Hosp Grove Murder

UPDATE:
Police released the name of the murder victim. She was physical therapist Lisa Thornburg. After the death of her husband in 2017, she moved with her daughter to Carlsbad in May 2020.

I’m completely freaked out. In a weird twist of fate, we had met online and were planning to go hiking together. She had actually messaged me a couple days before her murder to go hiking but I had another doc appt that morning and had to decline. I had written her, “Next time for sure.”

Only there wouldn’t be a next time. How absolutely tragic for her family.

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Divine intervention in action.

On Monday morning, I went to a much delayed (due to Covid) eye appointment for new glasses and contacts. It turned out the new doc and I not only had acquaintances in common, but his wife graduated the same year from my high school. While I was there, he called her and she immediately looked me up in the yearbook. What a small world! It was also the best eye exam I’ve ever had, and I know a LOT about eyes.

I drove home around the mall, taking the road that follows a weird little piece of open space called Hosp Grove with a 3.0 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. Originally, Hosp Grove was founded in 1908 by a group of investors. They planted 219 acres of eucalyptus hoping they could be harvested and sold to the Santa Fe Railroad as railroad ties. Unfortunately, eucalyptus is a brittle wood and cracks easily, therefore was unsuitable to use. I don’t know why they didn’t do any research about the best wood for railroad ties, but I guess that’s what happened pre-Google.

It’s not one of my favorite places to walk because it’s dusty, devoid of native plants, and too short of a walk to make me happy, but I debated with myself about stopping because it was a beautiful day.

I slowed down, but FOR SOME REASON, decided not to pull into the parking lot, and continued home. This was a little before 11:00 a.m.

No sooner did I get home that I read post after post on NextDoor and Facebook questioning the appearance of yellow tape and major police presence at Hosp Grove.

I called the police department and a few details emerged:

The body of 68-year-old woman was found. She had been stabbed to death.

The victim, whose name has not yet been made public, apparently was walking or jogging when she was killed at Hosp Grove Park. Passers-by found her body shortly before 11:30 a.m.

Though no suspects in the case have at yet been identified, a tipster reported seeing an unidentified man who may have been in the area where the woman’s body was found around the time of the fatal assault.

The possible suspect is described as a husky, tan-complected, dark-haired man who was walking slowly with a slight limp or shuffling gait.

However, at this time, no suspect has been arrested and we have been cautioned not to walk alone in that park or the other trails in Carlsbad.

HOLY SHIT!

If I had acted on my initial thought of walking that trail — at that time– it’s entirely possible that I would have either been a/the murder victim or would have been a witness to murder.

I am so very sorry that this happened and my heart goes out to the woman’s family. I hope the police make an arrest as soon as possible.

Divine intervention. I’ll definitely add that to my list of things to be thankful for.

(I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.)

Convo #926 With the Brilliant One

“Grandma, you should have seen this. Daddy catapulted himself from the cushion onto the sofa.”

“T, what was that big word?”

“Daddy CATAPULTED. You would not believe it.”

“I hope Daddy is OK! T, that is such a wonderful word, very descriptive, and I’m so proud of you for knowing it and for using it correctly in your sentence!”

“Now. Look. Feast your eyes on this, Grandma. It’s a new bench for the kitchen table. It’s nice, huh, Grandma?”

“Oh wait right here. I’m going to put you down and you can watch Mommy make dinner for a minute. I’m going into the Grandma room. I want to show you the present I have for you in our special drawer. It’s a surprise. It’s sparkly just like you like and it’s shiny.”

“Well, hold on. Let’s think about this. If it’s a surprise, do you want to wait until I’m there before you show me?”

“No, ‘cos you’ll forget by then.”

“But what if I don’t forget? What if I remember?”

“Oh, don’t worry little Grandma, you’ll forget.”

SEE?”

“Wow, it IS sparkly and shiny, you’re right about that!”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

(It’s a Christmas tree decoration from last year, a shiny little silvery disco ball.)

“Don’t forget to put it back in the drawer so you can show me again.”

“And Grandma, don’t forget to bring me a surprise for the drawer too, OK? I’ll be at the airport to pick you up.”

“Do I EVER forget?”

(The answer is obvious. I never forget.)

