Rolling SOUTH from Utah to Arizona
Now this is just beautiful! We took the scenic route.

I haven’t actually POSTED on my blog in almost two months.  I have a few blogs half-baked (like my July 5th one entitled “Blowing Shit Up” which was a recap of what it must be the only outlet the “community” here can embrace that let’s your inner frustrations out to air and RELAX a bit:  JULY 4TH FIREWORKS and that was eclipsed by Pioneer Day a week later.   Not a lot of alcohol sold but tank loads of pop and candy did!  It’s WILD how different things are here compared to pretty much every other place I’ve lived.

What’s with my SUCCESS?

It’s about my body and a little challenge I embarked on alone.  Pilates and Yoga.

My mid section had taken on extra inch-age and I was feeling way too plump.

My pilates mat was invaded.
Piper found it to be a comfy place for herself.

I know my waist was spilling out over the top of my pants (uncomfortably) which resulted in hiking my pants up giving me “high-waters”.  BY THE WAY, DID YOU KNOW THAT WAS A FASHION TREND IN 2017 ACCORDING TO GQ MAGAZINE??

My job keeps me behind a counter which is why no one asked me “where’s the flood?”.   I do not like looking in the mirror to begin with but now that I’m “working for the man” I have to check my appearance before going to work to make sure I’m neat, tidy and professional which is where I began noticing the extra muffin top!

My success is: without changing my diet much at all (including having cocktails) I put myself through 4 Pilates Classes and 4 Power Yoga Classes in the last ten days (July 24th to be exact) and today when I put on my jean shorts and belt in it’s usual hole IT WAS LOOSE!  I’ve shrunk my torso/hip area as well as my thighs!

I’ve managed to tighten my body up and that’s what I wanted to do…no idea where the extra “body” went but it’s gone.  Only lost 1 lb overall.

So, today I’d like to encourage you to find something exercise-like and privately set out to do it for “____” (insert number of days).  Not a huge goal – just a calm one you can stick to.  If it has to do with changing your body, use your clothing and how it fits as a guide NOT THE SCALE!

I am stronger in my core.  I can hold Boat Pose and drop down to Low Boat and hold it for the counts.  My down-dog is more flexible and actually feels GOOD (my wrists would get so tired I had to stop).  I did a LITTLE at a time as well.

Pilates has been insanely helpful.  SLOW movements, core strength, few reps.

I hope you give it a try!

🙂 Sarita


Power Yoga, Provo Recreation Center, Chenea Duerden Class on Tuesday 6am and Saturday 6:30am

Pilates, Provo Recreation Center, Heather Jenson’s Class on Thursday at 6am

Pilates Abs and Booty Workout on YouTube by BohoBeautiful

30-Minute Strength, Cardio and Pilates Core Workout by POPSUGAR Fitness

My Current “Diet”

Raisin Bran, Coconut Hemp Granola using non-sweetened almond milk or my home-made museli (sunflower seeds, oats, coconut, chia, cranberries with ripe raw fruit on top) using unsweetened OJ as my “milk”.

Giant vegan veggie wraps every day for lunch (like a 5 cup salad squeezed into a wrap).  Always using Randy’s Hummus.  We use our food processor to make shredded celery, radish, zucchini, carrots then store them in small containers.  I add 1/3c of rinsed beans, 1/4 avocado (when we had them), lettuce and hot sauce.  Two days I baked a potato and sliced it length-wise and put 1/4 of it in the center of my wrap then the hot sauce on it to soak in while I worked).

Corn tortilla chips or celery/carrots dipped in hummus when I got home from work as a snack.

Spaghetti squash with home made veggie-packed red sauce, baked potato topped with hummus and salsa, garden burger packed with lettuce on a bun, home made pizza with veggie toppings LOADED, tangy corn and mashed potatoes.

Cocktails:  Vodka shot with cranberry juice, fresh margarita or a Stella Artois beer.  I did have one cocktail almost every day (don’t judge me!) because, well I LOVE THEM!?!  Plus: I didn’t have any alcohol for the entire month of June and GAINED 5 LBS.



We had time off and went to Arizona where I discovered they must have moved it closer to the sun.  IT WAS SO HOT.

Now THIS is the kind of photo that makes you feel happy…Zoey could care less that we’re not home!

