Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
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It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–’cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Princess Rosebud’s Fashion Forward Protest Garb

puppyprotestMy tugboat man and I joined more than forty dedicated angels with San Diego Animal Defense Team and Protest Oceanside Puppy on Saturday in a protest at the Oceanside location of a pet store owned by David Salinas.

Salinas owned a similar business in San Diego called San Diego Puppies before it was forced to close under an ordinance passed by the San Diego City Council earlier this year banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail stores.

Animal rights groups want to end the practice of breeding and selling puppies bred in commercial facilities called “puppy mills.”

Quote from Protest Oceanside Puppy:

The owner of this store is busy churning out Christmas puppies and trying to make a profit off of the backs of the mother dogs. We have pictures of the inspections done at his breeders and it’s horrifying how these puppy mill dogs live their short tormented lives! These mother dogs never leave their cages, stand on wire their entire lives with no fresh air, little or no veterinary care and no socialization. Please help educate the public that THIS IS WRONG. This store owner was already shut down in San Diego! We must stand up against animal abuse!

About a dozen cities in California have adopted ordinances placing restrictions on the sale of animals from commercial breeders, including Chula Vista, Los Angeles, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

Under the ordinance passed in San Diego on July 9, no store can display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, auction, or give away animal pets in the city. Existing pet stores, including San Diego Puppy, were given up to six months to stop those practices.

Pet stores can (and should) offer adoptions of dogs, cats, and rabbits in partnership with a shelter or rescue groups.

If you’ve ever seen a photos or a video of the living conditions of the breeding dogs and puppies, you’d be as horrified as I was.

I am continually disappointed by the inhumane treatment we inflict upon other living creatures.

Sometimes we have to be assaulted by the ugly truth before we can make a compassionate decision.

SHAME ON CARLSBAD!

My city continues to allow California Pets to sell animals obtained from puppy mills.

Please take a few minutes to email or call your elected officials to let them know that you support any decision to shut down stores that sell factory farmed pets.

How can we, as civilized and caring people, continue to allow this to occur?
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But…being me, that is, being Princess Rosebud, I had to adorn myself in the appropriate fashion forward outfit to stand on the street holding a protest sign.

As much as I love to defend and protect animals, I also love to dress properly for any and all occasions.

I chose a sparkly Dior Not War t-shirt over Joe’s skinny jeans, brown knee-high boots, a butterfly scarf from Nordstrom, pulling it all together with a lovely gray sweater from Anthropologie.

Since it was sunny, I topped the look off with a lively turquoise straw hat, Chanel sunglasses, and my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, which was, upon reflection, not the most politically correct handbag to carry that day, but I can’t be perfect all the time…My bad. Ooops.diornotwr graysweater

If you live in North County or you’d like to take a drive up the coast on Saturday, please spend a few hours supporting these amazing and dedicated animal defenders.

For more info: http://sdanimaldefenseteam.blogspot.com

Oceanside Puppy
1906 Oceanside Blvd., east of the 5.
Saturdays 12-3

More pix of the day:

puppyprotest3 puppyprotest2 puppyprotest1 puppyprotest

Beachy December Festival of Light and Color: Photos

Even though it’s the beginning of December and was the fifth night of Hannukah, here in Southern California we enjoyed a brief summery Sunday before a massive winter storm barrels down the coast from Alaska.

A late afternoon beach walk in Carlsbad with my tugboat man…magnificent sunset, boats, seagulls flying home. Not such big waves though, or he’d be surfing and not walking!

Maybe that’s why I get so excited for the WordPress snow to appear.

It’s the only snow I see unless we go skiing!

These photos have not been retouched. This is exactly what it looked like. AMAZING, right?

Decsunset6

Decsunset1 Decsunset2 Decsunset3 Decsunset4 Decsunset5 Decsunset7Decbirds

The Unbearable Death of a Boy-Man

From Kirk's Facebook page

From Kirk’s Facebook page

The loss of a child cannot be fathomed.

Who could ever be prepared for their child to die before them?

There must be endless tears and sorrow and sadness and a forever and unrelenting pain.

For me, it’s a pure and simple matter.

If I never heard my son’s voice again or was never able to wrap my arms around him, I don’t know if I could take another breath.

…On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, Kirk Passmore, 32, a passionate big-wave surfing veteran and Hawaii resident, is presumed to have drowned and as of today his body has not been found.

