Saturday, September 20, 2014

We did it!

What a night…… 
I grabbed the camera and snapped a few images before I got busy catching up with so many friends!! 
Meeting new friends, (finally met Alan Kradlak and he's a neighbor now:), selling pots and spending 6 hours tweaking (not twerking).  There were so many surprises during the night and it was all grand and fun!  We closed at 9 pm, but we lingered, noshed and chatted; finally around 9:30 pm the last price sticker got on the last pot.  Gosh, I had a lot of pots for this opening….. 

Exchanging stories of what we have been up to this year and all I can say ……. it has been a challenging year for so many of us.  One friend summed it up;  2014 has just been weird.  

Couldn't have done this gallery thing without him….. glad he got off the boat and got a beer! 

Around 10 p.m. we turned the lights out, dragged the cooler of leftover beer and water down the two flights of stairs, I now know by heart and felt so good to know …… we made it!  The door is open and I have a place to go every Friday for the next year!  

I don't need to pack down, move tons of stuff, load the trailer and drive 12 hours home.  I turned off the lights, blew out the candles and drove 40 minutes home…… to a cranky cat who was really ticked off that he wasn't in the house sleeping.  

This morning I slept in until 7:30 am, Butch let the chickens out and I am headed to the beach for good walk (ok hobble) and recharge.  This is the first time in ages I feel like I can get back to the rhythm of my life, phew!  It's time to have a meal together, nurture, breath, catch up and renew our creative spirits! 

So many thanks to all who came out, had a drink and supported the local potter!  

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Gallery opens tonight!

Made it to the finish line!  
Although last night around 7 p.m. I wasn't so sure we were going to open.
Not gonna lie it's been a haul this last week. 

But this morning I walked out the back door and saw this….. 

and the feeling of peace and satisfaction came to be….. 

I have done everything I could possibly do to open the doors tonight.  
The pots are in place, and I think it looks pretty good.  
Going in early to mop the floor, put up a few extra lights and price everything. 

If you're in the area of W78th Street Studios  stop by!!  
Tonight is Third Fridays so everybody will be open until at least 9 pm and I bet a little later!  
We will be celebrating in Suite 225, which is down a dark hall on the second floor next to 
Blank Canvas Theater and Mark Kreiger Studios.  

So happy to have arrived in my first gallery space with no rules!  

Oh and they even put a clause in my lease that I can bring my dog to work!! 
Now to find the perfect dog……. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hold off on those kitten heels and hot pants…….

Yesterday morning, up at the crack of dawn, answer a few emails, keep pushing the impending trip to the back of my mind.  And then the bottom falls out of sanity and drops my brain down a dark tube.  Arghh….I am on the bullet crazy train to my own personal insanity.  My experience; good things do not happen in hospitals and I am headed there in a couple hours. Parents in hospitals rocked my world several times, the last two times they didn't come home.   It wasn't the surgery, it was the anesthetic.  Just please wake me up, God I hate not being in control of my very own big self…..
but wait a minute!!  
These last few weeks have been a lot nuts and I quickly started making peace with not waking up.  The big kiln had the bottom element fry on Saturday (why is it always the bottom element?), gallery is far from ready for opening in a few days, my body is ever so broken and quite atrophied after months of no exercise….  and those pesky power tools, my bank account is on empty (per usual), the dishwasher crapped out last week, still battling the flea infestation in Abby's room…. I now own a cat and I don't think I've slept through the night in months.  
Sunday morning I was in the studio by 6:30 am,  hauling out the mitre saw and oh so many tools.  All needed to get that mug rack and table built  for the new gallery.  Pieces and parts had been gathered, let the assembly begin.  Round about 2 p.m a piece of moulding in the mitre saw exploded in my hand.  I have never had this happen …… ever.  When the wood splintered and flew apart it took a nice chunk out of two fingers and a bit of skin.  Found the hydrogen peroxide and bandaids and got back to work.  Was a bit rattled and had second thoughts when I turned that saw on again!  But being on a time line makes one knuckle bust their way through…..  literally! 

The mug rack got built but the base for table still needs tweaking.  Came in the house around 10 p.m. found out the Browns won and took it as an omen things were looking up.  Seriously, if your a Cleveland sports fan you are 99% scar tissue anyway!  

By Monday 6:00 a.m. I read the directions on what I needed before heading out for doom and peril.  
1. Bath or shower in an antiseptic soap like Phisoderm.  Where does one get Phisoderm at 6 in the morning. Dr. Bronners is just going to have to do.  The fact the sheet had to tell you to shower before coming in for surgery was a little shocking!  2. Wear loose clothes…. throw baggy jeans in the washer and a rugby shirt, perfect for game day.  Bring drivers license and insurance card….. be there by 9:45 am.
I was allowed black coffee until 7:45 and I drank it in the shower.  No breakfast either….. ack! 

