• 15 minute posts,  fighting the fat gene,  half assed posts,  illos,  place holder posts,  rando bits,  the dogs,  Tis the Season

    Mid-Month Catch-up, Who Dis?


    I cannot believe that it is feeling like fall here in Southern California and it’s not even Halloween yet. Usually, it’s hotter than dog’s breath all the way up to Halloween and then magically on the dot it turns cold the night of trick-or-treating and that costume you thought was great on a warm night in September is now needing a sweater and tights! But nope. Not this year! We are actually hovering in the mid 60’s and breaking out the fall sweaters. I LOVE IT!

    I had a minute at work so I thought I’d pop in and share a few photos from this month. The top photos are from an impromptu visit to Oak Glen with my mom and Suki. We totally went there for the apple cider doughnuts, I’m not gonna lie. They are such a treat. There is nothing like waiting in line for a popping hot tiny doughnut freshly fried and covered in cinnamon sugar. I don’t have any photos because I was too busy making a tictok.

    I know, who am I?? Do I think I’m some kid playing on tictok? Next thing you know I’ll be filming myself dancing with my teenagers? The answer is: Yes, and no. I am on TicTok and I do actually love it but NO I am not dancing. Are you kidding me?? I’m terrible at memorizing dance moves!!! I might do it for a parody but I am not on purpose following that trend. I’m actually just making little micro movies and I love it! I don’t know if I can put them here. I’ll have to look into that but if you have an account you should check me out. It’s been really fun.


    Oh yes! I ran the CdM 5K. The same one I used to run back in the day. (Man, I used to be so skinny. The Corona Virus twenty didn’t miss me.) I’ve been trying to keep in shape but it’s a losing battle as I approach fifty. I had planned to run a half marathon but that seems to be pushing itself out further and further.


    You know what I love about this time of year? Everything! Bring on the pumpkins, bring on the apples, bring on the cozy sweaters! We took Suki’s baby to the pumpkin patch for her first traditional pumpkin patch picture. We didn’t get any good pictures but it was still fun for us. Then I bought enough pumpkins to decorate my front porch that it looks like Martha Stewart lives there. I am a sucker for disposable fall decorations.


    Payam and I also took a trip to Vegas to visit my good friend Bethany. It’s pretty funny how often I write about hating Las Vegas and yet, here I am visiting again. This is all Payam’s fault and Bethany’s. But I did really have a good time in spite of the hotel that was craptastic. I will not recommend the Flamingo for staying overnight. While it’s been remodeled it’s still pretty dirty and gross. However the flamingos are cool! And who doesn’t love a good pink-themed decor!

    It was so funny, I woke up early like I alwasy do and wandered around the really nice garden pool area with my cup of coffee in hand looking for flamingos. I saw every other bird imagineable but no flamingos! Then the very last place I checked (a back corner near a restaurant) there they were! There weren’t a ton but they were indeed there and I love them. The color of their feathers! So pretty!  So if you are a bird lover or a pool lover I can recommend the flamingo but if you are a fan of cleanliness I’d say skip it.


    We did really have a good time. The ice bar was over-priced but maybe worth it for all the good photos we got. I thought it would be like the ice bar in Finland or Iceland with luxurious furs and ice sculptures but it was more like hanging out in the meat locker in the back of a restaurant. At least we looked groovy in our coats.


    In other news: I am now a dog groomer! Just kidding. I’m so not. But I did order some dog clippers and I went to town on my poor Whiskeybutt.  See, the thing is there are so many people owning dogs now (a side effect of the pandemic and people seeking pets to save their sanity during quarantine) that our local vet (who is also our groomer) is totally booked for grooming all the time. We have had to put off Whiskey’s much-needed monthly grooming for three months and he has been looking rough. I bathed him in the shower and that backfired on me because his fur is so fine it matted up like barbie doll hair. I was so frustrated with trying to brush him and snip out the mats by hand with scissors. It was just getting worse and worse. So I gave in and bought some clippers and guess what! Now he has no more mats! My family thinks I’ve gone crazy but both Whiskey and I are feeling much better. And, yes, he is cold (because he’s a Southern California Pansy ass like the rest of us) so he has his own special jacket. You might think he looks pissed in that top right photo but actually, that is his gentlemanly model look.


    Now that Whiskey has no fur we can walk in the nature trail again! It’s beautiful as always.


    I’ll close out this October post with some inktober drawings. I’m experimenting with adding more texture for darkness…I have a lot to learn. It’s always so hard for me to slow my process down but it’s a good exercise.

  • corona virus 2020,  I forgot to tell you this earlier,  place holder posts,  rando bits,  Slow Living,  Tis the Season

    Christmas Catch-up


    Here I am back at the blog to document this past Christmas. It’s such a faux pas to blog something after it has happened but I’ve well established that this website is a glorified (expensive) journal (with photos!) and not a money-making business so who really cares about schedules?!! Not me! I like to keep the bar low.

    Speaking of low expectations: We had NO expectations for Christmas festivities this year since Covid has put a damper on everything. That means we had a pretty good old-fashioned family-bonding time.  Pessimists are us? Maybe so but it worked. We invited our pod over (Payam’s mom and brother) for dinner and unwrapping of presents on Christmas Eve. I didn’t grow up with any Christmas traditions so this feels right to me. Christmas day is snoresville to me. What do you do if you don’t have little kids opening presents? Netflix all day? Like any other Tuesday? But Christmas Eve is magical. I love that the lights are low, a fire is crackling.. everyone is chilling with something to eat or drink. It just seems sweet. And the kids are in a great mood because: GIFTS.

