I've hemmed, and I've hawed. I've dillied and dallied. But now it's time for some metaphor that means let's get on with It. The first half of my year is over--with all its attendant requirements, obligations, responsibilities, and necessities. Now the next quarter begins, and I have been looking forward to it for months! This quarter is Montana and the book. That's it. I am setting up a small studio today in Polson for testing and experimental work--no production. The Atlanta studio continues to run without me thanks to the uber-capable Judy, Dee, Becky, Tadashi, Todd, Brian and Domenick. The house, chickens, bunnies and pond are being cared for by Stacy and my cousins Andrew and Rachel who just moved here from Tucson--as well as Judy and Dee (eggs ahoy!). I have shed my southern skin and settled into my northern roots--at least for awhile.
A lot has happened since I last posted--so much that I didn't even have time to write about it. Fast forward to the first week in June. While Dave went to Austin for his regular work trip in the beginning of June, I moved the rest of the family (sans the aforementioned chickens and bunnies) to my mom's house in Polson for a summer up at Flathead Lake. On the way, we stopped in Florence Kentucky for a weekend so I could take a two-day enameling workshop in nearby Newport at the WW Carpenter Enamel Foundation--part of Thompson Enamels. It was an intense, amazing experience, and I look forward to adding enameling and cloisonne to the studio's class offerings and my personal work in the fall. In the meantime, the workshop will provide material for The Book.
The Monday morning after the workshop we left Kentucky in the fully (and I mean to the ceiling fully) loaded minivan. In the way back was our luggage for the summer, everything I need to set up a small studio--including a medium-sized kiln on a stand. On top of the kiln and stretched across the rest of the boxes nestled up to the roof was Jessie's cello. It's going to be a summer for Jessie too--but more on that in a minute. In the middle if the car in the passenger seats were Jessie, her luggage, some more glass studio supplies, and the dogs with all their food and gear. Mom and I and her bird shared the front (the bird was in his travel cage between the front seats). The drive from Florence to Polson took two days and covered almost 2,000 miles, crossing three major rivers and winding through the massive mountain range that is the Rockies before finally traversing the continental divide into western Montana.
The next couple of days after our arrival were not spent resting up. Instead we cleaned out the big family room downstairs preparatory to making it our main living space for the summer. We hauled out trash, recycling, stuff for the second-hand store, and stuff to store at the lake (there's a big metal building on our property there for storage and workshop). Dave flew into Missoula from Austin on Thursday, and I went and got him and brought him up to Polson.
In the last couple of days we acquired the last things we need to make this house a complete home-away-from-home and put together Jessie's summer study schedule. Our acquisitions include a comfy couch, a big tv (we brought the Apple tv and all our movies on hard drives with us), an outdoor table and chair set, and a gas grill. I also upgraded the house wireless--turns out we still had a 256k pipe. As of tomorrow it will be 8Mb--and finally adequate for Dave to work form the house and us to rent movies on-line from Netflix.
Jessie's summer study packet is a magnum opus all on its own. She has math worksheets, flashcards, timed worksheets and quizzes. She has over 2400 pages to read in eight books, weekly spelling lists, cello review and new songs, eye exercises (to strengthen her eye muscles), daily journaling (for writing), a photography course, and a programming class with her father. All the materials--including worksheets for extra credit (points she can use to buy things or get special treats)--are in a binder with these pages for guidance/reference. I now have a sense what homeschooling would entail, and I know that if push came to shove, I could definitely do it.
This morning started at 6:30 with a four-mile walk with Dave. Now I'm posting, and in a few minutes I will roust Jessie to being her day, and I'll head into the new studio to set-up and begin working on the book again! Dave is off to the coffee shop for better bandwidth. This is truly the life.