Our Christmas tree has been de-decorated for quite some time now, but Kev only just today took the lights off and carted the tree out of the living room. We’ve been enjoying the lights so much that we both procrastinated. The tree was surprisingly still keeping its needles well, mostly losing them only by the small clumps the cats chewed off (mostly Fat Murray). We got the smallest tree we’ve ever had in this house... since 1993. This year’s tree was once again a Frasier Fir (our favorite kind), and it was only a little bit over six foot tall. Our typical Christmas tree has been closer to twelve feet, so this tree at first seemed tiny.
Kevin and Sam went over to the Christmas tree lot that we always go to, and they picked this tree out together. I was still recuperating from the knee surgery I had in early December, so I didn't go with them. (Arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus... the most common of knee injuries... of course!) The tree was the only Christmas decorating we did this year, foregoing all of the other stuff... Sam, Kev and I all had trouble getting into the decorating spirit this year. Me because of my knee, Kev because of so many extra hours he had at work, and Sam because I am pretty sure that if any further decorating got done, he’d be hauling boxes up and down the stairs all by himself. Not a lot of fun.
So now our living room is so much bigger! Isn’t it nuts how the day you take the tree down, your room grows.
I thought the cats would be pissed off at Kev, but once he moved the loveseat back where it goes (where the tree was), they both plopped their butts on it and went to sleep. The cats enjoyed the tree immensely... I thought they'd miss it more...
Kevin also got the Meyer snow plow on the old ’78 Chevy pickup today. Kev uses the tractor to plow our driveway, so he gave the old truck to Mike and Joyce for their incredibly long, straight driveway. The plow hasn’t been on the old truck in about five years, but Kev said it went on pretty easily and worked like a charm. That old truck is rusting out like crazy, but she’s still dependable as heck. Love that old truck.
We’ve had a spell of nice weather... the annual January thaw. This past week was lovely. It started to get cold and a freezing rain began just as Kev finished with the old truck this afternoon. Shortly after he got inside for evening, it turned to big, fat flakes of snow. Now it’s snowing small and fast. Little snow, big snow. That means it should accumulate. Yay! Love the snow.
Sam wants to do some more senior photos in the snow... he did a photo shoot in the fall with the beautiful autumn colors. So here’s hoping we get a lot of beautiful snow, because I would like to have some photos of Sam in the snow, too. The same photographer who did Joyce and Mike’s engagement photos and wedding is doing Sam’s senior photos, and he’s so good. Joyce and Mike did their engagement photos in the snow, and they were awesome photos. There is something about snow... I have loved snow since I was little. I love the first snow... I can smell it in the air. It’s a wonderful smell that first snow. Like the first cold morning you can really smell autumn. Makes you wanna hug the air.
This past week, I have finally been able to get back into the pottery studio. I didn’t get in there hardly at all during December, due to my knee. I had two tears in the meniscus of my right knee, so it was very painful for a while. After the surgery, it was amazing how the pain was gone. I had pain from surgery, but that deep, intense inside pain was magically gone. Very nice. Then almost exactly two weeks after the surgery, I fell outside on the frozen ground directly onto that knee. I was afraid I had done some damage to the meniscus, but I didn’t... but... I did bruise my patella. The surgeon said it would just take time to heal. And then he said he could give me a shot of steroids into the knee which would help with the pain. I said, “Now, please.” That was Monday afternoon, and by Tuesday morning, I was raring to get into the studio. Wasn’t even limping! I’ve been making things like a woman possessed. I’ve missed clay so much.
Most recently, I made eight tumblers which are currently in the kiln, just bisque fired over this weekend. I will hopefully be able to glaze them all tomorrow, and they’ll go through a glaze firing this week. These are a test lot, because I’ve taken on a commission to make 200 stoneware tumblers which must each hold 20 ounces. I had made a luncheon set of stoneware dishes last year that’s still at the Serendipity 181 shop downtown, and a husband and wife saw them there. They are opening a pub just down the street from Serendipity 181, and they want the 200 tumblers to look just like the ones they saw at the shop for their “mug club” at their pub. I am very excited about this project. And nervous. 200 tumblers by May 1st. Gonna be fun!
But I don’t wanna do only tumblers from now until May. I’ve been dreaming ideas for clay... I have more ideas than time! That’s a lovely feeling. Since I’ve been selling pieces at Serendipity 181 (which is an artist consignment shop), it’s like I’ve been freed up to try anything with clay. I don’t have to make something that I want in my house or I want to give to a family member or friend... I can’t make any crazy thing I want! And, the pieces sell. It’s awesome. Gives me money to keep my clay habit going. I love being at the studio, being there with my friends, working with clay, creating something and then seeing it come out of the glaze firing. Opening a kiln from a glaze firing is like Christmas morning. So freakin’ fun. And now my fingers are itching to get into clay right now!
This past Saturday I worked at the studio from 9am until about 2pm. It is amazing to me how many muscles are used when making stuff at the studio. Being forced to take a month away from it, this week has reminded me... but it is a wonderful type of soreness. By 2pm on Saturday, though, I felt almost too tired to drive myself home. Joyce worked the front desk at the studio, and she was busy working, but she was there (I love it when she's there), and we had lunch together. Joyce helped me take care of a couple of things when I was cleaning up... she carried the heavy things for me because she could see I was struggling by that point. I got out into my car to leave and realized I had left my water on the table... totally too pooped to go back in and get it so I called Joyce. Setting in my car on the other side of the glass door, I talked with her and told her I left my water... she laughed at me and then got it and ran it out to me. Love that girl.
I made some ridiculous little salt and pepper shakers yesterday... I used a plaster mold of a baby face, so the shaker is a baby’s head. Joycie said they’re freaky. I like ‘em! It’s a Duncan mold from the 1960’s that I bought at an estate sale last summer, along with about one hundred other molds. I took quite a few into the studio for everyone to use, mostly simple shapes we can use for slump or hump molds. I also have quite a few in my garage that I picked up for a friend, and this included 2 Duncan baby doll molds, a boy and a girl. There are also little hands/arms and feet/legs parts in these molds... I might try using those for something wacky, too. These plaster molds are meant for slip-casting, but I am just pressing clay into the mold, using the bit I want of the face... we don’t do slip-casting at the pottery studio. I do a lot of hand-building (that is, instead of throwing on a wheel), and I like using plaster molds for some things. I will have pottery on the mind all through the night now. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night to write down stuff, so I can remember my pottery ideas/dreams. Often I can’t make sense of what I wrote. But it’s damn fun.
Life is so good. I love being retired. I worked for 35 years, and I have not missed it at all, not for one minute. I'm so happy. A bad day in retirement is still better than the best day working. I am totally grinning as I type this!!!
Sam and Allie are at the movies tonight. Sam just texted me and asked me to set up a timer to record Honey Boo Boo on TLC. I did it, though I could feel brain cells dying from it. That’s crap TV Big Time. And my son and his girlfriend wanna watch it. Sigh. Our family enjoys our TV. Kev and I are hooked on a lot of shows... Blue Bloods, CSI, Elementary, Bones, CSI New York, Castle, Rizzoli & Isles, Rookie Blue, Person of Interest, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and so on... so basically anything to do with crime! We also like New Girl, Parenthood, Revenge... And I have to have my Big Bang Theory weekly fix. Many of the TV shows we watch are not Sam’s choice. Now that we have the Dish Hopper, we share the DVR with Sam... before the hopper, we had a DVR in the living room and another upstairs, so we never saw what shows Sam recorded. I know I sound old when I say this, but I can’t believe the shit Sam watches! Damn kids, get off my lawn!