Author Archives: DrValeria

California visiting

I am sitting by the fire, snow heaped up high outside the window near Truckee, California. I arrived last night and a big storm is moving in today and tomorrow. My good friends Cathy and Earl have built this lovely place over the past 14 years. It has been wonderful to see the project every year on my visits as it came closer to completion. The three of us met when we were 18 years old our first year of college at Cal Poly, so we are long time good friends! They came to take care of me for my last and worst chemo treatment in December, 2015. We are like family. We are also all making medicare decisions this year. They have been semi-retired for several years, finishing their house has been their work and now it is essentially complete.

I spent most of the week near Santa Cruz, in Aptos walking on beaches with my close friend Suzi. The sun shone and it was a crisp temperature. I was very pleased to be able to go up and down the beach cliff to the beach easily. Last fall I was huffing and puffing. So I am in better shape for this journey. The fierce weather in February did a lot of damage and brought huge amounts of debris onto the beach. A lot of the beaches were officially closed, but full of people walking their dogs, babies and etc. Everyone just climbed over the barriers to the beach with strollers and all.

Aptos was also an opportunity to review what I had brought in my car. I parked my car in Suzi and Larry’s driveway next to her laundry room and we carried in most of my boxes, bags, suitcases and tubs. I had greatly reduced what I was taking in the car the day I loaded the big U-boxes and needed to review what I had along for this journey. I will not see my things in storage until probably November. I could not remember what safe place I had put my passport! I looked through all my bags, tubs and pockets. Finally after a day of searching I went out to the car and looked in the glove box and hurray! It was there. My wardrobe for the next couple of months will be turtlenecks and sweaters, so I made sure they were easily accessible.

Visiting my good friends is soothing and helpful. Being near the ocean and up in the snow feeds my soul and brings me joy. A wonderful way to begin this journey.

Moving week

It really all happened, I am on my way. I am writing this from my daughter, Lili’s, apartment in Los Angeles. The suitcases I will have for the next eight months packed in my car along with food, gifts, things that need to be stored with friends and cousins while I am gone. I am slowly decompressing after the emotional and physical work of downsizing, releasing and moving on.

What a week! Packing, sorting, letting go of work, pets, friends, family and stuff. I took my cat, Skyy, to her new home on Friday and cried off and on all day. She howled all the way to Cheryl’s, making me very glad I was not driving her to Oregon! Cheryl’s daughter, Heather, was great and they have taken good care of her.

I had wonderful going away dinners, visiting some of my favorite restaurants like Lalibelas Ethiopian, Charm Thai and Joe’s BBQ. My truly good friend Julie was right there helping me with all the decisions and packing from the beginning to the very end.

The Saturday party giveaway was great. Friends arrived just perfectly timed through the afternoon and evening so I was able to spend time with each of them. I gave away all TV table, entertainment center, couches, plants, candles, liquids, cleaning, dated stuff that wouldn’t last until I get back in the fall in the heat of a warehouse. By the time everything was picked up and hauled away I had two chairs and one table in my living room and two small tables, filing cabinet and a chair in the office. The place echoed!

The office was emptied out on Monday and distributed – my homeopathic remedies to Pamee (along with my patio furniture and big plants). The patient chart file cabinet is at Dr. Zeller’s and my phone and fax both go to her office now. I drove the UHaul truck and had two hired movers do the heavy lifting. It was still an exhausting day.

It has felt very strange to have no cat, no business and now no house. The house sale closed 5:00 PM Friday the 24th. I have not felt this free since I was a college undergrad. It is disconcerting to have so much freedom, but also opens me to more possibilities in my life.

Moving day when the men came to pack up the Uboxes was the final crest of the moving activity. They loaded everything like a giant puzzle. I had hoped to have only two boxes, but I had three in the end to store. I woke moving morning realizing Julie and Stephun were right – I was planning on taking too much stuff in my car. I had not really thought that out. So that morning I did a major reduction in supplies and clothes down to the essentials. It was a lifesaver having Julie with me through the whole selling and packing process – she kept me on task. Stephun came down from Sedona and helped the last day and a half with the heavy physical projects. I could not have gotten it done without both of their help. I would go into overload and they were able to help me make good decisions.

I made a last minute decision to pack most of my shoes into the storage boxes. Then later I got worried I had included my hiking boots. Thank goodness I had packed them along with my hiking camel in separate bag, so all is good. I am ready to hike where ever I will be.

I went to Dr. Andria Orlowski for a final treatment Thursday. She finished up injecting my scar from my chemo port on my stomach meridian, did some IV treatments and nutrition plus her marvelous cranial sacral body work. Got me all ready to travel.

I am watching the sunrise in Los Angeles this morning on an new era for me.

Wednesday was my last day seeing patients, now I am packing it up. I have another doctor buying my tincture inventory and a few other things. The changes at home and the office are quite apparent.

