Exploring Carlsbad, Part Two: Wildlife vs Development

When we first moved here in 1985, our street was a dead end (literally).

My son and I would walk our dogs to where the pavement ended and there we abruptly entered a wonderland of nature: along narrow paths with overhanging vegetation;  sage, coyote bush, sumac — and wildlife; coyotes, bobcats, deer– even a mountain lion was spotted now and again.

In other words….heaven.

It was a sad day when the bulldozers appeared and in a matter of minutes completely raped the hills, scraping the native flora down to bare earth, uprooting mature trees, and displacing dozens, if not hundreds, of animals.

It’s unrecognizable now–if you hadn’t lived here as long as we have, you’d never know the rich beauty that once existed.

It’s regretful that the city leaders didn’t and don’t seem to care about respecting, protecting, and preserving native flora and fauna.

Instead of conserving and sustaining our unique beauty, they’ve allowed Carlsbad to become an Orange County clone — heavy on the ubiquitous business parks and subdivisions totally disconnected to the land.

They’ve mostly destroyed the unique personality and beauty of our little coastal town.

In my opinion.

Historically, Carlsbad/Agua Hedionda Lagoon was the former home to two Native American groups, the Luiseños and the Diegueños or Kumeyaay.

Did you know that Agua Hedionda means “stinking waters”?

(It does and it does.)

Although the Spaniards (and other settlers) decimated the Native American connection to this area, over the years I’ve heard about nearby sacred burial grounds that might still be intact, and that’s a good thing.

In spite of the destruction of habitat, there are still a few surviving animals attempting to coexist.

In the evening, we hear the song of the coyote, not as often as we used to, but it makes us happy. Check out this audio. So close!

I’ve seen fresh bobcat tracks, too, but no actual visual sighting.

On a recent walk, I stepped out of my front door, walked across the street, and was immediately greeted by this amazing sight, a Great Blue Heron nearly as tall as me.
GreatBlueHeron1 greatblueheron2 After I snapped a dozen photos, I continued walking, and spotted a White Egret.egret2015It was a day for wildlife; these are not good pics for some reason, but a couple of different rabbits made an appearance.

On a front lawn.
aprilwalk5 Overlooking Agua Hedionda. aprilwalk4

I believe this is a Cooper’s Hawk; don’t think it’s a Red Tailed Hawk.CooperHawk1If I ruled the world (or at least my little part of it), I’d make sure that any planned development would respect all wildlife and make appropriate plans to not only preserve habitat, but encourage MORE animals to coexist with us.

Especially predators. We need predators. We need coyotes and bobcats and mountain lions and hawks and falcons for balance. Without them, we’re inundated with their food source; rabbits, rats, and squirrels.

Can’t we all just get along?

Read Exploring Carlsbad, Part One: Signs
http://enchantedseashells.com/2015/05/01/exploring-carlsbad-part-one-signs/

Happy Cinco de Meowy!

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

From a blogging bestie, I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Originally posted on Cowboys and Crossbones:

Happy Cinco de Teddy Mayo from our Nashville mini manse to yours.

thrilled Ted got a margarita right after this pic was snapped. I got a claw to the face.

Salud!

CBXB

CBXB!

View original

Yummy Hummy Mummy

Anyone participating in World Naked Gardening Day?

No?

Well, I’m not either, that’s for sure.

I’m moving furniture, shampooing carpets, channeling Cinderella, and obsessing over the only full nest at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

My little yummy hummy mummy is doing what most animals do naturally — be an attentive and protective mother.

enchantedseashells.com

enchantedseashells.com

In the late afternoon sunlight, I removed the screen in the dining room window and leaned all the way out to capture the iridescence.

enchantedseashells.com

enchantedseashells.com

Have you ever seen a hummingbird stay almost perfectly still for more than two minutes?

I set up the tripod and took some video of her nest sitting, blinking her little eyes, and swaying in the breeze.

There’s a bit of shake (sorry) but the tripod was in a precarious position on top of a bench in order to get the best angle.

When she first started building the nest, I waited until she flew away in order to reinforce the chimes with twine to make sure they’d support the extra weight and not fall down,

YouTube video:

(And congrats to Princess Kate for giving birth to a royal little girl! )

Exploring Carlsbad, Part One: Signs

Warning: This series won’t be your glossy Chamber of Commerce tourism fluff piece to encourage more visitors.

Instead, It’s the candid observations of someone who’s lived here for thirty years.

Join me step-by-step as I walk around neighborhoods old and new all the way to the beach and back.

I’m seeing my not-so-little town through fresh eyes.

Today’s topic is Signs and Rules.

