Showing posts from August, 2009

load 'em up, head 'em out

Laramie, Wyoming is not my favorite place. I have a little soft spot for it because my son Danny went to school there, at Wyotech, and now is a happy Volvo Tech in Seattle. Thank you, dear Laramie, for that. We stopped for one noisy night in the KOA by the highway, which inspired us to get up early and hit the road once again. We decided on what looked on the map to be the scenic route. It was scenic alright, but in a strange, moon-prairie sort of way. Wyoming is not like any place I've been before. It's the wild west. It's cattle country and farm country. It's huge and wild and wind blown and very, very beautiful...

I like to stop at least two nights in each place, preferably longer. Driving every day is hard on our bodies, and on my sanity. And a drive day is only that. Drive, set up, eat, sleep, get up and drive again. I like to have some time to explore a place, meet the locals, sample the cafes and pubs, and even set up the studio and get some work done. We can…

we'll bring the wildlife

We're getting ready to leave Taos tomorrow. Picked up Daisy, the cat, from Deborah and Thomas's last night, along with a plant they'd been tending, and a pile of mail. What great friends to take care of our stuff like that. Next stop, Kathleen and Kat's, for a wonderful dinner in their outdoor kitchen. They're having major remodeling work done on their house, and have been cooking on the back porch all summer. It's really quite charming, and of course, it's always good to see them.

We had Daisy in the truck all evening, and did a quick strategy planning on the way home, to see how we might work him into our little dog world without too much stress for any of us. We worried and plotted needlessly. Good old Daisy-boy (yes, he's a boy) moved right in like he owned the place, which he probably does. We set him up with his litter box in our tiny bathtub, and his bed on the top bunk, above the dogs. But being Himself, he nudged Lucy aside and made himself quit…

might as well dance

The Rio picnic was rained on, but not rained out. We had a grande time, and were happy we'd remembered to pack Gortex and umbrellas along with great food and wine.

Katy and Jaap, before the rain hit.

Katy in her Paris raincoat, and Rick in Gortex.

Karena and I were the height of fashion...

Jaap and Rick are both great hoopers!

And of course we danced in the New Mexico rain!

Today we have a few things to do in town, and then... you guessed it - a little dinner party with friends! I am getting kind of tired.

another day, another party

Ho Hum... another fabulous party with fabulous friends and fabulous food and drink... how much of this can a girl take?

Just kidding! We had yet another blast last night, thanks to Karena's birthday hospitality, and the willing spontaneity of this fine group of friends. It was a spur of the moment gathering, pulled together gracefully with almost no planning at all. Even the semi-plan to spend the evening outside by the fire had to be flexible, since the recent dry spell has been broken, and the New Mexico Rain has returned...

Click the link above and listen to the song. It always makes me cry, and lately, makes me feel like I might be missing something, might have made a mistake... This visit to Taos has been so... idyllic. I feel like something of a failure for failing to love the place enough to let it keep me. But even though we've not been on vacation away from Taos all these weeks, this trip back here is a vacation. And vacations are seductive. They make us think we want …

happy, happy

Is there any better reason to drive half way across the country and back than to go to terrific parties with favorite people? I think not. The first leg of our trip was to Monterey, for the big family birthday bash. And now we're back in Taos for the sole (soul) reason of helping Deborah and Thomas celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. We're having the best time. It was well worth the drive! (Visit Facebook for a whole bunch of pictures of people you probably don't know.)

After two days of whooping it up with D&T, we're going to breakfast with our buddy Eleanore Macnish this morning, and then to Karena's this evening to celebrate her birthday. We'll get some rest when we leave Taos in a few days, on our way to Seattle for a super special wedding. More on that later. For now, the road goes on forever and the party never ends!


We're back in Taos. Only for a few days, but they're already tightly packed with friends and parties and business to take care of. It's kind of weird being back here. It seems like we just left, although it's been almost two months since we first set out. Time's a funny thing that way. Seems like forever, seems like yesterday. Maybe it's both.

