Where did March go? Wasn't it just last week that I was giddily writing about my month's time off and how much I was going to enjoy it? How much I was going to get done? All my big, big plans?
But now it's April first, and I'm back to work. I am back at Amgen again, though in a different job, in a different department on a different project. This is also only a 3-4 month contract, so that's doable.
I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped (naturally), but did make some important progress on several fronts. My trip to the wargames convention where I had a flea market table netted me just over $2,000 which was kind of a surprise. I've already trumpeted my health and weight successes, and I'm now down to 177 pounds, just in time for my physical on Wednesday. That's 30 pounds less than last year. And the birthday's coming up Sunday.
What was really fun, though, was my trip last week out to the deserts and Central Valley. I left Tuesday morning and drove out to Palm Springs where I enjoyed the historic district, a little outlet mall shopping and a side trip up to Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree. Wednesday, I made my way across the desert the “back way” via Lucerne Valley, Victorville, Boron and Mojave, then over the Tehachapi pass to Bakersfield. This time of year, the scenery through the pass was spectacular—everything green with the poppies and lupin starting to blossom on the oak-dotted hillsides. It was the quintessential central California landscape.
Then I spent the afternoon, overnight and the next day in Bakersfield, one of my favorite places. I really started getting serious about gathering research and information for my novel (which is set there) and generally had a wonderful time. Barbecue dinner at Famous Dave's, evening stroll along the Kern River, a signature Black & White sundae for dessert at Dewar's. Very relaxing, very fun and very informative.
So now it's back to the daily grind. I will continue to ramp up my efforts on other fronts to prep for big changes. I even signed up for a book writing class through the Santa Clarita website which starts on April 10th.
Here are a couple photos from the trip: a shot from my motel in Palm Springs, and the evening sky above Dewar's famous ice cream shop in Bakersfield: