortality hits you in the face, especially at the holidays when you look around the room and realize how many are gone........ whether passed on or just scattered to the four winds.  

But this morning the house is quiet, the snows gently floats on bitterly cold air, the coffee is hot, and we are back in the snow globe bubble of a quiet winter.  Mr. Christmas is still off his game but seems happy to be off to work this morning.  He put the trash tote on the curb although the trash pick up isn't until Monday.  I'll bring it back when I let the chickens out...... 

Yes, the ornaments got on the tree, the nisua was toasted, more coffee was made, the presents were opened and the dinner was good!  It was a nice day.  By 4:00 p.m. Abby and Mr Christmas ran up to the nursing home for a visit, I stayed back to clean up the kitchen and get the dessert course ready on their return.  They returned, cheese cake consumed, Abby and Neil packed and headed back to Kent with a car load of food and Christmas bounty.  We settled in to watch a movie on a quiet Christmas night.
It hit me, it's over.  Tomorrow life will resume, normally....... phew!  

Abby got just what she wanted, a GPS!  Otherwise known as MAP!   
She got a bird feeder too with a 50# bag of bird food!  She actually asked for a bird feeder, I almost cried at this request :) 

Dinner was perfect; Abby rocked the stuffed portobello mushrooms this year.  Feta and green bean salad, sweet potatoes made with the canned rum pineapple sitting on the basement shelf, ham and homemade rolls.  Best part of this table; taking 20 minutes to walk around the yard and prune greenery and holly bushes.  

We had a nice time and stayed busy texting Rachael with updates. 

  No cookies this year, cheesecake!  

And I got a new Food Saver as mine died the week before Christmas!

What amazes me every Christmas..... we seem to have an inner compass for what we need.  One year, without knowing we got each other cross country skies.  We laughed pretty hard in our amazement.  It's gone like this over the years.  This year our inner compass seemed to realize we needed time together. He has been absent so much of this fall and winter season, we missed him this year, I missed him this year.  Along with the obligatory package to open Christmas morning, each of us had stuffed our stockings with gift certificates to local eateries and a micro brewery.  A night to steal away, grab a meal and let the world fall away.  

Sincerest Holiday wishes to all who wander to Paine Falls........ :) 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear God........

we are in the final stretch of holiday hell.....  I have shopped alone this year and it was good, but alas I have said the "F" word so much I can't even say the word gingerbread without working it in.  

In the car alone, miles of tail lights before me, the windows steamed up. Why?  Because I had on winter attire, shopped in an 85 degree store, stuck in a freezing car and breathing heavily.  Elvis belted out Blue Christmas on the radio and I wanted a cigarette!  I have not smoked in 25 years but there are those times I would smoke 'em if I had 'em.  A guy in a black Beamer, holding a cell phone to his ear with a hand sheathed in black leather driving gloves, jumped the curb and wedged in front of my bumper.......  I wrote the "F" word in the steam and pressed my lips to the glass.  Two stops later, more shopping, the windows had cleared and once again stuck in traffic, the windows again started to fog, the word just magically appeared.  I was sitting next to the Precious Cargo bus.  The busload of cherubic faces with busy fingers writing the "F" word back at me in their steamed windows.  Awesome.....  

OK, get a grip!  I dug in the bag of groceries and found the pink rubber band around the head of fresh broccoli, secured it over my wrist and every time I said the "F" word I snapped it.  By the time I got home I couldn't feel my fingers and my wrist had gone limp.  Maybe I should try my forehead! 
and it's only 8:30 a.m....... 

I was done, completely done, stick a fork in me.  The big ass ham had been scored, the sweet potatoes had been captured, presents lovingly picked out, everything else was in the freezer or garden, time to head for the barn.  The moat would be filled with alligators wearing red bows, the sniper towers would be decorated with holly berry trim, the razor wire was secure and lit in red and grean!  Merry "F'n" Christmas........SNAP!  I snapped so hard the Christmas trees fell off my socks.   

I am safe, I am in the bubble....... I have coffee, I walk around the compound and breath, I cannot leave until holiday crazies are over.  

Thankfully, yesterday was glorious!  The sun came out after three hard days of rain, temperatures soared into the high 50's.  I got my kitchen stuff done and was out the door by noon.

The girls finally emerged from coop!  
Good Morning ladies!

The first sign of garlic planted in the fall!

The rosemary is snug, insulated with leaves.  

