Soccer Fever | Goal Oriented

Oh my goodness, this almost six-year-old is growing in all directions by leaps and bounds–and goals.

“Grandma Grandma Grandma, I kicked a goal, it was crazy!”
“I was running and running and then I kicked the ball and I scored a goal!”

“High FIVE to you, buddy! “

(We high-fived through the phone.)

“Do you LOVE It?”

“Oh yes, I love it so much. Daddy says I can sign up for lessons.”

And there you have it, the birth of a future soccer superstar.

There’s video but he’s just a blur, running back and forth FAST, curls bouncing along with him, eyes on the ball, giving an assist to a teammate (where did he learn THAT?)

I think back to when his dad was that age and had no real interest in team sports AT ALL. The coaches always asked him to join: soccer, baseball, football–cos he has those long arms and legs and he was fast too, but he never really cared about stuff like that.

I guess it skipped a generation.

The last time I saw my little buddy, we played ball in the backyard and he was so proud to teach me the proper way to throw a baseball.

“I learned this in PE, Grandma.”

“First you swing your arm, step your foot, and throw. Swing, step, throw.”

“No, like THIS.”

He was very patient with me. I followed his directions and he caught ball after ball and threw them back with determination and accuracy.

“I taught YOU something, Grandma!” “Don’t ever forget…swing, step, throw!”

“Don’t worry, T. I will never forget. Never. I promise.”

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!

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.

November Edition: Convo #854 with the Angels | Letting Go of Expectations

I found what I THOUGHT was going to be a really fun cooking and art project to do with the Angels…and it didn’t actually turn out as expected.

Focaccia Bread Art is a newish trend where you decorate focaccia with fresh vegetables and herbs to make beautiful edible art. Have you heard of it? It was started during the pandemic shutdown by Teri Culetto. The self-proclaimed Vineyard Baker of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, started creating art with focaccia bread as her canvas.

Focaccia is simple to prepare (see recipe below). I made the dough and cut up all the veggies and herbs, olives and cheese and tofu, so the kids would each have their own canvas to decorate. I parboiled yams and cut them out as jack o’lanterns since it was around Halloween time and themes are always good.

Each child received dough and a platter filled with more than everything they might need because I knew that there would be a lot of eating going on at the same time and that was my secret plan.

Then all hell broke loose with the 5.5 and two-year-old. With only one rolling pin, there wasn’t a whole lot patience while one rolled and one waited, so I had to save the moment and a melt down by creating another one with a dowel I found.

One angel (less than angelic) didn’t like it because their plates were DIFFERENT colors, so I heard a lot of “It’s not fair! Why don’t I have the same exact one!”

Dad solved the issue (which I was planning to ignore) by getting the SAME EXACT plate and all hurt feelings were soothed. With only one child, I didn’t ever have to experience that kind of behavior so it was a learning experience for me, too.

It was such a fun project and they enjoyed themselves so much so we did it another time, too.

Here’s the result from their first attempt….and below it is what I THOUGHT they were going to create. Letting go of expectations and allowing them to create their own masterpieces was a wise decision for sure, even though my OCD was slightly triggered.

It didn’t matter what they looked like, The Angels were very proud of their creations and ate them all up, including all the veggies, so it really was a success!

Do you see any resemblance at all? Nope, me neither.

For more ideas, go to Instagram and search for Focaccia Art and try it yourself!

As you can see, it didn’t matter what it looked like, it was a fun project for the Angels in spite of the sibling rivalry.

Here’s my go-to easy Focaccia Recipe. Pizza dough works great, too

1 + 1/4 cups warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 TBS olive oil
Using a heavy duty mixer (or a strong arm) beat all ingredients together for about one minute. The dough will be wet and sticky but resist the urge to add more flour. With the dough hook (or your strong arm) start kneading until the dough becomes elastic. Scrape it into an oiled blow, cover and let rise under double, about two hours. When dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Turn dough onto well floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Flatten with your fingers into an 8-9 inch round or rectangle. I had the kids use a rolling pin at first and then they dimpled the dough with their fingers. Brush on olive oil and start decorating with all of your prepped ingredients. Be creative! Let rise for fifteen minutes. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

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.

OMG What Just Happened

T found this caterpillar (pretty sure it’s a Monarch) on a plant, got a box and made a home for it with leaves and flowers to eat.

For an entire day, he referred to it as his pet and was constantly checking on its welfare.

