Just a Cup of Coffee – Part Two

Just a Cup of Coffee…the true love story of Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man.

Click to read Part One HERE

(This might take a while, grab your hankies, it could have been broken up into three parts, but I didn’t want to prolong the happy ending.)

Fast forward to a year later, the following September 1991.

Yes, I kept my promise; no dates and no mistakes. There was the excruciating lure of nubile and suntanned young surfers but I stood firm in my resolve in spite of the half naked, salty-skinned–oh crap. Living in Southern California is sooo like opening up a fresh box of candy. It wasn’t fair, but a deal’s a deal.

box of chocolatesIf only I could have had just a teensy-weensy bite here, a bite there–oh, SO yummy–that one has a caramel center, or that other one’s coconut-filled, or a tart juicy cherry embraced by dark chocolate, or full of Baileys Irish Creamer–you get what I’m sayin’?  I’ll just bet you do. On my towel, surveying the beach, I wanted to take a little bite out of each one, so to speak.

But….I had to go cold turkey and avoid them all. Not one lick, not one taste.

I had a goal, I had a vision; I had my list–clenched tightly in my hand–WILLPOWER–it’s all about the willpower.

Here’s where serendipity might have had a hand in the convergence of our lifepaths.

In the beginning, I THOUGHT I first laid eyes on the captain when I was hired for the marketing department of a local cruise line.

Aside…because the whole idea of me and boats is a joke. I’m not what you’d consider sea-worthy. I’d only been on a couple of boats previously and became violently seasick on both of those trips.

OK, now read this – could it be the hand of fate that brought us together? Was our eventual connection forged a decade before ?
_________________________________________________

Was it luck or serendipity? 

On a romantic evening In front of the fire with a couple snifters of Courvoisier, my tugboat man and I concluded that our paths did cross, not in a prior life, but…

In the 1980s he captained a charter vessel in our local harbor–tours of the bay, dinner cruises; that kind of thing.  

In between going out to sea for four to six months, he’d come back to SoCal for a break and to surf-and worked locally.

Around that same time, my mom and I took my then five-year-old son on his first boat ride, a tour of San Diego Bay.

At that time, there was really only one boat company that offered daily excursions.

It wasn’t until we had been married for probably ten years or so– looking through an old photo album–when he saw a pic of my mom and me on “his” boat — that the subject came up.

(That’s part of me and the Coronado Bridge. Obviously, my mom couldn’t take a decent pic.)

Since there were only two captains, and the time of day we were there was during his (remembered) shift, it’s highly possible that we spoke–or made eye contact. As captain, he always greets and counts the passengers while he collects boarding passes; especially because we had a child with us. Always concerned with safety, my captain.

Our ships DID, most likely, PASS in the night (day).  

What would have happened if we had talked? I was married with a little boy–the timing was absolutely not right.  

Did we each hold on to a momentary glance or imprint on our subconscious so that our path to romance was pre-determined? 

Why did I become employed at a cruise line when I don’t even like boats?

I still have no idea.

That we met in 1991 and felt an instant connection might be interpreted as luck or serendipity. 

Which do you think it is?
_______________________________________________________________

Back to the story:  Was it merely coincidence–meaninglessly simultaneous occurance–or  synchronicity?  We agree that it was meant to be. We’re two peas in a pod, me and him.

We mirror each other.

One of my first marketing duties was to attend a downtown trade show. I vividly recall my ensemble–and before you get all judge-y and everything, let’s take the year into consideration–1991–please be kind.

You know you looked exactly the same.

You KNOW you did.

I wore a short split skirt (dare I say skort) of silky polyester-type material (I know, I know) imprinted with brightly colored parrots (cringe), a turquoise blazer, and four-inch-high red heels. Oh, and they were LARGE parrots.  I’m five-feet-tall with very curly dark brown hair. You can imagine the style when I tell you it added five inches to my height. Nuff said–stop laughing, I have nothing to apologize for; it was the decade of big hair.

The owner of the company walked by our booth and introduced me to his senior captain. I played it cool; I’m good at that–just a quick handshake and then I turned my attention to the marketing materials like I was very, very busy.

I only allowed myself a passing glance his way, committed as I was to making a good impression on my boss. Plus, I was fully dedicated to my promise to celibacy and just because he was ADORABLE was no excuse to give in to temptation. Not even with those green-gray eyes. Not even.

Since I was on a “man diet, I transformed him (in my mind) into a rich chocolaty truffle chocolate truffleand successfully used my powers to resist–at least on that particular day. During the next few weeks, our paths crossed many times; at the office with brief hellos in the hallway, and with overt scrutiny during cruises when I accompanied some of the charters. (When I wasn’t stuck with my head in the toilet. I told you the truth, I’m not a natural seawoman.)

As much as I tried to deny it–I can’t lie–there were those familiar little tingles, goose bumps even, delicious frissons of attraction. On one hand I was fighting it with all I had, yet on the other hand I spent more time in the office than I really needed to.  A little extra makeup, perfume, a few new outfits–you know how it is. OK OK, I admit it! A smile from him did something to my insides, that fluttery butterfly sensation I willed myself to ignore.

I carried The List in my handbag and referred to it in moments of weakness, and for a while I was able to avoid temptation.

Here comes the good part, y’all.

