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

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. 
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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

Because of a COMMENT by Cowboys and Crossbones

I feel a potentially infectious bout of truthiness coming on and before it dissipates, I need to revise yesterday’s post, A normal life…for now.

Disclaimer: The picture of of my captain and myself IS accurate, we do sit by the fire and read or read before going to sleep–HOWEVER- Cowboys and Crossbones commentary shamed me into a fuller version of the story:

Cowboys and Crossbones says:
How do you keep from talking to one another while you’re reading?! I think it’s a sweet routine.

(ES-She’s just setting me up here, acting all so “sweet” with her and her party lifestyle and wild ways and her BFF cat, Teddy. She knows how to yank the real scoop out of me and I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Watch out for her, people, she’s a sly one.)

Enchanted Seashells reply:
Well…you are a smart one, I annoy him constantly with commentary, questions:

“whatcha reading now, what page are you on, why aren’t you paying attention to me,  you look funny in your reading glasses,  can you feel me pulling your arm hair,  does it hurt,  am i annoying you yet…”

…those kinds of things which are prolly more interesting than the vision of us sitting quietly reading. hee hee.

To which C&C wrote back:

I thought I had you figured out!!!!! And yes, your questions would be MUCH more interesting than words on a page.

(ES-Darn that C&C! She wasn’t happy just getting the dirt on what goes on at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, NOW she’s saying that’d be more interesting than my original  story, which obvs was BORING!)

Because I strive to be a truth seeker and I rise to any challenge, I have to set the record straight. It’s NOT always uninterrupted evenings of tranquility around here–well, sometimes it is–but more often or not, out of the corner of my eye I’ll see his foot or leg twitch and that upsets my concentration so I need to RETALIATE and TORTURE him in some way.

As a reminder, my theory of a successful marriage: if he’s annoying, be twice as annoying.

In addition to the incessant questions of a two-year-old, I’ll say stuff like, “Do you want me to read you a paragraph from my book?” and he’ll invariably say, “Does it have sex in it?” and I’ll say, “Geez, you are such a baby.” And then he’ll say, “Let me see it. If it has any sex scenes, I can find them like magic.” {insert a finger snap here} …as he fans the pages and then stops, points to a passage and says, “See, I told you I could find it!” So proud of himself as he’s leering at the page. That’s when I say, “You are SUCH a dumb tugboat captain.” (Since I have to have the last word. Always. Always. Always.)

I feel ever so much better having gotten this off my chest. Let’s just say that if C&C hadn’t forced me to come clean, you might have walked away with an inaccurate picture of our serene life. This is, after all, CONFESSIONS of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Are you happy NOW, Cowboys and Crossbones?

Yes, I really AM that annoying.

And every once in a while, it’s really black and white.

While I’m absorbed in the embracing and releasing of my inner beeyotch, there’s an overriding theme that’s emerging around Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

It seems that I am annoying in different ways to different people. Some might find that to be a negative character trait and should be “worked on.”

Not me.

I consider my annoying self to be a value-added option or a gift with purchase–to the liberation of my beeyotchiness.

There are some aspects of parenting and marriages that don’t reveal themselves right away. Sometimes it takes a child moving out to give him/her perspective and a spouse can also evoke a similar epiphany.

Last night my shining bright star boy child called and I was APPARENTLY nagging (his word) him about his eating habits and not eating enough. A great multi-tasker, he was chewing while chatting and told me he was eating a Subway sandwich. Always a caring and concerned and nurturing mom, I told him it didn’t have enough calories for a skinny boy like him and he needed to take bcare of himself and eat higher quality protein and more frequently, blah blah blah.

I said, ‘Maybe I should come back there and cook for you.” “No, that’s OK.”  “Why not? I would have loved it if my mom cooked for me.” “No, I can cook for myself” “But DO you?”

“Were you always this annoying?”

That about sums it all up for me, and anyway, the answer is yes, I have always been this annoying.

In fact, the captain asked me the same exact question yesterday. I was bugging him while he was hiding from me working on a project–and he said, “Do you have any idea how annoying you are?”

To which I answered, “Yes, I am very well aware of how annoying I am. This is not new information to you. I did not suddenly emerge from my chrysalis and become an annoying person. I didn’t misrepresent myself. You knew full well what you were getting yourself into more than twenty years ago. So stop complaining. Your complaining IS annoying.”

“Once in a while, you should try to not be so annoying.”

Like really, like does he not know by now with whom he’s dealing? I was gonna say, does he not know who he’s dealing with, but that’s not proper English, so if it sounds strange, whatever. Deal with it. Oopsie, just let a bit of my beeyotchiness out, like a silent but deadly you know.

I felt picked on and since I’m only sixty inches tall, I feel a good old Napoleon Complex simmering just below the surface, ready to boil over real fast, rear its ugly head, and take no prisoners.

