I drove all day Friday, and came home for a week to ten days; unloaded yesterday. There was a small snag in my schedule that had a domino effect, but actually I’m glad for that. I had stretched a bit too far while doing P/T the beginning of the second week at Penland, which caused an ongoing a sciatica-like muscle spasm. At home I can easily balance the personal work I planned to use the Morgan studio for with stretching sessions, to literally work out the kink before my next class.
I had two sweet restorative days with my dear touchstone friend Mary, and her daughter Sandra who is living with Mary in Black Mountain now. Sandy’s been making a wide variety of soaps and other pure skin care products (she’s not a writer, but she sure can make soap). Though signs are still being made, half the Black Mountain Sign Studio is now devoted to MoonAcre Soaps. Mary and I helped Sandy prepare for the town’s annual Sourwood Festival this weekend, by wrapping and labeling about 10 soap varieties. We always, always work together whenever we are together in some way, and this was most enjoyable. The soaps are great, (and I’ve gotta say, smell much, much better than sign enamel) and it was fascinating to watch the making. I came home with a generous, varied supply in appreciation for the help, and am really liking them, particularly a solid lotion that melts with body heat (not on the site yet), and a body butter, which is soothing and smoothing my dry papermaker’s hands.
Heading into Friday-night Chicago was almost a shock after three weeks of serene mountain life: the bright lights! But all is well on our quiet street, and though the bursting gardens need some attention, my three-being pack is very happy to be back together for a wee while. I did not even think of my camera at Mary’s and wish I had, her garden is lush (a record number of figs). I’m off to soak flax, soap up and then spend a quiet Sunday weeding, unpacking, walking with the pack.