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.

Nourish + Brighten! Loquat + Emergen-C #DIY Facial Mask

Loquat Emergen-C facial maskHow about a smoothie for your face?

This zesty homemade mask will freshen, nourish, and brighten up your winter-weary skin.

When my tugboat man is home (and when son/DIL are here) we enjoy “Family Facial Day”.

To be honest, “enjoy” is a relative term, the boys describe it as “endure”.

Of course hub and son don’t participate without a lot of whining, but DIL and I can be fairly persuasive. There’s nothing funnier than using a scrub on a couple of men who’re complaining about how much it hurts like they’re being abused. Men are such babies even though they’re always pleased with the results.

For those of you that had to endure skin-drying heating all winter along with harsh snowy weather, this is a perfect mask to nourish and brighten.

In SoCal, we’ve had our hottest March ever recorded — coupled with low humidity, my own face was looking as parched as the Anza Borrego Desert.

Probably because it’s been so unseasonably warm, the first of our loquats are ripe.

As soon as enough of them are ready, I’ll make jam with our harvest (RECIPE HERE) but I thought I’d experiment creating a mask.

Loquats are full of vitamin-A — looking around our garden, I picked a lime for vitamin-C and a few leaves of white sage for cleansing and purifying. (If you live in an area where loquats don’t grow, you could use apricots or even peaches.)

loquatfacial1

I tossed it all in the blender with bananas, avocado, and a squeeze of agave nectar.

Then I spied the secret weapon: Emergen- C!

With all the C and other vitamins and minerals, it’s like a healthy smoothie for your face. This is the one I used, but any flavor will work. Hopefully, it won’t tint your skin pink; it didn’t do that to me.

loquatfacial3loquatfacial2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t invent the Emergen-C facial; my research revealed others have discovered its benefits, too.

Facial Tips:

  • Start with a really clean face so the facial will be better absorbed.
  • Only make enough for one or two facials — as the ingredients are so fresh, they need to be used right away.

Nourish + Brighten Facial Mask Ingredients:

Loquats: Three small, remove seeds.
Lime Juice: Squeeze half lime
Banana: One half.
Avocado: One half.
Emergen-C: Half or whole packet.
Agave or honey: A teaspoon or two, just to make it sticky enough so the facial doesn’t slide off your face.
Sage: A few leaves (optional if you don’t grow it in your own garden.)
Try adding a few shakes of ground turmeric or cinnamon, too.

  • Toss it all in a blender until smooth.
  • Pat on your face, neck, décolleté (don’t forget that!).
  • Leave on for about fifteen minutes while you recline with a towel behind your head and neck to catch any spills.
  • Rinse off thoroughly and moisturize.
  • Admire the glow!
  • Refrigerate any leftover mask.

It’s been a couple of days since I did it; I’m very pleased with the results, and will absolutely make this again when the rest of the family is here.

It’s so much fun to torture the guys!

 

Seashells and Toilets: One Crazy Easy Hack

Isn’t “hack” simply the new word for “tip”?

That’s what I thought.

I hate hate hate the little plastic things that conceal toilet bolts; I can’t explain it, but they really bug me, and one day I took the plastic off while I was cleaning and it exposed this really gross and obscene looking THANG…

toilet1

…which set my enchanted mind to wonder what I might conjure up to beautify this ugliness, and came up with the BRILLIANT idea of replacing it with a SEASHELL (which fits perfectly, thank you very much) and I’m convinced it’s a great improvement!

toilet2

I daubed a bit of Museum Putty on the underside to hold it in place. I use QuakeHold or Museum Putty to secure lots of things that I don’t want to glue or hot glue.

It doesn’t leave a mark, can be pulled off, cleaned and replaced, maintaining a secure hold.

You should really try this easy DIY — tip — hack — whatev.

And if you have menfolks who can’t aim straight; don’t blame the seashells!toilet3

Pinterest, here I come!

UPDATE: Three Weeks Old. Kidnapped, Killed, Stuffed in a Trash Bag, and Tossed in a Dumpster

“Murdered baby was kidnapped for woman’s false pregnancy.”

