Friday, August 30, 2013

Kiss Those Peppers People !

This is a short post of the utmost seasonal importance. Last week, a friend of mine gave me some produce from her garden. Let me tell you she is the nicest person you will ever meet and would be mortified by what happened. She is not like my other friends who would just think this is funny. Everything looked gorgeous, especially that long red pepper.She had said "I think this is like a banana pepper" It wasn't. It looked so yummy that I cleaned and seeded it then put a big slice in the wrap I was making for lunch.One bite and flames started shooting out of my mouth. I spit it out and went to get some milk. That would take care of it. Nope. Ice? Nope. Cold Yogurt? Nope. Washing my mouth with Dawn? Helped a little. It took an hour to put out the flames. Later in the day, I touched my lips with my finger. I HAD WASHED MY HANDS PEOPLE. I was blessed with the return of the burn. This morning, I used the same cup that I had used that day. I HAD WASHED IT !!!!! Again my lips burned, If I ever eat a gift pepper again I will kiss it first just to be safe. This is ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coping Skills

I think  I can see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train after all. The major carpentry on the house was wrapped up last weekend when my brother Norris helped me install a new patio door. The old door was an aluminum slider that was so worn that it didn't really like to slide anymore. It had also racked enough that it didn't close as tightly as it should either. Besides the mechanical concerns, it wasn't getting any prettier. Keep in mind that we have a pack of dogs and that between the ins and the outs that door probably opened 20 times a day. It had to go. As I got ready to remove the old one, I noted that the original installers had put in the door then brought the aluminum siding over the edges of it. The door was also set about 1/2 inch into the floor. It had to be removed from the outside and the new one had to go in the same way. This meant that we had to cut back the siding with an angle grinder to get the old door out. This gave us a couple of extra hours of fun in the sun. Did I mention double steel patio doors are heavy?? It was nonstop fun from 9:30 to 3:30 when we finally got it plumbed and secured then we collapsed for the day. Saturday was lightweight by comparison. I was able to take my time caulking and trimming it out. I think it ended up looking pretty good. I know swinging it open and closed is a lot easier than sliding the old one.

Duke finally ran the gas line to the house last week. Now my furnace guy needs to hook up to it then Duke will set a meter and open the valve!!! Finally.

The interior work is mostly done. plaster is patched and new baseboard has replaced the old baseboard radiators. There is still some painting to do but very soon, the new flooring will be installed, NOT BY ME, and this project will be finished. Next, rehab the bathroom. I am including a couple of "before shots" to refresh your memory. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 19, 2013

She's Alive !!!!

Hi everyone. Just a quick follow up to my last post. I have re-installed the controller for the pug mill and she works great. Peter Pugger even cleaned the old clay off of it. You know, any piece of equipment can have a problem. What really counts is how well a company stands behind it's products. I can't say enough good things about the service I received. When I removed the controller I was a little apprehensive about re-assembly but mapping and tagging the wires made it a piece of cake. It looked like this but it all made sense.

The other event of the weekend was that my brother had invited me to go see Ralph Stanley Saturday night. Ralph said he and brother Carter started performing in 1940. That's 73 years on stage. Wow!! His grandson Nathan leads the CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS now but Ralph still travels with them. He didn't touch a banjo all night so I suspect he is past being able to play at a professional level but he can still sing. Mainly Nathan sings lead and Ralph sing harmony but he does take the lead on many songs. On some numbers, he just sits in a comfortable chair onstage and rests for a bit. Even though he needs assistance getting onstage, his voice is as good or better than it ever was. I don't think the show was well promoted because there may have only been 350 to 400 people. I was a little sad that more people did not show up,  if not to be entertained,  just to see a living legend. Crowd or not, it was an honor to be there and to have a chance to hear him live. There won't be many more chances.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


It has been a week since my show in Yellow Springs last week. I don't know where that week went but I won't get it back. Painting and patching are in full swing in the house and I have worked to exhaustion several days this week. The flooring is coming in a couple of weeks and the pressure is on.. Of course, there is a new job at every turn. New kitchen light, new patio door, We're painting anyway so we might as well. , right? And so it goes.

