Saturday, October 31, 2009

fall is leaf color and Halloween

Here are some photos of the view from my deck. The trees around here are just past their peak and are losing their leaves. Still nice to look at.

Patty opened her house for a pumpkin carving party last night. Brave soul that she is! I would hesitate to have 8 kids come into my house and mess around with pumpkins and knives. Actually the kids didn't use the sharp knives. They used plastic carvers, mostly. We grownups did a lot of the cutting for them. I'd forgotten how thick pumpkins are and how messy! The designs the kids made were very clever and original. Somewhat hard to cut out, however.
Patty had made a lot of finger food with silly Halloween labels - eyeballs (mozzarella cheese), fried eyeballs (chicken nuggets), etc. Kids and adults snacked all evening. The daddies popped in and left, but the moms and grandma stayed to help. It was quite fun. I understand she has bobbing for apples planned for sometime today. I supplied the apples, but don't expect to be around for the bobbing, as I will be all day at Montpelier participating in a Raku firing. I should have some photos of my stuff to show in a future blog. I expect to be home in time for the trick and treaters.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

wood firing results

Last night, I drove back over to Gary's for the unloading of the wood-fired kiln. It was very exciting to see each piece as it was unloaded. There were some lovely pieces - nicer that just what c0mes out of a regular gas kiln firing. We had added little dishes of salt, which produces interesting effects. And the smoke from the wood also reacts with the glazes. I put in a mask, which came out a nice brown. Next time, I will use more than one color of glaze. I had put in two other pieces, but I made a mistake there. They were made from low-fire clay and this was a very high firing. The clay melted! It was weird. Luckily, they did not damage anyone else's pieces. I did know better than to do that, but forgot that those were low-fire pieces. You can bet I won't forget that again. The pieces weren't anything I cared about, but I would have like to see what the glazes looked like.

Parking at Gary's is rather difficult. I ended up trying to back out along the road, which has a creek on one side and a hill on the other. No fences or guard rails, of course. And no lights either. I could hardly see the driveway and was trying very hard not to end up in the creek!! One of the guys finally came out and guided me, so that I could turn the car around. I really wasn't eager to back all the way out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a VERY busy week!

I finally figured out how to restore the font size back to normal. Hurrah! Hopefully, this will allow others to read the blogs easily again and make my version look fairly normal.

If I remember to do all the things I have to do this week and get to all the places I'm supposed to be going to, it will be a miracle. I have evening activities Mon - Thur. Most of these are related to ceramics. I have my usual daytime activities, which keep me on the go every day. I am also trying to be available in case my neighbor (home from the hospital) needs me to drive her kids somewhere or help in some other way. So far, my help hasn't been needed.

Saturday is the Raku firing at the arts center, as well as being Halloween. The word is that we should wear costumes on Saturday, but I cannot imagine trying to handle VERY HOT pottery while wearing a costume. (For Raku, you remove the piece from the kiln, using asbestos gloves and tongs, and place it in a barrel filled with flammable material.) I'm sure I have explained this process before. It's a good idea to have long sleeves and old clothes for this. I don't know of anyone who has gotten burned doing this, but still, one must be careful. So, my costume, if I wear one will consist of jeans and long sleeves. Maybe I will be a hobo? I expect to be home in time for the monster and goblins who will come knocking on my door.

