Thursday, December 30, 2010
One of the geeky things my husband and I are doing is to visit 'all' of the California Historical Landmarks - I think there are nearly 1,000 of them so who knows if we'll ever get to 'all' of them - but today we did visit all of the ones inside Death Valley, including a couple that were less-than-easy to find. We also saw some other historical sites that were not listed and just generally had a really fun day.
Tomorrow night we are going to stay in the park at Furnace Creek Ranch to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary [which isn't until 1/1/11 but we couldn't get anyone to puppy-sit our babies on New Year's Eve so we're going one day early and will have another celebration at our Pahrump home on 12/31 and 1/1.
Pictures will follow but not sure when I'll have a chance - not tonight, sorry! Have a good one!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We have a 'vacation place' in Pahrump, Nevada, a somewhat small city with a definite 'rural' and 'pioneer' feel to it - but our primary residence is in Orange, California, which is quite 'suburban' - the difference is amazing when it comes to neighbors. True, the people on my block at home are all friendly and I know 5-6 people from the next block over - but most are strangers to me, even though we've lived there since 1995.
But here in Pahrump, where we have only been for a very short while, we've already met a number of very friendly neighbors, including some who really don't live that close to us - the people at the store - the people in the park - it's really interesting to see how friendly and welcoming they are here. True, I've met plenty of friendly people in California and I'm pretty friendly myself so I'm often the one reaching out - but it's definitely more of a 'small town' atmosphere here in the desert.
I can't say one place is overall 'better' than the other - they are so different and meet such different needs, it wouldn't be fair to try to 'compare' them directly - after all, we live in an area with literally millions of people sprawled in houses without a really clear delineation between cities or counties. But this 'second home' is in a city of about 30,000 people spread out across the desert landscape. There are stores and such here but definitely not the variety or 'big name' stores we have at our fingertips in Orange. Out here in Pahrump, it's a lot less affluent and people have less education overall than our primary residence. But there are so many advantages to each place, I'm just very grateful we have the incredible opportunity to sample both whenever we want to!!
We had a very nice drive out to Death Valley today - went on the Harry Wade Exit Route, which I'll describe more fully in another blog down the line and I'll post pictures. It was quite isolated and I think we only saw 5 or 6 cars the entire day - again, quite a difference from where we usually live - we are surrounded by traffic and several of our local Orange County freeway intersections are designated on 'worst traffic lists' - in fact, the greater Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana area accounts for 1/3 of America's 100 worst traffic intersections. So it's quite a nice change to be on a road with nobody else in sight!! True that much of what we drove today required 4wd/high clearance - but even on the main paved road, we didn't see many cars!
Anyway, nice low stress day but I'm beat and ready for bed - good night, SparkFriends!!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We drove out to Pahrump today and decided to do it today rather than yesterday, assuming there would be less traffic. Most of our drive is the same one people take when they are heading to Las Vegas and apparently a lot of people thought it was a good idea to visit Las Vegas now because it was bumper-to-bumper most of the way between the 91 Fwy in Corona area until Baker, which is where we turn off to head to Pahrump. It was also bumper-to-bumper on the other side of the road so we guessed that half the people in Southern California were heading to Las Vegas and the other half had already been there and were coming home - it's usually about a 4 to 5 hr drive for us and we were on the road for more than 8 hrs today - whew!!
Another 'good idea' that a lot of people seemed to have - we stopped at the Outlet Mall in Barstow and boy was it crowded. Well, it's a popular place to stop on the way to/from Las Vegas and since there was such a traffic jam on the freeway, why not?
In addition to the usual tourists, this is the season when a LOT of people come over from South Korea and Japan. It's apparently less expensive to come on a tour for shopping than it is to buy the same items over there so there are a lot of tours primarily centered around shopping this time of year, as well as the more general ones that visit Southern California, hit the outlet malls on the way to Vegas, spend a few days in Vegas, go back to Southern California to see the Rose Parade and then they fly somewhere else. So there were a TON of tour buses with the tourists and the outlet mall was full of people who didn't speak much [or any] English. I went into the Skechers store and it was mobbed - until it was time for the tour buses to move on, then I could actually move around the store, haha!
At the outlet, I eventually bought two pairs of Skechers shape-ups - we'll see how they work out so I'll give a report later, after I have a chance to get used to them. My PT told me they are good for plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and mid-foot arthritis so I'm going to give them a try since I have had lots of pain from all 3 of those conditions. I do not believe the hype about 'burning add'l calories' or 'getting a workout without trying' but if it does happen to be true, great bonus - I'm more interested in improving my balance and reducing foot pain so I hope these will help. But I have been told to get used to wearing them slowly, just an hour or so at a time, so it will probably take awhile before I know whether they help or not.
I hope everyone had a good day today and will have a great week to follow. DH and I are out in the desert getting a head-start on our 20th Wedding Anniversary celebration with plans to spend a lot of time in Death Valley and other local desert areas. So woohoo, I'm looking forward to a good time!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
It seems like a lot of Sparkers are reflecting on the year 2010 and setting goals for 2011 - I know the urge to do this is starting to take over my mind as well. It's easy for me to come up with a great list of what I 'should' do or 'need' to do - heck, I think we ALL can come up with those types of ideas! But to come up with an actual plan to do what I 'want' to do is not as easy - so I plan to spend a little time this next week reflecting on my goals, strategies and the steps required to accomplish what I truly WANT to accomplish.
Many years ago, I 'wanted' to quit smoking - I knew I 'should' quit and 'needed' to quit - but when push came to shove, there I was with another cigarette in my mouth! I 'tried' to quit over and over but without much success - my efforts would last for a few hours, a few days, even a few months at a time before I would "fall off the cliff" and dive headfirst back into the smoking habit. I even got desperate at times to quit - but in retrospect, I realized I really 'wanted to want to quit' rather than being committed - there was some internal mechanism that hadn't clicked on it.
When that mechanism finally did click, it was relatively easy to quit smoking!! I went through a workshop designed to help and actually followed the program - amazing how well that worked! I think before that time, I 'wanted' to quit but without actually doing the work.
At times it seems like that's my approach to getting healthy again - I know I 'should' do X. Y and Z - I really 'need' to eat healthy, exercise and so forth - it actually feels GOOD to do all of that and my entire life improves when I do. At times I have felt that internal mechanism falling into place, going 'click' and it's a relatively easy transition to a healthier lifestyle but at other times, it unravels and I find myself on a detour instead of moving toward my goal.
So the next few days I plan to reflect on specifics that I can AND WILL do to get on track, stay on track and move forward again. I know I've been on a detour but it's time to stop 'wandering' and start moving purposefully again - somehow the year's end seems like the perfect time to do this, even though there's absolutely no reason why it couldn't be done 'any old time.'
I wish everyone a very productive goal-setting and reflection process this week as well - let's do this together!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Yesterday morning, my drive to the gym looked dark and gloomy:
By yesterday afternoon, things were starting to look a little better:
Of course, I couldn't help but realize this is the way life works for us, too - we have periods where everything is dark and gloomy but eventually the sun comes out and we get a rainbow.
But even more important is the fact that we CANNOT GET RAINBOWS WITHOUT RAIN!
I've been in kind-of a funk - feeling dark and gloomy like a rainstorm - but I'm ready for my rainbow and the sunshine. Unlike the weather, I am totally in charge of MY rain and rainbows - so I'm going to work on creating more sunshine and rainbows today - I'd like to say 'forever' but really, all any of us have to work with is 'right now'
I hope you have a rainbow day!!
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