I Fell Down and a Baby Popped Out.

In that order, but it took a whole day to achieve my life’s greatest accomplishment.

In 1981, March 23 fell on a Monday.

This year, my Angel Boy is in New York at a conference at NYU. My BABY boy is not a baby anymore. That’s a hard concept to grasp…

The day before…
I took my dogs, Beowulf and Sabrina, out for an early morning walk.

My mom was going to come over around noon and take me shopping — see, that’s where I get it from!

It was a full week past my due date and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions were terrifying me on a daily basis. My mom was the head RN of Women’s Surgical at a local hospital. She thought a bit of retail therapy (see what I mean?) would take my mind off of that discomfort.

At that time, my son’s dad and I lived in an older part of San Diego; Hillcrest. The sidewalks were deteriorated with huge cracks and fissures.

With my big belly full of Angel Boy blocking my view, I tripped and fell — not hard — but with sixty extra pounds on my normally one hundred pound frame, I was more than a little ungainly.

I remember being super embarrassed for anyone to watch my feeble attempts to get up. Luckily, no one was out that early. I leaned on Beowulf (one-hundred-pounds of Akita/Husky/Wolf) who stood about thirty inches at his shoulders, and he was a sturdy support to help me up.

I continued walking home — just a few blocks — and didn’t think much about my fall, but I did tell my mom when she picked me up to go to the mall.

She knew everything there was to know about birthin’ babies.

She reminded me that she had told me a zillion times not to go walking alone this late in pregnancy, but I replied like I always did, “Blah, blah, blah…I’m not listening to a word you say.”

We stopped at a lingerie shop and she bought me a beautiful rosebud sprigged shortie nightgown.

As we were leaving the store, I whispered to her, “Mom, I think I wet my pants.”

(Dumb me, who had read every single book ever written about pregnancy and childbirth, didn’t comprehend what had happened.)

My mom instantly went into what we always called her “nursey” mode.

Quizzing me non-stop about any other symptoms in a very calm voice, we cut short our shopping day (darn) and drove home.

I don’t want to be too gross here; let’s just say other things were leaking out of me, too…

Suddenly, those Braxton Hicks contractions became the real thing.

I called my doctor. It was time.

All during my pregnancy, I had planned to deliver at home, au natural, with my mom as midwife.

Toward the end, it became obvious that my Angel Boy was too big for that to be possible.

I hate hospitals.

I didn’t want that atmosphere to be the first memories implanted in my baby’s precious brain. With reluctance, I agreed that his health was more important than my hippie chick desires, and hubs, mom, and I all went to the hospital.

The doc examined me, concluded that the fall had merely torn the amniotic sac and the potential for introducing bacteria was a concern, so I agreed to let him completely puncture it to speed up the process.

And oh yes, speed it up it did. The mild contractions intensified.

Other than the unrelenting pain, which didn’t respond to that stupid Lamaze class training, I remember my son’s dad watching “Patton” on the wall TV in the birthing room.

I will always hate him for that.

After being in labor all night, my mom and the doc had a consultation.

Apparently, my baby had a head the size of Plymouth Rock and it was stuck.

It just wouldn’t come out.

I was so upset I couldn’t stop crying.

I had failed my first test as a mom.

So…at 9:42 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 1981, I had an emergency Caesarean Section.

I was wide awake and watched it all.

In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter how my Angel Boy got here.

He was beautiful and healthy; 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches. He scored a 9 on the Apgar Scale; a high achiever from the beginning!

Happy 33rd birthday, Professor Angel Boy!

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Princess Rosebud’s Fashion Forward Protest Garb

puppyprotestMy tugboat man and I joined more than forty dedicated angels with San Diego Animal Defense Team and Protest Oceanside Puppy on Saturday in a protest at the Oceanside location of a pet store owned by David Salinas.

Salinas owned a similar business in San Diego called San Diego Puppies before it was forced to close under an ordinance passed by the San Diego City Council earlier this year banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail stores.

Animal rights groups want to end the practice of breeding and selling puppies bred in commercial facilities called “puppy mills.”

Quote from Protest Oceanside Puppy:

The owner of this store is busy churning out Christmas puppies and trying to make a profit off of the backs of the mother dogs. We have pictures of the inspections done at his breeders and it’s horrifying how these puppy mill dogs live their short tormented lives! These mother dogs never leave their cages, stand on wire their entire lives with no fresh air, little or no veterinary care and no socialization. Please help educate the public that THIS IS WRONG. This store owner was already shut down in San Diego! We must stand up against animal abuse!

