Shells & Mexican Politics

Once and a while we stumble on a small business & just fall in love with it.  Rocky Point Rodeo Drive has a of of shops that hold very similar tourist items. We weren’t expecting something different or new.  Creating curios from shells has been a long standing tradition even when this road was simply sand and shacks. I had my own tradition of buying one particular older woman’s shell creations but when they upgraded the road a few years ago, her store disappeared.  Now we have created a new tradition as once we met Salvador.Way at the west end of the street on the north side we found a shop owned by a delightful couple. Salvador is showing the secure backing his wife uses on her designs.Some of the shells are local, some are purchased, but all the work is hers.He explained they live behind the shop and TODAY  he was watching the shop and the kids while his wife was at a political luncheon for women.Salvador’s pride in his wife’s work & her participation in the luncheon was delightful. We  learned a lot about this couple in a short time from his story. They are part of the old traditions, and they are shaping in the future of their town.   This is such a terrific mom and pop business. Please stop in the next time you are in Rocky Point. I know  we always will.

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A Most Extraordinary Gift

Only 2 years apart, G grew up with his Uncle O with G’s older brother in between. Their mothers provided the three tiny children with a frying pan, some bacon & eggs,  and watched as the very young boys climbed the side of the mountain behind their side by side houses. Soon there would be a small glimmer of a fire and the boys made their own breakfast.  All day the boys would be immersed in their cowboy existence on that Phoenix mountain. mountain (2) By today’s standards the boys would be considered too young to be making a fire, climbing trails, staying on a mountain all day, shooting 22’s at an imaginary enemy.  It is their experience to share and their memories together.

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G’s Bronzed Boots from those days.

This week O presented G with a most extraordinary handmade knife. Using an antler and a piece of steel, he forged and polished to such a sharp edge it slices through a piece of paper so easily, sharper than a razor.img_9926When someone shares a piece of their artistic soul, their art, you just KNOW that you are holding a piece of their heart in your hand.img_9927Thank you Uncle O for such a memorable gift.

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Wait up guys! 

 

Treasure Hunting At The Gem Show

Each February vendors come to Tucson, AZ to exhibit gems, minerals, fossils, boulders, and natural art at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

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5 ft and above for these crystal formations!

The logistics of shipping the tremendous amount of heavy rock always amazes me. In just a few weeks tons of material arrive in Tucson.   I picture an off-balance washing machine thumping away; except its the earth wobbling from the excess weight.2018-01-27_13-01-26_504.jpeg

I have my favorite venues.  The Co-Op on Oracle Rd  always has a large petrified wood room with  different tables on display every year.  I highly recommend hugging petrified tree millions of years old whenever one gets a chance.

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Spectacular Petrified Wood Table.
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Tables are made from slabs millions of years old.

My favorite room at the Co-Op has Septarian geodes from Utah. I check their room first thing on the first day as they are very popular.

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Each Septarian Egg is unique.

The Co-Op is handicap accessible and always has fossils to see.

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We tried the new venue advertised as the “upscale” 22nd street show.  Not my type of product but found some interesting art!

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Warrior Woman made from metal and motorcycle chain hair!

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These bat coffins are quite interesting.  However pants would have been a good idea.  I was not prepared to see bat genitalia so early in the morning.

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Also proof that someone whacked that Geico lizard. Perhaps now we can stop contemplating why a Gecko selling insurance in the US has a UK accent and has access to Navy aircraft carriers.

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In the olden days (I’d say even 10 years ago) there were only a few different venues hosting exhibits. It was easy to see in a couple of days. The fame of the Tucson Gem Show spread and now there are  venues  all over town.

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The ever popular giant pink skull decor.

After the 4th or 5th venue it can feel like repetition, However, treasure may be right around the corner. 2018-01-28_14-03-55_966

I try to buy my supplies from returning vendors to show  support to them for coming back each year.  Half the fun of the treasure hunt is talking to the vendors and listen to their story.  People come from all over the world. There are so many different paths that lead to the Gem Show!

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Lights show through the mineral creating fascinating patterns on the wall.

One of the more artistic booths has unique gem inlaid pictures.  Every year they exhibit and have a darkened room where the art is illuminated from behind. Impossible to capture the beauty  in a photo.

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This pic doesn’t even come close.  Metal background, gem quality inlaid lapis, turquoise, & coral.

When I tell the exhibitor that ‘this is always one of my favorite booths”, she animatedly responds “Oh do you posses one of our pieces?”  I tell her “I wish”  as I run my hand over the cool metal and stone.2018-01-27_11-04-27_323

One of the returning booths only sells Himalayan Salt Lamps.  If you see one you want buy it because if you wait to “buy it on the way out so I can take it straight to the car” it  the treasure will be gone.

There are miles and miles of beads,

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Gems,

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Fossils,

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Who knew these fossilized poop emojis sell for $2,000?

Art,

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Collections,

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Treasure hunters bring your walking shoes!   There is no place like the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

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Replenishing my supplies:  Hopefully enough to get me through 2018.  Until the next treasure hunt at least…

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Turquoise all shapes and sizes

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Ready to go!  Excited to use some of the new product in the projects. Stay tuned to Desertwindsgallery.com

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Ajo, AZ who knew?

