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Brad's Blog

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July 1

I've added some new videos :
Flowers FingerstyleFingerstyle guitarMy faith looks up to theehymn, fingerstyle guitar Another Rainy Day No. 2Fingerstyle guitar
  Another Rainy Day is a repeat of an earlier video where a couple people complained my guitar was out of tune...
Flowers fingerstyle is a pretty version of a depressing song by the Rolling Stones.   The hymn was a little wobbly, but one of our cats makes a surprise guest appearance...
Meanwhile summer is setting in.  There's really only 3 types of weather:
Too coldKeep windows shut
Just rightKeep windows
open
Too hotKeep windows shut till dark...
We never seem to get any Just Right weather.  But the windows are open this evening...
    Meanwhile I'm working on putting a boardwalk under our clothesline.  It's in the garden, with dirt under it, so if you drop something when hanging out the clothes it can be counterproductive...  I quit when the Idaho mosquitoes were swarming around so much that I felt a bite was inevitable, although they're polite and none actually did...  The wood for the boardwalk was rescued from a burn pile last summer--mostly redwood or cedar...

July 2
    It was a disparate sort of day.  I started with finishing the clothesline boardwalk.  Then I unloaded a couple glaze kilns and loaded a bisque kiln.  I threw a few pots, just to have some at all stages for the video shoot tomorrow.  Then this afternoon I hung out some wash and did bookkeeping, which happens to be the answer to last week's puzzler on Cartalk (Name a word with 3 sets of double letters in a row...)  After supper I began work on my 4th of July parade float, which will probably be the riding lawnmower with pots on the front, pulling a wagon with an inflatable mug on the back.  This mug is the culmination of years of silly dreaming, sparked by the days in college when people I knew were building bulbous inflatable sculptures from materials left over from building blimps for the Shah of Iran (thanks to a local high tech company).  Now, over 30 years later, it's my turn.  Unfortunately it doesn't look very good, but you can't have everything...   Most of my artsy work is conceptual...

July 3
The video filming was today, in more ways than one.  The whole day involved getting ready--cleaning, blacking out the windows in the pottery.  I also did some unneccesary stuff like making them a tearing (untouched) and picking strawberries to put in the berry bowl (they brought store raspberries and blueberries, most of which they left).  So the actual filming was very  step-by-step, with 3 or more takes of each scene (waiting for me to get the lines right, or if a truck went up the hill during the taping.   Here's the crew, happy to have finished several weeks of production:
crew
L-R Producer/closein camera person, head camera person, sound guy (with furry microphone), and director.
The team had never worked together before this current series, but being professional they did it all very efficiently.
They all said I did great, but I know it was hard for me to remember to tie 3 thoughts and a single action together without going blank.  I've never been able to memorize lines, unless they were tied to music, and even then I prefer to have the lyrics available.
    Speaking of music, they did let me record some instrumental banjo in the garden, which may or may not work its way into the production, which should air next Spring.
    I enjoyed it overall, but I'm glad that's over...

July 4
    Another packed day, that started with waking at 3:30 am.  After finishing a novel, I got up, and went down to the lake, enjoying peaceful duck families safely grazing on the water weeds.
    Then I got involved on getting the float ready.  I still have something to live for, in that I haven't yet gotten my inflatable pot float into the 4th parade.  This looked to be the year.  I got a surplus 12 volt blower, made a pottery housing for it, and hooked it to a spare car battery, to inflate a 6 foot tall mug made of black plastic with blue highlights spraypainted on, and a dozen helium balloons attached on the handle.  I took care to secure the mug to an old coaster wagon, but didn't secure the blower or battery, as they seemed heavy enough to stay in the wagon.  I didn't count on the bucking acceleration of my riding lawnmower in high gear, which left the blower in the intersection just as I left the house for the parade.  
    I'm not easy daunted on insane art missions, so I dumped the mug and went with the wagon and balloons.  The bonus feature was I took my camera and tried to take video of the whole parade, particularly the people watching.  I'm in the process of uploading these videos to Youtube, and will supply the links tomorrow.  Probably you'd have to have been there to enjoy these--they're pretty jerky...

