Chatting With The Angels: All About Crunchy Towels

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

This story isn’t as funny as the one about little green moldy dots on my tortillas, but it still makes me smile every time I think about it.

When I’m at the Angels’ house, they love to assist me as I unpack my suitcase because they know I always bring presents. In fact, T “helpfully” carries the heavy one for me and C drags my smaller bag–anything to hurry up and reveal the goodies.

Angel Boy 2.0 says,

“We helped Mommy make the bed for you. Wait a minute Grandma, I forgot something!”

As he runs up the stairs, it’s easy to follow exactly where he is because I can hear dinosaur-like stomps on the way back down.

He hands me a giant bath towel. “Here, Grandma, feel THIS! It’s so soft, right?”

“THIS is the way towels are supposed to feel, not crunchy like at your house. Isn’t that nice and soft? Mommy does it the right way. Feel it again.”

I hear Mom laughing in the kitchen, and my own Angel Boy snickering in the dining room. Ha ha. (Let’s just see if they get THEIR presents I so carefully packed.)

Rewind back to their previous visit to Casa de Enchanted Seashells…

“Grandma, not AGAIN! Why are your towels so crunchy?”

“What are you talking about, T?”

“How do you wash your towels? Do you use the same stuff that we do?”

I know exactly where he was headed with this line of questioning, but I’m gonna let him continue, because 1. He’s adorable and so earnest and 2. He sounds exactly like a lawyer, maybe unconsciously channeling his great-grandpa.

“I think I use different detergent than you use at your house, my darling.”

“Do you use softener and put them in the dryer?”

“Nope, I don’t. You know I hang all my laundry out in the garden on clotheslines, right? I think the sun is especially good for towels and sheets. It’s solar power. I use the power of the sun and the wind to dry everything, unless it’s raining, of course.”

“WHY? But, Grandma”, and here he uses his hands to illustrate his point, “It makes them so crunchy and rough. I don’t like them that way. I like soft towels like at home.”

“Think about this, though. This is how Daddy’s towels always were and he didn’t complain about the way they feel.”

“DADDY GRANDMA SAYS YOUR TOWELS WERE ALWAYS CRUNCHY WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE BOY! REALLY?”

More snickering, and then, “Yes, T, Grandma always hangs clothes in the sun.”

T shakes his head in outrage at the apparent abuse his dad suffered as a child. He can’t fathom a world where towels are scratchy.

“Hey, you guys. Would you like it if I put the towels in the dryer for a while?”

“I do, We do. Come on, Grandma, do it our way.”

“OK, my little buddy, if it means a lot to you, I’ll soften them up in the dryer and they’ll be nice and warm for you and C after your bath.”

Am I the only one who still hangs laundry outside on a line? I admit that my towels are “crunchy” because they hang out in the sun until they dry. That’s actually the way I like them, ‘cos it’s like a loofah, but I can see his point.

Those children are priceless.

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.

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.)


Happy Birthday, Mommy

She’d be 107 years old today. I miss her more than she probably ever imagined.

Her legacy endures because Angel Boy 1.0 and DIL named Angel Girl after her. They have photos of her at their home and both children know who she is and how much of an honor it is to be named for her. She’s Daddy’s grandma, Grandma’s mommy.

Since my mom was an absolutely amazing grandma, I try to emulate some of the same things she did with my son; have endless patience with laser focused attention, play with them forEVER, and take each of them solo toy shopping.

“Look what Grandma got me, Mommy! Grandma said I could get ANYTHING I wanted” as my son showed me one Matchbox car, the only thing he chose. (He always was frugal!)

I knew it wasn’t the object that made him happy, it was spending time with Grandma that was fun and special. And important.

Happy Birthday! I wish we all had more time with her, that’s for sure.

Driving around doing errands this morning, I heard one of her favorite songs at least three times, a message for sure! She loved Prince’s When Doves Cry, and so do I.

Walking Each Other Home

Ram Dass said it: “We’re all just walking each other home”, but he probably didn’t mean it like THIS.

Side note: I don’t know much about Ram Dass except for this quote and the fact that he went to Harvard — also that he dropped acid with Timothy Leary.

After my grueling DIY brick patio project, I took a break and went for a sunny walk around the lagoon. As I was heading up the hill toward Casa de Enchanted Seashells, my phone rang and it was my two favorite Angel Boys on FaceTime.

“Grandma Grandma, Guess what? We’re coming to you for a visit and Daddy says I’m old enough to go to Legoland ALL day and I can go on all the rides and the waterpark and you’re coming too!”

“Hey buddy, that’s so cool, I can’t wait!”

(You need to know that I wasn’t telling the truth. NOPE. I want to spend an entire day at Legoland about as much as I EVER wanted to go to Disneyland, which is honestly NOT AT ALL. Although I did take the original Angel Boy to Disneyland one time when he was seven years old because he wanted to go, it’s not my cup of tea. Too many crowds, too much noise. It’s overwhelming.)

But for the Angels, I will endure it. I want him to have that memory. These days don’t last forever.

“Grandma, you’re not home, I can see palm trees behind you, where are you?”

“Good eyes, T! I walked around the lagoon and now I’m almost home.”

“Hey, we all went for a walk too, it’s raining here, but I see blue sky at your house.”

“DADDY GRANDMA WENT FOR A WALK TOO JUST LIKE US AND SHE HAS BLUE SKY.”

