Summer Solstice

Photo by John Nail on Pexels.com

It’ll stay light here until 8pm tonight, but in the Seattle area where my all my Angels live, it won’t get completely dark until 9:30 or so.

I used to think something significant should occur on these solstices, something to remember or define or to memorialize planetary movements, but usually nothing overt happens, although there’s always the chance that stuff might be fomenting beneath the surface.

So far, this is the only significant event that’s occurred…I’m not exactly sure where, but I lost one of my favorite necklaces, the one I never took off with very tiny diamonds and an impossibly delicate chain. I had it for years and years, just a bit of sparkle that layered well with all my other jewelry. It must have broken and fell off without warning. Since I’m not sure where it happened, it’s even worse because I don’t know where to look. I feel like I somehow neglected caring for it and this is a sign or a message from the universe that I should have been more conscientious and attentive. I hate losing things that I’ve loved and cherished and much like a phantom limb, I can still feel it. During the day, I’ll reach up to touch the spot where the tiny pendant would sit between my collarbones and it’s not there. I don’t often lose things, so this is going to bother me for a while, or at least until I get a replacement, but I’ll always miss what I had before it was gone.

Do you celebrate the summer solstice?

Mother’s Day and Reproductive Rights Walk Hand in Hand

The real world has a sneaky way of intruding on my enchanted life. It’s so annoying.

Seriously, are we really doing this again?

Although in retrospect, I think Mother’s Day is the perfect time to stand on my soapbox and SCREAM to the world.

Mother’s Day isn’t always all about flowers and cards, although it’s nice to be appreciated for our neverending love.

MOTHER takes on new context in this fresh wave of assaults on our reproductive rights.

I don’t particularly care for the word “abortion” even though I’m one million percent pro-choice, because I think that every single right we fought long and hard for is being horrifically and systematically eroded in real time.

Do you know what’s been happening in some of our states? No rights for rape victims. No rights for children who get pregnant as a result of being raped by a family member. What’s next? No birth control, no credit cards, and then rescind the right to vote?

More new repressive and regressive reality:

Eleven-year-old girls are now old enough to…

Legally marry!
—YES, Tennessee HB 233

Be charged with homicide for an abortion!
—YES, Louisiana HB 813

Can learn about racism?
—NO, 31 states pass bills to ban dialogue on racism.

More insanity…the American Taliban now wants to pass legislation in ‘red states’ that will require women to pass a ‘negative’ pregnancy test in order to leave their home states.

Beto O’Rourke said that abortion laws are about “power and control over women” and he’s one hundred percent right.

I’ve shared this before. My mom was a registered nurse who practiced way before Roe versus Wade. Abortions were illegal but that didn’t STOP women from having them; what it did was drive women to back room practitioners or resort to self harm. My mom was on the front lines day after day and this is what she told me about working in a hospital before legal abortions: one infection after another, one hysterectomy after another, one D&C after another, one death after another — women who bled to death, hemorrhaging so profusely with blood loss so severe, no one could stop it.

This is the reality of life before Roe versus Wade in 1973.

Those were some of the reasons why she was an early and fervent supporter of reproductive rights. A majority of those women would have survived if abortion had been legalized at the time.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I CHOSE to have my son. He was planned and loved well before there was even a fertilized egg. However, if I had chosen NOT to have him for ANY reason at all, that also is MY CHOICE. Without government interference and without any religion or man telling me what I can and can’t do with my body. MY CHOICE. My rights.

Probably the most chilling thing about all this is horrible Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel Alito wrote in their leaked opinion that we don’t “need” abortion: “domestic supply of infants for adoption” is their justification for taking away our right to our own body.

This is a real life dystopian Handmaid’s Tale. Basically, they’re attempting to turn us into baby making factories for child trafficking.

My friend Nancy Sinatra (yes, THAT Nancy Sinatra) says, “You know, I’ve been thinking, I don’t want a man, any man, telling me what to do or not do with my body, It’s none of his damn business. Period. I would never tell you what to do with your body so leave mine alone. My body has sovereignty. It’s my temple, not yours so back off!”

