Sorry about that. There's actually been a lot of stuff going on, I just didn't get around to posting here.
First things first, I suppose. My son moved out just after Easter--and it was a fight to get him to stay that long. Things are certainly quieter around here with just Dave and Heather in the house with me.
Also, at the end of March I started working as a crew leader for the census. I've had about 10 people under me, and it's been interesting, to say the least. I've been in charge of approving their payroll and making assignments, and also I've been doing address canvassing myself. The canvassing work is cool--we have hand held computers with maps and address lists for the different areas, and our job is to make sure that all the addresses are located correctly on the maps, and to make sure that all addresses are listed correctly; for example, if an address is a home, a group-type home, uninhabitable, or if it doesn't exist. We also have to add, delete, or rename streets if what is actually on the ground doesn't match what's in the computer. It might sound kind of boring, but it really is interesting to see more of my town and state.
In April, I got to go with Dave to meet up with John (a friend from the Museum of Hoaxes) and his family in Fairmont Hot Springs. It was a lot of fun--they're great folks! I had crocheted a small mushroom and hedgehog for John's daughter Sydney--it was a hit! : ) I suppose now would be a good time for some pictures...
First, I want to introduce Phoebe! John brought her for me, and I know that Dave's posted a picture of her already, but I haven't, so you get to see her again--so there! lol
Sydney and her new friend...cute, yes?
Anne, Sydney, hedgehog, and John
This was actually taken on Friday, before heading to Phillipsburg to visit the sapphire mine. I wish we'd managed to get one that included all five of us!
This is a post in front of The Sapphire Gallery. There were several of these, and I thought they looked pretty cool.
These are just a few of the very cool gemstone carvings that could be bought at The Sapphire Gallery. There were carvings ranging from really tiny--under an inch--to really big--a foot or so tall for some really neat obelisks. You'll just have to take my word for it, though, because I didn't manage to get pictures of those.
John, Anne, and Sydney looking for raw sapphires. At this place, the people who work there wash and sift the gravel for you, and then you go through and pick out the raw sapphires. Raw sapphires (at least these ones) look like blue-green bits of broken glass that have had the edges smoothed out. I will get some pictures of ours and post them another time.
This is from The Sweet Palace, which is a candy store next door to the sapphire place. Both sides are lined with bins of candy sold by the pound, and there is also an old-fashioned taffy-pulling machine (don't know if I got a picture of that or not) and a TON of custom chocolates. One of them (that I didn't get a picture of, and should have) is called Miracle Max's Magic Pill (or something like that). I thought that was pretty cool!
On the other side of the store there were a bunch of toys and puppets. Notice the dragon in the front there? He was about a foot and a half tall, and cost something like $69!!!! Yeesh!
Candy bins on the other side of the store...
Closer view of the candy jars...
This is the counter of the restaurant across the street where we had lunch. It's supposed to look like an old-fashioned soda shoppe. They had some great little hamburgers served on a skewer, and shakes made with ice cream (as opposed to a mix).
These safes were in just about every building. Dave was saying they're a holdover from when Phillipsburg was a mining town and everyone had to lock up the gems, gold, and silver. I just thought they looked really cool. All of them are painted like this, but with each business's own logo on it.
And, on our way back to the hotel, Dave and I found the road to Wisdom. We did not take that road...
Okay, I think this is long enough for today. Next time will have my trip with Heather to Riverfront park and my trip to Wyoming, in which I wrecked the car and encountered a giant Jackalope!