Do this. Don’t do that.

Carlsbad is chock full of sings and rules.

Here’s a sign with bad grammar.

And excuse me for asking the obvious, but WHY plant blueberries in a front yard on a busy corner lot where dozens of kids walk back and forth to school and in a ‘hood where almost everyone has more than one dog — when you have a HUGE backyard?

(That’s a rhetorical question.)

Next, are we going to see a misspelled manifesto to crows and blue jays about not picking and eating the ripe berries?

A lot of poop and dog-related signs.

Purchased or homemade…
I couldn’t find the common area this sign referenced; I assume the dog owners who live in the complex have been made aware of the pet-acceptable locations.

And what happens if they disobey the rules?

And here, humans are outlawed, while it seems as if implied consent is proffered to dogs and every other species.

I ignored the sign, ‘cos nobody tells Princess what to do.

That sign ain’t the boss of ME.

This tiki expresses exactly how I feel about being told what to do.

Or what NOT to do.

Usually I take a small backpack or cross body bag to carry essentials but leave my hands free to take photos; this time, thanks to Flipbelt sending me a sample to try, I wasn’t weighted down  — I hardly know it was there.

There’s room for my keys, phone, ID, lip balm, and a few dollars. Simply put the items in and flip the belt over.  FlipBelt is designed to carry on-the-go essentials without tying up your hands. Made of a moisture-wicking, spandex-lycra blend, FlipBelt slides right on and sits snug on your hip. No bulk. No bounce. FlipBelt is also machine washable and machine dryable.

flipbelt

It’s an ideal accessory for outdoor summer workouts, and will be great for biking and traveling, too, Flipbelt retails for $28.99, and comes in nine cool colors including black.  (I chose black so it would go with everything.)

For more information, visit www.flipbelt.com

For this review, there was no compensation; I was sent product to sample and review. The honest opinions are my own.


**And thanks to Kim who read my mind, I’m including this song about signs that all of us olds heard a zillion times:

Exploring Carlsbad, Part Two…coming soon.

Empty Nest or Full, Mother Knows Best

Single status: Day 50

Yup, tugboat man’s been gone since March 10.

I’ve almost forgotten what he looks like, and if he didn’t make a brief satellite call once a week, I’d forget what his voice sounds like, too.

This is the transitional time for absentee spouses.

The initial missing of his constant presence is OVER, life goes on, and my own routine is firmly established.

It looks like he should be home in about two weeks or so, PROBABLY missing my birthday, but in time to go camping with son/DIL, which is my birthday present, so I don’t mind being alone on my bday if it means he’s for sure home for the celebration.

And just in time for Mother’s Day, an Anna’s Hummingbird built her nest right outside our kitchen window on the deck, on HUMMINGBIRD WIND CHIMES.hummingbirdchimes

Isn’t this the craziest thing?

Do you think my little hummingbird KNOWS where she is?

hummingbirdwings

It’s magical, watching her build her nest out of spider webs and feathers. I touched it and it feels like a handwoven sweater, soft but strong.hummingbird5

Can’t stop taking pics; look at that beautiful color.

hummycloseup4A Mommy hummy in flight.

hummysatapril26wings

Isn’t this amazing?

hummingbirdday3nestcloseup

2015-04-26 05.18.22

Mom doesn’t mind when I walk back and forth or get up close and personal for pics, but she’s so protective of her nest when another bird flies into her personal space.hummyapril29(7)An egg!! There are supposed to be two; waiting for the next one!

hummyapril28egg(2)

Hummingbird sitting on hummingbird nest on hummingbird chimes.

Could anything be more adorable?

Who needs a dumb old tugboat man when this magic is inches away?

hummyapril29(1)

Keep It Simple With Brown Rice, Kale, and Tofu #MeatlessMonday

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of vegan blogs and vegan recipes (YAY!) but it seems that they’re getting more and more elaborate, as if it’s a sort of competition to create the most difficult-to-prepare meals.

I’m sending a more simple back-to-basics message.

If we agree that one of the reasons for not eating meat advocates for a cruelty-free life to protect animals from a hellish existence on earth, we need to also communicate that it doesn’t always have to be a herculean task to do the right thing.

I’ve been a veg since 1970 and in those 40+ years have seen a lot of people make a similar decision to go meat-free and then, for one reason or another, fall off the wagon.

One of the reasons I’ve heard time and time again is that it’s “too hard”.

I disagree.

Some of my most enjoyable and satisfying meals are the most simple.

Here’s an example of a basic, easy-to-prepare dinner.

Start with my can’t fail One Dish Brown Rice recipe.

It’s PERFECT every time.

