Danger?

On this beautiful new moon Lion’s Gate day, I woke up extra early to walk to the beach and back, about six miles or so. I like to get home before the blazing sun gives me heatstroke.

As I walked past the house of a friend of a friend who’s a Shamanic practitioner, I heard her voice in my head saying, “You’re in danger.”

I mean, I heard it as clear as if she was standing next to me. I actually looked around to see if she WAS there. It was absolutely the furthest thing from my mind. I was focused on a spectacular morning, walking to the ocean, and awesome exercise.

In the old days, I would have ignored these voices, messages, warnings, but I have learned to pay attention.

“Oh well” I said to myself. “Forewarned is forearmed.” Right?

A couple blocks further, I noticed about five crows sitting on a fence. I swear, one of them looked right at me. I said, “Hi cousin”, because that’s how I always refer to my crow family.

One by one, they flew in front of me and away.

Hmmm. This was a bit strange but not dangerous.

I continued to walk. On the next block, I saw smoke billowing out of the garage roof of a house on the corner, It didn’t smell like barbecue-type smoke, so I knocked on the door. I knocked and knocked and no one answered. I walked back around the corner in time to see five foot flames and a woman throwing a bucket of water on them but it seemed as if that wasn’t working. At this point, other neighbors came out and we all called the fire department at the same time. The fire was quickly extinguished but it could have been really bad because the garage was packed with things and the entire house could have been lost.

Was that the danger I needed to be aware of? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire???

I continued my Odyssean-like journey to Lake Pacific. Not only were there no waves, but I didn’t see whales or dolphin, either.

Walking home, I looked down and saw a crow feather. A few feet away, I saw another, and this one I picked up and put in my backpack.

At a four-way stop, I crossed the street in the crosswalk. There were cars at all the stop signs, but I was clearly in the middle of the street when a car decided to inch forward, ignoring the obvious fact that my visible body was right there. I looked at the driver. He looked at me. I said WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU DOING and other un-princessy things like that. He continued, as if to hurry me along.

OH HELL NO.

This former Detroit ghetto girl still has the ability to be a stubborn beeyotch. I slowed down to a snail’s pace — so slow that a sloth would have won the race — while the people in the other cars gave me a thumbs up and shook their heads at the nerve of that entitled Range Rover. WTF was that all about?

When I eventually made it to the other side of the intersection, I wondered if THAT was the danger I needed to protect myself from?

The remainder of the walk was uneventful. I’m home now, the sky is blue, it’s sheets changing day. Maybe I’ll spritz a little Chanel on my thousand thread count linens to greet me tonight and envelop my body in the lingering fragrance of Chance.

Untying The Knots

What’s that sound I hear?

Melodic silence greeted me this morning.

Not at the godawful hour of 5:30 a.m. (their witching hour) but at a more respectable 6:30. The only sounds on this Sunday morning are the hawks and birds and the incessant warning squeak of a ground squirrel.

As I restore the house to a once again adult dwelling, moving the breakables back into their original position, I turn to the garden where I’m greeted with a massive knot installation by Captain Theo.

He had been deeply involved in a fantasy world of boats where he was the captain and we had to salute and respond to him with “Aye aye, Captain.” I asked him what my job was on the ship and he said I was his Mate, and so I was referred to as “Matey.”

Don’t even ask me where his creative little mind dredged up that scenario, but it was SUPER cute, as Char would say.

He wore a hat and gathered up all the rope he could find, along with some buckets and an old oar that was lying around, and proceeded to create a fairly sophisticated jumble of knots, all the more impressive because no one had ever taught him about the art of knot tying.

He designated himself as Captain of his world–that level of self confidence in a child is positive and healthy especially since he really really loves to give orders, which is why he’s been called Bossy Boots since he was two.

When it was time to untie the knotted structure because he wanted to build something else, he was frustrated and asked for help.

Always looking for the lesson in things–a teachable moment–as I sort of guided his unraveling, we chatted about what it feels like to be frustrated and how sometimes, a task like UNtying knots opens up an opportunity to learn to really pay attention (mindfulness) and practice patience.

Thereafter, his new phrase to Char was, “Just be a little patient and it will all work out.”

Hand to heart, that child is beyond precious. What a gift he is.

Now if someone could just get over here and help me untie the knots he left behind I’d really appreciate it!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Patience, Princess.”

PATIENCE.

BREATHE INTO IT.

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!

When Doves Cry: Life and Death

**This is so strange. I only published this post today, June 26, but it shows that it was published on the 24th, so I am RE-writing and posting again. Very odd WordPress, very odd.

We had a bit of rain, just a few drops, definitely not the kind of rain we need here in the Southwest, but I think my veggie garden was grateful for it.

When I went outside to check on the status of baby lettuce seedlings, I noticed a Monarch butterfly entangled in the netting surrounding the garden. I’ve been forced to use the barrier to keep out squirrels and rats and bunnies. There are plenty of other things in the garden those guys can eat, so I don’t feel too bad about restricting them from my yummy greens.

Carefully, I removed the netting from those delicate wings.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is f36bad6b-b51c-4dc2-ac71-83c67d1552ea_1_201_a.jpeg

After flying off, s/he returned with a mate and they circled my head a few times as if to thank me. “You’re welcome, guys! I was glad to help.”

