Thundereggs Are A Go!

Rocks from the Owyhees I collected for my garden.

As some of you might have discerned, I am a bit of a rockhound. Which is just a fancy elitist word for someone who likes rocks. My area is a rockhound heaven. Obsidian to petrified wood to all sorts of fun stuff just layin’ on the ground sometimes. I can pick obsidian off the side of the road here.

There’s this festival held every year, in Nyssa, Oregon, called Thunderegg Days. It’s basically booths, food, entertainment. But you can buy rocks. And jewelry made with rocks, hand-made, really cool items. It didn’t happen last year, cause, yeah, but it was back up again this year. Now, last time I went, it was held in front of the high school. Nyssa is tiny. Little town. So, I bop over there, and can’t find the festival. I even consult my phone. It directs me to the park…where nobody is. I ask the guy working on something electrical, he doesn’t know, either. But lo and behold, before I slink out of Nyssa, a City of Nyssa employee, in a big fancy rig, tells me the festival is at another park and do I know where the A & W is? I sure do!

So, yes, found it. My phone was completely wrong. It was not held at that park, you stupid freaking phone.

So, hey, at least this time around, no booths for Jefferson, the state far right radicals want to make out of the top of California. Or booths for Greater Idaho, where far right radicals want to gift MOST OF OREGON to Idaho. I think a chunk of Cali was also included in that, um, indecent proposal.

I walked around. It was mid-morning, so getting hot, but not THE HOT that has infected the entire West. I think I spent less than ten. I enjoyed myself. There was not too many people there, yet, but enough to make it iffy. I am vaccinated, however. I do now want to take the hike into the Owyhee’s that this one group offers, with a talk about rocks and formations and so forth and so on included. Wheee!! My car’s muffler is sick, so gonna have to wait.

A thunderegg, by the way, is the nickname for geodes. There. Ya learned something today. Oh yes, the thunderegg is also Oregon’s state rock! Hurray for knowledge!

from the Argus Observer. Nyssa, Oregon Thunderegg Days


It’s been over a week of record high temps. I do mean well over a hundred for most of June. I recently traveled to La Grande, to meet with a friend of mine who has family in the area and is traveling further to Lincoln City, Oregon. Hot. It was hotter than those inedible Takis burn holes in your tongue snacks. La Grande is in the mountains. I do not recall my undergrad town being almost too hot to go outside, not even once. In June. Or any other summer month. Unusual weather we’re having here in the West.

So, here’s a poem. I have no idea where this one arrived from. But here it is. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia. My family would gather, both sides, during holidays. My grandfather loved loved loved Fourth of July. Both did, actually. But my dad’s dad would order fireworks, then delight in shooting them off or having one of us light the fuse. Roman candles, those ones that spin and fly, bottle rockets, everything illegal that would set giant fires, woot woot. Maybe I am missing the sense of celebration, family now scattered or passed on…maybe maybe maybe. That careless ignorance that such gatherings would never stop. Of course they do. Time marches like a savage merciless army through everything and everyone, after all.


Catnip and thyme, basil and lavender.

Her left hand tugs at the leaves,

caresses the stems.

She will smell like spaghetti sauce

and old lady purses

when she wanders by.

She eats a banana while standing on one leg,

her eyes on the cat chasing the dog

through the new mown grass.

They put bananas on hooks,

some sly wit tells the child.

Maybe that’s where bananas go,

Jessica replies

before arranging the rocks she painted

into odd and various piles.