Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Made it back from Florida in one piece. As long as we're not counting my brain, that is. This is an art blog, so I'll skip the dysfunctional family rant - but eight days with my mom.....

ANYWAY, so I've hit the ground running. Got back on Saturday, had two back-to-back dog training jobs on Sunday, spent all day yesterday carving, spent today carving except for an hour to take one of the dogs to the vet* and then to PetSmart to buy new collars and tags**.

The Florida summary: My mom's new house is really beautiful. There is a screened-in patio looking out on a pond, a family of anole lizards that come in and eat gnats as they climb the screens. There's a huge softshell turtle in her pond and we got to see him come out twice. The second time we filmed him. Found some agatized coral on Honeymoon Island beach. Saw sandhill cranes and ibises. Did NOT see the alligator that lives in the neighbor's pond, which was disappointing. Met several great dogs. Saw my uncle. Made necklaces for my mom, sister, and two neices - pictured above. Experienced the craziest, loudest thunderstorm of my life - and I grew UP on the East coast!! I've never heard thunder this loud, ever!! And...yeah, that's the Reader's Digest version.

I'll post some pictures soon, right now I've got way too much carving to do and not enough time to do it. I have another dog training job tomorrow, platelet donation on Thursday and am hosting my book club meeting Thursday evening. Friday, more carving!! Auuuuggghhhh!!!!
*I forgot to mention that our oldest female corgi picked a fight with our youngest (the dog-aggressive one) the day we were leaving for Florida. She wound up with three staples in her ear. Awesome.
**Jim and I went out for dinner Sunday and arrived home to find three of our dogs in our front yard, which has been enclosed by a gated fence ever since Cecil was hit by a car. The front door was not open. I freaked out...how the h*ll did they get there, and where was Dewey??? Luckily Dewey hadn't left the house. The only thing we were able to figure out was that the gate to the back yard must have gotten left open earlier when Jim did yard work. The dogs must have wandered out of the yard while we were gone. Our neighbor said a girl found them (I'm not sure where, whether they had stayed close to the house or not..) and asked if they knew who they belonged to. He told her they were ours, and she closed them in the front yard.

I am SO grateful that none of them were hit by a car or ran away or anything. We got so lucky. We could have lost them all, and there's no way I could live through that again. I mean I know they're all going to die one day, but Cecil's death put me over the pet tragedy threshold. The worst thing is that none of the dogs wears a collar - yes, I realize how idiotic that is, especially since I train dogs. So today after Ellie's trip to the vet, we went to PetSmart and got the collars and tags.
Alrighty, over and out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Well, we're back. Briefly. We'll be leaving again on Thursday for our trip to Florida to visit my mom, brother, sister and her two kids. A mini family reunion. It'll be fun, but it's hard to have just gotten back in town only to be leaving again in a few days. I've got a few dog training jobs scheduled, have many stamps to carve, have several errands to do, plus there's laundry and packing to do! I also hate that we have to leave the dogs for another long stretch.

Anyway, Cambria was wonderful. Above is a picture of just a small area of San Simeon beach to give you an idea of the vast variety of gorgeous beach rocks that line the shore. We spent several hours each day rockhounding on the beach, it was great!! On Monday morning we drove straight to Willow Creek and looked for jade. We didn't find much, but did find a lot of beautiful jasper and some nice agates. We went up to Big Sur for lunch and got a couple good pictures of a Stellar's Jay.
I always get excited when I see them because we don't have them down here. Up there, they're just pesky local jays that bother the people eating outdoors, but to me they're beautiful birds and I was happy to get a decent photo. OH - we also got a good shot of a Turkey Vulture enjoying some tasty carrion.
That was actually on Sunday afternoon at the Laetitia winery in Atascadero.
I can't remember if we hit San Simeon beach later on Monday, or if it was Tuesday morning. Either way, we hit that beach every day from Tuesday on. We found a LOT of nice rocks! Agates, moonstone agates, fancy jasper, variegated marble, jasp-agates and many other things we have yet to identify. I'll post pictures eventually - there's lots of sorting to do. My tumbler will be busy this summer and I plan to get a lapidary machine as well, to do some serious shaping and polishing. Of course none of this can begin til after the Florida trip, which is frustrating.
When we weren't hunting for rocks, we enjoyed the town of Cambria, did some wine tasting, had some great meals, checked out our favorite galleries and shops and just enjoyed the time together.
It's nice being married to my best friend.
I'll try to more about the trip before we leave for our next one, but right now there's way too much to do, as always!

Friday, June 5, 2009

vacation anticipation

We're leaving on Sunday!!! Actually, we won't reach our destination, Cambria, til Monday morning. We're going to spend Sunday night in Atascadero, which is fairly close to Cambria, so that we can drive to Willow Creek Monday morning without being all tired from the drive. We did it this way last year and it worked out well. In the meantime, I've had an extremely busy week trying to finish up all the orders still left from May. I've been putting in really long days of carving and it's catching up to me. My wrists are really fatigued today. I got a bit of a "break" this morning because today was a platelet donation day, so there was no carving most of today. Still, there was the long drive to UCLA in the rain (the minute water hits the road in California, everyone turns into a horrible driver and most drives take twice as long as usual), the donation and the long drive back. I just woke up from a long nap and now it's time to carve again.
Tomorrow morning and Sunday morning I have dog training jobs (yay!), and there's still packing to do, but in just a couple days the only things on my schedule will be rock hunting, wine tasting, looking at art and enjoying my husband. The 9th marks our nine year wedding anniversary. :)
Right now it's time to groggily return to the regularly scheduled program of carving like mad.

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.