A Lovely Sunday at the Beach

Some clouds and sunshine, perfect for these little lefts and rights this morning…

A lineup in the ocean…

And a lineup in the sky. Look up! Pelicans!

Streets closed and a run around town, the Carlsbad 5000.

Vintage Prada Pumps

Because I was extremely nauseated by the image of that gigantic rat who stole an apple from my sweet little bunnies, the only cure that works for me is some retail therapy.

I combined a visit to my fave consignment shop with a stop to buy rat traps which my kind neighbor offered to set for me because I don’t know how. (And yes, I comprehend the hypocrisy that me, an animal defender and protector–is going to kill them. We simply cannot coexist.)

I needed the soothing activity of strolling up and down every aisle to look at and touch different fabrics and textures and styles; attempts to lay down fresh neurons so I didn’t replay the horror of our local rat infestation due in large part to more land rape here in Carlsbad. This is something lots of the community is suffering from–more rats than we’ve ever experienced. In fact, I will probably address this issue at a future city council meeting. It’s that bad.

Back to the calm of a mindful redirect…

As I chatted with the owner, my eyes spotted a bit of gold in a box on the counter. (I’m such a magpie.) Further examination revealed a pair of PRADA heels and I asked what size they were. She said they had just come in and she wasn’t sure, but I could try them on and tell her.

So I did and it was a Cinderella moment. They fit perfectly.

Even with a healing broken bone in my foot, I knew I had to have them. I just knew.

If they had ever been worn at all, it was only once or twice and never outdoors. They looked brand new.

Here are my vintage (2008 season) Prada black suede pumps with bands of gold. Research revealed they were originally sold with an elaborate ankle accessory which I never would have worn anyway. I’ll have to wait to wear them until I’m no longer limping, but that doesn’t matter to me, not at all.

Not bad for forty dollars, right? And I can look at them and it helps to erase the rat visions in my brain. It’s not easy to photograph shoes; I did the best I could.

A Modern Day Apologue

[Apologue, a moral fable, especially one with animals as characters.]*

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden. It was filled with lush fruit trees and vegetables and flowers of every color.

On this day, the sun shone warm and bright even though it was late afternoon.

Three rabbits and a baby bunny were in a sort of circle, sharing a meal of a small green apple that had fallen from the tree and rolled onto the lawn.

I was able to view this idyllic scene directly from my bedroom window where I had stopped for a moment to take off a couple of rings and a bracelet.

Without warning, a gigantic rat ran up to the bunnies, stole the apple and scurried away with it in his mouth.

None of the bunnies seemed to care or even defend their ownership of the apple.

I became paralyzed, rooted to the floor, unable to process what I was seeing and unable to even snap a photo.

The End

*I don’t know what the moral of this story is supposed to be, except that I seem to be surrounded by vermin and also it’s also a play on words (apple/apologue).

More than 15,000 rat bites are reported each year in the United States. All rat bites should be treated by a doctor. Some of the diseases that can be spread from rats to people are bubonic and pneumonic plague, murine typhus, salmonella, leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and tularemia.

Best Mantra for 2022 | Mercury Retrograde, Full Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse, Oh MY!

I can’t believe I didn’t post this! It’s been hiding in my Drafts folder since January. We have seven more months of 2022 and we’re not quite halfway there, so I think there’s enough time to meditate and set positive intentions.

With all of this frenetic “as above” planetary activity; Mercury retrograde AND a full flower moon on May 15 AND a total lunar eclipse at the same time, there’s more than enough reason to take a giant step back and BREATHE.

In my area, the lunar eclipse will be visible on May 15 from 7:30 p.m. until 11:50 p.m.

Here’s a great mantra: “Sat Chit Ananda” (Truth, Consciousness, Bliss)

Sit or lie comfortably and take a few moments to relax. Pay attention to your breath as it moves in and out. Soften, let go, and surrender to the quiet.

Silently repeat to yourself, “Sat Chit Ananda (Truth, Consciousness, Bliss).”

Set a timer for ten to twenty minutes, and try not to watch the clock. Allow all feelings and sensations to emerge; feel the power that rises up, and ENJOY!

After you release the mantra, remain still for as long as you can and listen to your heart, where lies all truth.

Namaste.

Later, reflect on this beautiful words by Patrick Graven:

Our hearts full of depth, Life in every breath, Beauty that blooms in our hearts, An infinite love that never parts.Destined to find our way, Will make us live only for today, Guiding the path for beauty to follow, To leave behind the pain and hold the hopes of tomorrow. The wind is blowing against the trees, And the moon shines forth with its glow, Even your own light never to be extinguished, Through life and all its growth. All we have is this space between the poles, As the stars shine with sense renewed, Beauty is seen again as petals unfold, A light that found a way to shine through. Everyday that it takes to feel alive, Believing in our hearts that there is a way, All we need is to shine from the inside, And embrace the meaning of our living grace.The glory of new things to come, The essence of all you will achieve, The purity of all you will become, When you look within and believe.

https://patrickgravenwriting.wordpress.com/

Oops, Mercury’s in Retrograde Again!

Mercury is doing its retrograde thing from May 10 to June 2.

This is so weird. My newish computer — a generous gift from the kids — suddenly locked me out.