I am working hard at getting rid of things. Hauling things to Assistance League, selling things on Craigslist and OfferUp. People are interested, then they don’t show or it takes a lot of time to figure out coordinating out schedules. I did sell my large home desk and Mom’s cabinets last weekend. Lots of interest in my black leather couch, but no buyers. Saturday I am having a going away and giveaway party, if I missed letting you know about it, give me a call.

I packed my carry on suitcase and backpack I plan on taking on my Europe trip to see how it would feel. I am taking basics with me and thinking I will go thrift shopping when I get to Scotland for some big warm sweaters and a coat. I am going to take lots of layers I can wear under a windbreaker until I get something more. I think it will be fun to go thrift shopping in Inverness, Scotland! I re-read the Outlander book – it is all based right around Inverness.

I am taking most of my clothes with me in the car – if I am not going to wear them in the next month or in the fall when I get back, probably I don’t need them, so cleaning things out there too. I’ll only have a few work clothes I need to store while I am gone. I am looking at everything and trying not to store things I won’t be glad to see plus happy I paid storage fees. For example, I have revisited keeping my blue couch – I have had it since 1987 and the cats recently ruined the front. It is comfortable and I am emotionally attached from having it so long as I raised the girls, but it is not pretty. I think I need to let it go. It would be something I would not be happy to have paid storage on. It is a strange feeling to not really know where or when I am going to unpack my things.

I had someone suggest today that this is a vision quest I am embarking on and I thought that fit it pretty well. I expect to come back changed for the better, with a different perspective on what I would like to contribute to the world, but who know what that will be. I am curious to explore this opportunity mixed with some anxiety at completely unrooting myself. It will be more freedom than I have every experienced before. It is interesting to realize how much my house, cats and job have all created structure and also limits on my life in addition to being wonderfully supportive.

Packing and playing

I am moving down my list to get ready to go.  I did my taxes, met with physicians, going to meals with friends and packing.  It is definitely bittersweet the saying good bye’s and the excitement of my new adventure in travelling.

The house appraised less than the selling price, so I agreed to lowering the price.  I couldn’t see putting it back on the market, unpacking the decor, having to go thru inspections, appraisals, etc again and maybe not be any better off for it.  It is a relief to have it done and know all will most likely be finished February 24th.  The house does feel kind of bare and like I am living in someone else’s house – which I almost am.

Julie has been a great help coming regularly to help me pack the complicated things – the decor, the photos, the garage.  The garage is all done except a wire shelf that has gravity clip shelves.  I have it upside down in the garage and have banged on it until my hand was sore, but one shelf will not drop!  Dad and Ric have dealt with disassembling this shelf in the past and I know it was sometimes difficult.   I am thinking of adding some penetrating oil to get it to free up.

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I had a wonderful hike yesterday going up Cathedral Rock near Sedona. These photos are ones Pam took. She and I drove up together. A friend of mine, Stephun, joined at the trail head.  It was great to have good friends with me and gorgeous weather.  It was harder than the last time I went before I started treatment, but I made it to the saddle.

It is interesting how I am parceling out the things important to me to friends to keep while I am gone.  Stephun is going to use the massage table from my office, Pammee is going to store my homeopathics in her closet, Cheryl is going to keep my cat Skyy, my cousins in Washington are going to keep my drums, my car on Kim and Ken’s farm in Oregon.  I will be spread out all over the west coast.

My reading recently has been the MoonSpinners by Mary Stewart about a woman hiking and having adventures on the island of Crete and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon about the Inverness area of Scotland.  Fun way to relate to the areas I am travelling to, but I don’t plan on having as much adventure as those heroines did.

Moving along

Everything is moving along.  House inspections have happened and appraisal is scheduled.  All is going well on that end.  My Oregon friends that were going to take my cat, Skyy, while I was gone had a death in the family and decided that was not going to work out.  Facebook is pretty amazing, I posted and within a day the perfect person stepped forward to take Skyy.  She lives nearby and so now my stress about driving with Skyy is gone and I can visit my California friends and family longer on my way through.  It is interesting how you don’t realize the stress you are holding until it is released.  I am sad and will miss Skyy, but I know she will be a lot happier not having to make that trip right now and I will be happier not having to travel with her!

I had a patient yesterday who sold her house in one day also and has already bought a house in Grants Pass, Oregon.  She is leaving the end of February also.  What an amazing coincidence!  I had bought a “For Sale by Owner” sign and frame to mount it on at Ace hardware to put in front of the house, but I put it out – so was able to return it today for  refund.

