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Friday, October 31, 2014

Enjoy Your Work

I was in my basement making my three color pitchers and enjoying it.

It has been 13 years since I began to make pottery.  When I first began I made a few sculpture pieces, then I learned to turn on the wheel.  For many years the learning curve was frustrating. I had to back up from the creativity and just make pottery.   

They say it takes 12 years to be a good potter.  I am sure that is full time and I only make pottery part time, despite that I can now make functional pottery, both hand built and turned on the wheel.   

Now I that I have the function of making pottery down I can get back to being creative.  

As I was making the pitchers and loving it I realized when God has called you to do something it doesn't matter if you make $100,000 or enough to pay for your hobby. Enjoying your work is more important.

My father always said to get a job you love doing as you will spend most of your life doing it.  Too many people have a job to pay the bills. They are not happy and can live a stressful life. I wonder how much better our world would be if everyone worked at what they loved?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Clean Up

One and a half years ago in April we had so much rain it washed out roads and flooded homes along the river.  We had no damage other than a road near us washed out, which meant going a different route.  I am thankful we didn't have damage.

The following summer and fall we had lots of rain.  Then winter came with 14 feet of snow.  Not all at once, a few inches or more almost every day.  Spring arrived and again the precipitation turned back to rain.  Since then it seems to rain for 4 days then clear for a couple of days.  If it wasn't for the odd clear days we'd be flooded like the 40 days of rain in the days of Noah.  God did promised never to wipe us out by a flood again, but at times I wonder about this.  Just kidding, as my granddaughter would say.  The ground might be soggy and puddles dot the fields and lawns, but we are not going to flood, thankfully. 

I could say I am thankful we have the rain, really this much? I am thankful I live in a dry warm home instead of the streets as some people do.

In the fall the leaves need to be raked, perennials cut down, grass mowed one last time and the vegetable garden tilled under.  A few days ago the rain stopped, most of the leaves got raked. All but one garden was cleaned up and I managed to dig up my calla lilies and dahlias.  It didn't take long.  When another few days of dry weather come I might get there rest finished.  I've been wanting to move some stones out from around the house.  A miracle might happen and I could get it done before the snow flies.  One thing I am thankful for is that if the stones don't get moved, there is always next spring. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is my garden. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Advancement Of Washing Machines

Today I am thankful I live in a modern time with an automatic washing machine and a dryer, hot water heater,  electricity and running water.  

This was emailed to me from a friend. 
Never thought of a "washer" in this light before..
' Washing Clothes Recipe' -- imagine having a recipe for this!
Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.


Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin' water.

Sort things, make 3 piles
1 pile white,
1 pile colored,
1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.
(For you non-southerners -"wrench" means "rinse")
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.


Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Paste this over your washer and dryer.

This might sound humorous but my mother had a wringer washer machine.  Ours was more modern than this ladies. We had electricity and hot running water.  We didn't have to boil the water under a fire in the back yard or grate a whole bar of lie soap.  That was my grandmothers generation. 
My Childhood Washing Machine

Our ringer washer was pulled beside the double concrete laundry tubs in the basement.  Mom would put the hot water and Tide in the tub and load it with whites.  The washer swished the clothes back and forth until Mom turned it off.  Then came my sister and my job.  With a wooden spoon we'd take the clothes out of the tub and one by one feed them into the wringer.  The spoon was safer then our hand to guide the clothes through. If we weren't careful the spoon would get close enough to the wringer for it to pull it through with the clothes.   If this happened we push a lever on top to spread the two wringers apart and we'd get out spoon back.  Without the spoon it could be our arm. 

The wrung clothes would fall into the tub full of clean hot water. We'd flip the wringer back 90 degrees so it would be between the two tubs.  The rinsed clothes would be put through the wringer again into a basket in the second tub. 

The first load cleaned, next in the same water came the coloured clothes. Last but not least were the work clothes. This is called conserving the water.

