Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Planning the day and hoping for a January thaw

Just wanted to say thank you for your prayers and condolences. I was amazed at how much press Jim got world wide. He retired when he was 55 and I never expected the flood of flowers, cards and letters, and tributes that followed . It was very moving to hear from people we never knew, but who were touched by him and his work over the years.

I'm still trying to catch up with all the paper work and unpacking. The kitchen is organized and now I have to figure out what to do with all the surplus stuff!
Much of the excess furniture is now living at my son and daughter-in-laws Oregon house and my cleaning lady's house.

I've been using our local Freecycle to give other things away. It's a great resource that I continue to use as I go through all the surplus kitchen items, books, etc. etc.

My son and family are in town for the holidays and Bodhi, my Jack Russell and I spent a couple of days over Christmas at their ranch on the Rogue River. It was good for me to get away from the house and all the work still needing to be done; and my daughter-in-law prepared some amazing meals and Sean, as always shared some of the best from his wine cellar. That rich food brought a flare up of the diverticulitis I was recently diagnosed with, but a couple of days on a liquid protein diet and using the Edgar Cayce castor oil pack seems to have taken care of that problem at the moment.

This is the first year I haven't had a Christmas tree. I just wasn't up to it; but I finally just put a string of white lights on my bamboo tree in the living room. Before Jim passed away last month, I put up a swag on the fireplace and got out his favorite Christmas lead figures and set them up on the mantle. That and a wreath on the front door was all of my Christmas decor.

Last night I actually took time to draw out a temporary veggie garden plan for spring. Looking at the current seed cataloges threw me for a loop. Some packets of seeds were five and six dollars. Luckily our local farmers market has one grower who has a large selection of teeny blocks of seedling starts that they sell for 50 cents a piece, so I'll be able to just buy a couple of brussel sprout plants and other varieties I'd like to try without have to store all those seeds or give away the excess plants in a six pack.

The grand kids are skiing at Mt Ashland today with their new ski gear and the family will be stopping by afterwards. So time for me to retrieve the morning papers, and get on with my chores. It's too cold for me to go down to the unheated basement and work. That studio to be will just have to wait till the January thaw or whenever the universe sends some warmer weather our way. That's going to be a monumental task that I'm not looking forward to. Meantime there is plenty to unpack, sort through and organize in this little cottage.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Life can change so fast

I should be dealing with the huge pile of paperwork waiting for my attention; but needed a break and thought I'd visit my blog and read some of the blogs on my blog roll; and I'm glad I did. It was like visiting friends I hadn't seen for a while.

My husband Jim passed away three weeks ago, after a five year bout with cancer, and life right now seems so empty other than all the necessary busyness I have to deal with. We were in the middle of remodeling the kitchen, which desperately needed better working, modern cabinets, and were both looking forward to it's completion. I so hoped that Jim could make it to see the end result; but that wasn't to be.

We were here two months when Jim had to be placed under hospice care at home and at that point, his care was my top priority and it took most of my time and energy.

Our children were and are my rock during this journey. They've gone back to their lives and their families now, and I need to learn how to live without the man I have loved so deeply for over fifty six years. At the moment I have so very much to do that is both overwhelming as well as  a blessing. I trust that eventually I will get all this paperwork done, phone calls made, get the house unpacked and organized and eventually make choices about what direction I want my life to take when all of that is done.

Monday the cabinet people come back to finish the cabinets and counter top installation. Then I'll have the job of completing the filling of the cabinets, and finish the unpacking I haven't been able to do the past few months.

With Jim's health deteriorating so rapidly right before we moved here this summer, I didn't have time to get the house settled. The garage is filled to the max with antique furniture I need to sell, as well as some pottery equipment that's too big to fit in the tiny basement space I can allot to pottery making. The large Bailey slab roller and table will have to go and so will the larger cone 10 Skutt kiln, as well as my ware cart that is too tall to fit into a hundred year old, low ceiling basement. At this piont, I'm not even sure if I will go back to making pots, or at least making them and firing them at home.

There is a studio/gallery here in town that has rental space, and gas kilns, etc, so I may just save my wheel and pugmill, throw at home and fire pots there until I can figure out if I want to set up a studio in my small, low, unheated basement. If I do get another electric kiln it will be a much smaller, front loading one that I can fire more frequently. It doesn't seem likely it can fit in the basement so it will have to go in the workshop section of the garage. I'll have to explore all these options this spring or summer.

