New Year, New You, With Spots!

splotchy

We all knew there was too much pressure on 2021.

(I’ll skip talking about politics because even though it’s a huge big deal that’s not what I do here.)

I started the new year out with SPOTS! Woo Hoo!  I had an ear infection on Christmas. Payam pulled major strings with his mad phone skills (that’s what he does all day for his job) and called my doctor for me while I pulled on my ear like a baby and tried to sleep with hot compresses. The doctor came through with a super strong prescription for antibiotics, probably from his cabin in Aspen or moonlighting at the local ER as a superhero, and I started off the new year with meds!

Nine* days into my prescription to Amoxicillin, my earache was long gone but I broke out in hives and tried to itch my skin off. I’m so glad I shared on instagram even though it was TMI because people came out of the woodwork to say that the same exact thing happened to them. What a relief to be able to narrow this allergic reaction down so quickly. I had a lot to work with: pet dander from an over-achiever golden retriever who sheds enough to knit sweaters daily, a new bra from China that I failed to wash before wearing, msg in all that take-out… There were a million things I could be allergic to, mold, plants with gnats, politics, stress, Google… All of the above?

Anyway it was craaaaaaazy! I’m already a sort of nervous person to begin with. When I have anxiety I become obsessed with my rough cuticles and any little itch or bump on my body so add in some hives and I was literally crawling out of my skin. I hate to take naps but I dosed myself with Benadryl and tried to sleep it away. I’ve been asleep for the past four days. It was the only way to cope.

Monday morning hives started forming on my lips and mouth so I freaked out and went to the ER even though it’s the last place on earth I want to be right now. Thankfully at six in the morning our local ER was not over-flowing with COVID patients. I got in quickly. They gave me a shot of Benadryl in my tattooed arm and I slept. Then the ER did get busy (It’s heart breaking. The doctor checking on me was so stressed out.) and since I was not going into anaphylactic shock they discharged me with some steroids and I went home. I’m really thankful. That could have been a lot worse.

I stood behind an old women in line when I checked in who was obviously suffering from breathing problems. The halls were filled with nurses wearing full head gear and dividers were set up keeping rooms separate…even though our little ER is really nice and new, I could tell they had been in the trenches and were effectively bracing for more.

Now I’m all pumped up on steroids and feeling like Trump (gross, I know). My spots have faded into softer versions of themselves. I probably look like I’m covered in bruises but they don’t hurt and they are only on parts of my body that don’t show so I don’t care. No itching is heavenly!

Hill-Hike-2021

So just a quick new year check in from me! Sorry it’s so personal when so many other more important things are happening in the world.

Happy 2021! I don’t think I’m going to do a calendar this year. I’ve started several. But I really want to do a different format. I hardly use the full page full of boxes layout anymore. Do you? I want to make a day planner but I have not found a template that lets me customize the art on every page and I really don’t feel like formatting 356 pages. There’s got to be something out there. I know I’m a million months too late but who knows, work might get slow again.

How are you doing my faithful loyal internet friends? Cathy, Gingermog and Susan and a few other lurkers who comment now and then? How do you even find me anymore? I don’t deserve you.

I’ve been writing snail mail letters to friends lately and it’s really been helpful. It’s funny how a phone call or a text just doesn’t do it for me but pounding out a two-page letter is incredibly therapeutic. Blogging after all these years is still my therapy. Thank you.

*I missed a few days and I’m terrible at math.

 

Let’s Catch Up

I took a minute off blogging. Not on purpose. At this point it’s the monthly illustrating-a-new-banner habit and boy did I work hard on this one. Why? I don’t know! It’s just a thing I have to do. Have you guys watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix? I’m sure you have. It’s pretty good. It gave me a lot to think about so maybe blogging is my small way of sending good content out into the world to fight the evil monster algorithm. It’s pretty scary when you think about it. But it has helped me to put social media and the internet in perspective.

halloween-in-full-session

Nobody is happier that it is Halloween Season than Bug. Just when I thought I figured out her last aesthetic (dreamy white walls with delicate botanical drawings, plants everywhere, natural textures and boho hippie vibes…) she goes and changes it! Now she’s really into dark gothic designs and loving anything Victorian. If it’s complicated and patterned and dark then she loves it! But she’s always been this way. When she’s into something she’s passionate about it!