“I love him so much, he’s beautiful.”

Late afternoon, he chose to release it under a shady plant because he thought it would have access to a fresher food source.

With me by his side, we picked a plant we both agreed would be tasty.

No sooner than he put it down and we watched it crawl away than a lizard ran over, grabbed it in his mouth and swallowed it.

We both gasped in horror as the realization of what occurred fully blossomed in our minds. It happened so fast and took us a moment to actually process what we saw.

T, sitting cross-legged on the ground, lowered his head and began to sob in genuine lament, tears staining his face and dripping down his chin.

“WHY, Grandma, why?” He said, “I loved my pet, why did the lizard eat him, why?”

Hearing T cry, Dad came out, I told him what happened, and he gathered T in his arms to comfort him as we gently tried to explain how nature works. His sadness broke our hearts, but I’m so proud of the compassionate way his dad helped him work through these huge emotions.

“I hate lizards. I’m going to hurt them.” Although retaliation was his first solution; it’s obviously not one he would be allowed to do!

After a while, and after a mango/black cherry ice cream cone (thank goodness I had made a double batch), he started to calm down and recover his normally cheery disposition.

He’s an extremely sensitive child and this was his first experience with the raw and gritty side of how animals live and survive.

I found two more caterpillars for him (whew) and this time we didn’t release them and they’re still here in his Spiderman bucket, gnawing their way through leaf after leaf.

He doesn’t know they’re only tomato hornworms and that’s going to be our little secret, right?

Serenity NOW!

My life’s odyssey doesn’t seem to be a straight line to bliss, that’s for sure.

The oven situation was NOT the easy fix I’d hoped for. It’s going to take a whole new electronic panel which’ll take several days to get here.

On the glass half full side, the technician helped me purchase the part online, saving about $100, so I appreciated his honesty. He didn’t charge for today’s visit and diagnosis, and the cost for his labor is reasonable.

As I bemoaned the horrible timing, he suggested I purchase a toaster oven. I had meant to do that a long time ago and forgot, so this was a great solution to my dilemma. I ran out and got one that day AND it was on sale, a fact that makes this Grandma very happy.

If every cloud really has a silver lining, mine is now pure gold with diamond sparkles. Charlotte’s new behavior is to run at me from across the room, jump in my arms, wrap herself around me and say, “Charlotte hug and kiss Grandma!” Over and over again. That two-year-old with the titian hair and her curly big brother expressing their affectionate and exuberant joie de vivre wipe away any and all angst about the oven.

Just now from Theo at 5:26 a.m., “Wake up, Princess Rosebud!”
Right behind him from Char at 5:27 a.m.,”Grandma, where’s apple pie?”

It might be a day late, but they WILL have their apple pie!

Have a happy and safe 4th, everyone!

“Go Home, Fly Guys!”

Out of the mouths and all that.

Char has a teensy bit more of a calm way about her; slightly less intense than her force of nature brother, but still as determined to exist in this world on her terms.

She calls flies “fly guys”. No one is really sure where this monniker came from, but now we all refer to them that way.

Also for some reason, she doesn’t like ants. It seems as if she believes they purposely infringe on her space. When she sees ants, she crouches down and blows on them, “Gone, ant!”

I’ve attempted to explain that they have as much right to live here on planet Earth as we do and we need to be kind, and I know her big brother understands that, but Char views the world from a different lens.

Like I said, C is slightly less feral than her brother and dad (and mom too).

She really doesn’t like to go camping.

“Home NOW!” she says.

“Did you have fun camping in the mountains?”

A resounding “NO” from Char. The girl loves her comforts and her lotions and her sparkles.

I’m sure you can guess who appropriated all of my Hello Kitty items.

Pretty funny. Pretty cute, too.

Full House, Full Heart

“GRAMMYGRANDMAGRANDMAAAPRINCESSROSEBUD!!!!”

THUMP like a dinosaur as he jumps from the top step.

