Archive for September, 2014

Who’surdaddy…

September 13, 2014

It’s been quite some time since I’ve managed to write a post here. The hiatus can be explained easily enough and was borne out of, what I now consider, a questionable decision… to move. I won’t go into the reasons here only to try and remain positive. Anyway, we met with our neighbor the realtor ages ago (March, I think) and ran the idea of selling the house “as is” by her. She said that it was possible but by the time she left our house I had a list of things that had to be done because they were “deal breakers”. The main one was the fact that my studio’s interior was never completed. It had insulation, electricity, and HVAC but the studs were exposed and a bare light bulb hung in the middle of the room. More on that in a bit. Although it may seem strident, we quickly came to the conclusion that we would not be able to do the work that needed to be done without moving first. I’ve been reticent for quite some time about the idea of moving because I always felt that I would have to stop making pots for at least 3 months… I wish. Anyway, we started looking for houses in Louisville with our list of priorities. These included a space that I could use as a studio or a studio itself, more distance from neighbors as the ones we had were a mere 10 feet away, a larger yard with space to plant a garden and more room for the bug to play outside. We soon realized that that was not going to happen in Louisville, especially in our price range. Eventually we came to the conclusion that we could get much more house/land for the money if we simply moved across the river to Southern Indiana. While we looked, I started painting the exterior of the house. We found a place after a few weeks of looking and bought it. Then the nightmare began. I won’t belabor the dreadful nature of moving only to say that I still don’t feel like it’s done. All my ceramics stuff is strewn amongst furniture and a riding lawn mower I had to purchase in the attached two-car garage that will be my new space to work (or hopefully just part of my new space). Everything is in piles and boxes and the few times I’ve had to find things I’ve failed. We’ve been officially living here for months yet every day I drive into Louisville and work on the old house which is yet to be put on the market. As with all home improvement and I’m sure anyone who’s ever done any will understand exactly what I mean, the unforeseen obstacles far outnumber the tasks to be completed. So, let’s just concentrate on what was once my studio. This takes me back to my very first blog post that showed the transformation from my tiny space to the much larger space the addition to the house provided. Here’s a couple pics of that transformation…

demo1

Interior During Construction

Exterior During Construction

One Coat of Primer

Little did I know those 5 years ago that I would move away from all that work I did. Anyway, here’s what the studio looked like while I was working in it…

studio_before_before

studio_before_before1

So after about a week of moving just studio stuff, the space looked like this…

studio_emptied

Then there was drywalling, mudding and trim work…

studio_during_all

And finally the finished room which does not belie its history in the least…

studio_after_all

Of course, seeing as how I built the original room, this was probably the easiest room to deal with of the whole house. My first real nightmare began as I had to replace the shower upstairs. It was one of those 32″ x 32″ plastic insert showers (which I originally put in 22 years ago). The plastic became faded and stained over the years and no amount of scrubbing could make it look ok. I figured it’d take me 2 or 3 days and I didn’t finish for 2 weeks. The story of steps backward is too long and boring to elaborate. After almost all the furniture was removed from the house and the shower was done, our realtor came back over and added more to the list. Two regular doors and one set of french doors were added to the list which in itself didn’t seem like that big of a deal either. Of course the house is 100 years old and there is not a doorway, wall, floor or ceiling that is level, square or plumb. My high school geometry came in handy trying to figure out how to cut the new doors into snug fitting trapezoids. There was also tons of painting, in fact, I think we’ve painted almost every room in the house and the outside and the porch. Our realtor is coming this Monday and I’ve already told her that I’ve reached the point of “I’m not gonna do anything else” so we’ll see what happens. So in a literal sense, we’ve traded our urban lifestyle for a completely different rural life style. Even though I didn’t get to make any ceramics all summer, or ride my bike, or do anything really other than work on the old house I was able to accomplish something else in parallel which also can best be show as a before and after…

dad_before

As you can see in the picture the bug really enjoyed combing it in the wrong direction. Then there was the during…

dad_during

I should have done something to get arrested for since I already had the mugshot. And finally…

dadandsofia

So… Indiana. We’ve got 3.5 acres, few neighbors and they’re not within spitting distance, a creek across from the end of the driveway, lots of trees, darkness at night, a basket ball court (every Indiana home has one), periods of stunning silence, propane for fuel and it looks like I’m gonna need a chain saw and a tiller. I’ve been thinking of writing to the department of motor vehicles and proposing a new state slogan for license plates and such… “Indiana, the land of slow transactions”. My only real complaint so far has been the internet. It never occurred to me that this would be a problem and although I did ask the woman that lived here before us if she had internet but I guess I should have dug deeper. I doubt that it would have swayed us but it has been like going back in time as far as speed. I certainly cannot open two tabs on my browser at the same time and netfl1x just stops mid-movie but it’s doable. One surprise has been the lawn mowing. It takes me 2.5 hours which at first I was not ok with but there is something about it that’s enjoyable. Probably that I cannot hear anything except the motor, I cannot receive phone calls but most of all I can look behind me and feel a small sense of accomplishment as I compare the uncut grass to the recently cut grass. The smell of the grass has memories flooding back as I remember my chore of mowing the lawn as a boy, mowing for money in high school, and mowing the roughs at a golf course in Louisville the second summer of undergraduate school when I locked up the motor on the owner’s Allis-Chalmers tractor because I didn’t keep up with the daily 3 quarts of oil it burned. I’m planning a big garden next year and maybe some chickens. Here’s some shots of Sofia’s creek…

sofiascreek1

sofiascreek2

sofiascreek3

Here’s some pics of the new place but there are so many trees that you can’t really see the house or even the yard. These were taken from the upstairs porch…

indiana1

indiana2

indiana3

indiana4

indiana5

During the move I found this folded quote by Bertrand Russell that I got from my Dad’s wallet after he died…

bertrandrussell

The bug and I have been doing some collaborative drawing/watercolors and I just spent about a half hour trying to send the pictures from the 1pad to the desktop but gave up because of the sterling dialup-like speeds we get out here in hoosierland. This is the only one I have on this machine…

watercolor

Well, that’s the update. Leaving with a portrait of the mad potter of Floyds Knobs…

madpotter

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