It made me curious that, since the initial reporting of this tragedy, there hadn’t been any updates; apparently all the work to solve this crime was done without publicity.

This is a TV show, not real life.  It involves a bizarre story that’s right out of a horror novel.

It’s hard to imagine a mind so sick and diabolical to conjure up a plan such as this:

Four people have been arrested for the kidnapping and murder of baby Eliza. One of those arrested, Giseleangelique Rene D’Millan, 47, of Thousand Oaks, California – concocted a plan to win her boyfriend back that resulted in the kidnapping and murder of baby Eliza Delacruz and the shootings of three of the newborn’s relatives.

Last year, she lied to her boyfriend, telling him she was pregnant with his twins. Detectives believe the lie soon morphed into a desperate criminal quest of finding babies around the same age to kidnap and keep and represent as her own.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-arrests-kidnapping-killing-long-beach-infant-20150325-story.html

WTF is wrong with this world?


(In case you missed this story, here it is again.)

This is Eliza Delacruz. Or rather, this WAS Eliza Delacruz.

(family photo)

(family photo)

On Sunday, a transient found the body of this ten-pound girl in a plastic bag stuffed in a dumpster behind an Imperial Beach strip mall, one hundred-twenty miles from the girl’s home.

Only twenty-one days.

Only 30,240 minutes.

Eliza Delacruz was only able to take about twenty breaths a minute times twenty-four hours times twenty-one days.

No more pretty dresses adorned in sparkles with a matching bow for her hair.

No more goodnight kisses.

It’s beyond senseless…beyond comprehension.

A beautiful three-week old infant girl, who, up until the moment she was torn from her mother’s arms and kidnapped, had been living for nine months in a safe womb, growing and maturing until she was born into a world she will never know.

Can you even imagine the pain her mother and father must feel?

I remember how my breasts ached if I didn’t nurse my son every couple of hours or so — Eliza’s mom’s body will respond to hormonal messages but there’s no baby to nurture and feed — nothing but the constant pain of a broken heart.

What hope is there for this world if someone could do this to an infant?

How can I be continually surprised at the dreadful cruelties perpetrated on animals when human life can be tossed in the trash?

I’m disgusted, disheartened, distressed, and depressed.

Are we so blasé about the deaths and murders and abuses and cruelties we’re bombarded with on a daily basis that this horrific story hasn’t stopped us in our tracks?

Have we become so desensitized to pain that we just say to ourselves,  “tsk, tsk, so sad” — and move on?

This should be an event so overwhelmingly tragic that nothing else should matter.

But we turn the page of the newspaper, click to another channel, scroll down to read about another crime or shooting or rape and one horror pours into another horror on top of another horror and you know what?

We’re drowning under the weight of the terribleness of this world we inhabit.

From Long Beach to Imperial Beach, the killer probably drove down the coastline, maybe even some of us passed him on Highway 5 or Highway 101 and we were totally unaware.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Los Angeles County supervisors offered a $25,000 reward Tuesday to help catch an attacker who shot and wounded three members of a family and kidnapped a 3-week-old girl who was later found dead in a trash bin near the Mexican border.

The award for information leading to a capture and conviction comes a day after police said they had no leads and no motive for the Saturday attack in Long Beach that wounded the parents and uncle of Eliza Delacruz.

Detectives had only a vague description of a man who may be black or Hispanic and were trying to discover whether surveillance cameras in Imperial Beach may have captured any images.

The time and cause of the girl’s death had not been determined.

The girl’s father was released from the hospital but her mother and uncle remained in critical condition.

At a Monday news conference, Police Chief Robert Luna said the lack of direction in the investigation was frustrating.

“Somebody had to have seen or heard something,” he said.

The baby’s parents and uncle have spoken with police, but it was too early to know if the family was withholding clues, Luna said.

Detectives do not believe the crime was a random act, and the FBI is assisting in the investigation, Luna said.

The chief said nothing is being ruled out at this point, including that the gunman has fled to Mexico, or that family members or a drug cartel are involved.

In Imperial Beach, mourners erected a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers outside a pizza shop at the mall.