1. Add one cup brown rice to a 9×9 glass baking dish.

2. Pour over the rice not quite two cups water plus one teaspoon olive oil.

3. Lay gently on top of the rice one-inch chunks of tofu.

4. Sprinkle pepper, chopped fresh herbs, freshly ground salt (if you must).

5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

6. While the rice is baking, I picked a bunch of kale from the garden, cut into bite-size pieces, and steamed it.

7. To serve, sprinkle rice with low-sodium soy sauce, slice an organic tomato and garnish with cilantro or parsley (we grow cilantro year-round in the Casa de Enchanted Seashells garden.

A chilled chardonnay will dance a tango on your palate and complement the earthy rice, tofu, and kale combo.

Simple. Delicious. 

# FEEL FREE FRIDAY ~ 26

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

I don’t know why anyone still wears fur with all the documentation readily available about the horrors these creatures endure-so please read and share all over the place so we can once and for all STOP torturing animals.

Originally posted on FUR OUT THE CLOSET::

“A single drop of water in a lake radiates energy to become larger and larger circles”.RIPPLES                                                                

I read these beautiful words on a blogging buddy’s post  @     http://enchantedseashells.com/.

These words “spoke” to me, particularly in the light of my recent experience.

Zimbabwe is capturing baby elephants in the wild to be sold to China and the United Arab Emirates.

This is not only cruel to these elephants but breaks up the complex social structure of elephants.

Read more @   

http://bit.ly/1NWYDNX

Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, was speaking at a trade conference in South Africa on April 9th.

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos requested that South African animal activists protest against this Zimbabwean trade in elephants.

Ban Animal…

View original 198 more words

Swimsuits And Cellulite, Oh My!

I don’t have the courage to snap a pic of me in a bathing suit and post it on social media for all the world to see.

I live near the beach in SoCal. Nuff said.

And recently when Selena Gomez posted a pic of herself on a beach (and while she definitely looks like she’s gained a few ellbees), the vitriol of the comments is overwhelming.

No way I’m exposing myself to that.

I can do all my own fat-shaming in my head, thank you very much.

I’m not sure this day have been any more discouraging…in fact I’m positive.

At the gym: the stupid instructor – well, not the regular one, but a substitute — didn’t show up to teach Boot Camp because apparently she went to the wrong location and that left about thirty pissed off women with nothing to do but shop for groceries or shop for clothes or shop for jewelry or do all three.

We were all at loose ends, complaining about our entirely wasted morning.

But something was bothering me; I was preoccupied– the thought of what I had to do was haunting my very existence.

I attempted to put it out of my mind—it was essential that I take a deep breath, gather all my courage, and dig down deep inside for all the moxie I could muster. I could not put this task off any longer.

“You can do it, I know you can”.

I could just hear my husband cheering me on as if he was right here with me.

I will meet this challenge with fortitude and resilience.

I am made of sterner stuff, I’m a trouper.

I’m pep-talking myself, and since I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot, no one can really see how crazy I am.

I will overcome my fears.

I must. I have to. It’s now or never. Do or die. DO IT NOW.

There is no other option.

OK. Here it is. I have a real (totally not irrational) fear of trying on swimsuits.

This time I don’t have a choice.

The last one I bought was in 1995. Clinton and my friend Al Gore (click on link to read about my close encounter with the former VP) were in the White House.

The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia died, and I must have listened to (pre-Heidi Klum) Seal’s Kiss From A Rose a zillion times.

Twenty years. That’s how long it’s been.

That bathing suit is in the active stage of disintegration. The material is threadbare and falling apart.

The elastic is so stretched out, the bottoms fall off.

If that hadn’t happened I’d still be wearing it ‘cos for me, there is nothing more humiliating and depressing and ego-reducing and self-esteem deflating than trying on a swimsuit.

It’s a nightmare scenario and reality was every bit as bad as I thought it would be.

The last time I liked the way I looked in a swimsuit in a three-way mirror was like never, and it’s even worse now.

I warily approach the racks of sparkled-up, fringy, polka dotty teeny weeny bikinis.

It’s go time. It’s now or never.

I’m not really a one-piece girl; I’ve never ever worn one; they’re just not flattering on me.

I sighed, whispered to myself an affirmation about being happy in my own skin, and grabbed a handful of suits and ran off to the dressing room.

I’m determined to come away with a purchase.

To give me a bit of confidence, I tried on a cute top and was able to take a quick peek in the mirror and not be reduced to a mass of melting ego.

So far, so good. I turn around so I can’t accidentally catch a glimpse of myself before I’m ready and slip on the bottoms of the first suit.

