Hermès and a Wind Rose; The Cosmic Connection

Before there was…
logo-hermes-paris

There was…
hermespic

  • Hermès was the son of Maia and Zeus
  • He was the messenger of the gods and the god of merchants, travelers, and public speakers.
  • He was one of the twelve Olympian gods who resided on the summit of Mount Olympus.
  • His caduceus helped Hermès charm the gods and gain access to all locations.
  • Hermès was the only god who was authorized to visit Heaven, Earth and the Underworld.
  • He was often depicted ready for travel and wore a flat hat called a petasus.

compass-wind-rose-17937547Wind Rose

  • Used by mariners, a wind rose is a diagram that summarizes information about the wind at a particular location over a specified time period.
  • Before the use of magnetic compasses, a wind rose was a guide on mariners’ charts to show the directions of the eight principal winds.
  • The modern wind rose used by meteorologists gives the percentage of the time the wind blows from each direction during the observation period; it sometimes shows the strengths of these winds and the percentage of the time calm air or light winds are observed.
  • This wind rose usually has eight radiating lines whose lengths are proportional to wind frequency and shows wind strength by the thickness of the lines or by feathers attached to them.
  • The earliest-known wind roses appeared on navigation charts used in the thirteenth century by Italian and Spanish sailors.

Hermès + Wind Rose = a meant-to-be gift for ME.
A cosmic convergence of two worlds.

For a guy who once balked at paying fifty dollars for a bottle of Estee Lauder Pleasures perfume for our very first Christmas together, my tugboat man has surely mastered the art of generous gift giving.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Our last couple of days zoomed by in a blur. Hub’s company called on Monday to ask him if he would relieve a captain who had to be flown home for a health-related reason.

He flew out Wednesday morning. Yet another seventy-five mile round-trip to the airport for me…

I’ve been talking nagging him about getting an Hermès scarf ever since I  bought my son an Hermès tie for his graduation last year. (The story of the Hermès tie will be highlighted in a future post.)

I really didn’t want my tugboat man to use up his last day at home by going shopping, but he twisted my arm.

He said the scarf was supposed to be a gift for my birthday but we never found the time to go to South Coast Plaza in Orange County or Fashion Valley in San Diego.

We were close to SCP when we hiked Crystal Cove although I didn’t want to experience the wonderfulness of Hermès in dusty hiking boots. That’s totes understandable, right?

So I finally acquiesced under the barrage of his relentless and persuasive arguments and gracefully allowed him the joy of making me happy.

Um, I mean, who am I to deny him that pleasure?

What can I say? I’m a spoiled beeyotch, I know, I know. But every girl needs at least one Hermes scarf to call her own. It’s true. I read that somewhere, I know I did…

Did you know that a postal worker from Texas designs some of the scarves from Hermès?My son, who possesses a vast store of knowledge about almost everything, heard about it on NPR, “How A Texas Postman Became An Hermès Designer” (click on the title to read the article.)

We asked the sales staff to pull out and display every scarf in the case. My hubs exhibited an inordinately high level of patience with me while I pondered each and every scarf; draping each and every one over my shoulder, gazing upon my reflection in the mirror.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest of them all?”

They were all beautiful and colorful and quirky — but not for me — not the one with sailboats nor the ones with horses and polo ponies nor the Native American themes (designed by the postal worker.)

I have high praise for the sales staff. They seemed to enjoy my shopping experience as much as we I did.

None spoke to me until I saw the scarf entitled  “La Rose des Vents”.

It was a Wind Rose!

I turned to my tugboat man with shining eyes, “Isn’t this just the most perfect thing you’ve ever seen? It’s meant to be, right?”

“If you love it, I love it”, replied my perfectly trained and word-sparing husband.

Not just because it’s an ÜBER fashion house — even more profound, it’s a celebration of the beauty of a mariner’s world.

I must admit I became a bit teary-eyed at that moment, but not enough so that tears spilled over and damaged the delicate silk.

