The weather continues rainy and cold--so I spent my spare time inside
looking over songs for the October INBMA Showcase Sondahl and Hawkins
will be opening for Oct. 19. I also fired the glaze tests today, so there will hopefully be something new to see tomorrow from the kiln...
is a small fragment of the many grapes we have this year. They
are smaller than commercial grapes, but very tasty and seedless.
are the most interesting glaze tests of the 40 I made last week.
The first is a combination of two glazes that made a smoother
surface and brighter color than either separately. The second "breaks"
over throwing lines in a distinctive, but probably not most harmonious,
manner. The third has an expensive opacifier and enough blue
cobalt to make it as blue as the ones on the right, but it came out a
mottled green. The last two were crystalline glaze recipes, the
first one in combination with the last one, which is a pretty blue
probably resulting from slightly underfiring it for what would be more
crystalline in appearance. I'll probably do some more tests with
several of these...
Oct. 3 Frost
is predicted for tonight, but it surprised us by hitting last night as
well. Fortunately most of the tomatoes were harvested last week,
and actually it was a light enough frost that I collected 3 more boxes
of tomatoes today. We also dug the potatoes, and gathered the
squash. It was a great year for pumpkins--over a dozen large
ones, most of which we'll give to young friends. The squash were
planted in an area which was sod covered with a couple inches of horse
manure this spring. The grass was mostly killed by the layer of
manure, and with an additional layer of manure next spring it will be
ready for general garden use, except for carrots that prefer deep loose
soil. Speaking of soil, we've started some new
beds just using green plant waste, covering with straw. One was
started late this spring, but grew very dark green tomato and potato
plants (a sign of adequate nitrogen). These beds are over sod as
well, and will benefit from manure when we get some...
There were still a few surprises when wandering the garden--some old
spinach had revitalized itself with thick new leaves (which we ate with
cheese sauce on our fresh baked potatoes for supper). There were
also a half dozen cucumbers uncovered by the frost--(note to
self--plant cucumbers where other squash won't obscure them).
I got a rush order for little mini-bowls today, and was low on them
anyway, and was curious, so I found out I can throw 80 of them in 30
minutes or 23 seconds per pot. I also made 18 medium and large
canisters, nearly enough to fill a kiln.
The single mother with 3 6-8 year old girls that we've been working
with for the last year found themselves homeless (it is, of course, not
that simple, but I don't feel free to elaborate), so we've taken them
in, changing our empty nest into a wiggly one. I enjoy having
children to read to at night, having spent thousands of hours doing so
when our kids were growing up (through high school, actually)...
They like having me read Little Lulu comics, which I've been
buying in modern reprint collections for several years. Even if
they can't see the cartoon panels, the stories are easy to imagine and
the dialog very funny. (spoiler alert: I did give away the fact
that in the Lulu-Tubby mysteries, Lulu's father is always the guilty
one.) A week after picking the tomatoes, it was
time to sort them into those nearly ripe, those steady green, and the
rotten ones, that rapidly spread. With a little diligence, we'll
have lots of tomatoes through Christmas. The diligence is the
like "adopting" 4 people to keep one's life busy and interesting.
Immediately after they moved in, I cleverly took a weeklong
(preplanned) trip to Minnesota to visit family. Getting back I've
been hustling to keep up with personal life, hobbies, and the pottery
business. I led a workshop on making plaster stamps the day after
I got back. That evening Jonathan Hawkins and I did the first set of
the season's bluegrass showcase. (Afterwards the only comment I
heard was from a lady in the 3rd row who said she couldn't hear us,
which was mostly due to not having a sound person familiar with
the system running it...) The rest of the evening I twiddled
knobs on the sound system and hoped for the best.
On Sunday we had a harvest festival at the church, with a great pot
luck including Alaskan salmon, and pumpkin carving afterwards.
Oct. 25 When
not helping with homework or reading to our new charges, I've been
canning grapejuice, making pear sauce, and canning pears. That
reminds me --it's time to sort tomatoes again...
The weather this week has been lovely--the forecast for next week much
colder... Time to finish some storm windows and Fall maintenance
We got strong winds and cold blowing in overnight, with the first 1/2
inch of snow on the ground this morning. With a low of 20 degrees
predicted for tonight, we dug the main patch of carrots yesterday, and
stowed both them and our apple crop in the root cellar today.
Last week the maple leaves were at their height, but I was too
busy to catch the Fall colors, and with the cold and wind the trees are
rapidly being emptied now. I'm volunteering at
the library for their after-school program doing clay, both today and
tomorrow. Coincidentally our 3 new charges joined the library
after-school program last week. They have gotten to do pottery
regularly in visits before they moved in with us. The new
potter's wheel is a real boon to young potters--the old one had such a
stiff throttle pedal they could hardly budge it.
Volunteering with clay is requested less often than pottery donations,
but both are very popular and must be watched so that my welfare
doesn't suffer... I've agreed to visit a nearby high school in a
Books read and other media of note
Honky Tonk Kat by Karen Kijewski This
feels real--an old friend helping a threatened country singer. It
gets a little too deep (as in bogged down) into family relationships
and back story, but is well crafted. The Penultimate Truth by Philip K Dick Never
what you expect, and what would you expect, with a title like that?
Another dystopian future, everyone living in holes in the
ground, from nuclear war, except the 1 % that aren't telling that the
war is over... Little Green by Walter Mosley I'm
guessing Mosley has tired of Easy Rawlins, but I've no doubt he's the
most popular detective character the prolific Mosley has created.
He bares the sins of the world in his detecting. The Sentry by Robert Crais. (spoiler
alert) Although the initial premise that someone-- hiding in fear of
their lives with ill gotten fortune--would open a restaurant, seems a
bit thin, still you hop on the sleigh and take the ride... Dodger by Terry Pratchett. A
compelling historical romance set in Victorian Britain, where a young
street Dodger moves up into the world of Charles Dickens, Disraeli, and
Sweeney Todd. Like many of his non-Discworld books, he tempers
his humor with warm humanity. The Watchman by Robert Crais Unlike
Robert Parker, who inspired Crais, Crais is willing to give the cold
killer detective assistant time in the limelight, to good effect, with
a political thriller that is gripping to the last, with bits of history
that flesh out the uncommunicative Joe Pike...