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The night of May 18, started with rain. It turned to snow during the night and was the wettest snow we had ever seen. I spent an hour with a broom, beating snow from branches.

 

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Three of our pinyon trees succumbed to the weight–simply fell over on their faces:

 

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The following day, the snow was gone, but the damage was done, leaving in its wake many branches that simply snapped off. The storm took the old and the weak, such as the pinyon in front of our house:

 

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Many people in our town suffered similar damage. Everyone is grateful for the water, for we’ve been in prolonged drought. And thankfully, there’s been no flooding in our area.

 

This morning it was 27 degrees when I opened my eyes. Here’s a picture of the back fence.

 

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And here’s the front deck with, I’d say, six inches of fresh snow. Of course before the snow came rain, so more moisture was added up front.

 

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And here’s the fog rising from the Arkansas River. I bet the kayakers were down there in their wet suits.

 

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And here’s what Jim did after shoveling the deck and sidewalks:

 

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It’s a loaf of Irish bread. Yum. All gone after lunch and dinner. It sure was pretty!

And that’s our Mother’s Day story.

Jim and I have both had The Crud, or maybe it’s Son of Crud, because I had a bout of some foreign beast back in January. Then another version caught me by surprise about the time I was shoveling a foot of snow in April. I moved into the guest room downstairs so as not to disturb my better half. And then he caught it from me. Both of us feverish, hacking and blowing. I’m mostly well now but he is still stuck in the muck.

NEVER THE LESS

We managed to set up tables and sort pots for upcoming deliveries. The table in the foreground is earmarked for The Creative Eye in Denver. Gallery owner Larry Hart has never seen our cat mugs or cat bowls. We will include those in his delivery toward the end of May.

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This table (shown below) will go to Stonehenge in Georgetown, owned by Alice Selby. She is long overdue for cat-ware.

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The table nearest the garage door is crammed with deliveries for two stores. One is our in-town Courtyard Gallery and Gifts.  The other is the Frisco Emporium, whose manager has been after us for months needing more pottery.

 

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Even though it’s cold and rainy and I’d rather take a nap or feed the furry cats, I’d better get out to the garage and start pricing pots for May deliveries!

 

The results of our third kiln firing which included re-fires and glaze experiments turned out much better than the last two firings. In this firing there were a number of re-fires–pots that had been fired twice before and still produced bubbles in the glaze. However, some of the re-fires turned out beautifully, such as this bowl:

 

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Here is a pile of pots that still have bubbles and we will re-fire some of them for a 4th time. Others have tiny flaws that we may be able to simply grind off.

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We tested the temperature of the kiln from top to bottom with pyrometric cones and found that we do indeed have a much higher temp on the bottom – cone 11 was flat, so it may have been a cone 12 (porcelain temperature) down there. We’ve always known that the kiln was “hot on the bottom and cool on the top” and stacked it accordingly. What surprised us was that our re-fired pots closer to the bottom looked better than when we stacked them close to the top.

We tested the re-make of the “squirrelly” glazes — the ones that were bubbling in previous firings and got no bubbles in the light blue and orangey-yellow:

 

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We liked the glaze combo Jim came up with for his fish mugs–coffee mugs with fish motifs on the handles:

 

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We are testing a new cobalt blue recipe laid over a flat denim blue. The results were interesting but not stable as can be seen in the glaze cracks.

 

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Yesterday’s kiln opening — after three days of waiting out the snowstorm and shoveling pathways to the house and garage — was a happy ending.

This is the first time in 18 years we’ve had to dig out the roof avalanches in such an impressive fashion. In the past, snow has remained on the roofs longer. Here’s the way our path to the garage looked yesterday.

 

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Here’s Mt. Everest–before the last of it slid off the roof:

 

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And here’s view after we’d cleared a path between house and garage this morning.

 

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Some snow still remains on the roof and will no doubt come down in an hour or two.

Here’s a shot of the picnic table behind our garage — it’s where we place pots that come out of our kiln. We have not unstacked the kiln yet.

 

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We are happy to have this moisture. We are grateful to our neighbor Brad for plowing the driveway, and we will be exceedingly glad when this un-named storm system moves on toward the Mississippi River!  Jim says he’s ready to go to town for a burger, so we’re outta here!

The West, our state of Colorado, our Arkansas Valley–all of it–has been dry since January. Normally March is our snowiest month. No snow fell. In fact the temps reached into the 70s. But yesterday that all changed.

 

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A foot of snow had fallen during the night. The snow on our roof had slid onto our west-facing deck and obstructed our exit from the house out of this door.

Jim and I shoveled while snow continued to fall through the morning. The writing workshop I had signed up to attend Friday evening and all day Saturday was cancelled.

 

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I worked on clearing a path to the garage as fresh snow piled up to 18 inches:

 

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As snow kept sliding from two roofs, the garage and the art room, here’s what we’ll face tomorrow morning–shoveling the path – again –  from the art room door where I stood to take this picture, to the garage door. The last of the snow slid after we’d finished dinner.

 

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Mt. Princeton was still bundled up at 5:00 pm:

 

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With sore backs, we’re still happy. The water we need for gardens, river, ranching, and peace of mind – at least for a little while – was delivered with this storm.

Today I picked up 90 cards from Chaffee Printing Center in Salida. Here’s an arrangement of the cards spread out on our dining table. I received 10 copies of each print — enough to test the waters with (note the pun–they are watercolor images).

 

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Having prints made of my artwork is a first for me, and I’ve got to thank a few friends for egging me on. Two former sisters-in-law, Patty Evans Snyder from Denver and Jan Snyder from Jacksonville, IL, vociferously (on Facebook)  insisted that I have my playful watercolor cards professionally printed. I’ve never done this before, so it became an adventure. My in-town friend, Marcy Adams, always sees the best and brightest side of all situations. Her encouragement helped me stop procrastinating.

Jim and I happened to drive by Chaffee Printing Center — a place I didn’t know existed. I hollered, “STOP — I want to go in there!” He did a You-ee on Highway 50 and I talked to Bonnie about my miniscule project. No job was too small. So I took my originals in. Moe, an artist herself,  guided me nimbly through the decision-making process, and this is the result.

A happy day for me, while Jim is firing the kiln–another page in the ongoing pottery saga.

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