It was warm enough to work the compost pile for a bit.

I broke out the shovels and moved the elderberry.  This was a project slated for last fall but it never got done.  It haunted me!  Finishing this one project made me happier than a visit from Santa! 

This is Betina, how do I know it's Betina.  She is bald.  The other girls have pecked her bald.  Betina is broody and loves to sit on the eggs all day while reading the 50 Shades of Beige.  There will be a line to use the nesting box, there are three nesting boxes but they only like on particular box, the one Betina is sitting in.  They will peck at her until she is bleeding and still she sits, undeterred by the bullying. 
I think Batina would smoke cigarettes if she had 'em too.   

This cuckoo maran hen has stopped laying, you can tell by the pink comb, should be bright red and no wattles to speak of, thus no eggs.  I followed this molting hen around singing:  
Chickens roasting on an open fire, 
Bourbon nipping at my nose
Farmers lighting their stoves with a glow.
Will find it hard to wait for pork......  

Batina looked on and laughed! 

Sunday was so nice I dug the last row of potatoes while the chickens gobbled cut worms like they were butter pecan ice cream!  

The sour dough bread is coming along nicely!  

And the ginger beer is really getting good!   I made enough to freeze two pints and this large green bottle kept in the fridge. 
This is pretty simple to make!  1 cup of ginger (I run it through the food processor),  1 grated lime peel and all the juice of the lime,  2 cups of honey, 1 cup of sugar,  4 cups of water.  Bring to a low boil, turn down and simmer for 12 minutes.  Turn off the heat, let stand for an hour, strain through cheese cloth and bottle.  I use 2 tablespoons of the syrup to 12 oz. glass.  Top it off with sparkling water and ice.  Also good with a splash of pineapple juice if you have it.  Also really good with a shot of rum, if you have it! 

Now we can say Merry Christmas!  Well not yet as we are out of bourbon and the liquor store doesn't open until noon!  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wickedly Good!

Wildly good night of entertainment last night.  One of those nights when you find yourself standing on your feet with hundreds of other fans applauding wildly....... and thinking why don't we do this more often?  

The grandeur of this restored theater is such a jewel in the crown of Playhouse Square it is worth the trip to Cleveland more than once.  I wish I had taken my big camera but the little point and shoot hopefully will convey the richness of a wonderful night on the town.  

As you exit the concrete floor and chill of the parking garage, the world changes.  
The street washes away and civilization seeps in.  People hold the door for each other and say hello, kindly.  

This is the entry to the Palace Theater, next door.  
Holding my camera through the gated entrance I found it impossible to capture the double marble staircases resplendent in ruby red and gold carpets and Christmas greenery.

Abby was running a bit late;  time to hit the streets of Playhouse Square.

We had enough time for dinner at the sushi restaurant next door.  Butch found the menu a bit
daunting but eventually settled on a steaming stone bowl of veggies and glass of wine.  Abby arrived just in time for dinner.

Back in time to grab our playbills and find our seats! 
It was a sold out performance.  The sets and costumes were rich beyond wonder.  Reading the book, I had a hard time getting into the story line.  God bless the creative minds of this world, who made the leap from book to script;  they make the world a better place!  Now understanding why this play has had a 10 year run on Broadway, it should have another 10, at least! 

We were entertained for 2 hours and 30 minutes and had a 15 min. intermission, and we rushed back to our seats after intermission.

As we left the theater I was struck by the throngs of people toddling along to their cars or public transportation.  Young children bouncing around and some using the walls or walkers to support their trek to snow covered streets.  Some well heeled, but most were working people who came to the theater for the love of theater and performance.   A young black man with downs syndrome sat two rows in front of us.  As the curtain rose, he fist pumped the air and he knew the words to the first act.  He jabbed the air with each crescendo.  His Mother and Father sat on each side, she moved her hand over his arm and he became silently focused on the actors and storyline.  
At the end of the play he bolted to his feet and waved his baseball cap wildly in the air..... we followed his lead, all of us jumping to our feet, applauding and cheering.  It was a magical night we don't often treat ourselves to........ thank you Abby, love Mom

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


After almost killing myself trying to walk across frozen parking lots with full totes of pottery, I bought a pair of Yaktrax at Dick's.  Walked in the house, plopped the box on the counter and ran out the door to see "THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG", more on that later...... 

