Another Day, Another Sunset

Walked the beach last night and the sunset was spectacular. No Green Flash though, and no whales or dolphins either, but it was the first warm evening with a hint of the summer to come.

The beach was crowded with happy people emanating positive thoughts and cheery greetings because it appears that we are collectively anticipating the rise out of darkness.

I had a fun chat with an adorable high school boy who had come out of the water after the sun went down. I told him how I used to pick up my son at the beach and he would be the only one still out in the water after dark. If you listen closely, I bet you could hear faint echoes of my voice yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOWWWW!” I sent the young man on his way with the admonishment to stay safe ‘cos moms worry.

Another day, another sunset. Mother Nature is magnificent.

(So I walked into the men’s restroom)

Let’s back up a bit.

I had to drive to the big city which meant I had to go to a place where they had a parking structure.

Immediately, those are two things that cause me a great deal of anxiety and panic–traffic and bad distracted drivers, along with the terror of driving into and maneuvering my car in a tiny space inside a gigantic parking garage with a low ceiling.

I hate them.

That’s always been a stress trigger for me. How will I remember where I parked? (I’ve gotten lost before.) How do I get to where I need to go from the parking garage? What if there’s an earthquake? What if I forget how to back up? What if all the horrible things I’m afraid of happen all at the same time?

There’s a word to describe the fear of parking garages: Tingchechekuphobia. It’s a neurotic phobia, I know, but I suffer from it. I don’t know who created that word and I don’t even know how to pronounce it, but it is what it is.

At this point, since I had to drive around and around and around to find a bunch of open parking spaces, I was pretty much completely dizzy, disoriented, and confused, because that’s what happens to me in tall buildings and parking structures.

Luckily for me, there was a very kind man who had parked a couple cars away and when I asked for his help because I didn’t know where to go, he must have felt my fear and walked with me to the right building. Like Blanche DuBois, I have always been able to depend upon the kindness of strangers, referring to A Streetcar Named Desire, of course.

I also hate elevators but couldn’t find the stairs so I took the elevator and when I found my destination, I needed to go to the restroom and the secretary pointed into the hallway.

Without thinking, I entered the first door.

OOOPS.

I hadn’t paid enough attention to the little graphic on the door because I had entered the MEN’S ROOM (!!!) although I wasn’t immediately sure because for a split second I thought perhaps I had been away from the world for so long that there were now all genders restrooms and this was the way it was in 2021.

However, seeing the man standing at the urinal convinced me I was in the WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME. (Teehee)

I did what I normally do in life and turned it into a self-deprecating joke…”Well, I seem to have made a mistake. My bad!”

I turned around, walked out, located the PROPER restroom with the girlinatriangledress graphic, used the facilities while I laughed to myself, and re-entered my destination.

Most people would probably not use that embarrassing situation as the icebreaker in a conversation, but I’m not most people…

“I just walked into the men’s room by mistake. I guess that’s why I don’t come into the big city very often.”

We all laughed and totally diffused what could have been a forever humiliating experience and THANK GOODNESS I didn’t see the man who had been at the urinal, but that wasn’t my first time in a men’s room.

Nope. Not my first rodeo, as they say.

When I was twelve-years-old in Detroit, I spent the summer going to the JCC almost every day because there was some sort of pre-teen activities program a lot of my friends attended. On one certain day there was obviously not enough adult supervision because a few of the guys dared me to go into the boy’s bathroom.

I took that dare and entered the boy’s bathroom. Apparently it was bad timing because the program director happened to be in there and I was subsequently asked not to return to the JCC for the rest of the summer.

When I told my parents why I was persona non grata, they simply looked at me and said, “Oh, Rosebud. We’re disappointed in you.” And when I explained it wasn’t my fault; it was a dare, I got that tired old cliche…”If someone dared you to jump off a bridge, would you do that, too?”

However, I believe I detected a glimmer of a repressed chuckle behind their serious demeanor.

Although today’s excitement wasn’t due to a dare, I was able to successfully navigate my way back to my car and drive around and around and around to finally find the exit and return to sky and daylight where I could finally take a breath, but the stress had taken its toll, and there’s only one remedy that always works for me: retail therapy!

I haven’t been to our mall in more than a year, so I decided to see what it was like now as the pandemic is easing up a bit; what stores were open, masked of course. I had a thoroughly pleasant time. It was just what the doctor ordered to soothe my fraught nerves as I leisurely strolled from shop to shop.

I treated myself to a few bits of frothy intimate apparel at Victoria’s Secret. Here’s the bag, but you can’t see what’s inside. Instead, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Have you ever found yourself in a similarly mortifying situation? How did you handle it?

April’s Full Pink Moon

I love all phases of the moon but I especially search for the full moon no matter where I am, whether it’s in the desert or the mountains or at the beach or even if it’s at my house–mama moon always makes her presence known and felt.

Tonight’s moon after the clouds is so bright!

