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December 2018

What a year 2018 was!  First, the summer season for the Gitche Gumee Museum was one of the best.  Sales and visitor numbers were up.  This is amazing since I did decrease the number of hours the museum was open by 11 percent.  Although no one who works seven days a week and interacts with 7,000 people has perfect interactions with everyone, I think I did a bit better this summer. 

There are two reasons why the “agatelady” was happier this summer.  First, I had an ah-ha moment prior to the beginning of the 2018 season.  As some of you know, two years ago I was a bit burnt out and thought about selling the museum.  Then, I started to think about where the museum is now compared to what I imagined it would be as I began operations twenty years ago.  Those of you who know me realize I give all my projects everything I have, but I must admit, the current status of the museum exceeds what I ever thought it could be.  This is when my moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, and comprehension came.  Rather than complain how hard it is to do what I must do to keep the museum operating, instead I have to celebrate how far the museum and all the projects, books, and other outreach efforts have come.  A huge and heart-felt thank you goes out to everyone who has supported the museum since I opened the doors on July 4, 1999.

The second reason I had a great summer was that I changed the hours, so I could play golf two days a week.  On Tuesdays I played golf with other Grand Marais players.  On Wednesdays I played in a women’s golf league.  In both cases I have to drive to Newberry Country Club, which is located a little less than an hour away.  I tried all summer to improve my game, all with the goal of scoring less than 100.  I did not have a lot of success.  At the end of the summer I met a retired club golf pro while at the end of the season golf banquet.  I asked him if there was a chance, I could get some golf lessons.  Several lessons later I now have a real golf swing and other understandings that should help me achieve my goal.  Since the golf season ended before I finished my lessons, in the future I look forward to being able to use my new golf skills in playing actual rounds of golf.

As usual, I have been working on another creative-time project.  I had planned on writing and publishing a third book in the Rocks through Time series.  I may still do that in the future, but instead I decided this year to create a beginner’s rock hound activity book.  I just finished the review draft this week.  I’ll be sending it out for review as soon as I have it photocopied, after which I’ll make the final changes and send the files to the printer.

The book is 8.5 x 11 inches in size.  Including the covers, it is only 24 pages long, but it is packed full of basic rock hound information, innovative (but easy to understand) graphics, and eighteen learning exercises.  The topics include: Earth and its Layers, Earth’s Geologic Time Scale, Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Mountains, From Atoms to Rocks, Igneous Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks, Metamorphic Rocks, and The Rock Cycle.  The book’s pages will be laminated to be compatible with dry erase markers, so the learning activities can be done repeatedly.  I’ll send the book’s files to the printer in February and should have the printed/laminated book shipment in late April.

I hope everyone has a safe and joyous holiday season.  Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Happy rockhounding!
Karen Brzys

Gitche Gumee Museum
E21739 Brazel Street, PO Box 308
Grand Marais, MI 49839

  • EMAILS:
    or
  • BLOG:
    www.agatelady.blogspot.com
  • PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE:
    https://www.facebook.com/karen.brzys
  • MUSEUM FACEBOOK PAGE:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gitche-Gumee-Agate-and-History-Museum
  • Home and Art Studio Number
    906-494-2590
  • Museum (do not maintain this phone during the winter months)
    906-494-3000
  • (Cell phone — not always turned on. I use it only when I travel.)
    906-450-5033

Gitche Gumee Museum Hours

End of May

  • Monday 2-5pm
  • Tuesday 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 6-8pm
  • Thursday 2-5pm
  • Friday 2-5pm
  • Saturday 12-5pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm
    * At the end of May, the museum opens the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
June

  • Monday 2-5pm
  • Tuesday 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 6-8pm
  • Thursday 2-5pm
  • Friday 2-5pm
  • Saturday 12-5pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm
July

  • Monday 11am-5pm
  • Tuesday 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 6-8pm
  • Thursday 11am-5pm
  • Friday 11am-5pm
  • Saturday 11am-5pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm
August

  • Monday 11am-5pm
  • Tuesday 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 6-8pm
  • Thursday 11am-5pm
  • Friday 11am -5pm
  • Saturday 11am-5pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm
September

  • Monday 2-5pm
  • Tuesday 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 6-8pm
  • Thursday 2-5pm
  • Friday 2-5pm
  • Saturday 12-5pm
  • Sunday 2-5pm

Note: The museum is open seven days a week from the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend until the end of September, but on Tuesdays and Wednesdays the museum will only be open in the evenings from 6 pm to 8 pm.

I will plan on having the museum ready for appointments by mid-May each year, so if you would like to set up an appointment please email me at Karen@agatelady.com, or call me at 906-494- 2590. It is best to set up appointments in advance in case I am busy or out of town. I try to accommodate impromptu appointments, but this is not always possible. For private appointments, I ask for a donation or purchase that is commensurate with the time required for the museum visit. The museum will not be available for appointments between the middle of October and the middle of May.


Art and Mineral Show and Agate Talk Schedule

The show and speaking for the 2018 season is below.  Since I work all the museum hours myself now, and because I am trying to somewhat simplify my life, I will only have a booth at two shows again this year.  I also have two speaking engagements.  Details about these events are below.

August 18, 2018, 7:00 p.m. – Agatelady presentation:  Geologic and Human History of Grand Marais, Michigan.  Burt Township Community Center, Brazel Street, Grand Marais, MI (located across the street from the Gitche Gumee Museum).  This event is being sponsored by the Grand Marais Historical Society and the Alger Regional Community Foundation (JEAN Grant).  The historical society will have refreshments.  The community is looped for the hearing impaired.  Some headsets will be available for use.

Mid-September 2018 Rock-On Agate Show, Muskallonge Lake State Park, Deer Park, MI:  agatelady talks on both Saturday and Sunday.  The Saturday talk will be How to Find Agates.  The Sunday talk will be Agates and How they Formed.  Located at 30042 County Road 407 in Deer Park, MI half way between Newberry and Grand Marais.  For more information please call 906-658-3338.  Information about previous year’s shows is available at http://www.superiortrails.com/rock-agate-festival.html#fest

October 19-21, 2018 EXHIBIT BOOTH – 53rd Annual Central Michigan Lapidary & Mineral Society Show. Main Arena, Ingham County Fairgrounds, 700 E. Ash Street, Mason, MI 48854. Event hours are Friday 6:00 to 9:00, Saturday 10:00 to 6:00, and Sunday 11:00 to 5:00.  The show includes vendors, exhibits, crafts, art, jewelry, demonstrations, displays, flint knappers, rock identification, kids’ activities, free prizes for kids, door prizes, rock cutting, and more, For more information (once it is available) please go to http://www.michrocks.org/annual-show/show-info.html.


December 2018 Update

Grand Sable Dunes:  A Fragile
Ecosystem

Online Gift Shop
New book: Rocks through Time, Book Two–Geologic History of the Great Lakes.
Gitche Gumee Gatherings
Information about
scheduling private, in-home private art shows
Correspondence
New testimonial from Rockhounding/Agate Class participants