Thursday, October 30

Caramel Corn

Here is the progress of my CRAZY stonepool. I had to give it a break to firm up a little, and started another one. Still working on the three large ones actually. Below are a few shots of the texture I put on the shorter, more stone-like ones.

Man, even though I think a majority of the anchors on Fox News are nutjobs, I still watch quite a bit. I flip back and forth between MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. It's always good to understand where your-I'm not sure what word to use, opposition?-is coming from. If you just immerse yourself in sources that mirror your own opinion, I think you run the risk of becoming pretty one dimensional. But man, I was just watching Anne Coultier (I know I spelled that wrong). That is a nutcase in the nth degree. She is one hostile, narrow-minded person. I actually tried reading a book of hers once and I could only get through a few chapters. It was just like this paranoid, lunatic ranting.

So, on a more tasty note, I have decided to share a recipe with you. You can't blame me though if you put on five pounds. Don't just file it away, thinking someday you might try it. Make it soon. You will be glad, or mad at me, that you did.


12 cups popped corn
2 cups peanuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (REAL butter, not margarine)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a sheet pan. Put popcorn and nuts in a bowl large enough to be able to stir everything really well. Melt butter in a saucepan with high sides, add brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook for about five minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, add salt and baking soda. This is why you need a pan with high sides. The mixture is going to get all foamy, light and thick. Mix it well and pour over popcorn and nuts. Stir really well. Put on sheet pan and bake for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. It is important to bake this, because that is when it will become crispy. Otherwise, you will have chewy, sticky popcorn.

Wednesday, October 29

Wine down Wednesdays

Here's a couple of pictures from Sunday of actually being in the corn maze. If you don't have them where you are, they are mazes that are cut, or grown into cornfields. If you see them from above they are very precise and intricate. This one had a pumpkin, a tractor, and some other shapes included in the maze. I can only assume that they can get this precise using GPS or something.

Little bugger taking a shortcut. Sometimes the shortcuts were a little too tight for us and we had to call him back.

When we got to intersections I would ask, "which way?" and he would raise his hand and say in some language that we never did translate which way he wanted to go. We just had to rely on his pointing hand. He was trying to say something though cause it was the same thing every time. I am working on my CRAZY stonepool today. I finally am getting a feel for putting texture on the stone-like ones as well. I'll take a couple of close ups tomorrow.

Oh, I almost forgot. This reason this post is titled, Wine down Wednesdays, is because our local Pub/Spa/Yoga Place/Inn has half price bottles of wine on Wednesday nights, and Adam is home early tonight and so we are going to get some 1/2 price wine and an app. A bottle of wine for 12$ I can deal with that.

Tuesday, October 28

Thirsty little bird

Here is as far as I got before I had to leave. The little bird is like a 60 second bird, but I wanted it in the photo for effect, I am planning to put one on the top. Still got a little work to do, but I really like this. I already have another idea for my next one. It will be CRAZY!

My grandson is so cute, when he's not being a little shit

We had my grandson Saturday night till Sunday night. did a lot of stuff. One of them was to go to a farm where they have a corn maze. I don't know if everyone knows what they are, but farmers clear patterns in the corn and you walk around and then try and find your way out. I guess I should have posted a picture of him walking in the corn, but this was so cute I couldn't resist. Went to the park, got pizza at Papa Ginos, got him a turtle costume for Halloween. Pretty groovy day.

This is a new stonepool I am working on. It will be two feet tall, since that is the max height I can fire in one piece.

It's hard to see, but I'm trying to build up texture on this one.

This texture is looking cool, but I've decided from looking at this photo, that it's not what I want for the shorter, rounder ones. They remind me of stones and this is more bark-like. so I will work on that. I put some white slip in the center of this one cause the blue glaze really pops on the white and I thought I'd try a little blue in the center, like water.

Here's my little shop buddy. I call him Lava. He keeps me from getting too lonely. I have a bunch more I'd like to write, but my dinner break is over and since I want to go to Yoga tonight at 6:30 I gotta boogie down to my studio to keep working.

Sunday, October 26


Here are two of the bird basins I am working on. I had a third but did some stupid stuff with it and decided to trash it. My idea currently is that they sit on the ground in your garden somewhere, and they can either fill with rain, or you can put water in them, and it is kind of like a stone that has water collected in it. I might put a little bird on the edge of some of them. I am thinking about texture and whatnot. I'm also going to make some that resemble logs. I have had these ideas for a long time now and am glad I am finally trying them. I'm thinking about calling them Stonepools. If anyone has a better idea for a name to market them with, I would be very open to hearing them.

