Monday, August 29, 2016

Oils for the skin

There are lots of different oils a person can use on their skin.

Essential oils come from a plant and are considered "essential" because it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance. Essential oils are used for things like skin treatments, aroma therapy, and massage.

There are also other plant-based oils like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, macadamia nut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil - all which can be used on the skin (as well as in cooking).

And THEN there are oils that come from the process of refining crude oil, like mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and baby oil.
  • Mineral oil is a liquid by-product of refining crude oil 
  • Baby oil is just perfumed mineral oil, and  
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is also from crude oil refining, originally coming from the coating at the bottom of oil rigs
If you are interested in essential oils, I thought this was a good overview of the different essential oils and their uses.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bike Riding with the Q's

Bike riding is fun!  Especially if you are the passenger - and also get snacks.

New Kingdom of Trains

Since his b-day, Bambino now is the king of many trains and his sister has assumed the role of a bowing princess.

Harry Potter in Training?

California is in a drought. We no longer have fountains with water. So, my question is this; Did the Bambino get a magic wand and get the water to flow?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bambino turns 3!

The kiddo turned 3 and celebrated this milestone moment with friends and family at Arden Farm

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The unleashing of an engineer in training

The kiddo is expanding his use of household raw materials....

to construct a new railroad system in his abode.

I'm glad he's not exploring chemistry.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Office food fight?

"I had a hard day at the office...

and NO, I don't want to talk about it!" says the Bambina.

Life's Pleasures are More Intense When you are a Senior

Anyone 62 or older is considered a senior citizen. How do I know this? Because the local Chinese Restaurant has a sign posted giving 10% discounts to senior citizens, and in small print (which is obviously from their attorney) it clarifies this means 62+.

Many of my senior citizen friends will bemoan the fact how growing old has left them with crows feet, a sagging neck waddle, and age spots. These types of reports seem to imply that everything about being a senior citizen is yukky. Well, it isn't. There are some pretty amazing things that happen when you become a senior citizen that often are not shared. It's like everyone wants to keep it a secret, but really, we should be shouting this from the rooftops, because there are some other things that happen that are pretty darn incredible!

We all know that each life stage has pros and cons, but we sometimes forget about the yukky stuff in a prior stage, like acne. Remember that one? But in THIS stage of being a senior citizen, the pros are pretty incredible and in fact, some are downright unbelievable!

During THIS stage, the LIFE PLEASURES ARE MORE INTENSE!  It's almost as if everything is now CLEAR AND VIBRANT, and you didn't even know it had been cloudy and filtered.But NOW, you are suddenly experiencing ALL of life's little pleasures with much more intensity and clarity than ever before.

For example, I was eating a banana and SUDDENLY my entire self was engaged in this and the intensity of the flavor, textures, and whole experience became AMAZING. I mean, how many times have I eaten a banana before and hardly noticed? A lot. But NOW, almost every time I consume food, it is an EXTRA-ORDINARY experience. All my taste buds are ON as if this is the time in their life they are in full bloom. Textures, smells, and colors of the food also contribute to this sensual orgy.

And it isn't just food and the flavors that are more intense - all my senses are now in overdrive. I will be taking a walk and suddenly stop because the shape of the oak tree is absolutely exquisite and I feel the need to pause and be part of that trees history. The connection I feel to NATURE is now something so deep, it is almost mesmerizing.

Or, when I go outside in the early morning hours, I am hit with the cool, clear air and a big smile suddenly breaks through my face because of the joy that morning chill brings to my entire being and soul.

Witnessing a sunsets, or smelling a new gardenia that just bloomed, or listening to music - anything where the sense are engaged, now places me in almost a meditative-like zone" of total inner peace.

I believe the intensity of these sensual experiences is something that just kicks in at a certain stage of life, like puberty kicks in for a teenager. This heightening of ones senses seems to now be in overdrive just by reaching this stage of life.