July 5
Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 1Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 2Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 3 Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 4Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 5Spirit Lake Idaho 4th of July 2007 pt 6
These are the parade video links.  It was more a concept than a good way to make a parade video, but I posted them as the sign on my lawn mower advertised...  And one person who saw it subscribed to my videos as a result.  If you were there, you could probably find yourself by stopping the video at the right  moment...  It gets especially jerky when I got to the main crowd  (around pt 4) on Maine St., when I was having the mower buck as I weaved from side to side.
    Today the heat moved in (90's), so we stayed out of the heat in the sunniest part of the day, and went swimming at sunset.  At that time the water and air are the closest in temperatures, so it's easy going in, and easy getting out...
    We had a cauliflower from the garden that looked identical to ones from the store today.  Also we've still lots of strawberries, and a few cherries, waiting on the raspberries and peas to ripen to make it the full festival of summer...  I talked to some friends on the 4th  that live a few miles from here, and they had  a frost less than two weeks ago, saved most of their garden by watering it overnight, which left the tomatoes incased  in ice but surviving...  They're thinking about making a big greenhouse from pvc pipe and plastic over most of their garden, as they're in a frost drainage that always hits them early and late...

July 6

I got my first mosquito bite tonight (this to taunt Minnesotans).
Meanwhile the weather continues hot.
I've got a fairly new namebrand printer with 6 colors, and it never seems to make it through more than a few copies without needing to replace ink cartridges,  clean nozzles, and calibrate by staring with a magnifying glass at little rows of print that are poorly aligned.  When all the systems are go, it makes nice photo pictures on gloss paper,  but this is rare.
So there's still room in my worldview for sending off photos to be printed...  I selected about 20 of my better local nature photos, and uploaded them tonight, and look forward to seeing what they'll look like at 11 X 14 inches.  I hope to sell them from my studio at a profit.  It seemed a reasonable activity to do when the heat forces you to stay indoors, as it has the last couple days.   This is a reinvestment of the money I made from selling one photo a week or so ago...  I forgot to include the one above, which I took a couple days ago.  It's seldom that ducks do anything as orderly as this, but they're still young and following the lead from Mama Duck.

July 7
    Sales were hot, the weather was still in the 80's, the lake is such that you can stay in for a half hour without getting cold... Summertime...
    A musician acquantance visited today, and we played music together for hours.  We have the music of Miss. John Hurt and other acoustic blues artists in common, so we tried a lot of those tunes together.  It wasn't great music, as our slight variations in how we've learned the pieces make for hesitancy, but I've seldom found a musician with so much common music, so it was a fine experience...

   
July 8
Lake Coeur D'Alene beach
    Church was a family affair today, with my wife guest preaching, my sister in law accompanying the organist on piano, and me providing guitar music before church.
    Then we spent part of the afternoon at the beach in Coeur D'Alene, where the water is cooler than Spirit Lake, and the beach much more urban.  I took this picture as a typical beach scene (no one I know is in the picture).
    Returning to Spirit Lake, I went back to the mundane world of gardening, hoeing the whole large garden, and picking a few cherries.  The raspberries will be ready in a couple days...

July 9
    Summer and the pottery keep rolling along.  This was the first day in a long time that there were only a couple strawberries, and the raspberries will start being ripe tomorrow, so it was a gap in the fresh fruit supply.  We're pouring water on the gardens, as the heat pours on as well.  
    I swam around the Mill pond with goggles and snorkel on today.  I never saw a fish, but I did see lots of underwater plants in the area, which was bare gravel for the  past few years from the work of placing a liner on the bottom.  I didn't think any of them were milfoil, the water weed most feared in the area.  While the bare gravel was nice from a swimmer's point of view, I'm sure the plants help contribute to a better ecology for the fish...  The water lilies are making a good comeback in the Mill pond as well.

July 10
Talk about a short berry hiatus--I picked a gallon of raspberries today, and brought a good share to a longtime friend's where we enjoyed supper and conversation.  Pots are selling  rapidly, so I'm trying to keep up with the demand...  Work and play every day...

July 11
The weather is back into the 90's, and since we have no air conditioning, it changes the nature of our activities.   I did bake bread, but early in the morning.  I made cookies, but they were Rice Krispie treats--no baking.  By around 5:00 pm, it's either swim or sit quietly by the fans.  I swam, but the Mill Pond is the temperature of a heated pool--very nice to get into, but you don't cool off much by swimming...  Then after supper, the house hits equilibrium with outside temperatures, somewhere in the 80's, so it's time to open up.  It's a much  more pleasant survival mode than a blizzard, but it's still survival mode...
    Meanwhile we're pouring water on the gardens, and letting the grass brown out (shows you where our priorities are).  If we could transition to native species, we'd get rid of all our grass, but there's enough bad weeds in it that I don't think that's going to happen...  I would like to add more native shrubs, which shade out the grass as they spread...  The back 10 feet of our pottery place are all native shrubs, forming a pretty hedge.  Then it transitions to raspberries, which make a nice summer hedge...  And which need picking again before the heat returns tomorrow...