Friday, October 24

Well, I have this potter whose work I greatly admire. His name is Jeff Martin, and if you haven't already checked his stuff out you can do so here. He put up a photo of this mug about a month ago, and although I really couldn't afford it, it kinda grabbed me, and so after asking Adam if he thought it was alright (a detestable state to be in, not to have one's own money) I told Jeff I thought his mug had found a new home.

It's a great size. A large cup of coffee or tea, and definitely roomy enough for a brew as well. So thanks Jeff!

I kind of have these next photos upside down, but they are bird bath basins I am working on. I want to make them look like stones or pieces of wood or something. We'll see how it goes. I'm not sure I'm approaching it the right way, but I'll learn as I go.

Here's another one. I'm working on two at a time.

These are the coils I used to build up the walls. They were made with Peter and one of the dies.

Another photo out of order. here is what I've been doing for the last two day. I am insulating my studio to try and get through the winter in a way that doesn't resemble freezing to death this year. Nasty, awful, hideous, grotesquely itchy work. Of course I did not wear a mask and so it's likely that I have fiberglass fibers permanantely impregnated in my lungs now. Oh well, at least the silica won't be lonely.

So here is the die I used to extrude the coils. They are a good start to building something if you are going large.

I'm feeling super down. And so, I went to yoga tonight, which ended up being a great class, and I can already feel myself getting stronger. I think that's class number four now. It's amazing how quickly your body adjusts and strengthens. I still needed a little more of a spirit boost afterwards though, and so I bought a bottle of wine and some cheese. You just can't go wrong with wine and cheese. It's a decadent way to spoil yourself, eating and drinking it as slowly as I can (which is pretty fast). You should see me suck down a smoothie though. So at least it's not just booze.

Tuesday, October 21

Ripley's Believe it or Not

Okay. Get ready to hear one of the most bizarre and amazingly true stories you have ever heard. Adam says to me tonight, on the evening of October 21. "Hey, we forgot to celebrate our anniversary". My reply was, "Did our anniversary just go by?" So after a short back and forth to confirm the date of our wedding and today's date, we came to the conclusion, that yes, we both forgot to celebrate, or even remember, our anniversary. It's slightly more comical when you realize that the actual day was ten days ago, and neither one of us remembered, and, the only reason that Adam remembered is that his Mom asked him, when he talked to her last night, what we did to celebrate. Are we messed up or what?

I forgot Adam's birthday the first year we were together. Around 11:30 at night, he's like, "so, are you going to wish me a happy birthday?". I felt so bad I cried. Neither one of us cried tonight.

Hot Water

Hellooo. This is just a nothing post. I'm feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work. I want to put a little shout out with a wink to all the joe-six-packs and joe-the-plumbers out there who might be in the market for a new hot tub cover. If you have had yours for a while, I would imagine it is torn and extrememly heavy to the point where it is extrememly difficult to remove, and almost impossible to put back on.

So we were searching for a new cover, and were going to get a lift for it as well, and I stumbled onto this site called Spa Cap which has a totally unique approach to covering the tub. I won't go into details because unless you are in the market, it is uninteresting. But let me just say, the concept is like putting a warm comforter over your tub. If you are in the market, check it out. I just ordered ours this morning. I will post a photo of course.Lets see, let me find some pottery to put up this morning. Hold on, here it comes.


Sunday, October 19


Well this is the coldest it has been so far in the morning in the house. We still haven't turned the heat on yet. Not bad for October 19th in New England. I have gotten to the point where I have just accepted the cold. I just wear more clothes and that's that. My fingers and nose are usually pretty chilly to the touch, but I found these great gauntlets at a fair the other day, and they are great for wearing around the house and out. I only wish I could work in them in the studio. Ooh, that gives me an idea. What if I were to make some of these out of Neoprene? I might be onto something. I am now beginning to wonder whether we might be able to make it until the end of November without turning the heat on. As long as the inside of the house stays above 50-55 it will be tolerable with a few layers on and could conceivable save us hundreds of dollars in fuel this year. I'm so glad that we pre-bought fuel when it was like 3.50 a gallon, now that the price is plummeting and we could get it cheaper now. Oh well. It's always a risk. I think it's suspicious that the price is dropping so dramatically right before the election, but hey, I would make a good conspiracy theorist. So I am also wondering what the temperature is that is truly fuel economical to keep the thermostat on. I usually keep in arount 70 during the winter except at night when I turn it down to 55 or 60. What is that magic number where you will see a significant change in how much the furnace needs to run? There has to be an equlibrium somewhere. I'm thinking somewhere in the 50's. If anyone is a scientist out there let me know.

