Day Trip: San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park – Escondido, California

Growing up in San Diego, this is part of every school’s history curriculum, learning about local battles and the many ways we ravaged, devastated, and destroyed native Americans from their land.

Click to read more about the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians         1980-01-01 00.00.13

East of Escondido in San Diego’s North CountySan Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park honors the soldiers who fought in the battle between the U.S.and Californio forces on December 6, 1846 in the midst of the Mexican-American War. Generals Stephen Kearny and Andres Pico both claimed victory. The battle was only one of the military encounters in California in the war, but it proved to be the bloodiest and most controversial as to the outcome. The park has been set aside, not as a monument to war, but as a reminder of the human ideals, actions and passions that can drive nations to bloodshed.

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One day after a hike in Ramona, tugboat man and I stopped at this monument to walk around the battlefield and tour the museum.

It was hard for us to look at the old photos of the Kumeyaay and we felt ashamed for the violence perpetrated upon them that violated every aspect of their lives as the bountiful and fruitful land was seized and they were kicked out.1980-01-01 00.00.10

Antique weapon of mass destruction.

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I love coyote scat.

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Soldier’s uniform.

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Fancy knotwork very similar to mariners’ marlinspike seamanship.

1980-01-01 00.01.07-1If they’re open, don’t miss visiting the San Diego Archaeological Center right near door to the San Pasqual Museum.

The San Diego Archaeological Center is a curation facility and museum where visitors can learn the story of how people have lived in San Diego County for the past 10,000 years. In addition to its role as a museum, the Center serves as an education and research facility and is the only local organization dedicated to the collection, study, curation, and exhibition of San Diego County’s archaeological artifacts.

Me, Mostly Naked, With a Hawk

Our bedroom window looks out over the garden. Yep, it’s HUGE, a lot of work with neverending projects, but I love my sanctuary.

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This is where I see bunnies and roadrunners and all sorts of wildlife.roadrunner

One day last week, early in the morning, I was getting dressed to go to the gym and spied a hawk perched on a low branch in the eucalyptus tree. I think it’s the same hawk that’s been hanging around for years.

He was facing the pond, quietly and patiently waiting for breakfast to appear.

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Therein lies the dilemma. What’s a girl to do?

If I finish getting dressed, I’ll miss this amazing shot; but if I run outside half naked, will anyone see me?

Because we have six-foot fences all the way around our property, I felt pretty certain that no one would catch a glimpse of the real me in my bra and bikini bottoms, so I grabbed my camera and ran outside.

I felt so NAUGHTY hee hee.

This is what I was rewarded with — and do you see how he gave me a shady side eye — so much human flesh this early in the morning clearly offended his sensibilities.

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Isn’t he gorgeous? The hooked beak and talons are MAJESTIC.

My presence was distracting (he was looking right AT me) so I went back in the house to allow him to catch his breakfast without further interference.beautifulhawkjuly1620152

Don’t worry, I didn’t snap a selfie in my state of undress; you didn’t actually THINK I WOULD, did you?

If nothing else, this screams the sad fate of my tugboatman-less existence — running naked in the trees to catch a perfect pic.

P.S. Hub was able to make one last call before he was once again out of cell phone range and I told him what I did, just to give him a lasting visual for the final leg of his voyage, and I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. At first he thought I had been running around out in the front yard with cars driving by, but once I clarified, he was able to picture the whole scenario as it really happened, and I’m sure it’ll sustain his imagination until he returns SOMEDAY.

Nasturtiums in Orange #WordlessWednesday

So much is upsetting at WordPress…the change in the Reader and the format of the write/edit/publish page–whoever thought one could HATE to see “beepbeepboop” as much as I do — so in order to recapture my ZEN, here’s one of my favorite pictures of nasturtiums from the garden.

Because ORANGE.

It looks like a painting.

Enjoy this mostly #wordlesswednesday

Nastursiums orange

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Of Circuses and Condoms: The Slave Trade is Alive and Well in 2015

Circus TextThis might come as a shock to you.

I don’t spend ALL of my time shopping. Seriously, is that what you thought?

It’s true that I devote a great deal of my waking hours in a search for treasures old and new, but once in a while, I aspire to a higher calling.

circus5On Sunday and Monday, I hung out with an amazing and dedicated group who were protesting Ramos Brothers Circus in San Marcos, California.

Shame on San Marcos for supporting the mistreatment of animals.


What’s my story?
 I’ve never been to a circus because my mom felt strongly that animals should not do tricks and that there is something so very wrong in forcing animals to become entertainment for human profit.

If you were wondering where all my animal activist genes came from, I’d have to thank my mom. (Also thanks to her for the fashionista gene.)