From Bruce Miller, Creator/Executive Producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale”
“I’m not sure I can ask actors or crew members to travel and work in a state where an ectopic pregnancy would sentence my employee to death.

Codify Roe v Wade. Once and for all, stay out of my uterus. Organize and march.

Most of all, VOTE.

And Happy Mother’s Day!

Random Chat with a Princess: Secret Revealed

Those two little humans I’m honored to spend time with love nothing more than to perch themselves on the bar stools, four elbows on the countertop in order to scrutinize and narrate my every move in the kitchen like a TV chef.

From chopping onions to slicing red peppers for an afternoon snack, to helping roll out pizza dough, I’m the star of the show.

“We have that same kind of hummus, Grandma.”
“Grandma, my almond butter at my house looks like yours!”
“I go to Trader Joes with Daddy. He lets me get snack bars. I like strawberry.”
“Did you get your almond butter from Trader Joes, Grandma?”

“I have a Traders too, Angel Girl, and a lot of the food I get at my store is the same food you get at your store. The next time I go there, come with me and we can compare all the labels and the similar types of food. Won’t that be fun?”

There was a unanimous request for breakfast burritos, so I placed all the ingredients on the counter and started preparing them like a short order cook.

When I opened the plastic bag of tortillas, I saw that SOME of them had a TINY–literally microscopic– bit of mold on them. (Ooops.)

That did NOT escape the eagle eyed surveillance of a curly haired little girl. She doesn’t miss a THING.

“Grandma, we have tortillas at our house too, but ours don’t have little green spots on them.”

“Why do your tortillas have little green spots on them, Grandma?”

She was seriously conjuring up a memory of the tortillas at her house and comparing them to these with admittedly very TINY moldy spots on them. As a reminder, this child is two and a half years old and speaks in complete sentences like her kindergarten brother.

I couldn’t stop laughing to myself because I have a slight problem I’ve tried to hide from everyone. It’s this: once in a great while, I confess that I’ve been known to camouflage or cut out mold on bread or tortillas and this brilliant and observant child just outed me to the world.

I poked through the layers of tortillas and found a couple that did NOT have telltale little green spots on them and finished their second breakfast of the day.

(Don’t worry, I don’t make a practice of serving moldy food!)

Later….

“Grammy, why are there so many seashells in your house?”

“Well, you know how much I love seashells and rocks, don’t you? I save them every time we go to the beach at your house and I bring them home.”

In the upstairs bathroom as I ran the water for a bath, T (the math lover) counted all the seashells, forgot where he stopped, and had to restart the count about four times.

“Grandma, there are thirty two seashells just right here.”

“That’s a nice even number”, I said, as we toss all the toys in the bath.

“But they’re everywhere!”

“Well, my friend, I guess you’ll have a lot of counting to do, right? But now it’s bath time, so in you go and then it’ll be time for Char’s bath.”

“Out of the mouths of babes” is so accurate. You gotta be on the top of your game 24/7 with those two bright humans.

Johnny Depp: When Misandry + Intimate Partner Violence + Defamation Collide

From Jada Pinkett Smith’s puppetmastering of Will Smith which led to the Academy Awards slap heard ’round the world, to Johnny Depp’s failed relationship with Amber Heard, the term misandry is now in our lexicon.

If misogynist is the word we use to describe a woman-hater, the correct word for a man-hater is a misandrist. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, misandry is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys. Misandry can manifest itself in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of men, violence against men, and sexual objectification of men. The belief in a matriarchal structure like this is the true ideology for those who wish to completely switch the power structure. http://www.aiesecus.org

I knew of people and situations like this, but never before had specific terminology to clearly define these particular patterns of behaviors.

I’ve known of toxic women who have falsely accused their partners of rape and assault. I’ve witnessed the damage it wrought: emotional, psychological, and financial.

It does a total disservice to those real and true victims — any gender — of intimate partner abuse; it damages their credibility and believability.

