My Own Private Super Bloom

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Bug and I drove off into the night to The Sticks this last weekend to attend a maker’s faire in my old stomping grounds. Friday was a busy day for me, rushing around gathering up art, packing my car, picking up prints from the printer and finishing up last minute jobs so we didn’t get on the road until well after 9pm. This was not a good thing for me, the cursed morning person. But we made it and that meant I got to get up with my dad at the crack of dawn and walk with him on his dog walk with Spreckles the next morning.

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Bug stayed snuggled up with the cats and opted not to come with me and boy did she miss out! The desert is SO pretty early in the morning!  Pull on some ugg boots over your pajamas and brace yourself for that chilly air (says the Southern Californian with extremely thin blood) because the beauty of the morning is breath-taking!

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We didn’t even stick around long enough for golden hour and it was this pretty! Of course we could have stayed out there for hours letting Spreckles sniff coyote tracks and me taking a zillion photos but we had big things to do aka the maker’s faire.

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Boom! Flowers everywhere! I don’t think these are wild but they are still pretty nonetheless. Whoever planted them had an eye for color.

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Sometimes I feel like my parents live in a postcard.

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My mom prefers roses and manicured English tea gardens but I will take cacti and succulents over them any day. Maybe it’s just because I was born in California and they will always be sentimental for me. She was born in Pennsylvania.

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Over hills and vales to Grandmother’s house we go!

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The sun barely peaked through the winter clouds trying to warm us up.

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What’s that Spreckles? Finally found that perfect pooping spot? No? Should we go a little further?

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Anyway, it was nice. It always is. I wish I lived closer to my parents so we could go on walks like this every morning.

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I feel like I’m in Ireland with all this green. Wouldn’t it be fun to bring the dogs and let Whiskey (the Irish Soft-coated Wheaten) run and run and run forever? He would be so happy.

But I didn’t bring the dogs because my parent’s don’t have a gated yard anymore and the coyotes are thick. AND they are my dogs are way too rambunctious to stay inside my mom’s house while we went to the Maker’s Faire all day. So they stayed home with Payam.

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The Maker’s Faire was okay. I sold exactly three books and it was freezing. We shivered and sketched in our bullet journals. I talked to a lot of people though and it was good practice for me. I’ve never really had a SAJ booth before. Now I’m ready. As you can see the vector wall has been put to good use.

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Every single person who stopped by our booth picked up the pink Hey Kitty Kitty book. I’m wondering if pink is a new theme I should explore…

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Bug was a good little booth watcher. She didn’t complain at all being stuck there for hours. In fact I think she had fun.

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It wasn’t a huge success but I’m counting it as a win because I got to hang out with my parents, Bug and my old elementary school friend, Tamie. Sadly she is not pictured because she was busy running her own booth!

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens with Sonja

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Last week I tagged along with Payam for a work thing and since it happened to be in my friend Sonja’s neighborhood, I decided to visit my old 7days buddy. It’s been a few since we last hung out, sadly. But you know what makes me happy? She didn’t even mention that I haven’t visited in forever and she took me on a walk with her boys to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens! I LOVE that she thinks nature trails when I come to visit. That’s the kind of friend I want to be.

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It was a beautiful spring day, squeezed in between weeks of dreary rainy days so we felt like we won the lottery with the weather. It was so nice! Look at that snow! I’ve been scrolling past post after post of snowmageddon images on Instagram feeling major FOMO so getting a glimpse of snow like this is gleeful. Wee! Snow! If only I owned a cabin and we could pile the dogs in the truck and head up for a day of it. Not gonna happen though. I am on budget-watch 2019 and no trips to the snow are included. Sad face.

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But that’s okay because we have things we can do for free like visit nature trails and look at native plants and art installations…

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This particular installation was so perfect for the gardens. If I was a sculptor making stainless steel origami statues I would definitely want them placed strategically around these gardens. It was wonderful. Walk into a clearing, there stand some iron origami horses. Look sideways into a dark patch of evergreens, there’s a tower of origami cranes. 

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Paper airplanes, floating boats, standing bison, iron eagles… it was very imaginative and fun. Hats off to the artists.

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Of course there were animals to watch too.

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We brought our very own wild animals with us. Just kidding.

Sonja’s boys are not wild animals but they are boys and therefore very different than girls, which is what I’m used to. No chatting about ASMR or singing Ariana Grande songs or whining about who gets to sit in the front on the way back but definitely lots of climbing, stick stealing and rock-throwing… At one point we were by a pond and her boys were throwing big boulders into the pond. Sploosh went the boulders one after another until a woman nearby who was eating her lunch chided them to stop. They stopped and threw little pebbles into the pond instead.

Then later they were sliding down a stone wall next to a staircase and someone piped up that they sure hoped they didn’t get hurt which passive-aggressively meant: please stop doing that. Sonja very kindly informed the woman that the boys were fine and she was keeping an eye on them. I had to admire her parenting because if boys can’t play in a botanic garden full of nature, where can they play? I suppose the commenter preferred they sat quietly on a bench sketching or something but if anyone knows boys, they know that is just silly.

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I supremely enjoyed myself even without any quiet sketching. I could have easily wiled away an hour or two sketching my favorite plants but it was fun to see the park through new eyes. Not just flora and fauna but fun jungle gyms and rock launchers, stinging nettles, noisy palm fronds and which stick would make the best walking stick.

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I suppose this post is going to be pretty boring to most. Except the 2 percent who love native California plants like I do. Hey there 2 percent! Let’s be friends! Happy, sunny black-eyed Susans, curling spindly reddish manzanita…these are a few of my favorite things!

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Don’t hold back on the spikes dudes!

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Before I close up this post I should also mention that they have lovely facilities if anyone wanted to throw a gala event or a wedding. How pretty, right? There were white paper solar powered lanterns everywhere.  I would love to come back at night and see how they glow.

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Very lastly, on the way to the parking lot actually, we visited the nursery. I wanted to take home a few spikey friends but my drive was long and I didn’t really do my research yet on where I should plant them at home so they stayed there. Next time!