Saturday, December 28, 2013


Someone very close to me died tragically in the final weeks of my training to become a certified clinical hypnotherapist.  I had some people warn I had no real right to grieve this person.  My grief or my love didn't matter, at least not to them.  Bereaved, but with newly earned credentials, I had someone else try and sway me against my new career because they considered hypnotherapy to be frivolous.  I soldiered on by enrolling in a holistic health practitioner program that summer, certain I might enjoy a real rewarding career when I combined hypnotherapy and holistic health.

I got an offer on the duplex I'd inherited without even listing it for market and moved here to Alameda exactly a year later.  I dropped my holistic health program and put my dreams of a thriving hypnotherapy practice on the shelf.  Without colleagues, and very few friends, I put my energy into other things.  All that grief over my parents, my grandparents and the loss of a love eventually caught up to me and I fell apart completely.  I had Belle at my lowest point.  Now I want my hypnotherapy practice more than anything, naysayers be damned.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lock out.

Belle locked me out of our house tonight.  Barefoot, I'd gone outside to empty the contents of the vacuum cleaner into the garbage.  I'd pulled the door closed behind me to prevent a naked Belle from streaking out into the cold night.  I found the door locked upon my return.  I heard Belle scream as I pounded on the door and rang the bell.  I stopped trying to get Belle's attention and started ringing my neighbors' doorbells until I got help.  I allowed my neighbor to break into my house and let me back in.  I found a puddle of Belle's piss and a pile of poop waiting for me in the entry way.  Belle must have been terrified.  I did not feel fear.  I felt able and ready to pick a lock if I had to.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belle's Third Christmas!

Belle and I spent our third Christmas together eating popcorn and opening presents by the fire.

I made breakfast.

Belle made breakfast.

Then we drank our Red Rose tea.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning

Belle doesn't know it's Christmas.  She acknowledges the decorations and the lights without knowing the meaning.  I can still keep Christmas simple this year because Belle hasn't succumbed to consumerism.  I have, therefore, filled our Christmas stockings with oranges, tangerines, Skyflakes crackers and popcorn.  These are Belle's favorites anyway, just dressed up.

Belle's play kitchen has been erected and stocked with play food.  She will find a stuffed bunny, jumbo crayolas, a wooden puzzle, a Doodle Pro and Mega Bloks on Christmas morning.  Last year's birthday and Christmas gifts are still relevant and are actively being played with.  I may bring a few things out I have been saving until Belle displays readiness because Belle might be ready to play with them now.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Cupcakes

I can harbor resentment toward whomever reacted negatively toward me at this morning's church breakfast; or I can be thankful for the extra cupcakes we were allowed to take home.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Belle and I hosted a dog (and his owner) for three nights.  Belle enjoyed caring for this dog, including feeding him his food and hers, sharing her toys with him and walking him around the living room.  I repeatedly refreshed the dog's water bowl when Belle would throw his food into it and helped take him for walks.  We all got along fabulously, even after the dog's attempted escape.

We also hosted a small Sunday dinner party.  Four adults of varying ages, a toddler and a dog all celebrated Christmas with a delicious, albeit non traditional, holiday meal:  ground turkey and vegetable stir fry, collard greens simmered with rice, mashed potatoes and beets.  I drank lots of ale and wine and laughed until it hurt.  Our last guest left after midnight.  What a great time!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baptism gown

I found a taker for Belle's Baptism gown on Freecycle.  Last year I had been given a too small gown for an emergency Baptism by a woman I didn't really care for at our church.  I couldn't find Belle godparents, or otherwise plan a Baptism, in the two weeks before she would have outgrown the gown.  I am releasing this to someone who can use it now and appreciate it.  I never appreciated this gift because I didn't like being pressured  into making a quick decision.


I won't likely return to the same church.  It isn't the place where I feel comfortable bringing a toddler.  Let's change churches in 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Doing the best...

I wish whomever takes issue with me for missing Sunday mass would offer me the help I might need as a single mom trying to balance motherhood and scheduled public worship.  I had planned to attend Saturday evening mass prior to the Christmas party until yesterday's errand ran into Belle's nap.  I knew better than to cut Belle's nap short or make her miserable just so I could attend mass and please someone who doesn't matter.  I also opted out of today's mass, preferring to have breakfast and play after such a late night out at the party.  I had to do what I felt realistic for our needs.  Besides, whomever wants me to make the sacrifice isn't present for what the lack of comfort, food or sleep means for my family whenever we cut ourselves short to accommodate something.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Living simply and sustainable

Today's food run lasted nearly five hours.  Twice as many people came than expected.  I attribute this to the warm, dry weather, a sharp contrast to last December.  We brought home many canned goods, thanks to the elderly Asian immigrants who didn't necessarily like or understand green beans or pumpkin puree.  I filled my pantry with lots of goodies.  I also brought home bananas, eggplant and persimmons.

I spied Sexy Engineer during the wait.  Sexy Engineer is white, six foot five, a Leo, from Maine, new to Alameda and working part time after taking some time off.  We met during last Saturday's food run.  He's a total reflection of me now:  living simply and sustainable.  While Sexy Engineer admires the community building aspect of our food runs, he didn't wait it out with us today.  He went to the beach instead.

Belle exhausted herself playing with some older children while I shopped.

I had to cart her over my shoulder, wiggling and crying, away from the place.  That was a difficult walk home with a trolley full of food.  Belle managed a two hour nap while I walked us home and put her into bed.  We changed into party clothes and had a great time at the church Christmas potluck.  They ate all the pumpkin pie.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas potluck

Our church is hosting a Christmas potluck one week too late.  Last Saturday would have been a perfect day because it was Belle's second birthday and we had a sheet cake meant for a party.  I would have shared the cake and it would have been eaten.  Alas, we didn't plan anything, nor did we find anything to do.  I pray whomever took the sheet cake after I listed it on Freecycle actually shared it.

I will bring one of the pumpkin pies to the potluck.  I might challenge myself to be too full from eating my own dinner at home to try any of the food.  Belle can eat their dinner, of course.  Someone had something to say when I dared eat dinner last time, which made for a very awkward meal.  I want to have a good time away from the buffet table, and away from stupid people if I do eat.

I met that same old woman today who always hounds me about Belle's Baptism.  Honestly, I don't know who to ask to serve as godparents.  I also want more of a celebration for Belle than I ever had when I took my Sacraments.  I ate Taco Bell with my grandmother after my Confirmation.  I want Belle to have more of an impact in the world than our party of two.  I want a goat.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

An extra helping...

We brought home two gourmet pumpkin pies (In the freezer now!), a dozen red velvet cupcakes, half a dozen white/strawberry cupcakes, a box of Ho Hos and a box of Savannah Smiles.  We saved four red velvet and two white/strawberry cupcakes and are giving the rest to a family we met on Freecycle.  Safeway makes delicious desserts.  I just wish they could ditch the fake flavoring and food dye.

I failed at a mini chicken pot pie recipe last Friday.  I quickly replaced the three cans of chicken I used there with three more cans of chicken, a container of chicken salad  and a package of turkey meatloaf muffins.  Hooray!  Now to encourage Belle to eat more protein and less sweets.  New house rule:  Thursdays are Belle's sweet cheat days, along with some Saturdays.  We will walk a savory path otherwise.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


We celebrated Belle's birthday with an early morning food run and red velvet cupcakes in the afternoon.  I listed the sheet cake I would have used for a party on Freecycle because I couldn't pull a party together so quickly.  Today we released the infant swing and the white onesies we never used to a mom in need.  We received a toddler chair from another mom later on.  The chair pairs imperfectly with Thursday's toddler table.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mini pot pies

Most kids start with Play Doh.  Belle has started with the all natural, vegan pizza dough she found in the freezer.  We spent a good hour kneading and eating the dough.  We didn't even speak because we were that into it.  I eventually used the dough to top mini chicken pot pies.  I did alright without a recipe:  15 ounces of canned chicken, a can of mixed vegetables, two eggs, oats and seasonings.  Belle wouldn't release enough of the dough for me to roll and cut twenty-four biscuits to fill with chicken and vegetables.  That's why I used the eggs and oats to bind it together.  While it came out okay, I can do better.  Now Belle is exhausted and sleeping very well.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I am the table.

