Miracles come in all packages

We’ve been getting an immense amount of rain here in Mount Shasta, and they’ve predicted that the snow up on the mountain will break previous storm snowfall records… of course the previous record is on Mount Shasta, too.

The winds the other day were immense. So much so that an 80 foot tree on our property fell and nearly hit the house.

Alex and Riley sniff the new bush. That’s the cherry tree that got slammed by the tree.

I had loud music on in the other room (it was probably Coldplay, due to Claire’s recent Chris Martin obsession), so I didn’t hear it. I felt it, though, and figured Mark had dropped something upstairs. I went to investigate.

The tree roots. A very small tree in front of them. Our house in the background.

It was a tree that had fallen. It narrowly missed the house.

Had it fallen two feet the other way, it would have damaged the house.

The very top of the tree was resting on the back porch. It almost hit the house.

It’s pretty amazing that an old 80 foot tree would fall in the least damaging place possible, by a matter of inches. Of course, we have many other trees on our property that could be toppled by wind, which left room enough for paranoia that an entire room might be taken out. But we survived.

We also got some more firewood, always helpful in a Shasta winter. And we’re taking the very top of the tree, as mangled as it is, for our Christmas tree this year.

This year, 2012, has been quite a challenging year. We’ve had all sorts of things pop up that changed the game. Each one of them had a karmic depth of challenge that was unusual. And each one was dealt with, bringing a new level of manifestation mastery. Life is better because of the challenges, not worse.

When we were living in Texas, I knew deeply that we were to move to California, and it was only a matter of time before it opened up and we were to move. Within hours of letting our landlord know that our time in Texas would be limited, we received a phone call letting us know that a house — this house — was opening up for us. We thought that living in this amazing house was only going to last for a few months. However, we’ve been gifted with an opportunity to live here for three years now.

The house here has been a huge gift for everyone involved. It has given us inspiration, a sanctuary, a place of connection, and clarity. That’s been a gift from being in Mount Shasta, but this house is a huge part of it. Some of the circumstances around the house might not be clearly a miracle, but the actual end result of being here has been miraculous.

In other news, Max is doing extremely well in school this year. He’s got perfect attendance, made honor roll, and got a good citizenship award. Shasta has been exceptionally good for him, too.

As we come up on our three-year anniversary of moving to Mount Shasta, I can honestly say that every thing that happens to us here is a miracle, even the things that seem like they’re not.


Changing Seasons

I’ve not found time to write much this fall, as I’ve been focused on taking care of so many things around here. I’m happy to report that the great IRS Audit of 2012 is now over, and I did not find it as painful as I had initially thought. I felt pretty awful about the state of my books at the start of things, but after hiring an enrolled agent to guide me through the process, I’m seeing it wasn’t all that bad after all.

It turns out that the auditors were primarily looking for some things related to business in Texas. They didn’t find what they were looking for (at least not in my books!), so they’ve moved on to greener pastures.

The funniest part of the whole experience is that my expectations of what an IRS audit means drove much of my stress, created a mess that was more stressful. The actual process itself wasn’t so bad. In fact, it actually has been a REAL blessing, setting up a platform for future success.

I was actually lucky to work with both an enrolled agent and an IRS agent who were very understanding, very cool and helpful, and now I have processes and procedures to make my least favorite activity easier.

I told myself that if I had to go through an IRS audit, at least I got to do it from the comfort of a spectacular home in Mount Shasta. Being here made the experience bearable. I was able to do days of accounting (did I mention it is my least favorite activity?) while immersing myself in the beauty of this place as a respite.

Summer in Mount Shasta is the closest thing to heaven on earth that I’ve experienced. Fall is pretty spectacular, too. I spent most of my free time this summer and fall getting lost in forests (once, quite literally) and exploring with a dog or two.

This morning, however, I am drenched from doing so in the cold rain. It’s nearing winter, and that means the snows are coming.

This snowstorm is for your viewing pleasure.

Last week, we had a freak localized snowstorm thanks to a car commercial filmed on our street. I rounded the corner during my morning walk, only to find that the road was blocked. Not sure which car the advertisement was for, but if it is being filmed in Shasta with fake snow, I’m certain it has 4 wheel drive.

