Confession: Secret Talent

One of my proudest skills is the unexpected ability to propagate plants. Currently I’m propagating lavender, rosemary, roses, and a variety of bushy daisies.

Another simple (and thrifty) joy of mine is to go to the section at the nursery where the sad unloved plants are piled up and sold .50 cents to a dollar. I call them my “rescues”. Sometimes all they need is to be transplanted, maybe cut back, offer a bit of care and tenderness, and they’ll thank me by bouncing back and thriving.

A couple months ago, I “rescued” six Autumn Sage one gallon plants. I transplanted them to serve as a border around the deck.

Leaves on Salvia greggii are narrow, leathery and aromatic. This low water need perennial boasts a long flower season. Blooms appear from spring to fall.

They responded to immediately and have now grown into gigantic, beautiful plants with lipstick red flowers. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds are happy, too! Even better, I pinched off some new growth and have successfully propagated them to another part of the garden and the little babies are also healthy and flourishing. Success!

“Mama, Mama, I can’t breathe…”

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Oh my God! Mama! Mama! Mama!! Mama!!”

I’ve started and stopped several posts in the last few days; lighthearted words and pics about my garden, about the Angels, about a hawk feather I found and uncharacteristically and unselfishly gifted to a friend (I hoard stuff like that and RARELY am able to let them go) but I’ve been following the George Floyd trial, and it seems almost callous and lacking of any human empathy NOT to talk about what happened last May.

I am not a POC. I have never been arrested. I’ve had a couple of mild encounters with the police during my life– most of them were because I needed their help and protection, not because I had committed a crime of any sort.

I feel it’s my obligation as a human to place myself in the shoes of those who have been harrassed, targeted, even murdered because the color of their skin contributed to the way they were treated by law enforcement. In my opinion, it’s something we all need to do. I have so much respect for the heroic bystanders who stayed to document and memorialize what they saw, who tried to help, who called the police to report what they saw.

There are those people who say it’s too ugly or too painful to watch the video of George Floyd crying out while being slowly and deliberately (ALLEGEDLY) murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes–while his coworkers watched and did nothing to intervene and prevent his death. They watched him DIE. We watched him die. I don’t even care what he did…so he ALLEGEDLY paid for a purchase with counterfeit money? I don’t care whether or not he was under the influence of drugs. That’s not the point, that’s diverting attention away from the real crime.

To those people, I will look straight in your eyes and tell you it’s our duty to watch.

Don’t turn away. Don’t turn away in denial of truth.

It’s the same way a certain segment of society turns away when there’s factual evidence of animal torture and abuse, child abuse, or those who still refuse to acknowledge the evidence of German concentration camps.

Say his name. Watch the video. Be upset. Be traumatized but don’t be silent. DO SOMETHING. Take your own videos. Don’t ignore it. We have an obligation to make things right. For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. FOR ALL OF THEM.

Watch The Blinding of Isaac Woodard on PBS.

I DARE you to keep your eyes and ears open and NOT do something to protect our fellow humans.

What if it were your son or daughter? Hmmm? How would you feel?

I wonder what the answer is. Peeling back the layers of racism, I wonder where all the hatred came from and why it’s persisted and become so pervasive. When will it all end? How many more people will die like George Floyd?

Through the Window

This little one returns every spring to nest in the same old birdhouse.

For some strange reason, I woke up with a raging migraine that haunted me all day. I have no idea what triggered it. Thankfully, I rarely get them but this one was especially dreadful because I was nauseous for hours and hours. I slept most of the day which is so unlike me but my body insisted.

At one point when I forced myself to drink water so I wouldn’t get dehydrated, I looked out onto the deck and was greeted with a melodic, warbling song and couldn’t resist grabbing my camera for a couple of photos and then I went back to sleep.

On a side note, I semi-watched Perry Mason and Wagon Train and Mash and Happy Days, not my usual choices, only because I didn’t have the energy to look for the remote to change the station or turn off the TV. I was able to discern a lot of nuance from Happy Days that I had originally missed, in case anyone studies old TV shows.

I feel better today.

Tail up.

Tail down.

P.S. Migraines are debilitating; I lost a whole day; my heart goes out to anyone who suffers on a regular basis.

