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.

It’s OCTOBER!!!

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Do you know what that means? Inktober time!  I love Inktober. I should draw all year but it’s too big of a commitment for me. The thing is, drawing every day really works. I can see that I’m better than I was last year. I remember when my Aunt Keren told me that when I was a teenager. I took it to heart and that’s probably why I’m still drawing to this day. It’s my one thing that I love doing all the time.  I can be in a good mood or a bad mood.  I can be busy or bored. Give me a journal and a coffee shop and I don’t care about much else. Sometimes I wish I had a sketching club, like a bunch of buddies who took their journals out and drew things… that sounds fun, right? But the reality is, when I’m drawing I’m pretty oblivious of what’s going on around me.

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In the spirit of Autumn (don’t jinx it and say anything) let’s talk about this cute little mug that Bug made me. She’s getting really good at glazing. She’s making plans to be a ceramicist someday. I’m all for it. Maybe I can come over and use her kiln when she lives in that mansion with a studio in the backyard.

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More sketches! It’s beginning to feel like Halloween around here!

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Bug went to Homecoming. Her dress is a slip/nightgown she bought at a thrift store for $15. It used to have a mesh backing that looked kinda dated so we ripped it out and used the seam edges to create criss-cross straps. I’m so happy that she likes to re-purpose clothing. It saves me so much money.

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We also went to see Hamilton. So good!

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The Great Job Hunt of 2022  is going slowly.  I was really spinning my wheels on job boards, getting more and more depressed as I realize I am aging out of most jobs these days. So I decided to take a minimum wage job as a bagger at a nearby grocery store. I just had to do something that I knew I wouldn’t get rejected at. I know it sounds like a mistake because I could stay home and make more money doing freelance but hear me out.

Way back in the 90’s I used to love that job. I’m serious. I loved running all over the store doing price checks and fetching carts in the parking lot. I was in the best shape of my life! Putting objects in a bag in an orderly manner uses one of my super skills: organization. I love it. I’m such a weirdo but if I could be a competitive organizer in the Olympics I think I might have a chance at being an athlete. It’s like playing physical Tetris and I’m pretty good at it. Five items in a bag, put like items together, keep your soaps and non-food items separate… Simple stuff!  You get to chat with people while you work without doing any math! Sounds like a perfect job to me. I met some of the coolest people working at the checkout line.

There was this one older lady in her 80s who gave me the best advice that I still live by to this day. She said, Walk every day and you’ll stay healthy. She’s right. She was healthy and she walked to the grocery store every day. I looked forward to chatting with her and missed her when she didn’t come.  Now I walk three miles every morning and I feel great. I’ve lost 20 pounds since I moved into this place and it’s been easy. I also stopped drinking (outside of maybe once a week socially) but other than those two changes that’s all I’ve really done.

Another perk of taking the bagger aka “courtesy clerk” job is that I can transfer up to cake decorator in three months!  You know I’ve always wanted to be a cake decorator. Of course t I’ll still be looking for The Big Job that will enable me to continue living in my apartment which costs too much but at least I’m doing something. I was going crazy getting rejected over and over.

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I hope your Autumn is going well. I think we are all having hard times right now. It’s just part of life.

Next time: back to the books!