About a dozen cities in California have adopted ordinances placing restrictions on the sale of animals from commercial breeders, including Chula Vista, Los Angeles, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

Under the ordinance passed in San Diego on July 9, no store can display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, auction, or give away animal pets in the city. Existing pet stores, including San Diego Puppy, were given up to six months to stop those practices.

Pet stores can (and should) offer adoptions of dogs, cats, and rabbits in partnership with a shelter or rescue groups.

If you’ve ever seen a photos or a video of the living conditions of the breeding dogs and puppies, you’d be as horrified as I was.

I am continually disappointed by the inhumane treatment we inflict upon other living creatures.

Sometimes we have to be assaulted by the ugly truth before we can make a compassionate decision.

SHAME ON CARLSBAD!

My city continues to allow California Pets to sell animals obtained from puppy mills.

Please take a few minutes to email or call your elected officials to let them know that you support any decision to shut down stores that sell factory farmed pets.

How can we, as civilized and caring people, continue to allow this to occur?
…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …
But…being me, that is, being Princess Rosebud, I had to adorn myself in the appropriate fashion forward outfit to stand on the street holding a protest sign.

As much as I love to defend and protect animals, I also love to dress properly for any and all occasions.

I chose a sparkly Dior Not War t-shirt over Joe’s skinny jeans, brown knee-high boots, a butterfly scarf from Nordstrom, pulling it all together with a lovely gray sweater from Anthropologie.

Since it was sunny, I topped the look off with a lively turquoise straw hat, Chanel sunglasses, and my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, which was, upon reflection, not the most politically correct handbag to carry that day, but I can’t be perfect all the time…My bad. Ooops.diornotwr graysweater

If you live in North County or you’d like to take a drive up the coast on Saturday, please spend a few hours supporting these amazing and dedicated animal defenders.

For more info: http://sdanimaldefenseteam.blogspot.com

Oceanside Puppy
1906 Oceanside Blvd., east of the 5.
Saturdays 12-3

More pix of the day:

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Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh YES, They DO.

Kate Spade glasses2

Newsflash: Eyeglasses are the new aphrodisiac.

Sasssy and sexxxxy in a slightly beeyotchy way.

That describes both me AND my new Kate Spade glasses, don’t you agree?

Can’t wait for my tugboat man to see the new me. He loves the sexy librarian look…

Aren’t those polka dots TDF?

And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.

And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.

Kate Spade glassesIt’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.

I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as,  “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”

Not so funny to be the target of mean girls. 

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear contact lenses.

But now, wearing glasses is just another important fashion accessory, not a signal to the world that the wearer is a bookish nerd, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

If you live in the San Diego area and need new frames, come to Carlsbad and check out
Andrews Optical on Grand for a huge selection and great customer service.

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

My Mad Skills As A Personal Fashion Stylist: But NOT My Dream Job, I Guess…

what-not-to-wearI had visions of becoming another Stacy London of What Not To Wear — without the signature silvery streak, of course, but with snappy repartee and a fast paced shopping excursion highlighting all of the essentials.

I’d help my clients build a wardrobe of neutral staples combined with pops of color, figure flattering visual interest, texture, sparkle, animal print, completer pieces, awesome shoes, and scarves to draw attention away from the hips and up to the the face.

I had an epiphany.

Sometimes things that theoretically seem like a great idea and plausible do NOT  always turn out that way in the real world.

I so wish y’all could have been with me; you’d be the ghost-like apparitions following us around the shops.

Here I am at my age (just never you mind about what it is) still grabbing at parachutes, searching for a career path, a niche, a calling, a vocation.

It’s been suggested by some that I should combine my love of shopping and fashion and become a stylist to help others who don’t have my innate good taste and eye for color, texture, and style. All kidding aside, my Hello Kitty obsesh is only a teensy weensy anomaly, not representative of what’s contained in my closet(s).

You know, shopping but for others with OPM (other people’s money) and stuff like that.

I kinda have a dilettantish background for it; I worked at San Diego‘s Old Globe Theatre in the costume department, I’ve sewn my own clothes for years, read all the fash mags, and spend hours and hours and hours shopping and drooling over finely crafted designer wear. Sigh.