Today we have had some morning rain. My newspaper, which is delivered rather early (before 6) was soaking wet. This happens almost every time we have rain. The delivery person throws the paper from a vehicle and aims at my sidewalk. Unfortunately, the sidewalk has a low spot right where the paper usually lands. If it's raining, there is a shallow puddle there. I am usually not up before 6, so the paper has plenty of time to get wet. Today it was in a single plastic bag so of course every page was wet. When they remember to use two bags, only the edges get wet and I can salvage the paper by spreading out the wet pages all over my kitchen floor. Today I called the Post. I cannot use the automatic system because their records show that there are two people with my name, at my address, who have subscriptions. Of course, only one subscription is being paid for and delivered, but the computer insists that there are two and therefore I have to talk to a customer service person. Normally, this would be a good thing because, strangely enough, I prefer to talk to a person rather than a computer. However, in this case the person had an accent (perhaps English is not her native language?) and a soft voice. This meant that I could not understand her and had to ask her to repeat herself. I know that my hearing loss is part of the problem, but still it would be nice if the people handling the phones were easier to understand. I did not even try to explain to her about the two subscriptions supposedly coming to my house, but just dealt with the wet paper issue. She said I would get a replacement copy in 90 minutes. If that actually happens, it should arrive at 9 AM. This would be good. If it comes much later, I won't be home and the paper will sit out in the rain all day. Then I will have two wet papers! I probably should just have bought today's paper and forgone the replacement. But, I shouldn't think negatively. Perhaps the paper has already arrived - NOPE. Half an hour to go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

font size

Sometimes, I really don't like my computer! I'm writing this in the new larger sized font that my friend Deb set up for me. It's huge! However, I will not change it to the smallest size, as I did with yesterday's blog. How about this size? I think the problem is that whatever Deb did changes the look on my computer, but what I did on the blog changed the font size for everyone reading the blog. I will try to undo what Deb did, as it is driving me batty to see such big type. I can't remember why we decided to change it in the first place.

Yesterday, I actually DID paint the second coat on the powder room walls. Now I have to do the door and woodwork. I will check to see what green paint I have leftover (at least 3 cans of different colors) and hopefully, one of them will look good as a contrast to the chartreuse walls. I'm still debating whether to 'rag on' a contrasting color, as I have done with living room walls. I think it might look good, but it means several more days of doing without the room. I'm getting more exercise, going upstairs to the bathroom!

It's cold today, at least in my house. The heat has actually been on for several hours. Feels good. I'm wearing four layers of shirts and my hands are still cold! I wonder if I could type with gloves on. LOL My hands and feet are often cold, so I mostly ignore it. For about ten years, during and after menopause, I was comfortably warm all the time. I thought perhaps my system was finally going to be like most other people's, as far as temperature. It was rather nice being able to only wear as many layers as most everybody else was wearing. I was actually warm enough when visiting Kate. (In England, houses are kept pretty cold by American standards.) However, now I find that I am back to being cold much of the time. I guess that is my normal state, so I'd better get used to it again. At least it provides a reason to wear my heavy winter sweaters.

This looks to be another busy week. I may be walking/driving my neighbor's kids to school, as she is just home from the hospital and probably needs to rest. I don't mind doing this and the walk will be good for me. It's just one more thing I must keep track of. Hopefully, I won't be picking them up, as that would be much harder for me to remember. I have a lot of evenings tied up with ceramics this week - more than usual. And, of course, I need to shop for a computer. I doubt that will happen this week. I really want to get a new machine. It's the thought of shopping for it, deciding on one, and then (horrors!) setting it up that causes me to procrastinate. As I mentioned earlier, I have a love/hate relationship with my computer. I need a new computer and couldn't bear to be without one, but I don't understand them and hate having to deal with problems or other odd issues.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

wood firing day

Yesterday, I spent 5 hours helping to get a bunch of pottery (not just mine) ready to be placed in a wood-fired kiln, located at the home of my ceramics teacher from Montpelier Arts Center. I thought we were going to be splitting logs to use as fuel in the kiln, but only one person did that. The splitter is a scary machine. One could easily split something other than the logs! No way am I going to use it. There were perhaps 20 people involved, although there was a good deal of coming and going. Most of us finished glazing our pieces and helped others finish up. I put little 'feet' on the pieces, so that they would not touch the kiln shelf. The feet are glued on (Elmer's glue) and will fall off after firing. I also put fresh kiln wash on the shelves. This makes it easier to clean the shelves of the glazes that run over and get on them.

