# FEEL FREE FRIDAY ~ 26

Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife:

I don’t know why anyone still wears fur with all the documentation readily available about the horrors these creatures endure-so please read and share all over the place so we can once and for all STOP torturing animals.

Originally posted on FUR OUT THE CLOSET::

“A single drop of water in a lake radiates energy to become larger and larger circles”.RIPPLES                                                                

I read these beautiful words on a blogging buddy’s post  @     http://enchantedseashells.com/.

These words “spoke” to me, particularly in the light of my recent experience.

Zimbabwe is capturing baby elephants in the wild to be sold to China and the United Arab Emirates.

This is not only cruel to these elephants but breaks up the complex social structure of elephants.

Read more @   

http://bit.ly/1NWYDNX

Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, was speaking at a trade conference in South Africa on April 9th.

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos requested that South African animal activists protest against this Zimbabwean trade in elephants.

Ban Animal…

View original 198 more words

Swimsuits And Cellulite, Oh My!

I don’t have the courage to snap a pic of me in a bathing suit and post it on social media for all the world to see.

I live near the beach in SoCal. Nuff said.

And recently when Selena Gomez posted a pic of herself on a beach (and while she definitely looks like she’s gained a few ellbees), the vitriol of the comments is overwhelming.

No way I’m exposing myself to that.

I can do all my own fat-shaming in my head, thank you very much.

I’m not sure this day have been any more discouraging…in fact I’m positive.

At the gym: the stupid instructor – well, not the regular one, but a substitute — didn’t show up to teach Boot Camp because apparently she went to the wrong location and that left about thirty pissed off women with nothing to do but shop for groceries or shop for clothes or shop for jewelry or do all three.

We were all at loose ends, complaining about our entirely wasted morning.

But something was bothering me; I was preoccupied– the thought of what I had to do was haunting my very existence.

I attempted to put it out of my mind—it was essential that I take a deep breath, gather all my courage, and dig down deep inside for all the moxie I could muster. I could not put this task off any longer.

“You can do it, I know you can”.

I could just hear my husband cheering me on as if he was right here with me.

I will meet this challenge with fortitude and resilience.

I am made of sterner stuff, I’m a trouper.

I’m pep-talking myself, and since I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot, no one can really see how crazy I am.

I will overcome my fears.

I must. I have to. It’s now or never. Do or die. DO IT NOW.

There is no other option.

OK. Here it is. I have a real (totally not irrational) fear of trying on swimsuits.

This time I don’t have a choice.

The last one I bought was in 1995. Clinton and my friend Al Gore (click on link to read about my close encounter with the former VP) were in the White House.

The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia died, and I must have listened to (pre-Heidi Klum) Seal’s Kiss From A Rose a zillion times.

Twenty years. That’s how long it’s been.

That bathing suit is in the active stage of disintegration. The material is threadbare and falling apart.

The elastic is so stretched out, the bottoms fall off.

If that hadn’t happened I’d still be wearing it ‘cos for me, there is nothing more humiliating and depressing and ego-reducing and self-esteem deflating than trying on a swimsuit.

It’s a nightmare scenario and reality was every bit as bad as I thought it would be.

The last time I liked the way I looked in a swimsuit in a three-way mirror was like never, and it’s even worse now.

I warily approach the racks of sparkled-up, fringy, polka dotty teeny weeny bikinis.

It’s go time. It’s now or never.

I’m not really a one-piece girl; I’ve never ever worn one; they’re just not flattering on me.

I sighed, whispered to myself an affirmation about being happy in my own skin, and grabbed a handful of suits and ran off to the dressing room.

I’m determined to come away with a purchase.

To give me a bit of confidence, I tried on a cute top and was able to take a quick peek in the mirror and not be reduced to a mass of melting ego.

So far, so good. I turn around so I can’t accidentally catch a glimpse of myself before I’m ready and slip on the bottoms of the first suit.

I don’t even bother looking—it’s too tight, and all I need is to see any excess fat hanging over and you might as well just put me away for a three-day psych eval.

This whole time, I have this dialogue running in my head – don’t give up, it can’t be that bad, you work out a lot, you look fairly good in clothes, people do this all the time. You go, girl! So, I pulled up another bottom and these don’t feel too tight.

The dreaded moment of reckoning was upon me.

Stupid three-way mirror.

Stupid fluorescent lighting.

If I squint, it won’t seem so bad.

I start the viewing in safe mode at my ankles and raise my eyes ever so slowly and squinty past my knees to the part of me I hate the most, above my knees and below my hips,

I can’t even say it, you know the area I’m talking about.

Aww geez, it’s worse than I thought.

