Category Archives: life

New year, new “Chucks”, new me

The new year is starting out very well.  I feel I have a good grasp on homeschooling eighth grade. We are now in our eighth year.  I think homeschooling into high school won’t be a challenge.  The challenge is to get my now 14-year-old son to think about something other than playing Minecraft on the computer.  I shouldn’t be discouraged, he does well, he volunteers at the local science museum and humane society once a week.   He’s really a good kid.  People ask me all the time, “What is he going to do about college? Will you homeschool college?”  I reply with, “Homeschool college?  Are you crazy?  No, I won’t homeschool college. Did you think about college in eighth grade? Good grief!  Let the boy enjoy his middle school and high school years. There will be time for college.  I never thought about college until my senior year of high school!”  Okay, maybe I don’t say all of that, but I sure do think it, and then some–

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My birthday was a couple of days ago. I turned forty-two years old. Yeah, that’s right–I’m forty-two years old. I know, I can’t believe it either!  I am not going to question this unexplainable youthful feeling I have.  Maybe it’s from yoga. Wherever it comes from, I embraced it and I ordered a pair of orchid Converse Chucks.  They look like this.

Why do I feel the need to define my “youth” by wearing some Chucks? I don’t really know. Maybe because it’s fun. Maybe I’m in denial about getting older. The truth is, I’ll probably look ridiculous, but I don’t care.  I do have my limits.  There will never be any skinny jeans in my wardrobe.  I draw the line there.

Some of my friends and family say I don’t look forty-two, I certainly don’t act forty-two.  How does a forty-two year old mom act?  Does she listen to Dinosaur Jr?  Religiously?  I doubt it.  I’m still obsessed with J Mascis. There–I said it.  No worries, my husband knows all about it.  He isn’t jealous.  He thinks it’s kind of funny.  He knows how I am and accepts me.  I know I’m not like any other forty-ish year old moms I know. My husband knows it, too.

Here in North Carolina, one would think it was already spring.  Last winter was mild, and this winter is feeling about the same.  In fact, the warmer temperatures have allowed some trees to bloom early.

Flowering tree

There was a small amount of snowfall in our area a couple of days ago.  The blanket of snow was nice to see on my birthday. Wish I could have seen this tree with snow on its blooms.

There isn’t much else to tell, other than I can say I am in a much better place than I was a year ago.  This time last year was horrible for me, and I never want to experience what I experienced ever again. Depression. Confusion. Anxiety that crippled me for weeks on end.  If you have ever felt real anxiety, you know how awful and scary it feels.  That tightness in your chest, the dreadful unhappiness, loss of appetite, and insomnia.  I lived on supplements like passion-flower during the day and valerian root at night to ease the symptoms of anxiety.  It helped only a little.  I couldn’t focus on homeschooling, chores, my home, or my life. I disappeared from blogging for a while and tried to get myself together.  I wanted to disappear all together, but I hung in there.  It took me several months, but I finally did it.  With that said, I’ll share a video of  Dinosaur Jr., of course.  J’s acoustical version in the studio is awesome!

But if you want to rock it out, listen to the original version:

Enough of my rambling. I’m just glad happy to be me again. Thanks for reading my blog.   🙂

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What’s happenin’

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My workspace

I’m back! Briefly –haha.  Much has happened since the summer. I’ll do my best to recap. Here it goes…

1. In August, we enrolled our son in a private school and he didn’t like it. It appears homeschoolers just can’t hack 12+ hour days of the drudge of traditional school life.  In fact, he missed having a life.  Yes, a 13-year-old can have a life outside of school, I guess.  There was no sense in paying a tuition when your child is miserable.  So, we went back to homeschooling.  He was there for only a couple of weeks. I suppose when you know something is wrong for you, it doesn’t take you long to figure it out.

2. During the summer months, I prepared a lengthy application to request a grant from my local arts council for a ceramic kiln.  In October, they finally notified me with their decision to not fund me the grant. Poo. 😦 Sure, I was disappointed, but life is full of disappointments.  So, I moved forward.  I found another great pottery studio to work in.  I’m excited to have a whole new experience in a new location.

3.  Yoga is a new passion of mine.  I practice it at a studio four times a week, and I. LOVE. IT.  Enough said. 🙂

4. Lastly, I will spill a little secret. I am a HUGE Dinosaur Jr. fan, and have forever adored J Mascis.  I had not seen them in concert since October 21, 1994, so I was super psyched to finally attend a concert after 18 years. They really rock!  If you are interested in seeing the performance I recorded and/or my photographs, feel free to click on the following links.

Dinosaur Jr. performing “The Lung” live.

Pics of the concert on Flickr.

And yes, I was the ONLY 40+ year-old woman at the stage!  I didn’t care.  I deserved it. 🙂

I miss my blogging friends.  I hope everyone is well.  I’ll try to check out everyone’s blog soon.

