A Whole Bunch of Dirt, Sand Dollars, and a Riddle

This is a riddle of sorts but there are no clues.


In fact, this probably makes no sense at all right now, but all will be revealed, and even then what’s going on in my head that makes perfectly logical sense to me will still have you scratching your collective heads.

Trust me.

Before he left, tugboat man built this beautiful raised bed so I can plant healthy veggies.


A nice friend stopped by with all of these sand dollars!

If only you could plant a sand dollar so they’d multiply!Sand dollar2

One particular sand dollar is being chased by a several other types of seashells.

sand dollar3

This means *something*.

I promise.

Lessons Learned From Blogging

I’ve been blogging since 2012 and have come to the conclusion that I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I’ve learned a few things about myself…

  • I’ve learned a lot about HOW to blog; how to set up a WordPress account and all the other socializations necessary for my words to obtain that all important reach: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram (although I don’t have a smartphone so I can’t access that.)
  • I’m more tech-savvy than the average mid-lifer.
  • I’m not a joiner of tribes or any group that is inclusionary or exclusionary. I tried, but failed, to join various groups and even attended a blogging convention, but alas, I tap my six-inch stilettos to the beat of a different drum…
  • I like to go rogue; be myself, be maverick-y, express my own views, and not blindly agree with anyone.
  • I’ve learned to become more confident (not that I was ever a shrinking violet lol.)
  • I’ve discovered that there aren’t a lot of vegan, animal defending, Jewish princess-y fashionista, workout junkie, empty nest midlife bloggers, so I fit a very narrow demographic.
  • I don’t write about my sex life (or lack of it.)
  • I don’t write about uber cringy personal topics. It’s not that I don’t HAVE any problems or issues to face and endure, but I keep things mostly private (the opposite of what makes a blog go viral).
  • I don’t husband-bash, except for gentle teasing, and that’s only after I’ve asked tugboat man whether he minds if I make him the topic of humor.
  • On a positive note, blogging has helped me sharply define what I DO care about: protecting and defending animals, standing up for what’s right and being extremely vocal about what I believe is WRONG. Like fur and hunting. WRONG WRONG WRONG.
  • And shopping. I dearly love to shop. And Chanel. I love Chanel, I really do. I’m an enigma.


For the last few months or so (or maybe even longer) I’ve noticed that my blog numbers are way down like half of last year!!…readership and interest seems to be dwindling and not building to that overwhelming tipping point where I become the next break out star like Arianna Huffington or Jenny Lawson.

Things aren’t supposed to go this way, right?

But I’m being completely honest, confessing as befits my blog title.

“Why”” I wonder to myself…

Why do you no longer love me?

Too princess-y?

Too tugboat-y?

Not enough seashells?


Maybe none or maybe ALL of the above?

Anyway, it’s the perfect time for CH-CH-CH-CHANGES even though I don’t like change — I like when things stay the same — but not too much of a transmutation ( I LOVE that word.)

I’ve been working on creating a new blog with a slightly different format; it’s almost ready to hit the light of day!

Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife won’t disappear, but my focus will be directed more specifically to this fresh and shiny blog.

You’ll see soon enough.


Changes  (David Bowie)

“…pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time.”

Happy New Year 5776!


The Jewish New Year marks the beginning of ten days of repentance culminating with Yom Kippur.

That’s about all I remember from attending a few years of Sunday Hebrew school until we moved to sunshiny SoCal, where I could concentrate all of my brain cells on yummy tanned surfer boys.

Even though my grandfather was a rabbi, the whole religious thang didn’t have much of an impact on me, other than the Jewish princess aspect because I am a VERY devout Jewish princess-y type.

Although you wouldn’t think so if you had been around yesterday, when I was tugboat man’s helper as we blew sixty (SIXTY!) bags of eco-friendly insulation in our attic.

I would allow no photos of me in a respirator, safety goggles, and work gloves, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

It was NOT a pretty sight.

More like Cinderella than Princess.

But now we’re pretty much done with our whirlwind month of home improvements; new roof, insulation, termite spraying, and the removal of five trees so we can plant fruit and palms.

