Learning to walk

If I took a poll, I surmise that most females will agree that there’s trial and error in learning how to walk in high heels. A learning curve. I realize that not everyone likes to wear stilettos; some may even feel that it’s another indication of how we women are oppressed and repressed, and I can certainly understand that point of view.

But not for me.

I swear, and my mom would agree if she were still alive, that I begged and begged for my first set of heels when I was three years old.

Santa Claus brought them for me (we celebrate Christmas AND Hannukah lol) The little high heels arrived as a set with a faux mink stole and tiara, but it was the shoes(OK, I admit it, and the tiara) that became as natural to my persona as my curly hair and snarky repartee.

Yes, I was an extreme girly girl. I mean, did you ever stop to think of why I refer to myself as Princess Rosebud? My dad first started calling me Rosebud cos it’s similar to my IRL name, and after the tiara became part of my daily fashion accessories, it was only a matter of time before I became royalty. I’d always felt that I was born into the wrong family and this was all the proof I needed.

I really wish I hadn’t lost the tiara…I could still rock a sparkly rhinestone tiara, I know I could.

But here’s my dilemma.

I can walk for hours in heels and I don’t care if they hurt my feet, either.

But I can’t for the life of me, walk in flats. I’ve tried, I really have, but I don’t know what to do! It’s such a quandry.

I’ve practiced…but HOW? Do you shuffle? Kind of like shuffling bare feet through sand at the beach to avoid a jellyfish sting? Is it a heel/toe movement? Do you bend your knees? When? I just don’t get it at all. I feel very awkward in flats.

Even cute ones like the vegan Tory Burch’s. The Jimmy Choos are the worst. I mean, they’re super cute, but it’s impossible to figure out how to walk gracefully. It’s not a pretty sight, trust me. Even the less expensive ones don’t work right. They’re comfortable, that’s for sure, but I am definitely challenged. I keep buying more and more shoes in case I find the magic formula, but I haven’t found them yet.

There are many YouTube instructional videos–“How to Watch in Heels and Stilettos” –but nothing for flats. I guess I’ll have to only wear heels or suffer the embarrassment of lumbering and shambling down the street.

Ladies, what’s the trick? Help me!

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Meeting Famous People

I love to meet famous people. I’m fascinated by them…their fame, their accomplishments, their notoriety, and how they did what they did to become recognized by strangers. I wanted to be famous but I’m not. Sigh.

FAMOUS.

Over the course of my life, I’ve met a few people of fame: (in no particular order) His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jim Morrison, Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd), Bob Hope, Marty Feldman, Rob Reiner, Chuck Norris, Gene Wilder, Peter O’Toole, Al Gore, and a few more I can’t recall right now, but as I’m thinking about it, I see that it appears that I’ve only met famous men and most of them are now deceased. Hmmm, I will have to reflect on what all that might mean at a later date.

ALMOST met Sir Paul McCartney on Saturday night, but it didn’t happen ‘cos the person I was going to be with got sick and he was my conduit to Sir Paul. I was THAT CLOSE. For real. Sigh again. I really wanted to chat with him, vegan to vegan. SIGH.

But now there’s a new level of FAME to achieve in YouTube videos, whether it’s a cooking show or how to apply makeup properly to achieve that perfect smokey eye — or how to identify and heal from narcissistic abuse.

Last week, I had an opportunity to meet someone who has a certain level of international FAME from his YouTube videos that spawned books and coaching and speaking engagements.

Richard Grannon, also known as the Spartan Life Coach, was in my SoCal area. He’s from the UK and has a huge following on YouTube and social media. With a background in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), he graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Aston University, his coaching modalities employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Zen meditation, Hypnotherapy, Systems Thinking, Classical Psychiatry and Psychodynamics and Stoic philosophy.


What I found to be super cool about him is that he also developed a globally recognized brand with his company streetfightsecrets.com which combines simplified applied psychology with self protection concepts.

What that means to me is that you can learn to beat the shit out of people who attack you, while at the same time understanding their motivation for being horrible and mean. A win-win for sure!

Did I mention that he’s really charismatic AND a VERY good looking man? Well, he is. And he’s funny and says “fuck” a LOT, which is a plus in my book.

