Look Inside A Hunk of North Carolina Quartz


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big quartz

Last fall, CJ and I spent days and days digging to get a large flat chunk of quartz out of one of our digging spots on our property in Mecklenburg County. Eventually it came out in a few pieces. One was a 20 inch by 19 inch by 2-1/4 inch slab. It was beautiful, absolutely stunning on both sides, and we sold it very quickly at a local event – so quickly that we didn’t even get a photo of it! The woman who bought it said her husband wanted a stepping stone in their garden and that it was just perfect.

The quartz you see in the slideshow below was another piece we dug out from that same area. It’s quite a bit smaller at 6 inches by 4 inches by roughly 2 inches wide – but absolutely every bit as interesting as its larger sisters.

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Look at it closely.  Don’t you wonder what it looks like inside?  I  sure did! So I took this piece down to our shop and added some baby oil to our 10 inch Raytech rock saw, and decided while cutting that I wanted to remove all six sides to give a completely naked view of this chunk of quartz.

Here it is with the four end pieces sliced off.

And here it is with all six pieces sliced away.



After cleaning the oil away and cleaning out some of the vugs, this is what we found. I see some limonite (also called brown hematite), red rutile, manganese, chromite maybe, and perhaps even gold, all within this one quartz matrix. What do you see? Leave us a comment below if you see anything else!


The outside skin of the quartz.


Inside view of the skin from this quartz.


Look at the crystal point inside this vug.

We’re still in the planning stages for a dig here at Gypsum Moon Mine for this fall, so if you’re interested in participating, leave us a comment below, and we’ll add you to our quickly growing list.

Bright blessings,
Kay & CJ




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Don’t we all struggle to let go of old pain, and to grow beyond past hurts? I’m pretty sure that’s a common denominator amongst most humans. Consider this my advice to you in your struggles, and remember: You can do this.


I took this picture a couple weeks ago in our back yard (which means, of course, that I took it in the woods!) when I found it on a morning walk, waiting for me with its lovely message about shedding the old stuff. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll find gifts and messages almost everywhere for you, from your guardians and angels, from Mother Nature, from the universe – the secret is not to stop looking.




Real Life, After All


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Born of broken people
She inevitably arrived broken too.
No visible signs of damage, but
that really only made things worse, not better.

A white chenille bedspread,
blood stains on the pale pink
roses turned to shadow rust,
faded like the memories of the day
it happened, the stains and scars and rips and tears
nearly blending in now, so many years gone by,
just another part of the pattern.

Understanding remains elusive,
always just out of her grasp, it seems.

She thought it would arrive when her own children did,
that she would suddenly get it, suddenly know,
but of course it didn’t happen that way – this is
real life, after all.

Father’s Day 15% Off Anything Sale


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There’s still time to buy something awesome for Dad online this year! Click here to shop the Father’s Day 15% Off Anything Sale at our vintage shop on etsy – here’s a little preview of just a few of the fabulous things you’ll find waiting for you when you get there…

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Remember, 15% off any purchase of $10 or more, and the sale ends Monday, June 18, so click here to shop now!

Gypsum Moon Mine


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gypsum moon mine 1After a whole lot of discussion, consideration, and soul-searching, we’ve decided to hold our very first dig, on our four mostly wooded acres near Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re aiming for this fall, and we are so excited to begin inviting people to Gypsum Moon Mine!

I’ll let Kay talk now, but do be sure not to miss the slideshow at the end – all crystals that have come from our property!

In Kay’s words:

I’ve lived here for 30 years now, and I’ve been a rockhound for nearly 20 of those years. I’ve found many, many beautiful quartz crystals right here, as well as other amazing minerals.  CJ and I have decided that it’s time to go beyond surface collecting and minor digging, and we’ve been busy preparing for our planned dig for several months now.

After a good rain, it’s amazing what Mother Nature shares with us. We’ve already added many of these to our display cabinet. I’m going to share a few pictures of more of our crystals right here.

One of the first crystals found was this boulder with a few points. The points were in plain view when I dug them up. I know, it’s not the most beautiful crystal plate you ever saw, but it was a beginning.first find gypsum moon mine

Closer view of this beauty, here:

first find close up

Every time it rains, more beautiful stones begin to come to the surface, and we have a steady flow of everything from small broken crystals to large boulders with points as well as massive quartz matrix. Some of these boulders are pink, some yellow, some blue to gray. So many vugs, so much drusy!