One minute he was alive, surfing an estimated 20-foot wave at Alligator Rock on Oahu’s North Shore, with an audience of other surfers and photographers.

He dropped into the steep face of the wave before falling over the front of his board and into the water.

The top of the wave crashed over him and witnesses say he surfaced for a brief moment before he was crushed by another wave.

It was the last time anyone saw him.

Although extensive searches have been conducted in the area, he’s been missing since the day of the accident and is presumed drowned.

It was all caught on video.

This is the video of his last wave. Somehow he never made it out alive.

His dad wanted the his final ride shared with as many people as possible.

Maybe you heard about this. Maybe you were watching the news on television and you paid scant attention to the story while you were on the computer or eating dinner.

Maybe you read it on the internet and saw the pictures or the video.

You probably thought to yourself or even said out loud, ” Wow, that’s really sad.”

Kirk Passmore.

Why am I writing about him?

Yes, it’s true that he was someone’s child, brother, friend.

But he was also one of my son’s friends.

They went to school together.

He’s the first of my son’s friends to die.

Kirk had the biggest smile and the reddest hair. Everyone called him “Fanta” or “Red”.

He was one of the many boys I’d chauffeur around, packed like sardines in the back seat, all gangly legs and arms, endlessly stuffing their mouths —  bottomless pits of growing boy bodies– with the cookies and smoothies and other snacks cheerfully provided to everyone who came over.

A carful of boys talking about school, skateboarding; laughing, always smiling, always a thank you for the ride as he slammed the car door.

“See ya, Jason.”

A flash of bright red hair lit the way as he ran up the walkway to his house.

But no more.

I bet for most of these boys – and I still call these thirty-somethings BOYS because to me they will always and forever be “the boys” or “the guys” — my son’s friends from Kelly Elementary, Valley Junior High, and Carlsbad High School — this is their first experience with death and subsequent thoughts of their own mortality.

I feel so bad for his family and his friends who are mourning him with candlelight vigils, surf paddle-outs, tributes, and memorials. 

To honor Kirk, they’re handling their pain with grace and beauty.

One of them, artist Bryan Snyder, created a memorial wall in our town. If you’re ever in Carlsbad, check it out.

Bryan Snyder

Bryan Snyder

Our deepest sympathies go out to Kirk’s family. Our hearts are heavy and we are so very, very sorry for their loss.

The Passmore family released the following statement:

Kirk was born February 11, 1981 in Orem, Utah.  He grew up in Carlsbad, California and graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1999 where he was a member of the school’s surf team for four years.  As a youth, he was active in pop warner football, little league baseball, and basketball but his love was in surfing.

He started coming to Hawaii when he was 14 and was an experienced and expert surfer.  He was not new to big wave surfing, having surfed most of the well-known big wave locations, including Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Pipeline and outer reefs on the north shores of Hawaii.  He was a familiar face at Todos Santos off Baja California.  He also surfed Maverick’s in northern California and Puerto Escondido in Mainland Mexico.  He spent 3 years in the southern coast of France.  He moved to the north shore of Hawaii full-time in the spring of 2012.

Kirk was a part owner of Third Stone Surfboards in Waialua, Hawaii and a Manager at Bonzai Sushi in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

He is survived by his mother, Diane Passmore (Orem, Utah), father and step-mother, David and Karey Passmore (Sunset Beach, Hawaii), siblings, Alyson Adams (Highland, Utah); Merrily Roberts (Encinitas, California) and Matthew Passmore (serving an LDS mission in New York, New York).

The family wishes to thank the Coast Guard, the City and County of Honolulu lifeguards and Fire Department who continue the search.

Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh YES, They DO.

Kate Spade glasses2

Newsflash: Eyeglasses are the new aphrodisiac.

Sasssy and sexxxxy in a slightly beeyotchy way.

That describes both me AND my new Kate Spade glasses, don’t you agree?

Can’t wait for my tugboat man to see the new me. He loves the sexy librarian look…

Aren’t those polka dots TDF?

And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.

And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.

Kate Spade glassesIt’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.

I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as,  “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”

Not so funny to be the target of mean girls. 

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear contact lenses.

But now, wearing glasses is just another important fashion accessory, not a signal to the world that the wearer is a bookish nerd, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

If you live in the San Diego area and need new frames, come to Carlsbad and check out
Andrews Optical on Grand for a huge selection and great customer service.

