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the cow jumped over the moon

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happy holidays!

I celebrated the Winter Solstice with Denise and a bunch of her friends. Women only. It was fabulous. I got there early (hurrah for a reliable vehicle!) so I could spend some time with Denise, and we talked and talked while she was cooking, and then her friends started to show up around 6:30, with lots and lots of good food. We ate and talked.  Made our head wreaths and then wrote our New Year's wishes on small pieces of paper, and then burned them as offerings in her wood stove.

A pottery student gave me a selfie stick on our last class (when we took that photo of us all with our Empty Bowls, I had joked that we needed one to take a good photo of all of us) so I was playing around with it, and finally got a good photo of us all!

happy holidays!
oops!

happy holidays!
That's better - but now I have to figure out how to take a good photo in low light on my phone.
Here's Sephora on Christmas Eve Eve:

happy holidays!

Christmas morning, I picked up my Mom from Mass. She was staying with my Brother C and his wife for the weekend, and since they were at their church, I was able to pick Mom up and take her back to their home.  Again, thank goodness for this reliable vehicle!

happy holidays!

Before we painted our bedroom, there was a built-in cabinet on one wall. When we tore it out, we found some old wallpaper still on the back wall.  So we saved the best square of it.  For my holiday present this year, Robert found a frame, and without the glass, attached it to the wall.  Then he mounted a cross-stitch portrait of Clara Bow that a friend had made years ago.  I love it!

happy holidays!

We keep our holiday decorations up until the Feast of the Magi.  Today, I am doing laundry, putting away paperwork, and we watched the Liverpool/Stoke game on TV. Here's a view from my chair.

happy holidays!


Wishing you all the best during this
holiday season!

happy holidays!
Dried tangerines for stained-glass-ish decorations


car and bowls

Wow, two posts in one week!

Here's the promised photo of me in our new-to-us car, with our cool peace sign seat covers that were part of the deal!

car and bowls


Today, a bunch of my former and current students (some of them made the bowls last Saturday) came to the studio in the morning to help glaze the Empty Bowls bowls. I loaded them into the kiln for the glaze firing; will unload on Monday and get them to the community services center for their Tuesday event.

car and bowls
Some of the bowls getting ready to be put in the kiln.
Afterwards, I came back home, and Robert made us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and we have been watching soccer all day long.  I did do a load of laundry.  The MLS Cup starts in about 45 minutes - I'm not sure who to cheer for, so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the game.

I really need to finish painting the woodwork around the windows.  Sheesh! Seriously, it's been five days just to paint this one window!  I'm hopeless.  My excuse is that I can only paint when it's light, because it's hard to see at night even with the lamp on.  (hahahaHAHAHAHAhahahaa) I only need to do touch-ups!  Okay maybe I'll finish tonight when I'm watching the game.

car and bowls
The top photo shows the light-green color of the woodwork;
we, or I should say I am painting it off-white instead.

good things

Although it has only been a month since election day, it seems likes years.  I try to post here, and when I'm about to hit 'publish' something else happens to talk about; I make changes/additions and then it all starts again, and I got so frustrated I just took my blog down because I was just, well, so frustrated!

He'll never be my president. He continues to be a disgrace, a danger, and an embarrassment.

But onto good things:

A few weeks ago, someone hit me from behind while I was driving to meet a friend for coffee in our little town. I was okay for the most part.  The car was totaled.

Well that ended up a good thing, because one of the students I am currently teaching was selling her car, and with the insurance money from the guy who hit me, it nearly covered the cost of buying her car!! And it is in great shape so I can actually go visit Denise, and my sister M in Pittsburgh (M and I are doing to the protest in Washington DC the day after inauguration day) and other family and friends now!! I can drive out of our little town without worrying that the vehicle will break down!  WHOOT!!!

Darn, I meant to take a photo of the cute little thing.  It's a Ford Focus, and it reminds me of my beloved Honda Civic hatchback.

Other good things:  Some former and current students of mine got together last Saturday and we made a bunch of bowls for the community services center here.  The Empty Bowls project!  This Saturday we'll glaze them all. We made a total of 22+!

good things
Sara, Swapna, Becky, Mary, Kristi and me!
Oh and one last thing - please feel free to follow me on Instagram or on my art page on Facebook.  I post there a lot more than on my blog. (Links are in the side column, I think)

Hope everyone is doing well.  It's currently 22 degrees here! And I'm off to teach a pottery class - so I better get off the computer.


app for that?

Why isn't there an app for blogger? Now that I have this fancy phone, all my photos are on it, and it would be so much easier to just write a blog post from the phone, instead of the computer.

Happy Halloween for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!

app for that?
At the old reservoir in town yesterday, early evening 
The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series -  1) Chief Wahoo is horribly racist and has got to go and 2) everyone outside of Cleveland fans want the Cubs to win.  But I am a Clevelander through and through (even though I have lived in this little college town about 35 minutes outside of Cleveland for 18 years) and it would be great if they would win - haven't won the World Series since 1948.   Keeps my mind off of other things.

My sister M and brother D went to one of the games; and the next day, sister M came to visit!

app for that?

