Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Couch and New Weather

After waiting about 7 weeks, we finally got our couch! It is green and has a round ottoman. We love it! It's nice to have furniture again.

And, it snowed the other day. It only lasted about 30 minutes, and melted almost immediately, but being from Texas this was very exciting for us. I tried to get some pictures of it actually falling, but my camera refused to pick it up. Here's a little on the ground.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Running in Eugene

A little over a year ago I read an incredibly inspiring book - Born to Run. It convinced to me start running again, without shoes. I know, pretty crazy, but the book made a convincing argument that my knees wouldn't hurt like they did before. And they don't. I've been running just about every other day ever since and have never felt better.

The basic idea is that if you run without shoes you will naturally land on your mid-foot rather than on your heel (as we tend to with cushioned running shoes). Your arch then acts kind of like a spring. Apparently there are tribes in Mexico and Africa (and who knows where else) that run this way and have an extremely low incidence of injuries from running.

The book also suggests that primitive man, before we started making tools, actually ran animals to death! And that our bodies were made for running.

If you decide to try this, do some research. The book suggests that you can run 5 miles tomorrow, barefoot, but you actually have to start off very slow and work your way up to longer distances. I started with 100 yards the first day. 110 the second, and so on. It took me about 6 months to do 3 miles. I now have running shoes that consist of a thin layer of rubber on the bottom to protect my feet from rocks/glass/etc., but no other kind of support.

So I was very excited to hear running is very popular in Eugene, and that my new art friend, Sarah, is a runner too! So we signed up for a 6 mile run this last Sunday. Here we are at the start and taking off.

The first third of the 6 miles was uphill most of the way, on trails. The last third was back down the same hill. I think I made it in half the time. : ) It was a hard run but exhillerating, and I will definitely do more. Sarah and I are already looking at a 4-miler on Thanksgiving day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Closed and Moving In

Carol Here: I know we haven't posted in quite a few days. We've been running around like crazy this last week, closing on the house, switching over electric, water, trash, etc., ordering furniture and new appliances, and all the other stuff that goes along with moving to a new house in a new state and basically starting over from scratch. Whew. Below is a view of the living room in our house, which opens to the kitchen.

Since David works at home all day on his computer, a comfy chair for him was a priority. I am still using a camp chair. Our plan is to rip up all the carpet (you can't see it in this photo but it is horribly stained) and reveal the beautiful oak floor underneath (all through the house). The floor will need some work, but it is old and thick and we love it!

Below is what we see from the living room looking out to the backyard. Beyond the deck is a really spectacular yard. The whole property is 3/4 acre, and is completely surrounded by huge trees. We live in the city but have a lot of privacy.

Below is what will be my studio. Yes, that is a pool table. It was left by the former occupant, and it would take an army to move. We thought about hiring someone but I've decided for now to leave it. I don't think it will be in the way, and I can cover it and use it as a work table (the plan). The fireplace is holding all my stuff while I wait for shelves. There are windows at both ends (directly to the left and right of this photo).

And a little update about my rock collection...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Waiting to Close

David here: We have been biding our time until we close on the house and can move in. It may be as soon as Tuesday but no later than Wednesday. It all depends on when the final insurance payment shows up in our account.

Here's a photo of the house from the front with Carol's studio on the other side of the wall of almost north facing windows. We'll have more photos of the place soon.

Here's Carol and her mini-me on our first trip to the coast. Carol was like a dog with a steak with all the rounded and smooth stones lying about completely undefended.

Here is Carol teaching Jacob the love of the rocks.

There is nothing slower than walking with Carol on a rock strewn beach!

It was cool and cloudy and rained all day long - we absolutely loved it!

- David

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finally in Oregon

Carol Here: After driving for 5 straight days we finally have something to look at - TREEEEES!!! Like real trees, trees over 10 feet high. Add to that, or rather, take away about 20 degrees in temperature, and you have Oregon. Well, the pretty stuff started in Northern California (on I-5) but got going good in Oregon. Here we are stopped at a rest area:

And though it's still summer back in Texas, here in Oregon the trees are already dropping their leaves.

