About Momophd Momofphd

Sometimes he's here, sometimes he's not. What. Ever. I''m married to a tug boat captain who travels the world, while I stay home, waiting and shopping. I'm the mom of a wonderful son we refer to as Angel Boy. I have a background in education, marketing, advertising, and public relations. I've been in a few films, helped my surfer husband with a surf-related radio show, owned a couple small businesses, and co-directed a non-profit organization. I'm and editor and proofreader . I love seashells and rocks, gardening and baking, Hello Kitty, Chanel, and anything sparkly or leopard print. I've been a veg since 1971 and an ardent animal activist.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

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

This post really spoke to me and is a serious counterpoint to my silly post about my hub’s fake mistress!

Originally posted on Crazy Train To Tinky Town:

Like many of you I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  Whilst, I think that it has certain advantages for keeping in touch with family & friends located in faraway places and as a writer it does have certain benefits but for many it’s a bit of a dual-edged sword. Too often I have come across inappropriate posts and videos which in my opinion have no place on a social networking site. It is alleged that this week Facebook have failed to remove a video of a helpless & vulnerable kitten being deliberately doused in fuel and set alight; what purpose does that video serve? I also fail to see why you would want to give the sociopaths that committed this heinous and cowardly act their fifteen minutes of fame. Furthermore, you have to ask yourself why certain Facebookers would feel the need to “like” this type of posts. Whilst…

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My Husband Has a Mistress and That’s All Right With Me

I did a bad thing, tricking you that way.*

SORRY!

(But it made you click on it, haha)

My tugboat man doesn’t have a mistress.

Or…does he?

He might as well have one.

Listen to the facts:

1. He spends a lot of money on her.

2. Sometimes when the tides are right, he spends more time with her than at home.

3. He found her on Craigslist.

Here’s my hub’s newest love, a Kies custom surfboard.

Apparently John Kies is one of the best surfboard shapers out there; at least that’s what I’ve been hearing for — well, it seems like for the last twenty-four hours. Nonstop. “Look at her shape!” “Isn’t she beautiful?” “I can’t wait to get her out in the water.”

Kies custom boardSo. Here she is.

Gaze your eyeballs on her beautiful and young body, so fresh and clean, no wrinkles or stretch marks or cellulite.

I actually drove with him halfway across San Diego County so that he could check her out — get a taste of her — stroke her and examine her from all sides –all the  while I sat in the car and read a book until it got too dark to read.

And now he’s applying a coat of fresh StickyBumps warm water wax so that she’s primed and ready for their first ride. Together.

But don’t worry about me.

I’ll do all right ‘cos I’m a SURVIVOR.

I have my eye on a sweet little pearl Chanel necklace.

All’s fair, right?


 

*P.S. Apologies to anyone who may have thought I was going to reveal marital dirt…I’ll admit to gentle teasing and snarky humor at times, but I almost never share personal dirty laundry in a public forum. Not my style. Not my thing.

 

 

The Great ANT Invasion of 2014

English: Small hand-drawn ant graphic

English: Small hand-drawn ant graphic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a day like any other day.

My tugboat man and I awoke to the caw-caphony of a million restless crows, wishing us either a good morning or something less pleasant from the tops of every eucalyptus tree in Southern California.

I could almost taste that first fragrant sip of coffee as I put on my glasses and pulled open the drapes.

Trader Joe’s French Roast, freshly ground, filtered water — I was salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs (need I interject how much I abhor and detest any kind of animal experimentation?)

Tugboat man opened the patio doors.

“Good morning. It’s gonna be a hot one”, he said.

“That’s what they say”, I replied. And “Good morning to you!”

We are polite like that, we really are! (Well, most some of the time.)

“You’re not gonna like this”, cautioned my tugboat man.

“Uh oh, what’s wrong?”

“The kitchen is covered in ants.”

“On every surface.”

“I know you’re going to go crazy. I better leave now, haha.”

“OH MY GOD!”

“AY DIOS MIO”

This day just turned into the worst day ever.

Can you imagine what a roomful of ants, not only on every surface, countertop, floor, sink, and cupboard DOES to someone like me who is ever-so-slightly OCD?

I didn’t know where to start.

But I knew we needed coffee before anything was going to happen.

However long this cleanup would take, my strategy was to begin where it was most needed — the coffee pot area.

