Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Stung, panicking & recovery......

Bald Face Hornet nest I found in eaves last month. They are not aggressive and I have
enjoyed sitting on the landing watching them weave this amazing nest.

Yesterday I got the call I have always dreaded........ Your job has been eliminated.
You have two weeks and the gig is over.
I heard the vacuum ....... ahhhhh money I had become accustomed to sucked out
of my bank account.
Fear and panic set in quickly. A night of no sleep and sometime
around 3 a.m. my inside voice said....... Screw it, on to the next

I have been driving 71 miles a day, 6 days a week for exactly 2 years.
The dog loved it! I loved it. Two completely quiet hours listening to
NPR, recording gas prices and away from the mess in the house.
It was a rhythm to my chaotic life I had grown very comfortable with.
We drove through blizzards, heat, illness and fog.
Never missed a day. The term, comfortably numb
comes to mind. The check came in the mail every month.
It was a welcome break after making pots, gardening and living
by the seat of my pants for
the last 24 years.

The job was directly linked to the kitchen project, which started on July 15th, 2007.
I started driving Sept. 22, 2007. I took the job when the panic of the house
falling down and running way over budget took hold of my guts. There again,
I panicked. The last tile on the floor was laid last week, it was the last big
bill. The job ended exactly one week later........ to the day.

Time to go back and live by the seat of my pants making pots and gardening.
This time it will be different, on my terms. Yesterday I called friends asking
if they knew of shows or galleries....... I had been away too long.

Sitting down to the wheel two days ago I was dancing with the clay again.
The rhythm of the studio is back and it feels good....... the pots will sell
and the seat of my pants is getting thin.

BUT....... I am back!

also renewed my kayak license and got a new flashy PFD...... look out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August the month of ........

Tomato sandwiches, angry bees, quiet still hot mornings and homemade lemonade.......

August is winding down, the gardens look tired after several 90 degree hot days;
I look a bit wilted myself!

There have been family visits, working in the studio, canning pots retrieved from
the basement, ground hog wars waged and the first time to sit with my feet in the

Yes, summer is winding down and I have made my first pilgrimage back to Borders to
look at Mother Earth News, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times & a host of other reading
materials over a cup of hot coffee....... a sure sign things are slowing down.

The geese are gathering in multitudes and there are tinges of reds & yellows on some
of the stressed trees in our area. The Joe Pye weed is high and blooming. The hydragea
(panticulata) is blooming large and creamy white.

The bugs are merciless in this hot humid weather and time in the garden is less than
enjoyable. Zeus had discovered underground bees and the welts to prove it. Is there
anything more terrifying then being chased by bees? We locked ourselves in the studio,
found the bee spray and killed the evil bastards! Too my shock the skunks came under
cover of darkness and ate the nest! Skunks have moved up my list of favorite suburban

I HATE bees.........

The garden yields buckets of beans, squash, carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs,
fennel, peppers, baskets of cucumbers; we are eating very well! I had never planted
onions before but they are now at the top of my list for garden favorites. As a kid I
remember braided onions hanging on sun porch as an onion was needed it was
whacked off with a pair of scissors. The table full of onions starring back at me
one hot August Sunday morning made me think I could duplicate this memory.
Running to the computer and "Googling" ..... How to Braid Onions , 161,000 hits
appeared before my eyes. The only one I understood was a kids page on nature crafts.
Who knew there were small children out in the woods braiding onions! I know the visual
is nuts! But I did it! and I will do it again! I have them hanging and drying in the studio.

Abby and Rachael are finding their way back to the old homestead but just for a quick
stop and then back to adventures of college and the wild west. We make plans for fall
clam bakes, fish frys and just plan fun!

the effervescence of summer's riotous colors fading away to elegant the jewels of fall...........

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August arrives.......

Not sure where July wandered off too but August is here!

The japanese beetles are waning but not enough to end my rounds with the
jar filled with soapy water twice a day. The roses are a bit chewed but
what a year for roses! They have been stellar this year.

The entire neighborhood is battling ground hogs and just heard a report
of a pair of coyotes down the street. Would like to have the coyotes over
for ground hog dinner! It has been quite a battle.

The sunflowers are blooming with dinner plate size flower heads.
In one growing season they tower over the garden at 15- 18 feet.
When I bought the "Mammoth" seeds, the whole packet fit in the palm
of my hand last May, I laughed and thought....... Yeah sure.
The seed packet was right and sunflowers tower over every growing
thing, casting their guardian shadows,

Sitting on the patio and watching the hummingbirds dart around
the garden in the evening or early morning I sip my coffee
& feel the sense of lazy August days....... it's a time to put your
feet up, bask in the glory of what transpired this season.

Summer has been cool and tomatoes hang meaty on the vine waiting
for heat and humidity. Meanwhile the beans have had a banner year
as have the beets, carrots, swiss chard, lettuce, peas, fennel and peppers.
If and when the heat hits we will be swallowed by the bumper crop of
tomatoes waiting and hanging on the vine. My canning jars are washed
and ready to be filled for winter soups and stews.

August has found me back in the studio and finally out of the kitchen.
Wow have I missed my studio and sticking my hands in clay. The ritual
of cleaning the studio before I can tear open a bag of clay is just the way
it is before I can think about going back to work. As I type I am waiting for
a kiln to cool. Can't wait to pop open the lid in the morning! It has been
six weeks since I converted the studio into a wood shop.
Three days to clean off the sawdust and mop floors but I have reclaimed
the studio again.

August found car sales galore and we traded in the old van for a new
Nissan Versa. The mileage is much better and I look forward to the change.
The dog is having a tough time adjusting to his new ride.

The kitchen has won and I hired a wonderful artist to lay the last of the
tile around the hearth. I am tired of fighting when all I really want to
do is garden and work in the studio...... toss in a bit of kayaking and fishing too
and we can call it a summer to remember.