It was a long drive from Flagstaff to here. That stretch of desert that blurs Arizona and New Mexico has become very familiar over the years. It looks good right now, all soft sage and red rock, dotted with deep green pinon and cottonwood. Must have been a good wet monsoon season. I spent a lot of time knitting, and a lot of time watching for hobos on freight trains. The only time I've ever seen a "hobo" was in Mexico. I guess it's not as easy to hop a train here as it used to be. Or maybe everyone has cars now. I don't know, but I always watch for that lone silhouette in the distance.

We arrived here…

looping back to taos

Make a plan, and plan to change it... We're getting good at that.

We left Solvang two days early... bad internet, expensive park, indifferent-to-surly service...
Long story, which I will spare you. However, I have started to post reviews of some of the parks we stay in at RV Park It's been a pretty useful site for us. My screen name there is "kimmiles", if you want to see what I thought of the Flying Flags RV Park in Buellton, CA...

Next, one night in Needles, CA, which could have been hell, but was actually ever so nice, thanks to a riverside campsite at Fender's River Road Resort...

...and a mini tropical vacation at the Naked Pirate!

A little more desert driving today, and we've looped back to Flagstaff, AZ. I will get some beads posted while we're here! And then we'll be on our way to Taos for a few days, some favorite friends, and a great party... or two, or three...

time to roll

Today we leave the coast, and head inland to a park near Solvang, CA, slowly making our way to Taos for a few days later this month. We're not really ready to leave the coast, but we do need to get moving, and this time of year it's hard to find a spot anyplace in California, particularly in the beach towns.

This has been perfect. I asked for a place we could sit still for a week so I could get some work done. I got that, and I did the work too. Yesterday was the first day the fog cleared the whole week we've been here in Morro Bay. Like the sand dollars on the beach, it felt like a metaphor, since my own creative fog seemed to lift too. I've been resistant to work, not really wanting to do it, and not feeling any great creative urges. But the time here has changed that. Feels like I'm moving forward. What a relief.

I think we'll be coming back to the coast. Want to explore the Oregon coast too, and it should be easier after Labor Day, when the rest of the coun…

trickle up

Walking on the beach in Morro Bay last evening, Rick and I picked up dozens of beautiful, perfect sand dollars. They were everywhere, just waiting to be rescued before they'd be crushed by waves or feet and turned into sand. There were other people on the beach, but they didn't seem to see the sand dollars. Maybe they weren't looking. I don't know. Maybe these were super-power sand dollars that were invisible to anyone but us. We filled our pockets and carted them back to camp where we spread them out all over the picnic table. As I changed out of my soaked jeans and jacket, it occurred to me that these pretty little treasures might be a metaphor for the abundance we have all around us, if we just tilt our heads and look at it from a different angle. Sand dollars, real dollars; there's plenty of both to go around. We all just need to learn how to see them, and to pick them up when we do.

My brilliant and beautiful cousin Mitzi came up with a great idea - The Trickle…

hearst castle

Rick and I both grew up in California, but neither of us had ever been to Hearst Castle. As a kid, I imagined it to be a dark medieval thing, but it's actually about as opposite to that as can be. I was almost hesitant to go there, thinking I'd feel poor and pathetic afterwards, living in a trailer and all. But the light and beauty of the place lifted me, and I came away wanting to go back for another of the four available tours, so I could soak in some more. Our tour guide, Bev, was really great, telling us all about the place, and about William Randolph Hearst's obsession with building, collecting art, and changing his mind. She also connected on a personal level with the group, making me wish we lived next door to each other. I think we'd be friends. As we got back on the bus at the end of the tour, she looked at me kind of sideways, and said, "You look like a little artist". Well, that just made my day. Sometimes I'm not so sure what I am. Nice to hav…