Phlox 'Star of Heaven', Moss Phlox – Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens

I know it’s not really pink but that’s only a slight disappointment. Tonight’s full moon is also a super moon which means that the moon is full while also in perigee, or closest approach to Earth.

It’s actually referred to as a Pink Moon because Moss Phlox are in full bloom during this season.

I found this awesome YouTube video with all of the healing sounds and frequencies and thought I’d share it so everyone has plenty of time to dedicate to this experience.

It starts at 14hz and moves to 12.5hz at 4.20 minutes; 6.35 minutes it moves to 7.83hz
(Schumann Resonance) for 12 minutes, then drops to 0.5hz until the end. There is an underlying base frequency of 432hz which is enhanced within the music as well. The music has an underlying frequency of 285Hz.

I hope you enjoy this. I like to use headphones but it’s not 100% necessary. Don’t forget to charge your crystals!

Chatting with Angel Girl

For a long time, I’ve only FaceTimed with Angel Boy 2.0, but lately this titian-haired Angel Girl grabs the phone from him and runs away with it.

“Me Grandma, MEEEE Grandma!”

An explosion of epic proportions ensued until there was a conversation about sharing Grandma. That was an agreed upon solution to end the dilemma. I also simply hung up, and that was effective, too.

This time, it was Angel Girl 2.0 who called…

Daddy prompts her…

“Tell Grandma what your favorite animal is, Char!”

“Chimpanzee! Chimpanzee! Chimpanzeeeeee!”

Always the supportive Grandma, I reply, “That’s awesome, Char! That’s a very difficult but fun word to say.

Hey, Char, what’s your favorite COLOR?”

Chimpanzee! Chimpanzee! Chimpanzeeeeee!”

(Hmmm, seems like we went from genius IQ of 200+ to a normally bright twenty-month-old in a split second.)

Show Grandma, show Grandma!”

Says Mom, “She wants to show you a green ball.”

“I like your green ball. What color is the ball, Char?”

“CHIMPANZEEEEE”

OK, I definitely see where this is going.

What’s TeeTee doing?

I hear him…“My turn! I want Grandma SHARE GRANDMA! MY TURN!”

“Grammy? Show me the transformer again. When are you sending it?”

“First, tell me what did you eat for dinner, T?”

“PIZZA!”

“Was it a kale pizza?”

“NO, Grandma (laughing), you always ask me that.”

“Grammy, look at Char. She wants you to see her jump.”

“JUMPING!”

“Me show Grandma JUMP!”

“That is such a great jump, Char! I’m so proud of you!”

Then T says, “I’m going to jump over you, Char. DON’T MOVE.”

Oh no, this could be a disaster. But it wasn’t. It was a successful jump, but no more of that, I said.

“Where did you go today, Char?”

“CHIMPANZEEE!!!”

I knew they had gone to the park and the beach, but chimpanzee is clearly a favorite new word so there was no way I could disagree with THAT.

This call lasted for about thirty minutes while I was passed back and forth.

Finally, Mom said, “Say goodbye to Grandma, it’s bath time!”

And then from AB 2.0, “I’m going to hit the red button now, Grandma!”

And they’re gone, taking the sun and moon and stars and my heart with them.

The Rainbow Kids

Moose in Grand Tetons

What a beautiful boy! He was almost completely camouflaged, resting in the cool grass, enjoying a late afternoon snack. Those antlers are magnificent, aren’t they?

I could have stayed there for hours, watching him in silence, but I had to go. He didn’t seem too concerned and kept eating and eating.

Happy Earth Day 2021

I attended the very first Earth Day celebration in 1970 at Balboa Park in San Diego with a crowd of about 70,000 people. It was on a Wednesday, the weather was beautiful, about 68 degrees, and I must have skipped school that day.

I can’t remember who I went with or how I got there but I do recall walking from booth to booth looking for free stuff and having an unpleasant encounter with a San Diego cop, probably about being truant.

There is a vague recollection that I swore at him and he got all puffed up and intimidating, threatening to call my dad until I told him to go ahead, my dad was a lawyer…and then he walked away. Miss you Daddy!

I love the concept of EarthDay, of being good stewards and caring for Mother Earth, of passing on the torch to the next gen, but I probably won’t attend any large gatherings for a while–still being prudent about Covid and all that.

My local contribution to EarthDay is this neighborhood egret who just picked up something to eat; I think it’s a crab but I can’t tell for sure:

Happy Earth Day!

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

On all charges.

Were you watching?

In a Minneapolis, Minnesota courtroom, former cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of all charges relating to the murder of George Floyd.

Even better, his bail was revoked and he’ll be in custody for eight weeks until the sentencing hearing. Did anybody but me notice how his little eyes were darting back and forth above his mask? Such arrogance. It seemed as if he really thought he was going to be acquitted. NOPE.

Gotta say, this was very satisfying to watch.

Thousands of others have written with more eloquence than I’m capable of about this trial, so I’m only going to share my observations and my own opinions.

Justice did NOT prevail. Accountability prevailed. Justice would have George Floyd alive and breathing after he was arrested for ALLEGEDLY paying with a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. Chauvin got a trial, but George did not. Bad cops made sure he didn’t have a chance.