July 12
    Waste heat is the unwanted heat radiated from the kiln...  I mostly use it to dry the next pots for the next firing.  Currently it's waste heat galore, with the 90 degree days, and firing up to two kilns per day.  It's probably the temperature of a dry sauna in the kiln room.  I don't linger to find out...  Curiously we've been getting fairly steady business in the 90 degree afternoons.  I guess if you briefly emerge from an air conditioned car, it's not too bad...
    I picked raspberries this morning, and peas this evening.  We're still eating all of them (besides giving away some to friends)--they're too novel to freeze them yet.  

July 13
    Tonight I went to a bluegrass concert in the Park in Rathdrum.  By doing so I escaped a "drug free" youth rock concert in Spirit Lake, which you can't avoid hearing when you live two blocks away.  When I got home, there was still someone hurting their vocal cords screaming into the mic here.  The bluegrass concert was a quartet, playing classic bluegrass, and making over some pop standards like "Don't think twice, it's alright," and "Norwegian Wood."   They were called Too Hot to Handle, and are from nearby Newport.
    During the concert a windstorm came through, with a bit of lightning and a few sprinkles.   Such a storm can be devastating when it's so dry, and it's possible some fires were started in the mountains that will be fought for weeks, but so far things seem okay.
    This week has been a nice one for some web affirmation.  First someone making a webpage for a mayoral candidate in Spokane called to get permission to use one of my photos as the banner on their webpage.  (fortunately after agreeing I went to the site and found I agreed with most of his positions.)  Then a guy that does the cable tv channel that covers Spokane government called to ask for some of my music to use as background for their programming.  A couple years ago a Spokane County commissioner wanted to use some of my photos in his office, but the resolution was too poor to blow up...  Because of the large Spokane population, some of my most visited webpages include the Manito Park photos, from which several aspiring brides and grooms have incorrectly deduced that I run Manito Park, and ask to rent it...  

July 14
I picked about 4 gallons of cherries today, which I put in a pot with 2 gallons of water, boiling it, hoping to produce some usable cherry juice from some  cherries which will soon become totally unusable from insect damage.
But the real fun today began when swimming in the Mill Pond.   I noticed a duck in a bunch of lillies and swam near it.  Then I realized it was a hen grebe, with one baby, which mostly rode on her back.  Then I saw the male grebe come up with a little something in its long sharp beak (they're like loons, rather than ducks that way),  and feed the baby.  It almost made me believe monogamy is a viable reproduction strategy ;-)
So I went home and got my camera, and decided I'd float out near them on an inner tube.  The one store in town that has a compressed air hose says it's out of order, so I handpumped the tractor tire several hundred times.  Then I hiked along the Mill Pond till I saw them, and slowly paddled out, taking pictures frequently.    An innertube on even calm water is bumpier than standing on land, so at least half of the photos were deleted on first glance.  But here's the best shot I got of Mom and Junior:
hen rednecked grebe and baby
She holds her wings up when the baby is there either to hide it or hold it on, or both.  Some quick searching on the web yields that they usually lay 3-6 eggs, often on a floating nest, and that all grebes eat some of their own feathers, and feed feathers to their young, for unknown reasons.  They make a grating laughing call that I always enjoy hearing...

    July 15
    Even though it was a Sunday,  I picked gallons of raspberries and strained out the cherry juice.  Picking raspberries doesn't seem like much of a chore yet--it has its own rewards...  I also swam across the Mill Pond to see the grebes again.  


July 16
The grebes are about as predictable as me--I swam out to the same place to visit them again today.  In looking for information on grebes, I found a cool video collection of birds at the site listed above.  
The Internet Bird Collection  It's a bit behind the times--they require the video to be mailed to Spain, instead of just sending via the Internet, which is too bad, because they don't have any videos of Red Necked Grebes yet...  

There's a newer site that got mentioned in Newsweek last week, http://www.birdcinema.com/, which promptly got hacked as a result of the attention, but promises good things for birders.