In mid-November, I met with a client at one of the boats to plan a large corporate event. As we walked up the gangway, I discovered the captain was on board in the wheelhouse. I had no idea he would be there, and resolved to ignore him, except that everyone always wants to meet a captain, (too much Love Boat) so I was forced to be polite and make the introductions.

Here’s where it all went wrong-or right-depending on your point of view.

After my meeting ended, I did not immediately leave. I stalled, meandering around the small area of shops located near the harbor. I was so mad at ME; I tried to talk myself into leaving by going over The List and telling myself that I should be writing up the event details.

Just GO, I said to myself! But guess who didn’t listen? I found myself furtively looking around to see if the captain was still there. Since the whole chocolate visualization thing didn’t seem to be working anymore, I turned him into as a gooey, cheesy, spicy pizza and I used all my willpower to stand firm–to stay focused–recounting all the reasons why that delicious piece of heaven is not worth the calories.

I swear to you, I had every good intention of leaving and driving to the corporate office, I really did, but cosmic forces had grabbed hold of my good sense.

I was powerless. The hand of fate had me in her grip–and that chicka had been working out with the heavy weights.

Finally, I could find no further excuse to drag my feet and delay the inevitable departure.

I very reluctantly and slowly walked to my car, parked in front of a coffee shop, and as if by magic, the captain appeared.

I was trying to act all cool and nonchalant in spite of the fact that my heart was racing.

“Where are you going? Why didn’t you say goodbye? “What’s up?” “How about buying a co-worker a cup of coffee?”

I demurred, saying I had to go, I had another appointment (not true); uh, I don’t buy guys coffee, and he kept badgering me,

“C’mon, don’t be stuck up, don’t you have fifty cents for a cup of coffee?”

(That was before six-dollar lattes and Starbucks on every corner.)

“You don’t want me to think you’re a snob, do you?”

[pause]

That did it.

Of course you understand why I wouldn’t want him to think any of those things, right? RIGHT? It was a matter of pride; once he turned on his charm, I was hooked. I unearthed a few quarters from the bottom of my handbag.

Yes, I bought the coffee. It’s something I can’t believe myself.

My other credo had always been, “Princesses don’t pay. Men pay.” But buy the coffee I did.

Honestly, I was borderline pathetic. Not even borderline. I was hanging on to the cliff with my fingertips.

It’s like sparks were flying off his body. I made every excuse in the book to lean over and oops, accidentally brush his arm and cop a sniff. He smelled heavenly.

It’s that damn pheromone thing. I was–still am-hopelessly–magically attracted. He’s irresistible. And he knows it.

We took our coffee outside and sat at a cement patio table. It was one of those perfect SoCal November days–balmy even. For a few moments we said nothing as we sipped from our coffee and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.

Red lights flashed on and off in my head.

DANGER AHEAD! STOP THE MISSION! RUN!

Less than a foot away from me he straddled the half-moon shaped concrete bench. His thighs were encased in soft worn jeans and my thoughts were heading into hazardous waters.

His hair was wet and looked like he just had showered.

“What are you doing here? Did you know I was going to be here?”

“No, I didn’t, I had to update the logs, and I surfed a bit earlier.”

Ah, that’s where the wet hair came from.

“So…you’re a surfer?”

That is most definitely NOT on my list.

“I like to think I am.”

Scintillating conversation, huh? I thought that was a bit arrogant, a bit–AHEM–cocky.

Later I learned that he had spent much of his youth in Kauai and he really was/is a great surfer, but I didn’t know much about him — only what I was feeling.

As the conversation unfolded and we chatted–he told me where he lived and where he had gone to college, and–those thighs, oh wait–no, not that–of course I meant what kind of music he liked and that he loves animals–I found myself listening to his voice but not hearing the words.

This is where it gets weird.

And pinky-swear, it’s all true, it all happened exactly like this. It was REAL.

He looked at me and smiled.

I felt lit from within.

My heart melted. (Even now, his smiles affect me the same way.)

I sighed. He sighed. I sighed again.

That was IT.

Everything became quiet and a calm-before-the-storm sensation enveloped me. I placed my hands on the bench because I was suddenly lightheaded–I needed support because I felt like the ground beneath shifted;  waves that triggered that falling phenomenon just before you completely succumb to sleep–like a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch.

Faintly, I sensed the planets tumble into position, the clickclickclick… of stars aligning in the heavens; the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars at that moment were singing in the universe.

Did we just have an earthquake? I jumped off the bench like it was on fire. I ran to my car, unable to deal with the intensity of the moment. He was right behind me. He was so annoying!

“Where ya  goin’? We  should go out sometime.”

I was having a hard time breathing and fumbled with my keys as I unlocked the car. I leaned against the door for support and turned to him,

“When? Tonight?”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not known for being subtle.

“I have to work a charter later, I’ll give you a call.”

And with that, I drove off.

Of course, I never went back to work. Who could blame me?

I raced home and power-called all my girlfriends.

I was in panic mode.

I reported every detail to one friend after another. I needed advice, I needed explanations. I needed to be talked down. But no one had experienced anything comparable. No one knew what to do.

I was on this voyage alone; no rules to follow. I was in uncharted waters.

That evening I did what we are warned not to do, what mothers counsel daughters against.

