I’ve Strayed

I’ve strayed from my essence.

Have you ever done that?

It all became clear; it all got brought right back – smack in my face – with this particular comment from a PR person who liked a review I’d written…

“I love your particular writing style (your voice is very casual and personable)”

…and that lovely and very unexpected compliment stopped me in my tracks.

Isn’t writing, after all, the raison d’être?

The WHY of why I’m doing this?

I mean, blogging, ya know?

I’ve been sidetracked.

I’ve been petty.

It isn’t to attract FRIENDS or FOLLOWERS or LIKES or pennies that dribble in from time to time – it’s the WRITING.

Duh.

Screaming in the darkness of the void of humanity.

Or something like that.

I thanked the giver of the the compliment – it arrived at the perfect moment.

Now what?

Probably nothing, ‘cos I hold title to being the world’s biggest procrastinator. Those three books with titles and about 500 words each — I look at them from time to time and…and then I go shopping.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, here’s a few words with a pic that perfectly describe ME.procrastinate

However. Even without my tugboat man home to fill my days – and nights – it was an awesome weekend.

I had my first photography lesson on Saturday. A whole new world has been revealed to me: Fstops, aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, rules of three — it was like being back in kindergarten and only knowing a few words but wanting to read all the books in the whole world.

After the class, I met a friend and we made calls on behalf of a local politician running for office who promises to eradicate stores that sells puppies from mills and factories.

Sunday was full of old school, pre-internet technology activities.

I washed all the bedding, turned the mattress (does anybody even DO that anymore?).

Laundered, ironed, and rehung curtains.

Re-organized the laundry room. Our laundry room is on the top level (third floor) of our tri-level home, and it’s packed to the rafters with shelving in addition to a washer and dryer.

Now it’s all clean and orderly.

I used my mini/handheld steam cleaner and made the showers happy and hard water deposit-free.

I washed windows. And screens.

Sunday 9:00 p.m.

The only sounds are the tick tock of a seashell clock and the gurgling of our pond’s waterfall in the backyard.

It’s warm outside and the patio doors are wide open. There’s not much breeze but there’s a lot of quiet.

I ate junk food.

I drank wine.

I’m exhausted.

But full of happy.

Wishing you some happy, too!

http://youtu.be/CEN9I8jJ0Nk

Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards…S-E-X-Y Book Review

9781938231476[4][3][63]Confession time ‘cos well, that’s what Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife does from time to time…

Here I am, home alone, my handsome tugboat man far, far away floating on the big blue ocean, and what do I love to do?

Besides shopping, I mean…

Give up?

I LOVE to read. I read ALL the time and if I’m sent an advance copy to read and review, so much the better, ya know?

Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards is an enchanting and sensuous series about an actual historical figure, the notorious Lola Montez, who changed Europe through her beauty and strong, sexually liberated personality.

A young, beautiful dancer, Lola Montez, charms her way into the upper ranks of society using only her wits and her signature whip and fan.

Set in the 19th century, this hot tamale attracts trouble and finds herself in desperate situations that send her on jaunts all over Europe.

I was hooked from the beginning.

I LOVE novels that open with dialogue; I’m drawn into the characters right off the bat. (It’s a great device —  I need to remember and use it more often in my own writing.)

I don’t want to give too much away, but you might NEED a fan to cool you down after some of the super sexy bits!

Spying —  clandestine meetings — sexy interludes — AND a true story.

Whether you have a completely empty nest like me, or you’re just looking for a good read, I recommend Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards.

Have you read any good books lately? Let me know!


Astor + Blue Editions presents, Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards (ISBN: 978-1-938231-47-6; Trade Paperback; Romance, Historical, Women’s Fiction; US $14.95 CAN $14.95; February, 2013), the rollicking first installment of a new series by debut author, Kit Brennan.  The Whip Smart series begins during the historic week that marks the actual birthdate of Lola Montez. (February 17). 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kit Brennan is a nationally produced, award-winning playwright, and teaches writing and storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The Victorian era and its personalities have always been of major interest to Brennan. Her play Tiger’s Heart explores the life of Dr. James Barry, who was actually a woman living a double life disguised as a man in order to practice medicine, which was not an option open to women at the time.

Kit divides her time between the vibrant city of Montreal and the quiet lake wilderness of Ontario alongside her husband, Andrew, and a variety of animal friends.  Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards is her debut novel.

Visit her online at www.kitbrennan.com.

Buy Whip Smart now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nwgjg5

Buy Whip Smart now from Barnes and Noblehttp://bit.ly/1mh9tL5

Visit Astor and Blue Editions: http://astorandblue.com/

Coming THIS October: The third installment of Kit Brennan’s series! 

