Disappeared again, didn’t I? Well if you follow me on my instagram you’ll know why. Dickie and I have moved back to California. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you are probably already aware that we live like Gypsies thanks to Dickie’s career, so this is very ordinary for us. We spent a year and nine months in Texas. There was a lot I liked, but overall I always missed California. I am definitely a Californian girl, and probably always will be, so it’s nice to be back home.
Dickie and I were born and raised in the central valley, and spent about 6+ years living in the greater LA area and Orange County areas, now we’re in the desert – the Mojave Desert.
It’s always hilarious when I tell people I’ve left Texas, and they congratulate me on escaping the Texas heat, and then I have to tell them I’m living in one of the hottest deserts in the world and THE hottest desert in America. Honestly though, I don’t mind, because desert heat is dry heat and I’ll gladly take 115 degrees dry heat over 95 degrees with 90% humidity that Texas had going. Humid heat does feel way worse. Congratulations Texas, you win that one!
Being a Californian most my life (dammit, now I can’t say all my life, thanks a lot Texas!!), I am used to high heat. The central valley, where I grew up, would regularly get in the 110s in the summer, and we spent 4 1/2 years living in an un-air conditioned apartment while we were in college in LA, and temperatures in the one teens were common. I remember one October…fricken October!!…when it was 118 degrees. The Mojave can be a bit more severe, sometimes reaching the 120s, and I’m not saying that’s a picnic, far from it, but it’s definitely within the realm of “I can deal with. It’ll suck, but I can deal with it.” Mostly the desert is a place of extremes. Blazing hot in the day, and buttass cold at night, are mainstays out here. One local warned me that last winter it got between 13-18 degrees for a whole week.
Being a desert, it’s dry, no humidity, and only a few short weeks of rain in a year. No snow either, though in some of the neighboring towns with higher elevation they actually do receive snow 2-3 times a year, but not in the lower elevation where I am. The most common and extreme weather condition where I am – is wind! Mojave wind ain’t no joke! I’ve seen it get up to 50mps in just the 3 weeks I’ve been here, and locals tell me it gets even faster than that. To give you some perspective, at about 35mph huge construction trucks and 18-wheelers were actually being blown over in the wind. Like this one we saw:
I pretty much have to wear my hair in a braid any day when the wind forecast predicts more than 15mph, which so far, has been about 95% of the time. If the wind forecast is 25mph or higher, I have to wear goggles, because the next most common weather condition is sand storms. Sand storms are so extreme out here people have to put special stoppers under their doors to help keep the sand from blowing into their houses from the cracks around their doors. My mailbox was FILLED with sand, and I personally, have been caught in sand storms out here.
Before this move Dickie and I used to come out to the Mojave desert rather frequently because he’s a part of many of the rocketry organizations that do their launches from the desert. One time during a launch a stand storm kicked up and blew my hat away. I ran after it and got caught in a sandstorm. I couldn’t open my eyes or I’d be blinded, and I couldn’t even breath because there was so much sand flying around it would get in my mouth and nose. I had to walk backwards with my back against the wind until I found shelter standing at the side of a building that blocked most of the wind from me, and had to wait for the storm to calm down before I could come out. Thankfully someone else rescued my hat. I had sand in my ears, in my nose, in my hair, every place imaginable, so whenever the forecast says the wind is going over 25mph, you bet your ass I wear my goggles. The sands are extreme even in town.
We’ve also been caught in sand storms where pretty much all of our electronic equipment got nearly destroyed. Dickie’s cell phone and two of our cameras got so blasted with sand once, he had to completely dismantle them to get out every last piece of sand, and then reassemble them. If not for Dickie being mechanically inclined enough to fix them, they would have been completely ruined. So pretty much now we know, whenever the wind hits over 25mph, put away your phone and any other delicate electronic equipment if you’re outside, if not, it WILL be ruined.
Once we were out driving in a sand storm, and I shit you not, a rock flew on the wind and smashed in one of our cars windows. Now I’m sure your thinking: “A rock, in the wind? Na, rocks don’t blow in the wind!” Remember at 35mph whole trucks blow over out here. And we were out in the middle of nowhere, there weren’t any other vehicles on the road other than us to blame for that rock and our car was constantly getting blown all over the road from the wind…it was bad. Apparently rocks flying on the wind out here is rather common because most of the plastic signs for burger joints and gas stations have all been smashed in. O_o That’s actually pretty scary. Flying sand I can handle, flying rocks are terrifying!!
Oddly enough, I really love the sound of a wind storm, as long as I’m not out in it. If I’m safe at home the sound of the wind and the sand beating against the side of my house reminds me of the sounds of the ocean. Unfortunately, we’re rather close to the Edwards Air Force Base and out of nowhere I’ll often jump out of my skin as a sonic boom goes off and scares the holy jeebles out of me!! The first time I heard one was when I was still asleep early one morning. I’m still adjusting to them O_o
The Mojave desert consists of sand, tumble weeds, Joshua trees, Aerospace, the Air Force Base, a few sad gas stations, and a whole lot of meth heads, and not a damn thing else. No joke about the meth out here though, apparently its a major problem. If we want to see a movie, or eat something more than a burger or some really bad pizza, we have to drive 35 minutes to an hour to get to the next biggest towns. So while it seems awful, and that we’re out in god forsaken nowhere, which, yes, that is absolutely true, we are literally in a desert wasteland, the good news is we are only an hour and fifteen minutes away from LA (if you drive during low-traffic time), and only 2 hours away from our relatives who live in the central valley, and only 3 and a half hours away from Vegas! So hey, if you don’t mind a bit of a drive, which isn’t a big deal to Dickie or I, it’s actually very convenient being here. We can spend a fun day in LA, where there are actually things to do, or a weekend at our family’s, basically whenever we want, and to us it’s not really that much of an inconvenience. I used to regularly commute an hour one-way, when I worked in Texas, and Dickie used to commute two hours one-way, when we lived in the OC, so trust me, we’re out in the middle of nowhere, but it’s not that bad, we can get to civilization.
The only bummer is that I had to leave my job in Texas, but it’s Dickie’s work that determines where we live, so back to California we had to go! Being in an economically depressed sate, and also being out in the middle of nowhere in it, means it’ll probably take me a while to get back to work again, and when I do I’ll probably be doing a ridiculous commute just to get to work, but we’re still getting settled. Our storage pod hasn’t been delivered yet, so once that happens I have a ton of unpacking to do. Thankfully not much to do in the mean time, so I hope to get a lot of writing done and hopefully do more more makeup related things. I’m almost done with 2016 Shop Your Stash, so my next blog post will be going over the results of the challenge.