Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chickens and Pots

I started this blog as a blog about my chickens.  We moved in May and left the chickens behind.  It was a sad thing; I miss my ladies every day.  I traded my chickens for a studio. The biggest selling point for our new home was an amazing studio.  I went from an 8x8 foot shoebox to a 30x20 foot work room. 

In the beginning of October I was asked to sell my pottery in a boutique.  I was terrified.  Should I??  I didn’t feel ready.  It was a dream I have had for years, but was the timing right?  I stewed, I pondered, I stressed, I agonized.  I was still turning the idea over in my mind when I went to visit Cristy.  I sat by a lady on the plane who has become my best customer.  She was so complimentive.  She loved bowls with carvings (I thought I was alone), she loved bright colored bowls, she loved leaves, and poka dots, and pots with faces.  She loved braided handles and platters with carvings.  Was it a sign?  Was she just being nice?  I didn’t know.  I was skeptical.

When I returned home she called me and made a sizable order.  I was humbled I was excited.  She wanted me to teach her 18-year-old son who serves as a TA in the ceramic classes at Davis High.  I wondered if I had anything new to teach him.  It has since become a wonderful experience. 
Was I was ready to walk naked upon the art stage?  I had a dream the week before the show that I was swimming in the ocean with Toby and Jered.  They had an inflatable inner tube.  I was treading water.  They yelled at me to look backwards and there loomed a 90-foot wave, three feet from where I was treading water.  They were safe, I knew that, but I was in deep trouble.  I knew I had to hold my breath until the wave passed.  It was terrifying.  The dream stayed with me for weeks.

I agreed to do my first sell with only five weeks to spare.  I explained to Toby what this would mean he willingly agreed to support me.  My family ate a lot of Little Caesar Pizza.  I worked harder than I ever had in my life.  I threw, trimmed, glazed, and wedged.  I worked ceaselessly every chance I got and late into the night most nights. 
The day of the show came.  My wonderful family came and supported me.  It was more than I could have dreamed.  Although traffic was light, I still sold a lot of bowls.  When the day was done, I was happy and yet a little sad, I couldn’t place my feelings.  Immediately I came home and started working on a second show 3 weeks hence with Thanksgiving in the middle.  Again, I had great success and sold every bowl I brought (except some bright, happy bowls which will have to wait for spring) every platter, tortilla warmer, and pot.  Toby asked me how it went and again I was elated and a little sad.  WHY?!?  It didn’t make sense.  It took me awhile - 12 months of my pottery life was gone.  My bowls are my friends, they have replaced my ladies.  They are mostly one-of-a-kind.  I am not a fast potter.  I labor and stew over each bowl and piece.  They are a little part of me.  I breathed life into clay and make it functional.  I loved to go down to my studio and just look around.  Now, there are only empty shelves waiting to be filled.  I received many orders from the second show and spent all of December making more platters and bowls.  I told Toby I was going to write a book called, “The Inconvenient Dream”. 

 I’m looking ahead to 2013.  I don’t know where pottery will take me.  Will I do more shows?  Will I just make things for people I love and special orders?  I don’t know.  I haven’t decided.  I learned a lot this fall.  It was an experience I will never forget.  I have miles to go to before I become the potter I would like to be but thank you for all your support these past couple of months.  It has been an amazing ride!

50?!?!? WHAT THE HECK?!? When did that happen?

I’ll admit i had a hard time turning 50.  Birthdays?  What are those?  Just a time to get together and a good excuse to eat cake without guilt.  I didn’t mind turning 20, 30, 40 felt like a holiday, a freedom from 30’s (those were hard years) but 50?!?  Seriously, that is a big number and what does it even mean?  Am I too old for skinny pants?  Am I too old to go to the trampoline park with my kids (who aren’t really kids anymore).  Am I old enough that I can wear bling without my son telling me I should move to Tooele?  At what age can wear what we want?  Tierra’s and cupcake dresses?  Hmm, I think that ship sailed and I wasn’t on board, unfortunately.
But 50, that was a hard pill to swallow.  I don’t feel any different than I did 20 years ago.  In fact, I feel better.  I have more stamina, more energy, and more passion for life.  I  don’t want to get old.  That’s all.  I love life, I want to drink from it deeply forever, I don’t want to get senile (more than I already am).  I want to travel and put in 18 hour days and never slow down.  I want to have energy for my grandkids; I just don’t want to be some old lady that they can’t relate to.  I feel bad for Mitch.  When Mariah and Taylor were teenagers we were in our 30’s and now Mitch has an old mom.  I never saw it coming.  No one warned me that I would go to bed in my 30’s and wake up 50.  That’s how it feels.  I don’t recognize the person in the mirror, that can’t possible be me; I am young.  I feel young.  It is weird.
Luke sitting on my stomach

