It’s called being innovative

So just had to show you, now that I am here and have a moment. These are pictures before I got my stuff moved…so just imagine that there are about a hundred boxes and bags in each picture, stacked hither and yon and that’s where I am.

I have to thank Tasha, my amazing co-mover, my partner in crime 🙂 I found out on Friday that I could get movers for furniture on Saturday (yes, the next day!!), so Tasha and I were like squirrels getting ready for winter….packing boxes, moving all the furniture out into the dining room, taking things apart. I moved from a 2nd floor apt to a house and I elected to have the movers do just the furniture. So this meant there were all of these boxes that one had to carry out the door of the apartment, down a long hallway, to the elevator, out of the elevator, out 2 sets of doors, down a long sidewalk and pack into my car…or a crazy person might just think that you could park outside the apartment building, in front of your balcony and…well, drop, pitch or otherwise lower said items to the ground, avoiding much of the hauling and carrying of said items…and it worked quite well, I must say.

Off to clean the apartment, enjoy your day!

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Let it be…

We have reached one of those milestones of life…you know, first steps, first day of school, first date… first signs of menopause………………excellent.  One of those things that you know is coming, that you are prepared for, that you even empathize with others about, while secretly being glad that you are not as OLD as they are.  Well, its here…and I am.

So I dived into reading about this period of life, researching how to cope with it herbally, within diet.  You know, what to eat more of, and what to avoid, to alleviate symptoms.  I am sort of an anti-medication person…well, not sort of- I am.

Of course, it was all the usual things- avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine, along with any fast food etc.  This makes perfect sense.  The sugar isn’t hard to avoid, except for red licorice…which is a blog post all its own.  I am not a real drinker, so no real worries there.  I don’t eat meat, so except for a wild hair for McDonalds fries sometimes, I don’t eat fast food.

The caffeine…*sigh*  … I love coffee.  I know its not great for me…I have gone without at times but always go back.  I have endured the caffeine withdrawal headaches for 3 days until I could stand the mornings without caffeine.  I have tried to drink herbal tea in the mornings, which is a nice hot beverage, but really?  My sister makes the best coffee in the universe.  I make OK coffee, but for some reason, her coffee is heaven.  I can be doing fine, drinking my wimpy herbal tea in the morning, and then I visit her…all resolve slips away at the thought of a cup of her coffee.  Sitting on her porch steps drinking a cup of her coffee in the early morning mist…that is what perfect is made out of.

We have gotten off track… I decided that cutting down on my caffeine intake would be good- so i bought the “half caff” organic, water decanted coffee beans at the HyVee.  I felt pretty good about this.  I was being responsible about this caffeine addiction thing I have.  I was still enjoying a bit of caffeine, still drinking pretend coffee, feeling normal, yet I was doing a good thing…less caffeine.  >pats self on back, while nodding<

A jeep I was behind while drinking my espresso, and the planets aligned in the universe…sending me a message.

last week I ran out of my ‘half caff’ beans…and i didn’t have time to get to the HyVee…so as I rummaged thru my freezer on a harried morning last week, all I could find was Italian espresso beans…are you feeling it?… do you see the end of this story?  I know, I know…I hear you…you are saying, “why, Pat? why, if you are committed to your recovery, would you still have espresso beans in your freezer?”

And to that I would say, “let it be.  Some things are not meant to be messed with…”

savoring time…

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures- Thornton Wilder

Ah, well, my coffee cup is empty, yet still warm…the woodstove is roaring and the house is quiet in this early morning. I have not written lately– too many things in the way.  Never a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts…and put them into some type of coherent order that is decipherable by another!

The thing that has captured me lately is the good times.  As you know, this ‘turning 50’ thing has really made me shift my thinking.  No longer do i see myself as immortal, or having unlimited time.  No longer do i use the phrase ‘someday’.  No longer do i put things off…well, some things i put off, but not important stuff :).  It may seem morbid, but it has made me live with much more intention.   i was looking back to earlier days in my life, when life seemed carefree …and somehow easier.  But at that moment in time, that carefree time, when my kids were small and i was juggling grad school plus a 2 hour commute each way and a full time job, i don’t remember thinking, “ah, these are the good times!”  The times were good, and i wonder if i realized that.  I think i was just trying to get thru the days, and counting credit hours until my masters was finished.

