I went up in the garage loft and pulled down the old bike trailer I used to use for toddlers. Now I use it for groceries, clay tools, packages for the post office and general shopping trips.

We’ve complained in the past about businesses popping up all around us, traffic and noise… but now that gas is over $3 a gallon, and I don’t have to drive to and from school all summer, I’m able to bike to work (my class at the potter’s guild), to the park for homeschool meetings, to the grocery store, my bank, the post office, and anything along the bike trail (including Lowes and my doctor’s office.) I could go to WalMart if I had to.

Since my low carb diet has lost out to my wood fired bread oven, the bike will maybe keep me in shape, as well.

Yesterday we did drive back to EMU, Jeff and the kids and I, for my friend Ben Bigelow’s MFA show. I hadn’t been back since April. Diana was out of town for the weekend, but I stopped by the clay studio on myway home. It was kind of unsettling. Everything looked different than I remembered. The pots I had left on my shelves were not as good as I’d imagined.

I’m still making pots every day at home, but without the pressure or the critiques. I’d be dishonest if I said I was looking forward to going back for more of either, but I’m sure I’ll be up for it by fall.

Today I went to a workshop at the guild, where members had extruded all kinds of forms for us to work with for the afternoon. The pot luck was good as always, and I got to sit with Edith Franklin who I haven’t chatted with since NCECA. I managed to get a platter of bread and goat cheese pizza over there in the bike trailer with my bag of tools and Mark Issenberg’s coffee mug. It was a nice day.

When I got home, Jeff was making venison medallions with a red wine reduction, black rice, grilled veggies with eggplant and portabellas. We had a nice dinner with the sun and breeze blowing through our sunroom, and the kids took turns as usual telling what was the best thing to happen to them today. After dinner, they went out to sit in their climbing tree and eat popsicles and I beat Jeff at Scrabble (318 to 238). We climbed up on the roof and permanently sealed up the vent where the raccoons had broken in. (They’ve all taken off for wilder places.) I sat up there for a while looking down at my little yard, all lush and green, the cherry and plum trees, the raspberry vines, the gooseberry bushes already making berries. Then Jeff and I hung out in the hammock for a while, before he went to his woodshop to turn some really pretty walnut bowls, and I sat at the kitchen table making more ewers. Jeff’s bowl with the tumbling blocks it in the Salon de Refuses show right now, at the Parkwood Gallery across from the Art Museum. I had to teach the night of the opening but he took the kids, who apparently hung out near te pedestal telling passers by, “My dad made this!”

Now everybody’s in bed, Molly talking in her sleep across the hall from where I sit typing, and the cat purring on the arm of my chair. Connor’s rat is in her cage, chewing on the crusty end of one of my raisin walnut loaves.

I’m going to bed, myself. I love my bed, and these cool nights have been perfect sleeping weather. Tomorrow we’ll go to church in the morning, then I’ll work on the yard, mulch around the peonies and blueberries,, plant a few tomatoes, and go through boxes in the studio that need sorting. I sit down when I can and throw a dozen spouts, put them in a damp box, and then make ewers for them when I have a minute to myself.

I’ll check my hive, tomorrow, too. The queen is still in her queen box with the attendants, so I pushed a bigger hole in the candy blocking her exit, to set her free. The bees are paying a lot more attention to her, today, hanging all over the box, and getting really ornery when I pulled it out to check on her. I think that’s a good sign that her pheromones have taken over the hive. I just need her to get out and get laying!

More soon…