In spite of all my misgivings, I had a terrific birth-day or birth-week. I flew to DC and spent 30 perfect hours with my sister, Cristy (we saw the ballet Dracula), I spend my birthday at the zoo with Toby, Luke, Mariah, Rob and crew, Taylor threw me amazing party, Toby got me a slab-roller for pottery, friends, and family were amazing.  I felt loved and supported and I did eat cake, lots of delicious cake (thanks Margaret).  I’ll take that fuel and more forward for hopefully 50 more!  Thank you wonderful people, I love you all!!

Technology Overload

I am feeling slightly technologically overloaded these days.  Taylor mentioned that he was going to write a book about all the things i don't know about technology.  While that may be true please let it be stated here, for time and all eternity, that i did unlock my own Apple phone this month.  I may not have a lot to brag about, but i am proud of that accomplishment.  Between Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Pinterest, text, email, and now, Google plus (if i want to see pictures of Luke), it just seems like a lot (and no, i don't twitter).  Remember when people passed notes in class and you got mail in the mailbox?  Remember Photo mat where pictures were developed (i actually applied to work at Photo mat but was denied because i failed the prerequisite math test)?  Why is that suddenly sounding easier?  

Why is keeping track of your third cousin once removed now a prerequisite and answering 50 emails a day part of etiquette.  With a camera on our phone, we also have apx 2,000 pictures a year to sort and index.  As the comic Jim Gafferty said, "i have more pictures of my son than my dad ever looked at me".  Am i the only one on technology overload?  Hmm, so... in my quest to sort out all the before mentioned communication options, I'm trying to decide what to do about blogging.    

When i saw my friend Karen's book she made from her blog, i started writing.  I loved her book.  These days i don't scrap book, or journal (i write Cameron each week instead), so i liked the idea of a photo journal, a sort of family history.  The problem is i have been a terrible slacker.  So... my goal now made public (or at least to Karen as she is my only reader) i vow to do better.  I will blog at least once a month.  There, it isn't much, but it is a start.  On we go soldiers of technology!  I am going to catch up from the fall and then march forward. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mitch and NUAMES

Mitch’s First day of High School by Mitch and Mom

It all started this morning when my mom took the wrong turn and got on the freeway instead of  Woodscross where the bus was supposed to pick me up.  She let me out on the freeway entrance and I started walking to the bus stop as fast as I could.  I got a ride by the only person I knew going to NUAMES. 

We missed the bus and sped as fast we could to Bountiful High School where we also missed the bus.  We then drove at mach 5 to the next pick up which was Viewmont.  In the mean time, my mom was driving at mach 5 to the next freeway exit, ran a red light and sped back to find me.  She saw the NUAMES bus leave the highschool as she was still on the freeway trying to get to me.  When she got to the school I wasn’t there and she couldn’t figure out where I had gone as she saw that I had missed the bus.  She sped to Viewmont to make sure I was on the bus.  When she got there she was shocked to see me waiting for the bus.  She gave me my lunch and all was well.

On the way to school I had a sound track of odd kids making pokemon noises and talking about World of War Craft.  All of the other kids on the bus were talking about Mind Craft or Star Craft.  I was entering alien territory.

When we arrived at school I was about ready to shoot myself.  We started with period 5, English, not much to talk about there.  Next I had Digital Photography.  I am very excited about this class as we are learning everything about Photoshop.  I have an assignment to take 20 pictures of specific items for next weeks.

