The clay place






Friday, December 15, 2017

Beautiful snow through the years

Sepia Saturday this week- swings with snow!

On Dec. 8 it started to snow here.  I loved taking pics of the first snow of winter...and I had ample opportunity.
Dec 8, 2017 Black Mountain NC 7 am

But it also means that North Carolina shuts down when it snows...all the schools, the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, the Clay Studio.
Dec 8, 2017 Black Mountain NC 9 am

It is a feature of our litigious society, I figure.  If kids have to stand out at a bus stop on a mountain road (and some of them are very steep and curvy around here,) there's danger of a bus/car/truck sliding about and someone getting hurt, or at least very cold.
12.8.17 Black Mountain NC 9 am

So our schools all shut down at the first inkling of snow, and many times that means a decision is made at 5 a m based on a storm due at noon, and it never comes.  But this time there was snow on the ground when I woke up at 7 am.

So let's go venturing into files to see more snows from the past...which is what Sepia Saturday is all about, after all!

1946 my first snow in Dallas TX
1948-9 Mom shoveling snow into a pile, while cousins Claudette and Sandra try to form it into a snowman and I just watch on! Houston Texas at Gummy and Poppy's house,
1953 snow in St. Louis, our apartment on 2nd floor.
St. Ann MO, probably 1956-7

One of my early snow sculptures - St. Ann MO 1956-7
1950 Applachian snow storm Thanks to NC Expatriates for photo

Appalachian Snow storm 1950 Thanks to NC Expatriates for photo
My youngest son in his first snow, Lumberton, NC 1986-7

My first snow in new apartment Black Mountain NC, Nov 2016
Come check out more Sepia Saturday posts HERE.

Today's quote:

"Children [...] need both windows and mirrors in their lives: mirrors through which you can see yourself and windows through which you can see the world," she explained. "And minority children have not had mirrors. That has placed them at a disadvantage. If you want to call white children majority children - [they] have had only mirrors. That has placed them at a disadvantage also." By Lucille Clifton 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Valiantly blooming

 Through many freezes, here are geranium and marigolds still on the porch blooming...even with snow! Maybe this is their last hurrah.

While in a sunny indoor window this Christmas Cactus decided to finally bloom.

While the African Violets just keep plugging away with blooms

My kitchen must seem tropical to them.

Today's quote:
She seems to have lived more freed from the expectations of her society than hobbled by her refusal to accommodate them. about George Elliot by Writers Almanac by Garrison Keillor

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December thoughts

Am I a voyeur on Facebook?

Whenever I click onto it, it sucks me in and I read 20-30 posts that I have only a little interest in.  Mainly from groups of people that I don't know, or ads that their algorithm has decided for me I'd be interested in.  And there are days when I hear nothing from a real live friend there.  But still I troll.  And whenever anyone comments on my posts, I'm notified and smile.  Even if they hit a "like" under it, I'm reminded I'm not alone.

So there it is.  Sitting in isolation with a screen that tells me someone else is out there doing the same thing.

What kind of life is this?

No wonder 2 of my three sons disdain Facebook completely.  I'm grateful the women in their lives sometimes post something, or I'd never know what's happening.  These men have lives with just sporadic contacts through texts or phone conversations, otherwise I know nothing about their doings.

I know much more about complete strangers who happen to post on FB.  What's wrong with this picture? (who said that anyway?)

I admit to joining a couple of blogging groups, where I'm challenged to post a blog on a specific topic on a specific day.  Here I'm forced to discipline myself and then see how the others do on the same topic.  Some of these memes seem to be dying out, but I persevere.  That's something I'm good at.  But it's an artificial task, which gives me again a sense of community when there is very little to bring these people together otherwise.

Enjoyment!  There is that to be considered.  Looking at jokes with cats/dogs...looking at nature scenes and animals!  Then there are all the wise sayings.  Goodness, FACEBOOK please stop telling me how to live more peacefully and fulfilled!  And then anti-enjoyment.  Just anything with political connotations.  I used to like to keep up with things.  I used to watch the nightly news.  Now I am content that sometimes I hear about local events through a FB group which focuses on my town.

 Have I again put my head in the sand? I think so, to decrease my level of stress.

I am glad there are some real people in my life that I see, some of whom I hug, and some of whom I share meals with.  Yay to friendships.  Nay to artificial friends.  Sorry about that.  I am one who's going to try to use self discipline to avoid the FB habit.  I've done it before, usually less than 24 hours.  What does that tell me about it? About myself?

The thing is, when I don't post or say "like" or any other emoticon reaction, then FB stops posting anything for me to read...just ads.  Well, so be it.

This is my independence day.  I no longer belong to that algorithm!  I belong to myself.

Today's quote (which is good any day!)

ThanksGiving is good but ThanksLiving is better.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mugshots, with saucer/lid

When we were at a show last week, someone asked for a large mug with a lid to see the contents hot.

