Monday, October 27, 2014

Growing up Sheltered

 I remember when I was in highschool and beginning my college years, one of the most insulting things you could have told me was "You were sheltered as a child." To me, this was an insult.  I will be honest, as a homeschooled highschooler, I wanted to "fit in."  I wanted to be cool, have a lot of friends and do fun things, just like the kids I "knew." 
So I was in denial that I had grown up sheltered.  In today's society, it is a terrible thing to be sheltered.  It automatically means that you cannot socialize with people the way you could if you had been exposed to society.  It automatically labels you as a freak who cannot seem to connect to anything in the "real" world. 
I realized while I was in college that being labeled as a "sheltered individual" isn't such an insult after all. Sure, the people who say it are usually saying it in a negative light, but how I react to being called sheltered all lies in how I accept or reject its validity. 
So..I began accepting the supposed "insult" as a compliment.
" were sheltered or something, huh?"
"Are you kidding?  You must have lived in a bubble your whole life!"
"Where are you from? Under a rock?"
My response now? "Haha, yeah pretty much!  It was awesome."
 I was homeschooled for 12 years,  
My best friends were my siblings,
I grew up listening to Scripture songs and Hymns,
The only movies we watched were Bob Jones VHS and The Grinch Stole Christmas,
my idea of a "computer game" was looking through Encarta Encyclopedia and playing the math horse race game, 
My first time spending the night by myself away from family was when I was 15 at camp,
and...the list goes on and on.

I say all of that to say this: It took me awhile to embrace the fact that YES, I was sheltered growing up, And particularly in the area of entertainment.  I was not exposed to TV, Video games, questionable music, or even friends.  What did I do for fun than?  Did I sit in a hard-backed chair day in and day out and cross stitch?
No, I used my imagination.  Along with all of my siblings.  We would have tea parties, and occasionally, my mom would let us dye water different colors and I would "feed" it to my baby dolls.  It was like fruit punch.  Nobody told me that babies shouldn't be drinking punch.

Almost daily, me and my sisters would play with paper dolls.  We had collections of paper dolls. Mostly historical characters.  The George Washington Family was always my family.  You should have seen the balls our historical families would attend.   

I grew up with a grandmother who was overly generous on birthdays and Christmas.  Every birthday and Christmas, each of us would get a new piece of Playmobil. My Playmobil house looked exactly like this one.  I have since realized how much these houses actually cost (they are expensive) and my grandmother bought a house for each of us girls. 
So we would all have our own houses with our families and we would name each character and then get our families together for events.
What am I saying?  I grew up using my imagination. 

When I was 16, or even 18, I never would have admitted to anybody that I was still playing with dolls at the age of 13 because it somehow seemed embarrassing.  But now? I'll tell anybody! I am GLAD that I was sheltered.  I am SO HAPPY that I grew up being childish and innocent.  
And I ask those who laugh and mock, which is better? Being sheltered, imaginative and innocent, or being pushed into society, being exposed to evil early in life, and feeling the need to always compete for acceptance in our pecking order world?
There are so many more thoughts I have on this subject, however, I will spare my readers. :)  These are just a few of the thoughts I have had lately regarding my sheltered entertainment upbringing.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ocean View and Acton, CA

One of the versatile things about living in California is that I can drive 45 minutes and be in the mountains with hiking and potentially seeing bears and mountain lions...I can drive an hour and be at the ocean, drive 1 minute and be in the complete desert with nothing but Joshua trees and tumbleweed...and the list goes on.  California is pretty diverse.  So while I am planning to go hiking one of these Saturdays, a few weeks ago I visited the ocean.  There were not many people there at the beach which was why I went. 

On the drive home, I pulled off the freeway at Acton, another historic town.  It is so small that you can literally blink and miss it.  Which is why I was trying very hard not to miss it. 

These pictures got out of order...but ah well. 

This is the little church that was one of the original buildings in Acton, a western town which nearly became the capital of California back in the day, believe it or not! 