All year long the clothes were hung on the line.  In the winter the clothes frozen pegs would have to be pried off the clothes.  Most of the clothes some how dried in the sunny winter. The jeans and heavier clothes turned into frozen boards.  To complete the drying and to thaw them Mom would line them up against the couch.  The living room was transformed an army of pants standing at attention until  they melted to the floor like the wicked witch of The Wizard Of Oz.

I am thankful for my washing machine where I toss in the laundry, any order, push a few buttons and about 40 minutes later I take them out.  On a sunny warm day I hang them on the line. Fresh outdoors is the best air fresher. The rest of the time they dry in my dryer.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chores To Be Done.

I have decided not to count the days that I blog.  Life gets in the way and at times there is no time to blog.  It is on the bottom of my list as it is not as important as making pottery or promoting it.

I have been promoting my pottery on my Etsy.  This year all the sales have been down, again.  I say again because every year I work harder and every year the sales are just a bit lower than the year before. 

I am thankful that I do have some sales as I would be tripping over my pottery. This year my shelves are full of pottery.  I plan to make whimsical figurines instead of mugs and bowls and toothbrush holders.  I also want to make yarn bowls and colanders along with other kitchen wares. Years ago a Christian told me that whimsical animals ect is what I am to do. That is not what I have been doing.  Perhaps God has not blessed me with many sales to force me to make whimsical figurines.

It is now break time from the pottery.  The house needed to be cleaned, baking to be done and most important the yard work cleaned up before winter descends on us.  While the rain poured down I was able to clean the house and get the baking that I wanted done, done.  I am now waiting for the timer to tell me it is finished, then I shall go back outside. A friend came down from Sudbury today.  Dave worked on his motorcycle and he worked on a computer. Gardening did not get done.

I went to the dentist and had a molar pulled.  As I sat in the chair dreading this experience I thought at least we have good dentists with freezing, unlike the old days with no freezing and more rotten teeth.

The sun finally showed it's face yesterday.  The ground was wet and muddy, a perfect time to weed the vegetable garden. The last of the vegetables are out too, the carrots.  One more area to do, then put the leaves on it and possibly cut the lawn. Perhaps tomorrow. 

I am very thankful that the sun is out. It has been dreary for such and long time.  One never knows how long it will say as the weather forecasts aren't very accurate. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Family Visits

Day 51 to 56

Here I go again with a several  days of not blogging. 

Sunday we had a good church service then we drove up to our daughter's for a thanksgiving dinner.  I have always lived around 6 hours from my family.  In 2009 Elizabeth and Rich moved about 2 hours from us.  Now I am able to visit for one day.  I am thankful that we are closer to at least one daughter.

Monday was a pottery day. I have one maple syrup pitcher to make by Christmas. If they were finished today they would be dry enough to fire in a couple of weeks, and finished by Christmas shows and for sure Christmas.  I was able to make 3 maple syrup sizes and four larger ones.  I am thankful these are finished.  I prepared clay for my tri-colour ones, last week. I will get to them next week.  My pottery is finished for the year, now I will be able to clean up the garden, weather permitting.

Tuesday we decided to visit our parents and siblings in the Niagara Peninsula.  I am thankful that we now live three hours from them instead of 6 which we did for 33 years.

About 40 years ago my brother and sister decided to sell the pumpkins my mother had grown at the end of the drive.  My brother has converted that wheel barrow of sales into an amusement fun time.  I haven't been able to visit the Howell Pumpkin Farm while open in about 20 years.  The games are open on Tuesday evening for cheep Tuesday so I was glad we were able to see it open. Pumpkins can be bought any time.  Jerry gave us some tickets to try his new cannon apple thrower.  We saw the canons when he brought them in.  It was quite fun shooting at targets on hay bales or the old combine. We also tried his new paint ball zombi, another show we've watched him make.  Here is his website.

Often we visit mid week when my sisters work. Both were on holiday. Wednesday afternoon and evening we had a very good visit in my younger sisters newly renovated family room.  Of course it is good to visit with my father who is almost 92 and Dave's stepmother who is 85.  Those visits will not last for ever. 

On the way home, today, we stopped at the RV show in Toronto. We are in the market for a travel trailer. Seeing many at once opens our options in a short time.

