Friday, July 1, 2011

A Little of This and a Little of That

I've been enjoying some much needed time off from work this week; always a somewhat dangerous thing for me to do at this stage of my career because I keep finding myself considering ways to actually retire and make this vacation permanent. But if I left now I'd likely have to restructure some debt and I'd rather not do that. In two years I can walk away and not have to worry so it would be foolish to quit now when the finish line is just around the corner.

I began the first few hours of my vacation on my bike working on a Lakeville to Fairbault to Kenyon loop with the possibility of a Wanamingo kicker depending on how I felt. There's something extra sweet about being on my bike during a time of the week when I'm normally at work. I allowed myself to imagine for just a brief moment what I was missing out on. I was back to focusing on the ride in less than 5 seconds.

It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-70s and a manageable breeze. I had no worries and I was thinking to myself how blessed I was to be healthy and riding. At just that moment Vega 4 came around on my iPod Nano and it fit my mood perfectly. I thought...I need to upload the video I took of them to my blog. And so I am. We saw them at Fine Line Music Cafe a few years ago fronting for Augustana. Vega 4 was okay but I wasn't familiar with any of their music. Still, I decided to video one of their songs...their last. It turned out to be the hit of the night!

Video from my ride.

Tammy and I spent three mornings this week at Foci. A lot of what I've been patiently struggling to learn is finally beginning to come together. I was having a difficult time getting the glass papered into the shape I needed before blowing the piece out. Steve was continually telling me to work slower, which equates to smoother, but for whatever reason, that bit of advice didn't seem to want to sink in. Now that I see the wisdom in his words I'm having much better success. Having the blob of molten glass in the correct shape for the piece you're attempting to make is an absolute must to the rest of the process.

We continued to make bowls our focus this week but we also made a few tumblers as well. I left there Wednesday on a high. There's a certain satisfaction you experience when you make some something with your own hands and for me it's never stronger with glassblowing than when I'm at the bench opening a piece up and giving it shape. It's so satisfying when it works the way you'd like it to.

Our routine each morning is to stop at Starbucks on the way to Foci for coffees for the drive. Two days this week we had people in front of us in the drive-thru pay for our order. We passed the favor back to the car behind us. The idea for doing this is promoted by a local Christian radio station but it's not unique to them or to the Twin Cities. It's a nice surprise when it happens to you but like anything else, it's always more fun to give than to receive.

The drive into Minneapolis can be hectic as we come in on the heels of morning traffic but being able to use the carpool lane is a huge help in getting us to the studio before our coffees run out. I can't imagine this commute inching along in one of the other lanes; I think I'd get there faster on my bike!

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