A few weeks ago we accidentally poorly timed driving across the Mexican border and ended up crossing during the busiest Sunday rush.  Consequently we were delayed in line for over an hour.

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We had been in line for a while. Still a long way to go as I can’t yet see the Flags. Vendors walk along selling to captives of traffic. 

We had given away our  food that is illegal to bring back into the U.S. (which is pretty much everything we like)  We gave it to our friend Rosa who sells her delicious tamales on the beach.  Time meandered way  past lunchtime and we were hungry.   The few gas station stores along the route didn’t sound appealing. Well, mainly  because the LAST time G purchased a “Tornado Dog” (mystery meat wrapped in corn meal-supposed to be chicken) which led to  an uncomfortable evening.   The Tornado part of the title  lived up to the name.  We decided to drive the 10 miles west out of our way to Ajo, AZ.   Founded 1854 .1 (2) I told G “I can’t remember ever having been here  before”.  He tells me how he used to call on the Ajo when he was in sales  in the 70″s. He held up his arm, pointed to his armpit, and says “here’s Ajo”.         NOT true today!   2017-08-19_14-50-50_000Expecting the worst, I was  surprised at the cute renovations on the rows of old mining bungalows, restoration of Municipal buildings, and churches. 2017-08-19_14-50-32_0002017-08-19_14-50-38_000Perhaps the most impressive is the tremendous amount of street art.2017-08-19_14-41-30_000Not just art, each piece was meaningful and moving.  Spent so much time here studying them, wondering about the artist, feeling the pain expressed through this beauty. Viewing them I felt overwhelming sadness, pain, anger, happiness, beauty. I touched the hot brick gently perhaps trying to connect with the artist to hug them and thank them for sharing their soul. A few examples below.  2017-08-19_14-41-03_0002017-08-19_14-41-52_0002017-08-19_14-42-12_000Unfortunately there was not a fast food establishment and our tummies are  protesting noisily.  Perhaps lack of a modern drive thru fast food establishment is how it should be in this antique town. We stopped at the  a local spot, Agave Grill, an asian fusion restaurant and enjoyed the fresh food and local atmosphere. Full and satisfied G turned the RV around and headed east toward home talking  about how  Ajo. AZ was such  a pleasant surprise.2017-08-19_14-40-52_000MORAL OF THE STORY;  Don’t judge a town by the 70’s , OR- G’s armpit is more artistic and lovely than previously thought.2017-08-19_14-44-18_0002017-08-19_14-42-40_000

 

 

AZ Quilt

We stumbled across this Arizona shaped quilt on display at the Naninni Library just as the Librarian was placing it behind the glass. It was mesmerizing.  The  quilt focuses on Historical places in Tucson and southern AZ.  Small touches & attention to detail~WOW! img_5186

Represented are the Tohono O’odham NationSaguaro National Park, Davis-Monthan Air Force BaseMission San Xavier Del Bac, Stage Coach Southern AZ, Colossal Cave (a natural cave full of geological formation),, or could be Karchner Caverns, the poppies of Picacho PeakJarvick Heart (the first artificial heart)University of ArizonaHistoric Fox TheaterArizona Cotton, Tucson Rodeo La Fiesta De Los VaquerosArt Galleries, Kitt Peak National ObservatoryMt. Graham International ObservatoryDesert Museum just to name a few.  I stood in wonder identifying the detail the artist has represented.  Well done Tucson Quilters Guild!

New Shoes For Baby Blue

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Time to get Baby Blue some new shoes. Two & a quarter inch white wall American Classic tires. Mounted on chrome rims with baby moon hubs…whaaaaaaaat am I even saying right now?

So the other day G informs me that The tires on the 1951 Ford were 50 years old.  See  Old tires>>img_4607   the 51 is his retirement project that began  with a rusted out old Ford. This picture is after he had done the first layer of body work.image0013-1

Then one day I pulled in the garage and the top was cut off of the old car taking up the space I park.

He told me he was going to chop it (which is apparently difficult ) & French it (which conjures other images).  Then he said “Worst case we have a convertible!”  This did not ease my mind, but about a year later he accomplished it.

chopped-fordSo here it is just before paint, after hours and hours of patient body work. Lots of hours of hand sanding to get the angles right and the windows cut.

 

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G looses track of time when he is working on the Ol’ Ford.  He would  sleep out there if it weren’t for me calling him in, like a mom calling a little kid playing kick the can until dark thirty on a summer night.  Here he is reworking the entire wiring system.

engine-on-a-stickOn to the engine which he kept on a stick covered with  a Toys R Us bag. (Which I found appropriate).

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Then one day it was just time.  Time to put the engine where it belonged. It started right away to our delight.

After a lot of hard work it turned into a beautiful  piece of art.

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Having old car means meet ups at burger joints and lots  of discussion about flatheads,   V8s , cams & other engine speak.  Meanwhile I am zoning out to the 50’s music and trying to ‘fit in’.

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The key to happiness may be building a custom car, who knows.  All I know is it makes him happiest when he smells motor oil and hears the roar of a good strong engine.  Secretly I am glad that Baby Blue needed new shoes.  img_4626

G says it drives so much better he’s driving it everyday. Kachow!