Life in My Fast Lane

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It’s been a busy few Mondays so I haven’t really shown up here as I’ve planned. I’ll just ramble through these pictures to catch up.

First up: since summer vacation started (and I don’ have to play Muber and take Bug to school every morning), I have been popping my earbuds in to talk to my dad and walking the nearby park. It’s great. We’ve walked every morning for two weeks straight. We both are early birds and we both like walking and talking so we get a lot of gabbing and steps in early in the morning. Sometimes afterward I get some more steps in and hit the local Starbucks for a latte in a *glass* cup because everybody knows coffee tastes better in a glass cup.  It’s not my favorite mom-and-pop coffee shop but at least it’s a little more charming than the usual to-go routine.

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One of those days last week Bug and I went to Orange Circle for some thrifting. Lately, I’m on the hunt for “fabulous” costumes for my upcoming birthday party. (I’m planning a photoshoot as part of it.) I’m super nervous about everything and trying desperately not to spend too much money in the planning stage. It’s just what I do. Over-think, over-spend. It’s a really bad habit to break. Kind of like biting your nails.

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In other news, I have started a new puzzle. Leah told me about this really cool puzzle board that you can use to keep your puzzle contained. It’s great! All you have to do is slide the side panels in and then close it up tight with special velcro flaps and no pieces can escape. Unfortunately, the puzzle board arrived a little banged up in the mail and it’s warped in the middle. It still works but it would be nicer without a hill in the middle. I’ve got an email into them but so far no response.

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Bug and I are crossing off summer bucket list adventures. Our first adventure was to The Huntington Gardens. I love the gardens so much. We’ve got an evening stroll planned too. I would definitely get a membership here if it wasn’t a two-hour drive away. (crying face emoji here)

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We took Bug’s boyfriend and a friend with us. I love hanging out with teenagers. They are so funny and we have the best car conversations.  They put up with me surprisingly well, of course being the one with wheels keeps me in close proximity. That might change once they  get their driver’s licences but for now I’m basking in their youthful energy and approval. Funny how it’s such a priviledge to be appreciated by the young. It makes me want to rush out make more older friends and let them know they are just as fabulous.

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Oh yes, the street fair at my parent’s mobile home complex. It was a blast. I sold a lot of books! Who knew! I’ve done craft fairs before and made no money. Of course having my parents as my number one fans and advertisers helps a lot and the fact that a highschool friend dropped by and scooped up quite a few. Shout out to Jenny!

It was also 103 degrees F. Yowzers. We stayed in the shade much of the time but had to close up shop before the fair ended so we didn’t get heat stroke.  Dry desert heat is much more bearable than humidity but even this desert rat has her limits.

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It’s been a busy few weeks as you can see. After the street fair we went back home and hosted a double birthday trip to the local zoo for my great nieces! I am a double great aunt to my niececompoop’s two daughters. I LOVE these babies!!! They are so adorable. Whenever one of them wanted me to hold them I did not say no.  How could I???  Their mamas were more than happy to have me hold them. I got my baby cravings filled and they got a little rest. And then I got a backache the next day! Shout out to all those older mamas hefting 20 babies out there. Stay strong!

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Our local zoo is very small but that’s about all the bandwidth we had anyway. Between heat and toddlers attention spans, a small zoo is perfect. We saw some birds and some monkeys, an ocelot and some camels and that was great.

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Then we went home for dinner and cake!

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The following weekend I took a road trip with some friends to Las Vegas for a Sting concert. I couldn’t quite swing a hotel stay (they are mucho expensive right now) but that was fine because one of my best friends, Bethany (not BethanyActually but my highschool bestie since 9th grade!!), lives in Henderson which is just a hop from the strip. I love staying with Bethany. We’ve been friends forever (and roommates during college ) so it’s like having a sleepover with your best friend and spending all your time laughing and talking non-stop. She also has several reptile pets so it was kind of like staying in a zoo. I got to watch her feed her snake and let her bearded dragons out for a morning sun bath and constitution. I can now add “lizard farts” to my strange story collection.

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The Sting concert was awesome of course. I’m not as huge fan of Sting as my friend Teresa (she’s a die-hard fangirl) but I definitely enjoyed hearing my old favorite songs and watching him interact with the crowd. I love how some musicians seem to be energized from the audience. It was his last concert in residency for the year and you’d think he’d be exhausted after playing the same songs night after night after night, but no, he was loving every minute. Seventy years has not slowed him down much at all.

And that’s that! All caught up. Now it’s time to get to work!

Sunflowers and Marigolds in November

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I found a sunflower field nearby.  I’d heard rumors of wildflowers earlier in the summer but I never managed to make time to go see them.  So when I got an email saying it was the last week to see them, I made a reservation and got my butt over there! And I’m so glad I did.

Of course, it did happen to be the hottest, dryest, sweatiest day ever that Bug and I visited but no matter, you gotta do what you gotta do when you are a self-proclaimed flower expert.

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Flowers, flowers, flowers! You know how I love flowers. I keep trying to talk my girls into opening a flower stand but sadly, they are not interested. I’d open my own but I hate working holidays.2021-sunflower-family

Bug and I dressed up in our flowy white dresses and pranced around the dry dusty fields, posing like silly fools next to every kind of sunflower we could find. Big ones, little ones, yellow ones, brown ones, even a few white ones!

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They are so sunny and happy.

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I’m so happy that I have a kid who is just as crazy about dressing up and posing as I am. I mean, I did kind of start her early.

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She definitely has her own look and flaunts it proudly.

We made a friend of one of the staff guys working there and he happily followed us around taking photos. I think it gave him something to do on an otherwise slow day. I’m sure we entertained him with my crazy ideas of running through the field like farm girls back in time.  I didn’t care. It made a great photo and we got a laugh.

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I was partial to the marigolds since orange is my favorite color. Aren’t they pretty? Yes, they stink and aren’t the prettiest-smelling flower but I don’t care because they are bombs of orange happiness!

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Besides taking photos, we also got to cut our own flowers to take home. We brought our own trusty clippers and went to town. They only allow you to cut 15 flowers per cup which was actually plenty but it was a bit tricky finding stems that weren’t loaded with flowers. If you weren’t careful you could cut a stem with fifteen flowers on its stalk and that would be your bouquet, one big tree of flowers. Not that that is terrible but I had more of a full rounded bouquet in mind. Sunflowers are known for looking sideways and making bouquets very difficult to style.

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Obviously, we managed. I look just like my mom in the top left corner. I think I might have to illustrate that for my Sue Bea calendar I’m working on. Flowers for the win!

I’m definitely in a better place in these photos than I was in the ones in my last post. Things have been getting better inside my head. Working out and eating less AND not drinking is a pretty winning combination. I do feel great. I’m scared I’ll give in and fall back in my old ways but so far so good. Temptation is a very real part of everyday life and I can’t set myself up for failure. I just have to keep on keeping on.  Slow and steady can attain great things.