Heavenly Sky in SoCal

Tonight’s sunset was so effing glorious that for the first time in years, I saw people stopped in their tracks, looking up at the sky instead of down at their phones. It was like an episode of Twilight Zone, all heads tilted up staring at the beauty of sundown.

It was a shared moment of humanity; there were murmurs of “Oh my goodness, did you see that?” leaning on their cars in the Marshall’s parking lot, doing nothing but absorbing the beauty of the universe.

Time stood still for all of us for the duration of the last visible rays of the sun.

“Wow, that was amazing”, was the consensus.

Apparently, there’s still a glimmer of hope for us.

These are raw, unretouched photos from my iPhone.

Mother Nature, I raise a glass to your magnificence. It’s truly humbling.

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A mom is a mom forever

I’m an A to B kind of Princess, black and white like the colors of a Chanel Boutique.  Ziggy zaggy paths or gray areas…not so much. I had a clear-cut idea about how I was going to approach my topic du jour but like an annoying kid pulling at my shirt while I’m on the telephone, other ideas were poking at my consciously unconscious subconscious and I had to put aside my wonderfully witty post about vacuuming (!) and take a detour.

Listen up, moms!

Our children are ours to love and protect no matter how old they are — newborn, two years, sixteen, twenty-one, or even in their thirties, like my own Angel Boy.

The fragility of life smacked me in the head a few days ago. You just NEVER know when that call will come that stops you in your tracks.

I wrote a post last week about getting Botox and Juvederm with a couple of my girlfriends.
On Friday, my friend C and I stopped by the Chanel boutique inside Macy’s so she could get her makeup done. She’s doesn’t wear a lot of makeup but she’s going to the Dominican Republic with her boyfriend  for a couple weeks and would be attending a formal event and wanted to be glammed up.

While she’s being pampered and beautified, her iPhone rings. It’s her son, thirty years old, a really sweet boy, her only child. He was sick and didn’t know what was wrong with him. He sent her some pictures. His left eye was completely swollen shut and it looked very puffy and angry. He was in a lot of pain and had a headache. He told his mom (I’m having her repeat everything to me) that he woke up that way a few days before, had gone to an urgent care facility, and they sent him away with some antibiotics (I don’t know what kind) thinking perhaps it was a spider bite. The alternative diagnosis was herpes zoster (more commonly known as “shingles”). The headache was becoming unbearable.

My mom was a Registererd Nurse, and I have a pretty fair medical background because I listened to her a lot and I worked for my doctor cousin back when I thought I wanted to be a doctor myself, but I was no brainiac in math and science. I’m the one people call when they have a medical issue and want advice, and I always tell them to go to a doctor, but try to help them become educated patients or caregivers or parents.

I asked her to ask her son if he had a fever. Of course, he didn’t have a thermometer, (come one, everyone needs a digital thermometer!!) but he was having chills and his girlfriend said he felt warm.

I told my friend to tell her son to go back to the doctor immediately. If it was a spider bite, I was concerned that the location of the bite was near his eye and brain and needed more aggressive treatment. If it was shingles, he needed a more educated diagnosis and a different approach.

At this point, my friend was becoming really freaked out. We’re sitting in two makeup chairs and she’s worrying about her only child, her baby boy. She asked me what I would do if it were my son. I didn’t hesitate. I told her I would be on a flight to him right that instant. Sometimes the most random medical things can deteriorate at an alarming rate and she needed to be with him in a worst case scenario. I would. In a heartbeat.

We left the store and she promised to keep in touch.  He went back to the doctor, had a temp of 101 and a persistent headache. They told him it looked like he had shingles, gave him a steroid injection, and sent him home.

He had a bad night with a severe heachache that kept him awake.

My friend drove to the next state where he lives, a six-hour drive.

She emailed me that he had suffered a seizure and was in intensive care. They were doing tests to try and figure out what was wrong. Along with his other symptoms, a grand mal seizure in an otherwise completely healthy young man is very troublesome.

My last email from her was that the doctors had no clear answers, but he seemed to be feeling better and might be released in a couple days.

Did you think this was going to end with a story about every parent’s nightmare? I really thought it was going in that direction. I’m hopeful he will have a diagnosis and he doesn’t have any more seizures and this was simply a random, aberrant episode in his otherwise happy life. I haven’t heard from her today. Fingers crossed.

But it made me sit back and think. Being a mom is immutable, enduring, never-ending — and that’s the way it should be. The days of changing diapers and nursing them to sleep might be over, but they will always need us to be the one constant in their lives–the one person they can turn to who will run like the wind to wherever they are.

That’s what a good mom should do. That’s a mom’s job.

You never know when it’s going to be the last time you see them. The last I love you. This is a reminder for us all to treasure all of their precious moments, no matter how old they are.

