Cinderella

My son is funny. Snarkywittyfunny.

He comes out with the most apt observations in such a deadpan, low-key way that you never see it coming.

I had been cleaning up after dinner and decided to get down on all fours to wipe up a smashed blackberry off the tile floor in the kitchen.

Fam had been walking past me, in and out of the garden, enjoying the still warm and sunny early evening while I was happily toiling away.

My erstwhile son came in from the deck and as he passed me on the floor, paused and delivered this perfectly timed line,

“How’s it going, Cinders?”

I had been so engrossed in my task that this unexpectedly struck my funny bone so hard and I gufffawed.

“Cinders! Oh good one, J!”

Trust my boy to assess the situation and release such an accurate quip.

There was no malice, no disrespect intended, no offense taken — he knows that I can take a joke and this was one that unerringly hit its mark.

I am a volunteer Cinderella; it’s a labor of love, I don’t mind at all.

Side by Side | Cormac McCarthy vs Sophie Kinsella

This time I was unlucky enough to be in the middle although in sniffing distance of first class. I cherished the almost princess moment with my wistful view of the curtains that separated THEM in their rarified air from US, the hoi polloi.

To my left was an older-than-me male; slightly obnoxious. He moved around a lot, didn’t settle down, and then THIS: he attempted to man-usurp the shared armrest.

OH NO HE DINT.

I might be all of five feet tall and my feet might BARELY reach the floor, but NOBODY has the right to hog the shared armrest. Bad form, lack of etiquette, and not on my watch, buddy.

I strategically waited until he reached down to get something from his under-the-seat bag and I FIRMLY planted MY arm on the arm rest. HAH! I thought to myself, that’ll teach him. I let him have it back after I felt my point had been made and received.

He finally decided to nap and covered himself with his jacket which invaded MY territory, so I shoved it back over to his side- that’s when I got “Sorry.” After about fifteen minutes or twenty minutes, I must confess that I took a certain amount of pleasure in waking him up so I could use the restroom. Just a CERTAIN amount of joy, not a lot. Not too much. (Tee hee.)

Harrumph. Don’t ever mess with a short curly haired girl, old man.

To my right was a young guy who had an edition of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian wedged in the little pocket attached to the seat in front. It stared at him, unblinking, willing him to pick it up and read, but for two hours he resisted the allure of McCarthy and the urge to absorb those tortuous words. First he tweeted A LOT and then he fell asleep, woke up, and cracked open the novel. I wonder if he had any idea what he was getting himself into, and felt like telling him this might NOT the best time to read McCarthy as he’s the antithesis of a light, not-too-demanding author, but I kept my own counsel this time. His mistake, though. Cormac is the stuff of nightmares.

On the other hand, I was firmly immersed in one of my fave authors, Sophie Kinsella. This time it was her 2017 book, My Not So Perfect Life. It was like drinking the perfect cocktail on a balmy summer evening. Kinsella rarely disappoints and I was immediately drawn into the characters, their situations, and relationships. Like all great reads (in my opinion) it ended with the main character finding her happily-ever-after true love.

I read nonstop until we landed.

Home. There’s no place like it.

A Green Lake Day

Our morning outing at Green Lake in Seattle, the weather is once again warm and sunny, Seattle hasn’t had any rain in more than a month! I’ve ridden a bicycle around the park with the fam before, but never in the summer.

This is a cool historical fact about Green Lake’s formation:
Geologists say the Vashon Glacial Ice Sheet, which also formed Puget Sound and other area lakes, formed Green Lake 50,000 years ago. Dredgings of Green Lake have produced volcanic ash from an eruption of Glacier Peak that occurred about 6,700 years ago.

Such a brave boy to jump from the diving board!

“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.

Famous (Almost)

So…sitting right behind me is a SEMI famous local personality who has a cooking show on community television. Somebody else recognized him and said hi or I wouldn’t have even noticed.

I really really want to tell him to include more vegan dishes, that there’s a huge demographic out there that would love him if he included cruelty-free recipes, but he’s totally self absorbed and constantly texting on his phone. Additionally, he’s not THAT famous or he wouldn’t be sitting in the cheap seats, right?

His style of cooking isn’t my cup of tea, but I support his “I’m just a regular guy” niche of encouraging everyone to cook with the ingredients already on hand in the pantry.

So far I haven’t annoyed him, but I’m not at all a shy, timid forest creature. I have zero problem approaching anyone. For any reason. No matter who they are.

On the other side of me is a young man wearing a Stanford Medical School sweatshirt. He’s starting med school in the fall. (I asked.) How awesome is that! I told him I was proud of him. I’m sure you might think…who am I to share unwanted praise, right? But I did. Bright children who follow their academic/life dreams need our support and encouragement. It takes a village, yes it does, and it only takes a minute to utter a few positive words.

I was trying to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm but for some reason I couldn’t get my phone to enlarge to full screen, so a kind stranger directly to my right (an obvious techie) took my phone and messed around with it until he figured out what the problem was.

As terrible as the stories are on the news, in spite of the violence and Covid variants and all the rest, there are still kind and helpful people in this world.

Not a bad way to spend 2 1/2 hours. Not bad at all, especially when I arrive to THIS:

And this:

Gathering

I could have written these words. As I look around Casa de Enchanted Seashells, I see feathers and rocks and driftwood and seashells, so many seashells.

They are my true and stalwart friends.

In every room, I can touch and feel and recreate the time and place they were collected and lovingly gathered: local beaches, Anza-Borrego, Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Painted Desert, Grand Tetons, Pinnacles, Pacific Northwest–a weaving of memories.

And yes, they bring a smile to my face.

Looking Up

I received an email yesterday about the International Space Station:

Starting at 8:48 PM, if clouds and smoke permit, you’ll see the International Space Station over San Diego moving from SW to NE until 8:54 P.M.

I set my alarm for 8:45 to give me (hopefully) enough time to try and figure out where southwest and northeast IS, as I’m directionally challenged.

It was clear at 8:45 with a few planes and some stars just starting to sparkle in the not-quite-completely-dark sky.

I looked up, scanning all around because I still couldn’t figure out where SW was, even though I know the ocean is WEST.

Ahh, there it was, right on time, the brightest white light, swiftly moving across the sky, high above the other aircraft. I followed the trajectory of the International Space Station until it was too far away to see.

And that’s the kind of thing that make me very happy.

I learned a bit about the ISS from Wiki:

The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies:  USA, Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific research is conducted. (Photo courtesy of Wiki)

Breathe

I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t believe I’ll ever get one, but if I did, I might choose this Sanskrit symbol.

May be an image of text that says 'Breathe: This ancient Sanskrit symbol is a beautifu. reminder to do what comes naturally. It's the first thing we do When we come into this world and the last thing we do when we leave it. unknowun Poetry & Every emotion'

Instead of a tattoo, maybe I’ll frame it and hang on a wall somewhere where I can be reminded to breathe, especially since I’m aware that I hold my breath a lot, almost as if I’m anticipating something dreadful to occur.

Breathe.

Sometimes that’s enough.

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…