I stopped eating meat in 1970 when I was a senior in high school. My surfer boyfriend (yes, I have a type haha) at the time wanted to try to eat healthier so I went along with his experiment. We eventually broke up but I never did eat meat again.

circus1Thank you to everyone who drove by, honked, and gave a thumbs up in support of our efforts.circus4

I have a request to make of you…the next time you see a group of people protesting animal abuse, STOP. Get out of your car. JOIN US. Take an hour out of your busy day just like we did to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Bring your children. Show them that you don’t just talk about caring for animals…you are agents of change. circus2

Then, hopefully, we CAN make the world a better place.

No matter what you think about PETA, they’re right about this:

“Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.”

Animals have RIGHTS.

Did you grow up eating meat, wearing leather, going to circuses, zoos, and the bathtub that is SeaWorld?

Do you wear wool and silk?

Are you now considering the impact of your actions on the animals?

If you haven’t, maybe you SHOULD.

Animals are NOT a requirement for a circus-type entertainment to be prosperous.

The overwhelming success of Cirque du Soleil is proof that you don’t need to have animals of any kind to have a circus.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, said people have turned against animal acts as they learn more about the animals and how they are treated. “These are complex, intelligent animals, and this is a lousy, lousy, dirty, cruel business, and people see that,” she said. “This was purely a business decision.”

Isn’t it wrong that these animals don’t get to see this glorious sky, bask in the breeze, and feel rain on their fur? Their lives are dismal, traveling from one city to another in dark, smelly, cramped trailers.
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I’m not going to share the sad, tragic, horrific, heartbreaking pictures and videos of abused animals. If you need proof, you are more than welcome to Google and compile your own documentation.

I KNOW all I need to know.

A couple years ago, I spoke (along with PETA) against elephant rides at the San Diego County Fair and almost got into an altercation with one of the few supporters of this barbaric form of entertainment. I don’t understand how seemingly intelligent and civilized humans could allow this kind of abuse in 2015 when we’ve seen the videos, when we know what hell an animal endures to become “entertainment”.

Aren’t we better than this?

Haven’t we evolved at all in the last one hundred years?

Do you really need all that bacon-wrapped crap when you know what hellish existence pigs endure in factory farms?

Really?

Compassion
Let’s teach our children, the next generation, that not only do animals have feelings, animals have the right not to be exploited, mistreated, abused, and enslaved.

For more information, visit circusprotest.com
I hope to see you in San Diego at the next protest!

As we walked our way over to the sidewalk with our signs, look what we had to step over.

Gross, huh?circus11

However, in some way, it’s a perfect albeit disgusting metaphor for the way too many people think about animals; that their lives have as much value as a discarded condom. Or something like that.

How about a little inspiration from Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young?

Teach Your Children

Cloud’s Illusion

Pretty clouds but no rain.JuneClouds1 I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at allJuneClouds2 Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere,
I’ve looked at clouds that way.JuneClouds3 Subtropical moisture in the air.JuneClouds4 Maybe…

It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at allJuneClouds5Just an illusion…circus8Thanks to Joni Mitchell, lyrics from Both Sides, Now

Plant Motherly Milkweed for Monarch Butterfly LOVE

The motherly milkweed provides sustenance to the Monarch butterfly and is crucial to sustain the species.

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Everyone who loves butterflies should plant milkweed and since NObody doesn’t love butterflies, there should be enough milkweed planted to sustain the entire cosmos.milkweed7To clarify, I’m not referring to the plural of one my fave cocktails, but the cosmos of our universe.milkweed2

According to Monarch Joint Venture…

Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed; their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.), and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape.

Please plant milkweed to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration!

Planting milkweed is a great way to help other pollinators too, as they provide valuable nectar resources to a diverse suite of bees and butterflies.

For a brief how-to flyer on planting and gardening, download MJV’s Gardening for Monarchs or the Wild Ones “Wild for Monarchs” brochure.

As soon as I put the plant in the ground, it became inundated with all the Monarchs in my little part of the world.milkweed6

I planted it FAR away from the vegetable garden so the hungry little caterpillars wouldn’t decide to vary their diet and eat all my veggies.

Reminder! Don’t use pesticides or herbicides. milkweed3Click here for free butterfly garden and milkweed seeds:
https://www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm
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More information at Bring Back the Monarchs
http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/milkweed6

Californians can help save the monarch butterfly by restoring habitats where they can thrive. Take action now: Tell lawmakers to vote “YES” on AB 559 to restore monarch butterfly habitats. http://ecovote.org/SaveTheMonarch >>

Around the Garden Photography: House Finch on Loquats

There are plenty of loquats to share and a comfortable seat to soak up the sun’s rays.

House finches love fruit. 

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Such a bountiful harvest; where do I begin?

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This one looks good and ripe.

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How about a profile pic?

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enchantedseashells.com

Heaven on Earth: Camping and Hiking in the Laguna Mountains

HeavenonEarthDuring our first cup of freshly ground French roast, tugboat man said,

“How’d you like to pack up and go camping in the Lagunas?”

