Thursday, December 21, 2017

The End of An Era

If you have been following this blog for many years, you probably remember that in 2010 we bought a school bus and used it to move from New Hampshire to North Carolina. It took few trips to complete the move. We hung on to the bus and used it for storage. At one time we had dreams of converting it to a mobile studio to teach classes in. We realized over time that our focus needed to be on building our business here in Seagrove. Off and on we have toyed with the idea of selling the bus and when a friend approached us about purchasing it, we decided that the time had come to let it go.

Our school bus has lower mileage than my 2008 SUV! Even after not running for over two years, she turned over after a couple of tries. Today was the day she went to her new home where she will be transformed into a food truck... or should I say, food bus!

Since she isn't registered and inspected, a tow truck came and hauled her away.

Good-bye old friend. You helped us get started on an exciting new adventure and we will always have fond memories of our many road trips.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Short (but needed) Get Away

Danielle and I had a fabulous weekend in Asheville! The Biltmore was amazing. It was difficult to get good night time photos with the camera on my phone. I had a lot to delete when I got home.

Quite the fancy library ladder!

We spent the entire day on the estate. Lunch at the Bistro at Antler Village and Winery was delicious. There were lots of little shops, as well as stables to visit. The wine tasting included with admission was sort of a joke. They gave you samples in tiny plastic cups... like the pill cups in hospitals. The line for the "tasting" was very long and we didn't bother. We had a nice glass of their viognier with our lunch, no need to wait a half an hour for a few sips!

We spent Sunday in downtown Asheville. Of course I had to take a photo of Danielle sitting on the ginkgo leaf bench...

Our choice for brunch was Rhubarb's. We both had the duck confit hash and bloody Mary's too.

The weekend flew by way too fast. We timed our work schedule so that the kiln would be cooling while I was away. Monday afternoon we unloaded it before taking Danielle back to the airport. We packed Etsy orders until quite late on Monday night. The postal carrier picked up our first batch of boxes in the morning. By 3:00 pm we had the rest packed and delivered to the post office. It was a huge relief to get all orders shipped in time for the Priority Mail deadline. Everything is now in the hands of USPS and out of our control. Knock on Wood for smooth deliveries!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hello December...

Here it is the 10th of December and this is my first post of the month. Life and work have been crazy. Isn't that always the way? The crazies just can't come one at a time.

Let me start with life.

My 90 year old Dad put his name in at a Catholic nursing home last year. He had visited a few places and said if he had to go to a home, this was the only one he would want to be in. The week before Thanksgiving he got the call that they had a room for him. It was such a big decision for him to give up his apartment, and in the end he decided he was ready. He had been relying on meals on wheels and frozen dinners because he didn't want to clean up. My sister was going every Saturday and cooked a big meal with leftovers for the next day. She also brought him grocery shopping, to the library, and the bank. Dad was dependent on the "Hand-in-Hand Van" to pick him up every other week to have his blood work done. The van lost it's funding in October (Make a America Great Again - yeah right!) and he was going to have to ask my uncle to drive him or take a cab back and forth.

The call came at the right time.

My sister Anita and I have spent countless hours on the phone or texting back and forth about making this transition as smooth as possible for both Dad and her. Most of the labor fell on her. There was no way that I could get away during this time of year.

A photo from my visit last February when Dad turned 90. We spent some time going through old immigration documents from grandparents when they moved back and forth from Canada to here.

Last Thursday was his move in day. He seemed to settle in quite well and was exhausted when I spoke to him at the end of the day. He slept well that first night... that is until he got up at 5:30 am and on his way to the bathroom fell and hit his head on the dresser! The nurses came right way and he was off to the hospital in no time. He was fine. No concussion and no stitches needed. He told his nurse that he wanted to make a big impression on his first day at the home. At least he hasn't lost his sense of humor!

As for work... this is definitely our busiest time of the year. My goal this year was to hit 1000 total sales on Etsy and I met that goal and then some! I should be dreaming of piggy banks every night but I think I have been too tired to even do that!

Here is a sampling of piggy banks from last week's firing. I am really happy with how the "bull" piggy bank came out! This week we will fire again. I have about 26 more piggy banks and salt pigs to ship by the December 20th deadline. I will get a little break next weekend when my girl Danielle arrives. While the kiln is cooling we are headed to Asheville and a candlelight tour of the Biltmore Estate. I am so looking forward to it!