For those of you who aren’t my regular readers, I’m nobody special. I’m nothing more and nothing less than a mom and a grandma. I have one son and two grandchildren.

I’m not a medical or mental health professional, but my opinion from my own observations, is that misandry, narcissism, and other Cluster B personality disorders go hand in hand.

I knew I wanted to opine on Johnny Depp, but I wasn’t sure when I would post it. I think now that his case-in-chief concluded, it’s the right time.

Have you been following this trial?

Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard has given us a glimpse of what it’s like to try and prove (or disprove) intimate partner violence in court.

He claims that her false abuse allegations defamed him and caused him financial damages, ruining his entire career; especially the loss of acting as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and other films.

In a recorded conversation presented as evidence, Amber was heard taunting him, “Tell the world, Johnny, tell them, Johnny Depp — I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence” and challenging him to “see how many people believe or side with you.”

And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Johnny Depp has sacrificed his money, his ego, and his privacy to show the world what domestic violence looks like behind closed doors. #mentoo

Tragically, what this trial shows us is that a man must go above and beyond to prove he’s been abused — simply because he is a man. Amber Heard only had to SAY the words and many believed her. Johnny Depp has had to expose every personal and painful detail of his life to just get the world to listen.

Asked by his attorney what he lost, he replied, “I lost nothing less than everything.” I will live with that for the rest of my life because of the allegations,”  “No matter the outcome of this trial, I’ve already lost. I lost when these allegations were made cause they will stay with me forever. My life is ruined forever”.

Because of his courage, millions of survivors no longer need to feel alone and unheard.

In my eyes, he’s a hero.

Dr.Shannon Curry provided a court ordered psychological evaluation of Amber Heard. She reviewed audio recordings, videos, photograph, and witness testimonies to result in a dual diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder and Histrionic personality disorder.

Here’s a link to excellent clear and concise information about personality disorders: Abuse in the Media: The Johnny Depp Case

I am proud of Johnny Depp for standing in his own truth with authenticity and vulnerability in the face of raw testimony that included getting a part of his finger cut off, Amber defecating in his bed, cigarettes put out on his face, being punched, and cans thrown at him.

From @Sophie_Choudry So happy #JohnnyDepp is speaking up! Someone very dear to me has suffered years being married to an abusive narcissist. His biggest fear was that being a man, people wouldn’t believe him. Praying this case changes that & people recognise Men get abused too!

No matter what the jury decides, I believe that Amber Heard is the abuser and Johnny Depp was her victim.

I’m #TeamJohnnyDepp #JusticeforJohnnyDepp

Wisdom from His Holiness The Dalai Lama

How to overcome negative emotions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama

Every single time I hear him speak, I’m filled with gratitude for the time we spent together and how he touched me: mind, body, spirit, and soul.

He’s a special, special gift of light and love and wisdom.

Strange Encounters

Do you listen to your inner voice? Do you pay attention when you’re in a situation and something doesn’t feel right?

I know it’s a been a good long time since we’ve gathered in groups. For me it’s been a bit more than two years because I had a feeling that this mystery virus was worse than anticipated and stopped going to the gym or any other public event at the end of February 2020, a couple weeks before the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Now we’re in this sort of post-pandemic limbo coupled with a country inhabited by repression and rampant racism, banned books, elected officials who want to turn the clock back to a time where women had ZERO rights (reproductive and otherwise), and schools are prohibited from teaching certain subjects and acknowledge individual gender identity — and if we add the genocide in Ukraine, the world seems bleak.

A few days ago I had every intention of attending an all day seminar but I left after a few minutes.