Notwithstanding the fact that this pic doesn’t look like me one single bit AND my hair isn’t even that color, it was a cool encounter with a famous person, that’s for sure, but there’s more!

From his website spartanlifecoach.com/about-richard-grannon/
No matter what his professional role is, Richard Grannon believes in empowering people and helping them rediscover their own worth.”

The room was packed and as I looked for a seat, I did a double take when I noticed ANOTHER YouTube famous celebrity. We chatted for a bit during a break and she’s just as lovely as her videos portray her to be.

Her YouTube channel is Everyday Therapist https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu_bpO4p2R5EEtHb9FQ_O2Q/about

Sheri is a psychotherapist helping to provide support on difficult topics including abusive relationships and ways to recover. She has a BS in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MS in Counseling from California State University, Fresno.

“I have spent years of my career working passionately for the disadvantaged, traumatized populations. My goal is to shed more light on the nuances of abuse and trauma in the hope that some people can gain some healing”

So…tell me…who have you met that qualifies as being FAMOUS?

(Another) conversation with a human: “Who Misses You?”

Chatting at the table after a yummy and healthy dinner of salad from the garden, veggie kale tofu pie, and blueberry cobbler… my little guy said, “I missed you, Grandma.”

“I missed you too, Theo-saurus”

“That’s not my name. I’m a dimedatron.”

“Ok. I missed you too, Mr. Dimedatron.

“I missed you so much, Grandma. All the time.”

After another bite of blueberry cobbler,

“Why do you go away? I want you here forever and ever!”

“But I go home because that’s where my house is. I come to visit you and Mommy and Daddy and then I go home. But I’m here now, right?”

{Thinking for a minute. Pondering…}

“Grandma?”

“Yes, Mr. Dimedatron?”

“When you’re here at Theo’s house, who misses you from your house?”

Awkward silence around the dinner table. We all looked at each other.

What do I say? The sad truth is that no one misses me. No one at all.

So I replied…

“The coyote and the bunnies and the birds and the lizards miss me very much.”

And that satisfied him. For now. He has more compassion and empathy in his little three-year-old body than most adults.

No one misses me when I go away.

Harsh tragic truth.

A totally full moon post.

Glass half full.

Conversation with Inspiration: Gold Medalist Megan Blunk

“My accident gave me a second chance at life, so I want everyone to know that you can fight it – and you can be happy. No matter what happens in life, don’t ever let it hold you back.” https://meganblunk.com

Totally rando and out of nowhere, I was in a very public place and there was a young woman in a wheelchair sort of pushing another wheelchair with slanted wheels (that I later learned was used when she played basketball). I asked her if she needed any help and she declined, but we started chatting and I learned that she is a real live HERO.

Her name is Megan Blunk. Originally from Gig Harbor, Washington, Megan is a Paralympic gold medalist for wheelchair basketball.

Megan discovered adaptive sports a year after a motorcycle accident that paralyzed her and also revived her former inner athlete. Prior to her accident, she was a five-sport athlete.

She went on to play college wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois, where she completed a bachelor’s degree.

She’s an advocate for adaptive sports and speaks to groups and one-on-one with other athletes.

“Whenever I meet someone recently disabled, I reach out to them,” she said. “I would be there in a heartbeat if someone asked me to see someone who had just been injured.” https://meganblunk.com/2016/09/01/south-sound-magazine/

In my opinion, Megan really needs to do a Ted Talk. Her story — and her inner and outer strength — is an inspiration to everyone.

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Megan holding her gold medal.

Planet Theo

“I will keep YOU safe, Grandma!” as he runs across the lawn and jumps in my outstretched arms.

“I will keep YOU safe, Theo-saurus!” “We’ll be safe together, how does that sound?”

And we laugh at our little joke, over and over again pretending to be afraid of the remote control dinosaur, a gift from Grandpa for his third birthday.

“I like it when T-Rex dances, but I SORTA don’t like it when he roars!”

“Are you afraid of him, Theo?”

“Not really, Grandma. He’s not scary to me. Well, at first, I was a little bit afraid, but not anymore.”

“Me neither, T.” I said, to affirm his bravery and courage in overcoming his fear of a twenty-four-inch tall walking, roaring, dancing Tyrannosaurus Rex.

