Sunday, January 25, 2009

Big Changes Soon....

Our present home goes on the market soon for sale! We've lived here for about 10 years, so this will be a big change for us. Our new location in Paonia, CO will be preparation for retirement so, we are down-sizing and also looking forward to a down-sized lifestyle!

Normally, this time of year sees us participating in out of state Art Shows, but our time is spent now readying our current home for the market PLUS readying our new location. I am having a new ceramics studio built there and it is due for completion in about three weeks.

This is the beginning of a website I've built to aid in advertising our home for sale....take a look at the preview!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Poised on the threshold.....

.....of a triumphant moment in the history of our country. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I remember.....

....I remember being a teenager growing up in Dallas, TX & riding the bus to the downtown library when blacks sat in the rear of the bus. I remember that blacks could not use the same restrooms or water fountains as myself. I remember the Civil Rights movement....I remember wondering WHY some other whites viewed blacks as less of a person than themselves....I remember Oletha and Dessa; two black women who taught me alot about love at a formative stage of my or white made no difference to them & this young white girl was embraced by both of them as one who needed a little wind beneath her wings. And my love for them knew no bounds of black or white.....

And how I remember Martin Luther King......who put into words the feelings of so many by his moving speech "I Have a Dream". His dream.......and his vision became my own though the pain of his death and the loss of his leadership doubled by the loss of JFK in my own city sent me reeling into unknown depths of despair for the future of our country.

But now.....we're just one day away from the swearing in of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States. This (much older) white woman is moved to tears as I realize the triumph which is occuring.....that, as King stated so many years ago.....a man has been judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin ....his strength, his character & intelligence, competence and unwavering committment to the American people has earned him the highest honor in our land....a day of triumph for us ALL and one where HOPE reigns supreme.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Proud and Thankful Day... the wake of yesterday's Airbus crash into the Hudson River. How proud AND thankful I am that ALL the lives were spared! I can't imagine the feeling those passengers must have had when told by the pilot to "brace for impact". Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, children, young adults.....all with their own very special stories of family and loved ones.....the loss of each one would have been so tragic.
What mastery the Pilots and crew exhibited! Further, all the available first responders.....I heard some of them interviewed and they said they performed as if they had rehearsed for this event!
A proud and thankful day, indeed. KUDOS to all involved...I will always remember this with a heart filled with gratitude!

Monday, January 12, 2009

From My Home to Yours....

Here's where I start my day......get the coffee going and enjoy the warmth of our home.
Thought it might be nice to share a little something more of myself than just a name and words!
Consider yourself invited for a cup of virtual coffee! **clink of mugs**

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I ♥ Living in Colorado!

I'll never forget the first time I saw the Colorado landscape.

I was born & raised in Dallas, TX & following graduation from High School there, I got a job as a camp counselor in the mountains just west of Boulder, CO. Since that particular summer camp got most of its campers from the state of Texas, I was given the responsibility of riding the train from Dallas to Houston to pick up campers, do a quick turn around and then head north to Colorado. Geeze, I was just 17 at the time and I had a whole bunch of kids to watch over on that train! What a riot of fun was had all day and into the night.....finally, about 2 AM, most of the kids were asleep.

I had a window seat on the train and I dozed fitfully, being aware of the responsibility of looking out for my charges. Sometime in the pre-dawn hours, I looked out the window and there, to the west, were the glorious mountains in the dim light of the moon. I was so moved....awe struck....filled with emotion and had a deep, deep sense of having arrived "home". How could that be.....seeing how I was raised in the flatlands of Texas? I still don't have an explanation to this day. I only know I had such a profound & instant connection with the landscape that I did eventually make it my place of residence.

And still quite often, as last night when I saw the full moon on a frosty January night, I am filled with the same kind of awe as when I first glimpsed the mountains......just simply overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Raku Firings of '09!

We had a beautiful day here in SW Colorado yesterday and hubby & I fired up the raku kiln and processed some pottery that had been "waiting in the wings" for their final coat of glorious color. If you are wondering what raku is, you can learn more about it on my website: &, once there, click on "about raku". There you will find pictures of an actual raku firing along with explanations of the steps and a link to wikipedia for more info.

It's a captivating process......and when I first began doing it (about 14-15 years ago), I was rather intimidated by the FIRE. As time went along though, I actually began enjoying working with the FIRE as much as I enjoy creating the pottery! Seeing the interior of a kiln at 1800-1900 degrees is a fascinating appears "alive" and has a beauty of its own.