I spied through a fence a short, hard plastic shelf with a neon green top, yellow legs and a blue base.  I knew I had found Belle's new (to her) toddler table.  I asked someone behind the fence if the colorful shelf were indeed being tossed out with tomorrow's garbage.  He confirmed it was, along with a good looking wooden object I couldn't identify.  When I said I didn't know how to access that side of the fence, the guy handed it to me over the fence.  I thanked him and set the shelf atop Belle's push chair. An embittered old woman I know from the neighborhood got all butt hurt when she noticed I had a new table and she didn't.  She demanded to know where and how I got the table.  I ignored her and just kept walking, sure my attitude would fuel her fire.  Belle has a cute new table now and I have a backbone.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I delivered Belle on the first Wednesday of December.  While her actual birthday is Saturday, December the seventh, I am celebrating today, this first Wednesday of December.  Belle is now two years old.  We celebrated last night with a generous slice of cake I'd frozen from her first birthday cake.  I gave Belle a chicken from the bag of plush toys hidden in the closet.  This morning I gave her a duck from the same plush toy bag.  Belle greeted both the chicken and the duck with kisses before offering each my breast.  There were sixteen toys in the bag.  I plan to give Belle a toy a day unless I change my mind.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Belle turns two on Saturday.  I am not planning a celebration because she's too young to appreciate it.  I hadn't even planned on a gift until a bag of pristine stuffed toys became available through Freecycle.  Interestingly enough, I walked to Pearl Harbor Road to collect toys for a child born on Pearl Harbor.  The toys were handed to me in a black garbage bag by another frazzled mom.  Belle has no idea what's in the bag that I have since hidden away.  Belle will love this sudden avalanche of toys come Saturday.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Belle is exhausted from an afternoon play date.  Old friends brought their daughter over, nearly two years after their last visit.  The two girls, aged twenty-three months and twenty-seven months, got along fabulously.  They had a great time playing with Belle's pretend food and the remains of her shopping cart.  Now there are toys everywhere, and Belle is sound asleep.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I made Thanksgiving dinner:  roast turkey and gravy, spicy sweet potato and peanut stew, broccoli, cranberry sauce (from scratch!) and pumpkin pie with spicy oat crust.  Belle filled up on sparkling Bing cherry juice and leftover Halloween cookies while the turkey cooked.  She later chewed up some broccoli and spit it out.  We shared cage free eggs fried in coconut oil instead of turkey because she asked for eggs.

I finished the night with a slice of delicious pumpkin pie. I ladled myself some gravy for later, thinking I could put Belle to bed and eat my dinner.  I fell asleep right along with Belle and stayed there until well after sunrise.  I may never eat everything all at once with an active toddler around.  I had planned to make dressing until Belle tore into the box, and that box got re-purposed as a compost receptacle.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jive turkey

I finally roasted last year's spare turkey last Tuesday.  Belle wouldn't try any of it.  I ate the drumsticks and turned the rest into soup I shared with last weekend's guest.  On Wednesday I made turkey and white bean soup.  On Thursday I made turkey broth.  On Saturday I used the broth to make turkey, white bean and collard green soup, adding in canned beans and frozen greens at the final ten minutes.  On Sunday I made pumpkin turkey soup from whatever meat simmered off the last of the carcass and half a roasted pumpkin.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I agreed to pull tarot cards for a friend interested in a message from the other side.  I felt urged to deliver a specific message about the child of the deceased.  A hummingbird appeared in the window above the front door.  It hovered near the Kuan Yin statue I keep above the entry way.  I gave my friend a piece of rose quartz I'd had up there to help her connect and heal.  I took Belle upstairs to grab a few books that might explain hummingbirds as a symbol.  Belle reached out and flipped the same switch that blew out the ceiling fan a couple weeks ago.  The spirit quickly manifested in a tiny cloud of smoke, indicating he's been here trying to reach us for a while.  We had a very healing session once we all sat down.  Even Belle could sense and see him.  She'd been seeing him here for days.  I can now say I have had a spirit pounding inside my head and playing with my toes.  Interesting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

On our own

This full moon I am dealing with the reality that Belle and I are on our own.  I am making peace with whatever is beyond my control and forgiving myself for what I had a hand in creating.  I won't ever feel the love or the support coming from those who I would most appreciate love or support from.  That's painful.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Run Devil

My creepy neighbor, the man who tried charming me with homemade food and wine before asking if he could buy me lingerie for Christmas (I declined!), and who eventually exposed himself to me while my child slept upstairs, has moved.  His sister and her husband found a buyer for their house about as soon as they put it on the market.  The creep and his mother have finally moved back to wherever they came from.  They shouldn't have been here to begin with.

I am fairly certain the creep was The Mountain as read in a Lenormand reading I had with Madame Nadia four months ago.  I used plenty of red pepper to hot foot this man from my life, per Madame Nadia's recommendation.  That Devil ran like hell after I laid the trick.  I have never seen so many home repairs and flutters of activity.  The creep even started driving the car that had set out untouched for years.  He was that serious about leaving.  It also helped that I'd threatened to report him for indecent exposure if ever he even breathed near me.

Madame Nadia also recommended I work with roses for healing.  My new neighbor's name is Rosie.  A beautiful rose has planted herself in the creep's place.  I am very excited and hopeful now that old, creepy energy has passed, and new, fresh energy has arrived.  Rose held a bottle of olive oil with dried rosemary inside the bottle, a wedding favor from friends, when we met.  That's symbolic.  The coffee on my hands was also symbolic.  I feel very good about this.

Run Devil Run

My creepy neighbor, the man who tried charming me with homemade food and wine before asking if he could buy me lingerie for Christmas (I declined!), and who eventually exposed himself to me while my child slept upstairs, has moved.  His sister and her husband found a buyer for their house about as soon as they put it on the market.  The creep and his mother have finally moved back to wherever they came from.  They shouldn't have been here to begin with.

I am fairly certain the creep was The Mountain as read in a Lenormand reading I had with Madame Nadia four months ago.  I used plenty of red pepper to hot foot this man from my life, per Madame Nadia's recommendation.  That Devil ran like hell after I laid the trick.  I have never seen so many home repairs and flutters of activity.  The creep even started driving the car that had set out untouched for years.  He was that serious about leaving.  It also helped that I'd threatened to report him for indecent exposure if ever he even breathed near me.

Madame Nadia also recommended I work with roses for healing.  My new neighbor's name is Rosie.  A beautiful rose has planted herself in the creep's place.  I am very excited and hopeful now that old, creepy energy has passed, and new, fresh energy has arrived.  Rose held a bottle of olive oil with dried rosemary inside the bottle, a wedding favor from friends.  That's symbolic.  The coffee on my hands was also symbolic.  I feel very good about this.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Coffee date

Ruthia surprised us with her presence this morning.  Belle and I were fighting over a bowl of yogurt when I heard someone knock at the door.  Startled, and clad in a funny headpiece over a torn tee shirt and skirt, I timidly answered the door.  I gave Ruthia a tarot reading and shared a cup of coffee.  Belle showed her disinterest by eventually pooping on the floor.  That cleared Ruthia out real quick!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Magic food

Belle and I magically manifested two extra bags of food today.  We got apple juice, applesauce, apricot halves, boxes of cheesy grits, boxed macaroni and cheese and mustard greens in cans.  I already know Belle likes the cheesy grits.  I like the mustard greens drained and simmered with Sriracha.  The mac and cheese "expired" three years ago.  I bet the pasta is good still.  The seasoning packets contain food coloring and will be thrown away.  Thanks, Universe!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I own my life as a beneficiary.  I am grateful for my education and my experiences.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Water on the Moon

I'd had enough of our greasy, grimy kitchen floor yesterday.  I dissolved a couple capfuls of vinegar in warm water, grabbed a dish rag and started scrubbing the floor.  Belle grabbed a clean baby wipe, dunked it into the floor wash and started scrubbing the floor and wiping the cabinets.  She put her face into the water while it was still fresh and took a sip.  Then Belle climbed into the wash pan and dipped her little diapered bum in.  I just kept scrubbing, determined to bring some order to the room we use the most.

My dress, a purple bathing suit cover-up with a drawstring at the hem, crept up in my feverish attempt at housekeeping.  Belle, feeling confident, threw water on the moon and laughed wildly about it.  I about died.  Belle's sense of humor is burgeoning.  A couple nights ago, she cackled as she imitated the sound of me passing gas.  Belle is also in the habit of wrinkling her nose whenever I yell "poop" and "shit."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Playing through the tears.

Belle and I rise very early these days, thanks to Pacific Standard and "toddler time."  I had ample time for a hot and savory breakfast before leaving for mass today.  We arrived at church early enough to choose seats up front for a change.  Belle kept fidgeting, which made mass a challenging experience.  I fed her crackers and a juice box to keep her content until Communion.  After Communion, I decided to walk us toward the exit door so we could be ready to go after the final prayer.  Belle nearly yanked a plaque off the wall near where we stood.  Mortified, I darted out of there quickly, thinking we could walk down to Starbucks.  Belle had other plans, of course.  I dragged her crying and squirming to the nearest park, where she happily played through her feelings.  I eventually made my coffee at home, hours later.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Food run

Belle and I made a mid-morning food run.  No coffee beans this time, sadly.  I will substitute Thank You points I converted into a Starbucks card for that.  We did find blueberry pie, chocolate chips, coconut cream and red velvet cupcakes.  I am thawing organic, kosher chicken thighs for dinner, to be served with Brussels sprouts and rice.  I froze the salmon and stored the sardines in tomato sauce and tuna in water in the pantry.

Thirty-two years...

I spent the thirty-second anniversary of my mother's murder and my father's suicide eating frosted sugar cookies with Belle.  We left a trail of frosted sugar cookie crumbs all over our home and Starbucks.  Belle seemed extra loving and affectionate all day, which is surely what I needed.  Later on, at bed time, Belle transferred some of that loving energy into her picture books.  She somehow managed to spit my lip open as she excitedly handed me yet another book to read.  I found the experience sobering, especially when a light bulb burned out as I sprinted to the bathroom to stop the bleeding, and I realised a load of laundry needed to be done as I hunted for bulbs in the laundry room.  Life goes on, I guess.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I am very pleased with Belle's diet today.  I served a three egg and cheese omelet, a sweet potato, cabbage sauteed with onion, white rice, a high fiber sweet roll and cheese cubes for brunch.  Belle ate some of each:  omelet, sauteed onion, sweet roll and cheese cubes.  She handed me a jar of squash puree to open and ate most of that.  That's better than the countless tubes of yogurt and Saltines she kept slurping down last week.  I also see another baby tooth coming in to match the four or five she already has.  Wonderful!  Now if I can keep her away from the last of the Halloween candies...


