Puppuccinos

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I have become quite the crazy dog person. Half my life I only liked cats and then after we had Holly I became a hardcore dog person. Maybe even too much so. I don’t let them eat off my plate or share my toothbrush or anything but I have been known to make quite a fool of myself talking and playing with my dogs. Saying they love me would be an understatement. They have become unhealthily attached to me and whine obnoxiously when I am gone. I love it. Payam hates it.

So this week my mom has come to visit. My dad is out of town on a job and I am taking care of my mom by keeping her on her diet while he is gone. Mom’s do 100% better on their diets when someone else cooks for them. You should try it. :P

With her came Spreckles! So I had three dogs to walk this morning. No problem! Bring it on, I say! It’s not like we haven’t been here before. Spreckles can be a prickly dog and has been known to bite (Ugh. I know.) but when she is with me and my dogs, she acts like just another pack member and is no problem.

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Today I took all the dogs to Starbucks with me for Puppuccinos. Do you know what a Puppuccinos is? Check it, one two.

We have a new Starbucks in our neighborhood that is smack in the middle of my new-and-improved dog walking route.  I don’t go to the fake lake anymore because there are just tooooo many people walking around it. I hated confronting people before the pandemic but now I hate it even more with the new mask-wearing social distancing rituals.  This new route is on a busy road and it seems most dog walkers prefer a more scenic route. Road noises are not a problem for me because I put headphones in and listen to podcasts anyway.

The perk to this new walk is the new Starbucks. I wasn’t really a fan of Starbucks, preferring my own brew at home, BUT it can be enticing when you walk by it every day. I don’t go every day of course but about twice a week we pop in for a tall latte for me and Puppuccinos for the dogs. It took about two visits before the dogs learned that Starbucks is super fun and wonderful and we should go there all the time. Whisky is the worst. He pulls me like he’s pulling a 100 pound sled as soon as we get within eyesight. It’s kind of hilarious.

My dogs love Starbucks. I might miss taking lake photos but silly dogs lapping up whipped cream out of little paper cups is pretty fun too.

 

Dinky Creek Camping Trip: Part 3

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This is my last installment of blogging about our Dinky Creek camping trip. After this it’s back to garden news and dog walks. I know, gripping. But we do what we can, right? Pandemic life surely has its challenges.

Starting up where I left off, back we went to the creek. We pretty much lived at the creek that day.

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The water was sooooo nice. I realized that Payam is the most happy when he’s floating around in the water. One of his favorite outings when we are back home is visiting Raging Waters at Knott’s Berry Farm and just floating down the Lazy River all day. I’m not as fond of Raging Waters, as it is usually quite crowded and germy (in my mind at least. I know there is a ton of chlorine but still…) so finding our own lazy river in the wild is a dream come true for all of us.

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We found a nice big swimming hole and the kids and Payam played around in it with Cody for hours. Whisky and I enjoyed the shade nearby.

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Poor Cody, he swam so hard he really tired himself out.

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Summer + dogs + water = happiness.

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I wish we lived here permanently.

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And yes, I swam too. But I much preferred to sit along the sidelines and take pictures.

This is probably one of very few times I will ever post a photo of myself in a bathing suit. Look at those thighs. Red beans and rice didn’t miss her. But I actually like this photo of me. I feel happy in my own skin and my bangs that are growing out. Payam took it and you can see that he makes me feel great about my body. I wish I could go back to my twenty-year-old self and give her a hug and tell her that somebody is going to love every part of me someday. I probably wouldn’t have believed me. I’m glad to be here instead of there.

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Finally we got our fill of swimming and headed back to camp to cook dinner and chill.

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Everyone relaxed and Cody probably slept for an hour or two. He was wiped.

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Here I am in my sexy camp outfit.

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You know what’s great about getting older? You stop caring so much what other people think about how you look. I love not having mirrors and just wearing what feels good. Sure, this isn’t my proudest moment in fashion but I was comfortable and happy. Camping is dirty and full of weird things like bugs (ew!) but once you get over that  and desensitize yourself, it is really wonderful to just embrace nature and and enjoy the beauty.

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The best part is watching my kids detach from their virtual worlds and connect back with us in the present. They are really quite pleasant to be around when they don’t have their noses stuck to their phones. They have lively conversations and they don’t hate our company. Go figure!

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As the sun began to set Payam made a roaring fire and we settled into our camp chairs around it.

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Each crackle of the fire seemed to erase another wrinkle of stress from our foreheads. We almost forgot there was a pandemic going on. Well, until we had to go back into the main campground for water or to use the restrooms. But we stayed away as much as we could and were never happier to find a tree to pee behind than this trip. I never thought I’d say that but my recently acquired pandemic-related germ phobia has made me re-think everything.

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You know you are winning at camping when your daughter is bored enough to braid your dogs hair.

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We sat around and relaxed. I finally broke down and had a glass of wine. It was nice but nothing I want to continue. At least not until I’m really comfortable my drinking habits. I am feeling much better about it though. I haven’t had anything else to drink since that campfire and it feels good. I love my new non-drinking self. I feel much better in my own skin.

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Then we tucked in for the night. The girls had battery-operated lights on their tent which is a cozy addition to our camping list. The first night Joon had a really hard time sleeping with all the new noises but the second night she was out like a light because she was so tired from sun exposure and swimming all day.

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The next morning we woke up early and started breaking camp. We all had mixed emotions about leaving. While we couldn’t wait to get home and shower off the gritty layers of sweat and dirt, we were also sad to leave our lovely campsite. It felt like home.

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The girls took the dogs on one last walk and then we were off.

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“Make a face like you hate camping.” I said as I took our last selfie.

I think you can tell by their faces that nobody hates camping. Until next year, Dinky Creek! Hopefully by then we’ll be pandemic free.

Le sigh.