******

I’ve delayed for almost a week writing my observations of the arraignment last week of the  suspects arrested in the murder of a local woman.

In my dreams, I can still see the faces of those two monsters charged with stabbing her more than fifty times in the face and head.

As a diversion, I’d rather focus on something beautiful and positive, just a brief respite from the reality of dark and disturbed people who made a decision that seems so senseless; so cruel.

Back to Planet Theo…

The world really does revolve around him, and like most toddlers, this is an important developmental milestone.

The normal human brain is designed by evolution to generate the egocentric illusion: the illusion that the owner of a particular brain is the center of the universe.

Egocentrism refers to the child’s inability to see a situation from another person’s point of view.

Reading about this reminds me of the time I spent post-BA when I was in the teacher training program at university and we studied this fascinating subject.

According to Jean Piaget, the Swiss biologist and psychologist, the egocentric child assumes that other people see, hear, and feel exactly the same as the child does

SENSORIMOTOR STAGE (BIRTH TO 2 YEARS OLD)

The infant builds an understanding of himself or herself and reality (and how things work) through interactions with the environment. It is able to differentiate between itself and other objects. Learning takes place via assimilation (the organization of information and absorbing it into existing schema) and accommodation (when an object cannot be assimilated and the schemata have to be modified to include the object.

PREOPERATIONAL STAGE (AGES 2 TO 4)

The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations. Objects are classified in simple ways, especially by important features.

CONCRETE OPERATIONS (AGES 7 TO 11)

As physical experience accumulates, accommodation is increased. The child begins to think abstractly and conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences.

FORMAL OPERATIONS (BEGINNING AT AGES 11 TO 15)

Cognition reaches its final form. By this stage, the person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgements. He or she is capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning. His or her ability for abstract thinking is very similar to an adult. (https://www.learning-theories.com/piagets-stage-theory-of-cognitive-development.html)

As we grow from children to adults, we first separate and then individuate from our family of origin. Separation entails moving away, starting a career, and setting up a home. Individuation is the process by which we grow into our own authentic self. Individuation is detached observation of the behaviors and beliefs we learned as children.(https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24867/the-single-most-destructive-factor-in-your-search-for-real-love.html

Most of us move through these stages as we get older; our brains grow, we individuate, we see ourselves as part of the whole, each piece synergistically interacting with others; we learn empathy. Some do not. Those with personality and/or character disorders become stuck somewhere in the early stages of development and never truly individuate.

Genetics and environment both seem to play a part in preventing certain children from growing or developing properly, hindering and sometimes even completely inhibiting the ability to maintain healthy adult relationship connections.

That’s why it’s vitally important to educate ourselves about how the brain works, how emotions develop, how play and make believe are critical building blocks to lay a sturdy foundation of trust, love, and safe boundaries.

OK, off my soapbox for now. Happy 3rd birthday to the one and only Theo-saurus and happy birthday to Daddy too, Here’s the post about his birth, thirty-eight years ago. I am so proud of the man he’s become. And soon to be daddy to #2, the princess of all princesses. I’m already drooling over frilly pink dresses and pink blankets.

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We went camping in the Anza Borrego desert to see the full moon. That’s the Sawtooth Mountains.

I don’t have many pics ‘cos I was too busy trying to keep up with Planet Theo. We saw California Quail, bunnies, and heard coyotes. Life is GOOD.

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At Agua Caliente County Park and Hot Springs.
Just a daddy and his sun son. Keeping him safe. Forever and ever.
My heart is overflowing. (And I’m EXHAUSTED lol)
Back home and one final surf sesh.
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Conversations with a special human

Running joke between us…

“Hey Theo-saurus, what’s my favorite color?”

*Giggling*

“Grandma, you’re silly; your favorite color is… ME!”

“That’s right, buddy, and what’s YOUR favorite color?”

“It’s…YOU, Grandma!” Jumping up and down, he adds, “And purple!”

No wonder I’d rather chat with him than most adults I know.

This brilliant, beautiful, funny little boy human will soon be three-years-old.

He is a force unto himself.

Up until this dervish was born, my son was the most amazing child ever created.

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I know, I know. That HAIR.

But no longer.

Theo sees the world in his own way.

