163 Lbs of WOMAN!

Ahhh…I had to join a GYM.

What a hypocrite. I should NEVER have said I would “NEVER join a gym.”

I did it and today was Day 1 and I LOVED it.

I’m on a 30-Day Challenge with a good friend who doesn’t belong to a fitness group (and doesn’t want to). She used to be one of our clients when we opened 805 Boot Camp and revealed to me how little she has worked out since we closed our doors.

We built our business over the years and here is one person I’d call a dear friend for the rest of my life, practically a sister. When she couldn’t come to camp, we hiked and talked for hours about what was happening in our lives. I guess this is what you could call a bitch-session. We gave each other ideas, comfort and understanding.

Right now we need each other to get through this challenge.

STRUCTURE AND DISCIPLINE (OH AND FRIENDS)

I thought I was alone being lazy about working out. I would jump on social media and see all of my past customers and my friends working out every day. Having a structured plan or program is worth GOLD. Filling it with people you love to see everyday is worth even more (what’s better than gold?).

We’ve had friends visiting every single weekend filling us in on how things are going.

There are random texts, emails and letters packed with all of the exercising everyone I know is doing!

So, I figured I was alone on the Island Of Lazy.

Everyday I justified how much work we were physically doing as a “workout”. Sure, we are going for 6 hours every day minimum doing yard work or cleaning bathrooms and buildings.

Recently, when it was 18 degrees out, I had to put layers of underwear on just to stay warm while working outside. As I sucked in my stomach to fasten my belt I realized I must have gained a lot of weight and I got pissed. At myself.

There are also eating habits I should admit aren’t helping on top of my age (I’ll be 50 in a few weeks!).

The bottom line is that I am NOT running, hiking, biking and/or working out on a regular basis and when I do I feel SO GOOD!

WILL YOU BE MY WORKOUT PARTNER?

So, at the risk of being judged, I sent a text to my friend with my fingers crossed that she would join me in this 30-Day Workout Challenge.

She said, “YES!”

That little text reply kept me on that awful treadmill for the 30 minutes I’d said I would run, albeit SLOWLY, for.

It kept me trying harder to get through the plank rows despite my left wrist nagging me.

I am excited to have a workout partner – even though she is so far far away – to commiserate with and encourage each other when things are tough – and we know they will get tough.

MORE ABOUT THAT TREADMILL EXPERIENCE

I last ran on a treadmill over 12 years ago. My how technology has changed…and my vision too.

The photo above is basically how things looked while I ran. I did not have music. I did not play the TV. I just watched the blurred numbers and squinted to see what I was doing. My goal was 30 minutes walk/running. I also haven’t RUN any sort of distance in a month when we ran at Lake George to Horseshoe Lake at 9,000 elevation (totally different experience than 7,500′).

After my bike crash I was pretty limited. Boo-hoo (excuses Randy couldn’t argue with!)

My mind began to wander and I realized that’s exactly how people face-plant on these machines. Gotta keep my mind and focus on the machine and my feet. I finished my 30 minutes without falling off.

DOUBLE EAGLE RESORT AND SPA

My membership here rocks.

They have EVERYTHING you might need to workout and it is very good condition. The place is spotless clean and the BONUS is I have a steam room to relax in after then hot showers and a Powder Room too. I feel like I visited a Burke Williams Mountain Retreat!

The weather and work schedule is forcing us to come up with a solution and I’m super happy that this place has a monthly membership option. From now on I will be looking for Spa/Resorts along our route and hope they will be this nice.

MY GOAL

Right now my goal is just to show up and work hard EVERY day of my membership NO EXCUSES. I’m tinkering with making nutritional changes (as I sip my glass of wine!!) but I’m not there yet.

I’m 163 lbs of jiggly, wiggly and cottage cheesy woman gasping for air after ¾ of a mile RUN at 11-Minute pace. Let’s see where this goes.

Join me!!!

Cheers to all of you men and women that are not part of a group and trying to keep exercise in their lives despite the so many challenges that come up.

TODAY’S WORKOUT, DAY 1

30 Minutes

Run/Walk Briskly

10 Minute Circuit

Plank Row with 8lb weights 5x

Flutter Kicks 5x

Squat/Press Up with 8lb weights 5x

(Repeat until 10 minutes is up)

10 Minute Yoga stretching

5 Minute Deep Breathing

I think I started off on a low enough gradient so I won’t give up but will feel the work.

PHOTOS:

This poster was on the wall at the gym I was part of: Total Woman in Glendale California. This is where I met my running coach Gudrun Armanski…who taught me how to NOT HATE running and began personal training life. I studied this poster because I love this sort of stuff to begin with. Look at all of the ideas it gives PLUS the machines or equipment is right here!

