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the cow jumped over the moon

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autumn days

Friday was spent cleaning out the garden plots and potted annuals. I know I am supposed to scrub all the empty flower pots but we'll see if that gets done. I also need to put some old chicken litter on top of the empty garden beds (we haven't had chickens for a few years, so that litter is more than aged and will be a good addition to the putting-the-beds-to-bed process).

autumn days
To the compost pile.
autumn days
Last of the geraniums
The non-profit event was a success last Friday night, and I'm getting back to 'normal' work life. Pottery class is going well, and it looks as though the hand-building class in November is a go.

Oh, my 'scarecrow' won first prize in the category "Backyard Weeds"! I did not know that was a category when I made it.  Seriously, I didn't! (Some of you know that I worked for the nursery where the Scarecrow Fest is held, but since I didn't work there in September and October, I wasn't on top of the categories)  I have brought it home, and added some more hydrangea blossoms, and now it sits on the front porch, which was looking a little bare since the annuals are gone.

autumn days

Yesterday, I had to unload and then load a kiln at the community arts center, so I stopped by the Farmers Market to find some spinach and chat with folks I know there. I also picked up some delicious Asian pears. 

In between football and futbol games on television today, I'll be back in my downstairs art/pottery space finishing up some demos for tomorrow's pottery class that I started yesterday.

It's a beautiful fall day today - hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday!

pickle time

pickle time
Photo from Wikipedia
We were in Cleveland on Wednesday for an appointment, so after the appointment, we went to the West Side Market. The Market closes at 4:00 p.m. and we got there around 3:30 so we had a little bit of time to look over what was available.

pickle time
My phone takes bad photos!
I saw Coconut Bars!!  Of course I had to get at least one.  I asked the woman behind the counter what she calls them, as we here in this area call them Coconut Bars (I wrote about it here as this is my favorite baked good) though the 'proper' name is Lamingtons, and we chatted about this for a quick second.

We also bought a mango and some cherries and a 1/2 bushel of pickling cucumbers.

pickle time
Another bad phone camera shot - this the veg/fruit area, which is outside the main market building.
As it was so late in the day, there were fewer shoppers than usual - sometimes it is bumper-to-bumper people here!
Made some dills* today, am about to do just finished some pickles with lemon* which I have never tried before, and am getting ready to do some with ginger**, and then I'll do some more Bread and Butters** - I had picked up pickling cukes at the Farmers Market here in town a week ago and "put up" a few pints of Bread and Butters earlier this week - but I'll do some more because I really love B&Bs and I'll cut them lengthwise to fit on sandwiches.  Then maybe just maybe all the cucumbers will be pickled by Monday. I'm getting a little anxious that I won't have all these pickled up before they start getting soft.  I like doing small batches, and in a variety of flavors.  In fact, I'll probably do some curry ones, too.

pickle time
The Bread and Butters from the other night, along with granola Robert made last night.
* recipes from The Joy of Pickling
** recipes from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

saturday photos

It's a quiet Saturday.  Earlier, Robert and I went downtown to do some banking, and popped by the Farmers Market and picked up a few things, most importantly some pickling cukes.

We have a not-real Persian/Oriental rug (what is the politically correct term?) and we just scrubbed it outside and will see if it was worth our effort. It's super hot today - close to 90 degrees and extremely humid - so hopefully the rug will dry and not mold. It's an inexpensive rug, so we didn't want to send it out for cleaning. He's finishing up the painting of the front hallway - a project many years in the procrastinating, and an upcoming visit from some of his Danish friends spurred him on.

In the meantime, the A/C is on, I have some photos to post, and we're waiting to watch a soccer game (Men's US team v Cuba).

saturday photos
I love chewy candy and our grocery store has the best gummy bears.
saturday photos
Another demo pottery piece I made - featuring slip trailing and sgraffito

saturday photos
A sedum that didn't drown in all the rain we have been having....Stonecrop 'Lime Zinger'


what day is it?

what day is it?
Self-portrait of me in my basement art space -
though I haven't had time to get down there much recently
Lots going on - here's a run-down:

Nursery/garden center job going well - only there Fri/Sat this month, but it is a relief after all that is going on and the fact that I have no computer access so I cannot get distracted by emails!

Non-Profit:  Garden clean-up with college track team volunteers, and then a meeting w/some of the new gardeners this past Sunday.  The students were able to move a ton of mulch and wood chips in two hours, and weed all the raised beds, which was much needed and so very helpful.  Then last night we (Interim Executive Director and I) went in front of City Council to update our 'lease' on the garden. We are also asking to be able to sell produce to help fund the garden and have plans for a hoop house/high tunnel, but that needs more discussion. Robert was home and he taped and watched the televised meeting, so I got to see myself on video when I got home late (I screwed up stating my address! hahaaa!) and it was weird watching it because I haven't seen myself in motion since I was in my early 30s.  We also had a late request for our B&B program, but that was a success too even though at one point I was talking to the guest five minutes before a pottery class.  The guest was delightful and added an extra donation to our cause, and the host was happy.


what day is it?
College track team helping out in the garden

Oh also Sunday evening I went to meet some of the Board members of the Farmers Market to clarify my job description as Market Manager this year. 


