Lake George…Sad Face

Most evenings...
Most evenings…Oh how I loved this peaceful existence.

The time has come and gone to secure being Camp Hosts again for the most spectacular place ever:  Lake George in Mammoth Lakes California.

We will not be Hosting this year but our dear friend Mona WILL be!

Lake George is NOT the same as other campsites in Mammoth.

I wanted to give you a few pieces of advice to ensure you have a VERY FUN AND RELAXING STAY.

  • First Come, First Serve.
  • Don’t bring an RV.  They don’t fit and the campground was not paved for RV’s.  Sites are graded for one tent.  Max occupancy is enforced.
  • You will MOST LIKELY experience BEARS.  Be smart: put EVERYTHING in your bear box.  Putting it in your car is not a bear box and they WILL open the door to get the food.  They can actually lift the handle and open the door OR they can bash out your window.  Either way, your car will not be left in good condition.
  • DO NOT LEAVE FIRES SMOLDERING.  You SHOULD have a bucket of water next to your camp site before you even START a fire.  If you leave a fire smoldering you will have the privilege (which is what it is) of staying there revoked.  The Camp Host is NOT an enforcer, it will be the Authorities on your case and they don’t mess around with this risky behavior.
  • There are winds and the best sites to avoid them are #16 and #15.
  • You get ONE CAR per camp space. Additional cars can be parked in the lot, no problem.  You just can’t occupy another spot without paying for it.  You get a Car Pass when you pay for your site.  Be sure you post it on your rear view mirror.
  • I have no idea what the camp fees are going to be this year (2018).  Check the Mammoth Welcome Center to find out if the camp is open (it was delayed in 2017 and did not open until July 17th.
  • Be nice to your Camp Host, she can accommodate most needs but the reality is she can only do SO MUCH.
  • The worst days to try to get a camp site are Thursday,Friday, Saturday.  The best days are Sunday (when everyone is leaving) or Monday.
  • Checkout is NOON, don’t bug occupants for make “side deals”. You can take your sweet time packing up and leaving!  Relax and ask anyone that bothers you to speak to the Camp Host.  You paid for your stay and we want you to get every ounce of the experience.
  • Check In is 2pm.  You must PAY for the site and OCCUPY IT.  You are not allowed to pay for sites and not actually camp there.  Don’t ask the Camp Host to break the rule for you.  If your site isn’t occupied with YOUR GEAR then we are obligated to give it to the next person ready to move in.  This is a big issue: people believe they can reserve/save spaces but you are not allowed to do that.
  • We do not have a Credit Card machine.  Cash only.  I forget if you are allowed to write a check (I don’t think you can).
  • You can stay in a site 7 days MAX.  In 2017 the rule was you had to vacate your site before you could come back.  That means there may not be a site after you leave so plan ahead.  There are Walk-Up sites in Lake Mary and Twin Lakes.  Be NICE to all Camp Hosts if you want help finding things.
  • Clean up your campsite when you leave.  We understand that in the night you drop things and it’s tough to navigate around BUT in the morning when you are packing up you can definitely see your trash, fishing line and greasy messes left on the tables and bear boxes.  DO NOT LEAVE A MESS, we are Hosts not your maid. Be a respectful guest and try to leave the place NICER than when you arrived.
  • Do NOT come to Lake George to get high, drunk, fight or play loud music.  Seriously.  The Mammoth PD patrol often (every day) and will remove you.  PLUS people go to Lake George to get AWAY from this stuff.  Want to “party”?   There are plenty of other camp grounds you can find.
  • There are no showers at Lake George, only bathrooms with toilets and sinks.  No electricity either.  Oh, and the visitors to Lake George use the restrooms too (and mostly they keep it clean but they are also mostly guilty of leaving trash all over the place including fish guts).
  • You are not allowed to clean your fish at the water spigots. OR YOUR BODY.
  • There isn’t cell signal at the campsites.  YAY!
  • Closest showers are Lake Mary or in town.
  • There is a small store at Lake Mary that has essentials (most of the time).
  • We usually had firewood for sale, $7 a bundle.  Bringing exact change helps of course.  I think the grocery store sold it for less.
  • Grocery shopping in Mammoth? READ YOUR RECEIPT if you shop at the only grocery store in town (big box).  They overcharged me REPEATEDLY and it wasn’t until I’d been in there a lot of times complaining that it seems this behavior changed.  I personally suspect they know people are only there for a few days and won’t take the time to fix the mistake.  So BEFORE YOU LEAVE scan over your ticket and make sure it is exactly what it should be.  If you see an error just go to the front desk and they will refund your money INSTANTLY when you tell them you were charged for items you did not have on the belt.  I was told that this grocery store is #1 in the country for $$$ sales.  They also are in the Top 5 of Shoplifters being caught.
  • Before you get to Lake George (or any site) grab a map of the area if you plan to hike because there are no maps provided up here.  You can get maps at the Welcome Center.
  • Be nice to your neighbors, they are probably amazing people that you’d like to stay in touch with years to come.
  • Be nice to your Camp Host! The pay is terrible and the hours are SUPPOSED to be 3 a day (that’s all we are paid for).  We get woken up in the middle of the night for LOTS of reasons (none of them great), we get yelled at, people are disrespectful of the rules, WE HAVE TO CLEAN THE SHITTER!  Give us a little kindness because it makes a difference and just feels nice.
  • If you would like to be a Camp Host, check out the company that we worked for: California Land Management.  The pay is terrible but you do get to park your “house” on site for no charge.  As a Host we did have “Full Hook Up”.  The pooper was a mascerator (poop puree system) and had to be pumped UPHILL to the restroom.

