Finally December

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November has been the longest month ever. I probably feel this way because I’ve lived beyond my means (like an idiot) and I’ve been waiting for my quarterly paycheck to come so I can pay those nasty credit card bills back down. A watched pot never boils and all that. It’s been painfully long. Every day checking my bank account, every day sad. I know, at least I have a paycheck to look forward to when so many people don’t. I have a lot to be thankful for. But I was talking to Bug and she said November has been dreadfully long for her too. A few other friends have mentioned that they seem to be going through old crap that they thought they were over so maybe it’s not just me. And that got me thinking…

When you find yourself going through something that you thought you were over (for me it’s money problems. I never seemed to learn those rich dad poor dad lessons…) instead of feeling extra crappy about being such a failure AGAIN, we should feel a little bit relieved because we have a safety net! We’ve been here before and we survived. Last time I was here I didn’t think I was going to survive. I thought my debt was going to snowball until I was homeless.

But I’ve done this before and I did survive. I survived and thrived in fact. Here we are in familiar territory and we have the benefit of knowing we made it through in the past. Maybe this is just a circular argument or I’m not explaining it very well.  But it should give me some comfort knowing that I’ve done this before. It’s just the waiting that’s so hard. Even with all the wisdom in the world it still is so hard to be patient and wait for hard times to pass.

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In the meantime, some beautiful fall weather has been passing and I’m worried I haven’t truly enjoyed it because I’ve been so stressed. We did have a really nice Thanksgiving (I cooked a turkey AGAIN and didn’t fail!) and we got our holiday photos taken by Yvonne. Do you know Yvonne Valtierra aka the OG blogger, Joy Unexpected? She’s a magical photographer.

I met Yvonne ages ago. I think it was 2008 when we were both mommy bloggers doing the cheeseburger party or something (links seem to be lost to time but there are some here if you really want to dig deep.)  She visited us once at the beach and took a photo of Bug’s foot in her polka-dotted slip-on generic Payless Vans and my foot next to it in my flip flop with a paint smudge on the side. It was such a simple photo but in that very small snapshot of life you could see so much about us. I have it framed and it sits on my bedside table to this day bringing me memories of when Bug was two and how she used to hang beside me like my shadow. Now I’m the one hanging beside her like a shadow but that bond is the same. We have always been so close and Yvonne captures that. That’s what I really love about Yvonne is her ability to see all the subtleties.

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I’ve hired lots of my friends as photographers over the years and I love them all. Each of them captures something sweet and different from the other. I think as a photographer I just have such a love of other people who can see the world through a camera lens and tell stories with how they frame a shot. Little looks, glances, the way the light sits… I’m just a sucker for a good photographer.  If you are looking for a photographer in Southern California I can recommend many but I especially want to recommend Yvonne.

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This one looks like a perfume ad. Who knew age spots could be sexy?!!

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I’m only sharing a few shots here and I have dozens more but I don’t want to oversaturate this blog. I’m sure they will show up somewhere someday because they are my favorite. Thank you Yvonne, if you are reading this! You did such an amazing job! I hope you keep on doing exactly what you are doing. You’ve hit the sweet spot.

Wildflowers in Hemet: It was all Yellow!

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It’s Spring Break here in Southern California and the first thing that brings to my mind is: Oh no! We need to go somewhere on a trip that is NOT crowded. Ack! That’s always a challenge in the new instagram culture where people flock to pretty places in droves so thick it makes national parks not fun anymore. So off the beaten path we go!

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That path took Bug and I to no other place than my parents little oasis in the sticks! Hemet is NOT a tourist destination unless maybe you are documenting the dollar stores of America or really into Walmart culture. but it does have the advantage of not being crowded and if you look hard enough there is beauty everywhere!

The desert is wild with flowers these days. The first bloom of little yellow goldfields has popped up and covers the ground around my parent’s community like a fuzzy carpet. Bug and I had so much fun dancing around in the flowers and taking photos.

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My dad said, If you guys like this, then let me take you to Diamond Valley Lake and show you more wildflowers to which we said, Yes, Please!

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I had never actually been to the manmade Diamond Valley Lake, but fun fact: I used to work on an egg ranch as a receptionist at the bottom of that lake before it was a lake! Yes, it used to be a huge valley, dotted with farms and grasslands and now it is full of drinking water that belongs to San Diego.

It quite scandalous how that happened actually and Hemetites are not all happy about it. When they first proposed this lake it was going to be a tourist destination for water skiing and fishing BUT that didn’t work out because human contact makes drinking water undrinkable. So the Hemetites voted it in thinking they were going to benefit from a booming travel destination only to find out you couldn’t swim in it and nobody was going to come visit a lake they can only take a boat to. I take that back, boating is fun BUT Hemet is HOT and floating around in a boat all day, on a lake you can’t swim in to cool off, is not that fun.2021-wildflowers-in-Hemet-5

So it’s pretty much vacant most of the time. Not that I’m an expert on that. Maybe it’s swarming with people in the summer. I wouldn’t know. I just know that on a beautiful spring day it was deserted. Wonderfully deserted and perfect for taking a two mile hike on their designated “wild flower trail.”

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Not a bad hike! My dad and Bug and I thoroughly enjoyed our little jaunt.

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We took photos galore, looked up all the wildflowers in the little brochure they gave us and generally enjoyed the kick-off to our Spring Break.