Wednesday, April 29, 2020

heading out for a reward

in an effort to avoid cabin fever, we've been piling into the hub's truck one day a week for a nice drive out somewhere for a scenery change.  one day we drove all the way to cayucos, taking in the ocean view and grabbing a sandwich for lunch from the only spot open in town.


another day we headed up to lake arrowhead, where we found a closed-up lodge resort and took the dogs out for a quick walk.


and then last weekend we decided to head out even further.  the hub had read about reward mine, an abandoned gold mine out near the manzanar historic memorial, and it sounded like a pretty cool outing.  the bean got herself all comfy and settled in the back seat with her homework and the dogs and off we went for a 3-hour drive way up the 395.



when we got to the turnoff for the dirt road that led up to the mine, it started out as a partially paved road.  seemed...not so bad.  and then it got really hairy, turning super narrow and rocky and bumpy and scary and fun and hilarious all at the same time.  after making our way up that trail at a snail's pace, we found the opening to the mine and a pretty sweet view just beyond it.


we knew from doing a little research online that we could walk down the main tunnel for about 3/4 of a mile before it would branch out into 8 different directions.  some people were brave enough to actually drive through it, but we weren't really feeling quite *that* adventurous.  and we'd somewhat jokingly discussed how much it would suck if we were down there exploring and an earthquake hit, trapping us inside with not a single soul nearby and no one knowing we were there.  yeah...no.  but we did head on in to walk what we could, taking the dogs on a leash and grabbing flashlights to guide us through.  while it was 90 degrees outside, the moment we set foot in there the temperature dropped  probably 30 degrees.  crazy.



no one was willing to climb this ladder.


there was plenty of evidence of visitors who'd come before us.


and then we got to the wall that told us we'd gone as far as we should.


heading back was a little rough, because the entire way we'd walked downhill.  despite the cool temperature in there i was sweating and huffing and puffing as we climbed the hill back up and towards the opening.  i was pretty happy to finally see daylight again.  i can't even imagine what it must have been like for the men who actually worked there so many years ago.  no, thank you.


photo op!


once we made our way back to the main road, we went a little further in the other direction and found another part of the mine.  you could see portions of old buildings and mining equipment along the way and some cool rock formations on the side of the mountain.


and then on the way back out towards the highway the hub noticed what looked like an old runway and couldn't resist stomping on the gas and driving like a bat outta hell up and down it a couple of times while the bean and i squealed in half fright/half glee.


at the end the bean got to experience her first "donut."  heh.


although the manzanar memorial is closed, like everything else, due to the pandemic, you could still do the self-guided auto tour through the grounds of the old internment camp.  we've done this a few times before, but i always feel compelled to go and pay my respects, even if it's just by driving through and remembering the stories i've read about.


and on our way back through lone pine, we stopped and grabbed some terrible fast food at mcdonald's since we wouldn't really have much to pick from for the next few hours on the way home.  i love this super retro sign at the mt. whitney motel, where lots of folks stay before heading out to climb the mountain.


we spent a lot of time in the car that day, but exploring that old mine and doing a little off-roading was totally worth it. not to mention that it got us out of the house, gave us something to do and still managed to maintain social distancing.

everybody wins!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

turning that frown upside down

given our current situation, it's so easy to dwell on the negative parts of what day-to-day life is like these days.  i'm definitely guilty of wallowing now and then, dwelling on all the stuff we can't do right now.  but then i stopped to think about how much more i have to be thankful for, and while i'm no pollyanna, i'm going to try really hard to focus on the positives.

like, i'm healthy!  despite the stupidity of being at disney world last month as everything was just starting to get bad, we squeezed in a ton of fun, came home and managed to get through the 14+ day self-quarantine period.  we've got plenty of supplies (food and toilet paper and sanitizer and gloves and masks) and we're doing just fine.

i'm actually working out more than i was before lockdown.  thanks to zoom, i've managed to get back to barre classes - one of my favorite instructors who moved away now gets to teach classes again, another one who finished off her maternity leave is back to teaching, and a third who moved to another studio in san diego is doing facebook live classes.


