I was out taking one of my power walks this evening; one of the best ways I know to clear my head, get some energy, enlighten the endorphins and just breath. The headphones go on to drown out all the noise in the world but seeing what the rest of the world is up to while my brain is focused on my own little world is comforting.
Some of us use our blogs to share information, some of of us use it to purge our thoughts and of course I've talked about this before going back and forth with what I myself use this forum for. The moment passes by once the thought enters my head and I switch gears to something else and the thoughts and words that I want to get down are lost. Many times when I walk. I'm writing in my head. Some days this even happens while I'm throwing on my wheel and I think to myself how great it would be if I had one of those little hand-held tape recorders you to see detectives use in spy films. So in my mind, my blog has been going on. I just haven't shared it with anyone. But tonight, this evening after everyone is fast asleep and I have finished up some mugs, I decided to sit down and share.
Last time I left off with my blog I talked alittle bit about giving up writing for other more important things - like my family. Slowly, every since last year, 2010, I've had little person in the house that needed a lot of attention and some "Fixing" I guess we could say. I've often talked about all my reading issues as a kid and this year, after watching one of daughters slowly melt down while attending a new school we found out that she too has some pretty complicated learning issues and was really in need of more of my attention. I'll say it once again, I have learned so much about myself from my children and this experience has paralleled my own experiences at her age. The one who tends to push my buttons the most turns out to be the most like me and everything in my world has just flip flopped. Priorities that use to be high on my list are at the bottom.
I've gone through so many phases of how to deal with being Dyslexic and having ADHD all my life. All the feelings of being dumb as a kid, which my daughter is going through at the moment, insecurity through out High School, to trying to explain my special needs in college to professors and even laughing it off when boyfriends or friends teased me about my spelling and disorganization. I recently read a great article by Trudi Styler ( Stings wife) about living with ADHD and how hard it is on adult relationships. I've joined an organization for Dyslexics in which I get publication via the web with all sorts of information that I never knew before. Now that I am raising a child who reminds me of all the struggles, tutors and tests I endured as a child, it brings up so many feelings. All a mother wants to do is protect her young. A mother will drop everything to "Fix" her child that is hurting. Back in my head the anger of years of my own struggles and insecurities about succeeding just come to the surface ever time I try to teach my 8 year old how to write, spell the simplest of words, and make her feel good about herself. I get angry now sometimes at people who don't understand what it like to have dyslexia and I realise my child will go through the same teasing as I did and still do. People don't understand that most children with dylexsia and ADHD have very high IQ in the gifted range. They understand that they don't learn like everyone else and its frustrating.
Like myself, this child of ours can draw and create and sing like none of our other children can. She'll be fine, with extra help and will have to work as hard as I do to get ahead. My work ethic does not come from a strong moral background. It comes from years of being told I could not do something and this experience as a parent of a child with the same struggles as myself, has been my "Ah-ha" moment. (As Oprah would say.)
Shows, orders and huge blocks of time have come and gone this year in my studio. The blog and the website have cobwebs.
I've managed to keep up with the sales/shows that really matter to me and I would hate to loose. The group of potters that support me keep me going. My shelves remain bare after a sales because I never have time for extra inventory, but that's Ok with me.
At the moment all the rushing to keep up doesn't matter as much to me. All I want to do is "Fix" my little mini-me and help her feel better about herself and when I start seeing some confidence and acceptance for who she is and how she'll have to work that much harder than the other children, than I'll feel Ok. At that time, whenever that is, I'll get back to me and really pushing my clay career.
On a side note, our kids will all be back attending the private school they went to before this year and Joey and I will go back to trying to figure out how to pay for it. Nothing is more important these days than having your kids get a good education and being in a safe and supportive enviroment. I've taken on yet another teaching job at this school, along with my other two. I'll be working with the 3 and 4 year old in the pre-school program teaching art. I'm looking forward to teaching the little folks in the morning and than rushing over to teach my 20 year old at Winthrop in the afternoon. Once again, we sacrifice for our kids. Teaching at the kids school helps with tuition and also will be a great way for my little girls to see me and for my "mini-me" to feel secure knowing I'm around the corner 2 days a week.
Joey and I also put our house on the market to move closer to our kids school. I'm happy to report our house sold in one week and now we are feverishly looking for a house, over the boarder in North Carolina that also has a studio space for me. I think I deserve to get off the back porch and have my own building to work in. If we can swing North Carolina taxes, I will finally be a North Carolina potter, which has more opportunities than being a South Carolina potter.
So, that's where I have been. The struggles and my own "ah-ha" moment this year. I am still making pots but instead of rushing around to try and make deadlines, I'm rushing to go take a walk with the girls, or help with reading and writing or just being there one on one to listen to worries, joys and fears from some very deserving little people that mean the world to me.
