News Flash From Sunny CA

I can hardly believe it, but it’s been four and a half months since I have posted anything…no updates, no stories, no pictures, nothing. A lot has happened and changed, but I’m going to keep some things close to the vest until I see how the next few months shake out. However, that still leaves plenty to write about!

The big news first: I moved to California! On June 6, Nate and I packed all of my possessions into the trunk and backseat of my Corolla, and we headed out on a three-day trip to Bay Area. I’ll forgo a  detailed account of what turned out to be a really fun adventure, but here are the picture highlights:

Packed up and ready to leave Minnesota.

Packed up and ready to leave Minnesota.

The view out the front door of one of the coolest breweries I have ever been to. Ruby Mountain Brewing Company is owned and operated by a rancher who occasionally takes days off both jobs to ski in his backyard mountain range.

The view out the front door of one of the coolest breweries I have ever been to. Ruby Mountain Brewing Company is owned/operated by a rancher who occasionally takes days off both jobs to ski in his backyard mountain range.

Nate getting the sleeping bags out for night two.

Nate getting the sleeping bags out for night two.

It was chilly enough to make my fingers go numb, but we had an impromptu mountain jam session anyway.

It was chilly enough to make my fingers go numb, but we had an impromptu mountain jam session anyway.

At the beach in Santa Cruz.

At the beach in Santa Cruz.

Standing in front of the tallest redwood in the bunch at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park.

Standing in front of the tallest redwood in the bunch at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park.

Nate on board one of the old, wooden ships moored at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Nate on board one of the old, wooden ships moored at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Captain J making ready to set sail.

Captain J ready to set sail.

A makeshift swing at a beautiful, deserted beach about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz.

A makeshift swing at a beautiful, deserted beach about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz.

In other news: in spite of the higher-than-anticipated cost of moving out here and getting settled in, I’m still debt free and on track to have $20,000 cash (or damn close) in the bank by the end of the calendar year. Honestly, it feels pretty amazing to even write that number. I have never had more than a couple thousand dollars in my savings account at any given time, and I have carried one form of bad debt or another since I got my first credit card at 18 years old. Now I wake up every morning, brew my first cup of coffee…

Good equipment + good coffee beans + good technique = good coffee.

Good equipment + good coffee beans + good technique = good coffee.

…and savor the delicious thought that, in just under three more years, I should have more than enough money in the bank to pay cash for a little piece of land in Port Townsend and a little house. A cozy cottage of my own design, a big garden, maybe a fluffy husky, and NO DEBT. Not even a house payment!

One of my friends in MN is a commercial architect, and she’s helping me with the design of the house. Here are a couple screenshots of the concept so far:

Simple and inexpensive are my goals. The ground floor is about 530 square feet, and the lofted bedroom area will be about 230 with storage built into the knee walls.

Simple and sturdy are my goals. The ground floor is about 530 square feet, and the lofted bedroom area will be about 230 with storage built into the knee walls. Steel roof, plenty of windows, and a lofted bedroom.

Sealed concrete floors, a spiral staircase to the loft, butcher block counter tops, and a stainless steel breakfast bar. The sliding door to the left of the refrigerator will walk out onto a simple patio.

Sealed concrete floors, a spiral staircase to the loft, butcher block counter tops, and a stainless steel breakfast bar. The sliding door to the left of the refrigerator will walk out onto a simple patio.

I wrote in a post almost two years ago that “I was going to move out to Washington and finish whatever life I have left living.” Since that decision, I’ve been working steadily towards the goal of ending up in Port Townsend, having my own tiny house, and being near my brother so we can go on all the adventures we talked about as kids. Some days, that day has seemed so close; others, I’ve felt like I’m slogging through knee deep mud. I’ve made a few financial decisions that have sent me sliding a few steps backward, and a lot of decisions that have moved me slowly but surely toward that prize. And do you know what I just realized a few days ago? It’s working. I’m actually doing this. The prize is in sight, and the hardest part is over. I know there will be bumps and frustrations and delays along the way…but I’m on track and well on my way.

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