I was nervous and jumping out of my skin, but also determined to be 100% honest (also on my list). How else would I know if he was “the one”? I called and left a message on his voicemail. Remember way back when we used voicemail?

“Hi, can you give me a call when you hear this message? There’s something I need to ask you.”

He called a couple hours later. I was  on my bed, reading a magazine, pretending I was not waiting for the call…dreading the call.

“Hi there, it’s me. I got your message, but I was planning to call you anyway. What’s up?”

I took a deep breath and decided it was now or never–I needed to go for it…take that chance. DO it.

”Uhh, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened at the harbor…I never felt anything like that EVER, and I think… I think…”

I took a deep breath and the words tumbled out,

“IthinkIamfallinginlovewithyou
andwonderifyoufeelthesame
way–orifitisjustme.”

“I mean, I really need to know.”

[Pause]   [More pause]

Oh boy. In that single, painful, heartstopping moment I wished I could hit delete and erase the last five minutes.

Palms sweaty, heart pounding, OMG, I am a total f-ing idiot–what have I just said–I’m insane, he’ll think I’m a freak or I’m exhibiting psycho pre-stalker tendencies–and then, finally, it seemed like hours of silence had gone by–I was gonna hang up and hide under my bed if he didn’t say something–he said,

“Umm, no, it’s not just you. I’m feeling the same exact way. Something happened to me today too,  and I can’t explain it either.  How about us going on a real date and let’s talk about it?”

I released the breath I hadn’t been aware I was still holding. That last planet locked into position.

I discovered my soul mate, my tugboat man.

There’s lots more to this story; some twists and turns and ups and downs, but the thread that ties it all together is how we found each other and fell in love.

Today: I wait for him to come home. And wait. And wait. And remind myself, “Don’t count the miles, count the I-love-yous”

Christina Perri, “Miles”

Just a Cup of Coffee – The Love Story of Princess Rosebud and her Captain – Part One

Today:  Sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not. That’s the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. Right now he’s not..

weddingpicture

Yup, the secret’s out. I’m married to Johnny Depp

The Wedding: February 21, 1994

Our song, our first dance as husband and wife. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
http://youtu.be/wkVuQGgx7d8

The Beginning…This is the love story of me, Princess Rosebud, and the tugboat captain.

We met when I was a year into my deal with myself to stay celibate until I met someone, uh, worthy…

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010… At 3:40 this afternoon, I was in the threshold of our garage door that leads into the living room where I had dragged in a ladder to help with my latest project–painting the living room walls a divine shade of seafoam green–to stay busy when the captain’s out to sea. I mean, I can’t shop ALL the time. A girl has to take a break now and again, right? I set the ladder down and went back to close the garage door. At that precise moment, the glass vases on the shelves surrounding our fireplace began to vibrate and wobble. Here in SoCal, I’ve endured a handful of quakes, but never such intense shaking.

Through the open garage door I saw the bicycles that hang from the ceiling sway back and forth. As I attempted to process THAT information, the crystal lustres on my grandmother’s antique porcelain candelabras clashed and clinked. Terracotta tile flooring in the foyer seemed to roll back and forth as if I was on a sailboat in San Diego Bay, and I had a difficult time standing.

Feeling dizzy and unbalanced, I grasped the doorway for support.  My poor kitty gave me a dirty look like I had interrupted her nap on purpose. So much for the concept that animals can sense an earthquake–not this spoiled little brat.

I ran up our oak-planked steps into the family room and through the patio doors onto the deck and shouted out to the neighbors.

“Look at your pool!”

“I know, this is crazy! Are you OK? Any damage?”

“I don’t think so. A couple seashells fell off the shelf in the family room, but I was so freaked, I didn’t want to stay inside, so I ran out back. I don’t know if we should stay in the house or what we should do!”

“Us either! Let’s see what’s on the news.”

This quake was so violent that it caused the water in their pool to slosh over the sides like a mini-tsunami. We each went back in our respective homes and turned on CNN. We discovered that there had been a 7.2 earthquake in Mexico. The first reports that came in revealed a lot of damage near the epicenter in Mexicali, but no major problems in San Diego; only broken glass and falling cans at grocery stores, which seemed pretty miraculous considering the earthquake’s size.

Still spooked by the shaking and some pretty strong aftershocks, I surveyed the house, removing anything unsecured and potentially dangerous.

This is as good a time as any to confess something.

I’m a shell-aholic.

seashell mirrorI’ve got shelves and shelves of seashells in every room–including the bathroom. Everyone collects seashells, right? One here, one there, as a memory of a great beach or a fun vacation, right? Well…I’m a seashell hoarder. I want ALL seashells–there are never enough seashells to collect or buy. I make things out of some of them–picture frames, mirrors, boxes–they line the walls in our two bathrooms and even our front door, but mostly they just hang out–in bowls, on shelves, anywhere and everywhere. There is no empty space in our house, and if there is, it’s quickly filled with a shell–or a rock.

After a couple decades, we have come to an understanding, the captain and I. He thinks I’m crazy and obsessed with shells and rocks and driftwood, and I don’t destroy his surfboards if he doesn’t give me a hard time about it.