Crawling in bed with me at 5:30 a.m. to chat about dreams and breakfast and plans for the day,

“Grandma, did you make more cookies?”
“Grandma, did the coyotes come last night? Can we check the camera?”
“Grandma, can we do the slip and slide now?”
“Grandma, are there a lot of kids at the park now?”
“Grandma, Char is still sleeping, so is mommy and daddy.”
“Grandma, when Daddy was a little boy and went to Kelly, did he play outside too?”
“Did he have a slip and slide like mine?”
“I’m going to kindergarten in September but not at Kelly.”
“Grandma, can I have this rock? Can I bring the giant transformer home? Can I bring the red ball home?”
“Grandma, we are staying here for a really long time, right Grandma?”
“How many more days?”
“Can we go to the lagoon today? It’s not as salty as the beach.”
“I counted all the steps up to my bedroom. I can jump from almost all the way up. Want to watch me, Grandma?”
“Where’s Dad going? WHERE ARE YOU GOING, DADDY?”
(Early morning surf sesh, that’s where.)

“Get up, Grandma!

And so it goes…

Sliced fruit, oatmeal, buckwheat pancakes, breakfast burritos, bagels, and toast–all before 7:00 a.m.

Second feeding after park or beach at about 10 a.m. Lunch at 11:45 a.m. Char down for a nap at noonish. More play, crafts while I get ready for after nap snacks to include my famous smoothies, cut up veggies and hummus, and probably a tofu hot dog or leftover dinner from the night before.

The beach, south of the jetty. There’s a dolphin out there but it’s impossible to see.

Slip and slide, two kiddie pools, running around. And around. And around. AND AROUND.

Indoors for a little inside play while I start dinner; maybe another trip to the park or a walk around the neighborhood. Here they are fascinated by the kindergarten kids.

Early first dinner at 4:30, more play, bath at 6ish, nighttime snack of sliced apples and almond butter, books and bed at 7pm.

For me? Exhaustion and joy equally by 7:30.

And then there’s almost two-year-old Charlotte…

“Grammy, come HERE! Help Charlotte take off shirt.”
“Cookie for Charlotte!” NO! Not that one, other one!”
“NO, I can do it!”
“NO. STOP IT!”
“Cuppa tea for Charlotte!”
“Super cute baby at the park.”
“Stop it, Theo! Don’t say that!”
“Grandma, find mermaid!”
“Grandma, water, please.”
“Not that hat! Where’s Peppa hat?”
“Go to park now.”
“I see bunny. Theo, come see!”
“Charlotte touch lizard?”
“Bagel with cream cheese and jelly.”
“Where’s Daddy and Mommy?” (Surfing, of course.)

Like I said, joy and exhaustion, but JOY wins every time. This is their first visit since Covid, the first time they left their house to fly anywhere in more than a year.

We had excellent weather except for one odd drizzly day. We spent hours and hours outside exploring the garden and backyard; watching the bunnies and lizards (Char had never seen one) and monarch butterflies and all the hummingbirds and other birds that live in the trees. One morning we checked the wildlife camera and saw a bobcat. That’s only happened one other time! Sharing my love for animals is high on the list of what I want my grandma legacy to be.

At the airport, “I miss you already, Grandma. Can we come back in two days, Mommy?”
“Miss you, Grandma”, from Char.

Hugs and kisses all around.

Now it’s SO quiet. No children laughing, screaming, no one yelling at the top of his lungs from the highest point in the garden, “GRANDMA, CAN YOU SEE ME?”

Yup. I miss them already for sure, but they’ll be back in a few weeks so I need to REST up.

The aftermath.




Happy Valentine’s Day From Me to You

My plans were to post this on Sunday, Valentine’s Day, but I’m getting the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine tomorrow and if predictions are correct, I might be too sick to do anything but lay on the sofa rolled up in a warm blanket and watch Netflix or reruns of Bewitched, so here it is!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Image result for 1960's old fashioned vintage valentine cards

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day in spite of the commercialism. In elementary school, I looked forward to the day we’d give and receive those little Valentine’s Day cards (including the inedible heart-shaped candies.)

Later on, I especially cherished Angel Boy’s handmade cards –which I saved–every single one of them.

There’s something lovely and old fashioned about being thought of as someone’s Valentine, and I like that a lot.

I have simple wants; a bunch of wildflowers is treasured as much as a dozen red roses; all gifts from the heart are appreciated whether it’s a Chanel or a seashell. Or a handmade card from the Angels.

These flowers are called alstroemeria. Native to South America. I prefer their other name,  Lily of the Incas, ‘cos it sounds exotic. I’ve been growing them for about fifteen years. Surprisingly, they do quite well here and are drought tolerant. I’ve even been able to successfully dig up and divide the tubers.

I hope you’re having (will have) a happy, happy day!