We've Only Just Begun

We've Only Just Begun
More Books Beyond Our Trilogy : We'll Be Filling All These Bookshelves!


40 Days and Nights in The Bay Area

OK -- We tried! We changed our life for a job in Walnut Creek California. We packed our car drove the 13 hours on Halloween Day which was also my birthday. She started work on November 2. Six weeks later we have packed our bags and returned to Sedona. The job wasn't bad -- but working hard 50+ hours per week and not clearing $900/week didn't cut it. The taxes in California are killers! 9%+ on just about everything.

The room we rented was on a 22 acre horse ranch which was spectacular -- but on the second week our room was ransacked by our four-legged roommate. We started looking for another place to live. Meanwhile in the six weeks we were there she suffered a terrible head cold, tonsillitis, 1/2 dozen migraine headaches, daily intestinal distress -- and that was just the beginning. We even did a home visit to a client in Oakland and our car was vandalized while we were in the lady's house. That was about the last straw.
By the time we got home to Sedona, she had lost nine pounds and I had lost 11! It was an example of living in a place that didn't support us. We were running into the wind, swimming upstream in everything we did. Nothing was easy. The mountain ranges were gorgeous and the weather was beautiful, but life in California can be tough. Eight lane highways, overpassing eight lane highways and a rush hour that lasted most of the day and through the weekend too. The company she worked for was excellent, however there were many disappointments.  She was told some things up front that did not come to be true. So it was not just one thing that pushed us out of California, but the overall life situation.

Her landscape photos are posted on Facebook. I mostly wanted to post the photos of the place we were living. She "feng shui-ed" it and that was the best part of our stay : )
Scroll down further to see photos of me and our ransacked room!

Our Bedroom - BEFORE

Our Bedroom - AFTER
"Design on a Dime"
(COST: Futon/Craigslist $200 Lamp/Shade/GoodWill $3.99 Bedside Tables/GoodWill $8.98 Velvet Drapes/Marshalls $12.00 Sheers/Hospice Thrift Shop $6.00 Leaf Canvas/GoodWill $3.99)

Livingroom - BEFORE

Livingroom - AFTER
Cost $0


(that was me and him "before" our episode)


(Cost $0)

Diningroom - BEFORE

Diningroom - AFTER

(Cost: $9 for silk ficus tree at GoodWill)

Really BAD Feng Shui --Here's our First Impression of a Most Non-Nourishing Kitchen

It is not just bad Feng Shui -- it is toxic! It was a toxic environment in most ways.

Our roommate was adorable, delightful, bright and witty.
And she lived in a cluttered mess!
We didn't feng shui her private space. We didn't go in there. We left 'well enough" alone.

How did she sleep in this BED this way? But she did somehow!


Getting to know you....

She was never sure if we were playing or fighting. It was a fine line as he and I were learning to live together. He wanted to dominate and you can't blame him. He lived there before I moved in. I never wanted to make a problem and I tried to stay sweet and friendly. I couldn't help it, though, when we played I would always "win,  pinning him to the floor on his back beneath my smiling playful face.
It just made him mad over time, I guess.

But one day both Kate and the lady went to work and us two dogs were left alone together. 
When she arrived home later that night, this is what she found:
The bed had been made and the room was spotless when she left that morning. And this is silly, but she actually made the bed before she took this picture (second nature!)
"Somebody" had drawn back all the sheets down to the mattress and had eaten cardboard in our bed! Little grey pieces of cardboard -- I still don't know what that was.

"I didn't do it!"Our stuff was strewn all through the house -- this was the livingroom. 
Can you believe he ate the HANGER! And our flashlight too!

I still have the big scab to prove it. We knew we had to leave and while we earnestly sought a new place to live in California, it was not long before we knew we had to leave this place altogether.

"What on Earth are we doing here?"

This is how I ask permission to come up on the bed with you. Now I ask
"Can we just go HOME? Please?"

"Oh God help me."


More California Memories

This was the last turn on the road home from work.

Windy roads for about three miles. 

Sometimes we would stop at the Reservoir and walk up up up to the top.

It was worth it for the great views!

Cattle look like ants when you are high enough over them.