Of course I am thankful that God once again blessed us with good travel both ways. 

This has been a very good week which again I am thankful for.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last Market Day For This Year

Day 50

Today, Thanksgiving Saturday was our last day for the 100 K Farm Fresh and Home Made Market.  I wanted to go as there could be lots of people there, but I wasn't thrilled about standing out in the cold fall weather.  This is the first time I have sold on this holiday weekend, I would go. One never knows how things will turn out until one tries. 

I have been told that less is more, meaning the if you put less out you will have more sales.  I never was that convinced of this. I didn't pack very much pottery, therefore I didn't have many pieces to put out.

I am thankful that I did go.  I had the most sales I have had of any Saturday this summer.  The weather was a
cool fall day. At times the sun even came out.  We had only a few sprinkles of rain too.  It was a very good day.

Next will be the Christmas shows, which are inside, out of the weather elements.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Never A Dull Moment

Day 48 and 49

These two days could have been blended into one as they were pretty much the same. 

We sat in the warm cottage and watched the rain come and go. Other than I'm tired of seeing rain I didn't sit and twiddle my fingers, I always have things occupy me.  I never have a dull moment.  I read a book, and made play food with polymer clay for the grandchildren.

The rain did stop long enough to get outside for some exercise, which was raking leaves and pine needles off the driveway and the stone steps. I will be raking more, many of the leaves haven't even turned colour.  They might get raked this year, or next spring. There is always something falling off the trees at the cottage.  When we took over the cottage no one had been keeping the stone paths cleaned and they were 3/4 covered with tree debrea.  It doesn't take long for nature to take over.

We are home and the truck in loaded with my pottery for the market tomorrow.

I am thankful I have my health and I can do the things I enjoy doing, yes that includes raking leaves.  The smell of the leaves and the russel sound they make gives me peace and time to talk and listen to God, while I rake.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Frogs, Fatique and Rain

Day 45, 46 & 47

For  three days I’ve not taken the time to blog my thankfulness.  I could say I didn’t have the time to blog, people spend their money and their time on what they feel is important.  If it is not important they will find all sorts of excuses why they don’t have the time or the money.  I found lots of excuses these past 3 days, but I don’t remember any of them.

This past month I have made several larger frog and mice platters.  I wanted to do at least 4 smaller ones before the frost ate my hosta leaves.  Thankfully I got the four platters finished today.  Now on to small pitchers for maple syrup and a few larger ones.  

I was hoping to get these started on Tuesday.  We had our drum lesson in the morning with our pastor then I went grocery shopping.  When I came home I felt exhausted.  I think the past week’s events have caught up with me.  The weather was also sunny,  a rarity this year, I wasn’t going to stay in the basement doing pottery on a day like this.  Initially I thought I’d remove some stones that  I’ve wanted move all summer.  Heavy loading in my fatigue state wasn't the best idea I've had. I had bought my fall fertilizer so why not spread that.  Walking behind the fertilizer spreader was much easier than hauling wheel barrows of stones. The rain came back washing the fertilizer in. This was a good decision.  I am thankful I made this choice.  

We were going to the cottage for a few days then coming home for me to do my last farmers market day, Thanksgiving Saturday.  I spent the  rest of the afternoon packing up my pottery for the market. I am always thankful when a job is done.
Today, Wednesday we came to the cottage.  On Sunday the weather was calling for Tuesday to be rainy and the rest of the week sunny.  I have no idea why waste my time watching the weather report.  The opposite happened.

Despite the rain the cottage is always a relaxing place to vedge out at.  The fire is stoked, the cottage is warm and the book I am reading is very interesting.  Dave and I did get out for a walk, a short one as the clouds were baring down on us. We got a bit wet on the way back, thankfully it wasn’t a down pour.

 Now if the internet would work I might be able to post this.  I’m thankful that we at least have some internet.  A few years ago there was none at the cottage.  Next year the internet will improve.  I didn't get to post this until Thursday morning. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Follow God and Write

Dpt ay 45

Last Sunday while visiting my daughter's church in Fredericton the sermon spoke to me, more than usual. 

