Monday, March 25, 2013

the journal

I'm spending at least 60% of my time with my little jewelry business. Which is a lot more than it's been since the economy crashed. Nearly all of my daily blogging is happening on facebook these days. It's a good thing. You can view my StoneSavvyJewelry facebook page by clicking on the facebook ad in the upper right-hand corner and you can step into my Etsy shop by clicking on any of the jewelry pictures that are scrolling on the right-hand column.

Yet, it makes me sad that I'm ignoring this fun little blog. 

Dick and I are now on Volume 26 of our hand-written journals. We take turns writing, so the point of view is from both of us. My Dad's legacy to me was scanned images of nearly all of his photography, which includes so many amazing glimpses into my Mom and Dad's life. My legacy to my children is these journals.

My blog is going to be a place to share random entries. I covered my eyes and picked a journal out of the stack. I opened it without purpose and here is that entry.

March 15, 2007
Thursday, Day 1,908
Tucson AZ to Hurley NM

Happy Ides of March to all you Julius Caesar groupies and celebrators of betrayal. This is your day. It's also our day to leave the Sonoran desert and drive east, deep into New Mexico. We're hoping to find slightly cooler temperatures and new adventures. So far in our RV travels we've never experienced New Mexico, only driving straight through it on our way east or west. Now we're planning to give it 2 or 3 weeks. From our previous New Mexico trips on I-10 and I-40, Donna's thinking it won't be very cool, but their license plates do say it's the Land of Enchantment. We set out to find it, saying goodbye to Saguaro National Park and the Sonoran desert as we drive east on I-10. See you big cacti next winter.

Saguaro National Park - the west section
Gilbert Ray Campground - one of our favorites
At Deming, near the continental divide, we drive north 30 miles to the City of Rocks State Park. The rocks are cabin-size blocks of volcanic tuff jutting out of the broad grasslands. The campsites are spread out and nicely tucked into the rock formations. The joint is pretty full, but we end up with campsite 15, which has a really cool patio among the tall rocks. Donna sets up a very nice yard for us and we then sip cocktails as we watch an exceptional sunset and groove on our new space. The New Mexico adventure is off to a good start.
indeed the Land of Enchantment
the campground sign is carved on a slab of marble - my kind of enchantment
I could have smiled... but I think I was talking
what a welcome to New Mexico for sunset lover's like us
OK that was a treat to re-live. And now I'm back to the shipping department. Happy Monday to you guys :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I remember my first visit to Moab, Utah. It was twenty years ago. 

amazing landscapes - that is one big cliff

The town was small and still relatively undiscovered. We camped at Arches National Park. We bought our groceries and our gas and ice for the ice chest and an occasional breakfast in town. It wasn't a long visit because we were spending a few days here and then moving on to the next wonder of southern Utah. 

a pronghorn every once in a while

There were several more car camping trips to the Moab area and then we began our gypsy life. We were free to "live" there, and we did. We found great campsites on the byways out of town. One of my favorite campsites is south of town where we lived at the top of a 1,000 foot cliff that overlooked Canyonlands. 
make your own trail

or walk an established one

We watched the little town turn into a southwest meca for the outdoor enthusiast. We learned that the best months as far as weather goes are May and October. We learned that any month except May thru October are the best times to visit if you like the small town atmosphere.

Moab has been discovered. There's traffic now. There's gobs of restaurants and gift shops and souvenir dives and motels and outdoor gear shops. There's lots of hip people. There's film crews every now and then. 

It is still a nice place to visit and a wonderful place to "live". Moab sits in the center of a few of my favorite places. I highly recommend seeing the wondrous part of our world!

Corona arch
an unmarked trail up a side canyon of the Colorado
ecotourism thrives on the Colorado River
who can resist the glory of Arches National Park

Thursday, October 25, 2012

petrified wood

Southern Utah has always been one of my favorite places. I love the remoteness. I love the small towns. I love the dark skies. I love the rocks. I love camping on the sandstone and I'm not sure there's another place this remote where we could park a 5th wheel trailer on that sandstone.