I sure wish we were able to be there for the 2018 Season FOR SURE.

Being a Camp Host was one of my most favorite jobs ever for two reasons:  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION (we feel so lucky to have been chosen to run Lake George as well as Oh Ridge in June Lake) AND the incredible people we met on our journey.

Let me know if you have questions!  And if you are reading this and were part of our 2017 Camp Season PLEASE send me an email so we can keep in touch!  SaritaShoemaker@g m a i l.com (spaces added on purpose).

Check out our photos of our stay at Lake George – it was tough looking at those memories and not being sad that we aren’t going to have them again this year.

Larry McGee gave me some amazing bear coverage photos that I’ve included.

Maybe 2019 (fingers crossed).

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Mile: Rolling Journal

Well, I put my money were my mouth is today 4/5/18.

Last week (3/29/18) I wrote about the challenge of getting my body OUTSIDE and running after at LEAST 10 months of NOT running across the planet.

My previous life (the last 12 years of it anyway) always included running – even little bits – because of our outdoor boot camp program. It was part of my “job”. The lesson for me is: don’t stop moving across the planet! I took my job for granted and the awesome feeling “running” gave me is returning.

My Trainer encouraged me to just run OUT for 1 mile and then walk back to the start. Excellent advice for me (you might consider it for yourself if you are like me…just getting back to moving across the planet).

Today’s route was along a river (very peaceful) with spring colors popping out like Christmas lights along the way. I ran alone along this asphalt path thinking about the people in my life that are joining me on this little adventure of #ThursdayMile

I hope everyone that wanted to commit can make it happen and post a comment of at least ONE of the mile times they had (or an average).

Remember: this is just for you to improve yourself and NOT a competition with anyone else.

This week I had to stop myself from running SAVING it for my Thursday Mile. I was anxious to accomplish my mile today (so I think that worked out well). I did go to the gym inbetween but that’s not the same at all.

Journal Info…
4/5/18 10:43, no poop pick up
3/29/18 11:34, 1 poop pick up

When you run a mile today, please share that you did it and if you want to include your time that’s up to you.  Also, if you have any positive words to add that would be amazing.

I’m already excited to run next week!

Anonymous poll:

 

 

BIKE RIDE 13 MILES

My friends Bill and Peter would include me in their trail bike adventures on a regular basis.  Then Tracey started joining in and eventually we had a BIKER GANG I called The Little Rascals.

Randy and I spent one of the sunny days here on a long ride down the Jordan/Provo River on our mountain bikes (on a paved path) to explore what things looked like from our house all the way to Provo Lake!   The path itself is covered with naked trees (which we expect will be exploding soon in color!) and there were plenty of people taking walks and running.  I couldn’t take any pics of that or I would crash and land on people or in the river.  Next time, maybe.  The end is wide open where the airport (I wondered where it was!) is and a long dirt road.  We rode it almost to the end.  I caught video while there of the MILLIONS of toads croaking.  It was magical!!

It was so pretty and I was thinking about my friends wishing they were with me enjoying it too.

So, on that note: HI GANG!  I took these pics for you!  I miss you all tons!!

 

 

One Mile Across The Planet

I have not actually RUN across the planet in almost 10 months.

Today I “ran” a mile non-stop. If you were watching me you might think it wasn’t RUNNING. But it was. I scooted along at my best possible pace without feeling like throwing up.

It’s only a mile, I know.

But when you run on the planet (not on a treadmill) a mile you get to see how LONG it really is.

I’m sure I will be paying for it tomorrow.

My blistering pace was 11:34. It does include one time I had to physically STOP while Kona pooped and I picked it up. According to my Garmin that took about one minute (and I needed it because I was sucking air any my heart rate was at 180).

WHAT GRAVITY FEELS LIKE

I have been doing kettlebells, yoga, pilates, aqua zumba (by the way, I cut my big toe on the bottom of the pool and didn’t see it was infected! Blah-blah-blah as my workout time.

This does not compare to running mentally or physically.

My body felt HEAVY and SLUGGISH and GIGGLY.

AM I ALONE?

Do I run or blow it off?

Are there any other people dealing with this sort of thing today?

You WANT to run but just can’t find the motivation? You let every excuse come up and accept it?

That was me until about 30 minutes ago.

As I’m writing this I can feel my left hip flexor twitching…and I’m happy about it!

PLEASE JOIN ME

I’m going to commit to posting my Mile Time every Thursday. If I run more than one time this week then I’ll post my best run time.

