Friday, November 19, 2021

I think I'm on spin dry.........

   This year has flown by, just like those long departed bluebird fledglings.  
It's time to blow the cobwebs off my keyboard, dig through the pile on my desk and plug into the world of blogging again.  It's dark-thirty, the snow is piling up, the coffee is hot and morning news sucks, hello bloggers. 

 I have spent more time in the studio than the garden this year.  Left the compound a few times but not many.

The view is great and nobody talks back around here.

It was a hot, humid, dry summer.  The mosquitos were out for blood, not even a fan kept them away.  I noticed the dragonflies disappeared mid July.  I didn't think too much about it until I read an article:
Dragonflies can't find each other, cannot mate, the mosquitos have a party and I need a transfusion.   
And so went July, August and most of September.  
The great thing about gardening, you can walk away for periods of time and plants still grow.  If you mulched well in the Spring and your soil has loads of compost to retain moisture, it will carry on without a meddling gardener.  So the back garden turned into the little shop of horrors and carried on.  It still made an abundance of food too, gardens are amazing.  

The chickens didn't seem to mind.  Our evening free range was a bit uncomfortable for one us though.

I tried to stay on the compound and MYOB, I really did.  Working in the studio I noticed flowers moving around sporadically with little wind.  Then a hummingbird disappeared as an orange clawed paw slapped the tiny hummingbird out of paradise.  I ran out with the squirt gun and sprayed the offending cat and stared at a pile of feathers and one tiny leg.  God nature sucks sometimes.  The cat is doing what cats do and the hummingbird is doing what hummingbirds do but seriously; come on nature.  I pondered this the rest of the day in the studio.  What are my options with the offending killer cat?  Cats are pretty smart and I did mange to keep them out of the back garden with an electric fence that also worked for deer.  So I dug out my old electric fence thingy.  Strung up 20' of electric fence, close to the ground and flicked the on switch.   

It did not take long and the bird slayer got a tiny little electric kiss.  And there happened to be three more bird slayers!  A grey one and a black and white cat.  Argh!  Honestly this is a huge problem. 
Cats decimate bird populations  (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) 
There was no screaming or dramatics, the cats just jumped back and walked away, never to return. 

Ok before anyone calls PETA let me explain my choice of cat deterrent.  Guns are not allowed to be discharged in the city limits although you are allowed to open carry, poison is just to horrible for words and besides I have zapped myself on this fence more times than I care to admit and it's like being snapped with a rubberband shooting out blue sparks. I swear and walk away.  If a cat could swear I am sure it would.  IMHO, it was the lesser of all evils.  And it took one encounter and the offenders were gone.  Hummingbirds carried on, bees were happy and I was very happy watching nature from my studio window.  

Until a certified letter showed up in my mailbox a week later.......  I had been turned into the city for an electric fence violation by my neighbor!  The inspector would be out in two weeks to see if I had removed the offending fence or face a stiff financial penalty.  
OK I had to calm myself down before I called the city inspector to explain what was going on and HEY!  Why couldn't the neighbor just walk over and say; whats with the electric fence?  Inspector said he runs his lawn mower over there and was worried about getting electrocuted........ only on a good day sir! 

So I unplugged it the day before the inspector arrived but left it up as a reminder to the cats.  

AND THEN ....... he was out mowing his grass and screamed; YOU'RE A CHICKEN LOVER AND THEY BETTER NOT COME IN MY YARD.  Ok so my neighbor is a pycho and I tried to play nice but a "chicken lover".  Gloves off asshole!  I now understand the Rand Paul incident; Rand Paul attacked by neighbor
So every night for an hour I battled the mosquitos while the chickens free ranged and I wrangled them; mosquito netting and squirt bottle.