This leads us to my secret (had you forgotten?) that I promise to reveal next week.

Until then, Happy New Year and eat some apples and honey (although I’ve forgotten why it’s relevant.)

how to excite your spouse (or why you men should really listen to us)

What happened in our home a few minutes ago is a perfect example of one of the many differences between men and women and if nothing else, it succinctly illustrates the very real fact that men do NOT listen with their full attention when we speak.

The facts:

I was cleaning the bathroom this morning.

Hub was in the garage.

I walked out to the garage and said to him…

“I need some white caulk”

THAT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT WHAT HE HEARD because his response was, with graphic hand gestures (ahem)…

“I’ve got some right here for you.”

End of story.

My plea to MY husband AND your significant other:

Please pay attention to us so that you will be spared the embarrassment (and disappointment) when you actually comprehend what we’ve said when we talk to you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to CAULK the area around the shower.

Have a lovely weekend.


Me, Mostly Naked, With a Hawk

Our bedroom window looks out over the garden. Yep, it’s HUGE, a lot of work with neverending projects, but I love my sanctuary.


This is where I see bunnies and roadrunners and all sorts of wildlife.roadrunner

One day last week, early in the morning, I was getting dressed to go to the gym and spied a hawk perched on a low branch in the eucalyptus tree. I think it’s the same hawk that’s been hanging around for years.

He was facing the pond, quietly and patiently waiting for breakfast to appear.


Therein lies the dilemma. What’s a girl to do?

If I finish getting dressed, I’ll miss this amazing shot; but if I run outside half naked, will anyone see me?

Because we have six-foot fences all the way around our property, I felt pretty certain that no one would catch a glimpse of the real me in my bra and bikini bottoms, so I grabbed my camera and ran outside.

I felt so NAUGHTY hee hee.

This is what I was rewarded with — and do you see how he gave me a shady side eye — so much human flesh this early in the morning clearly offended his sensibilities.


Isn’t he gorgeous? The hooked beak and talons are MAJESTIC.

My presence was distracting (he was looking right AT me) so I went back in the house to allow him to catch his breakfast without further interference.beautifulhawkjuly1620152

Don’t worry, I didn’t snap a selfie in my state of undress; you didn’t actually THINK I WOULD, did you?

If nothing else, this screams the sad fate of my tugboatman-less existence — running naked in the trees to catch a perfect pic.

P.S. Hub was able to make one last call before he was once again out of cell phone range and I told him what I did, just to give him a lasting visual for the final leg of his voyage, and I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. At first he thought I had been running around out in the front yard with cars driving by, but once I clarified, he was able to picture the whole scenario as it really happened, and I’m sure it’ll sustain his imagination until he returns SOMEDAY.

The Final Installment of Princess Rosebud’s Empowering Road Trip

California is beautiful.

Everyone should go on a road trip vacay and drive down (or up) the coast through the central coast along Highway One.

It’s spectacular.

The scenery is amazing and the views are breathtaking, BUT driving around Big Sur, the twistywindytwolanehighway is SCARY, more so if you’ve previously experienced a near death event.

One one side, there’s the vertigo-inducing views of the Pacific Ocean beneath a precipitous embankment, and on the other side, close enough so that if you open a window and reach out, you could almost touch the mountain.

“Mom, why is your lip bleeding?”

“Because I’m biting it to keep from screaming.”


“See the red lights on the car in front of us? That is your very obvious CLUE that you need to react and SLOW DOWN.”

“Sssllllooowwwwdddooowwwnnnn…” says the crazy backseat driver.

“Heeheehee.” That’s Angel Boy chuckling at my terror.

“How about leaving a little more distance between you and the car in front of us?”

“Would that be too much to ask?”

My right thigh was becoming numb as I constantly phantom-braked during that entire death defying journey.

I clutched the dash so tightly, I thought they’d have to pry my fingers off of it.

In the back seat, DIL was listening to music and texting, observing this exchange between mother and son.

(I think she was laughing, too.)

My son lives his entire life by multi-tasking every single moment of every single day.

Even while driving, he’s eating, talking to his GPS, and carrying on two conversations.