With the changing seasons, I’ll be spending more time indoors, probably a lot more time in front of the computer doing non-accounting related things. I’ve made a commitment to write another book, blog more, and share more of my experience here. It also means I’ll spend some more time traveling and sitting on beaches.


Summer in Mount Shasta

I spent the weekend recovering from a group yard sale suggested by a neighbor that started with the idea of “how bad could it be?” The answer came loud and clear: I’m done with yard/garage sales. I will never again buy things I don’t need, and I will give away the things I unknowingly accumulated.

If there is a Certified Minimalist Accreditation Program somewhere, sign me up.

My recovery attempts led me to doing a lot of things unique to Mount Shasta. We had a Father’s Day brunch bordering on dinner at the Hi-Lo in Weed (not my choice, but the Hi-Lo is consistent if not healthy), I took the dogs swimming in the creek by our house, we went to the lake (because one swim is not enough for the dog), and meditated in the forest.

Swimming with doggies

Swimming with doggies

Once summer is in full force in Mount Shasta, I seem to develop amnesia that the winters here can be so brutal. Every day feels like perfection. Summer in Mount Shasta feels like you planned the most perfect vacation you could have ever planned, and the weather cooperates completely. It’s like this EVERY DAY. Sure, you get a hot day here and there, but because we are blessed with no humidity, the nights always cool down.

And for those hot days, you only need to travel up a few thousand feet to get relief. For those cold days, you can always travel to Redding to escape the cold and snow. And coming from Chicago, I’ll just say that Mount Shasta’s idea of “cold” has no idea what cold really is.

Sunset at Lake Siskiyou

Sunset at Lake Siskiyou

Mount Shasta summer is sublime. Through the survival of ten feet crazy snowdrifts in the driveway, we have earned this.

  • The Fourth of July is a really big deal. The fifth of July feels like you’re falling off a cliff into a snowdrift.
  • The sky is clearer and bluer than it is anywhere else I’ve ever been.
  • It’s hot in the sun, cool in the shade. We don’t have an air conditioner and don’t need one.
  • Tourists EVERYWHERE.
  • The probability of running into an actual Telosian rises exponentially.
  • The probability of running into someone looking for an actual Telosian is near 100%.
  • If it rains, it’s snowing somewhere.
  • The mountain is more beautiful in the summer than anything else I’ve seen.
  • The bears make themselves known, though you’ll probably smell one before you see one.
  • The population of the town quadruples for about 3 weeks.The population of my neighborhood doubles.
  • At least two-thirds of the tourists are carrying massive cameras requiring chiropractic adjustments post vacation. Don’t we have smaller options now?
  • I don’t have to shovel snow, but I do have to water my garden twice a day because it isn’t going to rain.
  • Sprinkler systems and drip hoses are a girl’s best friend.
  • It cools down enough every night to remind you that winter never really leaves. If you need a reminder of that, just look up.



Mount Shasta Eclipse

Sunday, we experienced a full on annular eclipse here in Mount Shasta. We decided we would have the most fun watching the eclipse from up on the mountain.

The kids were nonplussed by all of the hoopla. After our generous neighbors brought out the eclipse glasses and the eclipse was close to 100%, they were impressed. There were quite a few people on the mountain to watch the eclipse, and they didn’t hold back their excitement when it was time to express it.

Energetically, I could feel something shifting. There are rumors that the eclipse lined up Earth, the moon, the sun and the constellation Pleiades in alignment for the first time in over 26,000 years. I am not sure if the electricity of what I was feeling was interplanetary mojo or not, but I definitely felt something larger than daily experience.

It was really a good time. People had apparently come to Mount Shasta from around the world to witness the eclipse from this magical place, and mother nature did not disappoint. Even the clouds joined in the festivities, adding to the color and nuance of the spectacle.

After the eclipse, we ended up at the Wayside Restaurant for dinner. They apparently went from empty to packed within about 10 minutes post-eclipse, with huge parties coming in. Here’s a testament to a good restaurant… they called in extra staff to help out. Though they had gotten slammed with business, we got our food on time and delicious, and our wait staff was on the ball ensuring that we got everything we needed.