Here's a little Coldplay for your enjoyment. I love this video because its just the lyrics...which of course I think are great. Enjoy!
The beginning of September when my shelves were bare and people asked me " So, what are you working on"? Or "Do you have any...." I'm sure the look of my eye's turned up towards the right side of brain, the wrinkled brow of my forehead and the " Welllllllllll"......that came out of my mouth was an indication that I was at a stand still. People tend to loose interests after awhile and move on to other, more exciting blogs and pots and this is understandable. I tend to sit back and think about categories people fall into and at times wish to join the pack or envy some groups. Potters fall into these group as well even though we all strive to be individualists. Lessons we thought we learned in High School about popularity contests don't stop in adulthood like we think they should, they carry on I think well into old age.
As you know today is Mothers day so I thought it was a good day to get back on board and do a little post. It actually may not be that little now that I think about and may take a few instalments or maybe I can make it a series like the Harry Potter books my son was obsessed with last year. ( Get it...Harry POTTER?!) Ok, bad joke..
So my blog adventure in 2010 took me from posting at least once a week to signing off in October. Once Christmas rolled around I thought I could take it back on and perhaps give it a new look - less Mud Mama stuff and more just pottery talk. A real serious pottery blog like many of my fellow bloggers male and female alike tend to have. I sort of was feeling like I had a whine about every single obstacle I had run across with trying to be a Mom and potter at the same time. I even think some other potter had a rant on the web about how potters were talking far to much about personal matters and less about the meaty topics like - glaze calculation, clay mixing, studio practices, pricing ect. After the North Carolina Clay conference in March of 2010, I sat in a discussion given by Ayumi Horie about good pottery blogging and felt myself sort of slink down in my chair because I realised my blog was less about potting and more about trying to juggle a lot of things. Like all working parents/professionals, I wanted to be taken seriously, so I had in my head that I would only blog about pots and the making of pots. Silly me!
"Hiding Out in my Studio"
So many things over the years that I've talked about wanting to make in my studio. Some get done, others do not due to time or sheer frustration. Truth be told I think I tried more new things back when Quaid was a baby because honestly I had more time. As the twins grew, my time seemed compressed and the wheels didn't turn as much. Alot got said about wanting to "try" stuff but as shows grew near and the twins went through developmental stages, well...lets face it, it was easy for me to crank out a pie plate rather than a new teapots design for an upcoming Spring show. When I think back over the last 10 years of making pots and trying to establish some sort of following, the priorities were always changing. You have the "Just trying to get started", "Finding your own voice", " Money matters", "Outdoor shows/Indoor shows"," Teaching", "Dealing with special orders", "Marketing and Networking". Through it all I've either been with child, having babies, dealing with nannies and trying to raise what seems like a herd of elephants some days. The oldest child got more attention at the beginning of this journey, the younger two got feed, bathed, loved and disciplined. Notice I did not say attention. At this point I could branch off and have a whole other blog about raising twins but that really is a whole other story so I'll just focus on my career and the twins. Here is where everything took a turn in the priority department and the start of my tale.
Next post - "Genetics - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
( Silly me but I always appreciate the bottom of other potters mugs. Yes..go ahead laugh at that comment! I struggle with keeping crud off the bottom of my pots so I admire this!)
So, the rules of the "Stylish Blog" are as follows.......
1. Thanks the person who gave you the award being by providing a link to their site.
3. Give the Award to 15 newly discovered or interesting blog.
Here are 7 things about me that have not been on my blog.
1. I was a cocktail waitress all through college. When I got my first job at a college bar I really
2. I once was held up at gun point! For anyone who has ever worked at the bar, you know you don't get home until the wee hours of the morning. When I graduated from Design School I was working two jobs. During the day I worked at a retail store and on the weekends, I kept my cock tailing job. Some weekend I'd get home from the bar at 3am and have to go to work at 9am the next morning. One night when I came home from working at 3am, while going up the stairs to my apartment I found a guy standing in front of me with his arms raised saying "Don't shoot!" and one of my neighbors holding a rifle pointed straight at the two of us. In my head all I was thinking was " Oh man...I've got to get to bed because I have to get to work tomorrow and now I've got to deal with this?!!" Soooooo...I calmly, with my arms raised said to my very agitated neighbor.."Hey...can you put the gun down?" He yelled back at me that this man was trying to break in to his apartment and he was going to " Blow his ---------------head off!" I once again thinking to myself " God....I've got to get to bed!!", calmly said "Just put the gun down so I can get on by and I'll go call 911 for you.....Ok?" After a few back and fourths, he finally waved me by with the gun and I went into my apartment, called 911 and went to bed and happily made it to my day job the next morning.
