Keee-razy Time

My darling Clementine finally tracked me down this evening and as we were catching up she asked what I’d been up to lately.  I took a big breath and…. well, I don’t really know.  I’ve been really busy with something.  I’ve been doing something, right?  I feel all stressed and crazy, but it is hard for me to quite grasp why that might be.

One of the big things that is taking up a lot of time is my new “volunteer of the year” teaching plan.  I don’t know who developed this one… it wasn’t necessarily good.  The thing is that our little school finally got a kiln.  I am somewhat responsible for that happening and I am proud of that.  Sometime around January I sent out an email to all the teachers saying that I would come into their classes and lead ceramics projects in the hopes that everyone would start to utilize this tool.  I didn’t hear much from them back then, but now that it is nearly the end of the year, everyone wants me and guess what?  It is a lot of work.  The classes themselves are not too time-consuming.  They usually take about an hour and a half.  It is the prep and the clean up that is the killer though.  Each class requires that I wedge the clay that is about to be used—- that’s 30 balls of clay.  I wedge fairly quickly, but that is still a good 45 minutes of work.  Hauling things hither and yon is time consuming too.  I have some supplies at school, some things in the art room or the kiln room, and those two places are nowhere near each other.  When the class finishes its work, there are 30 pieces of art to find room to store.  That sounds simple, but it is no small feat.  And then when the work is done there is loading and firing and checking on the kiln.  All these little things add up to a lot.

Okay, big segue here–

I did finish Brian Doyle’s Mink River lately.  Great book about a fictional town in Oregon that by my read of the local landscape is just about where Neskowin or maybe Neahkanie would be.  The town is almost right, although Brian Doyle not being from those parts tends to make it sound much prettier than it could possibly be.  No story about those rural parts of Oregon is complete without a lot of single-wide trailers.  And ugly houses barely hanging on with tons of cars and scrap metal in the yard.  And mean dogs.  And signs that say “Rabbets for sale: pet or meet”.  And the town had a “pub” which is wrong, wrong, wrong.  It would be a dark, windowless “tavern” and we all know it.  Why in Willamina, the tavern is called “Dillon’s”.  Poor guy can’t even spell his own name; he certainly wouldn’t work in something as European sounding as a “pub”.

Anyway, I loved the book and am very proud of Brian Doyle, Portland author made good.  Doyle likes lists… a lot.  So in order to organize my reflections of my business, I shall list what I’ve done this week.

Monday- run, shower, yell at kids, pack lunches, move ceramics around, haul 50 pounds of clay (on my bike!), drink coffee with neighbors, meet the assessor, oh-it’s-hot-out, go to school, fire the kiln, grab Francis, lunch with Inez and Francis, doctor’s appointments, shots-shots-shots, run to the library, pick up Zephyr, pick up clay for home, drink a beer with neighbor, help Francis make dinner, meet Anne, make art, put kids to bed.

Tuesday- why is my arm all hot and swelling up to twice its size, stupid bee sting from Sunday, put toothpaste on it, put lotion on it, put alcohol on it, put Queen Helene mint masque on it, what time is it anyway? (3am), go back to sleep, wake up, try to get kids off to school, nope—no bike train leader, okay, be the bike train leader, ride kids to school, ride them to “Safe Routes to Schools” event ’cause we heard there were donuts, eat donuts, yell at kids, now ride them to school, check kiln, still too hot, go home, haul rocks, work in yard, mow lawn, paint bat house with Inez, nap Inez, laundry, laundry, laundry, hang laundry, pick up Zephyr and Francis, play outside, harass Zephyr about violin, keep kids from dying on bikes in road, yell at kids, visit with neighbors, cook salmon, release chicken from raccoon trap, mess with broken shed door, move tools around, try to convince Zephyr to quit crying, try to convince Zephyr that he DOES NOT have a dance recital that night, try to comfort Zephyr, threaten to put Zephyr to bed instantly if he does not quit howling, talk to neighbors (“he didn’t have a dance recital, right?”—he didn’t), OH THANK GOD ALMIGHTY BRAD HAS RETURNED FROM HIS BUSINESS TRIP!  Take a benedryl for my arm which makes me so high that I can’t hold my eyes open.  Asleep by 9pm.

Wednesday- what is that racket?  Cat in raccoon trap ripping apart the thing, make breakfast, make coffee, late opening means kids are home 2 more hours, work outside, sweep walk, hose down walk, finally pick up bat house painting supplies, fill washtub with dirt, plant snap peas with kids, plant cucumbers, water, water, water, try to take kids to school–whoops too early, take kids to school, walk to cafe, meet Kendall, drink coffee and relax, walk home, babysit neighbor kid, plan curriculum for volunteer class at church, read disconnected story in The Sun magazine, look at neighbor’s photo albums, pick up kids, lose kids while talking too long to a teacher, talk to another teacher, talk to another teacher, plan ceramics classes for tomorrow, open kiln, distribute work, get impatient with crying children, walk home, finally make peanut butter sandwich for “lunch”, turn around for violin lesson, learn about wrist angles, come home irritated and exhausted, contemplate weird food in refrigerator, what can I do with celeriac cheese and beer?, babysitter shows up early (yes!), leave her with problem of dinner, go out to dinner with Brad, go to gospel choir….


I am tired of my lists.  I am going to bed.

4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Anne

    You crack me up.

    I have a friend named Dillion. He’s surprisingly well-adjusted.

    May 17th, 2012

  2. Good Lord! I don’t know how you do it without massive use of illegal stimulants. You look seriously wild-eyed in your picture. I wouldn’t cross you : )

    May 18th, 2012

  3. A student took that picture. I was looking for a crazy-faced one of me, but lo-and-behold, it was difficult to find! I must erase those.

    May 18th, 2012

  4. Devra

    Wow, that’s a crazy schedule. You’re one busy mama!

    May 23rd, 2012

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