Monday, February 3, 2014
I realize that I have neglected keeping everyone informed of our happenings and whereabouts. Rest assured, we are all okay. No major or minor health issues have occurred and we haven’t had any drama, to speak of. I have been preoccupied, I guess.
Last Monday we went for an all-day drive. We headed out towards Arizona, through Glamis and then passed by Blythe, CA.
In the event that you are not aware of this, boys, almost without exception, like to drive. Long distances. Without many stops. Refueling would be the one exception. We crossed the border into Arizona to fill up with cheaper gas than California could give us. And then it was lunchtime. We stopped at Chiriaco Summit. It was a unique little “gold mine” for the family corporation that has owned it since the 1920”s. This is a familiar story around these parts. The luckiest of folks bought in to desert property MANY years ago, (i.e. FOY) built things up over time, success shone over them like a rainbow, and today it is a tremendous moneymaker. (The unlucky also bought what they envisioned would become an overnight success……and then it didn’t, leaving a dismal abyss in the middle of nowhere for everyone to see.)
Back to the lunch portion of the trip. I tend to eat in a vegetarian fashion whenever given the chance. This is not the norm for folks in this area, or at least in ANY of the “fine dining” establishments that we have frequented. With no choices other than burgers, I ordered a tuna sandwich and salad, which was just another reminder that I am no longer in Oregon. Restaurant tuna is not a choice I will foolishly subject myself to again. Nasty, nasty. I do know better.
Dad’s glasses have been giving him trouble, so at the end of the drive, we swung through Indio/La Quinta for Costco and then WinCo for a few groceries. I try to NEVER miss an opportunity to stop at a grocery. Because of this, I have seen the inside of several places that seeing the outside made me skeptical of what further investigation would turn up. WinCo is NOT one of those places, so I jump at the chance to do my shopping there.
Tuesday was the big day for me. My friend, Renata, invited me to her site to do some wet felting. This is a method of making fabric, so to speak, out of wool roving. (Wool roving is the “Fur” from a sheep, goat, llama, etc. that has been washed and “carded,” or brushed so that the fibers are all going in the same direction.) These fibers are then laid out on a backing and carefully “roughed-up” to make them join together. When this process is well underway, it is “shrunk” or felted with very hot water and more roughing up. That is when the magic happens. This is a grossly oversimplified accounting of how this works.
Nonetheless, at the end of our project, we each made a little purse. It was fun, the process fairly easy, and the result is absolutely uber-cool. I. Am. Hooked. Now, I guess, I just need access to a fur-bearing animal, preferably a sheep, as Renata tells me that wool felts better, and a little spare time.
This was also the day that Kailin found out she will be traveling with her nanny family, and that potentially, I too, will be joining her on this adventure. This tidbit of information changed EVERYTHING for me. I immediately started a different crafting project because that is just what you do. Granny Nanny needs her own bag of tricks. I am working on a couple of pirates, mermaids, a little boat, and a bag to hold them. This occupied both my waking and resting hours for the remainder of the week. These “out of the box” projects are a strain on my old brain. I give up sleep so that I can lie awake and work out the details. I’m sure many of us use our down time for these purposes. I am thankful I packed my “bible” for these sorts of things, Salley Mavor’s “Felt Wee Folks,” and, of course, enough of the necessary supplies.
The park and surrounding areas did yield several activities last week. Friday was the FOY Artists annual Art Show. This is a big group of artists that that split up into of a lot of smaller groups. The show featured watercolors, acrylics, mixed media, beginners, advanced, and everything in between. As with all of the clubs at FOY, it looks like they meet often and are fairly organized. Just like the craft show, (which happens later in the month) judging is done by the attendees. As you enter, you receive a ballot and a pencil and are told to vote for your favorite. Dad and I participated, and Craig walked the dog.
Every month, a group at the park puts on a Pancake Feed. (I don’t actually know what group, but whoever does it recruits a LOT of volunteers) We, quite happily, go to these food related events, which are, evidently, fund raisers for various clubs at the park. We support these things. The cook, who happens to be me, enjoys the change of scenery. We had pancakes, cooked to order eggs, ham, juice, and coffee. It was very well attended, and the FOYers seemed happy, even at the early hour of 8:00am.
Saturday was also the Niland Tomato Festival, which curiously, doesn’t feature any tomatoes, as they are no longer grown around here. Niland is a 14-mile drive from the park. (I think I miss-spoke when I reported it being only 9 miles away.) This celebration was about half the size of the Citrus Festival we attended the week before. We walked through the flea market; it seems to operate whether or not the Tomato Festival is happening, as evidenced by the tarp-covered tables we notice whenever we happen to drive by. There were food booths, and Craig and I dined on tacos and perhaps the best tamale I have ever had. It was filled with pork, potatoes, and chilies. We washed things down with horchata and jamica, made from scratch by the ladies of the local Catholic Church. Dad, of course wanted no part of this, and ate at the next booth down. He had a hamburger, and, when asked, said: “it was dry.” He chased his food down with the very safe choice of bottled water.
This brings us to Sunday, which EVERYONE knows was Super Bowl Sunday, or as I refer to it, “International Day of Sewing.” My machine was already in place on the dinette.
As the boys watched football, I joyously sewed with reckless abandon. And, everyone was happy, especially when hors d’oeuvres and beer were served. We do know how to celebrate, here in the Hag.
That was our week, mostly uneventful, and still in the desert in the middle of nowhere.