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What was originally planned to be a year-end newsletter for 2008 is finally written! There has been so much to write about and share since we moved to California in January 2008, that I have had to delete much detail and still there is so much more to tell! We’ve had some extraordinary adventures, and wish to bring you up to date with where we are now as of May 2009.

And of course, we’d love to hear from you too, so please keep us posted on anything interesting happening in your life that you’d be willing to share!

PART 1: Our Move and Where We Landed
PART 2: The Creative Place
PART 3: The Amazing Big White House
PART 4: Birds and Critters
PART 5: Fog
PART 6: Plants
PART 7: Earth Wind and Fire
PART 8: The Galexis Business
PART 9: Travel
PART 10: Autumn Adventure with Patricia Bragg
PART 11: Health Changes
PART 12: LA, the Future?

Part 1; Our Move and Where We Landed

     After a wonderful farewell party at our Hollywood apartment and healing weekend at Ian’s new South Florida digs, Daniel and I moved to California. Since the San Francisco Bay Area is too cold for me, we settled on southern California as the place to go. I researched the warmest areas and the highest USDA temperature zones and found western LA to Malibu to be in zone 11 (no frosts). On January 25th, 2008, we moved into a big white house sitting on top of a mountain in Topanga. It was our good fortune to land in a great place nestled inside zone 11.

     From our mountain overlook, we can see Los Angeles on the east, mountains on the north and west, and the ocean on the south.  We sit between Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades to the immediate east of us, and Malibu to the west. Topanga is a charming and quiet rural community of about five thousand people living in wild and rugged Topanga Canyon, situated in the midst of a wilderness sanctuary within the Santa Monica Mountain range. The name Topanga supposedly comes from an ancient Indian phrase meaning, “where the mountains reach the sea.” In the ‘70’s, Topanga was known as a hippie, artistic, and progressive community and is still filled with eccentric millionaires, poor artisans and everything in between.

     I was loath to leave South Florida after 30 years or so of warmth and greenery, to face cold weather and once again see the brown, barren desert mountains we’d explored the September before.  However, with the winter rains had come green abundance. So, as we drove out of LA towards Topanga on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, along the beach), what had been brown and unattractive months earlier now looked like paradise! It was breathtakingly beautiful, but cold. The moving big rig couldn’t get up the winding road to our place, so the movers had to rent a smaller van and make two trips up. Unlike our usual fabulous relationship with the weather gods, it rained and was bitter cold the whole time the guys unloaded stuff. We weren’t finished moving in before 2 AM, and my fingers were frozen.

     We started our California experience with a bang! After snatching a little sleep and unpacking basic necessities, we came down the mountain and drove north along Topanga Canyon Boulevard into nearby Woodlands Hills in the San Fernando Valley. There, we attended a Sound Healing Conference, with teachers and presenters sharing all aspects of vibrational healing. We had a blast meeting interesting people and enjoying California eccentricities (do you mean eccentrics?) and conference vendors. We realized that we fit in perfectly well here, as if we had lived in California forever.

     However, I didn’t acclimate well throughout the winter. It was disarmingly cold. I’d see a sunny green, inviting view outside the window and then get bitten by cold wind once I stepped beyond the door. We quickly learned to bundle up, and fix hot meals. As soon as we could, we went shopping for ample winter clothes.

     Great shopping areas abound nearby in Woodland Hills, similar to the University Drive area in West Broward that we’d enjoyed. We quickly found new “pathways” to our favorite stores, especially the Whole Foods Market. But since driving to shopping was a half hour each way, down the mountain and then of course, back up the mountain, we soon learned to do all our shopping for the week in one long trip. Generally, our shopping day is Saturday, unless I’m channeling a workshop, because we go to the fabulous Calabasas Organic Farmers Market nearby that’s only open on Saturdays. We find fabulous organic vegetables, fruits and wild-caught fish (especially yummy salmon!) there.

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