Saturday, January 31, 2009


I went to the studio today to do some pottery. I finished glazing some pots and then threw some new pieces. I was very pleased with three bowls that I threw. The big bowl is a serving bowl to go with my set of salad/pasta bowls I made last week. One of the two smaller ones I’ll turn into a pedestal bowl and the other will maybe be an addition to my salad/pasta set.

I’m very fussy about coffee cups. I have not yet made a cup that I would use. They’re either too small, too big, too heavy, or just too ugly. Today I made several pieces that I’ll try putting handles on next week. Maybe one of them will pass the grade as the perfect (or almost) coffee cup. They shrink about 12% during the drying and firing process, so it can be pretty tricky to get just the right size. Once I have my prototype, then I can work on a set.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Camp in Winter

I used to go to my little one room camp in the winter and spend a weekend of solitude, kind of roughing it without running water. When the stream was still flowing I'd carry water to flush the toilet. (No outhouses here!) Later, when it was all iced over, I'd have to carry some water from home and melt the rest from snow to flush or do dishes. But other than that I'd have all the comforts of home: nice gas fireplace, electricity, and most likely I wouldn't see another soul the whole time I'm there - a day, 2 days, whatever. Nice. Some books, music, my djembe, a bottle of wine and whatever.

Sometimes my friend, Grace, would come out with me, though she'd get restless and have to leave within the first 24 hours. I'd fill the bird feeders as soon as I got there and within a few hours and birds would start calling. Often I'd get visits from racoons or skunks, sometimes a deer. And my camp kitty, Cobby, who must belong to a year round neighbor would find his way over - often to spend the night. I always made sure to bring special treats just in case he decided to visit.

The only other place you can see from my camp is another seasonal that never gets used in the winter. Across the stream is all woods and my nearest year round neighbor is a quarter mile away. So even though you're really quite close to people on a snowy day like today, it would feel very secluded, all holed up just listening to the intense silence caused by the heavy falling snow.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Love Flowers

I love getting flower deliveries, especially at work. From where my office is located, I can see when people drive in our driveway. I can also see them walk up the ramp to our office and if my door is open, I can see them as they enter the front door.

Yesterday I was working at my computer, which sets right next to my window, and saw the flower delivery van drive in the driveway, and the delivery man walk up the walkway to our building. As he walks in the door there are always those few moments of anticipation, wondering if that stunning bouquet he’s holding is for you . . . or is it for one of your co-workers? At that point it doesn’t even matter; you can’t help but smile, just looking at those beautiful flowers. But when he announces your name, there’s always such a moment of delight and surprise, especially if it’s not even your birthday or Valentine’s Day, or some other special occasion.

He Who Is Unique To Me In All The World knows this about me . . . and indulges me with these wonderful surprises quite frequently. Probably 8 out of the last 10 flower deliveries to our office have been for me, sometimes arriving on someone else’s birthday or anniversary. In fact, I think the delivery man sometimes feels a little sheepish as he brings my deliveries. One day last winter he stopped by our office with a beautiful assortment of flowers that were “left over” and left them for all to enjoy.

I have always loved flowers – blooming in the wild, cultivated in a garden, hanging from pots on a porch. But there’s something about a bouquet of cut flowers; perhaps it’s that their lifespan is so fleeting that they must be treasured for every possible moment of their existence. They must be put in a prominent place where you can enjoy the benefit of their beauty. Sometimes I’ll bring them into my bedroom at night so they will be the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. On cold, dark mornings, it’s such a lovely surprise to open your eyes and see that reminder that spring really isn’t that far off. That the simple joy brought to us by nature’s beauty rising up from beneath winter’s snow cover will be upon us once again before we know it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Goals - Not Resolutions

Some goals for 2009:

Sell my Gardiner house

Make a SET of pasta bowls in pottery – it will be a challenge to make several bowls that are similar enough alike to look like a set

Spend more time kayaking

Visit San Francisco and/or New Orleans

Write more poetry

Read more

Exercise more