Hello 2023

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I wanted to say Happy New Year, but I’m in a grumpy mood. Nothing to worry about. Just working my butt off with two jobs, driving around in torrential rain all the time, and feeling the gloom of not seeing the sun for a week, or is it two weeks? I can’t even remember. It feels like forever. We Southern Californians are not made for this sort of weather. I feel like a plant that is wilting from lack of vitamin D.

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I survived Christmas. It was expectedly gloomy due to my lack of family but them’s the breaks when you decide to switch up your life as I did. Freedom comes with its costs. Bug and I opened a few gifts at home and then I actually crashed Toby and his girlfriend’s Christmas which was really sweet. It’s kinda sad when your ex and his girlfriend include you in their plans because they feel sorry for you. But I really felt welcome and enjoyed  their company.

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Then in an unexpected twist, Matt (who was down visiting his family in Palm Springs for Christmas) got stuck in Southern California because of the Southwest Airlines fiasco. His flight home to San Francisco was canceled indefinitely so I went and got him and he stayed with us for a week! It was awesome. We attended a super-spreader New Year’s party, and Bug got a chance to really get to know Matt which made me happy. I was nervous they wouldn’t get on but they did.

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Oh yeah, this happened too. I was taking Cody for a walk on Christmas Day (and not paying attention because I was taking pictures of the sunrise) and somehow Cody fell into the lake. Yeah, not really an accident. This dog loves to swim. He doesn’t care that I live in an apartment with a white rug and no real bathtub to bathe him in. I tried my best to wash him off in my shower, but I have a rigid shower head, and no detachable hose so the water spray just sort of hit his back end and didn’t do much. I used a cup to douse him over and over with water, but I couldn’t get the lake smell off of him. And of course, all groomers were closed, and I don’t really have the funds for grooming anyway. So he’s still dirty. Good thing I love him. That pretty much sums up my mood: dirty dog, have no funds for extras.

Happy New Year!

I don’t want to end this post like that though. I want to say that the lows are necessary. I’ve had some of my best epiphanies and ideas on days like these. We can’t exist on distractions and happy times alone. It’s good to have lulls so we can pause and reflect and figure out what’s working and what’s not. It’s time to sow the seeds for good times ahead.

xo

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.