Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where does the time go! I can't believe it's almost the middle of February.

Started off the month with a visit from a friend from Canada Andy and his wife Lynne dropping in for a visit.

Then our next door neighbours (Bob and Joan) from up home came over and that same day we received an email from Bob's brother that they were in the area so they came over as well. Had a great lunch of hot dogs and wine for the gals and hot dogs and beer for the boys.

Great news about Bob and Joan, they are going to be coming to our resort in a few weeks to stay here for their winters instead of staying in Salome.

Allan and I just got back from a great trip that has been planned since the summer. The annual Wuertz Farms Gourd Festival in Casa Grande. My friend Beth got me into decorating gourds and I love it. So earlier this summer I registered for some courses at the festival. We packed our bags and all of my tools and other stuff that I absolutely need to gourd with and headed out on a day that promised to make driving an RV a rotten day. Weather warnings through California and Arizona, the rig wanting to go sideways due to the intense cross winds but Allan fought his way along and we arrived in Casa Grande with 10 minutes to spare to meet up with Beth so we could park along side each other at the festival.

Dang, it was cold but fortunately for us we had power - granted only 15 amps - but it was enough that we could run the furnace and a little heater as well without blowing the circuits. We ended up lending our second little heater to Chris and Beth so they could stay warm as well.

The first day arrives and some of the classes are outside and the organizers ended up having to move those classes inside - it was only 23F or -2C. My class got moved as well but for some reason our classroom had heat so I was nice and toasty warm.

My first class was spent playing with paper clay - I am not good with this medium - my cactus looked like a six year old did it and that is not being very nice to artistic six-year olds (sorry). I will try one more time just so I can say I did try.

My second class was spent using alcohol paints and doing something called couching (later nicnamed grouching). I liked using this medium and my gourd actually turned out very nicely and I'm actually proud of something that I did - next time I do one though I will be using some very long needle nose pliers (hence the grouching term).

Day 3 was spent learning tricks on wood burning. My instructor was extremely good in giving pointers on what I was doing wrong and by the end of the class my burns were a lot better. Again I was really happy with my gourd - it turned out really nice.

Day 4 - the hard class - wood burning and carving with a dremel tool. I stole Allan's dremel that he inherited from his dad so it is going to great use BUT it's really hard to do. It really needs a slow and gentle touch. Learned some great skills from my instructor so I was really happy with that gourd as well. Now I just need to finish it them all and put them on display.

Every evening Chris and Beth and Allan and I would get together for happy hour and we would discuss what Beth and I did in class. It was great to have her there - she gave me some great ideas which she always seems to have and I learned so much from her from before the festival and during the festival - she is an awesome gourder.

Time to come back to Blythe. The weather had been gradually warming up all weekend so it was a nice trip back.

We stopped in Mesa for lunch with our neighbours from up home (Bill and Dean) and spent a great afternoon with them laughing and swapping stories. That evening we dropped in on Derek and Janis, some former neighbours from the lake who live in Apache Junction. We went out to dinner and again spent the evening laughing and swapping stories.

The next day, we started our trek home and stopped in Anthem for a visit with more friends (Lorraine and Jim). They met us at the local Safeway parking lot and took us to their place for lunch. Had a great time visiting with them until it was time to head back to the motor home to go to Salome for the night.

Arrived in Salome in time for happy hour with our Canadian neighbours (Bob and Joan). Joan bless her heart invited us for dinner so spent time meeting their friends at Salome during happy hour and then spent the evening with Bob and Joan. We talked more about their move to Blythe as we will be in the desert when they actually move in.

Arrived back in Blythe around lunch time yesterday. Got the motor home unpacked, made Allan lunch and then called Susie and told her to come on over for cards. Spent a lovely happy hour catching up with friends (Jim and Carolyn) that arrived in the park while we were gone. It is so nice to have them back in the park. Carolyn is a gourder so now I have someone locally to play with.

Oh well - time to go - got to go back to work sometime. More later.

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