Lately, we've been . . .

- pounding six inch spikes into the freshly cut hemlock (milled by our neighbor and carried home in our old manure spreader).  yup, we are busy building retaining walls to hold pounds and pounds of stone against the sides of our kiln.

- talking with another neighbor about using his mechanical bucket to deliver said stone . . . rather than a wheelbarrow, that is.

- realizing that this is the LAST big thing that needs to happen before we light our first fire in our kiln . . . to burn out the form inside . . . wow!

- cutting next year's heat from our winter timber harvest, and loving the contrast of freshly cut wood against the green, green grass (er, burdock) of spring.

- watching our peas, garlic, and spinach emerge from the soil and grow, thanks to much needed rain and a good mix of sun.

- marveling at the germination speed of the nasturtiums in our kitchen, and thinking they will like very much the black gold- composted goat and chicken manure- gift from our neighbors

- sitting on a sizable stash of pottery-in-waiting . . . our largely unfired, glazed, and slipped collection now occupies a large part of the dreaded awfully handy storage unit in our front yard, as well as a good portion of an upstairs bedroom, a few shelves at the studio, the back of one car . . . you get the idea.  (and yet we still have only a very vague inkling as to how full a kiln load we actually have. to say we have much to learn in the coming weeks would be a gross understatement)

- making a reasonably successful attempt (don't look TOO closely) at diagonal ship lap siding on our chicken coop (twelve chicks arrive in two days!!) and being grateful they will spend their first few weeks in a warm box in our mudroom so Becca can find time to finish building the doors, installing the windows, cutting saplings for roosts . . .

- laughing at the fact that we have a knack for acquiring animals at the same time as we have major life events (move out of NH studio, pick up a puppy the next day; approach very first wood-firing after two years of kiln building, get chickens.)

- loving that our small town has, among other things, a family-owned organic feed company from which to feed our chickens, a printing press for our business needs, and one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in Vermont- powered in large part by the water that flows over the nearby dam- for building supplies.  yes, that's right, we're talking about tiny, often overlooked Bethel!  (note: a little town-tour blog-post might be in order)

- looking forward to sharing the countdown to our first firing in the coming weeks . . .