Thursday, July 19, 2007

"I got a rock"

Well, the trip to Arkansas ended a bit early. I'm still glad I went. And, I'm trying to look on the bright side, like there's some stuff this weekend that I had to cancel so I could go to Arkansas, and now that I'm back I can try to uncancel some of it.

So I spent half of last week in a not so great motel room so that I could work on the floor. I didn't get as much done as I hoped, but I got the important part done. I tried to do something creative and make grey and black swirls with this leveling stuff. But the black stuff turned out to be thicker than the grey stuff, so I have some lumps. But my husband doesn't think that it's too bad, and anything is better than the awful carpet that was in the hallway.

A while back I bought some latex gloves for a project. Then I misplaced the gloves, so I bought another box of gloves. Then I decided I needed a smaller size and I bought a third box. I used a lot of these gloves while I worked on the floor, but I had plenty of them left. And I used some of the gloves during our last trip to an Arkansas crystal mine, and I planned to make use of them on this trip too.

Sunday, we had one night back in our own bed. Monday I got a few things together and we were on our way to Texarkana. With all the work I'd been doing on the floor I had misplaced some things and neglected to do laundry. So I was missing some things that I normally pack, like underwear. But my a** is smaller these days, so I figured it was time to buy more underwear anyway. So after we checked into the motel, we went and spent a bit more than a hundred dollars, mostly at Walmart. Except for yarn to make a scarf, some very expensive ice cream, spending too much at lunch, and buying tickets to see the Harry Potter movie, it was all stuff that we needed anyway, but I wasn't planning to buy all that stuff in one trip.

And of course I forgot to pack that box of latex gloves, so I ended up buying a fourth box at the Walmart.

The motel I spent half of this week in was better than the one I was in last week. More cable channels. Free breakfast. Not a really wonderful breakfast, but a good motel breakfast. Sausage and eggs and make your own waffles. And an ironing board. And a hair-dryer that I forgot to pack. We ended up spending about four dollars a night more than what he gets reimbursed for, but that's not too bad.

Tuesdays morning we nearly missed breakfast. We stayed in bed too long. I hurt in places I forgot I had. And, like I said, the breakfast they had wasn't bad. Then it was back to the room to watch TV for an hour. My husband got the computer to work most of the time, but there were little weird problems like I couldn't read anyone's comments. So I decided not to post anything. Using the company computer is annoying anyway, since nothing is where I expect it to be.

We went to get a pizza for lunch. This is only the second time I've had pizza since the doctor told us to go on a diet. We're still not on a diet, but we have cut back on the hamburgers and pizza and such. So we bought this pizza and brought it back to the room, thinking we would have leftover pizza later in the week. Then my husband went to work.

I watch some TV and start knitting a scarf. I don't have cable at home. Last week was a lot of work, and now I just get to be lazy and stay in bed. And I'm thinking that since my husband is scheduled to work in Shreveport next week it's silly for him to drive all the way home on Sunday and then drive to Shreveport on Monday. I hadn't planned on staying away for two weeks, but maybe I should.

That idea lasts about two hours. Even with the knitting and the cable TV, I am just going out of my mind bored. I think that a day or two of this would be nice, and I'll probably appreciate being able to sit around doing nothing on Thursday, but Friday and Saturday will be boring, and I wouldn't want a whole second week like this. Besides, I should go home and work on the floor when my husband won't be in the way.

I watch most of My Super EX-Girlfriend, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and some re-runs of The Incredible Hulk. Not bad stuff, but I am greatly relieved when I remember than my husband gets off early and will probably be back by nine. I watch a re-run of Tru Calling and half of Eureka when he comes in.

He's not happy. He didn't make any money, the rest of the week has been cancelled, and we've paid for the room for six days. The company will probably only pay for two days. So he made like fifty dollars and we've spent like four hundred.

He calms down a bit and we watch the rest of Eureka.

Since we're already here, we might as well go on with our plan to go to the mine. The next morning my husband talks to someone at the desk and finds out that getting some of our money back won't be a problem. Great. We eat breakfast and head for the Hot Springs area.

Of course, I left my latex gloves in the motel room.

This time we went to Ron Coleman's Mining. This is a pretty big place, and it's only like two miles off the main road. It's easy to find and I wasn't worried about something bad happening to the van. We paid our twenty dollars each, and they gave us a couple of bags to put rocks in. My husband took some pictures of the place, and then we took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and went to join the other tourists.