Once I get all this banking and other paperwork organized, I need to clear out that garage of the furniture and pottery equipment that needs selling, so I can get my car in there. The next few months are going to be spent thinning out everything!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Living not wholly out of boxes

Well, all the moving boxes that were in the bath tub are gone - just have a few last straggler items from the last box that was in there, to put away.

Yesterday the plan was to try to plant something - anything! But, my sole, little shovel was no where to be found so I wound up spending that time organizing all my cookbooks and getting them into the flat back cupboard which is now living in the kitchen.

After that and other chores, I headed to Ace hardware for a new shovel, a heavy duty hanger for one of our prints, and a hanging basket for some of the flowers I bought the day before, My days gardening chores were watering the many potted plants and putting together a basket of four fuschia plants and getting that hung on the front porch.

Now that I have a shovel I will get in the garden after breakfast and plant some of the deer proof (I hope), plants like marigolds, heliotrope and cosmos where our resident deer love to tread in the back yard. I'll plant roses and veggies in the future secret garden once we can fence that section of the back yard.

I haven't seen our very pregnant resident doe for two days, so I'm assuming she may show up in another week or so with one or two fawns.

It's so lovely living in town and seeing the deer browsing their way through the neighborhood, Three of them were hanging around our house a lot and sleeping here at night; but with all the activity and construction noise here lately, and a resident dog, they may be finding other sleeping arrangements in the future. Time will tell once the construction noise from the new combo laundry room/powder room is finished.

After that project is completed I'll have to address these ancient kitchen cabinets. I'm hoping I can just reface them and add a couple of new ones; but I'll only do that if they can put proper roll out hardware in the existing ones. Unless I can get someone to start that project immediately, it will probably wait until I've recovered from the hip replacement surgery which is in another month.

Unpacking continues, albeit very slowly. I still haven't found my gas kiln, so I'm hoping it's buried at the back of the garage along with the freezer full of food that the movers assured me was plugged in. In another week or so I'll try to hire some of the young moving guys to come in and move everything out of there and put things where they should have been in the first place. There's furniture in that garage that needs to be sold or given away, but I can't even reach it for all the boxes and other things blocking it.

They put all my garden shed contents in that garage instead of putting them back in the shed, And there are household boxes in there as well. I'm just hoping I can be a lot more organized in the few weeks I have left before the surgery.

My old handyman and new one have both been unavailable due to illness and accident, and that is also slowing things down a lot.I know it will all get done, but it will probably take the whole summer before we can feel settled.

The garden awaits, so time for our bagel, smoked salmon and cream cheese breakfast, and then I can finally get my hands in the soil! I definitely need a break from unpacking.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Still inundated with moving boxes and construction mess

A bit of advice - if you decide to move into a charming 100 year old cottage that's less than half the size of your old house, get rid of your excess stuff before you move! In my case it just wasn't possible. With the condition of Jim's health and my surgery next month, it was imperative that I get us moved and settled as quickly as possible into a smaller place.

We put our old house on the market last Wednesday and it sold full price the same day. Guess the universe is supporting this move in more ways than one.

It's been a couple of weeks, and boxes and furniture and much needed kitchen and other items are buried so deep in the two garages that I would have to empty the garages fully to find most of them! The movers put my full freezer in the back of one of the garages and then loaded the garage to the rafter with boxes and other things. The only good thing is that they said they did plug it in. Time will tell is that was the case.

They put kilns, slab rollers and big glaze materials bins in the wrong places, so we will have to hire a bunch of guys in a few weeks to move a lot of that stuff again.

I've been giving away clothes, furniture, kitchen items, etc. My cleaning lady and our son and daughter-in-law are benefiting very well from our lifestyle change. Simplifying is hard work!

Today I've been dealing with the Larry the tile guy who is laying tile in what will be the new, small but efficient, combo laundry/powder room. The gardener was here with two other guys for a few hours doing a major cleanup, tree pruning, some tree cutting, etc. Hopefully they will rototill what will be my little, planned secret garden soon. Today one of the guys cleared a short area enough to plant the four raspberry plants I came home with yesterday.

