“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.

Untying The Knots

What’s that sound I hear?

Melodic silence greeted me this morning.

Not at the godawful hour of 5:30 a.m. (their witching hour) but at a more respectable 6:30. The only sounds on this Sunday morning are the hawks and birds and the incessant warning squeak of a ground squirrel.

As I restore the house to a once again adult dwelling, moving the breakables back into their original position, I turn to the garden where I’m greeted with a massive knot installation by Captain Theo.

He had been deeply involved in a fantasy world of boats where he was the captain and we had to salute and respond to him with “Aye aye, Captain.” I asked him what my job was on the ship and he said I was his Mate, and so I was referred to as “Matey.”

Don’t even ask me where his creative little mind dredged up that scenario, but it was SUPER cute, as Char would say.

He wore a hat and gathered up all the rope he could find, along with some buckets and an old oar that was lying around, and proceeded to create a fairly sophisticated jumble of knots, all the more impressive because no one had ever taught him about the art of knot tying.

He designated himself as Captain of his world–that level of self confidence in a child is positive and healthy especially since he really really loves to give orders, which is why he’s been called Bossy Boots since he was two.

When it was time to untie the knotted structure because he wanted to build something else, he was frustrated and asked for help.

Always looking for the lesson in things–a teachable moment–as I sort of guided his unraveling, we chatted about what it feels like to be frustrated and how sometimes, a task like UNtying knots opens up an opportunity to learn to really pay attention (mindfulness) and practice patience.

Thereafter, his new phrase to Char was, “Just be a little patient and it will all work out.”

Hand to heart, that child is beyond precious. What a gift he is.

Now if someone could just get over here and help me untie the knots he left behind I’d really appreciate it!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Patience, Princess.”

PATIENCE.

BREATHE INTO IT.

“Super Cute”

I’m not sure where either one of them picks up their quirky language especially since they rarely watch TV, but Angel Girl 2.0 has mastered this art.

It was time for us to all put on our “day clothes.” The kids dressed first, ready for all the adventures a new day brings.

Followed back downstairs to my room, lacking any personal space boundaries, I was severely scrutinized as I chose an outfit for this very warm summery day.

Under her judgy and appraising almost two-year-old eye (think Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada), I stop midway and ask, “Do you like my dress?”

*Pause*

Super cute, Grandma. SUPER cute.”

She turns, suddenly runs off, returning with her sparkly pink tiara.

“Here, wear this too, Grandma.”

I put it on (of course I do) and she steps back to examine me from head to toe with a serious look on her face.

“REALLY super cute, Grandma.”

For sure that’s the stamp of approval.

And then, “I want a smoothie. SMOOTHIE!”

So there we have it.

One minute a princess, and the next–in the blink of an eye-– I’m back to creating smoothie magic.

My enchanted life…

Serenity NOW!

My life’s odyssey doesn’t seem to be a straight line to bliss, that’s for sure.

The oven situation was NOT the easy fix I’d hoped for. It’s going to take a whole new electronic panel which’ll take several days to get here.

On the glass half full side, the technician helped me purchase the part online, saving about $100, so I appreciated his honesty. He didn’t charge for today’s visit and diagnosis, and the cost for his labor is reasonable.

As I bemoaned the horrible timing, he suggested I purchase a toaster oven. I had meant to do that a long time ago and forgot, so this was a great solution to my dilemma. I ran out and got one that day AND it was on sale, a fact that makes this Grandma very happy.

If every cloud really has a silver lining, mine is now pure gold with diamond sparkles. Charlotte’s new behavior is to run at me from across the room, jump in my arms, wrap herself around me and say, “Charlotte hug and kiss Grandma!” Over and over again. That two-year-old with the titian hair and her curly big brother expressing their affectionate and exuberant joie de vivre wipe away any and all angst about the oven.

Just now from Theo at 5:26 a.m., “Wake up, Princess Rosebud!”
Right behind him from Char at 5:27 a.m.,”Grandma, where’s apple pie?”

It might be a day late, but they WILL have their apple pie!

Have a happy and safe 4th, everyone!

Adapting To Circumstances

More craziness from my little Universe, but I’ve learned to adapt.

The repairman will be here in a few minutes. While I’m HOPEFUL he will be able to find a solution and fix the oven immediately, there are no guarantees.

Since I still have working burners (the oven is a separate built-in wall version), I searched around for recipes that could work on a cooktop.

I discovered Skillet Granola, tried it, and LOVE the way it turned out. I used my own recipe with oil and maple syrup and a lot of cinnamon. The extras like raisins and hemp seeds and coconut can be added later, but the actual oats are crispy and delicious. AND I didn’t overheat the entire house, which is something to remember when it really gets summery here. Now my original Angel Boy will have his granola, so I’m a happy mom.

My research also revealed many recipes that can be adapted for a cooktop: brownies, manicotti, even pizza. In the unfortunate event that this repair needs a part that has to be ordered, I am much less stressed now than I was yesterday because I’ll continue to fulfill my very important Grandma job of feeding all the creatures.

Thank goodness the anticipated breakfast burritos and buckwheat pancakes are not in any danger.

*Still no resolution with my WordPress issue, but I’ve accepted that the problem might be bigger than an UN-Happiness or Sadness Engineer can help me with. It’s the Universe sending me a message over and over again. OK OK! I hear you loud and clear. I will set it aside for now as it’s obviously NOT the right time.