I think that I cut my right thumb on the first rock I picked up. Without leather gloves, I was going to get some cuts anyway, but it was very annoying to get cuts from just every little thing I touched.

I decided just to get a few big rocks for the garden and take them back to the van before I did anything to get tired. Not that the rocks were that big. And it turned out that I didn't need to bother with that. I ended up with plenty of garden rocks.

I picked up a few things here and there, but probably the good stuff was in the fresh mud brought up in a dump truck. Four other people (an older couple, an accountant, and a professional artist) were seriously going through that stuff. My husband pointed out a couple of things that the Professional had found. Then we went to lunch at Subway.

While we were out for lunch, I bought a fifth box of latex gloves.

When we got back I decided to get in the fresh mud. Nearby, the older couple is trying to make small talk with the Professional and the Accountant. The Accountant married the Professional and gave up her job to travel around the country with him. They made two or three trips here every year to collect material, and they went other places to collect other stuff, and then they spent a lot of time doing art shows. The older couple asked if they ever went to a particular craft show that they were familiar with, and the Professional said that he only did fine art and did not do craft shows. The older couple asked about a different craft show, and the Professional gave up talking to them.

A bit later, the Professional found a large crystal that was not perfect. But he told my husband that he was still happy to find it cause he could use it to make a lamp. My husband was pretty sure that lamp-making counted as a craft, but he didn't say anything.

I found a couple of things that were probably good for lamp-making, and I took the stuff back to the van. There's a place to wash the mud off of your rocks, but I didn't want to spend all day washing stuff. I just got off enough mud to see that it was something that I wanted to keep, and then I put the rocks into heavy trash bags and stacked them in the van. I'm a big wimp and can only carry about half a bucket at a time. It would have been nice to have a wagon or something, but there just wasn't room in the van for the company stuff and all the stuff I like to take on trips.

I saw other people taking things that I didn't even bother looking at. There was a man very happily collecting these not so great looking slabs. Maybe he wanted paving stones. Or maybe he has a garage full of stuff for polishing rocks and these will look very nice when he's finished with them. But for now they don't look like much. There was another man with his family, and they were filling their truck with big white rocks. They didn't look like anything to me. And if you just want a bunch of white rocks for your garden, you can save yourself some work and just get stuff from the reject pile. Somebody else has already done most of the washing, and you can drive straight there and load as much as you want.

The dump truck comes with more fresh mud. I find two pieces that are nice, but not perfect. A woman with her family just walks up and finds like four big perfect points. She didn't really dig or anything. Life is so unfair.

I think that I got twenty dollars worth of stuff, even if it isn't perfect. Now that I've had a chance to look at it, I think that my husband's stuff is better.

We got there about two hours after they opened and we mostly stayed til they closed at 4:30. It was about a two hour drive back to the motel, and I had to sit at an angle because of the rocks on the floor. Our clothes were ruined, which we expected, and my husband just tossed his in the trash. I kept mine because I still have work to do on the floor and in the garden. But I think we'll have to replace the shoes as well, which I should have planned for but didn't.

Thursday was only a three hour drive, but it seemed a lot longer. Driving that day was not part of the original plan. He was supposed to have a regular work day, and I was supposed to sit in a motel room and maybe go for a swim.

I will need a few days to clean this stuff, but I think that most of my stuff will just end up in the garden. My husband has a nice cluster that would be pretty if it wasn't so rust colored. We will probably try the acid out on that one. It was a lot of work, but I'd be ready to go again in a week or so if I got the chance. And it would be nice to go to Georgia and look for amethysts.


Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I pick up a small stone for my garden everywhere I go, I like to remember places when I look at the gravel bed & rock garden.

Babybull40 said...

we have a mine north of us and we went through the tour thingy and it was okay for the most part.. and then at the end we can peruse the gift shop and see how much money people will spend on a rock.. Glad it was an okay trip.. I love Amethysts...

The Diva's Thoughts said...

Wow! Sounds like a lot of work.

laughingattheslut said...

I have just about decided to go ahead an go on the Shreveport trip. I doubt we'll do any tourist stuff, since we're having lunch with my brother tomorrow and won't leave until afternoon and won't have a lot of time.

I should be working on the floor, but I've decided I just cannot deal with it this coming week. The week after that will probably be better.

And I think that I'm going to need a 30 foot scarf next month, and the place is just too much of a mess to work on it here. Knitting might be easier in a motel right now.

evil-e said...

Congratulations on the find, you are quite the archaeologist.