Thursday, February 26, 2009


Arkansas is home to the quartz crystal capital of the world, Mt. Ida, near Hot Springs. Our first dig was at the Coleman Mine. We went without knowing what to expect and we had a really good time. They dig big buckets of quartz laden earth out of the mine and bring it up to the area where you can dig. They call it the "tailings". You can set your chair up next to a pile and dig or you can walk around. But, you cannot go down into the actual mine area. It is way too dangerous. I climbed up to the top of a large mound and felt the urge to dig in one particular spot. I kept digging until I had a hole about 8 inches deep and something just kept telling me to dig. All of a sudden something sliced my finger and there was a lot of blood but I just kept on digging another inch and pulled out MY quartz. I think it was calling to "me".
It is very special and I pick it up and hold it when I am feeling stressed or just need a pick-me-up. It has many unique features and I would never part with it. You can go to and click on "dig your own crystals" to see the different mines and the specimens they get out. Some are truly amazing! My husband found a large chunk that he is quite proud of.

When you find one it gives you a special feeling that you could get addicted to, just knowing that you are the first person EVER to see it.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I saw the first signs of SPRING in my neighborhood this Tuesday. The temperature got up into the low 70's. I started seeing daffodils here and there and then yesterday I saw 2 trees that are starting to bloom out, even though it dropped back down to the 50's. They are even talking about the possibility of snow tomorrow BUT those daffodils will still be there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Most Beautiful Tulips

These tulips were the most wonderful birthday present (last year)...wouldn't you agree?!!! The picture tells all...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Heart from Mother Nature

Well, I need to tell you about another heart experience before we get too far from February 14th. Two weeks ago I was at the grocery store buying a few baking potatoes when I spied this unusual shape. I HAD to get it...

My first thought was to sell it on Ebay...but, I ate it instead. YUM!!!

Free Crochet Pattern

I made the cutest crocheted Valentine envelopes for my grand girls. I got the free pattern at , you can search for "valentine envelopes". They were very easy, all you use is a single crochet stitch and a slip stitch. I made one with 100% cotton yarn, like I use with pot holders,
then I found the cutest multi-colored yarn and decided to use it instead. I really liked the texture of the cotton yarn but the other was too cute so, I had to use it.I put little valentines and a giant sucker inside. (I'm not the greatest photographer and my camera didn't really show all the colors in the yarn). It had red, yellow, oranges and pinks. I put a different matching edge on each one so they would know which one was theirs.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nature's Valentine

Some of you reading this might not totally believe me when I tell this story. But, it is 100% true! My husband and I were at a roadside rest stop in Arizona in December. We had gotten out of the car to stretch our legs. My husband started picking up a couple of rocks to bring back to our granddaughter that collects rocks and I told him "Look for a rock shaped like a heart, you can actually find them sometimes". Some people even collect them. I have never actually found one but I have seen plenty of pictures. Not 5 minutes later, we were near the car and I looked down and right there in plain view was the most precious red heart rock. It was laying in the midst of some smaller grey gravel, not buried or covered with dirt. Just laying right there! I looked at my husband and when I showed it to him, his mouth came open and he said "No Way"! Meditation teaches you that when you clear your mind, it clears the way for so much more to come in. Some people might call it ESP. I think in this case, I somehow knew it would be there "before" I actually found it, whatever it is called, it was an exhilarating experience, from just a little rock.
I couldn't wait to get home to take a picture of it. I placed it next to a regular size postage stamp to give you an idea of the size. I keep it next to my computer to remind myself of all the things that are possible if you just put your mind to it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saguaro National Park-Tuscon Arizona

On our Christmas vacation to Arizona we decided to visit the Saguaro National Park outside of Tucson Arizona. From Hwy. 10, take exit 275.
We didn't have to worry about it being closed because it is open year round (except Christmas Day). 7:00 a.m. until sunset. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There is actually two parts to the park. The West and the East section. We went to the East side because it is bigger and they have an 8 mile loop you can drive through called Cactus Forest Drive. It was much colder than we ever expected it to be in winter. The wind was blowing and every time we got out of the car, we had to hurry back because the wind was so cold. I never realized it is at the base of the Rincon Mountain range.
Saguaro branches always grow upward. Occasionally frost or snow will freeze the tissue at the base of a limb and damage it, and the weight of the branch pulls it down. If the branch survives, the growing tip will turn upward again. It seems this happened several times here.
In the most favorable conditions it may take 35 years to grow 6 feet, but more commonly it takes 47-67 years. They can grow 50 feet tall and may be as much as 85% water. A large plant may weigh 8 tons or more!
If you decide to visit, let me suggest going to their website You can actually backpack, bicycle, geocache and picnic within the park. But, beware of bears, mountain lions, snakes and many other wildlife. We didn't see any animals the day we were there, Dec. 27th. I bet they were smarter than we were and were in a nice warm place.