Now, back to juggling my life.  See ya’!

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Filed under art, blogging, ceramics, exercise, friends, home, homeschool, life, music, photography, pottery, videos

Happy summer!

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I hope everyone is having a great summer. It sure has been a while since I wrote a post. Apologies as usual. 🙂

So much is changing here. The biggest change is my son will start a private school in late August. The life of a home schooled middle schooler (and only child-at that) is kinda lonely…

What have I been up to? Well, I spent the past few months working on a grant proposal to request an art grant through my local arts council. Composing four narratives made me never want to write again! But I miss blogging, there just hasn’t been any time for it.

With my son going to school, that means I will soon enter the working world. Yikes! After homeschooling for nearly eight years…and having only two part-time jobs during thirteen years of being a stay-at-home mom…need I say more?

In addition to all of these changes, I am still working on my ceramic art. I’ll update my art website soon with some recent work. Here’s a preview of a line of functional pottery I’m developing–wine plates!

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By the way, writing a post from my phone is sooo much easier than from my laptop. Hope it looks decent, too.

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My new ceramic art blog

I finally launched my new ceramic art blog.  It is simply called  Tammy Privette – ceramic artist.   

Please check it out and click  “Follow” to subscribe and received notifications on new posts.  I will update it as I complete new projects.  

Thanks in advance!

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Me – aka: potter/groupie

There’s so much guilt one has when they have a blog and don’t post anything regularly.  I’m not one of those people.  Yeah, right.

It seems that no matter how hard I try to devote time to my blog, I always get preoccupied with other things.  There are at least four drafts that are saved that I have never finished.  I don’t think I’m alone with this type of “problem”, but that’s still no excuse – I know.  So, for a treat I’ve included an exclusive video.  It will appear at the end, but don’t scroll down and jump ahead.  That’s cheating.  There’s more to read first.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a batch of freshly glazed ceramics from the pottery studio, but I haven’t been able to photograph everything. Here’s a sneak peek.  Sorry, it’s just one photo, but I promise there will be more to come.

This is a stretched out textured hand-built tray I made.  The inspiration came from this video.

Here I am working on the wheel.  *Hint*  Keep reading.

On April 12, my husband and I did something very unique and exciting.  We are sort of reinventing ourselves – by going to a concert! Ha! We had not been to a concert together since Dinosaur Jr. in 1994.  The two bands we saw were incredible, DeVotchKa and The Magnetic Fields.  Only recently did I become a fan of both bands, and I did my homework.  Within only a few months, I researched each band and the members, acquired as many albums as I found available, and memorized most of their songs.  Yes, SIR-REE!.  I crammed like I was cramming for finals in college.  I’m a hard-core fan now.  I even have proof.  Check out The Magnetic Fields tour blog at this link.  Scroll down through their post about day two in Chapel Hill, and you will see me wearing an owl t-shirt.  I think Stephin Merritt likes owls.

To further prove my fandom, below are some photos I took.

The opening band was DeVotchKa.  Nick Urata is singing and Tom Hagerman is in the background.  They are playing “The Clockwise Witness”.  Awesome song!

Shawn King played drums and trumpet.  Their performance was an acoustical set, but Shawn played a drum machine.  DeVotchKa wouldn’t have sounded the same without the percussion.

Next, is DeVotchKa’s set list.   I didn’t snatch it. David (a guy we met) gets all the credit for his quick thinking to grab it before someone else did.  Good thing I thought quickly and asked to get a photo of it.

Finally, The Magnetic Fields and Stephin Merritt with one of his four kazoos.  He is a genius with those unusual instruments.  Oh, and you guessed correctly.  I am directly in front of him.  Lucky me!   

Another photo of Stephin singing one of my favorite songs, “Andrew in Drag” from their new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea.   The lyrics to the song will raise some eyebrows, but I love to hear him sing it.  I enjoy hearing it played acoustical, but the original version is my favorite.  As a warning, there’s a viewer’s discretion when watching the official video.  Regardless of the video, the song has such a catchy tune and lyrics, I bet you’ll go around singing it in your head, too.   Just be careful of who hears you. There have been worse songs written and sung.  Right? 😉

The other TMF musicians left to right: Shirley Simms, John Woo, and cellist Sam Davol.  Not pictured: Claudia Gonson.

Well, here’s Claudia.  She was too far away, but I captured her head above the piano.   Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa, came out during the encore to perform “Love is Like Jazz” with TMF.

Now, if by chance you are still reading and have fourteen minutes with nothing to do, you can view me throwing on the potter’s wheel.  Surprise!

I’m not sure why I taped myself.  It was either because I could or in some way critique myself later.  I’ve never watched myself throw before.  Anyhow, you’ll find it either fascinating, boring, or fascinatingly boring.

Thanks for watching.

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