In fact, I had serious thoughts of starting my own clothing company. I registered the name and acquired the patterns and though it kinda never went anywhere beyond the concept stage, it’s still viable. ***If anyone wants to partner, email me.

Anyhow, here’s the backstory:  I was getting my glasses adjusted last week at the same place we’ve gone to for about fifteen years. There was some convo with the owner who was asked to accompany her guitar teacher at a gig in Rancho Santa Fe (very ritzy part of San Diego) and she declined because she had nothing appropriate to wear.

One of her employees said, “Hey, you should ask Rosebud to shop with you, she’s a fashionista.”

One thing led to another and I learned that she hadn’t shopped for clothes in at least two years. TWO YEARS. Yeah, I know. Can you believe it? The poor thing. She needed me.

With a public declaration that I would be her personal stylist, our mission was to acquire a variety of clothing to wear for musical gigs in several different venues from upscale to casual.

We arranged to shop for a solid five-hour block.

Focused. Determined. Goal-oriented.

She picked me up here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells and we were off to The Forum in La Costa. I wanted her to feel the textures and colors and variety at Anthropologie, not necessarily to buy a lot of clothing there, but to arouse her senses and try on a lot of things outside her comfort zone.

Her current comfort zone seems to be heavily dependent upon beige t-shirts and beige cargo pants.

OY, the horror. I’m shvitzing just thinking about it.

If only I really were Stacy London, I would have happily tossed them in the trash can!

All my research tells me that It’s important to get to know your client and her personal taste, in order to help her to look her best. Trying on clothes is critical! Just because something looks good/bad on the hanger, you’ll never know if it works unless you try it on.

I had to force her to see beyond the initial like/dislike of something that’s just hanging on a rack.

We found a couple of JBrand skinny jeans at Anthro, along with several casual ethnic-inspired tops, and then we were off to Nordstrom Outlet in San Marcos. In addition to clothing, they have an amazing selection of footwear.

I selected two different styles of boots, two pairs of flats: one casual, one dressy, and two pairs of not-very-high heels.

She’s pretty open to trying new things and expanding her fashion choices (beyond beige, thank goodness)  but she’s not a girl who wears dresses or skirts with ease.

Because she needed to portray class and elegance especially for her upscale gigs,  I chose a Calvin Klein black blazer and matching tuxedo trousers as wardrobe staples.

I paired several blouses with the blazer/trousers, including a beautiful turquoise, green, blue swirly graphic design with a self-tie for visual interest, and an appropriate silk animal print.

Unfortunately, we were in such a time crunching whirlwind, I wasn’t able to take pics of the outfits.

What I learned about myself is that I’m REALLY good at this personal stylist stuff; I’m always helping everyone in dressing rooms who need advice — I’m not shy about offering my opinions, THAT’S for sure…

But…

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

I HATE SHOPPING WHEN IT’S NOT FOR ME.

Hate it. HATE IT.

This little Princess wants it all to be about her. Yes, I’m speaking in third person — it’s what I DO when I’m trying to really get my point across.

My arms are crossed and I’m stamping my little foot and yes, my lower lip is jutting out just like you thought it would be.

PRINCESS WAS SAD.

As I (back to first person) was perusing the racks for appropriate clothing to dress my client, my gaze wandered longingly to shoes and dresses and sparkly things that I wanted to caress and lovingly scoop up in my arms and run off to the dressing rooms…but this was not like going shopping with a friend where you each try on outfits and then come together for independent reviews of yea or nay.

I was being paid to SERVE someone else’s needs.

ME NO LIKE.

NO CAN DO.

Obviously NOT my dream job.

I was a very sad Princess Rosebud. I guess it’s not in the stars for me to be a personal stylist.

Yes, it was a success for HER but I came away empty-handed and depressed.

Black blazer and pencil skirt

This is not me; the suit is being tailored for my short arms and legs.

Guess what I did?

I bet it’s not too difficult to figure me out.

I went back to Nord a couple of days later and tried on clothes and shoes to my heart’s content.

I came away with an awesome black Calvin Klein blazer and matching pencil skirt (to replace an outfit I had previously returned to White House Black Market.)

And you know what?

NOW I’m happy. :)

And PRINCESS is happy, too :)

P.S. Anyone want to go shopping with me?

When Is A Friend Not A Friend?

Let me ask you a question about friendships…is there a line that can’t be crossed?