Robert went to TX for three gigs, and while he was gone, Denise came by to take me out for my birthday - we went to a public garden, and then to lunch.  It was a gorgeous day and a wonderful time spent with such a dear friend.

app for that?
Denise next to the river
Life continues in its little ways. I teach pottery, work part-time for the non-profit. R and I did some much need yard clean-up the other day, but our lawn mower is on the fritz again.  I haven't knitted much these days but will remedy that once I pick a new project. I have been watching way too much sports on TV, and posting nearly daily on Instagram. Will be pickling a bunch of peppers my brother C and his wife K grew and gave us over the weekend.

app for that?

Today Sephora is at the groomers.  She has a growth on her eyelid, but fortunately we found out it was benign earlier this month, and she'll have that taken off when she gets her teeth cleaned in November.

app for that?
The growth is on her left eye, so you cannot see it in this photo
I'll post next week when I am celebrating the first female President of the USA!

Have a great week everyone!

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!!!


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

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!

what's the buzz...

Weather: It's been a chilly April so far - we had snow over the weekend, and yesterday the powers-that-be cancelled the Cleveland Indians (baseball) Opening Day.Windchill of 18 degrees and snow/rain.  Not that I was planning on going to the game.  Baseball isn't my favorite sport to view (same with basketball), though if I have to watch any baseball, I prefer minor league, or folks at a pick-up game.

Television: Over the weekend, there are so many soccer and hockey games on television, esp. now that we have access to NBC Sports Network. By Saturday evening, after watching a ton of soccer, we started watching a hockey game, and I was fed up with myself. See, usually I knit while watching TV but I'm in between knitting ideas, and I had to do something, so I started making some very simple watercolor greeting cards, using masking tape, round stickers, and micron pen. I felt better about myself.

what's the buzz...

I enjoy sending and receiving cards in the mail, so I'll continue to play around with this idea.

Oh, and regarding television shows - I'm still not happy with the season finale of The Walking Dead- I am this close to being done with it, but I have to say I'm a bit interested in The Kingdom. Hinterland season 2 is on Netflix, so we'll be watching that at some point. Happy about Grantchester (season 2) and another season of Call the Midwife. And I'm still enjoying some sitcoms.

Pottery: I'm teaching some at-risk high school students on Tuesday afternoons for six weeks, and starting Wednesday night I have a new four week hand-building class.

I splurged on a new book - 500 Cups! I was able to find it for $10.00. I really want 500 Bowls, but cannot find that one cheap (yet).

what's the buzz...
My favorite mug at the moment.
Reading: Just finished a Mrs. Pollifax - enjoying these cozy mysteries these days.  Still reading The Art of Eating - I started it in August of last year. I'm on page 687 and I'm only now warming up to the author.

Garden: I'm using the weather and other (stressful) things as excuses, but truly, I should have started seeds weeks ago. Maybe this weekend.

Politics:  Don't even get me started.

first week in march

We recently watched Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and all I have to say is - what? (apologies to anyone out there who is a huge fan), though there was something about them that I did enjoy. I'm reading an Inspector Gently book now - to see if I'm just 21st century jaded. I'm also getting annoyed with television shows recently - for instance, I cannot wait until we are done with the last episode of Downton Abbey (we DVRed it) - I think it jumped the shark years ago. EDIT:  We just watched the final episode - very well done! And The Walking Dead, which I normally enjoy, is bugging me too. In case you all think I'm a total curmudgeon (I'm only partly curmudgeon!), there are some television shows I find enjoyable. Like Life in Pieces and Brooklyn Nine Nine. Guess I need some light-hearted laughs.

And speaking of TV, we found out that we now get NBC Sports Network and oh dear - we watched soooo many soccer games this weekend. But that's really okay for now as you know I knit while I'm watching TV, and it is nice to sit and relax a bit with Robert. What else?  Oh, we went to the hospital again on Wednesday because Robert is having severe muscle/neck/head pains probably due to how he's holding himself since his surgery. The PA (physicians assistant) told me to stop following him around all the time - that there is really nothing I would be able to do if he fell, anyway. I'm in such fear of R falling down and splitting open his sternum, and I would trail along after him in the house.  He had a few tests done at the hospital, and I waited in a pretty waiting room at that hospital.  Another good thing about his check-up on Wednesday - now that he has been given the go-ahead to walk around freely, he can also cook a little.  Whoot!

first week in march
See, the hospital can do nice-looking waiting rooms.
The PA gave him the go-ahead to have massages, so we went on Friday (our pal Scott has his office in a building overlooking the square) and while R was getting his massage, I took this photo of the square, and then went to the post office. I don't think I have posted any photos of the so-called winter we have had this year. In fact, I think we had the most snow this winter on Friday, and by Sunday all of this snow was melted away. Hey, I'm not complaining.

first week in march
Friday: early March snow in the town square
I was asked to teach a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute once-a-week for six weeks pottery class to some high school students from Cleveland. Now to figure out what high school students like. I haven't taught that age group in a long time. This class starts in two weeks - better get researching.

Went back to work (at the non-profit) on Tuesday after some vacation time/being with the husband, so I took some photos in the bathroom there. Linked to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog for her Visible Monday post.
first week in march
Second-hand top (long-sleeved shirt and vest) and very very old scarf from somewhere, 
and matching brown specs.I had a good hair day and had to document it.
happy holidays!car and bowlsgood thingsapp for that?early octoberwhite shoes after labor daybright side of lifedirt mud claywhat's the buzz...first week in march

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