Last night I got very clear on what I want in my professional life.  I wrote it all down and slept on it.  I brought the same journal with us to the park this morning.  I expanded the entry and added, "send me the people I can be of service to."  I put the journal down and checked messages from my phone.  What did I find waiting for me online?  I found an invitation to be a contributing writer for a new online publication.  The sender had sent me the message as I sat writing my wishes.  That was fast!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Belle and I spied the niece of the creepy neighbor, happily playing outside as the family move house.  Fortunately, we didn't see the creepy neighbor, nor did we look for him.  Belle had so much excess energy after Halloween, an early morning doctor's appointment and a last minute house guest that I needed her to be with another child to give me a break.  The niece, a second grader, filled Belle's watering can with water from her watering can and showed Belle how to water the grass and plants.  Belle seemed mesmerized.  The girl's mother and grandmother didn't know how to take it.  They greeted me cordially but I could sense the tension.  Something was said in Spanish that I didn't try to understand.  Whatever happened, I didn't cause it.  If the creep deluded himself into believing we were in a relationship, imagine what he told his family?

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Belle spotted a cat while trick or treating, wandered into the owners' house and wouldn't leave.  Then she walked into another house and started watching television.  That sums up Halloween.

Monday, October 28, 2013


I dressed Belle as a ladybug and took her to a picnic in the park last Sunday.  Unfortunately, the weather had grown cold and gray, a sharp contrast to the near stifling warmth the previous day.  I had to layer a turtleneck and leggings under Belle's spaghetti strap "ladybug inspired" dress and zip her into a hoodie.  I didn't bother attaching the wings.

We met another toddler dressed as a ladybug at the same event.  Her costume looked more authentic, with antennae.  She was a true ladybug, not a glam look like Belle.  She was also covered from head to toe and warm.  I am not changing Belle's costume since it's already purchased and worn.  I am a little miffed at the blatant and skimpy girly attempt at recreating nature.  Ladybugs don't wear tulle.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Belle and I attended a playground construction in Richmond today.  Volunteers worked tirelessly to erect a sandbox, slides, swings and everything else found in a playground.  Belle and I dressed for both Autumn weather (a sweater and jeans for me and a dress with leggings for Belle) and safety in a construction zone (socks and Converse for me and Mary Janes for Belle).  We didn't count on the weather warming up considerably, especially not once we got lost. We certainly didn't count on getting lost either.

The building site would have been a very simple fifteen minute walk from Richmond BART had we been given the correct address.  First Google Maps prompted us to take a bus which led us to a similar address south of what we expected.  That took thirty minutes on foot (and another quick bus ride) with a squirming toddler to resolve.  We were soon very lost again, yet hovering in the general area, of where we were meant to be after we took another bus.  It took another hour to straighten it all out.  The actual site turned out to be two miles away from the address listed in the official emails for the event.

We were led down a road marked "No Foot Traffic" by a skinny prostitute, and into a series of scary and sketchy neighborhoods reminiscent of South Los Angeles, while on the hunt for the address.  No one had any knowledge of this construction zone or this prospective park.  I had to navigate myself and Belle to a foreign address using the limited information given.  We eventually found our way, but the catered lunch was gone by that point.  Belle played in the sandbox while I chatted up an old friend who'd flown up from L.A. to help build the playground.  Community service and old friends aside, I'd never been more happy to come home.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Belle has short hair.  Without pierced ears, some people assume Belle is a boy.  I started to capitalize on this by dressing her as a drag king for Halloween.  All this was dependent on what we could redeem with store credit at a local baby boutique.  Of course the boutique didn't have a toddler tuxedo for sale.  They did have a ladybug costume for sale in Belle's size.  Everyone else will be wearing a prefab winged costume too, I bet.  Whatever!  Belle has a costume.

Relax! It's just [free] food.

An old woman at the food bank threatened to beat me up after I dared move ahead of her in line.  Belle and I had been handed number ninety-five after arriving late.  A friend, a recent divorcee who has raised six children, gave us her number twenty-five.  She had a more pressing engagement and couldn't wait (Everyone seemed to be running late!) any longer.  Our friend also doesn't benefit much from this food bank's offerings anyway, skipping over breads and desserts, etc.  I thanked her kindly for her gift of a lower number and wished her well on her upcoming job interview.  I then walked Belle over to a pair of casual acquaintances, including an eccentric old woman.  When I mentioned going from ninety-five to twenty-five, the old woman threatened to beat me up in public as I held a nursing child.  What the fuck?

What foods nearly cost me my hide:  6 bananas, including 3 ripe, 1 apple, 1 organic lemon, 5 pears, 12 new potatoes (creamer's?), 3 red onions, 1 bunch parsley, 1 carton of lite eggnog, 1 yogurt, 6 brown eggs, 1 chickpea salad, 3 donuts, 9 red velvet muffins and assorted breads.  Threaten to beat my ass over steak and lobster, not chickpeas, okay?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Never underestimate a "mom and pop" business.  I spotted a package of [brand name] diapers, rejected the higher price for such a limited quantity and got the diapers for free.  This wouldn't have happened at a large corporate store.  Merry Christmas from my grocer, indeed!

Buttered ramen

Buttered ramen noodles are quite the impatient toddler happy meal.  I prepare Top Ramen according to package directions, shovel the noodles out of the beef broth and toss them with butter (or delicious, nutrient rich Melt Organic Buttery Spread).  Belle and I enjoyed a bowl yesterday as the chicken cooked.  I was in the process of baking breaded chicken drumsticks, which I wanted to serve with rice, tortillas and a vegetable, when Belle's hunger struck.  Buttered ramen noodles were perfect.  Unfortunately, this meant I couldn't have rice with my chicken dinner.  We ended up sharing a couple of drumsticks later, with peanut butter cups for dessert.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I feel at home and at peace in the worn red leather armchair under the window where the bar used to be.  I released stuck energies yesterday when the antiques dealer and his assistant carried the bar away.  This room finally makes sense.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I got two dozen eggs for free today.  I redeemed a Target coupon for the first dozen.  I bought two cans of Spam at Lucky's for the second dozen.  Now we have six dozen plus four eggs on hand.  Belle doesn't even eat eggs.  I must be creative.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I felt inspired to listen to Maxwell's Embrya on vinyl last night.  I had to check for scratches and lint because it sounded funny.  Belle broke the needle off the record player this morning.  I couldn't look at her for several minutes.  I didn't even make eye contact while changing her diaper or dressing her.  In fact, I brushed Belle's hair and teeth to punish her for breaking the needle.  Then I checked the manual.  According to the manual, the stylus is long overdue for replacement.  An old stylus may impact sound quality.  Belle did me a favor by breaking the needle.  I just wish I didn't need to replace it now.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Belle stories

Belle ate onions last night.  I made a "one dish" meal from ground sirloin, carrots, onions and ramen, and Belle ate only the onion.  She usually hands onions to me.  I wonder what changed.

Belle says "here" whenever she hands me something.  She also consistently says "ball" whenever we play ball.  Belle also likes to repeat "baby" and "me."

Friday, October 18, 2013


Today is my paternal grandmother Lillian's birthday.  Today is also an Hunter's Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse in my fourth house of home and family.  I have cried intermittently since Thursday.  Belle slapped me repeatedly for crying, and tried very hard not to cry too.  She kept me draped in hugs and kisses when she wasn't slapping and biting me.  It's been an emotional week.

I sold the antique radio that once belonged to my grandmother and her husband.  While it once stood so stately in the Longwood kitchen, it's been hidden in this garage since I moved here.  The man who bought the radio is coming back for the bar.  My tenant from the Longwood apartment sold me a gorgeous wooden bar that no longer fits my space or my life.  I will surely create a breathable living space once that dead weight is removed and I move other furniture around.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Belle and I held a last minute tarot reading at home last night.  We drank tea and ate cake.  I learned this particular deck may not want to be shuffled by anyone but me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

You teach people how to treat you

Last Saturday I met a woman over fifty who was dressed like a man half her age.  She wore an oversize tee shirt, baggy knee length shorts belted low enough to display her boxers (which she graciously covered with the tee shirt), sandals with socks and an obnoxious wool cap.  I watched her butt heads with someone in authority and leave in a huff.  Since Alameda is a very small island, I saw the woman driving later the same day.  She pulled over to complain to me about an injustice at the market where I'd seen her.  I could have said, "You have a dead body drawn on your tee shirt.  Look how you look."  Instead I said, "Call in and complain."  It took all of me not to say it.

The writing life

I am now a contributing author at a tarot blog.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I met a thirtysomething couple and their nineteen month old son as Belle and I set out for our walk.  They were looking at the house next door where the creep lives.  I noted the husband wore the boy in a carrier, tummy to tummy.  They are just my type, at least superficially.  I wish for them or someone better to be our neighbors.  I can't live next door to anyone who needs to show me his penis.