I have dropped down a very dark hole of moats filled with alligators, a border of bamboo fill with poison ivy, sniper towers, invasive species..... I have all winter to contemplate my next fence move; probably hot pink with motion sensor flood lights pointed at his bedroom and maybe a siren or two.  High enough to block the sun.  Or maybe I will collect all the old artificial Christmas trees people toss after the holidays and use those for a fence, string them with lights you can see from space.  Or sit in my lawn chair with a gun strapped to my hip facing his house........ because that is also legal, I just can't fire it.  Anybody think we have hit a level insanity yet?  
We had the property surveyed and little pink flags went up.  Now we know where the property line really is and I now know that razor wire is also illegal.  But hey let the games begin. 

Ok I need to go pack for a show tonight and get some glazing done.  
Happy Fall everybody
Sebastian, a very well behaved cat, adopted and living his best life in an apartment with Abby in the mountains of Colorado. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Post Covid, Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

 Thank you David Bowie........... 

I continued to say;  "What Covid? I'm fine, you're fine, we are all just fine."  Especially once the governor said:  MASKS OFF, GO!!!!  The starter pistols fired around the country and we were off again.  I had my first ever studio sale.  

And that is when I knew something had shifted. 

On a very hot Friday night, a grand crowd showed up, some early, some lingered, some stayed until the fireflies blinked.  I crawled into bed a bit overwhelmed at the community support and felt like maybe we were back.  I had cleaned, priced, mopped, gardened and even gave Kirby a spa day.  The chickens got a clean coop and I was pretty pooped.  Best feature in the studio?  The $5 shelf.  All those pots not quite good enough to go to galleries but maybe too good to smash.  They had been stacked and stored in a dark corner and I was ready to release to them to the wild.  On Saturday afternoon there was one lonely red pot sitting there, promptly hammered and released to the landfill.  My studio is clean, crazy clean and I had money in my bank account for the first time since March 2020.  Sunday I talked to no one, stayed off social media, I was in full blown shut down.  It had been over year since I had done a show, dropped pots off to a gallery, taught at the Montessori school.  I had talked to the dog and had a drink with the chickens in the evenings........ a lot!  The rest of my family continued to work and were considered essential, I was not.  

I have paid my first booth fee in over a year and a half.  I made my first "art pots" since I closed my gallery at 78th St. Studios, 3 years ago.  I had put up a website where work could be purchased, I taught myself DOS and I gardened, baked and canned like a mad woman.  I also made mugs lots of mugs.  Thank God for mugs as they kept me floating.  I AM FINE, YOU'RE FINE, WE ARE ALL JUST FINE!"

and then today happened and something wonderful occurred.......... 

I had been invited to be one of 4 women artists to participate in a regional show; kind of a big deal.  Cool! 

We had our first meeting today.  It went well.  And then I came home and looked at everyone's website and started singing; One of these things doesn't belong here, lalala........  I am in a crowd of educated women who make genius work and continued to make genius work all through the pandemic.  I made survival work.  Academia has supported them (well), what had supported me?  At my studio sale, lanterns and wind chimes and mugs OH MY.  I did not sell one "art piece" but then it was studio sale.  I had actually reverted to very functional work that even shocked me!  Little cats staring at birds on wire.  OK they made me laugh, I needed to laugh! 

I am a potter, just a potter.  I listened to artist statements and got an email about a beautiful catalog.  I love making pots, end of story.  It is not complicated it was something I decided to do so I could stay home with my kids.  My Mom had worked and we got dumped at various relatives for all of my informative years and just decided that was a crazy way to raise to kids.  My kids were craft fair kids on the weekends but we did it together, my little indentured servants.   

I always start my studio day making mugs, it's a great way to ease into my work day, I don't need to think.  After 35 years your hands just know where to go, the elbows tuck in, you relax, rhythmically breathing and before you know it 30 mugs appear.  And while those mugs are appearing you are thinking about the next thing to make.  I just love it.  I don't write papers or present lectures, I write a smart ass blog. 
The cavern is deep from my studio to the academic world.  I am the great Karl Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon on a shoestring for this show.  I think five years ago I would have jumped at this opportunity but not now.  
Covid has changed me.  Clay used to excite me on so many levels but today I have bluebirds nesting in the garden, my excitement is palpable.  