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

The Penis in Repose…

…is not very imposing.

COVER YOUR EYES NOW. COVER YOUR EYES NOW!

(Sorry in advance if this is gross.)

Today I was scarred for life.

I cannot UNsee what I have seen.

The disturbing and appalling vision is still imprinted on my brain. I’m trying to blur it, to drown it, in Craftwork chardonnay, but it’s not WORKING. Get it? CraftWORK, WORKING.

Forgive me, I am traumatized. Wholly and completely.

Vienna-SausageThere it was in all of its unappealing glory.

Right in my face.

It was  a flippin’ and a floppin’ every which-a-way. It really was.

It flipped up. It flipped down. Up and down. It flopped. To the left. To the right. And if my eyes did not deceive me, there was some diagonal flipflopping action as well.

Everthing was moving in different diretions. All at once. In the blink of an eye.

All by itself, it was doing the “Hokey Pokey” and turning itself around.

A VERY indecent exposure.

Let me disclaim here and now: I am the mother of a male. I am the daughter of a nurse. I’ve seen my fair share…

I say all that to explain that I am not UNfamiliar with male anatomy. And yes, I’m married too, so this is not virgin territory. I AM a bit naive about a lot of things, I’ll admit that. No problem. I’ve never seen porn, not EVER, and don’t really ever want to. I’m the lover of Hello Kitty, remember? Kitties, puppies, butterflies — that’s what’s floating around in my head at any given time.

But this.

THIS was a seminal event in my life.

The backstory:

My tugboat man and I were running around doing errands preparatory to leaving for our Yellowstone journey. We had to go to REI and Target and a few other places. Our day ended quite literally at the beach. We stopped to get a much-deserved shave ice at our favorite place, JR’s Shave Ice in Oceanside.

As we headed south towards Carlsbad, hub wanted to stop at the beach to look at the waves (not very good btw) for a potential evening glass-off sesh. We pulled in behind a black truck. (Important story point.)

It was starting to get a little chilly so I sat in the car while he walked over to the cliff to check out the surf at Terramar.

It all happened so fast.

In the blink of an eye.

A surfer, obviously done for the day, was the owner of that black truck in front of us. He put his surfboard in the truckbed and proceeded to peel off his wetsuit.

COVER YOUR EYES NOW. COVER YOUR EYES NOW!

If only someone had yelled that at me, I would be writing about something else, not attempting to purge this horrendous vision from my soul.

He appeared to be in his mid-to-late forties and weighed 350 pounds or so, if my calculations are correct. The towel he wrapped around his waist was NOT large enough to completely cover his girth and…and his male reproductive parts.

There was a gap in the meeting of the towel.

A triangular gap that exposed private things. Can you picture that?

I was NOT looking, not actively, but it was in my field of vision; the periphery.

Hub started to walk back from the precipice of the cliff. He’s coming to me — he’s my savior — he’ll take care of this I know, and prevent me from seeing what no one should see.

But then…

The wetsuit is peeled all the way down his Orson Welles-ian gigantic stomach and then…

And then — because he’s too obese to bend down and pull it all the way off –HE KICKS the wetsuit OFF HIS FEET onto the sidewalk

At that moment, that precise moment that I was telepathically beseeching my tugboat man to save me, the wetsuit was kicked, the obese man gave a little hop as he stumbled just a bit, unable to balance with all that extra weight (he really needs some yoga training)…

The towel opened wide, and that’s when I couldn’t help but be exposed to all that…

flipping and flopping of his (unimpressive) out-of-control rudder. (I’m reminded of that Seinfeld episode where they’re all at the seaside and George is the victim of the cold, cruel ocean and what effect it has on…things. You know the one I’m talking about, right?)

A penis in repose is not a good look for anyone.

Not George Clooney. Not Johnny Depp Not Tom Brady.

Not even Ryan Gosling (OK maybe him).

There’s something of a nightmarish quality in seeing oftentimes proud, standing at attention, and imposing genitalia in all of its glory — reduced to its sad and listless self.

That’s my opinion. On a serious note, what if, instead of it being me, it was a child who saw that? I think surfers who change in public in full view of everyone need to be more circumspect.

We drove away, hub apologizing over and over on behalf of all men everywhere,

“You shouldn’t have had to see that. I know, I know. You poor dear. It must have been so terrible for you.”

Here’s my public service announcement to all surfers who change in public:

SURFER PSA

Surf poncho. Changing robe

Surf poncho. Changing robe.

