Tying Up Loose Ends

There’s a lot going on this Saturday to commemorate 9/11/2001.

Never forget.

This is how our former presidents will commemorate the 9/11 anniversary:
President Bush- Keynote speaker at Flight 93 Memorial.
President Obama- Ground Zero Memorial.
President Biden- Memorial Services at all three memorial sites.
**Trump- Ringside commentary at a BOXING match.

Without minimizing the tragedy of that day, I hope I’m not the only one that hopes that the events of 1/6/2021 will elicit the same sort of future memories. I watched THAT act of terrorism unfold live on television as we did twenty years ago.

Tying up some bloggy loose ends:

  1. So far I haven’t located the big saute pan that disappeared. I have the lid and can’t figure out this gigantic mystery.
  2. My back is healed and so is my toe, but my injured top of the foot isn’t any better, which is super annoying. I think it’s tendonitis, but I’m pretty stubborn about not going to the doc, so I’ll suffer a bit longer on my own. Over the years I’ve accumulated an array of air casts and braces and I’m trying all of them like Cinderella to see which one most relieves the pain and stabilizes my foot. It would help if I’d stay off of it, but that’s not gonna happen.
  3. A wildlife expert confirmed that my grainy backyard video really was of a very large bobcat. I knew it was, but was still so excited to have it corroborated by someone who’s qualified to make that determination.
  4. Finally, Angel Boy 2.0 LOVELOVELOVES kindergarten, so this Ghetto Grandma can stand down and take a deep breath of relief. He’s full of happy stories as they walk home and is eager to go every morning. That’s a total success and kudos to the teacher! (She really has no idea how close she came to dealing with this grandma bear. Heehee.)

It’s hot here in SoCal. Although we had a magnificent display of lightening and thunder a few days ago, there were only a few drops of rain, not enough to quench my garden’s thirst, so I’ll be out there tending to all my growing things.

I hope your day is serene and full of joy.

Butterfly Breakfast

Look at this orange butterfly feasting on an orange zinnia!

I’ve never seen it before and I was so excited to learn this is a Gulf Fritillary or passion butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) They’re “longwing butterflies”, which have long, narrow wings compared to other butterflies. Gulf Fritillary is the only member of genus Agraulis. From Wiki.

#WordlessWednesday

An orange butterfly represents passion. An orange butterfly sighting can remind us to stay focused on or follow through with a plan or project until it’s complete.

The orange butterfly is associated with the sun, life, and consciousness. Spotting an orange colored butterfly can signify that a new dawn of healing and heart transformation is about to occur for someone who has been depressed or anxious.

Orange colored butterflies have also been associated with courtesy, friendliness, and liveliness.

Seeing an orange butterfly reminds us to stay positive.

Having an orange butterfly land on you or fly near you means that joy will soon come into your life in some unexpexted way.

An orange butterfly can also encourage us to be more socialble or outgoing, or seeing one can indicate that a visitor will soon arrive, or an invitation to a social event is coming–especially if the butterfly is flying inside or around the home.

Many believe that an orange butterfly represent rebirth. Seeing one often leads to a shift in perspective on something. https://www.butterflyinsight.com/orange-butterfly-color-meaning-and-myths.html

#WordlessWednesday

Kindergarten Angel Boy

It’s not possible, I keep shaking my head.

It’s time for that brave little bird to take another giant step into autonomy and individuation outside of his nuclear comfort zone.

NOOOO! I’m not ready. Angel Boy 2,0 MIGHT be ready, but I’m not.

I had this conversation with AB 1.0:

  1. If T wants to come home FOR ANY REASON or NO REASON AT ALL, bring him home. No questions asked.
  2. School is a place to have fun and learn new things; it’s not a prison.
  3. If he ever wants to STAY HOME, allow it.
  4. If he ever wants to CALL HOME, allow it.
  5. Again, school is NOT a prison.

These are the guidelines I lived by (and also made sure the teachers and admin knew) and it served us well. During his elementary school years, he called home only one time and that was to merely check that I meant what I said so our trust was never broken. AB loved school, loved to learn, and that’s one of the main reasons I believe why he’s now a professor.

Dad said he remembered, promised, and reminded me they’re only two blocks away from school, so I won’t have to worry.

School should NOT a prison.

School is not a punishment. Going to school shouldn’t be a threat. Neither should threatening to call the teacher if a child misbehaves at home. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Learning and being creative and imaginative is a JOY. I don’t care about attendance; that’s just the district’s hidden agenda to continue the flow of dollars. If a child doesn’t wake up in the morning excited and eager to get to school, it’s the teacher’s fault, and they really do NOT want this ghetto grandma showing up to find out why.

Teehee, that’s not an idle threat, by the way…’nuff said. Fingers crossed that he’ll LOVE it as much as his dad did. Or else.

P.S. In case I forgot to mention it, I used to teach school, K-6. Kindergarten is the most important and pivotal year in a child’s life to set the stage for academic success and nurture an inquisitive mind. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a positive kindergarten experience.