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Conflicting Information

Traffic came to a standstill today when a gang of deer needed to cross our path to nibble on the brush this morning.

We waited patiently as they pranced past cautiously. There are 30 deer wandering and we have spotted the older and wiser as well as the brand new fawns. The antlers range from 1 point to 3 on each and BOY do they look sharp. They mostly travel in 5 or 8 and I’m beginning to recognize them.

Today I had a lightbulb moment connecting up some dots.

Even before becoming vegan I loved animals. A lot. I remember how my heart broke seeing them in cages in the zoos wondering how anyone (or any living creature) could possibly WANT to live in a box, cell or behind windows. We put people that are bad in jail to serve time in a cage removed from life as they knew it. To protect us from their bad behavior (and sometimes protect them from themselves).

I don’t know very many humans that call themselves a HUNTER. Most people I know live in cities with plenty of grocery stores to provide the many dietary needs they require. In other words: a Hunter hunts for the exciting feeling they get killing another living creature. That, in my opinion, is unacceptable.

There was this hunter who tried to convince me that the deer population needed to be “handled”. The deer were overwhelming a town eating the gardens meant for the human to consume (in hindsight this must have been vegetables). According to this person the deer were taking over the entire town! Humans were starving to death. It was a very grave situation. Hunting was helping when the population exploded and that is why “Hunting Season” was so “important”. I call bullshit.

This reply is just a way to make murdering innocent animals look gallant and stretching it…American.

I heard two stories (yes, only two…but still… read on and you be the judge) of hunters paying over $5,000 to a guide to take them out into the wilderness to kill deer. They were PISSED when they returned empty handed after a WEEK of attempting, suffering in the cold, waiting…and paying so much. If there are so many deer, why couldn’t even ONE be located and murdered? The other person had a similar fish boating story.

Oh, and when I found out the lakes are stocked with farmed fish I almost spit out my drink. To hear people going ga-ga over the size of the fish that they caught was ridiculous. Go to the next carnival or State Fair and throw your dime on a dish, pick up a duck with a number on it or try to get the ping pong ball to land on the lilly pad. Your prize will be a giant stuffed animal that you can leave on your couch for everyone to oooh and ahhh over when they visit.

When was the last time you heard about a “deer invasion” happening?

I did a quick search of the internet and TWO DAYS AGO in Washington there was a deer invasion! Guess why? BECAUSE THE HUMANS WERE LEAVING FOOD OUT FOR THEM. OMG humans. Here’s the story: http://komonews.com/news/local/oh-deer-bellingham-considers-ban-on-feeding-deer-after-animals-invade-neighborhood

The only other deer invasion I could locate had to do with a 2009 blog post (pretty entertaining and excellent writing) asking the citizens of Bountiful Utah if they would allow a sharp shooter onto their property to help contain the mule-deer problem. IN 2009.

This is a manufactured bullshit problem and I’m not sure who is profiting by it.

I just know it pisses me off that there are actual people, with access to plenty of food (and probably they consume way more than they should for their own health) who get excited at the thought of killing something.

There are so many places that energy could be used to help a friend, neighbor, homeless person…the list goes on.

RANT OVER – BACK TO MY OWN WAY OF LIFE

I’m vegan which may be why these issues affect me deeper than someone that is not.

I will never kill another living creature on purpose.

My choice to be vegan started when I was battling a virus that was invading my mouth, ear, nose and throat.

Pic: My mouth FILLED with blisters on every surface. This was a 6 out of 10 (I kept a record of every day of my life with these blisters gauging their severity in pain). I could not eat or drink anything at all when I was battling. This problem began in 2005 after I had gone a full month eating spinach salads with salmon or tuna on top (canned). No Western Medical Doctor I visited (and I went to ALL that were available to me) could figure out what was wrong. I went to an Eastern Medicine Doctor one of our boot campers recommended and he had treated three people with the same problem! I was in shock. He told me he would be getting rid of the blisters, not covering them up. He also let me know how bad my insides were doing. My liver was working overtime, my kidneys were going to give up and my immune system in general was just destroyed having spent from 2005-2012 battling this problem with ‘modern medicine’.

My doctor told me the next place for it to destroy were my eyes (my vision!). That scared the shit out of me enough to listen to what he said (he did not tell me to be vegan for the record). My immune system was shot and getting worse. I was spending $1,000 a MONTH at the Costco pharmacy (cheapest in town) pumping my body with pills, salves and liquids that weren’t working.

Along with following my doctor’s advice and consuming a gawd-awful herbal tea that our dog Kona (who eats poop off the trails) wouldn’t touch I switched out conventionally grown produce with organic THEN in 2012 thanks to Lisa Eidman’s advice to listen to a nutritionist named Julianna Hever. She was a “Plant Based Dietician” and I’d never heard of that before.

That was the beginning of huge and lasting improvements to my health.