We drove through two thunder and lightening storms as well as a haboob (see video  above).  I also discovered Flagstaff and if I could, I’d move there in a minute IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL with green and trees (didn’t see if there was water).

Our pets stayed home with an incredible house sitter.  I have to show you a pic she sent me of her little sister giving Zoey love.  My heart was so relieved and happy!  Finding someone that you trust to take care of your pets is tough and we found a gem.  She is a nursing student (pediatric is her goal) and just graduated…she works full time at the hospital AND works at the place I work at and she is a bad ass there (knows how to do EVERY job you need).

We also saw THREE car crashes along the way – I wish I knew how the people were that were involved.  Crossing my fingers they are OK.  I was taking pics during two crashes as we passed.


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We have 12 forest fires plus 7 controlled burns happening here in Utah as of today.

The Air Quality is TERRIBLE.

Three fires are blowing smoke here into Provo.

I’m watching the news about California where 25 of them were reported last night!

It has been over 100 regularly but the mornings are in the 60’s (which is AWESOME) but it is dark (NOT AWESOME) and not safe enough (IMO) to be out running the streets or trails.

Ray's Lift intersection
At the top of Ray’s we jumped off the lift and hiked up and into the mountain!


We FINALLY got it together on a day we both had off to ride the lift to Red’s at Sundance! The smoke gave limited visibility but it was still spectacular.

We got to the top and hike into areas that were untouched.  It reminded me of our trail running/hiking experiences in Simi Valley California.  Each step through the weeds pricked on my legs and at first I was irritated.  That’s when I realized HOW MUCH I LOVE BEING OUT IN THE WILDERNESS AND MISS IT.  So, I walked intentionally through brush and weeds just for the feeling of “nature touching me“.  Mel, if you ever read this…I put that there just for you.

On our descent (WHICH WAS EXTREMELY STEEP) we landed at a Funk Jazz Concert by the Christian Mills Band where brews and food were in abundance as well as dogs and kids.  It was Sunday so I’m guessing nobody was LDS (?) plus pretty much every group had beer.

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Life is never perfect and our family has had plenty of ups and downs.

Between all of the noise of surviving on this planet there is one thing we (Randy and I) care about more than ANYTHING: our kids accomplishing their goals as well as being a good and positive member of society.

Morgan our youngest daughter is about to begin the Fall Football Season as a BYU Cheerleader!
We plan on attending the BYU vs Cal game (which team should we root for!?). Claire graduated Cal and Morg is at BYU.  I love OSU and Randy USC.  Hmmmm…

Our daughter Claire appeared in Forbes Magazine!  Her company, Next Energy, is making the planet a better place.  We are so proud of her accomplishments in the field of science.  Pretty soon Neil DeGrasse Tyson will be asking her for info about science stuff… I can feel it!

Our son Jordan earned his Associates and has been immersed in Native American History.  He also has filled me in on what is happening and has happened in Congo.

I finally graduated High School!

OK that’s all for now.

I have some letters to wrap up and get sent!


A few more pics, in case you are curious…



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!!


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.


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).


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.

Crappy Hike At Mammoth Lakes

Have you ever been faced with a choice that was difficult and complicated no matter WHICH way you proceeded?

Right now I am standing at a mental crossroads!

No one has the right answer for me and no one can solve my problems as it is.  I have to do it myself.
This “problem” will affect my future and I began stewing on it after dinner last night.  I did not sleep well at all remembering the same scenario playing out in my past but I couldn’t recollect which path I took and how it turned out.  From family to work, if it involves humans then something is going to go wrong!  
I tossed and turned and woke up fully at 5:00am to Randy’s deep-sleep breathing.  It’s a joke between us – he assures me I snore with no proof on the other hand I have so much footage of him we could make a movie!
Randy had a big hike planned for us.  We are attempting to find and complete as many trails as possible here and this one was an 8 mile “lollipop” course that would take us from Horseshoe Lake up to Red Cones.
I dragged my feet getting ready because my mind was not “into” being happy.  I would go up and down emotionally from pissed off to feeling like giving up.
We ate breakfast then got a text from our boss to get something done at a site and then we planned to be off into the wilderness with Kona, our backpacks and just EARTH.
Rain yesterday made everything smell nice.  I focused my mind on solving my problem while hiking UP.  Seems like everything starts with going UP around here.  I guess that’s better than going down and then having to go UP to finish.
My left baby toe is in desperate need of a Tammy (from The Nails Spa) TLC treatment.  I knew leaving Simi meant I’d never get the best pedicure ever again PLUS I’d never get THE BEST MASSAGE ON EARTH from Cheryl Smith again.  It almost kept us there, no joke.   
It started pulsating (my baby toe) and took my mind off of my problems for about half a mile.  That is when I remembered I had my phone and began looking out at things in my “photographer’s point of view”.  
I saw this tree and it stopped me in my tracks.  It reminded me of how I felt!  Twisted and turned and trying to survive but stuck in a rut mentally.  

