Violet Memories

A little violet plant surprised me today in the garden. I don’t know how it came to grow here, especially since Southern California is not the most suitable habitat. Violets prefer damp, well-drained ground and the sun-dappled protection of woodlands, none of which I have.

I was reminded of a special time with my mom. Every spring we’d bring willow baskets with handles and go to the stone bridge at Palmer Park in Detroit and fill them with purple and white violets.

When we returned home, my mom and I would fill every vase and glass we could find with the fragrance of these beauties. Sometimes I’d press a few in a book to find at a later date when it was dried and papery but still evoked the faintest perfume.

Since there’s no rational explanation, I’ll just thank my mom for her visit to guide my happy memories of those lovely times we shared.

Are You Worried, Too?

It seems to me that we’re all still worried about this and that and everything else; I was grateful to see Mary Oliver pop up at the right time to share her wisdom–as always.

Don’t worry though, I still won’t sing–nobody wants to hear THAT, so I’ll leave it to the birds.

I Worried

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

Migraine Melody : Begin The Beguine

I couldn’t even watch TV yesterday when I suffered with that migraine (glad to say it disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived) but all I could do was lie in darkness and listen to music.

One of my all time favorite tunes is “Begin the Beguine”.

The beguine is a ballroom dance similar to the foxtrot, based on a dance from Martinique and St. Lucia. It was popular in the 1930s.

Ella, Frank, Sammy, and Artie Shaw; I love all of these versions, and this dance sequence is to DIE FOR.

Isn’t that Fats Waller?

And Artie Shaw, I could listen to this all day…

From The Grandma Archives: An Audience of Two VIPs

It’s been a while since I recounted a moment in time with the Angels…here’s one that brings a smile to my face and a glow to my heart.

I couldn’t help but hear the thundering footsteps of the familiar dinosaur stomp down the stairs at 6am which is marginally better than 5:30 am.

“Wake up, Princess Grandma Coyote Rose!” (He thinks long and hard about how he’s going to address me. It’s different and ADORABLE each and every morning.)

“Warm my feet up, Grandma, feel how cold they are!” “Are you still sleeping? You didn’t get up before I came down, did you?” [He hates when I do that because he’d miss out on our early morning tradition.] Did Daddy have a Batman tower when he was five?” “See my squishy? “I brought lots of stuffies down, too. Here’s Daddy’s teddy with the torn off ear.” “See?” “Give him a kiss, Grandma.”

“Did you have any dreams, my beautiful little buddy?”
“I DID but I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Was it scary? Do you want to tell me in a little while?”

“Yes.” “I’m hungry. Oatmeal first and then buckwheat pancakes when Char comes down.”

“Here are your slippers, Grandma. Hurry!”

First comes blueberry cinnamon oatmeal with a side of sliced apples; coffee for me, and more chat about the day. I never did find out what that dream was all about.

Angel Girl wakes a bit later than her ever/always on the move brother, so I prepped the buckwheat pancakes to be ready when she came down, which she did while AB was still eating his oatmeal. She climbed up on the bench next to him — “I’m in my spot, Grandma!. I need my pink spoon!”– to eat hers as I started the first batch.

After everyone had a few pancakes with agave for dipping and there was moment of calm, I asked Siri to play Swan Lake, one of our favorites. As the music embraced our peaceful eating, I asked them each to identify what feelings were generated by different parts of the ballet and was SUPER impressed by their accuracy.

With my captive audience of two, I stood up–in my fuzzy cheetah print bathrobe hahaha– and started dancing.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, Grandma?”
AG to AB, “Grandma is dancing, Tati!”

“You guys keep eating and I’ll do ballet for you.”

“Should I do a pirouette?” “And this is a plie and a développé, and the best one of all, arabesque!”

“Wow, Grandma!”

“Let’s practice our ballet arms, OK?”
“First, second, third, forth, and fifth. I like fifth position the best, because it’s the princess one.”

I observed wide-eyed Angel Girl reproduce all of the arm positions while shoving more buckwheat pancakes in her mouth.

“Well done, C!” YES, I thought to myself, she will absolutely love ballet classes in a couple years.

I’m not sure if T was all that enamored of my dance skills (or as embarrassed as a teenager would be), but it kept him sitting and eating, and that’s a win for me.

“Now, listen closely. Can you hear the music is telling us to become the swan? Let’s practice making our arms fly.”

“Here’s how we do it.” Again, only one is trying, but the other one is still there, intently watching me. I can’t tell if he’s impressed or if he thinks I’m completely insane; either way, I’m entertainment. As soon as it’s safe to go, I will absolutely take them to see Swan Lake. It’s a rite of passage.

“Now that breakfast and the ballet is finished, we always end with a graceful curtsey.”

“OK. Let’s play, Grandma!”

No applause, no bouquets thrown at my feet, no curtain calls…but my heart is full.

I hope they’ll always have that memory of Little Grandma dancing to Swan Lake in the kitchen after cooking a gigantic batch of pancakes. And laugh about it.

Do you want to know where mom and dad were? Sleeping in, of course!

Planting Seeds: Bija Mantras for Chakras

I hope everyone had all their Christmas wishes come true!

Instead of writing about resolutions for 2022, I think it’s more helpful to share info about things that are easier to attain so I’ll share what I learned about seed mantras– bija mantras–to create and enable healthy transformations all year long.

