Thanksgiving Memories

I can’t believe this was Thanksgiving 2019.

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Now this curly haired surfer is in kindergarten and bossy big brother to an even bossier titian-haired little sister.

Tick tock.

Time inexorably marches on and on and on.

In the blink of an eye, he’ll be in college and his sister will be going to prom.

I’m on my way to an early morning beach walk before it gets too hot.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

“Why are the cookies green, Grandma?”

UH OH. AB 2.0 is growing up. No longer does he simply shove as many cookies in his mouth as he can, or muffins, or cupcakes.

Now he’s more discerning and I hear these words and the skeptical tone in his voice, because he KNOWS why they’re green and he wants confirmation.

“Why are these cookies green, Grandma?”

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“Green? Do they look green to you?” I say, stalling for time to think of the right thing to say. I really wanted him to eat those cookies.

“I know why they’re green. Why do you put kale in EVERYTHING, Grandma?”

“Do you love kale more than me, Grandma?” (That’s a joke.)

The last time this happened Dad saved the day by interjecting, “They’re spooky cookies for Halloween, T! Aren’t they so scary and cool and yummy?”

Good one, Dad, I thought to myself. Our eyes wouldn’t meet or we’d both start laughing.

He ate them, but was definitely not trusting the veracity of the response.

OK it was a lie. There was LOADS of kale in my lentil oat raisin cookies, and I didn’t do a good enough job to disguise that fact. I’ll do better next time.

I don’t condone lying, but in this case, T doesn’t eat enough veggies and this has always been my secret weapon to make sure he eats greens so I’m satisfied that he gets a balanced diet. He’s a clone of his dad, very tall and very thin with a metabolism that I’d DIE for.

It’s the same thing we do with smoothies (I did it when Dad was little, too). I fill it chock full of veggies, but with the addition of blueberries or strawberries, it really masks the green. Don’t tell him, OK?

Thank goodness his little sister hasn’t yet learned to question the provenance of the muffins we just baked and didn’t see me slip a cup of chopped kale in the batter. She’ll eat pretty much anything. So far.

Here’s the recipe for Kale, I mean SPOOKY cookies…

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

No eclipse viewing for me, the sky was overcast last night!

Let’s all be aware of the signs of pancreatic cancer.

My mom had CA of the pancreas, even though she had very low risk factors. Back when she got it, the only way to know for sure was to open her up for exploratory surgery. After that, it was a brief three months until she died.

I miss her every day. I’m sad she died when the original Angel Boy was only six and never got to see him get his doctorate from Yale, get married, and have his own Angels. She loved him so much and was such a big part of his life that he started calling both of us “Mom” and we’d answer in unison, “Which one do you want?”

We took care of her here at home with hospice support. Although she was able to tolerate high doses of morphine, the pain was overwhelming.

About ten years before an official diagnosis, she was consistently nauseous after eating and started taking papaya enzymes.

With her vast medical knowledge as the head RN at a local hospital, she probably had a really good idea what was wrong with her but did all she could to find any other reason for her symptoms. She had her gall bladder and spleen removed but nothing helped. As it still is, pancreatic cancer is a death sentence.

It’s the same horrible disease that killed Alex Trebek, Steve Jobs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Patrick Swayze.

The most significant symptom I’d suggest to be aware of is nausea after eating. Start keeping a journal and get to the right doctor as soon as possible.

We need more research to stop this terrible disease.

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Gratitude Scavenger Hunt

I like this idea and plan to do it with the Angels (also Mom and Dad) ‘cos we LOVE a good scavenger hunt and a little gratitude guidance is always appreciated.

I bet it won’t take long before someone hands me a seashell or a rock. I’m so easy!

Or T will say something like, “It’s me! I make you happy, right Grandma?”

Oh yes, my little friend. Always.

May be an image of text that says 'Gratitude Scavenger Hunt 1. Find something that makes you happy. 2. Something to give someone else to make them smile. 3. Find one thing that you love to smell. 4.Find one thing you enjoy looking at. 5. Find something that's your favorite color. 6. Find something you are thankful for in nature. 7. Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone. 8. Find something that is useful for you.'

November Edition: Convo #854 with the Angels | Letting Go of Expectations

I found what I THOUGHT was going to be a really fun cooking and art project to do with the Angels…and it didn’t actually turn out as expected.