His new name is Dr. Distracto, because the ONE thing he needed to concentrate on — DRIVING — what should have been his primary focus — was third or fourth on the list of what garnered his attention.

“Geez, pay attention to the traffic, would you?”


I was hyperventilating, fanning my face, telling him, “Do you want to give me a heart attack?”

Remember that film I liked, Guilt Trip, with Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogan?
(Read my review HERE of the best Jew-mom film EVER.)

This was OUR version of a road trip.

It was actually pretty funny. In reality, my son is a good driver in spite of being an absent minded professor.

When it was all over and we were once again on wide, straight roads, I apologized for my bout of insanity and praised his patience and even tempered disposition.

I highly recommend camping with one’s adult child and spouse.

I haven’t heard about too many other people who’ve done this. Let me know if you have and maybe we could start a club.

Popping a squat side-by-side on the trail with one’s DIL makes for a great bonding moment.

They had thoughtfully packed two tents, a huge family-sized Hobitat, and a smaller one in case I wanted to sleep in my own tent, and not with them.

I chose the “mother-in-law” unit because I didn’t want to disturb anyone or crawl over them if I had to get up and to to the bathroom at 3 a.m.

Two highlights of our road trip were day hikes  to Jade Cove and Julia Pfeiffer State Park.

I’ve always wanted to explore Jade Cove but I had no idea that it was going to become the challenge of a lifetime.

I had no idea that the only way to get down to where the jade could be found was by rope. THIS was where the EMPOWERMENT really kicked in.

NO WAY was I gonna do that.

Nope. Never. Not in a million years.

It should have been an absolute dealbreaker, but my desire for jade and serptentine treasures made me think I MIGHT be able to take the risk.

It would have been such a shame to come all this way and give in to my fears.

My son patiently coaxed me and DIL all the way and made sure we safely descended the nearly vertical bluffs, while he scrambled down like a mountain goat.


(My hair looks HORRIBLE, but I’m grinning from ear to ear.)


The Jade Cove Trail is a simple flat path that loops out to the coast with a steep but short path down to the water where you can hunt for jade (please follow local regulations about collecting rocks.)

From the top.

Jadecove1 Jadecove2
jadecove9 Animal print kelp?jadecovekelpTreasures from Jade Cove!

After that, we drove to Julia Pfieffer State Park for a day hike. This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

Overlook Trail and the cove with famous turquoise water.

juliap7McWay Falls, one of only two coastal waterfalls in California, where McWay Creek falls 80 feet over a granite cliff onto a sandy beach, or at high tide directly into the Pacific Ocean.Juliap8McWay Creek
JuliaP1 JuliaP2 juliap3 Majestic redwoodsjuliap4Squint your eyes and you can see Angel Boy and DIL at the base of the gigantic redwoods.
Juliap5 juliap6And now FINALLY, tugboat man’s flight has been confirmed and I’ll be driving to the airport tonight. He might not be home long enough to go back to to Montana de Oro or Jade Cove, but here in SoCal, surf is up and the champs on ice, so life is good.

Bottom line: Empowerment is empowering. At any age.

Read the rest of my Empowerment Series here:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

No Rain But Maybe a Tugboat Man Sighting?

I’m STILL trying to finish up the EMPOWERING series about my recent camping trip and what it’s like to go on a road trip with an adult son and daughter-in-law (funny),  but got news late last night that my erstwhile tugboat man MIGHT be flying home TOMORROW — what’s up with not giving any warning??? — and that changes everything in my world.

I don’t have flight information yet, but all signals point to a positive outcome.

Sheesh, he better not get called back again while we’re driving home from the airport. THAT wasn’t any fun at all. I know that’s the life of a merchant mariner, but it still sucks.

He says he misses me, and I’m sure he DOES, but there’s a HUGE south swell coming this weekend from Hurricane Blanca– we all know what he really misses is SURF.

Ha ha.


Now that we’re down to watering only two days a week and no rain, the grass is already brown and all the other plants look stressed and thirsty.

SoCal gardens might not be as lush as those of yours who have enough rain, but there’s a bit of color to be found if you search for it.