How in the world did I amass such ugly body parts?? Craters of cellulite, a lumpy bumpy mess, a horrible mass of horribleness, just hideous.

Yuck.

How did this happen?

Three-way mirrors ought to be banned. I should never have to see that rear view.

No one should.

But it’s too late to turn back now.

I am 100% committed (I know, I SHOULD be committed) to seeing this thing through.

Maybe if I put a ton of self-tanner on, it will hide it all.

I need a drink, I need chocolate.

I needed to get out of there before I had a complete meltdown.

I grabbed the suit before I could change my mind, and the first thing I did when I got home was to cut out the size label.

I never ever ever ever EVER want that as a constant reminder of one of THE most humiliating experiences I’ve endured.

Not that anyone will see me in that suit because I’ll most likely wrap a pareo cover up or scarf around the offending/offensive parts.

At least I won’t have to endure this particular brand of hell for another two decades, and for that, I’m grateful.

victoriana.com

victoriana.com

If we all wore these figure flattering turn-of-the-century bathing suits, there’d be a lot less pressure on us  me to be perfect, you know?

Stop All The Scrunchie Shaming!

MESELFIE2STOP SCRUNCHIE SHAMING!

I’ve had just about enough of this abuse.

I confess.

I’m here to out myself. but I’m still hiding behind dark shades (Chanel, of course).

I’m an addict.

I’ve tried to change.

I really have.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish and hope and pray that I could be strong enough to resist temptation, but I’m weak.

I NEED it to tame my mane.
I mean, LOOK at me, would ya? My hair has a mind of its own.

When I was growing up in pink toe shoes and tutus and my hair was properly braided and beribboned every morning, how could I possibly foresee what the future would bring?

There was no crystal ball to warn me of the impending appearance of those colorful fabric-wrapped elastic bands that would be my crack.

I lack strength; I’m powerless.

(This is tougher than I thought it would be.)

I won’t — I can’t– hide my addiction one more minute.

The truth is that I wear a SCRUNCHIE every. single. day.

I can’t get through the day without one. Or two.

AND YES, I WEAR IT ON MY WRIST LIKE A BRACELET.

Just to keep it close and handy.

scrunchie1In fact, I have one on my wrist right now, AS I’M TYPING THIS POST.

Don’t even THINK about trying to wrestle it away from me.

Red or blue or purple; I carry extras in my handbags JUST IN CASE I LOSE ONE.

Us girls with SUPER curly and thick hair need a big fattie scrunchie to tame our wild beasty locks.

scrunchie3

You know what?

I’ve had friends who’ve staged spontaneous interventions to help me confront my love for the scrunchie.

I’ve had friends pull them out of my hand and toss them in the trash.

Friends have gifted me all sorts of other hair bands and a variety of products to secure my crazy hair.

I’ve been bribed with lunch and unlimited wine if I don’t show up wearing a scrunchie.

“It ruins your outfit” they say.

“You look like a reject from the nineties”, they say.

Apparently, it’s embarrassing to be seen with a scrunchie-wearer.

I. DON’T. CARE. WHAT. ANYONE. THINKS.

I LOVE my scrunchies.

HAHAHA…the dreaded SIDE SCRUNCHIE!

scrunchieside

No other form of securing my tresses will satisfy me:

  • A scrunchie doesn’t pull my hair
  • A scrunchie doesn’t create unsightly lines
  • A scrunchie doesn’t hurt at night when I have to pull my hair back or braid it so I won’t look like Medusa in the morning
  • And Cosmo says it’s a “must have” for oral sex, so it must be true

I feel so much better having confessed my secret addiction.

It’s a huge load off my chest. I feel light and free.

So deal with it, world.

From this day forward, I’m out, I’m loud, and I’m a PROUD scrunchie-wearer!

My stash.

My stash.

Just be glad it’s not a banana clip. Hee hee.

Happy Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day

The proper use of science in not to conquer nature but to live in it.
Barry Commoner

Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money
Cree Indian Proverb

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. John Muir

Lilly Pulitzer at Target: Bringing The Hamptons To The Common Folk

LillyPulitzerforTarger

I confess to showing up bright and early at Tar-zhay for some of the other designer brand marriages like Missoni (not to be confused with Target’s own brand, Mossimo) and TTTT I was less than overjoyed.

I picked up a “Missoni” scarf, but it was a bittersweet moment. While the tag proudly proclaims it to be MISSONI, in really tiny letters you read “for Target”.

missoni for target tag

It’s a feel good/feel bad moment to be considered “less than”, like a second-class citizen, not quite good enough to play with the big kids.

And it’s scratchy. Several negatives.