All my potted plants from the old house are scattered in the back and side yard and hopefully in another month most of them will be planted. They'd better be because of July 23 I go in for my second hip replacement surgery.

The new range is in but I still have to order the vent and cover. The second air conditioning company was here yesterday and promised an email bid today, which still isn't here. It will take at least 2 more weeks once we select which company will do that job. Meantime, one of the subs furnished us with a lender portable air conditioner for our bedroom. We had a couple of those 100 degree days without one and are so grateful to be able to sleep in some comfort.

The deer are still coming around, even with all this activity. One of the does looks like she is going to go into labor any second. Two days ago she was within a couple of feet of our bedroom window munching happily on some shrubs. I won't try to keep our resident deer out of the property, except for my secret garden which is going to be for veggies, flowers and herbs that deer would love to dine on. We do love seeing them in the yard. One of the males now has a rack that seems to get bigger with each day. He and Bodhi got in a bit of a scuffle a few days ago when Bodhi lunged at him. I pulled him back right away, and I'm sure he'll think twice about doing that again!

Well, that's a bit of update on the Perry, scaling down, lifestyle change move. Even with the mess and all the work ahead of me, we are feeling very good about being back in Ashland again. There are a lot more and better shopping choices and a many more services as well as very good restaurants that deliver and have take out menus. That is going to be particularly useful when I'm recuperating from my hip replacement surgery late July and August.

Hope everyone is enjoying some lovely summer weather and making lots of pots! Right now I'm off to get the car washed and pick up a couple of fill in groceries. With no garages free to park the car, living under the huge evergreen tree next to the driveway makes for a very dirty, messy car.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We now have a pet deer

My life this week has been packing, driving to new house for meetings with painters, handymen, contractors, gardeners, man to spray whatever that green stuff is on the roofs, etc. etc. Yesterday I spent a long time taking exacting measurements of the two garage spaces and the basement, aka my new studio. The property has been rented for years and obviously the renters weren't gardeners so the place looked like a jungle of ivy and other yet to be named species; but the gardener and crew have been pruning like mad. It's only a hair under 1/4 of an acre  but seems so much bigger.

It is now official. We have a pet deer, who I will name Elsa. She also has a friend, I'm told but I've yet to meet her. Bodhi and I first saw her a few days ago, in the back yard. Yesterday she was in what is one of her usual spots, left of the driveway among all the wild growth. When I told the gardener that I saw a deer, he replied, "Oh yeah, she lives here!". She's pretty darned tame - didn't run away when I was about ten feet from her and spoke to her. Bodhi didn't bark, he just stared! It was only when I opened the car door that she turned and headed toward the neighbors house next door.

So now I'm printing out some googled information on deer resistant plants. I wanted to plant one of my Japanese maple trees in her favorite resting place. She and I are going to have a  serious talk about what she can't eat! But in case she doesn't listen, I found there is a spray I can use on my special plants.

Today is a packing in the morning, Lowes in the afternoon for new range and a few other little things. Handyman George was a no show yesterday afternoon to make another truck load  run to the new house with more of my potted plants, so I need to touch base with handyman friend Patrick who should be at the house working on cleaning up the cobwebs in garage and basement and filling the gaps in the garage walls (I'm kindly calling them gaps!), with the 3 sheets of plywood I bought for that job a couple of days ago.Hopefully he can water the potted plants since I don't think I can get there today.

The painters were finishing up yesterday and just have to remove a large, ancient and blackened mirror above the fireplace and they'll be done. Contractors people will be in at the end of the week to start on creating a combo laundry room powder room in an available space near the entry way, so things are moving along well. Aleida my cleaning lady will be here for 3 hours and she can fluff up the sheets in the dryer that I haven't been able to get to since Friday! I'll also have her start packing my big metal cabinet in the studio with all my studio miscellanea, and then start on packing up a whole cart of kiln posts, gloves, etc.

While she's doing that I'll be off to Walmart for some of those "put together yourself" paper saving boxes. I find they work well for books and other heavy things. I hope they have freshly stocked them. I need a LOT!