Back to the business at hand…

Navy red, brown

Navy red, brown

There were two color palettes from which to choose.
This one…or one with blues, pinks, greens, and yellows.

Which do you think I picked?

Join me as I fulfill another retail shopping dream…

HermesONE

My tugboat man takes the absolute worst pictures.
He refuses to use the zoom or focus.

Hermes2

I think I’m totally rocking the polka dot sweater from Target, don’t you?
It sooo sets off the orange Hermès bag.
If you look really hard, you can see that I need to get my roots done ASAP.
Do you see that tell-tale line of gray hair?
Too funny the way the sun reflects off it, right?

Hermes1

Now we’re home to prepare for the unveiling.
Yes, all the chairs in our dining room are covered in animal print. 

hermes4

Look at the box. Just look at it! All wrapped up with a logo ribbon. Sigh.

hermes5

I’m in heaven.
Is this the one you thought I would choose?

hermes6

Beautiful, beautiful silk.
And what’s this? It’s a wind rose!!!
“La Rose des Vents”
The Rose of the Winds.
Amazing, right?

hermes9

Do you see why I had to have it?
It’s maritime-related, and even better, “Rose” is part of my real-life name,
not just my nom de plume, Princess Rosebud.

hermes7

The colors are vibrant and amazing.
The silk feels like flower petals.

hermes8

It’s way more gorgeous in person.
The photos don’t do her justice, and I really need to iron the folds.

hermes10Way to go, my tugboat man, to once again make me feel like a real princess.
I hope you have calm winds, fair weather, and come home safe and soon.
xoxo

princess tiara

“I didn’t win the Powerball Jackpot”, says Princess Rosebud

Source: wchingya.com

Source: wchingya.com

Yoo hoo! It’s me, I’m back!

Sigh, we’re not the Powerball Lottery Jackpot winner, although we actually bought a couple of tickets which we never do, and I had mentally chosen an array of colors for my new Chanel and Hermes handbags — pink, white, turquoise, orange… and my tugboat man had picked out the locations for our new homes so he could follow the surf year-round.

Oh well.

This blog thing — it’s just like riding a bicycle, right? Hold on while I climb back on that seat and clip my shoes in the pedals.

Although I’m a little rusty, let’s see if I remember how to do this…my tagline is “beguiling pearls of wit, wisdom, and whimsy — with attitude.”

Hopefully, I haven’t completely forgotten…and I hope you haven’t completely forgotten ME.

It feels like it’s been sooo long since I sat down with my Mac on my lap to write a post — in my favorite writing spot — looking out the patio doors to the deck and beyond, listening to the birdsong…Pencils-lined-up

If we still wrote with pencils, you could picture me with them all lined up, sharpened to a point, awaiting the construct of a thought to translate into letters and words.

Where is YOUR favorite location to write?

UPDATE:

My tugboat man came home last Thursday evening – my son was delivered to me via Southwest Airlines on Sunday (Mother’s Day) and flew away on Friday night.

Saturday was full of cleaning and laundry, finding the clothes my son forgot to pack that he’ll probably need me to send to him — why is it that he can write a 250 page dissertation with an amazing amount of detail, but is so forgetful of the minutiae of daily life? Ah, the absent minded professor syndrome in action, right?

I took tons of pics of our busy week of hiking and birthday partying and surfing (them, not me).  I was baking and cooking and cleaning.

When I’m here all alone, I forget how much work is involved in caring for a family.

Can you believe that they expect to eat ALL DAY LONG? It’s true. Geez. And they want to do that EVERY DAY —  it is SOOO annoying!

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

I’m currently hard at work on several posts; our hike to Crystal Cove, my Hello Kitty birthday party, the one-year anniversary of my son’s commencement, and a pictorial of my box collection — I counted about thirty of ‘em in all shapes and sizes.

Stay tuned for a little husband snark, too. Just sayin’…

Show and tell: Flashes of light play within a precious opal

Raise your hand if you want some education. Anyone? No? Yes?

Show and Tell
Time to chat about one of my favorite subjects. Jewels. Precious stones. Things that sparkle and shine.