 

 

Decorating? Try These Jazzed Up Tiles

artistictileI was sent an array of awesome tiles to sample and review —  I LOVE businesses that have women at the helm — these tiles are GORGEOUS, but I received no other compensation other than the product samples.

I love them!

Dapper Daisy is a new floral glass mosaic from the  popular Jazz Glass Collection by Artistic Tile.

“Dapper Daisy is the result of years of experimentation and play by founder and CEO, Nancy Epstein, as she sought to create a feminine, sophisticated design that adds versatile elegance to home and commercial projects.”

I wish I had a wall to redecorate!

Dapper Daisy would be perfect for a young girl’s bedroom, or for any room that needs to be spruced up with elegant and dazzling tile.

I think it would be stunning in a shower, too.

Check out the gallery of pretty Dapper Daisy tiles.

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Star-Sweet Light by Rarasaur

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

And another Rara writing! A poem, this time. Just had to reblog.

Originally posted on Stories that Must Not Die:

Star-Sweet Light
By Rarasaur

There’s a light behind the curtain –
Like star-squeezed lemonade – –
I’ve tasted it, I’ve drank it down,
It’s part of how I’m made.

There’s a space behind the curtain,
Where some have never basked.
The heaviness blockading it
Keeps the magic darkly masked.

The light behind the curtain
Cracks all minds open wide –
Shadows and dobuts melt away –
There is no place to hide.

And in this quiet center –
In this kismet-tangled knot –
We harvest possibility…
What we could, and should and ought.

It’s refreshed by connectivity,
By compassion and insight,
And the more of those we squeeze from life,
The sweeter is the light.

Yes, there’s more behind this day…
And though I know it’s there…
Today’s curtain is dark and heavy –
Too sour to squeeze, or bear.

Still, I continue to chase the stars…
I won’t let…

View original 43 more words

Guest Post: RARASAUR!!!!!!

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

If you know Rarasaur, and even if you don’t know her story, please read this post from her guesting on everyday gurus. It’s beautiful, poignant, and so, so sad.

Originally posted on everyday gurus:

Got a letter from Rara today asking me to publish this post because Grayson has had trouble getting internet access. Feel free to re-blog or send to anyone who knows Rara and her plight.

I skyped with a dinosaur!

How I’ve missed this icon on the blogosphere

The Space Between

There’s a cold science to the warm observance of art. Fancy galleries and museums all over the world apply careful calculations to the placement of viewing-benches and lights. It is a detailed symphony of diagonals and distance, measured to accompany the artistry and elevate the experience of beauty. At a certain angle, from a certain number of steps away, even your favorite masterpiece could look unappealing, or downright ugly, or worse–simply quiet. Can you even fathom the travesty of such a fate? To have something silenced by the space between when it could have spoken to you and shared its ageless secrets with the very…

View original 645 more words

He Could Have Been a Serial Killer

Was I crazy to invite a man from the virtual world of blogging into our home?

Not a meet-up in a coffee shop; not at a public location where it’s safe, where we could arrive and depart without fear of being followed.

I didn’t even blink when I shared our address with this “friend”.

His online photo could have been fake; his writing just a ploy to lure a naive female to let down her guard and welcome him with open arms.

But there had to be trust on his end too, right?

He didn’t know what he was walking into — literally. He may have never been heard from again.

As it is, I think he could possibly be forever traumatized by the sheer number of seashells strewn on every shelf, adhering to most walls…

seashell mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He could have been a serial killer — to parrot my mom, who always cautioned me not to be too trusting, not to get into cars with strangers — you know, mom-speak.

My mom died long before the world of the internet connected those of us who might never have had their paths cross.

Although we didn’t know him at the time, this young man attended the same university as my son, and yes, we were probably only rows away from each others’ families on graduation day, but the internet facilitates these exact types of serendipitous human bridges.

So, on one of the hottest days of the year, the Jester himself, writer extroidanaire at The Matticus Kingdom (you really should follow his blog!) stopped by Casa de Enchanted Seashells to spend the afternoon with me and my tugboat man where I obnoxiously tried to stuff him full of food (Jewish mom syndrome).

Oh, and he’s a published author as well, with Fauxpocalypse: a collection of short fiction about the end of the world that wasn’t–available on Amazon.

There was lively conversation on all fronts and I can’t wait ’til he’s back in the area with his lovely wife and the Little Prince.

Nope, not a serial killer, but an awesome guy!

You were wrong this time, Mom!


Have you ever invited a stranger into your home? Was it a good or bad experience?

10 Reasons To Get Out And Walk Right NOW!

We love to walk!

