Saturday, August 30, 2014


 Dogtown is the nickname for an area around Santa Monica Ca. where a group of skaters known as the Z boys revolutionized skateboarding in the 1970's. I watched the Z Boys of Dogtown documentary last night on netflix (again, always so slow to come around to movies, this was out in 2001). It was a flash back to my past and I stayed up all night watching skateboard videos. Insomnia.... I have to find something to do.....

I was about 13 when I got my first skateboard, and I practically slept with it. I took that thing everywhere. I bought it from a kid in my school, ironically it was a GB board (Gerry Broome, haha).  As I got better, I stepped up to a blue Bahne board and kept it until my dad sold my car, and as far as I can figure, it got left in the car, I never did find it.  I consumed every page of Skateboarder magazine, and tried all the tricks the Z boys were creating. I was the only girl in a group of skateboard rats and they always showed me respect and encouragement, even though I never got as good as any of them. They even encouraged me to enter a local skate competition and I won third place. I was thrilled! I don't think my mom and dad ever  saw me really ride my board, except maybe out of a restaurant window, where they finished up their dinner and I skated around in the parking lot waiting on them.

 After my Bahne disappeared, I got an Alva. Tony Alva started making these in the '70's and I guess mine is one of the originals, because I would have bought it around then. He is featured in the Z boys film, and so I had to get my board out. I rode it around in the house, you gotta love hard wood floors.

It felt good to be back on my board though. Wobbly, and Gerry keeps saying I am going to crack my head open, but it feels really good. Not ready for pavement yet, I don't want to be getting a hip replacement any time soon. But maybe when I'm more steady, I'll get out on the pavement. I miss the sound a skateboard makes as it scrapes across the pavement, miss that feeling of pushing off and rolling along.....  I don't remember when I stopped riding. There was a day when I thought I would never stop riding. I guess I stopped when I started rock climbing maybe, then had a baby, then worked all the time. Also I lived in areas with steep hills and I'm a flatlander.

Cindy at Handstories blog also inspired me to get out my old lap loom a friend gave me. I started weaving with some wool and some sari silk, then started adding bits of leather and strips of cloth and had a fine old time, just for me. I think it will be a bag when I'm through, a bag for me.

Wesley is home for the weekend with a friend, both vegan, so I am experimenting with vegan baked goods. This was a winner. Cranberry walnut muffins from King Arthur Flour. Just google it, the recipe will pop up. They are moist and tasty and pretty healthy. Why did I ever fear baking without butter, eggs and milk? It's not that bad!

This skateboard thing was like hopping in a time machine and going back to some better days of my youth.
Its fun to revisit that past, I was such a delinquent :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clearing the cobwebs

 I have been clearing cobwebs this week, literally and figuratively. Today I worked out in my studio for the first time all summer, cleaning and encouraging little spiders to go somewhere else. It seemed like there were baby spiders hatching as I swept, is that possible, do they do that? They were doing that!

It's been a long rough summer, and the things I have felt like writing about really needed to not be for public consumption. Just how much can one take of reading about craziness anyway? I've had a lot to sort out and come to peace with. I now understand that you can have compassion for someone and not love them, and that's enough.....

This summer for me was about dealing with aging, accepting compassion as a new way of feeling, learning more about who I am and what I want my life to be about, learning how to let go of my child just a little bit more, learning to deal with that lonely hollow feeling a child leaves in the pit of your heart, and trying to understand where my art has gone.....

We had one thing after another this summer, first Gerry's skin cancer, then his dad's surgery, then putting his mom in a nursing home, then his dad going there, then the both of them coming back home, then my mom making herself sick and going to a nursing home, then coming home. Then the worst of all for me.... Wesley went to Boston for what was supposed to be a great internship with WGBH and she got food poisoning the first week there. All alone for the first time in a large city, and she is vomiting for days. I was so scared, I almost got on a plane and flew up there. But she dealt with it like the strong girl we have raised, and managed to salvage the last week of the trip and had some fun. She was home for 24 hours and then left for school. This has been the hardest letting go so far. I think maybe because this is the last year of school and then she really is going to go off somewhere.....

I have puttered around with things to keep my hands busy, because my hands must stay busy. I have driven up and down the highways. I have cooked a lot, learning new vegan recipes, Wes is vegan now. I made soaps, I made pot holders on my mom's old loom that she never used. I love these looms for times when you need to make something, anything.  I have spent a lot of time with my chicks, they are about a week or so away from egg laying time, so excited! I am feeding them an organic (very expensive) vegetarian layer feed, because I will be eating whatever they consume in the end.  I have painted rooms in the house, cleaned closets, worked in the yard, helped move Wes back to school, looked for furniture for her, staying busy, but no art.....