This is all to get me to do it.

Would you please join me? PLEASE? I need at least one other person to commit and we can run “virtually” at least 1 day a week.

Maybe that will build up to 2.

For now I’m happy with having run ONCE.

#ThursdayMile

#SelfImprovement

#Accountability

#VirtualRunningFriend

Breaking Up With Zumba

The Aquatics Part of my gym is off the charts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today was my final Zumba Class attempt. Aqua Zumba.

I just basically suck at all forms of Zumba so I have to break up with it and find something else. It’s definitely me, not you (Zumba).

I believe there is another planet out there called Zumba and lots of humans populate it.

They are upbeat, coordinated and love loud Latin-style music.

They’ve got incredible rotation in their hips and zero concern about their boobies flapping in ALL directions…north, south, east, west, up, down, in and out.

I’d completed two classes and before I realized why the dialed-in girls wear flannels or light long-sleeve shirts around their hips. Those are flags of courage and mental freedom to just LET GO of any conservative feelings. Initially I thought it was the reason I wore shirts tied around my waist: to cover my backside (or hindquarters as Randy refers to them as).

<<<Insert horse neighing sounds.>>>

WHAT IS ZUMBA

I’ve asked a few of the FRONT ROW participants. No one has a clear and straight answer.

From attending two classes (Zumba Step and Zumba Gold) I’m just gonna say that it is the 1980’s boxed up in steps, shakes and wiggles. The music is loud and exciting (as are the instructors) and it’s freaking FUN.

I got choked up in my second class I was so excited to be amongst such amazing dancers. Chorus Line was and is one of my most favorite musicals. Tits and Ass!! Yeah baby!!

I think Zumba has different music tracks that piece together randomly (but perfectly) to take you on a dancing adventure you would not go on yourself. You need a Leader for this one and Zumba Instructors are excellent leaders!

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE THREE ZUMBA CLASSES?

Zumba Step is fast paced dancing waving your arms, hips and moving all about your step. The routines seem to be “known” by everyone (except me). Since I do not know the routines I have to watch the Instructor as close as possible. They give you hints of when things will change (hand signals) and most everything follows the rhythm of the music. In Step Zumba you could actually trip and kill yourself on your neighbor’s step.

The Instructor seemed to know most of the people and didn’t make any announcements at the start – the music began and IT WAS LOUD (I have hearing issues already). I moved away from being directly in front of a speaker. She started dancing instantly and so did the entire class. I felt swept up in the fun – people were having a BLAST! I was just modestly embarrassed that I couldn’t get the steps and arm movements colliding with people around me (apologizing a LOT).

20 minutes into the class I realized it was not the right thing for me to do. The lateral movements are FAST PACED and my knees started to ache and stitches of pain shot up and down my leg. Thankfully the class had 60 people in it so I could slip out undetected to the restroom to check my knees to check for broken knee joints (it really hurt that bad).

Zumba Gold is for people brand new to Zumba or OLD people with limited movements. Since I fit both, I figured I’d be able to keep up in the gOLD class. It was in a smaller classroom and no steps were involved.

Getting there early to get a spot in the back was crucial. The back row was filled so I was forced to be in row 3 space 8. I began to panic instantly. 7 people on my left and 3 on my right.

I turned to the woman next to me and mentioned this was my first class. BIG mistake. She was so excited to make sure I LOVED my experience. Next she wanted to know my name and much more. Isn’t it funny when you WANT to be solo and invisible and that backfires? Well she was sweet and older than me so I let my guard down answering her questions as fast as she was firing them at me.

Then the Zumba Instructor flew in and the music (again so loud it distorted) began! Like a wave at a Dodger’s game…the room began to move, sway, bob and weave. It swept me up and I began to sort of enjoy it.

I glanced at my older next door neighbor who was KILLING IT with every single step, hip pop and snap. I glued my eyes on the swishing torso of our Fearless Excited Zumba Instructor keeping my arms up and elbows bent while I attempted to connect my feet to the beat. No dice. I sucked!!!!!!!!!!!!

I stared at my own feet pissed that they couldn’t get with the program and that’s when the Instructor popped up DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME shimmying and shaking her chest, hips and arms and smiling the HAPPIEST exhilarated smile I’d seen in the entire gym since we started attending.

She was a larger breasted woman and I was taller than her. Her girls and her shoulders were DANCING.  She looked me straight in the eyes – like DIRECTLY – and I got the message: SHAKE MY GIRLS (AND SHOULDERS) LIKE THEY’RE ON FIRE!! DO IT!!! SHE WASN’T GOING TO MOVE UNTIL I DID IT. I guess I complied enough (or she realized I wasn’t very good at this wild type of motion) because she moved back to the front of the classroom.

For the record: Gold only has ‘old’ in it because you can’t say GOLD without old. The people in this class might have been ‘old’ and all shapes, sizes, weights and heights but THEY WERE AH-MAZ-ING. I was in awe as the hour progressed.