This morning on my way to the chickens at dark thirty, I slipped off the patio, landing in a snowbank in my jammies!  The chickens were not even off the roost yet so I cursed my way back to the house.  BC (before coffee), I pulled the Yaktrax out of the box and thought, well don't these look like kiln elements!  Slapped them on my boots and ran out the door, oh yeah I was in my antique blown out yoga pants and long sleeved rugby shirt.  Fashionista in the 'hood!


No worries, Butch was snow blowing again, he lives to run that beast of a machine and by the way, I do not consider it garden art!  It will be on the patio until the Easter Bunny visits. 


Dodging the flying snow I ran around the driveway, patio and yard.  These things are great!  Kind of springy but do grip on the ice.  Figure the $19.99 was cheaper than a cracked tail bone or worse.  Plus the entertainment value of looking at my Sasquatch snow prints will keep me walking for miles this winter!  

Each and every night the deer have been using the bird feeder like a pinata'.  On my way to the chickens I noticed the perch laying in the snow.  Had an old dowel in the studio I popped it in but it was to small for the opening.  I stuck a clothes pin on both end to keep it in place and walked in to get coffee.  Topped off my coffee and settled in to watch the blue jays dine at the bird buffet.  They looked like they were in a log rolling contest, never getting breakfast.  Bought the right size dowel and left the extended dowel hanging off to the side for the deer and extra junco lineup.  

The bluejay is not impressed...... 

The sharp shinned hawk has found the feeder too; slate blue feathers on the new white snow tells me there was junco munching going on yesterday.  

He finally stopped decorating and snow blowing long enough to work from the kitchen table.  He has a real job....... who knew?!


It has begun.  Sunday I locked myself in the bathroom with my iPad, as the giant Christmas Wreath appeared out of the shed.  For two days he has tried to find the burned out singular twinkle light that shorts out the whole wreath.  I have watched him grip the flashlight between his teeth poking through fake foliage looking for the culprit bulb.  I'm all for putting it on the curb.
Then he went to the store for milk and came back with a giant box of, "Three Spiral LED Trees".  I read, made in China, no directions, good luck.  Then I saw the ladder walk down the driveway.  While hiding in the bathroom he rattled the giant sleigh bells under the door.  GO AWAY!   He yelled back;  Not until you say;  I BELIEVE!  I flushed, ran water and yelled, GO AWAY!  I read gardening blogs and texted the kids I was being tormented by the bald elf!   There are bells on every door knob in this house, including the bathroom!  

And so it begins........ 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hunkered Down.......

There is a reason we spell OhiO like we do.  It's the weather, a real roller coaster and you better have your seat belt on.  It started snowing mid week, took a break and then started up yesterday morning.  Bitterly cold, walked out last night to put Betina and Chick-ets to bed and it was kind of nice, 30's.  
This morning the wind has picked up and we are in for another arctic clipper.  
Another 4-7" by tomorrow morning..... bring it!

 On my way out the door this morning.  

so quiet..... 

sleeping in.... again! 

Morning girls!  Get Up!  Pretty bad when the flock mistress has 
to kick the chickens off the roost! 

Still not coming out..... I spread straw.  They hate snow and cold feet.
They have all but stopped laying, 3 eggs a week is not laying.  
Time to hang that frying pan over the door! 

On my way back to the house Ralphie, the neighborhood cat was busy hunting around the raku kilns.
I love sneaking up on Ralphie, I yell his name and he just freaks out!  Ralphie, I am all powerful, queen of my domain and know your name, carry on Ralphie! 

 and I wonder if Ralphie is hunting deer that visit the chickens every night.

 Stop by the studio and yup, still have a gazillion pots looking for homes. 
Dropped off a gazillion to Val over at Gestures Gallery in Rocky River last week.  
And can I just say visiting my old gallery owners is just the best.  I miss them and hope to see 
them more often this year.  Tuesday, I will be headed over to see Liz at Gingko Gallery in Oberlin. And see that kayak hanging from the ceiling?  If the rivers were not 
frozen I'd be headed out for a paddle this morning!  
2014 I see big changes of sanity! 

The pond is still running and there isn't anything much better then hearing the pond 
in the still of winter snow.