Sunday ice cream

Today I loaded Belle into the push chair and took us on a long walk.  We walked past the new Target and on to Dollar City (Or is it Dollar Store?) and Lucky Supermarket.  I bought a ramen noodle family pack at Lucky, made especially to accommodate leftover meat and vegetables (I added last night's ham, kale and onions to this morning's beef flavored ramen, plus a hard boiled egg!  Mmm.).  I felt urged to leave a quarter at the remains of a railroad I found along the way in exchange for a pebble and dirt, and another quarter for a much larger pebble from the new and bustling Alameda Landing as we walked.  I wanted these pebbles for a little sympathetic magic.

A friend we visited on our way home clued me in on free fries being given at Burger King.  Burger King isn't really my spot, but I felt like a snack.  I ordered my free fries and noticed I could also get Belle a free ice cream cone if I answered a short online survey.  Belle loved every bite of her ice cream.  I loved being able to honor Sunday as ice cream day, per Belle's favorite song, "Today is Monday."  I attribute these unexpected freebies to the offerings I left today.  We put a little in and got a little back.  I also found ten cents.


Top Ramen made an excellent lunch for an impatient Belle yesterday.  I drained the water and tossed the cooked noodles with butter and the seasoning packet.  We sat on the floor and ate delicious noodles.  Now I want more.  I want to be creative and add an egg or something.

I had my eye on whole wheat pasta earlier, and chose something else instead.  Imagine my delight when someone just handed me two pounds of the same whole wheat pasta as Belle and I walked home.  I look forward to trying them.

I am learning how to make smaller portions of food.  We get bored with our leftovers.  I am also enamored with a particular brand of canned chili with beans.  I must eat a can of chili over rice a week.  Belle has learned how to hunt for beans in my bowl of chili with beans and rice.  

NIP experience

Today I educated another mom on breastfeeding.  I'd secured Belle into a side hip carry in the ring sling for an early morning food run.  Belle wanted to nurse while checking out the crowd.  Assuming I was being used as a pacifier, our friend confronted Belle in the sing song voice people typically adopt when addressing small children, "You'll have to give that up."  I kept calm and explained we were actually nursing.  She seemed stunned.  "You still have milk?" she asked.  This wasn't the first time I'd been asked this question.  I explained the supply and demand of breastfeeding.  The woman admitted she'd initiated breastfeeding with each of her now young adult children, but had great difficulty because they were all born prematurely.  Breastfeeding just wasn't possible for her.  Her children are all grown, healthy and active now.  I got it.  She got it.  We had a truly positive conversation.  Then another woman caught Belle hiding in the sling and asked, "What's that in her mouth?"  I let that woman's husband calmly explain it to her.  Bless her heart.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Last week I let my guard down and allowed my next door neighbor back into my life.  We hadn't spoken in months, after it became apparent we weren't equally yolked.  Several months of silence didn't stop my neighbor from surprising me last Monday with several take out meals and news the family is finally selling the house.  I kindly thanked him and wished him well.  That night he came by with wine, which made a pleasant platonic evening.  He brought tequila a couple nights later and completely unraveled.

I'd eaten a big dinner and put Belle to bed before the neighbor's visit.  We had another pleasant platonic conversation.  When I voiced my sudden craving for a snack, the neighbor walked the short distance to his kitchen and brought back leftovers.  He also brought over a bottle of wine that he quickly drained.  The neighbor couldn't handle his liquor, unfortunately, and attempted a sexual advance.  I rejected him and showed him the door.  

The neighbor returned wearing a condom and no pants.  I sent him drunk, half naked and unsatisfied back home.  I am lucky he left without incident.  Belle and I both could have been attacked.  My neighbor sent a series of text messages in the morning.  He expected me to be a pushover and keep him in my life.  I won't do that.  Quick thinking led to me snapping pictures of him in a bad state and texting him those pictures in the morning.  He will leave us alone and turn all his energy on leaving town if he is smart.  

Friday, October 11, 2013


This morning I found a very drunk man standing on my front door step.  The drunk was clad only in a long sleeve shirt, a gold chain and a condom.  Belle was sound asleep upstairs.  I snapped a couple photographs as evidence.  I warned the drunk, who should probably be arrested for public drunkenness and indecent exposure, that I will take these photographs to the police if he dares attempt further contact.  What a creep!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Belle and I brought beans and rice to a "global foods" theme potluck at our church.  I put considerable effort into this dish, only to serve it to diners who had never even heard of or seen beans and rice simmered together.  Very few actually tried my beans and rice.  To make matters worse, our pastor had advised gatherers against piling their plates and returning for seconds until everyone had been served.  This was surely based on past potluck dinners, when free food became a "free for all."  New rules may have put people off of truly enjoying our buffet style dinner.

I fed Belle breakfast, lunch and snacks prior to our church dinner.  Being well-fed didn't curb Belle's enthusiasm at the buffet.  I had a very difficult time keeping Belle away from the coffee maker and the food before and during dinner.  When we finally got our turn at the buffet table, I filled two plates and a bowl full of food for us to share.  Belle had to sit in my lap because she wouldn't sit in her push chair and the church does not provide high chairs.  I had a very hard time balancing a curious toddler and our food.  Someone finally asked if we were getting enough food to eat at home.  They interpreted Belle's magnetic pull toward the buffet, and me filling a plate of food for both of us, as signs of a hunger problem.  I lost my appetite pretty soon afterward.

I do not feel at home inside our church.  I like our pastor.  I like a few of the families we have befriended.  I appreciate being able to walk to church.  I feel I often rub some people the wrong way, like I am a woman with a child, just showing up and hanging out to get a free lunch.  A few folks don't even think I am a baptized Catholic (Ha!  I am a confirmed Catholic with twelve years of Catholic school under my belt.).  I don't appreciate being misunderstood.  The grandmothers who made the financial sacrifices to keep me in Catholic school all those years wouldn't appreciate it either.  This isn't the first time a comment has been made about our food consumption at a potluck.  I get the feeling I am meant to contribute to the meal without appearing to take pleasure in actually eating the meal.  I was sensually savoring a barbecued rib when asked if food was an issue at home.  I feel food is an issue at this church.  This isn't the right church for us.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Belle and I walk three miles round trip most Thursdays.  I usually wear Belle in a sling with minimal discomfort during our journey.  I secured Belle atop my hip in the ring sling this morning, only to feel her wiggle free as soon as we rounded the corner.  She really wanted to walk this morning.  We fell twenty minutes behind schedule with Belle toddling along but we still made it.  When an acquaintance noticed me holding Belle once we arrived, she asked, "Why don't you let her walk?"

Belle wiggled free from the sling again when she noticed a play structure on our way home.  I recognized the child of a friend playing at this park, along with his nanny.  The nanny and I secured the children into belted swings and enjoyed a lovely conversation while we pushed.  Belle babbled enthusiastically something that sounded similar to "ball."  I think the other child called me "mama."  The children eventually made their way back down to the wood chips, where they made a big mess.  Belle was so dirty and tired afterwards that she dozed off in the sling on the walk home.

Nonviolent parenting

I am especially pulled to create and maintain a harmonious household for Belle.  I found a restraining order my mother filed against my father in 1979 when I was three years old.  My mother noted my father's erratic behavior after surviving a head on collision in 1977.  My mother and I had both become victims of physical and verbal abuse in the years following my father's accident.  While I don't consciously remember this abuse, I know it left an imprint.  I won't scream at Belle or spank her the way my mother observed my father doing with me.  I will give Belle the peace I lacked.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Belle and I wake up reading and go to sleep reading.  I moved all the baby and toddler books within Belle's reach, including the obnoxious ones.  Belle is now imitating animal sounds and singing along with nursery rhymes.  I don't feel urged to consult anyone about her speech because she is speaking.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Not shy

Belle wouldn't leave my arms at last Sunday's birthday party.  I had more fun with Belle's friends than she did.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I am very pleased.  Ruthia helped me move the maroon love seat to the loft upstairs.  Now I can drink coffee, feed Belle, read books, etc.  The loft itself needs more book and media storage to better organize the room.  That will come.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Tense moments last Sunday evening when the toilet tank in my water closet drained onto my gas range.  I noticed the water mark on the ceiling above the stove as the pizza baked.  I couldn't react immediately because we had dinner to finish.  The water gushed out into my hands when I investigated the leak after dinner.  I raced downstairs for a pitcher to catch the water and came back to a naked Belle racing toward the toilet with a plunger.  I cleaned up the mess as best I could, already well aware of what I would find downstairs.

This wasn't the first time I'd had trouble with this toilet.  This toilet drained out onto the stove top about as soon as I moved in here.  A plumber resolved the issue:  popsicle sticks in the drain!  I couldn't get over toilet water contaminating the stove.  I went down to Best Buy and swapped out the stove immediately, along with the other major appliances (All LG stainless steel because I wanted them to match!).  The toilet didn't give me any trouble for all these years until last Sunday.  This might be something I can fix myself.  Belle sure looked adorable trying to help.