Next came lunch.  It is weird to have only two periods and then lunch.  I ate with the girl that gave me a ride to school, Witley, which is the weirdest name on earth.  There are lots of people with strange names at that school, one girl (im not making this up) her first name is Demo and last name is Lition.  Only at NUAMES.  She is a weird girl, so it fits ish.

After lunch I had math, gotta love math.  It is taught by a Russian lady who spells everything wrong on the board as she can’t speak the language too well.  We are guinea pigs in a new math class that has never been taught before.  Wish me luck.

Next came Engineering.  It is cool, we have an assignment to make a paper bridge to span between two boxes with no other materials than paper.  I am excited.

After school we had our First Robotic club class.  I am way excited the last group that did it won the state championship and went on to the world championship that is held in St. Louis and got 81st out of 83! It was U.S. and then all those Asian countries.    

After First Robotics the fun began.  First I couldn’t find a bus to take me to the Front Runner Train.  I called my mom but she didn’t want to drive all the way to Layton as they told her there was a bus that left from the school and I needed to figure it out.  This was about 3:15.  It took me a long time to figure out where the bus was.  So… the first bus took me in the wrong direction.  I stayed on the bus to loop back around to the school.  On the way back to the school we as we were driving along (I was the only passenger) a truck with a trailer on it was trying to turn and didn’t see us, we tried to swerve out of the way but it bashed into the back of us and we did a 180 and almost tipped over. My neck still hurts.

After all police in Utah came and I had to fill out 1000 forms about the accident (they wont be able to read them, have you seen my handwriting?) That took about an hour and a half.  Then I got on the same number bus and had to go all the way back where I turned around, waited another hour to get on a different bus that took me the front runner station.  On the way to the station we stopped at a train crossing and watched my train leave.  I was about 30 seconds late : (.  I had to wait another hour for the next train.

In the meantime (since I never called or texted my mom), she was calling the police to see what had happened to me.  She got a call about 6:00 from a police office who told her that my bus had been in an accident and he had my Park city ski pass. That’s all he told her.  If that police hadn’t called she wouldn’t have heard a thing from 3:30 until 8 when I finally got to Woodscross!  Lets pause and feel sorry for my mom who was going crazy wondering what happened to her little boy on his first day of high school!  My phone was dead and I didn’t want to use the little bit of batteries I had.  I wanted to save the battery so I could call when I finally got to Woodscross.  Poor mom

So at 8 I arrived safe and sound ish…, 5 ½ hours after school was out.  We went for ice cream and are now writing this note as not to forget my first day of High school!

August, September 2012

Stunning Sun Valley

 July brought me to Sun Valley with some of my favorite people- my parents and sister Cristy.  We rode bikes everywhere. To town, around town, to watch the hang gliders, to see the beautiful valley, to shop, to eat carmel apples, to visit the lodge, and just for fun.  We spent time in book stores, in our favorite Indiana Jones Store, art galleries and even spent a minute or two in a pottery store.  

We ate, hiked, biked, talked, swam, watched the hang gliders every morning and evening. We watched the opening of the Summer Olympics that took place in London. We stayed in a nice little condo with breath taking views of the mountains.  We took a lovely drive to a meadow and took a hundred pictures (dad has them all).  We made yummy omelets, ordered too much pizza and even got to read.  What a perfect four days!

Girls Trip to St. George

September brought a girls trip.  Mariah, Ash, Luke and I traveled to St. George for four relaxing days.  Summers are a little hard on Mom's and working women so the escape was the perfect tonic.  We shopped, swam, walked, and even biked for a minute or two.  Ash and Mariah were able to go to the St. George Temple and attend the production of Aladdin at Tuacahn while Luke and I hung out.  

We crafted, watched movies, ate Mexican food, baked goodies in the condo and generally relaxed and enjoyed.  We swam each day and enjoyed perfect weather. Warm and wonderful, my favorite.   The best afternoon was spent in the St. George DI where we found all sorts of treasures.  i wish we had taken pictures.  Luke was a real trooper through it all.  The time went way to quickly and soon it was time to return home.  