I anxiously emailed the captain who’s half a world away in the middle of an ocean. I figured that if anything would cause him to cut his four month assignment short, this might be it. The way that emailing works in deep ocean situations is through a pretty inefficient satellite; sometimes it takes hours to complete the process. If there’s a real emergency, I have a phone number to call, but this didn’t really fit the definition. I wasn’t hurt and the house wasn’t damaged or anything. When he finally read the email and wrote back, he told me to “standby” at the house phone because he would try to make a call from the boat’s sat phone. When he called, I used all my powers of persuasion to convince him to come home, but to no avail. He simply wasn’t going to call the United States Coast Guard to fly a rescue mission a thousand miles from land to bring  him home because the kitty and I were scared.

Well, I know where I stand in his list of priorities. Hmmm, I wonder if this is when I hatched my plot to get that Chanel. Hmmm, I wonder.

After that stressful event, and many aftershocks later, some pampering was definitely well deserved. That evening, I drew a bath in the upstairs bathroom we call the spa because it’s decorated in earthy tones with seashells and beach glass surrounding the mirrors and along the walls.

(I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.)

I lit a fragrant and calming lavender candle, eased my body into the almost too-hot-to-stand-it water, and trickled in ginger and lemongrass aromatherapy oils. Sipping from a glass of merlot, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and my thoughts wandered.

Experiencing an earthquake; the dizziness, the weightless feeling in a tub of warm water; it all reminded me of falling in love. It all felt the same… and it all started with a fifty cent cup of coffee.

Newly divorced in 1990, I speed dated a few guys, including one totally boring and slightly scary man who immediately wanted me to meet his parents after the first (and last) date, along with a couple of total idiots whose combined IQs prolly didn’t equal my Border Collie‘s. Those unsavory experiences became flashing red lights–STOP! NO! THINK!–impossible to ignore–that I seriously needed to take some time off the dating circuit.

It was the perfect time for a list.

I’m an inveterate list maker; I prioritize my errands and even list groceries in the order of where they’re located in the store– like my own custom board game–where I start at the entrance and finish at the cash register.

I wrote this particular list with the hope that if I documented the qualities desired in a significant other, the universe would deliver the right one when all the planets were aligned. Or so I dreamed.

At midnight on August 7th, 1990, with a bottle of wine to seal the deal, I made a promise to myself–I would not date (or do anything else) for a very long time, and the next one would be “the one”.

The List
1. Must call when he says he will. This is non-negotiable.
2. Must show up on time for dates.
3. Must love pets. Also non-negotiable.
4. No cigarettes. No smoking, and of course, no drugs.
5. Likes to exercise, work out, eat healthy, etc.
6. Must have gainful employment.
7. Must be nice and polite and honest and trustworthy.
8. Fidelity is of paramount importance.
9. When the time is right and he meets my son, my son has to like him. Also non-negotiable.

Fast forward to a year later, the following September 1991.

Tomorrow:
Part Two…Just a cup of coffee, the love story of Princess Rosebud and the tugboat captain

ME ME ME ME ME…MY FAVORITE SUBJECT

selfieleaning

Old school camera snap selfie!

A Self Indulgent “Happy Anniversary to ME!”

About two years ago, I started Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for one reason — because my DIL told me I was kinda funny and I should start a blog.

So I did.

My son went through the process of setting up my WordPress account; I had no excuse — I had to start writing, right?

So…in my own chaotic way, I’ve forged a meandering path around the infobahn sprinkling sparkly snarky thoughts and convo and opinion as I tap tap tap on my MacAir about a myriad of subjects: never growing up, my obsessive love for Chanel, traveling, hiking, shopping, being married to a tugboat captain, my OCD love of cleaning, organizing, and collecting; cooking and baking veg-style —  oh, and seashells of course!

Did you know that I’m a midlife empty nester? I don’t like to label myself, because it seems so limiting and I am without limits, but those do apply. HowEVER, I don’t ACT like I’m old and decrepit; I resist the stereotypes.

I’m *cough* sixty going on thirteen. For realisies.

Blogging helped me reveal my own unique voice as a writer — now I have one  — or two  – or three personas, depending on the day of the week and which way the wind blows…

Sometimes I’m totes breezy and totes adorbs and srsly snark-tastic. Sometimes I’m full of  self deprecating humor, and sometimes I’m SERIOUSLY a mom (really the only job I’ve ever wanted), TTTT or I’m SERIOUSLY an animal defender. These voices ALL comprise the real ME — ahem, I mean Princess Rosebud.

And nobody puts Princess Rosebud in a corner.

I am a diamond of many facets.

 ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
As of today’s date, Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife has reached 100,742 views with a staggering 10,756 comments.
 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

THANK YOU!
I’m super happy to have befriended, interacted, discussed, and shared points of view and life lessons with all of you across the universe.

I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in a few weeks at BlogHer 2014 in San Jose.

In the spirit of celebrating ME —  I’d like to invite you to join me on my other avenues of social media (unless you already do, of course)

Twitter  https://twitter.com/EnchantedCshel
Facebook  Princess Rosebud.

https://www.facebook.com/PrincessRosebudEnchantedSeashells

Facebook  Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.        https://www.facebook.com/EnchantedSeashells
Pinterest  http://www.pinterest.com/enchantedcshels/
G+ https://plus.google.com/u/3/
RSS Feed: http://en.enchantedseashells.wordpress.com/feed/

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

 

Trends in Toenail Fashion

Just saying “toenail” and “fashion” in the same sentence makes me feel all oooky and squeamish BUT I’m doing this for YOU —  my readers — as a public service to bring you the pertinent details and relevant information — especially since it’s officially summer and our feet are exposed in sandals and flip-flops.