Along with Dad’s favorite teddy bear, still for just a brief moment, contemplating cloud formations.

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Recent chat…

“Hey Theo, do you want another veggie burger snack before dinner?”

“I’m done with veggie burgers for today,”

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Time to put out fires and rescue dinosaurs. And Peppa Pig.

Look at this fashionable hipster boy in his fave hat wearing one of his many dinosaur shirts. We were at music class and he hoarded all of the purple shaky eggs.
Yes, purple really is HIS color.

And yes, he makes all of his daily fashion choices. He started picking out what he’ll wear the night before…definitely MY grandson and my genes.

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Listening to the beat of his own drum…actually patiently (bored) waiting for the class to be over so he could play Teacher Blake’s big drums, a special treat ONLY for this little music man.

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“Grandma, why do you have to go home?”

“So I can get your bedroom all ready for you with dinosaur sheets and make your blue dinosaur cake for your birthday and for Daddy’s birthday party. And to check on the bunnies and the coyotes in the garden…”

“But I love you. I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay forever and ever.”

STOP. MY. HEART.

One of those exquisite moments in time that make being alive and breathing the very best thing of all. That can erase any sadness or sorrow or pain.

But I love you.”

So I replied, “I love you too, Mr. T, and can’t wait to see you! Let’s think about all the fun things we’ll do. We can walk to the park and see the big turtle and go camping and hiking and bake cinnamon rolls, too. What else do you want to do?”

“I want to wake you up in the morning and say, Grandma! Wake up and make me oatmeal!”

“You can do that for sure. And we will have so much FUN, right?”

Daddy’s mini-me. Two curly boys.

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And soon he’ll be big brother to a little Princess!

OMG, you know she will be the best dressed little girl in the whole world.
Finally, someone I can share my love for all that is Hello Kitty and pink and frilly and fluffy so we can twirl together.

Thinking out loud here. Do you think Chanel does a line of children’s clothing?

I.CANNOT.WAIT.

 

 

 

Burning down the house

(To fellow WP bloggers, this is the weirdest thing. Apparently this post did not publish, or it published in a draft format that was not at all what my final result looked like to me, and that’s why I’ve reposted it. Strange limbo zone!!)
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Do you smell the smoke?

It’s a rainy SoCal day and I was in a state of cleaning bliss, dusting and polishing and organizing.

I lit dried sage from the garden to smudge in a metal bowl on top of a mirror on my bedside table to bring a little pungent sagey/outdoorsy fragrance.

It seemed safe, right? Metal bowl placed not directly on wood, but on a mirror to protect it.

Apparently NOT safe.

I continued cleaning the other rooms, enjoying the sagey perfume. After a while, I thought that it seemed to be smoking for much much longer than the amount of leaves in the bowl and as I walked toward my bedroom, I was engulfed in smoke!

A MAJOR smudge haha.

I ran over to the window which was closed ‘cos of the rain, and slid it completely open, then to my beside table where I could see the mirror had cracked and the metal bowl had fused to the wood and was too hot to touch.

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The table was literally seconds away from going up in flames!

The smoke was no longer from the sage; the antique and very dry wood was burning.

Oh, and somehow the carpet had a few burn holes too.

Now there’s a nasty burn mark on my mom’s antique bedside table,img_6903

It took about an hour for the smoke to dissipate. There’s not a smoke alarm in my bedroom and it hadn’t yet reached the dining room area where there are TWO smoke alarms, so that’s why I was oblivious.

Well, one reason why I was oblivious.

The other reason is that cleaning puts me into a Zen-like trance and I was lost in my own little world.

Moral of the story? DO NOT put sage in a metal bowl on top of a mirror on top of a wooden surface. EVER.

I repainted this room recently, and noticed that it no longer reeks of fresh paint, so there’s a sort of silver lining???

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Gangsta Butterfly

Rain of any kind in SoCal is something to be grateful for because for a brief moment, we can enjoy green and lush hills and gardens.

Now that we’re back to sunshiny blue skies again, I took pics of the lawn ‘cos it’ll never look this velvety smooth again.

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Even though I have the flu or some version of it in spite of a flu shot, no way would I miss spending an entire day working in the garden. Dirty hands, twigs in my hair, muddy shoes. HEAVENLY.

