Tag Archives: rose quartz

Santa Barbara


I was feeling tired and on the verge of getting a cold the day we set out for Santa Barbara. I ended up lying in my bed napping wile Mr. Carolina drove the van. I thought the kids had a plan, an idea of where we could park so they could sleep outside. I was willing to let them handle the logistics.

I awoke to bickering, and it wasn’t just the Fighting Couple (FC) arguing. Mr. FC thought he knew where we should park. Sweet L and Mr. Carolina and Robbie didn’t like Mr. FC’s idea, but they didn’t have anything better to suggest. We could see the beach right over there, but all the street signs prohibited us from parking nearby.Park, Signs, Travel, No Parking, Transportation

Mr. Carolina got mad and said he wasn’t driving anymore. Robbie said he’d drive, but he was really bad at it, and we were soon telling him to pull over and let someone else take the wheel. Mr. FC got in the driver’s seat and headed out of town. There was more yelling, and Mr. FC relinquished the driver’s seat. Then Mr. Carolina was back at the wheel, and we were circling through the city again.

I asked about the plan, and it turned out the plan ended at get to Santa Barbara. No one had any idea of what we would do when we arrived.

California, Sea, Ocean, Pacific, Waves, Seashore, BeachSomehow, Mr. Carolina found us the perfect spot. We were on a residential street, although the residences to our left looked like mansions to me. To our right was a park. Bellow the park was a beach and the ocean. We could hear waves crashing below. Best of all, there was no sign regulating parking.

I climbed back into my bed while everyone else tumbled out of the van with their packs to sleep on the beach. Although in the light of day we saw signs declaring the illegality of beach sleeping, no on challenged the beach sleeping during the days we were there.

The next night Furthur played at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Furthur was the whole reason we were there. We didn’t have tickets, but we thought we’d just hang out in the lot. I planned to sell hemp jewelry, but that plan didn’t work out.

The official parking lot was small and the charge was $10, a ridiculously large price for a bunch of kids traveling with empty pockets. Like most of the folks arriving for the show, we found a free place to park on a nearby side street. It turned out to be a good thing we hadn’t scrounged up money for parking because the people in charge of the lot were not allowing vending.

We ended up walking back and forth on the streets between where we’d parked and the entrance to the venue. There were Deadheads everywhere, so there was something of a lot scene, but more dispersed. The Fighting Couple was hawking their hemp creations (necklaces with pouches for stones fashioned in such a way that the stone was removable and replaceable), hustling pretty hard to get money. Me? I just didn’t care much about selling hemp jewelry and quickly gave up.

As we walked through the clusters of Deadheads, Sweet L and Mr. Carolina repeatedly met people they knew, including three guys they’d lived with or near during some portion of the summer. Mr. Carolina had told me stories of these boys, called them his brothers, and that was good enough for me. Anyone Mr. Carolina trusted, I trusted too.

Mick, the eldest of the group, with dark hair and brooding dark eyes, was obviously the leader. When he spoke, everybody listened. The Viking, a young blond man with rocks wrapped in his hair and a reddish beard, was Mick’s right hand man. Karl was the quiet one, and even his birth-control glasses didn’t hide his pretty boy looks.

Some time during that afternoon I sat on the sidewalk of a side street away from the crowds and looked at shiny rocks with Sweet L and Karl and the Viking. Karl made pendants from shiny rocks and wire, and I gave him a piece of rainbow obsidian that had broken when the wind blew it off my vending table. I thought maybe he could wrap the stone in some way to hide the broken part. He was grateful for it and gave me a couple of cool shiny rocks in return.

As we sat there, I told them about my snowflake obsidian experience, and they they thanked me for sharing my story with them. I feared most people would think me a little too woo-woo if they heard that story, so I was glad the boys actually appreciated it.

Day turned to night and none of us had tickets or money to buy them. Maybe the Fighting Couple made money and bought tickets. I don’t remember. By this point in our journey, none of the rest of us wanted anything to do with them. In fact, with Sweet L’s and Mr. Carolina’s backing, I’d told them they’d have to get another ride out of Santa Barbara. In any case, the Fighting Couple (thankfully) wasn’t hanging out with me and the boys.

