• Buddies,  Family Matters,  the sticks,  Tis the Season,  travel

    Family and Camping and Raspberry Picking, Oh My!


    Bug starts school late this year which is such a blessing in disguise. While I yearn for the long productive work hours, I’m thankful we’re getting more time to squeeze in some summer fun before the back-to-school grind starts up again. It’s been a tug-a-war on my heart trying to fit in work hours and play hours while time rushes past me. I feel like I’m going to wake up tomorrow and I’ll be eighty. Life, please slow down! I want to enjoy you!

    My parents kidnapped Bug and I for a few days. My car needs some work and I’m trying not to drive it so they picked us up and we headed off to the sticks. It felt good to just let go and be a prisoner to someone else’s schedule for a change. The sticks always feels like home deep down.


    We drove up to the hills (Oak Glen) to go camping in my parents’ cute little mini trailer that they recently purchased after selling my Grandpa’s house (that used to be my house). While I’m sad to say goodbye to that old mobile home in that old crazy neighborhood that I’m so fond of… the wonderful backyard and the walls that kept me safe and sound for a year, I’m glad that the money went to such a great recreational vehicle.

    What’s a recreational vehicle, asks Bug? It’s a vehicle for fun, I say!

    And boy was it. It’s super small and cramped but it has  three beds (a bunk bed and a table that turns into a double), a kitchen and full bathroom inside. It even has a working shower!  We call it glamping when we go camping in it because it is so far from roughing it.


    We stayed in this old resort that reminds me of some place Baby might stay in the movie, Dirty Dancing. It had a huge clubhouse and two pools, a miniature golf area and even an old dank tavern, an old rusty statue of Yogi Bear and a grotto cave with a pool that had been filled in with cement. Everything was run down and looked like it had been ridden hard and put away wet.

    We wandered around amongst the ghosts of better times, imagining all the people who used to play there.  Everything was deserted because we were there before their busy tourist season and by the looks of their decor, the 80’s might have been their peak. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was awesome. Well, until I wanted a cup of coffee. Then I was kind of bummed that everything was closed. But that was okay because I had packed our French press of course!


    Long live glamping! I even got some work done. Not nearly enough of course—the story of my life.


    The next day we visited Riley Farms, an old favorite of ours. Bug didn’t remember the last time we’d been there. It was fresh all over again.


    Bethany and her family drove up to meet us and then we went raspberry picking! We LOVE raspberries. It was the end of the season and there were so many berries. Half of them were dried up right on the branch. It almost made me wonder if they’d taste like those freeze-dried raspberries we buy from Trader Joe’s and put in our cereal. I was too afraid to try them. We just picked and picked and picked the ripe ones.

    We couldn’t taste them as we picked unfortunately because they said they were sprayed with something organic, whatever that might be…


    Raspberry picking is hard work when it’s a hundred degrees out. We were a sweaty bunch. But it was worth it. The skies there are always so big and blue and amazing. The day before a summer storm had blown through and it had misted all day. We sure wished we’d picked that day to pick berries on instead of this bright sunny one. It was hot, hot, HOT.


    But still worth it. This farm is so beautiful. I bet it would be amazing for weddings and events.


    Then we drove back down the hill and refreshed ourselves with Starbucks (of course!). There is nothing like a cold air-conditioned Starbucks and an iced latte on a hot hot day. Phew!

    I feel like we got our summer’s worth out of that trip. My kid isn’t going to go back to school and write essays about how she spent her whole summer cooped up inside watching Netflix while her mom worked. So I feel good about that. Unfortunately, now I’m even more behind but them’s the breaks!

    Back to the grind!


  • 15 minute posts,  Bug,  domesticity

    Random things we’ve been up to.


    I hear all these voices in my head when I start to write a blog post. Don’t show off. Don’t be a show-and-tell blog. Just be yourself. Have something important to say bla bla bla bla blah.  And so I don’t write because it takes too much effort. Not that I don’t want to put in that effort. I do. But I don’t have the time. I’m trying to squeeze in a post right now while I’m at my parents and being interrupted every other thought. I could wait until later to write but then it would be another day gone and another day not posting.

    So I thought I’d just post some random photos I’ve taken over the last week and write a little bit about each one without thinking about it too hard.

    The top photos are from a trip to the Aquarium Toby took us on. We were supposed to take a trip to Catalina Island. It was going to be a really fun family outing but scheduling hotel reservations got complicated and Toby’s schedule is what Toby’s schedule always is: too busy! So we decided to put that trip off until after school starts when the rates come down. We went to Scripps Aquarium instead, which was as fun as it always is.

    We’ve been there before so I thought I wouldn’t have anything to take pictures of. I mean how many photos of pretty jellyfish do you really need? But then I ended up taking some anyway. It helps that my camera loves Bug.



    After the Aquarium Toby took us out to lunch and coffee at a fancy chocolate place. Since I’m on a quest to find a perfect cortado to photograph, I asked the barrista to make me one. She had no clue. My quest continues.




    Then the advance proof copies of my book showed up!  That was a pretty exciting day for Bug and I.  I love looking at them in a big glossy stack on my desk. I wish they didn’t cost so much and I had boxes and boxes of them to give out for free. Wouldn’t that be fun?  These ones are reserved for reviewers so they’re all spoken for. I get a little testy when people play with them and bend the covers. I can’t wait to see the hardback version!



    Ooooooh, steam cleaning day! You are laughing at me I’m sure but this was high excitement in our world. We moved all the furniture I was strong enough to lift off the carpet and shoved it in the closet, the kitchen and onto the front porch. Then Bug spent the rest of the day lounging on the giant mound of futon mattress on top of the couch like she was the Princess and the pea. The steam cleaning guy came and spent about twenty minutes running his wet-vac mop thingy over our carpet. I thought we’d have to leave and be gone for hours and hours but that actually happened after the fact when we were waiting for the carpet to dry.

    We amused ourselves by walking around town and getting our nails done. Rough life but someone’s gotta do it. Heh.  Then we came back to the most beautifully clean carpet ever. It makes me love my apartment all over again. I only hope the cleanliness lasts.


    Here’s another random thing: The other day Bug woke up craving pumpkin pie. She is my pumpkin pie kid. She LOVES the stuff. I wanted to oblige (because I’m so easily distracted from what I’m supposed to be doing!!) but we didn’t have two cans of sweetened condensed milk. We did however have two bags of green apples (how did that happen?) so we made apple pie instead!


    Bug really did help me too. She’s at that magical age where I can teach her things that I know are going to stick in her brain. I feel a little less guilty blowing off work for two hours knowing that I’m getting in a little bit of homeschooling instead. So there’s that.



    Plus, I’m not the type to turn down a kid who wants to bake, from scratch!

    In other news, I’ve started weight watchers.  Groan.


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