if you love someone…

“If you love someone more than anything, the distance only matters to the mind, not the heart.”

I saw this posted on Facebook and it seems so very true—and helpful to remember at those times when we really miss our faraway mariner.

Like me, like now, when he’s been delayed AGAIN and might not be home for Thanksgiving and it all depends on the weather, so I’m sending good thoughts to Mother Nature to calm down a bit!


Our hearts are connected no matter where he is or how long he’s gone.

Being a Mariner’s Wife is a Constant State of Worry

Woke up to this terse email from my tugboat man:


P.S. What he means by “go in” is sailing into a safe port, but now the weather is swirling all around him, and best practices dictate staying offshore. Oh, and “shitty” is a mariner term too haha.

I’m pretty sure I can speak for most mariner spouses when I say that we’re not completely calm unless our guys are on land — terra firma — and in our sightline.

There are just so many variables out there on the water; like that routine voyage from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, which my hub has done a zillion times—can be fraught with danger.

IF everything goes wrong. Not just one or two things, but as in the case of El Faro, EVERYthing went wrong. Loss of engine power, taking on water, steering directly into the eye of the hurricane. Like that.

I checked the National Weather Service offshore waters forecast for the area he’s in and it’s not great: high seas and strong to GALE FORCE winds with a late hurricane season disturbance.

In mariner terms, winds are categorized on the Beaufort Scale. Here’s a graphic:beaufortscale

Even though I know he’s the BEST captain in the world-

Even though I know he’s the SAFEST captain in the world-

Even though I know he’s been through dozens of bad storms all over the world-

Even though I know all of that, the El Faro tragedy is so fresh in our minds that it causes more worry.

I keep the boat phone handy—just in case.

I monitor the weather—just in case.

I put the company phone number on speed dial—just in case.

The worry is a constant thread that runs right along with all my other thoughts.

Like keeping a tab open on the computer and refreshing it every couple of seconds.

The worry is there at the gym during an (amazing) kickboxing class.

The worry is there grocery shopping.

Watching television can’t drown it out, nor does reading a book. (Poor choice of words.)

It’s very stressful, and when retail therapy doesn’t work its magic, you KNOW I’m super worried.

Tugs are very sturdy vessels; I’m sure he will be FINE.

After all, we have to decorate the nursery, right?

b4435b75e99e6e0b77e1eef60e97db78To all the mariners out on the high seas, be extra careful.

And a little merchant mariner humor…


How I Feel When Tugboat Man Comes Home

Easy Friday post, got a minute or two to write ‘cos he’s out surfing OF COURSE.

Tugboat man’s deffo my soulmate; I’m a lucky girl, and not just because he’s taking me out to buy me a prezzie today lol.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend and enjoy the blue moon!

Women Are From Venus, Men Are From Stupid

SOME men.

All right, MOST men.

Why am I throwing down the gauntlet with such a broad and inflammatory statement?

Because I am REALLY REALLY tired of tugboat man being gone more than 120 days, that’s why.


I flew up to San Fran to spend the weekend with Angel Boy and DIL which consisted of making breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for three days — and hiking until my knees hurt and I had shin splints in both legs.

Oh, and scrub the toilet, wash the floors, and take a toothbrush to some pretty gnarly tile grout.

Just another day in the life of a mom.

As you can expect, I’m exhausted; and now that I’m home again, I planned to take it easy for a few days and leisurely prepare for the arrival of tugboat man, who was tentatively (again) scheduled to return next weekend.

That is, until late last night when I received an email along with flight arrangements.



No food in the house, I mean none, except for hummus and coffee. And wine, of course.

First thing this morning, I ran off to the grocery store.

I’m taking a five-minute break before baking oatmeal cookies, granola (his faves), and banana bread…putting up the welcome home signs, managing a bit of personal ‘scaping and scraping, and chilling the champs.

This is pretty much the longest he’s ever been away and I’m not gonna lie, it was becoming a bit unpleasant, so that’s why I think women are from Venus, men are from Stupid.

No real reason, just a feeling.

(Until he walks in the door, that is!)

A Mother’s Love #WordlessWednesday

Our very own full nest.

Property of enchantedseashells.com

Property of enchantedseashells.com

#hummingbird #nature #nestingbirds #birds #MotherNature #love #motherslove

It’s Valentine’s Day. How About Practicing Random Acts of Romance?

Vintage tugboat valentineMy Valentine’s Day advice?

Practice random acts of romance all year.

My tugboat man isn’t here today, Sigh.

But I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day. I really, really don’t.

It’s not that I reject it for its blatant commercialism (although there’s that, too) but my thought process works like this: why set aside only one day out of 365 to be nice? 

Practicing random acts of romance any time during the year speaks to me of being genuine – that one has had an independent thought not generated by heavy-handed advertising — and expression of love and romance.

It doesn’t have to be expensive (really!).

I get as excited and grateful when my tugboat man brings home a seashell or a cool rock as I do when he brings my favorite Chanel perfume.

With all due respect to Sheryl Sandberg, this is how I lean in

ChanleHowever you decide to spend this day, I hope you enjoy these vintage valentines.

Want to read about our first Valentine’s Day? Click here: He Who Tugs At My Heartvintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine

Fifty Shades Of Grey. No Way.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Credit: IMDb

As you can probably imagine, I love very romantic chick flicks with happy endings — whether it’s Love, Actually or Notting Hill or Bridgit Jones, Confessions of a Shopaholic, My Best Friend’s Wedding — and remember the good old days of  When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle?

Ahhh. Romance. YES.

I could include Dirty Dancing, but the ending is ambiguous. WILL they get together again, or WON’T they? I like a nice, tidy ending with a FOREVER love.

And then there’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

Sixteen words describe the film, based on a novel by E.L. James.

According to IMDb: “Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.”

Sounds pretty benign, right? We all know THAT’S an understatement, right?

No mention of BDSM (and I had to look it up, ‘cos I had NO IDEA what it was.)

At one point in the film, Christian tells Anastasia that he “does not do love and romance.”

Not very Valentine’s Day-ish to me. Not the message I’d want to hear, that’s for sure.

Ch, Jamie Dornan is nice to look at, but I’m not getting the appeal of Dakota Johnson.

I think there was more sexy chemistry between Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester)  in Gossip Girl.

Then, also on IMDb (which is different than BDSM haha), I found this…


It’s a Parent’s Guide (!) for Fifty Shades of Grey with this disclaimer: the content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.

(And this is just my opinion as a MOM, but I don’t really think this is the kind of movie that contains appropriate content for children. Or teens. Or young adults. Or anyone, ‘cos I’m kind of a prude that way, but that’s just me.)

So here you go, if you haven’t read the novel and you’re thinking about seeing the film, and you don’t want to be surprised…

“A woman tells a man that she is a virgin and he asks, “You’ve done other things, right?” to which she answers that she has not and he takes her to a bedroom and then they remove their own clothing (we see full nudity of both people, except for the crotch area); he kisses her mouth, throat, chest, nipples, abdomen, navel and the inside of her thighs several times, blows air onto her chest and abdomen, removes her panties and lies on top of her where he thrusts and she moans and writhes (the camera pans up to show his bare back and buttocks thrusting in a ceiling mirror).

A woman lies nude on a bed with the camera behind her head, looking toward her feet; she spreads her thighs slightly and we see her shaved pubic area and vagina lips slightly parted for a few seconds. In several scenes, we see a man and a woman completely nude from the back. A woman is seen fully nude in several head to foot profiles while standing and while lying on a bed; we see her full breasts and nipples, several times in close-up. Several scenes feature a nude woman from the waist-up, in close-up, facing the camera and. A shirtless man wears jeans that reveal his upper pubic area (no pubic hair). A woman facing away from the camera drops a robe and we see her bare back including buttocks. A laptop screen displays two Internet images of nude women tightly hog-tied with black leather straps and we see partially nude thighs, abdomens and backs.

A man throws a woman onto a bed, removes her clothing, removes his clothing, blindfolds her with her undershirt, and ties her forearms and wrists together with a necktie; he then roughly turns her over onto her face and chest and begins intercourse and we see thrusting and hear gasping as the scene ends; the camera cuts to the couple in bed under covers, he dresses and leaves after telling her he does not do love and romance. In half a dozen scenes, a man uses a necktie or red ropes to tie a nude woman’s hands above her head in bed, sometimes to a bed’s headboard and sometimes, he ties her ankles to the foot of the bed and he blindfolds her as well in a few scenes; in one scene, he removes and smells her panties, then sticks them down the back of his jeans as he manacles her wrists to an overhead frame, tickles her body with a riding crop all over her body and then slaps the crop against her rib cage and buttocks causing her to gasp; he lifts her thighs and begins intercourse in close-up and we see her abdomen hitting against his abdomen.

