And the story continues:

Another great day in Arizona. The morning began quietly with me up at dawn again. Which doesn’t sound so bad, but dawn comes really early here. It would come later here (just about in line with everyone else’s dawn) but since they don’t switch to daylight savings time, it comes about the same time as in Alaska.

Gnome getting ready to go off on basket making adventure

We got ourselves ready for a fun day and wouldn’t you know – it happened. First to arrive was Su. Next came Ann and once we were all assembled, we moved on to the Aztec Room up at Monte Vista’s community center. It takes a lot of equipment to weave a basket. It also takes water. Now, I should have realized this just by rational thinking, but it honestly never dawned on me.

Gnomes near Reed Mountain

We each had our own tub of water. They looked suspiciously to be of hospital origin. And sure enough, Su said they were from a friend who worked in a hospital. They were the disposable “bird bath” basins used in OR. Nice little bins in OR and useful for basket weaving. I have to say, in all my years in surgery, I never looked at one and thought of this. Regardless, it was true.

We measured our strips of weaving material to find the middle. There is a right and wrong side to reed and we wanted the right side to end up on the outside of our baskets. Like everything else worthwhile in life, planning is essential. To begin the weaving, measuring exactly and planning for enough material to be where it will be needed later is essential.

After the bottom and spokes for the sides were in place, we put in twenty more rows of reed. We then wove in a cloth handle, sewed that together, put pretty edging reed and some pretty roping around the top and then lashed it all together with cane.

Su began this about fourteen years ago when one of her friends brought her to an event like this. She liked it so much, she began doing more basket making and as anyone who is skilled in a craft knows, other people like their products as well. So Su migrated from beginner, to skilled, to teacher.

Gnomes perched atop Cheri's basket

I wasn’t paying enough attention to the time. I would say we actually started the weaving process, as opposed to the setting up process, about 11.00. We were back home after completing the weaving process and the cleaning up process before 3 PM. That was with two raw beginners in there. Ann had made a few baskets, Pam’s house is filled with baskets, and Cheri and I are the proud owners of our first baskets. Su also made a basket while there using dyed reed.

Weavers and their baskets (courtesy of Su Walker)

While we were weaving, Pam got a call. Her car was fixed. So after we got back to the house, we needed to go and get the car. Because of the whole car seat thing, Pam had Jen’s car with Ryan and Hannah’s car seats, Jen had Cathy’s car without any car seats and Bob had Pam’s car in order to fix it. So Pam and I went over to S&S Auto and picked up her car. Then I drove Pam’s car and she drove Jen’s car and we got home, stopping at Sprouts on the way to pick up something for dinner.

Someone here had salmon on sale and Pam had stopped early in the day to get some after telling Ryan he could have salmon for dinner. The salmon was gray rather than a nice, fresh pink. She didn’t buy any. Even on sale, gray wasn’t the right color. So we got Ryan a salmon steak. We also got some shrimp. Pam had asparagus in the refrigerator and so I said I would sauté some mushrooms, add the asparagus, stir in some shrimp and put it over rice for the rest of us. (The salmon was not on sale at Sprouts.) So that was our plan.

We got all the cars back home and began to cook. The asparagus was past its prime and would have been the perfect side dish for gray salmon. It was actually slimy and heading toward compost. It wasn’t added, but the rest of our dinner went as planned.

Jen was here and the kids got out some of Hannah’s pretties and made their mother look beautiful. It is so difficult to find people who really understand how to work with hair, but I believe Hannah and Ryan have the magic touch.

My beautiful niece, Jen. You could get this type of hairdo from Ryan and Hannah. Call for appointment.

All the Nanas were pooped from so much excitement in the last few days and we were all asleep before ten. We are now waiting to see what sort of adventures we can manage for the new day.