California Zen: Life in the Pink House

When I think about the past four-and-half months, my head spins! Since late May, I lived in a Magician’s Mansion (with a 120-lb tortoise named Henry), bounced East to DC to visit friends and family, moved into La Casa Rosada (the Pink House), and hosted an ongoing carousel of visitors. Throw in a side trip to Santa Monica, a highly anticipated Himalayan salt lamp, goat yoga, and a refrigerator full of kombucha, and you have yourselves a fully christened California Girl 🙂

Each of those random things hosts a story all its own, but I have been negligent in tending to my little online garden. Mostly, this means that my life has been busy and full. And it’s true! I adore my little Pink House. In fact, I probably love it a little bit too much. We did not buy it  (we are simply renting) but it’s the first house that Chuck and I found and chose together, and the first time in quite a while that we haven’t been forced to live in something we didn’t want. After 3 years of involuntary, military base housing, I was ready to regain some control and make ourselves a little home.

IMG_0976_20170710213812I haven’t found a job yet, so I spend my mornings doing sun salutations, my days admiring the flora and fauna of my own backyard (while applying for jobs or reading a good book), and my late afternoons/early evenings sipping one of my new favorite things: sparkling California wine in a pink can that comes with its own straw! I don’t actually do this every night (I’m not THAT much of a lush), but I do seriously love these little things. Better yet, they’re just $4.99 at World Market. And let me tell you – they’ve got some punch!

My kitties, Momo and Tetsu, continue to be my greatest companions in fun-employment. I watch them dart among the succulents, dash up the avocado tree, roll about in the sunshine, and gaze longingly at the myriads of birds that flutter in and out of the yard. I love that I can give them a little freedom and stimulation, compared to what they had in Okinawa. To my dismay, Momo does like to gift me with the occasional (usually live) lizard or mouse. As a result, I am now an expert reptile-rodent first responder…

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The sunshine here is near-constant, and while I do love that (especially with the presence of a soft ocean breeze that contrasts sharply with the sticky Okinawan heat), I love the more rare, misty mornings nearly as much. There’s a special kind of peace that comes with a cool mist in a typically warm and dry place.

My backyard faces West, so another of my favorite things is to watch the hummingbirds soar like Ferngully’s pixies against the glowing, rosy backdrop that accompanies a Pacific sunset. I can see the ocean from where I live, and the beach itself is mere blocks away…

When Chuck is home, we spend at least one evening per week cooking out with our wood-burning grill. We turn on the twinkle lights, light a few tiki torches, and cozy up by the fire while gazing up at the giant cactus “god” that Chuck affectionately named “Ay-O” (there may have been adult beverages involved at this particular christening.) We dance in the moonlight and embers’ glow until well past our normal bedtime. I love making these memories before he deploys early next year ❤

Although I have moments of discouragement from my ongoing job search, I am relishing the time off as I reconnect with myself in this little Pink House by the beach. I was busy and preoccupied in Okinawa – with work, grad school, Oki Paws, an active social life – so I needed a little break.  Life will have to get serious again eventually, but for now, I’m all about this California Zen.

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