Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Flu and Fire

Gary has had the flu for 15 days. I thought I had slipped by without getting it but no such luck. I've had it for a week. It's been over 10 years since I've had a flu or cold so I guess I shouldn't complain. I used up about 2 rolls of toilet paper blowing my nose. Ugh. Luckily I made a another big batch of soup just before succumbed so I did have something to eat. I had made chicken soup with chicken breast; the meat of a breast is much easier to cut up than a turkey leg.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to go to the annual Kris Kringle Market because of the flu, so I've had no sales for December.  I did get an email from someone wanting me to make a set of rectangular dishes like the photos above. At my rate of making I'm about six weeks out. I've sold several sets of these in past in sets of varied colors. This size dish is really handy for lunch plates or appetizers.

This past year I have not been motivated to make sets of functional work. For that matter I haven't been motivated to make much pottery at all. I still have a lot of pottery in stock to sell so I don't can't justify making lots more. I only want to make what I want to make, mostly experimenting. I still think about pottery and many new designs swirl around in my head. I also look at pottery a lot. Not sure what the future may hold, we shall see.

Perhaps you heard about the devastating fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I have a few pottery tools and supplies I don't use and I plan to see if any potters were in the fire and need some items. I can make up a care package to send them. I can't imagine what it would be like to loose everything in a fire. We had quite a few fires here in the Georgia mountains but none were near our home. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Safe Place in a Pillow Case

Students burning flags and hoping for safe spaces. Colleges banning flags on campus. Riots in city streets and protests in countrysides and native lands. Friends blocked on fb for opposing views. Underlying agendas everywhere a person goes; stick with the status quo or be blocked; be ostracized. Six months ago a majority of posts on fb supported or defended a liberal ideology. Currently right leaning opinions surface just before they drown. Amid this dissension many find they are suddenly a hero or a pariah.

When I was six or seven an abandoned cat came round our home in Cuba. I begged my mom to let me keep the cat. She said I could feed the cat but I had to leave it out of doors. Every day I fed that cat and was happy it chose to stay. I made up a makeshift bed with towels in a low box on top of the trash can.  After several weeks the cat had kittens in that box. What a joy seeing new life from a trusting cat previously abandoned. I again begged my mom to bring the cat indoors. Since the cat had kittens my mom said ok but the cat must stay in the bathroom.

As I slept in the room next to the bathroom I felt my pillow case moving and mewing in a melodious dance. I awoke to the soft and beautiful bodies of kittens brought to my pillow case by the mother cat in the dark of the night. I marveled the kittens weren't hurt by my head resting on the pillow. I moved over and let the kittens have their space. The mother cat slept nearby knowing and trusting all was safe in my pillow case.

In the morning I told my mother about the kittens in my pillow case. At first my mother was doubtful of the story about the cat bringing her young to my room.  My mom thought I'd brought the kittens to my bed. But my mom knew the story was too preposterous to believe I had put kittens in a pillow case. Sometimes you know, you just have to agree, the best place to be, is a safe place in a pillow case.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

All But the Kitchen Sink Turkey Soup

Gary developed a cold so I decided he needed homemade soup to get well quicker. I made a huge (really huge) batch of turkey soup with all but the kitchen sink as ingredients. I sauteed one onion, one cup of celery, one cup of baby carrots, four garlic cloves chopped fine. Then I added ten cups of water. Meanwhile I cut up the meat from two uncooked turkey thighs. Cutting up raw meat isn't an easy task so allow plenty of time.

I drained the water from one can of black beans and one can of great northern beans into the soup and set the beans aside to add in later. I added one teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, and parsley, two bay leaves crushed, and half a teaspoon of paprika and salt and pepper. I chopped two dried habanero peppers and added those. I had half a jar of marinara sauce in the fridg and added that too. I also added half a cup of white wine and 1/8 cup of sugar. I also added 3/4 cup of lentils.

Finally I got all of the turkey cut up into small bite sized pieces and added those in. I brought the mixture to boil and turned it down to simmer. Meanwhile I peeled and chopped two large potatoes and added those. Finally I added the black and great northern beans into the soup. Oh boy this soup is so delicious. Hope you are all doing well. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An Inkling

Rushing through aisle after aisle she gathered items on her lengthy grocery list for the following day. She wielded her cart between rushing crowds at every turn. As she neared the checkout line she relaxed knowing her cart was full of all she needed for a successful thanksgiving day. Her cart even held a few luxury items she'd splurged on. She quickly unloaded her cart and marveled at her efficiency. She separated perishables and canned goods with ease of storage at home in mind. As she waited patiently in line she noticed a man in front of her with one item he quietly held in his hand.

The casually dressed man gingerly placed the single item on the moving conveyor belt. Out of the corner of her eye she could see him digging in his pockets for spare change. He placed each pile of coins on the counter and counted them out as he went. She looked behind her and saw the line was full of many impatient folks with carts piled higher than even her own. The man seemed uncomfortable as if he rarely ventured to the grocery store. His mouth moved around in a methodical way. As he dug deep in his pockets for change, she noticed a wedding band on his left hand. She imagined him returning home with his one item and wondered what his wife was like.

Standing there, she began to feel slightly uncomfortable at her wondering about a perfect stranger in front of her in line. But as she stood there an inkling, an idea, came to her mind. She looked in her wallet and noticed she had an extra $20 bill. She thought to give the man the bill but wondered if she would offend him. She decided to wait till he left the line and catch up with him as he left the store. She gave the checker her discount card and grocery bags to pack and ran to catch up with the man.

She walked up to the man and tapped him on the arm and said "Excuse me sir." He turned to face her with a melancholy look on his face. She handed him the $20 and he immediately refused. But she insisted and said someone had done the same for her so she was returning the favor to him. He was very hesitant but she could see in an instant the $20 was a welcome sight to him. He gingerly took the bill and looked at the bill like it was golden coin. She was sure the bill wouldn't amount to much in his life, but to her it was a golden moment learning to focus on others.

Happy Thanksgiving