Mid-Month Catch-up, Who Dis?

fall-in-Oak-Glen-2021

I cannot believe that it is feeling like fall here in Southern California and it’s not even Halloween yet. Usually, it’s hotter than dog’s breath all the way up to Halloween and then magically on the dot it turns cold the night of trick-or-treating and that costume you thought was great on a warm night in September is now needing a sweater and tights! But nope. Not this year! We are actually hovering in the mid 60’s and breaking out the fall sweaters. I LOVE IT!

I had a minute at work so I thought I’d pop in and share a few photos from this month. The top photos are from an impromptu visit to Oak Glen with my mom and Suki. We totally went there for the apple cider doughnuts, I’m not gonna lie. They are such a treat. There is nothing like waiting in line for a popping hot tiny doughnut freshly fried and covered in cinnamon sugar. I don’t have any photos because I was too busy making a tictok.

I know, who am I?? Do I think I’m some kid playing on tictok? Next thing you know I’ll be filming myself dancing with my teenagers? The answer is: Yes, and no. I am on TicTok and I do actually love it but NO I am not dancing. Are you kidding me?? I’m terrible at memorizing dance moves!!! I might do it for a parody but I am not on purpose following that trend. I’m actually just making little micro movies and I love it! I don’t know if I can put them here. I’ll have to look into that but if you have an account you should check me out. It’s been really fun.

Cdm5K2021

Oh yes! I ran the CdM 5K. The same one I used to run back in the day. (Man, I used to be so skinny. The Corona Virus twenty didn’t miss me.) I’ve been trying to keep in shape but it’s a losing battle as I approach fifty. I had planned to run a half marathon but that seems to be pushing itself out further and further.

pumpkin-patch-blair-bear-2021

You know what I love about this time of year? Everything! Bring on the pumpkins, bring on the apples, bring on the cozy sweaters! We took Suki’s baby to the pumpkin patch for her first traditional pumpkin patch picture. We didn’t get any good pictures but it was still fun for us. Then I bought enough pumpkins to decorate my front porch that it looks like Martha Stewart lives there. I am a sucker for disposable fall decorations.

october-2021-vegas-trip

Payam and I also took a trip to Vegas to visit my good friend Bethany. It’s pretty funny how often I write about hating Las Vegas and yet, here I am visiting again. This is all Payam’s fault and Bethany’s. But I did really have a good time in spite of the hotel that was craptastic. I will not recommend the Flamingo for staying overnight. While it’s been remodeled it’s still pretty dirty and gross. However the flamingos are cool! And who doesn’t love a good pink-themed decor!

It was so funny, I woke up early like I alwasy do and wandered around the really nice garden pool area with my cup of coffee in hand looking for flamingos. I saw every other bird imagineable but no flamingos! Then the very last place I checked (a back corner near a restaurant) there they were! There weren’t a ton but they were indeed there and I love them. The color of their feathers! So pretty!  So if you are a bird lover or a pool lover I can recommend the flamingo but if you are a fan of cleanliness I’d say skip it.

what-happens-in-vegas

We did really have a good time. The ice bar was over-priced but maybe worth it for all the good photos we got. I thought it would be like the ice bar in Finland or Iceland with luxurious furs and ice sculptures but it was more like hanging out in the meat locker in the back of a restaurant. At least we looked groovy in our coats.

poor-whiskey-got-shaved

In other news: I am now a dog groomer! Just kidding. I’m so not. But I did order some dog clippers and I went to town on my poor Whiskeybutt.  See, the thing is there are so many people owning dogs now (a side effect of the pandemic and people seeking pets to save their sanity during quarantine) that our local vet (who is also our groomer) is totally booked for grooming all the time. We have had to put off Whiskey’s much-needed monthly grooming for three months and he has been looking rough. I bathed him in the shower and that backfired on me because his fur is so fine it matted up like barbie doll hair. I was so frustrated with trying to brush him and snip out the mats by hand with scissors. It was just getting worse and worse. So I gave in and bought some clippers and guess what! Now he has no more mats! My family thinks I’ve gone crazy but both Whiskey and I are feeling much better. And, yes, he is cold (because he’s a Southern California Pansy ass like the rest of us) so he has his own special jacket. You might think he looks pissed in that top right photo but actually, that is his gentlemanly model look.

fall-in-the-nature-trail-2021

Now that Whiskey has no fur we can walk in the nature trail again! It’s beautiful as always.

inktober-1-2021

I’ll close out this October post with some inktober drawings. I’m experimenting with adding more texture for darkness…I have a lot to learn. It’s always so hard for me to slow my process down but it’s a good exercise.