It’s simple. Police cannot be judge, jury, and executioners, but they were in this situation. All four of them. They are ALL guilty, in my opinion.

The only reason there was ANY accountability at all was because a teenager named Darnella Frazier had the brains and courage to use her phone to record the nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds it took for Derek Chauvin to murder George Floyd. She continued recording despite threats from the cops on the scene.

I hope we can all be as brave as she was–don’t walk away, don’t pretend police brutality isn’t happening. Take out your cell phone and memorialize the abuse. Darnella Frazier is an inspiration to BE better and DO better.

A friend shared this link with me: ACLU Mobile Justice...https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police/mobile-justice?fbclid=IwAR3Gbc9lQGZGBGu-lEpmrz6H4zOTLTaB4Aev59wzciakM0eGjAO_9e4pNGQ

What is even more frightening is a report I read somewhere (can’t remember to cite the article so I’ll paraphrase) about the recruiting of white supremacists and paramilitary types to our police forces and military. There has been investigation and speculation that white supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across the country.

Law enforcement failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats and racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000. Police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content.

Police links to militias and white supremacist groups have been uncovered in states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

If we have any doubt that there is systemic racism in this country, we need look no further than active police officers training the Oath Keepers for a possible Civil War.

I found one of the most moving statements about the trial and guilty verdict from my friend, Vice-President Al Gore. (https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/11/04/i-met-vice-president-al-gore-at-the-apple-store/)

Statement by Former Vice President Gore on the Chauvin Verdict

April 20, 2021  by Al Gore

Nearly a year after America rose up in horror and anger at the tragic murder of George Floyd and cried out in opposition to generations of systemic racism, a jury in Minneapolis delivered a long-awaited first step toward accountability. While we know that true justice would mean that George Floyd was with us today, living free of fear of racism and police violence, I’m glad that we can at least say that with this verdict, the arc of the moral universe bent ever so slightly further toward justice.

The American legal system should be a beacon of accountability around the globe, and I’m glad that with the eyes of the world upon us, it lived up to that promise in this case. But at the same time, I’m all too aware that this same accountability and justice has never come for countless Black, brown, and Indigenous women and men in America.

I hope that this moment is a turning point for the real action and reform desperately needed to ensure our country can live up to its most sacred promise: that all men and women are created equal. While we unequivocally declare the truth that Black Lives Matter, it is long past time for the meaningful changes needed to allow Black Americans an opportunity to thrive.

My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends as they continue to grieve his loss and work toward lasting change.

A vigil for George Floyd is planned for Sunday evening at a park in my little town. I probably won’t attend because I’m still wary of public gatherings. If I change my mind, I’ll post photos.

Seed Magic

I don’t think there’s anything that enchants me more than a volunteer plant.

Where did you come from, my lovely friend?

Whether it was born from a seed scattered by the wind or bird or a garden angel, a volunteer plant seems to be healthier and grows more vigorously than others.

I didn’t plan for this California poppy, but here she is in all of her shiny, orange, exuberant glory!

In my fantasy-driven universe where animals and growing things speak, it’s like she selected this perfect location between a rose and lavender, and says, “Here I am, Princess Rosebud, aren’t I so very beautiful?”

Yes, it’s true. You are a very beautiful child of the universe and thank you for choosing me to care for you. I am grateful!

Happy Monday!

Enduring Love

Did anyone watch the televised funeral of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband? He died on April 9. Despite one’s personal opinion of the monarchy and their fame, celebrity, and notoriety–tossing aside the gossip, this is a story of enduring love.

I watched some of it and was deeply touched by how small and solitary Queen Elizabeth looked as she sat alone. I turned it off because it didn’t seem right to intrude on her grief.

They had been married for almost seventy-four years.

How tragic for her to lose her life partner, the one she shared great times and the not-so-good times, the highs and the lows, but through it all, there was a shared and sacred commitment to going through life as a loving team; against all odds.

Their eyes focused on each other in this photo really touched my heart:

Why Prince Philip Was Never King Despite Marrying Queen Elizabeth

It reminded me of a Queen song and how ironic is THAT, even more so considering I never heard it before last week when I put American Idol on for a few minutes and one of the contestants sang “Love of My Life“.

Sad.

Spring Garden Tour

I took a look around and thought it’d be fun to share my other gardens at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

The little side yard next to the driveway…See the gigantic ceanothus to the left of the flowers? I thought it had died and now it’s taking over that entire space.

.

This is one of my favorite places; a rose arbor with a hideaway pond/waterfall along with chairs and a table, perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea.

This sweet smelling herb garden under the bedroom window is starting to bloom, too. Sage and flowering borage, also known as starflower:

Borage
Edible sage

We haven’t had any measurable April showers that would bring May flowers; such is the life of a SoCal garden. We’re halfway through the month with no rain in sight. We’ll need to enjoy these flowers until the summer heat and drought turns everything brown and drab.