Focaccia Bread Art is a newish trend where you decorate focaccia with fresh vegetables and herbs to make beautiful edible art. Have you heard of it? It was started during the pandemic shutdown by Teri Culetto. The self-proclaimed Vineyard Baker of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, started creating art with focaccia bread as her canvas.

Focaccia is simple to prepare (see recipe below). I made the dough and cut up all the veggies and herbs, olives and cheese and tofu, so the kids would each have their own canvas to decorate. I parboiled yams and cut them out as jack o’lanterns since it was around Halloween time and themes are always good.

Each child received dough and a platter filled with more than everything they might need because I knew that there would be a lot of eating going on at the same time and that was my secret plan.

Then all hell broke loose with the 5.5 and two-year-old. With only one rolling pin, there wasn’t a whole lot patience while one rolled and one waited, so I had to save the moment and a melt down by creating another one with a dowel I found.

One angel (less than angelic) didn’t like it because their plates were DIFFERENT colors, so I heard a lot of “It’s not fair! Why don’t I have the same exact one!”

Dad solved the issue (which I was planning to ignore) by getting the SAME EXACT plate and all hurt feelings were soothed. With only one child, I didn’t ever have to experience that kind of behavior so it was a learning experience for me, too.

It was such a fun project and they enjoyed themselves so much so we did it another time, too.

Here’s the result from their first attempt….and below it is what I THOUGHT they were going to create. Letting go of expectations and allowing them to create their own masterpieces was a wise decision for sure, even though my OCD was slightly triggered.

It didn’t matter what they looked like, The Angels were very proud of their creations and ate them all up, including all the veggies, so it really was a success!

Do you see any resemblance at all? Nope, me neither.

For more ideas, go to Instagram and search for Focaccia Art and try it yourself!

As you can see, it didn’t matter what it looked like, it was a fun project for the Angels in spite of the sibling rivalry.

Here’s my go-to easy Focaccia Recipe. Pizza dough works great, too

1 + 1/4 cups warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 TBS olive oil
Using a heavy duty mixer (or a strong arm) beat all ingredients together for about one minute. The dough will be wet and sticky but resist the urge to add more flour. With the dough hook (or your strong arm) start kneading until the dough becomes elastic. Scrape it into an oiled blow, cover and let rise under double, about two hours. When dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Turn dough onto well floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Flatten with your fingers into an 8-9 inch round or rectangle. I had the kids use a rolling pin at first and then they dimpled the dough with their fingers. Brush on olive oil and start decorating with all of your prepped ingredients. Be creative! Let rise for fifteen minutes. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

It’s Halloween!

Wishing everyone a light-filled thinning of the veil on this Samhain.

Angel Boy 2.0 is a firefighter this year (thanks to this Grandma for choosing the perfect costume) and Angel Girl is either going to be a mermaid a la Fancy Nancy or a spider. And me? I’m always a princess…

Halloween

Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the route is ta’en,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the cove, to stray and rove,
Among the rocks and streams
To sport that night.
Robert Burns-1759-1796

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite 

Convo 918: “I love myself.”

“Look at what I made, Grandma! It’s a sculpture, it’s my creation!”

“That’s absolutely amazing, T! Make sure you put it in a safe place so I can see it the next time I visit, OK?”

And then he was off to play with the little girl next door.

“Gotta go, Grandma, Em’s waiting for me!”

Oh my heart. He’s FIVE YEARS OLD.

That gave us time for Dad to share an incredible story about Angel Girl 2.0. During her bath the previous evening, she stood up, put her arms around herself in a big hug, and said, “I love myself.”

Then she said, “Daddy love yourself, too.” directing him to give himself a hug.

C was napping, so I wasn’t able to chat with her.

T came back for a moment to grab a pile of grapes to share with his friend.

“Hi, Grandma! I’m still playing out front, you know how we do that, right? Em’s chasing me.”

“Hey T, do you love yourself?”

He said, “I love YOU, Grandma”.

I DIED.

“Oh, T, I love you, too. But do you love yourself?”

“Yes, Grandma, I love me too.” (I swear, it’s like talking to a teenager.)

And off he ran.