There was plenty of time to0 for chatting, eating, and drinking. We were lucky that the rain held off until 2 and then only rained hard for about an hour. We worked outside, but mostly under some kind of roof - like a tarp strung from trees. We all got a bit wet and one gal slipped and fell, getting very muddy and wet. Luckily, she wasn't hurt, but I'm sure she felt rather uncomfortable the rest of the day. I didn't stay for the kiln loading. I would have liked to see it, but was just too tired to stick around. The kiln will fire all day today (started at 4 AM). We will take the pieces out on Wednesday. It takes that long to cool off. It's actually two kilns, side by side, made of fire brick. Pretty good size, although not large enough to stand up in. (Not that one would want to!) It will be interesting to see what the fired pieces look like. The wood creates ash that circulates in the kiln and gets on the pottery. I'll post photos of my stuff sometime next week.

I had one of those embarrassing senior moments yesterday evening. Somehow I got my days mixed up and thought it was Sunday. I always call Kate on Sunday, so I called her. I knew that England was changing their clocks this weekend - on Sunday. I thought that had already happened, so I called her at what was 11 pm her time. This would not normally have been a problem, as she is usually up past that. However, she was tired yesterday (from Olivia's birthday party, I imagine) and went to bed early. So not only did I feel stupid calling on the wrong day, but I felt guilty for waking her up. Hopefully, she got right back to sleep. I have done this once before - hope it's not going to be common. Usually I DO know what day it is!

I have not yet finished painting the powder room. Been too busy or too tired to start the second coat. Maybe today after church. I hate unfinished projects, but I need to start early in the day. By mid-afternoon, I'm not energetic enough to start painting. All in all, I think I have a bit too much on my schedule this fall. I'll try to not schedule quite so much activity come January.

Fall is such a lovely time of year to be outside, especially in wooded areas. I'm beginning to really appreciate the color in Maryland trees. We get mostly gold, rather than red, but it's quite lovely. The golden leaves create a glow through the woods. A few trees have orange/red leaves and really stand out. It's more muted than the fall color I remember from NY State, but I enjoy it just as much.

Of course, I never have my camera with me when I see a lovely woods. Maybe I should get one of those phones that has a camera. Of course, I would have to learn how to use it! I still can't remember how to turn the flash on and off on my digital camera. I finally did figure out how to find the numbers of friends that are programmed in my cell phone. (Sarah (Grand-d1) put the numbers in for me, but I had to figure out how to access them!) My friend Deb, who understands computers, changed the font size on my computer - or at least on some parts of the computer. It's way too large and, of course, I don't know how to change it back! I've fixed this blog easily enough, but it's only a fix for this document. I guess I'll always be one of those challenged by the world of electronics. Ah well, somehow I'll get by.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

exercise day(2)

Every Tuesday will probably be noted as an exercise day, until the weather turns too cold to walk outside. I have just enough time between my ceramics class and the yoga class to walk around Lake Elkhorn and then eat my lunch. Yesterday was a gorgeous day - warm and sunny, but not hot. The turtles certainly liked it. I counted 30 turtles sunning themselves on small logs in the lake. There were probably many more, but the path around the lake isn't always close to the shore. More than half the time, the path goes through woods and although one can see the lake, it's too far away to spot turtles. Anyway, with the walk and then yoga, I was feeling virtuous and tired by the time I got home.