Mandevilla mandevilla2

Artichokesartichokemay2015 Purple Sagepurplesage1 PurpleSage2015 White Sage

whitesageflower2 WhiteSageFlowers1

Lily of the Nile

lilyofthenile1 lilyofthenile2 lilyofthenile3

Princess Rosebud Ponders a Dilemma of Gigantic Proportions

Sophie's Choice via Google Images

Sophie’s Choice via Google Images

That’d be me, of course.

Princess Rosebud.

With a dilemma.

An enchanting sort of dilemma.

OK, here’s the deal…

That husband of mine-who-is-never-here-but-really-exists-really-he-does has been out to sea on assignment since March 10.

Yes, that’s correct — MARCH 10.

A very long time indeed, and as it happens, my birthday is coming up VERY soon.

I don’t really care to celebrate the day but I DO love to get a prezzie. (Or two, as you’ll see.)

I’ve had my eye on this little minimalist necklace that is all the fashion rage; hub told me to go ahead and get it, which made me verrry happy, and that’s what I did.

I drove to Bloomingdales in Fashion Valley; saw it, loved it, put it on, bought it,

Just like that.

It’s the perfect little sparkle to wear all the time; either by itself or layered with…other necklaces.


(Here’s where it all goes wrong (or right, depending on your point of view.)

Floating on a retail high, I strolled around the shopping center, wandering into Hermes, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, Gucci, Prada — there’s no Chanel at Fashion Valley, so you’d think I’d be safe from temptation, right?


Drifting through Nordstrom, running my hand through racks of silky boho blouses and scarves, I discovered a secluded little alcove that was all CHANEL.

Iconic Chanel tweed suits, timeless classic beauty in the $5000 and up price range — good to look at, but they’re not coming home with me, that’s for sure.

But then.

I turned around and saw a glass display case full of Chanel jewelry.


Full of Chanel jewelry.

Uh oh.

The very nice sales associate brought out one piece after another and I tried them all on.

“Have you seen this one?” she said.

“It’s sparkly” she said.


I’ve always always wanted the little CC logo pendant.

I died. What do I do? Not half an hour earlier I purchased a 14K diamond necklace that was supposed to be my birthday gift from my EXTREMELY GENEROUS absentee husband.

Here’s the dilemma:

  • Do I take back the first necklace and buy the Chanel?
  • Do I walk away from the Chanel?
  • Do I keep them both?
  • Do I have a choice here?

What do YOU think I did?

I had a brief chat with myself because I couldn’t call hub for his opinion since he wasn’t available by cell, so I had to solve this dilemma entirely on my own.

My decision?

I needed BOTH necklaces.(See how I used the word NEED instead of WANT.)

Of course I did, because I DESERVE both of them.

How could anyone choose? They’re both equally amazing, equally beautiful, and now I’m twice as happy!

(No Sophie’s choice this time.)

Here’s the awesome little Chanel.


By some miracle of the cosmos, another gift arrives this week.

Totally unexpectedly, tugboat man called and said he’s flying home for a week or so between assignments. On Thursday. MY BIRTHDAY.

That’s TOMORROW, which means I’m back on Cinderella duty — jewelry off, yellow rubber gloves on; cleaning, baking, ironing sheets, and hanging welcome home banners.

Don’t think I don’t know I live a charmed life.

I know.

Stop All The Scrunchie Shaming!


I’ve had just about enough of this abuse.

I confess.

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

I’m an addict.

I’ve tried to change.

I really have.

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

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

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

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

I lack strength; I’m powerless.

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

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

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

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


Just to keep it close and handy.

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

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

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

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


You know what?

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

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

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

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

“It ruins your outfit” they say.

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

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


I LOVE my scrunchies.



No other form of securing my tresses will satisfy me:

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

I feel so much better having confessed my secret addiction.

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

So deal with it, world.

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

My stash.

My stash.

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

Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?

We live near an elementary school and I took a random pic from my upstairs office window while they were doing some noisy playground maintenance during spring break.

I had no idea that this moment in time was captured by the camera until I downloaded it.

(Hee hee.)

Man at work. Where did he go?


P.S It’s not MY bad grammar. Blame Rod Stewart.