That boy. *Shaking my head.*

Where and how does a two-year-old acquire that kind of healthy self love? One of my favorite lady docs first shared with me Louise Hay’s suggestion to look in the mirror every day and say, “I love you” to my reflection. At first I scoffed, too embarrassed to look at myself any other way but critically, but because I liked and respected that doc so much, I gave it a try. And kept doing it until it wasn’t so weird. After that, I did some of Hay’s Mirror Work and Inner Child exercises. It’s tough work, that’s for sure, but insightful and nourishing.

That this little girl already has such a beautiful light spirit is glorious. Imagine if everyone felt that way, the world would be a very different place.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…

Try this Louise Hay Mirror Work exercise for a better morning routine:

  1. When you first wake up in the morning and open your eyes, say these affirmations to yourself: Good morning, bed. Thank you for being so comfortable. I love you. This
    is a blessed day. All is well. I have time for everything I need to do today.
  2. Now take a few more minutes to relax and let these affirmations flow through your mind, then feel them in your heart and throughout the rest of your body.
  3. When you’re ready to get up, go to your bathroom mirror. Look deeply into your eyes. Smile at that beautiful, happy, relaxed person looking back at you!
  4. As you’re looking in the mirror, say these affirmations: Good morning, [Name]. I love you. I really, really love you. There are great experiences coming our way today.
  5. And then say something nice to yourself like: Oh, you look wonderful today. You have the best smile. I wish you a terrific day today.

“Are you my Grandma?”

I got the Covid booster at my local CVS because it was easier and closer than the location my doc’s office was using. I didn’t want to drive home all the way from Del Mar just in case I had another allergic reaction.

**** You can read about that experience HERE: https://enchantedseashells.com/2021/01/23/rainbows-ivs-my-covid-vaccine-experience/ ****

There was a line even though we all had appointments, but I was glad to see so many people getting vaccines and boosters.

The woman behind me had her four-year-old daughter with her and clearly didn’t anticipate a wait so she hadn’t brought any books or toys for her little girl who was becoming slightly impatient. (Me too!)

I’ve learned that sometimes it helps to distract kids by engaging in conversation and told her how much I liked her sparkly shirt and that did it; I had a friend for life! She responded by telling me she loved my curly hair. I showed her photos of my adorable Angel Kids, the one with hair curlier than mine and the other with fiery titian hair.

“Hey, mom, LOOK! She has red hair just like me!”

“Are you my grandma too?

“No, honey, I’m grandma to this little boy and this little girl.”

“Can I see more pictures?”

Her mom nodded approval, so we spent a few minutes looking at pictures of T and C, which distracted her until it was my turn for the vaccine and we said goodbye.

It wasn’t as fulfilling as spending time with my own angels, but it still felt good to share some of my grandma magic.

It’s been an hour post-booster, and I guess I’ll live. I had a very slight allergic reaction, a little throat issue and asthma. They brought me Gatorade and readied an EpiPen but I didn’t need it because my albuterol inhaler helped forestall a severe respiratory issue. Even thought I had forced hydration for the last couple of days, I was PARCHED and drank the giant thirty two ounce bottle in about five minutes.

When I got home, I took Benadryl and Tylenol because I already had a headache and chills which tells me that I still have a robust immune system, nothing that ginger tea and a soft blanket can’t fix.

Oh, and the nice people from CVS gave me stickers for my Angel Kids, so I’m a happy, fully vaxxed grandma.

Reflections: Princess Rosebud Random Facts Revealed

I’ve been asked to share a little bit about who I am, so here ya go! I had to have three old crowns replaced this morning and while I’m recovering from the lidocaine numbness, I thought I’d string together random facts about me. Sadly, those aren’t the kind of crowns I’d prefer to wear but I guess I can say that I am now really and truly royal.

Why Princess Rosebud? I’m named after my paternal grandmother, a Jewish tradition, and her name was Rose. My dad started calling me Rosebud; other people began to refer to me as Princess (for obvious reasons), and thus Princess Rosebud was born. When my Angel Kids call me Grandma Princess Rosebud, it makes me laugh A LOT.

I grew up in Detroit and moved to SoCal during high school. I was a year younger than my classmates because I used to be SUPER smart and skipped a grade. However, that brainy-ness wore off fairly early, I’m sad to say. Since my dad wanted me to become a lawyer like he was or a doctor, I’m sure he would be slightly disappointed, but I’d still be his Rosebud, no matter what.