Pottery classes going well but I need to meet with Education Director and the pottery instructor for teens/children to deal with reclaimed clay.  Actually I did talk and/or email with both of them separately - we need a plan of action agreed upon asap.  Most students want 'fresh' clay so reclaimed clay is becoming a mountain. I have a good plan - thanks to a Facebook group I joined - so I am confident we will get this under control soon.

It's Tuesday, right? Pottery class soon - better get ready.


what a week!

 After a few months of teaching, I had a bunch of clay to reclaim, and a few of my students volunteered to help me. I really appreciated their help! We took a break from watching the clay dry and went to a Local coffee shop - honestly, the name of the coffee shop is the Local!
what a week!
Jaffe wonders if waiting for clay to dry takes longer than waiting for a pot to boil.

what a week!
Evelyn, who also works with me at the nursery/garden center,
was explaining why she likes her apron.
Then on Thursday at work for the non-profit, we headed over to the community garden as we were meeting a newspaper reporter and photographer there.  Check out this article (Alan, in the video, is my boss at the non-profit, and we oversee the community garden. I'm in the middle in that little photo along with two other gardeners.)  It occurred to me that this is the fourth time in six months that I have been in the local newspaper! I'm not sure what to think about that - fortunately none of the times were because I ran afoul of the law.

After that, we headed over to the 'green' house the non-profit is building for a family in town as the reporter was interested in that project, too.

what a week!
We're hoping that it will be complete by Mother's Day
what a week!
I was using my camera phone, which isn't very good, plus it was very overcast on Thursday
Friday I started back at the garden center/nursery.  I won't be able to work too many hours this month because of my schedule - especially with the three pottery classes I'm teaching this month.  But you know how much I enjoy working there. During early spring, there is seed sorting and packaging to do, onion sets and seed potatoes to sell, and general clean-up from the winter. We may be starting some seeds - our last frost date here in this area isn't until May 18th or so, so we still have some time. In fact, I have to start some seeds tomorrow for our garden here at home.

I also received a surprise package from Northern Mum Down South!!! She had also included some cookies/biscuits with a little packet of icing, but I ate those up right away so they aren't in the photo.  Isn't that the coolest and so thoughtful? Thank you again SO much, Jayne!!!

what a week!
A tea towel with a Yorkshire pudding recipe printed on it - we'll try that tomorrow -
along with a gorgeous scarf, a knitting booklet, and lovely card and a crocheted flower brooch she made!!!
So I am juggling three to four part-time jobs:  the non-profit, teaching pottery, the nursery/garden center, and managing the farmers market starting in May. I don't think I'll be teaching any pottery in May - I'll be meeting with the Education Director at the community arts center soon to see what classes and workshops I can offer in late spring/summer. But I'll have more time to work at the nursery then.

I mentioned last year around this time that my biggest problem or should I say my biggest challenge is not getting overwhelmed with my schedule, and making sure that I include downtime in it. Wish me luck!

It's SPRING!!!!

PS:  One last thing - if you had asked me years ago what I want to do with my life, I would say something like "work for a community organization, and be involved in gardening, and do my art".  Well I am doing just that these days!  Even though it is all part-time and I'm not making tons of money, I'm pretty darned happy.  Any unhappiness I may have is that I can tend to get a little overwhelmed and get stuck, but if I make sure to schedule in that downtime like I mentioned, I think I'll be okay.

farmers market and chin dog

This morning, Robert and I got up early as we were substitute managing for the Farmers Market.

When we got home, we watched the Manchester City v Aston Villa game, and ate some sunflower seeds. Here is a photo of Sephora - Robert calls her "Chin Dog" when she does this.  This happens when she wants some of our food, and it is one of my favorite ways she begs.  And see the TV?  Man City had just scored their first goal.  She will also puts her chin on my knee when she wants to be petted. So it's not all about the food. But boy oh boy, is she food-driven!  At least she's not drooling.

farmers market and chin dog
Our Chin Dog - with her chin on the arm of my chair

weekend update

Saturday morning arrived wayyy too early as Joan and I were up until 2:00 a.m., talking and having a few beers.  But as I needed to get to the Farmers Market, I couldn't dilly-dally.

It was so nice being at the Market - the time passed quickly even though I forgot to bring my knitting!  While I was at the Market, Joan was at home, working on a sign she was commissioned to do, and she did some weeding in my front yard.

When I got home, I watched Everton/Chelsea (and explained the game to J), and then my son and daughter-in-law stopped by. Afterwards, Joan snoozed on the recliner, and I went upstairs to nap.  We both were so groggy that although the dogs had been barking, we didn't pay much attention.  Finally we did, as it was our pal Isabel stopping by! I think my doorbell isn't working properly - I'll have to check it out. We felt so bad for not going to the door the first time she was there, but thankfully Isabel was patient!

weekend update
from Isabel
Joan and Isabel and I all met when we lived at the Plaza - I have written a little about it here - I had moved to that apartment building in March of 1980, so we have known each another for a long time!  This link is to an article about our reunion there a few years ago.  Joan was instrumental in getting that reunion together and she is quoted in the article.