4. Of course everyone who reads my blog knows that I am the mother to 3 children and I do love them dearly. I've even given up blogging to spend more time with them. What you all did not know about my children is that although I am thankful for each of them, I'm not sure I'd jump at the chance to go through pregnancy and the birth process again. The reason I say this is because I tend to have the world biggest babies. Quaid was 10lbs and the twins each weighed 7lbs. ( Yes, if you do the math, I carried nearly 14lbs of baby with my twins!) When Quaid was born I had nerve damage and had something called "foot drag" for about a month because he was so big. In other words..no more babies for me or I may end up in the Genus book of world records because I'm only 5'-4".
5. While studying abroad in the Baltics with the East Carolina Ceramics department, my instructor neglected to count heads while leaving a public rest stop in Finland and ended up telling the bus driving to leave while I was still in the bathroom. When I came out and noticed the the tour bus had left some Finish speaking man grabbed my arm, pulled me into his car and raced down the highway going 100 miles and hour to flag down the bus. Needless to say, he did not speak English and I did not speak Finish and I felt like I was in a James Bond movie during the entire 20 minute ordeal. We did finally stop the bus and I was not to happy when with my instructor when I finally got back on the bus.....
Today is Valentine's day and I got to spend it at school watching Bonnie Seaman create her fabulous masterpieces out of clay. The conversation was great talking pots, potters and funny stories about our craft. I could not have asked for a better gift to myself than to feed of the energy of another potter and inspire me to keep working away on my own creations.
Well today, its almost 12:30 and I've been here all morning putting out fires with my new online students and answering emails. One in particular last night ( from someone who tends to keep me on my toes when it comes to working..he shell remain nameless..) mentioned that I didn't have any contact info. on my blog. You all know that my husband puts all that stuff together for me and he use to "police" things on it as well. Well my " Tech Guy" has sort of taken a leave of absence and I've just ...well let it all go for awhile I guess. Website, resume' and little things like that in my mind are ALWAYS shoved way back on my list of things to do. So, this morning a took the time to clean-up my resume', post my upcoming shows and at least put my email on my blog. Guess I still have cleaning to do on my website ( its sort of mess..I admit). That's for another evening and hopefully not day. The weather here isn't to cold so I'm heading out for the rest of the afternoon and yes, I'll be out there this evening but alt east I won't have to wear 12 shirts and 5 pairs of pants to stay warm!
I told myself that this time when I started writing my blog I was going to stick to posts about pots but here I am with time on my hands and not much free time to work in my studio this week. Snow days involve kids running in and out and no concentration on my part. Ignoring all the excitement and activity just is hard to do when your have attention issues, like I do. My online classes this week also started and it seems with all the colleges closed that my students have nothing better to do than get a jump on my class so I've been inundated with questions that I normally get about a week after the class starts. So, I'm busy, just not with making pots. ( I do have mugs and tiles thrown....)
(Here is our home, in the snow)
The first day it snowed all the kids got invited to go sledding at various location near our home so I decided to enjoy the snow and take a little walk with my camera around the town. You never know if we'll get snow anymore and our big news is that we are going to try and sell our house this Spring and move over the border to NC for various reasons. This may be the last snow I see in york and boy is this a charming town with snow on it.
( Looking down our street)
This is the Marion/Goins house. If you click on the link to this house, you'll see that when the photo of it was taken just about 2 years ago, it was sort of in dis-repair. Just this year someone bought and restored it and it is now on the market for a 1/2million. I was peeking around it the day I went walking and boy did they do a great job. My dream home, if it had a studio and was in a better school district....oh and if we could afford it!This is Buz Smith's home. He's a nicest old man and works at Lowes..of all places. His wife taught my kids to swim at the local YMCA and they use to have this old dog "Oreo" that they'd walked around our block and my kids loved to see. This house is so big for only two people. Once again, Buz inherited this home from his folks and he drives around in a old ford that I think is from the 1950's. All these homes on this street are behind our house so in the summer time my kids like to be adventurous and wonder through the backyard of some of these places. They come back with all sorts of stories of what they have found. In Buz's backyard he has all these over grown boxwood paths that someone put in years ago for garden parties I guess. Boy if I could go back in time to see how some of these families lived...
This isn't a very good shot of the downtown but I think its funny that they still have not taken down the Christmas decorations and its January 10th!
We put two layers of plastic up in November but with the cold snap and maybe my age ( haha) it was just not "Cutting the mustard" as the saying goes sooooooo.................. Yesterday I was like... " Honey, you need to help me put more plastic up in my studio"!
Now, I have a very patient husband who helps me ALOT but during football season I know that basically I'm on my own. Well yesterday was the NFL play-offs and putting up plastic once again for the second time this year was not something that was high on the list of fun things to do on a Saturday.