My knees felt the same pain as they did in Step Zumba but I knew I had to gut it out. I’d already been “made” and there would be no escaping my spot in the Chorus Line.

I watched the clock a lot (hoping the Instructor wouldn’t catch me) wishing time would HURRY UP. My “girls” were tired and so was my brain (and my knees).

I don’t like the type of music they play because it brings back bad memories PLUS it’s way too loud for my sensitive hearing.

Tapo Canyon Trail in Simi Valley California

If there were a place that was on the dynamic OPPOSITE side of what I was standing in it would be the Tapo Canyon Trail (pictured).  I have spent HOURS on this trail alone with the sound of bird wings and bees buzzing.

Finally…FINALLY we were done.  The room emptied quickly and I hurried to leave too.

My neighbor RUSHED up to me as I gathered my sweat shirt to leave. She was BEAMING with happiness and dripping sweat. I was just sort of glistening because I really couldn’t keep up with the class.

“How did you like it!?!”

“It was great! You are an amazing dancer!!!”

“I love this class! You should come to the one tomorrow and on Saturday too!! There is also Zumba upstairs in the big fitness studio!!”

“Oh ya! I went to Step Zumba but it really hurt my knees. I came to Gold Zumba to see if I could manage but my knees are screaming right now. I don’t think Zumba is my thing unfortunately.”

“You just have to build up to it! Once you know all of the dance moves it becomes a different experience!!!!”

“Yes I bet you are completely right about that!”

I was maintaining my smile and excitement and ignoring my knees which were PISSED OFF.

“Well I better go, thank you for all of your encouragement. I needed it!”

I HURRIED out before the Instructor pinned me down too.

The distance from the studio to my ride home was about 3 blocks – this place is huge. I hobbled pointing my toes in different directions to take the strain off of my knees. I was really mad at myself for doing the entire class and knew I would be paying for it tomorrow.

MONTHS LATER…

Randy and I have been attending the gym doing our own workouts. I am SO GRATEFUL he has 12 years of exercise plans already built!

My favorite is kettle bells so I’ve enjoyed those but do a 20 minute “run” on a Life Fitness cross-trainer.

There is a giant row of these machines overlooking the pool area and that’s where I’ve spied the Aqua Zumba class and considered MAYBE I could give Zumba another chance.

So, today I signed up for and attended my first Aqua Zumba class.

Aqua Zumba is, obviously, in the water. Same music and same moves just TONS of resistance moving through the water. We are in a giant pool and the water is rib-high.

I wore the only swimming outfit I have: board shorts and a bikini top with lots of straps to ensure no “slippage”.

I got to the pool and stepped in. There were three elderly people taking laps and I got in their way so they gave me the stink-eye. Rather than let that get under my skin I cheerily wished them a Good Morning (to which they smugly looked away) and continued their walking.

We had 7 minutes until start time and this elderly couple HAD to walk near me again (the pool isn’t that large).

“Are you going to do the Aqua Zumba class too?”

Scowling at me, “Oh for God’s Sake NO WAY!!!”

“Yikes well ok then…”

Interrupting me…

“I’m all done here and I’ve been here since the pool opened at 5:00am!!!”

She was CLEARLY bothered by me and my pesky invasive questioning.

I watched her and her companion walk to the far end of the pool.

The Zumba Instructor arrived with her awesome boom-box speaker and introduced herself and asked my name. She was SO NICE!!!

She told me to just do what I can and not worry about the moves too much – just get accustomed to what was happening.

She stayed on the pool deck and led us using two chairs as “seats” for the parts where we were to lift our feet off the ground and hold our legs up while paddling with our hands or arms.

The music was not as loud but it was the same type (bummer but what did I expect!?).

We began! I couldn’t keep up.

The moves were much faster than I could do and moving in water gives you lots of resistance.

But she carried on with the class and had the greatest attitude ever. It was the thing that kept me trying to execute the dance routines.

You know, a good leader can get you do to ANYTHING sometimes. Most times.

There I was, in my bikini shaking my girls (beneath the water – no one could see) along with my Instructor. I got through 12 minutes and I was TIRED. WHAT!?!

Resistance!

Then we began lateral movements. I was ignorantly pushing myself left and right along the pool bottom when my right knee popped out of joint. That feeling is beyond explanation I think. The bone was OUT of the joint and the pain was covering my body to my fingertips.

Since we were ALL swishing around in the water no one noticed me wince and “fall”. I’d already been completely off of the routine by about 8 beats.

From an outsider looking in one might have thought I was sort of drowning in place.

I grabbed my knee and pressed on both sides as I extended my foot. It popped back in but the pain sort of lingered for the remainder of the class. I was suddenly really bummed out.

Here I thought being in the water would be a good idea and it backfired.

The bottoms of my feet were also being scraped repeatedly and I felt blisters forming from it. I adjusted by standing on my heels and did ZERO lateral movements with my legs straight (like a side lunge).
The music goes in spurts and routines that follow it. I think they are 6-9 minutes long and we go through 8 of them? I’m guessing.