Julie came this morning and helped me pack the kitchen things I won’t need while I am still here.  A lot of my cupboards are bare now.  It is funny that I am inspired to bake tonight!  I am baking a pumpkin custard with coconut cream, pumpkin and spices.  I had a can of pumpkin to use up.   I also am making a coconut butter and cocoa, chocolate bark recipe that my good friend Michelle developed.  I had a little coconut butter left and am emptying the jar.   I am looking at the food stuffs left in my cupboard and figuring out how to use them before I go.   A friend, Shelley, is coming over tomorrow and I will share my goodies with her.  I need to give away anything left when it is time to pack up.

My belongings will all be stored in UBOxes by UHaul – an affordable way to move and store things.  They will be stored here in Chandler until I decide where I want them moved.  It was not easy for me to accede to the idea that everything needed to stay here until I am back.  But my medical insurance wouldn’t go with me to another state.  My trust wouldn’t be valid.  It would affect my car insurance.   I am borrowing a friends address and keeping my Arizona citizenship for awhile!

I am going with the flow, keeping it easy, fun and simple.

Office closing after February 17th

Things are moving even faster than I had anticipated!  My house is sold and I was able to change my lease to end with February, so I am making travel plans and packing.  It was hard initially to wrap my head around the whole thing.  I have spent months getting the house ready to show and sale.  The inspection is Tuesday and then I will feel close to done.

If we need to meet to set up things for the future, it needs to happen before February 17th.  You can make an appointment on the website or calling 480-857-2768.  I am planning on having the phone and fax numbers forwarded to Dr. Barrie Zeller’s office and she will have your charts.

Amazingly my house sold on the day I listed it on Multiple Listings!  First person to see it bought it.   We agreed that the house would close on February 24th, so I need to close my office and consolidate my things for going into storage before that.  I plan on leaving with my cat, Skyy, on the 24th and driving to Los Angeles and spending a day or two (depending on how Skyy is doing) with Lili, my daughter.   Then I will drive up towards Ashland,Oregon, perhaps stopping in Sacramento area to visit family.

I plan to have a going away, giveaway open house on Saturday the 18th.  I will not be able to take any of my plants, food, candles, etc. that won’t tolerate the heat of storage for six months.  I hope you will plan on coming by if you are in the area.  Call me if you need my address.

Skyy will stay with my  good friends, Kim and Ken Wienke, on their 8 acre ranch outside of Medford, Oregon while I travel about.  When I fly off to Europe I will also park my car, covered, on their property to await my return.  Fortunately they live very close to the Medford International Airport.

I have booked my plane reservation for flying to London on April 4th, giving me a month to get settled in Oregon and visit my other daughter Jo in Portland and relatives and friends in Washington.  I plan to post a blog each weekend letting you know what is happening.

 

Changes

Happy New Year to everyone!  I have big changes coming in 2017 that might affect you.  I have enjoyed getting to know each one of you during my 20 years  in Arizona and hope I get to see you before I go.

Some of you may know that I have had a rough time the last several years with caring for my parents, my father dying and then I have gone through treatment, conventional and alternative for an aggressive form of breast cancer.  I did a blog that some of you followed through that process.   I am now cancer free and plan on following some of my dreams for extensive travelling plus relocating back to the Northwest.

I am taking a six month care giving sabbatical, closing my office and plan on travelling in Europe.  I am selling my house in Chandler and will leave when it is sold.  I am putting the house on the market the middle of January.  I am told houses are moving quickly these days, but it is hard to say when it will all close.  My office lease is up the end of March, 2017, so I plan to leave by then. When I know my departure date, I will be sending out the information through these newsletter/blogs.  My Fullscript virtual pharmacy supplement prescription link on my website will continue to be available to you for refills of supplements.  I appreciate the support.   If you have special orders from Herbal Vitality or for LM homeopathics, which I do for you, we need to talk about how to be sure you are going to be taken care of while I am gone.

All my current patient charts are going to move to the office of a good friend and colleague,  Dr. Barrie Zeller, just a couple miles away on Dobson Road, in Chandler.    Click here to view her website.  (zestnaturalmedicine.com)  Her receptionist, Michelle, will be able to give you your chart or schedule an appointment.  We are going to change my phone and fax to ring at Dr. Zeller’s office, so prescription refills and appointment requests will be going to her.   Dr. Zeller is not yet on CIGNA insurance as a preferred provider.   (She only is a CIGNA provider through a Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine off site clinic).  She hopes to be able to be a provider within a reasonable time.

As of the first of the year I am not accepting new patients.   I plan on moving  to Ashland, Oregon.  In the fall, I may come back to Phoenix area after my Europe travels to visit and hope to see some of you.  I will still have the same cell phone number if you need to reach me.  I will also then be available online via Zoom software to do consults.     I will be licensed in both Oregon and Arizona for 2017.

This blog will be a way for those of you interested in following me on my process and travels.  I will be posting probably weekly about what I have learned and seen on my travels.   I plan to visit sustainable communities and eco villages in Scotland, Greece and Scandinavia, plus who knows what all!