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February 5, 2011

Nesting, a Beach Walk and Following Smoke

Settling into our new winter home here at the Salton Sea in Southern California requires for me what  I call nesting.  I am a nester and have been busy creating a nest of our home we purchased last winter. 

Years before we had built a home here in 1990 and had created an oasis, but when the building boom hit this area our view of the sea and privacy we had for 15 years was disappearing so we sold at the peak in 2006.  Real estate prices plummeted  a year or so later and there were hundreds of brand new homes sitting empty that had been foreclosed on in this area.  We had looked at a few of these homes that started from $40,000 up to $100,000, but the lay-out and area they were in I wasn’t happy about and didn’t want to reinvest to much money back into this area.  So when this modular home already on a residential lot came on the market for only $23,000 we had to have it.  As with most foreclosures  for so cheap ours was not the only offer so the price finally rose to $26,000 which we finally got it for.  The start up costs of building new in this area when you already own your own lot are almost $30,000.  We still own some excellent lots in the area, but I just don’t have the get up and go to build all over again.  So this was a no brainer if we wanted a home down here again for the winter. 


Full Moon rising over our new winter home.  This home is in complete contrast with my home in the valley in British Columbia Canada.  It is light and airy with white walls and windows all around letting lots of sun in.  My view from here I can see for many miles.  I am still almost surrounded by mountains only now they are far off in the distance.  The landscaping will soon begin here as well.

Where ever I call my home I like to scan my eyes and find balance in my surrounding, which is not always easy when filling the interior with reused furniture and nick knacks that don’t always seem like they should be together.  I enjoy searching thru all forms of reused items from garages sales to consignments to find something that fills our needs or catches my eye.  Last winter in the couple of weeks I had to get started I began with lots of silk plants, flowers, baskets and wicker furniture.  All of which gave us some seating and places to put things and greenery to fill spaces.  As I got more furniture this winter the wicker and other odds and ends were moved around to new locations.

The green trunk in the middle is one of my 1st pieces I bought when I moved away from home over 35 years ago.  It has been used as storage and a coffee table in many new places I lived until something else was found to replace it.  It now sits in a closet again as a beautiful round coffee table was found to take it’s place. Everything was purchased 2nd hand or we already possessed it.  The little black night stand clear at the end of the hall was a piece of a bedroom set when I was a child at my parents home.  Another odd piece that has followed me around everywhere I go.  I am a firm believer of recycling and reusing.  

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie   Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

We haven’t yet found a dining room set so till then just using and old patio table and odd chairs.  There was a big unfinished spot on the wall where the previous owner had taken a built in hutch out.  My quick fix was to put up curtain panels on the wall and finish off the windows with the same panels I got from my stepmom.  We are not sure weather we may put a window or sliding door there so it makes a great covering on the wall for now.  Our guest bedroom is finally finished.  I went with a Mexican theme as I already had so many decorative things collected over the years.  In the corner is a old suit case sitting on it’s end.  My hubby came to Canada from Germany with it over 50 years ago.  I finally found a use for it.  It came in handy for packing a lot of stuff I brought from up North.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie   Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

Our little den and morning room.  The old secretariat desk is also a piece of furniture I had bought already used when I first moved away from my parents.  It now serves as my computer desk.  Some of you may recognize it from my greenhouse up North.  I always wanted to refinish it, maybe I will find the time here to finally do it after 35 years.  Hubby said he has heard that before.  I never was one to do any painting.  The nice colourful granny square afghan on the couch is one I made over 25 years ago.  My 1st and last project at crocheting.  Just never took to sitting for hours working on knitting or crocheting.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie   Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

The guest bathroom is so not what one would expect from me, but I had a few nick knacks I had brought down from up North that were gifts from friends so somehow the colors of purple just came out.  I can’t help but keep poking my head in the bathroom and thinking to myself, I love it…  It’s like Spring or Easter everyday.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

Well that concludes my tour.  The master bedroom and bathroom are still bare.  I can live with it like that actually.  I would live like a monk if it was up to me.  I decorate more for other people to feel comfortable.  All I need is a window with a view.  But it has been fun trying to fit everything together.  We may be in a new place, but already there are pieces with memories of people, places and years gone by all thru the house.  It has been lots of work up to this point.  My back has held out however my old neck and shoulder pain has returned.  I don’t believe I had a slipped disc as the doctor thought as I don’t think I would have been able to do the work I have done up to this point.  I do however have to be very careful with my back as there are aches and pains that show up briefly.  There will be no weed pulling for me down here this winter or moving rocks.