What would you do if a friend acted in manner so egregious, so counter to your own value system?

Have you ever said to yourself, I can’t be friends with someone like that, and end the friendship?

It happened to me.

I met her at the gym; she overheard me talking about my obsession with all things Chanel and we became friendly.

My tugboat man coined the phrase “friend not friend” because all we did was shop together. We never went out for dinner as couples and we never socialized together with our husbands. She had been to our house, but had never invited me to hers.

She was a “shopping friend.”

That means we’d meet every couple of weeks or so and drive in one car to a mall, either Fashion Valley in San Diego, or South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

Whoever didn’t drive bought lunch for two; that was a fair trade.

That was the only thing we had in common, even though we learned that our kids attended the same elementary school at the same time.

She’d been a working mom throughout their entire childhood; I’m an ardent advocate for the stay-at-home-mom situation.

She had a tough childhood: was unwanted, abused by a stepfather, and forced to travel around the country with her migrant worker family.

She managed to graduate from college and has been married to the same man for about forty years, the only man she’s ever slept with.

He just happens to be a millionaire, which is an amazing rags to riches tale.

Her inner fortitude and drive to extricate herself from poverty are admirable qualities and I’m sure that somewhere in there is an explanation for the way she acted the last time we spent the day together.

On this particular day, it was her turn to drive. Since she never had new clothes when she was growing up, she became a compulsive shopper, and always bought something, no matter what the cost. I’m more of a browser, and fairly thrifty except for that one (or two) Chanels.

After six hours at South Coast Plaza, we were on the highway heading home.

Looking out of the passenger window, I spotted a little puppy walking in the weeds parallel to the freeway.

I pointed and said, “Oh my gosh, do you see that? Pull over, pull over, there’s a puppy right there. You stop and I’ll run out and get it before something terrible happens.”

She wouldn’t stop.

She would not stop.

She flailed a hand about —  you know, in that way, that universal sign of blasé dismissal — and said, “Oh, someone will help. It’ll be fine.”

“No it won’t. We have to help. We HAVE to. Get off the next exit and let’s go back. “

She refused to stop the car, no matter what I said.

“How could you say you love animals but you won’t stop to help a creature in dire need of assistance?”

I was powerless. I hate feeling ineffectual, useless, helpless.

I’m sure she endured all that and more growing up with her dysfunctional family but it would seem that she might have felt more of a kinship toward another helpless creature, not apathetic indifference and total lack of compassion.

I was silent for the remainder of the ride.

By the time we got back, it was getting dark. I thought about jumping in my car and driving back to where I saw the puppy but I didn’t even know the exactly where we had been, which is the reason why I hadn’t called CHP or animal rescue. It would have been impossible to locate. All I know is that it was somewhere on the 405 South from Newport Beach.

That was the last time I saw this friend not friend. She went on a vacation soon after that and when she returned, I heard she started going to another gym.

I’m haunted by the vision of that puppy that I couldn’t help.

Of course I couldn’t be friends with someone like that.

Everything I needed to know about her true character was revealed, and for me, that’s a non-negotiable area.

A deal breaker. A heart breaker.

Have you ever had to end a friendship?

Best Things to Do on Carlsbad Lagoon

Stand-Up paddleboarding and kayaking — on a perfectly perfect Southern California day.

When my son was here over the weekend for a brief visit, we took our new inflatable Sea Eagle kayak out on the Agua Hedionda lagoon along with hubs SUP (stand-up paddleboard) for my son to play with.

Ever the professional mariner, my tugboat man likes to do what he calls a “shakedown cruise” to make sure everything’s working right and our vessel is seaworthy.

Our lagoon was packed full of kayaks, SUPs, rowboats, and dogs running around the sandy beach — a thoroughly awesome Southern California day.

We’re taking the kayak on our vacation to Zion National Park in Utah and Yellowstone.

I’ve always wanted to hear the song of the wolf, and I hope my dream comes true on this trip.

US-National-Parks-Yellowstone-Wolf-Quest-2-wolves

I’ve got a VERY nice hub who likes to make my wishes turn into reality. SORT OF. He’s taking me on this vacation to placate me so that he doesn’t feel too guilty for running off on a surf trip to Nicaragua. He won’t come out and ADMIT it, but he doesn’t exactly deny it, either. Whatev, I’ll take the kind offer to camp out under the stars and hopefully not get mauled by bears or bison.