Belle repeated "baa" during story time.  The doctor had expressed concern because Belle isn't very talkative.  She uses more baby sign language than anything.  Her words otherwise are "mom," "hiya," "buh bye" "mmm," and "stop."  She has really started babbling and repeating words since last Friday.  I even heard a "cock o doodle doo."  I feel she will be more expressive soon.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Today I took advantage of medical services and healthy food being offered at a health and wellness event.  I turned one $2.35 "round trip" bus ticket into a blood pressure/glucose check, one pound each of pinto beans, white rice and whole wheat pasta, a twenty-eight ounce can of spaghetti sauce, two grape juice boxes, four large sweet potatoes, eight apples, eight plums and three bunches of carrots.  I didn't count on Belle waking up with a runny nose, me tearing a hole in the back of my heel when the door hit me after I made change for the bus and a pouring rain storm once we arrived.  I half wondered if it was even worth the trip until I discovered at home the pasta is the very pasta I currently like.  Nicer weather would have been much appreciated still, especially since I'd been caught in flip flops and short sleeves during a storm.  I also would have loved to finally try a bakery in the area if we'd had time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

21 mos check

Belle weighs twenty-three pounds and is in the twenty-fifth percentile for other toddlers her age.  The doctor seemed pleased until she realized we are still breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding has never been seen as a viable means of nutrition for Belle because she didn't visibly "thrive" off it initially.  I literally had to lactate in front of people to prove I had milk and was feeding it.  Even then, it was assumed my milk wasn't nutrient dense based on emotions, environment, etc.  I kept breastfeeding despite being harassed, publicly humiliated and shamed.  The medics thought I was too stupid to get it the hang of breastfeeding and too stupid to admit defeat and give up breastfeeding.  Now Belle is twenty-one months and we are still happily breastfeeding.  The doctor stressed we could continue breastfeeding as long as we are both comfortable with it and Belle is on a growth curve.  Again, I know Belle's doctor doesn't credit breastfeeding with proper growth.  She attributes the high calorie solid food I mixed with oil last year for Belle finally thriving.  This makes me sad.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feed me

I made white rice to eat with chili for lunch.  Unfortunately, I allowed Belle a sliver of cherry pie as I made the rice.  Sharing the pie killed my appetite for chili.  Now it's after five and I have only eaten a mushy banana, coffee, plain bread and cherry pie.  Belle is asleep and dream feeding in my lap as I type.  I cannot get up to get myself anything to eat.  That bowl of chili I long to eat and that pot of chard I long to make seem so far away.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Discount City

Belle and I made two trips to Discount City yesterday.  I probably obtained most, if not all, of my list.  I couldn't find steel wool.  I did find assorted cleansers at Discount City and quality paper goods from Walgreens.  Belle got two bags of animal crackers and a tooth brush.

New week reading

Ascended Masters, What is the theme of this week?

Purification, Detach from Drama, Yes!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Divine food finds

Great food finds yesterday, including salmon, lamb chops, ground turkey, three pounds of strawberries, light coconut milk, coffee beans, chili powder and two and a half pounds of assorted cheese (Mmm!  Brie.).  I had my sights focused on cheese since Belle suddenly loves cheese.  Someone pulled me aside and said, "I'd been saving these cheese sticks just for you!"  That's a strong connection to Divine at play in my life.

Belle and I shared a mug of coffee, made from freshly ground beans, whole milk and my special spicy sugar.  I gave Belle a tiny shot glass of coffee for herself, and then I switched her to whole milk.  Of course Belle dumped all the milk back into my mug and held out the shot glass for coffee.  She knows what she wants already.

Belle napped briefly in her bobby car later on.  This allowed me to add more spice to my sugar.  She woke up happy and eager to explore those berries in the fridge.  I indulged her, even when the light in the fridge shut off.  Belle lapsed into a crying rage, prompting me to send her straight to bed.  It took four hours to get Belle to sleep.  I eventually chucked her picture rhyme books in favor of post modern fiction.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three very long years

I fell out with a [male] friend three years ago this month, and I never recovered.  Feeling outcast, I eventually made the choices that led to Belle.  Through Belle, we are becoming friends again.  We are different people now.  We are better people.  Still, I must ask myself why I let this almost ruin me.  I just shut down when he pulled away, and I stayed there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Belle went through a week long biting phase.  She continuously gnashed her newly sprouted front top teeth onto my neck and nipples.  I almost lost my cool with this biting.  One night I had to put her down, leave the room and close the door.  Belle doesn't understand how much this hurts.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


It took several hours to dissolve the soap scum stuck to the shower basin.  I had to spray and wipe three, maybe four, times.  With soap scum stuck to slip resistance surface, it became easier to just let it go than clean it.  I knew I had to do something once Belle became curious about the shower.  Belle might be afraid of or confused by the shower head, but she certainly wants to join me in the shower.

I drank an instant coffee, gave myself a reading with Doreen Virtue's Ascended Masters deck and listened to spiritual podcasts as the soap scum dissolved.  I also went on a mission to locate my copy of Bhagavad Gita, as prompted by the guidebook for the deck.  I thought I had saved this for many years, following a course on Eastern religions I once took.  While I couldn't locate this book, I found others that may prove as effective.

ETA:  I found my copy of Bhagavad Gita, hiding behind a much larger book on a bookshelf!!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013


I spent Labor Day weekend cleaning house (days) and journal writing (nights).  I have done everything I intended to do with my room except clean my closet.  I hadn't intended to do that so I didn't.  Belle even grabbed a dish towel and started dusting.  Then she dragged her plastic shopping basket of plastic food into the wash water and became a nuisance.

I need lights and shelves for the loft.  I also need more lamps all around.  I won't even try to move the maroon love seat alone and without a dolly.  I look forward to moving the love seat upstairs and enjoying reclining with Belle upon it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

One week since

It has been one week since I officially cut the energetic cords linking me to an ex.  I am happily cleaning house.  I am rediscovering art, books and music I once loved.  A friend has offered us her extra passes for a recreational activity for Belle.  Another friend shared her extra food (and herbal tea and instant mocha!) with us.  The energy at home is different.  The light filters through differently.

Space clearing

I seriously committed to vacuuming this week.  I vacuumed daily, often several times daily.  I even replaced my broom with the "Bare Floor" feature.  Now this means Belle will tag the vacuum cleaner with her scribble, which I discovered this morning.  The vacuum is very attractive to Belle.  This beats her picking through the broom and licking the dust pan, both of which I find filthy and disgusting.

I moved both my rocker and Belle's rocker, my childhood rocker, into my room upstairs.  Moving the rockers allowed me to keep the extra love seat downstairs.  I also erected the book shelves downstairs.  With only three out of the eight wooden pegs that connect the shelves within reach, I substituted sawed off pencil pieces and a broken crayola for the rest.  The living and dining area finally looks and feels right.

I added the books on poetry, relationships and sex back into my room. Now I need to clean off the tops of the chest of drawers, dresser and bathroom counter.  Belle doesn't know what to make of my cleaning.  Sometimes she grabs a wash cloth and starts wiping the walls.  Sometimes she eats a crumbly muffin in a space I have just vacuumed.  We are cleaning house steadily though and enjoying it.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Toddler twerk

I showed Belle a twerking tutorial on Monday.  By Wednesday she was twerking the jukebox.  I thought I might die of cute.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I may have benefited had I been mentored by a series of older, family oriented and financially savvy adults after my grandmother died.  I would have avoided meeting toxic peers (and boyfriends) who battled or bullied me because I had a stable home and higher income.  I might have invested with an eye toward the future.  I would have certainly pursued my goals knowing I had someone rooting for me.

Young coffee drunk

I made myself a cup of coffee and Belle drank most of it.  I'd let her hold the mug while I sliced cheese.  I rescued the mug just in time .  Belle grabbed the empty mug and asked for more.  I made a second cup and gave her a shot glass.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Belle and I had Ruthia over for coffee yesterday.  We'd spotted her while running errands and invited her in.  I served coffee in the Bombay Company coffee mugs and whole milk in the spare Royal Albert Lavender Rose creamer.  We shared the last roll with Belle because I didn't remember the berry strudel in the freezer until now.  Oops!

Friday, August 23, 2013


Tonight I found the jinx and I destroyed it.  I noticed the drawers of a nightstand where I keep my journals off track.  I spent the better part of an hour working feverishly to release these drawers.  Belle even offered help.  I finally stuck my hand under the bottom drawer and retrieved half a folder of poetry from the tracks.  When the drawers still wouldn't budge, I shined a light between them to reveal the other half of the folder and other papers.  I yanked the bottom drawer until I heard the snap that signaled its release.  I cleared the obstructed tracks, reset the drawers and organized my writing.

A white paper folded in half fell from one of the journals.  Surprisingly, it pertained to a psychic reading I had about an ex back in 2008.  The pink rose represented me and the blue rose represented him.  There were arrows linking the roses, me to him and him to me.  The roses and the arrows were likely colored in by me, per the prompting of the psychic to better facilitate the reading.  We'd been linked on paper for five whole years, despite being broken up all that time.  All the good (and bad) coming my way had to meet him first.  I'd ended things so abruptly back then that he probably still holds a grudge.  Needless to say, I burned the jink, adding red pepper and salt as it burned.  I smoked myself with it to clear myself of any residual energies.  I flushed the cooled ashes down the toilet.  I will not look back.