Here’s why:

Right off the bat I got some weird vibes (only way I can describe it) from a group of guys that were clearly in the military. There were about a dozen of them, very young and all unmasked although masks were still required. They stood in the hallway just outside the room. One of them, way too clean cut and extremely militant looking, for some reason picked me out and started interrogating me with rapid fire questions in an insistent, belligerent, almost hostile, overly assertive voice, “Are you the teacher?” “Do you know where we’re supposed to go?” “Are you taking this class, too?” I took a moment to breathe and assess the threat level (haha) and responded, “You sure do ask a lot of questions” and he tried to stare me down before he walked away to stand with the guys he arrived with. It’s not easy to intimidate me so he obviously picked the wrong person. I might be only five feet tall, but that’s misleading if anyone thinks I can be bullied. I can turn into ghetto grandma in the the blink of an eye. (Namaste, y’all.) My initial feeling is that they were white supremacist/Oathkeeper-types. No, I have no proof, only a feeling, and not a good one. Why they were there didn’t make sense.

I observed another man, older, also unmasked, making the rounds of the room before the seminar started. He seemed to think it was one of those instant speed dating events as he chatted with all the women. When he came up to me, I purposely made no eye contact but he didn’t seem to care. “You must be cold. YOU MUST BE COLD.” I glanced at him. “Your arms are folded, you must be cold.” I ignored him. I don’t play the “friend finder” game. He was annoying and obnoxious. He walked away without escalating his sales pitch, thank goodness.

I don’t think it was ME — I wasn’t spewing negative energy — I was minding my own business.

The instructor showed up and closed the door. I was sitting all the way in the back nearest the exit and counted about fifty people in the room with only ten masked, including myself. All I could think about was the newest variant and how it might not be prudent to be stuck in a room with no open windows or air circulation.

When I quietly told the instructor’s assistant that I didn’t feel comfortable being there, she was extremely gracious.

I feel like I totally did the right thing by leaving for all the reasons.

I wonder what the story was all about with those Marines because they were out of place. I heard the instructor and his assistant talking about them too, so I know it wasn’t just me. Something didn’t fit. Something wasn’t right.

Are things back to normal for you now? Would you have stayed?

Think Pink

I don’t know why Angel Girl 2.0 and I love the color pink as much as we do, but we DO.

“What’s your favorite color?”

“PINK PINK PINK!”‘

A little research reveals that the color pink represents compassion, nurturing, tenderness, and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing.

A combination of red and white, pink contains the need for action of red, helping it to achieve the potential for success and insight offered by white. It is the passion and power of red softened with the purity, openness and completeness of white. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy it exhibits.

Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. It tones down the physical passion of red replacing it with a gentle loving energy. https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-pink.html

All I know for sure is that all shades of PINK make me happy, from the pink of my ballet shoes to any and all flowers in the garden. After all, I was named for a flower so in my case, it was sort of predestined.

It’s a little early for my rosebushes, but here’s a very pink freesia:

And deeply pink peach flowers, Since this is the tree’s first year, I know I’m supposed to pinch off all the flowers so the tree will grow stronger but I can’t bear to do that.

“I want to go home.”

I had an unsettling dream. I had originally awakened just before six a.m. and thought I’d meditate but I made the mistake of laying my head back down on the pillow and fell asleep for about thirty more minutes.

BIG mistake.

I remember bits and pieces of this dream but am losing the main narrative. Dreams are so ephemeral; they swirl out of my mind like smoke from a bundle of sage. I’m hurrying to write it down before the details disappear forever.

My mom decided she wanted to move to another city. I can’t remember the reason but I went with her. I recall that I was moving away from the angels who lived in the city we were leaving and why I would do that that made absolutely no no sense to me, but I did it anyway. This was weird and out of character behavior because in real life, my mom lived with us here in this house. She wasn’t the type of person to encourage me to abandon my family.

There are decades and lives that are not aligned in reality — my mom died years before there were any angels and I don’t live in the Pacific Northwest like they do, but dreams shapeshift and time travel, so in that regard I guess it all makes sense. Sort of.

On the whole, I like to stay put, I like security, I love the adventure of travel but I also like to have an anchor to bring me back, a safe haven, a sanctuary. I don’t really take risks like packing up all my stuff and moving away forever. For me, there’s no place like home.