Sea Eagle kayak

Selfie! None of my hub especially since he was behind me and really doing all the work as usual! Well, MOST of the work; I did as much as I could with my injured arm.

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SUPUh oh, Professor, watch where you’re going! Navigational hazard ahead!

Carlsbad Lagoon Jboy

Whew! He made it, we went under it, too, but no pics.

Lagoon Carlsbad 1

Just a pretty little area, full of crabs and native plants.
Right then a huge fish glided by but you can’t see it, too bad.

LagoonEven though it’s so much more built up since we moved here in 1985, Carlsbad is still an idyllic place to raise a family. There are so many healthy activities on the water. We used to always walk to the lagoon and our dogs would play while we had a picnic.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon — also known as “stinking waters” ‘cos the mud STINKS for real — is a saltwater wetland and watershed and offers year-round recreational and commercial use.  The lagoon includes mud flats, salt and freshwater marsh, and deep water and is actually comprised of three lagoons:  a 66-acre outer lagoon, a 27-acre middle lagoon and 293-acre inner lagoon. The earliest inhabitants were the native Indians who lived on the shores and upland areas.

Going to the beach year-round;  riding bikes or walking everywhere–it’s a great place EXCEPT for shopping. Shopping in Carlsbad SUCKS. That’s one of my biggest complaints–the mall is the worst EVER.  Except for the Carlsbad Outlet Center with Barneys; nada, nothing. Oh well, I can always drive to South Coast Plaza, so I’m not too upset! :)

The Story of Rowdy Rosie

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Before I was Princess Rosebud, I was Rowdy Rosie.

But only for a summer…the summer of 1975.

Yee haw.

Yuppers. Way before there was a Tugboat Man.

Even before the birth of Angel Boy.

Directly after graduation from San Diego State University and before graduate school, I went East.

East to Colorado. Steamboat Springs, to be exact.

I’m not sure I remember anymore what the impetus was that drove us there (literally) —  my boyfriend and I set forth June 1975 for a bit of an adventure.

I had just turned twenty-one a month prior, just had my first cocktail — a banana daiquiri — at a bar on El Cajon Boulevard that no longer exists; The Rathskellar. Anyone remember it?

I told my RN mom we were leaving  the same day we made that spur-of-the-moment decision.

We didn’t have a place to stay, we didn’t know anyone, but that’s the essence of an adventure, right?

Steamboat Springs wasn’t at all commercialized at that point. Things were just beginning to heat up. It was already known for its Champagne Snow, but the condos were just starting to be built and it retained a dusty western cowboy and horses feeling.

The first thing I did when we arrived was to dress like the natives; Frye cowboy boots, cowgirl hat, and a jean jacket. When in Rome, right? The jean jacket pictured is the lone  survivor of that steamy Steamboat summer.

There was a SS Urban Myth: It was called the Steamboat Bug. If you arrived as a couple, you’d be broken up almost immediately. THIS WAS PAR-TAY CIT-AY. Wild and raucous parties abounded seven days a week. There were so many guys. SO MANY GUYS. Once again, SO. MANY. GUYS.  Ahem. Good times. I mean, GOOOOD Times. Sigh.

True to the urban myth, my guy and I broke up. I think he went back to San Diego, not sure, ‘cos the car we came in was mine. Ooopsie. My bad. Sorry…

I found a house to share with a couple of other wandering dog owning vegetarians and got a part-time job at a liquor store on the outskirts of town. I don’t believe I worked there for more than a week or so; I was missing out on too much fun, so I quit.

I’m not a very WILD girl; mostly I’m a clean-a-holic and kinda quiet, read a lot of books, ballet dancer, always exercising and playing with my dogs; I shouldn’t fail to mention my dogs (Sabrina and Beowulf) were my traveling companions along with the forgotten about bf.

For that one summer my inner Taylor Swift emerged. No drugs, just a lot of dating – yeah, we’ll call it dating. Blush…

My wild is pretty tame compared to most; but it was a let-your-hair-down freedom for me.

This is where I smoked my first and last cigarette. Simply to try and look cool, I lit up a Virginia Slims (with the pretty flowers on the filter, remember?) It was totally gross, and I figured out that’s just not for me, plus I didn’t like the waste of money.  Not my vice.

I made a name for myself that summer: Rowdy Rosie.