A couple of hours after we returned home we had a birthday dinner here for Kathryn, Mom and Mariah.  It was fun to get-together with the family.  i love my family, i love my girls, I love my sisters, and i love my mom!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lake Powell 2012

Lake Powell is the perfect place for a family vacation.  There are no schedules to keep, no trains, planes or automobiles to worry about.  Just 9 people, on a boat, on a lake, eating, laughing and enjoying each other.   Having sailor Luke aboard this year made it even richer, although after Jered's comment that Luke would sink like a rock if he fell in the water sort of ruined my relaxation.  I can't imagine having multiple little people to worry about on a houseboat, but one was perfect.  Luke is a natural born sailor. 
The water polo/basketball game was one of the highlights for me along with the amazing finger canyons of the lake.  I also enjoyed the time we spent with the forest ranger atop a canyon ledge viewing the ancient remains of people long gone.  Nothing is better than the fam together at Powell; each day was an adventure and the time went way too quickly.

It was a perfectly relaxing vacation. With tubing, waterskiing, wake boarding, scurfing, cliff diving, swimming, eating, all with our fearless captain at the helm, we were in good hands. The weather was perfect and the deck hands were full of adventure although a little serious as you can see by the picture at the left.
Our only glitch happened the night before departing.  About 11:00 Sat night as we lay on the top deck a storm came up.  At first it was sand blowing in our faces and grit in our teeth.  Tay asked Toby if the ski boat was tied securely and he was assured it that it was.  As soon as Toby and Taylor looked over the side of the houseboat to ascertain that all was well, the rope broke which has secured the front of the ski boat to the houseboat.  With that rope gone, the ski boat swung violently around and started bashing the swim deck against the houseboat with every breaking wave.  Taylor and Toby hoped on the ski boat yelling for us to cut them free.
Cut them free?!?  Are you kidding, I'm not going to send my husband and son out into a violent storm to save a ski boat.  Set the boat free, but not the men.  Mitch cut the rope and they immediately they were out of sight.  We dropped to our knees and pled for their safety.  It was an intense situation.  The old adage that "sometimes God calms the sea and sometimes He calms the sailor" was true that night.
The storm ranged on, but we felt peace.  They called us about 45 minutes later to let us know they made it safely to the marina.  About 12:30 they returned unharmed.  There were many lessons learned that night, but one that i will never forget is how imperative it is that we have our personal ropes tied securely to the right principles and we don't cut loose from that anchor.  

We missed you Cam, you love Lake Powell as much as i do. Next year you will complete the crew.

A fabulous trip, thank you sailors, I love you all!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Italy- What more can i say?

Italy, a dream come true.  Italy was everything i dreamed it would be.  Delicious food, amazing sites, breathtaking art, miraculous sculpting, astounding history and beautiful country sides.  It didn't disappoint in any area, the only sad thing was that we had to leave after only 9 days.  It was like going into the most scrumptious candy store and only tasting a couple of the delicacies.  It left us wanting more.

We landed in Rome in the morning of May 4, 2012 with the help of trains, metro and car ride from the ever helpful Fabrizio, we dropped our bags at the hotel and beelined it straight for the Colosseum, the most iconic sight in Italy.  The second we were off the train we knew we had been transported into a different time, culture, land and place. To say that the Colosseum is magnificent is a terrible understatement.  Everything is big in Rome.  The Colosseum sat 50,000 Plebes, Patricians, and slaves with its majestic architecture and artistry.  While the structure is certainly impressive the history isn't.  Up to 10,000 animals, criminals, homeless, handicapped, and beggars were slaughtered by gladiators during a single festival, one every 5 minutes.

From the magnificent Colosseum, we visited Constantine's victory arch followed by the Forum.  The Forum is hard to envision.  This is the land, the actual stones, roads, columns and sites that Julius Cesar saw each day.  We walked the same roads, and sat on the very stone that his body was laid to rest after his murder by the senate 2000 years ago.

From the Forum we walked to Palatine Hill which overlooked Circus Maximus which could seat 300,000 people, a third of the Roman citizens.

After more than 30 hours of not hitting a pillow we slept well that night especially with the help of pizza, caprice salad and yes, gellato.

