Settling in

Hey! Did you know it’s possible to burn food in a crockpot? I didn’t. But I learned about it last night. I put some pork, potatoes, water, and bouillon in my trusty cooker on Tuesday night so I could take some tasty food with me to the studio for lunch on Wednesday. It worked well and lunch was delicious. But I only took half of the crockpot’s contents with me – I left the other half in the pot on low, thinking I could eat it when I got home.

Well, I didn’t get home until 11pm, but I thought it would be fine since I added more water before leaving in the morning. How wrong I was…. Apparently it’s not a good idea to leave things in there for 24 hours, even if it is on low the whole time. Despite the fact that there was plenty of juice left, the meat and potatoes were more than a little toasty by the time I got home. I ate the meat, figuring it was a “smoked bbq” flavor anyway, so the scorched flavor just added a little something extra, right? But I couldn’t choke down the potatoes. Bleh.

At any rate, some of you have been asking for pictures of my new place in Iowa. So here you go!

We’ll start at the very beginning (they say it’s a very good place to start):

All of my stuff, crammed into the first 3 feet of a 28′ long trailer, ready to move from MA to IA.

I moved using ABF Moving. I’d highly recommend them to anyone out there, and I’d use them again in a flash. They were super nice, flexible, and their prices were by far the most reasonable of all the options I looked at.

My lovely carrrr. (Now that I’m back in the Midwest I can start pronouncing my Rs again.) Full full full.

ABF lets you pack all your stuff in their trailer. Then they fill the rest of the truck with freight that they drop off en route to your destination. So, that meant I drove myself and my car from MA to IA. The last week of August. With no air conditioning. Good times. Needless to say, I got a lot of strange looks when I stopped to buy gas or food or sunseeds. Why? Because the back half of my clothes was sweat-soaked from being pressed against the seat and the front half was dry from being blasted by my open window at 70-75mph.

“Fruit flies” in the Super 7 motel in Coralville, IA. STAY AWAY. STAY FAR FAR AWAY.

While I’m happy to recommend ABF to anyone under the sun, I can’t emphasize enough how far away you should stay from the Super 7 Motel in Coralville, Iowa. My room was filthy and it was filled with what I decided to tell myself were “fruit flies.” I’m really hoping they weren’t fleas. I killed about 20 of them on the bathroom mirror without making a dent in their population. I gave up and complained. It didn’t get me anywhere. I was told the manager would call me, but of course she didn’t. (I didn’t have much hope after reading the note to employees, posted behind the counter where I wasn’t supposed to be able to see it, stating something along the lines of, “Don’t call me unless the person complaining ABSOLUTELY refuses to leave and you feel unsafe. -manager”) Lovely.

I got to the studio the first week of September. Here are some pictures of that:

Classroom at the studio (to the left of the main door)

Classroom (to the right of the main door)

Plaster/moldmaking area

Some of the cottle boards I made for my moldmaking class. (I was very proud of myself!)

As you can see, it’s a really nice classroom/studio! I’m teaching four classes this session – Families in Clay (kids + parents), Wheelthrowing, Moldmaking, and Special Topics (open exploration). Next session I’m going to teach the same things, except I’ll swap advance wheelthrowing for moldmaking. I’m enjoying teaching, mostly because everyone who comes to the studio is friendly and fun!

My studio space (it looks different now, John built me a new table and he and Brian cleared off a lot of the shelves).

After much ado, I moved into my apartment in the middle of September. It’s tiny. The picture below shows pretty much all of it. The kitchen is to the right and the bathroom and closet are through a doorway in the lower right hand corner. The windows have a great view, though! My room looks out onto the park in front of the public library.

What my apartment looked like up until last week.

I slept on an air mattress generously loaned to me by one of the people at the studio until last week, when I finally had both the time to buy a bed and a place to put it – there wasn’t room for a bed in there with all of the boxes!

I like my new place, now that I feel sort of settled in it. I’m having trouble with beetles in the kitchen though. I didn’t clean that room before I started unpacking, because it looked pretty good and I was in a hurry. I wish I had. I decided to wipe up the floor to see if that would help with the bug problem. I soon discovered that it needed much more than wiping up. The tiles I thought were grey are actually white. Yuck. Lauren, if you’re reading this, it was almost a repeat of the floor you and I spent 20 hours scrubbing with comet. There was a definite, visible line where my Bon-Ami (my weapon of choice, in conjunction with Lemon-scented Softscrub disinfectant foaming spray) and scrubby pad had reached and where it had not. The floor in there is 2′ by 6 or 8′ and it took me 40 minutes to clean. Yuck.

After that triumphant cleaning (it looks really nice now!) I decided I’d better scrub the bathroom floor too. It’s a smaller space but it took about the same amount of time. Then I threw the scrubby away. I figured I could spend a dollar on a new one next time I go to the store. Who knows what was on there…

This was my second greatest moving-in accomplishment. The first was finding a real bathtowel in all my boxes. I had been using one of those little camping ones. Switching from that thing to a beach towel felt like a pretty big luxury! Anyways, back to the shampoo holder shown above. My bathroom has an old clawfoot tub in it, which is neat, except the bottom isn’t flat, so you can’t set any bottles on the floor of it without having them tip over onto your feet. The novelty of that wore off after about 10 seconds. So I was extremely excited when I figured out how to get this shower caddy to hold my bottles – because did you know none of the ones for sale these days have backs to keep your crap from falling out? I stretched pieces of an old therapy band across the back of this caddy and now it works like a charm.

Okey dokey I’m all out of random stuff to write about. TTFN

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2 comments on “Settling in

  1. Jan lyle says:

    Always glad to hear the latest in the Amy Adventures. You go girl!
    Can,t wait to see the new work and hear about the teaching.

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