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the cow jumped over the moon

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early october

Well hello there!

Last week, we had dinner with our friend M and what a fabulous time we had!!  I was wearing a new-to-me outfit, and before we left for M's house, I tried to take a photo without a full-length mirror and without falling off the trunk! I didn't fall off, so that was a win.

early october

I was finally successful in fermenting sauerkraut - boy is this stuff good. I'll start another batch soon.

early october

Pottery classes are going well - I have two sessions of beginning wheel throwing this time around, in the a.m. and then again in the p.m.  I usually nap in the afternoon - gosh I'm getting old. At my other job (the non-profit), cover crops are being sowed and winter greens are planted in the community garden. We're also gearing up for a community clean-up day that we're hosting.

early october

We had the most beautiful mist/fog Monday morning - I took a walk in the old reservoir in town before work. It was enchanting! Ahhh, October, my favorite month!

early october


white shoes after labor day

The unofficial end of summer! And as far as I'm concerned, you can wear any color of shoe whenever you want.

Last summer, I talked about activities that mean summer to me; this year, we did get soft-serve ice cream, and go to the fair. We love the fair!  Edit:  Does this video work for you all?



Farm machinery mosaic
But we didn't see any block-buster films in the movie theater, because there was so much sports to watch on TV - soccer and the Olympics. Shout out to Team USA! Did you know that the US is one of the few countries where there is no government support for the athletes?

I have been busy with the non-profit, and with teaching pottery.  I only worked at the nursery in May because my schedule just didn't mesh. I must admit though that of all the years I am glad it was this one - it would have been very hard to be working there with the intense weather this summer.

At the community garden (one of the programs of the non-profit), we now have a pergola at the entrance, and soon the solar-powered wash station will be completed. Over 300 lbs of garden produce has been donated to our local food bank so far this season, and we still have much more to harvest.

My boss at the community garden.
At the community garden.
Our garden at home has been a bust, other than kale and chard.  Maybe it was because we planted late, but I think it has more to do with the super hot and dry weather we had for so long. And the lack of pollination. We had flowers on the bean plants but no beans.  We had two tiny melons - one was ripe and it was quite tasty.  The husband's corn was a sad thing indeed - a handful of ears but they didn't grow well at all. We'll try again next year.


Makes me think that it is a good thing that I live in the times and place where I do - not having to be reliant on a good harvest to support ourselves.

For all those of you who have a holiday today, enjoy!!!


august

I cannot believe it is August already. Actually, I guess I can - it has been so dry and hot it has been like a typical August 'dog days' since, well, for awhile now.

I am really glad we didn't plant a large vegetable garden this year. Our water bill would be huge! We planted late - corn, beans and melon, and I also planted a few kale, chard and Brussels sprouts. Robert recently cleaned out our rain barrels - they were clogged at the bottom.  He was able to siphon the water out so we got two days of  'free' water for the garden.

We have one baby melon so far!

august

Here's a sweet photo of Sephora. As you can see, we still haven't put up that fence. You can also see Robert's corn growing in the enclosed little garden bed.

august

With regard to pottery, I am still making my sgraffito things - tumblers and tea cups this time around. They go into the kiln for their first firing tomorrow.  Then I'll glaze them. I'm also teaching a few private lessons. My next class offering is in a few weeks, and then more in late September.

august

This was breakfast this morning (I posted this bowl a long while ago, I think).  The tumblers above will be glazed with this celadon glaze:

august

The part-time job at the non-profit is going very well. We have a wonderful student garden manager this year, so I do not have to be at the community garden all the time, and can focus more on reports/grant writing/fundraising, etc.  Plus the office is air-conditioned ;)

I think that is about it for now. Hope everyone is having a great summer (or winter, for you down-unders!).  I'm looking forward to the county fair in a few weeks!! Whooot!!!

mini-vacation

As many of you know, we haven't had a reliable vehicle in years.  So on Friday, Denise scooped me up and took me to her place, so I could have a mini-vacation!

After a trip to a bookstore and a delightful dinner, we went to a nearby town where the Big Ships were docked, but we were too late for the tour so we just enjoyed the sunset and the beach.  Yes, I actually enjoyed the beach (I have bitched about hating beaches for years and years, but made myself shut the hell up and enjoy it for a little while, until the sand flies starting biting).

mini-vacation
Yeah, it's a moody photo of Lake Erie with the Perry Nuclear Plant in the distance.
. I took a bunch of photos of the sunset
but you all have seen lake sunsets so I figured I would post this photo instead.
Next morning, I got up early so I could take the yoga class Denise was teaching. I snapped this photo of her out in her garden, while she was picking berries.

mini-vacation

We visited a salvage shop - the prices were quite steep for some things.  For instance, there was a little baggie of sewing trims, so I picked it up thinking it would be a dollar or two, but it was $10.00 and I exclaimed "What?!!" outloud and I embarrassed myself.  There was also a mason jar full of buttons and another full of pieces of ribbons and those were both $15.00 each.  What!???! But there were a lot of cool things to look at.