Inner and Outer Beauty

Here’s an update regarding the ongoing saga of my injuries: my back and toe are much better, but I seem to have a stress fracture of one of the little bones on top of my foot. I admire my consistency, however, because all of this is on my LEFT side.

This time the stupidity was caused by my sad attempts to remember Swan Lake choreography and practice fouettes, which I haven’t done in FOREVER. I wasn’t wearing pointe shoes or even soft ballet shoes; I was barefoot on a hard tile floor. Like I said, STUPID.

Why Swan Lake? Well, the last time I saw my Angel Kids, we were in the car when Swan Lake came on the radio. I yelled out, ” That’s SWAN LAKE!” T asked me what that was and I explained the story of the dance to him while we were listening. When the music gets to the part where the court jester does those incredible gravity defying grand jetes and double split cabrioles, I told him that it takes a very athletic, very talented dancer to jump like that, and he was intrigued.

I promised I’d take him to see Swan Lake as soon as it came to town. When we got home, he said to Siri, “Play Swan Lake” and then he sat on the sofa and became lost in the beauty of Tchaikovsky.

Anyway, that’s how I hurt my foot.

I can’t really put any weight on it, so I’m once again reclining on the sofa with my everpresent ice pack on yet another part of my little body.

C’est la vie! No one to blame but myself. I am NOT and never was Margot Fonteyn lol (ballet snob reference).

Here’s a few photos from inside and outside as I hobble around.

I stopped to admire the sun shining brightly on these indoor plants. I couldn’t capture the whole wall in one photo, but there’s a matching cabinet to the right. It’s a very pretty room.

Meet my special bunny friend. He’s slightly lighter in color than the rest of the family and he comes out more during the day than the others. This was taken right outside my bedroom window. Good morning, brave little one!

Because of relentless RATS, I had to pick these strawberries just before they were 100% ripe to save them from being half eaten and discarded.

I am reminded of a starfish with this spider lily. What a perfectly lovely specimen!

Check this out; it’s not a ballet but it’s danced by the great danseur, Sergei Polunin, to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”. Choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi. (In 2010, at the age of nineteen, Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer). He is truly amazing as an artist, but I read things about him PERSONALLY that aren’t all that savory in regards to some homophobic and sexist Instagram posts, so his invitation to perform in the Paris Opéra Ballet‘s performance of Swan Lake was revoked.

Texas Can Kiss My Ass

Here’s what I think about the insane and repressive new Texas law restricting abortion…

They don’t care about the fetus; all they care about is controlling women. I’m right, don’t try to argue with me.

If you don’t have a uterus, you have NO RIGHT to tell ME what to do with my uterus.

If you DO have a uterus, you have NO RIGHT to tell ME what to do with my uterus.

My body, my choice. You do YOU, and I’ll do ME. We’ve done this before, we already fought for the right to make our own decisions for our own bodies. This is such BS.

I’m proud of Lyft, Uber, and GoDaddy who have made statements in support of women’s rights.

I will protest with Naral and Planned Parenthood for all women to have a CHOICE.

FACTS: A new law (SB8) went into effect in Texas that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. That’s well before many women even know they are pregnant.

The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion — including those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance to obtain an abortion. Private citizens who bring these suits don’t need to show any connection to those they are suing.

The law makes no exceptions for cases involving rape or incest. (Source:NPR)

Learn more here: https://www.aclutx.org/en/know-your-rights/abortion-in-texas

Situational Calm

Late yesterday afternoon I dragged my poor little broken body out for a walk. “If you don’t use it, you lose it”, that’s my motto. I think it’s best to keep moving unless it’s impossible.

I was about three blocks away when I saw a few neighbor friends in their front yard so I stopped for a chat, mainly to bore them with photos of the grandkids.

Without warning, lights and sirens from no less than eight police cars, two fire engines, and paramedics drove right by us at a high rate of speed in our residential ‘hood. I checked PulsePoint and noted that they were going to a house just a few doors down from where we were.

A medical emergency isn’t unusual, but when it’s accompanied by heavy law enforcement–well, that’s a different story.

“Let’s go see”, I said, and we did.

It turned out that the medical emergency might have been related to an overdose, which sort of explains the police.

The person was on the ground and when my friend saw who it was, he became upset because it was one of his best friends. I instructed him to immediately call the spouse who wasn’t home at the time, had no idea, and was grateful for the call.

Allegedly, the person was impaired and fell, sustaining injuries, and someone else in the home called the paramedics.

My friend didn’t seem to know how to acquire info from the police or paramedics, so I did what I do–take charge of an emergency situation, communicate with all parties, liaise, and sort out the situation.

After the injured person was worked on by paramedics, was talking and breathing OK, stabilized for transport to the hospital and the spouse knew where to go, I continued on my walk.

I contemplated the many times I’ve been either personally involved in crises or as a bystander, and how I seem to exhibit a calm demeanor that encourages others to look to me for answers, to take charge, and to coordinate all aspects of the situation.

I KNEW I did those things but I had never before realized that is something I’m pretty good at. I don’t know where I learned them. It’s just something instinctual, I guess.

Whether it’s a fire or an accident or my son’s surgery, I don’t panic. I go to a place of calm, unemotional, rational, measured assessment while others tend to become stressed and unable to function.