At this point I had 15 minutes to survive and FINALLY a tune came on that I absolutely love: Imagine Dragons: Believer.

Have you ever paid attention to lyrics of songs?

My favorite part of this song is the chorus:

“PAIN! YOU MAKE ME A BELIEVER!”

It was slower and I was finally SEMI-able to keep up with my Instructor and the moves that accompanied this excellent tune.  It took my mind off of the pain bouncing up and down between my ankle, knee and hip.

Lastly we had a cool down stretch which I was grateful of. I was SWEATING and it was dripping into my eyes and itchy.

I liked this Zumba class because it reminded me of being a kid and playing in the pool all day then being so exhausted I would fall asleep at the dinner table while my mom cooked.

If you have the opportunity to try Aqua Zumba I suggest you do it. My only advice would be to wear aqua-shoes because I now have giant blisters on the balls of my feet.

REFLECTING

I am super happy I tried all of these classes.

With any sort of group fitness activity you can see and feel the energy build up to a fun level depending on the Instructors. Each of these Instructors had their own positive and fun energy and I appreciated it – and I respect it having taught groups myself.

This gym has a lot more for me to try.

With the arrival of Spring both Randy and I are anxious to get up into the mountains and onto the trails!

We also want to ride up the Jordan/Provo River on the bike path and have lunch near Bridal Falls.

There is plenty to enjoy here and not enough time to do it: just like everyone else I guess.

Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello UTAH we’re gonna come explore you!!

 

 

 

Unexpected Surprises

Funny thing about living in a town where you do not have one friend.

Cars pull up outside our house and in the past I’d be curious about who could it be? I likely knew the person so I’d scan over what I was wearing and glanced in the mirror for any embarrasing surprises…skank on my nostril, seeds in my teeth and bad breath.

In my old town I always had an apron on covering the outfits I’d switched into after boot camp in the morning. Chances are NOTHING matched but it was comfy enough to sit at my computer and work on all of the marketing, public relations and website work.

But here it is totally different!

The sound of a door slamming and I sort of “noticed it”. No one is coming to my house to visit me (for the record I’m dressed properly in jeans, t-shirt, flannel and my favorite crocs.)

This time the doorbell rang and HEAVY thumping…KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.

I was instantly in a mental panic.

Randy was in New York and I was alone with the pets.

CRAP.

I scanned my surroundings for weapons remembering Master Rene’s Women’s Self Defense Classes: BRUTALITY. He’d given me a couple of good items to have nearby so I grabbed one and went toward the front door.

With my right hand hand on my weapon (which I’m not going to tell you what it is…you have to have done his classes to know) I touched the doorknob and turned it super slowly.

It was getting dark out so I flicked on the porch light with my weapon hand.

I changed my plan and let go of the doorknob and attempted a peek through our giant front window pulling back the drapes.

There was a white van parked in front of the house. Empty.

No one was standing on the porch.

Randy’s Christmas pinecones left sparkles across the steps and they glistened.

I pressed my face too close to the window and smashed my glasses into my nose. That didn’t feel good.

Turning around I noticed Piper (my cat) was in full Halloween Mode. Hair electric and arched ready to battle danger. Kona was next to me with his tail wagging like crazy and his eyes WIDE open.

It seemed the coast was clear so I gulped and held my weapon tighter as I opened the door QUICKLY (planned to startle the person) only to confirm nobody was there. I stepped out and looked around and saw the backside of a person wearing dark blue and moving across my neighbor’s yard. Then I saw TWO envelopes squeezed into our tiny mailbox.

Addressed to Randy and Sarita Shoemaker. I instantly figured out it was the mailman! DUH!

Our mail has been packed with bills, flyers, magazines and the previous occupant’s mail on occassion. Randy’s been getting boxes and packages from Enecon (weighing as much as his kettlebells!). I put the envelopes on the table and continued my evening yawning that Randy’d gotten ANOTHER surprise.

A few days later those envelopes were getting in the way so I decided to open them! Plus I was pretty bored being home without Randy for so long. Fun fact: we have not spent more than 4 days apart.

To my surprise THEY WERE FOR MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

THANK YOU to Wandering Weirdo for CONTINUING to push, inspire and guide me on my writing.

All that just to practice for my English Class too. 🙂

Getting something nice out of the blue sure makes you feel good inside. Maybe we would make the world a better place if we just sent packages and letters randomly to people. It really does feel special.

WW ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

PS: Written while heating my cashews for my vegan dipping sauce…got kids comin’ over to pig out tonight!

Pretty Much Alone

My kitchen window view of Y Mountain (and my hood).

I’m out here on an island.

I get to choose how it feels and looks but the weather is cold, crisp and sunny (with chances for snow flurries).  The view is what I get to decide:  concrete and asphalt, extremely old buildings, rivers or mountains.  The skies are normally filled with clouds of all sorts.

This is what I signed up for back in June 2017.  The UNKNOWN expectations of my future. Letting it ride with the wind.

There is good and there is bad.

