Golden Hour Hill Hike

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Yesterday we went for a golden hour hill hike. You probably think we do this all the time but we don’t. Payam and I have gone on exactly two hikes together, four if you are counting other years. Does the camping count? Maybe.  But we plan to change our hiking deficit. We love hiking! Maybe we’ll even go every other day. I don’t want to talk crazy or anything but it could be cool.

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Payam is training to go on a really big adventure hike with his brother in September. They are hiking Mount Lassen together and camping. I’m really excited for him but it’s not going to be easy. I think he’ll be fine. His brother is super aware of his recent neck surgery and other limitations. I just hope they come back talking to each other. I’m teasing but you know how long hikes with siblings can go…

I love hikes because I am driven by photography. I love taking pictures. If there is a photo opportunity I’ll go to great lengths to get there. I’ll hike miles and put up with sweat and bugs and whatever… I love making photos. It’s like painting paintings with your eyes. My family rolls their eyes at me. They think I am not enjoying the moment but I disagree! I am enjoying it even more! If I wasn’t photographing then I’d be water coloring and I don’t even care if I never show anyone. Of course showing everyone is a huge oxytocin hit so I would share if I had the chance. BUT I still would photograph or paint even if my pictures stayed hidden from everyone but me. I say this because my journals are full of photos and drawings that no one but me has ever seen. Whatever. Maybe I am looking guilty just by protesting too much. I’ll just shrug it off. To each their own, right?

If it makes you happy and it gets you outdoors then it’s a win.

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Payam is so serious about this hike coming up that he even bought himself some walking poles. The kids made fun of him but he really likes them. I think they are more psychological than actual help but I can’t really say. I tried them and I couldn’t tell that they were helping me pull myself with my arm strength. But then I’m a pear-shaped girl who has ALL of her strength in her massive thighs and hardly any in my arms. Payam is obviously built way differently than me. I just dig that he’s into it. Buying gear is always a fun part of committing to a sport.

I remember when I bought myself $90 running shoes once. They were the most expensive shoes I had ever bought at that time, this was back in the 90’s. I felt so guilty buying them that I ran with them every other day for an entire year. I was in the BEST shape that year. So if you think about it, $90 for a year is a pretty good investment. Maybe we should all go out and buy ourselves $90 shoes! Of course buying gear doesn’t always do the trick though. I’ve seen many a $1000 treadmills holding up laundry. Not me of course but you know who you are.

I digress! Let’s get back to our pretty hike:

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Aren’t these the prettiest colors? Late summer gold against clear blue skies and just a potato chip of a moon in the distance… Swoon! And then there is just a smidge of Joon’s red shirt. This would make a great painting. Maybe someday. I have so many things I’d like to paint. I just hope I get them done before my hands are riddled with arthritis. And sadly, even as I type this I can feel it creeping into my fingers. This is the heartbreak of getting older. Is there a cure for arthritis?

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Every year I make a calendar for the grandparents and us of random pictures we’ve taken all year. We didn’t have an August picture so I forced the fandamily to squish together for a group selfie. I’m not loving my massive face prominently in the middle but them’s the breaks when you are the one holding the phone. I’ll make it a collage and be sure to make that photo extra small. Maybe I’m just not used to myself without bangs. Have you ever seen such low eyebrows? My face is so weird. Good thing nobody else cares as much as I do!

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And then there are these cuties.

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And this one. Long legs forever! Long shadows are clearly helping my case.

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You can just hear her, “Come on Mom! Not everything is a photo moment.” And then I say,

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Yes, it is!

 

The Mom Report

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My mom is doing GREAT. Like fantastically great. This has been a life-changing event for all of us. My mom came home from the hospital and we immediately, as a whole family, embraced the new DIEt. I think I’m going to rename it soon to something like the “LIVEt” because it is all about living and NOT dying.

It’s amazing how much small changes like cutting most carbs and nixing sodium works. Yes, the food is bland. Yes, we would love to eat pizza and cheese…and a million other things that are now forbidden but it makes all of us feel a million times better. I think I can swallow bland for a while. I think we were all hung up on what we would have to give up that we didn’t take time to focus on what we would gain if we ate properly.

It’s still early days but my mom went to her doctor today and she does not have to go back on diabetes medication or high blood pressure medication IF she continues to improve the way she has been. Did you read that right? Last time we checked in she was in the hospital with KIDNEY FAILURE!!! And now she is improving soooo much, she doesn’t have to take her medication? Crazy, right?

Crazy good.

My dad and I are in this to win it. I’ve made daily worksheets for my dad to fill out with my mom’s numbers and he is doing so with the dedication of a scientist. We have taken on my mom’s health as our new mission in life. And guess, what? My mom is in it too! She’s had to fight so long and so hard with her weight that she’d given up. It was hard. Even though my mom has a bright optimistic personality she was worn down. But now with our new invested intention she is back on track and killing it. I’m so proud of her.

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It’s a work in progress. I’m thinking once we have these worksheets nailed down I might post them here as a free printable. I’m not a mommy-blogger anymore maybe I’ll become a fight-against diabetes blogger. They say one in four Americans has diabetes so maybe this is the new normal.  I’m just really excited that we have cracked the code. Or at least it’s looking that way. Of course, we have to create something sustainable so the strict diet will have to be flexed and loosened now and then but I’m game. I’m in this!

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A perk of investing more time into my mom, I get to take pictures of my barn more often. It’s getting so pretty out there right now. Spring is in the air!

Speaking of Spring, have you noticed my new banner? March is Spring in Southern California and between a few blustery cold days, we have had the brightest, sunniest beautiful days with flowers popping up all over. It’s allergy season. You should see the thin coating of yellow pine tree pollen all over everything. Our cul-de-sac looks like a dusty road except it’s yellow.

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And! I’ve been keeping up the running. Nothing like a near health scare to get you motivated. I’ve been running twice a week. Today I took the dogs. I tied their leashes to a fanny pack that Payam loaned me and we swing-swung our way through the nature trail with not the greatest of ease. But it was good to get out and get sweaty. I feel good.