It's a 40 minute drive and we left exactly to the minute to get there on time…..  Alas I did not figure the 5 minute pull over to dry heave and blow coffee out my nose on Rt 90.  And to all those truckers waving and blowing their horns, did see you my salute?  Because I can still wave my hand in the air while hurling yammies on the side of the road! 

So this what you see when you hit the door…… calming, green tranquility and because I'm still on the bullet train to crazy town I say out loud to Butch….. built on the backs of sick people!  He walked around like he was at Disney World and we know how I feel about that place!  I grabbed him and raced to the 3rd floor as his eyes glazed over and he said:  "Did you see the coffee shop?".  

The Dr. was early, go right in ……. What?!  This guy is always 1-2 hours behind schedule every time I have seen him; today he's early?  They handed Butch a color coded card so he could track me during my adventure.  He never figured it out and he never figured out how use the cappuccino machine in the waiting room, clueless on the perks of medicine.  While he fiddled at the cappuccino machine a nurse whisked back, handed me a plastic bag full of stuff I had no idea what to do with, slapped white plastic bracelet on my arm….. toe tag optional.  I was ordered to put on a paper gown that I could not figure out how to tie to save my life but it had pockets and place for what looked like a vacuum tube, purple socks with paw prints, a lovely white hat I tried to model into a beret.  The nurse came back in and said….. you forgot to take your underwear off.  I said; but it's my knee, not a colonoscopy!  She sat down at the her computer and started firing off questions then she looked up and said;  you don't look so good.  You mean the crazy eyes, pasty color and smell of puke was giving me away.  She jumped up took my blood pressure and started asking more questions.  Yup, first time in a hospital, nope, never had an IV and I was pretty sure I was gonna puke again, she handed me the trash can.  And she laughed…. in a nice way.  I want my underwear I said.  Oh we'll get you something else…… great I can hardly wait.  
She dashed out of the room and seconds later an arm thrust through the door dangling a pair of white mesh undies.  She said; you'll love these!  We call them party panties because we can tear them off!  
Well where were these when I need them…… like the 70's?!   She entered back in the room with plastic bags of tubes and needles.  I stood up and said I changed my mind and was ready to go home.  I bent over with hands on my knees and started breathing funny…….. pure panic.  I'm in a room with no windows, painted blue, everybody is walking around dressed in blue or green, some trailing miles of tubes with them, looking at a very large needle and backed up against a wall doubled over trying to figure out if I'm bolting for the door or leaving stains on the blue wall. And she says haven't you had a baby?  Yup, had two!  I had a 10 minute and 19 minute labor with a midwife,  I was showered and home for lunch.  She just laughed…. again.  They brought Butch back…….. ok now that is funny because he looks worse then I do and says in his very Butch voice;  you're doing the right thing, buck up!  And I laughed so hard because he was soooo lying, I offered him the chair!   
Ok and since I am on a rant here……. Butch, the guy I am married to, the who hides his greasy fast food bags in the outside trash toter, who's car smells like a donut shop, who just eats crap and drinks gallons of black coffee until midnight has blood pressure of 95/68!   He's even put on a few pounds over the years!  Then there is me who drinks smoothies packed with kale, chia seeds, flax seeds, alfalfa tablets and organic fruit.  I bought the big ass Vitamix when my super duper Cusinart blender bit the dust grinding through all this healthy crap.  Yup, drinking a smoothie on a hot summer day wondering what I was crunching on, spit it out and it was the black organic plastic blender shaft.  Awesome…….  
So when I checked in yesterday morning and my blood pressure had zoomed up to 145/60 I really was just a tad crazy!  

Of course they couldn't find my vein, of course they had me toss back a little white pill that would "take the edge off".  Me have an edge?  The pill did nothing.  While they're hunting around for a vein they asked…. what happened to your fingers?  Both arms look like they've been through meat tenderizer due to moving so much stuff over the last week, bruising now turning to a lovely pea green.   They put me in a wheel chair and off we went to O.R.  The doors opened and there was the surgery table with two arm wings…….. shit this looks like the same bed they put the death row inmates on at the time of execution.  Yup, that is the thought running out my mouth…… and I even got on it all by myself.  The "team" all turned around and asked; "Did she have her meds?"  And the nurse says…… She's the healthy one.  And I say out loud….. not for long if I stay in here!  So I remember the mask over my face and lights out.  And being really impressed the operating room lights were LED's and gosh at least they're energy efficient at Cleveland Clinic.