– Sleep soundly

– Dandruff GONE

– Blisters GONE

– Energy UP

The biggest bummer is that I will eat EVERYTHING I can and love food even more now because I CAN EAT IT! I went for years eating barely anything and lost a lot of weight as a result.

I’m currently back to 163lbs which isn’t my highest but creeping in the wrong direction.

I got myself an InstantPot to make lots of dishes in but beyond that I love trying new things out.

Eating without meat is super easy for me now and clearly I’m not starving, that’s for sure.

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Deer, Ducks, Deer, Door Knobs and More Deer

Tonight is “date night”.

We are at The Tiger Bar smack dab in the middle of June Lake’s little town…to watch the USC game. I have my back to the TVs and hubbub and Randy is engrossed in the game. I also have my headphones in but I can hear Eye Of The Tiger and Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” (love that tune!) and Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher blasting over the pool tables into the old old cracks and crevices of this bar.

SIDEBAR: Randy was almost killed in this bar in 1986, 31 years ago. I really don’t believe he could have pissed off the Locals – but the party he was with DID and they surrounded them like a pack of wolves (there were 8 of them and 15 Locals). SOMEONE got mouthy and didn’t follow protocol for playing on the ONLY pool table in the joint. Obviously this required a beat down to “make sure this don’t happen again.”

They got out alive, no broken bones. I am gonna guess it was just ONE drunk friend that caused all of the problems.

You know, if you are someone that drinks (alcohol) would you agree that pretty much EVERY stupid thing you’ve ever done was preceded with alcohol? Think about that before you reply.

TODAY WAS INCREDIBLE

It’s Saturday. One of THE BUSIEST days in Camp Hosting. I’m learning so much! I’m also realizing how happy I am. My life is seriously SIMPLE. Not perfect…just SIMPLE.

Our days are PACKED now. We are working pretty much full time to help keep this campground humming with happy. Friday is the most busy day with people arriving to have a weekend of relaxation and “happy”.

I’m not sleeping that great these days. Every single night my arms go numb. I think this is because I am trying to NOT disturb Randy or Piper (who seems to plant herself…kneading into a nice warm cozy spot so keeping to the very edge of the bed trying to keep my limbs under the covers).

We wake up at about 6:00am. Randy gets the coffee rolling and all of the animals (me too) stay warm under our covers until he announces it is ready. I have no idea what he does for that period of time. I am trying to un-numb my arms most mornings. I think my pillow is too soft.

After coffee we get our uniforms on and head out the door (pets still in bed!) to clean rest rooms, pick up bits of trash and watch out for the deer that have been migrating.

MENTAL NOTE: I think it sucks that the MIGRATING OF DEER coincides with the HUNTING SEASON. I call BULLSHIT on the need to hunt deer. Seriously. If there is one animal that is overpopulating it is HUMANS and we don’t have a hunting season for them. Deer (and any other animal) are not hurting humans. It is always HUMANS screwing things up. Why is this so difficult to admit? They eat SAGE. When have you been concerned about your SAGE INTAKE?

Back to my work… we have to zip around in a golf cart and make sure camp sites are ready for arriving people looking for “happy”. Oh let me tell you how I sparkle a camp site. I am an expert at this now and can spot trash a half a mile away.

Today is when I realized how lucky I am. I would NEVER have felt this way 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Picking up trash!?!? As a JOB? Yes. I am doing that and I LOVE how little stress there is connected to this.

I do have a beef with the family that left a complete doorknob in the fire pit. WHY? Who brings doorknobs with them camping?

There are a few families of deer we have been bumping into on a regular basis. Today we met them THREE times. I feel so lucky when this happens. They are simply eating to live/survive. They are eating the plants and berries. There is a mommy and two fawns.

We take care of four different camp grounds (Bear, Duck, Squirrel, Rabbit, Coyote and Gull). Within those grounds are close to 100 campsites (maybe more, I’ll count another time).

Again, like Lake George, everyone is SO HAPPY to be there and enjoy themselves. We had 4 (maybe 5) wieners at Lake George. So far we have had zero here. On the flip size I think I met a distant relative! Like from the 1800’s. My Martz Family Line.

For lunch we had to zip to Silverlake to get our propane tanks filled up. That’s when I got to meet a bunch of duck. I tried to network.

We headed back after lunch to handle a final run through the rest rooms (cleaning) and any miscellaneous tasks our co-workers needed. Working with these new camp hosts has been super enlightening. They have been FULL TIME for over 9 years!! WHAT!?? Talk about experience and know how. I’m like a sponge when they have anything to say.

Our new boss (Karen) is off the charts AMAZING and we are happy to work to keep her happy.

Our new Camp Host friends are Dick and Sherrie (couple) and Loretta and Steve.

