Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

With my People

I was with my people. The pointy-nosed critter second from the right on the top shelf came home with me.

I was with my people.

It’s Monday. The Monday after a very long and tiring, but satisfying weekend at the London Gem and Mineral Show. Below is my off-the-cuff, more or less mineral-less mineral show report.

For some reason, people took note of the pseudomalachite specimen that we had for sale. It was one small specimen among the couple hundred on the table. On Saturday, within a twenty-minute span, three separate shoppers remarked, “Why Pseudo?” These folks were not looking to buy the material; they simply thought it was an odd name. A couple of people made mention of the name on Sunday, too.  Next time, I will direct them to this discussion thread on Mindat that lists names that are much goofier. For example, Eurekadumpite, Kinoshitalite, and the ever popular Topatourbiolilepiquorthite which is not a mineral. It’s a rock. But everyone knows that.



Malachite - the real deal

Malachite – the real deal

It was a very busy weekend. Judging by the crowds, I’d say attendance was up, especially on Sunday. Most of the vendors I spoke with reported brisk sales. It was a good show, as far as bottom lines were concerned. As far as bottoms were concerned, I can’t spend an entire weekend sitting on a bar stool like I used to.

Mark Stanley checks out our thumbnail specimens. Reiner is perched upon a killer barstool.

Mark Stanley checks out our thumbnail specimens. Reiner is perched upon a killer bar stool.

My hubby.

My hubby.

If I were to name the theme for this weekend, it would be “Goodwill”. People kept giving us gifts! A friend gave us a sample of a novelty stone known as K2. Another customer gave us a specimen that he thought we might enjoy. Charles Gould, the mineral book dealer, knew that Reiner was interested in the geology of Greenland, so he lent him a book on the subject. So thoughtful!


K2 – From what I gather, it is named for the mountain upon which is was discovered. It is azurite in jasper. This photo is a specimen from a dealer’s website which you can access by clicking on the photo.

Saturday afternoon, at tea time, I heard someone calling my name. I looked across the room and there was Bob Hudyma waving me over. He offered to share some shortbread cookies. After all, can’t have tea without cookies! Too bad they were sprinkled with smoked salt. I couldn’t share with Reiner. He has to watch his salt intake.

See those cute rocks up at the head of this post? They were made by our friend and fellow rockhound Tim Jokela Jr. He tumbled and polished the stones and then assembled the critters with remnants from his fly-fishing kit. Glued-on googly eyes and voilà! Rocks with Mohawks. Kids loved ’em. As did I. When I offered to purchase my little dude, the second from the right on the top shelf, Tim gave him to me as a gift.

The nicest surprise, though, came when Reiner and I were back home Sunday evening, unpacking. He handed me a jeweller’s box and said, “Merry Christmas.” I opened the box, and there was the amber pendant I had been eyeballing ever since Lise showed it to me earlier this year.

I looked at Reiner and asked, “How did you know?” Apparently, Reiner had offered a large plate of staurolite crystals to Tim and Lise in trade for some of their mineral specimens. They knew I had my eye on the pendant. And so…


Amber pendant by Lise McFadden. Last spring, Lise tried wire-wrapping. She is a natural. It’s as if she was born with a pair of jeweller’s pliers in her hands. I love the simplicity and style of her work.

Today I rest my weary bones. But it is a good weary. The kind you get from spending time with friends. Thanks, folks.


Categories: It's a Hobby, Mineral Collecting

Tags: , , , , , , ,

50 replies

  1. Marvelous, Maggie. I’ve done my share of trade shows in my time and they can be both thoroughly exhausting and invigorating. Sounds like a great group of people and that amber necklace is FAB! Oh, and I was so sure that Topatourbiolilepiquorthite was a mineral!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barbara. Did you trade shows in the real estate biz?

      There was a time when I would have rather chewed razor blades than attend a trade show. It’s different with the minerals partly because I’ve managed to manage my introverted tendencies, but mostly it’s because the other vendors and the regular group of customers are such great people.

      As for the Topatourbiolilepiquorthite (thank goodness for cut and paste, yes?) you are not alone. It is a common misconception! 😉


      • You know I used “cut and paste” for the mouthful! Too funny. No, I did trade shows for years when Husband was just starting the business and we couldn’t afford a number two to back him up. EGAD. Because I know so much about tools, right? I would live in fear of somebody coming up who might actually ask me a technical question. And I’m an introvert, big time – wonder how many of us bloggers actually are?


        • Then we share several things in common, Barbara. My first experience as a dealer at a tradeshow was at a sewing fair. When my new husband asked if I would help out at the craft show, I suggested that I mind the store and he mind the booth. I thought that was a reasonable solution. Him? Not so much.

          Regarding introverts and numbers. From my reading on the subject, roughly 25% of the population are introverts. I would wager 50 to 75% of bloggers are introverted.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous post. I feel like I was at the rock and mineral show with you. So a question (I’m not a “rock hound. Merely “rock curious”): How do I tell the difference between a rock and a mineral?


  3. Maggie, what a fun read! I feel like I was right there with you, and hubby is TOO CUTE!!!! On top of that he’s thoughtful giving you an unexpected, beautiful gift!

    My favorite mineral is a leebrite. Our 4-wheelin’ guide in gold and silver mining country here in Colorado would point to a rock and say ” you know what that is?” “No”, we’d say breathlessly, hoping a chunk of gold. “That’s a leebrite. You leave it right there ‘cuz it’s just a rock.”


    • Glad you liked the story AND the hubster. This is actually a very fine picture of him. He usually looks very stern and stiff and if he smiles, he looks goofy. But don’t tell him I said that.