When I was in college I had a part-time job at a high end jewelry boutique in La Jolla.
I spent my days trying on jewelry and learned a fair amount, too. Mostly I learned how much I love sparkly things, ha ha!

Today we feature the Opal.

The Opal Backstory
Historically, October’s birthstone has been accused (wrongly) of bringing bad luck.  History and Lore of Opal is a great read to dispel any fears or superstitions.

Opal is an amorphous form of silica , not a mineral. The water content is between six percent and twenty percent. It’s deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock; most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl and basalt. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world’s supply.

The internal structure of precious opal makes it diffract light; depending on the conditions in which it formed it can take on many colors. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the reds against black are the most rare, whereas white and greens are the most common. It varies in optical density from opaque to semi-transparent.

Precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors and even though it’s a mineraloid, it has an internal structure.

Play of color
The opal’s iridescence is mesmerizing.  The most valuable opals have a vibrant play of color without any “dead” or white spots. Exactly which colors the opal reflects also affects its value. The most highly prized colors are  red, orange yellow, green, and blue. The more colors a gemstone includes, the more valuable it is. 

Bright flashes of color
In addition to color, the amount of light an opal reflects helps to determine value. The most valuable opals sparkle with bright flashes of color.

Opal care
Don’t soak your opal in water; no dishwashing, no gardening, no rough treatment,
Treat an opal as you would a delicate and precious flower. Every once in a while, rub a little vegetable oil into the stone, which’ll help prevent it from drying out.

Why all this talk about opal?
My mom had given me a pair of opal stud earrings.Opal_studs
They weren’t very large, but they magically flashed
with all the colors of the rainbow, and the captain
was bewitched by the idea of a gem with ocean-liike colors.

Before he went out to sea for this (very long) assignment, he gave me this beautiful opal ring me for our nineteenth wedding anniversary. It’s custom-made and vintage — I found it at one of my favorite shops in downtown San Diego, and asked them place it on hold until my tugboat man could take a look. He fell it love too —  I like to think it was a “rescue” and she’s now in a good home.   I took a series of photos of her posed like a movie star on the pearl encrusted mirror that I crafted a few days ago.

She is breath-taking; magnificent and stunning. I really feel like a princess when I wear it, which isn’t very often, because as beautiful as opals are, they are slightly fragile.

It looks like I have a matched set!

Against an orange Hermes backdrop

opal

Against a white background. See the flash and play of color?Opal on white background

Animal print. Of course.opal with animal print

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Here’s today’s Daily Prompt Challenge: Hindsight.  Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your first post.

This is MY deja vu–my first blog re-do–obviously my life is a deja vu redo Groundhog Day repeat. The captain was gone again, I was alone for a very long time…I’ve learned to use tags since then–maybe THIS time it’ll get read! 

My First Blog Post

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Day 60: Alone again! It’s 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening and I just completed a copy editing assignment for a brilliant young neuroscientist. Since my first pink lock and key diary at the age of eight, I’ve filled notebooks and journals with my thoughts and observations, and even minored in creative writing in college, but the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to let go of my own words. (I’m a word hoarder. Hah!)

Update: Now I’m a word spewer–since I started blogging, I can’t STOP writing!

Although I easily re-write and proof and edit the work of others (and love to do it), my own words seem to be trapped somewhere; I am never quite satisfied with the finished product; I always feel that one more re-write is always needed—just one more, and then another and another–and I am determined to overcome this obstacle by blogging about my life as a wife of a Merchant Mariner. To other MM wives, I’d love to share our experiences, problems, frustrations, and solutions. There are thousands of us around the world—let’s create a community and help one another. What do we all do when our guys are gone? In what ways do our lives change when they’re away on assignment and when they’re home? How do we cope with the work-related absence of a spouse, whether it’s due to the military, MM, or any other career that involves a lot of travelling? Are you sad? Maybe relieved sometimes, if you were to be completely honest?