Hold on, I need a sip of  yummy Stonecrop screw-top chardonnay before I continue…you might also want to prepare yourself with an adult beverage — I can wait.

This is where it all started. I saw this pic on Facebook, gagged a bit, threw up in my mouth a bit, shared it, and received TONS of commentary, more than is normally generated by a photo-share – and it fueled my determination to delve into the subject of extremely long toenails — I truly believe it’s reached the status of being POST-worthy.

Here ya go, what do YOU think?

feet

100% of the comments on my Facebook page were like this: “Eww”, “Disgusting”, “Yikes”, “OMG, those look like pterodactyl claws!”, “Chain saw!”, and “YUCK”.

Although, I’m not totally hating on the shoes. Who doesn’t love sparkle?

Could this be the NEXT BIG THING?

I’ve done a bit of armchair research. Apparently, having LONG toenails is a “THING”; a certain segment of society thinks it’s SEXY.

Check out this FB page if you don’t believe me and here’s a tip: MUTE the sound if you click on it…http://www.yevettenails.com/home.html

In many cultures, long toenails are as appreciated as long and manicured fingernails. Many women take great pride in their toenails, treating them with the same attention and concern as their fingernails.http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Long_Beautiful_Toenails

You gotta check out this Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/authormaxinep/freaky-long-toenails/

No way, it’s not for me!!!

Personally, I can think of a zillion reasons why that wouldn’t work for my lifestyle…I go to the gym and work out, can’t have those claws getting in the way of my jumping jacks or at kickboxing, right?

We hike; no way those monstrosities will fit in hiking shoes-or any shoes for that matter. It doesn’t seem possible to be an active, athletic person with those gnarly hooks.

Oh, and HYGIENE. That’s a big one.

Most importantly, I have no doubt that my tugboat man would NEVER again want to get all cuddly and romantic if he had to go to bed fearing a midnight slashing.

What do you think? 

Are YOU going to join this fashion trend?*************************************************************************************

Animals do it right.

 Bear claws and an adorable sloth.

 

 

 

 

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.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

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

What I Do is What I Do. A Day in the Life of an Empty Nester.

(With a very obscure tip of the hat to Solzhenitsyn.)

This isn’t typical of when my tugboat man’s here, and most definitely not the fabric of my waking hours when I was a SAHM; rather, this is an especially bland and Seinfeld-ish day. 
_____________________________________________________________________________

My day commences abruptly at 6:00 a.m.

Sleep to instant wakefulness at the hoarse, screaming kee-eeee-arr of a red-tailed hawk.

Over and over again. Ear-piercing screams.

I get up, find my glasses (I’m extremely myopic, can’t see a thing), locate hub’s extra binoculars, and discover two hawks in the eucalyptus tree. They’re sitting on the same branch and they’re facing each other, having an early morning conversation or a duet, probably courtship time.

6:15 a.m…Grind beans, Trader Joes‘s French Roast, make coffee, simultaneously grab the remote to turn on the news and pop open my laptop. News is depressing. Problems in Syria, fires in Yosemite, a SWAT standoff in La Mesa; time to turn it off. After checking to see if my tugboat man emailed me (he didn’t),  I turn to WordPress.  A few comments necessitate responses (not as many as I’d like), a few likes (not as many as I thought my brilliant post deserved), and then I switch over to Facebook. In the beginning of FB, or at least my experience with FB, it was all about connecting with new and old friends, sarcastic and funny observations, cats, dogs, mainly cute animal pics. Now it’s all about supporting “friends” in their sponsored posts, marketing and promoting for their sponsors. I don’t begrudge anyone who can generate income; it’s just that some blogs start to feel really corporate and inauthentic after they become “affiliates” or “brand ambassadors”. It’s a newer version of Tupperware or jewelry parties where you get all your friends to show up and buy your stuff.

Of course I’d love to monetize — I’ve even had one sponsored post — and I want my book to be published and make a truckload of money so that my tugboat man wouldn’t have to go out to sea anymore, but I don’t think I have the personality to push products or pull people to my site –which is funny ‘cos I have a background in public relations and marketing — but I’m more of a soft sell, not the jackhammer-type.

I’m more like “Hey, I’d love for you to come by if you have the time and no pressure or anything. No worries if you can’t, I understand.”

I check Twitter too, but it’s kinda lost its appeal for me at the moment.

7:00 a.m…Paid a couple of bills online; mortgage and credit card. Checked TMZ but it’s all Kardashian-this, Kardashian-that, and I’m sooo over it. I hear the squawk of our resident scrub jays, throw a few raw nuts on the deck and watch them eat.scrubjay

7:20 a.m….After a couple cups of black coffee (the only way I drink it),  I start to get ready for the gym, but first I make the bed and wash whatever dishes I didn’t do the previous evening. I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis; sometimes I’ll have a little protein drink, or a couple bites of toast, but I don’t really like to eat in the morning, unlike hub, who’s up and chewing before his eyes are completely open.