mini-vacation
Insulators / cool round metal display cart
Catholic church metal candle stand / tin ceiling pieces
Of course I wanted the round metal cart and the church candle stand
Driving through the countryside, we stopped at a nursery where Denise knew the owner, and picked up some things, and the owner gave us free flats of vegetable seedlings.  More seedlings for the community garden! (Did I mention that I went to a crystal shop a few weeks back and the clerk there gave me a bunch of basil starts?  Lots of generous folks around here!!)  And then we went to another small town and had some chai and walked around their town square as there was a little music festival going on.

mini-vacation

And then late Saturday afternoon, she brought me back home. Although I was only away for about 28 hours, I felt that I truly did have a real vacation - I felt quite refreshed and relaxed, and so very thankful to have such a dear friend.

dirt mud clay

We had our first work day in the community garden on Sunday. I am so happy to have a student helper this year - she will free up my time at the non-profit so I can work on grants. We also had a lot of help from members of the Track and Field team from the college.

dirt mud clay

I tended P and M's (the gardeners, not the artists P and M) garden for a week. It is so nice to be there - calming relaxing zen-like.

dirt mud clay

Have some terracotta test pots drying - I took them out of my basement art space aka studio and put them on the back porch to dry, and then brought them in last night because we had a thunderstorm.  Once they're bisqued, I'll mix up some majolica glaze and give it a go. I also want to try some old low-fire glazes I have sitting around and see how they look. I need to make more test pieces.

dirt mud clay

As I mentioned here, we have used white plates and bowls for years. Now we're using/testing some different colors and glazes on bowls/mugs/tumblers that I have made - making sure the glaze fits and the shape works well, and refining my color and glaze choices. (99% of my pieces are glazed white inside). We both have a few favorites!

dirt mud clay
we hand-wash all our dishes, not just pottery
I have a class with the at-risk youth group later this afternoon - have to do some preparation but maybe I can also sneak in a little nap beforehand!

a quick update

This weekend is the Scarecrow Fest (held at the nursery/garden center), and my entry is very abstract.

a quick update

Some of the students who took my September pottery classes are taking another class with me this month!

Work at the non-profit has been non-stop - first a community garden harvest festival in late September, then a ribbon cutting for a solar powered home that the organization built, and now we're getting ready for a big 20th anniversary dinner on Friday. That is the main reason I haven't been posting a lot lately - been way too busy.

And also why I haven't been reading and/or replying on a lot of blogs. I'm looking so forward to next Saturday. But tonight I'll keep my mind off of work and watch the US v Mexico soccer game. 

sunday gardens

We had a 'rain date' for the Garden Tour today since some people were confused because it rained so much last Sunday. It was a lot of fun for me because I didn't have to do as much work (the hours were shortened) and I was able to dress up and hang out with some of the gardeners.
sunday gardens
Peter, who is our main volunteer gardener at the community garden,
and Alan, my boss at the non-profit which oversees the community garden

sunday gardens
I was hanging out with Sarah; here she is watering part of her garden
sunday gardens
I decorated my hat with one of my pom pom headbands.
I'm going to make a pompom headband for Sarah to match the dress she's wearing

sunday gardens
A bit of Lisa and Ken's garden, next door to Sarah and Tim's

sunday gardens
A Japanese-inspired garden on the tour - today was the first day I was able to visit it!

sunday gardens
I liked what I was wearing today, so I took a photo on our front porch and sepia-d it.
I still feel silly taking 'fashion' self-portraits, but oh well.
Those with a keen eye can see the crocheted doilies that Jayne sent me last year!
We're going to have a busy week - as I mentioned last post, two of Robert's friends from Denmark are visiting mid-week.  And we still have some cleaning up to do before they arrive. Hope we get it all done on time.

garden tour (photo heavy)

The Garden Tour was a success, even though it rained a lot and we got a slow start. (In fact our area has had a heck of a lot of rain - something like in June we had five inches more than usual and it's looking like July isn't far off!)

I think I mentioned that my boss at the nursery/garden center hosted this Garden Tour, and the money donated will go to help fund the community garden (which is a program of the non-profit where I also work).

garden tour (photo heavy)
Balloons and a hydrangea mark a garden tour destination - here, the community garden

I was stationed at the community garden yesterday - I took the first shift, selling tickets and handing out maps for the Tour. It was really really rainy the time I was there, so how very thoughtful and sweet that two other community gardeners popped by - one to spell me and the other drove me home so I could change clothes!

garden tour (photo heavy)
Me, smiling in the rain
garden tour (photo heavy)
The community garden - we are hoping to raise enough money for a deer fence, but in the meantime,
individual gardeners are putting up their own deer fencing around raised beds


Denise and her husband, and two of their friends came to the Tour, too! It stopped raining after awhile, and I was able to meet with them and tour one garden with them, and then we all went to the Feve (Robert came along too) to have a bite to eat. While I was gone, other community gardeners took their turn selling tickets and handing out maps.

garden tour (photo heavy)
Denise and Jonnie looking at a some koi in a garden pond
Since I didn't have the chance to take photos of all the other gardens on the tour, here are some photos of my garden here at home:
garden tour (photo heavy)

garden tour (photo heavy)

garden tour (photo heavy)
So much rain, I need to feed the hanging baskets, and the succulents aren't too happy

garden tour (photo heavy)

garden tour (photo heavy)



garden tour

As you all know, I have three part-time jobs. Some days I want to tear my hair out. Most days I have never been more happy.