It was about God appearing to Moses in the burning bush, Exodus 3. God wanted Moses to go back to Egypt and rescue the Israelite's, Pharaoh slaves.  Forty years ago he ran away from Egypt to save his life.  Going back terrified him.  He made several excuses why God shouldn't chose him.

The question asked us, 'what has God called us to do and what excuses have we made'.

 I know God has called me to make pottery and play the drums, which I am not making excuses to do.   I prayed what have you called me to do. My answer - write your story.

I began to write it a year ago, did the prologue then stopped.   My excuse is fear of persecution which leads to, ' I don't have time and numerous other reasons'.   A few Christians did not believed me and I became careful whom  I share it to.  I don't know where this will go.  That is not my concern, just follow and write for now. 
This afternoon was quiet.  I pulled out my computer and typed away.  My background is close to being finished, first draft naturally.  Perseverance wins the race.

I am thankful for this sermon and that I took time to write today.  I'm on my way.   

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Exercise For Health

Day 44

The past two days was suppose to be sunny. This morning was the sunny day and I chose to stay inside and do the motorcycle books.  The paperwork had been piling up. It doesn't take long to impute them into our quick books program.  In 2003 I switched from a spread sheet to Quickbooks and I was frustrated.  Our accountant came to the house to teach me the program.  I told him I wanted to quit as it seamed confusing.  He told me to press through. Am I ever glad I did.  Now it is easy, almost boring, inputting the books.

I am thankful didn't succumb to the sunny weather, but stayed inside a got my books done.

Day 45

During the summer our pastor decided to raise money for our church's free community breakfast through Ride for Refuge  He asked who would like to bike to raise money.

For the past two years I have wanted to get back into exercising, bicycling being one way.  This was my motivation. I was hoping to cycle at least 4 times a week, that didn't happen.  I must be in better shape than I thought . My practice run is hills, which I can bike between 10 to 8 km.  I did not know the road the ride was on, I opted for the 10 km course.  Twenty km and 50 were the other choices.  The route was quite flat.  I rode 17 km, but probably could have done the 20 km. 

I did accomplish my goal.  I am becoming more fit.  Exercise does more than help loose weight.  It releases chemicals that make me feel like I've lost 10 pounds and build my muscles, giving me strength.  Too bad it wasn't real pounds.  If I slack in my future exercise I'll have to remember how much better I feel when I exercise. 

I am very thankful I decided to Ride for Refuge. Our church almost raised our goal too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Yard Work Done

Day 42 & 43

The weather for these two days was calling for a sunny sky.  A great day for yard work.

Two of my orange lilies were blocking other plants and needed to be moved.  When one plant is transplanted it becomes several plants. There were two places in other gardens that needed to be filled with something other than natural plants commonly called weeds.  Both areas were filled with the lily roots and I still had about 10 roots left.  I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if I knew some who'd want these plants.  I started to dig another hole on a bank full of grass and in the driveway comes a motorcycle friend whom  we have shared other plants.  He took the rest of the lilies.  I call this another God- cidence instead of coincidence.

On Tuesday when we got home from our daughters, our driveway had turned red with fallen leaves and the lawn was several inches high.  It is rare for me to rake the leaves before the grass stops growing.  Leaves don't normally fall this early in season, but some changed color in August. 

The leaves were rakes and  most of the lawn was cut.  I was getting tired and contemplated leaving the rest for tomorrow, but I didn't want to do it tomorrow and they are calling for rain.  I persevered and the lawn is cut and we can see our driveway which I am thankful I finished it. The raking has become much quicker since Dave gave me a great idea to haul the leaves away.  I used to load up the wheel barrow, now I lay a tarp on the ground and fill it with leaves.  Dave helps me haul the laves to my vegetable garden. What used to be abut 10 trips is now only one. So much time save, thanks to Dave's suggestion.

Of course there will be more leaves to rake as some are still green.

The sun did not show itself for these two days, but it didn't rain, which became the updated weather report.