Can you believe there ware ants INSIDE THE GLASS CARAFE?!

Because of our ongoing drought and extreme heat, I guess they were searching for water; quite possibly that’s why the kitchen sink was black with swarming ants.

Or maybe they just decided to choose Casa de Enchanted Seashells for some sort of karmic retribution — for what, I have no idea, as I try to NEVER hurt or maim one of Mother Nature’s creatures.

But this was too much to bear.

I could foresee the hours of my day…purging all of the pots and pans and dishes out of the cupboards and food out of the pantry — cleaning and sterilizing every f***ing thing.

Like soldiers marching on the Rhine, they broke me.

I retreated.

I waved the white flag.

But it was only a strategy designed to divert those little soldiers from their goal of full-scale conquest.

I reached under the sink, surreptitiously pulled out a gigantic canister of ant spray, and with a battle cry reminiscent of Mel Gibson In Braveheart I let loose a vigorous stream of poison with the force of General Leslie GrovesManhattan Project atomic bomb testing in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Princess Rosebud won this round. I’m not proud that I surrendered to the use of toxins to win this war, but I felt I had no choice.

steaming-heart-cupFinally, we enjoyed a well-deserved mug of life-giving, life-sustaining dark, rich, bold coffee.

The spoils of war, my friends.

Mission Accomplished.

P.S. As much as I wanted them GONE, I can’t help but admire their determination. Let’s all sing along with Frank Sinatra in “High Hopes”

http://youtu.be/vWZ-pLUb9L8

SUNDAY UPDATE…BREAKING NEWS…
Mission NOT so accomplished. A terror cell of insurgents split from the main army, invading our bedroom. Coming from the attic, this has nothing to do with being thirsty. This is a military coup. Princess Rosebud is fighting back alone; her tugboat man retreated to the safety of a beach. 


 

Gif source: http://webhost.bridgew.edu/jhayesboh/coffee/steaming-heart-cup.gif

YUMMY Old Fashioned ORANGE Meringue Pie

Sometimes it satisfies a certain nostalgia to crack open my mom’s old Betty Crocker Cookbook and recreate her tried and true favorite recipes.

They may not be TOTALLY the most UBER healthy…but once in while it’s OK to indulge.

This time I had a hankering for an Orange Meringue Pie…a bit of a change from the standard lemon meringue — not that lemons aren’t delicious — but I had a few organic oranges around and wanted to work with that specific and intensely ORANGE flavor.

I served it after a dinner of Chile Rellenos with Guacamole (post soon.)
The citrus was the PERFECT finishing touch to a spicy meal.

First of all, I’m going to be a bossy pants and insist that you spend just a few minutes to create your own baked pie crust. It’s not THAT difficult and is SO much better than store bought. (Recipe below)

orangepie4

Old school juicer. VERY low tech.orangepie1 Work it, work it! Don’t leave it for a minute, keep stirring, continue whisking…orangepie2 …until the mixture thickens and become silky, smooth, and emanates an amazing orange perfume.orangepie3

As soon as the filling is done, quickly turn to your mixer and whip the whites into light peaks of pillowy soft clouds.orangepie5Very stiff peaks is what you’re looking to achieve.
orangepie6

The last few steps are the MOST important. Fill the baked pie shell with the orange filling.
orangepie7 Spread the uncooked meringue over the filling, spreading to completely cover the pie. orangepie8Slide gently into the oven for about five to seven minutes. DON’T leave the kitchen ‘cos a minute too long and your meringue goes from luscious lightly browned goodness to crispy burned in a HEARTBEAT.

LOVELY. Very marshmallow-y.
orangepie9 BEYOND GOOD.

HONEST. :)orangepie10

 

Orange Meringue Pie (thank you, Betty Crocker!)

  • 1 (9 inch) pie crusts, baked
  • cup sugar
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • tablespoons butter
  • tablespoon lemon juice
  • tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 -3 egg white, meringue

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Combine egg yolks, orange juice and water; stir gradually into sugar/cornstarch mixture in the pan.
  4. Cook stirring constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils.
  5. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly; stir in butter, lemon juice and the peel.
  6. Immediately pour into pre-baked pie shell.
  7. Cover completely with meringue-carefully sealing to the edges.
  8. Bake about 10 minutes or until meringue browns lightly.
  9. Cool on wire rack out of drafts.