Here are a few of the things I like from the firing. I really like these three glaze designs, but they only really work on simple forms, and forms where you can see the inside and outside of the pot at the same time. I don't know, a lot to think about.

Saturday, October 18

Not so great

Well, I've been reluctant to come back to post because I am feeling a little down about my last firing. I had a really high failure rate. Failure, as in the sense that, I thought a lot of the stuff came out kind of ugly. I also put the turquoise glaze on too thickly on some pots and had some shelf stickies.

This black and white casserole I think is kinda cool. It could be more interesting though. One thing I have learned is that for this to look good- the black liner with the white outside- the white needs to go into the pot over the rim, instead of the black liner being outside the pot over the rim. It just looks like wet black paint, kinda hanging out on the outside of the pot the other way. Obviously glazing in this manner of having the liner glaze stop inside, just adds a lot of messy work.

This platter is probably one of my favorite things from the firing. However, it is not presentable because there is a small s-crack on the bottom, and the blue glaze is really pitted if you look closely. I forgot to take a picture of the bottom. Wait a sec.

My square plates came out okay. I'm not jumping up and down over them. I wish I had put some deco on the white stripes.

I am in a bit of turmoil right now. I need to reassess the direction I am moving in. I spent way too much time on making and then glazing (days) to have such a small success rate. I haven't worked in my studio for the last two days and don't plan to today. I'm just tryin to get my mind straight around all this. Well, I might go in and load the bisque, but then what? Spend another few days glazing that bisque to loose most of it to ugliness? I'm getting a little tired of that.

So on a different note, my first yoga class the other day was a Vinyasa Yoga class, it's like more aggressive, active movement class, and it KICKED MY ASS. I have been sore for days now. I went back last night and took another class, a normal yoga class hoping it would loosen me up. I am enjoying it however. It's kinda nice gathering with a group and practicing together. Melissa the teacher is really great too. She adjusted me a couple of times in a pose, and she doesn't just come over and move you and walk away. She comes over, and gently lays her hands on you, and you can kind of feel her assessing what needs to change, then she wraps her arms around you and presses you gently into position, and then stays there for a few moments holding you there. I swear you can feel the energy coming from her, and as soon as she puts you into position, I can feel that it is right now. Interesting.

I have been back to the Obama headquarters three times now. Yesterday we were assembling all the literature that you come home and find stuffed into your doors, only to toss into the garbage. So the next time you begin that toss, think of us, the little volunteers, our fingers raw and bleeding from stuffing them all together, and set them in the garbage gently.

Tuesday, October 14


Just a quick post. I'm still glazing. If I did not stop now I could be done and load tonight, but I started at ten this morning for the sole purpose of being able to quit early so I can go to a yoga class at 6:30, and so, I guess I will be starting the kiln tomorrow instead of tonight. It just takes soooooo long to glaze.

I kind of like the pots when they look like this. I like them better than when they are fired really. I don't practice yoga all the time, it comes and goes. I went to the local pub/spa with my grandson to get a pizza the other night and wandered into the yoga room and was like, I'm gonna take a class. I haven't taken a yoga class since college. I needed two PE credits and so took yoga for one of them, and Tai Chi for the other. I hated the Tai Chi class.

I practiced pretty consistently, on and off for a couple of years and got pretty flexible. I could fold my body completely in half. It's a really cool feeling. I can't explain it well, you'd have to experience it. Like cocooning yourself or something.

My second review shipment was accepted, with a few criticisms. So I'll be dropping the third one off next Monday. I've been watching the better part of a series I stumbled onto on PBS on the program American Experience. The series is The Presidents. Two, three, four hour shows delving into the presidencies of some of our better known presidents. I've caught Carter, Reagan, Nixon and I think one more. Nixon was last night, and the whole Watergate thing was a little before my political awareness. I remember knowing there was a Ford and Nixon running the country. I was probably only 12 or so, but obviously the details of the time were a little over my head or concern. Amazing. First the Vice President Spiro Agnew (sp?) resigns, and then the President. That's not something you see every day. What I find fascinating about these programs is how I begin to see the men in a more human light, whether or not I agree with their policies or not. I really felt a little compassion for what Nixon must have been feeling towards the end of the whole thing. It was wrong, but, people make mistakes. And then you have Reagan, going to great pains meeting with Gorbachev (spelling again) to try and work some nuclear agreement out-speaking to "the enemy". Makes you really wonder about the current Presidents communication skills and understanding of what communication is for. Ah, but I digress.