Peter Pugger did a brain transplant for the pug mill at no cost to me. They were great to work with and understand that when a potter coughs up $ 3 or 4k for a machine they need to stand behind it. I'll hook it up later this weekend and let you know the final result.

The show. It was a beautiful day in Greene county. I had some time to enjoy the weather. The crowd seemed to be off from last year and sales were only fair. It wasn't a bad day but I was off about $300 from last year. I had a lovely lady and her husband come over from Richmond Ind. They took a couple of nice pots home with them. God bless the social media. I also had a prior buyer who had seen my Pi plate on Facebook drive up from Ky to buy it and request some more. Another woman couldn't decide between two oval bakers so she bought both. It's nice to be appreciated but overall I think my tickets were bigger but fewer. Sales were 30% cash, 10% check, and 60% square.
That's it for now. Gotta get some work done. My brother and I are going to see Ralph, excuse me, Dr. Ralph Stanley later on today. It's not often you see a living legend. Reminds me of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in '06 when I saw Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Hazel Dickens back to back.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Packing It In

Some of you folks have packed for a lot more shows than I have. Others are just starting to do this. I thought they might like to see how I pack for a show. If you have additional ideas for making life easier, please add them in the comments section.

I like to pack the van on Thursday for a Saturday show. This leaves me a whole day for the OMG I forgot to... items. When I first started, I had a bunch of pots a bunch of cardboard boxes and a bunch of newspaper. It took me twice as long to pack half the pots that I carry now. It's still hard work but not as hard as it could be. I got rid of the newspaper and started using recycled packing foam great stuff , it lasts a lot longer than paper, and your hands stay clean. Most of my pots have designated boxes and the packing foam never leaves the box so it is a lot faster at closing time. Ditto for cardboard tubes. Slip in a bowl, add a sheet of foam, repeat. No head scratching no complicated wrapping. Except for a couple of big ones, I have also gone to plastic tubs, mostly matching, that stack well without sliding around. Except for some big slab doors that are shelves for my base unit, all the shelving is in the second seat row of the van. It can't get loose an go careening through the pots. Likewise, the boxes in the back are staggered enough to lock each other in.  A big bag of shims and a set of tent weights completes the Thursday packing. Tomorrow, I'll worry about personal items, signage, snacks , and office supplies but I'm well on my way for now.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Counting Down

I'm counting down the days until next Saturday when I head to Yellow Springs ,Ohio for "ART ON THE LAWN". This has been a very good show for me in the past so my hopes are high.I'm expecting the same corner booth I've had for the last couple of years.I have pretty good exposure and I can drive right up to my spot to load and unload. I also am near a small tree that gives a little shade and a small "side yard" if I want to sit outside my booth. The3 pots are mostly ready, I have some refires I am going to try to get done but they are not critical. Yellow Springs is the most open and liberal town in southwest Ohio and the show reflects this. It is very relaxed. The show is organized by artists for artists and no one jerks your chain just because they can. Performers from town busqe in the aisles. Dare I take a guitar or maybe a harmonica ? Would it help or hurt? Most shows I do would never accept this but this one is very different. Chime in with your opinion.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I am grieved to announce that on Monday night last., Peter Pugger apparently blew his brains out. It may have been depression from the loneliness he had been suffering this summer. With me working on the house instead of making pots, he hadn't been getting the attention he deserved. I failed in my attempts to revive him, attempting resuscitation by repeatedly hitting his reset button yet he showed no sign of life other than a glowing red STOP button mocking me as the vacuum pump tried to breathe life into him. I implored for his maker to intervene but the reply was that it would require the laying on of hands.. Therefore I have done basic dissection and am sending his head on a round trip to California for a full autopsy and probably a brain transplant. Your good wishes and the USPS will speed him on his way.