Mick did, however, have psychedelics, but when he shared them, none were offered to me. I thought that was a little unfriendly, but I figured since he really didn’t know me, he probably wasn’t obligated to make sure I got any.

Later, as Sweet L and I visited with other folks who weren’t going into the show, a friend of his offered us a bump of molly. I took my bit and felt exactly nothing. Later someone gave me what was supposed to be psychedelics. I imbibed that too, and over the course of the night realized it had no effect on me. Weird. I can accept that I ended up with a bunk hit, but having two different drugs from two different people in one night fail to work? No such thing had ever happened to me before.

As Sweet L and I walked through the neighborhood away from the crowds, we came across Mr. Carolina, the Viking, Karl, Robbie, and Mick standing on the sidewalk in front of one of the area’s nice houses. Mick was not having a good time.

The people the nice house belonged to joined us on the sidewalk. They were worried about Mick. They wondered if he were ok. They wondered if he needed medical attention. The wondered if he were having a bad trip. We relaxed when we realized these people knew the lingo, when we realized these people were cool. One of the boys allowed that yes, Mick seemed to be having a bad trip.

The strangers went into caretaker mode. They got cushions from their lawn furniture and placed them on the concrete in front of the house so Mick could have a comfy place to rest. Once we got Mick relaxing on the cushions, the homeowners brought us blankets. The woman brought out a jug of water and toasted English muffins smeared with peanut butter and jam. When the homeowners were ready to go to bed, they told us we could stay in their front yard as long as we wanted and even gave us a permission letter to show to any police officer who questioned us. The kindness of strangers indeed!

(Later in the night, a police cruiser did stop in front of the house. A cop got out of the car and began questioning us. Whoever was holding the permission letter showed it to him. The cop immediately backed off and drove away!)

I spent most of the night next to Mick, trying to offer him comfort. He was tired of this life, he said. He didn’t want to be here anymore. He wanted to float away and leave his body behind. I tried to keep him talking, keep him breathing, keep him with us. I was wearing a bracelet of rose quartz (the stone of unconditional love and infinite peace) on a stretchy cord. I slipped it off my wrist and onto his.

All the time, we could hear Furthur playing in the Bowl. The music was distant and a little distorted, but we could hear it, and it was ours.

We sat in front of that house for hours. I don’t know what the others were talking about while I tried to convince Mick to stay, but they were always nearby. Sometimes they’d come over and talk to Mick and me, but mostly they were doing their own thing.

At some point, Mick was mostly back to himself, and Mr. Carolina, Robbie, Sweet L and I went one way, and the other boys went another. I drove the van back to the spot we’d found the night before and settled in. We stayed there the next day and one more night before Mr. Carolina, Sweet L, Robbie, and I headed to Los Angeles.


Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/park-signs-travel-no-parking-39412/ and https://pixabay.com/en/california-sea-ocean-pacific-waves-2666059/.

Give the Best You’ve Got: A Lesson in Giving from NeoTribal The Gathering


As NeoTribal The Gathering was winding down, I thought I should give some little thank you gift to Ms. Reiki in appreciation for all the work she’d put into making the festival happen. I grabbed one of my bigger chunks of rose quartz and walked towards her camp.

I’d picked up a nice piece of rose quartz, but it wasn’t a fantastic piece of rose quartz. I still had several pieces from the 1/3 full bucket of South Dakota rose quartz I’d gotten for a good price at a Colorado gem and mineral show. I’d sold and given away a lot of those stones and had more than made my money back. Giving a piece of what I had left was not a sacrifice.

I went up to Ms. Reiki and said a few little words: Thank you. Blah blah. Appreciate. Blah blah. For you, and gave her the stone. She was excited and thanked me, reached onto her table and picked up a piece of rose quartz larger and cooler than the one I’d just given her. She handed the stone to me and said it was for me! She said she knew it was time to pass it on, and she wanted me to have it!

I was touched. And dumbstruck. And I felt like an asshole.

I’d given her something nice, but basically extra, and she turned around and bestowed upon me something really special and beautiful. I knew I should have given her something better, but it was too late. If I came back to her with a nicer gift, it would have looked as if I were trying to show her up.

This is the piece of rose quartz that Ms. Reiki gave me. (Photo by me)

This is the piece of rose quartz that Ms. Reiki gave me. (Photo by me)

It wasn’t too long, though, before I got to give my best.