Out of every 100 people I meet there will be 98 Mormon believers and 2 “everything else” believers from Atheist to Zoroastrianism.  This is according the Wiki page about Provo Utah.

Job Seeking has become unfun.  I’m not Mormon and while they do NOT ask about my religious affiliation I don’t know the “language” at all.  I feel like telling everyone I’ve got to get to Fireside tonight for the MTC Women’s Conference planning with my fellow Sisters. There are plenty of buzzwords there.

One person told me to BE CAREFUL in conversation if I ever wanted to get a job!  That’s nearly impossible for me.  I feel like I chat too much.

Anyway, interview after interview – rejected over and over.  Oh and these days there is NO reply letting you know.  They just cut the line and let you drift away in Wonder Wonder World.

I took myself off Facebook and Instagram again and am considering a full shut down and restart of this blog to make it more “Mormon-centric”.  We did sign a lease and I’d like to get a job.  I’m pretty sure this blog isn’t helping me at all.

I’ll just go get a donut.

Provo Bakery. Yep, they’ve been baking since before I was a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

 

THE GREAT MORMONS

I want to give a shout-out to a few people I’ve met that I think are Mormon.  Not 100% sure… but unless I’m seeing some tats showing and hear a cuss word I’m gonna conclude they’re part of the 98%.

My Yoga Teacher Chenae.  She is amazing.  I have two classes a week with her.  She told me we (Husband Unit and I) bring good energy to her class.  She is so relaxed and Zen’y.  Namaste.  Clearly she shines good light out because I definitely feel it.

Getting ready for Yoga!

I say this because I was told (by a Mormon teacher) that the people that grew up here in Provo have a thing about them that would explain their feeling of altitude over the rest of mankind.  Mormons outside of Provo have (on an absolute majority) been amazing, friendly, kind and fun to be around.

I have continued to go to all of my  weight lifting classes because I actually felt like the teachers made me feel welcome.

The list of activities I participate in is growing: swimming, pilates, Zumba AND Zumba Gold and cycle.  I’ve used the indoor track and love it too.  Can’t remember if I missed anything. Each of the classes have amazing leaders/teachers.

So, thanks to Erin, Amy, Drew, Heather, Wendy, Kara, Gabby, Becky and Stacey.

More positive vibes to share:

The instructors for my weight lifting classes.  One in particular is Lauren.  She’s off the charts friendly and talks like she has had a life outside of Provo. Amy cracks us up with her dry humor and stories.  Erin is a Mermaid – I firmly believe this because she is SO friendly and creative.  Heather is one of the nicest and most accommodating people I’ve ever met – she is an Iron Woman (she should be making Pilates workout video she is so passionate about it) and STRONG.  Wendy was subbing  for another teacher when I met her and she did the nearly impossible: taking a room of uptight early-risers through an hour of torture (AND WE LIKED IT), Gabby was the most patient person trying to teach me how to swim (I’m getting better), Kara was the FIRST instructor I met and she had such a positive attitude I just wanted to be in her class again, I call Drew Mr. Pain because the class was WAY WAY WAY above my abilities and he pushed me to try my best and lastly the two cycle instructors Becky (LOVE her program) and Stacey.  When class began Stacey put on the greatest music REAAAAL LOUD and shouted out, “NOT TODAY SATAN!!!!!”  He was a riot and got the whole room jazzed up.

In retrospect I feel that any sort of commitment here requires some “skin in the game” and that needs to be “being a Mormon”.  Without a doubt I’ll never be a Mormon (or join any other religion or cult-religion again).

OUR ANIMAL KIDS

Saved one spider, I’ve been feeding dozens of ducks oats every day and there are some magical looking birds (mom and dad I believe) roosting in our porch roof.

Zoey has some sort of rash-like situation happening.  We battle it with medicine but sometimes it gets her (plus she doesn’t do much all day so has plenty of time to be bothered and scratch it).  The donut has helped a lot.  Clearly she seems to be loving it…NOT.

Kona has now sprouted wizardly grey hair on his paws.  Is this the same as the curtains matching the carpet in the K9 world?  (I firmly believe I have TWO readers not including Randy… we’ll see). He is still anxious to sniff and eat anything that isn’t made out of wood, metal or plastic.  Walks along the Provo River are filled with food treasures.

Note: Randy discovered that carrots would help Zoey.  He ordered some dehydrated carrot powder or flakes (still hasn’t arrived) but in the meantime I discovered ALL of my carrots were pressure cooked in the InstantPot so he could give them to the dogs.  Rather than, say for example, serve them 1T of dehydrated carrot he served them 4 cups.  Poor Kona and his raw rear…and I guess Randy deserved the punches in the nose as those carrots moved through a chocolate lab(oratory) compressed gas release system or aka Dog Farts.  Oh gawd.

Piper has been visiting the backyard more.  I’m also growing cat grass myself (because none of the pet stores carry it here).  We have a tiny farm in our cupboard and it’s working out great.  She gets too fluffy and I cut her hair chasing her around the house with extremely sharp scissors.

We continue to feed them 3 times a day and the only difference I see is bigger poops, more poops and better begging techniques.

