It’s not Obama vs Romney anymore, it’s King Neptune or Poseidon–your vote counts!

We have a few more weeks ’til the presidential election and now is the time to get into prime voting shape. DIL got the shout out on Twitter– technology is AWESOME– here’s the photo she snapped when we were at Old Man’s. This is King Neptune, I mean Poseidon, emerging from the sea.  It seems like Poseidon is Greek and Neptune is Roman, but they both ruled the oceans. I want to be accurate-if anyone is a master/mistress of mythology, please let me know. Whoever he is, he had the most adorable dog with shaggy white hair that looked just like him, I kid you not! Trying new things today; here’s my first poll!

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Poseidon or King Neptune?

 

Crazy pearly swirly watermelon

It’s too hot to go outside so I’m feverishly snapping pix and posting them wherever I can. El Capitan is somewhere in hurricane-infested waters, my son is at a conference in New York, and DIL has joined him. I’m holding up the entire west coast by myself–everyone else has populated the other side!

Check out this swirly yellow watermelon; when I took the photo, it appeared to me that the little white seeds looked like pearls embedded in the flesh. If I’m mistaken, we can attribute it to the extreme heat and cold turkey alone-ness, a powerful combination…

Am I the only one who sees pearls here?

Pearls, driftwood, seashells, and sage

The driftwood is from an area we call Old Man’s (yes, the apostrophe is properly placed) in Carlsbad. I think it is just a term we coined because that’s where all the old men longboarders go surfing. I mean really old men who should never ever ever EVER go without a shirt or rash guard, if you get my meaning.   If I ever in my wildest dreams desire to see wrinkly old skin that has lost all elasticity and collagen along with saggy, deflated breasts, I’ll look in the mirror, thank you very much! (When DIL sends me the pic she took of a guy who was a Neptune look-a-like, I’ll post it. That pic will be worth the proverbial thousand words.  Nuff said on that subject.)

The sage is from my garden. I’m not quite sure where the sand dollar came from or the other shell. I wish there was some way to label each and every treasure I acquire, because there is no way to recall time or place! We have a California native garden with several kinds of sage, ceanothus, lemonade berry, manzanita, rosy buckwheat, and coyote bush. The vase is from Anthropologie.

WTF! Welcome to my world… guess who’s gone again!

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Hey, who wants to go to the airport again? Not me, but there I was at 5:30 a.m. this morning, once again driving El Capitan to the airport to hop a plane to board a boat to go to Puerto Rico for a week or so.

The dreaded call came in late yesterday afternoon; we had just gotten home from a lovely and romantic trip to the dump with our trailer full of yard debris. BTW, the dump was very crowded for a Thursday afternoon, who knew that was such a popular destination? I always go along for moral support; I’m kind of useless with a shovel but I provide good conversation and companionship. And because it seems like I hardly ever see him, a date is a date, even if it’s to the dump!

The captain was asked to relieve or replace (not sure which scenario) someone, and he accepted the assignment. I know he was supposed to be home for a long time this time, but duty called. Literally.

Last night was a swirl of rushing around to go to the ATM for travelling cash, gas up the car, do a load of laundry, make dinner (salmon burgers, which were delicious), have a glass of wine, pack up a couple of suitcases, and go to bed!

We were awakened at 4:15 a.m. by a couple of chattering raccoons somewhere in the yard, which gave us just enough time to go back to sleep for 45 minutes, until all of our alarms started chirping. He’s a multiple alarm kind of guy–his phone, my phone, the clock radio–he does not like to be late, and can’t be late for a flight, especially since we live so far from the airport.

For me, the rest of the day includes cleaning the house which looks like it was hit by a cyclone, figuring out how to complete my Etsy store so I can have a grand opening and a Facebook contest (I’m going to give away one of our awesome marlinspike rope work bracelets), and think of other projects to fill up the hours and days until my wandering captain comes home again.

WTF!!!!

