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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Big List, NOT a bucket list.

A bucket list implies "before you die." I want this stuff to start happening now.

Along with the yearly review of things business which I covered in the previous posting. I have a list of other things I want to be able to do. Some of them have been waiting for a long time. I don't know how I am going to accomplish them, but I want them done..and with the house and studio oriented tasks the sooner the better.

There has to be a way right?

House and Studio:
My first and most important wish is to get the studio out of our basement and into an outbuilding. The trouble is we don't have an outbuilding. So we'd have to build one. Our dream building will have about double the space we currently have in the basement. many windows, at least one garage door and a small area for retail. We found the perfect building while at the local Grange Fair. a two car garage with a little extra room for about $13,000 delivered. It was huge and could be insulated, wired for electricity and the space divided. Unfortunately we also would need to excavate, pour a concrete pad. Get running water and have some sort of drain system..though I think a floor drain would work for us. I estimate the final cost at around $30,000. This, in case you wondered, is about 2400 mugs at wholesale prices.*sigh*

The most important home repairs we need all take place in the old section of our basement. The first is we have a massive crack in our foundation which is where our basement flooding problem comes from. I don't have any ideas on this one. I guess we need to have someone come and look at it. When it pours it actually looks like a little waterfall. Fortunately there is a floor drain for small rainstorms, but when we have 4 or 5 day monsoons we have to head downstairs with a sump pump and a shop vac. It gets old really fast. Truly it is also dangerous because it has come within inches of a 2000 degree kiln. if water seeped into the hot kiln I think it would be like a boiler explosion. The house would just be gone and parts of us scattered over Port Matilda PA. If the kilns were in a new outbuilding I could tolerate a little flooding.

Next is a water softener. The water in our house is so hard we've had to replace two kitchen faucets since we moved here 4 years ago.The water to our bathroom sink is at a trickle and we regularly soak our shower head in CLR to keep it flowing. This is driving me crazy.

The next thing is we need to rearrange the floor plan of the house. Some of the folks who have been to our house know where we're coming from. We have some ideas, but need to consult someone as to the actual possibilities. I think there are walls to be moved. Some of it I know we could do ourselves, but some of it is way out of our expertise.

Once this list is kicked, there will be celebrating to do, and the thing we want to do more than anything is travel. On the list of places to go:

All of our National Parks,

I'd prefer to do most of it on the road. A pickup and an RV. However this will require 2 things we don't have. One is an RV, the other is the several weeks a year to take off across the country. I suppose if my house list gets accomplished we'll be able to work out the time and the RV because we'll be on a roll of amazing things happening.

Then of course we'd like to head back to Ireland. We're just not done with that lovely country yet. Then Scotland and Wales.

Rowan would like to get back to Greece, and then of course Turkey is right next door, and we have friends who have offered us lodging there.

Life is short and we work too much. How can we make this happen?



  1. hi charles and rowan,
    this hit a little too close to home for me. i have similar flooding issues and cannot afford to have someone do all the house repairs needed and for me to do them would require a hiatus from clay that i neither want to do nor think i should do. what little momentum would be lost if there was no new work for a year. i would love to go to ireland, scotland and wales too. i hope you figure a way to do it. happy new year

  2. Since your on-line sales are picking up so much, I bet there are Hughes pottery fans in all parts of the country with whom you could spend a night or two and eat a few meals with... AND there are lots of art faires about too. So... you could rent the RV, fill it with your stuff and BUNCHES of pottery and spend weekends making money and the week days living in the RV and visiting all the parks AND write the whole thing off as a business expense!

    With LOVE!


  3. Thanks Jim, I figure there has to be a way, it's one of the reasons I wrote the put the wants and needs out there. Now they're goals and all the world knows. If there is a way, it will be found.

    Kate, I've thought about that very thing..but it costs about $500 a week to rent a travel gas, campground fees, dumping fees etc. I think we might be better off loading the back of the truck, throwing in a tent and rolling out. Maybe finding a house sitter to care for the animals and keep our home secure. With an RV we could take them with us.. but it would be pricey.

  4. Check out craigslist for RVs every day there are bargains to be had if you are quick. We have had many motorhomes and bought them at reasonable prices and after we used them sold them for the same or more than we bought them for which paid for our travel. We've also done that with trailers too. With the RV it has a generator so you don't always have to stay in a campground so that saves on fees, you can stay in Walmart parking lots in most cities or sometimes churches or truck stops. We took our cats (3) with us because it was too expensive to board them and we would have missed them too much and when we moved across country we had to take them with us. Staying in parks by the week or month is less then a daily fee. We have traveled a lot here in the USA but wish we had traveled even more. The main thing is to be sure they run good, have good tires, not too many miles (less then 50k) and no leaks check the inside of every upper cabinet. Any other questions about RVs feel free to send me an email. good luck with the foundation crack. Grading and a french drain around the edge of your home where the crack is might help with some of the influx of water. I wish you luck with your plans.