Back to the dream…we found a house to rent and I was engrossed in decorating my bedroom in pink and lavender (details!) but I wasn’t happy. I was yearning for HOME. I can’t explain WHY but there were roommates and I stayed in my room because I like solitude. I missed the angels. Oh, my bed was a narrow hospital bed with a handcrank, not sure why; maybe it was already there in the room because I wasn’t sick, not in the dream.

My mom suggested we attend some kind of outdoor activity–I can’t recall if it was a theme park or a street fair or a sports game (things she HATED in real life) but I went with her.

I got lost and separated from her because it was too noisy and I became disoriented. A little boy about T’s age was lost too but he had a better sense of direction than I did and helped us both find the exit where I found my mom waiting for me. I remember thinking that I should escort the little boy to his grownups, but in my dream, he kind of vanished. I guess he was there to help me, not the other way around,

I told her, “I want to go home. I really want to go home. I really need to go home.”

She said “OK” and we immediately started packing to return home.

After that, I woke up with the strongest message in my head, “I want to go home.” As soon as I opened my eyes before I was fully awake, I repeated it out loud to myself.

But I AM home.

I already know there’s no place like home. It’s very special to me.

What was that all about?

Time for a Confession

I need an intervention.

I’ve watched so many British TV shows that I called somebody a wanker (under my breath) and actually started to get in my car on the OTHER side.

Sometimes I use the word “whilst” and stop myself from adding a “u” to color, honor, favorite. I actually think they look better with the addition, but that’s a personal issue.

I think it all started years ago with Absolutely Fabulous and all the British baking shows, Downton of course, Broadchurch, Vera, Scott & Bailey, Call the Midwife, Endeavour, Sherlock, The Crown, Unforgotten, Grantchester, now All Creatures Great and Small…soooo many!

Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of American TV unless it’s reruns of The Nanny or Bewitched or Emergency and it’s turned me into a bloody fool, but I should stop whinging. I’m cheeky like that. No worries, it’s all brill.

My DIL thinks I’m so funny because she likes to watch American shows and I don’t think they are nearly as well acted or written. Oh, we love to watch trashy Dynasty, but that’s a one off for me.

One of my favorite sayings is “needs must”. I reckon those two words speak volumes.

Cheers! Off you go then.

Angel Boy Chat #323 “I TAUGHT GRANDMA SOMETHING!”

I have a lot of posts in my drafts folder; this sweet little convo took place the last time I saw the Angels.

“Tell me one fun thing you did at kindergarten today, my beautiful boy.”

(Note: I try to never ask questions that will never elicit a yes or no response.)

“I can subitize. Can you, Grandma?”

“What word did you say?”

“SUBITIZE!.” “SUBITIZE!!!” he yells RIGHT in my ear.

[Laughing] “Dude, I can hear you just fine, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that word. Say it again slowly.”

“Subitize.”

“What is that?”

“It’s like this” and he grabs a domino, looks at the amount of dots on it, and says “Eight”.

“Do another one, T.”

“Six.”

“How do you know without counting each one?”

He shrugs his TEENAGER-ISH shoulders, “I dunno, that’s subitize, Grandma.”

OK, well of course I know how to look at a group of items and my brain automatically counts them, but I didn’t know there was an actual word for it, so I learned something from our little kindergartner and he was BEYOND pleased that he could teach me for a change.

“Mommy, I taught Grandma something!” He was so proud of himself for knowing something that I did not.

From that day forward, our game is to say “Subitize me!” so he can quickly subitize sections of tangerines or apple slices or carrot sticks lined up to dip into hummus.

Did you know this word? Am I the only one who didn’t??

Subitizing is the rapid, accurate, and confident judgments of numbers performed for small numbers of items. The term was coined in 1949 by E.L. Kaufman et al., and is derived from the Latin adjective subitus (meaning “sudden”) and captures a feeling of immediately knowing how many items lie within the visual scene, when the number of items present falls within the subitizing range. Sets larger than about four items cannot be subitized unless the items appear in a pattern that the person is familiar with (such as the six dots on one face of a die).(Wiki)