In at 10 am, processed,  took 40 minutes of fix'n and I woke up around 12:30 pm.  had a glass of apple juice, stood up, asked for my underwear and wrestled my jeans over my leg. They took my blood pressure, 115/ 58, asked if I wanted a pair of crutches, nope, walked to the wheel chair and was whisked down to the elevator where I met a lovely woman with a broken arm who had taken a header off her monolo blahnik heels headed to a Nordstorm sale.  Yes, you are in Beachwood! 

Got home, finally ran to the bathroom and looked at my leg.  Holy Mother of gauze!  This was supposed to be a 1/4 -1/2" incision!!  Is this over kill on dressing?  The ace bandage will last a day or two.  I 'm supposed to wear a garbage bag to shower….. there isn't a garbage bag big enough! 
Sept 23 I go back so all this stuff can be removed and I can get back to hiking, fishing and general mayhem.   Butch ran to the drug store for pain meds, I had the coffee made by the time he returned.  I ripped open the bottle read the directions and took two white pills.  The pain had definitely reared it's ugly head.  What did I just take I wondered……. something called hydrocodon -acetaminophen.  Went upstair and hit the bed.  Woke up 6 hours later craving water and broccoli.  

The incredible bulk!  

Thank you one and all for well wishes and a quick mend!!  
Truly, truly loved them! 

The cat slept through the whole thing……. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

gett'n there.......

Moving and packing is in full swing! 
  Thankfully Fall arrived in the last few days!  This morning we were in the 40's and can I just say how happy I am about this change?!  Fall ushers in time for more books on CD, hunkering down, checking the wood pile, blowing the dust off my noodle rod for steelhead season, the soup pot is sitting on the counter after disappearing last May, noticing the color of the trees, checking out my knitting needles and yarn supply, hearing the pipes on the occasional diehard Harley rider zooming past the house, knowing the chickens are having their final days and the pig has already been processed.  Hearing the geese 24/7 and flying so low I think I could reach up and touch their soft, snowy, grey underbellies but when they fly at night in the shadows of the moon some primal switch flips in my soul,  and the switch flipped Friday night.  

So back to packing...... 
 This has seemed never ending and what makes me laugh, every single packing container I own has been filled.  Yesterday I unpacked in the new space and now home re-loading the empty containers.  I have a lot of inventory and clearly have not been out selling many pots this year.   Everything must go out, each pot walked around, surveyed and then some taken away.... or it just looks like a garage sale! 

Today I am home, building more fixtures and hopefully moving them in tonight, under cover of darkness.  Feels like I'm being chased by a pack of rabid monkeys as the count down to tomorrow morning begins.  No munchies after 10 p.m.  clear liquids allowed until 7 a.m.  Thankfully I can gulp a cup of black coffee in the morning.  Got the iPod charged and filled with my favorite tunes and going out dancing in my head :) 
I questioned the universe when all this stuff fell into place and I had no control over any of these dates as 2014 dragged on.  Now as I roll through the hours of the last few days I am convinced the universe knows me better than I will ever know self.  I've had no time to worry about the surgery or even the upcoming soft opening.  There is just the very long to-do list I am trying to check off systematically and let the chips fall where they may as I am doing the very best I can...... that is a really good feeling! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello Blog.......

Oh where to begin...... 
To everyone who has emailed, called, texted and stopped by....... profound thanks!  
I am still alive and getting there.  
Sometimes you just need to go to ground and not talk as stuff rolls through..... and there has been a lot of stuff and it's still roll'n!  I don't think Blogger will give me that many gigabytes!   
Social media was but a distant memory.  Observation:  Do you know how much you can get done without Facebook or blogging?  Wow, it was/is shocking!  

As I embraced my untethered consciousness, Daughter #1 was in West Africa, NPR blasted out the first reports of Ebola and I was glued to CNN, CDC, MSNBC, NPR and my text messages from Benin.  I really loved the text I got as she was making her way to the Benin airport: "Mom, I'm sure you heard about that Ebola case that walked across the border from Nigeria but just to let know it's unconfirmed.  See you soon!"  
She is out of Benin for now, vows to go back in November and is having an amazing run with MAMA CARTS.  Although she is now stateside, Mama Carts is still rolling and pumping out nutritious food to the people in Parakou!  Rock on Ibrahim and crew, you are all amazing! 

Even though D1 is home I cannot stop listening about what is going on in West Africa and how far this virus will travel.  We are a global nation and we are all connected.  This virus has taken thousands in a few very small countries, 70% taken are women ....... reality, they/we are still the caretakers.  One Dr. for every 100,000 people seems like insurmountable odds and as a global inhabitant we need to respond as I don't believe this is going to go away.  I wonder if the virus had gone a little to the right it would have landed in the middle east would there still be so much terror and fighting.  Would Isis be on the move or the Gaza conflict so intense?   As you can see I am listening way too much to NPR!  Back to Harry Potter books on cd......