The jinx reading from Madame Nadia:  Stork, Scythe/Heart, Child/Clover, Mountain (enemy), Bouquet


I carry guilt and shame over being a trauma survivor and a beneficiary.  Survival is truly an emotional issue.  I survived because my family made sacrifices for me.  They even sacrificed their lives.  I took my time before I had Belle because I needed to heal.  Many people I came in contact with, including members of my own family, took major issue with me because I appeared to have it too easy.  I heard this enough times that I eventually felt ashamed of myself.  I felt I had no value.  I let myself be bullied.  I settled for people telling me I didn't matter, I didn't work, my home wasn't nice, etc.  It's amazing how much of an impact this made in my life.

I vacuumed today for the first time in six years.  Why did it take me so long to vacuum?  My maternal grandmother never vacuumed.  She cluttered our apartment, and later the apartment I inherited from my paternal grandmother, with so much stuff that we couldn't see the floor.  Things were rarely cleaned, if at all.  I never did chores because I didn't see any positive example set...and then she wondered why I didn't help out.  Needless to say, I am creating a routine with Belle.  Belle likes to run around after dinner.  I take that time to clean downstairs, do dishes, sweep, etc.  I don't like Cheerios stuck under my feet.  I don't like living in a filthy home.

My grandmothers thought I could live "happily ever after" in a junk filled apartment, living off a wrongful death settlement.  They thought I could be okay living away from family and friends, content without a career (despite being educated), mate or children, with money and material goods defining me.  I tried living life as taught to me by my well meaning grandmothers.  I discovered I deserve so much more.  Belle is teaching me this.  Belle is the so much more I need.  There is more coming.  I deserve happiness and peace.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blue Moon

Belle and I honored the Blue Moon with spicy cauliflower saute over rice.  Cauliflower is associated with the Moon.  Of course Belle didn't eat any.  She handed me a package of vermicelli noodles and waited impatiently until I opened them.  Since I was already at the stove, I recovered most of the dry noodles from the floor and boiled them.  Belle happily ate cool, unsalted noodles while I ate my warmly spiced dinner.  When she proudly piled her bland noodles atop my food, I just mixed them in with mine before sneaking off to grab more seasoning.

Belle ate nearly an entire package of vermicelli noodles.  She handed me a jar of sweet potatoes to open for her afterwards.  My experiment worked!  I removed every jar of fruit from Belle's cabinet and replaced them with vegetables.  Belle seemed stumped a moment but still found something that looked appealing.  She handed me a jar of sweet potatoes and I handed her a spoon.  Belle uttered an "Mmm."  She had stopped eating vegetables when the fruit proved a distraction.  Last night she actually enjoyed eating a vegetable, which pleased me.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Late night

Belle didn't fall asleep until 1:45 am.  She'd had a late afternoon nap, many healthy fruit and cheese snacks and a warm bath.  I even changed the lighting in our room.  Nothing.  I guess that tooth that's coming is giving her more trouble than she can verbalize.

Belle gave me a scented massage with the solid perfume before she fell asleep.  She anointed me with this same perfume upon waking this morning.  That's an exceptional perk of motherhood, at least for me.  We truly need more cruelty free, organic and toddler friendly solid perfume.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Belle and I walked down to the nursery to see the several hundred pound pumpkin.  A hunkering for coffee (and an open mind) led us into a doughnut shop along the way.  We were given two doughnut holes along with my coffee (self-serve, cream kept in a metal pitcher behind the counter and sugar dispensed from a re-purposed glass soft drink bottle with a hole drilled in the metal lid).  I only gave Belle half a doughnut hole because she'd already eaten berry strudel with breakfast.  She didn't seem to mind.  The smoothness of the coffee gave way to the usual caffeine and sugar high.

The pumpkin proved impressive, with giant green leaves and random cherry tomatoes growing near.  I ate two sun warmed tomatoes straight off the vine, mine and Belle's (Belle doesn't eat tomatoes just yet.).  I also picked a few apples from a tree.  Belle took a bite of an apple, noticed a cat and ran to pet him.  Belle petted the cat for a long while, pausing to get my reaction and my approval.  The cat also took turns looking at me.  I just sat back and watched, only intervening when it became clear the cat wanted to move on.  Belle finally accepted she couldn't chase the cat and had to leave with me.

We walked down to the ferry terminal.  With the barrels of wine from the adjacent winery in full view, and the sailboats drifting along the water, I felt quite abundant.  I realized, when the ferry full of passengers pulled in, that my figurative ship had come in.  A walk along the public shore revealed another sign, an anchor, a symbol I keep seeing in my Lenormand card readings.  I pulled an apple I'd just picked from the nursery out my pocket, prayed into it and left it at the anchor as an offering.

Friday, August 16, 2013

6 Miles

Belle and I walked six miles yesterday, with me wearing Belle for four of those miles.  I dared sit down after we came home, inspiring Belle to slap me.  I spent the rest of the evening sitting or standing upright with my eyes open.  At the end of the night, Belle, showing mercy, rubbed solid perfume between her hands and anointed my face and neck.

We made a round trip food run in three of those miles.  We brought home three bananas, ten pears, several new potatoes, four onions, one bunch of celery, two carrots, one pack of bacon, two pounds of donuts and berry strudel and four loaves of bread.  I froze half the strudel and two loaves of bread.  I put the rest in the bread bin for our immediate use.

We took a round trip nature walk with the last three miles.  I opted to push Belle in the bobby car rather than wear her.  Belle, suddenly sleepy, signed for milk until the rolling motion lured her to sleep.  She spent the rest of her afternoon nap in my arms once we reached the water and I could sit down with her.  Belle soon woke up and started being mischievous again.  We came home with torn flesh from playing in the wild blackberry patch.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Belle helped me scrub the bathroom floor yesterday.  She danced in the wash water and tried to drink it.  This was a natural soap cleaner, not harsh chemicals with heavy dyes and perfumes.  It was still gross.  Now I understand why people use warm water and vinegar solutions to clean house.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fun Friday and Saturday

Belle and I accepted an invitation to a concert inside a private home last Friday evening.  I drank lots of wine and stained my dress.  Belle enjoyed the company of two other toddlers.  They played the piano.  We came home and crashed immediately because we were so tired from having so much fun.

We still rose early enough to make a coffee and food run this morning.  I left Belle playing with a five year old girl and her grandma while I shopped.  Belle found me just in time to chose her own bagels, which she tore into immediately.  Belle ate from two jam filled pastries and some cheese later on at home.

I have added sharp cheddar cheese back into Belle's diet.  She currently enjoys bread, cereal (dry or with milk), fruit and cheese.  I offer her oats, rice, assorted vegetables, beans, meat, fish and eggs, which are all eaten to a lesser extent.  I appreciated her efforts to eat frozen spinach and frozen orange juice, both straight from the freezer.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Food choices

Belle loved the banana chocolate chip muffins we brought home yesterday.  She also loves apple banana puree and banana puree.  Belle does not love fresh or frozen bananas, at least not in present moment.  Belle only cries for me to hand her a banana so she can throw it out for me.  If she doesn't like it, I shouldn't eat it. I mentioned this to an acquaintance, a woman over seventy who raised two boys.  She tried to pinpoint exactly why Belle doesn't eat bananas that look, smell and taste like bananas.  Who knows?

I related the story of how Belle ate four jars of fruit puree in one day before purposely spilling a jar of carrots onto the floor.  The woman suggested I add basil to flavor the carrots.  Great!  Belle probably realized carrots weren't fruit and treated them accordingly.  Basil wouldn't have solved anything in that moment.  Maybe Belle might like carrots tomorrow, with or without flavor enhancements.  She might like bananas too.  I am not forcing her to like or eating anything she doesn't want.


I never set out to achieve any dreams in my twenties because I had a sick grandmother to care for and a property to manage, complete with elderly tenant. Even when my grandmother died, and I suddenly had the freedom to do something, I had a property full of junk to manage. It didn't seem feasible to trek out of the city for grad school because, who would care for the property and the elderly tenant?

I kept myself numb by shopping in between frequent trips away from L.A. until I moved to Alameda. In Alameda, I learned how shameful it is to afford food, clothes and shelter without a "real" job. I had only done what the grandmothers had asked me to do, ie, accept the duplex, the junk and the wrongful death settlement.

I wanted a therapy practice and writing career. I wanted to be a spokesperson for causes close to my heart. I considered training to become a hypnotherapist at twenty, which my grandmother vetoed. She also scoffed at my writing, saying I wouldn't make any money or progress there. I buried those dreams under the property and the settlement. I have lived someone else's dreams for my entire adult life.

Can I achieve my dreams of a hypnotherapy/coaching practice and speaking/teaching/writing career with Belle in tow? Can I have an active, balanced, happy, healthy and wealthy life? I have never been able to realise any creative dream or goal because of the responsibility I had to my grandmothers. Now I want Belle to feel proud of me and be inspired by me. I want her needs met. That is my dream.

Latest Month


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Eat more veggies!

Yesterday Belle ate jars of applesauce, banana, apple banana and apple blueberry.  She spilled the carrots onto the floor and painted the wall with sweet peas and creamed spinach.  I made myself an egg scramble with two eggs, mixed vegetables from a can and the sweet peas and creamed spinach I rescued from Belle's grasp.  That sure was tasty over rice!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tot beauty

I may need more solid perfume for Belle.  She loves indulging in it.  This one is made by Temple Essences.  I pray it's made ethically and as organically as possible.  If not, does a good smelling, green solid fragrance exist?  Belle is a total girl when she isn't eating sand.

