Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We've arrived

The movers worked like mad men to get the house and studio loaded. It was 9 pm when the last shuttle truck left to take the last load to the giant moving truck that had to park about ten minutes away from our house at our friends property Because of the late hour, they drove both the shuttle and the van back to Arden and planned to unload the shuttle truck this morning. Just when we thought the biggest present from our son's friend (the loan of his private jet to take us and our dog nd cat to Oregon), we got a call from our son telling us that he had planned another surprise for us, but was afraid we'd have a heart attack with the surprise, so he decided to tell us. The surprise was two fold. First, he was going to fy out to Charlotte Monday and meet us at the airport and fly back to Oregon with us; but the other part of the surprise,was that he had arranged for our best friends, Jim and Laura to fly back with us and stay with us a week, at Seans house in Oregon. So here we all are after a wonderful flight of being wined and dined in a private 10 seater jet (I originally thought it was 8 seats. I took a little video and we all took pictures; but I have no idea how to get those here on the blog using an ipad. The computers are no longer connected to modems and my router which are packed and on the truck, so all my email and blogging are going to have to be done on this ipad. The animals fared very well on the trip. Bonnie kitty did especially well, but Bodhi fussed a bit and probably more than he would have had I not been talking to him and feeding him cheese and some of the other goodies we were served. Laura and I decided we were going to start buying lottery tickets and if either one of us wins one of those half a billion dollar lotteries, we're going to buy one of those thirty five million dollar private jets to share with friends and family. It's the least we could do. :-) Well, Sean and our friend Jim have arrived with the ribs and other goodies. Time to leave the quiet of this bedroom, plug in the ipad for recharging and join the rest of the crew. It's been a tiring but great day so far.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Busy post going away party day

Lisa Clague gave us this fabulous going away party last night. It was so hard to say goodbye, yet so wonderful to see everyone. Everyone brought great food and Jim brought lots of wine. Needless to say I didn't have much trouble sleeping last night.

Today has been another frenzy of packing and purging. I thought it was going to be a slow day and then realized I still had some kiln furniture and shelves in the Olympic gas kiln and Skutt electric kiln which had to be packed. I also decided to insulate the lids of both kilns with about at least 8 layers of packing paper to keep the bricks from rubbing together during moving. There were also a lot of boxes and studio racks, etc. to number, and two last advancers to wrap heavily. I managed to slide two of them into two big clothing boxes which would give them extra  protection from the clothes.

There were a few more unexpected boxes to pack and as soon as I get through this little break, I have a few boxes to top off and close. The rest of the packing (mainly last minute mugs, Jim's coffee pot and my desktop computer) will wait till morning. My wi-fi is tied to that computer and I'm not sure if it will work if I just plug it into my big laptop, so I'm leaving it to the very last.

The movers will be arriving between 8:30 and 9, and since I'm such an early riser, I should be able to get the last bit of packing done before they arrive - I hope!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Checking in

All the boxes are packed with a few still open for the last minute items. We actually have a little breathing time in between the last pre-moving chores in the next 3 days.

One freezer/fridge is empty and cleaned yesterday and the house fridge has been pretty cleared except for the few items we need for the next 3 days.

Yesterday I packed the last of our dishes and most cutlery and we are now down to paper plates, cups, bowls and plastic cutlery.

We actually had time for a lovely dinner out at the Knife and Fork last night with our friend Kelly, so my mad packing and purging pace is paying off these last 3 days with a more relaxed pace.  Time now to make my last minute to do lists and packing list for the plane ride to Oregon.

We are very fortunate to have been loaned a private jet from a dear friend of our son's, so our dog won't have to fit into one of those tiny carriers and be shoved under a seat. The jet sits 8 very comfortably, from what I can see by the photos, and we're the only passengers so there will be plenty of room for our carry on luggage, and animals. The stewardesses husband is a gourmet chef and will send along a lovely lunch. The universe has definitely been giving us many blessings with this move and we are so very grateful!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rainy day in the mountains

We got a good, much needed rain this afternoon. With a couple of warm days and nights, there may be some morels showing up by the weekend. I doubt if I'll have time, nor will my aching hip allow me much looking, but I may just try to do, at least, a bit of foraging around the house proper.

Today was something of a rest day after doing way too much yesterday; but I did pack a few things and get things like cable and other services set up for the new house.

The studio and garage are now filled with just the things I'm taking to Oregon. Will Baker got the rest loaded and out today. Thanks Will and Joy for such a great job over the past couple of weeks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The new house

Here are a couple of photos of our new, suburban house in a golf course community.The size of the house and the small lot is perfect for our time in life and the fact that it is time for us to play and not tax these ailing bodies.

Since the entire backyard is pool and concrete I will be embarking on the world of container gardening.

Just when I thought that other than the very last minute things to pack, I only had a few boxes to close up, I realized I still have the remaining gallery pots to pack. Many have been given away to family and friends and I have to keep some out for Jim's sister and husband who are coming this weekend. So this morning I'll number, catalog and close up the last of the studio boxes after I top them off with some small pots. Then I need put a couple that I think Jim's sister and brother in law might like.

Yesterday, the last of the household and most of the studio things I was giving away left, so now I can concentrate on packing the remainder. Even though I've been giving a lot of food away, throwing some out every day, here's still a lot to go through but most of that my friend Betty is going to clean out after we leave, take what she wants and throw out the rest.

Doing all this without Jim's help, and even with the amazing amount of help our son and daughter have given me, has been monumental;but when the moving truck arrives Monday morning I think I will be ready for them - pretty wiped out, but ready!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Down to the wire

There are only a couple more boxes to pack;but I'm at #211 boxes and machinery packed. All the big, heavy equipment is sold, and most of the raw materials and garden tools and machinery have been gifted. The next big thing to do is clean out the freezers and fridge; but I'll wait till early next week to do that, after I've finished packing the last couple of boxes.