I'm exhausted, but just putting one step after another forward. We ate dinner at 8o'clock last night - a roast chicken cooked by Walmart and some fresh corn, and macaroni salad also, thanks to Walmart. The chicken was moist and good and the salad not bad. I loaded up the car with TV dinners thanks to Stouffer and Marie Callendar and told Jim that last nights dinner was the last one resembling  home cooked that he's going to get for the next week. 

Time now for a cup of tea while I wait for good, first, morning light so I can take photos of some of the antique and other furniture for our daughter-in-law to peruse. She is going to relieve us of the burden of having to move some of those pieces and store them. You can't fit almost 2,500 sq ft of living space into an 1100 sq ft. one unless you're a family of sardines!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A good news day

This is the kitchen in our new, little Craftsman cottage. I was very happily surprised to see this size kitchen in an  1,100 plus, square foot house. Even the painters remarked that the house appears much larger than it's actual square footage.

Yesterday was a great day! Felt terrific after 8 hrs sleep as opposed to 3 the night before.Unfortunately, I'll be dragging today after only 3 1/2 hrs last night; but what can you do!

They're  continuing with the huge cleanup pruning/clean up at the house and after the first day of trimming yesterday, I discovered a hidden wiseria vine on an arbor. It was being shrouded by an ancient evergreen; but they trimmed the tree up and there it was. I was also happy to see a beautiful, big, healthy peony bush near the front, right corner of the house.

There was good news from Matt the contractor that he will not only be able to put a combo laundry room/powder room and that he has one of his team that he may be able to get on it right away. I love that!
A bit of not so good news - we can't put a drain in the basement; but since I'll only be washing clay water down the sink, he said he could just break through the concrete and let it drain there. Glaze material cleanup will be relegated to large buckets.

Another good news of the day, was that the ugly area in the rear garden, filled with dirty looking gravel isn't a  septic of anything I have to deal with. It's an old, make shift  fire pit! So I will be making that area a small patio for either our outdoor table and chairs or our two loungers and our portable fire pit. It will be great for watching those late August meteor showers. He said they'll just fill it with sand as part of the prep before laying a flagstone patio.

This morning I have a meeting with the mover. Since we want them to pack, I'm readying myself for a case of sticker shock. After an early lunch, then I'll be driving to Ashland to finish the measuring I didn't get to yesterday. The contractor checked a lot of things for me and made some excellent suggestions.

Bodhi and I got a huge surprise from an unexpected visitor. As I was walking Bodhi toward the back yard, he turned the corner before me and pulled so hard on the chain that I thought he might have spotted a bunny; but when I turned the corner, there stood a full grown doe. When she saw me she jumped the 6 foot fence. Bodhi was so excited. It just made his day and got me thinking I have to rethink what I plant at that house. Looks like a lot of irises and hostas, or a bigger fence!

When I told the gardener, he said there are two deer to come and sleep inside the property every night. Oh joy!

Since I've been up since a bit before 4am, I gathered some of the treasured pots from my collection and layered them with kitchen towels and pot holders. I'll be taking them over to the new house with the other box of bisqued pots I packed yesterday, and whatever delicate things I can get in the car. I figure I'll load up the center island with them and go then switch to kitchen things I won't need for the next 12 days and get them into the cupboards at the new house.   One the painters are done I can start bringing in pictures and paintings. I met with them yesterday and they'll be coming in to start painting Saturday morning instead of the late afternoon which was their initial projected start time.

If I didn't have to show the gardener the things he has to remove from the basement, I'd be staying home and trying to nap later; but I need to stop at Lowe's for flagstone tiles to create a new hearth and get some locks for the basement and garage doors, and a lot of packing tape. This kind of busyness is going to be the norm for the next month or more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Things are moving fast

We just decided to move a couple of days ago and I been busying, measuring and calling people. I have an appointment with the mover tomorrow morning, who said he could move us on the 25th, met with the yard man yesterday who is cleaning up the property (a gift from our generous son and daughter-in-law), as well as the handyman. The painters picked up the paint samples and will start painting Saturday afternoon.

The handyman will start on some things tomorrow; and this afternoon I have to measure that basement so I can make a plan for placing studio equipment and the our other fridge and freezer. I'm also meeting with the contractor about using an existing space for a combo powder room/laundry room, and someone is coming at the same time to remove the working washer and dryer and fridge because I have newer ones that will be going in those spaces.