    I glazed a couple kiln loads today, and emptied a glaze kiln, which took most of the morning.   This afternoon I spent an hour making penguin figurines.  They aren't exactly a local item, like moose stuff which one customer asked for today (I just don't think I can do a moose justice).  However I've liked penguins ever since reading  Mr. Popper's Penguins as a kid, and the basic shape can be formed quickly from porcelain.  (I use porcelain to make figurines because it molds quickly and has no roughness from sand or grog--it's the only thing I make from porcelain clay, so a 50 lb box lasts me years...)

July 17
Every day I don't pick raspberries means a lot more to pick tomorrow.  I checked this evening and there are a lot more to pick tomorrow...
There are a lot of pots I made today that need work tomorrow.  So that tells you most of what I did today...
    But my son and I also watched the old MGM musical-- Bells are Ringing, with two "hits" older folks would remember--"Just in Time," and "The Party's Over."  Music Jules Styne--Comden and Green on the lyrics.   It had a bit of the feel of the old screwball comedies, but slowed down by all the slightly too sophisticated musical numbers (they were too sophisticated to be memorable).  But the plot, usually a sort of throwaway with Broadway musicals, had enough turns to keep us interested.   They don't make them like that any more...

July 18
red necked grebes
It's another grebe day, because there's another grebe, in more ways than one...  
When I went to swim, there was another pair of grebes near where I start swimming, while I could see the pair that stays near the lily pads.  I decided to swim out to visit the "old" grebes anyway, and I noticed there was a second smaller grebe on the mother's back, and the one from a few days ago is growing and not hitching rides as much.    It makes sense that if the eggs are laid a day or two apart, the young might be staggered as well.
    So I went and got my camera and the inner tube and spent an hour more photographing grebes from every angle,   including making a Youtube film

 July 19
    I framed most of the nature photos I'd blown up today, so I'm now in the photography business.  
    We had a thunderstorm with major cloudburst of rain last night, which will locally reset the clock on the fire season for a week or two...  
    I was excited to read in the local paper today that the New Old Time Chatauqua was coming to Spokane tonight.  So I checked the recommended ticket vendor online, which said I'd have to call them or the venue to get the tickets.  So I called the ticket vendor, and spent about 10 minutes using a stupid voice computer system, which after theoretically having extracted all the info needed, then transferred me to a real person (after another 15 minutes of muzak, and reports that they were glad I was waiting, and had I tried their wonderfully updated web page...)  So the real person said I'd have to get the tickets at the box office.  The box office was closed, but the program was a fundraiser for a local public radio station, so I called them and they said they were fairly sure it wouldn't fill, which was really all I wanted to know, as I've occasionally travelled an hour to find the concert was sold out...
    In the end, the hassle was worth it.  Where else can you watch a rap tap dance version of Rhapsody in Blue self accompanied on saxophone,  or juggling combined with martial arts?  It was quite the circus of the mind...  I've seen the group 4 or 5 times over 20 years, and it's always a treat...

July 20
3 cats
    Our 3 cats, on a bed in our screen porch.  The left one is yawning, just waking up to my being there...
With a relative visiting, I wanted to show off the floating bog at Twin Lakes.  It was nice, but not magical like in the Spring.  Still squishy everywhere you walk, though...  I think a major part of it was that the day, though calm, was totally overcast.  Light affects us more than we realize.  On the other hand, in outdoor photography, a light overcast can be good, so that photos don't get so bleached out.  Still a blue sky day makes the cheeriest photos...

July 22
    I totally forgot about blogging yesterday.  Of course there were a couple relatives visiting, and lots of pottery sales,  so life is about as chaotic as it gets here.  Plus our oldest son will be getting married in September, so that puts everyone in an altered state.
    Today the relatives left, I bicycled to and swam around the Mill Pond, and the weather returned to the high 80's, making it normal summer again.

 Every year the garden has experimental elements.  I tore out some blackberries last fall, and knowing they were pernicious and gregarious by turns, covered them with cardboard and a deep layer of mulch to try to kill them off.  So this spring I decided to plant the squashes on that space.   I think my mistake was planting them in hills of manure which were shovelled on top of the leaf mulch, instead of through the mulch.  I'm not sure what's happening when they hit the leaf mulch, but they all have "failure to thrive" syndrome, whereas the ones planted at the other garden in pure manure are growing nicely.
    On the other hand, I did a major hacking job at some grape plants we inherited this spring, and the pruning resulted in plants laden with  grapes, whereas previous wimpier attempts yielded wimpy results.  
    So currently ripe in the garden are spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumbers.  Raspberries are becoming a chore, rather than a pleasure.  The cherries which were protected from cherry fruit flies by nylon net bags (I think cheap lady's hose would work as well) are ripe.  I plan to prune the trees to allow bags to slip farther up to improve our organic cherry harvest.

