Archive for September, 2009

Pain in the butt.

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Lee had back surgery Tuesday. She had a vary painful episode of sciatica starting about 5 or 6 weeks ago. She treated it like she always has with rest, ice packs, muscle relaxers, pain meds and physical therapy but to no avail. The pain went away but was followed with numbness and loss of motor control in her right foot. This development called for an MRI which showed a pretty messed up back the worst of which was a badly herniated disc (turned out to be ruptured) that was pinching off a nerve root on the right side between L4 and L5. After a couple of weeks of internet study and shopping around she settled on Robert Peterson, the same guy who did her pituitary surgery five years ago. Bob uses a microscopic approach that is quite good. He used the same instrument that he had used n Lee’s Pituitary job. Lee had been looking into a arthroscopic approach but decided against it. The doctor came very highly recommended but as she studied it she found an internet site devoted to arthroscopic back surgery that recommended against using that approach for her specific problem. I am proud of Lee’s ability and interest in studying out every angle before making her decision. She never takes one doctor’s opinion and it has paid off over the years. The first neurologist she went to with her pituitary tumor was going to remover her entire pituitary as a matter of course. She took her films and went shopping until she found someone with the skill and confidence to go in and just remove the tumor so she would not have to go on a total hormone replacement regimen.
Lee’s surgery was Tuesday and took two hours. Bob did a great job again and she was actually up and walking about four or five hours after the procedure. I brought her home on Wednesday and she is doing very well. When Peterson examined her Wednesday he said he detected slight improvement in her motor response. Her butt and leg we hurting something fierce which he took as a good sign. “That means that the nerve is not dead yet.” he said.
The incision was only one inch in length and was covered with a band aid.
Lee on the way home from the hospital 24 hours after surgery.

More new toy fun.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Lee and I beat the sun up this morning and took the doggie boys out for a walk. It was very pleasant. I snapped a buttload of pix. Here are a few.
Venus is having some sort of conversation with the moon.
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Thank you Bob Peterson.
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National Forest Redtail
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It has rained a bit the past few days.
If this isn’t a quiet little Utah town I don’t know what is. Sometimes people ask “What do you guys do down there?” We go for walks…duh.

The new toy.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

A while back I baptized my good old Cannon Digital Rebel is Havasu Creek. I was getting ready to go on a hike up the creek and was debating in my mind whether to take the water proof Pelican case I usually carry the camera in. I decided not to and headed across the boats toward shore. As I left the last boat I went completely upside down and the camera was toast. The last picture I had taken with my trust old friend was this one of Christa standing on her boat.
Since loosing the Rebel I have limped along using an old cannon Powershot S400. It works OK and I have captured some pretty good images with it. Last week I came in the house and left it sitting on the lid to our spa for a few minutes. It fried right up and is toast too. These cameras/computers are delicate. I was now out a camera. Yesterday I took Lee up to Salt lake to see a doctor for her back. On the way home we stopped at Costco and got a new Cannon Digital Rebel SXi. Don’t ask me what the SXi means. It is a very similar product with a lot more Mega pixels and other bells and whistles. Here are some pics I shot today while trying it out.
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As today’s storm was rolling in.

The weekend

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The firing went well. I unloaded the kiln Friday evening with the help of my friends Royden Card and his daughter Suri. I would have gotten it all done but the Plein Air painting reception was at 6 pm and I needed to be there. The reception was well attended and there was a lot of really good work.
Saturday I finished getting the new work out and priced just in time for the onslaught of tourists. The day went fast an furious. The tour started at 10 am and I was not able to sit down until 3 pm. By 5 pm people had left enough that I was able to get the pots all put away in time for I and lee to go to the artist’s BBQ at Anderson’s barn. It was pretty good after starving all day. They had a whole hog cooked very slowly in a smoker. Yum.
Early in the day someone stopped by the pot shop to let me know that the Plein Air competition had been judged and Lee took second place. I was so happy I about cried. Lee also sold the other piece she had done and one from her studio. That with the pile of pots I unloaded on my visitors made it a good day for the Bennion fund.
Here are some of the things I pulled out of the kiln.
These jugs are different that what I have been doing. We shall see.
This cycle of production was way long on mugs. I also made a fair amount of oval bakers, bread pans and assorted sized jugs.
I made these vases for my friends Werner Wiexler. He is an interior designer who runs a very nice shop in the avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
Little cups for whatever.
The usual component of bowls.

Cooling off

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Photo Credit:Jason Olson, Deseret News
I fired the wood burner yesterday. I have been catching up on some things today and getting the shop ready for the studio tour on Saturday. One aggravation has been the fact that the Deseret News of Salt Lake City printed a couple of stories in Tuesday’s edition about our artist’s studio tour and plein air painting competition. They were very nice pieces except for the fact that they got the dates wrong. They printed that the studio tour was September 9-12. It is only on Saturday. Both yesterday and today a lot of people (80+ each day) have been wandering around town asking where the tickets and guide books for the tour can be purchased. I had to put a sign up at my studio asking people to please not come back to the kiln because I lose concentration and miss my stoking rhythm. For the most part these are people who won’t be coming back Saturday and probably went away a little ticked off. You never want people going away from your event less that very satisfied. It is bad business.
Here are some photos and such that I have not had time to post during the past few days because of hectic kiln packing and firing.
Small and large jugs.
Jug handle detail.
A 12 lb vase thrown in two pieces. After it was joined and had set up a little I put handles on the sides.
Here are the bisqued and glazed pots packed in the kiln and ready to fire. I mostly glaze my surfaces. I leave a little naked clay for the fire to write on but not too much. I finished packing and bricking up the kiln later that I would care to admit.

Spud shines on.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Our red headed angel left Sunday after a week with us. It is hard to see her go but it is good to see her having her own life. She sent this news today.

Spring City Arts activities this Saturday

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

That’s right kids. Come on down to Spring City this weekend for lots of new art. You can look at the work produced in the Plein Air competition and tour the studios of many of Spring City’s artists. Of special interest will be Lee Udall Bennion’s newly completed studio/barn. Of course the pottery will be open featuring the results of the latest firing of our wood burning kiln. At the pot shop you can also meet Arlin Pritchard who will be displaying his unique petroglyphic stone sculpture.