And yesterday we crapped out and bought EZ Bricks for the wood stove.  
It runs $200 a ton and took two trips to our wood guy.  This is our winter experiment.  A cord of wood is twice that price and the wood from our maple is still green.  In the snow storm we just could not head down the road an hour away to get a load of cheap wood from our guy in Middlefield.  These EZ Bricks are compressed bio wood (no additives)  I called the owner of the company and asked him why I should buy these?  1. Easier to handle and store.  2. no seasoning or splitting (blasphemy!)  3. Stores cleaner, no fungus or bugs (ok interested as I just watched a carpenter ant walk across the floor from the seasoned firewood sitting by the wood stove!)  4. Burns hotter and longer due to lower moisture content and higher density.  5. Cleaner burn, less ash, less creosote, less smoke.  All proving to be true. 
Three bricks are heating the back room and then some and there is very little ash but I use ash in my glazes and garden, not to mention the bio char!  We will see how long this ton lasts.  The biggest draw back that pissed me off beyond words..... the amount of plastic this stuff came wrapped in!  The pallet was wrapped in SIX layer of plastic, then covered in black plastic and every three bricks wrapped in plastic!!!!  I am so anti-plastic I almost had a stroke when we picked these up and I will probably go back to splitting wood just over this one factor.

I have been making my own ginger beer this winter.  I have had some hits and some eye tearing misses. On a Trader Joe's run I picked this stuff up, as pineapple was listed in the ingredients.  It's delicious and now onto more fun in the kitchen with ginger beer! 

Current read I am just loving! 

And remember my post on "Sole Food"?  Well turns out one of the old ladies is a smart ass.
We had a get together down at the abandoned club house on Friday but alas I fell asleep in the chair watching "Tangled".  Butch went down for a beer and neighborhood meet up.  He brought this home, saying Joane sent this down for your Christmas holiday season.  Chicken Poop lip balm!  Being a smart ass myself I think this is hysterical!  Now it's my turn to take down a bag of chicken feed!

Homemade Cracker Jack, but I'm gonna label it chicken feed and slap a bow on it :) 
I have to get it out of the house because I am going to eat the whole bowl!
Haven't made it in years and probably won't make it for another few years.  
Anybody remember Screaming Yellow Zonkers?  So good! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lights Out........

Winter in the Falls......

Just plopped the butter in the old Kitchen Aid and WHAM!  Pitch Black with howling winds.  Standing there paralyzed, waiting for my eyes to adjust, my first impulse is to curse our power company..... again!  My mind raced through the possibilities of why this has happened and estimate how long we might be in the dark. 

1. Winds took down lines..... an hour.
2.  Somebody took out a pole on Rt. 20 again.... 2-5 hours.
3. One of the hamsters keeled over at the power plant.... infinity.
4. The power plant guy dropped his sandwich in the turbine...... minutes to flip switch. 

Grumbled a bit and then a bright shining light filled the room!  I live for this stuff!!  With the wind banging on the windows and wind chills blasting us into the single digits, break out the generators and canned goods.  
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I am READY!
We have wood and a gas stove and candles!  After spending the day in the studio unpacking I hadn't had time to start the wood stove.  Donning; hat, gloves and parka I dashed out the back door for kindling.  Wicked wind so no problem finding sticks under the Norway maple as it creaked and cracked overhead in protest.  Blasted back in the door, crumpled paper, stacked kindling, and fired up Bertha with one match!  Hestia, Greek goddess of hearth and home,  eat your heart out!  I am so getting a tiara! 

Fire started, I rummaged through my fishing vest and dug out my LED head lamp.  The batteries were still good.  I lit candles and secured the woodpile.  Started the kerosene heater in the studio.  Maybe popcorn on the wood stove or should I eat canned peaches or pickled beets, look at all this stuff in the basement, OMG, little tins of sardines.... I had lost my mind.  Finished the popping the corn on the wood stove and settled in with my head lamp to look at seed catalogs. 

Butch rolled in around 10:30 pm.  Hey, What are you doing?  
I made fire and I am feeding myself with food I made and isn't this awesome?  
He called the power company.  Yup, a guy on Rt. 20 took a pole out.   He sat down with a glass of bourbon and said;  "It's really quiet in here, kind of nice. And did I mention it's really hot?  How much wood did you put on that fire?"  
He walked around the house with his railroad lamp, sipping bourbon and singing his rendition of Porky Pig's Blue Christmas.
I went to bed under a four blankets and ear muffs....... he sucked the fun out of a good power outage.  I was just about to make grilled cheese on the firebricks.....   