July 24
    I dodged several bullets today.  I went and got clay 35 miles away, a short trip but usually fraught with tension.  
    Earlier today I was thinking of a definition of stress I heard years ago, that stress is insufficient resources.  A certain amount of stress is actually healthy, compared, for example, to the stolid safety of a nursing home.
    So the clay story starts with the last time I got clay.  I started hearing a noise in our old van, which I identified as a wheel bearing going out, on the way back with the clay.  If anything is going to wear out a wheel bearing, an extra ton of clay might do it.  So we got rid of that van, and today I did some things to make the new van compatible with the trailer, such as the wiring, a new ball hitch, and I got some leaky tires repaired last week.
    I started hearing a similar noise on the return journey about 10 miles from home.  "Wheel bearing on the trailer," I thought.  "I hope I can make it home."  Occasionally I'd feel a little blip like it was going to seize.  But I made it home without stopping.    I suppose the real lesson is stop and check it out.  Because when I got home, this is what I saw:
damaged wheel
What you're seeing is a wheel held in place solely by a groove worn in the outer part of the axle.  There's a groove on the other side, but not bright and shiny as the one where the wheel rode round and round after snapping off all the lug nut studs...  I immediately remembered being distracted by a helpful neighbor at the time I meant to tighten the lug nuts.  I also insufficiently tightened the ball hitch, which I discovered when the front of the trailer lifted up when unloading the clay.  That was the second bullet I dodged today...
    So this evening I decided to tackle something perhaps equally prone to failure, but not as dangerous.  I tried to make a deer fence in the garden where the deer are eating the carrots, beans, and peas, from some odds and ends of steel fence posts and fishline.  It worked at our one house--I hope it will work on a larger scale at the other...
   
Final thought of the day, "Birds may be stupid, but they can fly."  

   
  July 25
       The deer fence seemed to work so far.  I picked raspberries for an hour or so this morning, keeping up fairly well again.  The cherry trees, which were covered with hundreds of pounds of infested cherries, are now covered with raisin looking things, from all the wasps that have been feeding on them.  But I harvested the ones that I had put nylon net bags around, and they were still perfect.  I'm thinking cheap nylon hose might work well for the purpose of protecting cherries from cherry maggot flies, wasps,  and birds...
    After that I went to work and  I hit the hundred pot mark in about two hours, throwing small 1/2 and 3/4 pound pots mostly.  In the afternoon I worked at unloading kilns, and in the evening about half the pots had to be cleaned up and signed, and the rest covered with plastic till morning.  It's the busiest part of summer...
    I hadn't been seeing quail much since early spring, but today I saw bevies of them, first in our back yard, later down the hill , then in our other back yard.  I don't think they were the same group each time, so maybe now the young quail are big enough (and flying enough) to be wandering about more.

July 26
    As interconnected as the web makes the world,  some things are kept off the web, at least, for free.  I'm not a big sports fan, but I do enjoy some baseball and football, but these are not found on the web.  You can monitor pro games from the stats,and some primitive graphics, but can't even get the audio without subscribing.  Even most college sports aren't broadcast, audio, on the web.  Money talks, and these sports make lots of money.
    As a higher number of people move from TV to the web (partially to escape commercials), commercials move to the web as well.   These commercials should be smart enough to be tied to the content you're watching, since that is the likeliest set of people to use the services.  If this were the case, I wouldn't mind watching the commercials.  But before watching little news clips you're forced to watch ads, making it about as bad as commercial TV.  The only difference is that you are choosing the content, which is still a big plus, as you don't have to listen to a half hour news show to see the news items that interest you.
    It's another hot, boring day, which led to this rambling, and the Mariners are still behind in the 8th...