P.S. Here’s a cover-up that completely solves this problem. It’s a great investment.

Best Things to Do on Carlsbad Lagoon

Stand-Up paddleboarding and kayaking — on a perfectly perfect Southern California day.

When my son was here over the weekend for a brief visit, we took our new inflatable Sea Eagle kayak out on the Agua Hedionda lagoon along with hubs SUP (stand-up paddleboard) for my son to play with.

Ever the professional mariner, my tugboat man likes to do what he calls a “shakedown cruise” to make sure everything’s working right and our vessel is seaworthy.

Our lagoon was packed full of kayaks, SUPs, rowboats, and dogs running around the sandy beach — a thoroughly awesome Southern California day.

We’re taking the kayak on our vacation to Zion National Park in Utah and Yellowstone.

I’ve always wanted to hear the song of the wolf, and I hope my dream comes true on this trip.

US-National-Parks-Yellowstone-Wolf-Quest-2-wolves

I’ve got a VERY nice hub who likes to make my wishes turn into reality. SORT OF. He’s taking me on this vacation to placate me so that he doesn’t feel too guilty for running off on a surf trip to Nicaragua. He won’t come out and ADMIT it, but he doesn’t exactly deny it, either. Whatev, I’ll take the kind offer to camp out under the stars and hopefully not get mauled by bears or bison.

Sea Eagle kayak

Selfie! None of my hub especially since he was behind me and really doing all the work as usual! Well, MOST of the work; I did as much as I could with my injured arm.

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SUPUh oh, Professor, watch where you’re going! Navigational hazard ahead!

Carlsbad Lagoon Jboy

Whew! He made it, we went under it, too, but no pics.

Lagoon Carlsbad 1

Just a pretty little area, full of crabs and native plants.
Right then a huge fish glided by but you can’t see it, too bad.

LagoonEven though it’s so much more built up since we moved here in 1985, Carlsbad is still an idyllic place to raise a family. There are so many healthy activities on the water. We used to always walk to the lagoon and our dogs would play while we had a picnic.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon — also known as “stinking waters” ‘cos the mud STINKS for real — is a saltwater wetland and watershed and offers year-round recreational and commercial use.  The lagoon includes mud flats, salt and freshwater marsh, and deep water and is actually comprised of three lagoons:  a 66-acre outer lagoon, a 27-acre middle lagoon and 293-acre inner lagoon. The earliest inhabitants were the native Indians who lived on the shores and upland areas.

Going to the beach year-round;  riding bikes or walking everywhere–it’s a great place EXCEPT for shopping. Shopping in Carlsbad SUCKS. That’s one of my biggest complaints–the mall is the worst EVER.  Except for the Carlsbad Outlet Center with Barneys; nada, nothing. Oh well, I can always drive to South Coast Plaza, so I’m not too upset! :)

In which Princess Rosebud embarks upon a magical journey

mermaid “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!

It always has been intended that a proper christening and the accompanying ceremony ensures good fortune to the lady and her crew throughout the life of the vessel.

Please join us for the (virtual) christening of our New Haven rowing dory. Champagne and hors d’ouvres will be served.

My tugboat man spent his six weeks home (between surf sessions) restoring a neglected and dilapidated vessel who just needed a little love to sparkle and shine.
(Don’t we all…)

This New Haven rowing dory benefited from a much needed facelift. He sanded and sanded and sanded every day, patched holes, went to Home Depot–alone, thank goodness–and constructed new railings (or whatever they’re called.) And varnished.boatbefore boat during restoration

Why yellow? Hubs chose the color because it’s one of his favorites (it’s our kitchen color, too)  and because he says it’s an appropriate choice for this type of boat. He saved the best part for me; declaring that every girl should have a boat named after her…paintedboatnoname

What’s her name? Here’s a hint…
princess rosebud in the sand

The makeover is complete…THE FINAL REVEAL!

bestpicboat
mermaidboat

We took her out for a splash–a sea trial–in the lagoon that’s about three blocks from our house. I won’t even try to pretend that I did any rowing, but I did pack a nice lunch. He insisted that I remove the little mermaid (look closely and you’ll see that she’s wearing pearls, too) but if I find a really cool figurehead in an antique shop, he’ll mount it on the prow.

(I’m laughing–I said mount–I’m really never gonna grow up!)

