Unexplained Mystery | Is Anyone HERE?

The first time this occurred, I paused for a minute, thought it was slightly ODD, but rationalized to myself that I must have done it and forgotten, although I don’t forget much.

THIS time, there’s no rational explanation that I can deduce.

What is it? Who is it? Has a portal opened into another universe? Is someone trying to communicate with me? Or has some creepy sociopath gained access to my bedroom?

About a month ago, I was changing the bed linens, something I regularly do on Sunday. I found a Shungite crystal under my pillow. I don’t have any recollection of lifting my pillow and placing it there. It’s not something I would normally do, as I have a pretty bowl of crystals close by on my bedside table.

I forgot all about it until yesterday when I changed the sheets and discovered another rock perfectly centered under the pillow on the other side of my bed. This was a pretty little sparkly round rock I found a while ago on a hike in the PNW.

VERY STRANGE.

I’m at a loss to figure out how this happened and what the message could possible be conveyed….can you?

DIY: Embellishing the Ordinary

When I’m sad or melancholy, I shop. When I’m happy, I shop. It’s an all purpose panacea that works for me, no matter what. They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing.

I was out and about browsing in all my usual haunts from Ross to TJ Maxx to the Rack.

I didn’t find much except for a pair of Laura Ashley slippers. I love to wear slippers; I have a closet full of them from animal print to sequin-studded to a couple pairs of Hello Kitty slippers that were gifts. I don’t have any babouches, those flat Moroccan slippers, but I have mostly every other style.

I brought home these pillow-soft, ballet-pink slippers and determined that something was missing. They’re super soft and comfortable but they needed some enchanted style embellishment to become perfect.

The white bow didn’t work for me. It seems to me that Laura Ashley could have really taken it up to another level if they had given it a bit more thought.

I removed the bows and drove to a fabric store.

I was thinking about a pompom to look like a little bunny, but then I spied a fabric flower with a rhinestone center. I had to have it.

Luckily, there were two, so I brought them home. Even more fortuitous for me is that they already had a pin mechanism on the back so I can take them off when I throw the slippers into the washing machine.

HAPPINESS!

After I attached the flowers, I was feeling satisfied with myself and I know I’m a little strange, but I felt like a princess walking (still limping) through the house with my adorable slippers.

In fact, I love them so much, I created a little photo sesh with different backgrounds. Definitely fit for royalty.

On animal print.
On a soft and furry blanket.
Draped in pearls and gems.

Low cost fun for me. Slippers: $7.99
Flowers: $8.00 for the pair as they were on sale.

My joy: priceless, because I’m easy to please.

Embellishing the ordinary is my special talent. There is beauty all around.

LOVE!

Reflections: Princess Rosebud Random Facts Revealed

I’ve been asked to share a little bit about who I am, so here ya go! I had to have three old crowns replaced this morning and while I’m recovering from the lidocaine numbness, I thought I’d string together random facts about me. Sadly, those aren’t the kind of crowns I’d prefer to wear but I guess I can say that I am now really and truly royal.

Why Princess Rosebud? I’m named after my paternal grandmother, a Jewish tradition, and her name was Rose. My dad started calling me Rosebud; other people began to refer to me as Princess (for obvious reasons), and thus Princess Rosebud was born. When my Angel Kids call me Grandma Princess Rosebud, it makes me laugh A LOT.

I grew up in Detroit and moved to SoCal during high school. I was a year younger than my classmates because I used to be SUPER smart and skipped a grade. However, that brainy-ness wore off fairly early, I’m sad to say. Since my dad wanted me to become a lawyer like he was or a doctor, I’m sure he would be slightly disappointed, but I’d still be his Rosebud, no matter what.

I don’t remember much about my high school years because I left early every day to intern at the Old Globe Theatre and to take ballet classes. I don’t think I went to a single football game, although I attended senior prom. As I posted a few months ago, I recently reconnected with a high school classmate who reminded me of the time we attended a Doors concert and I jumped on the stage. Hand to heart I didn’t remember one detail about that evening even though there are several newspaper accounts. As introverted as I am most of the time, getting close to Jim Morrison was the catalyst I needed to step outside of my natural tendencies.

Thanks to https://marthakennedy.blog/, I recalled a memory of the Old Globe. I interned mostly in the costume department where I learned the invaluable skill of sewing a breakaway sleeve for fight scenes. A few years later, I auditioned for a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It went so well that the director (famous Craig Noel) old me to keep going after I had finished a couple of paragraphs. The room was silent as I continued, and I was shocked to receive resounding applause. I didn’t get the job, though, but it was my best audition. I ALMOST showed up the following year to audition for Equus until I learned the role involved nudity and I couldn’t do it.