I also got to work in the kiosk and meet some pretty cool people – like these tourists from Germany rolling in on their motorcycles.

Those Germans know how to have a fun time!

That’s it on my update for today.

I hope everyone is having a great life. I will always hope you are working for your own dreams and not the ego of someone else as well.

Keep moving across the planet my friends!

🙂 Sarita

Video of me trying to give the family of deer some water… Video by Randy

The Longest Day So Far

Today was the LONGEST work day I’ve had in YEARS.

Physical labor. Not much sitting down at all. Moving moving moving.

My feet are tired, my little corn on my left toe is screaming (ok, whining) and I’m just POOPED but I loved pretty much every minute.

We got up at 6:30am to get a jump on the bathrooms. It’s just not right to wait to clean a bathroom “between visitors” you know what I mean? So our goal was to clean those puppies BEFORE anyone woke up.

It was 34 degrees when the sun broke over the mountain and slightly illuminated our bedroom.

Randy hurried over to flick on the heater and then get coffee roaring. Ahhhh….I love our little house because the smell of the coffee just pours into the bedroom (which just happens to be 10 feet away).

Small House. Little Living. Trailer Life. I am still enjoying it despite the few things I am also missing (can’t lie).

We got our morning chores done and reported to The Kiosk to find out how many campsites would need to be cleaned (a job I really enjoy). It’s been averaging 20-30 sites every day with people coming and going. We are responsible for about 125 campsites and 6 bathrooms (9 toilets, 12 sinks and 3 urinals [gross!!]). This was the first shocker when we took this new job in June Lake. Our Lake George campground had 16 sites, two bathrooms (6 toilets).

WHAT AM I MISSING?

As a day rolls by I realize old habits or comforts that I am missing. Today I had plenty of time to remember them as I did my zen-raking on each campsite.

Manicures and pedicures. The weather here is dry and being at 9,000 elevation (Lake George) put a strain on my cuticles something FIERCE. I have been soaking my feet and caring for my fingers and toes but there is NOTHING like a Spa Mani/Pedi from Tammy at The Nails Spa in Simi Valley, California. If you live there don’t be a fool…book an appointment. You’re welcome.

Internet. We did NOT plan this very well. Ever heard of throttling? Yeah, they really do that if you exceed a certain amount of data.

News. I can’t believe I miss news. Like LOCAL stuff and then super broad stuff. I am overwhelmed when I finally GET Internet and then have to choose from 200 places. I just want actual FACTS not blown up inflated opinions. So, I guess I’ll never get that.

Music and Current Movies. WHAT IS HAPPENING?? I need more Apple money I guess. They want to charge so much to get a movie and we are on a tight budget which has resulted in watching Tombstone 20 times. Thankfully I found a thrift store and within it discovered three amazing movies! 50-cents each. WHaaaaa??? We get home and pop them in only to discover they are the “Disc 2” filled with…NOTHING I AM INTERESTED IN. Back to square one. If you have a movie/DVD and don’t want it anymore feel free to send it to SARITA SHOEMAKER General Delivery June Lake, CA 93529. I will pay it forward and donate it to a good place.

Washer and Dryer. I think we washed clothing every day when we had the set. Now we do laundry when we have ONE pair of underwear left or we get a whiff of the dog beds. I think we did pretty good on the amount of clothing (and we have uniform shirts which helps) needed. I will need to purchase another pair or two of my favorite Kuhl outdoor slacks for the winter and some long underwear too. On the flip side: I should begin a page of all of the Laundry Mats we have used since we began, their prices and cleanliness. I do like getting ALL of my laundry done within 60 minutes!

MY FREAKING CLOUD! What is the use of having the Cloud (MAC) if you don’t have WIFI to UPDATE THE FREAKING THING. Right now I have two devices NOT talking to each other properly. I did not realize how valuable The iCloud was until we hit the road. Dang it.

Bathtub. My entire life (sans being locked up in Scientology) I took a bath every single day of my life before bed. My mom wouldn’t let us go to bed without one. I spent a ton of time sitting with my mom while she bathed talking about “stuff”. The bathtub is something I long for and realized that I would only get if we stayed at a hotel. WELL WE PLAN TO STAY AT A HOTEL SOON AND OMG I AM TAKING A BATH ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL DAY AND NIGHT!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha!! I can’t wait. Meanwhile I figured out how to wash my hair, shave the necessary lady-parts and cleanse my face with my favorite face cleanser without using ALL of the hot water. Randy says things will sure be different when it is below freezing EVERY day. Oh yes, that’s a fact JACK!

THINGS I’VE LEARNED TO LOVE AGAIN EVEN MORE

I also had plenty of time to reflect on what has grown in width and depth (maybe that is because I spend more time appreciating things than I have before).