Aaron Cruz, who lives next door to the victims’ two-story stucco house, said the baby’s father is a veterinary technician who worked six days a week and was thrilled to be a dad.

Cruz, who described himself as the man’s best friend, said the family often hosted large barbecues on their front lawn after moving in a few years ago.

The baby’s parents and uncle lived there with another uncle and the baby’s grandparents, but no one else was there when the shooting happened, Cruz said.

Information sourced from KTLA/LATimes

Imperfectly Perfect

perfectly imperfect“All right, all right, all right!”

Time to shake it off; ENOUGH of the stroll down memory lane.

This empty nest mom needs a little therapy.

And SUH-NAP. *snapping fingers*, just like THAT, back to what makes me tick, what gets me all excited.

And I don’t mean tugboat man…he’s still chugging and tugging toward that remote destination…

I’m talking about RETAIL therapy.

SHOPPING!

I’ve been on a roll lately, finding lots of amazing treasures, can’t wait to share them with you!

Everything from Vitamin C cream, trendy little t-shirts from Ross Dress for Less, and that elusive black pump.

And a sparkly bracelet and seashells, too!

It’s not always about thousand dollar Chanel shoes; I get just as excited for a $6.99 shirt!

For the gym with a sports bra; LOVE the message!

We should always do more of what makes us happy, right?

DoMoreshirtAlso from Ross, Vintage Paris tee with red sparkles. I paired it with white skinny jeans and a cherry red cashmere/silk sweater.

Parisshirt

Minus a weirdly shiny face, this is now one of my fave outfits.ParisVintageselfie

A couple miles down the road, I stopped at Marshall’s and loaded up on my FAVE Vitamin C cream by Dead Sea Minerals from Israel. (Make a note: if you can find it, stock up. It’s GREAT.)VitC

Like a magpie, I was attracted to the shine and sparkle of this adorable little bracelet at White House, Black Market. How could I resist?newbraceletsparkle

Since things were going so well, it was time to drive down the 78 to Nordstrom Rack where there are more shoes than anywhere else I’ve shopped. This pair doesn’t hold the same magic as those Chanels, but with an on sale price point of $49.00, they’ll do for a while until the even more perfect shoe appears.blackshoes

They’re not vegan, which gave me pause —  I obviously had a weak moment — which is why I titled this post, “Imperfectly Perfect”.

It’s a constant struggle to follow a cruelty-free life. Some things are easier than others.

blackshoes2Finally, I stopped at my favorite enchanted garden shop, PlantPlay Nursery, came away with a couple kangaroo plants, a butterfly bush, and how could I NOT bring home this AMAZING seashell wreath?

seashellwreathNow if I only could figure out where to hang it…

 What makes YOU happy today?
How are YOU perfectly imperfect or even imperfectly perfect?

the birthday that might not have been

Like most moms (and dads, of course) I never thought to prepare myself for what it would feel like to lose a child.

I’m not talking about losing him in the mall or losing him in a crowd; I mean to lose him forever.

We were so immersed in the business of living that it never occurred to me that anything life threatening might happen to my Angel Boy.

Health and fitness has always been a priority.

I made his baby food, did all the recommended baby exercises, and as soon as he could, we walked every day; no sitting in front of a television for us…

This was a typical school day at Casa de Enchanted Seashells:

I woke up at 6:15 a.m. to make a hot and nutritious breakfast for my little guy. I’d wake him at 6:30 with a kiss and and a song —  “New day, time to wake up!”  At 7:30, we’d leave the house to walk our dog for about thirty minutes, chat about the day, and practice spelling or math as we made our way to his school for the first bell at 8:00.

I figured if I did everything in my power to build a healthy and strong human, he’d be that way forever.

Do I even need to state the obvious that he was (is) my entire world? 

I never thought of how dreadfully painful it must be to look at the calendar every year and know that your child’s birthday — the date of his birth–is approaching and all you have is a memory.

I  honestly can’t imagine the pain.

How does anyone survive that kind of loss?

At 9:52 on March 23, 1981, my most amazing boy child was born.

Since then, I’ve cherished every breath he inhales as much as the first one.