As a side note, when he was out of the kitchen getting my present, I asked, “He seems to think my visit is imminent. What have you told him?”

“Don’t worry, imminent means something different to T. He doesn’t really have a good grasp of time.”

This is the sad plight of grandparent’s new reality…not to be able to hug and play with our angel boys and girls, and to miss the excitement of Daddy catapulting himself around the house.

Still, there’s always always something to be grateful for, right?

Love and Kindness

Love for a teddy grows a kind heart.

My original Angel Boy, age 4.5, the same exact age as AB 2.0, now the proud owner of this very same teddy bear.

Black and white cos it was one of his modeling pics and you can’t see his jade green eyes.

Kindness
Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profundity.
Kindness in giving creates love
.—-Lao Tzu

(And a reminder: There’s always something to be grateful for. Always. No matter what.)

“I am wonderful.”

Here’s another example of an empowered child, as told to me by my DIL (daughter-in-law).

Two years ago on the first day of preschool (I was there but didn’t witness it personally), T’s friend was holding her mom’s hand and as they walked up to the door, she stopped, threw back her shoulders and declared, “I am wonderful” and walked inside to face the world.

Apparently, no one could figure out exactly where the phrase came from, as mom said she didn’t recall saying it, but we all agreed THAT is the level of self-confidence we should strive for.

We could put that on our bathroom mirror to see every morning as a daily affirmation, our anthem. We are wonderful warriors.

Take a deep breath, hold your head high and say,

I AM WONDERFUL

Wonder full. Full of wonder.

Wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

We could hope for nothing less than to be full of wonder: tending to excite wonder; surprising, extraordinary.

It makes waking up every day just a little happier to be full of wonder as opposed to full of anhedonia; reduced motivation, unable to experience joy in any of the things one had previously found fulfilling. In the DSM-5, anhedonia is a component of depressive disorders, substance-related disorders, psychotic disorders, and personality disorders, where it is defined by either a reduced ability to experience pleasure, or a diminished interest in engaging in pleasurable activities.

It’s like living in a world that’s shades of gray as opposed to one that’s full of color.

Colorful/wonderful.

Convo #726 with the Brilliant One and a Life Lesson: “Here I am!”

Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent, never ever forget that children absolutely absorb our words, positive AND negative.

If your goal is to raise happy, healthy, empowered, imaginative THINKERS, remember that every word you say to them becomes ingrained in their fertile brains and becomes a part of their belief system.

Although I really and truly believe this and it’s been my lifelong philosophy (minus a few weeks of Angel Boy’s angst-filled teenage years), this was reinforced yesterday in the most casual and BEST way.

During one of my FaceTime calls with T, he said, “Grandma, I’m gonna flip the phone and show you this. You’ll think it’s amazing, I know you will.”

He flipped the camera to show me a crystal that his other grandma sent to him.

“Can you believe how sparkly it is, Grandma? I’ll save it to show you after the virus.”

(It seems as if now everything is always “after the virus.”)

Then, wait for it,…wait for it…he says,
Oh, I almost forgot. I’ll flip back. Here I am, Grandma. Here’s your beautiful boy.

He smiled at me with his daddy’s Imperial jade green eyes and those curls that have a life of their own.

Without a trace of humor or artifice, he was very simply repeating exactly what I said a zillion times, “Could you please flip the phone back so I can see my beautiful boy?”

And when he does, I say, “Oh, good. there you are. That’s who I want to see; my beautiful boy!”

He ABSORBED the positive affirmation–and knows deep inside where it counts–that he is my beautiful and smart and very loved little boy. He KNOWS he is valued for being who he is, not for any accomplishments, but simply for existing.

Haha, my work here is done. He is truly and beautifully empowered, inside and out.

Here’s an easy-to-save graphic with a few important positive affirmations for our children and for ourselves.

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“Do you love me more than a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles?” More brilliant chat with a little human.

“You’re my little Grandma.”

“I know I am. I’m a very small person and now you’re almost as big as I am.”

“Let’s compare hands, little Grandma!”

“OH MY GAWD, Grandma. My hand is almost as big as yours now!”

“I know, T, remember I told you that you are growing and growing every day and I stay the same size?”

