Farmer’s Market again

I am *not* new to farmer’s markets at this point in life.  I crash them in pretty much any old city I go to, if one happens to be in progress while I’m around/near and feel the urge to browse.  That’s how I found my deodorant one year (they sell it on Etsy, too!).  Or my elephant grass market baskets that seem to be sweeping my area – I’m one of the cool kids though, I’ve had mine for years (since the Issaquah market in…  2012? 2011?).
But selling at them?
That’s new.
And a little challenging for introvert me.  I like to think that being involved with mom’s groups for so long and throwing myself into new (and terrifying!) situations for me and the kids over the years has paid off.
I’m getting better at schmoozing with folks.  Hopefully in a non-creepy way.  I *really* hope it’s in a non-creepy way.

So here was my setup the first day.  When there were just a handful of vendors, it was thundering and raining like rain was going out of style.
I forgot to take a photo this last week, I liked that layout better.  I’m working on it.  Still need to do lots more signage/pricing as it is, baby steps as I do/remember things.  Not bad for cobbling things together fairly last minute though.  Takes time to do things with so many other things going on around me though.  Yikes.

So. We survived.

By the numbers…

1133 miles. Four days.
25.4 carats of sapphires.
21.5 (rough!) miles up to a middle of nowhere ghost town.
A dozen rocks with opal in them.
A 10-person tent (in reality, it’s 5-6).
Four kids, one mom.
Two campgrounds.
One caboose.
One giant, fantastic jail.
One luggage rack container we have named “Batman.”
Zero showers.
Not even close to enough flashlights.

We know how to vacation.

A few highlights.  More detail when I feel like sitting down to load/catalog the bunches and bunches of photos later.  Have work, appointments, and a leaking floor/falling down ceiling to deal with.

Finally got all packed up.

Meet the newest member of our family up top there.   Batman.
(Jury’s still out whether he’s awesome, or not…  no rain that we had to deal with, and all our stuff was where I needed it to be, so, so far, he did well in all his inexpensive, lumpy glory.)

Raw sapphires.  Each of the little baggies are what we found in one bucket.  You know, in case you decide to go mining for sapphires, too.

One of the few times they weren’t arguing/mad at each other.
“It’s not fair, he found more sapphires than me!”
“Well, he has been sitting there looking for them, so yes, he’s found some.”
“But it’s not fair!”

The big sign to turn to the mine.  Was the middle of nowhere, so the 10yo took this photo.  So I could be in like five photos this year (instead of maybe one).

Ghost town.  A little scary driving the route we did, but the van did manage to make it.  Yay!  Was a little neve-wracking that last mile and a half.  But very cool, and mostly worth it once we finally did arrive there.

Inside one of the cabins from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.  10yo is standing on an old bed spring frame.

The view from way up where we were, coming back down the scary ghost town road.  Beautiful view.  Awful road (kept up by the forest service, so if you’re familiar with forest service roads…).  At least for us non-four-wheeler folks.

Sometimes you need to hop into an old car.

She begged me to take this photo.  Her expression just slays me.

6yo had to get into the action.  These cells were in East Siberia – solitary.
The hole was in a different place.  After my phone (aka, my camera since my real camera died) ran out of battery life.

That about sums up my life.  In a caboose.

Yup, the last spike.

Opal mining was a bit of a bust.  They were all cranky and on each other’s nerves for whatever reason.  A sweet young man found us some opal rocks to bring home so we wouldn’t come home empty handed.

The smooth, milky little bits in the rocks are opal.  Yeah, not what I was expecting either.  But cool.

The 8yo wanted to take photos with my phone.  6yo was trying to limp noodle away, 10yo was being goofy (and my hair was greasy and weird from four days of no shower).  The rest areas in Montana were a trip.  Rather than a big long room of stalls?  All individual ones.  So, say, you have a passel of kids.  Pile into one bathroom, do your business, and go about on your merry way.  We stopped at more rest areas than one would hope.  Ah well, such is adventuring.

First campsite.  Happened to be A13.  Took driving around a loop to find a spot with a big enough flat space for the ginormous tent.

Second campsite.  Happened to be #13.  Kind of a weird coincidence.  Were much closer to the vault toilets at this one, that was nice.  By the end of the trip, the big boys were getting better at folding the tent up.  It’s definitely a 2+ person ordeal.  It would take me forever to do it by myself.  Think it has a bigger footprint than the van, honestly.

Many moons ago

… I started a free blog.
All the cool kids were doing it.
On Xanga even, seemed like only a few folks were mainstays on LiveJournal.  It was way back when, in the heydey of the MDC Diapering boards, when the term “hyena” in regards to diapers was coined by a lovely lady I like to call a friend/acquaintance, when a bunch of us newer moms just needed adult interaction, reassurance we weren’t screwing up, and found it online in blogs and forums.  Especially since we didn’t tend to leave our houses a whole lot, only when we absolutely had to.  I still have a few friends from those way-back days, even up to 10-11 years ago!  We keep track of each other on Facebook anymore.  There have been many, many, many, ups and downs in our lives.  Some I remember their handles from blogs/forums/both, now I mostly know their real names and even addresses.  I have a few birth clubs that have gotten very close over the years.  Eventually, hopefully, some of us will meet, that would be amazing.  Until then, we have our friends on our computer (or phone) screens.  To lend an ear with problems, or exciting developments, to cheer each other on.  All because of the internet, and so called peer pressure.

An extra bonus is that now I have an archive of many years of me, of the kids, of our family in here.  Some has been privatized over the years due to issues, some thoughts and entries have never seen the light of day, but I have them.  Like when the kids were each born.  I remember basics, but it’s nice to go back and re-read the details to refresh my memory.  Or how the garden has developed over the years (spoiler alert, this year the weeds won!).

The last year or two I’ve wandered off and away from my blog, for various reasons.  Things pulling me in different directions, some things I just don’t feel are public fodder.  So I kept things closer to the chest.  Confided in only a few select trusted friends, and gained perspective and courage and encouragement from said friends.  It’s time for that quiet tide to turn.  Things are only going to get more exciting around here.  I aim to find my groove again, and find my voice again.  I remember more than a few times being told I had a way with words and describing my adventures.   Really, this is much how I would be if you met me in person.  Again, more than a few people have told me that upon meeting me, I’m just how I portray myself online.  I don’t have the patience (or memory, thanks thyroid!) to be two or three or four different people.
I am who I am.  A 30-something mom, who has a tendency to get stressed out easily (thanks adrenals!), has kids growing and eating all the time, who begrudgingly drives a minivan (although I can haul a decent amount with it sometimes!), who has a penchant for being a stealth hippie, and who grows her own glitter (on my head, it’s a pretty color).  And who thinks her daughter’s girl scout troop has it together more than her son’s boy scout troop, but that’s a topic for another day.

So welcome back.  I hope between my businesses and updates and projects and my own goofiness to be seen here a bit more than in recent times.
Rest assured though, things will be entertaining from time to time.
I have a tendency to do that.
Just ask Sugar Balls the trucker.