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

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 1970 and an ardent animal activist forever.

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.

rock paper scissors. I thought we were soul mates but I guess we aren’t.

By quickmeme.come

By quickmeme.com

This isn’t the way the game is supposed to be played.

In the past two days, I’ve fallen on rocks (and gravel) and gave myself a nasty paper cut (opening the mail this morning).

I’m staying away from all forms of scissors just in case.

It seems prudent, don’t you agree?


IRL convo with faraway tugboat man

Me: “You failed me.”

Him: “Hmm? What? How?”

Me: “Because you didn’t immediately psychically sense that I was injured and call to see if I was OK.”

Him: “What did you do THIS time?”

(He’s referring to my broken wrist, falling off the kitchen counter, broken ankle, OTHER broken ankle, and an assortment of other bloody injuries sustained on a regular basis.)

Me: “I was walking around the lagoon, the long way, (about a four-mile round trip) and you know where there’s no sidewalk on that one side, and only rocks and gravel?”

“Well, I was walking pretty fast, must have hit an unstable rock, and before I could catch myself, I fell HARD.”

Him: “Do you need to fill out a currents report?” (Insider mariner intel about what goes on with an accident on a tug.)

I refrained from chuckling at his lame joke, and listed my fresh injuries:

1. Sprained wrist and knee. (Same wrist broken a couple years ago.)
2. Bloody wrist, both knees, hand.
3. Torn skin and major six-inch gash/wound underside of left arm. Dripping blood, Very painful.

Him: “You poor dear! How did you get home? Why didn’t you call me immediately? Do you need stitches?”

Me: “First of all, I walked home, holding a tissue to stop the blood, but that’s not the point.”

“I didn’t call you, because I was telepathically sending you messages to call ME, and I waited here for two hours hoping you’d do the right thing, and you didn’t.”

“I guess we’re not as in sync with each other as I thought. You are not my soul mate any more, I’m sad to say.”

Him: “Oh, honey. I’m sorry I failed you.”

Me:  *sniff* “It’s OK, but next time, try to do better.”

Him: ” All right. I will try. Now go have a glass of wine.”

THIS is how you do it, men. Sympathy and wine. That’s all we need.

Meet Vegan Handbag Company, Angela & Roi

Vegan cheese, vegan meat substitute, veggie dogs, now vegan leather has come a long way from the days of pleather.

There’s nothing more I love to do than to support an ethical business, and especially one who makes handbags (one of my favorite accessories!) with vegan leather.

Angela & Roi is a luxurious yet accessible online handbag brand with a ‘Donate by Color‘ social mission.

By innovating traditional channels, utilizing vegan leather, and engaging with customers directly, they’re able to create high quality and luxurious handbags at a revolutionary price point, while supporting cancer and disease fighters in a unique way.

Learn more at www.AngelaRoi.com

P.S. I was sent an email about this company but have received no compensation nor product. This post is merely informational.

The Sunday Black Tote supports Melanoma fighters! Plus, the bag is made of 100% animal-free materials in fair practice setting

V Chain Cross-body

 

Related articles

Older. Wiser. Better?

Many years later, still puzzling things out.

SELFIE PUZZLEStill the paramount focal point of any photo.
Still fabulously attired with beautifully coiffed and beribboned hair.
Still unable to fit round pieces into square shapes.
And yet, still, the world revolves around me.

And most importantly, still adorable.

P.S. I sent this post to hub and he emailed back that this has always been his favorite pic of me and it’s because I look so determined.