Foot Fetish

Due to a communications mixup, I didn’t get to see the new podiatrist until today.

Lemme back up…about a month ago, my foot started to hurt after a long walk. At first I thought it was a stress fracture, but there was no bruising.

Pretend doc that I think I am, I decided it was a joint or tendon injury: extensor tendonitis and possibly capsulitis of the second metatarsal. I wore a boot in the house, iced it, soaked in epsom salts, taped it up with KT tape, and did a lot of stretching.

Refusing to give in to the pain, I forced my poor foot to go on long walks that were excruciatingly painful.

Finally, this morning, I got an xray and waited for the doc. Actually there were two of them that came in to see me, ‘cos I guess it was a slow Monday. They asked me what happened and I gave them both the benefit of my ZERO years of medical school.

I was pretty chatty and finally, one of them broke in and said, “How’d you like to look at the xray?”

I said, “Well, you could have shut me up about five minutes ago haha”, but he said he liked listening to my diagnosis, even though I was totally wrong.

The xray left no doubt as to what the problem is IT’S a COMPLETELY BROKEN stress fracture at the base of the toe and not healing because I kept re-injuring it.

My initial diagnosis was correct! I should have gone to medical school for real, oh well, too late now…

I hate my feet, I really do, they’re tiny but completely deformed from too many years of ballet and toe-crushing pointe shoes, in addition to breaking every toe multiple times because I’m CARELESS. I call them my fat little trotters.

I can’t walk anywhere for two weeks, I have to wear a hiking boot in the house, I can’t go barefoot at all, and I had to promise to actually and truly wear the boot so I wouldn’t be forced to have an aircast up to my knee. In other words, my foot needs to be completely immobilized.

On the plus side, they told me I had the softest feet they had ever seen, (which was only slightly weird) and they loved my high arches–from an anatomical perspective. The docs said I should see the rest of the feet THEY have to look at all day, and in that regard, my feet were a PLEASURE. LOL. AND that my sunny disposition cheered them both up because they were having a not-so-great Monday. We spent a lot of time laughing which made me happy, too.

There’s a SLIGHT chance I’ll have to have surgery in January, but only if it doesn’t finish healing correctly if I disregard their expert advice.

That’s my Monday, I hope yours is less fraught with injury!

“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.

Another Critter Visit; Preparing for the Covid Booster

Another critter somehow got in the house and spoke to me all night, maybe to reassure me that I won’t have a similar allergic reaction to the Covid booster I’m getting tomorrow morning that I had for the first vaccine. Honestly, it was kind of scary and I’m not looking forward to a repeat performance.

This time it was a cicada. I’ve heard them before in the garage, but I’ve never had one in the house, chirping ALL NIGHT LONG like a worn out smoke alarm battery.

Of course I had to research it…

Cicadas, for many, represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation. OK, that’s positive; good to know.

The cicada sings by contracting the internal tymbal muscles. This causes the membranes to buckle inward, producing a distinct sound. When these muscles relax, the tymbals pop back to their original position. Male cicadas in the same brood will stick together when calling in order to increase the total volume of noise.

California cicadas aren’t destructive creatures like the Brood X variety, but having one in the house is REALLY annoying!

Cicada appeared over 200 million years ago, all over the world in temperate to tropical climates.

A baby Cicada, called a nymph, remains in underground regions often near trees, waiting until its ready for birth. The pause that occurs before awakening doesn’t seem unusual until you learn the waiting period ranges anywhere from one year to seventeen! Because of this, Cicada became a symbol of immortality, resurrection, spiritual ecstasy, synchronicity, harmony with the Universe, and clever strategy.

The Greeks found themselves fascinated by the Cicada, believing it was sacred to Apollo and Dionysus. Aristotle littered various writing with Cicada meanings, focusing on the topics of rebirth and eternal life. In one of Plato’s dialogues, he and Socrates sit among the Cicada for deep, metaphorical discussion with a strong musical motif. Socrates muses, saying the Cicada are local nymph-like spirits who inhabit the land and sing. Their canticle includes stories of Pan and other Nature Gods filled with joy. The Cicada chorus renders inspiration to people with an ear to hear and even inspires love with lyrical prowess.

Could a cicada be your spirit animal? When the cicada comes into your awareness as a spirit animal, a time of emergence is at hand. You can no longer hide underground or sit on life’s sidelines. It’s time to stand up and work on self-development.

The cicada spirit animal hums to you about the past, metamorphosis, and changes yet to come. It is time for shaking off the restrictions you’ve put on yourself (or imposed by others). Cicada signals shedding your old skin so you can stretch in the way you express yourself. The process will seem a little uncomfortable at first. Examining elements of your past so you understand how they hold you back isn’t easy and requires a lot of honesty. Once you release old ways like the cicada, however, you re-emerge into life and blossom.
https://d2605da9b070c6b91e40be2ab2e53847.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Cicada spirit animal challenges you to work on your communication skills while you walk with it. You need to find your true voice.