(Before I hear from any dads out there, this is MY perspective and MY opinion as a mom.)

Bleeding car and chirping house, Part Two

Use your imagination!

I’d like to introduce you to my husband. He’s right there inside that cell phone. Yeah, you’re seeing it correctly. Even if you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine or whatever else you might do in the privacy of your home,  you still see it clearly. And I don’t want to know what you do; don’t make me an unwilling accomplice. (But tell me anyway, you know you want to.) Yes everyone, my little confession du jour is that I do not have a smart phone; it’s a dumb phone–well, a stupid phone really–and yes, it’s hot pink and covered in silver stars. I don’t have an iPhone to go with my MacAir. It was on the To Do list while the captain was here, but we didn’t get to it, so that chore carries forward to the next homecoming. 

Watch what you say; he’s listening. Check out his snazzy captain’s hat. He looks really cute when he wears that…and nothing else, if you know what I mean.  Stop. That. Right. Now. It’s inappropriate.

My captain is quite the problem solver. Even in absentia, he’s worth his weight in gold. (Although less gold than before ‘cos he’s lost a bit of weight under my watchful eye.)

We were so close last night. It lasted for forty-five minutes, the longest its been since we first met. He leaned against my head, whispering in my ear in that special way. I was pleasuring him the same way, my lips to his…EAR. What did you think I was talking about? We were on the phone, for goodness’ sake, get your mind out of the gutter!

He called and systematically solved my two pressing dilemmas. If you’re wondering why we didn’t Skype, it’s ‘cos he doesn’t have the bandwidth to do anything complicated like that. It didn’t matter. It was almost like he was right here instead of just being a disembodied voice emanating from a happy pink phone. I put him on speaker so he could hear the beeping and chirping sound that had me once again straddling that tenuous line of crazy. It seemed to come from the garage area so we went into the garage together. At first I thought it was coming from my new car radio he installed last week. Could it be a type of alarm that was beeping even though the car wasn’t running? He didn’t think so. Then I hauled him over to the driver’s side door that he’d been messing around with, and it’s electronic and all so I thought he had screwed something up. He didn’t think that was it. I set him none too gently on the stool and the beeping stopped. Weird. Then it started up again. He told me to open the hood, so I did, ‘cos I’ve been taught how. Maybe it was a bird that got in there somehow! Nope, that wasn’t it either. (Check out my cool diesel engine.)  He shared some thoughts about the possible sources of beeping. I think he said it could be a sensor to something called a vacuum booster but to me it sounded like “Blah, blah, blah, vacuum, blah, blah, blah.” I actually asked him if he remembered who he was talking to and did he think that while he was gone I magically turned into someone who gave a shit about stuff like that. I really said that. I was joking (sort of). Most of the time he thinks I’m really funny and I think he has a great sense of humor ‘cos he thinks I’m funny. We’re a great team. There I was, being my witty self once again. His new thing to say is, “Are you going to blog about this?” “Well, DUH, Captain Dorky, of course I am!” Keep reading, I’m almost at the end of this part of the story. Even if you think you know how it ends, continue reading, please. He put me on hold for a minute while he checked with the engineer. After they conferred, they came to the conclusion that it could not have been the whatever he thought it might have been. We were back to square one. The sound stopped. He told me to check the time. OK Captain Kirk (he was sounding very StarTrekky to me.) There goes the damn chirpy beepy crap again. He said to time it and I said it was just like timing contractions and he said I should try to stay focused. We counted together….thirty seconds and another one. Thirty seconds and another one. He said he was totally stumped. Then I got a cosmic message from the universe and looked up on the wall near one of his quivers of surfboards. Oh. My. God. There was a smoke alarm up there. I said, “Hey, there’s a smoke alarm in here, did you know that?”

“Are you kidding me? Didn’t you check the smoke alarms before all this? I thought you would have done that days ago!!”

“What? How was I supposed to know there was a smoke alarm in here?”

I stuck him in my pocket and climbed up on the big somekindofsaw table so that I could reach the smoke alarm. I’ll be darned if that stupid thing wasn’t beeping and chirping his little heart out! Now he has a new battery and all is quiet at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. At least we didn’t tear the walls apart to find the source of the beeping like that couple in the UK (see article below).

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew worked together and solved the mystery; what a great team we are! Now on to the next problem-my bleeding car. The captain had me describe to him in exquisite detail about the little drop under my car. It was about the size of a contact lens, blood-red, and kind of oily. He determined that it was probably a bit of transmission fluid and not to worry unless there was so much gushing out that it looked like a burst carotid artery.

Seashell tree atop a seashell table

All of that took a lot out of me. I so deserved a bit of retail therapy. I found a simply awesome seashell tree to kick off  the holidays.

It is a daunting task to be married to me. I raise my glass to the captain for maintaining his even temperament and composure through every screwball situation.