Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Three Vases

About the time when I decide to use only white stoneware clay, I get a vase like this one from my latest firing. Creamy green glaze over red stoneware clay. Luscious breaking and creamy feel to this one. I may have to keep this for myself. It's about six inches tall.

 Another vase made of speckled stoneware about five inches tall.

This rutile glaze turns too dark on red stoneware in my opinion. This vase is about eight inches tall. At the latest farmer's market I sold more than any other day this year. One woman bought three of my wood paintings. Just when I am about ready to give up things are looking up. I also got a check in the mail for the Reese Farm gift shop for sales there as well. Thanks for reading and for all your comment.s

Monday, September 18, 2017

Shishito Peppers

Apparently the latest delicacy in gourmet restaurants is shishito peppers. I've never had them but decided to give them a try. I found these at the farmer's market on Saturday.

 I was going to grill them outside but the wasps were buzzing around so I decided to use my cast iron frying pan. Supposedly one in ten is a hot pepper so I grilled the green ones first. Gary said he got one hot green pepper.

Then I tried the red ones because the green ones were so good. Two in ten were hot in this batch but they were delicious.

I made a dipping sauce of yogurt, lemon, garlic, and dijon mustard. These are a great appetizer. Brush with olive oil or sesame oil and grill, delicious. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

More Pendants & Ornaments & Magnets

Here are more pendants from this firing. I still have to string these. The white ones in the middle were stained with a red iron oxide wash. Apparently the RIO was too diluted.

 These are a few more ornaments.

After I made the pendants and ornaments, I decided to make a few refrigerator magnets. I have yet to glue the magnets on them though. What type of glue do you use on ceramics? Today I'll be at the farmer's market in booth 9 from 7 am to 1 pm. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Reading the Obituaries

For years Gary has read the obituaries and I wondered why. Each week he tells me of this person or that person's life.  Still I wonder why he reads the obituaries faithfully each week. What good or benefit could there be to reading the obituaries of folks we don't even know. There are some folks who've led very interesting lives, worked in admirable jobs or professions, are survived by this relative, this many children, or this many grandchildren. But what do these facts have to do with us?

This week Gary told about the obituary of a woman aged 100 who survived three husbands and came to America from Sweden through Ellis Island at the age of 7. There was a man of 48 who enjoyed riding motorcycles and working on old cars and died at home.  Another woman died aged 50 always smiling even through the difficult circumstances of her life. A man aged 74 who loved the outdoors and spent time hunting, fishing and collecting arrowheads died peacefully in his sleep. Two men, the same age as I am, passed away, one suddenly in his home, the other after a brief illness.

The obituaries say the folks are survived by this relative or that one. But I wonder what those who just died have survived. Surely they've survived near misses with death, survived the grief after the loss of a child, a relative or a close friend, survived the loss of a job, or perhaps the loss of a home through flood, fire, or foreclosure, the loss of a car, loss through theft, or survived a crime of passion. These folks have lived and survived much, their death, their obituary seems so much less important to me.

Then I realize I'm alive. More than several folks have died this week younger or the same age as me. I think of all I've survived. I survived the trials of childhood both good and bad, I survived the missteps of young adulthood. I survived near misses with death from accidents and several diseases. I survived the effects of ill health which made me wish for death. I've survived the death of my grandmother, brother and mother, the loss of friendships recent and past, the loss of jobs at my doing or not, the loss of homes or careers out of necessity or desire. I'm suddenly so grateful to be alive.

Some of the obituaries say folks worked at such and such job for 30, 40, 50 years; they taught sunday school for 50 years; they were a prayer warrior for those in need all their lives; they volunteered at the hospital for 20 years; or they were a member of this church or that one. What could my obituary say about me? I haven't worked somewhere for 30, 40 or 50 years, but I've worked hard in lots of places all my life. I don't teach sunday school. I'm not known as a prayer warrior but inwardly I pray. I'm not a member of an organized church but I frequently visit my own church in my thoughts.

Further down in each obituary it says the person's relatives are left with their loved ones memories to cherish. I wonder what that means; why are cherished memories emphasized in each obituary? Then it dawns on me. The memories we leave behind are the best of ourselves. Oh sure some may work hard or go to church or leave money or special items for loved ones or friends to inherit, but the memories we leave for others are the best of what we leave. The obituaries tell us of the passing of someone but memories will always remind us of the essence of the person who lived and died. The obituaries remind me that creating memories for others is the best I can do for those who know me and for those who do not.