Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Way down upon the Swannanoa

The Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in Black Mountain has a sweet little monk in the garden, perhaps St. Francis.
And it is at the confluence of two streams, forming the Swannanoa River, which travels along to Asheville to join the French Broad.

Looking downstream, which travels more or less west.

There's a loving hand(s) at work on making this pretty spot more beautiful with gardens and paths.

It was nice to walk around and enjoy the peace and almost quiet.  The railroad tracks also run right on the other side of the river, and I was greeted by our familiar train for some of my walk.

Today's quote:
As we move deeper into meditation, the state of our mind expands thus allowing us to create more space within our body.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


The only window in the church office is covered with a pretty "fake stained glass" pattern.  It gives nice sunlight, but no view.

I substituted as a temp for the church administrator for a few hours a week.  It was fun, especially at first.  But then I got to missing seeing anything out a window, or having anyone to talk with.  Then I got really stir-crazy the way a cubicle does to many indoor workers.  I took breaks to be outside no matter how cold it was!

I was so glad when Trish said she'd recovered enough that she was coming back to her job. I enjoyed it, but am glad to be back in my life of making pottery as my main pursuit.  It was nice that the church asked me to be the sub, and I appreciate it.

Welcome back Tricia!

Today's Quote:
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

Monday, March 20, 2017


There's a closeness that falls upon us with the snow.

My mountain has disappeared...the one I named for myself because I look at it often through the days, and I don't know who else it might belong to.

Today the equinox will be here.  Equal day and night which western culture calls the first day of spring.  Ha ha ha.

I meditate upon how we can heal the cycle between humans and the earth, which is threatened to be shattered by humankind's stupidity. We care for the earth, the earth cares for us. For now I'm trusting the earth (Gaia) knows things beyond my own knowledge which will continue in her own cycles of life and death and renewal.

The snow has actually melted in the week since I took these pictures, but I wanted to share them, especially in thinking of seasonal changes.

Today's Quote:

No one dies so poor that he does not leave something behind," said Pascal

Sunday, March 19, 2017


DOWNTOWN BLACK MOUNTAIN near a friend's pottery shop which would be outdoors, if it weren't winter as evidenced by the ornamental pond being frozen.

Nearby Chimney Rock published this view in the snow.

Three white forms of tucked-in geese, which the Canada Goose seems to be disdainfully approaching.

Today's Quote:

Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a kaleidoscope of relationships.  Madisyn Taylor

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The blood of the Irish and Scotts

This week I got to do more research including some Irish documents that were available on line for Ancestry. I don't know if I actually got to any new documents, because I got bogged down in several mixed up family trees.

I did find the Irish I think I'm related to are probably what's called Scotch-Irish.  That means they were from Scotland and brought to Ireland as part of a relocation plan that the English thought up.

No wonder they then came to America.
Robert McNeal, Revolutionary War Vet, 1741-1818, grave in Genesco, Livingston County, NY
The Mc Cord tartan, John McCord b. 1702 Stewardstown, Tyrone, Ireland, d. 1762, Dauphin County, PA
The muddy mix-up seems that some McCords who arrived in America married either a Quaker, or another Scottish woman.  I know many Presbyterians who have roots in Scotland, and I don't know any Quakers who do.  There might well be some.  But I tend to believe that it's less likely.
So there are some great Quaker records from Pennsylvania, where Mr. McCord lived with whichever wife he had.  And there are nowhere near as many children as those family trees profess he had.  No man would have one son named Robert, only to name another son Robert 10 years later, and both of them survived to adulthood.  So it's a quandary, and I'm not going to get upset about it.

I just know I carry some Scottish blood, and probably a bit of Irish, but huge amounts of English.  I know I'm a bit of a Celtic lassie.

Names I am pretty sure are in my ancestry:


I submit this to Sepia Saturday, because it represents a lot of research into past days, though not at all on the meme which is represented by this photo. My apologies to all who share over there something that does reflect this topic.

Portrait of Louis Armstrong, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946 (Library of Congress)

Today's quote:
Trust yourself; you know more than you think you do.
Benjamin Spock

Friday, March 17, 2017

small miracles appreciated

It's been a while, but my brain wasn't paying attention when I locked my keys in the car.  Then of course I called the roadside service which my car insurance provides.  The insurance person said they'd be there in 6 minutes.  But it passed by, so in 15 minutes I called the number they'd given me for the locksmith.  He said he'd be there in an hour.  An HOUR?