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I can sit with these pieces and look at them for hours… they are so interesting. But what is yet to be uncovered? Don’t you wonder, too?

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We’ll be keeping our first dig down to a minimum number of participants, and we do have a list going of folks who want to sign up. Let us know if you’re interested in more information by leaving a comment, below.

Visit us on etsy at Gypsum Moon Vintage for vintage and antique items for your home, kitchen, office, and yard, at Gypsum Moon Rocks for rocks and crystals, sterling silver gemstone jewelry, lapidary, craft, and jewelry supplies, and Gypsum Moon Style for vintage jewelry, clothing, and accessories for women and men.

Bright blessings,
CJ and Kay



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I went out at dusk a few months back to give the old iron bell on our side porch a good ring before letting our dogs outside, since goodness knows the rabbits and turtles need some kind of warning, and found this little guy waiting for me. He’s a gray tree frog.frog

Look at his eyes! frog eyes

I felt very connected to him while we looked at each other. When I rang the bell, he didn’t even budge, and you can see how close the rope was to him – it was as though he knew what I was doing, and that I meant him no harm.

frog 2


He was gone by morning, but I’m sure I’ve heard him singing…

My first magazine subscription, 1975


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ali rolling stone 1975

Okay, my very first magazine subscription was to the Weekly Reader. But the very first one that I paid for with my own money, the one I chose over all the others on my somewhat lengthy list, was Rolling Stone.


rollingstone1975-07 linda1

It was 1975, I was a junior in high school – ah, the playful days of youth! -and I promise you I was tempted by the other mags on my list: Glamour, Self, The New Yorker, Vogue, Time, People, Cosmopolitan…  But Rolling Stone won out, and I never regretted it. I renewed that subscription yearly for a long, long time.


I read every word of every issue, over and over. And then over again.


What was your first magazine subscription?

My very own little circus


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I dreamed about running away a lot as a child, but not even once about running away to a circus. No circus dreams for me – I wanted to run away and live in the Louvre. Never mind that I lived in a tiny town in the armpit of America: I read “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” when I was 10, in 1968, and I just knew that if Claudia and Jamie could swing it, then my little brother and I could too. All I had to do was figure out how to get us to Paris, which, alas, didn’t happen – I made it there for the first time in 1976, but not with my brother, and while I still wanted to live in the Louvre, I decided not to make a scene about it.

Now that I’ve been daily prompted to think about the circus, though, I realize that I live in a beautiful circus, one of my own making, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world, not even for a chance to live in the Louvre (and that’s saying quite a bit!).

I don’t remember Daddy, 1960


This is a picture of my father and me, taken in the spring of 1960. He was not long home from a stint as a sergeant in the army, having the very good fortune to get out just before US involvement  in Vietnam exploded, but also coming home very changed, very different from the patriotic young college graduate and husband who had enlisted because he believed in his country and his government. He came home permanently angry, and also a passionately outspoken liberal, much to the chagrin of his conservative Republican parents, who very nearly disowned him. They never really reconciled with him, in spite of the birth of me and then my brother three years later, and were still mostly estranged when my father killed himself at the age of 42, when they were in their late 60s.

At the time this picture was taken, he was working on his master’s degree in political science with a specialty in constitutional law, and also working as an intern for Dean Rusk. I assume that my mother was behind the camera – I wasn’t quite two years old yet, and while I do have memories from that age and even earlier, I don’t remember anything about this picture. It surprises me that I don’t look afraid, and that I’m almost leaning back on him in apparent trust, and that his arms are around me protectively. I guess I thought that his brokenness started earlier than maybe it did – or, much more likely I think looking back, it had already begun, but was still somewhat under control, at least for a couple more years.

When he died, I was 20, and we were barely speaking, living a couple hundred miles apart. I went to his memorial service a few days after his death, at the university where he had taught for so many years, and I looked numbly at dozens of strangers in the auditorium, strangers looking sad in varying degrees and some of them outright weeping, for someone I felt I didn’t know at all.

Very nearly 40 years later, I still don’t know. I still very much wish I did. I’ve reached a kind of peace with myself about it, but it took years and years to get here, and sometimes it’s still a shaky peace – but I’ll take it.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I wish things had been different for you. I wish I had even a few good memories I could share with my grown children, your grandchildren, all born long after you were gone. I hope that you found some kind of peace with your choices, at the end.