      I’ve heard of the Canadian version of your leebrite. Up north of the 49th we call it “leaverite” as in leave ‘er right there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person! Rock people kind of rock. The rock person is adorable and oh-my-gosh that pendant is amazing.


  5. Sounds like a great show. I love that there seems to be a tight community among the dealers.

    Your Christmas gift is beautiful… lucky you (both for the gift and for having such a thoughtful husband)!


  6. Uber-introvert here, so I definitely agree with your blogger theory. Much easier for me to “talk” online than in person. Plus, I can pace myself.

    Ok, enough with commenting on comments. Those are some awesome looking samples! Of course, you know I just love those little rock creatures too 🙂

    Glad you had a great weekend!


  7. I laughed out loud when I went from your heading “with my people” to the photo of the rock people!! 😀
    Maggie, you are a hoot!

    So much to like, so much to comment on …. but really, surprise gifts are the best. When it’s something you really coveted – BONUS!! I hope Reiner scored big points with that one 🙂
    It’s beautiful – amber, what’s not to like? 😉

    But I can’t let Eurekadumpite go without a comment. I would not be thinking rock or mineral if someone suddenly yelled “Eureka-dump-ite!!!” Then again, maybe it’s just me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • He did score big points, Joanne.

      If someone yelled Eureka-dump-ite, I’d be looking for the exit sign just to make sure I had enough time and space to deal with whatever crisis this poor soul might be experiencing!

      But in case you really mentioned the name because you want to know (and even if you don’t want to know) I will tell you how that mineral came to be called Eurekadumpite. When it was first discovered it was found on the mine dumps at the… can you guess? Of course you can. The Centennial Eureka Mine, in Utah. I guess we can be grateful that it wasn’t named Centennialeurekaminedumpite. THAT would be silly.


  8. I’m trying NOT to make a bad, off-color but appropriate joke. I’m biting my lip. I’m biting my fist, I’m failing, failing… No, I won’t do it! AAAAAAAaaaggghhh! It was fun to read about people getting their rocks off! Sorry, sorry, sorry, oh man… OTHERWISE K2 is beautiful and the pendant is also beautiful. I think rocks are completely wonderful and amazing. A mountain I used to climb in CA had, on the top, tiny bits of garnet in the rock. It was named Garnet Peak, but I don’t think most people looked close enough to see why. I thought it was a sweet miracle. Garnet is my birthstone and that made me feel like it was my mountain. Finding “wild” rocks like that is pure pleasure.


    • So delighted with your comment, Martha my dear (that’s a Beatles song, isn’t it?) I want you to feel free to tell any sort of joke you want!

      Have you ever seen red sand at a beach? Those are grains of garnet, the effects of erosion on your Garnet Peak mountain top.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No. I would love to see that! Oh yes, Paul McCartney wrote “Martha My Dear” for his Australian shepherd. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • P.S. You know what I DIDN’T know about rocks until 2004? That they make PAINT. I was in Italy, at some caves where cave people had ground up the rock around the cave (green and yellow ochre) and blew it at their hand pressed against a wet wall. Early fresco. After that I was even more enchanted with rocks. I SHOULD have known, but people tend not to teach the stuff one really wants to learn. I would have loved to know back in high school that the raw umber was literally dirt from Umbria…


  9. What a heartwarmer of a post, Maggie. Reiner is a cutie; your necklace–he did good! K2 might be a novelty stone but I think it is kind of purty! I love your little rock person. He’s a bit, um….different than the rest, isn’t he? 🙂


  10. The amber pendant is beautiful. I love amber. It has so many different looks. But I really can’t take my eyes of the K2. Shape and colours, so beautiful.


  11. That pendant is just beautiful, Maggie!


  12. Long Live Fraggle Rock!!! BTW I would have picked the same critter too, just something about that snout. And yes, that Lise is very amber-dextrous indeed. Kudos to Reiner for playing that well. That makes two honeys wrapped in one surprise. No wonder you are exhausted!


  13. Maggie, your people are whispering. Can’t you hear them. Especially the leader. You know, the kid with the green antlers on the bottom row. He’s saying, “Let my people go.”


  14. Are you sure it wasn’t a scifi convention? Glancing through the photos, I see an alien brain, an alien egg and something Leia or Padmé would wear (worthy of a galactic princess). And as for the alien race in the top photo… Were they cute like Ewoks or annoying like Jar Jar Binks? It’s hard to tell from the photo.

    All silliness aside, looks like you had a great weekend and that necklace is gorgeous. 🙂


  15. Hope you are feeling refreshed again after your big weekend Maggie. You sounded very happy to be amongst your fellow traders, even if the stools are hard!
    Lovely post and am glad your wonderful Reiner bought the necklace for you.


    • Thank you, Barbara!

      By the way, I wonder if you are receiving my comments on your blog? I changed my email settings for WordPress and I notice now that when I post on your page, my comments are “awaiting moderation.”


  16. A longer post, and held my interest every moment. Felt your fun, and the warmth of the attendees–nice.

    What a prize spouse! To pick up on what you like, act on it, and surprise you with it–the best gem in his collection is Reiner himself. And his eyes! Woo-woo!

    Glad you both found a winner : )


  17. I know nothing of minerals but it sounds like there’s a wonderful sense of community among the attendees of that fair! I love all the trading and gifting.
    And that pendant is gorgeous, you’re one lucky gal!


  18. I really enjoyed this; it sounds like such a good time, with a lot of camaraderie, and I loved your humor about the names. 😉 The Rock People were so cute and fun! And I love your pendant! The stone wrapping on that color is beautiful. I love amber. . . the color, the stone, even the word itself. What a sweet hubby! Enjoy your pendant!


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