Monday, October 13

Jellybeans are tasty

This is another politically based post, but it's very important to know. It's amazing how something so stupid, can be so important. Many of you are probably aware of this, but there is an attempt being made to broaden the definition and enforce a law regarding electioneering. I'm not an expert on the subject, but electioneering generally refers to ACTIVELY engaging in campaigning for a candidate. For instance the canvasing which I wrote about in my last post, or entering data, calling people on the phones, and likely those who stand outside courthouses and on street corners with signs and acting way too excited (but good for them).

Voter disenfranchisement is a big problem and it is used more often, at least from what I have observed, from the Republican campaign. Two big ones that immediately come to mind are redistricting and caging. Redistricting is something along the lines of literally re-doing district lines to gain voter results favorable to your desired party. Caging is sending mail out and if it comes back as undeliverable, then the party creates a list of all of these names and uses it to try and challenge voters at the polls if their names are on these lists. The Republican party is currently attempting to cage and create a list based on names sent to forclosed houses. Some people who have had their houses foreclosed on are still using that address as their legal address. I can think of reasons why, such as being temporarily homeless, trying to apply for benefits and needing to provide and address, etc. Many might also remember the phone jamming scandal during the 2002 election, initiated from the Republican party in which they jammed Democrat campaign headquarters phone lines.

So back to the electioneering issue. The problem, and I don't know if this applies to every state, is that a Republican led initiative is attempting to broaden the definition of electioneering regarding the wearing of t-shirts, pins or hats that show support for your candidate. If you show up at the polls and your t-shirt says Obama, or McCain than they have the discretion to turn you away and not allow you to vote unless you change your shirt or remove the item. Generally speaking, and this is just an observation, Democrats tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves a little more than Republicans, so while this would apply to both sides of the election, it is more likely to AFFECT the side of the Democrats. Those on the Republican side trying to enforce this law are referring to the wearing of t-shirts and such as PASSIVE electioneering.

There is obviously the possibility that this is an infringement on a persons individual rights. Free speech, if you can even call it that, being one. Perhaps it's a legitamite concern and should be enforced-that's something the courts should decide and then make very publicly known before the next election. It's not something that should be barely slipping over the radar that no one knows about and used this election as a way to disenfranchise voters. Some people stand in line for hours to vote, and the idea that they will be told that they will not be allowed to vote because of a t-shirt they have on is just plain disturbing, and will likely result in many of them not coming back to wait in line again. That is the desired outcome of this Republican led initiative and one we can not allow to happen.

So, to be safe, it is being recommended that if you think this law is bogus that you not use this election to protest your concerns by wearing your tshirt anyway. Go to the polls in your plain white Hains, cast your vote and then get involved after the election in trying to change or clarify these laws. Also, AND THIS IS THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS POST, TELL ANYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS, AND ASK THEM TO TELL ANYONE THEY KNOW. DO NOT GO TO THE POLLS WEARING ANYTHING SHOWING SUPPORT FOR YOUR CANDIDATE. ITS NOT WORTH THE RISK OF NOT BEING ABLE TO VOTE. THIS ELECTION IS TOO IMPORTANT.

Thanks for reading. By the way, you probably figured out that I titled my post just to get your attention. How devious.

Sunday, October 12

Race and Music

Just me, kinda checkin in with ya folks. I don't want to keep Joe six-pack wondering what I've been up do, dont-cha-know? (That's my Palin impression there).

So last night I did some volunteer work. It was quite boring I can tell you. But, work that needed to be done. I'm going to try and go back this week some night. I did overhear something disturbing. You might remember if you've been following my post about puking and politics and the comments, that I mentioned that I had heard that some people have come right out and said that they will not vote for Obama because he is black. I sadly overheard a conversation last night from one of the canvasers (the ones who are out knocking on doors). He said this woman, who usually votes Democrat, said she just can't do it this time. "That America just isn't ready for a black president". What is this? Some new secret code of racism? By lumping yourself in with the nation, and assigning responsibility for your biases, to the nation, that this is now what, a statement of logic instead of a statement of intolerance and racism? Why can't she just say-there's no way I'm voting for a black guy for president-. That's what she meant. American isn't ready-what the f... does that say about our country if it is true anyway? And why would anyone want to support the perpetuation of that mentality? There is so much hatred out there. Obama is potentially making a huge sacrifice, as is his family. I fear that if he wins, that his presidency won't last for long. And that's a sad, sad, sad commentary on this nation.