Nothing I tried seemed to work so I called Apple and an extremely patient person helped me for more than an hour to go through the steps to recover access. None of the usual fixes seemed to work for him and he was stymied too, as there didn’t seem to be a mechanical or software reason to explain this glitch.

Finally, as he mirrored my device (with my permission), we were able to unlock the password protections.

It’s all fixed now, thank goodness, but I checked, and sure enough, Mercury is in retrograde which MIGHT explain how and why it happened.

FYI: this is a good time to back up all of your technology! It’s common to have files go missing, technology crashes, or software malfunctions during this time. Better safe than sorry, right?

Oasis in a Sea of Ugly

Statement of fact: I don’t like the look of my “village”.

It resembles a village as much as WalMart resembles a Chanel boutique.

Oasis (plural: oases) An oasis is a location with water in a desert, or figuratively can be a happy place surrounded by sadness, which is exactly what I discovered today.

In the almost forty years I’ve lived here, local elected officials (90% of whom I’ve consistently voted against) have destroyed any and all coastal personality by tearing down most of the original buildings and erecting sharp cornered ugly institutional-looking boxes.

Have I mentioned that it’s ONE BLOCK from the beach? You’d never know it, though. It makes me angry. They could have done so much better and it’s as if the designers and architects made a conscious effort to destroy the organic relationship we have with the sand and the Pacific ocean. It’s mindboggling, it truly is.

Because of that, I normally stay away from going there and when visitors come, we go to the beach but don’t hang around or patronize the stores or restaurants. It’s depressing.

However, I actually discovered a couple of gems, two little oases wedged between hulking sad monstrosities; a sanctuary.

I’ve been searching for a birthday gift for DIL and we share a common love of crystals and gems. I heard of a place off the beaten path downtown and thought I’d stop by. I didn’t have high hopes though, but was more than pleasantly surprised by The Village Rock Shop on State Street.

From the moment I walked in, I was surrounded by positive energy and a huge array of rocks and gifts. For DIL, I found an Angel Aura Tower. Doesn’t that sound mystical and intriguing? It’s formed as a result of the alchemical process that bonds platinum and silver, sometimes gold, into pure quartz. It is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks guidance and inspiration from the angels. This magical stone is a powerful aid in getting in touch with celestial beings, exactly right for a mom of two, haha.

Directly next door is another shop I recommend: Wild Gold Gift Shop. It’s beyond adorable. Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wild_gold_shop/ I spoke with the husband of the owner, Kim Keenan, and he said they were still working on the website, so I can’t link to it right now.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area and as disappointed as I am about what it looks like, please take the time to travel a few blocks away from the ugliness and visit these two shops. You’ll be happy you did!

Your purchases from these independent, local stores support not only the owners of the shop but also local artists and artisans.

And finally, hurry before they’re torn down and displaced to make way for more hideous, repulsive, unsightly boxes.

Happy World Wide Naked Gardening Day!

That’s today, May 7, and that’s also a definite hard NO from me, whether it’s “world wide” or “worldwide”!

I’m out in the garden, fully dressed, thank you very much. However, if YOU choose to celebrate sans clothing, please wear sunscreen and please DO NOT send pics!

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.

The Visit: Part Two | Joy

Do you know the definition of pure joy?

Pure joy is when I pick them up from the airport and T first spots me standing next to my car and he starts yelling at the top of this lungs, “I see her! I see GrandmaGrandmaGrandma!” and parents let him run through the crowd outside straight toward me and he throws himself in my arms, almost knocking me over, hugging so tightly it squeezes my heartlight into love energy.

And then comes Angel Girl 2.0, a bit slower but no less affectionate, hanging on to me like a little monkey while Mom and Dad bring up the rear with all the suitcases.

Two enchanted curly haired conveyers of intense happiness; more alive than any two humans I’ve ever known.

That is simply and perfectly PURE JOY. And do you know what else it is? It’s EVERYTHING.

Grateful.

Now for the important stuff…”After you’re buckled in, who wants a muffin or an oatmeal cookie?”

Never Empty | Full Cookie Jar | Full Heart

They’re back!

The return caused a flurry of repeated menu requests along with some new ones (veggie sushi).

Remember my broken/bruised ribs? Well, just as they’re almost 100% healed, I broke my toe. AGAIN. Different toe, same foot. It was absolutely and totally my fault because I run around with no shoes and was jumping from one step to another out in the garden and I missed…You’d think I’d learn by now; apparently NOT.

Within the first fifteen minutes, this is what happened when they walked through the door:

Played the piano for a minute…

Rearranged all of my neatly placed furnishings in the dollhouse.

Ran up the steps to the kitchen to open the cookie jar. “Grandma, yay, it’s full of cookies like always!”

“Come on, Char, let’s go up to our room!” (He knows that’s where I stash all the presents I accumulate.)

Then it’s backyard time along with, “I’m hungry, Grandma, did you make ice cream? Can we have cones?” (Yes and yes.)

“Char, look! This is where all the rats were! But they’re all gone, right?”

Time for more food.

Time for more food.

“Can we go to the park now?”

And…more food.

Where’s mom and dad? Surfing, of course!

Broken toe or not, that cookie jar will always be full. (As is my heart.)