April 29, 2014 might have been the date of his last breath.

It doesn’t matter where I am; even when I’m asleep — in my dreams, I’m transported back to the hospital.

That feeling of helplessness — In the surgical waiting room and then (with DIL)  the ten days of twenty-four hour round-the-clock bedside vigil.

For vigil it what it was…

…not taking one single deep breath for months, actually.

On that day, that dark day, those dark days, none of us were sure we’d be celebrating anything ever again.

My mind replays that what if tape all the time, even though the nightmare is over. Really over.

Only now, almost a year later, I think I can finally

exhale.

That’s why this birthday is a very happy one.

He runs, he bikes, he camps, he hikes, he surfs.

He EATS. He BREATHES.

Life. Is. Good. 

(My heart goes out to families who don’t make it to the other side. For me, the door opened just a crack, and I experienced a mere glimpse into that world, and it’s impossible to imagine being able to ever smile again.)

♥ ♥ ♥ On a happier note, what does an ‪#‎emptynest‬ mom do when she can’t be there in person to bake her Angel Boy’s birthday cake?

She finds a a vegan bakery in New Jersey, Bear Hug Bakery, and commissions a cake to be delivered to his office today at ‪#‎Rutgers‬.

One layer of vanilla cake, one layer of chocolate, raspberry cream filling, and covered in ganache. YUM!!!

Mom Tip #276…it’s never too late to embarrass your child.

Happy 34th Birthday, Angel Boy!!

babyJason


POSTS ABOUT THE SURGERY:

1. That Dreaded Call at 3:00 A.M.

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/01/that-dreaded-call-at-300-a-m/

2. Time To Exhale

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/06/time-to-exhale-hospital-update/

3. Full Circle From Hell to Happiness

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/10/full-circle-from-hell-to-happiness/

4. What Does a Cosmo, the Trauma, Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common

http://enchantedseashells.com/2014/05/11/what-does-a-cosmo-the-trauma-unit-and-mothers-day-have-in-common/

 

 

 

Confession: I Was a Bully in Elementary School

1000-Voices-SpeakAlthough I wrote this post a while ago, it’s suitable for this month’s topic of Building from Bullying for the link up #1000 Speak for Compassion.


I Was a Bully in Elementary School

Well, sort of.

In the fifth grade at McCulloch Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan, I was accused of targeting another student in my class and being mean to her.

Back then, I wasn’t the assertive (read mouthy) b-yatch that I am now.

When another student pointed the finger at me and said I was the one who was spreading rumors and excluding another girl and generally being a total “mean girl”, I was pretty clueless.

I usually kept to myself; went to school, came home, attended my beloved ballet class which was all I really cared about, and never joined any of the “cliques”, not in any grade, even all the way through high school with the Frats or Greasers.

I mean, I was always the one who was made fun of ‘cos I wore glasses and for doing ballet and for my last name that rhymes with Frankenstein (I’ve heard that plenty of times), and because I was quiet and small and easy to push around (then, not now, that’s for sure).

I remember being sent to the principal’s office where I was subjected to a speech about how smart I was and how I shouldn’t use my quick wit to pick on other kids who didn’t have the same level of verbal skills that I had.

I tried to explain that I didn’t know what she was talking about and I don’t think I had done that for which I was being accused, but she mostly wanted to hear herself go on and on and when it was time for me to insert an apology and an “I won’t do it again”, I did.

I did and I shouldn’t have. I caved. It was pretty easy in those days to bully ME. I hated confrontations of any sort.

Not only did I not know how to stick up for myself, but the real bullies were the girls who falsely accused me.

I still don’t know why the real victim never told the truth about who her tormenters were.

I guess it was easier all around to paint me as the villain.

But I learned a valuable lesson or two from that incident.

Those feelings stayed with me all these years, and if I even ever thought that I was going to be mean to someone (less smart, less agile, less whatever) I thought of what the principal said to me, and not only did I hold my tongue and not be mean, I became an advocate for the less fortunate, those victims of circumstances beyond their control.

I stood up for the kids who were being ridiculed. I spoke out. I still do.

