Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cheryl and Ethan Find Success in Muscatine.

It has been a week since my last posting, and Cheryl still can not run.  With this being hard, cold truth...  you would think that she would drop off of my "things to blog about" list.   But somehow... she continues to find her way into my muse.  I shall explain....

Muscatine Farmers' Market
After abandoning the Bix 7,   Cheryl decided that there is only one other thing you can do with a busted Femur...  ( drum roll....)  Go to Muscatine and enter the Farmers Market.

With her Sidekick...

With very little in our shop to display,  Cheryl fashioned a dozen key chains and created a small display from  an abandoned card table and poster board we found in the shed. We were not expecting much, and still we managed to sell enough to spark Cheryl's creative fire.
Muscatine Today!

The rest of the week,  she has been busily sewing up additional key chains, pencil pouches, money clutches and baking cookies.   Today,  we headed back to Muscatine with more offerings ( on the same small card table)  and hoped for the best.

  Look at all the Stuff!
I was expecting/hoping for a better result.  We were both pleasantly surprised (and shocked) to make 600% increase in sales!  Not enough to afford the plane ticket to Tokyo,  but enough to get us to continue down the farmer's market craft show.    Cheryl already had big ideas for the Christmas shows in the mall.

Edible Boletus.
The farmer's market itself is only 4 hours long on Saturdays.  And mostly it is visited by only the locals.   Aside from us,  everyone seems to know everyone.   And after today,  people started to engage us as "regulars".   Now that we are officially accepted as one of the locals,  we hope to improve our standing and, most importantly, our bottom line!
Purple Flower
Red flower...
This week has also been pleasantly cooler that any other time this summer.   With temps in the upper 50's,  Cheryl and I have been taking walks while she tries to nurse her ripped hip flexor back into shape.  The walks have been pleasantly enchanting in their own right.   In addition to the various fungi I ranted about last time,  ( by the way, the Boletus was edible.   It did NOT turn blue when we cut into it.  Apparently, if it does, it has a high probability to giving you a tummy ache)  we also discovered lots of  Flowers:

Concord Grape.  Wild...

Tart Plumbs.  Also wild..
Not really sure.... But it is pretty.

And Shells!  
Like a gem!
Cheryl finds history.

The shells are from today.   After our successful Farmers Market adventure,  we headed down to the Mississippi for a beach combing excursion.  In addition to $.63 in loose change, we discovered the dump site for the Muscatine Button industry.  ( I should note:  I took lots of pictures, but the room on this post is limited.   These small chunks photoed up the best.)

We found these button blanks.
Some had holes in them, 
Cheryl was very excited.   And she was willing to brave to jagged rocks and muddy shore to find the treasures.  I even found a couple of buttons that must not have made the cut.  You can see where/how they cut the buttons from the shells of the Mississippi clams.

Cut button holes in shell.

  And although the camera had a difficult time trying to capture the iridescence,  each shell glimmered like silver against the rocks.

Cheryl cleaning the shells.
As I write this,  Cheryl is cleaning up the buckets of shells we picked up.  Perhaps we will find a used for them in the form of Jewelry later on.   We shall see.

Alligator Gar head
Wonder how it gets that name...
Other than that,  we found a few animal remains on the riverbank as well.   Catfish, deer bones, and this really cool Garpike head.

A Slightly larger version of the Alligator Gar

(I'll refrain from geeking out on the Garpike too much.   Real quick,  Ganoid scales and a heterocercal tail.... With a swim bladder that can act as a lung!  Very cool prehistoric fish.) You can probably see how the Alligator Gar gets its name.

Having more fun than is legal in Michigan!
So now,  I'm done for the day.  It was an early rise and  a long day.   Even Cheryl is planning to retire earlier than usual.  It is the weekend after all.  I should try to post things more this coming week.   We have a Lunar Eclipse and a birthday coming up.  Perhaps I will be able to take a break from the Origami so I don't have to cram a weeks worth of activity into one post.   So thanks for stopping in and hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.

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