 

OUR HUMAN KIDS

Thought-provoking: I am rarely asked how Jordan and Claire are doing by anyone (family included now that my mom is dead).  Morgan is often the topic of “kids”.    Randy and I met on e-Harmony with two kids each.  He with Amanda and Morgan and me with Jordan and Claire.  All of our kids are different and incredible human beings.  They share a lot of commonalities but truly are so different.

Recently a friend’s friend asked me how MY kids were doing.  I never thought of a separation between all four of our kids. I’m proud of all of them.

One of J’s amazing creations.

Jordan

Schooling continues in Oregon.  Engineering.  Going well.  Carrying A average in classes.  Recently wrote a paper on The Congo which inspired a lot of great texts back and forth as he plowed through the history there.  He continues to create artistically, read and rides his bike.  He also keeps Randy and I appraised of great movie-night shows we can watch at home on Netflix or Plex.  Have you seen Black Mirror yet?

 

Scared as sh** but not backing down now!

Claire

Working in Santa Barbara at NEXT Energy Technology and no, was not affected by the fires or flooding.  She’s coming up on her one year anniversary!  In all my 50 years I have met a lot of people that went to college for X and aren’t doing a job connected to X.  Claire is actually working in the field she studied which rocks.  Naomi Ginsberg would be proud of her (that was her professor at Berkeley).  Recently she successfully jumped out of an airplane and I’m pretty sure she’ll be doing it again.

 

Morgan

We get to see Morgan regularly!  Laundry here is WAY better than any other place (of course) and on Sunday we have all of her house mates over for a dinner.  That has been so fun and these young ladies are amazing in so many ways.  Right now she has a packed schedule:  Anatomy, Ballet, First Aid & CPR, Book of Mormon and Creative Writing.   She went to her first ballet (as a spectator) last week.  I haven’t had a chance to ask her what she thought of it.  For fun she and her house mates are trying to squeeze in things to do TOGETHER making fun memories that will last forever.  I think that’s brilliant.  She, Randy and I buzzed up to Ice Castles earlier this month and had a blast (then a hot chocolate on the way home).

I JOINED THE POSHMARK WORLD

The other day I bought a brand new cotton fluffy delicious robe on Poshmark.  I donated mine before we left and it’s rather chilly to go from the shower to our bedroom…across the living room passing the big glass window.  Randy says the neighbors are fine with it.  It’s even PURPLE!

My friend Tracey has been able to quit her job and dive full time into RESELLING online.  She has many different shops and stores.  Reselling online is a fun way to find and share what’s in your own closet as well as treasure hunt for incredible things to resell.

This is a $1.5K skirt brand new (aka NWT, New With Tags).

I’m sticking with clothing, accessories and shoes.  My “store” is called PITA THE BUTTON GIRL.  I have about 2,000 people following me and today I have 78 “Listings”.  Instead of working on my Posh Closet I’m writing this blog update.

I hit some GOLD while visiting Park City at a boutique which I am hoping will be a magical find for someone in need of a Louis Vuitton Denim Skirt. THANK YOU to The Sundance Film Festival and all of the fancy-schmancy celebrities that visit and leave their “worn once” apparel.

My gorgeous and fashion-forward Yugoslavian Princess friend Danijela has been coaching me through this world of high-end fashion.

As most of you know, I spent the last 12 years in running shoes, sports bras and workout pants…and 805 Boot Camp shirts!  We’ll see how this all goes…it’s quite a task to open and keep a shop fresh and fun online!

If you are curious about Poshmark (or my Closet) and want to shop please use my “referral code” which is @saritapita and you get $5 in credit (I will too).  Go here to see my official Closet.

In the meantime I am continuing my job seeking through LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor.

WRITING.  GETTING BETTER AT IT…I THINK

I am also taking an English Class and working on my writing skills.

So far it has been a great experience.  We get topics to write about then spend the second half of the class discussing them.

I’d never read Kurt Vonnegut until now.  Check out the short story Harrison Bergeron.  Did you know Kurt Vonnegut only published 14 novels in his lifetime?  I thought there were way more.

Right now Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is on deck.

Wanna know something completely ironic?  Neil Gaiman wrote the introduction to the 60th Anniversary Edition of the book I borrowed from the Provo Public Library (WHICH IS AWESOME BY THE WAY).  Neil has a sister named Claire.  I named MY CLAIRE after Claire Gaiman, Neil’s sister.   Claire and I were friends when I was returned to Los Angeles after escaping from the Sea Organization.  She was one of the only people that I liked (enough to name my child after her!). Her husband was one of my most favorite guys too, Timmy Edwards.  Or Tim Edwards if you are being picky.  I called him Timmy.  Reading the Forward brought back the memories of Claire and Timmy (and me and Jon, Claire’s dad) and I miss them both.  The both have strong English accents (or they did in 1987-1988).

 

 

I hope everyone is doing well.

Namaste.

 

POLLS – I LOVE THEM (you can even see the results too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Aunt Denise and Uncle Jaydee,

Me and my dad in Park City.