That clueless principal was deffo right about one thing; I do have a very sarcastic, witty side but I try not to use it to hurt, only to be funny.

Another life lesson that stayed with me to this day was to teach my son to have compassion; for the elderly, for the disadvantaged, for anyone mentally or physically challenged.

I told him that all his brains and academic accomplishments pale in comparison to being kind to those less advantaged than he is, and of course, to always love animals…and to defend himself vigorously if he was ever accused of something he didn’t do.

Bullying is horrible and should not be tolerated. I’m glad that I didn’t actually do it, ‘cos I’d be terribly ashamed of myself.

Oh, and the most important lesson I learned was to stick up for MYSELF.

Nobody’s EVER falsely accused me again, you can be sure of that!

#1000Speak

From The Princess of Procrastination, Change Is In The Air

Resting ButterflyHave y’all ever wondered why my Etsy store never opened?

I would wonder that if I were you.

Have you ever wondered why I NEVER CHANGE my blog header or format or theme?

Or why my book is stuck at 35,000 words and is actually hiding UNDER MY BED so that I don’t have to see it and get stressed out?

I know the answer.

I’m the Princess of Procrastination.

I’m on the cusp of doing some thing.

I’m sitting RIGHT ON THE EDGE of things.

But nothing gets accomplished, mainly ‘cos I quit too soon and leave to do some retail therapy.

*sigh*

But.

There’s a quiet change just down the road.

I mean right around the corner.

If I squint real hard, off in the distance, I can visualize the birth of some transformations.

My little caterpillar-like life is going to morph into a butterfly. Of sorts.

Or maybe not.

No drama, no pressure.

But I can FEEL it.

SHIT MIGHT BE STARTING TO GET REAL.

Keep reading, continue to follow me, and hitch along for the ride.

Trust me. 

It MIGHT happen, who knows?

You’ve been warned.  


And I know he wasn’t singing about my particular circumstance, but it’s a classic anyway…

A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1963

 

Humane Society News: Do You Know Where Your Dollars End Up?

This was sent to me by an animal loving friend.

I thought I’d pass it on because where we donate our hard earned dollars really ought to go directly for the care, protection, and defense of animals, not to fund outrageous salaries.

That’s why I donate directly to places like Dearborn Wolf Sanctuary, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, and Rescue from the Heart.

Mar 12 2015

HSUS Still Puts Pensions Ahead of Pets

When people find out that Humane Society of the United States isn’t affiliated with local humane societies and doesn’t run any shelters of its own, they usually ask where the $130 million HSUS receives in contributions goes.

 The answer: Not to local pet shelters. Instead, it funds HSUS’s fat cat CEO, pays for lobbyists and lawyers, or gets socked away at Caribbean hedge funds ($50 million in 2012 and 2013 alone).

It also paid millions to settle a federal racketeering lawsuit.

Here’s a metric of just how rotten HSUS is: In each of the past four years, HSUS has funneled more money to its own pension fund than it has contributed to help local pet shelters care for pets – you know, the shelters that actually provide care for the animals HSUS claims to love so much in their commercials.

Since 2010, HSUS has dumped nearly $10.7 million into pensions – 3.7 times more than the $2.9 million it has given to local pet shelters.

Here’s the most recently available data:

Year    Pension contributions    Shelter Donations

2010     $2,693,201                       $528,676

2011     $2,493,898                      $307,708

2012     $2,978,586                      $1,028,586

2013     $2,520,588                      $1,012,142

Total    $10,686,273                    $2,877,112

It doesn’t take long to see that HSUS is really all about one thing:  Helping itself.

HSUS itself acknowledges that between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in American shelters every year—about half of all pets that enter their doors.

While HSUS claims it’s “about protecting all animals,” it appears to prioritize lining its own pockets.

It’s little wonder that HSUS is under investigation by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for deceptive fundraising practices and consistently receives poor marks from charity watchdogs like CharityWatch and Charity Navigator.

If you want to help pets in your area and not HSUS executives’ bottom line, give to your local shelter.

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.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for six weeks 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 so hot. August hot. Record-breaking hot. Drinking ice water all day.

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