Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Raku firing

We did a Raku firing on Sunday.  I've blogged about these before, so won't explain what that is.  Just say that it involves waiting around for things to heat up and then to cool down.  There are brief moments of haste (carrying very hot pieces from kiln to burning barrel, but mostly it's sit around and wait.  I was there from 1 PM until about 8 - a very long day.  Everyone brings food to share and come evening we build a fire in a barrel and burned (oops, I mean grilled) hot dogs for dinner.  This was a very successful firing for me, as I came home with 3 pieces that I really like and one that is ok.   These are the ones I like. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Snow at last.

 Views from under the deck.  I love the way the snow clings to the bushes.
 This is a bush out front - Mahonia (aka Grape Holly)  It has nasty spikes on the end of the leaves, so it's probably not a good choice for where it is planted - by the front steps.  However, it blooms in February, which is such fun.  Lately, with all the warm weather, the scent from the blooms was very strong and attracted many little bees.  Getting in and out of the house had to be done carefully, so as not to disturb the insects.  We don't have honeybees, so I think these may actually have been yellow jackets (wasps), but they were so busy enjoying a winter treat that they just ignored me.  Thank goodness!

We have just a bit of snow.  Not enough to need shoveling or even sweeping off the front sidewalk.  Enough to cling to bushes and look pretty.  This is exactly my kind of snow.  If I feel energetic later today, I might wander around the neighborhood and take more photos.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Start of another week

Yesterday, I didn't get much accomplished.  I did get online and check on my transfers that I had previously made from one bank to another.  I was a bit nervous about them, as I had never done online transfers before.  However, all is well with them.  I find that the older I get, the more energy it takes to complete even simple business transactions, online or over the phone.  I spent some time yesterday trying to get some information from my health care provider (the Blues).  I started out at the website, thinking it would be a simple matter to find the info.  Ha!  Should have known better.  As far as I could tell, the information needed was not anywhere on the website.  I ended up on the phone and was further frustrated by the messages that repeat over and over again while one is waiting to talk to a live person.  The stupid recording keeps talking about how info can be found on the website and how much faster it is to do that.  I wanted to scream at someone (no one was listening, of course) to just shut up!  I wouldn't have been on hold on the phone is I could have found the information online.  When I finally did reach a real person, I got the info very quickly, but the whole process took far too long.  Maybe as I grow older, I am also becoming less patient, although I suspect I have never been tolerant of idiot messages on the phone.  To really top off the day, I had yet another frustrating experience online.  This time I was trying to arrange for a pickup by an airport shuttle company.  I couldn't work the online system - it just never gave me a place to put in my place of pick-up (my home).  I called the company and after a bit of shuffling around managed to talk to a local rep.  He was able to explain what I needed to do in order to make the reservation online.  It was simple, but not obvious, at least not to me.  Now if I can just remember this the next time I need to book a shuttle!!

That was all the frustration I could deal with in one day.  Hopefully, today will go much more smoothly.  It should, as I think I don't have to conduct any business online! 

I have already posted on Facebook the photos from the Raku firing on Saturday.  I made a bunch of little faces, that came out very well.  I plan to mount them on a board of some sort.  A friend suggested they would look good on a board from an old barn.  I don't happen to know of any old barns around here, so that probably won't happen.  Anyway, here's a photo of the faces.