Jim's physiotherapist left a while ago and while he was here I managed to get two boxes of bisque ware packed. The plan is for me to get a lot of those delicate pots, painting and mirrors moved myself in the next eleven days before the move.

Yesterday I found out that contrary to what our 6ft 5 son said about the basement height, it will work for me. It's a few inches taller than me. So all my pottery and soaping things, other than the gas kiln, should fit down there. I didn't see a sink, so I will have to put one in.

Tomorrow there will be a clean up crew there for the yard. There's some heavy tree and shrub and rose pruning to do as well as a lot of under brush to clear out of the part of the yard I'm calling the secret garden. That is where my veggies will get planted. It gets eastern, some southern and western sun, and after the heavy pruning I think I'll be able to grow just about anything I want  there. The back of the garage that helps create the secret garden will be a perfect place for clematis and honesuckle vines.

I'm taking all my potted plants with me, and most of those will get in the ground in the next couple of months. The secret garden idea has been on my bucket list for ages, along with a koi pond. I want to get a nice arbor as the entrance to the secret garden. there's already a short, wooden fence there, that needs work. I haven't looked too closely about how much work it needs. If it's a lot, I'll replace it with a bit higher one and plant some rambling roses next to it which can happily cascade over it. I'm excited about getting my hands in the garden and know it's a challenge, so I'll just have to do a section at a time. Patience and planning will be the key.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stop the world I want to get off

It's going to be a crazy month or two. We are moving to Ashland, Oregon as soon as the painters can paint the interior of the house and the movers can pack us up.

Here's the new, scaled down digs - a lovely antique craftsman house our son and daughter-in-law have made available to us.
This is a huge scale down for us since this darling cottage is only a bit over 1,100 square feet. It's 2 bedrooms and one bath, decent size kitchen and and a good sized living/dining room space. It has a lot of windows a lot for a craftsman house of this age. The one bath has to be addressed, so we will put in a powder room/laundry room in what I hope is an ideal existing, unused, small space in the house. It will probably have the smallest sink every made; but should work.

The house is very close to downtown and the beautiful Ashland park, and we will no longer be so isolated from the services and goods we need right now. There is great food shopping in the town, including a once a week farmers market about 6 months of the year, and a lot of restaurants that will deliver; or those that don't all close enough by, so I can call and pick up whatever I need and be home while everything is still hot. Even the local Taj Indian restaurant delivers!

With Jim not being well, and me having to now do everything as well as care for him, it's all been just too much. With this new place I won't have to walk Bodhi, he'll have plenty of established trees and shrubs in the fenced yard to make his mark. We just have to alter the garden gate which has slats too wide. He'd be through those in a shot!

The three hundred plus square foot garage is just going to be a repository for all the things that won't fit in the house including all my pottery supplies until I can deal with them. The garage is really not suitable as garage since I think it's a small barn/shed that someone put a big wood door on to use as a garage with a dirt floor - very rustic. So we'll build a car port in front of it if zoning permits.There's natural air conditioning in that garage with all the holes and spaces in the boards, so needless to say the only time it could be used to make pots may be between May and September, so if I want to get back to pottery in the future, I will have to make some changes either in the building or find some studio space elsewhere in town, if such a space exists. I may in the future tighten up part of that garage so I can extend the time I can work in there.

That's the update for now. If the painters get in this week and we can hire movers this time of year, we will be moving in a couple of weeks. Our son and Jim have convinced me to have the movers do the packing  and this time I'm not resisting. Once we're out of here, we can get this current house ready to be put on the market.  I'll only get do enough unpacking to get the house itself organized and then take a break and plan on a huge garage sale late fall or next spring.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon about a new hip replacement, hopefully late July or early August if they have an opening then. That will be time enough for me relax for a few weeks with our daughter-in-law and daughter here during that time to tend to Jim and I until I'm up and around and back in the kitchen.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Checking in briefly

Just another quick check in during this busy spring planting time among all the other things on my plate right now.

In the blog roll to the right, I have a probably boring, long post in my Plant, Harvest, Cook blog about what's going on in the garden.

