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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!!!





The slaughter of 50 people plus 50+ more hurt in Orlando is absolutely horrific.  Even this morning, I am still trying to understand what is going on with this world and this country.

In my viewpoint, this awful devastating act was not terrorism but hate. The guy was a hateful person, no matter what religion he proclaimed to be. You can argue with me about definitions -  you can say "hey, ISIS claimed responsibility" Yeah, I'm sure they did - they'll claim any responsible for chaos and fuel flames. That guy was a hateful person - who used religion as an excuse for what he did.

And all those Bernie supporters -  you may not be thrilled with HRC but maybe, just maybe, she can get something done about gun control if we band together.  You know that the other one won't.  His tweet after the Orlando massacre was downright narcissistic.And his continued rhetoric about this situation is disgusting.

I would be happy if all the guns in the world got melted and made into something else.  I know that won't happen - and a part of me understands that people like to hunt, have rights, etc etc etc.
Stricter gun control and enforcement needs to happen.

But since nothing happened after Sandy Hook, why would I ever think anything would happen after Orlando?

And also, dear gawd, hooligan-ism with the Euros, give it a rest, would you?



catching up

It's been awhile since I posted!

Speaking of ketchup - Malcolm Gladwell wrote a little essay about the many varieties of mustard vs. the very few varieties of ketchup which was included his book What the Dog Saw that I read not too long ago.  It has been a few years since that article was originally published, and I can now tell you that we have found a delicious new ketchup - Wild Oats Organic Ketchup. We're not obsessed about organic, and the main reason we bought it was because it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup, and best of all, it is not expensive. (Obviously, that essay stuck with me)

The Big Parade paraded on Saturday April 30th. I missed the actual parade because I was loading and unloading a kiln at the community arts center, but here are a few photos as people hang around afterwards. I think some of you remember that when Robert and I got married on May 1st in 2004, the Big Parade was on the same day, and as we (and our family and friends) walked through the square on the way home, the excitement and spectacle and colors and happy energy added to the day.

catching up
The decorated tree in front of the community arts center
catching up
The town square
Today I'm finishing up some of my watercolor cards, and attempting to scan them, but the scanner we have is about a zillion years old and the color is way off, so I decided to just take photos but they're not great, but better than that old scanner.

Speaking of snail mail - does anyone else get confused about this?  So, I often write letters in my head, and then I think that I have actually written them. Weeks later, I'm all "oh yeah, so-and-so should have gotten my card by now!" and then I think "did I really write it or just think I wrote it?" (With one person recently, I just thought I wrote it - sheesh!)  I found a little notebook and am now writing down when I send cards to people. Unlike email where you can check to see if you actually sent a person an email, I need to document my letter-writing.

Which makes me think this - back when people only wrote letters, and wrote to many many people, how did they keep their correspondences straight? Did they repeat themselves often?  Did they make copies of their letters? (I used to do that with a few friends with whom I wrote a lot of letters to years ago, especially if I happened to work at the copy shop or an office, where I could sneak a personal copy in now and again). I have been mulling this over, and will probably do a mini-research/google search to see if I can come up with any answers.

Last night, R and I were invited to my brother C and his wife K's home for dinner.  We had a wonderful time! I'm cutting back on some social media (not blogs, though - I love blogs - it's like being in someone's kitchen, listening to them talk about their day) and making an effort to spend more time with people 'in real life' and of course also writing more letters.  (Which reminds me of an article I read about millennials and their love for the TV show Friends  - and this article too which I found very interesting, and a bit sad, given that I grew up in the pre-internet/cell phone era and am glad for that, though I can be a hermit sometimes, especially in the winter! )

24 in '83

Thanks to Vix' recommendation, we're loving Deutschland 83.

24 in '83


The lead character is 24 in 1983 - I was, too. Makes me think about what little I was doing as an angry anti-Reaganite American at that time. I was involved in an anti-nuke protest, but other than that...? Preached to the choir - lots of conversations.  But did I write letters or call the government? I may have.

Which makes me think of politics here now, which makes me angry and disgusted. I have written emails, but what more can I do? Of course I'll vote, I always vote; but is that enough? I don't think it is.
24 in '83

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Drat, a bunch of bottles of perfume have gone off.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

The first Saturday in January, we went to my sister D's house to meet up with her and her family, and sister M and her family, for a holiday-type get-together. I decanted a bunch of perfume and brought some bottles to give away because there is no way in hell I'll ever be able to wear all of it, and given that so much went off and I had to throw away, I better share the wealth before more bites the dust. Plus it is difficult to mail perfume - the only ways you can do it is to lie or to mail it ground. And I don't want to do either. Last time I tried to ship something ground it was more expensive.