Weather. So far we have had every type of weather except snow (which is coming!). I watch the skies more and can smell the weather changing. When I open my eyes in the morning (and my bed is 1 foot from a window that we always keep open) I take a deep breath in through my nose keeping my eyes closed to imagine what the weather will be.

Deep and sincere friends. I grew up in an age where we passed notes (wish I had some of those), made SLAM Books, had parties, went to foot ball games and talked into the night about the cutest boys ever. Then I went off the rails and became part of a cult where trust was only with one person. Friends did not exist! No, I am not kidding. I learned how untrustworthy people were when I joined that dumb cult. The result has been no friends. Except I think I have a few sprouts starting up again and write to them telling them my deepest thoughts. It is still an uncomfortable part of my life but I am stepping out slowly hoping that the people I call my friends really ARE my friends and would be there for me (I would be there for them).

Doodling. I love doodling so much that the ink in my art pens is almost out. I included a few doodle cards above. I’m not sure who I will be writing to with them! I’m making my own line of stationary. I write letters by hand, address them in handwriting and put a stamp on them. I fill them with personal thoughts and ideas! They are special for each person and on top of that I like to make the envelope fancy (because who doesn’t love getting a fancy letter compared to a bill these days??).

Campfire. We get a bonus pretty much every day of people leaving but not taking their firewood. Today we scored a bunch of hardwood which makes the BEST campfires ever. I love when Randy is excited and that is one thing he gets excited about: hard wood. He makes a giant production of getting a fire going and the result is I get to be a Princess and enjoy his work. I’m writing my blog sitting by the fire right now.

Pet time. We have three “fur kids” that make it exciting to rush home to spend time with. I had them in my life before we started this adventure but nothing like this. I spend more time taking Piper (the cat) on walks now than I ever did. I just love seeing them enjoy themselves.

Reading. Without internet I’ve picked up more books to read. I’d like to send a BIG HUG AND SHOUT OUT to Lucy Leyda for Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I finished it and felt very deeply inspired. Thank you so much. Right now I’m reading Louis Lamour books. A camper gave us 10 of them! This is the author I read when I became a mom. I had my son with me and read as many LL books as I could. Good memories of quiet time with my little baby who was a mystery to me.

Manual Labor. I have done so many jobs in my life that required manual labor. I love the exhausted feeling I have after working all day. Seriously. If you have a desk job I would highly recommend you get a second job or volunteer doing physical labor. Your back will hurt, you’ll break nails, you will be starving within 2 hours and you’ll figure out a “zen” system. I love feeling exhausted at the end of the day! I love being the opposite of a White-Collar worker stuck in a cubicle or at a desk.

Strangers. The people we meet are normally on their best behavior. It’s part of our nature to have good manners for the most part. When someone arrives to camp there is a feeling of accomplishment and relief! They have been thinking about this moment for weeks, months if not an entire YEAR. They made it! They’re checking in to have time away and mostly unplug from whatever their lives were before. Meeting people in these circumstances makes it easy to strike up conversation and become quick friends to help them along. Of course there are the folks that just cannot or will not be satisfied but that is eclipsed 10-times by the happy people.

Habits in conserving. Ahhhh….never EVER thought I’d be capable of this level of change. Having a Full Hook Up site has been dreamy for the three necessities: water, power and waste “management”. That doesn’t change the fact that our tanks are only 46 gallons fresh water, 64 grey water and 42 gallons black water. Once the grey and black are filled up 75% we start to smell them which is just damn gross. I never leave the faucet running. Try it! It’s a tough habit to change. I wipe off my dishes before cleaning, showing isn’t easy (or that fun) because my hair is long but I’ve got a system of rinse, suds, rinse, suds, rinse which works great and I plan my cooking in advance (space issues also contribute to this need). I don’t know when the last time I took a bath was but that’s all I could THINK about when we checked into a hotel room. The volume of water, the unlimited hot water, the tub…boy do I appreciate all of that even more.

Dining out and Dining In. When we go out to eat it is actually special! We’re too far away from a convenient (lazy) solution of someone else doing the cooking and cleaning. I now look closely at every item on a menu to choose something I could not make myself at home. When we are eating at home I am limited on what I’ve got to work with. The other day I threw together an incredibly DELICIOUS meal with kale, corn on the cob, quinoa (love red quinoa by the way) and beans. I still do not plan ahead very well and we have “Shoemaker Tapas” which is chopped veggies, hummus, chips, quacamole, salsa, cheese, crackers… basically finger food easy combos. Working more hours now means we are both pretty tired.

JOURNALING

This has become more of a diary and journal for myself!

Time is zooming past. Someone posted that Costco has Christmas decor already on display.

I am all about slowing down and noticing the subtle changes in my life without any sort of solid plan.

This idea and concept is so far from my past life I am surprising even myself.