I only ever post pictures on here of me having fun and going on adventures.  But lest my blog followers think that I live for fun and adventure, I feel compelled to point out that I work all week long. :)  Only my Saturdays are so laid back.  I have neglected taking pictures of random life events lately, so I will start doing that again.
Until next time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My life as a History Buff

I always knew that I was a history buff.  Even when I was a child and reading children's books on Crazy Horse and his battle fought against General Custer...
However, I never pictured myself just driving to every historic spot nearby and looking at it all.  That is what I do for fun though.  Since I am finished college and I have my car, I have made a habit of driving to nearby historic places and learning as much as I can.
My latest find was Fort Tejon in Lebec.  I only took this one photo since I was either reading plaques or talking to reenactors the entire time.  I got distracted. 
This is a picture of the Barracks where the dragoons would stay. 
I met several awesome people who asked me if I would be interested in reenacting for a special upcoming event.  Of course I said I would be we exchanged contact info.  This event was last weekend and I was able to borrow a costume and play games with the kids who came.  It was so much fun.  Below this picture is a picture of me, in my "garb." 
When I left the Fort, I was on my way home, driving along the freeway minding my own business when I saw the roadsign for Pico Canyon Road.  That jogged my memory of a ghosttown I had read about online that was off of Pico Canyon Road.  On a whim, I took the Pico Canyon Road exit and continued to follow the road until I reached the Stevenson Ranch Park, which I remembered was the public park that owned the ghosttown. 
I followed a narrow, winding road back through the canyon and finally came to the abandoned town of Mentryville.

Call me crazy, but I was the ONLY car in the parking lot.  Nobody was around, no park rangers...nobody.  I paid the $5 fee which honestly seemed pointless since nobody was even there.  But then I walked toward the town.  Not too much is left, but there is an old schoolhouse, outhouses, the remains of an old building, a few old wagons, the oil rigging area where the first oil well was, and the Mentry house.  It was windy, and this old building was swaying in the breeze and kept creaking. 
Honestly, I was a little bit scared being there completely by myself.  It would have been the perfect setting for a murder mystery. 

This is the house, which was fenced off.  I can't tell you how tempted I was to jump the fence and go peer in the windows...but I didn't.

I saw a lady walking/exercising on the park road nearby and so I thought I would try to talk to her and see what she knew about the town, thinking she was probably a local who knew about the place.  She was walking straight towards me, so I pleasantly said "Hello ma'am? Are you from the area? Could you tell me about this old town?"
She COMPLETELY ignored me, looked straight ahead and continued walking briskly.  I tried again, but she walked right past me very fast and would not look at me.  It was so weird. 
I don't think I have ever had a complete stranger ignore me like that before.  And on top of the fact that I was by myself in a ghosttown, it was sort of eerie.   

Anyway, as you can tell, I made it out alive.  When I told my landlady about the strange woman who would not talk or look at me, she said "Well if I saw a girl, by herself standing in a ghosttown trying to talk to me, I would ignore her too! I would think you were crazy." I guess maybe I can understand it from that point of view.  But goodness, it's not like I looked violent or drugged up or something.  I had a camera haha. 
Ah well.  Next time I go back, I want to take someone along with me. 
Until later!  I think my next post will be a rant about something...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Calico Ghosttown Adventure

I experienced the time of my life!  I have been researching all of the ghost towns and abandoned towns nearby Lancaster, CA, and I found this town called Calico.  This town is an abandoned gold mining town.  When the gold mine stopped operating, the town was abandoned. The best thing about it, is that the buildings are original and just restored...and the reenactors are volunteers who just love to act the part of wild west pioneers and gunmen. 
This is the town of Calico from up on the gold mine

I got my picture taken with this man, who claimed to be Doc Watson.  He kept trying to sell me elixirs and tonics and saying he would skip town as soon as I bought one.  He sure acted the part, I loved it!

There were a ton of these gold miners hideouts in the mountain.  I got my picture taken inside this one.  If you know me at all, you know that I was going ecstatic over finding all of this...pretty amazing.  I even found Pecus Bill's secret hideout...

These are some of the other gold miners hideouts.

This was the Calico restaurant.  The CA gunfighters put on a few skits for us, it was awesome!

The Calico schoolhouse

On our way to the town of Calico, we stopped at the famous Peggy Sues Diner.  The breakfast there was amazing!  It was pretty neat to eat at a place where old actors and actresses ate.

With a reenacting Indian.  She was true to her part...would NOT crack a smile.

This is the railroad at Calico

Part of the CA gunfighters assoc.

And this cute little hideout...I loved it. 

Basically, this town is my favorite place so far.  So far in California, my life has been fun. And my idea of fun is finding historical towns. Until later!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lancaster desert finds

Welcome to Lancaster, CA!  Where the wind blows, and also where people dump their couches...and everything else. 
I am such a strange person, I enjoyed exploring the middle of the desert and finding a random abandoned couch and taking pictures of it. 
We found a lot of bones. While I was convinced they were human bones, my friends insisted they were from a rabbit or prairie dog. 

This was a random huge pile of glass...

Lots of bones!!

Anyway, it was fun! :) I enjoy doing crazy things like exploring the desert.
My next post will be with pictures of my visit to the ghost town of Calico, CA :)