Today, I've been painting the powder room. I ended up getting the bright yellow retinted into a green - also bright, but better than the yellow. I have a lot of green in my living room, so it will fit right in. I had decided to paint over the wallpaper (a mistake) and had about half of the first coat on when I gave up. The wallpaper wasn't peeling off, but there were all these bubbles and loose places. At first I tried cutting them open, applying Elmer's glue , and then sticking the paper back together. However, the more I painted, the more spots showed up. Soon there were just too many bumpy places. When I started peeling the paper off, I realized I should have done that to start. It was very easy. Where I had painted, the paper came right off. Other places needed a bit of water, but there were no real problems. Of course, I had wasted at least an hour, painting, but I still got the first coat on by 3:30. Unfortunately, I won't get the second coat on tonight. Paint cans used to have information as to how long to wait before the second coat, but this can does not. I have to assume that it would not be dry enough to paint tonight. I am planning to get up a bit early tomorrow and paint before I go to work in the gift shop. I have to be there at ten, so in theory, I have enough time to do the second coat. It should only take 90 minutes. (I will not even try to do the woodwork. Haven't decided yet if I want to paint it the same color as the walls or a contrasting color). I'm not usually that organized in the early morning, but perhaps I will be tomorrow. A friend is coming in tomorrow evening, so I would like to get the painting done and the shelf unit put back before she comes. Right now, my living room is littered with various baskets that normally stay in the powder room. My friend won't care if my house is messy, but I will!

I put up the rest of my Halloween decorations this afternoon. I have a couple string of lights that drape around the little evergreen tree out front. Also a jack'o' lantern with a light in the window. I have a Halloween flag that needs to go up as well. I'll do that just as soon as I finish typing this blog. Patty's house is the one that everyone looks at. This year, she has a collection of spiders and flies stuck up on her door and wall. Very icky! She also has various signs (''The Witch Is In")and a nasty looking green ghost. Our neighborhood really gets into Halloween. It's fun, especially for those of us who don't have resident kids. If the weather is nice on Halloween evening, we will sit out front and admire the costumes while sipping some appropriate beverage. I'll take some photos one of these evenings.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

closing night

Last night was closing night and Lynne and I finally went to see 'Bus Stop', the show for which we did the props and sets. We had a lot of fun searching thrift shops for props, painting sets, and sponge painting the floor to resemble 1950s linoleum. I was thrilled to see how great the floor looked! I had put on the first color and Lynne added bits of three more colors. The sad thing is that now she must repaint it all black, as the next group to use the theater needs a diferent floor.

The play was a great success, I think. The gal who played the Marilyn Monroe part did a really good job being a little ditzy and a little bit of a tramp and yet rather sweet. The fun thing about local amateur theater is that I know a lot of the folks who participate. In this case, I knew the director, the producer, the stage manager, the sound guy, and one of the actresses. Everyone did well - no obvious mistakes. There was a party at the director's house after the show and they talked me into going. (His wife makes wonderful food. Everybody loves their parties.) I knew it would be late when I got to bed, but really only planned to stay a half hour. You can guess what actually happened. I did get away by 12:30 AM, but when I got home, I was wide awake, so stayed up until I got sleepy - about 2 AM. That alarm sure went off early this AM! Early bedtime for me tonight!

The crew received gifts from several cast members. Here are photos of what I got. Actually, here is one photo. Blogger won't upload the other photo. It keeps saying that there is an internal problem, whatever that means! The other photo showed a bag of Lindor Halloween chocolate candy and a black mug that says 'Bus Stop' on one side and the place and date on the other. You'll just have to use your imagination. You can imagine how lovely the chocolates taste too. I'm not sharing!

Friday, October 16, 2009

in the newspaper

My picture is in the current issue of the Laurel Gazette! This is a weekly, free newspaper. This means it gets thrown in the general direction of the houses in our row. Most of my neighbors don't even bother to pick it up. Or if they do, it goes directly into the recycle bin. So you can see that having one's photo in this paper isn't worth much. More to the point, I did nothing worthwhile to warrant a photo. Here's what occurred: a week ago a photographer from the paper came to the ceramic studio where I and other students were working. The center is celebrating "30 years of art" and she was looking for material to use in an article about that. She took photos of three or four women who were all in class that evening. She interviewed each of us, briefly. After she left, one of the other women said to me, "Your picture will probably be used because you are the only one of us who lives in Laurel." Voila! She was right. The photo, which I will not attempt to put up here (very poor quality) shows me bent over a vase that I was carving designs into. I'm not quite frowning, but it do look very serious. At the time, I was just wishing she would go away because it's hard to concentrate when someone is watching you closely. So that's the story. I find it worth telling - an amusing story.