Whether the  cicada appears in dreams, visions, waking life or synchronicities, it is a sign and message that you are elevating. The cicada represents illumination, empowerment, insight, breaking through, and having a sense of humor with leaving others to figure out their own spiritual means. You are in this life because you are being entrusted to learn what is necessary for you. Forgive others, let them go so that whatever you do not tolerate, they can be that with those who do. You are not responsible for them. https://www.powerfulmystic8.com/sacred-spirit-shaman-blog/2018/6/27/shamanic-dream-symbols-cicada-bug

Thank goodness for Google!

I’m forcing a lot of hydration today to hopefully forestall another allergic reaction to the vaccine, but I anticipate a high fever and headache is in the future for me after that. My immune system is very sensitive to all vaccines. No crystal ball needed.

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

Synergy for Good Health

From time to time I’ll review a company or a product that I feel might be of some benefit to me and my enchanted friends.

When The Synergy Company offered to send me some samples for review, I was intrigued. In this lull between re-opening our lives after the restrictive pandemic shutdown and at the same time closing back up to protect us from the Delta variant and the non-vaccinated, I think it’s important to focus on our holistic health routines.

They sent one of my favorites: Immune Health with Organic Mushrooms and Fuciodan, along with Pure Radiance C, and Zinc Complex, something my own doctor recommends. All are made with organic ingredients, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and Kosher.

I curated the following information directly from their website: https://www.thesynergycompany.com/  

Immune Health™ is designed for daily, ongoing systemic support with an exclusive blend of 7 organic mushrooms for immune support and SuperPure® extracts of beta 1,3-glucan, astragalus IV & fucoidan

Pure Radiance C® unites our organic camu camu extract and organic acerola cherry extract with 9 antioxidant-rich organic berries and fruits to yield a 100% natural form of vitamin

Zinc Complex combines fermented zinc with an organic food complex of immune-supporting shiitake mushrooms, vitamin C-rich camu camu berries, and wholesome green vegetables and sprouts.

The company is based out of Moab, Utah.

I was provided product by the company for sampling and review; I was not compensated, and all the opinions are my own.

Kale and Chard: A Burning Sensation

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same stupid thing over and over again with the same results — not learning the lesson — and I must confess that applies to me here!

I grow a lot of chard and spinach and lettuce and kale. They all seem to thrive at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. I cook some, freeze some, annoy everyone by putting it in every baked good from brownies to cookies, and I love to eat it raw.

That’s where this started. For a while, I’ve been picking chard and kale while I’m outside gardening, just to enjoy being Mother Earth in action.

For a similarly long time, I’ve noticed that after I eat raw kale and chard and sometimes spinach, my throat starts to burn, not like I ate something spicy, but like I mixed bleach and ammonia and inhaled it (yes, I’ve done that, too, accidentally of course).

After several experiences of this painful throat, I finally did what I should have done the first time, I GOOGLED the symptoms.

Lo and behold, it’s a THING.

Maria Hepler, RDN, CLT: Calcium, which is an essential nutrient for strong bones, can be found in many green leafy vegetables, such as collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, kale, and Swiss chard.

However, oxalic acid, an organic acid found in spinach, chard, and beet greens, and moderately in kale, among other plants, binds with the calcium they supply and reduces its absorption, so in their raw form these should not be considered a good source of calcium.

What are the symptoms that one has eaten too much oxalic acid?  These include burning in the mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, weakness, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Spinach contains phytic acid and oxalic acid. It may be better to steam the spinach and not to eat it raw.

For sensitive individuals, even small quantities of oxalic acid  eaten regularly can lead to kidney stones or bladder crystals, along with the problem of calcium depletion. 

Does this mean we shouldn’t add kale or other greens that contain oxalic acid to our smoothies? Not necessarily. Cooking or steaming these vegetables can significantly reduce the amount of oxalic acid present, which will help with calcium absorption (make sure to drain your greens thoroughly as the oxalates go in the water).

If this is a concern, it’s best to precook leafy greens and store them in the freezer (in individual portions) for quick access.

I never used to notice this reaction to acidity in raw greens but now that I know, I will definitely stick to picking lettuce for my garden treats.

“Chanel Time, Grandma!”

We have our routine, Charlotte and I.

I bring out the creams, powder, and a special bottle of Chanel perfume.

Charlotte climbs on the bed and we commence our spa day. Self-care can’t begin too early!

“Let’s start with the powder” I say,

“Just a tiny pinch, right Grandma?”

“That’s right, Char.”

“Come closer.” She takes the powder and pats it on my neck with tiny hands as soft as velvety down.

