Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sunflower bowl

Porcelain clay's fine white coloration helps the glaze colors be more intense.

Yellow sunflowers...and turquoise glaze background, but a matt white liner inside the bowl.   These please me greatly, and I plan to do it again.  That's what finding something pleasing is about, not only sharing it (like right now) but doing it again, and maybe better.



I like the painterly quality of the glazes...I never know exactly how much green or yellow will be prevalent on each leaf.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Glazes interacting with each other


 



My favorite interaction between the black and green...a mottled looking with fluidity that reminds me the melted chemicals were like glass, as these two glazes were molten when fired to 2232 degrees F.

Black, green and plum.  Mmm, great background for salad, cereal, fruit, pasta, or whatever!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Semi-feral cats in the hood

I thought the tan one is also male, because I know (Bootsie) the little black one is...and the management had him fixed (as well as his calico sis) last year after they grew bigger than kittens.  But that fat little tummy on the tan is now skinny suddenly, so in the last week that cat had herself some kittens.  Not here, but somewhere in the woods in the neighborhood.  She sure needs to be fixed.  We heard that she's actually the mother of the other 2 cats.

These little guys were just walking down the sidewalk, and this was my view out the window.  No wonder my own cat like to sit in that window and watch the world go by.

The management is also feeding the two kittens (now cats) and perhaps the tan one has joined the family.

One of our residents was feeding (illegally) the kittens and they'd follow her around with her walker every day.  They could hear it coming, and would just appear out of the bushes.  She was able to touch them, and sometimes the black will come to me and let me pet him, but Cali, the girl, is still pretty shy.

Since the pet deposit is pretty high in our apartments, it's amazing how many people have dogs.  And I dare say a few cats, but they all stay inside like mine.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Waterfall fun



I thought I might wade in the water, which I did before (mmm, how long ago?)
that strange log (center, leaning up on rocks with all the knobs on it) was here the last time I was...
Helen Bell is a dear friend who I take day trips with  often

The plunge pool isn't very deep, but is very rocky

And then there are the rocks that must be climbed going down, and again coming back up.


I'm not old enough to know how to do that...climb back up.  So I kind of stopped halfway down and scooted around on my behind till the rocks were more easy to climb up on.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Myths and Spiritualism and Altered States

I've enjoyed some kind of "off the beaten path" spiritual sharing lately.  So I'll pass them along to you. These thoughts are not meant to say I disapprove of anyone else's spiritual beliefs.  I'm interested in many belief systems, as long as they are tolerant of each other.

I'm sorry I missed a concert by The Sahara Peace Choir in honor of Divine Feminine and The Swannanoa River...a blessing of the waters.

Scatterings is a great sounding book, and I love listening to Dr. Martin Shaw talk about being part of the place we live.  Maybe this is the time I can purchase it, with a new gift card from one of my sons!

Some Black Mountain summertime plantings

My great great great grandfather was a member of the Spiritualist religion.
I only know that they believed spirits of the deceased could talk to them.  Sounds interesting, especially if you avoid the "Hollywood" bent on that subject. However, on FB (Facebook) this week, someone is asking if you want to contact someone who has passed, so it's still happening apparently.

The-Way-of-the-Shaman-Documentary Michael & Sandra Harner - a documentary about their work.  Really excellent contact with Shamans who listen to their spirits in South America, and how the Harners developed a shaman training program in the US.

Our ancestors are part of our lives...in that we carry their DNA, as well as some of their foibles along in our blood veins...and maybe some eye or hair color, or a big or small nose, or chin or something.  Each person adds a bit to this chain as the genetics flow along through the centuries.

And that's on the material/physical side of things.  The spirits of these ancestors might well be hanging around as well.  And perhaps like the Shamans of tribal cultures, our spirits might be waiting to talk with us if we obtain an altered state of mind from our normal "working on a keyboard with a screen buzzing" lives.
More Black Mountain plantings, I swear I saw this the other day!
Do you remember the first altered state of mind you obtained?  Try spinning around getting dizzy! Or swinging up high with reduced gravity as you fall back down.  I think parents give this gift to children who are thown up in the air, to have that moment of weightlessness before falling into someone's arms.

Then there's this TED talk about brains and reality...and altered states!

I've also recently taken to reading Wendell Berry's work (for info on him see: Here.)
I was interested that he also wrote letters with Gary Snyder, and I'm reading him also, but haven't been able to find the book of their letters yet.  More info HERE.  One a Christian, one a Buddhist, but with high interest in our earth and environmental concerns.

Literature and environmental consciousness.  Good stuff.

So I encourage you to get in touch with whatever spirits might speak to you.  After all, just listening won't hurt anything!

And being in an altered state of mind is not a bad thing either...but be sure to have a grounding technique to bring yourself back to ordinary existence.  Sometimes just sleeping will do that, but sometimes just focusing on a normal thing and eating and drinking simple foods will help.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Enjoying the water

This is one of my favorite scenes at Lake Tomahawk


As I walk by the pool on my way to lunch, I realize the summer fun for all these kids is about over, as school starts soon.  Actually it's kind of late compared to last year!


Friday, August 25, 2017

The latest Cats Doing Yoga

I confess I'm a potter, a sculptor, a person who dabbles in clay to give voice to whatever's on my mind.

For the last little while I've been making Cats Doing Yoga.  If you've looked at my blog in the last month, you might have seen them.  I have finished with this first batch, and not planning to make any more.

When Sepia Saturday asks for a post of people keeping trim, I must admit, I just want to share some of my cats!  Go HERE to see what other Sepians have come up with (at bottom of page where names are links to their blogs.)  And if you want to see more of my cats, look at the "page link" tab right under my header picture above.


Here are the latest Cats Doing Yoga.