Jan 10th, 2018

Dear Aunt Denise and Uncle Jaydee,

We got to run the Provo River!! I ate snow (didn’t check if it was yellow…what’s that supposed to mean anyway?)

Just wanted to write to let you know your plan is working out perfectly for me and Zoey (and Piper).

Dad continues to allow 3 meals a day PLUS has bumped up the walks. I feel like I’m in heaven.

Yesterday we took our usual route to the Provo River. It’s about 2 miles round trip. Ducks EVERYWHERE.  Even Zoey loves it. She isn’t limping after plus she practically RUNS top speed home. Two things on that: now I know she has been faking her limp injury to get mom and dad to feel sorry for her and give her treats and extra pets and also she can’t tell time (like I can) and thinks we are going to be fed dinner when we get home from the walks.

Even with Zoey getting that one extra meal (which isn’t that big) she hasn’t gained an ounce.

Piper finally got a new shelf to eat on (and sit sometimes). She seems to love it. I think it’s old and from the thrift store (don’t judge).  I put photos at the bottom of my letter.

We took a walk up Y Mountain. I met a lot of other dogs and people. Dad lets me be off leash a lot as long as no one else is around. It was the start of 2018 which fell on a Sunday which meant 75% of the population in our town was at church. The path was snowy/icy but mostly just dirt. Zoey didn’t get to come with us on this trip.

Y Mountain hike. Me and dad.
Zoey played at the school in Park City Utah.

Then another time we got to go with mom and dad to Park City Utah! Have you been there? It is very fancy and filled with rich people (I could smell the money). Folks were friendly but sparse. There isn’t enough snow compared to what they need. Dad says their economy has to be suffering so we bought some stuff there. We went to the school grounds for a walk and I got to eat snow! Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE eating and rolling in snow? I picked this up at Lake George. Did I ever tell you how much I loved Lake George and the mountain life? Not so much on the trailer we lived in (I did not have any room – not complaining…just reporting).

To offset the added costs of our extra meal I worked on ways to pitch in. Everyone seems to be happy with it. Dad says your name a lot (mostly Jaydee) when he sees my contributions.

Just a short list of a few that I’ve really gotten extra good at:

  • Complete spill clean up
  • Trashes emptied while mom and dad away (I left recyclables)
  • Visited and left turds on almost 65% of our neighborhood yards (they were packaged in colorful bags right after). We aim to meet our neighbors in person one day, dad says.
  • Rearranging furniture (as needed)
  • Guarding front door, bedroom door, bathroom door and back door IN THE DARK on the DARK WOOD FLOOR (I am so big, I don’t understand why they keep tripping on me).

Oh and I’ve figure out how to get fed sooner than Piper (and even mom and dad!). Both Zoey and I have been taking turns moaning and walking panic-like around the kitchen and living room. I know my Happy Meal is coming soon when I hear “GOOOAWAY!” from Dad. The louder he says it the sooner my dreamy dish arrives. I still haven’t figured out how to eat slowly.

Mom has been feeding almost all of the ducks along the Provo River path every day which is pushing dad’s buttons. The other day she bought an entire loaf of bread home from Smith’s (our grocery store) JUST FOR THE DUCKS. Dad hit the roof and told her she could have extra spending money for DI (our local thrift store) or the ducks…not both. He act’s like he’s the boss of her sometimes. Mom called him “Squeaks” but I don’t know what that means.

We have eaten every meal together since December 22nd last year! This has not happened in my life. The longest they ate at home was 3 days, MAYBE 4. Mom has been in the kitchen a lot baking and making lots of delicious meals. More than normal. They have so many leftovers (I think I get some in my 3 meals too).

The future is looking bright for our family here.  We seem to be settling in to our new house.

Dad got a job with a company called Enecon. Now we get to hear about all the machinery and buildings that need to be fixed instead of demolished and replaced. I’ll never get bothered hearing mom and dad talk about work. He says this job is just like when he worked in the textile industry. I am happy he is happy.

Mom is stuck in the mud on getting employed. She has done a lot of applications for a lot of different jobs. One was a waitress job at a Mexican restaurant. She was hired after the owner did a background check on her the same day as the interview. Apparently the place wasn’t a good fit because mom is too much of a neat-nick and the place was a disaster. The longest employee was 9 months (after being open for 6 years). The would not let her push alcohol and everyone knows how much my mom loves margaritas ESPECIALLY with Mexican food.

If she doesn’t get a job I am assuming I will continue to get home-cooked meals. Not to be a downer or anything but I hope she doesn’t get a job.

Piper is getting cat hair everywhere (which I’m helping spread around along with my shedding.)

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you knew your plan was STILL being followed.

Tonight is Movie Night!  I’m betting on cleaning up some popcorn (just doing my job!)

Please sniff Evie’s butt for me and pass on my regards to her.

Love and miss you,

Kona

Helping mom make surprise chocolate cupcakes for dad.

 

Mom’s chocolate chunk cupcakes. I wasn’t allowed to get ANY.