Beach Walk

Finally took a break from getting my winter home in order and went for a walk on the beach of the Salton Sea.  The sun was just setting over the horizon creating long shadows.  Lone vehicle tracks breaking the delicate crust heading into the sunset.  This area was all once under water.

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I was surprise to see how far the water line once again receded.  Here is a piece of driftwood that I have taken many photos of over the last couple of years and was once nearly underwater, but now sits over a hundred feet from the water.  Just 2 years ago it sat just at the water line.

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This beautiful piece of driftwood still presents me with a new way to photograph it, down on my knees.  As the sun sets in the west, this view to the east always fades into beautiful pastel colors.


Still framing the beauty that can be found at the Salton Sea.  Always look at things from a different view and it can change your prospective of the world you see. 


Oh the strange treasures one can find on the barren stretches along the beach.  How different the camera can capture the same subject just by what angle you view it.

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On a beach feathers are often found, but this one was sticking straight up in the sand so of course I was drawn to it and remembered a photo I once took holding one up.  So here again facing to the east over the Salton Sea where the pastel colors are quickly fading.


Another feather now caught my eye and I held it up to catch the last of the setting sun in the west.


As always when I am walking with hubby and taking photos he ends up far ahead of me.  So when I finally caught up with him I was so excited about my treasures I had seen and quickly told him about them.  He laughed and said he had found the doll and put it on the stick and came across the feather and stuck it in the ground.  I had to thank him as he had created some of the moments that spurred my camera into action.

On my last blog about the Salton Sea a few had commented that man should just let nature take it’s course and let the sea dry up again as it has so many times over the course of thousands of years.  I used to feel the same, but now seeing how man is so present in the area, unlike hundreds of years ago when the sea had gone dry before, I now have mixed feelings on the issue.

Since the last boom here in 2003 there has been hundreds of homes built right near the sea along with the growth over the past 20 years of Palm Springs, Palm Desert and the more popular  La Quinta.  If the sea would dry up, the crust of salts, clays and who knows what kind of containments from run off from the farms would be exposed to the winds and sand storms would prevail in the area making living in or near it unbearable as well as unhealthy.  As it is now with so much exposed shoreline and off road vehicles breaking the hard crusts that help keep the soft dust under it intact are already creating conditions for dust storms when the wind blows along the shoreline. 

Meanwhile as the controversy over weather to save the sea or not continues, so too does the costs of creating what could become a watery wonderland for people, plants and animals alike.  If man had never populated the area I would love to see nature take it’s course, but man has already interfered with the natural process of the area changing the course of nature here forever.

Following Smoke

I had noticed quite a few sirens had gone past our place so went out side to see what was going on.    Upon seeing the smoke I grabbed my camera and walked over.  There was already 3 different fire departments at the scene.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie  Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

Hubby who arrived earlier said the 3 departments were arguing over the use of water mains and who should do what.  He thought they could have gotten on top of the fire much sooner had there not been so much confusion.  Also the back of the property was filled with so much junk and old vehicles that almost all caught fire, if not heavily dowsed with water.  Things seemed to be under control by the time I got there.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

That was a women directing the hose.  She wasn’t more then 5 feet tall.  The sun doesn’t look to happy about being doused with water.  So ended the excitement for the neighbours and me in the area.

Photo by Here I Am/Carrie

With only a couple months here to get so much done and friends and family already arriving to stay with us, I have been left me with little time for anything else.  Right now I am uploading at dial up so may not have time to visit.

I have been thinking of so many of you who I normally often visit.  I may not be visiting your blogs, but you are in my thoughts and prayers for those that need them.  Many of you I will always have a special place in my heart for as I know your everyday life can be a struggle and full of pain, but you always keep trying and never give up.  The strength and faith you have often shown are like a beam of light.  Shining for others to follow making each day a new beginning for recognising this gift that we were all given.  Sharing with the world the love that is inside all of us.  Be grateful, be thankful and learn to share.

For those that have been experiencing such extremes in the weather, I only wish you pleasant days ahead like here at the Salton Sea in the Winter
and a
Good Morning…  Good Afternoon…  Good Night…
What ever it is to you.

Photo & Words
Here I Am/Carrie