7:35 a.m…Check email again. Yay, a brief message from hub. All the last minute work was completed on the tug, they’re underway and are offshore. Everything is going fine, which is good to hear. I write him back and tell him about my boring weekend without him; how I went for a six-mile walk to the beach and back, gardened, washed the windows, boring, boring, boring, oh, but I heard a coyote and an owl, so there’s that.

7:55 a.m…Get dressed; black workout pants, yellow Zella top. Brush teeth, use Clarisonic to wash my face, apply light makeup — just eyebrows, liner, lipstick, spray perfume –Chance by Chanel (of course). Fill a water bottle, grab an apple for after Boot Camp.

8:30 a.m…Publish the post I wrote the previous evening. I try to stay one or two days ahead.

8:35 a.m…Head out. Water a few plants near the front door; take the trash cans out to the street (something else I have to do when hub is gone).

8:45 a.m…The 24-Hour Fitness I go to is about three miles away, but up a huge and long incline or I’d ride my bicycle. Sometimes I get lucky and get all green lights; today was one of those days, yay!

10:10 a.m…Back in my car after a strenuous workout with a zillion tabatas to exhaustion. Squats, lunges, box jumps, weights, jumping jacks. I still can’t do any real weight bearing exercises, so no pushups yet or plank. If I wear my cast/brace, I can lift five pounds in my left hand while I lift ten with my right. Eat the apple, need nourishment for a little retail therapy hee hee. Oh NO! I almost forgot I had an 11:15 a.m. physical therapy appointment for my almost healed broken wrist. No time to shop now, darn. I’ll have to run home and shower.

11:00 a.m…Made a fast smoothie including yogurt, banana, chia seed, wheat grass, protein powder, and frozen loquats and mulberries from the garden. Showered, threw on a maxi dress, and out the door to Encinitas. Hope there’s no traffic or I’ll be late.

12:30 p.m…Where to go after PT? I drive up Encinitas Blvd. to El Camino Real and you know about Speed Dating? This is speed shopping. I stop at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Pier One Imports, Anthropologie, Victoria’s Secret, White House, Black Market, and even H&M. This was more of a browsing mission. Nothing really caught my eye; nothing I couldn’t live without, so I came away empty. Plus, I’m out of water and thirsty. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow :)

3:00 p.m…Back home, and NOW I’m starving. Time for hummus with Ak-Mak crackers and a veggie wrap. (Lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, cucumber, raisins rolled up in a tortilla.) Plus ginger tea and a fat-free fig cookie.

3:30 p.m…Check email, WordPress, FB, Twitter. All pretty quiet. No new Miley Cyrus outrageous behavior. Best news of all, the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is back. Yippee!

4:00 p.m…Work out in the garden since it’s cooled off a bit. Our summer garden was HORRIBLE this year. I’m not sure what caused it, but I pulled everything out and will allow it lay fallow for a bit. I’ll need hub to get more mushroom compost when he returns; in the meantime, I’ll work compost in. Mowed the lawns, front and back. Another job I must do while my tugboat man is away. Take the trash cans back from the street. Had a chat with a nice neighbor who keeps an eye on me while hub’s away.

5:30 p.m…Back in the house, checked email again; this time I discover a message from my tugboat man, letting me know that plans have changed and he won’t be making a port stop in San Diego after all, and he’ll call to explain when he gets in cell range. Oh DARN! I was really looking forward to seeing him, even for only a brief moment. I’m disappointed, but not overly so, things change all the time; I’m inured — accustomed –to fluid situations.
There’s always the possibility things will change back again; I’m a hopeful, glass half full kinda girl.

6:15 p.m…I got so dirty working outside I’ll need to take another shower and wash my hair this time which takes forever — curly hair needs a lot of love…

6:45 p.m…It’s no fun at all preparing and eating food for just me. One really is the loneliest number! I decide to make quinoa and add broccoli so it all cooks together. It’s ready in fifteen minutes, delicious with a dash of Mae Ploy, sweet red chili sauce.

7:30 p.m…Turn on Jeopardy and keep the TV on, mostly not watching it, while I write the next day’s blog and work on my book (yes, I too am writing a novel.)

9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – ish…Get ready for bed, slather my face with a few layers of anti-aging creams; Retin-A, glycolic acid, brush teeth, pop in my retainer, read for a bit, and fall asleep. Goodnight, y’all.

2:00 a.m…awakened by the plaintive voice of a coyote. It seems very close; just one lonely howl. As long as I’m awake, I might as well use the bathroom and I’m back to sleep in just a few minutes.

That’s my very empty nest day.

Holla! to Pinterest

Of late, I’ve been shamefully neglectful of my Pinterest boards. I know you’re all out there, organizing and pinning and repinning and following and liking.

He's soo dreamy!

He’s soo dreamy!

I even know what you like best about my own Pinterest site (click to visit) and that would be  my NUMBER ONE pin: Ed Westwick, who so briliiantly portrayed Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl – and Owls.

Saw-whet owls

Yes, owls are a fave amongst my pinning pals! And animals in general, which makes me happy, ‘cos I’m a huge animal lover.

Pinterest now has created Group Boards that one can be invited to join and pin to, but what kind of freaks me out in a slightly squinchy way are my MALE pinners. I just don’t get the appeal for a guy. I’m not at all sexist, but the two males I asked — my tugboat man and my son —  said they would never in a zillion years have any interest in Pinterest. Sorry for all you guys that do, but in my own little world, the answer is NO WAY. All I got was a “let me see those In the Tube surfingsurfing pics” and then they walked away, shaking their heads.