Do you think it dilutes the brand?

I do.

Isn’t the whole point of “designer” to be elitist and aspirational?

(Don’t worry, I’m being a bit tongue-in-cheek here. Or am I?)

If everyone has semi-equal access, how special can it possibly be?

I own a pretty (real) Missoni top; one of my treasures from a local consignment shop before they changed management and no longer carry any designer brands. The fit is awesome, the fabric is textural, and it’s well constructed –a  high quality item.

Check out the angle of this selfie; it makes me look thinner and narrower. WINNING!

missoni

Not that I don’t love Target in all of its unique brand of Target-y-ness.

Wandering through each and every aisle is a wonderful way to kill a few hours while the tugboat man’s away.

From bleach to bathing suits, Target definitely fulfills the term “one-stop-shopping.”

But there’s something a little off-putting about creating a sub-line for the masses.

For example, I was excited to see what Jason Wu would offer, and was disappointed.

Some of the clothing was poorly sewn and poorly designed with cheap fabrics and I didn’t get a thing.

It was the same with the Neiman Marcus collaboration. Nada.

I don’t mean to sound snobbish; for the most part they were a big let down.

Now there’s Lilly Pulitzer.

Here in SoCal, we may have beaches, sunshine, and palm trees, but we’re a different breed than Miami and the Hamptons.

However, I kind of love the colorful LP designs.

There’s always a place in one’s wardrobe for pink and green and yellow and white eyelet…

I’ve visited the LP store at Fashion Valley in San Diego and it’s not outrageously expensive; it’ll be interesting to observe the price points at Target.

So I’ll be there bright and early on Sunday morning, but when I see the tags say Lilly Pulitzer for Target, I’ll be a little less than happy.

What’s next for Target? A partnership with Chanel? Tags that say Chanel for Target?

OHGODNO.

Coco would turn over in her grave.

LillyPulitzer quote

Another Empty Nest, Another Sad Mom

Another empty nest

Poor mama bird, I know how she feels…

 

I found a broken shell from a newly hatched baby under the ficus tree. A pair of warbling vireos make a home year after year in this birdhouse.

 

It’s so sad that she puts all that work into building a nest and feeding her babies and they always fly away.

They always leave mommy. *sniff*

I guess that’s the way Mother Nature intended it to be, but it still sucks.

Facebook is full of moms who can’t wait until their children turn eighteen, almost pushing them out of the nest with a packed suitcase and a sigh of relief so they can resume their “lives”, but that’s not the way I feel about it.

As much as I’m bursting with pride at the independent and successful young professor he’s become, his bedroom is still quietly waiting — just as it always was, with fresh sheets on the bed, clean clothes in the closet, and his favorite books lined up on the shelf.

In the beginning, when he first left for college (years ago), the hardest thing to deal with was the silence — the QUIET was deafening. I have no idea how one child could fill up the space with his presence, but he did.

Now, nothing makes me happier than a call telling me he’s coming home for a visit (sigh) so I can load up on the ingredients for his favorite foods.

You know how mama birds feed their young, don’t you? They regurgitate partially digested insects and worms directly into the beaks of their babes.

I’m not THAT extreme, but you know what I mean.

It’s one of my greatest joys to watch my son eat.

I admit it. I do. I sit across from him at the table and soak it all in, every single mouthful.

(Don’t feel sorry for him, he’s used to it.)

And then he leaves again, and the quiet fills our house and our hearts.

Can you guess that I’m missing my Angel Boy right now?

Grammar, Please! #petpeeve #wordlesswednesday #grammarpolice #grammarmatters

From “The Product” by Ice Cube

Just because I didn’t want to learn your grammar
you say I’m better off in the slammer.

walkcarlsbad1I planned to bring a red pen and cross out the offending apostrophe, but there’s plastic covering the sign, so all I could do was snap a pic.

Compassion. DO. Help. NOW. Pass it on.

Seriously, a call for compassion in action.BETHEDROP

Mother Nature knows.

A single drop of water in a lake radiates energy to become larger and larger circles.

Isn’t that what social media is all about?

Isn’t this the beauty of it?

We share a thought or a joke or a (cat) picture with our friends and followers who in turn share with their friends and followers — and the circle multiplies.

And if we share a compassionate mindset, an awareness of being more caring and kind, each of us has within us the potential to influence and change the world to make it a better place.

We took this video during a camping vacay to Northern California.

Mother Nature’s Perfect Concentric Circles of Energy


Sometimes it takes more than words to effect change.

Sometimes ACTION is the answer.

I need your help

Not for myself, but for Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary.