Between garden work, getting all my soaping notes and materials organized (I'm almost there on that job after a few great rolling storage carts), as well as being the sole responsible person for all household, cooking, shopping, driving, animal care, etc. etc. chores these days. I don't even have time to check my favorite blogs daily like I used to.

Jim is on some new medications so he is eating again. Since he spends most of his time in the bedroom or his leather chair in his office, I moved my studio TV and receiver in there today, since it's not going any good in the studio since I haven't had time in months to do any studio work or make any soaps. I made him a very happy man today. When he saw me carrying it in there, he said "you need to get an electrician to do that!"; and I replied "I'm the electrician"; and I got it set up with no problem so he could watch the basketball game.

Jim has a new walker and he's able with my help to get outdoors a bit some days while I get some gardening done. Life goes on; but it's all so very different these days.

I have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon in another week, and I'll see if I can schedule my second hip replacement early August when both our daughter-in-law and daughter will be available to help out with Jim, the house and animals while I recuperate those first few week. It's going to be an interesting summer.

Hope everyone is well, making lots of great pots and enjoying the spring weather and early gardening. It's going to be a very hot summer if this spring is any indication. I may finally get to use the pool after 3 years!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Still on the planet

Just thought I'd check in to let you all know I'm still on the planet - a bit beaten up but like the energizer bunny, but still going.

These days there's no time for anything but taking care of my husband, pets, house and garden.- barely on the garden part. I did manage to at least plant some new June bearing strawberries, lettuce, arugula, parsley, peas, shallots, kale and  fava beans. The normally filled with hardy annuals containers are sitting abandoned at the moment; but I'm hoping to find time and energy to brighten things up in the coming weeks.

The only fun, exciting thing I've done in months was to get some new electronic toys - a video camera, and another gizmo to watch more non network, non cable TV for which I have to pick up a HDMI cable today to get it working. These days we only go out for hospital and doctors visits, so TV has become the source of entertainment and distraction from the pains and perils of old age.

Yesterday I setup the new Samsung laser, wireless printer and now I don't have to walk to the far end of the house, laptop in hand, to use the printer. With me now being responsible for all the chores, I really have to be stingy about how many footsteps I take in the day. Bodhi is almost used to me taking him for very short potty breaks. When he gave me one of his forlorn looks yesterday, as if to say, "dad took me on long walks all the time", I told him that he should have adopted a younger family!

Our oven died and since the other ten plus, year old appliances may have soon followed,  we now have a brand new S.S. Fridge, dishwasher, oven and microwave. Jim pushed me to replace them all. In his words "what are we saving it for, the worms?" So I did my homework, and called Lowe's. With sales, and their veteran's 10% discount we saved a lot; and a charity has two, still working well, appliances. I put the old fridge in the garage and have no idea how I found space for it. Of course now, I have to find space for the work table I pushed aside to make room for the fridge; but that, like so many other little chores and projects will just have to wait.

Between his failing health and my bad hip and my  recent fall causing a badly sprained, maybe broken foot, I feel lucky that the fall caused the injury on my bad hip side, so I could still hobble around with my cane. Jim's care is the top priority these days and my new hip will just have to wait. The studio sits like a memorial to what used to be and I haven't even had time to make any soap since December.

On the plus side, we've had our daughter and son-in-law visiting and helping out for a week; and our son has been an amazing help as well, flying up every 3 weeks and getting someone to do things like grocery shopping, etc for us. Jim's sister and husband were here a couple of days, then off to California for a couple and will be back tonight for a goodbye visit before they leave Sunday. I promised them margaritas and pizza; but ran out of time yesterday to make my pizza dough so we'll just have to settle for guacamole and nachos tonight! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nature's Eye candy

I've always thought that nature was the best designer and this video is an amazing look into the world of nature's creativity. Enjoy!

My creativity lately has been cooking - at least that's been the case this week. Tonight I made a great rack of lamb with a dijon mustard coating and then topped with  a coating of herb and garlic bread crumbs drizzled with butter, and my own take on cottage fries (cooked in a frying pan since my main oven is kaput and the repair man won't be here till February 7).