I added that snide remark to his Frico/Freaky sharp-witted comment of the other day. Like an elephant, we women don’t forget. We just tally up the misdeeds in one of our brain’s compartments, and when it fills up, watch out.

Thar she blows!

Here’s a little confession. Pissing me off is expensive. He paid dearly and with much pain. He was forced under duress to accompany me to South Coast Plaza in Orange County. I’ve  spoken of this place before, I know, but it really is a shrine, a shopping mecca, a retail temple of the beautiful–and Chanel, or as my new friend calls it, ChaCha. (Check out her blog, reversecommuter–she’s awesome.) I love Hermes and Valentino and Versace and Gucci, but Chanel holds my heart.

It’s a beautiful drive to SCP and takes about fifty minutes or so. We could see the surf at Trestles on one side and snow-covered mountains to the east. We parked at Bloomingdales. I wanted to check out their Chanel department and compare it to the actual Chanel shop’s designs. I know I just got my Grand Tote Shopper in November, but she was a bit lonely and I thought a little sister (in other words, a matching wallet) would make her happy.

I pulled out all the stops on this one.

My crazy came out in spectacular form. Here’s what I said to the captain. “My mom called and she said that I really need a matching wallet.”

Hold on. Stay with me. Don’t stop reading now! You might be thinking to yourself, “That doesn’t sound too crazy.”

Well…when I tell you that my mom died in 1989, you might think differently, huh?

So…treading lightly here–very lightly, the captain said, “Tell your mom that saying things like that is not very helpful and you also can tell her from me that she raised a very spoiled daughter.”

I walked away and came back a few minutes later.

“My mom said you’re annoying.”

(We chat with my mom all the time as if she were still here, so it’s not that unusual to bring her into a convo.)

Back to SCP. Focus! Bloomies didn’t have a huge selection and the sales staff was EXTREMELY unpleasant and didn’t seem to really want us invading their space, so we left.

We took the escalator down to the first floor. As we were descending, I looked behind me…and there it was in all of its black and white magnificence. I swear the place was glowing, beckoning me in.

I almost forgot hubs was with me.

Marie greeted us as we walked in and made a grand tour of the salon. She commented on the beauty of my GST. I asked to see the black caviar wallet that would complement my bag. She escorted us to the proper glass case, and then beckoned me to go behind the counter where she OPENED ALL THE DRAWERS AND INVITED ME TO TAKE ALL THE TIME I WANTED TO LOOK AT THE DOZENS OF WALLETS IN EVERY COLOR AND PATTERN. My face turned  bright red, I almost broke out in tears. The captain parked his ass somewhere–at this point I had no idea he existed.  I WAS IN HEAVEN. Pink and blue and green and red and quilted and patent leather and imprinted with Coco’s signature camellias.

I touched and stroked and smelled them all.

With a nod from my tugboat captain–KING OF ALL MEN- best husband in the whole world–I chose my prize. When Marie asked if this was for a special occasion, my wonderful hubs shrugged and said it was “Just because.” He’s really a very special guy, my tugboat man.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I was a very appreciative and grateful recipient.

Chanel south coast plaza

Hubs isn’t a very good photographer and he would only take one pic

On the way home from SCP

On the way home from SCP

So beautifully packaged, I didn't want to open it!

So beautifully packaged, I didn’t want to open it!

Chanel ribbon too!

Chanel ribbon too!

Can you hear the angels singing? Isn't it brills?

Can you hear the angels singing? Isn’t it brills?

chanelwallet2

The secret of a successful marriage

What is marriage all about? Based upon my personal research, experimentation, and analysis, I have the answers to your questions.

This is for all you young’uns who’re on the cusp of searching for a mate or for the older and hopefully wiser female who perhaps wants to dip a toe back into the dating pond.

Where’s Harry? A Wet Republic pool party in full swing

Do you want a life partner with whom to share your laughs, your tears, your bout with intestinal flu, your pillow and cat-laden bed, and to assist in the breeding of your offspring?

What’s the secret to my long lasting (twenty-two years together, nineteen married) relationship?

The secret is…COMPROMISE. 

Not really. I’m only messing with your head.

What works around here is torture and retaliation.

That’s it. Simple. Torture and retaliation.

It works like magic.

Case in point: My tugboat man goes out to sea for quite a while-usually two months or so at at time. When he returns, all he can think about (other than THAT) is surfing. Yes, he’s a big old surfer baby. Right now there are big winter waves pounding our coast.

sufingdragger-san-diego

This is not my captain because he’s not a dick dragger. That is NOT my term. I didn’t think of it but I wish I had. It’s what the young folks call a boogie boarder. Very descriptive, right? Think about it…

dog_surfing_01

This isn’t him, either. He’s not that cute but thank goodness, he’s less hairy.

sunset_cliffs_05

This isn’t him either, but this is how big the waves were at Sunset Cliffs.

