Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Good Life

Three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, we put our beloved cat Scout to sleep today. She was nearly 16 and was our first baby. We are pretty sad today but relieved as well. She had been behaving as always, but since the tumor was in her lower jaw and mouth, eating had become increasingly difficult for her.
We found her as a tiny stray kitten about a month before we got married. Her nose was peppered with tiny scars and she was missing the very tip of her right ear. She was completely deaf, but we talked to her every day of her life. When she was younger we could put a harness on her and walk her on a leash. We taught her to fetch her toys. She preferred to drink water straight from the tap, often waiting in the tub for someone to come into the bathroom. We're not really sure if she ever thought of herself as a cat. We're not sure we did either.
Today is Harper Lee's birthday, the author of "To Kill A Mockingbird" for which Scout was named. I'm sure going to miss her.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New blog to follow

A frequent commentator to Clay Club among other blogs has a new blog on Cone 6 Oxidation. Check it out!


Thanks Diane!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think the pot of gold is down at Sarah's house

Saw this rainbow last evening. I'm filled with gratitude for where I live.

I swear I don't believe in Murphy's Law

With the kids at Hotel Happiness (read the Grandparents), Jay and I thought we'd have time to keep plugging away at the basement and perhaps do something fun. I managed to spoil the fun with my latest project.

You all know this is a WTF house. Let me explain the room in question. The kids' rooms were previously one room used by Jo Lydia Craven as her studio. We divided the room as it originally was since my 8 year old son and almost 11 year old daughter needed separate rooms. One of the previous owners had installed fixed plywood shelves in the closet on Allison's side for drying pottery.

For Allison's birthday next week, I wanted to rip out the plywood shelving from her closet and install some more functional shelving and a clothes rod for her. By this point, we should be pretty adept at tearing out someone else's handy work. This closet was a toughie. The plywood was supported by pressure-treated 2x4's attached to the walls with roofing nails. You know those little bastards with the grooves on them to keep your shingles from flying away. Not only did we unintentionally demolish the drywall, we also discovered mold behind the shelves, presumably from wet pottery. The whole project just got infinitely more complex. We waited for a break in the rain to run into town to get some sheetrock.

Then we ran into all this crazy wiring that at the very least is consistent with the rest of the house. We've probably removed 50 feet of unnecessary or otherwise unidentifiably functional wiring from the basement alone. Some of the wiring is for an elaborate driveway alarm system which included at least 4 alarms, perhaps more.

Jay was able to remove said wiring without lighting himself up, and now I'm left with patches of wall paper peeking through the paint. That's a whole other story. The entire house is painted over wall paper.

As I write, I am waiting for the second coat of mud to dry so that I can prime, paint and install the new shelving before Friday morning when I am scheduled to leave to get the kids in TN. Jay is a saint considering he woke up at 4:30 am today to sand and apply the second coat of mud before going to work. He is off the hook for part 2 of the birthday surprise: building a loft bed. Allison will just get an IOU for that. Tonight, Jay gets Tandoori Chicken and a nice red.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Measure twice and cut once?

Friday morning comes and you grab your 8 lb sledge and what do you know? You too can wreck the house! This opportunity does not present itself often so listen up. I was not around to take a whack. Jay's folks are in town this weekend so his Dad was the helper. I knew as long as I didn't hear any choice words (followed by the sound of quarters being tossed into the swear jar) that all was well. The guys built a frame and had mortared the edges of the hold only to discover that the hole was just a tad too small on one side. What's a little more concrete dust when you already have black lung? Get a load of Dad's coveralls, Sear and Roebuck circa 1967. Where can I get a pair?

So for Jay's birthday today, he got his wish of not having a hole in his house. And he hasn't even blown out the candles yet. The window is installed and requires just a bit of finishing work at this point. We'll insulate and make sure it's waterproof, and the rest can wait until we're ready to frame the walls. Not quite sure how we're going to handle the window well yet.

The grandparents are taking Allison and Ben back to TN with them for Spring Break, so Jay and I will have some uninterrupted time to...scrape the flaking waterproofing off the interior walls, remove the dividing structure between the studio and basement and remove the shower and accompanying 5"slab of concrete. A couple of trips to the landfill and our vacation time will be complete. After that, I'm off duty as far as home remodelling goes. I'm itching to make some pots and summer deadlines are fast approaching. Won't you be happy to read about pottery again?

Meanwhile, the gallery is open for business or just for visiting.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meanwhile, back in the studio...

Actually, nothing is happening in the studio except that I lost one of the four baskets I made to cracking. Boo hoo. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective. I'm not going to be able to make good pots until we finish the basement, and I can control the indoor climate. So, studio work is on hold until further notice. Or until the end of April, whichever comes first.

What we need is more time to devote to the basement, and guess what? We get a snow day! Yup, April 7 is snow day #15 for my kids. The added bonus is that Jay can't get off the mountain to get to work, so we get a freebie! Good thing we spent this past weekend digging the hole for the egress window. It's over 5' deep. Although I told him I needed a pic of him in it for scale, he refused to pose. Ben offered, but I don't want any documentation of my poor parenting skills. The pipe you see is the sewage pipe for a half bath that had no fixtures when we moved in. We're removing the plumbing and making it a closet. Good thing since the pipes do not connect to the septic tank.

Jay's going to "test" his saw to see if it will cut through the concrete block to enlarge the opening for the window. I have to force myself not to imagine a gaping hole in the house for the below-freezing temps tonight.

I also started weeding the perennial garden this weekend. I made about halfway through one patch when my neighbor called and told me among other things that Saturday was a bad day, biodynamically speaking to be weeding. He's my new best friend.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cinderelish Giveaway!

Cinderelish is one of the followers of this blog, a blogger herself and a fine potter. In celebration of eARTh Day, she's having a giveaway of one of her eARTh bowls.

So visit her blog http://cinderelish.blogspot.com/ and her etsy shop http://www.cinderelish.etsy.com/ to see her gorgeous work. She's got some great pots in lots of bright fun colors. And sign up for the giveaway!