We three went off to dinner at The Feve; my town friends were all meeting there at 7:00 p.m. so we went an hour or so earlier so the three of us could have dinner and catch up.  When the town friends showed up, we moved to a bigger table, and continued with some wonderful conversations and some of us had girly drinks for a change.

weekend update
Me, Joan and Isabel at The Feve
Sunday:  Joan cooked brunch and we had a lazy morning/early afternoon.  We then went into town as she wanted to do some shopping at the bead store and at the hardware store.  At the hardware store there are 'Welcome" mats that say "Go Away" and Joan bought a few of them for gifts.  Afterwards, we went to my son and daughter-in-law's house and Joan gave them a "Go Away" mat. They loved it!

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home, back porch sitting and chatting. She and Ziggy left for Cleveland in the early evening, and the house felt a bit lonely.

Monday:  I did nothing all day other than make Garden Busting Sauce, and watch TV and knit.  And think about how terrific the weekend was and how I really do have such lovely friends. I felt like a queen as I was cooked for, and treated to drinks and food and gifts (including perfume - both Joan and Isabel brought me some!) all weekend long!!!  I have much to be thankful for.

weekend update

Now it's Tuesday, and  I pick up Robert from the airport using the car share early evening!!!   I'll be obsessively checking the flight status reports all day today.

a great start to the weekend!

Denise came by earlier and we sat on the porch and talked.  Because we were on the front porch, Laura saw us and stopped by for a bit, too!

Joan is here with her dog, Ziggy.  Sephora is so happy!  I'm happy, too...Joan and Ziggy are spending the weekend.  Tomorrow morning, I am subbing for the manager at the Farmers Market!

A really great start to a wonderful weekend.

a great start to the weekend!
Sephora smiling because her pal Ziggy is here!
Later:  Joan made salmon and potatoes and broccoli.  And then Jeb and Peg stopped by. It's a good day.

a saturday

This morning, the dog woke me up thankfully because I had turned off my alarm and fell back to sleep.  She does this thing Robert calls 'clunking' where she'll knock on her crate to get our attention.  Usually she doesn't get my attention  (I sleep through it, especially since I use earplugs. Or I'll sleep in the office/spare room.)  But fortunately this morning my earplugs had fallen out and I heard her so I wasn't late for work.

In fact, I had time to water my garden, and stop by the Farmers Market to say quick hellos to everyone and pick up a scone for breakfast.

The road is being resurfaced, so it was one lane for awhile, and I had to try to keep up with the cars and trucks as I was afraid the road crew guys with the STOP/GO signs wouldn't see me and would send vehicles in the other direction and I would be roadkill.

There wasn't nice smells or sounds today because of the road crews and their machines, and I got a headache from the asphalt.

a saturday
Here they are, right in front of the shop.
The guy parking in the lot did ask if he could park there.
But it was a nice day because it was just touching 80 degrees and sunny, and I had some fun conversations with the customers who came into the shop.

I'm watching little clips on YouTube from that show River Cottage.  R sent me some money so I treated myself and ordered Homemade Jams and Chutneys: Women's Institute.  The British seem to be much more relaxed in their preserving techniques than we are, and I cannot wait to get this book in the mail to see how the recipes are written.

Happy Summer Solstice!!

Oh what a wonderful day!

Robert and I went downtown a little after 11:00 a.m.  We wanted to check out the annual Chalk Walk, drop off some books at the library, and see what was happening at the Farmers Market. (I didn't have to go to work at the garden center/nursery until 2:00 today). As I have mentioned before, I really miss not co-managing the Market this summer.  But I may be called in to substitute sometime, which would be really nice. I also saw an old friend and his wife who just happened to be in town, which was wonderful.

It was overcast this morning - but thankfully no rain!

Happy Summer Solstice!!
In front of the community arts building- and where I'll be teaching some pottery classes at the end of the summer.  Under the tent there, a few volunteers were handing out free chalk for anyone who wanted to make a little art today.
We saw our pal, Keith:

Happy Summer Solstice!!

And Laura and Claudio and others working on the wall near the library:

Happy Summer Solstice!!

Then we went to the bike shop - I had put some money down on a used bike, and was able to pay it off today!  I cannot believe how great this new bike is - all the gears work, it is much lighter than my old bike, and I was able to get to work quicker and easier, too!

I had forgotten my keys for work to be able to close up shop, so Robert had to ride his bike out to drop them off.  Ooopsie.  I didn't want to call my boss to ask her to bring me keys because last night it was pouring down rain, and she came to pick me up and take me home so I wouldn't get wet.  Wasn't that sweet of her!?

Riding home, the square was getting ready for some music.  The first act - a country/western band.  I'm sure there more people now, but we're just going to stay home, have some dinner, and watch some soccer.

Happy Summer Solstice!!

Happy Saturday/Summer Solstice, everyone!

PS:  And the icing on the cake - we just saw one of the baby bunnies in the yard!

autumn dayspickle timesaturday photoswhat day is it?what a week!farmers market and chin dogweekend updatea great start to the weekend!a saturdayHappy Summer Solstice!!

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