When my son was in elementary school, we’d walk before school started. We took our Border Collie, Victor, with us and walked for about thirty minutes or so after breakfast. During that time, my son would practice his spelling words or math, and we’d talk as we walked — a special time for me and my Angel Boy. We rarely missed a day, even when it rained (which it does in SoCal). I sure miss those days…

World Walks is on a mission to educate people on the many benefits of walking (and they’re a travel agency that specializes in walking tours).

As you probably know, walking carries a multitude of benefits that stretch above and beyond fitness.

From reducing stress levels to being an effective intervention for depression, walking is a fantastic and free activity for many to enjoy.

Best of all, it’s FREE!

Wherever you are, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and start walking!

World Walks infographic 10 reasons to get out and walk

When my tugboat man and I visited my son/DIL in San Francisco, we walked and walked and walked. And walked!

Here’s a view of downtown SF from the top of Twin Peaks. We walked there…

View of SF from Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Towers in San Francisco

Even if the sidewalk is STEPS, just put one foot in front of the other.JasonwlakingSFsteps

P.S. This is not a sponsored post; I just liked their graphic and love to walk.

 

Not a Sunflower

And not an artichoke, either.

These are SUNCHOKES.sunchoke1 I wonder what they taste like. Anyone tried them?sunchoke2According to Wikipedia, The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunrootsunchokeearth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America.It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.[2]

I haven’t harvested my tubers yet ‘cos I’m still enjoying the flowers — that’s about all that’s flourishing in my garden during this horrible drought in California — but when I do, I’ll probably roast them with garlic, since we got a HUGE string of garlic from Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, the last time we drove through central Cali.

Sunchoke Liqueur

Sunchoke Liqueur

Have you ever tried sunchoke liqueur? Maybe best of all, in Baden-WürttembergGermany, over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called “Topinambur (de)”, “Topi” or “Rossler”.[13] By the end of the 19th-century, Jerusalem artichokes were being used in Baden to make a spirit called “Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy”, “Jerusalem Artichoke”, “Topi”, “Erdäpfler”, “Rossler”, or “Borbel”.

Jerusalem artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavour. It is characterised by an intense, pleasing, earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make “Red Rossler” by adding common tormentil, and other ingredients such as currants, to produce a somewhat bitter and astringent decoction. It is used as digestif, as well as a remedy for diarrhea or abdominal pain.

If you’ve cooked with them, please send me your recipes. Thank you!

 

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for a month or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask.

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Foursquare Helps Vegetarians Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day

northstarToday is National Cheeseburger Day and it seems to be a particularly good time to extoll the virtues of a non-animal, meat-free, violence-free burger.

Do you have a favorite veggie burger restaurant?

 

Have you visited any of these locations?

How about your own recipe? I’d love to hear about it!

(I received the following news release and thought I’d share it with y’all who live in different parts of the country.)

goldenmeanTo help enjoy the beloved sandwich, Foursquare has made is possible for vegetarians to get in on the celebration by rounding up a list of the country’s best veggie burgers.

Forget “checking in” with Foursquare’s new app – now we’re all about leaving tips at places you love (or hate) and finding recommendations personalized for YOU by allowing you to pick from over 10,000 “tastes” (everything from “veggie burgers” to “veggie pizza,” “veggie pho” and “vegetarian curries”). We have over 55 million people using the app, all of which have contributed to the making of this list of meat-less beauties.

Details on the top veggie burgers (and a popular tip for each location) according to Foursquare around the country are below.

BEST VEGGIE BURGERS IN THE USA

Top Tip: “That veggie burger was better than a lot of regular burgers I’ve had. Definitely recommended.”

Top Tip: “Best veggie burger ever- I couldn’t believe it wasn’t meat. The kale salad is also a must-order. Hillstone is surprisingly very vegan-friendly!”

Top Tip: “Very cool vibe! Maca hot latte was amazing and yes the burger lived up to the reviews!”

Top Tip: “$6 burgers/veggie burgers during happy hour. Perpetual happy hour on Yuenglings ($3). You can easily spend very little or live like a hip king here. Awesome brunch, too.”

Top Tip: “Bring a carnivore here who you want to convince that being a vegetarian, vegan, or hipster is cool. Also, amazing playlist when DJs aren’t spinning.

Top Tip: “The spinach dip is what I come for & the veggie burger is the BEST!!!

Top Tip: “This is hands down the best veggie burger I have ever had. It has substance, flavor, texture, and obviously a little love. Wow.”

Top Tip: “I don’t know what I love more the cornbread or the veggie burger”

Top Tip: “Veggie burger was awesome! Handmade fresh with great seasoning. The Kentucky bourbon is exceptional too.”

Top Tip: “The food here is unbelievable! Just enjoyed a Veggie Burger that was absolutely outstanding.”