Thursday, September 30, 2010

some days are good and bad

Yesterday, I thought I had lost my hearing aid - BAD   I was in a panic!  Turns out I had just forgotten to put it in that morning - GOOD.   I took the other hearing aid in to be fixed and found out that it was just wax buildup on it that made it stop working - GOOD.  I'll have to clean it every few days, if I can remember.  On the way home from the appointment,  I was nearly hit by a very bad driver (female).  We were making left turns in two lanes, only as we pulled onto the new road, she thought she owned both lanes and steered her car right into my path. - BAD  Luckily, I was a bit behind her and was watching her, so I swerved and avoided a collision - GOOD.  Had a productive evening at pottery class - glazed several pieces for the upcoming Raku firing. - GOOD.

The tall brown totem pole tube has two faces.  I've shown them both.  I put these open tubes over metal poles in my yard, thus creating totem poles.  The little mask guy looks rather grumpy.  Guess I was in a bad mood when I made him.  I can't get these stupid photos to go where I want them.  The old system on Blogger was easier to use.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is it fall yet?

I keep waiting for fall to happen.  I've seen a few red leaves, but most are still green.  This morning, I thought for sure it was fall.  It was almost chilly - in the 60s - outside and drizzling.  Great fall weather!  I wore jeans and a shirt with 3/4 sleeves. By mid-afternoon, it was hot and muggy again! When I got home from pottery, I had to change into something cooler.  Darn! 

Here's a photo of a mask I brought home today.   He looked kinda scary, until I gave him the green face.  Now he just looks seasick!  Nasty teeth he has!  Maybe he's a demon who ate something that disagreed with him.

Something has changed with my blog again.  Every time I think I know how to get photos on here and move them around, it changes the system.  Very frustrating.  I really liked the way it was yesterday. Not as fond of the way it is today.

 The last couple of days, I've been catching up on reconciling my credit card  and bank statements.  I put those chores off and then have to do several statements at once.  Should just do them as they come in.  I wish I could be one of those people who never check the statements, but I can't just file them, I have to check them carefully.  I have rarely found mistakes, but still....I have to check.

We had a successful book sale Sunday at the church library.  People donate books and then twice a year we have sales.  At the last one we made about $400.  Don't think this one will be that much.  We didn't have as many books.  It's a lot of work, sorting the books into categories and putting them out on tables before the sale and then afterward packing away all the books that don't sell.  We donate those to one of the local charities.  It's a good thing for the library, not only providing money to buy new books, but also publicity for the library. We have a good collection, not just religious books, but not very many users.  Any member of our church or the Catholic congregations with whom we share space at the Interfaith Center can take out books.  I wish we could interest more people in our collection.  I guess folks don't read books as much as they did 50 years ago.   Many of my friends do read books, but then most of my friends are my age.  We didn't grow up having hundreds of TV channels and computers and all these other electronic devices to occupy out time.

Well, I won't go any further with that.  I know that I'm behind the times.  I'm one of those few peculiar people in the US who never watches TV.  I have over 200 channels, so they tell me.  The grand kids watched TV, mostly movies, while they were here, but I have not turned the set on since the day I got hooked up with FIOS.  I suppose I will do so one of these days, or maybe I'll just cancel FIOS.  Seems silly to be paying for a system that I don't use.  I just can't seem to get interested in watching anything.  Or maybe I just don't want to have to learn how to use the remote!  LOL

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a week of clay play

By the end of the week, I will have done something with clay on 4 different days.  That's a lot of clay play!  I really love messing around with clay, but this week is a bit over the top.  It's because I am doing a 'make up' session Friday morning for students in the class that I teach.  Way back in July, we missed a pottery class because the stupid thing was scheduled for Monday, July 5, which is a holiday.  The rec center where I teach was closed.  Wouldn't you think someone would have noticed that and changed the class dates?  I never managed to get the make up session scheduled all summer, but we are finally doing it this Friday.  I don't do a whole lot of teaching in that class.  Just now, the folks in it all have lots of experience with clay, so I'm mostly there as a reference person.  I also recycle used clay - a very messy chore.  When clay gets to hard to use, we break it up and put it into buckets, add water and let it steep and soften for weeks.  Then I drain off the excess water and let it sit until it's dry enough to be wedged (but not too dry) and put into balls for re-use.  Believe me, wedging soft clay is messy.  My hands quickly become coated with clay.  If you haven't guessed already, you now know that I loved mudpies when I was a child!  LOL   In a few weeks, I will have some photos of recently made ceramic pieces.  I don't take photos until they are finished and from start to finish is often a month or so.

Monday, September 20, 2010

fall blooms

Some of the mums I bought recently are in full bloom now.  Luckily, I have some that are just coming out, so I will enjoy them for some time to come.  These three are on my deck.  The other photo is just a view of the 'new' flower bed I set up in the summer.  The colors are a bit washed out in the photo.  Lots of pink down there.  I also have some golden rod in bloom.  The plants are some I actually dug up and transplanted from a roadside patch.  They grow very tall and reach for the sun, which in my back yard makes them practically lying on the ground.  Can't get a decent photo of them.