July 27   
Detritivores and scavengers are the garbage collectors of the natural world.  We don't notice them much, but they keep the place smelling better by cleaning up.  Crows can strip a deer carcass in a few hours.  Ants haul off dead bugs.  Hornets and yellow jacket wasps, as hard as it is to love them, flourish because people leave lots of food lying about that begs for recycling.
    The reason I mention it is that as the raspberry season starts to wind down, the overripe raspberries, like the wounded cherries, draw hordes of yellow jackets and hornets to feed on them.  They mostly don't eat the hard fresh fruit, but the soft overripe ones.  Yellow jacket populations grow rapidly through the summer, so if you were able to enjoy a picnic outside in June, expect company if you try it from here on out.
    Mostly with pottery work  I'm doing a bit of this and that every day, but like waves that sometimes build to form a breaker, some days are more of one thing than others.  Today I mixed batches of 3 of my 6 glazes, which took most of the morning.  I tried a new form of iron oxide in my gloss brown glaze.  The pottery supplier lists at least 3 different iron oxides like they're special roast coffees.  Mostly they vary in purity and particle size.  The last type I tried (Spanish crude) was a bit too grainy, leading to unwanted speckling in one of my glazes.   All glaze ingredients are dug out of the earth and pulverized or refined in other ways.  As such they vary in composition, which can lead to problems over time with your glazes.  The best way to avoid that is to buy fairly large quantities of the glaze ingredients you use regularly, so when a new batch of one chemical is brought in, its effect can be isolated from other variables, if your glaze is acting up.  That doesn't necessarily lead to a solution, but it helps identify the problem.

July 28
    Members of our family have always been voracious readers, starting from the many years I read aloud to the kids an hour or more per night.  Since some of us tend to read most available works of an author we're interested in, I pay an out-of-area fee to use the Spokane library system.  Because I only go there once every week or two, I sometimes get some overdue books.  Usually I remember to check my account and can renew them online, but I forgot a week ago, and only learned from an email today that I had 10 books overdue.   This led to an unscheduled trip to Spokane, since in a week that had grown to $14.00.  When fines are over $5.00 you can no longer renew them online, a sort of Catch-22 clause.   I also paid over $40 for another year of access to the library...
    I've been a part time librarian both at the seminary and in Nezperce, so I'm not about to complain to the person at the desk, but I was irritated at the system they've set up, where you aren't notified of overdue books for a week.  I'm thinking it originated when overdue notices were more mailed than emailed, and it saved them the mailing costs if the book came in on its own during the week.  At the seminary, we'd even check the shelves in case the book got returned but wasn't checked in properly... But since emailing is free, there is no logical reason to wait a week to notify someone their books are overdue (except to increase the overdue revenues).  Well, enough ranting.  The Spokane Library has had to cut hours for lack of funding, so they're welcome to my overdue fees...
    Of course the heat doesn't help much...  Two of our three vehicles don't have functional air conditioning.  I decided to drive a more gas efficient (no a.c.) car in today, so I took along a wet towel and an bottle of ice, which I kept spread out on top of me while I drove in the 90 degree heat.  It worked pretty well.  

July 29
Sweet Creek Falls Washington
    Being a day off,  my wife and I traveled northwest to visit a cave I'd read about--Gardner Cave, on the Canadian border.  It was about two football fields long, deliciously cool on another 90 degree day, and for the price (free) it was well worth the tour.  But the photos, using flash (which tends to flatten images), left something to be desired, so I've included this waterfalls, which was serendipitously located on our route there.   This is Upper Sweet Creek Falls, near Metaline Falls (which I think lost its falls to the hydro dams).  We also stopped at Sullivan Lake, where we swam and combined winter with pleasure by loading the van with firewood that a friend had given us.  Some of the round pieces of wood probably weighed 200 lbs-- enough that we rolled them up a ramp into the van...  I still need to unload the van...

July 30
I glazed most of the 100 pots I made last week today, filling two kilns with nearly another kiln load left to go.  Sales are currently outstripping production, though, which is good.
Between customers this afternoon, I recorded the complete lyrics to "My Grandfather's Clock," then as an afterthought I adlibbed to make "Grandpa's Fridge."  The links are on my video page, or here: 

July 31
    My son and fiance arrived today for a visit, returning with my other son, who'd been visiting them.
Meanwhile my mother-in-law who lives with us fell at the nursing home we left her with on Sunday, so she's (hopefully) briefly staying in the hospital.
    So today was  a lot of cleaning, pottery making, and odds and ends.  I made another 100 pots, but about 40 of them were minipots--1/8 pound tiny plates and toothpick holders.  Unfortunately they take about as long to make as larger pots--all the steps are the same, only the size changes.   I say "unfortunately" because they are the most inexpensive pots I sell. In the same time I use to make a minipot, I could make a larger pot that sells for 10 times as much.   Still I like making all sizes of pots, and they are great kiln fillers--fitting in the nooks and crannies, so I keep making them.
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