KRICKET4   41,588
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KRICKET4's Recent Blog Entries

Mud Huts and a California Castle

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Though I can't quite understand why, a crazy@ss 20-mile hike is not for everyone.

Many of my weekends now center around shorter hikes (under 10 miles), bike rides, and active outings. This change is jeopardizing my maintenance a bit and I'm again rearranging and fine-tuning.

Life is a balancing act and I understand that if I want to continue trekking and climbing peaks all weekend, every weekend, I probably won't be able to maintain my current relationship with my awesome guy. So I chose to compromise.

Luckily we both agree as far as nutrition goes, and we're both eating mostly clean and healthy. (Dark chocolate included.)

We also agree that exercise needs to be part of our lives, but we have different approaches.

This concludes the SparkPart of my blog.

What I wanted to share today is last weekend's amazing outing. We visited two rather curious places, each one different, and each one unique.

Our morning/lunch outing brought us to the high desert to a place called the Cal-Earth Institute.

There they build adobe houses and shelters from sustainable materials, say "dirt" :), through a very unique process.

It's definitely an unconventional and back to basics kind of place. This has always resonated with me. Going off the grid has always fascinated and intrigued me.
We went for a tour and a lecture and ended with a very yummy potluck lunch. Google them if you're interested to learn more.

The afternoon was spent visiting and touring Rubel Castle, the brain child of Michael Rubel, a quite eccentric individual.

In a nutshell, over decades he built a castle out of stone and junk. It comes complete with drawbridge and tower.

It cannot be described but must be seen to believe. (I have never seen so much junk in one place, but at Rubel Castle it's all part of the overall design.)

We had a marvelous time on our mini road trip/sightseeing tour.
Next weekend will need to be a bit more active though. Planned are a Saturday morning hike, and a Sunday afternoon bike ride.

Keep moving SparkFriends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 4/16/2014 7:51PM

    I take it the new guy isn't into crazy@ss 20 mile hikes? Do you go hiking with a club?

YIKES! Doing about 13 is the most we've ever done -- you are a beast! (And I mean that in the best way!)

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MARLINDA5 4/9/2014 6:32PM

    Very unique places that you went to - pictures were interesting.

Comprise is good - this way you can still do your hiking and spend time with your boyfriend.


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BOVEY63 4/9/2014 11:30AM

    So nice that the two of you are working on a compromise while keeping your healthy goals at the same time.
The houses and castle do look intriguing. Love seeing things that are out of the box.

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    Always a balance. Just remember what is most important and keep putting it first. It sounds like you had good chats about it.

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FRAN0426 4/8/2014 10:23PM

    Compromise is good, and you still get out to climb just not as much as before. Love the pictures of last weekends adventure.

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Keeping It In Perspective

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

It all depends on how you look at it...

Happy Wednesday to all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 4/3/2014 9:10PM

    Cute! Nice to hear from you!

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BOVEY63 4/3/2014 11:12AM

    Happy Day to you too!

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CARTOONB 4/3/2014 6:55AM


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EMMACORY 4/2/2014 9:39PM

    Love it! emoticon

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MARLINDA5 4/2/2014 7:15PM


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GODDREAMDIVA1 4/2/2014 3:09PM


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03/05/07 - Sparking Strong for 7 Years!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Today is my 7th SparkVersary.

I came to Spark 7 years ago in search of yet another easy secret weight loss cure. I was in yo-yo mode, overweight, fed up and disgusted.

While I did not find an easy weight loss cure, I did find the secret to weight loss! (And also the secret to maintaining that loss.) Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what this journey would bring.

Spark and my SparkFriends helped me get the diet mentality out of my head. I discovered that losing weight and keeping it off can never work if food is your sole focus.

What I've learned is that if you take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, if you find your happy, if you eat right and exercise, weight loss happens. It seems to be a byproduct of self care.

I am at goal. Maintaining, much like losing, takes daily work and fine-tuning. I don't expect that to go away. But I'm okay with that.

A daily dose of SP is just the right medicine to keep me on track. Love my SparkFriends (have seen many come and go). SP is first up in my toolbox.

I am here every day, though I've made myself a bit sparse over the last several months.

I have good reason :) - This is happiness times two.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 3/10/2014 8:54AM

    Love the photo, it looks as though you've definitely "found your happy!" Thank you for sharing the wisdom you've learned during the past 7 years. I loved it so much I read your blog to my husband. You truly seem at peace! emoticon

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MARLINDA5 3/8/2014 3:22PM

    Happy Sparkanniversary

Great picture - you both look so happy :) nice

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    Double congratulations !!! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/6/2014 5:15PM

    Happy Sparkversary and congrats on reaching your goal and maintaining it!

Beautiful picture!