Not because of any kind of promiscuity, but for one reason: I loved to go out and dance. The disco dance rage at that time was “The Bump“. Have you heard of that or am I too old? (Don’t answer that.) The Bump was pretty suggestive and kinda dirty.

The Bump

The bump was a primarily 1970s fad dance wherein the main move of the dance is to lightly “bump” hips on every other main beat of the music. As the dance (and the evening) progressed, the bumping could become more intimate, bumping hip to backside, low bending, etc. There were several songs that were inspired by the bump one of which was called “The Bump” by Kenny but the song that is most remembered[who?] is “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” by George Clinton and Parliament, which was released in 1976. The lyric in the song is “we want the funk”, but has been mistaken for “we want the bump”. In the UK, possibly the most popular and evocative song[dubious – discuss] used for this dance was “Nutbush City Limits” by “Ike & Tina Turner“.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_(dance)

One night at a bar with sawdust on the floors and cowboy hats everywhere you looked, there was a Bump Contest. For the first time ever, my years and years of ballet served me well: I’m VERY flexible.

I won the contest!

I can’t remember what the prize was, but that’s the first time I was referred to as Rowdy Rosie —  and it stuck. I was the most popular dance partner ever. Tales of that night were the talk of the town. I was famous — or infamous. Rowdy Rosie OWNED it.

What’s super weird about that summer is that one of my bestest friends with whom I danced at Madame Kaliskis’ Ballet Studio in North Park – found her way to Steamboat, too. For some reason, she was living in a tree, but I can’t remember why.

Eventually, she came back to San Diego and we’ve sorta stayed in touch ever since.

Here’s a bump dance vid, check out the shiny polyester shirts; yup, I had a few, I confess.

It was long ago and lots I don’t remember but one of the highlights was going to Strawberry Park Hot Springs, located about seven miles north of SS.

It was SOOO much fun.

I couldn’t find any old photos and the ones on the internet only show it all built up, and that’s not the way it was when I was there, so no pics.

Originally discovered by the Ute Indians, they believed that the steam rising from the Strawberry Park Hot Springs contained their creator’s essence, and soaked to rejuvenate their soul.

In the 1970s, neighbors continuously complained about the crazy wild parties (oh yeah!) at Strawberry Park Hot Springs and it was eventually sold to a private owner who made it into a beautiful, peaceful natural setting.

Eventually, I came back to start grad school so I could get a teaching credential.

The seventies gave way to the eighties, Rowdy Rosie retired on her laurels, Angel Boy was born, and then I met my tugboat man and became Princess Rosebud.

But I can still dance the Bump like a pro — oh yes, I can, and especially when I wear that vintage jean jacket. Yee haw!

Pretty In Pink

Elephants, wolves, coyotes; helping to raise awareness and rid the world of animal cruelty is a depressing mission, that’s for sure.

It makes me appreciate even more the beauty in a flower, especially flowers in every shade of pink.

Begonias
pink flowerMandevilla — I call it a “Hello Kitty” pink.
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I can’t wait ’til it completely covers the arbor in pink blooms.

pinkflowerFuschia
When my son was little, we lived in Hillcrest, an older part of San Diego. The next door neighbors were in their late seventies and fell in love with our little guy, the grandchild they never had. They were both amazing gardeners and taught me how to propagate and grow fuschias and I’ve loved them ever since. It’s so easy to cut off a small piece of new (or old) growth and simply stick it in a pot —  and wait. It might take a while, but they all root and eventually grow into these beauties. Hummingbirds LOVE them, too.
They grow well here in So Cal if they have lots of water; fuschias are very thirsty!

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Enjoy your Sunday; keep cool and hydrate!

fuschia

The Sad Saga of Spirit Squirrel™

THIS IS PART THREE
Read Part One: “Spirit Squirrel™ is Back”
Read Part Two: “More Adventures of Spirit Squirrel™”
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“Hello, there’s a sick squirrel slowly walking around my yard. His tail is dragging. He doesn’t look right.  He’s all squinty. He’s not bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Now he’s reclining under a rose bush. Can you please come and rescue him? “

squirrelRIPSitting on a comfy boat cushion with a garden spade in my hand, I was in a state of Zen transplanting clary sage seedlings in the rear part of our yard. A lovely day; quiet except for the crows, I see out of the corner of my eye  – less than a foot away from my hand — something that doesn’t look like a plant, but it’s not moving. At the exact moment my brain registers that it’s a squirrel, I can tell there’s something really, really wrong with it. Here in SoCal, we’re used to ground squirrels digging holes in our yard, eating bird seed, and being annoying. They always run away when a human’s around. But not this poor little guy.

