Coutts AB is a village of about 250 people. Last week a customer wanted to mail me a cheque to pay for a bowl and she asked for my address. I sent her the address, but what I didn’t tell her was that she could just send it to ” Pottery Cindy, Coutts AB” and I would get it. There are only two Cindy’s living in Coutts. I am Cindy-Lee and the other is Cindy-Lou. We are both friends with the lady in the Post Office and Tracey, the post office lady, would know which one is Pottery Cindy. If for some reason Cindy-Lou got mail for Cindy-Lee, she would walk over to my house and give it me. There are only about 15 streets and avenues in total in Coutts, so walking all the way across town to deliver a letter is not a problem. Being new town, everyone knows where the new people live.
We have been busy in the studio making pots and making videos. Here are the next two episodes in the saga of Studio Life in Coutts.
Winter has returned. Last week we were out walking in our shirtsleeves and this morning I woke to -18C with a nasty wind. Dang….. I am looking forward to spring. I am hoping for a cloudy start to the day tomorrow and that little smelly groundhog does not see his shadow. Fingers crossed! No more winter.
Today was a beautiful day. The sunrise has moved along the horizon so can see it again from my living-room window. This morning I watched the sun come up on a day that warmed up to fourteen glorious degrees Celsius, or about 60 Fahrenheit. We live in Coutts, as far south in Alberta as you can get ad still be in Alberta. However it is Alberta and it is January, and temps in the teens is wonderful gift. I left the studio early this afternoon so Jim and could go for a walk. A walk without cold, wind, ice, coats, hat or a scarf. Just a lovely walk in the warm sun in our shirtsleeves. It felt good to be out and about.
This morning we shot the next in our blog series, Episode Nine, and how to throw a casserole. Yesterday we shot Episode Eight.
Jim and I have been am trying to get more people using the school. Here in Coutts, there is this wonderful old school that is no longer a public school but an Arts and Rec Centre. It houses my studio, the local library, a massage therapist, and a storage/ practice room for the local country/ rock band. There is some use of the facilities, but for the most part, it is underutilized. Monday was to be the start of the Senior’s Walk. The school has a gym and weight room that are almost always empty. Since I am at the school and in my studio weekdays, I opened the doors to the local seniors. The idea was to get people out of the house and have a safe and warm place to get a little exercise. However Mother Nature had plans of her own.
Minus 20 Celsius and 70 Kilometer winds is not a good way to start the week, or to get seniors, or anyone else for that matter, out of the their house. The school was quiet this morning, so I cranked the music and cleaned the studio. She looks good, a great way to start the New Year. Clean and tidy. It won’t last, but ….. so
I should have had before pictures to go with the after shots, but trust me, it was an unorganized mess. I had the ladies clay classes with a Christmas party and then the kids class and party. There were orders to get out, a couple of little trade shows and the Galleria in Calgary. Last year, when I was done, I walked out and shut the door. It was on its way to Hell in a hand cart, but it got refused at the door for being too messy.
Last year I was playing with what I thought was to be a new blue glaze, but it’s not what I had hoped for. I plan on working on some new glazes later this month, but I have never really liked experimenting with glazes. We will see how it goes and how much I get done. My next blue has to be better than this syrupy sweet, baby powder blue. The test looked interesting.
But as it got onto larger pieces, it reminded me of eating chocolate. The first little taste is good, but once it gets big, it is just too much. Candy Blue will not be seen again.
It felt good to back at work today and in such a tidy work space. I use a blend of two clays, and I have to pug to blend all the clay I use. Before the Christmas break, I pugged a couple of bags or so, and today I threw what was mixed. When I ran out of clay, I had the option of pugging more, or walking laps in the school. Jim came down and we walked in the school. Fourteen times around, the inside, is one mile, a bit boring and a lot safer than walking outside on the ice.
Christmas Eve Day was quiet and lazy. My son John drove down the day before and we were just sitting around the house. He brought his dog Harvey, and Harvey was getting a little bored. I decided to take take the dog out for a walk. We were going over to the neighbours later that evening, and a tired dog is better alone than a bored one. Jim came along. We like to walk and before the weather had turned cold we were walking about an hour a day. The streets were snowy and icy, but we were careful, or so we thought. We had been walking for a few blocks, and all of a sudden Jim’s feet went strait out from under him. He tensed and arched his back and landed on the back of his head on the road. His head, when it hit, made a horrible cracking noise, he let out a breathy groan through clinched teeth, and rolled into the fetal position. Now I don’t have a lot of medical training, but I thought this can’t be good.
He got up after a few moments and said he could walk home…. Yeah right……We didn’t take a phone with us, as we were just going for a short walk. I could have phoned John to come and get us. We went to a friends house just across the street from where Jim fell to call John to pick us up. I have only speed dialed John for the last few years, and in the excitement, I couldn’t remember his number. Lori, the friend, said she would give us a ride. I got in the back or her SUV with the dog, and Jim was to get in the passenger seat, but he just stood at the back bumper, not moving. I got out and helped him into the car. We drove the few blocks to home. He got out and waited outside by the door for John to come out and take us to the hospital. We went to the hospital, and as we drove, he couldn’t remember the fall. He didn’t remember going to Lori’s, the ride with her, or getting in John’s car. As we drove, he didn’t remember the fall or talking about it a minuet before. As I said, I don’t have a lot of medical training, but I thought this can’t be good.
When we got to town and turned to get to the hospital, he knew where he was and the memories started recording again. He had lost about half an hour of memories. It was like the recorder stopped. The doctor checked him out and Jim is fine. He has a nasty bump on his head, a very sore neck and his body feels like he was bounced it off the pavement, but he is okay. He was wearing his Buffalo Joe hat .He is not as scary as he looks in the hat and unlike the boy, he isn’t a pilot, he just likes the hat. I think the leather around his head saved him from it being much worse. His naked head on the frozen pavement would not have fared as well. We went to the neighbours for Christmas Eve, but we didn’t stay late.
We had a quiet Christmas and Jim stayed comfortable in his jammie pants. Boxing Day was laid back, and John went home that afternoon to his life in Edmonton.
The fall happened so fast. One minute we are walking and talking about Christmas, the next minute we are on the way to emergency. Jim will be fine, sore for a while, but fine. The fall made it very clear how fragile our life is, how quickly things can change. For Christmas, the gift I got, was to keep my new life and the people I love, in it. How could I ask for more?