And then it was June

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My summer has been going like these peonies: fast and furious. This month has been in such a great big hurry to make a flashy show and then get the hell over already. I’ve been meaning to blog since May about my trip to visit Susan in Grass Valley, Joon’s birthday, my mom having double knee surgery, and my constant trips back and forth to the desert…but in all the commotion I’ve somehow left my head unscrewed and it’s still swiveling around in circles making me a bit sea sick.

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But I am still here! I’m busier than ever with work which is great. I’m stuffing in lots of family time and plenty of “hot girl summer” memories but I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to document them. So in the meantime here are some beautiful fleeting peonies.

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Bursts of joy that make the maximum impact and then float to the floor as fragile whisps of their former selves, kind of like memories.

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I have a giant print on my wall of some dead peonies fading on my dark scratched wooden table.  I love that print and the longer it hangs there in my dining room the more attached I am to it and to all fading peonies. They are the dark siren of the flower world. I join the masses who sing their praises.

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So quick, so fleeting, so dramatic. Just like life.

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I wish I had time to pick up each petal and remember them one by one by one by one. Maybe that’s what the afterlife will be like, just sorting through all the petals of memory. There surely are enough to last forever! Anyway, deep wandering vague thoughts that don’t make much sense. I’m just filling space until I can get back here to properly document things.

The Beach Bucket List: Crescent Bay Beach

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Next up in our beach bucket list is: Crescent Bay Beach!

The thing about Laguna Beach is that there are a zillion little beaches and almost all of them are tucked into tiny little residential neighborhoods that are super keen on keeping everyone out of their beach (it’s a losing battle). That means they are hidden and hard to find and there is never any parking nearby unless you go on a Tuesday in the middle of a rainstorm. Newsflash: it never rains in Southern California. And if it does nobody is going anywhere. It’s mayhem. Watch our local news during a rainstorm. We think rain is the end of the world, there’s no beach going during any kind of weather.

Payam decided not to come with us on this little beach jaunt. He had work to do in his shop. Joon was on vacation with her mom so that meant this beach day was for me and Bug and….Her boyfriend!

I would love nothing more than to write five paragraphs about how I feel about Bug having a boyfriend and my feminist views of teenagers dating juxtaposed against my own sheltered childhood and subsequent train-wreck of a dating life BUT this is not really something I am comfortable with so I’ll just tuck it under a rock for another day maybe twenty years in the future when I am a self-proclaimed parenting expert. Today I am decidedly NOT that expert.

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Let’s talk about Crescent Bay Beach! It’s a crescent! A lovely, little, sandy crescent roll of sunshine. It’s small and it has public restrooms, which is a total bonus for people like me who stress about things like that. The path to get down to it is short (not a thousand steps like other beaches) but there is a giant step at the bottom as if the beach lowered itself a foot or two since the asphalt path was built. This was a bit challenging for me since we brought all the gear for this beach visit: chair, umbrella, aesthetically pleasing picnic basket… Thankfully we had a big strong boyfriend to carry the picnic basket but it was still a bit tricky for me wrangling the chair and stepping down the giant step.

The kids ran off to frolic in the waves and I set up camp. It was pretty warm when we got there at about 2pm in the afternoon so I MacGyvered a sun shield out of our picnic blanket and some nearby stairs. I was quite proud of my building prowess.

Then I set up shop watercoloring! Watercoloring is my favorite thing these days.

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My new paint palettes are so pretty but they are a bit cumbersome because I have three of them. I should just take one with me and leave the other two at home but the colors are so pretty I can’t bare to! My old travel palette is really the way to go because it has all the basic colors that you mix to create the hues you want, while my new palette is pre-mixed in specific colors like: ocean, woodlands and skin tones. So you can see my dilemma: bring one palette of boring colors that mix well or THREE palettes of pretty colors! I packed the max of course and I have eyeballs on other palettes in my amazon prime shopping cart that I’d love to add to my collection. Artist problems. Maybe I should just stay home and paint. Haha! No way Jose! The best thing to do outside is paint! So pack it in I do.

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The kids were kids. They might hold hands and act all grown-up with their romance and their google eyes but they are still kids inside (they were fourteen last year!!) and they still love making sand castles and catching sand crabs. I still love making sand castles and catching sand crabs! Wait, not the sand crabs part. I’ve never loved that.

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Bug brought mason jars and made lemonade for our picnic but when the lemonade was gone, they used their jars to catch sand crabs and pretend they were drinking sea water by tossing it over their shoulder. It warms my heart to see them be silly and still act like kids.

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Even though it was really warm, the water was ice cold. Bug stayed out in the waves so long her legs went numb. To warm herself she wrapped up in our picnic sheet. That tapestry has a thousand uses.

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I tried to take as many golden hour shots as I could. It was a really pretty day.

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Payam decided to join us for dinner on the beach and he even picked up pizza for us. But then he accidentally went down the wrong path (I gave him bad directions and like I said, the neighborhoods try to keep it confusing) and he ended up in Shaw’s Cove which is the beach next to Crescent Bay Beach. On a map they look like they are right next to each other, and they are, but they are divided by steep rocky, muscle infested cliffs and tide pools that are pretty much impossible to traverse at high tide.

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But I didn’t know that so I packed up our gear and the kids and we TRIED to traverse the rocks and gullies to get to Payam. We got about 80% of the way and we could see Shaw’s Cove but we could not get there because there was a 10-foot drop onto sharp muscles below. that was impossible to pass. We tried every way we could, up, down and around but it was just too scary for me with my camera and that blasted chair and my big ol’ bag of art supplies. Finally we turned back. Payam picked us up in the car and we had our cold pizza back at home.

It was worth it though because we really felt like we had a full, complete beach day. Fun in the water, painting for me, lots of photography and even some rock-climbing and exploring! And if I wanted to get technical I could check off Shaw’s Cove on my beach bucket list. But I’m not going to because I want to go back and visit it properly.