Desperation

Desperation?

We’re learning, or trying to, learn how to do nothing.  We’re in between homes, living in our 25’ travel trailer and hoping the days go by quickly. Usually we have so much on our plates that we’re not sure how we’ll get it all finished.  Is this truly how other retired folks live in the 56 RV Parks and campgrounds here in Quartzsite, Arizona?

We’ve both walked the rock show at least 4 or 5 times. So today we decided we’d do some of the small businesses in town. We started with the used book store.  We were greeted by three tall Cowboys with Stetson hats, arms crossed and a tiny book on a stand in front of each of them. We had stumbled upon an authors fair, only there wasn’t much festive about it. Their body language was more “you better not question my writing and I’m not answering any questions” then it was an opportunity to chat with an author about their style, subject, or other possible stories.

I went into the book store where the atmosphere was more card and gift than book store. If there was any rhyme or reason to how things were shelved it was not apparent. We were looking for two things here in the rockhounding/trading capitol of the west – old “Rock and Gem “ magazines and Arizona gem hunting books. When the owner replied, “is there really a magazine by that title?”, I knew we were in trouble. I wasn’t surprised to learn she didn’t have any, and with the appearance of other customers we left.

Tracy had gone out to look through the small outbuilding they used as a rock shop. They had some nice pieces and Tracy asked the elderly gentleman the price. With felt cowboy hat and warm coat he proceeded to quote him a price.  The view of his bare legs and teeny bum were free, but you could buy a bookmark with his picture on it for $3.00 sporting a hand crocheted ball and penis bag in your choice of colors.  Today’s bag was brown.

That was #enough for me. So we headed for the yarn shop where the husband ran the register but couldn’t answer any questions and the wife/crafter/knitter she wasn’t there in the afternoons. That sent us to the public library where 15 computers were available 1 hour at a time. Ah! I felt some sense of normalcy.

What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?  I think we’re going back to the book store to see if she can find books on rockhounding Arizona.  Tracy asked me if that was out of desperation?  I think so. But take heart we told each other – only 3 more days this week  and five next without a project. Maybe we’ll go back and get a bookmark.

Ah, I feel better already.    Until next time. . .
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No Christmas Letter this year

Little did I realize what would follow closing the store October,  2014. I was thinking leisure time, bead time, read and write time and travel time. That’s not exactly what happened. 

The beginning of 2015 was read and write time.  A book a week and plenty of time to write.  Then it was get product done for the Moab Art Festival the end of May  Then figure out what to take to the Panguitch Balloon Rally the middle of June.

July was fairly quiet, but August events included two rockhounding trips and a trip to Las Vegas ASD for jewelry supplies.

Our good friend Tony M. Surprised us with a visit and he and Tracy did an overnight at Toroweap. He spent several days with us and then he was off.

September took us to Fillmore’s Old Capital Arts Festival. Double booth space made for 5 hr. Set up and least that long tearing down. We decided that was too much. Home to attend the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and the spoon man was across from us. He gave Tracy an idea for a better and easier set up.

That prompted a trip for wood, fabric, fire proofing, and different tablecloths. All in all we sold #enough product to pay for our trips and all the display stuff and have a little left for supplues. It was #enough.

Now it’s pack and move into the trailer until Feb. 1st, 2016. Four shows next year, all but one inside.

So that’s your Christmas card, letter and gift. MERRY CHRISTMAS and peace in the new year!!!!

Rock Hunting Above Enoch, UT

rock huntingWe took the road to the left on this adventure to the BLM lands east of Enoch, Utah. Up about a quarter mile all you can hear is the freeway noise. Junipers blanket the hillside and provide what shade there’s going to be from the 100 degree+ heat.

Tracy is hunting for high contrast agate for cabs. I’m looking for small flats/chips to tumble for my baskets. There’s so much to choose from, it would be easy to fill a gallon bag in a short time. I’m looking for more subtle pieces that will blend and accent the basket, not be the focal point for it.

When we were rock hunting in the private land sections of Death Valley, CA it came home to me that it was possible many of those wind-polished rocks had not been moved in 100’s of years. And that they should be moved gently – you never knew what creature could be raising their own family underneath.

Most of what we chose today have been washed down from above, what the BLM calls “float”, and is legal to acquire without permit or fee. Another treasure trove considered float (because we aren’t going to mine for it) are the rocks road graders have “popped” up during road repair. This can be a little more difficult if it hasn’t rained since they graded.

Grandmother’s relatives left tobacco as a thank you for sharing when rock, weaving materials and food were taken from the land. As I chose to be a non-smoker 27 years ago, I don’t have tobacco around. I decided to purchase corn seeds from the local farm store in the spring. A good 1 lb of seed usually lasts me a full year of hunting. It’s my thank you and the squirrels, birds, and others benefit from them and sometimes I’ll spot a plant from the previous year’s offering.

The hillsides and meadows are still green. The Junipers show off their blue berries and many of the cactus have gone from flower to fruit. The Juniper/Cedar berries are used by many of the local tribal women for beads. Some of the tribes call them “ghost beads”. I use them on my baskets, but I don’t harvest and string them, I buy them from the ladies of the other tribes. They are not too expensive and about 6 ft’ of beads lasts a long time.

The morning air has a little bite and it feels like fall. Too early on a calendar, but Mother Earth will do what she wants. I’m ready for winter any time she is.

Until next time – – – – –