Day two took us to the Vatican, the smallest country in the world. There is no possible way to describe the Vatican museum.  We only had five hours to explore and hardly scratched the surface.  The miles of sculpting, art and artifacts can only be appreciated in person.  The cream-de la cream of course is the Sistine Chapel.  With tears in my eyes, i stood in astonishment at so great an accomplishment.  The room is smaller than either of us had anticipated, and a little sterile in structure but nothing could take away from the amazing scenes portrayed on the ceiling.  It cost Michelangelo everything and i am grateful for his sacrifice.

St. Peters Basilica defies adjectives (i am running out anyway) described by many as the most beautiful building every made.  There are 300 yards from front door to the seven story gold alter.  Michelangelo's stuning Pieta nestles snuggly to the right of the entrance.  St. Peters Basilica was completed around AD 349 but completely redone in 1506.  It is filled with priceless art, sculpting 20 feet high, magnificent marble columns, the bones of Peter, and even a glass coffin containing a recent pope.   We never had enough time anywhere we went and St. Peters was no exception.

I can't write this much about each day.  From the catacombs of St. Sabatione,  baths of Caracalla, villa borghese, trastevere, roman roads, brushetta, squares, piazza's, fountains, sculptures, museums, art, art more art,  churches so beautiful that if a single one was in America people would travel across the country to see it, yet in Rome there is literally a splendid church filled with priceless art on every block and no one seems to notice.

As old and full of history as Rome is, Florence feels new and enlightened. The birthplace of the Renaissance with it's buildings a mere 500 years old or so.  The bed and breakfast we stayed in was in a  300 years old building, a new one we were told.  Again, to walk the streets where the likes of DaVinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, walked.  i sat on the very rock that Dante wrote the Divine Comedy.

We loved Florence, with the Duomo, the Medici family and all their estates, Michelangelo's stomping grounds, Bernini, Caravaggio, the quaint shops, pottery, gellato, pizza, piazza, statues and art.  We even spent the night in a convent with a view of the Duomo out the window.  A very walkable city with a surprise around every bend.

We stole away from museums and art for a single day and did a day trip to the Cinque Terra, the Italian Riviera.  What a treat that was.  Beautiful shops, houses, painted orange, yellow and red, nestled atop the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea.

Back to Rome we traveled for three more days of wonders.  We traversed the city on foot, train and taxi.  Mostly on foot.  We put in 17 hour days and literally ate our way through the historical city.  With Rick Steves as our guide we tacked the ruins, pagan and christian sites, museums, catacombs, fountains and piazzas.  Rick never led us astray and with the help of audio guides and endless study of his maps we never got lost (for very long).

With the greatest traveling companion, we saw, ate, visited, wept and drank deeply from the wells of Rome. It was only a sampling, we will return.  Ciao for now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our New Bundle of Wonderful!

It's been a long time since the last post. I missed most of last summer, fall, Halloween, birthdays, Mariah's and my trip to Hearst Castle, our trip to California over Thanksgiving, Disneyland, Christmas, more birthdays, our 29th anniversary and valentines day. I pledge to do better. It's time to get back on the band wagon because we have an 8 pound 9 ounce, 22 inch bundle of wonderful that needs to be documented!

Welcome baby Luke to planet earth, February 13th, 2011. You are one lucky little baby. You have a mom and dad who love you so much, you have a support team that includes cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and four happy grandparents and several great grandparents. I am blessed to be one of those grandparents!

Robynn and I flew down the day after Luke was born to give him a kiss and love. I can't describe the joy upon seeing his little face. When doctors place that tiny pink bundle in your arms for the first time there is hardly room to receive the joy, that is the feeling i had when Mariah handed me our first grandbaby. Absolute joy. Months of anticipation and trepidation were culminated in a tiny blue and green blanket of wonderful.

I was able to go back down the following week and stay for a few days. Those days were full of baby and new mommy; days that i will treasure forever. I got to sleep with baby Luke on my chest or by my side for the first four hours each night. As we snuggled up on the couch i wanted to infuse into this little soul my love for him even as tiny as he is. I want him to know that his grandma and grandpa no matter how many miles away love him and are here for him every day

The next generation of Meiners, Hawkins, Robinson and Jenson is here, created with love and born with love. Welcome little Luke!

For the full birth story, click on A Day in the Life of the Robinson blog. It is a touching, honest account of Lukes birth.