Update: Still hoping to create the community of Merchant Mariner Wives. I’ve met Snipewife who’s awesome, but there has to be others! Come out and play! 

Also, from time-to-time, I will review either a product I’ve used or a book I’ve read and share my opinion. I have great things to say about Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect nail polish. I have it in Satin 04. It claims to hide ridges and imperfections with a “breathable porcelain-smooth finish.”  The website says it’s enhanced with ginseng, camellia oil, and lotus to promote stronger, healthier nails. I was really impressed with the finished product and it really does give a professional look. I’m going to try it in other colors and will let you know. Update: it worked great, very shiny, lasts a decent amount of time, and is inexpensive.

Here’s a mini-version of my back story: I’m a (was a) stay-at-home mom; when my son left for college, I stayed home. Don’t you think that’s funny? I do. That’s my standard joke/response when I’m asked what I “do”. Some people think it’s funny, some people think I’m obnoxious. Story of my life.

I’ve been married to a Merchant Mariner tugboat captain for about eighteen years, nineteen in February 2013. For the first fourteen years or so, our life was pretty ordinary and except for a few assignments that took him away for a week or so, his schedule kept him working in local ports.  In 2009, he changed companies and became the kind of Merchant Marine who goes out to sea for extended periods of time and travels to the four corners of the globe. When I tell people that my husband is a MM, most either think he is a “Marine Marine” or they don’t know what a Merchant Mariner is or what they do. My guy is an academy graduate (he won’t let me say which one ‘cos he’s paranoid that someone will figure out who he is) and has been working in the industry since graduation.

merchant marine sealWhat exactly is a Merchant Mariner?? For those of you who don’t know, the United States has a fleet of  Merchant Marine vessels,  ships which are owned and registered in the US and fly under our flag, but are separate from the military. (We are proud supporters of American-flagged vessels.) For example, car ships carry cars (obvs!), container ships hold cargo of TVs, bananas, soda ash, or even sand and gravel.

tug barge

NOT the captain’s tug, but a good photo of a tug pushing and pulling a barge. Tugs are hard little workers. I think I can, I think I can…

The Merchant Marine supplements the military in times of war, transporting goods and equipment to areas where it is needed. The people who crew Merchant Marine vessels are known as Merchant Mariners. Perhaps you remember hearing about the Maersk Alabama, a container ship seized by pirates a few years ago? Tom Hanks stars as the captain in the soon-to-be released film of the Navy Seals’ rescue of the ship and her crew. People who work on tugboats are called Merchant Marines. My guy is a tug and tow Master, although he has decades of experience on yachts, passenger vessels, and just about every type of boat, excluding fishing. No Deadliest Catch stories here! Tugboats pull (or push) barges all over the world, assist all types of ships in and out of their berths, and work in marine construction and the oil industry. It is really more complex that than, with a rich history and great anecdotes, but I am only the wife of, and my perspective is a different one.

Update: I begged and pleaded and guilted and flattered my captain to get him to audition for the Tom Hanks pirate film–they liked his initial video audition so much the casting director even sent sides (that’s a script to those of you who are NOT in the know like I am), but he didn’t get the part. He really should have. I was totes planning to go as his personal manager to Morocco where they were filming.

Back to my story…this lifestyle has been quite an adjustment. When he’s home, he’s a 24/7 at-home husband, just like being retired, and a different routine ensues–one of compromise and diplomacy. When he’s away at sea, I become a sort of “grass widow” (a woman whose husband is away from home frequently or for a long time, as on business) and have learned to structure my time alone to stay occupied while waiting for my best friend to come home. We modern mariner wives are really no different than wives of a few hundred years ago whose husbands went out to sea. We might have email access and satellite telephones, and are able to stay in touch more frequently than the occasional letter posted from faraway ports, but we are essentially on our own for a great deal of time. We have to be completely independent and solve problems and fix broken washing machines and cars and take out the trash and mow the lawn by ourselves, unless we have kids still living at home on whom we can foist these chores.

