Thursday, September 30, 2010

It All Pays the Same....

Today was one of those days.

You know the kind. The one where it could be worse. It might get worse. But it will probably just stay in that realm of "good grief...did that just happen too?" It was like having a Monday on a Thursday. My phone rang off the hook, my computer was uncooperative, my coworker a tad snarky, and my keys stayed on my desk after I left the (locked) building around 6 - well after the majority of my coworkers had left. A day that would usually send me into a spiral of the blues.

But instead of putting on my sad face and eating the remaining 1/2 gallon of Dreyer's Cappuccino Chip Frozen Yogurt that is taunting me from the freezer... or worse...drinking all of this which is so clearly intended to share...
I am going to be pleased with the fact that I can sit on my couch....in my pajamas...enjoying a little bit of vino (from a previously opened bottle)...with my laptop...watching my favorite tv shows online.
So "Cheers" to Mondays on Thursdays. This sure beats sitting in the Starbucks parking lot to check my email.

Speaking of Starbucks, I might just have a little bit of that yogurt. I worked out yesterday after all!

Yessss!!!

I am connected to the internet...from my house!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 1 - I Did A Lot of Paperwork

But that's totally okay.

Its a small office that has some great resources and nice people. I almost got to go in the field today...I even dressed the part...but alas, I sat at my desk and went through 700 emails and filled out paperwork.

My last 20 minutes of the day were the best. The Big Boss informed me that no one is really in charge of me. That I just have to take initiative. My mind is reeling with ideas of things I would like to do.

But first, I have some reading material to get through.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Listen to the River sing sweet songs...

These Chacos and Four Paws needed this.

The solitude of the trail. The peace bringing rushing of the river. No car horns, children screaming in my front yard, or perpetually waiting for the phone to give some sign of life.

Well, maybe I just needed those things. I am fairly certain Ellie just wanted to swim.

Ellie and I made our way up Nine Mile Canyon Road today into Kennedy Meadows for a lovely hike on the PCT along the South Fork of the Kern River. It was a little warm, but we were never very far from shade or water.
As promised, I made every attempt at timer pictures....most of which just turned out poorly.

In this one, I hit the button and then had to catch the camera.
In this one, I managed to get only myself and NOT the view upstream as I had intended. If you look at the photo above, you will see the view I was trying to give you at first. Of the river. Not down my shirt as it may appear.

In this one, I misjudged the direction of the camera, giving you a lovely view of the trail and a very tiny glimpse of me trying to get Ellie to pose.In this one, I tried to fix the previous shot, but the sun flare in the center sort of gets in the way.
In this one, I smudged the lens wiping off water drops and nearly lost my balance trying to prevent Ellie from launching herself into the river. Which she did immediately afterward.Ellie enjoyed herself thoroughly terrorizing trout and leading the charge down the trail.
She never got very far from me, and when she did, she stopped and waited for me to catch up. She may not be able to speak, but her facial expressions let me know that my bipedalism is truly my downfall.
My only retort to her sassiness - if she had opposable thumbs, we wouldn't have problems getting pictures.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Which I Become a Tour Guide

I am having trouble deciding what to do this weekend.

It is Saturday. It is hot. My house is officially unpacked except for 5 boxes meant for my new office.

So I went to the Maturango Museum to see what kind of area guides I could find.
I hear that though most of the rivers in this area were sucked dry by Los Angeles, there are some places I might be able to take Ellie for a swim. And perhaps take myself for a little hike.The trouble with (barely) knowing a total of 3 people in the area is that I am a little uncomfortable saying "Hey, wanna go for a hike?"

So tomorrow morning, I will cinch down my Chaco straps, load up some food and water, grab a headlamp (just in case...) and head out to Kennedy Meadows to be my own tour guide. I'll be sure to take lots of timer pictures...

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Which These Boots Were Made For....

…. driving 2300 miles from Miles City to Lake Havasu to San Diego to Lake Havasu to Death Valley to Ridgecrest, CA for the purpose of a new job (a wedding, a visit with the parents, and a sleepover with my sister).

The Driving.

The Wedding Shoes


The Sister Sleepover. (Okay, this was in OK in July, but I think its a funny picture of Sister).



….walking, squatting, lifting, running, jumping, tripping, kicking, and scooting myself, Ellie the Belly, and two trailers worth of my worldly possessions into a quaint duplex in an older part of town.

The UHaul.

The Duplex.

The Ellie.


…shopping, buying, regretting the purchase, unpacking, repairing, building, arranging, rearranging, and re-rearranging my things into a space that has some semblance of home.

The Living Room.

The Bathroom.

The Kitchen.

The Boring Bedroom and Ellie under the Bed.

So here I am. My fourth full day in Ridgecrest on my own, two days from starting my new job, and I am finally feeling comfortable enough to sleep with only half of the lights in the house on (as opposed to all of them, plus flashlights, disco balls, and candles).


Oh, and in case you were wondering. I found the breaking of a beautiful dawn on Monday. It was quiet. A little lonely. But I think I'm going to be okay. Add a little time. Some fresh air. A dozen bars of very dark chocolate and a case of wine. Yep, I'll be fine.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have NOT always depended on the kindness of strangers...

I am no Blanche DuBois.

In this transition period the thought of trusting complete strangers in this town is a little scary. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they looking at me?

Today brought two lessons in the kindness of complete strangers.

Lesson 1. Home Depot - Kindness That is Not so Kind.
Have you ever been shopping in the Home Depot and cannot find a darn thing...and cannot find a darn employee to help you? That's usually my experience. Today was different! I was walking around looking for a drain stopper and not only one, not only two, but THREE clerks stopped what they were doing and walked me to the aisle with drain stoppers. I was pleased for the help. I realize it is their job, but it was so helpful, I was encouraged that perhaps Ridgecrest isn't such a bad place after all...until I got outside to my vehicle looked down at my shirt, and realized that the top button of my blouse had unexpectedly come undone, exposing a fair amount of...décolletage. Somewhat mortifying. And it made me realize that the kindness of those particular strangers was less than kind. (Though maybe just a tad bit flattering.)

Lesson 2. Goodwill - Kindness That is Kind
In an effort to save a little money and to have some furniture, I purchased an entertainment center from the Goodwill today. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the size of the unit and the size of the backseat of my vehicle. This was a vexing predicament given that I know a total of 3 people in Ridgecrest, none of whom I am comfortable calling to help me move something. As I was standing out in front of the store with the clerk - who was a particularly grumpy ambassador of the Goodwill - trying to figure out what to do next, an older gentleman (in his 80s!) pulled up in a truck and said “I’m not doing anything right now, do you need some help?” I was floored. We loaded the unit into his truck and he followed me to my house. The maintenance crew for the housing complex drove by as we were unloading it, and helped me carry the whole thing inside. I tried to buy the man a cup of coffee, but he refused. I was truly touched by his kindness, which was genuine and without expectation of something in return. So thank you, good sir – whoever you are, for making me feel welcome in this town.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

While You Wait....

for a catch up blog about my current state of affairs...a very good song by the Wailin' Jennys.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bootstraps.

So here they are.

My bootstraps.

And here I am.

Pulling myself up.

But then I got to thinking...."why stop at boots...my favorite and most functional shoes are my Chacos...and they also have straps."

So here they are.

My Chaco straps.

And here I am again.

Pulling myself up.

Alright. I'm ready. California, here I come!