**An update on the missing pan…still nowhere to be found. This is a real mystery and I have no clue.

Home is Where the Heat ISN’T

More shenanigans from the universe.

I planned to make a gigantic batch of oatmeal raisin cookies so the little people would never feel the disappointment of an empty cookie jar.

I’m on schedule with freshly made mango black cherry ice cream (a flavor request) chilling in the freezer.

Everything was going according to plan until I turned on the oven to preheat and nothing happened.

No heat, no nothing. The panel showed that it was on and preheating, but there was no heat.

UH OH. Those cookies aren’t going to bake themselves.

I was stuck with a batch of cookies all ready to go on two baking sheets with the rest of the mixture in the refrigerator waiting their turn, along with a batch of granola for my son.

I WAS IN PANIC MODE.

NOTNOWNOTNOWNOTNOWNOTNOW

No oven means no baking, no pizza, no lasagna–and that totally stresses me out because this grandma loves nothing more than to watch my kids and grandkids eat the food I lovingly prepare.

It’s a win-win for all of us!

I ran next door to my very very nice neighbors who fired up their oven so I could bake the cookies, (for the price of a few for them to eat, which is a fair exchange, an easy quid pro quo).

The cookies baked just fine, but the granola burned to a crisp. OMG, that’s never happened before.

The oven repairman is coming tomorrow and hopefully it’s not a major issue, but I have no idea what’s wrong.

Dear Universe,
Why? Why now?

There’s No Place Like Home

I’ve tried to post this for the last three days but it won’t edit properly and the final draft looks like source code.

Oh well, I’ll try again.

I’ve had the worst day when it seems as if everything is going wrong. Have you had days like that?

I’m having other odd issues with WordPress. The solution should be simple but for reasons I can’t explain, there is no one at WordPress that can help me. They respond to questions I haven’t asked about issues I don’t have and offer solutions to those, while not helping me with what I know would be a simple fix with their support.

I decided to take a break from contacting WP’s NON-support UN-Happiness Engineers to relieve my frustration by doing a little grocery shopping. Everything went smoothly at the store but when I was back in the car, I took a sip of my water and accidentally dropped the cap under the seat. Somehow or another, that caused me to choke on the water that I was trying to swallow, and I ended up with a gigantic coughing jag as if I was drowning in the ocean.

I finally stopped coughing, took another very careful sip of water, and laughed at the absurdity of this scenario. I figured the universe was advising me to GO HOME AND STAY THERE.

Safe and sound, there’s no place like home.

“Go Home, Fly Guys!”

Out of the mouths and all that.

Char has a teensy bit more of a calm way about her; slightly less intense than her force of nature brother, but still as determined to exist in this world on her terms.

She calls flies “fly guys”. No one is really sure where this monniker came from, but now we all refer to them that way.

Also for some reason, she doesn’t like ants. It seems as if she believes they purposely infringe on her space. When she sees ants, she crouches down and blows on them, “Gone, ant!”

I’ve attempted to explain that they have as much right to live here on planet Earth as we do and we need to be kind, and I know her big brother understands that, but Char views the world from a different lens.

Like I said, C is slightly less feral than her brother and dad (and mom too).

She really doesn’t like to go camping.

“Home NOW!” she says.

“Did you have fun camping in the mountains?”

A resounding “NO” from Char. The girl loves her comforts and her lotions and her sparkles.

I’m sure you can guess who appropriated all of my Hello Kitty items.

Pretty funny. Pretty cute, too.

Have You Ever Had a Dream Like This?

Have you ever had a dream that seemed to have been stitched together from a plethora of unrelated bits of fabric–a crazy quilt dream?

Here’s the parts I remember from last night’s dream:

There was a house in the forest.

Someone was trying to get in. He was holding a small old suitcase with a clown face on the front of it. (EWW, I know!)

I was tricked into opening the door and was subsequently taken hostage; locked away in a metal shed in the forest. It looked something like a high school locker but a bit bigger.

I managed to get out because the only thing holding the door closed was a bent up paper clip.

Once I got out, I encountered a deer with a string of solar fairy lights entangled in his antlers. He and I bonded and I was scratching his head.

We started to walk away when I heard someone from the shed calling for help. No one else had been inside when I was there!

When the deer and I went to investigate, we found Dick Van Dyke and liberated him. (Yes, DICK VAN DYKE!) He immediately started doing sit-ups and stretching, extolling the virtues of exercising at his age. OK old man, we get it. You’re fit as a fiddle.

Together, Dick and I gently removed the lights from the deer, although it didn’t seem as if he was bothered by them or in any pain.

DVD and I made a few phone calls to the police to search for the person who committed the crimes, but I’m not clear on the outcome because that’s when I woke up. My rational mind and my subconscious mind didn’t like what was going on.

As an aside, I don’t even LIKE Dick Van Dyke; I’ve never been a fan of his acting or his dancing or his persona. He wasn’t on my radar and I hadn’t read anything about him recently. I didn’t appreciate that he was hijacking my dream while I wanted to hang out with the deer.

There was an element of danger and fear, but feeling happy with my new deer friend. Other than that, I have NO IDEA what the message might have been, and now that I’m awake, the details are fading.

I guess maybe it was a warning to be more careful about who I open my front door to? I dunno, but I’m still shaking my head.