“When?”

“Right now.”

He didn’t need to ask me twice; I jumped up, packed my things while hub packed up all the camping stuff, and we were out the door almost before our coffee cooled off.

The Laguna Mountains are only about an hour away east from the ocean in San Diego.

Most people go there when we have snow — at 6000 feet, it’s the highest point in the county.

It’s possible to surf in the morning, cross-country ski (or hike) in the afternoon, and drop down into the shimmering desert to experience the best of everything SoCal has to offer.

Late May to mid-June is the time of year when color explodes in the mountains and it’s not too hot to enjoy a strenuous hike while the air cools down comfortably at night.

It’s easy to get here: east on Highway 8 to Sunrise Highway.

We went mid-week before schools were out for summer vacation and we had the mountain pretty much entirely to ourselves.

Fragrant pines, Engelmenn oaks, wildflowers; deep  blue sky with a few white puffy clouds.

Amazing…gorgeous…magnificent…breathtaking…

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the spectacular views.

We hiked Desert View Trail and Big Laguna Trail, about ten miles or so.

It was truly heaven on earth, one of those experiences where whispering was the only way to communicate-we didn’t want to mar the ultimate reverence for nature.

These are only a sampling of the hundred-plus pics I snapped and none of them do justice to this paradise.

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Sometimes we bring a set of old plates and silverware for meals but this time we tried an assortment of amazing new GREEN products that I was sent to sample and review.

repurposeplatesIn order to make our lives easier (and more guilt-free), Repurpose has created a new line of green, single-use tableware that’s entirely plant-based.

Repurpose’s cups, bowls, plates, forks, spoons and knives are made from plants like corn, sugar and bamboo, all of which are annually-renewable resources.repurposeplates1

And unlike traditional plastic or even paper items, all Repurpose products are 100% compostable in an industrial composter in 90 days. But they still won’t melt in your hot soup, or warp with cold, wet ice cream!

Some of the other standout features of the Repurpose line are what the products do not contain; all Repurpose products are BPA-free, chlorine-free, petroleum-free and use only soy-based inks.

We loved these products! They’re sturdy and held up nicely for our beans and tortillas with guacamole and salsa, cups of wine to toast this heaven on Earth, and hub’s morning granola with flax milk.

I definitely recommend them for parties, picnics, BBQs (vegan, I hope), and camping excursions.

(I was provided product to sample and review; there was no compensation, and the opinions are my own.)

A Butterfly Grows in My Garden

…floating effortlessly on the soft breezes, possibly to lift our spirits lowered by the demise of the baby hummingbirds, is a butterfly sprite of cerulean polka dots and bands of gold called Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa).

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With a nod to Lizzi @ Considerings who asked the question on her Facebook page and got me thinking about one of my favorite books, Betty Smith’s 1943 novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; here in my garden, although water use is now restricted because of the drought and we can no longer grow brightly colored but thirsty blossoms, there’s still beauty if you look for it.

Mother Nature is amazing.

Catching some rays on the rock garden.
butterflyrock1So pretty…
butterflyrock2 Can I come a little closer?butterflyrock5What grows in YOUR garden?

Princess Rosebud’s Empowered Solo Vacation: Part Three

Hiking at Montana de Oro.

After a horrible night of not much sleep thanks to a bunch of obnoxious college students who must have been too drunk to understand that, to most people, camping means peace and quiet, not a beer binged free-for-all, we embarked on a day hike.

Our goal was Valencia Peak, but we first made a loop up Oats Peak Trail.

Valencia Peak is a coastal mountain located within Montana De Oro State Park. This trail offers gorgeous views of the Central Coast, great views of Morro Bay, Cayucos, and on clear days, you can see Cambria and beyond — with amazing views of Spooner’s Cove to the south.

It’s an easy trail with gentle elevation gain; I didn’t even need the alpine walking sticks I packed.

The spectacular views begin right away as you ascend up onto a saddle, and the rest of the hike is before your eyes.

The trail gets a little harder the closer you get to the top.

DIL and I stopped shy of the peak; my son wanted to run to the top and back, so we took a break, ate lunch, and admired the view of the ocean.

There was cell service, so I called tugboat man to say hi and to let him know we are DEFINITELY going to spend a few days here when he returns.

The views are beyond breathtaking. It feels like you’re on top of the world.

The hike down is much easier, but watch out for rattlesnakes. We saw a baby, whose venom is more potent than the adult rattlesnake.

Not too difficult, right?
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Ah-may-ZINGmontanadeorohike2 Kind of a hazy day, but perfect hiking weather.montanadeorohike3My little goat boy.
montanadeorohike4A narrow passage.montanadeorohike5View from the Visitor’s Center.
montanadeorohike6Part Four: Jade Cove, Julia Pfeiffer, Cambria, and Costanoa.