    Earlier in December, we picked up a tree from “the Lowe’s parking lot experience.” I call it an experience because it felt like those drive-through events you go to nowadays with people in costumes and masks walking around your car in sets that are six feet away. Not unlike sitting in traffic in rush hour.

    We picked out our tree from the astroturf-lined wedding tent, popped our heads in the little painted stand with head-cut outs for old time’s sake and then got back in our car to wait in line for our tree. It took about half an hour. In the scheme of things that wasn’t too bad. It’s not like we had anywhere else to go.


    Later in the week Grandma Pedram and Payam’s brother came over to see all the decorating we had been doing. It wasn’t all that much but Payam’s family is the call-everyday type and the only updates we really had to give were us decorating this or that. So when Grandma Pedram came over, I enlisted her and the girls to decorate the tree while I took a work phone call. Next thing I knew every single ornament we have was hanging on the tree. It was a mess but also beautiful. I had visions of only hanging my favorites and leaving the old Disney plastic ornaments in the bottom of storage but there you have it. All the ornaments on the tree! Kinda sweet.


    The girls messed around with the lights, taking photos, and being beautiful.


    I bought us matching pajamas this year. Cute red striped traditional pajamas from Target. They were cheap. I wanted us all to have striped pajamas but they don’t make these red ones for men so I bought Payam the next best thing: Nightmare Before Christmas Skelly fuzzy pants and then well, I had to buy the rest of us some too because who wants to be left out of that fuzzy skelly show?


    The skelly pants were a bigger hit than I expected and the girls took it upon themselves to have a style challenge and wear them as everyday wear. Yes, they wore matching pajama pants and walked down to the local shopping center dressed like this. Classy! I think the looped silver belt makes it.


    But back to decorating: We put lights up this year. I think everyone in our neighborhood did because we all have so much time on our hands! It made me happy. In the past, I had vowed never to put lights up again after we got in trouble with our home-owners association a few years back for leaving them up until February. Those bah-humbugs, they weren’t even turned on! But I guess having Christmas lights up after Christmas (even turned off) is super tacky. I wouldn’t know. I grew up in a neighborhood where it was totally acceptable to have three non-working trucks parked on your lawn AND a toilet growing geraniums. Lights seem like a petty infraction. But whatever. We’ll be sure to take them down early this year.


    You probably already saw my birdhouse milk carton craft and the baked citrus suncatchers. I love them. We’ve already undecorated for Christmas (I love a good purge) but I’ve left the orange suncatchers up because they are so cheery on these cold winter days.


    Did you see how we decorated our cul-de-sac with graffiti!?!!! What law-breakers we are! Except its chalk and washes away so psych! Phew! It was pretty fun to play around with. It felt super naughty and I was expecting my neighbors to call the cops on me at any minute but they didn’t.

    I actually bought this spray chalk misunderstanding what it was. I am the WORST when it comes to buying things on Amazon. I always misread everything and skim through important details without picking up on anything. I thought it was matte paint, like what you buy to make blackboards, but in pretty pastel colors. I bought it to paint my milk cartons. I don’t know why I didn’t notice the kids playing with trucks on chalk roads that was clearly printed on the packaging. That’s kind of a big detail! But then I’m also the person who orders containers three times too big AND sets up a subscription for toilet paper five times faster than we can possibly use it. (Handy mistake this last march though.) So anyway it wasn’t a total loss since I like to try out new art supplies anyway. It was pretty awesome but the cans ran out way too fast.

    That sums up the December decorating news…I think. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m brewing some things for the new year but I’ll get to those later.


    In other news, before we found out that California is in the DEEP DREADFUL DARK PURPLE OF COVID CASES and possibly the worst in the nation and therefore WORLD, a friend and I went on a really fun hill hike. We wore our masks the entire time except when we painted (six feet away from each other) AND when we took a selfie. Which was totally stupid and completely blew our germ-free protocol!!! I’ve noticed that I’ve done that several times. I’ll go out on a walk with my dogs early in the morning when no people are out and wear my mask the entire time and then a friend pulls up in their car to chat with me and they can’t hear/understand me so I pull my mask down to talk to them which completely defeats its purpose. I guess it’s all a learning curve and I’m new to pandemics but still, I can’t believe how stupid I am sometimes.  Thankfully we are all still well but it has hit our neighborhood and I do have friends who have caught it so now it’s more urgent than ever to be safe. So no more hill hikes for us. Boo.

    It was really fun though. I love Plein air painting. My painting didn’t turn out super special but I’ll cherish it forever anyway because it was such a fun time. I think it’s better when paintings are more about the process than the end result anyway. It captures the emotion of where we were and how beautiful it was even if it technically missed the mark.


    Other than that, all I have to add is that winter is here and I love it! I hated this last summer. I was so sick of being hot and sweaty. I have such a lower tolerance for heat now that I’m older and menopausal. I don’t love the gray days but I do love a chill in the air. I LOVE wearing sleeves and sweaters in the house.

    That bright orange caution-cone-colored hat Bug has on is a product from my dad’s business. We really wanted to get them promoted for Christmas but at the last minute he figured out he couldn’t stock enough of them to fill orders in time for Christmas so we’ll save that idea for next year. But I’m planning on making day-glow orange (and yellow) beanies a thing so brace yourself. And if you are smart, go buy one and promote my dad because he is AWESOME and deserves to have a real business to support himself instead of gardening and odd jobs at his age.  He is supposed to be retired but I’m thinking he’s not quite done being an entrepreneur yet.


    Last but not least, shall we talk about winter skies? Why are they so much more awesome than summer skies? Probably because there isn’t a marine layer in the air like there is all summer when things are sticky and hot. I just love a clear sky with scribbles and dribbles of bright orange and purple clouds.


    Whether it’s sunrise or sunset it never disappoints.

    Until next time! xoxo