Does my blog provide you any sort of entertainment?

PHOTOS BY ME

From the top

1) Z. Alexander Brown vino (currently in my Top 5 list) and my latest doodle creations. Who will receive these? I’m not sure yet.

2) A secret path we were given to June Lake where we can bring the dogs without violating any rules or regulations.

3) Laundry Day! Piper came along on this trip. We spend an average of $21 every 10 days on laundry. Not including soaps.

4) Big storms show up on MyRadar. This one was semi-scary because the skies turned into tornado weather which I had plenty of experience with in Ohio.

5) Randy’s fire ring is triple the size so that means the quality of our campfires is triple as well. I like sipping a cocktail by these babies.

6) Silverlake Resort has a dining room. When we arrived it was packed (lunch time). Very limited seating, large portions and veggie options! Yay! It seems most places here also have wine and beer on their menu for those folks on a vacation (not having to get back to work after lunch).

North By Northwest Vs K2

Guess who picked which movie?

Have you seen both?

In my opinion, NBNW was hands down so much better than K2 plus watching it while eating pizza and drinking a glass of wine didn’t hurt. I expected Randy to be asleep within the first 30 minutes as well. This movie has suspense, action, romance… and plenty of confusing elements (like HOW can Roger O. Thornhill wear the same exact suit and tie in every scene…except the end…and also have a never ending pocket of cash?). Some scenes were shot in broad daylight noon’ish then the same scene (different point of view) shot nearer to the evening. I liked catching these things…without taking my mind off of the actual mystery that was unfolding!

The story was very interesting, the actors were all beautiful (even bad guys), the green screen work was HARDLY noticeable and the period of time (the 50’s) was before I was alive making it even more intriguing. I’ve never been to New York and some of the scenes were shot right in the middle of iconic locations. If you rent this movie be sure to listen to the commentary by Ernest Lehman as he takes you through the scenes. It’s actually very entertaining and as though he is sitting right there with you.

Randy did NOT fall asleep, I did! It was the wine!!! Not the movie!!

TIME FOR BED

We had the ENTIRE Lake George Campground to ourselves last night…and a bear.

FINALLY we had a bear visit us. I assume it is because there were no campers with all of their goodies to choose from. From the first day here Randy has repeated that we are safe from bears BECAUSE OF KONA AND ZOEY – they would alert us (at least) and scare the bear away.

I argued this point after reading BEAR AWARE plus knowing of all of the guests that had bear visits despite having dogs.

Technically he (Randy) had to eat a little crow when he discovered the mangled mess and evidence of a bear visiting WHILE THE DOGS SNOOZED.

We said GOODBYE to my favorite giant thermal zippable grocery bag. It held all off my reusable grocery bags (Kristi, need you to go to Hawaii asap for a new bag!) but no food at all. Just the essence of what had been inside all of those bags.

For the first time we had coyotes screaming in the Day-Use parking lot at 2:00am. Piper was up and active on that one standing at the window (ON RANDY) growling. She really believes she is something fierce, all 8 lbs of her.

Then there was some sort of “hum” like a car engine running for hours off and on. I felt like I was being deprogrammed and tortured at the same time. I woke Randy up (not knowing he’d been waking up over and over) to ask him if he heard that low droning sound. No. He turned and began snoring within 5 minutes. I decided that was better than the humming.

And we made a HUGE mistake switching sides of the bed so Randy could be closer to the window for fresh air.

THE FIRST PHOTO IS NOT MINE, IT IS FROM A GUEST NAMED LARRY “THE BEAR GUY”. He has been visiting Lake George for decades and has become a go-to guy for anything “bear” related. The SECOND photo shows the aftermath of a bear visit and I did take this photo. The guests DID NOT HEAR A THING.

THE LAST NIGHT, FOR REAL

Tonight is our LAST NIGHT at Lake George. We, again, will be the only inhabitants of the campground.

Randy spent today scrubbing and cleaning and preparing the outside of the The Lorax and I’m inside making sure every surface is dusted, vacuumed and ready to roll. Nothing like sparkling your house with your own hands (something I enjoy).

We plan to burn the remaining fire wood and I’m cooking a chili feast, cornbread included.

We have a bottle of wine ready, 1000 Tales. It was the most expensive bottle of wine we have purchased in over 3 months. I hope it tastes good!

First thing in the morning we close our slide-out, hook up the truck and trailer then do THREE walk-around laps to make sure we didn’t forget anything…and we’re off to June Lake. Not sure about the hours yet but we do have a Full Hook Up place to live just above the actual June Lake. Yesterday we took a few bulky items to our site and realized how HOT it was compared to Lake George. The view of this lake is right out our dining window and the emerald green and deep blue hues were exploding. We have ONE tree to work with for shade. Our fire pit is 4x as large (so I think Randy will be having some giant bonfire levels evenings).