“Walk me home, T, let’s walk and talk, and I’ll show you what I made for you and C to have tea parties when you’re here.”

“OK, Grandma.”

“T, stop playing with the emojis and talk to me. OK, that heart is sweet, but let’s talk!”

“Can you spell ‘dog’ for me.”

“D-O-G.”

“Awesome. You’re so smart, that’s too easy.”

“Now spell ‘cat’.”

“C-A-T.”

When your daddy was little, we used to walk together and spell and count, too, right on this same street!”

“How about we do some math. Count by tens to 100.”

“10-20-30-40-50-60-70-80-90-100.”

“Amazing!”

“Add 2 plus 2.”

“Grandma, that’s too easy. It’s four.”

“What’s Daddy doing?”

“He’s pruning a tree, see? (He flips the phone.) Mommy and C took a different way home so they’re not back yet.”

“All right, I’m back, see? Thanks for walking me home, my beautiful boy.”

“Yes, I see the garage, Grandma!”

“Now I’m going to flip the phone. Here’s the special place I made for your tea parties.”

“Char’s home now, too.”

“CHAR COME SEE WHAT GRANDMA MADE US!”

“Grandma planted raspberries too, Char! YUM. Just like we have, right?”

“GRANDMAGRANDMAGRANDMA!!!”

“Hi, Angel Girl, did you have a lovely walk?”

“Grandma, Char’s grabbing the phone and we’re inside. BYE!”

“Love you, T.”

“I love you, Grandma!”

Yes, we are walking each other home and this heart is FILLED with gratitude for the journey.

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!

The Tooth Fairy!

Yesterday, Angel Boy 2.0 lost his first tooth.

Time really needs to slow down; I remember when he was born almost six years ago. No way this kindergartener not only loses a tooth but writes his first letter to the tooth fairy.

I’m DYING but heart is full. This is a true Winter Solstice miracle!

And you better believe this grandma also got him a gift to memorialize this historic event!

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.

Convo 918: “I love myself.”

“Look at what I made, Grandma! It’s a sculpture, it’s my creation!”

“That’s absolutely amazing, T! Make sure you put it in a safe place so I can see it the next time I visit, OK?”

And then he was off to play with the little girl next door.

“Gotta go, Grandma, Em’s waiting for me!”

Oh my heart. He’s FIVE YEARS OLD.

That gave us time for Dad to share an incredible story about Angel Girl 2.0. During her bath the previous evening, she stood up, put her arms around herself in a big hug, and said, “I love myself.”

Then she said, “Daddy love yourself, too.” directing him to give himself a hug.

C was napping, so I wasn’t able to chat with her.

T came back for a moment to grab a pile of grapes to share with his friend.

“Hi, Grandma! I’m still playing out front, you know how we do that, right? Em’s chasing me.”

“Hey T, do you love yourself?”

He said, “I love YOU, Grandma”.

I DIED.

“Oh, T, I love you, too. But do you love yourself?”

“Yes, Grandma, I love me too.” (I swear, it’s like talking to a teenager.)

And off he ran.

That boy. *Shaking my head.*

Where and how does a two-year-old acquire that kind of healthy self love? One of my favorite lady docs first shared with me Louise Hay’s suggestion to look in the mirror every day and say, “I love you” to my reflection. At first I scoffed, too embarrassed to look at myself any other way but critically, but because I liked and respected that doc so much, I gave it a try. And kept doing it until it wasn’t so weird. After that, I did some of Hay’s Mirror Work and Inner Child exercises. It’s tough work, that’s for sure, but insightful and nourishing.

That this little girl already has such a beautiful light spirit is glorious. Imagine if everyone felt that way, the world would be a very different place.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…

Try this Louise Hay Mirror Work exercise for a better morning routine:

  1. When you first wake up in the morning and open your eyes, say these affirmations to yourself: Good morning, bed. Thank you for being so comfortable. I love you. This
    is a blessed day. All is well. I have time for everything I need to do today.
  2. Now take a few more minutes to relax and let these affirmations flow through your mind, then feel them in your heart and throughout the rest of your body.
  3. When you’re ready to get up, go to your bathroom mirror. Look deeply into your eyes. Smile at that beautiful, happy, relaxed person looking back at you!
  4. As you’re looking in the mirror, say these affirmations: Good morning, [Name]. I love you. I really, really love you. There are great experiences coming our way today.
  5. And then say something nice to yourself like: Oh, you look wonderful today. You have the best smile. I wish you a terrific day today.

“Super Cute”

I’m not sure where either one of them picks up their quirky language especially since they rarely watch TV, but Angel Girl 2.0 has mastered this art.

It was time for us to all put on our “day clothes.” The kids dressed first, ready for all the adventures a new day brings.

Followed back downstairs to my room, lacking any personal space boundaries, I was severely scrutinized as I chose an outfit for this very warm summery day.

Under her judgy and appraising almost two-year-old eye (think Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada), I stop midway and ask, “Do you like my dress?”

*Pause*

Super cute, Grandma. SUPER cute.”

She turns, suddenly runs off, returning with her sparkly pink tiara.

“Here, wear this too, Grandma.”

I put it on (of course I do) and she steps back to examine me from head to toe with a serious look on her face.

“REALLY super cute, Grandma.”

For sure that’s the stamp of approval.

And then, “I want a smoothie. SMOOTHIE!”

So there we have it.

One minute a princess, and the next–in the blink of an eye-– I’m back to creating smoothie magic.

My enchanted life…