Although…I got a little snarky comment under his breath from my tugboat man, something along the lines of…”must be nice to have so much time to waste on crap” but when I demanded that he repeat what he said, he changed it to, “That was a delicious dinner, my love” but don’t you worry, I heard it. Yes, it’s a waste of time. I agree. But it’s also very addictive.

Click on my Chanel board. Very aspirational, don’t you agree?

Chanel surfboards

OMG, this is an amazeballs seashell wedding cake, isn’t it?

Unique-Beach-Wedding-Cake-IdeasDoesn’t it make you want to get married all over again? Hmmm. Ya know, I’ve been thinking about planning a vow renewal for our big #20 wedding anniversary next February. Pinterest is the perfect place to organize themes and ideas.

Now if I could only PIN my tugboat man down to actually being at the same latitude/longitude as me, maybe it’ll happen!

This isn’t my mariner nor his tug, but it’s a good example of the kind of work he does. 

Tug and barge

I said TWINE not WINE

I came late in life to the Facebook party – I’m a FB menopause baby — and it really proved itself as a forum for support and compassion when I was faced with a dilemma. They talked me down off that ledge of compulsive behavior.

A Tugboat Wife Confession
I’m slightly OCD  –  I emphasize slightly because it’s not something that cripples my daily life, and I mostly kind of love and embrace all my little idiosyncrasies.  I think it’s kinda cute to be SUH-LIGHTLEE crazy. It’s what makes me ME. It might be a bit tough to be married to ME, but my tugboat man is pretty cool with it.

We OCD-ers are the ones who love a clean house, am I right? We can’t ALL be slobs, if ya know what I mean…

Hold on a sec, I’ll be right back, I see a picture on the wall that’s off just a skosh, I gotta go straighten it out. ………………………………………OK I’m back. Whew. All better.

See, it comes in handy to be slightly OCD, who needs a level when I’m around? Right? I can eyeball a shelf, a pic, anything slightly askew – I have a built-in level in my brain.

Don’t get grossed out —  but a few days ago I was sitting on the….ahem…toilet. Right across from me there’s a floor shelf unit with towels, my hair dryer, iron, straightener — and a ton of seashells. I had lovingly arranged each one in a specific location. I noticed a shell/rock combo shifted and was facing in a less than feng shui direction.

It bothered me enough that I stopped what I was doing — ahem — got up, shuffled over, YES, pants around my ankles, moved them a smidgen, and sat back down. I had a bit of a convo with myself about it — should I get up, should I wait ’til I’m done, does it really bother me, and I remembered what my very patient and tolerant hubs always says to me in similar situations, “Is it something you can live with?” and I told myself, “No, I need to fix it, because that’s what will make me happy” so I did and then I chortled to myself thinking about what my tugboat man would say when I shared the story.

So…a couple days ago my OCD manifested itself again when I shopped for twine. That’s right,  I said twine, not wine.

TwineI needed twine for the snowpeas in my garden.
Plain old useful-for-a-zillion things twine.

I went to True Value Hardware and bought a ball of twine for $2.99, did a few more errands, bought a scarf at Marshalls, and stopped at the dollar store. They had twine for ONE DOLLAR. Uh oh. I drove home with all kinds of thoughts fomenting and swirling around in my crazy head. Should I take back the twine I bought from True Value? Those stores are on opposite sides of my city, not a great distance, but more than a hop, skip, and a jump. I got the brill idea to put the power of social media to work and pose the question to my FB family:facebookpage

I got tons of much needed help, but the consensus wasn’t clear. 50% voted for a return, 50% said don’t sweat it, remember the dollar store for the next time — and I’m sure quite a few were shaking their heads, thinking they were really glad they weren’t married to me and wouldn’t have to deal with this on a regular basis, am I right, y’all?. Ha Ha!  The family joke is that I’ll waste five dollars in gas to return a fifty cent item, and that is absolutely true. On the other hand — designer handbags… need I say more?

After my BootCamp class yesterday, I returned to the dollar store and did a twine by twine comparison. Yes, the dollar store offering was only $1 but it contained HALF as much twine as the $2.99 option from True Value  – 120 feet versus 230 feet

So… I did my due diligence and felt comfortable with the original purchase and hadn’t wasted any money. I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions. Social media rocks!

It was a definite burr under my saddle for a while. Prolly should have just bought a bottle of WINE and saved myself and everyone else a whole lotta stress!

sweetpeasAnd finally, here’s the twine helping my darling little pea plants grow straight and tall!

Are you in the OCD club with me?

Are you special, too?

Don’t Worry, Martin Scorsese, I’m not a threat to your career…for now

Maybe this is the new path of my life’s journey–what do YOU think?
I’m sorta new to Facebook and Twitter and all other forms of social networking, but I wanted to upload the video I shot of TheFurFiles during our most recent Skyped chick date–a shopping adventure and the final reveal of the chosen gown.

After spending two days researching “how to” on Google and WordPress.com, I discovered that I can’t upload self-made video the same way as photos are uploaded unless I purchase the upgrade–which I’m not about to do YET–and you’ll most definitely agree with that decision–as soon as you view my first foray into filmmaking.

