Chasing Each Other In The Winds of New Mexico

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts -

Writing to you from the first annual Las Cruces Arts Fair at the brand new Convention Center in Las Cruces, NM, which is probably the friendliest spot in the SW. 

Earnest Efforts at the Las Cruces Arts Fair

Our Booth at Las Cruces Arts Fair

Las Cruces, NM new Convention Center

What a fabulous weekend we have had.  The people here and from surrounding areas greeted us with welcome arms and have created the most prosperous and enjoyable show we've ever had in the SW.  Even Myrtle could hardly wait to get to the show each morning.  She has been loved on by every artist and visitor to our booth and she even has her own name tag.  As a matter of fact, it's Sunday morning and we have had people stopping by our booth all morning to meet Myrtle the wonder dog!

Myrtle and her name tag

Gloria & David - Myrtle's Adoptive Grandparents

For those of you who visit the Eugene, Oregon Saturday Market, our home base, I thought you would enjoy a "howdy" from our friend Ted Muckerman who used to have a booth across from us at market.  He's now living in Tucson with Linda and still making his wood spatulas! 

While we're here in Las Cruces we are camping at the Leasburg Dam State Park which is just North of Las Cruces, NM.  We love it there.  The Youth Corp created cactus gardens with labels for the different varieties, and lined all of the trails with stones.  Every morning Myrtle and I get to go for a nice long hike.  Down below our campground is the Rio Grande. 

Rio Grande from the hiking trail
We also love our campsite here because it has a covered area with walls that allow us to sort of escape the crazy Spring winds of New Mexico. 

Another view of the Rio Grande
We weren't sure we would come back to the SW again next year, but after this lovely experience in Las Cruces this week, we are going to rethink our plans. 

Thank you New Mexico Friends!!!

Thank you all for visiting our blog.  Hope you enjoyed our pics and adventures and remember...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts

The Earnest Efforts Adventure Continues

Dear Friends - I've snuck off from the Oro Valley Arts In The Park in northern Tucson to check emails, orders and add this quick post.  We were in Death Valley a week ago Sunday and we have seen so much, met so many people and sold so many boxes and rattles that it's hard to know where to start and I have just minutes to do it in.  Hopefully next week when we arrive in Las Cruces, New Mexico I will be able to hit a library and play catch up.  Until then, here is a very tiny collection of photos from our trip.  The last two are my favorites!  Hope you enjoy and remember to
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh!!!
Ellie Efforts

Earnie & Ellie at the Death Valley Art Show

Myrtle & Ellie hiking in Death Valley. 
Myrtle burned her pads really bad
even thought it was early morning.  She says she prefers
Oregon hikes!!!

Our new friends the Mantini Family
we met at Catalina State Park
in Northern Tucson, Arizona

The Youngest Mantini girl has a great suggestion
for using an Earnest Efforts box. 
Why not fill it with Arizona dirt!!!

Escape From The Lakeview Vortex Into Northern Nevada

Earnie, Myrtle & Lily West of Adel, Southern Oregon

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts - We did it...we escaped the Lakeview vortex.  We woke super early and Earnie made a deal with me that if I could get out of our hotel room in 10 minutes, he would buy us what he calls "fancy coffee".  I only had about 10 minutes left of work to do to clear out the room, which was really lucky for my coffee needs.  We had moved everything but our inventory into that dinky space.  I am such a home body that traveling for this long is simply an adventure in creative packing. 

A quick recycling update - since we were still in Oregon, there was recycling downstairs and we got to leave the packaging from what we had consumed (way more than usual) except the paper and plastic wraps that I have stashed in my packs.  Does anyone else recycle empty toilet paper rolls from public places? 

Sandhill Crane East of Adel, Southern Oregon

Back to our adventure.  We are all three big bird watchers; Myrtle has taken to chasing the circling "Oregon Eagles" aka Buzzards and barking at them.  This morning was a dream come true for me.  We saw hundreds upon hundreds of Sandhill Crane just East of Adel, Southern Oregon.  They are amazing birds that migrate from the Southwest.

Sandhill Crane
These photos aren't the best and no real scale to imagine their size, but they are considerably larger than the Canada Goose.  (Note the red around their eyes in the first photo).  While we watched they were jumping in the air about 2 feet off the ground with their wings outstretched in what I believe is a mating dance.  I really don't know much about them beyond their inspiring beauty!!!

We got back on the road (this was Hwy 140 Eastbound) and a mile or so away were a couple dozen swan floating in a seasonal lake.  A surprise to treasure. 

Swan & Canada Geese East of Adel, S. Oregon

The thing is that if we had taken the safe, reliable I-5 down to California and over, we would sped through life and never seen these amazing birds on their migratory journey.  Always take the road less traveled.  You can take your time and stop to enjoy the treasures of our mother earth! 

Myrtle Efforts with sagebrush & snow in Northern Nevada
Thank you for visiting our blog and following our adventure.  Tomorrow we will reach Death Valley where we'll be attending the Death Valley Art Festival at Furnace Creek Ranch which is happening this Saturday and Sunday, 12-13 March.  We'll post more pics and stories next week when we return to cyberworld.  Until then...

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie, Earnie and Myrtle Efforts

Wonderful Message From A Giveaway Winner & New Giveaway Post by Home Grown Families

Natural Walnut Baby Rattle by Earnest Efforts
Hi Friends - I just wanted to share the most wonderful thank you note that we received from a young Mom who was the winner of one of our blog review giveaways.  This message just thrilled our hearts!  Jenni told us we could use her thank you anywhere we like so we've decided to share it with you here.