Wednesday was an amazing day in more ways than one. I received a phone call from my non-communicating son, Steve. He was at home that day and his wife, bless her, suggested that he try calling me. We had a nice long chat. Nothing new and exciting in his life, but it was great to hear from him. I talked to my daughter-in-law as well. It's feels good to be back in touch with them. Andy, (my ex-husband) also phoned me that evening. This is not as amazing as the call from Steve. Andy calls me about once a month, just to chat. We have a very friendly relationship, as long as we don't spend a whole lot of time together. He wanted advice about sending birthday presents to our grandchildren in England. Both girls have fall birthdays. I tried to talk him out of mailing anything, as it is very expensive, but he wanted to do it. Hopefully, the items will get there safely. They are somewhat breakable. I offered to take them with me when I go over in December, but no luck. I'll keep my fingers crossed until I hear that they arrived safely.

Weather here is cold and rainy and just nasty. But, I won't complain (at least not much) because I just received an email from a classmate who lives in the town I grew up in. (Bath, NY - located in the finger lakes region of the state). They currently have a couple of inches of heavy, wet snow which is breaking branches and causing a big mess, but looks very pretty. Even for that area, it's very early to have snow. I'm just glad we had our reunion weekend at the beginning of October!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

exercise day?

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I really wanted to get outside. Luckily, I had a good opportunity to do just that. The ceramics class I attend in Columbia gets over at noon. I then have 2 hours before my yoga class, also held in Columbia. If I am organized enough, I can take a change of clothes and lunch with me in the AM. Yesterday, I actually managed to do this. After class, I went to my favorite place to walk - Lake Elkhorn. I walked around the lake and then ate lunch on the grass near the lake. All I saw in the way of wildlife were ducks and geese and turtles. I did see a heron in flight, but never saw him in the water. Still it was lovely walking along the lake and admiring the flower on balconies and in yards along the shore. If I had the money, I would buy a townhouse with a lake view. Some of them have two balconies from which they must have wonderful views all year round. My view out back is nice, but not as nice as a lake would be.

After lunch, I went to the East Columbia library/senior center where my yoga class is held. I was a bit early, so I browsed the library. It's huge and has a much larger selection of books than my little local branch. I think, also, a rather different selection of books. The 'new' book display had no popular romance or crime fiction authors. I did not recognize most of the authors. I think because the library is in Columbia (considered an upper class community), they order somewhat more literary books. It's not as if they don't have mysteries and romances, but they seem to have a larger selection of more serious fiction. I have rather plebeian tastes when it comes to the books I read for entertainment, however, I did find three books to borrow. When I got home, I discovered that I owned one of them. Can't remember reading it, but it's on my shelves. I may reread the library copy, just because the print is larger. Most of the books I buy are paperbacks and the older I get, the harder it is to read them.

Yoga class went better than last week. My biggest problem seems to be balance. A number of exercises involve standing with all one's weight on one leg. I can't do that for very long. Very quickly I have to put the other foot down or fall down. Hopefully, I will get better as I practice. I used to be very good at that. Just another one of the 'delights' of aging! LOL.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a lovely wedding