Later that afternoon, right before dusk, I went for a walk. There were still beautiful clouds in the sky and I was thinking happy thoughts about the butterflies.

Suddenly, before I could even react, several things happened at once. A white van was driving down the street faster than the twenty-five mile an hour speed limit. A dove flew low across the street, left to right. (Yup, you can see where this is going.) The driver MUST have seen the bird, I’m sure of it.

Without slowing down or trying to avoid the imminent impact, the van ran into the bird, and to make it even more horrific, the back tires finished the slaughter. There were no other cars on the road; simply slowing down would have avoided it completely.

It doesn’t matter to me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this tragedy. I ran out into the street to see if I needed to take the bird to a vet, but it was too late. Too late. I crouched down on my knees over the little dove almost in shock at the massive destruction the van did to his body. I took a photo because I wanted to remember the poor dear and honor his/her life, but it’s too gruesome to post and I feel it would be disrespectful to the innocent creature.

The bird was probably on his way home, and there might have been nesting babies that won’t be fed and won’t survive all because of the actions of one unaware or uncaring human. What if it was one of the doves I just wrote about that often visit me in the garden? How incredibly sad.

Well, that stripped me of the joy of saving a butterfly, that’s for sure. I’m a fixer and a helper. It’s a tough lesson for me to comprehend that sometimes things can be so terribly damaged that they can’t be mended or put back together, like this poor little bird who was beyond repair.

This made me think of Prince. When doves cry, so do I.



In a Pickle

Somebody got his tall, lanky body stuck in a tree attempting to readjust the Jacob’s ladder to the right height for his clone; tall, lanky five-year-old T-man.

“Well, I certainly got myself in a pickle”, he said.

“DADDY’S IN A PICKLE DADDY’S IN A PICKLE DADDY’S IN A PICKLE!”

Eventually, Daddy managed to very carefully extricate himself from the plum tree.

Well done, Angel Boy!

(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?

A Light Bulb Moment

Literally.

Photo by Luca Nardone on Pexels.com

I don’t know how long it’s been since I needed to buy light bulbs; maybe five or six years, something like that.

I can’t remember exactly, but I had so many of them go out at the same time that I was compelled to navigate the light bulb aisle at a local home and hardware store.

I must have looked sufficiently confused because an employee walked over to me and said, “I’d ask you if you need help, but I can tell you do!”

I DID need help!

Apparently, I’ve been on another planet because the entire light bulb industry has changed while I’ve been gone.

Weird shaped bulbs, lumens, CFL, LED, halogen, incandescent, wattage, energy saving, HID, voice-enabled, smartphone technology–pretty soon even the light bulbs will be listening to our conversations like Alexa and Siri. It’s a whole new world.

I paid no attention to the lesson he gave me (sorry, nice man) but I told him what I wanted or what I used to have in the good old days, and let him choose the appropriate replacements.

They’re also way more expensive than they used to be, also a shock, but when I got home and restored illumination to previously darkened rooms, I was grateful for his kind assistance.

Friend/ship

This is funny.

A certain website I needed to access for an important document had been giving me a consistent error message to close out my browser every single time I input my password. No matter what I did, I encountered the same message.

I couldn’t figure out what the problem could possibly be, so I called the company tech support number. I wasn’t angry or frustrated; it seemed like this could be easily solved if I took a deep breath and asked for help.

An hour later, I have a new friend.

She instructed me to close out my ENTIRE browser, not simply the tab that was open to her website.

I said, “Oh my goodness, not that! All those tabs? That’s going to ruin my life!”

She started laughing and told me I made her day, and then I started laughing, and that in turn opened up a conversation about life, the weather (she’s on the east coast), and our kids and grandkids. We shared that each of our moms had lived with us and we both took care of them while they were sick up until they died, and what a blessing it was to have been able to give back some love and kindness.

She asked me why I was laughing about the tech issue instead of getting angry and yelling at her (which is the emotional state she usually encounters) and I explained to her that in the grand scheme of life, this seemed to be a minor blip on the screen of my universe.

She told me she had been depressed and I cheered her up and that in turn made me happy.

Oh, and she solved my access problem so I was able to get into the account and acquire the info I needed.

If I hadn’t had a problem, if I hadn’t made the call, I wouldn’t have connected with a beautiful soul three thousand miles away, and I wouldn’t have been able to shine a light and a laugh into her darkness. In my opinion, this was a win-win scenario.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

An outstretched hand.

Friend/ship.

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?

Fog + real ducks in a fake pond.

I had to get up at the crack of dawn to walk before the devil heat returns.

Lucky for me there’s a deep marine layer and so much fog that it’s impossible to see across the street from my house. The fence around the school is barely visible; that’s how moisture-laden the skies are right now. Normally, it’s possible to see all the way to the lagoon from here, but not today.

It’s an hour-long walk around the lagoon and up the hill, and I hurried to beat the emergence of the fiery ball. All-time heat records were broken yesterday; it’s easier to comprehend nuclear fusion creating a core temperature of 270 million degrees on days like that.

These are real ducks in a fake pond on the street where all the paddleboarders park. They built this water feature and have since tried in every way to deter ducks from using it–but here they are. It’s literally feet away from the lagoon which is a natural body of water; how could they expect wildlife NOT to enjoy it??? Duh.

Hello, ducks! Have a wonderful swim. Welcome to Carlsbad!