not to mention, i'm getting the bean to do workouts with me several times a week too.  since she's not in school and cheer is nonexistent right now, i was looking for ways to get her up and active.  beachbody workouts on demand came to our rescue, and we've been doing dance fitness workouts that are really fun even though i probably look ridiculous doing it.  doesn't matter - we both get great cardio, work up a good sweat and burn calories.  and while she may not admit it (and sometimes is really difficult when it comes to getting going), she's having fun with it too.


i'm also extra grateful for the hub.  he's been the one to go out for supplies, and it's been pretty funny to see all the goodies he comes home with after a trip to the grocery store.  he makes us laugh, he's always happy to help the bean with her homework, he's just...the best quarantine partner to share this craziness with.


the house is coming along.  while we were prepared for things to be a little weird while we lived in just two bedrooms throughout the remodel, shelter-in-place threw us quite a curveball.  but we have plenty of space to live in, we still have two full bathrooms, and the backyard has served us really well in lieu of a living room.

going to the laundromat sucks butt, but unlike before when i had access to my washer and dryer right here in the house i'm actually doing laundry on a super regular basis.  every monday i get it all done, and while it's not my favorite place to be in any shape or form, it's kinda cool to use the large capacity machines and have it all completely done in less than 90 minutes.  plus i get to hang out with the old lady and her special friend because we do laundry together.  bonus!

and not having a kitchen has probably been the strangest blessing.  while i do miss cooking and baking, i just know that if i had a functioning kitchen during this time i'd be trying out all sorts of recipes all the time.  there would be freshly baked goods and treats and stuff around all the time, and then we would all definitely gain that COVID-19.  the fridge is in the garage, along with our dining table where all the snacks and stuff are.  and getting there means putting on shoes and walking all the way around the house to get to it.  it doesn't sound like a big deal, but not having it just down the hall really does keep us from grazing all day long.

ooh, and i'm grateful for food delivery.  like, we got freshly baked cookies dropped off on the doorstep:


and the bean and i ordered fun pancakes from IHOP - these were lucky charms-themed and she said it looked like one of the my little pony characters pooped all over it.  whatever, it was delicious.


there's a boba shop out in l.a. that's selling what they call "lockdown boba kits."  they put together supplies for DIY boba drinks, and of course we got one.


for some reason, i'm actually pretty terrible at watching stuff on netflix, but with all this time on our hands i've been able to keep up with current pop culture.  like, i've seen the whole tiger king series.  i finally watched one of jo koy's comedy specials.  the hub and i have been watching ozark together.  and i even watched tigertail on the very day it was released - which i definitely wanted to see ASAP because my friend weezermonkey's brother wrote and directed it!


i'm sewing again!  i busted out some of my tie-dye waffle knit to make this cozy top that i wore on one of our cool, rainy days.  the hub definitely side eyed it, but i didn't care because it was super soft and comfy.


and then i'd seen an ad on facebook for these extra wide headbands that they were touting as a fashion accessory-slash-emergency face mask.  because i have a crazy fabric stash and tons of sources for patterns i saved myself $13 plus shipping and busted one out in about ten minutes.  never mind that it makes me look like axl rose...


knitting kits are making me extra happy too.  you just pick your skill level and there are a bunch of different websites that put together complete kits that include a pattern, all the yarn you'll need plus the tools required to complete the project.  i can't even tell you how addicted i am to this new hobby of mine.


the puppies are loving having everyone home all the time.


social media has been a lifesaver too.  while we can't be with our family and friends, at least we can still see each other and keep up with them and offer support and love and share fun ideas and do everything but hug them.

see, if i focus on all the good stuff i can almost forget about the not-so-good parts.  life in lockdown isn't all that bad, and it's a hell of a way to turn grumbling into gratefulness.  there are so many things we'll appreciate so much more after this is all done, and maybe we'll stop taking them for granted.

it's all good.