I want to recognize the best instants when they are happening.  I think some call this ‘living in the moment’.  I don’t want to mark time, or waste time, i want to savor it.  I want to breathe in each moment and recognize it for good, bad or ugly, but i don’t want to miss it in my preoccupation with tomorrow.

Happy New Year.

its early… i can never sleep very much the night before the first day of school.  I always faithfully set my alarm, just on the off chance that I will oversleep…heck, i haven’t overslept since college.  I am a habitual early riser, but the ‘first day of school’ worries always knock me a bit off center.  I have been in public education for almost 30 years, how can i still get nervous?  As a kid, i worried that no one would like me, that i wouldn’t have any friends…moving to junior high, i worried about getting lost…in senior high, i stressed over the right clothes, was my hair just right?  In college, i thought i might not know anyone…and here i am in high school again.  And none of those things are on my mind- i have friends, i know my way around, and I’m 50- I wear what i want.  So what is it?

I was at a well known chain store that starts with “W” last week.  As I headed past pharmacy, and hair care, I could see the cases of notebooks in the center of the aisle.  And while mothers were shoveling the dime notebooks into their carts, daughters were picking the ones with Justin Beiber.  Mothers were saying, “oh for goodness’ sake, pencils are pencils, i don’t think you need the ones with the ergonomic grip that light up at the end of each sentence!”  All thru the store there was an air of expectation…

A new school year… always a chance for a new start, new ideas, new decisions, new ways of doing things.

Maybe that’s it– a new year…will I do well? will i make this year the best it can be?  will my new ideas and decisions be worthwhile?

Maybe i am just nervous over the newness…

Well, time to get ready,to grab that last cup of coffee, to pack up my backpack…do you think the kids will like me?

selling on a street corner

selling stuff… i have said it a million times,

“I can make beautiful stuff, but i have no idea how to sell it…”

And I have thought to myself, ‘if my stuff is so great, then it should “sell itself”…it doesn’t.

and then we can visit the age-old argument about great art, and things that ‘sell’ are not necessarily great art…they are commercially created to please the public.

so i approached Etsy with some trepidation…some “geez, i should have thought of creating a site like this!”…some awe…some “how in the hell will anyone find my stuff in these millions of items??”

But after getting kicked out of the Farmers Market, ya gotta do something…find some type of outlet for your work…

I had an account years ago…etsy remembered me…she welcomed me in with a hug…saying “come in out of the hot sun and look around! We have everything here, everything you need for your creative soul…there are shops, and supplies, circles and treasuries and enough pretty pictures to keep you entertained for weeks…you can meet people here, and have coffee in handmade mugs…you can find your friends, have conversations, heart your favorites…etsy is all you need…just come in and set up shop”

and so i did.

kicked out of the Farmer’s Market…

never been much of a hell raiser…tried to stay out of the way of trouble most of my life.  Apparently my track record has been tarnished.

remember my earlier post about the Farmer’s Market, how much i loved the atmosphere, the people, the low pressure to sell…just sitting in the sun, and enjoying the residents of Custer?

well, while i was visiting my sister, the Custer Farmer’s Market was ‘taken over’ by the city and moved to Way Park by the courthouse.  And new ordinances were drafted making it only open to ‘agricultural product’…and pottery is not agricultural..

So after setting up my table, putting out my product in our new location, unloading my car and unfolding my chair, I was asked to leave…and so I re-packed my pottery in boxes and baskets, folded up my table drapes, and with help of my friend Sarah and her daughter Megs, carted everything back to my car…feeling like the kid that didn’t get picked for a team on “I Send” cuz i can’t run fast enough… sad to leave my new friends, and the open air market atmosphere…no longer belonging…

sad today…

i am trying to find the lesson in this, trying to pull some inspiring message from the bottom of all of this…but i am just sad.

 

Love the one you’re with

Did I tell you about the Farmer’s Market!?  Last week i was out and about doing a bit of garage saling, and came across a sign – itty bitty sign- for the Farmers Market here in town.  I thought maybe there might be vegetables, and i LOVE homegrown veggies.  There wasn’t.  But what there was was a little collection of a few souls braving a chilly Saturday morning selling their wares.  There was Herb- selling home made scones and bread, Sarah- selling fiber and handspun yarn- and a wonderful woman (whose name escapes me at the moment) selling home made jams and jellies.  I spent a bit of time talking to Sarah, telling her i learned how to spin last winter, of course buying over $30 of fiber, and asking if the market was open to anyone.  She explained that for the small price of $20, one could set up and sell handmade crafts.

