Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, October 31, 2014

A thunder gourd?

As long as I had to take an almost hour’s drive to town (Yuma), I thought I’d visit a couple of local interesting spots along the way.  One I visited last weekend when I had to get a new battery for the car, but the other one I’d just seen off the roadway.


Right along US 95 is the sign for the Pause, Rest, Worship Church.  It was built in 1995 by Loren Pratt as a memorial to his late first wife.


                                                                       This church is tiny!


The church was destroyed by a freak microburst storm in 2011, but an outpouring of donations helped rebuild it complete with stained glass.  On the pulpit, there is a Bible and a notebook where prayer requests can be written.

IMG_0832Outside, the small place of worship is surrounded by gorgeous blooming bougainvillea bushes.  It was a peaceful spot in the midst of farm fields.

I continued on to stop at Walgreens and Fry’s grocery store.  Last week when I was at Fry’s, I wanted to get some pork ribs for grilling, but I felt $7.99/lb. was too expensive.  This week the price was the same, but if you bought one full rack of ribs, you got two more for free.  So, I ended up with 14 lbs. of ribs for $2.14/lb.  I like ribs, but I’m thinking I ended up with more than enough to last me the five months I’ll be here!  It’s a good thing there’s a small chest freezer for volunteers to use to take advantage of good sales.


On the way home, once again on US 95, I stopped for the second time at From the Farm.  When I first stopped here on Sunday, I thought it might be a vegetable stand.  Turns out it’s more than that.

79 Imperial NWR 2014-15

There’s a garden area that has various ornaments from Mexico (I think).  See that cool frog on the left?  I thought my brother Kurt might like that to put on a section of the wall surrounding his pool.  He’ll have to let me know.  In the middle of this area is a ‘shack’ where you can also eat your lunch at a table in the shade. 


Inside, you can order a lunch, buy local jams, honey, and pickles, and shop for antiques and local artists wares.  There was no fresh produce.  I got the tour of the store on Sunday by the owner along with some free samples.

I ended up buying a jar of dill pickles, and let me tell you that if you like pickles with a little kick, this is the place to get them.  I think it’s the red pepper flakes in the jar that spice them up.

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There are also four kinds of iced tea and lemonade that you can buy.  When I was there on Sunday, the guy gave me a sample of artichoke tea.  I’m not a tea drinker, but I had to give it a try.  He told me to just take a little sip, and then give the glass back to him.  I did.  It tasted like tea.  Smile with tongue out  Then he put in a squirt of lemonade, and it made all the difference in the world to me.  It was very refreshing and tasty.

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I had never heard of artichoke tea, and he went on and on about its virtues.  So today I purchased a full glass of the tea/lemonade mixture.  It does quench your thirst in the desert, and just look at all the benefits.  Winking smileI also found out that this is a U-pick farm, but crops won’t be ready for three or four weeks yet.


Now here’s the real reason I stopped here once again today.  It was to get a Thunder Gourd.  There is a local artist that paints and carves these gourds.  These gourds just caught my fancy on Sunday.  I thought about it all week, and decided to get the one with the lizard painted on it.  It’s not just pretty.  There is a kind of skin covering the bottom that a coil hangs out of.  If you twirl the gourd in a circle, it makes the most amazing sound.  I just love it.  I hung it from the visor of the driver’s seat, and every time I go up front I twirl it to hear the ‘thunder’.  Emma is not as fond of it as I am…  It’s hard to describe the sound.  I guess you’ll all just have to come to visit so I can play it for you.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. You do find the most interesting places everywhere you go. What an interesting gourd and serious bargain on the ribs.

  2. I love anything with artichoke in it. I have never had artichoke tea though. We will be out that way this winter. I put your blog on my Pinterest page. We will need to give this place a try. I also love the tiny church. Looks so peaceful.

  3. What a cool place. I love the gourd. We see them around here all the time, but never heard one make a sound.

    While in the Keys last winter, we looked at some of those type of things like the painted frog, but they were very expensive. I figured it was because they were form Mexico and we were in the Keys. How much was that frog? Just curious to see how overpriced they were in the Keys.

  4. This place looks awesome - love that frog! The thunder gourd is interesting. Reminds me of the rain sticks we would find in AZ and NM.
    I'm more of a Lipton tea drinker and don't venture out from that. You are brave!

  5. love places like that. . .love your gourd. . .loved your bargain on ribs. . .it's the thing I somewhat miss. . .not being able to stock up on bargains. I've resigned myself to the reality of it. . .but the need still strikes at times when I see a really good deal. . .LOL!

  6. What a great buy on ribs, hope with that amount you don't get too sick of them. Nice that they have a freezer for you, that is one frustrating thing on our RV, we can't take advantage of sales like that due to the small freezer space.

    Thunder gourd? I'll look forward to hearing it in person.

  7. Picking your own produce sounds like fun, and you know it's fresh! Wonder what they will have available. Your header photo is very pretty, but it is so different from all the other headers from NWR's you've worked at I do a double take and wonder if I've clicked on someone else's blog!

  8. First time I've ever heard of a thunder gourd - interesting spot to shop.

  9. That poor ol' tractor has seen better days, tho it works well as a signpost! Looks like an interesting farm stop! I bought a lizard in Auburn CA that reminds me of that froggie; cute aren't they? Love that particular shade of bougainvillea. The "pause, rest, worshp" church appears to be a nice blip in the road. Never know what you're gonna see, do you?!!

  10. I first heard the word gourd from my Marine Corps uncle when he came to visit in my very early years. It was his favorite word and when referring to my head:)

  11. Wish Katie and I could 'be right there!" to visit you and Emma!

  12. I will look forward to hearing that thunder gourd!

  13. I love those little out of the way places. Albertson's does the same thing with meat. Its OK at the beginning of winter, but as spring nears its not a bargain, as we don't transport coolers when we travel. Perhaps we will stop that way on our way to Yuma and Mexico. Planning on the Mexico thing in February!!!

  14. That's so cool...I will definitely be checking the gourds out! From the Farm is where I got my date shake! And yummy broccoli. I hope to pick my own in Feb.

  15. Maybe you can teach Emma to make the gourd "sound off" and then take a movie of it. Then we'll ALL be able to appreciate the sound. Sounds like you are in a neat part of the country.

  16. I really like that little church that you showed! Sitting in the farm fields made it special to me! All the artichoke tea information seems very interesting!

  17. A tasty and good for you tea ... sounds like one that we should look into. Fresh artichokes are very popular in Turkey and eaten a lot; never saw it being served in the form of a tea, though.

  18. I was out RVing without Internet so am very behind on blog reading but I am getting there. I have a friend who makes the thunder gourds. She will design them with whatever you want on them. They are pretty neat to look at and to hear.

  19. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog