Sunrises with Cody

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The thing about routines for me is that as soon as I find a good one, life throws me a curveball and I have to work and work at finding a new one. It takes forever. But then I find it and life is at its sweet spot until another curveball comes my way.

Right now Cody and I are at our sweet spot of walking to the sunrise.

We get up before dawn and leash up.

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Cody is acting like he’s afraid of the stairs right now. I’m not sure if it’s a mind game he’s playing on me because we did it once when I went down and called to him or if he really dreads going down them. Is he afraid of heights? Do his joints hurt with all that weight he’s carrying around? He stands at the top and requires quite a bit of coaxing from me to get him down. But then when he comes barreling down he seems perfectly fine. I’m not sure. I’m actually really worried about this because it’s not like I can move to a downstairs apartment anytime soon and I don’t know if dog elevators have been invented or if I could even afford such a thing. Maybe a sling? I don’t know. He’s going to the vet on the first of December so I’ll have his joints looked at and see if maybe living upstairs is really bad for him. Cross your fingers it’s a mind game. He’s been known to develop such tics before.

Anyway, we get down and we walk to the park. It’s a bit of a walk. When I first got him I only walked a quarter of the way. He was really overweight and panted a lot and I was worried I might give him a heart attack from too much new activity. We gradually added a bit more distance to our walks every day until now we are clocking about two miles with no trouble. We stop a lot along the way to sniff things and make sure he’s not too tired.

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The best stop is a little wooden ledge at the edge of the lake. I think it’s a filter cover or something. It’s the perfect spot to sit and watch the sunrise. (Not counting that it’s usually covered with dew and I desperately need to remember to bring a towel to sit on.) The sun only shines on half of the lake so this is the spot for the best view. When the sun creeps over the mountains and shines up into the clouds it reflects onto the lake in the most amazing ways. I don’t know what it is about symmetry but when I see the reflection of a really pretty sky it just makes me want to take a million pictures.

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And I do. Cody takes a rest and I snap away. I love it.

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Remember when I lived at the beach and I took a walk to the ocean every day to take pictures? Well, now this is my ocean. It’s a lake! Or a pond…on Golden Pond. I feel so lucky to live within walking distance of it. I don’t even care about the exercise (actually I do). I’m here for the pictures! I schedule my walks so we can be at that spot at the perfect time.

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Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the sky is filled with dynamic clouds that make spectacular pictures and sometimes it’s not.

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But we don’t care. We love the view. We love the way the sun warms us up from the cold twilight of pre-dawn. Cody is the best at warming up my feet. He’s like a walking furry heater.

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And that’s how I start my day.

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I’m giving tours if anyone wants to come along.  These are the perks of being a morning person.

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I love having a dog. He’s a pain. He has a ton of hair. He slobbers. He’s ruined my white carpet even though I wipe his paws every time we come in from the outdoors. He’s loud and smelly but you know what? He’s my best bud. He loves going on walks with me (after he gets over the scary stairs). He never complains about being bored. He’ll sit with me for hours watching the ducks and the sun changing the colors of the water. Of course, I don’t stay there for hours. I’ve got places to be and things to do but we do sit and enjoy the calm for quite a bit.

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I love it. It’s good for my mental health.

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We’ll see how long this lasts and try to appreciate it as long as we can. I might get my job back at Ralphs, sunrise times shift as the seasons change, Cody might not be up for so many walks. Who knows! But for right now, it’s sweet.

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!