In three scenes a man turns a woman over his knee at home, raises her skirt, lowers her panties, and slaps her buttocks as she gasps. We see a riding crop hit a woman’s bare buttocks in close-up as she gasps. A man hits a woman’s buttocks with a heavy lash while she counts and cries and we see no injuries until she stands up, pushes him and stomps a foot, making her bare breasts jiggle. A woman wearing a blindfold, is handcuffed by the wrists to a headboard above her head; we see her from the upper-chest-upwards, we see her startle and hear her gasp (sexual stimulation is implied below the frame) as a large peacock feather is drawn across her lower legs and breasts from off-screen; a many-tailed flog is drawn across her body in the same way, with light slapping of the abdomen three times. In a bedroom scene a man spits a mouthful of wine into a woman’s mouth, then takes an ice cube in his mouth, rubbing it along her lips, chest, nipples and abdomen as she gasps. A man and a woman are shown in a bathroom where he is bare-chested and she is seen fully nude from the back (we see them in a mirror); they sit together in a bathtub of water as she leans back against his chest and we see her topless as he dribbles water across her chest and the scene ends. A man and a woman on their first date have sex on a couch: with the camera behind the couch we see thighs until the woman’s roommate enters the apartment and the two on the couch get up and the man dons jeans off-screen while the woman wears a knee-length slip that bares some cleavage.

A shirtless man sits on a piano bench in the dark in a long shot and his girlfriend approaches, wearing a large sheet that he pulls away; we see her fully nude from the back as she straddles his lap and sits and he stands up and carries her off-screen, holding her thighs (her buttocks are spread apart somewhat and sex is implied). A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds in a dozen scenes; he also caresses her lips and face with his fingers. A man and a woman have a passionate encounter in an elevator; the man backs the woman into a wall, holds her hands above her head and kisses her passionately as she returns his kiss (we see tongues touching). A pilot straps a woman into a helicopter seat with three straps, his hands coming close to her groin and he cinches her straps tightly and she gasps.

A man and a woman discuss a bondage and sadomasochism behavioral contract in an office; she asks the man what “anal fixing” and “vaginal fixing” are, but he does not have the chance to explain because they are interrupted. We hear that a man’s mother was a prostitute and he tells a woman that his adoptive mother’s friend seduced him when he was 15 years old, making him a bondage submissive to her dominant character for six years and that at age 27, he has had 15 women submissives serially.

We see a red upholstered dimly lit room with a red leather headboard on the bed, a ceiling mirror above it, red walls and red carpet and various of sado-masochist appliances.”

(BTW IMDb = Internet Movie Database)

 ICK. Sorry, but this does not appeal to me. I don’t like the message; it sounds quite rape-culture-ish and crosses boundaries I’m not interested in crossing.

Tugboat man returns next week. I asked him if he wanted to see the film, and he said NO. Definitely NO. Definitely NOT in a public forum, that’s for sure. Being around a bunch of people who are semi or full-on aroused grossed him out, he said.

  • Have you read the book(s)?
  • Will you see the film?
  • Will you see it in theaters or in the privacy of your own home?

Happy Friday the Thirteenth, everyone!

Champagne, Cupcakes, and Candles

Let’s never forget to practice random acts of romance, OK?ChampagneCupcakesCandles1Tugboat man had to fly away for a couple of days to attend a biz meeting (not to go out to sea – that’s next week) and I decided to surprise him with a flirty homecoming.

This allowed me time to plan…

Logs are staged in the fireplace, candles are flickering, champagne and chocolate cupcakes are ready to serve; he’s gonna be one very happy hub!

When was the last time you peeled off your sweat pants, got all dolled up, and romanced your significant other?

I’m not talking about a birthday or anniversary or Valentine’s Day —  but for no special reason, just like the good old days when you were courting, when you were that different person. Know what I mean?

If you’re empty nesters like us, there’s really no excuse.

No kids, no school, nothing to interfere with rekindling the flame that brought you together in the first place.

Sadly for us though, his Southwest Airlines flight was delayed almost two hours and he didn’t get home until after midnight and was too exhausted to do much of anything except eat one of the yummy cupcakes.

The beauty of a long term marriage is that we have another opportunity. We’ll try again tonight. There are 15 14 13  12 cupcakes remaining, along with a very chilled bottle of Gruet champs.

Grand Marnier Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes adorned with pretty garden flowers.


Christmas Eve EVE

Preparing for Santa Tugboat Man’s arrival this evening —  I’m busy busy busy baking and cleaning AGAIN.

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.

Almost finished decorating his welcome home dining room table. Chanukkah, Christmas, seashells, and love in the middle.christmas2014table

Looking through old pics, I found this one of Angel Boy with our best and smartest Border collie, Stella Rondo, named in honor of one of my favorite writers, Eudora Welty, from her short story, “Why I Live at the P.O.”

Was there ever a more adorable fashion-forward little boy?

Love the stripes and print! My little man definitely has always danced to the beat of his own drum, even when he was seven!jasonchristmasHappy Christmas Eve EVE!