Here I am in an appropriately nautical outfit: Joe’s skinny jeans, striped shirt from Banana Republic, and a cashmere/silk sweater from Barney’s. I took off my Captain mandated life vest for the pic. Check out my nautical Hello Kitty hat hkhatand the string of pearls. I’ll be the first to say it–hair’s gone a bit frizzy, oh well, everything can’t be perfect all the time. I used a new conditioner from Chi–one I won’t be using again, that’s for sure. Ignore the hair, those are Chanel sunglasses, beeyotches!

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Our lagoon and a very weird sky…

beautifullagoon

My wonderful captain rowed us to a secluded beach for our romantic picnic. I’ll NEVER tell where it is!

boatonbeach

The seagull who ran off with part of our lunch.seagullateourfood

My hero! He didn’t dress for the part like I did, but then, he did all the work, and I just had to sit there and look pretty.my rowing captain

A white egret in the marshwhiteegretlagoon

Raccoon prints!raccoonprintlagoon

Coyote prints!coyoteprintlagoon

At sundown we invited our neighbors over for a christening party.
I found Princesa champagne! Very appropriate, no?
partytable2

meatchristening

Hi, wish you all could have joined us!

We read this as everyone gathered around (and yes, I made everyone follow the script, raise their glasses, and toast ME!)

“For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These ships will nurture and care for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them “she.” To them we toast, and ask to celebrate Princess Rosebud.” “TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO PRINCESS ROSEBUD!”

Everybody takes a sip.

“The moods of the sea are many, from tranquil to violent. We ask that this vessel be given the strength to carry on. She is strong and will keep out the pressures of the sea.” Again the glasses are raised, and the assemblage shouts, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS OF OLD…TO THE SEA!”

Everybody takes another sip.

“Today we come to name this lady, Princess Rosebud,  and send her to sea to be cared for, and to care for her family. We ask the sailors of old and the mood of the sea to accept Princess Rosebud as her name, to help her through her passages, and allow her to return with her crew safely. ” Again with the raising of the glasses, “TO THE SEA…TO THE SAILORS BEFORE US…TO PRINCESS ROSEBUD!”

A last, long sip by all.

Finally, we sprinkled a few drops of  champagne over the bow to appease King Neptune, and laid a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns.boatwithcandle

And thus ends another day in the life of Princess Rosebud.

Heron on House

While I’m making hub’s second-to-last dinner (he was given an extra day’s reprieve and is flying out on Monday–he’s so glad he can watch Beyonce  the Superbowl), I want to thank everyone who offered recipe suggestions–I’ll take pics today and post the results!

We live near a lagoon and some of it is still pristine, offering safe nesting sites for sandpipers and snowy egrets and Great Blue Herons like the one in this picture. I saw him as he flew overhead and landed on our neighbor’s house. He was kind enough to wait there long enough for me to run in the house for my camera.

As I’m typing, I hear the song of a red-tailed hawk circling my yard and off in the distance a rooster crowing. Early Sunday mornings are AWESOME. I hope your day is just as tranquil!
greatblueheron

10 reasons why seashells are enchanted

I’m still in the throes of harnessing my inner beeyotch (the lady who slammed on her brakes and made a u-turn in front of me got a taste of that new me) but I took a teensy break to ponder the oft-asked question: Why do I love seashells?

1. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Some are almost perfect twins, but there’s always an individual characteristic if you look close enough.

2. Unlike a snowflake, they don’t disappear.

3. They are all beautiful in color and shape and size.What a treasure!

4. Shells can be worn as jewelry.Abalone necklace with rope work, earrings, pearl bracelet, necklace of polished shell pieces

4. There is appeal in their symmetry and asymmetry.fairshells

5. For me, seashells impart a tangible tactile and visual state of bliss.

6. Shells give birth to episodes of intense creative passions. This is my most recent seashell bouquet; an organic interpretation inspired by a froggy vase acquired at a local thrift shop that helps victims of domestic abuse.newfrogvase

7. Once upon a time, a seashell housed a living creature.

8. Cowry shells were used as currency in China.cowry shell

9. If you love to collect dust, start collecting seashells! They are a dust magnet, prolly their only negative trait.

10. A small grain of sand–a foreign body–inside a seashell grows into a magnificent pearl.  A pearl is an annoyance to the shell,  just exactly like the way I am oftentimes an annoyance to the captain!white-pearl-in-oyster