IT WAS AMAZING

We did not expect much on this journey. I think that is why everything that happens can be looked at in a positive way.

Having the pets has put limitations on our adventures but that is really the only downside. Seeing the dogs bouncing around excited about everything makes it all OK.

I began writing Chapter 4 of my book – but it is sincerely impossible with any sort of job responsibilities (plus we lived in the middle of a lot of activity which was very distracting).

Our new digs and work camping gig is much different. We believe we will be needed to work double the hours.

If you are stuck in a rut of life please realize you don’t have to sit there stewing in it. Make a zig or a zag out of it! You can count on yourself to make sure you will be OK.

Look into work/camping! Www.workamper.com (if you sign up be sure you mention this number 215013 so we get 2 months added to ours) or just google “Camp Hosting”. There is also a forum we bumped into a year ago called “Make Money And RV” on facebook.

Even if you just did something like this for a short amount of time I think you would LOVE it.

Three Months Of Wanderlusting

We just made it to Labor Day 2017.

The last time we had a solid internet signal was June 1st 2017.

That day was the last day in our beautiful 5 bedroom house in Simi Valley California.

Our plan was segmented and we slowly got rid of our stuff. Now we own NOTHING of value to anyone (really) and saved our treasures in a small 10 x 10 square foot storage locker.

We have a few changes of clothing (which would explain seeing the same shirt in a lot of photos), a good kitchen set up and our pets. That’s about it!

The plan to leave the comfortable (as we define it) life over a year ago and it was all theory.

Now the rubber meets the road and we are “wanderlust” status since then.

June 1st to day is…hang on let me get my calendar out…92 days.

BOY have I made some adjustments to my life.

I’m no minimalist (those folks are way way way better at this). I’m getting closer though.

We have accumulated a few new needs: Andilou Moisturizer (thank you JoAnn), a two-seater kayak, Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer (thanks Meg), a Burley (to take Zoey further) AND THREE BOTTLES OF PATRON (I’ll talk about that another time).

Our schedule used to be wake up at 4:00am and go to bed at 8:00pm on work days. Now we are going to bed at 8:00pm (when it gets dark…unless Randy lights the fire pit up) and wake up at 6:00am. The extra sleep has felt so good. I didn’t think I could sleep that long and I know that the absolute SILENCE we have is part of it.

WHAT HAVE WE DONE FOR INCOME?

Camp Hosting at Lake George in Mammoth Lakes. 3 hours every day, 5 days per week and a forced 2 days “off duty”. In exchange we make enough money to get groceries, dine out a couple of days a week, put fuel in the truck, wash the pets and a few “this and that” needs. We do not pay rent and our water, power and waste services are included in our compensation.

Lake George is an incredible place. The Forest Service seems to be working hard to make it the “last place you can actually tent camp without an RV within a mile”. Here is their official description of our place.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recarea/?recid=20470

In our last two weeks “open” at Lake George we’ve had a flutter of folks arriving in smaller RVs (Lazy Daze seems to be a popular one). A lot of them have been coming here for decades (which I am super jealous of). This visit one man noticed they removed all of the faucet solutions to put water into your RV/Trailer. I’ll try to get a pic of what people have to use as “potable” water. The roads have not been kept up at all, the camp parking spaces (and you get ONE per camp site) are uneven. They are not putting any further effort into accommodating RV life up here. I called the US Forest Service to clarify and they referred me to their web page. It was updated to correct the price (which in 2016 was $23 a night… today it is $24 a night and $26 on holiday weekend periods). Firewood is $7.00 per bundle today.

In recollection of our guests we have had 3 “sketchy” groups/families stay with us compared to 525 (not official number) that were there to love, respect and be good stewards and good neighbors.

I reflect on my city-brain and the danger of criminals, drunk idiots and riff-raff I expected to deal with. To make myself feel better I attended Women’s Self Defense classes at Martial Motion Academy (highly recommend) and got some private training there “just in case”. We talked about the many scenarios I may encounter…including the fact that I would need to run 5 miles to civilization (that’s all I knew). Boy was I prepared!! Right now I could kick someone’s ass to protect myself or someone else. Guru Rene gave me instinctual practices that I’m confident will be part of me for the rest of my life. Just talk to Deresa… SHE is a beast in this area. Love that lady (miss her a lot!).

WORKAMPING…OUR NEXT ADVENTURE

There is a whole world of people that work and camp. A smart husband and wife began organizing those people and the camp sites that NEED HELP. Pretty smart, eh?

Ya, I thought so too. I signed us up for a membership at www.Workamper.com and every day we are emailed 4-10 new opportunities for work across the United States. Each have different needs and methods of exchange (from a Full Hook Up in exchange for 16 hours of work every week to Full Hook Up plus access to all of the amenities they offer at their resort at no charge to partial hook up and a paycheck). Some give you housing, some expect that you B.Y.O.H.

