Penny Thoughts

IMG-1941At least once a week, I find pennies when running, walking or just out and about. Sometimes one, sometimes a handful. I have this thing about them being heads up.

True or not, some part of me believes heads is good luck, tails not as much. So the latter get tossed up to see if they’ll land the opposite way and wait for someone else that might need a little luck to come by and find them.

It’s not a great story but that’s where the name LePennyJ came from.


I’ve long tried to figure out how to explain how I chose it when I started working with clay.  And, it’s always been the same reason but I’ve had a difficult time putting it into words outside of my head. Maybe I’ve done it this time.

The J was always easy. It’s me, Jessica. And, Le? Nothing to tell there really, it just seemed to fit. I feel very lucky for the opportunity to: play in the mud (basically), to make useful (and not so useful too) things by hand, to share the good works with others, to learn from the frequent accidents (both happy and the not-so-very also). So, that’s the rest of the story.


Get to Work

IMG-1414Bunch of chores at the studio this morning – lots of clay to recycle, a few bowls to trim (probably my least favorite part of the making process) and a redo on a piece that I got a little too “creative” with . . . it was a nice simple piece and I should have stuck with a nice simple glaze. But the gas kiln was being loaded and when it’s good, it’s very good so I played. Likewise, the opposite can also be true . . . and I’m back to the beginning. Which is okay, and not an altogether bad place to be.

Anyway, thinking it was going to be a pretty quiet morning, I revived my ooooollllllddd MP3 player on the drive in and was pleasantly surprised to find there were a couple of things I hadn’t yet listened to on it. “One More Thing” was a great distraction, short blips of stories just quirky enough to keep me engaged (and laughing) all the way through the tasks at hand. Next up – “Calypso” and Etsy updating.

just this breath

98FE3167-A193-4215-95A8-FA39C5DA1F3FNote: This post is a bit of a departure from my usual pottery musings but it’s what’s my head right now. P.S. After reading it again, I realize maybe it’s not that much of a departure after all because these – pottery, yoga and running – are the things that help me keep grounded, requiring patience and hard work but also giving moments of great accomplishment sometimes in the end result, sometimes in the process.

My (home away from home) yoga studio, Honest Soul Yoga, has recently started having a “theme of the month” – which I love. This month, the theme is Just this Breath.  A week ago, I had a last minute opportunity to run in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. It is a beautiful course – and not having run it before, I think I lucked out considerably in the weather department! But, I wasn’t really gearing up for a long-ish run leading up to it and had just been out to the Cherry Blossom PUB the night before. . . so I was a bit sluggish. In my head, there were lots of thoughts swimming around – I always do some of my best thinking while running – but the one recurring theme was Just this Breath, Just this Step, Just this Mile, Just Keep Going.

At the 1 Mile marker, I was thinking – okay, 1 down . . . only 9 more to go. Which totally made it seem possible until I saw the sign reading “The End is Far” and I was like, oh yeah – I’ve got a LONG way to go.

Around the 5K marker, I got super confused (there’s a split in the road). Luckily there were two volunteers standing there to politely answer my (only slightly grouchy) question about which way to go. Doesn’t matter. Either way. You meet back up about 15 steps or so later but in the moment, I couldn’t see that and convinced myself that I was about to get funneled off to the 5k route.

As you get closer to the finish, there are more people – and more signs. When I passed one that said, “Run faster Right NOW” – surprisingly, I did. Which made me think about how much our bodies are actually capable of. I knew I wasn’t really killing it in the speed department but I thought I was putting everything I could into the run. Just that suggestion from a random person put a little more pep in my step.

And then I was done. I finished. Not my best pace but I expected that going in. And, you know what? Had I really been pushing it, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the experience as much.

Ten miles is a long time in my head. Here’s what I was left with at the end.

  • Yes, it’s good to have goals and to think about how you’ll get from here to there faster (in life and on the course).
  • Remembering to not only focus on the outcome can be good too, there’s lots to enjoy along the way.
  • Even when you think you’re giving it everything you’ve got, you might have a little more oomph left.

Oh, and that I probably wouldn’t have made it without the all of the people along the way.