Today was Elise's wedding day. (She and her husband Jerry are in the photo.) Her parents have been good friends of mine for many years and I don't see them nearly often enough now that they live in Pittsburgh. So it was wonderful to have a chance to chat with them and even more wonderful to be able to watch their daughter getting married. She was a beautiful bride. The ceremony was fairly traditional, except for the very loud slamming of two doors in the middle of it. (Comliments of a rather brisk wind outside.) Everyone gasped and laughed and then the service continued. It's the unusual things that make a wedding memorable. We'll remember this one. The reception was at Glen Echo Park in the bumper car pavillion. I don't know if there are bumper cars there in the summer, but they were not there today! The pavillion has a roof, but the sides are open. It was a bit chilly today, although the people who were dancing were probably warm enough. It was us older, non-dancing folks who felt the cold. Elise and Jerry met through swing dancing, so of course, they had appropriate music for dancing. Lessons were offered to those brave enough to try, although I didn't notice too many of the folks who took the lessons actually dancing later. Elise and Jeffy performed several solo numbers. What they do is beyond belief. Perhaps it helps that Elise is tiny (less than 5 foot tall) and Jerry is 6 foot plus and muscular. They are such good dancers. It was a delight to watch them. Andy (my ex-husband) and I used to swing dance about 20 years ago, but we never did the fancy stuff. All in all, the wedding and the reception were very enjoyable. I saw a number of friends who have moved far away and that was just icing on the cake. Speaking of cake - the wedding cake was just a nicely decorated sheet cake with none of that very sweet, rich decorators' icing. Instead, it had a lovely light filling. Best wedding cake I've ever eaten!

Since I got home, I have spent at least 2 hours on the computer trying to book a reasonably priced ticket to London in December. I don't know when I've been so frustrated. Every time I thought I had found the right connections, on the days I wanted, at the right price - there were no available seats or one of the airports was wrong or the price suddenly jumped up by $200. Arrrrgh! (Actually what I muttered was much stronger than that, but it's not polite, so I won't repeat it.) However, I perservered, and eventually I was successful and made the booking. I could not get a non-stop flight within my budget (not wanting to pay over $1000), but I got reasonable connections. The only thing that worries me is that I have to connect through Philadelphia - in December. I always prefer non-stop flights in the winter. However, Philadelphia is certainly less likely to have snow than Detroit or Chicago. Keep your fingers crossed.
I took a look at my appointment calendar today. I don't know how it happened, but I have a VERY busy fall. I seem to have something on every weekend in October and most of weekends in November. How do I get myself into these predicaments? Never mind, don't answer that. I know I do it to myself. Life is short and there are so many things I want to do. I really wouldn't have it any other way, but at times I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think the first weekend in December is still clear, but I suspect that I will find something to fill that one as well! LOL

Friday, October 9, 2009


I've really been busy this AM. I have been: reading the paper (only got to page 5); baking cookies (finished now); doing laundry (still going on); reading email (done); reading blogs (done); calling about my homeowner's insurance (done); and trying to finish a cup of tea (now on it's 6th reheating). Before all that started, I did eat breakfast, fed the birds and put out the recycle (I think they just picked it up, so I can go get the recycle container from the front yard). Whew!! Just typing all that makes me tired. LOL The rest of the day will surely go at a more relaxed pace.

Wednesday afternoon, I went for a walk around Lake Elkhorn. I haven't walked there since spring. It was a lovely day, mostly. I saw a great heron that was right at the shore and many turtles sunning themselves on floating logs. The lake was very full and the wind was kicking up waves with white caps. I've never seen that on such a small lake. (I wonder if turtles get seasick?) That wind was VERY GUSTY. The trail around the lake is mostly in wooded areas. It was an interesting (and somewhat scary) experience walking in woods when the wind was blowing the tops of the trees back and forth, like kids on swings. Not an experience I want to repeat. However, despite the small branches, leaves and stuff on the ground, the only thing I saw falling were acorns!

Today looks to be another beautiful fall day. I hope tomorrow is also nice, as it is Elise's wedding day. Always nice to have sunshine on a wedding, although I think most brides are too busy to pay much attention to the weather. I can't remember the weather on either of my wedding days, although I remember what it was like when Kate got married. She was married in February and it had snowed the day before. Very pretty, if a bit messy on the roads. At least it won't snow tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

