Enduring Love

Did anyone watch the televised funeral of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband? He died on April 9.

I watched some of it and was deeply touched by how small and solitary Queen Elizabeth looked as she sat alone. I turned it off because it didn’t seem right to intrude on her grief.

They had been married for almost seventy-four years.

How tragic for her to lose her life partner, the one she shared great times and the not-so-good times, the highs and the lows, but through it all, there was a shared and sacred commitment to going through life as a loving team; against all odds.

Their eyes focused on each other in this photo really touched my heart:

Why Prince Philip Was Never King Despite Marrying Queen Elizabeth

It reminded me of a Queen song and how ironic is THAT, even more so considering I never heard it before last week when I put American Idol on for a few minutes and one of the contestants sang “Love of My Life“.

Sad.

Spring Garden Tour

I took a look around and thought it’d be fun to share my other gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

The little side yard next to the driveway…See the gigantic ceanothus to the left of the flowers? I thought it had died and now it’s taking over that entire space.

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This is one of my favorite places; a rose arbor with a hideaway pond/waterfall along with chairs and a table, perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

This sweet smelling herb garden under the bedroom window is starting to bloom, too. Sage and flowering borage, also known as starflower:

Borage
Edible sage

We haven’t had any measurable April showers that would bring May flowers; such is the life of a SoCal garden. We’re halfway through the month with no rain in sight. We’ll need to enjoy these flowers until the summer heat and drought turns everything brown and drab.

DIY Garden Paver Project: Stepping Stones

This simple DIY project reallyreally exacerbated my OCD issues. However, I was determined NOT to give up until my inner demons were soothed.

The fifth time was a charm, at least I think so. I’m not good at math but I used sixteen pavers with the exact same distance between each one. The middle of the arch aligned perfectly with the big living room window and that made me SO happy. It’s a nice transition between the pygmy palms and the ponytail palms and my dry river bed. I realize the standard rule is to leave 24 inches between each paver or stone, but I’m short and that’s a big leap for me, ergo the reason why they are so close together.

I have an unending supply of these adorable little mounding succulents that are ideally suited to completely fill the spaces between the pavers. If I remember correctly, it’s a kind of spreading sedum and seems to love it in my backyard garden. It won’t take long for them to grow.

I thought about painting or stenciling the gray concrete but it would have spoiled the theme of the dry river bed. The rest of my front yard is planted with California natives; coyote bush, sages, buckwheat, and this gigantic Rhus integrifolia, also known as lemonade sumac or lemonade berry. It began life as a one gallon plant and must really love it in that spot because it’s as big as the house!

(I probably don’t need to tell you that you wouldn’t want to be here when I hang a picture on the wall.”Move it just a bit to the right, I mean to the left; up a tiny bit. OK. PERFECT.”)

#LevarBurton for #Jeopardy Host

UPDATE: This post was liked by the REAL Levar Burton!!! I really hope he becomes the only rightful host of Jeopardy. Then maybe I could convince Angel Boy to become a contestant…

Thirty years ago my Angel Boy entered and won a poetry contest hosted by Reading Rainbow.

My son never watched much TV but he loved to read and he loved Reading Rainbow.

I know I still have the poem he wrote but I couldn’t locate it and didn’t want to tear apart the boxes in his bedroom–yes, I confess…I proudly saved EVERY SINGLE essay, poem, picture, craft, test, report card — from the first day he started kindergarten up until NOW.

What I could easily find, because it’s framed and I can see it every day, is the official photo taken at KPBS studios of the local children who entered the contest.

Somewhere in that group is my fashion-forward Angel Boy.

Since the death of Alex Trebek, no one is no one more qualified or more right for the job of Jeopardy host than Levar Burton.

Please click on the link below to sign the petition to make Levar Burton the next host of Jeopardy: I did!

https://www.change.org/p/sony-pictures-entertainment-levar-burton-should-be-the-next-host-of-jeopardy

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!

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.

The Big Four-OH-MY-GOODNESS

March is the birthday month the two Angels share but there’s no way I have a child/boy/man who turned forty today at 9:42 a.m. NO WAY.

In my mind, I still see him as being four or eight or even as an obnoxious and sarcastic teenager, but FORTY?? A dad with two kids? AND a fully tenured professor?

It’s not possible. I’m still shaking my head.

I needed to do the math to make absolutely sure I was correct and there’s no doubt about it. I gave birth to the original Angel Boy forty years ago today after a seemingly neverending 24 hour labor that resulted in an emergency Caesarean section.

Stubborn girl that I am, I tried and tried to push him out but his gigantic head got stuck (TMI) and I only capitulated to the C-section when I saw his heart rate was being compromised. I really wanted that whole Mother Earth experience but of course would never harm my baby boy to satiate my ego. I can always look at that perpetually lopsided scar where the surgeon had to open me up FAST between contractions.

He’ll always be the love of my life, my shiniest and most lovely baby boy.

Even today, I can feel the weight of him hugged tightly in my arms, despite the fact that he’s now over six feet and no longer sits on my lap (‘cos that would be just plain WEIRD.) This is one of my favorite photos if we can ignore my horrible haircut where she obviously didn’t know how much curly hair SHRINKS when it’s not styled properly.

I am forever grateful for this sparkly emerald green-eyed boy.

He called me a bit ago. What’s he doing on his birthday? He took the day off so he could go to the Dirt Exchange, fill the car up with soil and mulch, and spend the day gardening. He has a green thumb to match those eyes.

Read more about AB and his almost catastrophic illness in 2014 here:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/07/24/that-dreaded-call-at-300-a-m-2/

And more about the birth here:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/03/22/i-fell-down-and-a-baby-popped-out-2/

And more about my love for this special boy who will always be my heart here:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/05/10/the-boy-who-is-my-heart/

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!

Here’s a FUN Writing Prompt!

What’s going on here? I dunno, you tell ME!

This is one of my favorite photos. It’s actually a sort of mistake but if you’d like to play along, tell me what it’s all about.

I like image-driven inspiration, don’t you?

Splash!

P.S. I’ll reveal in response to comments.

Photo property of Enchanted Seashells.