As December ticks by, while most everyone is out decorating for the holiday, baking sweet yummies and buying gifts, I have been reflecting on the past year as well as where I hope to go in the new year. It seems the older I less I have to stress over Christmas. At first I thought the magic of Christmas disappeared from my life but finally realized it has just changed a bit.
Ben and I don’t exchange gifts anymore. Truth is we really don’t need to. Our lives are simple enough and we are in want of nothing. When we need something we get it for ourselves when we are able to. All we crave now is a calm existence and the time and energy to devote to our crafts.
2017 ushered in retirement for both of us. We finally screwed up the nerve to let go of our e-commerce tool business that lovingly supported us for the past 18 years. What a hard decision that was to make but we do not regret it. With the money we received from the sale of the assets and inventory we were able to pay off all debt! Oh, what a wonderful feeling that was.
I now completely own my studio.
That took a huge weight off of my shoulders! With monthly bills at a minimum, I can now look forward to experimenting in the pottery and that is exactly what I plan to do in 2018!
So watch out world! Things are changing!
I look around my gallery right now and I see almost empty shelves. This past year my pieces sold almost as fast as I could make them which made my artistic heart soar. You have blessed me by liking, wanting and gifting my pottery. As I usually do this time of year I think about all the pieces I have sold in the last 30 days that are now wrapped up in pretty paper with someone’s name written on it. I try to envision the delight I hope they feel when they open their gift and see it’s something special, handcrafted and purchased with love.
What’s in store for 2018
As you know, I started playing with a technique called sgraffito which I love. I love carving in clay and I will be working more and more in this technique. I also plan on experimenting with glazes more, coming up with new colors. I will be treating 2018 like a year in school, reading books on glazes, watching YouTube until I am blind, making test tiles, expecting to fail and then finding success.
Last January I set a goal to purchase a new kiln by the end of the year. My kilns were old manual kilns and they worked but so many of today’s glazes work so much better when temperatures get held at a certain degree for a certain amount of time. This is almost impossible with a manual kiln. So my goal was to get one with all the bells and whistles and computer programmable.
I am so excited to tell you that…
I hit my goal and I ordered my new kiln yesterday! It should arrive mid-January. That ties in with experimenting with new techniques, and new glazes. I will be learning it all with a new programmable kiln. I feel like I am almost starting over in a way.
Oh my goodness, I feel like a kid again.
My life is blessed and although things can happen, at this moment I am enjoying every second of every day and loving my life. Retirement fits me well. My studio is my happy space.
Thank you all for your support, for loving my work enough to buy it, for following me on Facebook and Instagram and for all the encouragment you have given me throughout the year.
My trial run of whether I could do this diet was a great success and I look forward to enjoying it more when I return from Utah. It was my hope that I would last a little longer before I carb indulged but I never even made it out of Fort Smith Ar, the first leg of my journey!
The Fort Smith airport is one of thos wonderful tiny airports with comfortable living room seats and very little hustle and bustle, it’s close to home and even though it costs a tad more than flying out of Tulsa, it’s worth being relaxed on the first run.
The weather was horrid in the morning but our fight was at 2:30 pm so we piddled around at home and leisurely made our way there. Expecting to have a rather long layover in Dallas I packed nothing but Kale Chips.
Note to self- Kale chips smell aweful in a baggy in a back pack.
We are told at the ticket counter that the plane was delayed a bit but not enough to miss connections. That’s cool. So we found some comfortable chairs and sat.
Checking the American Airlines online flight status our flight was still on time but now it was a half hour late.
And we waited.
Fort Smith is so small that it doesn’t have planes of its own, so the plane we were waiting for was coming in from Dallas. Word came in that our plane was finally leaving Dallas to come get us. Opps. Not looking good.
By now I should have been in Dallas picking out a restaurant. My breakfast was two hard boiled eggs but that was long gone. My head was beginning to pound and I was getting grumpy. The only restaurant in this airport was outside of the security area and they only open that when they had too, and all passengers were already checked in. Off to the machines I went.
First on my list was water. I didn’t have any $1.00 bills so I threw a $5 spot in there to pay for a $2 bottle of Dasani. The machine gave me my water and then started chachinging like I hit pay dirt at the casino. My lucky day, I thought! But what I got was $3 in dimes! Great. So I tried to use the dimes in the food machine and it wouldn’t take dimes and it wouldn’t take $5 bills so I was basically screwed.
Fortunately the lovely lady in the chair next to me heard my sad story and worked for a peanut company and had Peanut/oat type bar which I ate.
Eventually our plane arrives and whisked us to Dallas. Our next flight still showed on time at 5:10 and we weren’t going to hit the terminal until 5.
The Airline app now showed us rescheduled to the next flight leaving at 7:30 pm. Thank you American Airlines.
I thought of a lovely dinner at one of the top notch restaurants at the Dallas Airport. I knew that I would be throwing my diet off kilter but hey what the heck, I was on vacation and I deserved a reward for not blowing up and ranting and swearing and all kinds of nasty things I really wanted to do!
As I hit the terminal I happened to glance at the board and our original flight was delayed…. with just enough time for us to get to it, if we moved fast. So we did. We hoofed it. We speed walked. We got there just in the nick of time!
Back on track and still hungry as hell. My choice for dinner on board the plane? Pretzels or cookies. Since I had pretzels on the first flight I opted for cookies on this flight.
By the time I got into SLC my head was swimming.
My dear sweet daughter in law had a huge pot of Tortilla Soup waiting for us which I drowned in Tortilla Chips. I was beyond hope at that point.
And ya know what happened? I felt awful, bloated and guilty!
So maybe my mindset is being changed, we shall see. We have vacation, bbq’s eating out and pizza yet to contend with!
This time I am going to do it!! Lose Weight, that is!!
Gads, how many times have I said this to myself and had all the right intentions only to fail miserably after a few days of hardly eating.
It seems the older I get the harder it is to lose weight, plus I am not all that active because of the problems I have with my back.
I think a lot of you can really relate to that last sentence!!
I keep hearing about the Keto Diet where you get yourself into a state of ketosis and the fat burns away since your glucose is depleted. On the Keto diet you give up carbs but get to eat wonderful things like bacon and cheese.
Sounds like a great diet.
So today I am going to go for it and I need you all as my support team! Are you game? You really don;t have to do anything (unless you want to cheer me on) but for me its all about accountability!
So I am going to be accountable not only to myself, but to you.
I am using a free app called MyFitnessPlan. You set it up on your PC but you can log what you eat from your phone or tablet using the apps. Sounds like my type of program.
Breakfast- I had some lovely, fresh kale in the fridge that I really needed to eat before it wilted so I made kale chips. I also hard boiled the duck eggs and had two!! YEAH ME!!
How to make kale Chips –
- Clean the Kale under cold water.
- Cut the fat stem out if your leaf has it.
- I like my chips on the large size, they will shrink in the oven so cut or tear them about 2″ long
- With the Kale in a bowl pour in some Olive Oil (Around 2 tbsps)
- Gently massage the Kale and the Olive Oil so that the oil covers the kale
- Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings. At our house we adore Santa Maria Seasoning from SuzieQ. I buy the non-MSG one. Its a staple in our home.
- Bake at 275 for about 20 minutes or until crisp