It’s a lovely weekend here. Mornings have been misty, with the intoxicating smell of lilac floating through open windows. Afternoons have been warm with fat floaty clouds, and the grass is growing so fast you can almost watch it happen. Evenings are cool, pleasant enough to eat out on the deck, and no bugs yet. Everything is blooming. An Eastern Oriole has appeared in our yard for the first time in 16 years, and belts out it’s pet-shop-parakeet-sounding tunes.

A groundhog the size of a small buffalo comes out of hiding in the evenings while we have dinner, and grazes around the brushy edges of our long narrow suburban yard. And after midnight, mama raccoon and her five (!) roly-poly offspring pile out of the ravaged roof vent like clowns out of a volkswagen. They single-file across the roof edge, over the gutter, across the top of the trellis that borders our deck and then across the railing to the stairs. The little ones scrabble and slip, bump into each other, chitter and squawk and otherwise look lik a cornball cartoon strip. I suppose they head for the neighborhood drainage ditch to find frogs and crawdads, though one night I ran out in my jammies to find the source of a pitiful wail, and found one little coon kitten stranded on top of my studio rainbarrel, looking for the way down. His mom was in a nearby evergreen, hissing at me, so I went back to bed and let her parent her own unruly kids.

Connor came in yesterday thrilled to announce that a pair of wrens have chosen my clay birdhouse this year, and have babies inside. Their music always feels like a blessing, and I love to see the tiny bird with their tails in the air, perched on my clothesline wit a mouthful of bug or cussing the cat from the rusty wire fence, so angry they seem not to know or care that they’re barely the size of a walnut.

I love that I have a kid who can get that excited about a family of wrens. And though I have no great joy in having coons under the roof, we at least have some wildlife in our scrappy little yard behind the Walmart.

The bees are thriving, as well… I need to take pictures. The ice cream truck is back with its over-amplified, repetitive song — the joy of neighborhood kids and the bane of their mommies.

(I know a woman who told her younger and more gullible kids, “When the music is playing, that means they are all out of ice cream.”)

The last few days have been busy, with the Toledo Potters Guild’s annual second sale (in conjuction with the mother’s day plant sale, at the botanical garden that houses our guild.) It’s nice enough that I can ride my bike to and from the guild, now, and so can my kids. They’d show up at the sale, bring me lunch, help out a bit… wander to the log cabin where somebody in period costume helped them make paper flowers for mom… then ride home on their own to play with roving neighborhood friends, raid the cookies or climb their back yard tree with a library book.

I demoe’d handbuilding, today, while another member threw pots. I had thrown a bunch of little spouts and ewer bodies, and put together eight or ten of them in a sunny spot near the sale table. Somebody emailed me the photo above.

I made a couple hundred bucks on pots I needed to clear out of my studio. Some had been dusty bisque, sitting on shelves since last summer, and I glazed them with my glaze test tiles. Others were experiments from EMU that were send home as unworthy of further consideration. The guild’s slice of the profit is minimal, the company was fun and the weather lovely… so all in all, a nice weekend. Maybe I’ll spend the money on a workshop in Indianapolis I’ve been thinking about, though I should be saving it for next year’s tuition.

Right now, middle son is listening to a Harry Potter book on tape while whittling a stick… Molly’s both listening to the story and reading Garfield (which always boggles my mind.) Eldest is having his first teen party in the basement of his out-of-town grandparents (equipped with a pool table, foosball, air hockey and wide screen nintendo/dance dance revolution). Jeff is upstairs at grandma’s being the responsible adult.

I am going to go unload boxes, photograph a few pots to put on my site, put the new ewers in the kiln and take a hot bath. I plan to sleep in on mother’s day and my kids have promised me coffee in bed at the crack of nine. We’ll head for the lake for a cook out with my mom… thank goodness for good weather!