Bowie and Rickman are now off this mortal coil. I rarely get upset when celebrities die, but Bowie especially made me sad - wow did his early music affect me. And if you haven't seen Rickman in The Song of Lunch, check it out. And I need to see Die Hard - can you believe I haven't seen it yet?

Plus now I'm afraid of the age of 69. I used to be afraid of turning 43. I had my palm read when I was 20 or something like that, and the palm reader said something ominous about being 43. Well the thing that did happen at that age was that I got engaged to Robert, and that wasn't such a bad thing!

Today I threw some bowls and tested out some new ribs. And we're watching the NFL play-offs.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Oh and I did order those glasses!!

gone off - scented sunday and some other things


games and puzzles

Last year, I received this puzzle for the holidays and we only opened it last night. Yikes! Since we haven't done a puzzle in a long long time, I'm not sure this is the one that we should have started on.

games and puzzles

Many families and friends in the US tend to play games over the holiday season (as well as throughout the year, but it seems that the holidays have more game-playing sessions than at other times) - or at least in my circle of family/friends they do. Maybe because, unlike in the U.K. where I understand that over Christmas there were and are Christmas Specials, slim pickings were on regular TV. Plus usually during the holidays there would be snow and cold in our neck of the woods (unlike this year as we haven't had real snow yet and currently it's raining again) and being inside and warm was a nice thing. Or maybe it was a good way to keep the peace! For whatever reason, I remember playing a lot of games during this season when indoors!  Also when I was a kid, we often received a new board game from Santa. I remember getting Masterpiece in 1970/71, for instance. Santa used to bring my son games often, too!

I have to admit that I got bored easily with some board games - after playing a few times, I was ready for the next one. But cards on the other hand I seemed to enjoy more. Rummy was a favorite of mine. And pre-packaged card games are fun, too - I heard that there is a new game called Cards Against Humanity - this coming weekend, I'm meeting up with my sisters and I think we'll be playing that one.  I also recommend Aquarius - it is a fun Dominoes-type game.

Here is our current stash of games in our home (which means these are games that still interest me!).

games and puzzles
The two cases are - fancy poker set and backgammon.
There is also a checker/chess board in there somewhere,
but I don't have any checkers or chess pieces anymore for some reason.
Did your family and friends play games at this time of year? And do you have any game recommendations?

And once again I say:  There needs to be a word/term for this week between Christmas and the New Year!  EDIT 12/29/15 - I read that in Norway the week is called Romjul.

the elephant in the room

I just have to say that it's difficult for me to write about every day things when there is so much crap happening in the world and specifically in my country. I rarely write about politics and current events on my blog but I have been quite upset with racism and fear-mongering and shootings and and and that it is hard not to.

I try very hard not to have knee-jerk reactions to things. I have a long way to go, I know, as I still blurt out things when I should hold my tongue, calm down, and get all the pertinent information. But you would think that the 'media' and some bigwigs would try just as hard.

Okay - now onto trivial things:

I stopped in the library yesterday and picked up a few books. (Here's the link to get to my Goodreads profile if you're interested).  Even though I have been reading The Art of Eating and What the Dog Saw, I wanted something else. I like to read fiction and then a bit of non-fiction, kind of like palette cleansing. Sometimes I think I read too much too fast - and that I should savor more. Remember back when you would buy an album and play it over and over and over again, and really live with it? With the various ways of consuming music nowadays, does anyone really live with a piece of music anymore?

the elephant in the room

Gosh I am navel-gazing this morning. Maybe the fog has something to do with that.  And maybe I should stop reading murder mysteries.

the elephant in the room

I can smell Robert cooking our late breakfast!!! so I'll finish up this post. Plus a soccer game is on so I'm signing off for now. 

scented sunday: pulling myself out of a funk

Perfume has helped this past week; with all the horrible events happening in the world, and the disgusting viewpoints of some fellow citizens and politicians and media and what about some of those running for President?!?! ..... I have been in a sad dark place.

So here is what I wore this week:

Agent Provocateur Strip, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, The Body Shop Moroccan Rose, Chanel Coco, Raphael Replique and Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie. (I have linked to posts from my perfume journal for reviews.)

This photo makes me happy - Laura, who visited us in the summer from Denmark. We gleefully found out that we are both perfume fans when I was giving her a tour of our yard/garden.  So wonderful to share perfume with her. Thanks, Laura!

scented sunday: pulling myself out of a funk

In other news, I am having trouble with some celadon glazes - a few of them are crazing and it is driving me a bit crazy. I need to test different clay bodies and figure out this pottery issue.

