Sunday, April 26, 2015

22 years

22 years ago, on April 25th, this girl came into my life. She has been the biggest part of my life for 22 years and now she is about to graduate college and set her sails for untold adventures.

Wes came home this weekend to celebrate her birthday with me and Gerry. We had gifts for her, but this was the gift she gave us. Time together to share good food, laughter, stories, watching a movie and just sharing precious moments together before she goes out there in the world and starts her own life.

I am sitting here on the sofa this Sunday morning, down throw across my lap, cat curled next to me. I have a pot of hot black tea and my new Michele Hastings mug. The white twinkly lights I never manage to get down after Christmas are on, the house is quiet. Gerry and Wesley still sleep. The house is warm and cozy as I listen to only the rain fall outside, and my clock chime every 15 minutes. Is there anything more I could ask for in this life?!

I got a raise at work this week. I have been given more responsibilities. I have done an audit/review of our pricing on gift items, I have written a blog post for our website (that's a reach, right?!). I have been asked to come up with a great Mothers Day display for next week. I'm going to work more hours. This new journey if fun and interesting. The other day Michele asked me if I miss pottery. I do, but let me tell you what happened this week.

I went to Raleigh to find Wesley a graduation dress at Anthropologie. She had seen one she liked and  I went searching for it. I happened to stumble upon a Seagrove Pottery shop in the perimeter shops of Crabtree Mall. Who knew? Usually I would have gone to Seagrove and shopped with my friends. But there it was, and how do you pass up a pottery shop? I went in. And this strange thing happened....

I haven't shopped in a store for pottery in awhile. Honestly, for the past few years, I have pretty much grown sick of art in general, especially pottery. I realized why after going in this store. When I walked in a rush of old memories came flooding in. The joy I used to get seeing pottery came back. It's hard to explain the way I used to feel when I was around pottery, but you guys know what I mean.
And then it hit me. I was looking just for the joy of looking. No longer was I judging a glaze, or a handle or a trimmed foot. I just loved the work for what it was. I wan't thinking, oh I could make that, oh those would sell, wonder how they got that glaze to do that, hope they aren't beside me at the next show, I'll never sell anything, blah, blah..... when I was making work to sell, there was a constant conversation in my head when I went in to a shop that sold art. This time, my head was quiet and let me enjoy just looking. I bought two mugs for Wesley's birthday and a small batter bowl for myself. It was a revelation!

Life is full right now, so busy. Wesley will be moving home for the summer, and then plans begin for her trip to India. Who knows what we will be doing on April 25th next year!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Days go by......

We are thawing out here in Chapel hill finally. Spring has arrived. Trees are green, flowers blooming. There are pinks and green everywhere. The sun comes out some days, but the skies have been cloudy this week with lots of rain. Enough to shoot our greens into mass production. Gerry and I have harvested the kale, spinach and tatsoi from our early spring planting and we have more than I really know what to do with in the frig now.  Yesterday I made kale chips and sautéed some of the greens with roasted red pepper and garlic. If nothing else, we should be nice and healthy when cold season comes round again. Our garden space is so tiny, we have only this one little spot where sun can get through the trees, but it produces quite a lot for such a small space. We have planted potatoes in buckets this year and they are really taking off.

Since I have been working at the garden shop, I have learned so much about nutrients for plants and proper soil mix, and it is paying off with healthy plants, disease and pest free. I have also discovered crab shell for my chicks and the garden. Chickens and tomatoes need lots of calcium and crab shell is rich in phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. I have seen a substantial change in the quality of my chickens eggs since feeding them crab shell. We have worked hard to build a strong soil, giving our plants nitrogen and phosphorus, and the crab shell produces chitin, which is a natural immunization for helping plants repel pests and disease. A long time ago we used to garden by just sowing some seeds in the ground and sprinkling seven dust all over everything. This sure feels a lot ether!

 I have such a lovely place to go to work every day. On Saturday, I took my coffee over to the nursery before we opened and just walked around in the morning dew looking at all of our plants. Last week we got in blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, fig trees, apple trees, and more perennials than I can name. Our plant buyer prides himself on sourcing unique and unusual plants and it is so fun learning about all these new things.  We got in a cute metal bistro set, and I have been having my lunch amongst the plants. What a job!

 I put together a little earth box display on Saturday. I have mostly been merchandising the inside of the store, but I was helping a lady in the nursery and she commented on how much she enjoyed our space and the aesthetic of it, so it inspired me to move to the outside to do some merchandising as well. It sure is helping sales!

Life is busy with having a real job. Its the first time in over thirty years I have had an obligation to be somewhere at a certain time every week. I enjoy it but it has changed my lifestyle, for sure. I see very little of my friends and family these days. My friends that work during the week don't see me because I am working every weekend. Wesley comes home on weekends and I barely see her. I have seen so little of Gerry during basketball season, that the other day I rode with him on one of his assignments just to grab a lunch with him. I ended up at a press conference at Duke with him, ha! I spend my days off catching up around the house, getting groceries and other errands taken care of, and then all I want to do is lay on the sofa and recover. This new job is serious manual labor. Its spring and everyone is buying soil and amendments. I lost track of how many bags of soil I have loaded in the past weeks.

My moms 84th birthday was this past Monday, so I took the week off and went down to the beach for a few days. It was nice and relaxing and I caught up on sleep and reading. The dark circles under my eyes look much better now :)   This is the view from the bathroom I use. Its interesting how close these houses are to one another and yet I have never seen anyone come in or out of this house.

Oh to have a neighbor like that. Our neighbor thinks he is Jimmy Hendrix and sits out in his garage most every night playing his guitar, or his band comes over and practices. They are so loud and so bad. One other neighbor that moved recently had a muffler on his car, and I swear to God, Gerry got a decibel app on his phone to measure the sound and it was equal to a plane engine. We finally got the sheriff to agree that this noise every day at 7am was too much and he gave the kid a warning ticket to get it fixed.  Give me ten acres of land and isolation! That's all I want!!!

 I shot this on my way home from the beach. Its a little Mexican restaurant in Bennettsville SC. When Wes or Gerry are with me, we stop a lot on this trip. When I'm alone, I just drive. We have often stopped here. This place has the best tamales I have ever had, and it's in the middle of nowhere.

Here's some more trivial news for you. For Easter, I made little treats for everyone at work. Since Wesley is vegan now, trying to find candy is no fun, so I sent her a book for Easter, but I needed the treat making fix, so I painted some little peat pots we sell at the store, transferred a cute image on the front, used shredded paper inside, and filled with jelly beans and chocolates. They were adorable.

I also have a new game obsession. One of my coworkers is an obsessed gamer, and we talk about video games a lot. He suggested I get Fallout 3, and I am once again staying up all hours trying to kill mutants in an apocalyptic Washington DC. It is soooo much fun.
Do we ever grow up?

May is coming and it is already looking quite busy. I am planning a baby shower for a couple at work. Wesley graduates May 8, we have family birthdays and Mother's Day and I am working every weekend. Life is busy! My blog suffers........