What is a Mantra? A sound, syllable, word, or group of words considered capable of “creating transformation.” The Sanskrit word mantra means “instrument of thought”.

What is Bija Mantra? Bija means seed. Bija mantras are one-syllable seed sounds that, when said aloud, activate the energy of the chakras in order to purify and balance mind/body.

What is a chakra? In Sanskrit, chakra translates into “wheel”. These “wheels” can be thought of as vortexes that both receive and radiate energy. There are seven major energy centers in the human body, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Emotions, physical health, and mental clarity affect how well each chakra can filter energy. This in turn dictates how pure the energy is that’s emitted from different regions of the body.

Chant the bija mantras, either one at a time or in sequences. Repetition can help you access a meditative state. Try to focus on the different regions of the body associated with each syllable/chakra as you go through the bija mantras. 

  • LAM: Root Chakra – I am
  • VAM: Sacral Chakra – I feel
  • RAM: Solar Plexus Chakra – I do
  • YAM: Heart Chakra – I love
  • HAM: Throat Chakra – I speak
  • OM: Third Eye Chakra – I see
  • OM: Crown Chakra – I understand

Option: Choose one sound that really resonates with you and repeat that one several times. I like this brief seven minute chant, but there are literally hundreds of them on YouTube. Search for a voice that feels good.

Some info curated from http://ar-yoga.com/2011/10/bija-mantras-the-sounds-of-the-chakras-lam-vam-ram-yam-ham-om/

The Longest Night

Is this a planetary version of the dark night of the soul?

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

The winter solstice marks the shortest day north of the equator and the longest day in the south. The sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the southernmost latitude it reaches during the year. After the solstice, it begins moving north again and the days become longer and brighter until the summer solstice in June.

For us in Southern California, the time of the solstice is 7:59 a.m. about the exact time this will be posted.

Light some candles tonight, think happy thoughts, and hope 2022 is a year of good health, love, and abundance in all forms.

A Winter Solstice Blessing

May you find peace in the promise of the solstice night,
That each day forward is blessed with more light.
That the cycle of nature, unbroken and true,
Brings faith to your soul and well-being to you.
Rejoice in the darkness, in the silence find rest,
And may the days that follow be abundantly blessed.’

(Author unknown – if you know the origin, please share so I can link)

Friday German Lesson: Die Vorfreude and Waldeinsamkeit

Vorfreude is Schadefreude’s happier little sister.

In honor of my fully tenured German professor son, (since I am and will always own the title of obnoxiously proud mom), I’ve learned a couple new words to toss around at the dinner table.

Vorfreude is pretty much the opposite of Schadenfreude and it roughly translates to “joyful anticipation” which is what the Angels (and ME) are definitely feeling a week before Christmas! I love the holidays like I’m still five years old.

Waldeinsamkeit refers to the feeling one has while being alone in the woods, usually a sublime or spiritual one.

I feel a lot of Vorfreude before a hike in the forest, where I experience intense Waldeinsamkeit.

Here’s my attempt at a complete sentence…I’m sure I’m torturing the pronunciation, but my son will happily correct me.

Ich verspüre viel Vorfreude, bevor ich auf eine Wanderung im Wald gehe, wo ich erlebe Waldeinsamkeit.

I hope that makes sense, if not, please help me with my grammar, thank you!

Good times, everyone!

For Angels From Angels | The Gift of Home

Isn’t this amazing?

A halo-wearing neighbor gifted me this gigantic dollhouse for my angels. Their daughter had outgrown the playing house stage of development.

We had to dismantle it and reassemble when it got to my home.

The toilet WORKS, makes flushing sounds, can you believe it? Most of the furniture was included, (not all) so I ordered a bunkbed to match the one in their real bedroom here at Grandma’s house.

The refrigerator and pantry are full of the most exquisite miniature replica foods I’ve ever seen.

I had a dollhouse when I was little, but nothing this extravagant!

The original Angel Boy also had a dollhouse. I very carefully set up all the furniture in each room in anticipation of all the fun we’d have together and his only joy was to shake the house until everything fell over as he shouted, “Earthquake!” I’d reset the furniture only to have him shake it again and again until I finally gave up.

Being a good mom, I also got him an anatomically correct boy doll and his response with that was to twist off the head and use it as a ball for our Border Collie and laugh maniacally as he retrieved it, tossing the head to roll at our feet to throw again. That’s my boy…Good times.

FYI…My son DID have stuffed animals and dolls that he loved and treated with empathy and kindness so I wasn’t too worried that he was going to end up becoming a sociopath.

It’s almost as tall as I am, 60 inches, and about the same width. I had to move things around to make room for it in the living room because the angels’ bedroom is full of other toys.

They are going to LOVE it!

In case you were wondering, YES, I’ve been playing with it. I need to add more members to my doll family along with a barbecue and a jacuzzi.

An angel for my angels. I am SO grateful. Despite the neverending pandemic and its variants; violence and racism and cruelty, there are still wonderful people all around us to reinforce our hope for humanity.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

No longer Hanukkah; it’s time to decorate for Christmas with seashells and pearls and sparkle.

There is forever joy in opening up the treasure trove every year; it’s like Groundhog Day, always brand new to me.

PS Apologies if this posted again. I had a weird issue with WP and can’t even find the words to explain what happened!

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?