I guess that is about it for now - hopefully by my next blog post I won't be such a downer.

(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...

...and the sky is gray/grey.*  It is quite windy this morning and leaves are blowing everywhere! Actually it's not that cloudy out right now - the wind blew the clouds away for a bit.

A few weeks ago, Robert's Danish friends Thomas and Julie and their children came to town to visit. They are staying in Minnesota for a few months because of J's schooling. It was wonderful meeting them and spending some time together! T booked two gigs for Robert and Aaron in Minneapolis so they left this morning for the weekend.

Busy with pottery and pottery classes; here are a few things that recently came out of the kiln. These are basically the two styles of pottery I'm concentrating on - bowls with matte glaze outside and in, and the slip/sgraffito/celadon series.

(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...
Not perfect, but boy do I like this bowl!
(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...
Celadon glaze over the slip/sgraffito - I will need to put on at least one more layer of glaze in the future.

Here's one of my students, Erika, with her "first and only mug," awaiting bisque. She's not too fond of making handles, but I think she did a great job!

(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...

I took a photo of some of my students during Wednesday morning's class.  Mary takes my evening hand-building class but was in in the morning as she wouldn't be able to make it to class later on.
(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...
Ana, Mary, Linda and Erika
Awhile back, I came to the realization that I do not like dark colored insides-of-bowls. I also realize that I prefer round bowls to V-shaped bowls to use, though throwing V-shaped bowls are fun. It is interesting to see who likes what type of shaped bowl. What type do you prefer? Or does it depend on what is IN the bowl?

(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...
A V-ish shaped bowl - maybe good for dips?
So this weekend's plans:  trim pots, throw pots, glaze pots, and finish cleaning up the yard.  Hahaa, let's see if that last item gets done - want to bet on it!?

*When I was in first or second grade, I spelled gray "grey" and got reprimanded for it. In my hazy memory, my dad went to my school and complained to the teacher that both spellings are appropriate. I have no idea why I spelled it with an 'e' other than maybe my Great Grandma (from England) influenced me somehow? Now I am never sure which way to spell that darned word as being American, spelling it with an 'e' can come off as being pretentious!


scented sunday

Lots of awful stuff happening in the world and especially my country, and I don't know what I can do about any of it. So I decided this morning to stay off some social media and news sites, and hunker down at home. It is also Midsummer, so other than writing this post, I will attempt to do some work in the garden if it doesn't rain. And I'll probably nap. I have been sleeping a lot.  Mother Nature can be cruel, but not near as horrible as humans can be.

Dior Dune (1991):  I believe I bought this sample back in 2010. I never really did anything with it  - this was billed as a 'fresh oriental' and it didn't seem very oriental to me, plus it has aldehydes.

When I sampled it a month or so ago, I was quite impressed and I laughed at myself thinking "yep this is exactly what I couldn't and wouldn't pay attention to years ago."  I can now see why it gets rave reviews. Check out Perfume Shrine/Elena's review here.  Just because a perfume is popular doesn't mean it isn't a damn good and interesting one - yeah, I need to say that to myself often as it is very easy for me to dismiss mainstream anything.

Montale Attar and Black Aoud:  I cannot find release years for these two. Montale was founded in 2003. Both of these are solid rose powerhouses, Black Aoud being more dominant, Attar a bit more subtle and nuanced. *Thanks to Suzanne for the sample of Black Aoud and read her magnificent review here.

Domenico Caraceni Domenico Caraceni 1913 (2007):  A fragrance for men that can and should be worn by women. An interesting and finely layered take on the aftershave/barbershop cologne.  Notes of neroli, styrax, petitgrain, geranium, rose, bitter orange, tobacco, incense and cypress.  Here is a review by Michael and another from Nathan Branch. I'm not sure if this is even available in the US anymore.

It's also Father's Day in the US which is another reason I'm not my bright cheerful self - my father passed away in 1993 and he is missed every single day.

scented sunday


*I don't always remember who has sent me some of the samples that I am reviewing and I apologize. I can usually tell by the handwriting and/or labeling of the samples, but sometimes I have a difficult time remembering. I should have written all of this down but in my arrogance I thought I would be able to remember without taking notes.  I am upset about this because I am doing a huge disservice to those generous perfume-pals out there.
white shoes after labor daycatching up24 in '83gone off - scented sunday and some other thingsgames and puzzlesthe elephant in the roomscented sunday: pulling myself out of a funk(nearly) all the leaves have dropped...scented sunday

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