There once was a time (a few million years ago) when I could do these poses.  Thus the sense that yoga knowledge never dies!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Other pottery - a mustard jar?

Yes I have been back in the studio, when there wasn't anything more major to take care of.  We all have that happening, don't we?



A honey pot with speckled brownstone clay, glazed with Spectrum Butter Yellow.  It would be just right as a mustard jar!
See this post to see what a honey pot made of white clay and the same yellow looks like.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Celebrating a 75th

I've been posting old photos of myself when younger, as Facebook portraits for the last month.  Tee hee.  Most people who know me now wouldn't believe that's me.  Perhaps I could sneak in Susan Sarandon, Merle Street? Well, I've got green eyes, so Sarandon won't work...not sure about Merle.  And not at age 75, if you please, anyway.
Barb Rogers 1976 or so

I'm celebrating by myself this year.  Strangely enough.  My daughters-out-of-law have birthdays in the same month, and one had a trip to Yellowstone last month, and the other a trip to Cuba for their birthdays.  That leaves 2 of my sons with empty pockets but happy girl friends.  My other son is going through one of those big work transitions right now, after he just got back from vacation with his family.

My travels aren't that far these days, but a whole day driving around these mountains is certainly enjoyable for me.  Just wait till I post pics of my waterfall, Mount Pisgah, Cradle of Forestry trip from last week!

I was surprised yesterday when Congressman McHenry came into our Senior Lunch Site, and stood at each table talking to the participants.  When he came to our table where we were having conversational Spanish class (just 5 of us this week when we sometimes have 12!) I had asked the 5 (in English) what we should ask him.  So we were somewhat prepared.  It was the most attention I would have ever received from a Congressman, and he came to us.  We stressed that healthcare needs to be changed, but part of the problem is that the insurance industry donates to Congressmen.  He said he'd take money from anyone, but would vote to represent his constituents.  (Can I believe that?)  He then left to go to a Town Hall meeting where 170 or so people met with him.  And I was one of 5 that had his attention for 10 minutes! WHow!

My best friend who lives on the other side of the continent, sent a package that got here last Friday.  I was looking forward to seeing the lovely things she's sent.  A nice silver necklace with a pretty stone in it, blue...not sure what.  And several blouses in jewel-tones.  I am wearing one of them (and the necklace) in the picture with Mr. McHenry above.  While she's battling cancer, she thinks of others...that's the way she's lived all her life.

I went shopping for a new purse last week.  When I went up to Pisgah Inn with a friend last week, I splurged on food and decadent chocolate.  That was definitely a birthday bash.  She has her birthday at the end of July, and I missed celebrating it with her.

When we get to this age, life seems to interfere with birthdays.

After all, there was this eclipse this week.  Geese, how could it not be on MY DAY!

Posted by National Quilt Museum,  Thanks to commenter, made by Caryl Bryer Fallert.
This year I'm very very grateful for my good health, which has improved after a couple of times when it dipped into the uglies.  I'm being more active in taking care of myself as a result!  McHenry also had pneumonia this summer, and we briefly talked about the long time it takes to come back to our own "normal."

I could have organized a festive party, if I'd had the energy.  That would also include green energy, namely the money it takes in food and booze. I prefer to parcel out my energy expenditures in things that bring me the most joy, and frankly having a lot of clean-up after a party doesn't give me much joy.  I'll see most of my friends at one time or another during a week...at the studio, at the lunch program, at church, or just in Facebook and emails, where I also kind of keep up with my family.

So here I go doing what I choose to do each day for another trip around the sun...my 76th!
I just realized maybe I'm ready to take more risks with my life.  Mmm, can I change at this time in my life? We shall see!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Great American Eclipse


Rays of sunlight coming from behind clouds as eclipse reached our 98% totality

Even when at totality (using my glasses this did show a large moon shadow) the sun won out with plenty of power! You can't tell there's even a bit of shadow through the clouds!


Ready for eclipse yesterday!

Amazing clouds that kept attacking the sun!

Our "totality of 98% left a sliver of bright sun at the top of the moon's shadow, so it never got very dark...

Residents and staff tried to see the totality, but clouds got in the way.
I did have to turn on the lights when I came inside after my two hours watching clouds and a little bit of eclipse...enough that I can say I saw it (with those great glasses!)


My attempt at a selfie with our totality...didn't show any moon, did it?
The view of eclipse in KY, which as shown later on C-Span




Monday, August 21, 2017

Cats doing Yoga (2 more)


 While waiting to be glazed, these two escaped the studio for a ride outside!



Sunday, August 20, 2017

As the week moves along

Sourwood Festival...lots of tents, lots of strange and interesting crafts, lots of food and drinks, lots of people, lots of traffic.  These were taken Sunday morning before it really got crowded a week ago!










During this week we all were getting ready for an eclipse on Mon Aug 21.  I then will have an inspection  on Tues. of my apartment to make sure I follow all the rules and thus am eligible to live here.  And then on Wed. I turn another year older.  So this is a busy week.
Editors note: Being almost 75, I beg to be a bit forgetful.  The inspection is on Thurs, and my daughter-in-laws birthday is on Tues!

By Thursday when I go in the studio,  I'll be thinking of my daughter-out-of-law who's maybe visiting Cuba with her boyfriend, my son (or maybe they've already returned!)  At any rate, that's another August birthday.

What are you going to/or did you do for the eclipse?

It reminds me that at 5:30 am (when I wrote this on the 13th) I looked up at the sky to see if the Perseid shower was still happening.  We'd had rain off and on the day before, and early mornings in the mountains usually are cloudy.  Yep, that's what I saw.  Nice grey glow.

So I'll be happy if I see the sun at all as well as an eclipse.  I'll try taking some photos if I do.