I keep asking myself why I have so little motivation to work with clay. I have this great studio, everything I need and yet I have felt no pull to go to my studio. Then it occurred to me the other night when I was sitting on the porch..... clay is demanding. Clay wants all of your time. Clay caused me to resent the time my family wanted of me. And I got tired of feeling that way. What? you want to eat dinner? but I'm trimming this foot, I have to do it now. What? you want to go somewhere? I just rolled out these slabs, they have to be used now or they will get too hard. What? You want to talk? I need to focus on this math so I can figure this glaze recipe out. Go away, I said in my head, then hated that I felt that way. What do I care more about, my clay or my family? Well, of course.... my FAMILY! so I just stopped, because I can only focus on one thing at a time. I can multi-task like crazy, but it has to be multi-tasking within one project, not several at one time. Clay just asked to much of me. There is only so much of me to go around.

I have done no shows this year, sold no pottery, made no pottery. And my world didn't end. My art bank account has $80 in it, but it never had all that much to begin with. That's the other thing. I worked my ass off, made A LOT of pottery and made very little compared to a salary "normal" people get for the same amount of time and effort. It's just not worth it. I do feel a pull to get some clay in my hands, but maybe just for the fun of making, not trying to figure out how many of something I need to make to break even at a show.

The other thing I have been up to this summer is exploring new career possibilities. Maybe I don't even want to be an artist trying to make a living selling her work anymore. I wrote my first business plan this summer, even wrote out a five year plan which I have never done. I found a business I wanted to buy.... it didn't work out, but it was a great learning experience, and maybe one day I will find the right thing. I have interviewed for a couple of part time jobs. I would really like to help offset the costs of Wesley's college expenses, and selling art is not making a dent in that area.

This summer I felt like I put on big girl pants for the first time. I weathered the storm, and came out on the other side, stronger and wiser. More depressed, but not so much I couldn't function. More of a funk maybe, nothing that needed the meds advertised on TV to solve. I still feel a bit blue, but Gerry has made me laugh a lot, my friends have made me laugh a lot, I got drunk, peed in the front yard, played corn hole, drank bloody marys, went to meditation temples, started doing yoga again, learned more about gardening, learning...... I like learning.......

I feel like I need to find something for this blog to be about, and not just come here to purge the crazy in my life. Some of you still have my blog listed on your blog roll as A Potters Life For Me. It hasn't been that in a long time, sure hasn't been about a potter's life, just a life.....  I wonder sometimes why I even write all of this here. But some of you that read have become great friends and your emails these past few weeks have been so great to read. We are an odd bunch aren't we, all of us bloggers..... maybe this is just my journal now. Sometimes I think, Oh God, why did I write that, but then someone will email or post a comment and say they understand exactly what I was saying or what I said helped them, and then I think, well ok, come on along if you want to. I read blogs that help me, so I suppose its the same here. If nothing else, sometimes it's pretty good entertainment :)
I think I need to lighten up a bit though..... let's see how that goes

PS: after I wrote all of this, I clicked on my spam to clean it up and had an email, in all caps it said:
How would you like to have a nine inch d*#k Tracey Broome?  
well, I'm not sure what that means! but it made me laugh :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Time to be slow.....

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
― John O'DonohueTo Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

thanks everyone for your emails, I'm good, enjoying my family. It's been a rough summer, more for the blog when I sort myself out...... Meanwhile the beer is cold at Top of the Hill :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Writer's Desk

Black and white photo by Barbara McKenzie, circa 1960's, while shooting for her book about Flannery O'Connor's south. Her book was recently re-released by the University of Georgia Press. She was kind enough to dig this photo out of her archives, sign it and give it to Wesley.  The little girl was preaching in a small rural Georgia church. Typewriter found in an Asheboro antique store while shopping with my friend and blogger Meredith/ Whynot Pottery. It creates screenplays now. Tea bowl by Hollis Engley, gifted to Wes while we were in Cape Cod, it leaked and he sent another, but this one holds treasured pens. Lots of connections to my friends on this desk....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

Just looking at a photo of this child melts my heart..... I took Wesley to the airport this morning and sent her off on her first solo flight to Boston. She will be there working with WGBH until school starts, finishing up the edit from the filming they did in Winston Salem, her first internship. I am a proud proud proud proud mom! What a bright spot in my week. She came home last night and we had dinner and got to spend a few moments together before she had to pack up and leave again. My college senior off and on her way..... sigh.......

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bat Shit Crazy

"When you see crazy coming, cross the street"
.... from one of those Oprah people

This past week:

I discovered that it is very likely my dad was not an alcoholic.........

I discovered I can leave my body and watch from against the wall as my mom has a fit and someone besides me caused it....

I discovered what a narcissist is......

I discovered my life has not been at all what I thought it was.....

I discovered there is someone besides Gerry that recognizes my mom is crazy......

I had a nurse tell me I need to divorce my mom.

I wrote a very long post about this, but I'm not sure it should be published, maybe I will edit it when I settle down a bit.

Thanks to all of you for the emails and the last comments. Sometimes things aren't really what they seem to be. The person that wrote that last post has been through some changes.........