Wow, I woke up early as it’s the big day at. Our grand debut at the Geyserville Flea Market. Out to the vardo just after 5am with a can of wasp foam before they wake up. I spray into the eaves with my flashlight. Back in for a movie and shower as Raven will be here at 7. I set up neighbor Jana’s truck last night with the hitch attachment and have the key. I spray down the vardo with the hose to wash off the wasp spray, Raven and friend Syntha arrive right on time. I take the truck for a short spin up to the grapes, turn around, just to get the idea of how it handles, automatic, OK. I back in, park, check, adjust, park, a couple times, not bad and lower the hitch. Chain on, I need to whittle my plug to get it to fit, light checks good. I pull out slow and wide, just cleared and up the road. I’m not worried about the vardo, she went 60 to the DMV, but I’m taking it slow with wide turns. Half a mile up and we’re there. Raven checks with the vendor parking guy, he sends us up the next driveway under the oak tree behind the main venue, but lots of room to maneuver and park, perfect location in the shade. Disconnect and jack it up. I head for home quietly returning the truck, grab my own pickup with a couple wagon wheels loaded and head back. The wheels set it off nicely.

“We’ll need a table, the one in back and the web duster”, “The red stool?”, “yea”. I’m off to home, load up and return. Time for coffee, Raven is busy setting up, I walk up to Mud’s, ah. “Chocolate would be nice.”, I have some at home from TJ’s. a basket of crystals would be a good addition, with small 2×3 plastic bags. Home again and back. They’re set, I’m off to the farmers market in Healdsburg and Safeway. Tomorrow I have a potluck to attend, potato salad would be good, 5 pounds of red potatoes. green onions, celery. I have the rest. Additional zucchini, green beans, mushrooms for work lunches. A stop at Sally’s, Some fake gold leaf and a hack saw frame for a buck. Everything is swell at the flea market and they brought lunch. I head home and cook up a good batch of potato salad, celery, green onions, eggs, garden dill, tarragon, cilantro and parsley. Add capers for Dad, apples for Mom. It’s good with a touch more of wasabi mayo.

I break out the willow stems I soaked last night and start a basket base. It’s crude as the stems are still a little brittle, not quite wet enough, but good to work with. It’s fun. I run out of soaked weavers as the base is to size. Back to the fair as it’s close to closing time. They’ve done well with showing off the vardo, though few sales. The basket base.


Syntha did a card reading inside.


Raven made Turkish coffee and entertained high spirited guests.


The set up was cool and in the shade. The people liked it.


Somebody gave a jolly roger flag, perfect for my boat, not pictured but very nice. Here’s a shot of Raven and vardo gypsy fashion.


We loaded up the stuff in our trucks, I headed home parking out by the garden and fired up Jana’s truck. Easy to hook up with the tongue facing out. A smooth ride home with a lot of back and fill to get the vardo where I like it in the driveway, room to get around. Raven and Syntha head for home.

I don’t have enough sticks to work this basket. I head for the river. My favorite patch of greenish red. With Spanish speaking people down at the river swimming as I clip, strip the leaves and stuff the angle cut branches into the spokes big stem two each spoke. I tie them up together but that doesn’t last, keep pushing that way. Adding weavers, tucking the ends down into the weave and another. It’s hot here, move to another patch in the shade, greener but supple, good willow weavers and cooler with soft sand to sit. I get it made, a complete basket, quite crude as I finished the spokes however they fit tucked in. But a complete basket. I show the swimmers my work, Canasta in Spanish. It’s a good size willow basket. Here in a chair for size.


My first complete willow basket. Very crude as the bark has stripped in places as I tucked it in, twigs have snapped, some missing. I replaced a few. But this is a real basket, slightly oval and big. It will hold stuff. I expect the green parts will shrink and loosen up, but it works. A basket.

Cathy bought some round rattan stock for me, two sizes from the Berkley Cane shop. That stuff is industry standard and should work smooth, looking forward to it. But this river willow is excellent free material. I made a basket.

We set up the vardo. Wow. I look forward to improving the vardo systems water and electric with a battery and solar charger to run the pumps off line. I hope the grey water tanks are sealed with the more epoxy, we’ll see. Fantastic day.

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