Sitting with the chickens in the evening I notice the male bluebird also sits on the eggs while the female runs out for a bite to eat.  As the sun sets she flies back and hunkers down for the night,  He stands watch, on top of the nesting box.  He flies back and forth, checking until almost dark, the devotion is surprising.  

And how about seeds..... and seeds I collected and grow stuff from those saved seeds…..WHOA!   
That just takes my breath away!  If there is such a thing as a miracle, it is seeds and the ability to grow food in a very small patch of dirt.  And the universe of life in that little patch of dirt takes my breath away.  

My vision is different after Covid.  My needs are different after Covid.  My time to be in the "art world" has past and if the best I can do is make a mug someone drinks their coffee from first thing in the morning it just floats my boat.  I am no longer seeking anything, I am here and it's a pretty good place to "BE". 

Three is better number for show anyway.  :) 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Fools Day ...... not laughing


Garden Composition:  
Snow on Rhubarb

Two days ago it was 71 degrees, shirt sleeve weather and it was wonderful!  This morning before the sun was up,  I slipped on my boots for Kirby's constitutional, the wind and snow hit us both in the face.  Argh!  There were no chirps coming from the coop and the girls were sleeping in.  

 Spring garden season in zone 5 is a healthy balance between indoor sports and outdoor sports.   On the days the sun is out and the temperatures warm, it's impossible to stay inside. 

I went over last years log on the garden season and this year I am feeling woefully behind but wait!  Maybe not.  Although all my pruning and transplanting was done by April 1st last year we had had a very warm winter and the ground never really froze.  This entire place got a side-out rotate!  This year I don't need to move very much, except a large looming compost pile.  

Today with the wind chill in the teens, the oven clicks along warming the kitchen with this weeks loaves of bread and I think I have time for a quick update on life in Paine Falls. 

(it's been two years since I have bought a loaf of bread and that makes me happy :) 

The seeds have been started!  In the studio..... again, with my booth lights....... again!  I never thought we would still be under covid.  Shows are still cancelling but some are still forging ahead, it's still a crap shoot on the show circuit.  And although my entire family is now vaccinated I feel like we are still walking on eggshells. 

The studio is as clean and ambient light is lovely on a cold day.

Tomatoes, peppers (sweet & hot), basil, winter and summer squash, zinnias, cynus, purple sprouting broccoli, eggplant, leeks.  Last year I started everything inside!  This year I am not starting every growing thing inside!  Lettuce and peas will be planted outside on Saturday.  Last year after planting starts next to direct sown seed there was very little difference.  Save the space on the heating mat and use it for flowers and a few hot veggies and fruits.  Saturday will be big a day for planting kale, lettuce, peas, beets and carrots in the way back garden. 

All the back beds have been cleaned and amended. 
I added a bit of organic humus and cow manure this year.  One bag per bed.  

Onions and shallots are in their own bed this year.  I doubled my onions this year and the shallots too. 
If I can find shallots I would love to add another row.  Strawberries transplanted and trimmed up.  After 3 years I am happy to report that most of the cement blocks now have strawberry plants. 

Always thinking I harvested all the potatoes and carrots last Fall, every Spring I am surprised when I pull the bitter cress out and I find buried treasures.  The carrots are sugar sweet and the potatoes were delicious with the last of the garlic; snipped off a now empty braid hanging on the cellar door.   This is the time known as the Hungry Gap.  I am happy I don't need to eat the bitter cress but it is good in a salad mixed with store bought greens. 

Raspberries pruned and leaf litter scattered among the roots. 

The garlic is up, but it's a bit spotty.  I am waiting to apply mulch until more of the tops are showing. 

Trying to keep up my walking but this time of the year as soon as my shoes are laced my mind starts running down all the  outside chores that need to be done.  I walk a bit faster and cut my walk a bit shorter so I can get the pruners out and get to work!  This time of the year the buddleia, cotinus and hydrangeas all need a good whack.  Deadwood needs to be cut out of the gooseberries, blueberries and honeyberries.  The honeyberries are already blooming but after the nest 24 hour below freezing temperatures I wonder how they will fare. 

