Are You Kidding Me?!?

Here is the Saturday view into the garden from my office window. I checked the calendar. April 29! Are you kidding me? More than a foot of snow!

Those horizontal branches you see should be vertical – that’s my giant Lilac which is tree height. The stem to the right of the wind chime indicates the direction it should be going, and that mass of white by the column on the left is the top which should be up above my roof.

I know a lot of you out there are thinking “what’s the big deal?” but I live in the high desert and a foot of snow is a rare event – usually happening in the Winter!

This is not Winter and all the trees are already leafed out ahead of time, so a wet snow like this can break off branches.

We spent all day going out and shaking branches and refilling Hummingbird feeders with warm sugar water and brushing off the bird feeders. The birds were all chirping “WTF?” But we had no answers for them.

It is now early Sunday morning and I am happy to report that everything survived.

When I took warm sugar water out at dawn and heard that Hummingbird humming, I was filled with relief – and joy. Ready for Spring!


I was reading an old issue of “Where Women Create”, which I find interesting for some reason, probably because the places where this woman creates are declared disaster areas, and I like to pretend they are all pretty and organized like that. Mostly, I like the stories of successful creative women.

Anyway, I think my creative work spaces are disaster areas because of monumentally poor planning, otherwise known as following the seat of your pants around, or something – can’t really be calling this flying.

I bought a new kiln back in September. I put off delivery until December because I didn’t have room for it.

When it arrived in December, I didn’t have room for it.

The crate sat in the big garage (Where Man Creates) while I madly purged my garage studio to make room.

If you saw what I have donated to the local school art department during this time, you would swoon (love that word and have always wanted to do it – it’s sounds so lady-like). A four foot stack of full sheet (22″x30″) handmade paper is just one example, and I am NOT exaggerating.

But it wasn’t enough. April showed up ahead of schedule, and I STILL did not have room for it.

Then, the man-who-creates decides to purge HIS garage. The crated kiln has to go or I have to start paying rent for it. Mumble, grumble, mumble, grumble.

OK, already! So, I made space. . .

Here is my small kiln in its neat little corner with all kinds of glass waiting to get in. . .

And next to it, finally, four months after its arrival, is the big dude . . .

YAY! – Except that there are electrical issues and problems about mounting that big, orange, 12-Key, mercury relay controller (who knew it had to be vertical?), and no bracket was included for mounting it to the side of the kiln. They showed a bracket-mounted controller (on a slant so you could see the keys) in the pictures.

Ring . . .Ring . . .

Me to Maker-of-Kiln: Where is the bracket you show in your product photos?

Maker-of-Kiln: You can’t use that bracket because the controller has to be vertical. It’s meant to be mounted to the wall behind the kiln.

Me: Now, you tell me? That “wall” would be my garage door, which goes up and down, so that’s not such a good idea. And the controller is attached with just a 3 ft cord. I got wheels on the kiln so it could be moved around!

Maker-of-Kiln: We’ve never had anybody back their kiln up to a garage door before.

Me: Well, now you won’t be able to say that anymore. Can you make me a vertical bracket or something?

Maker-of-Kiln: Why don’t you try a rolling shelf or cart?

Me: I barely have room for the kiln. Why don’t you try making me a bracket?

Maker-of-Kiln: Sure, but you will have to sit on the floor to program it, because it will have to be low on the cart part.

Me: Fine. I love sitting on my concrete floor.

Maker-of-Kiln: By the way, why are you just asking this now? How have you been doing things since December?

Me: Mmm . . .Gotta go now.

Actually, he was very sweet and the sardonic element in the conversation was all me – for humor’s sake.

Hopefully, a bracket and an electrician will arrive this week, and I will finally get to use my new kiln.

So, do you remember the giant crate that I thought should be a tiny house?

When I did that post, a local Facebook friend asked if she could up-cycle the crate into a playhouse for her granddaughter and I thought there couldn’t be a better idea than that.

She just sent pictures of the work in progress . . .

Does that make you smile or what? Look at those cool window sills! And that happy little girl.

Just imagine how happy she will be when it is done and grandma (an artist), paints and decorates? Warm fuzzies all around!




  1. Had to chuckle at the “Gotta go” part of the conversation. Have we all not gotten ourselves in to some sort of similar circumstances at one point or another? Also, I think “creatives” are not tidy by nature. I would bet that ALL of those creative spaces were tidied for the pictures. Good luck with the mini-kiln saga. Can’t wait to see what comes out of the kiln.

  2. Jessica… I think you should add “Stand-Up Commedian” to your resume!

  3. Glad that you are getting your bracket. I am sooo bad about buying things and not figuring out where they are going first. I can so identify. Also, love the play house from the crate. That is one happy little girl!

  4. Enjoyed the story. I hope you get to finally enjoy playing with that kiln! As for the snow, we’ve had a cooler than usual Spring but it looks like it’s finally going to be getting consistently warm (90’s). I enjoyed what we had of cool weather – ours didn’t come with damaging snow! Yikes. I’d have been out there banging the snow off everything too – did that in Minnesota one year after a wet snow. Not fun but you don’t want to lose the plants either.

  5. Timaree, I had to let you know it is MY granddaughter who is the beneficiary of the infamous crate! Since you and I met about the same time, same circumstances as Jessica and me! Isn’t it a wonderfully small world? Thank you again, Jessica!

  6. Really enjoyed the stories. The snow was beautiful. Hope it didn’t do any damage to your garden. Yesterday was our earliest 90° day in Nashville. Today we are having bad storms and under a tornado warning. Spring is always like this here. . . hot, storms, wind, cool, repeat, repeat. LOL

  7. Lisa – As you read in the comments, we all really want to see this adorable place when it’s done so message me pictures.

  8. So glad you finally, well almost finally, have your new kiln ready to make your creative ideas and plans come to life! Love he playhouse and can’t wait till Lisa (no pressure) decorates it properly!
    BTW, I’m sure it’s my doing, jessica, but I’m getting two emails notifying me of your latest posting. Can you take me off one of them? Thanks!

  9. Jeanne – that double notice was because I was an airhead and when I hit “publish” for the post, did not realize that – now that our notification process is internal – it would take a few minutes to publish. I hit it again and it went out twice. My bad – will do better next time!

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