I loved my Fresh 'n Fancy cosmetics kit as a child.  Too bad I never took Chemistry.  My math and science classes were always the most challenging, except for two inspiring teachers.  I just never got that far.  Belle could really use some healthy, toddler friendly beauty stuff.  I wish I knew the science of it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Belle signed "eating" before motioning to be let down from my bed to the floor.  She disappeared into the hall as I disappeared into the bathroom.  The familiar sound of a cabinet opening let me know Belle had gone downstairs.  Belle soon returned with a jar of an apple and blueberry puree.  She shook the jar to get me to unscrew the lid, which I did.  Belle drank the fruit straight from the jar.  She handed me the empty jar and went back downstairs.  Belle made four baby food runs, slurping nearly twelve ounces of fruit in total.  I vetoed the fourth jar and let Belle burn those three jars off in the park.

Belle's cabinet holds many jars of commercially produced purees.  I have  mixed the jars around so Belle will get a vegetable sometimes.  I have also made the toddler meals more visible.  Tonight I blended half a jar of sweet peas and creamed spinach with two large eggs, sea salt and nutmeg and made a lovely dinner that Belle wouldn't eat.  Belle isn't crazy about eggs just yet.  She did eat some potato before asking to be let down onto a floor littered with dry cereal.  We probably ate half a box of dry cereal tonight, along with a small bag of grapes.  Where is Belle storing all this food she is suddenly eating?  

Monday, July 29, 2013


Tonight Belle signed "eating" when she wanted  to smell the solid perfume on the dresser.  I indulged her because she loves perfume all of a sudden.  Belle especially loves this perfume, as evidenced by the hole left behind in the wax by her tiny finger.  She quickly pulled off the top, inhaled and then stuck it under my nose to enjoy.  Belle said "Mmm" many, many times.  Then she painted us both with perfume.  I had both breasts adoringly dotted with "Ambrosia."  Even my toes were rubbed with perfume.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

House guest

Belle and I are exhausted from hosting an overnight house guest and spending two afternoons at a street fair.  I have always been slack with housework, having grown up in an extremely disorganized home.  Four evenings cleaning around a toddler weren't enough to prepare for this visit.  With a grimy kitchen (and an open floor plan!), I entertained a girl friend regardless of all the work I didn't get done.

Belle did as well as any toddler would in large crowds without much down time.  We took five meals out, including coffee, ice cream and a pancake breakfast at the fire station.  Belle wouldn't occupy a high chair or a booster seat.  She awkwardly reached for beer, margaritas, salsa and everything on the table not meant for her consumption.  I finally just gave up and gave her my ice cream.

We had a nice visit nonetheless.  Interestingly enough, we got the vibe that some folks assumed we were a lesbian couple and child, particularly at the fire station.  That's a more favorable light than what I usually get.  People see a black woman alone with a baby around here and judge it as a social ill.  I liked being accepted as someone with a child in a marriage, even if just another assumption.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Today I found a used copy of Pippi Longstocking at a community boutique.  That's the last film I remember watching with my mother before our lives changed forever.  I believe a healing is taking place now.  This book is a reminder.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Busy bee

Today I have taken two baths, eaten every meal, had both tea, coffee and wine, made a rice dish, changed twelve light bulbs, built an altar, revered the ancestor, assigned and reviewed my client's homework, networked at a mixer and cared for, loved and nursed Belle.  I know what needs to happen with the chores and have little idea how to handle it with a toddler.  I suppose I could scrub the toilets now but I would much rather prepare something further for my career coaching client.


I am up late designing a career coaching plan for a client.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My old man

My father's birthday fell on a Full Moon this year, during which we had a power outage.  I adorned myself in moonstone jewelry, bundled up my toddler and walked us down to a cafe to wait out the power outage.  My toddler fell instantly in love with a coin fountain at this cafe.  She wet her hands with the running water and splashed her hands and face.  She inspired me to reach into my coin purse and make a wish.  I felt urged to use a quarter, the largest coin in my wallet.  Sorting through the quarters, I found one representing Hawaii.  I immediately began appealing to goddess Pele to banish all negativity so good can manifest.  Then I remembered that, on my father's birthday, with Hawaii's quarter in my hand, my father had once lived in Hawaii.  My appeal to Pele soon turned to an appeal to my deceased father, a man who'd died nearly thirty-two years prior of a self-inflicted gun shot to the head.

I asked my father to give me back as an adult what he'd taken from me as a child:  the security of a stable, two parent household.  It was my father who, in 1981, had shot my mother to death before turning the gun on himself with me, age five, hiding in the house.  I tossed the quarter under running water in the fountain.  Hours later, with the power back on, I constructed an ancestor altar in the wealth corner of my home.  I included the family portrait of my parents and I that I'd left on display inside our church during All Soul's Day 2012, my father's Hawaiian license plates, his driver's license, a glass of water and a personal check from my parents' long closed joint checking account. I dated the check with my father's birthday 2013 and made the check out to myself.  I wrote out all the things I intend to make manifest for myself and my toddler.  I asked my father to move mountains for the sake of me, his daughter, my toddler, his granddaughter and any future children  I may have (and the generations coming!).  I placed bloodstone, a well fed lodestone and pyrite on top of the check, along with a brass penis on a key chain someone gave me years ago.  I also placed a large affirmation on orange paper behind the family picture and the check.  I said, "Old man, you are working for me."

My father came to me in a dream more than a decade ago.  We were traveling in his car somewhere in a desert.  The inside of his car held a shrine to my mother, whom he'd loved deeply.  He apologized for his actions that destroyed our family and left me to mourn.  I have never seen my father again.  I believe I have communicated with him through two mediums I met through internet radio these past couple years.  I would imagine he would have wanted to give me the moon had he been able.  I officially forgive him.  In fact, I want to work with him and call on him as needed.  He doesn't need to wander out there alone anymore.

Father Full Moon

Today is my father's birthday.  Today is also a Full Moon.  Today I asked my father to give me back in adulthood everything he took from me in childhood.  I made an offer of an Hawaiian quarter (My father lived in Hawaii for a while years before he met my mom.) under running water.  I stated the negatives I want released and the positives I intend to manifest.  I was denied the security of a loving, stable two parent household as a child.  I fully intend to create and maintain this for Belle.  My father should move mountains for me and for Belle.  Let's see what happens.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Belle continued her mastery of sliding from great heights with two park trips on Saturday.  I felt less than enthusiastic.  I really wanted to sit down at home, blogging, business planning and listening to podcasts.  Belle would only sit down inside long enough to waste good food by smearing it onto herself.  We had to stay upright and outside.  To intensify matters, Belle shocked me each time she slid into my arms.  I felt so uncomfortable.  Meanwhile, Belle appeared to have the time of her life, climbing, sliding and even swinging from monkey bars with my help.  We only made it home after I organized a group of children on bikes to escort us part of the way.  Belle might still be in the park otherwise.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Belle doesn't know her legs aren't long enough to commandeer a tricycle.  This didn't stop her from sitting (or standing!) on all three.  Belle has three tricycles we have rescued from these streets, all in need of cleaning and/or repair.  I ended up pushing Belle on the tricycle with a damaged front wheel with a handle made for parents, siblings or caregivers to push.  I pushed Belle to the park, angling the tricycle backwards on its functioning back wheels.  Belle looked pleased and proud, like a big kid.  Belle soon abandoned her tricycle for the playground, where she has only recently mastered the slides.  Belle repeatedly climbed to the mouth of the highest slide and took many gleeful rides down.  Later on, I used the sturdy plastic seat of Belle's tricycle as a ladder to reach blackberries growing high behind a fence in the park.  Belle grabbed the backs of my legs to support me, unaware she'd be the first to go if I fell.  We must have looked so absurd in the brief moment.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Healthy Toddler

I am very pleased with Belle for eating whole sweet peas and a couple spoonfuls of corn and sweet potato puree before devouring her crumbly coffee cake.  She even let me brush her teeth willingly, without tears or wrestling.  I consider the vegetables and the oral hygiene significant indicators of progress, trust, etc.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Belle and I ate an entire bag of Trader Joe's shortbread biscuits and two jars of corn and sweet potato puree for dinner.  I had wanted rice with eggs and sauteed zucchini until Belle spied the biscuits and cried.  I obliged her because childhood is only a short season.  Why not savor an extra piece of shortbread for dinner that your child really wants to share with you while sitting on your lap?

Monday, July 15, 2013


I have always wanted a successful therapy practice and writing career.  I remember outlining this in purple ink on college ruled paper back in high school.  No one ever took me seriously because I had so many other things to do. I have taken care of all of those people and things.  Now I want my successful hypnotherapy and life coaching practice and whatever writing I can tie to it.  I also want to write books for children.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I took a magical bath in warm water, whole naval oranges and fresh mint on the eve of my birth.  I anointed myself with oils, wore moonstone and a pink dress to Concerts at The Cove.  I raised some feminine energy by dancing to a live band and using the hula hoop in nature.  I also strangely managed to get cinnamon gum stuck between the skirt of the pink dress and the knickers I wore underneath it (How does that happen?).  All the awkward tugging tore tiny holes in the fabric of the dress.  I ended up freezing the knickers in an effort to scrape off the mysterious wad of chewing gum.  The dress I once loved is likely ruined.  I imagined I looked great in it regardless.  I sure felt confident and free before I discovered chewing gum on my ass.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I am officially thirty-seven.  Belle and I celebrated my birthday obtaining foods as organically grown as possible.  We skipped the sugary store bought cake in favor of homemade brownies, milk chocolate covered biscuits and peach cobbler.  We also went wine tasting (I drank!), hula hooping (in public!) and dancing to live bands (a delicious cover of "When The Levee Breaks").  We celebrated a friend's contribution to an art exhibit and a neighbor's new yoga studio.  Then Belle climbed atop a table at a restaurant and yelled with glee in a public space.