Last years peach tree that struggled with fire blight first, then pruned hard and comfrey planted around the base rallied.  On my walkabout this week I noticed it has now developed a canker on the trunk so I am afraid the peach tree will be gone.  I do need another for a pollinator but maybe somewhere else.  The back corner is where all plants go to die, no idea what goes on back there!  Looks like it will be a raspberry corner.  

I am ready for ground hog season!  All outdoor building are now trenched and fenced!  What a job and happy this one is done!  Had to wait until the wood racks were empty..... it's been that kind of a winter. 
and a bit of painting is in order!  

In other news......... this year of Covid has been an adjustment.  I have lost neighbors and gained new ones.  Found a new neighbor who lives around the corner that worked on an estate I had once haunted.  She is an avid gardener.  We decided to post on a local neighborhood site that we would love to get together with other gardeners.  We were stunned when 62 people said they would like to participate! 
We have had one meeting outside and the other meeting is tonight.  After years of working alone I am excited to share gardens, goals, triumphs, challenges and complete disasters with other gardeners.  Not sure what road it will take us down but it's nice to have company.  Hopefully meeting once a month.  We are very informal and just wondering what is going on in others backyards.  Edibles, ornamentals, water gardens; all are welcome.  A new adventure in Paine Falls! 

Stay warm out there!! 


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Today I ate Floor Cake................


It's been a year since Rona has started infecting the country and I have changed.  The first word that comes to mind is FERAL and a license might be in my near future and it better be in a little blue box!  Tiffanys could make a fortune selling these!  There is rumor a foot that by July we will be huddling around grills and life will return to somewhat normal.  Question: What the Hell is Normal anymore?  My year of self inflicted lockdown has seen personal unkemptness reach stellar proportions.  I went grocery shopping with my shirt inside out and nobody said a word.  Verbal skills have plummeted and after a 15 minutes into a phone conversation my vocal cords are raspy and needing a break.  A mystery to be sure because I feel like I have been quite chatty, alas those deep conversations with the dog, telepathically.  And I will wear a mask for the rest of my life! 

This week I realized I am going to need a bit of work if I decide to join the human race again.  I baked a lovely carrot cake for Butch's birthday.   I tried to make it even healthier with extra carrots, a light and fruity olive oil, additions of nuts, raisins and spices, cut the sugar in half and since the chickens are in hyper-lay added extra egg for a protein.  The frosting was neufchatel cream cheese and alas powdered sugar but no butter anywhere.  It was good, it was delicious and it was heavy.  I rarely make cake and it was a treat!  I was reminded there were only two of us and we did not need a WHOLE CAKE.  No worries I can freeze half.  Great, make that cake.  You probably know where this is going.... I froze half the cake and we ate frozen cake, with a fork, while still in the freezer.  Cake is a breakfast food!  We were down to the last slice, stored in the fridge under opaque foil.  If I can't see it I won't want it and will reach for lettuce instead (ya right),  48 hours and there was one slice left.  Told the birthday boy; Hey, let's split that last piece of cake.  He said, NO, I'm not hungry.  WHO SAYS NO TO CAKE?   As he watched Batman in the other room I announced I was going to bed.  I walked past the fridge and I swear the cake called out.  My Ninja self gently opened the door and pulled out the foil covered cake, behind the kale.  Standing in the light of fridge, I balanced it on my hand and sliced it in half and as the sticky frosting stuck to the knife, half the slice fell on the floor, well not just the floor, the new carpet runner.  It made a THUD, like a body hitting the floor, maybe too many extra carrots.  The dog came pounding down the stairs; Did I hear cake?  Whoa, I love this new carpet and he cleaned it faster than I could eat a piece of sneaky cake.   Ate the good piece, picked up the floor cake, blew on it and put it back in the fridge.  It was still there the next morning.  At 6:30 am I stood at the sink with my handy dandy pocket magnifier, dubbed it Rocky Road Cake and ate it for breakfast.  It was heaven....... 