I don’t remember much about my high school years because I left early every day to intern at the Old Globe Theatre and to take ballet classes. I don’t think I went to a single football game, although I attended senior prom. As I posted a few months ago, I recently reconnected with a high school classmate who reminded me of the time we attended a Doors concert and I jumped on the stage. Hand to heart I didn’t remember one detail about that evening even though there are several newspaper accounts. As introverted as I am most of the time, getting close to Jim Morrison was the catalyst I needed to step outside of my natural tendencies.

Thanks to https://marthakennedy.blog/, I recalled a memory of the Old Globe. I interned mostly in the costume department where I learned the invaluable skill of sewing a breakaway sleeve for fight scenes. A few years later, I auditioned for a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It went so well that the director (famous Craig Noel) old me to keep going after I had finished a couple of paragraphs. The room was silent as I continued, and I was shocked to receive resounding applause. I didn’t get the job, though, but it was my best audition. I ALMOST showed up the following year to audition for Equus until I learned the role involved nudity and I couldn’t do it.

I stopped eating all meat of any kind in my junior year of high school. It took a bit longer to completely remove dairy and fish, but that happened, too. Right now in my refrigerator, all you’ll find is vegan pesto, tofu, mushrooms, and a fresh batch of veggie lentil soup. Avocados are a staple too, I eat one every day for the good fat.

I’ve always loved wolves and have no idea WHY since Detroit is the last place in the world you’d find one. There are wolves on Isle Royale, but I’ve never been there. According to a shamanic practitioner, I was actually a wolf in a former life, so that explains the connection. I like that scenario. Being outdoors with nature is where I’m happiest; tall buildings and concrete are disorienting and cause me a lot of anxiety so I tend to avoid the big city.

I went to college here, majored in literature, creative writing, and entered the elementary education teaching program, then I decided I wanted to be a famous movie star or director or something in show biz and switched my master’s focus to drama and production.

I thought about emigrating to New Zealand ‘cos I love to ski, but there was (and still is) a really long quarantine process for dogs so I didn’t follow through on that. I’ve always had a Border Collie in my life, at times along with a rescued wolfdog and other assorted cats and dogs.

After being cast in a few films and a stint as a casting assistant, I abandoned my Hollywood dreams because of a particularly scary and ugly casting director experience. Thank goodness I was saved before anything happened. Think along the lines of Harvey Weinstein…WHEW.

I interned at a local TV news station but didn’t enjoy it—a lot goes on behind the scenes and it’s way too competitive for me, but I learned a bit about investigative journalism. Mostly, I found it personally unsavory to shove a microphone in a mom’s face who had lost her son to a senseless street murder and ask her how she was feeling about it all…Not my cup of tea. I refer to those types of reporters as vultures…

A couple years later, I put all my effort, time, and attention into growing, birthing, and being mom to the original Angel Boy, still dipping my toe into local politics and passion projects from time to time, and always always defending and protecting and fighting for the rights of wolves and coyotes to exist.

Five years ago AB finally figured out the only way to deflect this Drone Mom is to have a baby (all about me, see how I do that?) which was a total success for him because my unparalleled devotion and obsessive attention is now laser focused on the Angel Kids, a win-win for us all.

As socially introverted as I am most of the time, I easily speak to huge crowds as I did when I testified in Sacramento to save wolves or stir up the masses at a packed city council meeting (I’m famous for that) or even to meet and speak with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I experience no fear at all in those situations but I’m most comfortable talking to my coyotes or my tomatoes or sitting on the floor discussing rainbows and kitty cakes with my Angel Kids. I can still hear T…”Grandma, why do I see a green bit? Is there any kale in here?” (Heehee, yes there’s probably always kale in everything I prepare, from muffins to smoothies.)

I literally never take a selfie but I was FaceTiming last evening with the fam and my son uncharacteristically told me I looked pretty which he NEVER does (AND he didn’t even have ulterior motives this time) so I had to snap a quick pic to see what he was looking at.

His exact words were, “Why are you all dressed up?” I wasn’t at all dressed up, but I can see his point since I emulate Cinderella most of the time. If I’m not scrubbing the floor or standing at the stove, what else could I be doing?

FUNNY!

Here I am. No filter and my necklaces are all tangled up. Straight-ish or curly, what do you think? Since I was at the dentist for such a long time, I showed him these pics and he liked the curly one. Random market research haha.

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.