I had asked the insurance person for a locksmith closer to Black Mountain than Asheville (15 miles away)...but this man said he was in Hendersonville...41 miles away.

I was beginning to burn!  When I went back in the community studio, I said a few words, and the people around me said "Stay out of Barbara's way."

After about an hour, I went back outside (it was pretty cold and the studio had been much warmer) and waited for the locksmith.  While standing there I noticed a familiar homeless man who I'd seen walking around was hiding under a stairway beside an elevator.  He didn't seem to be doing anything.

The locksmith came, and in less than 2 minutes he'd popped the trunk of the car. Lesson learned, don't think valuables are any safer in a trunk!

He filled out the receipt, but wouldn't give it to me. It was to go to the insurance company.  As I took a photo I remembered the 4 teen girls who'd walked past while I'd explained the locking problem.

I went inside the Art Center, passing the homeless guy and talked with the administrator of the Art Center, and we decided he wasn't hurting anyone so we'd just leave him alone.  As I went back outside, I asked the homeless guy if he wanted any food.  He said yes.

Now that my car was unlocked, I got my lunch leftovers out and gave them to the homeless guy.

Then the 4 girls came up to me with a bouquet of flowers!

They said they were Angels of Mercy, and thought I had been having some problems with my car. I asked their names, but didn't write them down, so sorry I don't have them available. I took their photo, but since they're minors, I'm not sharing it here.

They handed me a card which said...

I told them about just giving my lunch to the homeless man.  One of the girls said she got goose bumps. 

The girls were from Tampa, and I said I used to live there.  Their girls school had just spent a week in Black Mountain and they were going home tomorrow. I commented that their spring break included snow and freezing weather unfortunately.

After thanking them profusely (and almost tearfully) I took the flowers in the studio, and shared them with the other potter women, who each took a few blossoms home.  It was the least I could do after they put up with my being angry at myself for my foolishly locking my keys in the car.

And now I've got a bit of the bouquet to enjoy.  I'm full of gratitude!

Today's Quote:
It is never too late to become what you might have been.
George Eliot

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bright bowls

A couple of 5 inch bowls decorated in various colors, big bold bugs and flowers!
Let's enjoy eating our food in something cheerful!

Today's Quote:
Let us accept the invitation, ever-open, from the Stillness, taste its exquisite sweetness, and heed its silent instruction.
Paul Brunton

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The fun of drawing on a round object

I admit to having a few images which I can draw without a preliminary this tree.  But otters/ No, I have to sketch them.  And they came out so small, I think I'll have to try them again.  Even the crescent moon had to be sketched first.
I use a mechanical pencil, and it shows a bit before the firing, but disappears of course by the time it gets quite hot.

The curve of the pot isn't as bad as those little finger grooves which inevitably happen on hand thrown pots. They catch the point of my "designer liner" and give either a wobbly line, or a skipped line.  And with my eyesight, I never know they are there until a line has a blip in it.  Good thing there is a quick correction method.  A sharp blade, or even a pin, can scrape the glaze off almost completely.  Of course it does leave a change in texture of the surface, but compared to the other ones that are already there, it's not noticeable...especially since a coat of clear matt glaze will be painted over the whole thing.  And sometimes I don't correct my wobbly lines, cause I want folks to know I'm not a machine and I'm very imperfect.

Today's Quote:

The mysteries of separation and union are already wired
into you...” Matt Licata

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


After an overnight snow, and another night below they are~!

Today;s quote:
Let us accept the invitation, ever-open, from the Stillness, taste its exquisite sweetness, and heed its silent instruction.
Paul Brunton

Monday, March 13, 2017


Before firing...and bees do look a lot like flies when they don't get the touch of yellow on their tails.  Shucks.

And here's an after-firing look.

Yep, too much like a fly! In My Humble Opinion!

Today's quote:

We should notice that we are already supported at every moment. There is the earth below our feet and there is the air, filling our lungs and emptying them. We should begin from this when we need support.

Natalie Goldberg