Belle wouldn't touch me for about ninety minutes, long enough for me to get a henna tattoo and an engorged breast.  She climbed from mom to mom, totally unlike her.  I let others look after her since she seemed so connected to her environment.  I couldn't get past the wild screaming of celebration, delight and joy.  Others may have mistaken it for being disruptive, which is something I wanted to connect to my own mother about, especially on the anniversary of my birth.  Without anything to compare it to, I feared it would always be like this, with Belle screaming and standing on tables in public. Belle came to life on my birthday and stayed in very rare form.

I hit a wall at the end of my birthday, figuratively speaking.  With Belle asleep in my arms, I really felt the urge to connect with anyone lucid connected to my parents.  That didn't seem possible.  My Facebook quickly flooded with current events, including the verdict of a major murder trial, the death of an actor and a stunning victory for a star athlete.  I couldn't reach out to anyone in the way I felt I needed to.  I eventually turned my attention toward sports radio and away from my shrinking phone tree.  There is damn good reason why I am in this moment alone with Belle now.  I just don't know what that reason is.

Friday, July 12, 2013


I am a black woman with a baby and without a man.  This does not mean I am not savvy or not sophisticated.  I had Belle at thirty-five, not fifteen.  The life I had before Belle included a Catholic upbringing, a twelve year Catholic school education, a university degree, an inheritance, a trip to Europe, a very brief acting career, professional certificates, property management and a move.  I have led a rich and varied life.  It saddens me when people make assumptions based on looks and profiles.  It should not surprise anyone that I went farther than high school.  Eyes should not glaze over when I introduce myself as a hypnotherapist.  Unfortunately, I live in a world where I am seen as the maid or a resident of a program in my own home.  I could not possibly be who I say I am because I am a black woman with a baby and without a man, and yet I am.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Party girl

Belle stayed awake until midnight, dancing and trying to slip into my clothes.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Birthday plans

My birthday is taking shape.  I am looking forward to making groceries by mid morning, attending an opening reception for an exhibition at the museum in the afternoon and celebrating the grand opening of a yoga studio in the evening.  Belle and I will be well-rested going into this.  I will pause to rest between groceries and the museum as long as needed.  We may even make time to dine out for lunch (and invite others?) before or after the museum.  It might be nice to have a drink after the yoga party.  I am excited!

Friday, July 5, 2013


I wanted a sultry dress, a gallon of sangria and organ meat for this holiday.  I got a small town parade and a coffee break instead.  Belle and I wrestled for chocolate chip cookies.  Later on, I baked sweet potatoes, broiled a chicken and roasted carrots.  Belle ate a couple fistfuls of pasta salad before she pushed my plate away.  We took a warm bath, donned fresh clothes and took a walk around the block at dusk.  I wouldn't have had it any other way, although I could have done without Cheerios in between my toes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Birthday plans

There are a couple parties being thrown on the very evening of my birth--the opening of a yoga studio in Alameda and a duo birthday bash in Oakland.  Belle and I will spend my birthday celebrating the successes of others.  It will be wonderful to be with people.

I manifest a thriving hypnotherapy and life coaching practice for my birthday.  I manifest a healthy body, a healthy child and a happy, healthy home.  I manifest supportive community, family and friends.  I manifest an honest, loving, mature, passionate and supportive mate.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I turn thirty-seven in eleven days.  I am already feeling the birthday blues.  What have I accomplished as I rapidly approach forty?  What contributions have I made?  Will I successfully carry out the plans I am making?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Peer counselor/mentor

I would like to offer someone the peer support I lacked as a young person.  My grandmothers isolated themselves for whatever reason and expected me to do the same.  While this appeared to "work" when my grandmothers were present to cushion the absence of close relationships, it failed tremendously once I found myself completely on my own.  Material goods did not substitute for people.  I'd been taught to put my faith in materials, money and property and to suspect most people as hungry for my materials, money and property.  This won me no favors when I attempted to establish myself in a new city at the start of a recession.  If anything, some people turned a suspicious eye toward me, certain I was guilty or lying about something.

I learned of my lover's untimely death on the morning before the marketing class for my hypnotherapy course.  I spent one weekend grieving him, went back and finished the course.  I earned my credentials.  I enrolled in another like program to earn additional credentials.  I envisioned myself as a hypnotherapist and holistic health practitioner in private practice.  I spent that Christmas in Northern California visiting my great-aunt in a residential home in Oakland and having fun in San Francisco.  I had moved to Alameda before I knew it.  My career as a hypnotherapist suddenly seemed like nonsense.  I dropped out of my distance learning holistic health school.  Aware of the renaissance happening in Alameda and Oakland, I tried to squeeze myself into public relations, as well as a relationship.  None of it worked.  I became a single mom.  In the silence, I rediscovered hypnosis.  I need peer support now more than ever.  I would love to create for someone the relationships I didn't know I needed too.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


I feel I will start speaking and teaching workshops soon.  Spaces are opening nearby.  I am interested in  making a pitch.


I am branding myself as a hypno-blogger.  I am using Blogger in lieu of a website, as I am seeing others do.  I aim to actively contribute to my blog and promote myself on social media to build relationships and grow my practice.  Hypnosis is my passion, as is writing and speaking.  I am feeling secure enough within to unleash my passion.  Let's have a passion party.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Say What?

Belle and I collected five of the six children's books that came with Cheerios.  We are missing Say What?  I may need to send off for it, per the suggestion of the cashier.  I came so close.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I have a target market, marketing platforms and a viable means to deliver my message.

Now that I am clear:
  • Hypnosis, especially for those in the arts, education, sports, expectant moms and children; Healing past lives; stop smoking; weight loss
  • Mentoring, particularly young people.
  • Officiating weddings and providing spiritual advice.
Seems healthy, realistic and reasonable to me!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Constant over stimulation

Belle came alive during today's freak June rainstorm.  We'd successfully submitted a stool sample for a research study at the hospital, had lunch and even collected a few things from a community boutique when Belle began shrieking at the bigger kids.  Aware we were violating the noise level according to posted signs, I worked feverishly to coax Belle out of there.  Belle only ran away and shrieked louder, completely defiant and fiercely independent.  I couldn't breastfeed her, put shoes on her or tuck her into the ring sling.  I eventually managed to secure Belle into the sling, sure we could wait out the storm at a coffee house across the street.  The coffee house quickly proved too stimulating.  Belle started climbing the sofa when I wouldn't let her push a chair across the dining room.  We were in hipster Oakland, not family friendly Alameda.  I wasn't certain if we could be curious or make noise midst the notebooks and novels.  I balanced Belle and my coffee outside in the rain until I found a dry, hidden spot outside to wrap Belle back into the sling.  Belle fell asleep about as soon as we started nursing on the bus ride home.  Why couldn't she have slept at the coffeehouse?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fashion show

Belle and I attended a fashion show at a nearby boutique last night.  Belgian chocolate, cheese and wine served against a backdrop of fashion and flashing cameras felt reminiscent of the old days in L.A. I even wore a little black dress, red lipstick and silver jewelry for our night out.  Belle wore a sleeveless sundress, perfect for the warm and sunny Summer evening.  She kept calm and reasonably quiet for a curious toddler.  We only ran into trouble at the end when Belle, suddenly very comfortable with her surroundings, reached for a vase of orchids.  A cup of wine overturned in the scramble to protect the orchids, likely knocked over by an adult after an adult left the wine too close to the edge.  Everyone blamed the toddler for this accident, which wiped clean off the floor.  Belle promptly grabbed another cup of wine off the table and started guzzling it as we were distracted by the spill.

Belle also discovered crackers and grapes last night.  I allowed her the freedom to walk the short distance from me to the buffet table to fetch her own crackers and grapes.  This annoyed one of the guests, a man in a suit who called me "m'am."  He feared Belle would knock over the [cheap] wine in bottles and [gasp] box.  I knew then we were no longer welcome at this "fashionable" party.  When someone dared blame Belle's behavior on being "hungry" and "tired," I was officially done.  I drank the last of my wine and got us out of there.

It annoys me whenever anyone assumes I can't read Belle's hunger cues.  It really annoys me whenever anyone assumes I haven't fed her.  Belle didn't eat the grapes because she was hungry.  Belle ate the grapes because they were new foods to her.  It isn't advised to feed grapes because grapes are a choking risk.  Belle confidently ate grapes last night and was labeled hungry because she kept eating them.  I was advised, as her mother, to make her a plate of grapes because she appeared hungry and the adults didn't want their wine spilled.  Whatever.  Belle never misses a meal.  She will be taught manners accordingly.