I carried on UP then it flattened out.  I re-confirmed with Randy his recollection of this trail when he did it with Rob Winterburn and was happy to hear we would be going flat for a long time.  It was a relief on my toe pain mostly.   I remembered I wore the wrong socks too and a hot spot started up near my big toe.  I cursed myself and carried on not talking much.
This is when Randy turned and asked if I wanted to go back.  
“No way.”
“I’m sorry this hasn’t been very fun.”
“What do you mean?”
“You are barely talking and you have had a frown on your face since we started.”
Ugh, it was more apparent than I’d hoped for.  I changed the channel in my head to try to be more positive.
“I’m good.  I’m just thinking a lot about everything.  Plus we are going up and I can barely breath PLUS my toe is bugging me.”
We continued and the trail began to descend.  This is worse on my toe I come to find out.  Every step on my left food presses that dang little toe into my boot and I force myself to look out and in front of us.  Kona is bobbing all over the place and happier than ever. 
The Cross Country kids from Arcadia began descending on us.  Most of them were polite.  A man on a horse leading a donkey was in front of us and some of the kids did not stop and let him pass (which is the proper etiquette).  That irritated me so I commented out loud to one of the kids…who had headphones on and didn’t hear a word I said.
SIDE NOTE:  If you are out in nature please don’t wear headphones.  Here you could sneak up on a bear and that would be the end.  In other places you cannot hear bikes or horses or danger.  More importantly for your safety.
We got to the Lake McCloed and started out across the glassy water.  It was calm and quiet.  The man on the horse had taken a right I guess.  He’d mentioned he was out doing trail maintenance.  We were all alone!
Then I heard the barking of dogs.  We were approaching a guy yelling, “All of my dogs are friendly!!”   That was a green light for Kona to rush to sniff and enjoy the new company we’d come across.

This man with the herd of dogs was a DOG SITTER (technically) who owns 400 acres of land.  He arrived in Mammoth in the early 60’s and has been there ever since.  He has become the “go to” guy for big dogs that need a day of adventure and energy burning being a dog and doing dog things.   His name is Buck.  THE Buck of Buck’s Dog Sitting.  Currently he has 81 5-Star Reviews on YELP and we’d heard of him a year ago doing research for our trip abroad and wanting the best possible care for Kona.  Check him out here…
Buck gave us a few SECRET (I recorded the instructions) places and called us Locals.  That felt neat to hear from such a cool man. He is all about letting dogs be dogs.  He will only take large dogs that know how to be off leash and will come when called.  
MOVING ON…my mind completely off of my problems now…we hit the trail with Randy reminding me of our limited time frame to get back to Zoey and Piper for some outside fun time too.
It was slow and Randy commented that my spirits were dictating our speed.  I tried to suck it up again as I quietly moved upward.
We finally got about a tenth of a mile from the JMT and decided to turn back.  We’d spent too much time jaw jacking with people we met along the way and had to hurry-ish.
I felt BETTER.  I had my mind made up on what to do and it had everything to do with getting outside and getting my heart pumping and lungs too.  I guess even my baby toe screaming at me helped.
My hike was awesome in the end, as it will ALWAYS be.
Just getting out there was real tough today.  I guess I could have stayed home and stewed in my problem getting nowhere.
I can’t wait to make my decision known to the place that needs to know and I’m perfectly ready to get whatever reply or response or experience comes from it now.
Thanks to my amazing husband, again.
Oh, and Planet Earth!!

Good Stuff (actual quote)

If you don't have something nice to say SHUT UP

Just wanted to post this awesome quote because it is so true.

Today, just now, I stopped to think of all of the people that are in my life and how I treat or speak to them.