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But I wasn’t alone.

This happy gangsta butterfly not only followed me everywhere I was, but sat on my head for a few marvelous seconds, too! It’s too bad I couldn’t snap a pic but it was impossible, so you’ll have to trust me. Fluttering and flapping wings all around my face and head. And listen to the birds! So much joy.

Was there a message or a lesson the butterfly was attempting to convey? Or maybe just a shared joie de vivre?

We can coexist in peace, my friendly Mourning Cloak butterfly.

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Yes, s/he was upside down or maybe I was upside down? It’s all in your perspective. Totally LOVING the apple blossoms.

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Knowing that our rains are brief, all the plants put their best foot forward. The rosemary is a riot of blue flowers and bees.

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Bees, so many bees!

 

Happy all planets direct and Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse tonight!

 

A Slice of Covert Racism

On a recent flight back home, I was sitting in my usual choice of an aisle seat mostly because I don’t like to crawl over strange legs when I need to use the restroom.

An older (older than me) woman crawled over me to take the window seat.

A young man was escorted to his seat directly across from me by a flight attendant who commented on his height and asked him how old he was as he was flying as an unaccompanied minor.

He was nine-years-old and about six feet tall.

Just a little boy in a man sized body.

I could feel his embarrassment as he was singled out for his height and I’m sure has had to endure a zillion comments about it.

He was very quiet, but seemed a little scared, so I chatted with him a bit, and he was very sweet. His dad was picking him up and he would be starting school in San Diego. He began to open up and just as I suspected, he was a little boy who didn’t really know how to deal with the fact that he looked like he was in high school.

The older woman next to me said, in a very heavy southern accent, “I should get his autograph now, he’s going to be famous.”

I didn’t respond to her right away because I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt or maybe I had misinterpreted what she was alluding to, but she repeated herself loud enough for the young man to hear, and I felt that I needed to do something.

I said, “What are you saying? That because he’s tall, his only life path is basketball?”

She looked at me and said, “Well, he’s tall…” and then her voice and thought faded.

I replied loud enough for anyone to hear, “Maybe he’s going to be a doctor. Or a professor. Or an artist or a writer. Just because someone has a physical trait doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence. He can and should do whatever touches his heart.”

The woman had so much ingrained covert racism built into her that she didn’t really know what to say, but a few minutes later she told me that she thought about it and agreed with me, so then we had a pleasant rest of the flight.

Did I change her?

Probably not, but the grateful smile I received from a nine-year-old made my day.

(And did I really need to mention that he was a six foot tall African American nine-year-old child or did you figure that out for yourselves?)

And then I saw this photo of Trump serving fast food to the Clemson team.
More covert or not so covert racism. Love Reggie Bush’s tweet.

Best Mantra for 2019: Om So Hum

so humHappy 2019!

I’ve been meditating on a fairly regular basis for a while.

While I love the effects of silently repeating Om Mani Padme Om, the Dalai Lama’s favorite mantra, I find that So Hum or Om So Hum is the mantra that works best for me in the morning, which is my favorite time to start the day with positive intentions.

Regular meditation helps to relieve stress and improve the quality of sleep. The goal of less stress is to achieve a happier and healthier life. It’s believed that meditation improves the immune system and thereby helps in controlling blood pressure and lowering blood cholesterol.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

So Hum

I am.

(Or, I am that.)

From Sanskrit, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality.

As we meditate on this, we come to realize that we are all one–we have all come from one Infinite Source, and a part of that infinite source is present in all of us.

We are all connected.

Powerful. Peaceful. Grateful.

OM is the sound of universe.

Chanting Om So Hum daily for ten to fifteen minutes can relax the breathing and balance our inner energy flow.

  • Close your eyes and settle in by taking a few deep, cleansing breaths. Note how you feel in your mind and body.
  • Start to repeat the mantra So Hum or Om So Hum to yourself silently, slowly synching the rhythm of your breath to the mantra.
  • As you inhale, silently repeat the word “Om“
  • As you exhale, silently repeat the words “So Hum
  • Continue breathing slowly and aligning your mantra to your breath, being careful not to rush your breath if you notice your mantra speeding up.
  • Each time you notice your mind start to wander, gently draw your attention back to your silent mantra.

This is really cool…