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the cow jumped over the moon

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what has happened...

What has happened since my last post?  Two big things happened to England* recently, and with regard to one of those things I say - go Iceland!

what has happened...

And what has happened around here since my last post, you may ask?

Well, Chalk Walk happened. I wasn't chalking this year, just enjoying!

what has happened...

And beans are growing (on a discarded futon frame):

what has happened...

And Sephora went to the vet - she has a little bump on her eyelid that we're keeping an eye on (no pun intended) to see if it is an infection or something else.

what has happened...

We had dinner with P and M (the artists) at their place (you may have seen their place before, here) Friday night. Ahhhhhhh!

what has happened...

It's summer and it has been a beautiful one so far! We have a three-day weekend here in the US as Monday is the Fourth of July.  I'm kind of happy that it might rain on Monday - the fireworks scare Sephora so a more subdued Fourth is okay with us.

*Yes, I know that Brexit affected the entire UK, not just England - and it affected much more than that, too.

bright side of life

Looking for the bright side of life these days:

Our home - it was raining while the sun was shining !
My students on their second day of learning how to throw on the wheel



I'm not sure that video above will work - but it is a short video of hollyhocks in the breeze at P and M's house (the gardeners - I'm taking care of their garden for a week), and you can hear the 17 year cicadas and birds! (Oddly, we really haven't seen any - we hear them, though. And in some parts of the town the sound is deafening!  Just the other day, I finally saw one of those cicadas, but it had expired :(   Robert thinks he saw two in our yard today.)

A honeysuckle we found in the garden!
Denise came to visit!!!
Me in P and M's garden
Some flowers in our yard

we saw...

We saw a happy horse in town last Saturday!  The Mennonites were selling their baskets in town (remember this post?), and this is a perfect shady spot for the horse to relax, in the shrubs next to the parking lot of the community arts building, where I was unloading/loading a kiln.

we saw...

We saw some of my family.  Brother D came into town from CA to visit our Mom; we went with my Brother C and his wife into Cleveland last Sunday to meet up at Mom's house. On the way home, we drove through a thunderstorm and look at the colors (no camera filters used) afterwards!  Maxfield Parrish skies.

we saw...

we saw...

We saw and are seeing some of our garden in bloom:

we saw...
Peony

we saw...
Salvia - and I see some weeds, too!
Speaking of seeing, I am reading Asimov's The Naked Sun in which people on the plant Solaria get completely grossed out by seeing people in person, and feel more comfortable viewing them (through a device like a hologram).

We will be seeing a lot of our yard this weekend - I have a ton of weeding to do!

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!

blooming spring!

Walked out on the back porch, and our spirea 'Fairy Queen' seemed to have popped overnight!

blooming spring!

blooming spring!
close-up of spirea
It's a drizzle-y day today and these white plants sure bring joy!

Below is the Candytuft/Iberis 'Whiteout'. I cannot believe how much it has grown since I planted it late last year.

blooming spring!

blooming spring!
close-up of Candytuft

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'


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)



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.

moving rose bushes

Remember I talked about men working on our town's main sewer line earlier this year?  Well they didn't get to us, but they will next year.

In the meantime, we received a letter in the mail stating that we had to fix our sidewalk. Which is silly because next year they'll be tearing up the sidewalk and the tree lawn and the first two feet of our front yard for the sewer line stuff.  After I talked to the person-in-charge, we then received an email saying to not worry about it for now.  Pheww.

So we're moving plants from the front of our yard (why I thought I could take care of that bed in the first place is beyond me) to the back in preparation for the sewer line work.  There were two rose bushes there, and another one in front of our back porch.  It was totally shaded out by the small French Lilac that my mom gave us nine years ago as a housewarming project. That French Lilac isn't small anymore. We still need to move two peonies, and an tiny apple tree.
moving rose bushes
Watering the moved roses.  One was behind that lilac in the back of the photo

moving rose bushes
I stood in front of our back fence and took this - we have a lot more to do,
but the yard is coming along nicely.  Our other vegetable raised beds aren't in the photo, though
Earlier today I did some work for the non-profit, went to the community garden and took some more photos as some folks were working on the compost bin, the open garden, and putting up deer fencing.

Joanne, here's a photo of the open garden:
moving rose bushes

Oh I wanted to say one more thing about riding my bike - whenever I see a police car, my first thought is "Oh shoot, do I have my seat belt on?"  I'm hoping that I don't have this thought much longer.

Gotta go - have to check out P and M's garden and feed their cat as they're out of town for a few days.

tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update

Tuesday, my dearest pal, Denise, came over in the morning to visit with me before I had to go to work at noon. We hadn't seen one another in awhile, and it was a breath of fresh air to spend time with her.  She brought over a bunch of little vegetable starts for me!! which added to the ones I had brought home from the nursery. So I knew I better get them in the ground soon.

Robert had dug up one of our raised beds and added some compost.  Another was all ready to go if I just weeded it, which I did, sort of, a few days ago.

tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update
A bunch of weeds
So after work today, I started the mow the back yard.  When Robert got home from work, he finished the mowing, while I planted tomato and sweet potato plants, and weeded a perennial bed.  I still have a bunch of peppers to plant; tomorrow we'll move compost to another raised bed so I can plant those, and an eggplant, and then get the front yard mowed.
tomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update
Tomatoes are now in the ground!
The baby bunnies are gone from their nest.  We did see Mom Bunny the other day, and we haven't found little baby bunny bodies, so we believe they are all doing fine!  And the crib is no longer in the middle of our yard. Thanks to everyone for your words of wisdom.

Now it's time for dinner, and a few episodes of our latest obsession, Orphan Black.
what has happened...bright side of lifewe saw...dirt mud clayblooming spring!saturday photosgarden tour (photo heavy)what a week!moving rose bushestomatoes in the ground, and baby bunny update

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