Last week I did so much computer I think I developed ass blisters.  I seriously do not know how people work sitting at a desk all day.  Sitting at a wheel, spinning pots OK but sitting at a desk staring at computer screen, just kill me.   
A letter showed up last week, it had been circling the postal system for over a month to let me know this was a PIN#, guard it with your life.  A second letter would be arriving with your unemployment account number.  What federal or state trickery is this?  Way back in March 2020 I had tried to apply for unemployment with all shows cancelled, school closed, galleries shuttered.  Do you think I could get through?  My phone battery went dead I was on hold so long.  As I had a basement of canned goods and half a pig in the freezer I said FU state of Ohio, I will take care of SELF......... again!  And it hasn't been too bad, lean times,Yes.  Extras, NO!  But then nobody was going anywhere and all the restaurants were closed at first, so no worries.  Enter March 2021, I have an unemployment account.  Nope, no I don't.  I read the letter again and again and couldn't understand what it was telling me to do.  Handed it to the contract reader in the family and he said; I don't know, burn it.  I read it again, right before I was going to bed and laid in bed with the letter rolling around in my head and then my head exploded.  I ran downstairs and re-read the letter.  Somebody had used my old social security number, supposedly on a HOT LIST since 2003 to file for unemployment!   In 1999 I had a nasty case of Identity Theft and got a new SSN which I now guard with my life!  There will be no sleeping tonight and I was right back to 1999.  Between the last 4 years of Trump, identity theft, and Rona trying to get us all,  I don't think there are enough meds to cover the PTSD.   9 am, and I am in my van headed to the local unemployment office, less than a mile from the house.  All paperwork in hand, masked up, I flung the door open and met with a big white box and barricades in front of locked doors.  Place your papers in the box and someone will return your call.  WTF!  A plastic box with papers that have my SSN on them and all the other original paperwork.  NO NO NO!  The local office has a recording stating hours, backlog, days until they can follow up etc.  Nothing about the offices being closed.  Ya might want to give folks a heads up that the doors are locked!  Back home and furiously dialing,  I am on the phone to the unemployment bureau with the State of Ohio in Columbus!  I filled out all the paperwork online while I sat on hold for over 60 minutes!  While you are on hold they play a loop, a loop that went on for 60 minutes:  #It's OK not to be OK call the Ohio Suicide Prevention hot line.  OMG!!! by the time 60 minutes of this plays in your ear, YOU ARE NOT OK!  ANSWER YOUR PHONE AND STOP GIVING OUT MY OLD SSN AND I WON'T NEED YOUR SUCIDE HOTLINE!   Finally "BEV" answered the phone and all I could say:  Bev, WOO HOO!  It OK not to be OK. Bev started laughing and I was just about hysterical.  Bev, chastised herself and said;  It's really not funny and I'm going to get written up.  and I said; But Bev just tell your supervisor;  IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK! and they can call this number....... We laughed through the whole phone call and yup it was now officially listed as fraud and identity theft ....... again.   Bev and I are going out for drinks because she's probably going need to apply for unemployment.  And just a note in case the State reads this blog...... play a loop about visiting the parks or bird watching or even the Ohio State Fair and pig races.  The local OHIOMEANSJOBS supervisor called two days later and said: Well we think the states data base has been hacked.  Ya, my wife is teacher and hasn't been able to get through the system to file for unemployment since last March AND HE IS A SUPERVISOR!  I learned all our stuff is in deep dark space and your wife is penniless; file that under deep shit..... 

After a day with BEV, I dropped down the dark hole of tax filing.  For someone who basically made no income last year I had a trail of paperwork.  Our ruthless CPA sent out an email; if your taxes are not in my office by 3/26/21 you will file for an extension.  So we gathered everything, tallied everything, took a lovely Sunday to fill out her forms, track down receipts, DNA etc and needed a drink.  2020 cheers and don't let the door hit ya in the ass!

Taxes delivered the same day the IRS announced they are extending the deadline until May.  Have another drink and happy they are done and delivered. 

Teaching myself photography via youtube.  
More ass sitting and computer work but the website is updated and new work has been added! 