This week has been dealing with car problems. My car is now at the shop after getting hit by a driver who suddenly decided to put her car in reverse on the exit road from our local Costco, and did  a great job of scraping my front bumper area which will now be getting replaced. They called today and said it would be ready on Monday Her insurance company gave us a loaner ( good to have had a willing witness and a guilty party acknowledging guilt) ; but I'll probably be returning it with a full tank since I did grocery shopping the other day on the way home and am all set for dinner menus for the next few days. So their SUV loaner will safely sit in our garage till I take it back on Monday before picking up our repaired car.

 Superbowl Sunday is just going to be classic wings and a bit healther potato salad to balance all the fat in the wings.

I may just pick up a small watermelon for dessert  to balance all that fat. Life these days is all about balance - at least most of the time. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Another Clayart archive

Here's a link to the original clayart archive with messages until mid to late 2012. This archive is the one I tend to go to for information since all the information is in categories. If you're looking for a certain type or color glaze, or certain cone, it is in it's own directory. You don't have to scan thousands of posts or many years to find what you're looking for.

Finally went in for the endoscopy the other day and seems the paraesophagela surgery last year caused a new mini hiatal hernia, as well as shifting of the mesh they put in there. There were able to stretch the bottom of my esophagus, so maybe now the food will go down and stay down! It's not totally fixed, but so far it's an improvement. The good news was everything looked good otherwise, so that's a blessing.

On another note - I've decided to sell my brand new, never used Brent extruder with all the lovely dies. With this new hernia, I'm just not going to risk it getting worse by using a hand extruder. I can't ship it, but if anyone in my area of Southern Oregon is interested, let me know. I'll have to check the price and probably sell if for $100 less than I paid for it and throw in all the lovely dies and hardware.

With Jim's health challenges as well as my own, there isn't time or energy for the studio. My hip has gotten very bad and I can't get a new one for a few months, till Jim is done with his treatments, so I'm hobbling along with my cane and spending a lot of time sitting down and reading in between cooking and other "must do" household chores. Old age gets more interesting every day!  

Time to check on wall ovens. Ours died a few days ago. It won't unlock after the self cleaning and I can't even figure out how to get it out of the cabinet! So as soon as mercury retrograde is over in a couple of weeks, I'll be replacing it. Thank goodness for my little toaster/convection oven which is doing a great job for most things - just no pizza for a while though. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Clayart archves now available

 A new page for Clayart archives is now available:

This archive, unlike the old one separates the years. My preference is the old one which has all glaze recipes, and like related subjects in files. This archive will require a lot more time to search for information unless you know which year, of at least 15 years archived, to check.

Finally got to the right medical office yesterday after months of being shifted from one doctor to another; and on the 23rd I go in for a endoscopy procedure to hopefully fix this problem, of my lower esophagus that has pretty well closed as a result of last years para esophageal surgery. Now that that problem is set to be taken care of, I now need to get started on getting another hip replacement, hoping I can do that in March.

This hip has suddenly gone south and I now have the cane nearby all the time. Yesterday Jim noted that most of the entries in our calendar these days are medically related! Old age is certainly interesting time.

Once they patch up this body, it should be in time to be garden and studio ready. One can hope!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New directions

We took down the Christmas tree yesterday and the handyman is coming in a half an hour to put all those heavy boxes up on the hanging storage grids in the garage. The house always looks so naked with the Christmas decorations down which is why I tend to leave them up so long!

I'm in a bit of limbo still waiting for answers on what's going on with my body. Two doctors have now taken about 2 months to finally get me to see an gastro enterologist; but my appointment with that office tomorrow is only for a consultation with a nurse practitioner. Lord know how long it will take to get any answers. Meantime I'm taking medication and living in the land of the unknown for a while longer. And my hip has gotten worse but I can't look into another hip replacement until I get this other problem dealt with, so these days I'm doing a lot of things that require sitting and not much too much walking.  

My time is being spent on cooking, reading about soap making, ordering soap supplies and organizing them, and making some soap molds out of core plastic. I also started a soap blog a few days ago:

Once the rest of my soap supply orders arrive, I'll make more soaps and other bath and body products for family and friends. That will keep my creative juices going until I can get back into the studio. Frankly, I haven't even missed working in clay, probably because I wasn't thrilled with working with the earthenware, and was facing having to start all over with oxidation fired stoneware as my only other choice. So it will be interesting to see how I feel once I can get back to it.  Life sure gets interesting in your 70's and 80's!