So, on a lighter subject, I forgot to mention that I've played out at a couple of open mics this week. It's been a few months maybe since I had, and I don't play enough anymore, so I get really rusty, but it's always such a great feeling to get up there. Thursday night I played three songs that I wrote ... and a Jewel song. I'm almost embarassed to write that. Chick music, I know. I would like to play three songs I've never played out next week and so I'm working on: Landslide, This is the Life, and Closer to Fine. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, October 10

Bama Baby

This is just a written post. I have my little grandson today until tomorrow, and we were downtown looking for a couple of books for him and when I spied the McCain headquarters, I thought to myself, why not stop into the Obama headquarters and see if I could get a yard sign. I've got a bumpers sticker, but I heard this comment on NPR the other day, that often people in a neighborhood might want to vote for a certain candidate, but feel like they need reassurance kind of, from their neighbors if the candidate is someone they might not ordinarily vote for. Most of the people on my street are at least in their 60's or 70's and so if any of them are wanting to come to the light side but just need a little mental push, I figured I might as well give it a shot. The Obama people have been to my house three times now, while I've working in my studio and I have never heard them knock. They must be like little mice. So, I got my sign and they gave the little guy a sticker and then the cute, way too young for me guy asked if I'd be interested in volunteering. My first reaction of course is to believe I couldn't possibly find the time in my extraordinary complicated and full life for such a thing, but that's really not true, and so when I got home I gave him a call and I'm pretty psyched that tomorrow night I will be volunteering to enter data, whatever that means. I told him I'm not the knock on door and call people on the phone type, and so this is what I will do. I'm pretty jazzed. It's nice to get involved. So today and tomorrow are pretty much shot as far as getting work done. I really can't afford the time right now, but I'll figure something out. I can probably push my firing to Thursday and still pull everything off. I need to drop my third review shipment off by the 20th, and if all went well with the second one, and all goes well with the third, I will officially be accepted and be done with all this and take a breath!

Thursday, October 9

Politics that make me want to puke

I'm getting ready to glaze. Everything that has texture on it is stained. I usually use mainly RIO to stain, but this mix has some other stuff in it, and so will probably be a little more on the black side. Could be nice. I have lost three of my platters from cracking. Really frustrating because of the time involved in them. Fortunately two I discovered before bisque, and so can reuse the clay, this one cracked during bisque. I really like the platter, so I am going to glaze it anyway and use it for myself. I refuse to sell items with s-cracks, so it's really disappointing when this happens.

So I'm really pissed and disgusted with the McCain campaign. I try to keep my political opinions to myself to keep my blog pretty neutral, but things are just going too far. You know, I don't think the Republican party in itself is evil. I personally hold a lot of opinions that could be deemed Republican. I'm a huge believer in personal responsibility. This bailout makes me sick. It also really annoys me that homeowners who made very bad financial decisions and are now paying the price for their bad decisions with huge mortgages and foreclosures, might be bailed out by the government (although if you are waiting for that, I wouldn't hold my breath because if the government had any intention of doing so, I feel they would have included it in the bailout bill). We own a home, we are struggling, but because we stayed within our means and so are barely getting by, there will be no bailout for us. I am already considering suing someone if/when I find that the government begins forcing banks to refinance peoples loans at lower interest rates. I don't see why our being responsible and exercising common sense should not entitle us to the same treatment. I'm sick of listening to the irresponsible cry foul.

I usually vote Democratic, but am not opposed to voting Republican. I voted Republican for George Bush's first term. It didn't take long for me to realize I had made a huge mistake and was desperate to get him out before his second term. So, that's all sad, bloody water under the bridge now. I vote Democrat, even though I hate in many ways, the groups and entitlement mentality that this often aligns me with. But I can't stomach the idea of aligning myself with the narrow minded, religious fanatics, corrupt wealthy CEO's and racists.