In other news; made bone head mistakes in the studio last month and glazed two kiln loads in the wrong glaze.  Sometimes there are no words.  Tried to save them all and came up with this abomination. 
I thought about hammering it all but decided to have a studio sale the first week of June.  There will be a mark down table and seconds table along with the good stuff.  Time to clear stuff out!  If you surround yourself with crap, you're just going to make more crap! 

Bought a critter spray gun and love it!  Never going back to my old HVLP gun! 

cashed in my egg money and change jar and bought some new workout shoes for $26, because I am cake eater.

and that's how 2021 is starting out....... 

OH and my kids texted yesterday; Did you get your stimmy?  (cool kid speak for stimulus check)

No idea and the only thing I could come up with:
because I am that old!  

Monday, October 19, 2020

I still have all my fingers......

 Hoping everyone and everything is still spinning around the sun and everyone is vertical.  

I am vertical and at; "stick a fork in her and see if she's done!"  Yup, fried would be a good way to put the last few weeks.  The days were cruising along, projects were coming along nicely and WHAM!  Mercury hits your garage again or the sun has an anal flare.  I don't know, sometimes there are few, if any answers for what is going on.  So buckle up and here is the latest run down and maybe now you will understand why we live in Paine Falls or make that Pain Falls...... 

Since last posting, just 20 short days ago,  I rolled into a few more projects.  Yes, I should be in the studio but I really want to wrap this stuff up.  I have grown comfortably oblivious to what is going on around this house.  You walk over a crack in the sidewalk everyday on your way to school.  One day someone fixes the crack but you just keep stepping over the now invisible crack.  I didn't even see the crack in the floor anymore, nobody fixed it; Comfortably Oblivious.  

After that false sense of superiority with tools and finally crossing one or two little projects off my list I thought why not, keep going, don't loose your momentum now because you might not get it back for another 11 years.  I suck at start/stop projects.  It's true in gardening, the kitchen, the house, the studio, life.  

While building the shelves I spent way too much time on my knees and noticing the floor was looking pretty tired.  It's a brown paper bag floor with three coats of poly.  After two dogs, a gardener, a construction guy, and basic traffic the floor needed a facelift.  I patched a couple cracks, three new coats of poly. Minwax and the floor looked pretty good again.  The sun faded area was gone and it looked liked new.         

a canning cupboard because I am not running canning stuff up and down the stairs anymore; I can year around. 

While waiting for the floor to dry between coats I finally finished the trim and paint on the bar.  

and put a badly needed shelf in the closet, then painted the closet because drywall just gets old after a few years. 
I still remembered where the studs were......  
I am never gonna be done in this house; 
I have a lot of mental notes and it's freeing up a lot of cranial space. 

I had been tripping over a slab of wood in the studio for two years and thought enough! 
Blew off the dust, washed off the glaze streaks, cut the ends off and installed in the back room on pipe legs.  We had kicked around buying a bigger tv since movies are no longer an option.  But once the TV got a lift, it looked huge!   My old collages were dusted off and hung on the wall too.  Facelift! 

And just to keep rolling.  Once the kitchen was put back together I tackled the downstairs bathroom.  It's a wee bathroom.  We added it right after we moved in in around 1986.  We had parents having trouble maneuvering stairs and then there was that potty training thing.   I painted murals with lattice and flours and a stone wall.  I had sketched in a cat and wrens and birds and never finished them.  

It was time to move on.  I started painting over everything and thought maybe not.  This was a fun little mural and when the kids were driving me nuts a place I could go and close the door and breath for 30 seconds before the house was burned down or there was jello slide in the kitchen.  I stopped and emailed the kids, now in homes of their own.   So I'm doing this......

I expected responses like NOOOOOOO!  Don't do it MOM!!  What did I get? 

End of era Mom....... move along.
  and then the kid I thought would be the saddest of all, sends this heartfelt text:

😂😂😂😂😂 goodbye downstairs bathroom, you were beautiful! 

message received, full steam ahead! 