For us it is a list of adventures! Imagine Maine! Imagine North Carolina! Imagine Florida, Maryland, New Mexico,Texas, North Dakota (I am still waiting for Ohio). You just need to be willing to actually WORK a little bit of the day.

We are very thankful for the responsibilities we have as “work” here at Lake George. I guess I needed this or I would flounder around without purpose or direction. Being a Camp Host has been one of my favorite jobs ever, mostly because I have met some really cool people along the way.

Shout Out to any of you that we gave our business card to by the way! 🙂 Keep in touch!

Since there are so many opportunities out there we are taking our time researching what we think we can do to earn some income but still take care of our own health and our pets. Nothing is concrete.

NEXT YEAR – 2018 AT MAMMOTH LAKES

We are going to apply for the Lake George job again for 2018. No guarantee that we will land the job but we are hopeful. The season is supposed to begin on June 1st and finish on September 10th (or 11th).

TIME TO MOVE = TIME TO PURGE, AGAIN

Since we planted here we have, as expected, accumulated too much STUFF. I purposely replaced the plastic and paper kitchenware with real glass or ceramic ware. The idea of eating off of a paper plate is very temporary, we are on this journey permanently. That means we will be donating a lot of this before we hit the road again. I love second hand stores even more now!

We are eating everything out of our pantry to reduce the load, we will be going through our apparel and rearranging for colder days and nights, the pets haven’t touched most of the “toys” we carted up so we are donating them and lastly our book stash has got to go!

KNEE UPDATE

August 2017 marks my One Year Anniversary of NEW KNEES from my stem cell surgery.

Every single day I marvel at the LACK of pain I am in as well as the adventures I’ve been able to participate in. I still hesitate on certain positions because my brain remembers the pain when my knees would “go out”.

The friend that recommended (FOR YEARS) I try stem cell treatment (Ann Archinal) forwarded me a news article found in the Washington Post August 2017 reporting that the FDA was beginning to crack down on stem-cell clinics. BUMMER. That could be the start of the end of this technology to help people. I know it helped me and if I had $400 to spare I would get another MRI done on the knee to see what the cells did. All I know is that I had a torn meniscus and ruptured bone spur in my left knee and I was reduced to HOBBLING in pain 24/7, climbing stairs was bad but descending even worse and I would regularly have my knee pop out of its joint forcing an unexpected scream out of me followed by Randy rushing over to help me push it back in. TORTURE. Those problems are gone and now I’m climbing, running, hiking, doing yoga, bending, jumping…dang I’m even crashing on my bike and both of my knees were jacked up on the surface but healing nicely now.

If you are struggling with a tissue problem, you should check into stem cell as a solution. It is NOT guaranteed and also, just to be clear you will need to get yourself seen by a professional doctor on this procedure before you are even accepted. My procedure is covered in this story I wrote last year.

Cheers everyone and thanks for tuning in.

SO FAR, SO GOOD

A recap on where we have been calling “home” with the pets and our travel trailer, The Lorax 2.

NO PHOTO AVAILABLE (which is technically unbelievable) at Tapo Canyon RV Park.

South 40 at Stayton Acres in So Cal

North 40 at Stayton Acres in So Cal

J-Diamond RV Resort in Bishop Ca

Lake George Campground, Mammoth Lakes CA

Kale Quinoa Buttery Lemony Corny Feast

A plate of incredible deliciousness that gives you a little buttery flavor partnered with lemony freshness. Packed with protein and completely vegan. It was delicious!

The kale and corn medley is what makes this so flavorful.

I am at 9000 elevation and must cook for a little longer in my travel trailer. Unfortunately the burner “low” setting is not the “low” you would get at lower elevation.

We feasted and we’re STUFFED with this goodness.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

3 C chopped kale

1 fresh lemon juiced (at least ¼ cup, halved)

1 fresh corn kernels (remove from 1 cob)

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1 can of black beans

Cook ¾ cups of quinoa

Cook ½ cup of long grain brown rice

½ t crushed red pepper

Pinch of salt

Directions

Prepare your rice (add 1T vegan butter) and red quinoa and set aside keeping warm.

Chop kale and add ½ of your lemon juice. Set aside.

Shuck your corn and slice tomatoes.

Place kale and 1T butter in sauce pan. Bring to simmer (about 4 minutes) then add corn kernels, red crushed pepper and pinch of salt. Stir it often to mix the pepper and salt but not wilt the kale too much (see photo). Remove from heat.

Plate it up: a scoop of quinoa, portion of the fresh chopped tomatoes, rice and kale/corn medley.

This recipe is for two people in case you need to feed more folks.