Word went out, D1 (daughter #1) was headed home to party hearty for 48 hours then fly out to Gunnison, CO.  beginning a teaching position at Western State Colorado U.  D1 is super allergic to cats so I went into de-catting the house!  I'm allergic too and wondered how can someone have this much fun?  Meanwhile D2 moved home with the contents of her apartment and Neil the cat, she found a new job and signed up for college.  How does a 23 year old accumulate so much stuff?  There was stuff in every room in this house.  It was like an invasion of stuff.  But after two months she found another apartment that allowed pets and she was set.  However .......   D1 and D2 started talking long distance and decided to make up for lost sister time over the years, realized they would never have this opportunity again and decided to become "roomies"!   D2 quit her job, drastically downsized again, packed her worldly possessions into her Ford (except the cat) and drove off on a new adventure in a distant land far far away....... the mountains of Colorado.  They're learning an awful lot about each other and having a pretty good time!  I am left with Neil the cat and a flea infestation I will write about later.....  I'm learning an awful lot too..... 

I have not been in the garden since May.  Losing the ability to kneel is the first time my body has ever failed me. (I know how truly lucky I am!)  My descent into the chaos we know as the medical profession has been jarring and folks it ain't pretty.  I have found myself drooling with envy as I watched four legged and one three legged critter swim, play frisbee and frolic.  Yes, even the cat.  Who in the evolutionary chain decided this bipedal thing was the way to go?  Not like I'm running down a gazelle for dinner but sheesh one leg goes out and you could tip over peeing.  
So in lieu of months of knee braces, physical therapy, pain, two bottles of ibuprofen, swelling and I believe a bit of depression;  surgery is scheduled for Monday morning!  Not too worried about the surgery, more worried about the anesthetic.   Joan Rivers........ "can we talk?"  

I have not canned one thing this year.  Although I have made a fair share of refrigerator pickles.  After my knee gave out going down a set steps I had visions of myself laying on the root cellar floor in a pool of pickled beet juice or dilly beans, never to be heard from again but pickled for eternity.  

As the gardens languished in the cold wet Ohio summer, realizing my heirloom tomatoes tasted like sawdust and I will probably need to napalm next Spring to get this place under control......  I walked away and dug into the studio.  There is no crying in the studio....... at least this year!  I have worked through clay bodies and glaze calculations the likes I have not done in 15 years ..... and I like it!  I rock at sitting on my ass, especially at the wheel and I tried my hand at hand building.  I YouTubed and googled myself stupid in the morning with coffee as I really had a hard time thinking outside my comfortable round box.  I was in the studio by 8:30 am each morning and had a great schedule going and hoping I can keep it up.  I like the routine...... a lot! 

So here are some of the new forms I'm fiddling with: 

The feed trough series....... 
although I think it will do nicely with flowers arrangements. 

Still putting bees on stuff...... they're still imperil. 

Oval...... who knew? 

Big mixing bowls and more oval..... 

Fun with chemistry.......

 Big, big Latte' Mugs in yellow! 

More fun with chemistry!

and ring holders for one terrific bride and groom getting married in a few short days! 
Not sure which one they picked but they sure were fun to make!  
Have fun Tara and Jason!! 

Built a spray booth that might just suck the cat outside!  
To all my potter friends....... I hope y'all have spray booth envy...... 1300 cfm's! 

OK and if you got this far,  the really big news...... 

I am opening a new gallery in Cleveland!  This started back in March and I was on a bit of a Merry Go Round with the building owner.  We finally came to a meeting of the minds and I started moving in a couple days ago!  
I will be at W 78th Street Studios  in suite 225 every Friday from 11 am - 4 pm or later as I hate driving in Cleveland rush hour.  Grand opening will be Third Friday 9.19  5 pm - 9 pm! 
Most of the inventory has been moved in, some of the fixtures and other stuff I'm still building.  It's quite a bit of space, well a lot more than a 10 x 10 booth!  

Building a dining table to display functional ware properly :) 

Found a guy who harvests downed trees in Cleveland and love the place!  It's a lot like Mordor, dark, hot and dank but I walked in, smelled the fresh earthy sawdust, waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness and was in heaven.  
Snagged this slab of Ailanthus, after much sanding and sealing it will make 
great wall table!  Not sure I want to put pots on it! 

and this is the new space before I muck it up with pottery..... 

So yup, it's been a summer here in Paine Falls but the leaves are turning, the garden is dying back, the geese have flocked and things are moving along.  
So more moving in the next few days, surgery Monday morning and one big opening on Friday, Sept. 19th!  More to come on that event!