I love this time of year in the garden because there isn't much work to be done.  I can just enjoy the results of my spring and summer labor.  Soon, I will have to pull up annuals and detach the morning glory vines from the many places they are attached to.  Those vines grow like weeds and get on everything!  Still, they are so lovely in the AM, so every year I let them self-seed.  Some even grew in the lawn, but they got mowed down.

Yesterday I pretty much spent the day at church.  We had a congregational meeting after church.  We served lunch - just cold cuts and rolls, but still Donna and I had to get it set up and cleaned up after.  I got home about 2 PM and had to go back at 3:30 because the Interfaith Library, where I volunteer, was sponsoring a lecture.  I had agreed to take the money for the speaker's books on sale after the lecture.  It wasn't a hard job, but I didn't get home until 6 and then had to shop for groceries.  It was a long day and after dinner, I just crashed.  Went to bed before 10 - and of course, woke up at 6!  It's a good think that I like mornings, since I seem to start mine early. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

A good weekend

This was a fun weekend for me.  Friday was the usual lunch with long-time friends.  This group is slowly breaking up with people moving away, but we are hanging in there.  Saturday, Patty and I went shopping for mums (the flower, not the English mommy).  Many of our summer flowers are past their peak, looking scrawny and sad, so we replaced them with fresh mums.  I won't show photos yet, as the mums are just barely showing color.  They'll peak in a few weeks and hopefully last into November.  Amazingly, we did not buy another other plants.  Usually we end up with far more than we intended.  Of course, fall isn't a good time to buy annuals, except mums.  Spring is when I bust my budget on plants.

Saturday night, I invited Patty to come over and sit out on the deck with me.  We sat and talked and snacked while we finished off a rather large bottle of Riesling.  It was such a lovely evening - cool and no mosquitoes!  It's great to have a friend nearby to share those kind of evenings.

Sunday, the weather was not so good.  It was drizzling all AM.  My church was supposed to have a picnic, but after some consultation, those of us in charge decided to cancel the picnic and have a potluck luncheon inside.  That worked very well.  There was lots of wonderful food, most of which was eaten, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  In fact, we couldn't get people to leave.  Another group needed the space after us,so those of us on cleanup - like me - had to gently push people to leave.  I cleared soiled plates and began to pull the disposable tablecloths off the tables.  They got the hint!

Today begins another busy week.  My schedule is in full swing now.  I have three ceramic classes - one of which I teach.  Wednesday AM, I work in the church library.  This week I'll be meeting a friend for dinner on Wednesday.  Thursday is my day in the hospital gift shop and choir in the evening.  It keeps me busy, which is what I want.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

clearing out

We are having a community yard sale in a couple of weeks, so I've been gathering stuff that I will try to sell.  I started this process while Kate was here.  We sorted through my pottery; she set aside some she wants and we filled a box with stuff to be sold.  We also went through 2 boxes of fabric that I have accumulated over many years.  She made two shopping bags out of some very retro orange stripped fabric.  Since she left, I've been slowly sorting through kitchen cupboards and bedroom closets to find more items not seen in years.  I've sorted out some vases, put plastic flowers in them and added them to sale items.

Yesterday, I actually cleared out a small narrow space behind a wall in the basement.  I knew I had cardboard boxes in the space, but had forgotten what else was in there.  I found:  one playpen, 2 foam mattresses for the playpen; 3 kitchen stools,1 old tea table with glass tray top; 2 child car seats; 3 garbage bags with artificial flowers, 1 old raggedy blanket, 2 dozen empty boxes, 1 baby stroller, and a DEAD MOUSE!  Don't think I will be able to sell the mouse.  LOL

There are some other things too, that I've been meaning to get rid of for ages:  unused IKEA coffee table,  student desk chair, 2 folding yard chairs.  I may find more in the next two weeks.  Clearing out is such a liberating feeling.  And it makes me feel virtuous.  Of course, there are hundreds of books, many of which should be sold or donated, if I could only remember whether I like them well enough to keep or not!  I'll always have too many books, I'm afraid.  However, I did resist going to a huge book sale over the weekend.  I should get points for that, right?   I really don't have room for any more books, but I know that sooner or later I will buy more.  At least now I seem to be getting rid of as many as I am buying.

Below are photos of two walls in my 'library'.  There are a couple more shelves not shown in the photos.  Yes, I know, I have an addiction to books.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a quiet house now

Saturday evening, I dropped Kate and kids off at Dulles Airport.  Traffic was dreadful going, but OK coming home through DC.  I've been recovering from the visit and the post-visit depression ever since.  I keep expecting to hear the kids' voices in my very quiet house.  I have never missed Kate and the kids this much.  When I visit them, I happily come home to my house, where it is quiet and empty.  Somehow it's different this time, when they have been here for 4 weeks.  I'm sure I'll get over these feelings, but I just haven't felt like blogging since they left. 

I've been re-decorating my house over the past few days.  It's time to put away the summer stuff and get the fall stuff out.  Mostly done now, although I have to replace one of the decorative flags outside.  This requires a step-stool outside, which is why it hasn't been done already. I'll get to that and to trimming the grass tonight or soon.