A couple days ago he left at 5:30 a.m. to surf in La Jolla. In case you’re a surfer yourself, waves were mostly six feet with an occasional eight foot set. I was just about on my last nerve with this surf obsesh, so I blocked the driveway with sawhorses and trash cans so he couldn’t pull in the driveway.  Hee hee.sawhorse2C11TrashCanOld.jpg2F5B174A-5A60-43AB-8E0F6CCF2434E2ED.jpgLargerHe had to get out of his truck, move the obstacles, and then pull in.

After that, I used my wiles to torture him into building four more shelves for my lovely collection of shells and rocks.

And that brings us to today. Sunday. I guess the honeymoon’s over.

I was out in the garage chatting up the hubs about tonight’s dinner menu: freshly baked French bread, Caesar salad with my signature dressing, and thought I’d make some Frico at the same time that I make the croutons. I asked him:

“Have you ever had Frico? Do you know what it is?”

“Yeah, I know what a Frico is, I’m married to one.”

How RUDE. HOW RUDE!

This is Frico, I am not Frico.

This is Frico, I am not Frico.

I was being the  best wife ever; I brought him lunch on  a tray while he was working on restoring his rowboat and building yet another shelf (I love shelves, OK?) and THIS is the attitude I have to deal with!? After I brought him a wheatgrass smoothie, fresh pear cut in half and filled with nonfat cottage cheese dusted with cinnamon–blueberry-smiley-face-berries-pixmac-photo-75642785and to make it extra-special, a smiley face out of fresh blueberries–he retaliates with a comment like that? Oh, he’ll pay all right, oh yes he will. We’ll see who’s FREAKY when he takes me to South Coast Plaza tomorrow. We’ll test the limits of his stamina and endurance throughout the huge shopping center. We’ll whet our whistle at one end with Bloomingdales as we march determinedly toward my personal holy grail, (do you hear the trumpets sounding?) as we round the corner to….Chanel–Chanel, the holder of my bliss.

Torture and retaliation-the stuff of which great marriages are made.

Frico, not Freako

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using largest holes on a 4-sided grater, coarsely shred enough cheese to measure 1 cup. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner. Stir together cheese, flour, and pepper. Arrange tablespoons of cheese 4 inches apart on liner, stirring cheese in bowl between tablespoons to keep flour evenly distributed. Flatten each mound slightly with a metal spatula to form a 3-inch round.Bake frico in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on sheet on a rack, then carefully transfer each crisp (they are very delicate) with metal spatula to rack to cool completely.

“I am sorry, I do not talk to press, but I am fine.”

I’ve been out-beeyotched by a lovely beeyotch herself, Jen of Life on the Sonny Side  who may not have done it on purpose, but corrected my incorrect spelling of beeyotch. I bow to her superiority. That’s role model material, people.

I vow to say this all the time, whether in appropriate circumstances or not.

Since my only resolution for 2013 is to release my inner beeyotch, I’ve been on the lookout for inspiration. These are some of my heroines.

naomi campbell

Photo from naomicampbell.com

According to TMZ, Naomi Campbell reportedly suffered a torn ligament in her leg when she was mugged on a street in Paris. The supermodel was hailing a cab when she was attacked and robbed by multiple assailants reports the NY Post. It is thought they were after her jewelry. The attack left Campbell in a wheelchair and crutches. The Post says Campbell’s boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin, has upped her security since the incident. When called for comment about the incident, Campbell told the paper, “I am sorry, I do not talk to press, but I am fine.” 

michelle dockery

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary

Downton Abbey‘s Lady Mary exemplifies the refined upper class beeyotchiness to which I aspire. Oh, if ONLY I hadn’t been born in the USA! I just know my life journey could have included a dead Turkish ambassador or two.

Look at the beeyatchy way Anna crosses her arms. She ain't messing around@

Look at the beeyotchy way Anna crosses her arms. Guurl ain’t messing around!

And then there’s Anna Wintour, the beeyotchiest beeyotch of all. MEOW! According to Forbes Magazine, the most powerful woman in fashion continues to use her sway in politics. This year the Obama bundler teamed up with actress Sarah Jessica Parker to cohost a $40,000-a-plate dinner with the President, attended by a glittering array of designers and Hollywood icons. Some speculate she’s after an ambassadorship in London, but Wintour says these are just rumors–she’s quite happy in her current job. Vogue, which reaches 11.4 million readers in print and an average 1.2 million monthly visitors online, opened its digital archives in 2011 including articles, photos and ads dating back 120 years. It’s a thorough fashion history book and a new revenue stream–an annual b-to-b subscription price is $3,250. Wintour has edited the magazine since 1988 and is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.