My name is Jenni and I won a rattle from you a few weeks ago through Life-Semi Crunchy's Blogtastic Extravaganza. I just wanted to say thank you so much. The rattle is so lovely (I love the natural patterns in the sycamore), and you sent another for my other twin! I was very surprised and my family was quite excited to play with them. All of us:-D The twins love their rattles. They like how they make different sounds. My older son loves to play "music" with them as well. It's also so nice to feel wood in hand as opposed to plastic. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth the wood is as well! I give the rattles to my babies with NO worries, and if you know me (or any mom) you know just how big a compliment that is! Packaging was nice too with info about the rattles and a buffing pad!

Thank you SO much. You obviously are very kind people and make an heirloom quality product
Thank you Jenni!!!  We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful testimonial!
If you are interested in entering to win one of natural wood baby rattles, a new review and giveaway was posted yesterday by Melissa at Home Grown Families.
Home Grown Families
Thanks again for visiting and remember...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to LAUGH!!!
Ellie Efforts (snowbound)

Lakeview, Oregon - A Nice Place To Get Snowed In Or Vortex?

Lily The Great Gray Whale in Lakeview, Oregon

Hi Friends of Earnest Efforts - Lakeview is a nice place to break down, but now we're beginning to wonder if it's also a vortex.  The nice people at the garage got the van running nicely and we were all ready to go.  This morning we woke to snow blowing in sideways. Now it may not look like much, but when you're going over these passes out here and there is nothing for 100 miles, it just might be best to stay put.  There is a great little used bookstore downtown across the street from the post office.  We have an Etsy order going to Singapore today - the Pacific Yew Box & Spirit Shaker Set and the Burned Madrone Burl Box. 

Myrtle Efforts "The Wonder Dog"

The one who is really ticked off though is Myrtle, the wonder dog!!!  Although she got to go on lots of great walks yesterday, she's used to just running free all day.  Being a town/hotel dog stinks.  Actually, the amazing thing about Myrtle is that she is really good at just hanging out and sleeping.  When we found her at the animal shelter she was only 3 months old and she just sat at the front of her kennel and watched the humans come and go.  She didn't bark or jump up or do any of the typical puppy moves.  We knew right away that she was the one.  They wouldn't let us take her home until she was fixed, so I drove the 35 miles one way to the animal shelter for two more days to hang out with her until we could bring her home.  We would play for a while and then she would curl up in my lap and take a nap.  And that is how life is with Myrtle.  We go out for a hike every morning, then she's ready to come in for a nap.  Play soccer with her, then she comes in for a nap.  Life is good!

Thanks for visiting our blog and please check back in for the continuing adventures of Earnest Efforts in the Lakeview vortex.  We'll keep reminding ourselves that this is happening for a reason and you remember to...

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts with inspiration by Myrtle Efforts

Lakeview, Oregon - A Nice Place to Break Down

Ellie & Myrtle Efforts in the snow in S. Oregon 6 March 2011

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - If you're going to break down somewhere, then Lakeview, Oregon is a really nice place to do this!  Everyone here has been so helpful and friendly!  First of all we found a tiny little restaurant last night that listed a garden burger as their first item on the menu.  Not only that, they make their own bread, soup and amazing looking pies!  The garage where the van is being fixed called a bit ago because the owner ran over to the autoparts store to make sure that they ordered the right part and found the part there.   They're going to get it fixed for us today instead of waiting for a part to come in tomorrow.  Two small shops down the street were very helpful in finding a ac adapter for my dc adapter, so I could adapt to a close to dead netbook battery.  Nearly panicked when I realized the battery was down to 7% and I had left the ac adapter at home and the dc adapter wasn't going to work in a van with a dead alternator that was parked in a garage a mile away.  Duh!  The employees here at the hotel are so kind and helpful.  Life is good.

I told Earnie this was the universe telling us to slow down and relax.  Everything happens for a reason and I just needed a little reminder of this.  To top it off we got a great sale from Singapore today on Etsy.  I'm loving traveling with our Etsy Shop!  But the real reason I wanted to write this post was so I could post a pic downloaded from our camera onto our netbook and posted here on our blog.  Finally figured it out and did it!!!  Thanks for visiting our adventures and...
Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh!

Life On The Road Begins Again - Lakeview, Oregon

Dear Friends of Earnest Efforts - We left Olalla this morning headed for sunny Death Valley where our first art festival begins this coming weekend.  However, before we can enjoy that warm sunshine, we're going to have to get ourselves out of South-Central Oregon.  Last year when we headed on our southern journey we got caught in a snow freeze and spent the night in Blye, Oregon, in our van, with a 7 degree morning.  When we drove through Blye this afternoon where it was warm and partly sunny we thought Winnemucca, Nevada would be our next stop.  Nope.  We made it about 45 more miles and are now enjoying a memory foam mattress in quaint Lakeview for the night because our alternator is working like a yoyo.  Oh joy!  You just never know, but can be sure that it all happens for a reason.  Although the reason may never be known. 

Myrtle's belly is full of wet dog food - her travel treat - and ready for a walk or nap.  Thinking nap.  Earnie has already fallen asleep after a long first day of driving.  Please check back in with us to read and hopefully see more of our adventures.  I do have to figure out how to resize pics after I download them on our netbook.  Hope your days are filled with wonderful adventures and

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts