Big Bear 2020

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We just got back from the best little mini-vacation in the mountains. Last year we didn’t do anything during winter vacation and even though it was nice to stay home and save money like good little entrepreneurs, we did kind of regret not going up to the snow. You know how it is when you start looking at everybody’s snow pictures on instagram and you start getting jealous… Is that just me? Maybe it’s just us Southern Californians who don’t ever have to deal with mud and slush…anyhow, I LOVE SNOW. I really love it. And I really love taking pictures of it. As you will see.

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This year we booked a little cabin. It was pricey but I don’t regret it. I feel like it was worth every penny. Especially as the girls get older and we have less and less face-time with them. It was the best for making memories, even if forced at times.

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Our cabin was small but it was super cute. It only had one bathroom, which was a little challenging at times but it was perfect for us and the dogs.  It’s hard to find cabins that are pet-friendly and not completely disgusting so we were really happy with it. It wasn’t on the waterfront but it was close, like really close. You could look out the window through the trees and see a sliver of icy blue and then if you were up for a little slip-sliding-away hike, it was just a hop, skip and a tromp down the hill.

I love the picture of the girls above with Cody. They were looking at the TV when I snapped the shot but as Gingermog said, it could be their next album cover if they ever decide to go on the road together musically. Which by the way, is quite frustrating to me. They are both talented musicians but they refuse to play together. Every once in a while I’ll catch them harmonizing some meme-song or commercial jingle together but they won’t do it in front of me. I’ve got some stubborn kids.

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Anyway, super cute cabin, right? There was even a guitar! Not that anyone played it, sadly. AND there were two fireplaces right next to each other. Dueling fireplaces. It was a really weird layout. Maybe it used to be two units that they combined, I don’t know.  The kitchen was decent too and I cooked several meals there, probably saving us hundreds of dollars and quite a few headaches dealing with the town crowd.

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Did I mention we brought the dogs? This complicated things quite a bit but it was SO FUN! They love going in the car and they love going wherever we go. They’d never been to the snow before and just liked we hoped, it blew their little furry minds.

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I mean, I knew Cody would like the snow. He likes all forms of water but Whiskey? He practically went spastic with joy!

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He buried his nose in it and rolled around like he was the happiest puppy in the whole wide world. Dogs in snow is an amazing antidote to the wintertime blues. Not that I’m suffering from them but if I was. I seriously wish I could buy my own cabin and go up there half the year. It was just amazing in so many ways.

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Joon and I were the first to really hike around and explore the lake nearby the cabin. Unfortunately Bug got a case of what we thought was altitude sickness but turned into a full-blown chest cold. She was not feeling the snow or the cold weather or the altitude at all. Even walking up a small hill had her out of breath and complaining that her lungs felt like they were collapsed and full of tiny icicles.

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So Joon and I made do and took a few zillion photos just the two of us.

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It’s so pretty up there!

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After a day Bug forced herself to get dressed in snow clothes and we took a few photos in the neighbors yard. She was a good sport even though all she felt like doing was burying herself in her sleeping bag.

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As you can see it was really cold. I mean, relatively, for us thin-blooded reptilians.

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Snow, snow, snow! Are you tired of looking at pictures of snow yet? And these are just 1/200th of the photos I took.

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Payam enjoyed his time too AND he did not fall and break his head open this time like he did that one time at Noon Lodge (omg the girls were so little then!!) He did actually slip on black ice when we were tying up the truck with our luggage but thankfully he was holding onto the rope we were tying and he saved himself. That black ice is treacherous! We had these really cool strap-on ice cleat things but we forgot them at home like the geniuses we are. Man, those would have come in handy. Yes, I am adding them to our packing list for next year.

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Speaking of treacherous falls, let me tell you about my fun little snowboarding experience. I’ve snow-boarded before (once about 30 lbs ago when I was in my 20’s) so I thought I’d take Bug’s ticket (since she wasn’t feeling up to it) and take a newbie lesson on the bunny slopes. I mean, how hard could it be, right?

Well, I guess my weight, lack of muscle tone from skipping work-outs for two months and overall anxiety about falling and breaking something has really put me in a bad way. I took two slides down the tiniest slope (with only one foot attached to my board because it was step-two of lessons) and totally wiped out. The board flipped around (swingy scooter style) and almost sliced my left boob off. Yes, I’m not even kidding. If this wasn’t a PC-rated site I would post a photo of my purple and black boob. It hurt so bad I thought I had actually cut my boob off but thankfully my skin was not punctured and I didn’t break any ribs. All I have to show for it is a massive bruise that no-one can see because I’m modest. Just believe me, it is nasty. Thankfully it doesn’t hurt anymore (unless I touch it) but when it happened I almost cried. I think a few tears did leak out actually.

At that point, even though I didn’t want to be a quitter, I did quit. I asked the instructor if I could stay on the mountain sans board and just take photos of Joon and he said I was more than welcome to. I mean we did pay $100 to be there after all. Even though it seems like a big waste of money I’m glad I gave up. In a way I feel like I dodged a serious injury. I saw the medics take two people down the hill in the two hours I was there and one of the girls in our lesson group broke her wrist. So quitter-schmitter, when you are 47, you just count yourself lucky. I think I will try to get in better shape and try it again next year IF I’m feeling really strong.

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But I did get this money-shot of Joon snowboarding. A literal money shot since it cost Payam $100 for me to be there. I would have taken more pictures but she went up the chair lift and I couldn’t find her for the rest of the two hours. People look like identical black specks in the white snow when you are staring up at the white slopes.

That day was hard. I was really glad to go back to the cozy cabin and nurse my wounds afterwards.

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I think I’ll stick to photographing the snow for now.

In other news, I have made the changes you guys so kindly showed me and the new SAJ Calendar is here!  Thank you so much everybody! Sorry it took me so long to finish, but as you can see I was having some fun in the snow. :P

The Golden Hour Dance Party That Wasn’t

 

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I know you are expecting me to be sad that no one came to our last Golden Hour Dance Party.  That used to be something that would cause me a lot of stress. But it didn’t. Can you believe it? I am so much healthier mentally than I used to be. It’s not about me, Little Hoo.

kind of knew that people wouldn’t be able to come and I didn’t even try to push or guilt anyone into coming anyway. It was a Thursday night, it’s getting to be fall/winter and it gets dark earlier… dancing makes people nervous, so many of my friends were down with this or that bug… there were a million and one reasons why people wouldn’t come and I knew it. AND I was actually looking forward to just taking pictures anyway. Of course I would have loved a dance party, I always do, but you know what is really fun? Taking pictures with an amp playing music really loud outside.

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I also bought a cheap blonde Halloween wig. I’ve always wondered what the hype of being blonde was about. I gotta say it was fun. I can see the appeal. Part of me actually thought about doing this for real. It is pretty sexy, even on me!
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But I can’t actually bleach my hair blonde because I am just NOT up to the maintenance that being that blonde requires. Can you imagine me with a shelf of gray roots constantly growing out? I would look horrible regularly. I do not have the time or money to stay on top of that and it would be necessary. Sigh. It’s just not going to be.

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But it sure was fun for an hour or two!

 

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Joon did my make-up super goth. I was aiming for a Stevie Nicks look but my skin was not cooperating.

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Enough about me. How rad is Bug’s new cape we bought her for Halloween? We ordered it from an Etsy shop in Russia and waited impatiently for weeks for it to arrive. I was worried it might not make it in time for Halloween but it did! And it was everything we wanted it to be.

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I foresee many photoshoots with this wonderful cape. It’s light and made out of a table cloth-like material that is water repellent. I day-dreamed of it being heavy and velvet but this fabric is actually much better for our warm weather here in Southern California and it’s better for swooshing around. It furls and flurries like a flag whipping in the wind.

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Bug in the hood?

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You can see Toby’s rocker side coming out in her. She’s almost 14 and reminds me so much of myself, minus the low self-esteem and perpetual shyness.

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The music was blaring, we were being silly. It was pretty fun.

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On our way out we snuck into the woods to get some more moody shots.

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Super Bug!

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Joon was there too of course.

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She looks super goth and moody but it’s all an act.

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She’s just really good at looking sullen. She’s actually a firecracker nutball.

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I snuck a few photos of them making tic toks.

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You can see they are actually happy goobers in spite of their dark make-up and pouty looks.

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Speaking of dark make-up and pouty looks. I’m not so cheery looking here either. I took the wig off after dancing a while and getting nice and sweaty. I am reluctant to post these photos. They could seen as vain or really ugly if you are adverse to looking at a women nearing fifty but I kind of like them. This is who I am, wrinkles creeping up here and there. It’s not so bad.

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I had my time to shine just like the girls when I was young. Being youthful is really fun but you don’t have any of the confidence that you get when you’re older. Or at least I didn’t have it back then. I was a wreck when I had smooth skin and weighed next to nothing.  I wouldn’t trade places with my old self. So bear with me as I post these super big glaring close ups and let it sink in that I am getting older and there is nothing I can do about it except love it.

 

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And rock a blonde wig now and then!