BAKED PIE CRUST
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Directions

Heat oven to 475ºF. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Roll pastry, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.

Fog + Condors, and California’s Amazing Big Sur

Remember when I ran away from BlogHer14?
(Click HERE to read my sad tale.)

My tugboat man and I headed west to take the 101 back home to SoCal.

We stopped in Carmel for a lovely night to celebrate hub’s birthday, and thought we’d camp for a few nights as we travelled south.

It was obvious that everyone else had the same idea. No open campsites and no hotels meant we drove all the way home, sad and dejected, at 2:00 a.m.

Even though we didn’t camp anywhere and there was heavy fog, every so often the sun would peek through and I was able to snap some amazing pics.

Ultimate optimists, we’re giving it another try.

We figure that everyone is back to school and we should have a road less travelled. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Until we return with more pics, here’s some of my faves.

See you soon!

California Condors with attached radio collars. Too bad I couldn’t get closer pics but we could see the collars with tugboat man’s superior binoculars.

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Boats hidden on a hillside only seen if you hike down a secret trail (and I’ll never tell)…

bigsurboats bigsurboats2

Weird things hanging off a tree.bigsurcrazytreeFog…
bigsur12
bigsur8 bigsur4 And once in a while, the fog cleared…bigsurtripbigsurfog10bigsurfog9bigsurfog8bigsurfog7bigsurfog2bigsurfog4bigsurflower bigsufog4

Don’t be cruel to your family pet

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

A day for re-blogging the posts of animal lovers who share a great message.

Originally posted on Russel Ray Photos:

Out & About San Diego

Near one of the places where I go walking quite often is a colony of feral cats. During bad economies, the colony grow because people who can no longer afford to feed or care for their cats drop them off at the mouth of the San Diego River where this feral colony lives.

During one visit in 2009 I counted 187 cats. This morning I counted only six, and not a single one was photogenic. Thus, I returned home with not a single new picture of a fine, furry, feline friend.

Not to fear, though, because I have many pictures from past visits, and I’ll share eight of my favorites with you today.

1Feral cat in San Diego, California

2Feral cat in San Diego, California

3Feral cat in San Diego, California

4Feral cat in San Diego, California

5Feral cat in San Diego, California

6Feral cat in San Diego, California

7Feral cat in San Diego, California

8Feral cat in San Diego, California

Remember, folks, if you don’t want your family dog or cat, or can no longer take care of it, please take it to a no-kill animal shelter rather than…

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Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

Originally posted on Fight for Rhinos:

DeathThink it’s not your problem?

Poaching is killing our planet.

Each year over 35,000 elephants and 1000 rhinos are slaughtered. Poaching has become a pandemic; animals are killed in Africa, India, Asia…and demand for their parts spans across the globe. If we don’t act NOW, we will lose them all within a few short years.

We must restore the balance.

ranger funeral

Funeral of a ranger after eight were killed in Virunga National Park.

Poaching is killing people. 

Each year poachers AND rangers are killed in the line of fire. People are also killed and hurt from terrorist attacks fundedby poaching. From the Westgate Mall attack to the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls, to the loss of lives during the 9/11 attacks in New York.

We must stop the blood flow.

As devastating as this is, there is hope. The good news is that YOU can do something about it. Yes, YOU!…

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What A Tangled Web…

With all due respect to Mr. Shakespeare, there’s no deceit here!

Just a creepy spider web.

That’s it, that’s all I have to offer.

A weirdly asymetrical spider and web in the loquat tree located directly to the left of our backyard deck.spider web

A victim of global warming, perhaps? Hallucinogens?  Simply lazy?

If you look closely, it’s a really weird weave, don’t you agree?

P.S. While you’re here, why not check out my scrumptious recipe for Loquat Jam?
Click the link:

http://enchantedseashells.com/2013/06/03/the-lovely-luscious-loquat-jam/

 

Why Would a Tugboat Need to STOP Motion?

Yet again, I’m preparing to drive that arduous forty minutes to our airport to pick up an arriving tugboat man.

This is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. They’re always going or coming.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation last night:

Me: “I had to put gas in the car.” (Imagine that I said it in a reproachful manner, kinda whiny, cos it’s a chore I HATE and tugboat man usually does it for me.)

Him: “Well, I hope you at least filled it, ‘cos I’m sure the only reason why you fueled up is because you were on empty.” (In a slightly know-it-all voice.)