I have a special spot in my heart for Hanksville, which is one of those wonderful little small towns. When I placed my first online order for jewelry supplies, it was sent to the post office in Hanksville. (That's another story... getting shipments when we were moving at least every two weeks.) So it wasn't surprising that Hanksville had a nice surprise waiting for us this year. Behind the little grocery store, this guy was polishing two big chunks  of rock. He was delighted when one of our party walked into his yard to see what he was doing.

This piece of petrified wood weighs over 2200 pounds and my new friend from Hanksville is polishing it as he did the other half. Both will live in the lobby of the Manhatten Waldorf Astoria. We were in awe as he pointed out all the amazing inclusions and patterns and colors. Then... he offered to take us hunting for petrified wood!

We met him the next morning and this is what we saw and found. OMG. Not only was there gobs of wood to be found, but we drove past the Mars Desert Research Station ( complete with astronauts in space suites.

It truly is an alien landscape. We all loved it, even the dog.

I found a knot with wonderful bark on the back including some crystals. My Hanksville buddy polished it for me!

Sadly, I didn't get a picture of it prior to the polishing. The black part had compression circles on the surface that could only have happened by the chipping action of an Ancient hand. It is so much more beautiful than my camera could capture.

Yay Hanksville. We will be back.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

on the road again

the photo studio
After 18 months of staying put at our Goldendale property, Birdwood, we are traveling again for the winter! There's been family, friends, our first winter in the northwest in a decade, a new house, a garden, adding decks with roofs to the new house and finally remodeling a rental condo. Endless projects which were good except for the endless part. And none of those projects were jewelry related. I'm excited about being back in my trailer studio. I'm excited to be spending the month of October in one of my favorite places, southern Utah. Yay snowbird vacation (:
i love this place - spring flowers in october !!

out the back window view for this week
my beading board on the chair
silver box and tools on the stool
dog in the other chair
how's this for inspiration
aspen branch close up


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Frost

Pretty early this year (that's the windshield where I wrote today's date)...  

thankfully the 29 degrees didn't affect the garden...  

The cooler temps mean the fire will feel good...

Monday, June 25, 2012

journal entry 1796

Wednesday     Day 1,796
Nov. 22, 2006
Vicksburg, AZ

Laughlin was a fun stop, with its mix of gambling and riverside palm trees.  But our real mission was to get to the desert southwest, where we’ll spend the rest of this winter.  Yesterday we made the drive to Vicksburg, a tiny outpost on the edge of a large section of BLM-managed public land.  Ah, at last we’re back in the wide open spaces of the Sonoran Desert.  Donna has been craving solitude, and this is it.

Except for our friend's trailer parked 100 feet away from us, there are no other humans visible in our sweeping, 360 degree view.  No other state, except for maybe Utah, has so much appealing public land where one can enjoy remote but comfortable camping.  This is our favorite kind of fun.  It’s sunny and warm for our first day here.  We set up our campsite with campfire, chairs, tiki torches and bird feeders.  Even Bob our Fake Human comes outside to enjoy it.  The afternoon is spent roaming the surrounding desert.  When sunset comes, there are cocktails by the campfire, and then card games with the neighbor.

empty wide open spaces - I love the Arizona desert

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

peace and quiet

I've recently switched from watching the Today Show to CBS This Morning and I'm liking the change. Charlie Rose is quite good, Gayle King is fabulous and Erica Hill is refreshing. It's like the difference between People and Time magazines. This morning there was a piece on the quietest place in the lower 48 states and YAY that place is in Washington State. Somewhere in the Olympic Rain Forest out on the Olympic peninsula. This is my closest quiet place right now. Wonderful public land on the shores of the Klickitat Gorge. The photo above is looking north towards Mt. Adams and the photo below is looking south towards Mt. Hood. If miss Mount St. Helens hadn't blown her top, there would be a picture of that mountain as well. I love this place. The quiet is real and quite invigorating.