I’d packed up all my merchandise, taken down my tent, and hauled everything except my big tub of rocks to my van. That tub of rocks is heavy! I knew it would take me forever to carry it to the van alone, and I’d probably hurt myself in the process. I thought earlier that I’d offer one of the guys who’d been hanging out in the grass next to my area a $5 ammonite to help me move the rocks, but by the time I was ready to make my offer, they’d wandered off.

I looked around and saw a young fellow I’d sold a couple of stones to earlier in the weekend. He’d bought a piece of malachite from Bisbee and another green/blue shiny rock I’d never heard of before from Mexico. He’s fastened them to his hood (like the hood of a cape or cloak, but without the robe part). He came back to my both to show me how it looked when he had finished the project. It had turned out really cool, and he seemed like a nice guy.

I asked him if he’d help me carry my box of rocks, didn’t mention any kind of exchange or payment, and he said yes. We hauled the box up to the van, and in the moment before he turned to leave, I reached into the rock box and pulled out one of my biggest, nicest, iridescent ammonites. I handed it to him, told him it was for him, and thanked him for his help.

He freaked out! He was so pleased with the ammonite. He threw his arms around me, thanked me, then bounded off to show it to his friend.

I think maybe I got it right that time.

The piece of rose quartz that Ms. Reiki gave me is the one I passed on to the woman who’d recently had open heart surgery. I wrote about the woman and the rock here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/?s=i+know+you+understand.

I Know You Understand


Around 7:30 on the Wednesday night before Independence Day Weekend, I got two sets of campers within ten minutes. I’d thought I’d have an empty campground again, but suddenly I had company.

The second camper pulled in before the first group had settled on a site, before I could collect money from them or write a permit.

I walked up to the car parked by the sign board where the driver was probably looking for the amount of the camping fee. I said hello and asked if she (for the the driver–the lone person in the car–was a woman who appeared to be in her 50s) was looking for a place to camp for the night.

She said she didn’t want to camp–she didn’t have a tent–she wanted to park–she slept in her car.

I was confused for a moment, but then I realized we don’t have rules against car camping. It doesn’t matter to me if a camper sleeps in a tent or in a car or on the picnic table as long as s/he is quiet and doesn’t burn the place down or cause other trouble.

I told her it was fine if she slept in her car, that the campsite fee was $20. She told me she was happy to pay it.

Then she told me she was here to be with the sequoias. She said she’d had open heart surgery six weeks earlier to repair a birth defect. She said she was recovering from the surgery and had decided that the most important thing she could do for her health was to be with the sequoias. She was planning to go to the trail the next morning and spend the day with the trees.

Then she looked directly at me and said, I know you understand.

Yes, I told her, I do.

I believe these trees are deeply nurturing and deeply healing. I know they are ancient, and I believe they are wise, in a tree way, although perhaps not in a way that humans can truly understand. I believe these trees can heal mentally and emotionally, so why not physically? Our mental, emotional, and physical states are all connected, so healing one state should help heal the others.

If I’d had open heart surgery recently, I’d probably want to sit with the sequoias too, and let their healing powers flow through me.

I did understand, but how did she know I did? I’m kind of undercover here in my camp host uniform, not exactly letting my freak flag fly. Somehow she took one look at me and knew I’d understand her. Being recognized that way was a wonderful feeling; it’s such a comfort to be known.

I saw her at the parking lot the next day. I arrived at work just as she was preparing to leave. She remembered my name. She said she’d been with the sequoias all day.

As she was about to pull her car out of the parking lot, she called me over and offered me one of her (delicious!) breakfast cookies.

I said, Hang on! I have something for you too!

I intended to grab a piece of rose quartz that’s been bouncing around on the floor of the van since before I left the city. Instead, remembering a lesson I learned about giving the best I’ve got, I grabbed my really lovely chunk of rose quartz from the console in the front of the van.

I took this photo of the piece of rose quartz I gave away.

I took this photo of the piece of rose quartz I gave away.

I handed it to her through her driver’s side window and told her it was rose quartz, the stone of unconditional love and infinite and peace.

She said, I know what it is.