At home I've got a set of Geranium decorated mugs with little saucers, which work great on top while seeping my tea! (They used to be for sale but I decided to absorb them into my own mug collection!)

And it's great to protect the wood furniture as a coaster as well.

Not to mention, a place to put that tea bag rather than leave it in the cup...which may look like a nice tea cup, but it's heavier and larger.

Today's quote:
(read it slowly, it's part of a poem, and remember how Rumi thought of lions)

Eat love-food

Suckle the toes of a lion...

             Like this


Sunday, December 10, 2017

It snowed - I bundled up to go take pics!

You've probably seen everyone's snow pictures by now.
Dec 8, 7 am...a bit of snow on the ground, some still falling!

On Dec. 8 I was planning to drive a half mile to the Owen Middle School and set up a 6 foot table with pots (out of tubs which I could bring into the building on my little plastic wheeled cart, right over clear asphalt).  That didn't happen.

My friend Sally and I texted back and forth and went out in the snow in our respective homes, before we were supposed to drive over there...deciding that it was already more than 3 inches and still falling.  Neither of us are afraid of driving on snow...she's just moved to Black Mountain from Michigan.
Before noon, the walks were still somewhat clear (though it was a slush not just wet)

However there was nobody clearing the private drive in my apartment complex.  And I had seen someone shoveling another walkway, but apparently they were just residents.  My walk was still covered.  That private drive goes down a steep hill, and I remembered last year going down it somewhat sideways.  The other entrance is onto Blue Ridge Rd. which is a narrow 2-lane road on a steep hill going down to Hwy. 70, with very deep ditches on each side.  It hadn't been plowed at that time.  Around 5:00 pm I did see a plow come by.

My little red bow on the front porch had a top hat of snow

The walks began to have snow on them...and cars were completely covered
And it kept falling...

And it kept falling

But by 4 we decided to cancel our plan to go to the show.  If it was going to continue the next day, there weren't likely to be many people driving to a craft show.  We would find out the next day, but our decision at 4 pm on Fri. was that Mother Nature wasn't supportive of our going to this show.

The cars are completely covered after I'd cleared mine off in the morning.  And another 3 inches was expected to fall after dark.

The other significant thing was that the temperature had hovered near freezing all day, but would go much lower during the night, so any slush would be freezing overnight.

So Saturday did follow...and MORE SNOW FELL TILL AROUND NOON.

 The concrete walks didn't seem as bad due to it being close to freezing still. But the slush under the white was somewhat slippery.

Just nine inches on my porch railing.

The weather man just apologized all over the place, whichever of them you look at.

Here comes the little feral cat (which we've had fixed and the manager now feeds)

I gave the car a snow-cut, in case I decided to go anywhere...nothing was planned at this point.

This round of snow has now predicted at noon.  But that weatherman (whoever he/she is) also said it's due to freeze and maybe snow more Sat. night.  We just got a dusting that time.

All I can say is, church has been canceled for Sun. morning.  Whew.

I've become a Santa's helper. I hope my techno fashionista game-playing children and grandchildren won't mind that I can only give them used books this year.  Well, it's better than pottery, I'm thinking!

Today's Quote:
Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.  Mark Mullimax, Prof of Religion at Mars Hill U.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Is something fishy?

When I'm at my desk, I sit next to a sad little aquarium, with a rotating population of fish.  Here last Feb. an orange fish supported the one with black tail and fins, a support fish I called it.  They weren't even the same species, but the black tailed guy wasn't feeling very well.

A boy with a big fish!  Sepia Saturday has given me such a good prompt.  Too bad nobody I know snapped a picture of anyone with a fish they'd caught. (Besides a facebook friend who had caught 2 or 3 nice whoppers in his pond this week...but it's his story, not mine!)

How about M. C. Escher for a few fish?

And then there are commercial fishermen, who go out off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and truck their fresh catch to Asheville, where my friend, Roger, picks up his haul and sells at several Tailgate Markets all through the spring, summer and fall.  He's selling still at an indoor market locally in Black Mountain during the winter also.  Whenever I can afford fresh fish, I am so happy to buy some.  I once asked how the fishermen catch the swordfish that he sells, as I only know of it as a deep-water fish that is line-caught.  He wasn't sure himself.

 Panther (cat) also likes to look at the aquarium sometimes.  Once she knocked over the tin of their  food and got it to spill on the floor, where she enjoyed the treat of eating fish food.  She keeps waiting for that to happen again!

A friend lives on Hwy 9 south of town (on the Daniel Boone Trail) and has this in his back yard.  I just was trolling through (sorry about that) some old photos, when I found these shots...of a trout farm which is no longer in use.

Whoever built these stairstep pools was into the decorative arts as well as raising trout.

 OK, that's enough for this week!  I'll have another post on next Saturday, for you to also chase the meme and see what the other Sepians have come up with.

Today's quote:

The title comes from one of the book’s chapters, in which Carson paints a picture of a future spring morning without birdsong. “No witchcraft,” Carson writes, “no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.” Rachel Carson in Silent Spring