hello, cookie

I feel a new obsession coming on. It's probably only temporary, as obsessions will tend to be, but I don't mind. I'll ride it out and see where it takes me. After living in the desert for what seems like far too long, I'm suddenly completely smitten with the deep, wide, salty pacific ocean, and everything connected with it. I'll spend as much time walking along its edge as I can get, or gazing off into it from the pier of any little town we find ourselves in. The hems of my pants are always wet, and I don't mind. I restrain myself from pointing out every seagull, sandpiper, and pelican that does anything remotely interesting, including flying, and I allow myself to point out all the seals and dolphins, because I don't recall seeing so many of them when I was on this coast as a teenager. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, or maybe there really are more of them now. It looks like a healthier ocean than I remember, and I'm happy to see that.

We pulle…

morro bay

I just looked it up - "morro", in Spanish, means "nose". Morro Rock, in Morro Bay, doesn't look at all like a nose to me, but it's a pretty impressive volcanic remnant just the same. I think it looks like a pirate hide-out. Bet there's treasure out there somewhere, but it's being guarded by thousands of birds. I'm not going to get too close. I'll just sit on the beach and make up stories...

Heidi met some friends yesterday. Their person told me they're all rescues. One is missing a leg, one is missing an eye, and the third was just abandoned. I think they're pirates in disguise. Heidi was a rescue too, sort of. She grew up in a sorority house in Albuquerque, and when her mom couldn't take her to her new job, we brought her home. If these other dogs let her in to their crew, she'll be the most social pirate on the ship.

We're staying here for a week, or maybe a little longer. I need time to get some work done, unless of cour…

the point

What's the point?, she asked me, as if I would have some ready, convincing answer. Deeply distressed that I couldn't ease her distress, all I could do was sob into the phone, blurting out inane bits of what I hoped were wisdom. Finally, exhausted, I said, I hope you'll decide to stay. I love you. It was the best I could do to convince another human being that it's worth the effort to go on living, but still I had no idea as to what the "point" might be.

Helpless and shaken, I went on with my day, and as I calmed down, I kept repeating the question - What's the point? I'd asked this in passing many times before, but assumed it was on the list of Things We Don't Get To Know. This time though, I really wanted an answer. Looking down at my own hands holding glass to the flame, one simple reply eventually came through, like a small voice, not exactly my own, and not exactly not my own. We are the hands and eyes and ears of God. We are that part of the W…

dish it up

August 5 - the learn as you go plan

Home again, for the moment, for the night. Two nights even. We left the ease of Bruce's driveway this morning, heading south on Highway 1, hoping to luck into a nice spot on the beach we could stay in for several days. I need time to get some work done. Our third stop was at the KOA in Moss Landing, where there was no room, but the managers there, Dyann and Ken, were so nice and accommodating, they spent most of an hour making calls for us until they found us a place for two nights, just north of Pismo. Listening to them talk up the little town of Moss Landing made us wish we could stay, and when we head back that way sometime, we'll be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.

We arrived here at Reynold's Ocean Canyon Resort early enough to enjoy the last of the afternoon and evening, but I felt the need to do a little re-nesting first. We've learned a few things since we left Taos just over a month ago, and have listened to …

by the sea shore

Santa Cruz remains a sweet spot in my heart. We spent the day on the Boardwalk, and it was fun showing it to Rick, who didn't really remember ever going there. I'd done some research in the morning, looking for the best crab sandwich in the area, and came up with promising recommendations for Riva's on the wharf. It was pretty darn good, but I know there are better crab sammies out there somewhere, so the search continues. Oh darn.

I did, however, fall in love with this "cuddle fish" painting, and several other by the same artist. I wonder if this style might translate into beads somehow. I really need some new inspiration to get to work. So far, I just want to frolic on the beach, read, write, knit, eat... That's not going to pay the bills...

We spent hours on the Boardwalk, just walking and looking around mostly. We went on the Cave Train, which I love for it's absolute silliness. It's like the Pirates ride at Disneyland, only not very good. The Sky G…