Each Covid-ing in Their Own Way

SpringPaysCovidNoMind

Here we are at forty-something days into social distancing and doing pretty much the same. (I am better from my stupid cold from hell though!) I feel bad posting photos of us doing well and enjoying the nice spring weather when so many others are cooped up indoors and doing badly.  Things could be so so so much worse. But I thought I should check in anyway with a catch-up for my own documenting posterity.

The weather has been extremely nice. Spring is here with a flourish. Flowers are exploding and birds are going bananas. I’m just waiting for the other foot to fall and the bugs start coming out. So far, so good.

I’ve taken to walking the dogs in the early morning and chatting with my dad through our earbuds. We both have been remarking at how much we notice the bird sounds that we can hear from each other’s ambient sound. Earbuds are amazing. That’s one thing that this pandemic has really helped. We are all learning new ways to stay in touch with new technology and it is awesome.

My dad has discovered Zoom and is the new self-designated AV guy for his church, bringing God’s word to all the shut-ins (of which there are many, naturally). It’s just as awesome as it sounds. I think he’s found his calling.

quarantine-styles-differentiate

The girls are managing through long-distance learning with ease. Again, we are stupidly lucky compared to so many and I feel guilty. (Is this a thing? That I constantly feel like I should be suffering more? I should just shut up and enjoy it but I do constantly feel guilty.) The girls are both self-motivated and get good grades without much antagonization from us.  It’s great. They are not taking advantage of all the links to extended learning that their uncles are sending them neither are they visiting virtual museums. They are not helping around the house or sewing masks for the homeless. They are becoming really good at gaming, binge-watching Netflix and occasionally baking.

To each their own.

many-faces-of-covid

We are getting used to masks. I need to step up my sewing game but I am severely side-tracked because I started sewing some wide-legged trousers out of some old sheets. The project is going very slowly and I am hating it. I have never followed a pattern before (outside of that one dress in home-ec in 7th grade) so I thought I’d take this time to teach myself. It’s taken a few facetime calls to my mom and I’m stuck at the bias tape stage. I should finish soon but I don’t let myself work on them during work hours so it’s slow-going.

recycled-postcards-corona-mail

I’m getting really good at snail mail though. I’ve added it to my daily routine with my daily coffee.  I need more routines like a hole in my head. I spend probably half of my day doing little routines and rituals and never really getting down to work. I doodle and glue and tape and send off little messages of love to whoever wants one. I’m not sure if it brings me more joy or the recipients. Right now I’m focusing on creating art with recycled cardboard and bits. I never look at a cereal or pasta box or cardboard from a pack of sparkling seltzer water without thinking about how many postcards I can cut out of it. It’s kind of silly but fun. I mean, why not, right? Who needs to be buying chip board right now when our recycling bins are over-flowing?

colors-of-quarantine

We have fallen off the Die-t wagon pretty bad. There may have been a few nights where pizza was ordered and chips and salsa were devoured. I am feeling pretty crappy about it. But I’m vowing to get back to it. It’s a marathon, right? Not a sprint. Slip-ups happen and we have to not give-up. I love making up meals ahead of time. I make big batches of lentils and coleslaw and pack them away in individual serving containers. It definitely helps with lunches and dinners when the kids just want mac and cheese or worse, take-out.

fun-trip-to-backyardia

The other night we actually barbequed outside and it felt like a field trip. I miss traveling and planning camping trips. It’s terrible that my Little Hoo Goes Camping book is coming out soon and I can’t even promote it because it just doesn’t make sense right now. But when this is over I am throwing the most fun camping-themed book party EVER!

hope-peace-covid-not-cool

How long will this be the new normal? One year, two years? I miss the old normal.