“You’re my old little Grandma.”

*Yes, I am. (Lolz.)*

“Grandma, can you carry me?”

“I don’t think I can do that anymore, but let me try. You are so tall and SO heavy. I can pick you up, but I can’t carry you now. Daddy will carry you if you’re tired.”

“Daddy, Grandma cut triangles and hearts and circles and squares and I glued them to a piece of paper. Do you wanna see? Grandma said that’s one of the things I’ll do when I go to Kindergarten.”

“Grandma, did your little boy Daddy do that too? Did he like to glue shapes? Did he like to read? Did he like to watch Sesame Street? My Daddy is your little boy, right, Grandma? But he’s a man so how can he be your little boy? He’s big. My Daddy is so big. He’s bigger than you, little Grandma.”

“If there’s no gravity in space, how did the astronauts not float away when they were on the moon?”

What a great and thoughtful question, T. Let’s research it and find the answer.”

“Grandma? Do you love me more than a chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles?”

“Hmm, that’s a really tough one, buddy. I do love chocolate a LOT. Let me think about it. Well, the answer is yes, I love you more than a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles.”

“Do you love me more than seashells and rocks?”

“Oh NO, that’s going to be so hard. Let me give it some thought.  *Sigh*. You definitely know how much I love seashells and rocks, but I love you so much MORE.”

This went on for the longest time until he was completely assured that I love him more than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

This brilliant not-so-little-human.

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An evolution of blue

Since I’m pretty much a (willing) prisoner here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells just like we’re all enduring stay-at-home orders,  I decided to create a positive mindset and find the beauty inside and outside these four walls and my infinite garden.

Today, the sky is blueblueblue with occasional puffy clouds so I thought I’d focus on blue.

Cerulean, ultramarine, the shade of a Ceylon sapphire.More like a periwinkle blue, but still BLUE.

The blue of agapanthus, also known as Lily of the Nile, from bud to flower.

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Home Sweet Home

In quarantine? Isolation? Distancing?

Happy to have a home to go home to, no matter what it looks like, that’s the message I’m getting from this little bird, being grateful for what we have.

Every spring, for years and years, this dedicated vireo mom builds and rebuilds her home in my garden. If I count them all up, I’ve been grandma to approximately one hundred babies.

As you can see, her home looks a bit shabby. It really needs to be repainted and I attempted to fix the bottom with string because it was starting to fall apart. I’m not much of a handyman (woman) but it’s OK for now.

vireo May 2020 3

Going home

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Checking out the view

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Breakfast is ready!

Three Little Birds

This is one of my absolute favorite Bob Marley tunes, check out the video below.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

You know how sometimes you hear a song that’s the perfect song for how you’re feeling, and whether it’s a coincidence or a sign or a message, you feel its uplifting energy? That’s this one.

This is my mantra for today: “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

And then I took my camera outside to see what beauty nature could inspire me to feel gratitude and peace and this lovely little brown bird followed me around for a while.

“This is my message to you.”

Got it. Message received loud and clear. Breathe.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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The Journey of a Feather

After our week-long rainstorm, it was sunny and warm; a perfect time to pick weeds and do some heavy lifting in the garden.

Picture this: Our backyard can be divided into threes. There’s the level part with a lawn, and then there are twenty-eight steps that lead to the first hill, with more winding steps that ascend to the summit.

I took a break, eating a tangerine while I sat at the top of the mid-steps. From this vantage point, I could survey the entire level of the garden below. Birds were singing, butterflies were fluttering around in the soft breeze, and my eye caught the progression of something floating down from the palm trees in the neighbor’s yard to land on my lawn.

What was it?

I ran down and found a soft and beautiful hawk feather. It almost seemed to glow in the early morning light.

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What a joyous treasure, don’t you think?

According to Native Americans, a feather from a hawk symbolizes guardianship, strength, and far-sightedness. Another meaning : You are being asked to listen to the advice that friends and family are giving you. The messages you are receiving about the decision you must make is correct and only comes from love. Allow yourself to let go of the control and surrender. I like this one, too: Your life is taking a turn that will lead you on the path to happiness, joy, success, and love.

Hmmm, that certainly gives me something to think about, you know?

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