I stopped eating all meat of any kind in my junior year of high school. It took a bit longer to completely remove dairy and fish, but that happened, too. Right now in my refrigerator, all you’ll find is vegan pesto, tofu, mushrooms, and a fresh batch of veggie lentil soup. Avocados are a staple too, I eat one every day for the good fat.

I’ve always loved wolves and have no idea WHY since Detroit is the last place in the world you’d find one. There are wolves on Isle Royale, but I’ve never been there. According to a shamanic practitioner, I was actually a wolf in a former life, so that explains the connection. I like that scenario. Being outdoors with nature is where I’m happiest; tall buildings and concrete are disorienting and cause me a lot of anxiety so I tend to avoid the big city.

I went to college here, majored in literature, creative writing, and entered the elementary education teaching program, then I decided I wanted to be a famous movie star or director or something in show biz and switched my master’s focus to drama and production.

I thought about emigrating to New Zealand ‘cos I love to ski, but there was (and still is) a really long quarantine process for dogs so I didn’t follow through on that. I’ve always had a Border Collie in my life, at times along with a rescued wolfdog and other assorted cats and dogs.

After being cast in a few films and a stint as a casting assistant, I abandoned my Hollywood dreams because of a particularly scary and ugly casting director experience. Thank goodness I was saved before anything happened. Think along the lines of Harvey Weinstein…WHEW.

I interned at a local TV news station but didn’t enjoy it—a lot goes on behind the scenes and it’s way too competitive for me, but I learned a bit about investigative journalism. Mostly, I found it personally unsavory to shove a microphone in a mom’s face who had lost her son to a senseless street murder and ask her how she was feeling about it all…Not my cup of tea. I refer to those types of reporters as vultures…

A couple years later, I put all my effort, time, and attention into growing, birthing, and being mom to the original Angel Boy, still dipping my toe into local politics and passion projects from time to time, and always always defending and protecting and fighting for the rights of wolves and coyotes to exist.

Five years ago AB finally figured out the only way to deflect this Drone Mom is to have a baby (all about me, see how I do that?) which was a total success for him because my unparalleled devotion and obsessive attention is now laser focused on the Angel Kids, a win-win for us all.

As socially introverted as I am most of the time, I easily speak to huge crowds as I did when I testified in Sacramento to save wolves or stir up the masses at a packed city council meeting (I’m famous for that) or even to meet and speak with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I experience no fear at all in those situations but I’m most comfortable talking to my coyotes or my tomatoes or sitting on the floor discussing rainbows and kitty cakes with my Angel Kids. I can still hear T…”Grandma, why do I see a green bit? Is there any kale in here?” (Heehee, yes there’s probably always kale in everything I prepare, from muffins to smoothies.)

I literally never take a selfie but I was FaceTiming last evening with the fam and my son uncharacteristically told me I looked pretty which he NEVER does (AND he didn’t even have ulterior motives this time) so I had to snap a quick pic to see what he was looking at.

His exact words were, “Why are you all dressed up?” I wasn’t at all dressed up, but I can see his point since I emulate Cinderella most of the time. If I’m not scrubbing the floor or standing at the stove, what else could I be doing?

FUNNY!

Here I am. No filter and my necklaces are all tangled up. Straight-ish or curly, what do you think? Since I was at the dentist for such a long time, I showed him these pics and he liked the curly one. Random market research haha.

Inner and Outer Beauty

Here’s an update regarding the ongoing saga of my injuries: my back and toe are much better, but I seem to have a stress fracture of one of the little bones on top of my foot. I admire my consistency, however, because all of this is on my LEFT side.

This time the stupidity was caused by my sad attempts to remember Swan Lake choreography and practice fouettes, which I haven’t done in FOREVER. I wasn’t wearing pointe shoes or even soft ballet shoes; I was barefoot on a hard tile floor. Like I said, STUPID.

Why Swan Lake? Well, the last time I saw my Angel Kids, we were in the car when Swan Lake came on the radio. I yelled out, ” That’s SWAN LAKE!” T asked me what that was and I explained the story of the dance to him while we were listening. When the music gets to the part where the court jester does those incredible gravity defying grand jetes and double split cabrioles, I told him that it takes a very athletic, very talented dancer to jump like that, and he was intrigued.

I promised I’d take him to see Swan Lake as soon as it came to town. When we got home, he said to Siri, “Play Swan Lake” and then he sat on the sofa and became lost in the beauty of Tchaikovsky.

Anyway, that’s how I hurt my foot.

I can’t really put any weight on it, so I’m once again reclining on the sofa with my everpresent ice pack on yet another part of my little body.

C’est la vie! No one to blame but myself. I am NOT and never was Margot Fonteyn lol (ballet snob reference).

