The above photos were taken after our biggest dump of snow all winter. It’s hard to believe now. Less than three weeks later there is no snow and we’re out in t-shirts.
These are my pieces from an eight week “advanced” pottery class that I recently attended. It was such fun to be at the wheel again after three years. I was delighted to find that I hadn’t forgotten everything. The pieces include: a berry bowl, a batter bowl (which for our family is barely big enough to be a scrambled egg bowl), two plates, a tea pot (the first tea pot I’ve ever owned because I’ve been waiting all these years “until I make one”), and a decorative terra siggillata piece with horse hair and sugar “glaze”. OK, so I didn’t learn all the terminology. But that last piece was a lot of fun to make. First of all, there was something very soothing about the hand burnishing of the terra siggilatta part. On our last night it was fired in the kiln up to 1600° degrees and allowed to cool to 1100° at which point it is brought out and we dropped horse hairs (mane and tail, courtesy of my mom who is getting my pottery piece!) on the hot pot. The hair sizzles and the carbon in the hair leaves a snaking trail across the surface, as well as smoke stains. Finally, we sprinkled it with a few granules of sugar. (More views of the pots on Flickr if you are interested.)
Pest control. The fly plague from last fall seems to be carrying over into this season – in March! – and the kids came up with their own plan for controlling the pests today. I rounded up all the fly swatters I could find and they spent a delightful half hour killing as many as they could. An impressive number of dead flies littered the deck when they were done. (Notice someone on the upper deck as well.) Other bad pest news is that we found a tick today! Shudder. I hate those things. So we did the old “tick check”. Must say….. never done that in March before.
Z is in his glory. It’s time to start planting seeds! I left him entirely in charge of choosing the varieties this year. He’s been planting anything he can possibly plant this early, as well as testing the germination of some of the older seed packages we have left over. He talks, thinks, dreams, breathes gardening these days. He’s spent the entire winter reading up on self-sufficiency, homesteading, and every gardening book I can bring home from the library. However, now that the weather is warm and the planting is upon us, he is ever in the grip of “garden brain”. (What else can I call it?) I love watching him wonder around the yard with the same dreamy look that I wonder around it with. We look at each other and we know. We are both envisioning “the plan”. We are thinking, plotting, scheming, planning the gardens we’ll grow, the fruit we’ll bear, and making decisions about where to begin. I’m so glad I have this willing, hard working helper to get our gardening off the ground on this rocky, rugged piece of land. Especially this spring, as I anticipate the birth of our sixth baby over the next several weeks and in the midst of garden preparation time, what would I do without his enthusiasm and effort?
If anyone still reads this blog, there are so many things I’d like to share with you. Things like – books we’ve been reading (and all the books those books make us want to read), stuff we’ve been listening to, plans we’re hatching, things we’re learning, efforts in diligence and consistency rewarded, children growing and maturing, God’s ever-patient grace and teaching, thoughts “in retrospect”…….. but for now this is more than enough. I’m trying to decide exactly where I want to go with blogging. Somewhere? Anywhere? Delete? Hmmmm………