Death Valley California

Entering Death Valley

Panamint Springs Resort

View from Panamint Springs

The Unit -- Old but Clean and Very OK!

8/25/09 We just checked into the motel "resort" at Death Valley!! It is SOOOOOO strange here! And very worth a visit!!! I am tired of eating crackers and cheese and peanut butter. I am hoping she will treat us to a $15 burger at the Panamint Springs motel.
It was 39 degrees last night at June Lake and today it is only" 106 degrees in Death Valley
(they say it's normally 120!).

Death Valley --- it is like another planet --- it is so interesting but so undernourished!!!! I can't help but wonder if the ocean was once right here and the sand was the bottom and the weird cliffs were just the landforms under the water. Some of them even look like reefs. Then we passed by signage that reads "Sea Level"; parts of the Valley are 200 feet BELOW sea level. It is a strange and fascinating place!

It feels God-forsaken although there are truly loads of life forms living in the dry gray and brown nooks and crannies! Life is amazing and this place has a beauty all its own.

See Photos Below:

Within moments of getting through Death Valley, we merged onto the highway to Las Vegas and -- I wish we had a photo of this one --- : Elvis Presley was driving an old cadillac! We assumed he had a "gig" in Vegas. It was a strange and surreal welcome back into civilization! : )


South on California 395 - Mammoth Lakes

Our first stop was outside of June Lake at a National Forest Trail. It was a nice addendum to the Yosemite country.
Then we hopped back on Route 395 south, stopping at Mammoth Lakes to go to RITE AID (modern store, wow!) to buy toothpaste and gas. Prices go up as hwy 395 goes down!

This is the road into Convict Lake, named for an escaped convict who was captured by the posse in this area in the 1800's. The lake itself is only a few miles from the interstate, so it seemed like a logical detour. The temperature today is PERFECT up here -- 75-80 degrees. Why leave sooner than we need to?

Jack gets his feet wet.

It's a beautiful place and the big gray rock at the other side of the lake is one of the oldest rock formations in the Southwestern U.S.

We had a short four hour drive today --- with detours specifically designed to prolong going into Death Valley!

Onward to Death Valley. The hottest time of the day is passing... And Death Valley deserves a blog posting all of its own. Stay tuned!

Goodbye to the Cool Fresh Air of Mammoth Lakes

It hit 39 degrees here in June Lake last night! Today we hit the road again for a short three-hour drive. Our destination is Death Valley, Panamint Springs, temperature 120 degrees. That's 15 degrees cooler than most other places in Death Valley. We've loaded up extra water for the trip and we are packing our fleece and winter scarves away for another day. We'll see you there!


June Lake Loop: Central Sierra Nevada California

Wow did we get lucky! All we did was track the lakes on the mapquest map leading to Death Valley and we found the Mammoth Lakes area and June Lake Loop. It is on the backside of Yosemite and it is spectacular to see the huge rocky mountains meet the lakes beneath them. I wonder if these pictures do them justice, but we'll sure try!

Who would ever know to turn here?
I'm so glad we didn't stay in Mt. Shasta!

The rains were just leaving the area. This mountain looked ominous!

Loop Landscape

June Loop Road

Grant Lake

Grant Lake is a reservoir for the Los Angeles aqueduct system.

Fishing Season in Full Swing - Silver Lake

Check out this WEIRD cloud formation - This photo is completely UNTOUCHED!

We passed Grant Lake, Silver Lake, Gull Lake and arrived at June Lake...

Coming into the town of June Lake -- It's an adorable Alpine Village -- 
like a miniature Lake Placid or Interlaken Switzerland.

This is a photo taken from the other end of town 
(there's not much between the two ends besides what you see in the two photos!) 
Our little motel is The Villager, straight ahead. $65/night bought us a big one bedroom with a full kitchen. Very comfortable!
It was very COLD last night! We could see our breath! Good thing we had our fleece with us and our winter scarves! This morning we took a walk around 6:30 a.m. and the grass was FROZEN!
And tomorrow we head into the FURNACE just three hours away! We'll keep you in the "loop" as we head to Death Valley, Panamint Springs!