Here’s a few photos from inside and outside as I hobble around.

I stopped to admire the sun shining brightly on these indoor plants. I couldn’t capture the whole wall in one photo, but there’s a matching cabinet to the right. It’s a very pretty room.

Meet my special bunny friend. He’s slightly lighter in color than the rest of the family and he comes out more during the day than the others. This was taken right outside my bedroom window. Good morning, brave little one!

Because of relentless RATS, I had to pick these strawberries just before they were 100% ripe to save them from being half eaten and discarded.

I am reminded of a starfish with this spider lily. What a perfectly lovely specimen!

Check this out; it’s not a ballet but it’s danced by the great danseur, Sergei Polunin, to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”. Choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi. (In 2010, at the age of nineteen, Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer). He is truly amazing as an artist, but I read things about him PERSONALLY that aren’t all that savory in regards to some homophobic and sexist Instagram posts, so his invitation to perform in the Paris Opéra Ballet‘s performance of Swan Lake was revoked.

Danger?

On this beautiful new moon Lion’s Gate day, I woke up extra early to walk to the beach and back, about six miles or so. I like to get home before the blazing sun gives me heatstroke.

As I walked past the house of a friend of a friend who’s a Shamanic practitioner, I heard her voice in my head saying, “You’re in danger.”

I mean, I heard it as clear as if she was standing next to me. I actually looked around to see if she WAS there. It was absolutely the furthest thing from my mind. I was focused on a spectacular morning, walking to the ocean, and awesome exercise.

In the old days, I would have ignored these voices, messages, warnings, but I have learned to pay attention.

“Oh well” I said to myself. “Forewarned is forearmed.” Right?

A couple blocks further, I noticed about five crows sitting on a fence. I swear, one of them looked right at me. I said, “Hi cousin”, because that’s how I always refer to my crow family.

One by one, they flew in front of me and away.

Hmmm. This was a bit strange but not dangerous.

I continued to walk. On the next block, I saw smoke billowing out of the garage roof of a house on the corner, It didn’t smell like barbecue-type smoke, so I knocked on the door. I knocked and knocked and no one answered. I walked back around the corner in time to see five foot flames and a woman throwing a bucket of water on them but it seemed as if that wasn’t working. At this point, other neighbors came out and we all called the fire department at the same time. The fire was quickly extinguished but it could have been really bad because the garage was packed with things and the entire house could have been lost.

Was that the danger I needed to be aware of? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire???

I continued my Odyssean-like journey to Lake Pacific. Not only were there no waves, but I didn’t see whales or dolphin, either.

Walking home, I looked down and saw a crow feather. A few feet away, I saw another, and this one I picked up and put in my backpack.

At a four-way stop, I crossed the street in the crosswalk. There were cars at all the stop signs, but I was clearly in the middle of the street when a car decided to inch forward, ignoring the obvious fact that my visible body was right there. I looked at the driver. He looked at me. I said WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING and other un-princessy things like that. He continued, as if to hurry me along.

OH HELL NO.

This former Detroit ghetto girl still has the ability to be a stubborn beeyotch. I slowed down to a snail’s pace — so slow that a sloth would have won the race — while the people in the other cars gave me a thumbs up and shook their heads at the nerve of that entitled Range Rover. WTF was that all about?

When I eventually made it to the other side of the intersection, I wondered if THAT was the danger I needed to protect myself from?

The remainder of the walk was uneventful. I’m home now, the sky is blue, it’s sheets changing day. Maybe I’ll spritz a little Chanel on my thousand thread count linens to greet me tonight and envelop my body in the lingering fragrance of Chance.

Soul Gift

A while back I found a hawk feather and gave it to a friend who is as enchanted by our local hawks as I am and feels a real kinship with these raptors that fly over our lagoon.

Yesterday I was getting ready to go to the store to try and find the perfect musical birthday card for my cheeky titian-haired almost two-year-old when my friend drove by and stopped.

“I’ve been carrying this around with me for a while. I just got back in town from hiking Glacier and I’m so glad I saw you!”

I was presented with a beautiful envelope and inside there were two lovely feathers; one was definitely from a juvenile hawk and I’m not sure what the other one is, but it’s spectacular.

“I’m returning your kindness.”

The way they were taped to the card was lyrical and effortless. I kept them exactly as they were presented and found a little frame to keep them safe. Now I can see them every day and remember there are still empathetic and thoughtful people in this world.

PS I’m not sure I like the blue frame but I’m not sure that I don’t, either. It was the only empty frame I had and I’ll sit with it for a few days and make a final decision. I kinda sorta think the blue represents SKY. What do you think? Would another color better complement the feathers?

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.

“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.

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.