So the bead board is up but behind the bead board is the faux stonewall :)  I have a sink drying in the studio and this sink will be be gone, after all a potter lives in this house.  Building a floating vanity and finally installing the hardware and faucet I bought in 2010.... timeless.  I wonder if I can still get parts? 

This week I will move onto the bar floor, goodbye 80's linoleum. Deal with some plumbing issues that have needed addressed for a while.  

Since the last post I had my skin cancer removed and look great for Halloween!  10 lovely stitches and I am hoping the folds of my chubby cheeks will bury the scar.  I don't do well with somebody digging in my face with a local anesthetic, then the pulling and tugging of stitches.  I promptly went out to my van and on the way home, puked.   Had a killer headache the rest of day.  My Dr. doesn't believe in pain killers and as the local wore off I thought I'd rather have a baby.  

But as the next day arrived and I arose in the chilly Fall darkness to let Kirby and the chickens out, make coffee on my way out the door.  I slid into my jeans and sat on the bed to put my socks on.  ZAP!  A yellow jacket had taken refuge in my sock over night.  I had just been stung two weeks earlier.  I have not had a bee sting, let alone a yellow jacket sting, in decades so two in two weeks in the same place had my attention.  Apparently the last poison still had not cleared my ankle so this was a double whammy and the swelling and blistering began.  

The good news ...... I completely forgot about my face!   Who needs pain killers?  Get a wasp or two!  I rode my bike, I iced my foot, I elevated and finally on the third day the swelling started going down and I could bend my ankle again.  Tomorrow I get my stitches out and I will share this new miraculous diversion therapy with my Dr.  I bet he goes for it!  

 Lots of baking therapy the last 20 days too!  
The last of the tomatoes are still being roasted with lots of garlic and onions and run through the food processor with a bit of olive oil and basil.
  Summer on a cracker!  

Molasses Crinkle cookies

Cinnamon Buns with maple drizzle, Whole Wheat bread and cinnamon swirl bread. 

The October Mom Box went out with cookies, breads, granola and a pair of these wonderful mittens 
made by kids first ever elementary art teacher and all around wonderful person; Mrs Liikala.  (I kept the blue ones for me, squeal with excitement, bring on the snow!)

And about the time I was feeling pretty down in the dumps with my new Frankestein face and foot and tripping over my fabulous tools which were scattered over the entire construction project called my house. 

The mail arrived.  And the generosity and beauty of artists and craftsmen are just beyond words, we are a grand tribe.  I had met Jeff Borda at Boston Mills last year and loved his work so much I bought two of his pens.  We follow each other on facebook and when shows started cancelling we asked how it was going.  2020 had been cancelled.  He enjoyed seeing what I was up too and I was watching his new cutting boards and pens coming out of his shop.  He asked if I could save some of the Black Lace Wyandotte feathers from the girls.  I sent him an envelope and hoped they worked for him.  At my lowest point of my year, an envelope arrived on my porch.  I opened the envelope and the most beautiful pen arrived with my chickens feathers in barrel of the pen.  


Later in the week the coffee mug people in Alaska sent a box of delicious, rich roasted beans.  My postal carrier asked if I was getting coffee in the mail and did I share.  

I always felt if I kept busy and productive I could get through "things".  I started this year in the gardens and things sure did not go as planned but it was not a bust.  And then word came we might be in this Covid mess until the third quarter of 2021 and we would probably be spending a bit more time at home.  I cannibalized my booth for canning shelves and closet shelves.  More paper got glued to the floor.  Paint got slapped on the bare woodwork and drywall.  No money, no budget, no contractors in the house but lots of creativity and time.  I thought I might never do another show but I miss my tribe of crafts people and all the community that goes with it.  A website is nice but a face and a conversation is better.  Precious phone calls with friends to catch up and see if we might both be nuts.  Nope right as rain.   There are so many lessons that have come out of this too long year and I won't be sorry to see it go but God I have learned so much this year and rarely left this half acre.  Mittens, pens, beans texting and phone calls...... I am rich beyond words. ❤️