She said she was going to sleep with it on her heart. I told her I’d done exactly the same thing with it. I told her it has really good energy, that sometimes I’d put it on my forehead to calm me down when I was too agitated to sleep.

She was crying and she said, You gave me this to heal my heart!

I hadn’t thought it out and decided I’ll give this woman a piece of rose quartz to heal her heart, but rose quartz is healing, and it is all about the heart, so I guess she was right.

Sometimes I’m blessed with understanding I don’t even know I have.


I took this photo of a giant sequoia.

To find out how I came into possession of that piece of rose quartz, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/08/22/give-the-best-youve-got-a-lesson-in-giving-from-neotribal-the-gathering/.

And Now It’s Saturday


I didn’t go to bed until nearly 1AM. I am not typically up so late. It was after 11 when I got home, then I stayed up talking with The Lady of the House and eating peanut butter-banana-chocolate chip bread. I didn’t wake up this morning until it was full on daylight.

I don’t have big plans for the day.

#1 Pick lemons in preparation for the lemonade stand with Nolagirl and Little Phoenix. I don’t know how much I will be actually participating in said lemonade stand, but I have offered to provide the organic lemons from my host family’s abundantly fruity backyard tree.

#2 Attend puppet slam with my host family.

Of course, there are many other tasks I can work on, like laundry and tidying my room or organizing the vanhome. But I can delay everything but the big two of my list.

I made it to the First Friday vendor’s market. I got a tiny bit lost, which gave me an opportunity to pull into Taco Bell and get an order of pintos and cheese while waiting for Nolagirl to text back and tell me how to actually get where I was going.

I arrived and was unloading, when I was approached by the woman who organizes the market. This woman had not been very nice to me over the phone, acting not only as if she were in the biggest rush of her life, but as if I were an idiot. When my phone didn’t receive her text with instructions for paying her through PayPal, she got really defensive and acted as if I were maybe fibbing about not receiving it. (Her text, sent at 8:40pm, arrived at 1am. I have no idea why. Mysteries of the ether.)

So I wasn’t thinking highly of this women, but I know some people don’t do well on the phone, or maybe she had been in the biggest rush of her life when we talked. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. But then she walked up and said to me, Who are you? This question was not asked playfully. This question was not asked in a friendly tone of voice. This question was asked as if she’d just awoken from a deep sleep and found me standing at the foot of her bed. So I shot back with, Who are you? The look on her face was fantastic. It was both pure shock and total bewilderment. I knew immediately that this woman is accustom to talking to people any old way she wants and never being challenged.

She identified herself by name, and I identified myself by name, and she told me where to set up.Throughout the night, she referred to me as “hemp girl” and “little hemp girl” (although she wasn’t that much bigger than I am).

The guy next to me (and maybe others) were grumbling about how close together the organizer was packing us in. (There was zero space between my display and the display to my right.) In response to the grumblings, the organizer went on a diatribe about how if any of us wanted to take over her $650 a month lot, we were welcome to. She seemed to think that because she’d perhaps made a poor real estate decision, she can be rude to the people paying her rent. Later she got a little sweeter and announced that she’d started this market so there’d be something better than the markets she’d been selling at. She seemed to want us to thank her for treating us rudely while charging $30 each to pack us in like 19th century tenement dwellers.

The vendor on my left was a women selling candles. Throughout the night, I heard several people ask her if she’d made the candles. No. Other people asked if they were soy. Also no. She was charging approximately $25 per candle. (As the night progressed, she was giving buy one/get one for 25% and later 50% off deals.) I was surprised that she was actually selling anything. I assumed that people who want factory produced, paraffin wax candles drive over to Wal-Mart or Target to buy them.

The vendor on my right was a guy selling coffee by the pound. To entice people to buy his coffee, he was handing out free samples. He was a loud, East Coast guy, and all night he bellowed, You tried the rest, now try the best! At the beginning of the night people were vocally expressing their dislike of his coffee, but it seemed to be grow in popularity as the night progressed.

The vendor next to the coffee guy was a friend of his selling cheesecakes. The cheesecake guy was from Chicago. He had big posters of cheesecakes (not his cheesecakes, professionally made cheesecakes) mounted on stiff paper so they would stay upright when propped in a sign stand. However, it looked as if he’d been storing his signs in a damp basement because they had a prominent curve to them and on one of them, the corners were curled and paper layers separating. It looked awful, really trashy. His cheesecakes looked sloppy too; they definitely did not look professionally made, but people bought them.