lean forward and grab your toes

I started a new exercise class yesterday - yoga. It's probably what you would call 'gentle yoga' as it's meant for seniors. Last week, a friend was recruiting more members, as the class didn't have enough to continue. I guess she was very successful, because this week there were about a dozen of us. I have never done yoga, although friends who have taken it have told me that I would enjoy it. I'm not sure that 'enjoy' is quite the right word.....It was interesting and illuminating. I discovered that I am in very bad shape physically, compared to a few years ago. I guess I knew this, but was doing a good job avoiding acknowledging it. I stopped my morning exercises a couple of years ago. I used to do 200 crunches, 30 leg lifts and an assortment of other exercises about 3 times a week. At that time, I could bend over and lay my hands flat of the floor without bending my knees. I wasn't waking up with a back ache every morning, as I am now. However, exercising is very boring and I finally just quit. Fast forward to the present: I'm not in good shape. It was embarrassing (to me) to know that I can no longer sit with my legs outstretched, lean forward and easily grab my toes. My balance is also not what it used to be. I cannot stand on my right leg, place the left foot on my right leg at the knee and maintain my balance. I used to be able to do this for several minutes before I lost my balance. Well, darn it anyhow, when did I get so old? Perhaps this yoga class will help me regain some of my flexibility and balance. I sure hope so. Maybe it will even inspire me to start my exercise program again, although that outcome is doubtful.

What the class did was to give me a spurt of energy for the rest of the afternoon. I came home and for a couple of hours, did a bunch of household chores that I had been postponing. So, if there is no other benefit from yoga, at least my house will be neater and better organized!

Today is a lovely day. It's warm and sunny, but not truly hot, at least not yet. I'm trying to think of something that would justify my being outside. What I really need to do is to bake cookies, but I'd rather do that when it is cold outside. Unfortunately, I need those cookies for Saturday, so I guess I'd better get baking. I'd rather be puttering in the yard, but..... Oh well, there will be other nice days this fall.

I had a pleasant surprise at ceramics yesterday. I had a bowl that had not come out the way I wanted it to look, so I reglazed part of it and had it refired. This is not something I recommend my students to do, as refiring often makes a problem worse. And it's very hard to get glaze to stick on a piece that has already been fired. As you apply the glaze, it wants to just flow to the bottom of the bowl. However, this time I got lucky and everything worked. So I can add this bowl to the other two that are wedding presents for Elise. I hope she find a use for them. The wedding is Saturday. Maybe she will get lucky and the weather will be like today.

Monday, October 5, 2009


My 50 year reunion was a great success! I chatted with many classmates and spent time with long-time friends. The drive up, through the mountains of PA, was beautiful. On Bloss Mountain, the trees were showing lovely reds, yellows and orange colors, as well green. I didn't get any photos of that because it is hard to stop and take photos when one is speeding along at 70 mph! You'll just have to take my word for the beauty of hillsides covered with trees in their fall colors. It was strange to get back to Maryland, where almost all our trees are still green.

As I always do when traveling up and down route 15, I stopped at several antique stores and flea markets, both enroute and in Hammondsport, NY. The prices are sooo much cheaper up there than around here. I came home with a lot of bargains, both to use as yard art and to hang on my kitchen walls. Pictures show another bunch of tiny animals, sitting in the silverware box which will hang on the wall as a shelf; some kitchen utensils to add to my wall (it's getting rather full now); and a couple of items to go up on the beam that divides the dining room from the living room. I'll be spending some time today rearranging the wall items to make room for the new ones. (I really need to STOP BUYING, but probably that isn't going to happen any time soon!)

At the reunion dinner, we had a silent auction. Everyone was asked to bring something they made or something from their part of the country. I made up a basket with local products - crab meat; bottles of ale made in Baltimore; a recipe for crab dip, and a ceramic bowl (one I made) to serve the dip in. I won a couple of items from the auction, including a print of a lovely fall painting, by a friend on mine. It's hanging on my seasonal display wall now.

I also enjoyed visiting with my brothers and sisters-in-law. We managed not to argue about politics, although there was some discussion about health care reform. It was a good visit, but it's good to be home!