Me: ” You are so funny. NOT. I did NOT fill it up. I only put in about twenty dollars, ‘cos I got bored standing there and plus it’s not my job. It’s stinky and dirty. And yes, Mr. Smarty Pants, it was on empty and I would’ve run out on the way to the airport to pick you up so you can see it’s all your fault.”

Him: “I just don’t get you. If you’re there with the pump in the tank, would it kill you to stand there for an extra couple of minutes? It’s only logical, right? Makes sense, right?”

Me: “Logical? Me? Who do you think you’re talking to?”

Although he was gone the entire week, continually bemoaning the fact that he missed the giant surf, this time he wasn’t out to sea.

Did you know that professional mariners need to attend lots of continuing education classes?

That involves everything from keeping up with USCG (United States Coast Guard) licensing requirements, enhanced security procedures, managing a crew, practicing medical lifesaving techniques (because captains are the medical officers onboard tugboats), fire safety and prevention, and radar.

There’s lots more but I can’t remember it all right now.

This time he was learning and being certified in something called Dynamic Positioning

US Navy 110603-N-EC642-170 The New Breed offsh...

US Navy 110603-N-EC642-170 The New Breed offshore supply vessel HOS Shooting Star uses dynamic positioning to maintain its position while performin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He often trains with simulators; probably this time, too. I forgot to ask, ‘cos our conversations mainly consisted of his whining and moaning about missing out on surfing epic waves.

Here’s a bunch of random words strung together in sentences that makes absolutely NO SENSE to me whatsoever, but is a detailed explanation that I hope y’all comprehend. (‘Cos I surely do not.)

Dynamic positioning (DP) is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters.

Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyro compasses, provide information to the computer pertaining to the vessel’s position and the magnitude and direction of environmental forces affecting its position. 

The computer program contains a mathematical model of the vessel that includes information pertaining to the wind and current drag of the vessel and the location of the thrusters.

This knowledge, combined with the sensor information, allows the computer to calculate the required steering angle and thruster output for each thruster.

This allows operations at sea where mooring or anchoring is not feasible due to deep water, congestion on the sea bottom (pipelines, templates) or other problems.

Dynamic positioning may either be absolute in that the position is locked to a fixed point over the bottom, or relative to a moving object like another ship or an underwater vehicle.

One may also position the ship at a favorable angle towards wind, waves and current, called weathervaning. [Source: Wikipedia]

Confused? So am I…
This is a simpler explanation that even I can understand:
Sometimes when a tug is working on a project rather than simply being underway from point A to point B, it needs to stay in one specific location and not float around. DP is an advanced method to hold a tug stationary.

That was your lesson for today. There will be a quiz at the end of the day. :)

Have a lovely Friday!

 

 

 

Recipe Contest Announced to Mark Healthy Aging Month

Since I had my own hellish experience with a retinal tear that was  successfully treated with laser surgery, I think it’s important to share information about eye health, including macular degeneration.

And who doesn’t love a recipe contest? 


 

BrightFocus Foundation to Choose Prize-Winning Healthy Recipes

Clarksburg, MD—In honor of Healthy Aging Month, BrightFocus Foundation is launching an online Healthy Recipe Contest for the month of September. Contestants submit a recipe that contains at least three ingredients from a list of healthy foods that may be beneficial to brain or eye health.

The winning recipes will be chosen by BrightFocus. Contestants submitting one of the top three winning entries will receive a $100 Target giftcard and BrightFocus prize pack. See the BrightFocus instructions on how to enter the contest, including providing a photograph of the recipe dish.

Healthy foods on the ingredients list include carotenoids (dark green, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables); fruits and vegetables abundant in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits and green peppers; vitamin E foods including fortified cereals, nuts, and green leafy vegetables; and sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including wild salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.

Although research is still ongoing regarding the impact of diet on brain and vision diseases, some studies suggest that a healthy and nutritious diet may lower the risk of developing macular degeneration or glaucoma. A healthy diet also may help Alzheimer’s patients cope better with their disease. See the BrightFocus Healthy Living fact sheets for macular degenerationglaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease.

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ABOUT BRIGHTFOCUS FOUNDATION
BrightFocus Foundation (www.brightfocus.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing brain and eye health, by funding research worldwide on Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. BrightFocus also provides the public with information about these diseases, including risk factors, current treatments, and coping strategies