I don’t even bother looking—it’s too tight, and all I need is to see any excess fat hanging over and you might as well just put me away for a three-day psych eval.

This whole time, I have this dialogue running in my head – don’t give up, it can’t be that bad, you work out a lot, you look fairly good in clothes, people do this all the time. You go, girl! So, I pulled up another bottom and these don’t feel too tight.

The dreaded moment of reckoning was upon me.

Stupid three-way mirror.

Stupid fluorescent lighting.

If I squint, it won’t seem so bad.

I start the viewing in safe mode at my ankles and raise my eyes ever so slowly and squinty past my knees to the part of me I hate the most, above my knees and below my hips,

I can’t even say it, you know the area I’m talking about.

Aww geez, it’s worse than I thought.

How in the world did I amass such ugly body parts?? Craters of cellulite, a lumpy bumpy mess, a horrible mass of horribleness, just hideous.

Yuck.

How did this happen?

Three-way mirrors ought to be banned. I should never have to see that rear view.

No one should.

But it’s too late to turn back now.

I am 100% committed (I know, I SHOULD be committed) to seeing this thing through.

Maybe if I put a ton of self-tanner on, it will hide it all.

I need a drink, I need chocolate.

I needed to get out of there before I had a complete meltdown.

I grabbed the suit before I could change my mind, and the first thing I did when I got home was to cut out the size label.

I never ever ever ever EVER want that as a constant reminder of one of THE most humiliating experiences I’ve endured.

Not that anyone will see me in that suit because I’ll most likely wrap a pareo cover up or scarf around the offending/offensive parts.

At least I won’t have to endure this particular brand of hell for another two decades, and for that, I’m grateful.

victoriana.com

victoriana.com

If we all wore these figure flattering turn-of-the-century bathing suits, there’d be a lot less pressure on us  me to be perfect, you know?

Stop All The Scrunchie Shaming!

MESELFIE2STOP SCRUNCHIE SHAMING!

I’ve had just about enough of this abuse.

I confess.

I’m here to out myself. but I’m still hiding behind dark shades (Chanel, of course).

I’m an addict.

I’ve tried to change.

I really have.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish and hope and pray that I could be strong enough to resist temptation, but I’m weak.

I NEED it to tame my mane.
I mean, LOOK at me, would ya? My hair has a mind of its own.

When I was growing up in pink toe shoes and tutus and my hair was properly braided and beribboned every morning, how could I possibly foresee what the future would bring?

There was no crystal ball to warn me of the impending appearance of those colorful fabric-wrapped elastic bands that would be my crack.

I lack strength; I’m powerless.

(This is tougher than I thought it would be.)

I won’t — I can’t– hide my addiction one more minute.

The truth is that I wear a SCRUNCHIE every. single. day.

I can’t get through the day without one. Or two.

AND YES, I WEAR IT ON MY WRIST LIKE A BRACELET.

Just to keep it close and handy.

scrunchie1In fact, I have one on my wrist right now, AS I’M TYPING THIS POST.

Don’t even THINK about trying to wrestle it away from me.

Red or blue or purple; I carry extras in my handbags JUST IN CASE I LOSE ONE.

Us girls with SUPER curly and thick hair need a big fattie scrunchie to tame our wild beasty locks.

scrunchie3

You know what?

I’ve had friends who’ve staged spontaneous interventions to help me confront my love for the scrunchie.

I’ve had friends pull them out of my hand and toss them in the trash.

Friends have gifted me all sorts of other hair bands and a variety of products to secure my crazy hair.

I’ve been bribed with lunch and unlimited wine if I don’t show up wearing a scrunchie.

“It ruins your outfit” they say.

“You look like a reject from the nineties”, they say.

Apparently, it’s embarrassing to be seen with a scrunchie-wearer.

I. DON’T. CARE. WHAT. ANYONE. THINKS.

I LOVE my scrunchies.

HAHAHA…the dreaded SIDE SCRUNCHIE!

scrunchieside

No other form of securing my tresses will satisfy me:

  • A scrunchie doesn’t pull my hair
  • A scrunchie doesn’t create unsightly lines
  • A scrunchie doesn’t hurt at night when I have to pull my hair back or braid it so I won’t look like Medusa in the morning
  • And Cosmo says it’s a “must have” for oral sex, so it must be true

I feel so much better having confessed my secret addiction.

It’s a huge load off my chest. I feel light and free.

So deal with it, world.

From this day forward, I’m out, I’m loud, and I’m a PROUD scrunchie-wearer!

My stash.

My stash.

Just be glad it’s not a banana clip. Hee hee.

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