My garden center/nursery boss has been hosting the annual Scarecrow Festival for years (I have posted about it a couple of times here) and that event benefits our town's non-profit community center.  This year, she is hosting the first annual Garden Tour, and this event will benefit the community garden, a program of the non-profit community development corporation (one of my other part-time jobs)! Thank you to D my garden center boss, and to all the gardeners!

Wednesday, we went around to the gardens that will be featured on the tour, and I took some photos. I was amazed, and humbled, by the skill and beauty of these garden. Since the garden tour isn't until July 12th, I am excited to see what will be blooming then. A sneak peek of some of the gardens on the tour:

garden tour
garden tour
garden tour
garden tour

And here I was all excited about my dinky little garden, and this little corner:  If you remember from last year when I first planted it.

garden tour
Heliotrope in foreground, purple lamium, and bellflowers waiting to bloom, and a stray weed.
And my Deutzia 'Magician/Magicien' is in bloom, in a bed next to our back porch stairs:

garden tour

random thoughts, mostly sports

This is a jam-packed sports-on-television weekend  Yesterday, I tuned in the French Open just when Serena Williams was double-faulting, so I quickly turned it off thinking I was the one who was jinxing her.  What an accomplishment - 20 Grand Slams!!!
 
random thoughts, mostly sports


Then the Champions futbol game. Since bitey bitey Suarez plays for Barcelona, we were cheering on Juventus. Good game, but of course Barcelona won.

In between television, we worked in the yard. When you live in a climate like ours, you're always running to keep up. Winter is long, and then spring is fickle, and next thing you know the weeds are two feet tall, and you're playing catch up.  The tomatoes and peppers were planted a few weeks ago, but the corn Robert wanted to plant hasn't been.  I am finally done weeding/planting/mulching three perennial beds, but the infamous 'weed bed' is only half way completed. Plus  I need to go to the community garden today and water our plot there - spinach probably bolted, oops! - and I hope the sugar snap peas are ready. 

Oh yeah, sports yesterday.  Then we watched the second game of the Stanley Cup finals. Dang, I like hockey! I never followed it when I was younger and the main reason we started watching it last fall is because Robert has always liked it- which is odd on two levels - one, he doesn't do sports, and two he's from California (see below). I wonder why I didn't follow it when I was younger?  Maybe it was because of the Russia/Canada thing in 1972. I mean, I used to ice skate, and back then Cleveland did have a good hockey team.  I wish Cleveland had an NHL team now.  There is a second tier team here, and maybe we'll go to one of their games when the season starts again. We're rooting for Chicago, and I'm rooting for them because  1) they're from the Midwest and 2) I find it absolutely hilarious that there are hockey teams in towns/states that have no winter. That game was crazy exciting, even though Tampa Bay won.  

Why are there seven games in playoffs?  Isn't five enough?

We didn't see any of the Triple Crown. As a 13 year old, I was obsessed with horses (what young girl isn't?) and was watching when Secretariat achieved that historic status. But that was the last time I payed much attention. 

Speaking of Cleveland, the Cavs are in the NBA Finals!! Though I hope we win, I don't like watching basketball on television. I read somewhere that the writer didn't like watching basketball because of the squeaky sounds of the shoes on the court. I get that.  Hockey on the other hand - the skating is pretty and sounds nice, and then that beauty is juxtaposed by the fights and hits!

Also on television today, more of the Women's World Cup. We will probably watch some of those games, too, but I have to finish up the 'weed bed' before the week begins. Plus we only have basic cable, so we don't get every single game that is being broadcast on the millions of sports channels out there. Which is a good thing.

And now, this all brings me to aging.  You know, I am not that upset about wrinkles and sagging, but what I do care about it that I cannot do a lot of what I used to be able to do. I was quite a tomboy (and I use that term with pride) and athletic.  But now arthritic joints ache and fallen arches hurt.  Maybe that is another reason I have been watching a lot of sports over the past couple of years...if you cannot do, watch?

Here's a photo of my Mom when she played basketball in high school (mid/late-1940s):

random thoughts, mostly sports






early octoberwhite shoes after labor dayaugustmini-vacationdirt mud claya quick updatesunday gardensgarden tour (photo heavy)garden tour random thoughts, mostly sports

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