I guess we are two of a kind that way. The other day we found a new taco stand and they had these wild blue turquoise painted stucco walls. So we posed in front of them of course.

go-go-bucket-hat

I recently purchased a turquoise bucket hat so it was kismet.

new-taco-stand

This is the taco joint we found. I recently hired an accountant to help me figure out my mess of finances now that I’m a big fat corporation (not) and I have a feeling that the accountant is going to put the kibosh on all these out-to-lunch adventures Bug and I often go on. I think it’s going to be time to get back to basics with peanut butter and jelly soon.

first-day-of-school-covid-style-hybrid-model

The girls are back to school two days a week on the hybrid model. They love it. I’m so so. But I do feel a lot better knowing they are back at school only half the time with half the amount of students. It’s a numbers game I guess and at this point I’m weighing their mental health against their chances to catch covid. I guess we’ll just wait and see and take all precautions.

Back to school for my girls means dressing like you are in the nineties. And by nineties I mean the Kirk Cobain era, not the fact that it has been over ninety degrees outside. I don’t know how they can wear long sleeves and docs when it’s sweltering but they do. Sweat in the name of vanity I guess.

And speaking of vanity,

brick-wall-meeting

Guess who likes her picture taken again! I am so happy to accommodate with the fashion photography. Work it girl! I do love her fashionable choices. She’s getting more and more inventive every day and I love it.

october-skirt

The other day we popped into a thrift store and she found this vintage Parisian skirt. I would have never picked it up myself but now that’s she’s been wearing it regularly, I am loving it too! It’s really well made with one tiny button at the waist. I think it’s super cute on her.

payam-climbs-lassen

In other news, Payam made it back from hiking Mt. Lassen!  We are so proud of him. He set out to do something that seemed impossible and he did it! Now I just want to go back and do it with him!

amazing-cactus

Meanwhile back home my favorite cactus has been putting on a show.

spreckles-in-a-lampshade

Oh! I’m babysitting my mom’s dog, Spreckles. This dog. She is going to be the death of me. She’s wearing a cone because she scratched her eyelid and wouldn’t stop itching it until it was raw and hairless. I took her to the vet and they gave her some meds and she’s pretty much better now.

And she bit my friend Lubna.

Yes, I said that right. Lubna is fine but it was a scare and a half.  Spreckles has a biting problem and we forget about it because she is a super sweet dog when she’s not a rabid crazy biting dog. It causes us a LOT of stress. She’s a Kingsland Healer so she has instinct to herd animals (or people) by nipping at them. When she gets scared (like if someone unintentionally gets in her space) and will lunge at them. Usually, we can avert this problem by giving her her beloved tennis ball (she’s psycho about the ball) but if we don’t have a ball when she encounters someone new it can get really dicey. She probably feeds off my fear and gets even more defensive and protective of me. Anyway it’s been a super nightmare because I am scared to death she’ll bite someone and really hurt them and then they will sue me and my life will be over.

I’m being dramatic but it was really scary. She bit our cleaning lady once when she went outside to throw out some trash AND she tried to bite the gardener through our screen door and knocked the screen door out of it’s track. Thankfully I had her muzzle on and nobody was hurt but still. Scary dog!!!!

Except that she is super sweet to me and nuzzles her little nose into my lap while I’m typing this. How can you put down a dog like that? It is a real conundrum.

spreckles-muzzle-maria-walking-partner

I found a muzzle for her that is super cool. She doesn’t mind it either. In fact, she is really happy to put it on usually because I always put it on when we take walks and she’s associated it with getting to go out on a walk. You can see how red her eye was. It’s better now. The muzzle is soft and mesh and she can easily breath with it on. It also doesn’t look too scary like a dungeon dog or something

Taking walks with all three dogs is the regular three-ring circus it has always been. Except I think it’s worse now that I am afraid of her biting someone. I’m also worried my dogs are picking up on her habits because now Whiskey growls and lunges too but he hasn’t bitten yet. SO enter one of my favorite friends, Maria!! I love Maria for so many reasons but recently she has started walking the dogs early in the morning with me and it helps a ton to have some extra hands.

3-ring-dog-circus

So yeah. A real dog circus. Have I mentioned that Spreckles is obsessed with her ball? She was trying to get it from under the couch (where it always seems to go) and she pawed at the cord of our lamp and knocked it over and busted the lampshade. Dogs, man.

I think that about catches you up. See you next month! Unless I get back here sooner.