What are you supposed to do when you find a sick adult squirrel?

Now we’ll proceed to commence the frustrating and annoying round of telephone calls to useless govenrmental agencies who pass you on and on like a game of “Hot Potato”.

“No” says the City of Carlsbad Environmental Services,
“We don’t do that”. “You should call Animal Control.”

Nope, San Diego County Animal Control can’t do anything either, but they say that because it could possibly have or carry the bubonic plague, I should call the County of San Diego Vector Control. Vector Control specialist Chris informs me with a chuckle that only the squirrels on Palomar Mountain test posiitve for the plague and it’s impossible this one has the plague, maybe he “ate some bad food”  but they won’t help this little critter.

“Let Mother Nature take its course”, he says.

When I tell him that, as a compassionate animal advocate, I’m having a hard time grasping that concept, and while I’m at it, I’m wondering what exactly it is that Vector Control does,…he suggests I try to call Project Wildlife — but, he cautions, I shouldn’t get my hopes up because squirrels don’t rate very highly on their list of animals they like to rescue. However, if I could trap it in a box and bring it to them, they would have to accept it.

If you can’t picture me somehow trapping a potentially extremely sick animal and putting it in my car and driving it to Project Wildlife, that’s because it would never happen in a zillion years. A bird, yes; a dog, cat, coyote, bobcat even, but not a squirrel or a rat or a racoon that’s listlessly walking around in circles with squinty eyes.

Isn’t that what these city/county agencies are for? Isn’t that why we pay taxes?

I called Chris back, unwilling to believe that he can’t see the potential public harm from a squirrel that is obviously not acting like a normal squirrel, and he suggests that I “get a family member or a neighbor to put it out of its misery or just wait until it dies and put it in the trash.”

I hung up before I said anything that could be classified as a threat…..

I ran inside and locked the door and emailed my tugboat man. If ever there was a time when I hated him for being away, this was it. If he had a normal job, he could have left work, driven home, and helped me out. But no….he’s a zillion miles away. Here’s the email:email

Amazingly, he called while I was keeping an eye on the sicky squirrel with a pair of binoculars. He suggested that I get the hose out and gently sprinkle it in the general direction of the squirrel to guide it away. While I was on the cell with him, I turned on the water, and with hubs encouragement, sprayed near the squirrel. Oh NO, that was the wrong thing to do!

THAT MOTHERF***ER CAME AFTER ME!  

Instead of running up the hill and hopefully back to his den, he began to walk straight AT ME. I’m screaming in hubs ear and running around in circles and swearing at him and telling him to get on the first goddamn flight to do his job as a husband and protect me from being attacked by a wild animal — and he says,

“No, I cannot do that, Rosebud. I cannot tell the company that my wife is being traumatized by a ground squirrel and I need to have the United States Coast Guard fly me home.” “Good luck with that, ‘cos that’s not gonna happen. That’s not what we consider an emergency.”
NOTE: He really said CANNOT and not the informal can’t.

Well, thanks a whole lot, Master Captain Butthead. I won’t forget how you abandoned me in my time of need.

If you want to know what it’s like to be the wife of a tugboat captain, this is a fairly accurate scenario.

After we hung up, I called a few exterminators and no one seemed interested in humanely trapping the little guy.

Finally, I went next door and told my neighbor about this situation because they always have grandkids around and asked him if he wanted to come over and take a look at it.
He came over and kind of shooed it with a broom under the fence into his yard and went back home.

A few minutes later he returned and said it was gone — as in GONE  – as in GONE FOREVER and I owed him a pan of brownies or chocolate chip cookies or something…

I didn’t want details; I’m just glad the little guy isn’t suffering anymore.

And that’s the end of Spirit Squirrel™…. RIP little buddy.
Spirit Squirrel Tombstone

UPDATE: On the news this morning…a segment about squirrels and the plague, referring everyone to the San Diego County Department of Health’s News Release.

SQUIRREL ON PALOMAR MOUNTAIN TESTS POSITIVE FOR PLAGUE
Campers and Hikers Warned to Take Precautions

P.S. Getting started on those brownies now.

Hermès and a Wind Rose; The Cosmic Connection

Before there was…
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There was…
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  • 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…

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

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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. 

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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