Shades of Purple

The word “purple” is not a pretty word. Say it out loud. It doesn’t even sound pleasant, right? I looked up the etymology of the word:

Old English (describing the clothing of an emperor), alteration of purpre, from Latin purpura ‘purple’, from Greek porphura, denoting mollusks that yielded a crimson dye, also cloth dyed with this. (From Oxford Languages)

I like these words better:
-lavender
-lilac
-mauve
-periwinkle
-plum
-violet
-amaranthine

As much as I noticed all the sunny garden yellows a couple weeks ago, now THIS color palette caught my eye, and the bees are happy, too!

Chat With a Brilliant Human: Dreams vs Reality

It’s been a while since I’ve shared conversational gold from Angel Boy 2.0.

He’s now reached five whole years around the sun; 1825 days.

When we were chatting about Daddy’s 40th birthday, he wanted to tell me something but it was too overwhelming for him to share, so he asked mom to tell me,

“YOU tell her.”

Sweet child. When he woke up that morning extra EARLY, he ran into mom and dad’s room and asked if it was too early to go down to the Grandma room and wake me up.

Mom said, “But Grandma’s not here, T.”

He was quite distraught.

Apparently he had been dreaming about seeing me and his dream was detailed and VERY REAL.

Emphatically, he said, “But you told me she would be here when I woke up!”

Like all lucid dreams, it takes a minute or two to separate what is real from what is speaking to us from our subconscious, even more difficult when you’re a little one.

For children, dreams can feel incredibly real. It’s a challenge for them to distinguish between what’s imagined and things that actually happened. Even if they can understand that the content of a dream was imaginary, the emotions felt during a dream are all very real.

“It was a dream, T, and sometimes a dream can seem very real.”

“What do you mean she’s not here! You TOLD ME!

And then he ran downstairs to check and sure enough, the Grandma room was still Daddy’s home office.

He was genuinely sad to learn it was just a dream and I wasn’t there.

I’m sad, too, but our bonds of love are very strong and that makes me the luckiest Grandma in the world.

I Know What Boys Like

I’m talking about my magical ability to pick out great birthday gifts, haha, not anything else!

Do you remember that song from the 80s by the Waitresses? Once it gets into your head, it’s there FOREVER, trust me.

Here’s the question: what do you get a five-year-old that really and truly has EVERYTHING in the world?

Angel Boy 2.0 has a surfboard, a paddleboard, skateboard, bicycle, skiis, his own swing set and climbing frame, so many toys he could open a store, and his very own bouncy castle.

I’ve been noticing for quite a while that when we FaceTime, he takes photos and loves to look at pictures he calls “memories”.

For his special birthday present, I found a child’s camera by Rikum that takes pictures and video with fun filters and frames. Best of all, it’s rechargeable and not reliant on batteries.

I’m hoping to nurture a real interest in photography because I love it, too.

And it was a hit! He got so many MORE presents for his birthday, but I’m told the top three most favorite was a remote control intelligent robot, a remote control truck with huge foam wheels, and my camera.

I absolutely recommend this product if you’re looking for a cool gift that isn’t a video game and will encourage lots positive self esteem, interaction and creative skills, while learning to observe the world through the lens of a camera. (This is an unsolicited product review; I received no compensation of any kind.)

Yay for knowing what boys like!

[glitter in the air]

Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air? I tried several times, and attempted to capture it with my camera, but all that happened was that I wasted a ton of glitter!

You should have been here; it was a bit too windy (also a total failure) but funny.

Oh well. No worries, nothing to stress about. This pic is better.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’m feeling incredibly Pink right about now. Love her and LOVE glitter!

Unlikely Friends: Egret and Ducks

On my walk today, I looked through the fence into the culvert that drains into Agua Hedionda Lagoon and saw a pair of white egrets. One flew away, but I was able to snap a pic of this beauty. Look closer and you’ll see he’s sharing a bit of land with two ducks.

And then this other handsome sun-glistened mallard decided to swim over and join the fun.
Co-existence peacefully without social distancing!

The late afternoon light intensifies the male’s colorful plumage that helps them attract females.

Maybe they’ve forged a friendship while they forage together for food. It could be possible even though I learned that egrets (and herons) can and do eat ducklings, but I watched their interactions for quite a while and didn’t observe any aggressive or frightened behavior. It was all peaceful and serene, just like my wishes for happily ever afters.

Hello, Yellow!

Not a shamrock in sight! I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I should probably write about that or the color GREEN, but my entire garden is bursting in bright, joyous YELLOW, so that’s how it’s gonna go down…

Don’t pinch me, the leaves are green!

Primroses, sunflowers, and daisies…