Shasta Summer

I’ve found my heaven on earth, and it is here. Shasta gives me such a fantastic opportunity to enjoy summer, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Now that the crazy busy time is over, I’m finding myself crazy busy doing other things.

Garden

Potatoes!

Potatoes!

The garden doesn’t take as much time in the summer as in the spring, other than watering. I’ve been harvesting plenty of veggies, and I got my first-ever potatoes this week. I pulled up a couple of plants and they had produced quite a few potatoes. It was kind of cool to see such beautiful veggies come up from what was going to be garbage. I had a few red potatoes I bought from the store that grew eyes. Planted them a couple of months ago, and got these… with more to come!

It scares me that I am excited about potatoes, but there ya go.

Hiking

Spring Hill vista looking towards town.

Spring Hill vista looking towards town.

There are so many trails into the forest around here, I cannot even describe them all. Claire has been doing camp in town, and I took that as my time to walk the dog. I did not enjoy walking around town very much, so I started looking for trails close to town.

Spring Hill is just north of town, offers a good workout, and is quiet. I really have been enjoying it. I walk up, I run down, and I’m finished in time to pick her up.

It’s become a great way for me to start the day, tires out the dog so he’s less of a spaz, and it’s conveniently located.

This morning’s jaunt was a lot warmer than what I’ve been used to. That’s okay. After I finish some work, I’m off to cool down.

Swimming

Claire loves swimming!

Claire loves swimming!

I apparently have two fish for children. Max, well, he’s a Pisces, so there’s an explanation there. Claire is a little Leo, but apparently lions can swim. Add some tenacity and you’ve got a little girl who heads for the deep end no matter what anyone else says. We’ve been going to the lake quite a bit. After swimming for 2 hours straight, they both whine when I say it’s time to take a break. Now I know why they used to make everyone get out of the pool for 10 minutes every hour. I used to complain as a kid; as a parent, I get it.

Claire, at age 4, has no problem putting her face into water. I bought her a cheap pair of goggles so she can watch the fish swimming under her.

The water is cold, but when it’s hot outside it’s absolutely perfect. It chills me so much that I end up wearing a hoodie when it’s 90 degrees outside! I ended up having to put two comforters on me last night just to try to get warm so I could stop shivering. It was 75 degrees in my room at the time.

We don’t have air conditioning. Because it usually drops into the 50s at night, we just open windows overnight. The house is so well insulated, it stays cool all day.

The Gift of Living in Shasta

If I ever need a reminder of connection, a visit to the headwaters reminds me. Water that hasn’t seen the light of day for 400 years (or so I’ve been told) pours out of the ground at a very rapid rate. It is cold, sweet, and delicious. I’m certain it’s the best tasting water I’ve ever had.

This is nature. It is also our natural state. It is what we are, and it is what Spirit is. If we need a reminder of our abundant nature, it is right there.

The gift of living here provides me opportunity to connect to spirit like never before. I feel like I’ve got more clarity, focus, and intention in my life now than ever. I feel more healed of past traumas, and more intent on doing what I came here to do.

 

Visiting Santa Barbara

After the fun of 2012, I lobbied pretty hard for a vacation as soon as Max’s school schedule allowed. Hello, Thanksgiving!

We drove down to Santa Barbara for a week to get a change of scenery. While I enjoy Monterey/Carmel quite a bit, we needed some sunshine. Santa Barbara was as far as we had to go to get out of the rains.

Claire loves Santa Barbara. How could she not. There is a carousel near the wharf. Each horse has a name, or so Claire tells me. This one was named “Longo.”

We ate at some spectacular restaurants. Brophy Brothers was divine. We waited a full hour to get seated at the bar, and it was worth it.

We visited Los Agaves twice. And we discovered a relatively new restaurant called Scarlett Begonia that had the best breakfast I’ve ever experienced. We had a chance to chat for a few minutes with the owner, Krista. She has the best attitude towards her restaurant… healthy, organic, locally sourced ingredients and an experimental menu.

The food was so good I broke my own rules about taking obsessive pictures of food. Presentation was lovely, but it didn’t even come close to the taste. Yes, we’ll be back.

Max had french toast with mascarpone. (Just don’t call it cheese or he won’t eat it.)

Mark had a reuben with homemade rye. Me, I stay away from bread, but after tasting the almond-apricot sourdough, jeez, it was sooo good.

Claire worked on her artwork while we waited. I did not tell her what she had inadvertently spelled out while practicing letters.

I think of all of the food we had in Santa Barbara, Scarlett Begonia blew us away.

More importantly, Krista’s story was inspiring. She breaks all of the rules. Other people told her to run her restaurant differently, but she stuck to her vision. The end result is a restaurant that is far and away better than any others I’ve encountered.

We’re not here to follow the rules. We’re here to live from our hearts, follow our dreams, pursue our passions. Krista runs a restaurant that makes me want to be a chef.

Of course, I’m never going to be a professional chef. My passions lie elsewhere, I think. But her commitment to her dream and ideals inspire me to remain committed to my own dreams, ideals, and passions.

It’s always nice when a breakfast serves you more than just food. 🙂

We also visited the beach more times than I care to mention. I enjoyed it immensely, but kids end up wetter and colder than they like, so it never ends well. They like to play chicken with the waves. Life lesson: waves always win.

We visited the zoo. Claire fed a giraffe.

She also went sledding with cardboard on fake grass. Who needs snow anyway?

Overall, it was a great vacation, and very much needed. It’s funny, because in retrospect, it feels like it was mostly Claire’s vacation. She knew exactly what she wanted to do, so she made that happen. Max was happy exploring State Street, checking out cars, and relaxing with his beloved computer. Mark was happy just being in the sunshine. And I was happy sampling local coffees and exploring.

And now, we’re preparing for holidays back in Mount Shasta. We missed out on a Thanksgiving dinner, so I am preparing a Sunday dinner that has traditional Thanksgiving foods. But we all still have sand in our shoes… and it will take some time to re-acclimate. Still, Shasta is a delightful place to come home to.