Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Monday was this super busy day, but as you know, Penny beagle is a therapy dog and volunteers at a retirement facility.  I have never had easier human interactions than following my dog around Longview, while she charms every nice person she comes across.  We always start here, as you see, with Longview's woodland paths (the grounds are gorgeous, the view is indeed incredible).
I have noticed that different types of people live there.  Some folks may be physically less capable than when they were younger, using a walker or wheelchair, but fun to talk to and just as sharp as ever.  Other folks seem healthy and physically capable as a 20 year old, but might be a little forgetful.

Every week we see this nice lady above when we first arrive.  She is involved in this card game in the lounge....SHARKS!  You know those ladies are competitive! Anyway, each week this particular nice lady tells me, as Penny rolls around in her lap, "when I was younger we had a dog named Trixie.....etc.".
I have noticed that the wonderful staff at Longview is wonderful because, and I learn from this, they listen politely and honestly as an individual tells a story.  It may be that the person is back in 1970 in their mind, and tells the same story many times.  I am learning, I hope, to be a polite all :)

Penny is funny, though.  We walk in the door Monday and get a message at the front desk "the executive director would like to see Penny please" and we go back to this office where the most handsomely and neatly dressed man in Ithaca gets down to the floor, suit, tie, the works, and rolls around with my dog...they love each other!!! All day long the director may be brushing hair off his suit, but what a GREAT person, right?

We have a wide variety of cousins visiting....well, Mark and Michele.
Now their daughter is interviewing at Cornell, and with any luck we will see A LOT of them in the coming years.  How do I put this politely, without offending any of my other cousins, real or imagined? These guys are, um, my favorite cousins, and they are thinking they might even try to move here from the midwest....
Collegetown bagels is EXCELLENT, according to my young cousin applying to Cornell because "what a great place, you can get bagels, ice cream and beer all in one cafe!"  .  I know.  It is awesome (esp. their huge outdoor patio on a nice day, WOW), Cornell is awesome, Ithaca is awesome....

I just finished these---Thursday I am walking the dog and I am like "I have drawn robots on pots....can I MAKE them?????" Which I do!!!! I am hugely enjoying this thrown on the wheel then assembled...I get all the best ideas whilst walking Penny....

Finally, the wife and I were walking Sunday and saw this butterfly...near death. Monday we saw it by the side of the road, no longer alive, but so pretty. It is I believe an eastern swallowtail butterfly, whose caterpillars famously look like cat turds, I have been told....what a transformation THAT must be....


Ron said...

You're such a great guy Gary! Being a listener is such a good trait. Everyone is Me me me these days. When we learn to listen (and shut up in some cases!) it is such a great lesson.

So...I had a dream last night that you and I were in this fast food restaurant and you had some cups that you were trailing glaze on. You had the glaze in a pastry bag and you were trailing it all over the place! At one point it was just this big, huge (size of my arm) trail of inflated glaze all around the table!

Oh, I wish we lived in a cool town like Ithaca. I need to come and visit you.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

rock ON Ron :)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I should mention a) I have done a little slip trailing, not too much, but would love it :) b) I don't do anything, actually, at the retirement place except show up, walk around, listen, chat, smile---this dog is a total sweetie and takes care of everything :) and c) shoot, Ron, pack up the wife and come over!

Barbara Rogers said...

Lovely butterfly & flowers in a different mode. Hi to Penny from Muffin. She is such a great gal to visit elders...very "in the moment" loving life.

smartcat said...

Penny is such a cool little pup.....what's not to love? What are those pink flowers with the butter fly.

I think it's time to start naming your pots. Those little robots are crying out for names. Loving them.

Winter has taken to chasing toads....they don't seem very happy about it!

k.a. barnes said...

We love having you & Penny visit, Gary! Yes, you certainly learn patience working with seniors, and most importantly, that everyone has a story to tell and their story matters!

smalltownme said...

Can I convince my son to put Cornell on next year's college tour list?

Michèle Hastings said...

your retirement home visits with Penny always make me smile.
The pink flowers look like bee balm

...and those are some way cool robots.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Penny (and YOU) are doing such a wonderful service visiting the elderly.....makes me so happy to read this each week.
All most of us ever want, is for someone to just listen.
Hey, I thought I was your favorite cousin???? LOL

Poor gorgeous butterfly. ouch.

Julia said...

Always a JOY to read about Penny, your walks, your new work, and your work with Penny as a therapy dog. Your positivity is contagious and wonderful!

Joyful Things said...

Bagels, ice cream and beer? I'm moving there.

Reverend Awesome said...

I love the robots!
Penny has a very important career. She has meetings to attend, people to see. A very busy beagle.

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Robot pots, heck yeah!

Mondays with Penny have become some of my favorite posts.

JB said...

Therapy dogs are more important than the healthy can imagine. Someone once said to me that we have two ears and just one mouth which means we should listen twice as much as we talk. Love the robots too!

cm said...

The cousins all know that whoever is there at the time is your favourite. :-)

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.