Happy Sandwich Day

History of Sandwich Day
There is a commonly known story about the history of the word sandwich, and it’s attributed to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. One piece of that history that’s rarely discussed is the meaning of the word Sandwich and the town it comes from. Sandwich is a city in the shire of Kent in England, originally the word was spelled Sondwic, and then Sandwic, and ultimately in 1086 as Sandwice. The name of the town came from its purpose and its claim to fame, it was a market town. So what does Sandwich actually mean? “Market Town on Sandy Soil”.

John Montagu was the 4th Earl of this town, a royal title that essentially means ‘chieftain’ and placed them in charge of a territory in the King’s stead. John was a well a known lover of card games, and it’s said he originally ordered his meat to be delivered to him between two slices of bread so that he would not get his grease laden fingers on the card, nor require a fork to eat. As people heard of this, they started ordering their food “The Same as Sandwich”, and eventually just “a sandwich”. From such things are legendary culinary delights born. Sandwich Day celebrates both the Earl himself, and the wonder he brought to us in the form of the sandwich.

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 – – – – –

I love a ribbon cutting

One of my favorite things to do is help people with their projects.
Whether it’s a Fire Station, Health Clinic, or Historic District, ribbon
cutting is the most satisfying outcome I can imagine. While I’ve lived in
Escalante I’ve gotten grant monies for the Fire House, the original
clinic, the airport runway, and the Escalante Show house. All except the
show house were public projects. The show house is privately owned and
operated.

When the Steed’s purchased the abandoned show house in 2013 they
envisioned they would have it open “some day” but not July, 2015. The 1938
facility had been vacated and partly torn up inside as it sat with dirt
floors for almost ten years. Tracy and I had been providing them print
services since 2010 and gotten to be good friends. When Jenifer asked me
to help her with a Grant Proposal for Rural Economic Funds, there was no
way I could say no.

With $50,000 grant award in hand, their own personal funds and a
line-of-credit they went to work to get it open by July 4th, 2015.
Husband Shannon didn’t believe it could or would happen. Jenifer and I
pressed forward . They already have several special events booked for the
venue and will continue to develop their plan of work as they get into the
winter months.

Between their Wild West Retreat, operating the Cowboy Blues Restaurant in
Escalante, serving triple the amount of bus tours and special events at
their outdoor facility, Wild West Retreat and Cowboy Cookouts will
continue to be a success. They have a plan and continue to work it. It’s
been an honor and privilege to work with them over the years. I’m looking
forward to that ribbon cutting.

Escalante Show House Close to Being Revnovated

Escalante Show House Close to Being Revnovated

Escalante Show House Before Renovation

Escalante Show House Before Renovation

T-Mobile – Please Port My Phone

After many calls, emails, and letters, I think I understand why T-Mobile won’t agree to port my phone number, even though Congress says it shall and the small phone company who has the number can’t refuse and doesn’t have an exemption.

Problem: I live in a remote section of southern Utah where cell service is all roaming and T-Mobile does not have a porting agreement with the local carrier. Why? Because we are not in their service area. Okay, but you provide me and others in town with cell service. In fact, it’s the most reliable of all the carriers.

Solution: I need T-Mobile to initiate a porting agreement with South Central Communications in Escalante, Utah.

Background: South Central Communications used to provide cell service but shut down their system and sold their tower in 2012. This co-op based company is “locally owned and operated” but forgot what local meant when they shut off the tower.

When they quit providing cell service they told us they “sold that portion of the company to Verizon”, then it was they recommended you transfer your cell service to Verizon. However, Verizon could not provide the same level of service because they wouldn’t buy the tower and couldn’t provide the service. After they got us roped into expensive agreements you could not rely on having phone service, including our Ambulance/EMT providers.

I filed an FCC complaint requesting Verizon let us out of our contracts without buyouts and we’d find another way to solve our phone needs. They argued with us until I finally asked the man from corporate to log on to their own website and click on the page that allows potential customers to get service and put in our zip code of 84726. What did it tell you? Sorry, we don’t provide service in your area. No duh, nor does anyone else, because of the tower issue, we’re all on roaming. We understand that, so a large number of us went back to landlines.

We’ve closed our brick and mortar retail operation and gone mobile but I can’t take my phone with me. T-Mobile will not port my business phone from South Central because there is no agreement. The suggested resolution from South Central Staff – get a number with Verizon and port it there and then port it to T-Mobile. Sorry, that still won’t solve the problem.

South Central Dir of Sales and Service told me it is not in their best interest to port numbers and won’t without an agreement but it’s T-Mobile’s responsibility to initiate an agreement. The staff in the Number Transfer Center at T-Mobile slipped and told me I’m not in their service area so they don’t have an agreement, but South Central must release the line.

Hole-In-The-Rock Foundation Trekking Permit

Public Comment is being accepted by the Monticello BLM office on the request by the HITR Foundation to allow trekking along the road and trails within the GSENM.  These are non-invasive, controlled adventures that should be allowed.  I submitted my comments (below) and hope all goes well.

“I am writing in support of the Hole-In-The-Rock Foundation Trekking Special Use Permit.

The activities planned are consistent with the historical usage of these trails and promote proper use of lands due to the sponsor training/guidance requirements.

The historic nature of the entire length of the Hole-In-The-Rock Road and trails is of significance to the thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. Their continued access and use of these lands should be maintained in perpetuity. Not only is it a cultural/heritage consideration, it is a financial benefit consideration for the many small towns near the trail/road and the many small businesses that depend on these activities.

With the limit on the number of users within the time period, the limit on number of users per group, and the types of activities, I see no justification for denying these groups use for one year with evaluation for four additional years.”

If you are interested in commenting sarch for Monticello BLM and scroll down the page to the press release section for the permit.  Your support would be most welcome.