If you've been paying attention at all to this campaign it should be clear that McCain is sort of disgusted by Obama. I don't know of any personal history that should justify his distaste. It is very clear to me however, by his language, demeanor and behavior toward Obama. One can only guess what that distaste might arrise from. Anyone who refers to someone, a human being, as "that one" has shown a disregard for that person as a human being. It is not very far off from refering to him as "you boy". That? Are you kidding? What does he think he's doing, shopping for a sofa? Yes, I'll take that one.

You all probably know this, but two days ago, at a rally where Palin was using her prowess and wit to excite her political base, someone shouted out, in reference to Obama: to kill him. Imagine that. Kill him! Kill him! Nice huh? At the same rally, one of the nice, God-loving, attendees told a black cameraman to "sit down boy" and called him a racial name. No one is saying the name out loud of course, and since I only know one I'll have to guess that it was nigger. So someone calls a black cameraman a nigger, and tells him to "sit down boy". Maybe he should have said, sit down "that one", and maybe it wouldn't have made such big news (although there is still that n-word hanging out there). You know, it could be argued that these comments were not heard by Palin at the rally, but unless they spent the next 24 hours with their heads crammed into eachothers asses, then they should know about them now, and should have made a public apology for them, making it very clear that they did and do not condone them. I hope we still might see that, my guess is that we will not.

Afternote: I heard the next day that McCain has condemned some negative comments that have been made, but I heard it as third hand news so know no specific details of what he said. Just thought I should update my post with that.

Monday, October 6

Production, pea and me

Judy Shreeve asked a question in her post about how we work, and I had said that I don't consider myself a production potter. I was thinking this morning though, how true or accurate that is. These photos are the last two days throwing. About two dozen mugs, eight pie plates and about ten dip dishes started. Don't forget the sixteen or so square casseroles and five bird feeders I just finished. I work like this all the time. You might notice that not only are there multiples of everything, but they are very similar to each other. So what does that mean? Am I a production potter?

I guess I don't think of myself that way because 1. I don't want to, and 2. My goal is not for the pieces to be identical. The only thing they have in common with eachother is a similar form and the weight of each piece, but the heights vary somewhat, as do the diameters of their openings. And I want them that way. I guess I think of production as precise and mechanical. Without a lot of flexibility. I'm not going to write too much more about this now, mostly because I have to get working, but it's something to think about. If anyone has any ideas on the subject it would be interesting to hear them.

So, on a more personal note, I found a great Pea jacket at the thrift store yesterday for 25$. It's in great shape and fits perfectomundo. It is navy blue. Not to be confused with my shorter, pleated in the back, girly-style, black Pea jacket you see below. I love these coats I think because they are as at home over something kind of dressed up as they are over jeans and a t-shirt. The funny thing about this though, and the reason I am posting about it, is that I found this jacket just a couple of days after I read this post from a blog (avert your eyes if you are easily offended) called "Stuff White People Like". An entire post could probably be written about the site and whether it is offensive or whatever, but I just think it's pretty funny, and strangely accurate about, well, white people. At least those living in New England.

Saturday, October 4

I'm cold.

teeny-tiny jar

A mind numbing, finger cramp inducing, shiver producing cold that has sunk deep into my bones. I have been cold for days and my only respite is late at night, pressed against Adam under the covers. I jumped in the shower this morning; my sole intent being raising my body temperature. After a moment I remembered that I had hot tub in my back yard and so climbed out of the shower and into the 102 degree water which I raised to 103. It's a strange feeling, soaking in hot water, shivering inside. After 15 minutes I finally felt warm again.

It's five o'clock now. I'm sitting on a heating pad, eating a bowl of black bean soup, not because I'm hungry, but because it's hot (although I seldom need the excuse of hunger to eat) and drinking another cup of tea. I am determined not to turn the furnace on yet. We pre-bought 650 gallons of propane, although I told Adam I thought we should buy 750. If I turn the heat on now, we will never make it through the winter and will likely have to buy more when the price is at it's yearly peak.

Sadly, to try and cope with what has become a frightening heating bill in the winter, we have decided to shut down the master bedroom, which has it's own bath and move into the guest room. We plan to put a damper in the ductwork to stop the heat from heading to that part of the house. Our house is not large, and this will effectively remove about 1/3 of our living space. It is however, an enormous heat drain, being the coldest room in the house on any day. I am assuming they used paper towels-of the single ply variety-to insulate the walls.

And so it is time to get the crock pot out again. For anyone who missed this post the last time, Adam once had the brilliant idea of using a crockpot for my water bucket and it really helps. So will this heating pad under my butt which is coming downstairs with me now.