This morning the power is back on, nuts! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ignoring the "knowing"

I am back at the compound and pretty darn happy to be here, in fact giddy!  
As posted earlier, the prep for this show was agonizing.  Self inflicted but nonetheless agonizing and tortuous!  This is a signal from my "knowing" self to stand down and stay home!  
I think I hit my lowest when I was eating hot buttered popcorn and packing shiny glazed pots in tissue paper.  As I unpacked at the show and peeled the butter stained tissue paper off glassy fingerprinted pots I realized I wasn't listening anymore and was in craft fair coma. 

Packed up Thursday morning in 65 degree weather, it was beyond awesome!  I was dragging my feet to the bank, dragging my feet to the gas station, dragging my feet to do my laundry, dragging my feet as I put the chickens in solitary lock up.  My dragging butt left skid marks all over town, indeed my very own crap circles. 
 North of Columbus I exited the road and booked a room in a hotel I had never heard of.  Picking up a travel pamphlet in the rest area I tore out the coupon for $49 a night.  I exited the road at the designated place and found the hotel with no problem.  They honored the coupon, I drove to the show never seeing the room as they were still cleaning.  
Arriving at 3 p.m. and backing the trailer into the horse paddock arena I began to unload in foot deep sawdust and horse poop, I love this place and I know poop when I see it!  
The tenth trip back and forth with the trolly it always hits me just how much inventory I take to these shows.  Still shell shocked from previous shows this year I have no idea what people are buying anymore.  I took high end pots and $28 mugs.  

By 7:00 pm we were starved, tired and drove off to find food.  The only thing we could find was a Taco Bell.  A young man took our order and passed two big gulp cups over the counter.  We didn't order drinks...... Oh Senior Citizens drink free!  I went over the counter after him.... WE ARE NOT SENIOR CITIZENS, WE ARE TIRED!  I must have looked crazed as he apologized and said no problem, just take the drinks!  Fine, I choked down my ice tea and bean burrito.
By 10 pm the booth was up, pots were in place and I was toast. 

Butch followed me to the hotel, kissed me goodbye in the freezing rain and headed for home, 3 hours up the road.  He had to take his Mom to a Dr.'s appt. in the morning.  I was face down before he was out of Columbus.  

4:20 a.m. I woke up and thought, what idiot is sawing wood in the parking lot?  I bolted to the window to yell something obscene and realized it was a construction worker scraping ice off his windshield!  
That freezing rain had coated a few things, I went back to bed.  The rest of the morning a host of construction works scraped their trucks out, gunned engines and yelled at each other.  By 6:45 a.m. I was up and showering.  The doors at the show opened at 7:30 am and I needed coffee and food.  One foot out the door of my second floor outside suite I left the biggest butt skid down two flights of icy steps.  Slipped out to the truck, finding it encased in ice.  Back up the two flights of death steps, getting hot water in an ice bucket from the shower and butt skid back out to the truck.  Poured over door locks and got my key in the lock before it froze again.  Success!  But the whole door was frozen to the frame.  Back up the steps of death and one more bucket of HOT water.  Second trip worked. 
Ran into the Piggley Wiggly super store next to my hotel for an apple, coffee, craisins and peppermint candy.  One and only one check out point was open!  Sliding in front of me, an old man with a shopping cart full of groceries and COUNT THEM, 5 poinsettias!  Gold chain bracelet, golf tan, Nike shoes, gold chain link necklace, and his dyed "Touch of Gray, Just for Men" hair and says;  Honey,  you gotta be quicker.  Are you the father of a certain Taco Bell Boy?  I backed out and ran to customer service.  Can you check me out Hilda?  Well ma'am, I sure can!  Great!  I tossed my booty on the counter and Hilda says, Oh darn, you've got yourself some apples and bulk peppermint candies and I don't have a scale.  Well, Hilda are you telling me I have to get back in line behind that old man with the poinsettia forest and mountain of hair dye?  Hilda, what happened to customer service?  Have a nice day and you can put my stuff away.  
I flew out the door and off to the show.  No coffee, no food, rush hour traffic and now late in a frozen truck.  Arghhhhh!   

Made it before the show opened.  Ticketed my pots and waited for the crowds.  Someone in the next booth leaned over and said school had been cancelled for the day.  No worries I thought.  I watched the crowd.  There were people in Rascals (motorized wheelchairs) racing down the aisles.  There were a lot of people in handicap chairs.  I have no problem with people in silver wheels or the elderly and I like everybody, in fact if I were a dog I would be a beagle or yellow lab!  But I thought hmmmmm.... this is a different crowd than I had seen in previous art shows I have participated in.  Ok I confess I gasped once when an older woman in Rascal turbo racer came flying in my booth and slammed on the brakes.  She asked what are these?  I mean, what do ya do with these?  I laughed out loud and said Whoa there little lady!  She threw her Rascal in reverse and ran into the hat lady, speeding off to another booth, probably the glass guy.  I wanted to yell, go to the scarf guy or the pillow lady!  

