Coutts Days is this weekend and Jim and I have become engulfed in the process of getting ready for it. I’m not sure how it happened , but we have become very involved, very quickly in this little town. Every Coutts Days starts out the same, and has for years, as I mentioned in the last post. They have the Pancake Breakfast and then the parade. This years theme for the parade is Peace, Love and Tie Dye.
One group we somehow got very active in, is the seniors club, and I’m not even a senior. Jim got elected as president, he is a senior, but just barely. We do as much as we can for the group. Some of those people are very senior and often it is much like visiting “the home” when you attend meetings or pot luck suppers. The theme of the parade is basically the 60’s, but this is rural Alberta. Peace, Love and Tie Dye never did make it this deep into ranch country. During the 60’s, the seniors we are working with, were not aware of that culture, so trying to remind them about the sex and drugs and rock and roll is kinda cute. We are helping them build a float for the parade where they all will be Flower Children, they never saw listening and dancing to music they never heard. Should be fun. Neither Jim or I can be apart of the float. I have the trade show and Jim is taking pictures and video of the parade. We are building the float Wednesday, but Jim and I will make all the signs today. We have the truck and trailer lined up, so the ladies just need to decorate.
Now skip ahead to Tuesday after Coutts Days. Or was that daze.
The decorating went okay. The day we said we could help, the other ladies couldn’t, didn’t or forgot to come. They decorated on Thursday. Jim had the music all lined up and working. They won first prize in the parade and as soon as they won, there was a glitch, it got unplugged, they didn’t see that it was unplugged so for the parade, it was quiet. It was the day the music died. Here is the parade.
The trade show went fairly well. Saturday was good and Sunday was a bust. At this point I would love to add pictures of the parade, the breakfast, the show, vendors, but we didn’t take any pictures??? I don’t know where our heads were, but not behind a camera.
The show was a fund raiser for the school, and the fund raising part didn’t do that well. We raised about 75% of what we did last year. People didn’t buy the raffle tickets or bid up the silent auction items. It is what it is, or was what it was. We worked hard and did our best. We will try something new for next year. Like the farmers that surround us, next year will be a good one.
Until next time,
Every third weekend in June, Coutts has their Coutts Days. The Coutts Grass Rodeo takes comes t town and a large home coming slow pitch baseball tournament takes place.
The town has their parade and pancake breakfast. It’s a pretty big deal for this little town and has been for forty plus years without change.
I have been working on putting together the Second Annual Coutts Days Art, Craft and Trade Show. Except for last year, there has never been summer craft show here in Coutts. Last year was our first year and it was a hit. Now this year, we are expanding the show That’s where the rub is . This is a small town, 275 people small. There are people who have been here their entire lives and don’t handle change well. So when we come in, bring in new ideas and then doing something about them, it upsets some of the locals. I don’t know how many times I have been told that they never did that before, or that’s not the way we always do it, why should we change now. I also hear that the new people, us, don’t understand what Coutts Days is all about. The idea behind Coutts Days is only about the rodeo, baseball and fun. Tell that to the vendors that are coming down, with their products, hotel rooms, travel costs, 3 days away from home. I have been working to get pots together to sell not just to show them locals. The vendors and I hope to make some money. Making money is a part of idea behind Coutts Days, it’s fun! Also the show gives those people in town something else to do. I am hoping and planning to have a good show.
This town is slowly getting smaller and smaller. Granted, 275 is already pretty small. What some people need to understand is that, doing nothing is still change. People have been doing nothing since they changed the border approach, and long but that’s another blog,and it has gradually gotten smaller and smaller. It has changed and still is, changing. This little town is teetering on the brink. We need all the help we can get, and a trade show that brings in people can’t hurt. Jim, my husband, and I plan to make some changes in this town. If Coutts is teetering on the brink, we want to help push the town over to the productive and growing side. We hope to make changes and change is good.
Until next time,
I have dropped the video and blogging ball. It has almost been a year. Life here in Coutts is busy and I am a little scattered and unorganized, but having fun. Last blog I posted said I was going to video blog, well……. But I am here again.
We have settled and enjoying this small town of only 277 people. The studio is doing well. I have ended the Tuesday night classes for the summer and I have as many clients as I want, four. I have taken part times jobs at the local Post Office, here in Coutts and Milk River, the town 18 kilometers north. The office here is small, meaning, that there is only one person in the office at a time. It is a great way to learn all the jobs at the PO and get to know your neighbours. I was sorting mail yesterday, when I heard a voice from the other side of the boxes. “My names is Bud, what is my box number?” he hollered out. I hollered back, “Hi Bud, you are 172 and you don’t have any mail today.” Only in a small town.
We are working on our Second Annual Coutts Days Art, Craft and Trade Show. Everyone says , Bigger and Better, well we are. We have vendors coming from St. Albert, Calgary Lethbridge and all in between. We will have about 40 vendors. OOHHH I hope the people attend and the vendors do well.
Today, I will walk the dog Harvey for a walk in his coulee. We live near this beautiful valley with water, birds, wild life and flowers. We are the only ones we know of that take advantage of the wonder 2 mile walk along the valley. We named the coulee Harvey Coulee because he simply loves it there. We may walk only a couple of miles, but he runs all over and does a whole lot more than that. We try to walk him there every morning. What a great way to start your day. I have a bunch of pots to glaze and then load. I will work the lunch hour at the Post Office and tonight we have to mow the lawn. We have double lot and that is a lot …. well two lots…. of grass.
It will be a day.
Until next time,
We have been in Coutts for almost a year now. Last year at this time we had the house here and were back and forth from Edmonton settling things there and setting up here. We moved here in January into a real fixer upper. Here is link to my last blog that talks about the move, fixing up the house and the studio. We finished in August.
Before we retired and moved we were The Clay Teacher reaching about 8,000 students a year. Before that we ran a gallery for a short while and before that, I was a potter known as Out of the Fire Studio. We shut the big studio down in 2006 to start the little gallery and studio in down town Edmonton. Like most bad ideas, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was burnt out as a production potter. When we closed the big studio, Jim and I had about 45 different retailers across Western Canada and we processing about 10 tons of clay into production pots. We opened our shop just before the Financial crisis of 2007-08. That didn’t go so well. The building isn’t even there anymore.
Long story short. I was a potter. I worked way to hard making way too many pots for way too many clients and burned out. Then ran like a crazy woman to run a gallery, but we lost the race. Then ran a little faster when we were The Clay Teacher. In all that running, about 15 years of it, I lost the potter. She came back this week, or was it last week? I have been working in the studio for the last couple of months, but it wasn’t until just recently that it felt like the old me. But the old me was 15 years ago and now I am old….hhhmmmm… ??anyway…. I feel like I have my grove back. I am a potter again, and not just someone who makes pots.
We have been here for about a year. The house is done, the studio is done, and it took a while, but I’m settled and very happy in the new life. I had to catch my breath and find a new rhythm. It is a much slower rhythm. I only work when I want to and the hours that I like, but now I like working. I’m work longer and longer hours and enjoying it more all the time.
Today we went to the local craft fair, 11 vendor tables. It was a small show, $15 a table and juried by cheque. There are no small shows, just small potters! It was good. There has never been a potter at the local craft show. Not only did we do well at the show, next year, we are in charge of the show. Today we inherited a craft show. It has been the same two ladies putting on the show for years. They were more than happy to pass the reins. Next year I know there will be a potter at the show.
The best part about a small table show in a small town is knock down. Packed up and home in less than 30 minutes.
Until next time.
AKA Mrs. Clay