Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Hi Gang:

The mining is going well and we are going to rock the quarry tomorrow. Byron is bringing home interesting pieces everyday. We have mined some really unusual pieces this year. We have also got some nice topend pieces. Bill and I went shopping and then went back to work on sorting all of the small crystals that have been coming from the mine. My duckling is now an outdoor duck. He is now living with the rabbit in its hutch, and they have become fast friends - sleeping and eating together. I hope for the ducks sake this works as he was getting too big for the blue pool inside. So far, so good. I will try and get a picture of them cuddling. It is quite cute.

Here is another installment of the weekend trip.

We had breakfast Saturday and headed out to see downtown Castle Douglass. We stopped at the Lawsonís Gem shop. Mrs. Lawson told us we could go look at the minerals even though her husband hadnít opened yet. I told her who we were and that we thought we would like to see their stuff. They had a really nicely organized and well displayed shop. When we came downstairs we met Mr. Lawson and talked for a few minutes before heading out. I think they were surprised at our complements on their display. We then headed toward Stranrae. We had decided that if I was going to torture the boys with a garden that we would go to Logan. It is out on one of the western most pieces of Scotland. The Gulf Stream flows right by there. There are all kinds of plants and a walled garden to kill for. There were full size eucalyptus trees everywhere. We crawled through every inch of the garden. I would highly recommend this garden to all gardeners. Simply fantastic.

We saw a set of neolithic standing stones that were fascinating. The first set was called Cairn Holy I & II. This was a rather nice set of stones and burial chambers. Not much of it has ever been excavated. It was set on a hillside above where the original settlements would have been. The second set, Cairn Tor, was younger than the first set and shows the beginning of Christian influence. The third one was the most fascination. It was a church set on top of a knoll. Which to us, appeared to be an old cairn? There were early crosses that had been carved onto previously carved pieces of rock. There was a rather large cross placed on the tallest point of the knoll. As someone had written on the wall ďMy god trumps your godĒ. Obviously, one way to start a war. We also stopped at a town called Wigtown. It has the most bookstores of anywhere in Scotland. A whole 19 stores. The first store had an awful lot of books on sex, prostitution and sexual identity. When we got outside we read the wall. It was a feminism bookstore. Byron was wondering why there was no science section. We enjoyed our tour, but didnít find any treasures. Our last leg for Saturday was a trip to the Mull of Galloway. It is the southern most spot of Scotland. The winds were great. We saw puffins nesting and a really neat lighthouse. Then we headed back to Castle Douglas and dinner.

The pictures today is of the Cairns.

Hope everyone is well.

Cheers, Jonina and Byron

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