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May & June 2023 Update: Pottery & Sun Seeking

A two in one update today. I'm sitting down with reheated coffee in between coils on a new pot, with a couple of hours before we head out to South Street Seaport with Jasper to meet some friends. Writing a life update has been in the works for a bit, especially since time has seemed to speed up just when I want it to slow down so that I can better savor the end of spring.


Once the weather warmed, it felt like every weekend was packed. And while I'm so glad to be doing things, it was a huge change from the insular little routine in which I'd been chugging along all winter. I reminded myself that I'd longed for this activity, and to tell the truth seeing friends and family has energized me greatly, even if it's meant less time for pottery.


Below, some updates and topics on my mind.


First, Pottery

I'm about to finish the 50 lbs of low-fire clay that I accidentally purchased last year. It's always at the end that the experimentation begins. With the last bits of this clay, I've made a moon jar with star handles, and will find out shortly whether I have enough to close up a donut peach shaped vase. This clay has given me Ikebana bowls, Jasper's 2022 Christmas ornament, a batch of Jeweled Jelly ornaments, and plenty of space to play. I'm turning next to new clay bodies that are back in the mid-fire range, and am excited to see how they will perform.

Greenware ceramic moon jar with star shaped handles against white backdrop on table with white orchids

In May, I was honored to be included in two amazing Etsy features: AAPI Heritage Month and the launch of Etsy Registry.

Woman in profile with face turned toward camera holding a ceramic teacup

Hybrid Work

I go into the office three days a week as part of my company's hybrid work schedule. It has something of the effect of feeling like I have two Fridays in a week. Once I complete my in-office days, I can throw my hair into a messy bun and wear leggings for the remaining two, a ramping down of formality that's notable and appreciated.


A Mother's Day Reflection

Becoming a mom set off a shift in the way I regard my relationship with my own mother. As a small child, I felt safe, loved, and supported, but in my adulthood our relationship can be contentious. There's so much love there, but there's also hurt, guilt, and confusion as to how we got this way.


I love my mother and I tell her so. I also want our time together to be less fraught. Because we're immigrants, I feel that I owe all of the joys of my life to my parents, that I can never repay them for their sacrifices. Because of this, my baseline includes feelings of indebtedness that easily lead to other, less than positive emotions in varying situations.


Since Jasper was born, I've become more generous in my acceptance of my mom for the whole, flawed person that she is in relation to the whole, flawed, separate person that I am. She's played a huge role in Jasper's upbringing, and shows him unconditional, uncomplicated love. It's wonderful to see their relationship, and that has changed ours for the better.


My Spring Garden

We finally made it to the garden store over Memorial Day weekend and immediately received confirmation that we'd missed the boat on the planting season. Still (!), we snagged the very last strawberry plant they had, along with sugar snap peas, mint, basil, and a black cherry tomato vine. From Trader Joe's, we added a parsley plant. Everything has been moved to pots or into the ground, and now we're working with the final version of our 2023 edible spring garden. It includes:

  • Basil

  • Purple shiso

  • Parsley

  • Iko iko peppers

  • Cherry tomatoes x3

  • Sugar snap peas

  • Green beans

  • Mint

  • Nasturtium

  • Yellow watermelon

In sad news, our raspberry root never took to the ground and our fig tree has had to regrow from the base of its stem. I'll need to borrow a saw to hack off the years of growth that died over the winter to make room for this resilient tree to come back.


On the floral side, the last of the irises have gone, and there are two deep orange stargazer lilies in bloom right now. It's a bit of an in-between time before the hydrangeas return. We'll see what flowers between the zinnias, asters, Icelandic poppies, cosmos, gladioluses, and freesias that are all in their early stages - I fear that I started these seeds/planted these bulbs too late in spring, but I'm hoping that they'll mature in time to flower later this year.


Photo Diary

Below, clockwise from top left: reading in Jasper's room, first time having whipped cream at our local diner, drawing at lao lao and lao ye's house, speculoos ice cream on a sugar cone, lucuma ice cream from Ice Cream Window, playing in the backyard with Huxley and Aunt Renee.


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