My confession du jour? I fully rely on retail therapy to help me cope. That doesn’t mean I actually PURCHASE a lot and spend a lot of money, rather, I am an accomplished fashionista BROWSER, (which should be an Olympic sport, as far as I’m concerned.) I have endurance and I possess stamina. I’m a hunter AND a gatherer. A shot of wheatgrass and I’m good to go for hours in my quest for a treasure, a good deal, or something I just have to have, and can’t live without; the next get. You know that Shopaholic film? I’ve seen it about a dozen times; it’s like a training film for me…  A day or so after my MM leaves, I fortify myself with a protein drink, a double shot of wheatgrass, and lay out my itinerary with quasi-military precision. I first make the rounds of my local stores; TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Target, Homegoods, just like a warm-up in my boot camp class, and then move on to H&M, Anthropologie, White Market/Black House. After that, I venture further away to the Nordstrom Outlet, DSW (yes!!!), and then our local mall for BloomiesNieman Marcus, and the boutiques-Tory Burch, Hermes, and the holy grail at South Coast Plaza in the OC…Chanel…Chanel…Chanel. I want/need a Chanel 2.55, the original black quilted bag with the chain strap. I am saving for a pilgrimage to Paris to pay homage to Coco at the original location. I. can’t. wait.

Update: I just can’t do it to y’all again, I know I’m probs on your last nerve with the whole Chanel thing, but it was cool for ME to tell myself, “Hey girl, your dream DID come true! Way to go to think it, believe it, and it will happen!”

Today, I was on the hunt for another blazer; blazers are super trendy and forever a classic fashion staple,  but it has to be the right blazer in the right color and cut. I ended up at a local consignment shop and while I didn’t find the desired blazer, I discovered the treasure of a Tory Burch sweater with gorgeous logo buttons. I found a similar style for around $250, and I got it for $40. It’s in perfect condition and looks like it’s never been worn. The pic doesn’t do it justice; it’s a rich cocoa brown with TB logo buttons and totes adorbs. Update: This is the same consignment shop where I just scored the vintage Valentino.tory burch sweater

Well, it’s back to editing for me and building my Etsy store where I can sell all the ropework jewelry and beachy décor we create. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first glimpse into my world.

Update: STILL working on that Etsy store! Almost done tho, hopefully so I won’t completely miss the holiday season…

Thanks to one and all who’ve read me and followed me and commented and offered guidance and humor and friendship. The world still revolves around me, I suppose it always will…alas, that’s the cross my long suffering tugboat captain must bear…And if you’ve un-followed me, don’t forget that Santa could leave a lump of coal in your stocking, so maybe y’all need to rethink that decision. Right???

 

Daily Prompt: Audience of One

Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

Dear Mommy,

Your little Princess Rosebud is very very mad at you. You are not here anymore and for that reason I understand that you can’t defend your actions, but I’m still super duper mad at you anyway!

Here’s why:

1. How could you be so stupid as to travel all the way to France, actually enter the original Chanel Store on Rue Cambon, and only buy a scarf. A pretty scarf to be sure, but just a SCARF, a worthless square of fabric!! What good does that do me? You went to France in the seventies; if only you had been a better mother, you would have known that your only daughter would one day be obsessed with Chanel. A good mommy–a better mommy than you were–would have known that and would have made sure I had all my wishes fulfilled. At this point, it would be a VINTAGE bag. I HATE YOU! [Cue sound of door slamming-- just like the good old days.]

2. And another thing, how dare you die before your grandson got his Ph.D. HOW DARE YOU! That was incredibly selfish of you. You know how much he loved you and how he called both of us “Mom” and both of us would answer, “Which one do you want, honey?” I’m the one that had to buy him an Hermes tie and write a note to him telling him that if you were still alive, this is what you would want him to have because you are so proud of him and what he had accomplished. [Again with the I hate you and door slam sound effect].

3. You would totes love the captain. He would totes love you too, but he’s only heard stories about how wonderful you were. He had kind of a crappy mom and you would have filled that hole in his heart.

How could you die and leave us all alone??

Love,
Your daughter, Princess Rosebud