Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthday Celebrations

Shanna Wheelock / Cobscook Pottery website can be found at:

Though it may be hard to see here, the waves at Reid State Beach were HUGE on my birthday. 
I couldn't resist a quick dip in the cool ocean waters.

Family playing cards at my birthday celebration.  
Looks like no one was dealt a super hand, however, Chris seems to be hiding his cards a bit better than the others. Maybe he won the pile of pennies this time.

Everyone loves Little Lad's Popcorn!

The first set of herring tumblers fresh out of the kiln.

New Cobscook Pottery item: Wine Chillers.

 Carving a herring tile.

Freelance writer and photographer Lisa Dellwo gave me a tour of her and and her husband's gorgeous plot of land at Comstock Point. This area was once the location of the American Can Company.

 Herbminders of Maine with their fresh cut flowers at the Lubec Farmers'  Market.

Duane Ingalls offering some fine tunes during the Lubec Farmers' Market.

McGinley Jones, Massage Therapist and chef/teacher for Love's Kitchen,  fired up the stove and sauteed lovely fresh greens and other yummy goodies for patrons of the Lubec Farmers' Market.

Felicia rationing fresh garden pea pods for sale at the Lubec Farmers' Market.

Chris in his beach duds hanging out in the sun and surf at Reid State Beach.

Longtime friend Monica and her beautiful family visiting Maine from North Carolina.

Chanterelle mushrooms are finally making an appearance in the mossy forest, providing us a little something extra yummy for our late night dinners.

Looking at the pictures on my blog I realize how fast the days go and just how much is packed into a week. This past week I took a few days off from the usual studio routine to celebrate my 43rd birthday with family in central Maine. After a late arrival Saturday night, Chris and I joined my sister to watch fireworks at Old Hallowell Days. They were phenomenal this year as the tiny city turned 250 years old. I have a lot of fond memories of Hallowell, having been born there and later spent many years living and working there in the family business, Quality Copy. I have slight memories as a toddler of the pizza shop that dad and grampa once ran, and in later years, I did a three year stint organizing the city's parade for their annual celebration. Lots of great memories in Hallowell and I love making my way back for the festival when I can.

The next day we relaxed with a picnic at Reid State Park in Georgetown. The ocean here in Maine is cold, but I decided to brave the waters. For a hot day, the sandy beach was relatively quiet except for the enormous waves. I didn't remember such waves in past visits but with a lifeguard nearby I thought it would probably be safe to venture out a bit and ride the crests. Towels were set upon the sand and lotions and bug sprays applied. I walked to the water's edge and did a tester with my feet. Not too bad. 

I recall in years past a chalkboard posting of the ocean and lagoon temps listed as if they were specials of the day. A typical Maine ocean temp in this midcoast area was usually in the mid to high 50's. But this day, it felt warm and inviting. So out I walked, the soft sand beneath my feet, the cool foamy combs brushing against my legs. Assessing the height of the waves, and the fierce crash against the shore, I knew that I needed to enter a sizable distance to be able to ride the crests of the waves rather than have them break upon me. I saw my opportunity and made my way, gleefully cheering each time the water swooped me high into the air. 


I saw it coming. One of the biggest waves I had ever seen at Reid. Strategy? To move further out before the wave broke. 

But my calculations proved inaccurate.

As I rushed toward the wave, I took it face on.

It was an explosive salty pressure rushing up my nose, in my mouth, crashing me down under. The wave carried me toward shore underneath it's foamy rush. 

In my few seconds of riding underneath the high velocity wave, I had sense enough to do a quick check before rising from my aquatic baptism to make sure that my bathing suit was still in place as it should be. All was good. I rose from the water laughing, a bit more disheveled. No, this was no Baywatch moment. No Bo Derek "10" running along the shore. It was clumsy, and once the lifeguard and Chris both saw me resurface safely, quite humorous. 

That concluded my time in the water.

Trips to central Maine always include a few errands. This trip no different, even though touted as a mini vacation. I was able to pick up a supply order in Portland, make a pottery deliver to Center for Maine Craft, and pick-up the Lubec Arts Alive fundraiser notecards from Quality Copy (they look fabulous!!!!). 

On the same trip, we met up with my longtime friend Monica and her family, visiting from North Carolina. It was great to do some catching-up over lunch and a walk around the back bay in Portland. The visit was short and we had to return to central Maine for dinner with family and an early departure the next morning.

As fun as the short trip was, Chris and I were glad to return home to Lubec. The cats were happy for our return too. We enjoyed a short walk in the rain, listening to the fog horn, and planned out the work schedule for the next few days. The shop being closed for three days in the midst of tourist season is not good. So after we settled back in a bit, I got the shop set-up for today's re-opening. An early rise this morning had me cleaning the cave and preparing for a throwing session. I just purchased "hydrobats" which are essentially pricey plaster disks that set upon the pottery wheel head. Pottery is then thrown on the plaster bats and when done, can easily be moved with little disruption to the wet, floppy pot. In some respects these bats are wonderful, but they will take some getting used to. They wobble a bit and that makes the centering of the clay very difficult. I assume that I will get used to them soon enough. For now, it feels like I am starting new.

The Farmers' Market continues to be a wonderful addition to Lubec.  Last weekend Duane Ingall's performed which was immensely enjoyable. I love music and having the tunes while vending makes the market hours feel less like work and more like a social hour with concert. Fred Pierce of Cobscook Bay Music has done a wonderful job scheduling the performances.

This past week I also spent time with Lisa walking along the property where she and her husband Bill will build. Comstock Point is full of rich history having been the home of American Can Company. There are still remnants of the old factory. Lisa, an avid birder, was ecstatic to spot two Lesser Yellowlegs. I loved her enthusiasm!!!! 

I also had my palm read last week by Lucille Meltz of "Touch the Soul" Personal Coaching. That was such an interesting experience! When I was a child, my mother was the palm reader at the Peter Pan Fair at my elementary school. I loved hanging out in her tent with her various magical-looking baubles. She dressed the part in her gypsy outfit and would scuttle us kids out when someone would enter the tent for a reading. This palm reading that I had last week was not the stereotypical palm reading that you would see in a movie. This was more modern day. I found it all very fascinating and was enormously impressed with how accurate Lucille was with her interpretation of my hands' lines and shapes. It wasn't a fortune-telling-psychic sort of reading, rather a more science based approach. Just an all around neat experience!

Let's see, what else did I fit in this past week Oh....pottery. Lots of pottery. I fired two bisque and two glaze loads and did some more potting and carving. I am up to my eyeballs in orders to fill and am juggling everything in work and personal life with Lubec Arts Alive. The event occurs in about nine days and there is much to do. One day at a time, right? As in years past, I know that our team of awesome volunteers will come forth to help out during the event. We are fortunate to have use of beautiful Crow Town Gallery for the auction. Thanks Bonnie and Ukey!

My Cobscook Pottery shop has been busy. I emerge from the cave mud-covered to welcome folks who hail from all over the U.S. and abroad. This summer I have really stepped it up a notch in production having taken on additional galleries and the farmers' market. I kind jumped in all at once a bit wet behind the ears. I am learning a lot. There is so much I want to do but there are only so many hours in the day. 

I can hear that Chris just finished making the yogurt so I think I will saunter on downstairs and rummage through the fridge for dinner, or forage in the woods perhaps for some mushrooms. The rain showers these past couple days has helped to awaken the chanterelles. They are not particularly plentiful, but the few we do find are a succulent delight!

For info on Lubec Arts Alive events, August 3-6, 2012

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