The weather grew worse and by 3:00 pm the place looked pretty empty.  
Just another 5 hours to go!  Thankfully Mary and Theresa stopped by to say Hi!  
They drove down from Cleveland and were oblivious to the impending doom predicted by the weather station.  The apocalypse was here!  Yup, nothing screams get to an art show like a frenzied weather guy telling you the electric lines would soon be dangling in the streets.  OH and fill your bathtubs as water pipes were sure to be bursting........ nothing happened, except empty aisles.   

 Finally 8 pm arrived and the show closed. 
Out to the parking lot........ Yikes!  
Dug out and hoped the parking lot would clear while I scraped.

Nope!  Two exits open and over 400 artists wanted out.  

The next morning was Saturday and we were off to the races until 3 p.m.   The floor was abuzz with OSU predictions and people were just titillated with anticipation of the GAME.  Kick off, 8:15 pm. 
Oh yeah, look at that pottery,  do you have a spoon rest?  Um no.  The potter at the end of my aisle has them.  And her friend whispers..... but those are $24, the guy in aisle 1000 has them for $16 and off they went looking for the $16 spoon holders.  By 4 p.m the aisles were empty. 

 I was gambling my livelihood on a college football game.   8 pm the show closed and I was back in the Piggly Wiggly looking for dinner.  Day old sushi, a bag of chips and leftover craisins.  Dream big! 

Sunday we opened at noon.  Someone had delivered notices of booth owners retiring or going out of business with all inventory 50 -70% off.  One guy was selling his Sprinter for $10,000.  I sold my pro-panels to the jewelers across the way from me.  We were moderately busy, I had three women in my booth!  Two were bemoaning the loss of the OSU game.  It reminded me of a wake.  I couldn't help myself, I had to say something...... Oh are you speaking of Nelson Mandela?  They left the booth.  The lady looking at pots on the other side, looked up and said,  Good One!  We high fived, she bought a mug and said, these people need to get a grip!  
5 pm the show closed......... Butch arrived to help pack!  

He asked why it took so long to pack up?  Because I was coming home with as many pots as I brought!
We drove home in freezing rain, found a Starbuck's in the dark, backed the trailer in the driveway around midnight.  I kissed the ground, my lips froze to the asphalt, grabbing the flashlight I went out to gather the frozen eggs.  I was home!  This morning the coffee never tasted so good or the wood stove so warm.  The trailer goes on the market in the Spring.  I'm not saying I will never do another show but I will do it differently.  The 6 hour set ups are done!  I hate sleeping in hotels, I hate eating alone, I think the alone thing is the biggest thing I hate.  On the river, in the garden, alone is great! 

All weekend there were rumors about booths.  The show had added more artists, the show couldn't find enough artists.  Whatever the truth might be there was stuff that should have not been in a juried fine craft show.  There should not have been artists doing tie dying demonstrations next to artists trying to make a living selling work.  There should not have been artists in a dark back row of over 400 booths.  The show should not go to 8 pm at night.  The hours are grueling, especially if you work alone.  The show promoters were all wonderful but said the numbers through the door were fantastic.  At $7 a head I'm sure they did OK.  They did acknowledge Friday was slow but in fact they made it up on Saturday.  My sales were double last year.  This year, I made expenses and not a penny more, I am grateful, many did not.  

Looking back over the last weekend there were a few high spots.  Craftsmen are just the best people around!  It doesn't matter if you're a new kid on the block or an old timer.  I watched two old timers in wheel chairs set up a booth, their work was fantastic and they were great to talk with.  No crowds, no problem!  We talk, we horse trade, we laugh a lot, we really like each other!  Well except one jeweler who kept asking me if I was burning incense.  Oh smell me!   We have a grand old time!  We laugh a lot, we drink quite a bit and most of us have a deep respect for each other.  I had great neighbors!  Whiskey Joe's, Ivy Rose, Pam, The Hat lady, Pat, Rick Paladin (hats off, you make great pots and tools!) Mark Nafzinger (thank you!), Gail Russell (move your bees!) all ......... just the best.