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MALEXANDER4 3/6/2014 7:16AM

    Congrats my friend. I'm so proud of you and all the strides you have made to reach your goals and stay there. I know your hikes helped a lot and I'm so happy for you and your new love. Enjoy all that life has to offer from here on deserve nothing but the best. emoticon

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    Happy Sparkaversary to you!! I really love your attitude. You've come a long way and you're such an inspiration :)

emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 3/5/2014 10:08PM

    Happy Sparkaversary!!! I'm happy that you're happy!!!

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NORWOODGIRL 3/5/2014 9:30PM

    Great photo! Great relationship! Great attitude! Great gratitude!

Enough of that.... I am very happy for you emoticon

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MJREIMERS 3/5/2014 9:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Happenings: Since Last I Blogged

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It has been over a month since my last blog.
Here is what I've been up to since then.

A rainy foggy fall hike in the local mountains.

Many weekend morning walks, straight from our front door.

Boat trip to Catalina Island.

A sunny 14-miler up to Mt. Wilson

Life continues to be bitter sweet, as life is: Exciting, complicated at times, wonderful, and insanely crazy - all at the same time. Sweet triumphs over bitter, which, going forward will hopefully be a continuing trend.

I'm looking forward to an exciting 2014.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my SparkFriends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIKETOHEIGHTS 1/27/2014 5:55PM

    Nice pictures, you have been busy as usual hiking lots.

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BOVEY63 1/14/2014 5:16PM

    Beautiful pictures! I would love to be at Catalina Island right now!

I hope your 2014 is wonderful and healthy as well!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/2/2014 2:35PM

    GORGEOUS photos! I'm always so jealous of the beautiful areas you hike.

You are right about life; but being thin and strong makes one better able to deal with the bumps in the road, don't you think?

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BOVEY63 12/27/2013 5:25PM

    Your pictures always look inviting, and with so much snow and too many days below zero temperatures, they look even more inviting!

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TEDYBEAR2838 12/26/2013 5:16PM

    Awesome photos! thanks for sharing!


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NEW_PARADIGM 12/20/2013 9:00AM

    What beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them, and your honesty.

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MARLINDA5 12/20/2013 1:22AM

    Great pictures.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays emoticon to you also.

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MALEXANDER4 12/19/2013 8:05AM

    Merry Christmas to you also. Love your pics girl. That is a awesome way to spend weekends.

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BOOKAPHILE 12/18/2013 5:35PM

    Beautiful photos. I'm glad you're living life, not just sitting at the computer. Have a happy Christmas!

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JANTHEBLONDE 12/18/2013 4:20PM

    I love all the pictures! They're absolutely beautiful! Happy holidays to you too! emoticon

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Find Your Happy: Change Your Focus

Monday, November 11, 2013

“Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are. It could be so much worse.”

For years I had a little magnet on my fridge that read:”Count your blessings, not your worries.” That’s what the above quote reminded me of. (Now I wonder what happened to that little magnet…)

As with many things, this is something that’s much easier said than done. We often get so wrapped up in what’s wrong in our lives, what’s not working, and leave no room to acknowledge and appreciate what’s right and what’s working.

I often fall into this trap and have found that it takes conscious effort to stop the negative thinking and switch gears. This is learned behavior. It takes actively participating in your life.

Let’s not just go through the motions today. We can turn this around and make an ordinary day into a spectacular one! (Even a Monday…)

Be present in your life today! Discover the beauty.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIPAL1 11/22/2013 4:03PM

    What a great blog, I also have to be more present, thanks again!

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NORWOODGIRL 11/13/2013 10:05PM

    Hope you have discovered and will continue to discover wonders and joy every day in your life!

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EMILY0724 11/12/2013 8:47AM

    So right! I DOES take conscious effort and has to be learned. But it is so worth it!

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MALEXANDER4 11/12/2013 7:29AM

    Thank you.

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MARLINDA5 11/12/2013 1:30AM

    so true

thank you emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 11/11/2013 7:50PM

    Wow, what a great outlook! Just turning that phrase around makes all the difference. Thanks!

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JANTHEBLONDE 11/11/2013 6:17PM

    Thanks for sharing!!
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KITT52 11/11/2013 3:27PM

    so true and wonderful...thanks for sharing...

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LOWCARBRENEE 11/11/2013 2:57PM


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BATCHICK 11/11/2013 2:47PM

    I think we tend to focus on the negative in an efort to improve... you can't fix it if you're not aware of it. HOWEVER, we also tend to fixate on the negativity and bad feelings instead of identifying the problem and focusing on the soultion.

Thanks for the reminder to stay positive!

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LOOD1962 11/11/2013 2:29PM

    I am so guilty of focusing on what's wrong instead of on the good things. Thanks for reminding me to stop being negative. This reminds me of a quote I heard recently: "We should be humbly grateful not grumbly hateful".

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BOVEY63 11/11/2013 2:23PM

I always try to see my glass as half full, and not half empty. It does make life better.

Have a wonderful day!

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