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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


JennyD said...

Carrie, it is so good to hear from you! Glad to hear your back is a bit better, too; still, like you said, don't go hauling any rocks.
I LOVE your header; it is scrumptious. I have a thing for wicker so that and the "wickered room" in the photos caught me up immediately. Everything is coming together very well -- the colors are so you and bright and vibrant. I have a hard time believing you could live like a monk ;)
Some friends of mine did a thing with their kitchen chairs that were mismatched and it turned out great. They had 4 at first, and painted 2 one color and the other 2 another coordinating color. Both very vibrant. What a popping statement it made and it's always so much fun to sit in that kitchen now. They said they were not going to buy a new kitchen set -- YAY!
That price you paid for the house is INCREDIBLE. I mean, my gosh! You can hardly find a car for that anymore! Dream come true for sure!
Sending much love to you, sweetie!
(Wait, how's your cat?)

Toodie said...

Love your Easter egg bathroom. Thank you for the tour and glimpse into your winter home. Loved my visit here. Have a great time.

Becky said...

My house is furnished early garage sale, too. Thank goodness someone buys things new then wants to get rid of them. Your stories and photos are always fun to read and see.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Carrie. What a delightful winter home you have created.
The photos of the driftwood are exquisite. May you continue to take delight in your surroundings.

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

Enjoyed the tour, Carrie, and glad to hear you are enjoying your new home. Our seasons are beginning to change again and it won't be long before there will be too much for me to shoot instead of snow, snow and more snow. I'm more than ready!

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and floors that need waxing because it means I have a home. ~Author Unknown

Anonymous said...

That was brilliantly written and your snapshots added so muc to your entry. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that a house is just a house until you decorate it with your own special touches, then it becomes a home. And what a lovely home you have indeed. The other thing that I learned is that the fellow that owns his own home, is always just coming out of a hardware store. :)
I do find your blogs/page very refreshing!

Connie said...

Hello Carrie. I sure enjoyed the tour of your place. It looks so inviting...that bathroom is 'delicious'. One of my daughters-in-law is what I call a nest builder.
The driftwood pictures are great. I kept scrolling back to pick out identifying 'marks' from the different angles. I have a ways to go to find different angles/perspectives as you do. Thanks to you I see more in things than I used to, just still not as much as I hope to.
Take care. ~Connie

Eddie Two Hawks said...

Home is essential to the human heart. It is what binds body, mind, and spirit. They are all well represented here through your photography and writing.
p.s. especially like the photo of the upright feather
enjoy life Carrie, Eddie

Anonymous said...

☆☆ HELLO Carrie! It’s only me. Hope all is well with you. Just coming by to say ‘Try and have a most excellent day.’ ☆☆

Mei said...

Hi Carrie, been here once, not in a very good mood myself recently. Read again this morning... and wow... the price is very good, makes me want to move, always dream to live far away from busy people and town, don't think that dream will come truth, hubby will never want to move, I should pick a new man before he need to pick between wife and his old dad's house. Don't get me wrong... I'm not alien, I'm to easy that is my trouble! :-(

I like wonder round second hand shop too... my dad bought most our stuff second hand and one or two must worth something, after over 30 odd years they must worth a bit more even with lots little hole all over the tables, in the end my brother decided to keep the table. Most my stuff in the flat are from eBay too... I love good second hand stuff and i do have expensive taste sometimes... I always wanting a good second-hand writing bureau, been looking for many years and i endup paying a brand new distressed writing bureau for £xxxx, I must on a bipolar mood, i ask hubby a few times years later... why don't you stop me? Well, the desk is still back at my in-law's house, plus many others, i don't have room, they don't go well with the flat, and keep thinking i will go home one day, well, don't know when is that one day will come, OK, i should stop now been moaning to much, hope you have a good time in your new home, and take good care of your back Carrie. Big hug, Mei

Anonymous said...

Greetings… Just wanted to let you know that I am still walking amongst many here on wordpress. You can find me now at … uttering those fameous three words for now… … “I’LL.BE.BACK.” ......SETH

Anonymous said...