I had my table all set up by about 5:30. Because I was only working with 6 feet of table space (instead of my usual 10 feet), I was able to set up pretty quickly. However, I didn’t have room to put on most of my rocks. I had all of my hemp jewelry on display, but only kyanite, ammonites, septarian concretions, rose quartz, and amethyst     .

The highlight of my night was when Nolagirl and Little Phoenix visited me. Little Phoenix read every tag with a description of a rock on it. Her interest was sweet. Nolagirl brought me a much needed bottle of water and two bottles of hand sanitizer so I could kill off germs after blowing my nose and otherwise sopping up snot. I figured no one would want to buy hemp jewelry that was possibly harboring my cooties.

More people started showing up around seven o’clock. It was a huge crowd. I sold a couple of necklaces, which is always a thrill. I also sold several bracelets. Bracelets tend to be a big seller. At $6 each or two for $10, they are something most people can afford.The big sellers of the night were ammonites. I sold an ammonite pendant and three ammonites that had not been made into jewelry. Near the end of the event, a group of women stopped at my table and bought a small amethyst cluster and the second septarian concretion of the night.

The worst part of my evening was trying to get my displays and tables and merchandise back in the van. I’d had to park the van about two and half blocks away, and it must have been around ten thirty when I walked over to get it. When I got back to the area of the market, there was no space for me to pull in. I ended up driving around for at least 15 minutes, dealing with closed streets and temporary no-turn signs, while looking for a closer place to park. There was nothing. Finally, a cab pulled out about half a block from where all of my stuff was, and I pulled in haphazardly between a car and a barricade.

I had just picked up my big box of shiny rocks, when the organizer of the market walked up and started being fairly nice to me! She started off with Hey, hemp girl! How did you do tonight? I said ok, and when I indicated the heavy box of rocks I was holding, she said I should set it down and talk to her for a while. Just about the last thing I wanted to do at the end of the night while my van was weirdly parked out of my sight was to stand around and chat with this woman who had previously been rude to me. But I set the box down, and she asked me again how I had done. I told her fine or ok (my standard noncommittal answer when anyone is trying to learn  about my financial situation). She asked me if I had made at least $100 and I told her probably, although once I sat down later and did the math, I found I had not made quite that much money.

Then she asked me if I thought I’d come back. I was stunned. I wanted to say, Are you kidding me! After the way you’ve been acting, why would I want to come back here? However, I am much too Southern for anything like that. Besides, why burn bridges? And as The Lady of the House pointed out, a response like that would not likely have changed her attitude. So I just reminded her that I was only in town for a visit and probably wouldn’t even be around next month.

Last night I was adamant that I would NOT go back there. However, in the light of day, I think I might return if I am still here early next month. At least this time I’d know what I was getting into, and I could arrive early enough to get a closer parking spot.

Financially, I did ok at the market. The reality is that I am not getting rich selling at these kinds of events. If I were paying for rent on a place to live, renter’s insurance, health insurance (which I currently don’t have), as well as car insurance, gas, food, toiletries, phone bill, laundry, entertainment, and whatever else I buy in a month, I don’t think I could make it selling jewelry and shiny rocks. I would have to sell at least five days a week (and do fairly well on each of those days), and  I’m not sure if even a big city has that many markets.

The Lady of the House and I had a long talk last night about selling jewelry and rocks and why I do it. I don’t sell just to make money. I enjoy making jewelry. If I didn’t sell the jewelry I make, I’d eventually have big piles of it and no money to buy more supplies. Selling the jewelry lets me meet people who appreciate my creative expression. As I mentioned before, it’s a big boost to my self-esteem to have someone not only like what I create, but like it enough to shell out dollars for it. So intangible aspects of selling jewelry is as important as the money I make from it.

In the end, the jewelry I make is unnecessary. (Some folks might be able to make a case that the shiny rocks are necessary. I am not going to try to make that case.) Yes, the jewelry looks lovely and it makes people happy, but in the end, every bracelet, every necklace is simply another nonessential good consumer good. No one needs what I’m selling, so how can I ever blame anyone for not buying it?