Saturday, October 5, 2019


Fall has arrived, finally!  Two days ago the air conditioner was blasting.  Firing kilns and throwing pots on a 92 degree day is my idea of being plunged into the 7th portal of Hell.  How can you look at the Fall sunsets, hear the geese honking goodbye and know you are sweating in your socks? 

So much going on here at Happy Acres it's hard to keep up!  The current theme seems to be about filling shelves. 


And speaking of the 7th portal into Hell, also known as my basement, also known as the vault for all things squirreled away yummy and in a jar.  I was making my morning run to the basement last week to stack jars on shelves.  One of my rituals is emptying the bucket on the dehumidifier.  I jerked the bucket out and trotted over to the sink and noticed a small bit of "dirt" in the sink.  This is where my mind just spaces out, not dealing with what is really in the sink and proceeds as usual.  Dump bucket, put jars on shelves and scramble out of the basement as quickly as possible.  I can't believe I used to crawl down here to do laundry!  Up the rickety stairs, slam the door shut and sprint to the kitchen or studio.  Next day, repeat.... only to find the pile the "dirt" even bigger and stinkier.  Yup, override the few brain cells I have functioning at 5:30 am and say out loud; "Holy Crap"!  Because it is a rather large pile of poo.  What the is living in the 7th portal of hell and pooping in my wash tub?  As it is a substantial pile of poo that I cannot wash down the drain. My brain went into stutter short circuit.  Is it here now, how did get in and wow these jars of goodness are so good I have wild animals tunneling into my basement!  I better call for back up!!

 All jars were secure but in the darkest corner of the retaining wall another pile of poo.  I do the unthinkable......... I turn out all the lights, stand in the pitch black darkness and listen for scurrying or snorting or even snickering; nothing.  Next step, look for light and sure enough the little bastards have excavated the fieldstone foundation in the front corner of the house and I can see just enough daylight for some critter to wriggle his fat little butt into my own personal portal to Hell.  Game on! 
I turn the lights back on and stare at the pile in the wash tub...... what is it?  Who left this?  OMG I have a mug for that!!  I make poop mugs!  They are field tested by the Lane Bryant Lumberjack and Ginger is Fly up in Alaska!  I have one for myself out in the studio, I sprint to the studio and stand with my mug, matching up poo illustrations on my mug, determining it's a freak'n groundhog!  Set the trap in the basement....... ok who sets traps IN THE HOUSE?  Run to the hardware store for mortar to repair the foundation and pray I am sealing the critter out and not in the basement!

It's been a week now and the trap sits empty.  I have moved it to the outside because I have made the furry bastard so mad he is now pooping all over my porch and front walk.  Nothing says; Welcome like steaming piles of poo on the porch! 

Ok enough poo talk ........ in other news I have taken a job.  Who takes a job when they are 65 years old?  Who decides it's a good idea to revamp a ceramic studio at school that has been abandoned for 2 years?  I took a week to think about this while I was trapping varmints in the basement.  Wrote down lists of pros and cons...... the pros won.   I will be working one day a week at a Montessori School with middle and upper school kids.  It's a farm school and on the day I interviewed we walked in the kitchen and the kids were learning to can garden produce.  They had just butchered 50 chickens....... these are my people!!!  Then we walked to the chicken coop, past the milk goats and up to the "ceramic studio".   Thought I was in Nirvana until we reached the "ceramics studio".  I walked around and then looked at the 40 year old kiln.  Sometimes there are just no words or understanding as to why a place hasn't burned down.  The kiln had a cloth cord!!!  When you use it, you had to plug into the wall.  I opened the kiln and looked at the imbedded clay in the elements and elements hanging to the floor of the kiln.  The kiln was also butt up against a wooden wall.  Why hadn't this place gone up like a tinder box is beyond my comprehension.  Told the art dept. head they really did not have ceramics program as they did not have a kiln.  Not taking the job until I could figure out what was there in the piles of "stuff".   On a lovely hot Friday I went in to start poking around, seeing if anything was salvageable.  Low fire clay, purchased through Walmart and about 100 jars of dried up, low fire glaze.  I start on Wednesday......... wish me luck!  or maybe they just need a good gardener?   It would be easier than pulling a ceramic studio together.  I'm hunting for a kiln if anybody has one laying around! 

The craftsmanship at this place is beyond amazing...... kind of like Amish Hogwarts.

So yup things are kind of nuts and all the balls are spinning, the bread dough is over achieving but hey that is just how we roll around here!  

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