OK. You are hired. My next house, you can decorate. :) I just never know what to do.

Janie2 said...

Carrie, wondering how you selected the Salton Sea to be your second home? All the way from Canada. I have been to the Salton Sea a few times. You are finding some great sites, thanks for posting your home too. Glad you are able to be outside without all the cold and snow, and I bet you are too. I live in Northern California, 60 miles north of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge. Keep posting, and enjoy your second home.

Toyin O. said...

Wow, your home looks lovely, you have a great taste in decorations. The pictures are amazing:)

Anonymous said...

Life can be busy at times, I know. I was just hoping that you would have blessed us with an update, just to let us know how you have been doing.
Here's hoping that you are keeping well. Cheers to you and yours.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Hello to all those who have paiently been waiting for updates. Life has been so busy with company the past 5 weeks and no time to go somewhere for internet connection. Finally got a few days break here. Well lo and behold took a walk about with my computer in the house and discovered a very faint single in my guest room on the bed that has no security. Not a very comfortable place and can't even budge the computer even a foot. It's slow and comes and goes. I hate using someones elses connection, but it has given me a chance to finally check my e-mail and my sites. Don't have time to spend long hours here but will try and get by to see everyone as soon I can. Seth I will be by soon to get reconnected with your site at Word Press. Just trying to touch base right now with everything and catch up with E-mails. Will be heading back up North in about 3 weeks. Love and miss you all hugs Carrie

Anonymous said...

Well, it's great to hear from you and glad to know the reason why you have not been able to bless us with an update is because you have been busy... and not because I stink or something. Bwahahaha!
You just keep taking good care of you and we'll be patient a little longer... :)

Ramblingon said...

Carrie..I saw you in Lisa's blog and I have missed you so much!


Janie2 said...

I have been to the Salton sea many times. I would guess a second home for your and your husband is helpful to get you thru the winter cold up north. It is hard being away and doing something you like ( and not being able to go on internet) to connect with bloggers and friends. I understand. We will be here for you when you get back. Your photos are STUNNING. Is it windy there? Every time we are there the wind carries us away...

Anonymous said...

Just making it a point to stop by your page and give you a friendly reminder that weekends are all about R & R for the most part. So, here’s hoping that you get the opportunity to just sit back and relax… Cheers Carrie!

Ramblingon said...

I LOVED getting the tour thru your home and learning even more about it. I loved the pictures along the way of the walk that you published for us..even the fire and just all of it. It is always a joy to be here and "talk" with you again, Carrie.


Anonymous said...

Hi hon, just stopping in to say hello.Its been awhile, I hope you are doing ok and recovering from all your hard work. The place is Beautiful,you have a great creative hand for decorating. Thanks for the tour,and a peek into your world..Big Hugs to you.

Seth@ChaosHQ's said...

Just checking in on you. Hoping that all is well. I wouldn't know... cause you do not tell!!! Bwahahaha! Quite the poet eh? :)

Seth@ChaosHQ's said...

Well, the votes have been reviewed and you are hereby officially requested to provide us with an update. :) You may be busy but eventually, one has to come up for air.
Don't go looking for me on Wordpress, I have jumped ship to Blogger... much better here.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Ok everyone I am alive and well. Got back to the ranch about 1 week ago. The work began as soon as we arrived and it is still going. Will try and get a blog out very soon and come visit you all. So have missed all of you. Hugs Carrie

Mei said...

Welcome back... its alot to do... take care Carrie! Thankyou for stopped by. Mei

Seth@ChaosHQ's said...

My visit this evening is to bring to you some extra special Easter Greetings along with Best Wishes for a Happy Springtime too!
Let this joy of Easter fill up your heart today and forever. Happy Easter!

Dianne ... Walking In His Grace said...

Happy Easter Carrie, and Welcome home. Thank you for stopping by for a visit this fine Easter Sunday. Love your header and all your wonderful photos. Take care and I will be back soon.
Hugs, Dianne :)

Seth@ChaosHQ's said...

There's no better time than the present to stop by and wish you a wonderful weekend. Make the most of it, Monday comes fast.
For You --->