I am absolutely astonished by this. I had no idea there was something so amazing to look forward to and experience - but there you have it! This stage is like the cherry on the top of a hot fudge sundae. Pretty WONDROUS!

For all the other senior citizens out there, I hope you are also feeling this heightened awareness with your senses so that life's pleasures fill your entire being. Undoubtedly, this is best life phase so far. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beat Bugs - a Cartoon a Grandparent can also Love

If you are a grandparent who grew up with the Beatles, you should know about this new kids cartoon series on Netflix called "Beat Bugs." The stories use songs like “Help!,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Come Together,” “Penny Lane,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour.”

As soon as the first cartoon started I thought "WHAT? Hey, I know this song!" and started to sing along. The kidlets looked at me like I was from another planet, but hey, part of what they have to learn in life is to suck up grandparent weirdness and just go with the flow. So, I continued singing along, enhancing to the quality of the cartoon.

What is also surprising, is the cartoon series uses singers you probably know. I was amazed to hear P!NK, Sia, and Chris Cornel - all of who are part of my favorite artists - which was pretty cool, too - especially since these artists already "know" what I can bring to their renditions of music.

Netflix also recently announced they are next creating a new season using Motown songs from Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder.  Now, THAT will be something to look forward to.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Strut and pose

She just learned to walk, and now it's the "model strut and pose"...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kids at Play

The Bambina is starting to chat more and seems to have lots to say while playing trains with her brother, Bambino.
I find this video absolutely delightful - they not only play well together, they seem to have a deep respect for each other - even at such a young age.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

this is what happens at gramz house

This is what we do at Gramz house; we eat...

we play ball....

we gather rocks

we let dad nap

and stop letting dad nap, then we laugh.

Good times!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Last of the monthly photoshoots

"It's time for ANOTHER monthly photo shoot?" asks the Bambina.

"What am I this month?  I'm TWELVE?!"


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lessons from Granddad

Granddad teaches the kiddo how to change a tire.

This is a much better instruction than in my playbook - which would have been showing the kiddo how to call AAA.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Monthly images of Bambina

This is a journey of Bambina's monthly photo shoots. They show us not only changes in her physical appearance and wardrobe, but also her developing personality and new communication skills through various facial expressions.

She is quite a character and becomes even more interesting each day.

Bambina turns ONE

The kiddo made it to her first birthday, celebrating in red, white, and blue, just like she did soon after she was born.

So happy b-day, little one! We're thrilled you are a part of the fam!

Crow b-day party

I received this new type of singing telegram from the Crow's.

I found it rather remarkable.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Another California Driver

The kiddo is already learning the proper driving hand signals for California, like "USE YOUR BLINKER you idiot!"

Thursday, June 30, 2016


The Bambina will soon have her first birthday and lovely Sylvia kicked off the festivities with some great b-day presents. The princess responds with one of her favorite new words - WOW!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

There goes the neighborhood?

I'm often singing the praises of beautiful California to anyone who will listen, but when the guys at work let me know there was some funny stuff happening in my own city I declared, "Well, it's not in MY neighborhood!"

But then I saw the news about someone being caught in a sting operation for prostitution and human trafficking, I thought,"Hmmmm. That home looks an awful lot like one in MY neighborhood..."

and then when they showed the van that was being used as a pimp mobile, I thought, "Hmmm. I've SEEN that van before...."

and THEN when they identified the address, I finally caved in and said, "OMG, it IS my neighborhood and that is my neighbor!"

Crime drama. Right here in my own little world.

First, we had the Head of Vice and four other policemen running a prostitution ring at a massage parlor in this town, but now it's just my neighbor. In a kind of twisted way, you could say this is an improvement. This guy was not a police officer. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Double Protection

It is easy to forget sometimes that you already put your shoes on, and then put on another pair.

I mean, we all have done this, right?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cowboy G

The kiddo had his first pony ride.

With luck he won't tease for one (like some of us did with promises we would feed it, groom it, ride it, and never grow out of it...but I digress). There is something about riding a horse (even if it is a tiny horse) that does make a person grin.