Simply stated, here’s his mission: 

”We rescue wolves and wolf-hybrids that are unwanted, abused, etc. We give them a loving home with three acres to run and play, and all the food they can eat.”

I received an email this morning that touched my heart. (Tugboat man and I have kind of adopted Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary. His love and caring for the abused and neglected wolves and wolf-hybrids is an example of pure altruism.)

“I hate to bother u you have helped me so much and been so kind I really need help this month I had to pay $1000 for meds I’m flat broke I have no money for food for them so if u know anyone please send them to my page I use to 2 to 5 donations a month tell face book made me change my page I have about a week worth of food then they will be out they never been with out food since I started this sanctuary 15 years ago take care me.”

We can all relate to the fear of not having enough to eat, right?

Please extend a little compassion in action by donating some dollars to help him feed his wolves. Sacrifice your daily latte, any amount will help this worthy cause. If we all pitch in just a little — that’s all it takes to make a difference.

Flood his page with likes and follows! Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary Facebook Page:

1. Please donate. You can either send a money order or check to…

Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary
Mel Crockett
31 Cox Creek Lane
Cascade, Montana 59421

or

Paypal-  https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

2. Please spread the word to your own circle of influence. Just a click or two will help his animals get the food they need to survive.

3. I’m also asking for help to create a GoFundMe for him. I’ve never done it before; if anybody would like to work on a more sustainable form of support, I’d love to join forces.

4. Here’s a link to my post about Mel and his Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary.


P.S. Join me in donating and I’ll send you a gift, a GENUINE Princess Rosebud seashell necklace! Email your address to urjentbiz@gmail.com and I’ll pop it in the mail.

1000-Voices-Speak

Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?

We live near an elementary school and I took a random pic from my upstairs office window while they were doing some noisy playground maintenance during spring break.

I had no idea that this moment in time was captured by the camera until I downloaded it.

(Hee hee.)

Man at work. Where did he go?

portapottieschool

P.S It’s not MY bad grammar. Blame Rod Stewart.

How To Recycle Old Coffee Mugs #DIY #Project

It’s SPRING!

What a great time to freshen up the yard with a totally 100% free project using items we already had. re_up cycleDon’t throw away those cracked cups with broken handles!

We all know I’m a collector of things, whether it’s empty boxes (‘cos you never know when you might need one) or bathrobes ( I have about fifty of them) or seashells (of course!) — and all the rest: shoes, jewelry, books…

I’m also a breaker of things — like coffee mugs and wine glasses.

At any given time, I have half dozen injured/wounded/disabled cups that’re in various stages of rehab on tugboat man’s repair table.

He’s the BEST fixer.

I might wield a mean glue gun, but he has the patience and fine motor skill to join together broken pieces of china, another of his great qualities, I might add.

Most of the repaired cups and mugs aren’t really usable for holding hot liquid, but I’ve held onto them because I love them and they’re special to me…Hello Kitty, Yale Mom, and the ones with seashell motifs — I mean, how can I just toss these guys in the trash?

One fine Sunday afternoon, I felt the itch to start another DIY project but nothing specific came to mind — just thought I’d wander around until something sparked interest — then I discovered an old boat ramp behind our greenhouse (not sure what boat it came from). I’d seen this ramp for YEARS and overlooked it a dozen times. This time, however, I had an epiphany.

It’d make an awesome shabby chic plant stand for the coffee cups!

Now I needed to find something to lean it up against, and chose a Brazilian Pepper Tree that we never really liked ‘cos it’s invasive, but it’s been here since the house was built, and the birds like it — because of that, so far it’s been spared. You can’t really grow anything under it (that’s only one of its problems) and the roots protrude and are gnarly.

Think Oklahoma dust bowl. Think Grapes of Wrath. That’s exactly what that neglected little area brings to mind. It was time to render a little aid and LOVE.

I filled the mugs with succulents that I already had growing in the garden.

View from the deck: A perfect location to turn into a bohemian hippie focal point.

coffeecuplanter3jupitersbeardI planted a square of Jupiter’s Beard from seedlings I propagated; it’s a drought tolerant plant with lush pink flowers — really easy to grow, and it’ll fill in an otherwise kind of ugly and barren spot.

I took a bird bath from the front yard and an assortment of other planters gathered from the garden and clustered them all together to create visual interest.  The worn and broken tiles add to the shabby chic feel.coffeecupplanters

Bonus upcycle DIY: Turn an old hat into a planter by cutting off the frayed brim and attaching twine. So simple to set inside a pot of colorful flowers; hang and enjoy!
coffeemugplanter1

You can never have too much aloha spirit!

Share your best up/recycle #DIY project.