Our closing here has been pushed up and the movers are arriving on the 23rd and we fly out on the 24th.

A friend of our son's is generously having his flight crew fly us and our dog and cat to California in his private jet and the following day our son has arranged for a smaller private jet to fly us up to Oregon. It's a very luxurious miracle since I was concerned about them letting our dog on the plane in such a small container.

The planes keep shrinking the seat space and the height and width under the seats and the poor dog would have a 6 hour flight all scrunched up; and that's even if they allowed him! He's in the weight category they allow (11lbs), but the box size they allow would make a super tight and uncomfortable space for that long a flight. Even our cat, although she's not very big, is quite long thanks to some of her Siamese genes.

Our daughter left for the airport two hours ago,after almost ten days of non stop work - not only packing and purging, but also cooking delicious and healthy meals for us. So tonight I'm back to cooking but after an exhausting day it's just going to be a simple steak and potato dinner.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Aftermath of a very busy day

We are all a bit wiped after such intense packing and purging. At one point yesterday we had 7 cars/trucks in the driveway. The place was abuzz with activity of people picking up some very heavy purchases from us like a 500 lb or so clay mixer and about a 400 lb de-airing pug mill. And a huge thank you to friends Will, Chet, Jim, Aaron and Bill who made themselves available to get that machinery loaded!

Friday the advancers sold (I'm keeping the other half to cut down for my electric kiln). It feels good to seeing these things peel away from my "have to pack or move" list, especially since I either won't have room or need for them in the new, much smaller studio space.

In between all that activity my friend Betty, daughter Erin and I were packing and purging fools. My packing starting as soon as I got up, around 6am, and we all quit at 4:30. Erin kept going in the kitchen making us a lovely dinner of Caesar salad with chicken. She even made home made croutons which I skipped since I'm off yeast for a month due to a recently diagnosed food allergy.

But the best part of the day was a huge, delightful surprise from Jim's sister Pat, who surprised us by driving up from central Florida. She's only staying for today to help with packing and join us for our traditional Easter breakfast of hard boiled eggs, a German form of Easter bread that our daughter brought from Munich, and kielbasa and horseradish. And since we're trying to empty the freezer, Erin is making shrimp scampi over linguini for dinner, instead of our usual Easter roast lamb.

At the rate the packing is going, I think we are going to be in good shape for the move without needing movers to pack anything other than some large paintings and mirrors. So far we have 84 packed boxes and from just a quick perusal of the things still left to pack, like books, clothes and last minutes items, I think we will have well over 100 boxes by the time we're finished.

Friday, April 06, 2012

kiln shelves for sale

I have some very little used advancers (some have only been in 1 or 2 firings and the rest only 6 firings). They're 12" X 24", and $75 a piece which is less than half of what they were. I can't check current prices because several sites I checked won't list them. Instead they say to call and I'm assuming they have gone up again! These are amazing, light weight, kiln shelves which I no longer have need for since I will only be firing in an electric kiln in the future.

Also for sale, is set of the kiln shelves from my 9 cu ft Skutt electric kiln for sale. They're over $600 new not counting shipping. These were only used in about 8 bisque firings and I'm selling the set, which is in perfect condition, for $300.

These are only for pickup, since our movers arrive on the 25th and I have to have the entire studio and house packed up and ready to go. If you're interested, please email me at:

The soda kiln has been totally dismantled and on its way to a new home with Will Baker and Joy Tanner. This whole move is going so fast, it's downright dizzying. Our daughter Erin flew in from Munich a few days ago and she's been a dynamo with helping me purge and pack. We've already packed #64 boxes and still have about another 25 or more to go, even with all the purging we've been doing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I'm a packing fool.

Taking a wee break after packing all morning. I didn't realize how big my pottery collection was. So far I've filled one dish pack and there's at least two more to go not counting my own pots that will have to get packed.

Fortunately, our daughter arrives from Germany tonight to help me pack and do other help out chores for the next ten days.

The "take down the kiln crew(Will Baker,Joy Tanner and Teresa Piesch)", were here this morning and headed out to have some lunch and unload the bricks and will be back later. They also took a lot of the garden tools that I won't be needing at the new house. Once the kiln is down, they'll start on removing all the bagged raw materials. Our moving quote was pricy enough without hauling a thousand pounds or so of easily replaced raw materials.

The garden is holding it's own and some of the strawberries are already flowering. I picked the first asparagus the other day, but it was a loner. I told Jim they must have sent out a scout to check the weather. :-)

The weathers been conducive for morels but I just don't have the time nor the energy to spare to do that right now. The packing must continue and I just have three weeks to get it all done. Yikes!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Extruder, clay mixer and pug mill are sold.

A couple of people have emailed me and committed to buying the extruder, clay mixer and pug mill. Thank you guys! It's a great deal for you and saves me the cost of shipping them 3,000 miles! It will also enable me to have a bit more space in my new, much smaller studio!

I've been up since 2am and am running on pure adrenalin; but I got most of my meditation room packed up. I would have finished but I ran out of the right sized boxes. Earlier, I packed and closed a few more boxes of studio tools and some kiln posts. I'm giving away all my heavy brick posts and since interstate moves are based on weight, I'm just taking enough kiln furniture for the electric kiln and the very small Olympic gas kiln.

I'm purging as I go and got a few big garbage bags full of stuff for the dump and the charity shop. Some items are being set aside on the slab roller as freebies for visitors. New items are added daily. Today I added a 20" or so, bat, since I don't see me throwing those huge platters anymore. There are some raku and other videos, plaster slump and drape molds and some more plaster bats.

It's going to be interesting to see how much the truck weight when it pulls out of here in a few weeks.