Frank bathroom talk…a tugboat wife confession

When my Merchant Marine captain is out to sea on assignment, I am a virtual single woman, living alone, an empty nester, no kids at home. There are certain aspects of being someone’s wife, spouse, partner — that I fervently believe should be private. That includes closing the door when I use the bathroom. I mean, he should close the door too, in fact, everyone should close the door. I don’t want to see that, much less hear anything that goes on in there. That’s just the way I am. If I can take it a step further, bodily functions should not even be referred to or discussed. Like I said, that’s just the way I am. But after about two or three days of being on my own, I think to myself that it’s kind of unnecessary to shut the bathroom door when no one else is home. Right? What’s the point? Right. For the next however long he’s gone, I don’t shut the door and that becomes my habit. The very first change that occurs when he comes back is that I now have to retrain myself to remember to shut the door! It’s pretty funny, because sometimes I don’t remember (like today), and I have to jump up off the seat to slam the door shut! We are not the type of couple that intrudes on each other’s “private” time, and I am totally OK with that. I know other people are different, and I respect their attitude about these things, but it’s not the way we roll (toilet roll, that is).

Living in cramped quarters on a vessel means that privacy of any sort is limited. I think it takes a special kind of person to navigate those kinds of interpersonal relationships with virtual strangers–co-workers; and not even the same ones on every voyage, so it’s necessary to learn about each and every individual foible and personal habit every single time. That would be tough for me to do. It takes real skills to manage a diverse crew and motivate them to work together as a team for as long as the assignment lasts.

That ends my confession about the bathroom because I have to excuse myself and go there right now!

Welcome to Casa de Enchanted Seashells..come on in!

To follow up on yesterday’s blog, I did not go surfing today. First of all, there was no decent surf this morning for the captain and he just now left for an afternoon surf sesh and anyway I have a project to complete. While he was away on his last assignment, I decided our front door was crying out for an addition of seashells to welcome everyone. Here’s what it looked like before I started. I thought the window embedded in the door was a perfect location for embellishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made a template of the window and arranged the seashells, artistically, I hope!

It was necessary to use the trusty glue gun because the other type of glue wouldn’t work vertically.

 

 

 

 

A French Sennet

Once it was done, I was really pleased, but thought that some rope work would add the final touch. I commissioned the captain to work on a long piece to surround the window. I measured it, and it was about 50 inches. I glued it down and it’s done. I love it!

What do you think?

Welcome to Casa de Enchanted Seashells!

My work here is done.

Final trip to the airport last night, DIL had to get back to work. We had a lot of fun while she was here, but I am totally exhausted. I spent the day cleaning and doing load after load of laundry. She had actually straightened up her bedroom (!) which meant I didn’t have that to do, but the guest bathroom needed a major overhaul. Now it’s back to me and the captain discussing home repairs and projects, trips we’re hoping to take, and surf, of course. He wants to get an inflatable kayak and take it with us on when we go camping and hiking. I’ve lived near the beach for more than two decades and rarely get wet above my knees! I’m not a great swimmer, but I’m always excited to try something new, and I’d feel a thousand percent safe with the captain in charge. In fact, I’m thinking of letting him give me a surf lesson tomorrow. Even though it’s still summer, I’m gonna wear a wetsuit. The last time we did this, he gave me strict orders not to let go of the board, no matter what. (It’s obvious what his real priorities are, right??) He promised he’d guide the board as the wave propelled me forward, but it happened to be a really strong rogue wave and he couldn’t hold on. I ended up getting flipped over and was dragged under the waves and pounded on the rocky bottom but I never let go of that stupid surfboard. The next day my legs were covered in huge black and blue bruises but his surfboard came through unscathed with nary a scratch or a ding. That was about five years ago and I think I’m ready to give it a try again. Like giving birth, ya know, they say you forget the pain as soon as it’s over. Well…that was never my experience, but I’ll try positive thinking and a never-give-up attitude. If it happens, I promise there will be pictures.