When I turned 30 I made a conscious decision to not participate in rumors, negative comments, spreading anger, sharing information I didn’t see/feel/hear with my own ears or eyes.

I won’t tolerate it and will tell the person sharing it with me I’m not interested.

For 19 years (almost 20) I’ve been practicing this.

I guess it helped me feel better.

Who knows if it is directly related to reducing the stress in my life and then, in turn, helping me out of an awful sickness that was probably going to kill me.  Some of my friends might remember the awful blisters I would get that filled my mouth (every surface), went down my throat, into my ears and nose.  I’m happy to say they are GONE.

WARNING: The photo here is in 2011 during an extreme blister breakout.

One day I will write about exactly how and what happened.  They began in February 2005 and I haven’t had them for going on 3 years.  Coincidentally when some seriously negative people “unfriended” me. Along with these two they took their like-minded “friends” with them.   They did me a HUGE favor!  I’m sure it contributed to my health (mental and physical) making a turn for the better and stabilizing.

Blisters 2011

Anywho… be part of a movement that spreads only nice words.  Be consistent.

I’m not talking about being sensible and giving advice that might not be what someone wants to hear.  I’m talking about the type of people that thrive over bad news, share rumors, create drama, make things difficult…ON PURPOSE.

Eventually, when you stop “dealing it” yourself you’ll find out how many people enjoy your company and those that do not. 

Sunshine smothers drama!

Gotta run now.

Have over 10,000 photos to get scanned in before we move!



50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms

FIRST THINGS FIRST:  Thank you Benjamin P. Hardy for this story.  I’m sharing it with people in my life.

The internet is a risky thing to use.

You can “prove” anything you want to prove using it, you can diagnose or misdiagnose yourself, you can see beautiful places and awful places…it’s a trap that seems to waste more time for me than give me time.

Michael Laws shared an article today entitled 50 Ways Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms.

Our ego pushes us to want things like this…so I clicked the link and began reading. Hmmmm. This is a fantastic post of great thoughts from random people.

Check it out – click here.

Big Changes For Us As A Couple

Randy and I have been on a quest to improve our mental health.

I decided a few months ago to spend way less time on FB because of the hate that was being flung in every direction. Suddenly EVERYONE was screaming their opinions at each other.

We got rid of cable and the newspaper delivery in May 2016. We only have one TV now. According to Nielson, the average number of televisions in an average household is up to 2.93 from 2009’s reporting of 2.86.  In 1975 the average was 1.57.

We looked for and found a few people that were quietly needing help in December last year and have made adjustments to do what we could which meant having less to spend on entertainment out.

We are downsizing our house.  This plan went into motion a few years ago when a dear friend John Chuang passed away after losing a battle with cancer.  As we drove home from the beautiful event to celebrate his life we decided firmly: WE DON’T NEED SO MUCH STUFF!  Our priority shifted the next day and we began filling the garage with items to sell.

We began a “Bucket List” and started knocking items off.

Piper sits semi-patiently at the door of our very first RV Travel Trailer we named The Lorax.
Since 2006 Randy has tried to get us to a Trojan Game so I can kick the thing and see Tommy Trojan.  After making our list, we got the opportunity and this time we said HELL YEAH!  We saved and finally got to see a live SUMO match!  We finally got to see our friend Bill IN THE PIT at the NASCAR races.  I began writing letters to people I was thinking about often.  I got my knees fixed so we can do some bigger physical bucket list items.  We bought a 1999 Coachman for peanuts and took our pets with us on an RV adventure.

We’re making progress but it took starting with a LIST.

We Are Not Alone

I watched a moving video created in Canada interviewing three generations with the same question: “What did/do you do for fun.” (when you were a kid). Grandpa caught fish and watched black bears, mom built giant forts you could stand up in and son’s eyes twinkled at the thought of playing video games. UGH.

Of course no one can help you do anything you are not interested in doing. I get that completely.

But what if you were to see something on a list that you liked and wanted to change to make your life better? I say DO IT. Don’t get approval or need agreement from anyone. If it is legal, do it!

Check out this list and see what you like.  I’d say “teach your kids” but my kids wouldn’t listen to me if I told them anything (maybe later in life).  For now just begin teaching by being an example.

This may be difficult to do.  It was for us.

“You’ll be fine!” as the saying goes in our house and so far, so good.



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