Friday, April 17, 2020

week...whatever

i mean, do we even really care what week of quarantine we're on?  hell, i'm barely keeping track of what day it is and even that's only from hearing the bean log on to her distance learning classes.

today marks six weeks since my last hair appointment, which means my grays are seriously out of control.  i know i'm not alone in this, but still...this is painful:


i know i could just do my own roots, and my stylist has offered to mix up a batch of magic potion and leave it on the doorstep for me.  but i had her do highlights during my last visit and i just KNOW if i came anywhere near my head with dark brown hair dye i'd just absolutely ruin it and i don't wanna.  besides, who's gonna see me anyway?  betty at the laundromat on mondays?  whoever's assigned to bringing drive-up orders at target?  i'm already used to the bean and the hub calling me an old lady, so eh...it really doesn't matter.  for now.

my last manicure was about six weeks ago, just before we left for disney world.  it had grown out so much, and i'd ordered some sort of gel polish remover stuff online but the post office kept rerouting it so that it went from texas to san bernardino to city of industry and then back to texas to do it all over again.  i got tired of waiting for it to finally arrive, so i gathered up supplies from my long-neglected nail care cupboard and sat down to get to work.  here's the before...eek.


i'd watched the nail techs at the salons do this a bazillion times before, so i knew what the steps were. i soaked cotton in pure acetone, placed it on each fingertip and secured it with pieces of aluminum foil.


after letting it soak for awhile, i took off the foil and cotton and used a metal tool to scrape the polish off.  while this looks pretty ragged, i was pleased to see that it came off pretty easily.


one of my friends had recommended some nail repair treatment made by ella & mila, so i'd added it to my last target drive-up order.  after applying one coat and letting it dry, i used a little cuticle oil and here's the final results:


not too bad!  i have high hopes for my natural nails to bounce back after many, many months of gel manicures now.

and earlier this week, i finally sewed up something that isn't a mask!  i'd been eyeing this loungewear romper pattern for a few weeks and even had it all printed out, taped and cut out.  it turned out to be an incredibly easy sew, and i had it done in half an hour.  i couldn't stop cracking up when i tried it on - is this the outfit of someone who's just given up on life, or what??


i'm not gonna lie though.  it's super comfy and i'm definitely going to wear it...around the house.  out in public - well, i'm not so sure.  the old lady said it looked like it had giant clams printed all over it and the hub just said it looked like pajamas.  whatever.  i love it.

lastly, want a quick pictorial update on the house?  it's coming along pretty nicely!

living room:


dining room:


guest room:



and the new kitchen.


it looks different every day, and it's really starting to take shape.  we've got maybe another month before it's all done...maybe less.  cross your fingers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

special occasions on lockdown

so besides cocoa, the only other one who's celebrated a birthday while we're quarantined is the hub.  we'd had some really fun plans for a weekend getaway to celebrate, which we were all really bummed to have to cancel.  actually, we've had to give up a couple of other fun outings due to this lockdown - like our tickets to hamilton, which i'd really been excited to finally see, along with a show during the jonas brothers' month-long residency in vegas.  big bummer, but safety first...i guess.

anyway, the hub started his birthday off with enthusiastic greetings from me, the bean and both dogs:


and since he's been the unofficial designated shopper for the household, he got to get out of the house to run a few errands.  exciting stuff.  and since it was a special occasion, i actually did my hair and even put on something besides sweatpants.  heh.


later that evening, we celebrated with takeout dinner from the local country club.


the bean was excited to present him with an electronic birthday card that she created for him, which was really cute.  check it out:


easter was just as low-key, which i'm sure was the case for most of america.  the bean was busy most of the day working on her book report - a presentation she chose to animate in a similar manner to that birthday card she made for her daddy.  except that this one had to last for a minimum of three minutes, which was a lot more laborious than she'd expected.  she'd chosen a wrinkle in time, which she'd finished reading before quarantine began.  i've seen the work in progress and it's really well done - but painstakingly time consuming.  she's been working on it for a good three weeks, and i'll have to share it when she's done as long as she gives me permission to.

we managed to tear her away from drawing long enough to do a sad little easter egg hunt in the back yard...in the rain.


the hub grilled up some steaks and asparagus for dinner, and i got to enjoy a glass of delicious rosé with it.  gotta love wine in a red solo cup, yeah?


happy easter indeed.


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