Family Matters, heavy on photos, my books, Niece-com-poops, out out out of the house!, party party, place holder posts, Shop Talk, The Desert, The Zoo
Life in My Fast Lane
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!
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.
Then we went home for dinner and cake!
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.
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!
The Mural Part 2: I finished it!
I swear I’m going to get back into daily blogging one of these days. To be honest I’ve been a bit down lately and found myself self-soothing with food and sleep (never a good sign) so I time-blocked my entire week with a small chunk especially blocked out for blogging. So far I only have a time slot set for once a week but if I’m good at this time-blocking business, and don’t rebel against myself like I usually do, I’ll up it to more time. It’s a hard time for me. I knew it would be but here I am sludging through.
Let’s talk about the mural! The mural was a good time! I was super worried and self-critical all the way through but once it was done and everyone told me it was beautiful I started to believe them. I’m mostly happy because it was outside my comfort zone and I did it! I conquered that wall.
I think I already said this in the last blog post but that primer was a big mistake. It was so much work to cover it all. What was I thinking??? In a way it worked out because the client wanted full bushes of bougainvillea and I probably would have made it a bit more branchy and less bushy. So I think the primer forced me to really cover the space. I still want to go back and add more highlights and the little yellow centers to the flowers but the scaffolding had to go back so I ran out of time.
I’m actually really surprised I finished it on time. It was a bear of a job. Working in that heat, climbing around on scaffolding like I wasn’t afraid of heights.
I’m totally afraid of heights! But I figured out a way to overcome my fear: concentrate on painting! When I needed to reach a spot up high to finish detail on a petal just out of reach, I just stretched out my arm into mid air and didn’t think about how precarious I was. I even walked on the top scaffolding without holding on at some points.
My dad was SO SWEET. He was so worried about me falling off the scaffolding that he drove himself out to help me every day on his own dime (which is not cheap lately with gas prices soaring). I paid him to bring and take away the scaffolding (he’s a total lifesaver) but he still wanted to come every day even when I didn’t need him. Turns out I kinda did need him because the top scaffolding didn’t reach all the way across so we put a ladder up on top of the scaffolding so I reach the really far bits. It was scary but knowing my dad had my back, literally, kept me going. I know how blessed I am to have a dad like this. I don’t know what I would do without him. When I think about him passing it tears me up every time. Why do parents have to get old??
Bit by bit we got it done. Bug wasn’t so much of a help this second trip out but I was glad for her company anyway. I had my tunes playing, she was laying out getting a tan…it was nice. I think I worked from 6am to 8pm straight, only stopping for water breaks and food.
We became locals at the Crossroads Cafe. Bug finally convinced me to make time for a sit-down breakfast on Sunday so we could actually try the breakfasts that Crossroads Cafe is famous for. It was really good. If you’re out in the Joshua Tree area in the morning, I highly recommend it! It was hard for us to just pop in for food and go back to work because all the stores (really cool vintage stores and artsy bookstores and record stores) were open in the morning which is prime working time for me. Bug really wanted to shop but there was no time for that. I vow we’ll go back there someday and spend some leisure time just poking around. It’s a really cool artsy town. I could see myself living out there someday if I grow a really thick weather-repellent skin.
And that was that. I finished before dark on Sunday which was sooner than I expected. I don’t have any good daytime photos of the mural without scaffolding but I’m sure I’ll get some soon.
Until next time!