On the home front, we’re being overrun with ground squirrels–and not just the adorable Spirit Squirrel™ who carried off Victor’s rawhide bone. He’s brought his entire extended family and then some, and they’ve taken up residence in our yard. The hills are peppered with so many holes and tunnels, we fear a collapse. Squirrels are running rampant across the deck, bringing their cracked corn and sunflower seeds pilfered from the neighbor’s bird feeder,  watching us through the window. I’ve tried deterrents like cayenne pepper and fox urine crystals to no avail. They laugh at my futile efforts. One of the more brazen intruders stole tomatoes from the garden, and took a few bites out of each before discarding. When I found a huge den dug out of the floor of the greenhouse, I knew it was time to take serious action. We called a humane critter relocation specialist. He arrived with very nice Havahart traps and filled them with an irresistibly delicious mix of seeds, nuts, fruit, and peanut butter. We’ve had immediate success and the first family has entered the witness protection program and have been relocated to a safe house (nature preserve.)

And on to a more pleasant topic: starfish sandals! Aren’t they just too cute?!

We are a true bi-coastal family

While DIL and captain were surfing the smallish waves in SoCal, my son, known around here as “Angel Boy”, surfed the hurricane generated waves in Rhode Island. You can take the SoCal boy out of SoCal but the surfer remains! They’ll find waves wherever they are.

Angel Boy getting barrelled!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom shuttle has arrived

Well, here’s my last 48 hours. Has yours been this crazy? On Monday, I picked up DIL from the airport at 12:2o p.m. She was in town for a conference in La Jolla. She got settled in, we did a bit of shopping, and then had a mani-pedi at 4:00 p.m. After that, I made a simple tuna melt dinner. She was super tired, still on east coast time, and went to bed at 8:00 pm. We set our alarm for 6:00 a.m. so she would have time to work on her presentation and go to Kinkos to print it. At that same Kinkos/Fedex, I was getting a delivery of my new Mac Air! which I am so excited to have, but scared about the learning curve. I am a slllowwww learner when it comes to techie stuff! I dropped her off at UCSD for the conference, drove back home, and got ready for the captain to arrive at the airport at 10:20 p.m. Yes, finally, finally he is coming home! DIL and I  planned to meet at the hotel she was booked at for one night, and I brought all my clothes and makeup to meet her at 6:00 p.m. for dinner and a bit of relaxation before leaving for the airport—yet again. Whew! Picked up the captain, fed him guacamole, a jalpapeno cheese quesadilla,  and collapsed at 1:00 a.m. Today, picked DIL up from her conference, brought her home to greet the captain and have a quick surf sesh.  I’m the one you can’t see, on a towel, trying to find seashells!

DIL and the captain waiting for a wave on a beautiful day in SoCal

Of course, the first thing in the morning, captain ran out the door to get a piece of that good surf and his cranky mood disappeared. DIL was scheduled to fly to San Francisco for a business meeting, returning on Friday before heading back to the east coast on Sunday. That meant a quick shower for her and BACK to the airport. I pressed the cap into service for the airport drive.  Now we’re home, had a nice dinner, and we’re relaxing with a glass of wine. We pick her up Friday night, but for the moment, it’s just the two of us.

Happiness is a Fruit + Veggie Bread Recipe: Zucchini, Carrot, and Apple

This recipe is my own adaptation of a zucchini bread; it’s not too sweet and gets better the day after– if you can wait! Sometimes I drizzle over the top a simple glaze of powdered sugar mixed with orange juice and a little orange zest. It sort of enhances all the flavors.

All ready for the captain’s homecoming!

3-in-1 Fruit and Veggie Bread

Grate enough zucchini to end up with about 1 cup or so packed
1 carrot, grated
1 apple, grated
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla plus 1 tablespoon juice from orange
2 cups flour (I use all or part whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4  plus 1 tablespoon cup plain nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
You can always add dried fruit or blueberries or nuts. My recipes usually reflect what I have around the pantry.
Directions: Mix together all the dry ingredients, add everything else, mix until well incorporated. Fold into loaf pan. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, check often so it doesn’t become too brown.