“Do you too, Char!”

“Just a pinch more for Charlotte”, as she mirrors the same exact patting motion on her own neck.

“Now cream for cheeks, right?”

“Here you go, but not too much.”

“Not TOO much, Grandma.”

She rubs it all over my cheeks and forehead.

Time grinds to a complete stop as there is nothing in the world more precious than being pampered by a little girl not yet two, who takes my face in both of her baby hands and ever-so-delicately and deliberately slathers my face in enough cream for a week’s worth of moisturizing.

“There you go, Grammy.”

“Me turn.” And Char again replicates the second part of this very important grooming process.

“NOW time for CHANEL!”

Excitedly, she opens the bottle, smells the heavenly fragrance, and dips in the stick.

“Pull up sleeves, Grandma.”

I pull up my sleeves and she swipes a few drops on my wrist, motioning me to rub my wrists together to evenly disperse the perfume, as I taught her.

After she does the same for herself and her stuffed flamingo, we’re ready to start our day.

“Come on Grammy, let’s go to the park!”

You got it, Char. Wherever you want to go, my girl.

April’s Full Pink Moon

I love all phases of the moon but I especially search for the full moon no matter where I am, whether it’s in the desert or the mountains or at the beach or even if it’s at my house–mama moon always makes her presence known and felt.

Tonight’s moon after the clouds is so bright!

Phlox 'Star of Heaven', Moss Phlox – Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens

I know it’s not really pink but that’s only a slight disappointment. Tonight’s full moon is also a super moon which means that the moon is full while also in perigee, or closest approach to Earth.

It’s actually referred to as a Pink Moon because Moss Phlox are in full bloom during this season.

I found this awesome YouTube video with all of the healing sounds and frequencies and thought I’d share it so everyone has plenty of time to dedicate to this experience.

It starts at 14hz and moves to 12.5hz at 4.20 minutes; 6.35 minutes it moves to 7.83hz
(Schumann Resonance) for 12 minutes, then drops to 0.5hz until the end. There is an underlying base frequency of 432hz which is enhanced within the music as well. The music has an underlying frequency of 285Hz.

I hope you enjoy this. I like to use headphones but it’s not 100% necessary. Don’t forget to charge your crystals!

YUM! Miyoko’s Vegan Cream Cheese

Whenever I find a great product, I love to share it with you guys.

I thought I’d try vegan cream cheese again. The last time I did, it was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. It looked gross and tasted like grainy, slimy wallpaper paste that left a nasty residue in my mouth. Yuck.

At Traders this morning, I gave in to temptation and picked up a tub of Miyoko’s Cream Cheese.

I didn’t examine the label with as much scrutiny as I usually do because the store was crowded and I wanted to hurry and get out of there.

When I got home, I was starving and opened a box of crackers, crossing my fingers that this new variety of vegan cream cheese wouldn’t be another disaster.

After my first taste, I thought I had accidentally purchased real cream cheese with LOX (salmon) and I was totally freaking out. I literally ran in the kitchen to look at the container to check ingredients in case I made a mistake. I was gobsmacked (love that word) to read this:

I can’t believe how accurately Miyoko’s replicated the flavors and texture of milk-based cream cheese. What a joy!

Product Details: •Non-GMO • Lactose Free • Gluten Free • Soy Free • Palm Oil Free • Kosher • Ingredients: Organic Cashews, Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Cream, Sea Salt, Organic Seaweed, Vegetable Juice for Color, Cultures

Even if you’re not a vegan, I suggest you give it a try because it’s simply DELICIOUS. And best of all, their products are cruelty-free.

**This post is an unsolicited endorsement; the company didn’t send products for review nor have I received any form of compensation.**

Recipe: Refreshing Infused Herbal Water

As promised, I’m going to share my recipe for this refreshing and healthy herbal beverage. It’s been unseasonably warm here and I was getting tired of plain old water to hydrate and quench my thirst.

Every herb came from my garden. To sliced cucumber and lemon, I added

Thyme
Basil
Sage
Lemon verbena
Cilantro and cilantro flowers, the whole thing, stem included
Celery leaves (yes I grow celery)

I suggest that you try whatever you have in your garden. I might add a sprig or two of lavender, but it’s an overpowering addition and I wanted the purity of character that herbs impart. My parsley and marjoram are still seedlings and I didn’t have any ginger on hand or I would have sliced a big hunk of that, too. It’s fun to experiment…just make sure every plant is edible and non toxic

After refrigerating for a while to marry the flavors and chill, I poured it into a big glass and garnished with an orange nasturtium flower. Keep replenishing the water and it’ll stay fresh and yummy for about four or five days.

It was so delicious and refreshing! I felt exactly as if I was being pampered at a posh day spa.

Happy first Saturday in April!