Many years ago I used to sell at many craft fairs- paying up to $300 for a booth fee. There are ins and outs to this game, such as picking the right fair, and time of year, bringing the right merchandise, and gauging your competitors.  I gave up the craft fair circuit, deciding the cost and difficulty of traveling- often with children- didn’t pay in the long run.

But here was an opportunity, right down the street, for $20/week…no travel required…i didn’t have to pack pots for a trip equal to a covered wagon voyage over the Rockies…and only 4 hours of time, not an entire weekend eaten up in travel and sitting.

this could work.

So i finished glazing a load of pots, threw them into the kiln and fired on Thursday, hoping to unload on Friday and take them to the market on Saturday.  It sortof worked out that way.  My kiln didn’t fire the way i was hoping- a pyrometer malfunction late at night left me firing blind til 3am.  The pots were …eh…OK.  Not my best work, but I had a challenge and i was determined to take something to the Saturday morning soiree.

I persevered.  Priced pots, packed them and procured my bags/newspapers and a money box.  Got a table, figured out a way to display and packed the car.

Saturday morning found me sitting in the sun, drinking coffee out of a thermos, eating one of Herb’s home made scones, and chatting with Sarah.  The buying crowd was scant, preferring fresh rhubarb (from Mr. Gordon at the end of the market) and Herb’s bread to pottery.  I sold one mug, which paid for my booth fee.

but you know what? I had a fabulous time!

connecting with people that are willing to come out on a Saturday morning to buy a scone or look at pottery was invigorating!  when i used to do big fairs, it was about the money and could i recoup my booth fee? Could i deal with the fact that a guy next to me who was selling plywood cutouts of women bending over in the garden was selling out, while i was only managing to unload low dollar items?  Was I going to clear enough inventory to make room for Christmas items for the next fair?  It really all came down to money- and it soured me on fairs.

this on the other hand was about sunshine, scones and simply sitting and enjoying the day… i have grown.

 

I hear that whistle blowin…

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As we have wandered thru little towns in Colorado, Wyoming and now Nebraska, I am missing home. Its time to go home.

The cliff dwellings were pretty cool. I loved the steady artisan style of the sleeping places, the places to grind corn, storage bins, and circular towers and kivas…beautiful thoughtful work, all for a purpose.

I shopped galleries, and little shops til I was exhausted. Brought home some treasure and some gifts.

And then we wandered north, towards home, staying away from the interstate, wanting to see little towns.

Last nite we stayed in Scottsbluff, in a tiny campground 5 miles out. It was cheap for a campsite, but after we got the tent up, and the bug candles lit, we discovered why.

Woke up in manitou springs

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I can hardly wait for this little town to wake up! We got here after 8 last night. The plan was to find a campground, pitch a tent, and camp for the nite. But knowing myself, and knowing that we could only find a pavement type RV park at first, I knew if I was trying to put up a tent at 9:30 at nite in the dark….well, suffice it to say it would create tension…lots of tension.

So we opted for a motel, and took a walk downtown. OMG!! This is exactly what I wanted! There are like a hundred little shops, everything from glassblowers studios to coop galleries, to wine emporiums, a penny arcade, and a stream running thru town. Most everything was closed last nite, but I am looking forward to snooping thru them all today!

I took a few pictures last nite 🙂 but right now, if u know me, u know I gotta go find some coffee!

Testing….testing…is this thing on?

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Tomorrow morning we head out to the cliff dwellings in colorado, but i don’t want to take my laptop since we are travelling light. So this post is my personal test that I can truly post from my droid. Being a digital immigrant (fabulous article by marc prensky, if u haven’t read it, google it & make time), I tend to be distrustful of new technology and reluctant to trust what they are hawking here in a foreign land…I just hope I find good coffee.

I put a wordpress app on my droid with high hopes. So far, I see my texting shorthand being the #1 issue…i forget..I’m 50 now, u know.

I’m going on a trip 🙂 Stay tuned for pictures from the road…

P.S. Here is a smile from journi 🙂

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