One of the many great things about raku is that it always yields "one of a kind" results in coloration because the pieces are handled individually and each one has its own relationship with the many variables which cause the coloration. I can glaze two pieces identically and get two VERY distinctly different results!

Felt very good to be back in the raku firing saddle again!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From dreams to schemes to reality..... of my husband's favorite sayings!

Moving to a smaller community and into semi-retirement has been the "dream", then the scheme began when we bought property in Paonia, CO and NOW, ......well, now reality is happening! Re-modeling is underway indoors and, wildly exciting for me, the stemwall of my NEW POTTERY STUDIO was poured yesterday giving me a precise & accurate visual of things to come! (for info. on importance/function of stemwalls see As soon as our outdoor temp reaches 40 degrees, the whole slab will be poured for the new facility!

New digs to come.....dreams become reality!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Less becomes MORE" things as well as thoughts take on a greater significance as the years roll along (at least for me). Find myself thinking about the simplicity (albeit very powerful) wisdom found in a little book "The Four Agreements" (link in former blog).....guess because I'm in the process of weeding out a mountain of material "stuff" I've hauled around for years, I find myself being drawn back to the merits of scaling down. Favorite quotes from the past form a solid foundation in setting a path towards my future:

  • "If you want to travel far, travel light."
  • "If THINGS begin owning YOU instead of YOU owning THEM, it's a call for change."
  • "The home exists to serve YOU: you do not exist to serve the HOME."
  • "Know thyself."

Just a few for the sake of brevity....could well consume a blog of great length....but all of that to lead up to the beauty of THE FOUR AGREEMENTS:

  • #1 Be impeccable with your word
  • #2 Don't take anything personally
  • #3 Don't make assumptions
  • #4 Always do your best

There you have it......simplicity of thought & action that holds some of the most powerful wisdom in life. Of course, the book gives terrific examples of each of the "agreements" & it needs to be read to understand the cultural framework for its statements.

Only four things.....each of which, if applied consistently, can revolutionize one's life!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Buck Stops Here....time to get tasky

It's time to get our home listed for sale (can see outside of home here it IS a beautiful home which has served us well for a little over 10 years. Lots of memories mother lived here with us for awhile....I remodeled the oversized garage into my first really functional studio AND I successfully launched my clay business from this location.

And now,.....time to move on. We're creating a new lifestyle and SEMI-retiring. There's so much to some things, donating others....out & out throwing away more! So, we've decided to treat our "to do" lists the same as if we were getting ready to attend an Art Show. There's always a deadline we have to meet and somehow everything gets done. Today we set the deadline to list, then life will get craazy busy to meet it.

Off to MY to do's!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Of Things to Come...

This is "Little Bit" of my brother's dogs we're currently dog-sitting while he visits family out of state. Now Hubby and I have two cats &, quite suddenly, their territory has been INVADED. Little Bit is smaller than one of our cats and about the same size as the other, but the cats are both extremely non-plussed about this whole business!
Hubby and I are taking this short opportunity to try for some amiable co-existence between the's really a riot watching them work out the pecking order. Hard to imagine that Little Bit intimidates anyone or anything!! Haahahaha!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day 2009

How well I remember watching "2001-A Space Odyssey" and feeling like 2001 was soooo far away! And now it's 2009......goodness.

I find the New Year a good time for re-assessment.....not that I buy into all of the "resolution" mania. It's just a natural thing for me to look back over past accomplishments and assess directions for new goals.....most likely that's how the whole New Year's resolution thing got started anyhow.

Things I feel good about? Taking the plunge when I was in my fifties to carve out a new business life for myself. I was in a secure job as a public school teacher, but had always had the desire to really push myself as an artist. While raising my family (now all grown), I was happy for the opportunity to work as an Art Teacher in pub. schools....schedule was same as kids, good benefits, etc., but allowed little time for me to really expand my horizons as an artist.

It was RISKY to withdraw myself from "the system" and strike off on my own as a professional artist AND it was a thing I'll never regret!

New Goals? Presently moving toward SEMI-retirement. I'll NEVER retire from being an's my life's blood. Semi-retirement will, however provide me with opportunities that will be purely enriching. Husband and I will downsize our home, build a new studio facility & travel more, camp more, fish more (for him!!) and me?.......I'll spend alot more time soaking up all the beautiful moments in life that feed and inspire my artist's heart & soul. Completely expecting that, this time next year, we will be nestled into our new community of Paonia & enjoying every minute of a new lifestyle!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE......may 2009 be the best ever!