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.

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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?

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My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Join Me For a Walk in the Garden On This Fine Spring Day

Take a walk with me around my garden where we once again have temps in the 80s. (Don’t hate.)

Birds are nesting and everything else is blooming and growing.

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Bringing a twig to her babies. I think she’s a Warbling Vireo.
Lucky mom, HER nest won’t be empty this year like mine is!
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A fragrant freesia.

socalspring2Nectarine in bloom.socalspring10 Marguerite Daisy.socalspring8 The veggie garden, lots of lettuce, radishes, kale, and beets.socalspring7

Yummy, spicy radishes and spring onions.First Harvest 2015 Sweet Pea Bushsocalspring6 socalspring4socalspring3Happy Pansy!socalspring1Happy Spring!

 

Passionately Purple

We didn’t have much of a winter here in SoCal — just a couple cold days around the end of 2014 — and now buds are bursting and flowers are blooming.purple stock flowers

Happy Sunday!

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[Lavender Haiku] #Poetry #Photo #Wordless Wednesday

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Photo credit: Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Late afternoon sun
Perfuming a slight warm breeze
Lavender grows here

 By Princess Rosebud

Mother Nature’s Amazing Aloe Vera Flowers

aloeflowers1Who says cacti and succulents aren’t beautiful?

For the longest time, these aloe vera plants never revealed the beauty that lay deep within their DNA.

And then they burst forth with vibrant reddish-orange spikes tipped with yellow.

They must be filled with nectar because the hummingbirds linger.

Not only is aloe beneficial for a variety of skin and digestive ailments — we all know that aloe relieves the pain of a burn, but did you know Cleopatra used it as part of her beauty routine?

Maybe she used this sugar scrub:  Mix together two tbsp. of aloe vera, 2 tbsp. of brown sugar and 1 tsp. of  lemon juice.

Mother Nature is so AMAZING.

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Flowers, Aloe Vera, Native plants aloeflower2 aloeflower4All together now, take a deep breath. Namaste!

Bright Blue Ukelele

One of my tugboat man’s many ukeleles…he makes music in the wheelhouse during those long and lonely midnight watches.

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Pictures of a Garden Rose

…from many perspectives.

 

Drinking from a small Waterford crystal pitcher.yellowishrose6Sunshiny orange and yellow.
yellowishrose1 yellowishrose2 yellowishrose5Bashful
yellowishrose7Warm temps and big surf. Just another winter day in SoCal!

What’s your Sunday?

 

Sea Turtle Conservation Near Todos Santos, Mexico

One year ago, we jetted down to the western tip of Baja California, Mexico so tugboat man could surf a giant winter swell.

This is where I was presented with the gift that kept on giving: XOXO From Mexico and went batshit crazy when a stupid girl put the moves on my hub. HERE: Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband Part One and HERE: Part Two: Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband

(Because I was so traumatized, I have yet to write about our encounter with Machete Man…THAT was one of the scariest episodes of our my lives.)

Before I became too sick to move more than a foot from the toilet (TMI?) we took a day off from surfing (him, not me) and drove to Todos Santos, home of the famous Eagles’ album cover featuring Hotel California.Hotel California

As we drove out of Todos Santos, we got lost, which was something we had been doing on a regular basis. Street signs that make sense must be a precious commodity south of the border, because we had a tough time navigating. If you venture off the paved road for just one second, you enter potholed dirt paths that have no end and twist and wind their way to what I was certain would be our deaths.

This time, however, it was fortuitous, because we saw a sign leading us to the Sea Turtle Sanctuary. 

Tortugueros Las Playitas A.C.
Environmental Conservation with Sea Turtle Focus

From their website:
“Our mission is to protect, conserve and replenish the fragile marine eco-systems of Baja California Sur, Mexico. In addition to our Sea Turtle population recovery program we place special interest on Habitat Protection, Environmental Education and Community Outreach in Todos Santos, Las Playitas and Agua Blanca.  

One of our goals is help restore the Critically Endangered Pacific Leatherback population which is on the verge of extinction. Our Incubation Greenhouse stabilizes sand temperatures creating an ideal nest habitat, where hatch rates are maximized and gender ratios are balanced. We invite you to join us as a volunteer, event participant or sponsor and help balance the fragile marine eco systems of Baja.”

tortuga1 And then we found it! There was a graduate student from Kansas collecting data with another scientist. They were very gracious and invited us inside for a private tour.

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All the darling little turtle eggs were covered in palm fronds. It was as hot as a Bikram yoga class in the plastic covered hut.tortuga5 Babies!tortuga6Squeeeeee! More babies!tortuga7 We weren’t able to stay until sundown to observe their release and watch them march toward their destiny.tortuga8 Hopefully, they all made it safely down to the sea and out in the world for long and happy lives.tortuga9 And then back we walked. Not one single seashell. NOT ONE.tortuga10

How to get there:

turtlesmapThe Eagles’ Hotel California:

Living in the Shadows in Sunny Shiny Southern California

There’s another side of California that you might not know about.

Sandwiched between the manicured lawns of upper middle-class residential subdivisions in SoCal, there’s a microcosm of humanity living in the shadows — migrant laborers from Mexico in makeshift camps.

In my own neighborhood, just minutes from the beach and overlooking chaparral-studded canyons, hidden behind purple sage and giant coyote bushes, we recently went for a hike and found evidence that suggests there are still active encampments.

Mostly these men are invisible, ignored by us as we speed up and down our streets, shopping, caring for our families, and only sometimes do we notice these shadow people standing on the roadside waiting to be picked up for day work or at the local liquor store buying twelve packs of beer and money orders.

Like the crows that fly in and out of our trees in a raucous cacophony, there’s an exodus out of the canyons at dawn and back at sunset.

Whatever side of the undocumented worker discussion you’re on, it’s a  blight on our supposedly civilized society that in 2015, in this country of overabundance and excess, men and women live in the bushes without benefit of safe shelter or even running water.

When you scratch off the thin veneer of Pilates classes, weekly mani-pedis and facials, that fifty dollar bottle of pinot noir, and glance beyond Anthropologie and Sur la Table, in the hills behind The Forum, and probably most of the other open spaces that are clinging to life —  that’s where you’ll find them.

It doesn’t seem quite fair for us to have so much while others are living in squalid conditions.

It’s sad, don’t you agree?

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We especially liked the misspelling. There’s a certain poignancy.

There were several white rags hanging from trees along a certain path; we assumed it was to mark the way when it was dark.kellytrail2I think this is a creek, or it could be runoff from all of the developments.
Kellytrail Hard to see the turkey vulture among the clouds.
kellytrail4Do you know who and what lives beneath the surface in your neighborhood?

 

 

Silver Shield: Graceful But Hardy Native From Australia

A long, graceful spire of lilac-hued florets.

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Multiple flowering spikes.
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Jagged sage-like leaves.silvershield4 Lovely for height and texture.silvershield5silvershiled3

I cut this one back severely, and it’s just starting to grow again. Look at thick trunk; it almost looks like a tree.silvershield6

More fence-line plantings. The leaves of the mulberry tree are turning yellow and falling.
I need to rake them up and add to the compost bin.

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Native to Australia, drought-tolerant Plectranthus argentatus.

I found this plant in our neighborhood on one of our walks to the beach. I surreptitiously snapped off a small piece to experiment with propagation. Lo and behold, it started to grow immediately. That was about ten years ago, and now my entire yard is ringed with Silver Shields, and I’ll share a cutting with anyone who likes them. They are super hardy, beyond easy to grow, and just need to be cut back because of a tendency to spread and get leggy,

It’s raining now and the garden is loving it. Happy Sunday!