My son once asked me how I survived his life threatening brief illness and major surgery because I seemed so calm. He asked me if I got upset or if I cried because he saw me as strong and capable during that horrible time and I told him this: during his surgery, I went into the bathroom in the waiting room and broke down and cried only one time. Then I looked in the mirror and told myself to STOP. What I never divulged to him was the mantra I kept repeating to myself, “If I cry, he dies. If I cry, he dies.” Truthfully, without the lifesaving emergency surgery, he would not be here now with those two adorable children. I felt as if I willed him to survive. And he did. After it was all over and he was on the mend, I was able to let go of my steely resolve a bit and helped to love him back to health. Every once in a while we talk about that dark time and how his wife and I never left his side, how we both spent every day and slept next to him every night at the hospital until he was released. SIGH.

I realize now with a little self awareness that I have been able to endure unspeakable pain by being stoic. It’s not that I don’t feel the emotion and the fear and the danger, but my mind seems to go to a different place and I compartmentalize (as my therapist would say) the feelings until later. Stuff needs to get done, someone needs to take charge and be a leader or there’s chaos.

If no one else steps up, you can count on me.

P.S. I made my first Anchor podcast — not my voice though because my microphone didn’t get recognized so I’m using Remy’s voice. Here’s the link, it’s kinda freaky. https://anchor.fm/enchanted-seashells/episodes/Situational-Calm-e16np97

Hold On

As I lay here slightly paralyzed in excruciating pain from a lower back injury, a broken toe, and recovering from a surgical procedure, I really have to laugh because what else is there to do?

I rarely have back pain, thank goodness, and I empathize with those that DO because it’s really debilitating!

How did I hurt myself? It doesn’t matter HOW, what matters is that I do dumb stuff all the time and that’s how I broke my toe for the thousandth time, too. Two separate incidents, but both on the same side of my body.

I could feel sorry for myself, but that’s not productive, right? OK, I confess that I do feel a LITTLE sorry for myself, but I’m trying to make the best of it. This pain can’t go on forever; it never does. Bright days are ahead, I believe that. I have faith.

And, If I just hold on
Hold on tight

Will the fair wind take me
To where the sun does shine bright
There be no more talk of dark days
Only sun shine days of light
If I just hold on
Hold on tight

Taken from “ A Little Book Of Poetry “ by Athey Thompson

Hold On, one of my fave songs of all time.

Art by Arthur Rackham

From talesoftheoldforestfaeries.com

It’s a Pink Kitty Cat Kind of Day

“Owl or kitty cat, what will it be?”

“PINK!”

“What kind of birthday cake should I make for you? Pink owl or pink kitty cat?”

“Pink PIGGY!”

Too late, I already baked and decorated a little pink strawberry frosted kitty cat cake with a pink sparkly collar.

Two-years-old today; bright and beautiful.

This cake might not win any design awards at The Great British Baking Show, but it was a total hit with one particular little girl who loves the color pink and all kitty cats.

Happy Birthday, little princess!

Daytime TV Chat

Whilst recuperating from a surgical procedure when I couldn’t do much more than recline on the sofa for a couple of days, I turned on the TV around noon, which I rarely do. (I realize that I’m not from the UK but I LOVE the word “whilst”.)

I watched a couple of episodes of Emergency! starring Julie London as RN Dixie McCall, Bobby Troup (Dr. Joe Early), and Robert Fuller (Dr. Brackett), along with Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe as the firemen/paramedics.

A Jack Webb production, Emergency! first aired in 1972. I remember watching with my RN mom and she’d always narrate the medical parts to amuse me.

It’s a great show. The story revolves around Squad 51 of the LA County Fire Department’s newly created Paramedical Rescue Service. Filmed in semi-documentary style, the actors take on a series of life-or-death challenges with the medical staff at Rampart Emergency Hospital.

It appeared to me that there was some sort of a vague subplot, like an undercurrent or whisper of unrequited romance between the characters played by London and Fuller. There was some flirtatious banter and their characters teased a more than a professional relationship outside of the hospital; at least that’s the feeling I got.

I did a little Google research like I always do and was surprised to learn that Julie London and the actor that plays the other main doctor, Bobby Troup (Dr. Early), were married in real life. London was a former torch singer known for sultry, languid contralto vocals, and Troup was a jazz pianist, singer, and songwriter.

I had no idea that he wrote the song “Route 66”, one of my faves by Nat King Cole. Did you know that?

Anyway, Adam-12 is on now, so I gotta go.

I can’t believe I never heard her before. Now I’m obsessed.

This is such a cool chat with Randolph Mantooth:

Blooming Yucca

This very tall yucca is my upper garden overlooking the path used by coyotes.

Did you know that most of the yucca plant is edible?

Some people are brave enough to eat that asparagus-looking stalk. Native American tribes used pretty much every part of the plant. They ate the flowers, stalks, and fruits, used the fibrous, spiky leaves for cordage, and mashed the pulpy root with water for soap and shampoo.

I haven’t tried any recipes with yucca flowers, but I bet it tastes something like squash blossoms.