The only way I could figure out how to accomplish this was to first upload to my Facebook account and then inbed it as a link. This took about two hours, not kidding.

Attempts to be famous
I tried to create something spectacular in iMovie. As you will see and AGREE, that didn’t happen. What is most upsetting to me–and which I will share with you as a tugboat wife’s confession– is the knowledge that I studied filmmaking in graduate school at San Diego State University.

Yup, I switched mid-stream from Education to the Dramatic Arts with the hopes that I would be a force to be reckoned with behind as well as in front of the camera. And we know where that led to, right? It led NOWHERE.

Has anyone ever heard of me? Am I on any Red Carpet? Are paps following my every move? Do I have a plastic surgeon on retainer? Is Johnny Depp in my Rolodex?

Six degrees of separation from Dustin Hoffman without a restraining order
Well…at one time I did have Dustin Hoffman’s dad’s telephone number, but I called so much, they changed the number. That is a possibly true and possibly not true story. I won’t tell.

How I annoyed Gene Wilder
During the aforementioned carefree college days, I worked part-time at a restaurant in a fancy shmancy area on the a beach. I won’t give the restaurant a name because they weren’t very nice to me and I quit. If you must know THAT story–well–here it is.

I was the hostess/cashier and one day I had to leave my “post” to use the restroom. I’m a girl–we pee a lot and my mom said we should never hold it or we’ll get a UTI, right?  The maitre de (asshole) told me I COULD NOT GO UNTIL MY APPROVED BREAK TIME. Being the quick witted girl that I was learning to become, I told him that was FINE WITH ME as long as he cut a hole in the stool I was sitting on and put a bucket under it, because I was going to  urinate (yes, I said urinate, not pee) one way or another.  And then I got up,  flounced out, and never came back. True, true, all true, hand over heart, pinky swear TRUE. This incident happened AFTER the Gene Wilder adventure in humiliation.

Back to Gene Wilder. He was there. Eating. Not with Gilda Radner, but with a group of men. I can’t remember the year, but it was prolly around 1975-ish. Picture this. I see him. I’m thinking to myself, he’ll see me, want my number, my agent’s number, he’s gonna cast me in a film, I’m gonna be discovered, I’m gonna be famous, I’m gonna have a starring role, I’m gonna be FAMOUS with capital letters!!!! So…I fluff out my hair–you’ve seen it and you know that it needs no fluffing. (I can picture you shaking your head in agreement.)  I then UNBUTTON PRETTY MUCH MY ENTIRE BLOUSE so that my non-existent cleavage is fully displayed. I’m so excited that I’m hyperventilating, right? Can you see it? I smear on more lipstick and and lip gloss-a little pouty lip action–and saunter across the the dining room to his table. I channel my inner Marilyn Monroe….jutting our my best assets, and with a throaty voice, bend over to show it all, and I say,

“Uh, helllooo Mr. Wilder. I just love—”

That was IT. That was as far as I got, because he turned to me with his stupid blue eyes and ratty curly blond hair and replied in a curt and abruptly dismissive tone,

“Could you please go away and stop bothering us?”

and to make it even worse–if that was even possible–he followed that with

“And I’m not giving any autographs, either.”

Of course I turned the brightest shade of fuchsia, flop sweat formed under my armpits and dripped slowly down my body, and I tripped over myself as I swiftly slinked away, dying a little bit with every step. If only I could have had the courage THEN that I have NOW,  I would have told him he didn’t have to be so mean to a sweet and innocent nineteen-year-old with stars in her eyes. A little empathy–a little compassion-goes a long way. Perhaps events like this helped to form and engender the unleashing of my inner beeyotch. (And yes, he complained to the management about me.)

Back to the original storyline…

Baking
So far, TheFurFiles and I have had two Skype-dates. Apple pie baking was our first fun activity together. This was her first pie experience and she came through it without a scratch. Her pie looked amazing! (I’m a pretty good coach, if I do say so myself.)

Shopping
This time, she needed a couple of gowns for two special events and I thought I’d tag along to give my valuable input–but really, who am I fooling–I love to shop! Even though we’re 2833 miles apart. (I had to look that up cos I had NO idea where Ottowa was.) Picture this: I’m at home in SoCal, sitting on my pink and grey/green sofa adorned with animal print pillows–and I’m Skyping.

This is my beloved Bandit (deceased) who allowed us to share her sofa-sometimes.

This is my beloved Bandit (deceased) who allowed us to share her sofa-sometimes.

Ms. Furry is in a department store (geez, do they even have those things in the wilds of Canada?) with her husband wielding her iPhone and Skyping me. I have my basic point and shoot camera videotaping the “trying on” of gowns and cocktail dresses. It is her HUBS that can’t keep the phone horizontal. THAT isn’t my fault, but I left it in my clip thinking it made a sort of artistic point-but upon further reflection, I’m not sure what that could BE.

THE VIDEO
A disclaimer is important to post here. This is not quite the worst video you’ll ever see. The worst one EVER is the vid of my son’s commencement ceremony. Without a doubt, it would win every “worst ever” contest. This is a close runner-up. Go ahead and laugh, it’s OK!  Like the title of this post admits, I know I’m no threat to Scorsese! (One day I’ll figure out how to post my son’s vid and embarrass him and yes, that’s a threat.)

http://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=159952094154849