One thing I am very happy about is restarting my rock collection. I had hundreds of rocks collected over many years and many parts of the country. They were all buried in the rubble. So here are the first 3 rocks of my new collection!

And Jacob is proud to start his new blackberry collection. If you eat your whole collection does it still count as a collection?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tired of Driving

Carol Here: This picture really sums up today. I am TIRED of driving. Tonight we are at a KOA outside of Sacramento. We got here around 4pm, which is an earlier day than usual. Still, it's been a lot of driving, and I'm excited that tomorrow we will finally see some different scenery. Our plan is to do just a little driving in the morning and then relax the rest of the day. That will put us in Oregon by Friday afternoon.

This picture was taken at the pool here at the KOA. There were signs saying no alcohol, and I will NOT admit to having wine in my cup. ; )

White Knuckles!

David Here: After two days of barren desolation, through west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the state of severe boredom, our drive positively enlivened as we skirted not quite far enough around LA through rush hour traffic. The traffic was worse in the other direction, though, where I measured over 20 miles of bumper to bumper. I imagine folks in LA get home after work each day with just about enough time to turn around and drive back in.

The lovely combination of too many Red Bulls, 14 lanes of rush hour traffic in both directions, the 6 some odd inches of clearance between the camper and the semi's roaring past, and 100 miles of the worst washboard highways on which I have ever driven, has rendered the permanent grimace you see below on my stricken face.

Then finally, the pinnacle of the day was the adventure the GPS led us on, down an ever narrowing dirt road, which precisely did not lead to the RV Park. Luckily, the kind gentleman who lived behind the locked gate, which ended our misdirected journey, with the "Trespassers will be Shot" sign, let us in to turn the camper around over his yard. 

Jacob has been a champ through it all and even revived sufficiently once we corrected our error of forgetting to feed him. Poor boy, you can almost see his bones.

We ended up in an RV park in the Angeles Forest. It'd be beautiful if there were any trees.

Tonight we are going to set up camp in Northern California where tomorrow we have planned a day of stress free frolicking among the redwoods and sequoias.

- David

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Almost Out of Texas

Carol again (David promises he'll post soon): Yesterday and this morning I said goodbye to my grandparents, sister, nephews, brother-in-law, and parents. This has been the hardest of all for me - moving so far away from my family. Luckily I travel a lot so you can bet I'll be scheduling more workshops in TX in the future!

Above is where we camped in Harper, next to my parents' shop. At night we realized it was tilted a little to one side. I almost fell off the bed a few times.

Today we drove West through Texas all day, and finally stopped just before El Paso, completely exhausted. Who ever knew sitting would be so much work! I drove the little car behind the camper on a highway where even though the speed limit was 80! we had to go about 65 for the sake of the camper. Above is us parked at a little rest stop in the desolate West Texas landscape. We passed a gazzilion dead trees, cinching our concept of Texas as a tinderbox.

And here's Jacob, not fazed a bit by us moving halfway across the country, showing off some moves. So you know, you HAVE to make that face to do the move right.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Beginning of the Beginning

Carol here: Today we are camped in Texas with everything we now own, at an RV park near Lake Travis, where we have been since the fire. Thankfully we got both vehicles and the camper out. The camper is now full of donated clothes, food, toys, art supplies, etc. Thank you all sooo much!!

Today we will drive to Harper, TX to visit my folks and extended family for a couple of days. We have spent the last few days tying up loose ends here and saying goodbye. We got the cars checked out before the drive across country, handed our land over to our neighbor who is staying to rebuild, and purchased everything we will need to survive for 5 days in the car (books on tape & caffeine!).

David and I will both be posting here. We'll shoot for once a day, but in reality it will be as much as we have time for. Here's hoping for smooth sailing. Oregon or bust!!